Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Manwich Matchup of the Season-
New England @ Indy- Two undefeated teams... and I can’t believe the Pats are still 6 point favorites – and they are on the road! Obviously, you can basically come up with any storyline you want for this game – the sky’s the limit. Cheaters vs. the Midwest. Quest for the undefeated season. Brady vs. cornerbacks he hasn't seen. Manning's struggles with Belichick... I’m going with the Colts though, because they are at home, and I have to believe that the Patriots are mortal.
Upset of the Week-
Green Bay @ KC – This is an intriguing game. The Packers somehow are tasked w/ going to Denver and KC in back-to-back weeks. Could they somehow pull it off???
Pick: Green Bay
Washington @ Jets – Coach Mangina has been very quiet this season… he keeps reminiscing on last year’s miraculous playoff run.
Arizona @ Tampa- Both seemed feisty a couple of weeks ago, then both went on 2-game losing streaks. Both teams also have scored 147 points exactly. Both are bad on the road though, which means only one thing…
CAR @ Tennessee- The Panthers are already 0-2 against the AFC… I don’t see any reason for this to change now.
San Fran @ Atlanta- I have no idea why I’m thinking about this, but does anyone remember back in the 1994 Season, when Deion Sanders was playing on the 49ers, and then he got into some kind of weird scuffle with his former teammate, Andre “Bad Moon” Rison? That was awesome.
Jack-O @ New Orleans- Garrard is still one more week away. I got away with banking on a Festivus Miracle last week, but I can’t expect it twice in a row.
Pick: New Orleans
Denver @ Detroit – Of all the ways that my Manwich undefeated season could end, I didn’t think it would end with Champ Bailey AND Dre Bly getting burned on 70+ yard plays. What were the odds? This game is intriguing, with the awful way Denver has been playing.
Cincy @ Buffalo- Please raise your hand if you expected Buffalo to have more wins than the Bengals in Week 9? This game tears me up. Either I’m stuck picking the Bengals, one of the worst teams in the NFL over the last 10 games (2-8), or I’m stuck picking the Bills to reach .500 !
San Diego @ Minny- San Diego! Super chargers! It’s funny how a 3-game winning streak quiets all the “Marty!” chants.
Pick: San Diego
Seattle @ Cleveland- What an interesting game, even if you’re not a Browns fan! Seattle is still a decent team. The question is really whether Cleveland can get any stops from their 32nd-ranked defense to possibly win the game 38-35.
Houston @ Oakland- I’m sick of picking Oakland every week. They keep disappointing me! Then again, so does Houston! I looked this up – both teams are on 3-game losing streaks, and both are 0-3 in their divisions.
Dallas @ Philly- Shocking stat of the week: team to give up 2nd-least amount of points in the NFC? The Philly Eagles! Still, I don’t think they can do enough to slow down Dallas.
Baltimore @ Pittsburgh- What an awful Monday night game. The funny thing is, if the Ravens lose this game, they’ll already be 0-3 in the division!
Last Week: 9-4
Manwich: 7-1 (The Favre to Jennings OT touchdown was yet another exclamation point on the fact that Rocktober had ended)
Upset of the Week: 4-4 (The Jaguars got a Festivus Miracle by winning with Quinn Gray!).
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Thanks for the memories...
Most overrated by the humans: Michigan, Hawaii, Texas
2007 - Week of 10/28
1. Boston Col.......0.43......(2)...(44)
2. Arizona St.......1.07......(4)...(47)
3. Ohio St............1.73........(1)...(43)
7. W. Va..............8.91.........(7)...(57)
12. So. Fla.........13.39......(18)...(33)
13. Va. Tech....13.54........(11)...(46)
Monday, October 29, 2007
Atlantic – Suddenly looks a lot better on paper
4-Toronto =Coming to America- With so many international players and players who played overseas, their names and faces are still relatively unknown, despite last year’s division title (but 1st round exit.) Their GM Colangelo, former GM of the Suns, did some additional dealing over the summer, in the additions of SF/SG Jason Kapono to knock down 3s, and Carlos Delfino (Argentinian), a SG from the Pistons for added depth. They did lose Mo-Pete (Morris Peterson), but I don’t think that’s a big loss at all. They still have a sweet 8-man rotation, assuming Garbajosa/Bosh can play center against some teams
PF-Garbajosa, SF-Bargnani / J. Kapono, C-Bosh ?, SG-Parker / Delfino, PG-TJ Ford / J. Calderon
Central – Most competitive division in the East
1-Detroit – Red Dawn – I think it's only fitting that team from Michigan be bestowed with the nickname, "Wolverines!" Just like the movie Red Dawn, I don’t think the season will end with a happy ending. But, just like the Wolverines from Red Dawn, the Pistons will be one tough opponent in the playoffs!
6-Cleveland – Teen Wolf – Obviously, most people believe the LeBron is Cleveland’s version of Teen Wolf and that the rest of our players only stand around and watch him. The truth is, the Cavs are better than that, it’s just that Cavs have a coach who refuses to install an offensive system. I wish I was joking. It’s very hard to predict the Cavs w/o knowing if they have an offensive system this year. ESPN’s partner blog, True Hoop, believes that even if the Cavs’ coach has an offensive system, it may only be written on a post-it note in crayon and the entire system may only include the words “stand there.”
Southeast – Softest division in the league?
3-Washington – Naked Gun – Gilbert Arenas is a one-man comedy show… and wrecking crew for the opponents. If the Wizards’ big 3 (Arenas, Jamison, Caron Butler) stay healthy, isn’t this team then just as good as the Celtics big 3? A player to watch may be rookie Nick Young on the Wizards, from USC. Of course, the problem with the Wizards is that they don’t play defense. They did have the best record in the East last season at the All-star break, before all the injuries occurred though. With Arenas and Jamison in contract years… this could be a really good year for the Wiz.
Teacher: Hey, I remember you. Where have you been?
Jerome Watkins: Bathroom.
Teacher: For the last six weeks?
Jerome Watkins: My zipper got stuck.
They also did get Jason Richardson in a trade! The bad news: Michael Jordan’s second stint as a GM has already started with some bad luck, as both Morrison “the moustache” and Sean May are already out for the season. Not a good start, when they really needed all of their college all-stars to chip in to make any kind of semblance of a playoff run.
Northwest – It could have been rise of Oden
4-Utah- My Blue Heaven – My Blue Heaven, starring Rick Moranis and Steve Martin, came out in 1990, but again, I have no problem breaking the rules. It was a really underappreciated, funny movie. Kind of like the Utah Jazz starring Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Mehmet Okur. No “My Blue Heaven” reference is complete without this quote…
[Pickup line at grocery store]
Vincent 'Vinnie' Antonelli: You know, it's dangerous for you to be here in the frozen food section.
Random girl: Why is that?
Vincent 'Vinnie' Antonelli: Because you could MELT… all this STUFF.
Southwest – Division of Doom! They could all make the Playoffs!
1-Dallas- Back to the Future – the only way to stop Dirk from fading away is to go back to the playoffs and win the whole damn thing!
5-Houston- Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – Still can’t tell who’s Bill and who’s Ted from Yao and T-Mac… it’s a tough decision. Anyways, they made a huge coup in the off-season and landed Luis Scola from Europe (via trade w/ the Spurs). Plus, they have options at PG this year (Aaron Brooks, M. James, R. Alston) . Plus, they got rid of Jeff Van Gundy, and got Rick Adelman, who’s a great playoff coach! The problem is they still are in the Western Conference.
NO Hornets- Breakfast Club - Chris Paul, Stojakovic, David West, and Tyson Chandler were my surprise playoff team last year but I think all of them got injured last season. They did get Julian Wright in the draft, who is supposed to blossom eventually. Ultimately, this division is stacked, and I can’t put them AND Memphis in, as much as I want to. One more year of detention for these guys before they bust through??? I know the players on this team will go on to do great things, just like the cast from Breakfast Club. I'm just scared Chris Paul is going to sing that theme song to me from Breakfast Club, "Don't you... forget about me" as the Hornets make the playoffs.
Pacific – Could be a very competitive division, if it weren’t for Don Nelson
3-Phoenix- Top Gun – high-flying, high-speeds… but will it turn into a trophy for Steve Nash???
“Joel, you wanna know something? Every now and then say, 'What the f$#$.' 'What the f$#$' gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future.”
“When you're sliding into first, And your pants begin to burst, That's diarrhea, diarrhea
When you're sliding into two, And your pants are filled with goo, That's diarrhea, diarrhea
When you're sliding into third, And you feel a greasy turd, That's diarrhea, diarrhea
When you're sliding into home, And your pants are filled with foam, That's diarrhea, diarrhea”
Clippers- Weekend at Bernie’s 2 – This is going to be one crappy season without Elton Brand, Shaun Livingston, and I’m sure Sam Cassell is due to get injured any day now. I just keep imagining the Clippers dragging Elton Brand’s body onto the court and using a bunch of pulleys and ropes to move his limbs as they pretend that he’s 100%.
1-Detroit over 8-Milwaukee - no doubt...
1 –Dallas over 8-Memphis- no doubt
1-Detroit over 5-Boston – Billups will be abusing R. Rondo.
2-Chicago over 3-Washington - I think this will be a very entertaining matchup.
1-Dallas over 5-Houston - Mavs can't be stopped this time.
3-Phoenix over 2-San Antonio - The Suns will get their revenge for last year's demise.
1-Detroit over 2-Chicago – Can't go w/ the Bulls, I'm thinking the Pistons make one last run.
1-Dallas over 3-Phoenix– Dallas will ascend back to the Finals...
1-Dallas over 1-Detroit - and Dallas won't screw around this time when they're up 2-0!
PF- D. Nowitzki, Dallas
SF- LeBron, Cleveland
C- Yao, Houston
SG- Kobe Bryant, Lakers
PG- C. Billups, Pistons
1) SEC Fans - You know it was annoying and first as to the great and powerful SEC. Yes I know its a great conference and their best team oblerated the Big 10s best team. Yes the hangover from that deservedly has people questioning OSU's ranking. However the outpouring of OSU's soft schedule and that they would be a .500 SEC team and therefore undeserving? Really? What logical leap are we taking here? Its not like somehow Oklahoma or BC have had harder schedules. And for the SEC well, their current SEC East Champ (Tennessee) got destroyed by a middle the rung Pac 10 team (Cal). Does that mean Georgia or Florida would be near the bottom of the Pac 10? Probably not. It might mean that somehow all of SEC 3 loss teams are superior to every other school in the nation is truly ridiculous concept. It also means that OSU isn't any different from just about any other school vying for a national championship birth. If the Big 10 or ACC is so easy I invite any SEC team up North to Camp Randall or the Big House and see how it goes. At least the Pac 10 or ACC can man up for a non-conference road game.
2) Deus Ex Machina - For those that are unaware deus ex machina is a latin phrase (literally G-d out of the machine) that basically used as a shorthand for some device or person that solves the problem of the day. Often times its used an illogical plot twist to save the day (Batman's utlity belt). However its also used to connote that somehow actions are mechanically translated without human intervention. Case in point ESPN's hue and cry over A-Rod announcing his free agency. From Gammons to Olney to the copy boy, ESPN is touting that A-Rod by himself created this wave of publicity that has overshadowed the Red Sox Championship and thereby diminished game (in this case a deux ex machina explanation) . Its truly fascinating concept that requires any number of suspensions of disbelief. ESPN really has no control over its own content? Whatever A-Rod and Scott Boras do automatically must be front page news and therefore covered by all of its stellar columnist? The idea that somehow ESPN has no control over its own news cycle and that if A-Rod is in the news its his fault and only his fault? Somehow I have a hard time believing that news coverage is simply that mechanical, that other people, whether they are the editors/columnist harping this or other people who are more cared about the hot stove than the Red Sox championship. But then again that would require thinking which I suppose is well....human.
That is all .....for today....
Sunday, October 28, 2007
1a) Holy Crap. I watched a Trinity College Football Clip (here updated link) If only because it was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life (ranking slightly below the naked hot girl avalanche).
1b) The Sweatervest is Consistent: Yes I know the Big 10 is having a down year and competing with the ACC and Big 12 for worst conference but name your favorite good team that hasn't choked against inferior competition this year? Thought so. Tressel hasn't lost to a non BCS bowl team in over 3 years and proved it again by stomping the remains of Joe Pa in Happy Valley.
2) Georgia really really Hates Florida: Mark Richt, normally mild mannered, told his team if they didn't get an excessive celebration penalty they would run laps. Well the team responded by running out of the field, doing the electric bugaloo, and possibly pissing in Tebow's helmet (where's your messiah now, Gators fan). Oh also rushing for 188 yards and sacking Tebow 6 times (sweet sweet tears). 3 losses for the Gators means game over....
3) Quack Attack and Sun Devils Roll: The Trojans are no longer giving dual pleasure. Oregon and my heisman trophy vote, Dennis Dixon, finished off the Trojans. They are chasing Arizona State and Dennis Erickson (yes I was surprised to hear he wasn't drunk an your local bar too) who beat the Cal Dirty Hippies. Who would've thought the Pac 10 could be decided this week when Oregon hosts Arizona State?
4) Kansas Best Start Since 1909: Man have things changed in Kansas over the past hundred odd years. They now teach evolution, err have electricity, err accept foreigners. Dammit there has to be something different about that state. Ah ha. Coach Mark Mangino's valour jump suit is stylish and his bonus in pie may also be a trend setter.
5) The End is Near: BC's amazing comeback win over V-Tech on the road at night, in the rain, with a full moon means BC is edging even closer to a Championship birth. I now have to revise my belief that V-Tech can stop them. Only on the road at Clemson can keep us from the impeding disaster of a Boston strangehold on Championships. It'll be a dark dark year if they can't be stopped......
Quick NFL Morning Thoughts:
Great stat flashed on my tv only 1 of 43 3-5 teams have made the playoffs. Goodbye playoff hopes Cinci and Chicago...we hardly knew ye. Coach Crennel won back to back games for the first time in his tenure. Who would've thought the Browns would be involved in some of the most exciting games of the year? Crennel is already stocking up on adult diapers to avoid future problems. I want to know what Sean Payton gave the Saints to turn them around. I will use it to begin building my army of ninja manbats, which is probably necessary to complete this dissertation. Giants 6-2, MJ is confused but no longer angry (first time for everything)
Just a quick congrats to everyone. Last week we passed 25,000 visitors to BSD. Not too shabby if I say so myself. Not too shabby.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Yes Gutsy is right it is Festivus. A magical time of year when I can rant and rave at the world and not feel guilty. Frankly once again I have a lot of problems with you people. You would think a new year would bring kindness and gentleness. But you’d be wrong. And probably a douchebag. So who’s on my list this week?
Conan O’Brien: Didn’t see that one coming did you? It’s a festivus miracle. Conan O’Brien bet Joe “I put the smarm in smarmy” Buck a thousand bucks (which I think is worth about 12 euros these days) that he couldn’t drop the phrase “jub jub”. Yes jub jub. So instead of ignoring the World Series like I had hoped I watched through 3 awfully painful innings before Buck, pulled back and dropped the jub jub title on Chris Meyers. Thanks a lot asshole
Rudy Giuliani: The Small Man searching for a balcony decided to drop his native Yankees and root for the Red Sox. I’m still not entirely sure how this is politically helpful but then again I live in the world of sane (a world that Rudy has waved to but never actually inhabited), Maybe its to show that he hates gays, maybe he thinks it’s a warning to Iran, who knows. But switching your allegiance to the arch rivals, you sir, deserve to be drop kicked in the nuts.
Manny Ramirez: Now for awhile I didn’t hold it against Manny that he’s the functional equivalent of the Black Rain Man. An idiot savant that could hit and field but probably couldn’t operate complex things like currency. I have no doubt that Manny doesn’t cut his hair simply because he couldn’t figure out that balls of lint and pieces of string don’t count as actual money. Nonetheless he shouldn’t be on tv. He very well may encourage other people to try to live in the Green Monster or befriend David Ortiz. And that is simply a threat to our national security.
American Football in London: Its not going to work, it hurts the teams that have to travel there (well the professional team going there, the Dolphins, well who knows).
Greg Easterbrook: I agree with everything said in the blogosphere. Umm when did this guy completely and totally lose it? Look MJ hates Boston more than anyone else I know and can no longer legally return there given that incident with the jello, 40 deer and Mit Romney’s hat but Easterbook has gone off to la-la land. The money quote from his recent column (so you don’t have to read it)
Argument for the Indianapolis Colts as paladins who carry the banner of that which is beneficent: Sportsmanship, honesty, modesty, devotion to community, embrace of traditional small-town life, belief in higher power, even love of laughter.
There are so many things wrong with that that my brain literally might shoot out my ears if I try (I can only assume by devotion to community Easterbook is not referring to the gay community as I’m guessing world class humanitarian Tony Dungy might object)
And now for Cheering and Jeering....
Cheers: Games of the week. All College Football. There are a ton of great games. Pick up a beer, flip on the tv. I’d recommend OSU at PSU at night in Happy Valley, also might want to check out Oregon v. USC or Florida v. Georgia at the World’s Largest
Orgy Cocktail Polite Gathering. Hey even go for the noon sampler of West Virginia at Rutgers.
Jeers: To Southern Cal fires. That much is self-explanatory
Jeers: To further tensions in the Middle East. Umm aren’t there enough problems there as is?
And now our Cheers and Jeers gal of the week….Elisabetta Gregoraci
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
As George’s dad said, “I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you're gonna hear about it. You, Kruger. My son tells me your company STINKS!”
Mini-Manwich Matchup of the Week-
Green Bay @ Denver – You know what STINKS? The fact that this is my Manwich game! I can’t believe I’m putting this as the Mini-Manwich, but its slim pickings this week! My other choices were either Indy-CAR, or Wash-Patriots! Anyway, the Favre-Cutler showdown could be interesting, because apparently, the Broncos haven’t given up yet on the season after a surprising Festivus Miracle victory over Pittsburgh last weekend. Green Bay is having a bit of a resurgence this year but if the weather is sloppy in Denver, then the Rocktober will continue. Pick: Denver
Upset of the week / Festivus miracle -
Jack-o @ Tampa – The battle for Florida! Miami has already conceded that they can’t win this year. Only one Florida team can be the best! Jacksonville may not have a decent QB, but there’s nothing they can do, but pray for this Festivus miracle to take place to give them a victory!
Indy @ CAR – CAR, you’re breaking my heart! You’re using a really old QB which doesn’t instill any confidence in me picking your team! However, something shocking should happen before the Pats-Colts meet next weekend…
Cleveland @ St. Louis- The Rams anger me because they are so injured they couldn’t even beat down an NCAA football team! The Browns also anger me, because while they suddenly have a top-5 offense, they also are back to having a 32nd-ranked defense!
NY Giants @ Miami- The Dolphins STINK! They can’t do anything right! They mine as well activate Ricky Williams now that Ronnie Brown is injured!
Detroit @ Chicago- We all knew the Lions couldn’t play defense, but lately, they also can’t play any offense! They STINK! The Bears also can’t play offense or defense! I wouldn’t want to get stuck watching this on Festivus!
Oakland @ Tennessee- Culpepper is breaking my heart! He saved all of his energy for revenge against the Dolphins! C’mon!
Philly @ Minny – Another ugly game! Who do you go with? Which dysfunctional team?
Pitt @ Cincy – Cincy refuses to play defense! They are just praying for a new coach! The Steelers still statistically have the top defense, but they’ve been burned now by the Cardinals and the Broncos!
Houston @ San Diego – Houston can't do anything right! Even when they score 4 touchdowns in the 4th quarter to overcome a 25 point deficit, they still end up leaving too much time on the clock and of course would allow another team to kick 8 field goals!
Pick: San Diego
Buff @ NY Jets – Even when the Jets put up big offensive numbers, they still lose!
New Orleans @ San Fran – Both teams used to be in the NFC West! That’s where they belong! Let’s have another Festivus miracle!
Pick: New Orleans
Washington @ New England – You disappoint me Patriots fans! You believe that your team can beat the Rockies in the playoffs? Clearly, you didn’t get the memo! It’s Rocktober! You can’t stop Rocktober! Your only hope is to minimize the damage and get to a game 7, when it can then be Sox-vember! Editor's Note: This joke was independently created by myself and also independently by BigKennyK (check out his blog if you like), who also believes as a Red Sox fan that the only way to survive is to make it past Rocktober and into Game 7.
Pick: New England
Last Week: 9-5
Manwich: 7-0 (The Colts knocked out Garrard en route to the victory)
Upset of the Week: 3-4 (The Bills took it to the hapless Cobra Commander and the Ravens).
Interesting fact #1: As we all know by now, the Rockies are a perfect 7-0 in the playoffs. They’ve won 10 games in a row (including the regular season), and are on a 21-1 streak since their last loss on September 15th. But did you know that, since the beginning of this 21-1 run, the Rockies have only trailed in 15 of 191 total innings (8%). They’ve only trailed in two innings out of 65 in the playoffs (3%).
Interesting fact #2: Again, we all know that the Rockies have had the longest wait in history – nine days – between clinching the pennant and playing in the World Series. Since the start of divisional play in 1995, only three other teams have had to wait as long as seven days to start the World Series: the 1995 Braves (seven; won), the 1996 Yankees (seven, won), and the 2006 Tigers (seven, lost).
If you shorten the wait to five and six days, you get the following list:
Five days: 1999 Yankees (won), 2000 Mets (lost), 2001 Yankees (lost), 2002 Giants (lost)
Six days: 2001 Diamondbacks (won), 2002 Angels (won), 2005 White Sox (won)
What that tells me is that a five, six, or seven day layoff doesn’t seem to play much of a factor in how a team will fare in the World Series. Teams with exactly five days between the LCS and the World Series are a combined 11-12, teams with exactly six days rest are a combined 12-6, and teams with exactly seven days rest are a combined 9-8. In short, these results yield an inconclusive answer to the question of whether there is such a thing as too long a layoff between the LCS and the World Series.
Perhaps the more appropriate question to ask is what this rest does to teams in Game 1 of their series.
Five days: 2-2
Six days: 2-1
Seven days: 2-1
Again, the long layoff seems to have very little in the way of impact. It seems counterintuitive, given how baseball players are conditioned to play in 162 games in 183 days over a six-month period. And yet, somehow, it hasn’t seemed to have made much of an impact one way or another.
Will the Rockies suffer because they’ve had to wait the longest between post-season games? We’ll find out this week. But, win or lose, I don’t think it’ll be correlated to the fact that they’ve been off for nine days.
You’d think that with those two facts above – that the Rockies have only trailed 8% of the innings played over the past 22 games, and that there’s no reason to believe that an extended layoff should affect the Rockies based on comparable results over the past 12 seasons – that I’d be picking the Rockies...but I’m not.
I think the Red Sox have clear advantages in both starting and relief pitching and I consider the potency of their lineup, as well as their playoff experience, as positive factors in their favor. Colorado has, potentially, a deeper lineup although perhaps not as potent. They certainly play better defense than the Red Sox do. But, as I wrote in my comment to Colonel Sanders’s post:
“[b]y all objective measures, Boston was the best team in baseball from Game 1 to Game 162. Other teams rose up and faded away (the Yanks, who were baseball’s second best team in 2007; the Indians, who were baseball’s third best team) but Boston’s still standing. It’s a testament to their pitching and their potent and concentrated lineup. This Boston team isn’t as good as the 2003 and 2004 editions but I think it is good enough to win the World Series.”
I’m sticking to that. I’m taking the Red Sox in 6.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Back to 4 computer rankings! Anderson & Hester finally is back to updating their website, so I am back to using 4 different computers, none of which use any human bias. I also have included Anderson & Hester’s strength of schedule this week, because I liked what they said on their website about the strength of schedule…
“3. These rankings compute the most accurate strength of schedule ratings. Each team's opponents and opponents' opponents are judged not only by their won-lost records but also, uniquely, by their conferences' strength (see #4).
4. These rankings provide the most accurate conference ratings. Each conference is rated according to its non-conference won-lost record and the difficulty of its non-conference schedule.”
Also, another note, Michigan has creeped up to #17 in this week’s rankings, but it’s very misleading. I’m only looking at whoever the top 20 is in the actual BCS. As a result, Michigan’s computer profile is still much better than USC, Hawaii, and Texas, whom the human voters are all in love with.
1. Boston Col.......1.31........(2)...(68)
3. Ohio St...........2.13........(1)...(62)
4. Arizona St.......2.79........(4)...(48)
5. So. Florida.......5.33.......(10)...(34)
9. Va. Tech.........8.85.........(8)...(49)
11. W. Va..........10.54..........(7)...(67)
15. S. Car.........13.17.........(16)...(35)
C: Torrealba vs. Varitek. Torrealba - 47 runs, 8 HRs, 47 RBIs, .699 OPS, .323 OBP, .255 AVG, Fielding % 991, Passed Balls 4. Varitek - 57 runs, 17 HRs, 68 RBIs, .788 OPS, .255 AVG, .367 OBP, Fielding % .994, Passed Balls 4. The edge has gotta go to Varitek here, he hits for more power, has a pretty similar fielding percentage as Torrealba but doesn't have as cool of a first name and his name could be Grand Moff Tarkin.
1B: Helton vs. Youklis. Helton - 85 runs, 17 HRs, 91 RBIs, .928 OPS, OPS+ 133, .320 AVG, .434 OBP, Fielding % .999, RF9 (Range Factor for nine innings) 10.38. Youklis - 85 runs, 16 HRs, 83 RBIs, 843 OPS, OPS+ 117, .390 OBP, Fielding % 1.000, RF9 8.88. The edge goes to Helton. He is a better in just about every batting category, fielding category and he has far better facial hair and tends to not look like David Wells.
2B: Matsui vs. Pedroia. Matsui - 84 runs, 4 HRs, 37 RBIs, .747 OPS, OPS+ 87, .288 AVG, .342 OBP, Fielding % .992, RF9 5.33. Pedroia - 86 runs, 8 HRs, 50 RBIs, .822 OPS, OPS+ 112, AVG .317, .380 OBP, Fielding % .990, RF9 4.52. This is pretty much an even argument. Matsui is more of a lead off hitter whereas Pedroia has more power. Matsui had 32 steals in 36 attempts. I think the edge is pretty even. Matsui is a better fielder but Pedroia has more pop.
SS: Tulowitzki vs. Lugo. Tulo - 104 runs, 24 HRs, 99 RBIs, .838 OPS, OPS+108, .291 AVG, .359 OBP, Fielding % .987, RF9 5.39. Lugo - 71 runs, 8 HRs, 73 RBIs, .643 OPS, OPS+65, AVG .237, .294 OBP, Fielding % .968, RF9 4.21. The edge has gotta go to Tulo, he has more pop in his bat, is a vacuum at SS and just is all around a better hitter. If you take the SS/2B positions I would still go with an edge to the Rockies both offensive and defensively.
3B: Atkins vs. Lowell. Atkins - 83 runs, 25 HRs, 111 RBIs, .853 OPS, OPS+121, .301 AVG, .367 OBP, Fielding % .971, RF9 2.29. Lowell - 79 runs, 21 HRs, 120 RBIs, .879 OPS, OPS+124, .324 AVG, .378 OBP, Fielding % .961, RF9 2.51. This is pretty evenly split, but I would give a slight edge to Lowell because he has more pop in his bat and has been to the big show before.
LF: Holliday vs. Manny. Holliday - 120 runs, 36 HRs, 137 RBIs, 1.012 OPS, OPS+150, .340 AVG, .405 OBP, Fielding % .990, RF9 1.97. Manny 84 runs, 20 HRs, 88 RBIs, .881 OPS, OPS+126, .296 AVG, .388 OBP, Fielding % .990, RF9 1.72. Holliday has had an MVP season, and could possibly go on a tear in the world series. Manny is one of the most feared righties in my life time but I would give the edge to Holliday.
CF: Taveras/Spilbourghs vs. Crisp/Ellsbury. Am taking the average and total amounts for both groups. Taveras - 104 runs, 13 HRs, 75 RBIs, .798 OPS, OPS+ 100, AVG .309, .365 OBP, Fielding % .984, RF9 2.49. Crisp/Ellsbury - 105 runs, 9 HRs, 78 RBIs, .807 OPS, OPS+ 107, AVG .310, . 362 OBP, Fielding % .994, RF9 3.14. This is a pretty even category too. Both have speeding guys and up and coming youngsters. I think Crisp/Ellsbury have better defense, but you can't look over the speed on the base paths that Tavaras gives you. The one two duo of Taveras/Matsui gives you around 70 steals at the top of the order.
RF: Hawpe vs. Drew. Hawpe - 80 runs, 29 HRs, 116 RBIs, .926 OPS, OPS+ 129, AVG .291, .387 OBP, Fielding % .977, RF9 1.94. Drew - 84 runs, 10 HRs, 64 RBISs, .796 OPS, OPS+105, .270 AVG, .373 OBP, Fielding % .923, RF9 1.82. There is no comparison here, Hawpe had a better offensive year than Drew hands down. He had more power, a better average, is a better fielder and all around a better guy. And he makes 14 million more a year than Hawpe. Who knew you reward medriocity with lots of money, only in Boston.
DH: There is no argument here. Big Papi is one of the best DHs in all of baseball. I don't know who the Rockies will throw out there for the DH, but he won't be as good as Papi.
Starting Pitching: With the postseason veterans of Beckett, Mr. Give My Opinion, Annoying Fuckface, Bleeding Sock who Needs to Join Rush Limbaugh on a Plane with the Big Bopper, you have to give the advantage to the Red Sox. However, I would say that the 3rd and 4th game guys especially since Dice K and Wakefield are going to start out here in Colorado, have to favor the two rookie guys since there is really no humidity (my bloody noses and really dry skin) out here in Colorado. I still give a pretty significant advantage to the Red Sox pitchers.
Relievers: Boston's stats 3.10 ERA, .226 AVG, 1.214 WHIP, 7.59 K/9 IP. Colorado's stats: 3.85 ERA, .256 AVG, 1.299 WHIP, 6.47 K/9 IP. The edge goes to the Red Sox because Richard "Boner" Stabone Papelboner has been lights out this year. He only blew 3 saves all year. Corpas blew 3 but in a far greater amount of time.
Intagibles: Ok, Rocktober, however goofy it sounds has hit this town like a ton of bricks. The Rockies have won 21 of their last 22, they are tied with the Big Red Machine for winning 7 straight games. People are waiting in line like U2 is coming to town to buy tickets. If you watch the games, fans in Colorado have been absolutely crazy. Boston fans have not been as crazy. There is a wave here that I feel that perhaps Bill Simmons felt in 2004 that I don't think is going to stop. The general attitude in the clubhouse is much more collegial in the Rockies clubhouse. These are guys that have played with each other from being drafted by the Rockies, played at Colorado Springs together. Holliday, Hawpe, Atkins, Helton, Tulo all came up in this organization. It just makes sense that they will win.
Another key factor is the score 21-5. That is combined total of runs of the two teams in H2H meetings in June. The Rockies owned the series 2-1. This included 6 runs off Josh Beckett, his first loss of the year. It also included 5 runs off Schilling.
Prediction: Rockies in 7. Holliday will hit a Grand Slam off Manny's head in left to win it, Bill Simmons will try to catch the ball, but he is too busy performing analingus on Tom Brady while Kevin Millar tries to jump in to stop Holliday at the plate, but slips on his bald head.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Why They Will: OSU has slipped back into Tressel ball. The defense is better than last year as is the special teams. Chris "Beanie" Wells has an awesome nickname. Cameron"Ironhead's Son" Hayword does not have a good nickname but is also good.
Why They Won't: Brutal Schedule of at Penn State at Night, Wisconsin, erratic Illinois and up north at the Big House. QB Todd Boekman lacks arm strength, awareness or a central nervousness system which hinders his play.
Why They Will: Possibly the number 1 quarterback in the country (Matt Ryan)
Why They Won't: Night game in Blacksburg (V-Tech) and possible ACC Title Game rematch with V-Tech. Two victories over V-Tech in a month? I don't think so.
Why They Will: Dominating offensive and defensive lines. Les Miles balls are so big they need their own wheel barrel. Only remaining tough game is revenge game against Nick Saban.
Why They Won't: Les Miles I think is hearing voices and its interfering with his clock management. SEC championship game still looms. QB Matt Flynn has been shaky
4) PAC 10 - (Arizona State #4, Oregon #5, USC #12)
Why They Will: Its a round robin tournament, where all 3 still face one another. If one team can sweep, the payoff in the polls and the computers will be huge. Oregon has both ASU and USC at home at the Duck Pond (I assume thats what their stadium is called)
Why They Won't: Equally possible they'll beat each other. Also don't discount Cal or UCLA (who is undefeated in the PAC 10 btw) from ruining everyone's season (possibly by allowing OU to play in the championship game)
Why They Will: Toughest remaining game is instate rival OSU (of the non THE variety). Big 12 Championship game will be against Kansas' Basketball squad or the Missouri team they already thwacked
Why They Won't: Freshman QB Sam Radford has been inconsistent on the road (see almost losing at ISU) so a shocking loss won't be shocking. Computers don't like OU. Neither does MJ
7) West Virginia
Why They Will: High powered offense. Only tough game remaining at Rutgers
Why They Won't: A lot of ground to make up and the easy schedule should keep it from making large leaps.
Why They Will: You really want to bet against everyone else losing at this point?
Why They Won't : You really want to bet that voter's will forget the 48-7 mercy killing LSU performed at the start of the season?
Why They Will: Undefeated Big 12 Champ? Aren't they legally required to be in the championship game?
Why They Won't: So far they've played like the 112th hardest schedule in the nation. Anyone want to bet they'll finish the year undefeated?
10) South Florida
Why They Will: Computers still love them. Only one loss
Why They Won't: The little team that nobody knew lost. Better known two loss teams may very well bypass them
Why They Will: SEC is considered superior to every other conference. Last year's title might give them the voter boost over other 2 loss teams (heck some one loss teams)
Why They Won't: Still have to play at the Old Ball Coach's home turf. No guarantee they make the SEC Championship game
Friday, October 19, 2007
Check it out, if you like Mad Libs you will love this.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
"Andrea, this is California. Blondes are like the state flower or something." - Steve Sanders
"Everyone here looks like they stepped out of a music video. I don't even have the right hair." - Brenda Walsh
David: Why? So people can glance at it and then throw it in the garbage?
Brandon: No, so people can get some idea about who he was.
David: Look, he was a jerk, okay? He was a jerk who blew himself away, that's who he was. You don't know. You left early. You missed out on the fun part when he picked up a loaded gun and twirled it around like he was Wyatt Earp. You weren't there to see him goof up and bleed all over his mom's Persian rug.
Brandon: David, the microphone is on.
David: I don't care. No-one gave a rat's ass about Scott until he died. And I was the worst one of all! He was my best friend and I dropped him! Because he wasn't cool like you or Kelly or Steve.
David: So they're looking at me. So what? They've been looking at me for days, Brandon! "Oh, poor David, is he going to be okay? I hope he hasn't cracked up yet." I can't even walk through the halls without someone in my face trying to cheer me up like they're my new best friend! Well what about my old best friend? It doesn't matter what you write about him in that paper, Brandon. It doesn't matter what you say about someone once they're gone. What matters is how you treat them when they're still here.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Football in America is a man's man sport. Your arm falls out the socket. Tape it up and get back in there. Break your leg. Walk it off. We revel in the hits, the brutality, and toughness of the game. But that sometimes is not enough. Sometimes we need more. Mustaches complete the image. However contrary to public opinion mustaches aren't always on the toughest of hombres. They have a wide variety of purposes. Sometimes they accentuate the toughness like horns on a rhino or laser beams on sharks. Others hide the lack of toughness like a peacock's feathers or Rudy Giulani's smile. So what are the categories of mustache's in football?
The Mustache of Power: Bill Cowher's mustache exemplifies the mustache of power. It bristles with rage. It had its own will power. I'm pretty sure that mustache could do pushups if need be. I mean just look at it. Its like a porcupine on HGH. Men with this mustache should be feared and obeyed.
The Mustache of Competence: Example of this belongs to Purdue's Joe Tiller. It says yeah I can't compete with the Alpha dogs but I can get the job done. You can set your watch to a mustache like that. In fact a little known fact is Tiller's mustache wakes him up every morning at 5:45 on the dot.
The Mustache of Uncertainty: This belongs to Minnesota's Brad Childress. It hides more than reveals. Is Childress a professional coach or a crazed sex offender?Will his mustache tell him to give Purple Jesus the ball more or let some other schlump get the hand off? You just never know what to expect with a mustache like that. Childress probably shouldn't be trusted until his mustache can be deciphered.
The Mustache of Rectal Exams: This belongs to Dave Wannstedt. Its a scientific fact that this mustache is mainly used to examine Wannstedt's rectum as that's where his head is most of the time. Most mustache's endow the wearer with some sort of power but not this type. Wannstedt has made catastrophic decision after idiotic decision and yet gets jobs and keeps the ones he has. Its an unsolvable mystery that has only been topped by Kevin Costner's ability to get more movie roles. However one thing is clear, his mustache says that he has one clean colon.
Bonus Mustache: The Mustache of Wisdom: Some mustaches endow their owner with a magic third eye that let them think deep thoughts. Tom Friedman has one of the seven known mustache's of wisdom.
Cheers: To the games of the week. For college watch for Rutgers v. South Florida, LSU v. Auburn Kentucky v. Florida, Michigan v. Fighting Alumni (Illinois), and Pros Indy v. Jacksonville and Pitt v. Denver. Also something about a baseball game(s)
Cheers: To the Fall of Troy. For the past 4 odd years USC hath bestrode the college football landscape like a colossus. Well two lost offensive coordinators and a lack of heisman trophy recruits and team looks suddenly vulnerable. This year's team not only stands at the precipice for being out of the national championship conversation but as Pac 10 Champ. Short of a miracle job by freshman QB Mark Sanchez, their reign is over out West.
Cheers: To news that Mark Everett is walking. Small steps buddy. Small steps.
Jeers: To the Atlanta Thrasher (That's a NHL Team) fired their coach after 6 games. 6 games! I'm sorry that should never ever happen.
Cheers: to Kenny Lofton for setting the all time playoff stolen base record.
Your Youtube Clip: The Deer Hunter (Russian Roulette Scene) As EDSBS noted being in the top of the college polls is basically like spinning the gun. Mao. Pick up the gun and hope for the best. Mao
Fun Fact that Depresses Publius: Say Hello Turkish Soldiers in Iraq and resulting increase in gas prices.
And your C&J gal of the week.....Carolyne Murphy
Manwich Matchup of the Week
Indy @ Jacksonville- I’m really torn over this game. However, the Colts had a bye week to prepare for this game. I looked back, and since Dungy joined the Colts in 2002, they’ve won every game except for one after a bye week – when in 2004 they lost to Jacksonville! However, the Jags have yet to face one potent offense yet this season, so I’m expecting some shell shock. It'll be just like when Bayside beat Valley in football AND chess.
Upset of the Week
Baltimore @ Buff- Return to Buffalo for Willis McGahee! I guarantee you there will be some boos raining down. It’s like when AC Slater tried to be a DJ on KKTY as a sportscaster. He was awful I tell you. I’m going with the Bills, only because I think Kyle Boller is starting.
Arizona @ Washington- Now that the Cardinals lost Leinart and probably Kurt Warner, it ain’t gonna be fun this weekend… there’s really not much else to say about this game, other than the fact that Warner’s wife is ugly. She probably would retaliate against us for calling her ugly, and then the following lines could occur:
“Slater, haven't you heard of the Women's Movement?”
Slater: Sure...”Put on something cute and MOVE it into the kitchen."
Atl @ New Orleans- Finding out that Vick wasn’t playing this year was very shocking to coach Petrino. But it wasn’t as much of a shock as what Screech went through once…
Screech: Zack, something terrible has just happened.
Zack: You found out "Alf" was a puppet?
Screech: He is?
Pick: New Orleans
Minny @ Dallas- I wonder if Tony Romo follows the AC Slater rules to pleasing women?
Jessie: Slater, since we're together, I think we should share the household chores.
Slater: Sure, you cook & I'll eat.
New England @ Miami- Zack: Every time I call her she's washing her hair! Who washes their hair six times a day?
Slater: You do!
Do you think Tom Brady does that with his hair?
Pick: New England
San Fran @ Giants- Now that the G-men have won a number of games in a row, Eli thought he’d try out AC Slater’s favorite pickup line:
Slater: Hey, mama, wanna have a burger with a real man?
Tampa @ Detroit- I heard that this nugget of wisdom is posted in Coach Chucky’s office…
Slater: [talking to Jessie] Guys are great at math. It's just a shame you weren't born a man.
Tennessee @ Houston- In honor of old-man Kerry Collins possibly starting this weekend for the Titans…
Mr. Belding: Hey, now I can identify with that. This may come as a surprise to you, but when I was your age, I wasn't... well, you know... the hunk I am now!
KC @ Oakland – Is this relevant? Probably not…
Lisa: Well, Screech, maybe you're pregnant.
Screech: Oh, don't be ridiculous, Lisa. I'm not even married.
Jets @ Cincy- In the words of Mr. Belding: “Hey, hey, hey. *What* is going *on* here?” Answer: I have absolutely no idea! The Bengals are now 1-7 in their last 8 games! They are one of the worst teams in the league I suppose. Yet, it seems like this is another winnable game. I clearly have a problem.
Chicago @ Philly- Rex Grossman is still a QB. And in the words of AC Slater…
Lisa: What's wrong Kelly?
Kelly: Men, especially Zack Morris.
Slater: Hey, don't judge us by our worst specimen.
St. Louis @ Seattle- Every week for the Rams has been similar. They play with fear! It’s like when Jessie Spano was all hyped up on those caffeine pills. “I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I’m so… SCARED!”
Pitt @ Denver- I wonder if Roethlisberger treated school the way Zack Morris did?
Zack: I like school. It's a good way to kill time between weekends. It gives me five days to plan my Saturday night.
Last Week: 7-6
Manwich: 6-0 (The Patriots laid down another smackdown)
Upset of the Week: 2-4 (Eagles won a crap-fest versus the Jets).
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
As last season progressed, I realized that penalizing for losses and strength of schedule was duplicative of the computer rankings themselves, and by the end of the season, I dropped the strength of schedule component. So, this year, I’ve decided the most fair thing to do is just use straight computer rankings to determine the Skynet Championship Series, and also eliminate the additional penalty for losing a game. I’ve also decided to include the top 20 teams this year, mainly because it appears that division 1 is destined to have all one-loss teams. Just like last year though, I have eliminated two of the current computer rankings, the Billingsley ranking and the Massey rating, because they both start with a Human ranking of the teams 1-117. No human bias is allowed in the SCS!
While no human bias is allowed in the SCS, the Colley rankings have a SWEET new feature where you can add new games and remove previous games to figure out what the rankings might be! No human bias is involved, but you can still play god from your very own computer!
So, to be clear, here’s how I devise the standings each week:
1) I take the top 20 of the BCS standings.
2) I input each of the top 20's computer standings from each computer ranking.
3) I let excel calculate the standard deviation for each computer ranking distribution of the top 20. Then, Excel normalizes the distribution, and fits EACH computer ranking onto a 1-20 scale.
4) Finally, the normalized-computer averages are determined (i.e. Florida is ranked 5.76, 2.55, 2.21, 5.77 in 4 of the polls, which is an average of 4.07, which equals their SCS ranking. This means that according to the polls, they are approximately the 4th-best team in the country).
Without further ado, here are the week 1 standings:
Editor’s note: there are now only 3 computer rankings included, because Anderson refuses to publish his rankings this year.
2007 - Week of 10/14
1. So. Florida......0.45........(2)
3. S. Carolina......2.69........(6)
5. Arizona St.......4.41........(8)
6. Boston Col.......4.51........(3)
7. Ohio St............5.55.........(1)
9. Va. Tech.........9.42.........(11)
10. W. Va. ..........9.77..........(9)
Over in Cleveland....we got the beer man rooting us on. And we all know when you're drinking the High Life, your living in the high life. ESPN, he's coming to take away your High Life beer. 12 dollar burgers and rumors about Torre...you guys must be crazy
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Why you ask? I'm guaranteeing that either South Florida or OSU will lose before the end of the season. And I've already placed Colonel's house as collateral for that bet. Yes, the only thing standing between my last strand of sanity and joining MJ's Boston Massacre/Family Fun Sepuku Day is Virginia Tech (How much sports love can one city receive. Who do I have to pray to stop the 24-7 tongue bathing of Boston? Will Simmons be able to fluff Youklis, Garnett, Ryan and Brady at the same time? )
I just needed an image to cleanse the idea of the possibility of multiple Boston Championships. Thank you Arizona State (h/t deadspin)
Week 6: Nation Still Held Hostage: New England continues to smash the opposition. The latest team to fall to Belichek's rage the formerly 5-0 Cowboys. Is there no stopping their offensive juggernaut? Short of Brady being placed on the injured reserve with a case of buyer's remorse the only questions remaining will be the number of records the Pats shatter (Manning's TD mark, St.Louis' offensive output, Miami's undefeated season). Anytime a team has gotten close they've just upped their play. Its not a classy team as they ran up the score on Dallas. Or that the fact that Rodney Harrison went into the stands to shiv Tony Romo's mom. They are the football equivalent of great white sharks...just a remorseless killing machine and only susceptible to garlic and pure silver. And its probably is resulting in injuries to our nation's children.
Quick Hits (or analysis that Pete King couldn't figure out with a lifetime supply of StarBucks): Big Papi and Manny are good. This understatement has been brought you to by the Law Firm of No, Shit, and Sherlock. I think baseball might have the worst announcers of any sport. I really would prefer to have those crazy bugs from Star Trek II gnaw on my brain then listen to Joe Buck. I can't believe I'm typing this but the ultimate Dirt Dog, Trot Nixon, can still swing a bat. Kansas might win the Big 12 North without defeating a single ranked team. This should disqualify them for a shot at the BCS. Arizona State is also undefeated thanks to coach Dennis Erickson, who is on his 4rth team and doesn't look his age (he's actually 242). If Rockies fans kill Dinger I will root against them till my dying day. He rules! #1 ranked Buckeyes? 5 straight games versus teams with winning records will show if its deserved.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
* * * * * *
Someone better hire this guy, otherwise his brain is going to waste.