Saturday, March 29, 2008

It has been a while... but lots of things have been happening....

I know it has been a while since I have posted anything. This post will be slightly different from previous posts because I have a lot of items to mention. I will try to start making regular posts once again. I do enjoy writing about various events and posting them here. I have received some interesting comments about what I have posted, so I hope others are finding this at least somewhat entertaining.

  • The Kansas Jayhawks have been playing well since they beat the Texas Longhorns 84 - 74 in the Big Twelve Championship game. Since March 16, they have advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tourney. Winning with scores of 85 - 61 (over PRST), 75 - 56 (over UNLV), and 72 - 57 (over Villinova). They now have a date set for Sunday, March 30 to play Davidson.
  • A win for the Jayhawks and they advance to the Final Four for the first time in a lot of tries. A loss, and Bill Self is left with a disappointing season of not making it to the Big Dance.
  • I am feeling good about the Jayhawks at this time of year. We are playing well and the team seems to be focused on what they need to do to win. Last night in their win against Vill, I was concerned because we kept letting Vill. back into the game. When watching North Carolina play I do not see NC let their opponents back into the game; they put them away and do not look back. Kansas has a problem of losing focus in games where they have a large lead and it allows their opponent to get back in the game.
  • As far as my brackets go... Well, I have no shot of winning any of the seven or so brackets that I created. Three of which I am completely out of except that I still have Kansas in them to win the whole thing. Wow, a whole 100 points to win that in those brackets.
  • Kansas State's Beasley and Walker... What is going to happen to them? Will they be around next season? The odds say no for Beasley. If he is smart, he will not be in the Little Apple next year. Already athletes are announcing for the NBA draft, but so far there has not been any mention about Beasley being part of that draft. Only speculation about why he should do it. Walker, well, I heard that he has to talk to his people to make the decision about going pro. From what I saw from Walker this year, he should stay another year to drop weight and sharpen his skills (and attitude). If Beasley and Walker leave for the NBA, what will Kansas State be left with for a basketball team next year? Will it be worth the gamble they did on intense coach? Time will tell and it is going to be interesting to see who is around next year for the Wildcats.


  • Baseball season has officially started. It started earlier this week in Japan during the early hours here in the United States. The Kansas City Royals are about to finish up their Spring Training "season" with one of their best records in my recent history. They play their last game today against the Brewers (they are losing currently 2 - 3 in top of the 8th). Their record for Spring Training is 16 and 13. Hey, they are over 500 for Spring Training and I am hoping that can continue into the regular season.
  • I still feel excitement about this team managed by Trey Hillman. He had what local sports radio shows referred to as unusual management style during Spring Training, but I think what he did was needed to knock some sense into this team. If you did not hear about it, Trey called the whole team on the field at the end of a loss about half-way through the ST season. He basically chewed them out in front of the opposing team and fans. I heard 610 and 810 sports radio talking saying that he should not have done this sort of thing and that it is something that would be done with a little league team. Well, I think it was needed and obviously he has the team producing because I do not think we have been over 500 in Spring Training for as long as I can remember.
  • The season kicks off on Monday at Detroit with a 12:05 start. Gil Meche will pitch the first game of the season for the Royals. Lets try and get off to a good start just like we did in Spring Training.
  • This morning I participated in my last live draft for the 2008 Fantasy Baseball season. I have five teams going into this season. It is going to be fun watching all of my leagues and making sure I have starters playing each day. My of my friends did not want to participate in fantasy baseball because it does require so much more work than fantasy football. But, I think it is fun and keeps it interesting to have fantasy teams. Let the fun begin!

Car and Ticket Update

  • Carrie and I once again are a two car family. We went out about two weeks ago and purchased a Honda Accord 2008. When we first looked at the '08 Accords, we did not like them at all. Well, that has since changed and we love this car more than we did the '07 Accord that was wrecked. A lot of things were changed in the new '08 Accords including the arm wrest that we did not like in the previous car; it would slide forward when coming to a stop. The new one locks in two places and works much better. The new car also includes a MP3 jack which is nice to have and not have to worry about listening to our MP3 players using radio stations. Overall, we like the new car a lot and we got a much better APR on this car than we had on the previous '07 Accord.
  • Carrie and I went to try and battle the ticket that she was issued for the wreck on February 6. Oh, that was interesting! This was Carrie's second trip to the courthouse and my first. The first time Carrie went to set our date for March 27 where we thought we would talk to the judge and hopefully get out of the ticket. Nope! Instead, we sat with about thirty other people all getting out of similar tickets (many worse than simply a ticket for wrecking). There were interesting people in the courtroom as you would expect. One guy had a hat on and a policewoman asked him to remove it. The guy mumbled something that involved a curse word and than did not hear the policewoman asking him what he had said. Carrie and I looked at each other and mouthed "Oh My God!". Later we realized that the guy was actually deaf, but that did not excuse him for being a dumb ass and not removing his hat when it was requested. So, we get to go back for a April 22 court date where apparently we get to represent ourselves and try to get out of the ticket. I plan on stopping by the Washburn Law School to try and get some assistance with the process because neither Carrie or I have any idea what we are doing. So, we will work on building our case and hopefully get out of a ticket on April 22.
  • I will see if I can get a picture taken of our new car and posted on here in the next week or so.

Well, a lot has happened since my last post back on March 16 (see Wow! Big Twelve Championship Game and NCAA Tourney). Hopefully in another short week or two there will be a lot more to post about regarding basketball, baseball, and a ticket that we manage to remove from our record.

Have a great weekend and a great week!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wow! Big Twelve Championchip Game and NCAA Tourney

Kansas played a great game to win the Championship game against Texas today.  Brandon Rush was solid improving his status for a NBA pick hitting 6 of 9 from three point range with nineteen points.  A overall balanced attack from Kansas once again in their win.  Chalmers had 30 points today.  Kansas looked good in both the first and second half which was good to see for a team that has not played great in both halves for the past half dozen games.
Of course following the Big Twelve Championship game was the NCAA tournament selection and that found Kansas a number one seed in the Midwest along with five other Big Twelve teams.  Kansas State did get into the tournament and they are paired in the Midwest which is fitting.  Being in the Midwest means that there could be a rubber match to decide the winner of the Kansas State vs. Kansas games of the regular season.  We did lose out on seeing a rematch between these two teams during the Big Twelve tournament. 
If you have not yet joined the NCAA tourney, drop me a note via a comment on this post and I will send you the information.  You have until Thursday to get your entry created and your picks selected.  See you in the Big Dance... the best time of the year!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Another Day... Another Win for the Royals!

Kansas won today 4 - 3 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Kansas City improved to 5 - 3 in Spring Training.  Can you believe it?  OK, seriously, when did this last happen that KC actually won games in Spring Training?  I do not recall a time when they were winning in Spring Training.  Can someone tell me when the last time they were over 500 before the season started?  I know it does not matter, but still it makes a fan happy after having losing seasons the past few years.  Oh, I should also point out that the Royals are on a four game winning streak. 
What I feel good about is that the Royals are producing with the bat in Spring Training.  They have posted high scores many of the games and while they did not score a lot of runs today, they hit two homeruns.  Billy Butler and Ryan Shealy hit solo homeruns in the game today.  It was Ryan Shealy's second homer of the spring and it was Butler's first homerun.  Both of which are promising if those trends can continue into the regular season.
OK, I need to settle down and remind myself that this is Spring Training.  This is a trend I am telling myself over and over since we started winning in this not-so-important Spring Training "season".  Oh, but it feels so good to see that the Kansas City Royals are 5 and 3 in Spring Training.  It gives me hope that following them this Summer will not feel like a waste of time when the end of the season arrives and they are just a few games shy of 100 losses.
I can hardly wait for the Royals to start appearing on television.  I heard that Fox picked up their broadcasts this year, so hopefully we will see a lot more games this year.  Basically, Fox picked up the Royals Television Network (RTN) from what I read.  I have not heard officially that this was taking place, but hopefully it means that their games will be available no matter where I am visiting.  Previously, RTN was only available in certain areas and through certain cable companies.  Of course Cox and Sunflower both carried the games and that will continue.  It is simply that before RTN had to be fit in on other non-sports channels; now the games will be on Fox Sports Network as far as I can tell.  More information on this later when I go and look for it.
KC plays again tomorrow at 2:05 pm CST against Colorado.  We will wait to see how they play tomorrow.
Go Royals!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Royals Go to 4-3 in Spring Training

The Royals win another day in Spring Training.  They improve to 4-3 on the short Spring Training season.  They won today over San Fran 3 - 1.  Another good day of hit production and the picthing appears to have held through nine innings.  Actually, the Giant got their only run in the bottom of the eigth inning, so that is not bad at all.  The bases were loaded and only one run was let through.  That is not bad at all!
I did not have a chance to check who they play tomorrow.  I still continue to be excited for them to start the season.  I did read a good article on Alex Gordon who was supposed to have a great rookie season last year (see:  Gordon Attempting to Put Difficult Rookie Season Behind Him) and ended up struggling.  He is expecting great things from himself this year and so far it appears that it might just happen.
I know, I cannot get excited about Spring Training, but I just cannot help it.  Lets go Royals!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Kansas State Wow!

Kansas State tried to lose the game late.  I just finished watching the game and thought that they were going to blow it and let Colorado win the game (see Kansas State Has Problems) that I posted with six minutes left in the game.  It was not a pretty finish to the game when KSU had a double digit lead in the first half.
Granted, Colorado has something to prove and was not going to roll over and give up.  I did not think that it was going to end with a six point different (78-72 KSU).  I thought it was going to be at least a double digit win for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats have work to do in their next road game against Iowa State on Saturday.  Iowa State is in second to last place of the Big Twelve, but you can bet it will not be a cake walk.  Another win is needed for KSU to make a strong case for making it to the tournament.

Kansas City Spring Training Day Six

OK... OK... I know that Spring Training does not amount to a hill of beans.  However, I am once again excited for the season to start with another win by Kansas City today against the Colorado Rockies.  Kansas City is now 3-3 in Spring Training games with another impressive scoring drive winning 11 - 5.
The Royals play tomorrow at 2:05 against San Francisco.  Not even half-way through the spring training games, but again I am feeling excited about this team.  I have only had a chance to listen to two of their spring training games; I hope that the run production carries on through into the the regular season.  I believe I have stated this in earlier posts.  However, I think back to last season and recall losing games because we do not have the run production.
Could it be that we finally get rid of Mike Sweeney and we start being productive?  Mike was on the Royals team for the past twelve years and it was time to move on.  Back in February, Mike struck a deal with a minor league team (see Mike Sweeney reaches minor league deal with A's).  After being injury prone the past five seasons, Mike "DH" Sweeney has left the Kansas City Royals.
Maybe it is a new manager that is energetic that is helping this team to be productive.  I am not sure!  I do know that I am excited for the regular season to start and see how this team does this year.

Kansas State Has Problems

Kansas State was blowing out Colorado by double digits in the first half.  The game appeared to be over.  Suddenly with seven minutes left in the game, Colorado is back within 5 - 10 points.  This was a game that KSU was supposed to dominate.  Not only do they have their key player Beasley, but it is also senior night in Manhattan.  Yet, K-State is struggling against Colorado who sits in last place of the Big Twelve (11-17 overall and 3-11 conf).
Wow!  This is not what I was expecting.  I was expecting a blow out like we had last night with the Jayhawks.  This type of game cannot be helping the case for KSU to make it to the Big Dance.  With a little over six minutes left in the game, KSU needs to turn it up and finish this game strong.  If Colorado is within five at the end of this game, that hurts KSU's case for getting in the NCAA tourney.

Monday, March 03, 2008

KC Royals Spring Training 3/3

Kansas City played in their fifth Spring Training game of the 2008 season.  Kansas City won today 7 - 6 with a double to center that scored two runs.  The Royals are now 2 - 3 in Spring Training.  If my memory is correct, I believe that is a better start than they had last year in Spring Training.
I still feel the excitement with the new manager (Trey Hillman) leading the Royals.  From the few games that I have had a chance to listen to and from the radio discussion, it sounds like Trey has a completely different style of managing this team.  I sure hope so, because we need something new and different to put the Royals in a position to be a contender come September.  Trey is involved in all areas of the team and from what I have heard from announcers on 810 WHB, it sounds like the team has taken to Trey very well.
Carrie and I have already started talking about getting tickets for this season.  We received a notice that pre-sales take place this Wednesday prior to opening to the general public and is going out first to those that have ordered previously.  Yes, I am interested, but I also remember the second game of the season last year and freezing my butt off bundled up in the cold.  Oh, and KC lost the first and second game of the season....  They might have lost the first 10 - 15, I do not recall, but it was a bad bad start and season.
Kansas City takes on Colorado at 2:05 in Surprise, AZ.  While a lot of people say that Spring Training means nothing at all, it does give some hope when a team that has not produced does well in the pre-season.  Hopefully the hits (12 runs Friday, 7 runs Saturday, 7 runs Sunday, and 7 runs today) and runs will continue the rest of the March as well as into the regular season.  I would also hope that the excitement that I am feeling as well as the sports call-in shows will continue.  Time will of course tell.

Monday Night Tex. Tech vs. KU

Wow!  75 - 34 Jayhawks with more than 12:20 minutes to play.  Kansas was predicted to win by 20 plus points in the game against Texas Tech who just came off of a huge win against Texas on Saturday.  This has to be frustrating for first-time head coach Knight to have a huge game and then go up against KU on Big Monday on ESPN, not to mention that it is senior night in Lawrence, for a loss.
Kansas is getting production from every player with relative ease.  Texas Tech is not hitting their free throws, rebounding, and basically appear to be standing around watching the KU buckets drop. Twenty point favorites, this was completely predicted.  I did not think going into this game that we would beat them by this much, but senior night in Phog Allen Field House is no place where any team wants to play.  Tonight is no different!
It is good to see some of the players that help improve the starters on the floor and playing well.  Every player on the Kansas team scored tonight.  A well balanced attack from the starters and the bench.  Final score 109 - 51 Kansas with the second half basically a free for all with KU hitting everything they threw up at the basket.   Up next for Kansas is Texas A&M at 3 pm on Saturday, March 8.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Rematch of Kansas State Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks

What a Saturday! Trip to Legends to celebrate a birthday (see Birthday Celebration for Juanca) and college basketball. It does not get much better than that to make for a perfect Saturday!

My day started off taking the Civic to get brakes checked, oil changed, and fluids checked. I was at Sharp Honda for a little over an hour. While I was there I test drove a Honda Accord 2008 which I liked, and watched ESPN Game Day. They were of course at Allen Field House the Home of the Jayhawks for Game Day. The place was already rock'n at 10 am and the game was not until that evening. This only fueled the excitement and environment for the rematch of K-State and KU.

Kansas State beat up on the Jayhawks back in February in Manhattan. The Jayhawks went to the "Little Apple" and suffered their first loss of the season. This started a slide for them of not playing well and another loss to Texas. After beating KSU yesterday 88 - 74. Beasley scored 39 points for the Wildcats, but he did not get much help from the rest of the Cats. I did not have a chance to watch the first half, but from what I read on Jason Whitlock's post on the KC Star that KU won with help from the officials. I did not see those calls, so I cannot comment on whether there was help from the officials to give the game to the Jayhawks.

I do know that Walker and Pullen got into some kind of funk and did not step up to what needed to be done to win the game. I do not care how many points a start player makes, there still has to be help from his teammates to win the game. Basketball is after all a team sport and it requires a team to win the game. Too often this season I have watched Beasley score a lot of points and Kansas State loses.

There is no doubt in my mind that Michael Beasley is a great player. He definitely has the talent to play in the NBA. According to Beasley, he has not stated whether he is going to the NBA or not. Read a interesting article posted on ESPN Saturday regarding Beasley and what he has gone through in his life to this point. (See Beasley teetering on the precipice of adulthood on ESPN.) I did find it interesting to hear what kind of vehicle Beasley drives and the fact that his Mom and siblings moved to Manhattan so Beasley could have his family close.

Kansas moved to 26 - 3 (11 - 3 conference) and are now tied with Texas for number one in the Big Twelve. Kansas State moves to 18 - 10 (8 - 6 conference). Kansas State is back in a position where they need to win their next two games to avoid being skipped over by the NCAA selection committee this year. Recall that last year they were skipped over as a bubble team and there is concern this could happen again this year even with a star player.

Kansas plays again Monday night against Texas Tech who just came off a huge victory of their own beating Texas 83 - 80. You can bet that Tech is going to be pumped up for Monday night when they face the league tied first place Jayhawks in Lawrence for senior night. The Jayhawks must win Monday night and again on March 8 when they face Texas A&M.

Have a great week and I will be back Monday night.

Birthday Celebration for Juanca

Javi, John, and Juanca (b-day boy) by havertyj, on FlickrA group of us went to Dave and Busters to celebrate Juanca 18th birthday. We had a great time playing games, drinking, and generally enjoying ourselves. We got into Legends a little after 3 pm. This game us enough time to play games before 8 when the Kansas State vs. Kansas game was scheduled to start.

Five of us went into have fun. Juanca had been to Dave and Buster's once before when he visited Javi. Javier, Brenda, Carrie, and I had all been in 2007 when we came up to spend the night and have a night in and around Legends Mall. If you have not been up there, I highly recommend that you take the time to visit the area. Not only are there all kinds of shops, but there are great places to eat.

We were a little disappointed in Dave and Busters this time because it seemed there were so many little kids. Dave and Busters promotes themselves as being a playground for adults. Well, there were so many kids that they often would butt us out of a game so they could play. Overall, we had a great time!