Pay DiRT

Patriots New_england_6n_120 @ Seattle_6n_120a Seahawks 02/01 06:30 PM NBC Dome DOME 4m WSW

As Frodo readies himself to throw the ring into the Lake o’Fire of this NFL season – we’ve got one more chance to end the season on a high note and brother its gonna be goood.  The DiRT Canon Bunker provides a respite to wax poetic, but it is in the DiRT Canon Safehouse that legacy will be witnessed this Sunday.  So on with the show…

Things I cannot put anywhere else…

  • The New England Patriots are just 1-5-1 ATS in their previous seven Super Bowl
  • New England is also just 5-10 ATS in its last 15 playoff games
  • The Patriots are 6-2 both SU and ATS in their last eight games against NFC teams, but specifically just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against teams from the NFC West division
  • Seattle, meanwhile, is 4-2-1 ATS in its last seven playoff games
  • The Seahawks are 6-1 SU in their last seven playoff games, including their win in last year’s Super Bowl.
  • Overall, underdogs have been a great Super Bowl bet over the past 13 seasons, going 10-3 ATS. Underdogs have won outright the past three games and five of seven
  • The Seahawks hold the 6-2 edge both SU and ATS in their last eight games against the Patriots, and they’re 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against teams from the AFC East division. Seattle is also 10-4 SU in its last 14 games against AFC teams overall. In the Super Bowl, NFC teams are on a 6-1 ATS run.
  • For totals bettors, the OVER is 3-0 in the last three games between the Patriots and the Seahawks, and 12-3 in Seattle’s last 15 games against AFC teams. The OVER is also 5-1 in New England’s last six games against teams from the NFC West division.
  • Favorites have lost three straight Super Bowls and five of the last seven overall. If the line stays under three points it’ll be just the third time since 1980 that the Super Bowl spread was that small – it was Denver -2 vs. Seattle last year, and New England -2.5 vs. the Giants three years ago.
  • Underdogs have covered the spread in five of the last six Super Bowls, winning four of six outright. The Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, and New York Giants have pulled off straight-up Super Bowl upsets
  • The Green Bay Packers in 2011 are the only favorites to win and cover since 2007, when Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts won and covered in a 29-17 win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI
  • Seahawks 19-4-1 ATS as underdogs since September 18, 2011
    Seahawks 8-0 SU last 8 games (6-1-1 ATS), also 7-4-1 ATS past 12 overall
    Seahawks 6-1 ATS last 7 games vs. AFC East
    Seahawks 6-1 SU last 7 playoff games
    Seahawks 4-2-1 ATS last 7 playoff games
    Seahawks 6-2 SU & ATS last 8 meetings with Patriots
    Seahawks 10-4 SU last 14 games vs. AFC (1-8 SU previous 9)
    Seahawks 2-5 ATS last 7 games vs. AFC
    Patriots 1-5-1 ATS in 7 previous Super Bowl appearances (3-4 SU)
    Patriots 6-2 SU & ATS last 8 games vs. NFC
    Patriots 1-3 SU last 4 games vs. NFC West (11-0 SU previous 11)
    Patriots 2-5 ATS last 7 games vs. NFC West (11-0 ATS previous 11)
    Patriots 5-10 ATS last 15 playoff games (8-7 SU)
    OVER 3-0 in last 3 meetings (UNDER 3-0 previous 3)
    OVER 13-3 in Seattle’s last 16 games vs. AFC East
    OVER 12-3 in Seattle’s last 15 games vs. AFC
    OVER 5-1 in New England’s last 6 games vs. NFC West
    UNDER 4-1 in New England’s last 5 games vs. NFC
    UNDER 5-1 in New England’s last 6 playoff games as underdogs

More Stuff…

  • Tom Brady has never lost a playoff game throwing 30 or more passes
  • J.Kearse has scored at least 1TD in 4 straight playoff games
  • Edelman has double-digit targets in his last 6 games
  • Before INDY, NE has allowed and avg of 114.7yds/game on the ground
  • Seattle has not allowed more than 54yds to a TE since week 9
  • Russell Wilson has never lost a game by double digits
  • Since 1996, a team that scored 40+ points, is 3-22 ATS the following game – the last team that scored 40+ points before NE, was NE last year and lost to Denver in the AFC Championship.

So what does it all mean?! It means that this a classic battle on paper.  It means that we all believe that Pete knows what Bill wants to do to stop his team and that Bill knows that Pete knows, so where’s the poison?  You have to wonder what kind of impact the distractions of the recent Patriot-gate, Tom’s cold and the Hernandez trial beginning has on this team – but I remind myself of 2004 when Tom Brady was being asked to help stump for politicos days before the game and he still won – so maybe this team embraces the chaos.

If we play the “who do you trust” game – you trust the Patriot way of removing your strength, you trust their preparation and you trust that they will attack Marshawn Lynch and contain Russell from getting outside of the pocket, where he is lethal.  You trust the secondary of the Patriots over the Seattle WR’s.  But Browner needs help because he gives up a 92.6 QBR for the year, so someone on the slot or TE should be open.

If we trust/believe that the Legion of Boom will have to make more plays than they did last year because of the desire the Patriots have to be in 2 TE formations – who do you stop?  We trust that the right tackle for the Seahawks is the weak spot in the chain and expect the Patriots to stunt and twist to generate pressure without the blitz.  We trust that unless NE can establish and consistently run the ball, it could get difficult to score touchdowns.

So miscellaneous players might be the key players in determining the outcome.  The DiRT Canon A.I. says that if it is an offensive game, then the Patriots win by 4.  If it is a defensive battle then the Seahawks win by 2.  The Final outcome for the A.I. says Patriots 23, Seahawks 22.  The A.I. also predicts Tom throws for 3TD’s and 295 yds.  So for the A.I. its a push and too take the OVER.

But for me it seems like this game matches up like other games in the past.  Think the Steelers and Cowboys of Superbowl X and Superbowl XIII, where the Seahwaks are the Cowboys and the Patriots are the Steelers – you can see the similarity and possible similar outcome.  But it also shapes up like the Panthers v Patriots – it could easily be where neither teams scores very often and then BAM! But to me it seems more like Superbowl XXV with the Bills and the Giants.  If the game acts like that classic and if the Seahawks maintain the T.O.P. advantage (like the Giants did), you could expect a Seahawk victory.  Is it me or does this seems a lot like last years Superbowl where the Patriots come in hot, blowin out an average team and the Seahawks struggling to actually make the dance – at some point the luck has to run out right? But consider this: what if the NE and SEA switched opponents to get to the Superbowl – would you feel differently? Would you not believe that Seattle would erase INDY? Would NE escape Green Bay?  So are we really dealing with wild perceptions?

After going back and forth, reading tidbit after tidbit; I am gonna tease the Seahawks and tease the OVER in this game and I lean the Seahawks winning this game for these reasons…77% of the public is on NE and that is always dangerous to be on the side of the public…Who looks better as the champion, Seattle or New England? Both have their own legacies at stake, but NE’s recent past stands out…Tom winning is the better story, but the Patriots winning is the worst event for Hizzoner and his continued ineffectiveness…We all need a villain, but the Tidal-charts say Seattle is the right play, besides when has NE beaten anyone by more than 3pts…The guy in charge of the DiRT Canon Safehouse believes in a blowout by the Patriots 40-20…we’ll see, but these prop bets seem like a better place to wager your fresh lettuce:

How many times will the announcers mention any form of the word deflate between the singing of the national anthem and end of the game?

0 +1500
1 +1000
2 +400
3 +250
4 or more -150

What hair color will Katy Perry have to open her first song?

Brunette/Black -200
Purple/ Blue +250
Red +450
Blonde +700

Which song will Katy Perry begin her set?

I Kissed a Girl -120
Roar +200
California Gurls +300
Dark Horse +500
Firework +800
None of these +150

Will Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz kiss on the lips?

No – 500
Yes +350

What product will be the first to air after the first play of the first quarter?

Budweiser/Bud Light -120
Doritos +275
Toyota +400
Turbo Tax +650
BMW +700
Lexus +1200
None of these -200

Will Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick be caught smiling on camera during the game?

No -400
Yes +275

Will Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch after scoring a touchdown?

No -600
Yes +400

Will the camera catch Tom Brady and Bill Belichick hugging after the game?

No – 700
Yes +500

Odds on Oddities

Fan streaking +3500
Goal posts fall down +3000
The power goes out +4000
Katy Perry’s nipple gets exposed +4000
Lenny Kravitz shows his junk (penis) +5000
Game goes into overtime +800

3rd Stone from the Sun

Quick hits…

From deep down in the bunker we have some news – the DiRT Canon is now/also on Twitter @TheDiRTCanon, so follow us there; plus we are now/also on Google+ – We have been testing our NBA Fantasy methods to great success and should have it out for you soon – tomorrow we are going to broadcast our thoughts on the Big Game and where to lay your well-earned scratch…Now on to the post o’day….

If you consider all the things about the game, it’s the simple mistakes that might be the difference between winning or losing a football game, particularly a Big game — read Playoffs, read esp. Super Bowl. We are talking about small failures, here — basic mechanical failures, mental errors and blind spots of memory. Foolish laziness that nobody noticed in the first three games of the year will loom gigantic in the playoffs. A simple dropped pass in the fourth quarter will haunt a football player for the rest of his life and cause him to scream in his sleep. Those things will never be forgotten.

Indeed. There are many cruel Rooms in the mansion, and many deep holes in the Road. Keep alert or get stabbed. Of all the shocks and pains that every football season brings, the worst of all is the ending of it. And that is what we face now — this coming Sunday night, in fact, before the bell tolls. There will be no appeal, no extension, no replay. That will be the end of the football season, no matter who complains.

A few geeks will, of course. A few swine always do. No barrel is utterly clean. That would be atmospherically impossible, right? And rest assured that nothing on this Earth is 100 percent clean. Nothing…. Maybe you are one of those people who honestly believes that Cats are clean? I hope not, because you are saddling up for a serious fall. Cats are filthy, and they don’t mind passing it around. The smell of a large cat (as in Lion or Tiger) at room temperature in a sea-level house is so powerful and so disorienting as to derail the human brain. The odor of a mountain lion in the wild is far more terrifying than the sight of the beast, even on a frozen night in the snow. It will literally “take your breath away” at 10 or even 20 yards. Your whole nervous system will seize up and be paralyzed, even your lungs. So stay away from all animals that are bigger than you are, especially at night when they are nervous. A brown bear will eat your whole body in 24 hours. Beware.

What? Why are we worrying about Bears at this time of year, right on the eve of the Super Bowl? I’ll tell you why: Because every time I think about New England and Football and Patriotism all at once, I think of George W Bush and dangerous wild animals and his lust for unspeakable terrorism. W is a football fan — and so am I, as it happens, and I can tell you from years of keen observation that us football fans have a way of getting together, no matter where we are.

There is nothing supernatural about it, but I have witnessed it happen over and over. Football fans share a universal language that cuts across many cultures and many personality types. A serious football fan is never alone. We are legion, and Football is often the only thing we have in common. We recognize each other instantly, even if we have to speak in sign language, or raised eyebrows. No doubt it has something to do with the gambling instinct, which is also universal.

The next time you find yourself in need of conversation in some backwoods foreign airport, as I have from time to time, take this tip and look around for the nearest public TV set that is tuned to a football game. That will be your oasis, no matter how long your layover may. You will get your questions answered.

Gambling is another universal language, along with simple mathematics, cold beer, and wild sex. Any traveler who is conversant in these tongues and football too will find friends in any town. Take my word for it.

It goes without saying, of course, that extreme behavior in all these lines is not recommended. Heavy drinking and berserk gambling among strangers will usually lead to trouble on the road, and you want to keep in mind that airport bars are no longer as tolerant as they used to be. Last year’s fun is today’s crime. Even tying your shoes in an airport can get you locked up.

It will not be long before all major airlines will require all passengers to disrobe and change into standard Hospital gowns before they board a plane. This is already in the planning stage, according to a lawyer from Albuquerque who also assures me that sleeping gas will be introduced later this year on flights of 40 minutes or longer. “The gas has already been market tested,” he said. “Passengers are heavily in favor of it.”

“What passengers?” I asked him. “Not football fans on their way to New Orleans, I bet, or people who have to write speeches on airplanes.”

“There will be no exceptions,” he assured me. “Only uniformed soldiers and police officials licensed to carry concealed weapons.”

“That’s good,” I said. “I have a machine gun license.”

“Very funny,” he said. “Don’t push your luck these days. That’s why we have these new secret prisons.”

I hung up and crossed his name off my guest list for the Super Bowl. Nazis are not welcome at this party. They can’t be trusted.

So how about the Big Game, sport? Who is going to win?

Who indeed?! But if I were a betting man I would go with…Find out tomorrow,  I might even go double on it. Why not? It’s the last game of the year. I won’t lose.

HST


Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson and Ty Cobb

79 years ago today the first class of the Hall of Fame for baseball was elected: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner and Walter Johnson.

From the History Channel…A private organization based in Cooperstown called the Clark Foundation thought that establishing the Baseball Hall of Fame in their city would help to reinvigorate the area’s Depression-ravaged economy by attracting tourists. To help sell the idea, the foundation advanced the idea that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown. The story proved to be phony, but baseball officials, eager to capitalize on the marketing and publicity potential of a museum to honor the game’s greats, gave their support to the project anyway.

In preparation for the dedication of the Hall of Fame in 1939–thought by many to be the centennial of baseball–the Baseball Writers’ Association of America chose the five greatest superstars of the game as the first class to be inducted: Ty Cobb was the most productive hitter in history; Babe Ruth was both an ace pitcher and the greatest home-run hitter to play the game; Honus Wagner was a versatile star shortstop and batting champion; Christy Matthewson had more wins than any pitcher in National League history; and Walter Johnson was considered one of the most powerful pitchers to ever have taken the mound.

Rub some DiRT on it

3 strikes…

Strike 1

It’s been quite a week for Tom.  He is the alleged mastermind behind pig-bladder exhaustion, lover of avocado ice cream, and was deposited into a high-school locker.  Now he admits he has a cold and it takes you all the way back to the Michael Jordan flu game – Jordan pushed off – so that he has a possible explanation of failure or an exultation of brilliance.  As if he doesn’t already have everything else, he has to tell us all, that he takes NyQuil just like us slobs to get up and go to work the next day.

Tom might be the greatest nerd and QB of all time who is also lead around by his wife – who isnt if you’re smart – so it’s kewl to hear he was stuffed in a locker – I wasn’t, nor was I ever the Stuffer – but his man-card must have expired because the only way he eats avocado ice cream is if his portuguese wife made him eat it, AND it was during one of those awkward late-night-bed-wrestling-matches, that we would all consider trading places with him for a day – that is the only scenario I can come up with, for him to actually say it is his favorite treat.  Of course we all have our vices/fetishes.


Strike 2

Hey! James Shields is still out there!  The 33yr old pitcher, who is 2 years older than Jon Lester and Max Scherzer, must have overplayed/overpriced his hand.  He is expecting a similar deal to both Lester and Scherzer and you have to wonder how does he come up with that number?  He might need a new agent or spend more time coming to grips that he IS NOT “Big Game”.

He has long not been a Lion as a pitcher, in fact he has thrown for more innings than any pitcher since 2007.  His fWAR stats say he is more like Dan Haren since that time and in only the last 4 years is more like Anibal Sanchez.  So he better get realistic real quick with his perceived value and stop holding out for a 6yr 9-figure deal – He’s more worth like 3years $45m – maybe.

Of course somebody will take a flyer on him.  it’s not like this is the first time a known pitcher was left dangling out there this long like jerky – Garza, Ubaldo, Lohse, we’re looking at you.  But the point is he doesnt have the juice at 33 nor the stats to justify anything larger.  Not even the Yankees are touching him as of now and that should tell you all you need to know James – know the ledge.


Strike 3

What are you doing Trent?

It’s fun to pick on Trent Richardson.  He was benched for the playoffs, can never see the hole, went to Alabama and overall is a train-wreck of a first round pick.  Because of him, or more to the point, he is the poster-boy of not drafting a RB in the 1st round.  You could say that for the next 5 years, only Leonard Fournette (if healthy) could be the only 1st round RB taken.

The offensive gameplan nowadays favors the pass and teams no longer can count on a high draft pick to be wasted on a position that, value-wise, produces in the later rounds.  It is not an indictment on the position, to me it is still critical, to able to run the ball. But Trent is slowly destroying the position, one bad read at a time.  It’s also why no one from Alabama is any good in the pros.  It’s because their SYSTEM is so structured that they never learn how to play – they’re robots, albeit good at robotics, but in the next level they have to be unlearned and reprogrammed.  So to all the RB’s coming out that are healthy – if you go after the 1st round, send a thank-you-letter to ya’boy Trent.  He and peanut-head Jamarcus, #CantPlayAtNextLevel.


Passed ball

73 seconds.

29 years ago today, that was all we saw of the Space Shuttle Challenger.  I remember exactly where I was and still I am reminded by the thoughts that went thru my head of disbelief.  Being at school, being told over the speaker system what happened, hoping the falling cabin contained life…still is hard to believe that 7 people lost their lives because of an O-ring.  18 years and 6 days later there was the second shuttle disaster, when Endeavour disintegrated in re-entry over Texas and Louisiana.  Now, no more shuttles…Prometheus stole fire to provide us a spark, to generate creativity and explore – what shall we do if we never venture out into the unknown?  Bless those that took the chance to peel back the curtain of the great beyond.

STS-51-L.svgSTS-107 Flight Insignia.svg

Clear as Mud

A spiraling helix that rockets downward at godless velocity is called a Vortex.  One that helixes straight up is a Tornado.  They may appear different, but to philosophers of Physics and Quantum Mechanics, they are both the same thing.

Both will kill you instantaneously.  The contrast between being inhaled by a bottomless sinkhole and getting engulfed in the air, still in your car and then bombed to the ground onto a freeway during rush-hour 6 miles away, is that your remains are more easily identified scattered on the freeway during rush hour and, stories will come out about your love of kitten calendars, while your familys’ insurance will be cancelled, for unexplained reasons of course.

“It’s got to be Genetic”, they’ll say.  “I heard he came from a family of hoarders and his mother was struck by lightning twice when she was pregnant, and his Uncle was killed in a cracker factory – that family is doomed.”

The upside of being consumed like a beer-bong at college into the earthly/watery void, is that your body disappears forever.  No questions, no mistaken assumptions or innuendo, every Coroner, investigation will have problems coming to terms with what happened…”It’s like he was flushed,” said a witness.  “It was the last time I saw him, such a tragedy.”  And that is how the lifetime movie starts.

All spirals natural/unnatural will get out of control now and then:  Witness the horrible and recent fate of Peyton Manning in the postseason – Not even Joe Montana was smart and sharp EVERY Sunday.

But hold on! I’m getting to the point of the story – which is the Cascading Corkscrew of Dumbness that threatens to drag us all down into the Mother of all homicidal whirlpools.  It is the Natural Law of the Market Economy that a rising tide lifts all boats (maybe 12 hrs) – and unless the terrestrial-orbit gets blown off its axis by some gung-ho douchebag who wants to “teach North Korea a lesson”, the same applies to Low Tides.

But it is the mutant tides that lead to disasters, and this eerie paradox of a guaranteed high-yield economy, has made even Dumb people richer and richer for the last 20years is categorically a mutant tide…Also a law of nature, is when too many dumb people get rich all at once, they will naturally rise to the top and making more and more of those executive decisions that impact the lives of more and more people. anyway….

Listening to Ray Lewis speak is an obvious example of the dumbness spiral in action.  But he is not alone.  Other examples are all around us from Ebola and Sony Pictures to Greg Anthony and the possible loss of our wifi.  We live in times of diminishing expectations and impulsive whimsy.  The point please?!

The financial success of Major League Baseball contradicts the whirlpool of support for younger generations. The game goes on, yet does anyone have faith in its American future…The level of desperation has sunk to instant replay’s, speeding the game up and banning the defensive shift, all in the name of offensive production.

It is far worse and dumb, for instance to think that offensive production is being limited by the defensive shift, or that it will make the game more exciting.  The shift has been around since the beginning of the game and the way to beat it is to be able to “hit ’em where they aint”.  Now Rob Manfred (new commissioner, 1st day yesterday) wants more offense – then lift the ban on steroids or any other PED – the issue isn’t the shift, it’s the ostriched response baseball had during the the last 20yrs that allowed average hitters to succeed, because they could get away with power to one area of the field.  Removing the shift rewards those that can’t hit to all fields, or bunt – There is a reason we have the Senior Circuit where real baseball is played and the other that was so pathetic scoring runs they had to defraud the game by allowing a DH – both leagues with a DH is more dumb.  Banning the defensive shift for the sake of offense is an idea from mealy-mouthed stooges who approach ideas like a bull in a china shop, caught firmly in the clutches of the whirlpool of stupidity.


Hizzoner hisself is talking about pressuring college football to move their playoffs because HE wants to expand the playoffs to 14 teams and he wants one of those games guaranteed to be on Monday night.  Funny thing about that is, ESPN is caught in the middle because of their contract with the CFP and the NFL.  The contract with the CFP is they must show the National Championship game on Monday night, preferably the second Monday in January, and all games must be on ESPN, (not any other affiliates, including ABC).  But because of the relationhip with the NFL and broadcasting Monday Night Football on ESPN (also only on ESPN, no affiliates), this causes friction if Hizzoner moves forward with playoff expansion, as it will conflict with the National Championship game.

ESPN has already reached out to the CFP, as has the NFL about changing the dates.  Usually the NFL gets what it wants, but I’m hoping someone holds their ground and makes the NFL work around someone else’s schedule.  I’d much rather see 2 of the top 4 college teams play for a title, then having to suffer watching the Browns play the Titans on Monday Night.  Add this idea to the whirlpool, and shouldn’t Hizzoner be thinking about more pressing issues in his league, before making changes based solely on money?

Monday Dreg

It’s a beautiful day…let’s play two

“Mr. Cub”, “Mr.Sunshine”, passed away Friday at the age of 83.  The enthusiastic ambassador for a city and a franchise was more than just an All-Century Shortstop; he was a man that had a love for the community, rivaled only by his love of baseball.  Ernie Banks played 19 seasons, (all for Chicago) with only one winning season in his first 14 years.  Ernie never made it to the postseason and his playoff exile is still the longest in baseball history at 2,528 consecutive games without.  In 1954 Ernie Banks and Gene Baker became the first all-black-double-play combo in MLB history.  Ernie played his first 8 seasons at SS before being moved to 1B in 1961, after starting 23 games in LF.

Ernie Banks was the smile that all fans of the Cubs clung to for hope.  He was one of their own and he was a special ballplayer that played the game with effervescence.  He was an 11 time all star who hit 512 HR’s, had 5 Grand Slams in 1955, led the league twice in HR’s and RBI, the most HR’s in a season by a NL Shortstop with 47, and by the time Cal came around, had the fewest errors in a season by a shortstop (12) and the best fielding percentage by a shortstop in a season (.985 in 1959).

Ernie Banks shared the Shortstop position on the All-Century Team with Honus Wagner and Cal Ripken jr, but compare him to the modern player and he still is good.  For an example, Cal Ripken jr and Omar Vizquel now own the fewest errors in a season by a shortstop with 3.  Cal Ripken has the highest fielding percentage in a season by a shortstop (min 150 games) with .996.  Troy Tulowitzki currently has the highest career fielding percentage of all shortstops with .986.

Speaking of Troy Tulowitzki, who is the best Shortstop in the game, and most likely gives us an idea of what it must have been like to watch Ernie play, compares as follows:

0.299 BA 0.294
119 avg.hits.season 151
176 HR 269
604 RBI 778
0.891 OPS 0.916
4.1 WAR 6.2
0.986 fielding% 0.972
106 Games avg’d 135

Those numbers are based on the 9yrs Troy has played at shortstop, against Ernie’s 8yrs at the position.  As much as Troy is beloved in Denver, think how much Rockies fans would love Ernie Banks if he played right now in Coors Field.  Now I love Troy Tulowitzki, and watching him play is one of the few joys you have as a Rockies Fan, but hopefully this helps put things in perspective for an all timer like Ernie Banks and for most of us who never saw him play.  In the Great Ballpark in the sky, they might have to adjust their schedule for double headers, now that Mr.Cub has joined the team.


 

Jeff Bridich, 37, is the Rockies’ rookie general manager. His team is coming off a 66-96 season.

New GM Jeff Bridich

I went to Rockies-Fest again this past Saturday and as usual you get a bad case of spring fever, the thoughts of seeing the field of green, the dirt in the infield, blue skies, sunshine, over-priced beer, meat tubes snuggled in bread pillows, etc..Crazier thoughts that sprout from the what if game: what if Tulo actually plays 150 games with CarGo, or what if the young arms actually have talent to go with Diva-Rosa and Jhoulys – what if Rex Brothers had a bad dream and awoke…It all felt so good, walking around the ballpark, listening to guys spit out cliche after cliche, having fun interacting with the slovenly peasants, watching peasants whore themselves with platitudes towards every ballplayer seen in the hallway – it gets you excited if you love the game and I do.  But then there’s this guy…Bridich…the new GM of the Rockies that was the Director of player development, who earned the job after O’Dwod quit/resigned…Well maybe not earned, the Rockies never conducted a search for a replacement – they kinda got the formal resignation and within hours of the announcement, announced the new GM.

We were there for the first event of the day where Justin Morneau, Walt Weiss, CarGo and that guy were there to talk about the outlook of the Rockies.  Justin responded well to the event, answering questions, Walt provided every cliche we have ever heard about the Rockies (see what if game), CarGo was intense but excited for the season – you could sense that he is burning up inside to prove he can still be elite.

When Bridich spoke it was in one tone – saying nothing.  He never answered the question asked of him and seemed more like we all were beneath him and this was a waste of his time.  You would think that the new GM of a baseball team, at the age of 37, would be so excited to speak to season ticket holders and be enthusiastic for his chance to show us he’s the man.  He was the opposite of that.  The guy reaches a pinnacle of management after being 3rd banana and he reacts like a deer in headlights that just saw his dog get run-over.  One of the questions he was asked was how do you know when a young arm is ready for the majors – mumbly-joe just started droning on and on about how hard the majors are and that evaluations and timing and weather reports and crop circles and tidal charts of the moon’s orbit, blah blah blah – to the point you saw CarGo just look down to avoid eye contact. My son even asked me what he is saying – i had no idea – but I can tell you how you answer that question in front of season ticket holders, who generally want to know when some of the talent we have is ready to contribute and does he have a clue when that would be – that was not the time to be cryptic Jeff.

You might say something like: it all depends on the prospects’ ability to master HIS pitches and when to throw the right pitch, does he understand situational baseball and does he have the maturity to handle all the noise inside and outside of the ballpark – does he want to succeed and does he trust his defense to make a play…That was just 30 seconds of “who’s line is it anyway” – Jeff had weeks to prepare a proper response that gives you an idea that he cares, or has a clue, or is enthusiastic about running a baseball team.  I guess we’re stuck with the GM we got, just not the one we deserve.


Colombia 2014

Paulina Vega – Miss Universe

So last night was the Miss Universe whoop-ditty and my $2 Trifecta Box did not merit much in terms of financial gain.  Hell, I only had Netherlands left in the top 5 and I have no idea where the rest fell out – but it was interesting that I had said two of the top 6 that had outside chances were USA and Colombia and they ended up finishing nos.1&2 – but you said they weren’t gonna win because… – Like I said, nailed it – besides I blame Manny Pacquiao for blowing up my box.

things also not worth watching…

anyone know who won, any of the football extravaganzas that occurred?  I’ve got a feeling that a good friend of mine took the over in the Senior Bowl and Team Carter + the points…I know it sounds weird, but this same guy bets pre-season NFL games – His is the picture in the dictionary next to the word degenerate.


 

 

 

3rd Stone From the Sun

"yeah." marshawn lynch

How is he fined, set to be fined and almost not able to play – yet nothing of a fine/punishment for the Pats until after the Superbowl? New Conduct Policy indeed!

Isn’t exercising your right NOT to speak protected anymore? Are one word answers not speaking?  Ladies and Gentleman, I’ll be brief – the issue here is not whether or not a few liberties were taken with the rules – they did.  But you cannot hold an entire Organization responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals.  For if you do, then should we not blame the whole NFL system? And if the whole NFL system is guilty, then isn’t it an indictment of our sporting institutions in general? I put it to you Roger – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American Society? Well you can do whatever you want to them, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.  Gentlemen!


29 days until Pitchers and Catchers report…

So Spring Training is almost upon us and I thought I would set down the Cognac for minute to talk about what’s missing from some potential contenders this year…

Orioles: Good Left-handed bat

Last year the Orioles won the AL East by 12 games but lost Nelson Cruz and Jason Markakis.  Matt Weiters and Manny Machado are expected back so how much of a difference will those losses be?  They also lost reliever Andrew Miller so the Offense has the added pressure to keep scoring runs.  Add to that there are rumors that GM Dan Duquette could laterally move to the Blue Jays and that idea could be a reason the Orioles have been slow to act.  The O’s need a left-handed bat that has some power and gets on base and a prime candidate, if they wanted to trade, would be Charlie Blackmon.  But we already can assume the Rockies asking price – maybe the Rockies would bring back Ubaldo and parade him around as the guy who will anchor a playoff run out of the basement.  If the Orioles were serious and if I was running the Rockies – I would trade Blackmon for Kevin Gausman (local kid, pitched collegiately @ LSU), the Rockies have several guys that can play the Outfield, not named Rosario.

Red Sox: an Ace

The Sawx have a lineup that should bring in a lot of runs and while their current pitching staff is decent in name, it lacks a solid #1.  Clay Bucholz is a good pitcher and can be a solid #1, but health and being mentally tough seem to be an issue consistently, #2014.  The rest of the staff is Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson and Joe Kelly.  It’s a good staff, but no one is looking at this group and thinking pennant chasers.  So who are the possible anchors?  Cole Hamels, Jordan Zimmerman or maybe Stephen Strasburg – Zim or Strasburg have both been made available from the Nat’s.  The Red Sox have talent in their farm system to make a deal with Washington and still be solid – If the Sawx were the Rockies they would demand Jordan Zimmerman AND Stephen Strasburg for their 3rd-team Catcher/1B.

Cardinals: SP Insurance

The best baseball organization always seems to find and produce arm-talent.  What I’m sure they are tired of is someone always going down that causes them to adjust their rotation, #EverySpringTraining.  How many years have gone by where “If Healthy” is said about some Cardinal pitcher – yet it does not stop them – so The Cardinals could add more depth to the rotation.  The current “If Healthy” rotation is: Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha, John Lackey and Carlos Martinez – a good staff that is formidable – and it makes you wonder beyond that, how the Cards would actually go about providing that depth.  It’s like Troy Tulowitzki – damn good, but you’re just waiting for the injury.  Maybe the answer is Cole Hamels, but who do you trade?  The Cardinals will probably not do anything considering they have already traded Shelby Miller and Joe Kelly – while still having very good 6th and 7th options in Marco Gonzales and Jaime Garcia.  We’ll see, the Rockies, if they drafted Shelby Miller or Michael Wacha, would have not yet made it to the Majors, let alone be good enough to pitch for the Cardinals.

Dodgers: SP insurance

Because their 5th starter is former Rockies Ace Brett Anderson who has not pitch more than 100 innings since 2010.  Sure Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu will win you a lot of games and Brandon McCarthy (who has his own injured past) was the only one of these 4 who did not go on IR – #He’sDue.  Expect Greinke to be moved at some point this year as he has an opt-out clause at the end of the year.  The Dodgers have the resources and like the Cardinals have the staff to get to the post-season, “If Healthy” and still finish ahead of the Rockies.

Giants: another Starting Pitcher

Bumgarner, Cain, Hudson and then who? Lincecum? Peavy? Vogelsong re-signed after flirting with the ‘stros – so they got that going for them.  But if you are gonna go into the season having to rely on the “Freak” and “the creeper at the end of the bar” Peavy for your 5th starter, then you could enjoy some mound-fireworks – I suppose it won’t matter to much, but they could financially trade for Shields, but will likely go younger with Dakota Dill or Dylan Gee – Like the Cardinals the Giants know how to teach pitching and Brian Sabean always finds a way to make it all work.  Of course this being an odd year the Giants will not win the World Series but will still finish ahead of the Rockies.

Detroit: Bullpen

Bullpen arms are difficult to come by – we know Scherzer is gone – and the Tigers have a GREEN back of the rotation – plus what about Verlander?  The Tigers starting rotation is a big question mark, however, you can hide that with an excellent bullpen.  For Detroit its a whole lot of faith: Can Joe Nathan bounce back? How is Bruce Rondon post surgery? Is Joakim Soria healthy? Can Al Alburquerque and Tom Gorzelanny handle the increased work-load?  But the biggest issue for Detroit to correct the issues they face, is how close they are to the luxury tax threshold, so it comes down to playing the “price is right” – expect them to roll the dice and then maybe chase after Joba or Rafael Soriano.  If Detroit were the Rockies they’d resign a guy in his 40’s to anchor the back end, then maybe throw in Jamie Moyer to eat up a few innings.

Some other teams have needs too and I’m not sure what the issue is with the Nationals – because if they kept their current pitching staff, front and back, they could be generationally good – #OnPaper.  Everyone always needs pitching and truthfully I’m just getting angrier with the Rockies front office, discussing about what contenders need.  Baseball in Colorado is like getting punched in the nose – it stings and makes your eyes water – as long as we have a party-deck and keep turning the ‘styles, who cares…right?

DiRT Nap

Jerry was a race car driver…

So Jeff sez he’s all done after this year and thats just one less dude we will know in the Great Game of Turning Left.  Can’t believe I did this…

Speaking of non-sports…

What the heck is going on in Golf?  Dustin has a Coke problem. Tiger’s missing a tooth. Lee Westwood saves a guy and Allenby’s clandestine kidnapping.

Tiger says it’s from a camera man – where’s the footage?  The bruise? But it is not as fishy as Robert Allenby being found by a homeless person, after being kidnapped, beaten, robbed and dumped in a park.  More like, I got drunk, bought a hooker, ran out of cialis, hit my head on a rock after fishing with Rob Konrad, and the FBI is on the case.  Now of course he says the details are not important – of course they arent when you envoke the “Taken” movies, and then say it was just some locals jealous of your celebrity – in Hawaii – jealous, of a golfer – not even your friends, that were with you at the winebar, noticed you were gone – so let’s not overstate your fame here Felicia.

New Boss, same as the old boss…

Wilin Rosario

So Wilin Rosario is still on this team and NOW management claims that he has really improved his 1st base and outfield skills…Huh? Say that again?  We now have a 3rd-team catcher AND at 1st base?  So the guy who has trouble with balls in the dirt behind the plate is capable of playing a position that requires shagging balls out of the dirt, plus he’s 5’11” and has shown no inclination of jumping over a credit card.  But HEY, they also said outfielder!

Are we really gonna place a cement mixer out in the spacious outfield of Coors Field just because he hits lefties pretty well?  Any pitcher with a breaking pitch strikes him out and I once saw him lose to an old-lady with a walker, truckin to first on a slow-roller to third.

So what management is really telling us, is what they have always told us and that is; they over-value/over-price their talent and from there, they can not find anyone to trade with.  So they make up some BS story about how hard he works and then further lie about making offers to Free-Agent Pitchers, that never happened – #JamesShields – just to make it seem like they actually DO something.  It shows that the front-office cannot admit mistakes for their evaluation of talent – then they try to hide it by being creative, trying them out at other positions – instead of DOING something.  You have Morneau at 1st and Ben Paulsen as a more than competent back-up – in the outfield, who are you gonna take out that Rosario is better than, we are in the NL and do not have a DH, so he becomes useless.

Oh wait, maybe he could take Charlie Blackmon’s spot because they have listened to trade offers on him and we clearly have no prospects better than Rosario to replace him.  But Charlie’s price-tag is probably a #1 or #2 starting pitcher – maybe thats why the Cubs stopped calling because they got Dexter Fowler cheap – Just another example of over-pricing/over-valuing talent, nor what to do with it – They’ll over-inflate 2nd and 3rd tier talent but when it comes to CarGo and Tulo they’ll take 3rd and 4th tier talent and sell us the merits of Angelina Jolie when all we get is a coked out Lindsay Lohan.  The Who were right, except we keep getting fooled…

Speaking of mistakes…

Miss Universe is on NBC this Sunday…so you have plenty of time to review the card and place a bet – to help smooth you over until then – here is Miss Germany; she has a dog that looks like an alien (im going with Alf) and her last name is pronounced “DONUT” – which is nice…

Germany 2014

Josefin Donat

 

NFL new head coaches: quick hits

John Fox: Goes to the Bears and brings Adam Gase (Broncos OC) and Vic Fangio (SF DC) with him.  What we know is that he will get that team, with/without “Jake” Cutler, to a competitive place – winning something of value will be a different story.  He is Dan Reeves, a good coach with unimpressive end results.  Fox is 30 games over .500 and has 2 Superbowl and 7 playoff appearances.  This is also the first time since the ’50’s that the Bears have hired a coach with prior experience.

Todd Bowles: Is the anti-Rex and seems to be the NFL’s flavor of the month as a coordinator.  He has only been a D-coordinator since 2012 and is now a Head Coach.  How patient will the Jets be while he learns on the job – but, he has established a solid start by bringing in former Head Coach and now Offensive Coordinator in Chan Gailey.  With what he accomplished in Arizona and their injuries, you can expect the Jets to still be relevant on the D-side of the ball.

Dan Quinn: Not a head coach yet but clearly the hiring of Kyle Shanahan as OC for the Falcons means that after the Superbowl an agreement has already been reached – wink, wink – Otherwise the Falcons are in a world of hurt if Dan is not the man.  The big question that we will have answered is how much influence did/does Dan Quinn have on the Seahawk D – for Atlanta’s sake it better be substantial.  That’ll be 3 out of 4 coaches in the NFC South that are D coordinators.

Jack Del Rio: Was decent for Jacksonville and will be a solid influence on the Raiders.  He is a defensive coach that could not stop Andrew Luck, as mentioned before here, or anyone when it really mattered, #Ravens.  Oakland has talent and needs someone to take them to the next level – Del Rio could help with one side of the ball – but his biggest problem will be offensively and he hired Bill Musgrave as his OC.  Musgrave’s philosophy is based on unimaginitive play-calling with a heavy focus on the run – for a team that does not have the personnel to run heavy – maybe he should have hired Mike Martz.

Rex Ryan: This guy is winning at the Bar.  He has done nothing as a head coach and it is surprising that the Bills hired him, considering that they have a complete dossier on him being in the same division all these years.  For a team that is questionable at QB just like his former team, Rex still brings his QB coach with him – how did that work out for Geno?  Your move EJ!  The D will be good and for Rex, he has no pressure in Buffalo – just make the playoffs once every 4 years and I’m sure they might name a street after you – the bar is low in Buffalo – Remember the K-Gun and Thermal.

Gary Kubiak: It’s just Kubes, being Kubes.  This seems like nothing more than nepotism and that’s fine – Kubiak is a good coach and this says more about after Peyton than right now.  If they can get to a Superbowl again then he will be annointed a patron saint of the l’orange.  What is weird is that if the rumors of a fallout with Fox and Elway were true, centered around run v pass; then this hire makes no sense, as Kubiak is a run first guy.  This could be the marriage that Elway wants to recreate when the Broncos last won(manipulated) the Superbowl with Shanahan. Fox=Reeves, Manning=Elway, Shanahan=Kubiak.

Jim Tomsula: Who? No one saw this coming and everyone just has to take some guys’ word for it, being a great hire.  The real problem seems to be, who is on his staff?  A lot of good people already have jobs, including talented people from the 49ers.  He may be a good coach, but without a proper staff, how is it gonna work?  Guess we’ll see – best a 49er fan can hope for is a wildcard next year, and after that, not much else.