Nobody Cares Who You Picked in Your Bracket

Nobody Cares Who You Picked in Your Bracket


My March Madness, originally uploaded by showstoppa

March Madness is one of the most exciting, joyous times of the year for young men.  I've done it in Vegas, I've done it at the Metrodome watching live games, I've done it at the Boathouse in Malvern, I've done it in the library in high school with Mrs. Driscoll yelling at us for using the copy machine to duplicate our brackets, I've even done it in a conference room at my first job out of college with my manager having two of us put the games on our laptops so we could watch two different games at once.  It's March and it rocks.

UPDATE: From my mother, "You also did it on the couch when you came home from 'Nursery School.'  Honest to God, you used to watch the games when you were about 5."  That has to make me some sort of authority.

You know what I can't stand about March?  The "experts."  Mostly the guys who think they know everything.  Take the guy from Two For The Money, Brandon Lang.  He's a regular on WIP's morning show to talk picks.  I don't have a problem with that part at all.  Yesterday morning, he's on and he says he HAS THE FINAL FOUR NAILED.  God sent him the final four in a slab of rock and he's some sort of prophet.  Whatever.  Georgetown.  Texas Tech... yada yada.  Whatever, dude.  You pick sports games.  You get some right and you get some wrong.

Then last night I'm driving in the car and I had WPEN on after hours so they go into whatever National FOX has on, I think it was JT the Brick.  This guy makes me want to trade my sports fandom in for a subscription to the ballet or something.  Jesus.  This guy announces every single one of his picks like he's predicting George Mason to make it to the final four.  "LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, YOU HEARD IT HERE, I HAVE THE BALLS TO PICK KANSAS OVER UCLA!"  I swear he said that exact sentence.

These guys are all blowhard, and I concede that is part of their job as a radio personality, but I can't stand it when it comes to picking the tournament.  One out of every thirty of them will pick some crazy upsets and crown themselves sports geniuses.  You'll never hear the end of it.  In 2027, Brandon Lang will tell you how he picked 13 of the sweet 16 teams right in two consecutive years not ending in an even or prime number.  Whatever.  The thing is, if they get every game wrong they just make it into a joke about how stupid they are.  What's that fat guys name on 950?

So.. I love March Madness and I don't really care who you picked -- unless you're Sid from banking, who do you like?  I like hearing who normal people picked and why. 

I don't care who wins unless it's my team and B.C. would have to find some slippers; I want to see crazy games and sick performances.  I want to see the Penn Quakers shock the world.  I want to see Kevin Durant carry the Longhorns on his back to enter the realm of mythical NCAA legend. 

March Madness, baby.  I like Oregon and UCLA.  How bout them balls!

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Just pitch.
 
Don’t worry about the role.
 
Just pitch.
 
That’s Adam Morgan’s mindset this spring.
 
“I’m just trying to show whoever needs to see it that I can be an asset to this team,” the left-hander said after his spring debut against the New York Yankees on Saturday (see story). “I’m just keeping it simple that way. I’m not trying to go out for that fifth (starting) spot. If the fifth spot opens up, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want to put me in the bullpen, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want me to be the backup catcher, I’ll be the backup catcher.”
 
The Phillies have plenty of candidates for backup catcher.
 
And the top five spots in their starting rotation, barring an unforeseen development, are accounted for.
 
But there is a way for Morgan to make this team.
 
“He’s definitely a bullpen candidate,” manager Pete Mackanin said.
 
Mackanin is on record as saying he’d like to have two lefties in what likely will be a seven-man bullpen. It might not work out that way, but that would be Mackanin’s preference.
 
Morgan is one of what appears to be four candidates along with Joely Rodriguez, Cesar Ramos and Sean Burnett. Ramos and Burnett are experienced major-league veterans in camp on minor-league contracts. Rodriguez is the only pure lefty reliever on the 40-man roster. Morgan, of course, is on the 40-man roster, but he’s mainly been a starter in his career.

There’s a long way to go in spring training and it would not be surprising to see general manager Matt Klentak add to the list of lefty relief candidates with some type of pickup before the end of camp.
 
But for now, it’s just these four.
 
Morgan, who turns 27 on Monday, started and pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday and will likely continue to have his innings stretched out throughout the Grapefruit League season, just in case he’s needed as a starter.

Ramos and Rodriguez both pitched an inning Saturday. Ramos allowed a hit and a run. Rodriguez had a clean inning. Burnett was tagged for two hits and two runs on Friday.
 
Morgan made 21 starts for the Phillies last season. He also made two relief appearances and finished the season with a 6.04 ERA. He was sent to Triple A in July and returned in mid-August. He made nine starts after returning and pitched at least six innings and gave up two or fewer earned runs in four of them.
 
During his time in Triple A, Morgan started throwing a two-seam fastball or sinker. He’s continued to throw it this spring and believes it will help him.
 
“I learned to trust the two-seamer last year and that’s what I hope to keep moving forward with,” he said.
 
Will it take him to the Phillies’ bullpen?
 
He hopes so. He got a taste of relieving last season and liked it.
 
“Oh, yeah, I loved it,” he said. “Every time the phone rang down there, I was on high alert. It was awesome. It’s a rush.
 
“But wherever I land, I land. I’d be willing to play anywhere on this team.”