SummerSlam 2015 predictions

23 Aug

Not a lot of time to put so much thought and background stories into these, but wanted to get them down.

Fatal 4-Way for WWE Tag Titles – Prime Time Players vs. The New Day vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores:
No idea why Los Matadores are in this match. And I still can’t believe we have yet another Tag Title match relegated to the Kickoff show.  I have to think tonight’s the night The New Day finally regain the titles.  Heeeeey, we want some New Day!!  They’re so over with the fans.

Dolph Ziggler (with Lana) vs. Rusev (with Summer Rae):
Love Ziggler, great worker, should win. Just have the gut feeling that Rusev pulls out the win and we see yet another Ziggler job at a big event. Shenanigans from Summer Rae and Lana will probably have something to do with the outcome.

Stardust & King Barrett vs. Neville (Red Arrow) & Steven Amell (Green Arrow):
Easiest bout to predict. Whenever there’s a Hollywood star involved in a WWE event, they also go over. Easy win here for Neville and Amell.

Triple Threat for IC Title – Ryback vs. Big Show vs. The Miz:
Does anyone see Show as a threat to grab gold at this stage in his career? I doubt it. Should Ryback retain and look toward a real challenger? Yes. But I see your Tough Enough “Amanda saver” judge Miz somehow sneaking his way to a win and escaping with the IC title.  Then he can lose it tomorrow night on RAW.

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus:
Haven’t we seen this matchup before? Orton has been RKO’ing Sheamus all over TV. Is that not going to happen at SummerSlam? Doubt it. Sheamus can still lose and keep Money In The Bank, just like Rollins did at Wrestlemania when he lost to Orton and THEN cashed in. I see Sheamus losing tonight but possibly trying to cash in tomorrow on RAW.

Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens:
Cesaro had a huge win vs. Rusev on Smackdown a few weeks ago but hasn’t had a big PPV win. Owens NEEDS a big win after his recent losses to Cena and Bálor, including last night at NXT Takeover.  Winner here should be Owens in what’s likely to be the best match of the night.

9 Diva Elimination Match – Team BAD (Naomi, Tamina, Sasha Banks) vs. Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte, Becky Lynch) vs. Team Bella (Nikki, Brie and Alicia Fox):
Should be a very good match. Bottom line, Sasha and Bayley stole the show at Takeover last night, and The Boss lost. Tonight she gets the ultimate win by being the sole survivor in the Elimination match.

Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper:
Should be more than meets the eye than just 2 on 2 here. This is a feud that was SO hot back when we had The SHIELD vs. The Wyatt Family. Rowan is still out with an injury so I don’t think we see him tonight, but could we see some dissension in the Reigns/Ambrose ranks? Sure we could. A lot of people are predicting Ambrose turns heel tonight and joins Wyatt. I don’t see that happening but I do see Wyatt/Harper grabbing a win with the feud somehow extending to Night of Champions.

John Cena (US Champ) vs. Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight Champ) Title for Title:
Wow, this is a big one and could go either way. Probably the match I’m looking forward to the most. I can’t believe WWE will take the US Title Open Challenge away from Cena and off RAW, but I also think it’s too early to take the title off Rollins. Do you read anything into Cena’s new “15x” champ attire and think he doesn’t win for the 16th time here? Possibly. I’m not buying that. If I’m wrong I’ll be happy that Rollins retains. If I’m right then Cena walks out with both belts and brings it to a new level tomorrow on RAW. Plus he’s granting his 500th wish for Make-A-Wish today, so guess what, I’m calling it. The Champ is Here!  Triple H may very well have something to say about the outcome of this match.

Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker:
The match too big for Wrestlemania.  Again, a tough one to call. Taker’s last match has to be coming up at Wrestlemania 32 in Texas.  He doesn’t really need to win here although he’s looking to exact revenge on Lesnar.  Taker has shown no remorse lately on TV with 2 low blows on Lesnar and an amazing in-ring and backstage brawl with The Beast.  There’s really no way Lesnar deserves to be beaten tonight and I predict he will somehow go over, even with some possible interference by someone.  Taker should get his win back at Mania.

Greene Invitational Softball (2015 Season, Game 3) – 7/22/15

22 Jul

Week 1 was postponed since we didn’t have enough guys.

Weeks 2 and 3 were played with 4 vs. 5 or 5 vs. 5 and modified fielding and batting rules.  We just didn’t have enough guys to field full teams on both sides.

Finally tonight in Week 4 we had 18 guys and an actual 9 vs. 9 softball game.  All in good fun though with only a few 40+ year-old pulled hamstrings and unavoidable lame injuries.

The Greene Invitational is the Who’s Who of Longmeadow and Western Mass.  We’re all guys daydreaming of our glory days back in the 80’s or 90’s.  Yours truly hasn’t played competitive ball since freshman year club baseball at Syracuse University in the Fall of ’90.  Longmeadow’s Dave Pandolfi could be seen stretching for 20+ minutes prior to tonight’s game to make sure there was no embarrassment (or injury) with his 17-year-old son Nolan playing as well.  Gary Rome played a sold first base tonight and added some quality base hits while our other Gary, Longmeadow’s Veratti of Party Boss Limo fame, was the good guys’ ringer and lofted a couple home runs.  Not to mention he could also be heard cursing up and down the dugout bench when he just got under it and flied out to left field.

Good news is that the injuries this evening were limited.  Brian Weinberg pulled up lame at second base following a key double and needed a pinch runner with a possible slight hamstring pull.  Greene was on first base following a weak single to left field in the bottom of the 9th and slightly tweaked his hammy running from 1st to 3rd on the final play of the game.  Mike Calvanese, on the softball field for the first time in several years, pulled something on the first fly ball to right field early in the game and favored the “injury” for the rest of the game.

In the end it was a softball game of epic proportions.  Greene’s Good Guys triumphed over Brian Zippin’s Bad Guys 17-16.  It was a walk off win for the Good Guys in the bottom of the 9th.  Even Arnie Horowitz, on the DL recovering from neck surgery 3 years ago, landed a couple key putouts behind the plate as automatic catcher.

We’re back at it next Wednesday night July 29th at Turner Field in Longmeadow.  We’ll actually be trying out the Chicago-based “cabbage ball” for the very first time – a 16″ ball softer than a traditional softball that’s played with no gloves in the field.  The ball does not travel as far off the bat – unless of course you have the uncanny abilities of Veratti or Pandolfi.

Next Wednesday night will definitely be a sight to see as we use Chicago’s cabbage ball for the first time ever.  Most of tonight’s warriors will be on hand for the on-field battle next week as well.

Good Guys:
Scott Greene
Gary Veratti
Patrick Sullivan
Bryan Connery
Jeff Evans
Joshua Weiss
Nolan Pandolfi
Mike Calvanese
Ralph Hardaker

Bad Guys:
Arnie Horowitz
Tim Bannon
Gary Rome
Dave Pandolfi
Adam Peck
Brian Zippin
Brian Weinberg
Bruce Winer
Rob Ravosa

I’d also like to call out senors Brian Wall and John Walczak for being team players and showing up AFTER the game was over.  Supposedly with actual league softball games of their own tonight, that was the story told and had to be accepted when liquid refreshments accompanied them post-game.

Some nice 2015 baseball card pulls

24 Jun

Figured I’d post a couple of these hits as I continue on with my 37-year love affair of the hobby.

From one Bowman Jumbo pack:
#RedSox Matt Barnes chrome RC auto

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From 2015 Topps Archives Hobby box:
1990 #1 Draft Pick Mike Trout auto, Gold #23/50

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Marquis Grissom Fan Favorites auto (next to Trout in this pic)

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Another sweet 2015 Bowman:
Kyle Schwarber refractor #/199

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Hopefully more to be posted soon!

Aquanett – Club Meadows 5/15/15

17 May

For those 80’s/90’s hard rock, heavy metal, power ballad fans, Aquanett is a must-see!  Check out this setlist from the other night.  If anyone has any idea what Iron Maiden song was played in the last set, please let me know.  That was the only song I didn’t know and I have to say never being an Iron Maiden fan, I wouldn’t know any of their songs anyway.

SET 1:
Talk Dirty To Me – Poison
Round and Round – RATT
Another Thing Coming – Judas Priest
Workin for the Weekend – Loverboy
Lick It Up – KISS
18 & Life – Skid Row
Rock of Ages – Def Leppard
Shot In the Dark – Ozzy Ozbourne
Heartbreaker – Heart
You Give Love A Bad Name – Bon Jovi
Separate Ways – Journey

SET 2:
Unchain the Night – Dokken
Cum on Feel the Noize – Quiet Riot
Panama – Van Halen
Rocket Queen – Guns N Roses
Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett
Still of the Night – Whitesnake (requested by ME)
Stone In Love (Summer nights) – Journey
Alone – Heart
Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
Enter Sandman – Metallica

SET 3:
Modern Day Cowboy – Tesla
Heaven’s on Fire – KISS
Iron Maiden – ??? Don’t know the song
No One Like You – Scorpions
Monkey Business – Skid Row
Hot For Teacher – Van Halen

My WRESTLEMANIA 31 predictions

29 Mar

It’s been a while since my last blog post, but no better time than Wrestlemania day!!  Heck, two Sundays in a row should be national holidays!  Today with the Granddaddy Of Them All, Wrestlemania 31, and next Sunday night – MLB Opening Night. (although many will consider Monday, April 6 the  true Opening Day)

Tonight (err this afternoon in Santa Clara) is WWE’s grandest stage, their Super Bowl.  The Showcase of the Immortals!  On paper it does look to be a good card.  One thing I’m very curious to see is how they decide to book and layout the main card matches.  Now with two matches on the Pre-Show, we’re looking at only 7 matches on the main card to fill just under 4 hours.  That’s an average of almost 35 minutes per match, which is not going to happen.  This tells me we’re going to see some extended segments, elaborate ring entrances, and maybe a few surprises.  OK, I do this every year, and my Wrestlemania predictions in recent years have been fairly sub par, but my boys keep asking me what they are for this year.  So here goes…

Kickoff Pre-Show:
Fatal 4-Way for WWE Tag Team Championship – Champions Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. The Usos vs. The New Day vs. Los Matadores
I said this on Twitter a few weeks ago when it was apparent the lame New Day gimmick and the Matadors were being squeezed into the tag title picture and I predicted this match would be on the Pre-Show.  It’s a shame that the once prestigious tag titles have been relegated to the kickoff now two years in a row.  Some of these guys deserve better.  We the WWE Universe paying $9.99 a month for the WWE Network deserve better.  Whatever happened to the history of classic Wrestlemania tag title bouts like British Bulldogs vs. Beefcake/Valentine and Hardys/Edge & Christian/Dudley Boyz?  This just doesn’t rank, especially if it can’t even be on the main card.  Let me put it simply. Anything other than Kidd/Cesaro successfully defending the titles will be a disappointment.  FACT!  I’ll go with them to somehow eek out a win retain.
Winners: Kidd/Cesaro

2nd Annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Last year’s event was decent and one would think Cesaro’s win was that impetus in taking him to that next level, possibly leading to a singles championship.  That didn’t happen.  He was essentially buried over the course of the next several months and then Vince told everyone he just didn’t have that “it” factor on the Stone Cold podcast.  I was actually very happy to see Cesaro paired with Kidd and marked out when they won the titles a short time ago.  So I’m hoping the same fate doesn’t happen to this year’s winner.  I see two possible outcomes.  Sandow finally snaps and ousts The Miz to win, OR the returning (for the last 2 months) Sheamus comes back and takes the crown.  If Sheamus isn’t part of the Battle Royal then he’s going to leave some sort of mark on the IC Ladder Match.
Winner: Sheamus, alternate outcome Sandow

Main Wrestlemania 31 card
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match – Champion Wade “Bad News” Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler vs.Daniel Bryan vs. Stardust vs. R-Truth vs. Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose
One thing is for sure, and it’s a damn shame.  Ziggler isn’t winning this one since he’s scored two pinfalls over Bryan in the last week or so.  One finished the Gauntlet match on Smackdown and the other was a clean win in a decent but short match on RAW this past Monday.  I’m also pretty confident in saying that Barrett won’t successfully retain the belt.  I think he’s jobbed out to just about everyone on the roster over the last month.  Dean Ambrose is a big fan favorite and could be a popular choice here, but I’m not seeing them go in that direction.  I could envision a Shield reunion before Ambrose gets an IC Title run.  Harper, Stardust and R-Truth are non-factors.  That leaves the only outcome that really makes sense.  Daniel Bryan gets another Wrestlemania moment and hopefully brings some honor and main event status back to the once prestigious Intercontinental Title – a la WWE Class of 2015 Hall of Famer Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Honky Tonk Man, Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Owen Hart and the list goes on and on.
Winner: Bryan

Paige/A.J. Lee vs. Nikki and Brie Bella:
Jeez, this one is being telegraphed a million miles away.  Haven’t we already seen the “frenemies” falling out?  Paige and A.J. will not gel for the entire match.  Blood is thicker than water.  Keep those cliches coming!  Too bad Nikki’s not defending the Divas Championship tonight, but really, until NXT’s outstanding Charlotte and Sasha Banks get promoted to the main roster, there really isn’t anyone worth challenging for the title.
Winner: Bella Twins

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
Don’t really have a lot to say about this match.  Seems as though they need to keep Orton in some type of quasi-main event role even though he’s not THE main event anymore.  Rollins IS the future.  His performance in the Royal Rumble triple threat match was truly amazing.  Mr. Money In The Bank is going to successfully cash in for the World title, it’s just a matter of when.  Orton exacted some revenge on RAW a couple weeks ago and that should continue tonight in what should be a very good match.  How about a missed Curb Stomp into an RKO outta nowhere sequence?  A loss here doesn’t necessarily hurt Rollins as he still holds the all-important briefcase.
Winner: Orton

U.S. Championship match – Champion Rusev vs. John Cena
Rusev has had an impressive year.  He has not submitted or been pinned during his time in WWE.  That ends tonight.  Cenation will chant “Let’s Go Cena” while the other half chants “Cena sucks.”  Rusev put a pretty good beatdown on Cena at the last pay-per-view (err Special Event) Fast Lane.  Tonight will be the soon-to-be Springfield College Athletics Hall of Famer John Cena’s night.  Not sure if he’ll pin Rusev after an Attitude Adjustment, or if he’ll make him tap out to the STF.  Either way, Rusev loses on the big stage.
Winner: Cena

Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker
Many are surprised we’re actually getting The Deadman in the ring tonight at #WM31.  We’ve heard nothing from him and not seen Taker once since Brock Lesnar shockingly ended The Streak last year.  Wyatt has done a tremendous job on the mic in his promos to build the match all by himself.  This is one great opportunity for The Eater of Worlds and the so-called New Face of Fear to share that big stage with The Phenom, one of the greatest of all time.  I only hope that Taker can go and make this a decent match.  It doesn’t have to be a 4 or 5* classic.  The big question is will his retirement match be next year at #WM32 in Arlington, TX in front of 100,000+ in attendance?  Or is this it?  I can’t see him losing two years in a row, and maybe he does lose in Texas last year, just like Flair did to Michaels in Orlando in Naitch’s retirement match.  Let’s go with that scenario.  Wyatt puts on a great show for us tonight but winds up resting in peace.
Winner: Undertaker

HHH vs. Sting
This is awesome!  Of all tonight’s matches, this is the one I’m probably most excited about, and likely more so for the entrances than what we might actually get in the ring.  What can HHH do to best his entrance with his harem of three from last year?  Does Sting come down from the rafters?  Wait a minute.  Are there even rafter at Levi’s Stadium?  Maybe we descends from the upper deck or even flies in on a giant crow.  Whatever we see it’s going to be a potential once-in-a-lifetime WWE ring entrance for the Stinger.  I expect both of these guys (45 and 55 years old) to be in tremendous shape and can only assume they’ve been planning this match out for quite some time.  It could easily close the show but I don’t think that’s going to happen tonight.  This is probably the toughest match for me to predict as I can easily see it going either way.  If it’s Sting’s only WWE match, he has to win.  If HHH and The Authority are still going to wield their power, there’s no reason why The Cerebral Assassin can’t go over.  Since I’m looking at one outcome in the main event, I have to go with the “face” in this one.
Winner: Sting

WWE World Heavyweight Championship match – Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
WIth Lesnar’s recent announcement that’s he’s re-signed with WWE and won’t be returning to the Octagon, we now have so many possible outcomes for this match – so many moreso than if we all knew he was out the door after tonight/tomorrow.  That’s one way to look at this.  Another way to look at this match is to remember that tomorrow night’s Monday Night Raw could almost be called Wrestlemania 31 1/2.  Annually it’s the best RAW of the year and big things happen.  If we don’t see a Rollins cash-in on Lesnar or Reigns tonight, then it very well, and very likely, could happen tomorrow night.  As for Lesnar vs. Reigns, I’m not saying it’s going to be an excellent match but it will be exciting.  One thing I’m learning is to never doubt with Paul Heyman preaches.  Lesnar is a beast and he will put a pounding on Reigns.  Does he suplex him 16 times into oblivion like he did Cena at SummerSlam?  I don’t think so.  Reigns will likely land his Superman punch and deliver a spear or two, but I just don’t see Lesnar being pinned by those.  Heck, he could kick out after 1 like he did after a Cena AA.  Another factor to consider here is Reigns’ cousin The Rock.  We saw him “help” and embrace Reigns at the Rumble in January and he very well could make an appearance tonight.  Does it help or hurt Reigns remains to be seen.  There’s a lot of chatter about a double turn with Lesnar going babyface after a double-cross by Heyman/Reigns.  I’m not buying into that, at least not tonight.  Could I be wrong?  Of course, and I usually am at Wrestlemania.  I just honestly feel that Lesnar is too big an attraction to take the belt off him right now.  His commitment to remain with WWE for the next however long his contract is just gives me too many reasons to doubt that the Championship goes to Reigns tonight, even if only for a minute or two prior to a Rollins cash-in.
Winner: Lesnar

I certainly am excited for tonight and can’t wait to watch the big event with my boys.  To everyone who is in attendance tonight, take it all in and enjoy Wrestlemania for the celebration of pro wrestling that it is!  I will one day get there myself.

#WWE Hell In A Cell predictions #HIAC

26 Oct

Quick predictions here right before the card begins…

AJ Lee def. Paige to retain Divas Championship

Nikki Bella def. Brie Bella

The Miz def. Sheamus (Miz wins U.S. Title)

Cesaro def. Dolph Ziggler in 2 out of 3 falls match (Cesaro wins I.C. Title)

Rusev def. Big Show

Goldust/Stardust def. Usos and retain Tag Team titles

Dean Ambrose def. Seth Rollins in HIAC match

John Cena def. Randy Orton in HIAC match

I actually hope I’m wrong on both HIAC matches and the IC Title match.

My two teams in 2014 MLB Fantasy Baseball Playoffs Parlay

30 Sep

SGreene1
C Salvador Perez KC
1B Miguel Cabrera DET
2B Dee Gordon LAD
3B Josh Donaldson OAK
SS Ian Desmond WAS
IF Kolten Wong STL
OF Mike Trout LAA
OF Adam Jones BAL
OF Starling Marte PIT
DH Buster Posey SF
P Clayton Kershaw LAD
P Gio Gonzalez WAS
P Zach Britton BAL
P Jon Lester OAK
P Edinson Volquez PIT
P Max Scherzer DET
P Trevor Rosenthal STL
P Madison Bumgarner SF
P James Shields KC
P Huston Street LAA
Tiebreaker – Dodgers over Tigers in 7

SGreene2
C Buster Posey SF
1B Eric Hosmer KC
2B Anthony Rendon WAS
3B Josh Harrison PIT
SS Jhonny Peralta STL
IF Victor Martinez DET
OF Yasiel Puig LAD
OF Mike Trout LAA
OF Josh Reddick OAK
DH Nelson Cruz BAL
P Sonny Gray OAK
P Greg Holland KC
P Santiago Casilla SF
P Francisco Liriano PIT
P Chris Tillman BAL
P Jordan Zimmermann WAS
P Adam Wainwright STL
P Clayton Kershaw LAD
P David Price DET
P Huston Street LAA
Tiebreaker – Nationals over A’s in 5

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