Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hilarious meltdown by Florida Atlantic Color Commentator

This dude was so upset he was screaming out the pressbox and offered to fight anyone in the box who disagreed with him. It really doesn't get any better than that. Looks like this pretty much ruin Dave Lamont's chances of getting promoted to play-by-play at Florida International....oh well. Enjoy.

2010 World Series Prediction

Ok I'm gonna make this a quick one.  Here's my World Series Preview:

We all know by now why the Giants and Rangers are facing off in this years World Series.  The Rangers Offense and the Giants pitching are those reasons.  The Giants face a tall task with Cliff Lee pitching two and maybe even three games if need be.  Good thing they have Tim Lincecum to counter.

The Rangers have been great on the road in the playoffs but several factors will come into play.  AT&T Park is not a hitter friendly park.  Will
the huge McCovey Cove winds blowing in from left hurt Josh Hamilton?  You betcha.   Can Vladimir Guerrero cover the huge RF?  No he cannot.  The decisions of Ron Washington and Bruce Bochy and the way they play a back and forth chess match will be very intriguing.  Look for Bochy to utilize Javier Lopez when Hamilton/Cruz are up.  Both managers have made great decisions all the way, but only one will prevail in the end.

Another factor you cannot overlook is the Giants ability to win close games.  They have such great experience in these close, 1-2 run ball games.   The Rangers seem to struggle playing in close games and they only seem to do well when they're hitting and already up big.  That could be tough going against the best rotation they will face in the Giants.  The Giants have the advantage in the bullpen and with Brian Wilson yet to give up an earned run in the playoffs, this should make for a very compelling World Series.

Giants in 7

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We should have seen this coming

Why didn't anybody see this coming?  The reasons are clear why the San Francsico Giants and Texas Rangers are facing off in the World Series.  Sure, the Rangers have never been here before and the Giants haven't been in the playoffs since 2003, but it's pretty obvious.

The Rangers have the best offense in all of baseball right now.  They're deep, they get base runners and they have huge bats in the heart of their order.  The addition of Vladimir Guerrero and his stellar play (.300 avg, 29 HR, and 115 RBI) put a lot of pressure off of Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Michael Young.  Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler have been productive at the top, letting the big boppers drive them in.  This Ranger order is arguably the best in baseball.

I won't forget the pitching either.  Cliff Lee gave them an ace this team desperately lacked.  I always felt they were a couple of solid pitchers away from being a very dangerous team.  C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis are young guys who have also stepped up.

As for the Giants, it's clear their pitching is the reason they're still alive. They boast a phenomenal rotation and a very underrated bullpen.  Perhaps the best in all of baseball.  From September until the end of the season Brian Wilson converted 11/12 save opportunities.  Sergio Romo allowed 0 runs and 3 hits in 14 appearances.  Javier Lopez had a 1.59 ERA in 12 games.  Santiago Casilla and Ramon Ramirez combined for .36 ERA in 25 innings.

I also have to mention Cody Ross.  The Philly killer is another reason San Francisco is playing in the W.S.  The Giants also have the potential to hit one out of the park at any point in the game.  We saw Juan Uribe knock out the winning HR in Game 6 and he's their 8 hitter.  The offense may not be potent, but it can do it's fair share of damage.

As we know now, it's clear why these two ball clubs are playing in the World Series.  Texas's Offense and San Fran's pitching.  The only question that remains, is which aspect will prevail in the end.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Helmet hits a part of the game

The NFL decided to go tough on NFL players who commit "dangerous" or "flagrant" hits by suspending them.  Before this players were either fined or ejected for committing these hits.  More specifically it's about the recent helmet-to-helmet hits.

While I agree that players must be protected.  Helmet-to-helmet hits to defenseless players need to continue to be flagged and players fined as long as there was malicious intent.  But with that being said, it's just a huge gray area.  It's hard to tell if a player is maliciously hitting a player to hurt or injure them or if they're just doing their job.

These hits are a part of the game.  Just because you fine or suspend somebody doesn't mean they're going to suddenly stop.  Sure, you can protect players, which is important and a must, but these hits will continue to happen whether we want them to or not.

The NFL is a difficult and dangerous job.  In other words, it's a privilege to play in this league.  Players know the risks with strapping on that helmet.  A lot of people risk their lives with their jobs every single day.  Firefighters know they could die running into a house fire, power line operators know they could be electrocuted at any point.  Same goes with the NFL and taking a bone crushing hit.

What about baseball?  You could say pitchers should be suspended for hitting a batter in the head.  We don't know if they did it with intent or not.  The same goes with the NFL.

I do agree they should be illegal and something needs to be done.  But will suspending players make it stop?  It won't.  Helmet-to-helmet hits are a part of the game.  Players know the risks of playing in this league and taking excruciating hits.  Most players understand that.  The NFL needs to understand that too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Head Examination for the NFL

It seems like concussions have been occurring more than ever through the first 6 weeks of this NFL season. In fact, some sources count 46 known and diagnosed concussions thus far this season. The topic has been nearly unavoidable in the sports media the last few weeks and the NFL just announced that they are going to start suspending players for excessively violent hits to the head. Here is my free head examination for the NFL, its owners, and its players.

I love football. In many cases what happens on Sunday sets the tone for my entire week. I agree that something must be done to protect the game's biggest assets (the players), however I don't believe that suspending players for helmet-to-helmet hits is the correct decision right now.

The NFL is a violent game. It earned its popularity in America by being a violent game and has for many years treated it as a selling point with highlight reels and countdowns of huge hits backed by rock music. To have the first reaction of the league be to attempt to de-violence play on the field seems hypocritical to me, especially when it comes out that the league is selling photos of these violent hits. To try to de-violence the way the game is played is unnecessary at this point. The NFL profits from the violent nature of the league (literally). To me this looks like a panicking, knee-jerk decision by the NFL.

This is a problem that could be taken care of differently by the commissioner, or even by the owners independently. If I were an NFL owner, I would make it mandatory that all my players wear the newer, lighter helmets that have scored the highest in the most recent league safety testing (the Schutt DNA Pro+ scored highest in the NFL's test). These helmets are stronger, have more padding, and are lighter, aka less of a weapon than other helmets. For this to be most effective it should be mandated league-wide so that everybody wears the same helmet.

I would also require all players to wear mouth guards. Wearing a simple mouth guard is one of the best and easiest ways to protect yourself from concussions, yet many players do not wear them today.

Along with the mandatory helmet changes, and mouth guards, I would also mandate all players buckle their chinstraps like the rules are written (the last time I remember the league even addressing the chinstrap rule/issue was 2007!).

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for player safety and I think the NFL's intentions are good; they just aren't the right actions at this point. The league suspending players is unnecessary right now. It just creates more opportunities for judgement calls to be made by league officials that could significantly alter a team's season. The league needs to enforce the current rules it has in place, as well as proactively force owners to protect their players by issuing leaguewide safety regulations like the ones mentioned above. This would be a proactive way to react to the vicious spike in concussions the league has seen this season. Realistically the league shouldn't even have to mandate it. Any smart owner should be more than willing to protect their most valuable assets.

The league should encourage owners to make these safety regulations and monitor the effects on the field. If the problem does not improve or worsens, then something additional may need to be done like suspending players for certain hits. For now, it is in the best interest of the league, its owners, and its players to address this issue at square 1. I believe this starts with somethings as simple as equipment and safety regulations.

Players and owners are constantly referring to the NFL as a business. They are always expecting fans and players to understand that the game is a business. If the game truly is a business then common sense would tell you to protect your revenue generating assets. Enforce safety regulations on the players that you pay to play for you so that you can keep them out on the field! Even if it weren't league mandated like I suggested, any owner taking these steps would be doing themselves, their fanbase, and their players a favor. We all know they can afford it and it is the right thing to do.

Monday, October 18, 2010

NLCS Game 4 Live Blog

Join us on Wednesday as we'll be live blogging NLCS Game 4 at 6:30 CT between the Giants and Phillies. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2010-2011 College Basketball Preseason Rankings 2.0

Here's our latest and up to date rankings.

1. Michigan St.
Key returnees:  Kalin Lucas, Korie Lucious, Draymond Green, Delvon Roe
The Spartans are loaded and experienced.  They're also coming off of back-to-back Final Fours.

2. Duke
Key returnees: Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler, Mason Plumlee, Miles Plumlee
Duke should have one of the best backcourts in the nation.  With three starters back and the additions of recruit Kyrie Erving and transfer Seth Curry, the Devils have a good shot to repeat.

3. Purdue
Key returnees: Robbie Hummsel, Etwaun Moore, Jajuan Johnson, Lewis Jackson
Purdue was in this same spot in last years preseason rankings. If Robbie Hummel stays healthy who knows how far they go. They may not have much depth, but there's plenty of talent around to make a Final Four run.

4. Pittsburgh
Key returnees: Gilbert Brown, Ashton Gibbs, Brad Wanamaker, Trayvonn Woodall
6 of their top 7 scorers return.

5. Ohio St.
Key returnees: David Lighty, Jon Diebler, Willie Buford, Dallas Lauderdale
Add in recruits Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas with David Lighty, Jon Diebler, Willie Buford, and Dallas Lauderdale, and the Bucks could be just as good as last year.

6. Kansas St.
Key returnees: Jacob Pullen, Curtis Kelly, Jamar Samuels, Wally Judge
The loss of Denis Clemente will hurt, but Jacob Pullen is good enough to have the Cats as the early Big XII favorite.

7. Villanova
Key returnees: Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, Antonio Pena, Maalik Wayns
Nova will once again have a solid backcourt lead by Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes.

8. Kansas
Key returnees: Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, Tyshawn Taylor, Brady Morningstar
Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, and Xavier Henry are impossible to replace. But the Jayhawks will still be a very deep team. They just need to find a consistent go-to scorer.

9. Florida
Key returnees: Alex Tyus, Kenny Boynton, Vernon Macklin, Erving Walker
Watch out for Billy Donovan and his Gators. They return the whole squad. Look for Alex Tyus and Kenny Boynton to impress.

10. North Carolina
Key returnees: John Henson, Tyler Zeller, Larry Drew, Dexter Strickland
Regardless of what people might think UNC should be back again next season. Harrison Barnes is already regarded as the number one pick for 2011.  Depth could be an issue though.

11. Baylor
Key returnees: LaceDarius Dunn, Quincy Ace, Anthony Jones, A.J. Walton
Ekpe Udoh and Tweety Carter will be big losses but recruit Perry Jones should help keep them as one of the best in the Big XII.

12. Missouri
Key returnees: Kim English, Marcus Denmon, Michael Dixon, Justin Safford
Mike Anderson has people talking again in Columbia. They do lose 3 starters but return their top 3 scorers. Kim English is ready to break out; Tony Mitchell and Phil Pressey lead Zou's best class in several years.

13. Washington
Key returnees: Isiah Thomas, Venoy Overton, Justin Holiday, Matt Bryan-Amaning
The Huskies finally lived up to their potential in the postseason. They do lose Quincy Pondexter, but there's still plenty left in the stable.

14. Illinois
Key returnees: Demetri McCamey, Mike Tisdale, Mike Davis, D.J. Richardson
This will be a senior-laden team that has been scratching the surface waiting to break open. Next year will be that year.

15. Syracuse
Key returnees: Kris Joseph, Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine, Rick Jackson
The loss of Wes Johnson, Arinze Onuaku, and Andy Rautins hurts, but frosh Fab Melo is ready to step up.  The starting five should be one of the best in the land. 

16. Gonzaga
Key returnees: Steven Gray, Robert Sacre, Demetri Goodson, Elias Harris
With a dominant front line and talented backcourt,  this could potentially be the Zags' best team yet.

17. Kentucky
Key returnees: Darius Miller, Darnell Dodson, DeAndre Liggins
They'll be one of the youngest teams in the nation again. But they'll be very good despite losing 5 draft picks.

18. Temple
Key returnees: Juan Fernandez, Lavoy Allen, Ramone Moore, Michael Eric
The Owls lose their stud in Ryan Brooks, but a strong nucleus returns to keep this team a huge threat.

19. Georgetown
Key returnees: Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, Jason Clark, Julian Vaughn
This team would have been top 3 had Greg Monroe stayed, but everyone else is back.

20. Virginia Tech
Key returnees: Malcolm Delaney, Dorenzo Hudson, Jeff Allen, J.T. Thompson
This is a senior-laden team ready to make some in the ACC.

Friday, October 8, 2010

2010 MLB Playoff Predictions: World Series

So here it is,  our World Series prediction.  Enjoy!

Phillies vs. Yankees

Here we go again.  Ever since last season ended I predicted the Yankees and Phillies would face off again.  And why not?  Both teams looked so dominant compared to everyone else.  The Phillies have arguably the best lineup in the bigs and now this season they have Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt complementing Cole Hamels.  Last season they had Cliff Lee.  But now they have two aces.  As for the Yankees,  I really couldn't see anybody overtaking them once again.  It really isn't that hard to predict.

As for the game,  I see this as another classic matchup.  The Phillies easily have the pitching edge with Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels.  The Yankees only have CC Sabathia.  If this series were to happen you better not miss game one with Halladay facing off vs. Sabathia.  My oh my.  Both offensive lineups are just stacked and I see them basically evening out.  As for the bullpen,  the Yankees have the advantage there with Mariano and Wood.  Look for another hell of a series if this happens.

Phillies in 7

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

2010 MLB Playoff Predictions: NL

Time for our NL Predictions!


Phillies vs. Reds
The Phillies are the heavy favorite to represent the NL in the World Series.  They have 3 very tough pitchers that will give them an advantage over almost every opponent.  The offense has been inconsistent but the past two seasons they've turned it on for the playoffs.  Keep an eye on Jimmy Rollins as he's not 100%.  As for the Reds, I can see them making this a good series.  They have capable pitching to matchup with Philly.  If Volquez, Cueto, and Arroyo get going Cincy can be very solid.  It remains to be seen whether the Reds' offense can put up enough runs after their up and down September/October.

Phillies in 4

Giants vs. Braves
This is a very intriguing matchup and the most compelling of the the divisional series IMO.  The key here will be how Atlanta plays in San Francisco.  If they sneak away with a split heading to ATL they will win this series.  The Braves finished with the best home record in all of baseball.  We all know about the Giants pitching, but it will come down to their off and on offense.  They are arguably the most inconsistent offense in the playoffs.   The pitching and defense will be there, but it will depend on how many runs the G men can put up consistently.  As for the Braves,  I am not sure if they have the pitching to match up.  But like I said, if they win in San Fran, anything can happen.

Giants in 5


Phillies vs. Giants
I think most people can say that this is the NL matchup they want to see.  The two best pitching staffs in all of baseball matching up in the NLCS.  You've got the two dominant rotations battling and two frivolous offenses squaring up.  Look for low scoring battles that will come down to who makes the least mistakes.

Phillies in 6

Monday, October 4, 2010

2010 MLB Playoff Predictions: AL

It's October folks so you know what that means, playoff baseball!  Here's our AL Playoff predictions.


Twins vs. Yankees
The Twins were looking  at a matchup with the Rangers.  Then the almost unthinkable happened.  The Yankees lost on Sunday so now the two best teams in the AL (IMO) are playing in the ALDS.  The Twins have struggled lately and their two best players have been hampered with injuries.  Their pitching will also need to be spot on.  Meanwhile, the Yankees are always ready in the playoffs and with CC Sabathia going game 1, they should have an edge despite not having home field advantage.  Twins absolutely need to sweep the first two games at home because I don't see them getting a win at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees in 4

Rays vs. Rangers
The Rangers have also been hit with injuries as well.  Josh Hamilton is not 100% and you cannot afford to have your big bat banged up.  I don't know if the Rangers pitching is good enough to advance.  Plus, Cliff Lee hasn't been his self lately.  The Rays have been very consistent in the past month and I see them continuing that trend especially with playing the first two games at home.

Rays in 4


Rays vs. Yankees
If any team wanted to take down the Yankees your best bet would have been to secure home field.  Well, the Rays have just that.  I see this as a great matchup and either team can win it all if they advance to the World Series.  I'm a little unsure about the Rays' bullpen in this, which is the most important unit when it comes to playoff baseball in my opinion.

Yankees in 6