SEC Player of the Year

Brent Rooker

This is 6’4” 220lbs Brent Rooker the best hitter in the SEC and the nation. Rooker has 74 hits, 25 doubles, 3 triples, 19 home runs, 65 Rbis, and 17 stolen bases. This is what scouts would call a five told player. The Mississippi first basemen has done it all for State this year and leads the SEC in all hitting categories.  In his last season “Only” hitting .324 with 11 home runs he has improved all of his number from last year to this year. This is even more impressive because there is still time left in the regular season for him to put up even more power numbers and rbis.

The most impressive part of these number is the league he is doing it in. The SEC Friday night starting pitcher is more times than not just as good as a AA professional starter according to several scouts I have talked to. Not only is Rooker having the best season of his life he is also doing it at the perfect time. Rooker is a Junior First baseball for the bulldogs which means he is draft eligible after this year. He is one of the only players that I have seen in this years draft to truly have all five tools. It is safe to say that if Mississippi State did not have the best hitter in the country that they would not be in first place in SEC west just one game ahead of LSU.

In every 9.6 at bats the Rooker goes to the plate he hits a home run. This is hitting at least two home runs every week of play. The SEC player of the year has not been announced because the season is not over, but it is safe to say that Brent Rooker’s name should be at the top of the list. In June is the MLB draft and I am excited to see where Rooker gets picked up having the type of season he is and if scouts think his number will translate to the pros.

 

 

 

What Makes the Nationals the Hottest team In the MLB?

The Washington Nationals are the hottest team in the MLB right now. They are the only team in the MLB to have twenty-one wins though thirty games this season. The Nationals are being led by Ryan Zimmerman who is leading the league in batting average at .435 and Rbi’s with 34. He is tied with Aaron Judge with 13 homeruns in the Mlb  and leading the NL. If the season was over today he would win the Triple crown which is one of the hardest things to accomplish in professional baseball where he leads all the hitting categories (Average, Home runs, and Runs Batted In).  One of the most interesting states that Zimmerman holds is a stat ESPN has provided “(tie game, up one or having the tying run at least on deck in seventh inning or later). He’s 5-for-11 in those spots with four home runs. Harper is 5-for-12 with one home run and four walks” Bryce harper is also another hot bat in the Nationals lineup right now and Espn is comparing the Harper- Zimmerman duo to Rizzo-Bryant duo of the Cubs team who won the World Series Last year. Along with the Nationals having the hottest hitter in the MLB they also having the NL leading pitching in Gio Gonzalez who has a incredible ERA (Earned Run Average) with a 1.64 allow opposing batters to only have a .222 batting average off him through 38.1 innings pitched.

Zimmerman- Harper

The Nationals are had a great start to the beginnings of the season, but baseball is a funny game and you never know what can happen. It is tough to keep up the numbers that Zimmerman and Gonzalez have had so far this year and only time will tell if Zimmerman has what it takes with withstand a full MLB season having the outstanding numbers he does. Thirty games is a small portion of the 168 games that they will play not including playoffs , but it is still very impressive to see the performance that the Nationals are playing at right now. The remainder of the season they will be the team to beat and this will make the stage for failure that much greater.

 

Fountain of Youth

When something seems to be working for the Spurs, and they refuse to discuss on it, you know it is bound to be something extraordinary. You know you’ve discovered something really interesting when former Air Force intelligence officer and current Spurs coach Gregg Popovich goes through the trouble of hiding or covering exclusive information.  That’s how we come to find ourselves talking quietly about the mystery of cold-pressed juice.

Some of the superstars of the San Antonio Spurs have created this magical juice that might be the key to their success.  Kawhi Leonard’s custom cold-pressed juice has 4d24c8555a932f53a52b182515126601been named “Kawhi-Zilla” by Spurs staff, and features strawberry, watermelon, lemon and chia seed. LaMarcus Aldridge drinks one with a label that reads “LaLa Leave My Juice Alone,” which is a mixture of pineapple, orange, strawberry, spinach and secrecy. For the last three years, nearly every player on San Antonio’s roster drinks the magic juice made by the Spurs Staff and it is made for the ultimate recovery.  The juices contain all sorts of fruits, vegetables and nutrients to help the players recovery faster for their next game.

This Magic Juice may or may not actually work but over the lasti decade the Spurs have ranked first in the league with only 1,054 missed games to injury. During the 2015-16 season, Spurs players missed only 59 games due to injury.  Is this juice the real deal?  “Man, we ain’t gonna talk about that,” Leonard says. “It’s just juice.”  The great Greg Popovich talked about how when he first became a part of the Spurs organization he was the trainer. “You guys get over there and lift those weights over there. You guys go over here … 10 times, yeah, that’s it. That’s a good weight.’ Seriously, that’s what it was like. Now, I get on the bus, and no sooner than we sit on the bus last night after the game, Will Sevening, our trainer comes on: ‘Water, water, water.’ He’s giving everybody [these drinks and says], ‘The sooner you eat, the sooner you rehydrate, the sooner you get the protein back in and the electrolytes and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, the more you’re gonna recover for tomorrow night’s game.’ And all that sort of thing. So none of that existed back in the day. Not a bit”

The Spurs have gone up 2-1 in the series with the Rockets, the Spurs have looked dominating especially Kawhi leading the charge.  Is this Magic Juice part of the Spurs success?  Only time will tell on with the old fashioned Spurs.

 

Source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/page/presents19295594/nba-playoffs-2017-san-antonio-spurs-made-100-percent-juice

Westbrook or Harden!

If you’re living and breathing in 2017, you’ve heard the talk: Westbrook vs. Harden for MVP. Both players are having incredible seasons, playing at historic rates. Ex-player Kobe Bryant struggles so much to pick a definite winner that he argues there should be a “Co-MVP” award for the first time ever. Before I give my input on the winner, let me first say “Co-MVP? This is the NBA, not UPWARD sports. There ARE winner and losers.”

The votes are already in and will be revealed by Drake at an awards ceremony June 26. To prevent a Steve Harvey situation, I think it’s important that I give my opinion on who should be the 2016-2017 regular season MVP.

Standing at 6’3”, weighing 200 lbs from the University of California in Los Angeles, number zero, RUUUUUUUSSSEELLLL WESTBROOK!!! There is NO question that Russell Westbrook, in my opinion, is the MVP.

 

 

brook.gifThe Rockets improved to 55-27, third place in the West after finishing 41-41 last season. The Thunder finished 47-35, sixth place in the West after going 55-27.

Westbrook finished the season averaging a triple double, 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists. Harden, in a switch to point guard, averaged 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 11.2 assists.

Below, I’m going to address a few fan tweets and give my take on why Russell Westbrook is most deserving of the award.

BHazMr. Hazouri, you tried to refute the argument that Russell has very little support players surrounding him. I would simply have to disagree. Neither player is on a “superteam” like our friends in the Bay and in the Land. But based on support players alone, the Rockets have Lou Williams and Eric Gordon coming off the bench, averaging a combined 33 points per game. Westbrook has the help of Victor Oladipo on the wing and the Stache bros in the post, but they don’t bring that much offense. The Thunder, with Russ on the floor, averaged 107.9 points per 100 possessions, whereas when he is on the bench, they only score 97.4 points per 100. The latter is similar to the 10-win 76ers from 2015 (96.6). The Rockets, with Harden scored 111.8 points per 100 possessions versus 106.5 points without Harden. That being said, Mr. Hazouri, the Rockets are better statistically than the Thunder, even without Harden on the floor.

JPeeds.pngDr. Pederson, it was your audacious statement that actually prompted me to give my input on the subject. You are correct in your statement, but far from convincing. James Harden did lead the NBA in double-doubles this year with 64 total. Right behind him, though, in second place is Mr. Westbrook with 62. As for triple doubles, the gap is significantly larger. Westbrook finished the season with 42 triple doubles compared to Harden’s 22. As you always say, “To effectively persuade an audience, organizations must provide evidence that coincides with the audience’s existing beliefs”.

KirkDr. Kirkpatrick, I appreciate your tweet, but refuse to buy your argument. When it comes to the crunch time of games, defined as the final five minutes with the game within 5 points either way, Russell Westbrook is an absolute monster. We all remember the game against the Denver Nuggets on April 9 where Russ willed the Thunder to victory. He scored 18 of his teams’ final 21 points, including the buzzerbeater from 35 feet out. In the crunch time of games, Westbrook leads the league shooting 44% from the field and points per 100 possessions, at 72.4. During these final minutes, OKC is +24.9 points when he is on the court.

Please provide your comments below if you agree or disagree but don’t @ me.

Statistics from ESPN.com

 

The Big Day

Samford baseballs own Phillip Ervin is called up for MLB Debut

 

It has been a long-awaited moment for Phil after being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 2013 draft. He had struggled for some time going through the minors but still was on the Reds top 20 prospect list. Phil Ervin said he was in shock after hearing Thursday night that the Cincinnati Reds would be calling him up to the majors. Friday afternoon, it apparently had not yet worn off. “I just feel like I’ve been so close,” Ervin said. “I’ve finally achieved it. It’s just a life goal. I don’t know how to explain it. I’m all worked up right now.” That is exciting to see someone that went to your school just a few years ago finally living out their dreams in the major leagues. It brings a sense of hope that no matter how big or small the school you go to in college is, if you are good then scouts will find you.

Phil Ervin

This year, the Phillip began the year with his first taste of Triple-A, and has started the season hot. In 14 games, he’s hit .286. He’s hit three home runs already, after never topping 14 in any minor-league season. “I feel like before I was trying to drive the ball out,” Ervin said. “I’m just having fun now and reaping the benefits.” Ervin’s stay may not be long with the Red’s because he is replacing someone on the disabled list for the time being. Ervin is expected to serve as a bench bat for a few days until the team makes another roster move. Ervin won’t let that spoil his mood as he says, “I’m just here until they tell me I’m not anymore,” he said. “I’m going to enjoy it and have fun with it.” That is a great mind set and it is best to just live in the moment and be thankful for the opportunity that is given to him. His time may be short or it may be long term, no one knows, but he has finally made a dream turn into reality and I am very happy for Phil.

Participation “Rewards”?

Parents want their children to be the best people they can possibly be and to do this, they often insert their kids into various sports and activities to build character. Refrigerators are decorated with certificates and gold stars while the walls are ornamented with ribbons, trophies, and other memorabilia. While this may seem uplifting and confidence- boosting, the message in between the lines could actually be more threatening than rewarding. In the midst of the ribbons and trophies, there is bound to be an unfortunate participation trophy.

Participation trophies have been around for years, allowing equal and fair rewards to be distributed throughout all team members and participants. Just for showing up and playing, you get a trophy. Even if you don’t play, you still get a trophy. This attempts to minimize kids “feeling bad” and acknowledge good work that was invested. However, if this is the case then children will continue growing up with this mindset. We raise kids to prepare for the real world but this is when the idea gets contradictory. We raise them as if they are entering a kind, understanding world just to tell them that the world is actually harsh, unfair, and unjust when they’re older. Participation trophies being given out as kids establish a sense that if they do something, a reward will simply be handed to you. This eventually does the opposite of its intention and inputs a lack of discipline, effort, and patience.

In 2015, Pittsburgh Steelers James Harrison spoke out on Facebook about participation trophies after his sons each received one- claiming he was going to take the trophies away.

participation

While you should 100% earn what you receive, Kevin Kilgour of The Emory Wheel stated, “I find it unlikely that Harrison declines his paycheck following a Steelers loss, nor that he feels any better about the loss despite his reward. Likewise, participation trophies in no way deceive children into being satisfied with losing.”

Eventually, with trophies being handed out like candy to kids, the value begins to fade. Also, the outstanding participants are held to the same standard as the ones on the bench are. Participation trophies are an extra pat on back to simply going out and trying. For somebody to find something they truly love, you must fail and figure out what you are and are not good at. If trophies are being handed out “just because”, it will make the process much longer and difficult due to being blind sighted by what they really may not be good at. Losing may reduce confidence, but earning and winning is worth the effort and time put in. It helps separate those who are good and who are not. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing because nobody would want to be consumed in something they’re not good at anyway. Participation trophies encourage that idea. The extra-curricular world would be much better off by having an team dinner or banquet in honor of all the kids who came out and tried.

Trials of Miles, Miles of Trials

My sport is your sport’s punishment. Running. It’s hard to meet someone who enjoys running, let alone does it for competition. It typically has such a negative connotation and people are scared of it. What if I told you I loved it? What if I told you I hated it?

I am a runner and a member of the cross-country and track team at Samford University. People ask me, “What do you do besides run?” and honestly it’s just that. We do run and we run a lot. Our season starts the last few weeks of May and continues for the entire year, ending in the second week of May. It all starts, though, in the summer. For the entire summer, we train, train, and train. IMG_1424It’s 7 days a week, running anywhere from 70-100 miles in a week. We’re up super early trying to beat the summer heat. Some days it’s slow and other days it’s fast. We do this every week throughout the entire summer, fall, and spring whether it’s at the beach or before school or before a date with the girlfriend.

Everything in running builds off each other. Spring builds off Fall and Fall builds off Summer. Senior year builds off Junior year, which builds off Sophomore year, which builds off Freshman year. College training builds off high school training. All of summer is in preparation for cross-country. A wise coach once said, “November is won in June.” In laymen’s terms, you’ll never be achieving personal bests or winning championships in November if you did not put in the work in June. After cross-country is a brief break between seasons, but still preparing for the upcoming Indoor track season. Despite being “indoor” track, there’s hardly much indoor about it. Fortunately, training in Alabama is not that bad, but honestly you never know what to expect. Similar to cross-country, everything done in the indoor season leads up to a conference championship in late February. After indoor season comes outdoor track or as some say, the best time of the year. From March to May, it’s the pinnacle of everything you’ve been working for since the hot summer days.

Running is all about the cycle and routine. Everything is the same, day in and day out. Every day, it’s waking up at 5:30 and sleepily starting the run. After anywhere from 10-12 miles and properly stretching and driving back home, you quickly rush to class often forgoing the shower and eating a half-hearted breakfast. IMG_1687The worst part is often class. Your body is usually toast after working hard for such a long period of time and then you have to force yourself to stay awake and focus. Class ends and you can finally go home and catch a quick nap if necessary, but don’t blink, because at 4 o’clock it’s practice time again. You’re in the weight room really focusing on your core, balance, and other areas to help your running form. Your body is sore from previous day’s run and you force yourself to sit in the cold tub. Repeat this process for 5 days and the week is finally coming to a close and for most people that’s a time of celebration and relaxation, but for runners, it means one thing: Sunday long run. On Sundays, this is one of the most important days in the week of training. Consistently having a long run makes you stronger physically and mentally. Most weeks it is anywhere from 14 up to 19 miles. On some days time passes faster than others, but regardless, it’s two hours of doing the same thing over and over.

Running, in my opinion, is 75% mental and 25% physical. Some days I’m telling myself “This is terrible, just stop. Why do you do this? What’s the point?” But there’s something about crossing the finish line knowing you’ve gave your best effort. During a race or during practice, everyone is hurting and struggling around you, but you know you have to stay strong mentally first and your body will follow. Muhammad Ali said it best when he said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” IMG_2181.JPGFrom a runner’s standpoint, that directly correlates to training or to the race. Some days it’s terrible and extremely boring doing the exact same thing over and over, but nothing beats the feeling of crossing the finish line in success knowing you given it your best effort. Trials of Miles, Miles of Trials.