Christmas Gifts Under the Sports Tree by Bob Ryan

Gift opening is over….hopefully all enjoyed a terrific Christmas…now lets’ take a look at some of the gifts that our sports heroes and sports teams received….
…. Shohei Ohtani …newly singed LA Angel…received a “one of a kind” gift…. he’ll be the 1st MLB to be listed TWICE in fantasy baseball leagues…once as a pitcher and once as a hitter…could it ever happen that he’d be traded for himself (pitcher for hitter)?
….Dexter Fowler received the “Jimmy John” award for quickness….he’s last in and first out of the clubhouse on a regular basis
…City of Miami has received the Barnum & Baily Award (a sucker born ever minute)….the Marlins indicated many years ago that they needed a new stadium… publicly funded…Miami approved it.. the stadium opened in 2012 with the expectations that the Marlins would be an entertaining team. The total cost of the stadium was $515m , Marlins paid $155m, City of Miami $13m and other $347m was handled by Miami-Dade County. So….after having invested $360m, the Miami area expected the Marlins to reciprocate and give their best effort (money) to field a decent to good team…..not so….right now, the Marlins fire sale is shipping off quality players quicker than any pizza delivery due to the financial limitations of the new ownership group.
….with the above info fresh in your mind….it’s easy to see why Derek Jeter opened up the “Stran Kroneke” Award for Miami this year.
…winning the David Copperfield Award for his disappearing act is Carson Kelly…. always seen pre-game, Kelly disappears after the game begins and isn’t seen again throughout the next 3-4 hours on most nights
…receiving the “Rookie of the Half-Year” Award in the NHL is the Las Vegas Golden Knights…firmly implanted in 2nd place with 46 points in 33 games (22-9-2). Thus far the Golden Knights have kept their players motivated by reminding them that their former teams didn’t’ want them…and…we hear that many NHL teams spend 2-3 nights in Vegas on their trips to Las Vegas….maybe…the visiting teams had their minds distracted a bit, heh? …that’s my hockey word
…receiving the award for winning the battle of the “Best of Early Signing” Award is Clemson. The Tigers signed 4 of the top rated 10 players in the country.
….The Blues found a ‘jump” on their offensive battery… Tage Thompson & Patrik Berglund have recharged the team..at least a bit… at a time when their offensive battery was dead
….finding under his tree the Waterman Trophy for spitting is Jeff Gyorko….it’s not so much the quality but the quantity of the spitting …generally while he’s in the batter’s box
…Tampa Bay Rays received the “Florida Clone” award….following the example of their buddy south of them in Miami…Tampa has indicated that they also would like to “move” high quality players… reason…..cut payroll…..so….Evan Longoria ends up in San Fran….closer Alex Colume has been listed often in trade talks and highly touted starting pitcher Chris Archer sees his name bandied about…so….now BOTH of the MLB teams in Florida will be fielding AAA type teams…ugh!!!
…opening up the “Bob Gibson Interview Award” is Tommy Pham…like Gibson, Pham’s interviews were very direct, blunt, spoken in clearly understandable words and without even the smallest concern for anyone who may be offended by his remarks.
….Aaron Rogers found a watch under his tree so he can determine if he’s seen more on the football field or on commercials
…receiving the “Highway to Heaven” award is Matt Adams…..Adams left the 72-90 Atlanta Braves as a free agent and now has signed with the Washington Nationals 97-65,1st place, most key players are returning for the Nats…no rebuild around him… he’s gotta feel like he’s in heaven now
…receiving the” Johnny Manziel” award for college players totally wrapped up in themselves are the 4 U of Texas players who refused to play against Missouri in the Texas Bowl because they were intending to play pro football…and with 3 more Longhorns suspended for the game…the outcome is looking much brighter for the Tigers.
..the city of Detroit opened up the “you did it again” package….Detroit is the only city to win in one year all three of the major sports titles…in 1935 the Lions won the NFL Tile, the Tigers the World Series and the Red Wings the Stanley Cup! …many baby boomers opened up plenty of positive memories under their tree when they were reminded of Tim McCarver’s entry into the Cards HOF this year. McCarver made his first appearance as a 17 year old in 1959 when he played in 6 games. He was the #1 catcher all through the 60’s….primary catcher of all 3 of the Cards World Series seasons in the 60’s….was part of the “CBC” connection of the 60’s Cards….he and teammate Phil Gagliano graduated from CBC HS in Memphis and Mike Shannon from CBC StL…btw.. Gagliano died in December 2016
…Mizzou & Illinois each opened up an AED device after using it to recusitate the Bragging Rts Basketball game last week…the crowd of 21,000+ enjoyed the 70-64 Illini win. Illinois has now won 5 straight in this streaky series that began in 1980…Illinois currently has won 9 in a row and won 8 in a row another time. The Tigers have winning streaks of 4 in a row twice. Illinois leads Braggin Rights series 32-16. In the 4 years prior to the Bragging Rights game in St. Louis…the Show Me Classic found the same two teams going back & forth between Columbia & Champaign.
…the Harpo Marx award for all of his public words was found under the tree of Mike Girsch, GM of the St. Louis Cardinals…when will he talk?
…picking it up …then dropping it… the “Goose Egg” Award is the U of Missouri Football Staff for their successful recruiting of any of the top 10 St Louis players listed by the StLTODAY staff ….if you’re thinking that these players aren’t good enough…think again….2 players signed with Ohio State, 1 each with Oklahoma, Michigan, Illinois, Kansas.
…John Mozeliak received an updated thesaurus to continue his pattern of using “fresh” words when describing the same ol’ ideas….be good enough to get 3m fans but not good enough to be the very best of the National League
….jointly opening a gift…the Blues & Cards each received a gold star for their production of the Winter Classic…held way back on January 2nd…it drew 46,000+ fans, Blues won 4-1….great memories for all
….belatedly finding the BOB Award for a HOF announcers was Dick Enberg….Enberg passed away earlier this week….like many of the HOF announcers in my personal HOF…. Enberg didn’t use slick sounding language or the latest buzz words that may have pointed to him being the star….he let the excitement of the game speak for itself….his famous expression, “Oh My” after a great play….often said it all
….Drew Brees opened a “born again” envelope as he and his Saints look to be rejuvenated to the point that they almost resemble the only Saints Super Bowl Championship team of 2009
…found under the tree of the Cardinals PR division is the book on Public Honesty by Richard Nixon … Cards have maintained for years of the superior strength of their minor league system….well… if so….the last Cardinal Rookie of the Year was Albert Pujols in 2001. Prior to that award, the Cards won back-back Rookies of the Year in 85-86 with Todd Worrell and Vince Coleman. The Cards do produce plenty of “good” players ….but…not so much when considering developing “stars”.
….for the 3rd consecutive year, finding under this tree as the Winner of the “StL Horses’ Petunia” Award is Stan Kroneke…for most of us…not seeing him at all …is a blessing
….Carlos Martinez found a stack of 400 small paper cups under this tree so that maybe he’ll resume his “splash” after his teammates hit round trippers…. as he did in 2016 but not much in 2017.
…Bob Ryan received a STOP sign under his tree…so…… Happy New Year to all of you….Wishing you all the best in 2018…. YOUR responses are always terrific….respond to any part….If you don’t want your name listed, use your initials..or send it to me and I’ll use your initials to post it… in case you missed some of the most popular articles of the year…..here are a few to consider…

Jan 30 Brady or Belichick ? http://prepcasts.com/brady-or-belichick-by-bob-ryan/
Mar 5 BOB Awards http://prepcasts.com/bob-awards-by-bob-ryan/
Apr 9 Missing the Goal http://prepcasts.com/missing-the-goal-by-bob-ryan/
May 27 Sports Jeopardy http://prepcasts.com/sports-jeopardy-by-bob-ryan/
July 3 A Sports 4th of July http://prepcasts.com/4th-of-july-by-bob-ryan/
Sep 3 Turning the Page http://prepcasts.com/turning-the-page-by-bob-ryan/
Nov 6 World Series Wrap UP http://prepcasts.com/world-series-wrap-up-by-bob-ryan/

Comments

  1. We are seeing more and more college football players skipping their bowl games because of their perceived need to save themselves for the NFL. I wish NFL GMs would make it clear to those guys that if you decided to skip the last game of the year, that threatens to label you a quitter…I can’t imagine ever doing that to my teammates. Also, in talking about baseball free agents, the Royals are finding themselves in a bit of a bind. It now looks like that Eric Hosmer might return but the team is looking to cut 20 million dollars from their budget. If they pay Hosmer what he’s worth, they will be scrambling to put talent on the field as they gutted their farm system for the playoff runs in 14 and 15..oh the price small market teams pay for a World Series championship.
    Back to the college football talk..I hope that mentality doesn’t leak into college basketball. Would be nice to see Michael Porter play a few games in college as the game needs his talent. My fear is some “advisers” will convince him not to risk it and just concentrate on the NBA draft…he needs to get on the court and show NBA GMs what he can do.

  2. “ Clever “Awards for select individuals !
    I remain concerned that Cards won’t nab another bat and quality closer.
    I’m sure it’s more $, but Cards had to promote both Mo and Michael Girsch…. The “Cubs Model”
    For Front Office Continues to irritate StL, to the level they had to promote both guys or lose them.
    Miami has been “ hosed”…. Jeter & Co are simply dumping payroll… a gradual/ ongoing re-build makes sense, but this fire sale is bad for baseball This team will resemble the ‘62 Mets…. not sure they can rebuild as quickly as Jeff Luehnow did in Houston…getting fans back is tough. Agree, the Stanton contract was a joke and they needed to move him, but this housecleaning simply turns off the Miami market and weakens competition.

    Hope Drew Lock decides to return To Mizzou.
    Needs to learn to read defenses more effectively, work on short passing game and work on his body…. one NFL hit and he’s “toast”.

    Always enjoy the read!

  3. jJoel Delpha says:

    Thanks so much for your erudite and insightful analysis of the sports scene in 2017. Lookin’ forward to 2018.

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