When the Titans made Johnson their first round draft selection in 2008, many fans only knew he was incredibly fast. Since then, they have discovered he is so much more after making the Pro Bowl in each of his two seasons.
He led the league with 2006 yards, 358 carries, 2,509 yards from scrimmage, 125.4 yards rushing per game, and a 91-yard run last year. It was shades of Earl Campbell, and people wondered what he could possibly do for an encore this year.
He leads the league with 113 carries, about the same pace as last year, and six rushing touchdowns. He also has 13 catches, on pace to surpass his career best of 50 set last season.
His 485 rushing yards ranks second in the NFL, and it is very possible the best running back in the game today is en route to his second consecutive rushing title.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
AP is the only good thing to talk about when it comes to the Minnesota offense. Thanks to horrible quarterback play, the opposition knows this more and more each possession the Vikings have.
Peterson also no longer has the luxury of the excellent Chester Taylor backing him up anymore, so he has 13 receptions and is on pass to easily exceed his career best total of 43.
He also ranks third best in the league with 480 yards, averaging a very impressive 5.5 yards per carry.
He has been to the Pro Bowl in each of his previous three seasons, including leading the league in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage in 2008, but the start to this season may be his most impressive yet.
Arian Foster, Houston Texans
Though the undrafted Foster finished his rookie season strong, after having sat out much of it, few people knew who he was heading into this year.
All he has done is lead the league in rushing with 562 yards at almost six yards a carry. He has also caught 13 balls and scored five times.
This all has been done to the fact he has only carried the ball more than 19 times in a game once, and was shut down with 25 yards last Sunday and was forced to sit out much of the first half the week before.
Steven Jackson, Saint Louis Rams
In seven years, Jackson has gone to two Pro Bowls. Yet this may be his most impressive start yet. Though he has been healthy in just three of his five starts, the Ram still ranks tenth in the league in rushing and has 13 catches.
In his past, Jackson had quarterback Marc Bulger providing offensive balance the times Bulger was healthy enough to play. He came into this year with unproven Sam Bradford, the first overall 2010 draft pick, now at the helm.
Though Bradford has been exceptional at times, Jackson is the glue of the offense and the leader of the team. Without his tough yards, gained behind a young offensive line, things would be much tougher for the rebuilding Rams right now.
Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers
After a rookie season that saw the 2008 first rounder get hurt for the year in his first start, Mendenhall ran for 1,108 yards in 12 starts in 2009.
This season has seen him get 406 yards in four games, good for seventh best in the NFL. What makes his yards more impressive is how he has got them.
Pittsburgh came into the year missing their star quarterback to suspension. The player they had slotted as a replacement was hurt in the last preseason game. Their third string quarterback was lost for the year in the second game.
Opposing defenses, already crowding the line of scrimmage knowing Pittsburgh would run much more than pass, came in closer with each injury. Mendenhall responded with a 4.6 yards per carry average.
The fact the 3-1 Steelers have been such a feel good story this year has more to do with just their top rated defense. Mendenhall has been the hero of their offense so far, and his carries should come easier now that the star quarterback has returned.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars
They lovingly call him Mo Drew in Jacksonville, and the 5'8" 205 lbs back has been a star there since being drafted in the second round in 2006.
Drew started carrying the team full-time last year, his first Pro Bowl season, and has continued that trend this year. His 406 yards rushing is tied for eighth best in the league, and he has caught ten balls too.
LaDainian Tomlinson, New York Jets
When Tomlinson joined the Jets this year, after nine years and five Pro Bowls in San Diego destined to be on display in Canton, most figured he was running on flat tires.
However, the 31-year old Tomlinson has already shown he has plenty of gas left in his tank. His 437 rushing yards ranks fifth and he has caught 12 balls.
His backfield mate, Shonn Greene, has four less carries, but has run for 280 yards. They have helped the Jets got 3-1 with the top-rated rushing attack this season.
Though it is uncertain the future Hall of Famer will continue to run for six yards a carry, Tomlinson has spent his whole career making believers out of his critics.
Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
He is coming off his first Pro Bowl season in 2009, where he ran for over 1,300 yards and averaged an impressive nine yards on 78 receptions.
This season sees him ranked 13th in the NFL in rushing, and he has 15 catches too.
Built low to the ground at 5'9" 195, his combination of quickness, strength, and intelligence has quickly made him a fan favorite in just his third season in Charm City.
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants
His carries, receptions, and yards have increased in each of his previous three years after the Jints grabbed him in the seventh round of the 2007 draft.
After having just one career start under his belt, he was named the starter this year and is easily on pace to shatter most all of his career high marks.
He has recently become the fourth-ranked rushing leader in the league, though he has matched his career high total of three fumbles already.
Brandon Jacobs, the starter the past few years for New York, has chipped in 172 more yards to give the team quite an effective duo.
Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons
After a career high 376 carries led the NFL in his 2008 Pro Bowl year, "Burner" Turner has dealt with nagging injuries. He missed five games last years, and parts of the five games so far this year.
On a pace to carry the ball 465 times this year, he is currently ranked sixth in the NFL with 421 yards. Not much of a pass catcher, he already has tied his career best mark of six.
Yet Turner has had help in a Falcons offense that loves to run the ball down their opponents throats. His backup, Jason Snelling, has run for 244 yards and caught 11 balls that is third best on the team.
The duo has helped lead Atlanta to the second best rushing attack in the league, which has helped the 5-1 Falcons take top spot in the NFC South.
Best of the Rest
LeSean McCoy came into this year knowing he was the cowbell of the Philadelphia Eagles. He is 12th in rushing and has already grabbed 28 passes. His five rushing scores is second best in the NFL.
His toughness is also incredible, as shown by his 92-yards rushing and five catches against a tough 49ers defense on cracked ribs.
Cedric Benson, of the Cincinnati Bengals, is tied for eighth in the league in rushing. He is the only consistent part of the Cincy offense.
Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles are a very effective duo for the Kansas City Chiefs. They have helped the surprising Chiefs have them tied with Atlanta with the second best rushing game in the league. The fact Kansas City has had no passing game make it an ever better accomplishment.
Darren McFadden has run for 392 yards in four games for the Oakland Raiders, 11th best in the NFL. He might be the best running back in the AFC West right now.
Matt Forte exploded for 166 yards and two scores last Sunday, after getting just 134 on 50 carries the previous four games. Yet he has also chipped in 18 catches and three scores, including a league longest 89 yard reception.
Peyton Hillis was seventh round steal for the Denver Broncos in 2008, but quickly was buried in their depth chart and let go after last year.
The Cleveland Browns luckily signed him, and he has carried the team with 350 yards, 20 receptions, and five total touchdowns. He gets most all his yards between the tackles with hard nosed running.
Week Six Pix Last Week : 7-7 Current Record : 43-31
Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears
Seattle has made a lot of strides quickly under new head coach Pete Carroll. Their run defense is the second best in the league, which helps their 28th-ranked offense and keeps them in games.
The Bears seem to be somewhat following the "Steelers Method", introduced to us this season. They will be without the services of their star quarterback, and now have went from their second-string quarterback, Todd Collins, to their third in Caleb Hanie.
Granted, the Steelers juggled quarterbacks because of injury, but the ideology is similar. So is the fact both have strong run defenses, as the Bears is ranked third.
Though running back Matt Forte ran wild for the Bears last week, it may not happen again versus a strong run defense like the Seahawks. Hanie will need to make a few big plays Sunday.
Bears 13 Seahawks 9
Miami Dolphins @ Green Bay Packers
Green Bay is hurting right now. Literally.
They have put three players on the injured reserve this week, and may be missing at least five more players for this game. Not a good sign, as is the fact that they are amongst the most penalized teams in football.
Their strength, passing the ball, falls right into Miami's defensive strength. The Dolphins are ranked fourth best in the league, but 24th in points allowed. Miami also has one of the worst scoring offenses in the league, ranking 28th.
This game will come down to the trenches, who pushes the pile best. Green Bay's offensive tackles are banged up, and one may miss the game. Aaron Rodgers is coming back from a concussion sooner than expected as well.
The Packers defensive line is so banged up, they are playing third stringers in two spots. Clay Matthews III, their star linebacker, is a game-time decision as well.
Dolphins 27 Packers 24
Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans
The Chiefs rely on running the ball, and theirs is the third best in the league. Houston, though they have a more balanced attack, have the fifth rated rushing attack.
The Texans also have the fifth best rushing defense in the NFL. Right behind them in sixth place is the Chiefs. Houston also has the worst pass defense in the NFL, and give up over 100 yards more per game than the 25th ranked Chiefs do.
While it may appear the best quarterback play may win this one, it very well could come down to special teams. Houston will probably be missing their top return specialist, Jacoby Jones, while the Chiefs boast exciting rookies Javier Arenas and Dexter McCluster.
Houston does not want to go into Indianapolis at .500 facing a Colts team looking for revenge from their opening day loss to the Texans.
Texans 23 Chiefs 14
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots
Game of the Week
The Ravens have somehow just lost one game this season with a team that in minus six in the giveaway/ takeaway department. Having the third best defense certainly helps.
Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome has given quarterback Joe Flacco a lot of weapons this year. New England just traded one of their best offensive weapons in wide receiver Randy Moss, replacing him with Deion Branch. Branch has spent the past few years floundering in between injuries and little production, so he will probably come up huge for the Patriots this year even after taking a pay cut.
One player to watch is Patriots wide receiver Brandon Tate, who moves into Moss' slot. Already exciting as a return specialist, Tate will look to expand his role against the second best defense in the NFL.
Though people like to point out New England's pass defense is ranked 28th, the run defense is ranked 20th. Though Flacco has been erratic this year, this game should see the Ravens try to pound the ball down New England's throats often.
Ravens 27 Patriots 21
Detroit Lions @ New York Giants
Detroit has been making huge strides this year, and are a lot better than many realize. The Giants were supposedly were at odds with their coaches a few weeks ago and headed for disaster
Though the media loves to hype the Jets defense, it is actually the Giants defense that is the best in the NFL right now. The offense is the fifth best. This type of balance has put them back on the map as Super Bowl contenders, and the locker room rumors have died down.
Giants 38 Lions 24
Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles
Atlanta is on fire right now, and in first place in the NFC South. Matt Ryan is returning to his hometown of Philadelphia facing a defense that is small along their front seven and ranked 24th against the run.
The Falcons have the second best rushing attack in the NFL right now, so expect them to play to their strength to keep an explosive Eagles offense off the field as much as possible.
Falcons 26 Eagles 21
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The only interesting thing about this game is to see how rusty Ben Roethlisberger is coming off his suspension. Cleveland has a quarterback making his first start this season too, but Colt McCoy is a rookie facing a team known for blitzing.
Cleveland may try to minimize McCoy's confusion by running Peyton Hillis 20-30 times, but Pittsburgh has easily the best run defense in the NFL and give up just 62 yards per game.
If Roethlisberger is sharp, things could get real ugly real fast.
Steelers 31 Browns 6
San Diego Chargers @ Saint Louis Rams
The Chargers have been a disappointment so far, going 2-3 thus far despite easily having the most productive offense in the league.
The Rams are improving, but will need to run the ball to win this week because the Bolts have the third best passing defense in the NFL.
If the Chargers lose this, they should fire head coach Norv Turner before the weekend is over.
Chargers 34 Rams 16
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The defending champions are showing how hard it is to repeat by wallowing in mediocrity for the most part. They are in the middle of the pack in scoring on both sides of the ball, yet quarterback Drew Brees has done his part by leading them to the fifth best passing attack.
The Buccaneers have surprised people with a 3-1 record. They have done it despite not doing anything in particular that stands out. The offense is 21st in scoring, while the defense is ranked 18th.
Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris has to be proud of his team, who have three very winnable games in the approaching four weeks after this game.
Saints 27 Buccaneers 17
New York Jets @ Denver Broncos
Kyle Orton is putting up better statistics than Peyton Manning, leading Denver to the fourth best offense in the league and second best passing game. The running game, however, is ranked last.
The defense has also played poorly, which is why the Broncos sit at an erratic 2-3 record. Orton is the only real consistent the team has had all year thus far.
This is not a good formula to face a hot Jets team that believes in themselves because their coach has done a wonderful job so far. Expect the Jets to run the ball down the throats of the 25th ranked rush defense all day.
Jets 31 Broncos 20
Oakland Raiders @ San Francisco 49ers
The Battle at the Bay. These teams are neighbors but world apart. The Black Hole in Oakland is its own world, and the Niners have to be relieved they are at home for this.
Oakland is 14th in offense this year, thanks to the running of halfback Darren McFadden. San Francisco cannot seem to get their former Pro Bowl halfback Frank Gore going on the ground this year, and their offense is ranked 23rd. The Niners defense is 17th, while the Raiders is 23rd.
Besides geography, the teams share n the fact they are both struggling at the quarterback position. Oakland may go with Jason Campbell instead of the banged up Bruce Gradkowski. If the seventh ranked Oakland ground game can run over the 18th ranked Niners run defense, the quarterbacks play won't matter as much.
McFadden is a game-time decision, because he is battling a leg injury, but there is word the Raiders best offensive lineman, guard Robert Gallery, will play in his second game this year come Sunday.
Raiders 23 49ers 17
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
ESPN has about 45 reporters camped out in Brett Favre's living quarters vigilantly watching the status of Farve's elbow. There is no concrete proof they are helping him text, open jars, wipe, and other activities that may strain his elbow further.
It probably doesn't matter, because Farve seems to be past the end of the line as a player. A former champion fighting one bout too many. Dallas, with their 12th ranked defense, will concentrate mostly on stopping Adrian Peterson.
Peterson has quietly been great this year, too looked over a fact due to his team losing and the diva playing quarterback struggling. If he has a hard time getting going, Minnesota may be forced to gamble on Farve's elbow and the inevitable turnovers he brings to the table.
It has not been easy to run on the Vikings ever since they had the Williams' at defensive tackle, though they are ranked just 14th in that department right now. Their sixth ranked passing defense will get tested against the Cowboys third ranked passing attack and second ranked offense.
Before the season started, fans might have thought this encounter would determine who would lose their first game in 2011. In reality, both teams are struggling and fighting to keep their seasons pertinent.
One weakness the 1-3 Cowboys have shown this year is a lack of offensive balance. Quarterback Tony Romo whose 51 pass attempts in a loss a few weeks ago to Chicago was the second most attempts of his career, went before the media recently lamenting the lack of rushing attempts shortly after wards.
Romo, who threw 47 balls in their first week loss to Washington, career high of 55 attempts last year against the New York Giants was also met with a loss. He tossed 46 balls for a career best 406 yards in last weeks loss to the Tennessee Titans
The three-time Pro Bowler is at his best, as are the Cowboys, when there is better offensive balance. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett somehow hangs onto his job in spite of these facts.
Cowboys 34 Vikings 24
Indianapolis Colts @ Washington Redskins
Most fans see the Redskins last ranked defense, that is 30th in pass defense, and wonder how many yards Peyton Manning will put up against him. Considering the Colts running backs are banged up, so he may have an abundance of opportunities to find out.
Washington has beat top quarterbacks like Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers so far this year, but facing Manning is an entirely different test. Manning will look to spread the ball all over Fed Ex Field on Sunday night.
Indianapolis, however. has a tiny defensive line that is ranked 29th against the run. The Redskins offensive line has struggled mightily this year, helping Washington have the 25th ranked rushing attack.
Washington is hurting as well along the offensive line. Trent Williams, their first round pick this year, has already missed two games due to a knee injury. The left tackle hurt the same knee again last week, which took him out the game, so he is questionable Sunday. Right tackle Jamal Brown and left guard Kory Lichtensteiger are also listed as questionable with knee injuries.
If that wasn't enough, their defense has linebacker Rocky McIntosh and safeties LaRon Landry, Kareem Moore, and Chris Horton listed as questionable, and no one has said for certain if nose tackle Albert Haynesworth will have returned from bereavement leave.
Donovan McNabb will try to carry the seventh ranked passing attack again, this time against the 13th ranked Colts pass defense. Yet the real key to Washington winning this game may rest on the shoulders of running back Ryan Torain.
Torain will be making his second career start, this time he will possibly be without the services of primary reserve Keiland Williams because of injury. If Washington can run the ball, it will slow down the pass rush of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. After watching McNabb get run down by Clay Matthews III last week, the prospects of having two guys of that ability is worrisome.
Colts 27 Redskins 17
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Titans offensive attack is simple : get the ball in the hands of running back Chris Johnson as much as possible. He is on pace to easily match the 358 carries he led the NFL with last year with 113 so far. Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew is right behind him with 102 carries.
Both teams passing attacks are similar in that they have erratic but mobile quarterbacks, inconsistent wide receivers, and young tight ends playing well so far. Jeff Fisher and the Titans are riding Johnson as hard as the franchise once rode Earl Campbell over 30 years ago.
Considering Johnson is almost 40 pounds lighter than the "Tyler Rose" it would behoove Fisher and Vince Young to improve in other areas so Johnson has at least five Hall of Fame seasons like Campbell did.
Neither defense is special, so it may come down to which do-it-all running back does the most damage.
Today’s issue of Rants and Raves will go deep, deep, deep, as ScottJax77 will give his bold predictions for this years Major League Baseball Awards. Will he be a “homer” and give all the awards to his beloved Yankee players (Oh Yeah??). Will he follow the same path as the Major League Baseball writers?? Or, will he go off the deep-end and pick the obscure?? Find out now, as the writer who can Rant and Rave with the best of them presents the..
The First Annual ScottJax77 Rant’s and Rave’s Major League Baseball
American League Rookie of the Year
Tampa Bay rookies Reid Brignac and John Jaso had average statistics, while Twins third baseman, Danny Valencia batted .311 with 40 RBIs. Former Yankee farm hand, Austin Jackson of the Detroit Tigers had a very good season with a .293 average and 27 stolen bases while providing outstanding fielding. But, the clear-cut choice for the award is…
Texas Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz, who was 4-3, 2.73 era, 0.88 whip and saved 40 games for the American League West Division Champs, in a position where the game was always on the line.
National League Rookie of the Year
It was a tough choice with Jason Heyward (.277/18 hr/72 RBI) and Buster Posey (.305/18 hr/67 RBI) guiding their teams into the playoffs. Former Yankee farm hand Jose Tabata (.299/4 hr/35 RBI) of the Pirates had a consistent year, as did Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro (.300/3 hr/41 RBI). Cardinals Rookie Jamie Garcia was productive as the number three starter at 13-8/2.70 era/1.32 whip) as was the Diamondbacks starting pitcher Daniel Hudson (7-1/1.69 era/0.84 whip). While Brewers relief pitcher John Axford shined with an 8-2 record, 24 saves, 2.48 era and 1.19 whip it wasn’t enough for my award. My selection for NL rookie of the year slipped under everyone’s radar. He led NL Rookies in hits 156, doubles 37, hrs 19 and RBI’s 85. The winner is..
Florida Marlins First Baseman Gaby Sanchez.
American League CY Young:
While Texas pitchers CJ Wilson (15-8, 3.35 era, 1.245 Whip 170 K), Tommy Hunter (13-4, 3.73 era, 1.242 Whip) led their team to the playoffs, Oakland’s Gio Gonzalez (15-9 3.23 era, 1.311 Whip), and Detroit’s Justin Verlander (18-9, 3.37 era, 219 k, 1.163 Whip) had a solid year. Boston pitchers Jon Lester (19-9, 3.25 era, 225 K, 1.419 Whip) and Clay Buchholz (17-7, 2.33 era,1.202 whip) had very respectable stats. Also the pitcher that all Yankee Fans hate, the Twins Carl Pavano (17-11, 3.75 era, 1.195 Whip) had to be mentioned just to rub it in to Yankee fans. While these pitchers were all worthy candidates, my choice for the AL CY Young is…
21-7 3.18 ERA, 1.191 Whip, 197 K and 74 walks. CC was the only pitcher with more than 20 wins and help his team make it to the playoffs.
I left off one noticeable pitcher from my list. You can say all you want (and ESPN has) about Seattle Mariners Felix Hernandez and his 1.74 WHIP. The problem is he was no where near 20 wins, and he ONLY won 13 games. The key thing is Felix is no Steve Carlton who was 27-10, 1.97 era and a .0993 WHIP for a Philly team that went 59-97. Now that was a CY Young season. Felix Hernandez, nope maybe next time.
To add more to it, here are the offensive stats for the 1972 Phillies and 2010 Mariners (Phillies stats first):
So, neither pitcher got run support from their players. Carlton was way more dominate.
National League CY Young:
Three pitchers stood out. Two of them you could make a strong case for. Ubaldo Jimenez and Adam Wainwright. Both had outstanding seasons. Colorado’s Jimenez had a stellar season, with a no-hitter a 19-8 record, 2.88 era and a whip of 1.15 with 214 strikeouts and 2 shutouts, while Cardinals Wainwright had a superb season at 20-11, 2.42 era with 213 strikeouts, 2 shutouts and a whip of 1.05. But my choice for the NL CY Young is…
Roy pitched a no-hitter in the regular season and, in his first post-season game threw his second no-hitter of his career. His stats also stood out, with a 21-10 record and a NL leading 4 shutouts and nine complete games. He had a 2.44 era, a whip 1.04 with 214 strikouts.
American League MVP:
It would be nice if the award could go to Ichiro Suzuki (.315, 214 hits and 42 Stolen bases) but its not the case this year. Texas DH Vladimir Guerrero protected Josh Hamilton all year round. He came through with a .300, 29 Hr and 115 RBI’s. Speaking of Hamilton he batted .359 with 40 doubles, 32 Hr and 100 RBIs while out several weeks with a rib injury. The Yankees Robinson Cano and Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria were MVP’s of their respective clubs. Longoria batted .294 with 22 Hr and 104 RBI’s, while Cano batted .319 with 41 doubles, 29 Hr and 109 RBI’s. Not to be forgotten is the Twins Delmon Young. Young batted .298, with 46 doubles, 21 Hr and 112 RBI’s. But my choice for the AL MVP is.
Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. Cabrera hit .328 with 45 doubles, 38 Hr and 126 RBI’s. Clearly the person who held the Tigers together to finish at 81-81 with no one to protect him or support him on offense.
National League MVP:
Rockies Troy Tulowitzki had a career September (1st 18 games, 14 Hr and 38 RBI‘s), but, he wasn’t close in the running in the MVP race. In fact his teammate, Carlos Gonzalez led the NL with a .336 batting average. Carlos also had 34 hrs, 117 RBI’s. Gonzalez was also first in hits with 197. The usual candidates for MVP, Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard had a great season. Albert batted .312, 183 hits, 39 doubles, 42 Hr and 118 RBI’s. He also walked 103 times with only 76 strikeouts. In the meantime, Ryan was the offensive force with 31 hr, 108 RBI’s with a .276 batting average. Joey Vitto could easily have been the MVP of the NL. He had stellar numbers to back up his claim. With a .324 average, 36 doubles, 37 Hr and 113 RBI’s he really doesn’t have to take a back seat to anyone. Well maybe he does, as my winner for the NL MVP is…
Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres. Okay, Okay, this is where you can moan and groan. But, his numbers speak for themselves. .298 average, 176 hits, 31 Hr and 101 RBI’s. Yeah, Yeah Vitto’s numbers were better. But, Vitto had some production around him. 3 players beside Vitto had RBI’s above 77 (Rolen, Gomes and Stubbs). Only 3 players on the Padres had more than 50 but less than 60 RBI‘s (Headley, Hairston Jr, Venable). No one on the Padres had more than 13 Hr while the Reds had 3 people over 20. So you see the point I am trying to make. The Padres finished at 90-72 (1 game behind the Reds) and they only had Gonzalez. Adrian was the offensive force of the Padres. Wow. Can you imagine what the Padres could have done if they would have spent another 8 million dollars?? Maybe next year the team should be called the Adrian Padres.
American League Manager of the Year:
Yeah he admitted to doing coke. But my choice is still Ron Washington. The Rangers were suppose to be also-rans in the American League West. All they did was finish in first 9, games in front of the Oakland A’s.
National League Manager of the Year:
Screw it. Your all probably pissed now, so I’ll top it off with this. Bobby Cox. He guided a team that had major injuries to Chipper Jones, Kirs Medlen. Both players had season ending injuries. Also, injuries to Jair Jurrjens, Eric O’Flaherty and Matt Diaz didn’t help either yet the Braves still made the playoffs.
Special Achievement Awards
Ichiro - only person in MLB history to get 200 hits in 10 consecutive seasons.
A-Rod 600th Hr. Jim Thome moves up to 9th on the all-time Hr list.
The year of the no hitter. Roy Halladay (1 regular season, 1 post-season), Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, Edwin Jackson, Dallas Braden and of course the no-hitter that should, Armando Galarraga.
Have you ever worked on a blog and had a windows update shut down just as you were finishing? That really sucks...
Hello Gabbers, it is Wednesday and time again for deep thoughts.
I spent most of last weekend coaching in a baseball tournament, so I missed much of the NFL on Sunday. As I was catching up on Monday, an article caught my eye. The NFL has long been known as the "No Fun League". Perhaps they are working to change this image? Here is an announcement from the NFL:
So guys, do you think that this is a good idea? I certainly have no problem with this, but does the timing seem a bit odd? With the Favre investigation ongoing, why would the NFL do this? I have another question. If you were the NFL, would hiring attractive massage therapists to massage athletes seem a good idea? I know that if I was working with lions, I would not wear hamburger shorts. Or as Norm Peterson once said, "it is a dog eat dog world and I am wearing milk bone underwear."
With all of the flak being thrown about concerning Brett Favre, I could not help but mention one thing: 500 TDs. Favre managed to find a dry football in the second half and become the first QB to reach this milestone. I know most of you don't care for Favre, but this is a significant milestone. It is amazing that there is only one other QB (Marino) to reach 400. To many, Favre has become like the house guest who won't leave. In 20 years or so, this will be something that we look back on as quite an accomplishment. It is obvious from watching the game last night that Favre's body is beginning to betray him. The Favre of old would never have overthrown a wide open Harvin. In fact, the missed connection was the difference in the game. Bash him if you will, the first two TD's that he threw were simply great throws. The TD to Moss, seemed to drop from the heavens and nestle easily into Moss's waiting hands. The first TD to Harvin, completely fooled me. I did not even see Harvin until he plucked the ball out of the air...on his way to a score.
I stumbled across an article today about a sports agent that has a book out detailing the different college football players that he paid. The agents name is Josh Luchs. The article is long, but very interesting. What really caught my attention is that Luchs mentions that he worked for a very respected agent that was a good buddy of Mel Kiper. What stood out for me is the Kiper or (Viper as he was known) always seemed to rank the players highest that were signed with his buddy. Hmmm...ESPN is "supposedly" investigating. If you want to check out the article, here is the link:Go read it
I decided to coach an 18 and under baseball team this fall. Our team is the Iron Pigs. We practice once each week and have planned to play in two tournaments in October. As I mentioned, we played last weekend and managed to finish 2nd. We went undefeated until the championship game, where we ran into a really good pitcher. The kid was throwing mid 80's with a nasty hook. From what I heard, he pitches for a high school near Ft. Worth and was an All American at the AA level last year. We hung in tough, but lost 7 to 3. Our plans to play again in a few weeks may have to be scrapped. I got word this afternoon that the high school football coach has nixed the varsity players that were playing on the team. Although it sucks, I get it.
My son's football team did not play last week. We face our rival this week and I am nervous. We should win, but you just never know with rival games. They have a new coach and a new offense; the veer. They have struggled all season with fumbles, but once the option is grooved, it is tough to stop. I will have the details next week.
Last week, Harvey wrote a blog that sort of stirred the pot a bit. I responded to the blog and mentioned the word diversity. As I watched a biography about Ray Charles (excellent by the way), I heard something that caused me to think. Charles heard Kermit singing It Isn't Easy Being Green. He asked who is singing that song, his friend told him it is a green frog, Ray...a muppet. His response was, I don't care...listen to the words, that is a good song. Because Ray Charles is blind, he did not hear a green frog, but instead heard the words. How often do we not hear or see something because we have a preconceived notion about something or someone? It is a good thing that we can offer a wide range of interests on the gab. By offering more, we will have more folks interested in sharing a blog or two.
You may or may not like Ray Charles, but here is a song that should mean something to all of us:
By the way,congrats to the Texas Rangers for winning tonight agains the Rays. I thought that they would win in four, but it was good to see them finally get a playoff series win. Now the Yankees...for the record, I still like Philly against the Rangers in the WS.
"Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you're drunk."
MLB. Sorry Nutball but I gotta do it (probably because I’m jealous):
Dammit Minny, you don’t go out like that!
Well, at least I can bash the other New York team. I see the Mets finally got smart and let go of Minaya and Manuel. I personally can’t blame them as injuries kicked the living crap out of this team the past three years, but then again, perhaps their management of their players may have caused said injuries. Can you say Joe Torre?
Tony LaRussa to retire? I just can’t see it. I can however see him getting bored in St. Louis. Moving to Atlanta, Miami, or Phoenix? My guess would be Atlanta.
Hey SF Giants, you made me a happy man Monday Night. Not just because you won the game and series, I truly appreciate your stopping the celebration to applaud/celebrate Bobby Cox on his way out the door! Props to the Mad Manager – hell Earl Weaver ain’t got nothin’ on big bad Bobby!
NBA. Gilbert Arenas says he’s gonna “show John Wall the ropes” and move on to another city. Hey Gil, don’t run, make it right in DC. Come correct, fix yourself, and be serious for a change. Become part of a positive story that DC desperately needs. You don’t have to be a big star, be a supporter – hell, you’re still getting major cheese!
I know it’s only two preseason games into the season, but I enjoyed the fact that Barcelona beat the LA Lakers Thursday.
CFL – BC @ Winnipeg. Happy Thanksgiving to my friends up north of the Border. No highlights this week, but BC lost to the Bombers 47-35. Looking forward to the highlights.
Beaver Report. A two hour drive up the road against a team which has a lot of youth and was undersized by a mile, but oh my their receiver had the play of the season, one handed catch while tight-roping the back of the end zone. The pic wasn’t available before my blog, but if I can dig it up, you’ll see it here next week. The Beavs were up 21-0 after the first quarter and there wasn’t a whole lot of mystery here, unless you count how soon the second and third string got in and whether “Not so little Fan” was gonna get a sack (he was close twice). Final Score: Beavers (4-1) 37, Yuba College 49ers 14.
High School Report. Missed this road game, but the Mustangs were facing the Bullfrogs over in the next county and apparently jumped all over them 49-14. Next up, the big boys known as the Redskins, which very well could decide the league champion. I look forward to attending that game as these are the two teams who have dominated the league over the last ten years.
NFL. I want to extend props to WR Kevin Curtis who is attempting a comeback after battling Testicular Cancer. It is my hope that he can come all the way back and play a little more in the NFL. If I recall correctly, I’m thinking he was a pretty good third receiver.
Former 49er RB Glenn Coffee, I’m sure God’s plan didn’t include taking a diversion from the ministry by driving fast, getting pulled over, and having Officer Friendly find a cocked and loaded gun in the car??? Although, can that be much worse than that train wreck of a season the 49ers are going through? Man, they suck!
Marshawn Lynch to Seattle – can’t figure whether or not I like this deal. If Lynch can keep his head on straight, then this is great for the Seahawks, but if he couldn’t behave in quiet little Buffalo, what makes me think he can stay cool in a cosmopolitan city like Seattle with lots of places to go and one hell of a University with hot co-eds nearby?
Hey Detroit Lions, CONGRATULATIONS on what I believe will be the first step on the road to respectability. You are the only team that I would say deserves to do this:
For those of you who don’t like cursing, I’m gonna be honest – SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH. Thank you! San Diego and Cincinnati – YOU STRAIGHT UP FUCKING SUCK! What, did you think you would just walk in and Oakland and Tampa would just lay down like a cheap $5 ho? Not this season you douche bags. Norv Turner and Marvin Lewis don’t have to go home, they just need to get the hell out of coaching.
Oh, and Dallas I haven’t forgot about you: HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! ESPiN must be crapping themselves watching Dallas and Minny circle the drain. Too bad we’ll have to have another week of hype on a game that means next to nothing.
Minny @ New York Jets. Hey Jets & Vikings, Thor was trying to say that he’s tired of the drams, so he threw some thunder and lightning your way as a warning. As for the game, Uh Viking defense, STEP YOUR GAME UP! Oh, and a certain #4 did it again – what a moron!!!
Rant of the Week – Government . What do 72,000 dead people and 17,000 prisoners have in common? If you guess that they all received government stimulus checks, you’d be right. That’s bad enough, but then again, there’s always California, where welfare recipients have been found to be cashing their checks on cruise ships going out of Miami, and in casinos everywhere. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m kinda tired of my tax money funding other peoples vacations and vices. Hey losers – make your own way through life rather than robbing me. As the youngsters say, you losers suck at life!
Before I go… While catching the end of CBS Sunday Morning, I caught the ending nature scape and thought of my man Harvey D./Big Toke. Enjoy beautiful southern Arizona…
Well that's one way to pretty up a bathroom...And who doesn't like a little Bathroom Humor? Don't answer that!
Speaking of Bathroom Humor, I'm looking forward to going out with our friends Brian_&_May next week...Those two are always good for a blog full of shenanigans...And they like to mix it up in the Bathroom....
But enough of this stuff, I'll leave the dirty pictures to BRETT_FAVRE...Yes ESPN is still keeping quiet about Favre and his little cock shots...I wonder if they will mention it at all during their broadcast of Monday Night Football...It being the Viking vs. Jets match up...I doubt it...
I get it, "DEADSPIN" broke it...Hacks like me blogged about it...But then Big Names like Jason Whitlock, and Peter King, (I hate King) and others got into it...Once CBS, NBC, FOX, and other news sources start digging into it, it's time for ESPN to acknowledge that their golden boy isn't perfect, no matter what John Madden says...
Moving on...While I have paid hardly any attention to the MLB Playoffs, I did stop and watch the last couple innings of Roy Halladay's no-hitter the other night...While it was a great accomplishment, I'm over it...Now I hope Halladay gets shelled from this point on...WHY? Because some douche decided it would be a great idea to start calling the month of October, "Doctober"...Yes, they've been calling Halladay "Doc" for a number of years...You know, like that guy from the wild west, Doc Holliday...Well guess what...It's fucking stupid...So he threw a no-hitter...It was also the first start he has ever made in the playoffs...It's not like the guy has a long track-record of dominating in the month of October...I'd love to go a week without some assholes douching something up, that needed no douche-baggery...
Next up...Notre Dame Football...Saturday I worked a double at The Fish House...Once I got home and showered, I heated up some pizza from Friday night, cracked open a couple of beers and fired up the DVR'ed ND vs. Pitt game...The defense played their Bend don't Break style pretty well...The offense again was inconsistent...They left points on the field again...Too many field goals, and not enough touchdowns...Hey, I'm glad the Irish finally have a quality kicker, but I'd rather see extra points instead of field goals...For every positive, there is a negative...They didn't turn the ball over...But they were only 4-12 on 3rd don conversions...The Irish have plenty of beatable teams on their schedule, and I hope they can build off of the positives from these last two games...
But in College Football, the game of the week had to be South Carolina taking down #1 Alabama, 35-21...Huge win for the 'Cocks, and Boise State...'Bama slipped down #8 and of course South Carolina is screwed and still sitting behind them...Boise State moved back up to #3, with Ohio State #1 and Oregon #2...I expect the Luckeyes lose, like I said in my pre-season post, to either Wisconsin or Iowa...Squeaking by Illinois, and blowing out Indiana, Ohio, Eastern Michigan, and Marshall isn't that impressive...I also expect to see Oregon take a loss...The Pac-Ten has a tendency to beat up on each other...
With all that said, I'm sure the polls will find a way to screw,not just Boise State, but also TCU...Nabraska, Oklahoma, Auburn, and LSU are still undefeated, and in power conferences...
As for the NFL, I don't know...I'm not real excited about it yet...Hell I keep finding myself doing something to avoid watching the Browns games...Yes they lost Sunday...What did I do...I took the Beeze family to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Planetarium...We've been there many times before, but the boy wanted to go again...He loves the place...Today we took in a show at the Planetarium,and it was really cool...Kind of a geeks delights...A large part of the show was about Pluto...I was against the whole taking the title of planet away, but after this, I was sold...Fuck Pluto! If for no other reason, they've found 25 other objects like Pluto, and who the hell wants to learn 25 more planets?
Afterwards we hit the gift shop, of course...The boy got a bag off sea creatures to play with his growing shark collection...Lots of shit getting eaten by sharks in this house lately...
Before I go, I want to share a video...I caught wind of it via twitter...There's no audio, but you don't need it to laugh your ass off at this dolt!