My intentions were to have a breakdown of the AL Central and AL West teams this week but life got in the way and diminished my research time. Here is the AL Central.
I hope to get the AL West and the National league done before the season starts. At the very least I’ll give you my predictions for the season.
Some other things going on in the world, A missing jet with 239 people on board including 2 Iranians with stolen passports…reports out their suggest the jet could be in Teheran right now, the 777 will go 630+ mph and had enough fuel to make it to Iran without passing over land….we shall find out but maybe not to soon.
A cat, a 22 lb Himalayan attacked his host family after an 8 month old pulled his tail.
He cornered the frightened family in a back bedroom, the brave dad called…911 for a rescue. He did tell the dispatcher that the pet had a history of violence. Cat was probably a middle child.
Oh is a victim of Obamacare…My family policy doesn’t line up with the requirements of the government federal health program. I need new insurance by May 1st. I’m in search of a plan that doesn’t comply with the socialism being crammed up our asses.
A good friend of mine passed away after a long bout with leukemia, Ed, a school teacher, was just 62. May Ed rest peacefully and pain free with his Creator
The Winter has been tough up here in the Northeast, everything has taken a beating my Silverado included. I hit a large pothole on the way home from work Tuesday and broke the right leaf spring shackle it was a little rusty from it’s 10 years on the road but thanks to two of my great sons, it looks like new now.
The Denver Bronco’s are off to a fast and furious start in NFL free agency…they signed former Pats corner Aqib Talib for an unbelievable 6 years 57 million with 26 million guaranteed. This was about double the offer from the frugal Pats.
And now it looks like the Patriots are going to replace him with a guy named Darelle Revis
The AL Central preview.
Detroit The Tigers made some off season moves that baffled some and impressed others.
OH was totally baffled by the move of Doug Fister to Washington for some moving parts.
Fister could have been kept for relatively short money and his presence as a 4th or 5th starter shows the depth of this Tigers rotation.
The move to pu Nathan as a closer was a good one. He may not be the fix for years to come but he will be solid for two years and that at the back end of games is important especially with Cy Young award winner Matt Scherzer’s inability to go 9.
Anabel Sanchez and Verlander will love having a closer at the end rather than watching Al Albuquerque and Benoit play trick or treat with their leads. Moving Prince Fielder along was a good move; his beached whale impersonations at first were embarrassing even to the casual observer. The bats are good the defense will be better. Detroit already has the best rotation in the AL and the bullpen is improved. What will stop this team from winning it all? At first glance I see a Central division winner with 100 wins and a rematch with the Red Sox to go to the WS.
Matt Scherzer 21-3 2.90
Justin Verlander 13-12 3.46
Anibel Sanchez 14-8 2.57
Drew Smiley 6-0. 2.37
Rick Porcello 13-8 4.37
The Indians try to compete in a division that many have conceded to the Tigers. Second year manager Terry Francona will get the most of this group as he builds team chemistry towards respectability. Winning starts with starting pitchers is what Oldharry says and the Indians have some holes and question marks in theirs.
Justin Masterson 14-10 3.45
Corey Kluber 11-5 3.85
Zack McCallister 9-9 3.75
Dan Salazar 2-3 3.12
Josh Tomlin 0-0 0.00 loook to be the most likely rotation with
Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and John Axford trying to work their way into a starting roll. The Indians will stay close in the wildcard fight but fall short in the end with 86 wins.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals have the potential to stay in a pennant race for a while but the will need injuries or an unexpected collapse from the Tigers to get close to the playoffs. An experienced rotation of:
James Shields 13-9 3.15
Bruce Chen 9-4 3.27
Jason Vargas 9-8 4.02
Jeremy Guthrie 15-12 4.04
And a couple of guys battling for the fifth spot
Dan Duffy 2-0 1.85
Yordano Ventura 0-1 3.52
And Closer Greg Holland will make this a team not to be overlooked.
Chicago White Sox
With 3rd year Robin Ventura getting an undisclosed multi year contract after a 99 loss season things have to be looking up in Chicago. How much worse could it get.
The Sox return with one of the best young starters in MLB in Chris Sale and will try to build behind him. This team will need to find runs from somewhere during the season as this rotation won’t scare many teams. The additions of Jose Daniel Abreu and Adam Eaton may help. The reliever slated to take on the closing duties is Nate Jones….let’s see how that goes.
Chris Sale 11-14 3.07
Jose Quintana 9-7 3.51
John Danks 4-14 4.75
Eric Johnson 3-2 3.25
Andre Renzio 2-3 4.82
Felipe Paulino - - -
oops, those are the Brazilian Twins
I mean these twins
The Twins have the unfortunate circumstance of playing in a division with Detroit which immediately puts your team goals into playing for a wildcard slot with 7 other AL teams.
The Twins spent a load of money on questionable starting pitching and time will tell if this move backfires. Ricky Nolasco is getting $49 mill for 4 years, Phil Hughes is getting $23 million for 3 after a dismal 4-14 5.19 year in NY. The Twins have also put in a big offer to free agent Ervin Santana although the O’s seem to be the front runner in the “overpay Ervin” sweepstakes.
Rick Nolasco 13-11 3.70
Kevin Correia 9-13 4.18
Phil Hughes 4-14 5.19
Kyle Gibson 2-4 5.63
Sam Deduno 8-8 3.83
Mike Pelfry 5-13 5.19
How the Central will shake out in oldharrys world
Detroit 100- 62
Cleveland 88- 74
Kansas City 86- 76
Chicago 78- 84
Minnesota 75- 87
that's all for this week, thanks for the visit and comments
Happy Friday! It is March and the freeze of February is finally over. NFL free agency is just around the corner and teams are preparing to make their major moves to improve before the draft. Let’s make a quick run through the NFL and get ready fro free agency and the draft:
In Minnesota, the Vikings are trying to determine if they make an offer to keep Matt Cassel after he got out of his contract to get to free agency. With Christian Ponder still eating up space on the roster, the Vikings have a tough choice whether to dare going into another season without a quarterback who actually gives the team a chance to win. Picking eighth in the draft, Minnesota could take a quarterback, but they may be gun shy after the Ponder debacle. They basically had no wins with quarterbacks not named Cassel last year, so they may be forced to overpay for the former New England backup, especially with the Houston Texans indicating interest.
Cleveland is in a similar situation as former first round draft pick Brandon Weeden stinking out the joint, the Browns have the tough choice regarding grabbing a quarterback or praying that a former New England backup can do the job. Former Patriot Brian Hoyer led the Browns to two wins in 2013 before being lost for the year due to a knee injury. Of course, that was 50% of their wins, so that is kind of impressive.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are picking third in the draft this season and look ready to finally move past the horrible Chad Henne/Blaine Gabbert duo that has grossly underperformed the past two seasons. One name not heard about much is Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. It seems improbable the Sanchize is back in New York next year, but will there be a market for him when the Jets inevitably part ways with him?
Moving past the quarterbacks, the New Orleans Saints are rumored to be shopping some veterans on offense. Running back Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas and wide receiver Lance Moore are reportedly available for teams in trades. The Saints are trying to free up about $9 million in cap space without just releasing their playmakers. The Saints need to get younger and more athletic on both sides of the ball in a hurry to not be left in the dust by Carolina, San Francisco, and Seattle.
The Saints of course need to pay tight end Jimmy Graham who is likely off the market with their offer sheet. To get Graham, a team has to give New Orleans two first round draft picks. Of course, most likely to happen is that a team will let New Orleans know they are interested and work out a trade. Would the Saints be willing to listen? For sure, this team is rebuilding on the fly and Graham is basically a large wide receiver (no blocking ability at all).
The Buffalo Bills did not tag safety Jairus Byrd who is going to be one of the big money signings in free agency. Whether it is in Buffalo remains to be seen.
Atlanta signed former Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora last year thinking he was the final piece in the puzzle to move on to the Super Bowl. Whoops. At 32, he is no spring chicken, but Atlanta is in a tough spot. Are they a bounce-back team? Are they rebuilding? Either way, over $3 million in cap space for a player who should be a third down pass rusher at this stage is steep. According to reports he is being asked to take a significant pay cut. Will he? That’s the question. If not, there is another pass rusher on the market.
Denver released greybeard cornerback Champ Bailey and freed up $10 million dollars. Champ may be full of self confidence and think he is worth all that money at 36 after an injury filled season. Bailey had a Lisfranc sprain that slowed him most of the season and is looking at a low, one year salary to prove himself still capable. Not the market he is looking for in free agency. Of course, Denver now becomes the favorite in the Darrelle Revis sweepstakes to make one last push for the Super Bowl next season.
Good news for New England as their center Ryan Wendell is a free agent. The Colts surprisingly cut their starting center Samson Satele. At 29, Satele is an unrestricted free agent and the Patriots can move on from their weak link in the middle of the offensive line.
One replacement for cornerback is off the market for New England if they cannot re-sign cornerback Aqib Talib. The Miami Dolphins signed cornerback Brent Grimes to a four year $32 million contract with half the money guaranteed. Grimes came to Miami on a one year prove it deal and proved it as he was a top ten cornerback last year bouncing back from missing the 2012 season.
Speaking of the Dolphins, they need a huge upgrade on the offensive line. The Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito mess leaves a bad offensive line even weaker. They need both tackle positions filled and at least one guard and some depth. Young quarterback Ryan Tannehill has looked impressive, but if he has no running game or time to throw, the Dolphins will never get over the hump to the playoffs.
Took a look at the running backs in free agency. No superstars, but a lot of solid backs. Donald Brown of the Colts and Ben Tate of the Texans are looking to be a top back and paid as such, as is the resurgent LeGarrette Blount who resurrected his career in New England. Add in the always injured Darren McFadden of the Raiders, Green Bay’s James Starks, Jacksonville back Maurice Jones-Drew, the Broncos Knowshon Moreno, former Steeler Rashard Mendenhall, the Giants’ Andre Brown, the Vikings Toby Gerhart, and former Jaguar and Raider Rashad Jennings. One of these backs could be a breakout star, or two of them, or all of them...heck, maybe none of them. The depth will keep the prices down, which is good for teams trying to keep their backs or fall in love with another back. There is a reason they are available...but there are some good backs who can contribute to a team in 2014 on the market.
One back who may end up on the market is Ravens back Ray Rice. Last seen dragging his unconscious fiancee out of an elevator in Atlantic City, it may be difficult for the Ravens to keep him on the team. Whether the team eventually releases him depends on what plays out in the courts. Most likely, he will pay his way out of trouble and the Ravens have to weigh if they are going let public opinion sway their decision.
Finally, following the surprise release of linebacker D’Qwell Jackson last week, he ended up with an $11 million guarantee from Indianapolis on a four year $22 million contract. Jackson was good, but not great in Cleveland and again the Colts seem to be overpaying for scraps from Cleveland. Last year they inexplicably traded a first round pick for running back Trent Richardson who was a huge disappointment. At least Jackson only costs the Colts money and cap space.
Baseball season is soon to start. How do I know? Last week I was in Sarasota, spring home of the Orioles and was a week too early to catch any games. This week, I’m in Washington DC, not far from Nationals Park and catch some radio ads to order game tickets – some as low as $10 – and yet, they’re in Florida. Maybe its just the buzz of the onsetting season that’s got me, or maybe it’s just Mo’s luck. I was in Queens NY and looking forward to a Mets game, staying less than 3 miles from CitiField, and I couldn’t make it. I was in Atlanta, not far from Turner Field, while the Braves were in town…and I couldn’t make it. You’d think it would happen – JUST ONCE – for me that I could make something happen.
So I wait. Just like everyone else that doesn’t like in either a Grapefruit League or Cactus League locale. Damnit.
“Outside the Lines” on ESPN is running a program on “The N Word.” There’s a piece on Warren Moon, where he highlights one game in New England where some DB in the stands laid that on him – as he was one of the only quarterbacks of color in the league at the time – and he said he wanted to go into the stands and get the guy. Joel Ward of the Capitols scored the series closing goal against the Bruins in the 2012 playoffs and was hit with all manner of racist comments – afterall, how many people of color play hockey? I’m highlighting these two issues, because they happened in contests against MY teams, teams that represent my city. My home.
Last week, I wrote about the proposal the NFL is considering a racism rule, that I suggested is a terrible idea. Which isn’t to say it’s something you would hear me say, it’s just that somethings have a way of taking care of themselves. The OTL program, though, was eye opening. I mean, I want to believe we live in if not “post-racial” society, then certainly a far more integrated society. The kids interviewed in the second half of the program, really seemed to not care about it. They said they use it so frequently that it has no meaning. The folks of my generation and older, take great offense to the word. To the point that, truly, I don’t use it. Ever.
But you know, and I recognize that I’m not in a position to comment on the word in specific, but in general, words have power because – and ONLY because – we give it power. So, maybe, just maybe, these kids have the right idea. Desensitize the word. Remove the meaning. Bear in mind, we can point fingers at teenagers and say they’re out of touch. But our history isn’t necessarily going to theirs. I was 22 years old before I interacted at any level with anyone that wasn’t white.
When I was a kid, Generation X was a bunch of slackers…when the Boomers were writing the essays. Now Gen X is in positions of authority, the history is being rewritten. Gen-X has re-written a bunch of rules, maybe that’s why we’re so conflicted about this word. Maybe, 20 years from now we’re wondering why this was such an issue. Those teenagers will be 37 in 20 years – I’d like to see what they have to say then. I’m no Barack Obama political fan, but I’m a fan for one reason: his presidency stands for is the idea that we’ve at least started to move beyond these distinctions.
Think about it. In 20 years, we’ve gone from DOMA to same-sex marriage being endorsed by the President of the United States. We’re in a time of great change. My hope for those kids is that 20 years from now, they feel the same way. Race and conversations thereof won’t matter.
See what I did there? I brought it back to Washington DC. Even managed to talk about sports – in case you missed it, it was in the first paragraph. I’m glad ESPN talked about the issue, because sports is the one area in American life where we all put all the crap aside and root for results on the field. Where the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks quarterback is black. Where the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers – North Carolina, a member of the Confederacy – is black. And bringing it back to my opening, talking about how embarrassed I am that the two stories I mentioned were related to my city. But you know, even those DBs saying that crap about Warren Moon were the same guys cheering all night when Deion Branch hoisted the Super Bowl MVP trophy, those pricks who went after Joel Ward were celebrating David Ortiz’ MVP performance in last October’s World Series. They’re the hypocrites, and the opinions of hypocrites hold no value.
Change and understanding takes time. It’s my belief, sports is important for that reason: they give us a reason to cheer and root on folks who might not look like us. Michael Sam is important for that reason – imagine. Ask yourself how long ago his race would be the story here. The answer is, not that long ago. The fact his race isn’t the story is big. Let’s not lose sight of that.
Happy Friday, all! Amazingly, it is just a pinch over five months until the 2014 NFL season kicks-off at the preseason Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH on August 3rd. Just over a week until the NFL teams are able to negotiate with other team’s free agents prior to the signing period starting on March 11th. The NFL Draft is pushed back to May this year, but even that is only nine weeks away.
With the news of an increase in the salary cap to close to $132 million there will be a number of teams with more space to overpay free agents. This is interesting because of the last collective bargaining agreement between the players and league followed an uncapped year and immediately the league had a number of stagnant cap seasons that seemed to belie the league’s success. Finally, this year the cap finally rose as many expected it would three years ago.
The NFLPA is already readying for the next labor war as former Carolina Panthers defensive end Sean Gilbert is out and campaigning to run against NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. Gilbert has been making the rounds and planning to get out of the current CBA. The election is next year, but the ten year deal is suddenly in jeopardy with another work stoppage in 2015 if Gilbert is elected.
Free agents are starting to ink deals now as left tackle Jordan Gross unexpectedly retired. Gross was an All-Pro and Pro Bowl multiple times in Carolina. This is a huge hole for a team that was close to contending in 2013.
Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski was in the news after saying on a radio show that he did not think prospect quarterback Johnny Manziel is not a good prospect. Jaworski is one of the best quarterback analysts (in my opinion at least--I NEVER miss him on NFL Matchup during the season) on the air and knows his passers. I do not see the controversy...I feel the same way as I watched him this season at Texas A&M and was not impressed. He was a great college quarterback...just like Tim Tebow.
The Philadelphia Eagles set the wide receiver market with a five year $25 million for wide receiver Riley Cooper. At the same time they are trying to decide to re-sign wide receiver Jeremy Maclin whose knee injury opened up the position for Cooper to step up. Hard to predict that Cooper would cash in after having nearly been booted off the team for his training camp racial slur scandal.
The Eagles also locked up their left tackle Jason Peters and extended center Jason Kelce. For Kelce, a sixth round draft pick, the six year $37 million contract is the payoff for a lot of hard work to work his way from being a fringe roster player to an elite interior offensive lineman.
The New Orleans Saints look to be on the verge of franchise tagging tight end Jimmy Graham. The two sides are far apart on a deal and New Orleans would be insane to let him on the open market. What is interesting will be where he is tendered as a franchise player. The difference is a couple million dollars so it will be interesting to see how that plays out this summer.
The Cleveland Browns released long-time linebacker D’Qwell Jackson after just two seasons into his signing a big money extension. Jackson excels in pass coverage at linebacker so he should have quite a market in free agency. Of course, there was a reason he was released by a four-win team (he has been terrible against the run the past two seasons and adds little to the pass rush) and if someone overpays they will likely be in the same boat as Cleveland in a year or two.
Of course, the NFL off-season is always full of controversy. Arizona almost lost the Super Bowl next year due to their discriminatory anti-gay bill. The NFL showed their muscle in the political arena by putting pressure on the state government. The NFL (and particularly the Arizona Cardinals) pushed hard to strike down Bill 1026 in order to keep the Super Bowl. Remember, the NFL stopped Arizona from having a Super Bowl due to their not recognizing Martin Luther King Jr Day in the past.
Other bad news for the NFL came with former NFL player and NFL Network analyst Darren Sharper stands accused of drugging and raping several women. The news now is that he is suspected of raping seven women. He was arrested initially in Los Angeles and now has an arrest warrant in New Orleans. He is under investigation in Florida, Arizona, and Las Vegas as well.
For Sharper it is his job gone and now potentially his freedom. If he is guilty then it is a tragic waste of a life. I do not understand or want to know what is going on in his head, but if he is responsible for this he is a sad, sick individual.
Speaking of wasted lives: former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was back in the news. A fight in jail--allegedly attacking an inmate who was in handcuffs--and he ended up in isolation for 30 days. Another odd twist in this ongoing saga for the former NFL player.
I was all pumped up to watch Duke play UNC in Hoops the other night a than totally forgot it was on. So a few nights later Duke was playing Syracuse right after the Cuse ruined their undefeated season against Boston College fall asleep missed that one too. I did end up watching a good NBA game if there is such a thing anymore Houston and Golden State in Overtime 102-99 first time in a while was totally entertained by the NBA, I had no routing interest and only could watch the guy do the luge some many times. There really wasn’t anything else on. So I tuned in and actually enjoyed
Has banned collisions at the plate sort of. There has been talk it will take the players a while to get use to it but isn’t the slide or avoid rule at every other level of baseball from Little league to college? It simple the catcher has the ball go around him or slide into the plate don’t barrel him over. The catcher if you don’t have the ball or not getting ready to receive a throw move your ass out of the way what's so hard about it?
Is attempting to implement a 15 yard penalty for certain inappropriate words regarding race and sexual choice. There is no place in the game for using language regarding either. I'm thinking the rule has come about in direct relationship to two recent events. The Richie Incognito stuff with Jonathon Martin and Micheal Samms comming out as a gay athlete which I think once this kid poves he can play and his a good teammate the gay issue goes away.
I think this will be unfair burden on the officials. If one decides to call a penalty because he hears the N word and it costs a team a playoff birth there will be a huge debate. In treality I think the rule is a cover our ass rule by the league. I also think it won't be enforced during the regular season.
The one question I have is how much is the word used during games by opposing players and by teammates and in what context?
I think it's time to give olympic hockey back to the college kids and the junior players. The USA lost and Canada ,Sweden and Finland all medal the hockey was pretty good but wouldn't be just as good if top amatuers played. It's time to keep the NHL open every4 years and it's time to put some meaning back behind the medals. i'm sure every player on those three teams is proud to own Olympic hardware and Canada certainly deserved it. I also thinkthe Stanley Cup means far more to all off them than Olympic Gold. Ithink those medals would mean a hell of lot more too a bunch of college kids and Jr players that may never play in the NHL. just my opinion.
With the NHL Trade Deadline closely approaching I that I would look into a few rumors for those of you who care.
According to TSN,CA Sabre GM Tim Murray says that it’s possible that Goaltender Ryan Miller will be on the move before the March 5th deadline. Murray says Miller could use a fresh start and at least 2 but fewer than 10 teams have shown interest.
According to Lanz
Miller being traded could restart his career and bring him back to top goalie status depending on where he ends up.
Meanwhile in Edmonton GM Craig mactivish is looking for draft choices preferably a 2nd and a 3rd rounder. The Oilers are probably a lootery pick and have traded away their second and third rounders in deals last summer.
According to Lanz
Maybe Craig should held on to those.
According to the NY Post soon to be Free Agents Ryan Callahan and Dan Giradi could be rentals to help some teams out. Callahan has stated he wants to remain on the Rangers.
According to Lanz
Giradi maybe just the Blueliner the Bruins would want.
That’s just a few as usual lots of rumors at the deadline and often not a lot of deals but the NHL seems to make more deals than the other leagues
I’m proud of the Laser he has decided to pack in the last few games of the Hockey season to avoid further injury after his second concussion in less than a year. Aother concussion would sideline him for entire year and he would miss Baseball and fall and winter High school sports.
Lil Lanz AKA the Miser after going 0-12 in the preseason the boys have moved from5th place to third with wins last Wednesday and Saturday afternoon. The Boys are 12-10-7 with about 10games left. They trailed 3-0 Saturday to the Tanners who have had their number all season. They cameback and won 4-3. It was pretty funny Lil lanz has had trouble with a player on the other team all year . This player happens to be a girl. So he gets away with a clear trip(which he got huge talking too by me afterwards) The girl didn’t take it He was going in for a loose puck and she skated and was banging into him all the way down and finally she knocked his stick out of his hand. He ask me if I saw I said about as clear as you tripping her told him she got even. I had to say have to give that girl credit for not taking any crap.
The Middle School season ended last Thursday as the boys were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.
One family from the Lil Hockey Team has had a rough time we hadn’t seen that player for a while his aunt died unexpectedly and than his older sister had sometrouble delivering her baby. So the Mrs. And a few other mons from the team decided that this young man could use some fun so they to a collection up overwhelming response from all the families from the team. They were able to get some Gift certificates to a local Hamburger place, an Imaxx movie, and a local Ice Cream shop all three places are actually inside a local furniture store. Yes alocal furniture store they also have a Jellybelly jellybean store and a Trapeze School inside. The family was geniuenly moved and they were show appreciative the tears were flowing. There is basic human kindness and genuine gratitu