Here is the latest from Sports And The City’s Baseball Road Trip of a Lifetime in the motor city, Detroit. Just click on the link below.

“Stealing Home”

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A buddy of mine (sportsandthecity) is going on a road trip to all 30 baseball cities. Truly, The Baseball Road Trip Of A Lifetime (TBRTOAL). He Is writing about the experience for the Globe and Mail. I will be following his exploits through the trip and living vicariously through the lucky bastard. It really is an amazing experience, one that I wish I was doing. Sadly, responsibility always fucks things up. Responsibility. Fuck off.

For the next couple of months I will be posting the exploits of  this lucky bastard on my blog for all of you, like myself, to live vicariously through him. The link below will take you to where you need to go. Enjoy.

“Stealing Home”

The bullpen door opens. It’s him, he’s the guy, the guy that’s going to seal the deal. The final nail in the coffin. It’s the 9th, the most important inning and in his hands is where you want the ball to be. Bases empty or juiced, he’s that guy.

You know it’s him, ‘cuase you heard the dong of the bells, the slow somber bells; followed by the hard electric guitar… then the drums… then the beat explodes and he appears through the swung bullpen doors… Trevor Hoffman.

The music hits you, the slow start creating anticipation as you recognize the song, the rhythm grabs you and then it explodes into intimidation as you sing the words getting ready for the 9th. It’s the closer.

The entrance music for the closer sets the stage for the 9th inning. The music creates an atmosphere at the park. An atmosphere of intimidation to the guys on the other side. It let’s them know, you’re here to close the deal, it’s over. Some closers in the majors really got the right song for entering into a save situation. What would make a good song for the situation? Well it would be a song that would have to

  1. Slow Start – the song would have to have a slower introduction, one that’s recognizable and builds anticipation before the song really gets going.
  2. Recognizable – a song that is recognizable to the majority of people; even those who aren’t regular listeners of that genre can recognize the song.
  3. Intimidating – a song that is hard, loud, rough, instills fear. Genre’s like metal, hard rock, even some hip hop could work, but you can’t have a closer come into a game to a Boyz II Men song.

Some of the closers in this league got some really good music that they enter to. Here’s a list of some of the ones I feel are really good and the few that make me scratch my head.

The Good

Trevor Hoffman: AC/DC – Hells Bells

Mariano Rivera: Metallica – Enter Sandman

Keith Foulke: Danzig – Mother

Billy Wagner: Metallica – Enter Sandman

Jonathan Papelbon: Dropkick Murphys – Shipping Up to Boston (This only works in Boston)

Chad Qualls: Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name of

Jose Valverde: Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa (Love this one, click his name, take a look at the man, then you’ll see why)

Troy Percival: Godsmack – Keep Away

Huston Street: Nas – Hate Me Now

Rob Nen: Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water

John Smoltz: AC/DC – Thunderstruck

Eric Gagne: Guns N Roses – Welcome to the Jungle

Fernando Rodney: Angel y Khriz – Ven Ballalo (Gotta have some latin flavor)

The Bad

Jonathan Broxton: Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode

Armando Benitez: Jay-Z – Big Pimpin’ (I remember jamming it up to this song back in 99/00, but I think this jam would be a better intro for a catcher as he walks to the plate. As my boy eyebleaf over at Sports And The City said of one Raul Chavez, who’s got a rocket for an arm behind the plate, and I quote “He throws bitches out like a pimip”.)

Brad Lidge: Drowning Pool – The Game

The Ugly

Brandon Lyon (Red Sox): The Lion Sleeps Tonight

I wonder what Scott “The Snake” Downs’ entrance music is. If he doesn’t have one maybe we could come up with one for him. I’m thinking going with the whole snake theme, he could go with Jake “The Snake” Roberts theme from the WWF. Not a really intimidating song, but got a decent intro. Or maybe he could go with M.O.P. – Ante Up… that songs hard, rough, grimey, gets you fired up. Or maybe Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child.

What would you pick as your entrance music?

Being that i’m still a relatively new contributor to the internets, I thought i’d pay homage to some of the places around the web that I enjoy. To the few who truly do entertain me, check out these cats below. I’m serious, go check ’em out. NOW. I’ll wait… 

 

Internets

 

Starting in Left Field – Pretending to Listen…: The thoughts and views on life from an up and coming East Indian actress from Toronto. She’s intelligent and insightful, and when she makes it big, you’ll remember where she came from.

Starting in Center Field – Illseed: Truly some of the weirder things that happen in everday life can be found here for everyone to view.

Starting in Right Field – Ta-Nehisi Coates: Truly one of the most insightful minds I’ve read. Everything from Hip Hop to Politics, this man is worth read without question.

At Third Base – On The Fence Sports: A great blog about a wide variety of sports with great insight and a personal connection.

At Shortstop – Bill Simmons: Possibly the greatest sports writer there is. I’m serious. A must read for any sports fan.

At Second Base – Ball Don’t Lie: A great basketball blog with multiple authors, most notably J.E. Skeets who is one half of Toronto’s own Basketball Jones podcast, which is incredibly entertaining. If you eat, sleep, breathe the NBA, you need to check this out.

At First Base – Raptor Blog: The best blog about our horrible Toronto Raptors out there. It’s a great read, with great opinions and theories about all things Raptors.

At Catcher – Otherground HipHop: A blog about HipHop by heads for the heads. Any Hip Hop fan should have this blog on their top ten list. 

At Pitcher – Sports And The City: The Roy Halladay of my blogosphere. Consistently a great read night in and night out. An incredible read for all suffering Toronto sports fans.

This is one of my favorite days in the hockey season. The NHL trade deadline day. The excitement, the intrigue, the surprises. First I’d like to take a minute to bid a fond farewell to Nik Antropov and Dominic Moore. You guys wore the Maple Leaf sweater proudly. Played with heart. Sports And The City said it perfectly, I suggest you check him out. 

On the bright side, Tomas Kaberle and Pavel Kubina are still Maple Leafs.

Every year there are a ton of deals and usually one or two star players changing teams along with draft picks. What’s amazing about this year is that ONLY ONE first round pick was traded, I can’t remember the last time that only one first round pick was dealt on deadline day. It seems like GM’s are really clinging to their first rounders. 

Seems like the Rangers stocked up, Antro & Derrick Morris. However, in my mind, so far the Flames have made the best move landing Olli Jokinen. Imagine a line with Jokinen and Iginla.

It seems like the Ducks are slowly heading towards rebuilding based on the trades they made.

UPDATE – It was just reported, Patrick O’ Sullivan was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. I honestly don’t understand why the Kings would give up such a promising young player. But when does anything the L.A. Kings do make sense. Then the Canes have turned around and traded O’Sullivan to the Edmonton Oilers for Eric Cole. Apparently Buffalo is also involved in the deal with Kotalik also going to 

On another note, WHY THE HELL ARE THE LEAFS PICKING UP MARTIN “SOFT AS A BABY” GERBER OFF WAIVERS? And why the hell is Ottawa trading for a goalie? Do they not realize they are out of the playoffs? Seriously, it’s over.

I wonder what other trades will trickle in as the day moves along…

I was proud when Slumdog Millionaire was announced as the winner for best movie at this year’s Academy Awards this past Sunday. For anyone that hasn’t seen this movie yet. GO WATCH IT. RIGHT NOW! I’ll wait.

(2 hours later)…

Now, aren’t you glad you listened to me? Wasn’t that just an amazing movie? I’ll be honest; it’s become one of my all time favorite movies. It’s so well done. The story line is original and different. What a different twist to a love story. 

Now I’ll admit, the movie resonated with me more so because of the fact that I was born in India and have lived in Mumbai and even though I left for Canada at 7, I do visit the homeland every few years. It also made me proud as an Indian to see a movie based in India about Indians win the best movie award. In fact, many Indians I know we’re very proud of the fact that Slumdog won. Personally, I loved the movie for the story, and the best part, NO DAMN SONGS. I’m sure that pissed off a lot of Indians. EAT ME! 

After the Academy Awards I was speaking with eyebleaf from Sports And The City. Now he brought up a very good point. Why are so many Indians so gung ho about the fact that Slumdog won? Why is it such a big deal? I started to think about it. It hit me, Indians were just proud of the fact that they were recognized by the western world. I’m sure most Indians haven’t even seen the movie but were probably rejoicing just to see something Indian in the spotlight and being raved about. Now anyone who’s seen the movie knows that the movie, while being an inspirational love story, doesn’t really show many positives about India, or Indian culture.

In reality the movie shows what’s still wrong with India. The divide between Muslims and Hindu’s that live in India, the riots and killings that are religiously motivated, the social divide, the immense poverty. Trust me; you haven’t seen real poverty till you’ve visited the slums in India. How corrupt the police and upper class can be. The fact that so many orphaned children have to rob and steal just to feed themselves. The movie brings all these issues to light and Indians are walking around so proud that Slumdog won the Oscar just for the fact that it was Indian and no other reason.

I’m glad Slumdog won the Oscar because I thought it was the best movie, but I’m definitely no longer proud of the fact that the movie won because it was Indian.  It shows all that is still wrong with my homeland. There is still so much to fix in India. So much work still to be done, yet the Indian government doesn’t care. Indians, why are you proud of Slumdog? What about that movie makes you proud? Are you honestly sitting there and telling me you’re proud that people still get killed because of their religious affiliation? Are you proud of the fact that the police and government are so corrupt? Are you proud of the fact that there is so much poverty? Does it make you proud that so many children have to rob and steal just to so they can have food once a week? This is what you’re proud about? That sickens me. It hurts my heart.

How about we as Indians focus on having the government fix all these issues. Then maybe in the future we can be more proud of the fact that we rid our beautiful homeland with a rich culture of these travesties rather than be proud that the western world gave us an award for a movie. How about the rich start helping the poor and bridge the gap. Gandhi showed our people that no one had the right to tell us we were beneath them, and yet we turn around and do the same thing to our own people. 

It just saddens me.

After spending a long time contemplating starting a blog I finally decided to go ahead and do it.   First and foremost I would like to give a lot of thanks to my friend over at Sports And The City for the encouragement. He pushed me for some time to get on this.  Well eyebeleaf, it has begun and i’m excited.  

After a painstaking two weeks searching for a title, I had another dilemna.  What should be my first post?  I had a few ideas, but what would be worthy of my first ever post.  My first post to the world.  While driving home the other night it hit me.  Oddly enough my most provocative thought process takes place while i’m driving.  I live in Mississauga, I do a lot of god damn lot of driving.

Anyways, back to the subject of the post.  Well, it’s sports.  What about sports?  Everything.  I lived overseas last year without any sort of cable and well… I didn’t catch a single hockey, baseball, basketball, football game for the whole year.   Of course I did follow sports online, but I wasn’t able to watch a single game for an entire year.  It was most definitely the hardest thing i’ve ever had to do.   I’m a sports junkie.  I’m addicted.  I’m a sportsaholic and proud of it.  

What’s worse, I might have possibly  missed one of the greatest sports years in history.  The remarkable undefeated season by the Patriots, who went on to be involved in one of the greatest Super Bowl finishes in recent memory.  The dominating season of the Celtics.  I can’t believe I missed watching them destroy Kobe in the Finals.  It really hurt that I wasn’t able to watch Kobe get dominated.  I missed watching the Boston Red Sox come back from being 3 – 1 down in the ALCS.  Then again, maybe it’s better that I missed that.  I have a bitter dislike for the Red Sox and Sox Nation.  I also missed every single game of my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs.  Many friends said to me that it was a blessing I missed the Leafs painful season last year.  I disagree, win or lose, to miss every game last year was actually very depressing. 

What I missed the most however, was the boys getting together to watch the game.  With everyones busy lives, sports always remained our common denominator.   Sports would bring us together.  I missed the sports road trips, two of them in fact.  One of which was to hallowed Yankee Stadium.  I’ll never get to watch a game in that historical ball park, which is something I always wanted to do.  I missed out on a full year of ball hockey.  Playing between the pipes every Sunday kept me in shape and was something I looked forward to every week.  

Since i’ve been back I’ve been in sports heaven.  The radio is set to Fan 590 on a daily basis.  I’ve made a concious effort to catch every Jays, Leafs, Raps and NFL game possible.  My homepage is yahoo sports.  I’ll be starting ball hockey in about 3 weeks. 

I missed out on sports for a year, but now that i’m home, maybe we can start again.