Thursday, September 29, 2011

Looking back at some bold Pirates predictions...

By Jeff

Back in April I made some predictions for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their players for the 2011. Let's just say my prognosticating skills are not limited to NFL games. What I said is in bold. What really happened isn't. Ouch.
  • James McDonald wins 14 games and has an ERA below 3.50 - McDonald had some control issues. OK, he had a lot of control issues and only made it past the 6th inning about two times all season. He finished with nine wins and a 4.21 ERA.
  • Pedro Alvarez hits 30 home runs and strikes out 180 times - Pedro had all of four homers, which was three less than Brandon Wood. And he didn't even strike out 180 times!
  • Andrew McCutchen hits 20 bombs and steals 30 bases - Cutch hit 23 dingers, but only swiped 23 bags
  • Jose Tabata bats .315 with 10+ homers and 30 steals - Tabata had a terrible two months, hit .266, mashed four home runs and stole 16 bases. Yeah... I did not do well on this one.
  • Lyle Overbay will hit .275 - Ummm. He batted .226 and was released. Wooo!
  • Ross Ohlendorf will win nine games and have a sub 4.00 ERA
  • Ryan Doumit will... nevermind. There is nothing positive to say about him - He batted .303, so there was something positive to his season. He still got hurt and missed more than half the season, so I'm calling this one a push.
  • Joel Hanrahan will save 35 games - He had 40. This is a win for me!
  • The team will finish with 71 wins - Almost nailed it. They had 72. What's sadder, that this is an improvement on last season by 15 games, or that it was a bold prediction to say they'd only get 71 wins.
Queen - Gimme the Prize

Red Sox demise was awesome

By Jeff

The only thing that makes me happier than teams I like winning championships is Boston area teams losing.

I was screaming at the television when the New York Giants spoiled the New England Patriots' perfect season. I jumped for joy when Ron Artest drained the 3-pointer that clinched the Boston Celtics' loss in the NBA Finals a few years back.

Now I have the Red Sox collapse of 2011.

Seriously, they were nine games up in the Wild Card at the beginning of September. Even the New York Mets were shaking their heads at the embarrassment that was the Boston choke job. It was beautiful.

Hearing Boston fans bitch about the New York Yankees tanking the last game is like sweet music the the rest of the nation's ears.

This was the team that was the hands down favorite to win the World Series. The majority of analysts at least had them in the big game. Their slow start was followed by a great three months of baseball where all you heard was how good they were and how the Yankees didn't have the pitching to keep up.

Then came the skid of September. It was glorious watching the crawler on ESPN tell me almost every night that the Red Sox had lost again. It was great to hear ther fans make excuse after excuse. Yes, a lot of players were hurt this year, but I thought almost $200 million bought you some depth? Apparently not.

The loss made me so happy, I could even stand to read Bill Simmons' column on Grantland today. You know, the one where he said fans should have seen this coming and how hard it was to watch the Red Sox this year? Really? It's hard to watch a team in playoff contention all season? Try following a team that is out by July when they are having a good year. OK, maybe his attitude in the column still got under my skin a little bit.

The Atlanta Braves had a pretty terrible collapse too. But at least they can say someone did worse.

Dropkick Murphys - The Gauntlet

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Why the hate on jerseys?

By Jeff

Rick Reilly recently wrote this column ripping on men who wear sports jerseys. It's not the first column of its kind and it won't be the last one. But that doesn't mean I agree with Reilly and others like him who hate jersey owners everywhere.

The most common thing I hear critics of jersey-wearing fans is that it's disturbing for grown men to wear shirts with another man's name on them. Really? Sounds a bit homophobic to me. I own Hine Ward, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kevin Stevens jerseys. Other than Stevens, these are my favorite players on my favorite teams. It's how I choose to display my support of the team. There is nothing disturbing about me, or anyone else, wearing another man's name on our backs.

Another common insult to us jersey wearers is that we think we're a part of the team. That's stupid. I can't hockey stop or block a strong safety. I could never make the Pens or Steelers. And 99.9 percent of the fans at sporting events never entertain the thought that they are a part of the team. They wear the jersey to support the team. Are you seeing a recurring theme here?

Reilly also inferred that those of us who wear jerseys think we dream of being confused for the player on our back. He got me there. When I go out in my Ward jersey, I honestly think people will think I'm a professional football player who happens to be of African and Asian decent. I've actually been told I look like Ward when I shave my head, wear huge diamond earrings and get really tan. I can't confirm or deny if the autograph I gave out was later sold on E-Bay.

Usually I think Reilly makes solid points in his columns, but he missed here. People express their fandom differently. If Reilly wants to just wear a hat to support his teams, I won't give him crap. He can even wear it backward. I only ask that he leave alone those of us who enjoy wearing jerseys.

Cake - Going The Distance

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week 3 Picks: Rebound week?

By Jeff

Can I have a redo on Week 2? Not only did I miss on nine games, but I missed badly on about six of them. It's weeks like these that make me question why I put picks up on the Internet. Why embarrass myself further? But then I think, why not? C'mon, woo!

Let's start with the Miss of the Week. Here is what I said about the Kansas City - Detroit game. "That's too many points (8) for me to give Detroit in Week 2. They had a great win in Week 1, but I'm not sure they can do it again." Well, Detroit won by 45 points. They covered the spread almost six times over. At least I'll have a hard time missing a pick by that much again this season.

Well, let's stop living in the past and move on to Week 3. As always, the home teams are in caps.

San Francisco (+2.5) over CINCINNATI - Andy Dalton certainly looks like the real deal, and it's not like the 49ers have a great defense. But I'm thinking thisone stays close and Frank Gore has his first big game of the season.

New England (-7) over BUFFALO - The Bills gave up 35 points to the Oakland Raiders and 10 to the Kansas City Chiefs. I think the 10 to the Chiefs is more embarrassing than the 35 to the Raiders. Tom Brady is going to have a lot of fun.

NEW ORLEANS (-4) over Houston - Of the 2-0 teams, the Texans have the least impressive wins. They crushed a Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts that then got smoked by the Cleveland Browns, and they beat the Miami Dolphins, who haven't won a home game in quite some time. The Texans have yet to face a productive offense, and the Saints have one of the best.

New York Giants (+8.5) over PHILADELPHIA - I get that the Giants have a depleted defense, but they still get to the quarterback. All it takes is one hit to Michael Vick's head and the Eagles are in trouble. And he is going to get hit. That offensive line stinks. I don't care what Ron Jaworski says on his Eagles radio show every week. I actually try my best to never listen to any Jaws says.

CLEVELAND (-2.5) over Miami - Games like these shouldn't count against me. There is nothing exciting about this one. Tell me an interesting storyline or something to watch for in this game. Take your time. It's not easy.

TENNESSEE (-7) over Denver - Matt Hasselbeck is alive! Alive!

Detroit (-3) over MINNESOTA - I've learned my lesson. Never will I doubt the Lions again if they are playing a crappy opponent.

CAROLINA (-3) over Jacksonville - Jack Del Rio is definitely trying to sabotage this team. He was only going to keep his job if they made the playoffs, so he cut his starter the week before the season began. Then in Week 2, Luke McCown had one of the worst performances by a quarterback I can remember. Yeah, I'm thinking Jack saw the writing on the wall and is trying to see how much damage he can do before he's shown the door.

SAN DIEGO (-14.5) over Kansas City - The Chiefs might not have 20 points combined after three weeks.

OAKLAND (+3) over New York Jets - No logic here. I was just sick of picking the favorites.

Baltimore (-4) over ST. LOUIS - The Rams are lucky there are teams like the Chiefs and the Jags, or else everyone would be talking about how this is the worst offense in the NFL.

Atlanta (+1.5) over TAMPA BAY - Do you believe in the theory that the Falcons will have a hard time getting up for a big divisional game after such an emotional win last week? Or do you believe in the theory that it was a stepping stone for the team and proved to them they can overcome the odds? I'm going with theory 2.

Arizona (-3.5) over SEATTLE - How did I forget to include Seattle when I was talking about the worst offenses in football? My apologies.

Green Bay (-4) over CHICAGO - Maybe I've been too hard on Jay Cutler. If my offensive line was routinely letting me get destroyed by 300-pound men, I'd probably walk around with a pouty face all day too.

Pittsburgh (-10.5) over INDIANAPOLIS - Kerry Collins is probably wishing he stayed retired at this point.

Washington (+5) over DALLAS - Maybe Grossman is more than who we thought he was. Granted, most people never thought much of anything of him, so that's not saying all that much.

Weezer - Simple Pages

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NCAA follows money

By Jeff

Can we all agree to break into hysterical laughter when college officials and administrators try and tell us they are doing something because they have the well-being of student athletes in mind?


After all the talk of super conferences beginning to form last year, and only one major school (Nebraska) making a major change, I was hoping this crap was over. Then this past week comes along and the Big 12 is in big trouble while the Big East will definitely be losing Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC.

Why all the shuffling? Schools see a lot of money to be made in other conferences and want their share. It's as simple as that. You can't tell me the athletes on the Pitt football team will have a better college experience because the team will be in the ACC and not the Big East. Really, it's going to increase travel time, which is more time out of the classroom. So how exactly can any school official say this move, and others like it, have anything to do with their institution's athletes?

This is all about money. And for all the schools involved with the move and the soon-to-be super conferences, it's an excellent business move. These schools are going to see more money come through their doors thanks to bigger television contracts. Money that will trickle down to the athletes that make these contracts possible, right?

Well, last I read, there was some talk to pay college athletes some kind of stipend. But I doubt it's near the money they deserve or that it will actually go through. The NCAA suspends players for talking to agents, selling jerseys or really making money in any way for their athletic talents while they are at school.

So next time you hear a school president or athletic director emphasize their concern for "student athletes" laugh at them. If they look confused, slap them.

Queen - Fat-Bottomed Girls

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 2 NFL picks

By Jeff

It's a good thing I didn't post my picks last week. They were bad! And I'd like to find people who did well with them. It was a crazy week. The Steelers got crushed, the Buffalo Bills crushed the Kansas City Chiefs, Jay Cutler outplayed Matt Ryan, Tony Romo choked a game away (OK, that one was predictable.) and there were actually highlights of Ted Ginn Jr.

This week, I still don't know what's going on. It could be ugly, but that's no excuse not to put the picks out there and see how awesome or terrible I am. The home teams are in Caps.

Chicago (+6.5) over NEW ORLEANS: The Bears don't have the offense that the Green Bay Packers do. I'm pretty sure nobody in the NFL does, and that includes New England. But the Saints' defense was terrible last Thursday. The Bears will be able to keep this close because that Saints D won't make stops.

Kansas City (+8) over DETROIT: That's too many point or me to give Detroit in Week 2. They had a great win in Week 1, but I'm not sure they can do it again.

NEW YORK JETS (-9) over Jacksonville: Luke McCown versus one of the bets defenses in the league. Blaine Gabbert could be starting in Week 3 for the Jags.

Oakland (+3) over BUFFALO: One of these teams is going to start 0-2. Scary.

WASHINGTON (-3.5) over Arizona: The Arizona secondary is terrble. Even Rex Grossman is going to be able to pick them apart. I can't believe I just typed that last sentence. Any chance we can get Dennis Green to coach the Cardinals again for this one for old time's sake? Please?

Baltimore (-6) over TENNESSEE: Matt Hasselbeck is going to be killed. Glad I just picked him up in a fantasy league. Balls.

PITTSBURGH (-14) over Seattle: The Steelers are going to take all their frustrations from last week's game, and the proceeding week's media coverage asking if they are too old, on Tavaris Jackson and the Seahawks. Seattle will be lucky to get 150 yards of total offense.

Green Bay (-10) over CAROLINA: Let's see what happens when Cam Newton faces a secondary with talent and speed.

Tampa Bay (+3) over MINNESOTA: Maybe the most confusing line of the week. The Vikings' offense was atrocious last week against the Chargers. It pains me to say it, but Donovan McNabb could be done as a viable starting quarterback in the NFL.

INDIANAPLOIS (+2) over Cleveland: The Browns lost to the Bengals. I can't pick them.

Dallas (-3) over SAN FRANCISCO: Unless Romo plays special teams for the Cowboys, Dallas won't have any problems winning this game.

Houston (-3) over MIAMI: What are the chances Chad Henne has two solid weeks in a row?

San Diego (+7) over NEW ENGLAND: Chad Henne put up big numbers against the tiny Pats secondary. As good as Tom Brady was, the Dolphins could have won this game if they made clutch plays. Phillip Rivers and his receivers are going to have monster days.

DENVER (-3.5) over Cincinnati: Who cares?

Philadelphia (-2.5) over ATLANTA: Teams should be absolutely terrified to play the Eagles on turf. When their offense is on the field, they probably have the fastest four players on the field. It doesn't matter that the offensive line blows because there are so many options for Michael Vick. By the way, Philly fans over here have been saying all week how well they thought the offensive line played last week. They must have watched a different game than I did. The game I saw featured an offensive line that was consistently beat and then bailed out by Vick's legs. There is no way he survives 16 games with the line playing the way it is.

NEW YORK GIANTS (-6) over St. Louis: I'm going to be honest, I probably won't even bother watching this game. It just won't be fun.

The Who - Can't Explain

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How Phillies and Pirates fans differ

By Jeff

I recently moved from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. It's not that I love Philly, but my fiancee is here so I am here.

The first thing I've noticed is how excited these people out here are for Phillies games, for the most part. Everyone talks about them and loves them. It's so strange for a Pirates fan to hear.

When people in Pittsburgh talk about the Pirates it's usually about how terrible ownership is, how long it will be until the team trades Andrew McCutchen and how pretty PNC Park is. Not all fans are like that. You get guys like blog contributors Greg and Mike, who love the Pirates and follow them closely, win or lose. It's sad, but these men are rare.

Phillies fans talk about the playoffs and debate who their fourth starter in the postseason should be (They think I'm stupid for thinking it should be Vance Worley). They discuss things like which relievers do you leave off the postseason roster.  And there is just genuine excitement for most games. The Pirates had that for about a month this season, and it was the first month in years.

Now there is one attitude I heard on Philly radio this week that blew my mind. The hosts of a sports talk show and some of the callers were saying they have stopped watching the Phillies this year because winning has become so routine.


Is that not one of the more ridiculous things you've heard in the sports world? Who says that they stop watching their team in the regular season because it's pretty clear the team will win the game? What spoiled jackasses.

I lost a lot of respect for these so-called Phillies fans. Clearly not all Phillies fans are like this. My future father-in-law always watches the Phillies and celebrates every win, no matter how routine or expected it is. I'm pretty sure blog contributor R.J. cried when the Phillies won it all in 2008. But as a Pirates fan who can only remember watching one playoff game (live) in the team's history, it's very annoying to hear other baseball fans who don't bother watching their team because they expect their team to win every night.

It's not like the Phillies have been really good for a really long time. This is the most losing team in MLB history. Prior to 2007 the Phillies hadn't won their division since 1993. Fans of this team are so lucky to have such a great team that could be among the all-time greatests because of their rotation.

If I loved this team like some of these people claim to, I wouldn't miss a game unless I absolutely couldn't find a way to get in front of a tv.

Weezer - The Greatest Man That Ever Lived

Steelers fans shouldn't panic

By Jeff

Watching the Pittsburgh Steelers get crushed by the Baltimore Ravens is one of the worst things Steelers fans can witness. Last Sunday was no different. The 35-7 thrashing by the Ravens was painful to watch. Very painful.

But I'm here to tell Steelers fans it's OK.

The team will not turn the ball over seven times a game again this season. They probably won't have four in another game this year.

The defense will pressure and get to quarterbacks.

Ben Roethlisberger will make better decisions. He'll still underthrow his receivers, but that's kinda what he does.

Willie Colon will be missed, but this team got to the Super Bowl without him last year. They will sruvive.

The team won't fall so far behind that they have to abandon the run for the majority of the second half.

Last Sunday's game sucked, but it will be the exception and not the rule to this season.

Phantom Planet - The Panic

Athletes being stupid: Bud Selig and MLB

By Jeff

OK, this is not a case of an athlete being stupid, but an entire league and its commissioner.

The New York Mets were playing at home Sunday, 10 years to the day that 9/11 occurred. MLB planned to honor those brave men and women killed in the terrorists attacks of that day, and all of the families affected by the tragedy. All teams were to wear hats with the American flag on them.

It was a nice and subtle tribute to victims, but the Mets wanted to do more. And who can blame them? The World Trade Center attack was in their back yard. These players wanted to show more support for victims by wearing NYPD and NYFD hats during the game for one day. MLB said no.

The team didn't want to wear them the rest of the season. They just wanted to do it Sunday. What possible harm could come from it? MLB VP of baseball operations Joe Torre came out and said it was a unanimity issue.

I understand the importance of branding, but this was a terrible decision and the explanation was even worse. The Mets play in New York. The game was in New York. There was a lot more emotion there than in any other city in the world that day. Let the team show their support of their city's public servants who sacrificed their lives for strangers.

Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey tweeted that the Mets planned on rebelling against the memo telling them wearing the NYPD/NYFD hats was forbidden during the game, but the hats disappeared when game-time arrived. Mets players also said the memo stated fines would be handed down to those who wore the hats. MLB has since come out and denied both of these allegations.

I'm not sure why players would lie about that, so I'm going to believe them until the memo is released. And if you think about it, don't you think MLB would release the memo to the public to show that the players were exaggerating the contents of the memo? It would save them a huge headache, but I don't see that ever happening.

On top of everything else, reports have come out that commissioner Bud Selig was "irate" that the Mets went public with MLB's order to not wear the hats. Apparently he thought it embarrassed baseball and that the Mets threw MLB "under the bus".

Maybe Selig should have thought about the consequences of such a stupid rule. Of course the Mets are going to go public with this. Why wouldn't they? The league deserves to be thrown under the bus for making such a bone-headed decision. What a d-bag.

The Eagles - New York Minute

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Questions surround Crosby's return

By Jeff

Sidney Crosby is still getting headaches and concussion symptoms. He can't participate in full contact drills.

I'm a little scared and have nothing else to say on the matter. It's depressing. The guy was setting the league on fire and then suffered one or two concussions in a week. Now we have no idea when he will be back.


Queen - Radio Ga-Ga

Monday, September 5, 2011

NFL predictions: AFC Rankings

By Jeff

The preseason is done. Finally NFL football games that mean something. After months of uncertainty about the season, and another month of analysts reaching for stories regarding the preseason that were not stories, we have real NFL football! Wooooo!

It's going to be a fun season. It always is. So who's going to be the best and the worst? Well, those answers are pretty obvious. The ones inbetween might be harder to predict.

16. Buffalo Bills - This team is terrible. Steve Johnson and Fred Jackson are pretty good, but that's pretty much it. Ryan Fitzpatrick had some good weeks last season, but then stunk down the stretch and C.J. Spiller had a very disappointing rookie campaign and the offensive line has nothing but a bunch of cast offs that couldn't even be the 8th men on other teams' lines. Chan Gailey will be fired.

15. Cincinnati Bengals - There are few things in sports that make me happier than the Bengals and their lack of success: the New England Patriots haven't won a playoff game since that Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants, the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals being unable to take the next step and the pain it causes their fans, and when the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox miss out on the playoffs. The Bengals are going to suck again this season. A 3-13 season would be a surprise.

14. Cleveland Browns - Can Colt McCoy throw the ball farther than 30 yards?

13. Denver Broncos - There is so much that needs to be done to undo what Josh McDaniels did to this franchise. They have cut second-round draft picks and Tim Tebow is not the future. This team is gonna struggle for at least another year.

12. Oakland Raiders - Darren McFadden was great last year. He had been mediocre every year prior to that. I'm not sure he can hold up for the season. Other than McFadden's potential, what does this team have going for them? They lost their best defensive player and they are starting a quarterback who has never taken the next step in Jason Campbell. He was benched for Bruce Gradkowski last year at times.

11. Miami Dolphins - Rememeber last year when people were excited about what Chad Henne was going to do for the Dolphins? It might be hard because Henne was terrible last season and these people seem to have completely forgotten how much they praised him. Also, Reggie Bush is not the answer.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars - A long time ago the Jaguars were my second favorite team in the league. I loved Freddy Taylor, Mark Brunell (He used to scramble!) and Jimmy Smith. Then in their second season of existence they upset the Denver Broncos in the playoffs and I liked them ever since. Then all of those guys went away and the team didn't replace them with similarly loved players. Well, except for Maurice Jones-Drew. He is cool and I respect him. The rest of the team is meh and does nothing for me. It will also do nothing exciting this year. This will be Jack Del Rio's last year as coach. I may have said that two or three times before, but this time I mean it.

9. Kansas City Chiefs - No reason for this ranking, I just think last year was a fluke.

8. Tennessee Titans - OK, this team should be around No. 11 or 12, but there is always a team in each league that is surprising and makes more waves than you expect. The Titans are that team this year, at least if Jake Locker takes over by Week 6.

7. Baltimore Ravens - I have two Ravens on one of a fantasy roster, yet I don't think this team makes the playoffs. Why? Once again, not a lot of valid reasons here. I want to say the team won't cut it on defense. But they kind of prove me wrong every time I think they're done.

6. Indianapolis Colts - They'll be up to three if Peyton doesn't miss significant time. But no one really knows when he will be back. So I'm saying they sneak into the playoffs with Peyton making a triumphant return and winning six straight to finish the season.

5. Houston Texans - Andre Johnson deserves to make the playoffs. It made me so happy to see him punch Cortland Finnegan in the head last year. But that last part is beside the point. The point is Johnson is an elite talent that deserves better and I think he is going to push his team over the top this year. The defense might not suck, which will help as well.

4. New England Patriots - They're good, but they haven't won the most important game of their season since February of 2005. I'm sorry, but Albert Haynesworth is not the answer on defense and Chad Ochocinco is not the second coming of the third coming of Randy Moss. But they still have Tom Brady. He is the best pure passer in the league. If he has time to throw the ball, he is practically unstoppable. I can't tell you how much I hate saying this and praising him, but he's that good and can carry a blah team to 11-5 or 12-4. Damn him.

3. San Diego Chargers - No, Phillip Rivers won't win a Super Bowl. The football Gods or God do not approve of his cocky attitude, especially considering he hasn't even won an AFC Championship. But the AFC West is weak and they will go 6-0 in the division. Then they will lose in the playoffs.

2. New York Jets - I don't really believe this. Just seems like the popular thing to do.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers - Unlike the past two times the Steelers were coming off a Super Bowl appearance, the Steelers have something to prove this season. They need to show that their defense really is something to be feared, not the shell Aaron Rodgers picked apart in the Super Bowl. Ben Roethlisberger needs to prove that he is still the guy who ca take a team down the length of the field in the final two minutes when they need him. Not the guy who gained one first down in a similar situation in the Super Bowl. This team is mostly made up of the same guys who got them to a Super Bowl last year and felt the disappointment of losing a winnable game. Oh, I'm also a huge homer and will always put the Steelers at No. 1 in one of these rankings.

The Doobie Brothers - Listen to the Music

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pirates season hits new low

By Jeff

A month and a half ago the city of Pittsburgh was going crazy for the Pirates. The team was in first place in the NL Central in July. It was a new feeling to an entire generation of fans. Friend of the blog Dwayne was caught up in the joy of winning baseball in Pittsburgh.

Well, that excitement is long gone. The team has gone on a metoric nose dive of historic proportions. Since July 25, the team is 9-28 and has fallen to 62-75 for the year. The pitching has come back to earth and the hitting still sucks. That actually might be an understatement considering they are 25th in runs, 26th in batting average, 26th in on-base percentage and 26th in slugging percentage.

What is even more disappointing is players that were expected to take a step forward have not. Jose Tabata has done nothing special and spent extended time on the DL, Neil Walker strikes out too much and has cooled off significantly from a hot start to the season and Pedro Alvarez looks like Chris Stynes in the batter's box. Yes, I just compared Alvarez to Stynes, which is actually a fair comparison if you look at Alvarez's 2011 season and Stynes' 2004 season with the Buccos.

So this season could not have gone much worse, right? Absolutely wrong. Don't forget this is the Buccos we're talking about.

The new low point of the season came yesterday when the offense was shut down by none other than Dana Eveland. The Pirates traded for the same Eveland last year and got all f three appearances out of him, resulting in an impressively bad 8.38 ERA. He was designated for assignment shortly afer joining the team. But Eveland was back in the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday and threw a gem. His line: 8 IP, 6 hits, 1 ER, 3 K, 0 BB and 1 W.

I try to be an optimist when it comes to the Pirates and to censor my language on this blog, but WHAT THE FUCK!? This is after Ryan Vogelsong came back from Japan and dominated the Pirates lineup. What next, Bryan Bullington returning to PNC Park and no-hitting the Bucs? Would you really be that surprised?

The Pixies - Dig for Fire

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The most hyped No. 3 QB ever

By Jeff

I mentioned this in a random thoughts post, but the topic won't go away and I don't get it.

Why is Tim Tebow getting so much hype? He is the No. 3 quarterback on a bad team. Has there been a No. 3 quarterback in league history that has received so much attention? I'm pretty sure the answer is no.

I know people like to mention the last two games of 2010 where he threw three touchdowns, but one of those games was against one of the worst defenses in the league in Houston. The other was against San Diego, which held him to a completion percentage of 44.4 percent. Not exactly mind blowing.

Reports out of Denver Broncos training camp is that he's actually been the fourth best quarterback in camp. Fourth best! Yet he has received more air time than Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy. A second-year and two rookies who all had better seasons than Tebow. What am I missing.

I just heard Skip Bayliss saying for the third time that the Broncos would make the playoffs if Tebow was their starter. What the hell is he seeing? Apparently, Tebow's performance in the third preseason game made Bayliss wet. Tebow's line: 6-for-11 for 93 yards with no picks or touchdowns. He also had four rushes for 25 yards with a fumble recovered by his team. This was in a little less than a half of work against the Seattle Seahawks' backups. Orton threw for 236 yards and a touchdown in half against the starters.

How is this a discussion?

And for those people who say Tebow critics only root against him because of how he doesn't hide his religion, you're stupid. His football skills have nothing to do with his religion. He just is not a good pro quarterback right now. And I think this because he has ugly mechanics and seems to panic in the pocket. I don't care if he is Christian and lets the world know. Good for him. No one should be ashamed of what they believe in terms of faith.

But this idea that he is discrimated against because he is Christian is a joke. I think this belief is in line with the recent claims (Mostly by Fox News and its correspondents) that Christians are under attack in America. They're not. Tebow is criticized because he is not better than Kyle Orton or Brady Quinn. Not because of what he believes.

Belinda Carlisle - Heaven is a Place on Earth

Foster tweets MRI, should we care?

By Jeff

Disclaimer: I have drafted Arian Foster first overall in two fantasy leagues, so I obviously want to see him play.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about Foster tweeting the actual MRI image of his hamstring to Twitter.

There are many out there who think this was a very stupid thing to do. Herm Edwards and Skip Bayliss are two people I've heard recently ripping Foster for posting the MRI. Why? Because they think it gives other teams information about Foster that they will use to their advantage.

This is why hockey teams never diclose specific injuries and just tell the world that their players have upper or lower body injuries. They don't want other teams to target their players' injured body parts.

But this is a different case. Everyone who pays attention to the NFL or fantasy football knew that Arian Foster reaggravated a hamstring injury in Week 3 of the preseason. It was discussed on "Sportscenter", "First Take", "Mike & Mike", "Inside the NFL", and probably the every other ESPN show.

Clearly, it was made very clear by multiple people that Foster hurt his hamstring. If an opposing NFL didn't know, then they are probably the Browns, Bengals, Bills or Raiders, as it's obvious these teams don't care about football or winning games anymore. Developing strategies to win games would be detrimental to their goal of making a ton of money with losing teams.

So was there really anything in that MRI that would tell teams anything they didn't already know. Maybe now they have a better idea of the severity, but are there multiple ways to assault a hamstring?

As I'm writing this I guess it could be an issue as the organization can list Foster as questionable each week, and their opponents will have to plan for him, even if he won't play. Now they can expect him not to play and that ploy doesn't work.

But that's not what Edwards and Bayliss were saying! They were focusing on how other players now knew to target Foster's hamstring, which they should have already known.

Now, there is the whole debate as to the severiy of the injury. ESPN's medical correspondent said it was a tear that would keep Foster out 3-4 weeks. Foster replied on Twitter saying he wouldn't post a serious injury. I tend to believe the doctor before the athlete here. But then again, if the doctor's name isn't Freddie Fu, I have no idea if he has solid credentials.

I Googled Dr. Michael Kaplan of ESPN and he received some kind of Connecticut Top Docs award from 2003-2006 in CT Magazine. I don't know what that means. He also got a best video award for an ACL reconstruction. That doesn't tell me enough. Did it have superb editing? Did it have fun special effects? Best video tells me nothing. It does make me want to bust in on an OR with a video camera and try to win a best video for liver transplant award, but I don't have the clearance. Mike, help me out here.

With that being said, I'd still trust the doctor as opposed to Foster when it comes to medicine knowledge.

ZZ Top - Legs