Daily Archives: October 22, 2009

A Night Angels Fans Will Never Forget

This is the Angels window.... shutting.

This is the Angels' window.... shutting.

Sure, I’ve called myself Nostradamus before.  It’s too bad our blog is so young, because I’d love to go back and audit all my predictions, such as declaring Jamarcus Russell a bust when the Raiders selected him first overall.  However, since we can’t talk about the past, allow me, if you will, to explain what’s going to be set in motion tonight.  The Angels will lose another post season series, this time at the hands of a tremendously overpowering Yankees squad.  I’m not just predicting a loss, though.  I’m predicting the beginning of the end for the Anaheim Angels current “dynasty.”  Much like Sacramento Kings fans will remember Chris Webber’s fateful knee injury during their Western Conference Semifinal series against Kevin Garnett’s Minnesota Timberwolves as the moment that kicked off the demise of the Sacramento Kings, the conclusion of the Angels’ season tonight will trigger a downward spiral for years to come.

At the center of the issue is the decline of Vladimir Guerrero.  Although he’s only 34, he looks like Wilfred Brimley stepping to the plate.  The Angels will have to address the issue of whether or not he’s going to continue to be the man in Orange County.  As a result, if you take Vlad out of that lineup – or perhaps even if you leave him in there – the offense looks pretty suspect.  It remains unclear, also, if Bobby Abreu will be in their plans.  Across the infield, Howie Kendrick appears to have hit his ceiling, and Chone Figgins can’t be getting any faster.  Kendry Morales should be a mainstay at first, but I don’t see him having a Tim Salmon-like career in Anaheim.  There are no question marks when it comes to the pitching staff, however, as Lackey, Saunders, Santana, Kazmir, and Weaver should hold down the rotation for years to come. And although the organization is usually deep on pitching, there’s a lack of offense in the Angels’ system right now.  Once a heralded prospect, Brandon Wood has pretty much settled into the role of AAAA star.

Vlad takes a breather between pitches.

Vlad takes a breather between pitches.

What I envision happening tonight, on a greater scale, is a fan base realizing that their team has already peaked, and won’t remain in contention much longer.  Unless they bring in a few big ticket names next season, which I’ll admit is a possibility, fans won’t have much to be excited about, knowing their window is all but shut.  Let’s be honest, how many Angels fans even existed before 2002?  Although it can be said that owner Arte Moreno’s deep pockets will keep the team competitive, waning attendance could prove too much for the franchise to handle.  I’m not saying the Angels are going to fold in the next few years, but just don’t expect to see them in the same position they are tonight for a while.

UPDATE: I really didn’t see the Angels hanging on in this one. Check back here next game.

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Doin Lines Week 7

My favorite Rams Cheerleader

Kate is my favorite Rams Cheerleader

Hmm, maybe I’m not cut out to do this anymore for our blog. It seems like my record is going downhill faster than Southern California is getting pushed out of the playoffs. After going 2-4 last week, I’m under .500 for the first time on the season at 14-16. I missed three games by 2 or less points last week which really hurt, and made me realize once again that Vegas is way too good at making these lines! I guess it always goes in waves with football, so good news is I’m due for a winning weekend after two miserable ones. Anyways, here are my week 7 picks, and as always the home teams are in bold.

Indianapolis (-13) Over St. Louis

Hmmm, REAL tough one here! I think I’d give early MVP Peyton after a bye week 21 points over the Rams. I don’t think the Colts will overlook the Rams, the way the formerly undefeated Eagles overlooked the Raiders last weekend. It’s nearly impossible for teams to compete with the Colts when they have two weeks to prepare, so this should be a massacre. I doubt this game will be worth watching, but it’ll sure be worth betting on! If the Rams weren’t close to the league lead in penalties, I might give them a small shot to cover, but as of now I’m putting this one down as my lock of the week. On a side note, if you’re wondering why there’s a beautiful lady at the top the last two weeks, I’ve run out of interesting pictures of chalk lines, so I’ll be picking a hot cheerleader/fan of the losing team in my favorite pick of the week. So in case you were looking for something positive about Rams, at least there’s Kate…

I'd really like to see Cribbs on a good team.

I'd really like to see Cribbs on a good team.

Green Bay (-7) Over Cleveland

I won’t make the same mistake twice of underestimating the Green Bay offense against a crappy team, and the Browns are just that. Last weekend made me realize that the Packers are at least organized enough to destroy the lower class of the league. This has the same set up as last weeks Lions matchup, and unless the Browns get a few kickoff returns from Cribbs they might not even get on the scoreboard. If I were Cleveland, I’d lock Joshua up since he seems to be the only thing right about the Browns these days. Anyways, I think Aaron Rodgers will keep fantasy owners, Green Bay fans, and gamblers happy with a big game similar to last week. This unfortunately is another unwatchable game on the weekend slate, and it looks like were already going to go three for three on the snore-a-meter with my next pick.

New England (-14.5) Over Tampa Bay (London)

Brady finally put up those video game numbers that we’ve been waiting all season for.

Brendan Frasor's best role all-time

Brendan Frasor's best all-time role

It’s pretty obvious he wasn’t missing those deep routes with Randy this weekend, so I look for that connection to finally start getting some consistency that we once saw. The only thing that makes me hesitate picking the Pats in this one is that last years game in London, the field was a total mess, and produced a very low scoring snoozefest. I haven’t really read up on whether or not they’ve made adjustments to the field to handle this game, but you have to figure it’s at least improved. With Tampa giving up as many points as the other team wants to score, it’s impossible not to pick the Pats here. The Bucs are about as well rounded as Brendan Fraser in the beginning of Encino man. If it wasn’t in London, this might very well be blacked out.

San Francisco (+3) Over Houston

I guess I jumped on the San Francisco bandwagon sometime early this year, and can’t seem to get off. They’re 4-1 vs. the spread, so you have to take the points when they’re given to you. The bye week came at a perfect time for them as they came off a loss that they really didn’t show up for. I look for them to bounce back in the same way Atlanta did against them after their bye week. I’m sure Singletary had them working out extra hard on their so called break. It’s also the first time we’ll see Crabtree on the field. Whether he makes a difference or is even on the field much remains to be seen, but they did open up a roster spot for him this week. Either way it’s just nice knowing that Hammer is on his side, and is ready to help show him the path to blowing boatloads of cash quick! I’m not quite sure I understand the Texans this year. They lose to Jacksonville and Arizona, but beat Cincy and NY Jets. They are about as up and down my picks this season, and only play well every other week, I like this as their off week, and losing to the 49ers outright.

Oakland (+6) Over NY Jets

Mark Sanchez Mexican JetsAh, and now to my Raiders. What a win last weekend! I really didn’t see it coming. I guess I want to thank the media and Giants players for getting those wall posting comments up in the Raiders locker room. It was a great defensive effort, and we finally see the reason that they made the trade for Seymour. Although they are more successful against teams that pass like the Chargers and Eagles, but struggle against balanced teams like the Giants and Broncos. Even with NY having a fairly balaced attack with a very good running game, the Raiders did beat them last year, which makes me believe that they can do the same this year or at least keep it close at home. Even though JaMarcus didn’t give me any added confidence in the offense last weekend, they did prove that they can convert a few third downs to at least give their defense a solid rest. I have a feeling they will bring the pressure once again against a shaky Sanchez. Did you see him on the sideline last weekend? I thought he was going to cry. If he’s closing in on the crying point, the New York media is going to tear him up. Hopefully it won’t come to that for him. Anyways, I’m sure Raiders fans will make him feel right at home after he throws his first pick.

Matt Ryan Throwing FalconsAtlanta (+4) Over Dallas

HOTlanta has been impressive this year, and I feel are being slightly under rated by the line makers this weekend by giving Dallas more than a FG for their home field advantage. The Falcons only subpar performance of the season was against the Patriots, and since that stumble they’ve been rolling. Their defense is better than I thought it would be this year, and is carrying them nearly as much as their highly touted offense. I see them putting up some big numbers against an over rated Dallas team. Wade Phillips will sink this ship sooner rather than later, so brace yourself for a possible losing season in Dallas. I think having Wade as the coach automatically discounts whatever benefits that a bye week has for a team. I mean they barely escaped an awful Kansas City team, and they’re getting four points against a better team!?! I guess that’s what happens if you’re a hometeam in your billion dollar supermall stadium. I guess a lot of fans in Texas are betting on their team, and raising that line.

New Orleans (-6.5) Over Miami

As much as I boasted about New Orleans in my best of the undefeated teams post, I’m a little concerned about giving up 7 points to a road team. Yes they beat down the Giants in their friendly confides, but this team has to have a let down at some point this season. Miami can control the clock for long periods of time, and is bound to have a few new wildcat variations in store for this weekend coming off a bye week. I’d be a little higher on Miami and their two game winning streak if they had beat teams that were close to New Orleans caliber. The Jets win was impressive, but if I’m going to pick the Raiders to cover in that one, I have to pick the team I dubbed the best in the league. The Dolphins defense is an aging one, and Brees will outsmart them whether it’s checking to a run or bombing it down field.