Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Blockbuster Trade That Will Happen At the NBA Deadline

Take note of this right now. Even though you were directed to this page by the title either from Google, Twitter, or some other random site no one gives a shit about, what I'm saying in the title is not completely true. I'm no fortune teller. I can't solve your problems. What I can tell you is what's most likely to happen, and what you're gonna hear you'll never believe.

Boston Celtics Receive                      Los Angeles Lakers Receive          Houston Rockets Receive
Sam Dalembert                                              Rajon Rondo                                         Pau Gasol
Steve Blake                                                 Hakeem Thabeet                                    Mickael Pietrus
                                                                     Terrence Williams      

Why this trade works:

It's pretty simple. Boston wants Rondo to go. I have no idea why, because he's the only reason why their still alive in the playoff hunt right now. Anyways, Rondo would fit nice in Los Angeles. Could you believe how Kobe and Rajon would mesh with each other? Pretty well if you ask me.

Now you're asking, why trade Pau to Houston? The situation is almost exact with Pau as it is with Rajon, and Boston can't have two ball-hogging big men that play the same position; especially cause one of them is a future HOF'er. Pau could redefine himself and be the face of the franchise in Houston, or it could be a Lamar Odom situation where he's buffering around the D-League. If you ask me, I think Pau will make huge playoff implications in The H-Town.

Sam Dalembert will fit about as well as Kendrick Perkins did for the early part of his career. I think he's one of the more underrated parts of this trade, and will be a force in Boston come playoff time. Blake, Williams, Pietrus, and Thabeet are all just additional parts to the trade, just to make it look a little more fancy I guess.

How this trade works:

Boston trades away contracts worth about 10.85 million
Los Angeles trades away contracts worth about 22.7 million
Houston trades away contracts worth about 14.5 million

Boston receives contracts worth about 11 million
Los Angeles receives contracts worth about 17.5 million
Houston receives contracts worth about 19.6 million

Winner of the trade: Lakers

No doubt. They receive one of the best point guards in the NBA in terms of ball distribution, and all-around player. Kobe would take him under his wing, and I believe, strongly, that they would win the 2012 NBA championship if they make this trade. If I'm right about this, I will dropout of high school and become a fortune teller. 

Just kidding.

Best Player By Position Now: 1st Basemen

As the countdown of the best players at each position continues, it's time to look at the best first baseman in MLB right now. So without further delay lets count them down.

4.  Adrian Gonzelez
With his first season in Boston, Adrian hit .338, had 27 home runs and drove in 117 runs. Being 28 years old and the short porch in right field, which benefits left handers in Boston the sky is the limit for Gonzelez. Sandwiched in the middle of the Red Sox line up, and if Boston can stay healthy around him, there is no doubt this could be a huge season for Ardrian.

3.  Prince Fielder
Arguably the most sought after free agent this winter was Prince Fielder. There could be a period of adjustment for Fielder now that he is switching leagues, and coming to more of a pitchers park in Detroit. Last season with the Brewers Fielder played in all 162 games and hit .299 38 home runs, and had 120 rbi.  I would expect in the bigger ball park Fielder's numbers to be a little down this season, but still should be amongst the league leaders in both hr and rbis.

2.  Joey Votto
Now that Fielder and Pujols are gone from the National League the best first baseman in the NL is without a doubt Joey Votto. Last season he hit .309 drove in 103 runs, while hitting 29 home runs and a league leading 40 doubles.  He is also very durable in playing in 161 games.  He may be the best pure hitter in the game today.

1. Albert Pujols
Albert quite possibly is the best player of my generation.  In a generation tainted by steroid use, you never hear his name in the discussion.  Last season in leading the Cardinals to the World Series Championship he hit .299 drove in 99 runs and hit 37 home runs despite a stint on the DL with a wrist injury.  He is also switching leagues which may bring his numbers down a little, but until he retires he will always top the list of best 1st baseman and maybe best position players in MLB.

Honorable mentions Mark Texiera, Ryan Howard, Justin Morneau

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Daytona 500 Recap

The Daytona 500 is called the Super Bowl of NASCAR. That night it lived up to the name. It was however a long weekend. The 54th running of the "Great American Race" was postponed for the first time ever after the rains came on Sunday.

Then after more rain Monday morning the drivers finally got the command to start their engines. It didn't take long for them to start pushing the limits to hard. On lap 2 a wreck sucked up 5 time series champion Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Bush, and fan favorite Danica Patrick. Patrick and Bush would come back later but Johnson's night was over before it even started.

Things settled down till 40 laps to go when Juan Pablo Montoya's steering broke and he slammed into the jet dryer. The dryers were blowing debris off the track which is normal. Montoya slammed into the trailer that the jet engine was on causing 200 gallons of jet fuel to spill on the track and burst into flames. A 2 hour red flag stopped the race while they put the fire out and did repairs to the track.

Once the race resumed Matt Kenseth held off a charging Dale Earnhart Jr. for the checkered flag. This is the second win for Kenseth in the 500. Although it only took 3 and a half hours of actually race time the race took over 5 hours to complete after the red flag. Everyone was excited that pack racing was back. No more 2 car tandems anymore. Last year the best driver and the best car didn't win the race.  It was about who could push who.  This season with the smaller grill opening and for the first time fuel injectors in the cars, you couldn't push to long.  Matt Kenseth lead the second most amount of laps and had the best car on the track and it showed last night with his win.  One side footnote to the race, there was a race to halfway where the winner would get a 200,000 dollar bonus. Martin Truex Jr. was the winner of that and won the bonus.

All in all even though there was rain delay, and the race didn't start till after 7 in the east and finish till after 1 am in the east, it was still a fantastic race. The green white checker overtime rule that NASCAR put in a few years ago was brilliant. Instead of ending with a caution the drivers are allowed to race for the finish. At a track like Daytona, and an event like the Daytona 500 you don't want it any other way.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Best Player By Position Now: Catchers

New type of series of articles coming out, featuring who we think are the top four players at their respective position are, to date. The first feature is about catchers, so lets count 'em down!

4) Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks

This was a tough decision, no doubt about it. I was deciding McCann or Montero, and both had similar, above average statistics. McCann has been the better career player, but the question is who is the best player NOW, which is Montero. Montero sported a .820 OPS in 2011, .13 points shy of his career high set back in 2009. Montero did set a career high in walks and RBI last season, shattering his previous records by a serious margin. Montero is a big part of the nucleus that has been laid out in 'Zona, and he's definitely a big part of it.

3) Alex Avila, Tigers

Now means now, which means Victor Martinez is not on this list because of the torn ACL he suffered this off season. And now Avila will step into more of a spotlight, where he was shadowed last year by Martinez's brilliant performance. I'll be honest with you, I never knew Avila was alive until the Rangers played the Tigers in the ALCS. You have to give the man credit however, he was second among catchers last year with a .895 OPS, a .506 slugging percentage, and was second in walks.There's no doubt Avila will do great in the absence of V-Mart.

2) Mike Napoli, Rangers

Napoli made a name for himself in 2011, and not only benefited himself but the Rangers franchise in general. Besides Yu, Napoli has been the hottest selling jersey on the market for Rangers fans, and NAP-O-LI chants can frequently be heard at and around Rangers Ballpark. Those fans have a great reason to cheer. Napoli led all catchers with 30 homeruns in 2011, a 1.046 OPS (ridiculous), and .631 slugging percentage. That's some pretty astounding statistics, and he was also a goon behind the plate gunning down baserunners in key playoff situations and had a remarkable pitchers ERA when he was catching. Napoli deserves the long term contract he desires.

1) Joe Mauer, Twins

Even not playing for some of 2011, Mauer is still the best in the business. He has all the endorsements. He has all the awards. He has all the stats. What he needs is a supporting cast around him that will better Minnesota's playoff chances and not take a major step backwards like what they did in 2011 after being division champs in 2010. Mauer will have a rebound year in 2012, and so will the Twins if they can get their shit together.

HONORABLE MENTION: Brian McCann, Carlos Santana, Matt Wieters 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Rundown: February 18th

AJ Burnett Deal to Pirates

Lets flashback a couple of years ago. AJ Burnett signed with the Yankees, along with CC Sabathia, to what could have been one of the greatest rotations in baseball in the last decade. The first year was a successful one, as the Yankees won their 27th World Series title. But the last two years have been disastrous. One of the problems with Burnett is his fastball, which opponent batters teed off of last year, hitting .300 off of the fastball alone. Burnett struggled getting ahead early, which made him rely on the fastball, but to hitters it looked like a 70 mph beach ball instead of a 95 mph fastball. Hitters struggled more on his off-speed, batting a combined .167 off his curveball, changeup, and slider. Another thing Burnett struggled with was trusting his offspeed when he got behind, like I said previously, where he threw his fastball 85% of the time when he was behind in the count.

Why would the Pirates want him then? There's still something left in that tank of Burnett. His mind was lost in The Big Apple, and it can be found again in the Steel City, where he can be a major contributor to get them back into October.

NCAA Title Frontrunner?

Answering the question, there is none. Look at the top two teams currently on the AP Poll. Number one is Kentucky, yes they've had one hell of a run through the SEC. Let me remind you that football has no effect on the basketball part of this conference. The only team worth a damn besides UK in the coveted football conference is Florida, who have not impressed me by any standard in the conference. UK is mainly led by Freshmen and Sophomores, how are you supposed to trust them in front of possibly 100,000 people in the Final Four? Or even the Sweet 16?

Number two: Syracuse. Right now, they're the team I'm putting my money on. I didn't say they didn't have flaws, however. Fab Melo being absent really hurt the Orangemen at first, but bonded them together more after they found out how to win without him.What if Melo is going to be ineligible again right before the tourney? Cuse will be in trouble.

I love March Madness.The greatness in it is the unexpected will always occur, even though we know it might not occur. My two favorite times of year are March and October. The fun always resides in those two months. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NL Power Rankings: Top 10


As pitchers and catchers are preparing to descend on Florida and Arizona for spring training, I thought it would be fun to look at the 10 ten teams in the National League; the NL has won the World Series 4 of the last 6 years.

10  Los Angeles Dodgers:  Hopefully the Dodgers ownership will be in place by mid season. If they can tread water till June maybe a move or 2 will put them in the race in NL West. With Kershaw in place as their ace, at least every 5th day they will be in the game.  With Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Juan Rivera in the middle of the lineup they should score runs.

9. Washington Nationals:  The Nationals are still maybe a year or 2 away from making it to the post season, but with Gio Gonzalez and (hopefully) Stephen Stausburg for the entire season, makes a very strong front of the rotation. If Jason Werth can live up to the contract and not hit .232 this season Washington will make some progress. Their lineup still lacks a little pop, but with an owner willing to spend money the future is bright in Washington.

8. Chicago Cubs:  The Cubs are the lovable losers and that doesn't change this season either. After losing Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Pena, the Cubs are gonna be hard pressed score runs this season. New President of Baseball Ops Theo Epstien will turn the Cubs around and they WILL win soon, just not this season.

7. Arizona Diamondbacks: Arizona was the surprise of the NL last season winning the west. Pretty much the same team comes back as last season, only Trevor Cahill was the biggest edition to the team. The problem with putting them high right now is they had players that had career years last year, and that's tough to duplicate. They had the best lineup statistically last season, but I look for them to come back to earth a little this season, finishing 2nd in the NL West.

6. St Louis Cardinals: Even though the Cardinals are the defending Champions, they lost some major pieces this offseason. The obvious being Albert Pujols, and their manager Tony LaRusa, who I think did his finest job of managing last season in winning the title. More unrest is the leave of absence that pitching coach Dave Duncan also took. With Adam Wainwright returning from injury gives St. Louis a formidable staff.  However Carlos Beltran will not replace the Alber Pujols hole in the middle of the lineup. They should be in contention but fall short for both the wild card and division.

5. Cincinnati Reds:  The Reds have the best pure hitter in all of baseball in Joey Votto, and maybe the best 2nd baseman in Brandon Philips. The arrival of Matt Latos, and Aroldis Chapman with solidify the rotation. Plus with Prince Fielder, and Albert Pujols leaving the division and league for the matter, and Ryan Braun facing a 50 game suspension for failing a drug test the Reds should be the best team in the central division.

4. Atlanta Braves:  The Braves always seem to be right in the mix every single year. Last season they was in it all the way to the final day of the season, but don't let the collapse last year fool you. With speed at the top of the lineup in Micheal Bourn and Dan Uggla, Freddie Freeman, and Brian McCann in the middle of the lineup should give opposing pitchers fits. Atlanta is in a tough division though, the NL East may be the best division top to bottom in all of baseball.

3. Miami Marlins:  New name, new stadium, new manager, the Miami Marlins are now saying we are for real. They made a strong push for Alber Pujols and just about every other free agent this summer.  With the editions of Mark Buehrle, and a head on straight Carlos Zambrano they should be in every game. I think though the biggest edition wasn't a player it was the man in the dugout. Ozzie Guielln, whether you like his loud mouth or not he gets the best out of his players. In a tough NL East they should challenge the Phillies, but will most likely end up the in the Wild Card spot.

2. San Francisco Giants:  The Giants may have the second best rotation in the National League. If they wasn't in the same league as the Phillies they would be the odds on favorite to win the NL. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner are a stout 1,2,3. Buster Posey returning from his ankle injury will give the offense a much needed lift. In a weak NL West baring a major injury, and the Dodgers ownership in flux the Giants should run away with this division.

1. Philadelphia Phillies:  They have the best rotation in baseball period! Holliday, Lee, Hamels are as good as it gets. Their offense let down in the postseason last season. Look for Ryan Howard to have a bounce back year and be Ryan Howard again. A healthy Chase Utley will give him the protection he will need. Plus after getting bounced in the first round last season look for them to have a chip on their shoulder and live up to the hype this season.