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On Vin Scully’s Last Goodbye

Man, this was sad. It’s like I just lost someone I loved here. And people who visit this blog probably wonder what all the fuss is about with me and Vin Scully. So let me try to sum it up.

Aside from my children, my wife, and my family; baseball is what I love most. And within what I love most is Vin Scully – what I love most in what I love most. If that makes sense.

Some of my best memories ever enjoying the game of baseball were with him on the call. It was an added bonus to the already nice relaxation that baseball provides. The guy was completely sublime, capable of lowering blood pressure just by being in my living room.

I’m failing miserably to give the great one his due adequately. So I’ll put what Craig Calcaterra said elegantly about Scully in his post today:

Vin Scully signed off for the final time yesterday, ending his 67 years of baseball broadcasting excellence. While there were a few distractions — in the middle of the game Scully was presented with a plaque by the Giants and was warmly met by Willie Mays, the best player Scully says he ever saw — it was exactly like every other Vin Scully game I’ve heard in the 30+ years I have been listening to him.

It was relaxed. It was comfortable. On some level Scully knows that we all have lives full of important and stressful things and that, baseball, however wonderful it is, is a diversion, not the most important thing in our lives. As such, he did not treat his broadcasts as destination viewing or listening. He did not act like the game he was calling or the fact that he was calling it was the most important thing going on at that moment. No phony superlatives. No unwarranted hype, hot takes or artificial intensity. He never, ever, pretended that he had any superior insight into the game than you the fan did, even though he obviously did. He simply talked about what was happening in plain terms and let you know things that he knew that might make the game more enjoyable for you. He didn’t style himself some baseball expert. He took ample time during breaks in the action to tell us interesting and amusing stories and make our diversion pleasant in any way he could.

God bless this man for so many great times and memories. And don’t buy what he says about him needing us more than we needed him. It was never that way. Baseball; at night in Los Angeles, and in general, will never be the same.

Leicester City’s secret weapon in the last season

Over the years, athletes and sports teams have always been searching for new methods to improve their performance. In dire situations they would risk their careers or reputation and turned to the help of doping not knowing there are other perfectly legitimate aids that can significantly enhance training result.  Nowadays top sports teams across the world are deploying smart devices strapped inside their jerseys, which collect data on their every move.

Leicester City is a part of this movement. They won English Premier League title despite being a write-off team – making a “fairy-tale” that shocked football pundit and betting house alike. They had the fewest injuries out of any team this season, used the fewest players and scored the most counter-attacking goals.

The Foxes’ secret weapon is a smart device named OptimEye S5. It was engineered by Catapult sports from Australia. If you think your FitBits counting steps and sweat is advanced technology, then meet the S5. Its precise GPS technology tracks a player’s movement in real time. Dozens of sensors are also on board – accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, heart rate monitors – which, combined, output more than 900 data points per second.

The data from the devices is then processed and analysed in a proprietary software package, called Openfield, a combination of Google and Salesforce and Bloomberg, for elite sport. It monitors players’ physical load to determine probability of injury. The technology helps greatly with betting and other similar entertainment product, according to ty le bong da.

Coaches can use the information to tailor training programs for each player, enable them to push for the best of their ability without running into risk of injury. Then during play, real-time data from software allows them to make strategic decisions on player rotation. In this fashion, players always stay fresh and up for challenge, giving them huge advantage over opponents. This is how big data can empower sports team and it is happening now.

Playing Golf Best Practices

Just like the majority of sports that exist, golfing also requires an insane amount of practice rather than just relying on individual talent in order for you to excel at the sport. The good news is that the game can be learnt if you have access to the right kind of information.

If you are wondering about how to improve golf game fast, you need to stop wondering and begin practicing as this is the difference maker between you and your opponent. The more you practice, the better you get.

But practicing does not include mindless practice. You need to have a targeted and set approach as to what aspects of your game you want to improve to gain the upper hand.

Listed below are some of the practices each golfer should master before hoping to break into the professional leagues.

  • Five Feet

If you need help in improving your short strokes and are scared of knock knees, then use a five foot putt and keep practising with it. Set a goal and until you do not achieve that goal, do not give up on the fiver.

Take small breaks for your back but try to master your fiver first so that you can learn the shorter rounds in a lesser amount of time.

  • Power Control


The main power generated for your swing is from your hip muscles, your legs and your back. The power then passes along the shoulders and the arms hereby into the club shaft. Your head must be properly aligned to make sure that you generate the maximum amount of power.

When you swing back your body and your club move away from the target (ball) but in retrospect to each other, and when you swing downwards, your body and stick should be in perfect harmony. If you master that, then no power goes to waste,. And you will also then be able to increase your shot distance easily.


  • The C line


This particular practice technique is used by many professional golfers in which you draw an imaginary C-line(Commitment) before the ball. Step behind, and decide whichever type of shot you want to play with using which club.

Once you decide, step ahead of the line and shoot. If you lose your focus even by one percent after stepping over the line, do not make the shot and step back. Think again, with a clearer mind and go at it again.

This way you can ensure that you choose the best shot possible, and you can constantly make amends should anything go wrong. The main point of this exercise is to give you confidence in your ability and thinking in any professional match.

Who Wants to Bet the MLB All Star Game?

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A wise old man once told me that if there’s an event going on, there’s a betting line on it somewhere that will make you able to lay your money on the outcome.

The closest thing in baseball to evidence this statement is tonight’s MLB All Star Game.

As you can see, the National League opened as slight -110 favorites, and we agree with this although some of the money has been laid so far on the American League. It’s basically a coin flip type action game in terms of betting where you can just bet to have a side to root for if you have no true horse in the race.

Hopefully we see something similar to the 2008 All Star Game that saw 15 innings of play at Old Yankee Stadium. We’re in the mood to watch a lot of baseball since the next two days feature absolutely nothing.

If you’re looking for a place to try to get some bets down, has set an example of being a great internet wagering provider. They have some pretty sweet deals regarding online poker and other wagers. Check it out to see for yourself.

Reds Kick Off MLB Season to Low Expectations

As the 2016 Major League Baseball season gets underway, expectations are tempered among the Cincinnati Reds faithful.

The Reds amassed a dismal 64-98 record a year ago, good for dead last in the National League’s Central Division standings, and with offseason moves clearly putting the club in rebuild mode, the Reds open their campaign pegged at a distant 125/1 to claim their first World Series pennant since 1990 in MLB futures betting with the online bookmaker Betway.

Betway’s sportsbook offers sports bettors everything they need to wager on all major sports leagues and tournaments, including exciting live and in-play betting features, accessible online or through Betway’s Android and iOS apps.

Cincinnati unloaded some key veterans during the recent offseason, pulling the trigger on deals that saw all-star third baseman Todd Frazier shipped to the Chicago White Sox, while all-star closer Aroldis Chapman will be wearing pinstripes this season, while saving games for the New York Yankees.

The Reds will also be missing ace Johnny Cueto, whom they shipped to the Kansas City Royals midway through last season.

First baseman Joey Votto, who finished third in NL MVP balloting in 2015 returns to the Reds’ lineup, and Billy Hamilton looks ready to take the next step, both as a speedster on the baselines, and as a Gold Glove candidate in center field.

Not all is lost in Cincy, however. Starter Homer Bailey continues to recover from Tommy John surgery that cost him almost all of last season, and is reportedly on track to return by the All-Star Break, while 24 year-old hurler Michael Lorenzen will get every chance to secure a place in the Reds rotation upon his return from an elbow injury.

Complicating matters further for the Reds is playing in what is arguably the best division in Major League Baseball.

The Chicago Cubs, who open the campaign as 8/1 World Series favorites in MLB futures betting at Betway, are also heavy 3/4 chalk to claim the NL Central pennant.

The St. Louis Cardinals claimed division crowns in each of the past three seasons, and MLB Postseason berths in each of the past five seasons. But with the Cards losing both starter John Lackey and outfielder Jason Heyward to the rival Cubs, they have seen their divisional pennant odds at Betway slip to 5/2.

The Reds must also contend with a talented Pittsburgh Pirates squad, which won an impressive 98 games last year en route to a third straight NL Wild Card berth, and return to the ballpark sporting short 3/1 odds to win their first division crown since 1992.

The Milwaukee Brewers have been in steady decline since claiming their last NL Central pennant in 2011, winning just 68 games last season, and are pegged at a distant 40/1, while the Reds trail as 50/1 longshots.

Returning players ready to make an impact

As we edge closer to the start of the new MLB season, there are a number of players itching to get back into action after lengthy injury lay-offs. Many of those fit-again players are being tipped to have a big impact on their respective teams’ seasons and it’s going to be particularly interesting to see how these star names return to the field after their injuries.

Here are five players who could have huge parts to play in 2016 after their time on the sidelines.

Devin Mesoraco (Cincinnati Reds): The Cincinnati Reds tried everything to manage Mesoraco through last season before accepting defeat and sending the catcher for surgery. Following a brief spell in left field due to his inability to squad, Mesoraco underwent surgery in June to repair the labrum and resurface the hip bone. After a six-month rehab process, the 27-year-old appears to be coming along nicely. He is currently on course to put himself in contention for selection on Opening Day. The catcher has been a consistent and ever-present in this Reds team in recent years and his injury for much of last season was certainly a factor behind Cincinnati’s dismal campaign.

Yu Darvish (Texas Rangers): While there were a few hints that the pitcher was beginning to deal with an elbow problem at the end of the 2014 campaign, Darvish wouldn’t have expected that to be his last taste of competitive baseball for over a year. A torn UCL forced the Japanese star to undergo Tommy John surgery at around this point in 2015, with the Texas Rangers pitcher now looking at a return date of May. Following his high-profile move to the MLB from Japan in 2012, when he chose Texas over the Toronto Blue Jays, Darvish was finally beginning to look the part before suffering his injury. He recorded a solid 3.06 ERA in 2014 before spending all of last season on the sidelines and his return will real boost to a Rangers team which as of early March are at 8/1 with the Bet365 MLB odds to top the American League in 2016.

Giancarlo Stanton (Miami Marlins): When the right fielder pulled up in June with a hand problem, which was later diagnosed as a fractured hamate bone, it was only thought he would be out of action for a couple of months. Stanton’s time on the sidelines ended up significantly increasing and it ultimately brought a premature end to his 2015 campaign in September with a .265 batting average. But while Miami’s season looked over before the Californian’s injury, having a fully-refreshed and fit-again Stanton back in the roster will be as good as a new signing for the Marlins. Having made a successful return to training at the turn of the year, the 26-year-old is now set to make his return to action for Miami’s opening game of the season against the Detroit Tigers.

Jung Ho Kang (Pittsburgh Pirates): Considering the severity of the knee injury Kang sustained in September, the fact the Pirates star has any chance of being involved in the early stages of the new season really is incredible. Expected to be moved to third base in a bid to take some of the extra pressure from his left knee, Kang will have to be managed carefully during his return to the game. In an impressive debut season in the MLB, the South Korean looked more than at home playing against the best players in the world on a regular basis. While his absence was a real blow to Pittsburgh’s postseason hopes last year, the Pirates won’t be able to rush Kang back early from such a nasty injury this season. 

Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers): Braun was forced under the surgeon’s knife last September after missing a run of games for the Brewers with a back problem during a season in which the right fielder had also suffered from a thumb issue. While the nine-season veteran is well aware he won’t be cleared to return to action until he’s swinging a bat again, the 32-year-old should be able to take part in some of Milwaukee’s spring training. In a Brewers team that isn’t expected to have much chance of making the playoffs this year, Braun is going to need to really step up and play the majority of the season if they’re going to upset the odds of 40/1 for the National League Central.

Eno Sarris Power Ranks the Shortstops of the Future

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I really like Eno Sarris. I always have. Even though my baseball at work reading has been cut down to zilch (down from several hours a day in it’s past), I still carve out time to check in for his chats.

I was persistent about this question for a few weeks, and good old Eno came through finally.

File this away. I wish I had included Trea Turner and a few others. But yeah, the shortstop position in baseball is probably at it’s best place it’s been in my lifetime.

“Chicken Soup” Rosario is no more. He is now Wonton Phosario


Oh, the nuggets the boredom of an offseason brings.

We once gave Wilin Rosario the nickname “Chicken Soup” because he was seemingly always on the shelf, nursing himself back to health. If it wasn’t hangnail, he had a cold and was on the roost in the dugout nursing himself back to health with Campbell’s.

We panicked in hearing that Rosario was headed to Korea to play ball for the Hanwha Eagles!

This season, ‘Sitting Bull’ takes on a new form for his adventures. He’s now Wonton Phosario. Here’s how I see this playing out for the new oriental sitting league champion:

  • Wonton’s plane touches down in Korea, he immediately finds a golden throne somewhere and is fed sushi with chopsticks by several beautiful Korean women. He’s wearing nothing but an oriental sequent robe. They believe they are feeding the next Korean home run champion. Phosario misses six months because of a reaction to tempura rolls.
  • Phosario holds a press conference to announce he will return to the lineup a few months into the season on a Tuesday night, gets shocked for a split second when he touches the microphone and decides he needs the night off for being ‘electrocuted’.
  • Phosario misses a total of seven games during the Korean season because he stayed up too late the night before. Not because he was out enjoying the night life, he just stayed up too late watching television and has sleepy eyes in the morning.
  • Phosario tries Miso Soup and then gets a sour stomach, misses a week for food poisoning from Miso Soup! Who gets food poisoning from Miso Soup? It is basically water! Who, you ask? The catcher and soon to be DH who has the immune system of Charlie Sheen, that’s who.
  • Phosario tells his manager that his new oriental sandals he’s been wearing are causing turf toe, and is relegated to pinch-hit duty on the nights he decides he can play.
  • Phosario finally decides to miss the remainder of the season (as if he ever gave actually playing on a consistent basis his all to begin with) because he has a strained buttocks from sitting. He explains to the trainer that it ‘just hurts back there’ – becoming the first player in professional sports to actually get hurt from physically sitting on the bench.

This is going to be my first season checking in on Korean baseball, and it’s all due to our friend Wonton “Spup” Phosario.

Hat tip to our buddy Corey for the great photoshop of Phosario.

Corey Koskie offers advice on business, life, and gym management


Corey Koskie carved out a nice little career in the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, and Toronto. Though never an All-Star, he had a really nice season in 2001 that saw him finish 25th in MVP voting. He was almost a 5.0 bWAR player that season.

And this article from The Players Tribune is a great read about players and their thought process after they get out of baseball. It’s written by Koskie himself. Give it a click.

Thinking Baseball Again

It’s my first post of 2016, it only took 25 days into the year to get to. With football season being down to the Super Bowl, my mind always crosses over back to my first love: the game of baseball.

And with those things I’ve started the usual nuances that baseball season brings; my house-keeping. I’m following a few new accounts on twitter. I’ve got MLB Network on the television after work (there’s a Montreal Expos documentary on tomorrow night at 9:00 PM ET).

I’m reading Ron Shandler and some of his fantasy baseball draft strategies. I’m starting to check Fangraphs every day again and reading about MLB’s tanking problem – the Reds are unfortunately mentioned.

We’re 69 days and 17 hours from the beginning of the MLB regular season. We all have to brave the month of February but 69 days is do-able.

Spring is almost in the air, and I’m ready for it about as early as ever. The crack of the bat is a few wake ups away from being among us all. I’ll try to start updating this page more each day.

Baseball Training Aids and Equipment

Trainings aids for baseball includes hitting cages, training bats, pitching machines, training gloves, training balls and several more. With so many training aids available, it is quite difficult for a player to understand which equipment will be helpful for the player to achieve their goals. Most of the people know about the game baseball. However, not many actually have an idea of what it takes for developing and training the required skills for playing baseball.

Several skills are required for playing baseball. If you are interested in the game and want develop your skill, it is very important for you to have a knowledge of what is your skill level currently. This will be very helpful when you select certain equipment that can be best for enhancing your skills.

Training aids for different types of players

Players who are just starting to learn and play baseball will never possess the same levels of skills as those players who play in big leagues. When you learn to play baseball, you must always start with basics. All the beginners need to start by learning the basics. They need to learn how to catch, pitch and hit. For more advanced baseball players, the training has to be specifically done in order to improve certain areas of their game. For instance, a player who pitches should use pitching equipment while a player who struggles with batting must focus on hitting equipment for training. One great thing for all players is that there are equipment for all sorts of players, of any skill level.

Where to find training aids

Coaches or players can look for these products anywhere, from an online retailer to a local sports store. There are numerous companies providing these products. While some of these companies carry only a specific inventory, while others carry products ranging from memorabilia to fan apparel. All the baseball companies thrive to provide the best possible products for baseball players. These companies are trying to create a wide selection of products that they can offer to all sorts of baseball players.

Searching in the internet for baseball training aids can be very helpful (I know that top5onlinecasino website owner is a baseball fan don’t hesitate to contact him for help). The search result can be further narrowed down if you specifically know your needs. Searching for ‘Pitching training aids’ or ‘Hitting training aids’ will provide the necessary results if you know about your specific needs.

How helpful are baseball training aids

Training and practice are extremely essential if you want to develop the necessary skills for playing game safely. A lot of time and effort has to be put in training. As the skill level of players increase, they can make use of different training aids and equipment. These training aids continuously challenge the ability of the player, which further helps the player in improving.

Many players and coaches have noticed that using baseball training aids is helpful in making training sessions more productive. These products are very effective and certainly help players in positive manner. Making use of them during practice and training sessions is always helpful.

The rise of South African baseball

If there’s one thing that can really unite South Africa as a country, it’s the love of sport. And whilst the nation’s cricket and rugby teams may often grab more global headlines, the emergent South African baseball scene has recently started to gain momentum.

South African emergence


The Rainbow Nation made their first big impression on the international baseball circuit in 2006 where a team of amateur players headed to the prestigious World Baseball Classic championships. Although many were questioning the ability of the team, they quickly defied the doubters by nearly causing a huge upset to the established Canadian baseball team.

This has mirrored the rise of baseball as a rapidly rising sport in South Africa. Facilitated by the likes of the South Africa Baseball Union, the game has managed to bridge the divided country by offering a game that is relatively untouched by the struggles of the past.

And now the sport has reached a pivotal point where it has started entering the national consciousness, with many supporting the national team and enjoying baseball themed games at Springbok Casino that reflect on the emerging popularity of this game.


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The route that South African baseball has taken has been somewhat unorthodox, but in a way, it mirrors the nation’s idiosyncratic relationship with the world.

The game was first introduced to South Africa in 1895 when a group of American migrants who arrived on the shores in response to the gold rush that preceded the Boer War settled in the Transvaal province. It was here that they brought baseball equipment, taught the rules of the game, and even set up an official league in 1899.

Interestingly, given the cosmopolitan nature of the Rainbow Nation, there was also a big Japanese influence in the development of the game. This is because in 1934 a group of Japanese sailors had to wait three months for their next ship home, and in the ensuing period they played a game with the American locals at the Westbourne Oval in Port Elizabeth. The resulting success of the match quickly led to the development of the Easter Province Baseball Association.

Golden age

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From here, South African baseball grew at a fairly organic rate despite lack of financial assistance and political infighting.

The 1950s are often considered a golden era for South African baseball as it was during this time that audience numbers started swelling, and matches were held at many prestigious sporting arenas, often attracting the support of many American owned companies.

However, with international pressure on the Apartheid system restricting foreign interest, the game began to suffer as the century progressed. But with the recent political advances, baseball appears to be enjoying a long sought after resurgence this this sports-mad nation.