Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rangers Morning Dish

They’re All Here.  Almost.

It was a packed clubhouse this morning with a ton of media in advance of the pitchers and catchers first workout.  Yu Mania was the hot topic and will continue to be throughout camp.  Mike Maddux will discuss Darvish’s first workout at 1pm Dallas time.   Darvish is scheduled to hold a press conference 3pm Dallas time.  
Most of the players are in Surprise, including Josh Hamilton.   He was in the Rangers clubhouse this morning but did not do any media interviews.  Hamilton will have a press conference on Friday.

Cowboys Smack
Not only is reliever Joe Nathan a four-time all-star,  is a passionate New York Giants fan.   He attended Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis and offered this on Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo:  “I just hope his golf game stays good.”

Corpus Christi native Mike Adams is a huge Cowboys fan.  He says that Nathan has given him a fair amount of flak but is optimistic the Cowboys will improve “Hopefully they make some changes this offseason,” the pitcher said. 
Adams is recovering from a sports hernia.  He had surgery January 3rd but says he’s 100% but is a little behind other pitchers.  He’s confident he’ll be ready by April 1st.  He’s thrown off the mound once while other guys have thrown off of it a couple times.

Baby News
Congratulations to first baseman Mitch Moreland.  He and his wife are expecting their first child due in August.  He’s so excited and can’t keep a smile off his face when talking about their new addition.   (I know what he’s having but will let Moreland share the news in due time).

Moreland is recovering from offseason wrist surgery.  He says the wrist is good, it’s coming along great and he hopes to be ready to go by spring training games.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rangers Better in 2012? Nolan Ryan Thinks So

He is truly EF Hutton.  When the Rangers president and CEO talks, we all listen.  At least that was the case when he met the spring training media throng in a tiny, hot tent Wednesday afternoon.

"I think we’re a better ball club," Ryan responded when asked to compare the 2012 Rangers to the 2011 unit that went to the World Series for the second straight year.

Ryan didn't need to be prodded to explain his reasoning.

"If you ask me why I think we’re a better ball club going into spring training in 2012?  We’re a stronger club than we’ve ever been because  of our young pitching and the number of innings they’ve logged and the success they’ve had getting a feel for what their durability is."
It's not just the young guys that give him such optimism. 

"We have a nucleus of guys, position players, that play every day and play hard," he continued.  "We have what I call established veterans on the ball club that aren’t at the end of their careers.  Their in the peak of their careers. "
"You can kind of go around the ball club and you look at Josh (Hamilton) and you look at Adrian (Beltre) and you look at Ian (Kinsler) and you look at Michael (Young), Nellie (Cruz).  That’s a nucleus of a ballclub that’s not yet growing old."
"The biggest thing you say, 'what would you like to see?'  Less time on DL.  When you look at what happened with our club last year and we did it key people spending time on the DL.  If we can narrow the amount of time those folks spend on the DL, it increases the opportunity for us to be an even better ball club."
I don't need to remind you how last season ended.  The only way to improve on 2011?  Go to the World Series and win in 2012.  Easier said than done.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Vinsanity 5.0 Working Well in Dallas

Vince Carter has won slam dunk titles, Olympic gold medals and had deep postseason runs but the Larry O'Brien trophy has eluded him.  The Mavericks are the fifth team the veteran guard has played for and Carter is hoping the fifth time is the charm in Dallas. 

The Mavs signed Carter as free agent in December.  He's started in 15 games this year and played in 25 of 30.  He's averaging 11 points, a far cry from the 22 points a game he's posted over the course of his 13 previous nba seasons and the career high 27.6 he averaged with the Raptors during the 2000-2001 season.

At this point in his career, Carter says personal numbers aren't his primary concern. 

"I mean, I'm asked that all the time.  I dont really know how to answer that," he said earlier this week.  "I'm about winning.  It's not about points, not about stats.  At the end of the day, if the team I'm on is winning, that's all care about.  That's what I came here for."

Interestingly, Dallas is 6-0 when he scores 15 or more points.  But Carter is clear, he wants a ring and feels that with the Mavericks his chances are good of getting one. 
"It is what it is, I'm trying to win. I'm here to contribute to a very good basketball team and hopefully it's enough to get us over the hump to win another one."

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Blake Show's Dallas Connection

The Mavericks cancelled their morning shootaround prior to their game against the Clippers Monday.  That gave us plenty of time to spend with the Los Angeles team that is stealing some star power from that other team in the City of Angels. 

It goes without saying that Blake Griffin is one the league's best young stars.  He's also one of the most likeable.  He's an uber-talented, marketable, smart young man who is also a thoughtful, humble interview. 

The Oklahoma graduate's parents are staying north of the Red River tonight but he will still have a long list of fans inside the American Airlines Center tonight.  Griffin has family and ton of friends who live in Dallas.

"I'll have a nice little ticket list tonight," he lamented with a smile.

I asked him which team those family members cheer for.

"They root for the Mavs when we're not playing," he said. "But, you know, they've started to watch a lot of west coast games."


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Matrix Home Tour....Yes, I Did Climb in the Bathtub

Mavs forward Shawn Marion was so gracious and opened his beautiful home to our cameras to broadcast our Fan Sports Show live Monday night.  This meant a live truck, two photographers and a slew of lighting equipment and cables in his foyer to transmit our show from his home.
We also wanted to give viewers a glimpse of the estate.  It's a new Mediterranean home with an elegant kitchen and fabulous gameroom all decorated in a contemporary vibe.  Think Italian wood cabinets, gleaming marble floors and luxuriously thick carpets.

We started shooting our tour right after 6pm which didn't give us a lot of time to edit it for our 630pm broadcast.  We decided to shoot it as a "look-live", meaning minimal edits and no "take 2's".  We had to slam this thing together quickly.

We could have spent an entire day highlighting his home but for brevity sake, we focused on his office, gameroom, bathroom and closet.  It's the bathroom encounter that has me wondering if I'll ever get invited into anyone's house again.

Full disclosure: my mother sells luxury homes, ranches, estates and castles.  I grew up visiting ridiculously amazing homes from Montecito to Monte Carlo as well as Marion's current neighborhood.  I know more about real estate than just about anything else and have seen my fair share of residential fabulocity.

Long story short, I made a fool out of myself when I saw the size of Marion's tub.  Flat out fool.  See for yourself here.  Watch his reaction to me climbing in it.  It's as if he's thinking "she did NOT just climb in my bathtub!!!"  Yes, I did.

Bless him for his hospitality and warmth.  He was such a wonderful sport.  After watching that, I am surprised we didn't get the boot.  Or Clorox bleach dowsed on me right then and there. 


Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI: The Morning After Leftovers

Any of you have that morning after feeling today?  Me, too.  Perhaps it was too much gumbo. 

The game itself between the Giants and Patriots will be relived and discussed ad nauseum today.  (Programming alert: I'll be doing as much on the Fan Sports Show tonight at its new time at 6:30 tonight on TXA21).

How about some of the fun stuff?  The Leftovers.  Lots to be had after what was a great game, an elaborate halftime show and some fun commercials.  (I DID pick the Giants, btw)

Gisele, Colorful Analyst
Last week we did a fair amount of discussing supermodel Gisele's possibly emasculating email, asking for support and prayers for husband Tom Brady in Sunday's game.  She charmingly requested loved ones to "envision him happy and fulfilled experiencing with his team a victory this Sunday."

Last night after the Giants beat Brady's Patriots, she wasn't so warm. 
She ranted "my husband cannot f***in throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time."  Here's a link to the video of her proving she can be analyst with the best of them.

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