ANOTHER OPENING MLB DAY

MLB 2013 Opens tonight in Houston with the Texas Rangers playing the Houston Astros. The Spring has finally come to an end but the questions are just starting. One thing is a FACT…every team is equal with identical records at this time and has chance to make it to the big dance.

Baseball is a Marathon and its not always the team that gets out to the best start that goes to the playoffs and makes a big splash in the post season. However, all 32 teams want to get off to a winning streak and gain momentum. I’m one of my previous posts I gave my early picks for Division, League, World Champs as well as my picks for award winners and stats leaders.

Bryce Harper had a tremendous spring for the Washington Nationals by leading all spring hitters with close to a .500 average. I could actually see Harper contending for a batting championship. Michael Morse, a back up catcher and Designated Hitter for the Seattle Mariners led the league with 9 Home Runs. Ryan Howard had one of his best springs hitting over .300 while blasting 7 Home Runs and knocking in 17. He was bested by teammate Domenic Brown who also had 7 Home Runs, Knocked in 17, scored 22 Runs and had 5 stolen bases. This is the five tool player the Phillies envisioned when Brown was untouchable.

The Mets have a great young nucleus of pitching and their offense should get a boost from the MLB Classic MVP David Wright. Matt Harvey and Zach Weeler are both “A” rated prospects and could both be aces. It was a shame that the comeback of Johan Santana was cut short again. The Nationals are hoping for another Division Championship behind stellar pitching and a potent offense. The Braves will be right there too.

Ok, well the American League East will be a different story as the ever standing Yankees look to have a crack in their armor. Of course, they always have the option of buying or trading for star talent that can bring them back to the top. Meanwhile the Toronto Blue Jays are poised to steal away the Tankees thunder. Jose Reyes fronts an extremely dangerous lineup and the Jays carry a very formidable pitching staff into the season.

Of course there are those pesky Baltimore Orioles. Last year they came out of no where. This year they are on the map. Great starting pitching, a deep bullpen, a very talented bench. The Orioles greatest weapon is their coach Buck Showalter who once again has instilled a winning attitude. And as always, The Boston Red Sox will be right there.

The Detroit Tigers will remain the favorites in the American League. Justin Verlander will be in the race for MVP and Miguel Cabrera will definitely be at the top of all statistical batting categories. The Texas Rangers will also challenge especially with their lineup. And look out for the Anaheim Angels. Albert Pujols has a lot to prove and adding Hamilton has to put them at the top as well.

This season like any other will be filled with questions. Can Roy Halladay get back to the top and stay healthy? Can Derek Jeter play a full season? Will the Mets challenge in a very tough division? Will the Reds make the playoffs? Can the Cardinals pitching hold up again? What will become of the San Francisco Giants…can they repeat? And of course the drama with ARod and all the other players blanketed under the PED scandal. Anyways…thank God Baseball is here because we as fans deserve Americas Pastime once again!

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IRON MAIDEN:DVD MAIDEN ENGLAND

On Tuesday, Iron Maiden released a two disc DVD called Maiden England. This DVD features material from a few live shows on the original Maiden England Tour in Donnington England in 1988. This DVD is one of the many that Maiden has produced throughout their lengthy career. Iron Maiden is still kicking ASS all over the world even after 36 years! Their live shows are full of endless energy.

Iron Maiden is not for everyone. However, if you enjoy Progressive Metal and The Mystique and The World of Fantasy then Maiden is your Cup of Tea. I have been listening to Maiden since I was a teenager and I never get sick of them. Bruce Dickinson knows how to captivate the crowd with his sinister lyrics and his mysterious topics of banter. If you have never enjoyed a Maiden CD, purchase this DVD. It has all of their hit songs live which sound almost identical to their studio productions.

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METAL MAYHEM

So what would your dream concert be? If you could see 5 bands play together who would they be? The BIG 4 would be my pick but this has to be bands other than them. Lets have some fun with this. Looking for some audience participation. It doesn’t have to be Heavy Metal. It can be RAP or Country or Progressive. We will leave this to bands from 1980 on.

Lets face it…there are so many bands I would have loved to see in the past. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Bad Company, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, And the list goes on and on! So here is my dream concert that I would love to put together.

The number one band I would want on the BILL would be Pantera. Pantera was an awesome band that I never saw. I have saw many live concerts on DVD and am very impressed with their Star Power! Dime bag Darrell was a Magician on the Guitar and Phil Anselmo could scream with the best of them. Ok the second bad would be Alice in Chains with Layne Staley. Alice In Chains have always been one of my favs! Staley died way too young and this band was always at the top of their game when they were in their prime.

Faith No More would also be on my list! Faith No More in my mind is always one of the Bands that were way before their time! I remember watching the video for Epic all of the time on MTV. I love all of their material and Mike Patton was a musical genius. Faith No More was the KORN before KORN. They were the Rob Zombie before the White Zombie. They were the Nine Inch Nails before Nine Inch Nails. They were the Marilyn Manson before Marilyn.

The next band on my bill would be TOOL! Maynard seriously kicks ASS on the microphone! TOOL seems to be one of those bands that steps it up a notch when they play live. I have never saw them live but have many friends that say TOOL kills it on the stage. I would love to see them in front of the bright lights with their powerful solos and rhythms.

Ok…my headliner would be the Original Guns N Roses! I never had the opportunity to see them live either. I have saw some live footage and Axl and Slash were sick and Wild at the same time on stage. I love all of their albums but obviously Appetite was their most iconic. I love a lot of their material from Spaghetti Incident. Yes…GNR would be my ultimate headliner. So who would your five bands be. Don’t hesitate to Participate!

FLYERS SHOULD STAND PAT

Has anyone ever heard of the word growing pains. C’Mon, true “sports” fans have to understand this word and recognize the importance it has on building team chemistry which ultimately catapults them to the top and many times will lead to a championship. Lets face it…what has happened here in 2013 for the Philadelphia Flyers is exactly that…”Growing Pains.”

For those fair weather fans that are ready to jump ship, for those fans that are saying blow up the team and rebuild, for those fans that are calling for the oust of General Manager Paul Holmgren and the firing of fan favorite coach Peter Laviolette, for the impatient Philly faithful, for the “nega-delphians” around the city…please take note.

First of all…let us go back and rehash this past off season for the Flyers. Lets look at what a team did coming off a 103 point effort and trouncing of the star studded Pittsburgh Penguins in Round 1 of last years playoffs. And yes, unfortunately the embarrassing loss to the New Jersey Devils in Round 2 and their early exit in the playoffs. Lets look back to the summer and all of the high hopes that fans had for this “very young” team.

Ok…first of all, for those fans that are ready to fire Paul Holmgren and Peter Laviolette, just remember this. You are the same fans that just last year were raving at the moves that were made in getting rid of core players Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Simon Gagne. Well here is a news flash, those three players won the Stanley Cup in their first season as Los Angeles Kings. Ok, also recognize that just because these players won the cup, it does not constitute a mistake on team managements fault for making changes.

Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were and still remain very talented. They were both drafted as number 1 picks and were home grown talent. They even led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup in 2010, only to lose in a disappointing end to a better Blackhawks team. Well, on the surface one would say wow…this was a huge mistake on Holmgren’s part. Well…here is another news flash…2012 was not a mirage. The Flyers Achilles heel has and always will be
Goaltending. Check. Holmgren went out and signed one of the Top Free Agent Goalies Ilya Bryzgalov to a huge contract. Bryzgalov was coming off 3 consecutive 30 win seasons in Phoenix and was a runner up for the Vezina Trophy in two of those years.

The trades of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were not only bold moves, but also moves that turned out to be fruitful for the Flyers. Claude Giroux had established himself as the young rising star and this team was budding with youth and talent. The Flyers signed Jaromir Jagr in a move that many saw as a leap of faith. However, when all was said and done the Flyers had huge success and Jagr was one of the key components to help the Flyers gain 103 points and make it to the second round.

Ok…flash forward to the offseason and last years free agent scenario. First of all, the Flyers right away tried to address their flaws right away by trading for defenseman Luke Schenn, brother of Brayden who was a budding star for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Schenn, in his early twenties is the type of defenseman that you can build a team around. However, the Flyers paid a price as they shipped away one of their own young rising stars, James Van Reimsdyke. Do not discount this loss.

Secondly, Holmgren went hard and fast to sign restricted Free Agent Shea Weber, the best Defenseman on the market, only to see Nashville match the offer. Check. Ok, then the Glyeds tried to sign Zach Parise, the best offensive player on the market only to lose out again to Columbus this time. The Flyers actually offered more money and more years…check. When they lost out on Parise, they did the next best thing and courted the best free agent defenseman Ryan Sutter only to lose out once again…check. They also offered Sutter more money but ultimately lost out on him too.

Ok…so let us recap, the Flyers tried to sign the top 3 free agents available and were unfortunately unsuccessful. I would not exactly call that poor management and I would not say that Holmgren did not put his best effort out to make the team better. There is only one problem that occurs when a team spends free agency courting other teams best players. Don’t miss the point folks, the risk is losing their own key free agents.

While Holmgren was busy trying to get the best…the Flyers lost a few key players of their own to Free Agency. Once again…it was not for lack of trying. The Flyers had offered Defenseman Matt Carle a huge contract but he wanted to test the waters. Well, he signed to his old team the Lightning for less money. Check. Ok…not the end of the world right…we are trying to get the best defenseman available. Well…we see what happened they failed in this quest so this was the first key loss.

Jaromir Jagr had his best year in five years and really helped these young Flyers forwards mature. Well, while the Flyers were courting Parise, who BTW torched them in the playoff loss to the Devils, Jagr grew impatient and signed with the Dallas Stars. Check. Well, not only did they lose Jagr, they were unsuccessful in landing Parise, even though they had offered more money. Check.

Ok…well Holmgren was now looking at a very unhappy fan base although if any of these moves had been successful, he would have been praised. Damned if you do…damned if you don’t. Holmgren could have threw in the towel at this point and called it a draw but instead he became more aggressive. At this point, he tried feverishly to trade for disgruntled forward Rick Nash, who would have instantly made up for all their failures. Well in the end, Columbus wanted the whole kitchen sink so Holmgren decided not to trade the youngsters. Check. He even tried to pry away hometown hero Bobby Ryan from the Aneheim Ducks, but they wanted Schenn or Courtier…not happening. Check.

Ok…so no one can blame Holmgren as he did anything and everything to try and get the best players and these moves just did not Pan out. This does not mean there was a lack of effort. Then Holmgren tried to sign some grit players in Ruslan Fedotenko and Bruno Gervais. These players were not stars but players who could fit in nicely with the youth tenacity. He even brought back Mike Knuble when Scott Hartnell went down early this season with an injury. So no one can blame Holmgren.

As for blowing up this team, that idea is ludicrous. It’s obvious the Flyers have a ton of young talent. Well…the whole point of having young talent is growing pains where these players live and die together on the ice and eventually they go on to win the Stanley Cup. Look back at many past winners…Detroit Red Wings, Colorado Avalanche, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings, the list goes on and on. Well the point is it takes time for young teams to win championships. It doesn’t just happen overnight.

Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn, Luke Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, Sean Courtier, Matt Read, Zack Rinaldo. These players are all core players and not one if them is twenty-five years old. Check. The loss of Matt Carle and Jaromir Jagr may have been more deflating than the loss of signing those great free agents. Matt Carle was a veteran anchor of the Defense. And Jagr was a mentor to the young Claude Giroux.

Peter Laviolette has made the best of what he has. What the Flyers have us a very young team that is two or three years away from contending. The apple does not fall far from the tree. If you somehow do not believe this fact, take a look at the Los Angeles Kinhs who finally won a Cup with all of their young free agents after they grew and the team surrounded them with key free agents year after year. Finally their patience paid off and the LA Kings won The Stanley Cup.

So where are the naysayers now. I know you want Holmgren gone. I know you are looking to fire Laviolette because someone has to take the blame. I know many of you want to do ridiculous trades and get rid of Courtier or Schenn and Simmonds. Trust me, the Flyers need to stand pat and not make any irrational moves. Do not…I repeat do not ABORT the plan. Be patient. No trades at this point or players for rent will help the Flyers win the Stanley Cup at this time.

I repeat…do not make any trades just for the sake of making trades unless it will better this team. By that, I mean if the Flyers could get Marian Gaborik or Jarome Igunlia for a pick and a player I would do it. Other than those two players, I would not be interested at any of the names being mentioned.

Remember we live and die with this team. We bleed orange just like Eagles fans bleed green. But do not let your emotions get the best of you and make you become irrational in thinking. The truth be told…this team is only a few years away from contention…just be patient. Remember the 2008 Phillies. Same concept/same principal. The team stayed patient and eventually won a championship with all of its core young home grown players. Don’t give up hope Flyers fans. This team will win…just be a realist.

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1993 PHILLIES: Looking Back

Whenever anyone in the Philadelphia Sports Arena hears the 1993 Phillies, everyone’s first thought goes to that Game 6 walk off home run by Joe Carter off of Mitch Williams to lose the 1993 World Series. However, anyone that really watched that team can remember that team was one of the most exciting teams in Baseball History.

In spring training, that team was picked to finish last in the National League East again just like the previous two seasons. However, there was a different feeling about this team. First of all, Catcher Darren Daulton was coming off an RBI crown, only the third catcher to perform this feat. Secondly, the Phillies had signed Jim Eisenreich an American League star that struggled with Tourette’s Syndrome. The team made him feel at home.

During the beginning of 1993 spring training, Third Baseman Dave Hollins who had set a record the previous year for being hit by pitches 19 times. Well, Dave set out a decree to his own pitching staff that if they did not protect him if he got hit, he was going to charge them in the clubhouse. Well, what do you know. During an early game in spring, Dave Hollins was hit by a pitch. The next inning, Tommy Greene came in and hit the next batter in the neck! This started an all out brawl and it was only spring training.

This started a season of which the team played with such camaraderie. The 1993 Phillies started out the season 8-1, the best start they had since 1964. This team was special from day one. They played together died together as a team. They developed the team concept of playing and had three platoons. Jim Eisenreich and Wes Chamberlain split duties in right field. Pete Incaviglia and Milt Thompson split Left Field. And Mickey Morandini/Mariano Duncan split second base. This was probably the last time that you saw this happen in MLB baseball. They also had great bench players…Kim Batiste, Rickey Jordan, Charlie Hayes to name a few.

On Mothers Day, the Phillies were down 3-0 in the bottom of the ninth and Mariano Duncan was facing Lee Arthur Smith, the most dominant closer of that time period. Duncan sent the Phillies home jumping up and down hitting the walk off game winning Grand Slam. After that game, the turning point in most of the former players minds, the team took off.

This Phillies team had 5 Starting Pitchers that won thirteen games that season. Curt Schilling was the Ace of the staff. Terry Mulholland, Tommy Greene, Danny Jackson, and Ben Rivera rounded out the Starting Pitching Staff. They had Mitch Williams who was known as the “Wild Thing.” Larry Anderson and David West were the set up men.

Darren Daulton, the teams star catcher, was signed to an 18 million dollar contract that offseason. John Kruk was the team’s star First Baseman. He also had a big mouth. John Kruk and Darren Daulton were both the team’s unquestioned leaders. John Kruk was always putting the team first. Jim Eisenreich hit .330. This team was intense.

Dave Hollins was injured in the middle of the season and was supposed to be out six weeks. Hollins miraculously came back in only two weeks, which really gave the team a huge boost. They also brought in Bobby Thigpen and Roger Mason. On July 7th…there was an amazing thing that happened. There was a double header that ended at 4:06 the next morning when Mitch Williams ended the game with an RBI game winning single in the fourteenth inning.

Lenny Dykstra “The Dude” was the lead off hitter. He had come to the team from the New York Mets. Dykstra was the type of player that would give you whatever you needed wether it was a walk, a single, a stolen base or a home run. He would work pitchers like you never saw. With him getting on base, the Phillies scored 100 more runs than any other team that season. He loved to play the game and had a lot of fun.

Jim Fregosi was calm all season and held the team together when they started to struggle at the end of the season. Mitch Williams recorded a Phillies record 43 Saves on September 27th. September 28th was the game where the magic number was one. There was a different hero every night. Lenny got the team started with a 2 run single. Then Mariano Duncan hit a Grand Slam in the seventh inning to go up 9-4. Finally, Mitch Williams ended it in a non save situation as the Phillies clinched the National League East.

The regular season was a huge offensive success as they had three players score 100 runs. Both outfield platoons knocked in 100 Runs. And going into the post season, this was the last time there was a playoff series before the league would go to a Wild Card format. The Atlanta Braves were Americas team and caught fire and would face the Phillies that series.

In game 1, Curt Schilling struck out the side in the first and Lenny Dykstra led off the game with a single and set the tone. The Phillies took a 3-2 lead into the ninth. Mitch Williams came into the game and Kim Batiste who was in as a defensive replacement made an error and the Braves tied the game. Then in the Tenth inning, John Kruk hit a double and Kim Batiste rited the ship with a game winning hit. Phillies win game one 4-3.

In Game two, the Braves beat the Phillies in a route. Greg Maddux and Mark Wohlers have up home runs to Lenny Dykstra and Dave Hollins as the Phillies lost 14-3. In Game 3, John Kruk hit a two run home run. Then the wheels came off and the Braves took game three to go up 2-1 in the series. Game 3 saw a duel between John Smoltz and Danny Jackson. The Phillies were leading and Mitch Williams made a two inning save and won 2-1 to even the NLCS to tie the series 2-2.

In Game 5, Schilling was on his game and there were a few great defensive plays. The Phillies went into the ninth up 3-0. Mitch Williams gave up the lead and the game was 3-3. In the top of the ninth, Lenny Dykstra hit the go ahead home run to take a 4-3 lead. Larry Anderson came in for the save. Phillies win…to go up 3-2 in the series. Lenny Dykstra had won the Game and he said “Didn’t I”. The Dude made it happen.

Game six was back in Philly and Tommy Greene was on the mound. Greene pitched a masterful game. Darren Daulton hit a two run double. Then Dave Hollins hit a two run home run to go up 4-1. Mickey Morandini then iced it with a two out two run triple. 6-1. Veterans stadium was rocking…chills are going down my back as I write this. The Wild Thing Mitchie Pooh came into nail the game down in the ninth as the Phillies won the NLCS pennant. I remember that day like it was yesterday.

This bunch of crazy wild players had come together and won as a team. Now they were in the World Series to face the Toronto Blue Jays. Of course…the Phillies were the underdogs again. In game one…Lenny Dykstra set the tone and the Phillies got off to a two run lead but gave up that lead and lost 6-4. However, in Game Two Terry Mulholland and Jim Eisenreich gave the Phillies a 5-0 lead and then Lenny Dykstra hit a home run to go up 6-3 in the seventh and so it went, Mitch saved the game.

In Game 3, Paul Molitor had a huge game and the Phillies lost 10-3. Game 4 was a barn burner that went back and forth and then the rains came. Lenny came up and hit another home run his second of the game to put the Phillies up 12-7. They were up 14-9 at one point. Then the Phillies bullpen gave up the lead and they lost this game 15-14.

In Game 5…Curt Schilling put the team on his back and Shut down the Blue Jays offense by throwing a 5 hit shut out at home. Back to Canada. Paul Molitor hit two home runs and the Phillies were losing 5-1 in the seventh. Then…like magic…the Phillies came back to take the lead off of CY Young Award winner to go up 6-5. Roger Mason nailed down the sixth and seventh inning and then came the eighth where Toronto had the bases loaded and Larry Anderson got out of the jam.

Of course, the rest is history. Joe Carter comes up in the bottom of the ninth and then that’s all she wrote. Mitch went hard and in and Carter broke the Phillies hearts. Everyone had their heart ripped out. However, just because they lost…does not make that team losers. In my mind, they were winners. They had an amazing season and should be proud of what they had accomplished. The 1993 Phillies were a magical team. I will never forget that season.

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TOP 50 METAL/HARD ROCK VOCALISTS ALL TIME

Whenever one sets out on a journey to come up with a list of the “top” anything or anyone…there is always a matter of opinion that goes along with it. This opinion may be based on biased stereotypes or ones own passion and favorites. Embarking on any of these Top Lists takes a lot of research and knowledge. It also takes a keen ear and eye. In this post I will attempt to give you my Top 50 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Vocalists of all time.

In order to make this list, the vocalist must be multi talented as well as full of ambition on the stage. These vocalists are above the normal singer that just walks the stage. These front men are confident. These singers are dangerous, loud, hit all ranges, are able to sing melody as well as scream, and share many other qualities. Without further a due…let us get to my Top 50 Vocalists of all time. As I said…these lists are always a matter of interpretation and there may be those people who disagree. Feel free to give your feedback.

1) Rob Halford- The famous front man for Judas Priest as well as Fight and even his own solo gig. Rob Halford not only plays the “Bad Ass”, but he backs it up with his voice. He probably has the greatest range in Metal as far as singing deep and also screaming vengeance

2) Robert Plant- Plant was the prototype lead singer and front man for Led Zeppelin and will always be at the top of any Top Vocalist list wether all time or hard rock or metal or just in general. Plant can hit just about every range and does it easily.

3) Ronnie James Dio- Dio started with Elf…then Rainbow…then Black Sabbath and then solo. No matter what lineup he was in or who his band mates were, Dio was always one of if not the best vocalists of all time. Dio could hit every note as well.

4) Bruce Dickinson- Bruce Has been the unquestioned leader of Iron Maiden since its inception in the early eighties…Dickinson has also done a few solo projects. Bruce can sing with the best of them and he also can put on a show. He may have one of the best stage presences in Metal.

5) Freddy Mercury- Queen was a huge success in the seventies and eighties. Much of this success was due to Mercury and his ability to rock the house and get the crowd going. Freddy had no problem hitting all those high notes and made it look easy.

6) Axl Rose- Axl could have been so much more. Guns N Roses had a short lives career, I mean the original Guns…and Axl played the BAD Ass and he backed it up on the microphone. Axl was always using controversial language and could also hit every note.

7) Sebastian Bach- Sebass was the lead vocalist for Skid Row and now has his own solo gig. Sebastian has an extraordinary voice and can sing the ballads as well as scream the heavy thrash tone. He could probably be higher on the list but he has not had the years or the experience that these other vocalists have had.

8) Steven Tyler- Tyler does not have the voice he once had. However, in his prime Tyler was at the top of the vocalist pedestal. Aerosmith was and still is one of the Top Hard Rock bands of its time and Tyler was the driving force.

9) Michael Sweet- Yes…We are counting Christian Metal on this list. This is a list of all Hard Rock and Metal. Michael Sweet is extremely underrated as a musician and is even more underrated as a vocalist. Stryper was never an extremely popular metal band but Sweet could sing with the best of them.

10) Chris Cornell- Some people may be surprised to see Cornell in the Top 10, but not anyone who was a fan of Sound-garden or Audioslave. Cornell has an extremely melodic tone and can scream or sing harmony and change on a dime. Cornell will always be at the top of my list.

11) David Lee Roth- David was the first frontman of Van Halen who are one of the Godfathers of Metal. Roth can hit every note and he has that famous Roth snarl. David still hits those high notes like he is 21 again.

12) Paul Rodgers- Bad Company is in Good Company here. Rodgers has a tremendous voice and would be a great singer on any band.

13) David Coverdale- Coverdale has always been at the top of his game when it comes to pounding out lyrics. From Deep Purple to WhiteSnake. Coverdale was even recruited by Jimmy Page to do a solo album. Coverdale sounds almost like Robert Plant…like a spitten image. If you ever want to hear a great song with awesome range listen to In The Still of The Night.

14) Geddy Lee- Lee is most noted for his empiracle lyrics for RUSH. Lee sometimes even sounds like a woman when he sings…he can hit the highest notes with ease.

15) Geoff Tate- Tate is the Front Man for Queensryche. Tate has a very powerful voice and can also sing ballads like he is in a choir. Case in point Silent Lucidity.

16) Mick Jagger- The Rolling Stones front man can still hit those high notes all these years later. Jagger is one of those singers that you look at and wonder where he gets his voice at. If you could judge a book by its cover, Jagger would not make this list.

17) Steve Perry- Perry was the face of Journey. Journey was known for their Rock Ballads but Perry could sing those faster heavier tones when required to do so and could also change on a dime.

18) Sammy Hagar- Sammy was the second front man for Van Halen. One could say that VH did not miss a beat as far as vocals when Hagar replaced Roth. Hagar may not have the same stage presence of Roth but he can sing his ass off.

19) Paul Stanley- Stanley is KISS. Well he is just one part of KISS but probably the most integral part to the band. He has a distinct voice and can hit every note and chord.

20) Maynard- The lead singer of TOOL. Maynard could very easily be in the Top 10. Part of my list is based on the popularity of the band but I also tried to rank them by voice talent and potential. The sky is the limit for Maynard.

21) Eddie Vedder- Eddie has one of those voices that is underrated. Until you hear him really sing you may not see him for the real him. Listen to some of those early songs and lyrics from Pearl Jams first album.

22) Don Dokken- Don could hit the ballads and the hard stuff as well.

23) Corey Taylor- Taylor is the lead singer for Slipknot and Stone Sour. Taylor has the voice that can rattle every fan. Listen to the difference between Slipknot and Stone Sour. Some people may say this is too high but I believe he has one of those master sounds.

24) Joe Elliot- Today Elliot cannot hit those ranges he used to hit on High and Dry, Pyromania, and Hysteria but Elliot remains one of the Top vocalists of all time. When he was in his prime he may have been in the top 10.

25) John Bon Jovi- John Bon Jovi has a magical voice. He can sing the high ranges like on Bad Medicine and then hit the low ones like on Wanted Dead or Alive.

26) Alice Cooper- Cooper is very underrated as a singer. I think he got better with age as he learned to be more melodic and symphonic.

27) Layne Staley (Alice In Chains)

28) Roger Daltrey (Pink Floyd)

29) Tommy Keifer (Cinderella)

30) Vince Neil (Mötley Crüe)

31) Jimi Hendrix (Same)

32) David Wayne (Metal Church)

33) Blackie Lawless (WASP)

34) Stephen Pearcy (RATT)

35) Brett Michaels (Poison)

36) Klaus Meine (Scorpions)

37) Steve Marriott (Humble Pie)

38) Brian Johnson (AC/DC)

39) Ian Gillan (Deep Purple)

40) Philip Anselmo (Pantera)

41) Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath)- this may seem very low but Ozzy never had a stellar voice.

42) Scott Stapp (Creed)

43) Anthony Keidis (Red Hot Chili Pepper)

44) Joey Belladonna (Anthrax)

45) Serj Tankian (System of a Down)

46) Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails)

47) James Herfield (Metallica)

48) David Bowie

49) Rod Stewart

50) Marilyn Manson

Ok…that’s my Top 50. Not an easy list and I’m very sure I missed some. Feel free to add to the list.

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ANTHRAX: ANTHEMS ROCK

On Tuesday, Anthrax released their LP cover album called “ANTHEMS.” To start off…I give Anthrax credit for stepping away from their comfort zone and taking a break from the Thrash Metal that they are so known for. This album has a great mix of covers from 70’s and 80’s bands.

First of all…the sound quality is TOP NOTCH! Scott Ian and Rob Caggliano kick major ASS on Guitar as they both provide lead and rhythm on the entire album. As always, the entire band does a great job on backing vocals. Frank Bello hits it hard on the BASS! Charlie Bennante overpowers on the Drums. And Joey Belladonna absolutely kills it on lyrics.

The album begins with the first track Anthem from RUSH. Joey Belladonna does a tremendous job on vocals with all of these songs. Honestly, he has a very underrated voice. Actually, his voice kind of sounds like Sammy Hagar on a few tunes, especially Anthem and Keep on Running. Scott Ian and Coglianno are so impressive and Bennante and Bello set the pace.

The second track TNT is an AC/DC classic. Their version is very similar to the original…with a little heavier rhythm section. Belladonna does his best AC/DC impression on the vocals and Caggliano and Ian rip it up on the solos. Excellent cover that has never been covered on a major label to my knowledge. It was very close to the vest, even the ending.

Smokin by BOSTON another stellar classic. Anthrax is able to kill this song in every aspect. The Drums are awesome and the BASS makes your back tingle. Scott Ian says this is his personal favorite along with their next cover of Keep on Runnin from Journey. One would say…what business does Anthrax have covering a Journey song? Well, once again they kill it. This album is so good you would never peg Anthrax for a Thrash Metal band if you didn’t already know what they were about.

The final two covers are Big Eyes from Cheap Trick and Jailbreak from Thin Lizzy. These two songs are probably the best two on the album, however the entire album is a masterpiece. Honestly, all of the material is phenomenal. My buddy has posted a link to their cover of Jailbreak on Facebook. Sick, sick, sick!!! I rate this album a 9/10 and a must have for any Rock fan. You don’t even have to be an Anthrax fan to enjoy this cover. They end the album with their own song Crawl which is off the Worship Music album and is one of their signature songs on the disc. They also have a remix of the song. If you are a fan of ROCK go buy ANTH

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KILLER INSTINCT

On February of 2012, T.J. Lane walked into a crowded High School Cafeteria near Cleveland, Ohio and murdered three students…and wounded two others before walking out of the school. He consequently was arrested and then tried as an adult. Well, there has been so much debate in the past year regarding gun control legislation and harsher gun laws with the idea that these school shootings may decrease. I myself have done research in this area and have given my own opinions and ideas regarding these heinous acts of violence.

One key notion that I have learned through my research is that not one of these mass shootings are ever completely alike and the weapons of choice have been a multitude of variety…not just automatic or semi automatic as in the Connecticut Elementary Shootings this past December.

Ok…Lets take a look at what happened yesterday when TJ Lane had his sentence hearing in court. When TJ was first arrested, he admitted to the murders, but he never truly gave a legitimate reason for them. A team of advanced medical doctors tried to prove that TJ is not sane and that he suffers from hallucinations and psychosis and fantasies. Well, what happened yesterday should just further prove that there is so much more to these crimes than just the “weapon of choice.”

Yesterday during his sentence hearing, TJ calmly walked into the courtroom and was observed smiling and making obscene gestures in a random act of obscenity towards everyone in the courtroom. After he walked into court, he calmly unbuttoned his blue dress shirt and took it off revealing a T Shirt with the word “KILLER” across his chest. The prosecutor subtly noted that this shirt was similar to the one that the boy wore the day of the murders.

At an early point in the hearing, he swiveled his chair around towards the victims families as well as his own relatives and had a smug smile and out of no where stated,” The hand that pulled the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory.” and then pointed his middle finger at them and cursed at them insidiously. This act of violence has to show that there is more to this boy than just the murders and his choice of weaponry. TJ Lane is definitely mentally incapacitated. These actions are in line with somebody that has some serious mental issues. For someone to show no remorse like that means that they are not bothered by what they have done.

The important idea to note is that all of these past murders have been committed by people that share this same mental incapacity. I think this should be the overlying factor when investigating these crimes and trying to stop future ones from occurring. Yes, stricter gun laws should make it harder for people to get guns in their hands. But who is to say that these problem children will not turn to some other weapon. I mean, last time I looked you only need “one hand” to commit a murder. I am all for better legislation to control guns in this country and get automatic weapons off of our streets.

However, after doing so much research and reading about these different cases, I think that it is apparent that these acts are caused more by the mental state of the perpetrator than the “weapon” that they chose. I grew up around mental illness my whole life so I do have a better understanding of it than the average “Joe”. I also have saw first hand what mental illness can do to a person as well as a family that has to deal with all of the stressful moments. But C’MON, these people are not just mentally ill. What TJ Lane just did at this hearing was inexplicable. Not only that, it’s unexplainable. What makes someone behave in this manner.

I mean the boy just received 3 consecutive life sentences in prison for murdering three people and leaving two others critically injured for life. Do you think he would have shown just a tad more of remorse for the heinous crimes that he committed. Do you think he would have shown just a tad more respect to the judge in the courtroom hearing his case. I mean, this is like a candidate going into a room for an interview wearing ripped jeans sneakers and a torn shirt! People just don’t act this way normally. And in this setting, I mean the victims families just want closure and instead they get this last reminder. The boy who killed their family members cursing them out and blasphemy towards the dead and the last memory these parents will have will be the killer wearing a shirt that says exactly that “KILLER”.

I think going forward there definitely needs to be more attention paid to people who have mental illness. Not only that, the government needs to spend more money on research and reform for this area of medical concern that completely gets ignored most of the time. Yes, making weapons harder to purchase may limit these crimes but they will not continue to cease. In fact, as this world becomes more violent and “worldly” I believe these instances will continue to happen more often. TJ Lane is just another example of a normal kid gone wrong. He is somehow under Satan’s power and has to be possessed to commit such horrific acts in the courtroom. One could argue That these actions further prove that it’s the mental issue that must take precedence when investigating these acts.

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SPRING SURPRISE

For the past four seasons…Ruben Amaro has made huge trade deadline deals for top of the line players starting in 2009 with the acquisition of Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay in 2010, Roy Oswalt at the deadline in 2010, and Hunter Pence in 2012. There were a few other smaller deals that were made not on the same tier. The common denominator with all of these deals was the Phillies trading away top notch farm raised prospects and homegrown talent in these deals.

In these deals, the Phillies traded away many Top Prospects including Kyle Drabek, Michael Borne, Anthony Gose, Travis D’arnaurd (now a Met), Michael Taylor, JA Happ, Anthony Villar, Jarret Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, and many more. However, in almost all of these trades the potential trade partners inquired or asked for Domenic Brown and the Phillies balked. Brown was highly sought by many potential trade suitors the past few years, but the Phillies made him untouchable.

Domenic Brown has been up with the big league club the past two years and has been a huge disappointment. During all of these trying times…Phillies brass continued to maintain that Brown will be a five tool star someday and that fans should be patient. Patient? Any Philly Fan patient? This sort of thing just doesn’t happen! Anyways, Phillies ownership and scouts continued to say that trading Brown would be a huge mistake that would come back to haunt the Phills for years to come.

Well, well, well…this spring has been a pleasant surprise for both Phillies Brass and fans. Domenic Brown is tearing up the Grapefruit League as he is hitting well over .300, leads the major leagues with 6 Home Runs, Third in RBI with 13 behind Ryan Howard and 1 other player, he’s scored a league leading 21 runs and walked 10x. This is amazing for a player that may be at his last chance after failing miserably the past two years. Brown has been splendid in the field as well and has all but cemented a roster spot this season.

Domenic Brown could be the key piece in a Phillies offense that has been tremendously inconsistent the past few years. He has provided some protection for Ryan Howard, who now has 5 Home Runs and is leading the Majors with 15 RBI. Howard also has cut down on his strikeouts and is hitting near .300. Michael Young, the free agent acquisition to play 3rd Base has also been splendid. He is hitting .295 with 2 Home Runs and 11 RBI. With Brown and Young producing the way they are…it will be less important for Last years minor league player of the year Darin Ruff to make the team right off the bat.

Kyle Kendrick has also been stellar this spring. Today, he went 6 Innings against the powerful New York Yankees lineup and did not give up a run. He also struck out 6. Brown and Howard both homered to power the Phillies offense. If Brown can continue this hot spring, there is no telling how good he could be this season. The sky is the limit. Lets just be happy that the Phillies have been patient with him and that they are giving him every chance to succeed.

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