Monday, May 31, 2010

Blog Outsourcing 5/31

Happy Memorial Day to all those who are celebrating the holiday!

Luckily, since my office is celebrating the holiday, I get the night off. A day free from stress and consternation. A day free from annoyances and disturbances.

I decided to do this a little earlier than usual time, given recent matters. Like the fact that I have a night life to attend to (finally) and I would like to leave the house and attend a #tweetup.

It has been a while since I have gotten the chance to go out and enjoy the night. Schedule has not been that cooperative and if something opens up, I feel exhausted.

People should take advantage of whatever breaks they have to see what is out there. After all, you live only once and instead of living in regret on missed opportunities, one should take advantage of it.

One thing I always wanted has been to go visit the provinces and partake of local tourism. Never really gone out (unless with family). The only time I managed to go out, it was to the former British Crown Colony a few years. I hope I can get the chance to seize this little possibility and grab it and fully abuse it.

Happy Memorial Day! Enjoy your BBQ!
Memorial Link love.

In the realm of tradition, Dario got milk. Meanwhile, thank goodness for car safety.

However, Penske denies Ganassi a Memorial Day double.

On the other side of the world, sometimes, the quest for personal gain can cost you the team goal.

Remember the time when the NBA buckled under player pressure with the ball? Will we see the same result in South Africa?

Stateside soccer warmup done. Off to South Africa they go under the leadership of Landon Donovan. Meanwhile, England beckons.

Coming soon to a Youtube near you. I liked this one back in the day (now being given a 2010 makeover).

Ping! 54 and counting.

After a Perfect Game the other day, a solid 14K gold performance was noted yesterday.

Speaking of Perfect Games, Doc Halladay was given a gift from the Marlins. And a day after the game, same score. Naturally, Dallas Braden has something to say.

Apprarently, Kendry's Bill Gramatica moment scarred Mike Scioscia. It spooked the Rangers, too. Well, so far so good for immediate impact. Does Carlos Delgado, Jermaine Dye or even Mike Lowell ring a bell?

Slump over, Albert?

Hedo, you could have been in Portland, you know. This one is definitely on you.

Quo vadis, STAT?

Here's a little tip: You want him, charm the other 3.

Kobe and Kill Bill. Analogy fits.

Here a profile on Mutant Russian Mark Cuban.

Let Shannon Brown wear green!

Another reason why I like the Rays.

Game 2 tonight. With ratings from Game 1 good.

RIP Scooter.

Finally a simple parting shot: Time for a Call to Arms.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blog Outsourcing 5/24

Welcome to a new Monday edition of Sparty and Friends!

I had a great experience just going offline for the past weekend. I spent it here. No internet, no Twitter (although I can send tweets, I cannot respond to any replies or read tweets from people I follow). Haven't even read up on the posts. (Will check when I go online at the office later.)

Thinking about how much I had fun there reminds me of how things were back when I was not a Twitter addict. It showed how much Twitter has gotten a hold of me. I have evolved into an online citizen. I guess people are right in saying that sometimes, we really need to go out and cut ties temporarily with the online realm in order to maintain sanity.

Now in other news:

Step one in the effort to keep Lebron James. The COY curse continues.

The First Baller giving his 2 cents. Unfortunately, David Stern cannot fine him. I wonder if he will fine him instead.

Doug Collins in Philly. What now? One trademark of him is that he makes an instant impact on his first year of coaching.

Celtics are in the Mortal Kombat portion of their series. I wonder how will they do it. This could be a guide.

At least the Suns show a pulse. This also gives it a eerily familiar scenario back in 2008. Steve Nash = Manu Ginobili.

What happened in Bump Day.

A simple video to end the post. Goodbye Jose Lima.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TWTWTNBA: Western Conference Finals Preview

Finally, out of the rubble, two teams left standing in the West. Let's break them down.

Los Angeles Lakers

How they got here: Survived a scare from the Thunder before sweeping the Jazz off the floor.

2nd Round Assessment: Kobe and Pau were A-List against the Jazz, with Derek Fisher hooked up to what Ray Allen was taking so far. The Tru Warier even played well in Game 3.

Key players: All eyes are on Andrew Bynum's knee (again). The three guard triumvirate of Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown need to be adequate and/or at least be at the level of the Phoenix guards not named Steve.

Phoenix Suns

How they got here: Withstood the M*A*S*H Unit based in Portland, then finally ended what could be the great Spurs run in NBA history.

2nd Round Assessment: I am pretty much dumbfounded as to how they did it. They pretty much made sure Pop's boys played old. They abused George Hill (who ended up being a bad matchup for the Spurs) and realized that Richard Jefferson is not who he used to be. They also took advantage of Tim Duncan's newfound deficiencies (due to Father Time catching up to him).

Key players: Tempo will be important, and if the Suns were to win the West, they need to control it. How the likes of Barbosa and Dragic push up the pace will be essential. Also, if Sideshow Mel is ready to play for this series, that would free up Amar'e to do what he does best, which is posterizing people with reckless abandon. He, along with Channing Frye, will provide the foil to the Laker bigs.

Prediction: The Suns win in 6. The reason why I chose the Suns is that there is so much good things going on with Phoenix. I believe that this is the year that they will be able to extinguish all their ills from their entire NBA History. So far, they have been able to finally overcome the Spurs. Then, they will then overcome the Lakers, whose Showtime era overshadowed a good period of Phoenix basketball. And then, let's revive the memories of that memorable Finals match with Boston, extracting revenge for the likes of Gar Heard, Paul Westphal, Alvan Adams and all those who played in the 1976 Finals (which is why I picked Boston to advance against Orlando, to ensure a complete karmic reversal).

Blog Outsourcing - 5/17

Welcome to the Monday edition of TMA. The weekend was great, as I finally had the chance to have a nightlife. I missed doing that due to all the stress I have been through. Afterwards, sleep was mandatory. In my line of work, sleep is a major commodity. Hopefully, I would be able to get more of these stuff. I know you guys want the same thing, as well. Nothing much to contribute on my end. Next week, I would share an interesting experience that will definitely shock you (I think).

Time to do the links:

Who knew Sheed had it in him again?

Flyers on fire. Sharks drowned.

Who knew that Nash and Bryant can duet?

We are the kings of pool. Again.

Kyle Busch gets it done again.

This is the most glamorous race of the racing calendar.

Tony Romo has his priorities straight.

Phillies sweeping Brew Crew.

This is an aberration, right?

Another Vasquez skipping? Here's a complicated explanation.

Nationals elevate someone from the minors not named Steven Strasburg.

Reds in 1st place. Really.

No more Pat the Bat. The Mariners or Mets surely need the bat potential at this point.

Cubs in panic mode now?

Your "mandatory" Lebron to the Knicks update.

FC Barcelona = La Liga champs.

The Special One taking offense to One-Eye.

Parting shot: Here's to you, Lebron.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

TWTWTNBA: Eastern Conference Finals Preview

Finally, out of the the rubble, two teams left standing in the East. Let's break them down.

Boston Celtics

How they got here: Beat Mv3 and the Wades (feat. Michael Beasley as Tito). Beat Lebron's elbow, heart and soul (possibly exiling him somewhere, like in New York).

2nd round assessment: KG eviscerated Jamison. Sheed came up huge in 2 games (Game 2 & 6), which has been enough with all the heavy lifting Rajon has been doing.

Key players: Will Tony Allen do a James Posey circa 2008? Will Kendrick Perkins be adequate against Superman? He was against Cleveland against the Man of Steel. Will the Ticket Stub win them another game? Paul Pierce was subpar in this series. Hope he emerges for John's sake.

The Orlando Magic.

How they got here: Toyed with the Hawks after breezing by playoff debutantes Charlotte. That's 8 straight wins and a 27-3 record in the last 30 games they have played.

2nd round assessment: Need I say more when Joe Johnson says this in Atlanta?

Key players: The last time they met in the playoffs, all I remember was the much ado about nothing push. Jameer missed out the last time they played. Will Vince be adequate enough? Can they really win with shooting threes like they (Pietrus, Barnes, Lewis, and yes, Redick) do?

Prediction: The Celtics win in 6. You will understand why when I post the Western Conference Finals Preview by Monday (Since Game 1 of the WCF will be on Monday (Tuesday in the islands)).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lebron and Legacy

Lebron, it is all about you. It is all about your legacy and your future. Game 5 was unacceptable given your stature and who you are and what people expect from you. They expect effort and competitive drive. Even if things are not going your way, you go out there and you show that you gave it your all, just like the great ones did.

We are witnesses today, Lebron. We will witness what you got tonight. Because this will set the tone for what is to come.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I wonder if you guys on your side of the coin are aware of what is going on out here in my neck of the woods. I was just happy to exert my right to suffrage earlier this morning.

We have had our pitfalls in the Motherland, but always the concept of an election has grabbed our attention. It is our way of directly expressing our voice and demand what we want. There is a saying in these parts... "There are only winners, and those who were cheated out of it."

Now onto to the trivial stuff.

He's perfect. But of course, nothing is complete with another A-rod mention. It just won't die, eh?

Meanwhile, the Yankees slipped and the Sawx avert a sweep.

Steve's Eye > LeBron's Elbow.

Tiger ejects from Sawgrass. Out with a neck.

You know he is going to be the fall guy. Instant results show good signs.

Ricky Rubio gets a ring, and so does Fran Vasquez.

Canucks survive, thus buying time for the Sharks.

Looks like someone can relate to Adrian Beltre.

There is a flying statue in Chi-town, now there is one in Beantown.

Ovi keeping himself busy.

To part, here is a continuation of the Tears for Fears Madness, this time, from the concert here in my 'hood.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

TWTWTNBA: Western Conference Semis assessment

All Four teams have been identified, so let's see how they will roll:

1. Los Angeles vs 5. Utah (as of this writing, Series favors Los Angeles 2-0)

1st round assessment: Lakers held off a feisty Oklahoma City that is really a year ahead on their time table. Jazz took advantage of an already headless team in Denver that lost a key big man for a game.

Key people to watch: No Memo and (so far) no Kirilenko are ailing the Jazz, so the efforts of their unheralded draft finds (Wesley Matthews, CJ Miles and Paul Millsap) will the measuring stick. They have competed, in spite of Kyrylo Fesenko. On the other hand, Andrew Bynum needs to show those double-double nights like what he just pulled in Game 2 to quell those Chris Bosh rumors.

Prediction: Lakers in 6. Memo's absence is really telling for Utah. Again, Phil is 45-0 when winning Game 1. With their Game 2 loss, that is 16 straight now for the Jazz at Staples. But like OKC, this team is a feisty bunch that plays hard and shows effort. The anti-Sheed team, so to speak.

3. Phoenix vs. 7. San Antonio (as of this writing, Series favors Phoenix 2-0)

1st round assessment: Phoenix took advantage of Brandon Roy's injury, ousting them in 6. Dallas, on the other hand, just did what Dallas always does. Spurs now 11-1 in the 1st round.

Key people to watch: Can George Hill provide the same oomph like the first round. Also, the nose strap that holding on Manu's nose needs to do its job. Channing Frye played well in Game 2. He needs to do that to free up the lanes for the likes of Sparty's J-Rich and old man Grant Hill. Oh and we need to share some love to the JMZ. (Jared Dudley)

Prediction: Spurs in 7. Amidst all the things, I trust in the Pop way of things when it comes to the Spurs vs Suns. All I know, something happens when it is Los Spurs vs Los Suns.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Farewell to Ernie Harwell

Baseball lost another legend with the passing of Ernie Harwell. In memoriam, here is one of his literary works.

The game for all America

Baseball is President Eisenhower tossing out the first ball of the season; and a pudgy schoolboy playing catch with his dad on a Mississippi farm. If s the big league pitcher who sin in night clubs. And the Hollywood . singer who pitches to the Giants in spring training.

A tall, thin old man waving a scorecard from his dugout -- that's baseball. So is the big, fat guy with a bulbous nose running out one of his 714 home runs with mincing steps.

It's America, this baseball. A re-issued newsreel of boyhood dreams. Dreams lost somewhere between boy and man. It's the Bronx cheer and the Baltimore farewell. The left-field screen in Boston, the right-field dump at Nashville's Sulphur Dell, the open stands in San Francisco, the dusty, wind-swept diamond at Albuquerque. And a rock home plate and a chicken wire backstop -- anywhere.

There's a man in Mobile who remembers a triple he saw Honus Wagner hit in Pittsburgh 46 years ago. That's baseball. So is the scout reporting that a 16-year-old sandlot pitcher in Cheyenne is the new "Walter Johnson."

It's a wizened little man shouting insults from the safety of his bleacher seat. And a big, smiling first baseman playfully tousling the hair of a youngster outside the players' gate.

Baseball is a spirited race of man against man, reflex against reflex. A game of inches. Every skill is measured. Every heroic, every failing is seen and cheered -- or booed. And then becomes a statistic.

In baseball, democracy shines its clearest. Here the only race that matters is the race to the bag. The creed is the rule book. Color is something to distinguish one team's uniform from another.

Baseball is Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin, asking his Brooklyn hosts to explain Dodger signals. It's player Moe Berg speaking seven languages and working crossword puzzles in Sanskrit. It's a scramble in the box seats for a foul -- and a $125 suit ruined. A man barking into a hot microphone about a cool beer, that's baseball. So is the sportswriter telling a .383 hitter how to stride, and a 20-victory pitcher trying to write his impressions of the World Series.

Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words. A carnival without kewpie dolls.

A housewife in California couldn't tell you the color of her husband's eyes, but she knows that Yogi Berra is hitting .337, has brown eyes and used to love to eat bananas with mustard. That's baseball. So is the bright sanctity of Cooperstown's Hall of Fame. And the former big leaguer, who is playing out the string in a Class B loop.

Baseball is continuity. Pitch to pitch. Inning to inning. Game to game. Series to series. Season to season.

It's rain, rain, rain splattering on a puddled tarpaulin as thousands sit in damp disappointment. And the click of typewriters and telegraph keys in the press box -- like so many awakened crickets. Baseball is a cocky batboy. The old-timer whose batting average increases every time he tells it. A lady celebrating a home team rally by mauling her husband with a rolled-up scorecard.

Baseball is the cool, clear eyes of Rogers Hornsby, the flashing spikes of Ty Cobb, an overaged pixie named Rabbit Maranville, and Jackie Robinson testifying before a Congressional hearing.

Baseball? It's just a game -- as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. It's a sport, business -- and sometimes even religion.

Baseball is Tradition in flannel knickerbockers. And Chagrin in being picked off base. It is Dignity in the blue serge of an umpire running the game by rule of thumb. It is Humor, holding its sides when an errant puppy eludes two groundskeepers and the fastest outfielder. And Pathos, dragging itself off the field after being knocked from the box.

Nicknames are baseball. Names like Zeke and Pie and Kiki and Home Run and Cracker and Dizzy and Dazzy.

Baseball is a sweaty, steaming dressing room where hopes and feelings are as naked as the men themselves. It's a dugout with spike-scarred flooring. And shadows across an empty ballpark. It's the endless list of names in box scores, abbreviated almost beyond recognition.

The holdout is baseball, too. He wants 55 grand or he won't turn a muscle. But, it's also the youngster who hitch-hikes from South Dakota to Florida just for a tryout.

Arguments, Casey at the Bat, old cigarette cards, photographs, Take Me Out to the Ball Game -- all of them are baseball.

Baseball is a rookie -- his experience no bigger than the lump in his throat -- trying to begin fulfillment of a dream. It's a veteran, too -- a tired old man of 35, hoping his aching muscles can drag him through another sweltering August and September.

For nine innings, baseball is the story of David and Goliath, of Samson, Cinderella, Paul Bunyan, Homer's Iliad and the Count of Monte Cristo.

Willie Mays making a brilliant World Series catch. And then going home to Harlem to play stick-ball in the street with his teen-age pals -- that's baseball.

And so is the husky voice of a doomed Lou Gehrig saying, "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth."

Baseball is cigar smoke, hot-roasted peanuts, The Sporting News, winter trades, "Down in Front," and the "Seventh-Inning Stretch." Sm arms, broken bats, a no-hitter, and the strains of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Baseball is a highly paid Brooklyn catcher telling the nation's business leaders: "You have to be a man to be a big leaguer, but you have to have a lot of little boy in you, too."

This is a game for America, this baseball!
(Taken from here).

TWTWTNBA: Eastern Conference Semis assessment

All Four teams have been identified, so let's see how they will roll:

1. Cleveland vs 4. Boston (as of this writing, Series is even at 1 apiece)

1st round assessment: For the Cavs, @mogotti2 was a creditable #2 to the MVP, with his only dud performance being in the closeout game (Game 5) against the Bulls (now headless with Paxson exercising his authority). Cavs-Bulls was memorable for Joakim Noah. For the Celtics, I thought Nate was going to be a factor, but he is only visible on Twitter. I was terribly disappointed in Miami's play.

Key people to watch: For the Cavs, Jamison's play against Garnett will be a major factor. Doc Rivers has said that Sheed needs to play better and he did on Game 2. Then again, that's probably the first pulse we felt from Sheed since whenever.

Prediction: Cavs in 6. I did say that in the previous round, the Celtics will be barbecued by the Cavs. But Akron's elbow is a major cause of concern.

2. Orlando vs 3. Atlanta (as of this writing, Series is 1-0 favoring Orlando)

1st round assessment: I thought the Magic would have a much more difficult time against the Bobcats, but they swept past them, but not without much whining from Dwight and Stan Van regarding the physical play. The Hawks, I thought, would have an easier time against the Bucks, but the Deer proved to be feisty, and extended the series to the limit. No doubt these guys helped.

Key people to watch: After the hardships re: NBA officiating, let's see what Dwight does this round. On the other side, let's see how Al Horford matches skill with D-12.

Prediction: Magic in 5. This is a bad matchup for Atlanta. You saw for yourselves in Game 1.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blog Outsourcing 5/3


Welcome to the First Monday of May in the year 2010. Today is World Press Freedom Day, so as part of the online media, one might say that it is our day as well. A day where we all recognize of freedom to express our views, thoughts and opinions without the threat of reproach (with cause, i presume) from the higher-ups. Especially here in the islands, where people get killed just for exposing negative stuff about certain powerful elements.

Anyhow, I presume almost everyone here grew up in the New Wave era, where Brit pop and synthesizers ruled the airwaves. The other night, a certain band named Tears for Fears arrived in our shores, bringing with them their music and memories. As what Curt Smith said, they have been around the world, but they wondered for themselves why it took them this long to arrive in Manila.

Yes, I watched a Tears for Fears concert. I watched them perform. I watched them charm us all. I watched my fellow concert goers sing along to them. It was such a treat.

I paid over $56 dollars for a ticket worth slightly under $21 just to watch them, as it was sold out. I never thought I would pay that much for a concert. I wonder what would I do if a band like Coldplay or U2 ever comes to our shores. We already had Paramore and Timbaland (with a little Jojo and Justin Timberlake sprinkled in, which we did not know already broke up with Jessica Biel when he flew in).

Anyhow, time to link you up with the good stuff.

He fulfilled his end of the bargain. You know, if that ever happens, Sparty and I will have a debate.

These kids could take over for Tiger.

Just as you think Pittsburgh's problems have gone away...

Zach Greinke still cannot get a break.

Johan Santana had a bad day. Red Sox got swept by the O's. Yes. the O's.

This video is dedicated for Eric Byrnes:

One stat matters if you are a Laker fan: Phil Jackson is 45-0 when Game 1 goes his way.

Time to say goodbye to the Deer.

Get well soon, George.

Will Casey get a second chance?

RIP Pocamps.

Lebron is MVP.

And to part here is an old track:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Who R U Picking?

It is one of the most awaited matches in boxing history.

On one side, is the undefeated so-called Pound-for-Pound legend that is

Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather and on the other side, another legend in his own right, Sugar Shane Mosley.

It will on May 1 in Las Vegas, but in Manila, it would be May 2, lunch time.

Boxing fans have been looking forward for this match in a long time, now just coming into fruition. Of course people remember the great Kanye West-like example of Mosley during the Mayweather vs Marquez post-fight scene.That somewhat set the table for this meeting. Of course, luck played its way through it; with the fallout of the Pacquiao - Mayweather mega fight freeing up Floyd and the Haiti earthquake KO'ng Andre Berto, thus freeing up Shane.

And so, this is the moment. Let's get this on.