Countdown to the top fight. Best pitcher vs. hitter battles are here!

#10 In baseball’s top 10 pitcher vs. batter scuffles, Nolan Ryan’s number is called three times. In a match-up Ryan hit Mike Krukow with a high and tight pitch, knocking him to the turk. Krukow threw his helmet down and charged the mound. Ryan’s catcher, John Wathan, did what every catcher is supposed to do. He protected his pitcher, with a linebacker-like tackle. Ryan stepped to the side and watched. I’m guessing Ryan stood there with a little smile on his face and chuckled a little at the sight of his catcher taking down his opponent. Pitchers-1 Hitters-0

# 9 Dave Winfield took the next stab at Ryan. Winfield swung successfully in his attempt. Ranger catcher gave no fair attempt at stopping Winfield, as he was shoved away with just one hand. A crow-hop and an over-hand right landed directly on the back of Ryan’s head. Ryan must have been a street fighter back in his playing days, because he sure can take a hit. Ryan was able to wrap up Winfield and corral him until teammates came to his aid. In which time Ryan delivered his blows to Winfield, off camera. Which I cannot award point for because I didn’t see.
Pitchers-1 Hitters-1

Nolan Ryan’s name will be mentioned again later in this article.

# 8 Number eight on Sports Center’s top 10 features a first-basemen, Mo Vaughn, vs. George Bell. Boston Red Sox pitcher Aaron Sele throws a pitch behind Chicago White Sox batter, Bell. Bell charges the mound in frustration, throwing a completely arrant right hand, from left field missing Sele by two feet. Vaughn definitely practiced his deep pursuit drills before the game, as he lays out Bell on the mound’s rubber. Pitchers-2 Hitters-1

# 7 Mike Sweeney destroys the trash talking Jeff Weaver in this clip. After Sweeney asks Weaver to move the rosin bag off the mound starting pitcher Weaver fires back with a few ignorant comments Sweeney clearly disagrees with. Sweeney rushes the mound, as he slings his helmet at the scrawny pitcher. After drilling Weaver with his helmet Sweeney lays him out and uses UFC ground and pound maneuvers as he side mounts Weaver and drops bombs on his face. Pitchers-2 Hitters-2

# 6 This clip just infuriates me because Chan Ho Park’s actions don’t really interest me. Park lays down a beauty of a sacrifice bunt down the first base line. Tim Belcher picks up the rolling ball and tags Park out. Belcher and Park exchange words, along with some pushing and shoving. Park steps back and lands a little karate kick, which everyone seems to find fascinating, but not me. I give this one to Belcher. Pitchers-3 Hitters-2

# 5 Gerald Williams vs. Pedro Martinez. Martinez, in my opinion, is the worst professional athlete ever. Yes, he clearly is extremely talented and gifted, but he is the biggest cry baby in the MLB. Martinez gets drilled, knocked down, and stuck in the face. Once his teammates get there to help; they sandwich Williams and take him to the turf. Martinez, being the horrendous person he is, jumps on top of the pile and tries to get a few pity hits in. Pitchers-3 Hitters-3

# 4 Izzy Alcantara. ‘Nuff said. Side kick to the catchers chest. Pitchers-3 Hitters-4

# 3 Armando Benitez vs. the entire New York Yankee staff. Benitez drills the UT alumnus Tino Martinez square in the back. Immediately he is tossed from the game. The kicker though, the entire Yankee dugout and bullpen cleared before Martinez could even turn around to face his assassin.  Because Martinez didn’t even hit Benitez, I gotta give his one to the pitchers, especially after he was sucker punched by the druggie Darryl Strawberry, and still wanted more. Pitchers-4 Hitters-4

# 2 Bert Campaneris vs. his own pride. Having a perfect day at the plate, Campaneris should not expect anything less from a pitcher. You were hit in the foot with a pitch. I will admit though, you threw your wood around like a champion, but you came up empty. Pitchers-5 Hitters-4

# 1 Well, I said you would be hearing Nolan Ryan’s name again. Here it is. Ryan bounced a ball off of the New York Yankee, Robin Ventura’s, back. Ventura’s head was turned into mashed potatoes. As he charged the mound Ryan took matters into his own hands. He put Ventura in a masterful headlock and pounded on the top of Ventura’s head. Ventura, you took after your first name here, Robin. You fought like a girl and literally got his face smashed. Pitchers-6 Hitters-4

So, next time you watch a baseball game and think that the man on top of the rubber might be the most fragile on the field, think again. While we may not have Nolan Ryan still playing the game today, I’m sure the next street fighting pitcher is waiting in the wing for the time when some idiot like Ventura charges the mound on him.

-Kyle Bennett

Kyle Bennett can be reached at minaret.overtime@gmail.com

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Colts will win Super Bowl XLIV(44). And the reasoning is plain and simple. The Colts have Peyton Manning, who I believe is the greatest quarterback of all-time, regardless of a win or loss in this game. No one commands a team like General Manning and things will be no different come the night of Feb. 7.

So much for the Jets being the number one rated defense in the league. After Manning got through putting a thirty spot on them, they looked pretty much run of the mill.  Peyton’s numbers for the game were absurd; 377 passing yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions or fumbles. With these numbers that Manning put up on the number one overall defense in football, I’m baffled how anyone can pick the Saints to win this football game. The Saints have the 26th passing defense in the league. That’s right behind the one-win St. Louis Rams. Sure the Saints have Drew Brees and a solid running game, but he can’t play both sides of the ball. I just can’t foresee the Saints stopping Peyton at all in this game. It wouldn’t surprise me if Peyton surpassed in AFC Championship performance and passed for over 44 yards against the lowly Saints defense.

And the good thing for the Colts is that the pressure has finally been lifted off Peyton’s shoulders because they actually have a formidable defense themselves this year. With an exemplary offense and above average defense, the Colts will be too much to handle for the offensive-minded Saints. The Colts defense gave up a little more than 200 ypg in the air during the regular season and if the Saints want to even have a fighting chance, Brees is going to have to match Manning every step of the way.

Even though I think the Colts will eventually run away with this game, obviously the Saints do have a chance of winning this game. And this chance is going to have to be manufactured with the ground game. Pierre Thomas is a very underrated starting back in the league, mostly due to the fact that Reggie Bush gets most of the attention, but Thomas has had a very solid postseason so far and will probably be the Saints x-factor for the game. The Colts had the 24th ranked rush defense during the regular season, which the Saints need to try and exploit. But the Colts showed some real toughness against the Jets’ running game, which ranked number one all year. The Colts rush defense held the Jets to only and astonishing 86 yards on the ground. And yes, rookie running back Shonn Greene did get injured in the second half, but the Jets were having a good amount of success at that point through the air. I do think Thomas and Bush could put up big numbers on the ground, but I think that their efforts will fall short.

Even though the Colts struggled with the rushing game against the Jets, frankly they just don’t need one because they have Peyton Manning. And what makes Peyton Manning great is that he makes other players great. If anyone said that Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie would both have 100+ yard games receiving in the AFC Championship and the begging of the season, then they would be big fat lairs. Garcon and Collie create a 4-headed monster for the Colts. Both Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark had so-so games, but even when these two pro bowlers aren’t the focus of the offensive attack, Manning can simply make his third and fourth options into serious threats. It has been awhile since I have seen players with the intensity of Garcon and Collie. They play hard and run great routes play after play and are always looking for the ball. And for some reason if all four receivers are covered, Joseph Addai and Donald Brown aren’t too shabby to check down to.

At the end of the day, Manning and the Colts will be wearing their second Super Bowl rings in four years. I know that the Saints are the feel good story for all of America and to be honest I’m not really rooting against them, but I just can’t compute how they are going to pull this win out. All I have to say is no one gave the New York Giants a fraction of a percent to win the Super Bowl two years ago against the 18-0 Patriots, so I can’t make this game a complete lock for the Colts. My final score prediction for the game is Colts 38-Saints 24. I know that sounds extremely high scoring, but with both of these teams offense comes first. I think that this Super Bowl might go down as the all-time leader in team offense and that’s why it will surely be a game for the ages.

-Sam Gerb

January 22, 2010

Among the devastation in Haiti, another supporter has risen among those willing to help and donate. Top Rank, boxing promoter, will donate $1 per ticket sold to every event through the 2010 fiscal year. Think about a fight like the Manny Pacquiao. The fight on March 13 will be held in the new Cowboys Stadium, which is being configured to seat 40,000 fans, but depending on demand the arena could seat up to 70,000.

Vikings vs. Saints: Rookie sensation, and Florida alumnus, Percy Harvin missed practice Friday with symptoms of migraine headaches and is now listed as questionable for the AFC title game. A big blow to the Vikes against a high-powered New Orléans offense. Minnesota will need all the offense they can get against Drew Brees and the Saints.

Cliff Lee made his first appearance in Seattle today. The move, for the Mariners, is probably the best of the offseason. While they obviously took on a large salary with Lee, they gained arguably the best No. 2 starter in the entire MLB. Watch for the improved Mariners to make a push in the tough AL West.

-Kyle Bennett

kbennett.ut@gmai.com

The oldest and widely considered, most respected post season collegiate bowl game is the East – West Shrine game. The Shrine game showcases some of the nation’s top graduating seniors and prospects for the National Football League. Played consecutively since 1925, 2010 will be no different. This year the game will be played in downtown Orlando, Fla., at the Citrus Bowl.

The reason for being considered one of the most respected post season bowl games has nothing to do with the players or coaches it draws. The purpose of the game is to help the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The game is played to raise funds and increase awareness about the orthopedic, burn, spinal cord injury rehabilitation, cleft lip and palate care available to patients and families at no cost through the 22 locations of Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Before even stepping foot on the practice field with their new teammates, the players take a visit to the Tampa location of the Shriners Hospital for Children. There they spend six hours getting to know the patients and learning exactly why they are playing in the game, which is to help ensure these children continue to research quality treatment at no cost to them.

Following their visit to the Shriners Hospital for Children each side has five practices before the game on Saturday. The practices were open to the public, as well as the media and scouts (both from the NFL and the Canadian Football League).

Notable players participating in the Shrine Game on the East team are:

Daryll Clark (Quarterback, Penn State)
Andre Dixon (Runningback, Connecticut)
Freddie Barnes (Wide Receiver, Bowling Green)
Greg Hardy Jr. (Defensive Lineman, Mississippi)
Kion Wilson (Linebacker, USF)
Chris Chancellor (Defensive Back, Clemson)

Notable players participating in the Shrine Game on the West team are:

Matt Nichols (Quarterback, Eastern Washington)
Keith Toston (Runningback, Oklahoma State)
Emmanuel Sanders (Wide Receiver, SMU)
Earl Mitchell (Defensive Lineman, Arizona)
Reggie Carter (Linebacker, UCLA)
Jamar Wall (Defensive Back, Texas Tech)

The full lineups along with sponsorships links can be found on the official website www.shrinegame.com. The scheduled kick-off time is 3 p.m. and the game will be televised live on ESPN2.

-Kyle Bennett

kbennett.ut@gmail.com

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