Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MadBum Delivers The Greatest Championship Performance I've Ever Seen


I still can't believe what I just saw and experienced tonight, but I figured it might behoove me to punch the keys following the moment. Maybe I'll be able to put it into words, maybe somewhat explain it, or at the very worst, have some true feelings archived to look back on when this moment resonates. 

Tonight's World Series Game 7 was epic. It was amazing. It was the most compelling game of this very World Series. Yet, as we all awaited the moment when Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, would pull the trigger on bringing in Madison Bumgarner like some evil genius who has the "red button", I don't think anyone anticipated the performance he put together tonight. MadBum took the ball, took to the hill, and eventually delivered five innings of shutout baseball. His final stat line looked like this: 

5.0IP, SV, 2H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4K, 68 Pitches...on TWO DAYS REST. Oh yeah, following a complete game shutout in his last start.

Forget that fact that he now owns the record for most innings pitched in the postseason at 52 1/3. Let's not even focus on the microscopic 0.25 ERA he now has next to his name for his efforts in 36 World Series innings. Simply ignore his 4-1 record this postseason, as well as the 1.04 ERA that went along side it. And we won't even mention he also had two victories in this very World Series (Games 1 and 5).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Non-Stop (2014)

What is it about? 

An air Marshall receives text messages which compromises the situation on a Trans-Atlantic flight and also frames him as an on-board terrorist. He must find the suspect and save the flight from doom. 

Who is in it? 

Liam Neeson - Bill Marks

Julianne Moore - Jen Summers

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pondering Picture #44

Manhattan Bridge via D train
Just another day, another commute, home in New York City.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/26/14

3 Up

1. Madison Bumgarner - Wow. Domination is all that can be said. "MadBum" has been lights out against opposing teams since the calendar turned to October. His shutout World Series win in Game 5 was just another notch to emphasize that point. 

2. Charles Barkely - Kudos to Chuck for voicing his opinion, which is very much true, on some people in the black community regarding success and their treatment of others. With the whole Russell Wilson "not black enough" discussion going on, it's voices like Barkley who honestly keep things in perspective by being very, very, real. 

3. Black-ish - I don't watch much TV, but there is something so brilliant and yet, still comedic, how Black-ish tackles racial overtones, stereotypes, and even longtime conundrums, that makes the show a breath of fresh air. Great writing, and of course, great work by the cast to execute it. I will be watching more. 

3 Down

1. Ebola - Ahhhh, the continuing Ebola saga which has gone into mass hysteria with lack of knowledge, media hype, and in some cases, misinformation from our elected leaders. Never a good combination, and so far, it hasn't been. 

2. Washington School Shooting - Another school shooting. The sad part is, this has become so common now that it is no longer headline national news. How sad is that? 

3. Oscar Tavares - Only 22 years old, yet the death of the young Cardinals right fielder shows how precious and short life truly is. We figure, "he has his whole life ahead of him", yet we forget that at any moment, life can be over. Definitely a tough one to wrap your mind around. 

1 Incredibly Terrible Performance

1. New York Jets - Yikes. From Geno to the terrible cornerbacks, the Jets stink. Like, really, really, really stink. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hopes and Wishes For the Career of Mike Trout


Let's just get this completely out of the way in the first sentence of this post - I'm a huge fan of Mike Trout. The kid is amazing at playing the game of baseball, and it seems every night he is bound to make a play that just leaves you shaking your head in amazement. In my eyes, he is, as of the writing of these words, the best player in baseball. No debate. 

With Buster Posey, another one of the game's top talent, already in the running for another World Series championship to add to his resume, there are a many (here, here, here, and here...among others) who are making the claim for Posey to fill the void as "the face of baseball" now that Derek Jeter has left the game (and for some, a hole in our hearts). 

Of course, admittedly having the huge baseball crush that is Mike Trout, I highly disagree with the Buster Posey parallels. Winning World Series does help and is a fair case, but the face of baseball? I'll need further convincing. However, it beckons that Trout does have some work to do in the "winning" department before he can overwhelmingly become the guy. Unfortunately, we live in a sports age where these ridiculous measurements and accounting of a successful career is measured by championships.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #451-460

451. If you could plan the perfect evening out, what would it involve?

It really doesn't take much for me. I'm a rather simple guy. The perfect evening would be watching a good game (Yankees, Knicks, or Red Bulls) with my wife, a solid dinner, and somehow being able to enjoy it all on a beach. Maybe doing all of it on a beach...in the Caribbean...yup, that's it. That's perfect. 

452. If you could program the perfect evening of television shows, which ones would you select, and in what order?

I'm guessing television shows which would exclude sports? And for the sake of being me, I won't choose any pro wrestling as well. 

The Wonder Years. Everybody Loves Raymond. Friday Night Lights. The Cosby Show. And Suits. 

That's a lot of television for me. That would easily be a week for me. Yes, I know, I don't watch much television.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pondering with Plumtree - Total Nonstop Audacity of Hope

Pondering with Plumtree is a column on the popular blog, TNAsylum, that is written by yours truly. The blog is focused towards being a fan site for TNA Wrestling fans where they can get news, rumors, opinions, and any and everything else, TNA Wrestling. Known as "The Haven for TNA Wrestling Fans", I'm hoping to bring some of my thoughts to an already impressive roster of columnist for as long as the site will have me. You can read the latest column here, or in the text below.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dome Pondering Import - 1995 ALDS, Game 2: Mattingly Homers in Postseason

Unfortunately, Game 3 of the 2014 ALCS between the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals was rained out today, thus breaking the baseball binge I have been on as of late. I am going through some withdrawal (already!) so I figured I would post one of my first and favorite memories of post-season baseball. 1995 was truly special, and sometimes I wish Mattingly stuck around just long enough to be a part of some of the dynasty years. With that said, here its, in one of my favorite calls ever in sports, "Ohhhhhh hang on to the roof!": 


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/12/14

3 Up

1. Utah Jazz - I came upon this story earlier this week and for some reason it really stuck with me. Such a cool gesture by the Utah Jazz in giving JP Gibson, who is suffering from leukemia, a full day experience by signing him as a free agent and a very cool on-the-court experience. Well done by the Jazz. 

2. MLB Playoffs - So far, the MLB Postseason has been absolutely tremendous. From parity to  exciting moments, the playoffs has been absolutely tremendous. 

3. Team 3D/The Hardys/The Wolves - A big plus for the pro wrestling industry this week as these three teams put on quite the show on this past Wednesday's edition of IMPACT Wrestling. By far on of the best matches of the year. 

3 Down

1. Ebola Virus - As time goes, dealing with the epidemic is becoming a bit more difficult as the disease that has ravaged West Africa has made it's way to other countries via travelers, and has now even stricken those who aided the sick.

2. Terrorist Merger - Another week, and more developments from ISIS. The latest, small portions of al-Qaeda have merged with ISIS and there is a possibility the entire group may do so. Good grief, just what the civilized world needs. 

3. WWE - Pro wrestling makes the "Up" list this week, as well as the "Down" list. After all, the down stuff has been pretty heavy as of late. As stated recently in a post by yours truly (World Wrestling Not Entertained), the WWE has been absolutely dreadful to watch. Dreadful. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Growing Tired of "Same Old Jets"


Sometimes you just have to wonder ponder what exactly goes through the minds of some high-ranking sports executives and coaches in professional sports organizations. It's quite easy for all of us on the outside to simply look in and do what we usually do - complain, criticize, ridicule, scout, and agonize - all from the comfort of our couch. Sometimes it's valid, but often we're just fans ranting. 

Yet, lately, when it comes to the New York Jets, much of it is true. The decisions and circus-like stories, news, and on-goings that come out of Gang green's camp is utter ridiculous. Even for this fan, faith in this organization is at all-time low. 

Let's forget about the near twenty million dollars in open cap space GM John Izdik has not used. Let's not even mention the wasted draft picks over the few years and the small percentage of them that are still on the roster, or don green and white on Sundays. Disregard our lack of skill players, especially at the wide receiver positions. Or the fact the secondary probably couldn't cover me. Well they could, because I'm pretty darn slow, but you get my drift. 

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Dome Pondering Import - "Hunter's Hitters Youth Baseball Camp"

For years I have been thinking, then eventually sharing with others, how incredibly odd Hunter Pence is. Not personality wise, but just every movement he makes on a baseball diamond is odd, quirky, and flat out well...just different. In being a good sport about it, Pence makes fun of his peculiar ways in a recent video where he is teaching kids to play the game of baseball like him. It is quite funny, and baseball fans will thoroughly enjoy it. Here it is. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

This Week in IMPACT Wrestling - 10/8/14 (For TNAsylum.com)

As one of their signature columns, "This Week in IMPACT Wrestling" is one of the signature columns reviewing that week's IMPACT Wrestling broadcast for TNAsylum.com. Yours truly was asked to cover the TV Review of the show for the week of October 8th, 2014. Another great show that featured a very memorable Full Metal Mayhem match. You can read the final piece here, or in the text below.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/5/14

3 Up

1. Madison Bumgarner - The San Francisco Giants ace was dominant in leading the Giants over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card game. Bumgarner needed only 109 pitches for a 10 strikeout, complete shutout of the Pirates. That's a true ace. 

2. Orioles/Royals Fans - Taking their ALCS achievement off the table, both of these fanbases have been through so much over the past years decades, yet, both are loyal and enthusiastic about their team's current runs. Kudos to both fanbases for their loyalty and passion. 

3. Jesse Alkire - I am a geek when it comes to things like sports uniforms and such. Jesse Alkire, just your average ambitious designer recently redid all 32 NFL uniforms. His work is amazing, and to be honest, many of them are better than the real ones. 

3 Down

1. Defected French Agent - The idea that a high ranking French Agent recently defected to al Queda is troubling. It just goes to show how powerful their recruitment truly is, and that the terrorism group is still around despite Bin Laden's death. 

2. Michael Phelps - I understand people make mistakes, and sometimes struggle with their demons, but come on, Phelps has all the ability to get a driver so you know, GET A DRIVER! DUIs are unacceptable. In my opinion, our society is too accepting of it. 

3. New York Jets - Wow, talk about the same ol' Jets. One day we will be good...someday before I die - I hope. 

Sunday, October 05, 2014

World Wrestling Not Entertained


I can't remember the last time I've been this disinterested in pro wrestling, especially the product of WWE. The company that has made "entertainment" the focal point and philosophy of it's wrestling company has been anything but over the past few months. I have gone from being interested in a few talents or story lines, to holding out hope for others, to now just being done altogether. No hope. No interest. 

By no means am I looking to pile on like some wrestling fans do with the negativity, the arm chair booking, and the constant hindsight "told you so" critique. I'm just being honest, simple, and well...a fan. The WWE is just not entertaining.

Maybe it was shortly after WCW and ECW died, and WWE began its mega-monopoly on the wrestling industry. The product then just had a coy, yet arrogant feeling of being in cruise control. Almost to the point of not even trying and living off of their Monday Night War's victory.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Their Problem or Ours? Questioning the Year of Personal Issues Facing Athletes


Arrogance. That is all I could muster in thought after reading about Michael Phelps DUI charge. Yes, I know Phelps isn't the first and, unfortunately, won't be the last person to catch such a charge, but that really shouldn't diminish the justification of his punishment, nor the seriousness of the situation. 

Drunk driving is dangerous and stupid. I apologize if this sounds like an infomercial or some public service announcement, but DUI charges have become mere footnotes in our news feeds for the cause of exploiting and capitalizing on the stardom of the party involved. Case in point - Michael Phelps. 

All too often we see drunk drivers slamming into innocent victims and killing them, leaving the guilty party to survive and be filled with grief for a lifetime. One the other side, we get the heart breaking displeasure of reading about the victim's lives, their families, and once again falling to the reality that life is unjust.