7/5/13 Podcast: This Little Puig-y/Sal Loves JJ Redick

It’s time again for another edition of the PTY Podcast. Excuse the guys if they sound tired, this was recorded in the wee hours of the morning…well not really. But it’s early if you’re on “Joe Pa time”… The guys talk Scott Feldman, Yasiel Puig, Chris Davis vs. Albert Pujols, the first-half Most Valuable Oriole, Sal declares his love for JJ Redick in another edition of his NBA Shootaround, Joe tells the listeners how he almost got kicked out of OPACY and of course to top it all off, a few Confessions!

0:00-20:00 The Rundown: The guys talk about the Arrieta/Strop/Feldman trade, Whether Yasiel Puig should be considered for the All-Star Game and Jed Rigney’s internet troll-like article on having Albert Pujols start over Chris Davis.

20:00-22:00 Sal’s NBA Shootaround: Sal breaks down the latest trades and post=draft action in the NBA…bet you can’t guess what happens next

22:00-30:00: The guys recap the O’s impressive sweep of the Yankees and break down the upcoming series in the Bronx

30:00-33:00:Joe Pa tells the listeners how he was almost kicked out of OPACY during the Sunday night game of the Yankees’ series.

30:00-36:00 Joe Pa’s Stat of The Day :Joe Pa gives you a stat about the O’s pitching that may just blow your mind…

36:00-42:00: Sal, Cal and Joe Pa each pick their Most Valuable Oriole of the first half that isn’t Chris Davis

42:00-55:44 Confessions and Signoff: Sal is addicted to something other than gambling, Cal worries that he may not truly be a Baltimoron, and Joe Pa nearly killed a kid.

Thanks as always for listening. Like something? Hate something? Leave us a comment or tweet us at @PTYApparel, @S4LR1NAUD0 or @JoePappa.
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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.


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!

Saving Superman

Once regarded as one of the league’s most marketable young players, Dwight Howard has supplanted LeBron James as the least liked man in the NBA. In 2008, while wearing a skin-tight Superman costume, a 23-year old Howard was able to slam dunk his way into the hearts of fans. His game had a childish innocence to it. He played basketball the way people remember playing basketball. Years removed from the politics, the practices and the pressure of performing, people tend to remember that basketball was mostly fun. Sure, they loved watching the Magic center post double-doubles on a nightly basis, but they especially loved his Stan Van Gundy impersonations, his wide smile and his positive demeanor.  

 Four years later, Howard finished his first season in LA in fitting fashion; he was ejected. LeBron James made an unpopular decision, but he stuck to that decision. Howard spent most of 2011-2012 flipping back and forth between staying or leaving Orlando. He wanted to leave. He knew Orlando was incapable of surrounding him with a supporting cast. Howard asked to be traded. When the fans turned on him, he quickly backed off his stance and played dumb. Here’s the kicker: Howard declined his opt-out clause and chose to opt-in for 18 million in 2012-2013. Of course, the drama was only just beginning. The backstabbing of Van Gundy leaked to the media. Howard demanded the coach be fired, but publicly denounced such actions. Finally, in May 2012, ownership fired the incompetent GM Otis Smith, as well as the lame duck coach, Van Gundy.

Rob Hennigan came over from Oklahoma City to be the new GM. When the pair met up in late June, Howard demanded a trade. However, Howard only wanted to be traded to Brooklyn. The Nets offered garbage in return for the big man, knowing that Hennigan’s hand was forced. Finally, after months of rumors and rumblings, a four-team trade was announced.

Dwight Howard could not have handled the situation any worse, but the sport gods have a way of giving 6’11” centers second chances. Instead of being traded to another struggling team, Howard would join Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and the artist formerly known as Steve Nash in Los Angeles. What could go wrong?

This past Sunday, Howard left the Staples Center for possibly the last time as a Laker. While he vows to test free agency, many believe that his best bet is to re-sign with the Lakers for a max contract. However, would the maxed out Lakers want to pay a 270-pound complainer a max deal? Despite not fitting into their system, Howard clashed with Kobe Bryant’s “win or die trying” mentality.

That being said, unless you happen to be Nikola Vucevic’s mom, it’s tough to argue that Dwight Howard is not the best center in hoops. Andrew Bynum plays with his afro than a basketball these days, Joakim Noah is kind of a tool and Brook Lopez is never consistently dominant.

Howard would still make any NBA team better (sorry Mrs. Vecevic). He’s thrown more tantrums than two-year old, he’s coming off a shoulder surgery and now has teams questioning his maturity. Allow me to reiterate: he’s still the best center in the NBA. LA will make a push to sign Howard for a couple of reasons. First, they’re the Lakers, and they have a ton of money. Secondly, with Bryant’s injury, they really don’t have any other source of scoring next season.

Howard should spurn the Lakers and the extra cash that he would make by staying in LA (he can sign a 5-year deal with the Lakers, rather than a 4-year deal with anyone else). He’s like a troubled student; he just needs a new teacher to help him realize his potential.

I typically wouldn’t feel bad for a super-rich guy like Dwight Howard that has squandered his opportunities to be loved. This is America, though, and I think Dwight deserves one last chance at happiness. Superman needs to leave Los Angeles. Superman needs a new home, and I’m willing to help him find one. I’m super nice like that.

 1) Atlanta Hawks: For years, people have rumored about Howard’s homecoming to the ATL. The Hawks will have roughly 40 million to play with in cap space. They could easily afford Howard’s max contract, while also retaining the services of his former AAU teammate, Josh Smith. Only one problem: The Hawks have Al Horford locked up at center. The only way this deal would happen, is if another team was willing to deal for Horford. Also, the cap-strapped Hawks would like to re-sign PG Jeff Teague.

2) Charlotte Bobcats: Just kidding. The Bobcats have a better chance of starting Mike Jordan than Dwight Howard next season.

3) Dallas Mavericks: Dallas was one of the original teams that Howard wanted to play for while he was in Orlando. Cuban would help him remake his shattered image. His presence would allow Dirk Nowitzki to play away from the hoop, and give the German gunner another run at a title. Plus, if it didn’t work, the fights between Howard and Cuban would be epic. Dana White, make this happen.

4) Houston Rockets: Picture a starting lineup with James Harden and Dwight Howard. The Lakers could sign Howard, and then they could trade him to Houston for some combination of Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin and Thomas Robinson. Would the Rockets be willing to part with Lin or Robinson? That’s the only question here. Howard would join a long lineage of star centers in Houston.

5) Minnesota Timberwolves: This one is purely for fun. Rarely in the NBA, do teams trade a franchise player for another franchise player. Kevin Love wants out of Minny, and a trade is inevitable. Love is only 24, played his college ball in LA and he was teammates with Kobe Bryant on the national team. Howard signs with LA, and then two teams swap forwards. Love isn’t a superstar on the same level as Howard, but it would give the Lakers a piece to build around in the future. A Rubio/Howard combo would make the T-Wolves a team to watch in the West.

6) Baltimore Bullets: The city needs a team, first… I’m beginning to think I’m the only one who wants this… Yup, just me. Whatever (dribbles basketball into sunset).

7) Portland Trailblazers: When looking at Portland’s roster, it seems like Howard would be the missing link. Damian Lillard was just named the NBA’s ROY, Nicolas Batum is freakishly athletic and LaMarcus Aldridge is a top 15 player when he’s healthy. Adding Howard to that rotation would allow Aldridge to play away from the rim, which may prevent future injuries. Also, their current center, JJ Hickson, is a free agent. This won’t happen, because who the hell wants to play in Portland?