Sunday, October 15, 2017

As Seen On TV

I don't know if any of you watched last night's Boise State - San Diego State game on CBS Sports Network, but I saw this Aztec Shops commercial for the first time. This 30-second promo is an excellent way to illustrate what has happened to San Diego since the Chargers left for Los Angeles.

Why do I bring this up? It's worth noting that even though the Aztecs played their worst game of the season last night, the attendance for the game was 49,053. Or as I cracked on Twitter last night, two StubHubs.The best part? Unlike Chargers home games in the soccer stadium up the road, most of the fans in attendance for the Aztecs game at SDCCU Stadium were wearing red for the home team.

I hope this game is a wake up call for the City Council. We don't need the NFL here in San Diego. We're just fine being a college football city. Renovate SDCCU Stadium for our team, or build a smaller one and kiss the NFL and their greed goodbye.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

2017 College Football Picks vs The Spread - Week 7

Coming off a 4-6 record last week, we have a week where there is no ranked teams facing each other. Where are the upsets coming from? I have three.

1. (6) TCU at Kansas State (+6.5) - The Horned Frogs can take control of the Big 12 if they can get past the Wildcats. I don't expect them to.

TCU 31, Kansas State 34
Actual Score: TCU 26, Kansas State 6

Friday, October 13, 2017

Will the Red Sox adapt or be content

We all watched as the Boston Red Sox fell to the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series 3-1. And as an Astros fan, it would be fun putting over the Astros as this team that will be on top for the next 5 years. Just look at the roster. Two position players are over the age of 30. That is it. Our pitching is starting to show up in the minors so there are some prospects that will start showing up in the rotation in the next couple of years. We look like we could be a power for the foreseeable future.

But that isn't what I am going to do. Instead this post will look at the Red Sox. I am impressed with the outfield, not so much with the infield. I am interested in how the Front Office comes up with solutions to the problems with the lineup and pitching staff. Also, what are they looking for in terms of Manager.

The outfield should be around for a while. Jackie Bradley Jr. in Center Field is good. He needs to figure out how to bring the batting average up a bit. And while I understand that he isn't the prototypical CF, some more stolen bases would be nice.  Mookie Betts seems to have taken a step back in 2017, but at age 25, that is to be expected the first time that you are talked to be a great player. Andrew Benintendi looks like he could also be a stud. A great first year for the kid, he might be the future CF and shift Bradley to left. However you put these three in the outfield, you have a foundation that you can rely on as the infield gets it makeover.

The infield will go through some personnel changes. I don't believe that Eduardo Nunez is an answer for third base. Rafael Devers is a prospect, but I think he needs a couple more years of seasoning to be a piece to help push towards a pennant. At shortstop, Xander Bogaerts is an upper echelon player. The defense is good, but the offensive production has gone down two straight years. He will still put up good numbers but not be the breakout star that he was projected to be a couple of years ago.

On the right side of the infield, Dustin Pedroia is starting to show his age. He is a great player that has the playing style of take no prisoners at all times. The body wears out quicker doing that and I believe that is what is starting to show. He might have one more great year in him, but I think that the decline will start to show fairly quickly. Maybe you put Brock Holt here instead of the DH or as the fourth outfielder. At 1B, Moreland and Ramierez are OK for now, but there needs to be a guy that can hit for power and have a decent average. 25 HR, 70 RBI, and a .250 average isn't what is needed.

At catcher, Christian Vazquez is growing. The offensive stats are increasing, he is a good defensive catcher and seems like the calling of the game is improving as well. And at age 27, he has time to grow into that veteran catcher who can call the game to give his team the best chance to win.

Now let's get to the achilles heel of the Red Sox, the pitching staff. Chris Sale and David Price are making lots of money. They need to be those workhorses that win 20 games and are the steady influences in the playoffs. For Price, that means you have to be a starter, not a reliever. For a guy who excelled in Tampa, it is like he is a different pitcher now who doesn't know exactly what he needs to do. For Sale, it is figuring out that the postseason is totally different than the regular season. With the White Sox, Sale did not pitch in the postseason. He will make the adjustments. Craig Kimbrel is a great save guy. But after that the pitching staff is in need of a shakeup. The starting staff has an ERA about 4.50. That isn't going to help the Sox in the postseason. You need two dominant starters. Sale is one of those, but you need to find a number 2. Price if he can come back to prior form should be that number 2. And you need a third guy who is dependable. I don't see that in the current pitching staff. The bullpen is dependable enough to get to Kimbrel.

Overall, the Red Sox have enough currently to do what they did this past year. Win the AL East and make the playoffs. That should not be acceptable for what the Red Sox are paying for their players. The team needs to get back to the Epstein theory of building a team instead of acting like the Yankees little brother. Until that happens, be happy with winning AL East pennants.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

2017 College Football Picks vs The Spread - Week 6

Still 6 games above .500 after treading water the past 2 weeks. Need to get more of a cushion before the big boys play each other later this season.

1. Wake Forest at (2) Clemson (-21.5) - The Demon Deacons might be able to cover if this were basketball. Not on the football field.

Wake Forest 13, Clemson 48
Actual Score: Wake Forest 14, Clemson 28

Saturday, September 30, 2017

2017 College Football Picks vs The Spread - Week 5

Still 6 games above .500. The picks rallied late last week after staring 0-4.

1. Vanderbilt (+9) at (21) Florida - Not sold on the Gators after escaping Kentucky and the Commodores are better than what they showed against Alabama last week.

Vanderbilt 24, Florida 27
Actual Score: Vanderbilt 24, Florida 38

Friday, September 22, 2017

2017 College Football Picks vs The Spread - Week 4

6 Games above .500 for the first 3 weeks is making me feel good.

1. (1) Alabama vs Vanderbilt (+18) - There isn't an upset here. But I believe that the Vandy defense can keep it closer than many people think.

Alabama 27, Vanderbilt 16
Actual Score: Alabama 59, Vanderbilt 0

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Weasel has Gone

Bobby "The Brain" Heenan passed away today at age 73 from cancer. Most people consider him the best manager of all time for professional wrestling. He fought the disease for a long while. I got to shake the man's hand back in 80's after attending a wrestling show. Thank You for all the enjoyment you brought to me watching pro wrestling and the humor you brought with it. You will be missed, weasel.

Here are just a couple of The Brain's quotes from the past.

Last time I saw Tugboat... Typhoon... Buffoon, whatever he is, run that fast is when they opened up a lunch line at the free buffet

He hit him so hard he knocked three zits off his cheek!

"A friend in need is a pest."

"You know they say money can't buy happiness. Give me 50 bucks and watch me smile"

"Its the women in Cleveland, they all look like the Undertaker"

The Fight For LA(st)

I'm currently camping out on Twitter to see how bad the attendance is for today's Dolphins - Chargers game at StubHub Center. During the preseason, a stadium that holds roughly 27,000 for soccer was literally half full at best. I heard that a lot of tickets were on sale on the secondary market as of yesterday, so there's a chance this could be a very embarrassing day for the NFL when it's time for kickoff. The Fight For LA is literally a fight for who gives a damn... even the Rams aren't packing them in at the ol' Mausoleum near the USC campus.

It doesn't matter if the Chargers manage to get more than 15,000 warm bodies sitting in the stands today. This flyover before the game will probably get more press locally later tonight.

Friday, September 15, 2017

2017 College Football Picks vs. The Spread - Week 3

A 3-7 week showed me that I just can't go with the big spreads for the favorites.

Week 3 Games:

1. (19) Stanford at San Diego State (+8.5) - The Aztecs have looked good so far. Stepping up in weight class, I think that they will keep it close.

Stanford 28, San Diego State 24
Actual Score: Stanford 17, San Diego State 20

Friday, September 08, 2017

2017 College Football Picks vs. The Spread - Week 2

Week 1 was OK. A 7-2-1 week would have made me money. Let's see if I can continue the good picks.

1. (11) Oklahoma State (-29) at South Alabama - It is unusual that a program like Oklahoma State would go into South Alabama. I don't expect that the Cowboys will have problems with going on the road here.

Oklahoma State 62, South Alabama 14
Actual Score: Oklahoma State 44, South Alabama 7