Posted tagged ‘Sports’

Week 7 NFL Power Rankings

October 27, 2009

We’re kicking things off with the first edition of my weekly NFL power rankings. Hopefully, this will run every Tuesday or so. These were harder to make than I expected due to the ridiculous number of terrible teams this year.  It may be a few more weeks before we know who’s for real and who’s not.

These rankings are based solely on my opinions and mean absolutely nothing. The way I see it, there are 5 tiers of teams right now, starting with:

Legit Contenders

  1. Colts 6-0 – I hate the Colts but damn do they look good right now. The Pats trip to Indy in mid November should be a show.
  2. Saints 6-0 – They got a scare in Miami, but came out unscathed. That was a character building win and should help them down the road. The Superdome will be a tough place to play in the playoffs.
  3. Broncos 6-0 – Denver is only this high because they haven’t lost. Once they do, I’m dropping them down a tier. I refuse to believe they’re really this good.
  4. Patriots 5-2 – Maybe a bit high, but if Brady returns to form (and it seems like he has) then the Pats will be hard to beat.
  5. Steelers 5-2 – A big win over the Vikings proves that the Steelers are for real.
  6. Vikings 6-1 – Vikings fans got their first glimpse of the REAL Favre last week. If they really want to contend, they need to limit his chances to blow it.
  7. Giants 5-2 – I’m surprised to see them this low, but 2 straight losses have Giants fans worried. With only 1 quality win (@Dallas), the G-Men have a lot to prove next week in Philly.
  8. Bengals 5-2 – Too high you say? Child pleeez. The numbers don’t lie (wins against GB, Pit, Bal, and Chi).

Potentially Frisky in the Playoffs

  1. Cardinals 4-2 – The Cards looked good in that win over NY, but don’t expect another miracle run in the playoffs.
  2. Falcons 4-2 – Another team thats hard to figure out. They’ve looked good in their 4 wins but terrible in both losses.
  3. Packers 4-2 – Aaron Rodgers looks great and they’ve taken care of business against bad teams. Favre’s return to Lambeau should be entertaining.
  4. Eagles 4-2 – The Eagles bounced back after an embarrassing loss to the Raiders, but how good are they? They haven’t beaten a quality opponent yet. That could change next week when the Giants come to town.
  5. Ravens 3-3 – Another potential paper tiger, they’ve beaten bad teams and lost to good ones. The schedule isn’t kind in the 2 weeks (Den, @Cincy).

Fighting to lose in round 1

  1. Cowboys 4-2 – The win against Atlanta was a shocker, but I’m still convinced that the Cowboys suck. Unfortunately the NFC is so bad that they might be able to sneak into the playoffs.
  2. Jets 4-3 – The Sanchize bounced back after a few bad weeks, but I don’t see them making any noise in the postseason.
  3. Chargers 3-3 – Everyone expected them to cruise to a division title, but now they find themselves 3 games out. Making the playoffs might be difficult with Baltimore, NY and Houston chasing the final wild card.
  4. Texans 4-3 – Is this the year they finally break 8-8? I say no.
  5. Bears 3-3 – So much for Jay Cutler turning them into contenders.
  6. 49ers 3-3 – I drank the Mike Singletary Kool-Aid after a 3-1 start, but this team screams 7-9.

Teams with serious issues

  1. Jaguars 3-3 – Any team that goes to overtime against the Rams isn’t for real.
  2. Dolphins 2-4 – The Dolphins went up 24-3 against an unusually turnover prone Saints team, only to blow the game in the final minutes. The Wildcat has been working but it doesn’t help in a 2 minute drill.
  3. Bills 3-4 – Ryan Fitzpatrick leads Buffalo to 2 straight wins? I don’t get it. I think its safe to say that the T.O. experiment was a failure.
  4. Seahawks 2-4 – Have these guys ever been healthy? I can’t remember. Luckily for Seattle they play in the NFC West.

Just plain awful

  1. Panthers 2-4 – How is Jake Delhomme still employed? Carolina’s only wins are against Washington and @Tampa Bay.
  2. Chiefs 1-6 – The Chiefs have been frisky, and they’ve played a harder schedule than most teams in this tier. Don’t be surprised if they win a few more.
  3. Lions 1-5 – See above. Expect Detroit to get win #2 next week against St. Louis.
  4. Redskins 2-5 – I’m convinced the Skins are awful. They’ve lost to Detroit, KC and Carolina, while only beating the winless Bucs and Rams. Jim Zorn’s days are numbered.
  5. Raiders 2-5 – Oakland is the only bad team with a quality win (Phi), but I can’t move them up when they average under 9 points a game and JaMarcus Russell is their QB.
  6. Browns 1-6 -Another team with an inept offense. How bad must Brady Quinn be if Derek Anderson is still the starter?
  7. Bucs 0-7 – With a decent QB and a competent coach the Bucs could win a few. Unfortunately they have neither. Who’s ready for the Josh Freeman era?
  8. Titans 0-6 – Wow, what happened to these guys? The 59-0 loss to the Patriots was the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen. Jeff Fisher should be fired for that game alone.
  9. Rams 0-7 – The worst scoring offense(8.6 ppg) and defense(30.1 ppg) in the NFL. The ’08 Lions might have company.

Red Sox Midseason Power Rankings

July 8, 2009

I thought I’d combine my love for power rankings with my love of the Red Sox.  These rankings are based on 1st half performance, pre-season expectations, and other random criteria that just pulled out of my ass.  Without further adieu, here’s my 2009 Midseason Red Sox Roster Power Rankings:

jason bay
becket
kevin youkilis
jacoby ellsbury
wakefield
ram ram
oki
nick green
paps
jason varitek
lester
dustin pedroia
bard
drew
penny
delcarmen
masterson
saito
ortiz
lowell
rocco
kotsay
dice k/smoltz
kottaras
lugo
  1. Jason Bay LF– JBay is leading the team in home runs/RBI but is mired in a month long slump.  He still anchors the lineup, but unless he starts bringing that average up, expect him to slide in these rankings
  2. Josh Becket P – after a slow start Beckett looks like the guy who carried us in 2007.  With the offense currently struggling, we need him to remain nasty now more than ever.
  3. Kevin Youkilis 1B – YOOOOOUUUUUKK!!!!  Like Bay, Youk had a hot start but has been struggling recently.  If the Sox offense is ever going to get going it will probably start with Youk.
  4. Jacoby Ellsbury CF – The kid can do it all, it seems.  Jacobs is playing gold glove center field, and since his drop in the order has found some unexpected power.  His steal of home against the Yankees might be the highlight of the season so far.
  5. Tim Wakefield P – Wake has given us everything we could ask for this year.  His 10 wins are tied for the lead in the AL, and at 42, he’s making his first All Star appearance.  He has a history of breaking down in the second half, so Tito will have to manage him carefully.
  6. Ramon Ramirez P – The first member of the bullpen to make the list, Ram Ram has been a pleasant surprise so far.  His 1.03 WHIP leads the team and he’s been a key part of the best pen in the league.
  7. Hideki Okajima P – See above. Ram and Oki have been solid all year in the setup role.
  8. Nick Green SS – I’m putting Green here because of how much he has exceeded expectations.  For a guy that was supposed to be in Pawtucket, Green has filled in nicely in Lowrie’s absence.  His bat is steady and his glove has been improving all year.  Not a week goes by without a web gem worthy play from this guy.  Julio who?
  9. Jonathan Papelbon P – Paps is sure making it interesting this year, but the numbers don’t lie: 24 saves and a 1.70 ERA.  I’ll take that any day.
  10. Jon Lester P – Expect him to rise on these rankings if he continues his June numbers.  After early struggles, Lester looks back to normal.
  11. Dustin Pedroia 2B – Pedey hasn’t been the MVP this year and he struggled mightily as the leadoff hitter.  Now that he’s back in the 2 hole, expect his numbers to return to normal.
  12. Jason Varitek C – Another player who’s quietly exceeding expectations.  With Tek, any offense is a plus, and so far he’s hitting .240 with 12 home runs.  I’ll take it.
  13. Daniel Bard P – Finally the Sox have a fireballer in the pen.  I love watching this kid pitch.  If Paps breaks down or leaves in the next few years, expect Bard to get the call.
  14. J.D Drew RF – Drew annoys the crap outta me, but his numbers aren’t terrible and he plays decent D.   If he can stop watching strike 3 go by, I’d be a lot happier.
  15. Brad Penny P – No longer trade bait, Penny looks more like a 3/4 starter.  Another pleasant surprise.
  16. Mike Lowell 3B – Decent numbers, but his hip is a major concern.  Don’t be surprised is the Sox go after a 1B/3B type player at the deadline just in case.
  17. Justin Masterson P – Not quite the lights out setup man from last year, but he’s still the most versatile pitcher on the roster, and an invaluable part of the pen.
  18. Manny Delcarmen P – The last 2 bullpen guys are almost interchangeable.  Both have been solid, but don’t get much action and could get decent value in a trade.
  19. Takashi Saito P – Decent fill in closer, when the Sox actually decide to use him.  The most likely to be traded.
  20. David Ortiz DH – Overall, Big Papi has been a disappointment this year, but he had a good June, so the critics have backed off.
  21. Rocco Baldelli OF – Nice story, good bad off the bench.  Still not sure if he can be a full time injury replacement.
  22. Mark Kotsay 1B/OF – Too early to tell, but seems decent enough as a backup.
  23. Diasuke Matsuzaka / John Smoltz P – I’m lumping these two together because they’ve split time and been equally ineffective.  Smoltz shows some promise, but keeps giving up big innings.  Dice-K’s future is in serious jeopardy, lets hope they find out what’s wrong.
  24. George Kottaras C – No wonder the Sox wanted Teagarden/Salty/Montero.  This guy can’t hit for shit, but he handles Wake ok.
  25. Julio Lugo SS/Waste of Money – Who else? The $36 million pile of dog shit has quitely been hitting well in limited action.  But his defense is still a disaster and he’s been thoroughly outshined by a minor leaguer 2 seasons in a row.  He’s the only player I’ve seen in a long time getting consistently booed by the home crowd at Fenway.  Just a train wreck.

Until next time…

Currently listening to: Franz Ferdinand – Ulysses

NCAA Tournament round 1 live blog part 4

March 19, 2009

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Recap: A mediocre game between Washington and Mississippi St.  No upset here, Huskies move on.

Games covered in part 4 (my picks in italics):

7 Clemson vs 10 Michigan

7 Texas vs 10 Minnesota

3 Villanova vs 14 American

4 Gonzaga vs 13 Akron

 

7:12 The next batch of games are just tipping off.  I’ve got Clemson/Michigan on TV and Texas/Minnesota on MMOD.  I really need the horns to win this one, I’ve got them beating the Dukies in round 2 (altho I’m already regretting it).

7:14 I just realized that I picked 2 teams that I hate: Clemson and Nova (former BC rival and current BC rival). Its not going to be easy to root for them.  Gophers are out to a fast start 9-2

7:18 Jim Nantz says this has been a “zippy start for the Gophers.” Minn up 13-5.

7:22 I nominate Clemson for having the douchiest fanbase in the country.  I’m not even sure who the other candidates are right now. If you’ve ever been to a Clemson game, you’d understand.  I’ve never seen so many orange polos and purple pairs of pants.  I didn’t even know you could buy purple pants.

7:35 Slow start for my teams.  Clemson down by 4, Texas down by 2.  Need more booze.

7:45 Texas takes the lead.  Clemson still down by 2.  I suddenly got busy, but I’ll try to update more soon.

7:49 Zips/Zags just got started.  I hope the announcers are taking advantage of the nickname matchup here.  I’m still not sold on this Gonzaga team, but I’m not sure why.

Score update:

Minn 29 Texas 28

Mich 22 Clem 22

American 27 Nova 24 (WTF!?)

Zips 8 Zags 7

8:06 Scores at the half:

Michigan 27 Clemson 24

Texas 39 Minnesota 35

American 41 Nova 31

8:10 We need to officially start the Villanova upset watch.  Down by 10 to American at the half is not good.

Sorry for the boring updates, things got busy here and I have less time for comments.

8:17 Watching the Zips/Zags game now.  (Are we going with Zips/Zags or Zags/Zips?, I vote the first).  I’m starting to get worried about my picks this round.  After going 6-2 in the early games, I’m losing in 3 of the 4 7PM games.  Michigan-Clemson should be back soon.

8:19 CBS switches to the Clemson-Michigan game just in time to show a 9-2 run by the Wolverines.  Great.  I shoulda known not to trust a bunch of douches to win a game.

8:27 Fucking Clemson.  Maybe some Pizza will help.

8:38 Thank you Longhorns.  At least something is going right. Texas by 9.  Clemson, Nova and Gonzaga are still down.

8:44 Pizza has brightened my mood a bit.  Nova is within 7, and Texas is pulling away.  If Clemson and Gonzaga can get their act together, this might not turn out so bad.

8:48 The two 7-10 games are mirroring each other right now, but with opposite results for me.  Texas keeps increasing its lead but Clemson can’t get anything going.  Meanwhile, Nova is down by 6.

8:51 They should probably move the Clemson game to the ER at the rate players are going down.

The Office is starting in 10 minutes.  The live blog will probably suffer.

8:58 The good news: Things are starting to go my way. The Bad news: The Office is starting to I’m going to go watch that.

9:08 First Office commercial break, and the games are looking good.  Texas is up big, Nova came back and took the lead, Gonzaga is winning and Clemson has cut it to 6.  Lets go tigers! I wanna go 4 for 4!

9:21 Holy shit this Clemson-Michigan game got crazy.  61-59 Wolverines.

9:25 Wow! What a game.  I almost don’t care that I lost. Michigan survives 62-59. In other news Texas won 76-62, Nova is up by 11 with under a minute left, and the Zags lead the Zips by 5 with 8 minutes left.

9:30 Ok, I’m leaving to go watch 30 Rock.  Nova is about to win and Gonzaga is up by 9.  See you for the last group of games.

Tourney picks that are sure to fail

March 18, 2009

Update: I made some last minute changes Thursday morning.

I’ve had a checkered past picking the NCAA tournament.  My only win came in ’05, when I correctly picked 3 of the final 4, and nailed the championship game (UNC over Illinois). Most years I have to settle for being in the lead heading into the final weekend, then watching my champion lose in the final 4.  

But thats the point.  You have to pick the champion correctly to win.  The pool winner is always the guy (or girl) who gets the champ right, and does just good enough in the early rounds to beat out everyone else who also picked the winner.  Unless your pool rewards picking upsests (mine doesn’t), then your best bet is usually a safe bracket that doesn’t rely on a cinderella team.  Don’t pick all four numbers 1’s to make it (even if it happened last year).  Pick some 12’s over 5’s and 11’s over 6’s. Then take a 7 over a 2 in the 2nd round just for fun.

With this strategy, I’m almost always in the lead heading into the final 4.  If that happens and I pick the champ correctly, I’ll win.

 

Enough with my (non-existant) strategy, on to the picks:

Midwest

2nd round

1 Louisvile over 8 Ohio St.

4 Wake over 5 Utah

3 Kanas over 6 West Virginia

2 Michigan St. over 7 BC

Elite 8

1 Louisville over 3 Kansas

1 Louisville over 2 Michigan St.

Comments

The toughest bracket for me to pick.  I’m a BC grad, and I’ve love for them to pull off an upset, but Michigan St. always goes farther than I expect.  Everyone else is picking Arizona over Utah, so I went the other way.  If Wake was in the East or West, I’d have them in the final 4.

Edit: I flipped my Kansas/Michigan St. pick

 

West

2nd round

1 UConn over 8 BYU

5 Purdue over 4 Washington

3 Mizzou over 11 Utah St

2 Memphis over 10 Maryland

Elite 8

2 Memphis over 1 UConn

Comments

I don’t trust UConn, I think the top 2 seeds should have been switched.  I think Utah St. is risky upset, but I don’t see the winner of that game beating Mizzou anyway, so it won’t hurt me much if I lose that one.

 

East

2nd round

1 Pitt over 8 Oklahoma St.

4 Xavier over 12 Wisconsin

3 Nova over 6 UCLA

7 Texas over 2 Duke

Elite 8

1 Pitt over 3 Nova

Comments

I hate Pitt and Duke, but someone has to win this region.  Florida St. is ripe for an upset.  I always pick a #2 to go down in the second round.  This time, I think its Duke.

 

South

2nd round

1 UNC over 9 Butler

5 Illinois over 4 Gonzaga

6 Arizona St. over 3 Syracuse

3 Syracuse over 11 Temple

2 Oklahoma over 7 Clemson

Elite 8

1 UNC over 2 Oklahoma

Comments

A lot of teams I don’t trust here.  UNC is the clear favorite.  I think ‘Cuse will be worn out, and AZ St. killed my Streak for the Cash run, so I’m going with them.  No one likes Oklahoma, but Blake Griffin is a beast.  A big time player can carry a team in this tourney (see Stephen Curry, Davidson), and I think he’ll do that for the Sonners.

Edit: I forgot about Dionte Christmas, so I picked Temple to take down Az St.

 

Championship

UNC over Louisville

Comments

UNC was the clear number 1 when the season started, and I don’t see anyone stopping them now.  Louisville is getting hot at the right time, and that momentum will carry them to the championship game, but it won’t be enough against the Tar Heels.  As long as Ty Lawson stays healthy, I see UNC taking the whole thing.  Obama agrees with me.

 

Finally, to get you pumped up for the tournament, here’s a classic Gus Johnson call: 

Today, I am the greatest of all time

January 13, 2009

Congrats to Jim Rice and Ricky Henderson for being elected to the baseball Hall of Fame yesterday.  While I never got to watch either player (except for Ricky when he was old and washed up), both provided me with some memories.

Jim Rice waited 15 years to get into the hall and only made it by 7 votes.  I’m glad he finally made it and now the Sox can get on with retiring number 14.  My favorite (and only) Rice memory was his commercial appearance that doubled as the acting debut of the reigning AL MVP, el caballito himself, Mr. Dustin Pedroia.  There’s no questioning the greatness of this ad, and I can easily say that Rice is 2nd best actor involved (not including the Sullivan Tire guy at the end).

I’m still not sure what that has to do with tires.

Next up, Ricky Henderson, who was nearly unanimous selection in his first year of eligibility and has always been a source of entertainment for me.  Whether it was his habit of referring to himself in the 3rd person, or declaring “I am the greatest of all time,” Ricky always kept things interesting.  But Ricky also helped me achieve greatness in my own life.  Not just by providing a sterling example of baddassness but by aiding me in countless victories in the most boring of all board games, Trivial Pursuit.

Now if you’ve ever played against me in Trivial Pursuit (unlikely), you’d know that my strategy is to stick to the super easy green spaces (sports questions) and avoid the pointlessly hard browns (books or something, who knows?).  This allows me to continue moving around the board at will until I feel like winning.  The secret to the green questions (other than being a sports genius), is that Ricky Henderson is the answer to every baseball question.  No joke, every question.  I wish I was kidding.  I’ve been saved at least twice by guessing Ricky on a question that  I was clueless about.  One of those times I even joked earlier in the game about Ricky always being the answer, and followed my answer by informing everyone of my greatness (a la Ricky).

So thank you Jim and Ricky for making my laugh and helping me win.  Enjoy the hall, you both deserve it.

PS The answer to at least one brown question is Judge Judy.  I actually won the game on that one.

more to come…

The Life and Times of Tim (Tebow)

January 9, 2009

Enjoy this moment Tim!

…because it wont last.

Sorry but you’ll be a shitty NFL player.  Get ready to follow in the footsteps of recent heisman winning QB’s like Troy Smith, Matt Leinart, Jason White, Eric Crouch, Chris Weinke, and Danny Wuerffel.  Sam Bradford:  the jury’s still out on you, have fun on the Lions never year.

Note to Tebow:   No running QB succeeds in the NFL.  Why? because NFL players are faster and hit harder than college players  (just ask Tavaris Jackson).  Your size and speed will be comepletely nuetralized by NFL defenses.  Look at the recent track record of run-happy QBs:  Steve McNair was probably the most successful, but he broke down early.  Vick was the most talented but never led the Falcons to anything, and is now in jail.  And then there’s the most recent, and most accurate QB comparison…

Tim Tebow is basically the white Vince Young.  Young was a great college QB, who won a national title (against a USC team that featured Reggie Bush and fellow NFL bust Matt Leinart) and gained media attention for his exciting style of play and crazy college numbers.  Like Tebow, he relied on his legs more than his arm.  Where is he now?  Mr. “Invincible” is currently riding the bench on suicide watch while a 40 year old QB who was washed up 5 years ago led his team to the best record in the AFC.  Thats a bright future to look forward to Tim!

Now don’t get me wrong, Tim Tebow was a great college player.  He put up incredible numbers on a talented Florida team and won the Heisman as a sophomore.  But lets face it, anyone could win with that team.  Chris Leak (not drafted, currently in CFL) won with that team 2 years ago.  When you play for a powerhouse football school where everyone on the field is an NFL prospect, its easy to look good.  Its easy to become overrated.

But all isn’t lost for poor Tim.  He’ll be drafted, although not in the first round.  He’ll ride the bench on a crappy team and maybe even get a chance to start.  But ultimately, his NFL career will never live up to the hype.  Luckily for Tebow, unlike most college football busts, his off the field activities could actually land him a job that doesn’t lead to prison.  Plus he has this to look forward to.

I guess it could be worse.

Currently Listenting to:  Silversun Pickups – Little Lover’s So Polite

more to come…

Red Sox Sign Rocco Baldelli & John Smoltz

January 8, 2009
The newest member of the Red Sox, Rocco Baldelli

The newest member of the Red Sox, Rocco Baldelli

Good news for the nation today as the Sox announced they have agreed to terms with free agents Rocco Baldelli and John Smoltz.  Both deals are very low-risk/high-reward.

Baldelli will be the 4th outfielder, after spending his entire career with Tampa.  He’s in Boston recieving the Tony Conigliaro Award today and the deal was announced then.

The Herald reported the details of Rocco’s contract:

It’s a one-year deal, with a $500,000 base salary, which is just $100,000 over the 2009 major league minimum. Baldelli can earn as much as $1.75 million in roster bonuses if he stays healthy and off the disabled list for the season.

Also, Baldelli’s deal includes plenty of performance bonuses, which start to kick in at 325 plate appearances, all the way up to 600 plate appearances.  If Baldelli were to make 600 plate appearances — a highly unlikely figure, to be sure — he could earn as much as $5.25 million in performance bonuses in addition to the roster bonus.

Smoltz’s role is still unkown, as he has started and closed in the past.  He isn’t expected to pitch until June because of recent shoulder surgery.  His deal is expected to 1 year, 5 million and will be announced soon.

Currently listening to:  Modest Mouse – The View

more to come…