Longhorndave on Sports
A sports fan take on the world of sports. Out is what the media wants me to think, in is what people should be following. Listed Top 75 Sports Blog by Social Animal https://socialanimal.com/blog/best-sports-blogs/
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Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Sportswoman of the Week Ending 3/26/2023
March Madness hits a crescendo in the Sweet Sixteen to Final Four round as the field in the tournament is winnowed from teams kind of in the Top 25 to the best teams in the land. And stars emerge on the big stage. There may not be a bigger star in the sport than Iowa guard Caitlin Clark. Clark averaged 36 points and 10 assists in two critical wins in the Regional Semifinals and Finals to lift the Hawkeyes to the Final Four. The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year shot over 50% from the field and beyond the arc in the big victories over Colorado and Louisville to net Iowa its first Final Four since 1993 and second in program history. The six-foot Junior Clark is the player to watch in the Final Four and our Sportswoman of the Week!
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Sportsman of the Week Ending 3/19/2023
What a week for baseball in a week of the year not usually know for high intensity baseball. The World Baseball Classic entered it's final stages with the end of pool play, Quarterfinals, and Semifinals to set the stage for an epic championship between the United States and Japan, two of the renown superpowers of the sport. Team USA had been uneven to date. losing a game to neighboring Mexico and struggling through other pool play matchups. But they caught their stride in the knock out round. The number nine hitter in the United States lineup carried the team, that being Trea Turner. Turner slugged the Americans past Canada, Colombia, Venezuela, then Cuba in epic fashion. He went 6/15, with 5 runs, and 10 RBI on 4 HR. He hit a critical Grand Slam to save battling team against Venezuela, his second HR of the game. Another HR against Cuba to set the tone in the semifinals. Turner led the American team all the way to the World Baseball Classic Finals and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, March 13, 2023
Sportswoman of the Week Ending 3/12/2023
There's a new women's ski champion of all time and her name is Mikaela Shiffrin. The American greatest skier of all time notched her 87th career World Cup victory on Saturday to eclipse Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark for the most all time. Ingemar competed in the 70s and 80s in which the sport was still a bit more limited in it's competitors all the more impressive. Shiffrin's diverse skills contribute to her ability to dominate the sport at a level never seen before. The two-time Gold Medalist and five-time World Cup champion (and now repeat Sportswoman of the Week) has won 73 of her 87 in either Slalom (53) or Grand Slalom (20). To go with 5 Super-G's, 3 Downhills, 1 combined, 3 parallel city events, and 2 parallel slaloms. The 28-year-old from Vail, CO, is an American legend and a repeat Sportswoman of the Week!
Monday, March 6, 2023
Sportsman of the Week Ending 3/5/2023
The NBA is surging toward the Playoffs and there is no doubt, it's not who was good in January. It's who is good in March and April. And right now that is the New York Knicks. The Knicks have won nine straight games and are approaching a month since their last loss. This week, they demolished four key opponents, including the defending Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics. Twice (one in double overtime on the road, that's clutch). Include the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets and the Knickerbockers are pointed the right direction. Nobody has stepped up more than forward Julius Randle. For the week, Randle averaged 29.5 Points Per Game, then throw in 8.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists. No, not averaging a Triple Double but real stats contributing to major wins. The key to the Knicks is balance, but every team needs a leader and Randle fits the bill. For a potential title and definitely for the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, February 27, 2023
Sportsman of the Week Ending 2/26/2023
Rounding into full Spring Sports and the National Hockey League playoff chase is in full throttle. One team has completely lapped the rest of the field and is about to lap them again. The Boston Bruins have been the class of the league from fall until today. And you don't get this way without epic goaltending. Linus Ullmark has emerged as the elite net minder in the NHL and had another epic week. He's won five straight starts allowing 8 goals total. This week, 2 games, to wins, 2 goals allowed. Not only that, he scored a goal netting a late goal in a win against Vancouver. That's doing it all. The 29-year-old Swede toiled six years in Buffalo before now emerging as the best in the league in his first year over 40 games. Will be the talk of the Stanley Cup Finals, and our Sportsman of the Week!
Sunday, February 26, 2023
2023 MLB Rule Changes. Is it the end of the beautiful game?
The only thing that is inevitable in life and sports is change. While conservative (read old school, traditionalist) fans lament anything not like the last. There is room for improvement in the game in any sport. But baseball has traditionally been the slowest to move. With Commissioner Rob Manfred, that has been accelerated with a hyper focus on reducing game length. Whether shorter games are a desire for fans is in the eye of the beholder. While 2023 seems like an anomaly in terms of drastic rule changes we've had a number in recent years and this really is just the latest wave.
The lates includes universal DH starting in 2022, COVID introduced but Commissioner kept extra inning ghost runners to speed up the game (and reduce pitcher wear), three batter minimum for relievers (to reduce game time), and limited mound visits introduced in the last 5 years. In years past, we've lowered the mound (and standardized), allowed instant replay reviews changes of the play (various states of what's reviewable and how it's initiated to include umpire explanations now), changed interference rules for double players, changed blocking home plate rules, implemented pitcher inspections for grip, changed rules for what players could do for watching in game replays, a lot of things.
|Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has made decisions and many fans aren't happy|
But it seems like this year's changes seem to cut at more of the fundamentals of baseball. Baseball is not supposed to have a clock. The bases have been the same size for a century. Defenses being able to position where they want is strategy. Pitchers throwing to a base when desired is just part of it. Let's break down the impact of the new rules. It may not be what you think. Here is from most impactful to least impactful:
1) Limited throws to first base
- Pitchers are limited to two disengagements (pickoff attempts or step-offs) per plate appearance. However, this limit is reset if a runner or runners advance during the plate appearance.
- If a third pickoff attempt is made, the runner automatically advances one base if the pickoff attempt is not successful.
- The bases, which traditionally have been 15 inches square, will instead be 18 inches square. Home plate is unchanged.
- The bases, which traditionally have been 15 inches square, will instead be 18 inches square. Home plate is unchanged.
- The four infielders must be within the outer boundary of the infield when the pitcher is on the rubber.
- Infielders may not switch sides. In other words, a team cannot reposition its best defender on the side of the infield the batter is more likely to hit the ball
|Student Body Right is no longer allowed|
- The pitcher must begin his motion to deliver the pitch before the expiration of the pitch timer.
- Pitchers who violate the timer are charged with an automatic ball. Batters who violate the timer are charged with an automatic strike.
- Batters must be in the box and alert to the pitcher by the 8-second mark or else be charged with an automatic strike.
|Large counting down digits are here to stay in baseball|
Monday, February 20, 2023
Sportsman of the Week Ending 2/19/2023
The Spring Sports season rounds into form now that the Super Bowl is behind us and the first major benchmark is the Daytona 500. After a winter of quiet, the engines roar on the beach in the Great American Race. And with the restrictor plate racing, surprise winners are becoming a regular thing. 2023 did not disappoint. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. survived several crashes and restarts in what became the longest Daytona 500 in history (thanks to new overtime rules). On the second overtime, as the field wrecked in carnage behind him, he surged ahead of 2022 Cup Champion Joey Logano to secure his first Daytona 500 victory in 12 tries. The day was categorized by setbacks and Stenhouse Jr. had his share, including a pit violation during the third stage. But lurking around the front and crafty driving put him in front when it counted. He's known for his aggressive style of driving and that paid off for JTG Daugherty Racing as he secures the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, February 13, 2023
Sportsman of the Week Ending 2/12/2023
In what is one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory, there were many heroes on the winning team but not often do defensive players get recognized. But we will do just that. Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton did everything possible to stop the offensive machine that was the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. Including score a touchdown. Almost two TDs (a second score was overturned). And lead the team in tackles with 8 solo tackles, nine total. In a game of offenses, Bolton showed why defense mattered. At risk of the Eagles going up two touchdowns, he pressured Jalen Hurts then scooped a fumble and tied the game at 14. The halftime score that was 24-14 in reality would have been nearly insurmountable had it been 24-7 or even 31-7. The Fly Eagles Fly would have happened. Instead it was just close enough for the Chiefs offense to fire back in the second half and win on the final series for their second Super Bowl in four years. The Kansas City Chiefs are a dynasty, but it's different players, like Nick Bolton, who make it happen. A worthy Sportsman of the Week!
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Sportsman of the Week Ending 2/5/2023
The gap week between the NFL Conference Championships, beyond the Australian Open, and before March Madness produces an intriguing and somewhat underdog choice for Sportsman or woman of the week. This year, we focus on what has probably been the best men's college basketball team over the past two years, the Houston Cougars. Final Four participants in 2022, they added a talented freshman that may be the person to push them over the top. Jarace Walker has been a force in the American Athletic Conference and seems to be getting better with experience. The 6'8" racked up his third and fourth double digit scoring games on a balanced Cougar squad. He's got inside game and outside game with over 50% shooting from the field, 7-11 from beyond the arc and 11 rebounds in the two wins this week. Not to mention 5 steals and 38 points overall, all tops on the team. And the Cougars were the only Top 5 team to win both their contests last week to push their overall record to 22-2. The Cougars look poised for a March Madness run and Jarace Walker is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, January 30, 2023
Sportsman of the Week Ending 1/29/2023
The penultimate weekend of the NFL had the best four team squaring off for a berth in the Super Bowl. And the home team, number one seeds did not disappoint. In what was supposed to be a close game, the Philadelphia Eagles broke the game open on early big plays by their defense. Led by edge disrupter Haason Reddick, the Eagles shut down the San Francisco 49ers holding them to just a TD over the game for an easy 31-7 victory to win the NFC Championship. Reddick ended up with 3 tackles, 2 of them sacks. a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. When he wasn't making tackles, he was disrupting the anemic, injury-riddled 49ers offense causing fits. Reddick was one of many difference makers, but it was his sacks and fumble influence that really made the game non-competitive. On to the Super Bowl for the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!