Sick of The Olympics and Winter? Sad about Ralph Kiner? Read This


2009_1219_snowpocalypse1EUREKA, NUNAVUT – As the Northeast continues to recover from Snowpocalypse and its big budget sequel, Snowpocalypse II: The Snowening, and as we brace for the next installment, Snowpocalypse III: The Bride of Snowy, we are all reminded of how much ass winter sucks. The situation is made worse by the post-football, pre-baseball doldrums we’ve just entered into.

SochiAt least there’s NHL Hockey… For a few more days – until the league takes a break to send the lucky ones to a war-torn region in Russia for the Olympics. The Olympics actually started yesterday but the mens ice hockey tournament doesn’t start for another week. Wake me up when the puck drops. I could care less about Nordic combined (whatever that is), ice dancing, and women’s ski jumping, which is an Olympic sport now. Hell I didn’t know it wasn’t an Olympic sport before. Either way I don’t care.

Ïðåçåíòàöèÿ íîâîé îëèìïèéñêîé ôîð?It will be interesting to see the NHL’s superstars play for Olympic gold in Sochi on the big sheet of ice. This definitely favors the European teams stocked with KHL  and Swedish Elite League players. Look for Alex Ovechkin to be back on a cycle of Soviet steroids in Sochi. He’s been in fine form for the Caps this season. He’s a great scorer, if nothing else. He will be extremely dangerous with a bit of extra room on the olympic ice. Look for Russia in that gold medal match on February 23rd

Team Canada should be a force in Sochi. In Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, and Ryan Getzlaf, they boast arguably the three best forwards in the National Hockey League right now. Chris Kunitz made the team by playing on the same line as Crosby. He should do the same in Sochi. Otherwise there is no reason for him to be on the team. Marty St. Louis got the call up to Team Canada to replace his injured Tampa Bay Lightning teammate Steven Stamkos who couldn’t recover in time from a broken leg. St. Louis is a good replacement and a better fit than James Neal or Claude Giroux. Look for the Canadians to face the Russians in the gold medal match.

The Good Ol’ U-S of A also has a solid team that will contend for medals in Russia. Derek Stepan made the team based on skill and reputation and not based on current form. He’s been having an off year for the Rangers, but he’s good enough to make the team and make a difference in Sochi. Kyle Okposo’s omission boils down to the fact that he would be playing against, and not on a line with John Tavares. Sucks for Okposo. Probably good for Team America. Look for our boys to beat Sweden in the bronze medal game.

628x471Finally, a word on the passing of a baseball legend. Hall of Fame slugger and Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner passed away yesterday at the age of 91.  He had a great mind for baseball even after Bell’s Palsy robbed him of some of his ability to convey that knowledge. Kiner was a joy to listen to and he will be sorely missed. I’ll leave it to a Mets fan to properly eulogize the broadcast great.

Tune in tomorrow for Junoir Blaber… a Mets fan.

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About the Author ()

Different Matt is our cunning Cornell grad/rugby player. "Diff" joined us just after the switch from being "Mets only" to an all-sports stop. He's a Yankee fan; thus he was "different." Aside from the Yanks, he's a diehard NY Giants, NY Rangers and NY Knicks fan. He also likes long walks on the beach and cappuccinos and nearly died in Las Vegas.
  • vinny from brooklyn

    ralph kiner was great to hear even at the end. sad to see him go but he had a great life.

  • FakeSandyAlderson

    A. Yes, Winter sucks like.. Oprah-size ass.
    B. One of the reasons baseball is so embedded in New York Baseball fans’ lives is Ralph Kiner. If you grew up around here in the 60s and 70s, then Ralph Kiner played a huge part in your love of the game and the team. Listening to Ralph brought me back to watching baseball with my Dad, which is why his passing is truly a loss. His knowledge, his stories about baseball never included references to Hipster nonsense like BAPIF, or dWar, or OPS+ or UZR ratings. He knew baseball plain and simple and didn’t need advanced statistical analysis to tell him what he was seeing.

    • AngryWard

      Thanks, FSA, for bringing up that WAR and OPS shit. I can’t stand it. Kiner and any other person that just wanted to, or wants to, talk regular baseball is okay by me.

      • Meet The Matts

        The game is simple. Get on base, tax the defense and pitcher, catch the ball and execute fundamentals.

  • Cookies Corner

    You know the only cool thing about the winter olympics?!?!? Skeleton. That’s luge but where they go head first on their stomachs. Now that I know what it is.. i’m obsessed with it. I need to see it. Naturally, it’ll be on at 3am and i’ll not DVR it and miss it.

    RIP Ralph Kiner.

    • butch gorings nostrils

      Hold your sled! Olympic hockey is the knees of the bee! Those boys are playing for god and country!

      • Meet The Matts

        We’re going against Diff and predicting a victory for the USA and and a silver for our 51st state, Canada.

      • Cookies Corner

        True dat butch gorings nostrils. I stand corrected. Hockey AND skeleton.

        • Meet The Matts

          We’re eating Cookie’s Cookies!

        • Different Matt

          Still waiting on my batch of cookies…

  • AngryWard

    Tavares is awesome. “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel” and “More than a Woman” are two of the best makeout songs ever.

    • Meet The Matts

      Tavares will look great in Mets blue playing on Broadway in a couple of years… Wait… What? The Isles wear Mets blue??? Stay tuned.

  • Meet The Matts

    We’ve been texted, emailed, called, Tweeted, Facebooked and carrier-pigeoned about coming up with some tribute about Ralph Kiner… but to be honest, we’re just not in the right frame of mind to attempt writing an article about someone we felt so close to – as close as a TV personality can be. Ralph was truly like an Uncle; the one we talked baseball with… Uncle Baseball.

    Mike Vaccaro has a nice and appropriately understated piece (Ralph was so elegantly understated) in the NY Post – here’s the link:

    And since he’d want us to smile and applaud his 91 years of living life the way it should be lived, here are some of his great Kiner quotes from the years…

    -On Father’s Day, we wish you fathers all a Happy Birthday.
    -If Casey Stengel were alive today, he’d be spinning in his grave.
    -The Hall of Fame ceremonies this year will be held on the 31st and 32nd of July.
    -Tony Gwynn was named Player of the Year for April.
    -Kevin McReynolds stops at third. And he scores.
    -The Mets have gotten their lead-off batter on only once this inning.
    -Darryl Strawberry has been voted to the Hall of Fame five years in a row.
    -Mazzilli goes back, goes back, his head hits the wall. And it’s rolling toward left field.
    -Good afternoon. Thanks for tuning in to Kiner’s Korner. I’m Ralph Korner.

    • FakeSandyAlderson

      Ralph Kiner was someone that I shared with my Dad for many years. Ralph, like my Dad, was part of the “greatest generation” and while cliché, it is wholly appropriate to say that they don’t make guys like that anymore. In this “Me” generation that has Men emasculated and without values and principles, that Greatest Generation was chock full of the most selfless men in history. Guys who “answered” the bell every morning. Provided for their families, and did the right thing and treated everyone with respect. Ralph may have been the last of these special guys, and his passing brought this fact back. They just don’t make guys like him any more.

      • Cheesybruin

        McCarthy and FSA, you highlight every so poignantly Kiner’s career and what he meant to fathers and sons of our generation–so much in fact, I’ve scrapped the idea of a Kiner tribute for Sunday. I remember getting busted for swiping a few quarters from my mom’s purse to buy baseball cards and got busted (forgot to zip the inner pocket). My dad’s bear-paw of a hand was swift justice to my arse but I knewe things were all better when he summoned me to the living room to watch Kiner’s Korner.

        • Meet The Matts

          Cheese Man, don’t let us slow you down. Do what you feel is right.

        • AngryWard

          Man oh man, did any of us not rob our parents blind in the pursuit of baseball cards? I could send my kid to college on what I swiped for those packs upon packs of Topps with the cardboard gum.

  • Baseball Lifer

    I know you guys feel. I learned everything I knew about baseball from listening to Mets games. And I met Ralph Kiner once at Spring Training and he couldn’t have been nicer.

  • SAF

    Really can’t add anything more to the tributes you all have so ably put up here except to say that among the starlets that Kiner dated were Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and Janet Leigh! When Janet Leigh is the biggest slouch of the bunch you’ve dated you know you’re doing something right. I mean Ava Gardner for chrissakes! He dated the lady who broke Sinatra’s heart!

    P.S. I’m hoping that Cheesy will reconsider writing an ode to RK on Sunday. Taking his bit on childhood crime, punishment and forgiveness just whets my appetite for more of his prose on this topic.

    • AngryWard

      Spot on, Sammy. Ava “Friggin” Gardner. Yowza! Reminds me, that Cookie wore this stunning white dress to my wedding and my friend Jim, whom she had never met, went up and said, “Whoa, Ava Gardner.”

      • SAF

        I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but may I look at your wedding video? Was the dress strapless? Answer the second question first!

  • Junoir Blaber

    Ralph was a legend and it was never the same after he stepped away. Ya hear me Darling!

    I love the snowpocalypse trilogy names. Better than snowmageddon

  • Cheesybruin

    Today is Angry Ward’s birthday number (??). A hale and hearty Happy Birthday to a guy I’d be less better off for not knowing all these years.

    • SAF

      Happiest (or should I say angriest?) of birthdays to you Ward! You should get everything you wish for! You know what I mean, Pappy’s 23, Pappy’s 20, Pappy’s 15 and Pappy’s 12.

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