I guess it doesn’t really matter, so I shouldn’t be crying over spilled milk, but the A’s got robbed in Cleveland tonight. For a while I thought the bugs were going to dictate the outcome of the game, and we’d be able to blame it on the insects, like the Yankees did in the playoffs a few years back. Instead, we can blame it on BRUCE DRECKMAN. YOU blew a call tonight Dreckman, all because you wanted to go home. The A’s and Indians were deadlocked in a 3-3 tie in the 16th inning. A run hadn’t been scored in 10 innings, but it was just passed midnight in Cleveland, and you wanted to hit the hay. Well I’m not gonna stand for this. This aggression will not stand, man. Kurt Suzuki clearly made the tag on the ass no less than 6 inches ahead of the plate. I know the bugs must be a pain in the ass, but let’s at least let the players on the field determine the outcome of the game. This was the biggest blown call since Jim Joyce ruined Armando Galarraga’s career. There was only one out, so it’s not like the Indians probably wouldn’t have scored. But to send a team home on that play, is no doubt a low point in the season. It may not seem like a big deal now, but for all you fans of playoff teams, just hope that you don’t get dealt Bruce Dreckman for one of your series. His blown call will sail under the radar, but it won’t go without notice on Doin Work. F*** YOU BRUCE DRECKMAN.
Monthly Archives: August 2011
I know I’ve neglected the blog for the past couple weeks, and it’s mostly because summer seems to get in the way of everything. Let’s face it there’s so many more fun things to do than sit in front of your computer when it’s nice out. Anyways, this video is a little old, but if you haven’t seen this guy steal a police car and take you with him on his wild ride with the dash cam, you have to watch it once. I don’t play video games nearly as much as I used to, but this is truly a GTA move in real life. I’m sure grabbing the cop car instantly got him two stars. Not quite a three star robbery, because no helicopters entered the chase, but ballsy to say the least.
First off, let me just say how hard it is to sit through an A’s game and a Giants game on TV in succession. Not a lot of offense. So excuse me for my lack of enthusiasm. But it’s times like these when it’s good to bring back a classic. I’m not sure exactly how old this song is, but 2008 sounds about right. I can never get enough of it. Now that the A’s have lost four in a row, including just three runs scored in their last 27 innings, I can only think of one guy who could help out team. I’m talkin bout George W. Smith. From city council. He ran in 93, out in Oakland. You probably didn’t hear about him…..
Clearly we’re all in full Summer swing each weekend as Doin Work seems to get laid off every Saturday and Sunday. But just because I spent my weekend bouncing between the pool, Hurricane Irene coverage, and beautiful Lake Clementine doesn’t mean I didn’t catch my share of sports this weekend. And what I didn’t catch over the weekend, I caught up on the radio during my morning and afternoon commute. Twice today, I started my thought with “If I had a Twitter, I’d tweet…..” Well I don’t have a twitter, but I do have a blog. So here are the tweets you would have seen if @The RealMCeezy existed…..
@Arian Foster: If it weren’t for Fantasy, no one would even KNOW you’re hurt. Be glad people know who you are!
@MichaelVick: Unless something CRAZY happened in the pen’, you just grabbed the biggest rebound in the history of human redemption.
@WilsonChandler: Bold move signing in China knowing you can’t come back if the lockout ends. But what does that say about the status of the lockout more importantly?
@JoshWillingham: Thank the baseball gods you hit a two-run double of Boston pitching outfielder Darnell McDonald on Friday night.
@SFGiantsFans: I hear you griping about the offense on KNBR 680 and KHTK 1140. You’re forgetting they overachieved last year. Vegas didn’t pick them to repeat, so you shouldn’t either.
@PepsiRoyaners: Congratulations to my fantasy baseball team for clinching a playoff spot. We survived serious injuries to Buster Posey, David Wright, and Jimmy Rollins, but we stuck with our guns, i.e. Matt Kemp. We pulled the league’s best ERA on the strength of Matt Cain, Ricky Romero, Ervin Santana, and Jeremy Hellickson (plus Price, Carpenter, Harrison, and Danks). But, just like real baseball, if we can JUST all get healthy and hot at the right time……
I was going to try and give this one some kind of insight, but they paralleled Tigers golf game with his sex life pretty well, so I’ll just let these two mock PTI guys tell you what is going on in Tiger’s world.
A couple weeks back I saw something about all the pitchers who will be free agents this offseason. On that list was Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish. You may have heard of Yu, but for me personally, it’s been a while since I’ve heard about him. Something tells me though, if he comes to the United States next year, we’ll be hearing A LOT about him. I’m sure he’ll get plenty of attention on Doin Work, since he’s half-Asian (other half is Iranian). Some will have their doubts about his potential for success, citing examples like Hideki Irabu or Dice-K. I, however, will NOT be among those doubters. The kid is straight NASTY. Check out this video clip. He looks to me like he’s pitching a wiffle ball. The movement is like no other pitcher currently in Major League Baseball. The closest comparison to his stuff I can think of is Tim Lincecum – except he’s not half-Asian. Oh wait that’s right, he IS! Imagine if next year, the two best pitchers in baseball are half-Asian, AND, the two best bloggers on the web are as well. Maybe the latter is a bit of a stretch….
Man, were there a lot of knee jerk reactions this weekend. I had my share of knee jerk reactions to those knee jerk reactions. I had no other choice since I spent the majority of the weekend off the grid in spectacular Yosemite National Park. I had some spotty reception, and there was a TV in the tavern, but for the most part, I spent the weekend oblivious to what was going on in the world. The 20 minutes of sports I did catch was the SF Giants getting beat by the Astros, 5-0. I had no idea, until Sunday afternoon, once I touched back down in the California Central Valley, where there was reception again, that the 49ers – Raiders game was riddled with brawls and shootings. Well, you can’t say the Niners didn’t overreact to the incidents. So here’s my feelings on that, along with some other things….
49ers – Raiders Violence: Why wouldn’t these two fan bases wanna brawl? Both their teams sucks donkey balls, despite plenty of means to be a contender. They’ve both been deep in the postseason numerous times, but these times are hard for Bay Area football teams. It’s no surprise that fans would want to distract themselves from the garbage going on the field. But it doesn’t take a CSI cast member to see that the fights in the stand weren’t merely Raiders vs. 49ers fans. It was one group of dudes against another group of dudes. There was plenty of red on gold violence, and silver and black evil (which we call crime). For the 49ers to subliminally claim that Raider fans were to blame is ridiculous – much like their management of the franchise over the last decade. I’m the #1 apologist for Raider fans… I won’t claim responsibility for any of them, but it’s not that serious. The incidents that occurred at Candlestick Point this past weekend had very little to do with football. Yet, the 49ers’ brass wants to suspend all future preseason games against the Raiders. Alright man, if you’d rather fork over the cash for a charter flight and 50 hotel rooms in San Diego, go right ahead. I’m pretty sure a few extra security guards would be cheaper.
Raiders Grab Terrelle Pryor: Of course they did. Everyone knew the Raiders would go after Pryor, but it almost seemed too obvious. Now the naysayers are bantering about how soon he’ll be moved to wide receiver. Yet Pryor, along with agent Drew Rosenhaus, and according to them, Raiders management, all insist that Terrelle will remain a quarterback. Whether or not that comes to fruition, it’s a low risk – high reward move for Oakland. Because let me put it this way… IF TERRELLE PRYOR PLAYED NEXT YEAR AT OHIO STATE, WOULD YOU SAY THAT HE WOULD GO LOWER THAN THE SECOND ROUND?! ….DIDN’T THINK SO. So to give up a third round pick next year for a flier on Pryor, I’m with it. Especially when I think about how they would burn the pick next year. The Raiders have become a team that takes who they want, when they want. They reached on guys like Mike Mitchell and Demarcus Van Dyke, but that’s who they wanted, so it didn’t matter what pick it was.
Earthquakes Give A’s Home Field Advantage In Yankee Stadium: A 5.9 earthquake struck the East Coast yesterday, and so did the Oakland Athletics. Two violent aftershocks were reported, but were later discovered to be Brandon Allen home runs. The first baseman, acquired from Arizona for Brad Ziegler at the trade deadline, has immediately stepped into the starting first baseman role. Though he was expected to hold down the corner until Conor Jackson came back, Allen has remained at first – while Jackson has found his playing time in the outfield. The A’s have played as good of baseball as any team since the all-star break – unfortunately they’ve been too far out of the race – but a few newcomers have of all 90 of us fans excited for the future. There’s not a lot left to play for… but a sweep, or even just a series win, in the Bronx would do wonders for this team. The Yanks were clearly shaken by the earthquake earlier in the day, but that’s just business as usual for the Northern California A’s squad.
Matt Holliday Gets Earf*cked By A Moth: I had a giant moth land on my forehead today at the office, so I can relate. This story would have never caught my attention if I didn’t have a moth run in this morning. But my moth was way bigger than Matt Holliday’s. He had one burrow into his year. That’s some horror movie type stuff. I caught the interview with Holliday on ESPN radio this afternoon. He sad he felt a bug going crazy inside his ear. The doctors couldn’t see anything, but finally they broke out the light and were able to see something moving around in there. They tried to pull it out with tweezers, but kept only getting pieces of the wings. Holliday described the wings as basically flaking off. After some time, the doctor was able to grab the insect by the body and pull him out of Holliday’s ear. Nucking futs.
Over the past five years, the A’s have been in a state of regression as they struggle with just about everything from facilities, to players, to attendance. They can’t get players to sign with them even when they do put out the best offer on the table, because they have crappy facilities. Players like Beltre and Furcal just use them as leverage for other teams who are offering them smaller or nearly the same contracts. The A’s want a new stadium yet Lew Wolff refuses to negotiate with the Oakland officials anymore than he already has, and they have been pushed to the back-burners by the MLB committee looking into their situation of moving. Their lineup is scattered with quadruple-A players, and there’s probably only a dozen A’s fans left (judging by attendance). I figured I’d break down the key issues with the team, and help get the word out on how dire our situation is. I know I’ve ranted about these issues a few times, but I figured I should put them all together to let everyone know what is what and draw your own conclusion on who is to blame. It’ll be my last post about it for awhile, I swear!
It’s strange how you come to different conclusions as time passes. Personally I enjoy the coliseum, and feel it has a little charm left even after they built the funny looking Mt. Davis for the Raiders games. It’s not a problem that they share the stadium with a football team, the problem is that the coliseum is in the ghetto, and there’s not much around the stadium. Jack London Square is cool and all, but it’s not the city. Many residents would rather go to a Giants game and talk about garlic fries while sending out e-mails on their blackberries. Can I blame them? Not really since they don’t care about the game anyways. Seriously, would you rather sit at PacBell or O.co Coliseum if you don’t care about the game? Easy answer. A’s fans at the games are great fans. The problem is there’s barely any fans going, and there’s nothing to do in that area, except maybe unload a few freight containers. In a time where your stadium needs to be connected to a mall and be in a thriving downtown-like area, the A’s don’t stand a chance in increasing attendance. Will the A’s move to San Jose to get a stadium built? After reading this brilliant piece by Howard Bryant on ESPN, I doubt it will happen anytime soon, and may never happen with the Giants trying to force the A’s into contraction (that’s what it feels like at least).
Nowadays players want to be treated like Mark Cuban treats the Mavs (state of the art training equipment and state of the art electronics everywhere). The coliseum was built back when players were allowed to smoke during the game in the dugouts. That should say everything about how dated the facilities are. Maybe that’s a reason why we seem to set records yearly for DL usage. As I said, I don’t dislike the coliseum, but if we need a new stadium to get our guys healthy and help us attract offensive players in free agency, I’m 100% for it.
About three years ago we thought we were heading to Freemont in what seemed like a done deal. I wasn’t excited, but wasn’t totally against it since we didn’t seem to have any other options. The deal fell apart for a few reasons, and from what I heard it was because there wasn’t solid BART access which put the A’s back to square one. This was probably the only time I really felt bad for Wolff during the process, because he spent around $30M of his own money getting that proposal in the works.
The Giants and Media Marketing
With the World Series win last year the Bay Area is owned by the Giants at the moment. They’ve always had more fans than the A’s, but now it’s ridiculously lopsided as all the sort of fans have jumped on their bandwagon. It’s almost impossible to find info on the A’s in the papers or on TV. The Giants are dominating the market as much as you can in a two team market. Hell, at the beginning of the year I could barely find a radio station that even talks about the A’s. Is this Lew Wolff’s plan to slowly make everyone not care about this team by spending $1 on advertising for every $100,000 the Giants spend? Seems like the strategy is working as attendance keeps dipping. It’s not like Lew Wolff is poor, I hear him and Fishcer have a net worth over a billion, but they don’t seem to put a dime of that into marketing this team. I’m not sure what I hate more about this fact that the Giants are the Bay Area team or that Lew Wolff isn’t really putting up a fight.
It’s no secret Lew Wolff desperately wants to move out of Oakland and preferably to San Jose, but the Giants own the territorial rights. A little over a decade ago when Pac Bell park was in the works, the A’s then owner gave them the rights to the south as a gentlemen’s agreement to give them some leverage to get their stadium built. Unfortunately the same situation has come up for the A’s, yet the Giants refuse to relinquish those rights back to the A’s. How does moving from 15 miles away from the Giants to 60 miles away from them hurt their market more? Tough for me to answer that as I’m no financial guru. I do know that the Giants want to be big spenders like the Yankees and Red Sox, which at this point seems like it could happen if Wolff keeps tightening his wallet and the Giants keep the A’s out of San Jose. Seems like the Giants could return the favor, and maybe that would even open Oakland back up to the point where they negotiate again. Right now with no real ability to threaten to leave, the city of Oakland doesn’t have to scramble and put together a good stadium deal…
I’ve found it comical how people are blaming Billy Beane for the A’s lack of success on the field. Maybe it’s because the movie Moneyball is coming out, and people want to knock him off the proverbial pedestal, but it’s got to be tough to build a team when you’re constantly in limbo. Sure we could’ve kept Ethier and Cargo, but almost all Beane’s moves at the time made sense to me, so he gets a pass for those two. In any kind of business you need a plan, and as of right now there are no long term plans with this team, so it makes his job nearly impossible to succeed at, which is why I’ll give Beane a pass until we know more than a year into the future. Hell our contract with the coliseum agreement is up after this season, so we might not even have a stadium next year! Hopefully they don’t play in the parking lot… When you’re a GM and have no idea what the future holds, it’s impossible to map a team strategy out. We’ve always done a lot of one year contracts, but we usually lock up a couple guys, and that hasn’t been happening. Personally, I blame the unstable future. Based on some of the contracts that Beane has offered to top free agents, he is serious about fielding a good team. Unfortunately, we end up with a lot of new guys or castoffs, because the “premium” free agents don’t come here because they can get paid the same elsewhere where they have better facilities. Even with all the Dodgers problems, at least they know they’re staying in LA. The A’s have relatively no idea when or where this team will be in three to five years. Hopefully it’s not still at square one where they are today or I might be forced to give up on baseball all together.
Side rant: The only thing I’m still pissed about with BB is the fact he let Ron Washington go. I said a couple years ago before Texas started being the class of the AL West, losing Washington might curse us. He was a players coach and instead we got a non-players coach in Geren. How could he let go of the coach that EVERYONE in the locker room loved? He made the players want to play, and kept the locker room relaxed and loose, you can’t put a price on that. If I could only ask Billy one question, it would be why we let Wash go instead of giving him the keys to the car.
I guess this is who I blame at the moment for our purgatory status. The MLB made a three man committee that Bud Selig appointed to sort out this whole mess over two years ago. According to Selig, it might take awhile longer to make sense of all the options in this dispute. I’ve already vented about it, so I won’t tell you how ridiculous it is that it’s taken over two years since he appointed the committee. Yes, there’s tons of issues, involved in crunching the numbers and projecting the effects on each community, but they’re building Farmer’s Field in LA without even having a team here! You’d think he could give everyone in the A’s front office an update or two on the progress at least. If you needed another reason to hate Selig here it is. 75 CEO’s in San Jose wrote up a letter telling him why he should approve the A’s move to San Jose, and how it would work financially. They are currently the 10th largest city in the US (surprising to me), and seem to want to help fund the building of the stadium. So what does Selig do when he recieves this letter from some of the richest men in the US? He ignores it, and doesn’t respond. Is it because they aren’t Jewish? Is it because he loves the Giants? Is it because he’s senile and doesn’t even remember reading the petition/letter showing where and how they would acquire land and funds to build the park? Only Selig could answer that, and based on how he’s treated us the past couple years, I doubt we’ll ever hear an answer to that petition.
It feels like there’s a lot of people to blame for this mess. Again, I wrote this more to inform everyone out there of our situation rather than blame a certain person or people, it’s been a group effort to ruin this proud franchise. The A’s have some great fans, but unfortunately I’ve heard more than a few recently say “it’s just easier to follow the Giants”. I don’t like bringing up the movie Major League when it’s referencing my team, but it feels like all the forces in the league are against us, and one or more of these crooks is trying to get rid of the A’s in Oakland at least. We can’t attract free agents because our facilities suck, our owner doesn’t want to stay in Oakland or negotiate with the city for a new stadium, Selig and his merry men don’t seem to give two craps about us, and the Giants would rather see the A’s die a slow death than give them the territorial rights that the A’s gave them for nothing less than two decades ago. Talk about the odds being stacked against you! It will be a Billy Beane led miracle if this team makes the playoffs anytime soon.
First off, this song is terrible, so you should probably mute it to save your ears. I saw the movie Limitless over the weekend, which was entertaining. I ran across this video today, and for some reason thought I should post it. I did have one problem with this clip, because they stupidly added in some fake (CGI created) videos like Lebron making full court shots. Other than that, it’s just a reminder that people are amazing.
Last Friday we did our AFC predictions for the over/under on wins/losses for the upcoming season. This Friday, we took a stab at the NFC season.
Cardinals (6.5 wins)
Chappy – Over, a so-called future star in Kolb could put them atop this division, but that’s not saying a lot. From what I’ve heard, Seahawks and 49ers fans are hoping to get the #1 pick in next years draft to get Luck, so someone has to win this division, and I’m crossing my fingers it takes 7 wins.
Dre – Under. Until I see Kevin Kolb stay healthy and produce at a high level for just one full season, I won’t see how the trade is defensible. It could happen, but I’m going to say not likely, and the running game will suffer because of it. We’ll see AZ near the bottom at season’s end, which is hard to do in the NFC West.
MCeezy – Under. I’m also predicting this year’s NFC West becomes the first division to have all of its teams lose all of its non-division games. The worst division in football just got worse. I think it’s safe to say though, that this Arizona team’s success will hinge on the performance of Kevin Kolb at QB.
Falcons (10.5 wins)
Chappy – Over, after watching that total QB formula thing that ESPN made up, they showed me just how clutch Matty Ice is. He has the Big Ben gene in getting his team W’s in the 4th quarter. Adding Julio Jones might be just what the doctor ordered forthe passing game.
Dre – Under. With the rise of TB and the Saints still looking strong, I have a hard time picking the Falcons as the outright best team in the South. Their schedule to start the year is a doozy: 4 out of the 5 are playoff teams, including the SB Champs, and the fifth is TB who finished 10-6 last year. Ouch!
Chappy – Under, for some reason I’m rooting for Steve Smith to punch Cam Newton at some point in this season.
Dre – Under. Things didn’t get a whole lot better in Carolina. Their #1 overall pick is a project at best, and still has a chance to start because of how poor Jimmy Clausen played last year. They re-signed their stud RB, De Williams, but without a any sort of passing game he seems useless. Worst team in the league 2 years in a row?
MCeezy – Under. This team is gonna be bad. Why is Steve Smith still there? I thought he was supposed to get traded to a California team. Why hasn’t Al Davis thrown the kitchen sink at Carolina to get him? The story for this Panther team will be the development of Cam Newton.
Bears (8.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, nobody believed in the Bears last year, I guess Vegas doesn’t see them winning more than last year either. If Cutler ever looked like he cared, then I might say over…
Dre – Over. A 11 win playoff team a year ago, let’s not forget, they upgraded their soft WR corp with Roy Williams, and added another bruiser in the backfield with Barber. Defensively the Bears are still strong, so I can see at least another 9-10 win season on the horizon.
Cowboys (9 wins)
Chappy – Over, ugh, I’m buying into the hype machine that gets started in Dallas every year. Looking at their schedule they will be a huge disappointment if they don’t win more than 9. Only five of their opponents even had a winning records last year.
Dre – Under. See the past I don’t know how many years. This will be a .500 season at best. Lots of talent, yes… underachieving, yes! Tony Romo might be healthy, for now, but offense wasn’t even the problem last year as they ended the year 26th in passing defense. So how did they draft? Six out of eight play offense.
MCeezy – Under. I really can’t predict this though. Dez Bryant should be rounding into top form this year, and Miles Austin is always solid. But, does Tony Romo still care about winning? In the backfield, they let Marion Barber go, so can Felix Jones and Tashard Choice be an elite RB corps? It’ll be interesting to see.
Lions (7.5 wins)
Chappy – Over, Even though this team seems to be injured at all times, I’m pulling for them to succeed. Detroit needs something good to happen one of these years right?!? 8-8 sounds plausible.
Dre – Under. I think the Lions have built a great core to succeed… just not this year. Maybe next? They have a great DL with two future Pro Bowl regulars in Suh and Fairley. But the secondary is still questionable . Offense looks like a younger version of the Texans, with Best, Johnson, and Pettigrew as a solid big three, and love the Titus Young pickup in round 2.
Packers (11.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, Is it me or does it seem like everyone already crowned the Eagles the NFC champs this year? As teams gun for the defending champs, I see them only winning 10-11 games kinda like the Saints did last year, so they’ll still be in the playoffs to defend their title, but not with more than 11 wins.
Dre – Over. Can you imagine what the Packers can do with a full plate of confidence and a healthy roster? They made the playoffs as a Wild Card, and won three games in a row on the road with injuries at just about all their key position. Now they have Ryan Grant and J Finley back and Aaron Rodgers will know exactly how to use them.
MCeezy – Over. They just won the Super Bowl and they’re pretty much bringing back their entire roster. Why wouldn’t they go 12-4 at worst? The only significant loss in my eyes is that of Nick Barnett, but you know what, I think they’ll be just fine at the linebacker position.
Vikings (7 wins)
Chappy – Push, I can’t get a read on this team. They’re not bad, but I don’t see them as good. I’ve always liked McNabb, but his days dominating the league are unfortunately over. This is the first time he’s had a super stud RB though.
Dre – Under. I just don’t see how the Vikings will succeed with an unsettled QB situation and a depleted WR corp to boot. AP will have a tough time running against 8 man fronts all day long.
Chappy – Push, looks like they will once again be underrated. It’s always a good thing to fly under the radar, and now that they aren’t the defending champs and the Falcons have the target on their back, I see them making a solid run this year.
Dre – Push. As mentioned, the NFC South might be the best division in football, and the Saints have a lot to prove after losing to Seattle in the first round last year. They still have a an elite QB in Brees, and they took the best RB in the draft, Mark Ingram, to replace the departed Reggie Bush.
MCeezy – Over. I want to say push, but you can’t have two guys in a row call a push. What’s the fun in that? I think they’ll have success though, because the pass-catch ensemble remains intact, save for Shockey. But the backfield is what gets me really excited though. How nasty can the trio of Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, and Darrin Sproles be?
Giants (9.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, the Cowboys and Eagles got better, and the Giants seemed to stand pat. Osi not playing would put a huge dent in the defenses abilities. Seems like a downer year for them.
Dre – Under. Losing Steve Smith at WR will turn out to be a bigger issue than people think. Manningham is not capable of playing on the opposite side of Hicks, so it will be interesting to see how that pans out. Bradshaw and Jacobs will continue to be a strong running tandem, however, so I can see them getting to 9 but not 10.
Eagles (10.5 wins)
Chappy – Over, the Super Bowl champs better win at least 11 regular season games. Feels like I’m already rooting against them even though I love a lot of their players. All I really want to see this season from them is an offensive package on the field with Vince, Vick, Desean, McCoy, and Brown all in the backfield at the same time.
Dre – Under. I get the feeling the “new and improved” Eagles look a lot more like the Cowboys of the last few years: all kinds of talent and all kinds of underachieving. I don’t see Vick lasting more than 12 games, and they need him for all 16. Is Vince Young ready to take over? The Titans think not.
MCeezy – Over. Though I still think all this dream team stuff is a bit forced. I could name 10 other teams from the past 5 years that were more stacked. (wait, right now?) Still, 11-5 isn’t too high an expectation by any stretch of the imagination. I’m willing to bet they’ll lead the league in Nielsen Ratings that’s for sure.
49ers (7.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, I like Jim Harbaugh and the attitude he’s brought to this team, but hate that Alex Smith is still their QB. At least the Raiders know when to cut their losses. Their schedule looks manageable, but it’s hard to be confident in this squad.
Dre – Over. Yeah, I said it. The 9ers will win 9 games this year in spite of Alex Smith, not because of him. The defense was strong last year, and the addition of Edwards (while not spectacular) will help loosen up the running game. The NFC West is a crap shoot, so why not the 9ers??
MCeezy – Over. Everyone out this way is down on the 49ers right now. As much as I’d like to be, I don’t think they’ll be as bad as everyone thinks. They stumbled out the gates, losing so many players I had to write about it, but I feel like they’ve made up for it since then. No matter what, they still have Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Patrick Willis. They can be good. Something has to happen at QB though. Either Alex Smith plays less shitty than ever before, or Colin Kaepernick emerges as a legitimate QB. Something has to happen.
Seahawks (6.5 wins)
Chappy – Over, eventhough I wrote that the Niners and Seahawks were already playing for the #1 pick, I guess I feel like Tavaris hasn’t really been given a fair shake. This is easily my least confident NFC pick though.
Dre – Under. Last year they made the playoffs with 7 wins, both feats marking major overachievements. I think they fall just one game short, 6 wins seems like a max with neither of their QBs a proven starter. I mean, Tarvaris lost his job to an AARP member, and Whitehurst may have been a stretch to think he could go from 3rd string at SD to franchise savior.
MCeezy – Over. This team is tough to predict. They’re starting to stack the team with guys I like, so I may find myself rooting for them. But, they’re now rockin Tarvaris Jackson at QB. At least he brought Sidney Rice along with him – it might give him a nice safety net early until he gets acquainted with Mike Williams and Zach Miller. And who knows, what if Marshawn goes Beast Mode all season. I think he may be rejuvenated this year starting the season on his new team full of Pac-10 guys.
Rams (7.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, unfortunately this team has a really tough schedule. The end of their season looks a lot easier, but when it looks like you should lose 6 of your first 9 games, it’s tough to pick the over.
Dre – Over. After 7 wins last season, anything short of 8 wins seems like an under achievement, considering they have next Big QB. The Rams drafted receiving help with 2 WR and a TE (in the 2nd rd no less), and continue to add strength in their D. With a wide open NFC West, the Rams should challenge for the 9ers for the lone shot at the playoffs.
MCeezy – Under. Chappy’s right. Their schedule is brutal. Do I think they can be an 8 win team? Any other year, yeah. With the schedule they open with, they’d be lucky to start any better than 1-6.
Buccaneers (8 wins)
Chappy – Under, I think we all kept waiting to see how they’d spend their big cap surplus, but nothing much happened. Last season was a little too magical, and I think they come back to earth a little.
Dre – Over. Eight wins seems quite low for new cream atop the South. Josh Freeman is the next It Kid, and after last season’s 10 win season is a sign of better days in TB. The Bucs made two huge picks on the Dline, Clayborn who was a stud at Iowa and perhaps the biggest bargain in the draft, Da’Quan Bowers. His slip from top 3 to 51 over a knee injury was well documented.
Redskins (6.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, they’ll be lucky to win any of their division games. Starting Rex Grossman should tell you everything you need to know about their chances this year…
Dre – Under. The Skins seem like they are in a serious state of transition. Judging from last year’s six win season, the decline is far from over. Will it be Beck or Rex? Torain or Hightower? Moss or Stallworth? Notice how none of that sounded appetizing? I see a top 5 pick in the very near future…
MCeezy – Under. Ugh, I think they may very well win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. There are worse teams in football, but the Redskins are a lock for an 0-6 division record, unless they manage to steal one from Dallas.
Alright, alright, you’ve probably seen this by now. But how could we resist with all the other Asians doing funny stuff videos we post. Of course when the story of Georgetown getting in a huge brawl with Bayi of China last night, everyone was asking the same thing: where’s the video? First a couple of still photos leaked, and then finally someone broke through the great firewall of China and got the video up. Actually, the Chinese government likely only allowed the video since it gives the impression that the Chinese team f*cked the other guys up. I’m willing to bet this footage is doctored. What we didn’t see is the Chinese guys probably threw a bunch of cheap shots leading up to this, and there may have been some punches landed by Georgetown that were left out of the final cut. But that’s how the Chinese powers that be work. Get used to it….
It’s been a little while since we did our A’s and Giants updates. As always, By is covering the World Champs and Chappy is covering the A’s.
San Francisco Giants (66-56, 2nd) Oakland A’s (53-68, 4th place)
Oakland A’s – The A’s won back to back road series for the first time since April. Upon coming home, they were promptly swept by the Rangers. The A’s bats have come alive since the All-Star break scoring the 5th most runs post AS break. Josh Willingham is one home run shy of giving us a 20 home run hitter for the first time since Cust did it in 2009. Is it a positive that we are already calling up prospects like Brandon Allen to see what they got? I guess so, but that just means we are way out of it. At least yesterday he went 6 for 8 over his last two games. Since all of our outfield will be free agents this year I’m not sure why we haven’t seen more youngsters. The Willingham, Matsui, Dejesus, and Conor Jackson projects should come to an end soon, and maybe we’ll see how Choice, Carter, or Taylor does.
SF Giants - As bad as the offensive woes have been for the Giants, they’re still only 2.5 back from Arizona, when they could and should very well be out of the division race by now. They’ve lost 12 of their last 17 all the while the D’Backs seem to never lose. Our starting pitching has been superb and consistent, and all Giants fans know that our chances at repeating hinge on our staff. That’s not, and never has been the problem. The good news is, Sunday’s game against the Marlins, and Monday’s game at Atlanta showed a bit of inclination that our offense has started to turn a corner. Unfortunately Brian Wilson blew the game against the Braves. Easily the most painful loss of the season for the Giants. If the bats can produce 3-4 runs a game going forward, I have much confidence that the Giants make the post season and do some serious damage towards claiming another title.
Oakland A’s – Where to start. Oh yeah, our defense. What was thought to be a strength coming into the season has been a glaring weakness. We continually shoot ourselves in the foot committing errors every game, and thankfully Melvin is pissed about it. There’s no way this team should be third in the league in errors backing up a great pitching staff. This also got me thinking, is our team ERA just good because they give up a lot of unearned runs? Even Trevor and Gio look pretty average as of late. CJ Wilson talked crap about how the A’s suck and so do their fans before Texas came to Oakland, and kinda backed it up after one of the most disappointing series of the year for the A’s.
SF Giants - Well, the fact that at one point last month we looked to be smooth sailing towards winning the division, then added perhaps the best free agent bat to help bolster our lineup, and now, we are slipping out of contention and that big bat we added can’t even suit up for us. Yeah that’s pretty lame. Losing the series to the Pirates hurt. Losing 3-4 at home against the Phil’s stung. Letting Arizona take the last series against us at home wasn’t helpful. Getting swept by the Reds flat out sucked. I can’t even write a reasonable “Three Down” segment for this post, I’m just a little upset, but by no means have I lost faith in the Giants. But I won’t lie, I’m very nervous right now.
I’m usually the last one you’d expect to get a boxing post from, but I got home from work this afternoon expecting to turn on an A’s – Orioles game in progress from Baltimore. Unfortunately, I was confused – they’re playing out here in California. But FORTUNATELY, the station that airs the game was showing some ten year old boxing. Well wait, that’s not the good part. Usually I’d change it right away, but immediately I recognized Peter McNeeley. Of course I remember him from his infamous fight with Mike Tyson back in 1995, but I was too young to care enough for a pay-per-view fight. I was old enough, though, to know that the fight wasn’t going to end well, and that we’d probably never hear from McNeeley again (if we were lucky). So when I saw him being introduced, I decided to leave the remote where it was. And when I saw his opponent, Henry Akinwande, I turned up the sound and scooted closer to the TV. I could tell McNeeley was in the twilight of his career, but the broadcast looked straight out of the early 90s. Amazingly enough it was 2001, which was probably better for me in the long run, since it meant that he truly was on the decline. Besides the obvious intimidation edge Akinwande had, he had a pretty significant reach advantage as well.
McNeeley came out guns blazing – not necessarily hitting anything – prompting the announcers to pull out the “that’s why they call him Hurricane” line early. I actually thought he was going to stand a chance. But about 30 seconds in, McNeeley was tired, and Akinwande started landing jabs as if they were mere bites of a hamburger. You could actually hear fans laughing in the background as McNeeley took jab after jab to the face. He went to the mat twice in the first round. Neither time the result of a devastating blow, rather a flurry of combos that pretty much scared him into the ground. In the second round, I’m almost positive he was out on his feet until he actually was knocked to the ground. This time, it was a bonafied knockout blow, as Akinwande could tell he was pretty much defenseless. Amazingly, this was one of only six times McNeeley was knocked out. On the other hand, he’s now 0-3 in fights I’ve actually heard of. If you like one-sided fights that people post on youtube where you’re sort of cringing the whole time because you know one person has ZERO chance, enjoy this bad boy…. Or, skip to part 2 for the downward spiral….
It’s that time of year again, and Vegas has released the props for projected win totals in the NFL earlier this week. We all took a crack at how we thought each AFC team would fare against the over/under totals, so read the teams you care about or all of them if you like our opinions that much. For the 2010 season, we were right on for 68% of our picks!
Patriots (11.5 wins)
Dre – Over. This might be the easiest bet on the board. The Pats won more last year, and have added an offensive weapon in 85 (said in Spanish) and a defensive stud-when-he-wants-to-be in Haynesworth. These deals always work out for the Pats. I can see 14 again easy.
Chappy – Over, I think the Pats are ready after letting all those young players grow last year. 14 wins with a mismatched cast last season has me felling confident with this pick.
By – Over. As much as I hope this team fails to live up to their expectations, the combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, with the additions of The Human Tweet and Albert Haynesworth should be more than enough to cover.
Chargers (10 wins)
Dre – Push. Last year’s was in inter-division fluke. And slow starts seem to plague this franchise. Before their week 6 Bye: 4-1 (Ws: Min, KC, Mia, Den. L: NE). And there will be no freak sloshball game that KC just barely wins, the 31-0 whoopin in game 2 was the truth.
Chappy – Push, not that they can’t win more than 10, but their schedule is rough this year with games against the reining champs, and the AFC East. They were abused by their division mates last year as well, so this isn’t a lock at all.
MCeezy – Under. The window has officially closed for the Chargers. They have virtually no running game, Floyd and Jackson seem to care more about money than anything else, and Philip Rivers is a meltdown waiting to happen.
By – Over. San Diego is still the measuring stick in the AFC West, and I haven’t seen anything done from the other teams in the division to change that. Plus, it’s a quarterback driven league and last I checked, Philip Rivers is still one of the highest rated qb’s as well as douche faces in the NFL.
Steelers (10.5 wins)
Dre – Over. By plenty. The Steelers will again be the class of the North, with their only competition coming from the Ravens twice, Pats and Colts. Otherwise they match up with the NFC West this year, not tough at all.
Chappy – Over, their schedule starts off a little tough, but after week 9 against Baltimore, they might be able to win their last six games without much challenge. I guess we’ll know if this prediction is going to workout by mid-season.
By – Over. I dislike the Steelers. They have more Lombardi Trophies than the 49ers, so I was uberly excited when they fell short to Green Bay in the Super Bowl last season, add to that it was to Cal’s Finest, woot woot! But let’s face it, the Steelers aren’t going anywhere and if anything, they’re even more motivated to return to the top.
Colts (9.5 wins)
Dre – Over. I wish I could say Peyton’s health could be an issue, and while it’s his neck and not legs he’s rehabbing, he’ll be out there by the second week of September to lead the Colts to victory. He’s Peyton Manning. Nuff said.
Chappy – Over, I don’t think a Peyton led team has won less than 10 games in a good decade. I’ll give it to them on that fact alone.
MCeezy – Over. The lockout is going to help the Colts as much as anyone. They’ve never been the best team on paper, but always know how to execute and get the job done. Manning’s discipline alone will probably carry the team to 12 wins.
By – Over. Yes the Colts don’t seem to be the sexy pick anymore, but on the strength of Peyton Manning alone, over.
Ravens (10.5 wins)
Dre – Over. I truly believe the Ravens will get the Steelers this year. Another easy schedule, like the Steelers, but the Ravens have a chip on their shoulder after the playoff loss to their rival. Either way, they’ll probably match up again in the divisional round.
Chappy – Under, They cleared a bunch of cap space, but didn’t do anything with the money. This fairly old defense has to break down eventually right? I wonder if the crime rate will go up as a result of them losing more games than last season?
MCeezy – Over. Let’s hope so at least. I’d hate to see a mellow Ricky Williams forced to endure evil, which we call crime.
By – Under. I like the Ravens, I really do, but their window has closed. Or I should say, Pittsburgh never let them open it. Baltimore will still be a force to be reckoned with throughout the league, but they’ll also still play second fiddle to the black and yellow up North.
Titans (6.5 wins)
Dre – Under. A gigantic question mark at QB is not the way to start a season, with Hassel’s back giving out periodically and a rookie who doesn’t know how to run out of bounds or slide to avoid contact. Should be an exciting year in Tennesse.
Chappy – Under, Chris Johnson is holding out. I can barely name anyone else on their team outside Finnegan and his fight night attitude. Hasselbeck should’ve stayed in Seattle imho.
By – Under. Chris Johnson is holding out. Even if he does sign, the Titans have no threat at wide receiver to keep defenses honest. Well, I take that back, there’s potential, but still. Like Chappy said, I can’t really name any other player on this team aside from the aforementioned. That usually means a losing record.
Dolphins (7.5 wins)
Dre – Under. Four losses within the division to start. Then a tough schedule after that, with an unproven QB and a rookie RB taking the ball. Marshall will be ineffective, and the addition of Reggie Bush will be a bust. Yeah I said it.
Chappy – Under, replacing Ronnie Brown and Rickey Williams with Reggie Bush isn’t the recepie for success. I do like the Marshall and Bess combo in the recieving core, but that isn’t enough in such a tough division.
MCeezy – Under. The Dolphins seemed like they were on the way back to contention, but I’m just not convinced they’ll be able to gel on the field this year. Unless, Jason Taylor has one more great season up his sleeve.
By – Under. Pretty much what Dre said, although I do like Marshall to be a little better than “ineffective” but not by much. Perhaps the term “somewhat useful” works better for me.
Texans (8.5 wins)
Dre – Under. Shouldn’t this line be 8 even? Everyone knows this is an 8 win offense and an 8 loss defense. I didn’t see enough in the additions of Joseph and Manning to the secondary to change that.
Chappy – Over, even though they didn’t improve this porous defense, they have a relatively easy schedule, so I see them topping 9 win mark. This might be one of my least confident picks.
By – Over. Why do I always fall for the Texans Pre-Season hype? This year there isn’t as much hype, but still, new season, same story for me. I just really like Houston’s offense. If Houston’s offense had a Facebook page, I would become a fan of it and like it. I hope it’s enough to squeeze out 9 wins.
Jets (8 wins)
Dre – Over. This seems pretty low considering the success this franchise has had the past two years. They didn’t lose a lot on offense, besides Braylon’s droppsies, and their defense is oh so strong.
Chappy – Over, I’m sure Rex is pissed at this win loss prediction that Vegas gave them. I almost went for a push with this one, but I bet they will be better than a .500 team. At least they have the AFC West on their schedule this year.
MCeezy – Over. How are they going to go back to .500 after such a solid year last season. We saw what Michael Vick did for Philly last year fresh out of jail, you mean to tell me adding Plaxico won’t propel them to an AFC East title this year?
By – Over. Not sure why the o/u is so low on this one, didn’t the Jets make the AFC Championship Game last season? They’ve only gained experience since then, and this team really responds to Rex Ryan and his antics. They might get swept by the Pats in the division this season, but 9 wins shouldn’t be too difficult for Gang Green.
Bills (5.5 wins)
Dre – Under. The Bills are still the Bills. Tough schedule this year between their division games and being matched up with the NFC east. Add on the Chargers and Chiefs, and it’s not looking promising.
Chappy – Under, I don’t even know what direction this team is going, but it’s not up. Being in the strongest division in the league won’t help them one bit either.
MCeezy – Under. The Bills are the equivalent of a triple-A team in the NFL. Nick Barnett and Shawne Merriman would have formed an amazing LB duo, but I’d prefer to have Poluzsny. I just can’t believe Lee Evans is still there. Is he the longest tenured player in Buffalo since Andre Reed?
By – Under. They can only compete with one team in their division, and that one team is still better than them. Add to that, they’ve got tough out of division match ups, and a 5 win season would be something to celebrate in Buffalo.
Browns (6.5 wins)
Dre – Under. Even being matched up with the NFC West won’t help as they’d be lucky to split. Their division is rough, and their veteran QB likes to give the ball back to the other team. No Bueno.
Chappy – Over, They did some good things last year, and I think they will improve again. They play the AFC and NFC West this year, which should help them get to 7 wins on the season.
By – Under. I do believe in the Madden curse. If anything happens to Peyton Hillis, the Browns are in big trouble.
Broncos (5.5 wins)
Dre – Under. I hope Kyle Orton keeps his job, but either way I don’t think the Broncos have enough talent to get past their own division and a tough rest of schedule. No defense is not how to win games, even with a nice draft on that side of the ball.
MCeezy – Over. I hope, for the Raiders’ sake, it’s the under, but I think Denver rebounds from a disappointing season, and Kyle Orton plays with a little extra fire, after many wrote him off before training camp. I also think John Fox has a rejuvenating year and guides this team back to the playoffs.
Dre – Push. Another QB situation up in the air. Will they let David Garrard go out there before they hand the keys over to their 1st round pick Gabbert? Is MJD completely healthy? If so, they get to 6 wins. Otherwise they will be drafting very high next season.
Chappy – Under, Any team on the brink of moving doesn’t seem to do that well. They were a nice story last season, but this year their schedule is much tougher. I feel like MJD is going to get hurt this year too…
By – Push. 6 wins hinges on Pocket Hercules’ health. If he stays healthy, the Jags can get to 6 wins, despite being in a very tough division. Big question is will David Garrard finish the season as the starting quarterback, or will future cornerstone Blaine Gabbert take over?
Chiefs (7.5 wins)
Dre – Over. The Chiefs are up and coming, and they have made strides on both sides of the ball. Their defense improved at each level, and their passing attack may comes close to rivaling their great running game. They will be better than .500.
Chappy – Under, I wouldn’t be shocked if I got this pick wrong. They have a great running game, and their special teams is second to none. Like I said with the Chargers, the AFC West has a tough schedule this year outside the division.
MCeezy – Over, but when I say over, I mean 8 wins. Last year was huge for the Chiefs, and they’ve kept their roster mostly intact. It’s too bad Mike Vrabel retired, but the additions of Steve Breaston and Le’Ron McClain should give them some much needed depth.
By – Under. What the Chiefs did last season was amazing, great turn around for a historic franchise. I’m just not ready to believe they are legit. I hope they prove me wrong, they have great pieces in place and are exciting to watch at times.
Dre – Under. Sorry Raiders fans, but still no solid passing game (Campbell, really?) means regular 8 man fronts to stop Run DMC. Everyone was shocked to see the Raiders have success last year. There will be no shock this year, don’t worry.
Chappy – Over, obviously this a “hoping/homer” pick. They won 8 games last year, and even though they lost Nnamdi, the Raiders were 2-2 in games he didn’t play due to injury. Hue Jackson has the respect of this team, so hopefully he can take advantage of it.
MCeezy – Over. They lost their two most productive players in Nnamdi Asomugha and Zach Miller, but it’s a team game, and Hue Jackson seems poised to have the Raiders playing like a team once again. Richard Seymour led the defense last year, and he’s back. Darren McFadden has a broken face, but there’s no way he doesn’t come back strong this year, as he enters the prime of his career.
By – Under. Sorry Chappy, sorry Matt. Don’t worry, I’ll be much more cruel to my Niners. Just don’t see anything positive going on for the Raiders.
Bengals (5.5 wins)
Dre – Under. This could be a sad year in Cincy. I’m not sure what Carson Palmer is thinking. Guess he’s just a quitter. They are in a tough division and their schedule isn’t that bad, but they seriously downgraded at QB and their stud rookie WR AJ Green will go mostly unused.
MCeezy – Over. I don’t know what to make of this team, but just for the sake of argument, I’ll say they reach 6-8 wins. Most people see the loss of Ochocinco, and a huge dark cloud of uncertainty around Carson Palmer. On the flipside, they’ve also had an aggressive offseason, adding guys like Nate Clements, Bo Scaife, Thomas Howard, and Manny Lawson.
Contrary to popular belief, Stevie Williams cannot win the Wanamaker Trophy this weekend. Yes, Adam Scott his player could, and if he does will his caddie be over shadowing the biggest win of his career? Maybe, but that’s up to the media to decide. Some say he’s the most famous caddie out there, but I’d counter that argument saying Danny Noonan is much more of a household name than Williams. It’s been an interesting week for Stevie and Adam regardless. Fortunately all of golf slowly turns thier attention to the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club. I’ve been trying to focus on the tournament more than the catty fight. One main reason for caring about this week more than others is I’m back to playing fantasy golf. Yes, thanks to Barstool sports, and the Sportschump, I’ve been playing the daily fantasy sports league that is, Draftstreet. This is their inaugural week for PGA fantasy golf on their site. I must say I’m excited about this, maybe a little too much, because I’ve been out of the fantasy golf game for a couple of years. Anyways, here’s a few thoughts I had on some of the players in the mix this weekend and why I will or won’t be picking them.
The Irish major winners. Rory McIlroy looked pretty good last week. I’ve been somewhat puzzled by how few tournaments he’s been playing in, and feel like it’s a bad thing he hasn’t consistently been in competition. For some reason I’m not buying him winning his second major or really coming all that close at a course that isn’t favorable to the over the pond playing style. Darren Clarke is probably still drinking out of the Claret Jug, which makes me weary of picking him as well. That being said, some of my personal best rounds came under the influence!
The old farts. David Toms won this tournament the last time it was at the Atlanta Athletic Club, so why not again? Sure the course was about 270 yards shorter and the holes have changed A LOT, but he did set a course record for fewest strokes in a major that still stands today (265). Maybe that magic will all come back to him this weekend. Phil Mickelson might be in the hunt, but we all know he’ll take too many risks on a course where it’s necessary to stay in the fairway. Then there’s the 47 year old Davis Love III. His season hasn’t been exactly exciting so far, but he seems to step it up in the majors. DL3 finished 12th at the Players, 11th at the US Open, and 9th in the Brittish Open. He’s still got the tools to get it done, and get you some nice fantasy points for relatively cheap. Lee Westwood is the young gun of the old farts group at 38. From what I’ve read it sounds like he’s in a good state of mind. We all know he has the tools to win this major, but will that ever happen? The Magic 8 ball told me no, so I’m rolling with that scientific strategy.
The young guns. Dustin Johnson is no doubt my favorite current golfer at the moment. Aside from his run at the Brittish Open he hasn’t had nearly as good a year as he had last year in the majors, but that doesn’t mean he can’t come crazy this week and pull out a victory or come close. Jason Day is my favorite to win this event. He’s performed the best at majors out of any player on the tour (finishing 2nd at the US Open and Masters). An added bonus to him being in contention is getting to see his wife as the TV cameras can’t seem to help themselves, not that I’m complaining. Rickie Fowler is one of the American favorites, wearing 80′s neon colors everytime out. He’s done well in his last two tourney’s, so maybe he can parlay that success into another strong performance.
The Stevie Williams pair. Tiger Woods pretty much has to be mentioned in any golf post. I don’t see him doing much in this tourney. A moral victory for him and his fans would have him on the leaderboard Sunday, but I don’t expect that to happen in this tourney. Adam Scott is playing out of his mind since Stevie took over his bag. Maybe he knows people aren’t even paying attention to him so he’s in a no pressure situation. He’s already taken Tigers old swing coach, his caddie, now he needs to find a way to take the swagger that Tiger brings to the course.
The Asains. Ryo Ishikawa hasn’t even figured out what he can and can’t do at the age of 19. We all see his potential, and finishing 2nd at the US Open only showed us a tip of the proverbial iceberg of his talent. There’s one main reason to root for him though, and it’s because he’s giving all his earnings this year to the Japan relief. KJ Choi is often overlooked, but he’s always grinding away. Ever since winning the Players Championship he hasn’t fared too well. I’m not picking him because he has struggled lately. Y.E. Yang is more known as the first guy to beat Tiger heads up on a Sunday, but he’s quietly put together a solid season. None of his stats stand out this year, but he’s not out of the top 30 in most tournaments.
My final lineup is;