Monday, December 16, 2013

NCAA Non Dancers (First Edition)

It's mid-December and we are over a full month into the college basketball season.  You know what that means, it's time to start knocking off some teams from the NCAA College Basketball Title Chase.  There are a whopping 351 Division I teams this year.  I have 12 that are officially eliminated from the hunt.  Here they are, and the reason why they can't dream of hoisting the trophy...

SCHOOL                         CONFERENCE       REASON
Massachusetts-Lowell       America East             First year Division I
Northern Kentucky            Atlantic Sun              Second year Division I
NJIT                                   Independent              6 losses, won't receive At-Large Bid
Florida International          Conference USA       NCAA Sanctions
Grand Canyon                    WAC                         First year Division I
Incarnate Word                   Southland                  First year Division I
Abilene Christian               Southland                  First year Division I
New Orleans                       Southland                  NCAA Sanctions
Nebraska-Omaha                Summit                     Second year Division I
Mississippi Valley State     SWAC                      NCAA Sanctions
Arkansas-Pine Bluff           SWAC                      NCAA Sanctions
Grambling State                 SWAC                      NCAA Sanctions

I know what you are thinking because I was thinking the same thing, who in the hell are Incarnate Word and Grand Canyon?  I have no idea, but they are now Division I Schools.  Big game tonight for Incarnate Word, they host Open Bible.  Seriously, that is a matchup tonight.  Is that a rivalry game?  If not, it should be.  We'll get more into this when the year turns to 2014, but for now we have 239 teams with a shot at the title.  For the record, I have Arizona winning it all, everyone else is playing for second.  Who is your pick to win it all?  Any predictions for the season?  This should be a good year for college basketball, but hey, aren't they all?  Thanks for reading.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Post Week 10 Title Hopefuls

By my calculations, we have 10 teams left that have a shot at playing in the title game in January.  Here are the 10, along with why I still think they have a shot.  And I added a few more on why I don't think they have a shot at all. 

Rankings Per AP Poll on 11/3...

Obviously they are the best team and if they win out, they'll be playing for the title.

Closest game has been 21 points.  They have #6 Stanford remaining and a PAC12 Title Game if they win out. So if they win out, they are at least in the conversation.  Not saying they are in for sure because FSU could leap them, you never know.

Wins over two Top 10 teams will get you this high.  If they win out, they'll either be in the game, or in the conversation against Oregon.

Let me start this out by saying that I think the Buckeyes are very good.  Ok, now the bad part.  Opponents record is 35-41.  Only one team they have played is ranked, Wisconsin.  Their "biggest" win is against Northwestern (4-5).  They don't play anyone left that is ranked.  Michigan isn't going to help them out.  They need some help.  But they have received help in the past, so it's not totally out of the question.  Their best shot is to have Michigan State win out and then OSU beats them in the BIG10 Championship Game, that would boost them up to at least be in the conversation if only one team ahead of them lost.

Undefeated in the BIG12, but their biggest games are ahead of them.  They need some serious help, not having a Conference Title game is going to be the end of them if they end up winning out.

The Cardinal have already beat four teams that were ranked when they played them.  They have #2 Oregon on Thursday and still play a ranked Notre Dame team at the end of the season.  If they were to win out, they would play a PAC12 Title game which could only help.  I really think that if they won out and FSU lost, Stanford would jump OSU for the title game.  I'm sure you don't agree, but that's fine.

Only one loss and undefeated in the SEC.  If they were to beat Georgia, and then Alabama they would be in the SEC Title Game.  If they then beat a one loss Missouri, you better believe they would be right there in the conversation.

The Tigers still have Texas A&M on the schedule and if they were to win out, they would get Alabama in the SEC Title Game.  One loss SEC team with a win over Alabama will always have a shot at the title.

The Hurricanes are a longshot, but if they win out, they'll get FSU again in the ACC Title Game.  If a few things fell their way, like OSU and Oregon losing, they could be in the convo with a win over FSU and their only loss being at FSU.

This is the longest of longshots.  Undefeated in the BIG10 and their only loss was by 4 at Notre Dame.  If they win out they will be in the Top 10.  If they then could beat an undefeated OSU in the BIG10 Title game they could have a look at it if a few of the top dogs lost.  Longshot?  Absolutely, but I feel like they still have better than a 0% chance.


Florida State would have to lose to Syracuse and Wake Forest to get Clemson into the ACC Title game.  The chances of that happening is 0.  Without an ACC Title game win over Miami, they can't make it.  So they don't have a prayer.

Only one loss, and still have at Kansas State and Oklahoma State on the schedule.  But without a Big12 Title game, there is just no shot at all.

With two conference losses each, almost impossible to get to the SEC Title game.  Without that win, they got nothing.

Undefeated doesn't guarantee you a title shot, ask OSU in a month or so.

Big games in Week 11...

Doesn't get much bigger than this.  Stanford wins and we got ourselves a mess up top.

Baylor wins this one big and they will probably jump OSU.  Ha, maybe.

#10 LSU at #1 ALABAMA
Always a great game.  You better believe LSU thinks they can beat them.

My Championship Vegas Bets

Still have a real shot.

Need a ridiculous amount of help.

Already threw this slip away.

Haven't thrown it away, not sure why not.

Let's hear some agreements and disagreements.  How do you Buckeyes fans honestly feel this is going to turn out for your team?  Thanks for reading.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Teams Left After Week 7

Season is halfway over.  We have lost 105 teams in the title hunt.  21 teams still have at least a 0.1% chance at taking home the trophy.  Here are the teams that I still think have that chance...

Rankings from Sunday's AP Poll...

1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Clemson
4. Ohio State
5. Florida State
6. LSU
7. Texas A&M
8. Louisville
10. Miami
11. South Carolina
12. Baylor
13. Stanford
14. Missouri
16. Texas Tech
17. Fresno State
19. Virginia Tech
24. Auburn
27. Nebraska
28. Michigan State
31. Oregon State

14 undefeated teams remain.  12 are above.  Northern Illinois and Houston are also undefeated but they don't have a prayer.

How are my National Title Hopefuls doing?

Oklahoma State (4-1) (21)
Off week in Week 7.  Home vs. TCU in Week 8.  Still have three ranked teams to play on the schedule.  If every team in front of them completely collapses, they have a shot.  So basically, they don't have a shot.

Stanford (5-1)
Horrible loss on Saturday to the Utes.  Kills their chances.  They aren't totally out of it however.  They still have UCLA, Oregon State, and Oregon in their next three games.  If they win all three of those, they'll be back in the Top 5 for sure.  So is it a longshot now?  Of course.  But they are definitely not out of it.

South Carolina (5-1)
Pasted Arkansas on Saturday.  The Cocks look really good.  At Tennessee this week which should be a beatdown.  The loss by Georgia really helps out SC.  If the Cocks win out and Georgia loses another game, the Cocks will win the SEC East and will probably see the Tide in the SEC Championship Game.  If that all happens and they beat the Tide, they would be in the title game.  So again, longshot?  Ya.  But definitely still a shot.

Clemson (6-0)
Trap game on Saturday and they almost fell into the trap.  But they survived and advanced.  Now it's the game of the week next week, home against #5 Florida State.  If the Tigers can take that game, they will solidify their spot as the number three team in the nation. 

Week 8 Big Games
#5 Florida State at #3 Clemson
Biggest ACC game in a long time.  Winner sets themselves up as a legit National Title contender.
#24 Auburn at #7 Texas A&M
Winner still has a shot at the title.  Auburn hasn't lost in conference yet.  If they were to run the table, you better believe they'd be in it.  A&M with a loss already to Bama is kind of in trouble.
#9 UCLA at #13 Stanford
Lost a little luster with Stanfords loss.  Winner still has a shot, loser is done.
#22 Florida at #14 Missouri
If Mizzou can take this game they will be a Top 10 team.  Going to be tough without their starting QB.

Any thoughts on the list of contenders?  Or do you want to tell me that my four teams have zero shots?  Let's hear it.  Thanks for reading.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

National Title Hopefuls after Week 6

Six weeks in the books.  By my calculations, out of the 126 teams in Division I football, we have 26 teams left with at least a 0.1% chance of hoisting the trophy at the end of the season.  Here are the teams...

In order based on today's AP Poll Rankings...

1 Alabama
2 Oregon
3 Clemson
4 Ohio State
5 Stanford
6 Florida State
7 Georgia
8 Louisville
9 Texas A&M
10 LSU
12 Oklahoma
13 Miami
14 South Carolina
15 Baylor
17 Florida
18 Michigan
20 Texas Tech
21 Fresno State
24 Virginia Tech
25 Missouri
26 Auburn
28 Nebraska
30 Michigan State
NR Houston
NR Oregon State

How did my four title hopefuls make out in Week 6?

Held off a weak Kansas State team.  They are still ranked 22nd but I don't even have them in my list above.  I can probably tear that ticket apart.  Home vs. TCU next week.

Handled a pretty bad Kentucky team until a garbage time comeback made it a close score at the end.  Still ranked 14th in the AP.  Three straight roadies coming up against Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri.  Should be able to win those.  One slip up will lead to a thrown away ticket.

Big win over #15 Washington.  At Utah next week and then a big one at home against #11 UCLA.  Really liking this pick.

Beat the snot out of Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.  Boston College next week and then a huge one at home against Florida State.  Liking this pick also.

Week 7 Big Games
#2 Oregon at #16 Washington - Huge National Title implications.
#25 Missouri at #7 Georgia - Loser is out of the National Title picture.
#17 Florida a #10 LSU - Same here, loser is out of the race.

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dusty: The Scapegoat

So Dusty Baker has been fired as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.  How do you feel about it?  Are you pumped?  Are you upset?  Are you indifferent?  Seems like I've seen a lot of different reactions.  I have my own thoughts on this whole debacle.  Not sure where to start so I'll just ramble off some thoughts on Baker, the Reds, and the future.  Here we go...

First off, I'm fine with the firing.  This team had high expectations and they weren't met, so if there is a change, that is fine with me. 

I remember the day Dusty got hired.  I called Schmitmeyer and we both were angry, we were NOT fans of Dusty Baker.  I still wouldn't say I like him, but it's not his fault this team underachieved. 

Managers don't play, players do.  The manager puts the players in positions to succeed.  Dusty can only do so much.  He didn't make errors, hit into double plays, give up gopher balls, or make braindead plays on the base paths.  You can say, that's coaching.  I disagree.  When it comes to professionals, they know what to do, if they don't do it, that's on them.

On the same point, managers get too much credit when the team wins, and they get way too much blame when the team fails.  The reason why managers are fired so fast is because you can't fire the players.  I would love to get rid of some players on this team, but you just can't do it because of their contracts, or because they are an asset if you wanted to trade them.

That being said, I think for once the fans actually got the manager fired.  Jocketty said he thought Dusty would be back and he had one year left on his contract.  Walt said he would talk to the Castellini's when they got back to Cincy.  You wouldn't think the Reds, being a small market club, would fire a coach with a contract and have to pay two managers for 2014.  So when all of a sudden he was fired, it pretty much means that the ownership said they needed to get rid of Dusty.  I understand why they wanted to move on.  The fans don't want him there and in the end, they are the ones buying tickets.  I think Mr. Castellini could see this, and he made the call, with the help of the fans.

Speaking of fans.  When I see people tweeting and posting on facebook about how they are so happy and using exclamation points and crap, it makes me sick.  It's not like if they had a new coach they would have won in the playoffs.  If you think just changing the manager means you automatically would have won, that's laughable.  So are you happy they made a change?  Ok.  Are you happy because now the Reds will win for sure?  Wrong.

One more thing about Dusty.  If he had a twitter or facebook account I would tell him, Thanks.  Before he was with the Reds, the Reds were a mess.  We all know the history, they haven't had a good year since the 90's.  He came in and took them to the playoffs three out of four years and won two division titles.  You can hate the guy, whatever, but you need to appreciate what he did for your favorite team.

Now for the next topic regarding the firing.  Who do they hire next?  I have my thoughts on that topic...

First off, NO LARUSSA!  The end, let's not bring that up again.

I have been reading people mentioning Barry Larkin.  Look, I like Barry Larkin, I named my dog after him.  But if you hated Dusty because he was too easy on the players and was a player manager, then you don't want Barry Larkin.  He would be worse than Dusty in that department, he just wants to be everyone's friend, which is fine for a man, but not as a manager.

Another Reds great that is being tossed around is Joe Morgan.  If you hated Dusty because he is too old school and won't adjust to the new school, then you don't want Joe Morgan.  He's as old school as it gets.  Plus, I've read multiple times that there are a few players that don't care for Morgan, so I don't see that happening, and I hope it doesn't.

Some people like the idea of bringing in a "buttkicker".  I think this is an awful idea.  Look at the players the Reds have, do you really think they are going to respond to a buttkicker?  I doubt it.  If you ask me, those kind of guys don't do any good in pro sports.  The players make more money than them in most cases, they aren't going to listen to a guy that screams and throws fits.  Everyone acted like Dusty needed to throw a chair or call someone a pussy.  Really?  You think Frazier was going to say, "Damn, Dusty is pissed, I guess I better not swing at that curveball in the dirt."?  Hell no.  Look around the league, find a manager that is known for being a hard ass.  There aren't many, if any.  Ozzie Guillen tried it, that didn't work out.  Some say Girardi is like that.  He's not. 

Speaking of Girardi.  The Reds aren't going to pay him 8 million dollars when they already owe over 3 million to Dusty.  It's just not going to happen.  Speaking of paying two managers, this might kill the idea of signing Choo even more.  If they weren't sure if they would have enough money, now they are screwed even more. 

One more thing about the hard ass manager discussion.  How fast do you think Phillips would ask for a trade if they hired a manager that yelled at him and told him to knock off his antics?  One, maybe two weeks?  Phillips isn't going to change, he is what he is.  If those hard ass managers work, it's when you have young players that haven't been there.  The Reds have some young guys but they have all played multiple years in the majors, they are basically all veterans.

So who do you want then Curt?  Well, I think they should stay inside the organization.  This team has a good nucleus of players that have been together for a few years.  Most of the best players have at least two, if not more years left on their contract.  Some would say the Reds have a two to four year window left to win it all.  If that is the case, then why bring in someone new that doesn't know the team?  Because of this, I say they go with Brian Price.  He knows the team, the pitching staff loves him.  I've read that he has been known to get on the players and hold them accountable, which is what they need.  Some say they should go outside the organization to get a change in there.  I think they say that because they think everyone thinks like Dusty that is on the staff.  That isn't true.  It's not like Price is a disciple of Dusty.  Price coached at a few other franchises before coming to Cincy, four years ago.  He doesn't coach just like Dusty, he would be a new voice that the players are familiar with and will want to win for. 

So do you agree?  Do you disagree?  Who do you want to be the new manager?  Love to hear your thoughts.  Thanks for reading.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Predicting the Wild Card Roster

Here is my shot at the Reds 25 man roster for the Wild Card Game on Tuesday night.  After that we'll take a look at what I think the starting lineup should be.  Let's get right to it...

Johnny Cueto
Homer Bailey

I'm pretty pumped that Cueto is starting.  He has a lot of confidence against the Pirates.  I also read somewhere that he felt really bad about getting hurt and felt like he let his teammates down.  Now he gets a chance to make up for it.  He'll be on the top of his game for sure.  You need a second starter in case something freaky happens like last year with Cueto.  Bailey would be on four days rest so I think he would be that guy.  And he does have a no hitter at PNC park, so he's not a bad second option.

Aroldis Chapman
Sean Marshall
JJ Hoover
Sam LeCure
Zach Duke
Manny Parra
Alfredo Simon
Logan Ondrusek

I say they go with eight relievers.  The above names would give them four lefties and four righties.  I was hoping Cingrani would be in there but they sent him out to Arizona to get some work in.  I really don't see any other options here.  Maybe they add one and put Leake in there to be an extra longman and hitter in case the game went 13 innings or something, but I doubt it.

Ryan Hanigan
Devin Mesoraco

I thought about adding Corky Miller here also, that way they could start Hanigan and use Mesoraco as a pinch hitter if needed.  I don't think that is going to happen however, but it might.

Joey Votto
Brandon Phillips
Zack Cozart
Cesar Izturis
Todd Frazier
Jack Hannahan

Nothing to see here, been the same guys all season.  And no September callups have done anything to even warrant a thought by Jocketty or Baker.

Ryan Ludwick
Billy Hamilton
Shin Soo Choo
Jay Bruce
Xavier Paul
Chris Heisey
Derrick Robinson

Same with the outfielders, really nothing to see here either.  Hamilton and Robinson really give the Reds some speed off the bench and Paul and Heisey provide bench pop.  Not that they'll ever get a big hit, but they at least provide the chance to get a big hit.


Shin Soo Choo  CF
Brandon Phillips  2B
Joey Votto  1B
Jay Bruce  RF
Ryan Ludwick  LF
Todd Frazier  3B
Zack Cozart  SS
Ryan Hanigan  C
Johnny Cueto  P

You may not like Ludwick right now, but he has had recent success against Liriano and you aren't going to start Hamilton, Heisey, or Robinson in this game.  I think Bruce should always be batting fouth.  With Ludwick's success against Liriano, maybe that gets Bruce one extra good pitch to score some runs. 

So what do you think the roster will look like?  Any suggestions on the lineup?  At least I hope we can all agree that we just want to see one good game.  One good start.  One big hit.  One big K in a big spot.  Just something to get them to Thursday.  This team is too good to go out like this.  C'mon Reds, make us happy.  Thanks.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Does Your Team Still Have a Shot?

After five weeks of the college football season we have a lot of teams that have no chance of winning the National Title.  Most of those teams never had a shot, we all know that, but now they literally have no shot.  By my calculations, there are 85 teams with a 0.0% chance of winning the title.  There are 126 teams in Division I this year so that leaves 41 teams with at least a 0.1% chance of winning it all.  Some of these 41 teams would need almost every single thing to go there way to even have the slightest of prayers, but I don't want to say a team is dead and then have them come back alive.  Make sense?  Here are your 41 teams that can go to practice this week with at least a shot at playing for the title in January.  Is your team on the list?

Florida State
North Carolina State
Virginia Tech
Georgia Tech
Texas Tech
Michigan State
Ohio State
Fresno State
Oregon State
Arizona State
South Carolina
Ole Miss
Texas A&M

If you remember earlier this season, I said I put some money on four teams to win it all.  Here is where they stand...

Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-1)
With the loss to West Virginia today, and no title game in the Big 12, they have no chance.  Haven't ripped up the ticket just yet, but if you look above, I don't have them in the alive category.  They are dead, no chance.

South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1)
Still have a shot, but it's a longshot.  If they can win out and get to the SEC title game, they could have a look at it.  But the only way they get to the SEC title game is if Georgia loses two SEC games, I don't see that happening.

Clemson Tigers (4-0)
In three weeks they have Florida State at home and then they end with a game at South Carolina.  If they run the table, and play an undefeated Miami team in the ACC title game, they could make the National title game.  I feel like this one has a shot.

Stanford Cardinal (4-0)
They have #16 Washington, #13 UCLA, #2 Oregon, and #22 Notre Dame all on the schedule, and all at home.  If they can run the table, they will definitely have the points to get them into the title game.  I like the looks of this one also.

20 teams remain undefeated after five weeks.

Any teams that you think still have a shot?  Or teams that you don't think should be alive?  Thanks for reading.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

And Down the Stretch We Come!!!

We have finally reached the home stretch of the MLB Regular Season.  For weeks now, I've heard people talking about this time of the season.  Where will the Reds be when they play the Pirates 6 times in the last 9 games?  Will it be for the division?  Will it be for the home Wild Card game?  Will it be for a playoff spot at all?  The answers to those questions are; maybe, yes, and God I hope not.  First here is a look at the standings and who everyone has left.  Then we'll just visit a few thoughts on where we are, where we might be, and the season in general.


88-65  PIRATES             1 GB
87-66  REDS                   2 GB

Remaining opponents: Each series is 3 games.

at Milwaukee Brewers

at Chicago Cubs
at Cincinnati Reds

at Pittsburgh Pirates


1. I think the Cardinals will lose 4 games the rest of the way.  Sounds like a pipe dream, but I really feel that way.  Milwaukee has been hot lately, so losing 2 there would not be surprising.  Then they get the Nationals who will probably still mathematically have a chance at a Wild Card spot.  And if you haven't noticed, the Nationals are scorching right now, having won 21 of their last 28 games.  Then they have their rival to close it out.  The Cubs would love nothing more then to crush the Cardinals spirits.  The Cards are good, and definitely in the drivers seat to win this, but their last 9 games are not easy by any means.  5-4 is my prediction.

2.  So that means the Reds need to go 7-2 to catch them.  Can they do it?  Yes.  Will they do it?  No idea.  Bailey and Latos are hot right now, so I could see them taking 4 games themselves the rest of the way.  If they take 2 of 3 in each Pirates series, and sweep the Mets, that's 7 wins.  It's there, the math works if the Cardinals agree to help them out.

3.  How badly are the Pirates freaking out right now?  They just about got swept in a 4 game series at home by the San Diego Padres.  That loss on Wednesday had to be so crushing to the players and the fans.  Up in the ninth with 2 outs and the Padres get 3 straight hits to stun them?  Wow.  If the Reds take Game 1 on Friday night, they are going to be like a deer in headlights.  If the Reds can sweep them here and the Nationals stay hot?  Uh oh.

4.  One more thought on the Nationals.  Root for them this weekend against the Marlins.  If they can stay in it, they'll go for broke to beat the Cardinals.  If they fall off, then they might throw in the towel.  Of course if the Reds lose the first 2 and the Nationals win the first 2, then root like hell for the Nationals to lose.  I don't want to go through that nightmare.  And if you weren't aware, the Nationals are currently 5 games behind the Reds for the last Wild Card spot.

5.  So the Reds are 2 games behind the Cardinals for the division lead.  We can all think of 2 games that the Reds have given away this year.  Heck, I can think of 5 or 6 right off the top of my head.  But you know, if they had just won 1 more game against the Cards, they'd be tied.  So think back to that 16 inning game a couple of weeks ago.  Or that game in St. Louis where the Reds led 4-0 and Craig hit a granny in the 7th.  Crazy that the result of 1 game looms so large. 

6.  I've been saying it since Monday, that loss on Sunday to the Brewers is going to haunt the Reds the rest of the year.  I just know it.

7.  Quick thoughts on Billy Hamilton.  First off, dude is lightning fast.  Second, I am so amazed at the way he reads the pitcher.  The pitchers right leg bends to begin to throw over and he's always on his way back.  Pitcher raises his left leg, he's already gone.  If you haven't played baseball, you have no idea how hard and nerve racking that is to stare at the pitcher and react to his first movement.  And if you have, you know what I'm talking about.  Third, if you hit behind Hamilton, and he's on first, you know you are getting a heater.  The pitcher doesn't want to throw a slider and waste .001 seconds with Hamilton running.

8.  Jay Bruce is third in the NL in home runs, second in doubles, second in RBI's, first in extra base hits, and most definitely going to get a Gold Glove Award.  So I ask, if Jay Bruce gets hot and carries this team to a division title, does he get real consideration for the NL MVP Award?  I don't think he wins it, but he should be in the Top 5 when it's all said and done.

9.  Because I know people like Magic Numbers.  Here is where the 3 NL Central teams stand with 9 games to go...
Cardinals have a magic number of 9 to win the division and a magic number of 3 to clinch a playoff spot.
Pirates have a magic number of 4 to clinch a playoff spot.
Reds have a magic number of 5 to clinch a playoff spot.

10.  So what do I honestly think will happen?  I think the Reds will take both series from the Pirates.  I think the Reds will lose 1 to the Mets and go 6-3 the rest of the way.  Cardinals will lose 4, like I stated before, and ultimately finish 1 game ahead of the Reds.  The Pirates will lose another game to the Cubs and finish 3-6 the rest of the way.  That's not enough for the Nationals to catch them.  So October 1st, we'll see the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Wild Card Game. 

Let's hear it Reds fans, what are your predictions?  Can't wait for Friday nights game.  Haven't been this excited about a game in awhile.  Thanks for reading.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

National League Picture 9/8 (Three Weeks to go)

Some numbers and notes going into Sunday, September 8th regarding the NL Central and NL as a whole...

Braves by 13 - Magic Number to clinch division is 9.  Magic Number to clinch the one seed is 20.

St. Louis leads the Pirates by 0.5 a game and the Reds by 1.5 games. 
Pirates and Reds magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 13.
Pirates magic number to clinch their first winning season in 22 years is down to 1.

Dodgers lead by 11 - Magic number to clinch the division is 11.

Reds are hot right now, having won 5 of 6, and three straight.  1.5 games is the closest they have been to first since May 29th.  Their schedule for the next week or so looks very favorable also with the Cubs, Brewers, and Astros in order.  Let's take a look at the schedule breakdown for the Reds, Pirates, and Cardinals the rest of the way.

REDS (19 Remain)
10 Home Games, 9 Road Games
7 Against Winning Teams, 12 Against Losing Teams
6 of the last 9 against the Pirates

PIRATES (21 Remain)
11 Home Games, 10 Road Games
10 Against Wining Teams, 11 Against Losing Teams
6 of the last 9 against the Reds
7 remaining against the Cubs

CARDINALS (20 Remain)
13 Home Games, 7 Road Games
4 Against Winning Teams, 16 Against Losing Teams

Doesn't take a genius to see who has the edge the rest of the way.  Cardinals schedule is setup perfectly for them.  Here is where the three teams stand on the season against each other.  Head to head records will be used to break ties, so these records matter.

6-7 against the Pirates (6 remaining)
8-11 against the Cardinals (DONE)
14-18 Overall

7-6 against the Reds (6 remaining)
10-8 against the Cardinals (1 remaining)
17-14 Overall

11-8 against the Reds
8-10 against the Pirates (1 remaining)
19-18 Overall

If the Reds can go 4-2 or better against the Pirates in the last six, then each team would have a head to head advantage on another team.  So it's pretty even overall, but the Reds are the losers at this stage in the game.

How has each team in the Central done since August 7th (calendar month)?  One has picked it up, once hasn't...

Reds          19-11
Cardinals  16-14
Pirates       13-16

So in that span the Reds have picked up 5.5 on the Pirates and 3 on the Cardinals.

I took a look at the schedule for the last day of the season, and I would think there is about a 99% chance that the Pirates at Reds game will be the Sunday nighter.  That has a chance to be a huge game.

Big game tonight between the Dodgers and Reds.  Reds trail the Dodgers by three games in the standings.  If they can win tonight it will be down to two, and the Reds would hold the tiebreaker with a 4-3 season series win.  This is significant because if the Reds were to win the division, they could get the two seed over the Dodgers and get homefield in the first round.  But ya, that didn't mean much last year, so who take it for what it's worth.

Oh, and let's not act like Latos didn't try to hit Puig.  Remember the way he threw his arms in the air when he hit that walkoff when they were in LA?  Latos did, and he drilled him.  Latos is the man.  If he wasn't a Red, I wouldn't like him, but he is, so I do. 

Astros, Marlins, White Sox, and Cubs have been eliminated, 26 remain.  Three weeks to go, cmon Reds.


Friday, September 6, 2013

NFL Preview 2013

The other day I was watching ESPN, and between stories about Manziel deserving a million dollar paycheck and some old guys getting money for playing football, I decided to go through the entire NFL schedule and write down each teams record.  I just flat out said, who will win this game, and who will lose.  Here is what I came up with as far as records, along with what I think will shake out in the playoffs in this upcoming NFL season...

13-3  Patriots
6-10  Bills
4-12  Jets
4-12  Dolphins

10-6  Bengals
8-8    Browns
6-10  Steelers
5-11  Ravens

13-3  Texans
11-5  Colts
6-10  Titans
4-12  Jaguars

12-4  Broncos
9-7    Chiefs
6-10  Chargers
6-10  Raiders

Some things that stand out in these regular season predictions...

Looks like I'm really down on the Steelers and Ravens.  Sorry, but how lucky can the Ravens get?  It has to run out sooner or later, and they just seem to have gotten worse, not better.  The Steelers have been on a downward spiral for a couple years now.  I think this is where they complete fall off.

Colts are going to have a huge year.  With Luck at the helm, they will be in every game.  He is so cool and calm under pressure that the Colts will pull out a lot of close games in the end.

Chiefs will have a good year, they play the Chargers and Raiders four times, so that helps.  I see them getting the final Wild Card.

I have the Broncos at 12-4.  I just didn't want to look like too much of a homer, but I don't think they'll lose a game.  19-0.

Chiefs at Broncos
Colts at Bengals

Broncos at Texans
Bengals at Patriots

Bengals at Broncos

BRONCOS to the Super Bowl

9-7    Giants
8-8    Redskins
7-9    Eagles
6-10  Cowboys

10-6  Packers
10-6  Lions
9-7    Bears
8-8    Vikings

12-4  Falcons
10-6  Saints
10-6  Panthers
4-12  Buccaneers

11-5  49ers
9-7    Seahawks
8-8    Rams
2-14  Cardinals

Some things that stand out in these regular season predictions...

I like the Panthers this year.  I think they get the final Wild Card.  They had so many close games go the wrong way last year, it'll probably even out this year.  And last year you could tell Cam was staying in the pocket more than normal, he was probably told to do that.  I think the Panthers realized it didn't work, look for him to be running around like he did in his rookie year, and it'll be successful.

Cowboys are going to be dismal.  Other than Dez, they don't have a lot of weapons.  Murray is so injury prone.  Witten is old.  Austin isn't what he was.  Romo will have to do too much, and it's going to be bad for him I believe.

Cardinals are going to be the worst team in the NFL.  Why?  Not totally sure, but almost every game I looked at, I found it very hard to find some wins for them.  Peterson could win a couple on his own I guess.

I have the Lions missing out on the last playoff spot, but I think they'll be strong like they were two years ago.  Bush and Calvin will have monster years, along with Broyles once he gets going.

Panthers at Packers
Saints at Giants

Packers at 49ers
Giants at Falcons

Packers at Falcons


Peyton Manning - I mean the guy is on pace for 103 Touchdown passes.  I think that would nail down the MVP Award.


1.  Von Miller will lead the AFC in sacks, even though he is missing the first six games.

2.  The Super Bowl will be worse than people are expecting, it'll be a snowy nightmare.  Which in turn will make it one of the most memorable Super Bowls ever.

3.  Two coaches will get into an actual fight when shaking hands after a game.  I'm going with Harbaugh and Fisher.

4.  Brady will have a down year and will finally blow up on Bill for not getting him enough weapons to be successful.

5.  Tim Tebow will be picked up by a team and score a meaningful TD in a playoff game.  My prediction?  I think the Bengals, as a fullback.

D'Angelo Williams
Bilal Powell
Daniel Thomas
Mike Williams
Randall Cobb
Alshon Jeffery
Julius Thomas
Jared Cook
Tyler Eifert

Arian Foster
Frank Gore
Demarco Murray
Mike Wallace
Larry Fitzgerald
Anquan Boldin
Jason Witten
Antonio Gates
Aaron Hernandez

So there you have it, my NFL Preview.  Would love to hear from you Bengals and Browns fans on what you think of the records I predicted.  And feel free to call me a homer, that's fine.  At least this year my homerdom is probably justified.  I guess we'll see.  Thanks for reading.


Monday, September 2, 2013

10 Thoughts from the Weekend

Just some thoughts from this weekend as I sit here and watch the rerun of the BET Awards...

- It was 1000 degrees at Papa John's stadium.  Miserable game, Bobcats got humiliated.  Solich was way too conservative.  First two possessions were three and outs with one pass and five runs up the middle.  Three of Bridgewater's five TD's were to guys so wide open no one was within ten yards.  That's not getting beat, man on man, that's either bad coaching or bad execution.  If they can get that cleaned up, they'll still have a very good year.

- I'm a fan of Johnny Manziel.  Dude is slick, and I have no problem with the swagger he plays with.  I liked to play the same way, some people don't like it, but to me it's fun.  Like I always said when I played, I'm not going to start anything, I never look for that, but if someone wants to talk, I'll talk.

- All four of my picks to win it all in College Football survived Week 1.  Oklahoma State with a decent win.  Stanford survived the bye.  South Carolina won handily on Opening Night.  Clemson with a huge win.

- Great win by the Reds Monday.  Three more and we got a whole new ballgame with 20 games to go.  Everyone on the team is getting it going right now, except for my man Votto, ugggh, this guy.

- Mat Latos is an ace, and should finish top three in the Cy Young race this year.  Reds have to pay him long term, but if they do, how can they pay Bailey also?  Will be interesting.

- Had a fantasy draft on Saturday.  Took Peterson, Demaryius Thomas, Peyton Manning, and Eric Decker with my first four picks.  So ya, as long as the Broncos score points, it'll be a fun year.

- Louisville is no slouch when it comes to the college coeds.  Pleasantly surprised by the quality and quantity on campus.

- Tebow cut.  He needs to come out and say he doesn't want to play quarterback anymore.  He's had his chances, it's not going to happen.  If he was available to play another position, I would want the Broncos to get him right now.  Could you imagine a third and one, hand off to Tebow, he trucks some linebacker in the hole, gets the first, pops up, excites the crowd, it would be awesome.  I'm all for Tebow doing that, so why doesn't he do that for some team?

- With four weeks remaining in the baseball season, only one team has been officially eliminated.  But, if you look at ESPN's playoff percentages, nine teams have over 90%.  There will be a couple division races that come down to the wire, but in a week or two, there won't be very many teams still in the running for a playoff spot, too many teams are running away with it.

- Three days until Broncos - Ravens.  Starting to stress out a little bit.  Taking Friday off.


Friday, August 30, 2013

College Football Preview

Well, here were are, another college football season is upon us.  What on earth could happen this year?  Will it be chalk again, or will some longshot emerge?  Will a favorite win the Heisman, or will someone step up and steal it, a la Manziel?  I polled 50 friends and came up with some interesting results.  I'll give you my thoughts on the poll results, along with some big games for the year, and a few bold predictions.  So without further ado, here is your college football season preview...


BRAXTON MILLER          23
AJ MCCARRON                  6
JOHNNY MANZIEL            4
AARON MURRAY              2
TAJH BOYD                        1
TJ YELDON                         1


Well, you can tell that me, and most of my friends live in Ohio.  Braxton Miller is the choice to win the Heisman according to this poll.  And, I hate to say it, but this is very possible.  The guy is shiftier than Shifty Shellshock himself.  He has an above average arm and he has a great offensive line.  When I think about Miller winning the Heisman, I think about how my buddy Nagel told me a few years ago that Miller didn't look good in the spring game and that he thought Braxton would be a bust.  Even the best scouts can't get them all correct, right Johnny?  Clowney has a chance just because of his hype.  All you hear is how the Heisman isn't fair because a defensive player can't win it.  Well, you know how the media works, if they have a chance to rally against something, they will.  If Clowney has a good year and carries the Cocks to a title, he'll win it.  McCarron and Yeldon have a chance if the Tide make it to the title game.  Are too many people sleeping on Manziel?  I mean he won last year, and has to be better, right?  Tyler Tettleton is probably the worst pick on here.  Aaron Schmitmeyer made that gem of a pick.  My pick is D'Anthony Thomas.  A receiver hasn't won since Desmond Howard in 1991, but this dude is about as fast and as quick as any player I have seen in a long time.  He'll get the ball a lot, and get it in space a lot.  If he rips off five to ten sensational plays and the Ducks make a run, he'll be on the top of the list at the end of the year.  I'm rolling with him and I think I have a good shot. 


ALABAMA               22
OHIO STATE            13
STANFORD                4
OREGON                     4
LOUISVILLE              1 
GEORGIA                   1
NEBRASKA               1
SYRACUSE                1
LSU                             1


The results show that the two hottest picks are the team that won last year, and the only team that went undefeated last year.  You guys have no imagination.  Alabama is the unsexy pick, but I understand why everyone is taking them, they never rebuild, they just continue to reload.  The Tide will always have a tough schedule because they play in the SEC, but even if they lose, the SEC is the only conference where you can lose and still make the title game.  Alabama is definitely the favorite this year.  Oh the Buckeyes, of course.  Will they go undefeated again?  With that schedule, they might.  At Michigan and at Northwestern are probably their toughest games.  They pulled enough out of their ass last year that they might get some bad luck to even it out this year, but I doubt it.  Oregon and Stanford received 16% of the votes.  Take a look at Oregon's schedule once, other than Stanford, they have a pretty easy walk to an undefeated season.  Stanford has five ranked teams on the schedule, but the three toughest games are all at home.  I picked Stanford for that reason, they have the home games, and a tough enough schedule to get up top in the BCS.  Georgia, LSU, South Carolina, and Florida State aren't bad longshots.  Louisville doesn't have a chance.  My wife took Nebraska, she must have caught the homerdom virus from you Buckeye fans.  Syracuse?  A good friend of mine named Bradley made that brilliant pick. 


1. Ohio at Louisville - I'll be there.  Tettleton back for his senior year.  Can they pull off another upset?
2. South Carolina at Georgia - Winner will be on the fast track to a BCS game, loser won't.
3. Alabama at Texas A&M - Can that no good, bad seed, Manziel, do it again?
4. Wisconsin at Ohio State - Will the Bucks get enough homer calls to pull it out?  We'll see.
5. Florida at LSU - Lots of punts, lots of college chics, lots of hopes go down in flames for one side.
6. Georgia at Florida - If either team is still undefeated, this will be crazy.  And ditto about coeds.
7. Oregon at Stanford - Could be the biggest Thursday night game in a decade.  No USF at Rutgers 2007 doesn't count.
8. LSU at Alabama - Of course everyone will be watching this one, right?
9. Nebraska at Michigan - Look at Nebraska's schedule, good chance they are undefeated going into this one.
10. Ohio State at Michigan - If I don't put this on here, people will get mad at me, and I'm not trying to make uneducated, ignorant fans mad.  Ooooh.


1. There will be no undefeated teams.  With a season like this, with so many teams with a chance to win it, I see total chaos in the BCS.  And why not, it's the last season for the BCS, so might as well go out with a bang.

2. There won't be enough bowl eligible teams for all the bowls.  I've always wanted this to happen, this is the year.  And I know that they would just let an under .500 team in, but it would still be funny.

3. A ridiculous individual record will be broken.  I'm thinking some running back runs for 400 yards, or a DB gets six interceptions in one game.  Something that will be remembered by all for a long time.

4. A team puts up 100 points in a game.  We've seen the games where a team has 30 or so in the first quarter and dials it down.  This year, the breaks fall the right way, and someone reaches the century mark.

5. Some analyst from ESPN will get in trouble for having a sex tape leaked.  My wife thinks it will be Herbstreit.  This is a ridiculous prediction, but one that I had to get in writing in case it happens.

There you have it, my college football preview.  Let's hear your bold predictions and thoughts on the upcoming season.  Thanks for reading.


PS This video is pretty legit, give it a watch. (And yes, about 35 seconds in, there's a sweet move by Braxton.)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Magic Numbers

Some important magic numbers in the NL with 30 games or less to go for all teams...

Cardinals  (29)
With 29 wins the team from St. Louis can clinch the NL Central.  Oddly, that would be their first Central title since 2009.  They won't win 29, but odds are, they'll win the division.

Reds  (24)
Cincinnati needs 24 wins from here on out to guarantee a Wild Card spot.  That is not the goal this season, but getting to the playoffs is the only way you can win the World Series.  If the Reds go .500 the rest of the way (14-14), the Diamondbacks would have to go 21-9 to tie them.  The odds of the Reds making it are really good.

Braves (27)
27 wins for the Braves to clinch home field throughout the NL playoffs.  They have been hot, but injuries are starting to mount, it'll be interesting to see if they get to that one spot.

Dodgers (21)
Only 21 wins are needed by the Dodgers to win the NL West.  If they only went 14-15 in their last 29 games, the Diamondbacks would still have to go 24-6 just to catch them.  That's not happening.

Pirates (5)
The pathetic team from Pittsburgh still needs five wins to avoid their 22nd losing season in a row.  Can they do it?  Or will we see the most epic collapse of all time?  If any team can do it, they can.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Temple Owls Basketball 1992-2013 Player Rankings

With it only being August, the 2013-14 Temple Owls basketball season is still three months away.  I could write a breakdown of what we are going to see in the upcoming season, but there is still plenty of time for that.  This young roster is leaving soon for a trip to Europe that can only help the development.  It will be interesting to see the kind of stories that come from this excursion.  So for this post, I say we dig into some Owls history.  I've been a fan of this team since 1992 when I was 11 years old.  I have seen a lot of players come through this school, some were unforgettable, some I wish I could forget.  I chose my favorite seven in each of six categories.  These are just my opinions on who I thought was the best in each category, along with my favorite players of my time as a fan.  So without further ado, here is a trip down memory lane.

(Players are listed in chronological order.)

Quincy Wadley
Lynn Greer
Alex Wesby
Brian Polk
Dionte Christmas
Juan Fernandez
Jake O'Brien

Three of these guys were part of one of my favorite Temple teams, the 2000-2001 squad.  Wadley, Greer, and Wesby were unstoppable when they were hot.  And boy did they get hot in the tourney.  Had a realistic shot of knocking off Michigan State to get to the Final Four, just fell a little short.  Brian Polk was a heck of a shooter.  Only got to play two years, but when he spotted up in the corner, I always thought it was going in.  Do I need to even say anything about Christmas?  Sometimes I don't even think he was looking at the basket when he let it fly.  Juan had his moments, but when he had a good look, he was money.  Jake O'Buckets, pure shooter, only wish he would have been an Owl for his whole career.  My favorite shooter in this time frame?  Have to go with Greer.  His step back was about as pure a shot I have seen in my lifetime.

Aaron McKie 
Rasheed Brokenborough
Lynn Greer
David Hawkins
Dionte Christmas
Ramone Moore
Khalif Wyatt

Brokenborough was one of my favorite players growing up.  He had the ugliest shot, it was literally "broken", but he could score.  His first couple of years he was counted on to put up points, and he did it pretty well.  Lynn could shoot the three, shoot mid range, get to the rack, and was automatic from the line.  Hawkins was fun to watch, but I don't know how good he really was.  He was the only player on those teams that could score, so he did what he could.  He shot almost every time down the floor, but he had to, so it was good for the team.  Dionte put up over 2,000 points in basically three years, he never saw a shot he didn't like.  We all know what Wyatt could do.  How many games did he just take over last year?  Too many to count.  He'll find a gig in the NBA just because he knows how to put the ball in the basket.  My favorite scorer in this time frame?  I have to go with Wyatt.  I never felt like the Owls were totally out of the game as long as Wyatt was on the floor, and most of the time, he came through.

Eddie Jones
Lynard Stewart
Mardy Collins
Dustin Salisbery
Mark Tyndale
Semaj Inge
Rhalir Jefferson

Temple isn't known for having the best athletes that can get to the rim and throw the ball down.  This was a much harder category than you would think.  I just had to think of the guys that have made me jump out of my chair at one time or another due to a slam.  These guys were all high risers.  Eddie had some of the longest arms I've ever seen on a basketball player.  Collins once threw one down against Miami that I think I rewound 30 times.  Tyndale had a few that had the Liacouras Center rocking.  I remember Inge going over a couple dudes during a game at Duquesne his senior year.  My favorite dunker during that era?  Not even a question, Eddie Jones.

Rick Brunson
Pepe Sanchez
Lynn Greer
Mardy Collins
Mark Tyndale
Ryan Brooks
Scootie Randall

All of these guys were leaders of their respective classes and teams.  And yes, it's just a coincidence that the first three were all lefty point guards, ha.  It's not a coincidence however, that each of these guys was the best perimeter defender on the team.  These guys not only played offense, but they did the dirty work on the defensive end to help their team.  Hell, Pepe was the A10 Player of the Year and he only took about 5 shots a game.  My favorite leader during this era?  Pepe for sure, he was the leader on the best team of that era, the 1999-200 squad.  It just always looked like Pepe was in control of the whole entire court at all times.

Marc Jackson 
Lamont Barnes
Kevin Lyde
Mark Tyndale
Lavoy Allen
Michael Eric
Rhalir Jefferson

Rebounding isn't a very fun stat, but I had to find a category to mention some of these guys.  I was always a huge fan of Lamont Barnes.  He always played under control and was in the right place at the right time.  Lyde was one of the biggest dudes out there, you just didn't think so because Rollerson was on the court at the same time.  Lavoy Allen was probably the best rebounder I have seen in a Temple jersey.  He could snatch a ball out of the air like he was wearing stick'em.  My favorite rebounder of the era?  Lavoy Allen, no doubt.  I sometimes found myself just watching him work down low without even caring where the ball was at the time.

FAVORITES (Not chronological order for this one)

7. Mardy Collins
I will always wonder what Collins could have done if he had better players around him.  He could shoot, he could get to the rim, he could rebound, and he could D it up.  Every team they played keyed on him the whole game.  I'm glad he made it to the NBA because he definitely had the game.  Where would the Owls have been during those down years if it wasn't for him?  I don't even want to know.

6. Pepe Sanchez
Too bad someone already had the Glove as a nickname because if it was available, they would have given it to Pepe.  Nobody could have been a better player at the top of the Temple zone.  He made the guards on the opposing teams so uncomfortable.  He couldn't shoot but he was an unbelievable passer.  One of my favorite memories is when the Owls came back from a ten point deficit against Michigan State in the last minute.  Pepe made two free throws with no time on the clock to win and he just fell backwards when the last one swished threw the net. 

5. Lavoy Allen
I remember the summer before Lavoy's first year.  I wanted to find some information about him, so I went to myspace and found his account.  Yeah, you can laugh, I am.  Anyway, he had a quote that said something like, if it wasn't for the rule, I'd be going to the league.  I thought, ok bud, you better show me something.  And it took about a month for me to think, this dude's the real deal.  He was never out of control, he always got better as a shooter.  His rebounding was immaculate.  He could block shots.  When Lavoy held up three fingers when the Owls won their third straight A10 Tourney Championship I thought to myself, Boy am I glad he chose Temple.

4. Khalif Wyatt
Like I mentioned before, I never once thought the Owls were out of a game as long as Khalif Wyatt was on the floor.  He pissed me off a lot at times, I couldn't stand the trying to draw fouls on wide open three point attempts and such.  But as much as he irked me, I respected him so much because of how hard he played.  I also respected him because he always got better.  You could tell he worked on it.  Clutch doesn't even begin to describe his game.  I hope I get to watch him play in the NBA someday.

3. Dionte Christmas
To me, Dionte Christmas will always be remembered as the guy that brought the Temple Owls back from the lowest of lows.  His freshman year was the lowest this school has been since I knew what Temple University was.  The energy he brought back to the team and the school cannot be measured.  When he got hot, he was scorching.  The Tennessee game is etched in my memory forever.  But, the game that I will remember the most is the A10 Championship game against St. Joe's.  When he got hot in the second half of that game, I was just thanking God that the Owls were back, and I will always credit Dionte for that.

2. Lynn Greer
Lynn Greer had it all, he could do anything on the court.  I remember telling my dad and his friends, just watch the Owls, and watch Lynn Greer.  They didn't care about Temple, but I had them watching Greer because he was so good.  One of my favorite memories of his was his freshman year when he drained five threes in the first half at #1 Cincinnati.  He broke his orbital bone later that year.  That was bad, but if it wouldn't have happened he wouldn't have been around for a fifth year.  That fifth year was the year they made the run to the Elite 8.  The Owls have had some big time scorers, but no one had the game to put up 47 at Wisconsin like Lynn did.

1. Eddie Jones
Eddie Jones is the reason I am a Temple Owls fan.  He was a top notch defender, a good shooter, a fantastic dunker, and just generally seemed like a good dude and teammate.  I have two of his Lakers jerseys, #6 and #25.  When you are in middle school and high school, you always have a favorite player and you try to emulate them.  Most were emulating Jordan, Iverson, Kemp, etc.  For me, it was Eddie Jones.  When I played high school basketball, the crowd actually chanted "Eddie, Eddie, Eddie" when I made a three, ha.  He's not only my favorite Owl, but probably my favorite basketball player of all time. 

So there it is, just a little trot down memory lane for me and probably some of you.  Let me know who some of your favorite Owls were, would love to hear it.  Hope you all enjoyed the post.  Thanks for reading.


Follow me on twitter @CurtOU

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Reds Myths Debunked

Last night was a debacle, end of story, let's move on.  Still a chance to win the series with two good games.  As in every walk of life, there are some things that people just believe because everyone talks about it and no one takes a minute to think if it's true or not. We call these myths.  Here are a few myths about this Reds team that to me, just aren't true at all.  I've probably wrote about these before, but here they are again.

You hear it all the time, "Very tough play by the infielder, especially with a fast runner like Phillips getting down the line", and every time it makes me cringe.  Phillips has to be the slowest black guy in Reds history.  If Mesoraco was starting and the starting eight position players had a race, I am very confident that Phillips would finish last.  He hits some of those weak hoppers that a guy like Stubbs would beat out by three steps, yet he is out by three steps, it's comical.  So yeah, next time you hear an announcer say he's fast, it's ok to laugh and point it out to your friends.

We keep hearing that the Reds can't keep Choo.  They can't afford him.  Well, that's not entirely true, there is definitely a way they can keep him.  Phillips and Votto will be getting a lot of money for a while, but guys like Marshall, Broxton, Chapman, Ludwick, and Cueto will be free agents in the next 2 to 3 years.  If you give Choo a long term contract, say 6 years, you can move that money to the end of the deal to make it easier the next few years.  You say, what about Bailey and Latos then?  Look, Bailey and Latos are in the top five of my favorite players on the team, but I really feel that one of them will be moved.  We just won't be able to afford them, especially if they sign Choo.  If the Reds wanted to trade Bailey for some prospects, they could get some good pieces.  They could put in Cingrani for almost nothing for three years, and then you have Stephenson that won't need to be paid for another five years.  Plus, you could go with Robinson or Paul in left, they won't demand high dollars, and maybe you get a good LF in the trade for Bailey.  I want to keep all of our studs, but a team like Cincinnati doesn't have that luxury.  Oh, and obviously signing Choo would mean the end of Hamilton, but you could trade him for a few prospects, maybe reload the bullpen and not pay Marshall and Broxton type money.  In the end, there is definitely a way to keep Choo, so saying he is gone for sure, is totally a myth.

You hear people say the Reds might keep Arroyo.  I like the guy, but sorry, that's not happening.  He already said he wants a three year deal, and as I mentioned before, with having to pay Latos and/or Bailey they won't be able to give him 12 million a year for three years.  Plus, you can stick Cingrani in there nothing, or try out Chapman who is already on the books.  Just don't see a way at all that Arroyo will be a Red next year.

The Cozart is Awful group is killing me this year.  Is he having a low productive year?  Yeah.  But he is not awful.  Back in the day, guys like Ozzie Smith, Walt Weiss, Jeff Blauser, etc., weren't great hitters, they were good defensive players up the middle that hit a little bit.  Cozart is on pace for a .240 average, 12 homers, and 50 RBI's.  There is nothing wrong with that when you have Choo, Phillips, Bruce, and Votto on your team.  Was he more exposed in the two hole?  Absolutely, but that's not his fault.  Cozart is still the future, don't let people tell you he's not.  He'll be fine.

Todd Frazier is the Reds third baseman of the future.  Man, I sure hope not.  Unless he just needs some new contacts or something.  He's 27 and has zero clue how to hit a curveball.  He knows this now so he is just lunging to make contact and as a result is an automatic double play with a runner on first.  He can hit the fastball, and can hit it deep.  But sooner or later, he won't ever see a fastball, what would be the point if you are an opposing pitcher?  If Latos or Bailey is traded, we better get a third baseman in the deal, because right now, the Reds future at that position isn't on the team.

The myth that seems like the biggest lightning rod these days is the one and only, pitch count.  Personally, I wish they would just take that stat off of the tv, it drives me crazy.  How on earth did pitchers survive the first 100 years without ever working on a pitch count?  You don't need to lose your mind when Dusty runs a pitcher back out there with 105 pitches in the 8th when he's struck out 10, it's going to be ok.  Would you rather have Simon come in and take out Bailey who is dominating?  Really, just because he has thrown 100 pitches?  If Dusty asks Homer, or anyone, if they still feel strong, then that's good enough for me.  How do people at home or in the stands know how the pitcher feels?  I understand that you can waste a guys arm by throwing him nine innings every start, I'm not an idiot.  But if a guy is at 109, I'm pretty sure number 110 isn't going to tear his elbow and end his career.  Calm down, it's going to be ok, these guys are pitchers, they do it for a living, they can handle ten more pitches.

Ok, had to get those off my chest.  I know everyone watches games with other people and you discuss these things, so tell me if you agree or not, or what the general vibe is in your group of friends.  I'll be at the game tonight, hopefully it's a win.  Thanks for reading.



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reds 2/3rds Poll

The Reds have only 53 games remaining in this roller coaster of a season.  This is pretty much the 2/3rds poll of the campaign.  Sitting at 60-49, Reds fans are torn between feeling positive and absolutely losing their minds with disgust.  I just don't see the losing their minds part, but hey, whatever.  Here is where they currently sit in the standings going into this big weekend series against the whiny birds.

5.5 Games out of first place in the NL Central
4 Games behind the Cardinals
4.5 Games ahead in the race for the final Wild Card

Here is quick breakdown of what lies ahead for the three teams in the NL Central race...

26 Home Games/28 Away Games
21 Games against teams winning records/37 Games against teams with losing records
6 Games against the Reds/9 Games against the Cardinals

St. Louis
32 Home Games/23 Away Games
27 Games against teams with winning records/28 Games against teams with losing records
9 Games against the Pirates/10 Games against the Reds

31 Home Games/22 Road Games
25 Games against teams with winning records/28 Games against teams with losing records
10 Games against the Cardinals/6 Games against the Pirates

Pirates have the most road games, but they play the easiest schedule.  All three teams play more games against teams with losing records then teams with winning records.  But obviously that is the case when there are only 6 teams with winning records in the NL.  Cardinals and Reds have about the same schedule left when it comes to home, away, and opponents winning percentage.  As you can see, there is a whole heck of a lot of games left between the three teams, so this will sort itself out quickly. 

I noticed some Walt bashers showing up in blogs and on twitter the last few days.  Saying things about Walt not making trades which means he doesn't care and they should be embarrassed.  This is wrong in so many ways.  The Reds have injuries, they'll be getting back five guys from the original 25 man roster before the season is over.  So that is like making trades.  Also, you can't say the Reds need a big bat because they can't hit.  It's baseball, every team has up and downs.  The Reds scored 36 runs in five games to start the road trip.  Then they had a stretch where they scored five runs in five games.  You can't just choose the bad games to make your conclusion, the good games count too.  Currently they have the fourth most runs in the NL.  Yeah, that's not great, but it's definitely not bad. 

I am reading that Ludwick might be back in the next week or so.  Here are my lineup suggestions when he returns.

Against a lefty....

When a righty is in, I think you go with Paul and Robinson until Ludwick shows he is ready to play everyday, which might not be until the playoffs.  Frazier clearly can't hit the curveball, he looks like he can't see the spin on the ball.  At least I hope that is the case, don't know what the other explanation would be for his awful swings at the curve.  Hitting in front of Votto would get him a few more fastballs and could help him get on base more.  I don't like putting Ludwick in the cleanup spot right off the bat.  If he struggles, that will get Votto walked even more than usual.  And no, I am not on board with moving Votto to the two spot.  You don't move your best hitter because the whole team is struggling, doesn't make sense.

I have more topics I want to hit but I'll wait to use them in a later post.  As I mentioned earlier, we have a huge series starting Friday night.  With the Cardinals struggling right now, the Reds have a chance to get it turned around.  Shelby Miller takes the mound, the Reds are better at hitting righties, it's no secret.  Bronson has been pitching well lately and seems to do better against teams in the division, I look for him to have a nice night.  We all want the sweep, but winning the series is the goal.  If you win every series the rest of the way, the division should be theirs.  We will be at the game Saturday night, looking forward to talking trash to some whiny bird fans.  Hope you enjoyed the read.  Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions.  Thanks.


Monday, July 22, 2013

South Park Top 5!!!!

Here they are, the Top 5 South Park episodes of all time, in my opinion of course.  I don't think I have ever come across one of these episodes and turned the channel.  I could watch them every night and never get tired of them.  Do you agree with the choices?  Let me know what you think. 


#5 Professor Chaos - Season 6
I personally wasn't a big fan of the Professor Chaos character, but the spoof on the Bachelor is what made this episode awesome.  Since Kenny "died" the boys needed a fourth friend.  They had 20 local boys tryout, a la the Bachelor.  Token, Timmy, Tweek, Jimmy, Towelie, and Pip made it into the final six.  Token won the talent contest by making his t-shirt look like a bra and danced, ha.  Jimmy got massive points because they got to skip ahead of everyone at the amusement park because Jimmy is crippled.  Jimmy then lost a lot of points because they had to shut down a ride because there was a cripple kid that needed assistance.  Towelie was eliminated because he's always too high to be counted on.  Timmy was eliminated because he's too self-centered, because all he says is Timmy.  Jimmy brought them a gift basket, he was eliminated for being a suck up.  Pip was eliminated because he asked where the tea and crumpets were at the baseball game.  So in the end, Tweek was the winner.  Watching Tweek stress out over every rose ceremony was another highlight.  I think he lasted about three episodes.  As for Professor Chaos, Butters did have some pretty funny pranks.  Switching peoples soups at Bennigans was my favorite, ha.

#4 Raisins - Season 7
Starts off with Bebe telling Stan that Wendy is breaking up with him.  Stan takes it hard, he cries in the rain.  Stan tries to get her back by having Jimmy talk to her for him.  Jimmy tries to tell Wendy that she is a continuing source of inspiration to Stan.  But Jimmy keeps stuttering and saying, Stan says you're a cunt..., Stan says you're a cunt.  HA.  Stan is down in the dumps so the gang decides to take him to Raisins to cheer him up.  Raisins is a knock off of Hooters.  The girls are all their age, and their names are Mercedes, Porsche, Ferrari, and Lexus.  The boys are all in love and Butters falls in love with Lexus because she shows him so much attention.  Her famous line is, Hey there cutie, which she says to every boy.  Stan thinks the only way to get Wendy back is to do something romantic.  So he stands outside her window and plays "Shock the Monkey".  She doesn't dig it, and she is actually in her room with Token.  Stan starts hanging out with the Goth kids who are all about non-conformity, but they get Stan to conform to their ways.  Butters parents meet his "girlfriend" at Raisins.  Butters mom says, Little girl, you shouldn't be working here.  But then Lexus is so dumb, Butters mom says, Well, maybe you should be working here.  When Butters is told by Lexus that they are not together, he cries.  He doesn't join the Goth kids because he says he'd rather be sad than hang out with faggy Goth kids.  Stan gets over it and calls Wendy a bitch and gives Token the finger, and says, Token, right here buddy. 

South Park

#3 Douche and Turd - Season 8
PETA has a problem with South Park having a cow as their mascot.  So the children get to pick a new mascot.  They think this is stupid and they try to be funny.  Cartman tries to get everyone to vote for the Turd Sandwich.  Kyle gets everyone to vote for the Giant Douche.  Those two win out and they have a pep rally for the students to see the new mascot contestants.  Every time I see Turd Sandwich come out to "Who Let the Dogs Out" I almost lose it.  And he has an olive on the sandwich, ha.  Giant Douche comes out to, "You All Ready for This?!?"  He then says, We like douches yes we do, we like douches how bout you??  Stan decides he doesn't want to vote.  He tells his parents at dinner and they are pissed at him.  But they end up getting pissed at each other because they can't agree on who should win, the douche or the turd.  Kyle gets Puff Daddy to come to South Park to convince Stan to vote.  Remember Puffy's Vote or Die Campaign,?  Ha.  The Vote or Die music video was beyond funny.  Favorite verse?  Shake them titties when you vote bitch.  Or maybe, You can't run from my .45 go ahead and try.  Or maybe, Vote or I'll slit your throat and you won't have a fucking voice.  Stan gets sent out of town for not voting.  The townspeople put him on a horse, spit on him, and force him to leave.  He makes it to a PETA compound where PETA gets pissed that he is riding a horse.  PETA lives like the animals, going to the bathroom on the ground and such.  One guy even mated with a llama.  PETA tells Stan that voting is always between a douche and a turd because those are the only people that suck up enough to make it that far in politics.  Puffy shows up and PETA throws a bucket of blood on his fur coat.  A shootout ensues, Stan escapes.  Stan votes for Turd Sandwich but it loses by a landslide.  Randy is proud of him for voting.  They then hear that PETA was murdered and they can keep the cow as their mascot.  Randy says, well, I guess your vote didn't count.

#2 Asspen - Season 6
This episode is great for so many reasons.  The music is spot on.  The parody of 80's movies is awesome.  Always stays on my DVR.  Definitely contemplated making it number one.  Starts off with the kids and their families going to Apsen  They get to go for free because the parents are sitting through a timeshare presentation.  Cartman gives Butters a "shitler".  When the ski instructor points it out, hilarious.  Hey little dude, you got some shit under your nose, ha.  The instructor shows the boys how to pizza and how to French fry.  Remember, if you French fry when you should pizza, you're gonna have a bad time.  Ike tries to ski and French fry's the whole way and flies into a building.  Subplot is that the parents keep getting roped into more meetings and can't get out.  The whole town is in on it, even the cops.  They threaten them and make the parents stay.  Tad, a local badass skier, taunts Stan and challenges him to a race because Stan stole his girlfriend, Heather.  Stan agrees to race, he loses as expected.  A girl invited Stan to the Aspen Youth Center.  They find out that Tad's dad is going to tear down the Youth Center.  The boys don't care.  Tad sings a song at the dance called, Stan Darsh.  He just keeps saying it until Stan flips out.  He challenges him to a rematch.  They agree that if Stan wins, they'll save the Youth Center.  They are going to race down The K13.  Some local tells them how no one survives the K13.  The boys try to talk Stan out of it, he says, He took Heather!!!!  So Stan practices and they have a montage.  The song is awesome.  Lines like, remind everyone of what's going on.  Always fade out in a montage.  If you fade out it looks like more time has passed, in a montage.  Tad is killing Stan in the race but he keeps setting up traps to slow down Stan.  Stan just ski's around them.  The nerdy girl from the Youth Center shows Tad her tits and distracts him.  Stan wins, he saves the Youth Center.  Heather wants Stan back, he doesn't care, he's never even met her.  The boys tell their parents Aspen sucks and they go back to South Park. 

#1 Guitar Queer-O - Season 11
The king of all South Park episodes.  The story is just perfect.  I watched it while writing this.  I had to cut out half of the stuff I wanted to write because there is just too much.  Episode starts out with Stan and Kyle playing Guitar Hero.  All the boys are there cheering them on.  Randy is confused because he can play the songs on a real guitar.  The boys don't care and think he is lame.  The boys break the 100K mark by playing "Carry on Wayward Son" by Kansas.  While playing, a guy shows up from Kincaid Talent Agency, he signs them to a contract.  One of the best lines is when the agent plays the song for his boss.  The boss says, That's these boys?  The agent says, No, but these boys scored 100,000 points, on expert level, in co-op mode.  Boss says, That's pretty God damned impressive.  They boys go to a sex and coke party in Denver.  Local celebrities are there including Jay Cutler.  Stan says, My dad says you kinda suck but you might be good someday.  Jay says thanks.  The host tells them that there is plenty of coke and sex in the house.  Stan and Kyle realize that they have finally made it in life.  The agent tells Stan that he can make 1 million points, but needs to lose Kyle.  He hooks up with Thad Jarvis, a brilliant Guitar Hero player.  He can play without the music and the game, just the guitar.  Kyle gets pissed and breaks it off with Stan.  He plays at a bowling alley called Mick's Lanes.  He plays songs like Every Rose has it's Thorn.  Mick gives him free Fresca's to play there.  Stan is stressed out about playing in front of people to try to break 1 one million points.  He starts to play a new game called Heroin Hero.  He gets hooked and stays up all night trying to catch the dragon.  Thad quits and Stan bombs at the show.  The agent yells, Listen to that video crowd, they hate you!!!  Stan wants another game, the store clerk offers him Rehab Hero, ha.  He decides on a driving game.  While driving he listens to the radio and the host talks about how some local boys use to play Guitar Hero to this song by Kansas, what ever happened to those boys.  To me, the best part is when Stan stops his car in the game, ponders, and then looks over his shoulder and drives backwards like he is going back to Kyle, ha.  He goes to the alley and gets Kyle back.  They play and score one million points.  The game says, You have played enough to score 1 million points, YOU....ARE.....FAGS!!!!

I read that this episode had over 4 million viewers and was the most watched South Park at that time.  But they got a lot of bad reviews.  Who in the hell would give that episode bad reviews?  US Weekly?

Thanks for reading.  Any suggestions for the next list?