Making Sense of the Orioles’ Jim Johnson Trade
The Baltimore Orioles confirmed baseball’s worst kept secret when they dealt closer Jim Johnson on Monday to the Oakland Athletics for second baseman Jemile Weeks. Johnson, who had saved 101 games over the past two seasons, was rumored to be on the trading block since the end of the regular season. The trade ticked off the Baltimore faithful and raises more questions than it answers for the Orioles.Pin It Tweet
Tomlin’s Gaffe Inches NFL Closer to WWE
The level of play and quality of officiating in the NFL have been on a steady decline over the past several seasons. The rein of Commissioner Roger Goodell has delivered the NFL to new heights financially while the on field product has suffered. What the NFL touts as parity my trained sports watching eye views as an abundance of subpar teams. The league is now clearly more concerned with marketing and staying in the news cycle than with insuring integrity or quality on the field. The actions of Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin, who stepped on the field in front of Ravens’ kick returner Jacoby Jones last Thursday, sinks the NFL even further from legitimate sports enterprise to sheer WWE-style entertainment.Pin It Tweet
Terrence Jones Tops NBA Early Season Breakouts
The Houston Rockets have been big winners in each of the past two NBA offseasons with the trade for James Harden prior to the 2012-13 season and the signing of free agent big man Dwight Howard last summer. Harden and Howard have made the Rockets relevant but the emergence of second year forward Terrence Jones has solidified Houston’s starting lineup. After spending most of his rookie season in the NBA Developmental League Jones has been one of the league’s early breakout stars this seasons. The 2012 first round draft pick was inserted into the starting lineup replacing Omir Asik in the fifth game of the season and has scored in double digits in six of his eight starts. After averaging just 5.5 points in 19 games as a rookie Jones is averaging 9.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and shooting a robust 54% from the floor. Jones has teamed with Howard and small forward Chandler Parsons one of the NBA’s most productive front courts.
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So We Bought an RV
My family has been going to Rehoboth Beach, DE for as long as I can remember. We used to cram over a dozen people into my uncle’s single-wide mobile home on summer weekends. I typically slept on a cot at the end of my mom’s bed while my dad and uncles spent many a night stretched out on lounge chairs in the Florida room. There were countless crab feats, fishing trips, and days spent playing in the sand. To me summer meant two things: Rehoboth Beach and baseball.
When I started dating my wife I took her to Rehoboth for a weekend. As am Ocean City girl, Rehoboth signified nothing more than a few sets of outlets and some traffic lights delaying her arrival at the ultimate destination. She possessed none of the nostalgia that I had accumulated through decades of boardwalk strolls, bike rides, and trips to Gus & Gus. One trip to Rehoboth and she was hooked. We spent the next few summers dreamily strolling through the Rehoboth streets talking about that one day, somewhere off in the future, when we’d have a place to call our own in our favorite summer spot.Pin It Tweet
Ford Unveils Edge That Can Park Itself
Ford unveiled a concept vehicle at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show that turns heads but won’t hurt your neck. The Ford Edge concept car features driver assist technologies that are currently under development in Ford labs. The features include a collision avoidance system that can detect obstacles, the ability for the safety system to brake or take corrective steering action if the driver fails to act, and a remote parking feature that can direct the Edge into and out of parking spaces even when no driver is on board. The remote park assist option would work at the push of a keyfob button. There’s no timetable for the new Edge concept to hit streets but the current model is expected to be overhauled for the 2015 model season.
The debut of Ford’s new safety and convenience features come on the heels of comments made by Jim Farley, Ford’s VP of global marketing, in regards to the importance of automakers and technology firms working together to integrate technology into vehicles more seamlessly. Google Maps director, Tarun Bhatnagar, referred to the car as the car as “the fourth screen in our life, which is truly the most mobile of all screens.” The goal will be for firms like Google and Ford to work together to bring advanced technology to the car in a safe and efficient manner. It will take compromise and collaboration on interface types and systems development to achieve Farley and Bhatnagar’s stated goal.
If you’d like to test drive a Ford Edge, or learn more about Ford’s advanced safety and convenience features, pay a visit to the professionals at http://deeryford.com/ in Iowa City, Iowa.Pin It Tweet
Ford Schedules Debut of New-generation Mustang
The Mustang is the most iconic vehicle in the long history of the Ford Motor Company. Mustang has become a brand all its own with millions of Facebook followers, devoted Mustang clubs covering the globe, and prominent positioning on everything from postage stamps to luggage. Earlier this week Ford announced plans for a special sixth generation Mustang to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Mustang’s debut at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
Ford has not released any details regarding the new design but given that it is a Mustang it figures to feature gobs of horsepower. This won’t be any remake of the ill-fated low power Mustang II.
Ford faces an interesting dilemma in designing the 50th anniversary Mustang given the car’s worldwide popularity. The automaker plans to sell the new Mustang overseas and will host debuts in Barcelona, Shanghai and Sydney. Ford will need to balance the classic Mustang expectations with the tastes of an International audience so as not to alienate its burgeoning fan base.
Ford has sold about nine million Mustangs over the last 50 years. The Mustang reigned supreme atop the U.S. midsize sport segment for more than four decades until it fell behind the Chevy Camaro in 2009. The Camaro has held the top spot ever since. The Mustang’s 50th anniversary and new design could put Ford back on top.
If you’d like details on the 2014 Mustang, or to schedule a test drive of a 2013 Mustang, contact the courteous staff at http://kayserford.net/ in Madison, Wisconsin.Pin It Tweet
Rangers Let Tigers off the Hook
Two years ago the Detroit Tigers, in a moment of weakness and desperation following a knee injury to Victor Martinez, handed free agent slugger Prince Fielder a nine-year contract worth $214 million. The signing shifted 1B Miguel Cabrera to the more demanding hot corner and gave the Tigers two of baseball’s most feared sluggers. Now, after flopping in the postseason Detroit has sent Fielder to the Texas Rangers for 2B Ian Kinsler. The deal serves the Tigers on several fronts.
As the baseball hot stove cranked up the talk was that Detroit would entertain offers for AL Cy Young Award winner Maz Scherzer. The 29-year-old Scherzer is set to become a free agent following the 2014 season and with Cabrera, Fielder, Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez signed to expensive long-term deals the prospects for retaining Scherzer seemed dim. The Fielder trade frees the Tigers from one of those deals and could provide the flexibility to retain Scherzer, or sign a suitable replacement next offseason.Pin It Tweet
Chrysler Ups the Cool Factor on the 300S
Chrysler is making some significant upgrades to the overall style and sound system of the 2014 300S sedan. The 300S is Chrysler’s top of the line luxury offering. The 2014 model will feature serious upgrades to the car’s stereo as well as exterior changes meant to up the cool factor.
The 2014 300S will feature body-color door handles and front fascia inserts. The front grille features black trim while black trim adorns the window surrounds, headlights, and tail-lamps. A gloss black roof treatment and 20-inch alloy wheels are optional upgrades. Chrysler has also added Ceramic Grey to its list of available exterior colors.
On the interior the 300S will come standard with a Dr. Dre “Beats” sound system featuring 10 speakers and a 12-channel amplifier. The alignment with Dr. Dre, a bastion of 90’s cool, is no doubt an attempt to market the 300S to a younger audience. As Dr. Dre’s fan base approaches middle age Chrysler is hoping to snag some of them as long term customers.
The 300S has been a favorite of baby boomers and new grandparents. The large sedan offers the type of comfort, dependability, and interior space needed to deal with a car load of boisterous grandkids. The 300S is even lauded by parenting sites for its stylish looks and its ability to fit three child safety seats across the backseat. The 300S has proven to be a viable alternative for those unwilling to succumb to the siren call of the ultra-convenient, though decidedly uncool, minivan. Chrysler is hoping that edgier exterior design and a marketing agreement with Dr. Dre will continue to build on the 300S’ past successes.
If you’d like to hear more about the changes to the 300S, or any of Chrysler’s other fine models, contact the friendly staff at http://www.kayserchryslercenterofwatertown.com/index.htm in Watertown, Wisconsin.Pin It Tweet
Buick Supercharges the 2014 Regal
The 2014 Buick Regal is decidedly not your father’s Buick. The American automaker is rolling a new more powerful Regal into dealer showrooms. The new 2014 Regal features some exciting changes under the hood that could make the Regal a more attractive option for consumers.
The 2014 Regal offers buyers a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 259 horsepower. The 2013 models topped out at just 220 horsepower. The new engine also ups the torque by 13% while yielding an impressive fuel efficiency rating of 21/30 mpg. The changes are attributed to a new cylinder head, stiffer structural front end, and an improved twin-scroll turbocharger.
Buick unveiled the 2014 Regal at the New York Auto Show and the model is already available for sale. Buick has discontinued 2013’s Turbo model and made the new turbo engine available on all models. The Regal has a MSRP of just over $30,000 and comes standard with either the new 2.0-liter turbo engine or a 6-speed automatic transmission. Buicks touts the new turbo engine as delivering the performance of a 6-cylinder with variable valve timing.
An all-wheel drive transmission is available on all Regal models for a bit of a premium. The entry level Regal all-wheel drive starts at $32,790. The top of the line Regal GS has a MSRP of just over $37,000 and comes with Buick’s driver confidence upgrade packages. Features on the upgrade packages include safety measures like following distance indicator, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning as well as convenience features such as power moon roof and adaptive cruise control.
If you’d like more information on the supercharged 2014 Regal, or to schedule a test drive of one of Buick’s other dependable model, visit the sales professionals at http://www.anthonygurnee.com/ in Gurnee, Illinois.Pin It Tweet
The Orioles’ Matt Wieters Charade
When Matt Wieters was making his rapid ascension through the Baltimore Orioles’ minor league system he was dubbed “Mauer with power,” a nod to Twins’ All Star catcher Joe Mauer and Wieters’ own long-ball potential. When Wieters arrived in Baltimore some enterprising fans created a Wieters’ facts website that made boastful claims about Wieters’ general manliness and fictional feats of strength. O’s first baseman Aubrey Huff dubbed the young catcher “the switch-hitting Jesus” as fans and media flocked to get a glimpse of Baltimore’s next shining star. That was 2009.
Now, in the winter of 2013, Wieters’ future with the club is cloudy. Manny Machado has dethroned Wieters as Baltimore’s hardball savior. The Mauer and Johnny Bench comparisons have receded as Wieters has settled into his role as a dependable though not spectacular catcher. While Wieters has excelled on defense his offensive production has lagged. The two time All Star bottomed out offensively in 2013, posting career lows in batting average (.235), on base percentage (.287), and slugging percentage (.417). In Wieters’ defense, he did post a career low BABIP of .247, a number that is substantially under his career BABIP of .283, which suggests that he could see a significant rebound in 2014.Pin It Tweet