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Posted on: September 9, 2010 2:40 pm
 

2010 Playoff Predictions

Playoffs? You kiddin me? Playoffs?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exOxUAntx8I

This "Press Hop" youtube video above is awesome if you want a laugh.

Now onto the good stuff, the 2010 MLB playoffs. Right now with the exception of the NL West & the eastern wild card/division races, everything seems to be pretty decided. The biggest question this September seems to be the fights for home field advantage between the Yankees/Rays & Phillies/Braves. I think all four teams could really care less about playing an extra game at home or on the road, they are more concerned about finishing healthy and ready for the playoffs. This takes the edge out of the past month, but at least we can start to forecast the post-season landscape.

As a counter to this upcoming September baseball schedule, I have read the usual articles the past couple of weeks saying how the MLB should expand to an extra wild card team so that there are more meaningful regular season games. While that would be nice, I think the MLB actually has a good thing going right now. The playoffs aren't too watered down like the NBA & every team in the playoffs right now undoubtedly deserves to be there. That's actually saying something when you look at other sports and their wild card teams.

There is only one measure I would change to the MLB playoffs and that's getting rid of the short 5 game series. You play 162 games in a regular season, the least you can get in the playoffs is a true seven game series to prove your worth. In a short series often the hot team, not necessarily the better team will advance. If you went to an extra playoff team this would get even worse. A three game series (which I have heard thrown around a bit into the discussion) is an awful measure of how good a team is. Two bad games and everything you did in the previous 162 don't mean squat. 

So onto the predictions, here is how I see the regular season playing out:

AL East Champs - Rays (Home Field)
AL Central Champs - Twins
AL West Champs - Rangers
AL Wild Card - Yankees

NL East Champs - Phillies
NL Central Champs - Reds (Home Field)
NL West Champs - Padres
NL Wild Card - Braves

The Rays get to coast to the finish while the Yankees play the Red Sox & Blue Jays for their final 10. I see the Rays winning out the division by a narrow margin, but like I said before the Yankees are mainly concerned with staying healthy and resting their vets, not playing an extra game in the Bronx. Out west I say the Padres hold on, they deserve the playoffs for their efforts, and catching the leader with 20 to play is harder than it seems. The final race for the NL East/WC will be won out by the Phillies, who are now healthy and ready to go, but the Reds will coast to the finish with an easy-going Astros & Brewers finale to edge out the best record in NL. Much congrats to the Reds for their vast improvement from '09.

Round 1:

Rays v Rangers (Rays Win 3-1)
Yankees v Twins (Yankees Win 3-2)

Reds v Braves (Braves Win 3-2)
Phillies v Padres (Phillies Win 3-0)

Aside from injuries or severe choking, I think we are going to see a Yankees/Rays ALCS. No disrespect to the Twins who have had a very strong season, but the class of the AL is found in the east. I see the same thing going on in the NL, where the Phillies will take out an exhausted Padres team, while the Braves and their strong pitching staff will surprise the top-seeded Reds.


Next Round To Be Continued....

Posted on: July 6, 2010 12:15 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 10:35 am
 

The Final "Should Be" 2010 All-Stars

Ok, so after much debate, injuries, hot-starts, & slumps, here is my final version of the 2010 "Should Be" All-Star rosters. Just to make a quick note, this roster only includes healthy players that would be able to play in the actual game next week. Also, just as a reminder, every team must have at least 1 representative. So here we go:

AL Starting Lineup:

1) RF - Ichiro Suzuki
2) SS - Derek Jeter
3) 1B - Miguel Cabrera
4) DH - Justin Morneau
5) LF - Josh Hamilton
6) 2B - Robinson Cano
7) 3B - Evan Longoria
8) C - Joe Mauer
9) CF - Carl Crawford

SP - Cliff Lee

NL Starting Lineup:

1) SS - Hanley Ramirez
2) 3B - David Wright
3) 1B - Albert Pujols
4) LF - Ryan Braun
5) DH - Joey Votto
6) RF - Matt Holliday
7) CF - Andre Ethier
8) C - Miguel Olivo
9) 2B - Martin Prado

SP - Josh Johnson

American League Roster

C - Joe Mauer - Twins
C - Mike Napoli - Angels
C - Carlos Santana - Indians

1B - Miguel Cabrera - Tigers
1B - Paul Konerko - White Sox
1B - Justin Morneau - Twins

2B - Robinson Cano - Yankees
2B - Ian Kinsler - Rangers
2B - Ty Wigginton - Orioles

SS - Elvis Andrus - Rangers
SS - Derek Jeter - Yankees

3B - Evan Longoria - Rays
3B - Alex Rodriguez - Yankees
3B - Michael Young - Rangers

OF - Jose Bautista - Blue Jays
OF - Carl Crawford - Rays
OF - Josh Hamilton - Rangers
OF - Torii Hunter - Angels
OF - Ichiro Suzuki - Mariners

DH - Vlad Guererro - Rangers

SP - Trevor Cahill - Athletics
SP - Felix Hernandez - Mariners
SP - Phil Hughes - Yankees
SP - Cliff Lee - Mariners
SP - Jon Lester - Red Sox
SP - Andy Pettitte - Yankees
SP - David Price - Rays
SP - C.C. Sabathia - Yankees
SP - Jered Weaver - Angels

RP - Neftali Feliz - Rangers
RP - Jon Rauch - Twins
RP - Joakim Soria - Royals
RP - Rafael Soriano - Rays (Replacing Mariano Rivera)
RP - Jose Valverde - Tigers

National League Roster

C - Brian McCann - Braves
C - Miguel Olivo - Rockies

1B - Adrian Gonzalez - Padres
1B - Ryan Howard - Phillies
1B - Albert Pujols - Cardinals
1B - Joey Votto - Reds

2B - Brandon Phillips - Reds
2B - Martin Prado - Braves
2B - Dan Uggla - Marlins

SS - Rafael Furcal - Dodgers
SS - Hanley Ramirez - Marlins

3B - Scott Rolen - Reds
3B - David Wright - Mets
3B - Ryan Zimmerman - Nationals

OF - Ryan Braun - Brewers
OF - Marlon Byrd - Cubs
OF - Andre Ethier - Dodgers
OF - Matt Holliday - Cardinals
OF - Andrew McCutchen - Pirates

SP - Chris Carpenter - Cardinals
SP - Yovani Gallardo - Brewers
SP - Jamie Garcia - Cardinals
SP - Roy Halladay - Phillies
SP - Tim Hudson - Braves
SP - Ubaldo Jimenez - Rockies
SP - Josh Johnson - Marlins
SP - Mat Latos - Padres
SP - Tim Lincecum - Giants
SP - Roy Oswalt - Astros
SP - Stephen Strasburg - Nationals
SP - Adam Wainwright - Cardinals

RP - Jonathan Broxton - Dodgers
RP - Arthur Rhodes - Reds
RP - Brian Wilson - Giants


Just like the last few All-Star games, the NL looks slightly better on paper, especially with their absolutely stacked starting pitching. I had to include a ton of NL starters on this team, probably more than necessary, but too many of them deserved to be on the team. Guys like Garcia, Latos, & Strasburg are having seasons that would easily get them on the AL All-Star team, but have them on the outside in the NL due to the sensational seasons of many of the NL aces. As you can see in my projected pitching schedule for both clubs, the NL marches out ace after ace:

AL Pitching Schedule:

Inning 1 - Cliff Lee
Inning 2 - David Price
Inning 3 - Jon Lester
Inning 4 - Phil Hughes
Inning 5 - Felix Hernandez
Inning 6 - Jered Weaver
Inning 7 - Jon Rauch / Jose Valverde
Inning 8 - Joakim Soria
Inning 9 - Neftali Feliz
Inning 10 + - Trevor Cahill, Rafael Soriano etc

NL Pitching Schedule:
Inning 1 - Josh Johnson
Inning 2 - Ubaldo Jimenez
Inning 3 - Roy Halladay
Inning 4 - Yovani Gallardo
Inning 5 - Stephen Strasburg
Inning 6 - Tim Lincecum
Inning 7 - Adam Wainwright
Inning 8 - Arthur Rhodes / Brian Wilson
Inning 9 - Jonathan Broxton
Inning 10 + - Mat Latos, Jaime Garcia etc


While the NL has the advantage in the starting rotation, I believe that the AL will be boasting a better overall lineup this season with the return of Justin Morneau, the development of Robinson Cano, & a healthy Josh Hamilton. The NL are no slackers either, however don't look as strong as in years past with Chase Utley on the sidelines.

In the end it will be a close game as usual, but I see the AL pulling out a close 3-2 victory. The game will be low scoring the in beginning, but the AL will eventually get to one of the NL starters & get a rally going. Here are some final predictions as to how the game will go:

Final Score: AL: 3 , NL: 2
All-Star MVP - Jose Bautista
Winner: Phil Hughes
Loser: Yovani Gallardo
Save: Neftali Feliz
HRs: Bautista (1), Votto (1)
RBIs: Bautista (2), Hamilton (1), Votto (1), Holliday (1)
 
Category: MLB
Posted on: May 3, 2010 5:51 pm
 

Red Sox Fate Tied To 2002 Yankees?

After reading the Boston Red Sox got swept by the 5-18 Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards yesterday the first thing I thought was, "what the hell do the Sox do now?". Right now even the most die-hard Red Sox fan must be thinking that some kind of change needs to be made in order to bring this team back to life. Entering the first Monday in May, Boston is seven games back of the AL East lead and three games under .500, a radical change from the typical Boston start. Usually May 1st finds the Red Sox at the top of the pack with the traditionally slow starting Yankees chasing the pack, last year the Yankees were 13-11 at this point trailing the Red Sox by 2 games, a lead which would expand over the course of May.

The 2010 Boston Red Sox might not even reach the mid-May lows of the 2009 Yankees, however this season does not seem to have the same kind of leniency for mediocore May records. The Rays are looking like a legit World Series contender and the Yankees always play their best baseball once the weather heats up in the June-August months. If history plays out the Red Sox have a huge mountain to climb to get back into this race.

So what do the Red Sox do? From an impartial perspective of course. As a Yankees fan I'm not exactly sure what I would want the Red Sox to do anyway, however it is clear that they have two choices, either stay the course or make a big change in Beantown. Does this Red Sox team has what it takes to win the AL East? On certain days I would say of course, this team has some very very good components and has won in the past. More importantly though does this team have what it takes to chase down the Rays & Yankees? Can it outlast and out-endure one of those two teams when? In its current form, I would say no, this team cannot. 

So the choice is pretty obvious in my mind, they can either:

1) Stay patient, develop their talent, rebuild their farm system, shed aging contracts, go back into the free agency pool, and reload.

2) Trade off their remaining farm system & acquire the big names in this season's trade market, hope some of their core players begin to turn it around, and go for it.

While a typical Sox fan might not think this is a decision at all, that they have to go for it all, that is a lot easier said than done. I equate this decision to the one the Yankees faced after they lost the 2001 World Series. To make a long story short, by the end of the 2001 season the Yankees faced a major transition from their old guard, who after winning three straight WS titles, seemed to had finally hit the wall. They had two choices after the heartbreaking loss, regroup and develop again from scratch or aggressively hit the market and fill in the pieces. As indicated by their collosal payroll, they chose option #2, and thus began the disappointing run of playoff misses from 2002-2007.

Players like Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Gary Sheffield, Carl Pavano, Javier Vazquez (last time around), Randy Johnson, Jared Wright, Raul Mondesi, Armando Benitez, Jeff Weaver, Esteban Loaiza, & Kevin Brown came and went in the Big Apple with no success. Every season it seemed like the Yankees would trade another piece of their farm system away for another veteran who didn't produce.

I can easily see the Red Sox falling down that path as they have a very similar situation now to what the Yankees had then. Boston has a proven core of players that have won a WS title, much like the Yankees had, and the Sox feel they need to do everything in their power to put players around them to help win ballgames today just like the Yankees did. Things didn't work out well for the Bombers until they finally started changing their philospohy in the mid 2000's. Instead of signing every free agent 

Is that what Red Sox fans really want for their team?

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 23, 2010 10:35 am
Edited on: April 23, 2010 1:49 pm
 

NFL Draft Report Card - Round 1



#1 St. Louis - Sam Bradford - QB - Oklahoma


Grade: A-

While everyone claims that this was an easy decision for the Rams, I can't believe that there wasn't at least a voice of concern about Bradford's injury history. He needs to learn to protect himself better during tackles. Besides that he has all the obvious physical tools & natural talent to be a solid and potentially great NFL QB.

#2 Detroit - Ndamukong Suh - DT - Nebraska

Grade: A

I don't get how 2 months ago this guy was the obvious top talent in the draft and now some people are doubting this pick. Yes the Lions did need offensive line help, and yes McCoy is another great talent, but you simply can't have it all in the first round. This guy in my mind was the clear top defender in college football, and an instant boost to a porous Detroit defense.

#3 Tampa Bay - Gerald McCoy - DT - Oklahoma

Grade: A

The Big 12 commish must be doing back-flips at this point. Another no-brainer pick, Tampa was in a no-lose situation with Suh or McCoy falling in their laps.

#4 Washington - Trent Williams - OT - Oklahoma

Grade: A

Anybody else feel like Oklahoma underachieved this college football season? Word on the street was that Williams was best suited for Shannahan's zone blocking o-line scheme. I say picking a top tackle in the first round is never a bad decision.

#5 Kansas City - Eric Berry - FS - Tennessee

Grade: C+

While no one can doubt Berry is talented, when it comes down to a decision between drafting the best player on the board and taking an offensive tackle like Okung when it is a position of need, you take the tackle.

#6 Seattle - Russell Okung - OT - Oklahoma State

Grade: A

Seattle is very fortunate to have Okung land in their lap. In many people's minds he was the best overall tackle in the draft and will fill the extra super massive hole left by Walter Jones after his retirement.

#7 Cleveland - Joe Haden - CB - Florida

Grade: A

I promise this is my last A grade for a bit. Cleveland really couldn't do better here. In 2007 Eric Mangini drafted Darelle Revis to be the cornerstone of the secondary, he hopes he found the same guy in Haden.

#8 Oakland - Rolando McClain - ILB - Alabama

Grade: C

This grade isn't a knock on McClain as a player, I think he will be a nice long-term linebacker for Oakland, but this pick is a reach in this spot. Trading down would've been smart if they were in love with McClain, but it might be too much to ask for Al Davis to make a smart move in the draft. With all the holes in the Black Hole, dealing with your middle linebacker can't be tops on your priority list.

#9 Buffalo - C.J. Spiller - RB - Clemson

Grade: B-


I am not really ever a fan of taking a running back early in the draft (unless your name is Sanders or Peterson) because there have been so so many busts. The Bills were in need of an offensive playmaker though after that T.O. thing really didn't work out. I thought this pick might have definitely been a QB, but I guess Spiller was higher on the Bills board than Clausen or Tebow.

#10 Jacksonville - Tyson Alualu - DE - California

Grade: D

Every once and a while a team like the Patriots will take a player that I don't know much about in the first. I will scratch my head, then say something like; 'I guess they know what they're doing'. However, the Jags haven't inspired such confidence in me to be able to take someone off the board this early that I have little idea about, see Matt Jones.

#11 San Francisco - Anthony Davis - OT - Rutgers

Grade: B

There are some whispers that Davis wasn't a slam dunk pick here, I read a lot of mock drafts that have Iowa's Bryan Bulaga ranked higher than the Rutgers tackle. However, a great area of need was filled for the 49ers, and worse comes to worse they will move Davis across the field to right tackle.

#12 San Diego - Ryan Mathews - RB - Fresno State

Grade: C-

Yea this is an area of need now that the Chargers let LT walk, but trading up this high for Mathews was a big reach. The Chargers could've waited a few more picks before pulling the trigger on a deal, if they even needed to at all, not to mention the whole taking RBs early thing. San Diego got Sproles in the 4th round of the draft and it worked out fine, I think the Chargers could've been a whole lot more patient.

#13 Philadelphia - Brandon Graham - OLB - Michigan

Grade: B


Lots of Eagles fans were confused by this pick, and I agree that this was a surprise, but I do like the pick. They believe that chasing down McNabb and disrupting him at the line is the way to go first, then they will start addressing the secondary.

#14 Seattle - Earl Thomas - S - Texas

Grade: A-


Two picks and two slam dunks for the Seahawks. They desperately needed secondary help and got the guy they had to hope would fall to them.

#15 New York Giants - Jason Pierre-Paul - DE - South Florida

Grade: B+

There were some love/hate feelings going on with Pierre-Paul and experts around the league. This isn't the safest pick in the world, but the Giants might have landed the best pass rusher in the draft. As their Super Bowl ring proves, pass rush is the way to beat the big boys of the NFL.

#16 Tennessee - Derrick Morgan - DE - Georgia Tech

Grade: A-


I imagine the Titans were jumping for joy when they saw either Morgan or Pierre-Paul would fall to them after the Eagles picked Graham. And they probably fell over when they saw it was going to be Morgan. He fills the biggest area of need for Tennessee and they didn't even have to move up to get him as some people thought Jeff Fisher might try to do.

#17 San Francisco - Mike Iupati - G - Idaho

Grade: A


Love this pick to complement Davis on the left side of the line. Iupati was clearly the best guard in the draft and looks like a beast on TV. 49ers fans are gonna love how much better the offense runs with that kind of protection.

#18 Pittsburgh- Maurkice Pouncey - C - Florida

Grade: B+

This wasn't a super glamorous pick, but Pouncey looks like an exceptional o-lineman who can also play guard. After such a tumultuous off-season this safe pick was nice.

#19 Atlanta - Sean Weatherspoon - OLB - Missouri

Grade: B

Weatherspoon had kind of a drop-off last season which would make me worry a little bit, but otherwise the kid had an excellent college career where he racked up the tackles.

#20 Houston - Kareem Jackson - CB - Alabama

Grade: B-


Jackson, McCourty, & Wilson make up the next tier of CB prospects after Haden, and you can't really go wrong with any of the three if you have a need at corner. Jackson is quick and played in a pro style offense. However, my personal preference would be Wilson out of the three.

#21 Cincinnati - Jermaine Gresham - TE - Oklahoma

Grade: C


Ugh so so many first round tight ends have been a bust in draft history I would avoid them like the plague. Cincy did need a strong middle of the field receiving threat, but why not take Dez Bryant is you really wanted to get a weapon for Palmer?

#22 Denver - Demaryius Thomas - WR - Georgia Tech

Grade: F
(Worst Pick In Draft)

Ok so Denver thinks Thomas is going to be a better WR than Bryant with less off the field issues. Fine. While not a popular opinion, Denver is entitled to it, but since everyone else is so high on Dez Bryant, especially Dallas, Denver could've easily traded down again and still would've gotten Thomas. Demaryius was likely a 2nd rounder if it wasn't for Denver and I don't see him filling the shoes of the departed Brandon Marshall.

#23 Green Bay - Bryan Bulaga - OT - Iowa

Grade: A

Winner winner chicken dinner. Green Bay hits big when Bulaga slips way way down to them. I saw some mock drafts where Bulaga was selected in the Top 5. More than any other area, the Packers needed o-line help and got it big time.

#24 Dallas - Dez Bryant - WR - Oklahoma State

Grade: A-


The only reason that this pick doesn't get an A is because WR wasn't really a strong position off need for Dallas, but how can you argue taking a weapon like Bryant this late in the draft. In the end you gotta like that Jerry Jones is going for the jugular and giving Tony Romo no excuse for failure anymore. The Cowboys WR core is starting to look scary.

#25 Denver - Tim Tebow - QB - Florida

Grade: B-


Far and away the most controversial pick in this years draft. Some absolutely hate Tebow and will ridicule this pick far and wide saying he won't make it as an NFL QB. I say at #25 why not take a shot and find out? The only problem was that with Clausen still on the board this pick carries a ton of potential regret, not to mention the fact that the Broncos could've waited a bit longer to make a move as Tebow was likely slipping to the 2nd round. In the end though what is their really not to like about Tebow as a player; he is tough as nails, a proven winner, and will bring a tremendous energy to practice & the field. Players have been drafted a whole lot higher with a whole lot less than Tebow has to offer. I like the pick overall.

#26 Arizona - Dan Williams - DT - Tennessee

Grade: B+


This pick must have officially put Jimmy Clausen on suicide watch. Williams is the smart pick here and brings immediate help to the middle of the Zona defense, but with Kurt Warner gone its interesting that with two marquee QBs left on the board, that the Cardinals pass on both. Don't expect it to happen in the 2nd round.

#27 New England - Devin McCourty - CB - Rutgers

Grade: B-


Not completely sold on this guy after watching him for a couple of years at Rutgers. He has come a long way since his underclassman days of shoddy coverage, but if he was determined the best CB for the Patriots scheme by Belichick, who am I to argue.

 #28 Miami - Jared Odrick - DT - Penn State

Grade: B


Hooray a Penn Stater coming off the board in the first. Miami got a perfect player for their scheme in Odrick. He won't be a flashy, high profile player, but will work the inside and grind away which is perfect for Parcells and the Dolphins.

#29 New York Jets - Kyle Wilson - CB - Boise State

Grade: A-


I was pulling for Jerry Hughes in this spot, but this pick makes a ton of sense, which is nice to see coming out of the Jets. After watching the AFC title game it was painfully obvious that Manning was having his way with the Jets secondary by targeting anyone not covered by Revis. This move was 100% focused on getting over the AFC title game hump and Wilson can definitely help them do that. Wilson will be on the Pierre Garcon's of the world next season, which is a nice task for a young CB while Revis covers the big boys. Considering that the Browns were seriously considering taking him at #7 overall, I'd say the Jets got a pretty damn good player.

#30 Detroit - Jahvid Best - RB - California

Grade: D


Swing and a miss by Detroit. I don't see why the Lions felt they needed to move up, or if Best was even worth moving up to get, or if he is even worth drafting with the Lions original second pick in the second round, but here he is. Best's injuries would scare me to take him any later than middle 2nd round, but he does have explosive playmaking capability. The thing is that Detroit can't afford to be taking stupid risks like this when they have so many areas of need.

#31 Indianapolis - Jerry Hughes - OLB - TCU

Grade: A
(Best Pick)

Love this pick. Indy didn't have any real areas of need considering they were in the Super Bowl last season, but when a tremendous player with a strong work ethic like Hughes falls to your pick, its hard not to feel like your team just got a whole lot better.

#32 New Orleans - Patrick Robinson - CB - Florida State

Grade: B-


Rather than take the best player on the board, the Saints went with an area of need, and got depth in the secondary. Good for them. Nothing shocking. Nothing risky. That's ok sometimes.
 



















 

 
  










Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: March 18, 2010 10:54 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2010 11:01 pm
 

The Frustraling Truth About March Madness

College basketball is just a cycle for me. Ever since the age of 9 when my Mom brought home an NCAA tourney bracket, because she thought I might be interesting in trying it out, I have repeated the same cycle every March.

This time of year I say the exact same thing: I wish I watched more college basketball this year so that I could know what was REALLY going to happen in the tourney. I watch college hoops from about March 1st on religiously, but that is really a small sample size considering the length of the college basketball season, I get to see what teams are made of from that point on, but I have no clue how teams got to that point, the trials and tribulations, I just know what I read in old articles and box sheets. I spend hours reading and thinking about all the different tournament screnarios, and then stressfully I make my picks. I end up thinking every year that I did the best I possibly could at making my selections, considering that I played catchup.

That first year when I was 9 I had one of my best seasons making picks. I won second place in a pool with a couple hundred people. I won 250 bucks which was a ton of money for a kid, but of course I was made to open a bank account instead of spending it carelessly like I would've today. Since 1993 I have had a couple of good runs, but in the end the NCAA tourney has been a combination of elation and frustration. Sometimes I feel like a genius when I analyze and come up predicting an upset, or get the entire Final Four in my bracket, yet just as often (if not more), I think the same thing:

"I should have known."

Yet this season, I am watching the games, and not really thinking that. They are just amazing. This may be the best March Madness Thursday in tourney history. So many close games, a satisfying amount of upsets, close escapes, & buzzer beaters. Virtually every game has been a nail biter:

!) BYU goes on a major run in 2OT to edge Florida
2) Robert Morris takes Villanova to OT
3) Old Dominion upsets Notre Dame
4) Murray State shocks Vandy
5) St. Mary's goes cross-country from Washington to Providence to beat Richmond
6) Sam Houston State (where?) brings Baylor to the limit until the final 3 minutes
7) Northern Iowa hits a game winning 3 against UNLV
8) Washington hits the game winning shot with 1.7 seconds left to upset a #6

Oh yea.....

9) Ohio WHOOPS #3 Georgetown

What a day. Oh yea and as I am writing it Lehigh is up 12-4 on Kansas and Wake Forest is crushing Texas. This all brings me to this conclusion: picking the NCAA tourney is more luck than skill.

If you watched EVERY single Ohio game this season and EVERY Georgetown game this season and then wrote a 500 page thesis about the grocery list of reasons Georgetown is destined to win this game; you would've never guessed in your wildest dreams that Ohio would demolish, embarrass, and flat out act like they knew all along they would walk out winning by double digits. I dare you to deny it.

No matter how much you watch college basketball during the year, you are at even odds of winning your college basketball bracket pool as the lady in accounting. You may know it all, have studied college basketball all year long, & listen to every experts picks from the President to the fan sitting in a dark room watching basketball 24-7, and you won't ever really know what is going to happen.

Even if I would've told you a week ago that in the first round this year: a #16 is neck and neck with a #1, a #15 took a #2 to OT, a #14 killed a #3, a #13 would hit a buzzer beater over a #4, two #11s would best #6s, & a bunch of #10s and 9s will hang tough, I bet you still wouldn't have made a perfect bracket. And who knows what's going to happen tomorrow. So I'm gonna try and just enjoy it this year knowing I couldn't have done much better. Hell I picked Washington, at least.

That is until March comes around again and I forget all the lessons that I learn on the first Thursday of the tourney, and the cycle continues.




Posted on: January 18, 2010 8:53 pm
 

Analysis of Red Sox 2010 Lineup

Even though I am a die-hard Yankees fan, I have a lot of respect for the Sox. I love the rivalry and how our games are always dramatic. That being said I really don't understand what Theo was thinking this off-season. In my opinion this Red Sox lineup will be their worst/least productive in over 15 years. Lets look at their projected lineup:


1) LF - Jacoby Ellsbury - Solid leadoff hitter, great steals potential, raised .OBP to acceptable levels last season but still a little low for a leadoff guy, but in the speed department you can't do much better

2) 2B - Dustin Pedroia - Good #2 hitter, great production from 2nd baseman, solid power & OBP

3) C - Victor Martinez - When healthy provides great offensive production, but coming off of injury 2 seasons ago, can he pull another full season at catcher's roll? What about mixing in Varitek, where do you play Martinez without losing Ortiz, Youk, or Beltre? 

4) 1B - Kevin Youkilis - My favorite hitter in this lineup, Youk is an OBP monster and his patience at the plate constantly creates favorable hitting counts. I'd even take him over Tex if I had to choose between the two.

_________________

5) DH - Big Papi - Mark my words: David Ortiz is the next Jason Giambi. His strikeouts are WAY WAY up and his average/OBP is WAY WAY down. Maybe he can park a few big HRs but besides that he is a glorified lefty pinch hitter. He will lose a ton of ABs this season to Martinez.

6) RF - J.D. Drew - Always hated this guy, he has never been an everyday, every game player. Always posts a nice OBP, but K's a lot, his power production has gone down, and he doesn't score a lot of runs. To top it off he is the Red Sox's highest paid player, nice.

7) 3B - Adrian Beltre - What a bum. His OBP is TERRIBLE, his run production is lousy, and his power has gone nothing but down. There is no doubt in my mind that his 2004 miracle season (which he still gets paid off from today) is a product of steroids. How else do you explain a guy that exceeds his career averages by triple in one season?

8) CF - Mike Cameron - Another big strikeout head with a terrible OBP. With this guy it is feast or famine, not what you want from your everyday CF. He does add his glove to the mix which is undeniably good, but you gotta be kidding that this is the guy you are making Ellisbury move over for.

9) SS - Marco Scutaro - Last year Marco had a career year and made great strides in areas he needed to: OBP & run scoring. If he can keep that up he will be a good #9 hitter, but if his career averages have anything to say, he probably will not. His numbers will likely be 2/3 lower than last season.


Overall:

Love the Top 4 in the lineup, but the bottom 5 is Horrific. Low OBP and strikeouts will kill this offense.

Posted on: January 18, 2010 8:50 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2010 2:00 am
 

7 Mystery Players

I'm going to rate 7 mystery players using some sabermetric stats: OPS (OBP + SLG) & K/AB (# of K's vs. # of ABs) from the 2009 season. The higher the OPS the better, the lower the K/AB the better. So here we go:


Player A - .921 OPS (.384 OBP + .537 SLG) & .303 K/AB
Player B - .869 OPS (.371 OBP + .498 SLG) & .253 K/AB
Player C - .811 OPS (.337 OBP + .474 SLG) & .137 K/AB
Player D - .794 OPS (.342 OBP + .452 SLG) & .287 K/AB
Player E - .794 OPS (.332 OBP + .462 SLG) & .248 K/AB
Player F - .724 OPS (.345 OBP + .379 SLG) & .161 K/AB
Player G - .683 OPS (.304 OBP + .379 SLG) & .165 K/AB

So looking at these numbers Player A seems to be the superior player, followed by player B, then player C. Player D & E seem pretty even. Player F is trailing the others above & player G bringing up the rear by a pretty significant amount.

So who are they?

Player D is replacing Player A in Boston's outfield.
Player G is who Theo thinks can replace Player C at 3rd base for Boston.
Player B is the Yankees RF & Player F is the Yankees possible LF or 4th outfielder.
And Player E is David Ortiz .





Posted on: January 18, 2010 2:34 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2010 7:57 pm
 

2010 Yankees Lineup

I previously did an article on the Red Sox lineup & now I am going to dive into the Yankees lineup. Overall I am a fan of the Yankee's moves but I am a little worried that the '10 lineup may not match up to the '09 lineup's patience & overall run scoring ability. So here we go:

1) SS - Derek Jeter - The kind of OBP you want in a leadoff hitter (.406) and still has some gas in the tank to get around the bases (30 SBs). Would like to see him cut down on his strikeouts (90 K's), but Jeter is going for all-time hit marks and you don't get them by keeping your bat on your shoulder. Ideally you would want a guy like Carl Crawford or Jacoby Ellsbury leading off and Jeter batting second, but the Yanks won't be able to set that up until Crawford is a free agent next year.

2) DH - Nick Johnson - Health is the major concern here, but the hope is that a season spent mostly at DH and at 1B every once and a while to keep Tex fresh should be able to keep him on the field. Expect him to see a lot of rest if needed a la Hideki Matsui last year so that he will be ready for October. Why all the risk? Because Johnson had a .426 OBP in 2009, ideal for getting Jeter in scoring position for the big bats. A short right porch should help get the power number up as well.

3) 1B - Mark Teixeira - Excellent stat line from first season in the Bronx (.383 OBP .565 SLG). Tex seemed to thrive batting in front of A-Rod, getting to see a lot of pitches, which lead to his monster 39 HR 122 RBI output. Only knock is that he seemed to disappear at times completely at both the beginning of the season and in the playoffs. But hopefully he will get more comfortable in his playoff shoes and start cutting down on the strikeouts.

4) 3B - Alex Rodriguez - When A-Rod isn't bogged down by his own ego, he has the potential to be the 2nd best hitter in baseball (behind Albert Pujols of course). +.400 OBP, scary excellent power to both fields (583 carrer HRs), decent speed (avg 15 SBs lately), and a great glove to boot. But like I said that all can turn to mush if A-Rod's head says so.

5) 2B - Robinson Cano - I would like to see Cano step up to the #5 hole and increase his already elite 2B stat line of '09 (+200 hits, .520 SLG, +100 runs). The major improvement that needs to be made in Robby's game is plate discipline. Cano just doesn't walk as evident by his .320 AVG but .352 OBP, but what can you do, the kid loves to swing.

6) C - Jorge Posada - How many more good years behind the plate are left for Mr. Posada? He is getting up there in years and in catcher's years he is getting to be ancient. Soon Jorge will have to retire to DH land where the Yanks can use his
.363 OBP & .522 SLG on a consistent basis, instead of having to rest him every 3-4 games. At that point his numbers should get a nice boost, but until then the wear and tear of everyday catching will continue to drag his stats slowly down. 

7) CF - Curtis Granderson - Weird spot for a speedster CF to be batting, but until I see the Grandy of '08 (. 280 AVG, .365 OBP, +110 runs) and not the '09 Grandy (.249 AVG, .327 OBP, 91 R), he will need to be out of the middle of the lineup where he is a potential rally killer. This move makes total sense from a defensive standpoint, but at the plate this is a little bit of a scary move. If he can get his stats back up to his '07 & '08 levels with the help of a stacked lineup and short right porch, he will be just fine. If not, let the boos rain.
 
8) RF - Nick Swisher - It took me a while to like this guy, but I will try and explain why I do now. Besides being a good clubhouse guy, this guy TAKES PITCHES. It kinda drives you nuts because he takes a lot of called strikes, and often leaves himself in a 2 strike hole. If it drives you nuts, imagine what it does to a pitcher. Swisher walks, and walks a lot. His .249 AVG and .371 OBP are evident of that. Swish gets on base and keeps innings going, and he makes the SP work. Also he has pretty good power (29 HRs) and was pretty clutch all last season. He made a believer out of me, all you have to do is ride out his cold streaks (avg 2 long ones a season).

9) LF - Brett Gardner - Here is the Yankees hole in the lineup, if you consider .270 AVG, .345 OBP, & 26 SBs, to be that big of a hole. The Yankees are looking to save money to be the winner of the Carl Crawford sweepstakes next season, so why not give a young guy like Gardner a full time shot. He has crazy wheels, is a good glove in left, and makes contact (40 K's in 248 ABs). Worse comes to worse if the experiment fails you go to the free agent market this summer. Done and done.


Overall:

The Yankees are taking a calculated risk letting Hideki Matsui & Johnny Damon walk. They will miss both hitter's excellent run production, but in the end Damon's fielding (+ crazy contract demands) and Matsui's bad knees were too much evidence not to re-sign the two. The Yanks may suffer a bit in run scoring, but it isn't like they were ever suffering in that department in the first place. Maybe getting a little bit younger and stronger defensively was the right answer. If not well there is always the trade deadline. 





 
 
 
 
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