Some Baseball Stuff

I’ve been watching the Braves playoff series against the Cardinals. I would love to also watch the Braves play in the next round of the playoffs, but I have a bad feeling about today’s game. I don’t see it going our way. During the series, there were complaints about the play of Ronald Acuna, Jr. The Braves people were upset that he didn’t hustle out of the box and a possible double became a single. The Cardinals people were mad about his reaction to his two-run home run later in the game. I have some thoughts:

On the hustle – yes, he would have had a double if he had not assumed it was a home run and watched it for a second. Yes, he has had a couple of hustle issues during the season. He needs to work on that. But, he’s also hitting .500 in the series and in the last loss he had a double and a triple and the “play the right way” guys behind him kept striking out and he didn’t score. I would love to have had a couple more Acunas at bat in the inning and then we wouldn’t be playing another game.

I also think the Cardinals should just shut up. I’m tired of “the Cardinal way” and the unwritten rules of baseball. We should be OK with players celebrating big hits, flipping the bat and just enjoying playing the game of baseball. Why do we hate fun?

I also have problems with other “unwritten rules” like not stealing when you are up big late in the game. In the days of the home run, no lead is safe. You should always be playing hard and if stealing a base will help hold even a big lead go for it. You should also steal bases when down big for the same reason. Why is it OK to stop playing hard because you are losing?

I also disagree with the no bunting to break up a no-hitter. As the batter, it is your job to get on base, not help the opposing pitcher feel good. If you can get a hit with a bunt, bunt. Getting on base is your job. Do your job.

I’m generally tire of old guys clutching their pearls over young guys who are different than them. Just let them play the game their way. It’s more fun that way.

Random Thoughts on Random Things

Still struggling to write anything coherent. Some would say I’ve been struggling with that since I started this blog eleven years ago. Let’s see what random thoughts come out as I keep going today.

  • Andrew Luck retired this week. He was 29 years old and had suffered multiple injuries and decided it was time to quit the game of football. Fans are mad. Sports people, looking at you Gottlieb, have terrible takes. As I wrote in this post you’ve gotta do what’s best for you and your family and that is all that matters. It doesn’t matter how much money Luck makes or how close the season is, he did what was best for him and that is the right thing to do.
  • TMZ posted audio of a phone call that is allegedly DeMarcus Cousins telling the mother of his child that he will put a bullet in her head. Kentucky fans immediately started commenting on the posts making excuses for him. There is no excuse for doing this. I don’t care who you are, how much money you make, or where you played sports this is not OK and there is no excuse for it. Be better.
  • Be careful being someone who is where they are supposed to be and does what you are supposed to do. People like to take advantage of that and will use that as an excuse to not be there and not do things. Also, no one will appreciate what you do and eventually you will feel like you are killing yourself for nothing. Take care of yourself and take a day here and there when you need it. If the place falls apart while you are gone maybe people will finally realize how good you are(probably not).
  • Joe Walsh is challenging Trump in the primaries. Everyone, including democrats, jumped in immediately to talk about how he is just as bad as Trump. You might be right, but no one is asking you to vote for him if he beats Trump. We do need Republicans, regardless of who they are, to challenge him. He needs to spend time before the general election defending his actions. A challenged opponent can be a weakened opponent.
  • I’ve written a lot about bad drivers. I’ve noticed a new trend lately of people going to the opposite extreme from aggressive driving to very slow and hesitant driving. That isn’t any better. Can’t people just try driving in a way that is safe and normal?
  • According to Goodreads, I’m 9 books behind schedule on my challenge to read 100 books this year. Also according to Goodreads, I have a good shot of reading more pages this year even though I will read fewer books. I think Goodreads needs to add a “pages read” challenge along with a number of books challenge. I’ve read a lot of long books this year.
  • I’ve started creating social media posts for my work once a week. I’m enjoying it. I like it a lot more than other things I do for work. Maybe I will get good enough at it that they let me do it full time.

I guess I will stop there. I think I need to stop worrying about single topic posts and just save up some if these smaller thoughts(the kind I normally have) for posts like this.

It’s Just Sports

I am a big sports fan. I go to most Ravens home games. I watch every game I’m not at on TV. I watch every Kentucky basketball game. I’ve been a Braves fan for years. I’m not much of an NBA fan. I don’t watch hockey at all. I care about what happens with my teams. I will post during games to complain about things. Calls that go against us, bad plays, whatever. I have a weird superstition that I have to post that I’ve given up and that we will lose a game so that I will be wrong and we will win. I have complained about the one and done system in college basketball and I still think it is flawed. I’m sure I’ve complained about the coach of every team I follow. That’s a normal part of sports.

What’s not normal? Going to Twitter or Instagram after a loss to troll the family of the coach of your team. Posting negative comments and wishes that the team will fire the coach on the Twitter and Instagram of the coach’s kids and wife. What’s not normal is attacking college kids on their social media because they lost a game. What’s not normal is telling a kid you hope he tears his ACL  because he chose your rival school. What’s not normal is being so obsessed with sports that you can’t get over a loss.

If you are an adult who has trolled a coach’s family member on social media because of a loss you should get help. If you are an adult who has told a kid you hope they are injured because they picked the “wrong” team, you need therapy. It’s also possible you are an asshole and I’m not sure that’s curable. Maybe think about it this way – How would you feel if we trolled your mom about your skills at flipping burgers at McDonalds? It would suck, wouldn’t it?

It’s just sports. Grow up and deal with it like an adult

My March Madness Teams I Hate and Love

Even though I do a bracket every year, I still have certain rooting interests that override my wanting to be right. I always root for the upset unless the game involves Kentucky or any other teams I love. I have teams I will always cheer for and teams I will always cheer against. Here is a short breakdown of those teams:

Teams I Hate:

Duke – I really can’t remember if it all started with the Laettner shot or before, but I can’t stand Duke, Coach K or anything related to the team. I want them to lose every game they play. I picked them to win this year, but I would love for them to lose the first weekend.

UNC – The dislike here isn’t as strong as the Duke hate, but I’m really tired of dadgum Roy and the Tar Heels. I hate that they got away with players taking fake classes. I hate their dumb light blue uniforms. I hate the hype the Duke/UNC rivalry gets.

Louisville – The annoying little brother who won’t go away, but also embarrasses you by getting caught with prostitutes. I think I hate them more than Duke. They are less hateable with Pitino gone, but I still hate them. I don’t know how other Kentucky fans cheer for Louisville. They are our biggest rival. You can’t cheer for your rival.

Kansas – There’s just something about Bill Self that makes Kansas easy to hate. I don’t think I hated them when dadgum Roy was there, but I do now. I can’t really explain this one.

Syracuse – I’m not a Boeheim fan. I always pick them to lose early and they always win more than expected. Stop making me look dumb!

Cincinnati – I used to live outside the city and work in the city. I liked living and working there. I never liked the team. I liked Huggy Bear, but I really don’t like Cronin. He’s a terrible person an builds a team with his personality.

Tennessee – Stupid orange team full of floppers. They flop more than the floppiest of Duke teams. I hate floppers. Stupid floppers.

Teams I Love 

Kentucky – Obvious one here. I grew up in Kentucky. I went to UK. I attended every game while there. I knew some of the players. I attended father/son camp there with my son. I will always do what I can to plan my life around watching Kentucky basketball.

Murray State – a small Kentucky school with a chance to surprise people and win a couple of games. I always cheer for Kentucky teams unless they are Louisville.

Northern Kentucky – I lived down the street from NKU for a couple of years. I did my grad school classes via a UK extension program at NKU. I will always cheer for them.

Anyone playing the teams I hate – The above three are all I have in the tournament this year. WKU didn’t make it. Morehead didn’t make it. I really only love Kentucky teams that aren’t Louisville. I get more teams to love by loving any team playing against the teams I hate. It’s just as fun to have someone to cheer against as it is to have someone to cheer for.

So, my tournament cheering is focused on upsets, Kentucky teams that aren’t Louisville and any team playing Duke, UNC, Kansas, Syracuse, Cincy, and Tennessee. It’s always interesting to see which ones I hate more once they play each other and I figure out who I want to lose the game.

Now, let the games begin!

Tater’s Picks of Madness

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! March Madness! I finally got smart and took Thursday afternoon off to watch the games. Friday is my normal day off, so I have two full days of basketball with no pesky job to get in the way. I do have to work on Saturday, so I run the risk of being at work during a UK game. I love March Madness. Now, on to my picks. This year I did not pretend to know anything about basketball. I went through the bracket, chose winners on instinct, changed a couple that I didn’t like and then left it alone. Here is the result.

Upsets:

1st round: Yale over LSU, Murray State over Marquette, UC Irvine over Kansas State, St Mary’s over Villanova, Seton Hall over Wofford

2nd Round: Miss. State over VA Tech, Buffalo over Texas Tech, UC Irvine over Wisconsin(Badgers? We don’t need no stinking Badgers), Cincy over Tennessee, Auburn over Kansas

Final Eight: Duke, Louisville, Florida State, Michigan, Virginia, Purdue, UNC, UK

Final Four: Duke, Florida St, Purdue, UK

Championship: Duke over UK. I just threw up in my mouth a little typing that..

I also did a homer bracket with UK winning.

Pick the exact opposite of this and you will win your pool

Tater’s Delayed Take on the Super Bowl

The Game – I know a lot of people thought the game was boring, but I actually like good defensive games. I would have liked it more if the bad guys hadn’t won, but I didn’t think it was boring. I also would have enjoyed it more had Brady been hit more and cried a little. I’m so tired of Brady and the Patriots. But boring? I didn’t think so. Also, I really liked listening to Tony Romo call the game.

The Halftime Show – I don’t have Maroon 5. I like some of their songs. I like Adam Levine a lot more since I watched a few seasons of the voice. Still, I thought the halftime show was mediocre. I didn’t feel the need to pay much attention to the show at all. I just don’t think Maroon 5 has what it takes to be the halftime show. I think next season needs someone iconic to bring some pizzaz back to the show.

The Commercials – As a whole, the commercials were not exciting. There were a few standouts. I really liked the Bud Light/Game of Thrones crossover. I thought the Michael Buble commercial was really good. I like Jason Bateman in pretty much everything he does, so I enjoyed his commercial. I’m sure there were more I liked when I watched them, but now 24 hours removed, those are the ones that stuck in my mind. Oh, and the NFL 100 spot with all of the great football players. That was really fun. It doesn’t count as a commercial, but the open with Peyton Manning was very good. I really like Manning and he does a good job in spots like these.

The Patriotic Part – Both God Bless America by Chloe X Halle and the national anthem by Gladys Knight were excellent, but I can’t help but feel that all of that stuff meant that the NFL wanted the Patriots to win. There were no Ram related songs. That’s just wrong.

On another note – I’m now part of the WordPress Affiliate Program. If you have considered a WordPress account consider doing it as part of Tater’s WordPress Drive!

Some Final Ravens Thoughts

I was, and still am, all in for Lamar Jackson as the starting quarterback for the Ravens. I was all in for replacing Flacco before he was injured. I argued with someone on Twitter recently who was complaining about the “snotty nosed kid” they were playing over Flacco. That “snotty nosed kid” was 6-1 at the time as a starter. It made no sense to put Flacco back in as the starter while Jackson was hot. The team did the right thing sticking with him when Flacco returned.

That being said, I completely disagreed with the team not going to Flacco in the game on Sunday. I have read some things since the game that suggests the OC did not make any adjustments at all when going in to play a team they just played two weeks before. I believe that is coaching malpractice and should result in his termination. There is no denying that whatever they were doing with Jackson in the game was not working. If you are the coach of a team in the playoffs it is your job to do what it takes to win a game. If that means bringing in a backup quarterback when the starter is having a bad game, then do it. Starting pitchers are replaced in baseball all the time. Teams use two running backs in the game and sometimes then stick with whoever is playing best. Why not try it at quarterback? It doesn’t mean Jackson doesn’t start the next game. It just means he was having a bad day and you decided to try something different. Will it hurt his ego? Maybe, but if your ego is so fragile that this would cause problems moving forward perhaps professional sports isn’t for you. I also think refusing to play Flacco was coaching malpractice and I think maybe Harbaugh should head out the door with Ozzie and Flacco. A fresh start all around might be what the franchise needs.

I do think there is a bright future with Jackson at QB. He needs a coach that will help him develop his passing game and will make adjustments when Jackson’s running game isn’t working. The offensive line needs to get better at protecting him on pass plays to give him time to throw the ball. I think he will develop to be a good NFL QB and I’m all in for him to start next year. It was a great run with Harbaugh and Flacco, but the team has grown stagnant. Changes are necessary.

Some Dumb Tuesday Tater Thoughts on Sports and Work

This season in football I’ve heard the following:

You can’t bench Joe Flacco. He’s a Super Bowl MVP!

You can’t fire John Harbaugh. He won a Super Bowl!

I can’t believe the Packers fired Mike McCarthy! He won a Super Bowl! You don’t do that to a Super Bowl winning coach!

Imagine if this was real life. I can’t imagine anyone thinking that my place of work could never fire me because I won an award a while back.

They can’t fire Tater! He won an Out of the Box Award once! You don’t do that to someone who won a bonus award!

I imagine if I had become mediocre to bad at my job the fact I won an award once would not shield me from being let go. I also can’t imagine anyone would actually care if they did. How did professional sports become a place where past wins shield you from current failures? You are hired to win games. If you can’t win games, you shouldn’t have your job. That’s just the way it is.

Other ways sports business would be weird in my life:

X Library System has traded Tater to Z Library System for a box of bookends, a cart with a bad wheel and an incompetent intern. We’re not sure who got the best deal.

The bigger branches could become the majors and the smaller branches the minor leagues. Librarians are moved up and down based on performance. I’m pretty sure I would be exiled to the far reaches of the minors forever.

Just some dumb Tuesday Tater thoughts.

What’s Good in Tater Town

A blogger friend does a weekly gratitude post. I decided that something similar would be good practice to remind myself that even in the bad weeks I should try to find the good. So, here is the first in the possible new weekly “What’s Good in Tater Town” series.

  1. Both of my kids came home for a few hours this week. Different day than the other, but both were here.
  2. I was able to take some last-minute time off to rest after a long couple of weeks at work.
  3. I met with our new CEO on Friday and she didn’t fire me on the spot.
  4. We had some days without rain this week and I was able to mow my lawn before I  needed a tractor.
  5. The Braves clinched the NL East and are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
  6. Kentucky football beat #14 Mississippi State last night and are 4-0. 2-0 in the SEC for the first time in a very long time.
  7. My fantasy football team is 2-0.
  8. I’m on the second day of my first full weekend off in three weeks.
  9. It’s raining, but my wife still plans to pity me and go to the Ravens game with me today.
  10. Cooler, less humid weather is here.

Ten seems a good goal for each week. Hopefully, I won’t have weeks where I struggle to come up with that many.

 

 

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