Thursday, May 31, 2007
The All Star ballots are beginning to tabulate and once again to no ones surprise the public is making a lot of miserable picks. Here's a rundown of my thoughts per position, and who my picks are per position for the AL.
All of my grinding about Morneau last year not deserving the MVP and he goes out and has a terrific 1st half. Giambi deserves to be thrown off this list completely and one person who is not here but surprisingly deserves serious consideration is the Greek God of walks, Kevin Youkilis who is straight up raking daily. So after Morneau the Youk really deserves the bench spot, maybe even over Ortiz.
1. Ortiz, D. Red Sox 601,770
2. Giambi, J. Yankees 240,030
3. Morneau, J. Twins 221,520
4. Hafner, T. Indians 176,364
5. Casey, S. Tigers 161,436
Wow isn't this a joke, Cano gets all the credit from the casual fan despite only being legit in the majors for a year and a half. And he's leading the AL by a decent margin despite having a terrible start. Going by the numbers Bossman Junior is head and shoulders above everyone else. One person missing from the list that should be placed somewhere, especially above Pedroia, is Brian Roberts who is having a solid first half.
1. Cano, R. Yankees 322,994
2. Polanco, P. Tigers 282,251
3. Kinsler, I. Rangers 207,170
4. Upton, B.J. Devil Rays 141,720
5. Pedroia, D. Red Sox 141,636
As strong as Mike Lowell has played, and he's going to make the team, Arod is still leading the majors in almost all power categories off the month of April. And he still deserves to start. Hooray for Strayrod.
1. Rodriguez, A. Yankees 843,550
2. Lowell, M. Red Sox 238,566
3. Inge, B. Tigers 122,149
4. Chavez, E. Athletics 96,663
5. Crede, J. White Sox 82,598
Obviously Jeter is going to start, and I think he should make the team, he is putting up solid numbers and been one of the three steady Yanks this season. But for arguments sake Carlos Guillen has better power numbers, his speed numbers are only slightly lower, and the Tigers are a much better team right now.
1. Jeter, D. Yankees 657,383
2. Tejada, M. Orioles 228,230
3. Guillen, C. Tigers 197,755
4. Lugo, J. Red Sox 180,165
5. Young, M. Rangers 129,307
The fans are not that far off with their voting in the outfield. Certainly not even close to as bad as they were in the NL, and they even have given the most votes to a guy who's definitely deserving. But Magglio Ordonez right now is the MVP of all baseball and he should be garnering the most votes. Torii Hunter is also having a career season thus far and will hopefully slide up into the top 3. Where the fans are completely oblivious is in the northeast where JD Drew, Manny, Abreu and Damon are all slotted in the top 8, despite all having bad to very bad opening months of the season. Abreu at 5 is an absolute joke, he really couldn't have possibly played worse in April and May. And Cereal Box at #12, that's laughable.
1. Guerrero, V. Angels 578,430
2. Ramirez, M. Red Sox 449,372
3. Suzuki, I. Mariners 362,245
4. Hunter, T. Twins 278,732
5. Abreu, B. Yankees 278,606
6. Damon, J. Yankees 267,605
7. Ordonez, M. Tigers 261,976
8. Drew, J.D. Red Sox 253,472
9. Sizemore, G. Indians 249,236
10. Matsui, H. Yankees 216,896
11. Sosa, S. Rangers 195,549
12. Crisp, C. Red Sox 178,152
13. Sheffield, G. Tigers 175,849
14. Crawford, C. Devil Rays 147,912
15. Wells, V. Blue Jays 144,923
Let's be straight, there are two Yankees that have been consistent the entire season and one of them has been Jorge Posada who has hit the crap out of the ball. But you can't have 3 guys starting for a team that's been this bad and V-Mart's number are a little better in the power categories so he deserves it as well. It'll be lame when one of them gets loft off the team because fans stupidly vote for an ancient post steroids era I-Rod.
1. Rodriguez, I. Tigers 370,322
2. Mauer, J. Twins 328,974
3. Varitek, J. Red Sox 301,942
4. Posada, J. Yankees 297,928
5. Martinez, V. Indians 140,033
The All Star ballots are beginning to tabulate and once again to no ones surprise the public is making a lot of miserable picks. Here's a rundown of my thoughts per position, and who my picks are per position.
Surprise, Pujols is winning despite putting up arguably his worst numbers of his career thus far. Meanwhile the Prince is mashing balls out of the park left and right and should be getting everyones vote to start the All Star game.
1. Pujols, A. Cardinals 399,706
2. Fielder, P. Brewers 291,911
3. Lee, D. Cubs 224,165
4. Garciaparra, N. Dodgers 222,107
5. Delgado, C. Mets 218,647
This is pretty much a no brainer, Utley has hands down the best stats, he is the best player and he's the peoples choice. Good for him. What is laughable are the names below him. Biggio and Kent, its not 1999. Valentin has missed almost a month.
1. Utley, C. Phillies 322,590
2. Biggio, C. Astros 251,664
3. Weeks, R. Brewers 233,593
4. Valentin, J. Mets 179,952
5. Kent, J. Dodgers 161,016
And here is where the New York fans begin to flaunt their muscle. Wright was miserable the entire month of April, and to his credit has turned it around pretty well in May, but Cabrera is a beast hitting .325 with better stats around the board except for steals. Also, Rolen is having a miserable year so far and should not be given a vote nevermind 204 thousand.
1. Wright, D. Mets 409,338
2. Jones, C. Braves 301,393
3. Cabrera, M. Marlins 297,372
4. Rolen, S. Cardinals 204,939
5. Ramirez, A. Cubs 192,490
With all respect to the monster year JJ Hardy is putting together thus far this season Jose Reyes is the right pick here. He's a sparkplug, and exciting player. He's putting up great numbers and everytime he gets on base he makes the big hitters in the Mets lineup job much easier. Where are the votes for Hanley Ramirez by the way?
1. Reyes, J. Mets 439,792
2. Hardy, J.J. Brewers 284,621
3. Rollins, J. Phillies 213,251
4. Eckstein, D. Cardinals 185,377
5. Renteria, E. Braves 182,362
Note to America Matt Holliday is the best hitter you have never heard of and he deserves a vote on every single ballot submitted. He's hitting .347 which is 26 points higher than the next NL outfielder, can we get him atleast into the top 5 in voting. Alfonso Soriano should be nowhere near starting in the game, and neither should Andruw Jones. Apparently people haven't watched much sportscenter this year. Carlos Lee is putting up some decent numbers down in Houston for a terrible team, and I guess you can round out the outfield with Beltran, he is putting up some solid numbers in a relatively unimpressive NL outfield. Aaron Rowand also wouldn't be a terrible choice with the way he's played this season. How did Cory Hart end up on this list by the way? He doesn't even have double digit runs yet. Man the Brewers fans are coming out for this voting.
1. Beltran, C. Mets 586,815
2. Bonds, B. Giants 384,707
3. Soriano, A. Cubs 382,619
4. Griffey Jr., K. Reds 347,330
5. Jones, A. Braves 346,778
6. Lee, C. Astros 243,559
7. Alou, M. Mets 241,164
8. Hall, B. Brewers 211,722
9. Jenkins, G. Brewers 211,460
10. Francoeur, J. Braves 210,597
11. Edmonds, J. Cardinals 182,831
12. Green, S. Mets 182,358
13. Hart, C. Brewers 160,636
14. Rowand, A. Phillies 155,891
15. Holliday, M. Rockies 144,529
Lo Duca is a legit choice but the man that really should be anchoring the plate at the all star game isn't even in the top 5. And that's the fat Molina, Bengie, who has the best numbers for any catcher in the NL by a decent margin.
1. Lo Duca, P. Mets 339,527
2. McCann, B. Braves 288,491
3. Estrada, J. Brewers 255,884
4. Martin, R. Dodgers 198,914
5. Molina, Y. Cardinals 196,424
6? Molina, B. Giants ?
Those are two phrases you should expect to hear at a much larger volume levels when you walk around Yankee Stadium in the not too distant future as the state of New York is expected to eliminate restrictions on ticket scalping. So now instead of walking near the stadium and having guys analyze you from a far and then ask you if you need any tickets, they can just holler and scream as loud as they want.
I do not know whether this is a good/bad/neutral thing. Does it really change much? I mean people have been and will continue to scalp their tickets regardless of the policy. And it's not as if I plant myself around Yankee Stadium and scalp my tickets so it doesn't really effect me unless I plan on going down and buying scalped tickets some day, which is doubtful. I think in the long run it just benefits people who live in the Bronx and Queens who can go to the stadium any day of the week and find tickets to buy regardless of the game, or can go out and sell their tickets that they may have camped out for when they went on sale. It makes sense to make it legal, what's the point of it being illegal, but in actuality it doesn't effect me in the slightest.
So if you had a to guess who was leading the American league in innings who would your guess be? CC Sabathia, he's a horse. Johan Santana, he is the best pitcher in baseball? Dan Haren, he is leading the AL in ERA? How about James Shields of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, when would his name cross your lips? Never? Have you ever even heard of James Shields before?
Well, Shields in fact sits as the league leader in innings pitched after last night, and sits one inning behind Tim Hudson for the major league lead in innings, and the amazing part about that is that Shields has one start less then just about everyone else in the top 10.
So where did this guy come from? I like the majority of the world had never heard of him before this season. Well he actually was at one point in time a highly touted prospect, as he was ranked #16 in the country his senior year in high school and was drafted by the D-Rays in the 2000 draft. His first cousin is Phillies Centerfielder Aaron Rowand. He toiled around in the minors since the draft with unremarkable numbers and a season where he missed entirely due to injury until last year when he started to pitch well and got the call when the immortal Casey Fossum went down with injury. His numbers last year were not terrific, but one thing he did do was eat innings and garner Ks. Something he's carried over into this season obviously.
After Kei Igawa started getting repetitively rocked, and because I was drunk when Igawa pitched his only good game against the Sox and thus did not really believe it, I dumped him and picked up Shields. And so far I have reaped the benefits. As since then Shields has thrown no less than 7 innings in a start. WIll he be for real the whole season? Only time will tell but for right now he's been an immaculate pick up for myself and anyone else who jumped on him, and he should be in line to be the D-Rays representative for the All Star game.
So, where else does Shields sit on the major league leader board?
2nd in IP
22nd in ERA
8th in Ks
Tied for 10th in Quality Starts
30th in K/BB rate
4th in WHIP
Pretty Impressive opening two months.
HAHAHAHAHA. Come on if you've played baseball and have never had to either deal with someone screaming I got it while running by you, or never done it yourself then you obviously don't play in fun leagues. And sadly enough the Yankees really needed that just so that they could put themselves up by enough runs so they couldn't choke away the lead.
Mariano Rivera = Hideki Okajima = 4
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
But I just watched the YouTube clip of the Iceman getting dropped by some black guy I've never heard of from the UFC fight on Saturday, and it was up there today for the biggest waste of 2 minutes of my life. They pretty much walk around the ring for 2 minutes, throw approximately a total of 7 punches. The black guy lands one on the chin and drops Lidell, and then pounces on him until the ref jumps in between and calls the fight. So where exactly is the excitement of MMA? Did I miss something there? Maybe the undercards were good? But certainly dropping 50 bones on a fight that lasted 2 minutes and consisted of roughly 10 punches was not worth it.
If you care to waste 2 minutes yourself...
I feel as if everyone that every runs on the field gets destroyed like this, but every time I still enjoy it.
Courtesy of Who Ate All the Pies
Bad Enough that, they turn Aaron Hill, career 10 stolen bases, into Jackie Robinson. Ugh.
Americans have always had their most difficult time winning matches and grand slams when they play on the clay of Roland Garros, but this bad come on. After the first monday of the French Open, 8 of the 9 American Men were bounced including both of the top ranked men, Andy Roddick and Fairfield native James Blake.
No one could honestly expect Andy Roddick or Blake or Fish or any of the men to seriously contend for the French Open Championship. None have the track record on clay, none really ever advance far on clay, but this bad, basically a clean sweep out of the tournament on the first day, wow. That's bad.
Now the American's hope lies on the shoulders of one Robbie Ginepri, the only American to not go down yesterday. And don't get your hopes up, Ginepri is only still alive because his match got suspended because it was too late, and he is currently on a 4 match losing skid, 3 of which have come on clay.
Perhaps American Tennis should start building some clay courts so maybe one of these guys can win a single match, and you wonder why the Davis Cup team gets bounced by some team from Eastern Europe every year, just cause they play on clay.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
~The Yankees blow. That's pretty much all you can say right now. They go out and show some life by beating the Red Sox 2 of 3 and then tank come the weekend, to their bane the Angels. Every single day they find away to lose. The one time they score a decent amount of runs this weekend (6) they give up 10 then when they get good pitching outings they can't score any runs. The season is only so long and they're currently 13.5 out of the East and 7 1/2 out of the Wildcard but it's not just that. In order to win 95 games the Yanks need to go 74-39 the remainder of the season. That's at a clip just below winning every series 2 out of 3. Maybe that's a possibility but if they don't turn it around this week and start winning games their season is effectively over, and heads should start to begin rolling, starting with the man at the top, the Cashman.
~On that note, can the Red Sox, lose maybe a game or two?
~The Indians dominated the Tigers this weekend to show them that they are for real, in their 3 game weekend sweep. Then of course they got beat in Fenway last night.
~This whole thing with the Patriots player drowning in a lake is pretty messed up.
~I watched a little bit of the Lacrosse match yesterday and I just can't wrap my hands around why Lacrosse hasn't become a big time sport yet. There are plenty of goals each game, people get rocked all the time, and smashed with their sticks. It's a quality sport, and it doesn't involve ice like hockey. I guess the landscape of American sports is so jampacked right now that introducing anything new, or trying to get anything to high levels is just about impossible.
~Surprise, I didn't watch a single second of the Indy 500.
~On the NBA side I watched some of the game last night before I decided that in the mid 4th the Jazz had no chance of winning because the only one on their team doing anything at all was Deron Williams and he had the flu. The Spurs will win game 5 and that will be a wrap, but Williams is showing himself to be a top 5 point guard in the NBA right now. He's got the ball handling, the passing skills, he can knock down a J from anywhere and he can get to the rack. He can do it all, in fact I think I would rather have him than Chris Paul.
~The Cavs won, but really the Pistons have done this every series so far, they'll win it in 6 or 7, it's pretty muych just a formality now that the Spurs and Pistons have a rematch of their previous finals that the Spurs took in 7.
~The Stanley Cup finals started last night on Versus, a channel I still do not get.
~The French Open started, I'll be pumped up for a Federer Nadal final if that happens.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Ok first LBJ doesn't go to the rack and dishes for an open three game 1 and he gets killed. Now he drives to the lane and everyone is complaining that he doesn't get a foul call and then people are questioning the fact that Mike Brown decided to drop the clock down and "play" for the last shot.
First off, I can't complain they didn't get a foul call and neither should anybody on the Cavs, by not calling a foul there they ended up with a wide open 6 footer which no matter how you draw up a play you can not expect to end up with a better shot than that. Secondly as, for waiting for the last shot, what's the difference. They had 3 opportunities at the shot, it's not like they waited til the last second. They had James shot, a perfect look for Hughes, and a decent tip opportunity for Floppy-Head. Stop your complaining and make shots down the stretch.
It will be apropos when both of the conference finals end in sweeps, marking just how uninteresting the NBA playoffs have been thus far.
I know that at this point int time in my life I could not fathom what the loss of a son would feel like and I can not blame Josh Hancock's father for being hurt and depressed after the loss of his son. However, I can't condone him trying to take lawful action against the bar that his son received his drinks at and definately not against the tow truck and the owner of the stalled car.
His son chose to drink and drive, the bar should be responsible only for making sure that people do not get overly intoxicated. I'm sure a man of Hancock's stature both in build and as a professional athlete should be able to appear more sober than the typical person. In addition, how if you are a Cardinals bar are you going to refuse to serve one of the Cardinal's players. If he wants a drink and isn't fall down drunk, you're not going to serve the guy?
In addition the Tow truck company whom Hancock struck and the car's owner that was being towed were also named as defendents in the suit? What could they have possibly done wrong? Have a car breakdown late at night? And do their job to try to get the car off the road. This just seems unreasonable.
The lawsuit claimed Tolar was negligent in allowing his vehicle to reach the point where it stalled on the highway and for failing to move it out of the way of oncoming traffic. A police report said the car became stalled when it spun out after being cut off by another vehicle.
The report said he told officers he was there five to seven minutes before his truck was hit by Hancock's SUV. But Kantack said the tow truck may have been there up to 15 minutes, yet failed to get the stalled vehicle out of the way.
"Were the police contacted?" Kantack asked. "Why weren't flares put out? Why was the tow truck there for an exorbitant amount of time?"
So it's the car owners fault for stalling out, and that played apart in your sons death? Or saying that the tow truck took to long to get the car off the road? Both of those are a bit far fetched.
So Mr. Hancock, I'm sorry your son passed away too early, but try not to seek blame and hurt other people because of your sons mistake. He made the mistake, he drove drunk, he talked on the phone while drunk driving, and he hit a parked car. It sucks, but bringing other people down in the process won't help to bring your son back.
In my entire life only a handful of albums that I have ever bought have I sincerely enjoyed them on the first listen. Sometimes they eventually catch on and become favorites other times they are given a few more chances and then brushed aside. There is one album that stands out in memory though, as an album that I sincerely enjoyed first listen and every other time I have put it on, and that was Linkin Park's second album Meteora. It was just flat out really good, aggressive but not overly aggressive, solid beats, a good mixture of rap and lyrics, but mostly each song was catchy, each song grabbed you from the start.
So over the past 4 years I have waited for them to come out with a new album and waited and waited, while they went on tours and did mix cds with Jay-Z or branched off and created Fort Minor, simply waiting for their next album to drop. And come last wednesday I hear a song on the radio and go, huh Linkin Park came out with an album, granted I was only one day late but that should have been a warning sign. For albums that I am looking forward to that much, I know when they come out, and I'm the type of guy to run out to Best Buy and buy them on that day. I don't buy a lot of CDs but the ones I do, I know I want, this was one of those.
So I dilly dallied a bit, I asked my buddy if he had known that Linkin Park came out with a cd, and he said ya and that he downloaded it on BitTorrent a few weeks ago. So I naturally asked him how it was and he said in a less enthused tone, "it was ok, it was good, but it wasn't as good as the second album, that was really good". So I waited til the weekend when I had more time to pick it up, but still didn't have much time to dedicate to listening to it.
Then Tuesday going to work I stuck it in the car cd player, and began my first run through. The intro isn't bad a good start up, and then it jumps into the first real song which is more of a flashback to Hybrid Theory not bad ok still making my way through it. The third song I like, a little softer but still good. Eventually I worked my way to the single What I've Done which is song #6 and a very good song.
Then here's where the torture begins from songs 7-12, or the entire second half of the album there is little to no resemblance to anything Linkin Park has ever done with the exception of song #8 No More Sorrow. The cd concludes with 4 songs that are softer than anything that has ever made it on their previous two albums. One even goes into a gospel like Amen for a few seconds. What the heck happened to these guys in 4 years? Did they lose all their bite? Where is the aggression, where is the CD that was supposed to get me pumped up. What am I supposed to do with this CD, that has some aggressive tunes and some utterly docile songs.
So I did a quick comparison of the starts of songs on Meteora in comparison to Minutes to Midnight, and their is a dramatic difference. Out of the songs on Meteora, only 3 only the entire album don't explode before lyrics begin, and the 3 that don't you can bring up arguments that they do. But all the songs have some aggression in them, some juice some life. On Minutes to Midnight? Only 3 songs explode before the lyrics begin and some don't explode ever, in fact most of the songs in the second half of the album never explode. Their is no life, you're more likely to relax and chill than get pumped up by some of these songs. If you were to walk into a bar and a band was covering these songs and you had no idea whose originals you were, your guesses would range from LostProphets to even Guster, that's how little aggression the last song has. I would litteraly thing about Guster before I thought about Linkin Park, if I just heard a cover of it. And that's pathetic.
I should have read the CD's booklet first where they preface the concepts of the album:
As this is written, the album is not yet finished. No cover art has been chosen. We aren't through mixing and mastering songs. It is safe to say, however that this will prove to be a different kind of album for us... When we first met with our producer Rick Rubin, he asked us what we wanted this album to sound like. Going around the room, each of the six of us answered the question in a similar way: we wanted to create something that maintained the integrity of the band's personality, but pushed our boundaries...
No I do not appreciate you broadening your horizons, I bought a Linkin Park cd expecting Linkin Park. Perhaps, after a few more listens I will come to enjoy the album but it will never parallel Meteora, it will never be as good and I can't believe I waited 4 years for this.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Do you think your brain would hurt after this, regardless of having a helmet on? A point blank fastball from a shortstop to your forehead?
Well after much delay and seeing every single doctor on the face of the planet, yesterday it was made official that PavGirl, will be sent down to Bama to get himself some Tommy John surgery and effectively end his tenure as a New York Yankee. Effectively Pavano has locked in his career stats for the New York Yankees now and will at the conclusion of next year raked in $40 million dollars and have arguably the worst contract in the history of humanity.
And honestly, I might be slightly disappointed that it's all done and will not be mentioned at all anymore. Who am I going to continuously spit hate towards? Who am I going to define as a wuss in my dictionary? Who will be the Yankees fans uber whipping boy? For that Carl you will be missed. Or not.
In all honesty this is probably the best for the Yanks. He will never ever have to be in the clubhouse again, and they most likely will recover a large chunk of his salary from an insurance policy and be able to filter it back into the payroll elsewhere.
Just in case you couldn't tell, I do not have Photoshop on my computer...
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
~Larry Bird looked none to pleased at not having a draft pick.
~The guy opening the envelope looked pretty friggin stumped when he saw the Celtics logo.
~I think Tommy should have beat him to a pulp.
If you tried to measure the just how bad the draft lottery went for both the Celtics as well as the NBA in general it would register the lowest amount on every scale imaginable. Let's Count the Ways that last night sucked:
1) The Celtics Managed to yet again avoid garnering a franchise Center.
2) Doc Rivers was given a contract extension, and will remain the coach.
3) Ditto on Danny Ainge. And both are horrendous.
4) The chances of the Celtics getting the fifth pick would be slightly under 17% if they did not take the ping pongs balls out after each lottery selection.
5) The Celtics had 19.9% chance to get pick #1. After the Blazers landed #1 pick the Cs had a 21% Chance of getting the #2 pick. After the Sonics landed that they had a 23.1% chance of landing pick 3.
6) When you take into account the lottery balls being pulled out the Celtics had a 44.9% chance to move up a pick on the first selection, a 47.3% chance to move up on the second selection, and a 52.1% chance to move up on the 3rd selection. Or overall under a 14% chance at staying at the 5 hole. Thus that was the least likely spot of any 1-5 that they could land in.
6) Now the Celtics sit at pick 5 where Conley should already be gone, and they will either draft the Chinese guy or attempt to make one of Danny's patented horrible trades.
7) How pissed did Tommy Look? And where was the spirit of Red. Boo.
Other Team Pains
1) The Grizzlies would have been good if they landed a top 2 pick, now not so much. They had a 25% chance at 1, 26.3% at 2, and a 29% chance of pick 3. Or just under a 40% chance of not moving up into the lottery. Ouch.
2) The Suns missed out on garnering a top 5 pick because the Hawks landed in the lottery. That sucks for them. And with the Hawks having the 3rd and 11th pick, they should be able to improve the team enough to ensure that the 2008 pick they give the Suns isn't that high a pick.
League Wide Woahs
1) This furthers the west coast dominance, as both the Blazers and the Sonics will be marketedly better next year. The East coast is already so far behind the West Coast at the top, this just furthers the western conferences depth in the conference over the East.
2) Does this create a legit Blazer vs. Sonics rivalry? Would that not be the lamest rivalry in the history of Pro Sports?
3) The Sonics were just about ready to bail town, will they string along for a little while now?
4) Both players are headed to some of the smallest markets in the NBA.
5) Because they are west coast teams, they will play most of their games after 10, meaning East Coast fans won't see much of them.
So basically this spring has been just about as bad as the NBA could possibly be for me. I have almost completely non interested in the NBA playoffs, partially because of the poor matchups and partially because of Stern blowing up the best series, and now the Celtics got completely boned in the lottery, and the NBA is ensuring that the Eastern Conference will remain irrelevent for the foreseeable future. So who's ready to watch more baseball?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
With the NBA's hype machine rolling these past few months about who would wind up with Oden and Durant and how teams were positioning themselves by tanking the end of the season and side bar stories like what if the Bulls land Oden through the Knicks pick; it's evident that the Lottery is great for the NBA. Would it have the same effect in the NFL and would it be worth it?
Tanking the Season
Because the NFL season is such a smaller sample size it's much more difficult at the middle of the season to justify throwing it in the tank job. The Celtics and Grizzlies for instance by mid year had long losing streaks and were without their star player and were effectively out of the race. Unless you are 2-6 or below at the midway point of the NFL season, you still have a fighting shot. Granted you will need to get incredibly hot down the stretch but you won't throw it in dump mode yet.
Impact of Top Picks
The impact of the top picks in NBA is typically much larger than that of the NFL. Certainly, in the NFL you would much rather be in the top 3 than #8 but the difference between slots is not nearly as different as it is in the NBA. If you land Oden or Durant this season, or LBJ or Carmelo in past years that completely sets up your franchise for the foreseeable future. As opposed to garnering the #9 or #10 pick which could turn out to be a superb player like Dirk, or Pierce, or could end up being a massive bust. The talent differences and level of uncertainty in the NBA is much larger.
Overall Draft Impact
The NFL draft overall is much more important than the NBA draft. The number of players who have made a tremendous contribution in the NFL that were drafted in the 2nd round or above is much larger than that of the NBA. In the NBA you need you're first round picks to succeed, to be a successful franchise. In the NFL you can counterbalance a few 1st round busts, if you make tremendous value picks in the latter rounds, ala Tom Brady.
Roster Size and Depth
The overall roster size in the NFL plays a big part in this equation. One player added to a team, never makes an entire franchise. If you have a Peyton Manning but no offensive line or Marvin Harrison, the Colts would not be any good. Meanwhile the Cavs made the Eastern Conference finals on the back of Lebron and Lebron alone. In the NFL it's much more important to have a balanced squad than in the NBA where 2 superstars and a team of role players can bring a title.
In the Celtics case this season, when Paul Pierce went down they lost just about every game because he was the entire team. Meanwhile if a key player goes down for a football team, sure they will be significantly effected, especially if it's the QB, but not nearly as much, as this echoes the importance of depth. Just look at how well the Eagles performed with Jeff Garcia running the show last year. Good teams will bounce back much better from a star injury in football than basketball. Even the defending champion Heat stunk much of this season because they had two injuries, which just happened to be Shaq and D Wade.
Juice to the Probowl
The NBA uses the draft lottery, not only to try to arrange more fairness in the league and to not reward teams that tank the end of the season, but also as a hype machine. The Draft lottery will get almost as much coverage this year as the actual NBA draft. While the NFL does not necessarily need any extra hype, especially for its draft, the one thing that could use some life is the Pro bowl. It's always terrible, and if they threw a Draft lottery in at half time it could certainly bring in a larger audience.
The NFL doesn't need a draft lottery, it's overall draft is better and more important than the NBAs. Teams are less likely to tank to get the first pick, because it does not guarantee your team future success. The NFL does not need the hype, even for it's lame Pro Bowl, and a draft lottery would just seem like a cry for more attention.
"NBA teams should no longer be built around a big man, especially if that big man can't run. A wing scorer is a better way to build a team." That is a line you have heard and will hear much more as some people try to tell you that Durant should be taken in front of Oden in the upcoming draft. This might be the biggest crock recently uttered by so called expert scouts in the NBA. Let's do a quick analysis of who in fact has won championships recently.
1999 - Spurs, Duncan PF/C & Robinson C
2000 - Lakers, Shaq C
2001 - Lakers, Shaq C
2002 - Lakers, Shaq C
2003 - Duncan, PF/C
2004 - Pistons, Billups G
2005 - Spurs, Duncan C/PF
2006 - Heat, Shaq C
2007 - Spurs, might as well chalk Duncan up for title #4.
So assuming the Spurs win the title this year, they are the best team remaining, of the past 9 champions, 8 of them would have had a dominant big man, who can not run the floor. So where am I missing how a team should not be built around a dominant big man. Shouldn't the goal be winning a championship. Granted Yao hasn't worked out as well as desired but, Duncan and Shaq have 4 titles each in the past 9 years. Both have presided over dynasties.
I'm not saying that on certain teams Durant would not be a better fit given their talents, but don't spit out garbage like the NBA isn't built for the big man anymore. It is, and it always will be. A dominant big man is more valuable than any other position on the floor.
~So just when you thought the Yankees pitching staff couldn't get more injured, Darrell Rasner goes out and breaks his finger trying to field a comebacker and is placed on the 60-day DL. Hilarious, how many pitchers could the Yanks possibly have injured.
~At the other end of the spectrum I go out and make fun of the fact that the Yanks are pitching Tyler Clippard on sunday and he goes out and throws a 3 hit gem. And it was much needed as the Yanks hitting was miserable the first game of the series and nothing worked on saturday. A Sweep against the Mets would have been incredibly embarrassing, and the Clippard win both avoided that and gave the squad some momentum which carried into last night.
~Federer whiped out Nadal in the final two sets in Hamburg to make the upcoming French Open much much more intriguing, if they end up meeting in the finals in Paris, I will be watching every second of that match early on a sunday morning.
~33 years after the fact, George Foreman is making an excuse for why he lost to Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle. Ok George, maybe all those grill sales have gone to your head.
~This Michael Vick thing just gets more legs everyday. A few days ago Vick comes out and says stuff about how his fans will always support him. "Regardless of where I go people are gonna still love Mike Vick". Nice, Ron. Next Clinton Portis apparently doesn't think having a dog fighting ring is that bad. Cause he's from Mississippi it's just a normal thing to him. Clinton I think you just served yourself up to some annoying PETA hate mail.
~Justin Miller broke the Jets streak of lack of involvement in NFL thuggery when Justin Miller went to throw a punch at a bar, and when his target ducked he landed it on a female. Nice Justin.
~In more signs that hockey is merging closer to its death, on saturday prior to the Preakness NBC was airing a playoff hockey game, the Sabres vs. Senators. Well when this game went into overtime, NBC stopped covering the game and went to Preakness prerace coverage. The game was then thrown on Versus for the overtime session, if you are Gary Bettman how could you possibly put on a positive face about this whole Versus debacle anymore? One of your games just went into overtime in the conference finals, and many of the fans most likely were unable to watch the conclusion because it was switched to a station they might not have. Go NHL.
~Here's the sad fact, the NHL playoffs are flat out better than the NBA playoffs. They always have been. They're more exciting, the sudden death overtimes are edge of your seat entertaining, meanwhile the NBA has 79-76 gross fests in the Eastern Conference finals.
~Speaking of the Preakness I actually like horse racing. It's a quick thrill and I can turn it on for 25 minutes watch some quick pre analysis, make fun of the jockey uniforms and watch a 5 minute race and then be done with it. It's much better for my attention span than most sporting events.
~And in quick recap to the NBA playoffs, the Suns and Spurs should have played a game 7 but thanks to Stern they did not, instead the Spurs are going to roll the Jazz, and the Pistons will eventually bore everyone to a 6 game series victory over the Cavs, and yet again the NBA will showcase the boring Spurs vs. the boring Pistons in their finals. I bet David, isn't looking forward to looking at those ratings come series end.
~As for last night people yelling about Lebron not taking the ball to the rack and passing to open teammates. How about shut the hell up. If the teammates can the wide open shot, every says what a great pass by LBJ what vision, instead Donyell clanks it and people say that he needs to be more aggressive and take control. He might have had a lane and maybe if he takes it strong he makes it, but he was struggling with his shot and found a wide open man. Enough with the Monday Morning Quarterbacking.
~Chelsea won the FA Cup to give them sole dominance of the two English tournies this year. However, Man U took the bigger prize in the Premiership title, and Liverpool has a chance to take home the biggest prize of them all tomorrow when they square off against AC Milan in the Champions League final, so all in all, not a successful campaign for the Blues from London.
~I finished last week in 1st, 1st, 2nd in my three fantasy leagues. Woo.
What is something you always worry about now with basketball players in the NBA? Them being complete and utter thugs right, ala Stephen Jackson or Ron Artest. Well this nice article on Page 2, points out that Oden for the most part is much more tool than thug.
Oden grew up wanting to be a Dentist? He loves Will Smith Music? And he watches a lot of CBS? He's wearing a brown turtle neck sweater during this interview? His best friend was a white kid from Indiana who was on a golf team, and unfortunately passed away in a car accident.
It really doesn't appear like he has a single thug bone in his body, and as a franchise knowing that your #1 draft pick will come for the most part without a major entourage and his favorite rap artist never utters a curse word, doesn't that make you feel a little more safe? Doesn't that make you drool even more as a team GM over the lottery tonight?
So just in case for some reason you were wondering why there were no posts yesterday, well it was because I spent the day in the Big Apple which included a first trip to a Yankee Red Sox Game. I sat in the upper deck on the left field line, in essence where that photo is just a few more rows up and one things for certain being inside the stadium for a Red Sox game is much different than a Royals game...
High School Bad Asses
So I get into the stadium about 5 minutes before the first pitch and we're sitting around (my father, myself, my little sister and my girlfriend an evil Red Sox fan) and to for the first half inning there is really no body around us until mid inning when a whole high school came in and surrounded my seats. The kids were definitely upper high school, and thought they were epically cool. One kid snuck in a bottle of Smirnoff, and was in the bag immediately. He walked into the row, sat down for a half an inning, then decided to go to the bathroom, fell on his way out on some random dude's head in the row in front of him, and the kid never showed up for the remainder of the game. Whoops. Then for the next few innings the high schoolers were getting some guys in their high 20s to buy them beer and they all lit up their cigarettes.
On of the high schoolers was the exact replica of Turtle from Entourage in his high school years, including they attire that Turtle wears. He started getting a bit rowdy and was a proud displayer of his middle digits. Eventually in around the 6th him and one of his other buddies who was definitely a jackass both got thrown out, and the high schoolers were then instantaneously less annoying.
If it was legal I'm pretty sure my father would have stood up and punted one of their heads.
Welcome to the Chess Club
Directly sitting behind me was a kid wearing a winter yankee hat, it was 65 all night long, who might as well just sign up for the Chess Club now and virginity until his mid 30s. At the start of the game I hear the kid, probably upper middle school, ask his older brother who's hitting the Red Sox or the Yankees. This baffles my mind, as it's not as if the kid was 5 years old. Then an inning or so later I turn around and see that the kid is playing his Nintendo DS instead of actually watching the game, he proceeds to play his DS for the remainder of the time he's at the game. And to top it off at one point in time there was one of the many F the Red Sox chants going on, and he turns to his brother and says, is he saying Let's Go Red Sox, unreal. I think this annoyed me more than the smoke or the fact the high schoolers stood up way too much. This kid is someone that gets a ticket, to a game it's almost impossible to get tickets too? Are you serious? If I ever have a kid that is that much of a dork I might have to put myself out of my misery and this is coming from me, someone who is relatively a dork.
Annoying Sox Fans
Back in college there were the sane Red Sox fans (Tone) and their were the illogical Sox fans (Conidi). The ones that would celebrate like they just won the AL East after they hit a solo homer to cut the deficit to 4. Well nearby, there was a group of Sox fans jumping up and down waving their Dominican flags yelling like they were dominating the game, after every basehit. It was very annoying. To further explain how annoying these guys were, they were all wearing Ortiz t-shirts, but one of them had a light blue polo shirt underneath the t-shirt and was popping the color through it. Loser.
Too Many to Count
All in all there were way too many people during the game thrown out to count. From the 5th inning on you could just hear chants around the entire stadium and see the security running to spots where conflicts were starting. A brawl broke out by the right field foul pole which you could see a few haymakers being thrown. In my section alone the three high schoolers were booted, 2 fans that were throwing M&Ms at Red Sox fans were booted (they even hit a little girl who was a Sox fan), one guy got hit in the head by a 1/2 a beer and got soaked and started talking trash to the guy who hit him but did nothing because he would have gotten dropped with one punch, a few girls got kicked out, etc.
As for the Game, Wang managed to work out of a ton of jams and didn't appear to have the best control. Wakefield on the other hand, who had the Yanks number prior to the Boone homer, appears to just get owned by the Yanks now. The Arod homer in the first was a bomb, so was the Giambi homer and for the most part the Yankees his the ball hard off him. The Red Sox missed out on many opportunities to score runs and that was that.
In the End
The good guys won, but honestly it was almost difficult at times to pay attention to the game given all the side bars in the stands and the high schoolers standing up throughout the game. It certainly is a different experience than the typical Yankee game, and one things for certain if you plan on bringing your little kid to a game and don't want to them exposed to curse words, the upperdeck is not the place to be. As for myself it just might be time for me to start moving my butt towards the upper class ticket sections.
Oh and for the most part Yankee fans are complete assholes...
Friday, May 18, 2007
Sometimes when you read these chats at ESPN you find nothing of value, the same old stuff everyday, sometimes someone throws something out there that I hadn't necessarily thought of, like:
While Arod will almost certainly opt out of his contract, due to him having Boras as his agent and the fact that their will be a huge market out there for him, unless he tanks the remainder of 07. But still if you were Tom Hicks, doesn't these seem like must. That is approximately equivalent to Hicks dumping a 15 to 20 million towards Arod, to save the same amount of dollars.
I wonder how much tampering chargers could be brought up in this case. Like would the Yankees really have the option to sue Hicks for doing this, what if he gave him a 'contract' with one of his other businesses, would it still remain illegal? Like if he signed Arod to a $15 million dollar contract with Liverpool FC or his investment firm. Do the Yanks have the option to deny this if he remains under contract? Would Hicks have to do this in secret?
Anyone who's for the most part a self made billionaire is probably very intelligent and my guess is that Hicks, has thought of this previously, and knows if and or how he could get this done.
Well not really, that would be the weak second consolation prize when they Celtics don't get one of the top 2 picks, aka Oden or Durant. But when the Celtics nab the third pick in the draft I think they have to go with the kid from China Yi Jianlian. So what if his birth certificate is as accurate as Danny Almonte's, he's still probably only 22. He looks like he's above average athletically, and he's 7 feet tall with a jump shot. From the video's I've seen on YouTube and the ESPN insider article, it appears that he's got some quickness. He certainly will need to bulk up and get tougher much like how Yao still needs to do so, but his potential is better than anyone else in the draft past the immaculate 2.
Perhaps the kid is the next Darko, perhaps he's the next Dirk, if the Celtics land number 3 or number 4 I think they should make the gamble. He does wear my number so that definitely gets him some solid bonus points in my book. And if he continues to wear the number on the C's him and big Al could make the 7 Eleven pair, talk about marketing potential around the globe.
Also, Dude, chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please.
The Yankees continue to lose and currently they sit 9 1/2 games behind the surging Red Sox, but apparently that hasn't stopped them from having plenty of free time to shoot out some interesting quotes to the media.
Who knows how this conversation sparked, but Jason Giambi is quoted as saying that Major League Baseball should apologize to the public for the steroid era. Really Jason, kind of like how you apologized?
Bud Selig "I'm sorry that people took stuff in the 1990's, we knew people were taking stuff, but the we didn't know the effect the stuff was having, and we enjoyed the success people were having when they were taking the stuff and the popularity the stuff was having on the game. But in retrospect perhaps the stuff left a bad legacy which I will now officially deam as "The Stuff Era", where people's records and stats were often caused by the stuff they were taking."
What are you doing these kind of interviews during the middle of the season for, do you not have enough losing to concentrate on now. Does a double digit deficit staring you in the face not require dedication of your time? You know what I think you should apologize for Jason? How fat you are. How slow you are and how because you are so fat and slow the Yankees can not afford to play you at first base daily and effectively are stuck with a useless bat in Dougie Minkowitz at the end of their lineup.
Honestly, how much cooler was Giambi when he was on the A's and looked like a bad ass...
Secondly, Kyle Farnsworth was quoted as being a little critical of the whole family package for Roger Clemens. First off, who is interviewing Kyle Farnsworth, and why? There's not a single other Yankee that would do a spot on a Chicago radio station that they could have gotten instead. I bet the typical Chicago listener was absolutely ecstatic when they tuned in and were blessed with listening to Farnsworth. Secondly, Kyle I don't necessarily have a problem with anything you said, you were being honest and you're quotes aren't bad at all. It's not as if he was yelling about how the Yankees don't need Clemens, he was just stating that he thinks Clemens should be around at all times. It's an understandable position. But Kyle, did you really need to be honest, is their a benefit of being honest in the scenario?
You know what I think you should do Farny, I think you should get ticked as hell one of these series throw at some dudes head and lay a beat down on an opposing player. I think it's about time that someone on the Yanks shows a little passion, a little fire and a little sign that they are pissed the hell off with how much they suck. What says pissed off more than a 99 mile per hour fastball thrown directly at the Head of Manny Ramirez, followed by a brawl pitting the 6-4 245 pound pure muscle Farnsworth against the 6-0 200 pound Manny. You know Joe Torre won't give the call for something like this, but perhaps Larry Bowa can slip some aggressive whispers into Farny's ear before he takes the mound sometime next week.
So basically the Yanks should probably stop making news with their quotes and start making some news in the Win Column of the standings. That would be nice.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
A little over a month ago Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson went on their quest to ban Imus from the media. Sharpton and Jackson saw an opportunity to exploit a white versus black issue no matter how insignificant it may have been. In the past month there have been two things that I have stumbled upon that have seriously called for black leadership to respond and take action, but apparently because white people weren't the crime committees, Jackson and Sharpton didn't need to pop their ugly little heads into the mix. The first occurred early this month in which a black girl was murdered by two black men over a friggin Game of Monopoly. Doesn't that just scream out we need to do something as a community, when someone gets murdered over a border game. But that didn't bring forth any black leaders.
Then there's this crime which happened in January and is straight out of a Horror Film. Not only were there no black leaders there when this went done, but somehow someway it's been multiple months since its occurrence and I only found out about it today because of a link on The Big Lead. If the roles were reversed how many milliseconds would it take for those two to get down to Tennessee and preach white hatred, maybe 3. The first available flight?
This country will never be devoid of racism and racial tension when the media so blatantly skews it's media coverage towards white on black crimes, and to a certain extent disregards the reversal. Why would the average white man not see this as ludicrous? Three words got a man fired because two "leaders" of a minority went on a witch hunt and put every single resource they had into getting the man canned. Meanwhile a group of 4 make the sickest torture film you could possibly imagine on two white college students yet you do not here a single peep from the black powers or a peep from the media. There will never be equality without the attempt of both sides treating things equality, and since it is apparent that people like Sharpton and Jackson are unwilling to do so, well than they should further expect to push some white people in the wrong direction.
~Coming as no surprise to anybody the Suns lost last night because David Stern is a tool. D'Antoni made absolutely no attempt to rest his players and it cost them at the end. Nash Marion and Bell played practically ever minute of the entire game and the Suns blew and 8 point lead down the stretch mostly because they just stopped scoring. And he only really used 6 players the entire game, with James Jones the only one on the bench getting more than 5 minutes of PT. It's impossible to say what the game would have been like if they had Amare and Diaw the entire game, but me guess that they would have won. Now you can just pray that Amare leads them to a game 6 victory.
~David Stern kept on harping that the rule is the rule and that he must enforce it and then said stuff like the rule my not be fair. You are the commissioner David, your job is to do what's best for the sport of basketball. By suspending Amare and Diaw, you sacrificed the iintegrity of a game in the most important series you will have in the entire playoffs. You failed your league this week, by failing to work outside the box and bend a few rules.
~Read Simmons article this week mostly his points about why the NBA sucks now. It's pretty much all true. Flopping is BS, no one would ever flop in a pick up game, and if you did you would not be invited back for future pick up games. In addition that putting the foot underneath the jump shooters feet move that Bowen does, that is blatantly dirty, I know I do that all the time, mostly to Grutt. The NBA is trying to suck away everything that makes basketball basketball. I'm not a huge trash talker but if someone is getting on my nerves on the court and I drain a shot in his face, I'm gonna let him know about it.
~To further my annoyance with NBA basketball that game didn't tip off until 10:30. No other sport tips off that late. The NLCS and ALCS first pitch is around 8:30 9, regardless of the coast. The Superbowl is at 6. The Tennis and golf finals are in the afternoon. The NCAA tourny with the exception of the opening rounds is done by midniight. This game tipped off after 10:30 and most likely lingered until 1 am. I can't watch that and not be miserable the next day at work.
~The Nets beat the Cavs cause Lebron got injured and no one cares. The Nets have no fans and the Cavs despite having Lebron are a completely uninteresting squad.
~Monday, I dropped Kevin Kouzmanoff who had plagued my fantasy team all year by hitting under .120, and what does he do has back to back multi-hit games. What a friggin ass bag. Last night he even had the wonderfully lame walk off walk.
~JJ Hardy has surpassed his home run totals of any season in his major or minor league career, and it's May 17th. Find the logic in that one.
~I'm going to the Sox Yanks game on monday, so A) It better not rain and B) I better see better pitchers than Julian Tavarez and Matt Desalvo, cause that would suck big time.
~Oddly enough right now I'm pretty much just annoyed with sports. The NBA is a disgrace, the Yankees are difficult to watch and root for with how horrendous they have been playing lately, the NHL doesn't exist to me anymore because it's no longer on stations I actually get, and that pretty much sums up whats going on in the sports world right now.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Last year I complained vehemently about how much my cable provider sucked regarding it's lack of carrying of Sox and mets games. Well apparently that isn't even nearly close to as bad as it can get throughout the rest of the country. Some regions, mostly the ones that don't really have a highly associated major league team are blacked out from several teams. For instance one guy in Iowa said that he is considered to be in the region of 6 major league squads. Six friggin teams? The whole state of Iowa is a 6 team region, Bud your kidding right?
People in Oregon are for some reason considered to be in the Oakland A's region despite the fact that many of them live an 8 hour drive away from the Bay area. An 8 hour drive, are you serious? Vegas and lower Nevada are also in 6 team's regions.
What I really don't get is how Major League Baseball can justify blacking out customers from watching teams 'in their region' if they go out and get the MLB package. The MLB package should be a persons window to watch whatever game they want to no matter what. Someone in my situation should be able to order the MLB package and watch the Red Sox, but alas they would be the one team whose games I would really want and the one team whose games I couldn't get. That makes no sense.
Here's a map of the blackout regions, it's ludicrous.
The NBA announced yesterday that it was going to go by the letter of the law and suspend Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for game 5 of the Suns Series versus the Spurs, for getting off of the bench after Horry's flagrant foul. If you watch the video the Suns coaches stopped Amare and Diaw well before they ever came anywhere near the "altercation" as Stu Jackson calls it. How is that not taken into account? Should someone get suspended for starting to swing an elbow at someone and stopping well before they land it? This rule has been absurd since day one.
This rule is equivalent to your buddy getting into a fight at the bar started by someone else, and you stand up in your stool and are thrown out of the bar. It makes no sense.
So the NBA is willing to throw away a game in the only important series in the entire NBA playoffs. Does this make any logical business sense? Essentially Kurt Thomas is going to have to play millions of minutes despite him being elderly, and they will need to give Pat Burke minutes or force Marion to cover Duncan. If Duncan doesn't end up with 30+ 15+ in a Spurs W I will be shocked, and all for what. Absolutely nothing.
Hell I don't even agree with Horry getting a two game suspension for what was just a hard foul. But atleast he actually hit someone instead of just standing up. If I was losing game 6 of a playoff series, at the end of the game I would send in my scrubs and have them purposely try to incinuate a brawl (John Chaney style) to get the other teams players to leave the bench. There's no loss in this situation, what would the Suns care if Marcus Banks is suspended for game 7 if they could get Tim Duncan or Ginobli off the bench.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
We all know that the top tier players are not what wins or loses your fantasy season but rather those low round bargains that you were able to snipe and have lead to your ascension up the rankings. Here are 5 pitchers and 5 hitters grabbed in the lower rounds or early weeks free agencies that have made tremendous impacts.
JJ Hardy - So, JJ Hardy leads the National League in homers? I think it's safe to say that Hardy's performance over the course of the first month and a half is by far the most surprising in the league. In one player per position leagues, he was probably not drafted period. In two shortstops leagues he was probably a lower end second SS pick. Right now he's hitting .325 with 12 homers and 37 RBIs and is currently the 3rd ranked player in fantasy behind only Arod and Jose Reyes. Buy or Sell: Sell JJ has never hit more than 12 homers in a season in his career, sell him while his price is maxed out.
BJ Upton - Many people including myself avoided drafting Upton in their drafts simply because it didn't look like he had a position to play everyday, then the Drays sent down Cantu and gave Upton the 2nd base job and he's has hit fantastically. And since it's fantasy baseball his ineptitude in the field doesn't matter at all. Buy or Sell: Sell Comin down to earth this month.
Ian Kinsler - Second baseman typically stink and while Kinsler should have been sold at his highest value a few weeks ago, if you have Kinsler and his 10 home runs and 5 steals right now it has certainly helped. His average has been atrocious as of late, and he probably won't keep up the power totals, but for the first month he was terrific. Buy or Sell: Sell The average has plummeted, show off the ten homers and hope you get something good.
Mike Lowell - Lowell has this same exact explosive start the season last year so maybe it should have been expected and maybe you should sell him high right now, but he is currently hitting for power and is 5th in the American League in RBIs. Buy or Sell: Sell Too bad of a second half last year to believe he's not just a hot starter. Sell him prior to the All-Star break.
Gary Matthews Jr. - There was much bashing about drafting Gary Matthews Jr. prior to the season due to the HGH rumors, and the fact he only had one good season his entire career but thus far this season Matthews has been terrific. Hitting over .300 and contributing to steals, runs, rbis and HRs. Buy or Sell: Hold He's hitting in front of Vlad right now.
John Maine - I started this yesterday when John Maine was close to leading the NL in ERA, well last night he got rocked. But still Maine has for the most part been terrific this season and there's no way he went anywhere near the middle rounds, unless you have a few die hard Met fans in your league. Buy or Sell: Sell Last night was a sign of things to come.
Brad Penny - For those that forgot, Brad Penny started the all star game last year, and perhaps if he didn't try to gas himself in the all star game he would have been equally good in the second half, instead he was done in September and sliud too late in everybody's draft. Buy or Sell: Buy If Penny stays away from trying to throw 100+ every pitch in the all star game he could have a solid 2nd half.
Jason Marquis - Here's someone I would have never drafted. Marquis finished the season last year so miserably the cards didn't even put him on the postseason roster, then the Cubs gave him some cash to be a back end of the rotation guy which lead to a few head shakes. And thus far, he's been terrific, who knew. Buy or Sell: Sell Not a believer
James Shields - Looking at Shields' numbers from last year it shouldn't come as that much of surprise at his improvements this season, however because he plays with the Devil Rays no one had probably ever heard about him until he started racking up shutout inning after shutout inning. Buy or Sell: Buy Look at his career numbers almost a K per inning and always throws a ton of innings, he's solid.
Al Reyes - The Drays were incredibly hush at the start of the season with who they were going to use as their closer so most likely Al Reyes was there either very close to your last round or in the free agency pool week 1. Reyes has been terrific thus far this season and looks as if he should hold the closer role all season no problem. Buy or Sell: Hold A Closer who has a job for good is someone to hold onto.
I completely despise the Spurs, I think they are atrociously boring to watch and I want them to lose very much, however the Suns recent whining about the physicality of the series and these over emphasis on foul calls, are beginning to annoy me.
When I first heard about this whole knee to the groin by Bowen on the radio yesterday, I thought well that certainly sounds like it deserves a suspension. And after finally seeing the video my thoughts are, "That's It?". That was the vicious knee to the groin, come on it was weaker than any typical jimmy tap. My guess is Nash did some acting there, because as bad as it hurts to get smacked in the nuts, he wasn't exactly coming at full velocity.
As for the foul last night by Robert Horry, come on that isn't deserving of a suspension either. A forearm shiver, come on Steve Kerr. How wimpy are you, he got knocked down. It was basically a football block that happens on every single play. It's not like he threw a punch at the guys face. If anything was a forearm shiver it was when Horry tried to throw a bow at Raja Bell's face. That one had intent. And why does Nash have to play it like he got completely knocked out. Get up you big friggin baby, are you a grown man? That could not have hurt that badly.
The moral of this story as that, the more the Suns bitch and moan about these fouls, and qact like a soccer player when they get fouled by rolling around like they've just been shot, the less I can root for them. And if I can't root for the Suns I really can't root for anybody in this miserable NBA postseason, and it will effectively be dead to me. One way or another I'm much more looking forward to next weeks Draft Lottery than any playoff series post Suns Spurs.
Monday, May 14, 2007
If you were the coach of a major universities female golf team, what motivational tactics do you think would work? Videos of Annika Sorenstam strolling a major or perhaps Nancy Lopez in the prime of her career. Maybe even Tiger Woods or a motivational movie like Remember the Titans or Hoosiers. Or perhaps a Paris Hilton Sex tape.... Rewind that for a second a Paris Hilton sex tape, to motivate a female golf team. Well that's certainly a strategy I wouldn't have thought of, and apparently not a strategy that the University of Georgia much appreciated as their coach, Todd McCorkle, resigned most certainly because he was on the chopping block with the axe coming down full steam ahead.
McCorkle was noted for not only showing his team one of the lamest sex tapes of all time, but also explicit sexual comments and a pat in the butt here and there, to arouse the team. Poor McCorkle where is going to go now to be surrounded by 20+ 20 year old Georgians wearing skirts at all times around him. Poor guy.
~Josh Beckett left the game yesterday because of a skin tear on his pitching hand. And to the normal person this sounds like a pretty weak reason to exit a game, but for Josh Beckett, a kid with a massive history of blister problems, it was a smart move to get him out of the game asap. I think he should dial up Moises or Jorge in the offseason and talk to them about their method of keeping their hands tough throughout the season... Urinate on them.
~The Red Sox did stage a massive comeback in the 9th inning yesterday to pull out a victory, which was capped when I saw my buddy last night who went, so I went to the Sox game today, and I left after the 8th. Whoops.
~The Yanks continue to suck, and couldn't score runs yesterday off friggin Horacio Ramirez. You're kidding me right? And let the Yankees brutality begin, here is their upcoming schedule... 3 at ChiSox, 3 at Mets, 3 vs. Boston, 3 vs. Angels, 3 at Toronto, 3 at Boston, 4 at ChiSox... So the Yanks need to get it in gear this month or they could find themselves 15 games out come mid June.
~The A's traded for super minor leaguer Jack Cust a little over a week ago, and the guy has 6 homers in 26 at bats including a walk off home run yesterday against Injuns.
~Larry Jones came out and complained about how his Braves team is forced to face the Red Sox every year in interleague play while the Marlins get to saddle up against the D-Rays. He's in favor of interleague play, but thinks the schedule should be changed to an even format. Guess what Larry, it's never going to happen, so get over it. There's no way the Commish is going to sign off to an interleague system that doesn't have the Yanks vs. Mets, Cubs Chi Sox, A's Gigantes etc. That's the point of interleague play to get those matchups. So while it may not be 'fair' it's 6 total games in a 162 game season, its not a big deal.
~So after Henry Owens went on the DL there were rumors Jorge Julio was going to get the closers job back, then he gives up a granny on saturday, and well I guess not. He was traded to Colorado yesterday in exchange for BK Kim. What the heck are the Marlins gonna do with BK?
~Talk about friggin weird the Pakistani cricket coach that was supposedly strangled to death in his hotel room following a loss to Ireland is now being reported to have died via Natural causes. Scotland Yard officials examined the remains and concluded that heart failure and not strangulation was the cause of death. And the plot thickens, I can't imagine that this will take much more than a year to be a made for TV movie in the UK/Australia.
~Lefty won another tournament woo. Amount of time I spent watching the TPC this weekend? Zero Seconds, so I offer zero analysis other than seeing the highlights of O'hare dumping it in the drink twice on 17. And my response is he had to go for the pin there, you have to try to win the tournament at the end of the day, no one ever will remember the fact you finished second at the TPC.
~Brett Favre whining is very humurous, Brett even if you got Randy Moss the Packers wouldn't be very good this season, you are coming back to a team that at best will go 9-7, you have zero chance of winning the superbowl with them, so relax and enjoy breaking some more of Marino's record this year, and probably next year. But stop acting like you are going to get another ring. You aren't.
~Oh and he demanded a trade for a few minutes. Brett how were you not a free agent? Did you have to sign with the Packers?
~In NBA news, Bowen apparently kneed Nash in the groin, I havent seen the video yet. Two series are at 3-1 and effectively over with the Jazz and Pistons most likely shutting the door at home in their next games. And the Nets and Suns have must wins down 2-1 in their next games. If these teams lose then they are also effectively done.
~Doc Rivers was extended and this comes at no surprise to me. Doc did a fantastic job of pulling the plug on the Celtics season in the quest for Oden/Durant. He made up the Al Jefferson knee injury in the last few weeks to help them lose to the Bucks twice, he played Bassy a bunch down the stretch of close games, and was instrumental in benching good players at the start of the 4th quarter of games to lose big leads and the games. The Danny Doc duo is az package deal, the Celtics owner will need to cut the head off (danny) and the body will fall. Until that happens both are here to stay for awhile, unfortunately.