Nobody likes a sandbagger. You know the guys, the ones that keep their golf handicaps higher so they can seed higher in the club championship so they can draw more favorable match-ups. He's the same guy that hustled you at the pool tables last week or somehow manages to constantly bluff you out at the weekly poker game.
Nobody likes those guys.
So, with that in mind, I ask you this pop quiz. Which two teams have the best records in baseball over the course of the last 25 games? I'll give you a hint, both of them were in the playoffs in 2011? Strike that, both of them were division winners last season and won over 95 games. Anybody? Bueller?
The answer to that pesky pondering is the Milwaukee Brewers (19-6) and the Philadelphia Phillies (18-7). That's important because both teams were written off as dead a little over a month ago. The Brewers started purging ineffective veterans while pundits were calling for the Phillies to explore similar deals to the blockbuster salary dump the Red Sox managed to swindle acquire from the Dodgers. No one was expecting much of anything from either team in 2012.
Yet that is why the Major League Baseball season is a marathon and not a sprint. Two teams, left for dead, suddenly go on a late season run and find themselves back in the playoff picture again. As a matter of fact, both teams sit in exactly the same position, 3 games behind the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals for the final wild card slot. They aren't alone though, it is a crowded spot to be in, with the Pirates trying to stave off another season-ending slide, the Dodgers trying to find some team chemistry after taking on Boston's cancers, and Arizona just trying to stay in the thick of it.
For the Brewers, it has come down to the reinvigoration of the offense. Outside of Ryan Braun, this team has been snoozing all season long. For some reason, September rolls around and guys like Rickie Weeks (.302, 6 HR, 11 RBI), Corey Hart (.313, 2 HR, 6RBI), Aramis Ramirez (.308, 2 HR, 5 RBI), and Norichika Aoki (.319, 2 HR, 9 RBI) suddenly remember that they are professional hitters. Braun's residual juice from last season can only carry this team so far, so it is good to see a couple of guys step up to help carry the load. On the pitching front, you cannot fault the efforts by Yovanni Gallardo (4-0, 3.49 ERA) and Marco Estrada (3-1, 2.34 ERA), and . Hell, even Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford remembered that they were once shut-down members of a bullpen many moons ago.
And what of the Phillies. Jimmy Rollins gets benched for lolligagging it around the base paths and suddenly this team can do no wrong. Charlie Manuel lights a fire under his ass and suddenly he's got 6 home runs and 18 RBI over the last month. John Mayberry has been going all Barney Fife on the ball and has 5 dingers and 16 RBI to his own name over that time. And despite looking like Greg Oden's father, Ryan Howard and his .233 over the last month have managed to knock in 22 runs while getting a handicapped space next to first base. But the Phillies are dominant again because of their pitching, with Kyle Kendrick suddenly the ace of the staff with a 5-1 record and 1.49 ERA over the last month. Cliff Lee has doubled his win total in that time two, going 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA.
The long and short of it is that both the Brewers and the Phillies had the talent to get the job done. The Brewers, despite losing Prince Fielder, are still hungry to prove to everyone that they can be small market kings too. The Phillies, bitten by some major injuries to their infield, are finally getting healthy and putting the hurt on the baseball as well. Both are drastically different clubs that bring two completely different looks to the playoff race, and like the Rockies in 2007, both have what the other teams ahead of them are seemingly lacking at this time of the year; a chip on their shoulders.
Making the postseason in baseball is all about who wants it more. The Red Sox and the Braves learned that lesson the hard way in 2011. With the extra slot available in 2012, more teams are chomping at the bit to get in the door.
Neither the Pirates, the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks, and least of all the Cardinals want to leave it open for these two. Sandbaggers or not, they have their cards out on the table now.
No Clemens mentioned here?? No pine tar either?? The mighty have fallen?? Junior a winner?? NFL player contracts?? All this and more in this weeks edition of…
According to my granddaughter this is the money tree we have in the backyard. I like to think of it more like tree in the back yard of all professional athletes, and owners of pro sports teams.
We should be so lucky to have our own tree.
I am sick of NFL players wanting to hold out for more money. The Jacksonville Jaguars have MJD holding out for more $$$. The problem is he has two years left on a contract he renegotiated 3 years ago. The Jaguars have said they will not renegotiate with Maurice Jones-Drew. Most of the fans are behind the team.
If a player wants to make a lot of money, the easiest way would be to sign for 2-3 years. If a player signs a long-term contract and he has two bad years in a row their team should be allowed to ask to renegotiate the contract or deduct their pay by 35%.
Congrats go out to Dale Earnhardt Jr. who won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup in four years, ending a 143-race winless streak. He won at Michigan International Speedway and it came four years to the day of his last win, also in Michigan.
Did anyone tell the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles that it’s already mid-June and they are both over .500 and in second place in their divisions.
Or that the Washington Nationals are in first place.
Will the Pirates finally finish above .500?
Can the Phillies regroup and take the Division?
What happened to the Twins? They use to be a pillar in the American League Central.
Congrats also go out to LaDainian Thomlinson who retired Monday. He signed a one day contract with the San Diego Chargers and then ceremoniously retired. “LT” had his best years with the Chargers. He is the fifth-leading rusher in league history with 13,684 yards. The five-time Pro Bowler also has 145 rushing touchdowns (second all-time) and his 162 total touchdowns is third all-time, behind Jerry Rice (208) and Emmitt Smith (175). In my opinion, a first ballot Hall of Famer.
The mighty have fallen!! Number one ranked Florida Gators are eliminated from the College World Series after losing to Kent State, yep that’s right, Kent State, 5-4. It was the first win ever for Kent State in a College World Series game.
Are the Minnesota Vikings not good enough for Percy Harvin? Not all teams could be like the Florida Gator teams he was on.
Here are some pictures of tropical storm Beryle. It passed through Jacksonville, Fl three weeks ago, and while the storm was over, rain lasted for more than 2 weeks. The rain has stopped and the weather here is nice.
Birthday wishes to a Gabber, Thome a Philly, Its all Lebron’s fault, President Obama no phone call, Smokin Joe lived a good life, all this and more in this Veterans Day Edition of
Stop looking at the words Random Thoughts.
We start off today by wishing a happy birthday to ScottJax77.
I am celebrating my 56th birthday today.
I want to take this time to wish all active duty and retired military personal a very Happy Veterans Day.
I know what its like to be gone from your loved one for over a year, as I retired from the Navy with 20 years in. It takes a special human being, knowing that your life can be, or is, on the line in time of conflict, or war and we volunteered to do so to protect this great nation. The hardest part is being away from the family, missing a birthday or anniversary or a special day at school, at a place of worship, or with family.
The only other thing I would like to say is…
People who haven’t served in the military, or have spent any considerable amount of time outside the United States or Canada, just don’t know how good we have it here in The United States of America. Even so called free countries of the world don’t have as much freedom as we do here.
What that I end this part of my thoughts with…..
In an announcement held at 10PM, November 9, 2011, the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees said that effective immediately it would be in the best interest of the University for Joe Paterno to no longer serve as head coach.
In a career that has now been marred by a scandal that has rocked the school, Joe holds career records for most wins in Division I 409, bowl appearances with 37 and bowl wins with 24. More than 250 players have gone on to the NFL under Joe Pa’s reign.
The most under the radar prolific homerun hitter of all-time signed a one year deal with the Phillies. 41-year-old Jim Thome will make $1.25 to hold first base until Ryan Howard comes back from left achillies heel injury. Jim has 604 career home runs, 8th all-time and only 5 away from Sammy Sosa. He has 1,674 RBI’s (26th all-time) and a .277 lifetime average.
We all know that the President is an avid sports fan. He has had all the championship teams from the NBA, MLB, NFL, Hockey, etc to the White House. But according to sources (Tony La Russa) President Obama has not called the St. Louis Cardinals after their World Series win. If he went out of his way to invite the 1985 Chicago Bears to visit the White House there is no reason the Cardinals weren’t called.
Ouch, That has to hurt!!!!!!!!!!!
“Smokin Joe” Frazier was one of the greatest fighters of all-time. He passed away of liver cancer. He had an impressive 32-4-1 record and an Olympic Gold Medal. Joe was involved in three of the greatest boxing matches of all-time. It was Ali verus Frazier in all three bouts. Frazier won the first one, called “The Fight of the Century,” by a 15 round TKO, thus being the first boxer to defeat Ali and the first one to knock him down. In the second bout, called Ali-Frazier II, Ali won in a 12 round unanimous decision that was no where near as exciting as the first bout. In the “Thriller in Manila,” the third bout between the two, it was exciting, but not like the first fight, as Ali mocked Joe calling him a Gorilla. Ali won when Frazier’s trainer Eddie Futch stopped the fight before the 15th round.
The Joe Frazier we will remember is the hard hitting lefty who could dish it out with the greatest. Smoking Joe RIP. Classy men like you will be missed.
I am now officially calling the NBA lockout the “LeBron James/Chris Bosh/Dwayne Wade Theory.” Now your saying to yourself how could the lockout be all James, Bosh and Wade’s fault. Hang in there and I will explain. LeBron James took a pay cut to join the Miami Heat, Chris Bosh took a pay cut to leave the Raptors and Wade took a cut too. Now when James, Bosh and Wade becomes a free agents in a couple of years, and you want to sign one of them, wouldn’t you want them to take a pay cut? Its only fair, they gave a pay cut to sign with the Heat.
For the record James made $15,779,912 in the 2009-2010 season with the Cavaliers while making $14,500,000 with the Heat in the 2010-2011 season. Chris Bosh made $15,779,912 with the Raptors and $14,500,000 with the Heat and Wade made $15,779,912 the took a cut to $14,000,000.
You can’t tell me if you’re an owner you didn’t take notes. That if these players can take a pay cut then the other players can too. These three players made a statement that its okay to take a cut in play to play basketball and it if I am an owner I would want my players to take a cut like these stars did.
So, here we are again...Another Monday, and what do I have to talk about...Thursday night I had a bunch of stuff in my head, and posted my SCATTERBRAINED thoughts...This post may be like that...
This weekend could be the known as the weekend of chokes...Yeah, some one tell A-Roid you can't swing the bat with your hands around your throat...What an overpaid! twat...But don't just blame him Yankee fan...Big Fat, Fatty Fat, CC Sabathia lived up to his rep, and not his contract as well...He's another playoff choke artist....And holy shit, how many subs is that bastard choking down...You can't pitch well when your dreaming about cheesecake!
Fuck it was great seeing those ass-hats fall on their faces...I could hit better with runners on base then the Yankees did...But it didn't end there...The Phillies and their power-house pitching staff fell to the shitty Cardinals...I couldn't believe it...But I wasn't sad!
-But the choke job that really made me smile...Oh, shit, I won't lie...I got hard! Saturday night, Ohio State is leading Nebraska 27-6 in the third quarter...Then, the Huskers rallied back and beat the Suckeyes 34-27...Within seconds of the game ending, the Fire Fickell tweets started firing off...Sunday morning, there were plenty of BLOGS out there, making the excuses why Ohio State lost again...About why they're so bad...Putting blame on suspended players...Ummm the defensive players who were suspended were back! It was the defense the collapsed in the 4th quarter...
And lets stop acting like losing Terrelle Pryor was that bad of a thing...Dude was over-hyped, with a bad throwing motion, who made bad reads and couldn't take his eyes off his primary target...Kid sucked! And lets not act likeBraxton Miller getting hurt in the 3rd quarter is the whole reason your team lost...He ain't shit either!
Fucking funny how all these Ohio State people were all behind Tressel's boy Fickell, and now they're all getting in line to suck Urban Meyer's cock...You Gashes are un-fucking-real!
-Oh, and since I'm on the topic of Ohio State...I watch a couple high school football games a week...At least one on TV and then I checkout my local team...Our team blows...The coach is a dope, they're undersized...Our band out numbers the football team...We dress 30 kids...But at least we have our own fucking Fight Song! All but one team we have played this year just play the stupid Ohio State Fight Song as their own...What a bunch of unoriginal fucks!
- The Red River Shootout...Here's another obnoxiously over-hyped fucking game...Hey Texas, how's Oklahoma's dick taste? They say everything is bigger in Texas...I guess that includes the margin you lose to Oklahoma by too...55-17...Thank God my daughter was cheer leading at a 9-10 year old football game...Those poor kids lost 22-0, but showed more ball bag than the Longhorns did...
-Luckily that was over in time for me to watch Notre Dame not choke...The Irish rolled Air Force 59-33...And honestly, it wasn't even that close...I was glad ND won, I had been worried about this game...The Service Academies always come to play, and in the past the Irish have struggled with defending the option...The Irish are off next week, before a big Prime time game againstUSC...I'll be there, and I can't wait!
-The Browns were on a Bye Sunday, so that was one less headache in my life...I watched the Bills vs. the Eagles...Holy shit, are the Bills that solid, or are the Eagles that fucking bad...Either way, it's making people in Philly miserable that their high-priced team is 1-4, so I'm happy...
Then I watched the Patriots beat the Jets...Always fun...Especially since the Jets have been put in their place, and they are looking up at both the Pats and the Bills...
-The Big NFL news this weekend was the passing of Al Davis...No word if it had anything to do with choking...While death is sad for friends and family, I can't feel bad about this one...Guy put in 82 years...That's a lot of time...And while he did a great many things for the progress of Football, I wasn't around for that...I was around for the part where he was a pain in the ass...Where he was obnoxious, making horrible draft picks, and giving stupid contracts, and where he was firing coaches every hour on the hour...In my eyes, he did what Brett Favre did...He was respected, and loved, and then tarnished all that by being a douchebag over the last 10 years...
Now I'll end with this rant...I caught wind of it, and posted it on facebook...It's spreading like wildfire, and it should...I wish I had a rant this epic in me...
“7-20 in September. We go 9-18, we’re where we want to be. 9-18 is what, winning a third of your games? The worst teams in baseball win a third of their games.”
First of all, I recommend checking out the timelines of what went on Wednesday. Having three games like that happen at once doesn’t happen in the playoffs, that might be more memorable than anything I have to say about how historic the “collapses” (euphemism for choke) were.
Obviously the Rays have returned to the playoffs with a vengeance, but the main topic is I still want to talk about how they and the Cardinals got there and to give some historical perspective on those collapses. That’s why I don’t blog about baseball much. By the time you sit down to think about it and research and so forth, something else important is going on. The Yankees/Tigers game was postponed as I was writing this, so that helped me finish without too much distraction.
I mentioned in a couple of places after the Red Sox had the 3-13 stretch (or some approximation thereof) that I couldn’t find another team that had ever done that in September, not even the 1964 Phillies, who had a 10-game losing streak in September. Those Phillies went 4-13 for one stretch, but that was followed by two wins (in the last two games of the season) and preceded by a 3-game winning streak. The Phillies were 2 ½ behind in the second-to-last game but technically were not eliminated until the next day. So that was also less dramatic.
Looking at the full month though, it’s not even closer. The Phillies won 13 games in September ’64, the same number the Angels (a team I follow a good bit) won this September. The Angels gained 6 ½ games against the Red Sox in the month. After the 3-13 stretch by the Red Sox and before the Angels finished with four consecutive losses, the Angels had gained 8 games on the Red Sox for the month.
So if you compare the Septembers of the 2011 Red Sox and 1964 Cardinals, the Red Sox would have lost 13 games against the Cardinals. So that’s about twice as many games as the Phillies lost (the Phillies actually lost 7 games from the beginning of the month to the end, but that regular season actually ended on October 4; the Phillies lost 6 ½ in the last 28 days of their season, so by that calculation, it is twice as many games).
I did notice the coincidence of the Phillies playing the Braves on Wednesday and helping to send the Cardinals to the post-season yet gain. It’s also a coincidence in that by causing the Braves to lose, that’s arguably another team that passes up their 1964 team in choking.