Friday, August 26, 2011

Baseball FAQs

The reason I started this blog was mainly because I couldn't find a general sports site geared towards females. There are tons of male-dominated sports sites with loads of too-intense information, but a place where girls could go to learn the basics did not exist. 

Throughout my blog life, I've been emailed some questions, and many of them I see over and over again. I figured if some girls were asking, many were probably wondering. 

Here are some FAQs when it comes to baseball. I'll move on to other sports eventually (football soon), but let's just focus on one at a time, alright?  

 Tell your boyfriends "you're welcome" from me in advance for answering these questions for them. You can also tell them I accept thank yous in the form of cash, clothing and/or jewelry. 

photo via Mobile Commons

Q: What is the "wild-card" race and how can teams be a "game-and-a-half out"?
A: Wild-card race: This comes up close to the playoffs and happens in more sports than baseball (you've probably heard it with the NFL as well). Basically, "wild-card" teams are teams that did not finish 1st in their division (1st place teams automatically go to the playoffs), but still did well enough to make the playoffs. In the MLB, the wild-card teams are the teams from each league (2 leagues) who had the best record of a non-division winner. More here.

Game-and-a-half: This has to do with an amount of games played vs. amount of games won/lost. If two teams have won the same amount of games, but haven't played the same about of games, a team can be up (or down) by half-games.

Q: What is a "balk"?
A: Basically, a balk is when a pitcher does an illegal motion. For example, a pitcher cannot fake a pitch to the batter and instead throw the ball to a fielder to catch the runner off guard and potentially get the runner out. There are all kinds of rules, consequences and situations. If you're really intrigued, click here

Q: What are the K's the fans put up in the outfield?
A: K represents a strikeout. ("K" comes from the most dominant sound in "strike" and is meant to matchup with the inference to a "knock out".) When you see a K backwards that just means that it was a "called strikeout"—where the umpire called the last strike, as opposed to a strikeout where the batter swung at it.

Q: Why can't you be a Giants and a Padres fan?
A: This is a personal question I seriously get asked at least once a week. Many girls don't understand why people can't like two teams. The first reason is pride—many people have a love for one team and one team only, and that will never change. The second reason has to do with the division that both teams play in:

In the MLB there are two leagues—American League and National League. Within these leagues, there are three divisions per league: East, Central and West. With me still? 

In each division there are teams that make up this division (from 4-6 teams depending on your division/league). 

Well you see, the Padres and Giants are both part of the National League West. Only one team (unless one wins the wild-card spot, see above) can make it to the playoffs. So you see, if I rooted for the Giants I'd technically be rooting against the Padres, and I'll go to the grave cheering for SD. Therefore, go Padres!

I think that's enough sporty information to fill up on for one day. Now that you're totally sport smart, go impress a babe during the next game you watch.

 Keep sending the emails and I'll keep up with responses.

Football FAQ's coming soon...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Game Day Attire

With football season officially in motion, it's time to buy some tickets and plan Sunday soiree's around game time. Besides the necessities for a game—whether you're tailgating or hangin' at home—like beer, bbq's and yummy grub, you'll also need to get your game day outfits all set. And unless you want to be that girl wearing the pink jersey (sorry to all the pink-loving ladies, but it's just a big NO with football), stick to these staples below.

1. Victoria's Secret t-shirt
2. Tom's shoes
3. Face tattoos
4. Skinny jeans

Even if you aren't totally into jerseys, pick up a cute team tee from Victoria's Secret and you can still support your boys. Be sure to shy away from heels, as in DO NOT EVER wear them to a game because you will definitely look like a diva, and stick to cute kicks (closed toed is better when you're surrounded by thousands of beer-spilling babes). Pick up some fun face tattoos for a little extra spunk and team spirit. I prefer skinny, dark jeans for games, because they won't drag on the nasty ground and every color top looks good with dark denim.

So to repeat: No pink. No heels. 
And for comfort, pick up a cross-body bag.

 Cosmo Clue:
Have fun with this total excuse for a trip to the mall! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Girls Guide to Fantasy Football

Who's ready for a little friendly competition? As the regular season of the NFL approaches, along comes fantasy football, which can be a super fun event if you let it be. I've been getting a zillion questions from girlfriends about everything fantasy, and I figured I'd give it my best shot to give some pointers.

 photo via Digital Trends

Warning: I am no fantasy guru. I'm about 50/50 when it comes to winning leagues, aka I'm not that good. But I do understand the system and have some pointers to get you started. 

1. Consistency. 
This has been my downfall in the past. You HAVE to keep up with your fantasy team and maintain a healthy roster. You need to check your team multiple times a week and ESPECIALLY before the first game of the week starts (usually Thursday nights). Once a player on your team starts a game, you can't move that player around. Check to see if anyone got hurt or isn't playing that week. If a player of yours is out, you'll have to switch him out of your lineup with a backup or draft/trade fresh meat.

2. Do your research (a little goes a long way).
Go to as many sites as you can before draft day and scour different strategies. There are endless strategies out there and, again, I am not the person to tell you which to choose. Some fantasy addicts swear to draft multiple running backs right of the bat, while others say to pick the best QB first. Check here for all you could ever desire to learn (and more) when it comes to fantasy strategies. 

3. Stray from your team and the babes.
I know, I know. In a perfect world you'd be able to draft all the players from your favorite NFL teams, or the hottest players from around the league. And you can. But you'll lose. I learned this the hard way my first fantasy season, drafting every Charger I could get my hands on and coming close to last. Though it's fun to have your boys on your roster, make sure to take the best players per position, and this may mean straying from your hometown heroes.

4. Know the players you DON'T want. 
This is an easy way to recruit players backwards, without having to know every player in the league. Make a list of players who you hate and players who suck or tend to get hurt a lot. You probably don't want these players on your team, unless you feel like being super risky. Players who will never make my squad: Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Jay Cutler.

5. Ask a guy.
As much as I try to prove otherwise, unfortunately guys usually know best in this situation. Where us females can name every brand sold at Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, most males can name every NFL player (and where they went to college, what their stats are and so much more that we tend to block out). No hard feelings here sporty girls, but it tends to be the truth. Suck up your pride and ask a guy for help when drafting. Bribe him with a beer and burger post draft, and I'm sure he'll be willing to help you along throughout the process.

6. Have fun!
I know it sounds corny, but seriously, just have a good time. Sure, you're probably throwing some money into the competition and your pride is at stake, but just try your best and enjoy football season. Make draft day with your friends entertaining and make sure to plan something for a post-season wrap up. (Friends from my league, how do you all feel about a little flag football game once the season is done?!)

 photo via Pulse of Vegas

So do your studying pre-draft day and try to have in mind a handful of players at each position that you're interested in. (Don't stress though, even if your player gets picked before it's your turn, just go to the next-ranked guy.)

Good luck, girls! Your fantasy awaits you... 
(Sorry, couldn't resist putting that line in.)

Click here to sign up for a team and to learn more.

Friday, August 12, 2011

TGIF (Thank God it's football)

I don't know about you girls, but a smile hasn't left my face since the NFL lockout was lifted. 

Last night kicked off the official start to the NFL season (preseason at least) and the best time of the year. It is with great pleasure to finally say...HAPPY FOOTBALL SEASON! 

 photo via Fanpop

Time for Sundays full of tailgating (or being stuffed into a sports bar), babes on the field and vicious rivalries between fans.

Some of you might be confused as to what preseason is and what the point of it is. In the short, preseason consists of about a month of games for teams to get comfortable playing together (since each team has rookies and new players from other teams), to give the backups some playing time, to see which players make the final cut of the roster, and not to mention the NFL rakes in extra cash with preseason. 

The preseason games don't count towards the official records of the season, and since most starters don't really play, it's not always the best insight to how a team will finish. But still, it means football starts and that's all I care about. 

Unfortunately, my beloved Chargers lost to the Seahawks last night in the last few minutes, but our starters and ultimate babe of a quarterback Philip Rivers (below) looked strong. 

 photo via Value Sports Picks

There are more preseason games all weekend and for the next few weeks until regular season starts on September 8th. 

For those of you participating in fantasy football, get a quick refresher here. I'll do a post in the next few days on the top players to draft for a little extra help. 
Have a great weekend of football, ladies!

Cosmo Clue:
NFL preseason started last night.

Click here to see the entire NFL schedule.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Golfing for Dummies (and Girls)

On a scale of 1-10, I've always rated golf at about a -5.

Hitting the smallest ball into the smallest hole, wearing dorky visors with ugly shoes and having to stay quiet never really seemed like my cup of tea. Until last week.

I was in Indiana on vacation (yes, people go to Indiana on vacation) and was bored of being bored around the house, so I decided to tag along with the guys to go golfing. I figured worst-case scenario I'd drive the golf cart, work on my tan and chat it up with the local babes at the course.

My dad forced me to swing away at the first hole, and by some mercy of God I made contact. And by contact I mean I seriously hit the ball far. And straight. 

After channeling my inner Tiger Woods (pre-scandal), I instantly became uber competitive with the boys and wanted nothing more than to win. 

Since golf is one of those sports that I'm guessing most—if not all—of the guys in your life love, it's time to get into the game. So here are a few tips I have for getting your feet wet...

1. Play "best ball". 
Split the group you're playing with into two. Have everyone on each team take a shot at the teeing ground*. Instead of following your shots each time, play off the best shot of the group at each hole (aka the ball closest to the hole). This makes it go by much quicker and you won't get as frustrated. Make sure to have a decent player on each team so that at least one person can hit the ball.

2. Drink.
Like most sports, golf is better with a beer or two. Sneak in a few of your own or flag down the cart girl for a cold one.

3. Wear closed toed shoes. 
This might be a no-brainer for most, but for me it was not. I showed up in sandals and ended up playing barefoot, which was awesome until I somehow pegged my own foot with my own ball.

4. Borrow a glove from a guy. 
I have no clue if it actually helps, but it made me feel so golferish.

5. Start with nine. 
Most golf courses are 18-hole courses, but do yourself (and everyone else who hates a whiner) a favor and play a 9-hole course first.

6. Boobs in, butt out. 
Since females are "graciously" gifted with our lady lumps, we have to work around them in golf unlike the boys. Push them together while holding the club. Slightly bend your legs and stick that tush out. Keep your eye on the ball and hold your feet in place while you swing.

Just try it. Coming from an anti-golfer to a newly obsessed golfing wannabe, I guarantee you'll have a good time. If not, scope out the potential of guys playing and make sure you're at a gorgeous course (preferably like the one below). Have fun!

photo via Golf Got Better

(One extra tip: Do NOT drive over the green**. Apparently this is a no-no and I learned the hard way.)

Cosmo Clue:
Golfing may or may not be the best sport ever.

*The teeing ground is the area at the beginning of a hole from which the player's first stroke is taken.
**The green, or putting green, is the culmination of a golf hole, where the flagstick and hole are located. Getting the golf ball into the hole on the putting green is the object of the game of golf.

Monday, August 1, 2011

NFL Traders

I go on vacation for a week and the NFL blows up.

From the end of the lockout to endless trades and resigning deals, everything in the football world is buzzing.

The NFL players and owners finally sucked it up and came to an agreement, leaving the lockout lifted as of last week. It's official ladies, football is back (well, almost!).

Since the lockout has ended, the NFL has been in a frenzy of free-agent trades, aka players switching to different teams. Though it can be too much to keep up with, and a lot can go over your head, I'll give you some of the biggest trades of the week. Here are a few big-name players (who you have hopefully heard of), and where they have ended up.

Donovan McNabb, from Redskins to the Vikings
The record-breaking quarterback will see if he has any steam left for Minnesota.

photo via Mlive

Chad Ochocinco, from the Bengals to the Patriots
The ever-entertaining Ochocinco will head off to join Tom Brady in New England.

photo via NewsOne

Takeo Spikes, from the 49ers to the Chargers
The veteran linebacker leaves behind the fog and heads to the sunshine in San Diego.

photo via cbcsports

Matt Hasselbeck, from the Seahawks to the Titans
Hasselbeck is the brother-in-law to The View host Elisabeth and will now run the field in Tennessee.

photo via The Tennessean

Reggie Bush, from the Saints to the Dolphins
Kim K's ex is no longer living the life in NOLA and will now take the field in Miami.

photo via USC

and in other NFL news...

photo via Scrape

After 13 unforgettable seasons in the NFL, Randy Moss announced his retirement today. Although saying that you retire in the NFL usually means that you'll just un-retire and come back next season, it's still breaking news.

Preseason games start in just a couple weeks, so until then, get your fantasy football leagues all situated and get set for the best part of the year (and for a Chargers Super Bowl ring!).

Get a fantasy football refresher here and get ready for some football!

Cosmo Clue:
The NFL lockout has ended and trades are happening throughout the league.

Get more trade info and everything NFL here.