Matt Harvey has partial UCL tear

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A torn UCL is the last thing any pitcher, manager, GM, owner and fan wants to hear – especially when it’s about your phenom ace. But that’s what Matt Harvey was a diagnosed with on Monday, effectively shutting him down until at least 2014 and possibly 2015 if surgery is necessary.  The majority of pitchers who suffer a torn UCL (even partially) eventually undergo Tommy John surgery and I’m assuming Harvey will be no different.

Obviously this is very discouraging news. Right as I was beginning to get very excited about the future, this news breaks. The future is still bright but that future is largely dependent on Harvey. Too many times in the past, pitchers have burst onto the scene, suffered injuries and never were the same. Joe Posnanski outlined a slew of examples from throughout baseball history here.

Thanks to modern medicine, Harvey has a great chance of rehabbing and returning to form, whether he undergoes surgery or not. But the risk still remains that he never returns to his pre UCL-tear form. That’s why I’m pushing for surgery now and a fresh, strong, healthy Matt Harvey ready for 2015.

Realistically, 2014 was shaping up as a season of improvement but it’s unlikely the Mets would have been good enough to make the playoffs. Giving our young talent another year to develop while Harvey rehabs could put us in prime position for a playoff run in 2015. Harvey is only 24 years old, so I guess if there’s ever a time to need surgery, it’s better to get it over with now when he’s young and can recover quicker.

Harvey is optimistic he won’t need surgery.

We will see what the doctor’s say but for now I’m not going to let this spoil my high hopes for the future. 2013 was a step in the right direction and 2014 should follow suit. I want to make sure that Harvey is 100% by Opening Day 2015 and if that means having surgery now, then so be it.

I can’t get Katy Perry’s New Song Out of My Head

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Katy Perry has done it again. Every time she comes out with a new song, I listen to it and say “that song is alright.” Then I don’t think about it for a week while hearing it at least twice daily on the radio. After that week passes, I can’t get the tune out of my head and I end up craving it, hoping it comes on the radio. It’s a vicious cycle and it has happened again with her latest track “Roar.”

I give up. I accept that I’m going to like Katy Perry’s new songs every time. It started with “I kissed a girl” in 2008 and ever since then it’s been the same pattern. First time I heard “Last Friday Night,” I thought to myself “that song is alright” but it didn’t take long for those inner thoughts to morph into “Damn, when are they going to play that Katy Perry song?” “Firework” is another example although I must admit, it might have taken me less than a week to realize that song’s greatness.

From now on, I’m just going to skip the part where I’m not impressed and just embrace that I’m going to like this song. She has found a way to create perfect earworms that just get inside of your head and have you humming the melody without even realizing it. Congrats, Katy Perry… I can’t get your songs out of my head.

Terry’s Future Depends on Next 6 Weeks

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There’s a lot of important baseball to be played in the next 6 weeks as we sort out the AL and NL playoff picture. Unfortunately, the Mets won’t be involved in any of that but that doesn’t mean their games are unimportant. Just the opposite actually, as the next 6 weeks will likely decide the fate of manager Terry Collins.

Some reports have surfaced that the Mets have made a tentative internal decision about his future and it is “widely expected” that Collins will be given a new deal after this season. Nothing is official yet and these next 6 weeks will certainly decide who will be the team’s manager next season.

I want Terry to be the manager of the Mets in 2014 and I think he has earned that position.  He has the team playing some pretty good baseball right now, especially considering its superstar third baseman David Wright is on the DL. The Mets are 31-26 in their last 57 games and they lead the Twins 4-0 right now in the 5th inning. Furthermore, the franchise has some promising young talent and expects to be a winning team as early as next year.

Those players seem to respond to Terry and that is vital in putting together a winning team. I think the front office is leaning towards retaining him but to guarantee himself the chance, he needs to continue to push the team to play good baseball the rest of the way. The games may not be important in the standings but they are vitally important for the future of the franchise and Terry Collins.

Having said all of that, Terry Collins has a 207-239 (.464)  record since taking over as the Mets manager in 2011. The Mets have not made the playoffs since 2006 and they’ve struggled in the 2nd half of seasons. (31-40 after All-Star Break in 2011, 28-48 in 2012 and 15-16 this season). Not to mention the collapses of ’07 and ’08 which of course have nothing to do with Terry Collins but they do illustrate a team trend that needs to be addressed.

That kind of track record doesn’t usually have me vigorously backing my team’s manager but for some reason I believe in Terry. The Mets were faced with financial problems that hindered them from putting together a viable major league roster and Terry did the best with what he was given. Now the pieces are falling into place and the Mets should be contenders with a true ace in Matt Harvey, a superstar in David Wright and some talented, young role players. Terry’s the man to put all of those pieces together and get this team back to the playoffs.

You can feel the tide changing in New York. The Mets are on the verge of being good again while the Yankees continue to get older on the field and cheaper in the front office. Queens is trending upwards while Bronx is more concerned with PEDs and getting out of a contract that exceeds the GDP of some small countries. There are still some holes to plug up but when the Mets take the field in 2014, Terry Collins should be writing the lineup card. Either way, he knows that the way to ensure that is to having a winning record in the final 6 weeks of this season.

What I’m Listening To

Just an awesome alternative track by the brother-sister indie pop group Blondfire. I first heard it on ALT Nation on Sirius XM and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to it on YouTube since. It’s got a very catchy guitar riff (that’s also very fun to play) and Erica’s voice fits the vibe of the song perfectly. I’m excited to see what else this duo comes out with for their second studio album.

Also worth checking out is their acoustic version of the song.

Is It Football Season Yet?

Almost. Every time I see this Dick’s Sporting Goods commercial, I get exponentially more excited for the season. This commercial is so awesome. There’s so much going on pre-snap and you’re right there in it. The way the camera swings around to see what everyone is doing leading up to what will be the most important play of the game.

It captures everything that is great about football and sports in general. I need to know what happens once the ball is snapped. I never will but I always feel the same thing after watching that minute-long advertisement – pumped up and overflowing with passion about sports and competition. Only 3 weeks until Week 1.

Dick’s did a similar spot in March leading up to Opening Day for the baseball season and it was equally as good. Sports are the best.

Top YouTube comments from these videos:

Eric King 3 months ago

if you are a baseball fan, this perfectly brings to life, all the details of baseball that make it so powerful.

Baseballbat95 2 weeks ago

if this doesnt give you chills you arent a sports fan

airfly4848 1 week ago

I get goosebumps every time I watch this.

 

Couldn’t agree more.

Breaking Bad Returns Tonight

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It’s been a whole year but Breaking Bad finally returns tonight for its final 8 episodes. There has been a lot written about the upcoming final hours and Breaking Bad’s place in the top tier of shows in TV history. I’ve read pretty much all of it so all that’s left to do is watch the final 8 episodes.

For the next two months, Breaking Bad will be the talk of the TV world and there will be plenty to talk about. The series has moved along at a faster than normal speed and I expect Season 5, Part 2 to keep pace. Where other series might have strung out certain storylines for entire seasons, Gilligan often resolved them in 1-2 episodes. The tremendous acting and writing we have come to expect will only make the end of a great series even better.

I don’t have any idea what is going to happen and I can’t remember ever being this excited for the end of a series. The show made its goal clear early on – to turn a perfectly normal, nice guy into Scarface. It’s safe to say that things won’t end well for Walt but we just don’ t know how we arrive at his ultimate demise. I trust that series creator Vince Gilligan will lead us there in the most tense, thrilling and suspenseful way possible.

A lot will be made of the ending and it will no doubt have a lasting effect on the show’s legacy. Breaking Bad hasn’t disappointed up to this point and there’s a lot of pressure to stick the landing. I have high expectations for the ending and if I know anything about Gilligan, it will be purposeful and well thought out.

No matter how it ends, Breaking Bad is widely regarded as one of the 4 best dramas of all-time. The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men and Breaking Bad changed television and (in an article written in 2011) Chuck Klosterman makes a case for Breaking Bad as the best out of those four. Who would have thought Malcolm’s dad and a former The Price Is Right contestant would be a part of some of the most compelling TV ever?

Hard Knocks is Too Good

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The production value on Hard Knocks is amazing. Of course, the show has a lot going for it right off the bat.  It’s an inside look into the most profitable league on the planet, meaning a lot of people are very interested and care a lot about what they’re showing. People would watch just for the content matter but the production also happens to be as good as it gets.

The 2013 installment of the HBO documentary series kicked off last night and it was even better than I remember it. We get an inside look into the training camp of the Cincinnati Bengals this year and even though they were on the show 4 years ago, everything feels fresh. The coaches are mostly the same with the exception of running backs coach Hue Jackson but the players are essentially all different from the first go-around, including QB Andy Dalton, WR A.J. Green, LB James Harrison and DB Pacman Jones.

Rookie RB Giovanni Bernard was the star of last night’s show and without a doubt he upped his stock in just about every fantasy draft in the country. That guy can move – he is super fast. HBO, as always, did a fantastic job of introducing intriguing storylines, both injury and roster related. You forget that a players’ livelihood is on the line and the only way to be reminded of that is to see the tears on Larry Black’s face when he finds out that he is out for the season with a dislocated ankle.

From the fringe players fighting for a roster spot to the veterans, Hard Knocks covers it all superbly. It perfectly juxtaposes all of the nonsense, hazing and joking with the serious football related activities (both on and off the field) that go on during a training camp. How could you not be pumped after the final Oklahoma drill? Those slow motion montages edited perfectly to the music are also outstanding and Liam Neeson remains the best narrator in any medium (sorry Morgan Freeman).

Overall, it was a fantastic first episode and I can’t wait for the final four as we gear up for the 2013 season.  It amazing to think about the quality of storytelling that Hard Knocks showcases given it has such a quick turnaround. Next week’s show is being shot right now and somehow, after compiling hours of footage, they will put together another compelling hour of television on the tightest of deadlines. Keep up the great work HBO because next week’s show can’t come soon enough. Football is back!