Monthly Archives: June 2013

Brian Shaw, The Aftermath of Game 7, Other Stuff

Welcome to the 15th edition of Tuesdays with Mitch. We’re turning a corner in the sports calendar. Basketball is done. Hockey is done. Football hasn’t started. We have just entered the dog days of summer when baseball is the only thing going on. Almost…

Brian Shaw is the new head coach of the Denver Nuggets. (USATSI)

The Nuggets hired Brian Shaw as their new head coach to replace George Karl. I don’t have a whole lot of insight on Shaw, but I think it has to be considered a success for the Nuggets. Shaw was one of the hot names in coaching circles this offseason and the Nuggets got the guy who was probably their first choice to take over. Shaw has won five championships in his career, three as a player, two as an assistant. That alone is a pretty impressive resume. It will be interesting to see how much the playing style differs from the fast-paced days of George Karl.

There’s always great optimism when hiring a new coach, but after Karl’s surprise firing and Masai Ujuri leaving, all the sudden the Nuggets have a rookie GM and a rookie head coach leading one of the youngest teams in the NBA. That doesn’t exactly inspire a ton of confidence. Again though, I think it is wise to make a change, simply because the only thing the Nuggets risk giving up is boring first-round playoff exits.

This piece from ESPN on Shaw’s remarkable journey is worth your time.

The rough road trip for the Rockies that I said had the makings of a season-changing disaster started with them going 0-5. (Sometimes it’s almost like I know what I’m talking about.) They won the next two and there are two in Boston remaining, tonight and tomorrow. They can finish the trip at 2-7 or 3-6 or 4-5. At this point I’m hoping for a split in Boston, and coming home at .500 to regroup.

Since nobody watches hockey anymore, here’s all you need to see from the absolutely incredible Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, wrapped up in a neat three minutes.

Two goals in 17 seconds on the road in a clinching game of the Finals? That’s about the craziest damn thing I’ve ever heard.

The middle of overtime in a Stanley Cup Finals game is not the best time to cut to cheap local commercials.

`

I was cruising around Twitter after the Heat beat the Spurs in Game 7 on Thursday and found some pretty legit pictures and gifs and videos.

Here’s ESPN’s ninjas getting real creepy behind the scenes.

Bill Simmons is one of the few ESPN employees who can get away with badmouthing the network for which he works because he’s one of the top dogs. And juuuuuust as he was about to bring up the debacle that LeBron and ESPN took a lot of justifiable heat for (see what I did there?), the cameras went black. Hard to believe that was a coincidence.

Excellent and gutwrenching picture of a sad Tim Duncan

Sad Tim

I found this on Twitter from @corkgaines. Getty Images.

Dwayne Wade looks pretty drunk:

Happy and drunk Wade

Or maybe he’s just happy. via SB Nation.

Here’s rap superstar Drake being told he can’t enter the Heat locker room.

Whoever’s holding the camera is sure a douche.

Check out Birdman’s unreal shades:

Found this on Twitter @corkgaines.

Classic freaking birdman right there.

Dan LeBetard had an epic, 10 minute rant after Game 7. Kind of strange for a “columnist” to be such a homer. Stranger still, for anyone to play the “disrespect” card when referring to the Heat. Still pretty funny though.


And my favorite one
of all is Chris Bosh struggling with the postgame celebration as much as struggled with the actual game.

found on Twitter @sportsvines

In other news, I follow the Iron Shiek on Twitter along with 305,000 other people. It’s fascinating. The former pro wrestler sends out incredibly vulgar, mostly nonsensical tweets about anything happening in pop culture or sports. He doesn’t like Hulk Hogan. He likes the cold beer. He calls people Bubba (which I have since stolen). Once you learn to speak his language, it’s usually pretty hilarious.

There has always been kind of a mysterious vibe to the whole thing though. Is this really him? There were pictures that made it clear the Iron Shiek was actually around. I always wondered if he was actually sending these tweets or they were coming from brilliant handlers who created a strange Twitter character. An insightful article came out Sunday that (kind of) helps answer some of these questions. Pretty interesting stuff. It’s all being done to help raise funds to create a documentary on the guy.

Here’s some good sportsish long reads from the past week:

Really interesting profile on Serena Williams from Rolling Stone.

An oral history of the 2003 NBA Draft is insightful stuff from ESPN.

Here’s a video of a guy making fun of the government and screwing with people:

`

And finally, I have absolutely no idea what is going on in this video, but it’s just captivating. I mean, I can’t look away.

There is so much going on. Kids ripping off their shirts and sticking out their tongues. Admit it, you were hoping they brawled. Twenty bucks says each one of those kids grows up to a lunatic.

Happy Tuesday everybody, see ya next week.

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.

Advertisements

Your Weekly Roundup from the Sports World and Internet

Welcome to this week’s Tuesdays With Mitch, where I am apparently clothed in immense power. I have all kinds of stuff for you this week. Let’s jump in.

Tulo is hurt again. How bout that? Photo courtesy USA Today.

Last week I made what I thought was a pretty compelling case on why Troy Tulowitzki was the best player in baseball. Two days later he broke his rib diving for a ball because that’s the kind of thing he does. Sorry for the jinx Rox fans. Now I know better.

At this point I’m worried that Tulowitzki’s career, one that could have potentially been defined by championships and MVP trophies, will instead be remembered as short glimpses of greatness that were perennially marred by injuries and health issues. Here’s to a speedy recovery for Tulo and picking up where he left off upon his return.

Anyway, it’s hard to see the Rockies remaining relevant for much longer. Tulo was the heartbeat of the offense and defense and losing him will be hard to replace. Monday night the Rockies went 0-8 with runners in scoring position and were shut out in Toronto in what was the first instance of missing his bat in the lineup.

Speaking of Toronto, the Rockies started a 9-game road trip Monday with stops north of the border and Washington DC and Boston. From the outset, this looks like it has the potential to be a season-changing disaster. Going 5-4 should be the goal, but I would take 4-5 all day long.

The old-timers brawl between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers was one of the craziest damn things I’ve ever seen. Look at freaking Don Mattingly (52) slam down Allan Trammell (55).

Mattingly is upset

Pulled this off of Grantland here. (If that picture isn’t moving, click on it.)

That’s funny because those dudes are old. Also they are not players. You also had Mark McGwire (49), Matt Williams (47) and Kirk Gibson (56) going at it in some form or another. Call me crazy, but I could watch 1980s all stars brawl in 2013 every day.

The last time the Rockies were in a brawl was this one in 2008. AP Photo/Danny Moloshok

So that got me thinking… When was the last time the Rockies were in a brawl? The last one I could find was against the Dodgers in 2008 when Yorvit Torrealba tagged out Matt Kemp at home plate and things got real. From what I remember, that was fairly underwhelming as far as brawls go.

I find it kind of strange that the Rockies haven’t been in a brawl in five years and now I’d like to see one this year.

My power rankings for which Rockie you don’t want to screw with:

3. Rex Brothers. I’m not about to charge the mound on large, left-handed closer who throws 98. Also his name is Rex Brothers. I’m not about to the charge the mound on someone named Rex Brothers.

2. Wilin Rosario. You have to have the catcher high on this list because if you’re team is in the field when shit goes down, the catcher is going to be involved. Rosario runs pretty well, so if he had to chase down a batter going after, say Jorge De La Rosa (who would land awfully low on this list), he could probably get there in time, which can be crucial. Rosario is pretty intense and maybe the strongest dude on the team.

1. A healthy Michael Cuddyer. Cuddy seems to love and respect the game more than any Rockie. If someone threw at one of his pitcher’s heads and was out of line in doing so (like Ian Kennedy at Zack Grienke in the aforementioned brawl) I could see Cuddyer going nuts. He’s also pretty stacked.

All of this also led me to this news video which is pretty cool.

Look at freaking Vinny’s mullet at the 0:33 mark! If you’re wondering, I’ve determined that is from June 16, 1993. Reading this write-up is pretty fun.

Your weekly video of baseball players being weird comes on this walkoff celebration, when a player with barbecue sauce all over his face almost gets depantsed (24 second mark).

I was recently depantsed at a concert at Red Rocks, except it was a successful depantsing in that everything came down to my ankles. I’d like to tell you I played it super cool and confident and nonchalant, but I’ll tell ya, that is one startling feeling. If it wasn’t dark out I may have been charged with involuntary indecent exposure.

Whoever made this video had me laughing.

`

There’s too many lines for me to even try to pick one to quote. Well done, chap.

I can’t figure out how to embed a Vine yet so just click this link and watch a presumably drunk Mets fan fall down like 3 rows of seats.

https://twitter.com/MattSebek/status/345267901936320512

This was a cool moment. Yeah the goal in triple overtime of the Stanley Cup Finals was okay, but I’m really talking about the interview that starts at the 2 minute mark.

That’s funny because he said a bad word on national television.

Some quality production value in this one about the man who taught LeBron how to flop:

`

This is how you go after a foul ball…

GIF via guyism.com

…even if it is already rolling back onto the stairs as you leave the ground. Dude’s hands are like six feet away from the ball.

I’mSorryWhat?

`

Still not as good as this classic:

`

I personally believe that slow “ding” is an unsuccessful attempt to get her to PLEASE. STOP. TALKING.

Those two videos are funny because they show really hot girls saying really dumb things that don’t make any sense.

Chris Berman commentating golf is the worst idea anyone has ever had, but I don’t have any jokes better than these. Seriously though, Berman’s time has come and gone. I don’t enjoy listening to him on any platform. He makes the Home Run Derby even more unwwatchable than it already is. His NFL highlight shtick was cute ten years ago. The dude has run his course. But listening to him call golf is just a nightmare.

Speaking of which, my favorite call from Jim Rome’s smackoff on Friday was second place finisher Steve Carbone. It’s worth listening to if you’re ever in The Jungle, which I am daily. (It Gets good at the 2:50 mark when he tears apart ESPN).

And finally, Here’s a nonsports link. A really, really awesome gallery of various graduations.

Happy Tuesday everybody, see ya next week.

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.

Is Troy Tulowitzki the Best Player in Baseball?

Troy Tulowitzki

Tulo is currently the game’s best player. Photo courtesy The Denver Post

I think so.

These days this conversation pretty much starts and stops with Miguel Cabrera. More on that in a moment. First, let’s look at Tulowitzki compared to the rest of the National League.

If the season ended today Troy Tulowitzki would deserve the National League MVP over Dominic Brown, Scott Gomez, Yadier Molina and Paul Goldschmidt.

Let’s look at the traditional stats first. Tulo is 2nd in batting average (.351, 3 points behind Molina). He’s 2nd in home runs (17, 2 behind Brown). He’s 3rd in RBI (51, 8 behind Goldschmidt). So right now, he’s near the top in all three triple crown categories. He’s also 3rd in on-base percentage, 1st in slugging and 2nd in total bases.

The more advanced metrics support Tulo, too. That’s fun to say. If you don’t know what these stats mean, just assume it’s good to be in first place in all these categories.

He’s 1st in OPS (and adjusted OPS+, which removes the Coors Field factor), 1st in Offensive WAR, and 2nd in overall WAR among position players.

All of the above stats courtesy of this page at baseball-reference.com

The Rockies have the best offense in the National League and Tulowitzki is the biggest reason for that. Michael Cuddyer is having an All-Star season and Carlos Gonzalez is in the MVP discussion as well, but Tulowitzki is putting up really good numbers in every category, both traditional and advanced.

**Sidenote 1: The Rockies currently have the top 3 players in OPS. Tulo 1, Cuddyer 2, CarGo 3. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one team with the top 3 in any category.

The other factor that has been in play this year has been the “clutch” gene which is hard to quantify. But if you’ve followed the Rockies this season, you’ve seen Tulo deliver a slew of huge, game-changing hits like this one.

`

Also, you can not understate what Tulowitzki provides defensively. He makes every routine play, but also does things no other shortstop can.

Put all that together and you have the best player in baseball.

The defensive factor brings me back to Miguel Cabrera. When you look at Tulowitzki in the scope of both leagues instead of just his own, two names frequently pop up in front of Tulo’s in all those categories I mentioned above. One is Baltimore’s Chris Davis. The other is Cabrera.

Davis had a solid season last year, and is an MVP candidate this year. Like Cabrera, he plays first base. So you can put Davis in the conversation of who is having the best season this year, but the sample size is too small to consider him as the game’s best. When Tulowitzki has been healthy (not as often as we’d all like) he’s been one of baseball’s best for the past 7 years.

**Sidenote 2: Can you believe this is our 7th– SEVENTH– season of watching Tulo? Maybe it’s because of all the injuries, but that seems just absurd. 

Cabrera, on the other hand, has been the best hitter in the game for a few years now, including this season. I believe he is currently on pace for 734 RBI. There’s a difference, though, between being the best player in the game and the best hitter in the game.

Cabrera plays first base and not particularly well. He’s also slower than my dad. Tulo isn’t exactly a speedster, but he runs pretty well. The fact that he plays the most important position on the diamond, and does it better than anyone, gives Tulowitzki the edge over Cabrera.

So, yes, Troy Tulowitzki currently is the best player in baseball.

As always, get at me if you disagree.

OTHER STUFF

I’m not a Lebron James fan, but this block is just incredible.

Via guyism.com

Since I showed some good Lebron, here’s a gif somebody somewhere made of him flopping like he got shot.

Via guyism.com

Jimmy Kimmel came through with some funny sports social media discourse, which is kind of right up my alley.

`

Good for this kid.

`

Three things: That girl’s “right here!” face is a little much for getting a baseball flipped to her. Her boyfriend’s reaction is appropriate. Can’t believe how nonchalant that kid is. Yoink!

What would you do in this situation?

Not sure why he couldn’t just pick the thing up and continue, but the eventual military-style salute had me in tears immediately and made for my favorite YouTube video in a long time, which, of course, I say every single week.

And finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Tim Tebow. He signed with the Patriots yesterday. Tim won me over in Denver and I’d like to see him succeed, so I’m happy he got another shot in the league. However, I’m truly, truly dreading the coming ESPN media coverage. Even though I like the guy, it was pretty relieving to think we were all done with that. Thank you and God Bless.

Happy Tuesday everybody, see ya next week.

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.

Helton’s At-Bat and Other Stuff from the Sports World and Internet

Welcome to the first ever Wednesday edition of Tuesdays With Mitch. Sorry for the day long delay; I’ve been doing a lot of working and drinking and sleeping. Anyway, this GIF has pretty much been on a loop in my head since Friday.

Helton Swag

GIF courtesy of the former Dr. Pure, @andy_mcdonnell. Lots of good stuff on his blog at andymcd.com. Check it out.

Too. Much. Swag.

That is just too much swag for one computer screen to handle.

The term “swag” is probably not tossed around in regards to Todd Helton a whole lot, but that sequence is freaking swagtastic. Also, I promise to never use the word swagtastic again.

Here’s the full video with Drew Goodman’s solid call.

`

(That goober behind the dugout pointing to the stands sat throughout that entire at-bat just pointing like that. Then he just kind of chilled for a while when Todd actually hit it there. Seriously hilarious. Also a good job by Root to keep a live camera on him, just in case.)

Early in his career, you wouldn’t see even the most modest of bat flips out of the respectful and generally mild mannered Helton. That’s changed the past few years, though I don’t think I’ve ever seen him Pimp a homer quite that much. He’s earned it and it’s a welcome sight.

The situation there: Rockies down by 2. Runner on first. Bottom of the 9th. Helton pinch hits. Look at this at-bat.

Helton's AB

Screenshot courtesy of MLB.com

The count quickly goes to 1-2. Todd fouls off five pitches and takes two balls before launching a no-doubter into the second deck. Helton is the best I’ve (anyone’s?) ever seen at wasting pitches with two strikes and extending at-bats. Some solid representation of that came on Friday night. Pretty epic stuff. (The fact that Rafael Betancourt promptly gave up two runs in the 10th and the Rockies lost is a minor detail).

Todd’s the topic of plenty of debate these days with reasonable and intelligent baseball people like me quick to argue with over-reactors or very casual Rockies fans. Todd is the one athlete that I will probably never say a bad thing about, so I’m biased. I’m not diving into the whole argument here this week, but keep an eye out.

Right now I’m just trying to recover from an overdose of 39-year-old white man swag.

Last week I said that “baseball players are a quirky bunch” after showing Troy Tulowitzki reject Rafael Betancourt’s high five.

I was right about that.

That’s my favorite YouTube video in a long, long time, even though I seem to say that every week. The rakes. The fanning with the rakes. Genius.

Minnesota did not want to be out done.

`

All shenanigans aside, that is the least interesting interview I’ve ever seen.

This video is just heartbreaking. 40-year-old and 12-year veteran Ramon Ortiz throws what is likely his last pitch in the MLB. And he knew it.

`

That’s tough to watch and this piece by Will Leitch is an excellent and deep article on the difficulty of letting go.

Justin Bieber didn’t have the best week. He pissed off his famous neighbors by driving his Ferrari like a maniac. (Thank you TMZ! Without you no would have known that Keyshawn freaking Johnson was upset with the world’s most famous 19-year-old-pop-lip-syncing-robot-record-label-creation-dancer-guy-thing.) Then the world’s most famous 19-year-old-pop-lip-syncing-robot-record-label-creation-dancer-guy-thing looked like this at Game 7 on Monday.

Biebs

Biebs just taking in Game 7 like the common man.

You absolutely can not make any sort of reasonable argument that that person is not a complete douche bag.

This dude’s blog on a ridiculous, gum-throwing umpire is hilarious, but it’s also relevant whistle-blower journalism. I hope MLB suspends this joker. (Follow-up blogs here and here).

I really, really do not get the whole DU Pioneer mascot “controversy.” They don’t want a mascot that resembles a pioneer, even though they are the FREAKING DENVER UNIVERSITY PIONEERS. Just absurd.

And finally, since this is a special edition:

MikeMikeMikeMikeMike!

Happy Wednesday everybody. See ya in six days.

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.