Clear as Mud

Yesterday, Adrian Peterson had a question for us on Twitter – he asked if “a contract is two-sided or one?”.  Before I could answer him, he went on an epic rant – clearly he had too many Pina Coladas and I thought it might be better for him to sleep it off and wait until the morning.

Someone answer him so he can continue.

Yo, Adrian! Remember that time last year when you still got paid $11.75m for beating your kid and played one game?!  Do you remember that your contract says you get $12.75m this year, $5m more than any other RB in the NFL?!  It seems more like you are arguing that YOU should not have to honor your contract?  While I agree with him in principle, He’s still an asshole – but if you want something different, then help change the collective bargaining agreement your Union agreed to!  Currently, a NFL team gives a player a contract and then can decide later, for a variety of reasons, if they want to cut him – it’s the ol’Switch-A-Roo (see what I did there? Sick burn, I know) – My point is this: NFL contracts are contracts, but they’re not guaranteed, (they do have guaranteed money) and there are certain things the team can and cannot do with them, and you would know this if you read the contract. And the fact the team can whack you after one year of your supposed five-year deal, or franchise you, or cut you at a date that is most advantageous for them, but not for you has been agreed to in collective bargaining. NFL players were hell-bent on getting free agency back in the 90’s, and they got it, while giving up a whole bunch of other stuff – and they lost the last go-round of near-work stoppage because management always wins in football and always loses in baseball. Because there’s always another football player out there who will play, while nobody but Pedro Borbon would cross a baseball picket line.

Sure, it’s draconian. But the facts that baseball teams stay on the hook for guys who have long since declined below their level of compensation (yes, no one forces teams to sign players to stupid contracts) and the “expiring contract” is often as big an asset in the NBA as an actual player who can play, are also messed up.

So, let him retire, let him force his way out, there will still be some-team who wants a child-abusing running back on the north-side of his career with over 10,000 yards on the odometer, (we’re looking at you Jerr-uh).  But instead of trumpeting your own horn about contract inequities, Adrian – why are you not addressing the obvious blackball of Ray Rice?!  While I don’t think Ray Rice has the physical ability to be an NFL back at this point (he didn’t look very good two years ago), why is it Rice hasn’t gotten a tryout with anyone, when Ray McDonald was able to land a deal with the Bears – and we all know how that turned out.  Adrian pleaded out, Rice has been acquitted, and one is trying to get work and the other won’t because of his ego – if only he thought about any of his sons as much as he thinks of himself.


 

MLB

nullNice debut for Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez may be here to stay – the 22-year-old lefty tallied seven strikeouts over 7.2 scoreless innings in his major-league debut, leading the Red Sox to a 5-1 victory over the Rangers. Rodriguez is the first Red Sox pitcher in 48 years to throw at least seven shutout innings while recording a win in his MLB debut. On April 14, 1967, Billy Rohr threw a complete-game one-hit shutout against the Yankees in his first major-league appearance. In fact, Rohr had a no-hitter intact with two outs in the ninth inning before Elston Howard’s single ended the rookie’s chance at history. Despite the auspicious start, Rohr recorded just two more wins in his major-league career.

Prior to Rodriguez on Thursday, 95 pitchers had made their major-league debut at Globe Life Park in Arlington since the stadium opened in 1994. Rodriguez is the second pitcher of that group to throw at least seven innings without surrendering a run. On August 16, 2000, Brian Sikorskistarted for Texas and blanked the Yankees for seven innings in his major-league debut. That would be the only ‘W’ that Sikorski would record as a starting pitcher – he earned three more wins pitching in relief in 2006, his final season in the majors.

Giants post another squa-doosh at home

Including Thursday’s 7-0 whitewashing of the Braves, the Giants have recorded eight shutouts in May, all of which have come at AT&T Park. San Francisco is the only NL team in the last 99 seasons (1917-2015) to tally at least eight shutouts at home in a calendar month. The Giants themselves were the last NL team to achieve that feat – in September 1916, the New York Giants won an incredible 27 games at the Polo Grounds, including 10 shutout victories. Both the 27 wins at home and 10 shutout victories at home are major-league records for any team in a month.

nullBeckwith’s favorite pitcher still buzzing for Miller despite loss

Shelby Miller, who took the hard-luck loss in San Francisco after allowing one run in seven innings, owns an earned run average of 1.48 after his first 10 starts with the Braves. That’s the second-lowest ERA through ten starts for any pitcher who joined the Braves since 1966, when the franchise relocated to Atlanta. Buzz Capra, who began the 1974 season in the bullpen for the Braves, moved into the starting rotation in mid-May and allowed just nine earned runs in 78? innings over his first 10 starts with the team, good for a 1.03 ERA.

null50 K’s in four starts? Really?!

Corey Kluber rang up another 13 strikeouts on Thursday against the Mariners, increasing his total to 50 K’s over his last four starts. Kluber is the first pitcher in Indians history to record at least 50 strikeouts over a span of four starts within a single season, though Bob Feller achieved that feat for Cleveland in a multi-season span of four starts (the Hall-of-Famer struck out 18 in his final start of 1938 and 32 over his first three starts of 1939). The last pitcher in the majors before Kluber with at least 50 K’s over a span of four starts was Randy Johnson, who punched out 54 batters over four games in August 2004.

nullOrioles on Sale

Chris Sale racked up 12 K’s over 7.2 scoreless innings, helping the White Sox win the opener of their doubleheader with the Orioles. The lanky lefty has reached double-digits in K’s in 21 of his 94 starts in the majors, making him the fourth left-handed pitcher that has debuted in the modern era (since 1900) and has struck out 10 or more batters at least 20 times within his first 100 career starts. The other three southpaws to accomplish that feat are Sam McDowell (28 times, 1961-66 Indians), Herb Score (26 times, 1955-59 Indians), and Johan Santana (21 times, 2000-05 Twins).

O’s take split

Adam Eaton hit a leadoff homer to start the second game of the doubleheader for the White Sox, but the Orioles responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first to take the lead, helping Baltimore earn a split against Chicago on Thursday. The Orioles are now 10-0 this season when they hold a lead at the end of the first inning. The only other team that is undefeated in that scenario this season is the Cardinals, who are 14-0 when outscoring their opponents in the opening frame.

nullSabathia blows lead

After starting his night with four shutout innings, CC Sabathia allowed five runs over the next three frames, squandering the Yankees’ 3-0 lead in the A’s 5-4 victory. Since joining the Yankees in 2009, CC Sabathia is now 70-2 in 81 starts in which he was staked to a lead of at least three runs. Sabathia’s only loss in that scenario prior to Thursday was on June 28, 2013 against the Orioles – he allowed four runs in that start after the Yankees took a 3-0 lead.

New-Angel in the outfield scores twice in blowout

Nine Angels players scored at least one run in their 12-2 romp over the Tigers. The flock of run-scoring Angels included Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who scored two runs in his debut for Los Angeles despite no official at-bats in the game. The former Mets outfielder scored a run in the sixth inning after pinch-running for Matt Joyce, then he scored another on Chris Iannetta‘s grand slam in the seventh after drawing a walk. Only two players before Nieuwenhuis scored multiple runs in their Angels debut without recording a hit – Joe Lahoud (April 1974) and Jack Howell (May 1985). Both players scored exactly two runs, and Lahoud, like Nieuwenhuis, had no official at-bats in his debut with the team.

nullMcCutchen keeps proving Beckwith wrong, Pirates keep winning

Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-5 at the plate with a pair of RBI doubles, helping the Pirates defeat the Padres, 11-5. McCutchen’s cold start to the season looks far behind him now – the former MVP had recorded a subpar .188 batting average after 26 games along with 13 RBIs and just five extra-base hits. In 20 games since then, McCutchen is batting .384 with 16 RBIs and 14 extra-base hits; his 28 hits over that span are tied for the most in the National League.

Game 7’s are DiRTy

NHL

Two Game 7s in the NHL Conference Finals

The Blackhawks forced a decisive seventh game in the Western Conference Final with their 5-2 win over the Ducks in Game 6 on Wednesday, after the Rangers did the same in the Eastern Conference Final with their Game 6 victory over the Lightning on Tuesday. This will be the third time in NHL history that both Semi-Final or Conference Final series in one playoff year went seven games, It happened first in 1964, when Toronto beat Montreal and Detroit topped Chicago in seven-game Semi-Finals, and again in 2000 when New Jersey edged Philadelphia and Dallas got by Colorado in the Conference Finals.

nullKeith notches three assists in the second period

Duncan Keith assisted on all three of the Blackhawks’ second-period goals in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final. Keith is the fourth player in Blackhawks history to register three assists in one period of a playoff game. The other Chicago players to do that are Pat Stapleton in 1973 (Game 1 of the Stanly Cup Final at Montreal, first period), Chris Chelios in 1992 (Game 2 of Conference Final vs. Edmonton, third period) and Patrick Kane in 2014 (Game 5 of Conference Final vs. Los Angeles, first period). Kane was the last player on any NHL team to accomplish that feat before Keith.


 

NBA

40 year Drought is over

Stephen Curry registered 26 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals in the Warriors’ series clinching win over the Rockets on Wednesday night. The only other players to produce at least 25 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals in a playoff series clinching win are Michael Jordan (1990 vs. Philadelphia),Hersey Hawkins (1991 vs. Milwaukee) and Scottie Pippen (1991 vs. the Lakers).

Both NBA Conference Finals end in five or less

The Warriors ended the Western Conference Final series in five games with a win over the Rockets on Wednesday night, a day after the Cavaliers completed a sweep of the Eastern Conference Finals with a victory over the Hawks. This marks only the second time in the last 29 years that both NBA Conference Finals series ended in five or fewer games. The only other time that happened over that span was in 2011.


 

MLB

nullThor and the Mets

Noah Syndergaard did not allow a run while pitching one out into the eighth inning and had a big day at the plate going 3-for-3 with a home run in the Mets’ 7-0 blanking of the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon. The only other rookies to hurl at least seven shutout innings while lashing out three or more hits including a home run are Colorado’s Jason Jennings, who pitched a shutout and had three hits and a homer against the Mets on August 23, 2001 and the Dodgers’ Larry Sherry, who did not allow a run over 8.2 innings and recorded three hits and a long ball against the Cardinals on August 15, 1959.

nullThe Yankee nightmare continues as A-Rod passes Gehrig…..and Thome

Alex Rodriguez hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the fourth inning in the Yankees’ 4-2 win over the Royals on Wednesday afternoon. Rodriguez’s blast, the 50th of his career against Kansas City, not only allowed him to break Lou Gehrig’s American League record for career RBIs, it also set the mark for most career home runs hit against the Royals, a record he shared with Jim Thome entering Wednesday’s action.

nullCruz goes the dynamite

Nelson Cruz broke a scoreless tie with a two-out, three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning in Seattle’s 3-0 win over the Rays in Tampa on Wednesday afternoon. Cruz became only the second player in Mariners’ history to break a scoreless with a two-out home run in the ninth inning or later, joining Logan Morrison who went deep with two out and two-men on in the top of the ninth against the Angels in a 3-1 Seattle win on September 18, 2014.

Pirate pitching stifle another opponent

The Pirates defeated the Marlins by a score of 5-2 on Wednesday extending their winning streak to six games. Pittsburgh has allowed two or fewer runs in each of the six wins during its streak. The only other time the Pirates have won six consecutive games, while allowing two or fewer runs in each game, over the last 38 seasons was in 1992, when Pittsburgh had a nine-game streak of that kind.

nullKipnis loves batting first

Jason Kipnis went 3-for-5 in the Indians’ 12-3 win over the Rangers on Wednesday afternoon. It’s the eighth time that Kipnis has had three hits in a game in this month. Prior to Kipnis, the last Indians player to record at least eight three-hit games in a calendar month was Kenny Lofton, who had eight in August of 1995. It is also the highest total in a calendar month by a second baseman since San Francisco’s Jeff Kent had eight games with at least three hits in June 2002.

nullLaRoche in extra innings

Adam LaRoche singled in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning leading the White Sox to a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon. LaRoche’s 855 career RBIs ranks 20th among active major league players, but his 26 RBIs in extra-innings are tied with Carlos Beltran for the fifth most among current players behind Albert Pujols (35), Alex Rodriguez (33), Ryan Howard (29) and Matt Kemp(27).

nullAnother Arenado

Nolan Arenado drove in three runs in the Rockies’ 6-4 win over the Reds on Wednesday afternoon. It’s the sixth time that Arenado has had at least three RBIs in a game this season, tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the major-league lead in that category. Prior to this season, Arenado drove in at least three runs in a game only five times in the 244 major-league games he had played in during his career.

nullPanik at the Disco

Joe Panik hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning giving the Giants a 2-1 lead in a game they would go on to win 3-1 on Wednesday afternoon. It’s the first time Panik had multiple RBIs in a game this season. He entered Wednesday’s action with the most games played (44) among players that did not have a multiple-RBI game this season.

nullFinally Hicks

Aaron Hicks hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning in the Twins’ 6-4 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon. Hicks entered the contest on a streak of 71 consecutive plate appearances without driving in a run, which was the third longest current streak for any major-league position player entering Wednesday’s action, behind Mike Baxter (103) and Coco Crisp (72).

A’s struggle in close game again at home

The A’s dropped a 3-2 decision to the Tigers in Oakland on Wednesday afternoon. Oakland has now lost each of its last 12 home games that were decided by one run dating back to last season. It’s the longest such streak since 1894, when the Cubs had a 12-game streak of that kind and the National League Louisville club (spanning 1893-1894) had a 13-game streak.

nullScherzer loves the Nat’l League

Max Scherzer hurled seven shutout innings and struck out 13 in the Nationals’ 3-0 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday. The only other visiting pitchers to not allow a run while registering at least 13 strikeouts at Wrigley Field are Cincinnati’s Ewell Blackwell (1948), the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax (1961), Cincinnati’s Jim Maloney (1963), Atlanta’s John Smoltz (1996), San Francisco’s Jason Schmidt(2004) and Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers (2014).

nullHeyward homers

Jason Heyward led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a game-tying home run and the Cardinals scored another run later in the inning to defeat the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night. It was Heyward’s 89th career home run but only the third of which came in the ninth inning or later with his team trailing and either tied the game or put his team ahead. The only other times he did that were on April 20, 2010 and August 17, 2013.

I went to law school – I got a football scholarship!

RIP: Patrick Swayze sadly died of pancreatic cancer in 2009

Word is someone got drunk recently and thought it was a good idea to remake this movie.  Not a continuation that could have had a guest appearance by Keanu, ya know, helping with clues on how he stopped the “Ex” Presidents, blah blah – No a full-on reboot!  The remake we neither wanted nor needed, and wait until you see this trailer – should have called it something else besides “Point Break”!  Called it something else like, Jason Bourne’s Fast and Furious Twilight Adventure 10.  They took something that was simple and fun and made it moody.  I’m gonna stick up for younger me and boycott this movie purely based on principle.  How do you replace the magic of Swayze, the awkwardness of Keanu and the bat-shit-craziness of Busey?  What’s next a remake of Roadhouse?  Is someone out there intentionally trying to ruin titular movies of our youth, just for CGI cash-grabs?  This movie fails to have the gang wear the ex-presidents masks, and it is also not centered around surfing, like the original – it’s more nonsense about international markets and youth soccer – than some bruddahs searching for sum toasty-tubular waves looking out for 50yr-storms.  Even the catch-phrase: do you know how many laws you broke? Gravity? Are you serious?!  This is just cookie-cutter junk – Delroy Lindo being the stereo-typical police-chief – throw in some stunts and let the story fill itself out – just like The Last Action Hero (except that was making fun of itself).  Is Hollywood all out of ideas?  I’m so angry that I need to watch the original a few times, just to get the taste out of my mouth, because I might have thrown up a little.


NBA

James does it again

LeBron James finished the Cavaliers’ four-game sweep over the Hawks averaging 30.3 points, 11 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game. James is the first player in NBA history to average 30/10/9 in a playoff series of any length. Honorable mention to Oscar Robertson who averaged 33.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.6 assists for Cincinnati against Boston in a seven-game series in 1963.

Another Atlanta Choke-job

The Cavaliers swept the number one seed Hawks in the Conference Finals. Cleveland is only the third team under the current payoff format (since 1983-84) to sweep a playoff series against the top seed from its own conference. The Lakers swept the Spurs in 2001 and the Nets Swept the Pistons in 2003.

NHL

Brassard Hat-trick gives Rangers another Game 7

Derick Brassard scored three goals and added two assists as the Rangers avoided elimination with a 7-3 win over the Lightning. Brassard is only the third player in NHL history to record a hat trick and at least five points in a road game in which his team faced playoff elimination. Lanny McDonald (three goals, two assists) did it in 1977 for the Maple Leafs at Pittsburgh in the final game of a three-game series won by Toronto. McDonald scored or assisted on all five goals scored by the Leafs in a 5-2 win. Greg Paslawski did it for the Blues at Minnesota in 1986 (three goals, two assists).

Brassard is the fourth player in Rangers history to record a hat trick in a game in which the Blueshirts faced playoff elimination. Frank Boucher did it against Toronto in the 1932 Stanley Cup Final, Ron Duguay against Philadelphia in 1980 and Mark Messier in the “guarantee” game against New Jersey in 1994

MLB

nullKershaw, loves Chavez Ravine

Clayton Kershaw has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last 29 starts at home, the second-longest streak of that kind in major-league history. Doc White had a 32-start streak of that kind for the White Sox spanning the 1905 and 1906 seasons, when the team played at South Side Park. (Comiskey Park didn’t open until 1910.) The third-longest streak is by Adam Wainwright, who allowed no more than three runs in each of 28 straight home starts spanning 2009 and 2010 at Busch Stadium.

nullFielder en fuego

Prince Fielder had another three hits and three RBIs for the Rangers on Tuesday night (26pts-DK) giving him 14 hits and 15 runs batted in over his last five games. Over the last dozen seasons the only other major-league player with at least 14 hits and 14 runs batted in over a five-game span is Alfonso Soriano for the Yankees in August 2013 (15 hits, 18 RBI).

nullDonaldson a 48 on DraftKings

Josh Donaldson went 4-for-4 with two homers, four runs batted in and five runs scored. Donaldson is the second player in Blue Jays history to go 4-for-4 or better with at least four RBIs, four runs scored and two homers. Carlos Delgado did it against Tampa Bay on September 25, 2003 (4-for-4, 4 runs, 6 RBI, 4 HR).

One of Donaldson’s homers was in the first inning and the other was a three-run walkoff blast. Only two other Blue Jays hit a first-inning homer and a walkoff homer in the same game: Otto Velez on May 4, 1980 and Reed Johnson on June 15, 2003.

nullYankees drop a deuce in the first inning

Mark Teixeira hit a two-run home run in the first inning and the Yankees cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Royals. The Yankees have scored two-or-more first-inning runs 14 times this season, four more such first-innings than any other major-league team. The Bronx Bombers are 10-4 in those 14 games.

nullPirates’ are shivering timbers

Jeff Locke did not allow a run in 5.2 innings pitched continuing a recent trend of excellent starting pitching for the Bucs. Pittsburgh’s starting pitchers are 5-0 with a 1.06 earned-run average over the last five games. The last time the Pirates’ starting pitchers went 5-0 with an ERA that low over a five-game span was in August of 1977 (5-0, 0.69 ERA). The Pirates starters in those five games were John Candelaria (twice), Bruce Kison, Jerry Reuss and Jim Rooker.

nullSeager hits two late homers – scores 39 in Draftkings

Kyle Seager hit a grand slam in the eighth inning and a game-winning homer in the tenth inning in the Mariners’ win over the Rays. Seager is the sixth player in Mariners history to hit two homers in the eighth inning or later in the same game. Donnie Scott (1985), Jim Presley (1986), Jay Buhner (1992), Russ Davis (1999) and Michael Saunders (2012) also did it.

nullSchumaker likes pinch-hit doubles

Skip Schumaker‘s pinch-hit double in the ninth inning drove in the winning run in the Reds’ win over the Rockies. Shumaker has doubled in four of his last five pinch-hit appearances. The last Reds player to have four extra-base hits over five plate appearances as a pinch-hitter was Tony Perez in 1976. Perez had a double, home run, home run, fly out and double over five pinch-hit appearances.

nullHolliday extends streak early

Matt Holliday‘s RBI-single in the first inning extended his reach-base-safely streak to 42 games tying the modern franchise record to open a season which was set byAlbert Pujols in 2008. It was the 20th time this season that Holiday extended his streak in his first plate appearance of the game.

Tigers beat Oakland, 1-0

The Tigers beat the A’s, 1-0, in Oakland on Tuesday night. It was the first 1-0 win the Tigers have ever had in a game played in Oakland. Tuesday night’s game was the 257th between these two teams in Oakland, including the playoffs.

nullCastro finally has clutch hit, leads Astros

Jason Castro‘s two-out double in the seventh inning broke a 1-1 tie in the Astros’ 4-1 win over the Orioles. Castro entered the at-bat with a .138 batting average with two outs and runners on base this season (4-for-29).

nullIt’s May-tober

Madison Bumgarner improved his record to 9-1 in games played in May over the last two seasons. That’s two more May wins than any other pitcher over that span.

–Elias with the assist

Tuesday Dregs

Did you know LeBron James finished with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists, and scored game 3’s last five points over the final 40 seconds as the Cavaliers moved out to a three-games-to none series lead with a 114-111 overtime win over the Hawks on Sunday? No other player has ever reached all of those totals (37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists) in an NBA playoff game.

James earned the 12th triple-double of his playoff career, surpassing Jason Kidd’s total of 11 and moving into second place all-time, behind Magic Johnson, who had 30. James achieved the triple-double with his tenth assist with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter. No NBA player had produced a triple-double within the first three quarters of a playoff game since Chris Paul, playing for the New Orleans Hornets against the Lakers, did that in 2011. No NBA player had earned a triple-double so early in a game since 2009, when Rajon Rondo achieved it with 6:15 to play in the third quarter, playing for the Celtics against the Bulls.

James finished with 37 field-goal attempts, the most he has ever taken in any NBA game, during either the regular season or the playoffs. He missed all nine of his first-quarter field-goal attempts, becoming the first player to take that many shots in the first quarter of a playoff game and to miss them all since Tim Duncan went 0-for-10 from the field in the first quarter of Game 1 of a Western Conference Semifinal series against the Lakers in 2002. LeBron also missed his first shot in the second quarter, becoming the second player in this year’s playoffs to miss his first 10 field-goal attempts of a game. (Isaiah Thomas missed his first 10 shots from the floor in Game 4 of a first-round series against Cleveland.) Among other players who have started past playoff games with double-digit streak of misses: Duncan (twice), Carmelo Anthony (twice), Ray Allen and Tony Parker.

James Harden scored 45 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out five assists as the Rockets avoided a sweep with a 128-112 victory over the Warriors. The 45 points is the third-most ever scored by a player for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series, behind the 51 points scored by the Warriors’ Sleepy Floyd in 1987 against the Lakers and the 46 points scored by Miami’s Dwyane Wade against the Celtics in 2010.

Only one other player scored at least 40 points, grabbed at least nine rebounds and handed out at least five assists in a game for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series: Tom Chambers for the Suns against the Lakers in 1989 (41 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists).

The Warriors (20-for-46) and Rockets (17-for-32) combined for 37 three-point field goals made and 78 three-pointers attempted. The 37 three-pointers made were the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the record of 33 set by the Seattle (20) and Houston (13) in Game 2 in 1996; and the 78 shots from beyond the arc were also the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the mark of 70 by Oklahoma City (35) and Houston (35) in Game 2 in 2013.

The Warriors are only the second team, regular season or playoffs, to lose a game in which they made 20 three-pointers. The Nets lost to the Nuggets on Jan. 11, 2012 despite making 20 shots from beyond the arc. NBA teams that made 20 or more three-pointers are 15-1 in the regular season and now 2-1 in the playoffs.


Ben Bishop posted a 2-0 win over the Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, after giving up five goals in both Game 3 (a 6-5 overtime victory) and Game 4 (a 5-1 loss). Bishop is the only the third goaltender in NHL history to record a playoff shutout after allowing at least five goals in each of the previous two games of the same series. The other goaltenders to do that were the Quebec Nordiques’ Dan Bouchard against the Flyers in 1981 (Game 3) and the Canadiens’Carey Price versus the Bruins in 2008 (Game 7).

Toews heroics are not enough

Jonathan Toews scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the third period to tie the score at 4-4 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, but the Blackhawks’ late comeback proved to be in vain as Matt Beleskey scored 45 seconds into overtime to win the game for the Ducks. It was the fifth time in NHL playoff history that a team tied a game after trailing by two goals in the last two minutes of regulation time, and Toews is the first player to score both the tying goal and the one before that. The last team before Chicago to stage a two-goal tying rally in the final two minutes of the third period was the Bruins in Game 7 of their first-round series against the Maple Leafs in 2013. Milan Lucic scored to get the Bruins within one goal, and Patrice Bergeron netted both the tying goal in regulation and the series-winner in overtime.


Never Before

Francisco Liriano struck out 12 batters and earned the win as the Pirates completed their three-game series sweep of the Mets. Gerrit Cole struck out ten batters in his series-opening win on Friday, as did A.J. Burnett in his victory on Saturday. It is the only time in modern major-league history (1900 to date) that a team’s starting pitchers won three straight games within one series while recording a double-digit strikeout total in each game.

Big Game James? 

The Padres averted being swept in their three-game series at Dodger Stadium behind the pitching of James Shields, who improved his record to 6-0 this season. Shields is the only pitcher who has won as many as six games for his new club after switching major-league teams during the past offseason. Since 2010, spanning his time with the Rays, Royals and Padres, Shields is 7-0 in 11 regular-season starts in games in which his team was in danger of being swept in a series, and each of those seven wins came on the road.

Historic Failure

Jeremy Guthrie gave up four homers and allowed 11 runs while getting only three outs against the Yankees on Monday. Guthrie is the first starting pitcher in major league history to give up at least four homers and allow 11 or more runs in a game in which he recorded no more than three outs.

Still doesn’t play on Sundays

Andre Ethier‘s solo home run in the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and the Dodgers went on to beat the Braves, 6-3, on Monday night. It was career home run #151 for Ethier, 14 of which have been go-ahead homers in the eighth inning or later (9.3 percent).

The only active players with more go-ahead homers than Ethier in the eighth inning or later since 2006 are Albert Pujols (17), Miguel Cabrera (16), Prince Fielder(16) and Chris Young (15). Jose BautistaJustin Morneau and David Ortiz also have 14 such homers since 2006.

Not since…

Prince Fielder went 3-for-5 with a home run in the Rangers’ win over the Indians. Fielder is now batting .365 with nine home runs in 45 games this season. The last Rangers player to have at least nine homers and a batting average of .360 or better over his first 45 games of a season was Josh Hamilton in 2012 (.368 with 20 homers).

Fielder has 11 hits and 12 runs batted in over his last four games. The only other player in Rangers franchise history with that many hits and RBIs over a four-game span is Ivan Rodriguez from July 30 to August 2, 1999. Pudge had 13 hits and 12 RBIs over that four-game span.

Miss me Milwaukee?

Giants’ leadoff batter, Nori Aoki, went 4-for-4 with a home run in their win over the Brewers. Aoki is the fourth Giants player over the last 60 years to go 4-for-4 or better with a home run from the leadoff spot in the batting order. Bobby Bonds, who did it three times (once each in 1971, 1972 and 1973), Marvin Benard (1998) and Randy Winn (twice in 2005) were the other Giants players to do it over that span.

Arenado times two

Nolan Arenado has seven hits and knocked in seven runs over his last two games. Arenado is the first major-league player this season to have that many hits and RBIs over a two-game span and he’s the first Rockies player to do it since Carlos Gonzalez had exactly seven hits and seven RBIs over two games in May 2012.  That is about how long it has been since we have seen anything from CarGo.

Elias Sports Bureau with the assist…

Memorial DiRT

To some, this three-day weekend means a break from work, a chance to go camping or maybe buy a new mattress at 40% off.  The last Monday in May is also marked as the official beginning of Summer – hot dogs, BBQ, swimming pools etc…That’s all fine, it’s part of the glory that makes us American – because we can.  As Patriots, we should also take a moment from our leisurely celebrations, to remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, along with the families of those that fell.  To those that preserved this nation, preserved our interests, and preserved our ideals that all men are created equal.  If true Patriotism is loving your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it – as Mark Twain said – then raise a glass to those that help defend and replenish the Tree of Liberty.


“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their county; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny like hell is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.”

Tom Paine after the Declaration of Independence


And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

—3rd stanza of the Star Spangled Banner


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Gettysburg Address–Abraham Lincoln


It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.  

Theodore Roosevelt


There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity. Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene. 

WW1 veteran Ernest Hemingway, in ‘A Farewell to Arms’, 1929


It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

General George S Patton, Jr.


In my generation, this was not the first occasion when the strong had attacked the weak….Communism was acting in Korea just as Hitler, Mussolini, and the Japanese had acted ten, fifteen, and twenty years earlier. I felt certain that if South Korea was allowed to fall, Communist leaders would be emboldened to override nations closer to our own shores.”

President Harry Truman


There’s never been a noble war except in the history books and propaganda movies. It’s a bloody, dirty, cruel, costly mistake in almost every case, as it was in this war that would end so badly. But the young soldiers can be and often are noble, selfless, and honorable. They don’t fight for a flag or a president or mom and apple pie. When it comes down to it they fight and die for each other, and that is reason enough for them, and for me.”

Lt. Col. Harold G. Moore


A line has been drawn in the sand…Withdraw from Kuwait unconditionally and immediately, or face the terrible consequences.

George H.W. Bush


 

Late Night DiRT

Listen, and understand.  Change is out there.  It can’t be bargained with.  It can’t be reasoned with.  It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and it absolutely will not stop, ever…Change, has come, so we say goodbye to an era.  Goodbye to a man.  Goodbye.  Tonight the cowboy rides off into his sunset, never to be seen again.  The game has changed.  One generation grew up with Johnny, another with Dave, and the current one seems more interested in YouTube clips and celebrity pandering.

I haven’t always stayed up too watch Dave – the albatross made it more difficult as time flew by – DVR made it singular – but it was always a comfort to know that if/when I did – Dave was there.  I’m not a smoker, but every now and then a cigar is extremely satisfying, and that, to me, embodies the Late Show with David Letterman.

His reluctance towards celebrity-ism and the abhorrent genuflection of an industry was reflected in those of us that watched.  The set pieces, the Top 10 lists, stupid pet/human tricks, dropping stuff off of buildings, crazy street interviews/pranks with Rupert – all now American cultural lexicons, given to us as a savvy, self-contained, adult – just like his idol Carson.  Maybe Leno beat him regularly in the ratings, but that wasn’t the point – It’s Ham and Eggsdays work for the Chicken, a lifetime commitment for the Pig – Leno induced you to sleep.  Dave committed you to watch.

For Dave, the public drama, all those years ago, still stings the nostrils, but like Frank, he did it his way.  If the best revenge is living well, then there’s a certain redemption being played out, contra to those late night wars.  We won’t see Dave try to undermine Stephen Colbert and gradually sneak back into the spotlight.  In fact, we won’t see him at all.  That’s because Letterman’s way of doing things has taught us to expect the unexpected, and in this instance we know what the man will do.  He will leave tonight, gracefully like an adult, like Johnny Carson – as expected.  Thanks Dave!

In other news – it seems the other owners told Bob Kraft to shut up and sit down.  No more Bad-NFL headlines and thankfully, we will not have to hear anymore of this nonsense, except of course, from Brady.  Is that the point?  Was this self-serving crisis a ruse to get to the real issue – the 4 game suspension?  I bet Hizzoner and the rest of the owners told Bob to quiet down and we will give your Golden Boy a sentence-reduction to one game – after-all Hizzoner is overseeing the appeal and it will be another chance for Roger to happily-fall on the company sword.

Averting our attention so they could focus on the real issue(s), like the extra point.  It has now been declared that the customary one-point, after a touchdown, will now occur from the 15yd line – making it a 32yd field goal – or teams can go for two from the two.  Kickers have always been treated as non-essentials; in the locker-room, on TV, and now the NFL just made it worse – won’t anyone think of the kicker.  I never remember wanting more drama from a kicker, it’s bad enough how many times they seem to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  It will be interesting to see how team philosophies will change going forward – for me this seems to be directed towards the Tim Tebow show and what Chip Kelly plans to do.  So play on league of valor, let our champions riot in the circus to entertain us – we will be fine, as long as we have our bread!

We have learned several things about these Warriors over the last few weeks and we thought they learned a valuable lesson against Memphis.  It seems they still needed reminding.  The Warriors were lucky last night – no Dwight Howard and being down 16 in the first half, only to squeak out a 4pt victory.  Of course, Bogut  not scoring and only grabbing 4 rebounds, won’t continue – and at some point someone is going to make a free throw.

Losing the first game on the road isn’t a big deal if you’re Houston, but possibly losing Howard could be.  Plus, Golden State will do better than 7-24 on open three point shots and if that’s what Houston has planned – wide open 3’s – this series won’t last long at all.  If you’re like me, you enjoyed the contrast of styles of the MVP and the runner-up – it’s what I wanted to see, Ali v Frazier.

The NBA Lottery – always exhibit A, in the great conspiracy debate.  “But Logan, the winner was Minnesota and the worst team hasn’t gotten the 1st pick since 2004, so wouldn’t it be fixed if New York or L.A. won the lottery?”  Wrong.  Now before I reach for my tin-foil hat – stay with me.

In the last three years prior – the Pelicans, Cavaliers and Cavaliers have gotten the number 1 pick – the odds of that happening are .4% – seriously .4%.  As long as the cloak-and-dagger cabal exists behind the scenes, the league will never avoid this charge.  Open it up, put it all on camera – show us.  Yeah but how does Minnesota prove it’s fixed?   Because the NBA always gives the top pick to the most obvious team and yes, Minnesota is obvious.  For the Pelicans/Hornets the league no longer owned the team but was committed to them staying in New Orleans – so Anthony Davis.  Then the NBA wanted to reward Cleveland for losing Lebron and to show that teams win titles not players and maybe create a rivalry with the Heat for ratings – so Anthony Bennett.  But he was terrible, so they had a do over – Andrew Wiggins.

But Leborn came back and they traded Wiggins for Love.  Exactly!  So the reason it was clear that Minnesota got the number pick is this:  The NBA wants a greater presence in Canada, (#BlameCanada).  Sure they have Toronto but that team chokes like a fat-kid on cake.  The Clippers will move to Seattle, (near Vancouver who lost a team to Memphis and Steve Ballmer’s $2b buys a lot of juice) and Milwaukee will move to Montreal if a new arena deal falls thru.  Don’t believe the Montreal rumor?  Then why was Adam Silver there to lay the groundwork beyond exhibition games recently?

So in the meantime, the NBA gives the #1 pick to the T-Wolves who already have the rookie of the year in Andrew Wiggins.  From?……Canada!  So the T-Wolves, already with some young talent, get a talented big man like Jahlil Okafor – BOOM goes the dynamite! Check-Mate! That just happened!

 

Tuesday DiRT

Only a mother could love this face.  This is the face of $96 million dollars – $45m of it guaranteed.  Sure, Tannehill had his best season last year throwing for 4,045yds and 27 TD’s, but what has he done to deserve this kind of love?  According to his contract, he’s the 5th best QB by average salary: Brees ($20m), Peyton ($19.2), Rodgers ($18.7), and Romo ($17.1).

Tannehill has a career record of 23-25 with 70 turnovers in 3 years, and this should make Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck very happy!  In a league that seems to find new ways to overpay for generic brands, just imagine the monopoly numbers that will be coming for Luck.  The Seahawks just called the Dolphins to say ‘thanks for that’!  Luck and Wilson are looking at $120-$150m contracts with 2/3 guaranteed.  Nobody is saying that Tannehill is Blaine Gabbert – he just hasn’t done enough to justify the same level of contract as Luck, Brees, Manning, Rodgers, Wilson, etc…He’s more Blake Bortles and Derek Carr, without the potential – like Uncle Rico (Kyle Orton).

Tonight we have a large compliment of games.  Furthermore, it is also interesting to some of us seamheads, how well the game is doing on TV.  In the 1st month of the season, Fox Sports 1 and MLB Network have seen their viewership double as have a handful of teams so far:  The Cubs, Royals, Astros (since the worked out their cable deal, finally), Arizona (largest in a decade), Cleveland, Detroit, St.Louis and San Diego.  In fact, baseball games have eclipsed NBA and NHL Playoff games, including first run shows on network TV.  Baseball is making money, largely due to the cable companies, and with people increasingly choosing to disconnect, it will be interesting to see how far that model actually works.  Unplugging your cable package currently means you’ll miss your local team due to blackout restrictions by said cable companies – but, the biggest change to the entire model could occur when the Chicago Cubs’ deal expires in 2019.  The Diamondbacks just secured a deal worth more than $1 Billion dollars and much like Tannehill – the Cubs are excited.  How do the Cubs change the game?  Simple, if they work out a way to limit the cable company and their grip on the market and instead choose a format that allows us, the consumer, to unplug and stream the games at a certain price point – it will change TV forever.  Allowing the consumer to finally pay for what they want and not for all the other stuff they don’t, like the Lifetime channel.

However while we watch tonight, along with our Draftkings lineup – keep some guys in mind, that are having the kind of year that might get them recognized for their first all-star game, guys like:

  • Stephen Vogt
    • Would you believe this 30yr old has a higher WAR than Mike Trout?  He has the same number of HR’s right now (9) than he did all of 2014.
  • Freddy Galvis
    • now that Jimmy Rollins is gone, he has his chance and is currently hitting .341 with a .360wOBA.  He’s cut down his strikes and increased his walk rate and at 25 continually sprays the ball all over the field.
  • Mike Moustakas
    • He might have figured it out, finally.  He has cut down his strikeout rate by 7%, creating 40% more runs than the league average – generating a .380 OBP to go with his great defense.
  • Jake Odorizzi
    • After his first full year as a starter and entering his prime years, at 25, all he has done is pitch like an ace.   Currently has the 6th highest WAR at 1.6 and an ERA and FIP below 2.50 – wlaking less than 4% and striking out over 20%.
  • Jake Arrieta
    • As a Dark Horse candidate for the NL Cy Young at the start of the year, all he has done is put him at the table.  4th in WAR and has a 2.77 ERA with a FIP and xFIP of 2.23 and 2.69.

Tonight, play Swing for the Fences with us! It’s only $3 to play, $300,000 is up for grabs (1st place will win $100,000), and the top 25,930 finishers will win a cash prize!!  We all can guess at guys like Bryce Harper, Michael Brantley, Mike Trout, etc…So here are some of those value guys you might need to plug in to afford all that talent – keep a lookout to see if some of these guys actually start:

Pitchers:  Carlos Frias(LAD) $5,500 – Erasmo Ramirez(TB) $5,100 – Tim Hudson(SF) $6,200 – Tim Koehler(MIA) $5,900

Catchers:  Bobby Wilson(TB) $2,000 – Roberto Perez(CLE) $2,400

First Base:  Chirs Colabello(TOR+OF) $2,900 – Mark Reynolds(STL) $2,800 – Justin Bour(MIA) $2,600

Second Base:  P.Ciriaco(ATL+3B) $2,100

Third Base:  Brock Holt(BOS+OF) $3,100 – Logan Forsythe(TB+2B) $3,200 – Eric Campbell(NYM) $2,700

Shortstop:  R.Ynoa(COL+3B) $2,300 – T.Field(TEX+2B) $2,600

Outfield:  Kyle Blanks(TEX+1B) $3,600 – K.Kiermaier(TB) $3,800 – T.Cunningham(ATL) $2,800 – Adam Eaton(CHW) $3,600 – Grichuck(STL) $3,100 – Ichiro(MIA) $2,900.

So good luck tonight – I will be rolling with Liriano and Gray as my pitchers in most of my lineups – yours may vary.

 

Greatest DiRT – Top 10

In honor of the 100th post – we decided to look back and re-post our 10 most read.  But before we get to that – How do the Clippers allow the Rockets to win the series and why all the confetti Houston?  It was a second round series – you’ve been there before, act like it.  Is this youth soccer and everyone gets a trophy, with a side of orange slices?  Our Republic could be caught in a vortex of dumb that we may never pull out of – at least we get the fight we wanted to see – Ali v Frazier=Curry v Harden – right?


Sediment-al 12-16-4

Sediment-al 1. Satchmo the Great called it The game was billed, the Pope v President, Jazz v Blues, The Ditka Bowl, etc…and the men of the BigEasy held onto their hopes for the glorious tournament, too serve Beignets+Gumbeaux to weary travelers in the 1st round.  Aside from marching up and down Soldier Field, the real…Read more

Clear as Mud 1-27-15

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…Read more

Rub some DiRT on it! 1-7-15

Getting DiRTy Congratulations to the newest inductees of Major League Baseball’s HOF, ((as diagnosed by the patronizing Baseball Writers of America (BBWA – isn’t baseball just one word – thus making it BWA – Ballers with Attitude)), Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio.  A worthy class and the largest inducted since 1955…Read more

DiRTy Gras 2-17-15

Fear and Loathing at Carnival… When the going get weird the weird turn pro, as Raoul Duke famously said, and I am a 7-time gold medalist on this caravan.  Still awake and doing my damndest to earn another shot at the medal-stand; I have yet to sleep from properly marking Lundi Gras with a Red…Read more

1931From the DiRT…2-9-15

A Lion never roars after a kill… The American Dream is a national ethos, it is a set of ideals that include the pursuit of happiness, life and liberty.  It is said that life should be better, richer and fuller for everyone with the opportunity for each according to ability or achievement, regardless of social…Read more

Clear as Mud 3-11-15

The Past is a statement, the Future a question.  Hopes rise and dreams flicker and die.  Love plans for tomorrow and the widowed think of yesterday.  Life is beautiful and living is hardship.  The sound of music flows down a dark street.  Like a tornado ripping thru your home and granting passage to a whole new world…Read more

3rd Stone from the Sun 3-27-15

Justice, is supposed to be blind.  It seems like it has been a awhile since we have seen the scales tip as they should.  Life’s virtuous dance is a comedy of errors, frequently performed with you walking home one night; and a young derelict asks you for a smoke – you don’t, so you apologize…Read more

Diamonds in the DiRT 4-2-15

It was April 2nd, 1996 and a peppy kid dreamed to be exactly where he was now – except no one really dreams of being in Cleveland.  The city by the lake isn’t the kind of place where dreams come true in sports – hell, nothing good in Cleveland has occurred in the form of championship…Read more

3rd Stone from the Sun 4-3-15

There are many hard lessons to be learned from the “degenerate” experience, but the harshest one of them all is the difference between having Fun and being Smart.  It is the difference between Winning and Losing, on most days, and on Saturday the Final Four will be a lesson for fun-loving Losers.  It does not…Read more

Soil’d Principles 5-13-15

Let’s do the time-warp again… A good craftsmen never blames his tools and a league should never blame theirs.  Much as a violin can not play a concerto by itself, a ball cannot do anything but sit there until the laws of physics apply to an object at rest. So the NFL, in the midst…Read more

Tulo in the DiRT

The Rockies finally broke several streaks last night: 8 game-loser streak against the Dodgers, 11 game loser-streak overall (worst streak in 15 yrs) and getting their first win in SoCal.  But, as nice as that was to stay up for – it still presents us with questionable skies over our best player, like last nights were over Chavez Revine.  Here is an excellent article by Dave Cameron – and if Tulo is to believed about him and his agent – then maybe he has his agent publicly apologize, or get a new one…Mahalo

by Dave Cameron

Some news-that-isn’t-really-news came out yesterday: Troy Tulowitzki will not demand a trade from the Rockies. After meeting with his agent, he decided against trying to force their hand, and will continue to play with the Rockies until they decide to trade him on their own timeline. But that is why this news isn’t really news, because Tulowitzki is headed out of Colorado at some point in the not too distant future whether he asked for a trade or not. The Rockies aren’t contenders, and it’s beyond time for them to admit this and divest themselves of expensive aging players who would offer more present value to a team that can win this year.

By not demanding a trade, Tulo takes the pressure off the Rockies to make a deal at a time when buyers aren’t really looking to buy, and allows them to let the market develop a little more naturally. With teams spending a significant portion of their time on the draft over the next three weeks, the Rockies will likely get more attentive bidders if they wait a month or so to aggressively market Tulowitzki as a trade chip. And, from their perspective, waiting another month gives Tulo a chance to stop swinging at everything and remind everyone that he is still an elite hitter; it’s probably best to trade him when he’s not running a .297 OBP.

Despite his mediocre start to the year, it’s probably fair to assume that he is still an elite player; our depth chart Projections have him producing another +3.4 WAR over 408 plate appearances through the remainder of the season, so even though we’re expecting him to miss some time — he is still Troy Tulowitzki, after all — he still forecasts to be one of the two dozen or so most valuable position players in the game. The Rockies will absorb some of that value by keeping him through the draft, but if we assume they’ll start really trying to trade him in a month, he should still have roughly a 300 PA/+2.5 WAR projection left when interested buyers start seriously trying to acquire him.

So that brings up the obvious question; at that point, what is Tulowitzki worth in trade?

On Tuesday, I identified nine potential buyers, pointing to the Mets, Red Sox, and Yankees as the favorites, though various media reports suggest the Yankees aren’t expected to get involved in the bidding. Still, with roughly $115 million left on the remainder of his contract, it’s probably fair to expect Tulowitzki to end up with a high-revenue team that can afford to take a gamble on an expensive star with a history of health problems. The Rockies are clearly going to expect a significant amount of talent in return for their franchise player, and they’re probably not going to be interested in paying for him to play for another team, so the buyer is going to have to figure out what kind of young players they’re willing to offer for the right to take on Tulo as a $20 million per year player.

First, it’s probably worth noting that while that is a significant portion of any team’s payroll, Tulo’s market value is well above $20 million per year. From 2016-2020, an acquiring team would be on the hook for 5/$98M (if they bought out the 2021 option), which means his contract going forward is not all that different from the one Pablo Sandoval just signed as a free agent last winter, and Pablo Sandoval is no Troy Tulowitzki. If Tulo were a free agent this winter, he’d probably be aiming for something between the Jon Lester/Max Scherzer deals, and with Jacoby Ellsbury as a recent precedent at $150+ million for an injury prone aging up-the-middle guy, I don’t think he’d have too hard a time pushing his annual average value closer to $30 million for five or six years.

So Tulo is both expensive and somewhat underpaid, even with his questionable health track record. It’s pretty clear that the Rockies should be able to get real talent back in exchange, even while forcing the acquiring team to also take on the remainder of his contract, though his cost in salary will have a negative impact on what teams are willing to offer. If the Rockies need a reality check on the trade value of very good players making $20 million per year, they have to look no further than how teams responded to the Phillies various demands relating to Cole Hamels.

Tulo is likely a better trade chip than Hamels, but that’s the comparison that buyers are going to be making themselves; the salaries are comparable, the projected future value is in the same general range — Tulo is more productive but less reliable — and Tulo is only a year younger. I think Tulo will fetch more talent in return than Hamels, but I don’t know that it will be orders of magnitude more, and I’d imagine that many of the same players that teams refused to deal for the Phillies ace will be unavailable for Tulowitzki as well.

If Hamels had roughly $30 or to $40 million in value above and beyond his contract, Tulo probably has $50 or $60 million, but keep in mind, Yoan Moncada — generally not regarded as one of the 10 best prospects in baseball at the moment — just signed for $63 million and some additional penalties, and the Dodgers reportedly offered $70 million if he’d wait until after July 2nd to sign, so the market value of elite prospects is extremely high. The Astros aren’t giving up Carlos Correa and taking on Tulo’s contract. The Dodgers aren’t offering Corey Seager or Julio Urias. And the Red Sox aren’t going to offer up Mookie Betts.

But once you get beyond the top tier of young talent, the values of prospects drop off pretty quickly, and moving away from the one-big-piece trade to focusing on a package of very good but not quite elite players will likely be the Rockies best path forward. While the top prospects in the game are probably worth somewhere between $75 and $100 million, the next tier are probably closer to $30 or $40 million, because they’re generally not ready to contribute at the big leagues right away and come with significantly more risk. So you might not be able to get one one of the very best prospects for Tulo, but two guys from the next tier isn’t unreasonable at all, and since there’s a significant markup on talent in-season, the winning bidder will likely have to give up more than just a couple of a very good prospects to secure the best shortstop in baseball.

So, let’s take the list of teams I threw out there as potential buyers earlier in the week and see if we can build some packages of talent that look reasonable-ish, at least to my eye. The goal is to get Colorado two or three good young talents that are roughly equal in value to prospects in the #11-#50 range, though since not every team has three guys in that grouping, we’ll also include some big leaguers for certain franchises. The prospect ranks in parentheses come from Kiley McDaniel’s preseason Top 200.

 The Longshots

Pittsburgh

As noted on Tuesday, they probably won’t take on this kind of salary risk, but there’s an argument that they should, given their window to win during Andrew McCutchen‘s prime years. And they have the talent to get it done. Tyler Glasnow(#12), Austin Meadows (#30), and Jameson Taillon (#66) fit roughly the type of package that we spitballed Tulo is worth. Unlikely that the Pirates do it, but there’s a fit here if they want to make a real run the NL Central in the next few years.

Tampa Bay

This one’s tougher, because the only top 50 prospect the Rays featured was Steven Souza, who is now part of their starting line-up. Daniel Robertson (#97) is crushing AA pitching and his stock is likely up since that list was published, but he was only enough to land one year of Ben Zobrist a few months ago, and so making him the feature return for Tulowitzki now would be a difficult argument. The Rays have a lot of good candidates for secondary pieces in a Tulo deal, but it’s not clear that they have a prospect really capable of being the primary return in a trade for Tulo. This was always an extreme long-shot anyway, and given the Rays farm system, I think we can probably say that there isn’t a great fit here.

Anaheim

There is basically one one package you could even pretend to come up with here:Andrew Heaney (#50), Sean Newcomb (#54), and maybe some lower-level guys that the Rockies like but haven’t gained prominence yet. Ricardo Sanchez (#138) and Roberto Baldoquin (honorable mention) were the only other two guys Kiley included from their system on his list, so the Angels probably just don’t have enough chips to get this done unless the Rockies put a very high value on Heaney and Newcomb.

 Maybe In The Mix

Seattle

This is likely a package that would have to be built around MLB players, as the Mariners two top-50 prospects — Alex Jackson (#20) and D.J. Peterson (#55) — are both struggling badly in the minors this year. Jackson could be still be a piece, but the deal would almost certainly have to be built around Taijuan Walker orJames Paxton, with either Brad Miller or Chris Taylor also likely heading back to Colorado, and then some combination of prospects beyond that. If the Rockies prefer big leaguers to prospects, then there could be a deal to be made here, but with the Mariners rotation already thin at the big league level, they may not be too anxious to give up Walker and/or Paxton, and it’s hard to see Colorado trading Tulo to the northwest without getting those kinds of arms back.

Toronto

This is maybe the most interesting one, because the Blue Jays have the young arms the Rockies are looking for, and could send back Jose Reyes to offset Tulo’s salary. A deal including Reyes, Daniel Norris (#17), and Jeff Hoffman (#67) would almost certainly get the Rockies interested, and might even be enough going back to ask for more than just Tulo; at that point, maybe the Blue Jays get Justin Morneau with the Rockies covering his salary as well, or something along those lines. Whether the Blue Jays would want to trade two high-end pitching prospects for an upgrade from one expensive and oft-injured SS to another is an open question, but the Blue Jays could likely make a real run at Tulowitzki if they wanted to.

Houston

The Astros will probably just promote Carlos Correa to play shortstop instead, and while Correa could replace Luis Valbuena at third if they acquired Tulo, they also have Jed Lowrie returning from the DL at some point in the second half of the year, so yeah, this probably isn’t happening either. But if they wanted to make a run at Tulo, and use him to mentor Correa (perhaps flipping them at SS/3B next season), they could probably make an offer with Mark Appel (#18) teamed with Lance McCullers (#126 pre-season, but likely moving up the charts quickly with a strong 2015), and perhaps include Lowrie to help offset some of the salary they’d be taken on, and give the Rockies a middle infielder for the next few years while they figure out what they have going forward. They have a good amount of depth beyond those arms as well, so if the Astros want to be involved in this bidding, they can be. But they almost certainly will just go with Correa instead.

The Favorites

Boston

This is the one place where a one-shiny-thing offer actually could work, as the Red Sox would be displacing Xander Bogaerts if they acquired Tulo to take over at shortstop, so if the Rockies prefer one big asset over several smaller ones, this is probably their best fit. But if the Rockies want pitching, the Red Sox might not be the right organization to call, since the Red Sox need all the talented pitchers they can find about now, and it’s unlikely that they’d want to include guys like Eduardo Rodriguez (#23) along with Bogaerts while taking on Tulo’s entire contract. If the Rockies paid down some of his salary, that might become a possibility, but even then, the Red Sox might be better off just promoting Rodriguez rather than trading him.

New York Yankees

The Yankees can leak that they’re not in the mix all they want, but I’ll believe it when Tulo actually goes elsewhere. They have the need, the financial capabilities, and the prospects to get it done. Maybe they’re really not interested, but I’d imagine Colorado would be interested in Luis Severino (#26), Aaron Judge (#58), and a few extras. If the Yankees really don’t want to give up that kind of package for the best shortstop in baseball, then they really have turned a new leaf. I still am not buying it, though.

New York Mets

As I said on Tuesday, the Mets are the best fit. They have the pitching depth that the Rockies want and the motivation to make a deal that makes them a legitimate Wild Card contender, rather than just hoping their hot start doesn’t get wiped out too quickly. If the Mets packaged Noah Syndergaard (#19), Amed Rosario (#60), and Steven Matz (#65) together, they’d very likely have their shortstop of the present and the future. Maybe the Rockies even settle for Thor and one of those two, plus some additional stuff. Or maybe they even package up enough of their lower-tier talents with Matz and Rosario to keep Syndergaard out of the deal, arguing that his early 2015 performance puts him in that top tier of guys that aren’t worth giving up. There are plenty of options here, and the Mets have enough depth of young talent to get Tulowitzki if they want him.

So what now? Now, is everyone sitting and waiting.  At some point you have to believe Tulo will become available or offers will be coming in.  You feel a whirlwind is about to happen – between those that need a Tulo-caliber-type player to continue their march toward contention and the Rockies drowning to the worst record – because we know the least likely scenario is the Rockies going on a winning-bender that finds them in a playoff race.  Either way, we have dark days approaching and we should enjoy every moment we have left of watching one of the best to ever play in this time-zone.

*Your Team* is DiRTy

I’ve just been handed an urgent news story – great Odin’s Raven – every team cheats?  I know, I know – it puts you in a glass case of emotion with nothing to drink but milk on a hot day – poor choice.  So, your team has shown, that it’s plan, 60% of the time to win a Superbowl, works everytime – as long as it cheats.  Says so right here on the label and thanks to YourTeamCheats.com we have all the gate-y-ness exposed – it’s science.

Here is a sampling of the ongoing league-wide issues:

Tamper-gate (ongoing) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Tampering with free agents is rampant, it’s laughable and it is against the rules (PDF). It’s so bad across every team in the league that the NFL had to create a three-day legal tampering period. However, tampering still regularly occurs long before that annual three-day window opens. On March 9, 2015 the league once again felt compelled to warn all 32 teams about not tampering.

Why is tampering considered a problem? Because tampering with players still under contract makes it difficult for clubs to re-sign their own talent. It also puts those few teams that actually follow NFL guidelines at a distinct disadvantage. In many cases, contract agreements are in place days before any negotiations are allowed to begin.

This isn’t fair, it isn’t legal, and it is blatant cheating by the teams who engage in the practice.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No but…

PUNISHMENT: NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Roger Goodell is doing all he can to curtail and punish the “commonplace” practice, although it admits that there is so much tampering that it is hard to police it all.

The CheatPoints earned for this leaguewide cheat is for all of this team’s tampering incidents that have gone undiscovered or unproven. If specific instances are discovered, they are punished on top of this leaguewide penalty.

AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 4.0

Headset-gate (ongoing) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: it’s a common complaint around the NFL. In late, close games, the helmet communicators of visiting teams suddenly “malfunction” and stop working. It has been accepted as standard practice in the league. Are you on the road and the game is close? Then you are going to have problems with your headset.

In recent years, the Patriots have accused the Colts of doing it and the Jaguars have made the same charge of the Patriots. The Redskins accused the Buccaneers of disabling their headsets, and Tampa Bay accused Dallas. The Giants openly bragged about doing it way back in 1956. The charges go on and on and on.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 4.0

Spy-gate (until 2006) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Stealing your opponent’s signals has always been common and never been illegal.

Said former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, “We had people that always tried to steal signals. Stealing someone’s signals was a part of the game, and everyone attempted to do that.” Admitted former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson: “When I came into the NFL, back in 1989, I talked to a Kansas City scout and he said, ‘Here’s what we do, we videotape the opposing team’s signals and then we sync it up with the game film.’ So I did it.” Bragged, former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan: “Our guy keeps a pair of binoculars on their signal-callers every game, with any luck, we have their defensive signals figured out by halftime. Sometimes, by the end of the first quarter.”

NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Rodger Goodell confirmed this himself in 2008, saying that the issue was not stealing signals, that is allowed “and it is done quite widely.” The issue is where and how you record them. If you chose to videotape them, then (after 2006) you have to do that from a league approved location. If you hire lip readers, they can do it from your coaches lap, if you want.

After 2006, examples of allowed videotaping locations are: the luxury boxes, media booths and other enclosed spaces. Expressly prohibited locations are the sidelines, the field, locker rooms, the coaches booth or any other place accessible to team coaches and staff. The point of the rule is to not allow the footage to be useful in the current game.

Prior to the September 6, 2006 memo and, 2007 follow up, from NFL head of football operations Ray Anderson, there was no league restriction on filming location, which is the reason the memo was sent.

Many NFL head coaches have downplayed the significance of the practice, saying that attempting to decipher opponent’s signals was a long standing practice andentirely common throughout the league.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

PUNISHMENT: NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Rodger Goodell suggested that the responsibility was on teams to conceal their messages, not on the ones trying to steal them. During his news conference before the 2007 Super Bowl he said that any coach who did not expect signals to be stolen was “stupid.”

Prior to 2006, every NFL team is assumed to have done it, but none of them broke a rule. You can’t punish something that is not prohibited. Filming from the sidelines was not prohibited until 2006 and filming your opponent’s signals from approved locations has never been prohibited, even today.

AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 0.0

Scraps-gate (ongoing) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Sign an opponent’s recently-cut player to your practice squad to get intel on their plays, signals and tactics. This is not illegal and is a leaguewide practice.

Said one player, who chose to remain anonymous as he was still in the league as of 2015, “If teams have an opening at a certain position, they might not be looking for perhaps the best player to fill it on their practice squad. Instead, they might go for someone who has access to the opposing team’s playbook.”

“Let’s say we’re playing the Jaguars in seven days and you want to know more about their playbook. From time to time teams will sign people off of practice squads. You don’t have to put them on active roster so if there’s a need for more depth at linebacker and you’re playing Jacksonville, there would be more of a chance to sign a linebacker off the team you’re about to play’s practice squad and hoping that the person you’re about to sign will divulge information about the playbook.”

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

PUNISHMENT: Not illegal.

AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 0.0


So what have we learned, well we have learned a lot, (Cheaters win, and three of the biggest cheats are in the AFC – with the Broncos being the worst of them all) and if you want to see for yourself – click on your teams’ icon and go directly to YourTeamCheats.com to find out all the little dirty secrets in your teams closet.  Then write your congressman and tell him/her that the media needs to slander every team, not just the Patriots.

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CHEATSCORES
NFC EAST NFC NORTH NFC SOUTH NFC WEST AFC EAST AFC NORTH AFC SOUTH AFC WEST
DAL – 20 CHI – 20 ATL – 28 ARI – 13 BUF – 16 BAL – 35 HOU – 16 DEN – 49
NYG – 35 DET – 28 CAR – 20 SEA – 25 MIA – 22 CIN – 16 IND – 37 KC – 16
PHI – 28 GB – 27 NO – 23 SF – 31 NE – 25 CLE – 13 JAX – 12 OAK – 27
WAS –37 MIN – 23 STL – 14 TB – 25 NYJ – 40 PIT – 46 TEN – 20 SD – 19