September 2012

Baseball

Calling the shots

There’s nothing more grand in baseball than a home run, which is why the art of the “home run call” for baseball broadcasters is a point of creativity, spontananeity and, sometimes, pride. How the broadcaster describes the big fly ball remains ingrained in our memories, and each subsequent homer adds to the lore, which forces each broadcaster to be unique in the way he or she immortalizes the call.

Hockey

The Savior: Connor McDavid leads Erie’s return to relevance

If you haven’t yet heard of Connor McDavid, where have you been? As the third-ever OHLer awarded “exceptional player” status, McDavid has some big shoes to fill, but the new star of the Erie Otters old has been working his whole life to get to where he is. While he has a long way to go before landing in the Hockey Hall of Fame, he’s as sure a thing right now as any 15-year-old has ever been.

Reviews

This Love Is Not for Cowards (2012)

Life in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico is dangerous. So dangerous, in fact, that seeing dead bodies in the street is a daily occurrence. Still, that did not stop Robert Andrew Powell from chronicling his life in the midst of the terror, where soccer has become a source of strength and salvation for many of the citizens. His 2012 book on the subject captures the spirit of the embattled city.

Baseball

MVP – Media Valued Players

The battle for the American League Most Valuable Player is squarely between Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout. Cabrera is on the verge of possibly winning the first hitters’ Triple Crown since 1967, while Mike Trout is dominating the new metrics charts like few ever have – and doing so as a rookie. This year’s award will essentially come down to a battle of the old guard versus the new.

Other Sports

The fall and rise of UFC

The history of the UFC has been a turbulent one. The sport’s fledging story began in 1993, and the difference between product offered then and that seen now is light night and day. Still, like any business, growing pains were necessary for the company to become the multi-million dollar empire it is, and much of that success is owed to one man: Dana White.

Hockey

A welcome return to the AHL

With yet another NHL lockout upon them, many players are looking for alternative places to play. The young ones will be welcomed back to the American Hockey League where most will get some extra much-needed experience, as they did in 2004-05. With the added infusion of talent in the AHL, fans will still be able to get their hockey fix and watch an elite-level product at the same time.

Baseball

Allons-y Nationals!

After years of toiling in Montreal, the Expos packed up and moved south to Washington to become the Nationals. While the heritage remains intact, this new bunch is nothing like the old, from the players to the management to the stadium. Even the dedication of the fans is refreshing, and it has all driven the team to what will likely be its second postseason berth in franchise history.

Basketball

Shved and Kirilenko: From the fence to Minnesota

The Minnesota Timberwolves have had some trouble in recent seasons, but it appears that a change is on the horizon. With the likes of Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved all on the team, the T’Wolves have a dangerous combination of imports that can play numerous styles. But it may be the young Shved who becomes the biggest contributor of all.