Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thoughts on Kobe and Trade Machine Fun

Ok, let me quickly tell you what I think about the whole Kobe "get me out of LA plea". I don't blame him for feeling this way because the Lakers' organization just isn't putting any talent around him. However, the way he went about handling things was obviously all wrong.

However, I think the harsh reality in this for the Lakers is that they may need to start seriously looking at trading Kobe Bryant. Sure, he is widely considered the best player in the NBA but they aren't winning with him and he's become an off-court parasite. The Lakers need to do what is best for the Lakers and that means either surrounding Kobe with a lot more talent or trading him if the trade is right. Something tells me that if you surrounded Kobe with some more talent, probably a good, young post player that he would be content to stay in LA and continue to basically run the team(Kwame Brown is a joke, Lamar Odom isn't the answer, and Andrew Bynum showed some potential but didn't really improve last season). He said he wanted to go but I don't believe he does. He wants to stay and bluff his way to some help on the court. However, whether or not he was serious a trade may be in the best interest of the Lakers. While it might be in their best interest however, look for Lakers' GM Mitch Kupchak to try his best to avoid being the guy who traded away Kobe and Shaq.

So in recent light of Kobe's shenanigans I was recently inspired by WBRS Sports Blog to head on over to and play around with the Trade Machine. Now keeping in mind Kobe, my lowly Bucks, the Cavs need for someone to compliment LeBron, and the TWolves and KG this is what I have created. Now, I'm going to lay it out for you but it is much simpler to just CLICK HERE to view it in the trade machine.

lose: Michael Redd (to TWolves) and Charlie Villanueva (to Cavs)
get: Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum (from Lakers)

lose: Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum (to Bucks)
get: Kevin Garnett and Randy Foye (from TWolves)

lose: Randy Foye and KG (to Lakers)
get: Michael Redd (from Bucks) and Donyell Marshall (from Cavs)

lose: Donyell Marshall (to TWolves)
get: Charlie Villanueva (from Bucks)

Ok, keep in mind first of all that I like the Bucks a little, and that I took this trade machine thing about as serious as I take the NBA: only a little bit during the playoffs. Anyways, Kobe gets outa LA and gets to completely and totally run the show in Beertown along with the raw Andrew Bynum. The Lakers get KG and Randy Foye to replace Kobe and take Smush Parker's spot giving them a better chance to win now. The Cavs get Villanueva which gives them somebody other than King James who can perform and makes them an even more serious contender next year and the TWolves get the silently disgruntled KG out and get good star power from Redd and another pretty decent player in Donyell Marshall.

This trade would never really work because Kobe has a no-trade clause and I somehow doubt him choosing to come to Old Milwaukee, but who knows. I was just messing around and trying to incorporate some disgruntled players, my favorite team, and some needs I see in the Cavs right now. It was fun.

So what do you think about the Kobe situation and my trade that I created? Also play around with the trade machine a little and lemme know what some of your trades look like.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

If this isn't a choke, then I don't know what is...

So I was watching my Giants take on the Mets Tuesday night on ESPN. This is another good thing about the Bonds' HR chase (in my opinion obviously), more nationally televised games.

The game was pretty much dominated by the pitching and defense from the middle until close to the end of the game. Rookie sensation Tim Lincecum had a solid outing for the Giants in a no-decision with 7 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, and 8 K. Oliver Perez had a great performance as well for the Mets lasting 7 Innings as well with 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, and 8 K.

Did I say solid pitching till the end of the game? Well atleast until the 12th. And then there was Armando Benitez.

Let me recap the 12th inning...

Giants finally broke through in their part of the 12th, Omar Vizquel started it off with a walk. Then Fred Lewis bunted Vizquel over to third after Vizquel advanced to second after a wild pitch. Mark Sweeney was then HBP. Randy Winn then grounded out while Vizquel scored, beating out the tag to take a 5-4 lead.

Then this happened...

Bottom of the 12th, Benitez walked Jose Reyes to start it off, then after multiple pick off attempts and foul balls, Benitez balked. I thought it was a questionable call. It looked like he was just doing what every other pitcher does; the ump proclaimed "he started and stopped", but to me it looked like he was just moving his left leg back closer to his right leg after getting the pitch call from catcher Bengie Molina.

So Reyes advanced to second, then Endy Chavez sacrificed him over to third. Carlos Beltran then grounded out to 2nd basemen Kevin Fransen. So two done, tying run on third and Carlos Delgado to the plate. Benitez then hesitated and made an obvious flinch, balking again bringing Reyes home to tie the game. There was no questions about this balk though, this one was blatantly obvious.

Then of course, the next pitch Delgado sent a walk off HR over the RF fence. I mean when was the last time a player balked twice in a game? How about twice in a month? I mean wow, Benitez choked horrendously. This got me wondering... why did the Giants ever trade away Joe Nathan?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Think It's About Time You Drop the NBA Conspiracy Theory!

So last night I was driving home from my girlfriend's house around 1:20ish AM and I was listening to ESPN 710 (Bismarck). Let it be known right now before I slam what I heard that I don't like ESPN Radio in the first place. I like Mike & Mike in the Morning and The Dan Patrick Show but that's about it. The rest is trash in my opinion. I much prefer Fox Sports Radio. I don't understand why one would want to listen to Sportscenter when you can watch it on TV. You can even watch Mike & Mike if you want to. Regardless, here it goes....

I'm driving home and whichever idiot was in charge (Jason Smith, John Smith...something like that) was talking about the Spurs vs. Jazz game. He was talking about how often the Spurs were at the free-throw line (41 times to Utah's 20) especially in the fourth quarter. Headlining this statistic was the fact that Manu Ginobili went to the line 15 times. Now Manu had a great game. He went for 22 pts. on 4-10 from the field and 12-15 from the line. For some godforsaken reason this numbskull decided to correlate this to the NBA Conspiracy theory
. He claimed that, "The NBA shows its international players a little too much love." He said that, "The NBA wants to promote its game globally by showing favoritism to it's popular foreign players and it's teams with those foreign players."

What the hell is wrong with you? Where have you been? I'll admit that I used to be a subscriber to the various NBA conspiracy theories myself. However, in light of the recent events of the NBA I don't see how it is possible to believe in this crap. I no longer believe in the NBA conspiracy theories and I don't see how anybody possibly still can.

You have the whole Spurs vs. Suns suspensions that basically ruined the series and ultimately helped to alter the course of this year's NBA champ. On top of that you have the first two picks in the draft going to the Blazers and the Sonics. You have the 2 best prospects in the best class since the Lebron, 'Melo, and DWade class going to two small-market teams in the NW where the NBA doesn't exactly thrive.

There are a multitiude of NBA Conspiracy theories out there and all revolve around money. They all have to do with the NBA making decisions and certain things happening on and off the court revolving around revenue. Basically to be a good NBA conspiracy theory you need to find a way to get the NBA to sell out for the green. Both the suspensions and the draft lottery have negated the NBA conspiracy premise completely.

Just by looking at what has been going on in the NBA as of late I find it nearly to impossible to continue to buy into this crap. Short of maybe Dirk getting the MVP there has been nothing really to legitimately conjure up such a stupid idea this season. Especially since when you think about it if Dirk wouldn't have won it Nash would have. Both are foreign players anyways so don't try and justify his dumb ideas with this example either.

Does this seem as foolish to say/think to you as it does to me or do you still buy into the conspiracy theory(s)? If so what are your favorite or most ridiculous theories and why?

Dear Readers and Visitors...

Just wanted to let my fellow Sports Flow audience out there that I am soon to be blogging/writing on college football/hoops topics at Write On Sports.

I will still obviously be writing here at TSF, but ever since I started blogging I wanted to join some other blog or start another where I can focus just on college football and college hoops; because TSF focuses on just about everything. Maybe one day I will start my own College Football blog. But I found out about Write On Sports and figured this would be a great opportunity to share and express my main area of expertise, which is College Football of course.

I really enjoy sports blogging, and contributing to another blog (especially about college football) has been my incentive since TSF has gotten a little more popular. I really think I got used to this blogging thing and at first it was just a small little hobby looking to get my opinion out there about certain sports topics and such. Also, it is a great way to get my name out there for now, especially since I want be involved with the sports world/media when I am older.

I will let everyone know once I start my first article over at Write On Sports. And at this time I just want to thank everyone who has spent valuable time here leaving comments, reading all the posts and putting up with some of my crap. The visitors are what keeps TSF on it's feet. I would also like to give a special thanks to Joe (grittysquirrels) who has helped me run TSF from the get go and the minutes spent making this blog better and better. And another thanks to Ted for his great guest posts, he has a brought another great sports mind to this blog. Thanks again.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Take Your Pick: Defending Against LeBron vs. The Pistons

Alright all of this dissecting of LeBron's every move has had me thinking a lot. So, naturally, I arrived at a mental crossroads which inspired me to blog....or just boredom one of the two. OK, so who would you rather gameplan against the superstar or the all-around team? The best example right now would be the Cavs (LeBron) vs. Pistons matchup so that's what I'm using to iron all of this out.

Ok so who would you rather have to gameplan against that one guy who can beat you, and beat you bad or the team where any guy can step up and beat you on any night? To arrive at my pick was rather simple I suppose. Just look at the 4 teams remaining in the NBA Playoffs. 1 Superstar (King James) and 3 other all-around teams who seem to be calibrated for the playoffs. To me this really spells it out nicely. I would much rather gameplan against LeBron than have to gameplan for the Pistons. Right now, if you can stop LeBron you stop the Cavs. That's why I think that they are a year, maybe 2 years or 1 player away from making the finals.

Take a look at teams like the Pistons and Spurs. Nothing too exciting or flashy. They just play defense and win....especially in the playoffs. In looking at the Pistons they have any number of guys that can beat you on any night. One night Chauncey will beat you and the next night Rip will tear you up. Not to mention Webber, 'Sheed, and McDyess. You can't just focus on beating the one guy. Whereas the Pistons can beat the Cavs by really mainly focusing on how to stop LeBron, getting a double-team on him, his tendencies, and taking away those tendencies and opportunities. With a complete team like the Pistons most likely nobody will explode on you but there are too many ways they can beat you and too many things to worry about.

Basically, I would rather have to focus on stopping the one guy who can beat you badly than having to worry about stopping a team full of guys who can beat you. That's what the Pistons are, and LeBron is the lone ranger when it comes to superstars in this year's playoffs right now. My pick was Cavs in 7. This was mostly because because I don't like the Pistons. It will be interesting to see if my prediction holds true but don't' be surprised to see a Spurs vs. Pistons final of "boring" basketball. Because these two teams are built for the playoffs and I think a lot of NBA coaching staffs would probably agree with me in preferring to gameplan against a LeBron, Kobe, or Dwayne Wade-like player than teams like the Spurs, Pistons, Jazz, or Suns.

But that's just my opinion. Some would maybe argue that it would be easier to not have to worry about double-teaming anyone. They would say that the Cavs just need to focus on winning individual battles and creating favorable matchups which would be far easier than stopping the LeBron's of the world. All you need to do is have everybody do their job right? You have a better chance to win if you are gameplanning against the team that doesn't have that superstar threat.
I disagree with that point of view though. Once again just look at the teams that are in the playoffs right now. Look at the superstar-studded teams that are at home watching. Right now I'd much rather be a coach sitting on the Pistons bench than the Cavs bench, they probably get more sleep at night. Although, if you're sitting on the Cavs bench trying to figure this stuff out you probably deserve to be paid more.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

College Hoops Talk

Brandon Rush withdraws name from Draft

The KU star decided to stay for his junior season after withdrawing his name from the NBA Draft Friday.

Even though I usually enjoy seeing college players return instead of jumping early, I am quite disappointed. It's always good for the college game, but I am a Missouri Tigers fan and I hate to see a KU player return to an already stacked Jayhawk team. Especially since his brother, Kareem, starred at Mizzou.

But personally, I'd have to say it was a smart decision. I am sure he really thought about it hard and talked it over with his two brothers. I am sure he doesn't want to make the same mistake they did, especially Ja'Ron. Kareem had a solid 2-3 years but is currently no where to be found.

I give credit to B. Rush for making a wise decision to stay, I just wish other college players would realize the NBA will always be there; I know I am not alone when I say this because the college game is simply just better, more entertaining and intense to watch.

Check out Jason Whitlock's recent column on Rush: This can be good for you, Brandon

Three Point Line Pushed Back
The NCAA on Friday approved moving the men's three-point line back 1 foot in 2008; from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches.

The decision by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel marks the first major alteration to the three-point shot since its adoption in 1986-87.

The men's basketball rules committee recommended the measure May 3.

I'm not going to lie but I'm not a guy who is really into change at all, but I think this will improve the college game. It will space things out more everywhere; the lane will be opened a little more and it won't be as congested.

Plus, we will see a little more of the real three point shooters. Some shooters won't be as tempted to shoot the long range shot. I really hate seeing big guys shooting three pointers. I remember watching games where it was three after three after three.

We'll get to see a little more of everything. Also, it looks like we'll see a lot more zone defense as well. Believe me, it won't just be the offensive side that will be changed drastically here.

But overall, I am with the majority of the fans and media, It shouldn't be a shot where teams average over 33%. It should be a much tougher shot, and taken less frequently.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pulling Out the Big Guns

At 8 games over .500 and 5.5 games in the division lead my Brewers weren't pressing the panic button when they called up their top everyday prospect in Ryan Braun. They were proving that they are serious about winning now. I was a firm believer of leaving him in AAA Nashville until he was more polished but I've had a change of's why.

I've always been a big fan of letting kids mature in the minors. I always thought that it is better for them to polish their skills than to ride the bench or struggle in the majors. I'm ready to make an exception. I thought the Brewers were fine with the horrendous Counsel/Graffanino platoon at 3B. Hell, they were constantly 10 games over .500 with what I believe was the worst 3B production in the NL. So why mess with it? After one game of Ryan Braun (not even a win!) I know why. Because they want to win and win now and I'm ready.

This is the Brewers year in the NL Central and they know it. They're better than they have been in recent history and the NL Central is historically weak. Doug Melvin is goin' for the jugular. Most avid baseball fans know, and ALL real Brewers' fans know what this kid can do. Just 2 years removed from the University of Miami campus he was starting his first big league game, and I'm ok with that. Why? Because I think he might not struggle like some think he will and this team needs this boost right now.

Braun started at 3B and batted 2nd. He went 1-4 with 2 RBIs and a double and no errors in the field. They lost the game, however a large comeback bid was made via HRs by Prince Fielder and JJ Hardy. This got me thinking, which can be dangerous but sometimes productive. I know he was just called up but what about batting Braun 3rd right now!? It sounds crazy but it might be crazy genius. Ok, so if Braun's in the 3-hole he's gotta get good pitches to hit right away - at least until he shows he's a legit major league hitter. Think about it. Ahead of Braun would be JJ Hardy -tied for NL lead in HR's and RBI's & behind him would be Prince Fielder -tied with JJ for NL lead in HR's. He's gonna get in a lot of good counts and no one will want to walk him to get to Fielder. This way he'll get a few fastballs down the middle most likely if the count is full or 3-1. also, with Hardy, Gwynn or Weeks ahead of him chances are he will have guys on base ahead of him to drive in runs. People on base+good pitches to hit=major production.

He batted in the 2-hole tonight, which is ok. However, I just feel like Hardy is an extremely good fit in the 2-hole and the protection that he and Fielder could give Braun could do wonders for him. However, nobody can be there for you in the field, so we'll see how that works out. So far so good though in my opinion.

What do you think about the call-up, the Brewers, Braun, and my idea? Is it too soon for me to go out and get myself a #8 Ryan Braun jersey?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Buy or Sell: Interleague play

We've really been hitting the NBA hard on TSF so I want to spell you readers a bit with some baseball banter. Although I have an idea on the NBA I'm gunna cut you a little break. Buy or we go.

Interleague play is great right? I mean who doesn't love to see the Mets vs, Yanks, Braves vs. Red Sox, and the Angels vs. the Dodgers? But interleague play is definately not fair and I'm not a fan.

As a Brewers fan our "Big" interleague foes are the Twins. Ok, so I consider the Cubs to be rivals and our relationship to the Twins to be something secondary to that. However, I do understand that there are those few great rivalries that I named above which are indeed great for the game. They're wonderfully entertaining matchups and get great attendence. But, the bottomline is that Interleague play messes with records, scheduals, and playoff races. That's why I'm selling interleague play.

Case and Point: The Braves have to play six games against the AL East-leading Red Sox, plus have series against the Tigers, Twins and Indians. In fairness, the Mets have six with the Yankees as well as series against Tigers, Twins and A’s, all four Al 2006 playoff teams, while the Phillies get series against the Royals, Blue Jays, White Sox, Indians and Tigers. Because the Braves have to play the Mets, they have the toughest strength of schedule of any team in baseball; the Mets, unable to play themselves are stuck with the third toughest schedule. In theory. Since the Mets were the best team in the National League, playoffs notwithstanding, they should have the toughest schedule!

"I don't think there's any question it’s not fair, but I don't think Major League Baseball is concerned with fair. If you play the top teams in the American League and everybody else doesn't, it's pretty unfair. If we're going to play the American League Central, everybody has to play all the teams in the American League Central. This split-it-up and we have to play our rival in the American League East stuff, I don't get it. It's unfair for us and the Mets on a year-in, year-out basis to have to play the Yankees and Red Sox when other teams don't.” - Chipper Jones

Yea, and I agree with that too. The NFL finds a way for the worst teams to have easier schedules and I think MLB needs to figure out a way to do this with interleague play. That way maybe they could come a little close to creating some parity in who is contending for the playoffs at the end of the season.

When it comes to interleague play I strongly believe that last place teams should get to play other last place teams and those of similar winning %'s. Either that or maybe there would be a way they could figure it out by payroll (before you kill me on that one it's just an alternative idea). If you don't do that at the very least take Chippers' advice and set it up so every team in the AL East plays every team in the division and not just the Mets and Braves. That would at least begin to even out the divisional races.

It's the whole newly added wrinkle that requires teams to play so-called regional rivals in home-and-home series each season, such as Braves-Red Sox, Yankees-Mets and Angels-Dodgers that makes Chipper mad. I can't blame him. Interleague play is unfair and baseball knows it. But these series, we'll call them "the Big 3" are here for bigtime ratings and bigtime $$$. I would love to sit here at my keyboard and just continue to put interleague play to death but I want to tell you this right now: Interleague play isn't going anywhere and I don't think that MLB has the desire or cares enough to make the changes necessary to make it fair. So, as a result I'll just have to keep on hating Interleague play.

I'm going to leave you with this amazing quote in regards to interleague play. Read it, soak it in, and take it to heart because this is truly wonderful writing.

“Like most sensible people, I hate interleague play. I can describe this hatred, but to explain it would be to do violence to the depth of my contempt for a misbegotten, half-animate monstrosity.

The distinctive and unique qualities of the World Series are gone because of interleague play, as is much of the prestige of winning the World Championship. Interleague play, though, is not to be scorned because it has evil effects. Its evil is fundamental to its nature. By its existence alone, interleague play marks out the rest of the schedule as unworthy of notice — filled with meaningless games of little consequence, mere preludes to the garish spectacles on offer at the beginning and midpoint of summer.

The slow, comfortable rhythm and routine of the long season, into which we should just now be settling as May winds into its final days, is suddenly broken; the charms of small games against minor teams give sudden, abrupt way to games of apocalyptic consequence.

- Tim Marchman- NY Sun

Are you buying or selling Interleague play and why?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

2007 NBA Mock Draft

Here's The Sports Flow's 2007 NBA Mock Draft:

1. Portland Trail Blazers- Greg Oden, Ohio St.
Please Portland, take Oden. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a player with this caliber. Big men like this are hard to come by these days and believe me, he won't disappoint. It would be smart to take him over Kevin Durant.

2. Seattle Sonics- Kevin Durant, Texas
I bet the Sonics were jumping out of their pants when they heard they had the 2nd pick. It looks like Rashard Lewis will not be sticking around much longer and Durant will be able to take his place. He is a franchise type player and once he puts on some mass, he'll be an all star.

3. Atlanta Hawks- Brandan Wright, UNC
The Hawks have many options here... they could use a PG in Mike Conley Jr. but I don't believe they will go that way with this high of a pick. They could use a center in Al Horford or Yi Jianlian as well. But I don't think they can pass on Wright even though they already have some good forwards. They seem to draft a forward every year so why not again?

4. Memphis Grizzlies- Yi Jianlian, China
The Grizz need another post presence to compliment Pau Gasol. Yi can play all over the floor as well. He can take you inside or step out and hit a 20' foot jumper. He has great ball handling skills and is very light on his feet for a 7' footer.

5. Boston Celtics- Corey Brewer, Florida
Boston is still a pretty young team. They need another defender and scorer and Brewer brings that to the table. Brewer showed his last 2 years of college ball that he is a force on both ends of the court and Danny Ainge will not look past that.

6. Milwaukee Bucks- Jeff Green, G-Town
Green is a type of player that can contribute right away. He has the skills and attributes of an NBA player and I feel he is ready. A lot may argue that the Bucks will pick a big man but they still have Andrew Bogut and Charlie Villaneuva; and at the SF position they have oldies in Charlie Bell and Ruben Patterson. Green would be a great fit in Milwaukee.

7. Minnesota T'Wolves- Mike Conley Jr., Ohio St.
The Wolves have desperately needed a PG over the years and now is their chance to get a great one. Conley is what you like to see in a PG... he thinks pass first, sees the court so well, and can get to basket whenever he needs too. Him and Garnett could make a great tandem.

8. Charlotte Bobcats- Al Horford, Florida
I do not like having Horford this low but I believe these other teams are more focused on fulfilling their needs before taking the best talent out there. Well, unless, your name is Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. But the draft is about a month away and I may reconsider but I think the Bobcats could use another big man and won't pass on Horford obviously if he is still available.

9. Chicago Bulls- Joakim Noah, Florida
The Bulls haven't been satisfied with Ben Wallace, and P.J. Brown will be retiring soon. This is a great opportunity for them to get a big man that will take them to the next level, and help out the great young talent they already have in Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, and Tyrus Thomas.

10. Sacramento Kings- Julian Wright, Kansas
The Kings are in a rebuilding mode and could use Wright's athletic talent and potential. He is very unselfish which will make Mike Bibby and Ron Artest happy. Wright has a lot of strengths and will bring a lot to this organization.

11. Atlanta Hawks- Spencer Hawes, Washington
This is where I think the Hawks will address their post problems. They still need a PG, but I think Hawes could contribute right away. His passing ability and smart play is what the Hawks need.

12. Philadelphia 76ers- Al Thornton, FSU
This is where the Sixers will take the best available. Thornton could benefit a lot from playing behind a player like Andre Igoudala and his one on one skills are what the Sixers want in a forward.

13. New Orleans Hornets- Nick Young, USC
The Hornets could use a SG/SF and Young would probably be the best available at those positions. Young would be a great scorer to have off the bench. His athletic ability is tough to pass up on as well.

14. Los Angeles Clippers- Thaddeus Young, G-Tech
The Clips could use an athletic forward in Young. He is capable of becoming a great scorer and can hit from the outside. But it will take sometime, probably a few years to mold him into a true NBA player.

15. Detroit Pistons- Jason Smith, CSU
The Pistons will need another big man sooner or later. So now is a great time to get a great talent in Jason Smith out of CSU. Smith has great technique and mechanics for a post player, kind of similar to Rasheed Wallace. Detroit should like that.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My World in Sports: A Little bit of Everything

There's a lot going on in the world of sports right now. I'm going to give you my opinions on what I find worth giving them on. Don't like them? Leave a comment, and then I'll see if it's worth thinking about or not.

King James = Cowardly James ?
I honestly think this is so stupid that people are talking about this so much. Sure LeBron has the knack on him that he doesn't like to take the last shot or whatever, that's fine to think that and have that predetermined notion of him. However, this is absolutely positively not to be included in that. He passed to a wide open teammate in Donyell Marshall in the corner. That is exactly what he is supposed to do, and as far as the other superstar players in the league they should take some notes. This is extremely commendable for multiple reasons: 1. It's incredibly unselfish, 2. Marshall is WIDE OPEN!, 3. Marshall is hot, having made probably 5 shots just like that to bury the Nets earlier in the week why the hell not give him the ball if he's so open, and 4. it shows a lot of maturity in James. I think he did exactly what he should have done and exactly what a lot of superstar players in this league fail to do. So drop it. I don't wanna hear about this on ESPN anymore.

The NFL's Character Issues
There was the big deal with Pacman and Henry a month or so ago and I love Roger Goodell and now it looks like he might have a few more decisions to make. Because this offseason has made it blatantly obvious that the NFL has a few issues off the field. The Bengals dropped AJ Nicholson on the day of his court date....think anyone will take a risk and pick him up? I think I probably would, but not for much. Also the Broncos and Jets have put themselves on the Board recently each with 1 arrest apiece. However, the biggest deal for me on this one is the Vick thing. His whole "I'm just here to win football games, people will love me no matter what I do blah blah blah" thing kind of bugs me. I'm not one of the PETA-type people or anything but I hope he goes down for the dogfighting thing if these allegations really are true, which I strongly believe they are. He's a role model and look, he's had his chances (think water bottle at the airport). I hope Goodell continues to rule with the iron fist.

NBA Lottery Tonight
I think it's a really fun way to do it but a really unfair way to do it. Any questions revert to this post. I just think it's a parity killer and money making machine. So, it has its pros and cons. I guess all I can do is hope that the Bucks get Oden or Durant. I'm just not a huge fan of the NBA or their lottery draft. Some people might love it but I, personally, am a big fan of the whole worst team picks first type of deal but, oh well. It's kinda fun to watch.

Welcome To the Jungle We've Got Funny Tasting Water
Doesn't quite sound like Guns & Roses does it? It sounds more like a creative excuse to me but could be true I suppose. Foreman was the heavy favorite and heavyweight champion of the world at the time. But if this whole story really is true why is it coming out only now? That seems a little bit fishy to me. Is it the truth or a sort of lame excuse? Is Foreman trying to sell more copies of his book, get more attention, be a sore loser, or stir up some conspiracy theories? I don't really know we'll have to see if anything becomes of this. However, this whole thing has accomplished something. I never thought I would blog for even a minute on the sport of boxing. So I guess somebody can tell Foreman to drop it now.

The Big D picked to Rake in the Big D
Dallas won the sweepstakes for the 2011 Superbowl. It will be played a their new $1 billion stadium that will hopefully open in 2009. It won because it will be able to seat 100,000 fans. That's about 27,000 or so than the other finalists Indy or Zona. Which is smart I guess because I imagine that will probably gross maybe another $20 Million plus for the NFL right there. I have no problems with this. The stadium will be like brand new, make more money for the NFL, and have more fans at the biggest event of the NFL season. Why the hell not? Makes perfect sense to me. Now they just need to finish building the thing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

So, just who is Yi Jianlian?

You're part of the coaching staff of an NBA team, it's June 28 and you're on the clock, looking to make the third overall pick in the NBA Draft. Wondering, should we take one of the amazingly smooth forwards out of UNC, Florida, or Georgetown or try to steal a center? You quickly remember that multi-dimensional centers are hard to come by these days in this guard dominated league. You look down the list and see the name Yi Jianlian and decide to take a chance with it.

From my perspective, good choice! You may have never heard of Yi Jianlian before, but now you have. We may have the next Yao Ming on our hands.

While much work is ahead for Yi, he especially needs to gain upper-body strength and build on-court intensity, but he has gained the NBA's interest with his height and athleticism and is expected to be picked in the high rounds of June's draft.

Yi is easily China's best prospect for the NBA. His American style of playing sets him apart from other Chinese players.

Yi is a raw talent; he already has a great basketball build with long arms, all in a 7-1 frame. His greatest attribute is his incredible coordination and athleticism for a seven footer. He is a natural athlete. Unlike many 7 footers, Yi is very smooth and fluid and does not move awkwardly.

What sets Yi apart from other raw athletic big men is his soft touch. Like Chinese NBA players Wang Zhi Zhi and Yao Ming, Yi has a very good shooting touch. He has range out to 20 feet, and can hit the mid range jumper with much consistency.
Yi is a great talent and would be a solid number 3 pick. Milwaukee, Charlotte, Seattle, hell even Phoenix could use this guy. Just imagine the Suns with this guy for next year.

I believe Jianlian will make an immediate impact next season and could help fill a void for many teams. I think he is the real deal and years down the road we may have another Yao Ming.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Graduation Sunday Videos

Well yesterday was well spent eating from 9AM-9PM. I'm up a little early to get at you here before both members of TSF will be graduating from the prestigious St. Mary's Central High School. Afterwards I will be again promptly heading out to eat everybody else's food again for the rest of the day. Here are some outstanding videos I've been bookmarking for you viewers for the last couple weeks. Enjoy them like I enjoy BBQ Pork Sandwiches.

The Must See Video: Wiffle Ball Stadium

If you only watch one of these videos in it's entirety please let it be this one. This is one of the coolest things that I've ever seen. There is just something very beautiful about a serious wiffleball field. I also enjoy the major league facial hair and such. This video gave me a good laugh while putting me in a sense of shock and awe as well. Does anybody own a property or have any ideas where we can start a wiffleball/backyard baseball field?

We Love Brett Favre

I obviously love this video because I indeed love Brett Favre. The music is also pretty sweet. I think I like that version a little better than Toby's...Anyways, Favre is back for another year..gunna break all the major passing records, become a first ballot HOFer and probably still not earn the respect he deserves. This man has been through more personally and overcome more family tests and continues to rise to the top. I honestly don't understand how you can't love this guy even if you're a Vikings' fan.

This Very Well Could Be the Best Thing About Interleague Play

I'm not a huge fan of interleague play and I plan to touch on my thoughts and feelings a little later with a full post. However, a video like this does make a strong argument for interleague play. I mean, without it something like this wouldn't happen. And does it mean that I'm immature if I laugh at this video? Finally, what is that little guy who jumps out and ruins the race...some kind of a crab or something?

5 Straight Conference Finals Appearances

A lot of people think that this is the team to beat in the East but I think that Cavs in 7 is what we're lookin' at for this series. King James will show his dominating abilities, the Cavs will play defense and this series will surprise a lot of people.

Probably My 2nd Favorite SC Commercial Ever

Last time I offered to you viewers the Y2K one, which is probably my favorite. It's tough to beat, "Follow me....Follow me to freedom!" But I laugh every time I hear "Get up, walk it off... your parents signed the permission slip, get up man." - Props to Sports Videos Blog

This is Very Funny

It probably shouldn't be but this is very entertaining and very funny to watch. I'm partial to "The Bearclaw" myself...

OK, and I'm off to the kitchen to eat leftover egg burritos from my openhouse with my grandma!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Spurs and Cavs advance

The San Antonio Spurs closed out the series Friday night with a 114-106 victory of the Phoenix Suns.

Manu Ginobili (inset) lead the way for the Spurs with 11 of 27 shooting from the field and finished with 33 points and 11 rebounds.

Once again, the Spurs looked impressive in a win without swing man Robert Horry. You should be hard-pressed not to have the Spurs as your NBA champion right now.

As for the Suns, Amare Stourdemire tried to make a statement as he lead all scorers with 38 points and 12 rebounds of his own.

This was an entertaining series to watch. Seems like these two teams have started a rivalry now after this controversial series.
Both teams seem to hate each other more than ever and I am sure we will be seeing more from both of them in the near future in the post-season. I am sure this will end up being the best series of all the playoffs once it is all said and done.

San Antonio will host the Utah Jazz on Sunday in the opening game of the Western Conference finals. It's the Spurs' third trip to the conference finals in the last five years and they won the title the other two times.

Now to the east, the Cleveland Cavaliers topped the New Jersey Nets 88 to 72 as Lebron James continued to impress with 23 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds. Donyell Marshall (I have his autograph) provided a spark off the bench with 18 points.

The Nets couldn't get things going and had a rough 4th quarter as they shot a lowly 13% from the field. Jason Kidd put up 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists and Richard Jefferson scored 16 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in the loss.

Cleveland won the series 4-2 and heads to Detroit on Monday night for its third appearance in the conference finals and the first since 1992.

Conference Finals Predictions
Spurs over the Jazz in 5
Cavs over the Pistons in 7

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Take Your Pick: Bonds vs. The Field for 2007 NL MVP

I'm definitely not The Sports Flow's official Bonds fan here (that's ming), I'm more the official, complete and total passionate Bonds hater. Anyways, I found myself in a conversation with a manager at work about a week ago. The conversation revolved first around the Brewers pummeling his Pirates, but then shifted towards this year's NL MVP race. Granted it's really early to be talking about this but can anybody other than Bonds win the NL MVP right now!?

As we speak right now it looks like Arod will make a pretty strong case for the AL MVP this season. However, the NL race MIGHT be a bit more open. If and when Bonds hits that fatal blast that sends the sports world into a downward spiral will that make him a lock for some after-season ass kissing? Let's look at stats.

Right now Bonds is batting: .301 AVG, 11 HRs, 23 RBIs, with 40 BBs and an OBP of .511. He's only K'd 15 times all year while slugging .699and this is in a total of 93 ABs.

Let's look deeper.
HRs: t-3rd --> He's tied with Dunn and trails my beloved Prince and sexy JJ.
BBs: 1st
OBP: 1st
SLG: 1st
K's: 1st --> I'm guessing...the list stops with players who have only K'd 17 times making him literally off the charts.

These all look great but you might say that 3rd in HRs isn't enough. OK, well to put things in perspective he's tied with Adam Dunn who also has 11 HRs but 54 Ks as to Bonds mere 15! For RBIs he's middle of the road and he's doing all these HRs, RBIs, Rs, and BBs on about 50 less ABs then everyone else atop the HR and RBI charts. If he can keep this up is there anyone who can rival him for it even if my Bash Bro's from Brewtown keep up their end...which would be rare. Throw in these stats with breaking THE record. Yes THE record, maybe in all of sports and is there any way that he doesn't win it. This is all besides the whole steroid issue and I'm trying to stay away from it so let me simplify it with as little rage as possible. Bonds will break the record...Bonds will probably then win NL MVP...Bonds will deserve neither.

The field is decently strong. Headlining in opposition of Bonds right now I like: Todd Helton, Prince Fielder, JJ Hardy, Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins, Chipper Jones, Miguel Cabrera. Ok look, the field is incredibly hard to predict. It all depends on who does what and how teams do later in the year. But will it even matter? Because, unfortunately with Bonds, barring a god-forsaken injury, will break the record and then I find it pretty tough not to see Bonds as this year's NL MVP.....I'm disgusted.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Suns look done and Bison inching closer to deal with Florida

Game 5 of the series between the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns continues tonight. Game 4 was awfully ugly as 3 players have been suspended due to some altercations in the game. Robert Horry has been suspended 2 games for his hard flagrant foul on Steve Nash and elbow to Raja Bell. Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw are out for tonight's game after leaving the vicinity of the bench during the incident.

I may be a Spurs fan, but I think the suspensions of Stoudemire and Diaw are definitely unnecessary and wrong. I don't think they left the bench to get at Horry. I believe they did it because that was their star player who Horry completely took out. The rule was designed for guys coming off the bench meaning to throw punches; which wasn't the case for Diaw or Stoudemire.

Rules are rules, yes they did break one, but I think this is a dumb rule by the NBA and it needs to be changed. Look how much this will effect the series. I gotta believe the Spurs will win game 5 now. The Suns had some momentum after their game 4 win and now these suspensions will no doubt change the outcome of this series.

As for Horry, his suspension is well-deserved. His cheap shot to Nash was definitely un-called for and his elbow to Raja Bell finalizes the 2 game suspension. He just lost his head. But his suspension won't effect the Spurs as drastically as the Suns.
Do you think the suspensions were handled well and fairly?

NDSU oh so close to deal
A report from the Fargo Forum states that North Dakota State is close to signing a contract that would have its men’s basketball team play two-time defending national champion Florida next season.

“We are on the very, very ending stages of negotiations,” said Bison head coach Saul Phillips. “I’m confident it will get done. It’s a matter of sending and revamping faxes to each other.”

Phillips is working with a sports marketing group based in New Jersey that plans to host the Blue Ribbon Classic – a five-team round-robin tournament that will be held at multiple locations.
In a span of two weeks, the Bison would play two high-major teams on the road. Phillips confirmed that would include a game at Florida, which won the 2006 and 2007 NCAA tournaments. The Bison would also play a mid-major team on the road and would host a mid-major team.

In other notes, the Mid-Continent Conference has announced a name change which will now be the Summit League.

Monday, May 14, 2007

My World in Sports: I Can Finally Breathe Again

It was just a few days ago that my world came crashing down on me. I had just finished working a morning and it was about 2:30 and I showered, changed, and crashed on the couch only to see that "Brett Favre Wants to be Traded". I didn't know what to do. I was literally speechless. Between this fiasco and the emotional high my Brewers and I have been riding I've barely been able to catch my breath. However, I've had some time to think and collect myself as the issue has died down and I think I'm now emotionally ready to blog about this, and everything else going on in MY world of sports.

-Favre's going to retire as a Packer. Honestly, as I sat there and thought to myself I could not bring myself to envision Favre in a Redskins, Broncos, 'Phins or Jags uni. There is just something evil and wrong about that. I knew he was upset about not getting Moss and the focus on D rather than bettering the was I. I don't doubt he said it but I know he didn't mean it. He is a passionate and emotional person who was letting it shine through a bit too much (think also comments on Javon Walker contract situation). He was upset just like a lot of fans. He will retire a Packer, and you can quote me on that. It is also worth mentioning that there was a trade situation ready to go down to the Pack but then the Pats made a bid and Moss went with them because he felt it gave him a better chance to win now.

-Now, obviously the Pack aren't going to get Moss but Ted Thompson now knows Favre is upset and means business next year. Prediction: I think Thomspon makes a strong push for Keyshawn Johnson. He honestly might be the next best bet out there and I sort of hope they pick him up. Which, is weird because I'm definitely not a Keyshawn fan. If Teddy can do that they'll have Driver, Keyshawn, Greg Jennings (all-rookie selection last year), and Koren Robinson (fresh outa prison) for their receiving corps. This looks very promising. The bigger question mark for me is RB. I'm not real big on this whole RB by committee thing. I do like Brandon Jackson outa Neb. but he is so injury prone. And while Morency can be successful I know he can't carry the load alone.

- Dear Brett,
You are still my favorite sports figure of all time. I still relish in your greatness. I still love you in a totally heterosexual way. I still have your Fathead hanging in my basement. You're still my childhood hero and I understand you were upset. I forgive you. Now, let's kick some Viking ass next year as you break all of Dan's records. Go Pack Go and Favre 4 Ever.

In love,

- The Brewers have cooled down a little bit as of late and JJ Hardy is showing flashes of Robin Yount. They lost back-to-back games for the first time since the 1st week of the year and blew their first lead after 7 innings (previously 21-0 with a lead after 7) tonight in Philly. Definitely worth note: JJ Hardy is leading the NL in HRs - and yes that includes Barry Bonds-....something probably 50% or more of baseball fans don't know. Keep an eye on this kid. Can he keep it up? We'll see, I know he can hit for this kind of AVG and OBP but we'll see if the power surge continues. GO BREWERS!
Current Stats: .327 AVG, 12 HRs, 37 RBIs, .376 OBP, and .628 SLG.

- Don't crowd Bruce Bowen on D. In case you are even more oblivious to the NBA Playoffs than me, here's the video. He is one of the best defenders in the league but Bruce Bowen has a bad rap as a dirty player....and I think that hurts him here. The move looks rather unintentional, and if it weren't for his poor reputation in the league I think he could get away with it much easier. Personally, I think it was intentional. And as a Spurs fan I'm sure Ming will defend Bowen. However, I just don't see how you can't be the slightest bit skeptical of something like that, given the kind of history Bowen has in the league - even though Bruce gets in the most trouble on D. The foul has been moved up to flagrant and it will be interesting to see where it goes from there.....I wonder if this year's playoffs have made Nash feel a bit like a punching bag or crash dummy or something. Maybe for his sake the Suns should just lose out.

So I guess NBA refs are racist...

This may be a few weeks old but I want to give my insight on this.

An article according to The New York Times (what a surprise) states "A coming paper by a University of Pennsylvania professor and a Cornell University graduate student says that, during the 13 seasons from 1991 through 2004, white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players."

Ok? Are you trying to look like complete retards? Did you happen to know that well over 80% of NBA players are African-American? This isn't racism, it's math. I guess hockey refs are racist against their own race too because they call more penalties on white players.

In this politically correct world we have gone too far. If you read the New York Times article you can see they even give in to this study. It is quite ridiculous. I love to bash the NY Times, it is probably the 2nd most left-wing newspaper in the country (behind the St. Petersburg Times). I don't mean to be getting into political issues here, but boy do I hate the NY Times. I mean, speaking of being biased, why doesn't the NY Times look at some of their own articles and news it provides... this is a newspaper that hates it's own country.

From the article it says "Both men cautioned that the racial discrimination they claim to have found should be interpreted in the context of bias found in other parts of American society."

If you're going to say that, then why don't we just institute Affirmative Action into the NBA like we have in all other parts of American society? I mean, it's only fair.

Why don't you professors stick to what you do best, which is teaching, and let the NBA refs stick to officiating. And me? Well, I'll stick to blogging.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day and Throwin' a Bone.

I would like to semi-apologize to the readers for the dry work by TSF this weekend. We've both been super busy with work, graduation openhouses, and dinners. However, Sunday night I finally have a chance to get at you (with a full stomach mind you).

I want to start out by saying Happy Mothers Day. I want to give a special wish and thank you to the mothers of The Sports Flow: Linda Laszewski and Maureen Ming (Mama Mo Ming). We love you guys.

Readers can expect a more sports-related post, most likely by ming01, tomorrow afternoon being as WE DON"T HAVE SCHOOL BITCHES! We just have graduation yea, be ready.

Weekend Links

I've been really busy this weekend so I just wanted to get in a quick post. Here's some links you should check out. Enjoy...

Which sports star would you like to get drunk with...(A Price Above Bip Roberts)

This Rap is Dirk-A-Licious...(Insomniac's Lounge)

Check out this terrible jersey nominee...(Just Call Me Juice)

Can you say Facial?...(Our Book of Scrap)

The Spurs are supposedly dirty... (Pabaon Sports)

Ricky Williams is still puffin...(Squeeze Play Sports)

Bulls just about done...(Windy City Sports Blog)

I hope you enjoyed these links. The Sports Flow will be back atch ya with a new post Sunday night/Monday morning

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Buy or Sell: Instant Replay in Major League Baseball

So, I came downstairs and flipped on the TV just in time to catch second-base umpire Gerry Davis call Willie Bloomquist safe while stealing 2nd base on Monday night. Replays (along with the naked eye) confirmed that he was tagged right on the ass while his hands were still almost 3 feet away from the bag. It was honestly one of the worst missed calls/bad calls you will see in the majors.

"With all we've been through, it was a well-deserved break, and it came at a good time. I'll take it. On the play itself, I thought it was actually pretty close. But when I got a chance to see the replay ... well, he called me safe, so I was safe. It's a good thing there's no instant replay in baseball." -Willie Bloomsquist-

But is it really? Something as little as that, just a bad angle that lead to a bad call by the 2nd base ump can change the outcome of a game. So I was thinking, Maybe Willie's wrong. Maybe instant replay is something that baseball needs to seriously think about.

I'm buying instant replay in Major League Baseball and here's why:

I think overall instant replay has been a success in the NFL. Although it elongates games I think it's more valuable that the right calls are made (taste bitterness of me thinking of the 1996 Wildcard game where Jerry Rice fumbled, the Pack recovered, they called it incomplete, and T.O. went on to win that game for them). However, instant replay in baseball would definitely have the opposite effect. Instead of appealing calls, managers arguing, and umpire conferences, you could just have a replay official quickly view it and make sure the correct call is made in the case of something like what happened Monday night.

Shorter games (however not by much), and getting the call what's not to love about the idea? Well it would take a considerable amount of money to set the whole things up with the equipment, more officials, and etc. Also a lot of people would say that it would be threatening the integrity of the game. The old game. The original game....America's past time.

Look, there was no instant replay in Ruth or Aaron's time because...gee I don't know, maybe because we didn't have the means to! Duh! There was no instant replay in the NFL up until 1999. Now that we have the means to why the hell not!? It works for the NFL (most of the time), it works for the NHL, it works for NCAA Bball and the NBA when the game is on the line, and it worked extremely well in NCAA Football (At the 1-A level). It would just be better for the game if things like this didn't decide games.

Instant Replay is not going to hurt the game of baseball or threaten its integrity nearly as much as that 8-letter word beginning with ster- and ending in -oids. Get with the times. Everybody else has gone to it so give it a chance or at least some thought. Giving each manager 1 challenge a game I think would probably work wonders in this. Most games would probably go with none or maybe 1 being used. And if each manager only had one they would not waste them, they would be used almost exclusively in game-changing fashion like we saw Monday night.

I just don't see how getting it right could be anything other than a good thing. What do you think about instant replay in Major League Baseball (If you're a Yankees fan I might already know your answer)?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

NDSU Bison vs. Florida Gators, could it be?

Rumor from over at the Bison Media Blog is that the NDSU basketball team is trying schedule a game with the two-time defending champion Florida Gators.

This is the word from Steve Hallstrom on his blog. "Nothing finalized as of early this evening (Tuesday) with Florida, but I know there was something to be decided one way or another on Tuesday. Now it appears it will be at least late Wednesday. There's been a lot of speculation about it being a tournament, but the way I'm hearing it it's a game with Florida on November 9th. Could be both, who knows. What a way that would be for the Saul era to begin. First game at FL against the 2 time defending champs."

Yes, you heard it. There may possibly be a match up between NDSU and Florida. I mean, with Florida's top players gone, I really think NDSU could pull this off. They upset #13 Wisconsin in 2005 and #9 Marquette this past season. And it's not like Florida will be a top 15 team next year, but you never know with Billy Donovan on the sidelines.

This could be another big step for NDSU basketball. Imagine the upset of the two-time defending national champions. What kind of headlines it could draw. I really hope this game gets finalized and it could mean even more time in the national spotlight for NDSU.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Glorious Guest Post: San Francisco, On My Mind...

Hello, friends. My name is Ted. By this point, you probably know that I do most of my word-smithing over at this site, but occasionally I contribute elsewhere, such as Sports Flow. Today, I'm doing just that, with a look at the Bay Area's Athletic Renaissance.

It's a bad time to live in Dallas - think Romo's lack of ability to grab a snap, Dirk's proven ability to become a 3rd grade school girl in the playoffs, and the Rangers in general - or Houston (the Texans as a whole, T-Mac this postseason, and the current state of the Astros) - or even Washington (the Skins were laughable this past season, the Nats might break the single-season loss record, and the Wizards were swept in Round 1).

But, it's a good time to live in the Bay Area.

It's funny how things ebb and flow so quickly in terms of the geographic distribution of sports success. The A's and Giants have been good for a while - 2005 and 2006 were actually the Giants first losing seasons since 1996 - and the Sharks are always kinda sorta on the verge of something they never seem to get, but the current revolution in professional sports relevance by the Bay is quite startling. Consider:

The A's
The deal with the A's is simple: if they hang with the Angels until September, the division gets decided by those two teams meeting in that month. Nothing more, nothing less. The Rangers and Mariners, right now, aren't going to change that equation. Right now, the A's alternate between being a game back and being tied. Looks like another September of 10pm start times on the East Coast.

The Giants
The Giants, who were the NL representative to the World Series as recently as my senior year of college (crap - does that date me?), fell on hard times the past two seasons but look better now. They're only 3 games above .500 as of me writing this, but their pitching has been pretty good - Zito turned things around after a slow start, Matt Morris is reminding people he's still alive, Noah Lowry and Matt Cain are good young starters, and Tim Lincecum (while shelled in his first start) is at the MLB level, which can only be good over time - and their offense is extraordinarily old, but getting contributions from unlikely places (think back-up catchers). It helps that Bonds is sending them into orbit way faster than anyone expected he would.

The Warriors
The crown jewel of the current Bay Area sports scene, the Warriors were absent from the postseason for over a decade, then returned with a Baron Davis Bang, taking down the No. 1 seeded and prohibitive favorite Mavericks in six games. They're down 1-0 to the Jazz right now, but if you've seen any games played at Oracle Arena this postseason, you know it's gonna be pretty hard for them to lose there. As such, if they get 1 game in Utah, they might win this series. Warriors in the Western Conference Finals? Wow. Talk about a Bay Area sports renaissance.

The Niners
The Niners, arguably football's all-time proudest franchise, haven't been to the playoffs since 2002. Things are looking different for this season, though. Alex Smith is entering his third year - conventional wisdom dictates that's the year you break out, unless your surname is "Carr." Frank Gore led the NFC in rushing last year, and they picked up some defensive studs in the off-season: Nate Clements (free agent), Michael Lewis (free agent, not book author), and Patrick Willis (draft). Joe Staley in the late first round was decried by some as a bust, but I'd call it a steal. All he's gonna do is help protect Smith and Gore, and about five days before the Draft, people had him going No. 10. Mike Nolan, who's cool because he wants to wear a suit on the sideline, could become known as one of the NFL's better coaches in the next half-decade.

The Sharks
Since 1997-1998, the Sharks have missed the playoffs just once ('02-'03). Granted, they've never made the Cup Finals during that entire run - they made the Western Finals a few years back - but that's one of the more impressive runs in hockey across the past decade nonetheless. Joe Thornton is a stud (he's 27), Patrick Marleau is a lifer there and a stud (he's 27), Jonathan Cheechoo can score from anywhere on the ice (he's 26), and Vesa Toskala is only 29. In sum: get ready, TankHeads. There's another run or two in this bunch, as well.

Monday, May 7, 2007

How Good Really Are My Brewers?

So incase you didn't know the Brewers...yes MY LOWLY BREWERS have the best record in the NL. With a record of 21-10 and having won 12 of their last 15 the Brewers are indeed red hot (as I am writing this they are beating the Nats 3-0 top of 7). They've got a 5 game lead on the 2nd place Cubs right now and 8 games on the lowly Cardinals (haha I love it!). But to the average baseball fan who isn't also a Brewers fan like me, how good really are the Brewers? Are they for real or are they in for a plummit? I'm going to try to figure this out as unbiased as I possibly can...GO BREWERS!!!!!!!

Ok, so yea the Brewers have a great record but it could be a fluke right? In my full and honest opinion, no it isn't. This is the Brewers' year. They've been progressively improving over the last 4 seasons and with no injuries and every offseason move strongly bettering the team they're ready. I mean sure they're going to falter. Every team will have a losing streak at some point when you play 162 games. But this team is leagues better than they have been in the last 10+ years and with a weaker NL Central than I can really ever remember I can feel it. We're goin' back to the Playoffs baby!

They're pitching staff is rock solid with:
1. Ben Sheets (2-2 with 4.04 ERA and 21 K's) Looks like he's over the groin pull
2. Chris Capuano (4-0 with 2.90 ERA and 22 K's) - Look for his K totals to jump up
3. Jeff Suppan (5-2 with 2.63 ERA and 27 K's)
4. Dave Bush (2-3 with 6.03 ERA and 31 K's) A lot of K's but he's struggling.
5. Claudio Vargas (3-0 with 2.89 ERA and 33 K's) What a stud in the 5 slot.

I thought they overpayed Suppan coming into the year but he's been a pleasant suprise. Sheets can be an ace and point: Opening Day. Cappy has been good and his K's are unusually low. Bush can and will come around (he was decent for the Crew last year and won 12 games for them) and Vargas has been an even more pleasant surprise than Suppan.

The 'pen has been good too. Wise -> Turnbow -> Cordero make up one of the best 7-8-9 inning combos in the majors. Cordero is 12-12 in save ops and has been amazing. Turnbow (no longer Turnblow) has found his stuff again and has gracefully made the move from a closer to a good setup man. Also Shouse has stranded every single run he has inherited this season...he's been great out of the pen as well.

They're young hitters have been outstanding. Fielder (9 HRs .298 AVG and 26 RBIs) and Hardy (8 HRs .339 AVG and 26 RBIs) (highly underrated and on a wait 18 game hitting streak) have been stellar and are red hot right now. Weeks has been hitting fairly decent as a lead-off hitter (could and will raise his AVG) and Estrada has been a great acquisition. Hall has struggled in CF a bit this season but need not worry because Tony Gwynn Jr. is a great young player who is definitely making the most of his opportunities this season. Jenkins (.349 6 HRs and 16 RBIs) has seemingly rejuvenated his career and Mench (.299 2 HRs 12 RBIs)has figured out how to hit and play in MIL.

I could go on and on but this is supposed to be a short post. The Brewers are for real. Don't believe me? Check out their bullpen, rotation, starters, and bench. They're pretty strong and deep in all categories and as previously stated the NL Central is much weaker....I've watched every possible game on TV and Gamecast and I'm convinced. This is at the very least a Wild Card team, although I think they have a better chance at winning their division.

I know it's early, but is it too early to think that I might be in Milwaukee watching baseball in September? How good do you think the Brewers really are?

For all non-Brewer followers and baseball fans in general: I want you to read this. As for me I'm off to take a picture of the standings and have it framed...later!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

NBA Playoff Thoughts

The NBA Playoffs haven't been too bad thus far. I mean, I'll continue to watch as long my Spurs keep winning. But I don't watch it nearly as much as I did back when they were on NBC. I watched just about every game when I was younger. And now I only watch when my Spurs are on. But anyways, here's some thoughts on the playoffs so far.

Spurs top Suns in Game 1
The Spurs came out with a big game 1 win in Phoenix. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were very impressive with 33 and 32 points apiece. Parker pretty much was the main factor in the win, he hit some key shots to keep San Antonio ahead for much of the game. It was basically a back and forth game the whole way, but Parker kept the Spurs alive with his performance.

One main factor was Steve Nash had to sit out about the last 45 minutes or so after colliding with Parker. It initially looked like Parker took it harder than Nash did, but Nash got a huge cut on his noise and it would not stop bleeding. They tried to stop the bleeding but it just kept gushing, which was a huge difference in the Spurs win. The Suns were without their floor general for those last critical seconds and the Spurs took advantage.

Nash did return for the last 9.1 seconds but it was too late as the Spurs were up 110-106. The Spurs were 5-for-9 at the foul line down the stretch, just good enough to win.

Warriors stun Mavs
Boy was I happy when Golden St. knocked off Dallas. Nothing is better for a Spurs fan than to see the Mavs get knocked off.

I mean this is one of the greatest things ever to happen in the NBA Playoffs. And I can thank Baron Davis for it. Davis finished with a total 150 points, 37 rebounds, and 34 assists in 6 games; not bad despite being hobbled with a strained hamstring.

If it wasn't for his injuries, just think what could have been for Davis. He was very impressive in his years with the Hornets and he still can put up amazing numbers with all the injuries. If it wasn't for his injuries, the Warriors may have the best current point guard in the league.

Golden St. became only the third eighth seed to upset the No. 1 seed and the first since the opening round went from best-of-five to the current format. The Denver Nuggets (1994) and the New York Knicks (1999) are the only other teams to win a series.

NBA Finals Prediction
You can call me a homer, but I am going with the Spurs over the Cavs in 6. I'll agree with Complete Sports on the impressive Cavs. After watching them in the first round and today vs. the Nets, I have to take them. Lebron James and Co. won't be stopped in the east. But in the end, the Spurs will prevail. With the combinations of Duncan in the post, Parker wheeling and dealing, Ginobli's and Horry's smooth shots, and their defense; it leads me to think the San Antonio Spurs will be your 2007 NBA Champions.

Friday, May 4, 2007

TSF's Super Sophs

I just got done giving you my all-rookie team selections. Now, without further delay I'd like to give you my team of the bets rookies from LAST year. Last year's rookie class was pretty deep so this should be fun.

C- Russell Martin - LAD
Had an outstandingly quiet year last year hitting .282 10 HRs and 65 RBIs in 415 ABs. Although his stats last year weren't quite that of Paulino I'm taking Martin because of his performance thus far this season. He's off to a good start and I think he'll drive in substantially more runs that Paulino just because the Pirates don't have the same firepower as the Dodgers. This was a tough decision but Martin has played his way into the spot through the first 5 weeks of this season.

1B - Prince Fielder - MIL
He's the man and he's my favorite player on my favorite team so this isn't very tough for me to put him here. He had 28 HRs last year and I think his power numbers will only continue to go up and up. Also look for him to definitely collect more than 80 RBIs this season. The thing that really impresses me and that I like about him though, is his K's are down. He's showing that he can hit for singles and doubles, not just HRs and take the ball the other way.

2B - Ian Kinsler - TEX
I really want Rickie Weeks here but technically he's not a soph. and also I don't wanna be too pro-Brewers. He hit .286 with 14 HRs, 55 RBIs, and had 11 SBs as a rookie. He's showing us thus far this season he's the real deal (.290 9 HRs, 24 RBIs, 4 SB with a .364) I see much of the same with a power increase coming this year.

3B - Ryan Zimmerman - DC
Hasn't had a great start to this season but he's on a horrible team with little to no supporting cast, and there is no doubt in my mind that this kid is/will be a star. He drove in 100+ runs last season and I think that it will be tough for him to repeat that with the team that is around him. However I think he'll climb up over 20 HRs this year and he's solid defensively. At 3B this is one of those no-brainers.

SS- Hanley Ramirez - FL
This was a little tougher of a pick because I really like both Ramirez and Drew (ARI). Really I think Ramirez is a better player right now and is having a significantly better season thus far. Also love what he can do on D and his speed is a definite asset to the team.

LF- Josh Willingham - FL
Another one of those great Marlins sophs. He's hitting .299 right now (I'll call it .300 for good measure) 4 HRs, and 23 RBIs. He can hit for power and contact and I think you can look for him to have a pretty good year this year driving in a lot of runs. Plus, the kid can be my backup catcher too!

CF- Kelly Johnson - ATL
There is no clear-cut CF to put out here. Almost all sophs (Quientin, Cabrera, Markakis, Herminda, and Kemp) play corner OF. Johnson has CF eligibility in Fantasy Baseball so I'm plugging him in here. I know, it's a risky move but I'm the skipper and I make the calls.

RF- Andre Ethier - LAD
His .308 last year with a modest 11 HRs and 55 RBIs. I know the power numbers aren't great but what I really like here was his BA. He puts the ball in play and gets on base. That's the most important part. The power and the runs will come. Gives me a good contact hitting lefty bat in my lineup and can play adequate D.

Starting Rotation
1. Justin Verlander (DET)- Naturally....
2. Cole Hamels (PHI)- Has electric stuff and will be rackin' up the K's all season. He's 3-1 right now and I think you can look for him to win 13+ games this season rather comfortably
3.Matt Cain (SF)- Has good stuff. Record is just 1-2 right now but he was 13-12 last year and I think he'll win at least that many again this year. Just needs to keep his walks down.
4.Jered Weaver (LAA)- We all saw what he could do last season...he'll snap back to his old self.
5.Chad Billingsley (LAD)- Is a good pitcher but wouldn't be here if Liriano's arm hadn't exploded.

If Liriano was healthy my rotation would be even more dominant with:
1. Verlander 2. Liriano 3. Hamels 4. Cain 5. Weaver.

Batting Order
1. Hanley Ramirez (FL)- SS
2. Kelly Johnson (ATL) - CF
3. Ian Kinsler (TEX) - 2B
4. Prince Fielder (MIL) - 1B
5. Ryan Zimmerman (DC) - 3B
6. Josh Willingham (FL) - LF
7. Andre Ethier (LAD) - RF
8. Russell Martin (LAD) - C
9. Pitcher - P

Once again It's all just personal opinion. This is my squad of super sophs, what's yours look like?