Grantland Article – The Odd Year Hangover‏, by Chuck Strom

Here’s a pretty good Grantland piece on the Giants’ recent fall from grace. Jonah Keri zeroes in pretty accurately on their problems. He is , if anything, too optimistic on their season prospects. They play like a banged-up collection of spare parts, which in fact they were in 2014, and their championship seems all . . . → Read More: Grantland Article – The Odd Year Hangover‏, by Chuck Strom

Opening Day 2015: Prelude to Garbage Time? by Chuck Strom

Success often breeds higher prices, and Opening Day at AT&T Park was no exception. Up to the day of the game, I waited for online ticket prices to drop to a level I was willing to pay, but despite some late movement by a few desperate sellers, they never did, with the cheapest seats . . . → Read More: Opening Day 2015: Prelude to Garbage Time? by Chuck Strom

A New Master’s Champion, by Chuck Strom

I’m one of the few who actually likes watching golf on television, at least when it’s a major. It offers a lot of interesting psychology and body language, especially when the ball misses a cup or finds its way into a hazard. I happened to see some of yesterday’s Master’s Tournament when the leaders . . . → Read More: A New Master’s Champion, by Chuck Strom

The Golden State Warriors Bring Their “A” Game To Rip City, by Chuck Strom

Steph Curry at pregame warmup

Recently, the Portland Trail Blazers graciously issued me a media pass for their game against the Golden State Warriors. It is the greatest benefit I have received for what is essentially a writing hobby, and if I never receive any other compensation, it will all have been worth it . . . → Read More: The Golden State Warriors Bring Their “A” Game To Rip City, by Chuck Strom

Wrigley Field: Billionaire’s Playground, by Mark Erickson

The current owner of the Chicago Cubs, the ultra-wealthy Ricketts family, defied an existing legal contract signed by the former owner of the Cubs, i.e., the Chicago Tribune Company, with Wrigley rooftop businesses by significantly expanding bleacher space in right and left field. The expansion also includes the addition of video screens. These improvements . . . → Read More: Wrigley Field: Billionaire’s Playground, by Mark Erickson

Graig Markel Composes Soundtrack to Run Free Documentary

The soundtrack of Run Free, a documentary based on the true story of Caballo Blanco, is now available. The beautiful collection consists of thirteen original tracks from accomplished Seattle producer, Graig Markel.

Markel is a songwriter, producer and sound designer credited with creating the genre ‘Broken Soul,’ a mixture of downtempo rock, and R&B . . . → Read More: Graig Markel Composes Soundtrack to Run Free Documentary

Sports Enclaves and Motorhead, by Mark Erickson

Racing fans and motorheads in Greensboro NC love NASCAR best

Jammin’ to Motorhead right now… Aftershock… a 2013 release that demonstrates rock prowess. So…

Read yesterday in the Wall Street Journal about US cities that have the highest viewership ratings for various sports. Greensboro NC has the highest for NASCAR. Not necessarily a surprise . . . → Read More: Sports Enclaves and Motorhead, by Mark Erickson

Minnie Minoso RIP, by Steve Stav

In the Washington Post – Minnie Minoso, White Sox and Baseball Icon, dies; President Obama joins in tributes

I have, surprisingly enough, a great Minnie Minoso story.

There was a time when you could, theoretically, get an autograph from a major leaguer simply by writing to him. It seemed to work about 25 percent . . . → Read More: Minnie Minoso RIP, by Steve Stav

Champion Cheaters, by Mark Erickson

As a father of two boys, I devoted much time with them in the back yard and at the park playing baseball. When I constructed a flower box in the back yard, I also built a pitching mound. Since my boys and I loved baseball, I was delighted to be involved with them not . . . → Read More: Champion Cheaters, by Mark Erickson

An Established Routine: The 2014 Giants World Series Trophy Tour, by Chuck Strom

2014 World Series Trophy

The triumphs of ancient Rome were something of a victory parade on steroids. Usually celebrated after a major conquest, they were long processions that included captives on display and soldiers of the victorious army marching and singing salacious songs at their leader’s expense. In the midst of the procession, the . . . → Read More: An Established Routine: The 2014 Giants World Series Trophy Tour, by Chuck Strom

How do you stop a team that intimidates with love? by Claude Iosso

Earl Thomas, player of love

Yes, the bandwagon is groaning under the weight of fair-weather fans and long-time Hawks supporters, all clad in their “12” jerseys, caps and T-shirts. I personally am conflicted about wearing a jersey. I have rooted for the Seahawks practically since I moved to Washington state in 1989, but I . . . → Read More: How do you stop a team that intimidates with love? by Claude Iosso

Had Them All The Way – Giants Win Game 7, By Chuck Strom

Concrete Baseballs

Middle relief pitching is perhaps the least glamorous position in all of sports. Those who make a career of it rarely win lucrative contracts, at least by major league standards, but they can be as crucial to success as anyone else on a baseball team, particularly in October. No one has demonstrated . . . → Read More: Had Them All The Way – Giants Win Game 7, By Chuck Strom

Chief Wahoo Must Go! By Steve Stav

With the World Series underway, I should add one more push to the notion of eliminating the Cleveland Indians’ “Chief Wahoo” logo.

Polls in Ohio have shown a majority of fans have no objection to this caricature – and many of those who do admit its obvious racism still stamp their approval with the . . . → Read More: Chief Wahoo Must Go! By Steve Stav

The Series Moves to San Francisco: Some Observations, by Chuck Strom

Concrete Baseballs

Today is a travel day, and after two games the teams look as evenly matched as I had anticipated. This seems a good time to don my manager’s hat and make some observations.

Madison Bumgarner is the most dominant pitcher still throwing in October. Especially if he faces Royals pitcher James Shields . . . → Read More: The Series Moves to San Francisco: Some Observations, by Chuck Strom

The Even-Numbered Magic Continues: Notes on the 2014 World Series, by Chuck Strom

Ryan Vogelsong

It has been fashionable among San Francisco Giants fans, myself included, to talk about the magic of even-numbered years, as if deep playoff runs were somehow ordained by the ones digit of the annual Christian calendar. Up to now, I had not taken the idea seriously even while repeating it, but with . . . → Read More: The Even-Numbered Magic Continues: Notes on the 2014 World Series, by Chuck Strom

Time Again For October Baseball, by Chuck Strom

National Anthem

When I grew up, the prospect of seeing the San Francisco Giants play in October seemed outside the scope of reality. In 1971, at the tail end of the Mays-McCovey era, they lost the National League Championship Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. I was eight years old at the . . . → Read More: Time Again For October Baseball, by Chuck Strom

Great Piece in Grantland

Charles Pierce is one of the best sportswriters in the business today. He was at PNC Park last night, and he is also right on the money on the NFL.

– Chuck Strom

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/baseball-playoffs-mlb-roger-goodells/

The Smiths – Frankly, Mr. Shankly, by Knute Rimkus

I’m reading a book right now, Red or Dead, a fictionalized biography of Bill Shankly, the maniacal manager of the Liverpool football team who made it a dynasty in the English soccer league in the ’70s. I believe the Smiths were slamming him in the song “Frankly, Mr. Shankly.” Being from Manchester, which has . . . → Read More: The Smiths – Frankly, Mr. Shankly, by Knute Rimkus

A Die Hard Vikings Fan’s Take on Adrian Peterson, by Mark Erickson

I was born and raised in Minnesota, and despite having lived more than half my life in Illinois, I still bleed purple. In my childhood, the Minnesota Vikings absolutely dominated their division throughout the 1970s. Bud Grant, Alan Page, “Benchwarmer” Bob Lurtsema, Chuck Foreman, and Sir Francis Tarkenton were household names. Tommy Kramer, Anthony . . . → Read More: A Die Hard Vikings Fan’s Take on Adrian Peterson, by Mark Erickson

The Temple of NASCAR, by Chuck Strom

Earnhardt’s #3

When I tell people that I visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC, they often say, “I didn’t know you were a fan.” Sometimes, they ask why I went there at all. Part of their skepticism, perhaps, comes from knowing that I don’t follow NASCAR, and I usually care little . . . → Read More: The Temple of NASCAR, by Chuck Strom