Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The Angels trade for Mark Teixeira yesterday was for the most part unilaterally approved. And why wouldn't it be? Teixeira is a beast, he instantaneously becomes the Angels best hitter (Yes, he's better than Vlad now). He immediately gives them punch in the middle of their lineup that they've needed ever since Troy Glaus left his HGH driven prime. And all they had to give up was Casey Kotchman a good but not great 1B in the start of his prime and minor league pitcher Steve Marek who is being turned into a reliever in the minor leagues. And yet, somehow someway some people (Doug Gottlieb) are not a fan of this trade.
Ok so let's analyze this piece by piece. The Angels have the best team in baseball right now, they have the best record and they have as good a chance as any to win the world series. But their strength is pitching, they are currently 19th in the league in runs scored. They needed to add a bat and they needed power. Would it have been nice to add Teixeira and not delete Kotchman? Sure, but the you have to give the Braves something. Regardless, there is no debating that the Angels are better for the remainder of 08 than if they kept Kotchman.
Next, the fear that Teixeira leaves and you lose out on the future of Kotchman for a rental player. A) Teixeira will certainly be a Tier A Free Agent and thus if he leaves the Angels will be receiving a first round pick as well as a 1st round sandwich pick. Kotchman himself was the 13th overall pick in the draft so the Angels will be receiving two picks in close proximity to #13. Secondly the Angels, have a potential future first baseman in the minors in Kendry Morales. Both Kotchman and Morales are 25 and while Morales has not been on the fast track to the majors he is an excellent prospect and potentially the equivalent or better than Kotchman. Since starting his minor league career Morales has never finished a minor league season hitting below .300. Last year during his call up with the Angels he hit .294 in 119 at bats. This year in the minors he's hitting .324. He's their easy replacement for Kotchman if Teixeira does in fact leave via free agency.
This trade is hands down a no brainer for the Angels. Could Kotchman be a solid 1B for a long time in baseball? Sure. Will he ever be an elite hitter? Highly doubtful. So the Angels did what they should, upgraded majorly in a season in an attempt to win a world series. In the offseason attempt to sign Teixeira and if his asking price is too much then simply settle for the 2 first round picks and slotting of Morales as the every day first baseman. It was the easy and correct decision.
The WGC Bridgestone (formerly NEC) Invitational has a 9 year history. In those 9 years it could have been summed up in one word, Tiger. The first three WGC NEC Invitationals were won by whom? Tiger. The last three WGC Bridgestone tournaments were won by whom? Tiger.
So congrats to all of those 75 players playing in the tournament starting tomorrow. You actually have a chance to win the grand prize of an 8 million dollar purse. It must feel good to actually have a chance.
So I haven't done the Friday Video Blowout in awhile, most of it was due to laziness. Anyway, are people more in favor of sporadic videos being posted that I enjoy during the week? Or the typical 10 video blowout on friday?
Carl Pavano of course who made his first rehab start for the RiverDogs last night. He's gonna be great in September.
Sorry, I just had to make myself laugh.
"To say you can count on them right now, given that neither have pitched in minor league games yet, would be an overstatement," Cashman said. (Hughes also pitched last night.)
Bringing Ron Artest into Houston certainly sounds like a good decision in basketball terms. The Rockets gave up Bobby Jackson (2008 version not the 2002 version), Donte Green and their 2009 draft pick (which will certainly be in the high teens if not the 20s). In return they receive a stellar defender with ferocious intensity and someone on the offensive end who could easily drop 17 points a game. But what about the ole chemistry?
Shane Battier seems like a slightly poor mans sane version of Ron Artest. He defends hard and is serviceable on the offensive end all while being a model citizen. How exactly is he going to deal with being on the court/losing playing time due to Artests arrival? For Yao Ming and T-Mac they certainly will welcome the added talent, but they both are soft and a little introverted, quite the opposite of Ronny Ron. How exactly will they become good teams with Artest? Can you even for a second imagine Artest and Yao conversing?
The Rockets certainly had to take the chance. They gave up no important pieces and now have a tri-fecta of all star caliber players with significant role players. It gives them the opportunity to contend and possibly win the West. But they certainly are taking a big chance with team chemistry and then again everything for the Rockets still comes down to Yao and T-Mac being unable to play in the postseason every year because they are amongst the most fragile players in the league. So, if both go down like any other year, this trade will end up being all for naught. But at least for the moment the Rockets are now arguably the most intriguing watch in the NBA.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Somehow I'm 25 years old am an avid sports fan, have watched the Indy 500 for what surely amounts to at least 1 complete race and yet I never learned of the ridiculousness of the Brickyard Crossing until this past weekend. There are tons of unique golf courses in this world, and yet surely a golf course which includes 4 holes within the infield of arguably the most storied race track in America is in its own odd class. Hopefully, if I ever end up near Indianapolis I will be able to play this very weird but notable course.
Monday, July 28, 2008
You're 4-6 in your last 10 and your 2.5 games out of the division. You need something extra, you need a spark. You have a solid rotation but you need that stud, the pitcher who is going to dominate. And it just so happens you have him stashed away in the minor leagues dominating hitters in every start. So, you leave him there of course.
Seriously, there is nothing more baffling then what the Twins are doing to Francisco Liriano. Coming into this season he could have been considered their most important player, a potential ace on a team clearly lacking one. But he struggled mightily in regaining his stuff post Tommy John surgery so he was rightly sent down to the minors. And he has found his stuff. He's had his stuff for awhile now throwing together 5 terrific starts in a row before having a mediocre start last night. And yet, even with his agent complaining about the franchise, he's sat there in Rochester waiting for the call. A call that is being blocked by 5 pitchers that couldn't hold his jock right now all the while the Twins brass is saying that there is no room for him.
1. Livan Hernandez - 5.38 ERA is bad, but a WHIP of 1.60 and an opposing batting average of .336 is down right terrible. The batting average against of .336 is the worst in all of MLB for qualified pitchers. Why is this man still starting? How in the world is he better than Liriano right now? Why because he has 10 wins? Sir Sidney has 6, does it not mean they both suck?
2. Nick Blackburn - He has a 3.69 ERA and has pitched well, but when he suited up against the Yankee pin stripes in a big spot he was sitting on the bench 6 runs down after 1.2 innings. Do you honestly think he's coming up big in an important spot?
3. Kevin Slowey - Slow is the accurate depiction. He's a finesse pitcher.
4. Scott Baker - Baker has pitched well for the Twins this year and has a 3.36 ERA. But does he have dominating playoff ace stuff? No.
5. Glenn Perkins - Perkins has pitched well for a Rookie with a 4.08 ERA but again the stuff obviously isn't there. With 46 Ks in 90+ innings its obvious he isn't dominating.
How can the Twins seriously say with a straight face that Liriano can not replace any of those pitchers? What the hell are they waiting for? Are they waiting to fall out of the race? Are they waiting to trade one of the youngsters? The time is now, make the move before its too late. And stop being ridiculously cheap based on service time.
Note: If the Twins really can't find a place in the rotation for him, I'm sure a certain team in the Bronx could find a spot for him if pressed into the situation.
If you watched any of the Yanks Sox games over the weekend than you most certainly have learned that the Yanks parted ways with 4 players in order to acquire Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady. And if you have watched this analyzed by anybody on FOX or ESPN you would have gathered that the Yankees just went to Pittsburgh punched the Pirates brass in the face and stole two players. Color me a little less impressed by the Yankees.
Sure if you look at the statline for Xavier Nady this year it looks great. The Yanks needed a corner outfielder and they needed a right hand bat. Nady is both and was hitting .330 for the Pirates. What's better than that? How about a player with some sort of historical track record both in the regular season or in the postseason. He's hit 20 home runs in a season just once, and he's 29 so he's not exactly young. He's had 3 postseason at bats in his entire career. He hit .264 for the Mets in 06 before they jettisoned him in another deal that was vastly criticized by people not named me. I'm not going to jump to conclusions after a single weekend, but Nady was completely useless in two games against the Sox, both in the field and at the plate. Hopefully I'm wrong I just think Nady is highly highly overrated by mostly everybody.
As for Damaso Marte it's nice that the Yanks bolstered their bullpen and added the missing lefty, but a starting pitcher would have been better. Surpsingly the bullpen has been the Yankees strength and while Marte is certainly a welcomed contributor he wasn't necessarily needed. Hopefully he's used as more than just a left handed specialist and if he is just used as a specialist let's hope that his splits resemble 07 (.094 average against lefties) more than 08 (.250 average against lefties).
Now here comes the other end of the deal. The initial report of what the Yankees were giving up was wrong. Instead of Phil Coke and George Kontos, two players I've never heard of, the Yanks gave up Jeff Karstens (a potential 5th starter) and Daniel McCutchen who has been tearing up the minor leagues. Currently McCutchen has 8 wins and an ERA of 3.14 in splits between Double-A and Triple-A. He's a potential MLB contributor. Ohlendorf has solid stuff and has the potential to become a solid contributor to a staff. And finally Tabata was once regarded as the single best prospect in the Yankees organization and while belittled a bit this year he's still 20 he still has potential and he definitely had more value in January of this year.
I'm not saying the Yankees shouldn't have done the deal, given the market, their injuries and their position in the race they needed to take action and this move filled two of the voids. I just don't think its the enormous win for the Yankees as everybody else seems to think and perhaps the singular reason is that I just don't think Xavier Nady is that good.
The weekly waste has been absent for awhile, but I think we can all agree that these two are a unanimous selection for the waste of the summer and should be removed from the Northeast entirely and potentially the entire planet. If they happened to be castrated chances are the Earth would instantly become a more enjoyable place.
In one off season the New Orleans Saints have gone out and picked up not the former most popular player for not one but two New York teams. In 2005 both Jonathan Vilma and Jeremy Shockey had their peak seasons. Shockey had 891 recieving yards and a career high 7 touchdown receptions making him the toast of the town and selling lots and lots of jerseys. Meanwhile, Vilma was making every single tackle in the last year of the Herman Edwards era and was the only worthwhile player on the entire roster and was certainly my favorite Jet. Now three years later both found themselves unwanted in the Big Apple and both found themselves shifted to the Bayou.
So what's going to happen to these former Broadway heroes in 2008? Well, chances are they both shall turn into beasts. For Shockey he enters a squad that's been missing one thing, a tight end. With Colston, Bush, and Deuce Shockey will be seeing limited double teams and could potentially have a career year. And for Vilma, well he's actually going to be utilized the way he should have been utilized for the Jets. In the 4-3 scheme in the middle running down every single tackle to be made on the field. I honestly expect both to make the Pro Bowl. And I fully expect the Saints to win the NFC South this year and contend with whichever NFC East squad is left standing for the NFCs Superbowl representation. And at the center of it will be the two former New Yorkers who were once upon a time the fan favorites for both franchises.
Friday, July 25, 2008
It shall be interesting to see whether or not Julio gets sent back to the DR or not. He's only 20 years old but he's been in the minors for 4 years. In the previous three he offered nothing special but this season in 40 innings between rookie ball and A ball he has a 1.86 ERA. It shall be interesting to see how the Cubbies handle this.
Courtesy of AA
Seriously If You Like or Hate Tom Brady Go Here. If you don't fall on either end of that spectrum you probably aren't human and can't laugh so nevermind.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
So Wachovia goes and loses 8.86 Billion (With a B) dollars in the second quarter. So how are they going to turn it around and make up those losses? By advertising here at SimonOnSports of course. I generate Billions of grains of Rice (perhaps only millions or maybe like 5 full shaped grains) so its certainly a sound strategy.
Kyle Farnsworth has been a continuous joke on this here website and the bane of many Yankee fans since his arrival in the Bronx. I shivered when the Yanks drafted a kid 'comparable to Farny' and a frighteningly said that he was the Player to Eye for the Yanks this season especially if they moved Joba into the rotation. And despite a very shaky start to the season, and his penchant for the walk, Farny seemed to find his groove once he regained the 8th inning role. And now? He's not giving up hits. Just how little hits is he giving up? In his last 10 appearances (9 innings) Farny hasn't given up a single hit.
This is Farny, the man whom when Joe Girardi talked about having confidence in at the start of the season was laughed at by all Yankee fans. Now I'm still overly pessimistic and would expect him to get wrecked in a big spot in September or the postseason or hell this weekend against the So but still 9 innings no hits is pretty damn surprising.
Now Edwar on the other hand is a confusing case. I can never put my hands on whether or not I think he's good, lucky or about the blow up. Last year he had outings when he looked great, but he had way more outings which he got rocked which sums up the 8.14 season ending ERA. This year the solid outings are coming in bunches, but when he gets hit he seems to get hit well. He's come in 32 games and has only been scored on in 5, 3 of which were 2 runs or more.
Now Edwar, still be used in middle relief, is on fire. In his last 7 appearances (9 1/3 innings) Edwar, like Farny, has not given up a hit. Unlike Farny he's limited his walks to 2. So the question is what is Edwar? Is he the dominant reliever he's been most of this year? Or is he the guy getting rocked in a few starts this year and a lot of starts last year.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
One would think that every kid in America playing basketball dreamed of playing for Olympiakos at some point. Or not. So why is it that Josh Childress decided that he wanted to flee America, the NBA, and more specifically the Hawks for Greece. And in the prime of his career to boot.
For the Hawks Childress was a solid but unspectacular player who probably needed to work on his jump shot. He certainly wasn't the star of their squad and thanks to the NBA's controlling rules he was a restricted free agent in Atlanta, meaning if he signed in the NBA chances are good the Hawks would have matched the deal given that it wouldn't have been too much money. So in essence Josh Childress didn't want to play for the Hawks so badly (or he liked 1+ million dollars more a year and European Vacations) that he was willing to forego 3 years in his prime in the NBA.
Woo the Hawks suck.
Try the Yankee Fielder Edition
This man to the right is Alfredo Aceves. He's mexican, and was signed by the Yankees from the Mexican league. And for those reasons we can excuse him for the outfit the girl under his arm is wearing (he was working the pin stripes at least). Soon enough Mr. Aceves will be throwing in the Yankees bullpen. Why? Because he's tooling on every level of the minors.
At a Mexican 25 (translation somewhere between 25 and 40) he's no youngin', so there's no reason to increase development. At single A Tampa in 8 starts he threw 47 innings to the tune of a 2.11 ERA with 37 Ks. At AA Trenton in 7 starts he threw 50 innings to the tune of a 1.8 ERA with 35 Ks. And now in AAA he's entered 4 games (1 start) and has thrown 11 innings to the tune of a 1.64 ERA with 15 Ks. Last night he even had Mr. Cashman in attendance last night watching his performance.
So are you ready for a little extra latin flavor in the pen?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Favre wants out... Pennington wants out. Packers don't want Favre in the division. Jets aren't in the division. Packers want a Rodgers to start, but could use a veteran backup. Jets don't want Pennington to start but don't really want Clemens to start either. So....
PENNINGTON FOR FAVRE!!!! Get it done. Hell the Jets could even throw in a 5th rounder. And best yet, Favre won't even have to stop wearing green.
It's a WIN FOR ALL PENNINGTON FOR FAVRE!!!
Try the Yankee Pitcher Edition
I posted a Quiz Up at EC that got linked by hot clicks. Go take it.
Pointing to the camera celebrating as Jay Feely shanks his field goal attempt while I'm in attendance with one buddy wearing a Largent jersey and one buddy wearing a Shockey jersey. In the end the epic Giants fail was encapsulated in "Shockey Swallows" chants and tears of infinite sadness.
Perhaps this could be the first jersey to lead the bonfire.
Monday, July 21, 2008
In the recent past the one thing that you noticed was the abundance of Jeremy Shockey jerseys. They've had some good players in the past 5-10 years including Barber, Strahan and Toomer and yet the Shockey jerseys completely dominated the crowd. For what reason? In some cases you would see entire families all decked out in Shockey Jerseys as if no one else played on the team. I have no idea, he was never the best player on the team and he often underachieved and he was consistently an annoying loudmouth. But I guess he won over the fans. Perhaps, it was the effort level or the whiteness or the massive American flag tattoo. Whatever it was, he sure had a vice grip on the Giants jersey sales.
But now, of course he has become expendable. He got injured the Giants won the Superbowl without him and everyone began to question whether or not the Giants were better without him. And with the emergence of Kevin Boss it just pushed his need off the edge. And thus the Giants eventually made a deal with the Saints to part ways with Shockey.
So what to do with the hundreds of thousands of Shockey jerseys around the tri-state area. How about a jersey bon-fire in jersey? Who's in?
In the end the pink pants just weren't enough. After a ton of rain throughout the tournament the outfits worn by all the golfers were tame and boring in comparison to the colorful array that comprised the Masters. But then there was the shining star of the ridiculous, Ian Poulter, on Sunday at the British Open flaunting pastel pink pants. And not only was he flaunting the only colored pants in contention he was flaunting them at the top of the leaderboard. He was tied for the lead with Paddy Irishman, and was chilling on the 17th green with an Eagle putt to come.
And then in a flash his chances were gone. The dreaded three putt came and the Eagle putt and the chance for sole possession of the lead, became a one stroke deficit as Paddy Irishman drained his own birdie putt. Poulter Pink Pants managed to garner one more fist pump on the 18th when he saved par and put a little pressure back on Paddy Irishman to play at least +1 golf on his final 6 holes. But alas, Paddy Irishman did not want drama, he did not want to watch Poulter Pink Pants play any more holes. He wanted to land his 2nd shot on the 17th green like Poulter Pink Pants. But rather than 3-putting he desired to drain the birdie and kill all suspense.
It's too bad, a man that looks that ridiculous should be given a better chance on the final day. Especially when Paddy Irishman brings the snooze to golf outfits.
Black Pocket Woods
I've never heard of Chris Wood and well why should I, he's an amateur and a Brit one at that. Yet, perhaps inspired with his partnering with Poulter Pink Pants, he brought out the equally ridiculous. Some sort of puke green/yellow colored pants with ludicrous looking black pockets. And what happened? He came in a tie for 5th. Yet, again a good result for the fashion flare, but never the top prize.
Shark's a Snoozer
For all that was cool about the Shark pushing himself into the final pairing and with a 2 stroke lead to boot, his performance on sunday was miserable. First off he owns his own damn stupid fashion line and he comes with cream pants and a black sweater, boring. And then he goes out and shoots a 77 thus eliminating any kind of drama on the final 5 holes.
Where Are the Good Players
Ernie, Phil and Vajay all eliminated themselves from contention on day 1. Hey, newsflash jackasses, but Tiger wasn't there. You know, the guy that wins majors all the time. Perhaps this would have been a good tournament to play well at. Or not. And it wasn't just them. Sergio and Retief were still in contention coming into the weekend and both shat the bed completely. KJ Choi dropped a deuce in his pants on Saturday. Spiderman, followed up his -5 with a +8.
My Predictions = Bogus
Contender Picks: Ernie Els (T7), Justin Rose (T70), Camilo Villegas (T39), Lee Westwood (T67)
Els shot an 80 in the first round to jump out of contention. Rose shot an 82 on saturday to plummet out of contention. Villegas shot a 79 on saturday to eliminate his -5 on friday. And Westwood shot a 78 on saturday and never shot better than +3.
Miss the Cut Picks: Fatty Phil (T17), Tom Watson (Missed Cut), Rory Sabbatini (Missed Cut)
Fatty Phil shot a 68 on friday to make the cut by a stroke. Watson and Rory both stunk it up on the weekdays to miss out.
Winner (or Total Loser): Sergio (T51)
Sergio was still in it at +5 going into the weekend, wasn't completely out of it sitting at even par for the day and +9 for the tournament heading into the back nine on sunday. And then he bogeyed or double bogeyed each of the next five holes and topped it off with a bogey on the 18th to finish +8 for the day and +17 for the tourney. Loser.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Apparently a bunch of rain and miserable weather means that everybody needs to wear very boring outfits, unless they are Asian. Than they have ridiculous looking sweaters.
Leonard Is Also Trying Out for New Zealand's Rugby Team (What's with the Winter Hats)
Um Colored Sleeves Aren't Completely Miserable
Yay for Cardigan Sweaters, Atleast They are Semi Interesting
I have No Idea What the Hell that Design Means
The Asians apparently are the only Fashion Saving Grace
Is he Going Fishing After This?
Is that a Giant Zipper on his Pant Leg?
Even Poulter Brings the Boring? What's Up?
Friday, July 18, 2008
There's a lot of reasons why the Mets are on a 10 game winning streak. The pitching is actually stepping up, from the starters to the bullpen everybody is pitching better for Jerry than they did for Willie. Additionally their key hitters Reyes, Wright and Beltran are hitting at a high level as well as a re-emergence of Carlos Delgado as a viable major leaguers. Of the reasons the Mets have won 10 in a row none is more shocking than the play of Fernando Tatis. Tatis has only been on an active roster once since 2003.
Tatis started the month of July hitting .253 on the season with 1 homer in minimal playing time. Now getting consistent playing time for the Mets, he's hit 4 home runs this month and has boosted his average .53 points to .306. In addition Tatis hascome up with clutch hits for the Mets, big time hits that won games. Last night in the come back victory Tatis finished 3-4 with a home run and 3 RBI.
So, what am I getting at here? This is a fluke. There's a reason he hasn't played in the league consistently for the past 5 years. He isn't good. Soon enough he will stop hitting, the Mets pitchers will cool and the Mets will rejoin earth. It's only a matter of time.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I hear all this crap on the TV all the time about how Barry can't get no job about how he gettin blackballed. People don't want to sign Barry cause he a clubhouse cancer, he take roids and he brings distractions. You know what I feel for Barry, he the best ever
Carl says where's the love for Carl? Carl is raking in the Atlantic League this year. Carl was raking in the Atlantic League last year too. And yet Carl can't get no love from nobody. You think Carl can't hit homers for some crap team? You think Carl ain't better than Fernando Tatis? Carl's already on Long Island, Carl could certainly play in Queens.
You know what else? Carl's got a mustache. You want to sign Carl's stache.
Carl hittin .359 with 14 homers and 49 rbi in 63 games. Carl a leader. Carl will rake in the playoffs. Sign Carl.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
(Note I worte this on my blackberry so it's format is crap and it's spelling is worse than the norm, which is of course normally bad.)
Personally, I'm a green jacket guy first but after that the allure of
the history of the Links courses is second to none. Without tiger this
year I foresee a Sunday field which is entirely foreign dominated.
4 People to Watch to Contend
Obvious - Ernie Els - Ernie is amongst the favorites for the tourney and the reson being is he always plays well on the links course. If he's not in one of the final pairings on Sunday I would be very surprised.
A Little More Foreign Blood - Lee Westwood - he was right there at the us open but couldn't quite surpass tiger or rocco on the back 9. But back home and without tiger it might be time for westwood to lift up a major trophy.
The return to first glory - Justin Rose - as a 17 year old rose finished 4th at this course. Since then there have been many valleys but never has he had as solid a year as he has had this far. Perhaps this course provides the symmetry to get rose his first major.
A little Latin love - Camilo Villegas - to spread out the foreign love we shall travel to south America. Andres Romero has been stellar the past two opens but perhaps its camillos time to be the opens Latin lover.
3 People Who Might Surpisingly Miss the Cut
The out of shape - Fatty Phil - phils got all the talent in the world
yet he typically sucks it up at the isles. Combined with tiger being absent I could foresee Phil coming up really short.
The elder statesman - Tom Watson - he's still around playing the links courses and he's continually made cuts here but eventually good things come to an end.
Big Mouth - Rory Sabbatini - I think. I'm just going to predict Rory to miss the cut in every major this arson because I find him so annoying.
2 People to Root For this Weekend
The Criminally Out of Shape - John daly - nothing is more fun than watching fatty John falt roll up the fairway smoking a cig as his belly hangs well ove his belt. He enters the open having played terribly all year but perhaps he won't entirely suck.
The hot streak - Kenny Perry - nothing is more fun than watching a hot golfer keep it up. And no one is hotter than Kenny Perry so it will be fun to watch him on Sunday to see if he can keep it up... Oh wait nevermind he decided to play a crap tourney in Milwaukee rather than the open.
1 Winner - A Little Spanish Flavor - Sergio Garcia
I go with Sergio way too much because I feel like eventually he will get it done. Then he winds up choking on Sunday snd yet I never learn my lesson. But here's why I'm going with El Nino, when did he win the TPC? When tiger wasnt playing of course. So of course he will win his first major when tiger is chilling with his daughter.