Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Blog #6

Alex Ferrario

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GM of the Year?

                Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues has all but locked up the award for general manager of the year. For a team that was struggling to stay about water to turn around their season to be heading into the Semi-finals in the playoffs in only his second year is pretty incredible.

                Breaking down his time here is inspirational in itself, his first few months here he came to have a turn-around for the team. He traded for elite goaltender, Jaroslav Halak. He knew coming to this team that their ongoing, 45 year problem was goaltending. Making a trade for Halak showed the team that he was here for business. Next he began to unload useless salary. With the slogan of youth movement then it was time to put these into action. He shed struggling winger Brad Boyes and under-achieving captain Eric Brewer. Mostly to show the younger guys that it was time to grow and take control of the team. Also getting rid of Brewer gave David Backes his chance to take the lead of his squad.

                Next Armstrong realized that if this team wanted to take their game to the next level then they would need to bring in veteran leadership to guide the young players. So with the minimal bank role Armstrong had to work with. He went out and signed Jason Arnott, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Scott Nichol. All Stanley Cup winners and all veteran leaders.

                Then Armstrong placed it into the coach’s hand. After a scary start to the season, Former coach Davis Payne couldn’t take the reins of the team. So he took a blast to the past and brought in former work associate and friend Ken Hitchcock. Armstrong knew that Hitch knew how to run a championship team and to teach them his way.

                After all the changes the Blues had an elite season, finishing the season 3rd overall in the league. And if that didn’t grab the fans attention, then how about a playoff berth advancement to the second round? Yes, this team is not going to be the most elite in the league in a couple months. But they have shown the league that they will be a reckon to deal with for the next few years.

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Blog #5

Alex Ferrario

Blog post

Fighting Gone

                A big ordeal has taken place in the NHL due to all the injuries taking place in the league, fighting. Many of the head honchos in the league are pursuing eliminating fighting in hockey for good.

                Commissioner Gary Bettman and all the owners of the team have had meetings all year long about trying to end fighting to take care of the athlete’s careers as well as their health. To me, I don’t feel like fighting is the main issue in the league. The more pressing issue at hand that the NHL needs to look at is the concussion issues. There are some players in the league that are just on the ice to injure other players. They feel that their role on the team is the instigator, to take down other players before they score the game winner. This is the problem b/c the league has tried to suspending players and fining them but then they come back and are right back at the game. They need to show these players that they mean business and aren’t going to allow this, perhaps suspension for the year, or play without pay. Something to let these players know that if this keeps happening then they won’t be in the league anymore.

                Fighting in hockey has always been a tradition, Players fight in games to release anger and tension in the game. If you take away fighting, you then take away what most of the fans enjoy about the game. And with a struggling business trying to gain back its popularity, losing fans is not what they want done.

Blog #4

Alex Ferrario

April 12

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Blog Post 4

                With the Cardinals Home Opener only a day away and watching the first couple road games for the team at the beginning of the season, there are positives and negatives on this team. Coming into the season after losing Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols most people thought that this team would struggle, especially with a new manager who has never coached in the majors before. Being so, and with the start to the season so far, there are a few new outlooks for the rest of this long season for the Birds.

                Some positives that stick right out to me are the additions to this team. No, not free agency additions, although the team did add All-Star Outfielder Carlos Beltran for two years. I’m talking about the head coach and returning players. The returning players include Adam Wainwright who comes back from a season ending surgery last year. This is like going out to spend Pujols money to a team who already has a talented bullpen and rotation to begin with. Add in the new head coach, who yes has not coached before, but he played the most knowledgeable position in baseball behind the plate. And did so with the Cardinals. Another player to remember is David Freese. He emerged as one of the best in the game in the World Series and will hope to carry over into this season.

                The negatives aren’t as pending but they can leave a gaping hole in the team chemistry. First you lost two players, La Russa who has been with this team for 16 years, and Pujols who has been with the team for 11. One thing you have to hope for is that these two losses do not ruin the chemistry. You pray that a couple players step up in the locker room and help out wherever they can. This is a young team that has to have leadership to keep going. Also, your bullpen, this was the scariest area all year long last year. It is something that is young and still growing and looking to find its place in the team. One thing to watch will be how Matheny uses this bull-pen and in which roles.

                We are three games into the season and as Sinatra says, “The Best is Yet to Come”. But hopefully for Cardinals fans, that best can result in not only a twelfth championship for the team. But also a team that can easily forget about the hole that was left by Albert and Tony and can find new filling to put in every game day.

Blog #3

Alex Ferrario

April 6

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Blog Post 3

                The Blues making the Playoffs this year is a big accomplishment and move in the right direction for this team. They have not been to the playoffs for four years and haven’t won a game for nine years so entering this year most fans expected this team to struggle to make it in. But they went well beyond that achievement by accomplishing the number two seed in the western conference and almost the best record in the league. Among many individual accomplishments the players and coaches made, the playoffs are the cream of the crop with this team.

                For a team that has been nearing bankruptcy, new ownership, and rebuilding of a team the fans have been dying to see some entertainment and action. And over the years, they have witnessed the growth of some excellent players and the moves of the coaching staff and the front office position. But the real mind-blower has to be the fan support. This year alone, the team has sold out over 95 percent of its games and has received media attention from all over the county for their outstanding season.

                And now entering the playoffs the fans are looking for more. Now they can’t expect this team to push for the Stanley Cup, but what they can expect out of these playoff games are gaining experience and help for the future. This team is young but even though they are, they will still build the knowledge of how to play in the playoffs and begin their contention of dominance each year.

Blog #2

Alex Ferrario

Blog post

Bounty Gate Scandal

                Talking about the Bounty Scandal is a large topic in St. Louis today. Not because it is a scandal in NFL, but because it’s a scandal that is affecting the new defense of the St. Louis Rams. I was surprised when I first heard about the scandal that took place in the NFL.

                The scandal resulted from 2009 when the New Orleans Saints organization was discovered for putting bounties on opponent’s heads. The defensive coordinator at the time and Rams current coordinator Gregg Williams was the man behind the bounty. He was caught, on recording, telling his player’s specific names on the other team, that if they take these players out then they will be getting paid. What was even more stressful for the NFL was the fact that the head coach and general manager of the organization knew about all of this and didn’t step in. All three were suspended; head coach and general manager were suspended for the 2011-12 season while Williams, new Rams coordinator, is suspended indefinitely.

                Most are making big deals out of the suspensions that took place but in my opinion, I feel that the suspensions were justified. Something like this in a high sports organization should not be having players doing such things as trying to injure the other players. Head Commissioner Roger Goodell, makes it a pinpoint that the NFL is a family. But how can they keep getting notice as being the best sports game ever. Many children look up to these players as role models and how does it look if they are injuring players.

                So I would have to agree with the suspensions and hopefully these involved can learn from the mistake they made. And if they are brought back into the NFL, then they will have to earn their commendation and trust back from Goodell and the NFL.

               

Blog #1

Alex Ferrario

COM3070011

Early Bird Gets the Worm

          The St. Louis Blues recently have taken the NHL by storm and tops the rankings in first place. After an already injured line-up of players regained their health they began to perform at a higher level.  Players like David Perron and Andy McDonald returned a large boost to the line-up along with players like TJ OShie and Patrik Berglund proved their star studded ability. All of these reasons go into play with what is making this team a legitimate threat to the Stanley Cup.

          Being at the top already, there’s nothing that a team would want more than to add depth to its already stacked line-up. And that is just what GM Doug Armstrong did this afternoon. 2010 First-round draft pick Jaden Schwarz to an Professional Try-out Contract. This contract means that his three-year entry level period begins on Tuesday when he joins the team. Schwarz, a 19 year old centre, recently wrapped up his junior year in college where his team lost in the semi-finals. Schwarz ended his season with 41 points in 30 games. Along with being named captain of the Canadian World Juniors team which is a great accomplishment for such a young player.

          Being at such a young age and joining the team has been criticized as of late that he will not be able to hold his ground, and that the team is rushing into things. Take a look at players like Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and David Backes. A team that is headed to a long playoff run, a young player with such a strong future will thrive off of playing in this scenario. Players gain experience with playing in the big time games and with that experience, Schwartz can guarantee a spot in the line-up next year along with add scoring to a team that is destined for a long playoff-run.