Friday, October 31, 2014
We're in an era where getting hot at the right time is paramount, because all of these teams are mediocre, even the ones that I would say were the best teams this year. But at least you wouldn't be watching hitters who don't know the strike zone make it unbelievably easy for a very good pitcher to dominate like never before. Side note: I heard today that KC isn't planning on resigning four or five of the most integral players in this playoff run. So how good are they then?
My own beloved Red Sox won the World Series last year with a team as flawed as they come. Were it not for a shutdown closer, the greatest clutch hitter of all time and an ace pitcher, we would've lost to arguably a better team. And my Red Sox seem to be content to keep building teams that way because we're seeing you can win it all with the best mediocre team.
Don't get me wrong, I like the kind of players that both the Giants and Royals displayed in this series, mostly hard-playing grinders (and I'd rather have a team full of those than a team full of Puigs) but where was even a modicum of star power? Where were the five-tool players? San Francisco's leader and best player was basically a no-show in this series and they still won.
And remember, this is the third time in five years the Giants have won this way -- with a team no one thought could go all the way (and again, kudos to them) -- add to that last year's Sox win and it's getting to be a real bad habit.
So while I understand that having more teams in the playoffs is good for those markets that seemingly can't get there without a crutch, I disagree that it's good for the game overall. What's good for the game is being able to watch a World Series where it at least kinda feels like you're watching the best baseball possible.
This never happened when there were no divisions and the best record (best team) in each league played each other in the World Series; this never happened when there were two divisions in each league, so you had League Championship series to determine who went to the Series -- and remember how great those series were through the years -- and I don't remember it really happening when they added the wild card to the mix. But it seems to be happening every year now that we have two wild card teams.
I dunno, maybe something else is to blame but the end result is that we're watching World Series that are well below par, well below what we deserve as diehard fans.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
As for my picks, let's rock them this week and get to over 40% wins this season. After a 6-1 week, I know that I can achieve that goal. And at least one of the Selection Committee's Top 4 will fall this week. And for me looking at this, it is another week of underdogs primarily.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Sunday, October 26, 2014
You get one guess who won the Bruins-Leafs game last night… and who escaped the CBC censors at the end of the game too!
Toronto sports summed up in one picture pic.twitter.com/tK4sJjWRml— Ian (@Ian_from_TO) October 26, 2014
The stupidest thing this week that I saw was a Michigan Wolverine bringing a stake out to Michigan State's stadium and planting in the field pre-game. Why would you do that? You bring ridicule onto your team, you really pissed off the Spartans, just listen to coach D'Antonio in the post-game press conference, and it looks like you can't visualize what it is like to win on a rivals stadium. Hey Big Brother, little brother just kicked your ass again. And no, Mike Hart isn't there to eat those words.
After this week, my Top 10:
1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
4. Michigan State
8. Ohio State
9. Notre Dame
Friday, October 24, 2014
Sunday, October 19, 2014
And I am going to argue that the SEC gets a pro-bias from the media and coaches. And I am not going to argue it by looking at the top teams in the conference this year, but at the last SEC ranked in both polls, the LSU Tigers. You are telling me that the LSU Tigers are near the 20th best team in the nation? Have you watched them? They haven't impressed anybody, but yet they are put into the Top 25. Ugh. I hope that the selection committee quashes this nonsense.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
If things play out according to Vegas, then the only game that will have an effect on the playoff race is the Notre Dame/Florida State game. And if it goes according to plan, then Notre Dame's playoff chances will be practically nil after the game. If I were to pick a true upset (besides Arkansas over Georgia), I would pick Texas A&M over Alabama. Alabama is showing lots of chinks in their armor. I believe that they will have another loss before the season is over.
To all of those people writing off the Big 10 after week two when some MAC teams beat the Big 10, you might want to look again. The vaunted PAC-12 isn't looking elite. They all have at least 1 loss and most of the losses have looked bad. The ACC is Florida State and the little 13. The Big 12 is looking better than what the experts said that it would be. And the SEC is the SEC. The best conference in the land. However, look at the Big 10. 6 teams with only one loss. and you can make the argument that it is the most competitive conference behind the SEC.
My Final Four at the current time: Mississippi State, Florida State, Baylor, Mississippi
On The Outside Looking In: Notre Dame, Michigan State, Alabama, Oregon
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
|Trevor Gillies Acting Like A Goon!|
The Adirondack Flames have a chance here to correct their mistake of signing Gillies. They should cut his ass after he serves his 14 game suspension. I know that won't happen. Hell, you will probably have Brian Burke promote his ass up to Calgary just because Burke likes tough guys. This guy has had suspensions all throughout his career and it doesn't deter him. And his apology isn't worth the breath wasted on it.
If I am the Senior VP of Player Safety, Stephane Quintal, I am calling Calgary and telling them that Trevor Gillies will not make it to Calgary to play for the Flames. I would have him suspended indefinitely from the league and have a show-cause hearing for any team that wants to bring him in to their roster. And then if the team doesn't take the hint and actually goes through with the hearing, then ensure that if Gillies decides to go goon again, it isn't only his ass in a sling, but the Coach, GM, and owner. Suspensions and fines would be spelled out.
Hockey has evolved from the Blood and Guts days of the 70's and early 80's. Gillies is a throwback to those times and doesn't fit into what hockey needs to be today. The NHL needs to keep him out of the top league in North America and work with the AHL and the minor leagues to ensure that they understand what the NHL is looking for in on-ice conduct.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Back to the games. Georgia looked like they could be the savior of the SEC East. Well, that isn't going to happen with Todd Gurley sitting on the sidelines, suspended indefinitely. And as for the SEC lobbying for two teams in the playoffs right now. Just shut the pie hole and let the games play out. Y'all might have 2 losses for each and every team. Then come and say that you have the best teams. You can't.
Finally, I am picking more than 10 games this week. There are some games that I have strong thoughts about, so let's pick them.
Friday, October 10, 2014
I think Barry looks pretty badass with the wings placed where they are.
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
You could say I don’t have high expectations this season. The truculence era is officially over now that Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren are gone. In their place, we have fourth-liners that not only don’t fight, but we’re not sure whether or not they’re NHL-caliber players.
Realistically, I’ll be rooting for a team that will finish on the outside looking in when April rolls around. They Leafs just don’t have enough to get in the top eight. But if they stay away from major injuries, if King Joffrey Lupul regains his form, if Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly continue to improve, if Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer give us stellar goaltending… oh, who am I kidding?
Regardless, a new season awaits and game time is less than six hours away.
Sunday, October 05, 2014
I had bought tickets to fly from Portland to Atlanta to Dayton but the fire at O'Hare pushed our departure from Portland back 45 minutes, which was the exact amount of my layover in Atlanta. Shelly was able to reschedule a connector for her from Atlanta to Raleigh to see her daughter but I couldn't get another flight into Dayton. Luckily I was able to get a flight into Cincy, and since we were planning on seeing a game there on Saturday anyway, I just got us a hotel room and problem solved.
I got into the Cincy airport on time, where my daughter was waiting for me. We went back to the hotel, had a cocktail at the bar and then had pizza and beer in the room. The next morning we drove across the Ohio to park in Newport, KY to then walk across the bridge to the ballpark and see the Reds take on the Pirates in the next to last game of the season.
|Crossing from KY to Cincy looking NE up the Ohio.|
|Some Cincy skyline and Reds history banners outside the park|
|Directly across the ballpark|
The Reds really had nothing to play for but the Pirates still had a chance to win the division. Unfortunately the ballpark was half full and frankly rather lifeless. I ordered tix that would give us a view of the game but also of the riverfront behind the ballpark. I guess I should've consulted a sun chart because the bright sun that day was directly in our faces.
|Dad and daughter|
|And Wes using the '14 Reds team photo as a visor|
|From our seats, right above home plate|
|From the top of our section in the shade, which made for a better photo|
So we watched a few innings from our seats but then retreated to the overhang and concourse to walk around, see the park and game from different angles. In the end the Reds dashed the Pirates' hopes of a division title.
We subsequently walked across the bridge, taking pictures of the Roebling Bridge and back at the skyline and stadiums lining the river.
|Statue of a fullsize paddle wheel in the park along the river behind the ballpark|
|The bridge we walked across with paddlewheel boats|
|Back at the skyline at from L to R football, baseball and arena|
|Even better skyline shot and sporting venues|
On the concourse of the arena was a statue of a pig wearing a hockey helmet and carrying a stick, despite the fact that the ECHL franchise that plays there is called the Cyclones. RJ, do you know of an earlier franchise there that would explain the pig?
Once across the bridge went to the Hofbrauhaus, an authentic German bierhaus, where we had arguably the best time of the weekend. The atmosphere, food and especially beer were outstanding.
I would like to go again sometime and spend more time downtown, including WKRP.
|I thought that Texas would be the favorite team in New Mexico!|
Outside the Top 10 - The BYU crashing the playoff scene stopped after their loss to Utah State. Really? Utah State? Wisconsin shows that without a Quarterback, that a top tier Running Back isn't enough. Michigan falls again, this time to Rutgers. The Pirates of East Carolina continue to win. They are the best team in college football for the state of North Carolina. And the SEC Least continues to wallow in mediocrity except for possibly Georgia. South Carolina 3-3? A pre-season Top 10 ranking for the Gamecocks looks even more foolish now.
Thursday, October 02, 2014
I want to laugh at this picture, but I’ve seen this before. By my team. About sixty times a season.
This is one of the weekends that you are thankful to be a college football fan. Big game after big game gets played and after the weekend is done, you have conversations about who you believe is better.
My four playoff teams right now: Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida State, and Oregon.
Knocking On The Door: Michigan State and Baylor