Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday 01/29 A.M. Quickie:
Will the New Blog Look Get Me to Miami?

UPDATE (12:40 p.m.): Barbaro euthanized. Yes, this will be a huge story today, whether you like Barbaro or not. I will personally miss him -- don't forget: I picked him to win the Derby.

New-ish name! New-ish look!
Have you read the post below about the blog's new look? (And don't forget: It's now

Super Bowl XLI: The Bears arrived yesterday. The Colts arrive today. The media mayhem begins now. What I want to know: Are any of YOU going?

UPDATE: The biggest sensation of Super Bowl Week? Sarah Spain. Is she the new Jenn Sterger? Only if she parlays this into Maxim. (No, getting on da WSCR morning show in Chicago wouldn't count. Nor would an interview with Sean Salisbury on Chicago's WMVP. Has he sent his application to be her Super Bowl seat-mate via camera-phone yet? No?)

Tiger wins Buick, 7th Tour win in a row: Apparently, "parent-to-be" status is going to be pretty good for Tiger this season.

It's like Woods and Federer are playing in their own exclusive game of "Can you top this?" en route to legacies as the best ever in their respective sports.

NBA: Suns win 17th in a row. Nash has 23 pts, 15 ast. How many MVP voters are sorry they gave him the award last year (it should have gone to LeBron), because Nash is even more deserving THIS year. (But they can't possibly give him the MVP three years in a row... can they?!)

Officer Shaq: Some idiot allegedly hit Shaq's Escalade and tried to flee the scene. Little did he know that Shaq fancies himself a lawman. Shaq gave chase, caught up to the guy and beat his ass called in the real cops to close the deal.

More NFL: Cowboys hiring Norv Turner? Really, does it even matter? It's a caretaker job until new O.C. Jason Garrett is ready. (Again: If it is ultimately Garrett's job, why not just give it to him now?)

Meanwhile, isn't the NFL fining Reggie Bush $5K for taunting Brian Urlacher superfluously adding insult to injury? After all, Bush's taunt inspired the Bears to kick the crap out of Bush's Saints.

Barbaro in trouble? He had some risky surgery this weekend, and now he's had a set-back. The Barbaro Watch is on.

College Hoops: So maybe Oregon IS the best team in the Pac-10, especially after No. 3 UCLA lost to Stanford yesterday.

Women's College Hoops: I really had high hopes for Maryland to repeat, but after that ass-kicking they took from UNC (in College Park, no less), it's UNC's title to lose. (How about a men's-women's double?)

MLB Hot Stove: Are the Red Sox really going to get Todd Helton in a trade with the Rockies? I smell a swindle coming on...

Missed this weekend? Well, for starters, my kid's very first words may very well have been the tagline for a sports-apparel company's TV ad.

-- D.S.


CorrND said...

Does anybody really think we're going to be talking about Barbaro 20 years from now? Even 5 years from now? In fact, wasn't he already forgotten until the set-back news this weekend?

Big D said...

I reiterate - I'm not a big fan of the Helton trade, unless the Rockies include at least 40% of his remaining salary. And take back Clement (may never pitch again) and Lowell in salary dumps.

And please - can we never discuss "Barbaro" again? Just stud him out or put him down. It's a freaking horse!

Unknown said...

If you want me to read your blog, don't ever post anything about Barbaro again.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

@big d:

how could you not want Todd Helton? he is one of the top 10 hitters in the game right now!

Matt T said...

I love watching Tiger on a Sunday afternoon. When he poured in that eagle and gave the fist pump, I knew it was over.

I know people get 'tired' of seeing him win and don't want to root for him, but we are watching potentially the greatest golfer of all time. That shot he hit Saturday out of the bunker on 18 was un real.

Unknown said...

it takes a 'special' kind of player to play in Boston.

and by special, i mean overrated.

Helton doesn't fit that mold does he?

Andy said...

rev, Helton is NOT one of the top 10 hitters. His stats are good because he plays at Coors. His stats away from Coors are average at best. But, the Red Sox are looking to make a splash, and this would be a big one.

Also, I agree with the whole never talking about Barbaro again thing. The thing is a frickin' horse. Horse racing is NOT a sport.

Tiger just continues to impress. I give up. He will win the Grand Slam this year unless he sits out the British because of the birth of his child. If that happens, whoever wins the British should have an asterisk* by his name...

ToddTheJackass said...

As long as the Red Sox wouldn't have to give up Ellsbury or Buccholz, and the Rockies would eat around 50% of it, I think it's a great deal for the Red Sox.

The thing for the Rockies is that they could really afford right now to move Helton, since they could move the criminally underrated Garrett Atkins to 1B, and then have Ian Stewart take over 3B when he's ready (Lowell could play there until then).

But I really don't see the Rockies doing it without a top prospect from the Red Sox, so we'll see.

Mikepcfl said...

Helton is clearly no longer the player he was 3 years ago. His back injury has sapped his power, ala Mattingly, so I would not deal for him.

Hockey note: did any of you read in USAToday that the NHL All-star game was watched by 474,000 people nationwide? A 40-year old Andy Griffith re-run on TVLand had an 85% larger audience. The NHL needs a new network and fast.

Brian in Oxford said...

I think Helton's on the downslope....if Drew weren't locked up already, a Helton deal would be good, but I can't picture BOTH of them working out well.

Brian in Oxford said...

Horse racing is a sport, but the athletes are the horses, not the jockeys. So unless Dan's got horses reading this blog, then yeah, I can see horse racing as something that could be skipped over.

ToddTheJackass said...

While Coors is a great stadium to hit in, it's not like Fenway is a pitcher's park or anything.

Besides, the Sox don't really have any great corner infield prospects at this point, so taking Helton for a few years won't hold anything there up, and by the current market forces, he'd be a pretty good deal if the Rockies pick up all but $9/$10 million per year.

solomonrex said...

Ok upgrade. I would increase the font on the comment link, since it's used so often.

It's sad what happened to hockey. For some reason, Vs. network is going to have weekend LACROSSE games, so what gives?

Gary Bettman should be fired now.

Brian in Oxford said...

Kinda like, I don't think any actual stock cars are reading this either. (hint hint, re: nascar coverage)

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

About Todd Helton...fair enough. Didn't realize his stats were that bad away from Coors.

Everyone should check out this link about OJ Mayo.

I've seen him play numerous times and he is fact, he is great. I think he is better than Lebron was in HS (and I saw him play numerous times also). But OJ is a thug and always will be. He has a horrible attitude and I sense him being in A LOT of trouble at USC.

CMFost said...

If you can trade Lowell, Tavarez and one prospect say Delcarmen for Helton and the Rockies are going to pick up some of there salary you have to do it and get it done quickly. He is a perfect number 5 hitter in that line up behind Ortiz or Manny. I would Actually have the 3,4,5 as Ortiz, Manny, and Helton that way a team could not bring a lefty specialist plus it moves Youklis to third which is his better defensive position and gives you a gold glove caliber first baseman. With Helton the Red Sox line up would have very few easy outs and a team that should have a solid rotation and that kind of hitting would not really have to worry much about who is the closer.

Just look at the potential line up:
1. Lugo - SS
2. Drew - RF
3. Ortiz - DH
4. Manny - LF
5. Helton - 1b
6. Varitek - C
7. Youklis - 3b
8. Pedroia - 2b
9. Crisp - CF

In other news Schilling annouced on WEEI that he is not retiring after this season and plans to pitch again in 2008 in his words hopefully for the Red Sox, if not the Red Sox any team but New York

Unknown said...

I know you're getting on that Oregon bandwagon Dan...but you do remember that they lost last week too right?

Big D said...

@revscott (and anybody else on the Helton deal):

It's been mentioned already, but I'll provide my reasoning - He'ton's not a major force away from Coors. He's probably on the decline, and still has what - 7 years on his deal?

He would probably have a monster first season in Fenway - .320/35/115 is not out of the question in that lineup with the protection he'd be getting/providing. Problem is, he'd still be on the books for another six years, and all of his numbers have been trending downward for a few years now.

Pending what the Sox gave up (Lowell, Clement, Hansen/DelCarmen - or all of the above), I reserve the right to flip flop.

But I can't see many deals where they match up and both teams come out happy (Rockies shed payroll & get prospects, Sox get Helton without paying his whole salary and don't deal too many prospects).

No more comments on Schilling not retiring after '07?

CMFost said...

Why is there no mention of the only sporting event worth watching this weekend? The X Games

Unlike Tennis and Golf at least in the X Games sometimes the most dominant figure in the game does not always win - See; Shaun White

Patriots64 said...

re: NHL
Current prices, for "non-marquee" teams, is running $175 million, and prospective Owners seem willing to pay $150 million each for two expansion Franchises.

Additionally, 26-27 teams are currently profitable, with bad Arena deals (relative to current "sweetheart" standards) the only reason all 30 are not profitable. EVERY team is drawing enough attendance to be profitable, with the correct Arena arrangement.

Therefore, the BoG LOVES Bettman, is discussing a contract extension!!

Patriots64 said...

Keep up the Nascar and Barbaro coverage Dan, good work.

I hope the Sox get Helton so they can finish behind the Yanks and Jays again, hope the Jays get the wildcard this year though.!!

Liriano of the Twins is out for the season right?

CMFost said...

I personally think the NHL expanding is a bad idea. Get rid of a couple of teams and moving some in to some more hockey orriented areas would be a better idea. With the salary cap in place I think places like Quebec City and Winnepeg could probably support team better then some cities and would probably have sell outs every game.

But I will continue to say the three Biggest probelms the NHL has is:

1. They need a better TV Network Deal and the need NBC to do a better job of promoting the games of the week. The do a great job of game presentation but they do a horrible job of marketing it.

2. The Schedule - The current unbalanced schedule turns fans off. As a bruins fan I am sick of seeing the Maple Leafs, Senators, Canadiens and Sabres every other game.

3. Bring back a little of the physicallity of the game in terms of hitting. The current rules make so hard to give someone a good solid hip sheck for fear of being called for a penalty.

CMFost said...

pats64 - the Red Sox with or without Helton will not finish in third place. I will go on the record at this moment that the AL East will finish as follows.

1. Boston
2. Toronto
3. New York
4. Tampa
5. Baltimore

Unknown said...

Hard for me to get into the Winter XGames. While I fully acknowledge that those are good athletes with great skill... they still represent the slackers from high school (and heck, a lot of them are under 19).

Actually, after playing SSX Tricky on the gamecube, the tricks these guys do seem pretty tame. Though I bet it would rock to watch them in person.

ToddTheJackass said...

Wishful thinking that the Yankees will finish 3rd. I wish it would be true, but there's no way that's happening unless they suffer some catastrophic injuries (ie: last year's Red Sox).

One can hope though.

DP said...

okay, let me say that I was the first to comment on here about Bush and I already had some douchebag getting his panties in a knot bitching about me calling Reggie Bush overrated. I still maintain he is. This doucehbag defended this 80 yard play as proof.

People always make plays and because of his speed Reggie Bush will always make at least one decent big play per game, but as seen from the remainder of the game, when teams want to shut him down, it doesn't take a whole lot of effort. Ask yourself this. Do you remember a single other play of the game that Reggie Bush was involved in that didn't involve the word fumble? Because I believe it was him who fumbled in the NFC Championship, but as I was too busy basking in the glow of my team on their way to dishing out an old fashioned ass-whooping I could be mistaken.

Honestly, I like that they were adding insult to injury. This NFL is showing that just because Reggie Bush wants to be the golden boy, doesn't mean he is going to. And those who defend him are defending someone of privelege who hasn't had to actually work a real day in his life. So don't sob over Bush, the spoiled child. Delight in the fact that he would probably look down at any of us, yet we can look down at him too. He is a good player, not great, but mostly he is an arrogant show-boating asshole who got put in his place by a superior team and by the league.

DP said...


I have to agree with a lot of what you say. Honestly, its not as if any of these kids did not have constant access to the facilities to excel at their sports. It is sort of the rich wanna-be indie white kid sport as far as I am concerned, but it is fun to watch nonetheless. You DO have to be in shape to do what they do though and you can see them having fun the whole time, being pretty friendly to each other and having a general casuality to the whole thing. Its a nice relief from all the "this is our house!' bullshit.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

rafael said...
Hard for me to get into the Winter XGames. While I fully acknowledge that those are good athletes with great skill... they still represent the slackers from high school (and heck, a lot of them are under 19).

As someone who was a "action" (thank you ESPN...) athlete most were the opposite of slackers, in fact I barely had time to enjoy my life.

My schedule (any most of the guys I wakeboarded with) went to school from 7:30 - 3:30, came home trained from 4:30- til dark, then did my homework (not to mention the job I had 2 days a week). Weekends were usually reserved for competitions in the spring/summer.

I have since graduated from college and getting my law degree. I owe most of my work ethic to those days where I didn't have time to just sit and f-around.

I can attest that most the guys I rode with are very successful, either still on tour or at something else in life. There will always be those few who do screw up and slack, but they don't go very far.

The kids in the "action" sports are NO different that a kid on an AAU team for basketball, a kid being recruited by big schools for football, or a 16 year old tennis phenom.

Sorry for the rant, I'm not trying to single you out, I've heard it several times the last few days.

I just hate the image most "action" sport athletes get because they are sports that people see adverse to society.

Joe (Dayton)

Aitch said...

ok, Helton trade = Bad Idea. I think the Sox have already filled their quota for overpaid, over-rated players on the downside of their careers, no? Youkilis played great defense at first base this year. I have no issue keeping him there. Why does it seem everyone is down on Lowell. I understand he was throw in salary dump for Florida in the Beckett deal, but he contributed a bit on offense and played gold glove defense at third base. He got jobbed by not winning that award. As much as I think the Sox overpaid for JD Drew, I think he will be an adequate number 5 hitter behind Ortiz and Manny. This would be a terrible trade for the sox, ESPECIALLY if the Sox have to give up pitching prospects. Haven't we learned yet that you can't have too much pitching??

As far as Barbaro, unless the fuckin horse dies, I don't want to hear another thing about him. It is a goddamn horse! I find it laughable that people have sent thousands and thousands of get well cards to him. Are they expecting a horse to read or understand get well wishes? WTF?? With all the tragedies and crisises around the world that are very real, people are throwing their concern behind a horse with a broken stump. Are you kidding me??

Unknown said...

Aye. you have a right to rant. :)

I'm not stating who the athletes are (and they are dedicated people, to be sure), just who they represent. that's just from my experience, anyways.

I know the tricks get a bit old for me (it seems like everyone does 720s with an indy), but I like some of the other, more head-to-head, events like the snowboard cross.

Unknown said...

As for Barbaro... lighten up. Everyone on this planet needs some reason/cause/crutch that helps puts thing in perspective for them. For some people, its a horse that appears to be trying to overcome adversity most horses don't. For others, its church at 8am every Sunday. Some others even like rock and roll.

May not understand it. But it works for them. Nothing wrong with that....unless one of the Barbaro worshippers gets elected to office and starts basing our national agenda on banning horse euthanization or something.

Aitch said...

TF, I hear what you are saying about the "action" sports athletes. (aren't all sports pretty much action sports? gotta love the media) They work very hard at what they do, putting in hours and hours of training trying to learn and execute new tricks. How many times do you think Tony Hawk fell and injured himself before he finally nailed that 900 for the first time. (for those of that don't know, that is launching into the air on a skateboard, spinning around 2 and a half full rotations and landing perfectly. No credit if you don't land it) Point is, they put in the work and effort just like every other athlete. I think the reason for the slacker stereotype is that all of the action sports, (whether it is wakeboarding, inline skating, street luge, snowmobiles, et al) will always be lumped into the same category as skatebaording. And society on a whole, as you alluded too, has always looked down on boarders as slackers, punks, and criminals. That's why it has been and will continue to be difficult for these athletes to get recognition in the mainstream media.

Unknown said...

I'd like to say that I actually attended Saturday night's Old Spice High School Basketball Showcase (Live on ESPNU) to watch Towson Catholic (#1 ranked team in Baltimore, unranked nationally, Carmelo's old school) vs. Dematha Catholic (#2 ranked team in DC, #15 nationally, ranked the #2 all-around sports high school in the country, the school you see the guys in the Nike commercial playing for, famous alumni: James Brown, Adrian Dantley, Mike Brey, Sidney Lowe, David Aldridge, Danny Ferry, both of the Sports Junkies, Kieth Bogans, Brian Westbrook) at American University in DC.

There were a couple of big names in the game for Towson Catholic; Donte Green (#13 overall, #3 PF, Syracuse), Malcolm Delaney (#89 overall, #12 PG, Virginia Tech).

And for Dematha... Austin Freeman (#9 overall, #2 SG, Georgetown), Jerai Grant (son of Harvey Grant, Clemson), Isiah Tate (George Mason), Jeff Peterson (Princeton).

Although Dematha was clearly better coached, and played much better defense with the exception of the crazy blocks from Donte Greene, at the end of the game it was almost close as Dematha won by 10.

I can tell you that Donte Greene, eventhough his team wasn't on Dematha's level, is going to be VERY good someday. Listed at 6"9 and 217 pounds, the guy was all over the place. I saw him drain two straight 3's in the 4th quarter, run a pick and roll for a thundering dunk, throwdown a crazy alley-oop, dish passes that were too advanced for his teammates, dribble out of three-man traps, and run the floor sometimes even with the ball. If you are an Orange fan you should be very happy.

Malcolm Delaney was interesting to watch. After the game he didn't come off as spectacular, but during the game he had a couple great plays. The confusing thing was that he scored more than Greene yet that would have been hard to notice.

The Dematha guys are on another level. I remember a guy saying on ESPN one time that they could run most D-II schools out of the gym based on teamwork alone. I had no idea what that meant until last night.

Sure Austin Freeman scored 30 points, but you wouldn't have noticed if they hadn't yelled out his name after every dunk. You would've just thought the guys in white dunk alot. But the truth is that a bunch of the people were there just for Freeman. He was incredible for every second he was out there. He went back door for an alley-oop in the first quarter that left most of the crowd speachless. The other thing that he impressed upon me was that he doesn't need to shoot all the time. He was passing up open 3's in order to keep the ball moving so that someone else could have a good shot. They coach them well at Dematha.

As for the others, Jerai Grant was good in the first quarter, but kind of vanished until he fouled out. Isiah Tate kind of gave the impression that he was like Austin Freeman at 80%; very good but not great but played the same way.

But then there was a guy wearing #30 in white for Dematha. He captured the crowd. 20 points, at least 10 assists, and 10 steals is what Jeff Peterson had to say.

Halfway through the game, me and the guy behind me were saying that this guy had to have a big scholarship to somewhere. He was all over the place. I should've kept track of how many times the announcer said "assisted by Peterson" because I think I'd be out of fingers.

After the game I looked him up on Rivals, and found that he was going to... PRINCETON!

Well, Dematha is known for academics and athletics. I just hope I get to see him play a game in college.

There are only two games left of the Old Spice High School Basketball Showcase. One is Thursday night and the other is February 22nd when OJ MAYO plays I don't care who.

CMFost said...

enough of these long posts about HS BBall which should not even be on national TV to begin with. It is hard enough to be a high school but add the pressure of national TV. They really should ban all TV coverage other then local cable access of HS Sports.

Big D said...

@ cmfost & guyinthecorner:

cmfost - I agree 100%. Especially now that the major "Prep-to-pros" sport, basketball, no longer allows players to jump from High School to the Pro Leagues.

I love baseball, but if ESPN starts airing high school baseball games so people can "scout" their teams' next #1 draft pick (who probably won't hit the majors for another five years), I'll go on some sort of spree...

Gary said...

I think its also much worse since it's the second time he's posted about that (in GREAT length)

Although I could be wrong, because each time I read the words "high school basketball game" I skipped to the next post

Xenod said...

This whole "Reggie Bush's taunting inspiring the Bears" thing is ridiculous. It's a PLAYOFF game. If the Bears weren't already motivated/inspired/psyched, then there's something wrong with them.

Patriots64 said...

Wasn't that posted on the weekend?
I can't be bothered to go searching but it looks vaguely familiar.

marcomarco said...

If you're gonna post about a high school team, at least provide a link to some hot cheerleaders.

verbal97 said...

@cmfost: If you had to bet all the money you have and you'll make in the world on the Yankees finishing in third, would you honestly make that bet?!

I love what the Yankees have done this off-season. Off-loaded two malcontents (Sheffield and Johnson) for some prospects and role players, signed Pettite and the lesser known, lesser hyped lefty Japanese starter. (Yankee Stadium is a haven for lefties), etc.

Add to that, the Red Sox are doing everything the Yankees have done (wrong) for the past 5 years...overpay for a hyped starting pitcher that has never pitched in the majors (remember Hideki Irabu), sign a "big name" that hasn't been as successful as people realize (Drew), and now they're mortgaging some future prospect(s) for a declining hitter that had overblown statistics because of hitting friendly Coors. I love it!!! Keep it coming, Theo! And by the way, didn't the Red Sox already try the non-closer closer thing a couple years ago to disastrous results?

Todd Ching: Saying that decimating injuries would cause the Yankees to slip in the division is also a pipe dream. Or was losing 60+ hr and 200+ rbi (Matsui and Sheffield) for most of last season not constitute as decimating?

CMFost said...

verbal the Yankees pitching just will not be good enough to be competitive in the AL East. Petite was not that good in the NL and has injury problems for the last couple of years and is not getting any younger. Mussina in another year older and not getting any better. Wong is the only pitcher the Yankees can be assured of getting any consitency from. If I had to guess this year is a 2 teams race in the EAST the Blue Jays and the Red Sox

solomonrex said...

As a Yankees fan, I have every expectation that we will win the division again. I mean, if we could win it last year...

I wish we'd get rid of that bad luck charm, but if Manning can beat Belicheck, and the Sox can beat us, and the Glove finally has a title, maybe A-Rod won't suck in the post season? I hope?

ToddTheJackass said...

Oh, wishing injuries upon the Yankees is a total dream of mine, there's no disagreement there.

Sheffield and Matsui were big injuries, but arguably not at critical positions since they were able to get Abreu and Melky filled in better than any Yankees fan could have hoped.

I'm saying more decimating injuries like Rivera being out for a long time, Jeter, and/or Wang/Mussina (positions where the Yanks aren't as potentially deep). Yes, I realize that's a lot, and that's basically what I was suggesting that it would take a ton for the Yankees to finish in 3rd place.

I hate the Yankees more than is humanly healthy (best Xmas gift this year was a "Jesus Hates the Yankees" T-shirt), but I know they're going to be good also.

Patriots64 said...

No worries Arod will suck in the postseason, but as a Jays fan even I can see the Yankees winning the AL East. I just hope the Jays are in the wildcard hunt with the Sox, and whomever else. Hopefully Detroit will nose dive this season.

solomonrex said...

The Yankees still have Murderer's Row 2.0

Our pitching barely mattered last year, it will barely matter this year. Until the postseason, when we'll undoubtedly fall apart again when A-Rod goes 3 for 79 or something.

ToddTheJackass said...

The only way the Jays can really contend is if everyone stays healthy for them. They basically can't have any injuries to significant players (Wells, Rios, Glaus, Halladay, Burnett), and given the latter two's history, I think they're destined for 3rd place in the AL East.

CMfost, if you want to talk about a lack of pitching depth, look at the Blue Jays... past Halladay and Burnett (if he stays healthy), they have no one who'll probably get an ERA under 4.5.

I think it's between the Sox and Yankees, and a lot of it could be determined where Clemens pitches next year.

solomonrex said...

Jesus went to the Yankees for more money...

Only in America!

Patriots64 said...

Jays do need to keep healthy especially injury prone players Burnett, Halladay and Frank Thomas.
Beckett and Schilling will be on the DL for the Sox, thats a given.
ok lets do the math:

Halladay: 20 wins
Burnett: 15 wins
Chacin: 14 wins
Ohka: 13 wins
Thomson/Jansen/Marcum: 12 wins

equals 74 wins.

add the 22 wins the bullpen got last year and you've got 96 wins. enough to make the post season?

last season:
yanks 97 wins
oakland 93
detroit 95
minny 96

Hope the Sox trade their bullpen for Helton, if they do Jays will finish 2nd.

Big D said...

@ todd:

"I think it's between the Sox and Yankees"

Gee, there's a novel concept. The AL East is a race between the Sox and Yankees? Never would have guessed that those two teams would be battling it out for first place come September...

(dripping with sarcasm...)

Boy, can you tell football season is almost over? More importantly, can you tell that all but one of the "Major Market Cities" have already tuned the NFL out...

Outside of Chicago & Indy, I can't imagine this Super Bowl getting any type of ratings. Not necessarily NHL All-Star Game type low, but not exactly a bonanza, either.

Big D said...

@ patriots64:

Whoa whoa whoa there cowboy. Did you just give Tomo Ohka 13 wins? In the AL East? As a #4 starter?


That might be the most optomistic thinking I've ever seen.

marcomarco said...

I love how quickly any conversation on this blog can evolve into an AL East debate.

Simply awesome. Love it.

ToddTheJackass said...

@Patriots: You're giving Chacin 14 wins and Ohka 13? You're insane. One of the two maybe might happen, but no way both get there, even IF they stayed healthy, which neither has proven able to do recently.

[I had forgotten about Thomas in an earlier post, my bad, but he certainly fits into the injury possibilities].

@Big D: There seem to be some Blue Jays believers here. Just trying to counter that argument.

@Solomon: Haha, that's a good line about Jesus. Very nice, very nice.

verbal97 said... didn't really answer my question: if you had to bet the house and the bank account on the yankees finishing third, would you do it?

To answer your thoughts...I agree that the Yankees pitching isn't nearly where it was in 2000. But I think Pettitte will be ok, considering he'll have a better offense hitting for him and he's moved from the right-handed hitters wet dream that is MinuteMaid Park and has moved to Yankee Stadium with a deep left field. Mussina, while he won't be great, he'll be dependable as always. That's how you rack up the career win totals despite never winning 20 in a season. Also, I think Igawa will surprise people and be a very decent 3-4th starter and I think Wang will have another very good season (if he stays healthy). Add to that, the possibility of Clemens resigning (even the sometimes homer-ish, yet great Peter Gammons conceded that the Red Sox don't have a good chance at pipping Clemens), plus Hughes possibly showing why he's such a highly regarded prospect. Hey, maybe even Carl Pavano will show up, if his arm hasn't fallen off yet.

Nevertheless, the Yankees are much stronger in the pitching department than they were last year.

Patriots64 said...

I can hope!!
Ohka is 41-41 since becoming a full-time starter in 2002. Of the 102 pitchers with at least 600 innings pitches since 2002, only nine received less run support per game (4.61 runs/nine innings).

Toronto, in need of another starting pitcher, was attractive to Ohka because of the possibility of getting run support from one of the best lineups in baseball.

"It was a tough decision," Masteralexis said. "But we felt Toronto was a playoff-caliber team and Tomo wants the opportunity to pitch in the American League East and compete to make the playoffs."

ToddTheJackass said...

Can we get someone to chime in on behalf of the Orioles and Devil Rays?

I'll make a bold prediction and say that if Erik Bedard can stay healthy, he could be the 2nd best pitcher in the division (behind Halladay).

Big D said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Big D said...

GASP! Barbaro has been euthanized!

And such a good story from the owner, too...

marcomarco said...

About freakin time.

Patriots64 said...

Colts are going to get euthanized by DA BEARS!!!!!!!!!! 46-21

pv845 said...

One horse, I mean story that needed to die a long time ago.

ToddTheJackass said...

Oh man, wonder how many people Dan will offend with comments about Barbaro. Is there a Gabe/"Click-Clack" joke to be made here?

Big D said...

I'm calling it right now - this will become the single most epic posting in Deadspin Commenter Tirade history...

Unknown said...

Tiger Woods and Roger Federer are on another level in their respective sports. The bottom line is that the athletes we have nowadays are a million times better than the athletes from thenadays. The tennis announcers for Federer's match were saying that when they were star tennis players, they won because they exploited weaknesses. Federer has none. The same is true with Tiger, or any star player in any sport. If you put LeBron in 1950, he's score 75 points a game. If Bonds went to 1920, I think he'd go for (assuming the walk-him-every-time tactic hasn't been invented) about 200 homers. Ray Lewis in 1960? Give me a break. We have to realize that it's not fair to compare outside of the era.

When will the Suns catch those records from the '71 Lakers? As in most wins in a X Game Span. Right now they are 33-2 in their last 35. As the Lakers had a 33 game win streak, assuming they didn't lose back to back on both ends the record is 34-1. Does anyone know?

As far as Regige Bush goes...
I could be wrong, but I don't remember the NFL ever fining anybody for shaking a finger, or taunting. I think it was clearly the wrong thing to do. But it just seems like he shouldn't be fined. Not that I feel bad ofr the guy but did anyone see the play and think "Oh, he's going to get fined for that!" In fact, the announcers normally say things about plays that could draw a fine, and they didn't say a word. Does anyone know of a similar case?

I'm no expert on Women's College B-Ball but living in Maryland and being a Terp fan it's hard not to know that Duke, Carolina, and the Terps are on some other level. I'm pretty sure Duke and Carolina are undefeated and Maryland is 20something-2 with the 2 losses being to Duke and Carolina.

Nobody cares about Barbaro besides the glue factory workers waiting for the surge in buisness.

Winter X was pretty crazy from what I saw. I don't follow the stuff outside the X Games, but when it's on I watch cause it's crazy. I saw guys doing back flips on a 450 pound snowmobile off a ramp and landing 100-something feet away. The tricks the guys were doing in Superpipe were crazy as well.

As for high school basketball, I was trying to point out that it was great to watch. Obviously much less expensive than an NBA game and was very entertaining. I also like saying that I saw that guy rip it up in high school.

Mikepcfl said...

I guess I can chime in on the Orioles. They have some good young pitching coming up, but too many "ifs" to think about competing this year.

If Bedard stays healthy, if Cabrera lives up to his potential that he showed at the end of last season, if Loewen can take a step forward in his 2nd season, if the bullpen doesnt suck as bad as last year, if Patterson's season wasnt a fluke, if Huff can hit like he did 3 years ago then the O's will be pushing 500.

Then they will have to add some offense to compete for a wildcard in 2008. But even if they take a step forward this season, Angelos will screw it up. I am just hoping they wont be embaressing.

marcomarco said...

I would pay $25 for a bottle of barbaro glue.

Agreed big d. Awesome

Mikepcfl said...

Re: Barbaro. Horses are beautiful, majestic animals and I enjoy seeing them race. I hated to see him suffer, but I would never send a card or anything like that. At least now Barbaro and the story will both be put to rest.

Brian in Oxford said...

Well, it's either the AL East or Notre Dame football, we've chosen baseball for today.

Erik Bedard, the pride of Norwalk Community new assistant takes classes there, perhaps the O's will try to sign her away from here.

Here's a question....what kind of football betting is everyone up for? I'm being pressured to organize super bowl squares, where you get assigned the ones digit for each team in a randomly-assigned battleship grid. We thought about, instead, pre-determining the squares and offering them for auction, instead. (Instead of $5 a square, where you don't know what you're getting, you could bid to buy the 7-3 square.)

I'm surprised rugby's NOT more popular. Imagine if the NFL played without helmets and pads, but with all the same contact. Wow.

solomonrex said...

You leave BS alone!

Every blog post, ever:

family talk
make fun of celebrities, athletes, Microsoft, Bush.

It's a winning formula, or we wouldn't be here today.


I'll keep us Sarbanes-Oxley compliant with the last required comments: ND sucks, Dan's slurping FU and I'm sick of the Patriots talking about respect. Did I miss any?

Sheldiz said...

i only skimmed through the commnets, so i may have missed it, but... has anyone made a "beating a dead horse" joke yet?

ToddTheJackass said...

In college, one of my professor's said in passing, "Not to beat a dead horse or anything... though that does sound like fun..."

And I was the only person who was laughing.

What's wrong with people that things like that wouldn't be funny?

Thanks for the Orioles perspective. Now we just need a D-Rays fan...

*crickets chirping*

Big D said...

@ todd:

I'm pretty sure "beating a dead horse" accurately sums up the Devil Rays' perspective.

Unknown said...

Barbaro, dead at 45... months.

Andy said...


Now that I have that out of my system, can we also talk about any other division other than the AL East? There are 5 other divisions folks.

Aitch said...

@ guyinthecorner re: Reggie Bush, I was actually surprised he didn't get a flag on that play and I' not surprised at all at the fine. He taunted the players from the other team. I'm pretty sure that's a "personal foul. Taunting. Number 25 offense. 15 yard penalty will be enforced on the kickoff"

@ Andy. Yup, there are 5 other divisions. Unfortunately, since most of the active commenters seem to be located in the northeast, the AL East is the most relevant to us, and what we know the most about. I'd love to read your contribution on your favorite team though. The more info I can get on sports and other teams I don't normally follow, the better.

Andy said...

Ok, personally, I'm a Cubs fan and I think the Cubs can easily take their division this year. The division is weak and their lineup is really good. Soriano or Jones will play in center field. Soriano has the speed to play there without the experience, and Jones has the experience without the speed. Either will do well. I'm not say they'll win a Gold Glove, but they'll be sevicable.

The starting rotation is a big question mark, obviously. But Zambrano is the best pitcher in the National League. I really think Prior will be back and healthy this year. Lilly will be better because he's in the NL, and they've got a really good young guy named Rich Hill who's a lefty and has a Zito-like curveball.

The bullpen will be just as good as it was last year and I think Dempster just had a bad year. It happens.

No one else in the division made any moves. The Cardinals? Did nothing. Astros? Nope. Brewers? Doubtful. Reds? Not in that stadium. Pirates? HAHA!!! Cubs will win the NL Central.

Big D said...

@ andy:

Had this discussion with commenter Lenny last week as well. I love the Cubs' 1-9 lineup. But when the major question on your team is the starting rotation, you've got major questions.

Zambrano is probably going to be a force of nature this year, since he's got a contract coming up.
Prior is an unknown.
Lilly will benefit from the move to the NL, but he was always mediocre, at best, when not pitching against Boston or New York.
Rich Hill looks real good coming up, but until he proves it for a full season, I'm not 100% convinced.

I actually like the Cubs chances this season, since the Cardinals are getting older, and the Brewers are probably too young (though they're "over-talented", if there is such a thing) to sustain a run for the full 162. Pittsburgh, Houston and Cincy are all afterthoughts.

ToddTheJackass said...

@Andy, In all fairness, the Astros signed Carlos Lee, which isn't nothing.

The Cubs have a chance, but their rotation and weak team OBP is pretty scary, especially if Soriano reverts back to his pre-walk year totals.

I like Matt Murton a lot, but am not totally sold on Rich Hill, since he has been so dominant in AAA, but his appearances in the majors have been all over the place (from great to terrible). I'm sold he can be a good player, just not sold that this year he'll have a breakout year. (FYI, the Bill James Handbook predicts Hill to have over 200Ks this year).

And Prior stay healthy all year? Guy's got all the talent in the world, but that's wishing an awful lot, isn't it? Is it fair to think that the guy, even if he does come back healthy, won't be anywhere near the pitcher that he was?

Mikepcfl said...

I'd love to talk about the 5 other baseball divisions, but arent there minor league blogs on other sites? :-)

Brian in Oxford said...

So when do the Cubs come to Fenway, anyways? Hasn't interleague play gone on for like, ten years now? Oh wait, the Red Sox get another home and home with their true rivals....Atlanta.

Who's pitching for Houston this year? No Pettitte probably means no Clemens.

The new page 2 at layout is lousy, although it does put more faces to the authors. Surprised they can't get a color shot of Easterbrook yet....geez, a stillshot from his ESPNEWS commentary woulda worked. Of course, that same "shiny" picture of Simmons has probably run its course, too.

I'm curious to see the list of shows that beat the ratings for the NBA all-star game, too.

Andy said...

Big D, I am lenny. I'm not sure why it's posting as Andy now. Lenny's my nickname. Andy is my name. I still think that no one in the Central can keep up. Plus, there's always the x-factor of Lou Pinella. He handles pitching staffs better than Dusty Baker can imagine.

Big D said...

@ Brian: changed their interface today as well, or so it appears.

Also, I know there was a report that a re-run of the Andy Griffith on Nick at Nite was just about on par with the ratings for the NHL game.

Big D said...

Ahhh, Lenny, my old nemesis. Changing names to hide your true intentions...

Your facade will not fool me. I am undeterred in shooting down your theories on the Cubs.

Wow, where the hell did that come from?

Andy said...

I like the new I've always checked that before I'm not sure why. I find their columnists much better though.

Andy said...

Big D: That's funny. But I'm pretty sure I came right out and said I was Lenny as soon as I noticed it said Andy. I wasn't trying to fool you. ALthough it did work unintentionally. And why are we old nemeses? I never really had a beef with you did I?

Kevin said...

The Cubs have a shot at the NL Central, but so do the Brewers and Cards. Here's the thing: the NL Central is always going to be tough to win or to pick a winner becuase it has 6 teams. MLB needs to wake up and shift the divisions around to get all 6 divisions down to 5 teams each. This nonsense where one division has 6 teams and another only 4 teams is BS! I am aware that it will require them to alter their balanced scheduling, but so be it. Times are changing. More interleague games would be nice. I'd love to see more then just a couple teams from the AL, and the same teams every year. With 162 games, why not play every other team in the other conference for a 3-game series. Half are home, half are away. Next year you play the opposite.

marcomarco said...

I like both SI and Page2 new formats. Tab's are way prettier than overlinking a page.

Page2 especially: I like the face links to the editors down below, nice touch.

Natsfan74 said...

Wow. I always wanted a nemesis.

I work with a guy who lived with Prior in college and they are still close. All fall, I kept pumping him for information about Prior's health, which he said were always vague reports.

Now, he said that Prior told him he is strong and healthy and feels the best he has since college. I hope that is an indication that we will see the 2002/03 Prior again this year. Remember him? The guy who went 18-6?

So, we have 2 divisions sorted out. Now what about the NL East? I think Philly got the pitching help it needed in the offseason to make them a favorite.

The Nationals have a new stadium coming next year. And oh yeah, they have done a ridiculously good job of stockpiling young pitchers, I just hope one or two of them pan out. But for this year, they will have a great #1 pitcher and great closer. Their defense up the middle is exceptional with Lopez moving to 2nd, Nook Logan will be a great CF, Guzman (hopefully the Twins version of 3 years ago) is very solid at short, and 2 good defensive catchers. Their corner infield is among the best in the NL with Zimmerman at 3B showing great glove, some power, and a flair for the dramatic hit and Johnson at 1B showing power and excellent plate discipline when he is healthy (huge concern). In the outfield, Kearns is great in right, but left field is open/ weakness.

I think the Nats have another last place season in them this year, but it will be the last one for a while. They are good and young and are going to be a good team who builds the smart way. Stan Kasten screwed up the Frank Robinson thing, but that's probably the only thing he has done wrong in 20 years as a club President.

chipp said...

AL West: Mariners made some moves, but nothing of great significance. Of course if you consider salaries to rate players, they lost a great SP to the Royals. Thankfully they didn't screw up the center of the team: Jojima, Betancourt, Lopez, Ichiro (may move to CF). They'll be improved, but still not in the running come Sept. Hopefully Sexson will start the season off hot and someone will think they need power hitter so the M's can cut off some dead weight. They'll probably finish 3rd (JUST beating out the 4th place team - not sure who, but both the Angels and Athletics are due for a soul crushing year: one of them will slip, Texas finishes 2nd).

Andy said...

natsfan, if you want to be Big D's nemesis, you certainly can be. I didn't even know I was his until he said so. As for the other divisions, I think the Dodgers take the West and unless the Mets land Willis, I think the Braves will be back in the East. I think the Wild Card will go to the Phillies or Mets.

In the AL, I think the Yankees take the East, which I find sad and depressing. I think the White Sox will take the Central and the Angels will take the West. The Wild Card goes to probably the Red Sox, which I also don't really like.

I live in Minneapolis and have grown to kinda like the Twins but they just didn't do anything this offseason. I'm not sure they can compete with no one behind Santana.

Someone said that the Astros signed Carlos Lee which meant they did do something. True, they signed one larger bat, but they also signed a larger ass. He's fat and slow in the outfield and they also don't have enough pitching. Astro's won't go anywhere.

solomonrex said...

Ok, looks a zillion percent better. AND it loads pages. That was the only thing keeping me away, cnn and cnnsi seem to not care if you ever read anything. Not that anyone cares, but Businessweek is getting bad.

Splashy ads=website never loads and I go somewhere else.

ToddTheJackass said...

Bowden has done a nice job stockpiling a lot of arms (though it seems like most of them are too far away to really project), but the Nats still have a ton of work to do, and have to still be reeling a little after not getting anything other than draft picks for Soriano. (The Vidro deal with Seattle though was downright larceny for the Nats)

I like Zimmerman a lot, but there's really not a whole lot else there to build around. Ryan Church looks like a Quad-A player, and Lopez and Kearns don't really seem to be good fits in D.C.

The Mets still have to be favored in the division, but their rotation is so suspect unless either Pelfrey or Humber can come up huge. Wouldn't be surprised to see Pelfrey be the 2nd best starter by the end of the year, but he could use some more time in AAA to work on his slider.

Gotta love the Phillies chances at least at the Wild Card if Hamels can stay healthy and Myers can stay out of trouble. Still though, they're the Phillies, so I'm sure they'll find some way to screw over Philly phans.

Can't see anyway that the Marlins improve upon last year, as opposing pitchers and hitters now will have better scouting reports against them. No way Josh Johnson can get through half a year leading the NL in ERA again! Though any improvement from Hermida would help the lineup, especially if he can complement Cabrera at all.

Eh, the Braves...

ToddTheJackass said...

I'll take a Nemesis, especially if they're a fan of the Yankees, Notre Dame, and Duke. Actually, I'll slash their tires if such a person exists.

chipp said...

Speaking of weird team associations, has anyone heard the Team Colors Glidden Paint radio ad? The guy is a fan of Ohio State (no sport mentioned), Denver Broncos, and the Red Sox. How could such a person exist?

Brian in Oxford said...

I think big D was just twisting his mustache, in a Snidely Whiplash-sort of way when he called you a nemesis, Andy/Lenny. Next thing you know, you'll beat him on a point in a post and he'll say "Curses! Foiled again!"

Anywayyyys....we must all beware the Rangers out west, if only for the compelling development of a "curse of Buck Showalter". At least, for those who actually believe in curses....

I agree on the paint thing. And how different are Buckeye Red versus the Red Sox red? I mean, if the guy were an Oakland A's fan, I could see the real color debate in his head.

Brian in Oxford said...

I think Penn State's paint is just a can of plain white.

Jen said...

Let's talk about what's really important here: can UNC get past *Duke* to get the championship?

(Though, on a side note, the Sox are f-ing killing me with sh*tastic players they're signing.)

Big D said...

Stupid Blogger Interface. Had a really good point up here in the comments, tried to post it, and it failed. Now I have to think again. Once was enough.

@ andy/lenny:

Fear not - I have no nemesis. Except for Wink Martindale - that guy just creeps me out, and I'm not a big fan. But that's a different story.

@ everybody else and the MLB divisions debate:

The NL Central is not quite "up for grabs", but there are only three teams, in my mind that can win it:

Cardinals - they've won the division three straight years, and five of the last six. Still, they've lost a couple of pitchers, and I haven't seen anything to replace them yet.

Cubs - They opened their wallets and spent (probably waaaaaaay too much) to get the biggest names on the market. Plus they have next year's biggest free agent in his contract year.

Brewers - they're the NL dark horse (My buddy Vinny really turned me on to them - he gets the credit). They're both young and experienced. They've got a legit 1-2 punch in the rotation, if Sheets stays healthy. I like this team a lot. If nothing else, they'll be fun to watch.

CMFost said...

I have to agree with who ever said earlier that this might be the one of the least watched super bowls ever. Normally by this time I know of 4 or 5 Super Bowl Parties that are going on, this year no one is having one.

Plus let's face it we already know that the NFL is going to make sure it golden boy is going to win.

Big D said...

@ kevin:

I remember when the new divisional format was implemented, Bud Selig came under some serious criticism for the NL Central.

He was still the owner of the Brewers then, and he decided to move the Brewers to the NL Central - thereby leave the AL West with only 4 teams - because "it was logical from a geographic standpoint" or some crap like that.

But the truth is, he wanted to set up contrived "rivalries" for the Brewers with big-ticket teams like the Cubs & Cardinals, so he put them all in the same division so they'd play a dozen or so times every year.

The trouble is, the Brewers are the only team that makes any kind of sense to move to the AL West, and he'd never do it. Not until he's out as Commish.

Natsfan74 said...

Baseball went with a 6 team NL Central and a 4 team NL West for the logistics of scheduling. If there were 15 teams in each league, then there would have to be an interleague game every night of the season, including opening day.

I like interleague, but I kind of miss what the all-star game meant seeing guys face eachother for the first/ only time. I hate the unbalanced interleague schedule (Cubs play WSox 6 times, Cardinals play Royals), but it's a minor deterrent to an otherwise good thing. But if baseball turned into basketball where every team plays every team every year, I would not like that as much.

So the 14 team AL/ 16 team NL is what it is until baseball adds 2 AL teams.

Brian in Oxford said...

instead of adding 2 AL teams, let's subtract 2 NL teams. or 2 teams in general, and rearrange the leagues slightly if necessary.

We don't need 32 teams of any sport.

Unless we want to go to.....4 leagues! Just like up until 1961, you play the same 7 teams 22 times each.

If nothing else, it's the 3 divisions that sucks. Couldn't they make it work better with an NL and AL West and East, and 2 wild cards?

Andy said...

brian, I know. I was just kidding around. I've enjoyed everyone on this board, except ferocious bluebird. He really doesn't contribute to many conversations, he's mean, and he his opinions are dumb. That's just me though...

Brian in Oxford said...

The only thing there, ma4tt, I'd add, is that in the NFL, home fans go 8 years between visits by off-conference teams. With 162 games to divvy up, that can be fixed to at worst, every 4 years.

Hockey should work on its scheduling, too. Basketball's got it as best as they can, considering it's just not easy to split 82 games among 29 opponents for each club.

(I'd like to see the northern teams in the NHL form a "northern division" and then "accidentally" forget to schedule any games against florida, phoenix, anaheim, carolina, atlanta, etc....)

Andy said...

Here's a solution to baseball's divison problems. Add 2 teams the AL to make the leagues even. One can go in Portland, where I think there would be a huge market for another pro team. The Blazers are the only pro team in Portland so another pro team in any sport would do well. The other AL team could go somewhere in the East. Maybe Charlotte or something. Obviously that team would go to the Eastern division and the Portland team goes to the West.

In the NL, everything stays the same and things work out just fine. Problem solved.

cmfost, come on!! Be honest. Do you really think that there's a conspiracy?? Or are you still pissed that the Colts, led by NFL golden boy, beat your Patriots? It could be you don't know of any SB parties because you area is still pissed that the Patriots lost.

Brian in Oxford said...

I think he's got a point there, cmfost....there's BOUND to be fewer parties in New England, absent the Pats in the "big game" (as it's referred to, for legal reasons, of course).

I hate parties for the game....either people yap over the commercials, or there's some idiot that doesn't understand football either asking stupid questions, or worse, expressing stupid opinions. I'm more than happy to fry myself up a batch of wings, buy a six pack of high-test beer, and watch the game by myself. (and this year I've got HD. where was this for nipplegate, huh?)

Big D said...


ABC's World News Tonight just led the National News broadcast with Barbaro's Death. It's a 4-minute piece.

Isn't there a war going on, in two different countries, that they could maybe address before A FREAKIN' HORSE?

That's it, I'm done.

Pokhra said...

As for the 'beating a dead horse' jokes, how long before it comes out that they've been "milking" Barbaro for every drop of semen that he's been able to produce for the last 8 months.


chipp said...

NFL scheduling to make the 1 seeds have tougher games doesn't work anymore. For each team in each division, there are only 2 different opponents all year. With the fluctuations of playoff teams each year, there is no guarentee that a 3rd place schedule will be easier than a 1st place schedule.

T-Mill said...

I just cannot feel sorry in the Barbaro case. He was a horse, and it was our fault because we derive pleasure from watching them run. As a result, several horses break legs from the stress and have to be put down. He just happened to win one major race.

Call me when someone worth grieving dies