Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Torrid Toronto

The Blue Jays are off to a 27-15 start and find themselves atop the AL East. With the exception of the last place Baltimore Orioles, it's as if the division is flipped upside down. The heavily favored (and heavily pocketed) Red Sox and Yankees find themselves 2.5 and 3.5 games back respectively and last year's AL champs, the Rays are 6.5 behind. With Vernon Wells (.253/5/21) and Alex Rios (.264/5/21) slumping to start the season, names like Aaron Hill (.343/11/34), Adam Lind (.314/7/35), and Rod Barajas (.313/3/22) have stepped up to lead the Major's highest rated offense. Not only has their hitting caught the eye of everyone who follows baseball closely, their pitching staff is also ranked third best in the majors behind veteran Roy Halladay (8-1, 2.78 ERA).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Long Awaited Reply

For anyone who still views this page, or has randomly found it on the internet, please hear me out. I am planning on applying to work for the student-run newspaper here at Iowa State University, "The Daily." Although I have recently rejuvinated my passion for writing on here, I don't think I will get around to it until school is over on May 8th. At that point I will have a lot of down time while working in the clubhouse at the Coon Rapids golf course. I can't wait to restart the site and I hope everyone who reads this will hear this message. MAY 8th! I can almost smell the freshly mowed grass and peanuts at the ballpark. God bless and I will post again in May!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ugly Loss

The United States seems to have every major sport on lock-down at the olympics...that is, except baseball. As you look through the sports, the softball girls are blazing their way through opponents, seemingly shutting out everyone they play, the men's basketball team played nearly the worst they could in their last game and still won by twenty...but then there's baseball. See where softball has Jennie Finch and Lisa Fernandez mowing down batters, and basketball's got the likes of Kobe, Dwight Howard, and 'Mello, the baseball team stocks it's roster with Matt LaPorta's and Mike Hessman's...minor leaguers. After today's embarassing loss that saw the United States give up 4 home runs in a 10-2 loss to Cuba, the hopes of an Olympic gold were put to rest. This begs the question, "should the U.S. have brought it's best to the Olympic games?" The simple answer of course is "yes." However it's not that easy. Saying that we should have brought our best, and actually bringing our best without problems, is a different story. The MLB has too much money invested into each team and it's players to simply pull them out of the regular season to play in the Olympics. Not to mention teams are fighting for their playoff lives in their respective divisional races. It sounds like it should be easy, but the Olympics are just at a bad time to play baseball. Too much controversy to touch. Let our Major Leaguers play Major League baseball, and allow our future stars a shot at glory for themselves....if not, they could always count the World Baseball Classic as the Olympics...that, and only that, would keep everyone happy without the fear of second-guessing actions.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Questioning Beijing

Sure the U.S. doesn't have as many gold medals as China, but we are dominating the overall medal count, 95 to 83. Sometimes I wonder, especially in contests that judges determine, how much favoritism is played. China, who is obviously hosting this summer's olympics in Beijing, has the same amount of gold medals, 46, as the second and third most combined (U.S. 29, G.B. 17). For example: Nastia Liukin tied in the uneven bars, yet Chinese gymnist He Kexin, won the gold because of some strange ruling that seemed to be pulled out of a hat... I think a simple coin toss may have actually been a more fair deciding factor....but I guess you can't blame China for that...just a strange coincidence. The thing you can blame them for however, is the age controversy, especially with He. You cannot seriously tell me that she's old enough to nab a drivers license this year. Look at our 16 year olds. Shawn Johnson is 16 and what, 4'8"? But she still LOOKS 16. So anyone who says "Oh the Chinese girls are just really petite," can kindly close their mouth. Just nine months ago a Chinese paper reported Kexin as being 13. So in less than a year, she's gone from 13 to 16. Is there a reasonable explanation for this? No. Just looks to me like China is willing to win gold at any cost. Just take a look at the side-by-side pics of Shawn Johnson, 16 and He Kexin, supposedly 16. Enough said.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Appologies

Hey everyone, I'm sorry I haven't posted since Friday, but I'm trying to get ready for college...packing up, meeting with friends one last time, and so I'm really sorry, but until I get moved and settled in, (moving in on Wednesday) I might not be updating every day. I hope you all understand and please keep checking in! I hope to start things up and really going again later this coming week!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Fantasy Focus

Since we had our fantasy football draft yesterday, I'm going with the NFL this week. Oh and by the way, my team is stacked for a 10 person league. So here's what I'm going to do... I'm going to list my team and tell you why I picked them and why you should pick them... Unfortunately that's about all I can do, because I can't exactly write a book for you. I don't get paid for this.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb, PHI (6th round, 60th overall)
There's only one word to describe McNabb: Dangerous. Injury risk? You bet he is. Donovan's missed over 31% of the Eagles' games the past three years, but his upside is so great it was hard to pass him up in the 6th round. In McNabb's career he's thrown 171 TDs compared to only 79 interceptions, so he probably won't be getting me negative points. It hurts that he doesn't have T.O. there to catch balls for him anymore, but he's got Mr. "Wes Welker before Wes Welker was cool" Kevin Curtis, and Brian Westbrook is starting to shine. I'll be praying to the football gods every week, asking not to see Donovan on the injury report.

Runningbacks: LaDanian Tomlinson, SD (1st round, 1st overall)

Do I even need to describe why I took L.T.? The only other person I would have considered with my number 1 overall pick would have been Adrian Peterson, but he's an injury risk... A.P. hasn't played a full season since his sophomore year with the Sooners in 2004. Almost as scary as McNabb. We play a points per reception league so that makes L.T. even better. I need to stop wasting my time here. Obvious pick. Next player.

Jamal Lewis, CLE (4th round, 40th overall)

Lewis may not be the punishing bulldozer he was back in 2003 (2,066 yards), but he bounced back nicely with the Browns last season after some thought his career was done. Jamal's only sat 6 games since 2002, and he's big enough that he deals the punishment. 1,300 plus yards last year and 11 total TDs sounds good... Unfortunately he doesn't catch the ball out of the backfield much (30 catches in '07). But Lewis had the 6th most fantasy points for runningbacks in our league last year and grabbing him 15 runningbacks into the draft made me feel VERY good.

Wide Receivers: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, CIN (2nd round, 20th overall)

"Who's your mamma" is a solid go-to guy for Carson Palmer, and the more he and "Ocho-Cinco" bicker, the more balls come T.J.'s way. He's definitely on the rise. The last 4 seasons his receptions and touchdowns have steadily increased, and with the exception of '05 (in which he only played 14 games) his yards have too. The Bengals might struggle this year as well, which means they'll have to throw the ball if they trail...not to mention Rudi Johnson isn't anything special anymore so they have no run game. Another 4,000 yard season for Palmer and another 1,000-plus for Houshy.

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (3rd round, 21st overall)

Second straight year and 3 out of the last 4 that I've had Fitz on my team. The guy is just so solid. 1,409 yards last year and 10 touchdowns. Hopefully the Cards don't keep Leinart in for long because Fitzgerald and Warner are a lethal combo. Some questions about how many catches he'll get now that Anquan Boldin is back, but they were both together in 2005 and I mean they just played terrible together...cough...1,400-plus for both of them....cough. I'm not worried. Arizona actually has a shot at winning their division and plays some weak defenses on their schedule: (Miami, NYJ, St. Louis and San Fran twice each).

Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ (5th round, 41st overall)

I may have been able to get this guy a little later in the draft but I didn't want to take any chances. Cotchery had a very quiet 82 receptions for 1,130 yards last year on a dismal Jets offense. With Jerricho taking balls from Brett Favre now, I feel even better about this pick. Can you say, "sleeper"?

Tight End: Tony Scheffler, DEN (7th round, 61st overall)

Scheffler is young but has great hands and very good speed for a tight end. I'm sure losing 15 pounds in the offseason will help that speed even more. He has the ability to shine, no doubt. He's too big for corners and safeties to stop him and he's too fast for linebackers. Jay Cutler's young too, still getting used to playing in the NFL, and the first thing young QBs look for is a security blanket short and across the middle. Scheffler is his man. And even if this pick doesn't work out, I've got Ben Watson sitting on my bench.

Kicker: Shayne Graham, CIN (12th round, 120th overall)

With Vinatieri, Folk, and Josh Brown off the board already, I figured I would stick with Mr. Consistency here. First off, you know the Bengals are going to put some points on the board. Graham's never been injured while with Cincy and he's a career 85% kicker. Over the past four seasons he's averaged 125 points, and he's coming off a year that he scored 131 and only missed 3 kicks all year. A career 79% from 40-49 jumps at me too.

Defense: Indianapolis (8th round, 80th pick)

With a healthy Bob Sanders and Dwight Freeney, this defense can be downright scary. Freeney and Robert Mathis on each end will put a lot of pressure on QBs and force some tough throws. Kelvin Hayden and Bob Sanders will be the secondary's anchors. Unfortunately I didn't reach the Chargers defense in time...they will be spectacular. But Indy's D is very solid if it can stay healthy.

Bench: Isaac Bruce, Fed Taylor, Matt Schaub, Ben Watson, Deuce McAllister, Philadelphia

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Take On MLB Replays

Bud Selig said today his "confidence is growing" that technology in ballparks will be ready soon to permit instant replay. Instant replay has been a highly debated issue lately but it appears to have the go-ahead. When asked about the idea in the past, Selig has been against the use of it, however quite a few missed home run calls this season seem to have changed his mind. Replays will be used strictly on fair/foul calls and on determining whether a ball did or did not land over the fence. They will not be used on close calls on the bases or ball/strike calls. I really like this idea. Bud Selig has got to be one of the best MLB commisioners in history in my opinion. I feel he's dealt well with the steroids scandals, he avoided a strike in 2002, and now adding the replay without overstepping his, or the umpires boundaries. If Selig would have added it for any other disputed calls, Major League Baseball would have become an absolute mess. See you can't have replay for ball and strike calls because they are completely based on judgement, which is why you can't challenge a penalty in the NFL. Different umpires have different strike zones and that's not only just part of the game, but also the player's responsibility to adjust to that zone. One more thing to close on...with MLB games already pushing the three hour mark, tell long would it take if we had replay for everything? Recipe for disaster.