Friday, June 30, 2006
Instead of grading the NBA Draft for teams like everyone else on the planet I'm going to order the teams on how I thought they did for themselves in this draft.
30. Houston Rockets - I'm sorry but I despise the trade the made. They traded away Gay who arguably has the most talent of any player in the draft, just need to be more assertive, and Stromile Swift, he sucks but he's an athlete and their starting power forward, for Shane Battier? Shane Battier are you kidding me. Battier is never going to be anything better than a role player. He will be solid for the Rockets and they could use defense but they solved nothing in this draft. The Rockets needed a more reliable point guard than Rafer Alston and they needed a lights out shooter. They got Battier, not a shooter that scares anyone and are stuck with Alston at the point. Nice Job. See look at him, would you want him on your team, not unless you were attending a WNBA game or a Madonna concert with him and Ozzie Guillen.
29. New York Knicks - Alright I'm not going to kill them on the Renaldo Balkman or Mardy Collins draft picks, I don't think they are necessarily bad, granted it was a big reach but lets be honest here do you expect to get anyone great at pick 20 and 29 anyway? Atleast neither of this guys are going to want to shoot the ball 30 times a game like everybody else on their roster. The reason why I put them down here is because they should have had the #2 pick in the draft but instead the have a fat out of shape unmotivated talent in Eddie Curry and they are giving up their pick next year as well. Ouch, go Zeke.
28. Boston Celtics - I despise all of these moves made by Danny. The Celtics needed a point guard, an actual point guard a guy who can distribute, make clutch free throws, hit an open jumper and mostly run an offense. Instead they pick up two guys are only play point because there body size dictates it. Telfair is 5-11 170, I am 5' 8 170 and I didn't make my high school basketball team because in part because I wasn't big enough. Not to mention that he is Stephon Marbury's cousin. And then trading for the Suns pick was a good idea, but then picking up Rondo instead of Marcus Williams I despise this. Rondo shot 57% from the stripe last year. That is feeble. They already have Delonte who is a shooting guard playing point, and he's better than Telfair and Rondo. I read an article in the Globe and Danny sounded like my college baseball coach in that he seemingly cared more about track speed than point guard skills.
27. Seattle Supersonics - Why do the Sonics yet again for the third consecutive year draft a Raw Center Project with their first pick in the draft? How about getting someone that can impact your team in your weak division while Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis are still in town? Is that too much to ask? So what your saying is you are pretty much satisfied with Nick Collison getting 30+ minutes a game downlow? Thats a great decision. I would have them as the 29th team had they not drafted Denham Brown in the 2nd round which I feel is a good decision.
26. Denver Nuggets - They traded away their only pick to the Celtics.
25. San Antonio Spurs - Similarly, the traded their only pick to the Bucks.
24. Detroit Pistons - They didn't have a first rounder and drafted Cheik Samb, since I have no idea who he is nor have I seen Will Blalock I lot I don't think they found an impact player for the near future.
23. Phoenix Suns - I actually don't mind them trading away their picks, they got rid of Brian Grant to free up some cap room in hopes of keeping Diaw and Barbosa.
22. Miami Heat - Not much to say about the Heat they didn't have a single pick. They did include their first round pick in the Shaq trade, that worked out well.
21. LA Clippers - Paul Davis might be the most overrated player in NCAA history. He's a big body and everyone talks about all of his talent and has for several years and yet he has done nothing. He was far from the reason why MSU made it to the Final Four two years ago. Again its not like you expect much from a 2nd round pick I just think he's overrated, he went to MSU so I despise him, and he really doesn't fit the Clippers up and down brand of basketball. Plus, he won't get much PT while sitting behind Brand and the Hulkster.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
The All Star voting was concluded today so here is my ballot:
Catcher - Brian McCann, I know he got injured and missed over 2 weeks of baseball, but the kid is hitting .350 and name me another catcher thats doing that. If you said Joe Mauer I would say touche.
First Base - This is the toughest call to make in the NL, between the RBI leader Berkman, the Home Run leader Ryan Howard, and of course Albert Pujols. You have to go with Pujols though because despite missing weeks with an oblique injury he basically has the same numbers as the other two.
Second Base - Dan Uggla, Who? Yep Dan Uggla, the biggest overachiever of the rookies on the Marlins is hitting .312 with 13 homers and 43 rbis.
Third Base - Quietly, very quietly Scott Rolen is batting .344 with 10 home runs in St. Louis, but David Wright has 18 HRs is batting .328 and has hit a ton of clutch hits. David is my man.
Shortstop - The NL all star left side of the infield will be both Mets and should be both Mets, Jose Reyes is the perfect table setter. He doesn't have the greast OBP, but when he gets on he scores runs.
Outfield - Matt Holliday, so what he plays in Coors and unless you're big into fantasy baseball you've never heard of him the kid is hitting .350+ with 15 HRs. Thats a vote getter.
Outfield - Alfonso Soriano, has been the most dynamic performer for a terrible baseball team. Everyone said his homers were going to plummet due to his games being in RFK, well I would say 24 well before the break should answer those questions.
Outfield - Now the debate is between Carlos Lee and Carlos Beltran, both having stellar years thus far, I lean towards Beltran due to his speed his fielding and the fact that he's put up 21 homers despite missing a few weeks at the beginning of the season.
Starting Pitcher - This is a shocker, but Bronson Arroyo somehow someway has been the best pitcher in the NL so far, and that's what the All Star game is about rewarding people for superb starts.
Closer - Trevor Hoffman, I'm going with Hells Bells, the classic closer, Hoffman has been stellar has a phenomanal ERA and has only blown a single save opportunity.
Catcher - Joe Mauer is a no brainer, the guy is batting .392 he is gotting robbed from starting in this All Star game.
First Base - The overpowering position in the NL has a few questionmarks in the AL due to the whole DH thing. I give the edge to Konerko though, he's hitting over .300 has 19 homers and plays 1B everyday.
Second Base - Well, I voted for Cano, the kid is hitting over .320, unfortunately even if he does make it which he probably will, he most likely won't play.
Third Base - Congrats Mike Lowell for having an incredible bounce back season, but I'm giving this to Crede, every day I look up and see that he's hit another homer. Although it seems like everyone in a White Sox jersey has 15+ home runs.
Shortstop - This is a homer pick, I'm going with Jeter over Tejada because Tejada gave me a B12 shot and I failed a drug test. That Bastard.
Outfield - Vernon Wells, the first of all three AL outfielders who are batting over .300 with 20 HRs. Vernon is slugging, leading the Blue Jays and playing a solid center field.
Outfield - Manny Ramirez, so much for that slump Manny was on at the beginning of the season. He now has 20 HRs and is batting over .300 and I fully expect those numbers to increase in the next week before the all star break.
Outfield - Jermain Dye, going with another White Sox player, hey apparently pitching isn't the only reason the White Sox won the World Series last year, Dye is leading the majors in slugging percentage.
Starting Pitcher - Look no further than Johan Santana, like Manny he started off poorly but now he is .01 points away from the ML ERA lead, and he holds the Major League K lead. Johan is a stud.
Closer - Sorry BJ, but Papelbon is the winner of this position busting onto the scene and only showing a flaw for giving up a Pesky Pole homer.
Renaldo Balkman being drafted by the Knicks can only be described as comedy gold.
1) Jay Bilas, Greg Anthony and Stephen A going off on how the kid only has 2nd round talent and that no one was going to draft him in the 1st round.
2) The knicks fans including Spike Lee's painful reaction.
3) The fact that Balkman had 2 stellar games his whole season both coming at the Garden during the NIT, apparently Isiah is only allowed to scout in his own building. Storrs is apparently too far of a commute.
4) But the best part of the whole Renaldo Balkman draft day debacle happenned the next day on Stephen A's radio program. Stephen A had John Chaney on to talk about the Knicks other pick Mardy Collins, and at the end of the interview he asked him about Balkman, because Temple played South Carolina during the season. The interview went something like this:
"Where did they draft him at?" Chaney
"20" Stephen A
"Oh well you know he's a really good shooter, he gets on the streaks, how tall is he?" Chaney
"Like 6'7" Stephen A
"Ya, a he can get on the rolls, you really have to body him up he's not big, he's like Mardy just not as strong, but he's a shooter." Chaney
Basically I've never heard anything on the radio where an interviewee blatantly had no idea who the kid was, but the radio analyst took it as truth. In Chaney's defense, Balkman pulled down a whopping 3 boards and had 0 points against Temple during their game. Comedy Gold.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
This is not my mock draft this is not what I think will happen but this is what I think each team should do. If you look at the draft it is my personal opinion that you shouldn't necessarily draft the best available player or the player you deem has the most potential, instead you should draft the player that is going to help your team the most. Look at the Hawks, I think they gathered a SF swingman like player every year for the past 5 years, and they are not good.
Pick #1 Toronto Raptors
Glaring Needs: The Raptors just traded for Rasho Nesterovic, while he has been terrible, he is a big body to throw in everyday at Center. In addition they have a stud in Bosh and a solid small forward in Villanueva. Therefore my belief is that they should either grab a guard or a stud big man.
3 to Consider: 1) Brandon Roy, he may not be the typical number #1 pick in the draft, but he is definitely NBA ready and fills a whole that they need. 2) Lamarcus Aldridge, given a few years of weight lifting he should be able to sit next to Bosh on the low block. 3) Trade down, Mike James can not be considered in future plans, trading down would get more value if they decided to draft a Point Guard.
The Man to Draft: No one, I trade down. I would consider Roy, but the Raptors desperately need a point guard and would benefit the most if they traded down into the 8-12 spot and landed a point guard.
Pick #2 Chicago Bulls
Glaring Needs: Big Men. The bulls are loaded from 1-3, with Deng, Nocioni, Duhon, Heinrich, and Gordon. The Bulls need a post scoring option which Tyson Chandler has been unable to provide.
3 to Consider:1) Lamarcus Aldridge, the best option for post scoring. 2) Tyrus Thomas, probably the biggest freak in the draft and would provide good weak side help defense. 3) Shelden Williams, they have the second pick they don't need 3 options.
The Man to Draft:I take Lamarcus Aldridge if I'm the bulls. He would give the Bulls the option of feeding the ball downlow to someone not of 300 lbs (Mike Sweetney).
Pick #3 Charlotte Bobcats
Glaring Needs: Scoring, the Bobcats need some scoring especially from the 2 or the 3.
3 to Consider: 1) Adam Morrison, he might be the best scoring option in the whole draft. 2) Brandon Roy, could slot into the 2 guard position next to Felton and Gerald Wallace to provide a very athletic front line. 3) Rudy Gay, with Okafor in the fold, Gay would have someone he is familiar with from Uconn who could help him transition into the NBA.
The Man to Draft: Rudy Gay, I'm not a big Gay fan, but I think this is the perfect spot for him. Okafor could act like a big brother and get Gay motivated, and Gay might have the most skills in the draft the question is his drive and intensity.
Pick #4 Portland Blazers
Glaring Needs:Everything, the Blazers do not need to worry about filling a need because they're are needs everywhere. Any position they draft will help.
3 to Consider:1) Adam Morrison, he's going to score in the NBA, is a Northwest guy and would give good marketing to the Blazers. 2) Brandon Roy, another northwestern guy possibly the most complete player in the draft. 3)Lamarcus Aldridge, pair up Aldridge with Zach Randolph down low and maybe you can establish some presence in the post for years to come.
The Man to Draft: Adam Morrison, he'd be a cult hero in Oregon, he looks northwestern, he's going to score in the NBA, and the Blazers need a face that is associated with something other than marijuana, like a dirty Sanchez moustache.
Pick #5 Atlanta Hawks
Glaring Needs: Center/Point Guard/Defense of any sorts.
3 to Consider: 1) Shelden Williams, there have been rumors flying around that he was given a promise, I'm not sure if that was a good idea, but I think he would bring some much need low post defense to the Hawks. 2) Randy Foye, a tough defensively talented point guard could fill two needs for the Hawks 3) Marcus Williams, the best passer in the draft will be able to distribute to the talented swingman the Hawks have.
The Man to Draft: Randy Foye, if I'm the Hawks it would be my goal to make sure Joe Johnson isn't playing point guard on opening night. I would take Foye over Williams if I was the Hawks due to defense. Foye will also take pressure off Johnson as he will be able to cover the best opposing player.
Pick #6 Minnesota Timberwolves
Glaring Needs: Talent, it appears as if their first round pick McCants might be out for the entire 06-07 season.
3 to Consider: 1) Rudy Gay, the athleticism of Gay combined with Garnett and Ricky Davis would give the Timberwolves arguable the most athleticism from 2 through 4. 2) Brandon Roy, similar to Gay he would give the TWolves a dynamic 2 through 4. 3) Pt Guard pick'em between Foye and Marcus Williams.
The Man to Draft: I take Gay or Roy, I believe one of them will be on the board.
Pick #7 Boston Celtics
Glaring Needs: I went over this pretty extensively previously (here), as I am a Celtic fan.
3 to Consider: Brandon Roy, Marcus Williams and Randy Foye
The Man to Draft: Marcus Williams, need a point guard, Roy will be off the board most likely, the Celtics should go out and grab Marcus.
Pick #8 Houston Rockets
Glaring Needs: Shooting, point guard, and a sidekick for Yao Ming.
3 to Consider:: 1) JJ Redick, by far the best shooter in the draft. 2) Marcus Williams, he may or may not be available, but Rafer Alston does not cut it at point guard. 3) Shelden Williams, having a defensive minded sidekick for Yao could save him some foul trouble.
The Man to Draft: If I'm the Rockets I take Redick, I think he is getting shat on for athleticism when it is better than most people think. And what has been the key to much of the Spurs past success, players hitting 3s on the wing. If the put Redick on the same side as Yao on the court it will be impossible to double off Redick and the double will be late giving Yao more time to attack the defense.
Pick #9 Golden St. Warriors
Glaring Needs: A Big Man, that Adonal Foyle signing is one of the least mentioned worst deals in the history of professional sports.
3 to Consider: 1) Shelden Williams, a big strong rebounder could help alleviate the pressure off of Troy Murphy on the boards. 2) Patrick O'Bryant, the big man from Bradley soared up the draft boards due to his impressive NCAA tourny. 3) Cedric Simmons,
The Man to Draft: Patrick O'Bryant, I think the mock drafts have the right, he may be a little raw but he is a skilled 7 footer and is much needed for the Warriors who should be desperate to fill the void inside.
Pick #10 Seattle Sonics
Glaring Needs: Defense and a Big Man to pair with Chris Wilcox downlow. I am a fan of Ridnour at the point and don't think they should draft a point guard.
3 to Consider: Same 3 as the Golden St.
The Man to Draft: Shelden Williams, I think he will still be on the board, the Sonics most desperately need defense. Shelden Williams is the most defensive minded player in this draft and would be a perfect fit to compliment Wilcox in the paint.
Pick #11 Orlando Magic
Glaring Needs: Swingman, the Magic need a talented 2 or a 3 to slot in the starting lineup with the developing Darko and Jameer Nelson and the beast Dwight Howard.
3 to Consider: 1) Rodney Carney, might be the best athlete in the draft certainly won of the fastest and had a great career at Memphis. 2) JJ Redick, similarly to what he could do for the Rockets, JJ could alleviate some of the double team pressure Dwight will be facing in the near future. 3) Ronnie Brewer, similar to Carney he is one of the best athletes in this draft.
The Man to Draft: Rodney Carney, a freak athlete can fill the void whether it be Hill's retirement or in the 2nd game of the season when he falls to some mysterious injury.
Pick #12 New Orleans Hornets
Glaring Needs: A Big Man, the Hornets need a presence down low.
3 to Consider: The same 3 as the Warriors and Sonics only they get to pick the worst of the bunch.
The Man to Draft: Cedric Simmons, most likely he's the only 3 of those players remaining so he's the best option for them to select. If the Hawks pick Shelden Williams and none of those 3 are available they should trade the pick.
Pick #13 Philadelphia 76ers
Glaring Needs: Point Guard, AI should not play point guard, preferably a defensive minded point guard.
3 to Consider: 1) Randy Foye, played in Philly if he dropped this far they should be ecstatic. 2) Marcus Williams, played in the big east again the Sixers will be lucky if he gets that far. 3) Kyle Lowry, born raised in Philly, had no problem transitioning to a good college player in Philly.
The Man to Draft: Kyle Lowry, I think the other two will be gone and this may be a reach pick for Lowry, and he may not be a pure point but his defensive intensity would be incredibly helpful to take pressure off AI so he can concentrate on what he is good at, putting the ball in the hole. Plus he is a Philly Boy and would love playing for the 76ers.
Pick #14 Utah Jazz
Glaring Needs: A Guard, preferably a shooting guard with some athleticism.
3 to Consider: 1) Ronnie Brewer, the best athlete available. 2) JJ Redick, doubtful he will still be on the board but Utah embraces White folk. 3) Quincy Douby, the Doubster is a flat out scorer in the Big East for a terrible team, a big reach but might be a nice fit.
The Man to Draft: Ronnie Brewer, slot him into the lineup next too Deron Williams and the Jazz now have a competitive back court to go with their strong front line.
No talk this week.
Houston vs. Detroit White Sox vs. Pirates
Winner - Houston Winner - ***White Sox***
RBI Machine - Ensberg RBI Machine - Thome
WP - Clemens WP - ***Buehrle***
Drays vs. Marlins Mets vs. Red Sox
Winner - Drasy Winner - Red Sox
RBI Machine - Kazmir RBI Machine - ***Manny***
WP - Crawfor WP - Lester
Braves vs. Yankees Philly vs. Baltimore
Winner - Yanks Winner - O's
RBI Machine - Arod RBI Machine - Millar
WP - Villone WP - Bedard
Nats vs. Blue Jays Reds vs. Royals
Winner - Jays Winner - Royals
RBI Machine - Wells RBI Machine - Sanders
WP - Burnett WP - Wood
Cleveland vs. St. Louis Brewers vs. Cubs
Winner - Cleveland Winner - Cubs
RBI Machine - Peralta RBI Machine - Aramis
WP - Sabathia WP - Zambrano
Twins vs. Dodgers Mariners vs. Dbacks
Winner - Dodgers Winner - Dbacks
RBI Machine - Drew RBI Machine - Tracy
WP - Lowe WP - Webb
Angelss vs. Rockies As vs. Padres
Winner - Rockies Winner - Padres
RBI Machine - Hawpe RBI Machine - Cameron
WP - Cook WP - Young
Rangers vs. Giants
Winner - Giants
RBI Machine - Winn
WP - Morris
How Calculated: Using mode, as defined in the previous entry, I am going with the consensus selections. If a player is slotted into a certain spot by 4 or more people than I locked him in that spot. In the second half of 1st round if a player was given 3 selections at a given spot they were placed there. Then rest of the players are filled out due to mean.
* = 4 or more
~ = 3
% = Placed due to mean
Draft Order by Mode Version B
1. Andrea Bargnani* ............. 16. Thabo Sefolosha*
2. Tyrus Thomas* ................ 17. Jordan Farmar*
3. Adam Morrison* ............... 18. Alexander Johnson~
4. Brandon Roy* ................. 19. Sergio Rodriguez*
5. Shelden Williams* ............ 20. Quincy Douby~
6. Rudy Gay* .................... 21. Saer Sene~
7. Lamarcus Aldridge% ........... 22. Rajon Rondo%
8. Marcus Williams% ............. 23. Kyle Lowry*
9. Patrick O'Bryant* ............ 24. Mardy Collins%
10. Randy Foye% ................. 25. Shannon Brown~
11. JJ Redick* .................. 26. Maurice Ager%
12. Cedric Simmons* ............. 27. Shannon Brown%
13. Rodney Carney% .............. 28. Oleksiy Pecherov~
14. Ronnie Brewer% .............. 29. Josh Boone*
15. Hilton Armstrong% ........... 30. Guillermo Diaz%
So if you look at this the * should represent the most consensus selections and the ~ represents a good chance at being selected there. The rest are fillers.
According to these mock drafts the biggest locks are Tyrus Thomas at #2 to the Bulls (8 of 11) and Patrick O'Bryant at #9 to the Warriors (7 of 11).
Monday, June 26, 2006
The 3rd way that these picks can be statistically analyzed.
How Calculated: This order is calculated using Mode. The Mode of each player is the number which comes up the most. For instance Bargnani has a range of where people think he is going to be selected, 1,7,1,5,1,7,5,5,1,1,2. As you can see he is most comonally associated with the first pick, this being his Mode. This order from the lowest Mode to the 30th mode. Ties are broken by which person has the most occurances of the number.
Draft Order by Mode Version A
1. Andrea Bargnani ........... 16. Thabo Sefolosha
2. Lamarcus Aldridge ......... 17. Jordan Farmar
3. Tyrus Thomas .............. 18. Mardy Collins
4. Brandon Roy ............... 19. Alexander Johnson
5. Adam Morrison ............. 20. Shawne Williams
6. Shelden Williams .......... 21. Sergio Rodriguez
7. Marcus Williams ........... 22. Quincy Douby
8. Rudy Gay .................. 23. Marcu Vinicius
9. Patrick O'Bryant .......... 24. Saer Sene
10. JJ Redick ................ 25. Hilton Armstrong
11. Randy Foye ............... 26. Rajon Rondo
12. Ronnie Brewer ............ 27. Kyle Lowry
13. Cedric Simmons ........... 28. Shannon Brown
14. Rodney Carney ............ 29. Guillermo Diaz
15. Maurice Ager ............. 30. Oleksiy Pecherov
I have four ways of analyzing the statistics I gathered, this I believe is going to be the least accurate.
How Calculated: The median value of any statistic is the number which half the values gathered are greater than and 1/2 the values are less then. Each player was given a Median value and the Draft Order was specified from there.
Draft Order by Median
1. Andrea Bargnani ............. 16. Sergio Rodriguez
2. Lamarcus Aldridge ........... 17. Quincy Douby
3. Tyrus Thomas ................ 18. Thabo Sefolosha
4. Adam Morrison ............... 19. Saer Sene
5. Brandon Roy ................. 20. Rajon Rondo
6. Rudy Gay .................... 21. Kyle Lowry
7. Marcus Williams ............. 22. Maurice Ager
8. Shelden Williams ............ 23. Alexander Johnson
9. Patrick O'bryant ............ 24. Jordan Farmar
10. Randy Foye ................. 25. Mardy Collins
11. JJ Redick .................. 26. Shannon Brown
12. Cedric Simmons ............. 27. Shawne Williams
13. Ronnie Brewer .............. 28. Guillermo Diaz
14. Rodney Carney .............. 29. Oleksiy Pecherov
15. Hilton Armstrong ........... 30. Josh Boone
Everyone knows that Mock Drafts are complete guess work, and to limit that guess work you need to do a ton of research and gather opinions from GMs and possibly watch some of the European basketballers play. Since I do not really have the time for this I decided I was going to use all the people that do this for a living. So I gathered data, I took 11 Mock Drafts throughout the Web and through them all in a Spreadsheet. Will the minds of 11 averaged work better than the mind of one? We will see.
Here are the sites that I used: About.com , CBS.Sportsline , CollegeHoopsNet , DraftExpress , ESPN , FoxSports , HoopsHype , InsideHoops , NBADraft.Net , SI , and Yahoo .
If you want the spreadsheet for some reason email me and I will email it to you.
Draft Order by Mean (Average Slot)
1. Tyrus Thomas ................ 16. Sergio Rodriguez
2. Lamarcus Aldridge ........... 17. Rajon Rondo
3. Andrea Bargnani ............. 18. Saer Sene
4. Adam Morrison ............... 19. Jordan Farmar
5. Brandon Roy ................. 20. Mardy Collins
6. Rudy Gay .............. ..... 21. Maurice Ager
7. Shelden Williams ............ 22. Thabo Sefolosha
8. Marcus Williams ............. 23. Quincy Douby
9. Patrick O'Bryant ............ 24. Shannon Brown
10. Randy Foye ................. 25. Kyle Lowry
11. JJ Redick .................. 26. Shawne Williams
12. Cedric Simmons ............. 27. Alexander Johnson
13. Rodney Carney .............. 28. Oleksiy Pecherov
14. Ronnie Brewer .............. 29. Guillermo Diaz
15. Hilton Armstrong ........... 30. Josh Boone
How Calculated: Each player was given a point for the draft position they were given in each mock draft. If the player was not listed in the first round for a particular mock draft they were given a value of 35. All of the values were then averaged, and the order was selected on the basis of lowest to highest in the top 30.
This is the chronicle of my Saturday afternoon at Yankee stadium.
Prior to Saturday
December 05 - I had a great idea, how often do perfect presents pop into your head. Well here it was Yankee tickets went on sale on a Friday and all of a sudden I thought the perfect present for my father would be a ticket to Old Timer's day at the stadium he loves it. So Friday morning went by, and of course I forgot. Great job Simone, on saturday morning I woke up remembered went online and bought the ticket, rendering my seat much worse than it would have been if I had gotten the tickets immediately, this would actually become a benefit.
Friday Afternoon at the Gym - I didn't check the weather forecast on for the weekend at work on friday, don't know why but I didn't. I saw a friend of mine at the gym and asked her what the weather was going to be like on Saturday and she said rain all day, ouch not liking that forecast.
6:00 AM - I roll over in bed, slightly awake and listen outside, it sounds like a waterfall the rain is coming down so hard, not liking the noise but its 6:00 am so I roll back over and get back to sleep.
9:30 AM - Wake up and stumble to the kitchen for some cereal, its only slightly showering outside, not bad pros can play in this right.
10:30 AM - We get up an leave, head down to the city a little rain on the way but nothing so bad that you're thinking this is a dead end and is going to be a long day. However, I was thinking I might just have to get one of those ugly ponchos that looks like a trash bag with a hole cut in the center.
11:45 AM - Get to Woodlawn station in the Bronx, my Pops and traffic do not mix well, I'm bad in traffic but he fumes, so we try parking on the last line of the subway and taking the train in instead of dealing with the Parking lot traffic. It was pretty easy. Still mildly raining. Before we go we grab two umbrellas just in case, I end up with the flaming checkered with red trim umbrella.
12:15 AM - Get to the stadium, we're early so we head to up the hill to the Court Deli, if you go to a Yankee game get there early and go to the court deli, delicious, I got a 1/2 Corned Beef 1/2 Pastrami sandwich wow, that was good.
12:55 PM - Head down the street to a Yankee Tavern, watch some of the FOX pregame get a few beers then eventually head into the stadium.
1:25 PM - Get into the stadium and go into gate 2 down the left field line. Walk up into the Tier and see that oh yeah the boxes in Yankee Stadium are ordered even numbers on the left field line and odd numbers are on the right field line. So we had to do a lap around the stadium.
1:40 PM - Here we are at our box, we are in row X, and where could row X be, well of course it is the last row in the upper tier in the last box, number 35. So we were 5 seats away from having the worst seat in the house. But there is seemingly one benefit our seats are under a roof therefore our asses are not wet.
2:00 PM - The Tarp is still on the field this does not bode well for the old guys playing and their is a very mild mist if anything at all.
2:05 PM - Michael Kay and Jon Sterling start rattling off all the old guys. Now it definately isn't raining. This is promising, maybe the old guys will play.
2:25 PM - I wonder how Met fans feel to see David Cone and Darryl Strawberry at Yankee Stadium for Old Timers day in Pin Stripes. Especially with this being the 20th anniversary of the Mets World Series win. Odd, too bad Doc is still incarcerated, he could have made a trifecta.
2:30 PM - Boo, Whitey Ford and Phil Rizzuto couldn't make it.
2:40 PM - They announce that the Old Timers are not going to play due to the weather. Its more that the field is wet and the old guys don't want to tear ACLs, not that it is currently raining.
2:45 PM - Keith Olbermann interviews Leyritz, Cone and of course Reggie to pass the time.
3:00 PM - Now we've got an hour to burn, before the game hopefully starts weak.
3:50 PM - After about an hour and a half of no rain, it starts to come down a little, not a good sign, if they could have, they should have started right away after the Old Timers proceedings.
3:55 PM - To everyone in the stands applause the field crew comes out and starts to take off the tarp, which is takes a lot longer than one would think.
4:00 PM - As they begin to fold up the tarp to put it on the roll, the head of the crew waves them off and they put the tarp back on the field. Not a pleasant sight at all. And it is now starting to rain harder.
4:20 PM - After a good amount of rain our seats are now the best in the house completely dry and people begin flocking to the seats underneath the roof, Tier Row X is now the place to be.
4:25 PM - Bob Sheppard comes on the michrophone and states that the Yanks are going to do everything in the power to play this game and that everyone should keep their ticket stubs as they will be able to redeem them for free tickets to a game next year regardless of whether they play the game today.
4:30 PM - The rain comes to a stop, leading to about 30 minutes of every yelling for them to take the tarp off the field and yelling for them to play the game.
4:50 PM - My dad's buddy gives him a call and tells him that they've given up and decided to go home.
4:55 PM - Excellent the tarp, is coming off and Shepphard is back on the mic, "The Good News is that the first pitch will be at 5:30." Leading me to say after he does not follow with a Bad News, "The Bad News is that the second pitch will be at 6:15." Pops give his friend a call and lets them know that they are starting the game up, too late he is already down the highway.
5:15 PM - Chacon is warming up, every is warming up except for Damon, I think he just realizes that he can't throw so he doesn't try. Still no rain for about 45 minutes now.
5:30 PM - Chacon takes the hill, finally some baseball, been in the stadium for 4 hours now I get to see some action.
5:35 PM - Oh great, after almost an hour of no rain here it comes, not to mention the fact that Chacon sucks and can't throw strikes and works as fast as a snail on the hill.
5:45 PM - Inning over, here comes the Grounds Crew Pulling on the tarp, damn it. Why couldn't they have started the game at 3.
5:55 PM - Hey it stopped raining again, boys take out the tarp lets start this one back up. You can tell by looking at how quickly the umbrellas go up and down to see the rain action.
6:10 PM - What the hell are they waiting for, still no rain, still tarp on the field.
6:20 PM - No rain, big white tarp. I am getting very aggravated. Now the Marlins bullpen are up and hanging outside
6:25 PM - Oh great, now the friggin rain starts up again, and hard, but after a minute or two it dies down to a steady slow rain.
6:35 PM - Pops turns around and asks me how much longer I want to stay for, we pretty much agree on 7 PM as the time we want to call it quits.
6:45 PM - Pops turns to me and says lets go, I turn and look at the field the Marlins bullpen is packing up their stuff and heading for the clubhouse.
7:05 PM - We get into the car turn on the radio and find out that the game was postponed. So over 5 hours in the stadium and 1/2 inning of baseball. A perfect present perfectly thwarted by the weather.
9:00 AM - Thank you Ticketmaster for waking me up, by giving me an over enthused call letting me know I could redeem my tickets. Bastards.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Thats pretty much all you can say to describe the US squad from this 2006 World Cup. They only heart, desire and passion they showed during this tournament was fighting for their lives against Italy. While I only got to see the 2nd half of todays game while having lunch, and missed the first half, what I saw in the 2nd half was disappointing to say the least. So who's to blame.
5. Landon Donovan
Can we please slow down the Donovan hype machine? Everybody Donovan is a good player but an elite player in the world, forget about it. He is not big and strong therefore he is not an elite tackler, in addition the speed that he flaunts during MLS play is nullified by other international superstars. If Landon Donovan was as good as America burdens him with, then he would be playing for a European Powerhouse. He doesn't nor does any other US player.
4. Claudio Reyna
I really didn't see anything from Reyna that made me think he was a leader or a world class player. In the late minutes against Italy he looked out of shape and could barely move. Today apparently he was at complete fault for the US giving up their first goal. This was probably your last World Cup and you really left no indelible image in the mind of the US fan. Adios.
3. FIFA Rankings
How the hell do these Rankings work? How were we ever ranked 5th? How? Last I checked we haven't beaten a Brazil or Germany or England lately. How in the hell do those rankings work? Piss poor, hope followed by failure is much worse than just failure.
2. The US Media
I blame the media for excess expectations. If you turned on ESPN for the past few weeks the nail that has been hammered in your head was inscribed "Best US Team Ever". Well, if this is the best US team ever then why the pitiful performance. Best US Team ever and all you can muster is one goal against Ghana. Next World Cup, please shut up don't place high expectations on the team, don't make me disappointed when the team goes out and gets mauled let me be surprised if they have even minimal success. But Guaranteed in 4 years it will be the best US Team Ever.
1. Bruce Arena
I am in 100% agreement with Eric Wynalda, soccer analyst for ESPN. Bruce Arena is highly to blame for the United States loss versus Ghana today. The slogan defense wins championships to me is a complete misnomer but Bruce seemingly took it as the 11th commandment. Defense does not win championships, defense keeps you from losing championships. Offense wins games, every sport requires offense, without offense you can't win anything. Yet, Bruce again went with his conservative 4-5-1 formation, for those who are uninformed that means 4 defenders, 4 midfielders and 1 striker/attacker. Anyone other then me see the scale tipped in one sole direction. Bruce you needed to score goals today, every American would have taken a high scoring loss as more of a success then only scoring one goal throughout the tourny. Very disappointing.
And the Casual American fans interest in soccer resumes in 1450 days...
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Man it must suck to be Stan Van Gundy. I found it hilarious last week when the Braves where playing the Marlins in Miami on TBS and who was there during one of the NBA finals game, non other than Stan Van Gundy. I guess he really just didn't want to watch the finals, he really wanted to spend time with his family. Or maybe the Heat didn't even give him tickets to the game. Sorry to be blunt Stan but you would not have won a championship with this team, not with all of these egos. It might have been a shady move, but Riley did the right thing for the organization.
I'm certainly not saying conspiracy cause I thought there were questionable calls all around, but I do not like the NBA's officiating. Way too many ticky tack hand check fouls which slow down the game, maybe it leads to more scoring but the time stoppage is a killer. In addition I hate how officials never call traveling unless its down the stretch. I agreed with the travel on Haslem after the rebound (not so much the double dribble call on Posey), but if you watch the tape I'm sure you can locate atleast 20 travels. Almost every time Wade catches the ball he shuffles his feet around, and GP last night blatantly switched pivot foots at the top of the key after he went to make a pass and thought better of it. Call it the whole game not just down the stretch, be consistent.
Congrats to Zo and GP, I really thought they would be an inspiration that would push the Heat to the series victory and I truly think that they played a major factor. Zo came off the bench and had 5 blocks last night, and GP hit some big shots throughout the series. However, their greatest contributions were pep talks, keeping teammates heads in the game, and simply put teammates wanted to win the series for them.
No One Will Remember
No one will remember the fact that with the game on the line last night and a chance to completely ice it, Wade missed two free throws, maintaining the games one possession status.
Dirk was spectacular during the majority of the playoffs with the exception of the intense stretch runs of the finals. I can not fault the man for missing one free throw in the closing seconds of game 3, but last night's disappearing act was unacceptable if you want to be called a Superstar. Dirk could not handle the double team and maybe that is the answer for him in the future. Dirk being a perimeter big player is not in the greatest position to pass out of the double team for a favorable 3 point shot like post presences Shaq and Duncan can. In addition Dirk has lived off driving around a big man outside, however when they double team him outside, unlike D Wade, he is not quick enough to drive around two guys. I'm sorry but in Game 6 with your teams life on the line, you have to score more than 2 points.
The Mavericks put bluntly could not hit open shots in this series. The percentages were certainly not stellar but the main issue with the missed shots is that for the most part the threes that the Mavs took were uncontested. With the exception of the two threes Stackhouse hit last night down the stretch, the Mavs could not hit open jump shots and this killed them.
No Cuban blog entry yet? Are you now in hiding? Poor Mark, you spend so much money and had so much hope and it all just shattered in your face. Ouch, I wonder if it hurts more for him now than it did in the past when they lost, my guess would be yes.
I would like to congratulate myself for my prediction of the Heat in 6. I win. In addition due to myself being in Mexico I did not even see a Heat loss. Maybe I was the good luck charm they needed, or Dwyane Wade is disgusting, I'm going with good luck charm though.
Like I said in my prediction 2 is better than 1. The Heat had 2 unguardable players the Mavs only had 1. In addition the Heat had Veterans that have lost important playoff games in the past and just had more experience in close important games and this helped them to victory.
This Weeks Picks
Win - Loss - 6 - 9
RBI Machine - 3 for 15
Winning Pitcher - 3 for 15
4-2 ..... Ya so much for the faith in Oswalt
0 for 6 . Ya Ryan Howard had 7 rbis in that game so, no dice
2 for 6 . Penny got beat up
Win - Loss - 57 - 33
RBI Machine - 16 for 90
Winning Pitcher - 37 for 90
Well that was friggin miserable, I did get a first though picking the RBI Machine (Berkman) from a losing team. Remind me to never talk myself up again it always ends up getting slammed back in my face.
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, June 20, 2006
If I stay as hot as I was last week then folks should start gamblin on my picks. Just ignore the Golf picks apparently.
Yanks vs. Philadelphia Cubs vs. Indians
Winner - Yanks Winner - Indians
RBI Machine - ***Giambi*** RBI Machine - Hafner
WP - Mussina WP - Lee
Red Sox vs. Nationals Marlins vs. Orioles
Winner - Nats Winner - Orioles
RBI Machine - Zimmerman RBI Machine - Tejada
WP - Hernandez WP - Cabrera
Mets vs. Reds Dbacks vs. Drays
Winner - Reds Winner - Drays
RBI Machine - Griffey RBI Machine - Rocco
WP - Weathers WP - Hendrickson
Jays vs. Braves Cards vs. White Sox
Winner - Jays Winner - Cards
RBI Machine - Wells RBI Machine - Rolen
WP - Towers WP - Mulder
Padres vs. Rangers Brewers vs. Tigers
Winner - Rangers Winner - Tigers
RBI Machine - Blaylock RBI Machine - Magglio
WP - Padilla WP - Miner
Twins vs. Astros Pirates vs. Royals
Winner - ***Astros*** Winner - Pirates
RBI Machine - Berkman RBI Machine - Bay
WP - Oswalt WP - Wells
As vs. Rockies Ms vs. Dodgers
Winner - Rockies Winner - Dodgers
RBI Machine - Hawpe RBI Machine - Nomahhh
WP - Jennings WP - ***Penny***
Angels vs. Giants
Winner - Angels
RBI Machine - Vlad
WP - Lackey
Well it certainly is on life support, the tubes are in and it may be in a coma but it is in fact still breathing.
Reasons Why it Might Die
The Lockout - The lockout had negative effects on the NHL. First off lockouts or strikes are never beneficial for the leagues audience. The NHL has always been a niche sport and the hardcore fans usually come back after an elongated break, however there are always people that are bitter over their loss of game time so there were certainly people that gave up on hockey.
Casual Fan - This is something that the NHL has lacked in the past but it most certainly is at the worst in NHL history. The Casual fan is going to need build up to be interested in the NHL again.
Expansion - Expansion has tainted the NHL. Tell anyone who does not know hockey very well that there are teams located in Atlanta, Tampa and Nashville and they'll give you a crazy eye. And then tell them there is a team in Columbus and they'll probably ask you where Columbus is.
Superstars - The NHL may have a lot of young talent right now, but there are no identifiable superstars in the league to the casual fan. Superstars and names are what bring in the casual fan, its the same with the NBA and always has been. The NHL needs Crosby or someone else to transcend the league and become a name outside of just the hockey circles.
TV Contract - I don't get the OLN (Versus), do you? Not unless you have at minimum digital cable or direct tv. The playoffs for myself were non-existent for myself from the time the Rangers were swept out of the first round until the sometime in the finals, not even the first game of the finals that was still on OLN (Versus). So I couldn't watch any of it not necessarily because I didn't want to but because I couldn't get it at my house. So if you can't watch NHL on TV how do you expect little kids to want to play hockey when their a kid.
Expense - If kids are not interested in the league when they are children, then they will not play hockey, why because it is by far the most expensive sport to play as a child.
Major Markets - This finals consisted of the Whalers and the Oilers. The Rangers haven't won a playoff game in 12 years. The Bruins have one of the worst owners in professional sports. The Kings are never good and the Blackhawks are miserable. Those are the biggest 4 American markets. 0 for 4 is not good.
Why the Life Support
Lockout - Negative because it lost the casual fan but positive because they finally are treating the players as what they are, pro athletes in a B pro league. Players can not make the contracts that MLB and NFL and NBA players make. In addition they put in a salary cap to hold down salaries. Financial stability is a key to the life support.
Canada - Canadians love it. They will always provide the best players in the league, why Betman does not move teams back into Canada where they actually care about the sport is mind boggling. I mean Edmonton is not a big city is it?
Hard Core Fan - The NHL does have a Hard Core fan base, granted they live mostly in the North and in Canada, where Ice in fact does exist, but they're still there and they will always tune in and watch.
Live - Honestly, hockey might be the most fun sport to watch in person. The arenas are not enormous so you are close to the action, there is a lot of violence, you get to see the skill of the players more accurately. It just doesn't seem to translate onto the television the same.
Rules Changes - Ya apparently its faster and more scoring, ya I really didn't notice it that much, but I did notice the shootouts after the overtime. That was their best idea. Americans hate ties, I despise them, and shootouts are interesting and are not going to be some fad that fans will get sick of.
I just think the NHL is going to remain what it is now a niche sport with some hardcore fans and only occasionally bringing in the casual fan. It will never surpass the NBA, and with an increase of immigrants into the states from Europe and South and Latin America could easily be surpassed by soccer as the 4th biggest team sport in the US.
Monday, June 19, 2006
To be Pros
Jeff Samardzija- Interestingly Jeff decided to sign a contract with the Cubbies this weekend, while he will maintain with the Irish football squad this fall it will be curious to see what he decides to pursue in the future after his college football career is concluded.
Santonio Holmes - I pretty much despise Ohio State, so seeing a a recent Ohio State player get arrested for the 2nd time prior to playing his first down in the NFL is more than just mildly amusing. Think the Steelers are second guessing themselves for trading up in the draft for a man thats approaching Chris Henry in arrests.
Yanks - As a Yankee fan this weekend was as a killer. Absolute crushing defeats on both Saturday and Sunday. It really is amazing how much emphasis is now being placed on keeping starters healthy and limiting their innings and yet the vast majority of bullpens throughout major league baseball are atrocious. Going up 9-2 and not scoring another run and losing 11-9 is a gut wrenching loss. Then top off the fact that they brought in Mariano in the 8th on friday and Saturday leaving him unavailable for Sunday which allowed a tired Wang to give up a walk off homer to my fantasy boy Zimmerman. Not a good weekend to be a Yanks fan.
Mark Prior - Well then you certainly got lit up yesterday. 3 hrs in the first inning is a solid start that any Cub fan has to be pleased with. I wonder what the Vegas Over Under on his days until a return to the DL is. Hey Chicago trade him and/or Wood while you might be able to get something for them, they are cursed in the cubbies unis.
Mets - They didn't play particularly well this weekend but everyone in their division is tanking right now the Mets have a 9.5 game lead in their division the largest of any team in baseball.
Sudden Death - How about them Oilers, while the game was on on Saturday night and I doubt anyone really watched it, the Oilers dominated this game. The Whalers didn't even show up, they only had around 3 shots in the first 30 minutes. That's pretty terrible. Not to mention that they could have nailed it down in 5 to cinch up my hockey prediction, losers. Now the ultimate game 7 in the finals, its been awhile for the NHL I say the Whale bounce back, but once again I've watched about none of this.
Winkster - The Winky Wright Jermain Taylor fight was on Saturday night and while I missed much of it due to the inside of my own eyelids I personally think Wright got robbed. The stats say that he landed more and more accurately. Taylor repeatedly threw punches which met Winky's defense. At the end of the fight Winky refused to get interviewed because he felt like he was robbed a title, and I have to agree with you Winkster.
Suspension - The NBA playoffs have had some issues. First off I disagree with the Stackhouse suspension, it was a hard foul and he definitely threw a little extra forearm. But unfortunately the NBA already set a precedent during these playoffs for suspending players for a games for similar offenses. With what the suspensions they already levied, not suspending Stackhouse would have been hypocritical.
Quick Whistle - In addition the foul against Wade in the closing seconds of the Overtime was weak and one would think that you would have to make a play down the stretch of a NBA Playoff Game and not get bailed out by the Ref. However, in a similar situation in the first round Anthony Johnson was given a free throws on a similar move with similar forearm contact to the body. Would I have called the foul on Wade last night, most likely not, but they've already done it and consistency is the most important characteristic in officiating.
Timeout - There is no argument here, when an official here's a player asking for a timeout, he gives the player a timeout. No issues, if you don't want to call a timeout don't say anything. Sorry, but it's not the officials job to decipher whether or not you really want to call a timeout.
Sleep Deprivation - Once again I hate the fact that these games do not start until 9:20 eastern time. On a Sunday Night there is no excuse for the NBA to not start the game at 8, no people on the West Coast are caught up in their 9-5 the ratings will be fine. Once again I woke up with under 6 hours of sleep due to the NBA and was not in a good mood.
US - The US outplayed the Italians, for pretty much the whole game. They were outplaying them the first 20 minutes until Eddie Pope decided he wanted to catch his man off side while everyone else was marking their man, giving him free run to the ball. Then obviously the US got jonesed by the officiating both on the Red Cards and the unfortunate offside shielding rule. A satisfying draw that they were able to hold on a man down for 45 minutes but disappointing given that they outplayed the Italians and had an opportunity to play a man up for another 45 minutes if not given the first red card.
Zidane - If France can not pull out a solid victory against Togo (Most likely needing 2 goals), Zidane's career will have ended on a weak suspension. With the yellow cards flowing like water thus far in the tourny Zidane landed his second yesterday by bumping into a defender who slid in front of him. He bumped into the defender with no malice but due to the fact that just like every other human being Zidane can not stop on a dime.
Predictions - I hope that no one looked at my predictions and gambled with them, that would have been highly unprofitable. David Howell looked good on the front 9 on Thursday and Sergio missed the cut thats pretty much all I had. I honestly was thinking about putting Ogilvy there but I ended up opting for the wrong Aussie in Adam Scott. Overall poor poor Golf Predictions for myself.
End Result - For all the collapses by the players surrounding him as I noted earlier today, Ogilvy certainly had some nice Par saves on the last two holes, and while he certainly wasn't the best golfer on the course yesterday, he kept his head on his shoulder unlike the morons surrounding him, so congrats. Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi!
In a weekend of many sporting events the terrible decision making and poor play vastly overshadowed the moments of brilliance.
5. Jim Furyk - He may have gone unnoticed by most sports fans this weekend but not by myself and my father. On 18 sitting at +5, the eventual winning score, Furyk stood over his 5 foot point for an excrutiatingly long time. He actually stood over his put and backed off several times prompting my father to get annoyed and say I hope he misses it now, good he missed it. In an event that will be known more for its blunders than for the actual winner Furyk was the first of many to overthink himself out of contention.
4. Josh Howard & Avery Johnson - Neither can get the sole blame for this blunder and it did not necessarily cost them the game, however using their last timeout to unintentionally "ice" Dwyane Wade instead of positioning themselves with a chance to win the game with a last second shot was a killer. I personally lay the majority of the blame on Avery Johnson. As an enormous Chris Webber / Michigan fan I have felt the wrath of untimely timeouts, and sometimes in the heat of the moment as a player you do not know how many timeouts you have as a team. When Avery Johnson was signalling for a Time Out and then showing the #2 I can only assume that Josh Howard saw this and thought that the Mavericks had two timeouts left and that Avery wanted to ice Dwyane and then use the second timeout.
3. Colin Montgomerie - Monty I was pulling for you man big time but you blew it. On 16 you were at 5 over and then you proceeded to hit a beautiful approach shot to leave yourself with a 15 foot birdie putt and you completely choked and 3 putted. Than the next hole you shanked your drive into the crowd, hit a gorgeous shot onto the green and sank a miraculous birdie putt to move into a tie with Phil. But then the 18th whole adventures continued. A gorgeuous drive gave me hope, but a duffed iron approach shot put too much pressure on yourself. Than the overthinking continued with a long par putt Monty thought in order to win he desperately needed to make this putt, instead he rolled the ball well past the whole leaving himself a difficult bogey putt which he additionally could not make. Monty, you dissappointed me big time.
2. Jorge Larrionda - The U.S. may have been lucky to get their equalising goal against Italy on saturday, but they were outplaying the Italians for the first 20 minutes despite the Italians first goal off a free kick. The red card given De Rossi was also a no brainer, De Rossi would get kicked out of any other professional sport for the elbow he threw but then the Uruguayan official put his stamp on the match. Mastroeni made a dumb tackle, a stupid unnecessary tackle, but you see these all the time, it deserved a Yellow, a straight red was ludicrous and it was an equalising call, if an Italian did not get thrown out he would not have made this decision. Then the foul on Eddie Pope outside the box might have deserved a second yellow, but to kick out Eddie when you unfairly took out Pablo put the U.S. in a terrible position. Jorge was completely inconsistant and really cost the U.S. the chance of victory.
1. Phil Mickelson - No Brainer Goat of the Week. That just might be the shank of a lifetime, hell he hit the middle of the hospitality tent roof. If this course was layered with condos he would have shattered a few windows, ya probably shouldn't have brought out the big stick. But don't just look at the last hole to see where Phil blew up mentally, earlier in the round Phil decided it was a good idea to try to take out a fairway wood and hit the ball out of the deep stuff, the ball went 3 feet. Phil for someone that studies these courses so much and has so much talent, your stupidity on the course is unmatched, congrats on a collapse of Van de Velde proportions.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Thursday, June 15, 2006
If you want to look around at Statistics around the league and see which is held in such high regard which is based the least on personal performance, the obvious answer is the Win.
Why do I bring this up now, you may ask, well last night when I was checking the results of my fantasy squad I noticed the end results of the two starters I had go last night. One starter, Jeremy Bonderman, went 8 strong innings, struck out 12 and gave up one single run, while the other, Zach Duke went a limited 5 innings giving up 5 runs and striking out only 2 but with the help of his teams offensive, including himself having 3 rbis, he left the game with a 6-5 lead. Guess, which guy picked up a victory while the other was in line for a loss but settled for a no decision, that's right Duke got the Victory. If you look at his short career gamelog Zach has only had one single outing in which his ERA was worse, one. And yet he picks up the W in what could be described as the second worst he's ever pitched is that not backwards.
The pitcher is the player on the field with the most influence on whether his team wins or loses however it still remains a team game and the difference between a Win and Loss is decided by the whole roster. Statistics on the other hand are based mostly on individual achievements, this is where picking up Wins and Losses becomes deceiving. In todays brand of baseball the starting pitcher relies on his roster even more than in the past with bullpen having much more of a role. Pedro Martinez went the whole month of May without picking up a win when he posted a 2.14 ERA, why because his team could not post any run support for him and in addition the bullpen gave away some games. Pedro Martinez might be the most victimized pitcher ever in regards to poor run support and blown saves by the bullpen. Unfortunately I am not the Elias Sports Bureau so I'm going to make that claim on suspicion rather than fact.
I believe that there are many more valuable statistics in showing how a pitcher pitched, mainly ERA. ERA shows what kind situations the pitcher typically puts his team in and how effectively he works through the opponents lineup. Even Quality Starts is a more accurate barometer than a pitchers Win - Loss record, showing how often a pitcher keeps his team within striking distance. And that at the end of the season the Cy Young award should in fact focus mostly on a Pitchers ability to keep the opponents from scoring, keeping their teams in games, and generally pitching well rather than the overall end Win Loss result. Finally if it is in fact the final result that make people think that a pitchers Win-Loss record is important, then maybe the more important statistic is the record of your team when you are on the hill.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
4 People to Watch to Contend
Obvious - Tigger Woo - Alright I know this isn't a hard choice and someone who couldn't identify a golf club would choose Tiger Woods but you don't think he has more motivation then normal. Maybe its too much pressure but to go out there and win on father's day would be the most memorable performance of his entire amazing career. He's taken a lot of time off but you have to believe he is ready to go, and you can't pick against him.
Secondary - Adam Scott - Scott burst into the scenes with his Players Championship win a few years back but now he is old enough and mature enough to take home his first Major Championship. Scott is also one of the hottest golfers in the world.
Unknown - David Howell - This Brit has played phenomenally this year on tour well enough to jump up to #10 in the world rankings. Maybe he will have his breakthrough in the British Open which will be played in his native England but expect him to be on the leaderboard on Sunday.
Darkhorse - Henrik Stenson - Another foreign man who has played well this season. Henrik is unknown by casual golf fans but he is in the upper tier of a solid Euro Tour core, again watch for his name on Sunday.
3 People Who Might Surpisingly Miss the Cut
The Old - Fred Couples - Freddy has stated that being in contention in the Masters has taken a lot out of him this year. Well, if he's hacking out of the rough on Thursday and Friday he is going to be in trouble.
The Injured - Sergio Garcia - Sergio recently withdrew from a tourny due to a back injury, well back problems and golf do not mix, if it flares up then Sergio has many problems lieing ahead of him tomorrow.
The Shocker - Vijay Singh - VJ's a bomber and on many occasions a sprayer, he's had a disappointing 2006 season by his standards thus far, even though he is #3 on the money list. VJ might end up in the rough more than any person who makes the cut and that will equal him tee-tottering on the cut line on Friday.
2 People to Root For this Weekend
The Tiny - Tadd Fujikawa - A fifteen year old amateur who stands at 5 foot 1 and 135 pounds. What were you doing on fathers day weekend when you were fifteen years old my guess is searching around trying to by your father a record or some golf balls to appease him on Sunday Afternoon after he got back from a round of golf. Hopefully, this kid can make the cut if so that would be a great story.
The Locale Boy - JJ Henry - I always gotta root for the boy from Fairfield, he's made the cut in his two prior US Open Appearances here's hoping for a 3rd.
Retief Goosen - I'm going with the shot maker. The guy is always in the fairways and is always in contention during US Opens and still gets no love from the media. With Tiger Woods possibly rusty, Phil due for a mediocre performance in a major, my Vijay cut prediction and Els battle with injuries Retief is the man to beat going into Winged foot this weekend. After last years debacle finish expect Retief to learn from past mistakes and walk away with number 3.
This Weeks Picks
Win - Loss - 12-3
RBI Machine - 4 for 15
Winning Pitcher - 8 for 15
4-1 ...... Faith in the DreamWeaver and in KC Losing
0 for 5 .. Ya the lock selections in the RBI Machines aren't off the ground yet
2 for 5 .. Chris pitched lights out but Izzy almost blew it on me
Win - Loss - 51 - 24
RBI Machine - 13 for 75
Winning Pitcher - 34 for 75
Another solid week 12-3 is pretty damn good in pick em. Not only that but I moved up my RBI Machine totals and I even had Mike Cameron who almost hit for the cycle as one of my RBI Machine guys.
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, June 13, 2006
Yanks vs. Indians St. Louis vs. Pittsburgh
Winner - Yanks Winner - Cards
RBI Machine - Giambi RBI Machine - Edmonds
WP - Wang ***WP - Carpenter***
Drays vs. Tigers Mets vs. Phils
Winner - Tigers Winner - Mets
RBI Machine - Magglio RBI Machine - Beltran
WP - Zumaya WP - Glavine
Blue Jays vs. Orioles Braves vs. Marlins
Winner - Jay Winner - Marlins
RBI Machine - Wells RBI Machine - Cabrera
WP - Halladay WP - Johnson
Rangers vs. White Sox Rockies vs. Washington
Winner - Rangers Winner - Nats
RBI Machine - Teixera ***RBI Machine - Soriano***
WP - Loe WP - O'Connor
Red Sox vs. Twins Brewers vs. Reds
Winner - Twins Winner - Brewers
RBI Machine - Mauer RBI Machine - Hall
WP - Santana WP - Davis
KC vs. Angels Astros vs. Cubs
Winner - ***Angels*** Winner - Astros
RBI Machine - Vlad RBI Machine - Ensberg
WP - Dreamwea WP - Pettite
As vs. Ms Giants vs. Dbacks
Winner - Ms Winner - Dbacks
RBI Machine - Lopez RBI Machine - Jackson
WP - Moyer WP - Julio
Dodgers vs. Padres
Winner - Padres
RBI Machine - Cameron
WP - Park
Alright, so I didn't get to see the game because they did not have ABC in Mazatlan, they did have a lot of sun, but I didn't need to see anything more than the line shaq put up from game two to know that it was a feeble performance. 5 points on 2 of 5 from the field and 1 of 7 from the free throw line. In addition he pulled down a measly 6 rebounds. In comparison the man he called soft two seasons ago, Erick Dampier a non integral part of the Mavericks roster pulled down 13 rebounds and had 6 points. Looks like I might have been wrong with the whole Shaq is going to dominate thing.
Granted you made it to the finals of the Grand Slam on your weakest surface. Granted you lose to the rest of the players on the AP tour about as many times a year as I am annoyed when the clocks get changed. But Roger can you stop losing to Capri pants please. If someone is going to beat him its going to be you and I'm sick of white see-through pants on my screen, its terrible. So can you at least trounce him at Wimbeldon.
US National Team
Has every single commentator on the air stated that you are the best US team ever, how about spending more time then 5 minutes before giving up a goal. The Czech's were bigger faster stronger and more skilled, from watching that game it appears as if the Czechs would have beaten the US badly in any game at any time. So either the analysts are completely wrong touting you as the best Americans ever or you guys just plain forget to show up. So get your act together by Saturday or prepare to be embarrassed and still playing a second tier American Sport.
JJ decided he was going to show that he was thug life and tough and had a dark side by going out and getting him self a little jail time. That illegal U-Turn to avoid the cops turned out to be a bad decision eh JJ.
Nice to see that not being forthright in an investigation has its consequences. Jason, I'm pretty sure you just ended your baseball career buddy, if the Diamondbacks are forced by the labor association to pay him it will be a joke. Sure you want to stick by your rules Donald, but there are blatant circumstances like this one where you are in the clear wrong, especially considering he asked for his release.
Not embarrassing But Unfortunate
Big Ben came out last year in the ESPN interview about motorcycles saying that the injury to the "Soldier" Kellen Winslow wasn't going to deter him from riding and that he was going to go out and ride as safely as possible and that he didn't do tricks and didn't drive on the highway but that he wasn't going to wear a helmet. Ben riding without a helmet is not a good decision whether you're on the highway or not, hope you get better and that a little bit of your ego subsides. When you look at situations though, Aaron Boone got his contract null and void when he hurt himself playing hoop, which seems more dangerous to you and more in need of being included as a clause in a contract.
RBI Machine 3 for 15
Winnning Pitcher 9 for 15
3-1...... The Rockies got it done
0 for 4.. The Cards got shutout so Rolen did not produce
1 for 4.. I jinxed Liriano and he picked up his first L
Win - Loss - 39 - 21
RBI Machine - 6 for 45
Winning Pitcher - 26 for 60
Not a shabby week if I say so myself, tied two of the seasons best, I really would like to get a 5 for 15 night on the RBI Machine though.
Win - Loss 11-4 on 5/30
RBI Machine - 3 for 15 on 5/16 & 6/6
Winning Pitcher - 9 for 15 on 5/30 & 6/6
Monday, June 05, 2006
Ya I overload these past two days on stuff because tomorrow morning I'm headed to Mexico so I had a bunch of stuff saved up for today. So enjoy the weeks work of posts and I will enjoy the fun, sun, y muchos coronas.
Yanks vs. Red Sox Washington vs. Atlanta
Winner - Yanks Winner - Braves
RBI Machine - Jeter RBI Machine - Andruw Jones
WP - Wang WP - Ramirez
Oakland vs. Cleveland Cubs vs. Astros
Winner - As Winner - Cubs
RBI Machine - Crosby RBI Machine - Aramis
WP - Zito WP - Wood
Blue Jays vs. Orioles Padres vs. Brewers
Winner - Orioles Winner - Brewers
RBI Machine - Mora RBI Machine - Prince
WP - Bedard WP - Bush
Angels vs. D-Rays Reds vs. Cards
Winner - Drays Winner - Cards
RBI Machine - Huff ***RBI Machine - Rolen***
WP - Kazmir WP - Carpenter
Tigers vs. White Sox Pirates vs. Rockies
Winner - White Sox ***Winner - Rockies***
RBI Machine - Konerko RBI Machine - Hawpe
WP - Garcia WP - Francis
Rangers vs. Royals Phils vs. D-Backs
Winner - Rangers Winner - Phils
RBI Machine - Mench RBI Machine - Abreau
WP - Millwood WP - Hamels
Twins vs. Ms Mets vs. Dodgers
Winner - Twins Winner - Dodgers
RBI Machine - Morneau RBI Machine - Nomar
***WP - Loriano*** WP - Lowe
Marlins vs. Giants
Winner - Giants
RBI Machine - Feliz
WP - Schmidt
Every one is saying that this is the best American squad we have ever sent to the World Cup, while this may be true we as a Country could certainly lineup a better team for Germany if we wanted to. Here is my Ideal United States World Cup team for 2006.
Mr. T - Mr. T is renowned in the world for his powers of motivation, no manager in the world can verse rap lyrics which inspire a team to go out and dominate. Mr. T wears all his past championship trophies on his neck exuded confidence which boils over to the team. In addition he could kick the ass of any of the possible opposing managers at will.
Spiderman - Scowering the United States it becomes blatantly obvious that the US needs a goalkeeper of incredible agility and great senses. Who fits that mold better than our friendly neighboorhood Spiderman. With the agility superior to any one on the planet and his SpiderSense ability to feel out incoming attackers Spiderman could be expected to lead shutout effort after shutout. In addition on Penalty Kicks Spiderman could give the opponents a little web in their eye, blinding them for their oncoming shot.
Terry Tate - You need intimidating presence on the defensive end. And no man reeks of intimidation more than than the Office Linebacker himself Terry Tate. Try coming down the middle of the field on Terry Tate, the Americans dare you. That ain't your cake Philip that's Simone's cake. The Pain Train is coming wooh wooh.
Ben Wallace - More intimidation is needed. Big Ben brings the pain swings the elbows and also fills out the americans necessary quota of one for afros on the field of a sporting event. Ben is also a free kick specialist standing at 6 foot 9 and with the fro in upwards of 7 foot 4, Big Ben is the champion header of the world.
Squad Captain - Jack Bauer - There is no greater defense in the history of mankind then Jack Bauer. He stops nuclear attacks, he stops chemical warfare, he kills terrorists with ease. Do you expect anything less then breaking the ankles of his opponents and staring down the refs and never getting a single card.
Steve Urkel - The Americans have developed a strategy where they have the most annoying American of all time annoy the best player on the opposition until out of a frustation filled rage the players starts throwing punches at Urkel drawing a red card, brilliant strategy by Mr. T. At halftime Urkel drinks his boss sauce with a few of Pele's hairs added to the mix and becomes a soccer enhanced Stefan Urquelle.
John Stockton - Every midfield needs a great passer. No american has ever been better then good ole short shorts in dishing out perfect dimes. Stockton hits all strikers with perfect pinpoint passes which become easily deposited in the net.
Waldo - The deceiver of the midfield, Waldo blends into the crowd with ease allowing him to go undetected throughout the flow of the game. Waldo, rarely makes a move on the ball but when he does its pretty much a surefire goal for the Americans.
Chuck Norris - Chuck takes all of the penalty kicks, free kicks and corner kicks. No man in the world can kick harder than Chuck Norris and he knows this. Opponents do not bother to set up a wall on free kicks for they fear for their life because Chuck is a deadly weapon.
Flash - The US needs a speedster on offense and the Flash is there man, way before Kobe was wearing tight tights, the Flash was the trendsetter. The Flash's speed eliminates all hope of the oppositions defense to draw an offside as he never needs to be offside to get to a deep pass.
Wolverine - Aggressive almost to a fault Wolverine is always on the attack. The defense shutters when Wolverine threatens them with his claws leaving Wolverine open to shoot at the Goaltender. Wolverine is also the teams best bycicle kick specialist wielding the flip kick and causing the opponents doom.
Jason Bourne - The last man on this fine starting roster, Jason Bourne is second only to Jack Bauer on cunning and importance on this US squad. Bourne is always 3 steps in front of the opposing defenders and coming up with plans that no normal man could ever dream of.
Easily with Group D one of the two weakest groups in this world cup. Germany has a smooth ride into the second round with a group that does not include another power from anywhere in the world. Instead Germany has been placed with a low level European squad in Poland, and middle of the pack South American squad in Ecuador, and a low level North American squad in Costa Rica. Expect Ecuador to get by in this group as they showed flashes in their qualifying especially with a win over Brazil.
Trinidad & Tobago
Even, without superstar Wayne Rooney the English have the firepower to advance far in this World Cup. With the recent success of many Premiership teams within the Champions League the English have shown that their brand of football is world class. Unfortunately for England they haven't beaten Sweden since well before I was born, expect them to draw with the Swedes pick up 7 points and move on. The Swedes will use their result against the English to seperate themselves from Paraguay and Trinidad & Tobago to grab the 2nd spot in this group.
Serbia & Montenegro
One of the so called groups of death. The battle to get out of this group will be fierce with two upper tier European squads in addition to the always dominant Argentina. Even the Ivory Coast with world class striker Didier Drogba will push these squads during their games. One has to believe that Argentina is going to advance to the second round with world class strikers the likes of Messi and Crespo. Messi, who hopefully will be at full strength during the first round after an injury in the Champions League, ran circles around English Powerhouse Chelsea, watch out for Messi he might be the star of this World Cup. I expect the Orange of the Netherlands to pull out a close matchup against Serbia & Montenegro to latch onto the second spot of the group.
One can argue that this is the weakest group within the world cup. Many believed that the United States and not Mexico were deserved of the single CONCACAF ranking in this Cup. However, in giving this status to Mexico they have been rewarded by being placed against an underachieving Portugal squad as well as two squads within the lower levels of their respective continents. Expect Mexico to capatalize on their placement as well as the Portuguese advancing to the second stage after their mighty disappointment in the last World Cup where they were brought down by the good ole US of A.
The second group of death landed the US in one of their worst possible draws. The most important game of this group could easily be the first pitting the US against the 2nd ranked team in the world the Czech Republic. This is a homer pick but I don't see the US regressing from their Korean World Cup success and expect them to get out of the game with at minimum a draw and advance.to the 2nd round. The Italians who have fallen in the world rankings should never be underestimated and will win this hard fought group. I am biased however living in the US and having Italian Heritage so...
Picking Brazil to win in the World Cup is always a tough, but I believe there is a chance that they pull the miraculous upset and get out of this region. They just might be the Aussie's by ten goals. And the Japanese took advantage of their homefield in the last World Cup but I believe their success will carry over to this World Cup and will represent Asia in round 2.
A particularly weak group, the French have landed the South Koreans and the Swiss. The French should bounce back from their immense disappointment in 2002 and take this group, while the South Koreans' similar to the Japanese will build on their success from 2002 and in defeating the Swiss advance to the 2nd round.
A continuingly underachieving Spanish World Cup squad has found itself within a group that they should easily advance within. The question here lies with whether or not newly bought Chelsea Star Andreii Shevchenko, captain of the Ukranian squad, can complete outclass Saudi Arabia. I'm picking the upset, and believe that Shevchenko will be stifled in their matchup.
1A Germany vs. 2B Sweden
The Germans continue with their nice draw as they draw Sweden a solid team but certainly no superpower. The Germans will score a goal or two early and sit on their lead to enjoy a comfortable trip to the Quarterfinals.
2A Ecuador vs. 1B England
Ecuador is here solely because of their groups ineptitude. England will demolish the inhabitants of the worlds best climate. This quite possibly could be the most lopsided game in Round 2.
1C Argentina vs. 2D Portugal
Now this will be a match to look forward to. Pitting to highly athletic highly talented squads against each other. Expect the quicker attackers of Argentina to overcome Portugals talented squad and take home the victory.
2C Netherlands vs. 1D Mexico
Another solid Quarterfinal matchup, have to love how the World Cup makes draws completely random leaving us with a few fantastic matches in Round 2 and several duds. I like Netherlands in this match though, the Oranje fans will pack in the stands vastly overpopulate the Mexican squad and it should feel like a home game and this advantage will push them in front.
1E Italy vs. 2F Japan
The much maligned Italian squad who has struggled recently even falling out of the top ten in the world will enjoy some vindication when they advance to the Quarters after taking apart a Japanese squad.
2E USA vs. 1F Brazil
This is certainly the matchup that any team and their fans want to see. In a World Cup preview show this weekend on ABC Landon Donovan said that "The US is now at the point where whenever they take the field, except for maybe against brazil, they should expect to win." Well, here it is Landon I would like the major upset to happen but it won't US falls short.
1G France vs. 2H Saudi Arabia
Another relative dud of a match, the older France squad will enjoy their draw much like the Germans and English and the smooth transition from Cup start to Quarterfinals.
2G South Korea vs. 1H Spain
After dissappointment hit Spain in South Korea they advance with ease against an overmatched Korean squad.
Germany vs. Argentina
This is a fantastic matchup. This will be a joy to watch as Germany takes the field in Berlin to face Argentina, you think there might be some crowd noise in Berlin. Too much love from the crowd for Argentina to overcome in a difficult game. There is a reason why World Cup hosts have a lot of success, and I'm not going against it.
Italy vs. France
A classic European dual. Both teams have had some question marks heading into this World Cup but expect this to be the final time you get to see the great Zidane.
Brazil vs. Spain
Brazil is just too talented too skilled. Spain easy draw ends when they run up against the best team in the world and get dumptrucked.
England vs. Netherlands
I'm going to really enjoy this matchup, a lot of people on both sides that I have enjoyed watching in the European Leagues these past few seasons. I just think this is England's year to make a push for the Cup and they get by a tough squad from the Netherlands.
Italy vs. Germany
Another classic European duel. Home pitch, don't underestimate the power of the host country Germany takes down my heritage.
Brazil vs. England
Well, I liked England to win up until the point they faced off against Brazil, so adios England
Third Place Playoff
Haven't we realized in society that playing for 3rd is not overly hetero, anyway England take the wonderful prize for 3rd.
Home pitch vs. The Best Team in the world. Obviously this has been one of the biggest chalk selections known to man but to bet against the best team and the host country is plane stupid and I'm in the business of getting predictions right not going all bold and saying the US is going to win. Well more chalk Brazil takes home a closely contested finals and takes home their second consecutive cup trophy becoming the first back to back winners since Brazil in 58 and 62.