The Less Popular Sports

There are several sports that I really haven’t touched on yet this month. Unfortunately, there’s 30 days in April and there’s many many sports that I could talk about. However, I didn’t really want to talk about sports that I don’t know much about. So I just stuck to what I know the best which isn’t exactly a lot of different sports, just the main ones. I thought it’d be best to at least acknowledge these sports.

1. Hockey

I think hockey is a really awesome sport. It’s one that definitely doesn’t get enough credit. I mean, what other sport has so much physical action? Basketball, football, and baseball don’t have the type of physical contact and the fouls are hardly ever called. Like one hockey player once said, hockey gives you a free nose job. Hockey does have it’s pretty big stars but only a few of them, much less than the main sports I’ve already mentioned frequently this month. But here is my much too short talk about hockey. I’m sorry I couldn’t talk about it longer, I’d just sound uneducated on the sport (because I am) so I’ll stop here!

2. Soccer

One of the biggest sports in the world. It has a much bigger appreciation and following in other countries but I think it’s sort of catching on in the United States. The World Cup had such a high rating when it was on this summer. Pretty much everybody was suddenly a huge soccer fan but not so many people care during the actual season, but that’s typically how it goes. A lot of the most popular players aren’t actually American, but again, the World Cup gave some American soccer players attention like they’ve never seen before. Outside of the World Cup, there really isn’t much to say about the sport. I think the clubs and how they organize the teams can be a little more complicated than what I’d like for it to be. But it does deserve it’s special shout out since there are so many people who play the sport and also love watching it!

3. Swimming

I love swimming for fun but it was never something that I was good enough to do as a sport. I think it can be a really fun sport to watch, especially during the Olympics. There’s also several different popular athletes I can name off the top of my head: Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Mark Spitz, etc. Okay, let’s be honest, Michael Phelps is easily the most popular but Ryan Lochte is pretty up there too. Lochte is most famous for his attitude and vibrant outspoken personality. Phelps is most famous for his incredible swimming and his weed smoking. There are also many talented women swimmers who deserve some recognition as well. Both men and women swimming teams were absolutely dominant for the United States in the Olympics back in 2014. It was a really fun time to watch and I can’t wait for 2018 for the next one.

Pittsburgh Pirates Update Part 2

Okay, continuing where I left off yesterday. Today, I’m going to look at some of the best starting pitchers, relief pitchers, and closers that we have this season.

Starting Pitchers

1. Francisco Liriano

Franky is one of the best pitchers that we have. Sometimes he can be really on his game and other times he can be a little off and start to throw crazy pitches. He’s not really the type of guy who always shuts you down but he’s still crazy talented nonetheless. He’s had a lot of success here with the Pirates and I definitely expect that to continue. Hopefully, he gets even more controlled and on the ball but either way, he’s still a quality member to the team.

2. Gerrit Cole

This young pitcher was recognized by everyone when the high school prospect did well during his major league debut. The pitcher has continued to turn up the heat and to impress. The big issue with Cole is that he seems to get rattled easier than some of the other more seasoned pitchers. He’s still a young kid with a lot of growing room left. He hasn’t been sent down since he came up to the majors and I highly doubt he will again. He gets outs when he needs to and he’s kind of the same as Liriano in the respect that when he’s on, batters need to be worried. But he’s off, wild pitches can really hurt the Pirates.

3. Jeff Locke

Another starter who’s still fairly young. Locke was an all-star not long ago and after that, he kind of lost his control for awhile. But I think he’s definitely gotten it back to an extent and he’s shown more control than in the past. Like the previous pitchers mentioned, he just needs to stay composed and not let his pitch get out of control. He gives up a lot of walks which seems to be the case for the majority of the starting pitchers. He’s an all-star for a reason, this lefty is one to watch for sure.

4. A.J. Burnett

A.J. was one of the best and most reliable pitchers for this ball club before he left for Philadelphia. Burnett took Edinson Volquez’s spot in the rotation. Volquez was arguably the most consistent pitcher we had last season and he will be missed. But still, it’s nice to have A.J. back since he knows what he’s doing and we have a lot of trust in him as a pitcher. He didn’t have the best season with the Phillies but he didn’t have the worst either. We can only hope that 2013 A.J. will be back and he can finish his career on a high note here in Pittsburgh.

5. Vance Worley

This young pitcher is filling in for Charlie Morton- another one of our best, who’s currently on the DL. Charlie needs to get back to Pittsburgh but Vance isn’t the worst pitcher either. He’s no Charlie (Charlie on a good day I mean) but he still has potential and it’s nice that the ball club is giving him a chance to prove himself as the starting guy for now anyway. Hopefully he can impress us a little bit more and secure a couple of wins along the way.

Relief pitchers

Tony Watson

Sometimes it can be hard to understand why Tony Watson is in the games at certain times. For instance, if he gives up a homerun and still remains in the game, or something similar to that. Truthfully, I can remember more negative moments of Watson’s than the positive but he still is a trusted relief pitcher who typically can get us through the game and to the closers.

I don’t know many of the other relief pitchers since Justin Wilson is no longer with the Pirates and we have some new players. So I’m just going to stick to talking about only Tony and move on to the big closer spot.

Mark Melancon

It can be hard to want him in the game sometimes because he can make some costly errors to say the least. But Melancon is also pretty close to the closer that Jason Grilli was. It may not always be pretty, but he typically manages to get the outs needed and at the end of day that’s all that really matters. He has the same amount of saves as Grilli and that’s pretty impressive since there was a lot of hype behind Grilli during his time as a closer in Pittsburgh. So when he’s doing good, it’s easy to cheer for Melancon.

Pittsburgh Pirates Updates

So I’m already getting a little bored/not sure what direction to go in with this theme. So I figured I’d just stick to talking about what I know best, sports! Okay, I don’t know as much as I would like to but it’s something I enjoy talking about and there’s a lot of news to uncover in it. So right now, I’m going to talk a little about the Pittsburgh Pirates. The organization was fairly respected back when Barry Bonds was on the team. But it gradually went down over the years and didn’t show any signs of hope until a hot prospect from Florida named Andrew McCutchen began playing for the Pirates and they really ended up building the team around him. He’s definitely a star and this season, he’s started out as good as ever, except Saturday night he set himself out of the game in the 9th inning due to a knee injury. However, he’s shown that his knee is better and has started since that night. McCutchen has previously started out pretty much every season ready to go and hasn’t in general been setback by injuries. Fingers crossed that this lucky trend continues.

We all know the potential that McCutchen shows and has shown these past 7 seasons, there are also other players on the Pirates team that should also be singled out. The Pirates have one of the best outfields in the MLB right now. One of those spots obviously belongs to Andrew McCutchen but younger players Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco take the other two spots. Marte is one impressive player and has showed tremendous growth as he enters his third full season of playing in the big leagues. He has a ridiculously high number of home runs and steals, plus his on base percentage is also good. Polanco was one of the best minor league players and moving him up to the big leagues was a smart move to say the least. He’s still getting his footing in the big leagues but that doesn’t say he isn’t impressive, he certainly is and he probably has the most room left to grow out of these three guys.

Josh Harrison is one of my personal favorite players besides McCutchen. Harrison has never been a big all-star or a guy who’s received a lot of hype. He’s a player who worked his way out of the minors gradually. I remember him a couple of seasons ago only being in the game when he was a pinch runner during the games. He’s come miles since those days. However, he still has been thrown around to practically every position out there on the field, which goes to show you how adaptable and talented Josh is. He’s just a quality hitter who has the ability to sneak up when you least expect it and get a home run out of you. He’s certainly a big time threat and I love how humble he is.

There are many other players that I want to talk about. I’m just going to mention some other key players including: Pedro Alvarez, Jordy Mercer, and Neil Walker. These are all guys that are okay and pretty good infielders (Alvarez is the one who notably has some crazy random errors every now and then) who are even better hitters. Walker and Mercer aren’t known for being as powerful as Alvarez (nicknamed El Toro because he’s so strong and awesome) but they are still solid players that the Pirates depend on. The Pirates are still working out the whole catcher situation since losing one of the best catchers around Russell Martin.

I haven’t gotten the chance to touch on all of the starting, relief pitchers, and closing pitchers that I really want to. So I’m just going to save a whole post to talk about that situation. But this is what I’ve come up with so far so I hope that gives you an introduction to the Pirates that you may (probably not) want to know in case you end up watching a game or something like that. But anyway, I’ll shut up now but thank you for reading my rambles!

My Favorite Things: Sports Edition

So guys, these are a few of my favorite things as far as it goes with sports. Feel free to comment on my favorite teams, athletes, sports, etc.

Sport to watch: Football, baseball, and basketball.

Sport to play: Basketball

Baseball team: Pittsburgh Pirates

College basketball team: WVU

College football team: WVU

NFL team: I don’t really have any one team that I love. I just like watching any team in general.

NBA team: Cavaliers

Active NFL player and why: J.J. Watt, Brandon Marshall of the Bears, and Russell Wilson. I love J.J. because he seems so down to earth and even though he’s crazy rich, he acts like a normal guy and doesn’t think he’s better than anyone else, he’s also hilarious. Brandon Marshall because he’s open about his struggles with mental illness and I respect that a lot. Wilson because he was really underestimated when he first became the quarterback for Seattle but he managed to get his team to back to back Super Bowls at such a young age. He’s also crazy humble.

NFL player of all time: Lawrence Taylor, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Jim Brown. I think each of these guys made history with their methods of playing football and they will go down in history for that reason.

MLB player and why: Andrew McCutchen because he has such an awesome personality and attitude about life. The guy is always smiling and you have to respect the way he just turned around the Pirates organization in such a positive way.

MLB player of all time and why: Babe Ruth obviously and I love Sandy Koufax too. Ruth made a crazy impact on the game of baseball in such an intense and awesome way. Koufax had an unconditional way of pitching that was dominant and earned the respect of the world.

NBA player and why: LeBron James and Jeremy Lin. James has done so much for his hometown and I really respect his attitude and passions. Lin came out of nowhere to become a respectable NBA player.

NBA player of all time: Jerry West, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson. I’m biased about Jerry West since he’s from West Virginia and I’ve done reports on him before. But he’s a very down to earth and humble guy. Jordan and Magic are both classic players for what they were able to do. Jordan is obviously the best basketball player of all time because he paved the way for so many other players.

I think my list of favorites is a rather basic one but I put a lot of thought into it also. I think it’s important to have players and teams to follow and look up to as they play the sport that you love. So I hope that you learned hopefully a little more about the athletes and teams that I look up to the most.

Muhammad Ali Quotes

Getty Images

Arguably the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali was never shy. In fact, he was positive that he was the greatest long before anyone else paid any attention to his skills. We could all take some notes from Ali when we’re feeling a little low on our self-confidence. Here are some quotes to provide you with some motivation.

1. “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

2. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

3. “It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”

4. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

5. “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”

6. “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them—a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

7. “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

8. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

9. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

10. “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

Best Sports To Play With Others

Playing outside with your friends is a lot of what my childhood consisted of. It can be so much fun to still relive that fun every now and then and play those games with your friends! I’m a firm believer that you’re never too old for any of these outdoor games.

1. Kickball

Playing kickball outside was one of my favorite things in elementary school. I was by far the least athletic but it’s still fun to play a game with all your closest friends.

2. Four Square

This game isn’t physical so it was perfect for my awkward and non athletic self. It was such a fun game to play while on the playground in elementary school and middle school. What I love about four square is that you’re never too old to play it.

3. Jumping rope

This isn’t a sport but it’s definitely a workout. This was one of my favorite activities on the playground because it was one of the only ones I was actually good at. Jumping rope is also the most fun when you do it with other people. Double dutch is by far more challenging but it’s also just a fun way to get involved with your friends and do something productive.

4. Basketball

Playing pickup games of basketball with your friends is one of the best bonding activities in my book. I think this one is so great because you never grow out of it. There are guys that are still forty years old and they play pickup games with their buddies as a way to get some exercise and also some interaction with your best friends. It’s fun because there’s not a bunch of rules, you just play the game you love with little interruptions.

5. Ultimate Frisbee

Some people might automatically think this is lame but it’s also an active sport that involves lots of movement. I think it’s a fun use of your time. Plus you do have to be at least a little bit coordinated and athletic. But if you’re not, that’s not a big deal. The game was meant for all people and this is one that I personally think is one that everyone should play once or twice every once in awhile with their friends.

Random Facts About Baseball

Opening day officially kicked off yesterday. Baseball is known as being America’s sport. There’s many interesting facts that many people may not know about. Here are several of them that I found the most interesting of all.

Yankees have won the most World Series

They’ve won 26 titles so far. No wonder so many people dislike them, they are pretty dominate.

Nolan Ryan is the best 

He played 27 seasons in the MLB and he has the most strike outs out of all pitchers in history.

Pete Rose banned for life

Rose played for the Cincinnati Reds. He holds the all time record for hits and games played. He was unfortunately banned from the game for life for betting on games while he was managing the team.

George Herman Ruth

Better known as Babe Ruth and one of the best players ever. He played in 2503 games total and had a lifetime batting average of .342.

Chances of getting hit by a ball when at a baseball game

You are 300,000 to 1 to be hit by the baseball and injured if you attend an MLB game.

Shortest MLB player

The shortest player in baseball history was a guy by the name of Eddie Gaedel. He was a shocking 3 feet 7 inches tall.

The baseball itself

A baseball has 108 stitches on it. Those stitches are easily destroyed but make beautiful decoration regardless.

Baseball in radio and television history

Baseball was first broadcasted on radios in 1921. It wasn’t aired on televisions until 1939.