Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Sports Editors Episode 1

Check out the first ever episode of The Sports Editors (click "The Sports Editors Episode 1" above), a podcast that covers the major happenings in Philadelphia-area professional/college sports and other notable topics in the sporting world.

The show features my good friend Mike "Bow" Davis, a film/communications student at the University of Miami, and me, Bipoly Moley.

Back in the 2009-2010 school year, Mike and I were both sports editors of our high school newspaper, Eastside, which explains the name of our show.

Hope you enjoy the inaugural episode, and be on the lookout for possibly one more episode before the end of the summer, and many more episodes come next summer.

And a special thanks to my boy Alex "Hermanator" Herman, our producer who oversaw the technological aspects of the show. Without him, this show wouldn't have been possible.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shawn Sanford tearing it up!

Shawn Sanford, a Cinnaminson, N.J. native and a 2006 Cinnaminson High School graduate, has been lights out this season for the San Francisco Giant's Single-A affiliate, Augusta GreenJackets.

Sanford throws a pitch against the Crawdads during a game
on July 29, 2011. Sanford went eight strong innings, giv-
ing up zero runs on three hits, no walks, and two strikeouts.
The right-handed pitcher threw eight scoreless innings tonight against the Hickory Crawdads (what a team name) of the South Atlantic League, improving his season record to 8-6 and lowering his ERA to a minuscule 2.36 over 122.0 IP.

In his last ten games, he is 6-2 with a 2.00 ERA.

Sanford is definitely looking at a potential call-up in the near future. Not only has he been pitching unbelievably, but the Giants traded their top pitching prospect, Double-A right-hander Zach Wheeler, in the recent Carlos Beltran deal with the New York Mets.

That leaves a vacancy at Double-A, and with how well Sanford has pitched this season, you have to think the Giants would be hard-pressed to not seriously consider promoting Sanford.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Shawn and write a piece about his baseball career.

Check out the story here.

Shawn is truly a class act. He literally took 45 minutes out of his busy schedule to talk to me for an interview about a month ago.

Sanford is the type of guy that I personally love to see thrive, mostly because he has not let the fact that he is a professional baseball player get to his head.

He was by far one of the best interviews I have ever conducted in my young journalism career.

Hopefully Sanford will continue to perform well in the minor-league circuit so we can see him in the MLB in the near future.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Big project complete, return forthcoming

Finally finished my "big project" at the Atlantic City Weekly, which includes:

1. A feature story on Greg Burke, former San Diego Padres pitcher and current Triple-A pitcher in the Padres organization.

2. A special "baseball card" feature on all of South Jersey's professional baseball players.

3. A feature on Single-A pitcher Quinton Miller.  

4. A feature on Single-A pitcher Shawn Sanford.

Click the red links above to see the features, and get ready for more frequent blogging in the near future from The Rant Sports.

Also, look out for new contributing writers who may be joining the staff at The Rant Sports in the near future.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Put a Jacket On Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker James Harrison

Men's Journal refers to Harrison as an "NFL Hitman" for his countless illegal hits.

For those of you who listen to The Rant on The Sting WRUR 88.5, you know that Bri and I have a special segment in the show called "Put a Jacket On", which is when we highlight athletes around the sporting world who act in an idiotic way.

Why do we give those athletes a jacket, you might ask? Well, I apologize for the corniness, but at the U of R, our mascot is a Yellow Jacket, which explains the "Jacket" part.

And in sports, if a player is performing well, he/she is commonly referred to as being "hot" or "on fire". If a player is performing poorly, he/she is often said to be "ice cold".

So if an athlete does something dumb, Bri and I consider them to be "ice cold" in terms of their actions.

Anyway, congratulations are in order for James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the winner of the first ever blog edition of "Put a Jacket On".

According to, Harrison made some ludicrous comments in a recent interview with Men's Journal- click here for some of the interview.

Harrison began his comment spree by bashing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who facilitated Harrison being fined $100,000 last year for illegal hits.

Harrison claims that, among other things, Goodell is a crook, devil, puppet, and dictator. All are comical depictions- I was actually laughing when reading them.

But his comments become anything but a joke when Harrison says that he would not help Goodell if the commissioner were to catch on fire.

"If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it," Harrison said. "I hate him and will never respect him."

Harrison earns the first blog edition of "Put a Jacket On". Congrats!
As you can see in the picture above, Men's Journal refers to Harrison as an "NFL Hitman". Well, perhaps a respected psychiatrist should evaluate Harrison for having a mental disorder that could lead to him becoming an actual murderer. Maybe the FBI should add him to their Watch List.

And I mean that in all seriousness. There has to be something extremely wrong with Harrison for him to say that he wouldn't save Goodell from death if he could.

In addition to his Goodell comments, Harrison trashed his teammates Rashard Mendenall and Ben Roethlisberger for their performance in the Steelers' Super Bowl loss to the Green Bay Packers this past season.

Specifically, he called Mendenhall a "fumble machine". Last time I checked, Mendenhall and Roethlisberger were one of the best running back-quarterback duos in the NFL.

And, oh yeah, let me add that Mendenhall had just two fumbles in 324 rushing attempts in 2010. Doesn't seem like a fumbling machine to me.

Harrison's insults towards his teammates are probably not the best way for him to bolster team morale just as the NFL Lockout is (apparently) coming to a close. Then again, maybe team chemistry doesn't matter between teammates who play on separate sides of the ball.

James Harrison: PUT A JACKET ON!

Check out the article about Harrison's comments here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Trout to major league

Mike Trout is now a Major Leaguer.
As said before in my previous post, I've been working on a lot of different projects at the Atlantic City Weekly, my employer for the summer.

Part of my big project was released earlier today with the news that the number one prospect in baseball, outfielder Mike Trout, had been promoted to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from Double-A Arkansas.

Trout is a Millville, N.J. resident and I had the privilege to play baseball against him in high school.

I also had the privilege to interview Trout recently and write a feature story about him, which was released earlier today.

Check out the story here, and stay tuned for more updates in the near future.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On break

Hey to all those loyal followers out there (because I know that here at The Rant, we have soooooo many followers).

Posting on The Rant will be on pause for the next month or so. I am working on a significant article/project at the Atlantic City Weekly Newspaper, my employer for the summer.

Once I am finished, I'll be back on The Rant writing.

Until then, thank you for all of the support up to this point and I look forward to bringing you more articles in about a month- and more radio shows in about two months!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Moneyball" set to be released Sept. 23, 2011

Moneyball will hit theaters on 9/23/11.
One of the all-time great non-fiction sports books (well, at least one of the all-time greats in my opinions), Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, is set to hit theaters as a movie on September 23, 2011.

The movie, which is directed by Bennett Miller and is based off of the 2003 New York Times  bestseller, will be starring a couple of big name actors: Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.

The book/movie chronicles the operations of the Oakland Athletics front office under general manager Billy Beane, who is played by Pitt.

Under Beane and Beane's right hand man, Harvard graduate Peter Brand (who is played by Hill, and is an alias for the actual right hand man of Beane, Paul DePodesta), the Oakland A's personnel decisions are managed by what is known as Sabermetrics.

Sabermetrics is the practice of evaluating the game of baseball and the ability of baseball players by using mathematic calculations and analysis.

As I said before, the book is phenomenal. It is absolutely a must read for any sports fan that enjoys baseball.

But, I am not so sure how the movie will turn out.

The book is not really based on a plot and there is not one set story line to which the book adheres. Moneyball, the book, ultimately shows how the A's turned into a successful baseball team over time, thanks to Beane and DePodesta stressing the use of mathematical formulas to determine the value of players.

My guess: Moneyball the movie won't garner nearly as much excitement and prestige as did the widely popular movie The Blind Side, which was also based on Michael Lewis' book by the same name.

One part of the movie that I am definitely looking forward to, however, is seeing how well Pitt portrays Beane.

Pitt of course is not normally casted in sports movies, so I am also intrigued to see how well he fills the role of a sports figure.

Brad Pitt will play the role of Oakland A's 
GM Billy Beane. It should be interesting to see
 how well he fills the role of the "fire ball".
But even more than that, throughout the book Moneyball, Beane is presented as a complete fire ball who does not take failure well. It will be interesting to see how well Pitt fills the role of a hot-headed baseball general manger.

Just to give you an idea of how angry Beane becomes sometimes, consider this excerpt from page 9 of the book. In the excerpt, Lewis is presenting a story from Beane's early playing days (Beane was the 23rd overall pick in the 1980 MLB draft, but never developed into the star he was supposed to become).

"One time after [Beane] struck out, he whacked his aluminum bat against a wall with such violence that he bent it at a right angle. The next time he came to the plate he was still so furious with himself that he insisted on hitting with the crooked bat" (Lewis 9).

Here is the IMDb page of the movie for those of you who want to learn more about the cast.

I will definitely post a review when I have a chance to see the movie in September.