Saturday, September 17, 2005



Leo Mazzone has all the enchanting powers. His wizardry of developing the pitchers at various levels has made him one of the finest pitching coaches in the game. He has coached perhaps the greatest pitching staff ever assembled on a major league roster. His Braves pitching team in the past 11 years has either led or been second in the major leagues in ERA's and his starting pitchers have won six Cy Young Awards at one time or the other. Undoubtedly the best assistant coach in all sports has always been favored by luck. He holds the credit of improving players like John Thomson, Mike Remlinger, Denny Neagle and John Burkett. And players like Tom Glavine and John Smoltz accumulated most of their future Hall of Fame credentials under Leo's time period in Atlanta. Players like Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz together won six Cy Young Awards under his guidance and ten pitchers have been named All-Stars during his 15 years with the Braves.

But now the thing to ponder over is whether this merely a play of luck or Mazzone had this acclamation in his destiny since we can’t ignore the fact that baseball has also witnessed coaches like Tex Winter, Jim Johnson, Charlie Weis etc. contributing for their teams. But the fact is that most pitchers got better when they join the Braves, and many get worse after they left.



VOILA!!!!!!!!!! The scoreboard flashed 704. Playing for the first time following three surgeries this year on his troublesome right knee, Bond’s in his season debut for San Francisco hit 704th of his career and first of the season on Friday night against Dodger right-hander Brad Penny. Hard adrenaline, moments of everybody's cheering and hyped up state of mind helped the Bond to register a towering drive into the center field bleachers at SBC Park. To remind you all, Bonds hit his 700th HR on Sep. 17, 2004.

Time for a cheery chuckle for all the Bond’s fans. Enjoy!



The three unsuccessful bidders for the 2009 Super Bowl Atlanta, Houston and Miami may once again fail to earn the privilege to host 2010 Super Bowl. Provisionally the rights have been given to New York City. The clause that has set by the NFL is that the championship game will be played in an indoor stadium and is conditional for the Jets (For our club owners, the idea of a Super Bowl in a domed stadium in New York is a no-brainer). Currently, the team is immersed in a bidding process for land on Manhattan’s West Side, owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where the stadium would be built. 2010 Super Bowl in New York is expected to produce $400 million in economic impact for the city. But still there are many hurdles before the Jets can break ground. Atlanta and Houston are also there in the queue for the bidding, since Miami already has been picked for the 2007 game.



Coming off one of its most successful seasons in franchise history, the Miami HEAT with new players on the block, are once again expected to re-Heat their glory. With high ambitions and no looking back the Heat will turn out to be a winning team by becoming more talented. The enthusiasm can be seen on the faces of the HEAT staff that is busy preparing for their entertainment and nationally acclaimed in-arena game presentations. With three or four new guys, the positive aspect is team’s chemistry and coordination of the players. The good thing is that the Heat acquired Shaquille O'Neal for Odom, Brian Grant and Caron Butler via trade with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2004; they formed the cream of the team. Now let’s see how the cream will jell with the reaw talent.



Big players play big……. and when General Manager Bob Gainey is there how the Canadiens can fail to become one of the dominant franchises. Gainey who became general manager of the Montreal Canadiens in May 2003 turned the Canadiens into a playoff contender. An eternity in a city where championships has been expected for generations is once again ready to introduce the next generation of Montreal champions. Gainey’s prudence of getting his own players under contract for the coming season rather than doing a supermarket sweep through the free-agency ranks is simply praiseworthy. This has also enthused a feeling of confidence in the among the Canadiens players (and why should not they feel confident when their GM has faith that his players won’t let him down). The Canadiens who have missed the playoffs five times in the 11 seasons since winning the 1993 Cup roared back roared back from a 3-1 loss to win the opening-round series in seven games in 2003-2004. This was the magic of Gainey wizard.

Scrutiny of the team is pretty obvious and acute because the team which has experienced 24 times that how hard and thrilling it is to win in the NHL, for almost a decade failed to prove Big team, Big game, Big expectations!

Friday, September 16, 2005



The year the Cy Young debate is more about philosophies, when the numbers are always the main consideration. Also when the Cy Young award is the acknowledgement of player’s outstanding pitching skills, what it has to do with the philosophy. Roger Clemens has 1.57 ERA and is so sensational that he seems to be a real threat to Carpenter for the Cy. But Cardinals Carpenter has received considerably better run support and has nine more wins than that Rocket Man. Moreover he is a better prospect in terms of other significant categories that makes him actually rank higher than Clemens. But again another concept that pops up is that if Carpenter wins the CY this year, the award will officially become a subject of satire, since left since his offense has been shutout in 8 of his starts and he has left the game without allowing a run 11 times this year, which makes him the 2nd best pitcher of the year. Though he's having one of the best seasons of the modern era, but he may probably not end up winning the CY due to his W-L record. Their chase for the coveted title has given rise to a question that are we now sophisticated enough -- as a modern, statistically aware society -- to toss an ever-popular stat such as "Wins" right through the old picture window. For this mystery to be revealed we will have to wait for the votes to roll in.



The professional players using steroids probably know its dangers. It is a matter of pity to see the teenagers arrested in Connecticut, who ranged in age from 14 to 17, were members of the baseball, football and track teams. Like their favorite professional player these high school athletes watch their sports heroes bend and even break the rules, and they believe their own success may depend on imitating the pros.But these professionals unlike their fans are never called to testify are likely to face any jail time. In fact, some who are accused of using steroids to save their status ask for rehabilitation deals.

But, how far these athletic influences are valid? Let’s face it, When Mark McGwire admitted he used androstenedione during his home run record-breaking season, the sale of the steroid dramatically soared. In lieu of this it is a positive step from the commissioners of Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League to testify about their leagues' steroids policies before the Senate Commerce Committee on September 28. The much-harsher penalties of the committee will include suspensions on the first offense. I appreciate the Committee's interest and concern about the unlawful use of steroids.

What about you??????



As soon the World Series is advancing the MLB teams are getting charged up for the playoff run. The season of excitement, hopes and miseries is all set to come and is ready to give the team’s moments to cry, ponder, scuffle and laugh. The teams that are already out of contention are experience these heart-rending moments. I advice them that should the sooner these contemplate their performances the better it will be for them. This calls for a time of self-assessment and planning. The problematic players should be sent to the minor leagues. After that each general manager and his faculty must devise the strategies to take the team to its summit. The more composed their plans will be the more these teams will be closer in the race of chase.



"Hurricane Relief Weekend," which will conclude with an unparalleled fund-raising, the NFL has dedicated September 18-19 for the charitable cause. The charitable cause will be conducted under the theme of "Recover & Rebuild." The games that will be played during this time period will raise funds and bring attention to the massive needs of the Gulf Coast region that has been caused by the Hurricane Katrina. As a part of the crusade the Saints' first home game in New Orleans will be a special league-wide effort to focus on the re-establishment of the Gulf Coast. The NFL will also collaborate with its sponsors so that they can join the initiative. Every NFL game this weekend will be special in its own way and will include all the elements that will highlight and contribute to the national relief effort.



Tony Massenburg has always been really good for the team’s he played for. But his career always lacked something……………. An NBA title. The 37-year-old Massenburg has played for San Antonio, Charlotte, Boston, Golden State, the L.A. Clippers, Toronto, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Vancouver, Houston, Memphis, Utah and Sacramento during his NBA career with stints in the Italian League and the Spanish League. His appearance on almost half of the NBA's 30 teams over the span of his 15-year career has given him a bounty of experience. His lack of an NBA title was probably because a lot of those teams that he played for were not winning teams.

How can he forget the experiences that he received? I am not denying that when a team doesn’t win, one doesn’t always get a credit, but how can Massenburg forget his individual honors that he received when he was with these mediocre teams. Anyways! Lets’ come back to the point, Massenburg’ NBA title deficiency.

Massenburg won games last year in Sacramento, before that his team won games in Utah, which made him habitual of winning. He learnt to make the best of each situation. In 2004-2005 season Massenburg returned to play with the Spurs. Prior to that he played with the Spurs in his rookie season in 1990-91. maybe the charisma of playing with his first team worked out. And Voila! His team defeated the Detroit Pistons, four games to three in the NBA Finals. After holding the Larry O'Brien Trophy it didn’t matter to him that he received just nine minutes in the Finals series and 28 minutes over the course of the entire playoffs. A champion in his own way!



There is no doubt about it that Los Angeles entertainment is in close terms related with the Lakers, but with the acquisition of Jeremy Roenick, the Kings are all set to rule the nation. With Jeremy Roenick in town, the Lakers are now in close chase for the title. One of hockey's most unmanageable personalities, he will surely bring a lot of glitz to his game. His art of cracking the ice at a very fast pace at a very high tempo has all the potentials to be ranked among the top six forward. The lockout that canceled the 2004-05 season, he came as a good bargain for the Kings. The wide-open game in the new era will probably enthuse up a new zeal in the hockey players, especially in player like Roenick, who loves to skate and score goals

After eight seasons in Chicago, five in Phoenix and then the last three in Philadelphia, let’s see whether Roenick will come out and fill Staples Center and proves to be a force that can be reckoned with some glorious years to come. I think we should not suspect his capabilities because in 1,124 NHL games played he has generated 1,120 points (475 goals, 645 assists) and this type of production could serve Roenick well in Los Angeles. Let’s wait for the time to reveal whether his goal of making the Kings the team to watch in Southern California materializes or not.

Southern Californians do keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 15, 2005



This biennial event is a great opportunity for the non-European players to compete in international team match-play competition. But it is so strange that this event don’t receive any buzz. The event is once again returning to the United States. Conglomerates of international stars from outside of Europe are once again set to compete against the U.S. players. U.S. Captain Jack Nicklaus and his International counterpart, Gary Player have revealed their captain's picks. Our American players are once again ready to showcase their zeal. Their squad of 10 players has plenty to it. Do I need to mention Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, David Toms, Kenny Perry, Chris DiMarco, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Fred Funk, Davis Love, and Justin Leonard surely are the prospects of our team? Indeed our American team has better mix than Internationals……….

Stay Updated!!!!!!!!!!!11



Indeed a sobbing heart, a crying soul takes a toll, but Houston’s pitcher Roger Clemens stared momentarily at the ground before throwing his first pitch. His mother Bess Clemens died at the age of 75 because of complications from emphysema, but Clemens still dared to take the mound against the Florida Marlins, earning his 12th win of the season. This is indeed his positive spirit that he preferred not to lament and to move on because like a good son he wanted to fulfill his mother’s dream.

A mother not attending his son’s coronation ceremony means a lot for a son and special occasions like Hall of Fame also calls for family jubilations.

On May 26, 2003, Bess graced her son’s 300th win against Boston. His mother also threw the ceremonial first pitch before a Yankees game in August 2003. Now all of this has become a passé, giving her family some glorious moments for the Clemens family to ponder over forever.



The Jazz finally introduced Devin Brown as their new shooting guard. With Brown on their line-up it is obvious for the Jazz to expect from him that he will add some depth at shooting guard. My two bunches of words will exp-lain how he suits the requisites of Jazz. He is fiery and has the summer they needed to have. With 135 NBA games to his credit and an average of 5.6 points I am sure he will develop his skills will adapt to the exposure. I am mentioning that exposure that shot up Raja Bell’s market value in his two-year stay with the Jazz. The Jazz felt the need of a new shooting guard to fill their roster when Raja Bell signed with Phoenix.

This new backcourt member is still under utilized and underplayed and we can only anxious wait for him to run the floor. If healthy, will now get a chance to play more minutes and develop his game and confidence. Good Luck Devin.



A respected broadcaster at ABC Sports for more than a quarter century, a proud owner of four Super Bowl rings, an entrepreneur who commands between $20,000 and $50,000 for speaking engagements, and a well-known humanitarian, who has served on the boards of numerous charities now under his political mentors Bob Jubelirer and Mike Long has become prospective GOP gubernatorial candidate. Though he has impressed dozens of GOP powerbrokers with the power of politics, but who the hell is going to tell him that politics is not any football court or Super Bowl Championship?????? And he has no private sector or public sector leadership experience

He might have impressed the duo of his mentors with his rhetoric power of negotiation, but it seems it is his status that will earn him the benefit. 500-watt smile, a formidable work ethic, a firm handshake and a degree in public relations from USC's School of Journalism doesn’t justify his credibility to become the governor of Pennsylvania. His run for the seat of governor without any public policy experience will earn him a relatively pedestrian annual salary of $144,416. let’s see whether his strategies, leadership style and ideologies appeal to the people or not!!!!!!!!!



After reaching the summit of professional hockey, Mark Messier with full glory declared his retirement leaving behind his legacy of leadership. A guru for the young prospects, he established himself as a player of substance and will always be remembered for helping the Rangers win their first Stanley Cup in 54 years. His statistics itself speaks the volumes of his credentials. Voila! 6 Stanley Cup championships, amazing 16 All-Star selections, 694 goals and 1,887 points, and second on the career points list. Hats off to this legendary player for redefining the center position with a combination of size, talent and emotion. "I've had a long career and I've achieved a lot and there was nothing left for me to really achieve," quoted the veteran player. Probably he might have realized that there were other uphill tasks of life that he has to realize. So, he obeyed the need of the time and after cruising the ice like a shark called it quits. A man, who always believed in doing the things on his terms, once again followed his terms and retired before reaching his 700 goals plateau. He could have definitely reached that mark.

The game will miss him for sure!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005



A remarkable athlete after winning the 6th Grandslam became the first ever to win back-to-back US Open and Wimby titles. His 10th title of the season was an awesome experience since he also made a niche for himself in the Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai. His experienced his other wins of the season in Dubai, UAE (hard), Rotterdam, the Netherlands (hard, indoor), Doha, Qatar (hard), Indian Wells, Calif. (TMS, hard), Miami, Florida (TMS, hard), Hamburg, Germany (TMS, clay), Halle, Germany (grass) and Cincinnati, Ohio (TMS, hard). Now he is a proud owner of 32 titles in and an open era record 23 consecutive finals. A forceful tennis player is also an extremely level headed persona with a capability to suppress his emotions of fuss after losing a point on the court, making the fans believe that a small thing like losing a point is not aa issue worth pondering over. Federer’s ultimate victory came against Andre Agassi. Heartiest Congratulations Roger!



Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb’s bruised chest may cost him his status for Sunday's game. A multi-dimensional danger from the quarterback position proved his modesty by not making his vulnerability public. Truly an NFL star who gave the Eagles something to boast of by becoming the first player in NFL history to finish a season with 30+ TD passes (31) and fewer than 10 INTs (8) is now in his seventh year of playing. With no transactions on the card this season and no official update of McNabb's injury status, it seems Coach Andy Reid is ready to take extra precautions for his fierce player. After having been hit by in his chest by tackle Chad Lavalais, McNabb was literally blitzed by too much pressure, but still he managed to complete 24 of 45 passes for 257 yards and one touchdown in a magnificent way.

McNabb’s fans have always expected something fieeeeeery from him and when I am myself an avid football enthusiast how can we even think of that he will let this injury mar his performance and zeal. His previous records are an apparent proof of his meticulousness and ineffectiveness. When on the field he is the best at what he does. Now I don’t have inhibitions to say that he can either be perplexed or reluctant to run but he can’t surrender to any injury. Truly an Eagles Star!



The young acquisitions have left no qualms that they will carry their share of the load in getting the Panthers back into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Panthers General Manager Mike Keenan strategy to follow the concept of free-agent to acquire ten skilled and experienced players is expected to make a significant impact in the Panthers lineup. After registering a year of great instability with a fourth place finish in the 2003-04 season Mike Keenan brought the most roster turnover in Panthers history. The three prominent newcomers Gary) Roberts, (Joe) Nieuwendyk and (Martin) Gelinas have experienced the coziness after winning the Stanley Cups, so they know what it takes to be successful. The good thing about these acquisitions is that everybody is sailing in the same boat. In addition D Jay Bouwmeester, C Olli Jokinen and D Mike Van Ryn signed a one-year contract to complete the Panthers 2005 training camp roster. Mike Keenan who brought in Jacques Martin to help his new faces to perfectly coordinate with the prominent Cats, is the Senators all-time leader in games coached (692), regular-season wins (341), playoff wins (31), and playoff games coached (69). Mike Keenan’s squad of ten players will open their 2005 Training Camp on Wednesday, September 14 at in Coral Springs.