Wednesday, March 14, 2012


After much deliberation and tinkering I have decided to move my blog to a new home.  You can find me at where I will continue my passion of sports writing.  Please feel free to add me to your favorite websites or subscribe to follow my new blog.  Thanks everyone, I have gotten quite a few page hits on this page and I hope to get even more in my new home.  It was time for a change.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Giants on Draft Day

The New York Football Giants own the 32nd pick in the first round, the last pick, thanks to their Super Bowl victory.  For a team that just won the Super Bowl there are plenty of needs.  The Giants lost two tight ends during the Super Bowl, Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard who will probably miss the entire 2012 campaign.  This has led to a lot of speculation that the Giants will be looking at tight ends with the last pick in the first round.  Nonsense, I say.

Since Jerry Reese has taken the reigns as the Giants GM they have never drafted based on need in the first round.  It is against Reese's philosophy.  Last year they took CB Prince Amukamara, a move that turned out to be wise after so many cornerbacks went down, including Amukamara who was able to come back and show some flashes towards the end of the year.  The Giants have needs all over the place.  On the defensive side of the ball there are questions regarding Osi Umenyiora, the talented defensive end.  Reese loves his pash rushers and Osi is one of the best.  If Osi and the Giants can't come to an agreement then the Giants could draft an impact DE, if one is still available, to help take some of the pressure off of Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre Paul.  There is also a chance the Giants could look to defensive tackle if Chris Canty and the Giants can't work out a deal to restructure his contract since he is owed $6 million this year.  There is also a chance that Reese goes for a defensive back.  Aaron Ross is a free agent and is not expected back.  Terrell Thomas is a free agent coming off an year that he missed with injury.  Right now Corey Webster and Prince Amukamara are the starting corners.  I expect the Giants to re-sign Thomas but adding more depth, if the talent is on the board, is not out of the question.  There is one area I don't see the Giants going all-in for and that is linebacker.  The Giants have a trio of second-year linebackers in Joaquin Williams, Mark Herzlich, and Greg Jones.  They also have Michael Boley and are expecting Jonathan Goff back after he missed all of last season.

On the offensive side of the ball the offensive line is a higher priority than tight end.  Kareem McKenzie is a free agent and is expected to leave via free agency.  There is also the issue of center David Baas' health after his neck gave him a lot of trouble this past season.  The Giants do have some offensive line prospects in James Brewer, Kevin Boothe, Mitch Petrus, and Jim Cordle.  However, offensive line depth is a huge need. If there is a good enough prospect on the board I can see the Giants going this route.
Running back is now also a need.  Brandon Jacobs is gone.  Ahmad Bradhsaw is a good running back but health has always been a problem.  D.J. Ware, Andre Brown and Da'Rel Scott are the other running backs on the roster.  The Giants like both of them but could look to grab a running back at some point in the draft if only for the competition in camp.  Scott showed amazing flashes during last season's preseason games but he has also earned a spot in Coach Coughlin's doghouse with his propensity to put the ball on the ground.
Obviously, tight end is an area of concern for the Giants as well.  Losing Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum for the season hurts.  Only Bear Pascoe remains healthy at the position.  There is a chance the giants address this need via free agency with an older, yet still capable veteran like a Dallas Clark, or a Kevin Boss who is reportedly getting released from the Raiders.  Or, they could address this need in the later rounds of the draft.  With the Giants weapons at wide receiver, the tight end doesn't play a pivotal role in moving the ball.  The tight end is usually a third or fourth option for Eli Manning.  If the best prospect on the board is a tight end then the Giants will take a tight end.  However, if they see a playmaker available at another position they will take that player, even if it is a wide receiver.

One thing Jerry Reese has demonstrated is an ability to keep the draft geeks guessing.  He is as unpredictable as they come.  That has worked well for the Giants in years past.  Without that philosophy the Giants wouldn't have drafted Jason Pierre Paul.  The first 31 picks will shape what the Giants do at 32.  Even if they address a need in free agency they still might take that position with their first pick if the prospect is rated highly enough.  Call me crazy but I think Jerry Reese likes drafting from this spot because it is the spot you always try to take the best player available.  That's the way Jerry Reese builds his football team and so far it has produced 2 Super Bowl winners.  You can't argue with a system that has proven it works.

If I had to guess these are the players I think will be available for the Giants and guys that they might draft, in no particular order:

TE Coby Fleener, Stanford.  Fits a need and is arguably the best TE in the draft.  He is a big target at 6-6 and has a knack of finding the end zone.

RB LaMichael James, Oregon.  I doubt he falls to 32 but you never know.  Has good speed but is considered kind of small.

TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson.  His combine might have made his stock fall.  A good tight end who should be able to step into an offense and contribute.  Combine numbers mean squat, watch the tape.  He won't be the best but he will be good.

OT Bobby Massie, Ole Miss.  Good work ethic combines with a big body.  Listed at 6-6, 316, he is athletic and strong.  Might need some time to develop but could be a right tackle in a year or two full-time.

DE Quinton Coples, UNC.  At 6-6, 284, he is a big, athletic man.  Could fit in well with a 4-3 scheme like the Giants use.  The Giants love their pass rushers.  I don't think there is a chance he makes it all the way down to this slot but stranger things have happened.

DT Jerel Worthy, MSU.  His game can frustrate at times.  Not sure if he mentally checks out or gets frustrated.  When he is on he is a beast.  The Giants could see a lot of upside in him, especially if Chris Canty is shown the door.  They do have Marvin Austin coming back from injury but depth along the D-line is always welcome in East Rutherford.

ILB Vontaze Burfict, ASU.  He had a poor combine but, like I said before, I don't pay much attention to workouts sans pads and at game speed.  He has ability to rush the passer and has shown the speed during the game to run.  The Giants could see him as a prospect and nab him with the final pick in the round.  I would be surprised if he made it this far, I can see a team picking him earlier.  I would also be surprised if the Giants take him based on the plethora of other prospects out there and the amount of young linebackers they already have.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Peyton and Bounties and another thing or two

- Peyton Manning is going to be released by the Colts tomorrow.  It is a sad end to a Colts career that ranks among the greatest of all-time.  Few quarterbacks have come close to accomplishing what Peyton has in a Colts uniform.  Now, he follows other greats like Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, and Joe Namath, icons in the cities where they brought home championships and set records, and will finish out his career on another team.  It is unlikely that Peyton will retire but I guess that is always a possibility until he signs with another team.  Right now, it seems like the Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, and maybe even the Jets will kick the tires on Manning.  If I had a gun to my head I would pick the Cardinals.  They could trade or release Kevin Kolb, who I believe has a $7 million roster bonus due to him if he is on the team by March 17th.  I might be wrong on the date and I can't find a good source on it but I do know he has a roster kicker due for $7 million.  Teaming with Larry Fitzgerald would be fun to watch.  I have already stated my thoughts on Peyton and the is a bad idea for the team.

- So apparently the Saints are the dirtbags of the NFL.  Former defensive coordinator, being the biggest dirtbag of them all, allowed players to receive extra bonus pay for injuring opposing teams stars.  He also apparently did the same thing while in Washington.  The fact that the players, coaching staff, and front office allowed this to happen under their very noses disgusts me.  There has been a lot of players coming to the defense of Gregg Williams, saying this kind of thing is rampant in the NFL and isn't a big deal.  To them I say, it is a rule in the NFL.  The use of bounties is outlawed.  It is not okay, regardless of who allows it, for anyone to break the rules of the game.  The game's very integrity is based on those rules.  They are there for a reason.  Oh, and don't worry about former NFL players suffering from various mental disorders from taking too many hits to the head.  Don't worry about players like Dave Duereson who suffered severe depression as a result of his head injuries.  Yeah, those guys don't count because you got paid, right?  Asinine comments from asinine people.  The NFL has a huge issue on it's hands regarding player safety and to have a team completely disregard the long-term health of those men for a few hundred or few thousand extra bucks is disgusting.  If I were NFL commissioner, and the Saints are lucky I am not (and so are the Rams for whom Gregg Williams is now a defensive coordinator), I would demand the firing of Sean Payton, Gregg Williams, and general manager Mickey Loomis and suspend them from the league for three years.  I would also demand the IRS investigate the players for unreported income, something the IRS is doing anyway, and support any decision they make in regards to that money, including jail.  I would also force the Saints to surrender their first round draft pick for the next three years and fine them one hundred times the total amount of money that was posted in this bounty system.  I would also make them pay another one million dollars to fund the healthcare plan of retired players.  If the Saints didn't care about injuring those players then they shouldn't mind helping them afford the long-term healthcare so many players need after they leave the field.
My penalties are stiff, maybe too stiff in some of your minds.  However, the Saints allowed the league's rules to be undermined, put players health in jeopardy, and circumvented the NFL salary cap.  They undermined the integrity of the game.  I don't want to hear about how every team does it.  Nobody else has gotten caught and if they were caught I would demand similar penalties for that team, or teams, as well.  As for the players who think it is no big deal?  Wait until you retire after suffering from several concussions.  Wait until you need knee replacement surgery at 45 years old.  Wait until your body is similar in age to that of a 90 year old at age 50.  To them I say, shut up and let the NFL do it's job by enforcing the rules.  The NFL needs to make an example of the Saints and they need to do it now.

- Deron Williams can score 57 points against the Bobcats but Jeremy Lin score 25 and he gets back pages and the whole Linsanity thing.  I get it, Lin came from out of nowhere and helped turn a struggling Knicks team around.  I get it.  But, lost in the whole fog of Linsanity is the fact that he is still only the second best point guard in the New York area.  I love watching Lin play. But Deron Williams is the best player in the New York area, yes, better then Carmelo Anthony right now and better that Amare' Stoudemire.  I'm just telling the truth.

- I swear you can't keep Yankee fans happy.  Michael Pineda throws two innings and already there are some fans calling the trade a bust.  Seriously?  After two innings?  Pineda didn't throw in Winter Ball this offseason for the first time in a few years.  His arm needs to get built back up.  He isn't a bust.  Not yet.  The trade could still be a bust down the line but I would hold my judgement for several seasons and see what happens.  This new generation of Yankee fans is driving me nuts.  They were born in the 1990's and don't know what it's like seeing a crappy team.  I saw the 1990-1992 Yankees.  It wasn't pretty.  I watched as former Yankee youngsters like Doug Drabek, Jose Rijo, Otis Nixon, Fred McGriff, Jay Buhner, Bob Tewksbury, and others go on to win Cy Young awards, championships, and otherwise be productive for other teams.  You don't know what it's like to watch Matt Nokes, Mel Hall, and Jesse Barfield as everyday players.  All these younger Yankee fans know is success and it is rotting their perspective.  Since 1995 the Yankees have failed to make the playoffs once.  ONCE!  I had to wait 15 years of my life before I saw the Yankees in a postseason game.  I know Andy Hawkins.  I know Scott Sanderson.  I know Rick Rhoden.  I know Dave LaPoint, Jimmy Jones, Clay Parker, Tim Leary, and Wade Taylor.  Those were pitchers in case you were wondering, some of them considered the ace on the staff like Sanderson, Rhoden, and Hawkins.  Younger Yankee fans should thank God they don't have ownership or a general manager that will put them through another decade of futility.  It was bad.  I was young back then and loved my Yankees.  I loved Alvaro Espinosa, Don Mattingly, Butch Wynegar, Pat Kelly, Mike Stanley, and Matt Nokes.  So, my message to younger Yankee fans who weren't around for the 1990 debacle is: Chill out.  Enjoy the game of baseball for what it is, a wonderful thing on a summer afternoon or evening.  Enjoy the little things about the game.  Stop thinking like the world will end if a bad trade is made.  Stop thinking 2 innings of Spring Training baseball means anything more than a warmup.  Relax.  Settle down.  Then again, maybe the Yankees need to go through a few years of futility again.  I lived through it once and can do so again.  I will stay loyal to my team no matter who they put out on that field.

- Speaking of the early 1990's Yankees, former first overall draft pick Brien Taylor was arrested last week for trafficking cocaine.  I can remember when he was drafted and everyone immediately thought of Dwight Gooden as a young pitcher.  Taylor was on his way before he injured his shoulder in a fight that he wasn't really a part of.  Now this.  It is sad to see.  For my younger readers, imagine the hype surrounding Stephen Strasburg only you never get to see him pitch in a big league game.  Taylor was supposed to turn the Yankees around.  It never happened.  The Yankees turned themselves around and the rest is history.  It still would have been interesting to see what Taylor could have done for those dynasty Yankees.  To this day I am still left wondering and every now and again I come across a rookie card of his and think about what could have been.  Just sad.

- For what it's worth it is nice to see Johan Santana out on the mound again.  I would love to see him pitch a full season with his old form again.  I'm sure Met fans would love to as well.  Before he got hurt he was simply amazing to watch, a true pitcher, a complete pitcher.  He was an artist.  Maybe he still is.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hit and Runs

- It has to be a tough thing to be a Sizemore in baseball this year.  First, Grady Sizemore injured his back while fielding grounders with the Indians.  An update is being prepared by the Indians and it might be very bad news for Sizemore and the Indians.  Grady was once an up and coming young outfielder, thought to become one of baseball's best.  Then the injuries began.  And they didn't stop.  Now, the three-time All-Star who has appeared in just 104 games over the past two seasons, might be lucky to play at all this season.
On the other hand, there is Scott Sizemore, no relation to Grady, who tore his ACL on February 27th.  He will now miss the entire year.  Sizemore was expected to compete for the A's starting third baseman job.  Now, he is out for the year.  Spring Training has been a cruel mistress to these two this year.

- The price for a good catcher just went up.  First it was Joe Mauer signing an 8-year, $184 million deal with the Twins a couple of seasons ago.  Now, the Cardinals have inked All-Star catcher Yadier Molina to a 5-year, $75 million deal.  Molina is a very good catcher.  Is he worth $15 million a year?  In my opinion, no.  He has never driven in more than 65 runs, never hit more than 14 homers (both RBI and homer totals were career highs set last year), and has never hit higher than .305, again a career high set last season, besting his previous best of .304 from 2008.  Don't get me wrong, I think Yadier Molina is a spectacular catcher on both sides of the plate.  I'm just not a fan of giving a catcher, who plays 140 games at most and is susceptible to a myriad of injuries and breakdowns $15 million a year.  Especially one coming off a career year where he set career high marks for hits, doubles, homers, RBI's, AVG, and runs scored.  Yes, his defense is impeccable.  Yes, he can swing the lumber.  No, I still don't think any catcher is worth $15 million a year.  Not after seeing Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, and Russell Martin all go from All-Star up and comers to question marks because of health or overuse as was the case with Martin.  Strangely, though, if there is one catcher I would give the money to it is Yadier who has shown an ability to stay healthy, call a great game, hit the ball, and be a leader.  It is crazy but sometimes it works out.

- Now for the rude, inappropriate comment that I can't resist.  You know it's wrong but you will laugh too...or just think I'm an ass which you probably do already.  Plaxico Burress wants to join the Eagles.  He has practically taken out a full page ad in the Philadelphia newspapers and is telling anyone with two ears he wants to be an Eagle.  Between him and Mike Vick that outta make shower time lots of fun postgame and post-practice.  Soap on a rope fellas, soap on a rope.  See it wasn't so bad.  Ok, maybe it was.  You still smiled though didn't you?

- To this day I still don't understand why the Rangers traded Mike Knuble.  For Rob DiMaio of all people.  DiMaio went on to play 12 games as a Ranger. Knuble went on to score 30+ goals two times and 20+ 8 times.  To this day that trade still bothers me and it seems like the Rangers have been searching for that kind of player since Knuble left.  Brendan Shanahan was kind of like that player but he is now gone and the Rangers are still searching.  Maybe P.A. Parenteau will rejoin the Rangers as a UFA next season.  Maybe.

- The question this season seems to be not what trophy Henrik Lundqvist will win but how many.  In my humble opinion he should walk away with the Vezina (for best goalie) and the Hart (League MVP).  He has meant everything to the Rangers this season and he is the reason for the Rangers being atop the Eastern Conference standings right now.  Oh, he has 8 shutouts this year to lead the league.  Hopefully the anti-Rangers bias among the voters won't shine through this year.

- Can someone please tell me what Bill Simmons of ESPN is doing interviewing President Barack Obama?  Seriously?  The President of the United States doesn't belong on a sports website.  We don't need to know what his brackets will be for March Madness.  We don't need his input on Jermey Lin, the Bulls, or the White Sox.  The only thing we need from a President is leadership and that doesn't mean in sports.  Stop the nonsense and let the President be the President by trying to fix, oh, I dunno, the damned economy.

- While everyone is paying attention to Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak is quietly putting together a very nice season for the Knicks.  His ability to shoot the three is something the Knicks offense has lacked since Allan Houston left.  Novak is only averaging 8.0 PPG but is 53-113 from beyond the arc.  That's a very nice percentage of 46%.  He has the ability to score 9 points in a few minutes, even on three possessions.  Add that to what the Knicks already have and yes, they are a very dangerous team, especially in the playoffs.

- the other day I told Terry Francona to shut up.  now it's time for Bobby Valentine to shut up.  Ever since taking over as Red Sox manager, Bobby V has seemingly only cared about what the Yankees are doing.  Recently, he commented on Derek Jeter's now infamous flip play to home plate in the 2001 ALDS.  Seriously, how does this come up from Bobby V?  The game had nothing to do with any team Bobby V was managing.  In 2001, Bobby V was busy taking the defending NL Champions to a third place finish in the NL East.  In October of 2001, he was planning how to make the Mets even worse and how to guide them to a 5th place finish.  Why does a play that happened over 10 years ago bother Bobby Valentine so much that he has to comment on it now that he is managing in the Major Leagues again?  Boston, you may have gotten rid of the bar but you brought in the circus.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Around the Horn

- The Columbus Blue Jackets missed a golden opportunity.  Their star, Rick Nash, demanded a trade.  Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson made a bad decision not trading the unhappy Nash.  I won't say Nash will quit on the team, he doesn't appear to be that kind of player.  However, New York Rangers GM, according to a twitter post by WFAN's Brian Monzo, offered Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, J.T. Miller, Christian Thomas, and a first round draft pick.  Those are some very nice pieces for the Blue Jackets to build around.  Now, he is stuck with a disgruntled forward for the rest of the year on a team that is going nowhere.

- Remember when Joel Zumaya wowed the baseball world with his 100 MPH fastball?  If you don't, you have good reason.  Zumaya burst onto the scene in 2006, pitching to a 1.94 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and recorded 93 strikeouts in 83.1 innings.  Then the injuries started and he never appeared in more than 31 games in any season, the 31 came in 2010.  He missed all of last season and, his 2012 campaign is already over after 13 pitchers.  He will need to have Tommy John surgery, or elbow ligament replacement surgery.  He is now mulling retirement according to an report.  Zumaya has had a myriad of issues with his health.  It's not like it has been one area.  He has missed time with elbow, foot, shoulder, and finger issues.  He once hurt himself moving boxes in his father's attic.  He also played the video game Guitar Hero so much that he suffered an injury and missed the 2006 American League Championship Series.  This guy is not very lucky.

- Terry Francona needs to keep his mouth shut.  He is no longer the Red Sox manager and he needs to stop undermining new manager Bobby Valentine.  Valentine recently banned beer in the Red Sox clubhouse, something he has done at other managerial stops in the past.  Francona then goes "Mike and Mike" on ESPN radio and says it is a PR ploy and could backfire.  The only thing that backfired Terry was the Red Sox last year.  You are no longer the manager, so just shut up, accept the fact you were at the helm of one of the worst collapses in baseball history and oversaw what appears to be a dysfunctional clubhouse.  Be thankful you were lucky enough to get a gig commenting on baseball but don't abuse that gift, and that's really what it is, by badmouthing your replacement.  There was no reason for him to say anything.  Why not say something about the 19 other teams around the league that have a similar policy?  Oh, he didn't get fired by any of them.

- So let me get this straight, Ryan Braun is clean because his triple-sealed drug test was in one place for too long, showed no evidence of being tampered with, and I'm supposed to believe this guy was clean all along? Color me skeptical.  OK, so the guy had the test for too long, yet doctors say that wouldn't affect his test.  Temperature wouldn't affect his test.  I might be jaded by the fact that everyone seemed to be doing steroids or some other performance enhancer at the turn of the century but Braun's reasoning that an STD forced him to take something that spiked his testosterone just doesn't seem to hold water.  Now, he has to stay clean the rest of his career and keep producing at the level he was in order for me to believe him.  This is what these players have done to themselves.  Just because you got off on a technicality doesn't mean anything, nor does your willingness to take a retest 3 months after the positive test.

- How does Nicki Minaj keep getting the chance to do events.  If I recall correctly she put in a poor performance at the Super Bowl, made the entire world scratch their heads during the Grammy's and was still invited to perform at the NBA All-Star game.  I'm willing to bet she doesn't get another invite to a sporting event though.

- Speaking of the NBA All-Star game, ummm, yeah, so apparently they played it and the West won.  I am beginning to think the only All-Star game worth a damn is MLB's and even then it isn't great but at least they know how to celebrate the game and it means something even if it shouldn't.  The second best All-Star game is the NHL's where the skills competition had star power and skill on display.  The NFL and NBA don't even rank anywhere close to the other two.

-  The Nationals signed star third-baseman Ryan Zimmerman to a six-year extension.  These ain't the expos anymore folks.  The Nationals are supported by their fanbase and the team is investing in that fanbase by keeping star players around.  It should be fun to see Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, and a slew of others in the next few years.  Zimmerman could be a National until 2020.  I don't think I ever remember that kind of stability from the franchise formerly known as the Expos.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Some Crazy (or not) Baseball Predictions for the 2012 Season

Spring Training is under way.  The warm rays of the sun are beaming down upon our favorite teams as they ready themselves for the 2012 baseball season.  Here are some of my predictions for this upcoming season:

      Manny Ramirez will not finish the season in the Major Leagues.
      Clay Rapada will see time in the Majors this season with the New York Yankees.
      Michael Pineda will win 17 games for the Yankees.
      The Mets will finish with one more win than the Cubs with 72 wins.  They will be third worst team in the National League.
      Johan Santana will make an appearance at Citi Field this year.  He will also spend a significant amount of time on the DL.
      Mark Teixeira will hit .280.
      C.C. Sabathia will win 20 games for the Yankees.
             Phil Hughes will win the fifth starter spot, go on the DL, and win 12 games while showing he still has talent.
      The Washington Nationals will be in the race for a playoff spot.  They will win the Wild Card.
      Curtis Granderson won’t hit 40 homers again this year but 37 homers isn’t a huge drop-off.
      The Texas Rangers still have plenty of offense and will make the playoffs but get bounced out in the first   round.
      The Boston Red Sox will fail to make the playoffs for a second straight year.
      Prince Fielder will find that his new home digs are not as friendly as Miller Park.  He will hit over .300, 30 homers, and drive in 118.  He will finish second in the MVP race.
      Jose Reyes will stay healthy for most of the season, leaving Mets fans to lament that he would be healthy for another team only to hurt his hamstring in September and miss the team’s playoff run.  The Marlins will fall short and the Phillies will pass them.
           Bryce Harper will be in the Majors this season, flash some power but show he isn’t quite ready for the Big-Time yet. 
     Stephen Strasburg will headline a rotation of Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, John Lannan, and Edwin Jackson which will be one of the best in baseball surprisingly.
           Justin Verlander will not win a second Cy Young and he won’t win his second MVP.
           Jacoby Ellsbury will not hit 30+ homers again, and will struggle to hit .300.
     Raul Ibanez will hit 20 homers for the Yankees while having an OBP lower than Mark Teixeira’s batting average.
         The Atlanta Braves will make the playoffs.  They will win the NL East.  The Phillies will actually finish third in the division behind the Nats and they will make the playoffs under the new format.  The Braves and Nats make the statement that this is now their division.
    Mike Stanton of the Marlins will hit 40 homers.
          Josh Johnson of the Marlins will look like a Cy Young contender but his health will sabotage him.
     A.J. Burnett will win 15 games for the Pirates and strike out 190-210 batters leaving Yankee fans scratching their heads.
          Buster Posey will be a force this season.
     Joe Mauer will make people question his future behind the plate.
         The Houston Astros will lose 103 games. It is not going to be pretty.
     I will not be the next owner of the Dodgers and neither will you.
    Adam Wainwright will be the reason the Cardinals make the playoffs again this year.
    Pitching at PETCO Park will make Huston Street look like the best closer in baseball.  At least for a month or two.
    Madison Bumgarner will win more games for the Giants than Tim Lincecum.  So will Matt Cain.
          Jim Thome will still put up very nice offensive numbers but his play at first base will show teams why he has been a DH/pinch hitter for the last few years.
    The Reds are a team on the rise.  They will flirt with the playoffs and could make them if Adam Wainwright falters in his comeback.
    Alex Rodriguez will hit 31 home runs, drive in over 100, and hit .278. 
    Derek Jeter will hit .308.  He will score 117 runs.
    Albert Pujols will get off to a slow start then hit .322.
        Miguel Cabrera will not enjoy his move to third base.  The Tigers won’t either.
        Matt Kemp will put up better numbers than he did last year.  He might even win the MVP this time.
          Jose Bautista will crack 50 homers again, the last year he does it. 
     Ryan Braun will move past the whole steroid thing and put up very nice numbers but not monster numbers like last year leaving many to speculate whether he misses Prince or PED’s.
         Starlin Castro will continue to impress people.  He will also continue to baffle them with his lackadaisical play. 
        Carl Crawfod will play better but his numbers will still pale to those he put up in Tampa leading many to wonder about his future in Boston.
    The Angels will be one of the best teams in baseball.  It won’t be all Pujols either.  Their rotation is among the best in the game. 
     Jason Bay will hit 20 homers.
          R.A. Dickey will lead the Mets with 13 wins.  Johan will win 10, Pelfrey 11.
    The Mets will trade Jon Rauch before the trade deadline.

And that’s all I got for now.

Friday, February 24, 2012

This and That and the Other Thing

- Is there anyone more respectable than Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski?  I mean seriously, is there?  How can you not root for the guy?  There are no recruiting scandals to speak of.  No players getting into trouble with the law.  A nationally ranked team almost every year he has coached and players that tend to graduate one of the most prestigious schools in the country.  Sports Illustrated was right to have named him and Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt "Sportspeople of the Year."  We are talking about two class individuals who focus on their players/students more than they do on winning.  Winning is secondary to them yet seems to come so easily.  I can think of no one other than Coach K to lead our Men's Olympic basketball team.  The guy is total class, and all he knows is winning.  He represents all that is good in the game of college basketball.  Even people who hate Duke have to respect what Coach K has done.

-Ryan Braun was found to be innocent of using performance enhancing drugs.  For me, there are a lot of unanswered questions.  Among them are, what caused the spike in testosterone levels?  Was it mishandling of the evidence or something else?  How did this story leak to the media when the results of these tests are supposed to be private until MLB confirms them?  Why is that nobody seems accountable on any end of this story?  My personal opinion, I am glad Braun was found innocent, yet I find myself hoping he really is and didn't get off on a technicality.  Hopefully MLB learned from this mess and it, it's fanbase, and the players can move forward.

- Speaking of performance enhancing drugs, has Manny Ramirez tested positive yet?

- How popular is Jermey Lin?  He made the cover of Sports Illustrated for the second straight week.  To be honest, I don't think that has ever happened before.  If it has please correct me.  He is the first Knick to grace the cover since 2002 when Othella Harrington was being posterized by the Wizards Michael Jordan and the first Knick since 1999 to make the cover as something other than a stooge when Latrell Sprewell made the cover.  I don't know about you but I find that amazing.

- According to, teams are engaging the St. Louis Rams in talks regarding the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 Draft.  The Rams, not in the market for a QB would be wise to trade down if offered the right package.  The Rams are a team with lost of holes and if they can obtain extra draft picks to fill them then they would be wise to do so.  It is speculated that teams engaging the Rams in talks are those in need of a quarterback who want the chance to draft Robert Griffin III, who some believe to be the next Cam Newton.  I say "some" because I need to see more out of the Heisman winning QB.  The talent is there in Griffin but I still have questions.  Hell, I have questions about every QB in every draft so take that for what it's worth.

- A lot has been made of Jeremy Lin and his receiving attention because he is Asian.  Personally, I don't find race to be an issue.  I don't care if you are even from this planet.  When you put up numbers like Lin has in your first few games as a starter everyone should take notice.  Floyd Mayweather, however, thinks he speaks for all black athletes when he criticized all of the attention being paid to Lin.  I personaly called him a racist on Twitter and told him I couldn't wait until he got knocked out.  There was no response.  Mr. Mayweather, you are a boxer, not a spokesperson for NBA players and not a spokesperson for the African-American community.  throw some punches then shut up, period.  It seems in recent years everyone is all too eager to throw around the "racism" line when someone disagrees with someone of another race.  This is the United States of America.  We may not have the most spotless past but we can determine our future and as long as we identify as races, religion, or even heritage first we will never survive as a country.  It is time to think of ourselves as American first and be happy for everyone who meets with success, regardless of race, religion, heritage, or sexual orientation.  Stop the stupidity, start with the unity!

- It is hard to believe Danica Patrick will only be 30 years-old next month.  It feels like she has been around forever in racing.  It probably feels like it has been forever since Danica is featured in just about every sports magazine, from story to advertisement and everywhere in between.  Not even the best NASCAR drivers have the kind of endorsements she has.  Some may say it is based on her being a woman.  I say it is because she is an attractive woman who happens to race.  Are my comments sexist?  Maybe slightly, but sex sells.  It also doesn't hurt that she is the "underdog" in a sport dominated by men.  Americans love the underdog and she will remain the underdog until she wins a NASCAR race.

- Roy Oswalt announced yesterday that he is willing to pull a Roger Clemens an sign with a contender in mid-season.  I find it hard to believe that there isn't one team out there that is willing to take on a pitcher with Oswalt's track record.  Sure, he has some injury history but he has to be worth a shot, right?  My bet it he signs with Texas after one injury to Texas' starters or an ineffective beginning to one of their back end guys.

- Speaking of Texas, the Rangers announced that Yu Darvish isn't here to "play around."  No kidding!?!?!  You mean he will take his job as a starting pitcher seriously?  Wow!

- That sound you heard last night was the Los Angeles Kings getting better.  They acquired C Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets for  D Jack Johnson and a first-rounder.  Johnson is a good defenseman who can help on both sides of the puck but Jeff Carter can, if on his game, become an elite scorer out west.  Good trade for both teams.  Carter makes a ton of money but should give the Kings the bump they need into the playoffs and become a threat once there.  I don't think they stand a shot of getting in the way of the Red Wings or Canucks but they could do some damage.

- It will be interesting to see if the Carter trade has any impact on the Blue Jackets desire to trade Rick Nash.  I think they will still trade him and continue the rebuilding process but only if they get a decent package in return.

- Staying with the NHL, my NHL MVP, or Hart Trophy winner, is Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.  He also happen to be my Vezina Trophy winner for best goaltender.  He is the best Rangers goalie I have seen in my lifetime and that covers Mike Richter and John Vanbiesbrouck, both of whom won Stanley Cups, albeit Beezer won with the Panthers.

- There is no truth to the rumor that the new his and her scents from the New York Yankees will mirror how well the team is playing.  Nothing says die-hard like smelling like crap when your team is playing like it.  I am a die-hard Yankees fan but won't be lining up to buy this unless it smells good.  Even then I don't think I would buy it.  When I think about a sports related scent I immediately think sweat and locker room.  Then again, I could be wrong.  However, I am skeptical since the only thing from the old Yankee Stadium not to show up on Steiner Sports were the bathroom accoutrements.  I hope the Yankees didn't use them in this new cologne/perfume.  Nothing says "I love my team" like smelling like their bathrooms!

- That's all folks.  Working on my MLB 2012 predictions, or, as I like to call 2012 I'm wrong predictions.