Posted on: May 4, 2009 5:28 pm
 

Yankees Red Sox Preview

If Phil Hughes can dial up the stuff he did last week, the Yankees will win handily.


Hughes, who turns 23 in the end of June, was essentially unhittable last week, going 6 innings without giving up a run on two hits. The phenom struck out 6 batters as well.  "He looked really good," said Joe Girardi following the blowout 11-0 win. The Yankees manager added the Phil Hughes had been taken out because of the length of the 10 run 7th inning. Jon Lester of the Red Sox on the other hand, has not been pitching very well this season.


After a stellar 2008 in which the lefty youngster compiled a 16-6 record with a 3.21 ERA, Lester has started off the season 1-2 with an ERA over 5. The most glaring statistic in his line this season is without doubt the 36 hits he has surrendered to opposing batters in only 30 innings. Whatever the problem is with Lester's performances, the Yankees lineup is not the best team to be facing when in a trying-to-figure-it-all-out mode on the mound. Even with Texeira hitting under .200, many of the Yankees bats have come alive in the first month of the season. These players include:


1. Robinson Cano, who is hitting .363 with 5 home runs and 17 runs batted in. It seems like his work over the offseason has payed off this far into the season. After a dismal 2008, the 2nd basemen is forcing us to remember his hitting ability. 


2. Melky Cabrera, who is hitting .321 with 4 home runs in only 56 at bats. Melky is showing a little spark of power, though some say it is to be attributed the the right field porch in the new Yankee Stadium. His start suggests that he might get the full time job from Brett Gardner, who has struggled to start the season.


3. Nick Swisher, who has an astounding 15 walks in only 92 plate appearances, is really on fire with the bat in his hands. His average is up almost 85 percentage points from last season, when he finished the season with the lowest batting average of any player with over 500 at bats. The 29 year old Billy Beane product is also showing some signs of the power he had in his rookie season with the A's, with 7 homeruns in the first month. If he can keep this up, there may be no room left in that outfield when Xavier Nady returns from his injury. 


With a solid performance from Hughes, and a smattering of hits off the currently vulnerable Jon Lester, the Yankees could jump into the AL East race early on in the season with a W.



 

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 17, 2009 8:08 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2009 2:20 pm
 

Baseball and Fans Relationship: "Its Complicated"

It seems to me like a sad unforgiving love story. To dire fans like I, baseball was a savior for me some days, carrying me through the night after a tough hardworking day. Derek Jeter would run out on the field to the Yankees entry song, and I would sit there with a glass of milk in my hands and think "that guy is the best ball player I've seen in years". Ever since I was little, I've always been thinking about these things; my favorite players, the best games I've ever watched and things like that. This was what the game of baseball was about for me and it has made the game so enjoyable for such a long time. That was the pleasure I got out of eing a baseball fan. This was a fun game that did not need to be an excitement all the time. After all, we have plenty of that in our lives, don't we?

The sport is different now. No longer is baseball just a game to sit down and watch after I get home from work. Every time I see Derek Jeter come out of the dugout, I will think "Thank the Lord that someone is clean" and "Couldn't he just play shortstop and third base for us". Players like Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Miguel Tejada have all tested positive for use of banned substances. So everything comes down to the ultimate question.

Since when did baseball players need anything but a bat to hit a baseball?

I will explain my theory here and it is quite simple. Look at A-Rod's stats, Barry Bond's stats, and Roger Clemens' stats before their supposed 'Steroid days'. Alex Rodriguez was definitely in the mix of big time sluggers before '01, having already topped 40 homeruns in a season; Barry Bonds was a 30-30 man with and average always looming way above .300; Roger Clemens simply had his glory days already. In my theory, all three had one thing in common; they all wanted something more; something more than themselves; something more than their accomplished selves. I hypothesize that the reason these men strove for something even better than themselves is that they wanted to explore; they needed excitement. Guess what came from them needing excitement in their big house, shiny car lives...yup you guessed it.

DRAMA!!!

Baseball has never been affiliated with the word drama, nor should it be. The sport belongs to a different category. Baseball is a game of fundamentals as I said before and a game of attracting the most fans. These two things certainly do not imply anything in the sense of dramatic to me. Drama is saved for t.v shows, which are made for people who don't have enough going on in their lives. The game of a baseball was a simple yet sweet one before it got stuck up in all these complications.

 

So for right now, the sad unforgiving love story I briefly told you about is still sad and still unforgiving. But in terms of my relationship and many other dire hard fans relationship with baseball, the relationship status is "its complicated".

Posted on: February 7, 2009 11:33 am
 

A-Roids?

A report came out that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two different steroids in 2003 at the end of his first MVP season. These reports could taint the legend of one of the greatest hitters of this steroid struck generation.

 

Alex Rodriguez, once thought to be the one that did not participate in the steroid boom of the late 90's and early 00's, has tested positive for anabolic steroids used during the 2003 season. This could be very big news if the A-Rod acknowledges that the tests are true. It would be a huge blow to the integrity of America's national past time.

 

To think that one of the most successful baseball players in history who has been such a huge icon for years cheated is just a blow to the stomach. I hope something comes out that it is all not true.

 

My question: If A-Rod did take steroids, will he be suspended this season?

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 7, 2009 10:27 am
 

Sunset

What have the Suns done???!!??

 

Look at their team a year ago. A young team that had a talented core and a veteran point guard who was winning the Most Valuable Player year after year. They were that rare bunch of stars that fit in well together.

 

Then they traded Shawn Marion, a key member of the team that was obviously not appreciated for his contribution. His 17 rebounds, 10 assists, and 2 steals were forgotten in the midst of Steve Nash's MVP status and Amare's best new center ranking. If you ask me, this trade really destroyed their team more than anything else. Bringing in and old Shaq really slowed down the flow of the game for a team taht had success with a fast pace offense.

This trade changed the whole outlook of the team as the offense was now primarily built around feeding it down low to Shaq or Amare. Though Stoudemire is doing well in this offense, he is not doing as well as he was in D'Antoni's. Amare now realizes this and is obviously on his way out sometime soon.

My questions is how could a team do this to themselves? All of the pieces are in the right place and then they make a stupid trade that costs them a great coach with a great system and look where they are now.

If only management didn't get overeager for a championship and shake things up...if only.

Category: NBA
Posted on: February 2, 2009 9:01 pm
 

MLB STANDINGS AND PLAYOFF TREE

Note: The Royals Will Not Be Winning 96 Games This Year


The American League

 

East

Yankees 101-61

Red Sox  95-67

Tampa Rays 93-69

Bluejays  75-87

Orioles 64-98

 

Central

Twins  96-66

Whitesox 91-71

Tigers     79-83

Royals    74-88

Indians    65-97

 

West

Angels    102-60

Oakland  81-81

Texas     70-92

Seattle    63-99

 

 

The National League

 

East

Phillies 92-70

Mets     88-74

Braves  82-80

Marlins  72-90

Nationals 58-104

 

Central

Cubs 99-63

Cardinals 91-71

Brewers  84-78

Astros  83-79

Pirates  74-88

Reds  67-95

 

West

Diamondbacks 87-75

Dodgers 84-78

Giants 75-87

Rockies 75-87

Padres 69-93

 

Playoffs

Division Championships

A.L

Twins        1

Yankees    3

 

Red Sox    2

Angels      3

N.L

Cubs 3

Diamond Backs    1 

 

Phillies 3

Cardinals      2 

 

League Championships

A.L

Yankees 4

Angels 3

 

N.L

Phillies 2

Cubs      4

 

World Series!

Yankees 4

Cubs   2

 

Its simple, the Yankees are the best this year, no matter how much everyone says they pay too much money.

 

 

 

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 17, 2009 4:32 pm
 

The Simple Giant Equation

The score of the New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles game last weekend was 23-11. In games the Giants scored less than 20 points, the team had a record of 1-5 counting the playoff loss. In the games in which the offense did manage 20 points, the Giants went 11-0. Maybe no one realized it, but after Plaxico left, the offense experienced a huge drop off in points scored.

E (energy) = mc (mass [m] times speed of light [c]) squared.

Giants Offensive Success= premier wide out who can draw double coverage + everybody else on the offense (primarily running backs) that can exploit the wholes created in the defense.

Both equations have particular parts that just cannot be substituted for. And when a part of the Giants Offensive Success equation accidentally shoots himself in the leg, he is shooting the formula through the head.

I am straight away going to attribute the Giants embarrassing home loss to the absence of a first-rate wide out; Plaxico Burress. First of all, the 6' 5" receiver from Michigan State can draw double coverage, which none of the other wide receivers can do. Two, the Eagles secondary consisting of Asante Samuel, Brian Dawkins, Sheldon Brown, the emerging Quintin Mikell, and Lito Shephard is not exactly a pushover unit that can be exploited easily. Three, Plaxico Burress often has height advantage, which makes a QB more comfortable in the red zone. And four, Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith, and Kevin Boss are all not deep threats. I will further explain now why these four factors contributed so much to the downfall of the Giants.

Drawing double coverage opens up gaps for running backs and other wide receivers. Not even Asante Samuel would match up 1 on 1 with Burress; he's just that good. Plaxico can bring with him at least two defenders down the field, which increases the likelihood of a wide receiver becoming an open target for Eli Manning or a gap opening up for one of the backs. We all know that Brandon Jacobs often doesn’t need openings, but Derrick Ward's game is based on capitalizing when given good opportunities running the ball. His strength is bursting through the hole and into the open field. Derrick Ward was not effective in Sunday's game because there were no holes. The running game on Sunday was not as affective as it would have been with Burress on the field.

The Giants wide receivers were obliterated Sunday both physically and mentally by the hard-hitting Eagles secondary. If you watch the game again, you can see that the Giants receivers considerably slowed down in the second half of the game. Steve Smith was coming off the snap almost seconds late midway through the third quarter. The obvious sign of this slowing that everyone saw was the Giants fourth quarter. Their drives had to be shorter and more productive, but they were instead long and fruitless. This was a result of the Giants being manhandled at the line of scrimmage by opposing defensive backs. As well as that, Brian Dawkins played a very physical game, single-handedly taking the energy out of some wide receivers. I am not stating that Plaxico Burress had anything to do with the failure of the Giants wide receiver squad. I am arguing that Plaxico Burress would not lose the physical battle as easily as they did.

The Giants tried to make a quick fix by putting Domenik Hixon into Burress's role. This role in the Giants formula requires that Hixon be a deep threat, which is clearly not what Hixon is. There were signs that it would work, like in the Arizona game, but it just wasn't a natural fit for him. In previous games, like the Dallas game, Hixon dropped easy important passes that ended up being crucial mistakes in Giant losses. Hixon is a good punt and kick returner and can play a supportive role in the Giants wide receiver unit, but cannot play the deep threat role unless his skills vastly improve.

Eli Manning and the Giants offense did not score a single touchdown Sunday, tying the record for the most times in the red zone (6) without scoring a touchdown in a game. This obviously stands out as one of the most disappointing games of Manning's career and certainly his worst game of the season. It is not that Manning doesn't perform in the clutch, (Superbowl XLII MPV) but it is more that he did not have a go to receiver to pass to confidently in the red zone. Take Plaxico Burress out of that last drive against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl last year. What would have happened? Would David Tyree make another catch with his head? Chances are they would have lost the game had it not been for Plaxico's red zone abilities.

To conclude, I will throw some questions out there that make Giants fans like me wonder how everything could have gone so wrong in such a perfect season.

What would have happened if Plaxico Burress had played last Sunday? In my opinion, it is a safe bet to have Plaxico Burress catching two touchdown passes in a playoff game. And if not it be Plaxico who catches those two touchdowns, maybe it be Kevin Boss who finds a gap in the defense created by Plaxico Burress's double coverage! Perhaps Steve Smith is open right over the middle because Plaxico is draws the middle linebacker to the left side! Perhaps Derrick Ward finds a hole from the 15-yard line and bursts into the end zone because Plaxico drew the extra safety away from the middle! Maybe Brandon Jacobs could have turned one of his runs into a touchdown had he had one less defender to bull doze! Plaxico Burress makes a contribution to the team so special that it is irreplaceable. You cannot take him out of the Giants offense and expect "Giants Offensive Success".

E (energy) does not= m (mass) squared.

If there is going to be "Giants Offensive Success", Plaxico Burress needs to fix his legal situation at "the speed of light".

Posted on: January 10, 2009 9:59 pm
 

Just A Question Or Two…Maybe Three?

Well wouldn’t you love to ask these questions to these people…I would.

Questions to ask Urban Meyer:

Do you think a playoff should be made for college football?

What is your reaction to Utah accomplishing a perfect season and still being denied a chance to play for a National Championship?

How does Utah’s perfect 2008 compare to Utah’s perfect 2004 in your mind? Are they just as deserving of a number 1 or 2 ranking as the 2004 team?

Questions to ask Stephon “The Disturbance” Marbury:

Why did you decline to play when the team was short players after the trade? You are getting paid pretty well?

Why won’t you just accept a buyout and move on with your career? Or do you think your career is over and you just want to cash your check and then retire?

Here is one of your more famous quotes two years back after an injury: “I'm dying to get back on the court, excited. I think what the guys went through, as far as playing without me, was a tough task. They learned that we definitely have to play more together and play with way more effort. We didn't play like we were playing when we were winning ... I think I can help.” Well do you think you can help now?

Questions to ask the always-interesting Manny Ramirez:

Do you want to play on the Yankees?

What, in your eyes, was your role in the Dodgers deep playoff run last postseason?

What do you say to people who say you don't hustle?

Questions to ask Plaxico Burress:

How do you feel about your current situation? You think you will be wearing a Giants uniform next year?

Do you have any words of motivation and encouragement for the Giants as they head into the divisional playoffs?

Which was your favorite gun? Did you know how to use it correctly?

Why don’t you get bodyguards like Clinton Portis has? You can afford it…can’t you?

With all the money these athletes get, the least they can do is give us some real answers for these questions.

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 10, 2009 9:58 pm
 

Just A Question Or Two…Maybe Three?

Well wouldn’t you love to ask these questions to these people…I would.

Questions to ask Urban Meyer:

Do you think a playoff should be made for college football?

What is your reaction to Utah accomplishing a perfect season and still being denied a chance to play for a National Championship?

How does Utah’s perfect 2008 compare to Utah’s perfect 2004 in your mind? Are they just as deserving of a number 1 or 2 ranking as the 2004 team?

Questions to ask Stephon “The Disturbance” Marbury:

Why did you decline to play when the team was short players after the trade? You are getting paid pretty well?

Why won’t you just accept a buyout and move on with your career? Or do you think your career is over and you just want to cash your check and then retire?

Here is one of your more famous quotes two years back after an injury: “I'm dying to get back on the court, excited. I think what the guys went through, as far as playing without me, was a tough task. They learned that we definitely have to play more together and play with way more effort. We didn't play like we were playing when we were winning ... I think I can help.” Well do you think you can help now?

Questions to ask the always-interesting Manny Ramirez:

Do you want to play on the Yankees?

What, in your eyes, was your role in the Dodgers deep playoff run last postseason?

What do you say to people who say you don't hustle?

Questions to ask Plaxico Burress:

How do you feel about your current situation? You think you will be wearing a Giants uniform next year?

Why don’t you get bodyguards like Clinton Portis has? You can afford it…can’t you?

Do you have any words of motivation and encouragement for the Giants as they head into the divisional playoffs?

Which was your favorite gun? Did you know how to use it correctly?

With all the money these athletes get, the least they can do is give us some real answers for these questions.

Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com