All posts by Bert

I'm thinning, not balding... I've got a lifetime of embarrassing moments just waiting to be shared RCNJ Baseball '19

Seahawks Embarrass Giants at Home; Continue Success at MetLife

Russell Wilson and Co. are quite familiar with the confines of MetLife Stadium. Why? Let me humbly remind you:

The greatest day of my life. Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII (48 for my non-bilingual readers) at MetLife in 2014. On Sunday, they returned to the Meadowlands for the first time since their pouncing of the Broncos and made the NY Football Giants look just as bad as the San Francisco Giants in 2017, winning 24-7.

The first half went as many Seattle Seahawks football games go…poor offense, great defense, dumb penalties, and losing going into the second half. The receivers were at fault multiple times with big drops by Jimmy Graham and a bad one by Rawls on a screen pass. Play-calling around the endzone was pretty horrid too, as we had about 1200 attempts in the redzone and came away with zero points.

The Giants only score came off a Thomas Rawls fumble and a quick score on a play-action pass from Eli Manning to Evan Engram.

Engram actually looked like the best player on the field for the Giants offensively, and showed flashes of why he was picked in the first round in this years draft. Other than that, there were no positives for this Giants offense. Eli had to check down multiple times in the fourth quarter, and it seemed like the only big play they really had a chance on was a deep ball in the first quarter that Richard Sherman made a great play on to bat away.

On the winning side, the Seahawks offense looked methodical in the first half, but broke out in the second half (as per usual) with great passing and a few mixed in running plays. Watching these games, I always hear the announcers compare this Seahawks team to the teams of the past, where the running game behind Marshawn Lynch was everything. This has to stop because clearly running the ball is no longer our strong suit, but keeping it as a change of pace with multiple different backs has really worked to our advantage. We know what each running back is going to give us, but the Seahawks like to keep opposing defenses on their toes as to who will be in on the next snap. Their running game has gone from chaos to organized chaos, and it seems like Pete Carroll finally has a handle on what he wants to do with Lacy, Rawls, McKissic, and Prosise (when healthy). This is a great sign moving forward, maybe not for the individual success of each back, but for the team as a whole.

Russell Wilson was good, not great. His stats were stellar, but I expect better. He missed Baldwin on a bomb down the field that would have been an easy touchdown, and he didn’t make enough good throws in the endzone with a poorly thrown ball to Graham and a rocket to Lockett (lol) that did not have to be as hard as it was. He, like the Seahawks, figured things out in the second half.

We had a small blast from the past when Paul Richarson came down with a “Fail Mary” looking catch on Giants safety Landon Collins.

The rule is that when an offensive and defensive player have joint possession of the ball on the ground, the catch is rewarded to the offensive player. I saw some people argue that it should have been an incomplete pass, but that is just stupid. The ball was in somebody’s hands on the ground, so one of them had to have caught it. Crazy rule, but these are once every few years type plays…both just happened to happen to the Seahawks.

He also floated a touch pass to Baldwin for the lead midway through the third quarter.

I was really excited that the Wilson-Baldwin connection was back in dominant form. In order for the passing game to be effective, Baldwin needs to be incorporated. Even when he doesn’t have big statistical games, he is a game-changer. He moves the chains so often that when Wilson can’t find him, the offense stalls. To be the elite team Seattle can be, their bromance on the field needs to continue.

The defense looked great, even though that isn’t saying much with the battered down Giants team.  They will be tested next week at home against the red-hot Texans and Deshaun Watson. We will get our starting cornerback back Jeremy Lane and allow Shaquill Griffin, who has played above expectations in his absence, to slide back into nickel coverage. Healthy and looking like an elite team once again, the Seahawks are back at Century Link Field in Week 8, let’s get a dub.

#GoHawks

How Do My Professors Expect Me to Do Well in School While Playoff Baseball Is On?

It’s blasphemy, flabbergasting, preposterous, and any other large word that implies crazy thinking or behavior. I mean, look, I wanna do well in school as much as the next guy…but at what cost? Missing Kyle Hendricks throw a 7 inning-gem against the favored Nats? Not being able to see your home-town Yankees win two in a row with their backs against the wall? Lacking the ability to soak in the happiness of the Red Sox being embarrassingly eliminated at home? Mr. Professor…that’s priceless.

And now, as the halfway point of the semester approaches and midterms need to be studied for, October baseball is heating up, and Jim Rome Is Burning.

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I literally have a midterm assignment due tomorrow and a midterm exam on Friday, but I am planning my day around watching the Yankees in Game 5 tonight instead, not studying for the test and completing my work. How do these professors expect me to do both? I can multitask, but I’m no dual-threat student that can study efficiently AND give the proper attention to Game 5 it requires.

Look, I’m not saying colleges and universities need to schedule midterms and other homework around playoff baseball, but I kind of am. Us baseball fans wait through SIX months and 162 games of sometimes irrelevant baseball to get to this part of our lives. It’s important that we dedicate ourselves fully to it.

All I ask for is that during that month, I have no responsibility.  No school, no work, no extra-curricular activities, nothing. I do not care about the affects technology has on Foreign Direct Investment in Europe, but I do care about the affects Stephen Strasburg’s changeup has on right-handed hitters.

So to all my professors, a little respect for my desires would be greatly appreciated. Take my final grade into account, and take your job into account. If I’m not going to try for a whole month out of the semester, it probably won’t reflect too positively on your class grade. Not a threat, just something to chew on next week when I’m taking a midterm entirely clueless because Game 3 of the ALDS was on.  Go Yanks.

NL Wild Card Game Predictions: Score, MVP, Players to Watch

Holy sheet. The Yankees vs Twins was certainly the right way to start the 2017 postseason. I was literally and figuratively at the edge of my seat the entire time. No joke, one time I put my hands up to celebrate and I actually slipped off my chair. But, as Mr. Walker would say, I digress.

Fortunately for us baseball fans, this was only the beginning…there is another game tonight between two up-and-coming teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.

Please Note: This game will be played at Chase Field in Arizona, so pleeeeeaaaaaaseeee do not make the argument that the Rockies are going to win this game because “the air is thin”. Gr8 thx

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With that said, the Rockies are the owners of two NL MVP candidates in Charlie Blackmon (.331, 37 HR, 104 RBI) and Nolan Arenado (.309, 37 HR, 130 RBI). The Diamondbacks possess one of their own in Paul Goldschmidt (.297, 36 HR, 120 RBI, .404 OBP), as well as second-half stud J.D. Martinez who is batting .4000000 with 400 home runs in the second half since being traded from the Tigers (it’s a hyperbole) and cleanup hitter Jake Lamb who blasted 30 HR this season.

As for pitching, the Rockies are starting Jon Gray, who has ridiculous stuff but is throwing in his first ever postseason game. The Diamondbacks are tossing seasoned-vet Zach Grienke, who has tasted the postseason multiple times with a 3.55 ERA and a 3-3 record. We have seen him struggle mightily in Milwaukee in the playoffs, but we have also seen him dominate in his time with the Dodgers. In his first playoff start with his new team, how will Grienke come out tonight? My prediction…below:

Players to Watch 

SP Zach Grienke, ARI: This $200 million dollar man is also the man that left LA because he doesn’t like attention. Well, there is no bigger spotlight than being the starter in a win-or-go-home game. I project Grienke to disappoint against this hefty Rockies lineup, but I would really like to see him prove me wrong.

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1B Jake Lamb, ARI: With Gray likely to avoid the strikezone against Goldschmidt and Martinez, expect Lamb to be forced to step up big time in tonight’s game. He will hit with RISP, but if he can come up clutch is on him.

OF Carlos Gonzalez, COL: This poor man has seen the good Rockies and the really, REALLY bad Rockies. He has had a well below-par season (.262 BA and 16 HR), but the former Face-of-the-Franchise player has a chance to redeem himself in the playoffs.

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RP Pat Neshek, COL: As we saw last night, the bullpen is everything in the postseason. If Gray can give a quality start, Pat Neshek will be given a chance to bridge to elite closer Greg Holland.  The submariner had a fantastic season (1.59 ERA in 62.1 innings), but since I expect the Rockies to have the lead going into the late innings, Neshek’s performance will prove to be pivotal in keeping the Diamondbacks in check.

MVP

SP Jon Gray, COL: Roles will be reversed tonight. Grienke will implode, and Gray will shine on the road. I expect him to give a great performance and keep the Rockies in the game, performing as the confident, young ace they need him to be. After Luis Severino’s performance last night, Gray will likely take a little longer in the bullpen to make sure he is calm, his stuff is sharp, and he can take a nice, deep breath before game-time. He will not be throwing a perfect game or anything, he will most certainly give up multiple runs. But he will get out of multiple jams and limit the damage, while the Rockies offense takes care of the rest.

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SCORE

7-5 Rockies: Although I’d like to see the Diamondbacks advance because I think they are the more exciting team, the Rockies have the moving parts to pull this game out. Grienke will give up 4 runs, and the Diamondbacks bullpen will not be able to stop the bleeding. I expect Blackmon to be stellar, and D.J. LeMahieu to deliver some big hits in the middle innings. Arenado will likely be silenced, but its for that reason that I hope Car-Go will be able to step up in a huge spot and remind Rockies fans why he stuck around for all these years. J.D. Martinez will continue his hot streak but the Diamondbacks lineup will not have enough firepower to keep up.

The underdog Rockies win and advance to play the Dodgers.

 

AL Wild Card Game Predictions: Score, MVP, Players to Watch

Tonight’s matchup will feature the “Rebuilding” Baby Bombers of the New York Yankees and the “Oh Shit They’re Good?” Minnesota Twins. This is the Yankees first playoff game since the 2015 Wild Card Game, AKA the “Dallas Keuchel Shoving Our Dreams Down Our Throats Performance”, and the Twins first postseason breathe since losing to the 2010 Yankees in the ALDS.

Any do-or-die game is always an intriguing matchup, but being a Yankees fan, tonight is especially exciting. It’s the beginning of something very special, and hopefully this core will be the next group of Yankees that will break our hearts in 15 years when they retire.

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In my opinion, this game comes down to experience. Both teams are going to have the talent to get a win, but who is going to have the know-how to actually pull it off. While I am not a big Girardi fan, he is one of the longest tenured coaches in baseball and had a 15 year career as well, so he has to know something, right? On the other side is Paul Molitor, a Hall of Fame player, but only a third year coach. He may not be the first option for a manager, but as a great player, he will certainly be able to calm the nerves of some of the Twins young stars.

Players To Watch

Aaron Judge: No shit, but I’m interested to see how he plays under all this pressure. Fans are expecting a lot from him, let’s see if he thrives.

Byron Buxton: Same goes for the Twins young stud. Without Miguel Sano, Buxton will be the offensive leader of this team based on the way he has been hitting over the past couple months. He is also one of the best defenders you will ever see, so keep an eye out for him to make a game-changing play.

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Chad Green: Expect him to be first out of the bullpen for the Yankees. The first bit of trouble Severino finds himself in, Green will be in the game ready to give multiple innings of relief. If he does come into trouble rather than a clean inning, how he gets out of it could determine the outcome of the game.

Eddie Rosario: Starting in left field tonight, Rosario was once ranked the #3 prospect in the Twins system. He has legit pop, and at Yankee Stadium that is something to be worried about. He has a swagger about him that with one big hit, can absolutely change the momentum of a baseball game.

Dellin Betances: After an ugly September, he’s not the #1 guy out of the pen anymore. But, it’s likely the Yankees will need multiple big outs to get through this game. While Robertson, Chapman, and Green can be relied on to get through the bulk, Betances’ name is likely to be called at some point in need of a strikeout (possibly 2nd and 3rd, one out type situation). If he can control the zone and not walk anyone, he can be an X-factor in this game, but that is no guarantee right now.

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Ervin Santana: The Twins starting pitcher for the night has had a great 2017 campaign, but he is notorious for being good, and then getting absolutely shelled. His postseason record is 2-2 with a 5.56 ERA…not too impressive.

MVP

Didi Gregorius:  If there was anyone that was going to cure the Derek Jeter hangover, I’m glad it was Sir Didi. People outside of the Bronx have yet to notice it, but he is turning into one of the elite shortstops baseball has to offer. I look forward to seeing him shine tonight on the big stage.

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SCORE

5-2 Yankees: Severino will pitch six innings, allow 1 run, then come out in the 7th being replaced by Chad Green, who will let in one of Severino’s runs on base, and then from that point on the bullpen will close the door. I expect the Stadium to have a lot of energy, which will let the Yankees hop on Santana early before he settles in. Don’t expect much from Judge because every good manager knows never to let a team’s best player beat you. Didi Gregorius will have a clutch double that drives in 2, and an insurance run single that gives him 3 RBI’s on the night.

Yanks win and advance to take on the streaking Indians.

 

 

Seahawks Slow Beginning Does Not Mean Season Is Over, It Means It Is Just Getting Started

Starting 1-2 was definitely not how the season was supposed to begin, but after two tough losses against the Packers and Titans and a nail-biter against the 49ers, that is where the Seattle Seahawks stand.

It’s been hard to watch too.  The two games the defense played well, the offense didn’t. When the offense played well (granted very inconsistent), the defense could not deliver another good performance. It just seems like one part of the team goes right, the other goes left.

So very disappointed… defense was destroyed offense was inconsistent but #gohawks

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Being a New Jersey native and being forced to watch the horrid Giants and Jets try to call themselves professional football teams every week, I don’t get to see a lot of the Seahawks games. I catch highlights, and I follow the app closely.  That said, after years of watching trends very closely through a different window than many fans, I’ve learned that when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks…you cannot panic.

Pete Carroll is crazy enough to be considered a genius, so when the season starts like the way it has, it almost feels like everything is going just according to plan.

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Continue reading Seahawks Slow Beginning Does Not Mean Season Is Over, It Means It Is Just Getting Started

2017 Savage of the Year Winner Already Crowned; Debate is Over

The infamous quote from Anchorman, “I’m going to take your mom [Dorothy Mantooth] out to a nice seafood dinner and NEVER call her again” has been executed, one-upped, and exposed.

I’ve heard of revenge fucks, but holy shit. This guy literally annihilates his former high school bully here. I don’t think any string of words could possibly do this man and his actions justice, but I’ll do my best to try.

Ariel, the mother of the high school bully, went head-over-heels for the former high school dweeb after a few dates and a few romantically intimate nights (they did sex). After no call back from Rob (the savage), Ariel decided to take manners into her own hands. She called Hot 96.9 (ironic the radio station has a 6 and a 9 in it…nice) and tried to locate her lover. It did not go as she planned.

Rob revealed to everyone listening that her dick of a son bullied him throughout high school and once he saw her on the internet, he planned to get revenge on him in the worst way imaginable: “I saw her online, I recognized her last name, turns out her son actually bullied the shit out of me and so I figured if I could fuck his mom I would rub it in his face” (Savage named Rob).

His excuse for doing this to the mom was the most non-chalant take I’ve ever heard from somebody who just embarrassed and humiliated an adult:  “Look, it is what it is”. He goes on to boast how awesome it is that he gets to tell this bully, Sam, that his own mom called a radio station because she needed some more action from him.  There is no coming back from this if you are Sam. The game is over.  No amount of tittie-twisters, locker shoves, wedgies, or nuggies could ever make up for this act. Even retaliation would just seem desperate.  This is the biggest “L” a person can take.

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He then says he took a shit ton of pictures, which is insanely fucked up if she didn’t know and the one part of this that I think this guy went too far with, but with the one-liner to close out this historic performance he says “You were making direct eye contact with it, don’t pretend you didn’t know what was happening”.  Today is definitely a bad day to be a guy named Sam.

Lesson Learned: When they say be kind to everyone, listen. You never know who is going to turn around in 10 years and go fuck your mom.

 

Chase Headley Getting Pegged in the Baby-Makers Means Yanks Are Officially Back on Track

Before I write this blog, let me make it clear I firmly appreciate the year Chase Headley has had this season. He carried the Yanks offensively when they were struggling before and after the All-Star break, and has unexpectedly put together a nice 2017 campaign.

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Chase Headley could be batting .570 with 94 dingers, I’d still feel like he’s hitting .248 with 6 home runs and striking out swinging on sliders in the dirt.  He’s what Katy Perry is talking about in the song “Hot N’ Cold”, he’s yes then he’s no, he’s in and he’s out, he’s up and he’s down (back when Katy Perry was actually good).

When the Yankees were hot this season (excluding the first two weeks of the season), Chase Headley was not. He went from hitting an insane .380 in the beginning to plateauing at a consistent .240 for the rest of the year. During that time, the Yankees were playing 1st-place baseball.

Then when the Yankees were falling far into second place and rubbing shoulders with the Rays for third, Chase Headley was scorching hot, going 3-4 almost every game and contributing to a failing offense.

Right on schedule, Headley has started to come down to earth lately, and last night him being hit in the twig and berries firmly makes me believe the Yankees are back on track.

When things are right for the Yankees, they are wrong for Chase Headley.  He’s hot, Yanks are cold. He’s cold, Yanks are hot. It’s science. Ask the nearest nerd what they think, it’s undeniable.

So by Chase being plunked in the Golden Snitch, it’s clear that things are not going his way right now. Coincidentally, the Yankees are 8-2 in their last 10 and their magic number is down to 5 to clinch a playoff spot. Crazy how some things just make sense.

Thank you, Chase. You’re the hero we need, but not the one we deserve. Ice up.