American League Award Show Predictions

Friday, March 30, 2007

MVP - Vlad Guerrero, I've seen a bunch of people picking A-Hole on ESPN, I just don't think a Yankee is going to win this award, especially after last year when Jeter clearly was more valuable than Morneau. Look at the Angels roster, it has limited power, if the Angels make the playoffs it will because Vlad the Impaler strapped them on his back.

Cy Young - Johan Santana, similar to the pick of Pujols there is no point in going and trying to predict someone else just to look back and be wrong.

Coach of the Year - Mike Scioscia, more on the theme that the Angels aren't very good but are going to make the playoffs. Scioscia will be rewarded for getting the weakest team in.

Rookie of the Year - Daisuke Matsuzaka, I know that these assbag writers like to take it into their own hands and decide for themselves that these Japanese guys "aren't rookies" and perhaps that hurts Dice-K's chances a little bit. But he will be that much better than his nearest competetion that they won't be able to pull that move again ala the Angel Berrora year.

Comeback Player of the Year - Carl Pavano, just for shits and giggles basically. But really if he stays healthy and pitches semi decent the offense should drag him along to 15 victories which will probably be good enough to win it.

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National League Award Show Predictions

MVP - Albert Pujols, come on how are you going to logically pick anyone other than Pujols. Even if I don't have the Cards in the playoffs when a guy pushes for the triple crown which Pujols will do this season, he's going to win the award. Why he or Berkman didn't win the award last year is ludicrous.

Cy Young - Roy Oswalt, well I have the Astros winning the NL Central and that won't happen unless Oswalt picks up around 23 wins by himself which is pretty much what I am calling for from this fireballler. After Santana who is on such a pedastal he is the next best pitcher in baseball.

Coach of the Year - Grady Little, partly because I think the Dodgers win the west comfortably, partly because I think it would be hilarious after being crucified in Boston for leaving in Pedro and having it called the worst decision ever.

Rookie of the Year - Kevin Kouzmanoff, things that voters look at from rookies, big numbers. Things they don't look at: fielding statistics. The Kouz, as I will be referring to him all season, will hit over .300 this year and probably lead the NL in errors committed. But he will have a big season and take home the rook o'da yar.

Comeback Player of the Year - Ben Sheets, if Sheets stays healthy he will dominate. So this is going under the 50/50 chance that I think Sheets makes 25+ starts this year and dominates. Probably the biggest gamble pick of them all here.

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Baseball Preview: AL East

And to the AL East, the division that truly matters. This year might be the deepest that the division has been in years. Obviously the Sox and Yanks haven't left, but the Blue Jays should be dangerous again this year, and even the Orioles and Devil Rays have potential. One could put together a good argument that this division is actually better than the AL Central and will be the best division in baseball at years end.

1. New York Yankees

Everyone is making such a big deal about the Yankees back end of the rotation, but truth be that is being way overblown. When Wang gets back they'll have three top flight pitcher at the top of the rotation, the wonderful Carl Pavano, and Japanese Ted Lilly. That is more than enough to win a lot of games.

Key Player: Mariano Rivera, Mo is always the most important player on the Yankees. You think Proctor or Farnsworth would be able to perform in the closers role for even a fraction of a second? Give me a break.

Player to Eye: Melky Cabrera, the Melkman was terrific in his callup last year after everyone went down, and was truly a savior to keep the Yankees on track. Now with Giambi being to fat to play first base and the outfield crowded with Damon, Matsui and Abreu, where will his at bats come from. Torre will need to get this kid some at bats, because he's the perfect fit for the end of the lineup.

Record Prediction: 95 - 71

2. Boston Red Sox

After a collapse to end the 2006 season the Red Sox will bounce back fully this season. They've got potentially three aces at the top of their rotation and of course Manny and Papi in the middle of the lineup. The question not being asked, that is all the noise in Yankees talks, is who the heck is going to be their 5th start now that Paps was put back in the pen. You really think Tavarez is an option?

Key Player: Manny Ramirez, Manny is the most important player on the Red Sox. He's the best right handed hitter in the American league and perhaps its most consistent. He goes down or loses interest like last year and the Red Sox will tank just like last year. My guess is once he's done selling grills for his buddy in spring training he will be the typical Manny, .320 35 130 100.

Player to Eye: Daisuke Matsuzaka, who's not going to watch Dice-K. What will his stats be? My estimates were 16-8, 3.43 era, 198 IP, 173 Ks, 1.18 WHIP but who knows that could be completely lowballing it. Hell in my keeper draft I am planning on using my first round pick on him if he falls to me, aka over guys like Schmidt, Harang and Smoltz.

Record Prediction:92-70

3. Toronto Blue Jays

Everyone talks about the Blue Jays threatening the Yanks and Sox this season. I just am not seeing them being that close late in the season, their top two pitchers are massive injury risks and so is their DH. Their closer is coming off the best season of his career and could fall back a bit and so is their best hitter Vernon Wells. The Red Sox and Yanks will remain the class of the AL East this season.

Key Player: Roy Halladay, you can make a case that Roy Halladay is the most important pitcher to his team in all of baseball. He's the ace of the staff for a team that will need to fight over the Yanks and the Sox, and he just might be the most fragile of all big time pitchers. He goes down, Blue Jays done, he stays healthy, they got a chance.

Player to Eye: Frank Thomas, will the oft injured Big Hurt stay healthy two seasons in a row. Is that possible for such an old and large man? If he can stay healthy will his numbers mirror last years? He will be DHing in a better hitters stadium. But will the running, limited running more like casual jogging, on the turf blow out a knee or a hammy or a groin.

Record Prediction:84-78

4. Baltimore Orioles

I think the Orioles actually have potential to be pretty decent this season. Their rotation is filled with a lot of potential and Trashbag. Their closer is young and could get better. Problem is they play in the AL East.

Key Player: Nick Markakis, they have him hitting 3rd to start the season meaning they are expecting big things out of the sophomore and they will absolutely need big things from him.

Player to Eye: Adam Loewen, a huge lefty under the tutilage of the rocker. I bit on Daniel Cabrera and Erik Bedard's potential last season to get burned by one and enjoy glory from the other. Loewen is my sleeper last pick this season, he's throwing the ball hard and well in spring and a 6-6 lefty is going to be tough on hitters. He's got close to a K per inning and a ton of potential.

Record Prediction: 75-87

5. Tampa Bay Devil Rays

The Devil Rays actually have potential this year to be a pretty decent team, well minus the fact that their pitching blows. In most years the Devil Rays are fodder to boost the Yanks or Sox record and occasionally will pester one of the teams during the season. This year especially late in the season when some of their prospects like Delmon Young get into the groove, they will be a mosquito that the top of the division won't enjoy playing.

Key Player: Scott Kazmir, he's really the only pitcher they've got. And thus he's default most important player on their roster. With a lineup full of young top prospects the Devil Rays have the potential to click midseason with the bats, but if Kazmir goes down they'll find themselves typically in the basement of the AL East.

Player to Eye: B.J. Upton, one of the most talked about prospects for years has no position to call home this season. How many at bats will he get? Where will those at bats come from? 3B, 2B, OF?

Record Prediction:67-95

*Note: These Record Predictions probably don't add up perfectly, and by probably I mean 99.99999% likely they don't.

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Baseball Preview: AL Central

1. Detroit Tigers

So the Tigers come out of nowhere last year and they're going to repeat? Yes, why? Young arms and the addition of a little beef in the middle of the order. Sure Magglio was nice but a pissed off Chef in the middle order certainly makes the lineup more intimidating. The worry for the Tigers like most teams is the health of their pitching, the Gambler Kenny Rogers will start the season on the DL and Verlander might have been overworked last year.

Key Player: Gary Sheffield, Name something missing from the Tigers last year. An absolutely intimidating hitter. Sheffield when healthy certainly fills that void. And helped by the fact he is a pissed off mo fo this season he is bound to have monsterous numbers.

Player to Eye: Justin Verlander, the Tigers shut him down in September for a few weeks last year because they were concerned about his workload. That sometimes leads to a complete breakdwon the next season. Throw in the fact that he hasn't been very impressive during spring training and the Tigers might have something to worry about.

Record Prediction: 90 - 72

2. Chicago White Sox


The White Sox are a bunch of mashers right now, where as with their World Series team they had the deepest starting rotation in the bigs. Now they have a bunch of question marks throughout the whole pitching staff. Will they be good sure, can they win the division, of course, will they? I don't think so.

Key Player: Mark Buehrle, This staff which was the absolute stong point during their World Series run took a large turn for the worse last season. And the biggest example of this was Mark Buehrle who went from top of the rotation type to mostly bad starts. The White Sox will desperately need him to get back to form.

Player to Eye: Scott Podsednik if Pods can stay healthy he could be a catalyst again at the top of the order. And hitting in front of Thome, Konerko and Dye is a friendly place to be. If Pods doesn't consistantly get on base for the Sox, then having those big boppers turns less important.

Record Prediction:88-74

3. Cleveland Indians

The Indians are a lot of peoples sheek pick to win the division or the Wild Card and even a few peoples crazy idea that they are going to win the World Series. But they just don't have the pitching past Sabathia to make a big time push to win the best division in baseball.

Key Player: CC Sabathia, Fatassia got hit by a line drive on his second pitch in his last outing of the spring, and while X-rays have come up negative it certainly isn't a good sign when your ace is questionable to start the season. Sabathia just might be the most underrated pitcher in the lague right now after posting a 3.22 era and 174 Ks last year despite missing almost the whole first month of the season.

Player to Eye: Jhonny Peralta, he flat out stunk last year but his manager refused to move him from the pressure packed 3 hole in the lineup until he was in a slump that was too harsh for him to get out of. Now he will most likely slide down in the lineup and with a better spring he could be more the Peralta of 05 than the one of 06.

Record Prediction:86-76

4. Minnesota Twins

The Twins pulled out the division last year after a hot second half combined with the Tigers melt down, so why the 4th place finish this season? They got career years from Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau (I'm not a believer) and of course they had the unhittable Liriano spark midseason. They won't get any of that this year, and thus 4th place.

Key Player: Johan Santana, obviously when you have the best pitcher in baseball he is the key player on your team. He was the MVP of the Twins last year, not Morneau, and will be the MVP of the Twins this year. Without him this rotation consists of Carlos Silva, Boof Bonser, Sidney Ponson??? Imagine how bad this team would be if he were ever to go down.

Player to Eye: Matt Garza, Garza posted a 1.50 era this spring, Carlos Silva posted an 11 era this spring so naturally the Twins sent their top prospect down to the minors, even though he threw 50 innings in the bigs last year, in favor of throwing Carlos Silva. It makes so much sense. When Garza gets called up, probably no later than the end of April, he will have a big impact.

Record Prediction:78-84

5. Kansas City Royals

If this was the NFL or the NBA the Royals would be right there in the race to get that first pick. Too bad there are no Greg Oden's or Kekin Durant's waiting as saviors at the end of the tunnel. The good news for the Royals is they have some young talent with Gordon, Teahan and Butler waiting in the wings. The problem, they still have no pitching and their in the best division in baseball.

Key Player: Alex Gordon, so why would I have a rookie as the key player of any team it's simple he's the future of the organization. They have no chance of competing this year they don't have the pitching or the overal talent. If Gordon comes out and puts up big numbers in his rookie campaign it gives Royal fans some hope for the future.

Player to Eye: Zack Greinke, This kid was good enough to be kept in my league in 04, on the roster I inherited no less, which explains why my pitching blew to no end last year. Anyway, Greinke has been named the Royals number three starter and minus injuries and mental breakdowns he could post a sub 4 ERA which would make him the best pitcher on the Royals roster.

Record Prediction:58-103

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Baseball Preview: AL West

Thursday, March 29, 2007

1. LAA Angels

The Angels currently have a few injuries in the rotation that need to be cleared up namely Colon and DreamWeaver, and will be relying on some young bats to prosper around the big bopper, but they have the most talent out west and if they can get their rotation healthy should take the division.

Key Player: Vlad Guerrero, The Angels lineup is 100% centered around the wild hackin Dominican. And his back could still flair up and sideline him at anytime. The Angels really need him in the lineup all season long.

Player to Eye: Bartolo Colon, He's fat he's fat he knows it, oooh. Anyway do you remember the fact he won the Cy Young two seasons ago? Ya neither does anybody else. If this fat ass can get healthy and stay healthy all year long he could be a force out west.

Record Prediction: 90 - 72

2. Oakland A's

Oakland is an intriguing club this season. They lost the Big Hurt who was their MVP a year ago, but have replaced him with another solid veteran bat. Haren is the opening day starter but another guy with electric stuff is slotted in a few days later. And Nick Swisher who had a bust out season last year is absolutely mashing the ball in Spring training.

Key Player: Rich Harden, he could win the Cy Young, or he could pitch in a total of ten games this season. Neither would be surprising to both the Athletics franchise or me. I would bet that if he throws in 25 games this year that the brass in Oakland will be ecstatic. Chances of that happening? 50/50 maybe?

Player to Eye: Mike Piazza, as the DH for the A's this year, Piazza needs to do his best impersonation of the Big Hurt from last year who legitimately strapped Oakland on his back and dragged them into the postseason. Will Piazza benefit emensely from being a full time DH and not have to deal with the pain of catching daily, during the Spring he's sure raking and the A's hope it continues.

Record Prediction: 87-77

3. Seattle Mariners

The Mariners enter the season as a big time under the radar team. Both Beltre and Sexson had monster second halfs and they've added a few extra pitchers to their staff.

Key Player: Richie Sexson, wazs en fuego the second half of the season. How en fuego, this power hitter hit .322 after the break. For someone that swings as hard as Sexson and hits the ball as far as him .322 is pretty damn impressive. But he's slumping in the spring again, so will he go through that miserable first half slump again?

Player to Eye: Adam "Not Pacman" Jones, the M's brought up this rookie last season to patrol centerfield and to put it nicely he wasn't any good. But the M's top prospect should be up and make an impact this season and has drawn comparisons to a former M's centerfielder, Mike Cameron.

Record Prediction: 82-82

4. Texas Rangers

The Rangers yet again have no pitching. And in their Texas version of Coors they will all get lit up and it won;t matter that they have Michael Young and Big Tex mashing in the middle of the lineup.

Key Player: Michael Young, The most consistant player in the majors right now. Chalk in 200 hits and solid overal numbers. I don't foresee any injury concerns ever considering there hasn't been a whiff of it ever, but if there is some freak incident the Rangers would be laughable this season.

Player to Eye: Ian Kinsler, he's been a big target of mine in all fantasy drafts. Why? Because he's a top prospect a big time 20/20 candidate at second base which means he could end up being top 10 easily at the end of the season possibly top 5.

Record Prediction: 79-85

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Fantasy Baseball Blowout: Starting Pitcher Rankings

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

So ya I never had time to do this so it's just a list with pictures. Woo. And RP is not very finished.

1. Johan Santana, Twins
2. Chris Carpenter, Cardinals
3. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
4. Roy Oswalt, Astros
5. Carlos Zambrano, Cubs
6. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
7. Jake Peavy, Padres
8. Jeremy Bonderman, Tigers
9. John Lackey, Angels
10. Dontrelle Willis, Marlins
11. Scott Kazmir, Devil Rays
12. Aaron Harang, Reds
13. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox
14. C.C. Sabathia, Indians
15. John Smoltz, Braves
16. Brett Myers, Phillies
17. Felix Hernandez, Mariners
18. Jason Schmidt, Dodgers
19. Danny Haren, Athletics
20. Chris Young, Padres
21. Ben Sheets, Brewers
22. Cole Hamels, Phillies
23. Erik Bedard, Orioles
24. Matt Cain, Giants
25. Josh Beckett, Red Sox
26. Rich Harden, Athletics
27. Barry Zito, Giants
28. Curt Schilling, Red Sox
29. Justin Verlander, Tigers
30. Ervin Santana, Angels
31. A.J. Burnett, Blue Jays
32. Bronson Arroyo, Reds
33. Rich Hill, Cubs
34. Dave Bush, Brewers
35. Chris Capuano, Brewers
36. Derek Lowe, Dodgers
37. Andy Pettitte, Yankees
38. Mike Mussina, Yankees
39. Javier Vazquez, White Sox
40. Scott Olsen, Marlins
41. Kelvim Escobar, Angels
42. Brad Penny, Dodgers
43. Josh Johnson, Marlins
44. Jered Weaver, Angels
45. Chien-Ming Wang, Yankees
46. Ian Snell, Pirates
47. John Patterson, Nationals
48. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers
49. Freddy Garcia, Phillies
50. Anibal Sanchez, Marlins
51. Mark Prior, Cubs
52. Daniel Cabrera, Orioles
53. Ted Lilly, Cubs
54. Tim Hudson, Braves
55. Boof Bonser, Twins
56. Randy Johnson, Yankees
57. Tom Glavine, Mets
58. Jeremy Sowers, Indians
59. Chuck James, Braves
60. Kei Igawa, Yankees
61. Nate Robertson, Tigers
62. Jeff Francis, Rockies
63. Kevin Millwood, Rangers
64. Jeff Suppan, Brewers
65. Anthony Reyes, Cardinals
66. Jose Contreras, White Sox
67. Jake Westbrook, Indians
68. Jon Garland, White Sox
69. Mark Buehrle, White Sox
70. Kenny Rogers, Tigers
71. Jason Jennings, Astros
72. Roger Clemens, free agent
73. Matt Garza, Twins
74. John Maine, Mets
75. Joe Blanton, Athletics
76. Bartolo Colon, Angels
77. Greg Maddux, Padres
78. Doug Davis, Diamondbacks
79. Carl Pavano, Yankees
80. Zack Greinke, Royals
81. Zach Duke, Pirates
82. Brandon McCarthy, Rangers
83. Homer Bailey, Reds
84. Noah Lowry, Giants
85. Adam Loewen, Orioles
86. Oliver Perez, Mets
87. Vicente Padilla, Rangers
88. Tom Gorzelanny, Pirates
89. Cliff Lee, Indians
90. Time Wakefield, Red Sox

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Fantasy Baseball Blowout: Relief Pitchers Rankings

For my league the key for your relief pitcher is getting saves. If you don't get saves from a relief pitcher than he's a waste regardless of his K totals and ERA. Thus the rankings mirror who is the safest bet to pick up saves throughout the season with peripheral stats for the most part only being marginal tie breakers. Sure a 4.50 era from your closer stinks, but he only throws about 70 innings, which is almosr negligable in comparison to the 200 innings you will be getting from the majority of your starters. This also means that I would draft any closer at the bottom end / high risk of losing his job prior to any set up man I think may win the job in a few weeks.

Right now I believe the top 13 closers are definately going to keep their job this season, if you look past those 13 there are easily foreseeable scenarios where they could be yanked from the job, either from performance or injury.

1. Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins - He's a stud and completely reliable. He hasn't had any injuries in recent history and with the diminished pitching staff this season the Twins will need his services more than ever. If he doesn't finish the season with 40+ saves I would be shocked.

2. Francisco Rodriguez, LAA Angels - K-Rod is nasty and the point could be made that he is the #1 closer in the bigs currently, especially with the Angels being forseeably better than the Twins this season. I give Nathan the edge because he's very reliable, and K-Rod's delivery is so wild that an injury isn't out of the question.

3. B.J. Ryan, Toronto Blue Jays - BJ arguably had the best season of any closer in the bigs last year and I doubt there will be any downturn.

4. Billy Wagner, New York Mets - Safe pickup. Always healthy on a great team. Very good K rate. Not many negatives with Billy the kid.

5. Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees - The Yanks have built up there bullpen more this season than ever before. This will give Mariano breaks in action to keep him healthy and fresh. Perhaps, the save totals will be a little lower than years past but the peripheral numbers will stay steadt.

6. Huston Street, Oakland Athletics -

7. Trevor Hoffman, San Diego Padres - Hoffman in my opinion should have won the NL Cy Young last year. Healthy again this season Hoffman can certainly put up gaudy save numbers, it's the K rate that makes him less appealing than those higher.

8. Bobby Jenks, Chicago White Sox -

9. Chad Cordero, Washington Nationals -

10. J.J. Putz, Seattle Mariners -

11. Chris Ray, Baltimore Orioles -

12. Francisco Cordero, Milwaukee Brewers -

13. Brian Fuentes, Colorado Rockies -

14. Takashi Saito, Los Angeles Dodgers - This is the point where I begin to think people can get replaced. Everyone above is relatively safe to keep their position but from Saito down, there are legitamate questionmarks. For Saito he had one very good season, but Broxton has more ability in the setup role. Struggles and a switch could easily be made.

15. Brad Lidge, Houston Astros - What is going on in this guys head? The Astros gave him way too many opportunities last season and I just can't see that happening again. Sure he could be phenominal but what happens if he sucks again and someone beats you to the punch to pick up Wheeler. Than you're scrambling.

16. Bob Wickman, Atlanta Braves - The Braves just picked up one of the most reliable closers of the past two seasons. Yet he's still the man currently. Wicky always seems to do a good job in the job so unless that changes, which I don't necessarily see, he should keep the job. The biggest worry for me is if he gets banged up, Gonzo could easily step in and then hold the job.

17. Todd Jones, Detroit Tigers -

18. Tom Gordon, Philadelphia Phillies - The Phillies should be good this season, and Tom Gordon was very good last season. But he's an old man and there's a significant chance his body begins its breakdown process in the near future.

19. Jason Isringhausen, St. Louis Cardinals - Was ineffective for the most part last season and injured at the end of the year. But the Cardinals will win their share of games and Wainwright appears to be destined to for the starting rotation so there are not many people up his heals right now.

20. Eric Gagne, Texas Rangers - Thus concludes the back-to-back-to-back old guys with big time injury risks. Gagne hasn't been the same for a very long time. Sure he could return to his dominant form. But more likely he blows out his elbow and doesn't pitch more than a month of the season. Big time risk/reward. If you have him and someone else has Otsuka, you could be in trouble.

21. Jose Valverde, Arizona Diamondbacks -

22. Joe Borowski, Cleveland Indians -

23. Ryan Dempster, Chicago Cubs -

24. Salomon Torres, Pittsburgh Pirates -

25. Armando Benitez, San Francisco Giants -

26. Seth McClung, Tampa Bay Devil Rays -

27. Taylor Tankersley, Florida Marlins - The Marlins closer always seems to pick up a lot of saves and Tankersley appears to be the lead candidate for the job. If he can lock it down and look good the first month he could easily pick up 35 saves. But until he does that he's a risk pick.

28. Octavio Dotel, Kansas City Royals - Until I see something in spring training I'll keep my distance. But I have always been a big fan of Dotel and if he returns to the form he had prior to the Tommy John than he will easily control the Royals closer job. If he has success though, he could be shopped at the break for a setup role.

29. Joel Pineiro, Boston Red Sox - Closer of the Red Sox is a very valuable fantasy job to own. But anyone comfortable in saying Pineiro is the guy right now? His value could be sky high or zero. Just look atleast year, there were hints Papelbon would take over the closer job eventually. But come the opening day he was it, and his value for the remainder of the season was through the roof.

30. David Weathers, Cincinnati Reds - Currently slotted in as the closer. I have zero faith he will keep it and would be a last ditch effort for me to draft him.

31. Akinori Otsuka, Texas Rangers - Anybody a bigger injury risk than Eric Gagne? Otsuka had a superb season last year and I was pretty surprised when the Rangers felt the need to to sign Gagne. If Otsuka was guaranteed the closers job this season he would easily be top 15, but now without the security he drops to my top spot without a job.

32. Mike Gonzalez, Atlanta Braves - He's been lights out as a closer for the Pirates for the past two seasons so any slip up from Wicky and he could quickly be slotted into that role. However, he's not in it yet, and may never be in it. Similarly to Otsuka he would have been up there in reliability had he stayed in Pittsburgh.

33. Dan Wheeler, Houston Astros - Wheeler picked up some saves last season when Lidge faltered. The Astros this season won't have the same patience with Lidge this season and after a few terrible outings in April, Wheeler could get the quick call.

34. Joel Zumaya, Detroit Tigers - Eventually Zumaya is going to win the closers job, will this year be it. Probably not unless Jones gets injured or really struggles.

35. Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers - Saito had one solid season but Broxton has better stuff.

36. Kerry Wood, Cubs - Dempster is inconsistant and if Wood could adjust well to his relief role he has the stuff to assume the closer job and run with it.

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Baseball Preview: NL East

1. New York Mets

So the Mets have by far the best lineup in the National League but more than ever their pitching staff has massive question marks. Oliver Perez and John Maine will they be stable throughout the year, how will Pelfrey do in his rookie year and will Glavine and Duque stay healthy. In the end I just think their lineup is that strong.

Key Player: Billy Wagner, The entire Mets staff is really centered around their bullpen so while most people would point to Glavine as the most important Met I think it's Wagner. If Wagner was ever to go down due to injury there would be an enormously negative trickle down effect. Especially with Duaner Sanchez out for an extended period.

Player to Eye: Lastings Milledge, Shawn Green sucked this spring, no surprise there and Lastings Milledge came up and hit .370. Can anyone think of someone who sucked in their first go round in the majors and then made a fantastic impact after his callup the next season. Hmm, how about looking across borough lines and finding Melky Cabrera who embarrassed himself in his callup in 05 but was fantastic last season in left field.

Record Prediction: 91 - 71

2. Philadelphia Phillies

Here's the problem with the Phillies, they always underachieve. There's no real reason why they shouldn't win the wildcard or the division. They have the best right side of the infield in baseball with Howard and Utley, they have a run producing SS and they have two stud arms in the rotation with Hamels and Myers. But they perennially underachieve.

Key Player: Ryan Howard, Howard was obviously a masher last season winning the MVP, which he didn't deserve, but he will need to do the same for the Phillies to be a big time player. When you look at their roster not much has changed they've added a few pitchers but will need to mash their way into the playoffs.

Player to Eye: Shane Victorino, the flyin Hawaiin, got his pt last year after the trade of Abreu and did a solid job. Now he's got the job in right field full time, what will he turn into, what will his peak numbers be?

Record Prediction:89 - 73, WildCard

3. Atlanta Braves

2006 was the marking of the end of the Braves domination of the NL East, can 2007 be the new beginning? The Braves will rely on youth McCann, Frenchy, as well as the veterans from the past Andruw Jones and Smoltz. The competition for the NL East crown should be much more exciting this season and the Bravos should be right in the mix.

Key Player: Chipper Jones, a forgotten man around the league. Just look at his numbers last season. Extrapolate those out to 160 and you have top 5 in the league MVP voting. But there is always the injury bug with Chipper, 2007 needs to be the year he stays healthy for the Braves to beat out the Phillies and/or Mets.

Player to Eye: Chuck James, talk about flying under the radar did you know Chuck James went 11-4 last year with a 3.78 era for the Braves, who were stinking up the joint at the end of the season. Will he be someone that the Braves can count on this year and in the future? Is he the next Tom Glavine? If you look at his minor league numbers and how he pitched last year, chances are he's gonna be good for awhile.

Record Prediction: 87 -75

4. Florida Marlins

So why do I have a team that came out of nowhere to contend with all youth with such a miserable record? Well their young pitching staff is already starting to have problems. Josh Johnson is out for an extended period. Hermida is out again. And do you believe in Dan Uggla?

Key Player: Dontrelle Willis, with Johnson out and the Marlins relying on Anibal and Olsen again behind Willis it's more important than ever that Willis goes back to his 2005 form when he was a complete horse.

Player to Eye: Dan Uggla, the most surprising rookie season in recent memory. Uggla came out of nowhere to put up phenomenal numbers which is exactly why people are disbelieving he will do it again. Fair or not, he was not spoken of as a top prospect so was he a fluke?

Record Prediction: 71-91

5. Washington Nationals

Quite possibly the worst team in baseball. They have weak lineup and a weak pitching staff. Their best player, Ryan Zimmerman, has a single year of experience and will be thrust into a spot where all the weight is on his shoulders. In addition they have no real big boppers and in the cavernous RFK expect the Nationals to finish in just about deadlast for team home runs.

Key Player: John Patterson, he's really the only guy that will strike any kind of fear in the opposing eyes. After bust out 2005 Patterson broke down early last year. If the Nats want to be even remotely competitive Patterson needs to be on the hill a lot.

Player to Eye: Nick Johnson, needs to come back for the Nats to have any kind of offense. Right now they have Felipe Lopez and Ryan Zimmerman and are throwin the Meathook at 1B. How long will it be until the meathook gets into legal trouble and he's gone.

Record Prediction: 51 - 111

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Random Quicknotes

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

~Pacman Jones is the definition of a Sparkling Wiggle. You can toss in Tank Johnson and Chris Henry into that equation as the NFL is going to start their new anti-sparkling wiggle campaign in the next week or so.

~So who's pumped with the Yankees opening day rotation. With Wang down for a month and Pettite's back aching along with Karstens complaining of arm soreness here's looking at Pavano or Igawa on opening day. Supplemented by Rasner at the back end of the rotation. Ugh.

~Van Gundy is a friggin moron. He said he thinks that the NBA Lottery should be open to every team. Ya cause that would be fair and intelligent for the NBA. Could you imagine if Lebron and Oden were teamed up for the foreseeable future. Or if the Mavs picked up Oden or the Suns picked up Durant. Why don't you just flush the Celtics, Grizz and other terrible franchises down the toilet. Even more laughable is he wants everyone to have the same chance of winning the lottery.

~My take on Jaws entering the booth instead of Theisman is that it is an improvement as Theisman can be very annoying but that I won't care that much. Honestly I don't watch much Monday Night Football because A) I watch non stop football saturday and sunday typically and B) They don't have very good games usually. Hell one of their opening night games this year is the Cards vs. the 49ers. That game's intriguing, false.

~Uconn got dominated last night by the LSU minus their player dating former coach.

~Scroll down and watch Rasheed's pimp shot if you haven't seen it yet.

~Takeo Spikes I would think is a solid pickup for the Eagles.

~The Knicks got boned on a non-goaltending call and proceeded to lose, quite humurous.

~Bruce Pearl has been given permission to talk to Iowa, note to Bruce that's not an upgrade, don't bother. Kentucky would be an upgrade, but good luck not being seen as a complete villain and getting killed in your travels to Knoxville.

~Speaking of flushing down the toilet, the Sonics have officially entered tank mode by sidelining Ray Allen for the season due to "bone spurs" give me a friggin break.

~If you haven't seen the end of the DII Championship game from this weekend its a much watch.

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Baseball Preview: NL Central

Quite Possibly the worst division in baseball and simply put the division that is most up for grabs. No one has a dominant pitching staff but each of the top 3 teams have a legitimate ace. This division could be decided based on injuries that drag down anyone of the top 4 teams.

1. Houston Astros

The Astros, why the Astros. Well cause everyone sucks but only one team will be picking up Roger Clemens come June to spark their roster to better production. I also think the Astros have the most reliable closer in the division with Lidge, even though he's wildly inconsistant, as well as a deep lineup after the adition of Carlos Lee.

Key Player: Lance Berkman, I'm convinced he should have won the MVP last season, he was the only bat in their entire lineup. This season I think Berkman will get much more support with the addition of Carlos Lee and...

Player to Eye: Morgan Ensberg, the healthy version. Last year he was injured for most of the season and stunk. This year Morgan is off to a hot spring training and should mash atleast 25 homers with a much better average than last year.

Record Prediction: 86 - 78

2. Chicago Cubs

Oh the Chicago Cubs poor souls they spend all this money on free agents and they get what. A lead off guy with power but a bad on base percentage, an inconsistant closer, and a rotation which again completely centers on their sole ace.

Key Player: Carlos Zambrano, He's the Cy Young winner already right? Well maybe not yet but he should be one of the main 3 competing for the prize with Oswalt and Carpenter. If Zambrano ever went down the Cubbies can crawl in a whole and go nighty night.

Player to Eye: Mark Prior, The biggest question mark of them all, will Mark Prior ever be the same pitcher. If the Cubs can get him to throw even 25 games they should win the division. The chances of that happening, 30% maybe, and that might be a stretch.

Record Prediction: 86-78

3. St. Louis Cardinals

I've got the defending World Series Champs at third. Possibly the dumbest decision ever. It's just their pitching staff sucks and it just might be time for Rolen and Edmonds to break down completely.

Key Player: Chris Carpenter, I understand that Albert Pujols is the best player on the team and if he goes down they are screwed. But right now they have one surefire pitcher and that is Carpenter, if he goes down this squad might as well call it quits.

Player to Eye: Yadier Molina, His brothers, especially Bengie, can Mash and yet Yadier barely managed to hit over the mendoza line last season yet came up with the biggest hit of the season with his home run against the Mets. There is still opportunity for Yadier to grow as a hitter to tack onto his already dominant defense.

Record Prediction: 83-79

4. Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers are a hot sleeper pick to take this miserable division but I'm going to pass on selecting them because I think they have too many question marks. A lot of players have injury problems, they will be relying on a lot of youth in their lineup, and their pitching while it put up good numbers last year couldn't pick up Ws.

Key Player: Ben Sheets, The always injured Ben Sheets is the key to the Brewers success. If he starts 30+ games this team could be the sleeper to take this horrible division. But what are the chances

Player to Eye: Prince Fielder, I think the Prince could be a beast at the plate this season. Think .285 30 110 85. Hell the fat guy even had 7 steals last season. A run away freight train basically. If Prince doesn't have a big year the Brewers are in trouble.

Record Prediction: 81-81

5. Cincinatti Reds

The Reds sucked last year and they got career type season from their two top starters Harang and Arroyo. You think Arroyo is going to have a mid 3 ERA with 240 innings pitched in a second consecutive season? I sure don't. In addition they have no idea who their closer is, and the trade last year giving away Kearns and Lopez for bullpen help was miserable.

Key Player: Bronson Arroyo, why Arroyo as the key player, well he was a stud last year. Between him and Harang he is obviously the choice for someone who's numbers will decline this season. If they do decline a lot then the Reds are totally screwed.

Player to Eye: Brandon Philips, the rumor mill is spitting out that Brandon Philips is set to be slotted into the 3 hole for the Reds. If this is the case than the manager must be epecting massive things from Philips which I guess I just don't see / understand. When you have Dunn and Griffey why would you hit Philips in the 3 hole?

Record Prediction: 72-90

6. Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates should be improved this season with a little more experience for some of their young players like Freddy Sanchez and Zach Duke, however they still just do not have enough players on the roster to seriously contend for anything more than a few spots above the MLB basement.

Key Player: Jason Bay, Jason Bay should have a massive year with the added protection Laroche hitting behind him. And the Pirates will need his numbers as the rest of their lineup does not supply much pop.

Player to Eye: Salomon Torres The Pirates shipped closer Mike Gonzalez to the Braves for 1B Adam Laroche partly because they were comfortable with putting Torres, who had a solid year last year, into that role. If you haven't heard of Torres before don't think he's an up and comer, he's 35 and this will be his 10th season in the bigs.

Record Prediction: 70-92

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Baseball Preview: NL West

Monday, March 26, 2007

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers had a solid season last year and should be able to improve upon that this season after the addition of front line starter Jason Schmidt. Their youthful position players could potentially be better this season, although the addition of Luis Gonzalez made no sense. I think the Dodgers are the logical choice for NL West champions.

Key Player: Rafael Furcal, The Dodgers need to do a better job this season at putting runs on the board and Furcal is the table setter. With him and Pierre in the lineup they need to get on base, steal some bases and get some cheap runs so their solid pitching staff doesn't need to be flawless.

Player to Eye: Jonathon Broxton, Broxton throws flames and if given the opportunity to close could be lights out. The Dodgers should start with Saito as the closer but shouldn't be afraid to have a quick trigger.

Record Prediction: 90 - 72

2. San Diego Padres

The Padres definitely could contend for a Wildcard or the NL West crown with a very good rotation consisting of Peavy, Young, Maddux, Boomer, and Clay Hensley. But the combination of Boomer, Maddux, and Hoffman are closer to the Early Bird Special portion of their lives than their minor league days and could breakdown. In addition their hitting is flat inconsistant.

Key Player: Brian Giles, He's still going to hit in the middle of their order and frankly he needs to do a much better job this season then last when his power numbers were putrid and he hit around .260. You can't have a guy hitting in the 3 or 4 hole playing that poorly. Bud Black should not be afraid to pull the trigger and throw Adrian Gonzalez into a more prominent role in the lineup if Giles struggles.

Player to Eye: Kevin Kouzmanoff, Traded for Josh Barfield in the offseason this kid is tearing the cover off the ball in spring and his minor league numbers are terrific. He could easily contend for NL Rookie of the year.

Record Prediction: 86-76

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks have finally parted ways with some of their older veterans and will go youth movement this year. Jackson, Young, Quentin, Drew should all be key contributors to their lineup. The question marks lie with how will these touted prospects produce in full seasons in the bigs and how will Valverde perform as the closer.

Key Player: Randy Johnson, He sucked last year and I think he is dirtbag scum and I am very happy he's off the Yankees. However he's back in the NL closer to his home and though he's old and has a shitty back he could throw up a 4.20 ERA with a good amount of wins. If he falls apart the D-Backs have no shot.

Player to Eye: Conor Jackson, A stud prospect for years, the 24 year old Jackson should receive all the pt at first base for the Diamondbacks. His numbers last year were modest, .291 15 79 75, but throw on a year of experience those numbers could easily increase to .300 25 100 100, so the Diamondbacks hope.

Record Prediction: 84-78

4. San Francisco Giants

The Giants went out and broke the bank to pick up Zito but the problem with their roster from last year remains the same this season, they are practically a convalescent home considering how old their roster is.

Key Player: Barry Bonds, He's still the most important person in this lineup despite oozing HGH and other juices. If he goes down due to any injury their lineup immediately is diminished to one of the worst in the bigs.

Player to Eye: Noah Lowry, 2 Years ago he came and had a terrific season for the Giants, last year his ERA went up a full run. So which Noah Lowry will the Giants get. He's been struggling in the spring but that doesn't necessarily mean he will struggle. The Giants will need him to back Matt Cain and Zito if they want to win this division.

Record Prediction: 80-84

5. Colorado Rockies

The Rockies have some stud young bats with Atkins and Holliday and could potentially lead the West in runs scored. The issue who are they going to pitch. Is Jeff Francis really an ace? They have a reliable closer in Fuentes but there just isn't enough depth in their starting rotation to legitimately expect contending.

Key Player: Todd Helton, He's going to hit in between Atkins and Holliday and he needs to bring his power numbers back to the old days. If Helton can return to his .320 30 form the Rockies might not need any pitching to win 80+ games. Which is a good thing cause they don't have any.

Player to Eye: Brad Hawpe, Hawpe had a terrific first half last season and for awhile had his numbers running in parallel with Matt Holliday's, and then the second half of the season started and his average plummeted to .268 and his homers dropped from 15 prior to the break to 7 after the break. The Rockies want to see the guy from the first half.

Record Prediction: 77-89

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Fantasy Baseball Blowout: OF Rankings

This is a lot of outfielders if you want a detailed description for each your in the wrong place.

1. Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs - 40/40 potential is diesel.
2. Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Moderate Power could lead the league in steals.
3. Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox - Sox should be in it, meaning Manny won't take the last month off and should get his 35-40 135.
4. Vladimir Guerrero, Los Angeles Angels 5. Carlos Beltran, New York Mets - Would be nicer if Willy let him run more.
6. Lance Berkman, Houston Astros - Numbers through the roof last year, with Carlos Lee and a healthy Ensberg behind him, expect the same.
7. Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies -
8. Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners -

9. Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians - I love Sizemore, I'm trying to trade for him now in my keeper league. 30/30 and 140 run potential.
10. Jason Bay, Pittsburgh Pirates
11. Vernon Wells, Toronto Blue Jays
12. Carlos Lee, Houston Astros
13. Jermaine Dye, Chicago White Sox
14. Andruw Jones, Atlanta Braves
15. Bobby Abreu, New York Yankees
16. Gary Sheffield, Detroit Tigers
17. Hideki Matsui, New York Yankees
18. Johnny Damon, New York Yankees
19. Chone Figgins, Los Angeles Angels

20. Adam Dunn, Cincinnati Reds - Ks don't factor in my league only average. And while Dunn punishes you in average he's going to drive in a bunch of runs and hit mid 40s in homers. He's a high +/- guy and really his value depends on the makeup of your team. If you are weak in average and strong in homeruns he won't help that much.
21. Juan Pierre, Los Angeles Dodgers
22. Nick Swisher, Oakland Athletics
23. Magglio Ordoñez, Detroit Tigers
24. Alex Rios, Toronto Blue Jays
25. Michael Cuddyer, Minnesota Twins
26. Brad Hawpe, Colorado Rockies
27. Torii Hunter, Minnesota Twins
28. Raul Ibañez, Seattle Mariners
29. Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta Braves
30. J.D. Drew, Boston Red Sox
31. Rocco Baldelli, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

32. Delmon Young, Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Keeper leagues he should be really high. Right now I'd expect around 20/20.
33. Eric Byrnes, Arizona Diamondbacks
34. Corey Patterson, Baltimore Orioles - Screws the average up but is the rare 20-20 guy. So he he's the perfect example of a plus/minus guy.
35. Mike Cameron, San Diego Padres - Similar to Corey Patterson with the 20-20 combo but will most likely end up with less steals than Co-Pat and perhaps more power.
36. Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants
37. Pat Burrell, Philadelphia Phillies
38. Austin Kearns, Washington Nationals
39. Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles
40. Ken Griffey, Jr., Cincinnati Reds
41. Curtis Granderson, Detroit Tigers
42. Coco Crisp, Boston Red Sox
43. Josh Willingham, Florida Marlins
44. Craig Monroe, Detroit Tigers
45. Jeremy Hermida, Florida Marlins

46. Ryan Freel, Cincinnati Reds -
#1 Steal guy in mid rounds.
47. Wily Taveras, Colorado Rockies - #2
48. Dave Roberts, San Francisco Giants - #3
49. Scott Podsednik, Chicago White Sox - #4. When this group of four players begins to go you might want to jump on the bandwagon to grab a piece of the steal pie. Podsenik is the worst of the three as he has injury questions but still he'll fill up the SB category if you grab him.
50. Jonny Gomes, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
51. Brian Giles, San Diego Padres -
Loves to shave his brothers nut sack. Yum.

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Tourny Weekend Quick Notes

Friday

~Went bowling on friday night so I can't say I really watched much of the games, kind of just floated in and out of the bar at the lanes to check the score and watch some of the game but here was my take.

~Jeff Green definately traveled on his game winner, but the over the back foul call that gave Vandy the lead to begin with was a terrible call so Karma won out in the long run.

~Butler needed to have the game of their life to beat Florida and they were doing close to that for the first 35 minutes and then midnight struck.

~I really wanted UNLV to win, but from the score checks it never looked like they were in the game at all.

~What the hell happened to USC? They were absolutely dominating the first half of the game and then they crashed and burned so quickly. Within the span of one string of bowling UNC went from down double digits to up double digits. USC winning would have helped my bracket but in the long run I am glad the Tarheels won.

Saturday

~Foul problems have really taken away from some of these games. On saturday Memphis was making a terrific game out of it and then in the span of a few minutes Dorsey, Allen and Douglas-Roberts all picked up their fourth foul and all came out of the game and then OSU put on the burners and cruised to a double digit lead and the victory. I think if those guys remain in the game, especially Douglas-Roberts who is a explosive wingman who was giving the Buckeyes fits, the Tigers take the game down to the full whistle and maybe we have a buzzer beater on one side or the other. Instead Memphis was toast.

~Did anyone other than me highly enjoy the guy on Memphis with the flames etched into his hair? Highly comical.

~How about Joey Dorsey coming out and saying he is underrated and Oden is overrated? Good move. Way to come out and do absolutely nothing. Goose egg, zero, you provided Memphis nothing. And when you were fed the ball for an open dunk, you couldn't power it over an out of position Oden. Shut your yap.

~I think Memphis had all the talent to win a National Title with Douglas-Roberts, Anderson, Hunt and Dozier they have athletic swingman that really can't be guarded by either power forwards or smaller guards. But you have to wonder how much playing in Conference USA hurt them this season. In past years they could play against Marquette, Depaul and Cincy and usually one of them was really good every year. But this season they played against nobody good for the last month of the year and that can't help you prepare for the big games come tournament time.

~I hate watching UCLA play I just do. They play terrific defense and the game is ugly as hell. In addition they have no problem running a spread offense and waiting til the final seconds of the shot clock to run their offense. It's painful.

~With that being said Kansas certainly didn't help the cause on Saturday. They A) Were sloppy with their passing. They attempted the extra pass way too many times instead of taking open jumpers most of these passes ended up being deflected and turned over. B) They attempted to force everything into the line and then either continue the ill-advised pass or just throw some kind of junk at the rim. C) They ran nothing but on the ball screens which stopped working the start of the second half. I dont think I saw a single off the ball screen the entire second half. No wonder Bill Self has never made a Final 4.

~How big was the missed wide open layup by the Jayhawks and the canned 3 by Josh Shipp at the buzzer to end the first half. A 5 point swing which just took UCLA into the half with the momentum.

~Lorenzo Mata is not an attractive dude.

~The 3s hit by Afflalo and Collison with a second on the shot clock were very annoying.

Sunday

~I never got the feeling throughout the whole Oregon Florida game that Oregon had a chance of winning. Granted I was doing my fantasy draft with my buddies from home (#2 of 3 leagues I'm in) and just glancing at the tv when it was on, but Florida maintained around a 5 point lead the whole game. I really have nothing else to say about this game other than I like the Oregon unis.

~When you think about it UNC wasn't really good on offense at any point in time during the game. They pretty much got off to a big start and scored a bunch of points with Hansbrough on the free throw line.

~They also didn't help themselves with their terrible shot selection. Why gun 3s, why not pound the ball with Tyler in the post, he was on fire on the line and he's certainly a better option than Green gunning 3s. And worst of all tied down the stretch why the hell are you taking a three, give the ball to Hansborough in the post. So stupid. Atleast attempt to get the ball to the rack.

~Wallace never gets any pub but that three he hit was one of the most clutch shots in G-Town history, obviosuly. And once this game went to overtime you knew the Hoyas were going to bury them.

~One thing I did like during this game was that the refs towards the end of the game let the big guys play. On a few of Hibbert's blocks they could have easily called him for what would have been his 4th foul. Instead they let him play and they didn't take the game into their own hand. I know Hoya fans were ticked in the first half but I think these refs did a terrific job in the second half.

~Jeff Green is terrific, and should be a top 10 pick in the draft if he comes out. I just hope he stays with the Hoyas, I really like this team.

~How about Doc Rivers in the stands, maybe he should play for Georgetown and his son can coach the Celtics, it may work out the best for both parties.

~Ty Lawson was terrible in the 2nd half and overtime.

~I think Georgetown is the best passing team in recent memory. Sure it could be attributed to their back cuts but when they make those passes their threading them over outspread arms. Just a fun team to watch. The opposite of UCLA.

~I got three final four teams right in my tourny picks and even better I got three of the final 4 teams right from my preseason picks, the only team I did not get right was I had Wisconsin in the Final 4, but since they were in the bracket of another pick Florida I couldn't get all 4 right, can't control that.

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Tourny Quick Notes

Friday, March 23, 2007

~Ohio St. is really attempting to give me a heart attack. That's twice I thought my bracket was completely busted and they somehow came back to win it. I don't know which one was more surprising 9 points with 3 minutes left or down 20 with .01 to go in the first half. Just shows how explosive this team can be, or how lax it can be. Some people go by the you need to squeek by a few games to get through the tourny and win it all, and a close game early helps you. Other people say they have been struggling and that will catch up with them. I'm pretty neutral. Do I think they will beat Memphis, yes, will I be surprised if they get blown out, no. UConn lost to George Mason last year with just as much talent.

~I think Tennessee brought themselves into a close game in the second half. They stopped for the most part their full court press which forced the lethargic Buckeyes into several mistakes and then on the offensive end they went to a 4 corners delay offense which completely took them out of their first half hot shooting. Great job in the first half by Bruce Pearl and equally as bad in the second half.

~Some of those fouls on Oden, especially the 4th, were completely lame. This could be the #1 pick in the NBA draft and the refs single handedly made him irrelevent for 30 minutes last night. The 4th foul the guy ran right into him and flop liked Vlade Divac and he gets called for a foul. Ridiculous.

~Speaking of Oden, anyone find it ridiculous how he got winded running up and down the court yesterday in limited minutes. I can't say I was impressed with that, you played maybe 15 minutes, you shouldn't be getting tired going up and down the court 3 or 4 times.

~Mike Connely though is way better than advertised. Why did this kid get limited pub coming into college? He is as valuable if not more valuable to Ohio St. as Oden.

~What the hell is up with teams on their last possession down by 1 shooting threes. Louisville did it against A&M last week and Memphis did it last night but was bailed out by the fact they pulled down every rebound. Does Gillespie have some kind of voodoo mind control over his opposing players and coaches? Down by one, drive to the paint.

~The Pitt UCLA game was ugly as hell and I am very glad that I had the option of watching the Ohio St. game instead. (OSU Tenn was on the NYC CBS, Pitt UCLA was on the Connecticut one) I absolutely despise watching UCLA play and I hate their team. I will be very annoyed if they beat Kansas.

~Aaron Gray is not very good and Pitt never ever has a go to scorer in big games and that is why they never make the Final 4. Just think of their best players since their resurgance Brandon Knight, Chris Taft, Aaron Gray, Carl Krauser... None of them were 20 point scorers. Eventually you need a stud to get things done in the tourny.

~Driving home from class yesterday was a nuisance, I turned on 1050 ESPN radio to listen to the games, I got in the car with Kansas up by 3 with 3 minutes to go, and what is on, the friggin Knicks. Are you kidding me? So I find a station its on drive two blocks and it's pure static, find another one drive down the Merit hit greenwich and its mostly static. So I'm driving on the highway for the rest of the Kansas game flip flopping between these two stations scrambling to here the end of the game. Eventually after the game was over I found another station that it was on and was not very staticy.

~Teams I'm pulling for tonight beacause of my bracket: UNLV, USC, Florida, G-Town

~Teams I really want to win: UNLV, UNC, Butler, G-Twon... I really want to see a UNC G-Town showdown.

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Quick Notes

~Wednesday we find out that Iowa bought up all the rights to the fire their coaches websites and then in the span of a few hours ESPN reports that Steve Alford is going to coach New Mexico. What New Mexico? Why? Guess the fact that Iowa now owned killstevealford.com was not very comforting.

~Pretty laughable that Tubby Smith moved from Kentucky, most historical college program ever, to Minnesota cold as hell and when have they ever been good. I have no idea why Michigan didn't inquire about Tubby Smith.

~Kobe has dropped 50+ in three straight games, ya he's pretty good.

~I couldn't parse Konerko or Sheffield in my keeper league. One guy in my league decided to keep Dave Roberts over trading for Sheffield. Pretty much the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

~Personally I think the Red Sox are better off right now with Papelbon as the closer but I think they lacked the foresight to avoid this situation. They should have signed a closer in the offseason so they wouldn't be forced into this decision, the name Joe Borowski pops into my head, he had 30+ saves lasdt season was there to be had and would have been a servicable closer. Certainly better than the Piniero Tavarez option they were forced to forego. Paps fantasy value in my opinion jumps up big time now. Kind of wish I drafted him.

~McRoberts decided he's going to go to the NBA, which means two things, Duke will be bad again next year, and McRoberts will flop in the NBA. It's a win win.

~Apparently being a cricket coach for Pakistan is not a good thing.

~Note to Tony, falling asleep at a traffic light while over the limit will not make the cops very lenient.

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Texans = Horrible Franchise

Thursday, March 22, 2007

There is a reason the Houston Texans are terrible every season and its their front office. They give up two second round draft picks, including this years prime pick, as well as moving back two spots in the first round for Matt Schaub? Matt Schaub? A guy who's started 2 games his entire career, lost both, has thrown a total of 6 tds and 6 ints in his career and was initially a 3rd round draft pick. And you give up two second rounders and flip flop first round picks.

This is thievery by the Falcons. I love how people will say well now the Falcons have no backup plan. Who cares if you have a backup plan? Other than the freak occurence of Tom Brady when was the last time a backup QB won a Superbowl. Sure they might be nice in the regular season to pick up a win here and there if your starter misses a game, but if he's done for the season you're pretty much toast anyway. Now the Falcons will be able to get a prime athlete with the Texans second round pick this year and next year, while the Texans are banking on an unproven QB to captain their miserable franchise to the promise land. Good luck with that.

And now they will get absolutely nothing for David Carr, every team in the league will know that they want to trade him. Why would you offer them anything legit. The only way they get something good is if some kind of market across the league opens up for him and teams start to compete over getting Carr. My guess is they at best get a 3rd round pick, probably worse. This comes one season after they gave him an 8 million dollar off season roster bonus, and decided not to draft Vince Young. Wow, talk about stupid.

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Celtics Officially Tank A Game

Doc got the executive order last night, lose this game right now. With the Celtics positioned with the 2nd worst record, arguably their biggest competetion was the Bobcats who were the closest team to them going into last nights game. So simply put losing to the Bobcats is a bigger benefit for the Celtics than losing to any other team in the league. Basically Paul Pierce got hit in the eye/mouth with the ball with the Celtics up by 16 with 4 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter and that was all the excuse Doc needed to sit him on the bench for the remainder of the game. The C's then proceeded to get outscored 41-15 the rest of the game. But that's not all he did, he pulled Delonte West and Big Al and played Sebastian Telfair for the first 6 minutes of the 4th quarter where they went from up 9 to down 1.

Here's a quote from Doc lying through his teeth. And he's not very good at it:

"I was not throwing the game, or anything like that, I've heard all those questions, honestly, I got to the point early in the fourth quarter and I turned to the coaches and said to them, 'We are either going to win or lose with this group."

"Those are the guys that always (complain) about playing. ... But when you get in you've got to have fight," Rivers said. "That was the whole message. There was no other message. Hold the lead, win the game, have pride. Or lose the lead and show us what you don't have." '

Ha, Doc you are such a funny man. You just happened to pull this stunt against the Bobcats, just purely random eh? Allan Ray and Leon Powe getting 17 minutes a piece, interesting. This game might be the smartest thing the Celtics have done as an organization since drafting Al Jefferson out of high school.

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Random Quick Notes

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

~Iowa bought the naming rights for seven websites so that their coaches done come under fire. Such as firekirkferentz.com. How hilarious is it that Iowa is already worried about these firing sites coming up. Not like someone can't just put up a site named eliminateferentz.com and write enough about how Kirk Ferentz should be fired that it would reach #1 on all the search engines for relevency. A futile and useless effort by the Hawkeyes.

~I'm doing better with my picks in Women's Basketball on ESPN than men's basketball that is both pathetic and shameful, as I know nothing about women's basketball nor do I care at all. But I was bored at work and I do it every year.

~Made a trade yesterday in my keeper league, traded Ryan Zimmerman to upgrade my last pick in the draft up 71 draft positions. It wasn't the best deal in the world for me, but I A) Had no leverage and apparently no market as no one was replying back to me and B) come friday I would have lost him for nothing.

~I think it's hilarious how NASCAR's leader in points is going to sit out this weeks race because he is old. Pretty funny.

~The Celtics are still 4 1/2 games ahead of the 3rd worst team, Charlotte, this is good.

~I think I would be more interested in the NBA if I didn't have to wait til mid June to watch what better be a Mavs Suns series. And if the Spurs knock either off I will be annoyed, the Spurs are boring.

~How much of a downer are monday, tuesday, wednesday between the first 4 rounds of the tourny? I know I was depressed when I came back and all I saw on tv was women's basketball.

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Buy Manny's Grill He Needs the Money

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

So apparently Manny is in desperate need for cash and is selling his grill on eBay. And you also get a free signed ball. Apparently Manny is on the road a lot, who knew, and he is unable to truly use his grill which probably is located at one of his many homes. I'm going to admit it, as a Yankee fan I think Manny Ramirez is friggin sweet. I don't care that he's flaky as hell, I think he's hilarious. From the disappearing into the Green Monster, to the mp3 sunglasses, to selling his grill on eBay the guy is hilarious. And he always hits .325 with 35 Hrs 130 Rbis.

The best part of this whole thing is that he's going to make a big profit on it. He put it on only a few days ago and it's already over what he initially paid for it. Why wouldn't you just go out get a new grill and buy a Manny signed ball or bat at some Sports memorabilia shop.

Conclusion: Manny Ramirez is a funny guy.

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Soccer Hooligans are Idiots



Now why if you are British would you try to knock the head off one of the best players on your national team regardless of whether or not he plays for a rival London club. Pretty funny how bad he whiffed though.

Note: Tottenham lost to Chelsea yesterday, Tottenham is in Northern London Chelsea is in Fulham a lower portion of London.

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How to Avoid a Check by Jordin Tootoo



Eh it's hockey punches to the face should be allowed.

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Quick Notes: Drugs Drugs and More Drugs

Professional Wrestling an Steroids, who knew? Apparently there are 11 professional wrestlers now attached to the HGH scandal in Florida. I certainly am enjoying how all of these people are coming out and saying that they did not take it blah blah blah. Or John Rocker saying he had a prescription because he was coming back from a shoulder injury and needed to down some HGH to heal. Gary Matthews denied it because his owner told him to. Holyfield had hormonal defiiciency. It's all just so laughable to me.

On another front Ritalin is the prime drug for students around the country. Luckily for myself I just didn't care enough to attempt to pull all nighters in college. Once midnight struck my books went down regardless of how much was finished, and personally I think thats the way it should be. If you can't budget your time enough to finish stuff you shouldn't down red bulls and ritalin to do your work. And if you do, why do you care that much? You realize overachieving in college doesn't mean all that much when your 26 27, all they will care about is what you've done in the working world. Stop caring so much and start drinking.

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Weekend Quicknotes

Monday, March 19, 2007

~I just got an offer of Aramis Ramirez and Paul Konerko for Grady Sizemore rejected in my keeper league. Sizemore has worse HRs, average, RBIS than both of those guys and provides more runs and steals. Unfortunately I can't keep both Ramirez and Konerko so I tried to parse them off for Sizemore but was denied when he might have to keep the Big Hurt and Raul Ibanez or Julio Lugo as is final two spots. I think thats quite ridiculous. And I'm pretty annoyed at it.

~How funny is it that Danny Ainge got fined 30,000 for sitting next to the Durant's at the Big 12 championships.

~Speaking of the Celtics why in the world are they going out and beating the Spurs on the road, shouldn't that be an automatic loss, what the hell are they doing?

~Tommy Amaker got fired, finally, now the Wolverines should pick up a coach who actually gets teams to the the dance. I hope Tubby Smith gets fired and heads up to Ann Arbor. Sure he probably won't bring a national title, but he'll get them to the friggin tourny, and he'll win in the first round.

~David Wells is somehow going to 'beat" Diabetes, interesting I didn't know there was a cure. Anyway here's a quote "Blah, blah, blah... I've cut out alcohol." What, Boomer no, how are you going to throw not hungover, that does not seem like the correct gameplan. Might have to rethink this fight against Type 2.

~I hate friggin snow, it sucks.

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Bracket Quick Notes

Round 1 Borefest

Thursday was utterly boring minus the Duke loss and for the most part friday was the same. None of the early games were that competetive or that entertaining and only a few of the late games were. The overtime game between Nevada and Creighton was cool but for the most part that wasn't telecasted on my CBS. Same with the Va Tech Illinois game which didn't get switched to until much too late in the process and the Oregon Miami of Ohio game I don't know if I even saw a highlight of that game much less the final few seconds. Some of this can be attributed to me going to the gym and the conclusion of the ND whooping, and me losing an elite 8 team in the first round and being annoyed that I'm an idiot but still there was a lesson learned. I need Direct TV so I can watch whatever game I want to watch. Much better than banking on CBS to put on the good game.

Saturday

Now Saturday is what I'm talking about. As I'm watching the Buckeyes begin to suck in the mid second half I begin to think to myself how much of a failure I was making my picks this year. With 2:54 left and the Buckeyes down by 9 I described the end of the game as watching the funeral of my bracket, but much to my enjoyment the Buckeyes somehow hit a bunch of clutch threes, lucked the hell out by not getting an intentional foul call on Oden even though he cross checked Cage, then lucked out with Cage who went 8 for 8 from the field and 6 for 8 from the line splitting his free throws, lucked out again because Miller decided not to foul prior to the Buckeyes shooting a 3 and finally Lewis burying a deep three to tie the game. Then Connolly taking over in overtime. And the bracket is still alive.

The Butler game reads a 3 point win over the Terps but the end wasn't that exciting it was pretty much DJ Strawberry going in for uncontested layups to make it closer in the end than it really was.

The Louisville A&M game was a thriller but why in the world down one coming out of a timeout do you shoot a deep three without even attempting to penetrate. Terrible decision making by the Cardinal and they deserved to lose down the stretch. A Hall of Fame coach like Rick Pitino certainly should be able to draw something up. Also Acie Law III is pretty goofy looking.

The BC Georgetown game was on for the most part while I was eating dinner at a local Irish Pub. BC stayed in it for a long time, but Georgetwon led mostly by Hibbert close out the game in strong fashion and actually to CBS's credit they switched to Vandy Wazzu when that game went into the stretch run.

Vandy Wazzu was a solid game with a bunch of clutch three pointers to tie the game up and keep sending it into the next overtime. I actually got this game right so I was pretty pumped by that. All in all this was probably the second best game of the day behind Ohio St. and maybe the second best game of the week.

Then they switched to the Pitt VCU game which somehow wound up going to overtime despite Pitt having dominant leads as well as 2 free throws with two seconds left for Levance to choke away. The overtime wasn't really any good though.

Late night games I was in full St. Patty's mode by then so didn't watch. I do know that I looked up at the bars tv and saw that the score of the UCLA Indiana game was 27-16 with 16 minutes left in the second half and said wow I can't wait for how boring Pitt UCLA will be next week.

Sunday

Tennessee knocking off Virginia was probably entertaining but I was out running a bunch of errands and missed it.

Purdue stayed with Florida for a long time when I was at the gym and then folded down the stretch a nice job by Horford to push the game out of distance.

Wisconsin played like crap both games and deserved to lose to UNLV despite their nice second half comeback. How funny is the whole Kruger thing where he graduated from ASU and was 2nd in the nation in minutes per game last year, then goes to "grad" school at UNLV doesn't have to wait a year to play for his father and almost drops a triple double to get the Runnin Rebs into the Sweet 16. Way to take advantage of the system. And does he not bare atleast a slight resemblence to Freddy Kruger minus the scars and claws and whatnot. Come on you know he does.

Va Tech was pretty much down by double digits all game and was only broadcasted for a minute or two on my CBS. They just couldn't make shots.

I was hoping Winthrop would knock of Oregon, but they were pretty much done with around 15 minutes to go.

I don't know what to make of Memphis they really haven't beaten many teams this year but they handeled Nevada well. It will be interesting how they play against A&M which will be for the most part a road game.

Kansas had Kentucky in hand for almost the whole game and I was hoping CBS would change over so I could get a last look at Durant before his college career was over and he becomes a Celtic, but they didn't do it until the game was over.

Texas, Durant 30 rest of team 38, that is why they are going home.

My Bracket

Pretty much mediocre to poor. I lost 2 Elite 8 teams (ND and Texas) but atleast have my Final 4 in tact. We'll see how that goes. My best bracket is San Antonio where I only got Creighton wrong, my worst is St. Louis where I only have 1 of the 4 sweet 16 teams, ugh.

21 of 32 Second Round Teams
11 of Sweet 16 Teams

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All Day All Week Training

9-5 monday through friday this week, thus the ole blog ain't gonna get much action. Perhaps one tidbit during lunch each day. Weak. Very Weak. Plus its about 95 degrees in the room we have training in and overly cramped space wise. I'm probably going to be in a miserable mood come friday afternoon...

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