Arthur and Neil Play the BCS Bowls; The 2013 Orange Bowl

Now Arthur and I are moving to the game that nobody saw coming; that game would be the 2013 Orange Bowl which has the Northern Illinois Huskies (me) taking on the Florida State Seminoles (Arthur). Now again this is an exhibition game so there is no season, no injuries, and all the projected starters from the preseason are starting for both squads. So let’s get into the recap.

The first quarter started roughly for the Huskies as Jordan Lynch tossed an interception on second and long. Somehow, someway the Huskies managed to contain the explosive Florida State offense and hold them to a field goal. That being said, the Husky offense would continue to struggle as they went three and out; they also got stopped on a questionable fourth and long play deep in their own territory. Arthur immediately feasted on my poor decision as Chris Thompson ran it into the end zone to put the Seminoles up by ten. The scoring was not done, as the first quarter was winding down a well-timed blitz sacked Lynch in the end zone, putting the score at 12-0 Seminoles.

The second quarter was the Chris Thompson Show as he rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns in the second quarter (what the fucking shit). Also EJ Manuel also got into the scoring action as he tossed a 27-yarder to Christian Green for a TD. As for me and the NIU Huskies, we managed to get into field goal range but missed the kick and gave Thompson enough time to run for 77 yards and his third TD of the quarter. FSU 40-NIU 0

Another painful quarter as the NIU Huskies actually managed a drive after a Seminole field goal. However, that drive died with an interception in the end zone, Lynch’s third interception. Thompson again went off and had an 81-yard Touchdown run. At the end of the third quarter the score was 50-0 Seminole.

Well Arthur decided that he was going to go for the single game rushing record. As a result, Thompson managed to score two more touchdowns on his way to a 473-yard day with seven touchdowns. Fortunately, or not depending on who you are rooting for, I managed to avoid the shutout connection as Lynch connected with Da’Ron Brown on a 70-yard pass play for a touchdown; I also got the two point conversion. The final score was 64-8 Seminoles.

Stats of the Game:

  1. The Seminoles amazed 478 yards on the ground. Meanwhile the Huskies offensive line sucked and their running game was absolutely shut down, to the tune of -90-yards.
  2. NIU Quarterback Jordan Lynch went 15-30 (50%) 331-yards with one touchdown and four interceptions.
  3. Charlie Miller the wide receiver managed 146-yards on five receptions for an average of 29.2-yards per catch; Da’Ron Brown ended up with 120-yards on four reception for 30 YPC.
  4. Arthur only called five pass plays and Seminoles quarterback EJ Manuel delivered going 3-5 (60%) for 71 yards and one touchdown.

My Preview of the BCS Games

Well here we are.  College football season is winding down, and I’m sure you’re sick of the smellycar.com bowl and want to watch some real football.  Well you’re in luck, some of them start tomorrow.  Let’s first take a look at the Rose Bowl between Stanford and Wisconsin

Rose Bowl:

Wisconsin

(8-5, 4-4 Big Ten)

(6) Stanford

(11-2, 8-1 Pac-12)

While I may have lost to a certain buttmunch in the video game version (won’t name names here), I still think this will be a close one.  Both sides have a strong rushing attack, and it’s anyone’s game.  I’m unsure though about which Wisconsin team will show up though.  Will it be the Wisconsin team that blew out Nebraska in the Big Ten Title game, or will it be the one that went belly up and lost to Oregon State on the road early in the season.  Either way I’ve got to go with the Cardinal on this one.  Any team that can slay the Ducks has my vote.

My Pick:  Stanford

Orange Bowl:

(15) N Illinois

(12-1, 8-0 MAC)

(12) Florida St

(11-2, 7-1 ACC)

Look at the article Neil posts on the recap on this game and you’ll see why.

My Pick:  Florida State

Sugar Bowl:

(21) Louisville

(10-2, 5-2 Big East)

(3) Florida

(11-1, 7-1 SEC)

Same with this one!

My Pick:  Florida

Fiesta Bowl:

(4) Oregon

(11-1, 8-1 Pac-12)

(5) Kansas St

(11-1, 8-1 Big 12)

Had it not of been for Baylor and Stanford this would be the national title game.  However, this is nothing to sniff at.  Both these teams have high powered offenses.  Kansas State is led by star quarterback Colin Klein, and Oregon has the double-trouble duo of De’Anthony Thomas, and Kenjon Barner.  Expect a lot of points in this one.  Kansas State’s defense is suspect though, and Oregon is also from the Pac-12 so there you go.

My Pick:  Oregon

Expect a nice little surprise before the National Title Game!

HOHOHO!

 

 

My Recap of the Rose Bowl

Thanks for taking a look everyone.  Neil and I decided to play all the BCS bowl games, and now it’s time for me to recap the second of the five games. 

After Neil beat me in the Fiesta Bowl we then decided to play the Rose Bowl.  This year’s “Granddaddy of them All” features #6 Stanford and unranked Wisconsin.  Both have strong rushing attacks to complement offenses which can turn big plays easily.  The game started off with Wisconsin (Neil) going 4 for 4 on third down conversions, and getting an easy one-yard rushing touchdown by star running back Montee Ball.  Then Stanford (me) got the ball back and the first drive didn’t go so well.  Quarterback Josh Nunes threw an interception in Stanford territory, but thankfully Wisconsin couldn’t do much.  Kicker Kyle French drilled a 26 yard field goal.  The game was then 10-0 in Wisconsin’s favor.  Stanford, not to be outdone, responded with Stefan Taylor getting a 74 yard touchdown run to make the score 10 to 7.  So ended the first quarter.

 The second quarter started with Montee Ball getting another rushing touchdown, this one for three yards to make the score 17-7.  Nunes threw two more interceptions and was then benched for Stanford’s Kevin Hogan.  On Wisconsin’s next drive quarterback Danny O’ Brien threw a three yard touchdown pass to Wide Receiver Jared Abbrederis to make the score 24-7.  Stanford (I) was getting their butt kicked.

 The third quarter started off with Wisconsin quarterback Danny O’ Brien throwing a 59 yard touchdown pass to Tight End Jacob Pedersen to make the score 31-7.  Stanford got the ball back late and surprise, surprise another Stanford quarterback threw another pick.  Thus the third quarter ended.

 The fourth quarter started off with surprisingly a Stanford passing touchdown.  Hogan completed a 10 yard pass to Wide Receiver Jamal-Rashad Patterson to make the score 31-13.  The two point conversion failed.  Stanford then got the ball back and Stefan Tyler got his second rushing touchdown of the day with a one-yard touchdown run.  The two point conversion was successful, and lo and behold the score was 31-21.  The game was actually looking respectable.  Unfortunately Wisconsin (Neil) got the ball back and O’Brien threw a 49 yard pass to Abbrederis for his third passing and Abbrederis second receiving touchdown.  The two-point conversion succeeded and the score was 39-21.  The game ended with Stanford Cornerback Usua Amanam resturning a kick 105 yards to make the final score 39-27.  The two-point conversion failed.

 Fun Facts

 Wisconsin had 505 yards of total offense, while Stanford had 296. 

 Stanford had five turnovers (all interceptions), Wisconsin had two (both fumbles).

 Stanford had 285 Kickoff Return Yards compared to Wisconsin’s 43.

 Stanford’s quarterbacks got sacked six times.  Wisconsin’s by comparison only was  sacked once.

 There was only one punt the entire game.

Well Neil has beaten me twice, time to get him back.  The Orange bowl between Florida State and Northern Illinois is next.

HOHOHO!

The Key Arena is Dead; And Here’s The Reasons Why.

Let’s be perfectly clear about something, the Key Arena is dead. And this isn’t a recent development this has been a fact of the Arena’s life since Ackerley said a new arena was needed to keep the Sonics financially viable in the early 1990s. The situation in Seattle only got worse when they made the decision to renovate the Coliseum instead of outright replacing it like Ackerley originally wanted to (and was willing to pay for; for the 700+ word post about this topic, look here). As a result, the Sonics departure became pretty much inevitable, and the issues with the Key would get laid out for all to see; if they actually paid attention that is.

Unfortunately though people have not really paid attention to the problems with the Key and as a result they are now wringing their hands about its future now that the SODO Arena is undergoing an environmental review. And their arguments for why another Key Arena renovation should be considered to make the Key a permanent home for the Sonics doesn’t really make much sense when you consider the issues that the arena has.

An Awkward Hockey Arena

The first major issue with the Key is its location. Located in Queen Anne, the Arena is a good deal away from the heart of Seattle’s public transportation and the city’s plethora of parking garages. As a result fans are forced to pay a lot of cash to park near the Seattle Center (ironically named yes?) and the Arena during events. Another fan complaint about the Key, is that it isn’t a very hockey friendly venue; in fact the WHL Thunderbirds got so fed up with the Key that they negotiated a new arena in the nearby city of Kent.

Now that we have taken a look at the problems with the Key from a fan perspective, let us take a look at the more direct resasons why the Key Arena is not, and never was really, an economically viable long-term home for the [new] Sonics/hockey/concerts. First we will look at the issues that the impact the Key’s ability to host the Sonics long-term because that’s what drove the team’s relocation and the current SODO Arena deal. And that would be the Key’s lack of money-making shops and restaurants, the lack of team controlled parking, and the lack of the team’s practice facilities all nearby all negatively impacted the franchise’s ability to earn a profit/win. And as a result you saw the team bounce from Ackerley-to-Schultz-to-Bennett-to-OKC.

All of these problems would become present in the Key Arena when the new Sonics come to town. All of those problems would need to be addressed at the Key if the Key is to become the new Sonics home, and as we found out when Ballmer tried to save the day in 2008; to solve two of those problems (restaurants/shops and practice facility) at the Key would cost roughly $300 million. In 2012 the SODO Arena would cost roughly $490 million. Another thing to consider is that the Key Arena was (and would be) the smallest arena in the NBA; that doesn’t make me feel very confident about the Key’s long-term viability as an NBA Arena.

But the problems with the Key extend far beyond the ability for an NBA Franchise to make a profit. These other problems became apparent after the Sonics departed the City of Seattle; these other problems involve the Key as a concert venue and how easy it is to get concert equipment into the building.

Can you see the lowered floor?

To add 3,000 seats to the Coliseum, back in 1995, they dug down 30 feet. For basketball, those 30 feet provide excellent sight lines and made it an intimidating place to play. But those same 30 feet made it much harder for bands to get their equipment in and out of the venue. The loading bay area shrank, therefore fewer trucks can get into the bays to off load their equipment at once.

And the final issue the Key has with concerts is that the venue for the show is normally the concerts biggest promoter. And when there is a NBA team that means there are 41 dates a year with 15,000+ fans in attendance to promote the concerts and other events occurring at that arena. When the Sonics left for the Ford Center, those guaranteed advertisement viewers went with them. The willingness for bands to overcome the logistical difficulties of playing at the Key also took a sharp dive.

So let’s sum everything up. It would be smarter, money wise, to build an entirely new arena with nearly 1,100 more seats, than to renovate the Key. The Key Arena’s original renovation in 1995 made it an impressive and intimidating basketball venue. But a royal pain for bands to get their equipment in and out. Also when the Sonics relocated, there was a loss of patrons at the Key and as a result a loss of potential advertisement viewers.  In other words the Key Arena was dead back in 1990 when Barry Ackerley said that the Seattle Center Coliseum was no longer a NBA arena and it needed to be replaced.

Week 17 NFL Picks

Well here are the last regular season picks for the NFL season.  Hope everyone is having a good holiday so far.  I’m dealing with the delusion that the Seahawks could potentially get a first-round bye, so bear with me here. 

Falcons over Buccaneers

Jets over Bills

Ravens over Bengals

Bears over Lions

Titans over Jaguars

Texans over Colts

Panthers over Saints

Giants over Eagles

Steelers over Browns

Broncos over Chiefs

Vikings over Packers

Patriots over Dolphins

Chargers over Raiders

Cardinals over Niners

Seahawks over Rams

Redskins over Cowboys

My Record:  155-84

Have a Happy New Year and stay safe!

HOHOHO!

Russell Athletics Bowl Went Hard in the Paint Last Night

So if you were wondering what a bowl game does in the immediate aftermath of said bowl game the Russell Athletics Bowl gave you a peak;

Now the question I have is what is the Russell Athletics Bowl going to do until next year when it get’s played again? Is there going to be more drinking? Or is it going to spend the year trying to figure out what two teams will be playing in it next year? All in all I hear that the Russell Athletic Bowl was highly entertaining to watch last night. Also it’s good to see that the people working the social networking sites for the bowl have sense of humor.

Arthur And Neil Play The BCS Bowls; The 2013 Fiesta Bowl

Arthur and I were hanging out today and decided to play some NCAA 13; after Arthur dragged my ass up and down the field in our first game (NTU 63-WKU 31) we decided to play the Fiesta Bowl. And boy was it an exciting game to play. That being said, before we get into the details of the game I should make a few things clear. This game was played as an exhibition match-up; that means everybody was healthy and all the predicted starters from August started in this game. As a result of this game being an exhibition game there are no injuries from a 12-game season; and Arthur (Oregon) and I (Kansas State) have different styles of play from the real-life teams. Now let’s get to the Fiesta Bowl!

From the opening kick it immediately became clear that this game was going to be a track meet, and I mean immediately from the opening kick as HB #6 (De’Anthony Thomas) returned the kickoff for 106-yards for a touchdown. Kansas state responded in just over a minute driving down the field and capping it with a 33-yard touchdown pass to TE #80 (Travis Tannahill). Kansas State got pressure on Oregon’s QB #2 (Bryan Bennett) who immediately responded by throwing the first of his two picks; and Kansas immediately turned that into a touchdown. Oregon responded with a drive of their own, tying the score up at 14-14 with 33 seconds left in the first quarter.

The scoring in the first quarter wasn’t done either as Kansas State QB #7 (Collin Klein) connected with WR #86 on an 80-yard catch-and-run TD. But De’Anthony Thomas struck again 12 seconds later and took the kick off back 107-yards for the touchdown to close out the first quarter with the score all tied up at 21.

Oregon dominated the second quarter scoring 14 unanswered points. Both were touchdown passes from Bennett; the first was a 27-yard pass to WR #81 (Aaron Lee). The second pass was a seven yard goal line pass from Bennett to TE #32 (Evan Baylis). That gave the Ducks a 35-21 lead heading into the half.

Coming out of the half I benched Collin Klein; he finished the night going 7-12 (58.3% accuaracy) with 227 yards, 2 TDs and 4 INTs. His back-up (in the game listed as QB #9 and not visible on the official roster) came in and moved the Wildcat offense down the field scoring on a three-yard pass to WR #3 (Chris Harper). On the Duck’s ensuing drive pressure again forced Bennett into a bad throw and he would end up throwing his second pick of the game. The Wildcats took the turnover down and turned it into a 34-yard field goal. That was it for scoring in the third quarter; the score standing at 34-31 Ducks.

It came down to the fourth quarter where the Ducks would really struggle to get their offense moving and Kansas State was able to control the clock and move the football. The first score of the Quarter belonged to Travis Tannahill as he caught a six yard TD pass from QB #9 to put the Wildcats up 38-34 after the PAT. Again it did not take the Ducks long to respond and again it was on an explosive play; a 89-yard touchdown pass from Bennett to WR #16 (Daryle Hawkins) with 26 seconds left in the ball game, the score was 42-38 Ducks.

Kansas State now had the near-impossible task of marching down the field and scoring a touchdown to win the ball game. And somehow the Wildcats connected on a 70-yard pass to put them in the redzone with 12 seconds left in the ball game. QB #9 snuck into the goal line from the one yard line to put the Wildcats up 45-42 after the PAT. An onside kick later (I was trying to burn the last two seconds on the clock with a short kick) the Wildcats again had possession. I got greedy and went for the Hail Mary pass at the end of regulation and it was picked off; fortunately I got the tackle and the game was over.  QB #9 earns my Fiesta Bowl MVP as he took over the offense and maintained possession of the ball; he went 15-23 (65.2% accuracy) with 186 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT and of course the game winning TD.

The Ducks most valuable player was obviously DAT who’s two kick returns for touchdowns amassed 213 yards were the primary reasons the Ducks were even able to stay in this ball game. Kansas State  out gained the Ducks 547-204 yards. Through the air the Wildcats out gained the Ducks 461 (24-37 completions-attempts) to 173 (6-14 completions-attempts) yards; on the ground again the Wildcats  out gained the Ducks 86 (31 attempts) to 31 (15 attempts) yards. It was a dominating game for the Wildcats that if not for several bad throws by Klein would have turned the Fiesta Bowl into a blowout.

The NFL Playoff Picture is Becoming Less (And More) Foggy

The playoff picture is pretty much set for the NFL as only two spots is open heading into the league’s last weekend of play.  Surprisingly both of the open spots are in the NFC. The only thing up for grabs in the AFC is homefield advantage. This season has been interesting for the league as it’s really the first complete season (full off-season camps) under the new collective bargaining agreement and it’s had mixed revues; but that’s a post for another day.

This is post is going to take a look at the teams that clinched berths in the playoffs and to look at the match-ups next week that help determine division champs/the final wild card spots next week. For starters let us take a look at the teams that clinched playoff spots last weekend.

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts are probably the most heart wrenching/inspiring story this season. They’ve missed their head coach for most of the season as he was battling cancer; the team is breaking in a rookie quarterback; and this team clinched a playoff berth the year after they went 2-14. One of the most interesting things about this squad is that most of the starters from the 2-14 squad are still starters this season, the primary difference is the quarterback Andrew Luck.

Last year the Colts were without future hall of famer Peyton Manning and it showed; this year they have first overall pick Andrew Luck, widely the considered to be one of the best QBs coming out of college ever. Now they are 10-5 with one game left, heading back to the playoffs AND head coach Chuck Pagano is back the saddle, cancer free.

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals’s curse is broken, Marvin Lewis has finally done it, and the Bengals are going back to the post-season in back-to-back seasons. It’s a young squad in Cincinnati, a city that has seen its sports squads struggle with consistency. They have a second year QB in Andy Dalton who reminds me of 2007 Matt Hasselbeck; a pretty solid defense; and a stud running back. In other words don’t be shocked I the Bengals are in the post-season with more consistency in the future.

Seattle Seahawks: The Hawks dominating 42-13 win over the 49ers on Sunday Night was their third straight blowout victory and this one was on national television. They have scored the second most points in a three game stretch in NFL history (150) and have only allowed 30 points during that same stretch. This team is on a tear right now and they are doing it with a QB who is in the midst of one of the best seasons in franchise history.

Currently Matt Hasselbeck holds the franchise record for QB rating in a single season at 98.2; currently Russell Wilson’s (Rookie) QB rating is sitting at 98.0. Wilson currently is one touchdown away from tying Peyton Manning’s Rookie season TD record (three away from Hasselbeck’s highest TD total in a single season with the Hawks). Not bad for a third round draft pick.

Matchups that will determine division titles/wildcard spots next week:

NFC West Title:

  • St. Louis Rams (7-7-1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (10-5) and Arizona Cardinals (5-10) vs. San Francisco 49ers (10-4-1); if the Cards and Seahawks win then the Seahawks are the NFC West Champs. If the Niners beat the Cards they win the NFC West, no matter what happens in the Rams/Seahawks game.

NFC East Title:

  • Cowboys (8-7) vs. Washington (9-6); winner wins the NFC East Title and is guaranteed a playoff berth. The loser only gets into the playoffs if the dominoes fall their way.

NFC Wild Card:

  • Bears (9-6) vs. Lions (4-11), Packers (11-4) vs. Vikings (9-6), and Eagles (4-11) vs. Giants (8-7); the Vikings control their fate; if they win they are in. If the Vikings lose then all hell breaks loose as the all sorts of tie-breakers are going to come into play. These are the match-ups most worth watching in my opinion, after all who wants to see if Tony Romo loses the title of “Choke King”.

Arthur should have a more detailed breakdown of the playoffs and Week 17 match-ups up soon. Stay tuned. Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Happy Kwanza.

Week 16 NFL Predictions

Well the NFL season is winding down, and whether you are in or out of the final match-ups for fantasy football, regardless you’re looking to these next few days for the great playoff chase.  Personally I’m in the Finals for a $70 cash prize, so hopefully my team does well (and Matt Ryan doesn’t go off tonight).  Anyways here are today’s picks for this weeks match-ups.  I won’t go into much detail for these final two weeks, because I want to save my analysis and effort for the playoffs.  Sorry folks that’s how the cookie crumbles.  Here you go!

Falcons over Lions

Saints over Cowboys

Packers over Titans

Colts over Chiefs

Dolphins over Bills

Jets over Chargers

Redskins over Eagles

Bengals over Steelers

Buccaneers over Rams

Panthers over Raiders

Patriots over Jaguars

Texans over Vikings

Broncos over Browns

Bears over Cardinals

Ravens over Giants

Seahawks over Niners

My Record:  142-81

Happy Holidays everyone!

HOHOHO (this time it’s appropriate)   

Angels Signing of Josh Hamilton Immediately Benefits Mariners

Someone was going to have to move, something was going to have to give. And that something was Kendrys Morales.

The Los Angels Angles of Anaheim and the Seattle Mariners traded an average position player for an average starting pitcher; each has one year left on their current contracts, and the Mariners saved $2.6 million in salary while the Angels gained $2.6 million in salary. Both teams filled a need; the M’s filled a need for a bat, and the Angels filled a need for an inning eating starting pitcher.  Basically what I, and most M’s/Angels’s bloggers, am saying is that this trade is a win-win.

And the reason that the Angels decided to part with the 29-year old Morales is that the signing of Josh Hamilton created a crunch on the offensive side of the roster in Anaheim. That’s a good thing for the Mariners as they needed a consistent home-run threat in the middle of their line-up. Last season was a struggle for Morales as he spent a lot of time DHing (Pujols kinda took over his normal position) and drilled 22 dingers; the season after he broke ankle!

I will definitely have a better statistical look at Morales later, as well as an update of the MLB offseason. But for now I leave you with a few gifs;

Well HOHOHO, Let’s BOWL BOWL BOWL!

Tomorrow starts the kickoff of an exciting college football bowl period.  There’s going to be a lot of awesome teams and a lot of great match-ups coming up over these next couple weeks.  I’ve even taken part in College Bowl Mania on ESPN.  Good luck to all your teams and may your holiday season bring you holiday cheer and joy.  Let’s begin!

New Mexico Bowl:  Arizona over Nevada

Idaho Potato Bowl:  #22 Utah State over Toledo

Poinsettia Bowl:  BYU over San Diego State

St. Petersburg Bowl:  UCF over Ball State

New Orleans Bowl:  East Carolina over Louisiana-Lafayette 

Las Vagas Bowl:  #19 Boise State over Washington

Hawaii Bowl:  Fresno State over Southern Methodist

Little Caesar’s Bowl:  Central Michigan over Western Kentucky

Military Bowl:  #24 San Jose State over Bowling Green

Belk Bowl:  Cincinnati over Duke

Holiday Bowl:  #17 UCLA over Baylor

Independence Bowl:  Ohio over Louisiana-Monroe

Russell Athletic Bowl:  Rutgers over Virginia Tech

Texas Bowl:  Texas Tech over Minnesota

Armed Forces Bowl:  Air Force over Rice

Pinstripe Bowl:  West Virginia over Syracuse

Fight Hunger Bowl:  Arizona State over Navy

Alamo Bowl:  #13 Oregon State over #23 Texas

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl:  TCU over Michigan State

Music City Bowl:  Vanderbilt over NC State

Sun Bowl:  USC over Georgia Tech

Liberty Bowl:  Tulsa over Iowa State

Chick-Fil-A Bowl:  #8 LSU over #14 Clemson

Gator Bowl:  #20 Northwestern over Mississippi State

Heart of Dallas Bowl:  Oklahoma State over Purdue

Outback Bowl:  #10 South Carolina over #18 Michigan

Capital One Bowl:  #7 Georgia over #16 Nebraska

Cotton Bowl:  #9 Texas A&M over #11 Oklahoma

Compass Bowl:  Pittsburgh over Ole Miss

GoDaddy.com Bowl: #25 Kent State over Arkansas State

My Record:  39-22

Let’s finish strong!

HOHOHO! 

 

 

 

Week 15 NFL Picks!

Well I’ve been busy studying for Finals, so here you go!

Eagles over Bengals

Browns over Redskins

Texans over Colts

Broncos over Ravens

Dolphins over Jaguars

Vikings over Rams

Buccaneers over Saints

Falcons over Giants

Bears over Packers

Lions over Cardinals

Seahawks over Bills

Panthers over Chargers

Raiders over Chiefs

Steelers over Cowboys

Niners over Patriots

Jets over Titans

My Record:  132-75

Let’s keep this gravy train rolling!

HOHOHO!

Angles Signing of Josh Hamilton Might Be A Blessing In Disguise For The AL West

This guy is head to LAA

Mariner fans and Ranger fans have something in common, they are both angry that their club’s respective Front Offices didn’t bring home Josh Hamilton. The Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim signed the controversial outfield slugger to a five-year, $125 million deal. This deal roughly ties up $70 million per year into Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton for the next five seasons, while they are only paying their best young player [Mike Trout] $500K per season, yup baseball.

This deal is probably the most laughable thing I have seen because of the fact that it ties roughly $400 million (for five years) into two guys are 32 years old and are bound to begin their declines soon. This move should end up hampering their ability to spend cash down the road on their talented young players; cough, cough, Mike Trout, cough. Also you can’t forget the fact that Hamilton absolutely collapsed during the second half last season and is a good chunk of the reason that the Athletics’ ended up winning the Division Crown.

Josh Hamilton’s

BABIP

BB/K

OBP

SLG

OPS

2012 1st Half

.333

.43

.387

.654

1.041

2012 2nd Half

.286

.34

.317

.491

.808

If I’m a GM looking at signing Hamilton that massive drop-off between the first half and the second half is very concerning to me. His drop in slugging percentage (SLG), on-base percentage (OBP), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) are the most concerning as they show a drop in what Hamilton is known for; and what the Angles just paid him for. If Hamilton doesn’t find a happy medium between his first and second half numbers then the Angles just over paid for an aging outfielder.

And that’s why this deal could be a blessing in disguise for the American League West. As I pointed out in the intro paragraph the Angles are sinking roughly $70 million into two players who are 32 years old and are nearing their twilight seasons. But those aren’t the only aging stars that the Angles have sunk a lot of cash into; they also have CJ Wilson (32), Jared Weaver (30), and Vernon Wells (34) under contract for a the next several years, all with expensive deals. It leaves you wondering how the Angels are going to be able to cope with these players’ declines all happening around the same time AND pay Mike Trout what he deserves when he becomes eligible for arbitration.

In other words the Angles could have ended up damaging their future in an expensive bid to win now. Also here’s some food for thought from Twitter;

Royals and Rays Make A Trade; Baseball World LOLs

The Kansas City Royals have languished at, or near, the bottom of the AL Central for a couple of decades. Their fans have suffered for a long time and nothing the Royals seemed to have tried has helped improve the teams on field performance. So it was not all that surprising when it became rumored that the Royals were going to be involved in some sort of massive trade. As these rumors gained momentum the sheer size of the trade was surprising. Well those rumors were true as the Royals and Rays produced a trade for the ages, and boy do the Royals look dumb.

Kansas City landed two proven starters and the Rays restocked their farm system by landing the Royals #1 prospect…plus other prospects. That “plus other prospects” makes this trade look like the Rays pressed the Royals pitching issues and their desperation to win now, to their advantage.  The Royals landed James Shields and Wade Davis, while the Rays landed the Royals #1 prospect (probably the best prospect in baseball) Wil Myers and some other guys; so let’s take a look at what each side got, for sure.

Royals:

  • James Shields: Over the last seven season Shields has been one of the more consistent starters in the Rays rotation; he has a career K/9 ratio of 7.73, K/BB of 3.66, and a decent WHIP of 1.22 to prove it. That being said his last season with the Rays was definitely not his best and with his biggest pay days being in 2013 and 2014 (a total of $22.25 million), it makes sense for the Rays to trade him away for some future prospects.
  • Wade Davis: In Davis’s four years in the Majors he has accumulated a career average K/9 of 7.04, K/BB of 2.04, and a Whip of 1.32. He is a young pitcher who should immediately benefit the Royal’s pitching staff; and benefit it for a while own the road as well. Unlike Shields, Davis isn’t owed a lot of money until 2017, and is still relatively fresh arm. His inclusion in this trade makes it look like the Rays really wanted Myers.

Rays:

  • Wil Myers: Easily the best prospect in the Royals system, some say the best prospect in baseball; Wil Myers capped a really successful 2012 season with the Royals AAA squad. He hit 24 home runs, hit for a .349 BABIP, a .554 SLG percentage, and a OBP of .378, holy shit Wil Myers.  Another thing to look at is the fact that Myers has spent one season at each level of the minor leagues.
  • Other Guys

Twitterverse reaction:

My reaction:

This trade stinks; it definitely looks like the Royals are in win now mode and they don’t really care about anything else. The last time I can remember a team making a trade like this was the M’s swapping Adam Jones and George Sherrill for Erick Beddard, and that trade ended up marking the beginning of the end for Bill Bavasi era in Seattle. For this trade they Royals have shopped off the best guy they have in their system and some of his compatriots for two starting pitchers; one is entering his fourth full season and the other is entering his eighth full season. They are more than likely going to get better value for a longer period of time from Shields and Davis than the M’s got from Beddard; but they still sold a good chunk of the value from their farm system to get these two pitchers. This could have long reaching effects on the Royal’s ability to develop talent, granted they haven’t done much of that over the last couple of decades. For the Royals this deal looks like a desperation move and it’s a stinky one.

To me the Rays are the big winners of this trade because they offload a bloated contract and a really long, long-term deal. In return they get one of the best products in baseball and some other, yet to be named players, as well. It’s a huge boost for the future value of their franchise and they did it on the relatively cheap, and that’s huge because it looks like the Rays are going to be stuck in Tropicana field for the distant future.

Marquez Takes Matters Into His Own Hands; Vazquez Dominates Gesta

Manny Pacquiao v Juan Manuel Marquez

Every fighter craves a defining moment in their career. A moment that shows their skills, determination, and courage and is remembered long after time has passed. Before last night, Juan Manuel Marquez’ (55-6-1 40KO) defining moment was coming off the canvas three times to earn a draw against his arch-rival, Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2 38KO), in their first fight.

Like any great champion however, Marquez wouldn’t settle for anything less than victory.

Their fourth encounter wasn’t met with great enthusiasm from the boxing community, as after seeing three close, controversial fights, many fans had become jaded towards the matchup. Yet, the fight proved to be exciting and one of the best fights of the year. Both men know each other so well that they threw caution to the wind and immediately engaged.

The first two rounds were close as both men landed good power punches. However, Pacquiaos shots were more noticeable and the fast pace seemed to benefit the Filipino fighter.

In the third round, Marquez proved that he could hurt Pacquiao when he landed a looping right hook on the chin of Pacquiao. Pacquiao was clearly dazed but he managed to survive the round. During the fourth round, Marquez kept calm and applied his counterpunching style on Pacquiao. Pacquiao seemed to recover from the third round knockdown and landed some excellent combinations to the head and body. It was another even round that could have gone either way.

It was Marquez’ turn to taste the canvas as Pacquiao became more aggressive and landed a straight left on the Mexian fighter that forced him to touch the canvas. Pacquiao also seriously bloodied the nose of Marquez and seemed to take control of the fight as Marquez was fighting to survive for the rest of the round.

Even though Marquez recovered and what landing some good punches in the sixth round, it looked as though Pacquiao was systematically breaking Marquez down.

Then Marquez saw his opportunity.

Pacquiao came charging in with his hands carelessly low and Marquez countered with what can only be described as a perfect counter right hand shot. The forward momentum of Pacquiaos face and Marquez’ fist put Pacquiao to sleep for several minutes as Marquez celebrated the victory he’d oh so desperately desired since their first encounter.

Marquez seems to have barely missed a beat in terms of his fighting ability, even as he nears the age of 40. In a career that already has tremendous accomplishments, this dramatic and historic victory will probably be his most cherished.

The knockout punch is in strong contention for Knockout of the Year and the fight itself will be talked about for the 2012 Fight of the Year. As great as those rewards are, Marquez is basking in the glory of the actual fight itself. After eight frustrating years and three fights where he felt he deserved to win each fight, he finally acquired victory the best way he could.

It is unclear what lies in the future for each fighter but retirement doesn’t seem to be the answer for Marquez or Pacquiao. Marquez is still one of the most skilled fighters in the sport today and Pacquiao, in spite of this crushing defeat, still has optimism for his career.

Both fighters proved before this fight that they were modern legends, but the general consensus was that Pacquiao was extra special. Marquez proved he is at least on the same level of greatness as Pacquiao and is truly one of the very greatest to come out of Mexico.
On the undercard, lightweight (135 Ibs.) titleholder Miguel Vazquez (33-3 13KO) baffled contender Mercito Gesta (26-1-1 14KO) with his awkward lateral movement and quick pot-shots to an easy unanimous decision victory. The judges scored the bout 117-111, 119-109, and 118-110.

The inexperience of Gesta was shown when he didn’t increase the intensity, even as he was being outfoxed by the veteran Vazquez.

Vazquez landed quick jabs and straight rights almost at will and seemed to confuse Gesta with his difficult movement. This was a good victory for Vazquez as he didn’t look impressive in his last fight, barely outpointing fringe contender Marvin Quintero.

Gesta will most likely step down in competition for at least one fight before attempting to take on the big players in the lightweight division.