Giants 1st Round Draft Pick Finds Out He Got Selected

There are many things that make this video awesome. It is always fun and inspiring to watch someone find out they have fulfilled their life’s dream. Pugh has a lot of work ahead of him but the offensive lineman out of Syracuse will be an NFL player – one drafted in the first round no less.

Restraining his excitement while on the phone with Coughlin looked very difficult but he maintained his professionalism. Then, when he hung up, we got to see the real reaction as Pugh was mobbed by his friends and family. A very cool moment that I’m glad someone recorded and put on YouTube.

There are also two subtle parts of this video that are hilarious. First, the friend’s reaction when Pugh says “I can’t wait to be a Giant.” The guy looks shocked and disgusted at the thought of his friend putting on a blue uniform. Justin is from Pennsylvania and he and his friends are Eagles fans, so this is understandable. But even during Pugh’s biggest professional moment, his friends’ fandom still reigns supreme. That’s the way it should be too. This also explains the Eagles jersey that was part of the group that swarmed Pugh after he hung up the phone.

Finally, the “you’re my boy” Old School shirt with the picture of Joseph “Blue” Pulaski is fantastic and needs to be acknowledged. Congrats to Pugh and I can’t wait to have him on the squad. Seems like he will add some much needed depth to our offensive line. He will also have a familiar face in training camp as the Giants took Ryan Nassib with their fourth round pick. Coughlin loves those Syracuse guys and I think he got two real good ones in this year’s draft.


From the You Can’t Make This Up Department


Tonight’s Mets/Phillies game had a short on-field delay in the first inning. What was the cause of this delay? It was not weather related or a pitching change and there were no injuries. Wait for it…

The game was delayed because the home plate umpire swallowed his dip and needed to go throw up. That’s right, a professional sporting event was halted because the man calling balls and strikes accidentally gulped down his chew. The offending home plate umpire Brian O’Nora left the game after the 1st inning.

Aside from this being disgusting, it’s pretty hilarious but it’s not even the most ridiculous umpire-related delay this season. Two weeks ago, the Nats/White Sox game was delayed 15 minutes because the umpires were stuck in traffic on the way to the ballpark. You can’t make this stuff up.

The real lesson here is that umpires are people too. Sometimes they make the wrong call, sometimes they’re stuck in traffic and sometimes they swallow their Big League Chew.

As baseball creeps more and more towards new technology with video replay and an automated strike zone, please don’t forget about the human element of the game and the role the umpires play. Where will our chewing tobacco and traffic-related delays will come from? Those can’t just go by the wayside, they’re just too funny.

UPDATE (4/30): It turns out Brian O’Nora actually did not swallow his dip as was previously reported but left the game early because he was feeling ill. He has since been diagnosed with an intestinal tear. I apologize to him and take back everything I said.

The umps getting stuck in traffic still really happened though and that’s still hilarious.

Ortiz punctuates moving pregame ceremony at Fenway

If there ever was time for an F-bomb, that was it. Even the FCC didn’t have a problem with it.

Big Papi’s speech was one of the best and most succinct player speeches I’ve ever seen. The ceremony celebrated the heroes, remembered the fallen and highlighted the unity of not just the people of Boston, but the entire country. Well done and the Red Sox even won the game on an emotional 3-run HR reminiscent of Piazza’s 2-run HR in the first game at Shea after 9/11. With everything that Boston went through during the past week, that was a much needed and well deserved celebratory afternoon.

Star Spangled Banner at Boston Garden

Stirring stuff at the Boston Garden last night. Tragedies like the bombing at Monday’s Boston Marathon are becoming all too common but it’s truly inspiring to see everyone come together during such difficult times. I recently read that the human race is at its best when things are at their worst – that was definitely true on Monday.

I have so much respect for the first responders who ran towards the bombs to help the injured. Policemen, Firemen and Military personnel, who were unaware if more bombs were about to go off, didn’t think twice about running towards the explosions. They are heroes and I’m proud to live in a country that has such fearless public servants.

The most eloquent reaction to Monday’s bombings came from an unlikely source. It wasn’t the President, a politician, or a columnist who best expressed the sadness, anger and confusion felt by most Americans on Monday – it was Patton Oswalt, an actor. His Facebook post has gone viral and been shared hundreds of thousands of times, rightfully so…

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. 

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness. 

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago. 

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

I needed that reminder that “the good outnumber you, and we always will.” Prayers for everyone in Boston and I know the city and the entire country will bounce back stronger than ever.

Vin on top of his game


During last night’s Dodgers/Padres game, Vin Scully did what he does best. In the top of the 2nd inning, Padres pitcher Eric Stults came up to bat against Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley. Here’s a transcript of the at bat as broadcasted by the Hall of Famer:

“We often talk about Chad Billingsley, saying that he pitches ‘with the Sword of Damocles over his head.’ That’s an old Greek legend.

The ruler was Dionysus, and he had a guy in the courtier – in the court – who would always talk about how great the ruler had it.

So finally, the ruler said, ‘Ok. I’ll tell you how great it is.’ – the pitch is high, ball two – and he had a big dinner for Damocles and there at the head of the table was the chair and the beautiful table set up. Damocles sat down and directly above his head was a huge sword and it was tied by one horse hair.

[Scully chuckles]

Damocles got the idea. 2-2 pitch on the way is fouled back.

So, of course, any time anybody’s pitching in a somewhat precarious position, I guess it applies: The Sword of Damocles.

And, with Chad Billingsley, with that touchy arm, any time he goes to the mound that’s exactly who he is: Damocles of the Dodgers.

Amarista at second, Maybin at first. This’ll be the seventh pitch to Eric Stults. Chad ready, checks, right-hander deals.

High fly ball to deep center…Kemp going back…a-way back…this one is over the wall!

Eric Stults hits it out over the centerfield fence and it’s the Padres on the scoreboard leading, three to nothing.”

He’s the absolute best.  If I read this transcript not knowing who was behind the mic, it wouldn’t have taken me along to arrive at Scully. How many other broadcasters can work Greek Tragedy into an average 2nd inning at bat? Not to mention having his metaphor pay off with the opposing pitcher hitting a home-run off the struggling “Damocles of the Dodgers.”

There’s a lot of broadcasts out there that sound exactly the same. Broadcasters and color commentators are constantly talking about how a specific player is a “competitor” or [insert generic baseball cliche here]. Nothing sounds like a Dodgers broadcast though and that’s because of Vin’s unique, anecdotal style. You never know what you might learn when watching a Dodgers game and Scully is the perfect teacher – always interesting and informative.



Greinke Breaks Collar Bone in Bench Clearing Brawl


I’m sure that the one thing the Dodgers feared most when they singed Zack Greinke to the largest ever contract for a RHP (at the time) was injury. I’m also sure that this was not the way they thought their biggest worry would come true. LA’s new $147M man suffered a broken collarbone after he lowered his shoulder on an attacking Carlos Quentin. It is unknown how long he will be out or if he will need surgery but the Dodgers will definitely be without their offseason acquisition for the foreseeable future.

It was fun to watch a heated brawl between division rivals but in this case I don’t think a charging of the mound was warranted. Given the game situation (3-2 count in a 1-run game with a runner on first), I find it very hard to believe that Greinke intentionally hit Quentin. Quentin cited a history between the two, which is a fair point considering that Greinke hit Quentin in 2008 and 2009. Baseball players never forget. But a lot of people have hit Quentin before – only 6 active players have been hit by a pitch more than Quentin. He also has a reputation for leaning in and crowding the plate. In this particular instance, he did not lean in but Greinke hitting Quentin last night didn’t seem malicious or intentional. The pitch just got away from him.

Quentin didn’t see it that way and took matters into his own hands. Greinke is much smaller than Quentin so getting low to the ground and using his shoulder like a linebacker seemed like a good idea – that is of course until he got hit and broke his collarbone. Quentin will be suspended but he will definitely return to the field before Greinke, which really irks Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly.

The scuffle continued after the game in the hallways by the locker rooms, a la Prince Fielder or Melo and KG. Kemp had some choice words for Quentin and needed to be restrained before getting on the team bus. The best part of all of this  is that the teams play each other again on Monday in LA, which led to this great tweet from the Dodgers.

A little bad blood between division rivals certainly won’t disappoint any baseball fans. It’s a long season but Greinke’s absence won’t help a Dodgers team that desperately wants to win right now. Lucky for them, Kershaw wasn’t involved in the scuffle. LA’s true ace has not allowed a run yet this season in 16 IP. This weekend should give both the Padres and Dodgers enough time to calm down but I will definitely be tuning in on Monday (which is also Jackie Robinson Day) to see if there are any more dust ups.

What I’m Listening To

During a commercial break of Saturday Night Live last week, the above 15 second clip played. It was one of three that previewed new songs that will appear on Daft Punk’s new album due out on May 21st. Well, these little clips set the Internet on fire with excitement, rumors, speculation, remixes and looped tracks of the commercial like the one below.

Daft Punk is doing it right. When you release three 15-second clips and get this kind of attention, you can do whatever you want. In the age of YouTube, it’s impossible to keep anything a secret anymore but Daft Punk is mastering the art of the viral album promotion.

They’re the fathers of electronic music and have managed to still set the tone for the genre even after it’s popularity has exploded into the mainstream over the last 5 years. I love Daft Punk and I can’t wait for their new album. In the meantime, I can’t stop listening to the looped Saturday Night Live teasers.

Cuse Falls to Michigan in Final Four


I’ve been doing my best to avoid coverage of tonight’s championship game between Louisville and Michigan. I’m still bitter that Syracuse lost to Michigan on Saturday and the last thing I want to see are Michigan and Louisville fans in Atlanta getting ready for tonight’s game. The Orange had a great run and making our first Final Four in ten years is nothing to be ashamed of. But as often happens in sports fandom, my expectations got the best of me and I expected to beat Michigan. My friends and I were understandably deflated when we didn’t get the outcome we expected.

Last month, I didn’t think this team was capable of a tournament run but after a solid Big East Tournament and an upset over top-seeded Indiana, my expectations completely changed. I wanted a rematch (well a 4th match-up) with Louisville in the finals and I thought we were definitely going to get it. I felt even more confident after Trey Burke started out so cold from the field on Saturday night. But the Wolverines held a sizable halftime lead and we were forced to play catch up for the whole second half.

Despite being the more experienced team and having our zone look the best it has in years, Michigan was able to do enough to win. They dominated the boards, grabbing 13 offensive rebounds and they shot well enough over the zone (8 threes). The best moment of the game for me was Southerland’s three to get within three points. Unfortunately, it was only one of three three-pointers we hit all game – not exactly a formula for winning.

The end of the game also had some questionable calls, especially on the fifth foul calls for Carter-Williams and Triche. But that’s no excuse. Fair led the way with 22 points but we didn’t get much scoring from anyone else. Our final possession was especially frustrating. We didn’t even give ourselves a chance to tie the game by taking a running two when we were down by three. Syracuse could have won the game but didn’t do enough and that’s the way it goes sometimes.

It was a great season but it ends with a bitter taste in my mouth, just as last year’s did. There’s only two seniors on this team (Triche and Southerland) but they are both big contributors. Losing them and moving to the ACC make it tough to speculate how the team will do next year.  It seems like Boeheim will be back and I certainly didn’t think this year’s team was capable of such a run – so you never know.