Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baseball America's Top 100 List

Baseball America released it's top 100 prospect list today and Jesus Montero represented the Yankees at #4 overall, coming in behind Jason Heyward, Stephen Strasburg and Mike Stanton. While the Yankees only had two prospects crack the Top 100 (Montero and Austin Romine at #86), the Yankees farm system was well represented by two prospects the Yanks dealt during the offseason, Arodys Vizcaino at #69 and Austin Jackson at #76.

The Red Sox had Ryan Westmoreland and Casey Kelly crack the top 25, coming in at #21 and #24 respectively. Josh Reddick came in at #75 and Lars Anderson is still grasping at a top 100 spot at #87 after a year in which he saw huge dropoffs in every major offensive category.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Damon Officially Off the Market

It appears that Johnny Damon has officially signed on with the Detroit Tigers for one year and $8 million. It's a better deal than I expected him to get although I'm sure it's less than Scott Boras promised Johnny when he had him spurn the Yankees.

I wont really regret seeing Damon leave. He was a mercenary who came in for an extra $4 million and he left because he wasn't getting the cash he wanted. He did some good for the Yankees and I'm sure he'll play all out for the Tigers. Unfortunately both he and the Tigers will probably be pretty disappointed when they watch ball after ball fall about 20 feet short of the right field wall all summer.

I wont even think about how many balls will evade him in the outfield. Good luck Johnny... you're going to need it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV Wrap Up

Since the game has been analyzed to death already, this post won't be too big on analysis. I'll mostly include some personal thoughts on the game.

  • This was one of the most briskly played Super Bowls in recent memory. There were very few penalties and the total elapsed time was just over three hours in spite of the innumerable commercial breaks and lengthened half time show. The flow of the game was a little weird for me though. Lots of movement up and down the field with nary a big play on offense.
  • The Pierre Garcon drop on the Colts third possession was an enormous play. Of course there's go guarantee that the Colts would have scored on that drive. But if there's such a thing as a make or break play in the first quarter of a game, that was one.
  • Congratulations to two former Redskins (my team), Gregg Williams and Mark Brunell. I was really disappointed when Williams was not named head coach of the Redskins two years ago. I like Mark Brunell also. He lead Washington to the playoffs a few years back. Plus he's a guy that has been on the brink of a championship a couple of times with the Jags.
  • Waaaay too much has been made of Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne leaving the field immediately after the game and not shaking hands with anyone. In a perfect world they would seek out their opponents and congratulate them. But the field after the Super Bowl in nightmarish sea of media, players, a mobile stage, security, and league potentates. Besides, they just lost the Super Bowl. They're trying to process what just happened. They may not have the presence of mind at that moment to make hand shaking a priority.
  • Question: Will New Orleans have to be rebuilt again after the crazy-ass party that will go on for the next week?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pro Football Hall of Fame 2010

It's a very interesting class this season. It's the first class I can remember in which almost every player played in his prime during my football watching life.

Not too many comments really for Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice. It's kind of cool that the NFL's all-time leading rusher and receiver get to be enshrined at the same time. Statistically, no one is even close to those guys, especially Rice. You have to play 20 years, first of all, to even be in his neighborhood and oh yeah, be the best receiver in the game for 15 of those years.

The two defensive selections are very interesting to me. I think both John Randle and Rickey Jackson are deserving, but they're not exactly on the tip of the casual fan's tongue. I like comparing both to one of their contemporary pass rushers, Lawrence Taylor. Randle had 137.5 sacks in 14 years. Taylor had 132.5 in 13 years. But Randle did it as an interior lineman not rushing off the edge. Rickey Jackson, an outside linebacker like Taylor, had very similar stats also (128.5 career sacks), but was doing it under the radar in New Orleans. If he did it in New York or LA, he would have been a super star.

Congrats to Russ Grimm, one of the original Hogs for Washington and a selection I'm very pleased with.

Two HOF omissions of note: Shannon Sharpe and Cris Carter. They both definitely deserve to be in. Sharpe helped revolutionize the TE position. Without him, 'tweeners like Antonio Gates and Dallas Clark would be without a position. Carter was simply one of the best receivers of his time, uncoverable inside the 20 yard line with Velcro like hands

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Case for the Saints

From the people I read, listen, and talk to everyone seems to think the Colts have already won the Super Bowl. There is some compelling evidence supporting a Colts victory, but I think with a little luck the Saints could pull off an upset. Here is what needs to happen:

1) Win the third phase of the game (i.e. special teams). They can't afford to give the Colts good field position or miss easy field goals. Reggie Bush needs to step up and take one to the house, if for nothing else so we can have 30 shots of Kim Kardashian in the luxury box. (Bill Simmons said during a podcast what if Reggie Bush and Lamar Odom win championships this year, wouldn't that inspire the other Kardashian to start dating an athlete of a tortured franchise to win a championship. I would say a Cubs player maybe Jeff Samardzija)

2) Excel in red zone efficiency on both sides of the ball. Brees cannot cap 83 yard drives with 20 yard field goals. They need to get 7 every time. Conversely, they need to hold Manning to 3 on a few trips. (I know it is easier said then done)

3) Cover Pierre Garcon. Jabari Greer can handle one guy one on one. Whether that is Wayne, who tweaked a knee in practice Friday, or Garcon the rest on the secondary needs to take care of the other weapons in Manning's arsenal. The Saints can't allow Garcon to run wild like the Jets did.

4) Win the Peyton vs. Payton Battle. I know Jim Caldwell is the head coach, but I think we can all agree Peyton Manning runs the show. With two weeks to prepare I think Sean Payton could come up with something to annoy Manning. The question is can he do it for 60 minutes?

If Brees plays above his skis, the Saints protect the ball, and contain Manning they could win. If nothing else, I hope we have a close game going into the 4th quarter. Just to be contrarian I am going with the Saints with the caveat that the Saints have to end the game with the ball. You just can't give Peyton Manning that opportunity to beat you.

Saints 35
Colts 31

Enjoy the Game.