Recap of Garcia vs Salido & Burgos vs Martinez

12012garcia008

Controversy and boxing go hand in hand and there was no shortage of controversy in the Roman “Rocky” Martinez (26-1-2 16KO) vs. Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1-1 20KO) bout. When the final bell rang, virtually everybody watching thought Burgos had done more than enough to win his first title from Martinez. Two judges would spoil everyone’s assumptions.

Burgos got to a strong start by beating Martinez with body punches and uppercuts. He also outworked Martinez and kept him at a distance with his jab.

Martinez had some success in the middle rounds as he started to get close and land some shots on Burgos. However, even during those exchanges Burgos managed to land excellent body shots and continued to weaken Martinez.

The last third of the fight clearly belonged to Burgos. He hurt Martinez several times with body shots and a couple of head shots. After the final round, Burgos seemed confident he had pulled off the victory and Martinez seemed distanced and disappointed.

The scorecards read 117-111 for Burgos, 116-112 for Martinez, and 114-114 a draw. The decision was extremely unpopular and it is fairly obvious that Burgos won the fight. This sort of poor judgment shouldn’t be unexpected however, since all three of the judges were largely inexperienced and at least one judge had turned in a questionable scorecard in the past.

Hopefully an immediate rematch will clear things up between these two fighters.

Boxing: Miguel Angel Garcia vs. Orlando Salido

The kingpin of the featherweight division was decided in an impressive yet unsatisfying way as Mikey Garcia (31-0 26KO) dethroned rugged veteran Orlando Salido (39-12-2 27KO) for the WBO title.

Garcia gave his best performance to date, as he knocked Salido down fou

r times throughout the bout. There would be no great conclusion for this fight as an accidental head-butt in the eighth round broke Garcia’s nose and he could not continue

Since the head-butt was ruled accidental, the fight was decided by the judges’ scorecards. All three judges had Garcia winning the fight easily by scores of 79-70 and 79-69 (twice).

Garcia immediately showed Salido that he was no joke by knocking him down with sharp, powerful left hooks twice in the first round.

After dominating the second round, Garcia unveiled a right uppercut that put Salido on the canvas for a third time. A hard jab would add even more insult to injury in the fourth round.

As the fight wore on, so did Salido’s ability to take Garica’s shots. Although he still got outclassed, he found brief moments of success in the seventh and eighth rounds before the head-butt would occur.

The abrupt conclusion left a sour taste in the mouths of the viewers, who were looking for either a knockout victory or a standard lopsided points victory. Instead, the fight ended in the middle of a round where Salido was having some success and due to an injury other fighters have continued with in the past.

A rematch could provide a more conclusive ending but it was obvious from what we saw that Garcia is the more talented, skillful and powerful fighter and even though Salido will probably want to redeem himself, it isn’t a bout that the public would buy necessarily due to Salido getting so completely outgunned and outclassed.

For Garcia, in spite of the unsatisfying ending, the sky is the limit for him as he has risen from contender to champion. Whatever Salido decides to do, he should avoid Garcia.

Major League Baseball Has Lost Two of Its Legends

Stan “The Man” Musial During His Playing days

Stan Musial was one of the greatest players, and human beings, ever to grace the game of baseball; on January 19th, he passed away at the age of 92. During his 22-year career, you couldn’t find a more consistent hitter. He was “The Man” that Cardinal fans depended on during clutch situations; he almost always delivered too. That’s one of the reasons he is so highly regarded in baseball circles.

To realize how absolutely crazy Musial’s performance on the diamond was, all you have to look at is his total number of hits; that by the way stands at 3630, 1815 of those at home and the other 1815 of those on the road. Think about that, someone actually was able to perform consistently at his home ball park and on the road.

While Musial’s standard career stat line is impressive, .331 batting average, 1951 RBIs, and 475 home runs; the advanced metrics say that his performance at the plate was even more impressive than any look at his standard metrics could possibly tell you. “The Man” had an insanely high career BABIP of .320, an equally impressive .559 SLG, and a sparklingly low 5.5 K%.  Even more impressive than his ridiculously low K%, is his ridiculously high BB%; that’s 12.6%, in case you were wondering.

****

The other man who passed on the 19th was legendary Baltimore Orioles skipper Earl Weaver, he was 82.

Earl Weaver Coaching

Weaver was hired by the Baltimore Orioles before the 1968 season. In his first season he led the Orioles to a 82-48 record, that’s good for a winning percentage of .631 (holy shit). The very next season he and his Orioles went to the World Series, only to fall short against the “Miracle Mets”. He led the Orioles for 17-years (there was a three-year gap between 1982 and 1985), and accumulated a 1480-1060 career record.

While Weaver is probably one of the best managers to lead a Major League Baseball team, he is mostly going to be remembered for his colorful antics when it came to umpires. His colorful antics made him one of the more entertaining managers to watch, and endeared him to the fans. The umpires on the other hand, well they probably weren’t too happy whenever Weaver started to exit the dugout.

Baseball lost two of its legends on January 19th, 2013. We offer our condolences to their families and wish them nothing but the best moving forward.

Golovkin Pummels Rosado; Kovalev Blasts Campillo

 

12012kovalev003 Last Saturday night featured a mix of accomplishment, disappointment, and question      marks in the sport of boxing.

The light heavyweight division saw the rise of contender Sergey Kovalev (20-0-1  18KO) as he put himself in title shot discussion with an impressive 3rd round knockout  of former world champion Gabriel Campillo (21-5-1 8KO). In the past, Campillo had  been on the wrong side of controversial decision losses to the likes of Tavouris Cloud and Beibut Shumenov. Kovalev wanted to make sure that there would be no doubts of  his ability in this fight.

The Russian-born fighter took advantage of Campillo’s tendency to start slow by immediately putting pressure on him and mixing his combinations to the head and body. Campillo never found his rhythm because of this.

The end started with a short, sharp left hook to Campillo’s chin. The Spaniard staggered to the corner and was trying to survive the rest of the round. After a series of punches, a right hand to the jaw would finally drop Campillo.

The second knockdown was due to another left hand by Kovalev. Campillo looked completely dazed and spent but he decided to stand up and try to fight on. A second crunching right hand to the face put Campillo on his back. The referee decided that enough was enough and waved the fight off.

With this victory, Kovalev could get a title shot with the winner of the Tavouris Cloud- Bernard Hopkins bout or with Chad Dawson. As for Campillo, he’s going to need to mount a fast comeback as he is 34 and not likely to get any better.

Gennady_Golovkin_Gabriel_Rosado_Large_Farina_Boxing

Moving down to the middleweight division, undefeated titleholder Gennady Golovkin (25-0 22KO) beat fringe contender Gabriel Rosado (21-6 13KO) to a bloody pulp but looked more human than we’re used to seeing, especially considering he has looked like a miniature version of a prime Mike Tyson in his last few fights.

Golovkin dominated the entire fight by putting immense pressure on Rosado and landing hard power shots throughout the bout. However, Rosado showed that he came to win by utilizing lateral movement and landing enough shots to cause swelling under the eyes of Golovkin.

The flaws that Golovkin showed were mainly defensive. The fact that he never seems to move his head left him vulnerable for some of Rosado’s shots. It appeared that due to Golovkin being so focused on offense, he was sacrificing an awareness of anything that Rosado tried to throw back.

There was no question of Golovkin’s offensive skills, as he opened a cut over Rosado’s left eye with a sharp jab in the second round. His punches also bloodied the nose and mouth of Rosado as well. During the seventh round, Rosado’s corner finally threw in the towel, realizing that their guy was simply taking too much punishment.

Since Golovkin actually looked beatable and not his usual monstrous self, other notable middleweights such as Sergio Martinez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Peter Quillen may be more inclined to fight him. Rosado showed a lot of guts and determination but he should avoid getting into another beatdown like this if he wants his career to last.

More reports on other notable fights to come.

Conference Championship Sunday

After an extremely unpredictable 0-4 divisional round I have now fallen to 3-5 on the postseason.  Rest assured that there’s still time to get back in this thing, so let’s get back on the horse and make some picks.  Starting with the NFC Title Game.

Niners versus Falcons

(11-4-1)

49ers

(13-3-0)

Falcons

Not quite the match-up I predicted, but nonetheless these teams have both proved their mettle throughout the season.  This is Atlanta’s first time hosting the NFC Title game, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Georgia Dome reacts to this new type of atmosphere.  The Niners are favored by 4.5 points in this game despite it being on the road.  You never know though, because this could be anyone’s game.  San Francisco has lost 4 straight road playoff games, and unless their defense can have a big game it’ll look like Matt Ryan will have his way with this defense.  With wide-outs like Julio Jones and Roddy White, I think he will.  Especially since the game is in Atlanta.

My Pick:  Falcons

Ravens versus Patriots

(10-6-0)

Ravens

(12-4-0)

Patriots

Another interesting game.  In a rematch of last years AFC Title game the Ravens travel again to Foxborough for the right to go to the Super Bowl.  The Ravens won the regular season match-up, but that was on their home turf.  This is at Gillette Stadium, and New England rarely loses at home.  Baltimore will need a few miracles to get the edge in this one.  You never know though, people were saying the same thing before the Denver game.  For the sake of Ray Lewis, I’m convinced.

My Pick:  Ravens

Let’s go for an “Angry Birds” Super Bowl!

HOHOHO

 

WSU Women’s Basketball; The Underclassmen Play, And Play A Lot.

When June Daugherty took over the women’s program at WSU, she inherited a mess. There was a lack of eligible players, the players who could play weren’t very good, and the lack of depth would rear its ugly head as the team was well on its way to a 5-25 season.  But there was hope, as Daugherty brought in a seven person recruiting class that was ranked as the 16th best in the Country (you can do that in Pullman?). Unfortunately, that class did not result in wins and post season tournament berths; injuries deserve a major portion of the blame.

That being said, the class still had a major impact on the WSU program. As a result of Jasmine Perkins (Graduated), April Cook (Graduated), Katie Grad (RS Sr.), and Ireti Amojo (RS Sr.) the women’s program approached mediocrity. As ridiculous is this probably sounds, mediocrity is a huge step forward for this program; after all, it is something for Coach Daugherty to build on. And that allowed June Daugherty to make this season’s youth movement possible.

There are three seniors, three juniors, three sophomores, and six true freshmen on this year’s squad. Back when I did my preview for this season, I said that it appeared Coach Daugherty went out and recruited this class for depth, was I ever wrong. In reality, this freshmen class has seen a huge chunk of playing time. Basically what’s ended up happening is that the upperclassmen are the players on the roster for depth, while the underclassmen are seeing a bunch of playing time. In fact let’s take a look at how the nine underclass men are getting used (stats used are from WSU);

#

Name

Year

PPG

MinPG

FG%/3Pt%/FT%

03

Lia Galderia

Fr.

13.8

24.9

.339/.260/.837

05

Tia Presley

So.

13.0

28.5

.448/.273/.727

10

Alexa Williamson

Fr.

0.0

4.5

.000/.000/.000

11

Dawnyelle Awa

Fr.

0.8

10.9

.167/.000/.583

12

Taylor Edmonson

Fr.

4.1

12.5

.349/.364/.813

21

Jordan Kelley

So.

n/a

n/a

n/a

23

Shalie Deenshaw

So.

2.1

10.5

.281/.000/.688

30

Whitney Tinjum

Fr.

0.6

2.8

.250/.333/.000

34

Mariah Cooks

Fr.

4.3

9.1

.424/.222/.548

Before I move on, Jordan Kelley is on the official roster but is nowhere to be seen in the official statistics.

Anyways, it is important to note that Presley and Galderia are the top two scorers on the squad this season.  Another thing that is important to not, Daugherty likes a high rate of personnel rotation; this season is no different. So what does the above chart mean? It means that a freshmen and a sophomore are taking a good chunk off of the playing time, while the other underclassmen rotate and get some good experience.

This year’s squad has shown the inconsistencies that come with the underclassmen playing a lot. They beat (at the time) #20 Ohio State at home, went into the Kennel and shocked the Zags, lost to Wisconsin in Pullman (they beat the Badgers in Wisconsin last season), up-ended BYU, and had two overtime losses early on in the Best Buy Classic.  It’s going to be interesting to see how the squad pans out, and if Coach Daugherty can replicate her previous success out here in Pullman.

 

Conference Play Has Begun For The Pac-12: The Early Surprises.

Pac 12 Standings

  • SCHOOLS     CONFERENCE    OVERALL
  1. UCLA                5-0 (1.000)        15-3 (.833)
  2. Oregon             4-0 (1.000)        15-2 (.882)
  3. Washington    4-0 (1.000)        12-5 (.705)
  4. Arizona            3-1 (.750)           15-1 (.937)
  5. Arizona St.      3-1 (.750)          14-3 (.823)
  6. California        2-2 (.500)          10-6 (.625)
  7. USC                    2-3 (.400)          7-11 (.388)
  8. Stanford           1-3 (.250)          10-7 (.588)
  9. Washington St. 1-3 (.250)       10-7 (.588)
  10. Colorado         1-4 (.200)          11-6 (.647)
  11. Oregon St.      0-4 (.000)         10-7 (.588)
  12. Utah                 0-5 (.000)          8-9 (.470)

After two of the weakest Basketball seasons in recent memory, the Pac-12 is finally looking like it’s on the rebound. UCLA landed a huge upset over Missouri at the end of the non-conference slate and as a result they found themselves back in the top-25; they joined the Wildcats and the Ducks. That’s the first time the Pac-12/10 has had a three teams in the top-25 in forever. As you’ve probably noticed, the Pac-12 standings are definitely some surprises looking at that list. So let’s dive into them;

The Good Surprises:

  • ASU: The Sun Devils have been the laughing Stock of the Pac-12 for the last few years. It looked like Herb Sendeck’s seat was going to get hot. Instead the Sun Devils came out and went 11-2 in non-conference play. Even better yet, the Devils have managed to go 3-1 in their first four games in the Pac-12.
  • Washington: After a couple of head scratching losses (including becoming Albany’s first Division 1 win), the Huskies seemed to figure things out. Their four-game winning streak includes an “upset” of cross-state rival Washington State, California, Stanford, and Colorado. Lorenzo Romar’s squad is young, and still in contention for a conference crown.
  • UCLA: After stumbling against the likes of Cal Poly (L), Texas (W), Cal State San Marcos (W), UC Irvine (W), and San Diego State; (L); the Bruins have ripped off nine-straight wins. This team finally looks to be gelling, and it makes it harder for embattled Athletic Director Dan Guerrero to make the decision to fire Head Coach Ben Howland.

The Meh Surprises:

  •  Washington State: The Cougs have struggled to score all season long. In Conference play, their inability to score has cost them dearly. That being said, this team has shown decent amount of improvement on the defensive end of the court. Their struggles early on in conference play are, but aren’t, surprising.
  • Utah: Outside of their double-digit loss to Washington State, the Utes have been close in all of their Pac-12 games. They almost upset Arizona (in Arizona!) and are showing signs of improvement across the board. Unfortunately for Utes fans, they are still win less in conference play.
  • The Firing of Kevin O’Neil: The decision to fire Kevin O’Neil is not a surprise, the timing is. After coming from behind to upset Stanford in their Conference opener, the Trojans have almost looked competent in conference play. I would have thought that after going to the NCAA tournament in his first season O’Neil would have had more time. That being said, clearly I was wrong.

The Bad Surprises:

  •  Colorado: The Buffalo won the Conference Tournament last season, and after a strong non-conference season it was expected that they would be near the top of the conference. Well, the Buffs still have plenty of time to climb back into the conference race. No one wants to start out the conference season 0-4, but somehow the Buffs have managed to do that. It might end up being a rough season in Boulder.
  • Oregon State: The Beavers had a decent season last year and looked to be on the rise. Instead the Beavers slogged through an easy non-conference schedule and start conference play 0-4. There are visible holes in the way this roster was constructed, and it has shown on the court this season. Craig Robinson’s seat is getting very warm indeed.

Newest Lawsuit to Halt the Seattle Arena Will Not Last Long In Court.

The latest objection to the SODO Arena deal is that it isn’t I-91 compliant. For those of you who don’t know, Initiative-91 requires that the City of Seattle must get a “fair return” even on any arena/stadium deal it enters. I-91 was created by Public Stadium Financing Critic Van Dyk’s group, Citizens for More Important Things. It should be noted that Van Dyk opposed the Key Arena renovation that former Sonics owner Howard Schultz proposed; he also opposed Clay Bennett’s bogus Renton Arena plan.

The fact that the co-founder of Citizen’s for More Important Things embraces Hansen’s SODO Arena plan, does not bode well for this lawsuit. Hansen’s MOU with the Seattle City Council and the King County Council guarantees more than a “fair return”. For more detail on what the MOU covers I would direct you to an earlier post that I wrote. That being said, here are some of the gains the City gets from its $120 million investment in the new arena;

  • Hansen and his group have to put in $2 million into sprucing up Key Arena during the New Sonics two-year stay. If the Seattle Storm decide to stay in the Key, Hansen and his group have to add another $5 million into Key Arena (making the total $7 million). 
  • $40 million dollars of the Admission tax revenue (the same tax revenue going to pay off the construction bonds) will be diverted to traffic improvements in the SODO Area.
  • For the first five years of the Arena’s life, Hansen’s ownership group will make up any shortfalls in the Arena’s operating budget.
  • If for some reason Hansen and his ownership group were to go bankrupt, the team and the arena would default to the City.
  • A 30-year iron clad lease, that would prevent the relocation of any of the tenants.
  • The requirement that Hansen and his ownership group will be responsible for the maintenance and any modifications to the building it self.

As a result of these concessions, Chris Hansen and his potential ownership group have won over the majority of the people who hate public funds going into a private arena. Yet some how, some way, someone has not done their research and is risking a rather large amount of cash by suing the City.

Projecting the 2013 MLB Season; What Are Our Criteria?

The offseason is a time filled with hope for baseball fans. There are young teams on the verge of bursting onto the scene; then there are old teams on the verge of flopping and angering their fan bases. Another thing about the offseason is that it is generally a slow time for news. So what does that mean? Well that means that the offseason is the perfect time for several things, such as rosterbation (predicting who is going to end up on what team’s rosters); putting coaches/general managers on the hot seat; and trying to figure out how teams are going to do in the upcoming season.

Now all two of the three (rosterbation and the hot seat) should be left to the blogs covering specific teams. That leaves us with projecting how teams are going to do. As you probably have guessed, projecting how Major League Baseball teams are going to do in the upcoming season. It is not going to be very easy.

That being said, it won’t stop us from attempting it. Though out the next several months be on the lookout for Victor and me to be doing exactly that. We will be taking a look at the teams that we expect to flop, stay stagnant, and excel just throughout the 2013 season.  Now let’s be clear on some of the criteria Victor and I will be judging these teams on;

  • The expectations for this upcoming season; are they expected to reach the playoffs? Are they expected to have a winning season?
  • Offseason movement; who did these teams lose? Who did they get? Who did they keep?
  • An analysis of their statistics from last season; was there several individual career years on that team’s roster? Did they address areas of concern through offseason movement? Will key players continue to perform based on their career averages?

Here is a good break down of the stats we are going to be using.

Immediate Reaction; The Seahawks loss to The Falcons.

Bryant doin’ his thang

That ending of that game seemed almost fitting. After going down 20-0 in the first half the Seattle Seahawks clawed their way back into the game.  They actually took a one-point lead, with 31 seconds left on the clock. The Falcons were not going to go down easily though; after all, they have yet to win a playoff game with Mike Smith as head coach and Matt Ryan as quarterback. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to see Ryan pick apart the Seahawks secondary when they were sitting back in zone coverage.

As for the timeout right before Bryant’s first kick; I’m 95% sure that the whistles going off distracted Bryant enough for him to boot it wide right. That was one hell of a ball game though. The Falcons played out of their minds in the first half and took advantage of several mistakes by the Seahawks. Mike Smith came out with a game plan that no one was really expecting;

  • They came out and unabashedly picked on Richard Sherman. That strategy paid off on the Roddy White TD towards the end of the second quarter.
  • They were not afraid to run right at this defense; Jacquizz Rodgers finished with 64 yards on 10 attempts (6.4 YPA) and Michael Turner finished with 98 yards on 14 attempts (7.0 YPA).
  • As touted as this secondary is, they could not shut down Atlanta’s two big WRs; Roddy White finished with 76 yards on five receptions (15.2 YPC) and Julis Jones had 59 yards on six receptions ( 9.8 YPC).
  • The Hawks never really seemed to find an answer to future Hall of Famer, Tony Gonzales as he made several clutch catches down the stretch. He finished with 51 yards on six receptions (8.5 YPC).

This man was soooo clutch

The Seahawks finally woke up in the second half and the football game, actually became a game. You have to give credit where credit is due, and thank the football gods that Zach Miller agreed to sign with the Seahawks a couple of years ago. His contribution in this game cannot be overstated as he made several key catches, some of them kept drives alive.

The Hawks offense went all out Air Raid in the second half, and it worked. Russell Wilson, again, proved that he knows what he can lead a scoring drive to put his team up. Unfortunately for Seahawks fans, that scoring drive did not put the game away as Matt Ryan did what Matty Ice does, and led the Falcons to a game winning field goal with eight seconds left.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the astounding offensive stats that the Seahawks managed to produce after being down 20-0 at the half;

  • Russell Wilson finished the game going 24-36 (67% accuracy) and 385 yards through the air with two TDs and one interception; that’s 135 more yards than Matt Ryan threw for.
  • Lynch had arguably his worst game of the season as he ran for 46 yards on 16 attempts (2.9 YPA); on the other hand Russell Wilson continued to show off his legs as he rushed for 60 yards on seven attempts (8.6 YPA). Lynch and Wilson finished the day with a rushing touchdown.
  • The Seahawks had two guys go over the 100 yard mark in receiving yards; Zach Miller eight receptions with 142 yards (17.8 YPC) and Golden Tate with 103 yards on six receptions (17.2 YPC).

Despite this loss it’s still an exciting time to be a Seahawks fan. The future looks bright up here in the Pacific Northwest.

Half Time Thoughts And Recaps of The Seahawks at Falcons.u

Right before kick-off I flashed back to some of Rodgers games back in the Pac-12 I felt it was necessary to share the above tweet. Jacquizz proved me right as he frustrated the Seahawks defense in the first quarter. He wasn’t the only player to frustrate the Seahawks defense; Tony Gonzalez made a couple of beautiful catches, including the only Touchdown of the game so far.

The first quarter concluded with this;

The start of the second quarter saw the Falcons pick up were they left off. Here is a look at why;

Fortunately the Hawks held the Falcons on third down. The Falcons kicked a field goal to go up; 13-0.  You couldn’t help but get the feeling that was a huge stop for the Hawks. Leon Washington, standing only a few feet from the end line in the endzone, returned the ball to the 30 yard line, giving the Hawks good feel position. Zach Miller again made a clutch reception.

Lynch got stood up on a third and one; making it fourth down in the red zone. The Hawks  got stuffed on their fourth down conversion attempt. Atlanta gets the ball deep in their own territory; their offense is completely on fire.

Ryan found Roddy White for a huge touchdown pass. Finally Ryan’s constant picking on Richard Sherm pays off. Falcons 20-Seahawks 0

The Seahawks get the ball with 4:16 left in the ball game and in desperate need of a score.  Tate turns a wide receiver screen into a Hawks first down; at least they are moving the rock down field. Wilson continues to show off his legs with an impressive scramble for a first down, the clock hit the two-minute warning before Wilson could get the snap off.

Might not be a bad idea, get on it Pete.

The Hawks again are driving as Wilson connects with Sydney Rice on a first down…A field goal would be nice but a TD would be better. Zach Miller makes a nine-yard catch, the Seahawks are again in the red zone. Wilson connects with Golden Tate to get a first down. Seattle takes their final time out.

Excellent coverage by the Falcons breaks up the first pass into the end zone, the pass was intended for Sydney Rice. Wilson over throws Tate on the fade, no flag because the pass was not catch-able. Third down, and the Seahawks need to score…or let Wilson get sacked. The Hawks were unable to get the snap off before time expired and the game goes to the half with the Falcons; the use of that final timeout earlier now looks more foolish.

 

Felix Hernandez ladies and gentlemen