Tuesday, May 31, 2011

NBA Finals Preview....

Well, the Heat are here, don't think a lot of people I know are happy about it, but it makes the finals more exciting to root against them.  Mavs are good, they have some good players.


Edge goes to the Heat because of Wade.  Depth though would go to the Mavs.  Kidd, Terry, and Barea can all score, can all dish, and can attack on the perimeter.  Chalmers, Jones, and Bibby can't match up to those three at all.  So ya, Wade is better than them, but they aren't overall better.


Dirk has the potential to be a top ten player of all time and he could probably score 35 a game every year if he wanted to, you just can't guard him.  They'll try to put James on him, but he won't be able to stop him either.  James is probably the best player in this series, but only because he gets to the line so much. Nowitzki will out stat him I think.  Bosh is the X Factor.  He's starting to get his points and be more aggressive.  Peja is out there too, if he gets hot he could carry the Mavs for a game or two.


Z or Anthony, both suck.  Haywood and Chandler, aren't great.  Chandler is by far the best player out of those four, but he is offensively challenged.  These guys are pretty much in the game to rebound and commit some hard fouls.

Defensively the Heat have been playing better than anyone, but the Mavs move the ball a lot better than the two teams they have recently played.  I see most games being high scoring.  I think the big kicker will be the fact that the Mavs have closers and veterans that won't wilt at the end.  The Bulls couldn't get the job done and the Heat knew it.  The Mavs will be able to finish.  I see this being a great series overall.  James will be the alpha dog and Nowitzki will set his place in history.

My official prediction will be Mavs in six with Nowitzki being the finals MVP.


Buckeye Nation Confused?

I sure hope so.  A lot of the opinions I'm hearing from Buckeye fans are waayyyy different from the one's I'm hearing from everyone else.  So my only conclusion is that Buckeye fans are either confused or blinded by their bias.  I know we all can be like that with our own teams, but you have to see the truth in it sooner or later, otherwise you're just lying to yourself.  Here are some of my observations on all things Buckeyes in the last two days.  Some serious, some funny, mostly all fun to talk about, given the circumstances of course.  (I'm not going to lie, I'm not exactly a Buckeye lover.)

First off, Buckeyes fans have to be struggling right now.  They always wanted to tell you how great their program was, how clean it was.  They would always be the first ones to tell you that Auburn cheats, Newton is a cheater, USC is pathetic, blah blah blah.  Not us, we are perfect.  Well, now you are no better than anyone else.  Ya I agree that pretty much all top teams in college football do the same thing and they are all cheaters, but hey, now you are part of that group.  So that leg you always thought you could stand on, it's over, admit it.  Sorry.

Like I said earlier, Jim Rome had a great take on the whole thing.  He said that he understands why Buckeye fan is mad, it makes sense, but just remember, Tressel did this to himself and he has been doing it for decades.  He has a long track record for shady shit.  So saying he is just the scapegoat and whatnot is not a true statement at all.  The raffle tickets thing is hilarious.  And the first jersey goes to....Chris Carter.  Next pair of cleats goes to Keith Byars, hahaha. 

Look, I think Tressel is a good guy, I think he probably has helped a lot of young people in his life, but that doesn't excuse him from being a cheater and a liar.  You can't just shove the bible in everyone's face and write books on integrity and expect it to get you through life.  You have to actually live by what you supposedly stand for.   Someone was saying that he'll get another job somewhere else because of his track record of success.  Ok, but couldn't you say that he has succeeded due to be a liar and a cheater?  How is that considered success then? 

Some might say that free tattoos isn't a big deal.  And some say they should be able to sell their gear and awards if they want to.  I start to agree, but where do you draw the line?  What if some booster said, hey, if you come to OSU just sell me a signed jersey when you get one and I'll give you ten grand.  Where do you stop it?  You have to say no to everything or it will just keep stretching.  And it's not like the coach will stop it, not when he's getting the top recruits.

If you want to know who the next coach will be, just listen to Fox Sports Chris Landry.  Whoever he predicts will definitely NOT be the next coach, I can assure you that.  Worst analyst and predictor ever, had to get that off my chest.  If Urban Meyer goes there, it will be awesome.  He is a quitter and a liar too.  Might be a good fit.  I say just stick with Fickell, he'll want to do the right thing and he has something to prove.

Overall I think this is awesome and I hope the school gets punished to the greatest extent possible.  A couple years with no bowls, take away recruits, all of it.  It's obviously not all Pryor, but he is never going to play for OSU again and I bet if you asked Tressel, he would admit that when Pryor signed he probably knew that there was no way he would play four years without something like this happening.  We all kind of knew this was going to happen with him.

Good luck Buckeye fans, can't wait to hear your spin on it all when the sanctions come down.  Til next time...


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thoughts on the last couple of days....

Some thoughts before I leave for another bachelor party.  When are these things going to end?  Hopefully never right?

1. That Reds game on Thursday really rubbed me the wrong way.  I understand the bullpen was spent, but you are telling me no one could throw another inning?  You just leave Thompson out there for three innings to give up 11 baserunners?  We get excited when Bruce ties it up, but I wouldn't have cared if I knew that they weren't even trying to win.  Look, I understand the not wasting the bullpen for the rest of the road trip and all that, but it still just irks me.

2. Thanks Reds for losing two times on my birthday.  Not just once, but twice.  Appreciate it.

3. That Phillips play when he got picked off of second was super embarrassing.  Nothing more to say other than that.

4. Nice bounce back win on Friday though at Atlanta.  Reds obviously could beat anyone and could lose to anyone, but with Heyward and McLouth out they should be able to hold down this Braves offense.  Arroyo and Cueto this weekend should be able to throw good games.  The only issue is that they have to face Lowe and Jurrjens who are also good pitchers.  I guess we'll take one out of two here. 

5. 2-6 on the road trip.  4-6 would have sounded awful about a week ago, but now I would definitely sign up for that.

6. Heat made the Bulls look bad.  I'll have my official prediction on the finals in a few days, but I think the Mavs will take it.  They won't fold in the clutch like the Bulls did, and they have Nowitzki who is a better closer than Wade, Lebron, and Bosh combined, he just is.

7. Bummer on that Lightning game last night.  You obviously can't win if you don't score a goal.  Great season by them though.  Overachieved for sure.  They won't think that right now, but they will in a week or so.  How coincidental is it though that the only guy that scored a goal should have been suspended.  Horton threw his water bottle into the stands at a Lightning fan after game six and hit him.  How is that not a suspension?  In the past, any interaction with a fan has been a suspension.  Why not this time?  Why?  NHL has egg on its face.

8. John Nagel Auto Trader update.  Nagel is currently in fourth place, 27 points behind first place.  Somewhere between 4-7 games remaining.  Top five get a prize.  Going to be intense, ha.

9. I hate the St. Louis Cardinals, hate everything about them.

10. Off to New Orleans for a couple of days.  Reds game Sunday night ESPN.  Four games out with 110 games to go.  Plenty of time, not concerned now.  Don't like the idea of being in third place though.

Til next time...


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Three to End It...5/25....

Three thoughts on Wednesday nights action...

1.  We will have a game seven on Friday night.  Great win by the Lightning.  These two teams are so evenly matched, anything can happen Friday night.  Roloson now 7-0 in his career in elimination games.  Someone is going to pitch a shutout in the final game.  Hope it will be Roloson.

2.  Mavs clinch and will await the Eastern winner.  Looks like I'll probably be rooting for the Mavs.  Which I am ok with.  Hard to root against Kidd, Marion, Terry, Dirk, those guys are pros and deserve a title.  Jim Carey could be the first comedian to win an NBA title.  Ok, that's not funny, I know.  But Dominique Jones is on the roster, he could be the first USF Bull to win a title.

Nagel, your picking is getting a little ridiculous.  Whoever you pick has the best game of their season.  For those of you that don't know, Johnny is fifth in the world in the NBA Auto Trader pickem game.  Winner gets 25 G's.

3.  Reds lose in 19.  Night.

Perfectly Timed Picture of the day...

 - Half of the accidents start with "Look what I can"

Til next time....


P.S.  30, uggh

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Three to End It....5/24....

Three thoughts on Tuesday's night in sports...

1.  Huge win by the Reds.  If you think about it, everyone had a little bit to do with the victory.  Stubbs with a huge throw home to cut down a run.  Phillips with a two run single.  Votto, two hits, and a great defensive play.  Rolen with an RBI single.  Bruce with the huge hit that we all know about.  Hernandez with a double.  Heisey with a single, and a bonehead play in left, but it's forgiven.  Janish had a couple nice plays in the field.  Cueto pitched a good game.  He battled, kept the team in the game, it's all you can ask for from your starter.  Ondrusek didn't let anyone score.  Bray ate up five outs.  Cordero with a clean save.  Just a nice team win.  Only one win, but any win is big right now. 

6-6 in the 20 game string without a day off.  Weird way of getting to 6-6, but a .500 record nonetheless.  You don't strive to go .500 in 20 game stretches but 12-8 is a good record.  Reds could still get there.  Old cliche, but really, it's just one game at a time.  Halladay and Lee in the next two, just need to steal one of those and you're happy. 

That Bruce hit was easily the second biggest hit of the year so far.  Some people like to say number one, but we all know how we felt when Hernandez went deep on Opening Day.  That feeling is going to be really hard to beat. 

Thom Brennaman, please chill out dude.  Your hatred for certain players and love for other players is so obvious.  It gets to the point where I want certain guys to succeed more than others and I don't want to be that kind of a fan.  Loved when you called out Janish for being 1-32.  Ya, we know that is bad, but then you proceeded to say that the left fielders have also struggled a little this year.  Ha, your buddy Gomes is beyond struggling.  Janish could go 0 for his next 30 and not be at Gomes average.  You had some more zingers in there but I don't want to break them all down.  Just chill man, it's a long season, don't alienate your fans.  I'm one of your fans, I don't hate you, but when the team is struggling, you are really hard to listen to.

ESPN2 tomorrow.  Nice.

2.  Lightning have to start Dwayne Roloson tomorrow night in game 6.  He's something like 9-0 lifetime in elimination games that he has started.  He's the one that got you there, you need to ride him.  Please do not let those Boston fans celebrate on our home ice.  Boston fans are battling for the second worst fans in all of sports.  It's never really a contest for number one.  Pittsburgh takes the cake there, not even close.  Which team hasn't had a winning season since 1992?  Which team lost the last ever NFL game?  Which team is the last to blow a 3-1 lead in a playoff series?  That's Pittsburgh for all of those.  Most loyal fan base in all of sports is what I heard once.  I said, oh ya, how are the Pirates doing?  Oh wait, you don't acknowledge the Pirates, how convenient.  Losers.

Sharks, choking it away again.  Didn't stay up for OT, so don't know the outcome was.

3.  Another overtime game.  Great game again.  First off, definite charge on Lebron at the end of regulation, the fact that he complained makes me hate him more.  And how about that dunk by Lebron when Deng got out of the way?  You could read his lips and he said, "I wish he would have jumped for that shit!"  Bosh actually starting to look like he is worth some money. Obviously not as much as he is actually getting paid, but he's playing well.  This series is probably over.  Bulls have the team to win another game, just don't see how they can win three in a row.

Perfectly Timed Picture of the Day....

 - Recreating the Tiger Woods affairs

Til next time....


Three to End It....5/23

Three thoughts on Monday's action....

1. Reds are reeling.  Another poor performance from Arroyo.  He hasn't had back to back good starts since mid April.  Stubbs, Phillips, Janish, and Lewis are all struggling right.  This has to stop soon, but I'm not so sure it will.  Now three games back on the Cardinals.  Lots and lots of games to be played, no need to panic, but these losses just continue to pile up.  The lone bright spot right now is Jay Bruce.  Has the average up over .280 with 12 jacks.  Didn't think the average would ever get that high this year.  Just hope he keeps it up.  Cueto throwing Tuesday night.  Cueto has the stuff to get these guys out.  But remember when he gave up like 10 runs in just over an inning to them two years ago?  I think if someone is going to stop the bleeding, it'll be Cueto.  And, uhhh, I hope it's Cueto.

2. Tough loss for the Lightning.  They didn't get outplayed I didn't think.  They got a few bad calls but that happens in hockey.  In hockey, sometimes you just don't win, even when you aren't outplayed.  The way the puck bounces there is a lot of luck involved.  Downie should have tied it up but Thomas just stuck his stick out and made a great save.  The announcers said miraculous, I say lucky as fuck.  But that is what happens sometimes.  Lightning are 3-0 in elimination games this year and they have a home game Wednesday.  Obviously it's a must win.  I think they still got this. 

3.  Wow, did the Thunder just blow a 15 point lead late in the second half?  Yes, yes they did.  17-2 run to end the game and push it to overtime.  Dirk just took over.  This series won't go past five games.  I was about to write about how the Thunder had a chance but not anymore.  And holy shit Russell Westbrook.  How he thought it was a good idea to take 6 jumpers in the last four minutes I'll never know.  Dude is so out of control.  I don't think he did one good thing in the last 9 minutes of that game.  That is embarrassing.  It's obviously not all his fault but damn dude.  And how about that jumper at the end of regulation?  You think Scott Brooks said, hey, lets get Kevin a 35 footer?  Uh, no.  Just doesn't make sense.  Anyway, Mavs are a good veteran team, they'll be a force in the finals. 

We'll leave you with a perfectly timed photo.  One per night....

 - No more sex in 3.. 2 ..

Til next time....


Monday, May 23, 2011

Catching up 5/23...

Ok, haven't posted anything in awhile and I apologize for that.  We'll start doing at least the three thoughts at the end of the night again, that way there is something for you to read.  At least for ll ten or so of you loyal followers, is that just a generous guess?  Ha, maybe.

Thoughts on the moves today...

1. Volquez needed to go down.  I like the guy, but like I said yesterday, I paid my appropriate exit tax and I'm now officially off of his bandwagon.  And we all know how unlucky I am, so maybe he'll start doing better now that I'm not rooting for him in each start.

2. Jordan Smith down also.  He just doesn't have the "stuff."  Good solid pitcher, but doesn't have that look to be a good major leaguer.  Maybe I'll be wrong, but I don't think so.

3. Maloney up.  Not sure if he'll be starting Friday or not.  My guess would be no.  He'll probably come up and go in the pen right away, he'll be good there.

4. Todd Frazier joining the club for the first time in his career.  Guy has been on an absolute tear the last few weeks.  He has a unique opportunity here.  Lewis hasn't done anything special, Gomes is probably as good as gone, and we know Heisey is Baker's go to bench guy.  If he gets an opportunity he does well, he could steal the left field spot.  I'm all for that, I just don't bank on it happening.

5. Willis to the DL.  Sounds like Dusty was planning on having him pitch Friday for Volquez but it isn't going to work out.

6.  Danny Ray Herrera claimed off of waivers and is headed to the Brewers.  Good riddance.

7.  Rumor has it that Renteria left the team early Sunday after the Indians game and didn't have the proper Reds attire on.  No one is sure what that means, no official report from the Reds.

8.  One rumor said Gomes might get his outright release.  I doubt it, but we'll see.

My take on all this is that if the Reds start struggling even more than they are now, this will be looked at as a panic move by the Reds.  But, everyone that was sent down deserved it so it isn't that big of a deal. 

Big game tonight.  To be honest, it doesn't feel like a good chance at a win, but those are the games they win.  More thoughts on this series and games later.  Look for thoughts on the other sports playoffs too.  Let's get this thing fired up again.  Thanks for reading.  Til next time....


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reds Recap 5/17...

Ok, this is just getting ridiculous now.  Reds are finding new ways to win every night.  So many guys are coming through it's unbelievable really.  It's like a quote I read from Scott Rolen last year.  When the team is down, they just go in the dugout and they aren't wondering if they are going to win, they are wondering how they are going to win this time.  They'll get the win, it's just who will come through this time?  What a great mindset to have and it's something that will just keep snowballing wins if you keep thinking that way.  Wins are wins, and you need to rack them up as quickly as you can.  Losing streaks will happen, but you can sustain them if you go on 8-2 runs like this first. 

- 25 wins are tied for the most in the majors right now. 
- 8 games over .500 for the first time all year. 
- Cardinals win so the lead stays at 1.5. 
- 11-3 in the last 14 games in a row, all against Central opponents. 
- 5-0 in the 20 game in a row span that they are working on. 

Now to some quick thoughts on tonights game against the Cubbies....

First I would like to break down Thom Brennaman.  I like Thom Brennaman so this isn't just a rip on Thom rant.  But when he is the booth with Brantley he just complains so much more.  Obviously he's going to be a complainer because he is the son of Crybaby Marty as my dad calls him.  But when he's with Welsh he's a lot more positive.  The Brantley peer pressure gets to him.  He made a couple funny comments today.  One being when he said, the Reds are so happy to have Rolen back, it's like he never went on the DL.  Oh Thom, actually it's like he TOTALLY DID GO TO THE DL.  He was playing awful and couldn't hit anything when he went to the DL.  That rest he got must have been some good rest because he is absolutely on fire right now.  But before he went down, he was starting to be called the Rally Killa.  Another nice comment is when he started ripping on Janish for lining a first pitch fastball right at the center fielder.  Claiming he was an easy out on the first pitch, whoa is me.  Then Janish gets a hit next time up on the first pitch and it's being aggressive.  Just relax Thom, relax.

Awful bunt today but Hanigan, but what a great result. 

Lewis showing tremendous speed on that infield single.  I don't care what anyone says, he could destroy Phillips in a sprint.

Had to feel good to be at that game.  You could hear the Cubs fans start to get really obnoxious once they got that lead late in the game.  Then after the Reds took the lead you could feel the Reds fans just letting them have it, thats the best.  I always say, the only thing better than beating a team is letting them think they are going to win and then ripping their hearts out.

Just one argument with Dusty tonight.  Probably should have brought Bray in to face Campana.  Of course you can always play hindsight manager but it looked like he made the wrong decision.  Dusty makes mostly correct decisions, that's why that one stood out a little more.

To all you Volquez booers, just shut up.  He throws two balls and people start booing.  Are you serious?  Is it more fun to complain and hate then it is to root the guy on?  He's going to be a huge part of this team this year, no doubt about it.  He got one hard hit ball against him and I see tweets asking if it is time to send him down to the minors.  I mean you have got to be kidding me.  I hope you all cheered him when he left the game, giving up three runs, six innings, nine K's and only one walk.  But I'm sure you didn't.  I for one support the guy and look forward to him tearing it up later this year.

Oh, and nice job hitting your cutoff man Fukudome, who are you trying to be, John Nagel?  At least you didn't act like it slipped out of your hand like Nagel did every time, ha.

Til next time....


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reds Recap 5/13.....

My take on what we just saw Friday night....

1. Arroyo looked good at times.  He didn't have his best game, but you can't say he is looking bad or is off or anything.  Some nights you just don't get the desired results.  He battled and kept them in the game the best he could.

2. Stupid play by Phillips to try to get to third on that Rolen ground ball.  I like the idea, but sometimes you have to realize that you are in the big leagues and those kind of plays don't work anymore, but good aggressive idea, just a bad decision.

3. A couple tough breaks for the Reds tonight.  The lineout to second by Hanigan with two on and none out was brutal.  The one hop rocket by Stubbs to short was bad luck.  He hits it weaker or two feet to each side and Lewis scores easily.  That is baseball for ya. 

5. Speaking of Lewis.  Big series, all righty pitchers for the Cardinals, so not having Gomes in there and putting in Lewis speaks loudly on what Dusty is thinking.  I think Gomes is out and this is Lewis's spot to lose.  And he had a good game today, he's a good hitter.  Heisey obviously is right there too, but he is such a good pinch hitter that he is dang near more valuable off the bench right now.

6. Im going to have to disagree with Dusty's decision to put in Leake in the seventh inning.  You can't bring in a guy with no experience in that type of situation in this type of game against your rival.  Plus, there was an off day yesterday, so everyone is available.  I know you don't want to use Masset there, but Ondrusek?  LeCure?  Someone can step in there that has done it before.  Technically Leake didn't surrender a run, but it's just a questionable decision that I didn't agree with.

7. Loved Thom Brennamans comment when Wood came in to pinch run for Hanigan.  He said that Wood might be fast but that he isn't an experienced baserunner.  Ha.  What, like he never played high school baseball and ran the bases?  I'm sure he knows how to run the bases and would do just fine.  Then of course, he gets doubled off of first on the weakest line drive I've ever seen hit by Heisey.

8. I can't say enough about Ramon Hernandez's clutchness.  The guy is just such a pro.  He knows what to look for and takes advantage of the pitchers outside pitches.  Some guys in that situation would try to pull one outta here for the win, not Ramon, he just takes it the other way and almost wins it himself.  And a great play by getting in that rundown and allowing Heisey to get to second.  Reds were going to have a guy on second with one out either way, but by getting in that rundown, he got the faster guy to second.  I realize that wasn't his plan, but hey, it worked out.

9. Great to see Votto come through with the game winner.  Sometimes we just expect so much from him, but he hasn't come through very much lately in big spots.  Hopefully this will help ease his stress and get him going.  And everyone knows we don't want him stressed.  Last time that happened he missed five weeks with depression, anxiety, or whatever it is that he had.

10. Gomes looked awful on that at bat.  I feel bad for the guy, he has no idea what he is doing up there. 

11. Masset is totally turning the corner.  When that guy is on, he is really unhittable.  Cordero pitched well also.  The bullpen is doing great.  Just not sure what to do with Chapman right now.  He needs to get his confidence back or something.  Awful body language with him right now.

12.  Big game on Saturday.  Cueto has pitched very well against the Cards in the past.  Only a half game out right now, chance to take first on Saturday.  I'll be at the Rays game so I won't be able to watch, but I'll be checking the stadium scoreboard. 

13. Just a flat out great win tonight.  Probably the best game of the year.  Hopefully this is one of those games that gets the team rolling.  Either way, that is 7 out of 9 now.  Lets go....Til next time....


NHL Conference Finals Preview....

First off, lets see how we did in the Second Round...

Capitals vs. Lightning
Prediction...Lightning in six...Actual...Lightning in four...
Amazing.  Lightning just downright dominated the Caps.  Feel like they haven't played in a month.

Bruins vs. Flyers
Prediction...Bruins in six...Actual...Bruins in four...
Domination in this series also.  Flyers had no chance like they did last year.

Canucks vs. Predators
Prediction...Canucks in five...Actual...Canucks in six...
Canucks were in charge this whole series.  Kind of handled it like they did against the Blackhawks. 

Sharks vs. Wings
Prediction...Sharks in seven...Actual...Sharks in seven...
Damn, nailed that one.  Great series, each team deserved to win.  Only one can win though.

So overall, got all four of them right.  One exactly correct.  I'm on a roll.  I'll take full credit.



3 Boston Bruins vs 5 Tampa Bay Lightning
Well, it seems like we've been waiting for this series for a week, its because we have.  Lightning haven't played since May 4th.  Each team has some strengths.  Bruins have the best overall goalie.  Lightning have the hottest goalie.  Bruins have Chara.  Lightning have more depth.  Bruins are missing Bergeron possibly.  Lightning are at full strength and their second line with Downie, Moore, and Bergenheim are on freaking fire, and that's not even talking about Stamkos, Lecavalier, and St. Louis.  Of course I like the hometown team but I feel like I have good reasons for them.  Boston is the home team though and if they take the first two, the Lightning could feel the pressure and wilt.  They are however 5-1 on the road in these playoffs.
Lightning in 6.


1 Vancouver Canucks vs 2 San Jose Sharks
Funny how we get here.  But it doesn't matter how, all that matters is that the top two teams in the conference are in the finals.  Sharks seem to have more offensive firepower then the Canucks.  Canucks have a great goalie but Niemi is playing even better right now so that is a wash.  Canucks having home ice is huge in this series.  I'm not sure who wins, but I think with the way the Sharks had to persevere, I think they will take it.
Sharks in six.

So far I've nailed 11 out of 12 series correct.  So it looks like you can take San Jose vs. Lightning to the bank.  Some real hockey tradition cities right?  Ha.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reds Recap 5/10...

Ten points after Tuesday nights game...

1. Homer Bailey has come out on freaking fire.  Seven innings, no runs, and he just looks great right now.  I haven't seen a guy look that smooth and have that great of balance in awhile.  2-0.

2. Votto came out raking after his day off.  Hopefully this is where his tear starts.

3. Chapman needs to get it together.  Couldn't throw a strike at all.  3 walks, a hit batter, three runs given up.  Last seven guys he has faced have reached base.  His body language was bad too.  He had the look like, get me the hell out of here.

4. Masset was the savior tonight.  Came in and made guys look awful, good to see.  We'll need him all season. 

5. Bruce with another homer.  Had a couple bad at bats again, but he has been squaring up a lot of balls lately so that is a very good sign.

6. Dusty talked about this last year.  The Reds need to have more of a killer instinct.  Yes they were up 6-0 from the very beginning and controlled the whole game, but they left 13 guys on base.  Many times they had guys on third with less than two outs and failed to get them in.  They did this a couple times last year and got burned.  Did that at Arizona this year and lost the game.  You need all those runs to put the other team out of it for good.

7. Cairo got drilled on the elbow, hope he is ok.

8. Janish missed his fourth straight game.  Hopefully he's back on Friday.  He should be, he said he is ok.

9. Big start by Volquez tomorrow.  2 out of 3 doesn't seem like enough.  Need to sweep the Astros and ride into the 20 games straight streak on Friday.

10. 1 game back of the Cards.  Six out of seven.  20-16.  One pace for 90 wins now.  Seven straight great starts by the starters.  Time to go on a huge roll now.  Day game tomorrow.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Reds Review 5/8...

Cueto and Bailey are back, Bruce is starting to hit.  Maybe Stubbs will get it going.  Things are looking up. 

Starting rotation has only given up 7 earned runs in the last five games.  Three wins, one no decision, and one win that was blown.  This is the rotation that everyone expected all year, and they are finally healthy and ready to go.

Votto and Phillips haven't been raking as of late but they'll get it going again.  Hernandez and Hanigan took a couple of weeks off but they are showing some signs of getting it going again.

Francisco is off to a rehab assignment, hopefully he'll be ready to go in a week.  No timetable has been set yet for Rolen, so who really knows.  Janish should only be out another game or two with his ankle sprain.

Chapman is starting to scare people.  But the people he is scaring is his own fans.  He is wild, and when he gets wild, he can't find the plate at all.  Let's hope this is just a slump.

Gomes just has no clue right now.  Give Heisey the starting nod, or even Lewis.  Like I say every time, I like Gomes so I'm not rooting against him or anything, but he has to sit the pine.  Like Tupac said, Bury Me a G.  It meant bury Gomes on the bench.  Not funny, I know.  I don't know why I thought of that.

1.5 games out, lots and lots of games to be played.  On pace for 86 wins as of right now.  Probably won't get you the division, but it would put you right in the thick of it.

Til next time...



Pageviews by Countries
United States
United Kingdom



Better than blogging two sentence thoughts.  Just pull up twitter.  All you twitter haters, it's actually kind of fun.  Just choose some people to follow and come back and see some thoughts.  I like following Reds beat writers, some Bronco players, some celebs stuff like that.  Don't worry, it doesn't make you gay.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

NBA Second Round Review...

Here are some things I've noticed after watching the first six days of the Second Round...six thoughts per team...kind of long, but just bullet points....


1 Derrick Rose is really good and deserved the MVP
2 Derrick Rose does NOT like to pass.  He is hitting shots so it is ok right now, but I wouldn't even run if I was a Bull and we had a fast break.  You aren't getting the ball.  It's like the catcher running to first to back up on a routine grounder.  I mean what's the point right?
3 Ya Rose had 10 assists the other day, but add in a 10-27 and 8 turnovers, so ya, he has some room for improvement.
4 Boozer just doesn't have the killer instinct at all.  It's funny when he tries to scream and be tough, it just looks faked.  Probably like the orgasm Michelle Money faked when they were together, AYOOO.
5 Noah is awesome.  I can see how no one likes him, but if he's on your team, you definitely like him. 
6 Luol Deng runs like a Kenyan, just runs and never stops, plays 44 minutes a game, you don't see that a lot anymore.


1 Crawford and Johnson can get their shots off at any time.  Two scorers could carry any team to new heights.
2 No downlow presence.  Horford is solid, but a solid three or four, nothing else.
3 Jeff Teague is emerging as a really good point guard.  Like really good.  They may have found something there for the future.
4 Josh Smith is still a freak athlete, but it's got to be demoralizing when he sets up for a shot and the whole crowd groans.  That can't help right?
5 They are just a few players away.  They always are.  They need a downlow tough guy like Landry or something like that.  It would go a long way for them.
6 Hawks suck, when they play poorly I bet all Magic players watching the games just turn off the tv and beat themselves up.

Bulls still take this series in five.  I don't see the Hawks getting another one.


1 Wade is definitely the leader of that team and it looks like LeBron is ok with that and he has been playing very well as the two man.  He may get his ring but the media will still rip on him.  He can't win.
2 James Jones is hitting the threes, that is a key for them, they need to be able to spread the floor.
3 Same thing with Bosh, he is playing well as the number three guy on the team, but the media is going to look at his stats and say, he sux because he is getting paid so much.  That's why they need a new CBA.
4 Wade and James whining and complaining after every miss makes me want to puke, but what are you going to do?  I say the only way to stop flopping is to have a department in the NBA that watches each game and they fine the players for awful flopping and for yelling at refs when they clearly fouled the guy.  Nothing big, but if you are a guy that does it ten times a game, it'll add up and it'll stop.  Screaming at refs because you didn't foul someone and having the crowd react and then seeing the replay and you raped the guy across the arm?  Cmon man, thats weak.
5 Bibby is done, Mike Miller is done, Eddie House is done, Juwan Howard is done.  If the big three don't carry them, they are toast.
6 They have the hottest cheerleaders, not even a question right now.


1 Ray Allen can get shots and make shots like no one I have ever seen.  Dude is awesome.
2 Paul Pierce is a bitch.  The way he stuck his face in Jones's face and dared him to headbutt him or slap him was super weak.  Bitch move and I'm glad he got tossed later in the game.
3 Garnett has lost it too, he use to go hard on every play, not so much anymore.
4 Im not going to say the Perkins trade killed them, but they really have no one downlow with a tough presence now.  Unless Shaq shows up and tears it up, which won't happen.
5 Rondo is a weird duck too.  Sometimes you just see him standing there, and his shot is God awful. 
6 They are too old and this is their last shot.

Celtics could still make it a series, but a Heat sweep wouldn't surprise me.  I still have Celts in seven.


1 Kobe needs to shoot and do his thing.  When he gets to the foul line for a jumper, he makes it 90% of the time.
2 Odom needs to be out there more.  He can get to the rack at anytime.
3 Bynum is playing better and will be a force in the next year or so.  But he is right, his teammates don't trust him.  And I don't either.  He just looks a little clumsy.
4 Gasol is so weak.  God he is weak.  Everytime I watch him I think he is even more of a pussy then last time.
5 Fisher is ancient.  He can't guard anyone and neither can anyone off their bench.
6 Shannon Brown has potential to be a good player in this league.  He reminds me a little of John Salmons.  He could become a decent scorer in the leauge.  And his hops?  Out of this world.


1 Dirk may be the best player in the league right now.  You can't guard him.  He could score 35 a game in the regular season if he wanted to.  How do you guard him?  You can't really.
2 Kidd and Marion just play smart ball.  Make the open shots, run the break perfectly.  Great compliment players.
3 As I was saying, Chandler is the key new piece to this team.  He's the guy these Mavs teams have been missing.
4 Terry is lights out.  He makes every big shot and has such a quick release.
5 Jim Carey is a hell of a coach  Who knew?  He hates bats, we know that, but he can coach an NBA team.
6 Peja has the sweetest stroke in the game.  How that guy didn't end up being an all time great I'll never know.  Is he a bad defender or something?  Because with that stroke, he should be more like Ray Allen careerwise.

Look, I know the Lakers are done.  But if they win game four and go home and win game five, then game six becomes HUGGGGEEEE.  Mavericks would have all the pressure knowing that if they lose they are in trouble in game seven.  So game four is a really big game.


1 Westbrook is super fast and can get a shot at anytime.  If he gets a jumpshot, he'll be a top ten player in the league, if he isn't already.
2 When Durant is hitting, he's unstoppable, obviously, but he just doesn't miss, thing of beauty.
3 Ibaka and Perkins are good low post guys, they can defend anyone with power and speed.
4 Not a lot of depth on this team, could be their downfall.
5 Never been this far.  Pressure will be kicking in soon.
6 People say their might be an alpha dog issue.  I say if you have two guys that can score and take over, it's a plus.  You could say every team left has two big scorers, and that's why they are still in it.


1 Zack Randolph a top ten player in the league?  Huh?  Ya, he might be, and now he's getting paid like it.  Wait, no he's not, Joe Johnson and Chris Bosh are making 20 mil a year, ha.
2 Mike Conley is good, best Buckeye in the league by far.
3 Marc Gasol better than his brother?  Maybe.  Definitely wants it more than his brother, and if they would have met in the Conference Finals, he would have dominated Pau.
4 Battier and Tony Allen just fly around the perimeter, great defenders.
5 This team thinks they are unbeatable and that isn't a bad feeling to have.
6 OJ Mayo, wasn't he supposed to be one of the best ever?  Just goes to show you that being a punk in high school and showing off doesn't mean shit.  But he is actually a good NBA player, just not a star.

No clue what happens in this series.  I say the Thunder still take it. 

Til next time...


Thursday, May 5, 2011

April Review, May Preview....

Well, April has come and gone (and ya I know, a couple games into May) and the Reds are currently sitting at .500 and 1.5 games behind the Cardinals in the Central.  Reds are currently in second place and have won five out of ten.  Lets see how we got here....

First off, the Reds had a ridiculous streak end last week.  A streak that I thought was impossible, but then came to find out that it wasn't even the longest ever.  They gave up a run, at home, in the first inning to the opponents in seven straight games.  Seven.  Is that something that I would ever think could happen?  Hell no. 

The Reds got a quality start from Wood today, but before that they haven't had one since last Wednesday, and have only had a handul all year, somewhere around six or seven.  In 30 games, that is horrendous.  Their starters ERA was 15th out of 16 NL teams coming into the game.  Starters record is currently 9-10 with a pseudo loss for Maloney. 

The bullpen, besides Masset and Maloney has pretty much been lights out.  I mean look at these ERA's...
Fisher 0.00
Bray 0.77
Cordero 1.38
Chapman 1.42
Ondrusek 1.50
Those guys have pitched a total of 60 innings, that is amazing.  Imagine where the Reds would be without those guys.  And yes I realize Fisher has only thrown four innings, but still.

We have some seriously struggling hitters.  Gomes and Rolen are instant rally killers.  They have no confidence and no real bat speed.  I like Rolen, but getting him out of the lineup wasn't the worst thing.  Just sucks that Francisco wasn't healthy, or this would be his first real chance to show the organization what he can do.  He'll be back soon, but it'll be too late.

Stubbs is sitting at 36 K's and Bruce at 30.  That is not a good pace, more than one a game for them.  Does anyone in the league have more three pitch strikeouts then Stubbs?  There is no way right?  I mean if any opposing pitcher comes up and isn't sure if he has good stuff or not, faces Stubbs to lead off, and strikes him out without Stubbs even coming close.  Talk about giving a pitcher confidence the rest of the game.  Not to mention he probably already has a lead since the Reds gave them a run in the first, right?  Probably.

Now onto some positives.  Votto and Phillips are carrying the squad.  9 homers, 33 RBI's. .358/.340 averages, and .485/.397 on base percentages.  Those two not only are hitting, but they are both coming through in the clutch for the most part.  Votto has a left a little on the bone so to speak.  He has had a couple more chances to come through, but we are obviously spoiled with him and expect so much.  As far as Stubbs, Bruce, Rolen, and the likes struggling, they have also showed signs of getting hot.  They have had moments.  It's not like they are all completely overmatched.  Although Gomes could be, the jury is still out.

Same with the rotation, although no one has stood out, they all equally have had some strong performances.  Volquez has pitched very well outside of the first inning and is really getting the velocity up there which is good to see after the surgery.  Leake has three wins.  Arroyo has baffled a couple of teams.  Wood has the talent but hasn't been able to put it together and LeCure has filled in ok.  The cavalry is coming though.

Team is showing some resilience.  Three really nice walkoff wins.  A couple extra inning wins.  They have given away a couple of games but for the most part the losses have been lopsided, which somehow helps keep my sanity. 

10-8 record in the division.  5-1 against the Brewers who should be a contender this year.  Ya, 10-8 isn't great, but if you have a winning record in the division you always have a chance.  So that is a decent start there and should only get better. 

Ok, so May is here.  What can we expect?  It's hard to expect negative things, well, for most people.  Some people out there just always expect bad things.  It's the easy way to go.  If bad things happen, well then you knew they would happen so you are right.  And if good things happen, well then you're happy.  Easy way to skate through life, anyway, I expect the Reds to get hot.  Lets look at the reasons why...

1 Obviously the pitching staff is coming back.  Cueto and Bailey return this week and from the looks of what they have been doing in the minors, they are ready to go. Bailey will get it going right off of the bat.  He is too good and he is definitely ready.  He's done messing around.  Cueto will be hard to hit again but he might have his normal control issues and throw five innings to get 100 pitches early on.  It's just what he does.  Volquez just keeps getting better lately and he's ready to hit his stride.  Arroyo is Arroyo and will go 16-10 no matter what so we'll just have to see when he gets wins and when he gets his losses.  Wood is the most inconsistent but he is capable of having good games.  He also has to have a little bit of confidence since the team decided to go with him and move Leake to the bullpen even though he has been struggling.

2 The hitting is too good to slump for too long.  It'll come around and if the pitching gets the job done then average hitting should be enough.  Right now the team has had to score six or seven runs just to be in games, that shouldn't be the case this month.  As Dusty always says, its not exactly hitting, its hitting in RBI situations and getting the runs in, those are the hits that count.

3 Hopefully Dusty is figuring out how to use the pen.  I like Masset, but right now there is no way he should get any crunchtime innings.  It should be Ondrusek, Chapman, Bray, and Cordero, that's it.  The other guys can throw the sixth and seventh if need be.  Cordero has pitched very well, which is easy to predict since it is contract year, figures right?

4 Starting to warm up.  Balls will start flying out of the yard.  Ya it helps the other teams too, but this is their home park, Reds have power hitters, it'll mesh, they'll get going. 

Now some suggestions for what I would do if I was coach...

1 I would start Heisey in left for Gomes.  Better defense, better hitter for average, and having Gomes as an intimidating bench hitter isn't the worse thing right now.  I mean who do we have?  Renteria, Cairo, a catcher?  Just no threat.  Give Heisey his chance.  You now have Fred Lewis to come in late for a defensive replacement or pinch runner, so Heisey isn't needed for that.  Although with those three outfielders, I don't know why you would need a defensive replacement.

2 When Fisher, Masset, or Smith gets hurt or beat around soon, the Reds need to give Willis a shot to take their stressless bullpen spot.  Put him in for non pressure pact situations and see what he can do.  I don't like the idea of trying to make him a starter again, we just don't need it.  Unless the plan is to show him off and trade him which I doubt is their reasoning.

3 Just let Valaika start at third for a week, give him a chance.  Cairo doesn't need to be out there and I don't trust Renteria on defense.  Janish should never come out, and especially not to put Renteria in there.  The D up the middle is so important, don't mess with it.  Valaika can play some D and he has potential as a hitter.  Like I said earlier, I like Rolen but right now he isn't better than anyone else at third.  Sad, but true.

4 Keep Phillips in the cleanup spot and hope Heisey or Lewis can get going in the two spot.  Phillips gives Votto some good protection and he is hot so he can keep rallies going.  Leaving Gomes or Rolen in there will be the Reds downfall. 

5 Play Hernandez more.  I know they are saving his legs and Hanigan is a good defender, but Hanigan just doesn't do it for me at the plate.  He has a huge hole in his swing and he can't reach the outside of the plate.  Teams pitch him outside, get him leaning, throw inside and he has no chance.  I'm not even close to saying move him down for Mesoraco but if Devin keeps raking, maybe, just maybe.  But Hanigan handles the staff well so that really isn't an option. 

Let's look at the schedule for May quick...

Houston at home for one more
Three at Chicago
Three at Houston
Three at home vs. Cards
Two at home vs. Cubs
Two at home vs. Pirates
Ten on the road against Indians, Phillies, Braves
Three at home against the Brewers

Good and bad.  11 games against below .500 Central doormats.  I know the Reds usually struggle against them but the potential to get hot is there.  A nice home series against the Cards could get the Reds going.  That ten game roady is frightening.  We all want wins, but 5-5 through there would be fine with me.  Indians are hot, Phillies will shut the Reds out twice and the Reds always struggle against the Braves.  Hopefully everything is clicking for that trip or it could get ugly.  Just for fun, I'll say the Reds go 16-11 in those games and come out in first place going into June.  Of course I could be way off, but you have to make a prediction right?

Let me know what you all think, I'd love to read some comments.  Need to know what eveyone else is thinking.  Til next time.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

NBA Second Round Playoff Preview....

First, a quick rundown of what we saw in the first round and how my picks ultimately went.  Not good I think.

Bulls vs. Pacers
Prediction...Bulls in five...Actual...Bulls in five...
Weird series.  Bulls seemed to be in control but they had to come from behind in three of their four wins.  And a couple of them looked improbable.  What does that say about the Bulls?  Who knows, it's hard to get up for first round games I think, but that shouldn't be the case for a young team like that.  Boozer didn't show up, Rose got injured.  Bulls won the series, but they can't be feeling as good as they did two weeks ago.

Heat vs. Sixers
Prediction...Heat in four...Actual...Heat in five...
Heat owned this series, they weren't going to lose.  Wade and LeBron are ruining the game with their whining and drawing fouls crap.  Ya, it gets the job done and they are winning because of it, but it is pathetic.  Sixers showed me a little bit though, they have some good young talent.  Thaddeus Young is a freak, dude can do everything.

Celtics vs. Knicks
Prediction...Knicks in seven...Actual...Celtics in four...
I don't think anyone saw this coming.  Knicks actually could have won games one and two, and should have won game one.  But they didn't, they lost interest, and got waxed by a veteran team.  They can say all they want about how they didn't have enough time to gel, but bottom line is that you got smashed at home in playoff games, that just screams of no effort.  Celtics look pretty dang tough right now.  But with Allen shooting the way he is, what do you expect?

Magic vs. Hawks
Prediction...Magic in five...Actual...Hawks in six...
I don't think anyone saw this coming either.  With last years beatdown, this result wasn't anywhere near anyone's mind.  But watching the games, the Hawks actually have a pretty good team when they want to be.  Howard played well but he just doesn't have a great supporting cast around him, which is why he probably won't be there in two years.  Oh well.

Spurs vs. Grizzlies
Prediction...Spurs in six...Actual...Grizzlies in six...
I feel like I should have predicted this.  Grizzlies just always seemed like they wanted it more than the Spurs.  The Spurs are done, their window has closed.  What a window it was though, four titles is four titles.  Randolph is awesome, I could watch that guy play all day.  He is so quick to get the shot off and he protects with his body so well.

Lakers vs. Hornets
Prediction...Lakers in five...Actual...Lakers in six...
Interesting series.  Lakers bench and Fisher just aren't good enough to stay with a guard like Paul.  Good think for them is that there really aren't any other guards like Paul.  So you win and you move on.  Kobe took it easy all series so he didn't waste any energy.  Lakers might have looked sluggish but that is about what we all expected.  First round win is a first round win, nothing more.

Mavericks vs. Blazers
Prediction...Mavs in seven...Actual...Mavs in six...
Should have been a five game series.  Mavs blew a 23 point lead with like 13 minutes to go in game four.  That doesn't happen, and should never happen.  Mavs look good.  Chandler brings a whole new dimension to that team, not to mention Dirk, he is really good.  Blazers are in trouble for the future I think, they just don't have enough firepower.

Thunder vs. Nuggets
Prediction...Nuggets in six...Actual...Thunder in five...
I guess I was way off on this one.  I took a shot and failed.  Thunder have too much firepower and the Nuggets just have too many playgrounders.  Nuggets put up a fight but in the end, Durant is just too good.  My man crush on Gallinari swayed my view on this one, not my fault, he's Italian.

Ok, on to the second round preview.  Some great matchups really.  They all should be good.  We only had four series go six games in the first round, and no game sevens.  I predict two game sevens out of this round.  Lots of star players, should make for a really good watch.  We'll check in every couple of days to see how it is going.


1 Chicago Bulls vs. 5. Atlanta Hawks
Bulls should be able to take this one because of Rose and their defense.  But when I look at their players, player by player, the Hawks just might have more talent.  Horford and Crawford are playing great.  Johnson and Smith just do what they do.  Hinrich is a great compliment to them and they have some decent bench guys.  Boozer needs to step it up, and Rose is fine.  Deng is showing that he can be a very good three man for the Bulls.  Noah might be the key to this round because the Hawks don't have enough guys to bang down low.  Zaza Pachulia?  Please.  If the Hawks can steal a road game, this could get interesting.  I see it being sort of quick though.  I'll be rooting for the Hawks though, maybe.
Bulls in 5.  Boozer has a big series and the Hawks roll over in game 5.

2 Miami Heat vs. 3 Boston Celtics
The series everyone has been waiting for since the first game of the year.  Remember how the Celtics just dominated the Heat and everyone said the Heat couldn't beat them all year?  Well now we get to see it.  The X factor for the Heat will be their three point shooters.  If Jones and Chalmers can hit the open shot, they can definitely take this series.  You know Allen will get his and Pierce and Garnett will have decent series.  Rondo is an X Factor too.  He just can't shoot, but he can get to spots that most guys can't.  Wade will continue to score and Lebron will play second fiddle to him and probably won't have a great series.  That guy just doesn't have the IT factor.  He just doesn't.  He is obviously a freak and is one of the best in the game, but he has a deer in headlights look on his face a lot.  It is easy to get in his head.  You can't get into Jordan or Kobe's head, not even close.
Celtics in 7.  Allen blows up in a few games and Celtics win game seven on the road.


4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 8 Memphis Grizzlies
Interesting series.  I don't think anyone saw this second rounder coming.  And I'm not ready to call for the upset but I think this one will be really good.  Grizzlies have the edge down low I think.  I know Perkins is good and Ibaka is a really good athlete.   But as far as just going downlow and one on one moves, the edge goes to Zach and Gasol.  Conley is a really solid point guard but Westbrook has a couple inches on him and might be able to get to the paint easily.  How will Tony Allen do against Durant?  That is the big matchup.  If Allen can make Durant work every possession, the Grizz might be able to steal a road game.  X Factor will be Harden.  If he can hit the open three when Durant is double and Westbrook kicks out, then the Grizz might be in trouble.  But if Battier can stay on him and impose his veteran presence, who knows.  This one is a whole lot closer than the media will let you believe.  This will be a fun series because the Grizz want to slow it down and the Thunder definitely do not. 
Thunder in 7.  Westbrook has a bigger series then Durant and the Grizz show they just don't have enough depth right now.

2 Los Angeles Lakers vs. 3 Dallas Mavericks
Seen this one before.  Normally I would say the Lakers will roll but I don't see Gasol doing anything close to what he use to do.  He is just a little bitch and can't get his shots off in the playoffs.  He doesn't go hard enough and he just gets outworked.  Fisher is a good guard but he is just way too slow anymore.  Add in Artests overratedness and the Lakers weak bench and this has Kobe series written all over it.  I can see Chandler stopping Bynum.  Ugggh, this one scares me a lot.  Good thing Kidd is old and slow otherwise the Lakers would be in huge trouble.  I'm actually going to go with a wild guess on this one.  I see the Lakers showing up in this series and winning games late and killing the Mavs confidence.  You can also get in Dirks head, when he's hot, he's awesome, when he's not, he turtles.  Odom will also have a good series, they really don't have anyone to matchup with him, especially if Butler tries to play and doesn't have the endurance.
Lakers in five.  Kobe averages over 30 a game.

So far the playoffs have been awesome.  Yes I know the college march madness tourney is about the best way to do any tournament but the NBA Playoffs is right up there too.  Lots of intense games and with the shot clock, you are never out of it if you are within ten, see Bulls games.  These matchups will bring some intense final minutes because every team has star, go to players that can produce in the clutch.  It'll come down to who is hotter.  I don't see many blowouts at all. 

Ok, so we'll see how this goes.  Games start Sunday afternoon.  Big game ones.  You can't lose those at home and expect to win the series, it just doesn't happen very often.  Let me know what you guys think will happen.