My Friday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#1
<TBODY><TR><TD style="FONT-FAMILY: arial; FONT-SIZE: 12pt" id=yiv1659140113drftMsgContent _yuid="yui_3_1_1_3_1311905291603180">I will arrive home later today after an 1,800-mile drive between my hometown of Chicago and Las Vegas. I took Interstate 80 across the upper Midwest through Nebraska and Iowa to arrive in Illinois two weeks ago then opted for Interstate 40 on the route home, driving through Oklahoma and New Mexico before landing in Nevada.

Thank goodness for XM Satellite radio and its MLB package.

Listening to baseball on the radio brought back boyhood memories of hearing Cubs' road games in Los Angeles or San Francisco while being tucked in bed with the transistor radio underneath my pillow as the "Lovable Losers" sometimes played well past the midnight hour. The top of the Cub lineup featured names like Kessinger, Beckert, Williams, Banks and Santo.

Vince Lloyd and Hall-of-Famer Lou Boudreau served as the play-by-play team on WGN Radio in the early 1970s and I still hear Boudreau in the deep recesses of my mind saying, "For all you kids out there..."

At the time, it seemed as if he was talking directly to me.

Fast forward to today and I continue to listen for baseball tips on the radio. Not the kind of tips Boudreau was offering on how to bunt or turn the double play, but rather the kind of unique information an investor seeks to outsmart the competition.

Here are a few nuggets of information from cities I visited on my three-day journey through the Great Midwest:

ST. LOUIS......The Cards are in a three-way battle for the NL Central title. I think St. Louis will prevail at season's end for two reasons: pitching and past performance. St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter, with support from lefty Jaime Garcia and the recently-acquired Edwin Jackson, leads a decent pitching staff in a division bereft of quality starters. Carpenter started the season 1-7, but he's 5-0 in his last seven starts, going seven or more innings in six of his last seven outings. The Cards also benefit from "back class" and their main challengers are unproven teams like home-happy Milwaukee and surprising Pittsburgh. The Brewers are 21-35 away from Miller Park and they're fortunate to lead the division in light of getting outscored by their competition after 106 games. The Pirates, sporting a 54-49 record, are this season's feel-good story. They would do well simply to post a winning record, their first in 19 seasons. One other plus for St. Louis is the thrilling atmosphere at Busch Stadium where huge crowds support the local nine. Here are the first four lines and the last four lines from a poem posted at Busch Stadium:

We are Cardinal Nation

We are the 3 million in the stands and the millions more at home.

We are generations of generations.

We are a father, a son and a scorecard.

We are two birds on one bat. And always will be.

We are 43 Hall of Famers, 10 World Championships and counting.

We are the first team this side of the Mississippi...

And the best fans this side of anywhere.



TULSA.....I timed my trip home to correspond with Tuesday night's WNBA game at BOK Center between the Atlanta Dream and Tulsa Shock. Nolan Richardson is out as Tulsa's head coach and assistant Teresa Edwards inherited the top spot. The job is a thankless one as the Shock roster is filled with rejects, projects and publicity stunts (think Sheryl Swoopes and the recently waived Marion Jones). Former UCLA basketball star and 12-year NBA veteran Tracy Murray joined the team this week as an assistant coach to Edwards. I will monitor Tulsa's progress to see if Murray has any effect on the sorry squad. Also, look for Atlanta to play well in the second half of the WNBA season. The defending Eastern Conference champs are getting healthy (Sancho Lyttle played 14 minutes last night) and Angel McCoughtry is a fabulous player who is improving with experience. McCoughtry is playing a different game than the vast majority of players in the league. She has first-step quickness to blow past bigger defenders and a deadly mid-range game to shoot over smaller opponents. She's unstoppable, especially against teams without a defensive mindset.


ALBUQUERQUE..... I read an article in the morning paper (Albuquerque Journal) about a rift between UNM basketball coach Steve Alford and head coach Tim Floyd of UTEP. The two teams have met 141 times, but the rivalry is on hold after New Mexico defeated UTEP in the first round of the NIT last season. Alford and Floyd engaged in a heated face-to-face argument before the postseason game when the two coaches could not agree on practice times at The Pit. Stay tuned.


FRIDAY'S BEST BETS.....Here are four plays for Friday, two MLB selections and a pair of WNBA releases:

Play 961-962 Chicago Cubs-St. Louis Cardinals "UNDER" 8 runs. Edwin Jackson's debut as a Cardinal. Garza has been pitching well of late and he's miserable at the plate (one sacrifice in nearly 40 plate appearances).

Play 963-964 Colorado Rockies-San Diego Padres "UNDER" 7 runs. These teams played two night games at Petco Park earlier this year: a 3-0 Colorado win and a 2-0 San Diego victory in which tonight's starter Tim Stauffer pitched eight scoreless innings.

Play 603 Seattle +8 over Minnesota. Love grabbing points with a team led by coach Brian Agler and point guard Sue Bird.

Play 603-604 Seattle-Minnesota "OVER" 146.5. Minny will push the pace at home. Augustus said after the team's most recent win, "We were having fun out there."


COMING MONDAY.....A smart handicapping angle in the college football game between Oregon State and Wisconsin set for early September in Madison.
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#4
Re: My Friday blog

John, I like both of your WNBA picks. I think a nice little parlay is in order.:btj:

2 Team Parlay
Pending 7/29/11 8:05pm WNBA Basketball 603 Seattle Storm +8? -110* vs Minnesota Lynx
Pending 7/29/11 8:05pm WNBA Basketball 603 Seattle Storm/Minnesota Lynx Over 146? -110*
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#5
Re: My Friday blog

John, I like both of your WNBA picks. I think a nice little parlay is in order.:btj:

2 Team Parlay
Pending 7/29/11 8:05pm WNBA Basketball 603 Seattle Storm +8? -110* vs Minnesota Lynx
Pending 7/29/11 8:05pm WNBA Basketball 603 Seattle Storm/Minnesota Lynx Over 146? -110*
Let's get the money, DWI.

I'm surprised by the pointspread move (from 6.5 to 8.5) on Minny.

I think the opening number was better than the current number.

Seattle is a classy bunch.
 
#8
Re: My Friday blog

Welcome back JK....I am in Southern California this weekend and headed to Del Mar today and Los Al tomorrow...

Haven't run into Railbird yet....all I have seen are a lot of Hispanics, Asians, and Disneyland tourists...I did manage to stop by In&Out yesterday...
 

JHU Dad

EOG Dedicated
#9
Re: My Friday blog

Get home safely. I remember that Cubs team because of the 1969 season. You only picked up out-of-town games on the radio. When the Cubs played in Philadelphia, the game was an easy pickup with By Saam at the mike. Later at night you could get the Pirates and Bob Prince. When I visited my family in PA, the radius of coverage expanded by 500 miles or more. No tall buildings - even KMOX would drift in.

Good luck with your picks....due for the hot streak.
 
#10
Re: My Friday blog

You left out hundley, adolpho phillips, and I believe jose cardinal in center(or was it right field)? I was 9 and thought for sure the cubs would go all the way...over 40 years later and I'm still waiting.
 
#11
Re: My Friday blog

Get home safely. I remember that Cubs team because of the 1969 season. You only picked up out-of-town games on the radio. When the Cubs played in Philadelphia, the game was an easy pickup with By Saam at the mike. Later at night you could get the Pirates and Bob Prince. When I visited my family in PA, the radius of coverage expanded by 500 miles or more. No tall buildings - even KMOX would drift in.

Good luck with your picks....due for the hot streak.
It's great that somebody besides me remembers By Saam....Baseball and Ballentine....

Listened to many games in the early 60's on my Phillips Transister radio with earplugs...
 

JHU Dad

EOG Dedicated
#12
Re: My Friday blog

Cubs didn't have Cardinale to play CF. In 1969, they used a guy named Adolfo Phillips. He messed up a fly ball at Shea in the ninth inning. Next day Leo Durocher benched him for a kid named Jimmy Qualls. He played without distinction, batted 8th and broke up Tom Seaver's Perfect Game with 1 out in the ninth.
 

2W2P2S

EOG Dedicated
#13
Re: My Friday blog

No Jack Brickhouse reference? The beginning of your blog really brought me back, back, back, back, back, back........Hey Hey!

*Most don't know that horrible impersonation Berman does was taken from Brickhouse.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#14
Re: My Friday blog

No Jack Brickhouse reference? The beginning of your blog really brought me back, back, back, back, back, back........Hey Hey!

*Most don't know that horrible impersonation Berman does was taken from Brickhouse.

I didn't know Berman's "back back back" was stolen.

The "Hey Hey" in a high-pitched voice was classic Brickhouse.

I remember Brickhouse more for television than radio.

I think Dad bought a Tru-Link fence after hearing Jack's t.v. commercials and endorsements over and over again.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#15
Re: My Friday blog

Cubs didn't have Cardinale to play CF. In 1969, they used a guy named Adolfo Phillips. He messed up a fly ball at Shea in the ninth inning. Next day Leo Durocher benched him for a kid named Jimmy Qualls. He played without distinction, batted 8th and broke up Tom Seaver's Perfect Game with 1 out in the ninth.

Jimmy Qualls brings back memories.

Did you know Oscar Gamble was a rookie with the '69 Cubs and a member of the '77 South Side Hitmen?

I think that's right.

Trivia is not my strong suit.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#17
Re: My Friday blog

You left out hundley, adolpho phillips, and I believe jose cardinal in center(or was it right field)? I was 9 and thought for sure the cubs would go all the way...over 40 years later and I'm still waiting.

I gave up on the Cubbies a long time ago.

As a gambler, I'm financially invested.

Fans, on the other hand, are emotionally invested.

Where in Chicago did you grow up, Merlin?
 

munson15

I want winners...
#19
Re: My Friday blog

I have a different version of Berman's 'back, back, back.' He definitely lifted it, but I think it's a tribute rather than a stolen line. After all, Jon Miller uses old announcers' lines all the time as an homage. "They're ready to go on anything," etc. The Berman line I believe comes from Red Barber's call of the tremendous catch Al Gionfriddo made at Yankee Stadium to rob Joe Dimaggio of extra bases at a key moment. The call went something like, 'belted, it's a long one, Gionfriddo goes back, back, back, back, ...he makes a one-handed catch against the bullpen! Oh, doctor!"http://youtu.be/4SrtxVs8uMI
 

2W2P2S

EOG Dedicated
#20
Re: My Friday blog

Brickhouse used back, back, back before almost every home run call, or a lot of deep fly balls. I found some audio clips that are hard to paste. Found this after his death:

Not surprisingly, his home run call was a simple, friendly, rumbling exclamation, familiar to denizens of Wrigley Field or Comiskey Park. "Back, back, back!" he started, then pausing to see if the ball was struck far enough. "That's it!" he added. "Hey-hey! Hey-hey!"
 

ouch

EOG Veteran
#21
Re: My Friday blog

It's great that somebody besides me remembers By Saam....Baseball and Ballentine....

Listened to many games in the early 60's on my Phillips Transister radio with earplugs...
By Saam had been a long-time radio announcer for the Philadelphia A's before they left town. He had become dry and boring by the time the 1960s rolled around. My favorite guy during my under-the-sheets, hide-the-radio-from-my-parents days was Bill Campbell.

Campbell also did the Eagles before Charlie Swift, and also called the Chamberlain 100 point game in Hershey in 1962. He had a very exciting play-by-play style, and was a great guy besides. Still does radio commentaries on KYW1060 news radio in Philly.

Campbell was very popular in Philly, and the town screamed bloody murder when the Phillies replaced him with some guy named Harry Kalas.

Funny how things work out.
 
#26
Re: My Friday blog

JK,
Has the linemakers caught up with the edge you had in the WNBA??? Just wondering. Also don't know if you remember Ken Hubbs who played 2nd base for the Cubs. He was from Colton Calif and died in an airplane crash much too early. Colton is a small town next to San Bernardino and Rialto
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#28
Re: My Friday blog

JK,
Has the linemakers caught up with the edge you had in the WNBA??? Just wondering. Also don't know if you remember Ken Hubbs who played 2nd base for the Cubs. He was from Colton Calif and died in an airplane crash much too early. Colton is a small town next to San Bernardino and Rialto
Quite possible, Ching.

I don't play my WNBA selections with as much confidence as I did four or five years ago.

Too many dongs, not enough chings.

As JHU mentioned, Ken Hubbs was before my time.

Ahh, "before my time," at 48, it feels good to use that line every now and then.
 
#29
Re: My Friday blog

Love those long drives across this country -- you really get a sense of how wonderful and diverse of a country this is, as the landscape and the culture shifts along the way. I think of it as land-sailing, as it reminds me of those day long sails from Destin to Panama City, or from there over to Apalachicola/Port St. Joe. Well, except for the absence of bikini-clad young ladies sunning on the deck.

Always nice to get a couple of trips in before football season, as we're then often locked down in Las Vegas (which isn't all that bad) until after the Super Bowl.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#30
Re: My Friday blog

Love those long drives across this country -- you really get a sense of how wonderful and diverse of a country this is, as the landscape and the culture shifts along the way. I think of it as land-sailing, as it reminds me of those day long sails from Destin to Panama City, or from there over to Apalachicola/Port St. Joe. Well, except for the absence of bikini-clad young ladies sunning on the deck.

Always nice to get a couple of trips in before football season, as we're then often locked down in Las Vegas (which isn't all that bad) until after the Super Bowl.
I usually travel alone, so it's important for my mind to be in the right place before I embark on a three or four-day drive.

Killed six hours last night listening to the Cubs-Cards game followed by the Rockies-Padres.

Salvaged a split when Colorado and San Diego went scoreless in the game's final six innings.

Gotta love Petco.
 
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