Dexter Jones's Pittsburgh Penguins Fan Profile

Who am I?

Dexter grew up in New York City and moved to nearby Hillside, NJ during grade school. By the 5th grade, he was already an exceptionally knowledgeable Yankees fan as a result of having an extensive baseball card collection and a near-photographic memory.

Over the years, he extended his knowledge of and allegiance to other New York area sports, specifically Patrick Ewing's Knicks, Lawrence Taylor's Giants, and Mark Messier's Rangers. With the retirement of those iconic players, Dexter has become more of a non-partisan fan of the four major North American leagues.

Since moving to Tampa in 2004, he's become a strong supporter of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Pittsburgh Penguins in recent years. Both of those teams have used the draft to go from worst to first, but neither has won a championship...yet.

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Dexter Jones's Weblog Posts

2009 Isn't As Great As 2008: Tampa Bay Rays' Bullpen Isn't the Same posted on 06/06/2009

After their improbable World Series run in 2008, many fans and analysts expected the 2009 Tampa Bay Rays club to be as good or better.

They’re not.

Since the Stuart Sternberg ownership era began in 2006, Cool Hand Stu could do no wrong.  Free parking at home games.  Fans were allowed to bring their own food to games, and tailgating in the parking lot on game day was encouraged.  Ballpark attractions on Left, Center, and Right Field Streets beyond the outfield stands really enhanced the stadium experience for casual fans.  There aren’t many ballparks that let you play baseball video games in a lounge area that looks like the Formans’ basement on “That 70’s Show.” 

More importantly, the personnel decisions all made sense for a team that was trying to build a winning culture over time.  Though the Rays had stockpiled a small village of top-5 1st round draft picks through their history, the trade strategy in 2006 was to continue to get younger.  Aubrey Huff brought Ben Zobrist and Mitch Talbot.  Danys Baez brought Edwin Jackson.  Mark Hendrickson brought Dioner Navarro.  Joey Gathright brought JP Howell.  There was a perceivable difference between losing with young talent and losing with established veterans, which had been the hallmark of the Rays for the first 8 years or so. 

Continue reading "2009 Isn't As Great As 2008: Tampa Bay Rays' Bullpen Isn't the Same"

2009 Stanley Cup Finals Game 4: Pens Down Wings to tie series 2-2 posted on 06/05/2009

I went over to Patti and Jeff's last night to watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, with the Detroit Red Wings up 2 games to 1 in the series.  We all know that when a home team is down 2-1, Game 4 is a must-win.  This was no exception.  Detroit came out strong in the first period, dominating play for nearly the entire 20 minutes.  The lone Penguins goal came on a power play, but early on it seemed like the Wings were going to do what they always do, which is control the puck, maintain the offensive zone, send forwards down low, take big shots from the point, and pounce on rebounds for goals.  The first two games were clinical in their approach.  Once the Wings get a lead, it's all about clogging the neutral zone and slowing down the opposing team's forwards.  This is nothing new.  It's not exciting, but it works. 

Continue reading "2009 Stanley Cup Finals Game 4: Pens Down Wings to tie series 2-2"

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