Friday, October 30, 2009


Two games in, and I have been able to remain neutral except for the mere fact that the other night Chase Utley and Cliff Lee played superb games. They should just combine their names for MVP this year, as both have provided more for the Phillies then anyone could have asked for.

With the series tied at 1-1, I think that it may be similar to the Celtics vs Bulls playoff series earlier this year--meaning it will all come right down to the wire at the end of the series.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Longest Baseball Season Ever...or at least it feels like it

About two weeks ago, I was jumping up and down, I was raising my cup to cheers, and I was ecstatic beyond belief. Why? Because my four favorite teams were the last four contenders in the 2009 baseball season.

A little bit ago, I wrote up a post about all the teams that I enjoy watching.

Among those teams I said the Phillies, the Yankees, the Angels, and the Dodgers, each for their own reasons.

With the 2009 season coming to an end, the last two teams left are the Phillies and the Yankees.

And to be honest, I don't know who to cheer for?

Do I cheer for my hometown team? Or do I cheer for the team that I have enjoyed watching since the time Wade Boggs graced their roster?

I wouldn't have minded it being a Phillies, Angels World Series because each of their teams lost a respected part of their team at the beginning of the season, and I think it would have been good karma.

I also wouldn't have minded the Dodgers playing the Yankees in the World Series because it would have been nice to see Torre take on his old team.

And the Dodgers vs the Angels? Well I don't think anyone else besides me on the East Coast would care, but it would have been a lot of fun to be in LA for it!

But with this...who do I cheer for? Or do I refrain from watching baseball for the week and just let it all happen without my knowledge? I mean--I have watched how many days of baseball this year--starting with the WBC back in MARCH and now the World Series going into NOVEMBER.

This truly has been a marathon of a baseball season. I can't say I don't love is everything to me, but the guys have got to be tired.

Let's hope that the Phillies and the Yankees can put in one last good week of baseball to make what feels like the never-ending season, completely worth the wait for the series. And let's hope the weather stays nice too...or else we might see these games make it to Thanksgiving....Turkey Series anyone?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Windy City's torch gets blown out first round

For many people, 2016 is a distant thought.

Yesterday, the city of Chicago wasn't thinking about anything other than 2016.

Plastered on the walls of subway stations, coffee shops, and museums were posters sporting the idea the 2016 Olympic Games being brought to Chicago.

Those signs are now being ripped down as the city of Rio was victorious while the city of Chicago lost in the first round of voting yesterday. It only makes sense that the clouds cried so many tears yesterday in downtown Chicago, because sadness could be felt all around.

When Medill Newsroom students were asked what angle they were going at the story from, on responded, "disappointment."

What a perfect word to describe the feeling that overwhelmed so many people yesterday. For Chicago people, it meant work on their subways and trains wouldn't be done. For athletes, it meant no automatic bid in 2016, and for the rest of the country it meant losing the opportunity to see their athletes perform at the top level in a relatively close and affordable venue.


As the announcement was made, I reached for my phone and texted two national team field hockey members. Both of their responses were "So sad," and one included an unhappy emoticon.

The United States will have to hope that the voting process of the 2020 Olympic games brings a better outcome. But for now, the Chicago residents will have to go back to their daily life, and the athletes will have to keep their eyes on the upcoming 2012 Olympics before worrying about how they will qualify for the following one.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Field Hockey Filled Week

Coming back from a 3-0 deficit in field hockey is almost unheard of, especially when the three goals are scored in the first 20 minutes by the same player. This not only knocks the confidence out of players, but lights a fire under the behinds of the ones in the lead. Once its 3-0, it feels like the pounding will never stop--and normally for a team like Duke, the pounding doesn't stop.

However, yesterday it did.

In a stunning upset, Drexel came back from 3-0 deficit, to rally 3 second half goals, and an overtime goal to go on to win the game 4-3.

Just last Sunday, I watched Drexel as they took on LaSalle. Drexel fell early, 1-0, but scored 4 second half goals to take the game 4-1. 

Is Drexel just a second half team, or do they think it's fun to let the other team think they have a chance?

Either way I am sure the team is celebrating their fantastic win. When they become the first half team too, I think the scores that will light up on the board will be beyond belief. Have no doubts, Drexel is in it this year and has a good chance of competing even with teams of the caliber of University of Maryland, University of North Carolina, and Wake Forest.

In other field hockey news,  nothing else has been quite as stunning or shocking as the Drexel win over Duke to close the first full week of competition in NCAA Division 1 field hockey.

Fans from Princeton and Ohio State that gathered at Syracuse witnessed a close match on Saturday, as Princeton tied  Ohio State in the last minute of the game and went on to win in overtime. And on Friday, fans at Syracuse saw as Syracuse won a hard fought match against Ohio State. Today, Syracuse takes on Princeton in what is sure to be a thriller.

Other games were simply blowouts. Old Dominion took out Villanova 7-1 last Sunday, and just days prior knocked the wind out of Penn State. However, the team couldn't keep it together vs Maryland on Friday when they suffered a 6-3 loss.

Maryland has been nothing short of it's usual caliber as the team has won it's first four games with two shutouts vs Ohio and Boston University, and one huge win over Northwestern (7-2).

North Carolina has been showing their true tar heel colors leaving nothing behind as they have scored a total of 11 goals in just three games, with wins against Michigan (2-1), Iowa (5-0), and Wake Forest (4-1).

The loss for Wake Forest was disappointing after coming off two huge wins last weekend: Iowa (3-2) and Michigan (2-1).

Some NEC teams saw a different mix of games this week.

Quinnipiac saw a tough Friday as they opened up their season with an away game at Boston College, where they lost 5-0.

However, Rider showed people that they are not to be counted out this year as they have won their first three games including a win against Temple (4-1).

Monmouth also had a stellar week with three 2-1 wins over LaSalle, Colgate, and Penn.

Over in the A10's

Things have been mixed for Temple as they defeated St. Francis but went on to lose to previously mentioned Rider.

The UMass field hockey team has been trucking with early wins agains Providence College and 9th ranked Iowa. However, the team interrupted those two wins with an overtime loss to BU.

Westchester doesn't want to be counted out either as they have won their first three games, including an 8-0 win over St. Francis to open up their season followed by 5-4 win over Rutgers in double overtime, and a 5-0 win over Lehigh.

So as the first week comes to an end, the playing field has been mixed: Some of the same teams are shining (UMD and UNC), and some dark horses are making their pass (Drexel and Rider). It is hard to predict what will happen as the season will be in full swing very soon.

Lots of teams are pushing this year.

I don't think anyone can be counted out just yet.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The View from the Press Box

I live in a town that loves baseball. The love for baseball came to the Lehigh Valley along with the addition of Coca-Cola Park last year, which now houses the AAA Affiliate of the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies--The IronPigs. 

Maybe it is the endless oinking signs that flash on screen, or the creative mascots named respectively after the element "Iron," or maybe it is the pig masks that are sold around the stadium, or the attachment to the Phillies--whatever it is, the fans love it. Two nights ago I spent my first night at the ballpark, and it was one to remember.

My first experience viewing a game at Coca-Cola Park was not in the stands. My first experience viewing a game at Coca-Cola Park was from the Press Box, and it was with the opposing team's announcers Steve Hyder and Dan Hoard of the Pawtucket Red Sox broadcast team..

I originally contacted Steve in order to do an information interview for an internship seminar class. After getting into a car accident, I was unable to meet with Steve as I had to travel from Rhode Island to Pennsylvania to get my car fixed. Due to the circumstances, Steve agreed to meet with me another time, but when no other times seemed to work, we found the perfect alternate. Steve was going to be broadcasting the Pawtucket Red Sox game when they came to Coca-Cola Park to take on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Instead of an informative interview, I was going to experience the press box and everything that goes into the radio broadcast for a minor league game.

Steve left a press pass for me at the will call ticket box. The pass gave me unlimited access to the Press Box and the field itself. If I have never mentioned before how much I love baseball fields...GOSH do I love baseball fields---the soft grass, the clay dirt...I just love it. So when Steve invited me to join him on the field for the Sox batting practice, I jumped at the opportunity. This is when Steve and his partner get the pre-game interviews with players, catch up with the manager, and try to get nice little bits. 

While Dan did the pre-game interviews, Steve introduced me to several players and the manager, explaining to them who I was and what I was interested in doing. Everyone was great. I even got to meet the league MVP last year: Jeff Bailey. I watched as he tossed a ball to a fan, and realized how much I just love being around baseball players.

As batting practice continued, Steve and I talked about the profession a bit more and what it is like to do broadcasting in the minor leagues. The minor leagues is different from the majors because these guys are all competing with each-other, but each of the guys still respects one another. Steve explained to me that going for a commentating job in the big leagues is much harder because they get past players to do all that stuff now. He added that working for a minor league team is better to break into and you still get the insides of everything. He said he never has any problems interviewing the guys.

As batting practice wrapped up, we headed back up to the press box, and soon after the game was to start. Prior to the game starting, I watched as Steve highlighted statistics that he wanted to be sure to mention in his broadcast, and then I watched as Dan and him rotated back and forth in doing play-by-play and color during the game. I could really see how their personalities shines in the broadcast--and it really got me more interested in going into the profession that i have been so interested in all along. While Dan and Steve rattled off statistics of past players and present players I just kept thinking how much baseball has to mean to someone to do this job...

In fact, Steve even said it to me: "You gotta really love baseball to do this job."

And man, do I love baseball.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Anything Ken can do....Part 2

A little under a week ago, I wrote an update about the woman runner who many have suggested to really be a man.

Well here is a story of a real young lady who outdid the boys this week.

Katie Reyes, a little league baseball player, was the top player for her team in the Little League World Series this week as she led her team to victory.

Check out the YAHOO Sports article here:,185105

Friday, August 21, 2009

Anything Ken Can Do, Barbie Can Do Better

Unless Barbie is suspected of being a Ken.

Recently, the sports news waves have been on a rip tide with articles about track runner Caster Semenya.

Semenya is a runner from South Africa who has ran HER entire life and is now under scrutiny that she may possibly be a man--not a woman.

I have been reading various articles trying to figure out how to go at this, but I have found it truly difficult.

The top article that I have come across was published in The New York Times.

The article goes on to describe how a man and a woman are not simply determined by XY or XX chromosomes. Some men can even have XX chromosomes, but the average person does not know this. Caster may not know she had male characteristics. Caster may have just thought she was unordinarily fast for a woman--and if no one ever told her different, then she had no reason to think different. Now she under a whole lot of scrutiny, when it's the coaches who have seen her through the years who should be put under the questioning. SOMEONE before this year must have thought "hey she is really fast, maybe she isn't completely a she."

So here's my question: Shouldn't the tests have been conducted before she was allowed to run in the event? It would save the runner a whole lot of embarrassment--and keep the media and others in their place.

Or maybe people just don't want to believe that a woman could physically be so good.

Newsflash--maybe she could be.