Friday, September 28, 2007

Nationals impact the playoff race

What can you say about this Nationals team? They are the scrappiest team I've seen in a long time...maybe the most scrappy since another Jim Bowden team...the Cincinnati Reds. I'm talking about a specific Reds team, too. The 1999 version of the Reds lost a one-game playoff to become the wild card team in the National League that season. That team won 96 games with pitchers Denny Neagle and Danny Graves leading the charge. And let's not forget the offensive juggernauts on that team...Sean Casey and Aaron Boone. Remember this was the season before Cincy signed Griffey.

Oh yeah, there's one player on the current Natties roster who also happened to be a Cincinnati Red back in 1999: Da Meat Hook, Dmitri Young.

I think Ryan Church might be a keeper.

But back to the Natties. They're basically the reason the NL East is tighter than your little sister's you know what because over the past few weeks they've taken 5 of 6 from the Mets and lost 4 of 6 to the Phillies. Living in NYC this summer, not in my wildest dreams did I envision this Mets team collapsing like it is right now. Everyone is quick to blame the bullpen and Willie Randolph's mismanagement of said bullpen as the reason for the Mets demise. But I point to two specific everyday players in the Mets lineup that really should be identified as the culprits.

1) Jose Reyes has been really, really average in the second half. He's gone from 19 homers and 81 RBIs in 2006 to 12 and 57 this season. He's still hitting .285, but the way the Mets lineup is set up, they need him to hit in the .310-.315 range to be an offensive juggernaut. Still, if the Mets make the playoffs, Reyes could carry them all the way to the World Series because they guy can manufacture runs himself with the way he runs the bases.

2) Carlos Delgado has had the worst year of his career, possibly signaling the beginning of the end for him. His average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, homeruns, and RBIs are all way down. He's having the worst statistical year of his career, actually.

I don't think he Del Gad it anymore.

And let's not forget about the Phils and Rockies. If either of those teams get into the playoffs, they'll be a force to be reckoned with. When you come in with that much momentum, there's no telling what type of magic can be conjured up. This last weekend of the season should be a memorable one in terms of tense, playoff atmosphere baseball.

Not to mention that there very well could be a four-way tie for the NL East, NL West, and Wildcard spots. Think about it, if the Padres, Mets, and Phils take 2 out of 3 this weekend, they would all have the same record. If the Rockies sweep or the Diamondbacks take just 2 of 3, there would be another team with the an identical record. That's just craziness, and I don't even want to think about the tiebreaker possibilities.

This is a look into the future of Queens if the Mets don't make the playoffs

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

5 Things I Need to Say

Alright so I've been trying to think of a succinct way to get my thoughts down on this blog in a creative manner. I'm talking creative in a funny sense while also being easy for me to write. So in the spirit of Peter King's 10 Things I Think I Think over at have come up with 5 Things I Need to Say:

Subject No. 1: The Washington Redskins lose to the Giants, 24-17

1. I have been trying to figure out a reason why Clinton Portis, a running back the Skins gave up a 1st round draft pick and a future Hall of Famer (Champ Bailey) for, wasn't on the field when the ball was on the one-yard line with the game on the line. If anyone has an answer for me (cough cough, that's you Joe Gibbs/Al Saunders), it'd be delightful. Skins should be 3-0 and it sickens me that they aren't

2. Because they have no trust in JC, the Skins offense is stagnant as hell. 1st down, run. 2nd down, run. 3rd down, pass. It gets real predictable. After watching three games, it's easy to see Campbell has potential, so let him sling it on some non-passing situations. I'm not saying abandon the run game, just emphasize it in different situations. The key is to keep the defense off balance.

3. I have a bad feeling CPort is gonna start to sulk if this whole benching him in crunch time thing continues.

4. Unlike the Eagles, I did enjoy the throwbacks. Might have to pick up a Marcus Washington version of those suckers.

5. Why would you throw it to Mike Sellers instead of Chris Cooley at the goalline. Doesn't make sense, in fact nothing about the three plays they ran from the one made much sense.

You can tell the media all you want that "you loved Ladell in that situation". I'm not gonna buy it because if Gibbs is the coach I think he is, he has to realize that you pay CPort the big bucks to get big TDs like that.

Subject No. 2: General NFl Thoughts
1) Ummm...I think Dallas is good...DAMN!

2) When all is said and done, the AFC South will end up as a the toughest division in football. Indy, Jacksonville, Houston and Tennessee are all great or atleast good.

3) The Steelers look good because they seem like they can play Gibbs football better than Gibbs' team. The only way to combat tough offenses like Indy's and NE's is to keep them off the field with long, grind it out drives.

4) I'm not sure whether to be happy about this or not but the NFC is literally there for the taking. Right now there's Dallas and everyone else, even though Green Bay is 3-0 too. I can see the Skins winning on any given Sunday. The only problem is that this weekend illustrated that they can lose every weekend too.

5) I would feel bad for LT and Shawne Merriman right now, but then I start to think about Norv Turner and how he robbed me of seven years of being a fan. This is what you get for starting 1996 7-1 and ending 8-7-1. Oh yeah and let's not forget 2000's 6-2 start only to end up 8-8. You deserve to go 0-16 Norv "I must have had an assload of acne back in the day" Turner.

Look at his neck. It's just repulsive.

Subject No. 3: MLB Playoff Race
1) For some reason I want to see AROD have a monster postseason and then command 325 million in the offseason. I just want to see if anyone bites and takes him at some ridiculously absurd price.

2) The Angels play a postseason style of baseball every game, and it's why I'm not picking the Yanks in the division series agianst them (unless of course the Yanks catch the BoSox in the next week, in which case the BoSox would face the Angels). You can't rely on the long ball come October because the pitching tightens up. You have to count on stolen bases, hit and runs, and bunts...all things the Angels do well.

3) I don't know if you noticed...but all of my predictions from a month ago were on the money.

4) I still have no idea what to think of the DBacks. They could either be the greatest collection of nobodies to win a World Series or they could be a division series sweep waiting to happen. I thought this team would die after June and they haven't yet. So why would they die now?

5) I want the Mets to hold on because it isn't the playoffs without Pedro.

A perfect example of why Pedro needs to be pitching in October.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dejesus down the stretch

So I realize I haven't actually been keeping track of our 2nd favorite God-related athlete (Jason Campbell of course being number one), but I mean c'mon the Royals suck and now that it's playoff time they are rarely on television.

My question from the get go was...WWDD 2007, or What would DeJesus do in 2007? The answer now that we are a week away from the conclusion of said 2007 season is bat around.270 with 10 homers and 80 RBIs. That's not bad, but it sure as hell wasn't the breakout season I predicted way back in April. I'm not really even sure if anyone knows who DeJesus is outside of the 5,000 fans that show up top their home games and the 10-15 people who read this thing on a consistent basis.

Sorry DeJesus...the dream is over. Hopefully the Gods won't wreak havoc on my soul because of all this.

So as I looked over DeJesus's stats, I wondered to myself...What would David DeJesus do if the player that this blog picked to be its new favorite player underachieved. And being the omnipotent person that DeJesus is, he gave me the answer in a dream. I need to pick a new favorite player to keep track of. And the new player was oh so easy to figure out.

Drumroll please...

This is a no's Travis Henry of the Denver Broncos. And if you've been following the news a little...NFL wise'll realize the reason for the no brainer selection is obvious. It was reported a few weeks back that T-Money has fathered nine children with nine different women. He has so many children that a judge is making him set aside $250,000 a year in child support payments. See when you are a sketchy dude who fathers nine children with nine women a judge won't trust you to pay shit even if you signed a $22.5 million dollar contract this past offseason.

Mind you the guy is 28...and has nine kids. Dude has a $100,000 car and over $140,000 in jewelry to his name. I'm just so conflicted about this whole situation though. If I ever saw the guy in the street I wouldn't know whether to give him a standing ovation or run to the nearest drug store and buy a box of Trojans. Either way, he's the new blog favorite.

Rumor has it that when the news came out that Travis (above) had 9 with 9, Shawn Kemp went right to work trying to get another four so he can get back his title of the Greatest Conceiver of Illegimite Children Ever.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Maybe it was the Boone's Farm

Oh that victory was so sweet this past weekend. 38-0.

It was so bad that my professor for history of college sports thought the Michigan high school state champion in football this year would beat the Irish. I want to be optimistic about Michigan's season and say that this win will catapult them to a Big Ten title, but then I start thinking about just how bad Notre Dame looked. Say all you want about the Wolverines getting back on track, but they essentially beat one of the worst teams in college football. Seriously, if you look at the Irish's schedule it is very conceivable for them to be 0-8 heading into their ninth game. It doesn't get easier for them, that's for sure.

Rumor has it that Jimmy's older bro, former Tennessee QB Casey Claussen, was in town and absolutely hammered drunk outside Rick's on Friday night.

The only thing different about Michigan in this game was the fact that I pregamed with Boone's Farm wine (God's gift to people trying to get messed up quickly). Speaking of the pregame, I got blackout and don't really remember much of the game. But I do recall Jimmy Claussen running around his own backfield like a kid trying to run away from security at a mall after shoplifting from Abercrombie or something. Another thing I liked was was the Gibbs offense Michigan decided to run with young Mallett in. Hart had 35 carries, backup RB Brandon Minor had another 17 and Mallett only threw 15 passes.

Speaking of Gibbs...I'm going with a big 20-17 victory for the Skins tonight, effectively destroying the soul of all Eagles fans. By the way, they are calling this a must win up I-95 in the worst sports town in America (obviously my opinion here).

For some weird reason, I've got this feeling that Brandon Lloyd is going to make some huge catch in tonight's game. I really have no explanation for it except that I just read Mike Wise's column about him.

And every decent journalist knows that when you bash a guy right before a game, he usually comes out and does something to make said journalist look like a moron, even though he/she really isn't. Watch tonight...Lloyd, who has probably been the biggest disappointment since Gibbs came back to coach, will make a couple nice grabs and then in his postgame comments blame the media for dogging him all the time. But in reality they were dogging him because the Skins gave him 10 million guaranteed and he's had about as much impact on the team as the guy who brings the water out to the offensive lineman during TV timeouts. But out for B Lloyd tonight.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Skins Talk

Alright well enough about Michigan football because it's just depressing to think about it anymore. All I really need to say is have fun upholding the guarantee Ryan Mallett.

Now onto a team that I think has a bright future ahead of it. If you caught the Skins game on Sunday, you will have noticed the return to Gibbs football. And that meant handing the ball off a lot to Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts. The game was close, which isn't a great sign considering the Skins were playing the offensively-challenged Fins, but it was a win no less. With Gibbs football, you're going to have to accept some closer contests in exchange for a gradual wearing down of the opposing defense. Last Sunday that's exactly what happened with Miami. A team that was the fourth-rated defense in all the NFL got beat down over the course of the game, and once the fourth quarter and overtime hit, they had very little to nothing less.

Jason Campbell was definitely best. Both INTs were completely his fault and he really looked tentative at times. But when it counted he made a great throw to Chris Cooley in OT on third down. Again, not a pretty performance from JC, but it was enough to get the victory.

The return to Gibbs football gave me one fo those smiles that Matt always has when he sits down to chow on the Matt Brown meal from Sbarro at the mall. Very few probably know what this entails, but just imagine one of those ear-to-ear grins on Tim Robbins face from Shawshank Redemption. You know the grin when he sees Morgan Freeman's character walking down the beach at the end.

I really liked what I saw out of the defense. They looked like the mean and nasty badasses from a couple seasons back. But before I go any further...ummm Fred Smoot...what the fuck was that? I don't think I've ever seen a cornerback get singled out to the degree that Smoot did and then watch as said cornerback does nothing but allow completions. Seriously, I bet if we look at Trent Green's stats from the game...about 3/4 of his pass completions went to receivers covered by the man once known for such eloquent lines as "75 percent of the world is covered by water, the rest is covered by Fred Smoot". Seriously, no wonder Minnesota let him go because he just looked awful out there. I almost got kicked out of the sports bar I was watching the game at because I threw a chair after Smoot dropped that pick six at the end of the fourth quarter.

The action figure version has better hands than the real one.

Luckily, though, the Skins get Philly next week and let's be real here: they have soem pitiful wide receivers. Reggie Brown as a number one? C'mon, you've got to be kidding me. It's too bad they still have Donovan McNabb because no matter how bad he played last week against the Packers, we all know he's a Redskins killer. And I think we all know my hate for everything Eagle-related. That's what made this opening win so much more special. First, the Packer kicker made the game winning field goal to give the Iggles the big loss and about 30 seconds later Suisham hit that no doubter kick right down the middle of the two uprights. (By the way, I don't want to blow him up to fast, but I've got a weird feeling the Skins may have a keeper in Suishm. He was spectacularly solid, something this team has been missing since the days of Chip Lohmiller.)

All in all, it was a win. Nothing to get extremely excited about, but then again every win counts in the NFL. I'm just getting myself prepared for a lot more games that come down to the wire because that's just the style these Skins need to play in order to be successful. The defense needs to be solid, the running game needs to grind down the opposing team, and Jason Campbell has to make enough plays to keep the defense honest. And if this is going to be a playoff campaign, I plan on losing a couple years off my life simply because of all the late game stress that I will obviously go through as all these games come down to the wire. Such is life of a team that has made the playoffs twice in 15 seasons.

Nothing would make me happier than beating the Eagles in their home opener to put them at 0-2. Literally nothing...not even sex. Yeah, I want this win badly.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Lows of Football

Let's just get this out of the way now. Michigan football blows. And I'm not talking your standard fellacio here, I'm talking about hardcore deep throat. That Oregon game was just atrocious. The team gave up in the second half, and if that isn't an indication the coach isn't getting the job done then I just don't know what is. The defense looked like a bunch of pee wee football players running around with their heads cut off. And meanwhile there was that weird kid who was simply just laying on the ground picking up rocks and not even paying attention. Seriously, it was like that South Park episode from last season where Stan is coaching a little kids hockey team and they end up randomly facing the Detroit Red Wings. But instead of killing (like the Red Wings in South Park) Oregon just launched 60 yard bombs at will.

Even the Oregon fans I talked to postgame were upset at the game. They came halfway across the country to see a good game and instead they watched their beloved Ducks bludgeon Big Blue like they were Florida Atlantic.

Now the question becomes: will this team make a bowl game? Maybe, but does it really matter? I think it would only be fitting if Big Blue goes to the Motor City Bowl here in Detroit and has to face some shit MAC team. But at the rate this team is going, presuming an appearance in a bowl game would be stupid. If you watched the game on television you would have noticed that half the student section left before the third quarter ended.

It's just really disheartening to see the Big House lose all its luster because of a terrible coach and a bunch of players (besides Mike Hart) who are underachieving to epic proportions. As a Michigan fan, I should not have to go to a bar on Saturday and have to hear the Oregon fight song and then not be able to say anything back. But when you get beat down like Michigan did, there really isn't much else to say.

Mike Hart: The only player worth a shit at this point. BTW...loved the postgame guarantee.

I think it's quite obvious that the game has passed by Lloyd and his staff at this point. The times of Michigan being able to just show up and basically say "fuck strategy, we're going to just take it to you" are long gone. I just can't believe how pompous and arrogant this coaching staff is when it comes to playcalling and in game adjustments. They've been facing spread offenses since the beginning of the decade and still have not once been successful stopping them. And the offense consists of handing it off to Hart and hoping he can will himself to 5 or 6 yards or an incomplete long bomb by Henne. I hate these idiot Michigan "fans" who criticize a team like Appalachian State or Oregon for using gimmicky stuff like statue of liberty plays and unorthodox two point conversions. That's part of the game and you're stupid if you think it's possible to just do the norm and win. To be successful in anything, thinking outside the box is an absolute necessity and this program has basically been doing the same thing since it won a national championship 10 years ago.

And when they do take risks, they are stupid ones. Even though this was an absolute blowout/massacre, there was a play to end the first half that pretty much summed up everything I hate about Lloyd as a coach. Michigan is down 32-7, with the ball inside the 5-yard line and four seconds left. Instead of taking the gimme three points, Lloyd turns into sexy Rexy and decides to just say "fuck it, I'm going for it." Of course the team doesn't get in the end zone and instead of having a little bit of momentum heading into the locker room, Michigan is left searching for answers and are down four scores.

I'll leave you with these two factoids to show what the future should hold for Lloyd Carr...

1) The only other upset that can even remotely compare to the Appalachian State debacle was back in 1992 when Arkansas lost to the Citadel. Arkansas' coach was fired the next week.

2) This one courtesy of Drew Sharp in the Detroit Free Press: The 39-7 Oregon win was the worst loss for Michigan since it lost to Ohio State 50-14 in 1968. Following the game Michigan coach Bump Elliot lost his job and none other than Bo Schembechler was brought in to save the day.

Your time has come. It was a nice run, but that national championship was a long, long time ago.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Guess Who's Back

I know I know, it's been way too long between posts again. But I really felt it was my duty as a college student to enjoy my final welcome week to the fullest extent. I was going to post a little earlier, but then the "Loss that should not be named" happened and I went into a self-induced stupor courtesy of becoming the punch line of sports. But I'm back and I'm ready to talk about the embarassment that was last weekend.

What can you really say? Michigan came out flat, didn't take Appalachian State seriously and then lost. And Lloyd Carr deserves to be fired after something like this, there should be no question about it. Even if Big Blue wins out, meaning a win over Ohio State, a Big Ten title and a BCS bowl game win, this season will forever be recalled as the App State season. Never in the history of Michigan sports has the athletic department been the laughing stock of sports. And yet on Saturday and Sunday I couldn't turn on ESPN without seeing the hedious defeat at The Big House.

Speaking of Michigan Stadium, I don't think I've ever experienced something so eery as 110,000 people in a shocked silence. I think it's been made abundantly clear, especially since I've been a student here at Michigan, that this athletic department is inept and way behind the times. This coming year is poised to be the lowest of the lows for a once mighty school. The basketball team will be lucky to break .500, the hockey team has less talent than it ever has and will be lucky to make the NCAA Tournament, and now the football team is the laughing stock of the coaching world.

I blew this AP photo up big because it pretty much sums up that fateful Saturday afternoon.

And to be honest, I'm really disappointed in the way Michigan students and fans have dealt with this. While the national media serves out all these rumors of Carr's potential demise, most of the people here have sort of accepted the fact that Lloyd should stay on and leave at his leisure. That's just bullshit. Yeah, the athletic department will never actually fire the guy, but if enough of the locals show disgust in what has long since been a deteriorating masterpiece of a football program, then Lloyd Carr will be forced to retire.

It's just hard to fathom, especially with the expectations at Michigan that our team would lose to someone so lowly regarded that the sporting world simply points and laughs. Don't get me wrong, I thought Appalachian State was a solid team, probably better than a good amount of Division 1 schools, but they had no business coming into the Big House and beating the winningest program in college football history.

And frankly I just can't deal with any more disappointment as it concerns the teams I root for. I am counting on this upcoming Skins season to be magical because just like Chris Rock in that stand up special from Constitution Hall in DC (where us Churchill alums graduated):

"I just can't take this shit no more"

I'm for real this time when I say I'm back to blogging on a consistent basis again. No more of this two weeks off bullshit. Hopefully I'll have enough time to get something on here as far as predictions for the upcoming NFL season. I want to do it before the Saints-Colts game, but if it doesn't happen...oh's my blog.