Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wednesday 04/18 A.M. Quickie:
"We Are Virginia Tech"

Virginia Tech tragedy, cont'd: I don't usually embed video clips, but this one says (and does) more than I (or anyone) could write about the Virginia Tech tragedy. Hopefully, you've already seen it:

Here's the link.

Here's another must-read post from The Dugout and AOL Fanhouse's Nick D, a Virginia Tech student. (Fanhouse's Michael David Smith has a great take, too.)

MLB Studs: The Nationals, for wearing Virginia Tech hats yesterday in their 6-4 loss to the Braves. (Affirming that sometimes, a team can claim victory, even in defeat. I've never been prouder to be a Nats fan. All 4 weeks of it.)

MLB Duds: The Cardinals, whose 6-7 start is the worst by a defending W.S. champ since the '98 Marlins. (But these Cards weren't imploded in the offseason like that Florida team was, so what's their excuse?)

Matsuzaka Watch: 10 Ks in 6 IP will be forgotten after his bases-loaded walk sent home Toronto's game-winning run. (But don't blame Dice-K: That was in the 4th inning; where was Boston's vaunted lineup to score more than 1 stinking run?)

Sosa Watch: Well, of COURSE Sammy hit a home run in his return to Chicago. Too perfect.

NBA Regular-Season Finale: The Warriors basically have a play-in game tonight. They can lock up the 8-spot in the West with a win over Portland. (Don't the Blazers have a vested interest in making sure their rising division rival makes the playoffs and doesn't enter the Draft Lottery, where GSW has even a smidgen of a chance of walking away with a franchise player?) Meanwhile, I know the Warriors beat a tanking Mavs team, but I still like Golden State to upset Dallas in the first round of the playoffs. (GSW swept DAL this season.)

(Of course, the Warriors could actually vault the Lakers into 7th if GSW wins and L.A. loses to the Kings. Warriors-Suns would tilt the scoreboard; Kobe-Cuban would tilt the media machine.)

NBA East: Wow, the Wizards are struggling enough that the 6-, 7- and 8-seeds are all up for grabs in tonight's season finale, meaning the 1-, 2- and 3-seeds don't know who they are playing yet. (Whoops: We don't even know who the top seeds will be; the Cavs could still get the 2-seed.)

NBA: Jerry West leaving Grizzlies. Well, that happened about 3 years after I thought it would. (Ah, yes: But will he regret it when they land Oden or Durant? Maybe he's got one more blockbuster trade in him to ship out Pau Gasol for a totally revitalized roster.)

More NBA: David Stern banishes ref Joey Crawford indefinitely, including the playoffs. That's for effing with Tim Duncan. (Actually, that's Stern asserting his authority and enhancing his already substantial cred with the fans, teams, players... and refs.)

NBA Draft: By winning last night, the Hawks have assured themselves of the 4th-worst record in the league. If the Ping-Pong balls follow, they will have just won their way into giving the Suns the No. 4 pick in the Draft. Forget losing: The Hawks can't even WIN right.

NFL Draft: I saw a Mock where the Texans got RB Adrian Peterson. That would be smart (even with their signing of Ahman Green in the offseason).

Is it possible that the combination of Peterson and DE Mario Williams is better than the woulda-coulda-shoulda combo of Reggie Bush and the best-available '07 DE (say Adam Carriker or Jamaal Anderson)? Who's going to argue that Bush is a better every-down RB than Peterson?

(On second thought, forget it: He won't last until Houston at No. 10. Pro Football Talk is throwing the 7-spot – Vikings - out there, if Peterson isn't gone earlier via trade-up.)

College Football: Wait, is the NCAA really going to get rid of the "unlimited text" plan for hard-working coaches? That must set a record for reactivity by the NCAA. (But get this: They're going to allow the coaches to continue to email players unlimitedly. Guess what: A coach with a Blackberry can email a kid with a Blackberry or EnV or Treo or whatever just as easily as he can text him.)

Arena League QB throws 800 TDs: I'm a day late on this, but if the Pro Football Hall of Fame is going to consider Warren Moon's CFL career in judging his Hall bonafides, wouldn't this Arena QB at least merit a sniff? (To position yourself as the Hall for ALL things Pro Football and not have the most prolific Arena player in it seems wrong.)

Do you remember the post where I compared Gilbert Arenas to Barack Obama? The geniuses at Wizznutzz (who helped me produce the Florida T-shirt you see in the upper-right corner – get yours!) have produced a companion T-shirt. Click here for a link to the must-have shirt of the 2008 Presidential campaign.

-- D.S.

124 comments:

DrDoom said...

third round of bloggers mock will be held here if anyone who drafted in the first two is interested

http://drdoomvote.blogspot.com/

CMFost said...

TANK ALERT - Minnesota needs to lose tonight to assure that they are going to get a top 10 pick in the NBA Draft. If they win and they do not get a pick in the Top 10 they lose there draft pick because of a trade they made and this years pick is protected in the top ten.

So they will be tanking against memphis.

Win - No 1st round pick
lose - top 10 draft pick

not a hard choice

Matt T said...

I was watching the Braves/Nats game last night and was impressed with the gesture. There were also fans with signs of support and banners.

Please, please, please, let the Warriors take the 8 spot. That would make the first round in the west, potentially the best ever. The matchups are great.

Re: the 800 touchdowns in Arena. Its not even close to comparing apples to apples or even apples to oranges. Half the field, different rules. No comparison at all.

CMFost said...

anyone else think Dice-K was cursing is offense in japanese yesterday. 3 games pitches a 1-2 record but he only given up 6 runs but the Red Sox have only scored 5 runs for him.

Natsfan74 said...

The Nats wearing the VT hats last night was pretty special. It was actually suggested by a fan, so the team ordered them late in the afternoon. First Nats game I miss all season and they do something like that...

If I knew how to put links in here, I would link to this:

http://www.thesabre.com/message_board/general/2007/April/17/511671.php

The Beta Bridge is a bridge on the campus of UVa that the students paint for all types of occasions. I am sure this is the first time this bridge has ever been maroon.

J Fitty said...

This Friday, April 20th...wear your orange and maroon to support and remember those affected at Virginia Tech.
"Hokie Hope," an alumni-led declaration of a national "Orange and Maroon Effect" day.

Geoff said...

Yeah, when you make a post about a guy throwing 800 TDs and you don't even mention his name... he probably isn't hall of fame worthy.

Patriots64 said...

Jays win against Dice-K on only 3 hits. Great start to season other than the injuries!

NHL - Rags, Nucks, Sens all take commanding leads in their series while Wild, Flames stay alive.

Qwagmire said...

Quit pushing the shirts

Jason said...

Portland and Golden State aren't division rivals any more.

Also, the Nats cap tribute was awesome.

Jen said...

Dan~ Thanks for the links to Nick D's posts...I have enjoyed reading about his firsthand experience through this.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Year o' the quaterback.

Looks like the boys at Kissing Suzy like Shanoff's idea...haha!

TF said...

Dan, I like the shirts, we bought a few, including one for my dad.

No Darko ankle injury mention? Oh well.

As for the VT speech, very good, I watched it lived yesterday in between classes.

b1b in mn said...

cmfost, I thought the wolves had a bottom ten finish wrapped up. If I am looking at it correctly they cannot catch Philly in the 11th spot.

Wild hockey last night...great game other than all the cheap shots missed by the refs, both ways. The fight at the end can be put on the refs letting the game get out of hand, IMO. There's nothing better that 20,000 fans chanting "Boogard" at the end of a game. Jacques Lemaire (coach) had perfect timing in sending the enforcer out to send a message....that he is our only big guy.

Also, we finally broke through the Bryzgalov Wall.

Todd said...

There's also a really nice tribute/piece that Curtis Granderson did for his blog on ESPN, which showed a lot of class.

Jen said...

Major DUD: Jake Westbrook- 1.2 IP, 8H, 8ER, 3 dingers

Boy, I bet the front office is so glad they got him to sign that extension.

Andy said...

Dan, totally off topic but completely relevant in my opinion. You should do something about the look of your site. Checking out KSK and a few others, they have color mixed in and all that junk. It's much easier on the eyes then the white, especially when you're staring at a computer screen all day. Any chance we can work on that buddy?

Andy said...

Jake Westbrook should die. He killed me in fantasy yesterday.

Jason said...

Wow...that Curtis Granderson piece brought a tear to my eye.

Jen said...

Forgot my stud: I'll give props to Dave DeJesus. 4-for-5 with a home run, lifting his average to .362...starts off strong, but tends to fizzle with the Royals' nose dive in the Central.

CMFost said...

b1b - if they lose they can finish no worse then 7th and they way the draft lottery works is you can not go back more then 3 spots. Thus they would gaurantee the pick being in the top 10.

Todd said...

MLB Studs/Duds from yesterday:

Studs:
1. Tom Gorzelanny
2. Moises Alou
3. Chad Gaudin
4. Ian Kinsler
5. Gustavo Chacin

Duds:
1. Jake Westbrook
2. Jeff Weaver
3. Jorge Julio
4. Jermaine Dye
5. Matt Murton

Brian in Oxford said...

When you're doing a mock draft, are you allowed to predict the team on the clock will use up its time allotment and get beaten to the podium by the next team, a la the Vikings a couple of years ago?

NBC's going to be pissed if Ottawa eliminates Pittsburgh. But Pitt needs that first season to "get their feet wet" in the playoffs.

And my prediction of Dice getting the Roger and Pedro treatment (no run support every time out) seems to be coming true. Chacin owns the Red Sox, though.

b1b in mn said...

cmfost, I stand corrected. Thanks for the clarification, forgot about the moving back three part of the lottery.

brian in oxford, did you have to bring up the Vikings draft debacle of a few years ago. We are stil trying to forget about the Mike Tice/Red McCombs era of football.

chipp said...

Todd:
Take it easy on Jeff Weaver, he has a specific role with the M's: wear out the other team's bats the day before F Her pitches. Besides, it's not everyday a pitcher lowers his ERA 14.75 points in one outing (30.5 to 15.75).

TBender said...

Cards' excuse: World Series hangover plus injuries.

Neither of which is a good excuse.

This is looking like 1983, 1986, or 1988 all over again...

Andy said...

Todd, is it bad when 2 of your 5 duds are on my fantasy team? Wow I'm really screwed...

CycleDan said...

I hated the Virginia Tech speech. I heard it on the radio on the drive home yesterday. It was a memorial service, not a pep rally. If I had a friend or family member killed, I would have been deeply offended.

GuyInTheCorner said...

I'm compiling a list of pitchers that I would go see if they were in town. As I am within range of the O's and Nats they could be in either the AL or Quad-A. So far I have this:

Johan Santana
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Curt Shilling
Roy Halladay
Jered Weaver
Felix Hernandez
Justin Verlander
Chris Carpenter
Carlos Zambrano

Not active list:
Fransisco Liriano
Roger Clemens

Under consideration:
Roy Oswalt
Josh Beckett
John Lackey
John Smoltz
Brandon Webb
Chris Young

What are your lists? Dis I miss someone you love?

Discuss.

Mikepcfl said...

I just read Granderson's blog post and he has quickly become one of my favorite non-Orioles. I have been reading his blog since opening day and have been entertained. This morning I read it and I was moved. Very good guy.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Sorry, I left Pedro Martinez off the "not active" list.

Jen said...

Guy~ You forgot Jake Westbrook...he'll give the O's a good lead. LOL

Ok, so my humor is a little off today.

CycleDan said...

Back to sports:

The Nets just passed the Wizards (well tied and own the tie-breaker) and get Toronto now in the first round if they win their last game. Whoever gets the Wizards in the first round is going to be very happy.

Rangers pulled out two close 1 goal games in Atlanta and then demolished them last night in NY 7-0. Talk about Altanta being totally demoralized. I love the hats being thrown on the ice for the hat trick.

Being a casual hockey fan, I am probably one of the few people who can root for both the Rangers and Islanders. Most local hockey fans despise one of the two teams.

CycleDan said...

This morning on the Mike and Mike show on ESPN, they were saying Roy Oswalt is the best pitcher in the NL. Hard to argue with that statistically. He doesn't seem to get as much press though.

jhawkjjm said...

guy-

You need to move Oswalt into the "must see" list. I've never seen him live but watching him on TV he just looks absolutely phenominal.

Todd said...

@Guy,

List looks about right. Jake Peavy appears to be a glaring omission. I'd definitely go see Oswalt though, and probably Matt Cain or Dan Haren. Also once they're called up, I'd love to see Phil Hughes, Tim Lincecum, Homer Bailey, and Yovani Gallardo pitch.

Also, there has to be some mention of Joel Zumaya, even if he's not a starter.

@Chipp, I really hope F-Her isn't widely used for King Felix (maybe for Brett Myers?). Your whole post did make me laugh though. Well done.

@Andy, Aren't we not supposed to talk about our fantasy teams here? But it's a H2H league, so a couple bad outings won't kill you.

Andy said...

Guy, your little joke calling the NL the "Quad A" is completely retarded. This isn't the first time I've heard it and I'm sure it won't be the last, but at least the NL plays a real form of baseball. The DH is completely against the traditions of baseball. Those guys don't even play defense. I barely consider them baseball players when they only play half the game.

Brian in Oxford said...

I'd go to see Maddux pitch once, if I knew he was going to be on that day (that's part of the vote against him at this point, I suppose)....that sun-pop double in the 5th killed his chance at a win (did someone say fantasy roster?) yesterday. I have seen Wakefield pitch, that was more fun than anything to be in awe of. That works better with good seats so you can appreciate the movement.

I wonder how many Rangers fans are thinking, hmmmm....win 2 close ones, then a rout in the third game...this is just like....uh oh!

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay are only 2 of the top 3 pitchers in baseball.

Bash the NL all you want Guyinthecorner. They have the World Series Champion.

Todd said...

@Andy, without rehasing an argument from a couple weeks ago, the AL has just dominated the NL in the past few years. Since then I found a great article describing the disparity between the leagues in 2006.

And you can cry all you want about the DH, but I think that baseball is a better sport with guys like Ortiz and Hafner. Also, who wants to see pitchers hit?

Andy said...

I'd rather see Hafner and Ortiz if they were also playing somewhere in the field. When you think of the best players of all time, who do you think of? You think of the Babe Ruth's and the Ted Williams'. Those guys were not only great hitters but also great fielders, and in Ruth's case, a pretty good pitcher, too. I'm sorry but a complete baseball player plays defense. Hafner and Ortiz will never be considered a complete player in my opinion until they play in the field. I personally think they're a bunch of cowards to not play in the field. If they aren't very good, practice. Get better. I will guarentee you that Ortiz or Hafner or Thome will NEVER make it to the Hall of Fame.

verbal97 said...

uh oh, another AL v. NL debate? I smell another chance to be called an idiot.

Anyway, that's a pretty large list guy. If I was being as all-inclusive as you, I'd probably substitute Ben Sheets for Curt Schilling (washed up).

verbal97 said...

"I will guarentee you that Ortiz or Hafner or Thome will NEVER make it to the Hall of Fame."

...and Andy has reached a new low.

Todd said...

Thome did play a fair amount of 1B, so I'm not sure he fits in that description. Hafner and Ortiz could play 1B (Ortiz isn't terrible... he's not good and his range sucks, but he's not terrible).

But I ask this again, who wants to see pitchers hit? Isn't that pretty much a joke too though?

Also, I don't think I'd put Ruth or Ted Williams in the category of being "great" fielders. At least I'd use Willie Mays or Bonds as a better example of that.

And as for playing half the game, couldn't I then criticize most of the Cubs who can't seem to make it through half a season (if that)?

Mikepcfl said...

Dont laugh since this is coming from an O's fan, but how about Daniel Cabrera?

On any given start he could throw a perfect game, strike out 10 in 5 innings, walk 10 in 5 innings, throw numerous wild pitches or completely fall apart. No matter what, it wont be boring.

verbal97 said...

So I guess by Andy's standards, starting pitchers should never even sniff the HOF, considering they play 2/3 of a game every five games.

Todd said...

Good call Verbal, I'd definitely pick Sheets over Schilling. Though if I weren't a Sox fan, the opportunity to heckle Schilling might be worth it, right?

Also, I think Thome has a chance at the Hall if he can put together 2 or 3 more solid seasons, but I think his injuries really hindered his chances. Plus he gets lost in the steroid era, as his contemporaries (Bagwell, McGwire, Palmeiro, etc., all have had crazy stats). Ortiz and Hafner were both late bloomers, so I couldn't see either of them going for that. But it's not because they're DHs.

Matt T said...

I'd move Smoltz to the must see list. You'd be able to see a (hopefully) HOF pitcher who is still on top of his game.

Andy said...

Pitching is slightly more difficult than any other aspect of the game. Me? I can hit a baseball. But I can't throw one more than pry 70 MPH and can't get any movement on it. So pitchers deserve a heck of a lot of credit. DH's don't even play half the game. They play, well, say 4-5 AB's out of let's say an average of 40 AB's per game and that's 10%. They play 10% of the game.

I'll also criticize Prior and Wood all the time and have. I'm sick of them. But you know what? We finally have a pitching staff that isn't counting on them. I personally love the Cubs' current staff.

And I'd like to see Zambrano or Arroyo hit anyday. They may be the exception, but I'd still say they're more of a baseball player than a DH.

Jen said...

Thome was the Indians' third baseman from before he was moved to first. I think injuries have limited him to DH now.

Not sure where Hafner played before the pros.

I've seen both Wakefield and Pedro Martinez pitch. Very cool.

Brian in Oxford said...

If pitchers weren't babied into not hitting all along their development, a few more of them might hit .200. Nothing sickens me like hearing a pitcher was sent up and told not to swing. I think having pitchers who can and do hit provides a strategical advantage over teams whose pitchers can't. How about when D-Train hit 7th a couple of years ago?

It's like when Clemens was losing all those 1-0 games for Houston. You want runs? Make your own runs.

I do want to see pitchers hit, and more importantly, I want to see them TRY to hit.

Andy said...

Here's a perfect example for the argument against the DH: Edgar Martinez. He's probably the best DH to ever play (yes, better than Ortiz or Hafner) with a .418 career OBP, but many, if not most, analysists and writers say he won't get in the Hall when he's elidgible in 2009 because he was a DH and rarely played in the field.

rafael said...

@cycledan

A pep rally it wasn't. A rallying cry, however, is what the people of Virginia Tech needed. When something happens that so many people can't find the words to describe, you fall back on the simplest unifying things.
I would have been one to scoff too, had it been somewhere else. But that is what was needed here yesterday.

Todd said...

Arroyo hit .111 last year, with only 9 hits the entire season. Awesome dude, yes. Good hitter, no.

Dontrelle, Marquis, and Mike Hampton also come to mind as being pretty good hitters. I'm sure I'm leaving out some others though.

Brian in Oxford said...

Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux were all pretty good during the Braves' run. Smoltz probably the best of the three, but they were all good bunters, if nothing else. Hell, most shortstops these days can't even bunt right.

Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd said...

Even if Edgar played 1B, his "counting stats" aren't good enough to get him in the HOF anyway. Edgar was only top-5 in MVP voting once, and hit only 309 HRs. Solid, very good player, yep. HOFer, no.

I will agree that there should be a different standard for a DH to get in the HOF, but I wouldn't say it's patently impossible. They'd just have to compare favorably with some of the elite 1B of all-time.

Patriots64 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patriots64 said...

@Guy

Must see pitchers!

D-Train, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Scott Kazmir and maybe Phil Hughes in the near future!!

Todd said...

First Basemen in the Hall of Fame (post-dead ball era), done by career .avg/HR/RBI:

1. Lou Gehrig: .340/495/1995
2. Jimmie Foxx: .325/534/1922
3. Harmon Killebrew: .256/573/1584
4. Willie McCovey: .270/521/1555
5. Eddie Murray: .287/504/1917
6. Johnny Mize: .312/359/1337
7. Hank Greenberg: .313/331/1276
8. Orlando Cepeda: .297/379/1365
9. Tony Perez: .279/379/1652
10. Bill Terry: .341/154/1078

Not in the Hall:

1. McGwire: .263/583/1414
2. Palmeiro: .288/569/1835
3. Thome: .282/475/1308
4. Mattingly: .307/222/1099
5. Mo Vaughn: .293/328/1064
6. Will Clark: .303/284/1205
7. Keith Hernandez: .296/162/1071

DHs:

1. Edgar Martinez: .312/309/1261
2. David Ortiz: .283/235/775

(Didn't include Hafner since I think he still hasn't hit his prime, which is scary to think about)

Patriots64 said...

Best NHL draft moment last year!

In what was one of the most memorable moments in National Hockey League draft history, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Bobby Clarke began announcing his first round pick at the 2006 Entry Draft before pausing to seemingly confirm the name of their pick.

The confusion created an interesting story line but for Claude Giroux, the confusion didn't take anything away from the accomplishment.

"I wasn't really sure," Giroux said when asked if he thought the Flyers might have been changing their pick. "I was hoping they weren't going to change their mind but he just forgot my name."

GuyInTheCorner said...

Revised list...
Must see:
Johan Santana
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Curt Shilling
Roy Halladay
Jered Weaver
Felix Hernandez
Justin Verlander
Chris Carpenter
Carlos Zambrano
Roy Oswalt

Not active list:
Fransisco Liriano
Roger Clemens
Pedro Martinez

Under consideration:
Josh Beckett
John Lackey
John Smoltz
Brandon Webb
Chris Young
Ben Sheets
Jake Peavy

I would agree that if I were not an O's fan that I'd go see Eric Bedard and Daniel "the heat" Cabrera.

On the NL being Quad-A...
It's just that there are less good hitters and less good pitchers. Look at the interleague records. My must see list is 7 AL and 3 NL. It's just a reality. Don't give me the Cards. When the regular season ended they were like the 11th best team in baseball. They wouldn't have contedned in the AL.

jhawkjjm said...

The whole "the NL has the world series champ" arguement is weak. The Heat won the NBA title last year and I don't hear anyone saying the East is better than the West. In a series anything can happen and the best teams don't always win.

Anyone see that Ortiz-Posada commerical for espn? This absolutely cracked me up. Here's the link.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espntv/espnShow?showID=SRDA

Todd said...

Hip Hip, Jorge!

Yeah, that ad is pretty hilarious. For all we may criticize ESPN for, the Sportscenter Ads have been pretty awesome over the years. Though nothing can touch the "Follow me to Freedom" ad.

Andy said...

OK, Jhawk, I have to say that that statement was dumb when you said "In a series anything can happen and the best teams don't always win". If a team beats another team, they are the better team. That's the whole concept of sports. The better team is the team that wins. If that's not the case, than this whole thing we call competition is worthless and paying attention to sports is pointless.

The winning team is ALWAYS the better team. That is exactly why they won. If the losing team were really better, then they wouldn't have lost.

I'm not trying to offend you by saying that statement was dumb either. I make dumb statemtns all the time.

GuyInTheCorner said...

andy-

You have to be joking. The best team does not always win. What about when the Cowboys went 1-15 one year but their win was against the Redskins who won the Superbowl?

How does that work? The Cards got very lucky. They came across a team that was not experienced and fell apart at the end. That doesn't mean they are better.

verbal97 said...

It's best to just ignore andy. He NEVER says anything that resembles intelligent thought.

Andy said...

Can you explain the concept behind competition then if the better team doesn't always win? Because I'm pretty sure there isn't one then.

Brian in Oxford said...

Well, then you'd have to explain why no team goes 162-0 or 0-162, if they're the best or worst team in the sport!

Todd said...

Andy, the fact is that the Cardinals were not the best team in baseball last year. They weren't even the best team in the NL (the Mets were, and beat them in the season series 7-6 by your logic).

Objectively, the AL was just better than the NL last year. If you read through that article I posted there's no way you could disagree.

But if we're to follow your logic, the fact that the AL had a .611 winning pct. over the NL last year means that they were the better league.

Can't have it both ways. You can say you prefer the NL style, but the facts are just too obvious, the AL was by far the better league in 2006. (This year it's too early to make any conclusions)

Regardless, don't call anyone dumb for disagreeing with you on an opinion. I mean, other than Verbal, everyone here is pretty sharp (we kid because we love Verbal)...

Also, [rare] props to the Yankees for honoring Jackie Robinson in their momument park. Very classy move.

Andy said...

The point I'm trying to make is that the argument of one team being better is irrelevant. It is all relative because it changes every time they play. Were the Cowboys better than the SB winning Redskins?? ABsolutely, on that particular day. The next time they played or time before that, which ever it happens to be, they weren't. It's all relative though to that particular day/game/series though. Were the Cardinals the best team last year? Yes, because they played the best when it mattered. I'm a Cubs fan so you know I hate saying that but it's true. Were the Cards better than the Yankees?? Yes, because they beat the Tigers, who beat the Yankees. Whether you like it or not, that is the truth.

Andy said...

I also didn't call anyone dumb. I called jhawk's statement dumb. Maybe I could have used a different word, but hindsight's 20/20 right?

Andy said...

Why is this so hard to understand?? The Cardinals beat the Mets in the NLCS. By logic, they are the better team. I don't give a hoot what the regular season series looked like because the championship is determined in the playoffs, not the regular season. If the championship is the whole point of sports, which it is, then by logic and basic common sense, the Cardinals were the best team last year.

TBender said...

For the millionth time,
The Cards didn't just get lucky last October, they got healthy too. Too many people get hung up on the 83 wins and forget that they rolled through the first half of the season before Pujols went down for 3 weeks, and then everyone else started getting hurt.

The playoff lineup (ie, the everyday lineup) was used only 5 times after the trade deadline.

ryan from boston,ma said...

stud: Sammy Sosa,Joe Mauer,Washington Nationals

Dud: Red Sox's offense.

stooncer said...

How come there are no closers on the list? What about Francisco Rodriguez or Bobby Jenks - two young studs that bring the heat and an assortment of pitches? Or even Lidge if your team is trailing in the late innings.

To say the Mavs tanked last night is just plain dumb. They have secured the #1 seed and would be bucking a trend if they didn't rest their best players when they have nothing to gain by playing them in the final remaining games.

ryan from boston,ma said...

oh and Dan,Have you seen The latest ESPN commercial?

http://sports.espn.go.com/espntv/espnShow?showID=SRDA

ranks up their among the greats with Y2K and Field Turf.

GuyInTheCorner said...

tbender-

The Cards almost missed the playoffs by playing the worst month of baseball I've seen in my lifetime by a team that claimed to be decent. In September weren't they a bottom 3 team in the league?

If it isn't plainly obvious to anyone how much better the AL is as a whole, we can wait till interleague to see if the AL can hit a .700 winning percentage.

TBender said...

And as for the DH, it needs to go.

There's something illogical about allowing an offensive substitute for one guy just because he can't hit. Should the Astros ask to hit for Everett and Ausmus because they can't hit either?

Todd said...

@Tbender,

You do make a valid point, that we hadn't seen a relatively healthy Cards team down the stretch. But, they did also get lucky, in that Jeff Weaver somehow pitched the games of his life out of nowhere, that Isringhausen got hurt which arguably made them better, and also that the Mets were far from healthy (no Pedro, no El Duque, a hobbling Cliff Floyd).

But you do make a solid point in distinguishing the Cards as being healthy in the postseason.

I still strongly disagree that they were the best team in baseball last season, but you do make a very valid point. And the transitive property does not work in sports. Can't we all agree on that?

Brian in Oxford said...

Actually, I'm pretty sure the DH rules do not say it must be used for the pitcher. So if your catcher hits .180, you could in theory use the DH for him and put the pitcher in the lineup.

TBender said...

Guy,

A piecemeal lineup and a piecemeal rotation in the second half. I don't think you read everything I wrote. There was no continuity from day-to-day in the second half.

Too much focus on September and not enough on they games they were winning in April and May.

Todd said...

Hmm... I just thought of a good argument the NL-homers can use for the NL getting better.

Jeff Weaver went from the NL to the AL.

That automatically improves the NL, doesn't it?

But here's the thing about the NL last year, while I understand the Cards were hurt, it doesn't change the fact that a team that won 83 games last year made the playoffs. Considering they were in the same division with 2 of the worst teams last year (Pitt and the Cubs), and played the worst team in MLB during interleague 6 times (KC), it doesn't say a whole lot for the NL if its largest division was that weak.

Tbender, was Pujols out during the interleague games against the White Sox and Indians?

TBender said...

Todd...

I agree completely that luck was involved, but it wasn't the primary factor like so many people I hear say.

I do believe that on any given day the best team does win.*

*except for Denkinger, the Tuck rule, and US-USSR basketball games.

Todd said...

Correction: Tampa actually had a worse record than KC last year.

Todd said...

I agree TBender, they had Pujols. No team could be "bad" with Albert Pujols.

Still though, you can let us all in on a secret now, it really was Jered Weaver pitching for you guys, right? I mean, there's no frickin' way that was Jeff Weaver. And Detroit's pitchers making all those errors?

But they did play very well when it mattered. And no matter what we say, the Cards still got their rings.

I will still argue though that the World Series is just too small a sample size compared to interleague play in determining which league is better.

Joey said...

Don't forget C.C. Sabathia in your pitchers to watch. He is a giant out there and can gas it but has learned to pitch to spots and slow down if he has to. Since the end of '05 he has definitely been one of the best pitchers and his wins have only suffered due to bad luck with the bulpen blowing games.

Brian in Oxford said...

Whoa, wait a second, if the Raiders were the better team, why were they on the road?

TBender said...

Pujols came off the DL for the last game vs Chicago -- the 1-0 game where Chicago was 1-hit by Reyes (HR by Thome).

Edmonds was hurt in that same time period, as Taguchi is listed in CF, per Baseball-Reference.com, for most of the Interleague stretch.

St. Louis lost all 3 vs Chicago, all 3 vs Detroit, and the first 2 vs Cleveland (and two more against KC...Ick, June was bad.)

By the end of May, St. Louis was 34-19, best in the NL (NY 32-20). Detroit was 35-18, best in the AL.

Ibrahim Pelesic said...

As a stranger in this Country, I don't understand, how cops couldn't do better job? Hundreds cops and SVAT tim and even students couldn't stoop only one person who wasn't professional soldier or trained to kill? He killed 33 people in front of higgle trained Home land security professionals? And what could happened if there wasn't only one shutter, if he didn't kill him self, or he was enemy solder trend to kill. I think, a lat of mistake are made here and a lat of question must be answered.

But now, everything is clear: if this Country have so smart generals like you Mister Repings Wine, then what can we expect from soldier like Mister Vinn Marine.
This is my respond to you, and now I tell you my opinion about this event:


- "THEY WERE AT WRONG PLACE AT WRONG TIME" president Bush set speaking about 33 people dead at Virginia Tech.

- How "COLLEGE" can be a "WRONG PLACE" and "STUDYING" at " WRONG TIME"?
It is just shameless cowering of failure of this administration to make americens safe in there homes. Innocent people are paying price for that.
Do something. America.
Just changing politic, the leaders, and way of interacting with rest of the World after WWII, made Germany the most prestigious country at World today.
Wake up America. "COLLEGE" newer was "WRONG PLACE" and " STUDY " NEWER WAS " at "WRONG TIME" (except in middle age) , but "OUR KNOWLEDGE" can be late, and price what 33 fallen heros at Virginia Tech payed, is to high. But, like all heros, they tried and they succeeded, living this world with powerful message : Coexistence and Peace at Earth.
Make your choice. You have so many good choices in next presidential election, and I hope, your choice will be "Peace". And do not forget, I am telling you from refugees experience: only truly democrats can build democracy and make Peace work.
White, black, women,.. Doesn't matter if Country or peace is in question.
- "Let America be America again"...

My condolences to You, to fallen American Heros families, and to all Mankind. It is really planetary tragedy for all of as. Ibrahim Pelesic

Todd said...

Thanks Tbender. I was hesitant to use St. Louis' interleague record against them if Pujols were out. I knew it was somewhere around then, but wasn't sure exactly when.

As for the patched up rotation, how was their September rotation different from their October rotation, other than that Jeff Weaver no longer was Jeff Weaver?

Ryan said...

I'm a Cardinals fan and I will tell you their excuse...they were not a good team last year. They just caught the breaks and played well through October. They didn't improve. I'm not surprised by this start at all.

Patriots64 said...

I love the Tuck Rule!!! Adam V still had to kick 2 field goals after that to win the game in OT!

Lou Pickney said...

Regarding the Portland comment, aren't the Blazers now in a different division than the Warriors?

Jeff Hawkins said...

As a Virginia Cavalier, I feel bad for the kids, but I also cringe at the b.s. "feel good" stories that will make Tek "America's team" next year.

Andy said...

Ibrahim, don't EVER use the Va Tech Massacre to make a stupid political statement. Politics had nothing to do with what happened in Blacksburg. It was hard enough reading your statement with the broken english of yours, and I'm not trying to criticize you for that, but what you said really made my blood boil. President Bush, for all of his mistakes, did and said the right things yesterday, if there even are right things to say.

PS: This is a sports blog. Take that junk somewhere else.

Brian in Oxford said...

I was thinking that was randomly posted on a ton of blogs, including Dan's.

Natsfan74 said...

In some sports, there is a higher likelihood of the better team winning most games. In other sports, a strong individual effort could easily propel a much weaker team against the better team. For example, last year, Ramon Ortiz had a no-hitter through 8 1/3 against the Cardinals late in the season when the Cardinals line-up was getting healthy. The Nats won the game (Pujols hit a monster homerun in the 9th).

I say, the sport where an individual performance could most change the outcome of a game is hockey... My rank order is this:
1. Hockey -- a hot goalie can carry a team all the way through the playoffs even.
2. Baseball -- Maddux and Pedro both have Cy Young awards on losing teams
3. Basketball -- but it isn't a gimme -- the Lakers were 6-6 in Kobe's streak of averaging almost 40.
4. Football -- Really hard for a single player to have much impact. Even Brady and Manning have been let down by their defense (which they can't control) giving up more points than they could score....

Jen said...

C.C. Sabathia should be on the list because he can bat, too.

verbal97 said...

natsfan...did you not watch the USC-Texas game last year?

CycleDan said...

The sport where a single player can dominate the most is in basketball. In a single baseball game it is the pitcher but since a pitcher can't throw 9 innings every day or hit more than once every nine ABs, I got with basketball. Let us say a Div III college team plays a high school team with on pro on the high school team.

Put the top goalie in the NHL on the High School team and they still lose. Put the top MLB pitcher on a HS team and he probably shuts down a college team but can only do it for one game but they probably get shut out as well. However put Kobe on a high school team and I bet they can beat almost any Div II or III college.

ryan from boston,ma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TBender said...

Todd:
The complete absence of Jason Marquis from the postseason roster, plus limited doses of Reyes and Weaver (Both had out-of-body experiences in October).

In fact, there should be a rule of 1 headcase pitcher per team. Once Marquis was out, Weaver was fine. :)

Funny how Weaver said that Duncan didn't help him that much last year and he's reverted back.

MC said...

A couple of points on baseball:

The game without the DH (i.e. national league) has a lot more strategy. Do you replace your pitcher now or have him finish the inning and pinch hit for him? Double switches, a lot more thinking goes into it.
That said, I cheer for an AL team (White Sox) and enjoy that just as much because there is no "sure" out and there is usually more offense ... which leads to the AL being better than the NL in head to head match-ups recently. At least that is my opinion.

As far as pitchers to see live ... the first time I saw Jenks pitch live was early on in 2005 when he had just moved into the closer role. I tell you what - it was impressive. Even during the warm-ups he caused a stir in the crowd. He broke 100 on his first couple of pitches then threw a breaking pitch that had a ton of movement and was upper 80's.

Todd said...

Potential early stud to Jeremy Bonderman: 1H, 4Ks, 0BB, 0ER through 6.0 IP.

Brian in Oxford said...

Hey, has anyone here ever found batting cages that will throw more than 80? Most places I go don't even have a machine throwing that fast. And then they told me that they "recreate" the 70 mph machine by shrinking the distance from the standard 60.5 feet, so that you have the same reaction time despite the slower pitches. (time = distance / rate, for you algebra 1 fans)

Anyways, can pitching machines actually fire 90-100 or more?

GuyInTheCorner said...

A couple of things....

Did I hear the name Denkinger mentioned? You've gotta be kidding. After the guy gets on base you had wild pitches, hits and a WHOLE 'NOTHER GAME left in that series!

joey-
Great call with CC. Must see. Can't believe I missed that.

I CAN'T WAIT FOR TONIGHTS NBA GAMES

As one of the 12 remaining die-hard NBA fans, here is a summary of tonights important games, because the playoffs really start tonight:

Heat @ Magic 7:00
Magic need a win and Wizards loss to get the 7 seed and play Cavs/Bulls instead of Detroit.

Bucks @ Cavs 7:00
Cavs need win and and Bulls loss to get 2 seed and play Wizards/Magic instead of the 5 seed playing Miami.

Bulls @ Nets 7:30 ESPN
See Bucks @ Cavs for Bulls scenario.
Nets need win to lock up 6 seed and play Raptors. If they lose and the Wizards win they play the Cavs/Bulls.

Wizards @ Pacers 8:00
See Heat @ Magic and Bulls @ Nets for Wizards scenario.

Grizzlies @ T'Wolves 8:00
T'Wolves, Knicks, and Blazers are all tied for 6th worst record. If they all lose and tie for that spot their will be a ping pong lottery to see what order they go in. If the T'Wolves come out 8th they could end up being 11th in the draft lottery and would lose their pick to the Clippers in the Marko Jaric for Sam Cassel trade. Let's just say that the T'Wolves have to lose to the worst team at home.

Lakers @ Kings 10:00
Lakers need a win to lock up the 7th seed and play the Suns (rematch). If they lose and Warriors win they fall to 8th and play the Mavericks.

Warriors @ Blazers 10:00
Warriors need win to lock up 8 spot. If they lose and Clippers win they miss the playoffs. For scenario with Lakers see Lakers @ Kings.

Hornets @ Clippers 10:30 ESPN
Clippers need win and Warriors lose they get 8th seed and make playoffs.

GuyInTheCorner said...

brian-

Near my house there is a cage that has 90 mph throwing from MLB length. I've hit them before. The problem is that it takes about 20 pitches for me to get the timing down.

The upside is that with the ball going that fast, it goes far, ver, very, far.

Todd said...

That's impressive Guy, I think by the 20th pitch I'd be ducking in the corner and crying if there were baseballs thrown 90mph in my general vicinity.

I may sit around all day and read and study baseball, play fantasy baseball, etc., but man do I suck at the real thing.

CycleDan said...

How is it that the Knicks will lose 50 games again, out of the playoffs again, have traded away their #1 pick for a lower pick, have no room in the salary cap and the mastermind of all that just got a 5 year extension? Also Dolan will only bring in Jerry West if it is OK with Isiah. I honestly am just dumbfounded. How can Dolan, the owner of the Knicks, be so stupid? Is there something I just don't get.

Anyway, I am rooting for the Nets in the East and Denver in the West. I would like to see the Mavs win it all as well which is more realistic than the Nets or Nuggets.

Natsfan74 said...

In the USC-Texas game, there were actually 2 QBs who played well and were letdown by their defense. Remember, Texas won, but USC even had another chance at the end and the Texas defense (or what I like to call the Leinhart choke factor) kicked in and Texas prevailed. Remember, USC was moving again after VY's last TD. And Leinhart's only win in college in a game decided by 3 or less was the ND-Reggie Bush push game.

Brian in Oxford said...

Guy---

Plus, I'm guessing you were using aluminum instead of wood?

The timing's the hardest part. But once you hit one, you usually can hit a few, right? Unless you're on a machine that mixes speeds. Yikes!

IkeKrizzule said...

I watched the Dice-K game last night, and he showed impressive command and a sneaky fastball. He also benefited (leading to the 10K's) from a wide strike zone, which probably also was key in Chacin and the Jays holding the Sox to 1 run.

And I may be wrong on this, but I thought I heard somewhere (may be Peter King) that while it is called the Pro Football Hall of Fame they had been instructed not to consider CFL accomplishments.

Patriots64 said...

Todd Jones just blew Bonderman's win!!

GuyInTheCorner said...

brian-

Actually in that cage they don't let you use aluminum in the 80 or 90 cage. Leads to the ball coming off hard. I'm guessing they are scared of what happens if you foul the ball off your knee. It would probobly break.

Once you hit one you can hit a couple, but I played ball so it's easy to remember timing for me. If you never did it would be damn near impossible.

Todd said...

Early Dud to Todd Jones for blowing a save after Bonderman pitched very well.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Great Story here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VKAd7urSeo

In this clip you see that Grant Hill is playing the piano in the ESPN lobby. The story goes that Grant Hill volunteered to do the commercial but his agent advised him that he shouldn't play the piano on camera because then people will come up to him at events and ask him to play.

The commercial was already written and Grant Hill is a world class piano player. So ESPN had someone come in and record the music and then had Grant Hill move his hands sloppily so that people would think that he CAN'T play the piano. Then, as you can see from the clip, they kept his hands on screen and the keys just off screen to fool people.

The second part was that when they went to film the commercial they needed cash to put into the tip jar on top of the piano. Dan Patrick had cash so he ended up putting 8 dollars in. He has been trying to get those 8 dollars back from Grant hill ever since.

Brian in Oxford said...

When you're hitting, is it better which eye is your dominant eye?

(I bat left-handed but I'm also left-eye dominant, and I wondered if I'd be better off if I were right-eye, since that's closer to the pitcher, instead of my weaker eye sending bad signals to my brain that my left eye can't adjust for in time. Also because when trying to get my timing down, I actually will pick it up better if I switch-hit to righty for a couple of pitches.)

And Todd Jones and Rodney Monroe get a co-dud.

rafael said...

Since this is my avenue for venting...



the asshat who blames the shootings on Cho playing Counter-Strike is a total..well...asshat.

Do older people really have such little faith in anyone under 30 that you believe that a video game, or beavis and butthead, or a tarantino movie will inspire someone to gun others down?
2 days after the shootings and the media just seems to be having fun with it as every two-bit 'expert' chimes in from every corner of the country. (though, the Hardball guy did make the 'expert' look pretty silly)

/endrant

I'll be glad when I can just think about sports again.

Todd said...

That dude is a total asshat Rafael. To my knowledge, that guy blamed video games on the first day this happened, not even knowing if the dude even played video games.

I think I can speak on behalf of everyone by saying you should feel free to rant/vent all you want.

Drunken said...

Is your wife a Nats fan too?

Kevin said...

Ouch...King Felix just went down, with something in his knee or leg or something. He got taken out after getting only one out, 2-0 Twins. His velocity was okay but his location was not, leaving a lot of balls up in the zone (which happens with leg injuries)...

Kurt said...

"Click here for a link to the must-have shirt of the 2008 Presidential campaign." - DS

No, this is the must have shirt of the '08 campaign.

Ibrahim Pelesic said...

In your post, Mr Andy (4/18/2007 ) as respond to my post (4/18/2007) you say:
- " WHAT A BOOB THIS IBRAHIM IS,.."
- "POLITICS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT HAPPENED IN BLACKSBURG..." -
- "IBRAHIM, DON'T "EVER" USE THE VA TECH MASSACRE TO MAKE A STUPID POLITICAL STATEMENT ..."
- "IT WAS HARD ENOUGH READING YOUR STATEMENT WITH THE BROKEN ENGLISH OF YOURS,.."
- "THIS IS A SPORTS BLOG. TAKE THAT JUNK SOMEWHERE ELSE ..."

Are you really sure, Mr Andy, that you and Cho Seung-Hui (guy who killed innocent people at VE Tech) are not the product of same social- political environment? Both of you are trying to disqualify or eliminate those who disagree with you and have a different opinion about this world.
My opinion is not a "political statement" Mr Andy, ( as stranger, I do not have intentions to run for office in your country) and why do you think is "stupid"? Because it is different then yours, or just, because, you didn't understand my "broken english"? Or, just, because, I am not welcome at your "sport blog" - in "your" country.
I didn't use the Va Tech Massacre to make a "stupid political statement", Mr Andy. I am just using freedom of speech (USA Constitution) to express my opinion . I did that before ( in less democratic society then America) I am doing that now, and , I'll do that in future, again, if I have to. And, how do you think to keep me from doing so?
- With your gun? ( I am not a student at Va Tech, Mr Andy!?)
- With your arrogance? (You can not scare me with your derision and madness, because, I know, Mr Andy, this is just your personality )
- With facts!? That is fair, Mr Andy, but be careful. Even though I speak broken english , my mind is not broken, and I am ready to protect my self in five different ( broken) languages.

My broken English, Mr Andy is not really the reason why is my opinion a "STUPID POLITICAL STATEMENT" to you. Same as killer at VA Tech, ( arrogant , impudent part of this society) you are trying to eliminate everybody who disagrees whit you, or - is not "powerful" and "smart" like you!?
It is not enough " be born in America", Mr Andy, to be "powerful" and "smart". ( Cho Seung-Hui and you Mr Andy are god example)
To be powerful and smart, you must go at college. But, if college is "the wrong place" ( for You and president Bush) which college will you choose?
- "This is sports blog" you are telling me, and "take that junk somewhere else" - you said using excellent English, but, your behavior Mr. Andy is telling me much more about you, then your perfect English, and, I am not sure that next time you wont use different weapons against somebody who is "stupid" like me, or is not a "sports-man" like you.
You know, Mister Andy, " sport" is teaching us to "play fair" (in sport and life), but you are not "fair player", what (is not) telling me ( only) that you are not a (good) sportsman. Then,
- If you are not a sportsman ( you are asking me , and I am asking you same question): what are you doing here at "sports blog"?
- "All people are created equal", Mr Andy, but all people are not dying equal. Some of them are dying as heroes, another, as outlaws, sick, arrogant , stupid products of there's society.
Some of them, never die, because, they made huge contribution to there community or they left powerful message behind them to whole humanity ( to those who can understand more then only one - english language).
But some of those men, who were "created equal", are dying before they grow up , or before they really were born, and this kind of tragedy is the biggest loss for whole Mankind.
My condolences to You Mr. Andy, and , I hope, you have now the answer to your question: "What a boob this Ibrahim is,."