Friday, February 12, 2016

Jupiterhill

Random Rants On Sports Topics

Today I thought I would talk about a few random sports topics.  Some may be short, some may be long, but just wanted to give my thoughts on some stuff.

Jenrry Mejia is out of baseball.  While most of the people call him stupid for it, I do feel a bit sorry for him.  Sure he wasn't smart failing 3 drug tests (I thought I heard in one year), but maybe he needs stronger people around him to make sure he doesn't make these mistakes.  I've not against steroids like most people, but I still believe this is the right call.  I do question two things about the reports I read.  If he was suspended for 162 games, beginning in July of last year, why did he just sign a contract with the Mets?  Logically I think if I was a team, he would be untouchable until a month or two before he could come back, but also if I was a player who was on thin ice I would make sure I wasn't on anything before signing a contract.  That brings me to question two:  if he was already suspended, why was he tested in the first place?  I mean I guess he would need to submit to testings, but it seems odd if he was out of contract and also suspended, they wouldn't need to test him.  Ultimately he should have been smarter about his decisions, but at the same time, maybe this is an addiction and someone needs to help him.

I've watched bits and pieces of a handful of NBA games this year, which is more than I have in a long time.  I miss the days of only seeing the Hawks and Bulls on.  I think because I enjoy regional broadcasts over national ones.  National ones only focus on certain guys and if a game gets out of hand, they praise the big names and stop calling action on the floor.  I watched the Trailblazers and Rockets game the other night and I only remember them talking about Dwight Howard all game for the Rockets.  At a point Houston trailed by almost 20 and the announcers were talking about Howard.  They started to come back and make it a game, and suddenly another player maybe was mentioned.  If it were a regional game, I think I'd hear more about the other players.  The game itself was better than ones I usually see I think mainly because besides Howard and one or two others, there wasn't huge names playing.  The focus was on the game itself and not the stars.  NBA has become too flashy for me in recent years and I miss more of the basics and fundamentals, but this game was nice.  I almost saw a brawl break out, and deep down I was hoping for it.  I might have to see if their next matchup is televised.  Another recent game I watched involved the Lakers, and Kobe wasn't playing a lot and Lakers were getting killed, but it was nice seeing some younger guys I never heard of getting some time.  I watched mainly because of Kobe and Jordan Clarkson, but a few other players did really good.  Since Missouri has no team, I tend to root for different teams each year, mainly underdogs.  Its a bit fun because I get to enjoy more of the game itself instead of specific teams.  Maybe I'll tune in more as the playoffs inch closer.  I doubt I watch any of the all-star weekend events.  I didn't watch the NHL one, or the Pro Bowl, so why start now.

Speaking of football, I did something I can't remember doing ever.  I voluntarily skipped the Super Bowl.  I saw some highlights, and even listened to about 5 minutes on the radio, but since I really don't care for either team, I had no desire to watch it.  Deep down it doesn't sound like I missed much.  I think the last Super Bowl I missed was in 2002 or 2003 when I was coming back from a church event.  Even then I remember that we heard bits and pieces on the radio (but I wasn't too concerned since it was freezing and the heater was out in the car I was in).

NASCAR is returning soon and I'm conflicted on it. They made changes to the field and I'm on the fence on it.  They cut the starting grid from 43 to 40, but more importantly put a new charter program in place, guaranteeing 36 cars get automatic entries each week.  That leaves only 4 drivers who have to actually race their way in each week.  I understand it will make the entries more stable and help with costs, but it sucks because I liked the idea of racing your way in.  My driver again this year is Michael Annett, and part of the thrill last year was not only seeing if he could make a top 20 finish, but seeing if he could qualify.  Now, he won't have to even try to qualify good because he's guarenteed a spot each week (though HScott Motorsports did have to buy an extra charter for him this week).  It takes the fun out of qualifying, but also of the races themselves.  Maybe I am wrong and it will help the sport, but it seems like a wrong decision to me.

On the topics of wrong decisions and NASCAR... Something that has started to drive me away from the sport is accessing the races.  To me NASCAR was built on network television.  It has been that way for a long time.  I understand that in the 90's TNN and ESPN would show the races sometimes, but for the most part, it gained fans from being on free TV.  The last few years that has changed, and last year it got even worse.  It's one thing being on TNN and ESPN, cable networks on virtually every carrier (well, TNN used to be before they became Spike), but now NASCAR is regulated to Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network.  I understand Fox and NBC is using it as leverage to get those stations on more basic packages, but its neglecting a lot of fans doing so.  The biggest issue I have with it though is Fox and NBC doesn't show anything on Sundays anyways during most of NASCAR season.  Sure college football in the Fall and Olympics every four years, but otherwise, they show movies, infomercials, and a crapload of figure skating, track and field or some other lower notch sport that can't possibly draw higher ratings than NASCAR.  Face it, most Sundays in the spring and summer network TV is worthless.  ABC uses Sundays to show various ESPN shows, CBS shows golf usually, Fox shows... a random assortment of junk, and NBC shows figure skating, x-games crap, or sometime off road racing.  PUT NASCAR BACK ON NETWORK TELEVISION!  NBCSN and Fox Sports 1 can show the replay and pre and post game if they are desperate for programming.  If a race is pushed back I'm fine with it moving to cable (unless its Daytona, or one of the big ones).

I've noticed USA Network is showing European Soccer on Saturday mornings recently.  I'm okay with that though I'm not big on European Soccer.  However, it is the USA NETWORK, why don't they show USA Soccer?  MLS would be a nice fit on weekends I would think.  As much of a fan of NCIS and Law & Order I am, I am tired of seeing it on non-stop.  I think a 6 hour block of live sports on the weekends would be nice for a change.  I mean they did just bring WWE Smackdown in the fold, so maybe they could get a bit more programming for the weekends.  I'm not saying stop showing those shows, but maybe a less is more approach would help them out a bit.  Also speaking of Smackdown, I don't get why if USA love wrestling so much why they don't repeat the shows in the morning hours.  I know it wouldn't draw huge ratings but again, less hours of L&O and NCIS is good.  I also don't get why WWE would try to work with USA to cross promote some of the stuff from the WWE Network to draw in viewers.  I mean if they produce new content for the network, they could put it on USA Network 5 or 6 months later and just repackage it telling fans to get the rest on the Network.  Maybe its not smart business, but I think both parties would benefit from it.  I mean USA Network shows stuff like Chrisley Knows Best, so how crazy would it be for them to partially finance a new season of Legends House? 

Well, I guess that's enough ranting for one day.  Sorry for lack of pictures, but I didn't have much to relate to these topics.  I do have some posts planned for this next week, so stay tuned.  I've been slowly adding cards to my TCDB collection and almost done with all my baseball section that I'm keeping.  Next task might be the Mizzou stuff, then I can cross something off my goals list.  Thanks for reading and have a great night.

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P-town Tom
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2/12/16, 9:56 PM delete

You have to figure Mejia was trying to improve his stock so he could cash in at arbitration next winter. If he had stayed clean he was due to earn 2.5 million this year with the Mets, but now he won't see any of it and only Manfred knows if he'll ever be reinstated.
Not smart and I don't feel for him a bit.

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Mike Matson
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2/12/16, 10:47 PM delete

It's funny you mention the WWE Network and putting teaser programming on USA.. Up here we get the odd teaser programming on SportsNet 360, which shows WWE in Canada.

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