Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Running Diary for the KU game!


KU 57-55.

That was a close game. KU played pretty poorly, and are not living up to the billing that I gave them. I think that in the post game interview, Bill was fairly eloquent for him, but his hair is probably dyed. Just a random thought.

Cole was an animal leading the 'Hawks with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks. He went 4-5 from the line and was a force down low. Collins with 12, Henry with 11 (off of 3-11 shooting, 5-6 from the line), Marcus Morris didn't start, but got 10 points and only 1 rebound, and Tyrel Reed got his best stat (1 rebound, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 0-2 shooting) on the last play.

Wild one that KU will build on. Young and immature, and it showed. The only saving grace is that KU has GREAT depth. That will be a huge factor later in the year. Along with the maturation of the freshman and the addition of Morningstar and Withey, KU will only get better.



Setting the table:

16.7 seconds left. KU by one with the ball. 56-55. Memphis with a press and let's see if KU breaks it. Time out. Ewwwww. I'm not liking this. Last Time out by KU.

Now, no TO's.

KU gets it in, with Reed throwing in instead of Henry (shorter player, but smarter and more experienced). Collins to the line for 2.

Oh.... free throws. How I hate thee.....

Collins makes the second to make it a 2 point game.

The Three is Bricked and KU wins!!!!!

Way too close. Way too close.


Collins with a great floater, then goaltending. Easiest call of the night for the Refs who have been pretty good. I dont say that too often, but they really haven't sucked.

Until, there is some crazy stoppage of play with a subsequent 3 from Memphis. Way to set them up ref. (Ok, so I'm just bitter they made a 3, and it was ugly too).


Cole makes both. How many times can I say that he is earning himself a big payday come June.

Enormous 3 grom Memphis. They break the press and Billy calls a time out. Good idea. With all the young players on the floor (Morris is just a Sophmore), settle them down and have a plan.


What the heck? Traveling by Taylor. Dickie V said that he has not been himself and that has been the understatement of the night.

Aldrich with a clutch block. Again, it seems like he is the only one playing up to his potential.

Foul sends Memphis to the line. Result: 2 of 2. They can't miss them all.

Cole is fouled down low. Even though it was a great move, it was totally expected.


Memphis misses the first 2 of 3. Wow, I didn't think that demon would rear its head.

Breaking the press is Sherron and he gets it to Cole-nan. Amazing. He's hurt, but he knows what has to happen. Followed by Xavier with a board and gets fouled. Free throws will get him back on track. He makes them both.


Cole with a loose ball. Everywhere tonight.

Ick. Bad Offense. Bad Defense.

Bad foul.


Ok, strech time without Sherron. Who steps up? So far it has been Morris, but someone else needs to. I vote Henry.

OH! Here he comes to earn his money. SHERRON!


Marcus Morris with good position down low. Finally, he is showing us what he is made of. KU needs that especially with Sherron out.

Johnson gets deeked for a three, but Cole feeds Morris down low. The High has to be at least tried for the rest of the game. KU has that battle won. If Memphis keeps playing man to man, they will get destroyed down low from here on out. The 'Hawks are too deep and talented in the front court as I said to start the night.

Ku gives up a hoop down low, but Morris on the Oop from Taylor gets fouled. He is being very active now.

Of note, the drive Memphis just got was a GREAT play. Went right at Aldrich, a shot blocker. The only way that you do it. Two misses by Morris and a TO are not good.


Cole now with a double double. He is the best, but no one else is even coming close to playing. 6:23 left and KU up 44-37. Never would have guessed that the game would be that low scoring.

Questions for the rest of the game?
Will Sherron return and be effective?
Yes and probably. Just not scoring. He is smart when he has to be.

Will someone else besides Cole-nan step up?
Yes, I just dont know who yet. Either Morris, Tyshawn (probably on D) or Henry.

Will KU fans show themselves?
This should probably be 50-50 and KU is the better team, so KU should be louder in the stands. But they aren't and won't be. The fans are those with money now since Lew Perkins took over. More on this later.


Stupid rule in college basketball. The non-charge under the basket rule with the imaginary box. Why not just put the line up like the NBA. I don't get it.

Memphis is keeping it close cause of KU's ineptitude to capitalize. Aldrich with a block. Memphis just needs to try for 3. The inside game is not working. Collins out again. Hopefully this will be ok.

Does anyone else remember losing in Maui cause of cramping to some MAC school? That was a good team too.

Aldrich with a good fake and will go to the line. He is money.

The ref on the far side of the court calls a foul on the block. Why does it always work like that? I will never understand how someone so far away can justifiably make a call under the basket when there are 2 guys closer.

KU is struggling on offense until they get inside with Morris. Let's go KU.


Cole gets fouled and makes two, but only gets one cause of a lane violation. Stupid. Someone will be running suicides for that. Speaking of stupid, turnover and easy lay in for Memphis. Elijah Johnson, welcome to Division 1. So far tonight the freshman have looked like freshman, and that's about the best I can say. When Henry is open, he makes some shots, but that's about it.

Collins is back cause he will not let KU lose this game. Memphis press, again bad move. KU will eat it up.


What? Memphis missing free throws? I would never have guessed.

Two possessions later, great box out and rebound by Morris. KU needed that with Cole and Sherron out. The most interesting man in the world commercial is on and I love that. "He had an awkward moment once, just to see how it felt." Priceless.


Collins off his foot and Dickie V wants to see Carolina. Well, one of those was expected.

Now Collins limps off the court. I dont think I like that.

HUGE follow from the other Morris, but Memphis gets to the right away after that.


Just read some disturbing news about Mangino berrating a KU student who was a parking attendant person. Following the incident, Mangino did not get any more tickets. I dont think this is going to end well.

On a happier note, Henry with a beautiful move in transition. He can finish and has the body to be a player at the next level. At least 3 KU players will go pro next year. Collins (graduation) and Aldrich (lottery) and Henry (maybe lottery). That means more players to root for in the NBA. I'm stoked.


Memphis starts to press. Bad move.

Cole with a slam off a defensive breakdown and KU gets bailed out by a close Memphis miss. Cole is up to 12 points, 9 boards and 4 blocks. Quite a line.


Marcus Morris (announcer said his name) with a good move on the post. Cole follows with a great defensive play. It helps that he is bigger than everyone. And he airballs a long 2. TV timeout, KU 32-26.


Great block by Aldrich on D. Too bad they can't finish on the other end. Another turnover, but that is followed by a Memphis TO to get KU the ball.

Zone D by Memphis forces a 3 by Henry, Missed, and then Henry redeems himself with a steal. Sherron with a nice floater.

Henry gets beat on D, and sends Memphis to the line for a chance at the 3 point play. Good.

Come on KU, no turnovers.


Slow to start the half, and then a Memphis 3. 30 seconds of good defense is not good. KU needs 35.

KU forces the ball down low and Morris gets fouled. I am not differentiating between the two because neither has wowed me.

Aldrich on the Alley Oop!


Decent half from KU. They didn't look great, but are getting it done.

Rebounding has gone KU's way, but that is the way it should be. My story of the first half would have to be inexperience. Memphis's allowing KU to take control of the game, and KU's showing by them not finishing where they should. Billy Self said they were running too fast and being forced into it. I think that KU knows they have the running game, but they aren't finishing.

They also need to pound it inside (insert whatever joke you want here). They have the experience factor, as well as the number of talented bodies. Cole is in foul trouble, but KU should be dominating in the paint. Dominating. It's not happening yet, but I think that will change early in the half.

Aldrich, 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and should have a couple more. Three of his rebounds are offensive boards. He's an animal.
Collins, 7 points, 4 rebounds, 0 assists and 2 TO's. Bad with TO's, but not considering only Cole has less from the starters
Henry, 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 TO's. Right now a freshman.

KU leads rebounding 20-12. 5-6 from the charity stripe, but 11 turnovers, compared to Memphis's 7. That has to be changed and will be.

Only 2 points from KU's bench, but not much scoring all the way around. Let's get to the second half.


KU missed Aldrich on an offensive rebound by Memphis. He would have had that. Winding down the half, KU palys good ball control with Sherron. Tough shot that gets swatted.

Fortunate to end the half for KU as Taylor steals that ball and gets an assist to Collins who just got up from the floor. KU by 6 at half 26-20.

Observations from the half to come.


Almost a steal by Collins, and then a block by Aldrich. He gets called for the foul. Tough call. Could have gone either way, but it was massive and I know the KU fans liked it.


Morris travels out top. We can't have that. Not efficient. He had his brother down low on the block. Memphis with a slow down game on the offensive end. They get it down low, but good defense by KU.

My goodness, did you see how fast they got down the court! Amazing. This is going to be a fun team to watch. 2:05 left, KU 24 -17


Good offensive sequence for KU. Even though Reed missed another 3, it was an open look and one that Bill would like to see more of. Henry with the offensive rebound, then Morris who got fouled. I like that effort and KU will need that from those players. Especially with Cole out of the game.


Reed misses a three pretty badly. He can make an open look, but I dont think the team wants him taking guarded shots like that. Tyshawn with a foul on the defensive end. Not a bad foul cause he got beat, but that shouldn't happen.

Under 4 timeout. Still 20-17 KU leads.


Billy is pissed. This is the sloppiest this team has played for a while.

Henry should get a lot of rebounds and if he can, will make this team a lot better.

Aldrich with a block that is called a foul. He is an animal on the defensive end.

Nice feed inside for Aldrich and he makes the basket. However, he gets beat on the defensive end on a nice move.

Boo Yeah! Put back by Cole-nan. KU 20-17. Closer than it should be, but still a lead.

Sloppy play, including a poor shot from Tyshawn Taylor, but Aldrich and Reed combine for a couple blocks on the defensive end and a rebound to keep Memphis off the board.

On the run up the court (KU will have numbers for the rest of the game, they figured this Tiger team out already) Collins hits Henry on a drive to the bucket where he is fouled. Should have been an And One, but we will have to settle for the free throws.

3 for Memphis. The "backups" are in. I say that cause this is a first team that is coming off the bench for KU. They are just behind the first team in the nation.

Thomas Robison missed a short put back. He has to get that and he will later. Danny Manning is the coach. I dont think that is discussed enough. How much does it mean to have a former dominate college big man on the bench as well as someone who was a quality NBA player. I say priceless. Adds at least 2 wins a year.

Aldrich with a slam! Give that big man the ball!

Dickie V mentions that he is a treu center and post up player. So true. Too much of the European game has influenced american ball.

Aldrich with a turnaround. Danny Manning should get a raise for that move. Aldrich should give him part of his guaranteed money when he is a lottery pick in the next years draft.

15 - 9, 9:24 left

Aldrich getting a couple rebounds and more looks. Keep it up 'Hawks.

Henry with a travel. Freshman mistake. He needs to prove to Memphis fans that he is that good and they missed big time by not getting him. I know he has that ego.

Collins for 3! He is going offf tonight.


Forgot to mention that this is rematch of the Championship game from 2 years ago. Collins played a huge role in that game and no one else did. Aldrich a little. These are not the same teams though, so on the court it looks like a distant memory.

Aldrich gets fouled on the post out of the timeout. At least we are getting him the ball.


Collins looks like he wants it, but the offense is doing nothin. We can't get it to Aldrich and too much standing around on the perimeter.

Nice bucket by Morris #1 and then taking a charge.

Not much better at the under 12 minute timeout. KU 8-7. So far, its been a slow game with poor execution from both teams. Billy has to be reeling with the poor play of everyone and will probably play with the lineup to get that right mix.


Collins drills the first bucket of the game. The way it should be. He is going off tonight.

Xavier mishandles a pass from Collins. Looks like he has some nerves. He just needs to get around the first few minutes and will settle down.

16:21 left

Henry with a nice drive and bucket. He's not backing down. That's for sure.

The offense needs to slow down. Too many turnovers. Not enough Cole.

First TV timeout. 4-0 lead. Memphis looks bad.

9:05pm Central time

Great game between Gonzaga and Michigan State. Keep an eye on the young bulldogs team. Should be a good one.

8:55pm Central time

Just come quick thoughts before the Game starts.

KU is loaded we know that. Now that KU is playing a decent team (at least better than Hofstra) we will see how loaded. If the freshman are freshman, they will struggle. If Xavier is an NBA ready player, he will dominate. Not only that, but CJ Henry is cleared to play and could be a huge boost later in the year as he develops.

Look for Memphis to try to play tough and not run with this KU team. They have a new coach, who will try to limit the posesssions because he knows he's not as deep as Bill Self's squad. He has to be a good coach with the number 1 recruiting class coming in for next year already.

When you look at KU's big guys, remember that there are more to come. Jeff Withey will be eligible after the first semester and will bolster a huge front court. At almost 7 feet, imagine him and Cole-nan the Barbarian playing side by side. Huge! He has some experience too, so that is great. If he can fit with the Morris twins and the frosh with the motor, look for awesomeness to ensue.

8:39pm Central time

Now some comments on KU's football situation. The team has been awful this year, just awful. And apparently there is more than meets the eye.

Earlier this week, Lew Perkins met with the entire KU football team about some concerns brought to him by KU senior linebacker Arist Wright. The concerns were about Mark Mangino. Lew and Mangino would not discuss what was talked about, but "an unbiased" source is looking into the situation.

Two trains of thought. It has been fairly well known that Mangino has not necessarily been the most liked coach in college football. So, it doesn't come as a surprise that he would rub players the wrong way. It was probably just a matter of time before players started to complain. On the other hand, Mrs. DDSF brought up a good point. The seniors are not going out the way they want and are looking for a reason/excuse to put their poor performance on. It was brought about by a senior player and many players are not getting the playing time they want.

My opinion. Something really fishy is going on with that program. The players (especially the upperclassman) are not giving the effort that was consistent with the good KU teams of the last couple of years. You just don't see that killer instinct or that all heart play from the juniors and seniors. I think there is more than some players looking for a way out. More to come.

8:19pm Central time

I am so stealing this idea from every sports blog person in the world, but it sounded great and fun and like I could do it since I am traveling for business and have nothing better to do. So here goes.

First some comments on one of the more sports worthy days in the history of Kansas City area sports.

The Great news of the day is the new AL Cy Young award winner Zac Greinkkkkkkke! As my brother Mark put it, "The Baseball Writers of America got it right." He was the best pitcher in baseball. He should have won 20 games, if he had any kind of offense and was a complete pitcher as shown by his place in just about every major pitching category. For fun, here is a link to Joe Posnanski's article about the win. He is probably one of Zac's biggest supporters.

Congratulations Zac. You deserved it.

Next, the Chiefs. Larry Johnson was signed by the Bengals after a mutual disagreement to part with the Chiefs. He needed to go. He didn't get along with Haley. He didn't fit the mold of a running back with Haley's offense. He didn't fit the mold of being on a rebuilding team. He played well with a chip on his shoulder and he lost that chip by being the incumbent starter in an offense that he didn't mesh with.

Mrs. DDSF was upset, because the Chiefs kept losing players she knew and were pretty good. But that was the only reason. It didn't matter that it was Larry Johnson, as much as it mattered that it was a familiar face. That should tell you something.

Then the news came today Dwayne Bowe was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the substance abuse policy. Supposedly it was for using a diuretic (water pill) for weight loss during training camp. And I do have an opinion on this because I am a drug expert.


While diuretics can be used for some weight loss, its predominately water weight. Which is what he would lose anyway from working out during two-a-days. Just ridiculous. RIDICULOUS!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quick Hits from the NFL

Just a couple of quick thoughts about the NFL from over the weekend.

The biggest news over the weekend was about the Marque Sunday night game between Tom Brady and the Patriots versus Peyton Manning and the Colts. It seems that every time these two teams meet there is something large at stake. This time it was a chance at home field advantage in the AFC playoffs. The Pats were 2 games behind the undefeated Colts and looking to gain ground and get back on top of the AFC rankings.

The Pats controlled the majority of the game, even amassing a 17 point lead in the fourth quarter. They were putting on quite a showing. And then the Pats got timid and got, what many people thought was careless and stupid.

Up 6 points with 2:08 remaining in the game, the Pats decided to go for 4th and 2 from their own 28 yard line. Now I'm going to play Good cop, Bad cop here just for some fun.

Good Cop:
Why would you not go for it? You have one of the best quarterbacks in the game. You have done this many times before. You are the freakin' New England Patriots. You don't want to give the ball back to Peyton Manning. I mean, it's Peyton Manning for crying out loud!! He has been nothing short of dominant this year. Did you see what he did to the Dolphins earlier this year. That was in prime time too. He had 1/4 the time of possession in that game and still won. Don't ever give Peyton the ball with a chance to win. Ever.

Bad Cop:
How do you go for it on 4th down and 2 from your own 28?!?!??! This isn't Pee Wee football! This is the NFL! HOW COULD YOU GO FOR IT ON 4TH AND 2 AT YOUR OWN 28 YARD LINE!!!! No one in their right mind does that. Hell, even in video games you don't do that. Its dumb. Make Peyton go 70 yards in 2 minutes, have faith in your GOOD defense and you will stop the Colts. Peyton even looked human tonight. The NFL average of drives going 70 yards in the final 2 minutes is less than 50%. Want to bet it's higher when the teams only have to go 30 yards? Idiot, hoodie wearing coach.

Ok, so what do I really think? I have been wavering on this all day. I originally said, "Eh, I would do everything I could to keep the ball out of Peyton's hands too." And then more recently I thought, "You have to make anyone, Peyton, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Keanu Reeves in The Replacements, go 70 yards. They are bound to screw up. They have to."

And in all honesty, the straw that broke the camels back was the video game argument. Seriously. I think there is a point in every 20 something male's life where he has made a tough decision based upon a video game. I would not go for a 4th and 2 from my own 28 in a video game only up 6. The majority of the time. There are certain circumstances that this would not hold true (say the computer or my opponent had lost all of their starting linebackers and they had drafted the QB that I had created to dominate the world on their team, then I would go for it), but the majority of the time there is no way I would go for it.

No on to other video game related NFL news. Maurice Jones-Drew just did a late in the game video game move, making it only the second that I can remember this year. With the Jags needing only a field goal to beat the Jets, and just over a minute left on the clock, the speedy bowling ball of a running back took a knee at the 1 yard line instead of scoring the go ahead touchdown. No one ever does that.

The Jags kicked a field goal that was even shorter than an extra point, got the W and kept their playoff hopes alive by getting to 5-4.

Earlier this year, the Broncos Brandon Stokley ran along the goal line on a game winning TD catch with about 20 seconds left, and essentially making it impossible for the Bengals to mount any kind of a comeback. Just like it always happens in video games. I don't think this gets played up enough.

Finally, the Chiefs got another point in the win column by beating a Raiders team that they should have dismantled for the second time this year. Jamaal Charles got over 100 yards rushing and the Chiefs defense didn't look too bad. But don't read too much into this. This was a terrible Raiders team, who can't stop the run, and can't gain yards on offense. The former number 1 pick, Jamarcus Russell, played so bad that the Raiders put in MAC product Bruce Gradkowski to try to get a comeback late in the game. The Raiders are awful and the Chiefs are just bad. Awful is worse than bad, and that was good for the Chiefs.

Finally, College Basketball starts tonight with 24 hours of straight live coverage from ESPN. With the first Top 25 matchup of the year with Gonzaga playing Michigan State. I can't wait.

Until later,


Saturday, November 14, 2009

And so it begins... or so I thought

Friday November 13th, 2009 was supposed to be the start of the college basketball season as we know it. I was out for the evening and recording the first KU regular season game against Hofstra. Or so I thought.

I set up the recording with no difficulty and left for the night to enjoy the Denver Nuggets thrash the Los Angeles Lakers. Quite an amazing thing considering how things went last year in the western conference playoffs.

And then I woke up this morning to enjoy the amazing KU game that I had seen the score of last night. Only I turned on the TV and there was an error showing about recording the game.

You see I had called this week to set up some HD service for the house. And while I was at it I ordered the Full Court package. Only, when they took my order, they decided that they did not need to activate it. So when I tried to record it didn't work because I actually did not have the package.

What does this all mean? It means that I will not be using Comcast after I move. No way at all. However, since I already purchased my package, I can't change now.

So what can I tell you about KU basketball? They are going to be incredible.

Imagine having not one, but two all americans (Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich) and add in the best freshman in the country to an amazing cast of role players and you have a team that may run the table in a time that features more parody than ever. With the inception of the mandatory one year post high school graduation rule to enter the NBA, there are more quality freshman entering the college ranks. With this, there are more and more high-quality college teams and less likely that teams will go undefeated.

Not only does this team have the best inside-outside combination in the country, but they have tremendous role players. I say role players with a slight hesitation. The likes of the Morris twins, Tyshawn Taylor or any one of the talented freshman on the Jayhawk squad would be a star on just about any other team. Just look at Taylor's run with the American Under 19 team over the summer. He was the leading scorer on a team packed full with talented underclassmen.

That said, I am more than ready for the basketball season. With the demise of the football team that used to be known as the Kansas Jayhawks, I have to turn my attention to the sport that is the reason for this blog. College basketball exhibits more heart, passion, suspense and athleticism than anything else on the planet.

With over 300 teams in division I basketball each day brings a new adventure and story line. Whether it be the combined talents of freshman and all americans on Kansas, the ever present over rating of the teams in the Great Lakes 11 (Big Ten), the potential impact of a Cinderella (Jai Lucas, formerly of George Mason fame) on a Top 5 team in Texas, the first preseason top 10 ranking for a team outside of a major conference (Butler) in recent history, the transfer of a highly talented (or at least touted) coach in the state of Kentucky, or the title defense of a historically good program that lost more talent than most teams get every 5 years, this season is expected to be one of the most newsworthy seasons in recent memory.

I plan on writing as much as I can about the college basketball season this year with access to the full court package and time at home to watch it (pending Mrs. DDSF's approval, wink wink). Now, I also plan on writing more about my observations about the KU Jayhawks, because that is where my passion lies. I know some of the readers (all 6 of you) may not get a kick out of this, but that is too bad. That said, I will also try to discuss more about KU's neighbors to the west, the Wildcats. Hopefully, this will lead to more discussion and more discussion will lead to more brilliance.

Tuesday, KU plays Memphis in St. Louis, MO. I expect to have plenty of observations from the game and plenty more in the future. Look for an update either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

And so it begins,


Friday, September 18, 2009

Football Friday!



Ok, last week was bad. 2-5. Overall record: 7-7. Time for a rebound this week.

*Note: I lost last week, but it was by only one game. Both opponents went 3-4.

UNLV (-7.5) vs. Hawaii
Hawaii is not the same team that went to the Sugar Bowl 2 years ago. They don't play well on land. UNLV is not bad. I also kind of group UNLV and Fresno St (same colors and approximate location) in the same boat and Fresno totally covered last week against a pretty bad Wisconsin team.

BYU (-7.5) vs. Florida State
BYU has overacheived so far this year and FSU has underachieved. Its in Utah. And FSU is coming off a tough loss and won't have the mental fortitude (good word, eh!?!) to rebound against a TOP 15 team.

Nevada (-3) @ Colorado State
I don't really want to do this because of all the teams that are local to the Denver area, the Rams are my favorite. They play hard, which is something really really cool coming from a bad team (for the opposite see Colorado). Colorado State barely beat Weber State last week. I mean by the hair on their chiny chin chin. Ouch.

San Diego State (-3.5) @ Idaho
Idaho's mascot is the Vandals. What is that? How do you represent that? A guy with a cowboy hat and a bandana over his face? SDSU is the Aztecs and have voodoo ancient magic. And they have a decent coach.

(Yes, most of the argument was based off of mascots. I know you what you are thinking, "Weak". While I can not argue with you, when was the last time you heard anything about Idaho? The last thing I heard was how last week Idaho ended Washington's 10+ game losing streak. Not a good sign.

And their mascot still stinks)

Virginia Tech (-5) vs. Nebraska
Nebraska is getting tons of pub. Tons. It makes me sick. Preseason, they were picked to win the North, now they are getting BCS pub because they beat perenial powerhouses Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State. Virginia Tech actually played someone (although a Loss to Alabama) and is a little bit more seasoned. Va Tech plays better defense. They have better athletes and they have a coach that has been there more than 2 years.

Wyoming (+6.5) @ Colorado
I don't think I can tell you how bad Colorado is. They got smoked at home by the Rams, then they got smoked on the road by the Toledo Rockets. I think this will be a very close game (two days ago I had +7, and liked that better) and I actually hope that Wyoming wins.

The pick of the week courtesy of Mrs. DDSF!

Kansas (-23.5) vs. Duke
After a huge win on the road against UTEP (a road win is a road win, but 30 points is a good deal) Kansas is going to unload on a team with a quarterback controversy at home. Todd Reesing has yet to reach his potential this year (just ask him) and the receivers are improving. The 'Hawks can run the ball with the emergence of Toben Ophrum. They destroy Duke and will just have the backups come in with some desire to score points and show off their talent.

Finally a new addition to the post.

Football Friday Fantasy Football pickup of the week!

This week:

Chester Taylor

Guarnateed 13 points. He will play the entire 4th quarter against a sorry Detroit team and will get in the end zone at least once. BOOM!

Until next time,


Friday, September 11, 2009

Football Friday

So last week I went 5-2 against the spread and won the pool. This week, I'm feeling good.

I will try to get to some NFL stuff later, but it may not happen with visitors.

One of the wrinkles I am putting into my picks now is that my 7th and final pick will be from Mrs. DDSF. She and I have been doing college pick 'em on Yahoo for quite some time, so she gets the spread and enjoys betting on "her" teams when we take trips to Vegas.

This week's College picks:

Tennessee (-10) vs. UCLA
Time for Lane Kiffin to stop talking and start acting. I think UT makes a big statement led by their defense (and Lane's dad Monte, the leader of the great Tampa Bay Buccanneers defense) and get on the map.

Wake Forest (-3) vs. Stanford
The ACC was terrible last week, not just against the spread, but overall. Two teams lost to 1-AA schools (FCS schools). But, Wake at home against a not very good Stanford team (9-15 the last 2 years under Jim Harbaugh)... enticing! By the way, Stanford has a freshman quaterback.

Oklahoma St. (-14.5) vs. Houston
Okie State handed Georgia a taste of their own medicine in Stillwater last week winning 24-10. That was against an SEC powerhouse. You think they can't do better against Conference USA? Really?

Utah (-13.5) @ San Jose St.
The Utes beat their in-state rivals Utah St. 35-17 last week and will continue that domination this week against a weak team in the Spartans.

Nebraska (-21) vs. Arkansas St.
The Huskers love love love to run up the score and if you think they won't against a much weaker opponent, you are sadly mistaken. I think this team will continue to look a lot better than it is by blowing out weak teams at home.

Georgia (-7) vs. South Carolina
The Bulldogs are coming off a previously discussed tough loss to OK State and will take care of business at home. They have to. And they know it. An 0-2 start with a loss to South Carolina, would look awful bad for a team that was supposed to compete for the SEC crown.

Finally, what you have all been waiting for...

The pick of the week by Mrs. DDSF

Penn State (-28.5) vs. Syracuse
Don't question, just do it. I like the fact that the game is in Happy Valley and Joe Pa's Lions need to make a statement.

As far as the NFL this week:

I love that Pittsburgh won @ home in OT against a good Tennessee Titans team. I think this takes the matchup to a rivalry level, and as long as both teams stay good the next 5 years, I think epic matchups will come out of it.

The storylines that I will be following this weekend are:

- How will Tom Brady respond to regular season play? The Pats are at home against Buffalo, so it should go well, but will we see nerves, poise, another injury, or a mix? Check it out Monday night.

- How bad will Matthew Stafford for the Lions play? Number 1 overall pick, starting the first game of the year against a soft defense, but on the road in New Orleans. I say 2 INT's, 2 TD's (he still has Calvin Johnson to throw to) and a fumble.

- Brett Favre in Minnesota. He will do well because he is playing Cleveland. The Browns are bad by the way.

- Who will make themselves the favorite in the NFC North? Chicago and Jay Cutler travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers, who are my favorites in the NFC period.

- How many punts will hit the video board in Dallas? Over/Under = 1.5. I am taking the Over. The biggest blunder in sports right now. I hope Jerry Jones blames the punters again.

Have a great football filled weekend.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Football Friday

Some real quick college football for you today.

I don't like the idea of ranking teams this early in the season because all too often there is at least one team in the Top 10 that falls out of the rankings all together by the 4th week.

I will talk more about the college football experience later, but today I am short on time. The reason for this post is because this year I am actively gambling. Kind of.

I have a pool with a couple other guys at work (at the request of the new overnight pharmacist) to pick 7 games (any 7 you want) against the spread and whoever can get the most right each week wins the pool. Its a good way for me to be a little extra interested in college football while also potentially making some money.

This week is the first week and I thought I would put my picks up for all to see and a short explaination.

Clemson (-18.5) vs. Middle Tenn St.
Clemson has a pretty good running game and has always had a decent defense. Three TD victory seems likely to me.

BYU (+21.5) vs. Oklahoma
BYU had a good year last year with a good defense. Oklahoma has: a new O Line, new wideouts, an injured Tight end, and they are playing on a neutral site.

Minnesota (-7) @ Syracuse
Greg Paulus at QB scares me. But Duke never made it past the sweet sixteen with him as their point guard. Plus, the 'Cuse has been awful upon awful for years.

Wake Forest (-2.5) vs. Baylor
Baylor has an awesome sophmore QB, but I dont think they can win on the road against another BCS conference team. Home field all the way for this one.

Notre Dame (-14.5) vs. Nevada
I don't really like ND as a team this year (at least not like Lou Holtz does, who thinks they will be playing for the national championship), but a team that lost by 60 to Mizzou last year will get beat in South Bend by quite a few.

Central Michigan (+13.5) @ Arizona
'Zona may not be a bad team, but the Chippewas have one of the nation's best dual threat QBs in Lefevre (or whatever his name is). I think it will be a pretty close battle.

Colorado St. (+10) vs. Colorado
Always a great battle between these two teams and I think that the Rams have enough to take on the QB controversy (even with one being older and the coaches' son) that is the Buffaloes. At least within 10 points that is.

Feel free to laugh, mock, make fun and call me names. I can take it.

Have a great labor day.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

As promised.... The Royals!

This will be an ode to the Royals. Both good and bad.

I will say that this is the first full year I have been away from the KC area, so I have not followed the Royals as closely as I would have liked. I am by no means an expert. But I do have an educated opinion from being a fan for a long time (not as long as others) and there are plenty of the players that have stayed the same.

So let's begin.

An Ode to Zach Greinke...
Probably the best pitcher in baseball today. He is regarded by many experts (Buster Olney of ESPN being the most prominent at this time) as the leader for the AL Cy Young award. Despite the fact that he has only a 13-8 record.

The last 2 outings he has had include an 8 inning demolition of the Cleveland Indians in which he recorded a franchise record (a franchise that has had some decent pitchers including a former Cy Young winner David Cone) 15K's, as well as a complete game 1 hitter (and only 1 walk to boot) on the road in Seattle.

As of today, the Greink leads the AL (only using AL for comparison for the Cy Young purposes) in ERA, Walks and Hits per inning, Complete games (6), Shutouts (3), Home runs per 9 IP, and Adjusted ERA + (an overall stat for ERA compared to league averages, which Greinke leads Felix Hernandez of Seattle 189 - 157, or 32 points, which is the difference between 2 and 10th!). He is second in innings pitched, second in hits per 9 IP, second in Hits: Walks ratio and is on the worst team in baseball.

He has taken a loss in 3 games in which he has pitched 6 innings or more and given up 2 earned runs or less. He has got a no decision in 6 games in which he has had a quality start (6+ innings with 3 ER or less). If the G-man were to get W's in the games in which he gave up 1 ER or less, his record would be 16-6, because he has 2 losses while giving up only 1 ER.

As long as he stays with the Royals through the end of his current contract, I anticipate him being the best pitcher to wear a Royals uniform. He has the ability to win 2 Cy Youngs, and if he gets an offense, could win 20 games easily.

Moving on...

An Ode to John Bale...
Why an ode to John Bale? Because he is the worst relief pitcher in baseball in my estimation.

Last night he allowed 1 of 2 inherited runners to score. And that dropped his percentage of inherited runners scoring from 64% to 62%. What is worse is that he did not even record an out. The Royals maybe looked at this stat after it happened and decided they should remove the person who has allowed the most inherited runners to score (21) and has the worst percentage of runners to score of pitchers who have faced 30 inherited runners. Of pitchers facing 20 or more inherited runners, he only has the fourth worst percentage, narrowly edged out by former Royals reliever Ron Mahay.

He has done this with an ERA of 5.93. And just to emphasize how bad that is, he allows 1 run to score every 1.5 innings (rounding of course) he pitches. Of the batters he faces.

He has pitched 27.1 innings on the year and allowed 18 earned runs. He has faced situations with 34 inherited runners and allowed 21 of them to score. In the 27.1 innings that John Bale has pitched this year, there have been 39 runs scored! Every inning John Bale has pitched, there have been almost 1.5 runs scored for the other team!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Royals just released Ron Mahay, who would be the closest competition to John Bale in the futility department, but he only gave up 22 ER in 41 1/3 IP. Throw in the 18 inherited runners to score and his total is up to 40 runners scoring total. Only 1 more than Bale. Except he pitched half again as many innings as Bale! And he was released!

The Royals bullpen on the whole has been awful. It may not be fair to pick on Bale (yes it is) because of how awful the entire 'pen has been. As a whole they have allowed 46% of inherited runners to score. They have the top 3 in number of inherited runners scoring with Bale, Mahay (18) and Jamey Wright (19) in the entire major leagues. The next team to get 3 pitchers in the lead of such a stat is the San Fransisco Giants, who have 4 in the Top 30 (numbers 3 and 4 are right next to each other). One of those pitchers is former Royals "great" Jeremy Affeldt (DJ Carrasco also is in the Top 30).

The 46% as a team is the second worst in the decade (baseball-reference.com). The only team worse is the 2003 Royals who allowed 49% of runners to score, but they allowed 93 to score that year and this year's team has already allowed 102. The next closest team this year is Washington who have allowed 90 inherited runners to score (but only allow a league average of 33% to score).

Did I mention Bale has had 5 save chances and blown 4?

An Ode to Billy Butler...
The only fairly consistent offensive player in the Royals lineup. Butler leads the team in batting average (.295), on base percentage (.349 and by no means something to brag about), doubles (41), hits (146), RBI (67), Total bases (234), AB's (495), Games played (130) and is second on the team in walks (42 to Dejesus's 45), and slugging percentage (0.473 to Bryan Pena's 0.487). He was even named AL offensive player of the week once!

I will be the first to admit the Royals are terrible. And as bad as they have pitched, their offense has been even worse. But Billy has done all this at the age of 23. For the longest time, he was on pace to break the team record in doubles of 54 set by Hal "I will throw my phone at you in a violent rage" McRae. The fact that he continues to produce is a great sign for things to come. He has even been a better first baseman than Mike Jacobs. That's not saying much, but he was supposed to be AWFUL and the fact that he is better than someone speaks volumes.

An Ode to Management...
Dayton Moore just got a contract extension. He did have one year left on his contract (through the end of 2010), but got his contract extended by 4 years to 2014. When Dayton Moore was hired, the Royals thought they were saved. I remember the days of Allan Baird and the draft picks (other than Greinke) during his reign and the entire decade of the 90's (Jeff Granger, Dee Brown, and Kyle Snyder anyone?). I remember the acquisitions of Neifi Perez and Chuck "way passed his prime" Knoblach. Chili Davis. Emil Brown leading the team in RBI's two consecutive years! Jose Lima! (may have happened with Moore, but it was bad and I think its a good example so live with it). This was supposed to be different.

While I will say the draft has potentially been different (we have not been scared off by the asking price of prospects), the rest of the moves have yet to come to fruition. I know that we have expanded the scouting department and started scouting in other countries. I know they have beefed up coaching and development in the minor league system. But what have we gotten out of it?

The signing of Jose Guillen, Mike Jacobs, Kyle Farnsworth and Horacio Ramirez? The worst bullpen in the major leagues? The worst offense in the major leagues (the Nationals have multiple players hitting .300. Look it up!)? No real replacements ready to make the jump, even for September call ups (they activate Guillen off the DL with the opening of the 40 man roster, but can't bring up anyone else?)?

While I did not think that Moore needed to go just yet (one more year to see if ANYONE progressed to major league ready), I'm not sure they needed to extend his contract. Too many bad moves, too many holes in a team and a fan base that had high hopes.

I think that is enough of an ode for one day. Check back later for some college football, starting tomorrow!


Monday, August 31, 2009

Draft Results and some more football ramblings

First things first. How the draft went.

**If you want to read about the Chiefs and Royals, skip to the end. That way you miss the nonsensical ramblings about fantasy football.**

Well, let me give you some background first. 12 team league. 5 points for QB TD's, everything else is standard scoring. QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, K, DEF/ST with 6 Bench spots. Yahoo service because I could just renew the league from last year (they offer free live scoring this year though), so we get randomized 30 minutes prior to the draft for position. I get 11th.

In discussions with Mark, my crazy accountant brother, he and I decided that in a 12 team league, the first 2 picks for everyone are about even. The first 25 picks of the draft are pretty even. Then there is some drop off. So I couldn't do too bad to start. What I didn't realize is that there is a pretty big drop off at about pick 30. All the running backs in the second tier that I liked were gone before I got a third pick. I will narrate more as the list continues.

Round 1: Steve Slaton
I was picking one of the Houston studs (Slaton or Andre Johnson) and I had to be sure to grab what I thought was an elite RB, so I took Slaton. I didn't wanted pick 12 or 13 to be him. I could settle for one of the 3 WR's still on the board (Moss, Johson and Calvin Johnson)

Round 2: Calvin Johnson
Moss and Andre went with 12 and 13. Made this pick pretty simple.

Round 3: Marques Colston
All the QB's I liked (top 7) went before I could pick here. Also, there were a ton of RB's off the board, so I knew that I could wait for my next set of picks to get my number 2.

Round 4: Tony Gonzalez
All the QB's are gone. I knew I could wait for a RB. I had 2 WR. So I took an impact TE. They would be gone by the next time I picked (the next 4 TE's went in round 4) and I knew I could wait on an RB. QB's I could have drafted here: Big Ben, Jay Cutler or Matt Schaub. I decided against it.

Round 5: Jonathon Stewart
How many RB's went between the second pick in Round 4 and 11th in Round 5. One. It was Kevin Smith. Good gamble by taking a TE.

Round 6: Darren McFadden
Good running back depth now for the team. DMac may start. I could still have taken Cutler, which may have been a mistake not to, but I like my RB trio.

Round 7: New York Jets
Not a sexy pick at all. I could have waited again for this, but there were 10 defenses off the board already and I decided this was the best one left and took it. It could have waited 3 picks cause the guy after me took the Vikings, but I knew I wanted this and took it.

Round 8: Matt Hasselbeck
Time for a QB. Good value pick I think, could be a very servicable QB in a relativley weak division. Now I have a full lineup (other than a Kicker, which is not what I really need until late) and can work on some depth.

Round 9: Kevin Walter
Like it a lot!

Round 10: Ahmad Bradshaw
Totally great here. If Brandon Jacobs gets hurt, this guy comes in and scores 15+ a week.

Round 11: Donald Brown
Drafting for upside here. Again the injury deal. If Joseph Addai gets hurt, Brown is the guy and does well in a Colts high powered offense.

Round 12: Joe Flacco
This was the mistake of the draft. I wanted a good backup QB for Hasselbeck, but I didnt realize they have the same bye week. I will definitely have to shop this pick. Ugh.

Round 13: Nate Kaeding
I know I know. A kicker before the last round. But I wanted Kaeding. So there.

Round 14: Nate Burleson
QB to WR hookup will be great on my #1 and #2 bye weeks. Burleson will get a lot of looks with TJ Housh on the other side drawing a lot of attention.

So my full lineup to start

QB: Matt Hasselbeck
RB: Steve Slaton
RB: Jonathon Stewart or Darren McFadden
WR: Calvin Johnson
WR: Marques Colston
TE: Tony G
K: Nate Kaeding

Bench: JS or D-Mac, Kevin Walter, Ahmad Bradshaw, Donald Brown, Joe Flacco, Nate Burleson.

Overall, I am happy with this. I have my doubts at QB, but am excited at the possibility. I have studs at WR and TE as well as a great RB in Slaton.

I dont really think there is a favorite in the league, because everyone has a question mark somewhere.

I do like Mrs. DDSF's team too:
Jay Cutler
Adrian Peterson (yes, she got the first pick)
Marion Barber III
Roddy White
Chad 85
Owen Daniels
Jason Elam
San Deigo

Now a couple other things before I close for the day.

Grienke just pitched a one hitter in Seattle, helping his case for the Cy Young. He now leads the majors with 6 complete games, 3 shutouts and is tops in the AL with a 2.32 ERA. He has 13 wins to go with 8 losses, but has atleast 3 no decisions when giving up 1 run or less. If there will be an injustice in postseason awards, it will be for the AL Cy Young. Grienke should win it, but because he has so few losses, he probably won't. He has dominated this year, even though he is on the worst team in the AL. This comes after a 15 strikeout performance earlier in the week against the Indians. That's a franchise record for you folks scoring at home.

More on the Royals later this week.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, have equaled the Royals in awfulnessocity. They just lost their "franchise" QB in Matt Cassel for 2-4 weeks with no defined backup. Todd Haley must be pulling his hair out trying to figure out this one because the offensive line is so terrible. Tyler Thigpen can move more than any QB, but Brodie Croyle is the better pocket passer (as brittle as he is) and would fit better for Haley's system. If Croyle will start (which I think he will), look for him to get hurt in 3 quarters or less.

On another offensive offensive note, the Chiefs have relieved Chan Gailey of his duties as offensive coordinator. I can't imagine why.

He has not lasted in the league with any team or coaching position for more than 2 years (Cowboys Head Coach in 98-99). He went to Georgia Tech from 2002-2007 where he coached Calvin Johnson to an incredible year, though never finished in the Top 25 or beat rival Georgia. And, he led one of the worst offenses in football last year to a pathetic 4-12 record. And he had a stud Wide out (he was a former wide reciever coach with the Steelers) and the games best Tight End.

He was hired under Herm Edwards, who is a run first, defense first coach, and didn't fit in. Why would his plan work under a pass first offense first coach? It wouldn't. I think after the awful preseason (and completey pathetic offensive line play, especially the first team), Haley realized he could not work with this guy. I like the move simply because the Chiefs really needed a fresh start from the old regime.

I just wish it would have come sooner. And we could have had some young hot shot take the reigns and be creative.

Until next time,


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Football part 2

So now that you have insight into my head about running backs and wide recievers, let me introduce you to my QB, TE, Def and K rankings/sleepers.

This could potentially be the highest scoring player on your team. Two years ago Tom Brady racked up 378 points during his 50 TD season outscoring Tony Romo's second place effort of 283.

So, who do I think is going to be that consistent force destroying all of your opponents?

1 a. Drew Brees
1 b. Tom Brady
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. Peyton Manning
5. Tony Romo
6. Phillip Rivers
7. Kurt Warner
8. Donovan McNabb

I know... a cop out on the first pick. Do you want someone with the potential to throw 50 Td's (Brady) but could also be awful or hurt, or someone who has thrown for over 4400 yards the last 3 seasons with at least 26 TD's? Either one is perfect.

Moving down the list, Green Bay will be great and Rodgers will only improve on last year's (4038 yards and 28 TD tosses and 4 TD runs) numbers. Peyton down just a bit because of Rodgers, and Romo will have a bounce back year after breaking up with Jessica "Chicken of the Sea" Simpson.

Warner is ranked higher, but I think is too much of an injury risk and McNabb was originally higher on my list, but Michael Vick's presence will take some points away.

Sleepers (or just guys you can get later and still get good points from)
Matt Schaub
Ben Roethlisberger
Matt Hasselbeck
Joe Flacco
David Garrard

If you don't get one of those top guys on the list, try to get a couple sleepers. Schaub and Jay Cutler in the Top 10 on most preseason lists, so not really sleepers, but the reason Schaub is here is because he has Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter and (if healthy) the potential to be a Top 5 QB.
In 2007, Big Ben had 32 TD's.
Garrard was a Top 10 QB last year and has waaaaaay better recievers (meaning they are not doing drugs this year).
Hasselbeck is on a Seattle team that is going to be good (see 9-7 competing for the division).
Flacco threw for about 3000 yards and 14 td's on a run first team as a rookie.

This will go quick. Get one of the Top 4, and you are already a favorite to make the playoffs in your fantasy league (unless you are a complete idiot).

1. Tony Gonzalez
2. Jason Witten
3. Antonio Gates
4. Dallas Clark (with less proven Wide Outs, he will play a bigger role in the passing game if healthy)

The other guys
5. Chris Cooley (lots of looks, catches and yards last year, but not many TD's)
6. Owen Daniels (again, if Schaub is healthy all year, he sky rockets)
7. John Carlson (awesome as a rookie and Apple Juice Seneca Wallace as his QB)
8. Greg Olsen (He is with Culter, who like Tony Scheffleer in Denver, but is better than Scheff)
9. Zach Miller (Jamarcus Russell's only target with reliable hands)
10. Visanthe Shiancoe (Remember when Bubba Franks was good with Favre? This guy is better than Bubba and Minnesota likes to throw it in the red zone)
11. Anthony Fasano (Had 7 TD's for the 'Fins last year. Who knew?)

If you want to reach, reach on these guys
Kellen Winslow (He is playing in TB, one of the worst teams this year)
Heath Miller (Only a year removed from 566 yards and 7 TD's)
Brandon Pettigrew - Rookie for Detroit (Culpepper and Stafford can't throw to Calvin Johnson on every play.... or can they?)


Here is the deal. I will rank these guys the way I want them, but if you draft a kicker before the last round you are an idiot. Period. The difference between first and 10th place (10th!) is 24 points over the last 2 years. That is 1.5 points per week in a 16 week season. You can find that much value at another position earlier.

That said, I am only going to put 10 names down and you will have to rank them. Because I don't care about kickers that much!

David Akers
Lawrence Tynes
Jason Elam
Stephen Gostkowski
Mason Crosby
Ryan Longwell
Rob Bironas
Nate Kaeding
Whoever is kicking for New Orleans that week (Garret Hartley got suspended 4 games)
Kris Brown
Neil Rackers
Nick Folk
Robbie Gould

And that is how much I care about kickers. I did more than 10 to confuse you!





Defense/Special Teams

These guys are a little harder to predict, but they are a better bet than the kickers. It also depends upon your leagues scoring system. I am in a league where yardage matters, so it is even more important to get a stud D.

1. Pittsburgh
2. New York Giants
3. San Diego (They play the Chiefs, Broncos and Raiders a total of 6 times!)
4. Minnesota Vikings
5. New York Jets
6. Baltimore Ravens
7. Chicago Bears
8. Tennessee Titans
9. Philadelphia Eagles
10. Washington Redskins

Some other teams that might be worth it.
Houston Texans (probably better as a matchup pick, but have some good young talent)
San Fransisco (Mike Singletary = Defense. Maybe they should move Vernon Davis to Linebacker)
Oakland Raiders (They have a great secondary and play in the AFC West)
Green Bay (Their corners take chances, which is bad for points against, but great when they score TD's)
Seattle Seahawks (a team on the rise)

Now that you have seen everything that I am thinking, give me feedback and comments. And I will give frequent (although completely unimportant updates) on the fantasy season all year long.

Peace and I will let you know how tomorrow's draft goes.


PS. Mark (my brother) would not let me put his sleeper WR on this blog, so I didn't. But I wanted to. So I will after the draft.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Before I fully get into the nitty gritty of my join for the start of football season (college, pro and fantasy) I have to preface this by saying I will still catch you up on the Royals. I have lately come in to possession of some crazy stats that I have to share with you. However, being as I have a draft for fantasy football this weekend, I thought I would do a quick rundown on some of my personal player rankings and also try to give you some sleepers.

So here goes.

I am going to do some rankings by position because not all leagues are built the same. With a QB getting 6 points I would take one of my Top 2 QB's, but in most other leagues I would lead off with a RB/WR depending upon location in the draft order. There are only a few WR's that I feel like you need and there is a TON of running back depth in this draft.

Hopefully, someone will learn something from this post.

Running Backs:
1. Adrian Peterson
2. Matt Forte
3. Michael Turner
4. DeAngelo Williams
5. LaDainian Tomlinson
6. Maurice Jones-Drew
7. Steve Slaton
8. Brandon Jacobs
9. Chris Johnson
10. Steven Jackson

Some notes before I move on. Basically, those Top 5 backs will all be freakin awesome. There is some question with MJD because he hasn't had that workload and the Jaguars may be terrible and have to pass the ball alot. All of these guys are going to produce this year. All of them. If you pick one, you will not go wrong.

11. Brian Westbrook
12. Clinton Portis
13. Pierre Thomas
14. Frank Gore
15. Ryan Grant
16. Marion Barber III
17. Thomas Jones
18. Kevin Smith
19. Marshawn Lynch
20. Jonathan Stewart

These are guys who start and are potentially awesome. Westbrook has had atleast 11 TD's in the last 3 years and is 11th. Portis had over 1500 total yards the last 2 seasons, including 1487 rushing last year. Thomas Jones has averaged 1094 yards and 8 TD's in the last 3 years and is 17th! Talk about depth.

Other people I like:
Felix Jones
Willie Parker
LenDale White (can you say Touchdowns?)
Ray Rice (he catches and runs)
Darren McFadden
Derrick Ward (just barely... I have no idea what he is going to produce on a terrible team)

Running Back Sleepers
-Leon Washington (he will be a good 3rd running back with about 900 total yards and 7 TD's)
-Ahmad Bradshaw (Derrick Ward had over 1000 yards last year as Brandon Jacobs backup and he is gone. Enter the Bradshaw)
-Cedric Benson (He starts and there is no one else. He could easily get to 1000 yards and 8 TD)
- Fred Jackson (He will start the first 3 weeks of the season for Buffalo with Lynch suspended and is good. And Lynch might get hurt.)
- Peyton Hillis (He was GREAT before he got hurt last year)
- Greg Jones (MJD's backup and would steal some goal line carries)

Wide Recievers
1. Larry Fitzgerald
2. Andre Johnson
3. Calvin Johnson
4. Randy Moss
5. Greg Jennings
6. Anquan Boldin
7. Marques Colston
8. Roddy White
9. Reggie Wayne
10. Steve Smith

That is my list of WR's that you MUST have in order to succeed in your league. Too many guys are so inconsistent, but these guys will produce (assuming good health). The order after 6 is just whatever to me. Take one, take another, no big deal.

Other guys I like:
- Wes Welker
- Dwayne Bowe (could reach new levels, but the Chiefs line is so bad that he won't be in the upper eschelon this year)
- TO will be ok. Just OK.
- Desean Jackson
- OchoCinco
- Steve Breaston
- Donald Driver
- Lance Moore (if any other NO reciever has a huge game, pick them up immediately and hope they keep producing)
- TJ Housh (new place, he's the #1, and the Seahawks could be great)
- Kevin Walter
- Josh Morgan (SF's only good option)

Sleepers (just a couple)
- Limas Sweed (Nate Washington's numbers from last year)
- James Jones (GB is good)
- Earl Bennett (Jay Cutler's favorite target from Vanderbilt, now on the same Pro team)

So.... I have to go to work now, but will definitly get the rest of my picks later. It may be Saturday, but I will get to them. Promise.



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Royals sticking true to form

Just thought I would give an update on some thoughts I had about the last 3 games.

Saturday was a great game. Ended a 10 game losing streak. Beating Texas (always good) and getting Soria some work.

Lukkkkkkkke Hochever pitched great. He did give up 3 runs in 7 innings, but struck out 13 (notice all the k's in his name!!) and didn't walk a single batter. Hoch left with a 6-3 lead too. I would say that is quality start (generally defined as 3 runs or fewer and atleast 6 innings of work).

To finish the game, the Royals went to the bullpen and got Soria to close with a 6 out save. Very very good in my eyes, because he seems to be the only person in the 'pen who can get people out. It was nice to see our bullpen (albeit the Mexicutioner, who I have come to expect great things from) pick up a good starting performance.

Sunday was not a good game.

The Royals got 6 shutout innings from Sidney Ponson.

Let me repeat that....


Ok, so if the Royals don't win this game it means we blew a terrific start from a terrible starter (Ponson's ERA is 6.79 after those 6 scoreless innings). So naturally, the bullpen comes in a just blows it up.

Mahay comes in, gives up 2 hits to the first two batters he faces (on 3 pitches) and gets pulled. The Royals go on (due to an error I know) give up 3 runs in the 7th and 4 more in the 8th.

Monday, against the Orioles, the boys in blue came back and got a decent start from Bruce Chen (who has not won a game since October 2, 2005 - almost 4 years ago). Robinson Tejeda came in and threw 3 innings of shutout ball, while allowing the Royals to take the lead and handed the ball off to Soria for another save.

Just to emphasize what happened to the bullpen over the weekend:
- Soria is awesome
- Tejeda pitched great
- On Sunday Mahay, Wright and Cruz all gave up runs, and Roman Colon did not

So if you check out my last blog, you will see that the two guys with the lowest percentage of inherited runners scored (Tejeda and Colon) did better. Not science, but I'm just sayin.

On another note, Billy Butler has quietly done a pretty good job for the Royals. I have to give props when props are due. He is not the power hitter we had hoped he would be, but he has a ton of doubles (on pace for over 50 this year and an outside chance at the club record) and is hitting about .300 (only one guy is over and that is Callaspo) and leads the team in OPS (on base + slugging percentage). He has become a quality starter and one that looks like a decent draft pick (for once).

Now if we could only get Alex Gordon to do the same...


Friday, July 24, 2009

To be a fan....

Oh to be a Royals fan.

Sometimes it gets to be extremely difficult. Like now.

During a 9 game losing streak that has spanned before the all-star break, the Royals have had some of the worst relief pitching that I can remember. During the streak, the bullpen is 0-4 with an ERA of 10.05 and 4 blown saves. An ERA of 10.05!!! 10.05!!! That is more than 1 run per inning.

Which is pretty much awful. But expected at the same time.

Why is it expected?

Because of inherited runners.

Baseball-reference.com keeps an awesome list of MLB stats that includes relief pitching and many other mind blowing stats. The one that I was curious about was inherited runners. It seems like every time a relief pitcher comes in with men on base, those men score. I thought I would be wrong about this (or at least hoped I would be wrong) because up until recently our bullpen's ERA has not been terrible. Just bad. And they were supposed to be a strength to start the year.

So inherited runners... How do the Royals compare to the rest of the league and how many inherited runners score?

Answers: They are the worst in the league and as of today 46% of inherited runners score!

The league average is 33%. The leaders in the league are the St. Louis Cardinals, who only allow 22% of inherited runners to score. Half as many as the Royals.

Well, so percentages are ok, but what about hard numbers? Maybe the Royals just don't get that many inherited runners.

Wrong... The Royals have given up the highest number to score (73 and second place has 67) and have seen the 6th most inherited runners in MLB. On top of that, 3 teams who have seen more runners (Tampa Bay, STL and the Dodgers) have allowed less than 30% to score.

But it really can't be that bad can it? Maybe the Royals bullpen comes in with the bases juiced all the time with a 1 run lead in the 8th inning (high pressure). You can't quantify that can you?

Yes you can.

There is an average leverage index (aLi)which describes how much pressure a pitcher sees when they enter the game. Numbers greater than 1 mean high pressure and less than 1 is low pressure. The Royals score is 0.963. The league average is 1.017. They have the 4th easiest pressure when they take the mound.

Royals Relievers, their aLi, and the percentage of inherited runners scored:
Soria, 2.028, 67% (6 of 9, 3 of 3 in his last outing)
Bale, 1.414, 59% (10 of 17)
Mahay, 0.674, 57% (13 of 23)
Farnsworth, 0.514, 56% (5 of 9)
Cruz, 1.127, 54% (7 of 13)
Wright, 0.978, 52% (15 of 29)
Tejeda, 0.688 37% (7 of 19)
Colon, 0.765 27% (6 of 22)

So Soria comes in to the game in the highest pressure (8th highest in the majors) and gives up the most inherited runners. But the problem is the Royals keep sending out players (Mahay, Wright and Bale) who consistently give up runs with people on base, in easy situations.

Example: John Bale (not picking on anyone, just found a good example, even though every time Bale comes into a game with any lead I do think the Royals will lose the game) comes into the game Wednesday night against the Angels in the 7th inning with 2 out, man on first. Bannister has done a great job of keeping a lead and going relatively deep into a game (I say relatively because my memory of the Royals does not include a lot of 7+ inning starting pitchers other than Grienke and sometimes Meche). The Royals lead 6-3. Pretty comfortable, get one out, hand it off to the setup man and then the Mexicutioner to close it out.

So what does Bale do? First batter gets a single. Now 1st and 3rd. Next batter, single. Run scores. Then, he is able to get an out. In my book, if a reliever comes in with a man on 1st and more than a 1 run lead, he should get charged for that earned run. In this case Banny gets an earned run and the Royals are on their way to a loss.

Our starting pitchers have lost 11 wins becuase our bullpen has blown it (thank you baseball-reference.com). They also have 12 "tough losses" (losses in quality starts).

Now it is not all pitching seeing as how the Royals get the second least run support of any team in the majors, but today was about pitching.

That said, I am still going to watch the games on gamecast (I work evenings) and still mutter under my breath every time something goes wrong and get extremely excited when someone hits a home run or gets a timely hit. I know no other way.

Let me know your thoughts on being a fan.

Posting again soon,


Monday, June 15, 2009

Royals make a comeback?

So it took something great from the Boys in Blue to get a brand new post.

3 game sweep of the Cincinnati Red-in-the-faces. Due mostly to some hot bats, some poor opposition, some great starting pitching and a Giant Blue Surfboard, 3 in a row has put some life back in the team that was 18-11 in May with a 3 game lead in the division.

A quick breakdown of the stats from the last three games to give some encouragement to you the fans:

Luke Hocheaver: 9 IP (complete game), 3 hits, 1 ER, 1BB, 1 K, 80 pitches. He got a complete game with only 80 pitches!!! Are you kidding me?!?!? That's less than 9 pitches an inning. Thats less than 3 pitches a batter if you only face the minimum 27 hitters! If you want some good perspective on it read this article by Joe Posnanski (probably my favorite all around sports writer, Bill Simmons is hilarious, but needs to broaden his repitoure to reach JoePa). Just a quick glance of the article:
"First, let’s talk about rarity: Only five pitchers this decade have thrown a complete game in 80 pitches or less. It hasn’t happened in the American League since 2005. Pitch-count numbers are sketchy and unreliable, but it does appear that the complete-game-in-80-pitches-or-less trick has been pulled only five times in the American league the last 20 years."

If this somehow catapults "Hoch" into the Grienke/Meche catagory, the Royals will definitely make a run at the Central. But its too early to tell that.

Hitting: It doesn't really matter with a gem like that, but 4 runs off 6 hits. 2 RBI from Callaspo and 2 HR in the game.

Kyle Davies: 5 IP, 2 hits, 3 ER, 5BB, 1 K
This is important because he had lost a career high 5 in a row, despite a complete game which he gave up 4 against the Blue Jays in his last outing. He lost because the Royals couldn't hit anything against the Cy Young favorite (it really hurts to say that with Zac getting no support) Roy Halladay.
Roman Colon (I dont really know who he is either): 2 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 ER, and the most important stat for me Inherited runners 1, Inherited runners scored 0. The Royals pen has been terrible at allowing inherited runners. See John Bale's (I can't stand it when he comes in the game. After the Royals released H. Ramirez, he has taken the cake for the pitcher I never ever ever want to see enter the game) stat line from Thursday.

Grienke, pitches a gem, but has a high pitch count after 7 and 1/3. Bale comes in, gets a ground ball, to force a double play. Great, except he falls over at first base commits an error, allows 1 run to score (counts against Grienke) and extends the inning. So, 1/3 IP because he got an out amazingly, 1 Error (credited to TJ, but it was Bale I dont care who you are he fell down!!!!!!), Inherited runners 2, Inherited runners scored 1. Some how he got the Hold because the lead was not relinquished, only got to a tie. And we eventually lost the game. Bad story, but I am so infuriated at how poorly the situation was handled that I can hardly contain myself.

Hitting: 7 runs off 14 hits (quite an output). Every starter had a hit. Our 6-7-8-9 hitters scored 5 of the 7 runs, meaning the Royals are getting runs from everywhere in the lineup, like they should.

Brian Bannister: 8 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 4 KO's
Juan Cruz: 1IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1K (good because he has been off just like everyone else in Blue)

Hitting: 7 runs off 9 hits. This was accomplished without a leadoff hitter (Crisp), the best hitter power hitter on the team (Guillen) and Alex Gordon.

The Royals scored 1 in the first (with 2 out) 4 in the 3rd (3 with 2 out) and 2 in the 8th (with 1 out). The two responsible for the most damage were Miguel Olivo and Alberto Callaspo. They have been the life blood of a terrible hitting team.

Just another quip from Joe Posnanski's blog because it is too good. He wrote an article about how amazing a pitcher Kyle Farnsworth is.
- Just so you know my thoughts on Kyle Farnsworth. He has single handedly LOST 4 games for the Royals. I know they are not a great team, but he has not single handedly won any games for the Royals this year. In fact, the only game he has a W in this year is when the Royals scored 4 runs off Kerry Wood in the 9th!
Anyway, the highlight of the article is JoePa doing Chuck Norris type facts in reverse:
- Every dog has his day … except Kyle Farnsworth.
– When Kyle Farnsworth gets 21, it’s not blackjack.
– A rolling stone gathers no moss … it’s all on Kyle Farnsworth.
– A broken clock is right twice a day … which is more than Kyle Farnsworth.
– When Kyle Farnsworth lands on Free Parking in Monopoly, he has to pay.
– Two wrongs don’t make a right. They make a Kyle Farnsworth inning.
– There’s no crying in baseball, except when Kyle Farnsworth comes in.

What's next for the Royals is a series against the DiamondBacks @ home. Grienke is pitching, but it is at home so he can not hit a home run. Grienke used tape of himself hitting a home run to inspire Alex Gordon early in his career when he was in a slump. A very winnable series at home with some give away nights so there should be decent crowds.

Now on to some other Baseball thoughts (America's Pastime and the most newsworthy):
- The Rockies have now won 11 straight games to get out of the cellar in the NL West. And are still below .500. They are now 31-32, but are getting the city excited again under a new Manager. I think the way they are winning is great. They have a young nucleus of lovable players like Troy Tulowitzki, part of the 20 game streak that led the Rox to the World Series 2 years ago, and Dexter Fowler who is a rookie playing center field and has wheels (5 SB in a game in April).

- The Rox are winning without Brian Fuentes, the closer now for the Angels. He has 16 saves in 19 chances. Do you know the MLB leader?

Heath Bell.

He plays for San Diego. He has 18 saves in 19 chances, a 2-1 record and a 1.32 ERA out of the Pen for a fairly average team. Wild.

- Juan Pierre (Manny Ramirez's replacement) is batting .343 and is 5th in the Majors.

- Raul Ibanez is tied for the league lead in HR and is second to Jason Bay in RBI.

- Jason Bay is leading the league in RBI and the player the BoSox lost for him (Manny) is serving a 50 game suspension. Great move by the Sox.

Other sports thoughts:

The US is playing the in Confederations Cup in South Africa starting today and are playing Italy, Egypt and Brazil in group play. If they make it past group play they will have accomplished something. If not, they will be the same old US of A in Soccer.

Congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who won the Stanley Cup, by winning Game 7 on the road in Hockey Town USA.

The Lakers won against an overmatched team in the Orlando Magic. The Finals were so un-exciting I highlighted baseball, soccer and hockey before it. Kobe is good, but how quickly we as the American people are to forgive a star athlete for crimes they have committed because of success.

Hope this gave y'all a fill for a few days. Peace.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

We are all witnesses

As my faithful readers know, I don't regularly post on the weekend. Too busy, too much time I actually get to spend with the Mrs., too much fun stuff to do. But when something extraordinary happens, I believe it is necessary to let everyone know the impact and the sheer extraordinary-ness that has occurred.

Last night I got to see about 2 plays in the Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game. But I saw the only play so far in the series that matters. Let's see if I can set the stage for y'all:

Cleveland has the best home record just about ever in the regular season. They have steamrolled through the playoffs going 8-0 in the first 2 rounds and winning every game by double digits. Cleveland has the best player in the world in Lebron James (LBJ from now on... I'm stealing from the Sports Guy, but who cares) and is not sure how long the home grown product is going to stick in town. The summer of 2010 is when LBJ is a free agent along with a slew of other young superstars waiting to go on to bigger things. If they want any chance of keeping him, they need to win; they need to win a championship.

Game 1 against Orlando was the epitome of Cleveland sports. The hype, the belief, the excitement, subsequently followed up with the disappointment, the shame and feeling of hopelessness.

How could a team with the best player in the world, the best home court record ever, and the experience of being there before lose to a team without their starting point guard, a coach who looks like Ron Jeremy and only one superstar who is too nice and can't make a shot further from 5 feet from the basket? (I'm asking the question too. I don't get it.)

The Cavs talked like they were confident after game 1. They knew what they had to do and they were determined. Game 2 comes along and in the first half it looks like it is over. Cleveland with a 23 point lead. Welcome back Cleveland, the series is yours for the taking.

Not so fast.

With a barage of 3's and hustle, the Magic pull some magic and not only come back, but take a 2 point lead with 1 second left in the fourth quarter. The air is dead in Cleveland. The bars are full of people swearing, saying how they've seen it before and there is no hope for the city. Ever. Not even Lebron, the best player alive. He's gone in 2010.

Except they didn't count on seeing something they had never seen before. The Cavs tried to run an inbounds play that isolated Lebron on an alley oop because he is a freak of an athlete and can jump over buildings.

Good move.

Too bad the Magic knew it was coming (ok, everyone did but when your coach looks like a porn star, you can never be sure) and defended it well.

It looked as though Cleveland may not even get the ball in. Lebron was figured out and Mo Williams (the 2nd best scoring option) was throwing the ball in.

Then Lebron changed direction, going away from the basket. Mo saw him because LBJ was the only option. He wasn't looking anywhere else. Mo passed it in to a fading away LBJ. With one second left his only option was to shoot. He's not the best shooter in the world. He has missed before. Plenty. Except this time, the best player in the world did something he had yet to do.

He buried the shot.

Big deal. People hit game winners all the time.

LBJ has too.

But not like this.

If he missed that shot, all hope in the city would be lost. The Cavs would not have been able to recover. The series would be over and Lebron would be lost in 2010. Guaranteed. Lebron has been dominant, but he has not truely been clutch.

That shot was so monumental, it most likely changed the outcome of the series. That shot most likely won the series for Cleveland. That shot made it possible for LBJ to go for a title. That shot made it possible for LBJ to repeat next year. That shot made it possible for LBJ to go down in history as not only one of the greatest athletes of all time, but also the most clutch player of all time.

That shot could concievable change the landscape of the NBA for the next decade. I'm not kidding. If Lebron wins the series, then wins the NBA title, he might stay in Cleveland. He might make a dynasty that we have yet to see from one player. The NBA title repeats have been about multiple greats on one team.

Shaq and Kobe.

MJ and Scottie.

Olajuwan and Robert Horry (ok, bad example).

The Lakers and Celts of the 70's and 80's had a slew of stars.

But no one has been able to dominate solo.

Is it possible that a star player takes a pay cut to go to Cleveland to be guaranteed a title with LBJ?


The ramifications of one shot by one player in one game will not be able to be judged for years. But it could be the biggest shot in the history of the NBA. It could change the future beyond anyone's imagination.

LBJ took a series with one shot.

What's next?

We are all witnesses. (yes, I know its cheesy to steal that slogan but it works so well.)


Friday, May 22, 2009

Fridays are good

The most amazing thing happened last night.

Carmelo Anthony played hard. And not just to score points. He grabbed a ton of rebounds and played tough defense on the games best offensive player (Kobe).

The NBA, despite the worst officiating of any professional sport, has suddenly resurrected itself with powerhouses (LA, and Boston was in the mix) and historically unsuccessful franchises with awesome fan bases and a ton of studs (Cleveland and Denver). I don't think that I have ever been this jacked about NBA basketball. Yeah, I know it helps that I live in the Denver area and have tickets with the Mrs. to Game 3 of the western conference finals on Saturday, but its awesome basketball right now.

**Side note**
Here is how you know you've got a keeper. When looking for tickets to an awesome playoff series, you get mad at yourself for not buying the tickets earlier. Then you check the prices of tickets on eBay and ask yourself if its worth it. When your little lady steps in and tells you that you have to go regardless and "I just want tickets" you know you have a keeper.

Ok, so back to the NBA. There are a ton of jump balls (hustle), good defense, amazing offense and a slew of starts lighting up the night (Melo, Chauncey - Mr. Big Shot -Billups, Kobe, Dwight Howard, and the greatest of the all Lebron).

Just so everyone knows, in Game 3 look for Chris Anderson to have a HUGE game. He has been relatively quiet so far in the series, but when he returns to the mountains he will find new life and will destroy the Lakers soft big men.

I thought this might be a different Royals team. We came back from 3 down in the 9th to beat the Indians with Kerry Wood as their closer. The next night down 6-5 headed into the 9th, we had a chance and came up short. Last night, down 8-3 in the 9th... bases loaded... 1 out... just getting to the heart of the order with Callaspo up and batting about .340... ground into double play. I hate to say it, but as far as the bats are concerned it is still the same old Royals. The pitching is a different story.

The boys in blue have quality starters and a superstar who is currently 2nd in the rotation (Greinke). The problem so far has been the overpaid bullpen. Farnsworth alone has cost the team 3 games and Cruz, Mahay and Horacio Ramirez pitch well when it is not needed. I have yet to see the killer instinct on the mound from anyone other than Grienke (who I think takes it personally when someone scores on him, which is awesome to see from a kid who has been around for over 5 years and is still younger than me) and possibly Soria (who is on the DL).

How I long for you Raul Ibanez........

RBI (as he will now be called regardless of his middle name because it is too good) would have led the Royals in RBI's for the last 8 years if they had kept him. I think he was the worst non-resigning in recent history, especially with concerns to the outfield. Beltran wanted too much, Dye wasn't quite what the Royals needed and he got hurt, Damon throws like a girl.

The Royals were led in RBI's by Emil Brown two years in a row! Aaron Guiel was considered a good player (Steroids much)! Joey Gathright! Do I even need to go on?!?!? Shane Costa!?!?! Oh RBI.... I miss thee.

Real quick for your weekend, a bonus song of the day...

"The gift of paralysis" by Envy On The Coast

Awesome song. Great driving bass beat with sweet complex chords from both the guitar and vocals. Also, has one of the greatest lines I've heard in a while. "Throwing punches at ocean waves." We've all been there.

Sretan Petak!

(Happy Friday in Bosnian)


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yep, I'm Back

After the loss to Michigan State by my Jayhawks (yes, that long ago), I determined sports were dead to me.

Then baseball started and the Royals got off to a hot hot hot start. I thought about blogging, but got weighed down by work stuff.

Finally, I was checking in the the Kansas City Star blogs about the Royals come from behind victory over the hapless Indians (down 5-2 in the 9th and get a W, awesome!) and their blogging reminded me what I started this for. A forum to express my opinions as well as give insight into sports and hear from the boys back home.

First a quick catch up of the major events with as short of a summary as I can make:

NCAA Tourney: Boring (Ok, just upset still about the MSU game, but the championship sucked)

Chiefs Draft: D-Line = good, but not enough. Hooray for Tony G going to a contender.

Kansas Recruiting: Yep, 2010 champions

Royals Hot Start: Greinke

Manny on women's Fertility Drugs: Ha... reap what you sow

NBA Playoffs: Lebron will not be stopped and go Nuggets!

NHL playoffs: I actually care a little bit!

NBA Lottery: Finally, something the Clippers CAN'T screw up, and are the Kings destined to return home to KC?

On the topic of the Royals, I have to give some thoughts about the year so far.

- If Greinke had any run support, he would be 8-0. He is still amazing and I will try to do anything I can to get to see him this year. Through 8 games started, he has 65 strikeouts. If he starts as many games this year as he did last, that will put him on pace for 260 k's on the year. Last year Greinke was 15th in the majors (tied with the 55 million dollar man Gil Meche) with 183 K's. Only 9 pitchers had over 200 and only 2 had over 230 (AJ Burnett 231, and Tim Lincecum with 265). That would put him up there with the dominate pitchers in the game. Every hitter should fear him. And Greinke is only 25.

- So far I have loved the in season moves the Royals have made. Bringing up both Luke Hochevar and Brian Bannister to work the rotation was brilliant. Horacio Ramirez was not going to be a starter and that was evident after spring training. Sidney Ponson is too inconsistent and we needed to bring up Hoch if we wanted any chance of him becoming a quality starter.

- I think that Royals fans don't realize what they have in Coco Crisp yet. With all the hype surrounding Greinke, Crisp's solid play has gone relatively unnoticed. Crisp has been the leadoff hitter that the Royals have tried to make David Dejesus be for years. He is leading the team in AB's, Runs scored, Triples, Number of Pitches seen (by almost 100) Stolen Bases and Walks! He has also been very solid in center field and has been a great acquisition.

- On the same page is Alberto Callaspo. This is his first year being an everday player and he has responded well. Everyone knew he had the ability on defense, but his offense has always seemed weak. He leads the team in average (.338) hits (44) Doubles (15) Xtra Base Hits (18), has more walks than strike outs (amazing for any Royals hitter it seems) and is second on the team in total bases (1 behind leader Mike Jacobs). So far, this is a much better alternative than Teahan at second base.

That is enough for now. Just a taste.

You stay classy internet,


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Welcome to Tipoff

Today begins the culmination of all the excitement of the regular season. The NCAA tournament starts (ok has started, and I am late) today and starts a 3 week journey to one shining moment. I tried to keep the suspense high making the readers sweat it out to find out my expert (ha) picks. Since I am late, you don't have an opportunity to redraw your brackets and if I cost you thousands of dollars you could have won by getting all the picks right, you are ridiculous for listening to anything that I have to say.

Let's begin. Region by region with explanations about the upsets/non-upsets.


First round winners:

1 Louisville

8 Ohio State (Siena just is too small, but I am excited abou tthe game)

12 Arizona (The MWC is bad in the tourney, I dont have the numbers, but they are bad)

4 Wake Forest

6 West Virginia (If you picked Dayton, I'm sorry that you picked this game wrong)

3 Kansas (Really good game especially because it is more of a home game for NDSU, but KU knows what defeat smells like, and it smells like rotten chinese food)

7 Boston College (I dont like the Pac-10 this year and BC is a good team who has a win over UNC this year)

2 Michigan St.

Second Round winners:

1 Louisville

4 Wake (This is going to be a great matchup)

3 Kansas (I know, I am a homer, but KU will be ready for this)

7 Boston College (MSU is struggling to get scoring from one of their stars -Raymar Morgan - and the Eagles played in the tougher ACC and are primed for a big win)

Semi Winners:

1 Louisville (Wake is too inconsistent, but I already said I am psyched for the game)

3 Kansas (Bill Self is way too good when he has time to plan for an opponent)

Regional winner:

1 Louisville (Pitino is a good coach -with a hideous white suit- and they are the better more experienced team)

West Regional

First round winners

1 UConn

8 BYU ( I konw this game already started, but that is who I would have picked and I would change it now in a heartbeat)

5 Purdue (MVC is weak this year and UNI won't beat the Great Lakes 11 Champs)

13 Mississippi State (I love the center Varnado for MSU and don't like the inexperience of UW's point guard)

6 Marquette (Utah State doesn't have the experience and the golden eagles will be playing for Damion James)

3 Mizzou

10 Maryland (I had to do something interesting and make this entire sub region all teams with M's to start their name)

2 Memphis (They look bad right now against Cal State Northridge)

Second Round

1 UConn

5 Purdue (They have good leadership and are a very tough team)

3 Mizzou (Marquette can't handle their pressure without James)

2 Memphis (another fun thing with Tigers matched up in the Sweet Sixteen)

Regoinal Semis

1 UConn

2 Memphis

*This is the way it should be the fourth #1 seed versus the best #2 seed*

Regoinal Winner

2 Memphis - They are hungry from last year

East Regional

First Round Winners

1 Pitt

9Tennessee (I like this team and I think they are starting to play good once again)

5 Florida State (After the ACC tourney they are primed for good things)

4 Xavier (Good stats to be a contender this year)

11 VCU (UCLA looks lost other than the occasional huge game from either Shipp or Collison, but VCU has a good team and you always have to like the Colonial Athletic Association)

3 Villanova
7 Texas
2 Duke

Second Round winners
1 Pitt (I like Tenn but I like Pitt more)
4 Xavier (I think they will do good things this year)
3 'Nova (VCU only gets one win, they are not George Mason)
7 Texas (Yes, Texas. I like the way they have been getting play from Dexter Pittman, and I think that Abrams is due for a big game. Plus, their athletes can guard all the Dukies and do it well)

Regional Semis
1 Pitt
3 'Nova
*Setting up a Big East rematch that will be big news*

Regional Winner
1 Pitt
* I think they are the best team in the nation and will take care of business*

East Regional

First round winners
12 Western Kentucky (They beat Louisville on the road this year and Illinois is without their point guard)
4 Gonzaga
6 Arizona State
3 Syracuse
7 Clemson (I like the ACC)
2 Oklahoma

Second Round Winners
8 LSU (I know this hasn't happened in a long time, but without Ty Lawson, I like the Tigers to surprise the world)
4 Gonzaga (The hilltoppers don't get to beat a 13 seed this year to get to the Sweet Sixteen)
6 Arizona State (I like the Sun Devils chances against the 2-3 Zone run byt the 'Cuse and James Harden will be a star after this game)
2 Oklahoma (OU is good and Blake Griffin can take care of Clemson)

Regional Semis
4 Gonzaga (I like the Zags. They have experience, inside play and outside play and are primed to give Mark Few a big raise)
6 Arizona State (Again, James Harden.... remember that name)

Regional Winner
4 Gonzaga
*Crazy I know, but I like it and they have waited a long time to get to this point

Final Four
Memphis vs. Louisville
Pitt vs. Gonzaga

Champoinship Game
Louisville vs. Pitt
These are two of the best teams around and proved it all year. They play tough, have leaders at the guard position and experience.


They have never made it past the Sweet Sixteen, until this year and what a sweet way to do it.

I could have gone a lot of different ways with the bracket and I am sure you won't agree with me, but I'm sticking to it. We will keep you posted as the tourney progresses.