Monday, November 24, 2008

NFL Top 10: Week 13

We're down to the last month or so of the season. The wildcard races are getting hairy. Whatever you do, don't start trying to figure out all of the tie breaker scenarios. It's enough to give you a stroke.

1. Giants (10-1): Last week #1. The G-Men didn't play their best game against the Cardinals. But what impressed me is that in spite of being down Plaxico Burress and Brandon Jacobs, they were able to answer each time Cardinal offense scored and made it a game.

2. Titans (10-1): Last week #2. Any team with a defense like that has a chance for the Super Bowl. They had an uncharacteristically bad game against the Jets, but what concerns me more is the offense. They need to run the ball better. Anyone who thinks that Kerry Collins can shoulder the offensive load week-in and week-out is a fool.

3. Steelers (8-3): Last week #4. They seem to have their mojo back after a short rough patch. Big Ben looked like his towering, formidable self on Thursday night. They have a chance to make a statement against the Pats in their next game.

4. Jets (8-3): Last week #10. Believe it or not, right now they are the 2nd seed in the AFC. Huh? I am very impressed with their back-to-back wins over the Patriots and Titans.

5. Colts (7-4): Last week #5. Nice hard fought win against a Chargers team that was desperate and usually has their number. The rest of the schedule is very favorable for the Colts including the season finale against the Titans who will have nothing to play for.

6. Patriots (7-4): Last week #6. Another team with an easy schedule down the stretch. If they can beat the Steelers coming up, they could easily finish 12-4. So much for the season being lost without Tom Terrific.

7. Redskins (7-4): Last week #7. I don't know why I keep them around. Barely beating the hapless Seahawks doesn't instill me with much confidence. A win against the Giants Sunday would.

8. Panthers (8-3): Last week #3. I know I was singing their praises a few weeks ago, but Jake Delhomme's play has soured me on the Panthers. I can see them falling by the wayside.

9. Buccaneers (8-3): Last week #9. I have to see this team play more. I have to know how they're doing it.

10. Falcons (7-4): Last week #10. They're back in the top 10 after a nice victory against the Panthers. Wouldn't it be interesting if they could capture the division one year after the Vick/Petrino catastrophe?

What the hell is up with...? LenDale White of the Titans after the team's first loss of the season. Quoth White, "You would like to win it, but it is one game, so what? -- I only played three plays so I really couldn't tell you what happened, I don't really know, I wasn't paying attention, I didn't care really." Does that sound like the voice of a champion? Your team is 10-1 and a legit Super Bowl contender and that's what you have to say for yourself? Be thankful that they keep your fat behind on the roster so you can roll into the endzone for TD's. You could just take your 3.8 yard average to the unemployment line. P.S.-- What's up with the capital letter in the middle of your made-up name?

Pacman's Last Stand and Pick Results

Adam "Pacman" Jones was recently reinstated into the NFL after his most recent incident involving the police. Now, reports are saying that if there is another incident Pacman will receive a lifetime ban from the NFL.

I would say it is about time Goodell laid down the law. If you were running a company would you ever hire someone who had been arrested 7 times in 2 years? Would you hire someone who, though talented, was fired by his previous employer? I wouldn't. Clearly Pacman has issues, but he still doesn't realize playing in the NFL is a privilege not a right given to talented athletes. Hopefully he will finally get the point, stop being a jerk, and try to become a respectable member of society.

I will start posting on Monday's my picks results from the weekend:
Last week: 6-8 and I laid a huge egg with Denver as a lock. The Broncos did not only not cover, but they lost badly to a bad team. Unfortunately they will still get a 1st round home playoff game. When will the NFL just adopt the English Premier League way of standings and scheduling? There is 1 division and each team plays every other team. My God, it is actually a fair way of doing things and you might actually get the 12 best teams into the playoffs every year. It's Amazing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

NFL Picks

Here are the picks for this week.  As a side note: the NFL Network can suck it and I refuse to pick any Thursday night games as no one can watch them. It's a joke. You would think Goddell has been listening to Bud Selig.

New England +1.5 over Miami: No way Belichick losses twice to Miami. And no way they don't make the playoffs with Cassel playing like he is playing now.

Denver -10 over Oakland: Do I really need to provide analysis for this pick. Oakland is a train wreck and they should not be allowed to play in the NFL anymore. 

Stay Away:
Giants -4.5 over Arizona: The Giants should win but AZ is great at home. Giants win but only by a late field goal.

Green Bay over New Orleans: Both these teams have looked good and have looked bad this season. It is just a matter of which teams show up. I would bet on either of them.

The Rest:
Cleveland -3 over Houston, Dallas -7 over San Francisco, Tennessee -1.5 over New York Jets, Detroit +9 over Tampa Bay, Kansas City +3 over Buffalo, Chicago -5 over St. Louis, Jacksonville +1 over Minnesota, Philadelphia +1 over Baltimore. Atlanta over Carolina, Indianapolis -3 over San Diego, Washington -6 over Seattle.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Papi to be traded?

This Boston Globe story as reported by SI seems like an interesting idea. I love Ortiz and what he has done for Boston. But let's face it, his window for playing at a high level was always small. Most big guys like him tend to break down in a hurry once injuries start to mount(Mo Vaughn, Cecil Fielder). They usually have a domino effect. IF the Red Sox get Teixeira and IF they can get something decent for Ortiz, it might not be a bad idea to trade Big Papi. Get something for him while he still has value. It would be a bold move and would make some folks upset, but moves like that are how you keep the franchise moving forward. That's why Boston let Pedro, Johnny Damon and others sign elsewhere. Holding on to heroes past their prime is a sure way to fall off the pace.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hughes wraps up his winter workout

One other note to make. Phil Hughes threw for the last time this winter and finished his winter workout on a strong note. Last night Hughes threw five innings allowing on two hits (both singles) and striking out 10 without walking any. Now Hughes didn't reach the 40 IP that the Yanks wanted to get him to but, aside from two rough starts, he was dominant.

His final totals for the Arizona Fall League 30 IP, 21 H, 10 ER, 13 BB, 38 K.

The most important stat is that he is still 22. So I guess he is not quite washed up. Hughes may not be a Cy Young winner in his career but he is an important piece of the Yankees future and they should hold onto him. Hopefully they stop trying to force his development and learn a lesson from his and Kennedy's reaction to being rushed to the majors.

Both can still be good pitchers; it might just take longer.

The end of an era

It's official. Control of the New York Yankees no longer resides in the hands of George Michael Steinbrenner III. It now belongs to his son Hal Steinbrenner. I can't say that George didn't do a lot of things to make this Yankee franchise great again after CBS destroyed it, but hopefully this era of Hal is one of enlightenment where owners defer to baseball minds.

Oh, and thank God the control went to Hal and not Hank. We dodged a bullet there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hot Stove

Can someone please tell me why any discussions of potential off-season baseball transactions are refered to as "hot stove discussions"? Is this just another stupid baseball thing. Oh and did you hear, next year's World Series Game 1 will start November 3rd at 2 am Eastern Standard Time, so as few people as possible can watch it. Since Pedroia for MVP was such a sucessful campaign, I have a new slogan, Fire Bud!

Looks like Coco is on the move.

Just saw this over at Pete Abraham's blog. Looks like the Coco Crisp experiment is finally over in Beantown.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pedroia Wins MVP

Congratulations to Dustin Pedroia on winning the AL MVP. It was a wide open year for MVP this season. Watching Pedroia day in and day out, one definitely gains an appreciation for his value to the Red Sox. As Joey has said, he is the Sox version of Derek Jeter. I anticipate him being Boston's offensive catalyst for years to come. Pedroia's MVP is a nice consolation prize for Sox fans after a disappointing playoff run.

Monday, November 17, 2008

NFL Top 10: Week 12

What does everyone think of all of this junk? I've been doing this for about a month now and I'm sure I could reverse positions three through ten and the list would make just as much sense. All of the week 11 teams made it to week 12 but one. We have someone new in the number 10 spot. Check it out.

1. Giants (9-1): Last week #1. Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Derrick Ward are like the three heads of the fearsome Cerberus. They combined for 31 carries and 210 yards against the touted Ravens D. The Giants have rushed for 200 yards in three straight games.

2. Titans (10-0): Last week #2. I had been wondering all season how the Titans would fair in a game when they were down double digits late. Sunday they gave me the answer. I am now a believer.

3. Panthers (8-2): Last week #6. Jake Delhomme has another game where he only reaches double digits in passing yards. No matter, the Panthers just rush for over 200 and destroy the outmatched Lions.

4. Steelers (7-3): Last week #5. Not a pretty win in the snow, but they managed to tough it out against a Charger team that was just aching for a victory.

5. Colts (6-4): Last week #7. They are getting into a groove at the right time. No one will want to face them if they can get into the playoffs.

6. Patriots (6-4): Last week #3. I would still favor them in a playoff match up vs. the Jets, but Sunday's loss has to hurt. Correction: In last week's top ten I speculated about a trade involving Matt Cassel. The fact is Mr. Cassel is about to have a dump truck full of money dumped on his lawn in free agency. I doubt the Pats will match any offer he gets on the open market in order to keep him in New England to back up Brady. Buyer beware though. Remember Matt Schaub?

7. Redskins (6-4): Last week #4. Sorry fellow 'Skins fans. I smell a slide coming on. There's no way for them to stay in the hunt unless they beat the Seahawks next week. Then the week after that it's the Giants. Ouch.

8. Cardinals (7-3): Last week #8. It looks like we're going to have the first Cards playoff berth since Jake the Snake was at the helm.

9. Buccaneers (7-3): Last week #9. Jeff Garcia keeps on trucking along. They have an interesting stretch coming up. First the Lions then three divisional games in a row.

10. Jets (7-3): Last week unranked. I can't ignore that big time win against the Pats. This sets up a very interesting game against the undefeated Titans this weekend.

What the hell is up with...? The Eagles. This is another seemingly good team that just can't get it together. They failed to keep pace with the rest of the NFC East following their sister-kissing tie against the Bungles. How does an offense like that only manage 13 points on Cincinnati, then fail to score at all in overtime? The big fat cherry on top of this is that Donovan McNabb didn't realize the game could end in a tie. Huh? I know it doesn't happen very often, but c'mon. (For the record, I am not in favor of changing the system to avoid ties. It's so infrequent that it's not worth taxing already overtaxed players with multiple OT periods.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hot Stove cooks a couple of meals

Well it didn't take Cashman long to make a few deals and get some pieces set for the Yankees 2009 drive for the World Series. Before free agency hit Cashman resigned Damaso Marte and made a trade for Nick Swisher.

Here are my thoughts on each deal:

Damaso Marte: 3 years for $12 mil, plus club option for 2012
The Yankees have lacked an explosive lefthander in the bullpen for years. Ever since Mike Stanton went to the Mets in 2003 the Yankees haven't been able to find a southpaw who could get anybody out on a consistent basis. The price for Marte was pretty reasonable over three years and he was more effective than his numbers indicated. He was bad when he first arrived in the city but he really pulled things together over the last month of the season or so.

Obviously grades will change by the end of the contract but as of right now: B

Nick Swisher and Kanekoa Teixeira for Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez

Betemit was a throw away player for the Yankees. Swisher was the same for the Sox. The only thing is that the White Sox forgot that Nick Swisher actually knows how to play its just that Ozzie Guillen didn't know how to use him. Betemit will never really amount to much. The Sox could use him all around or as a general replacement for Joe Crede, though, they do have Josh Fields. None of the minor leaguers are of note. Jeff Marquez was a quasi-legitimate prospect two years ago but he failed to deliver last season and he really wont ever be better than a back of the rotation guy. Jhonny Nunez was acquired for Alberto Gonzalez back in June. 'Nough said. Kanekoa has some stuff but like most youngsters he lacks control. It's anybodies guess that he will ever figure it out but most likely he wont. The Yankees bought low on Swisher and lucky for them, the Sox were desperate to unload payroll and took on the debacle known as Wilson Betemit.

Grade: A, even if Swisher doesn't pan out, the Yankees gave up next to nothing to take a flier on him. But the new digs might be just what he needs to get back on track and jack 30 homers a year at a really cheap rate.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NFL Top 10: Week 11

The two top spots are set and have been for a while. As for the rest; they're in then they're out. They're up then they're down. Argh, get that stupid Katy Perry song out of my head.

1. Giants (8-1): Last week #1. They're only two wins away from the 10 they had last season. The tough win on the road against the Eagles earns major points with me.

2. Titans (9-0): Last week #2. I'm still waiting for them to impress me somehow. Give them credit though. You set 'em up; they knock 'em down.

3. Patriots (6-3): Last week #5 . I wonder if there's a job for Matt Cassell somewhere else after the season. The Pats are going to raid some poor sap for draft picks to give him up.

4. Redskins (6-3): Last week #6. Perhaps I'm over-reaching here a little bit with this ranking. But I fully expect the 'Skins to take care of the 'Boys this week, Romo or no Romo.

5. Steelers (6-3): Last week #3. As Big Ben goes, so go the Steelers, down two spots after a subpar performance. Consistency is starting to become a problem for him.

6. Panthers (7-2): Last week #4. Just as I was about to continue gushing about the Panthers. Jake Delhomme turns in one of the most putrid stat lines I've ever seen: 7-27, 72 yds, 4 int. Against the Raiders! To be fair he did throw a TD as well (whoopdeedoo).

7. Colts (5-4): Last week #8. The rest of the AFC thought they wouldn't have the Colts to deal with anymore. Oops.

8. Cardinals (6-3): Last week unranked. Kurt Warner has been absolutely carrying this team. I love Anquan Boldin. He's like TO, but without the attitude. These two guys are tough as nails.

9. Buccaneers (6-3): Last week #9. I'm waiting for them to hit a rough patch, but this team keeps plugging along.

10. Falcons (6-3): Last week unranked. Matt Ryan is the real deal and shows you how important quarterback play is with the way he's resurected the Falcons. We'll see if he hits a rookie wall at any point.

What the hell is up with...? The Chargers. They are by far the most disappointing team in football for me. There is lots of talent there as we all know, but the results don't reflect it. I feel bad for L.T. He's still got some miles left on his tires, but that window for a running back's prime can shut in a hurry. He's 29, and you know what happens to running backs at 30. I hope some how he's able to win a Super Bowl before it's done. He's a player and a person I really like.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

NFL Picks

I am getting my picks out early. As Dan mentioned we are going to Vegas in, count 'em, 2 days, and the NFL is starting their stupid Thursday Night Game that no one can watch. I had a rough week last week going 4-9. Let's see if we can improve on that.

Tennesse -3 over Chicago: This game wouldn't be a lock except for sexy Rexxy at QB for the Bears. I think Tennessee will bring the house at him. Grossman is good for 3 INTs so Tennessee wins easily by a TD.

Green Bay +3.5 over Minnesota: Giving the Pack 3.5? Really? Rodgers shoulder is fine. Expect Green Bay to win this game and take the lead in the division.

Stay Away:
Miami -9 over Seattle: Again, this is too big a number. Miami has played well, but this game could still be close. I don't see Miami scoring that many points, but I still say they win easily

NY Giants over Philadelphia: If this game was 3 weeks ago, you easily go with the G-Men. Now with Westbrook healthy and the game being played in Philly I wouldn't bring surprised no matter who wins. I will go with the Giants just because I am a fan and Justin Tuck is a beast.

The Rest:
Denver +1 over Cleveland, Atlanta over New Orleans, Jacksonville -5.5 over Detroit, New England over Buffalo, Baltimore-4.5 over Houston, St. Louis +4.5 over NY Jets, Carolina -7 over Oakland, Indianapolis +1.5 over Pittsburgh, Kansas City +8 over San Diego, Arizona -6.5 over San Francisco.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NFL Top 10

Some ugly losses knocked the Cowboys and Bills out. Check out who replaced them. Also a switcheroo at the top.

1. Giants (7-1): Last week #2. They bludgeoned a wounded Cowboy team. They smelled blood and went for the kill, a rare thing in the NFL these days. Win when you're supposed to.

2. Titans (8-0): Last week #1. I watched them for a full game for the first time on Sunday. The defense is as good as advertised, but I get the feeling that there is little margin for error if the O doesn't score more.

3. Steelers (6-2): Last week #5. I love that blitzing D, even though it was used to kill my Redskins last night.

4. Panthers (6-2): Last week #6. They get the pleasure of playing hapless Oakland next weekend.

5. Patriots (5-3): Last week #3. They lost to the Colts, who were desperate, but they made too many mistakes. Therefore, they fall two spots.

6. Redskins (6-3): Last week #4. The defense played pretty well against the Steelers considering the offense couldn't keep them off the field. They still don't have any play makers that can stretch a defense.

7. Eagles (5-3): Last week unranked. With Brian Westbrook they are formidable. Without him... yuck.

8. Colts (4-4): Last week unranked. Now it's an eight game season. I'm interested to see what they can do now that they're back in the thick of it.

9. Buccaneers (6-3): Nice comeback. But it was against KC.

10. Bears (5-3): Nice comeback. But it was against the Lions. I'm going to reserve judgment for now. But if they have to go with Sexy Rexy for too long, they will drop out of contention.

What the hell is up with....? Larry Johnson. I guess he's a little frustrated that he's a has-been at 28. Why else would he need to take out his frustration by spitting on a woman. This is the third accusation of this kind, where he has assaulted a woman. Any man who assaults a woman is a straight up coward. When your a pro football player and 6'1", 230 lbs., and you do it, you're just human garbage.

Note: I'm going to try like heck to get my power rankings done next week. However, I will be in Vegas next weekend for Joey's bachelor party. I will be hurting.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Red Sox want to relive the past

Just in case you guys missed it, the Sox are bringing back Tim Wakefield for another year. I will never understand their unquestioning devotion to Wake and/or Mike Timlin in these declining years. It also begs the question as to why they can so easily turn the screws on Varitek and not these guys.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

NFL Picks

I know I have been slacking with the picks recently, but I will try to do better in the second half of the year.


Philadelphia -5.5 over Seattle: Seattle is not good and has a lot of injuries. Philly has looked good the past 2 games. Philly wins by at least a TD and probably more to keep pace with the NFC East.

Buffalo +3 over NY Jets: Buffalo had a hiccough last week, but I still think they are for real, and they are back home this week. The Jets might have a chance, but Brett Favre will throw about 9 INTs and their defense isn't good enough to overcome the mistakes of the offense.

Stay Away

NY Giants -7.5 over Dallas: The Giants will win, but 7.5 is a big number. If the Dallas defense decides to show up this game could be closer than what a lot of people think.

Green Bay +1.5 over Tennessee: After a big win on Monday Night this could be a letdown game for the Titans. Green Bay is coming off a bye week and Tennessee had a short week, I think this could be a big factor. I just don't know, but will go with Aaron Rodgers and his new fat contract.

The Rest: Pittsburgh -1 over Washington, New England -1 over Indianapolis, Denver -1 over Miami, Oakland +5 over Atlanta, Houston over Minnesota, St. Louis +4 over Arizona, Jacksonville -4 over Cincinnati, Baltimore over Cleveland, Tampa Bay -6.5 over Kansas City, Chicago +8.5 over Detroit.