Friday, September 30, 2005

Let's make the scenarios simple

One and done
Two their due,
and Three they go whee, whee, whee all the way home.

In other words, if the Red Sox win only one of the next three games, the Yankees take the division. If they win two out of three, they will be tied and be heading off to the Bronx for a tie-breaker on Monday (who's going to pitch that one?). If they win all three, the Red Sox take the division. Got it?

If you want to add in a little spice, if the Sox take two out of three and Cleveland takes 2 as well, there will be a second tie-breaker on Tuesday. What a way to end the season!

Now then, let's talk about big and little Papi. Big Papi finishes the game with another clutch hit in the 9th to finish off the Toronto Blue Jays. But that was just the end. Ortiz's homer was his 20th of the season that tied a game or put Boston ahead, and it was his 11th in September. How could anyone else be considered for MVP this year?

But it was Papelbon who set the stage by going 2.2 innings with 1 K, 2 hits allowed, and 0 ER after Clement almost blew the game (5 innings, 4 ER, 8 hits) and Myers setting the stage with 1.1 innings of almost perfect pitching (1 walk, 0 hits, 0 ER).

In other news: Mike Stanton was acquired from the Nationals for a three game stint. He will not be available to the Red Sox if they make the playoffs. "If he comes in and gets one hitter out, that might be enough," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "This guy's not going to come in and pitch the ninth for us."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Talk about being optimistic!

Arroyo stays optimistic:
"We'll try to wipe this one away as quickly as possible," said Arroyo, who allowed seven runs and seven hits in three-plus innings. "I only threw 79 pitches, so I feel like I'll be healthy for the Yankees. ... You always hope for the opportunity. So, we'll see."

Ortiz on his attempted bunt:
''If I hit a homer it don't matter," he said. ''We're still going to be down by a whole bunch of runs so I was thinking, they had the [third base] space open [as a result of the Ortiz shift]. I was trying to at least get on base. And we had Manny coming up. And if Manny hits a homer, now we're closer. My mind right there was to try to get on base one way or another especially against this guy whose been making good pitches against us. I'm not the kind of guy who's out there just looking at my numbers. It's a team situation and I always want to prove the best I can for our ball club."

The Star Wars character Chewbacca threw out the first pitch at Fenway last night to promote a Museum of Science exhibit. (Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Injury Report for the Patriots

The Patriots and the Chargers released their injury reports today. Notables on the list are RB Kevin Faulk, T Matt Light, CB Duane Starks, CB Tyrone Poole, CB Chad Scott, LB Tully Banta-Cain and CB Randall Gay.

With Faulk out, the patriots needed a running back, and so:
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed free agent running back Amos Zereoue and released wide receiver Andre' Davis today. Zereoue will wear number 31 for the Patriots. Terms of his agreement were not disclosed.

Wasn't Davis part of a trade for a third or fourth round pick?

Pats vs. Chargers

Harrison is out for the season. What a disappointment. His hard hitting play making ability is going to be missed.

I took the following from the Pats Website. Does anyone else get as excited as I do when Tim Dwight gets the ball. He just seems to explode into action.

Among the League Leaders
21 -- The number of receptions by Deion Branch through three games, tops among all AFC receivers. Branch’s reception total is tied for fourth in the NFL.

78 -- The number of completions by Tom Brady through three games in 2005, leading the NFL. Donovan McNabb ranks second with 77 completions.

948 -- The number of passing yards for Brady through three games, ranking second in the NFL. McNabb leads all passers with 964 yards.

43 -- The number of passing first downs earned by Brady through three games, ranking third in the NFL. St. Louis’ Marc Bulger and McNabb are tied for the lead with 45 first downs.

4 -- The number of rushing touchdowns by Corey Dillon through three games, ranking second in the AFC behind San Diegos LaDainian Tomlinson (6 touchdowns). Dillon’s total is tied for third in the NFL with Chicago’s Thomas Jones and Carolina’s Stephen Davis, behind Tomlinson (6) and Seattles Shawn Alexander (5).

11.0 -- The average number of yards per punt return for Tim Dwight (9- 99), ranking second in the AFC.

1 -- The ranking of the Patriots’ pass offense among all AFC teams. New England has averaged 300.3 passing yards per game this season. The Patriots rank second in the NFL, trailing only the Philadelphia Eagles.

1 -- Tom Brady’s ranking among AFC passers in yards (948), completions (78) and passing attempts (123).

BTW, this is interesting. Apparently, there was a time clock issue. That big a change and noone noticed?

Yesterday's game really meant something

With yesterday's win (first game, of course), the Sox made this weekend's series against the Yankees certain to mean something. If either team gets swept or is swept in the next two games, the three game series will still determine who wins, and most likely who goes home.

Since this series is so important, I went and looked at the Red Sox vs. Yankees history this year: Wins: 7-9, At Home: 3-4, Runs: 100 - 68 (two games were blowouts at 17-1).

The Cleveland Indians also lost last night, so the Sox, Yankees and Indians are in a three way tie for the wild card. I went and looked at Cleveland's remaining schedule. They face off two more times against the lowly (but hard hitting) Tampa Bay Devil Rays. They then have to face off against the Chicago White Sox. Whoever made up the MLB schedule this year deserves a raise.

BTW, why did Schilling come back out in the seventh? He was obviously struggling. He seemed to get into trouble every inning. So why bring him back out when his pitch count was already up there? This is crunch time. Torre pulls his pitchers, no matter who they are or what their ego state is, if they're in trouble. This is not the time and place to protect someone. And then he pitches Hansen, when a few days ago, he refused to put him in just to protect him from situations like this. Tito, make up your mind one way or another.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

PLEASE -- Let me know what you think of my new design!

I'm very happy to announce a new template for my website. If you liked the old one let me know, but I haven't heard anyone say anything good about the minimal design I had before.

I'm still new at this, so if you have any suggestions about layout, background, templates, etc... Please! Let me know by leaving a comment.

NFL Week 4

Get your picks in for week 4. As usual, post your picks (against the line) in the comments section. You can post anonymously, but if you want me to keep track, please give me some hint as to who you are.

Favorites to the left, underdog to the right. Spread is in the middle. Home teams are capitalized. Please, when making your picks, list them in the order shown and use the 3 letter codes. It just makes my life easier.

Sunday, Oct. 2
NEW 5.0 snd
JAC 3.5 den
CIN 9.5 hou
ind 6.5 TEN
PHI 3.0 kcy
TBY 7.0 det
NYG 3.0 stl
NOR 0.0 buf
WAS 2.0 sea
BAL 0.0 nyj
ATL 5.5 min
OAK 3.0 dal
ARI 3.0 snf

Monday, Oct. 3
CAR 7.5 gby

Note that I made up the spread for jac/den, kc/phil, and bal/jets since there is no line available for them, yet. Also, notice how the home teams are favored this week?

Click here to see results for Week 3

Monday, September 26, 2005

Yesterday was a good day

Did anyone else think the 5th inning looked more like a home run derby than a baseball game? They were all swinging for the fences, but only Damon's floated out. Baldwin looked like a hitting coach setting them up for the long ball.

The end result was almost all we could hope for (The Yankees did win, after all). But that leaves it all tied up with 7 games to go. No worries for the Red Sox playing at home from now on. They finished up with a road record of 41-40. Not bad, but not great. It's at home where they've shined all year long (50-24). With a strong finish at home they could roll into the playoffs.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Today is going to be a good day!

With the Red Sox tied up with the NY Yankees, it's going to be a great sports day in New England.

But what I want to talk about today is the Pats. The Patriots streak was killed in Pittsburgh last year, so I'm looking forward to the Pats stopping the Steelers streak of 16 regular season wins in a row (which incidently explains why Big Ben is 15-0 in the regular season).

I expect the Steelers will be coming in early and often just as Carolina did last week. The Pats will probably come back with lots of play action passes. Hopefully, they'll teach the Steelers to respect the run early enough to make a difference this week. Expect Dillon to put up more yards this week, but as Bill Belichick says, "We go with what's working. If the run's working, we'll run."

The defensive secondary is already looking beat up "There are five defensive backs listed as questionable, including cornerbacks Tyrone Poole (ankle), Randall Gay (ankle) and Chad Scott (shoulder)."

But having said that, this game is going to be about big defensive plays and turnovers. Both teams have good records, defensively, so far. So I expect that whoever wins on defense is going to win.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Scenarios from now until THE SERIES

With 6 games left before the Yankees come to town and the Sox down by 1 game, it's time to figure out all the scenarios that are possible.

Best Case scenario: The Red Sox are up 4 games when the Yanks come to town. Even if the Sox go 6-6, the Yanks would have to go 1-6. That's not likely.

Worst Case scenario: The Red Sox are down 4 games when the Yanks come to play. If the Yankees go 6-6, and the Sox go 3-6, it would be all over before it even started.

How it can end in a tie -- resulting in a one game playoff in the Bronx: If either team is up by 1 or 3, a tie breaker may be necessary.

Likely starters for the 3 game series (taken from uponthmonster message board):
Game 1) Wells vs Wang
Game 2) Shilling vs Johnson
Game 3) Wakefield vs Mussina

If it comes to a one game playoff in the Bronx, Arroyo would be up in the rotation.

Friday, September 23, 2005

How are you feeling today?

The Yankees won last night, while the Sox finally got a day off. Since they made up the game on September 5th against the White Sox, they have gone 8-9. I expect them to do better in the following week leading up to the final face off against the Yankees.

Can you hear all the negativity voicing itself? You would think after the Sox beat the Yankees 4 games in a row last year, you would hear a little more optimism from the fans. But I guess that was a different team, and maybe it is time to become the 'fellowship of the miserable' once again. But that just isn't me. Not yet.

I'm fighting off those doomsayers comments and negativity. I'm excited by the prospects of a fight here in Boston to the finish against our dreaded rivals. It's time once again to fight the evil empire and I for one am looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Post Note: Seems that Foulke has not been officialy decommisioned, yet. He has been back in Boston to see the Doctor, but no official word has come out yet on what his status is.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Foulke done for the year???

There's a report out that Foulke has been shut down for the year. Big news for the Red Sox just before the end of the season. I think they were hoping he would return to form.

Hopefully people remember him for what he did last year and not this year.

Save Opportunities

Since blown saves are on everyone's mind today, I thought I'd look up how the Boston Red Sox stand up in comparison to the rest of the league. Turns out, despite how we may feel about it today, they aren't the worst. They're just close to it.

Team SV SVO %
Colorado Rockies356157%
Kansas City Royals243962%
New York Mets315062%
Tampa Bay Devil Rays416662%
Toronto Blue Jays325163%
San Francisco Giants447063%
Baltimore Orioles365763%
Philadelphia Phillies365763%
Detroit Tigers365664%
Boston Red Sox345265%
Chicago Cubs345265%
Atlanta Braves365565%
Seattle Mariners365565%
Texas Rangers436566%
Cincinnati Reds304567%
Milwaukee Brewers406067%
Oakland Athletics365467%
New York Yankees436467%
Los Angeles Dodgers385569%
San Diego Padres415871%
Arizona Diamondbacks395571%
Florida Marlins395472%
Minnesota Twins395472%
Chicago White Sox506874%
Washington Nationals506874%
Los Angeles Angels486574%
Pittsburgh Pirates324374%
St. Louis Cardinals455974%
Cleveland Indians496378%
Houston Astros405178%

Which does not mean they're the best, either! If you look at the number of save opportunites (comparably speaking), they haven't had a lot. That's not surprising since their bats have been so strong all year long.

Wouldn't it be nice to have Foulke back in tip top shape again?

Quote of the day: "We're not 10 games back. We're a half-game back," pitcher Mike Timlin (pictured right) said after the Red Sox squandered an eighth-inning lead and lost to the last-place Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-4. "We've been in first place or fighting for first place all year long. This is not season-ending by any means." and "It's an ill-timed loss, but what are you going to do?" Timlin said.

One other note for Tito. Rule number 1 for Timlin: Do Not put Timlin in unless it's the beginning of an inning!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

NFL Week 3

Get your picks in for week 3. As usual, post your picks (against the line) in the comments section. You can post anonymously, but if you want me to keep track, please give me some hint as to who you are.

Favorites to the left, underdog to the right. Spread is in the middle. Home teams are capitalized. Please, when making your picks, list them in the order shown and use the 3 letter codes. It just makes my life easier.

Sunday, Sept. 25
PHI 7½ oak
Cin 3 CHI
NYJ 3 jac
MIN 3½ nor
Car 3 MIA
IND 13½ cle
BUF 1 atl
tby 3½ GRB
SEA 6 ari
PIT 3 new
dal 6½ SFR
SND 5½ nyg

Monday, Sept. 26
DEN 3 kcy

Click here to see results for Week 2

Everybody take a deep breath

Schilling got it done. That should be the headlines today. Despite Tampa Bay's record (63-89), they are a hard hitting team (Ranked 3rd at .274) and Schilling mowed them down. In fact, the pitching as a whole was very strong with 12 K's:


Curt Schilling 7 6 2 2 1 7 1 5.89
Manny Delcarmen 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 3.52
Lenny DiNardo 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 2.79

Of course, by the 3rd inning it was all over. And that's why today's headlines read:
Ortiz's two HRs help BoSox clobber Rays, hold AL East lead

The Sox batters as a whole put on a clinic last night, with Manny and Ortiz leading the way. The only regular without a hit was Rentawreck who had another error. He is the lead leaguer with 29 E's this year (the next closest is Adams with 25). Didn't we get this guy for his defensive skills? What happened this year?

But the real story isn't the Sox offense. They are the number one team in the league when it comes to putting up big numbers and that's old news. The real story today is Schilling's performance. They needed a stopper and they got it. I'm feeling better today about their playoff chances. Not "woohoo there is noone who can stop them now!" better, but "at least now they have two pitchers that can be relied on" better.

Look for another strong outing by Wakefield tonight. He's 13-1 with a 2.86 ERA in 18 games against Tampa Bay.

BTW, does anyone understand this statement by Millar: "The standings don't mean anything right now," Millar said. "You fight until the end and see where the chips lay."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I predicted this

But I didn't predict it to happen so quickly. With a 1/2 game lead on the Yankees, the Sox have watched their lead dwindle in the past week. I thought with 4 games up after the last Yankees series, the Sox would lose that lead slowly, until the final series with the Yanks would come along and decide the division and the playoff berths. But this is just depressing.

Wells pitched a lousy game, and as he put it: "I'm not going to make any excuses," Wells said. "I just went out and stunk it up tonight." Wells gave up four runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. He threw 76 pitches, 37 in the third inning. But that's not the whole story. It's inexcusable for a pitcher not to cover the bag. Why didn't he do it?

Meanwhile, in NY, Bubba, yes, Bubba Crosby hits a walk off home run. "I've never hit a walk-off homer ever, anywhere, even in Little League, in my life," Crosby said. "And to hit one here at Yankee Stadium, this time of year, when it counts, it doesn't get any better than that. I pretty much felt it when I hit it. I can't hit it much harder than that."

And in Cleveland, things are looking up. There's a lot of talk about how the Chicago should be worried. Why worry? However things turn out between the two, the Indians and White Sox are going to take the division and the wild card.

Well, it comes down to this. Schilling no longer has time to work things out. He can't go out there and do so-so. There's no more time to play around. He needs to be the stopper here and now. This is what being the ace is all about.

Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 7:15pm ET

38 Curt

37 Seth
6-8 6.20 29 0 0 74.0
97 51 51 10 19 69
VS. Tampa Bay

2005 1-2 6.16 7 19.0 24 13 3 15
Career 6-4 4.16 9 71.1 75 33 12 57

6-10 6.61 32 0 0 99.1
95 78 73 16 61 86
VS. Boston

2005 0-2 6.48 4 8.1 6 6 7 9
Career 1-2 5.40 2 13.1 9 8 11 13

BTW, if anyone wants to discuss how the Patriots did this past weekend, go read this article by Felger at the Herald first.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Did you ever feel like someone had kicked your dog?

Let's just list all the ways yesterday went wrong for me in the real and fantasy sports world. The New England Patriots were embarrassed (see post from yesterday). The Red Sox got their collective butts kicked. It was over by the 2nd inning when the Sox were down 7-0. By the end of the 5th it was 12-0. (Who is going to pitch for them in the playoffs?) In both of my fantasy baseball leagues I lost in the playoffs. It's very frustrating since I had battled back up to 4th and 2nd place in both after having dismal starts. And I'm getting finished off in fantasy football, too.

Ugh.... Thankfully, the Yankees lost too. As bentley92 pointed out, the Yanks are playing continuously to the end, so hopefully they're getting tired. And since the Red Sox are clinging to a 1.5 game lead, they need all the help they can get. It's going to be a bumpy run to the finish line.

Hmm.... It just occured to me that some fool (err... I mean competitor) might drop Dillon based on the past two weeks (36 yards yesterday, no TD's)? I should check that.

Photo: Globe Staff Photo / Matthew J. Lee

Sunday, September 18, 2005


The New England Patriots were just plain ugly today. And ugly is the only word that can describe today's game against Carolina. After last week's performance against the Raiders, this week's performance was just unexpected.

Some of the numbers just jump off the page:

  • 12 penalties(!) for 86 yards.

  • 4-14 on third down conversions.

  • Fumbles lost: 2

  • Rushing yards: 36! in only 16 rushes for 2.4 yds/carry

  • Red Zone efficiency: 100%

  • 100% efficiency in the red zone really caps off everything else. They only got into the red zone once all day. Maybe we're spoiled here in New England. Maybe we expect too much. Maybe we just aren't used to seeing failure on the football field. But this game was unbelievably ugly.

    Saturday, September 17, 2005

    Manny is hit by a pitch to end the game

    Is this what it's going to take to beat the better teams? With the playoffs just weeks away, where pitching and defense wins you games, is it going to come down to leaning into a pitch*?

    I don't think so. I think the Sox are just tired. Their previous day off was August 22nd. From August 23rd to Sep 4th, they went 9-4. Since then they have gone 6-6. Their bats are tired and they are starting to wear down. Johnny Damon's shoulder, Ortiz's back, Manny's legs, etc... They need a day off and soon. That's why I was disappointed last night when they didn't just call the game. Even if they had to play a double-header today to get it in, it still would have helped.

    *I don't think Manny leaned in, BTW. But I bet it still hurt.

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    Last night's game

    Last night's game is exactly what Sox fans are afraid of. The starting pitching doesn't get it done and the Sox bats are silenced. Unfortunately, this is what this year has been all about.

    But all is not lost. Schilling is still pitching better. Despite last night's result, keep in mind that Curt pitched 6.2 innings, which isn't bad. He only gave up 4 runs, which again isn't bad for him. He's still working on getting his old form back, and this is the time for him to do it.

    It's starting to look like I thought it would. The last weekend of the regular season may decide the AL East. It may even decide both teams playoff lives. And that's as it should be.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    NFL Week 2

    Home team is capitalized. List your picks in the order shown, and please use the 3 letter codes.

    Favorite Line Underdog.
    Bal 4 TEN
    Pit 6 HOU
    IND 9 Jac
    Det 2 CHI
    PHI 7 Snf
    TBY 2 Buf
    NEW 3 CAR
    SEA 2 Atl
    ARI 1 Stl
    NYJ 6 Mia
    GRB 7 Cle
    DEN 3 Snd
    Kcy 1.5 OAK

    Monday, Sept. 19
    DAL 6 Was
    NYG 3 Nor

    Note the two Monday night games!

    To see last week's results go here

    In case of tie, break glass

    On Monday, the Yanks won the coin flip. So, if NY manages to claw their way into a tie with the Red Sox for the division lead, they'll host the Boston Red Sox in a one-game playoff.

    From the AP Wire and
    "If game is needed to break a tie between Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central, the Indians would host, and if the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland need a tiebreaker in the AL West, the game would be at Anaheim.

    In the event a tiebreaker is needed for the wild card, New York and Oakland would play at Cleveland, and Oakland would play at New York.

    If three teams finish with the same record and a tiebreaker is needed, the teams in the same division play a tiebreaker for first place, and the loser meets the team from the other division in a one-game wild-card tiebreaker.

    If a tiebreaker game is necessary in the NL wild-card race, Philadelphia would host Houston and Florida, the Marlins would host Houston, the Astros would host Washington, and the Nationals would host the Phillies and Marlins."

    How exciting would that be? A one game tiebreaker in the Bronx? Now imagine that the loser goes home with Cleveland (or Oakland) taking the wild card spot? One game determining your playoff life? One winner, and one loser! How many people would be glued to their sets that day?

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    Weekend Update -- Sox

    Well, all they hype, all the energy and all the weekend ends up with is nothing. No change, no real difference. The Yankees are still there. The Sox couldn't finish them off. The Yanks couldn't put a real dent in the lead. It's all right where it was.

    Of course, that means the final series is going to be twice as exciting! The final rundown on the schedule looks like: Tor (3), Oak (4), TB (3), Balt (4), Tor (3), and then the Yanks are back in town for three final games. If I had to guess, the division lead will still be up for grabs and the loser will be out of the playoffs entirely. It's like a situation drawn up for a bad movie. But it's also the way it should be. These two teams should face each other.

    I have to admit, I wasn't excited about facing the Yankees last year in the ALCS. For me, winning it all would have been enough, never mind the drama. But, after last year, my viewpoint has changed. It's not just about winning it all, it's about the challenge. And facing off against NY is the biggest challenge we face every year. So, bring it on. I think the Red Sox are up to it this year, too.

    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    It's about class

    Read the letter to the sports editor in the Boston Globe today. You can tell where Ted Johnson gets his class from.

    Saturday, September 10, 2005

    Schilling looked better

    But he's still not perfect. I liked what I saw today, though. His line says it all:

    8 5 2 2 2 6 1 6.28

    I think the 6.28 ERA is the key statistic today. Today was good, but he still needs to pitch a couple more games before he's set. People just like to forget that for him, this is like the first three games of the season. He's just starting to get into the groove and I expect at least one more bad performance to come in the following weeks. Of course, being Boston fans, we're all going to shout about how Tito shouldn't be pitching him and so on and so forth, but it's all for the good.

    All in all, I'm happy to see that he can do what needs to be done this year.

    PS The Yanks are going to miss Scheffield badly if he can't come back. Without pitching, it's the offense that has carried them this far. And despite the numbers, it's Scheff who's been the MVP for the Yanks not ARod. Gary is just a better clutch hitter. "Sheffield tried to take batting practice Friday but stopped when he couldn't plant the leg. He planned to try to take BP again Saturday."

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    Patriots roll right over the Raiders

    And they made it look easy. I knew the passing game was going to better, but I was surprised that they went to it so often. But that's what happens when the running game doesn't get started. They move on to something that is working.

    The game was over after the Pats went up 23-14. What a great all around play by the defense on the Wilfork interception. From

    "Seymour, who as usual made a half-dozen big plays on defense, pushed Raiders center Jake Grove into quarterback Kerry Collins. Meanwhile, Jarvis Green, who became the fourth lineman when the Pats switched to the 4-3, came around from the right side and sandwiched Collins as he was throwing. The ball popped into the air and into the hands of 325-pound nose tackle Vince Wilfork at the Raiders 20."

    The Raiders made one more drive that made me sit up and take notice (and no, it wasn't the drive they scored on). But that was it. They looked like they were done and they were.

    The running game will improve. Anyone who doesn't think Dillon will improve on his yards wasn't paying attention last year. The Pats mold their offense and defense to their opponent. So one week, they'll hand it to Dillon 40 times, the next only 20. It all depends on what Bill thinks his opponents biggest weakness is. Obviously, he thought the Raiders would be susceptible to the passing game (especially with all the depth at WR and TE this year).

    The passing game will be just as good almost every week. Brady has a lot of targets who are experienced. But fantasy wise, none of the WR will be good picks this year. Dillon, Brady, Vinatieri and the defense are all good choices, but the offense spreads the ball around too much to pick up any of the receivers, except in very deep leagues.

    Randy Moss is impressive, but I wouldn't want him on my team. Instead of going after the ball on the two point conversion, he settled for the cheap pull down of Samuel. He just doesn't want to win the game. That said, I'd take him onto my fantasy team in a second!

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Only 3 hours left

    And here are my predictions for the season.

    AFC East: NE Patriots. If you have to ask why, you've come to the wrong site.
    AFC South: Colts, again a no-brainer. I think they've improved over last year, but don't expect them to win it all.
    AFC North: Ravens. I know, I know. Most people are predicting the Steelers will walk away with it, but I happen to like what the Ravens have on Defense.
    AFC West: Chargers. Gotta love Tomlinson. Won't be easy, though.

    NFC East: Eagles are the easy pick and I'm going with them.
    NFC South: Panthers and Falcons will fight it out to the end. I expect Vick to fold under the pressure, though.
    NFC North: Vikings by default. Bears are out one QB. Brett can't carry the Packers and the Lions are, ... well, the lions.
    NFC West: I like the Cardinals here. Again, not the strongest team, but everyone else is just as weak.

    AFC wild cards: Bills and Jags
    NFC wild cards: Falcons and Saints

    AFC Championship: NE Patriots over the Chargers
    NFC Championship: Eagles over whoever (but let's go with the Panthers)

    Super Bowl: NE Pats over the Eagles once again.

    Sports: American football news

    Teams over 500?

    After looking at the Red Sox record against teams that were currently over 500 earlier this year, I was pretty depressed to see they were only winning half of those games. But I decided to revisit and recalculate their record and I'm happy to report their record has improved. Maybe it's just the teams they were losing to have losing records now, but they are now 30-19 against teams with winning records as of this morning. In fact, they only have a losing record against the Yanks and the St Louis.
    NYY 6-7, ATL 2-1 CLE 4-2 LAA 6-3, MIN 4-2, OAK 4-2, PHI 3-0, STL 1-2

    Mind, they also have losing records when facing Tor, Balt and the Cubs (they are tied with Seattle). Considering they will probably be facing the Angels, Oakland or Cleveland in the first round (as things stand, now), this makes me feel a little bit better.

    In other news:
    It has been reported that Red Auerbach has been hospitalized and is on a ventilator. May God bless him, his family and friends in this time of need. Pictured: Red and Bill Russel.

    Latest Sports News

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    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    Red Sox

    This is my version of categories: Red Sox

    AL Cy Young Award goes to Bartolo Colon

    Ortiz was named the American League's Outstanding Player

    The Globe Writers

    Theo Epstein's Press Conference

    Rumors about Theo Epstein's press conference

    Silver slugger and Golden Glove

    Theo Epstein leaves the Red Sox

    Theo's contract is up tomorrow

    It sounds like Theo will be leaving

    Paul Konerko to Boston

    A new third base coach

    Some recent news out of Sox country (or non-news in one case)

    Who will be back?

    So much for the wind

    The wind

    Wells is ready for game 5

    White on Red

    If you had a magic wand?

    They didn't back in

    Yesterday I predicted


    This is my version of categories: Bruins

    Did you know that hockey has started?


    This is my version of categories: Celtics

    Celtics on the NBA dress code


    This is my version of categories:

    Patriots Dolphins game can be summed up with three plays

    Why the Dolphins could win tomorrow

    What's with Seymour?

    NFL Week 10

    The simple truth about the Patriots

    Monday Night Game - Colts at Patriots

    NFL Week 9

    Bruschi is AFC defensive player of the week

    Now that practice is over

    Are you ready for some football?

    NFL Week 8

    Dead teams in fantasy football

    NFL week 7

    Patriots resign 2, IR 1, and release 1

    It's official, Bruschi is back

    Where were the Patriots?

    Should Bruschi come back?

    A bye?

    NFL Week 6

    No pizazz here

    NFL Week 5

    Why the Patriots lost

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    Several points to make today

    Point 1:
    Not only did David Ortiz hit a walk off homer, but Tim Wakefield pitched a no hitter giving the bullpen (Timlin, in particular) a much needed rest.

    Point 2:
    The Yankees have now lost the series against TB. It's like seeing the Red Sox go out against Baltimore. You don't know why it happens, but it does.

    Point 3:
    Who would be the game one starter if the playoffs started tomorrow? I think it's pretty clear the Boomer would get the nod (if he isn't suspended at the time), and isn't that a scary thing? Clemente hasn't been the same since the first half, and we just aren't sure what Schilling is going to give, yet. Wakefield is steady, and you do know what you're going to get out of Arroyo, but neither are game one starters. I think Arroyo will be in the pen again (not that he deserves it, but...). So, it looks like our rotation would go like this:

    Wells: 12-6, 4.24 ERA, 95 K, 14 BB, .293 AVG
    Clement: 13-3, 4.17 ERA, 133 K, 54 BB, .252 AVG
    Schilling: 5-7, 6.83 ERA, 60 K, 14 BB, .328 AVG
    Wakefield: 15-10, 4.29 ERA, 123 K, 64 BB, .251 AVG.

    I don't think our opponents will be shaking in their boots.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    Katrina and sports

    I've been trying to avoid talking about Katrina on this blog, because 1) it's hard to talk in any way about how huge this tragedy is and what it's going to take to rebuild Louisianna and 2) this blog is supposed to be about sports and give (me, at least) a chance to focus on something other than the real world. But there are a couple of stories out there I'd like to point out where the sports world intersects with the real world and what Katrina has done and what some very popular sports figures are doing about it.

    The Schilling's are sponsoring a family for a year. What if we could all do that? Would that make it all better for these poor folks who have lost everything? No, but it would certainly help. So, I say good for Curt and his family. May blessing rain down on his household for being so generous.

    Joe Horn, and many other Saints players, spent the weekend trying to cheer up evacuess in Houston and elsewhere. "I thought I would cry once I stepped into that dome. But seeing people smile and having kids ask for autographs uplifted me," he said. "It made feel 100% better. They went through this catastrophe, and they still want us to play football. They said, 'Give us something. Go and win.' "

    I'd say that's something worth talking about.

    Side Game

    Favorites, line, Underdog. Pick against the spread
    NEW 7½ OAK
    DEN 4½ MIA
    CIN 3½ CLE
    BUF 5½ HOU
    PIT 7 TEN
    WAS 6 CHI
    CAR 7 NOR
    MIN 6 TBY
    JAC 3 SEA
    KCY 3 NYJ
    NYG 2½ ARI
    STL 5 SNF
    DET 3 GRB
    SND 4½ DAL
    IND 3 BAL

    Monday, Sept. 12
    PHI 1 ATL

    Make your picks in the comments section. So that I can keep track, please use the format (3 letter codes for teams) and try to make your picks in the order shown.

    Also, make sure to give me some hint as to who you are. You can post anonymously, but if you want me to keep track, then use some sort of nickname or something.

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    Despite the loss

    I saw quite a bit to be excited about today. Schillling and Foulke both pitched better than they did last time. If they keep improving, I think we'll have a shot in the playoffs. Without both, they'll crash and burn.

    Schilling struggled to put the ball where he wanted. You could see Varitek setting up here and there, and Schilling just wasn't hitting his target. But, he was still doing better than last time. His line 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K in 6.1 innings isn't exciting. When the playoffs start, you're going to be happy he was out there blowing the rust off now.

    Foulke was more encouraging with 1.2 innings, 0 ER, 1 K. And he looked sharp out there. It wasn't quite closing, but he took another step closer to winning back his role.

    It's still amazing to me how a rookie makes the Sox look silly every time. When the Sox make it to the playoffs, whoever they face should just bring in their most inexperienced pitcher!

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    Foulke and 3 others

    Lost in the (important) news about Foulke being reactivated is the story on the 3 others. There's Chad Harville, Alejandro Machado, and Matt Perisho.

    I'm not too excited about Harville. His line isn't all that exciting. In 37 games, he's 0-2 with a 4.46 ERA, 33 K and 24 BB. His ERA in the past isn't all that impressive either, but another arm is another arm.

    Alejandro, who was acquired from Washington in February, batted .301 with three home runs and 43 RBI in 117 games with Boston's International League affiliate. He should be welcome as the Sox are in the middle of a long stretch of uninterupted games.

    Perisho, a lefty, doesn't really deserve to be brushed over. He's put up impressive numbers this year. In 24 games, he's 2-0 with an ERA of 1.93, 10 K and 11 BB. His past numbers aren't as impressive, but this is his third year in the majors and he's been improving every year. Expect Perisho to make an impact in the stretch run.

    BTW, while Papelbon was electric last night, expect him to have some some bad games, too. But, just as important, he's going to be giving a break to the other relievers who are really beginning to show some strain.

    Photo's from Yahoo of Harville and Perisho. Alejandro photo not available.

    Millar vs. Olerud

    After the past two nights (2 HR's by both!), I think a pretty obvious question is, who's a better fit to be the starter (even though I think it's obvious).

    First, think about the defensive side. I think it's pretty obvious Olerud is better defensively, so let's move on.

    Let's look at the offensive numbers this year:
    Name G AB AVG R RBI HR
    Millar 116 393 .275 51 45 7
    Olerud 61 117 .333 12 29 5

    I think it's pretty clear (despite the blonde hair) that Millar isn't going to win his position back anytime soon. Hey, maybe he'll do better off the bench?

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Does anyone actually believe Wells said this?

    "I understand that I was wrong in my statements about these issues and for that I apologize," Wells said in a statement issued by the players association after Wells met with baseball officials. "Now that I have had this opportunity to sit down and discuss the issues, I better understand the procedures that go with steroid testing."

    Or do you think they (the commissioner and his agent?) explained what could happen to him if he continued to rant about the steroids policy and Bud Selig in general? Because there is no way Boomer said these words. More likely he said something along the lines of "*&*!!* it. Write whatever you want. I don't care." I imagine he might be biting his tongue as he sits down after his next start. I also wonder if any of the reporters might try baiting him?