Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The career of Derek Jeter and youth sports

By Steve Kallas (posted by Rick Morris)

So, what do we take away from the brilliant career of Derek Jeter as it relates to youth sports?  Well, here are a couple of quotes from Jeter’s Yankee Stadium press conference before his final home game on Thursday, September 25, 2014.

After admitting that many players have more talent than he has, Derek Jeter said, “I don’t think anyone played harder.  I don’t.  Maybe just as hard.”  Later, he said, “Every single day I went out I tried to have respect for the game and play it as hard as I possibly could.”

For you big-time, old-time Yankee fans, Jeter’s quotes are a reminder of a quote from one of the greatest ball players ever:  Joe DiMaggio.  When asked, towards the end of his great career, about why he played so hard in a meaningless game, DiMaggio said, “Because there is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time.  I owe him my best.”


Well, in a world where many players think it’s optional to run hard to first or where some players think it’s cool to stand at home and admire a ball they hit (which may or may not go out), it means that right from wrong dictates that you play hard all the time, that you always respect the game, that you never give up.

For Derek Jeter, it was never all about the “Flip” play, or Mr. November, or being number six on the all-time hits list, or even about five rings.  For Derek Jeter, it’s about playing hard, respecting the game and never giving up.  THAT’S what young people should take away from the career of Derek Jeter.

And that’s what you parents should impress upon your young children about the career of Derek Jeter. 

In a world where most athletes try and make the game about themselves and try to draw attention to themselves, it was Derek Jeter who deflected the attention and only wanted to do one thing: help his team win.  And, by playing hard, by respecting the game, and by never giving up, that’s exactly what he did for 20 years.

In the look-at-me 21st Century, thank goodness we all got a chance to watch Derek Jeter play baseball.


Monday, September 29, 2014

2014 MLB Wild Card Games preview

By Rick Morris

AL, Oakland at Kansas City: The As offense really bottomed out in the last third of the season after sending Yeonis Cespedes, their premier power hitter, to Boston.  But they draw a nice matchup with KC, a team with significantly less power than them.  The Royals are a strange lot, a team marked by many as a future playoff squad about 3-4 years ago based on their absolute wealth of young talent – and here they are.  However, none of the youngsters have developed into superstars, much less franchise players.  It’s a good team, but one expected to be much better all-around if they were going to make the playoffs with this core.  Oakland will have the advantage in the earlier innings, with Jon Lester up against James Shields, but the advantage switches to the Royals with their killer bullpen from the seventh inning forward.  The Kansas City defense is a substantial factor as well, but the necessity of scratching for every run in a game like this will come back to bit them.  Pick: Oakland.

NL, San Francisco at Pittsburgh: In the Barry Bonds Bowl, the Giants will be out to avenge their loss in the 1971 National League Championship Series to the Pirates.  The easy assumption here is that Team Bret Saberhagen will win the World Series as they do every other year.  Strangely, for a banjo-hitting franchise when they won it all in 2010 and 2012, the hitting is better than in those years, but the starting pitching is way thinner.  However, for the purposes of this game, they come out ahead with their ace, Madison Bumgarner, taking the bump.  On paper, that’s a big edge for the Giants, but Edinson Volquez has been red-hot of late, so that could be an equalizer, especially with big gun Michael Morse hurt.  But in the end, you have to like San Francisco’s proven record in must-win playoff games in recent years.  The road won’t rattle them like it did Cincinnati last year.  Pick: San Francisco.

ALDS: Los Angeles Angels over Oakland in 4, Baltimore over Detroit in 4.
NLDS: Los Angeles Dodgers over St. Louis in 4, Washington over San Francisco in 4.
ALCS: Los Angeles Angels over Baltimore in 5.
NLCS: Washington over Los Angeles Dodgers in 6.
World Series: Washington over Los Angeles Angels in 6.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lounge on YouTube: 2014 Week 4 fantasy football preview

By Rick Morris
Here is Mini-Episode #471 of THE FDH LOUNGE, an edition of THE FANTASYDRAFTHELP.COM INSIDER, presenting Week 4 of our fantasy football coverage for 2014.





Lounge on YouTube: 2014 NFL Week 4 preview

By Rick Morris
Here is Mini-Episode #470 of THE FDH LOUNGE, previewing Week 4 of the 2014 NFL season with FDH Lounge Dignitary and Vegas handicapping veteran Kyle Ross.





Friday, September 26, 2014

Picks for Week 5 NCAA football

By Rick Morris

NOTE: 3-2 last week, 9-11 for the season

Cincinnati +17 over Ohio State

Washington +7 over Stanford

North Carolina +14 ½ over Clemson

South Carolina -5 over Missouri
Notre Dame -9 over Syracuse