Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Ramblings? It's about time!

OK, so I've had these sitting in a file on my computer for so long, most of them aren't even topical any more. So, here goes.

  • The website of Notre Dame's Polish Club is I'm not kidding - check it out! When I found that out, it was easily the highlight of my day.

  • Former NFL coach Hank Stram died recently (at least it was recent at the time I came up with this rambling). Stram was actually Terry Brennan's backfield coach at ND from 1957-58.

  • My favorite moment from baseball's All Star Game this year. On the Baseball Tonight prior to the Home Run Derby, Peter Gammons repeated this phrase - rather excitedly, I might add - at least three times: "Baseball has always mirrored American immigration patterns." I have to find a way to turn that into a catch phrase.

  • My thoughts on Rafael Palmeiro's Hall of Fame status, blatantly taken from the message board, because I'm lazy like that:
    I agree that, as of right now, 500 home runs doesn't look like it will always be an automatic ticket into the HOF. But with the "end of the steroids era," maybe that change back again.

    The rest of my argument is basically similar to Pete's. So, he never got media attention. Is that his fault, or the media's for not recognizing a great player? Does he have to hold out or demand a trade to a big city just to get attention? No. But, you know, Eddie Murray never was a media darling. Murray is one of only a handful of players in the 3000/500 club, a club that Palmeiro soon will join. Plus, Murray was primarily a DH. Palmeiro has won three gold gloves (OK, so those may be "attention to a good hitter" gold gloves like A-Rod has been getting, but you'll have to bring me tapes of those years to get me to change my mind). All this guy did was quietly go out and play baseball year after year. That's all Cal Ripken did; Palmeiro just took a few more days off. You can argue that his numbers are simply a product of longevity. But, with a career batting average of .289 (and a career OPS of .889), I'd have to argue that his longevity is a product of being able to keep putting up good numbers.

    The one thing that would hold me back is the steriods issue. I was watching an Indians-O's game a couple weeks ago, and the announcer mentioned that this year Palmeiro has gone back to more of a simple line drive swing, as he used in his earlier years, instead of the power swing he'd been using as of late. The announcer's reason was that Palmeiro was more concerned now about the 3000 point mark than just home runs. Maybe that's true, or maybe that's a sign that he juiced for a period of time. I'm not accusing him, because I have no proof.

    Mike, will I tell my grandkids about him? Well, if I ever take them to Cooperstown, or they pull a baseball card out of an old dusty box and ask "who's the guy with the great pimpstache," I'll tell them that Palmeiro had probably the most effortless swing you'll ever see.

    As for Dave - are you sure you're not just bitter that Palmeiro went to college instead of signing with the Mets out of HS after the '82 draft?

  • Mini video game rant: After not producing an NCAA basketball game for the Gamecube, EA Sports has also stopped making NCAA football for the Nintendo platform. I was seriously considering trading in my Gamecube and all its games for a used PS2, until I saw that Blockbuster's Gamerush only pays out $25 to buy back a Gamecube. Also in video game news, the MVP Baseball franchise will reportedly be done after this year, several years after EA's Triple Play series was stopped. Also, ESPN has bought exclusive video game rights from the NFL Player's Association. This legally means that EA can no longer produce Madden games with real player names, pictures, and stats. Rumor has it that the Madden franchise, or EA itself, will look to combine with ESPN Video Games to produce future Madden games under ESPN's name. Of course, I heard this news before Madden agreed to sign on with NBC, so I'm not sure what will become of the world's favorite video game franchise.

  • Sure to be Dave and Mike's desktop wallpaper, if it isn't already: the Division IA football helmet map.

  • Finally, news that I just picked up mere minutes ago. Not only is Boat Club officially gone, but Heartland is now under new ownership. The new name is "Club Fever." The name change is unfortunate, as now even less people will get my jokes about the "Heartland Express" semis on I-80. Hey, as long as they keep the dancing beer girls, they can call it whatever they want.
    Update: WNDU story here.

World Baseball Classic will return next week, along with another Browns preview. I'm running a little behind, I know, but I've almost been pretending to have a social life lately. Lord knows that won't last long....