Archive for April 3, 2011

Sports Bucket List: Part 1

Posted in Bucket List on April 3, 2011 by sammywestside

There is no order to my list, its not a ranking…to organize my thoughts, I’m going to attempt to go state my state to try and not forget things…undoubtedly I will, and I’ll make up for it later…

Auburn, Alabama and Jordan Hare Stadium

Jordan-Hare Stadium

First thing on my list, I’ve already checked off. I visited Auburn last fall and I was very glad I did. The people were very nice for the most part and its your classic college town. The town itself is nice, fairly small and right next to campus. Its Alabama, so its hot often, but from visiting other college towns, its no problem.

The Auburn campus is nice, but not nearly as wooded as I expected. There is a mix of older nice buildings, and the 70’s architecture that I hate.

Jordan Hare Stadium is big, 87,000 people big. The enclosed endzones and location make the surroundings of the stadium rather irrelevent. Inside the lower bowl is huge and the students pack their section. I really like their student ticket policy, that is mostly first come first serve, forcing the students to get inside the stadium early. This helps create a great pregame atmosphere. While traditions are great, I liked the willingness to do cheers and sing songs as a group. It was the most coordinated student section I’ve seen in my experiences so far.

One thing  I don’t like about the stadium is how far away the stands are from the field. While I did not sit down at field level I know some people who did and they couldn’t see the game. That means watching the jumbotron, which is not what you pay for. If the sidelines were closer it’d help Auburn’s home field advantage by making it louder out on the field. Overall the stadium is very loud, and one of the loudest I’ve been too.

Overall its a great college atmosphere and most definitely worth visiting.

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Bryant-Denny Stadium

Bryant-Denny Stadium

The other side of Alabama I have not been too yet, so I have less to say. Alabama is the most successful college football program and the energy and passion of their fans is unbelievable. I want to experience how they do it, where they win. College towns are great I’ve heard Tuscaloosa is a fun place. Bryant-Denny Stadium is huge now, over 100,000, but I’ve heard its not quite as loud as some other venues. Still its supposed to be a great atmosphere and being their for a huge game like Auburn-Alabama is something I must do someday.

Attend the Rose Bowl Game (National Championship) and Parade in Pasadena, California


Rose Bowl

I thought long and hard about not including this, but attending the Rose Bowl as opposed to a UCLA game made it more appropriate. The Rose Bowl is the most famous bowl game in the country and attending the game, and perhaps the National Championship there seems like something I must do.

I’m not a huge fan of Southern California, but this is at the top of my list of places to go there. The Rose Bowl is clearly a much better facility for football then the Colosseum in LA, and the Parade of Roses is something everyone raves about. Perhaps while I’m in Pasadena I will visit Dodger Stadium too, but that facility doesn’t have the history of architecture to lure it to my list.

AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA

AT&T Park

Another bucket list accomplishment, I was at AT&T Park back when it first opened and before it was called many different things. This ballpark is really cool, and one of the best in baseball. The uniqueness of it includes the bay right outside the stadium, as well as many of the attractions inside. San Francisco is a very cool city to begin with, and worth visiting atleast once in your life. Make a trip to Alcatraz and many of the other sites, but this ballpark is a baseball fan must. While afraid of earthquakes, its worth gambling a plane trip out there for a game sometime, perhaps against your team visiting in town.

Folsom Field, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

Folsom Field

I’ve not been to Boulder for a game, but this is one of the most recommended trips I’ve heard about. Folsom Field lies in the foothills of the Rockies, and is a very picturesque and unique facility. Add in Ralphies Run, where they have a live Buffalo run out before the game, and we’re talking something pretty cool.

It’d be nice to sit in on a big game, and a black out in Boulder once the Buffs can turn around the football team. The whole Denver area is cool, and Colorado in general, so why not make a trip, and maybe hit some of the nearby slopes if its a late season game.

Presenting the Sports Bucket List…

Posted in Bucket List on April 3, 2011 by sammywestside

Stairway to Heaven=classic song, and it somehow seems to relate to this whole doing stuff before I die thing...of course if there's a heaven?

This is an idea I’ve been going over for years.

Its simple.

I love sports and there are many places I want to go before I die.

I’d love to spend a year just traveling around to stadiums and towns across the country, but money and time don’t allow that, so I try to squeeze in whatever chance I can get.

The format and explanation of this is pretty simple, I’m going to go through every place or event I’d like to visit before I die, as well as those I’ve already visited and I recommend every sports fan should enjoy.

This list is going to be loooooooooooooooooooooong, so I’m going to group the list into groups of five. Each post I will write a short snidbit about 5 places I’ve been or want to go. I’m not sure how long the list will be or how long it will take me, but in the end I’m sure it’ll be pretty freaking awesome.

So sit back and enjoy my personal recommendations and desires, of places to go across the country (and maybe even world).

Baseball Movies Countdown #11- Little Big League (1994)

Posted in Movies Countdown on April 3, 2011 by sammywestside

This was one of my favorite movies growing up because it laid out a situation that a kid could only dream of. Sure playing in the Major Leagues at 12 is cool, but how about running your own team?

Little Big League is a classic baseball movie that includes many things you don’t normally see.

The biggest example of this is the way the movie ends, they lose. Unheard of in sports movies!

But that doesn’t mean its bad, in fact I love it.

In fact, this movie has always left a soft spot in my heart for the Minnesota Twins. This might tie in to the fact I like Minnesota in general, outside of their airport. Why do I like Minnesota? Because its basically Canada, and I love Canada. The Twins have a bunch of Canadian players too, so it all makes sense.

If you haven’t seen Little Big League, then you’ve missed out. Go out and rent this classic. It’s not getting any awards, but it will bring a smile to your face.

Back in the Playoffs!

Posted in Knicks, Top 5 Knicks Postseason Fights on April 3, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

The Knicks are back baby!! In honor of the Knicks in the postseason, we will have a countdown of the top 5 Knicks playoff brawls…starting NOW!

#5: Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals vs. Chicago Bulls

Tigers Down Yanks: Pitching Problems Come to the Surface

Posted in Yankees on April 3, 2011 by sammywestside

Sunday afternoon the Yankees dropped the final game of the opening series to the Tigers 10-7. It was a rough day for the Yankees pitching staff, as three different pitchers were unimpressive in their outings.

It all started with Phil Hughes who couldn’t seem to locate his pitches. Hughes lasted only four innings, in which he amassed over 90 pitches, and gave up 5 runs. Hughes’ debut is not what the Yanks need from the guy who we’re relying on to be our second best starter to CC. I have faith in Phil, but we need Phil to pitch like he did for the first 2/3 of the year last year, not the one who finished poorly.

Bartolo Colon made his Yankee debut, and it was rough. While Colon did settle down a bit after a giving up four runs, he still can’t be trusted. Colon still has stuff to strike people out, but for now he seems like a mop up guy at best, as he was today. If Colon doesn’t put together a few good outings then his days in a Yankee uniform will be short.

The Yanks also went to Joba in the ninth, and it wasn’t what we wanted to see either. Joba gave up three hits and a run, after a solid first outing back on Thursday. The Yankees can be successful without Joba being who he was two years ago, but it’d be nice if he could be half the pitcher he was. The Velocity is supposedly improved for him, but he’s not buying us faith that he’s got the 7th or even the 6th locked down. It’s early, but lets see him rebound from this outing, and get it done when it counts more.

Colon Had a Forgettable Yankee Debut

Overall the Yankees offense has been great so far, and that’s a good sign. The Yankees might need to break the MLB record for runs this year to win the AL East and so far they are getting it done. Home runs have been flying off the bats of the bronx bombers. Nine home runs, from six different players is great.

Mark Teixeira has been the story early, as he’s hit a homer in three straight games to start the year. Its nice to see Tex get confidence early as he’s struggled in April over his career. If he can play like he does from May on, all year this year, then the Yanks might have an MVP candidate in Teixeira in 2011.

Russell Martin has been the biggest surprise. He’s off to a 5-11 start, and has added in a homer and 3 RBI’s. If Martin can hit behind the plate, then it will be easy going for the Yanks lineup all year. Any second guessing putting Jorge at DH might soon disappear.

Speaking of Jorge, after going 0 for in the first two games, he had a great day today, hitting two homers. Jorge is getting old, and doesn’t love DHing but if the Yanks can get the usual from Posada then it’ll be great. I’d like to see the Yanks give him a shot behind the plate a few times this year, to keep the bat in the lineup when Martin is resting. I’m not excited about the backups behind the plate swinging the bat, so we should give guys like Eric Chavez and Andrew Jones AB’s as a DH too.

Overall the first series for the Yanks was successful because they went 2-1, but I would have preferred to see a bit more out of the pitching staff. The Yanks can and will hit all year, but we can’t expect them to score this many runs every game. They’ll have off days, especially against better pitching then the Tigers have to offer, so we’ll need every good outing from a starter we can get.

Happy Birthday to the Mother of 5 Borough Sports!

Posted in Shout Out of the Week on April 3, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Going For the Sweep

Posted in Yankees on April 3, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

A-Rod Has Mastered the All-Pro Bat Flip

Can’t complain about yesterday’s performance by the Yanks. It was very comfortable watching Burnett pitch with a six run lead. When Teixeira is hot, this lineup is deadly because pitchers are forced to throw to A-Rod. Yesterday was a prime example of this. In the bottom of the 6th, A-Rod hit an outside fastball over the centerfield fence for his first home run of the season. (Anyone check out his bat flip pimp job? Gotta love him. I know my good friend and die-hard Reds fan Joel Ernst loved watching that modest move by Alex). One of the biggest surprises for the Yankees so far has been Russell Martin. We knew Martin was a solid defensive catcher, but who knew he would start off so well at the plate? His three-run homer in the bottom of the 5th officially put the game out of reach for the Tigers.

Now here are a couple of concerns: the middle relief looked awful. Luis Ayala looked unprepared in his Yankees debut. If he wants to stay on this team, he better figure it out soon. It also wasn’t fun witnessing Boone Logan’s inability to close out the game. With a five run lead, you don’t want the only lefty in the pen make the game interesting. It’s great having Mariano come in and finish the game easily, but the Yanks’ shouldn’t have to rely on Mo every game. So let’s clean up the middle relief so the Yankees can continue this hot start. The Yanks go for the sweep today at 1pm.