October 2012

Basketball

The Hinrich Maneuvre

As fans of any major sport, we all have favorite players growing up. There are those we naturally root for and others we choose to root for – it could be for any reason – their talent, their grittiness, their attitude. A player might just happen to be one of the best players on your favorite teams or perhaps they played for the college you once attended. Sometimes they’re the best in the league and many times they’re not. For Daniel Hanna, that’s Kirk Hinrich.

Reviews

Levels of the Game (1969)

In 1968, Arthur Ashe faced Clark Graebner in one of the most memorable US Open matches of all-time. The story behind the two players and their lives leading up to the historic semifinal are told by John McPhee in his book “Levels of the Game” that came out the following year. McPhee’s book gives a deep and thorough analysis of the event without making himself part of the narrative, and the book is even better for it.

Baseball

California’s underrated blockbuster

Marco Scutaro has been vastly undervalued throughout his career, and while the 36-year-old Venezuelan has gone through some slumps, he’s also been at the forefront of many critical moments for several of the franchises he’s played for. This was never more evident than his MVP performance in the 2012 NLCS, where he ensured that he’ll be a widely sought after player when he hits free agency this winter.

Hockey

The KHL threat is overrated

You may be concerned about the NHL players going over and playing in the KHL. Don’t be. There’s nothing to the rumors and threats that the players will stay there indefinitely, at least not according to Ryan Fulford. The KHL is still in its infancy, and even though the owners in that league have deep pockets, that ultimately won’t be enough to lure away the talent from the greatest league on the planet.

Football

New England clam chowder

Where’s the line between fandom and stupidity? Whether they’re cheering an injury to their own starting quarterback or ranting and raving about an ownership’s supposed lack of commitment, the entitlement of the “paying customer” is reaching new lows of asininity. And the more of these fans you get together, the worse things become.

Hockey

Just cancel the NHL season already!

With the outright rejection of three new proposals from the NHLPA to the NHL, the thought is beginning to settle in that we may not see NHL hockey anytime soon. With dramatic pronouncements from both Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr on Thursday afternoon, discussions between the two sides broke off, and with such a drastic distance between their two perspectives, perhaps fans should settle in for the long haul.

Baseball

Evaluating the postseason dropouts

With six teams gone from the 2012 MLB postseason, we can speculate as to their chances to make it back and play meaningful October baseball in the next few years. With a crumbling NL East and re-shaped AL West next year, some teams look to have an easy ticket while others may have to battle. Then there’s Baltimore… Newton’s Third Law will surely catch up to them, won’t it?

Hockey

Chris Krieder, playing hockey

Chris Kreider made his mark on the NHL last June and July by becoming the player to score the most goals in a postseason without appearing in the regular season – and that was because he was busy winning an NCAA Championship. Kreider is back in the AHL honing his skills during the NHL lockout, and will certainly be a top threat for the New York Rangers when play resumes in the only league that matters.