2016 MLB All Star Game Preview

2016 MLB All Star Game Preview

A few thoughts heading into the Mid Summer Classic

The mid summer classic is always a fun time for the players and the fans as well. It is a great time to get away from playing league games and to play against other fan voted players. There are a lot of details to discuss heading into this one including lineups, venue, fan voting and other factors.

Venue- Petco Park

Image Source: Musco

Petco Park is a beautiful stadium located right in Downtown San Diego making it a fan favorite to watch a game at. The backdrop of tall buildings makes it an incredible venue to take in a game. They have also made a few advancements to the stadium just to enhance fan experience for the All Star Game this year.

A.L. Starters

Image Source: Bleacher Report

Once again, Mike Trout will be headlining the American League in what could be his best season yet. 4 members of the Red Sox cracked the starting lineup. Big Papi will DH in what will be his last All Star Game. Jackie Bradley Jr. has put together an incredible comeback and will be starting in the outfield. Another notable is Jose Altuve who will be at 2B. He has had an incredible season and his average has been fluctuating around .350 for awhile now. Some of the notable pitchers include Marco Estrada of the Blue Jays, Cole Hamels of the Rangers, Corey Kluber of the Indians, and Chris Sale of the White Sox.

N.L. Starters

Image Source: CBS Sports

Well you already know the story about how the fans voted the N.L. lineup. The Chicago Cubs will man the entire infield and while they may not all deserve to start, that is how the fans voted them. So shoutout to Chicago fans for getting your boys in. Bryce Harper has had an up and down season but he will be starting in the outfield regardless. Buster Posey will be catching as he has once again put up great numbers up to this far. The pitchers are predictable as well. Arrieta, Bumgarner, and Kershaw are just a few highlights on the pitching staff for the national league. One story among the N.L. reserves is Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy slumped throughout a lot of the first half but really picked it up heading into mid season and was still able to make the All Star game roster.

Many are outraged about this Cubs infield situation but you have to remember that this is a fan voted process. Fans have the power to vote and there is no reason to be mad towards Major League Baseball. I'm looking forward to a great game and I hope you are too!

Cover Image Credit: MLB

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Red Gets the Gold

This 17 year old snowboarder won the United States their first gold medal in Pyeongchang.

Redmond Gerard, fondly called 'Red,' won the United States' first gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, competing in the snowboarding slopestyle competition. At just 17 years old, Red is the youngest competitor to win a snowboarding gold medal for the United States at the winter games, and the first medalist at the winter games born in the 21st century.

Before Red's last run in the slopestyle competition, he was in 11th place out of 11 snowboarders. But in his final run, he managed to surpass the competition with a score of 87.16 to earn him the Olympic gold. In an interview with NBC a year ago, Red admitted the Olympics weren't on his mind.

Snowboarding, on the other hand, has always been on this new Olympian's mind. Growing up in Silverthorne, Colorado, Gerard's brothers taught him to snowboard on their homemade backyard slopestyle course. "They were always so helpful with me," Gerard said. "They were always wanting me to learn new tricks and teaching me how to do stuff."

All of Red's family have been extremely supportive of his snowboarding career, as well. Seventeen people came to support Gerard in Pyeongchang; parents, siblings, and siblings' significant others are there cheering on Red as he makes his Olympic debut.

After his win, Red was on cloud nine, as I imagine most Olympic gold medalists are. "I couldn't believe that I even made it onto the podium at the Olympics," he said. Gerard has another chance at an Olympic medal in the big air competition on February 21.

At just 5'5, Red is small but mighty. Though Red may not be able to achieve the same speed as some of his competitors, his small stature allows faster spins and quick maneuvers. Gerard isn't bothered by his size though. Despite his height, he was still able to win an Olympic Gold, which makes him pretty much able to accomplish anything. However, he isn't the only U.S. snowboarder dominating in Pyeongchang. Shaun White, Chloe Kim, and Jamie Anderson have all secured gold medals for the United States in their respective snowboarding events.

Shaun White, also referred to as 'The flying tomato,' won his third Olympic gold medal in the men's halfpipe, scoring a 97.75 during his third run. In the Olympic qualifying runs, White earned a perfect score of 100 for his halfpipe routine. Chloe Kim, another of Team USA's younger members at just 17, won her first Olympic gold in the women's halfpipe. Kim also received an almost perfect score, winning with a 98.25. Chole felt winning the gold in South Korea was a special moment for her family, as her parents are immigrants from South Korea. Jamie Anderson secured an Olympic gold medal in the women's slopestyle in Pyeongchang as well. A score of 83 won Anderson her second Olympic gold in the slopestyle competition.

The Olympics continue until February 25th, so tune in to catch historic moments for Team USA.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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A Message To Joel Berry And Theo Pinson

Thank you: told from the perspective of a die-hard North Carolina basketball fan.

There are two things I hate in this world: country music and Duke basketball.

Nothing makes me cringe more than enviously observing Coach K bring in top-tier recruiting classes year after year, except maybe watching his team hoist two National Championships in the past eight seasons.

But I digress.

North Carolina basketball has served as a major component of my young life. From when my older brother, who is also a Tar Heels fanatic, introduced me to the team during the early portion of my adolescence until the present day, I have always remained loyal to the Heels.

Being a Carolina diehard, I’ve seen it all: when Gerald Henderson blatantly punched Tyler Hansbrough in the nose, the PJ Hairston dilemma, and that time Stilman White started an Elite Eight game against Kansas.

There have been both ups and downs, but that’s the life of a sports fan, so I really can’t complain.

During my tenure as a Tar Heel supporter, I have grown attached to a significant number of players.

The competitors who I admire most are not necessarily the individuals with the most skill, but instead are the ones who play hard on a consistent basis, develop a solid reputation for themselves off the court, and, perhaps most importantly, stay at the school instead of forgoing the remainder of their college eligibility to pursue professional aspirations.

Some names that come to mind when discussing the aforementioned criteria are Danny Green, Tyler Zeller, Brice Johnson, Marcus Paige, Isaiah Hicks, and Kennedy Meeks, to name a few. These individuals epitomize Carolina basketball in every way and will always be some of my favorites to don Carolina Blue.

There are two players on Carolina’s current roster that are approaching the conclusion of their college basketball careers and, as a fan, I could not be more thankful for their contributions.

Coach Roy Williams offered these young men scholarships not only because of their exceptional talent but also because they are team players focused on playing for what’s on the front of their jerseys rather than what’s on the back.

Joel Berry and Theo Pinson know what it takes to play for North Carolina. As highly touted freshmen entering the 2014-2015 season, neither player received much game time under Coach Williams, but they never let that negatively affect them.

From that point forward, Berry and Pinson have gone above and beyond to earn their respective positions in the Carolina starting five.

As sophomores, Berry and Pinson played key roles in helping the Tar Heels advance to the National Championship game, eventually losing to Villanova on a last-second buzzer beater.

Once again, Berry and Pinson refused to be discouraged, garnering motivation from the defeat to capture a National Championship during the proceeding campaign.

Both Berry and Pinson underwent monumental transitions during their junior seasons. Not only did Berry grow out his hair, but his performance on the court reached new heights.

With a deadly three-point shot and the ability to penetrate against larger defenders, Berry found a niche in Carolina’s squad for being a playmaker.

Although the early part of his 2016-2017 season was plagued by injuries, Pinson continued to progress, becoming the lockdown defender that Coach Williams always hoped he would be.

Together, Berry and Pinson pushed UNC to its full potential as the team inevitably overcame the previous season’s shortcoming by winning the school’s sixth National Title.

This season has been difficult for Carolina players and fans alike. The team has struggled at times after losing multiple key players due to graduation, but that has not affected Berry and Pinson, who continue to serve as crucial players for Coach Williams.

Whenever adversity strikes, Berry and Pinson step up to the plate, prepared to handle any situation that comes their way.

I will definitely miss Joel Berry and Theo Pinson. Together, the two seniors have developed a legacy at UNC and will be remembered by fans for their inherent skill and determination to win.

These types of players are hard to come by, but their presence should not be taken for granted.

As the NCAA Tournament nears, so does the end of Berry and Pinson’s stays. I would just like to take a moment to thank these young men for all they have done.

In a world flooded with responsibilities and expectations, sports is a way for individuals, such as myself, to get lost and relieve some of the stress that accompanies everyday life.

Thank you, Joel and Theo, for representing North Carolina in the most professional way possible.

Now let’s go win another National Championship.

Cover Image Credit: goheels.com

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