Well, well, well… howdy folks, and welcome to this week’s Monday Mania with IHM. This week’s big news comes not from the gridiron but from the hot stove, where the Detroit Tigers reached an agreement with former Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmerman, 29, on a five-year, 110 million dollar deal. Zimmerman comes in with an already solid resume, having made two All-Star teams with Washington, compiling a career 3.32 ERA along with a no-hitter to his credit. He joins a staff that already features two pitchers who have thrown no-hitters in Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez. Pretty solid 1-3 assuming JV and Sanchez are healthy, with the combination of Boyd, Norris, and Greene vying for the 4-5 spots in the rotation (assuming they are done signing starting pitching this offseason). But the message here is that Al Avilia is here to win, not to cut salary. Adding Zimmerman, along with the trade for K-Rod earlier in the offseason, makes the Tigers a much stronger contender for the AL Central next year, assuming they throw a few dollars at middle relief while they’re at it. As much as we all love football, you have to admit there’s nothing quite like the hot stove news that comes around this time every MLB offseason.
As for what happened this weekend in football, let’s start over in CFB with the latest scoop. The Irish dropped a back and forth contest with Stanford, and likely lost their playoff spot with that. Stanford has a puncher’s chance, but they have to hope for quite a bit of help along the way. Alabama won the Iron Bowl, as we all pretty well knew they would, Iowa and Sparty stayed on their collision course for next week’s Big Ten title game, Oklahoma clinched the Big 12 with a blowout in Bedlam and a Baylor loss to TCU, and Clemson stays on top after surviving a slight scare aginst South Carolina… they face a red hot North Carolina team in the ACC title game next weekend. Bama faces a Florida team with next to no offense, but a damn good defense. Not saying Florida will win next week, but I’d love to see Saban have to sweat it out.
The game featured an Ohio State team that was down on their luck and a Michigan team riding high… but you wouldn’t know it looking at that 42-13 final score. Good lord I love seeing Walmart Wolverine silenced! Better luck next year, boys.
The coaching carousel has already thrown one rider this offseason; Mark Richt will not return as coach of the Georgia Bulldogs next season. So long douchebag. Les Miles will, however, be returning as head coach at LSU. Talk about a guy that can recruit but not coach! His national championship with Saban’s players likely saves him for another year.
Over in the NFL, we have a few surprises in the standings as week 12 wraps up with the Pats and Broncos on Sunday Night and the Browns and Ravens battling for last place in the AFC North tomorrow night.
The Minnesota Vikings are alone in 1st place in the NFC North. The Pack shit the bed on Thursday, the Bears are below .500, and the Lions have been shitting the bed since week one; and the Vikings stand alone at 8-3 after beating Atlanta this week.
The Washington Redskins defeated the Giants today to obtain sole possession of 1st place in the NFC East. The Giants are a fucking mess, the Eagles are a gigantic mess, and the Cowboys are a fucking trainwreck! The Redskins, for all the bullshit that was going around in pre season, are possibly the most stable in the division with Kirk Cousins running the show!
The Houston Texans and Colts are tied for first in the AFC South. The Texans, with no freaking QB to speak of (technically Brian Hoyer, but you know what I mean), are now tied for first place following their win over New Orleans Sunday. The Colts sit at 6-5, which is pretty remarkable considering they’ve been playing with a 40-year old Matt Hasselback while Andrew Luck sits on the sidelines with various injuries.
I know the Vikings were the “sexy pick” as NFC North champs, but it’s been pretty awesome seeing that team come together the way it has. Nobody saw Washington and Houston coming; they are major surprises so far for sure. Unless Eli Manning puts together a few weeks of mistake free football for the first time in five years or so, the Skins have the best shot of anybody at walking away with the NFC East. The Texans… who the hell knows! The defense was supposed to be solid, and it is getting there, but the offense, led by DeAndre Hopkins, has been the biggest story. No matter who is in at QB, the recipe for success has been getting him the ball early and often.
The dipshit Lions just keep on winning, running their record to 4-7 now and bringing a three-game winning streak into next Thursday’s matchup with Green Bay. Best case scenario, they win out, go 9-7, and somehow get a Wild Card spot. Best case scenario B, they lose out and get the best possible draft pick for the next GM. Lions case scenario; go 7-9 or 8-8, get a pick in the middle of the round, and fuck yourself over for next year too. That’s what I’m waiting for.
And before I call it a day, happy trails to Mike Hessman, Minor League Baseball’s career home run leader, who called it a career earlier this week. Hessman has hit 433 long balls over his 19-year Minor League career. He hit another sixteen in various stops in the Majors, normally as a fall call up, with the Braves, Tigers, and Mets. He plans to pursue a career in coaching.
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Have a great week, Gabbers.