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February 2012

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COMMENTS

The Tortoise or the LaHair (and other Wednesday happenings)

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Who says you can’t teach speed? According to today’s Muskat Ramblings, a big spring training focus for Bryan LaHair will be working on his foot speed.  The expected opening day starter at first base will be working with speedsters David DeJesus and Dave Sappelt and learning their speed drills which he will incorporate in his routine three days per week. I don’t imagine we’ll see him challenging Tony Campana to any foot races before Spring Training ends, but if it helps his footwork around the bag, I’m all for it.

Speaking of speed, the fleet of foot Campana was disappointed to learn that running won’t be involved in the bunting tournament that Cubs manager Dale Sveum brought with him to Cubs camp from his minor league days. The 64-person tournament kicks off (tips off? squares off?) on Thursday and will culminate with the best bunting pitcher squaring off against the best bunting fielder for the title of Cubs bunting champion. The dark horses in the tourney are conditioning coach Tim Buss and Sveum himself who are rounding out the field of 64 (as there are only 62 players currently in camp). Sure, it’s a little silly but I applaud Sveum’s effort to put the “fun” in “fundamentals”. I can only imagine how ridiculous the side bets (for entertainment purposes only) will be on this within the clubhouse.

Albert Pujols is apparently displeased  with the decision of his new team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, to include his commonly used nickname “El Hombre” in their advertising campaign for the new look team. The Angels placed 20 billboards around SoCal featuring the “El Hombre” moniker, which Pujols prefers not be used out of deference to Stan “The Man” Musial. I saw one of the boards when I was traveling for work last week, but the debate in the car was to whether or not it was actually Pujols himself, or just a Hollywood stunt double.

Remember when the NBA Slam Dunk Contest was awesome? Yeah, I vaguely remember those days too. Michael Jordan. Dominique Wilkins. Spud Webb. Vince Carter. Kobe Bryant. Iman Shumpert. Actually, scratch that…Knicks guard Iman Shumpert withdrew from the All-Star Weekend activity due to a knee injury. Shumpert will be replaced by the equally “Huh?” worthy Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz who will join Houston’s Chase Budinger, Indiana’s Paul George, and Minnesota’s Derrick Williams, rounding out the worst dunk contest foursome in history. Raise your hand if you could have told me who 3 out of the 4 dunkers played for without me telling you. I’m a fan of the NBA and I’m not sure I can honestly say I would have been able to do it myself.

  • Lizzie

    I’m not completely certain I could have even told you they were basketball players, if I’m being completely honest! They sound more like bankers. Good stuff Dustin. The bunting and speed drills warm my heard. I’m a fundamental kinda gal.

    • DustinGodsey

       Williams, Evans, Budinger, and George CPAs, LLC…I’d definitely trust them to do my taxes!

  • I’m not completely certain I could have even told you they were basketball players, if I’m being completely honest! They sound more like bankers. Good stuff Dustin. The bunting and speed drills warm my heart. I’m a fundamental kinda gal.

  • BLPCB

    I like that about the bunting and speed drills, something new, something fresh
    Pujols is complaining again? What else is new?
    The dunk contest has become such a joke. This would be a great dunk contest: Howard, LeBron, Rose, Kobe, Griffin, and Durant

    • Joe Aiello

      Rose is too short to be competative in that format and Kobe is too old.

      • BLPCB

        Pffffffffft. Rose got mad hops, and Kobe can still jam.

      • Dusty Baylor

        Uh…Spud Webb won the dunk contest yeah?

      • BLPCB

         So did Big Baby’s ass

    • Joe Aiello

      Rose is too short to be competative in that format and Kobe is too old.

      • AC0000000

        Pffffffffft. Rose got mad hops, and Kobe can still jam.

      • Dusty Baylor

        Uh…Spud Webb won the dunk contest yeah?

      • AC0000000

         So did Big Baby’s ass

  • Joe Aiello

    I would have had a better chance naming which college ONE of them went to than I would telling you which NBA team any of them play for.

    • Two of them played for the same Pac-10 University

      • BLPCB

         Williams and Budinger both went to Arizona

      • Point BLPCB

  • Joe Aiello

    I would have had a better chance naming which college ONE of them went to than I would telling you which NBA team any of them play for.

    • Josh Cornwall

      Two of them played for the same Pac-10 University

      • AC0000000

         Williams and Budinger both went to Arizona

      • Josh Cornwall

        Point BLPCB

  • Doc Raker

    I like the bunting tourney, we should try that at the January baseball weekend next year.
    Our police department holds a dunking contest every morning over at the doughnut shop.

    • Seymour Butts

      I believe the rules include blatant pandering for the purpose of garnering a Lizzie being grounds for disqualification (I wish I had said it first).

      • RichBeckman

        The NBA needs to come up with a new creative and entertaining sport to draw in viewers.  Maybe basketball.

      • cap’n obvious

        so wait, bastard child-rearing and dope smoking aren’t sports???

      • Doc Raker

        Not a sport Cap’n, sadly, a way of life.

      • Jedi

        Seymour has an MVP award that says you’re wrong.

    • BLPCB

      Can any of y’all dunk better than Homer Simpson? You just reminded me of a Throwdown with Bobby Flay episode, where the challenge was doughnuts, and the judges were 2 police officers.

  • Doc Raker

    I like the bunting tourney, we should try that at the January baseball weekend next year.
    Our police department holds a dunking contest every morning over at the doughnut shop.

    • Seymour Butts

      I believe the rules include blatant pandering for the purpose of garnering a Lizzie being grounds for disqualification (I wish I had said it first).

    • AC0000000

      Can any of y’all dunk better than Homer Simpson? You just reminded me of a Throwdown with Bobby Flay episode, where the challenge was doughnuts, and the judges were 2 police officers.

  • Can I raise my hand about knowing the four guys, even though I’m paid to do so?

    • Dustin Godsey

      I’m pretty sure getting paid to know them is the only way to get 4 out of 4…

  • Josh Cornwall

    Can I raise my hand about knowing the four guys, even though I’m paid to do so?

    • DustinGodsey

      I’m pretty sure getting paid to know them is the only way to get 4 out of 4…

  • Eddie Von White

    They should add a bunting derby during the All Star break like they do the home run derby. And since we’re on the subject, I would like to see a contest that features the outfielders throwing home from their respective positions – they could be judged on accuracy and the time it takes the ball to hit the catcher’s mitt from when it leaves their hand. The All Star break activities need to be more than just a celebrity get-together.

    I’m sure Albert signed a release when he signed his contract that they could use his name and image for promotional purposes. I wish Vladimir still played for the Angels. That would be fun to watch.

    The NBA needs to come up with a new creative and entertaining contest to draw in viewers. The slam dunk contest may have run it’s course. I suggest a 3/4 court shooting contest. They have to stand in the free throw circle on the opposite end of the hoop they’re shooting at.  It takes more talent to hit one of those shots than it does to dunk it. Didn’t dunking use to be against the rules a long time ago?

    • cap’n obvious

      reminds me of a story Reggie Smith once told me about an impromptu throwing contest at the 1977 All-Star game.  Apparently Smith, David Parker, David Winfield, Griffey Sr., and Ellis Valentine took turns throwing balls from the RF warning track to 3B, using a bucket on the base as a target and a stopwatch.  Ellis Valentine smoked them all.  According to Reggie Smith, it wasn’t a close contest.  I saw Ellis Valentine speak to some troubled youth a few years back…he struggled with drugs and alcohol in the 80’s.  He was out of baseball by 31, renting cars for $4 bucks an hour.  He probably weighed close to 400 lbs., but had a great message for the kids.  No way a contest breaks out like that with today’s prima-donna players without sponsors cutting checks to greedy players and owners.  For those interested, Reggie Smith likes the filet, and orders it medium-rare…like a man. 

      • Eddie Von White

        cap-n – I am now officially pining for the days of Smith, Winfield, Parker, Ken Sr. and Ellis Valentine. I saw with my own eyes Roberto Clemente throw a strike to third base from right field in Wrigely Field one year as a youngster (I cut my teeth in the 60’s). I have never seen anything even close to that throw since.

      • cap’n obvious

        funny add to that story…the only Cub on that year’s all-star team was outfielder Jerry Morales.  He was not in on the competition.  He also should not have been an all-star.  You’re right, though…it was a great time.  I was 7 n 1977, and nothing in the world was more important to me than baseball.  Cub games on WGN.  Sox games (with Harry) on WSNS.  This Week in Baseball, Monday night BASEBALL…a great time to be a kid, for sure.

      • cap’n obvious

        I should say the only other outfielder on that team…not the only other Cub.  Inexplicably, there were 4 Cub All-Stars that year.  Morales, Manny Trillo? Bruce Sutter is believable…and I guess Reuschel won 20 that year, so it’s not a stretch that he made it…but that was a .500 team.  Perhaps old Herman Franks had some pictures of Bowie Kuhn in a compromising position…

      • Eddie Von White

        That’ s right, cap’n – and when the Cubs played home games we planned our day around the 1:20 start time.

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      It sounds like you’re talking about an All Star skills competition–not unlike they have in the NHL–and I’d be all for it.  The Home Run Derby is so long and drawn out it’s not any fun any more.  Livening it up with a few other skill competitions might do the trick.

      • I know! Let’s have a spelling contest!

      • Jeremiah Johnson

        I’m your huckleberry.

  • Eddie Von White

    They should add a bunting derby during the All Star break like they do the home run derby. And since we’re on the subject, I would like to see a contest that features the outfielders throwing home from their respective positions – they could be judged on accuracy and the time it takes the ball to hit the catcher’s mitt from when it leaves their hand. The All Star break activities need to be more than just a celebrity get-together.

    I’m sure Albert signed a release when he signed his contract that they could use his name and image for promotional purposes. I wish Vladimir still played for the Angels. That would be fun to watch.

    The NBA needs to come up with a new creative and entertaining contest to draw in viewers. The slam dunk contest may have run it’s course. I suggest a 3/4 court shooting contest. They have to stand in the free throw circle on the opposite end of the hoop they’re shooting at.  It takes more talent to hit one of those shots than it does to dunk it. Didn’t dunking use to be against the rules a long time ago?

    • cap’n obvious

      reminds me of a story Reggie Smith once told me about an impromptu throwing contest at the 1977 All-Star game.  Apparently Smith, David Parker, David Winfield, Griffey Sr., and Ellis Valentine took turns throwing balls from the RF warning track to 3B, using a bucket on the base as a target and a stopwatch.  Ellis Valentine smoked them all.  According to Reggie Smith, it wasn’t a close contest.  I saw Ellis Valentine speak to some troubled youth a few years back…he struggled with drugs and alcohol in the 80’s.  He was out of baseball by 31, renting cars for $4 bucks an hour.  He probably weighed close to 400 lbs., but had a great message for the kids.  No way a contest breaks out like that with today’s prima-donna players without sponsors cutting checks to greedy players and owners.  For those interested, Reggie Smith likes the filet, and orders it medium-rare…like a man. 

      • Eddie Von White

        cap-n – I am now officially pining for the days of Smith, Winfield, Parker, Ken Sr. and Ellis Valentine. I saw with my own eyes Roberto Clemente throw a strike to third base from right field in Wrigely Field one year as a youngster (I cut my teeth in the 60’s). I have never seen anything even close to that throw since.

      • cap’n obvious

        funny add to that story…the only Cub on that year’s all-star team was outfielder Jerry Morales.  He was not in on the competition.  He also should not have been an all-star.  You’re right, though…it was a great time.  I was 7 n 1977, and nothing in the world was more important to me than baseball.  Cub games on WGN.  Sox games (with Harry) on WSNS.  This Week in Baseball, Monday night BASEBALL…a great time to be a kid, for sure.

      • cap’n obvious

        I should say the only other outfielder on that team…not the only other Cub.  Inexplicably, there were 4 Cub All-Stars that year.  Morales, Manny Trillo? Bruce Sutter is believable…and I guess Reuschel won 20 that year, so it’s not a stretch that he made it…but that was a .500 team.  Perhaps old Herman Franks had some pictures of Bowie Kuhn in a compromising position…

      • Eddie Von White

        That’ s right, cap’n – and when the Cubs played home games we planned our day around the 1:20 start time.

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      It sounds like you’re talking about an All Star skills competition–not unlike they have in the NHL–and I’d be all for it.  The Home Run Derby is so long and drawn out it’s not any fun any more.  Livening it up with a few other skill competitions might do the trick.

      • I know! Let’s have a spelling contest!

      • Jeremiah Johnson

        I’m your huckleberry.

  • Kris

    I can’t think of too many All-Star games, let alone the hoopla around them, that actually interest me anymore. I find the fact that the NBA is even having one in the midst of a shortened season with a now crazy-asking-for-injuries-schedule is ridiculous. The voting started about two seconds into the season, which means it not actually a reprepsentation of on this season and but is based on who played well last season.
    I’m with Lizzie in the excitement about working on some fundamentals. Maybe they can also work on a certain shortstop’s attention span while forcing him to snag a million grounders. Hopefully they don’t have to teach anyone to start running instead of admiring their hitting prowess, ala Ramirez. 🙂

    • Eddie Von White

      Kris – I had that same thought about the ridiculousness of an NBA All-Starr game.

  • Kris

    I can’t think of too many All-Star games, let alone the hoopla around them, that actually interest me anymore. I find the fact that the NBA is even having one in the midst of a shortened season with a now crazy-asking-for-injuries-schedule is ridiculous. The voting started about two seconds into the season, which means it not actually a reprepsentation of on this season and but is based on who played well last season.
    I’m with Lizzie in the excitement about working on some fundamentals. Maybe they can also work on a certain shortstop’s attention span while forcing him to snag a million grounders. Hopefully they don’t have to teach anyone to start running instead of admiring their hitting prowess, ala Ramirez. 🙂

    • Eddie Von White

      Kris – I had that same thought about the ridiculousness of an NBA All-Starr game.

  • Chuck

    Paul George is on my fantasy B-Ball team.  We are the Asik Army.

  • Chuck

    Paul George is on my fantasy B-Ball team.  We are the Asik Army.

  • Norm

    Ryan Braun wins appeal, no suspension….

    • cap’n obvious

      I wonder who owns (owned…) the franchise that he plays for, and if that had ‘anything’ to do with it….

    • cap’n obvious

      I wonder who owns (owned…) the franchise that he plays for, and if that had ‘anything’ to do with it….

  • When I saw that Pujols item on the MLB Network – i said to meself ‘What a class act.” He is showing respect for Musial for his service to his country and the contributions to baseball – he should be commended for taking this action.

  • flyslinger2

    NBA = Not basketball anymore.

    Pujols = whiner.

    I was a professional drummer for many years. My college music professor NEVER put one sheet of music in front of me to learn. He drilled me on rudiments, scales, and muscle build up in my forearms (I looked like Popeye when I was in my prime). Sure enough, the first time he put a new sheet of music in front of me BAM! I nailed it. Fundamentals and conditioning is it.

  • flyslinger2

    NBA = Not basketball anymore.

    Pujols = whiner.

    I was a professional drummer for many years. My college music professor NEVER put one sheet of music in front of me to learn. He drilled me on rudiments, scales, and muscle build up in my forearms (I looked like Popeye when I was in my prime). Sure enough, the first time he put a new sheet of music in front of me BAM! I nailed it. Fundamentals and conditioning is it.

  • RichBeckman

    The NBA needs to come up with a new creative and entertaining sport to draw in viewers.  Maybe basketball.

    • cap’n obvious

      so wait, bastard child-rearing and dope smoking aren’t sports???

      • Doc Raker

        Not a sport Cap’n, sadly, a way of life.

      • Jedi

        Seymour has an MVP award that says you’re wrong.