Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Buy Kenny Mayne's book

This morning on the KQRS morning show from the Twin Cities, Kenny Mayne was invited on to talk about his new book, and things didn't go so well. The problem, you see, is that the KQ morning show is led by bumbling idiots.
Here's what happened. Kenny was on, it was an obviously bad connection, and he was maintaining his typical, dry, deadpan sense of humor that has earned him such acclaim. Suddenly, he was cut off. This lead to a rant about what a "prick" Kenny Mayne is. How dare he hang up on KQ like that? I mean, how is it possible that someone could have a bad phone line? Perhaps, since he had an intestinal problem, as the show's Terri Traen later pointed out, he had to make a mad dash to the restroom. In any event, Kenny is not a "prick". But this is the KQ M.O. If you don't have the same sense of humor (i.e. blatant, racist or scatological humor), or if you aren't overt and gregarious, you're a prick.
They gave an example of how he was flown out to Los Angeles to be interviewed to be host for ABC's Power of 10. He had the audacity to turn the job down, because he didn't want it. Even after the show had flown him out there at a cost of like, 1000 bucks! That's.... less than they give away per episode. God, Kenny. Such a jerk, turning down a job like that. No wonder everyone but some idiots in Minneapolis loves you.
They went further to talk about how much they hated the "cross eyed guy" or the "guy with the glasses" because they were "too cool for school". Again, their issue seems to be with guys who deliver highlights in a distinct manner that's both dry and laid back. Sometimes Scott can be a bit bombastic, and van Pelt is incredibly easy going, but still, forgive them for knowing what their doing (just keep Stu Scott away from print, and I don't have a problem with him). I will take a bunch catch phrases and informed sports journalism over bluster, a holier than thou attitude, and lazy journalism any day.
In any event, buy Kenny Mayne's book. Hopefully I've done my part to salvage his reputation here in Minnesota.

EDIT: Now, you can listen to it! The interview starts at the 18 minute mark.

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Links of the Day 4/30/08

If you're into the whole "Sports Blogs versus Main Stream Media" rumble that's been going on outside the scope of this site, there was sort of a debacle on HBO last night. I didn't get to see it, unfortunately. Also, if you read several other blogs, this was a pretty cool piece on Ballhype by the Postmen.

The Tigers got off to such a rough start this season that 7 year olds in the bleachers are drinking.

There was quite the uproar over the former Michigan player transferring to Ohio State, but I think if Scott Martin transfers to Notre Dame, it could be the same sort of reaction, just confined to a much, much smaller area. (Thanks to Boiled Sports)


Jay Glazer is CrAzY

Jay Glazer is a total nut. Just wacky. Just ask him. In his interview with A.J. Daulerio over at Deadspin, he said exactly three times that he was "demented", another two times that he was "a little off", and once that he had a "kind of wacky personality". So clearly, Jay Glazer is nuts. It manifests itself by giving levelheaded reports from across the NFL, perpetually getting scoops and being the most tolerable member of the Fox NFL team.
Perhaps he really is this crazy, demented guy and I just can't tell because I've only seen him immediately after Terry Bradshaw. Maybe we should worry that he works with Bradshaw and STILL thinks he's demented.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Links of the Day 4/29/08

I don't know what it means, but 2 people sent me this headline, thinking I might be interested in the span of about 20 minutes. Uh....

Since Steve is a Sox fan, and he's the current Victoria Times golden boy, here's a little good news for his team. Paul Konerko isn't going anywhere.

More good news for the White Sox. There's something wrong with Francisco Liriano. The consensus seems to be that something changed with his mechanics.


Come to think of it, Mewelde DOES sound Slovakian.

We had some fun yesterday with the draft, didn't we? Making fun of the Vikings' picks is always a good time, but there was bountiful bad draftsmanship across the NFC North (unless you ask this guy). Take, for example, the Bears, who picked Matt Forte, running back from Tulane with their second pick. ESPN says this was a stretch for a guy who comes from a school whose best running back in their history was Mewelde Moore.
Yes, the Mewelde Moore that played for the Vikings for the past couple of years, primarily as a kick returner and third down back, and is now with the Steelers. The Mewelde Moore that was... born in Slovakia? In case someone alters the page to say something crazy like he was actually born in Hammond, Louisiana, here's what that page looks like. Wow, pair him with Rashard Mendenhall, pound for pound the best Dutch* running back ever, and that's quite the United Nations going on back there.
Of course since Mewelde is an elite Slovakian athlete, on par, some would argue with Pavol Demitra or Marian Gaborik or all the other hockey players out there, he was on the men's ice hockey team this year. Apparently they won something, judging by this obviously authentic photo.
* Probably as Dutch as Mewelde Moore is Slovakian.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Links of the Day 4/28/08

The Vikings were really picking only backups. They legitimately think they have a shot this year. That's what Kevin Seifert says anyways.

A team that knows what it's doing, the Colts, are looking for a secondary logo. I voted for the horse.

Lastly, a fun little site for everyone. What were the best pinball machines designed in honor of celebrities ever created?


Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Packers are still the team to beat in the NFC Central

Steve mentioned it when 49ers picked Kentwan Balmer Saturday. Sometimes, teams are picking players so their team can win now. Mike Nolan, on the hot seat in San Francisco clearly subscribed to that thinking when drafting Balmer, feeling that a dominant defense this season would get him the wins needed to get over the hump, buying him more time to develop an offense. The Vikings, who traded several picks for NFL sacks leader seem to be of the same opinion. Here's the problem. They're wrong.
Instead of noticing the glaring need to develop a passing game of any sort, they tried to fix a problem that, frankly, wasn't much of a problem in the first place. They had a poor pass defense, statistically, because they had such an elite run defense. Offenses had no choice but to take to the air. They were going against Darren Sharper, one of the top safeties in the league, and Antoine Winfield, one of the best corners, but if you throw it enough, every once in a while, you're going to complete something downfield. Call it the Brett Favre principle.
So, the Vikings signed Madieu Williams and traded for Jared Allen (who the Pioneer Press accurately if unfortunately compared to Carl Eller), giving up most of their high value picks for Allen. You would think that this would satisfy Brad Childress's asinine goal of building a defense and completely destroying his offense. I figured that they would draft one of the top receivers still on the board in the second round, or perhaps a quarterback. That's when the draft got hilarious.
The Vikings gave up their fourth round pick and swapped second rounders with the Eagles in order to jump ahead of divisional foes Chicago and Detroit. Surely, this meant they were going to select a quarterback, since thats what the Bears clearly needed, and the Lions could use a youngster behind John Kitna. Then the Vikings picked another safety, Tyrell Johnson from Arkansas State. Not even the good Arkansas.
The Vikings traded up to get a player that is not going to help their team this year (barring injury) and totally gave up their draft picks. This indicates that, since they have no youth to build on, they think they can win this year. And the final piece, the one they needed to move up to get was a back up safety. Yup. No other problems. A nickelback is the solution to all of their problems.
So, everyone in their right minds thought that the Vikings traded up to get a quarterback, and they didn't. So that meant the Bears had to, right? Nay. They go for a running back nobody has ever heard of, outside of Tulane University. So, then, the Lions surely were going to -- nope, inside linebacker. The analysts all said this was a Matt Millen pick, which means "retarded" to most of us, but to them probably meant inside linebacker. So let's review. The Vikings traded up to draft a player that was not needed ahead of two teams that were also needing the same thing the Vikings REALLY needed, then those other two teams drafted players at other positions anyways. Then, about 15 picks later, the Packers picked Brian Brohm. Even if Brohm and Aaron Rodgers work out at quarterback, they can trade one down the road. So, yeah, the Packers are probably the only team in the conference that has a front office that prepares for the draft in a way other than sniffing glue. That should give them the conference next year. And several years after that.
(Yes, the Vikings drafted John David Booty in the 5th round, but if anyone believes anything other than that being a lucky break, I commend you for your optimism.)

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Links of the Day 4/27/008

No, no Links yesterday what with the live blog. Speaking of live blog...

No way in hell we would do a Day 2 love blog. Ugh. Who in their right minds...?

Since I'm in the business of linking to Canadians lately, how about another one? The Blue Jays are off to a crummy start, but are they that bad? Maybe if they started less than three catchers a game...

The "Tipster" to whom Kevin at BMR refers is actually himself. He reads Barry Melrose' Wiki entry daily.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pick #31, New York Giants - Kenny Phillips, S, Miami

Finally, we pull someone from the U. I love when they introduce themselves on Monday Night Football. The Giants picked a safety which was definitely their need, and seriously, Kenny Phillips is a solid, solid football name. It elicited all sorts of cheers from the fans in the stands, which was nice to see. The best sign came on the previous pick though, from what I believe was a Giants fan. "The J-E-T-S can spell".

That'll do it for today. This thing went a heck of a lot faster than I expected, which is good, because I got things to do.. Thanks for joining us!

Pick #30 - New York Jets - Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue

This was pretty much a perfect storm. The Jets move up, taking the Packers pick, leading to cheers everywhere. Then, the Jets go ahead and do the worst thing they could possibly do in the eyes of their fans and take a tight end. If you go back through old Jets draft video, it's always booing of tight ends like, say Kyle Brady. Fantastic. Also, the tight end was Dustin Keller from Purdue, so he has no problem playing for a perpetual disappointment.

Steve's Comments: I'm a Purdue season ticket holder, and I absolutely love Dustin Keller. It's going to suck going to the games this year and not seeing him play. Unlike just about every other receiver I've seen play at Purdue, he can actually catch the ball, and his ability to break tackles is phenomenal. I don't think he will be as dominating as he was in college, but if the Jets use him right (by catching a lot more than blocking) he could be a huge help to whatever struggling quarterback they wind up starting.

Pick #29 - San Francisco 49ers - Kentwan Balmer, DE, North Carolina

The 49ers offense was easily the most pathetic in the NFL last year. So what do they do? They draft a defensive lineman. I think Steve Young did make a good point though. There is a lot of pressure on Mike Nolan to make the playoffs this year, and the offense is very far away from a playoff unit. So the quickest way he could possibly get the team in would be to further bolster the defense, which could shutdown the rest of the crap in their division that I mentioned with the Seahawks pick, and get them a few more wins. One thing I will say about their offense is in 2006, with offensive coordinator legend Norv Turner running things, they were pretty feisty. Last year, they had a joke of a coordinator. I think he was a high school coach or something. Now that he's long gone and they brought in another real coordinator, Mike Martz, maybe they will be able to finally put something together this year.

Pick #28 - Seattle Seahawks - Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC

Steve Young wanted the Seahawks to get a tight end, which could have been Dustin Keller from Purdue, but instead they went with a defensive lineman, like just about everyone else in the draft so far. Bolstering the defense is very, very important for the Seahawks. In the NFC West alone, they have to deal with unstoppable offensive forces like Kurt Warner and Cardinals, Shaun Hill and the 49ers, and Stephen Jackson's bulging disk and the Rams. Niners are on the clock, we're switching up so I can do this next one.

Pick # 27 - San Diego Chargers - Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona

With veteran wideouts, a decent quarterback and an elite running back, the Chargers needed to look to supplement their defense. They supplemented the wrong part though. They needed to bolster their abysmal run defense with a good defensive tackle, or perhaps a safety. Unfortunately for them, there were none available, and they ended up with some mediocre safety to play nickel back. Nice work, Chargers.

Pick #26 - Houston Texans - Duane Brown, OT, Virginia Tech

Remember the commercial from the 2003 draft where the showed David Carr taking a snap from absolutely no offensive line? 5 years later, the Texans finally take a hint, and get an offensive lineman. Or did they? Mel Kiper, the guru of the draft, referred to Brown about 7 times as a tight end. Already slipping in the first round? This draft can get entertaining.

Pick # 25 - Dallas Cowboys - Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida

Oh boy, what an exciting day for Ed Werder! Trades and multiple first round picks, and he's the only one that gets to report on them! The last pick, Felix Jones led to this incisive analysis from pink tie wearing Keyshawn Johnson "Great pick, because they replace a Jones with a Jones." So obviously, they wanted to save money on jerseys. Then Chris Mortenson said, "They wanted a running back, so...." Yeah! Earn that money Mort! Anyways, this can't be a bad pick, picking aconsidering they gave Jacques Reeves significant playing time last year. Jacques fricking Reeves.

Pick #24 - Tennessee Titans - Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina

I thought the Titans would go with a WR here to give Vince Young some much needed help, but instead they took Chris Johnson to pair up with LenDale White. Johnson is a little guy, but at the scouting combine he ran a 4.24 40-yard dash. It doesn't matter that he's small if no one can catch him, right? I still am a little surprised with this choice though, since Kiper didn't see him going to sometime in the 2nd round. Maybe the Titans have their eye on another WR they think will drop.

Pick # 23 - Pittsburgh Steelers - Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois

Rashard Mendenhall had the only cute girlfriend I've seen thus far, so it's disappointing to see him go, but I think he is the best player of African American descent with a Dutch last name to get drafted this year. He's fast, undersized, a solid workhorse and -- The Steelers just drafted Willie Parker again, didn't they? I think they did. The biggest advantage of this draft so far is that the time is 10 minutes, so Berman doesn;t have time to think of a pun for "Mendenhall".

Pick #22 - Dallas Cowboys - Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas

Jones from Arkansas drafts from Jones from Arkansas. I think this is pretty good pick, and am also proud of them for not falling into the Mendenhall trap. Didn't believe me earlier when I said he was going to be bust? Apparently, the rest of the NFL feels the same way as me so far. The only thing that worries me is the last time 2 RB from the same school were picked in the first round, Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown, it didn't go so well. I loved the ferocious boos from the fans as Goodell walked up to the podium. Even as Super Bowl champs, the Giants fans still can't stand the Cowboys.

Pick #21 - Atlanta Falcons - Sam Baker, OT, USC

Let's seem with this trade and pick, (the Falcons acquired the pick from the 'skins, who Steve theorized that they acquired Mike Vick), I know have the opportunity to cover three trades, 4 straight offensive linemen and three guys from USC. I pretty much am tired of watching highlight reels of blocking. Holy crap, he got in that guys way again. Oh man, he did it again. Wow. Fortunately, this is what Baker looks like, keeping me entertained. Also, apparently the Redskins have moved past the Sean Taylor tragedy, moving out of the 21st pick.

Pick #20 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas

Apparently, the Bucs were starting to feel left out in the whole Pac-man Jones situation, and wanted one of their own. With Roger Goodell as the commish, its always a roll of the dice to take a guy like Talib, because you never know when he could get suspended for a year. I have never been to Tampa, but I imagine there are more places to get into trouble there than Lawrence, KS. On the flip side, they may have selected the best DB in the draft and he could be a huge star for Chucky. By the way, how awesome is it when your coach is larger than a big round mascot?

Pick #19 - Carolina Panthers - Jeff Otah, OT, Pitt

After the 19th pick, the Eagles fans booed, since they had traded the Panthers the pick, and the Panthers had the audacity to go out and pick a high quality offensive tackle. This was followed by more of the fans grading the pick an F, which was more vehemently disagreed with (in my opinion too. Someone has to block for Jonathan Stewart). My favorite part of the pick though, was when Keyshawn and Steve Young would not shut up, even though the crowd was staring reverently at the men in uniform on stage for the NFL's customary salute to the troops. Gimme the damn spotlight!

Pick #18 - Baltimore Ravens - Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware

Well, Sal Paolantonio is on my TV, so the Eagles are on the clock....wait the Ravens just picked! The Eagles must have ran out of time! Wait a second, I think he was actually talking about the Ravens...could be the biggest surprise of draft day. This is an interesting pick. You have a local college guy going to a team absolutely cursed at QB since, well, forever. A lot of times D-1AA guys become stars after being drafted in a low round, so its interesting to see a guy at this level go in the first round. Now that "offensive genius" Brian Billick has been fired, the Ravens finally have a chance to have a good offense again.

Pick # 17 - Detroit Lions - Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College

So, ESPN had this pick go happen while we were on an Iron Man commercial. Wonderful. With a name like "Gosder Cherilus" I don't see how he will be anything but ignored in Detroit. The fans gave the pick an F, which everyone felt bad about but nobody really disagreed with, and Boomer said something about classwork. Poor Detroit fans. Also, it's nice to see that the Cardinals and Lions are still picking back to back after all these years.

Pick #16 - Arizona Cardinals - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State

Wow that was a long title. The Cardinals draft the villain from the new Terminator TV show. But seriously, I'm tired of all the talk about how the Cardinals are "turning the corner" every year. Give me a break. The Cardinals are the Cardinals, and they never, ever turn the corner. They have made the playoffs 1 time since 1947. 1 time! But still, for some reason, this same discussion comes up every single year. Oh, and they have a QB controversy between Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner again this year.

Pick #15 - Kansas City Chiefs - Brandon Albert, G, Virginia

The Chiefs traded up a couple of spots in order to get what was said to be one of the top offensive linemen in the draft. He'll likely be a tackle in the pros, giving the Chiefs more of the support staff that they needed. This goes with the pick of Glenn Dorsey earlier. They love their fat guys, apparently, in Kansas City. That being said, what's the deal with two guys from Virginia going in the top 15? Shouldn't they have been better than 9-4 last year?

Pick #14 - Chicago Bears - Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt

Wow, I have to write about another offensive lineman. This may not be a bad pick for the Bears. I was almost sure they would go with Rashard Mendenhall here, since he is from the Big Ten, specifically Illinois. Maybe the Bears finally learned a lesson from other horrible Big Ten running back failures for them like Anthony Thomas and Curtis Enis. Mark my words, I think Mendenhall is going to be a huge bust, especially if he goes to a team that likes to throw to their running backs. He just can't catch. Back on Williams, he could be used to block for either Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton or open holes for Cedric they're going to suck again....

Pick #13 - Carolina Panthers - Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon

Why are the announcers so nice this year? Seriously, Kiper immediately said that that this was a good pick, despite the fact that this wasn't even the best running back available, going to a team that didn't REALLY need a running back. I'm flabbergasted. Worst pick thus far in the draft. Of course, the Panthers have historically been a fan of guys with totally ruined knees, so I guess it's a good fit.

Pick #12 - Denver Broncos - Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State

The Broncos draft a Bronco. Seems like a good fit to me. The Broncos time honored system of a strong running game anchored by great offensive line should keep going strong for a while. I make that statement based on the assumption that Clady is good, because I don't know much about him. But hey, he's a big white dude from Boise State, so that sounds about right for a lineman. EDIT: Ryan Clady is not white. I told you I didn't know much about him, didn't I? That proves I need to be able to at least look at TV while I'm frantically typing

Pick #11 - Buffalo Bills - Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy

There was talk that there could be a corner back coming out in the top 10, but here at 11, the Bills nab the first. I think this will start a run on defensive backs, as the top four or so are all fairly even. If one goes, why not three more? Lucky for NFL too that the Bills played better than they should have. With all the injury problems on the team, they definitely should have been about 3-13, picking first. The NFL never wants the Bills in the headlines.

Side note. Does the stage sort of look like... certain naughty part?

Pick #10 - New England Patriots - Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee

We're stupid if we question the decision making of the mighty Patriots, right? It is pretty obvious the Patriots need help for their ancient, stroke victimized, linebacker crew, and that's why I had them going with Rivers, but I figured they gave up that idea by trading down, but they went with a guy that was rated as a very late first rounder. Chris Berman made a point to say the Patriots could get penalized next year for "holding the mayo." The TV is now on mute for a while.

Pick #9 - Cincinnati Bengals - Keith Rivers, LB, USC

So, it turns out that I'm only allowed to write if a Trojan is picked. Sure. The Bengals defense has absolutely blown, and I think Kirk Herbstreit had the best analysis: "We'll probably never hear from Rivers again now that he's in Cincinnati." Which brings me to another question. Why are there two desks? Do Herbstreit and Kiper not get along? I'm more intrigued by this than Keith Rivers and his character, frankly.

Pick #8 - Jacksonville Jaguars - Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida

Now all of a sudden, its a trade and defensive lineman bonanza! The Jaguars must have given away a lot to move all the way up to #8, only to take kind of a stretch of a pick. This leads me to believe that the Patriots are primed to take Leodis McKelvin, since Keith Rivers is probalby going to the Bengals now. The Ravens are obviously heartbroken over not getting Matt Ryan, and their QB woes continue....

Pick #7 - New Orleans Saints - Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC

What's up kids! It's me, Ryan! No, not new Atlanta Falcon Matt Ryan, regular Ryan. Turns out the Saints traded with the New England Patriots for this pick. I'd like to point out that I had Sedrick Ellis, who is the best player available at this point, going at the 7th spot. The Saints are well served by getting some defensive support, since they've spent so much time on their offense the last couple of years. From here on out, Steve and I will be alternating picks, and there has been a trade with the Jaguars moving up for the next pick. Good luck Steve!

Pick #6 - New York Jets - Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State

Whew, Ryan just got home from work, so now we'll start alternating picks after this one. The Jets fans give a rare approval to Gholston, and I think its well deserved. He was a beast and college and looked extremely impressive at the scouting combine in February. They also got the chance to snatch him away from the hated Patriots, so that's always a good feeling. Ryan and I are split on this next pick, we'll see how it goes. I'm thinking they help out their ridiculously old LB crew and Ryan is going with Sedrick Ellis

Pick #5 - Kansas City Chiefs - Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU

A lot of people thought the Chiefs were going to trade this pick, but when the Falcons decided to take Matt Ryan, it put Dorsey right in their laps, and they couldn't pass it up. Why not take the #1 rated player at #5. What makes this interesting as well is with the Raiders just taking Darren McFadden, the Chiefs responded with his old SEC rival Dorsey to try to stop him. Jets are on the clock, and I'm already sick of Chris Berman's voice.

Pick #4 - Oakland Raiders - Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas

Looks like Al Davis got his guy, and the Jet fans are enraged! I love it. What would make someone like the Jets? I would think I would understand as a White Sox fan, but that's a north side/south side thing. The Giants and Jets play in the same freaking stadium! Anyways, McFadden is an unbelievable talent, but he has a TON of baggage. Bar Fights, paternity lawsuits, mom is a crack addict...but this will be a good test to see what kind of man he is, if he can leave his sketchy past behind and behave himself in the NFL. The Raiders staff can go enjoy a round of golf or something now. They are done picking until tomorrow

Pick #3 - Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College

Silly me for predicting the Falcons would make a smart pick in this draft. I think Ryan is nowhere near good enough to be valued at pick #3 in the draft. I think it would have made a lot more sense for the Falcons to go with Dorsey here and take their chances on a QB in the 2nd round, where they could have gotten a Brian Brohm or Joe Flacco (definitely not sold on Chad Henne). I love how the media always plays off how people like to betray Arthur Blank, which makes me wonder how Ryan could do it, beyond crappy play. I guess I'll go with a fire set by Ryan that burns down Blank's house when he comes to Atlanta for his post-draft press conference.

Pick #2 - St. Louis Rams - Chris Long, DE, Virginia

As Howie Long's son, this kid definitely has the bloodline to be a superstar in this league, and the Rams could always use help on defense. This makes things pretty interesting at the 3rd pick. The Falcons could take Mel Kiper's top rated player, Glenn Dorsey, or do they go with Matt Ryan to fill the gaping hole they have at QB. This pick also makes things less awkward for the Raiders, who now do not have to choose Darren McFadden over one of their Hall of Famers' sons.

Pick #1 - Miami Dolphins - Jake Long, OT, Michigan

What a shock! The Dolphins pick Jake Long with the first pick. At least they didn't make everyone wait 15 minutes like the Texans did 2 years ago. I really think this was just a value pick for the Dolphins. They need to rebuild, and took the cheapest big name they could get out of the elite 8 or so guys, and it makes sense. They can't dump a bunch of money into just one player when they need to overhaul the team as badly as they do. It would have been funny to see the Dolphins intentionally pull what the the Vikings did on accident and drop a few spots to save money.

2008 NFL Draft Live Coverage

If you found us through Google, welcome, and click the logo above to see the most recent posts from our coverage!

We're 10 minutes away from the draft kicking off, and the suspense of the first pick is definitely gone with Jake Long already signing with Miami. To any new people reading our coverage, welcome aboard and I hope you enjoy it. My post from Thursday about the dominance of Erin Andrews that got linked on SI's Extra Mustard got this site nearly 16,000 hits so far, and I thank everyone for checking it out. A funny story behind all the hits we got yesterday is that we lost our newspaper-ish logo for a few hours. I had it sourced on the old geocities Is It Sports? site that Ryan and I originally created, and the amount of traffic from the logo being loaded here caused the old site to be shut down 43 times before I moved the logo to imageshack.

Here are Ryan and I's top 10 projected picks before this gets kicked off:

1. MIA - Jake Long
2. STL - Glenn Dorsey
3. ATL - Matt Ryan
4. OAK - Darren McFadden
5. KC - Chris Long
6. NYJ - Vernon Gholston
7. NE - Sedrick Ellis
8. BAL - Leodis McKelvin
9. CIN - Keith Rivers
10. NO - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

1. MIA - Jake Long
2. STL - Chris Long
3. ATL - Glenn Dorsey
4. OAK - Darren McFadden
5. KC - Branden Albert
6. NYJ - Vernon Gholston
7. NE - Keith Rivers
8. BAL - Matt Ryan
9. CIN - Sedrick Ellis
10. NO - Leodis McKelvin

Friday, April 25, 2008

It all begins and ends with links

Today has been kind of crazy. I found out we had a link on SI's Extra Mustard today and was blown away to find out how much traffic gets funneled our way by stuff like that. Over at Victoria-Weather, the Weather Blog gets a link every now and then from USA Today, or the Chicago Sun-Times or something, and that's nice, but nowhere near the publicity a link like this gave us. We got 11,000 hits today, which is awesome for us (I don't know how other sites do, of course). For perspective, thats almost three times as many people as live in the town that this blog is named after.Hey! Speaking of the town that this blog is named after, let's look at some local news! For those new to the site, there is a local newspaper that I used to honestly pore over for any bit of news in the Victoria (Minnesota) area, but the writing was just so biased and poor, even by my standards, that I eventually started making fun of the paper. Now, I've never identified the paper (though if you were really interested in doing so, I'm sure you could) nor named the writer/editor, but I call her Celine Dion, because nobody likes her. So, let's take a look at the April issue of this bastion of journalistic integrity.
The first thing I noticed was that the paper has added a new column (they haven't figured out hyperlinking to stories or columns, so I can't give you the blow by blow of what is actually being said here, but I can give you the name and the brief summary. It's a weather column, written by a 14 year old "budding climatologist". So, first off. Long time resident, actual meteorologist, has been known to write as well as use hyperlinks. This crazy cat can be found here or especially here. B) 14? Was part of the qualifications that they be a less skilled writer than you? Not saying that 14 year olds are necessarily bad writers, but I've heard from a lot of amateur climatologists lately that don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. Given your history, that's probably another qualification.
Oh, hey, you know what? I figured out why I wasn't asked to write. Never mind.
So, let's move on to the letters to the ed-- what happened to the link? And the scoop at the city hall? Are you kidding me? The links that were working are no longer? It's a new age, Celine, let's get with the times and hyperlink! You're worse than my dog! Christ, you're worse than Leitch!
Well, that's all I've got today I guess. Be back tomorrow at 3ET-2CT for some hot hot liveblogging action.


Links of the Day 4/25/08

First off, a special welcome to those clicking over from Sports Illustrated's Extra Mustard this afternoon. I'm Ryan, the guy that does most of the writing here, not because I'm the best at it but because I have the most free time. Steve, who brought you all over here with his Erin Andrews pictures posts periodically, and a wonderful young lady named Beth usually has something more intelligent than the crap I come up with on Thursdays. Also, we're on our way to 5 figures in terms of hits today, and still, nobody has clicked on our ads. If you would kindly do so, that would be great (way on the bottom, below the sidebar). On to the links.

If you're watching the draft tomorrow, why not do it drunk? Steve and I will be live blogging the thing AS IT HAPPENS, so be sure to stop in.

Matt Millen prepares a mock draft for Yahoo!

The Stars should be careful, because Sharks always win.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Erin Andrews Era

So basically, posting a picture of Erin Andrews on your sports blog equals instant they say. But, I'm going to try to reach past the cheap thrill of posting the same picture of Erin Andrews that you will find on just about every other sports blog out there...

Why has Erin Andrews' popularity skyrocketed so much? Sure, she's a very attractive 29 year-old former Florida Gators dance team member that covers sports, but there are a lot of attractive women on TV in their 20s. What I really think is interesting is her level of competition on TV. It is almost Tiger Woods-ish. Sure, I think Tiger could very well be the greatest golfer of all time, but there is really no one out there to challenge his greatness, unless you're a big fan of a perennial loser with man boobs.

I made a point to mention her age because take a good long look at a lot of the other sideline reporter types out there. They are all more or less crusty manly looking women in their late 30s to mid 40s. They have been on TV for years, and surprisingly have never budged. Don't believe me? Suzy Kolber: 43. Pam Oliver: 47. Linda Cohn: 48. Bonnie Bernstein: 37. Lisa Guerrero: 44. Jillian Barbarie: 41. Michele Tafoya: 43. Hell, even relative newcomer Rachel Nichols is 34.

It seems like any potential competition to Andrews' dominance has been stomped out as well. Let's look at these 4 more in depth:

Melissa Stark: Probably the original Erin Andrews. She joined ESPN at age 27 in 2001 but left in 2004 after she was apparently "spooning it out" to Trey Wingo, which upset Chris Berman. No one exactly knows what spooning it out means, but I'm guessing it had something to do with Boomer not getting any, which just isn't allowed. She's been off TV since 2006.

Jill Arrington: Was voted as Playboy's sexiest sportscaster in 2001 but has been "retired" since 2004. Even if she were to make a shocking comback, she's going on 36 years old and now probably out of Erin's league.

Ivon Gaete: She got a lot of buzz back in 2006 when she made her debut. I don't know a whole lot about her but she got the enviable task of covering the Little League World Series. Personally, she seems more of an Arena Football type to me in the realm of crappy assignments. I guess she didn't do a good job, because she hasn't been heard from since. Either that, or Erin Andrews' has some sinister plot to eliminate all competition....

Stacy Dales: This 28 year-old is the only national reporter I could find that is actually younger than Erin Andrews. She is actually an on-again off-again WNBA player that just retired again a few weeks ago. The only problem is, well, she's just not all that attractive.

So even though Erin Andrews is turning the big 3-0 in 2 weeks, her title seems pretty safe for now. All of the women I mentioned that are getting up there in age are all talented reporters, so maybe the networks are doing the right thing by keeping them employed for their talent....or maybe they just don't want to get sued. Either way, there aren't too many spots for the younger crowd to fill.


Link of the day 4/24/08

Just one link today. Last month, I was in Montgomery, Alabama to watch a game between Jackson State and Alabama State. One of the reserves in that game, Deshean Porchea passed away after playing a pickup game on the Alabama State campus. He was 19.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Toronto is filling out their scorecard with their eyes closed

I don't know if you noticed the starting lineups today in the Blue Jays-Rays game (and really, why haven't you?) but I've copied and pasted them below for you.
Steve noted first that Matt Stairs is still playing professional baseball, which is a little shocking, yes. He quickly went out and hit a homer. But no, the really strange thing is the 6-8 spot in the Jays order. I didn't know who that DH was that's taking over for Frank Thomas. It's Robinson Diaz, making his first appearance, batting after Rob Barajas, a catcher normally who is playing 1b today, and Gregg Zaun, who actually is catching today. Here's the fun part. Diaz is a catcher too!
Here in Minnesota, Ron Gardenhire won't play Joe Mauer at DH or 1b when Mike Redmond is in there. That's why they had a third catcher for a while, driving Twins fans nuts, just in cast something happened to the starting catcher. Let me tell you something, having Chris Heintz bat is almost as bad as having a pitcher bat, so what's the point? But I digress. The Blue Jays and manager John Gibbons don't have the same unfounded anxiety that Gardenhire and company do. Perhaps they are drunk. That would explain why they would put a catcher at first base on the same night as they have a righty pitching. The Rays have 5 lefties ready to pull it right at Barajas. Should be an interesting game.
Yes, I realize this is my second straight post about Canada in a row.

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Links of the Day 4/23/08

It's never too early to start making fun of Notre Dame. Not only do they have last year's ineffective QB Jimmy Clausen starting at QB, but they don't have any choice.

The Vikings went out and completed the trade for notorious drunk Prow Bowl defensive end Jared Allen. They gave up three draft picks for him, which is fine since they don't have any obvious offensive holes.

Earth Day does strange things to the funny pages.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

That's where I saw the Leprchaun. He tells me to burn things!

It's been a long time since there has been anything to celebrate in Montreal. The Canadiens haven't been relevant in about 20 years, the Expos up and moved on them and even the Alouettes haven't won a Grey Cup in over 5 years, which is tough in a league with 8 teams. Needless to say, when the Habs beat the Bruins last night, they were rather excited.:
Right then. They might have gone a little too far with this one in Montreal (click picture for full story). But it just goes to show you, that every once in a while, things are set up to induce rioting. Even French Canadians can be drawn into the allure of a car fire after a team finally wins a big one. Which cities out there are primed for rioting? Let's look at 5 of them.

Cleveland, Ohio

For about 40 years, the city of Cleveland has done nothing. Browns? Abysmal, moved to Baltimore, reformed, abysmal again. Cavaliers? A whole period with Zydrunas Ilguaskas as their best player. Indians? They made a movie about them because they were an easy team to make jokes about. But this year, the Browns are improving, the Cavs have Lebron James and the Indians are a candidate to be the AL representative in the World Series. If the Browns make it out of the wild card round, the industrious people of the city are liable to set fires that last for weeks.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

There hasn't been a championship in Minnesota since 1991 and not even a post season victory for about 5 years.. There are decent teams in town, but they just don't get the job done. Minnesota is definitely primed to see a hockey riot next year, should the Wild accomplish anything. Sure, Minneapolitans are fairly docile in terms of urban populations, but would you have expected a riot in Montreal either?

Lincoln, Nebraska

Every once in a while, a college out there somewhere gets it in their head that they just want to party and light couches on fire. Considering how well couches lite when soaked in booze, it makes for a good time. Before I got there, Purdue was big on rioting, having done so the Spring of 2001 after Purdue lost in women's basketball to Notre Dame. Women's basketball. My dorm still smelled of tear gas when I moved in that Fall. Right now, the mantelpiece of rioting student bodies is upon West Virginia. If the Huskers can return to glory, a student body with practice cow tipping surely wold have the strength to flip a few cars.

Detroit, Michigan

I could say that they would riot if the Lions win, but they could just as well riot if they don't. Detroit is liable to see riots in the offseason. Riots in Detroit just seem inevitable.

Beijing, China

With this being the first city outside of the area, clearly the upper Midwest is a powderkeg. So too is Beijing, among the many things the city has in common wiht Lincoln. With such emotion heading into the Olympics, and possibility of shenanigans could lead to a scuffle which could metastasize into an ugly international incident that the Chinese will say is fans of the Olympic games being a little bit too jubilant. Joy is frowned up0n in China, so that's why the tanks were brought out.

So, keep an eye on those cities if you're there. Let me know in the comments if there is another hot spot lurking out there somewhere that I am unaware of. I need to know whether or not I should pack Kevlar.

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Links of the Day 4/22/08

The most famous member of the cast of Boy Meets World that wasn't Corey or Topanga or Sean was at the Flyers game. Or not.

Who likes fun facts? I do! Here's a few about that marathon the Rockies and Padres played the other day.

See, I don't think they realize this, but this is the best anti-drug video I've ever seen.


The Travesty of the Mock Draft

Hey! The NFL Draft is coming up on Saturday! It should be about 16 kinds of fun, from someone saying how happy they are to be playing with the Cardinals, or someone wearing a tailored suit and playing with his cell phone as the last guy in the green room (looking at you, Matt Ryan!). There is no shortage of previews of this, the greatest non-event in all of sports. You can't throw a stick without hitting a mock draft. put together what should have been the best NFL previews. They assembled the beat writers for all the teams and had them pick for their teams and chronical those picks. Great idea, right? Well, no.
See, instead of having these lowly beat writers write up their picks in a nifty, easy to read article, they went ahead and taped them talking into a microphone. I can't remember the last time someone asked for Judd Zulgad to make more on camera appearances. But that's not even the main issue here.
First off, watching videos at work is generally frowned upon. So is surfing the net, but guess what, corporate America, everyone does it! The internet, however, doesn't have sound on every thing written, as does, say, a video. So, with most of America doing most of their internet browsing while at work (I keep my posts short so you can get those expense reports taken care of), nobody can look at this nifty little feature of yours.
Let's say, though, that Joe Sports Fan wants to get the opinion of Darin Gantt of the Rock Hill Herald. They see that he thinks that, at that position the Panthers should pick Ryan Clady from Boise State. What?! Ryan Clady could be available at 13? How did that happen? What did the nincompoop for the Bills pick?! Let me hurry and click the link and watch another ad for Hummers and then watch him tell me all about the Bills needs and then finally make his pick. But what about the Broncos? Ad. Needs. You know what, screw it. I don't care. Why would anyone want to sit around for the 2 hours it would take to get through all those videos? The picks aren't anywhere that's easily available, and nobody is going to care within 4 hours of the first pick anyways. Why go through the trouble?
Frankly, this was probably the most well informed mock of them all, but if a mock draft is posted and nobody has the patience to listen to it, is it really valuable?

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Links of the Day 4/21/08

Football players are just like us! Apparently, Calvin Johnson needed Vicodin to get through his work day last season. That and getting through living in Detroit.

From the Barn has highlights of the Gophers basketball season.... from the Barn.

Lastly, a man in the Minneapolis south metro shows exactly why he is still living in his parent's basement. He's a blogger! Because his money making scheme is to extort money from teachers. Rule number one of extortion is: extort from people who have money.


I sort of look like Dan Shaughnessey

Ryan's pretty downtrodden after some thing that I don't understand happened. He sits on the couch and stares at that glowy box for hours on end and yells stuff about the Wild and the Avalanch and f***ing Peter Forsberg. I have no idea what any of what I just typed means, but I know Ryan's been pretty agitated, more than usual, when he's watching the glowy box.
Oh. Right. I'm Carmel. I'm a dog. Hell yeah I'm blogging. I'd like to see Lassie hyperlink. Bitch. For the record, neither Ryan nor I am happy with my name. It was given by his family when I moved in with them. Previously, I was known as Janice. I liked Janice better.
Since Ryan is still a little shaken up, and when he's at work I've been teaching myself to type, I figured I would go ahead and fill in for him while he weeps softly in the corner. I am, after all Ryan's only man's best friend. Looking at his past couple posts, I clearly don't have to put up an effort. I mean, except for not licking my crotch for 35 minutes straight. That'll be tough.
I don't know a heck of a lot about your people sports, but I am something of a pro at fetch. I win like every time I play. The key is to keep your eye on the ball. Sometimes, those throwers think they'll be clever and hold on to the ball. Then, and most dogs don't get this, just wait for the ball to stop and then pick it up! It saves embarrassment. And then you have the ball instead of Tossy McGee. And if you don't give the ball back, you don't have to go get it again. It's not that hard a game, dogs.
All right. That's all I got. This writing thing sucks. Next time some lady comes up to talk to Ryan (ha!) I'm dropping a deuce right then and there. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go sleep for about 17 hours.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Links of the Day 4/20/08

It's 4/20, which is of course hilarious to pot smokers everywhere. Of course, the Victoria Times is always best read while high.

The first time we're linking to the Canadian version of ESPN, and it's because of baseball. Frank Thomas got cut, and will no likely end up with the Rays, I would guess.

In other baseball contract news, Jason Kubel wants a long term contract. Twins ask "For what?"

Continuing with the baseball theme because I'm in no mood to talk about hockey, here is a chilling account of the Farnsworth-Ramirez incident from a couple days ago.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Audience Participation: Best sports day ever?

The best sports days of the year, for me, are always the first day of the NCAA tournament, baseball's opening day and the NFL draft. There's so much to take in, so much spectacle. It's fantastic. Days like today, though, stand to be the "best sports day ever". The Twins are winning on national television (and Matt Vasgergian just called Joe Mauer "the Chairman"), and this afternoon, the Wild have a shot at evening their series against Colorado. End to end, a pretty good day. I mean, surely that's not going to be a enough to win the all time best day prize. Unfortunately, the candidates are few and far between. But what about you? What's your best sports day?


Links of the Day 4/19/08

Sean Avery never misses a chance to be classless. After Marty Brodeur decides against shaking his hand, well, Avery called him names. I've said it before, I'll say it again. Hockey's awesome.

A-Rod costs the Yankees another game.

Does this mean that the Jets are going to be winners this season? No, probably not, but at least Kellen Clemens' daughter won't lose to the Patriots this year.


Friday, April 18, 2008

NBA Playoff Throwdown (Preview)

Thanks, Shaq. I hope you aren't too tired after introducing this post...the Statue of Liberty is pretty far from Phoenix. Even though you don't give a heck, please don't punch me in the stomach. Sike!

(side note: definitely check out the related videos after the video is over...especially the 2nd one on the first page and the last one on the 2nd page, they're just as funny or funnier than the one I posted)

Very, very few posts on here have been exclusively on the NBA, mostly because neither Ryan or I are huge fans....but I am a bigger fan of the NBA than Ryan, so despite the fact that neither my favorite team (the Bulls) nor my local team (the Pacers) are in the playoffs, and the fact that I am apparently an earthquake survivor today, I bring you my 2008 NBA Playoff Throwdown. So let's take a look at the first round matchups, and I'll throw in my finals prediction too:

First Round
#1 Boston Celtics vs. #8 Atlanta Hawks - You can tell the Eastern conference is God-awful terrible when a 37 win Atlanta Hawks team lead by Joe Johnson makes the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Despite playing in the East, Boston seems to be the most complete team in the NBA heading into the playoffs. These 2 teams actually have a pretty storied playoff history.....from back in the days when players wore belts on their shorts. The Celtics are 8-1 all time against the Hawks in the playoffs, with the Hawks only win over them coming in the 1958 NBA Finals. I think the Celts have a pretty good chance of avenging 50 years later. Pick: Celtics in 4

#4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. #5 Washington Wizards
- There's a good chance the Wizards are better than they seem. Gilbert Arenas only played 13 games this year, but is back now and Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler kept the team afloat while he was gone. With everyone healthy, and with Lebron James thrown in, this can be one of the most entertaining series of the first round, and the only watchable one in the East. Pick: Wizards in 7

#3 Orlando Magic vs. #6 Toronto Raptors - This series features a battle between 2 of the best up and coming big men in the NBA, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh. How can you not like Dwight? He's seems like a legitimately nice kid that has a lot of fun out there, and he can be freakishly dominating. Bosh is very underrated, but its hard to get noticed playing in Toronto when playing with guys named Moon, Nesterovic, Bargnani, and Garbajosa unless you are a dunking machine (see: Carter, Vince). Pick: Magic in 6

#2 Detroit Pistons vs. #7 Philadelphia 76ers - Both of these teams lack a single superstar, but are hard working and cohesive.....the Pistons just do it a lot better. Get ready to start booing Philly fans, but keep it in perspective: your team had a worse record than Portland. Pick: Pistons in 5

#1 Los Angeles Lakers vs. #8 Denver Nuggets
- Only 7 games separate these 2 teams...that's how tight the West was. This is another big star matchup with Kobe and Gasol going against Iverson and Melo. The Lakers finished strong to get the #1 seed, and I think they'll take advantage of home court and distractions like the Carmelo DUI and A.I. being A.I. to take this...but it won't be easy. Pick: Lakers in 6

#4 Utah Jazz vs. #5 Houston Rockets - So let's see if I understand the NBA's seeding system. Now, being a division champion no longer matters all that much, since it will only earn you at least a spot in the top 4. Also, if your lower seeded opponent has a better record, they get home court in the first round. The Jazz won their division but the Rockets get home doesn't that really make the Rockets the 4 seed? Oh well, I think the Rockets are back down to earth after the 22 game streak and Utah will take them out anyways. Pick: Jazz in 6

#3 San Antonio Spurs vs. #6 Phoenix Suns
- Now its time to see if the Shaq trade paid off for the Suns. I can't believe a matchup this good will be in the first round of the playoffs, especially with all of the controversy that surrounded their series last year. This could be the last ride in the playoffs for the Diesel, and I think Tim Duncan is going to end it early. Pick: Spurs in 7

#2 New Orleans Hornets vs. #7 Dallas Mavericks
- How can Chris Paul not be the league's MVP this year? Have you seen the rest of his team? Paul is turning into one of the most exciting and dominant players in the NBA...too bad he's stuck in New Orleans. Maybe the trend of grown men wearing teal and purple can return with the Hornets being a top team in the NBA. The Mavericks have been pretty shaky and beat up all season, and the jury is still out on the Jason Kidd trade. I think they are still bitter about the upset to Golden State last year and will crumble again this year. Pick: Hornets in 6

NBA Finals Pick: Boston Celtics over San Antonio Spurs in 7 - The long suffering Boston sports fans will finally get a title this year, their first since all the way back in October, 2007. I know a Celtics-Lakers finals would be absolutely awesome, for both the retro factor and the fact you'll have KG, Ray, and Pierce on a legit East team going against Kobe, in the finals for the first time without Shaq. I think the Spurs are going to ruin this though, as they are actually the annoying boring dynasty coming into a finals matchup versus a Boston team. First, the Spurs will eliminate the entertaining Suns, and blowing a possible Kobe-Shaq western finals. Then, they will knock off possible league MVP Chris Paul and the upstart Hornets, then knock off the relatively playoff inexperienced Lakers to make it to the Finals. The Celts will roll over Atlanta and Washington, but will run into a formidable Pistons team in the eastern finals, before getting past them (star power rules in the NBA) and making it to the finals. I was tempted to go with the Spurs in the matchup, based on experience and the fact that the seemingly "dream team" of the Celtics could fall flat on their faces in the finals just like the '04 Lakers. But I think the Celtics truly are the best team in the league this year, and three stars will be winning their first title.

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Links of the Day 4/18/08

What would be more awful? A 445.5 ERA or throwing 250 pitches in less than two innings?

For some reason, Asians find this offensive.

The Vikings are deep in talks with defensive end Jared Allen. I remain disinterested.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Links of the Day 4/17/08

Christmas Ape from Kissing Suzy Kolber and Deadspin fame recently outed himself as Michael Tunison of the Washington Post was canned by the Washington Post. This is why nobody shall ever know the real names of Ryan, Steve or Beth, or anymore than the fact that Ryan is from Victoria, Minnesota or that Ryan and Steve went to Purdue, lest our employers find out and terminate us.

The Colorado Avalanche and the people who write about them continue to be agitated by the Wild. I can't wait to get over with this series and worry about a rational team, like... the Flames?

It looks like the Astros mistake of trading for Miguel Tejada was just compounded. They traded for a Miguel Tejada thats 2 years older than anyone thought.


Curse you!

I may have written about this before, and if so, sorry. It’s a distressing day to me personally, so I’m phoning it in..

A coupe of years ago, my dad said, "Which is worse, not winning the World Series in nearly 100 years [referring to the Cubs], or winning your division for fourteen years straight, and only winning the World Series once? [referring to the Atlanta Braves]?"

Either way: Ouch.

But what are the cursed teams out there? For the record, the Braves only count the Atlanta Braves. Once you move cities, your record starts over, in my opinion. The players on the team at the time might move, but the entire fan base, and thus the team as an entity has changed. The Atlanta Braves are not also the Milwaukee Braves and the Boston Braves. The San Fransico Giants do not carry the New York record. The Chicgao White Stockings becoming the Chicago White Sox--that's the same team, with a new name. Those are my rules. Just live with it.

Divisional Winners: 1984, 1989, 2003, 2007
World Series Appearances: 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, 1945
World Series Wins: 1907, 1908

White Sox:
Divisional Winners: 1983, 1993, 1994 (at time of strike), 2000, 2005
World Series Appearances: 1906, 1917, 1919, 1959, 2005
World Series Wins: 1906, 1917, 2005

Divisional Winners: 1991-2005 (1994 does not count--they were not in the lead at the strike, though)
World Series Appearances: 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1999
World Series Wins: 1995

Red Sox:
Divisional Winners: 1975, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1995, 2007
World Series Appearances: 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1946, 1967, 1975, 1986, 2004, 2007
World Series Wins: 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004, 2007

Most years between World Series wins? Cubs: At least 100
Most years between World Series appearances? Cubs: At least 63

Now I ask you: for the few teams that have never won the World Series, they weren’t around the last time the Cubs won the world series. So, is it better to go 100 years between wins, or to never win at all, but in a lesser time period? Personally, I’ll take the one win 100 years ago--at least there are stories, even if they’re second-hand accounts by now.

The Timberwolves are 22-60, as is Memphis. The Sonics are 20-62, and the Heat are 15-67. In lacrosse, the Swarm won last weekend in a dramatic overtime win, so they have a 9-4 record. They’re still undefeated at home (although they barely managed to do that--tying with 1 second left in the game), and in possession of first place in the NLL-East by a half a game.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Let's resolve some Twins issues

I'm here to address one of the three most apparent problems with the Twins team. The other two are, of course, the bullpen and the fact that Matt Tolbert uses the Cranberries as his walk-up music. But no, the problem to discuss today is Carlos Gomez.
The problem, you see, is exactly the one I envisioned many moons ago. He has absolutely no plate patience, and, believe it or not, it's proven to be problematic for the team. His .246 average so far this season, which is borne mostly of bunts, is actually higher than his average last year.
Looking at his splits this season, his problems are numerous. Gomez can't hit lefties, on the road, when not leading off an inning, with men on base, after the first three innings, in any at bat after his first, versus AL Central opponents, during night games, and when the pope is in transit to the United States. If you parse through that crap that I just wrote right then, you would probably infer that most of his hits come when he is bunting to lead of the game. True.
So, thats part of the problem. He can't hit except for those little lead off bunts. The scary thing is, he's not a particularly gifted bunter. Also scary? He's a lead off hitter with 2 walks through the Twins first 14 games. Thats 2 walks and 16 strikeouts. Thats really, really bad, leadoff hitter or not. Particularly when, as a leadoff man, part of your job is to work the pitcher a little bit so the guys behind you can see what he's got. Sure, it's nice that you can get on base once in a great while, but dude, take a pitch.
Minnesota has a history of encouraging players to hack away, starting with Kirby Puckett and continuing with Torii Hunter, A.J. Pierzynski and continuing to Gomez and Delmon Young today. It's for this reason that I suspect that when Michael Cuddyer comes back, it will be Denard Span sent back to Rochester, despite the fact that in 20 at bats he has more walks than both Gomez and Young, and and is batting near .300, but hey, Gomez won the job, right?
I'm beginning to suspect there is another reason why Ron Gardenhire insists on keeping people like Gomez or Nick Punto in the line up. You know, by now, what i'm talking about. .240ish hitter, no power, never walks, strikes out way too much. He's got a specific type of player in mind, it seems. Interesting.
That being said, send down Gomez for a while, teach him to hit, and keep Span, who actually seems to have things figured out.

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