What if I Told You…Sometimes You Should Never #Checkdown

I’ve seen enough.  It was a back-to-back showing on national TV and the script did not change.  No more, should the WR position shoulder the blame of ineptitude.  Sure, some of the fault could be laid at Andy Reid’s feet – but he has won a few games in this league, has gone to the playoffs, a Superbowl, etc…The issue at large lies squarely in the small hands of Alex Smith.

Did you watch last night’s game?  Do you remember anytime Alex Smith looked for a secondary read?
Or, did you witness as I did, a professional quarterback, a former 2005 #1 draft pick, no-longer a spring-chicken, stare down his primary target.  After three quarters, Alex Smith had 6 completions and 2 turnovers.  His numbers ended up being decent and yet that was garbage-time – no one who watched the game would say he was decent.

The problem with Chiefs having Cap’n Checkdown as their quarterback is they single logo_small
do not stretch the field.  You have to feel for Chiefs fans.  Sure Andy Reid does not run enough with Jamaal Charles, but the inability to throw further than 10 yards with any consistency is alarming, and as long as that guy is your quarterback – Kansas City will never win.

As for the Packers, word is, Aaron Rodgers is prettay, prettaay, prettaaay good.  How good? Aaron Rodgers threw five touchdown passes, and Green Bay has now won their last 10 regular-season home games – scoring 383 points – the highest total in team history over a span of 10 home games. The only other NFL teams to win 10 consecutive home games while scoring as many points as the Packers; were the Rams in 1999 and 2000, and the Broncos spanning 2012 and 2013.

Rodgers has now thrown 43 TD passes at Lambeau since his last interception there (in 2012), more than twice as long as any other streak of TD passes without an interception in home games in NFL history.  It sure does help when you also have a tank in the backfield.  You know how they say “it takes a village” to raise a child? It also takes a village to stop Eddie Lacy. Green Bay’s 5-foot-11, 234-pound back ran 10 times for 46 yards — not great numbers, but enough to show he can turn a corner real quick and run you over.


Here week3’s #NFL perfect lineups

DraftKings

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FanDuel

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On the Lighter Side…

This is an actual ad that was posted to Craig’s list in Arkansas.  Top Marks for ingenuity – They are counting the days Bert.


 

Denorfia’s blast gives Cubs a rare kind of victory

Chris Denorfia hit the first pitch of the bottom of the 11th inning for a walkoff home run to give the Cubs a 1-0 win over the Royals on Monday. He’s the first pinch-hitter in major-league history to hit a walkoff homer for the only run of an extra-inning win.

Denorfia is only the third player to hit a walkoff home run for the Cubs at Wrigley Field in extra-innings of a game that was scoreless to that point. Joe Pepitone’s 12th-inning home run was the only run of a Cubs’ 1-0 win in 1971, and Frank Secory hit a two-run walkoff homer in the 12th inning in 1946.

Cardinals blank Pirates the hard way

Six Cardinals pitchers combined to shut out the Pirates on Monday, despite issuing 10 walks. It’s the first game in 33 years in which a team threw a nine-inning shutout while walking at least 10 batters. The Mets were the last team to do that, in a 1-0 win in Montreal in 1982.

nullOsuna joins the man who David Letterman called “a fat tub of goo”

Twenty-year old Roberto Osuna picked up his 20th save of the season in Toronto’s come-from-behind win in Baltimore on Monday. The only other pitcher to save 20 games in one season at age 20 or younger was Terry Forster, with 29 saves for the White Sox in 1972.

nullRodriguez wins 10th game of season

Eduardo Rodriguez, the Red Sox’ 22-year old left-hander, improved to 10-6 and lowered his ERA to 3.85 in Boston’s win over the Yankees on Monday. The last Red Sox left-hander under the age of 23 to win 10 games and finish a season with an ERA under 4.00 was none other than Babe Ruth. The Bambino did that in three straight seasons: 18-8 with a 2.44 ERA in 1915, at age 20; 23-12 with a 1.75 ERA in 1916 and 24-13 with a 2.01 ERA in 1917.

The Red Sox have allowed one run in their last four games, their best stretch since the final four scheduled games of the 1978 season, when they gave up one run in four games to the Tigers and Blue Jays. That left the Red Sox tied for first place in the A.L. East with the Yankees, who won a one-game playoff-the “Bucky Dent Game”-at Fenway Park the next day.

nullIf only Sano had arrived earlier

Miguel Sano drove in the first run of the Twins’ win in Cleveland on Monday, giving him 51 RBIs this season. Sano, who made his major-league debut on July 2, is the second rookie in major-league history to drive in more than 50 runs in a season without having any before July. The other player to do that was Josh Phelps, with 58 RBIs for Toronto in 2002.

nullScherzer falls short of second no-hitter of season

Max Scherzer took a no-hit bid to the eighth inning in the Nationals’ win over the Reds on Monday. Scherzer, who no-hit the Pirates on June 20, is the first pitcher since 2011 to take a no-hit bid to the eighth inning after having completed a no-no earlier that season. Justin Verlander had two bids ended in the eighth inning that year after holding Toronto without a hit on May 7; and Francisco Liriano also had a no-hitter end in the eighth inning after his no-hitter against the White Sox.

nullCarter’s clutch homer

Chris Carter’s seventh-inning home run gave the Astros a lead they would not relinquish in their victory in Seattle on Monday. It was Carter’s first go-ahead homer in the seventh inning or later this season, although he hit three of those homers in each of the past two seasons.

 

 

Quick Hits

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The (unofficial) second half of the baseball season starts tonight with four of the six divisions up for grabs and could also come down to the wire – including second-wild-card-spots.  The trade deadline is July 31 (non-waiver) and August 31 (waiver) providing plenty of rumors for the next couple of weeks.  So, here are some compelling story-lines to follow during the second-half.

  1. Where does Cole Hamels go – again?
    1. It is likely that this time, Cole Hamels may not tip the scales on a playoff race but could strengthen a contender even further.  Cole is the only bargaining the Phillies have and it would be crazy if they didnt move him for more young talent for their $85m remaining investment.  Philly will likely have to pay some of that remaining salary for the top-tier talent they’ll want in return.  It would seem the Dodgers or the Cardinals would be the best place for him.
  2. What Division does Johnny Cueto decide?
    1. Johnny Cueto could be the tipping point in a number of playoff races.  However, because he will be a free-agent next year, the Reds will not be able to ask for what Cueto is worth.  Think about how much influence Cueto could have if he was traded to the AL East, AL West or anyone one of the contenders in the NL.
  3. Houston, do we have a problem?
    1. The team that surprised everyone in the first half is no longer in first.  At one point they had the best record in baseball and then July came and they have gone 3-8 so far.  George Springer broke his right wrist and Chris Carter is still hitting below .200.  This is the team that needs another starter to contend down the stretch – but you wonder if that is worth giving away prospects to try and win something that you are not ready for now.  I’d expect the Astros will not do anything drastic and maybe trade for mid-level value type guys that do not impact their farm-system or current roster – unless it’s Chris Carter.

 

Tiger Woods and Paul Azinger at the 2002 Ryder Cup

Paul Azinger does have a history of criticizing Tiger, like when he went off on Tiger back in 2012 for kicking a club on the 16th hole during the Masters – “Tiger’s antics this week were an embarrassment to the game, to the membership at Augusta,” – “I was really disappointed to see him carry on that way. He’s not trying to endear himself to anybody. And after he won Bay Hill I thought, ‘here we go again, this is going to be Tiger just kicking butt and taking names.’ I don’t know. I thought he acted like the south end of a northbound mule.”  

So, as history repeats itself and Tiger may have already played himself out of contention from the British Open ,like he did at the U.S., Azinger calls him a “middle-of-the-pack-hack”.  Tiger is 21 over par in his last 45 holes at major championships – so the assessment is not far off.  On the front-nine yesterday Tiger was 4-over-40 and later in the day chunked a chip shot.

You’d have thought Tiger showed some signs of life recently, when he shot a 7-under for the tournament at the Greenbriar Classic.  Now, it just seems like he is lost in his own head.  Maybe the booze, women-chasing, bad swing and all, has kidnapped the once and future king of golf – not that we care anymore because we are doing just fine playing DraftKings Fantasy Golf Millionaire Maker – how about Jordan Speith?!


 

Doc Rivers the GM is crazy.  The Clippers lose Matt Barnes, Spencer Hawes and Hedo Turkoglu, but gain Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce and Josh Smith.  You know Kendrick Perkins is waiting for that phone call to join this insane asylum.  We might be the closest we have ever been to someone being murdered on the court.  At any moment someone could implode, explode or just go off the rails – this team was already combustible, averaging two technicals every 3 games and now you have Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson?  CP3 was so hard on DJ that he considered playing for Dallas for 96 hours.  The team has talent but no front-court depth – right now there is no back-up for DJ or Blake.  This disfunction junction is going to be awesome to watch next year and I cannot wait to see the over/under on CP3 meltdowns.

Diamonds in the DiRT

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 recognition since the 50’s with Jim Brown and Otto Graham winning titles.  Sure Cleveland’s had its moments. The Indians were good for a stretch in the 90’s, the Browns in the 80’s – they had and lost LeBron, only to get him back – but still the bridesmaid, never the bride and their hopes were always creatively ripped out of their chest only to be shown their still beating heart – Kali-Mah!

But on this Opening Day in 1996, new beginnings and hope belonged to the visiting team.  It was a sunny, brisk 38 degrees, with the wind blowing out to centerfield at a cheery draft.  Jacob’s Field, the epicenter of tribe fans wearing red, white and blue – a bunch of wahoos.  Long sufferring baseball fans in Cleveland had witnessed the eclipse of the dark-ages of baseball in their city, no longer made fun of by Hollywood and each season was a year long celebration that few players/fans ever experienced.  The Tribe was loaded and fresh off a 100-win season and their first World Series appearance since 1954 – they would win 99 games in 1996 and again have the best record in baseball.  Do you remember Kenny Lofton, Julio Franco, Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle, age less Eddie Murray, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Sandy Alomar, Omar Visquel – this was Cleveland’s Steel Curtain of baseball – the crowd was like a pack of crazed jackals and into town come the Yankees to start the season and another frenzied march to glory, to finally capture a title – all the Yankees brought with them was a new manager and a new shortstop.  “It’s our year!” – Cleveland fans shouted.

Game 1 of the season is rarely a hitchhiker’s guide to the future, but on this day – the God’s of baseball anointed a team, a manager and a shortstop for the next decade.  The Yankees would go on to win their first division title since 1981 and their first World Series since 1978.  Joe Torre would win the first of his 1,173 victories as manager of the Yankees – establishing during his 12 year tenure, 12 straight post-season appearances, winning 10 AL East crowns, 6 AL Pennants and 4 World Series Championships.

For the 22 year old shortstop, thrown to the wolves in Cleveland, all he did was become the first rookie shortstop to start the season for the Yankees, since 1962 – record his first-ever hit off El Presidente-Dennis Martinez, for a home run – building a resume for dramatic moments the rest of his career.  Career-In Memoriam, we do not get to watch Derek Jeter play shortstop for the Yankees anymore and it’s amazing to think back to that brisk April day in Cleveland where the legend began.

 

With Opening Day approaching, a time where we move past the winter of last year’s struggles to blossom once again on what might be.  A time to share a hot dog and a beer with someone special, a time to return to your youth, looking forward to it like a birthday party.  Baseball is seductive to anyone with an enduring interest, knowing exactly how it should be played, secretly believing they could do it – if only the good lord saw fit to make them less inept.  At least Fantasy Baseball let’s you prove your GM skills.  So you weren’t successful today, like baseball, there’s always tomorrow’s lineup.  In honor of the approaching National Holiday here are some alternate position examinations:

Yogi

Catcher

Matt Wieters – had Tommy John surgery so his issue becomes how many at-bats can he get to, but if he can reach at least 400 of them, he should bounce back.

The Beast, Double X

First Base

Aside from Goldschmidt and Miggy there are several other 1st basemen to consider.  Like Adam Lind for the Brewers who gets a shot to start full time and should hit in the 5 hole were he could hit 20+HR’s.  Someone who was productive last year that should see a regression this year is Chris Carter.

Jackie

Second Base

Chase Utley – the Phillies could be terrible but Chase will bat 3rd and will have a chance to provide a surprising rebound – not sure what kind of dead-cat rebound it’ll be, but it could be considerable, for stretches at a time.

Cal Ripken Jr

Shortstop

Stay away from Xander Bogaerts and Jean Segura as both are slotted to bat 8th.  For Xander, batting 8th in what might be the best offense is bad news – batting 8th is never a positive for your lineup.  For Segura and Bogaerts potential on the field does not equate fantasy value consistent enough.

Brooks Robinson

Third Base

Kris Bryant – whenever he gets called up, he has the potential to be a dominate player and another in a growing list of young talent in the game.  But the questions remain, relating to his strikeout rate – almost 30% last year in Triple A.  What does that mean for daily leagues?  It means that you should watch his Batting-Average-Balls-In-Play, because if that doesn’t negate the strikeout rate then he will be a consistent hit-or-miss play.  Either way he will be fun to watch.

Clemente, Mays and Aaron

Outfield

Christian Yellich – is getting a lot of press and is part of one the best outfields in the NL – however consider how often he hits fly-balls – less than 20% of the time.  If you believe he gets 600 plate appearances this year, only 120 of those will generate fly-balls – then multiply that by his Home-run/Fly-ball rate which was 15% last year (3.5% higher than his average) – that is 18 HR’s and he is batting second and likely will not steal as often in front Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton.

Michael Cuddyer – has only recorded 500+ plate appearances once in the last 3 years and now that he is with the Mets and still batting 5th, there is not much to suggest that he has much value left in the tank – or the health to sustain solid numbers.

Corey Dickerson – has the batting average talent, but struggles against lefties and until you see that change you have to pay attention to that matchup.  However if he gets 600 plate appearances he could be a top 5 outfielder with a healthy Tulo and CarGo.

Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan and Warren Spahn

Pitchers

You have to look at how many innings they pitched last year.  Example being Bumgarner pitched 270+ innings in 2014 and so expect him to have rest and lightened workloads to save him – plus the Giants only win in even years.  Too many innings is the result we see from all those pitchers breaking down – it has the Tigers worried for Verlander and Wainwright is 700 innings removed from Tommy John Surgery.  Think of it like this – pitchers usually are in the 25-30% risk for injury category and Wainwright is more like 40%.  So look for those new young guys that have the promise for consistency like Jake Arrieta, Jacob DeGrom and Carlos Rondon.

 

As they said in Bull Durham: “it’s an easy game, you catch the ball, you hit the ball, you throw the ball…and sometimes it rains

Abstract DiRT

You begin to wonder sometimes, is there any redemption in parlaying your earnings into a bigger pile – there is – but bigger than that is the effort and time that was put in to solve a rubik’s cube of information to create winning lineups for the Daily Fantasy delights.  We’ve done that.  We win.  It’s that simple.  We can show you the analytics, the reports, the lineup combinations and the question becomes – will you play?  No one provides the detail, the information, the exactness of projections like we do – not FanDuel, not Draftkings and defintely not all those other slack-jawed yokels.  Play along with us, use us, we give you the info for free (for now) – you see our results and it’s time for you to build yours.  We are working on baseball next and will have something big before football starts.  But the question is, will you be one of the fore-runners, or sit back with a case of the s’posed-ta’s wondering which membership plan is for you?  Contact us today and join us on the ground floor….Now on to the DiRT


1.

Basketball is a dangerous sport.  These Redwood Gladiators are constantly in peril from the razor-like-bucket.  It could explain why the Center position is fading away along with post-moves.  The hoop is dangerous, as Hassan Whiteside found out last night trying to block one of the Flying Plumlee’s.  Mr. Whiteside needed 10 stitches to close the wound between his middle and ring fingers he described as pretty bad because, “he could see the meat.”  With a handful of games remaining and Miami fighting for their playoff lives, they have to hope he comes back soon – regardless of how many times he #ActaFool.

But that was the smallest event that happened between the Heat and the Bucks.  You see the Bucks were down 11 and stormed back, down two, with eight seconds left.  Chaos ensues, and the Bucks of Milwaukee now hold a 2.5 game lead on the Heat for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.  If Milwaukee lost, their lead would have been just half-a-game.  If you read our NBA DiRTy plays you would have had Khris Middleton and Zaza Pachulia who did this:


2.

We’ve talked alot about karmic responsibility the last couple of days and then that happened.  The Fresno Grizzlies created a promotional campaign around “Back to the Future” and were planning on giving away W.S. rings.  Then someone must have forwarded one of our posts and they pulled the promotion – saying they do not want to be a “jinx“.  It’s out there Jerry, you can not take it back in this modern instagram-world.  You should have thought about that before you got the hopes up in Fresno.  But can you really blame the Astros affiliate – afterall, Sports Illustrated published this last year, in June.

The ‘Stros do have a lot of talent and if you can, watch George Springer, Jose Altuve, Dallas Keuchel or Chris Carter.  They also have two talented prospects waiting to debut like Carlos Correa and Mark Appel.  The Houston Astros will continue to get better and they have the makings of a really talented contender – if they can keep everyone (like the Utah Jazz).  But the Karmic wheel-O-justice spins for thee and you can book it now – the Astros will not win the World Series in 2017 – no one say anything else.


3.

The Oakland Dog – available at Oakland A’s spring training facility in Mesa, AZ – A hot dog topped with mac and cheese, green chiles and bacon. No word yet if they are planning on selling this in Oakland.

Gone are the days of getting just a hot dog and a beer.  The tide shifted years ago when ballparks began offering sushi or upscale dining to go with normal ballpark fare.  Every year it seems we get some place kickin’ it up a notch – here’s what some items are on the menu for 2015 around the country, see if you notice a theme.

  • Texas Rangers“Just Bacon” food stand – They will have an actual stand in the ballpark, dedicated to nothing but bacon.  They’ll sell candied bacon in a mini-helmet, bacon-cotton-candy and even bacon-beer.  Even if you are not riding the ‘everything-bacon’ wave – you’ve got to try a bacon beer right? for science?
  • Texas Rangers – The S’mOreo – A deep fried marshamallow surrounded by two deep fried oreos topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.  It’s almost bite-sized, so six of them could get eaten before you know what happened.
  • Texas RangersChicken-Fried-Corn-on-the-Cob – Again in Texas, this time they take corn, slather it with buttermilk batter before dropping it into the fryer.  Sounds like another challenge that must be washed down with a cold Bacon Beer – it just seems wrong, but you must do it for science.
  • Arizona DiamondbacksChurro Dog – Remember when the D’bags gave us the 18″ corn-dog stuffed with cheese, jalapenos and bacon.  This year they want us to finish off the D-Bat dog with a low-cal desert: a churro, nestled in a donut bun, topped with frozen-yogurt, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and caramel.  Low-cal because they used frozen-yogurt – thinking of the extra calories they are saving us by not using the iced-cream – at 1100 calories, it’s a nice gesture.
  • Wilmington Blue RocksDonut Dog – This minor league team got with Krispy Kreme to create a Krispy Kreme glazed donut bun that hugs a hot dog, topped with rasberry jam and bacon.  A modern day Monte Cristo sandwich.  Get your friends to try it first.
  • Wisconsin Timber-RattlersBig Mother Funnel Burger – Placing meat in desert-type-cakes seems to be the new thang and in Wisconsin we have another.  We have a bacon-cheeseburger between two funnel-cakes.  The question for all you gastro-engineers is: how well does the structure of the funnel-cake hold up to the grease of the bacon cheeseburger? #Murica!
  • Wisconsin Timber-RattlersGrilled Cheese Bacon Cheeseburger – Just like it sounds, a bacon cheeseburger with grilled cheese sammiches for buns.  Throw in some onions and a side of ranch for dipping and someone might scream RoadTrip.
  • Lehigh Valley Iron PigsPork Parfait – It’s a meat mirage disguised as a desert – it’s like Thanksgiving in a cup, if Thanksgiving had pork.  This meat-parfait is layered with mashed potatoes, pulled pork, cheese sauce and green onions – all made to look like its a desert.  So confusing…
  • Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs2-foot long hot dog – This needs a real name and might need a NC-17 rating, because no one should be allowed to hold that much meat in your hand without some sort of supervision.  This tube-monster is topped with chili, beer cheese, bacon and onion straws.  You can have it cut into 4, 6″ pieces, to share, or make you feel better about yourself stuffing your face with all that meat at once, alone.
  • Oklahoma City DodgersOreo Churros – it’s a chocolatey churro with a side of oreo cream dipping sauce – that is science right there. (no picture, just imagine…)
  • The West Michigan Whitecaps are holding a contest for fans to vote one of the items to the ballpark menu.  Here are some of the choices:

    #1 – French Fry Pizza #2 – Cotton Candy Curveball (twinkie wrapped in cotton candy) #3 – Kat Dog (Kit-Kat inside a hot dog) #4 – Weenie Panini

    Other items are Crispy Pig Chips (nachos with pork-rinds), Hot-toTot (tater-tots with buffalo chicken and bleu cheese), and a hot dog in a hallowed out pickle, deep fried.


NOT A SAINT…

You can’t spell Sharper without “Rapes”

This week, news broke that Darren Sharper has agreed to sign a new long term deal with Arizona.  Terms are undisclosed but rumors are, it is for at least 9 years.  Darren Sharper still has offers pending in Louisiana, Nevada and California and could become the 1st player in the Federal Penal League to play for several teams.

This is one of those situations that the entitled, priveledged athlete, convicted of barbarism, should be shipped off to Papillon with the other socio and psychopaths in the world, to live their end of days, together.  Prison shows no mercy to child-molesters and rapists – in Hell you will remember the sins of the flesh.