NFL Playoffs

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The 2020 NFL playoffs continue to roll through the schedule. The Green Bay Packers, the 1-seed in the NFC, will now host the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 24 against the fifth-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buffalo Bills, the No. 2-seed in the AFC, will play the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.

Here is what we know about the AFC and NFC brackets, including seeding, TV times and the schedule of games from wild-card weekend up through Super Bowl LV. Read more


The NFL’s expanded playoff bracket has been a topic of conversation all season, but with the playoffs finally around the corner, it’s worth revisiting exactly how a 14-team field works in the first year of its existence.

The league made the move from 12 teams qualifying to 14 for the 2020 season. A lot of the reasoning comes back to interest and money, but it also creates a different playoff picture than NFL fans may be used to. There’s now a No. 7 seed to play for in each conference. There’s only one bye instead of two on each side, too. It forces a recalibration of how late-season results are viewed. Read more


Patrick Mahomes’ path back to the field for the AFC Championship Game included a stop at a mid-week practice.

The Chiefs quarterback remains in concussion protocol but participated in what was a light practice for the Chiefs on Wednesday.

“He looked good on a limited basis,” coach Andy Reid told reporters. “He took all the snaps and he feels good. We’re going to follow this protocol.”

Mahomes, who is symptom-free and will undergo tolerance tests, is expected to increase his workload as the week carries on, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

He exited Kansas City’s 22-17 win over Cleveland last weekend after he was tackled awkwardly by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson. Mahomes appeared momentarily unable to stand without assistance before heading to the locker room for further evaluation. His placement in the protocol ended his participation in the Divisional Round meeting with Cleveland and called into question his availability for Sunday’s conference title game against the Buffalo Bills.

Mahomes’ participation in Wednesday’s practice is an encouraging sign for his chances of playing Sunday. And as Rapoport later tweeted, serving as a limited participant doesn’t mean much of a difference at this stage of the season, when most practice work is mental and walkthrough.

The Super Bowl LIV MVP is one win away from returning to the sport’s biggest game. If he can play Sunday, we’re in for an exciting one between the defending champions and the red-hot Bills. Read more


What’s your favorite commercial?

This Sunday, Jan. 20 we have the following teams – LA vs. NO @ 3:05 PM and NE vs. KC @ 6:40 PM.  Read more  Many people I’ve spoken to say, “I don’t want the Patriots to win, but they certainly know how to win”.  Eagles World Champions 2018 and Patriots in 2017  My prediction on the big contest – Superbowl LIII (53) on Feb 3, 2019 @ 6:30 PM is Chiefs over Saints (27-14).  Ways to watch


Regular season is over. Atlanta Falcons are favored by 5 over Green Bay Packers. New England Patriots are favored by 7 over Pittsburgh Steelers. Initially, I wanted to see Aaron Rogers and Tom Brady face-off in the Super Bowl.  However, after watching the first half, I can see why Matt Ryan is slated as the Most Valuable Player!

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The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, two of the most dominant AFC teams in the last decade and a half, are about to square off again in the postseason, but not just a usual playoff game — the AFC Championship  game.  With a spot in Super Bowl 51 on the line, Las Vegas is leaning towards New England, the home team, when it comes to the odds in this matchup. The opening line had the Patriots as 5-point favorites, and the line has gone up to 6-point favorites for the championship game. Read more

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Also, CBS Sports has some nice news reports on the Playoffs & Standings.

Cooperstown

Watch my summer slide show – Click here

2019 RPBL Rangers ranked 35/104 after 6 game seeding round. Season ended early on Wednesday, August 21.

Opening Ceremony

Wyatt hits Grand Slam (team’s first home run) in Game 4 which was a major turning point.

Blake on the mound in Game 7 – Elimination round

Visit Ted Winstead’s amazing photo gallery – Click here



Two powerful hitters, two dominant starters and two lights-out relievers.  Six Hall of Fame legends, all a part of the Class of 2019 at the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The game’s newest immortals take their bow July 19-22.  More than 50 Hall of Famers are scheduled to be in Cooperstown to honor the Class of 2019 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum – Harold Baines, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera and Lee Smith Induction on July 21, 2019. Read more


I am sincerely grateful to simply be here in Cooperstown to watch my son Blake play in these tournaments. I hope he has fun and will remember this forever!  Visit Dream Park and All-Star Village.

When Blake and I first arrived we went straight to the museum and took a picture of #10 Chipper Jones. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018. Click here

2019 Results: LTRC Comets seeded 19 out of 50 and made it to “Sweet 16”. Click here

2018 Results: Harrison Hurricanes Click here Bergen County Hawks (NJ) Click here LI Sharks Sharks Click here

My week in review – Click here. Some interesting trivia below: We finished preliminary seeding week 79/104 with a record of 1 and 5 averaging 10.83 runs allowed per game.

Orioles Team Rebuilds

Chayce McDermott

Baseball – Ball State University
Click here


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Apparently this looks like another bad trade

In my opinion the Orioles consistently get a hold of these great players Nelson Cruz Nick marcakis Manny Machado Adam Jones the list goes on and on.

And then they trade them and the Orioles just continue to lose and lose and lose.
https://humanvacuumblog.wordpress.com/2022/08/04/orioles-team-rebuilds


Trey Mancini hits two home runs, including first career grand slam, to lead Astros victory: ‘I finally got one’

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bs-sp-trey-mancini-astros-grand-slam-20220806-ac4mc2ns6bb4njwhm4ej3sbehi-story.html

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Baltimore Orioles have traded first baseman/outfielder Trey Mancini to the Houston Astros, the teams announced Monday. +

In exchange for Mancini, the Orioles received right-hander Chayce McDermott from the Astros and right-hander Seth Johnson from the Tampa Bay Rays.


2022 MLB trade deadline. Read more


In 2019, the Orioles (54-108) were just as bad. In 2020, these Orioles took some steps forward and should improve. Read more

DENVER, COLORADO – MAY 25: Pedro Severino #28 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a single in the seventh inning to load the bases against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on May 25, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Back in April 2016, I had an exciting weekend.  The Orioles beat the World Series Champions – Kansas City Royals 8-3.  The Birds record is 11-5 as of Saturday. Our Over 40 team, Brewers beat the Nationals 15-2 and our record is now 2-0. The Roland Park Rangers travel team beat the TowsonTowne Tbirds 6-5 and continue to remain undefeated this season (record 5-0). Our RPBL In-house team (9-10 Nationals Little League) the Blaze beat the Ironbirds 5-3 and we have a 2 game winning streak (record 3-1-1).

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Midsummer Classic

American League wins 9 in a row, there for they win 2022 World Series ~ Home Field Advantage (4/7 games).

No. 4 seed: Juan Soto, Nationals. 19 home runs when seeds were set
Longest HR of 2022: 451 feet, April 12 at Braves
Hardest-hit HR of 2022: 112.5 mph, April 12 at Braves

Soto has hit the longest Home Run Derby home run ever tracked — a 520-foot shot at Coors Field last year that set a new record for the Statcast era (since 2015). Soto surpassed Aaron Judge’s 513-foot home run at Marlins Park in 2017, which was the longest entering the 2021 Derby.


Rodriguez – Rookie of the year.

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89th annual Midsummer Classic will be held Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 8 p.m. at Nationals Park in Washington, DC.

Home Run Derby is on Monday, July 16 @ 8 p.m.

Read more => http://www.mlb.com/all-star/schedule

Robinson Cano’s 10th inning home run lifts American League to All-Star Game victory (read more).

Aaron Judge currently has the top 5 hardest hit baseballs (e.g. approximately 121 mph.) in MLB history. He was the 2017 champion of the “Home Run Derby” the day before All-Star game.

It was also fun to watch Jose Altuve leadoff for the American League, who is one of the top hitters this year batting 0.353 (as of 7/20/17).


American League wins 4-2. Since 1988 the

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American League has dominated, winning 22 of 29 with 1 tie (2002). Since inception, National League (43 Wins) American League (42 Wins).

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I found it interesting there have been two ties (first one was in 1961 – Read more). This year the starting line-up for the American League included 4 Boston Red Sox Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley and Ortiz and the National League had their entire infield made up of 4 Chicago Cubs Rizzo, Russell, Bryant and Zobrist.

Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the “Midsummer Classic”, is an annual professional baseball game

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sanctioned by Major League Baseball (MLB) contested between players from the American League (AL) and the National

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League (NL), currently selected by fans for starting fielders, by managers for pitchers, and by managers and players for reserves.

The game usually occurs on either the second or third Tuesday in July, and is meant to mark a symbolic halfway-point in the MLB season (though not the mathematical halfway-point which, for most seasons, is usually found within the previous calendar week). Both of the major leagues share a common All-Star break, with no regular-season games scheduled on the day before or the day after the All-Star Game itself (Read more). Johnny Cueto and Chris Sale will be the starting pitchers in the 87th All-Star Game to be played tonight at Petco Park in

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San Diego (Read more).

Giancarlo Stanton turned the Home Run Derby at

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Petco Park into a contest of “Can you top this?” For most of the night, the Miami Marlins right fielder found himself trying to outdistance himself, and in the process he stole the show. In the finals, he went first and put the third-seeded Frazier on the defensive. Of his 20 homers, 11 went 440 feet or more (Read more).

Since I’m a loyal Orioles fan, I was cheering for Machado and the other 4 players selected. What is really cool is the fact that no one ever hit a ball off the scoreboard at Petco Park until Mark Trumbo hit a 479-foot homer (Read more). Another really interesting statistic is all the young players who played tonight.

Unfortunately, some people think that the game doesn’t mean anything. However, winning or losing does affect the “home field advantage” for the 2016 World Series. Moreover, I personally believe it is a showcase of the “crim de la crim”. If you love the game as much as I do, it’s exciting to watch the raw

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talent and the camaraderie of the best athletes.

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Nevertheless, if you look back over the past 4 years that the A.L. had the home field advantage, Kansas City Royals won in 2015 4–1 over the New York Mets but in the previous year, it did not seem to make a difference losing to San Francisco Giants in Game #7 (2014). In 2012, San Francisco Giants also beat Detroit Tigers 4–0. Yet, in 2013, Boston Red Sox with home field advantage won 4–2 over St. Louis Cardinals (Read more).

It was officially decided in August 2009 at the IOC Board meeting in Berlin that baseball would not be included in the 2016 Summer Olympics. What a shame. It starts on August 5 (only three weeks away – Read more). However, the organizing committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has proposed the inclusion of five new sports in their event, with baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing being put forward (Read more).

This past spring at Roland Park Baseball, my son Blake started @ 3rd base in the annual RPBL All Star game (little league ages 9-10). Also, I had the honor to be selected as the manager and head coach and it was a blast!


Lost Art of Bunting

Our little league recently tried a new strategy to encourage all hitters to pay closer attention to the strike zone and weaker hitters to have a better chance of getting on base…

I am a big believer in “base hits” win ballgames!

Unfortunately, our team has struck out 59 times in seven games. Breakdown per game: 13, 4, 6, 6, 10, 12 & 8.


MLB Traditional Methodology

Many coaches are in favor of giving up an out by bunting a runner over to second or even third base. I believe this is a bunting strategy that should be determined by a number of factors.

  1. Is it a close game
  2. Is it late in the game
  3. Can the runner steal second instead of being bunted over
  4. How well can the hitter bunt
  5. What is the batting average and on base percentage of the hitter

It really doesn’t make any sense to me, to have a batter at the plate with a high on base percentage or batting average and have him make an out just to move a runner over one base, especially
third.

I may give you in a very close game where one run will win it to
bunt a man over to third with no outs, then have a squeeze bunt if the next hitter is a capable man who can get the job done.

In Pony baseball, the chances seem to be better in favor of attempting
a steal, but again factors such as the runners ability to get a good jump and the catcher’s arm come into play.

In most situations, bunting a runner over early in the game just doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you are fairly sure it will
be a close game.

There is also something to be said for scoring the first run giving your team a psychological advantage. But before you bunt a man over consider who is coming up: are the chances favorable he can get
the job done with a base hit or fly ball, or is the hitter weak and bunting is probably the best option for him?

Even so, you’ve got to consider who is coming up after him whether they can
be counted on to get a hit or fly ball.
Here is one bunting strategy that works almost every time.

Runner on third, or runners on any other base. Less than two outs. The batter at the plate is an average or less hitter,
with weaker hitters coming up behind him….and you really want
to get a run in.

The batter bunts the ball down on the ground towards the third baseman. Have the runner on third follow the third baseman down the line, staying back from him 10 feet or so.

When the player throws to first for the out, you’ve got yourself an easy run. Do remember, if the shortstop is playing heads up ball and the third baseman is in the game, there may be an out at third, depends on how far the second base runner is advanced and how far the ball is bunted. But the chances of this happening are fairly slim, the odds are in the offenses favor.

There really are no hard and fast rules that are absolute, but the one thing I’m not in favor of early in the game is to
bunt a man over with decent hitters at the plate.

Even though everyone should be able to lay down a bunt if called upon, the better hitters in the lineup usually have little bunting experience in the game and so as a general rule are not really
that good at bunting simply because in most games in their past, they hit and didn’t have to bunt.

Remember what Earl Waver said: “If you play for one run, that’s usually all you’ll get.” Read more


Reading the pitcher

In this bunting strategy – recognize a pitcher’s weakness and exploit it for more bunt hits.

Bunting for a hit is an extremely valuable skill, and can even be the deciding factor in a close game when hits and runs are scarce.

Baseball players are creatures of habit!

Most people – and pitchers in particular – are creatures of habit. You can use this to your advantage.

How many times have you seen a ground ball hit back to the pitcher? He usually reacts in one of two ways: Take his time and make a nice throw to first base for the out, or secure the ball start running over to first base and give an underhand flip. As insignificant as this play seems it may tell us a few things about the pitcher and his mindset. This can be extremely important if you can and are willing to bunt.

Typically pitchers work on bunt plays where the baseball is bunted right back to them or towards third base where they can pick it up and throw it to first base. The whole thing becomes very instinctive and doesn’t require much thought or variation on the pitcher’s part.

So how can this help you out?

This can tell you if you should try to bunt against this particular pitcher.

(1) There’s a good chance you’ll be able to predict how he will handle that same scenario in the future

(2) You’ll have a clue as to what type of play is difficult for the pitcher (i.e. if this is a weakness for him) and then you can use this to your advantage.

Will he make a throw to first, or try to run and flip it?

Now lets go back to our pitcher and how he handles a throw to first base on a come backer.

If the pitcher throws the ball to 1st base, it’s a clue that he may be fairly athletic and feels comfortable in throwing a ball outside of his normal pitching motion. In this case, bunting may not be the best option.

However, if a pitcher runs it over towards first base and under hand flips it, there is probably a reason for that. It could be that he not confident in his throwing ability. Maybe he has thrown balls passed the first baseman in the past and now this is his go to move, or perhaps throwing to bases is something he doesn’t practice and doesn’t feel comfortable with. Either way, it can indicate a weakness you can take advantage of by bunting for a hit.

Taking advantage of the pitcher’s weakness

You can force the pitcher to make an athletic throw by laying a soft bunt down the first base line.

This is not a standard push bunt, you want to make sure it’s hard enough where the catcher can’t get it and the ONLY person that can make a play is the pitcher.

A pitcher who isn’t too confident in making an athletic throw will have difficulties with this play.

He has to get to the ball quickly, so his momentum not going in the direction of first base. Then he needs to make a throw to the first baseman without hitting the runner or throwing it into right field.

Since this isn’t a play that is practiced often, and it is a very difficult play, you will quickly tell how athletic the opposing pitcher is and if bunting may be a way for your team to scratch across a few runs.

The reason I picked this type of bunt strategy is because a bunt down the third base line is a play that happens so fast for the pitcher that he doesn’t have time to think about it. This tends to be an easier throw for him to make. Also, pitcher’s practice fielding this bunt often.

Of course, just because a pitcher runs and under hand flips a ball to first base on a come backer doesn’t guarantee that he is uncomfortable making an athletic throw. But paying attention and seeing this as a potential way to attack the pitcher may help you get to a pitcher that is tough to score runs against.


No More Easy Outs

Alfonso Soriano studied Willie Randolph, the Yankees’ third-base coach, as he touched his cap, his nose, his ear, his arm and his belt, and somewhere in Randolph’s rapid collection of movements was a sign for Soriano to bunt. This happened three different times while the Yankees played the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park last month. Each time, Soriano looked inept as he failed to produce a sacrifice.

When Soriano was reminded of his failures, he offered a facial expression that made it seem as if he had gulped salt water. Then Soriano added revealing words to his already revealing actions.

”Bunting?” Soriano said. ”No. Sometimes when they ask me to bunt, I bunt it straight to the pitcher. I’ll be really mad if I make an easy out. I’m not really comfortable bunting. If I could put it down the line, O.K. It’s very important, but I’d rather hit the ball.”

Soriano made his comments while sitting near his locker at Yankee Stadium, but the words could have been spoken by almost any position player in any major league clubhouse. For other than a small percentage of adept bunters, the ability to deaden a pitched ball with a bat while simultaneously placing it away from the charging opposition is not considered a critical talent. Remember, baseball stages a home run derby at the All-Star Game, not a bunting contest.

”It’s not a glorious or a glamorous thing,” Mets pitcher Tom Glavine said. ”Other than starting pitchers and a handful of leadoff guys, players don’t do it. It’s lost its prominence.”

Baseball’s evolution has included smaller parks, bigger players, livelier balls and thicker contracts, but not necessarily heftier paychecks for a player who can bunt for a hit or to advance a runner. And just as influential, there are statistically attuned executives who dispute the traditional notion that bunting builds rallies, and they have data to support their theories.

Those general managers, like Oakland’s Billy Beane, Toronto’s J. P. Ricciardi and Boston’s Theo Epstein, are the current equivalents of Earl Weaver, who despised using the bunt as manager of the Baltimore Orioles across 17 seasons. The general managers have statisticians who support their belief that they should resist it. Read more

 

Equestrian

Post Time

What makes life worth living is the beautiful creatures God designed!  Nowadays we spend lots of money to watch them perform. Steeplechase, flat track, etc.

“The odds of winning is what makes a good horse race.”

More importantly, I remember clearly when I was about 10 years old and my parents enrolled me in horseback lessons.

Preakness 2022: Race draws more than 60,000 fans, half of pre-pandemic totals – Baltimore Sun

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/horse-racing/bs-sp-2022-preakness-60000-fans-20220523-qqn56ropmjdehh6z5kzco74544-story.html

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Chad Brown’s Early Voting broke away from the pack on Saturday and captured first in the 147th edition of the Preakness Stakes.

The racehorse, ridden by Jose Ortiz, finished just ahead of Epicenter, the Preakness runner up at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Read more
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Country House

In the most controversial decision in Kentucky Derby history, 65-to-1 long shot Country House was named the winner of the race after Maximum Security, who went under the wire first, was disqualified by stewards. In 1968, In the most incredible post-running of the Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security was disqualified for interference on Saturday and Country Home was declared the winner of the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby history was set Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Maximum Security led nearly wire-to-wire in the Run of the Roses, but a ruling upon objection caused the horse to be the first winner ever disqualified in the American Triple Crown race for a riders’ objection. So yes, Country House has won the 2019 Kentucky Derby. The second-biggest underdog ever to win at 65-1 came out ahead in part because it stayed wide while previously undefeated Maximum Security caused a ruckus inside. Code of Honor finished second, and Tacitus was third in the rectified results. Country House likely was not impacted as Maximum Security left its lane, but Country House’s team (his jockey was Flavien Prat, and his trainer William I. Mott) pulled the objection because of a wide swing that likely caused War of Will and possibly other horses to slow down. The winner of a Kentucky Derby never had been disqualified.

Maximum Security took an early lead as many expected on the wet track and led for most of the early going, which was expected by SportsLine horse-racing expert Hank Goldberg. He held it all the way, only to see the victory taken by review.
2019 Kentucky Derby Final Results
1. Country House
2. Code of Honor
3. Tacitus
4. Improbable
5. Game Winner
DQ: Maximum Security

Kentucky Derby payout information

Country House, 65-1 — WIN $132.40, PLACE $56.60, SHOW $24.60
Code of Honor, 14-1 — PLACE $15.20 SHOW $9.80
Tacitus, 5-1 — SHOW $5.60
$2 exacta — $3,009.60
$1 trifecta — $11,475.30
$1 superfecta — $51,400.10

This is the second straight year the Derby was held on a sloppy track after record rainfall drenched Churchill Downs in 2018. The weather didn’t exactly put a damper on the previous winner, either, as Justify not only snapped a more than 100-year-old Apollo Curse but went on to win the American Triple Crown thanks in part due to his performance in muddy Louisville. The win marked the fifth career Kentucky Derby victory for trainer Bob Baffert, who had three different horses in Saturday’s competition.


Winner is the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby at 9-2. Game Winner is followed by Roadster and Improbable (both at 5-1).  The entire event along with pre-race coverage and more on www.NBCSports.com (including streaming Friday through Saturday).

Live event coverage from the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs will take place on Saturday with a post time of 6:50 p.m. ET.  Game Winner is now the favorite to win Saturday after Omaha Beach was scratched. Read more

LOUISVILLE, KY – MAY 07: Guests engage with a Kentucky Derby horse at 142nd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015).Mar 30, 2016

Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing

  • Sir Barton, the first Triple Crown winner, at the 1919 Preakness Stakes
  • American Pharoah, the 12th and latest winner, at the 2015 Preakness Stakes

The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, commonly known as the Triple Crown, is a title awarded to a three-year-old Thoroughbred horse who wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. The three races were inaugurated in different years, the last being the Kentucky Derby in 1875. These races are now run annually in May and early June of each year. The Triple Crown Trophy, commissioned in 1950 but awarded to all previous winners as well as those after 1950, is awarded to a Triple Crown winner.

Only twelve horses have won the Triple Crown: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015).

Secretariat holds the stakes record time for each of the three races. His time of 2:24 for  1 1⁄2 miles in the 1973 Belmont Stakes also set a world record that still stands. Read more

Secretariat

An older stallion. Sire Bold Ruler. Grandsire Nasrullah. Dam Somethingroyal. Damsire Princequillo. Sex Stallion. Foaled March 30, 1970 The Meadow, Caroline County, Virginia. Died October 4, 1989 (aged 19) Claiborne Farm Paris, Kentucky. Breeder Meadow Stud (Christopher Chenery). Owner Meadow Stable (Christopher Chenery, Penny Chenery). Racing colors Blue, white blocks, white stripes on sleeves, blue cap. Trainer Lucien Laurin. Record
21:16–3–1. Earnings $1,316,808

Secretariat (March 30, 1970 – October 4, 1989) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who, in 1973, became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. His record-breaking win in the Belmont Stakes, where he left the field 31 lengths behind him, is widely regarded as one of the greatest races of all time. During his racing career, he won five Eclipse Awards, including Horse of the Year honors at ages two and three. He was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1974. In the List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century, Secretariat is second only to Man o’ War (racing career 1919–1920), who also was a large chestnut colt given the nickname “Big Red”.

At age two, Secretariat finished fourth in his 1972 debut in a maiden race, but then won seven of his remaining eight starts, including five stakes victories. His only loss during this period was in the Champagne Stakes, where he finished first but was disqualified to second for interference. He received the Eclipse Award for champion two-year-old colt, and also was the 1972 Horse of the Year, a rare honor for a horse so young. At age three, Secretariat not only won the Triple Crown, he set speed records in all three races. His time in the Kentucky Derby still stands as the Churchill Downs track record for  1 1⁄4 miles, and his time in the Belmont Stakes stands as the American record for  1 1⁄2 miles on the dirt. His controversial time in the Preakness Stakes was eventually recognized as a stakes record in 2012. Secretariat’s win in the Gotham Stakes tied the track record for 1 mile, he set a world record in the Marlboro Cup at  1 1⁄8 miles and further proved his versatility by winning two major stakes races on turf. He lost three times that year: in the Wood Memorial, Whitney and Woodward Stakes, but the brilliance of his nine wins made him an American icon. He won his second Horse of the Year title, plus Eclipse Awards for champion three-year-old colt and champion turf horse.

At the beginning of his three-year-old year, Secretariat was syndicated for a record-breaking $6.08 million on condition that he be retired from racing by the end of the year. Although he sired several successful racehorses, he ultimately was most influential through his daughters’ offspring, becoming the leading broodmare sire in North America in 1992. Secretariat died in 1989 due to laminitis. His daughters produced several notable sires, including Storm Cat, A.P. Indy, Gone West, Dehere and Chief’s Crown, and through them Secretariat appears in the pedigree of many modern champions. He continues to be recognized as one of the greatest horses in American racing history. Read more

Watch the movie – Click here

Kentucky Derby

Saturday, May 6th @ 2:30pm is the 143rd running of the Derby

Check out the News. The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. Location: Churchill Downs; Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. Track: Left-handed. Distance: 1 1⁄4 miles (10 furlongs; 2,012 m). Purse: US$2 million; 1st: $1,425,000. Record: 1: 59 2⁄5 secs, Secretariat (1973). Qualification: 3-year-old. Inaugurated: 1875.

The Infield – The People’s Race…The People’s Party

Saturday, May 20th is the Preakness

Pimlico

Opened in the fall of 1870, with the colt Preakness winning the first running of the Dinner Party Stakes. Three years later the horse would have the 1873 Preakness Stakes named in his honor. The track is also noted as the home for the match race in which Seabiscuit beat War Admiral in the second Pimlico Special, on November 1, 1938, before a crowd of 43,000. The capacity of the stadium is 98,983.

The Preakness Stakes and the Pimlico Special are run at a distance of 1 3/16 miles. The Pimlico track record for that distance is held by Farma Way, who set it while winning the Pimlico Special in 1991.

In the century and more since its opening, Pimlico Race Track has weathered much outside history including the 1904 Great Fire of Baltimore, Great Depression of the 1930s, and several notable Baltimore riots. Pimlico also survived Prohibition and even an anti-gambling movement in 1910. As Alfred G. Vanderbilt said, “Pimlico is more than a dirt track bounded by four streets. It is an accepted American institution, devoted to the best interests of a great sport, graced by time, respected for its honorable past.” The races held at Pimlico, especially the Preakness, draw spectators from the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2007, the official attendance was 121,263 for the Preakness, the most people to watch a sporting event in Maryland history. More than $87.2 million in bets were made.

On March 23, 2010 an agreement was reached to sell the two Maryland Jockey Club tracks (Pimlico and Laurel Park) from Magna Entertainment Corporation to its parent company, MI Development. On May 7, Penn National, with MI Development, announced they would jointly own and operate the Maryland Jockey Club. Penn National, which began in 1973, operating a thoroughbred race track near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has grown to become the largest racetrack operator in the country.[3]

In June 2011, The Stronach Group took control of the tracks when MI Development bought out Penn National Gaming’s minority stake in the Maryland Jockey Club, which owned Laurel Park Racecourse, Pimlico, and a training facility in Bowie. The Stronach Group is owned by Canadian horse breeder and owner Frank Stronach, who also was MI Development’s chairman and chief executive, a position he gave up in order to run Maryland’s racetracks. Penn National bought a 49% stake in the Jockey Club in 2010 in hopes of securing a slots license at Laurel Park. Read more

Belmont Stakes

The 149th Running of the Belmont Stakes will take place on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Read more. The Belmont Stakes is an American Grade I stakes Thoroughbred horse race held every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It is a 1.5-mile-long (2.4 km) horse race, open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Colts and geldings carry a weight of 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg).

The race, nicknamed The Test of the Champion and The Run for the Carnations, is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown and is held five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes, on a Saturday between June 5 and June 11. The 1973 Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown winner Secretariat holds the mile and a half stakes record (which is also a track and world record on dirt) of 2:24.

The attendance at the Belmont Stakes is among the American thoroughbred racing top attended events. The 2004 Belmont Stakes drew a television audience of 21.9 million viewers, and had the highest household viewing rate since 1977 when Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown.

Skipper

Al Gallagher

The BEST thing I heard after our disappointing 10-0 loss in the Championship game was from a complete stranger.

A young boy was walking by immediately following my Gatorade shower and said,”That’s the happiest losing team I ever saw”!

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Every baseball player and coach wants to win, generally. That’s why you keep score. The biggest showcase of the year is the World Series and that’s where all the hard work throughout the season comes to a close. If you had a successful season and won enough games to make it to the playoffs you have a shot at taking home a National Championship.

However, there have been many, many great baseball players that were not very popular like Al Gallagher. So, when you think of the BEST ballplayers, you automatically associate their stats. What was his batting average? What was his ERA? And yes, coaches also are measured on stats. Yet, considering how difficult it is to make it to the World Series, it is fascinating to me that Joe Torre won the Championship four (4) times. Read more.

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Buck Showalter

If you want to be the best ___ [fill-in the blank]. Find someone who has already achieved that success. Then just copy everything they do! Eventually, you’ll develop your own “signature”. I’ll stick with the home town hero, Buck Showalter.

Earl Weaver

Notice that Buck was the Yankees coach before Torre. But I grew up watching Earl Weaver. Buck Showalter loves scouting reports — except when it comes to assessing the personalities of people he’s never met. In that regard, the Orioles’ manager insists upon formulating his own opinion. “People will start to tell me about a player that’s coming,” Showalter said, “and I stop them and say, ‘I got this. We’re starting fresh. I’m going to make up my own mind about him.'”

Buck Showalter

Showalter’s reputation preceded his arrival in Baltimore. Taskmaster, drill sergeant, disciplinarian — those words were often associatedwith him during his tenure as manager of the New York Yankees (1992-95), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000) and Texas Rangers (2003-06). So when the feisty skipper was hired by then-president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to turn around a franchise in search of its first winning season since 1997, the players knew what was coming…

“Some people’s reputation before you meet them is not the same after you get to know them.

Hank Aaron

Hall of Famer and Braves Legend Dies at 86

Baseball lost one of its greatest legends with the death of Hall of Famer and Braves legend Hank Aaron at age 86.

“We are absolutely devastated by the passing of our beloved Hank. He was a beacon for our organization first as a player, then with player development, and always with our community efforts. His incredible talent and resolve helped him achieve the highest accomplishments yet he never lost his humble nature,” Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said in a statement.

“Hank Aaron is near the top of everyone’s list of all-time great players. His monumental achievements as a player were surpassed only by his dignity and integrity as a person,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said.

“Hank symbolized the very best of our game, and his all-around excellence provided Americans and fans across the world with an example to which to aspire. His career demonstrates that a person who goes to work with humility every day can hammer his way into history–and find a way to shine like no other.” Read more


For complete stats, CLICK HERE


Greatest in baseball history

Hank Aaron, one of the greatest players in baseball history who smashed Babe Ruth’s career home run record in defiance of threats to his life and who used his Hall of Fame baseball career as a platform to champion civil rights, died Jan. 22 at 86.

Jonathan Kerber, the Atlanta Braves’ communications manager, confirmed the death but did not provide additional details. Mr. Aaron became the 10th member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame to die since April, an unfathomable loss of star power, history and institutional knowledge of the game.

Throughout his 23-year career, spent mostly with the Braves in Milwaukee and then Atlanta, Mr. Aaron was admired as a model of steady excellence on the diamond, even though he lacked the swaggering charisma of Ruth or the exuberant flair of his contemporaries Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente. Read more


Henry Louis Aaron (February 5, 1934 – January 22, 2021), nicknamed “Hammer” or “Hammerin’ Hank”, was an American professional baseball right fielder who played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 1954 through 1976. He spent 21 seasons with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in the National League (NL) and two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League (AL).

Aaron is regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. His 755 career home runs broke the long-standing MLB record set by Babe Ruth and stood as the most for 33 years; Aaron still holds many other MLB batting records. He hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, and is one of only two players to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least fifteen times. In 1999, The Sporting News ranked Aaron fifth on its list of the “100 Greatest Baseball Players”. In 1982, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Aaron was born and raised in and around Mobile, Alabama. Aaron had seven siblings, including Tommie Aaron, who played major-league baseball with him. He appeared briefly in the Negro American League and in minor league baseball before starting his major league career. By his final MLB season, Aaron was the last Negro league baseball player on a major league roster. During his time in the MLB, especially during his run for the hitting record, Aaron and his family endured extensive racist threats. Read more

Mike Matheny

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 14: Manager Mike Matheny #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on while taking on the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 14, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 14: Manager Mike Matheny #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on while taking on the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 14, 2014 in San Francisco, California

Read his letter to Little League => Click Here

Great philosophy!!!

Humility & Teachable.

Michael Scott Matheny (born September 22, 1970) is an American former professional baseball catcher and the current manager of the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB), a position he has held since 2012. A product of the University of Michigan, Matheny was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the eighth round of the 1991 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut for the Brewers in 1994 and retired in 2006 with the San Francisco Giants. He also played for the Toronto Blue Jays and Cardinals during his thirteen-year catching career.

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Though not a prodigious hitter, Matheny was one of the most accomplished defensive catchers of his era, winning four Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. Further, he established major league records among catchers for consecutive games played without committing an error (252), and consecutive chances fielded without an error (1,565). Matheny is one of only three Major League catchers with an errorless season of at least 100 games, and he set a Giants single-season team record in 2005 for catcher’s fielding percentage at .999. He retired from playing due to persisting concussion symptoms, and has since become an advocate for its prevention and for improved catcher safety.

mike_matheny_umpireAfter his playing career, Matheny coached Little League Baseball. The Cardinals hired him to manage following the 2011 season in spite of having no previous professional experience. In 2015, he became the first manager in MLB history to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons, and, in 2014, just the fifth to a League Championship Series appearance in each of his first three. His furthest title claim occurred in 2013, when the Cardinals won the National League pennant, only to fall to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. Read more

Championships

Blaze Runner-up

Picture above is from our 2016 season. Congratulations Blaze! Notice the guy to my right is Tippy Martinez.  He along with catcher Rick Dempsey, and the starting pitcher Scott McGregor—were to have leading roles in the Orioles’ World Championship of ’83.  Read more.tippy_martinez2

May-June is an exciting time of year for all the school championships.  At all levels- high school and college, the game begins.  Pressure.  Intensity.  Cheer for your local team or perhaps you have a relative or neighbor playing this month?

Currently, our team is in the “FINAL FOUR”. 2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate?  Remember that cheer?  Win or Lose, this is where TRUE sportsmanship comes in.  Our team has made REMARKABLE progress this season.  Great players, coaches and parents!

I spent some time the other day looking up the MLB League Leaders (see below).  Notice Manny Machado is #1 in three categories (read more). You might also want to read about Dexter Fowler.  However, what is more extraordinary, is the Chicago Cubs record of 25-6. That’s a winning percentage of .806.

Compare that to the 1st place team in the AL East Orioles 19-12, you’ll have an appreciation how amazing that it is.  fowlerAlso, remember last year’s “Back to the Future” crystal ball reference that in the movie with Michael J. Fox, the Cubs were predicted to win the 2015 World Series.  They came on strong during the playoffs winning the wild card race, but fell short to the Mets in the National League who eventually went on to play the Royals.

Well, if you like competition, the NCAA College World Series DI Championship will be held on June 18-28, 2016 in TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Nebraska.  This was very exciting last year when University of Maryland had an incredible year and lost to UCLA.  University of Virginia went on to win the National Championships.  The teams to watch in 2016 are Florida and Texas A&M (read more).

It’s pretty cool watching amateurs play at the highest level.  Even if you don’t like baseball, you can tune in to see the very best compete in Tennis, Golf, Lacrosse, Track & Field, and many more sports.

Now, if you are a real enthusiast, you could even visit Ripken Stadium to watch MD Interscholastic Athletic Association A & B Conference championships on May 22, 2016  (read more).  Another local team I found having an amazing season is Dulaney High School with a 17-3 record (read more).  Here are some other interesting links: www.d1baseball.comwww.maxpreps.com, www.varsitysportsnetwork.com and www.prepbaseballreport.com.

See ya at the ball park 🙂

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Gatorade Shower

In the 2016 spring baseball season I experienced one of the most gratifying experiences from our successful team known as the Gatorade shower.

We had about a half dozen players return from the 0-14 losing season in 2015.  So, to make it to the championship last year was quite an accomplishment. Read more

I kept reminding the players – practice fundamental baseball. Simultaneously, always keeping them motivitated, “who wants to bring home the hardware?”

It paid off!

Also known as the Gatorade dunk or the Gatorade bath, is an American sports tradition that involves players surreptitiously dumping a cooler full of liquid (most commonly Gatorade mixed with ice) over the head of their coach (or occasionally a high-profile assistant coach, star player, or team owner in professional leagues) following a meaningful win, such as the Super Bowl or World Series. Read more

Interestingly enough, I had the pleasure of leading our soccer team to a championship season as well. Read more

Crawl before you can Walk

Everything I’ve read to date suggests that if you want to be SUCCESSFUL, find somebody who is and copy everything they do.

It’s that simple.

However, if you have more than a High School degree you might make this more complicated than it really is. Not only did I have a FANTASTIC education in College @ Johns Hopkins University 1992-2000 with Michael Bloomberg giving the commencement speech upon graduation; I also attended a great college preparatory school named Boys Latin and another parochial school named John Carroll. Today when I meet people and they ask me, “What do I do for a living”, I typically say, “not much”.

When they ask me where I went to school, I usually say, “it’s a long story”.

In 2019, I have the opportunity to be apart of two(2) baseball teams that are both playing in a NATIONAL 12U tournament in Cooperstown New York. In 2018, I was just a FAN watching my son play @ the Legendary Dream Park . This year I am an OFFICIAL member of a 4 man coaching staff on the Roland Park Baseball Leagues 12U Travel “A Team” that competes in Harford County (HCTB)and various other tournaments around the area.

The other team is a BIG surprise, called Lutherville (LTRC) which not only has one of the BEST baseball rec programs, they are considered #1 in Football, Lacrosse, Basketball, Soccer in both Men and Women’s sports. Since my son has made some great friends playing sports, one of his teammates was invited to play on this travel team at the OTHER Cooperstown venue called Cooperstown All-Star Village. His name is Jonah Stockton and in my opinion is perhaps one of the BEST all around athletes in Maryland. I would like to say my son is better but Jonah is about 6 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier. That makes a difference, all things being equal. Short guys have to work even harder.

Off the record, I tell Blake, “just do everything that Jose Altuve does and you will be fine. I also think Dustin Pedroia is a another great role model for shorter guys. As a matter of fact, I had the opportunity to meet the legendary Orioles Hall of Famer and MLB All-star second baseman Brian Roberts at a unique Bible Study I attend @ Baltimore Country Club about 10 years ago.

In case you did not know, Dream Park is where Bryce Harper and Mike Trout both played when they were 12 years old. It has become so popular that they are SOLD OUT 13 weeks of the year every year. Every week during June, July and August over 100 teams from around the United States come to Cooperstown to play in this VERY special tournament. But, little did I know, for the kids it is even more – it is a WEEK LONG sleep-away camp.

So, getting back to the whole BLOG title – “Crawl before you can walk”. For the 1st time in about 14 years I am NOT the head coach of a team so far in 2019. Even before my children were born I was asked to help coach at Boys Latin baseball. When my daughter arrived on May 23, 2004 I started coaching little league rec baseball. Then when she was about 4-5 I started coaching her girls soccer teams, both outdoor and indoor. Then my son Blake was born on December 20, 2006 and the rest is history – read bio under coaching menu.

Meanwhile, I am just an Assistant Coach and it sucks NOT being in charge. I already am well aware of my LIMITATIONS! When I was a college professor @ Towson University, I remember getting a SURVEY at the end of the semester and multiple students agreed that I was the biggest Control Freak they ever met.

So, once again, I go back to the SIMPLE formula mentioned above. KISS – keep it simple stupid. Find a great assistant coach and do everything they do. If you think you know more than the head coach, suck it and accept that he is in that position for a reason. Learn from him!!!


Five Legendary Baseball Coaches

The best coaches are what legends are made of. Through their commitment to players and innovative strategies, they are able to push the team to levels the players never thought was possible. Out of all of the legendary coaches who have come and gone, these five coaches are some of the best ever.

Sparky Anderson

Born as George Lee Anderson, Sparky Anderson played baseball in the Major Leagues before he started to manage teams. While he was with the Cincinnati Reds, his team reached the championships in both 1975 and 1976. A third title was added in 1984 when he was with the Detroit Tigers. He holds the record for being the first coach to win the World Series in both leagues. Over the course of his career, his teams garnered 2,194 wins. He was later admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Tony La Russa

Tony La Russa was born in 1944. He quickly rose up the ranks as a major league baseball player before turning into a head coach. Interestingly, he received a law degree from Florida State University following his MLB career, so he is one of the few managers who is also allowed to practice law. As a manager, Tony led his teams to a total of 12 division titles, 3 World Series titles and 6 league championships. Over the course of the last 33 seasons, his teams have won 2,728 games. This places him as the manager with the third most wins in the history of the major league. IN 2013, he was inducted to the Hall of Fame for his years playing and coaching baseball.

Joe Torre

Joe Torre was born in Brooklyn, New York. As he grew up, he became one of the top players in Major League Baseball with 2,000 hits. As a coach, he attained 2,000 wins, which makes him the only person to achieve both of these goals. He spent 29 seasons working as a manager and started with the Mets. Torre’s greatest success was a .605 winning percentage for the regular season with the Yankees. While he was managing the team, the Yankees achieved six American League pennants and four World Series titles. While he was there, the Yankees made the playoffs every year. By 2014, his impressive track record in the game led him to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Read more


So, since I attended University of Maryland in College Park 1985-1988, I’m going to start modeling my behavior after Erik Bakich (sounds like back ich, eric with a K).

Erik Michael Bakich (born November 27, 1977) is an American college baseball coach. He is currently the head baseball coach at Michigan. Bakich previously was the head coach at Maryland and served as an assistant coach at Vanderbiltand Clemson.

Other references

Assistant Coach of the Year

Top 10 College Baseball Coaches under 40

Mr. Hoover