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Sports and War.

This is something I have been mulling over for a couple weeks, and especially since the NHL playoffs began.  On the heels of my father-in-law's Honor Flight this week, I have deep respect for all veterans.  But I was seriously not going to rant on the subject until this quote appeared.

This is Jim Leyland speaking of Brandon Inge.

He's been a true soldier, a lot of great memories there.

No.

Inge is a baseball player.  He is a grown man playing a child's game for which he is paid in the millions.  He's no soldier.  In fact, he's less of a soldier than the roofer or the insurance salesman who's busting his butt to pay the mortgage.  But really not any of them are soldiers.

Sports is not a war.  Its players are not warriors.  There isn't a battle.  I know we are all prone to hyperbole when it comes to describing athletes and their abilities.  Most have skills each of us can only dream of, but in the end, they are playing a meaningless game.  There isn't any one of us whose lives are on the line; whose freedom is on the line.

Can we back off the war analogies?

 

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I Guess Those Racy Photos Were A Joke

I figured that the Tigers' upper management had been threatened with some nasty scandal if they were ever to release Brandon Inge.  I determined that was the only reason to keep his sorry butt around.  Turns out, he didn't have any dirt on any of the team's big wigs.

Brandon Inge was a divisive figure during his time in a Tigers uniform.  The people who liked him, loved his play.  The people who didn't like him, hated his play.  There aren't too many Tigers fans who don't have a strong opinion of Inge, one way or the other.

This is a tough pill for the Tigers to swallow.  They have to eat quite a bit of money on this deal, but when the choice is getting a player who can play or keeping Inge just because you owe him some money, it really was a no-brainer.  I am just surprised it took so long.

Inge told Fox Sports,

It's a business when you come down to the end of it.

Major League Baseball is a business, but this was a baseball decision.  Business had nothing to do with it.

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Time For Conference Semi-Finals

Today is the eve of the conference semi-finals which means time for more predictions.

First, how'd I do in the first round?  Pretty crappy.  I picked a total of three of the eight series winners and none in terms of the number of games.  Why did that happen?

I grossly underestimated the teams that had to bust humps just to make the playoffs; teams like the Caps, the Sens, the Kings, and the Coyotes.  While the Sens didn't win, they pushed the Rangers to the limit in a thrilling game seven last night.  The other three pulled off the upset.  I don't consider the Sharks among that group because they underachieved to simply make the playoffs.  They limped in and don't be surprised if big changes are on the way in San Jose.

So, never one to let failure keep me down, here's how I see round two going.

Rangers vs Capitals.

Capitals got amazing goal tending from youngster Holtby in the first round.  He will need to keep it up to match Lundquist.    Rangers in 7.

Flyers vs Devils.

The first round was a high scoring affair for the Flyers.  I don't see them putting up those kind of numbers against the Devils, but Marty is long in the tooth.  Flyers in 6.

Blues vs Kings.

Each team has had plenty of time to rest for this one.  What can you say about Jon Quick so far?  He has been remarkable.  The difference is the Blues only need a goal or two with their smothering defense.  Blues in 6.

Coyotes vs Predators.

Didn't see much of the Coyotes in round one.  Saw a lot of the Predators.  Don't see them losing any time soon.  Preds in 5.