To be honest, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to post anything this week, due to lack of time. But after being called out this weekend by a loyal reader as being "lazy" for only posting once a week, I didn't think I even had a choice but to stand up for myself. Mind you, this fan was also overheard saying that he had the "Jonathan Papelbon of sperm", referring to his combination of efficiency and potency when it comes to closing the deal (I suggested Dennis Eckersley, but was shot down). Yea, that's right, Mr. Danho, I don't ever forget anything! And you know this....man! Now onto the abbreviated smack down....
Red Sox Update
Overall: 75-50, 1st place in AL East by 5 games
Status: I won't lie and say I was upset when Theo shipped Wily Mo to Washington for 3 tins of Skoal and a rosin bag, but he is again looking like quite the idiot. Granted, it's only been 3 games, but all the people that said "if given a chance to play full time, this guy could at least bring some pop to the lineup", are looking like modern day Abner Doubledays. In 11 at-bats, as a starter mind you, Wily Mo is hitting .455 with 2 homers, 3 RBI and (shocker) 3 walks. Gee, an outfielder with pop and great on base ability, huh? Too bad we can't get #5 hitters like that in this town. Oh well, once Drew was on board, there was no place for Pena. And with the team stubbornly sticking with Drew due to the massive amount of casheesh he's costing them, there was no room for Pena, no matter how well he could hit. Anyway, it's over, he'll hit 30 dingers next year some place, and I'm over it. Onto the more pressing matter of the AL East pennant race. With Boston in Tampa, a park where Tim Wakefield remains undefeated (9-0), and New York battling it out with the pesky Angels, bet on the division lead swelling back up a bit. Pundits have been saying for months, that if the Yanks can make the upcoming series (27-30) in the Bronx "meaningful", then they'll have a great shot at taking the division. After all, it was just one short year ago that the Pin Stripers stormed into the Fens and swept a 5 game set on their romp to the division crown for the 9th straight season. And they have made the series mean something, trimming the once 14.5 game deficit to 4 on several occasions. But a series loss at the hands of the Angels, combined with very possible Red Sox sweep in Tampa, and all of a sudden that lead that was once 4 games, is back to 7, with the Yanks heading to Detroit, while Boston travels to the now cellar dwelling Chicago White Sox. I'm on the record as saying that the lead would be 8 by the time Boston rolled into the Big Apple, and I stand by it. The two teams only have 6 games left against each other, and these next three could very well either seal the division for the Sox, or put the Yanks in perfect position to break the hearts of Red Sox Nation yet again. It's all in the next two weeks man, it's these next ten games that could very well make or break either team in their race for the AL East crown. Am I being over dramatic? Maybe. But it's crunch time baby. Time to get in gear. If for nothing else, it's time to make it so when you say "the last time the Sox won the AL East", you don't have to follow it up with names like "Mo Vaughn" and "Kevin Kennedy". Yeah, one works for FOX, and the other owns a car wash in North Attleboro. Think it's time to win one, or what?
Diamonds Are Forever
*Someone needs to turn a hose on Arizona's Brandon Webb, cuz that fool is flat out covered in filth. Webb extended his scoreless inning streak to 42 with a two hit shutout earlier this week against the Braves, putting him only 17 innings behind the record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings set by Orel Hershiser in 1988. While not quite as impressive, I think that record is right up there with Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak, and could probably be considered the pitching equivalent. Even sweeter for Webb, however, has been the exposure he's been receiving. Even though he's the reigning NL Cy Young king, most people on this coast couldn't tell him from a member of O-Town before this week. Yeah, I'd say 42 scoreless innings will do that to a group of Red Sox and Yankee fans that are always blood starved for top end starting pitching. (In some hole of a bar in Ken-Mohhr Square kid) "Yo, when does that kid Webb hit the mahhhhket dude? Get this man, I cud make a t-shirt with Dice, like in a "web"....dude and then like Schill is lightin' the web on fi-ya...and like Beckett is standin' there with like a supa-man shirt on, cuz you know he's just all wicked good and always chuckin' the bean, dude. And he just has the haaaaht that it takes in this town, kid. Dude I could sell those things to the Rem Dawg, kid, you know I'd make a friggin' fohrchin." Yea, he's that good, kid.
Overall: 0-2, LOST vs Tennessee 24-27
Status: Randy Moss, Richard Seymour and Laurence Maroney haven't played, yet the only thing that's bothered me about the Pats this pre season has been the offensive line. Whether it's end rushers like Dwight Freeney, Jason Taylor or Shawne Merriman, or quick safeties like Bob Sanders and Troy Polamalu, this offensive line just can't handle speed. And "franchise" left tackle, Matt Light, is the worst offender. I mean seriously, is there any DE in the league that this guy can actually cover one on one? I know the defenders I just mentioned are elite, but shouldn't an "elite" tackle like Light at least give them a good battle, rather than constantly requiring help from another lineman? It's these guys that are the last line of defense protecting Brady, and if he keeps getting exposed to big hits like he did last season and has so far this season, then I promise you we're not gonna like the results. Don't get me wrong, this team has a great defense, and great weapons in the passing game, but without Tom Brady, they look more like a one and done playoff team than a Super Bowl front runner. I mean, have you seen Matt Casell play? And don't give me that Matt Gutierrez shit, either. That guy will be lucky to make the practice squad, no matter how well you jabronies think he played against the Titan's 4th team, another group of dudes that have a better chance of baggin' my eats, than playing on my TV. So, to close things out, I'm worried about the O-line, just not worried enough to call off the 19-0 parade. At least not yet.
*One note on Asante Samuel. My sources are telling me that it's looking more and more likely that the franchised corner will sit out until at least week 6, and at that time the Pats will attempt to trade him. Good thing Ellis Hobbs has looked like the real deal so far this pre-season. Now we just pray that Randall Gay and Eugene Wilson somehow forget that they always get injured and actually stay on the field for a few games, and Rodney Harrison avoids Pittsburgh Steeler douche bags diving at his knees. Hmmm, maybe we should get Earthwind Moreland on stand by, jussssssst in case.
*For shock value, and for pure entertainment value, I should have led with the Mike Vick plea agreement. But right now, in my world, Mike Vick and his dog fighting fiasco finish a distant 4th to the Sox, the Pats, and all my fantasy teams. Truth be told, he finishes behind hot dogs, poker, Vitamin Water energy drinks, sleep, major bowel movements and delicious iced coffee too, but I can't very well write about those things now, can I? I guess I could, and prolly will at some point, but onto Vick. A top athlete, in the top sport, being sent to jail in his prime, for killing dogs. Think about that for a second. Let it sink in. Prime of his athletic career. Dog murderer. That's some pretty intense stuff. To fall from grace that quickly, and that disgracefully, is just astonishing. It's like if some top NBA star went to Colorado, and boinked some groupie against her will. Or imagine if a legendary athlete murdered his ex wife and her friend in cold blood? Would the sporting world stand for those things? I don't think so! But make no mistake, Mike Vick has been found guilty, and in those other "instances" I mentioned, those guys were not. This guy, has been robbed of his livelihood by none other than himself. Mike Vick is to blame for all the bad things that have happened to him, and he deserves whatever he gets, period. And don't think that just because he has a plea deal for 12-18 months in place that his sentence is indeed going to be that short. Fact: It's at the judge's discretion the amount of time Mikey does, and the maximum penalty he can dish out is 5 years. Fact: Nobody, and I mean nobody does a day less than 85% on any Federal jail sentence. Whether you think Vick was a revolutionary talent, or just an overrated bum, you still have to respect the fact that this guy was just jailed in the prime of his career. Millions of dollars, gone. Why? Because he likes to fight dogs and his friends are all snitches. It's not everyday we see an icon like Mike ripped from the spotlight, and thrown in the clink, and I think if the weight and impact of this whole thing is lost on you, then you should take a deeper look. It's sobering to think about, but we're all just a few bad judgement calls away from our own individual dog fighting scandal...
News and Notes
*I guess game shows are technically sports, but if ESPN tries to pass poker as a sport, then I think this qualifies. Cleveland's biggest nerd, Drew Carey, virtually chopped off his right arm while filming an episode of the "Grocery Game" on the set of his new gig, The Price Is Right. Wait, so fat losers from Cleveland suck at doing physical activities? That's what you're tellin' me, here? Bob Barker goes like 300 years of hosting that show, with that tiny microphone, and the only injury he prolly got was the clap from one of his "beauties." I gotta give Drew a little but of love though. I happened to stumble upon that Power of 10 show, and it wasn't all bad. I was slightly intoxicated at the time, but it seemed winnable, there was big cash at stake, and it was fun to shout answers at the TV. Solid combo. Still, though. Hurting yourself on the set of the Price Is Right is like a kindergarten teacher choking on a wad of paste and glitter. It just shouldn't happen and it's just flat out sketch. At least now they'll have people tuning in each week to see if this putz is gonna get his tie caught in that big wheel and have his head lopped off like Venus Williams. No, not the tennis player....the dog named Venus Williams that Mike Vick decapitated in his back yard....that's right....I went there.....again...
Last Week: WON, 13-8-3 vs Nut Huggers
Overall: 244-196-40 (.550), 3rd place 17.5 games back
*Another big win, against another solid opponent. And while I may have been able to score a few more points had I switched a guy here or there, I've been getting really great performances at almost every position. Before, I was juggling to try and find a right group, now I have too many guys and I can't play them all! Lance Berkman, Jose Guillen, Juan Pierre, Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, Carlos Beltran and Melky Cabrera are all tearing the cover off the ball, yet I can only play like 4 of them at any given time. That's not even counting the offensive output I'm getting from Dustin Pedroia, Luis Castillo and Manny Ramirez. I guess it's a good problem to have, but the last thing I want to do is hurt my team my trying to get all these guys in. It's not like I think I'd be hurting their feelings, I just really want to play them all, all the time! Ahh! On a less stressful note, new pitching staff acquisitions Jake Westbrook and Joe Saunders have peaked just in time, joining with John Lackey, Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay to form quite the reliable stable of arms. No more rolling the dice with Oliver Perez and Derek Lowe for this guy! (at least for another week...you know one of those guys I just mentioned, I simultaneously jinxed) So, I'm still lookin' solid going into the playoffs, and even though I lost 1/2 a game in the overall standings this week, I did move 3 games closer to that #2 spot, and a first round bye. Only two more weeks left, so I gotta hustle....
League Name: Straight Cash Homie! (14 teams)
Team Name: Make It Reign! (always subject to change either on a whim, or due to a lost bet)
QB: Eli Manning, Rex Grossman
RB: LaDanian Tomlinson, Ahman Green, Michael Pittman, Lendale White
WR: Torry Holt, Terrel Owens, Darrel Jackson, Mark Clayton, Eddie Kennison
TE: Alge Crumpler, Eric Johnson
K: Josh Brown
DEF: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay
*I could lie to ya, but I won't. I know it's still pre season, and none of my guys have even made it to day 1 without breaking both their legs, fixing games, or having dogs fight for money, but I pretty much got out of the draft exactly what I wanted. Due to unforeseen work issues, I was forced to pre rank my players at the last minute, and seeing as I only ranked my top 75, I ended up with a few bums towards the end. However, what I lack in depth, I think I more than make up for with my power trio of TO, T-Holt and the #1 overall player in fantasy football last season, LaDanian Tomlinson. Now, I know the best player from the year before usually isn't the best player the next year, but I don't even think I need him to be the best. Sure, I may be understating the vulnerability of my team at QB, TE and RB depth, but I think you may be understating just how dominating my Big 3 can be. I have the league's best running back, and in any argument, two of the league's top 5 receivers. Perhaps a bit nerdy, but I checked, and as the rosters are today, my team "projects" to out score every other team by at least 6 points each week. I know, I know, those don't mean shit, but it's not exactly a negative sign, either. Should be a good season, kids, and hopefully, a profitable one to boot!
*And anyone still interested in joining my Survival Pool, I'll just save myself the trouble and give you all the info you need, right here. Click on the link, http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/survival and join a private league (you'll need a Yahoo account to join).
League ID#: 2890
Just make sure you hit me up and let me know you're in, or I'll likely just delete you. Entry is $10, due ASAP, unless you're already in my Fantasy Football League. You pick one winner each week, never the same team twice, and you're in till you lose. Winner take all, and all comers are welcome. Peace in the Middle...
*Oh, and the Iron Sheik is completely insane, as witnessed here.