Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Introducing the Hawkeye Dirt Tour

A new racing series for modified drivers is coming to Iowa this summer. Well, it’s not really coming to Iowa, as it is a newly formed series based in Iowa. The Hawkeye Dirt Tour has come into existence and the inaugural season is this summer. The series has put together a 10 race season that visits nine different tracks across the Hawkeye state. The host track’s support classes will be run at the events. The series has plans to expand in the future to add visits to more tracks. According to their website,, the Hawkeye Dirt Tour currently has 34 drivers committed to running some of the events and some of the state’s top modified wheelmen are included. Hopefully some additional names are added. We’d also like to see “The A-Train” Al Hejna, Kelly Shryock, and “Triple Nickel” Ryan Ruter showcase their talents at these events. The Hawkeye Dirt Tour should provide some great racing action and you definitely see us at a few of the shows. Here’s an interesting side note for those of you from around the Cedar Valley, Bucky Doren is involved in this endeavor. You might remember him as a DJ on the Hog 98.5 FM back in the 90’s.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dale Sveum: You What?

We were watching the Cubs-Brewers game on WGN last night and I heard the name Dale Sveum. The last thing I remember about Sveum, he broke his leg in a collision with another player and it pretty much ended any impact on the game that he might have. What’s Dale up to now? I’m sorry I asked. He is entering his second season as the hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers. Let me repeat that. Sveum is the hitting coach for the Brewers. He is supposed to teach the art of hitting to others. He is responsible for helping players make adjustments so they become better hitters. Why am I so astonished? Over a career that lasted 12 seasons, Sveum had a batting average of .236. That’s not very good. Let’s add another whooping fact; Sveum has more career strikeouts (656) than hits (597). So the Brewers are paying Dale Sveum to mold their young nucleus of potential superstars, namely Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. All things aren’t looking down, though; Sveum’s nickname is “Nuts” and apparently he knows what he’s doing. Through the opening 16 games of the season the Brewers are third in the Major Leagues in batting average at .285 and forth in on base percentage at .366.

The Kahne Effect

As you all should have heard by now, Kasey Kahne has signed on to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. He will supposedly be taking over the #5 car from Mark Martin. This whole deal leaves Kahne in a sort of limbo for next year. Rick Hendrick has said that he’s not worried about the plan for 2011 but also has admitted that it will come together. I take that as Hendrick isn’t sure what is going to happen. The most popular rumor has Kahne taking over a third car at Stewart Hass Racing, as they receive technical support from HMS. Another fact that tends to back this is that Tony Stewart and Kahne are friends, come from the USAC background, and have mutual respect for one another. The chink in this plan though, I don’t see why Stewart would add a third car and then have to worry about finding another driver for it in 2011. It seems like unnecessary work and worry for the folks at Stewart Haas Racing.

Here is what I see happening, and I really, really like this idea, by the way. It’s going to take some of Hendrick’s money to make this swing but I think no matter what solution they come up with for Kasey Kahne in 2011, it is going to cost some money. Kahne will take over the AMP / Mountain Dew / National Guard next season in a yet to be determined number Chevy for HMS. Kahne has the looks, popularity, and charisma to help each of those sponsors capitalize on the exposure. What happens to Dale Jr.? Hendrick, shucks out some moolah and helps move JR Motorsports, which he is a part of the ownership group of anyway, to the Sprint Cup series. JRM becomes a satellite operation of HMS and Dale Jr. continues to drive the number 88. The 2011 lineup for Hendrick Motorsports ends up being Johnson, Gordon, Martin, and Kahne. Dale Jr. ends up driving for his “own” team, which is what he wanted when he was battling for DEI. This is a win-win solution. Are you ready for the cherry on top? Dale Jr. reunites with Budweiser. Yeah, you heard that right. Dale Jr. driving the #88 Budweiser Chevy. Hell, you can even dig out your old Dale Jr. / Budweiser shirts and hats. Now doesn’t everything seem right in the world?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What we know....What we think

Just a couple weeks in, but it's always fun to see who gets off to a fast start and manges to hang around and get all the fans excited for a pennant race. Even more fun to laugh at the experts, and even more fun to out guess and predict them. So around the league we go.

AL WEST - Rangers and A's are off to good starts. This is the division where everyone took the sleeper pick Seattle Mariners. At what point does it quit being a "sleeper" pick, when everyone is picking them. If Seattle ends up sucking, it's going to throw all the people on the defensive stats bandwagon right over a cliff. Actually the whole division is off to a pathetic offensive start. It's all pitching out west, and yes even the Rangers are pitching well. The A's would be a huge story and our personal favorite. We are rooting for them big time. Something to hold on to to make you think it's possible...The A's and Rangers have the 2 best ERA's in the AL so far. And the A's are supposed to have a lot of young stud pitching on the way up in June or July. Could get interesting if they continue to hang around. Plus the A's are always a 2nd half of season team.

AL CENTRAL - The White Sox got a lot of love in the preseason. Not from us. Not sure what everyone sees with these misfits. They're in it early though. Just a game back behind Twins and Tigers. Right where they left off. Nothing would be better than another pennant race between Tigers and Twins (with Twins winning again). So far pitching is ruling this division also. Here is a thought....good pitching beats good hitting. That's as old as baseball. Why are we always trying to reinvent the wheel? The Royals are actually out hitting the division easily right now. They are also playing the Tigers every day it seems. Could this be the season the Royals stay in late into the season? Nothing could be better for baseball. By the way...Cleveland sucks.

AL EAST - Blah, blah, blah...Red Sox and Yankees are leading...wait...Toronto and Tamp Bay are tied for division lead? Shhhh...maybe nobody will notice and the east coast will realize the baseball world does not revolve around New York and Boston. Maybe.

NL EAST - Phillies are trying to run away early and hide. The pitching in Philadelphia is awesome!! Not just Doc Halladay, but Cole Hamels looks good (BTW my great war room call during fantasy draft). Everyone likes the Braves, but I just don't see it. Would make a great story for Bobby Cox and his last season, but it will take more than that monster Jason Heyward to out last the Phillies. I'm secretly shocked the Mets are as bad as everyone thought. Have we let Omar the GM dick this up long enough in New York yet?

NL CENTRAL - Snobby St Louis fans are convinced they will runaway with the season, but it looks like a team ready for a breakdown to us. Injuries plus the 50 game suspension for Pujols is surely going to slow them down and let the Cubs keep it close. Cheering for the Reds though. Would be great to see 'The Big Red Machine" back in contention. RIP Astros.

NL WEST - No way in Hell can the Giants keep their hot start alive. The Dodgers are hitting the shit out of the ball and when the pitching comes around...and you have to assume it will...they look to streak back to the top of the standings. Manny for MVP??? I would love to be forced to have that conversation. It could could!

Friday, April 9, 2010

MLB Front Office Manager

Picked up MLB Front Office Manager for the PS3. Not sure if this looks like fun or not. I guess we'll find out. Here is all 3 trailers for it and the Amazon product description is below the video. Click here to get MLB Front Office Manager... product description...

MLB Front Office Manager gives fans the chance to experience their dream job as a Big League General Manager. Make trades, sign free agents, draft prospects and manage games all the way from Spring Training through the Playoffs. Featuring deep gameplay modes and a unique presentation style, MLB Front Office Manager is the only MLB licensed game to give fans total control of an MLB franchise.

Using Major League teams and players, you will be able to create your own fictional baseball universe and build a reputation into elite status. You can replace aging veterans with rookies, scout the Minor Leagues, make blockbuster trades, and even participate in bidding wars for posted players from Japan as they make their way to the Hall of Fame.

MLB Front Office Manager offers two distinct game modes. Become the GM in Career Mode, and manage a team through a 30-year career that will hopefully lead to the Hall of Fame. As your knowledge and skill progresses over time, you will gain points to improve various areas and help the team win games as a result. With Online Fantasy Mode, create an online head-to-head management experience. With up to 30 Managers in the league, you can compete against friends to see who has what it takes to be the best.

Special features include:

Build Your Roster - An extremely deep Career Mode takes fans beyond simple trades and free signings, and allows them to fully experience the life of an MLB general manager. Manage Minor League rosters, set scouting budgets, bid for Japanese free agents, select new players in the Amateur and Rule 5 Drafts, and more.

Take The Field - Manage your team’s games on the field all season long and enjoy a never-before-seen presentation style designed to resemble a real life TV broadcast.

Learn From a Pro - Renowned GM Billy Beane becomes a mentor to users, providing helpful tips and insightful baseball information that even the biggest fan doesn’t know.

Online Fantasy Leagues - Customize your league with fantasy drafts, modified rules and traditional Rotisserie and Head-to-Head fantasy baseball scoring systems. Also available offline against the CPU.

Innovative Baseball Statistics - Evaluate talent using in-depth and authentic player statistics, as used by Billy Beane.