Monday, August 30, 2010

Manny Ramirez is Alllll Right with Me

Hey hey...

I don't really care about baseball right now, but I heard that Manny argued a *first pitch strike* at Coors in a pinch hit effort and was thrown out.

uh... ok. If you want to start railing on him for that, whatever. I still think he's been great for us and I'm not going to suddenly say "he's a bum or he's this or that". Nope... I just am not going to fall for it.

Besides this isn't Manny's fault. This is more on the Dodgers and White Sox for not working out a deal sooner. I know Tuesday is the deadline but c'mon we already know what's going to happen they should have had something figured out already.

Now Manny will leave basically for nothing in return from Chicago. Again, I'm not blaming Manny for this, I blame McCourt and Reinsdorf and the two teams.


In better Dodger News, I understand that today they'll start trials to determine who gets ownership of the Dodgers. That means, between Frank and Jamie, one of them will control the team and these meetings will decide who it is. I know I bag on Frank a lot, but for GOD's Sake, please don't give this team to Jamie! You do that and its Georgia Frontiere part two. Complete with relocation to St. Louis (or wherever Jamie is from). Even as lame as McCourt is, I want Frank to own the team, if I had to choose between the two. Hopefully the jurisdiction has a brain and decides to do the right thing.


With the White Sox 4.5 games behind the Twins, a Manny Ramirez pickup would be nothing more than a shit-show. I certainly hope Manny does well, but this White Sox team ain't that great. Too old, too beat up, not very athletic aside from Beckham and Alexi Ramirez, and with suspect pitching and a HORRIBLE bullpen. So as for Chicago taking the division... FORGET IT.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Predicting the BCS Top 10

The NCAA Pre-Season rankings were released over the weekend with the following teams:

AP Top 25
1Alabama (54)0-01491
2Ohio State (3)0-01400
3Boise State (1)0-01336
5Texas (1)0-01223
7Oklahoma (1)0-01104
10Virginia Tech0-0973

To be honest with you, I think these are great rankings! A lot of people complained about Boise State. And? Boise State has a lousy schedule and their only competition is a neutral site game against Virginia Tech, which they'll win of course, to fan the flames.

I don't think Boise has the kind of players that can compete with any of these other teams on a week to week basis. Not even TCU. Va Tech is the only exception. I'd probably put Oregon above Va Tech with my limited knowledge of College Football.

So! Who of these teams will hang around and remain in the Top Ten at the end of the year (and by "Top Ten" we mean the BCS Top Ten which gets released in November)?

My picks:

Ohio State

I definitely wanted to include Nebraska, but Suh will now be an NFL player and I'm not familiar with the remainder of the team to make a competent prediction. It's possible to see them in there. Alabama is an easy one: they returned many of their starters and figure to at least be in the Top Five. Ohio State should be ready to go: they're well coached and now feature a seasoned Terrelle Pryor. Pryor is overrated, but is also good enough to win the majority of their games.

Texas continues to recruit well, so despite losing McCoy, I think that is a team to beat in the salvaged Big XII. Florida will win on the strength of their size and speed, but won't contend for a National Title (remember, Tebow is now a pro at Denver).

Boise State has too much pressure. I can't help but think about all the expectations weighed on Oregon a year ago when LeGarrette Blount nearly derailed the season in Week One! Ironically enough, that game went to Boise State. Nonetheless, the Ducks carried on, rebounded and made the Rose Bowl.

The difference is, Oregon had a large conference with USC on its schedule which really boosted the brownie points when the Ducks beat the Men of Troy. What will Boise State fall back on? Fresno State?! Idaho?!?! It's a no-win situation for Boise State, but it's also their own fault for not willing themselves to schedule more road games out of conference. SC would have been happy to host the Broncos. Any SEC team would pony up. Boise State has to go out and challenge the best to be the best. Remember: that's what USC does, and always has done.

So in all, it leaves Boise with no room for error. Lose one game and their ranking drops a ton. They may finish in the mid-teens.

Who knows how much of this list will truly remain. I listed 5 teams but that may be generous. We shall see.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The *other* New York Team...

Last night I got to see the first football game (and no, soccer does not count!) at the new Meadowlands Stadium. Giants... Jets... a clash between two NY institutions.

So you look into this game (which featured a *nasty* hit to Eli Manning! Oof!) and start to wonder about the Jets. This is the team a lot of people, and I mean a LOT, picked to do big things this year. Can you believe everyone forgot about the Giants?

I don't know about you, but I think the Giants looked like the team ready to make a big post-season run. The Giants looked like they were hungry and ready (not that the Jets weren't but the G-Men seemed poised and ready for the challenge [well, for preseason]). The Giants looked experienced. The Giants acted as if they were there before.

And while it was pre-season it seemed like Big Blue dominated Gang Green in the First half, and ultimately, the game, which the Giants won 31-16. Jets fans seem to be shrugging this off, but I won't.

All along I thought the G-Men were getting overlooked. First, by the SUPREMELY Overrated Redskins who suddenly became a Super Bowl team because they added one over the hill QB. Next, understandably, by the Eagles, who I also think are pretty darn good and could have a nice season with Kolb and Co. Lastly, and predictably, by the Cowboys, who by all means *should* be a favorite to win it all.

Yet, it seems to me like the Giants might be a team that could get it done. I was in Las Vegas last week and saw they were 15/1 favorites to win it all. At one point they were 20/1 and 25/1 favorites. Kind of crazy to do this for a team with an improving defense plus two nice pickups from the Titans to augment said defense, they being Bullock and Antrelle Rolle.

Nuts! The Jets get all the hype but it seems like the Giants are a more sound team. Offensively? Ok, they're still limited. The Running game may never be good again post-EWF. The Giants are still looking to find their playmakers. Fair enough. But the Giants may be the sleeper of sleepers: a team multiple pundits predict to wallow nondescriptly that *instead* becomes the team to beat in the NFC East.

We shall see. The division seems to be weaker than in years past, which means its as wide open as it's ever been.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Clash of the Texans?

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair is going to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell in an attempt to reduce or (in a fantasy world) eliminate Brian Cushing's 4 game suspension for PED violations.

We'll see the results of this in a few hours, but take a look at the NFL Super Bowl Odds today:

(courtesy of

Odds to win Super Bowl XLV (as of 8/7/10)

Arizona Cardinals: 75/1
Atlanta Falcons: 20/1
Baltimore Ravens: 12/1
Buffalo Bills: 100/1
Carolina Panthers: 100/1
Chicago Bears: 25/1
Cincinnati Bengals: 30/1
Cleveland Browns: 100/1
Dallas Cowboys: 8/1
Denver Broncos: 75/1
Detroit Lions: 100/1
Green Bay Packers: 8/1
Houston Texans: 40/1
Indianapolis Colts: 7/1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 100/1
Kansas City Chiefs: 100/1
Miami Dolphins: 30/1
Minnesota Vikings: 15/1
New England Patriots: 10/1
New Orleans Saints: 8/1
New York Giants: 20/1
New York Jets: 10/1
Oakland Raiders: 100/1
Philadelphia Eagles: 20/1
Pittsburgh Steelers: 18/1
San Diego Chargers: 10/1
San Francisco 49ers: 20/1
Seattle Seahawks: 100/1
St Louis Rams: 200/1
Tampa Bay Buccanneers: 200/1
Tennessee Titans: 40/1
Washington Redskins: 30/1

Anyone notice Houston's odds? 40/1! Seems like an awfully talented team to be 40/1, and more importantly this team has been so close to making the playoffs the last three years, I think this year is when they finally break through.

Although, in so doing, they'll have a formidable schedule, and not to mention a VERY tough season opener at home against the Defending AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts. Yep, the same team that is 15-1 lifetime against the Texans with their only loss coming, ironically, on December 24, 2006, the Colts Super Bowl Season.

And believe *me*, today's Texans are measures better than the 2006 team. I think, even though it's a Week 1 game, this could be a HUGE indicator of things to come for Houston. Tune in, won't you?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gut Check Time for the Dodgers: Rev. 2.0

It seemed like a week ago when the Dodgers had a chance to save their season against the Padres, and they failed miserably. They scored not more than 2 runs in a game for the whole series. It was, in a word, awful.

Today, the same scenario repeats itself, but this time with the Dodgers even further back in the standings. Today, LA is 7 games back of the San Diego Padres. If the Dodgers win, it gives them a slight window of opportunity, but realistically they still are too far to have a shot to get to the playoffs.

At this point, Dodger Fans want to see a team with some fight in it. If they can win tonight, maybe some of that fight will return. Anyone notice how Russell Martin and Rafael Furcal did not play last night due to injury, yet, it seemed like offense was more fluid than before.

It may have been a fluke. Going into the Giants series, Furcal was red hot. Hard to figure. Martin, though, needs a break.

The Dodgers had their first real break-out game in a month, when they beat the frontrunning Padres 9-0, with the aid of a Complete Game 2 hit Shutout by Vicente Padilla. Excellent performance, and the best performance I've ever seen from Padilla. He mixed in a curveball that was so fluttery, so fluffy, yet, with its slow motion glory fooled about every hitter in the lineup. Padilla also had 9 strikeouts on the night in a moment where he was "Going the Distance."

Great to know movie studios are plugging another mediocre movie set in New York about a boy and a girl who find the perfect match. Yuck. I've seen this movie 1000 times. Try again, Hollywood.

But for LA... it's been a very tough season, and I think this is just a temporary success story that will eventually be erased by another slide in the standings. Tonight will set the pace for the rest of the season. Billingsley will need to be great once again. Can he do it three times in a row?