Holliday blows up Scutaro on a good baseball play

MATT HOLLIDAY TAKES OUT MARCO SCUTARO WITH A HARD SLIDE AT SECOND BASE DURING GAME 2 OF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Borderline dirty….Yes. Illegal…No.

Bruce Bochy cries foul and Giants remain incensed over Matt Holliday’s slide in Game 2 of the NLCS. But, the fact is Holliday’s slide was a good hard baseball play. His job as a base-runner is supposed to break up the double-play at second. It’s exactly what he did.

Holliday admitted after the game that he wished he would have slid a little bit earlier. He said he still could have impacted Scutaro, without the violent collision that injured Scutaro’s hip. But, he didn’t. The slide was within baseball protocal and rules. As a base-runner you can not leave the baseline and as long as you can touch the base with arms or legs its deemed legal. It’s the big leagues’ not tee ball.

Now, if this same slide would have been done in Little League, high school and even college both the base-runner and the hitter would be out. But, this is the Bigs and hard-nosed play should be rewarded and encouraged…..not penalized. It was good hard baseball play.

 

For Paradise, its time to move on…..

Based on conversations I have had with Paradise football coaches I don’t see the any lingering affects from the 2009 Division I North Section title game. For those of you who are uninitiated, Enterprise captured the 2009 section title with an improbable and controversial 26-23 win on a cold night at Wraith Field.

Whether you agree with the call by the game officials or not, the result of that game had lasting affects.

First, Enterprise contends that their bus was vandalized when their basketball team came to the ridge several months later as a direct result of that football game. Second, Enterprise cancelled the season series in football with Paradise over concerns for the safety of their fans and players. Third, Paradise fans got a bad rap for being these out of control zealots who were sore losers. And, in conclusion, regardless of who you were pulling for that night, everyone lost.

Paradise lost some respect in the eyes of the peers in the North Section and Enterprise lost the glory that goes with winning a section title since there was such controversy at the end of the game.

I think it is unfair to use a broad brush to characterize the fans of Paradise as these maniacal fans who are sore losers and don’t give the 2009 Enterprise kids credit in that game. 99.9 percent of Bobcat fans congratulate the Hornets and thought they played an amazing game that night. The raucous minority was given too much publicity by the local media, myself included and that I believe helped taint the situation. I believe it was unwise of Enterprise to cancel the season series with Paradise. In some respects I think it was cowardly and dismissive. If Enterprise had safety concerns, those could have been ironed out, with a meeting of the minds at both schools. Instead the Hornets decided to stop playing the Bobcats, which I feel added fuel to fire.

Paradise football fans are the most loyal and rabid in the North State. A few bad apples characterized the Paradise fans as bad fans……which couldn’t be further from the truth. Paradise puts 3000 butts in the seats at every home game and travels better than any fan base, for any sport north of Sacramento. It’s truly “Hoosiers” re-visited.

Sadly the controversial ending to the game meant a tarnished title. Lets put a stop to that right now ! Paradise beat Enterprise 49-13 three weeks before the section title match-up. They held a two score lead late in the third quarter, yet couldn’t put the Hornets away. When they had the chance, they couldn’t get that extra first down, they couldn’t keep possession. When they finally had appeared to win the game, they didn’t stay on the field as required by the rules. We can debate whether the officials made the right call penalizing Paradise for illegal participation, after a blocked field goal had seemingly won the game for the Bobcats. We can debate whether the officials should have allowed Coach Trueblood from arguing his case for 20 minutes on the field until he got his way.  These are all points of contention that  split these schools in the most vociferous of fashions. What can not be debated is Enterprise’s mental toughness and Paradise’s inability to put the game away. And, lastly, the Bobcats inability to stop the Hornets on a 4th and 24 in the waning seconds……

So, Bobcat fans, its time to move on. Hell, you have won back-to-back section titles (2010, 2011) and have been the dominant program in Northern California for more than a decade. Give the Bobcats of 2009 their due….a great team, one of the best to ever suit up in the green and gold. But, you need to also give, as Coach Rick Prinz has, the Enterprise Hornets their due. An amazing performance, on hostile grounds to win a championship that no one thought they could win. It was a great game and its taken way too long for the remnants of that game to be extricated from the Bobcat conscience……Let tonight be the first step in moving on from that cold November night.

 

Chico High beats Paradise in a double overtime CLASSIC

 

It was a classic game with a classic finish. The Paradise Bobcats, playing their third straight emotional game against a high quality opponent. The Chico High Panthers, looking to stand tall against the big, bad Bobcats from the ridge. What we got was one of the best games the North Section has seen in years.

Chico High converts a 4th and 17 for a touchdown in the first overtime and then a 4th and 8 for a touchdown in the second overtime to send their crowd into a frenzy. Chico High Head Coach Jason Alvistur would then go for a two-point conversion in the second overtime. Recognizing his team was physically beaten up, Alvistur in the gutsiest of fashions went for the win. When Daniel Robbins would hit Burak Karatekeli at the goal line, and the referee signaled score…..it was a celebration on the Panther side-line usually reserved for the Almond Bowl. An exhausted Robbins was hugging friends and family at the center of the field after the game. His brow furrowed, in pain, yet his eyes telling the story of a win he will always remember. I saw the disappointment and also the wry smiles of Paradise players, knowing they fought hard, but were beaten by a super-human effort and determination.

As I left the field on Friday night, I could almost sense Paradise’s admiration for what Chico pulled off. A Bobcat team that had to play Foothill, Enterprise and Chico in consecutive weeks. Knowing the schedule was bound to take its toll.

Yet, it appeared they had the game won multiple times.  In overtime, the Bobcats had a chance to intercept Daniel Robbins three times, yet couldn’t corral the passes and let victory slip to the turf. You had Robbins battling a bum ankle and leg cramps, gimping his way through the overtime, virtually willing his team to victory.

Seeing these two teams leave everything they had on the field, you could only feel great for both squads. Sport, in its most raw and simple terms. Two clubs competing at the highest level wanting to win more than a hungry man wants food……What more, as a fan could you ask for ?

Chico High won the game. Paradise won honor in defeat. And, those that witnessed the game had the privilege of seeing it.

 

Thank you Lance Armstrong…..

LANCE ARMSTRONG IS LEAVING THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION AND NIKE HAS CUT TIES WITH THE TOUR DE FRANCE CHAMPION AFTER ALLEGATIONS OF DOPING

I will not view Lance Armstrong through the narrow prism the media wants me too. Lance Armstrong founded the Livestrong Foundation after he had fought and won his battle with testicular cancer. Given a 15 percent chance to live, he not only beat the cancer but became a multiple winner of Tour de France titles.

So, when the revelations come out that Lance Armstrong may have been doping during his Tour de France wins….I will give him a pass. First, Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG foundation was pivotal in a recent cancer  fight that I had to go through in my family. The costs of treatments were either reduced or eliminated completely,  SOLELY because of negotiated contracts with Armstrong’s foundation.

So, while the media will pile on Armstrong for leaving the foundation and having Nike drop him as a spokesman and ad-man….I will remember what Armstrong’s foundation did for me and my family as we were going through a stressful time.

Thank You Lance Armstrong

 

Giants ENERGY tough to beat

The San Francisco Giants have an energy and momentum right now that is palpable. We usually only hear of physicists or new-age gurus that talk about the actual weight and physical presence of energy. Quantum physics are two scary words for the uninitiated…..but, right now its really the only thing that describes the “feel” around the Giants right now.

The Giants energy is tangible.

Right now the baseball Giants are a collection of molecules operating in a synchronized fashion at a level of perfection rarely seen in sport on the team level. We see specific players get in a zone. Rarely, if ever, do we see TEAMS get in a zone. We are talking about 25 guys….ALL playing at their apex.

I watch a lot of baseball. It’s basically my love. Its one of my true loves. Whether I am watching a tee ball game, high school, Legion ball or the big leaguers….its what envelopes me. I have seen a lot of outstanding baseball performances in my day…..The Giants of RIGHT NOW and the Red Sox run of 2004, are the only times I have felt that there was something bigger than sport taking place.

The Giants are a confluence of energy, passion, talent, determination and joy…..its a wave…..and we are all being carried along in its journey

 

Giants get last laugh in latest chapter in Dodger/Giant rivalry

Dodgers and Giants is synonymous with Hatfields and McCoys. Its been a rivalry for more than 100 years. Its storied, bitter and passion-filled. And, rarely does it leave both fan bases happy at the end of a season. In 1951 it was the Giants winning 37 of the final 44 to erase a 13.5 game deficit and win the NL Pennant on Bobby Thomson’s SHOT HEARD ROUND THE WORLD

In 1962, the Dodgers and Giants played a three-game playoff again. This time the Giants scored four runs in the top of the 9th inning of the decisive third game to beat the Dodgers 6-4, dealing the Dodgers a memorable defeat during their hey-day.

In 1982, it was Joe Morgan hitting a three-run home run off of Terry Forster giving the Giants a 5-2 lead in a game the Dodgers had to win to force a one-game playoff with the Atlanta Braves. It was crippling blow as the Dodgers were looking to repeat as World Series champions.

In 1993, the Dodgers repaid the favor. as the Dodgers were rebuilding, the Giants were on their way to magical finish. Having won 103 games entering the final day of the 1993 season, the Dodgers would trounce the Giants 12-1 ending their season and giving the title to the Atlanta Braves.

In 2004, Steve Finley would hit a walk-off grand-slam on the next to last day of the season. The slam would give the Dodgers the division and would eliminate the Giants in a walk-off at Dodger Stadium.

And now, 2012 gets its place in the pantheon of great rivalry moments. The Giants were in, and the Dodgers needed a win to force a decisive 162nd game of the season……but the Giants up-end the Dodgers 4-3 in a thriler from Dodger Stadium last night.

In a rivalry of last laughs…..The Giants got it last night. The proverbial cherry on top of the 2012 season. They are National League West winners and they eliminated their hated rivals. Today is a good day to be a Giant