C’mon Man and other ridiculousness for Monday

So Sam Bradford thinks that Terrell Suggs was intentionally tying to hurt him.  Come again Sam?  Your beef should be with your coach.  The Chipster, should be more aware that his QB has had two ACL surgeries prior and that running a read option opens you up for these kinds of hits.

Suggs received a 15-yard penalty because QB’s are delicate ballerinas nowadays.  However, the Dean, Mr. Blandino, NFL VP of officiating, ruled that the hit was clean – stating that when Bradford executed a read-option play, that he was clearly a runner – making the case that roughing-the-passer does not apply.

So will some say that Suggs was intentionally trying to hurt Sam Bradford?  Surely, some will.  But, this is what you get when grown-men who are built like trucks and run as fast as Ferrari’s play a man’s game.  Run the read-option at your own risk, and maybe not run it with a QB that has already had two blow-outs, Chip!


Continuing with that thread – what are they doing in Washington?  Thursday night RGIII was repeatedly taking shots.  Is this the visual definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results?

Clearly, Robert has trouble seeing the field and getting rid of the ball on time.  But being sacked three times and getting hit twice on 8 dropbacks says more about Washington’s pass protection than RG’s lack of progression, right?  So, if he is your franchise QB, and you know these things about your O-line, why are you sending him out there to get pummeled by a pass-rush happy D-line?  What are you trying to do in the pre-season?  Is it because he believes he is the best QB in the league?  Or, it might be just what to expect from RGIII, because the play he got hurt on is testimony to why he will never be the best QB in this league.

Robert, stepped away from a clean pocket and missed two wide open receivers on short routes – he then stepped into pressure – leading to the injury.  Those two wide open receivers were the check down options on third and long – instead of taking the short gain and likely punting – Robert wanted to be a hero and make a something happen – because that is what he did in college.  So maybe the point is they are just trying to make it easier to name Kirk Cousins the starter and move on from a QB that is just as much fragile physically as he is mentally – that they gave up a lot to draft.  It also proves that Dan Snyder is clueless, for an organization hoping that RGIII will bounce back from two disastrous seasons by continuing to play him in the meaningless pre-season – it is another chapter in this ridiculous narrative.


Yeah it is still the pre-season – but it is also a contrast to how Cleveland is choosing to do things with their young running QB.  It is also a small statement for those that are holding out hope that Johnny Football will be a NFL QB.  Against the Bills, Manziel showed competence, going 10-18 for 118yds and a TD (95yd drive) – easily making it the best performance of his professional career.

Are their issues he still needs to work on – clearly.  Too often he looks to run and run with his head down, not looking down field – instead of side-stepping the pressure first.  Also, he still needs to improve his progressions after the initial read.

Now we have word that Manziel is dealing with arm soreness and that could impact the reps he needs to improve – it also signals he may not be strong enough to handle the load of being a QB full-time for a full season.  At least he has some good tape to point to, which is more than we could say before hand.


click to watch

Chris Berman used to say, all Cris Carter did was catch touchdowns – now he’s catching some heat – as should the NFL.  I am still stunned that this was what Cris Carter wanted to say to Rookies last year – while wearing his HOF JACKET!  I am more stunned that the NFL was promoting this on their site and more so, that it took a story about Chris Borland retiring, for anyone to notice!  Since the story, the NFL has removed it – The NFL and ESPN have done their spin-control, slut-shaming Cris and Carter has also apologized – C’mon Man!

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.

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

Hit the DiRT!

Rivulets of Gravy

Her name is Lacey Noonan and she is responsible for such literary classics as: I do not care if my best friends mom is a sasquatch, she’s hot and I’m taking a shower with her, and shipwrecked on the island of the she gods.  Why is she relevant? Well she just completed her masterpiece: A Gronking to Remember, an erotic ode to the franken-tight-end of the Patriots.  This 38 page novella(?) – really 38 pages?! –is about one woman’s battle to stay faithful to her husband while lusting after Gronk – with several in depth fantasies – one of course on the football field.  38 pages seems kinda quick to get all that mommy-porn-nonsense accomplished, maybe Lacey needs a Cialis to prolong her mouse-clicking-daydreams.  How much does a 38 page book cost? Is it a book, a pamphlet or an e-reader? Could you read it on your kindle?  If you fancy a go, here is how Lacey described how moved she was after she witnessed Gronk spike the ball after scoring: “It jettisoned jiggling ribbons of electric jelly through my body and melted my knees like two pads of margarine.”  Seems simple enough – reminds me of this classic.


 Swipe Right Night

The best team in the East is your Atlanta Hawks and for their upcoming game against the Griz of Memphis they are holding a Tinder night, (what if you have a windows phone?).  So do you bring a date from Tinder? A wingman, or wingwoman? Is this a league-sanctioned digital hook-up? If you get an STD do you get a free popcorn at the next game with proof of prescription?  Is there a designated shag-station for emergency swiped-righted-ness?  It’s interesting enough to know that an idea so profound as pimping out your audience to other audience members hasn’t caught on more – keep an eye on your spouse or significant other and how many TRIPS they make to the CONCESSION stand.  Combine that with $1 hot-dog night and it’s Caligula.


 NBA Fever catch it

So a trade with Cleveland, New York and OKC happened.

CAVALIERS get: J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert from New York and a future-first-round-pick from OKC

KNICKS get: Alex Kirk, Lou Amundson, Lance Thomas and a future-second-round-pick from Cleveland

THUNDER get: Dion Waiters

For Cleveland you have to wonder what it is they are thinking, adding JR Smith is like adding Mentos to Diet Coke.  Would J.R., have made any more of a difference in your recent loss to Philly?

For New York this reeks of a salary dump to give them more flexibility to get…who exactly…who wants to be in this dumpster-fire?  Soon enough the Zen-Maestro has got to pack it up and go back to the west coast, because this not gonna end well.  Unless you believe in Alex Kirk…?!?  #NBAsWorstTeam.

For OKC this is a big win that pairs a good player with Westbrook and Durant to make them deeper offensively.  Maybe they won’t lose by 20+ again to Golden State.


OREGON and Ohio ST nat’l champ uni’s – looks like another omen as the last time the Ducks forgot to wear green or yellow on their uniform, they lost – when they wore the black and pink uni’s against the Wildcats.

penalty?


 Just like we drew it up

Leonard Hamilton, head-ball-coach for the Seminoles, said that this past week.  So, FSU and Florida are tied at 63 after FU scored 5 straight buckets – technically the last 7 – with 8 seconds remaining.  FSU with 3 seconds left inbound the ball and shoot a 3 – why? – and then this happened.


I love LA

Click for Stan Kroenke’s favorite video

So the owner of the St.Louis Rams purchased some land in LA and negotiated with another group to build a stadium in Los Angeles.  The Rams who were in LA from 1946-1994 are now most likely going back to Hollywood – your move Oakland.  Start printing up the t-shirts and selling the naming rights now – LA Rams are back – 2016!


Epiphany

Today is the start of Carnival or Mardi Gras season, and although Mardi Gras is not until February 17th, 2015 – today ‘tis the season that begins.  What is Epiphany? It is the celebrated observance of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the visit of the Magi (the representation of the non-jewish people), all of Jesus’ childhood events including his baptism and the Miracle at the Wedding of Cana – so kind of a big deal.  It is also known as “Twelfth Night”, and is where the 12 days of Christmas comes from.  The season is celebrated in different forms all around the world and in this country like; in Manitou Springs, CO where they have the Great Fruitcake Tossironic since it is a traditional Christmas bread in English-speaking countries.

However, most of us are familiar with the events that lead up to Mardi Gras and the importance of New Orleansdid you know that more than 6,000 vessels move through New Orleans annually along the Mississippi river, making it the busiest waterway in the world and integral to the nations economy.  So what’s up with thatMardi Gras style?  Well King Louis XIV sent the LeMoyne brothers to defend France’s claim on the territory of Louisiane (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana) – on March 2, 1699 (Lundi Gras) they entered the mouth of the Mississippi River – 60 miles downriver – where New Orleans is today – they made camp on March 3, 1699 (Mardi Gras) – in honor of that spot they named it Point du Mardi Gras – in 1703 the first organized celebration occurred in Mobile – Several traditions, parties, and Territory Capital movements later we have what we have today.  So, Laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll), suck some heads, throw some beads, find the baby and live it up before Ash Wednesday when you must repent…sinner.

Here is the parade schedule and be a voyeur here.