Tag Archives: winning

A’s Stand Pat

Last night I went to the A’s vs. Rays 5 hour marathon that ended in a surprising 12th walk off win for the A’s. The highlight other than the walk off sac fly was either seeing Cespedes fly around the bases or the seemingly standard outfield assist from Reddick. As the innings rolled along was thinking about the good things that come from having a dive park. One, you never have to worry about a game being sold out (except against the Giants), and two, you can get in for under $15 and sit in pretty good seats or at least move to some. Also, the fans that go to the game seem genuinely into the game opposed to the other parks I’ve been to where cell phones seem to rule the stands.

Anyways, bear with me, because sometimes I stray on my A’s posts due to extreme excitement. I wasn’t disappointed to see the A’s not make any moves at the deadline. Even though the Angels and Rangers made big splashes with their pitching acquisitions of Greinke and Dempster. In Beane we trust, and if he didn’t see the right deal for the A’s there probably wasn’t one. Plus the A’s already made their moves in June right around the time they started taking off. Waiver claims on Travis Blackley and Brandon Inge have been huge boosts while giving up nothing. Everyone they’ve called up from the minors seems to help in one way or another. If for some reason they need help in the starting pitching department when the rookies hit their limits or break down a little, they currently have SP Dan Straily waiting in AAA and he’s the #1 rated prospect in all of baseball according to ESPN. They also have proven pitching in Dallas Braden, Brett Anderson, and Brandon McCarthy all rehabbing from injuries. The only obvious place they needed an upgrade was shortstop, and last night recent shortstop call up Brandon Hicks hit a game tying homer. Hicks also had a walkoff in his third game with the A’s. One of the many examples of the A’s stumbling into found money in their system this year.

Everyone says the A’s need another bat, because they have the worst BA in the league, but when you get past the BA there’s a lot of good things going on. The BA statistic can be misleading, because since early June the A’s aren’t bad on offense, and the big reason their BA is so low is because of a dreadful April and May where they only averaged just over 2 runs per game. During their current July streak they only trail the Yankees in homers for the month, so standing pat is more and more palatable when they’ve gone from last to eighth in a month and a half in homers hit in the AL. Chris Carter’s emergence has been crucial to protecting Cespedes in the lineup, as he’s finally showing the patience and power that had A’s fans so excited about his Ryan Howard type potential when they acquired him in the Dan Haren deal.

Some think the A’s will fade as the season gets into August and September, but weren’t they supposed to fade when they had to play the Rangers and Yankees? Wasn’t the fairy tale story supposed to fade when they went back east to play Baltimore and Toronto last week? I know that the team has over achieved at least a little, but at some point you have to accept it as fact over a trend. Even last night I felt like Melvin out managed one of the best managers in the game in Joe Maddon. A big question I have is why doesn’t Cespedes get any love for helping turn this team around. Since he returned to the lineup on June 20th all he’s done is hit over .350 with 9 homers and 30 RBI’s. I get it, Trout is the MVP and ROY, but it seems like Cespedes should be getting more press than he is. Especially with the A’s sitting a half game ahead of the Angels in the standings, and a HUGE reason for that has been because of Cespedes’s play.

Quick side tangent, if the A’s, Rangers, and Angels all make the playoffs it will be the first and only time 75% of a division makes the playoffs. The reason it would be the only time is because of the addition of the 2nd wild card and the Astros will be joining the AL West next year, which will make it impossible to happen again.

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Doin Lines Week 2

Chappy: Off to a terrific start to the gambling season, I mean NFL season, and I’m already feeling better than I did last year. I think we all learned more about teams in week 1’s 16 games than we did in all 60 preseason games combined. It seems like a thousand things happened in only one week of football, but that’s probably because we over analyze everything. Let’s keep all this good mojo we got going, and get on to the picks for week 2!

By: A quick blurb.  It’s week two, and I still feel so grateful that we are even watching football, maybe the effects of it won’t wear off at all this year.  People don’t realize how much they appreciate watching a game until it’s almost taken away from them.  Perhaps that’s the reason why Chappy and I were on fire during opening week, look at that winning percentage right there!  We got a good thing back with football, and we weren’t blowing picks on just any game.  We were focused.  We were determined.  We still are.  Although I must apologize ahead of time to Chaps, I think I just jinxed us for the rest of the season there … I guess we’ll find out soon enough.  On to the lines!

Last Week: Chappy (3-1-1) By (3-1)

Kansas City @ Detroit (-8.5)

Chappy picks Detroit (-8.5). Under normal conditions I’d never take the Lions to beat any team by more than a touchdown. I don’t think the Chiefs offense will be nearly as bad as they were against Buffalo as Bowe and Charles are bound to have better games, but their defense is awful. How do you let Ryan Fitzpatrick rip you a new one. I mean the Chiefs didn’t land at #32 in our power rankings for no reason! I don’t see the Chiefs having any answers for Megatron as he’ll knock the cornerbacks off him like nats without Eric Berry roaming the secondary. I see a close first half and a dominating second half for the Lions.

Arizona @ Washington (-4)

By picks Washington (-4). Am I really going with a team that has Rex Grossman running the show?  You bet your bottom dollar I am!  It’s not that I’m high on Grossman, but Arizona didn’t exactly impress me squeaking by Carolina at home last week.  Yes, Cam Newton went off, but what many are neglecting to ask is, how much of that was due to bad defense?  Cam Newton can’t really be that good, can he?  While not blown away by Washington’s opening performance, I did take notice.  Ultimately, my prediction is Grossman puts together a string of solid games to start the season, then returns to his “Hyde” form shortly after, throwing plenty of picks, and throwing away chances at wins along the way.  But for the time being, the Redskins ride their high all the way to their second consecutive home victory by at least 10 points.  Keep your eye on Tim Hightower as well, he’ll have a bit of a chip on his shoulder facing his old team.

Oakland @ Buffalo (-3.5)

Chappy picks Oakland (+3.5). I’m never a big fan of picking my team especially when they are travelling to the eastcoast to play an early game when they just played a Monday night game, but I can’t help myself. I actually have hope they can win outside the division this year, and hopefully it will start this week. A lot has changed since their last match up three years ago. Jamarcus was our starting QB, Buffalo still believed in Marshawn. Now both these teams look somewhat competent coming out of the gates. I love the way the Raiders are trying to be the bullies they were back in their glory days. In the MNF game they tried to give Denver chances to win with many ugly penalties, but maybe they learned something (probably not). I see them at least covering the spread.

Tampa Bay @ Minnesota (-3)

By picks Minnesota (-3). The Vikings did everything in their power to lose their season opening game at San Diego.  They begged Philip Rivers to bring the Chargers back, and that’s exactly what he did.  The Chargers are also said to be contenders in the opinions of many.  Conversely, Tampa Bay, last season’s surprise, got flat out beat by Detroit at home.  This makes the Vikings loss the more impressive of the two, or the lesser between two evils.  To Tampa’s credit, a lot is expected from the Lions this season, but I said in last week’s predictions, that I felt Tampa would use this season as an opportunity to take two steps back from last season’s success, and nothing that happened in week one has me thinking otherwise.  It should be a close game late, until Tampa subjects to some growing pains, making some crucial mistakes, while AP goes nuts.  I have a strange feeling AP goes over 200 in this game.  Vikings by 6.

Baltimore @ Tennessee (+6)

Chappy picks Baltimore (-6). The Ravens were easily the most impressive team last weekend while destroying their division foes, but like Terell Suggs said “You’re only as good as your next game”. That kind of attitude has me believing in this team more than I thought I would. There’s nothing not to like about Ray Rice right now, He was snatched up just before my first pick in both my fantasy drafts. I see their defense being able to contain CJ and possibly making Rice the best running back in the game right now. If they can stay healthy, they are going to be tough for any team to beat. Hasselbeck had a decent game for Tennessee last week, but he’s always one play away from being out for the year. Baltimore can deliver those kinds of blows, and will rattle the veteran at some point during the game into a turnover or two.

Cincinnati @ Denver (-5)

By picks Denver (-5). Listen, I’m probably more pro Tebow than anyone outside of Jesus, but even I know Tebow isn’t Denver’s best option at quarterback yet.  The Broncos ran into a highly motivated, and talented Raiders team, that ran wild on them.  That’s not really Kyle Orton’s fault.  I don’t believe the Broncos are a playoff contender, but I do believe they have more to offer than what was shown last Monday.  It’s the fans in Denver that are making them seem worse than what they really are.  The Bengals won their first game by fluke, and when pitted against a team that would like nothing more than to shut their own fans up, Kyle Orton goes ape shit and adds another 400 yard game to the calendar, while the Bengals reveal their true stripes.  Denver by 14.

Green Bay @ Carolina (+9.5)

Chappy picks Green Bay (-9.5). Cam was spectacular in his debut. I’ll be honest, I didn’t see it coming. I thought he’d be okay this year, as in, better than Tebow, but not 422 yards good. While it was a nice story for week 1, he still lost, and the Packers are going to roll out a lot of defensive schemes that will make him look like the rookie he is. If AZ can put up 28 on Carolina’d D, there’s no reason to think the Packers can’t put up 50 without breaking a sweat. I wouldn’t be shocked to see this line jump to 10 before the weekend (I wrote this on Wednesday, and low and behold the line is 10!). Too many people betting on Green Bay I see, they still look plenty attractive with the adjusted half point to the line!

San Diego @ New England (-6.5)

Chappy: San Diego (+6.5). Whoa, four picks for the road teams this week. Hopefully this works out. It seems like everyone has the Chargers somewhere between 5-8 in their power rankings, yet the Patriots are a touchdown favorite for this game?!? It feels like this line should be more in the 4 range, because the last three times they’ve hooked up the games have been decided by 4 or less points. Granted the Patriots looked amazing in their opener, while the Chargers looked a little rusty, but both over matched their opponent throughout their respective games. One thing I think we can all agree on is that both these offenses are great. Another thing we can probably agree on is that the Chargers have the better defense, and a few recievers as big as Brandon Marshall with a better QB than Chad Henne throwing to them. I hope SD loses by six or less!

Philadelphia @ Atlanta (+3)

By picks Philadelphia

You didn’t think I was only going to pick teams with home games this week, did you?  You didn’t think I was going to turn my back on the Eagles, did you?  If you said no to those questions, you thought right!  Although if there’s one team that could steal away a vote from me towards Philly in a match up, it would be the Falcons.  Matty Ice, Roddy Roddy Piper White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and Burner Turner.  That’s a lot of weapons, and despite being held in check out in Chicago last week, no one expects this high octane offense to stall any further.  With that said, Mike Vick has been amazing since last season, and the balance on Philly’s offense, as well as the ability for the Eagles to hit a home run on any given play gives them the edge here.  I think the Eagles win by 6 in a barn burner, 40-34 in what will easily be the game of the week.  Vick returns to Atlanta too, drama …


Sterling and Sheen

Today, Donald Sterling, released this promo above saying that 1,000 underprivilaged kids and thier parents can go to a game for free in support of Black History Month. Sterling is well known for being racist, heckling his own players, and not caring about anything that doesn’t effect his pocket book. Not sure what you can read into this poster since Black History Month was obviously in February. All kinds of unintentional comedy with this one. The picture is classic, because Sterling has probably one of the whitest black guys out there for the ad. Only reason I say that is because my girlfriend always calls me White instead of Asian… I’d nominate Al-Farouq Aminu, because he descends from a line of Nigerian kings.

Speaking of crazy people that make little to no sense with their actions, Charlie Sheen has made himself into the most quotable guy in recent memory. I’ve always been a fan of Sheen, he had me with the Chase and Major League. I don’t know many people who liked Two and a Half Men, but he’s living the lifestyle that many men wish they could. Yes, he’s got major problems, but his problems don’t seem all that bad when you are constantly winning! I watched him on the Today Show interview and shortly after on his TMZ interview, and thought it would be fun to make a list of my favorite quotes from his wild non-drug enduced tirade.

Drugs and Winning

“I am on a drug, it’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”

“The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning,” “Just winning every second,” “Winning, anyone?” “Duh, winning!”

“Drug tests don’t lie. Scoreboard doesn’t lie. Duh. Winning.”

On Himself

“Come on, bro, I won best picture at 20. I wasn’t even trying. Wasn’t even warm yet”

“I tried marriage. I’m 0 for 3 with the marriage thing. So, being a ballplayer — I believe in numbers. I’m not going 0 for 4. I’m not wearing a golden sombrero.”

“I’m tired of pretending I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending like I’m not bitching a total fricking rock star from Mars, and people can’t figure me out; they can’t process me. I don’t expect them to. You can’t process me with a normal brain.”

On Rehab aka His House

“We couldn’t really call it rehab because we didn’t have a license to operate one, so it was a crisis management center that we labeled the Sober Valley Lodge. Its primary client achieved radical success.”

“AA was written for normal people. People that don’t have tiger blood and Adonis DNA, I survived drug addiction because I’m me. I’m different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man.”

That’s a lot of quotes from one man in two days. There were some others, but this was already getting longer than I expected, because every thing he says is pure gold! I wouldn’t mind being on the drug called Charlie Sheen, unless he is right and it does kill you… I’m going to try and incorporate as many of his quotes into my daily life as possible.


Who Thinks the Rangers Can Win? THIS GUY!

Even though I had my doubts when the Rangers drew the Rays in the first round, they still came through. For some reason I like the Rangers chances even more against the all mighty Yankees than I did against the Rays. Back in September when the Rangers swept the Yankees, I started to believe in them, and wrote a little about why. In that series they were without Josh Hamilton, and the Yankees were without A-Rod, so I figure those two injuries evened each other out lineup wise. What they got from that series more than anything was some extra confidence that they belong with the best. The Rangers have a swagger to them, there’s no way around it, and they’ve been that way all year. I know I brought this up in an older post, but I remember one game back in June when Ian Kinsler was yelling at the Angels players after the game in Arlington to get off their field. I thought it was kind of stupid since they played each other the next day, but it speaks volumes about this team’s mentality, and how together they are. I mean, how many teams would do a separate ginger ale celebration because one of their players is an addict? How many teams survive a manager’s dirty drug test? How many teams would have survived a bankruptcy during a season seeing guys that played in Texas eight years ago, still not being paid what was owed to them? Not many can go through that much turmoil in the workplace, but I think all those outside distractions just made them closer. They don’t roll over like the Twins did when things went wrong, they just move on to the next pitch. Continue reading


J-Ridiculous!

A big game one victory for the Suns, the whole team must have let out a nice collective exhale. They’ve been dominated by the Spurs for too many years for me to want to remember. The year of the bloody Nash nose, coupled with the Amare suspension gave me flashbacks to Game 6 of 2002 series in Sacramento against the Lakers. We won’t go there, we just can’t, it’s too painful. Jason Richardson seems to be the Suns barometer on whether they will win or not. Continue reading


Optimism For Athletics Fans, Once Again: A Rebuilding Process in Review

Even Stomper's excited!

Even Stomper's excited!

The A’s had their fans hopes sky high going into this season after making many moves and signings to acquire talent, instead of their normal MO of trading away talent. One thing led to another, and we found that the guys we signed either weren’t that good in an A’s uniform, or were just plain old. This season has been a disappointment to say the least especially with some of the experts picking them to win the AL West at the beginning of the year. Those dreams were quickly dashed as we saw Matt Holliday consistently getting fooled by pitches, and taking the crown for most fly ball outs since Eric Chavez was healthy and playing. Once his trade to the Cardinals went through Oakland once again had hope for the future.Rivercats Brett Wallace 3-Run Home Run At the time of the trade all A’s fans wanted was a bag of peanuts for Holliday, but instead we got what looks like a great hitter in the near future with Brett Wallace, and a possible good end of the rotation pitcher in Mortensen.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been paying that much attention to them since they dipped below the 20 games out of first. Alas, they have been playing very good as of late, which has inspired me to pay attention to them again. Maybe it’s because the games don’t matter, or maybe it’s because they have finally adopted a new style of play since their most recent rebuilding began. Since being swept by Seattle on August 26th, they’ve won or tied every series since, going 16-6, and are currently on a seven game win streak. Once again, A’s fans will be able to go into the off-season hoping that a fresh start will rid us of our recent losing ways.

The A’s main failings over the past couple season’s have all pointed to their incompetence on offense, and since getting rid of Holliday, Giambi, and Cabrera they’ve surprisingly done much better in that department. Post All-Star break, the A’s have led the league in stolen bases, doubles, and are third in runs scored. For a team that never used to steals bases, and isn’t known for manufacturing runs, it’s refreshing to see them make a change for what suits their players. The always referenced “Moneyball” will finally be an afterthought, as they seem to be turning to a new page. I haven’t read anywhere that they’ve had a change in philosophy, but it’s pretty obvious if you ever pay attention to them. Even Rajai Davis, a guy I never thought I’d like, is tearing it up. He stole his 40th bag of the season last night against Cleveland, and is the first big threat on the base-paths since Rickey Henderson was around. Rex Hudler, the Angels announcer, whom I completely despise, actually made a good point about the A’s and how they have adapted to so called “Angel way” of manufacturing runs. He likes how they are putting pressure on opposing defenses to worry about runners taking off at any given moment, which opens holes in the infield for more of those dribblers to get through. In a post steroid era the A’s can’t rely on power as much as they once did as we all know it was rampant in the Bay Area. So the shift to stealing bases and manufacturing runs has looked like the a good change in their philosophy, and is starting to pay dividends in the win column late in the season.

Chris Carter hits his fourth home run of the playoffs and is tied for most by a Rivercat in one series.

Chris Carter hits his fourth home run of the playoffs and is tied for most by a Rivercat in one series.

The greatest part about these late season stats is the fact that this isn’t even the reason I’m optimistic for next season. I’m excited about the guys going to be in our offense of the future. Sure guys like Kurt Suzuki are going to be mainstays in the lineup for awhile, but since everybody digs the long ball, A’s fans should be very excited about the two power hitters coming to Oakland sooner rather than later. 3rd baseman, Brett Wallace (#2 in Baseball Prospectus) and 1st baseman, Chris Carter (#4 in Baseball Prospectus) are the new reasons there is optimism in Oakland. They’ve already contributed to the Sacramento Rivercats (AAA) team during their playoff run for a PCL championship. Carter had three home runs in one game since being called up from AA about a month ago, and he is the closest to Ryan Howard type hitter the A’s have in their farm system.  Many point to Carlos Gonzalez as the biggest position player gained in the Dan Haren deal, but Chris Carter has the potential to have much more power than C-Gon. It also looks as though we kept the best pitcher from the Haren deal as well in Brett Anderson, who has had a rocky season, but has shown that he has ace type stuff. Brett Wallace should be on the other corner for the A’s infield solidifying a position that’s been a problem since Chavez went on the DL, about three seasons ago. Personally Wallace reminds me of Troy Glaus, and if we got that I’d be pretty happy. If the A’s can continue to steal bases and hit doubles the way they have been at the end of this season, and add the power of Wallace and Carter to the lineup they will undoubtedly have a chance to challenge the Angels for years to come.

Brett Anderson has won two straight decisions for the first time in his career over his last two starts.

Rookie, Brett Anderson, has won two straight starts for the first time in his career.

Their pitching has been shaky at times this year, and may continue to stay that way as their under 25 year old rotation learns the ropes. Between Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Vin Mazzaro, Gio Gonzalez, and maybe Justin Duchscherer (if he snaps out of his depressed mental state) we should have a solid rotation come next season. The young guys have taken their lumps this season, but they have also shown that they can shut teams and shown glimmers of domination. This year should have taught them the ropes as they find out what types of adjustments they need to make going into the off-season to prevent those crooked numbers from going up on the score board. Michael Inoa is a long way from being called up, but he’s another young guy I will be keeping my eye on, especially since we gave him a Strausberg like contract for a 16-year-old, which I still feel is kind of ridiculous. All in all I couldn’t ask for much more from our management on a tight budget. You just have to hope it all pans out!