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Sports Then and Now



MLB Lifts Ban on YouTube Videos, Makes Baseball Games More Accessible 2

Posted on June 08, 2013 by Ryan Kuketz

MLB_Logo

 

Have you ever wanted to watch a baseball highlight without going on MLB.com and trying to navigate their ridiculous video section? Well that might not be a problem any longer. Major League Baseball has finally lifted its ban of Major League clips on YouTube. As every other sports league was easily accessible worldwide, the tyranny of Bud Selig wouldn’t allow even a 30 second clip of an MLB game. Now MLB has finally joined the 21st century and has posted full game videos of classic games, and have eased their ban on others posting MLB videos.

One of the best full games MLB had posted thus far is the 1999 all-star game at Fenway Park.

 

 

Every Red Sox fan remembers this classic!! Ted Williams is comes out of Center field waving his hat to the crowd, and even the players are in awe of the greatest hitter that ever lived. The when the actually starts, Pedro Martinez strikes out 5 of the 6 batters he faces.

If you have 5 hours to kill, you can always watch game 5 of the 2004 ALCS

And you can even follow it up by watching the Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years!

Although the MLB YouTube channel isn’t spectacular, its a start for the league. The NBA, NHL, and even European Football have been big commodities on YouTube, and people all over the world now have the opportunity to follow teams without paying with a limb for an MLB subscription

LeBron: Blame Canada Instead 1

Posted on July 25, 2010 by Ryan Durling

You can’t blame LeBron James.

Seriously.

LeBron was born in December of 1984. Not two years later, Run-DMC covered Aerosmith’s 1977 hit, “Walk This Way.”

Those two facts are very much related.

See, everyone went up in arms when LeBron broke up the LeBronettes and decided to play backup guitar in Dwayne Wade’s band. But he really only did what successful athletes/artists/actors have been doing his entire life.

Prior to the mid-80s, it was rare to see anybody go to bat for one of their rival’s teams – figuratively or literally speaking. When DMC covered Aerosmith, suddenly collaboration became the thing to do. It was a surefire way of saying, “yeah, I know I’m good, but imagine how good I could be with somebody else whose talents equal mine in a complimentary manner.”

Bird never would have played with Johnson. Russell never would have played with Wilt or Kareem. But why would they? They were the best at what they did and who needed anybody else?

The Prince still has some work to do before NBA fans will anoint him King.

Elvis didn’t mix with anybody else, and neither did the Beatles or Beach Boys a decade after him. Steve Miller? Don Henley? Freddie Mercury? He shared everything else with the world, but not his musical talents. None of them collaborated.

What about Pacino or Stallone or Harrison? Or DeNiro? Not in the 70s, anyway. Ford and Stallone, now well aware that they’re past their respective primes, have done a great job in supporting roles in the last 15 years or so – the atrocious Rocky Balboa notwithstanding.

Not even in the 80s did movie stars go out of their way to collaborate. Bruce Willis, Nic Cage and Tom Cruise – all rising stars in their own right – carried their own films, some more admirably than others.

But around the mid-80s, right when Run and Aerosmith were changing the game for good, a young Michael J. Fox teamed with Christopher Lloyd for the trans-generational hit Back to the Future. Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman tag teamed on Rain Man. The rest of the 80s would see some classic teams produce epic hits: Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams (1988),  Costner and Tim Robbins in Bull Durham (1988), and Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally 1989).

It took longer for collaboration to catch on in music, primarily because there was such a divide in the 80s between the long-established Rock scene and the up-and-coming hip-hop genre. Ice Cube, Ice T, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre worked together late in the 80s in their N.W.A. project, but produced but one hit together, “F*ck the Police,” which earned a letter of warning from the FBI and will likely go down in history as the song that started the rap movement.

Dre and Snoop Dogg began the 90s by collaborating on a glut of hits that – mercifully – pushed MC Hammer and Right Said Fred quickly off the front pages of the Billboard charts. En Vogue and Salt-N-Pepa, two groups influenced by Dre, were no strangers to collaboration either. It was Tupac who made collaboration big in hip-hop, however, working with artists from different labels and pushing their careers forward. Read the rest of this entry →

All Hail The Kings 4

Posted on July 13, 2010 by Ryan Durling

It’s been a strange year for sport. A team of Geriatrics made the NBA Finals, taking the defending champs to 7 games. Two teams who had never won a World Cup played for the championship. A team (avert your eyes, Bostonians) with a 3-games-to-zero playoff series lead melted and lost in Game 7 on home ice. At baseball’s all-star break, 3 teams who didn’t finish last year with a winning record lead their divisions. The once-unflappable Tiger Woods flapped and, ultimately, folded. A tennis match lasted over 11 hours, spanning 3 days. The Miami Heat built a basketball franchise that promises to be hated by all.

But when the year is over and Time Magazine writes its Person of the Year issue, these instances will all be asterisks, if that. Sport in 2010 will be marked neither by tragedy nor travesty, but rather by life running its course. Not 40 days after John Wooden – The Coach – passed away, so, too, did The Boss.

George Steinbrenner was, no doubt, a polarizing figure, but nowhere more than in the Bronx. What he represented drew the ire of eyes in Boston, Queens, Atlanta and Los Angeles, to be sure, but it wasn’t until twenty years into his ownership of the Yankees that his own fans warmed to him – and then, only after a three-year, league-imposed hiatus from the game.

Steinbrenner, Guliani and the World Series trophy in 2001 during an Esquire Magazine photo shoot.

But this is not a history lesson. No, this writer prefers to leave history to those more historically inclined. Steinbrenner’s passing happened at a fitting time; it was, after all, the one day of the year in which there is no sports news for ESPN or any other outlet to break. And, let it be known – even in the opinion of one who often criticizes ESPN for capitalizing on narcissistic moments in sport – that ESPN covered the passing of The Boss admirably, devoting an entire morning and early afternoon of coverage to Steinbrenner, his friends, once and former co-workers and the rest.

I am a Boston fan. I grew up in Upstate New York, with the exception some instances during my childhood in which I was transplanted in Massachusetts’ South Shore. That was enough to sell me on the Red Sox and Bruins and Celtics and Patriots, despite the fact that for most of the year I was surrounded by a majority of Yankees, Rangers, Knicks and Bills fans.

That does not make me immune to feeling the same chills that so many others probably felt this morning when Bob Knight, during a phone interview on SportsCenter, broke down crying not once, but twice while talking about Steinbrenner. Or when Dave Winfield got choked up on camera. I’m almost afraid to watch Derek Jeter’s interview, when it comes.

Baseball is the one sport whose season takes place without much competition. Sure, there is the occasional major golf or tennis tournament and every other summer, the World Cup or Olympics take center stage for a few weeks. But really, baseball goes from April to September without rival – it is only its postseason that is really challenged by other, regular sports. So to say that Steinbrenner was almost single-handedly responsible for making baseball what it is today might seem like an overstatement.

It’s not. Read the rest of this entry →

Sticky Memories of Protests Pasts 1

Posted on May 19, 2010 by Don Spieles

In the fifth inning of Tuesday night’s Red Sox/Yankees game, his team down 5-1, Josh Beckett’s plant foot slipped a bit on the wet mound of Yankee Stadium.  That pitch resulted in a pop up for Alex Rodriguez, and Beckett faced the next batter.  Once that batter, Robinson Canoe, had hit a two-run double, Beckett was pulled for an injury.  The Yankees bench, stating that he was not hurt but that the injury was being faked so that a reliever would be given ample time to warm-up, played the remainder of the game under protest.

MLB: Yankees vs Tigers MAY 13

Joe Girardi protested Josh Beckett's 5th inning exit from Tuesday night's game stating he did not really have an injury.

Given the fact that Josh Beckett was placed on the 15 day disabled list, it seems unlikely that the umpires decision to allow time for Manny Delcarmen to warm-up would be questioned seriously by the league, even considering that the Yankees went on to lose the game, 7-6.

So what exactly is the deal with protests in baseball? Read the rest of this entry →

Joe West and The Real Disgrace of Baseball 2

Posted on April 09, 2010 by Don Spieles

So, the Yankees as Red Sox are playing a three game set. You find yourself in the very lucky position of having enough disposable income to afford tickets for one of these games (some outfield seats go for $200 plus.)  You layout close to a grand to take the wife and kids to Yankee Stadium, you spend a bit more on gas and parking.  You drop another $200 bucks on $5 hot dogs, $10 beers, and over priced game programs and souvenirs for the kiddies.   Given this layout of cash, which of the following options do you choose:

A) A 2 hour, 20 minute lightning-round game, barely longer than a $9 movie.

B) A 4 hour baseball clinic with full counts run up by two of the best lineups in baseball, complete with base runners, full counts, and a couple of lead changes to boot.

"Cowboy Joe" West

Some more obvious observation:  Joe West is a blow-hard attention seeker who hasn’t the first clue what is important to baseball fans.

Joe West, Major League umpire, had this to say about the Yankees and Red Sox recent series at Fenway:

“They’re the two clubs that don’t try to pick up the pace. They’re two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest? It’s pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play.’’

Why is it that an umpire who’s been in the league for the years that West has doesn’t realize the the very fact that these are the two best teams in baseball is the exact reason why their games go so long.  As Curt Schilling pointed out recently, two great line-ups, taking lots of pitches, giving up no at-bats, makes for long games.   Read the rest of this entry →

2010 Baseball Previews: AL East – Can The Yankees Be Stopped? 0

Posted on March 02, 2010 by Don Spieles

To begin the 2010 Major League Baseball previews on Sports Then and Now let’s look at the American League East. The most dominant league in baseball over the last decade, the AL east has put a team in last three World Series and seven out of the last ten. It doesn’t get anymore impressive than that.

Who Will Win the AL East in 2010?

  • New York Yankees (40%, 12 Votes)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (23%, 7 Votes)
  • Boston Red Sox (20%, 6 Votes)
  • Baltimore Orioles (17%, 5 Votes)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 30

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1. New York Yankees

Will Andy Pettitte give the Yankees his usual dependable starts in 2010?

Will Andy Pettitte give the Yankees his usual dependable starts in 2010?

While most talking heads no longer rank the Yankees pitching staff as the best of the division, they are still pretty darn impressive, at least at the top of the rotation. CC Sabathia promises to have an even better year than last now that he’s had a full year to get used to his new surroundings. Being that last year was not too shabby (19-8 records, 3.37 ERA, 4th in AL Cy Young votes), Sabathia looks to be a real terror on the mound for New York.  Even though A.J. Burnett was a bit shakier than Sabathia, he still managed to win 13 games. He, too, will see improvement this season.

With the top two in excellent shape, a big question mark hangs over Andy Pettitte. While this is a guy who has been the meter stick of consistency (Pettitte has won between 14 and 18 games in 9 of his fifteen seasons, which leaves out a 19 win and two 21 win seasons) he will turn 38 during this upcoming season. The Yankees gave him a one year deal because they have come concerns about his durability (read: no more “healing” aides).

The real mysteries are the four and five spots in the Yankee rotation. Javier Vasquez is a big deal gain for New York as he offers a very, very solid middle of the rotation guy. The club seems intent on leaving Chamberlain as a starter despite overwhelming evidence that he should be a reliever, but now that Vasquez is in town, perhaps logic will prevail and put Phil Hughes in that fifth spot. If that’s done, the Yankees will win 100 games again this year. Read the rest of this entry →

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      April 21, 2019 | 5:18 pm
      Tony Oliva

      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

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