Monday, September 30, 2013

What to do About Rondo?

The Boston Celtics did right by Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, and Paul Pierce by trading them to the Brooklyn Nets and giving them another chance for them to win another championship, but what to do with their star point guard Rajon Rondo? Rondo who is recovering from a serious knee injury, and who won't be ready to play by the beginning of the season, is still under contract for 2 more years and the team is no where near ready to compete with the likes of the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, or even the New York Knicks for that matter.

So the options are limited for the Celtics (they really only have two options) 1) they let Rondo heal up and play him for whatever is left for this upcoming season and build the franchise around him or 2) they let Rondo heal and trade him as soon as he can prove healthy enough to play at or near the level he was playing at before he got injured. My thought is that it all depends on who you ask. If you're a fan you hope ownership keeps him and builds around him, but if you're management you may want to get as much for a top-5 point guard in the league and who is still in his 20's as you can get.

If the Celtics put Rondo on the market once he's healed and is able to show what he can do I can see several teams lining up to trade for the point guard. The mighty Lakers would probably be the best suitor for Rondo since they've needed a point guard ever since the great Kobe Bryant has started to show his age and Steve Nash isn't going to be long in the NBA. The Lakers can go from a retiring Nash to one of the top point guards in the game in just about 2 years. If I'm the Lakers I'm hoping the Celtics decide to move Rondo.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Raise Your Glasses

To the best closer of all time. To the man with 652 all time saves. To the man that has done it all with one pitch and on just one team. To the man that players on opposing teams respect so much that his goodbye tour was filled with tears (some of happiness to see him go and some sad to see him leave.) To the last man allowed to wear the number 42. To the man who has broken so many bats and dominated so many teams in all his time all with class and dignity. To the man with a .70 era in the postseason which is the best in the history of baseball (with a minimum of 30 innings pitched). To the man with the most saves of all time in the postseason with funny enough 42 saves.

I despised him in 1996 and again in 1999, but there's no way to stay mad at Mariano Rivera. Mo (as he has been nicknamed) is probably the closest thing to Roberto Clemente than all the other players who have to emulate the late Clemente. Mariano Rivera's charitable efforts have gone out to help several poor villages in his home country of Panama. He wore the number 42 in honoring Jackie Robinson and when Major League Baseball retired Robinson's number a hand full of players were allowed to keep wearing number 42 and one of those was Mariano and with the effect he's had on baseball I think it's fitting that he's the last active player to wear the number in a game.

So cheers to the greatest closer of all time. It was a pleasure for me to be able to say "I remember when the great Mariano Rivera used to pitch." and how far class and respect is able to take a person. In my opinion none of his records are going to fall. Mo is going to go down in history as the most decorated relief pitcher of all time and I'm good with that.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Allow me to Look into my Crystal Ball

I woke up to a varying amount of outrage on Facebook over a report that Robinson Cano wants a contract of 10 years and 300 million dollars and immediately I thought to myself "That's a lie. It's a ploy by either side to get leverage on the other side." Robinson Cano knows that he isn't worth 300 million dollars. Even though the money isn't the problem in my opinion those 10 years would make Cano 40 by the time that monstrous contract would expire and seeing what Albert Pujols is going through in Los Angeles I don't see another 10 year deal being given to a player in his 30's.

Robinson Cano has value considering he's the best player on the New York Yankees, but not 300 million dollars worth of value. He hasn't won an MVP, he hasn't won any post season MVP. He does have 2 gold gloves, 4 silver slugger awards (given to the best hitter at each position), and is a 5 time All-Star. All of these accolades show that he is a quality player and he does make second base look way easier than what it really is; Cano will stay with the Yankees. Cano will get a 5-7 year deal bordering 200 million (from 170m - 200m).

Outraged Yankee fans should know better than to believe reports that are coming out before the season is even over. This is about the time where rumors tend to flare up as negotiation tools all to get leverage. Soon you're going to hear that there is a "mystery team" that is thinking about giving Cano something closer to the 300 million than the Yankees are willing to go. It's a tug of war and both sides will come to an agreement somewhere in the middle between the highest offer the Yankees are making and the lowest Cano is willing to go.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Guess Winning does Solve Everything

Last night Jason Giambi hit a walk-off two run home run to propel the Indians past the White Sox and put the Indians in a better position to make the playoffs as one of the Wild Cards, but what people don't bring up is that Giambi was one of the several names that were found to have been using Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). Ray Lewis killed somebody, but got away with it and won two Super Bowls and is now a man of God and no one talks about the blood on his hands. Donte Stallworth was a wide receiver in the NFL and also got away with killing someone by paying off the family of the person he killed and is yet still available to be picked up by any NFL team. Stallworth got his win just by being a professional athlete. Lewis may have or may not have pointed a finger at someone else and paid them off to take the blame. Giambi released a prepared apology through the New York Yankees (the team he was on at the time).

So no matter whether you're a juicer, or a killer, or an expert at receiving DUI's as long as the athlete airs his two minute apology and ends up winning anything at all and have the media kinda over look their off the field indiscretions any player can be "forgiven" and allowed to continue taking part in receiving millions of dollars and may even land in the Hall of Fame of their respective sport. I'm not saying that such players shouldn't be allowed to make a living I'm just saying that these players need to have their dirty laundry follow them around wherever they should land and not have fans take it so easy on them because they have earned the stains on their bed sheets.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Is 3 Weeks too Early to Panic?

The Washington Redskins, the New York Giants, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are all 0-3 which means they've played 3 games and have lost all 3. The reason why they've lost differ, but for the most part all of these teams have been a disappointment. There are about 6 teams that are 1-2 (1 win 2 losses) that have also been a disappointment since they have a fan base that has put lofty expectations on their team. The 1-2 San Francisco 49ers have been flat, the play of Colin Kaepernick has been as none existent as the defense's ability to stop the run, but at least they have 1 win. The Washington Redskins with their own "quarterback savior" Robert Griffin the 3rd have yet to pick up a win and I'm wondering if the Washington fan base is getting a bit scared that he isn't all that was said about him or if their coach is the problem.

Who would've thought that Eli Manning would have 8 interceptions which leads the NFL and the New York Giants offense as a whole would have 13 turnovers through just 3 games? During the preseason I watched a coupe of Giants' games and didn't really see a consistent enough offense out of the Giants, but never would I expect them to look and play this woefully. All the teams that are 0-3 have different reasons why they're 0-3 and the last team to make the playoffs after starting a season with an 0-3 record were the 1998 Detroit Lions and the 1998 Buffalo Bills and neither of those teams won a Super Bowl. So t

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Today is Roberto Clemente Day

Today is Roberto Clemente day in Major League Baseball. Roberto Clemente was one of the greatest Hispanic players of all time not just because of the statistics that he put up while playing the game, but because of the humanitarian efforts that he put while alive. As a player Roberto Clemente had all the tools necessary to be successful at playing right field he had speed, athleticism, and a rifle for an arm that cut down a number of runners trying to take an extra base. To this day I think I've only seen one or two players with arms that would be in the same category as Clemente.

Clemente did so much for kids back in his native Puerto Rico and all over Latin America building schools, play grounds, and baseball fields. The day of his death he was on his way to Nicaragua to deliver aid to people affected by a massive earthquake. Players try to memorialize Clemente by wearing the number 21 which Clemente once wore. Puerto Rican first baseman Carlos Delgado was one of those players as was Dominican born Sammy Sosa and American born Paul O'Neill also wore the number 21 in honor of Roberto Clemente.

I wish I were born in time to have watched Mr. Clemente play live it would've been a thrill to watch as every hit he collected lead to his march to 3,000 hits. If isn't obvious Roberto Clemente Walker is in the MLB Hall of Fame and is a hero in Latin America as he is in Pittsburgh. Today, there is an annual Roberto Clemente award which recognizes players who go out of their way to help others just like Mr. Clemente did when he was alive. Congratulations to Mr. Clemente for being the kind of player I wish my favorite ball player would like to be like.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The WORST Owner in Sports

Jeffrey Harold Loria, the current owner of the Miami Marlins is the absolute worst owner I've ever seen and his treatment of his players is appalling. His behavior does not go with how an owner is supposed to behave. Most owners in sports usually shy away from controversy and media ire, but it seems like Mr. Loria thrives under such conditions. Loria is 100 times worst than Jerry Jones (owner/general manager of the football team the Dallas Cowboys). Loria oversteps his boundaries to the point where he's making calls as to who will be called up to the majors (which is usually the general managers job). Yes, the Marlins have two World Series championships, and yes Loria was the helm for the latest one in 2003, but the way he runs his organization is chaotic at best.

Loria's mistreatment of a sports franchise started when he was part owner of the now contracted Montreal Expos. Rumors had it that once Loria took over the Expos his plan was to move the Expos out of Montreal especially after he failed to capture a new stadium for the Expos, but how did Loria expect to get a new stadium when the stadium the Expos played in still hadn't been paid off yet? Once Loria found his way to get out from the Expos by selling the team to Major League Baseball he was able to buy the then Florida Marlins from John Henry who then bought the Boston Red Sox.

I can't imagine being a Florida/Miami Marlins fan. The ownership wins a World Series and the very next off season the team is stripped down with the general manager working at his owner's orders replaces the players that just won a championship with a bunch of rookies. And the fan based has to sit through more years of futility until the prospects that replaced the veterans can make a miracle run instead of building a potential dynasty.

But the last couple of years Loria has just dropped a heaving, filthy, disgusting deuce on the Marlins and their fans. First, the Marlins finally get their stadium in Miami that has a bunch public funds tied to it so the fans have put up or are going to put the money to maintain the stadium and have to pay to watch the lowly Marlins play way under .500 baseball. Then with their new stadium came a bunch of high priced moves signing veterans that have talent and most of them have a winning pedigree which Loria decides to hire Ozzie Guillen to manage. Anyone following baseball knows that Ozzie Guillen is not a manager for veterans he'd be better off managing rookies. After only one season, Loria decides to strip down the team AGAIN this time because "this isn't working. This team needs a new direction." Never gave the players (who he promised he wouldn't trade) that he signed a chance to perform and traded the majority of them to the Toronto Blue Jays.

This year the Miami Marlins had a Minor League hitting coach Tino Martinez, who Loria had hand picked for the job, got out of hand with several minor leaguers and Loria promised never to reveal who the players were in their internal investigation, but then "sources" revealed the names to the media anyways. One of the players who's been around several teams and was hoping to break through with the Marlins Chris Valaika spoke up against Tino Martinez and because he did Loria decided to overrule his general manager (which rarely happens) and leave Valaika in the minors and calling up another player instead as punishment for his testimony against Tino Martinez. The day Loria sells the Marlins there's going to be a parade and the day will be of celebration that he's gone.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Defensive Hustle

Your team is going down field. Charging down field in no huddle. The defense looks like they're on their heels. You can feel the touchdown coming, but then it all stops. How? No one called time out, the two minute warning has been past. So how did the clock stop? Then you see a defensive player "hurt" down on the field grabbing at his calf. While the training staff is attending to the "hurt" player the defense is getting water and catching their breathe while the offense is standing around losing momentum. Two plays later the previously "hurt" player is back on the field ready to make tackles.

If the NFL wants to crack down on something they should crack down on these fake injuries. It shouldn't be a part of the game. If the defense can't keep up with a high powered offense then that's the coordinator's fault for not planning appropriately against the offense. They shouldn't allow players to just drop and act hurt so that they don't get scored upon. I know it's very difficult to actually know when a player is faking, but I suggest that if any player drops and acts hurt they should miss the rest of the defensive stand. So until the team that is on defense is on offense the player that got "hurt" isn't allowed to go back onto the field. That in my opinion would put a stop to these fakers who just flop on the ground like big babies reaching for a hamstring that they know is perfectly fine.

The NFL is trying to watch for these incidents, but I feel they're more worried of the hard hitting than they are of flopping players. Not only does faking injury cause the team on offense to lose momentum, but it also makes the game longer and cause the fan to watch more unnecessary commercials. Personally, I don't like commercials I want to see more of the game and less of Papa John.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


This Saturday Floyd Mayweather Jr. is going to fight Canelo Alvarez and I don't see anyway Alvarez can walk away with a win. Mayweather is the premier defense oriented boxers around, when he tucks his chin behind his shoulder there's little to no way an opposing boxer can get to him. Alvarez is a young talented kid, but I don't think he's ready for the spectacle that is fighting Mayweather. From the trash talking at weigh ins and in the promotions leading up to fight, including the show on Showtime previewing the fight Mayweather finds ways to get into a boxers mind and considering the Alvarez has to drop in weight to fight Mayweather I don't see it.

Also, Mayweather is going to make at least 41 million dollars for this fight on Saturday and with the pay per view costing $75 instead of the usual $50, Mayweather stands to make even more money. In two fights this year Mayweather has made at least 73 million. Alvarez is going to make considerably less than Mayweather to the tune of 5 million but it could reach 12 depending on the ppv sales. The levels of experience is the difference between the two, but the skills that Mayweather contains is going to lead to not only a bigger paycheck, but a win for Mayweather.

The Mayweather haters hate his arrogance and how flashy he is, but he's earned all of it. Mayweather has fought most of the biggest names in his division and with the sport lacking in star power Mayweather just might be the last big name left. Both fighters are undefeated and one of Mayweather's favorite boasts is that he's undefeated; something I know he'd like to take with him whenever he decides to retire. So put 'em and let's get ready to rumble.

Wow that was Week 1

The NFL sure does know how to put on a show. Week 1 was full of twists and turns and stupid penalties. I'm sure that with how the game is being called football is going to be call flag football soon. But the surprise of surprises had to be between the Jets pulling out the win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Giants having 6 turnover which led to the Cowboys' first win against the Giants in their own home (which is really embarrassing). The Giants can't be too upset about their loss because had it not been for the turnovers the Giants would've easily won that game and also with those 6 turnovers the Cowboys should've won by a larger margin.

The Jets on the other hand better be counting their lucky stars over the over-aggressiveness of a Tampa Bay Buccaneer who had a late hit on quarterback Geno Smith which lead to a 15 yard penalty on the Buccaneers and got them in perfect position to kick a last minute field goal which pushed them over the top to a win that I didn't think they would get. The Philadelphia Eagles showed off their new offense under new head coach Chip Kelly and as fast as they got off to in the first half of the game they just couldn't find the same momentum in the second half and ran only 24 plays while in the first half they went off with 50-some odd plays. The Eagles have the players they need to run Kelly's scheme, but a hard hitting defense will be able to slow them down almost to a crawl.

The Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers played on Sunday and it looks like the rivalry between these two teams is headed back to the days of the 90's when these two teams had several heated showdowns. At one point Packer linebacker Clay Matthews hit 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick while Kaepernick was already out of bounds and it started a melee between the players on the field which lead to a mistake by referees. Since there were offsetting penalties between both teams technically the 49ers should've just lost the down and kicked a field goal instead the referees let the 49ers replay the down which lead to a 49er touchdown. I guess it isn't just the first game for the players.

I can't talk about week 1 without mentioning the show Peyton Manning put on against the defending champion Baltimore Ravens. 7 touchdown passes in one game tied the record for most touchdowns in one game. The Ravens showed little to no pass rush which gave Peyton all the time he needed to pick the Raven secondary apart. Week 2 of the season should have its share of fireworks since the Denver Broncos face the New York Giants, the Seattle Seahawks face the San Francisco 49ers, and the New England Patriots face the New York Jets. Good to all fantasy owners and to all the betters out there.

Coaching 101

If there is one thing that a manager should do it should be to support their players and last night Mike Redmond manager of the Miami Marlins didn't do that. In an instance where his player had acted outside of his normal demeanor I felt that Redmond should've backed his player instead of feeding him to the wolves and giving the opposing team a pass for their bad behavior. Yes, rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez showed up the Atlanta Braves after his home run, but the Braves had started showing Fernandez up first.

After an Evan Gattis bomb of a home run he stared back at Fernandez and watched his home run go deep into the stands and then third baseman Chris Johnson had started talking some not so polite words to Fernandez after he had lined out to left field. Fernandez's emotions got the best of him and he did what he did, was it wrong? Yes, but still Redmond should've backed his pitcher. At the very least mention how the Braves antagonized him to the point that he got carried away. Two wrongs don't make a right, but not defending your player will cost you some respect from your own locker room.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Maybe it's Time you Hang 'em up

It's sad when a veteran holds on for too long and I think Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter should just call it a career. It's not like he is not going to the Hall of Fame. The Yankee "captain" should go out with his good friend Mariano Rivera since they broke in at about the same time. The same could go for Andy Pettite, but he's actually been able to stay on the field and perform. I actually feel like this should be a wake up call for Mr. Jeter to the fact that its time. He's made a ton of money, he's been the face of the Yankees since he broke into the league, he's bulletproof when it comes to critics (outside of me of course).

If Derek Jeter is to retire he could have his pick of networks to go work for. ESPN would probably throw as much money at him as the Yankees did if he decided to go work for Baseball Tonight. Jeter can become the face of ESPN if he wants, but come on man get off the field. He can barely run without needing a CT after the game, his defense is in the toilet and all of his singles isn't worth the 17 million dollars he's making this year. My advice get ESPN for roughly 8 million dollars after a much needed vacation with whatever super model you're currently seeing and enjoy your retirement. It's getting sad especially since the only reason I think you re-signed with the Yankees was because you saw the contract that A-Rod signed and didn't want to lose the "face of the Yankees" label.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Just Because it is Violent Doesn't Mean it is Bad

I'm worried. The way sports are changing these days anything that comes close to contact is being removed from sports. For example, in football what used to be a legal hit to a wide receiver over the middle that is up in the air now is "hitting a defenseless receiver" and getting anywhere near a quarterback is a flag. Now people are trying to change the only thing in baseball that even comes close to a collision. In baseball there are rare plays at home plate where a runner collides into the catcher trying to knock the ball out of the catcher's mitt, sometimes the collisions are violent (where unfortunately the catcher gets hurt) but most of the times the collisions don't even happen.

In 1970 Pete Rose knocked out Oakland A's catcher Pete Fosse at an All Star game and Fosse was never the same after that incident. I can say that Pete Rose was a nut and shouldn't be a Hall of Famer, but that's a post for a different day. It has been a part of the game since day 1 and it shouldn't go away because gasbags want to be all sensitive.

I heard an ESPN gasbag say "Let's leave boxing as the only violent sport" and I thought to myself "how soft is society getting?" Why can't this rare play stay as part of the sport as it always has been? It isn't everyday that a catcher gets ran over by a runner and gets hurt. Catchers who don't know the appropriate way to block home plate usually are the ones that get hurt. Getting the ball and bracing for the collision usually helps the catcher avoid getting injured. Now stop messing up sports and teach kids the right way to do things.

Friday, September 6, 2013

If Mo wants to go let him GO!!

Mariano Rivera (Mo) has been closing games for the New York Yankees since 1996. Racking up 649 saves with a career era of 2.21, he's the best closer in the history of MLB. Mo's dominance doesn't only reside in the regular season, but in the post season Mo has pitched to the tune of 42 saves and a remarkable .70 era. What makes Mo's career that much more impressive is that he's done all of this with just one pitch. The cut fastball. When his cut fastball is working (and it rarely isn't) it's as unhittable as it gets. While other closers have 95+ mph fastballs Mo gets it done with his cutter.

Considering that Mo has gone above and beyond for the Yankees all these years he's earned the right to say when he wants to retire and he's said that this is going to be his last year in the majors. As is custom in MLB when a specific player has decided to retire other teams offer gifts of appreciation to said player. When Mo had his final game in Minnesota the Twins gave Mo a rocking chair made of broken bats (which is part of what makes Mo's cutter so devious because it has the potential to shatter any bat). So as Mo's goodbye tour continues more and more teams are showing the legend respect with standing ovations and the such.

Imagine being Mo's manager, you would obviously want to keep Mo at the back end of your bullpen until he can't even walk anymore, but cut it out. Don't try to "talk" Mo into staying he's decided he's done let him ride off into the sunset and end his career. The Yankees have his replacement in David Robertson let him come into Spring Training knowing he's the main option at closer and not have to worry about the shadow of Mo hovering over him; Mo isn't Brett Favre.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How I see the Season Ending for the NFC

NFC East
1. Washington Redskins - QB Robert Griffin the 3rd (RG3) is going to learn to slide and get out of bounds and avoid getting hurt. That alone should put the Redskins at the of this wide open division.
2. New York Giants - I didn't see much offensive consistency during the preseason which should is a problem, but I still like the defensive line of the Giants which should help carry them.
3. Dallas Cowboys - How much trust can you put in "America's Team" when they've been under-performing for years?
4. Philadelphia Eagles - New coach, new system that really should've stayed in college. This isn't going to be pretty.

NFC North
1. Green Bay Packers - With QB Aaron Rodgers on the field I don't see how teams will be able to outscore the Packers. Yes the defense needs more of a punch, but Rodgers puts the ball in the end zone...a lot.
2. Detroit Lions - I hear the Bear fans outrage, but QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson aka Megatron should be able to put up enough points and if the defense can show some maturity I think they should make a run.
3. Chicago Bears - QB Jay Cutler is feeling the heat and needs to perform for a new contract as does his favorite target WR Brandon Marshall, but I feel with the new coach and system it may not be for this year.
4. Minnesota Vikings - How long can you rely on a running back that had his knee rebuilt? 

NFC South 
1. Atlanta Falcons - How many more weapons does QB Matt Ryan need before he gets out of that elusive championship?
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - That defense this year will cover many of the mistakes that QB Josh Freeman makes this year.
3. New Orleans Saints - I'm glad they have their head coach back, but I think they're window has closed a bit more on them and the Saints haven't kept up with the other teams in their division who have been loading up on talent.
4. Carolina Panthers - Talk about not keeping up with the division. The head coach Ron Rivera is gone after this year.

NFC West
1. San Francisco 49ers - Probably the most physical team in the NFL. QB Colin Kaepernick gets his first full season as starting QB. The wide receiver corp took a hit with the loss of WR Michael Crabtree and needs more depth.
2. Seattle Seahawks - A talented team on both sides of the ball, but with 6 suspensions of PED use in 2011 that has to raise some eyebrows.
3. St. Louis Rams - A young and talented team with a very good defensive line, but not exactly ready to compete with the likes of the 9ers and Seahawks.
4. Arizona Cardinals - I feel for Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald who is in his like 9th quarterback in the last 4 years. 

How I see this Season Ending for the AFC

These are going to be the standings in my opinion for the upcoming football season...

AFC East
1. New England Patriots - Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will make stars of these no they usually do.
2. Miami Dolphins - They're actually going in the right direction. If QB Ryan Tannehill takes another step forward they may actually make noise in the East.
3. Buffalo Bills - It's going to be a tough year for rookie EJ Manuel and the team is going to usual.
4. New York Jets - It's ugly. Geno Smith isn't anywhere near ready and head coach Rex Ryan is going to get fired.

AFC North
1. Cincinnati Bengals - James Harrison should help bolster an already strong defense and just like the Dolphins QB Andy Dalton needs to take another step forward
2. Pittsburgh Steelers - QB Ben Roethlisberger lost a major weapon this off season and I think the offense takes a step backwards.
3.Baltimore Ravens - I've never seen a Super Bowl winning team lose so much talent in one off season and that's going to lead to them losing a lot. Even though that defense (like usual) should be better than average.
4. Cleveland Browns - They're the Browns. They should be used to being last by now.

AFC South
1. Houston Texans - They're the class of the AFC South and adding Ed Reed can't hurt that is once his hip is ready to go.
2. Indianapolis Colts - QB Andrew Luck is good, but I don't think they're ready to compete against the Texans. They may steal the Wild Card like they did last year.
3. Tennessee Titans - Outside of running back Chris Johnson I don't see even another bright light on this team.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - I feel for running back Maurice Jones-Drew.

AFC West
1. Denver Broncos - QB Peyton Manning and the Broncos are going to fly through the West. Manning has too many weapons even though the Broncos defense is suspect at best.
2. Kansas City Chiefs - New QB (Alex Smith) and new coach (Andy Reid) are going to be solid not quite contenders yet, but should easily finish second in this division.
3. San Diego Chargers - The only thing keeping me from putting them under the Raiders is that at least they have a semi-competent QB in Philip Rivers.
4. Oakland Raiders - Al Davis the ex-animated owner is gone, he past away last year. And the sadness will carry on because the team is going to bad.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Proof that it isn't Always About the Money

Yesterday Adam Dunn Designated Hitter (DH) of the Chicago White Sox interviewed with Ken Rosenthal baseball insider for FOX Sports and Ken reported that Adam Dunn is ready to retire after this season because he's not having fun. Last season the White Sox were a surprise contender in the American League Central finishing with a 85 wins and 77 losses and missing the second wild card by 8 games. This season the White Sox have 56 wins and 81 losses 20 games back of the second wild card and 24 games back of the Detroit Tigers who pretty much have the American League Central wrapped up. Adam Dunn played his usual game of hitting a ton of home runs while also striking out a lot, but he enjoyed the run the team had last year being on the fringe of playing in the playoffs.

This year it has been a stark 180 for the White Sox. They had high hopes at the beginning of this year, but unfortunately things didn't go their way. The White Sox knew they were "sellers" (a team that is has given up on the current season and is trading away the veterans for prospects to build the team up for the future) early and traded away Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, and a couple of pivotal bullpen arms to contenders. Those were signs to Dunn (who has another year left on his deal worth 15 million) that next season just might be just like this year. White Sox manager Robin Ventura thinks that Dunn is kidding about retiring, but Adam Dunn is not your typical player. Adam Dunn could have 499 home runs and says that if he's not having fun he's willing to walk away from any home run chase or money.

This is refreshing to me, in today's age players tend to look out for themselves and their money instead of the reason why they started playing baseball. Baseball is fun, especially when the team is winning, when the team is performing and contending smiles are everywhere, guys are looking up at the scoreboard hoping and praying that the team they're chasing or are chasing them loses, and those are the moments that as kids you think of while playing ball in the backyard. I know that's why I played. Adam Dunn understands this and I'm glad that he's voiced his opinion. Hopefully this isn't the end of his career.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Have Pitchers Evolved into Babies?

In the early to mid 1900's pitchers were throwing 300+ innings in a season. Going the distance (pitching 9 or more innings) was the norm and pitchers would do it because they would take pride in throwing all them innings. Now a days pitchers that get over 200 innings is a workhorse. Justin Verlander won an MVP and a Cy Young with 250 innings pitched in his 34 games started. This year Clayton Kershaw is having his dominant year and is already at 209 innings which leads the National League and ultimately is going to win him the Cy Young and maybe even the MVP (depending on who you talk to) for this year, but the old school workhorses used to look at the innings now and laugh because those innings numbers would have been in mid to late August for them.

What has changed, well money. Clayton Kershaw is making 11 million dollars this year and is going to break the bank this off season when he is set to become a free agent. Justin Verlander made 12.850 million when he won his MVP and is making upwards of 20 million now. As the philosophies of teams have changed to pitching and playing better defense pitcher's salaries have been on the rise. Now a days if you're a perennial Cy Young candidate or just win one Cy Young you'll probably leave a bank somewhere with heavy pockets. RA Dickey won a Cy Young with the New York Mets in 2012 while making 4.25 million dollars he was traded after the year to the Toronto Blue Jays where at the end of his current deal he's going to be making 12 million dollars a season.

How are innings being cut back, well in today's baseball game a pitcher is asked to go at the very least 7 innings (if the team has an average bullpen) or throw 100 pitches whichever comes first. Once the 7th inning arrives you'll see a reliever in the game to go either one inning or one hitter (if he's a specialist). After that reliever then comes another reliever for the 8th inning and the closer for the 9th (if there is a save situation). There are ways a pitcher can end a game he begins; if there is a perfect game (9 innings, no hits, no runs), a no hitter (9 innings, no hits, no runs, but a few walks) or if there are chances to rest the pitcher in the weeks ahead or he was economical while he was in the game (to the point where he didn't reach the 100 pitches by the 7th inning or later). The more scarcer situation is if the bullpen needs a rest, then no matter what the pitcher may be out there to throw 9 innings that's when a pitcher is going to have to "bear it" so even if he's getting rocked he'll stay on that mound until the manager can't take it anymore then he'll try to find the freshest arm to then remove the starting pitcher.

With salaries for pitchers being this high organizations want to keep their pitchers on the mound so the innings are being cut back little by little. With more pitches being thrown there are bigger chances for a pitcher to get hurt and with the dread Tommy John surgery (named after pitcher Tommy John who was the first player to get the surgery where doctors replace the deteriorated ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow) out there organizations don't want to the risk of losing any of their pitchers especially their "ace" for a whole year (which is typically the amount of time it takes to recover from Tommy John surgery).

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Jets Must Hate Success

The New York Jets are the New York Mets of football and it is appropriate that their names rhyme. Through either bad decisions or just plain ol' bad luck both teams end up disappointing their fan base and yet their fans have grown to understand their teams will most likely always be second fiddle to the New York Giants and New York Yankees respectively. The Jets have an awful quarterback in Mark Sanchez, but I feel that the Jets went against what made them and him successful in his first 2-3 years when they reached the AFC Championship game a couple of times and that was running the ball and playing strong defense. Slowly but surely the defense has gotten older and slower to the point where their defense is now with little to no talent and they haven't had a running back that was worth a damn since Curtis Martin.

I don't know who's idea it was for them to put Mark Sanchez (their scheduled Week 1 starter) into a preseason game in the 4th quarter with what seemed like the 3rd string offensive line, but yet there he was and to no surprise of mine he has suffered a shoulder injury that is going to keep him out for a while and now the Jets think that going with Geno Smith at quarterback over Matt Simms (who in my opinion had the best preseason at quarterback for the Jets) it's going to right the ship since he could do both run and throw, but I think that Simms is better built to handle what is going to be another rough season for the Jets.

So instead of J-E-T-S...Jet fans better get ready to chant G-E-N-O because the Geno era has started. This quarterback situation has lead to a rift between management and beleaguered head coach Rex Ryan (who is probably the strongest supporter of Sanchez). Rex Ryan would've preferred it if Sanchez started because he was the one who drafted Sanchez and even when the execs signed Tim Tebow last year Ryan stuck with Sanchez through a bad year and an infamous butt fumble which even today makes me laugh. Sanchez has had a terrible time with the Jets, but to an extent he has been set up to fail. I know about 3 names on their defense and their rotating door at running back couldn't have helped. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I Guess Bill Belichick is God..

Wherever Tim Tebow has gone he's brought his circus with him. Insane fans yelling and pleading for him to be on the field, hoards of media members hounding the head coach asking time after time "When is Tebow going to play?" "How many snaps are you going to give him?" "Don't you think he's better than the quarterback you have now?" and so on and so forth, but when he signed with the New England Patriots Bill Belichick's first meeting with the press he said "This is the last time I'm going to address Tim Tebow with you guys" and I thought to myself "Yea right, he's going to get hounded just like the rest of Tebow's head coaches" but I was wrong. Up until their last preseason game and with his recent release I hadn't heard a peep from Patriots camp about Tim Tebow.

The strong willed Belichick does things his way and doesn't apologize for any of it. He has Super Bowl rings and trophies and feels like he can do whatever he wants with the Patriot franchise and get away with it and to an extent he can. Without Belichick the Patriots don't win all them titles and Tom Brady never gets to start and his greatness would never be known. Belichick takes his risk with players sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. He took a chance with Tebow and it didn't work, but it doesn't faze Belichick he'll just assign Tebow's number to the next project he picks up.

Am I glad that Tebow is (as of right now) out of the league? yes, because at times people in the media get so obsessed over this guy you'd think he'd be the best quarterback to ever come out of college. He's a career 47.9% passer. In other words he's only completed 47.9 percent of his passes and in a fluke of a game he was able to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a playoff game. He is not a number 1 option at quarterback hell he shouldn't even be an option at quarterback, but a team out there will give him a chance. The Buffalo Bills have no quarterback (due to injuries and inefficiencies) I can see them giving Tebow a shot. I'm thinking he'd probably be better than the rookie they're thinking of starting. Plus with the hype (or circus like I prefer to call it) that surrounds Tebow there's always going to be a team to give him a shot.

To Redskin or not to Redskin

So welcome to the age of enlightenment, the Washington Redskins name has been around since 1933 and the issue with the name "Redskins" has also been around since just about the same time. The term "Redskin" has been used as a positive and a negative connotation for Native Americans. Different people have used the history of the word as a reason to either boycott going to their games or to dress up in Native American attire and attend the games. I'm of the mindset that if it has been around for this long and yes it is offensive, then the teams should make an effort to either change the name or appease the insulted people. 

The Washington Redskins should change their name, too bad the owner isn't interested in that option. Nor is he interested in appeasing the insulted Native Americans (because let's be real everybody has a price). The team will continue on with their name and continue on making money off of the name and there is no one that can change it. Not even Congress who had 10 members send a letter to the owner of the team and to the commissioner of the league asking that the name be changed and not only has the owner yet to comply, but the commissioner of the league has cited the nickname's origins and traditions, and polls that support its popularity. So you offended folks are protesting and pretty much wasting your time, because the name isn't going to change any time soon.