Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Baseball Predictions, 2013

Posted: March 31, 2013 in sports, Uncategorized

OK, the season starts tonight with a game between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros. No, it’s not inter-league on opening day, the ‘Stros have moved to the American league. This move balances (as far a numbers, anyway) the leagues giving each league three divisions and each division five teams. I guess that makes sense, but I don’t know why Milwaukee, which USE TO BE in the AL couldn’t move back instead of Tejas having two AL teams, but then I’m not the commissioner.
Anyhow, I wanted to get my picks on record before the season starts, so here we go:
American League
1. AL East–Seems like everyone is picking the Blue Jays, but if you know me at all you know I’m a Yankees fan. I can’t pick against the bombers, so I’m saying Yankees win the east.
2. AL Central–Got to go with the Tigers and Verlander.
3. AL West–I missed last year by picking the Angels, but I’m going with them again.
4. AL Wild Cards — Baltimore O’s and Tampa Rays.
Pennant goes to the Tigers (but I’m pulling for NY)
National League
1. NL East — Got to go with the Washington Nationals.
2. NL Central — Cincy Reds
3. NL West — LA Dodgers (go Don Mattingly!)
4. NL Wild Cards — Atlanta Braves and SF Giants
Pennant goes to the Nationals
I’m picking the Nationals to win it all. Series in 6 games.

OK, there’s my picks. Time will tell.

Race

Posted: July 10, 2012 in political, sports

Race and politics

Neal Boortz said, before the election in 2008, that if Obama wins the election, any time anyone comes out in opposition to anything that he is trying to implement, they will be labeled a racist by the administration’s supporters, and even by the mainstream press. Boy was he ever right.
This is one of those things that really burn me up. My two grandsons are the same “race” as Obama, their mother is white, and their father is black. When I explain something to them, or correct them for behavior that is unacceptable, I am not being a racist, I am being a grandpa. And when I object to some of the policies of the current administration I am not being a racist, I am being an American.

Race, other than politics

A little over a week ago a friend posted the following to her facebook:

I never cease to be amazed at the abject crimes committed in the name of racism during the 1960s… and the decades preceding, but especially during the civil rights movements of the 60s. I’m glad we’ve moved beyond that. I’m glad that my daughter can date a black boy without worrying about having crosses burned in our front yard. I’m glad my son can hang out with his black friends without worrying about being beaten for his choices. Most importantly, though, I’m glad that today when a crime is committed, the majority of Americans of all races (excluding those rabble rousers Jackson and Sharpton and Limbaugh, of course) can go before a court of law and know that the wrongs done them will be redressed. Yes, there is still racism out there – but I think we’ve come a long, long way from the days when children were taught that it was not only acceptable but Christian to hate people for differences in appearance or opinion.

I agree with her observation that while,yes, there is still racism, we’ve come a long way. This reminded me of an article I had written a few years prior for a Bible study column that I did for a Christian motorcyclist newsletter that I edited, The Kickstart Chronicles. The column was called Keeping the Faith. Below you can find that column, I hope you enjoy it.

Keeping the Faith
by Michael Leffew

I am a “child of the 60’s”, the “peace and love” generation. We were going to be the generation to change the world and change it for the better. One of the things we were going to fix was racism. Racism and prejudice would have no place in our brave, new world.
I remember segregation. I remember “Whites Only” signs at public places. Even though the Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that segregation in schools was unconstitutional, it was 1964 before I had a class that was not all white. Anyone who remembers these things must admit that we have, indeed, come a long way from those times, but we’ve still got a way to go, and anyone who looks at it truthfully will have to admit that, also. Maybe my grandchildren’s generation will finally be the ones to put this behind them and go forth to that time when, as Dr. King put it, they can “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Let’s hope so.
OK, this is a Bible study column, so let’s see what the Bible has to say about this subject.
To start with, we are ALL (according to the Bible) descended from Adam and Eve (Gen 3:20), descended from Noah (He and his family were all that survived the flood Gen 8:23) and of “one blood” (Acts 17:26) so it follows that we are all related, hence all of the same “race”, the human race. What “race” was Adam? The Bible doesn’t say, but the Hebrew root word that is translated “Adam” is the same word that later is translated “Edom” and means “red”. Doesn’t sound like a “white” man does it? I hate to shake your beliefs but Jesus was probably not “white” either. Whatever color someone is, the Bible says there is only one race, so “racism” itself is a ridiculous idea.
Genesis 6:9 says that Noah was “perfect in his generations”. Some have used this to say he was “racially pure”. According to the story of the ark, Noah’s father Lamech and grandfather, Methuselah, were alive at the time Noah entered the ark. If “perfect in his generations” meant that he was racially pure, and this was the reason that he was spared when the rest of the “racially mixed” people were destroyed, please explain how his grandfather and father could be racially mixed and he be pure. Yet, they were destroyed in the flood along with the rest of creation. Methuselah died the day of the flood, but the point is this: if he (Noah) was “racially pure” and this “purity” was the reason for his being spared, why was Lamech not spared? And if he (Lamech) was not “pure” how could his offspring, Noah, be “pure”? So much for the “racial purity” bit, it doesn’t hold water, no pun intended.
What does the Word say about how we are to treat one another in regards to “race”? 1 Samuel 16:7 says God looks at the heart while man looks at the outward appearance. We should try to be more like God. There are many verses that have been used over the years to justify a position against “mixing races” that when examined will prove to be not about racial mixing at all, but about mixing believers and nonbelievers. Exodus 34:10-16 and Deuteronomy 7:1-6 both prohibit the Israelite’s mixing with the peoples that were in the land before them, but they are clearly for religious, not racial reasons. In the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 6:14 commands us not to be unequally yoked, but it refers to being yoked with unbelievers. Moses was one of the greatest heroes of the Bible, so important that at the transfiguration he appeared with Elijah and Jesus. Moses, according to the Bible, married a black woman. That’s right, she was an Ethiopian, an African. Another Ethiopian, this time the Ethiopian eunuch, was one of the first converts to Christianity when Phillip (Acts 8:26-40) baptized him on the road. Jesus’ parable about the good Samaritan is a study in how we are to act toward others (Luke 10:30-37). Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well is his example of how to treat others, his disciples would not have even talked with this woman, she was, one, a woman and, two, a Samaritan, both of which, they felt, put her “below” them (John 4:9-42). They considered the Samaritans another “race”, they were “unclean”.
There are many more examples in the Bible concerning this topic, but the bottom line is we are all created in God’s image and to put someone down for how God created them is to insult God!
And, finally this, Galatians 3:28 says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

Vaya con Dios
Michael Leffew

Sports

Before I close, it’s the All-Star break in major league baseball, so let’s look at how my picks from the beginning of the season are holding out.

1. AL East, I picked the Yankees, and they are on top. I’ll admit I got a bit worried when they lost Mariano Rivera, but they are holding on to first.

2. AL Central, I picked Detroit. They are third, the ChiSox are on top, but Detroit is only 3 1/2 back and are coming together. Don’t count them out.

3. AL West, I picked the Angels. They are 2nd and are 4 games behind Cleveland. Four games is not that much and Albert Pujols, one of the reasons I picked them, had a bad start. They are not out of it by any means.

4. NL East. I picked the Phillies and boy did I miss that one. They are below .500 and are dead last in their division. They have had some injuries, true, but I never expected this. On the other hand, I did pick the Nationals to be “most improved” and they are in first. To be truthful, though, I did expect them to be better, but not to go to the top.

5. NL Central. I picked the Cards to hang on, even without Pujols. They are in 3rd, but are only 2 1/2 back. They still have plenty of time to move up.

6. NL West. I picked the SF Giants. They are currently in 2nd, only 1/2 game behind the leading Dodgers. I hope I miss this one and the Dodgers hold on, for Don Mattingly’s sake, he was one of my favorite players when he played and I can’t help but hope he is successful as a manager.

All in all, I would venture a guess that my picks, while some room for improvement exists, are probably better than a lot of professional sports writers.

Well that’s my two cents for today.

Vaya Con Dios

1. Weight… One of the main purposes of this blog was accountability in my ongoing battle with my weight. I haven’t written in a couple of weeks, so much for accountability.
I have been using the scale in the shop, which we use to weigh items we are shipping out. It has been non-functioning for a week or two, which gave me an excuse not to weigh in. It is now working, and I weighed in at 306. Going the wrong direction, last weigh in was 303. OK, gotta get serious about this thing. Today’s menu= breakfast, a v8 juice, 12 oz, 70 calories…morning break, one cup peach chunks in water, 60 calories, running total now at 130…One cup size yogurt, 140 calories, running total now 270. (I am taking antibiotics for a tick bite, yogurt is to replace “good” bacteria). Lunch, McDonalds (59cent hamburger day), two burgers, 250 cal. each, one small fry, 230 cals, diet coke, zero cals. Lunch total 730 cals, running total now 1000. My goal is 1800, if I have a salad for dinner and go easy on the dressing, I will be under.

2. Sports…
Derek Jeter is batting .400 and playing good defense. To those idiots who last year said he was getting old, I hope he wins the MVP this year.

3. Amendment One…
I am reading and seeing ads that ask to please vote against the amendment in order to keep domestic violence protection in place for some victims. I don’t understand this, maybe someone can explain it to me, but I thought it was against the law to beat someone up whether you are married to them or not.

http://www.advocate.com/politics/marriage-equality/2012/04/30/new-ads-against-amendment-one-unveiled-north-carolina
“The second ad, which is running online, features Andrea McConnell, a New Bern resident whose younger sister was murdered by her boyfriend in 2009. McConnell urges voters to oppose Amendment One because it will deny domestic violence protections to unmarried couples.”
According to this, if the amendment passes, I am in trouble if I kill my wife, but not so much if I killed my girl friend. Really? Come on. I am against the amendment, but let’s be realistic in our arguments about it, let’s use facts instead of rhetoric.

Tuesday, 10 Apr…

Posted: April 12, 2012 in news, sports, weight

Tuesday, 10 April

(I wrote this Tuesday, didn’t actually get around to posting it until Thurs.)

Weight

The holiday weekend is over and I am still at 303. I did some research to make sure that I wasn’t just making excuses and it turns out that, as I suspected, part of my weight problem is, indeed, my medication. I am taking a med for my hypertension called atenolol which is a class of medication called a beta blocker. Beta blockers work by relaxing the blood vessels and slowing the heart rate to reduce blood pressure. The ‘net is full of people asking how to lose weight while taking beta blockers and they are all struggling with this problem.

Even exercise is only partially helpful, because I can’t get my heart rate up to where it needs to be for a good cardio workout, again because of the meds. You see all these ads for supplements that “raise metabolism” or “increase metabolism” or “send your metabolism into over-drive” and here I am taking something to have the completely opposite effect. This does make it more difficult, but it is not impossible.

The bottom line is, and this doesn’t change, to lose weight you need to take in fewer calories and / or burn more. There are many different diets out there, some work better than others, but the bottom line doesn’t change. Burn more or take in less to lose pounds. Since burning more is a problem with my meds, taking in less is going to have to work. I think I will try skipping lunch for a while.

Everybody says, “Eat more meals, just smaller ones” and I am sure that that approach has worked for many, but not me. You know, if I could just quit eating, like I did smoking, I could handle it, but you gotta eat. I eat a little, and that leads to a little more. If I HAD to smoke a little, I never would have quit smoking either. Cold turkey works for me, cutting back never has.

Sports

Golf

I was pulling for Phil Mickelson, but couldn’t be happier for Bubba Watson and his first Masters win. He has never had a golf lesson, doesn’t have a swing coach, doesn’t need a sports psycologist and is from the Florida panhandle. He owns the original General Lee (the car from the Dukes of Hazzard) and his name is Bubba! It don’t get any LESS snooty than that. The Masters winner picks the menu for the dinner at next years Masters, and he has said it would probably be cheeseburgers. My kind of champion.

Baseball

Yeah, I know the Yankees started out 0-3, but so did the BoSox. (They both got their first win yesterday).

April 12 update – The Yanks are now 3-3 after winning 3 straight, thanks to the O’s.

The BoSox are losing, too and are now 1-5, I love it. The Braves finally got a win, thanks to the return of Chipper Jones and are now 2-4 after 4 loses to start. Did you know that only Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray have more switch hit home runs than Chipper? That’s pretty good company.

News

My two cents on the Trayvan Martin case.

First, there has been a “rush to judgment” since the story first broke. Next, the selective editing of the 9-1-1 call (by the media, NBC, I think) was outrageous. They made it sound like it was a racial issue, whether it was or not. Third, the New Black Panther party’s leader should be arrested for putting a bounty on Zimmerman. Fourth, the idiot celebraties that tweeted what they thought was Zimmerman’s address should be charged with something, too. And lastly, we (we being the general public) do not know the facts, yet. We do not know what happened.  Only two people know exactly what happened, and one of them is dead.  We need to reserve our judgments until we DO know the facts. But, the bottom line is that a seventeen-year-old kid is dead.  It may be that he did attack Zimmerman, I don’t know. If he did, it was not the twelve year old that we all saw pictures of, it was the 6 ft 3 inch tall, hoodie wearing, gold teeth flashing, thug looking Trayvan that attacked. But, while he may have been 6’3 and he may have had gold teeth, and he may have been wearing a hoodie and looking like a thug, but he was STILL seventeen and UNARMED.  Zimmerman is a wanna-be cop who is several years more mature and several pounds heavier than Trayvan was. I don’t know the facts, but I don’t believe killing that teenager was Zimmerman’s only choice.

April 12 update—They (the state of Fla) have now arrested Zimmerman and are charging him with 2nd degree murder. I’m not a lawyer and don’t claim to know the Florida laws, but 2nd degree murder doesn’t make sense to me. Manslaughter I could see, but if it is at all murder, why not first degree? He did, after all, continue, after the 9-1-1 operator told him not to, to follow Trayvan. That’s not too big a stretch from “premeditation”.  Then, again, I’m not a Florida lawyer.

Vaya Con Dios,  ML

Sports, April

Posted: April 2, 2012 in sports

Sports

As for NCAA Basketball, I really don’t care, since the ACC are all gone, but will pick Kentucky and hope that I am wrong.

Baseball, 2012

Since the season starts in a couple of days it is time to make my predictions.

(Technically the season has already started, but two teams playing two games in Japan and splitting them 1-1 hardly counts).

American League

Of course I am picking my Yankees to win the east.

I am picking Detroit Tigers for the central. They picked up some pitching and signed Prince Fielder.

In the west, I probably should pick Texas,  but because of pitching and Albert Pujols, will pick the Angels.

National League

The Phillies should still be the strongest team in the NL and should win the east.

The central went to Milwaukee last year, but they lost some talent. I’ll pick St. Louis, but will pull for the Cubs.

I’m going with the Diamond Backs in the west.

Most improved this year SHOULD be the Washington Nationals. Most improved may get them to .500, but nowhere near contention yet.

As for my weight, the other purpose for this blog,this past Sunday was our once a month birthday/fellowship lunch at New Vision Fellowship and I ate too much. But tonight is our blood drive, so I should lose a bit (how much does a unit of blood weigh?)  Will post a number next time.

Vaya Con Dios

ML