Hodgepodge of Stuff

So it’s been quite awhile since I’ve written one of these up!

To all 3 of my readers, I’d like to wish you all a very happy, safe & prosperous 2014! Where to start…where to start?

First off, I’m a father now! Ethan came into the world on November 7, 2013…about a week after my last posting, so to say my life has been busy would be an incredible understatement. Everyone is fine & Ethan is now 2 months old as of yesterday, January 7th. He’s growing so quickly as he was quite a big boy from the start, weighing in at 9 pounds, 3 ounces. He now weighs a staggering almost 14 pounds & is in the 98th percentile as far as his size goes. There was a little girl at the pediatrician’s office yesterday that was weighed & measured just before him who was 6 months old and he was about the same size as her! So I’m thinking I’ve got a future professional wrestler or football player I’m raising here! 🙂

Anyway, between him at home & having our busiest time of year at the theater for the Nutcracker, I really haven’t had much downtime. So now that Nutcracker is over, I now have some time to compile a new one of these here to let everyone know what’s up with my life & to share my views on a variety of topics.

I’ve got a lot to cover here from the Yankees‘ off season moves to the Jets’ season to professional wrestling. So with that agenda set, let’s get started talking about Robinson Cano & my beloved New York Yankees.

To say that the Yankees goofed would be an understatement in my opinion. They just let the best second baseman in the major leagues go & sign with another team and still don’t have a real viable option to replace him. On the flip side, if you’re Robinson Cano, signing with the Seattle Mariners is career suicide. Just ask Alex Rodriguez how it was being the superstar down on the Texas Rangers, never seeing a postseason without a chance of getting himself a World Series ring. Or how about LeBron James playing in Cleveland…the dude has won two NBA Championships since going to Miami. History shows that you can be a superstar of a player in any sport, but you really need quality players around you to be able to achieve greatness. Now don’t get me wrong, I like Robinson Cano & all, but if you ask me, he’s not a player you can build a championship team around. He’s a good player, don’t get me wrong…but he’s not a #1 superstar, he’s more of a 1A. Now I might be wrong in that label, since he’s been playing in New York with a star-studded lineup around him, but I just don’t see him being that go-to player that someone like a Derek Jeter used to be at Cano’s age. Now he might prove me wrong when he debuts in Seattle in April, but only time will tell.

As for the other moves the Yankees have made…I’m really not quite sure what they’re expecting to get out of Jacoby Ellsbury. The guy has been on the disabled list five times since 2010, so what exactly can we expect out of this guy? All of his injuries have been staggered, it’s not like he has a chronically bad shoulder, elbow or any other type of hankering injury, so I suppose that’s somewhat good. But from what I’ve seen, it appears he tends to rush back from one injury only to get injured again just as Jeter did this past year.

The other big signing was Carlos Beltran, yet another outfielder in an already crowded outfield for the Yankees that already housed: Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki, Brett Gardner, Vernon Wells & Jacoby Ellsbury. I get that he’s had a bit of a career resurgence in St. Louis, but do we really need another outfielder?

The Yankees big glaring concern is the starting rotation as it seems to be each year. CC Sabathia wasn’t what we’ve come to expect from him last year, plus with Andy Pettitte retiring (again), Phil Hughes now pitching for the Twins, Hiroki Kuroda is a free agent that the Yankees desperately need to re-sign, and Ivan Nova definitely showed at the end of last season that he’s the real deal & can be great. It’s really imperative that they put together a serious deal for Masahiro Tanaka from Japan since he seems to be the best free agent out there right now who really has something to offer a major league rotation.

My other New York team that I follow just concluded their season with an 8-8 record and finished second in the AFC East. The Jets definitely had a roller coaster of a season with the incumbent starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez getting hurt in preseason, making way for their second round draft pick (39th overall), Geno Smith to step in as the signal caller for the season. As rookies typically go, he had an up & down season, throwing a number of interceptions while also showing us fans glimpses of hope for the future of our New York Jets.

For most of the season the offensive line was quite strong, giving Geno plenty of time to find an open receiver down the field. I’m sure that Mark Sanchez (sitting on the sideline) was quite jealous of the amount of time Geno was allotted by his offensive line. Unfortunately, for most of the season Geno didn’t have a full compliment of quality receivers to pass to or a real reliable running game to offset the passing offense. The defense however, shined as most Rex Ryan defenses do.  They ranked as one of the top defenses against the run! Also, by finishing at .500, they managed to improve on last season’s 6-10 record and Rex Ryan will be back as coach next year. On top of that, John Idzik the Jets’ General Manager is going to have quite a bit of cap room to play with and a number of draft picks this coming off season. The Jets may be in a rebuilding mode, but next year they look to try to make some serious noise. I’m excited for what next year can be for this team!

And finally on to my final topic for this blog. And that’s professional wrestling. It’s been a long & winding road for Daniel Bryan in WWE. First he was a member of the first season of NXT, came in second to Wade Barrett and was part of the original Nexus raid on Monday Night Raw, then was abruptly fired for being “too violent” in that segment. A few months later, he was brought back and put on a team with John Cena and a number of other wrestlers in an elimination match that pitted the Nexus vs. seven wrestlers picked by John Cena. Bryan was back with WWE and would stay with the company from then on with no other setbacks. He would go on to win the United States Championship, a Money In The Bank Ladder Match which guaranteed him a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship, which he could cash in at a moment’s notice, which he did against the Big Show and won his first World Championship in WWE. He later went on to lose that title to Sheamus at WrestleMania in record time, which amazingly got him over even bigger with the fans. His “Yes!” chants took off so much so that because it wasn’t WWE’s intention to push this guy beyond where they pictured him being that they made him change his “Yes!” chant to “No!”. Now if that alone sounds stupid, it gets worse…his momentum carried him into tagging with Kane and being told in storylines that he had anger issues and needed to go to anger management classes with a therapist which culminated with Kane & Bryan “hugging it out” in the middle of the ring. This eventually brought Bryan and Kane the WWE Tag Team Championship as Team Hell No. Somewhere along the way, Bryan decided to start to change his look, growing in a long beard & growing his hair out. After losing said titles to The Shield, Bryan was off to bigger & better things as WWE finally somewhat started to embrace the “Yes!” chants that the fans refused to give up with for now a year & a half!

On July 15th, John Cena was given his choice of an opponent for his Summer Slam WWE Championship title defense. Because of the fans demanding it and the amazing matches that Bryan was having on TV week in & week out, as storylines would have John Cena choosing Daniel Bryan as his next opponent. Next comes the magic of WWE storytelling as everyone under the sun at WWE would suggest to Cena that he picked Daniel Bryan because he felt that Bryan wouldn’t be much of a challenge and he would just roll over him. Naturally, John Cena would deny these claims and Daniel Bryan would continue to be a tortured soul up until the match, when he would actually beat John Cena fair & square in an amazing match. Following the match though, Randy Orton would come down to the ring with his Money In The Bank briefcase and threaten to cash in on the newly crowned WWE Champion. Then he would back off & start heading back up the ramp just as Triple H would kick Bryan in the gut & pedigree him, laying him out for Orton to cash in and take the title. For months afterwards we would hear how Daniel Bryan is just a B+ while Randy Orton is an A, and while they would put the belt back on Bryan the following month, it would once again be taken back off him the following night as they would reverse the referee’s decision — which in WWE storylines is supposedly final. Finally Daniel Bryan was supposed to get his day in the sun by taking on Orton for the title in a cage match with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee to keep things on the up & up. Somehow during the match, Triple H makes his way into the ring, and after Bryan takes him out, Shawn then lands a superkick on Bryan to lay him out long enough for Orton to pin him. Following this last loss to Orton, Bryan would then be moved on to feud with the Wyatt Family, with him losing to them in a 3-on-1 handicap match at the TLC pay per view in December. Bryan would then demand a match with Bray Wyatt on the last Raw of 2013 and be given a gauntlet match in which he has to go through both Luke Harper & Erick Rowan in singles matches in order to advance on to face Bray. However somewhere along the way, Bryan would stall in his match with Bray and for some reason it became too much for him to go through all these hoops to achieve what he set out to do and he agreed to join the Wyatt Family. What?!?

So that’s where we stand with Daniel Bryan (former 2-time WWE Champion, former Tag Team Champion, former United States Champion and former Money In The Bank Winner) now, he’s a subordinate to Bray Wyatt — who himself is an upper mid-carder in WWE. Now I get that WWE has big plans for Bray Wyatt, but why build him at the expense of someone who the fans have taken to so much that he was voted the Superstar of the Year over your top babyface, John Cena. Granted, WWE fans don’t always vote in the most logical of ways when it pertains to the WWE App (like when they voted to see Damien Sandow face the Great Khali instead of Miz or Kofi Kingston) but the WWE stands by their fan votes and –one would think– uses them to read the fan’s reactions to what they put on tv week in & week out. But now for some reason the guy who was fighting the good fight, trying to earn the title he had already earned on multiple occasions only to have it taken away from him has now just said “I give up” and has said that he couldn’t fight “The Authority” (which is what Triple H, Stephanie & the on-screen management of WWE calls themselves) anymore and he’s given up to join the Wyatts. Now how exactly is joining the Wyatt Family succumbing to The Authority? I’m just completely lost as to where they’re going with this storyline…and I watch this crap pretty regularly!

Anyway if you’re still reading here, I thank you for your time! And if you have any insights into any of this, I implore you to please leave a message or comment on my link to this from my facebook page.

I’ll be back later on at some point over the next day or two with my thoughts on the new WWE Network which I’m quite excited about once I get to watch the press conference announcement, so please stay tuned!

That’s my story & I’m sticking to it.

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