Eric's Blog

Thursday, July 15, 2010

5 Interesting Observations from MLB All Star Game

Another All Star game is in the books and the AL is the win... oh wait thats right, the NL won this year 3-1 and now have home field advantage for the World Series. Sorry for that mistake as I, along with everyone else got so used to talking about the AL and there dominace in winning All Star Games that you just get used to typing the same thing. After the All Star game I just wanted to throw out some observations of what was in my book one of the better All Star games in the last few years.

1. When does FOX finally tell Tim McCarver to sit at home and sound like an old guy? I know that he has alot of baseball knowledge and he has been with FOX for quite a long time, but McCarver is starting to sound like he has had the infamous run in with Alzhimer's, Several times during the pre game show and during the game it sounded like McCarver would either forget what he was talking about or he tried to come up with some weird fact that nobody could give a crap less about. For example, when they were talking to Joe Giardi in the AL dugout and they were talking about the Rangers Cliff Lee and McCarver starts talking about whose house Cliff Lee was renting while he was in Seattle. McCarver heres an answer to that question; WHO IN THE F*$& CARES???

2. American Anthem. Why is it that every time we get a celebrity to sing the national anthem, they have to get this stupid idea in there head that its ok to f*$& up our national anthem by trying to trick up there voice. I listened to the anthem and when that stupid cast member from GLEE tried to go from one end of the voice spectrum to the other I threw my hat at the TV and said that this is it. I want to start a campaign that says unless you sing the national anthem exactly the way it was written, you need to be put in jail for a year until you can learn to sing it right.

3. Why is it when there is a long streak of losses by one team, the network feels the necessity to run the obligatory "here's what was cool in the last year that the losing team won" montage. I hate these cause anyone that is watching the game doesn't care to remember something from the past. Thats why it is in the past.

4. Pitching was absolutly fantastic. From David Price to Ubaldo Jimenez and pitchers into the 5th inning, both teams really could have been throwing no hitters with the heat and the movement that they were dealing. Verlander hit 100 MPH on the radar gun and several pitchers were hitting 99 MPH. I thought we were going to get another Randy Johnson- John Kruk moment.

5. Marlon Byrd should have been the MLB All Star Game MVP. As I said to my soon to be wife last night after the game was over, here was a very good case for Marlon Byrd to be MVP. In the 7th inning Byrd comes up with 2 outs and the NL threatening to score at least one run. Matt Thornton from the White Sox gets ahead in the count 0-2 when Byrd couldn't catch up to 2 fastballs. Then Marlon does what Marlon do, and he works the count and is patient. He makes Thornton work and gets the count to 3-2. Thornton then tries to come in on Byrd's hands and Marlon gets out of the way and draws the walk which brings up Brian McCann (then we know what happens). But if it weren't for the patience of Byrd, the NL would have been out of the inning without getting a run and going on to lose the game 1-0. Then the greatest play of the night. David Ortiz on first base and John Buck at the plate. Buck hits a shallow fly that Marlon Byrd couldn't get to. Marlon with clear mind sees that Ortiz was going back to first base comes up guns a blazing after getting the ball on the bounce and gets Ortiz, the lead runner for the second out of the inning. If Byrd doesn't make this play, it brings up the winning run to the plate and there is only one out to the inning. NO BRAINER FOR ME!!!

Tell me some of your observations of the game that I may not have covered here at my email address:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

All We Will Remember is the Officials

Another Major Sporting Event, and All We Will Remember is the Officials

As the World Cup gets ready for the quarterfinals tomorrow all that we as sports media are talking about know is how bad the officiating has been and what it has cost some teams. So far in this World Cup a goal has been taken away from the USA during a comeback that would make anybody proud, a Brazilian soccer great has been red carded out of a game for a cheap dive that even my grandma who never has watched the sport knows it was a dive, a goal was given to the Carlos Tevez that even he knows he was offside for, and England gets robbed of a goal cause the ref can't see that the ball clearly crossed the line. Now I consider myself to be quite the soccer officianado and I was really looking forward to what this tournament was going to bring us this year, but quite frankly I can't even watch the rest of the World Cup cause I know that there is going to be more and more screw ups to the point that it is going to cost a team the World Cup Championship.

Also in the last few days we have heard all of the arguements as to why or why not soccer should go to a replay system, but I have come up with a good plan for what FIFA (Which is the governing body for Soccer) should do to impliment a replay system that even the casual watcher can get behind. Here is my plan:

1. Like in tennis, they have a system that decides line calls in or out called "The Hawkeye". What you do is you install this system into all goal posts so that when a ball crosses the line, a signal gets sent to the assistant referees and head referee notifying them of the ball crossing the line. This would take the human element out entirely of calling goals.

2. You institute instant replay like you have in American Football. You give each team two challenges. The coach has a flag that he can throw out onto the field to let the referee know that he is challenging a call. Now in soccer you don't have time outs to lose, so here is the punishment for soccer; for every challenge that you lose, you must lose a player off of the field for a 15 minute period. So if one team challenges a call and gets it wrong, that team then has to play a man down for 15 minutes. This makes it so that there is a replay system in place but the penalty is more severe for a team to use the challenge and be wrong. On this plan there has to be a time limit for the review. If in 2 minutes a call can't be rendered then the challenge is lost.

A simple two part plan to make refereeing more simple for soccer and that it won't add a whole lot of time to the length of the game.

So remember when you are watching the rest of the World Cup next week and a referee blows a call that sends home your favorite country, just remember my simple plan for replay and just think how much better the game will be when we can get most if not all of the calls right and we don't have to worry about a referee being a cause to remember such a great sporting event that only comes around every 4 years.

Email me with your instant replay plans for Soccer at

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stephen Strasburg- Tap the Brakes on Greatness

I know that I am the only one probably in the world saying what I am about to say but I think that we all need to start tapping the brakes on the whole Stephen Strasburg is the greatest pitcher in the Major Leagues right now.

One reason we all need to tap the brakes is that in just one start in the Major Leagues the man did have an impressive debut with 7 innings pitched and 14 strike outs, but really? This line was put up against a dismal, sorry excuse for a MLB team in the Pittsburgh Pirates who have been known as one of the laughing stocks of MLB. Just look at the line-up that the Pirates put out there. They don't have one person on that team that would even deserve to play in a Minor League All Star Game. Lets see when he pitches against the likes of St. Louis Cardinals with Albert Pujols or of the Yankees with A-Rod and Big Tex and see if we are saying the same thing about him then.

I know what its like to hear about the next great pitcher coming up into the Majors. As a big fan of the Chicago Cubs I went through two of these "great" hopes. Kerry Wood when he was coming up within the Cubs organization was tabbed as the next Roger Clemens and how he was going to set all of these strikeout records. Look at his career now since all of the hype. He had one huge game where he strikes out 20 people like Clemens did, then proceeds to have several elbow and shoulder surgeries, then he is relegated to a third tier closer who can't even stay healthy anymore. Then you have the case of Mark Prior. Big hype coming out of USC with the same strikeout ability that Wood was bringing. Prior even took almost the same route that Strasburg did where he pitched in the minors for one year then came up. Look where he is now. One great year with 16 wins and now he is trying to rehab from several injuries and trying to find some kind of control to even muster a tryout with another team.

Now I know that injuries did play a big part in the failure of these two players but in Stephen Strasburg's case, he is a hard throwing pitcher like these two were and that will take a huge toll on him in the Majors, and all it is going to take is one freak injury and he is going to be right with these two pitchers being mediocre. So when you are talking about Strasburg being the greatest, tap the brakes and wait for a few years before you make such a stupid bold statement like "He's the greatest pitcher in MLB right now."

Email me your thoughts on Strasburg at:

Chicago Blackhawks- Newest Dynasty in Sports

As I am writing this, it has been a whole hour and a half since the Blackhawks have raised Lord Stanley's Cup. Now that they have done that, I will get to bask in the glory of picking them to win it all. But also now I have to think about next season just like all of the other experts. And after some heavy consideration (all of about 2 seconds) I am ready to label the Chicago Blackhawks as the NEWEST DYNASTY IN SPORTS!!!

I know that free agency hasn't begun yet and there will also be alot of trades that will occur during the hockey off-season, but just looking at what is going to be there for the Blackhawks when training camp starts, I am not making that big of a leap to announce this to the world. I mean just look at the two biggest pieces that they have grown Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. These two forwards are the best in the game right now. Of course Kane scored the game winner for the cup and had himself a nice playoffs with 28 points (10 Goals-18 Assists). He was one point behind his teammate Toews, who had 29 points (7 Goals-22 Assists).

Now you would think that after those two guys the talent really drops off, but it doesn't. Just looking at the rest of there players, they have Dustin "Big Buff" Byfuglien who was a beast for the Hawks near the crease. Just in game 5 and game 6 of the finals, Dustin had 3 Goals and 2 Assists and really was starting to pick his game up against one of the premier defenseman in Chris "Chrissy" Pronger. Then you have a man in Duncan "Teeth" Keith who will take shot after shot, lose 7 teeth, and return to make an impact for the team. Thats what I call toughness right there. They also have the defensive tandem of Brent Seabrook and Brian Campbell that really kept Antti Niemi from having to work so hard that he was tired by the end of the series. Then you have a rising star in net in Antti Neimi who during the season had a 2.25 GAA and a .931 Save Percentage.

When you put all of this together next year and for years to come, and the fact that they could go out and sign some premier talent free agent or trade for another star and not lose much in the talent department. You would have to say that we are looking at possibly the start of the greatest dynasty in not only the NHL but possibly in sports.

Send me an email and tell me what you think:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

No More War for Raw

This is the first time for me that I am writing the Raw blog, so I hope that I can do this justice for JCall. Now I do watch both TNA and WWE and if you haven't already heard, TNA is moving back to Thursday nights and they are going back to recording all of there shows. Boy that away TNA for admitting defeat only three months into being on Monday nights. I now give TNA about 6 months before its over. Now onto Raw for this evening.

Raw starts off from Jacksonville, FL with a good promo from Batista. He has to explain to the crowd and for the people watching at home how a "Last Man Standing" match works and he has to explain real slow for us. I really thought that he had to explain it slow to himself cause apparently he didn't understand the rules very well. He says that he didn't lose at Extreme Rules cause he was not beaten to a pulp to where he couldn't answer the ten count. Don't worry Batista, you may have not been beaten to a pulp during that match but we as fans were for having to watch that match. He then tells the fans that tonight he and John Cena are going to be having a beat the clock night where whoever has the better time, they get to choose the stipulation for there match at Over The Limit. (by the way who is the guy that is naming these PPV's cause this is a stupid name.) Then Sheamus comes out to interrupt Batista and tries to lay claim to the No. 1 Contendership. Sheamus is so heely with him using the word "Fella". I just hope that when WWE is writing these promo's for him that they don't overuse the word cause then the word will lose its greatness in two weeks. After Batista says that Sheamus lost the triple threat match last week he has no right to lay claim to it and he needs to leave the ring. Sheamus tells him that this is not over and leaves the ring.

Batista vs. The Miz
This match is supposed to be Batista vs. The Miz but for the second week in a row the WWE believes that we need really stupid props like the one that The Miz brings to the ring in an envelope that has "Doctors Note" written on the outside of it. Yeah cause we couldn't figure out that when Miz came out to the ring in street clothes that he wasn't going to wrestle. Miz starts to kiss Batista's ass about wanting to give him the match of his life (don't worry anything you do in the ring is much better than what Batista has done in the ring in his entire career Miz.) but the Miz has hand picked an opponent for him. At this point I get excited a little at the prospects of who Batista would have to face. Then Miz and the WWE disapoint me by bringing out Daniel Bryan the NXT Rookie to face Batista. Nice Job WWE!!! They really want to keep beating down Daniel Bryan cause of how much fame he had before he got there cause if you didn't know what was going to happen in this match then you need to have your head examined for any semblence of a brain. Of course Batista wins this match. They did give Daniel Bryan a couple of moves but they have Batista win in 5:06 with a Batista Bomb. Then the WWE punishes Daniel Bryan some more by having him take two more Batista Bombs. Yeah you looked so strong Batista, you beat a rookie. Congratulations you look like a bigger tool then you already are.

As we come back from commercial we have Eve taking pictures with the Diva's Title and then our Celebrity GM for the night Wayne Brady comes in and says that he loves wrestling and he is a big fan of Eve's. Then Jillian pops in and offers to sing Wayne's theme song. Yes WWE we get it already, Jillian can't sing. We don't have to have her show up every week to prove the point. Wayne did get rid of her in a funny way though by dancing with her and shoving her out of the door. When thats over, Eve tries to get back to her photo shoot and notices her belt missing. She then gets blindsided by Maryse.

We now go to Edge walking in with some actor that is posing as a producer as Edge is talking about what video's he would like to use during "The Cutting Edge". Josh then comes up to Edge and asked him if he thought that having Randy Orton on The Cutting Edge would lead to a physical retaliation. Edge then talks about how WWE is PG and that he is the Rated R Superstar and he is going to take us back to those days. Yeah right Edge. Nice try on getting me to think that you are going to bring back the Rated R days. This is not going to happen until Linda McMahon is done with her Senate Run if it happens at all. And two, I don't like that the wrestlers talk about the PG rating era that we are in. We all know that were trying to gear the shows to kids. Don't talk about in promo's, its just stupid to me. Also on another note here, what was the WWE thinking in turing Edge back to a heel or having him as a face when he came back. Why don't you make up your minds. Edge was doing just fine as a face and he was really starting to get the crowd behind him. Now that you finally were getting him over as a face you decide to move him to Raw and turning him back to a heel. Stupid writing WWE. I am going to pull a saying from Randy Orton here. "YOUR STUPID".

Ted DiBiase vs. John Morrison

I have some really high hopes for this match as it pits two of there younger talents that are really pushing for main event status in the WWE. Now with all of that being said the start of the match was ok as Morrison got in a majority of the offense. Then Morrison clotheslines Ted over the top rope. Morrison then performs a front flip dive onto Ted. I know that I really love Morrison's in-ring ability, but this move was FREAKING AWESOME LOOKING. I wish that I could have half of the talent in the ring that Morrison has. Back to the match. Ted looks like he is going to break the ten count by climbing into the ring, Ted then decides that he is going to run away more like a wounded son than the fortunate son that he claims to be. As the winner is getting ready to be announced, John says that he, "The Monday Night Delight" does not want his debut on Raw to end this way. So he offers to Ted that if Morrison loses that he would become Ted's new Virgil. As soon as John said this, I was sure that the WWE in a move to somehow punish Morrison more, was going to have him lose this match. We come back from the break, and we see Ted really gain the upper hand here and it is looking more and more that Morrison is going to become Ted's Bitch. But as the match goes on and on and there is a pin attempt on Morrison and he kicks out, Michael Cole the stater of the obvious keeps reminding us that Morrison is so close to becoming the new Virgil. STOP IT ALREADY!!! We know the stipulation, you don't have to remind us every 25 seconds. Towards the end, Ted sets up Morrison for the CrossRoads near the corner, Morrison gets his feet up on the top turnbuckle and pushes backwards and gets the 1-2-3 on Ted and surprisingly gets the win. This is a good match. We really didn't get to see the vast aray of what Morrison is about but a good match nonetheless. Ted attacks Morrison after the match and then RTruth comes out for the save. Great ending as both guys got a good push from this match.

John Cena vs. Chris Jericho

Here is the other match in the beat the clock challenge. John Cena comes out to a loud pop of the crowd. Then it is Y2J's turn to come out. As I am waiting for Y2J to come out it starts to dawn on me that Y2J is not going to wrestle in this match. And I was right once again as Y2J comes out and says that he is pulling himself out of this match and in his place is his NXT Rookie Wade Barrett. Gee I wonder who is going to win this match and in less time than Batista. Of course, John Cena wins the match with the STF. After the match, Cena grabs the mic and is getting ready to tell us what the stipulation is going to be, when the greatness of Sheamus comes out and just murders Cena with a Big Boot. WWE has done a great job of putting Sheamus over in most situations. This was definatly one of them as he knocks Cena into next week.

Maryse vs. Nikki Bella

With all of the Diva's that they have on there roster that can actuall wrestle, the WWE decides to put out this match. Maryse was obviously going to get the win cause neither of the Bella's can wrestle and will never get any kind of push. All they are good for is looking at and valeting the celebrity GM. Maryse hits a really ugly looking French Kiss which is her DDT finisher for the 1-2-3. Great waste of about 5 minutes of time. This time could have been better used for anything else than this match. Now after the match was when the comedy happened cause Eve tried to slide into the ring to attack Maryse she ran and jumped straight into the bottom rope. Nice Job Eve!!! Congratulations for screwing up something so easy and looking like an idiot that can't enter into a ring.

Mark Henry vs. Zach Ryder

There was again no point to this match as Zach came out and claimed that he was now single (WHICH NOBODY CARES) because of Rosa Mendes being traded to Smackdown. So he had Alicia Foxx and Gail Kim out to ringside so they can be impressed by him and his dominence in the ring. So he thinks that he is going to wrestle and kill Primo like he did on Superstars on Thursday. Guest GM Brady comes on the TitanTron and says that he should beat somebody more impressive. We now shoehorn in Mark Henry. Again I really wish that they would have taken the time from this match and the match before to put on one more better match that everybody would have cared to see more than this crap. Please give me something better. I don't think I am asking that much.

Interesting promo between Jericho and The Miz in the back talking about how they were knocked out by The Big Show. They also talk about how they carried the Big Show when they both had the Unified Tag Team Titles. Jericho then gets an idea and they both walk off together. I really wish they would quit teaming up The Miz in tag teams. He has improved so much during the last few years that he deserves to have some US Title defenses and be a singles wrestler. I don't like where this is heading.

Another bit backstage where Kozlov is thanking Wayne Brady for giving him a match with matched superior talent to his. First of all Kozlov does not need to be wrestling cause he just doesn't have that much offense and we get that he is big. Santino then enters the backstage area where his comedy comes in as he is dressed up as a 70's fro wearing man. He then says that he is glad that they were both apart of The Brady Bunch. To steal a line from Jericho, Santino is the best in the world at what he does. And what he does is great comedy. We then find out that the next match is going to be a tag team match featuring Regal and Kozlov. REALLY!!! WHAT!!! WHY!!!

The Hart Dynasty vs. Regal and Kozlov

This match is another reason why the WWE needs to build up there Tag Team Division cause we get the weird pairing of Regal and Kozlov. I guess WWE needs to some how justify paying both Regal and Kozlov what they are paying them. Also sitting at ringside doing guest commentary is The Miz and Y2J. And again I don't like the pairing of these two guys. During this match Kozlov pulls Tyson Kidd of the top turnbuckle by his arm so hard that I really thought for a minute that Kidd hurt his arm. Thank god he wasn't hurt by that blundering Russian Kozlov. In the end, I think everyone also knew the outcome coming as D.H. Smith locked in the sharpshooter for the win. This is a good match do get The Hart Dynasty over cause they did beat two bigger men. After the match Y2J and The Miz come in and decimate the Tag Champs. I guess this is our next Tag Team Feud. I'm not feeling this fued cause it just feels like they are forcing people to tag and not having actual teams being made.

The Greatest part of the night as we finally get to The Cutting Edge with Edge coming out to explain his actions from last week. Then the WWE tries to shoehorn Wayne Brady in one last time as he gives us the worst attempt at being a WWE superstar. Thank God that Randy's Song interrupts and he hits the ring. There is an akward stare between Orton and Edge as the Viper is ready to strike. By the way, Randy's new shirt is so cool looking with the Snake eyes and the big chains running all around the shirt. Anyways, Wayne Brady tries to walk up to Randy Orton to either hand him the mic or shake his hand, but gets an RKO for his troubles. Wayne takes this really horribly and it almost looked as if he was trying to die in the ring. This makes no sense cause if Orton is supposed to be a face, then he should have never even touched Brady. Then Edge tries to intice Orton into reforming one of the better tag teams from a while ago, Rated RKO. Randy doesn't go for it as he sits there in silence and doesn't say anything. Edge asked Orton if this was all registering, and no answer. Orton tries to hit the RKO but gets shoved away and Orton eats a boot from Edge. Good looking boot from Edge. Now Orton is getting up in the corner while Edge sits like a guy waiting for the voices to stop in his head. Orton looks up at the TitanTron and can notice out of the corner of his eye that Edge is set up for the spear. Orton then hits the RKO as Edge is running at him. This ends Raw as we see a triumphant Orton standing over Edge.

They have done a much better job in setting up there matches in time for the PPV and I can't wait to see Edge and Orton at Over the Limit.

Make sure that you read Wasp's TNA Blog to hear what happened on the last episode of Monday Night Impact. Also Email me at and let me know what you think about the first Raw blog that I wrote.

Eric Ringel

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Phil Helmuth- Biggest Baby with the Most WSOP bracelets

While watching Poker after Dark on NBC to help go to sleep I couldn't help but ask myself, "why can't Phil Helmuth just quit his crying?"

Phil Helmuth is one of the most decorated poker players in the world. He's won 11 World Series of poker bracelets which have all come in Texas Hold'em which ranks first all time in front of Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan who have 10 bracelets. Phil is one of best cash game specialists out there. But whenever you watch one poker show that has Phil in it, one thing is constant with him: Phil can't lose with one bit of dignity without giving a speech and crying. Let me give you the two examples that I saw tonight.

Example 1: In a hand with Brian Adams(not the singer) Phil had pocket 10's and raised before the flop about $4500. Adams called and the flop came Q-2-4 with two clubs on the board. Phill bets about $7500, then Adams comes back over the top and raises $35000 more. This is when Phil thinks he has the best hand but couldn't risk the call and folds. Adams turns over the 10-7 of clubs and shows a great bluff. Phil then proceeds to berate Adams for even being in the hand, and on several occasions he calls Adams a "moron". Hey keeps saying that he wants Adams to do that when two clubs weren't on the board. Here's the thing Phil, you got bluffed out of a hand by a better player. Why don't you show some class and say nice play instead of embarassing yourself and looking like a 2 year old.

Example 2: New comer David Peat plays K-9 off suit. Phil has A-K offsuit and raises to $6000 before the flop. Peat calls and the flop comes K-6-2. Phil makes a bet of $12000. Peat makes the call. The turn comes a 9. This gives Peat two pair and Phil bets about $6000. Peat re-raises all-in for over $50000 and Phil calls and when the cards get flipped over, you could actually see Helmuth's brain explode. Phil then goes on to lose all of his money and let David Peat know that him and Adams are both morons and that he was playing the best at the table and he decided that he was going to take his ball and go home when everybody started to laugh and taunt him. Phil doesn't like having his own medicine.

So when you watch Phil Helmuth on tv poker and he starts into one of these cry baby fits just remember that he is the best hold'em player in the world and he doesn't deserve this type of luck. (I wish you could see the sarcasm on my face while I wrote that). One of these days Phils going to cry and somebody is going to need to grab him, slap him, and tell him that he is only 2 years old and to QUIT embarassing himself.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The best player to not be in the hall of fame???

When I think of all the players that have been voted into the baseball hall of fame, there has been the biggest omission in our lives: Ron Santo. As I sit here and watch the great movie "This Old Cub" and it goes through the trials and tribulations of Santo, I think to myself with all of the sucess this man has had in his career how is it that every year that there was a vote from the committees that vote on inductions, how is he not already in the HOF? Santo who played with the Cubs through his entire career was ranked second in fielding percentage behind a certain HOF third baseman named Brooks Robinson. Now I know that he didn't put up the flashiest of numbers (Over 300 HR's and 1500 RBI's which ranked 5th all time for RBI's) through out his career, but his stats rivaled those of some of the HOF's that we have in there now. He won a couple of division titles with the Cubs, he even made several all star teams in his career and he even became the youngest captain of the Chicago Cubs at age 23. The one thing that avoided him was a world series title. Now that I have told you most everything about his career, there is one more thing about him that should have gotten him into the Hall, that is that Ron Santo had to deal with having Type 1 diabetes. If you have ever known somebody that's had the disease you know that person has to take shots every couple of hours to regulate their blood sugar levels. So as a baseball player that is playing at the top of his game in the '60's and '70's to also have to deal with the disease that would eventually take both of his legs, that is one of the toughest SOB's that have ever played the game that is not in the HOF.

Now when there are such great HOF's like Hank Aaron and Willy McCovey saying that this man needs to be in the HOF, don't you think that the senior committee needs to listen and induct one of the greatest Cubs and best ball players of the '60's and '70's in. YOU BET YOUR ASS THEY DO!!! SO VOTE HIM IN ALREADY, and give this Cub one more day in the sun before we lose the great man.