By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer
1. Welcome one and all into the first Friday edition of The Numbers Game, sponsored by Randy Jackson’s plaid jacket from Wednesday night’s show. It is a real honor to have it on board with us this week. After a full night of broadcasting The Sports Bruu Podcast live from the American Idol Watch Party at MPAC for Hollie Cavanagh and then having to spend hours editing it down for quality substance, it was safe to say that I was a bit taxed and was unable to provide quality sports and entertainment content that you normally expect from me. So I took the night off, let the backups run a couple plays, and now I am back and better than ever, ready to tackle some serious sports issues this week. Just how bad are the Mavs? Is Ron Washington close to being fired yet? Will my favorite sitcom of all time not come back for its ninth season? All of these hard-hitting topics and much more await you below.
2. Now before I begin talking sports, I want to congratulate Hollie Cavanagh on her outstanding journey through American Idol and making it all the way into the top 4. While we all wanted to see her make it into the top 3 and have a huge celebration back here in the Mac, it is still a huge accomplishment and is only the beginning for an artist who will be around the radio waves for a very, very long time. Lastly, my colleagues and friends at Town Square Buzz deserve a ton of credit and praise for everything they have done the past 11 weeks in taking charge of the Hollie support here in McKinney. So to everyone who I work with on a daily basis or only see once a week at staff meeting, great job on the last three months. It was a really fun ride.
3. Now to sports. How about those Mavericks? So much for that bold prediction that the series could go to six or seven games. After the first two games of the series versus Oklahoma City, I really believed that the Mavs would come back home feeling like they could hang with this young Thunder bunch and at least come out swinging from the start. Boy did that completely not happen. For a team that took our breath away last June with the magical run to the championship, it was almost unfathomable to basically concede a chance to repeat in early December. After they let Tyson Chandler walk and they didn’t resign J.J. Barea, Caron Butler, and the same nucleus from last year’s title team, you just had a feeling that they were playing for free agency next year to try and sign Deron Williams and Dwight Howard. Well, Howard is staying and Williams will probably stay in Brooklyn, so I hope Cubes has a plan in place that doesn’t involve signing reality TV superstars who are married to a Kardashian. If your favorite team ever wins a title and you really aspire to try and repeat as champs, don’t look at the 2011-12 Dallas Mavericks for the blueprint.
4. Is it time to think about moving Josh Hamilton at the deadline? After the doubleheader on Thursday Hamilton’s batting average dropped to .395 on the season. He is now only on pace to finish with 76 home runs and 192 RBIs. Forget talking about an extension, we need to be demanding a trade to get rid of the guy. He is obviously showing some serious decline in 2012. You need further proof? How about a slugging percentage of .825, which is first in the American League. His OPS (On-Base + Slugging Percentage) is 1.274, first in the AL. Oh, and he is first in the AL in home runs and RBIs too. Just a couple draft picks and some cash and you can have the Gold Glove caliber centerfielder. It is obvious the Rangers don’t need him.
5. How many people jumped off sides on that one? Or did you kind of jump the line of scrimmage at first, but made it back over before the center snapped the ball? It’s ok if you did. I had a pretty good snap count going there.
6. Movie that absolutely changed the way I look at superhero movies: The Avengers. Incredible special effects, clever and humorous dialogue, and a really well put together cast equals a very successful movie that can make $200 million in just three days. My one draw back: two hours and twenty minutes is a long time for anything in life, especially a movie in a movie theater. The only movie that I would voluntarily see in a theater knowing it was almost three hours long would be Saving Private Ryan. If anyone disputes and talks down upon SPR, please leave a comment below and we will have an off-mic conversation about it. But go see The Avengers if you haven’t seen it. Just don’t dress up as anything please or paint your body green like the Hulk. Society collectively thanks you. 4 out of 4 bases.
7. By the way, if you were looking for a great date night movie to take your boyfriend or girlfriend to this weekend, avoid Five-Year Engagement at all costs. Absolutely terrible for about 90% of the movie, with the exception of the first and last ten minutes of the film. I can usually take some of the darker humor in movies, but some of the jokes and the events in the storyline were just so incredibly mean and dark spirited that several couples walked out half way through. 0 out of 4 bases.
8. So heading into the three-game home series with the L.A. Angels this weekend, is there a more anticipated pitching matchup then Yu Darvish versus C.J. Wilson tonight in the history of Rangers regular season baseball? The man who lost the All-Star Game, an ALDS game, an ALCS game, and a World Series game versus the $100 million dollar arm who is 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA in his first 6 starts in the MLB. I just wish I could go to the game tonight so I could join in the chorus of boos that will rain upon C.J. as he takes the mound for the first time. You don’t mess with Ranger players and get away with it in the eyes of Texas fans, especially if you mess with Mike Napoli. So he will definitely pay for giving out Nap’s phone number when he is greeted with the warmest of welcomes tonight. Let’s just hope he doesn’t strike out 13 and shutout the Rangers. That would be called karma everybody.
9. So in the next week or two, according to ESPN sources, almost every NFL draft pick will be officially signed under contract and won’t have to worry about negotiations heading into training camp. Growing up in an era with rookies holding out through the first couple days of camp, sometimes even weeks, it is incredibly nice to see players just get it over with and not put any more stress of the team or their fan base. That new CBA has some flaws in it for sure, but the way they handled the draft money situation deserves a very big round of applause.
10. Song of the Week: Where Did You Sleep Last Night? – WZRD. Also known as “In The Pines” and “Black Girl”, this song is a traditional American folk song which dates back all the way to the 1870s. While it is most often associated with Lead Belly, the famous American folk musician of the 1940s, Bill Monroe, Nirvana, and most recently WZRD, are just some of the hundreds of acts who have recorded a version of the timeless classic. WZRD is consisted of Kid Cudi and Dot da Genius, two men who are traditionally known for contributions in the hip-hop community. But on the self-titled record released earlier this year, Cudi experimented with a full-length rock album that included this little number “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” While the lyrics are relatively simple, the soul and passion behind the words and the feelings you get as you listen to the song really proves why it has been covered so many times and over so many generations.
11. Major League Baseball could ban the famous fake-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff move that right-handed pitchers can make, citing that it never works and only gives the entire crowd to yell “balk!” as loud as they can. If this move is banned, I wonder how long it will take to be fully eliminated even in the high school and the Little League level. For a former pitcher and someone who used that move on several occasions despite minimal success, I think it is stupid to get rid of it and ridiculous that it is such a hot button issue with the MLB. There are much bigger fish to fry in the game than worrying about some harmless pick off move.
12. I am going to read you off the Tampa Bay Rays lineup and the New York Yankees lineup from Wednesday night’s game and then ask you which team you think scored the most runs. Let’s start with the Rays, shall we? 1. Ben Zobrist 2. Carlos Pena 3. B.J. Upton 4. Matt Joyce 5. Luke Scott 6. Will Rhymes 7. Elliot Johnson 8. Sean Rodriguez 9. Chris Gimenez. Now let’s look at those Yankees. 1. Derek Jeter 2. Curtis Granderson 3. Alex Rodriguez 4. Robinson Cano 5. Mark Teixeira 6. Nick Swisher 7. Raul Ibanez 8. Russell Martin 9. Dewayne Wise. Now I ask you fine folks at home, which lineup do you think would score more runs? If you answered the Tampa Bay Rays, you are correct. They won the game 4-1 on a Joyce three-run homer in the 9th, and despite the loss on Thursday night to New York are still tied with Baltimore for first place in the AL East at 20-12, two and a half up on New York. With Evan Longoria out for another month and their right fielder Desmond Jennings injured as well, the Rays still find a way to beat teams with much better lineups on paper.
13. By the way, I would love everybody to take five minutes out of their day and subscribe to The Sports Bruu Podcast on iTunes. You can hear all eight segments from the live show we did at the McKinney Performing Arts Center that includes some Avengers talk, a touching MCA tribute, and a conversation with the Mayor of McKinney. We will be back on the air Monday with my good pal Steve Kirk as he returns from vacation, so you can all look forward to some in-depth sports talk next Monday from the TSB gang.
14. Honorary Song of the Week: Sabotage – The Beastie Boys. On a week where musical acts around the world are honoring the late great Adam Youch, or better known as MCA, I feel like it is only right that he gets a special number this week. There will never be another hip-hop group like the Beastie Boys, and in terms of looking at MCA as simply a white kid from Brooklyn who could kill it on stage as an emcee; there will never be another one like him. I am just happy he was able to put out one final quality piece of music and see the Boys inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before he passed away at the age of 47 from throat cancer on May 4th, 2012.
15. Summer is practically here. That means attending Rangers game in July and sitting on 150 degrees seats, burning your buns right off. It also means seeing everyone get their Dallas Cowboys gear out of the closet and start testing it out before another eventful training camp from wherever Jerry has the Boys at this year. Summer is just great, you guys.
16. I love The Office, but after a crazy season filled with various storylines that pulled you in every which direction, I am not surprised that they haven’t been renewed for a ninth season. But a show that groundbreaking deserves to go out on their terms, so maybe one more season to wrap everything up will leave us all feeling happy we applied to Dunder Mifflin way back when.
17. In the words of the great Rebecca Black: its Friday, Friday. I don’t know the rest. Until next time, ladies and gentlemen.