Monthly Archives: October 2012

Gold Glove: Chicago Cubs Darwin Barney and Chicago White Sox Jake Peavy win 1st Gold Glove

Congratulations Chicago Cubs Second Baseman Darwin Barney and Chicago White Sox Pitcher Jake Peavy on winning their First Gold Glove Award. (

Chicago White Sox Jake Peavy Replica Road Jersey

Remember to pickup all your favorite Chicago Cubs & White Sox Merchandise at one of Clark Street Sports stores ( or online: (

Remember to pickup all your favorite Chicago Cubs Merchandise at one of our stores ( or online: (

Darwin Barney Pinstripe Jersey Bear















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San Francisco Giants: Bruce Bochy Hello Hall-of-Fame

Following a Kick return for a Touchdown by Desmond Howard in a game between Michigan and Ohio State during the 1991 season, notable commentator Keith Jackson uttered the words “Hello Heisman” as Howard did the Heisman pose in the Michigan Stadium end zone. With that in mind, I wanted to use a similar variation of that line for current San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy “Hello Hall-of-Fame. With the Giants winning their second championship in the past 3 years, manager Bruce Bochy has proven to be one of the best postseason in-game managers in baseball since he started managing during the 1995.

Bochy, a former catcher, started his managerial career during the 1995 season with the San Diego Padres where he spent the last 4 seasons of his playing career. During his tenure as manager of the Padres, Bochy finished in first place 4 times and in 1998 he led the Padres to the World Series for the first time since 1984 when Bochy was a player on that team. However, following the 2006 season, with new management taking over their front office, San Diego decided they wanted to go in another direction so Bochy decided to move up the California coast to another member of the NL West; the San Francisco Giants. In San Francisco, Bochy’s first season was surrounded by a number of significant events in the 2007 All-Star Game being played in San Francisco along with Barry Bonds quest for Hank Aaron’s Home Run record of 755. Following the 2007 season, the Giants decided to go in a different direction as they allowed Bonds to move on and instead decided to build their roster around pitching and defense. The new direction seemed to fit more of Bochy’s style that he managed with in San Diego.

So with that, the Giants decided to build through the draft, (Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey were all former 1st Round Picks) add a few under the radar free agents, (Aubry Huff, Gregor Blanco, and Ryan Vogelsong), along with making a couple of quiet, but effective trades (Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence, Marco Scutaro, ) to help add to the depth on their roster.

So what make’s Bruce Bochy such a great manager? Two Reasons:

1. Unlike other teams, the Giants don’t have a great deal of offensive star-power: The Giants have won 2 of the last 3 World Series, and during both Championship runs had to go through 6 different teams that featured a number of elite offensive players in their lineups. Going back to the 2010 Playoffs, the Giants faced the Braves (Chipper Jones (1999 MVP), Brian McCann (2010 All-Star Game MVP), Martin Prado) Phillies (Ryan Howard (2006 MVP), Jimmy Rollins (2007 MVP), Chase Utley, Shane Victoriano, Jayson Werth), and Rangers (Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton (2010 MVP), Michael Young, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler) and during the 2012 Playoffs they faced the Reds (Joey Votto (2010 MVP), Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Scott Rolen, Drew Stubbs), Cardinals (Carlos Beltran (9th Most Postseason Home Runs), David Freese (2011 NLCS and World Series MVP), Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday), and the Tigers (Miguel Cabrera (2012 Triple Crown Winner), Prince Fielder (2011 All-Star Game MVP), Austin Jackson, Jhonny Peralta). Not that the Giants didn’t trot out a number of solid hitters (Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Scutaro, Pence) but the Giants hitters don’t have the star power that the other teams they faced feature.

2. Bochy and the Giants aren’t afraid to make bold moves in the Playoffs: The majority of managers wouldn’t ever think of ever making some of the moves that the Bochy and the Giants front office made over the past 3 seasons. Once again, I want to go back and look at the Giants 2010 Season and then move forward to some of the decisions they made during the 2012 season. During their 2010 Playoff Run, the Giants decided to trade starting catcher (and former World Series Champion (2002)) Bengie Molina to the Rangers for a minor prospects. This move was made so the Giants could have top prospect (at that time) Buster Posey start at catcher and Aubry Huff move to first base. Posey went onto win the 2010 Rookie of the Year Award and became the face of the Giants offense. An additional key move the Giants decided to make during their first World Series run was putting Pablo Sandoval and Aaron Rowand on the bench during the Playoffs along with having former Cy-Young Award winner Barry Zito (the highest paid player on their roster) not apart Playoff roster. Finally, following a game 3 loss to the Rangers, Manager Bruce Bochy decided to change-up his lineup by moving Aubry Huff to DH and added Travis Ishikawa and Nate Schierholtz to their lineup. It seemed that at every significant time during the 2010 Playoffs, Bruce Bochy was making all the correct calls throughout these crucial moments.

As for the 2012 Playoffs, Bruce Bochy and the Giants once again showed why they are on top of and prepared for any situation that comes their way. Bochy’s problems started at the beginning of the season when on April 15th, 3-Time All-Star Closer Brian Wilson was forced to miss the remainder of the season with Tommy John Surgery. With Wilson on the shelf for the remainder of the season, the Giants were forced to go with a closer by committee situation which included Santiago Casilla (25), Sergio Romo (14) , and Javier Lopez (7). In addition to that, San Francisco also saw the division rival Dodgers acquiring a number of significant players throughout June, July and August to help bolster their lineup and rotation. To the Giants credit, they didn’t panic and instead made a few key under the radar trades in acquiring Colorado Rockies infielder Marco Scutaro and Phillies outfielder Hunter Pence. Just 15 days after the MLB Trade Deadline, All-Star Game MVP (and at the time NL Batting Leader) Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance. The Giants already featured a lack of depth in their outfield and with this occurring. it made it that much more important that the Giants traded for Pence at the deadline.

Once the Playoffs started, even with all his struggles throughout the 2012 season, most people felt that 2-Time Cy-Young Award Winner Tim Lincecum (2008 and 2009) would stay in the rotation for the entirety of the MLB Playoffs. That wasn’t the case as Lincecum only started 1 game during the 2012 MLB Playoffs (NLCS Game 4) and instead the Giants decided to use him out of the bullpen where he worked 13 innings while only giving up 1 run. With Lincecum out of the rotation, and 2010 Postseason hero Cody Ross in Boston, the Giants needed for two people to step up and fill their spots. Ironically it was the 2 players that were little used during the Giants 2010 Championship run: Pablo Sandoval and Barry Zito. During the 2012 NLCS, the Giants need Zito to step up and win a crucial game 5 so the series would be sent back to San Francisco. Fortunately for the Giants, Zito delivered as he threw 7 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball sending the series back to the Bay Area. So what about the hitter that stepped up, it was Pablo “the Panda” Sandoval who had the second most hits in a single Post Season (24) and joined Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols in hitting 3 Home Runs in a World Series Game. With Zito’s dominant pitching, Sandoval’s hot bat, and a team that refused to give up (down 2-0 to the Reds; won 3 straight in Cincinnati and down 3-1 to the Cardinals; won 3 straight games vs he defending World Champs), the Giants used these three aspects to bring another Championship to the City by the Bay. In my opinion, both the 2010 and 2012 MLB Playoffs showed why Bruce Bochy is one of the best in-game managers of all time and why he’s deserves to be considered a future Hall-of-Fame Manager.

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2012 World Series Merchandise at Clark Street Sports

Buster Posey Jersey with World Series Patch

After an exciting regular season and first two rounds of the MLB Playoffs that saw all 4 League Division Series go to a 5th and decisive game, the MLB Season has reached the finale and best part of the MLB Season…the World Series. This years Fall Classic features two of baseball’s oldest and most storied franchises in the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants. These two historic franchises have combined to win 10 World Series Championships (Giants 6 Tigers 4) along with having a number of historic moments and players over time. As the 2012 World Series is set to get underway, one of these franchises has the opportunity to add their name to their previous grates from their respected franchise and forever be remembered as an MLB Champion. Could it be Prince Fielder, American League Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera, or Justin Verlander bring a title back to Detroit for the first time since Kurt Gibson hit his memorable Home Run at Tiger Stadium off Hall-of-Famer Goose Gossage during the 1984 World Series or will Buster Posey, Matt Cain, and Tim Lincecum bring San Francisco their second title in a three-year span.

Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera Road Authentic Cool Base Jersey w/2012 World Series Patch

To help commemorate the 2012 World Series, Clark Street Sports is proud to announce that our online store will be selling World Series Merchandise for both the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers. We feature a number of different World Series Jerseys (home, away, and alternate) and styles (Cool Base,  Authentic, and Replica) to choose from. The online World Series store will include Blank, Current Players (Avila, Cabrera, Fielder, Fister, Jackson, Peralta, Porcello Scherzer, Valverde, Verlander, Cain, Lincecum Pence, Posey, and Sandoval) and customizable jerseys for both Fall Classic Participants. Remember to pickup all your favorite World Series Merchandise on Clark Street Sports website ( before the end of the 2012 Fall Classic. 

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Clark Street Sports Mobile

Clark Street Sports Mobile

Clark Street Sports is glad to announce our newest  mobile website which is adaptable for Phones and Tablets. So why did Clark Street Sports create a new mobile website? Simple, because the new Mobile Website it will make the experience for Customers of Clark Street Sports to be easier when they are away from a computer and using a different devise. This new mobile website will still feature the same website as before ( just updated so its easier to guide your way through Clark Street Sports Website.  The previous mobile website was able to allow for our customers to purchase items online however it was a much longer and confusing. With the new website, its much easier for customers of Clark Street Sports to find the item they are looking for and lastly make their purchase. Clark Street Sports new mobile website is compatable with iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile & Blackberry. At Clark Street Sports, were always trying to satisfy our customer so they have a great experience and can easily find their products.


The NFL Refs are Back but Remember, the Regular Referees Still Make Mistakes

Week 4 in the NFL is in the books and will always be remembered as the week that the Replacement Ref’s were replaced by the original ref’s. Once the dispute between the NFL and the Ref’s was settled, the two questions that I wanted to see were:

What would be the response from fans and players around the NFL (especially in Green Bay) and how would the Ref’s fair in their first NFL game in almost 8 months.

The NFLRA Ref’s first took the field a few hours before the start of the Thursday Night game between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. Before the game, the Regular Referees made their grand return to NFL Sideline and were paraded with a standing ovation from almost everyone in the stadium (players and fans included). After that, the next question people wanted to see was the reaction from the people at Lambeau Field after the disastrous call made in Seattle which saw Packer fans protesting earlier in the week.

The Answer…a resounding ovation from the Packer fans. As the Referees came onto the field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, like in Baltimore they were celebrated, were flooded with cheers from the fans, greeted with handshakes from the Players of the NFL.

That’s all sounds good but in the end fans, players, and coaches still want the Ref’s to be at the top of their game and not cost their team a victory. So with that said, I wanted to look at the Post-Honeymoon games and examine a few mistakes the referees made during the Week 4 games.

Two significant call I feel the current referees missed this week were ironically shown in the Packers-Saints game. The first missed call came during the first quarter when Drew Brees threw a Touchdown to Marquis Colston in the left side of the endzone. The catch was indeed made however the replay clearly showed that Colston pushed off in the end zone which should have led to a Offensive Pass Interference call.

The second call the referee’s missed clearly missed during Sunday’s game in Wisconsin was after Green Bay scored a touchdown late in the 4th Quarter. New Orleans running back Darren Sproles was retuning the kick and fumbled the ball around the 30 yard-line. Even though the player was ruled down by contact the replay clearly showed that Sproles fumbled around the 30 yard line and Green Bay should have been given the ball back. Due to the fact that the Packers were out of challenges, they were unable to challenge the play on the field and New Orleans was able to retain position of the ball.These two plays could have cost the Packers the game and put them with a 1-3 record on the season.

So what should have happened:

I feel the play should have been called a fumble on the field so the ref’s could look at the play and not let either team lose a challenge over a play (all turnovers are reviewed) that was clearly called incorrectly on the field.

Were there other games that featured a number of noticeable missed calls or was this the only game that featured calls like this?

Well, the Monday Night Football Game between the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys featured one clearly missed call that included Brandon Carr and Brandon Marshall. On 3rd and Goal from Dallas’ 4 yard, Cutler rolled out to his left and threw to Marshall for an incomplete pass, but the ref called for Pass-Interference in the End Zone which would have given the Bears first and goal from the 1 yard-line. Once the Cowboys saw a replay, Dallas decided to challenge the play on the field as they felt the ball was tipped allowing Carr to grab Marshall and move them him out-of-the-way. The review did show that a Cowboy did tip the pass so the Pass-Interference call was revoked, ruling no penalty on the field.

So where did the Ref’s go wrong?

The ruling should have been holding in the end zone as Marshall’s jersey was being held in the end zone throughout the entirety of the play, not allowing for Marshall to have a chance in the end zone.

So in the end, is it indeed a positive that the regular ref’s have returned to the NFL?

Of course. However, a number of people need to remember two key characteristics about the NFL Ref’s. One, the NFL Ref’s will still make a number of mistakes as contrary to everyone’s thought, the regular NFL Ref’s will still make mistakes in the future. I hate to re-inform individuals but even the traditional Ref’s have made mistakes. One of the worst calls of all time came during the Detroit-Pittsburgh game when NFL Referee Phil Luckett gave the ball to Detroit even though Pittsburgh’s Jerome Bettis correctly called the coin toss on the field.

Second, like NFL Players, Ref’s need time to perfect their craft and get up to their usual level of calling games. A number of people don’t want to hear this but everything takes time and like everyone, the Ref’s get into a routine by having a schedule of what goes into their schedule from August until February. With the ref’s starting last week, they were out of their comfort zone and people need to understand that the Ref’s will still be rusty at the start of the season as the first few games are going to be their “Preseason.” During the 2011 offseason, the NFL Players were taken out of their comfort zone and because of this it eventually lead to the best statistical passing season in the history of the NFL.

For these two reasons, people need to remember that even the current NFL Refs have made a number of mistakes in the past and will make mistakes continue to in the future (even if fans believe otherwise). The positive news is that as the NFL Ref’s adjust to their previous positions, they will eventually get back to their previous level of calling penalties on the field. Hopefully fans of the NFL won’t have to go through what happened on Monday, September 24th, 2012 in Seattle ever again.

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