Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

NCAA Brackets too Predictable

March 23rd, 2009 No comments

Barack Obama was criticized by some journalists for providing a basketball bracket that was without any upsets. I would seem that his predictions must be spot on. 

Sweet 16 Teams and their “Seeds”








NorthCarolina (1)













MichiganSt. (2)



Arizona and Purdue so far are the only teams that can be considered a “Lower” seed. 

However,the predictability of the NCAA’s is exactly the reason that they have become so boring. Considering Arizona’s storied history in the NCAA’s they cannot be considered the sentimental favorite, ala Jimmy V’s North Carolina State’s quad. 

Secondly, I am curious if the increased number of college basketball players entering the NBA early dilutes the talent in the college ranks. When teams have limits as to how many scholarships they can offer on top of playing time to offer, the choice teams have altered their strategy in knowing that many of their players will not stay the entire 4 years. So they can grab up more young recruits which then thins out the talent at smaller schools. 

At any rate, the brackets are getting to be as much fun as paying my taxes. 

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The Mitchell Report

December 13th, 2007 No comments

Read the Mitchell Report

I have scanned some of the pages to see if my favorite players are on it. Of course the bombshell is that both Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite are on it but also includes the likes of Miguel Tejada, Eric Gagne among others. It will be interesting to see what the fallout from this is.

It is also interesting to see how different players have been treated regarding it. Jason Giambi came clean and for the most part has not had the issues that could be surrounding him now. Tejada has denied involvement as has Clemens and Pettitte earlier when their names were brought up.

What is notable is the amount of New York Players past and present that have been on the list and we are not even close to naming some of the Florida players, (Ivan Rodriguez anyone?)

For some players the punishment of being on the list will be enough to keep them out of the Hall if they were not going to be a shoe-in. Clemens is another story entirely as he has in the last 5-6 years gone to lengths that many figured would never occur again. Clemens 354 victories especially the numbers after 40 are pretty amazing.

Is he Hall of Fame Material though? What is happening with baseball is the crippling aspect that our greatest players have also been the greatest failures. The list goes on and on. Pete Rose, Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, Mark McGwire etc. have all cheated the game one way or another. Should they be welcomed into the Hall?

The other question of course would be the borderline cases of clean players? Are their numbers more impressive now?

Frank Thomas should be a shoe-in based on his no-steroids approach. His 500 Home Runs and counting will mean much more today than maybe in years past. Also it should be mentioned that since we do not know the full extent of all the steroid abuses over the years, how do we treat anyone in that category? Can we assume that just because A-Rod isn’t bloated that he could be a roids user as well? As Mitchell explained, this report was only based on the findings that had become known and does not mention the number of people that might still be using Steroids, or even Human Growth Hormone which at this time is still not detectable in drug screenings.

I am happy to see that there were no significant names on the Sox that were listed. Jim Parque was listed although it seems that was done after he left the Sox.  His career ended over the fact that he got injured and could not throw a fastball above 88. I have a feeling this is why he went this route. The other player, Scott Schoenweis was also listed as having drugs sent to Comiskey but he was always a bum anyhow and had a bad attitude.

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Why Am I Thinking of Getting Sox Tickets?

December 12th, 2007 No comments

I must be mad. Kenny Williams is just receiving lumps of coal on his voyage of reassembling the team this offseason.

Listing of Grievances

1. Not signing Torii Hunter, albeit 90 million is a lot for him.

2. Not getting Miguel Cabrera in a trade, which really would have opened the floodgates for additional trades.

3. Losing Kosuke Fukodome to the Cubs even though they offered more money to Fukodome.

4. Losing out on the Aaron Rowand Sweepstakes. They did not want to give him a 5th year.

Fact is that the Sox have little to offer this offseason. They made a lot of predictions of big things but the Kenny Williams bandwagon must be losing his focus. All I can say is that some of the stuff that went on with Buerhle and Dye could have rubbed off on other players. I can also see why Rowand was not going to waste his time only signing a three or four year deal, however, at the same time, Rowand will have difficulty even getting close to those numbers in San Fran. That team has no offense period compared to the protection he got from the high powered Phillies.

 Still I am thinking of getting a season ticket package this season. 13 games would be really awesome. 

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Blackhawks Shining on West Side

December 1st, 2007 No comments

I have to be honest with you that I am not much of a hockey fan or I wasn’t but I ended up sitting around and watching the Blackhawks play Phoenix today and was visibly surprised just how good they were. What was even more special was watching the Hawks on their home ice on television, something that hasn’t happened as far as I have been alive.

It is something to be excited about in this city where the Bears are struggling and the Bulls look like a farm team.

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Chicago Marathon Mishap

October 9th, 2007 No comments

Jay Mariotti Article

While I have never run in a marathon, I will say that I have run in humid weather and I was a cross country runner. Running in humid weather is crazy in itself and should never be attempted by those that are not in proper shape. I think that Mariotti has a point that this event will cost Chicago votes for the 2016 Olympics. I have run 8 – 10 mile runs and even then there were water stations set up and this was for high school stuff that we just would “Run”, not an official cross country events.

Sunday was hot and I remember feeling a bit out of it myself as I made my way through the marathon runners.  The question of course that I am wondering would be does there need to be some type of entry procedure to run or can you just run for the hell of it?

Of course the story of the Marathon is an account of a man by the name of Pheidippides who ran from Marathon to Athens to inform Greeks that the Persians had been defeated in the battle of Marathon only to die from exhaustion moments after. No word on whether water stations were set up for this heroic feat.

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The Joe Torre Era is Over

October 9th, 2007 No comments

Now that the Skankees and Gay-Rod have been booted from the playoffs, it’s pretty obvious from Steinbreiner’s message is that Joe Torre is gone. I am not sure if there was a better person to manage that team and only the future will see if that is the case.

The Skanks have always had an image problem. For one they have spent a lot of money on pitching and have received either very little in return or they are becoming aged. Roger Clemens, for all he has given to the game seems destined to hang up his cleats for the last time. Mike Mussina is getting old and not “Championship” worthy.

And while Alex Rodriguez will ultimately get blamed for this years failure, the offensive numbers on this team are more than his problem. A-Rod kept this team in the playoff hunt to begin with.

What is more interesting is that this year again shows how the teams that are making the playoffs tend to be the teams that you would not expect to be there. The Diamondbacks and Rockies were probably not the choices of many soothsayers at the beginning of the year. While the Indians were probably chosen by some analysts, they are also an example of a team that built from the ground up and did not rely on high priced free agent talent to get them where they are.

The Red Sox are the only team that has been able to mix the right blend of high priced free agents and youngsters and win.

* * *

Sometimes I look at the Yankees and they remind me of the White Sox. The White Sox in 2005 had a formula for success and in the offseason of 2005 they got greedy. There is a certain mix that is necessary, good pitching, speed, defense and attitude. Baseball is not about creating the best fantasy team, it is about creating the best baseball team.

I look at some of the players like A.J. Pierzynski, El Duque, Joe Crede and Juan Uribe and see players that made a difference in the playoffs when it mattered and they might not have been the best players at their positions but they are winners.

Teams need to look for that formula if they want to win in the future. It is not about how many rbis you get, or how high your batting avg. is, but are you a winner. The Yankees won with that attitude in the 90s with players like Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, and Tino Martinez. They were always getting big hits.

Torre will be back, maybe taking a break but he will be back somewhere.

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Go Cubs Go!

October 5th, 2007 No comments

Whether hypocrisy is rearing it’s ugly head, I have to admit that I will be rooting for the Cubs come Saturday due to the fact that I have tickets to Sundays Game. I have never been to a Playoff Game, I am admittedly a huge baseball geek so that should be fun in itself. (Plus a Ron Santo Rookie Card!) which should account for something.

On the Subject of the Cubs. These videos are pretty funny. They are of Bill Murray doing play by play for the Cubs back in the mid-80s. Murray was filling in for Harry Caray was recouperating after his Heart Attack. The Cubs got people to fill in daily and I ended up watching this game in it’s entirety when it was on. Hilarious stuff.

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Sunday Afternoon Plans Anyone?

October 1st, 2007 No comments

Brian Griese in my opinion was not as bad as some might see in the box score. Yes, he threw three interceptions but in my opinion there just seemed to be more confidence out there. For one there were too many dropped balls by the receivers who seem to have butter fingers. Secondly, the Bears currently have no running game as slowly but surely we are realizing that Cedric Benson is not the answer at running back. Benson is more a straight ahead runner and in my opinion was better suited as a second back behind Thomas Jones. Thomas Jones was also quicker, a better pass catcher and a better blocker than Benson will ever be.

Basically he is a one-dimensional style runner. And that is fine if you mix it up. What defenses have always been able to do with either Griese or Grossman was to take chances and they kept on doing so today as Griese was sacked on many occasion. It is not as if Peyton Manning is back there.

The three interceptions were critical however in that they really accounted for 13 points in the game. The two interceptions at the goal line would have been chip shots by Gould and the third was returned for a touchdown. Thus the blame for this game is squarely on the shoulders of the Bears rather than the play of the Lions.

The late 3rd and 4th quarters were ugly for the defense which pretty much kept the Lions at bay. Too many dumb penalties kept the Lions marching and scoring and the defense looked more Cub-like.

At this point, unless the defense gets healthy I do not forsee this team getting close to the playoffs. I think we will find out by halfway through the season whether they have a shot. At this point if they go 3-1 and go into the midway part of the season at 4-4 that will be good. I think the team is going to have to start pulling into its bag of tricks with Devin Hester offering more sets than screens that the defense knows is coming. Rather than just be a decoy out there they need some reverses and even possibily in the backfield. With some of the athletes that they have it would be interesting to see them run the wishbone from time to time with Peterson, Hester and Garrett Wolfe. Devin Hester is the only offense that this team has right now as he pretty much kept the team in the game. Funny thing is that we are expecting him now to make a huge play every time that he has the ball.

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Devin Hester

September 17th, 2007 No comments

Devin Hester is most likely the most exciting offensive player I have ever seen in a Chicago Bears uniform. While Walter Payton will be the best and most complete player, Hester has that ability to add a dimension to the game that nobody has ever seen before. Consider today in the Bears win against the Kansas City Chiefs, Devin Hester was personally responsible for 10 points and could have had more if the kick return that he returned for a touchdown was taken away from him due to a holding penalty on the Bears.

What I have noticed with Hester is, #1 his patience. Since the beginning of last year, Hester is not trying to do too much for force the issue. Some might look at his lack of touches against the Chargers or his unwillingness to return punts but to be honest, part of the issue with returning punts is knowing when to return and when to let go. The Chiefs on the other hand were kicking far and long to him which gave him the opportunity to return kicks. His decision-making skills is where he supercedes other returners. He has great vision and can predict where the holes are going to be. On top of that he has amazing quickness and great acceleration. There are points where you think that the opponent might get him but he will just blow right by them.

I have never seen anything like it.

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Greg Oden = Sam Bowie

September 13th, 2007 No comments

Greg Oden to miss entire season

Ok, so already one season is done and he is going to be out for it.  He didn’t look good in training camp and, believe me, Kevin Durant will be the star in this league and Portland fans will be saying to themselves again, “What If”.

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