Friday, September 29, 2006
Week 4 NFL Picks
BUFFALO 1 Minnesota
KANSAS CITY 7 San Francisco
Jacksonville 2.5 Washington
Cleveland 2.5 Oakland
ST. LOUIS 5.5 Detroit
Suicide Pool: Eagles over Packers
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
If anyone wants to be a part-time contributor to the site (especially during weeks like this), let me know via email or in the comments section. Thanks.
Week 3 Pick Results
Lions -6.5 Packers (W)
Colts -7 Jags (T)
Skins -4 Texans (W)
Ravens -6.5 Browns (L)
Eagles -6 49ers (W)
Week 3 Record 3-1-1
Suicide Pool: Ravens (W), 3-0
Chargers Challenge Bengals
So Kiel was shipping cough syrup to Texas, repackaged in "pint sized water bottles". This is codeine-based cough syrup referred to as "lean" which can be mixed with soda to enhance some other hardcore drugs. Still no word on why he thought putting cough syrup in water bottles and mailing them to Texas was a good idea. I'm sure he was thinking something along the lines of, "Well how was I supposed to get them there? I couldn't miss practice."
Sunday, September 24, 2006
THIS WEEK ON CHOKE ARTIST
Friday, September 22, 2006
That's What He's Talkin About
"Well I asked Oliver what the hell he was thinking throwing the guy an 86 mile per hour fastball right down the middle, and he told me that he didn't think Willis was going to swing at it. Well he swing at it alright, he hit the crap out of the ball."
Willis threw 124 pitches on top of the home runs and was an out away from a complete game. The D-Train is just 24 years old and has already compiled a 58-38 record with a 3.41 ERA. He also seems to have a rubber arm, tossing 15 CGs and 8 shutouts over his first 4 seasons. I predicted at one point that Willis' strange delivery would lead to an injury or players figuring him out (i.e. Hideo Nomo), but so far he has proved me absolutely wrong and it looks like he'll be killing the Mets for a long time unless they can lure him away from Florida.
The Home Run Kings
Bonds, on the other hand, is quietly creeping up on Hank Aaron's all-time record. Since Barry has become such a black sheep, everyone has stopped paying attention to his 24 home runs this year. By the way, he still leads MLB in on base percentage. Did you know that Barry has never hit 50 home runs in any season other than his record setting 73? Back to my point though, Barry has piled up 732 home runs at this point, and the all-time record is just 755. If Barry plays next year, he'll need just 23 home runs, and that's assuming he doesn't get any more this season. This is bad, really really bad. How would you like to see Barry Bonds break Hank Aaron's all-time record as a DH for the Blue Jays? Things like that are not too unreasonable. If Barry can play next year, chances are he'll taint the record books once again. Is Barry like the Michael Jackson of baseball or something?
Week 3 Picks
Lions -6.5 Packers
Colts -7 Jags
Skins -4 Texans
Ravens -6.5 Browns
Eagles -6 49ers
Suicide Pool: Ravens
The Giants face the Seahawks on the road this week. After the Colts at home and the Eagles on the road, this has to be the toughest schedule in the NFL.
The BALCO Reporters who wrote "Game of Shadows" are going to jail for 18 months after refusing to say who leaked the grand jury testimony to them.
Hockey Preseason was underway last night. Remember the good old days when they were on strike?
Big Papi hit 2 more home runs, bringing his season total to 52 and breaking the Red Sox record previously held by Jimmie Foxx for the last 68 years. Johan Santana took the loss.
Aces Pedro Martinez and Rich Harden were back tto work for their playoff teams last night. Neither looks ready for a full 7 or 8 innings, but both look to be progressing well.
Did you know that Arena Football has a minor league? AF2 had their championship game last night. When you are in the minor league of the minor leagues, why are you even playing?
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Twice in a Lifetime?
Then TV got involved, with major networks picking up the playoffs one year. The Cosmos were upset in the semis, and viewership for the final was as bad as the NHL Finals (the game was at noon during the summer). Just like that, the TV contract was pulled, then the World Cup '86 was awarded to Mexico- bastards. The biggest market in the world could have been opened up to soccer, but instead everything folded faster than the CBA under Isiah Thomas.
Bad business planning didn't help the situation much either. All of the stars that had been recruited to the Cosmos were at the ends of their careers when the league folded. There was no effort to bring in younger players to keep things fresh, and no teams other than the Cosmos seemed to want to shell out the dough. The league was over, and hope was (and still is) lost for soccer in the US.
If there were some wealthy owners in the MLS, this formula could work again. Record high numbers watched the World Cup this year in the US, and crowds flocked to see international superstars from Barcelona and Chesea play in the States. Beckham, Ronaldo, we're looking at you- superstars who are getting older. So who's ponying up the cash?
More Nightmare, Less Fantasy
LaMont Jordan 1.9 YPC, 55 rush yds, 0 rec. yds, 0 TD
Cadillac Williams 2.6 YPC, 59 rush yds, 25 rec. yds, 0 TD
The outlook looks even worse for Jordan, who's team may not score for the rest of the season. Many experts predict that they won't win a single game. At least Cadillac is part of a team who still has a chance of putting it together. Either way, the teams with these guys in my fantasy leagues are getting killed. So guys, step it up, for the sake of all fantasy managers.
2006 Fantasy Busts- Cadillac vs. LaMont
Once in a Lifetime- When soccer meant something in the US
Big Papi couldn't help the Sox cause enough with his 50th HR
The Phillies are now tied for the Wild Card lead with LA. Did the Abreu/Lidle trade help them?
Sergio Garcia called out Tiger right before the Ryder Cup (Tiger has a 7-11-2) career record there. Tiger is still pissed about the nude photos of his wife, so I hope Sergio brings along some copies if they meet up.
The Red Bulls (aka the Metrostars) plan to break ground soon on the most expensive soccer stadium in the country. It will be in Harrison, NJ, which is one of the craziest soccer towns in the Northeast due to their large population of people from soccer-loving countries. Harrison is easily accessible via the PATH train from NYC so hopefully this will give the team a boost in revenue and attendance. They should be finished in summer '08.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The Griffey Effect...or NOT
After some research, I realized I was completely wrong. Griffey got hurt on Sept. 4th. At this point, the Reds had already fallen to 68-70. Since then, they are 6-7. Obviously not such a terrible fall off. They were 3.5 games out of the WC, and are now 5 games out.
Well it seemed like they fell off after he got hurt, right? Oh well, if this kills any credibility that I may or may not have had, so be it. The Reds actually lost 9 of 10 games immediately before his injury. So I was close. Sort of. Or not.
A-Rod: So Hot Right Now
An excerpt of a Giambino/A-Rod exchange:
-----A-Rod: "I've had five hits in Boston."
-----Giambi: "You f*cking call those hits?" Giambi said, according to SI. "You had two f*ucking dinkers to right field and a ball that bounced over the third baseman! Look at how many pitches you missed!
I am not making this up, here is the ESPN.com article. I'm also starting to see why Yankee fans dislike the Rod:
-----When people write [bad things] about me, I don't know if it's [because] I'm good-looking, I'm biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team ..."
Or maybe it's because you say things like that. You just can't make this stuff up. Did he seriously just call himself good-looking? It could only have been better is he said "Really really ridiculously good looking" and then flashed Blue Steel at us. I only wish he went on further, "Models help people, they show them how to dress cool and wear their hair in interesting ways..."
Later on, you can look forward to:
-The Griffey Effect
-Giambi makes A-rod his B*tch
The Phillies are now just 1 game behind the Dodgers in what has essentially become a two team race.
The Mets scrubs beat the Marlins 3-2. The lineup featured 82 year-old Julio Franco batting clean-up and 14 year-old Lastings Milledge in the 3 hole.
More on the Yankees in a later post. Who would ant to miss Giambi calling A-Rod a p*ssy?
Tiger Woods is mad at a porno site. No, seriously, check it out.
Don't Look Now, but Tampa is actually worse than the Royals after a 9-game skid.
Oklahoma might not play any more games against the Pac-10...like, ever- following the officiating debacle this past weekend.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Mets = Playoffs
Wagner: The energy is so high, I keep feeling like someone might get hospitalized when he suddenly juices one up to 110 mph. The crowd is ravenous, why am I not there?
...Wow, that was quick
Pedro: One of the only guys who knows what the party inside is like. He bolts from the field first like a little kid, going for the free t-shirt and some bubbly.
Paul LoDuca: So excited that he says "F*ckin amazing" live on SNY.
Lastings Milledge: "This is my first drink baby!"
Chris Cotter: SNY reporter gets drowned in bubbly while doing his locker room interviews, ruining his perfectly spiked hair.
...this is like a scene from a sports movie, Aaron Heilman (that tight ass) is the only one who did a professional interview. Everyone else is partying like rock stars.
Cliff Floyd: Has the last out in his pocket. It's likely soaked in alcohol, which should increase its EBay value.
...The Mets definitely lost the last few games on purpose so they could win at home.
Tom Glavine: He's dry, still talking about the Braves. I kind of hate him.
Willie Randolph: Got his hat taken off and an entire can of Bud Light poured in his eyes by an unknown assailant while doing an interview alongside Fred Wilpon.
I don't remember the last division championship, but this one sure was sweet.
Pete Rose's Balls
Mark McGwire: "I'm sorry, I took my horse's medicine by accident".
Dwight Gooden: "I'm sorry, I thought it was powdered sugar".
Travis Henry: "I'm sorry I got arrested. I'm sorry I got arrested. I'm sorry I got arrested. I'm sorry I got arrested. I'm sorry I got arrested".
Maurice Clarett: "I'm sorry I tried to start my own army...I was drunk".
Jermaine O'Neal: "I'm sorry I slipped and turned that fans face into peanut butter".
Just off the top of my head...
Monday, September 18, 2006
Patriots -6 JETS (W)
RAVENS -12 Raiders (W)
Rams -3 49ERS (L)
Bills +6.5 DOLPHINS (W)
Chiefs +10.5 BRONCOS (W)
Suicide Pool: Bengals over Browns (W)
NFL Teams in Big Trouble @ 0-2: Miami, Carolina, Tampa, Washington.
NFL Teams at a surprising 2-0: New Orleans, Minnesota, Baltimore, Atlanta
Maurice Clarett will serve at least 3.5 yrs in prison.
Javon Kearse is out for the year after being injured Sunday in the Eagles' blown game against the g-g-g-men.
The idiot referee crew from the Oklahoma-Oregon game has been suspended after screwing up big time and giving the game to the Ducks.
The Miami Hurricanes dropped out of the top 25 after a loss to Louisville. Larry Coker is on the hot seat.
Friday, September 15, 2006
The Great Debate
Tiger is 30 years old, and he was born in Cypress, California. His birth name is Eldrick, which is one of the weirdest names I've ever heard. He turned pro in 1996.
Federer is 25 years old and was born in Basel, Switzerland. Federer turned pro in 1998.
The better tennis players in the world have about a 15-20 year window for their pro careers, while golfers tend to be able to get significantly more time out of a career. For example, Vijay Singh turned pro in 1982 and is still one of the top players in the world. So we have to make comparisons based on where they are now, rather than where they will be in the future. We'll also have to assume that each sport has the same degree of difficulty, requires the same amount of athleticism, etc. (even though fat people can play golf but not tennis).
Money/Rank: Both players lead the '06 money list rankings in their respective sports. Federer is poised to finish at the top of the list for the 4th time in 8 years (and for the 4th straight time). Tiger should finish at the top for the 7th time in 11 years. In his first 8 years, Tiger finished first 5 times, one more than Federer did in his first 8. That's a pretty even way to compare them, right? Slight edge to Tiger. It should be noted, though that Federer is probably hotter today after winning the US Open, while Tiger got bounced from Match Play in the first round.
Majors/Grand Slams: Tiger has won 12 majors (2nd all-time incl. 4 Masters, 2 US Open, 3 Open, 3 PGA) in 46 appearances (26% win rate). He finished in the top 5 20/46 times in majors. Federer has 9 Grand Slams in 30 appearances (30% win rate). As Tiger does not relinquish the lead in the final day of a tournament, Federer is just as clutch, going 9-1 in Grand Slam Finals. Edge goes to Federer because he has had 2 less pro seasons, and his success rate is slightly more watered down because of this, yet is still higher in terms of % (the first 2 years of being pro often is met with less success).
Pro Wins: Federer owns 41 singles titles, including 27 on hard courts, but just 5 on clay, Rafael "Girly Man" Nadal has dominated the clay over the past few years. Tiger has 53 career wins, and does excel on longer courses, however, does not have any real perceived weaknesses when it comes to the type of course he plays. If you projected Federer's wins over two more years, they would be almost exactly equal. The edge, however, must go to Tiger simply because the clay court specialist Nadal has kept Federer from total domination.
Federer has the third longest streak at #1 in the world...and counting. He was the first since 1988 to win 3 Slams in one year. He is the only player ever to win both the US Open and Wimbledon three consecutive times ('04-'06)...and counting. He was the youngest player ever ranked in the top 100. He is the first player ever to win 4 Masters Titles in a year. He and Agassi are the only players ever to win all 7 major hard court championships. First player ever to win a Masters Final 6-0, 6-0. Has share of record for most Grand Slam semis appearances. Tied an "open era" record by winning his first four Grand Slam Finals appearances, and then added three more to the record. He's the only player to win 10 titles in a season without losing a final. Seriously, I'm sick of reading these, check out the link at the bottom of this page for more.
Tiger is the highest paid athlete in the world. When Tiger won the Masters (his first win ever) it was by a record 12 strokes. He was atop the world rankings for a record 264 consecutive weeks and owns more weeks at the top spot than anyone ever. His win by 15 at the '00 US Open at Pebble Beach broke a nearly 150 year old record. In all four majors, Tiger has at least a share of the record low score. Broke the consecutive cuts record of 113 and extended it to 142. First player ever to win two majors in consecutive years. Again, for more check out the link at the bottom.
Really, I'm overwhelmed at this point. How can you even quantify these achievements? I can't believe how close these two are in respect to dominating their sports. I will say that Tiger has no rival, and thus may be slightly more above the competition in his sport, however, his edge over Federer is slim. Federer shows no signs of letting up, and had they experienced the same number of pro seasons so far, Federer may look even better. Final edge is to Tiger, barely.
Much of this information is courtesy of Wilkipedia: TIGER FEDERER
Please share your thoughts, tell me how little I know about golf and tennis, etc.
Patriots -6 JETS
RAVENS -12 Raiders
Rams -3 49ERS
Bills +6.5 DOLPHINS
Chiefs +10.5 BRONCOS
Home teams in CAPS
Suicide Pool Pick
Bengals over Browns: based on their schedule, the Bengals have the fewest "easy" games left out of the heavy weekend favorites.
Steve Slaton of West Virginia rushed for 167 yards in the first half against the school who didn't want him a couple years ago. Slaton finished with 195 yds on 21 carries as WVU thumped Maryland 45-24.
Reggie Bush may jeopardize his heisman as well as USC's National Championships, among other things, as a Yahoo! sports investigation found that he received over $100,000 from agents while at USC. Apparently Yahoo! is into investigating things these days.
Steve Foley, the Chargers players who was shot by an off duty cop 3 times, had a BAC of .233. That sounds more like a batting average. So Foley, did you even feel those bullets?
Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 23 games in a Yankee win over Tampa.
The Mets will clinch the NL East if they win any of their final 16 games, or if the Phillies lose another game (their magic number is now 1).
The Twins (1 GB) and the Padres (.5 GB) are starting to think division title, rather than Wild Card.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Samkon Swapped for Vernand
Gado will likely become the Texans starter, and that's interesting because he started more games for the Packers last year than he did in his entire college career. Yeah, and he went to college at freaking Liberty! Liberty, by the way is D1-AA. He started just two games in four seasons at Liberty because he shared time with two other backs. I don't really understand how this happened, but it did. After getting injured and being cut from the Chiefs practice squad, Gado landed with the Packers last year- on the practice squad. A slew of injuries made him the starter by default in Green Bay, and he scored 3 TD's in his first game and four more after that in his next four starts. A sprained MCL ended his season with a couple games left and Ahman Green's return meant that Gado would have been riding the pine this year.
Morency is just as intriguing, a 26 year-old second year player. Morency was an All-American in both football and baseball, and spent four years playing center field in the Colorado Rockies farm system before going to pursue football at Oklahoma State. At Ok St., he rushed for over 2600 yards, averaging nearly 6 yards per attempt. He was a third round draft pick of the Texans last year.
Gado will likely be starting by next week and Morency will likely be starting after Ahman Green's inevitable injury occurs.
Villanova Heads to the NBA
Randy Foye was MVP of the Vegas summer league after being the #7 overall pick, scoring 24.8 ppg and shooting 53%. Foye should get significant playing time from the T'Wolves this season, especially since he has the flexibility of playing the 1, 2, or 3. He was often responsible for guarding everyone from power forwards to point guards in Villanova's 4 guard lineup, and his defense is expected to translate well to the NBA. 25.2% of the 17,000+ voters on ESPN say Foye will win the Rookie of the Year this year. The player he has drawn comparisons to the most is Dwayne Wade.
On the Wolves this year, Foye will have to fight for his playing time with PG Mike James, SG's Ricky Davis and Trenton Hassell, as well as Troy Hudson at the 3. While the weakest position is obviously the 3, expect Foye to get some starts at the 1 and the 2 also. It may become problematic starting Davis and James together, since both tend to be "chuckers". This would bode well for Foye, who doesn't necessarily always look to shoot first and can attack the basket.
Kyle Lowry was the first round pick of the Grizzlies and had an average summer league, described by ESPN.com as "up and down". Lowry is the definition of a hard worker and his outside shot continues to improve. He is a lock-down defender and rebounds superbly for his size. Everyone loves Lowry's motor (draft lingo), and that should help him gain the respect of his coaches.
Look for Lowry to use this year to learn the NBA game (remember, he's only 20 years old). He'll be playing behind Damon Stoudamire and Chucky Atkins at the point for the Grizzlies. I think Chucky Atkins used to hang out with Lowry's Grandpa.
Allan Ray shot lights out at the Summer League and was picked up by the Celtics. ESPN.com called his performance "among the best in Vegas", and called his contract "impressive, given the number of young players already on the roster". As we know, there is always room on the roster for a shooter. A-Ray easily has NBA range on his 3-pointers and can get as hot as anyone from beyond the arc. The fact that his game is not one-dimensional, however, should give him a chance for more PT.
A-Ray will have to contend with a trio of young talent at the point- Delonte "I swear it's not an STD" West, Sebastian Telfair, and Rajon Rondo, with the obvious presence of Paul Pierce at the 2. I would look for Ray to get marginal, situational playing time until he can differentiate himself form the other young guards.
All three guys have a great chance to start in the league regularly as early as next year, but expect Foye to be the only one with a shot at an All-Rookie team. Coaches are going to love the defense and rebounding that they all developed out of necessity while playing in such a small college lineup.
The Yanks won again as well, Jeter extended his hit streak to 22 games.
Gary Matthews Jr. hit for the cycle as the Rangers beat the Tigers, he is .312/17/74 for the year.
Minnesota lost Liriano for the season after two brilliant innings in a loss to the A's. Twins lead WC by 1.5 over White Sox, Tigers lead division by 1.5 over Twins.
Toronto is within 1.5 games of 2nd place in the AL East. I swear it actually means something to Blue Jay fans. Everyone was talking about it when I was in Toronto two weeks ago.
Tom Brady is pissed about all of the guys the Pats have let go over the past 2 seasons. It may sound like he's whining, but I would be too if I took less $ so they could build a better team.
Tiger Woods trails by 3 strokes going into the final 18 holes in the first round of match play. Federer would not be down by 3.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
You Try Punting With a Knife in Your Leg
Cozad said, "that was for everyone who called me a p*ssy kicker in my life". Well, maybe he didn't say that...
I Guarantee That I Want Some Attention
Let's start with the pro, Roy Williams, who was rated as a top 15 receiver in everyone's fantasy draft, only to continue his career of massive disappointments and rack up a grand total of 36 yards in the Lions 9-6 loss to Seattle. According to Williams though, they easily could have scored 40 (!) points in the game. Yeah Roy, 12 more field goals and you guys were right there, you came so close to shellacking the defending NFC champs by 31 points, I couldn't even believe it. Maybe you and Kevin Jones could have even gotten 100 yards and a touchdown to prevent every fantasy owner in the country from wanting to murder you. So moving on to the guarantee of victory, that was for the next game against the Bears and the NFL's best defense. I don't see why the Lions wouldn't win, especially since they were outscored by the Bears 57-19 in 2 losses last year (an avg. score of 28.5-9.5).
So I don't know if Andre Jones was more ridiculous in his guarantee of a victory over #4 USC. Jones plays for Nebraska, a 19 point underdog in the game. He didn't totally rip the Trojans though- from MSNBC.com, "We’re going to come up on top. USC is a great team. Of course, it’s not going to be an easy game like it was against Louisiana Tech and Nicholls State." Yeah, in your face Nicholls State!
It's one thing to make a guarantee like Rasheed Wallace does, where your team has a legitimate chance to win. In this case, these guys will be lucky to beat the spread. I think the quote from Tommy Boy was:
"Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of sh*t. That's all it is, isn't it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time." Well guys, that's pretty much what you did.
How Could You Not Laugh?
It really is comical how bad Brooks is. He actually got drafted in about the 13th round of my fantasy draft, and my buddy Jay probably received just as much punishment for it as the person did who took Bubba Franks in the 5th round.
For those of you who never saw it, this is Brooks throwing the ball backwards. This was in a real game, and it was considered a fumble. Instead of recovering it, the Saints players should have just taken off their helmets and beaten Brooks onto the injured reserve.
This spawned a video that displays a glitch from the new Madden game (as pointed out by Bill Simmons if I remember correctly). Just sad really that it is called "the Aaron Brooks glitch" and your QB throws the ball backwards every time a certain setting is applied. Only difference is the video game has a much better arm than the real Aaron Brooks.
The Twins won again and remain 1.5 games behind Detroit, while the White Sox lost and moved 4 games back of Detroit.
Hideki Matsushi went 4-4 in his return to the big club, while Bobby Abreu overshadowed him with 6 RBI in the first inning and 7 total for the game as the Yankees kicked 4 field goals against Tampa.
The Braves have been eliminated and will not win the NL East for the first time since I was about 8 years old.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Runelvys Hernandez and catcher John Buck brawled after the third inning in the Royals' 5-3 win over Cleveland...and then went back out on the field at battery mates in the next inning. I think everyone was secretly hoping that Hernandez punched Joe Buck rather than John Buck.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Porter and Cowher, Finkle and Einhorn
Tom Cruise...Still Gay
My dad and I were rooting for the Vikings anyway since the Skins are in the Giants division (actual conversation):
First cut to Cruise
Me: "Why the hell is Tom Cruise at a football game? He must be here for the tight pants."
Dad: "Oh come on! Who the hell wears a suit to a football game?"
Me: "He must have just gotten off the golf course."
Dad: "Ok, this is why the Redskins should lose, no one who invites Tom Cruise to their game deserves to win".
It would have been a historic MNF debut for ESPN if they could have somehow replaced all of that wasted time on Tom Cruise shots with an interview. Any sort of interview, and better yet, they should have let Suzy Kolber do it. This would be like the opposite of Vin Diesel showing up at a gymnastics competition.
Chargers (-3) Raiders
Bengals (+2.5) Chiefs
Eagles (-4.5) Texans
Seahawks (-6) Lions
Titans (-3) Jets
I got a scare, but not as much as the 80% who picked the Seahawks or Pats. Only 3 people ended up eliminated.
QB (tie): K. Warner, D. McNabb
RB: F. Gore
RB: L. Tomlinson
WR: D. Stallworth
WR: L. Coles
TE: H. Miller
W/R: B. Westbrook
K: Jeff Wilkins
Disappointments courtesy of: S. Alexander, C. Johnson, J. Horn, L. Jordan, C. WIlliams, R. Moss, R. Droughns, C. Palmer, J. Galloway, R. Williams, J. Walker, R. Smith, J. Delhomme, C. Cooley.
AL MVP Race
Frank Thomas, DH- .281 BA/35 HR/97 RBI/.395 OBP, Top 10 AL in HR, OBP, SLG, OPS
Vlad Guerrero, OF- .328 BA/28 HR/109 RBI/.381 OBP, Top 5 AL in BA, RBI
Jim Thome, DH- .293 BA/39 HR/97 RBI/.415 OBP, Top 5 AL in HR, OBP, SLG, BB, OPS
10. Paul Konerko, 1B- .312 BA/32 HR/103 RBI/.384 OBP, Top 10 AL in HR, RBI, OPS, SLG
9. Miguel Tejada, SS- .330 BA/22 HR/92 RBI/.381 OBP, 3rd in AL in hitting
8. Carl Crawford, OF- .305 BA/16 HR/70 RBI/.349 OBP, 1st in AL in SB (49), 3B (13)
7. Joe Mauer, C- .350 BA/11 HR/78 RBI/.431 OBP, 1st in MLB in BA, 3rd in AL in OBP (plus he's a catcher...but 2nd half of season hasn't been as good as 1st half).
6. Manny Ramirez, OF- .318 BA/34 HR/101 RBI/.436 OBP, Top 5 in AL OBP, BB, SLG, OPS, Top 10 in BA, RBI, HR
5. Justin Morneau, 1B- .320 BA/33 HR/118 RBI/.375 OBP, 2nd in AL in RBI, Top 10 AL in SLG, OPS
4. David Ortiz, DH- .288 BA/48 HR/127 RBI/.402 BA, 1st in AL in RBI, HR. Top 5 in BB, OPS, SLG. Papi's intangibles give him extra credit, but the Sox collapse and .288 AVG land him here.
3. Derek Jeter, SS- .345 BA/13 HR/91 RBI/.419 OBP, 2nd in AL AVG, 4th in OBP, 7th in SB, nice eyes, team is good.
2. Travis Hafner, DH- .308 BA/42 HR/117 RBI/.439 OBP, Leads AL in OBP, SLG, OPS. Top 3 AL in HR, RBI, BB. His team keeps him from winning it and he's a DH.
1. Jermaine Dye, OF- .328 BA/41 HR/112 RBI/.394 OBP, Top 3 in AL in SLG, OPS. Only player in AL in Top 5 of all Triple Crown categories.
If the White Sox don't make the playoffs, does Dye deserve the MVP? Probably. He and Hafner are (in my opinion) head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to the AL MVP race. If you want the MVP to come from a playoff team, Jeter and Morneau are the most deserving. I think that The White Sox had a good enough season to give Dye the trophy even if they fall short of the playoffs. After a World Series MVP last year, imagine if Dye had been healthy his whole career.
The Giants lost their first game of the season with Eli Manning, but the Chargers have made the best out of that trade. Phillip Rivers completed 8 of his 11 passes (and a TD), while a little-known part of that trade (Sean Merriman) had 3 sacks.
Brad Johnson won the battle of the senior citizen QBs, beating Mark Brunell and the Skins 19-16 on a Ryan Longwell FG. Clinton Portis was effective in limited time, with 12 total touches for 50 yds and a TD. Chester Taylor had 131 total yds and a TD for the Vikes.
Deion Branch was traded to Seattle for a 2007 1st rd. pick. Good move by the Seahawks, that pick will likely be very late in the first round.
The Tigers continue to choke away the division, with the Twinkies closing down to 1.5 games (W.Sox are 3 back). The Royals trail playoff position by just 30.5 games.
In the NL, the Marlins spanked the Mets to move within 2 games of the Padres.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Little Awkward Faces
It's kind of like when you are smiling for a picture and then your face starts hurting and your smile ends up looking all screwed up by the time the picture is finally taken. You start becoming conscious of what you look like, incessant blinking ensues, you know it's going to look stupid. They could just wait for the player to smile after about 2 seconds and then freeze the picture, but no, the players must endure an obscurely long video from the shoulders up.
I don't think anyone has mastered this 30 second head video yet, but I would like to see some crazy mother like LaVar Arrington eating a piece of raw meat, or maybe someone just spinning around in circles. I mean they did let Arrington introduce himself as "Mr. Nickel, School of Hard Knocks", so why not some fun with the face videos as well? The face video could be a lot of fun, we could go with painted faces, masks, the possibilities are endless. I would love for Clinton Portis to do one in costume. This thing has a lot of potential, someone email Chad Johnson.
The Curse of Philadelphia
I attended Villanova University for four years in the Philadelphia suburbs. Our best football player since Howie Long (Brian Westbrook) was drafted by none other than the Eagles after my freshman year. I had to endure the hundreds of Eagles jerseys, flags, and hats adorned by entire families everywhere I looked on Sundays. I was forced to watch Eagles games (the only games televised) until I finally turned 21 and could get to a bar that would show a Giants game (which was only possible if they weren't playing at the same time as the Eagles).
The WORST part though- the Eagles made it at least to the NFC Championship game every single year I was there. FOUR years in a row. During this same span, the Giants were horrendous, leaving my Eagle fan friends with endless ammunition against me. The Eagles record while I was in college: 48-16, the Giants: 27-37. The one year the Giants actually made the playoffs was the 49ers debacle where we blew a 24 point second half lead.
I think the whole thing was really capped off for me my senior year when my intramural soccer team played a playoff game 7 against 11 because six guys from my team were at the freaking Eagles game. Now, my brother is a Freshman at Villanova and I have this terrible feeling that he might be in for it too. My family is almost as cursed by the Eagles as Philadelphia is with the inability to win any sports championship...yessss.
Bill Simmons Agrees
----------Thumbs down to Mike Shanahan for playing another season of Running Back Roulette and messing with the psyches of millions of fantasy owners everywhere. This year he came up with a nefarious wrinkle -- platooning two guys named Bell, just to make it even more confusing and frustrating every time you're flicking channels just as "Bell" is breaking a big run and the announcer is screaming "and Bell breaks through the hole; he could go!" Mike Shanahan is an evil, evil man. He needs to be stopped. We need to bring him down. I've had it.
One thing is certain -- Bell will have a big year for the Broncos. (Fantasy note: Since Denver's success inadvertently spawned a trend of running back platoons throughout the league, could this be leading to us drafting team running games instead of individual runners, kinda like how we draft team defenses? We might have to make the move. The Pats, Colts, Jags, Titans, Texans, Broncos, Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Bears, Falcons, Panthers and Saints all have possible platoon situations this season. That's 13 teams! This is terrible. I hate Mike Shanahan. I really do. He's the Dr. Oppenheimer of this whole thing. And you know he's doing it intentionally. That's what kills me. He's toying with us. Maybe we should frame him for murder or something. This needs to end. I can't take it.)-----------
You know what we're talking about, fantasy owners. It sucks. Personally, I avoided these situations on my teams (not that it has translated to any W's yet).
Maria Sharapova won the women's side, and was quoted as saying, "I believe, at the end of the day, personally, my life is not about a banana". Great quote, but it was in reference to some possible in-game coaching (not allowed in tennis).
Johan Santana improved to 18-5 and lowered his ERA to 2.75. The Twins trail the Tigers by just 2 games in the AL Central.
The Yankees and Mets now each hold home-field advantage in their respective leagues.
Peyton wins the Manning Bowl, 26-21. The key was Peyton eluding the constant pressure put on him by the Giants D, stepping up confidently in the pocket.
The Patriots survived a scare from Buffalo, using a safety to win the game 19-17.
Reggie Bush had 119 total yards in the Saints win; Laurence Maroney had 86 rushing yards for the Pats.
My Picks are 2-2 so far, a winning record hinges on the Chargers tonight, (as does a fantasy win).
Full Fantasy Recap Tomorrow
Friday, September 08, 2006
Using Friday's NY Post (picks in bold, home in CAPS):
TITANS 3 Jets
Eagles 4.5 TEXANS
CHIEFS 2.5 Bengals
Chargers 3 RAIDERS (MNF)
Seahawks 6 LIONS
So there are 5 picks. If I don't go 0-5, I might do this every week.
In my suicide pool, I've got the Cardinals over 49ers this week. Rules are no spreads, you pick one game, if you win you're still alive. You can't pick the same team twice in the season. If I win, I think I get about $3000 so wish me luck.
Lay It on Me Big Fella!
Now, for the record, I always considered these guys to be pretty bad ass so this was very disappointing. Also, it was the freaking first game of the season!!! This is certainly an excusable action if it were to happen in the Super Bowl, but this was so anti-football and anti-manly that I don't know what to think. Maybe they were inspired to kiss by the Dolphins uniforms.
Cowher joked, saying "It was better than the last time, when I initiated it". But wouldn't it have been great if Cowher went off and said something completely manly like, "Yeah I don't know what the hell Porter was thinking, only fags kiss." Now that would have been manly. Ozzie Guillen would be proud.
We Love Useless Information
First, some fun stats about the Marlins team who all basically make the league minimum, yet have managed to stay in the playoff hunt.
-After a start as bad as the Fish (11-31), the closest any team has come to the playoffs is 24.5 games out of the wild card. They should beat that by at least 20 games.
-If the season started May 22, they would have an 8 game lead in the Wild Card, and would be 2 games out of first place.
-15 players (5 Yankees) make more than the Marlins team.
Now, Ryan Howard.
-He's started to draw Bonds-like walks, and is a legit MVP candidate.
-Almost 40% of his outfield fly balls are home runs, only one with higher % was McGwire during that season.
-Could be 2nd player ever to have 180 k's and hit .300 (Bobby Bonds)
-Between walks, k's, and HR's, Howard hits a playable ball in less than 50% of hit AB's.
-Phillies pitcher Scott Mathieson had the following stat line:
0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
As Stark put it, "In other words, this guy faced one hitter and struck him out -- but still gave up an earned run and, according to the box-score gods, recorded more strikeouts (one) than outs (zero)." Couldn't have said it better myself. It was the result of a wild pitch strikeout and the next batter homering (off of a different pitcher).
There are a few other things of interest as well. A few more stat lines, as well as a Yankees vs. Marlins comparison. Check it out (click link at top of article).
Ryan Howard hit #54. 22 games left for Phils.
Rodger Federer advanced again at the US Open. If he wins it, I'll do a Federer/Tiger comparison.
Charles Barkley, Joe Dumars, Dominique Wilkins to be inducted into bball HOF today.
The Steelers beat the "new and improved" Dolphins, and here are your fantasy studs:
Charlie Batch- 209 yds, 3 TD, 23 pts
Ronnie Brown- 60 tot. tds, 2 TD, 18 pts
Heath Miller- 101 yds, TD, 16 pts
Culpepper- 262 yds, 2 INT, 4 pts
R. McMichael- 10 yds, 1 pt
Boise State, the greatest show on smurf turf, crushed Oregon State 42-14 after scoring 42 unanswered points, led by the 240 yds rushing/5 TD's by Ian Johnson.
Clinton Portis and Steve Smith might both be out for week 1. Warm up your Keyshawn Johnson's and TJ Duckett's.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Someone in Florida Knows What They're Doing
Hanley Ramirez- .283 BA, .347 OBP, 13 HR, 49 RBI, 10 3B, 44 SB, 104 R, $327,000 salary
Mike Lowell- .286 BA, .340 OBP, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 66 R, $9,000,000 salary
Anibal Sanchez- 7-2, 2.89 ERA, .208 BAA, Salary N/A (but obviously low)
Josh Beckett- 14-10, 5.11 ERA, .246 BAA, $4,325,000 Salary
Beauty vs. The Beast
ESPN.com said of Sharapova's last match, "Sharapova's father, Yuri, kept a close eye on all the proceedings. He appeared to signal Sharapova at one point by pulling a banana out of his bag". Like he was saying I will chop off Andy Roddick's penis if you don't do better than him in this tournament...or something. Please, if I've been getting too vulgar lately, let me know. As far as the actual match goes, I think The Beast is probably the favorite to move on to the final. She has been making short work of pretty much everyone thus far. But seriously, if Sharapova loses this match, she should probably just think, "well at least I don't have to shave my face twice a day".
Lions Coach Gets a DWNAD
In 2005, he was arrested during an "alcohol-related incident at a restaurant" while working at Ole Miss. I guess he parlayed that into a job with the Lions? After Googling him, I discovered that this "incident" was him being so hammered that he fell down in Subway while trying to order a sandwich. I love how a guy falling down drunk in Subway is an "alcohol-related incident at a restaurant". Classic.
FSU and Miami had the highest ratings for an ESPN college football game...or something. See, ESPN.com said it was the most viewed game ever and then said right afterwards that it was the network's second highest rated CFB game. Either way, I guess a lot of people watched.
Marion Jones had her "B" sample come up negative, which sort of clears her name, and at least allows her to compete. No word yet on that bulge in her pants.
The Tigers should get off their knees and stop blowing their season. They lead the division by just 4 games, and the Yankees are just 1 game back from claiming home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Mets now own baseball's best record by 2 games after beating down the Braves in a double header yesterday.
The Padres are strengthening their Wild Card hold, now with a full 3 game lead.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
That Kid Got...Jacked Up!!
THIS NOW HAS YouTube VIDEO
While participating in my debacle of a fantasy draft yesterday, we saw this video. For those of you who can't view it, its from a youth football game (13 yr olds). After a bigger kid gave a smaller kid a cheap shot away from the play, the kid's father charged onto the field and blindsided the big kid. This was like a kicker getting blindsided by a linebacker, he really nailed him.
The worst part about this is I could see it happening in my town. Parents (especially football parents) are crazy about their kids' sports. Just last year, a parent was threatening a soccer referee in my town. I've been in youth games in the past where coaches nearly came to blows. In most cases, the kids care much less than the parents do. Seriously, if your kid doesn't know how to defend himself, teach him. If they don't care enough to whack the kid back, then you shouldn't either. It's part of the game, and either a penalty or the kid's own payback will do just fine. If you go nuts at your kid's game, everyone will just think you are a giant loser, and if you're lucky, you could even get arrested.
It's a MAN, Baby!!
Our next contest: Who is More Manly? Mauresmo or Rafael Nadal??
And finally, some Serena just for fun: