PTY Podcast 6/23/13 (Wire Watch/Salvatore Strikes Back)

The boys are back together for this edition of the PTY Podcast. Sal talks Tim Tebow, JoePa reports “live” from the Grand Canyon giving updates on the man in blue jeans trying to cross on a two inch wire. The guys talk the O’s disappointing  week, Joey Bats vs. O’Day, the All-Star voting system and wrap it all up with their latest “Confessions”

Courtesy Discovery Channel

Courtesy Discovery Channel

6.23.13 (The Salvatore Strikes Back)

0:00-12:00 The Rundown: Sal explains how his absence from last week’s Podcast actually had to do with the guys from the BSR Podcast then Cal & Sal talk about Tim Tebow’s place on the Patriots while JoePa is enraptured by “Wire Watch”

12:00-13:00 JoePa “Live” From The Grand Canyon I: JoePa gives his breakdown of the Man on a Wire high above The Grand Canyon

13:00-15:00 Sal’s NBA Shootaround:  Sal talks the Heat’s Championship and the potential for Alex Len to be picked #1 in the NBA Draft

15:00-17:00 JoePa “Live” From The Grand Canyon II: A second update from JoePa on “Wire Watch” interrupts the NBA Shootaround and Sal loses it

17:00-25:00: The guys talk about the disappointing play from the O’s against the Blue Jays and remind the listeners, now is not the time to panic

25:00-28:00: What do we do with Freddy Garcia? Is Zach Britton the new Chris Tillman?

28:00-36:00: Jose Bautista vs. Darren O’Day. Sal says Cal and JoePa are guilty of homerism, JoePa and Cal say Sal’s twitter handle is dumb

36:00-45:00: The update on the AL ASG voting and the guys discuss if the voting system is broken

45:00-46:00 JoePa’s Stat of The Day: JoePa drops some knowledge on you, reminding you again to NOT PANIC

46:00-57:08 Confessions and Signoff: JoePa hates your favorite Mexican restaurant, Cal admits to not seeing a classic baseball movie and Sal just wants to have fun

Thanks as always for listening. Like something? Hate something? Leave us a comment or tweet us at @PTYApparel, @S4LR1NAUD0 or @JoePappa.
Don’t forget to check out the PTY Apparel store for Baltimore’s Best Sports Gear!

RIP Shooting Guards

Growing up, I wanted to be Michael Jordan. He was the greatest basketball player for the greatest team in the league, and his intensity was unrivaled. Ray Allen was “Jesus Shuttlesworth”. Now, fans see Allen as a deadeye shooter for various title teams, but back then, his explosiveness allowed him to get to the rim in a hurry. Reggie Miller was the reason I practiced my foul shots for hours. Kobe Bryant came into the league with his afro, and it wasn’t long before he was one of the most cut-throat scorers in the league. I remember watching all of those guys, along with Dumars, Drexler and Richmond. The shooting guard position was the sexiest in the game. I knew I would never be tall enough to be a dominant post player, so I was always drawn to the sharp shooters and off guards.

In Game 6, last Tuesday, the ageless Ray Allen swished a corner three-pointer to tie the game late in regulation. Moments later, it was Allen who contested Manu Ginobili’s buzzer-beating layup attempt. The Heat went on to win the game. In Game 7, Miami got a boost from Dwyane Wade’s double-double (23 points, 10 rebounds), and the team was able to outlast the Spurs in the decisive match. The win meant a second ring for Allen and a third for Wade.

Those two have managed to contribute to winning teams, but gone are the days when organizations build around shooting guards. In the ‘90s and early 2000s, you could not win a title without a bona fide two guard. The league has changed. In today’s NBA, point guards and swingmen are phasing out the shooting guards. Take the OKC Thunder, for example. Russell Westbrook brings the ball up, in addition to running the offense. Unlike typical point guards, Westbrook is not afraid to create his own shot, or drive to the rim. Westbrook’s uber-athleticism creates a mismatch. He’s too strong to be covered by a typical point guard, but he’s too quick for shooting guards to cover. Alongside him, is Kevin Durant, a 6’10” small forward. Durant has won two of the last three NBA scoring titles, and he is known as one of the premiere shooters in the world. Durant plays like a shooting guard, but his height creates a mismatch for defenders. The pair combined for close to 55 points per game. Because both players can assume the scoring role when needed, the Thunder are able to use Thabo Sefolosha as their starting two guard. Sefolosha is a lanky, 6’7” guard that is very effective on the defensive end of the court. His offensive duties are limited, and he is able to utilize his energy playing excellent defense. Basically, he’s a shooting guard that doesn’t need to shoot.

This past season, only one shooting guard (James Harden) was among the top 15 in points per game. The only other SG in the top 30, was Andre Iguodala. In today’s game, it’s all about length, speed and athleticism. Guards like Allen are no match defensively for swingmen like Paul George, Paul Pierce, Chandler Parsons and Harrison Barnes because of the size differential. Also, they don’t have the speed to contain Westbrook, Steph Curry, Tony Parker or Ty Lawson. Sure, the Heat won with two prominent shooting guards, but the team relied heavily on the performance of LeBron James. LBJ’s production allows for Wade and Allen to pick their moments – or Erik Spoelstra to pick their moments for them.  

Age and injuries are stamping out what is left of the “textbook” shooting guards. Allen will be 38 next season. Wade’s knees have forced him to sit out more than ever. Kobe Bryant has played seventeen seasons, and he suffered a torn Achilles this past season. The Hornets/Pelicans have Eric Gordon, but he has missed the majority of the past two seasons with injuries. That leaves OJ Mayo (DAL), JR Smith (NYK), Monta Ellis (MIL), Klay Thompson (GS), Bradley Beal (WAS) and James Harden (HOU) as the upper echelon of shooting guards in today’s NBA. Brandon Knight is a point guard that doesn’t have the ball handling skills required to play the position. Tony Allen can’t score. DeMar DeRozan has yet to master the mid-long range shooting, and he plays more like a small forward.

The once premiere position, is now the weak-link of a starting five man rotation. What happened to the great shooters? Well, they grew taller. Big men in the league have more range than ever, especially as they age. A nice 15 to 18- foot jump shot will prolong the careers of NBA bigs. The game is evolving, and teams are using less traditional shooting guards to keep up with teams like Oklahoma City. Honestly, it’s hard to argue with successful results. I just hope that one day when I have children, they won’t be looking up to JR Smith and Monta Ellis.

PTY Podcast 6/16/13 (The Cal & JoePa ShowPa)

Sal is “on assignment” this week so it’s the inaugural edition of the “Cal & JoePa ShowPa”…Cal and Joe talk Ravens without Leach, attempt to talk NBA, give updates on the MLB All-Star Voting, drop an amazing stat about Manny Machado, and have a guest that predicts the future.

https://protectthisyard.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/showpa1.mp3

0:00-14:00 The Rundown: Cal & JoePa talk about living in a post-Vonta’ Leach world and the Ravens chances at repeating

14:00-15:00 Sal’s NBA Shootaround: Cal & JoePa do their best to talk a little hoops in Sal’s absence

15:00-29:00:  The guys breakdown the O’s latest homestand, talk about the surprising Boston Red Sox, the disappointing Angels and the always resilient Orioles.

29:00-42:00:The guys discuss Jake Arrieta’s latest chance at starting a game and what should happen to Nolan Reimold when his time on the DL ends.

41:00-47:00: Cal gives an update on the AL All-Star voting and JoePa speculates how many O’s could really make it to New York

47:00-50:00 JoePa’s Stat of The Day: The long awaited rematch between Sal & Joe features questions for O’s MVP besides Davis, The team that will finish worst in the majors, and what song would be your walk-up song?

50:00-56:29 NostraJoePa and Signoff: The guys have soothsayer/gambler’s anonymous nemesis NostraJoePa on to predict whether Manny will break an 80-year-old record and who will be the starting pitcher for the AL All-Stars

Thanks as always for listening. Like something? Hate something? Leave us a comment or tweet us at @PTYApparel, @S4LR1NAUD0 or @JoePappa.
Don’t forget to check out the PTY Apparel store and use the code TDAY2013 Friday 6/21/13 for FREE SHIPPING on your entire order!

PTY Podcast 6/3/13

The guys get their Google Hangout on once again for this week’s PTY Podcast! Along the way, they discuss the Orioles’ impressive homestand, tip their caps to Towson University Baseball, and talk about the death of the “big contract” era in baseball. Sal attempts to take down King JoePa in 30 Seconds or Less, Cal misses a historic moment in baseball history and Joepa thinks one of the greatest broadcasters in history should have turned off his microphone ages ago. Plus the debut of Sal’s NBA Shootaround!

0:00-16:00 The Rundown: The guys talk about the O’s success against the Nats and Tigers, Towson Baseball’s surprising success, and whether or not we’re past the “big contract” era in baseball.

16:00-17:00 Sal’s NBA Shootaround: Sal breaks breaks down the latest happenings in the NBA Playoffs and tells you who he thinks can beat the Heat

17:00-21:00:  The guys drool all over Chris Davis, his dongs and his hot hot start to 2013

21:00-23:00: Sal reveals the latest standings for the PTY Fantasy Baseball Challenge (Poor JoePa)

23:00-29:00: More Crush Davis Talk and Cal gives an update on the AL All-Star voting thus far

29:00-39:30 30 Seconds or Less: The long awaited rematch between Sal & Joe features questions for O’s MVP besides Davis, The team that will finish worst in the majors, and what song would be your walk-up song?

39:30-50:08 Confessions and Signoff: Cal stuffed his face and missed history, Sal drives in his birthday suit, and Joe doesn’t like Vin Scully

Thanks as always for listening. Like something? Hate something? Leave us a comment or tweet us at @PTYApparel, @S4LR1NAUD0 or @JoePappa.
Don’t forget to check out the PTY Apparel store and use the code MYSHIRT2013 thru Friday for 15% OFF your entire order!

The Dark Age

On Sunday nights, Twitter is buzzing with reactions to HBO’s “Game of Thrones”. The show, which I have never seen, is set in medieval times. Other than GOT, what comes to mind when someone talks about that time period? I know I usually think of the bubonic plague, peasantry and warfare. Look, there are plenty of reasons why that era is referred to as the “Dark Age”.

The Baltimore Orioles were a frustrating, fruitless franchise following their 1997 “wire to wire” season. Some would argue that rock bottom came in 2001, when the Birds sported an abysmal 63-98 record (the ’94 team won 63 games in a strike shortened season). However, that season was Cal Ripken’s last year, and Camden Yards still attracted 3 million fans. The following year, attendance plummeted by 400,000 fans. Between the years 2002-2010, the Orioles averaged only 69 wins per season. Of course, in August 2010, the team hired Buck Showalter, and they began to play competitively.

To say watching the team during that nine- year stretch was “painful”, would be like saying that ‘Snooki’ isn’t quite wife material. The Orioles’ Dark Age coincided with my adolescence, and I watched as many of my friends chose to subject themselves to the horror that is lacrosse, rather than allowing the O’s to crush their dreams. Bad pitching, bad coaching, bad hitting and bad contracts kept the team in a perpetual cycle of crapping the bed. The worst part about the Dark Age, was that there was still hope of a brighter future. Pundits were quick to anoint prospects as saviors. These promising talents would arrive in Baltimore, but none of them were able to keep the leaking ship afloat. Radhames Liz lit up radar guns, and he appeared to be the strikeout pitcher the team so desperately needed. His career ERA is 7.50, and he now plays professionally in Korea. Hey, at least that is better than Hayden Penn’s career 8.89 ERA. Ryan Minor, now the head coach of the Frederick Keys, was groomed to take over third base when Ripken retired. Unfortunately, he finished his career with a .177 batting average.

To sum it up, the 2002-2010 Orioles sucked. They really, really sucked. Year after year, the Orioles ran out some of the worst players to ever play in big league games. Luckily, the human brain does a wonderful job repressing memories, and I cannot remember every one of their names. As bad as they were, they were still my team. Today, I’m glad that I weathered the winter storm, avoided the LAX plague and stuck by the organization.

Eventually, the Renaissance restored the quality of life to Europeans, the way the team’s current leadership has brought brighter days to 333 West Camden St. History repeats itself, and that is why we learn about the Medieval Europe. We learn about the horrors of the feudal system, the rapid spread of infectious disease and the inhumane executions of that era. Humans are creatures of habit, and if we choose to expunge those events from history, we’re bound to make similar mistakes.

I choose to remember Syd Thrift’s front office. I choose to remember Sam Perlozzo’s coaching. I choose to remember Brian Burres, Jorge Julio and Brook Fordyce. All of those forgettable names were a part of my development as a baseball fan. Those gloomy days have receded, and it’s the dawn of a brighter period in Baltimore’s baseball history. Even the most devastating losses in 2013 (let’s not get specific) seem like nothing compared to the embarrassing, unrelenting losing that O’s fan endured during the Orioles’ Dark Age.

The next time you’re thinking about ripping the team on twitter, ranting on talk radio or get the urge to cradle a lacrosse stick, remember how much worse things were just a few seasons ago. The 2002-2010 Orioles built up our immune systems against defeats. Nobody likes losing, but it is part of the game. If you can’t handle a few losses over the course of a long season, perhaps you should just stick to watching HBO dramas.

Sal & Cal talk w/ Zach from Baltimore Sports Report

Zach Wilt from Baltimore Sports Report sits down with Sal & Cal for some baseball talk, a breakdown of Jim Johnson’s struggles and even a story about Zach’s first meeting with a Hall of Fame pitcher.

Make sure to follow Zach on Twitter for great local sports coverage.