Monday, October 31, 2011

Yahoo! Sports: Eagles saved their season with blowout of Cowboys

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Yahoo! Sports: Mozeliak deserves credit for Cardinals World Series Triumph

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Splicetoday: Theo Epstein's Quest to rebuild the Cubs

The Chicago Cubs introduced Theo Epstein as their newly appointed President of Baseball Operations/Savior in a press conference last week. It was giant love-in at Wrigley Field as Cubs principal owner Tom Ricketts gushed over Epstein’s credentials and plans for the future.
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Yahoo! Sports: Pe’Shon Howard Injury is a Bad Break for Terps

According to University of Maryland sophomore point guard Pe'Shon Howard is expected to miss up to three months after suffering a broken foot in practice. The 2011-2012 season for the Maryland Terrapins Men's basketball team figured to be one of transition and struggle; and that was before the Howard injury. 
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Yahoo! Sports: Cardinals’ Rafael Furcal and Jon Jay Must Step Up

The St. Louis Cardinals are heading home for Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. The Texas Rangers took a three games to two advantage with a 4-2 victory in Game 5. With the notable exception of a 16 run explosion in Game 3 the Cardinals have struggled to produce runs.
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Splicetoday: Are the Cincinnati Bengals contenders?

The Cincinnati Bengals are currently 4-2 and tied with the Baltimore Ravens for second place in the AFC North Division. The Bengals have been one of the NFL's most pleasant surprises through the first few weeks of the season. Cincinnati won just four games all of last season and lost veteran receivers Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens during the offseason.  
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who the hell is Craig Gentry?

Craig Gentry is a 27 year old reserve outfielder for the Texas Rangers. Gentry started Game 6 of the 2011 World Series in center field for Texas. He appeared in 64 games for the Rangers during the 2011 season. Craig hit just one home run and drove in 13 in 153 plate appearances. Gentry did steal 18 bases so I guess he's kind of like an AL version of the Cubs Tony Campana. Gentry made his big league debut for Texas in 2009 but appeared in just 11 games. He played in 20 games in 2010 but had just 35 plate appearances. Originally drafted by the Rangers in the 10th round of the 2006 draft Gentry has stolen 145 bases in parts of 6 minor league seasons.

Monday, October 24, 2011 Baltimore Oriole Reflections – October 2011

The Baltimore Orioles wrapped up another disappointing season a few weeks ago. 
The team did end the season on a high note as they posted a winning record (15-13) in September. The most memorable moment of the year occurred on the season’s last play as Robert Andino‘s sinking liner to left evaded Carl Crawford‘s glove and knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs. Continue reading

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Splicetoday: Red Sox fans have wicked short memories

The headlines out of Boston have been coming fast and furious since the Red Sox were eliminated from the playoffs on the last day of the regular season. A well-respected manager was kicked to the curb, the franchise-altering, curse-busting, boy wonder GM is on his way out the door, and tales of possible clubhouse drunkenness have clouded the perception of the Red Sox 2011 season. Boston amazingly went from the presumptive American League pennant winner to a full-blown clusterfuck in about 30 days. continue reading

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Allen Craig could be Cardinals X-factor in World Series

The St. Louis Cardinals will have home field advantage for the World Series against the Texas Rangers. Tony LaRussa did a masterful managing job in the the NLDS and NLCS juggling his lineup and bullpen to maximize matchups. LaRussa may need to be just as masterful to overcme the Rangers powerful lineup and dominant bullpen.

Allen Craig is one of the Cardinals most versatile players. The 27 year old Craig has quickly become a favorite of LaRussa. Craig, who can play six positions on the diamond, will likely be inserted into the starting lineup when the series moves to Texas. He posted an impressive .917 OPS in just over 200 at bats this season to go with 11 home runs and 40 RBI. Craig gives the Cardinals another power bat in their attempt to out slug the Rangers. Look for Lance Berkman to DH with Craig starting in Right field when the series moves to Texas for game three.

Cubs get new Spring home in Mesa, AZ

The Cubs and Mesa, AZ agreed to a 30 year stadium deal that will pave the way for a new Spring training home, entertainment complex and retail facilities.  Check out the story and artists renderings here.

This may or may not be a good deal for the city of Mesa.  There has already been some tension in the process with more likely to come.  I'm sure residents have differing views of the project.  As a Cubs fan and lover of all things baseball I can say that Mesa, AZ is now on my list of future vacation sites.  The complex should be ready for Spring Training in 2014.  Make your travel arrangements.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ravens need Ed Dickson to step up

Through the first four games of the 2011 NFL season tight end Ed Dickson has emerged as the favorite target of Ravens QB Joe Flacco. Dickson has been targeted 32 times already, good for ninth among tight ends, for an average of 8 targets per game. Unfortunately Dickson has just 16 catches on those 32 attempts.

Much has been made over the past two weeks concerning Joe Flacco's less than stellar completion percentage this season. Flacco, who completes about 61% of passes for his career, is just 69 for 140 pass attempts in 2011. The Ravens are breaking in a new tight end (Dickson) as well as three rookie receivers in the absence of Lee Evans. Given the typical struggles of rookie wide outs the Ravens need Dickson to step up his game. In the Ravens week four victory over the Jets Dickson dropped three catchable balls. If Dickson can become a reliable outlet for Flacco he'll greatly improve his QB's completion percentage and his team's offensive efficiency.

TTFB: Mining the Baltimore Orioles for Buck's nuggets

When Buck Showalter was named manager of the Baltimore Orioles in August of 2010, he stated that his goal was to uncover enough nuggets to make the Orioles into a contender. Now, with one full season in Baltimore under his belt, it’s clear that Buck has not unearthed enough nuggets. With the looming departure of President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail and the subsequent General Manager search about to begin, it seems like a good time to assess the Orioles current inventory of nuggets.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Splicetoday: Who would even want to be the next Orioles GM?

In the wake of Andy MacPhail's decision to leave the organization when his contract expires later this month the Baltimore Orioles have compiled a list of candidates to be interviewed for the club's general manager opening. According to ESPN's Buster Olney the list includes Gerry Hunsicker, JP Ricciardi, Dan Jennings, Thad Levine, and Tony LaCava. You might as well throw in the Tooth Fairy, a talking unicorn and Jesus H. Christ himself. I hate to be a naysayer but the identity of the next Orioles' GM matters about as much as my choice of boxers tomorrow.  Continue reading

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Does Theo Epstein get to negotiate the compensation for himself?

According to Boston's WEEI the Red Sox want prospects in return for letting Theo Epstein out of his contract a year early. The Cubs want to just stroke a check and buy out Epstein's deal.

Two things
1. Is there any chance Epstein and the Cubs discussed compensation strategy during their prior meetings?
2. Hasn't this gone far enough for the Cubs to say "Here are three prospects we'll deal, pick one. And no, Cashner is not on the table". At this point the Sox look like a complete disaster and the cat is too far out of the bag for Theo to go back to Beantown.

Yahoo! Sports: Phillies long on blame, short on heroes

Whenever a team reaches the end of its season before reaching its ultimate goal it yields disappointment and blame in equally abundant supplies. The Philadelphia Phillies season ended on Friday Oct. 10th after a 1-0 home loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The National League Divisional Series was the ultimate lesson in what makes baseball great, unless of course you're a member or fan of the Phillies. Despite the Cardinals sneaking into the playoffs on the season's last day and the Phillies strolling confidently into the postseason after setting a team record for wins we were reminded once again that anything can happen in a short series. Continue Reading

I'm rooting for Tim Tebow

I know all the talking heads at ESPN are yammering (is that a word) on about Tim Tebow and his poor mechanics and his slow release and blah, blah, blah. Hey Trent Dilfer! Zip it. Enough already. And while I'm at it Merrill Hoge can shut his trap too. If Tebow were a Steeler Hoge would be wearing a Tebow jersey on the set at ESPN.

I get it, Tebow isn't conventional. He wasn't conventional at Florida either, though he was pretty damn successful. The Broncos used a first round pick on the kid for a reason. I know McDaniels isn't there anymore and that his track record is pretty spotty but the Broncos need to see if the kid can play. They are a terrible football team, and while it's not all Kyle Orton's fault he certainly hasn't covered himself in glory in the season's first five games.

Give Tebow a chance to see what he can do. If all he can do is run around a bit before throwing erratically or getting the ball stripped away then the Broncos can use their upcoming top ten pick on a stud QB like Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley or Robert Griffin III. If Tebow can be a productive NFL quarterback then John Elway can use that pick to address other needs like the Broncos sieve-like defense.

It only seems like LaTroy Hawkins played for the Homestead Grays

I had no idea that LaTroy Hawkins was still in the Majors until I saw him pitching for the Brewers against the Cardinals in the NLCS the other day. Hawkins has seemingly been around forever, but contrary to reports he was never teammates with Satchell Paige. Hawkins broke into the big leagues with the Twins as a starter in 1995. He spent the next six seasons getting his brains beat in and ultimately led the AL in earned runs allowed in 1999 before he was mercifully moved to the bullpen. Hawkins has bounced around as a reliever and is kind of a poor man's righthanded Jesse Orosco. LaTroy will turn 39 in December and seems to be going strong. Perhaps the most amazing stat that Hawkins has amassed in his career is the over $38 million in career salary. LaTroy Hawkins? Seriously?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Splicetoday: Kemp and Bautista are baseball's MVPs

There's been a lot of talk about Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander as a leading candidate for the American League's Most Valuable Player award. I've never been big on the concept of a pitcher winning the MVP award; unless there are no deserving candidates among position players or the pitcher's contribution was historically significant. Verlander no doubt had a spectacular season but he didn't single-handedly propel the Tigers to the playoffs. He had a lot of help from Miguel Cabrera, Alex Avila, Victor Martinez and Doug Fister. Furthermore, Verlander's statistical performance this season was not one for the record books. He's the clear frontrunner for the AL's Cy Young Award, but there are many deserving MVP candidates. Continue Reading

Who the hell is Don Kelly?

...and why the hell does he keep showing up on my TV screen? I assumed that Don Kelly was some young upstart who came up from the minors and delivered some big hits for the Tigers thus earning the trust of Jim Leyland and getting some playoff at bats. I was wrong on all counts. Don Kelly is actually 31 and has played parts of four season in the Majors. He made his big league debut with the Pirates in 2007 and has since played every position on the diamond, includng pitcher. Kelly's career OPS is a non-inspiring .648. He's proven to be a valuable contributor for the Tigers and with Game 4 entering the late innings he could be an unlikely hero.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Is Theo Epstein worth Brett Jackson?

Rumors are swirlng that Red Sox GM Theo Epstein could be headed to the Windy City to take over as GM of the Chicago Cubs. Epstein has one seasn remaining on his deal with Boston which could allow the Red Sox to request compensation in return for allowing Epstein out of his deal for a lateral move to Chicago. Peter Gammons suggested on his Twitter account tonight that Cubs top prospect Brett Jackson could be included in the deal as compensation. Is Epstein really worth the Cubs top prospect? My guess is, hell yeah. The Cubs haven't won a title in 103 years. Epstein has won two in the past 8 years. Jackson has some nice tools but he strikes out at an alarming rate and doesn't figure to be a major contributor in Wrigley next year. Frankly, I'd be fine with the Cubs sending anyone not named Starln Castro to Boston in return for Epstein. After 100 years of futility the time for bold action has arrived.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011