Monday, July 31, 2006
And These are the Things I Don't Understand:
Soriano: How was he not dealt? He was better than Carlos Lee and Abreu and Carlos Lee brought back Francisco Cordero who will close for the Brewers and Mench a solid outfielder. Soriano could have brought more than that, now they are only going to get a Sandwich draft pick. No Sense.
Craig Wilson: The Yankees just dealt for Craig Wilson, he's got some pop but what is the point? What are they going to do with Craig Wilson? Who gets cut now, Bubba or Guiel or both do to this and the Abreu deal. The Yanks should have kept the bench gloves like Philips and Bubba instead of a bench bat like Craig Wilson. Chacon has been a bum this season so no big loss there. They better not demote Andy Philips, that would make no sense, he's a superb fielding first baseman. Basically an unnecessary trade after the Abreu deal yesterday. I don't understand why people are high on him, maybe his flowing golden locks.
Greg Maddux: What do you expect to get from Greg Maddux? The Dodgers gave up really nothing to get him, but still does this really improve your team much. Maddux hasn't pitched well since April.
Red Sox: After the Yankees made a solid move to improve their two weakest positions, I'm shocked I have heard nothing from the Red Sox camps thus far. If they had given up Hanson, Crisp and Lester for Andruw Jones that would have been moronic. It's one thing to give up top flight prospect talent, it's another to give up top flight prospect talent that are currently important contributors to their team. The Red Sox coul not afford to lose both Lester in the rotation and Hanson in the pen, I don't even think it would have benefitted the Sox for this year nevermind the future. But still, the Red Sox were involved in 800 trade rumors involving half their roster, and I've heard nothing. I think the Yanks have positioned themselves to jump ahead of the Red Sox for the divsion.
White Sox: Why did they make no move? I do not understand the logic in keeping McCarthy stuck in the bowels of middle relief. The kid has great stuff is their best pitching prospect and Kenny WIlliams refused to trade him for Soriano and others. Yet it appears as if he did not trade Vazquez or Freddy Garcia to open up the 5 spot in the rotation for him. This is just plane stupidity, if they had gotten anything for Vazquez or Garcia it would have been addition by subtraction. Even if they had traded Buehrle for Crisp and another prospect that would have been an acceptable deal. Why didn't they try to counter with Buehrle a prospect for Crisp and Hanson.
Julio Lugo: I don't understand how the Dodgers were willing to give up more for Lugo than the Blue Jays. The Dodgers, granted have an injury issue with both Kent and Nomar currently, but the Blue Jays haven't had a single good player at 2B or SS the whole season. In fact it appears as if the Blue Jays made no moves, pretty much admitting AL East defeat. I think Lugo can be a good player for the Dodgers I just can't believe that any other team with more gaping holes didn't jump out to get him.
Sucks for the Mets
The Mets traded for Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez for Nady. I like this trade for the Mets, I'm not a big fan of Nady, they can now bring Milledge up for the remainder of the season give him some more at bats and see if he can develop by the playoffs, if not they might be able to get a Shawn Green through a waiver wire deal or just play Endy Chavez. They were pressed into making a deal due to Duaner Sanchez injuring himself in a car crash and is out for the season, that pretty much was a killer. But this was a good move given those circumstances.
Alright I just heard a rumor on the radio that the Mets are trying to either get Jason Schmidt or Roy Oswalt. The rumored deal would send their hot prospect Lastings Milledge to either of the teams and the Astros in addition would get Brian Bannister, the Mets rookie pitcher that started a few games at the beginning of the season and then has seemingly turned into Carl Pavano with mystery injuries and 5 pitch rehab starts. Now if it is at all possible for the Mets to give up Milledge and Bannister for Oswalt, this should be done in a heart beat. Not even, a heartbeat, faster than that. If I were Omar Minaya, I would throw a huge fiesta if I could land Oswalt. The Mets currently have at minimum an NLCS team. I think they could possibly lose to the Cards in the NLCS but thats the only NL team that should threaten them in the playoffs. However, in the World Series I don't think the Mets current roster has enough pitching.
If you actually compare the Mets rotation to the Yanks, it is really worse. They have a banged up Pedro in comparison to the inconsistent Randy. A struggling Glavine to Mussina who's having a stellar year. Wang is hands down better then Trachsel. El Duque gives up a minimum of 4 runs a game Wright only pitches 5 innings. And Lidle compared to a young Pelfrey who won't have an impact on the 2006 playoffs. If the Mets could land Oswalt they would have a certifiable Ace to add to Pedro and Glavine at the top of the rotation. This would give the Mets a great shot at making and winning the World Series. If Omar pulls this off, he's a genius.
Abreu Lidle Deal
Positives: Well the positives are obvious they gave up little to nothing to get two guys that will have a large impact the remainder of the season. While its nice to see Aaron Guiel contribute, its also nice to not have to watch a guy who got cut from the Royals start in the outfield for the Yanks. Abreu immediately adds more depth to the lineup and with his OBP he will supply more RBI opportunities for Bernie and Jorge. In addition it is actually a complete misnomer this season that the Yanks simply look for the 3-run homer. The Yankees are tied for 3rd in baseball, yes third in all of the Majors, for most steals this season. That isn't waiting for the 3-run homer, Abreu has 20 steals now and will continue to run. We'll have to wait and see if the power comes back, but he is a significant upgrade of Bubba Crosby or Aaron Guiel.
Cory Lidle is a significant upgrade for the 5th starter. I am ecstatic that I no longer have to endure anymore Sidney Ponson starts. Thank the Lord. Lidle, isn't going to go out and throw shutouts every time out but I don't expect him to get consistently ripped to shreds like Ponson would for the remainder of the season.
There is no real reason to knock this trade for this season, Abreu and Lidle are significant upgrades over who the Yankees were previously playing at those spots, and I truly believe that this will catapult the Yanks to at minimum the wild card, and without a move from the Red Sox I expect the Yanks to overtake the Sox for the division.
Negatives: Alright, with all the positives of this deal there are a few negatives. First of all I'm not really all that big a fan of Abreu. Basically, I'm not thrilled with having Abreu locked up for the next few years, I honestly would have much rather gotten Soriano for this year and let him go. I really want Melky to play in the outfield next season. He plays great defense and is heating up at the plate. So for the future I don't necessarily like this move.
Sheffield has got to be pissed off. Surprise. First off he now knows that when he comes back he's probably going to DH which he doesn't like to do. But mostly it's blatantly obvious that the Yanks have zero intention of picking up his option at the end of the season, and this is what he pissed and moaned about at the beginning of the season. So hopefully he's kept under wraps and doesn't see any media the next few days or expect some whining comments from him.
Lidle isn't stellar, but he is certainly better than Ponson, Lidle will help them make a playoff charge but will have little to no effect in the playoffs.
Early Morning Tiger Move
The Tigers went out this morning and picked up Sean Casey, now I'm not fully sure why Pittsburgh gave up on Casey considering they just got him this offseason, he is from Pittsburgh and really wanted to be there and the fans liked him, but this is a good move for the Tigers. Shelton, since week 1, has been a complete bum. Not only at the plate but yesterday, he missed a ground ball which began a 6 run avalanche in the 8th inning (I'm bitter Bonderman was going and I have him in both leagues). Casey is a consistent .300+ hitter, he's a lefty bat to put in the lineup which they have been lacking the whole season and simply put he's a good baseball player and tends to be a good influence in the clubhouse. Certainly, not a monumental life altering deal but a solid move by Le Tigres.
Friday, July 28, 2006
In typical rookie form Reggie Bush is holding out of camp for the dinero. Now a lot of the time I think this is stupid and costly for the player, see Cedric Benson last year and how much PT he got after his hold out, but I lay this blame completely on the Saints. First off they weren't overly active in contract talks until this week, that is three months of sitting idle while you have a stud rookie that you should be frothing at the mouth at to figure out ways to utilize. Instead the Saints basically twiddled their thumbs and have the typical rookie holdout.
Mario Williams 6-yr 54 million (26.5 guaranteed)
Vince Young 6-yr 58 million (25.9 guaranteed)
It's pretty simple he better then both of those guys so combine their strong point of the contract and give him a 58 million dollar contract with 26.5 guaranteed. There you go simple contract and winner for both sides.
In other Reggie Bush news, that ESPN mobile commercial he is in is sweet. Where he's sitting on a couch with his buddies during a fantasy draft and his buddy drafts LJ, and he turns to him and goes "Dude that's messed up, I'm not even gonna go #1 in my own league, I won the Heisman", the dude then renegs picks Bush, to which Bush goes good I'll take LJ man your idiot, LJs ranked #1.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Inspired by Prior leaving a No-Hitter in the 6th inning I am going to breakdown these two highly paid injury prone "stars"
Assortment of Injuries
Tommy John Surgery - In 1999 after winning the Rookie of the Year Wood went threw the big whammy of Tommy John Surgery causing him to miss the entire 1999 season and beginning of the 2000 season.
Strained Biceps - In 2004 Wood missed much of the season due to a strained bicep. Now think about a typical throwing motion and then contemplate how one could really put that much strain on their bicep to hurt it.
Labrum Injury - In 2005 Wood suffered many shoulder issues, resulting in him being moved to relief and experimented as a closer. After these moves failed miserably he was shortly placed back in the starting rotation before being shut down and having season ending surgery in August on his Labrum.
Torn Rotator Cuff - This season after bouncing to and from the DL and complaining of a weak arm a doctor finally noticed that he had a Torn Rotator Cuff. In recent news Wood has contemplated whether it was in fact his rotator cuff which bothered him last year and not completely his Labrum, and whether the surgery he had in August of 05 was the right move.
Collision with Marcus Giles - In 2003 Mark Prior dump trucked Marcus Giles while running the bases, this cause him to miss both the all star game and about 4 starts. Marcus Giles missed a much more significant amount of time. However, this is arguably one of the unluckiest injuries a player can get.
Achilles Tendon - Prior suffered an Achilles injury at the start of the 2004 campaign which forced him to miss the first two months of the season. In actuality this was better than the Tommy John Surgery that many people speculated he might need, so the few months was a lot better than the mandotory year DL stint that the big elbow surgery requires.
Drilled in the Elbow - In 2005 Prior missed a few games to start the season, but suffered a compression fracture after Brad Hawpe drilled a ball up the middle and Prior was hit directly in the elbow by the 117 mph line drive.
Strained Shoulder - Prior during his Spring Training throwing program at the start of the 2006 season complained of shoulder stiffness and resulted in him making his 2006 debut on June 18th.
Strained Oblique - On July 14th Prior landed on the DL due to straining his oblique during batting practice. And quite possibly could have aggravated that injury while covering first base while still throwing a no hitter against the Mets on Wednesday.
Winner: Wood, this is purely coming from a standpoint of what is more frustrating, guys getting seriously injured, like Wood, or pesky little injuries that seemingly put a player on the DL like Prior.
Wood made a large 12 million dollars this year, however mercifully he is off the books for the Cubs following the 2006 season. Unfortunately for the Cubs I am unsure if he will qualify as a major free agent leaving the squad which results in those sandwich picks between the 1st and 2nd rounds of the MLB draft.
Mark is only making 3.65 million dollars this year. His contract as well terminates in 2006 but he is arbitration eligible and one would assume he would opt for arbitration, so who knows what he will get for 2007. However I heard he was offered an 8 million dollar contract.
Winner: Wood made 12 mill this year, Prior hasn't gotten a huge contract, and probably won't be given a longterm contract from the Cubs anytime soon.
During Kerry's prime years (98, 01-03) he was one of the most dominant strike out pitchers in the game, recording well over 200 Ks in each season, and had an ERA in the low to mid 3s in each of these seasons. Basically, Kerry Wood was an all star caliber pitcher in every season he has been healthy. His win total has never exceeded 14 (03) however as I've stated in the past win total is not a very good estimation of how well a pitcher has thrown.
Bonus Point: Wood pitched game 7 against the Marlins in 2003, hit a homer, and blew the lead and received the loss.
Mark has had the best season of the three, winning 18 games and finishing 3rd in the Cy Young in 2003. However, he has yet to play a full season in the league and he has shown less consistency then Kerry Wood, so while he has shown a larger flash of greatness it is difficult firmly state he is a better pitcher than Wood.
Bonus Point: Prior was the starter of the Bartman game and also the loser of the game.
Winner: Prior, he has slightly more potential to be a dominant pitcher than Wood. Wood is a great strikeout pitcher, but you never had expectations of him having a sub 3 ERA.
Kerry Wood & Mark Prior
Kerry Wood and Mark Prior can easily be bunched together when discussing the Cubs dependence on their troubled star pitchers. If Wood and Prior were in the rotation, the Cubs would have 3 stellar starters with Zambrano a strong candidate for the Cy Young this season. Without them the Cubs have only three pitchers who have started 10+ times (Zambrano, a withering Greg Maddux and rookie Sean Marshall) and have run out pitchers the likes of Glendon Rusch to Jae Kuk Ryu in their 4 and 5 spots. Simply put the Cubs seasons success was predicated on the health of Wood and Prior and without them they are what they are a bottom 5 MLB team.
Overall Winner of the Killing the Cubs Award
Kerry Wood. Prior might be better but the overriding factor is that Wood is making 12 mill in comparison to 3.65 mill. That's a big difference. In addition Kerry Wood has had the more serious of the injuries. So congrats Kerry, if I had a trophy or a plaque I would give it to you.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
AJ Hawk & Girlfriend Laura Quinn, sister of Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn just in case you forgot got married yesterday in an extravagant ceremony. Well actually they just went to a local lawyer got their legal marriage certificate and that was it. AJ didn't even bother taking off his Under Armour getup. They have a extravagant wedding planned in March, but wanted to be married before they moved in together. Apparently they are old fashioned even though AJ on the football field appears as if he would truck over babies in order to get to the QB.
But this remains me of the atrociousness of Laura Quinn at the Fiesta Bowl this January. She wore the split brother and future husband jersey, that made me want to vomit. First of all any split jersey / jersey collaboration is always atrocious but to wear a jersey that is half and half of the opposing teams. Stop riding the fence, either pick a frigging team to root for or just not where any apparel to the game. So when your future husband sacked your poor little brother during the Fiesta Bowl shitshow, did you feel happy or sad that little bro was going to have bruises the next day. Could you imagine some ass wearing a Jeter Jersey with a Red Sox hat to a Yankee Sox game, I would hope that person would get beat up by both Bostonians and New Yorkers.
In addition this lead to the sweet AJ Bangs Catholics poster, the only thing that comes to mind that has made Ohio St. associated with being cool. But they even messed it up cause the Quinns are Methodists, ha.
Win - Loss – 8 – 7
RBI Machine - 5 for 15
Winning Pitcher - 8 for 15
8-2 ...... Halladay was pitching for the Jays, easy pick
2 for 10 .. No Arod Moment
5 for 10 .. Halladay
Win - Loss - 88 - 62
RBI Machine - 25 for 150
Winning Pitcher – 63 for 150
A solid night with the RBI machine as the big guns Manny and Bay came through as well as Ray Durham Durham, Aramis stayed hot as well as Adrian Gonzalez. Good night for Winning Pitcher, but mediocre night overal for picks.
Win - Loss - 12-3 on 6/14
RBI Machine - 5 for 15 on 7/25
Winning Pitcher - 9 for 15 on 5/30 & 6/6
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Detroit vs. Cleveland Giants vs. Nationals
Winner - Tigers Winner - Giants
RBI Machine - Magglio RBI Machine - Durham
WP - Rogers WP - Morris
Angels vs. Drays Arizona vs. Philadelphia
Winner - Angels Winner - Phillies
RBI Machine - Vlad RBI Machine - Burrell
WP - Santana WP - Madson
Twins vs. White Sox Cubs vs. Mets
Winner - Twins Winner - Cubs
RBI Machine - Morneau RBI Machine - Ramirez
WP - Santana WP - Zambrano
Yanks vs. Texas Florida vs. Braves
Winner - Yanks Winner - Braves
RBI Machine - ***Arod*** RBI Machine - McCann
WP - Mussina WP - James
Red Sox vs. As Brewers vs. Pittsburgh
Winner - Sox Winner - Pirates
RBI Machine - Manny RBI Machine - Bay
WP - Schilling WP - Sell
Os vs. KC Reds vs. Astros
Winner - Os Winner - Astros
RBI Machine - Hernandez RBI Machine - Berkman
WP - Benson WP - Clemens
Jays vs. Mariners Cards vs. Rocks
Winner - ***Jays*** Winner - Cards
RBI Machine - Reed Johnson RBI Machine - Edmonds
WP - ***Halladay*** WP - Carpenter
A Whale's Vagina vs. Dodgers
Winner - A Whale's Vagina
RBI Machine - Gonzalez
WP - Chan Ho
What: Colin is a Radio Host on ESPN Radio, the host of "The Herd"
Where/When: ESPN Radio typically from 10am - 1pm. I listen to him on ESPN 1050 in NYC where he is on from 10-noon.
Why: Colin is pretty much a typical sports guy. Completely strongly opinionated and he doesn't give a crap if he offends anybody. Occasionally you will disagree with him and become annoyed by how strongly he believes he is right but for the most part he is straight on with how I feel and he pretty much says everything that is going on in my head. Basically it's hours of him ranting opinions. Quality stuff.
Best Moment: Colin completely went off on UVA Cavaliers and how they are the softest bunch of Zima drinking pansy football program on the planet. He got Charlottesville so riled up that he was the #1 story on their newspapers sports website and the kid reporter went and interviewed him. Both of this clips are hilarious, and highly accurate. UVA always has talent, they typically have highly ranked recruiting classes, often by the scouts eyes out recruiting VT, yet they always get demolished by VT and could not carry VT's jock.
Sum Up: Colin is the man, he's humurous and you should tune in your radio while you're at work for a few hours of entertainment.
Update: As of the end of the College football season Cowherd has turned into much more of a douche bag and his shut down of The Big Lead was lame. And I've started to listen to Max Kellerman on 1050 everymorning instead.
Monday, July 24, 2006
1. The NFL has signed on Prince to do the halftime show of the Superbowl. Please shoot me. And the last song that Prince had that was popular was? Please eliminate the half time show no one, I repeat no one likes it.
2. Last week the Italians finally finalized their gambling scandal. 3 of the 4 teams were relegated to the lower league while one was severely penalized in points next year. Juventus the team most harshly penalized has won 29 titles since the inception of the league so approximately 110 years. So basically they are the Yankees of the Italian league Serie A. Due to their relegation every single player on their roster is free to move to another team. Could you imagine the ruccus if every Yankee from Jeter to ARod was a free agent? That would be completely ludicrous, I bet it's fun to be a beat reporter of Juventus right now. And terrible to be a fan.
3. I hate Sidney Ponson, he is terrible has always been terrible. Anyone that was hopeful when the Yanks picked him up could not possibly be a Yankee fan. He is worse than Chacon or any other bum the Yanks could throw out there.
4. I hate head to head fantasy leagues. I'm getting completely boned in my CBS league because I always end up getting matched up with people who have their best week of the season. I have put up the most points in the league and lie at 7-7. I have to losses to Lunchbox and if I played him every week I would be 10-4.
5. NYC sports talk radio is getting ridiculous. The only thing they talk about is Arod, it seems to me to be a stale story. He's not going to get traded anytime soon. The fact that the media cared that he went sunbathing and that it could have had an effect on his game, is so profoundly idiotic its unbelievable. All they do is talk about whether he's ever going to get out of this slump how messed up his mind is, blah blah blah, the same shit everyday, it hasn't changed in a month its the same story. Same exact story. Talk about something else during your show.
6. Michael Kay is a goon. He is currently criticizing Tiger Woods for saying that he won this major for his father. Saying that everyone loses a parent and blah blah blah and that it takes away from Chris Dimarco and his mother. Michael Kay he didn't say he won because of his father he just said that this was dedicated to his father. What's their to criticize? He won the event and said it was in honor of his mentor and best friend.
7. More Michael Kay, the guy will rip the Yankees on his radio program. Constantly rip their week lineup, and Jeter and Torre for not backing Arod, and then he gets on YES and he might as well walk around on his knees because he gives so many blow jobs. He flip flops in the span of 30 minutes, it's unbearable, atleast Remy makes no mistake about it that he's pro Red Sox. Jeter should not have to come out and baby Arod and tell the fans not to boo him, that would piss me off and make me want to boo him more. New Yorkers don't want to be told what to do.
8. More Michael Kay, he and Mike Mussina have a non existant relationship they don't like each other. So on his radio program Michael Kay tour apart Mussina for his comments about Arod. Michael Kay is an Arod apologist because he's friends with him, but he doesn't like Mussina so he will rip him. Mussina said nothing but the truth, he said that the error hurt the team. The error lead to the inning spiraling was a bit of an offbased comment. But then he said that the team needs Arod to be what he's supposed to be. Complete fact the Yankees need Arod to meet his lofty expectations to make the playoffs period. People blow any criticism of Arod completely out of proportion.
9. Finalizing the Arod nonsense, Arod gets booed because he doesn't live up to the fans expectations period. It's not the fact that he isn't Jeter it's not the fact his rich as hell. The Yankee fan expects Arod to be the best player in the league, like he was hyped up to be, and he blatantly hasn't so fans are annoyed. Expectations are the killer for any person, build up high expectations and when you perform high but not up to expectations people will be disappointed, have low expections and achieve to the same level and people will be thrilled. Thats it, if Shaq puts up 15 and 10 you say mediocre, if Mark Madsen puts up 15 and 10 you say wow great job tonight Mark.
10. I couldn't care less about the Tour de France whether Lance Armstrong was in it or not. I have no interest in watching people bike ride up hills. And the fact that the guy Landis who won, needs hip replacement surgery, makes me think even less of Armstrongs achievements. Name me another sport you could participate in if you needed hip replacement surgery.
11. I love watching Steve Philips on espn analyze GM moves when he was the moron to sign Mo Vaughn, Robby Alomar and Roger Cedeno to enormous contracts. I really hope that Isiah Thomas gets a job at ESPN to analyze trades for the NBA once he gets fired after this season.
The guy is amazing. He spent the whole weekend cool and calm, missed only a few fairways, missed only a few greens and the only time he seemed even a little bit flustered was when people kept using their phone cameras and flashing pictures when he was about to go on a his back swing.
Some people call him robotic, and you know what I think thats a good thing, I call it focus. A lot of us do not have the focus and the ability to play one shot at a time and that's why he's so great at golf. There is a similarity that can be drawn from Golf and Poker and that is the term Tilt. Like Poker when a player takes a bad beat and gets flustered and in turn ruins their game, golf has a similar feel when you mess up a hole or a shot that you really think you should have made you can get off balanced and kill your remaining game. This visibly happened to Sergio, who after the missed putt on the second hole no longer had any confidence with his putting and it ran him out of contention after the front 9. Tiger on the other hand has the ability to stay even keeled more than anyone on the tour and this is a big reason why he has a chance to go down as the greatest player ever.
For those fools that have stated that Tiger has lost his intimidation factor and that people are less afraid him now then they were in the early 2000s I would just like them to bear witness to the play of Ernie Els and Sergio this weekend. Combined they shot -14 the day before they played with Tiger, combined the following day they shot even par. They both had their worst rounds when playing with Tiger, still think that the players aren't intimidated by him.
The No Driver Stuff
Some people are complaining that this course was too easy and that no course should allow a player to not use their driver and have the ability to win the golf tournament. I completely disagree. Everyone on the course other than Tiger pulled out their driver. Every single player, Tiger is just smarter and that much better than everyone with his iron play. Tiger is better hitting a 4 iron into the green than the majority of the tour is hitting a wedge into the green. In addition he can hit a 3-wood just as far as many players can hit their drivers. It just shows that he is a complete player with an unmatched skillset.
Most Ridiculous Outfit
Now that Europeans every have embraced color, PGA tour events have seen some ludicrous outfits. Whether it be either of Sergio's pastel feature suits complete with accenting Adidas Spikes and Visor, or any person wearing bleached white pants, or of course anything with pink in it. You have to wonder whether Sergio and other European golfers have more pairs of spikes than the typical woman has shoes. But the runaway winner for most ridiculous outfit has to be Ian Poulter. Not only is he wearing a British flag esque shirt complete with a ridiculous amount of rhinestones. But the man who is brash enough to have a headcover of himself, had the Clarett Jug embroidered on his pant leg. Now that is ludicrous.
I know they were saying that it hasn't rained there in a long time and I know the typical British Open Course is no where near as green as the typical US course due to the British lack of desire to irrigate their courses, but come on. Bring out a hose on the green or something. My lawn seems to be in better condition and more lively than any piece of grass on the course.
The jinx went through again as I predicted Vijay to win, he had been top ten in the past 7 majors, and he didn't make the cut. I won't exactly take credit for a Woods victory, nor will I ever because it's too easy. I did call for a Sergio collapse and a pink outfit so I came close to that with his all yellow ensemble and his front 9 collapse on sunday. I would call my predictions ok, certainly better than the sham that were my US Open Predictions.
Friday, July 21, 2006
In a world filled with unintentional humor the Baltimore Orioles are leading the charge this week. The Orioles were having a baseball promotional classic, the bobblehead doll. Sorry Darius Miles, you still do not have one. Well these bobblehead dolls were going to depict 2B Brian Roberts and 3B Melvin Mora in some sort of handshake they partake in after every victory. Maybe it's actually the Orioles fault for not winning enough games so the manufacturer couldn't accurately portray this scene.
Well the manufactures initially made a prototype which the Orioles looked at and told the manufactures that Brian in fact has a tan and that he is not a pale white Polish kid. Well, then the manufactures went in the complete opposite extreme turning Brian into a black man. Luckily for the O's the saw the doll and realized that this one looked absolutely nothing like Roberts and have pulled the plug before the give away on Saturday.
Poor Brian Roberts, labeled only a third-tier collectible by a local card store owner and mistaken for a black man all in the span of a few days.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
So what do you do when you are drafted into the NBA, you flame out in a matter of months but you still have a nice guaranteed 3 year deal. Well you sit and relax obviously. What do you do once that three year deal expires? Take up Boxing? Huh, Boxing? Um Ok.
Troy Bell a boxer really? I mean he showed tons of quickness and was a star for BC for four years but boxing? Really? Wouln't you think more Craig Smith if you were looking for a fighter to come from the BC Basketball team, I mean thats who I would not want to meet in a dark alley.
Well we'll see on July 23rd whether Troy is a better boxer than he was an NBA Player.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
4 People to Watch to Contend
Obvious - Tigger Woo - Well pretty much every tournament Tigger Woo is a contender, although I'm pretty sure this course is not on his video game so he will have to substantially work on his familiarty with the layout while Saint Andrews is definately in the game, as shown by his performance last year, countless people helped Tiger Woods practice by fiddling with their joysticks.
Doble Down? - Geoff Ogilvy - I expect the US Open Champ to be right there at the British, I don't think he will win but I am expecting a top 15 finish.
Go Irieman - Padraig Harrington - He just might be the best player on the tour not to have a major or really ever seriously contend this week he'll be up there in the standings, or maybe his cousin will make another World Series of Poker final table, one of the two will happen.
Kickin off the Rust - Lee Westwood - Sure he has played terrible this year and hasn't made a cut since before the Masters, but good ole Lee is going to be in the running. I had to pick atleast one brit, this was most likely not the one to pick.
3 People to Hit the Fan
Ain't Gonna Happen - Sergio Garcia - Remember when Sergio was the next guy. The guy that was going to be Tiger's heated rival. Well he actually was just an annoying Spanish guy who stood over the ball for about an hour each shot. Well now he makes the cut in almost every event but never really truly threatens. Expect a finish between 20-30 and basically only shown in the coverage cause he is wearing some fruity shirt on sunday.
I'm an Idiot - Phil Mickelson - He never does particularly well in Britain and lets face it do you expect him to fully bounce back after his complete and epic collapse. I don't hence I expect him to be just slightly over the cut line and never really contend.
Piece Out Africa - Retief Goosen - Struggling Retief is going to miss the cut I repeat miss the cut. Possibly.
2 People to Root For
The Brit - Monty - He was a complete idiot and shat the bed in the US Open but you have to root for Monty to have a good weekend. He looks like that old british butler you've always wanted.
Locale Boy - JJ Henry - It's a common weekly theme. JJ qualified for the Open after his win in Hartford and somehow someway sits at #6 in the Rider Cup Rankings. Who knew, maybe his first trip to Britain can end up in a top 20.
VAJAY - This time I'm going with the Vajmeister. He's due for a major. He hasn't grabbed one since the 2004 PGA but if you haven't noticed he has finished in the Top 10 in every Major since. SO basically he's always there, and this will be the week he puts it all together to grab the Claret Jug.
Last Weeks Picks
Win - Loss – 8 – 7
RBI Machine - 0 for 15
Winning Pitcher - 6 for 15
7-2 ...... The Red Sox were playing the Royals not difficult
2 for 9 .. I went 0 for RBI Machine this week
4 for 9 .. Friggin Oswalt never gets love
Win - Loss - 80 - 55
RBI Machine - 20 for 135
Winning Pitcher – 55 for 135
Ya not a solid week, but certainly not my worst. 0 for RBI Machine is terrible though, not even a single draw.
Win - Loss - 12-3 on 6/14
RBI Machine - 4 for 15 on 6/14
Winning Pitcher - 9 for 15 on 5/30 & 6/6
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Boston vs. Royals Rockies vs. Pirates
Winner - ***Sox*** Winner - Rockies
RBI Machine - Manny RBI Machine - Atkins Diet
WP - Lester WP - Jose Mesa
Mariners vs. Yanks Nats vs. Marlins
Winner - Yanks Winner - Marlins
RBI Machine - Jeter RBI Machine - Jacobs
WP - Farnsworth WP - Willis
As vs. Os Mets vs. Reds
Winner - Os Winner - Reds
RBI Machine - Hernandez RBI Machine - Griffey
WP - Ray WP - Milton
White Sox vs. Tigers Astros vs. Cubs
Winner - Sox Winner - Astros
RBI Machine - Dye RBI Machine - Berkman
WP - Garland WP - ***Oswalt***
Rangers vs. Blue Jays Dodgers vs. Arizona
Winner - Rangers Winner - Dodgers
RBI Machine - Young RBI Machine - Kent
WP - Padilla WP - Billingsley
Drays vs. Twins St. Louis vs. Atlanta
Winner - Drays Winner - Atlanta
RBI Machine - Rocco RBI Machine - Chipper
WP - Kazmir WP - Hudson
Indians vs. Angels Philly vs. "A Whale's Vagina"
Winner - Indians Winner - "Whale's Vagina"
RBI Machine - ***Hafner*** RBI Machine - Gonzalez
WP - Lee WP - Hensley
Milwaukee vs. Gigantes
Winner - Brew Crew
RBI Machine - The Prince
WP - Ohka
I'm a huge Michigan Wolverine fan, no I didn't go there and I've never even been in the state of Michigan but I've been a fan since I was 9 when the fab five was cool and I have never dropped Michigan since as my favorite college hoop and football squad. Chris Webber to this day has been my favorite hoopster and I even have a Brian Griese #12 Wolverine Jersey, unfortunately whoever got it for me as a present didn't get me the sweet ass #2 Woodson jersey.
However, since 1997 Michigan has vastly underachieved with the talent he has recruited. A trip to the Alamo bowl last year? While other universities have had high hopes and often time similar disappointments and equally no National titles, Lloyd seemingly every season has a major gaff in the opening weeks, and if you haven't noticed in College football one loss there's a good chance you should just pack up the season. Lloyd almost single handedly let Tyrone Willingham keep his job as he was unable to beat Notre Dame even during there down years, not to mention a terrible loss on the road to Oregon on the first road journey one season.
In addition any sports fan knows that one of the greatest and most tradition filled rivalry is the Wolverines Buckeyes showdown in the last week of the Big 10 season. Well Lloyd has been getting his ass whooped by the big cheater Tressel and this is unacceptable.
Personally, with his limited expectations reached in the past decade I would give him this year to turn it around and that's it.
But here's the kicker any time the man has spoken in public, he appears to be a bitter angry and heartless man. Once question by a sideline reporter why he wasted the clock at the end of the half instead of trying to score, a very very valid question, he snarled at the women with a holier than though how dare you question me attitude. And now Lloyd Carr is basically solely responsible for the firing of a referee with one eye who has been employed by the Big 10 for the past 13 years, the last 5 with one eye, and he even worked an Orange Bowl. Lloyd Carr is a heartless son of a bitch and I hope he gets fired so that Michigan can bring in a classy coach who can possibly approach the lore that the 110,000 fans per home game deserve.
Monday, July 17, 2006
As a Yankee fan I was obviously demoralized when both Sheffield and Matsui got injured only days apart and watching the performance of the Melky Cabrera, I turn line drives into inside the park homers, of the 2005 season I was hardly looking forward to the remainder of the season. And while Melky has yet to show power numbers and certainly not the hitter of the caliber of Sheffield or Matsui, I will not be disappointed in the slightest if one of the two are unable to come back for the stretch run (Preferably Matsui, I have Sheffield on my fantasy team and would like to get atleast one month of production out of him).
One thing that has become increasingly evident, yet the Yankees ignored this in the past, is that a baseball team is not solely built around a superstar laden lineup. Looking at the Yankee's championship team of the 90's you will see players like Chad Curtis, Scott Brosius, Shane Spencer, etc. In the starting lineup. None of these guys ever were perennial all-stars but they were always solid contributors.
Melky, currently is batting a decent .278 with limited power numbers but he provides something that neither Matsui or Sheffield have in the past two seasons, solid defense. If you watched yesterday's game you would have seen Melky gun a player out at the plate in a crucial situation. Not only is Melky making accurate strong throws (He has 8 assists already) but he has made plenty of catches in the outfield that both Matsui and Sheffield would not have made. With Arod, Jeter, and Giambi anchoring the middle of the lineup the Yanks have three incredibly productive players that can be matched by a limited amount of MLB teams. What they have been dying for is for some defense to stabilize their pitching and give their starters some confidence that the outfield will make plays.
So here's to Melky being this years Cano, and being completely different than the frightened child he was in Fenway last year.
I am in a head-to-head points league with some of my buddies from school and each week you set your lineup meaning each week I have to look at my team and decide which pitchers to pitch. Now usually its a relatively easy decision, I go with the 4 closers I have and the pitchers that are scheduled to make 2 starts during the week. However, since it was a shortened week and the closers had less of a chance to get saves while every starter was scheduled to pitch there was more upside in going with the starters. So as the roster moves needed to be created I looked at the sunday starters and had to choose between Brad Penny and Dave Bush. While this might seem like an easy selection considering Penny started the all-star game and Dave Bush is mid-rotation starter for the Brewers to me it wasn't the easiest of decisions. While I like Penny, obviously I drafted him, I think he is a bit overrated and he was facing the Cardinals while Bush who has been underrated and would have more wins if Turnbow hadn't been such a douche bag would have a better record and he was facing the Diamondbacks. I flip-flopped about 4 times before I settled on Penny, I mean he was the starter of the all-star game he shouldn't get rocked right? Wrong, I lost by 10 points, 10 points that Bush got because he got the victory while Penny got lit up. Damn it.
The worst part about it was that my most reliable pitcher, and man-crush, Scott Kazmir was scheduled to throw on Sunday and easily would have gotten me ten points but he got pushed back because of a stiff friggin neck. What kind of miserable luck is that? Scott by a temperpedic mattress.
Friday, July 14, 2006
The Yankee signing Sidney Ponson is ranks right up there with their 4 game collapse in 2004 as the worst moments I have ever had as a Yankee fan. Pontoon has had one good season his whole career and that was complete bi-product of the fact that he got about 8 runs of supports every game he won. Then he somehow thieved a big contract off the Oreos. In addition he was knighted in Aruba, maybe they were trying to protect themselves from beached whales, I'm sure with Pontoon on the beach whales would scurry away. This rivals the Vin Baker contract as worst contract of all time. Lucky for the Oreo's Pontoon had a binge drinking problem and they were able to perge the contract. Then he goes to the Cards sucks it up and they cut him for Jeff Weaver, who has an ERA above 6. But the Yanks signed him and are starting him right away, this is great. The only thing Pontoon has going for him in the AL is that his fat bucket of fried chicken eating ass doesn't have to hit anymore so Pontoon can save himself from the obvious convulsions he goes through while attempting to roll himself to first base after the rare occasion he makes contact.
I actually want the Yankees to get hammered on Tuesday night so that I wont have to see that fat man on the mound for more than one game. And then the Yanks can go out and get Lima time when the Mets cut him so I can once again throw up in my mouth on my commute home when I hear the 20/20 sports update.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
1. Jim Thome
Biggest one horse race of all time, if Thome doesn't win comeback player of the year than I'll be completely shocked.
Rookie of the Year
1. Francisco Liriano
2. Jonathan Papelbon
3. Justin Verlander
4. Joel Zumaya
5. Ian Kinsler
Poor Justin Verlander, the kid has a miniscule ERA in the low threes and almost any other year he would be the frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year but right now he's not even a contender. The battle between Paps and Liriano is neck and neck and will be a very intriguing watch down the stretch.
1. Francisco Liriano
2. Roy Halladay
3. Jonathan Papelbon
4. Johan Santana
5. Mike Mussina
There have been plenty of fantastic performances by pitchers in the first half but no one has better more phenomenal than Liriano. Since moving into the starting rotation Liriano has made a total of ten starts, 10. In those games he has pitched 61 innings and given up a total of 10 runs. That's an ERA of 1.48 for a starter. In those 10 games he's thrown a quality start every time and is 9 - 1. Honestly, the only question is what the heck was he doing in the bullpen at the beginning of the year.
Halladay and Santana have put up great numbers and Moose might be having his best season in a Yankee Uniform, but really they just don't measure up at the midway point, Liriano has won 90% of his starts that is unfathomable.
1. Jonathan Papelbon
2. Derek Jeter
3. Vernon Wells
4. David Ortiz
5. Jim Thome
This award was by far the hardest to decide. There really isn't a single player who's carried his team. Ortiz has Manny by his side. Thome has both Konerko and Dye having terrific years. Jeter has Arod and Giambi. Designated Hitter is definitely an easier on your body and mind and has plenty of advantages over playing difficult positions like SS and CF which is why I give the edge to Jeter and Wells over Thome and Ortiz who are having terrific seasons. But the MVP comes down to what you believe is the most important player in the league to their team. Who if he was not on the roster this year they would have not been anywhere near where they are in the standings. And even though I do not believe that Papelbon has been the best pitcher in the league this season, (Closely Contested), I believe he is the reason why the Red Sox are in first place. If you look at the Red Sox what does their roster have, a terrific lineup starring David Ortiz but including a Hall of Famer in Manny, a terrific leadoff guy in Youkalis all the way down to a viable batter on the bench in Wily Mo, if he's healthy. The Red Sox also have a solid top of the rotation in Schilling, Wakefield, and Beckett even though their last two spots might be suspect. But their bullpen is in shambles. Foulke is out and even when he was in he was nothing like 2004. Timlin is ancient. And forget about Tavarez or Saenez. Without Papelbon the Red Sox would have the worst bullpen in the league, bar none, they would be in at best 3rd place in the division but with Papelbon the game is now 8 innings long and sometimes only 7 a Red Sox fans are getting a taste of what its been like for Yankee fans having Mariano for the past 10 seasons. Paps is my MVP.
Manager of the Year
1. Jim Leyland
2. Ozzie Guillen
3. Joe Torre
This is really a one horse race. The only way Jim Leyland coughs this up is if the Tigers have a historic collapse. One way or another he is certainly the midseason Manager.
Comeback Player of the Year
He's got the midseason award, but might lose it due to a Hammy pull that is due sometime in the coming weeks.
Rookie of the Year
1. Ryan Zimmerman
2. Dan Uggla
3. Josh Johnson
4. Prince Fielder
5. Hanley Ramirez
This is a tough battle between any player on the Marlins and Ryan Zimmerman. If you could combine the seasons of Uggla, Ramirez, Johnson etc. the Marlins would easily win the college World Series. I lean towards Zimmerman because he is A) My Boy B) Has two walkoff homers and a walkoff single C) He probably should win the Gold Glove at third base this season, he's on web gems every week.
1. Trevor Hoffman
2. Brandon Webb
3. Chris Capuano
4. Brad Penny
5. Tom Glavine
There have been a lot of terrific starters thus far in the NL. Namely Brandon Webb, Chris Capuano and Penny, but little seperates these pitchers as to their excellence this season. And even though closers rarely win this award and despite his terrible All Star game blip Trevor Hoffman has been the foundation for the Padres leading the NL West at the All Star Break. Hoffman has a a straight 1 ERA has saved 24 of 25 opportunities and his sole blown save came on an unearned run after a Khalil Green error. So pretty much he's been the perfect closer this season.
1. Lance Berkman
2. Albert Pujols
3. David Wright
4. Carlos Beltran
5. Nomar Garciaparra
Similar to the AL I look at this category as who if they were dropped would be completely different. Pujols has been phenomenal and will probably end up winning the MVP but he was on the roster when they lost basically every game to the AL and he also has Scott Rolen having a terrific season batting behind him. David Wright and Carlos Beltran have had great seasons but the Mets lineup is the best in the NL. Lance Berkman is the Astros offense. Ensberg is batting below .240, Preston Wilson strikes out every other at bat and Biggio is elderly. I know the Astros don't have a terrific record, but if Berkman was not on this team they would have absolutely zero chance of pulling off the second half storm that they have gone on for the past few seasons and I expect them to do the same this year.
Manager of the Year
1. Willy Randolph
2. Jerry Narron
3. Clint Hurdle
Credit it to a horrible division or to Willy, but the Mets have smooth sailing throughout the 2nd half of the season and are going to need a double digit losing streak in order to be threatened by any of their atrocious rivals in the NL East. Hurdle and Narron have the Rockies and Reds respectively, in contention so they deserve some praise but Randolph's got 12 game lead thats huge.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Alright this is the worst day of the year in sports. So other giving a recap of what was a pretty good all star game, which I dont feel like doing, I got nothing to say.
And I'm not going to mention the WNBA
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
For all of you that want the Homerun derby to go away, well guess what it isn't going anywhere. Just like the 3 point and dunk contest in the NBA the leagues have a weekend where they have a day to showcase some players, where nothing else is going on where they can make more money. So get ready to watch the homerun derby for the next century.
Anyway as to what I think of the Home Run derby, I enjoy it, especially when it is at one of the newer ballparks. I mean how often do you really watch a Pittsburgh Pirate game, even when they are playing your favorite team. That stadium is beautiful and it was showcased wonderfully by Ryan Howard and David Ortiz blasting bombs into the Alleghany.
Now would I call it must see TV, no certainly not. Was I fully glued to the televesion, nope. Did I watch the complete first round, na I was at the gym. But when I was watching the tube last night I threw on the derby and watched Howard try to hit Krukie in the back of the head. What else was on TV last night? So for those of you who want the Homerun derby to go away, I say forget about it, it gives me something to watch on a random monday night in July.
All Star Game
I'm bucking the trend of the AL winning almost every game, I think the NL has a similar lineup but they have a better and more rested pitching staff than the AL does. So watch out for the game 7 in the NL ballpark coming to an October near you. Or maybe the AL will just sweep the NL in another World Series.
Tuesday Night Pick'Em
RBI Machine: Edgar Renteria, he's going to play the longest with only one backup being Eckstein who sucks and I heard he's batting 5th which makes little to no sense.
Winning Pitcher: Carlos Zambrano, just a guess, who knows when he's going to pitch.
Monday, July 10, 2006
This match will forever be remembered for one single action and less for the winning team. Much like the Chris Webber timeout of yesteryear, so will Zidane's thoughtless moment overshadow a well played game. Obviously Zidane was frustrated, he had a perfect opportunity to put France ahead for good but was denied by a wonderful save by Buffon. In addition France had been outplaying Italy since the start of the second half and truly deserved the go ahead goal but could not find it. But after an ordinary man to man defense by Materazzi and what seemed to be some typical trash talk Zidane did the unthinkable. I don't care what Materazzi said, I don't care if he dropped something about his mother or his sister or his wife or any other family member you can not get ejected from the game there. You are the captain of the team in the most important game you could possibly participate in as a soccer player. And in addition you are minutes away from a penalty shootout which you would be the first person for France and possibly the world to shoot. You killed your team Zizou and you should be ashamed.
An American Analogy: Say Larry Bird is in game seven of the NBA Finals and he's already announced that he is retiring after the game. Now they are tied in overtime and for some reason the NBA has decided to have a best of 5 three point contest to decide the game after the first overtime. After a relatively normal box out, and completely away from the play Bill Lambeer and Bird say a few words to each other then Larry walks a few steps in front of Lambeer turns around, winds up and headbutts him in the chest and gets ejected. Leaving the Celtics without their best three point shooter to help them decide the biggest game of the year. And leaving any fan with the final lasting image of the player getting ejected, and their team losing because of it.
1st Half Penalty Kick
Alright I was rooting for Italy I said this last week so I am biased but that was a complete dive. The contact on the play wasn't enough to kill a mosquito and Molouda tripped on his own feet. So needless to say I was ticked off. And then while Zidane's little chip shot might have been deemed brilliant by the broadcast team, I thought it was an unnecessary flare. As seen in the penalty shootout as long as you strike the ball well it is almost impossible for the goalkeeper to make the save, to put it bluntly it was a risk that was lucky to go in.
In all honesty as a person rooting for Italy, Molouda was fouled in the box in the second have by Zambrotta and was not awarded a penalty, it was probably a make up call by the ref.
Rest of the 1st Half
For the rest of the first half the Italians dominated. The French sat back on their one zero lead and inspired zero counterattack. The Italians looked the better team for the first 45 and appeared almost unguardable during corner kicks and set pieces. The Materazzi equalizer was well deserved and well struck and at the half the Italians deserved no less then an equal score.
Rest of the Game
Something happened after half time to the Italians though, maybe they took some Tylenol PM or something but they came out flat and tired. They sunk back almost all of their midfielders into the defense leaving Luca Toni the lone attacker with occasional limited help from Alessandro Del Piero after he was substituted on. With the exception of Luca Toni's free kick header goal which was called back on a very close offside call, the Italians did nothing to impress or even threaten French Goaltender Fabien Bartez. The French were the much better team throughout the second half and the first overtime. And even as a person rooting for Italy at the start of the second half I thought the French deserved to win and would win. And then Zidane laid on hios headbutt and the flow of the game and the karma of the game pulled a 180. The Italians didn't dominate the last ten minutes, but they atleast weren't being dominated anymore and now they deserved to win because atleast they played with class.
Unfortunately for the French they were without their three veterans, Vieira, Henry and Zidane. One to injury, one to exhaustion, and one to stupidity. In addition the Italians have the better goaltender so the French went into the shootout behind. However, Buffon looked lost on penalty kicks the whole day, guessing the wrong direction everytime. Fortunately he was bailed out by Trezeguet pummeling the crossbar and the Italians perfection with their kicks. In the end I am glad Italy won, they outplayed and deserved to beat Germany in the semis and the classless act by Zidane ruined France's karma. I thought Fabio Cannavaro held the Italians defensive front together throughout the tourny and was deserved of the player of the tournament but they gave it to Zidane for some reason, weak.
Friday, July 07, 2006
In an ideal world, this would be the 25 man roster that I would put together today. I would want a blend of speed and power. A blend of youth and experience.
Joe Mauer - Sometimes when you look at players in baseball you end up looking at only their offensive numbers. If you look at only offensive numbers for a catcher the past few years the simple decision is Victor Martinez, but if you've watched any of the Yankee vs. Indians series you've noticed that Vick couldn't throw out a beached whale trying to steal second base. Mauer presents a blend of solid hitting and solid defense.
Albert Pujols - If you pick anyone other than Pujols, than I would like to know your reasoning because he is the perfect hitter. The man does not strike out, he hits for average he hits for power, he gets big hits in the clutch. He has had one of the most historic starts to his career. I would just invest in a masseuce so he could avoid that odd oblique strain.
Brian Roberts - Sure he may not be the sexy pick, I think he's hit only one homerun so far this year, but he is ideal for either the leadoff spot in the lineup or the 9 hole. His job is to get on base put himself in a position to score runs so that when the big boppers in the lineup come up they have opportunities.
David Wright - David is the present and future of the 3B position. He's got tons of pop to all fields and is developing into a great all around hitter. In addition he seems to get big hits when the Mets need them.
Derek Jeter - He's the captain, he's the leader of the ball club.
Manny Ramirez - Hey I might have bashed Manny for being a liar the other day, but he is one of the best hitters ever and he has shown zero signs of slowing down.
Vernon Wells - Maybe Vernon's great seasons run in 3 year cycles or maybe when pitchers are forced to throw to him and don't have the option to work around him he puts up huge stats. Well with zero weaknesses in this lineup Wells will see some fastballs.
Ichiro Suzuki - Ichiro is the perfect leadoff hitter. High batting average, solid on base percentage and blazing speed. He also has one of the best outfield arms in baseball.
David Ortiz - Simply put the most dominant DH in the game for his tenure in Boston. But could you imagine how perfect he woulf be in non DH games when he would be relegated to the bench. Imagine if you could use David Ortiz at will in import situations at the end of the game? Every knows, especially Yankee fans, that the last person you want to face in the bottom of the 9th is David Ortiz, with him on the bench, he's line up for that spot in every game.
Jose Reyes - A perfect option on the bench. Superhuman speed, experience at playing both second base and shortstop a cannon for an arm.
Ryan Howard - Kid hits bombs flat out, bombs. When a call for power is needed Howard would be on the bench to fulfill the need.
Ryan Zimmerman - In case you rarely watch baseball tonight, well turn on the tube at the end and your almost sure to see Zimm flash phenomenal leather on a Web Gem. David Wright, isn't exactly the greatest glovesmith in the majors and Zimmerman would be perfect for late inning defensive replacements, not to mention the fact he has two walk off homeruns already this season.
Grady Sizemore - The bench is full of young guns, to bring energy and some fire off the bench. Sizemore is a perfect blend of speed and power and would be able to fill in at any position in the outfield.
Michael Barrett - A right handed hitting catcher to spell Mauer, plus I thought the right hook he threw at AJ was hilarious.
2. Derek Jeter
3. Manny Ramirez
4. Albert Pujols
5. David Ortiz
6. David Wright
7. Vernon Wells
8. Joe Mauer
9. Brian Roberts
1. Johan Santana - All Johan needed last year was some run support to win the Cy Young, if he had been given that then we would be talking about the back to back winner. He's also one of the frontrunners for the award this year.
2. Chris Carpenter - A powerful veteran righty, who just happened to win the Cy Young last year.
3. Scott Kazmir - Scott is my boy, quite possibly my favorite pitcher in the league. A lot of this has to do with the fact that he turns into Sandy Koufax whenever he faces the Red Sox and part is because the Mets were stupid enough to trade him away for Victor Zambrano. Kazmir will be an all star for many years to come.
4. Jeremy Bonderman - This Bonds seems like he's been around forever but guess what he's still only 23 and while that 19 loss season may put a damper on his career winning percentage when all is said and done but as the number 4 in this rotation he will be terrific for years to come.
5. Francisco Liriano - Have you seen the numbers this kid is putting up. He's putting up the exact opposite run of what Zach Duke is on, he has given up 3 or less runs in every start this season, as opposed to Duke who is on a 13 game streak of 3 or more runs. Grooming a stud in the 5th spot of the rotation would be phenomenal.
Chien-Ming Wang - I believe in the ideal situation Wang would be the perfect pitcher in long relief. Wang is a pure sinker ground ball pitcher, he typically works ahead of the hitters and in moments where the opponents go up big in the beginning of the game Wang would be perfect to take advantage of the oppositions tendency to be overanxious with a big lead.
Scot Shields - Shields quitely the past 4 seasons has been one of the most important pitchers in baseball. He simply comes in and gets outs during the middle of games. And this with the propensity of starting pitchers to only go 6 innings is a necessity.
Joel Zumaya - He's leading the league in holds and he throws 100+ miles an hour, do you need more information.
BJ Ryan - Sure he's having a phenomenal year as a closer but thats not necessarily why I would want him on my roster. I want him there because he is a big tall lefty who could get anybody out and has had plenty of success as a setup man in the past.
Jon Papelbon - Is there any doubt that this kid is not a fluke, if the Red Sox decide next season to take him out of the bullpen they are taking a huge risk. On this roster he is being groomed to take over the Closers job for years to come.
Mariano Rivera - The most clutch pitcher in my life time, period.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
For those of you that haven't watched Sportscenter in over a day Greg Anderson when asked to testify against Bonds in Barry's perjury case has decided to go to jail instead of testifying. Here are some possibilities for Greg's loyalty to Bonds.
1) Barry told Greg that he was going to give him a signed picture and that he would be one of the lucky few to get one for free. Little did Greg know Barry had his fingers crossed behind his back.
2) Barry promised to get dressed up in his Paula Abdul getup and provide Greg with... singing lessons and perhaps a little tuning.
3) Barry said Greg would get a weeks pass to swim in Bonds' money pool ala Scrooge McDuck.
4) A Year Long Supply of B12 shots from Miguel Tejada's vendor.
5) Barry really never knowingly took steroids, Greg just wants to prove this by not telling the Grand Jury.
6) Barry told Greg that he could have a recurring role on Bonds on Bonds.
7) The Food is free in jail, didn't you know that, Greg does.
8) All he could think of when someone asked him to Testify was the fact that Rage Against the Machine broke up, this made Greg cry and refuse to talk.
9) Only needs one more month in Jail for his I spent 4 months in Jail bumper sticker, the I spent three months in jail bumper sitcker is pink and is a little too feminin, the four month one is dark purple.
10) Greg was guaranteed a life size Bonds blow up doll with pump up biceceps and forehead.
11) Got a shipment of Crystal Clear and Hand Cream as pre-payment for his not testifying. Didn't realize that these were not steroids so he agreed.
12) The Boys are in love.
Group A: 2 for 2, I had Germany and Ecuador advancing in that correct order.
Group B: 2 for 2, England and Sweden in that order another 2 for.
Group C: 2 for 2, Argentina and Netherlands, off to a Super start in the first 3 groups.
Group D: 2 for2, I had Mexico and Portugal just in the wrong order.
Group E: 1 for 2, The homer US pick failed but the Heritage Italy pick worked.
Group F: 1 for 2, Getting Brazil was tough, Japan let me down in game 1 collapse.
Group G: 1 for 2, I got France, no South Korea and had France in the #1 spot, my worst group
Group H: 1 for 2, Got Spain which was easy, and say no to my shocker Saudi squad.
Total: 12 for 16, I'd say that was pretty good, just got burnt by the Asians and US.
It's a lot harder to predict the second round in these group stage tournies because you can't necessarily predict what the matchups are going to be. But I had the first two matchups right.
My Quarterfinalists were: Germany, England, Argentina, Netherlands, Italy, France, Brazil and Spain.
So I had Spain instead of the Ukraine, and Netherlands instead of Portugal, so 6 for 8.
The matchups I had were different again with the exception that I had Germany vs. Argentina lined up, I also had the Italians play France in this round, just two rounds early.
My Semifinalists were: Germany, Italy, Brazil and England.
Missed out on France and Portugal so 2 for 4.
I went 0 for the semifinals I had Germany vs. Brazil, so no dice on those picks nor the finals. 0 for 3.
In total I think I did pretty well for myself. 20 for 31, that's batting over .600 on the decisions from the day the tourny started. Certainly better than my baseball picks have been of late.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I'm sick of people skipping the All-Star game, if you want to look at why there's less buzz about the All-Star game year after year, don't look at Interleague play. Do not say that with Interleague play now we these players play against each other all the time. It's not because of the tie ball game from a few years ago. It's not even the fact that the Mark Redman's of the world make the all star roster over Francisco Liriano because of the every roster must be represented rule. The reason the All Star game is on the decline is because of players like Manny Ramirez.
Manny has been voted by the fans to represent the American League as the starting left fielder. He puts up the numbers year after year, and after a slow start Manny now phenomenal numbers .312 23 and 63 Rbis. It's obvious that most Major League fans hold him in high regard and that Red Sox fans throughout the northeast stuff the ballots to get him into the game. But for another year there are rumors floating around that Manny is not going to go. That poor ole Manny's knee is bothering him and it needs rest. Yep I'm sure it is you've been taking so many weeks off and your numbers are so terrible because of it. Oh wait, your batting average of .312 is higher than it has been at any other point of the season.
Terry Francona is also a chump for covering Manny's back, just come out and say that Manny does not want to play in the All Star game don't make excuses. If Manny's knee has been so much of a problem this season why has he only missed 4 games the whole season? He's getting two days off during the break anyway and he surely will only play for a few innings. I'm sure that will put a lot of stress on that knee.
I agree with Buster Olney, Manny next year should not be included on the ballet, if he doesn't want to go to the game then screw him. I'd rather see someone voted into the game as a starter that will show up. It should be an honor that fans around the country want you above anyone else to play, but he treats it as a waste of time.
So for the Manny Ramirez of baseball and the many others out there that just say no to the All Star game, I say go F yourself.
Last Weeks Picks
Win - Loss – 6 – 9
RBI Machine - 1 for 15
Winning Pitcher - 4 for 15
6-2 ...... And the Cards come through in a long rain delay
2 for 8 .. Back to Back Weeks Manny Comes through, this time even in a Sox loss
4 for 8 .. How can you go wrong with Halladay
Win - Loss - 72 - 48
RBI Machine - 20 for 120
Winning Pitcher – 49 for 120
And my cold streak continues, I got mauled this week yet again except for the fact that I went 3 for 3 with my lock picks for the second straight week.
Win - Loss - 12-3 on 6/14
RBI Machine - 4 for 15 on 6/14
Winning Pitcher - 9 for 15 on 5/30 & 6/6
Monday, July 03, 2006
Baltimore vs. White Sox Florida vs. Washington
Winner - Sox Winner - Washington
RBI Machine - Thome RBI Machine - Nicky J
WP - Contreras WP - Patterson
Angels vs. Mariners Pirates vs. Mets
Winner - Angels Winner - Pirates
RBI Machine - Anderson RBI Machine - Bay
WP - Santana WP - Duke
Red Sox vs. DRays Cubs vs. Astros
Winner - Sox Winner - Cubs
RBI Machine - ***Manny*** RBI Machine - Barrett
WP - Schilling WP - Prior
Tigers vs. As Reds vs. Brewers
Winner - Tigers Winner - Reds
RBI Machine - Thames RBI Machine - Griffey
WP - Verlander WP - Arroyo
Yanks vs. Indians San Diego vs. Phillies
Winner - Yanks Winner - Padres
RBI Machine - ARod RBI Machine - Hensley
WP - Proctor WP - Giles
Toronto vs. Texas St. Louis vs. Atlanta
Winner - Toronto Winner - ***St. Louis***
RBI Machine - Wells RBI Machine - Rolen
WP - ***Halladay*** WP - Carpenter
Twins vs. Royals San Fran vs. Colorado
Winner - Twins Winner - San Fran
RBI Machine - Mauer RBI Machine - Durham
WP - Bonser WP - Schmidt
DBacks vs. Dodgers
Winner - Dodgers
RBI Machine - Nomahhhhhh
WP - Sele
10. Philadelphia 76ers - The 76ers went out and drafted two quality players who can definitely help out an NBA franchise with Bobby Jones and Rodney Carney. Bobby Jones will be able to alleviate some of the defensive pressures which could be placed on AI (if he is still on the roster that is). I question whether Carney is too similar to Iguodala and may clash styles in addition to their glaring need of a point guard which is why they are not slotted hire on the rankings.
9. LA Lakers - I'm a fan of Jordan Farmar, he's the reason UCLA made it to the final game of the tourny and he's a pure point. I like him more than I like Rondo and would have been placed if the Celtics picked him up. Overall I believe it was the best you could possibly do with the 26th pick.
8. Utah Jazz - Sometimes I think GMs and these guys that do Mock Drafts over analyze things. Even if Dee Brown is more 5-11 than the 6-0 ft he is listed at lets compare him to Rajon Rondo. Dee Brown is as fast if not faster than Rondo, he was an integral part of a Final 4 team and he is 10 times the shooter as Rondo, yet for some reason Rondo is a top 20 pick while Dee Brown falls to the middle of the 2nd. I give Utah a lot of credit for re-pairing Dee and Deron and I love this pick for Utah. Ronnie Brewer was arguably the best available player when they drafted and fit their needs and in the entry I wrote a few days ago I said the Jazz should draft Brewer, so they listened to me and had a solid draft.
7. Orlando Magic - Congrats to the Magic for drafting AA Redick. Or JJ "Last Call" Redick whichever you prefer. The Magic along with the Rockets were the two spots that I thought Redick would be a great pick. Sometimes basketball can be turned into a simple game, one of these times happens when you have an emerging dominant post player with a lights out deadeye three point shooter. Here's a simple formula, pass the ball to Redick on the wing, spread the other 3 players to the opposite end of the court and have Redick dump the ball downlow, now the closest defender can't double off of Redick for fear of the 3 this gives Howard extra seconds to work before the double arrives. In addition Howard is a beast on the offensive glass and will be able to find Redick on kickouts for open 3s all the time. Solid pick up by the Magic.
6. Chicago Bulls - I really do think Thomas might end up being the best player taken out of this draft, however I just see him right now as a raw athlete with a motor. If they really like Viktor Khrupa then they did a solid job of holding Aldridge hostage, but I can't say much about Khrupa. I would have kept Aldridge if I was John Paxson though. Also, I can't really say anything about Thabo other than scouts seemed to like him.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves - Foye was one of my favorite players in all of college basketball last year. He's a tough SOB that came up big in the tourny and when 'Nova needed him. I think Roy would have been a better pick up but I can't argue that heavily with them keeping Foye. Also, I think Craig Smith was a steal in the 2nd round, he's another player that I've watched a lot of and don't understand why he gets rated so low. He's 6 foot 7 which isn't exactly redwood height but the man was arguably the strongest player in all of college basketball last year and he will be able to rebound alongside KG, plus he's shown some touch around the hoop and was the key to BC's success the past two seasons.
4. Charlotte Bobcats - Draft that Stache, Draft that Stache, Draft that Stache. Well MJ went with the Stache interesting pick. He isn't going to play a lick of defense, but the Bobcats have athletes in Gerald Wallace and Emeka Okafor to take care of the defensive end. What they needed was scoring and thats what they will get with Morrison a straight scorer who I guarantee will average 15 points a game next season. I would have leaned towards drafting Gay but I think Morrison is a great fit.
3. Portland Trailblazers - Enough of the grilling of the Trailblazers for trading up to get the players they wanted. When you are drafting ahead of a team you have the power to hold them hostage. The Blazers wanted Aldridge the Bulls new this and new Thomas wouldn't be selected by the Bobcats so the Bulls held the Blazers by the cajones. But big deal the Blazers gave up only Viktor Khrupa, and since he was such a stellar performer last year for such a great team... who am I kidding I've never seen this kid play nor do I care to. But the best part of this draft was them trading up for Roy. Somehow the media killed them for this as well, which makes no sense. Paul Allen is the richest owner in all of professional sports around the world. All they gave up to trade Foye for Roy was 1 million dollars, I contemplate whether buying a Frosty at Wendy's is worth the 2 bucks I'm going to drop longer than Paul Allen thinks about whether he should drop a million dollars. Basically, they got two high upside guys and the most complete player in the draft for Viktor Khrupa, Sebastian Telfair and taking on Raef's contract, they did well, really well.
2. New Jersey Nets - If you've read anything I've had to say for the past few weeks I am a big fan of the skill set that Marcus Williams brings to the table, and think that he is an absolute steal at the 22nd pick in the draft. Marcus Williams is the Matt Leinart of this draft. Not only is he a stellar talent but he has similarly to Leinart fallen into the perfect situation. Marcus gets to come in and backup one of the best point guards of all time. The benefits of this are two-fold first he gets to watch and learn how to be a great NBA point guard, secondly he will have zero pressure to perform at a high level. Not to mention that any point guard would love to pass the ball to VC and Jefferson around the hoop. Throw in Boone, who was terrible last year at Uconn, but is a big body who could help the Nets get offensive rebounds they have not gotten in the past and the Nets had a fantastic draft.
And the Winner is....
1. Memphis Grizzlies - Hands down the winner of this draft. They are in the toughest division in basketball and needed to make changes to their roster and what they did in this draft can easily be described as genius. To trade away a player that could never be more than a role player in Shane Battier and to retrieve a pure athlete who will be reunited with his old team in Swift as well as the player in the draft that has all the tools and could become a superstar is amazing. Rudy Gay "Not Like There's Anything Wrong With That" only needs to gain some assertiveness and he could become a perennial all star. In addition the Memphis went out and got Kyle Lowry another tough kid who can get to the bucket and is relentless on defense. And finally Alexander Johnson in the 2nd round when he was described by most as a solid 1st round pick, Jerry West simply put is a Magician.
20. Milwaukee Bucks - Not having a first round pick is a killer. Not having a first round pick because you traded it away to get Jamaal Magloire who you barely utilized, well thats certainly worse. So in the end the Bucks ended up with David Noel a nice college player but I expect him to barely make the roster and some guy from Croatia. That's not going to help much.
19 . Washington Wizards - I think they were trying to counter balance their roster by bringing in two members of the Soviet Union. Chad Ford described one of the kids as a Keith Van Horn type, so that means he's a soft 6-11 player with a mediocre jump shot, and will probably be traded about 100 times during his career. When I can't even pronounce the name of all the players you drafted you don't rank high.
18. Indiana Pacers - The Pacers as a team are going downhill. From a team that showed so much promise until the brawl at the Palace, they are now in a downward spiral. Not only did they trade away Ronnie, but Peja left as a free agent and couple that with this draft and reaching for Shawne Williams a raw athlete. I'm not that high on their moves, they needed a scorer from this draft, now their second best scorer is Anthony Johnson, and to put it lightly that is not good.
17. Sacramento Kings - Douby has potential, he can shoot lights out he's quick and most of the time you were wondering why he went to Rutgers instead of a good basketball school. But I just don't see where the Kings were coming from on this pick. They played Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia at the 2 spot the past year and Douby certainly isn't a point guard. I think the Kings should have gone for a big body or a point guard to back up Bibby.
16. Dallas Mavericks - I like Maurice Ager I really do, I think he could be a solid contributor for the Mavericks, I just don't fully see where he's going to get the playing time. Maybe a Marquis Daniels trade is coming soon, but even if he consumes those minutes, Marquis didn't play much other than the games Terry or Stackhouse were suspended.
15. New Orleans / Oklahoma City - I think they could have done better than what they got with their picks. I really don't see Hilton Armstrong as being worth the 12th pick in the draft. Cedric Simmons is also a question mark, where you don't know what your going to get. Certainly not terrible, but definitely middle of the pack.
14. Golden St. Warriors - I really think its time for the Warriors to trade away some of their pieces and get a veteran to lead their team. Baron Davis isn't cutting it and Dunleavy has been a relative bust. The O'Bryant pick up fits a need so its not a terrible pick, but the Warriors didn't do anything stellar to make me a believer.
13. Cleveland Cavaliers - Cleveland did well with what they had. Shannon Brown is going to be a solid player for the Cavs this season and Daniel Gibson was hyped as a first round player throughout the season. The issue with Gibson is that he is not a point guard, and if they try to make him one than he surely will fail.
12. Atlanta Hawks - I think the Landlord is a good fit for the Hawks. He'll give them much needed rebounding and some defensive intensity down low. But you have to wonder why they did not pick up a point guard so that Johnson could stop playing out of position. Especially when the Suns were giving away their two first round picks, why didn't the Hawks jump in front of the Celtics to grab that first pick and draft Marcus Williams, Farmar or Rondo. I don't think they were paying attention.
11. Toronto Raptors - Drafting big Barney could be a solid move. But do you have any idea if he's closer to Dirk than Darko. It was probably the best fit for the Raptors at 1 on draft night, but after they made the trade for TJ Ford I think they would have been better served with Morrison or Roy. My guess is no you don't and neither do I. P.J. Tucker in the second round is more of a college player than a pro. He used his size and strength to bully people around in the paint for the Longhorns but at 6 foot 5 thats not going to work in the NBA.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Last Weeks Picks
Win - Loss – 9 – 6
RBI Machine - 3 for 15
Winning Pitcher - 8 for 15
5-2 ...... The White Sox were hot, not hard to roll with them.
1 for 7 .. There we go finally I got one, Manny coming through
3 for 7 .. Buehrle and the ChiSox baby
Win - Loss - 66 - 39
RBI Machine - 19 for 105
Winning Pitcher – 45 for 105
A decent week didn’t top or tie any records but at least I went three for three on my lock selections for the first time of the season.
Win - Loss - 12-3 on 6/14
RBI Machine - 4 for 15 on 6/14
Winning Pitcher - 9 for 15 on 5/30 & 6/6