MEDIA DRAMA

This past December, one of the worst school shootings in US history occurred in Sandy Hook Connecticut at a small elementary school. 20 Children and adults were murdered in cold blood that day. I remember being at work and all of the employees rushing in to tell those of us at work the terrible news. During that week, it was hard to see anything on television or the news that was not dominated by gun debates and school violence and what measures should be taken.

Here we are…it’s almost the end of April. I mean, that day will never be forgotten, but just like September 11th, the media craze has fazed out. That’s the problem with our media today. The American media is like “up the stories ass.” Literally, our media is dangerous in my opinion. And you are hearing from someone who has very drastic political views and ideas regarding daily ideology. Sometimes, I even get obsessed with these news stories.

The ironic thing about these sad stories is that the majority of them involve evil of some sort. Why is the human brain drawn to evil and bad things. Why are our brains so wired to want to view “bad news.” Well, there is actually scientific evidence that the human brain is attracted to these kinds of tragedies and disasters. The reason we are attracted to violence is because we fear and want to be able to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, today’s media and news sector takes these “bad occurrences” and blows them up tenfold. It’s like the News Media is relentless to one up each other.

It’s the battle of the fittest with the news trying to capture as much footage on video as possible. Many times in today’s society, this footage is actually filmed live. Unfortunately, the overpowering media has a way of desensitizing we as humans towards violence. I mean, I can remember so many people blaming heavy metal, rap music, video games and movies for causing violence. However, I feel that the news media is more dangerous and has a more telling factor in adding to the growing violence.

Think back to two Monday’s ago… The Boston Marathon Terror bombings. There was nonstop coverage from when the bombings occurred until Thursday and Friday when the suspects were nailed…one dying and one getting arrested in the hospital where he recovers from injuries sustained during a police standoff. Well, this just occurred two weeks ago and you are already seeing a media retreat from all of the epic footage and audio if the horrible tragedy.

On this Monday, two tragedies occurred on the same day. The Boston Bombings and the Texas Factory Explosion. It was almost like these were the only two stories being covered on television and “Nothing Else Matters.” It really was bad because children are wide awake at this time and If parents did not see them watching then they could be extremely traumatized by these events.

I respect the media and their quest to get us the most up to date news and keep us notified of what is going on around the world…especially locally. However, I feel that the media has become a dangerous avenue, almost like a cult. The media is extremely relentless and does not think of every persons different viewpoints when they cover these stories. They ask dumb questions like “Was being around the bombing scary?” This is just an outrage. Especially for someone who just dealt with this tragedy on a personal basis.

The Media needs to take a step back and go much slower with their coverage of these events. As I said, it’s like all or nothing. You are already not thinking about these bombings because the media did its damage already and now has retreated. Like if you also believe that our news media is dangerous. The media must realize this fact and look in the mirror. For all of our sakes. For the kids sakes. For the better benefit of society. God bless the people of Boston and Texas and God bless every other human that has personally been affected by all if These past tragedies…9/11, the Challenger Explosion, Hurricane Sandy, the school shootings, the shootings in the Denver Movie Theater, and all of the other tragedies if yesterday’s past.

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FIRST MONTH OF MARATHON COMPLETE

I’m sure you have all heard the saying that the Major League Baseball Season is not just a season, but instead its like running a marathon. During that Marathon there are peaks and valleys, hot streaks, cold streaks, slumps, surprise teams, surprise players, surprise teams, overrated players, underrated players, record setting performances, career years, career ending years, injuries, sleepers, busts, and many other baseball moments that will last forever.

As April comes to an end…the first full month of the marathon is winding down. All of the top analysts have given their early picks, hashed, and rehashed what teams will go far, which will struggle, which players will do well, and which players will tank it. So far, I must admit that as a Baseball fan I have been surprised by many things in this first month.

Well, I think that many people are not surprised of the success that Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper is having in his sophomore season. Harper is second in the National League in average while batting .360 and hitting 9 HR, and knocking in 18. Harper also has a stalwart On Base Percentage of .440. Also, in the American League Miguel Cabrera is back on track for his second triple crown in a row.

Some excellent pitchers are struggling due to no run support. My American League pick for the CY Young as well as MVP Justin Verlander is just 2-2, while sporting a 1.95 ERA in 32 innings. In the National League, two of the Phillies Big 3 Cole Hammels and Roy Halladay are 1-3 and 2-2 respectively. They too have not benefited from a consistent offense.

However, the talk of the season on the mound so far has to be the Mets young star Matt Harvey. Harvey is 4-0 with a minuscule 1.54 ERA in 35 Innings while tossing 39 Strikeouts. Harvey is in the Top Ten of every pitching statistical category including a league leading WHIP of 0.69! This is definitely a surprise for anyone that is not a Mets fan. However, ask any Mets fan and they saw this coming. Actually, I picked Harvey for my Rookie of the Year in the National League, but this is actually impossible. Harvey had too many innings last year to qualify. Well, if he keeps throwing like this he could win a CY Young which would be the second Mets pitcher in consecutive seasons to win the award.

The Atlanta Braves Justin Upton, the first of two Upton brothers is the leagues early leader in Home Runs with 12. He is also batting .307 with 18 RBI. He is also sixth in Runs scored with 21. The Boston Red Sox are the early win leaders with an 18-7 record in the American League. In the National League, the Braves are 15-9, but are
3-7 in their last ten games. The surprise team of the National League has to be the Pittsburgh Pirates who lead the NL central with 15 wins.

In the American League there are two contrasting surprise teams. First of all Kansas City is leading its division with a 13-9 record. Probably the biggest surprise is the Toronto Blue Jays who were picked by many analysts to win the American League East and they are instead sitting at the bottom with a 9-17 record. Last years CY Young winner RA Dickey has struggled and is 2-4 and may be heading to the Disabled List.

For the first time since 1993, the Phillies have a player in the Top 10 of the league in batting average at this point with Michael Young, who is batting .354. The last player for the Phillies to have an average this high at this point in the season was Lenny Dykstra. Another surprise player has been Met’s catcher John Buck who has 8 HR and 23 RBI. This is the best start for a Mets catcher since Mike Piazza.

The Washington Nationals phenom Steven Strasburg has struggled and is just 1-4 at this point. The National League East has been no surprise as the Braves, Nationals, Phillies, and Meta have all competed. The American League has been pretty much where I thought it would be besides the Red Sox and Royals.

With April coming to an end…look for other stars to rise, some leaders to fade, teams to struggle, others to get hot. Baseball is the hardest sport to predict by early season results because of the length of the season, the ebb and flow of the games, the hot and cold streaks, injuries, etc. As May approaches, watch for Ryan Howard to get hot as he already has in the past week. Also, look for the Phillies starting pitching to get back on track. I see the Pirates coming back down to reality.

April showers bring May flowers. April Baseball brings May Gladiators. The Marathon has just started and as always the first month has been full of excitement. We had the brawl in Los Angeles where Carlos Quentin was hit by a Zack Greinke pitch, charged the mound, the benches cleared and Greinke suffered a break of the collarbone. Greinke has had surgery and is expected to miss at least eight weeks. We had the weird weather in which 3 games between the Mets/Rockies had to be cancelled. We had the Boston terror attacks and the ensuing game at Fenway Park that ignited and united the fans. As a fan of all sports…baseball has to be admired for its stories and ups and downs.

The Marathon has just begun. We have six months still until playoff baseball returns. At this point, it’s still anyone’s league. Even the Yankees are in second place without a few of their key stars. I’m not sure if anyone is excited as I am, but Baseball brings me happiness and joy, even during dark times in my life. Just to hear that crack of the bat and the pounding of the ball on the glove and all the fans cheering. Stay Tuned.

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EAGLES DRAFT 2013

With the first pick in the 1997 draft…The Philadelphia Eagles take John Harris from the University of West Virginia…who…who…who the hell is that?!!!!!! Jon Harris…I did not even see him on the draft board. WTF! Years earlier…with the 12th pick in the draft…wait wait wait. The Eagles have traded the 12th pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the seventh pick in the draft. They have also given up their two 2nd Round Picks!!!! WTF! With the Seventh pick in the 1995 Draft…the Eagles select Mike Mamula.

Mike Mamula will probably go down as the Eagles worst first round draft pick ever especially because if what they gave up to get him. I mean, Mamula did have an average NFL career with over 30 career sacks, however, a first and two second rounders for him. Are you kidding me?!
Tampa Bay went on to draft Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, and Ronde Barber with those three picks! Holy Mistake Rhodes!

In 2003, Andy Reid have up the 30th and 62nd pick to move up to the 15th pick and selected Jerome McDougle. Who? Terrell Suggs, Troy Polamolu, and Kevin Williams were all taken after the Eagles would have picked at 30. Wow! Definitely Andy Reid’s worst draft pick, even more worse than Freddie Mitchell.

My how things change. Andy Reid is now the Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and inherited the First Pick in the Draft. Chip Kelly, the Eagles new head coach inherited the fourth pick. Ironically, both coaches drafted an offensive lineman with their first pick. By the time The Eagles could make their pick…Lineman Eric Fischer had been snagged by Reid and the Chiefs, Lineman Luke Joekel had been drafted by the Jaguars, and the Miami Dolphins had traded up to draft Linebacker Dion Jordan, who had donned the other green of Oregon, yes that’s right, Chip Kelly’s Oregon.

Ok, well the Eagles feel that they got the steal of the draft and very well may have. Lane Johnson may have the most upside of the three Offensive Tackles drafted in the first round. In the second round, the Eagles drafted huge Tight End Zach Ertz. Ertz will ad to an already skilled Tight End position. Chip Kelly uses a lot of three tight end sets. In the third round, the Eagles took Defensive Tackle Bennie Logan. And in a pleasant surprise, traded up to the first pick in the fourth round to get Matt Barkley. Barkley, from USC, would have been the Number 1 Quarterback drafted last season but decided against coming out. So, in turn had a bad season and his stock dropped.

With Johnson, Ertz, and Barkley…the Eagles actually have three potential first round picks. In the fifth round, they took hard hitting safety Earl Wolff in what many analysts have named the best draft class of safety’s in over a decade. They rounded out the draft with two defensive lineman and a cornerback.

Well, we have all been here many times. We all know that draft classes sometimes take years to fully grade. However, the Eagles this season have a renewed passion and this draft looks very good on the outside looking in. The Eagles have drafted a bookend Offensive Tackle who could be a potential Pro Bowler, a Tight End who will definitely start in year one, a Defensive Tackle who will be in the mix, a future number one signal caller, and a safety that will probably start. This is excellent for Chip Kelly. Who better to know this talent anyway other than a coach coming from college!

Anyways, it’s too early to judge but I have a good feeling about this draft. For the first time in years it felt like the Eagles carefully planned their draft strategy. Chip Kelly knows most of these players and should have been able to get some steals. I cannot wait for training camp. The starting offensive line will now feature perennial pro bowler Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, and Todd Herremans will be able to go back to guard. This team will also feature a three tight end attack. With a running game and a middle game, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin should be able to go deep. Finally, Michael Vick should be able to have a descent season with some better protection. To Be Continued….

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TERROR, VIOLENCE, And The MEDIA

There are numerous definitions of Terrorism. In 1989, the United States instituted a definition which states that terrorism is premeditated, politically or religious motivated violence that is perpetrated against non combatant targets by sub national groups or Clandestine groups. After 9/11, it was added that a major characteristic of terrorism is the aim or ability to intimidate a population.

Early Terrorism included the Gun Powder Plot, which was an attempt to destroy English Parliament in 1605 and the Boston Tea Party, which was an attack on British property by the Sons of Liberty in 1773. Terrorism escalated with the invention of more affordable explosives including dynamite.

A very early form of Terrorism in the United States was the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) who used such ideas as white supremacy, anti-semitism, racism, anti-Catholicism, and nativism. In Europe the IRA (Irish Republican Army) used bombings and assassinations to try to free Egypt from British control. The first major terrorism act was the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem killing 96 people and wounding 46.

During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Islamic militancy in pursuit of religious and political goals increased. In 1985, Air India Flight 182 was blown up killing 329 people, mostly of Indian descent. This was the beginning of terrorism through the air. On April 19th, 1995 the Oklahoma City Bombing was directed at the US government by Timothy McVeigh that killed 168 and wounded 800 people. During his trial, McVeigh cited revenge against the US government for his motivation.

Hezbollah, a Middle East group bombed the Beruit Barracks which killed more than 200 US Marines. The Muslim Brotherhood was formed and led by Abdel-Rahman who was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In 1988, Al Qaeda (Islamic Jihadist movement) was created by Osama Bin Laden.

Al Qaeda has been responsible for many terror attacks including the dual simultaneous bombing of two US embassies in Africa, which killed 224 people. In 2000, the USS Cole was bombed killing 17 US sailors. And in the most heinous act of terrorism ever committed, on the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 Hijackers affiliated with Al Qaeda hijacked four US commercial passenger jet airliners crashing two into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one that was taken down by the passengers that may have been heading to another US city. In all, 2,973 people perished in those attacks, the worst terrorist attack to date.

Of course, on this past Monday two Russian immigrants set off two bombs at the Boston Marathon, which killed 3 people and wounded 176. The perpetrators went on a rampage after US security leaked pictures out to the public showing who was responsible. The older brother was killed in a Gun Battle after killing a police officer and the younger brother was taken alive and still remains in critical condition.

So this brings us to the major debate regarding terrorism. Since 9/11 the Patriot Act has made it easier to prosecute and charge groups with terrorism. However, what most people in the US do not understand us that not all terrorists are these Muslim Groups. In fact, today there are so many groups and subgroups of terrorists. Also, there are many homegrown terrorists that work alone. Remember the Beltway Sniper…now him and a not killed over ten people in a one month period of terror before they were caught.

Terrorism is a very real aspect of society today. But what really separates terrorism from just normal violence. Terrorism is violence. Violence is terrorism. When the Boston bombings occurred, everyone in America assumed that this had to be an Al Qaeda attack. Of course, the 24/7 media coverage does not help. I mean, the stories kept changing. Well, the perpetrators happen to be Chechnyan Immigrants that had been living in the US. Only time will tell if they were funded or affiliated by radical groups. It really does not matter…the people that are dead are not coming back. No matter what information is found, these families, town and community was devastated.

In my opinion, the media actually propels American thinking and makes people assume the worst. As evidenced by this weeks events, the 24/7 coverage of the bombings and fallout was in excess. Some of the video and audio was disturbing. And what’s worse is that now the Right Wing Gun Movement is stating that the lockdown in Boston is just another example of why guns should not be banned. Even worse, anti-police blogs were arguing that the Government should not have searched all the homes that they did. C’MON…are you kidding me. People need to have respect for all of the people including first responders that were affected by this terror attack. Wether these bombings are labeled “Terrorism” or not is not important. What is important is that we learn from each type of violent incident that occurs in our nation. The Media needs to use more caution while covering these issues as well. More to Come.

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IN THE FACE OF TRAGEDY

Ok…during this week that is not over yet, we have already suffered 2 Tragedies on American Soil. First of all, we were all shocked and appalled on Monday when Boston became the site of the worst tragedy to hit the US since September 11th, when two bombs were detonated injuring 176 people and killing 3. Then on Wednesday, a deadly explosion rocked the town of Waco, Texas. A fertilizer plant exploded killing at least five people and possibly more than twenty and leaving virtually the entire town homeless. Eyewitnesses stated that the blast was like a “Nuclear Bomb” and that it mimicked a Tornado in how it leveled houses and buildings.

Wow…these are two horrible tragedies that have occurred in three days. The Boston “Massacre” part two is being investigated as an act of terrorism. The tragedy in Texas is not believed to be a terrorist plot, however that has not been ruled out at this time. I think it’s important to note that terrorism can have many forms as well as many repercussions. No matter what the facts are, what does it really matter if these tragedies are really “terrorism” or not. Is it really that important to put a label on either of them. Does it change the circumstances? Will it bring back those people who died? Will it make any of the survivors cope better? Will it make those who lost loved ones feel any better.

We have become a society of mass news media and getting the best story. Everything is micro analyzed in today’s society. The Boston tragedy appears to be an act of terror…wether domestic or home grown, or that of foreign perpetrators such as Al-Quaeda. The explosion at the fertilizer plant in Texas appears to be accidental in nature, however, foul play has not been ruled out which I am sure will come to light in the following days after the scene is investigated.

The purpose of this post is to stress the non importance of wether or not these tragedies are acts of terror. It really does not matter. The fact is…people have lost lives and loved ones and friends, some have lost limbs and have been affected by bodily injury, most will be affected by post traumatic stress syndrome, and the entire United States will be affected by how the media handles the aftermath.

In the face of tragedy, we must remain strong and resilient. I myself am not a fan of the Obama administration…nor am I a fan of our current political state, however, CMoN! We cannot use either of these tragedies or even past ones such as the school shootings in Sandy Hook to push political agendas. I am disappointed in the Republican Party for using these tragedies as forms of political doctrine. One report had a US senator saying that Obama is using the families of the “Sandy Hook Shootings” as well as Gabrielle Giffords as “PROPS” to push the Gun Control Agenda. This is bullshit!!!! Do you not have any heart Politicians, Republican or Democratic!

When tragedies like these occur we must join together and be resilient as a country. This is not the time to blame ourselves, security, terrorists, political parties. We must stand strong, just like the town of Boston…”Boston Strong”. Lets face it, any time there is a national tragedy it brings chains of misery to us all. We must not lose sight. These political factions can be just as dangerous as the terrorists we all have become familiar with after 9/11. Terrorism can take so many forms and can come from any agenda wether political or personal.

When these incidents are all said and done…they will fall to the way side just like many other tragedies that have occurred in our country in the past. Lets face it, the Sandy Hook shootings occurred less than five months ago but they are hindsight 20/20 now. Besides the ongoing gun control debate…this incident is not discussed. Even 9/11…think about it. Yes, we still have a moment of silence every year to mark the anniversary of the tragedy and to pay homage. However, do we really put ourselves in the shoes of anyone that was personally affected by the attack???? There have been movies, documentaries, trials, the Osama Bin Laden assassination, the pointless invasion of Iraq, and countless other hypocrisy that has happened since the devastation more than 12 years ago.

The true heroes are the First Responders and the millions of people who dedicated their lives to volunteering and helping, even in the face of danger. The same holds true in the Sandy Hook, Boston, Texas, and all other tragedies. We need to focus more on the real heroes and real victims. We focus too much on the Perpetrators, terrorists, and the Criminals as well as the inadequate safety standards instead of focusing on the victims and helpers and those truly affected. These are the people who should be praised and followed. Does it matter if tragedy is the result of terrorism or just random violence or just an act of nature…really?! They are all horrible and saddening.

Please pass this along too all of your friends, maybe we can make a difference. Maybe we can Show all these idiots and non intelligent bigots why this country is really going down hill. The Government is faltering in the face of adversity. They are failing to help our own people. They are failing to give credit and honor those people who deserve to be honored. They are failing in the health care industry. Please, if you are one of the guilty party (you know who you are)…look in the mirror and stop this hypocrisy. Hypocrisy and treason are just as bad as lying cheating or murder. Ignoring the truth can only lead to more violence and tragedy. In the face of tragedy we must unite and stand tall AMERICA! Please like and Share if you agree!

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PHILADELPHIA FLYERS COOKED

The Flyers lost their third game in a row tonight, virtually eliminating them from the Playoffs. There is a very minuscule chance for the Flyers to sneak into the Playoff Picture, however, they would need help from a bunch of teams that are ahead of them. The Flyers Number 1 Ranked Power Play is now 0-for April. Their penalty kill is ranked third. So, judging this season cannot place blame on the Special Teams.

Ok…well with adversity comes questions and the blame game will begin. Many fans have called for the ousting of Paul Holmgren. Although Holmgren has made many good moves in free agency as well as trades, he has failed to sign the players to get this team over the hump. Nonetheless, Holmgren did try and sign Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and trade for Rick Nash in the offseason. The Flyers brass was unsuccessful with all of these players.

It is no coincidence that ever since star defenseman Chris Pronger went down with post concussion syndrome, this Flyers team has not been the same. And while the Flyers were trying to sign the top free agents and trade for the best talent, they lost some of their own key players. Matt Carle, who came to the Flyers from the Tampa Bay Lightning, had grown into a top tier defenseman and was lost in free agency. The Flyers also lost Jaromir Jagr, who really had a comeback season and made all of the Flyers youth get better.

Lets take a look at why this season has went downhill. First and foremost, the teams major weakness was their Defense and turnovers. As mentioned earlier, the Flyers did try to address their defense in free agency and also at the trade deadline, but were not willing to part with their young talent. However, Holmgren did trade budding young star James Van Reimsdyke in the off season for Toronto Defenseman Luke Schenn. JVR has been superb for the Maple Leafs while Luke has struggled to be one of the Flyers top Defenders.

Another crippling aspect was the loss of Andre Mesaros and Brayden Coburn, probably their two best physical defensemen to injuries. So in retrospect, the Flyers must make some moves this off season this time around. The Flyers need to start addressing their weakness and the major fault is defensive breakdowns. Had the Flyers signed Shea Weber or Ryan Suter, their misfortunes could have been erased. Weber and Suter would bring the same type of physical play and leadership that Pronger gave this team.

Every year the Flyers have fell short in the Goaltending Department. Holmgren tried to address this last season when the Flyers went out and signed Vezina finalist Ilya Bryzgalov. Last year Bryzgalov struggled and was inconsistent. However, this season Bryzgalov has been stellar and he truly has been hung out to dry by a terrible defense. Bryzgalov has played in all but two of the Flyers games. He has all of the team’s wins with 17. His GAA is around 2.85. He has a .900 Save Percentage. Those stats may not be top rate but they would be a lot better if the defense has not let them down.

Of course this week…Bryzgalov went through a ton of turmoil by a Story that was reported that he fell asleep during a team meeting. This is yet another gaffe in the roller coaster of the Philadelphia Media. Then, last week at the trade deadline the Flyers traded for young goalie Steve Mason. This raises questions about who will be in net next season for the Flyers.

The Flyers also lost Daniel Briere…one of their offensive stars and team leaders. Briere may come back this weekend, but this may be his last nine games in a Flyer’s uniform. The Flyers also lost gritty leader Maxime Talbot for the season. Talbot brought tenacity and experience as he won a Stanley Cup for the Pittsburgh Penguins, actually scoring the Game Winning Goal of that championship. Talbot will be back next year and hopefully healthy.

Let us not forget that the Flyers core players have an average age of 23. This fact cannot be discounted. Courtier just turned 20. The Schenn brothers are 23 and 21 respectively. Claude Giroux is 23. Wayne Simmonds is 24. These five players can be considered the Flyers core players. The leaders have to be Scott Hartnell, Daniel Briere, Max Talbot, re-acquired Simon Gagne, and Mike Knuble.

If I am the ownership of the Flyers, I am making a few moves next year. As good as Holmgren has been…I am moving another direction. I would go after former Goalie Ron Hextall to captain the ship. I’m keeping Laviolette. Peter has received a lot of criticism this season, but he has shown a great work ethic and I am keeping him.

The Flyers should also let Briere go, unless he decides to sign for a bargain price. They should also buy out Bryzgalov’s contract not because he has been horrible, but to have more payroll flexibility. They would save millions of dollars and could go after another top scorer as well as a Top Tier Defenseman. They should look at the goalies that will be available and if they can sign Luongo do it…if not go with Steve Mason who is only 24.

I think this team is still one or two years away from a Championship. Even though Jeff Carter and Mike Richards won a Cup after leaving the team…I still believe this team is more talented than the team that went to the cup a few years ago. The XFactor…Chris Pronger. Pronger was a Born Leader and was the player that made this team go, go, go. Anyways, this has been a disappointing season but there is still a bright future for this very young team.

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METAL MADNESS

On Monday, it was announced that Megadeth and Iron Maiden will co- headline a US tour beginning in September. The tour will start in Charlotte, North Carolina. So far, the bill has eight shows including the final two in Las Vegas an San Bernardino, California.

This will mark the first time since the late eighties that Megadeth will share the same stage with Iron Maiden. This tour should be one of ten most highly anticipated this summer. Megadeth will be coming off their new release tour for “Super Collider” which is due out in June. Megadeth has been on a role since their release of Thirteen in 2012. This will also mark the first time since Cryptic Writings and Risk that the band will feature the same line up for two albums in a row.

In recent interviews, Dave Mustaine has been noted to say that this new album will be one of their best ever and that there are many “Potential Hits” on this album. Megadeth recorded this album under Mustaine’s brand new label. 2013 is an exciting year for albums and tours.

Anyways, the Iron Maiden-Megadeth show will be a hot ticket. And to add to the already huge news that these two super bands will be sharing the same stage…a huge announcement was also made. The final show in California will also feature Anthrax, Testament, Overkill and Sabaton. So, two of the Big Four Megadeth and Anthrax will be together. One of the all time legends Iron Maiden will be there. And if there was such a thing as the Big Six…number five Testament and number six Overkill will all be on the same stage together on one night. This show will take place at the Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA.

Anthrax is coming off their recent release of Anthem…a cover album of some classic bands. Likewise, Testament is coming off their latest album…”The Dark Roots of Earth.” For those Metal fans that are not familiar with Overkill…Overkill is an amazing Metal band that packs power thrash and punch. They are also a local band which gives us an extra rooting interest. Sabaton is also a very good Metal Band. This concert will be one for the Ages and I hope that I can attend this show somehow. I will look forward to to others feed back of where this show can go as far as stardom.

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MLB STRIKES OUT/PITCH COUNT NIGHTMARE

223. That is the single season strikeout record set by Mark Reynolds from the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009. Adam Dunn came oh so close in 2012 fanning an astounding 222 times. A year after Reynolds set the record, he struck out 211 times making him the first MLB History to strike out 200 times in 3 seasons. He also struck out 204 times in 2008 and in 2011 he fanned 196 times with the Orioles. If he keeps this pace he definitely will set the MLB Career strikeout record easily.

Another modern star, Ryan Howard has struck out an amazing 157 times in 2010, 172 times in 2011, 186 times in 2009, and 199 times in both 2007 and 2008. 199 to me is just the same as 200. One short. Anyway, rounding out the list of 200 strikeout victims is Drew Stubbs of the Cincinnati Reds, who struck out 205 times in 2011.

Reggie Jackson is still the all time leader in punch outs at this point with an embarrassing 2,597 career strikeouts. Jim Thome, who has bounced all over the American and National League could break this record this season as he has 2,548. Sammy Sosa comes in third with 2,036 followed by Alex Rodriguez with 2,032 and Adam Dunn with 2,031. At this point when it is all said and done…Dunn will probably have the dubious credit of striking out a major league number of times.

Why does this topic have so much relevance in the decline of the game. Lets take a look at Rob Deer in the eighties. Rob Deer has some dubious statistics that will blow the average fan’s mind. First of all, in 1991 he officially had the worst average at .179, while still qualifying for a batting title. He is also the only player since 1910 to hit less than .220 in 4 seasons with 450 or more at bats. Deer had the American League single season record of 186 Punch Outs until he was past by Jack Kust. Most notably, Deer had seven seasons of 140 or more strikeouts.

The bottom line is that a record number of players are striking out a record number of times each year and if it continues these records will all follow. Strikeouts have become just as important and hassling at the same time. When all of these players strike out its just giving a bad first impression. The old time players did not strike out 100 times often, if they did they still had 200 Hits 30 Home Runs 100 RBI Etc. The On Base Percentages were also much more higher.

Ok…the other side of the argument is that we are now unfortunately living in the “pitch count era.” Complete Games are few and far between these days. Managers and Pitching Coaches are so routine that it may actually be ruining the sanctity of the game. Instead of letting the “ace” or “horse” go the distance…these pitchers are removed regardless of how well they are pitching and often they will leave the game on the winning side and when the game is over the team has lost.

What this phenomenon does not try to prove is that bullpens are not important and should be eradicated. Instead, one would argue that bullpens are still a very important part of the team concept and having a good bullpen can take a team far into the playoffs and ultimately a championship. However, at what cost are we taking starting pitchers out of the game way too early.

I can think of a few examples already in this fresh new 2013 season. Last Week, New York Met’s prospect Matt Harvey had a stellar first start. Harvey had went 7 Innings, while striking out ten batters and only walking two and giving up one measly hit. At this point he had only thrown less than ninety pitches and was on a pace for 110-112. Ok, one would argue, it’s early in the season and why risk “pushing a pitcher past their limit.” I say, bullshit. However, the Mets coaches stuck to the game plan and removed Harvey after 7 Innings. By the time was over, the bullpen had surrendered 2 Runs and Five Hits. This is a very frustrating concept.

Pre 1900, it was not uncommon for pitchers to throw as many complete games as starts. During this era, the average for complete games was 30. Pitchers were expected to complete games that they had started. Unfortunately, in the Twentieth Century the “Complete Game” is almost non existent. Today a good modern pitcher, staff ace, CY Young candidate may have an average of two complete games with five being unheard of.

For example, in 2012 only 2.6 percent of all Games included a complete game. To put this in perspective, as recently as the 1980’s, it was not uncommon to see good starters toss 10-15 complete games a season. In fact, in 1980, Oakland A’s Star Rick Langford threw 22 Consecutive Complete Games! Robin Roberts, a former Phillies ace threw 28 consecutive complete games in the 1950’s.

Not too long ago, Nolan Ryan threw 200 pitches in one game. That will probably never be done again. The new philosophy adheres to strict pitch counts and the evidence points to the fact that arm injuries increase after 100 pitches have been thrown. CY Young holds the current record of 749 Complete Games, a feat that will never be broken.

James Shields, the Tampa Devil Ray’s ace threw 11 complete games in 2011, the most since CC Sabathia’s 10 in 2008. The last pitcher to reach 15 Complete Games was the Phillies Curt Schilling who threw 15 Complete Games in 1998. Fernando Valenzuela was the last pitcher to throw 20 Complete games in 1980. Catfish Hunter had 30 in 1975. So the trend is very significant as you can see.

To put this theory in better perspective, the active leader in Complete Games is Roy Halladay with 66 in his entire career, with a career high of nine in 2010 for the Phillies. During that season, Halladay threw 251 Innings, went 19-10 and had a career high 230 K’s while only walking 30. He became the first Pitcher to amass 250 innings and only have 30 Walks since Grover Cleveland in 1923.

It’s obvious that Complete Games are becoming a thing of the past. Hitters are striking out in record numbers while starting pitchers are throwing less innings and getting less wins. These trends are really hurting the sanctity of Major League Baseball. My good friend Aaron has been researching these trends a lot and has very good insight on the problem. Stay tuned to Aaron for his vision, his ideas, and a solution to the problem.

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