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Sports nostalgia and useless facts

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HOF Profiles: David Justice

David Justice - Rightfielder   Atlanta Braves 1989-1996 Cleveland Indians 1997-2000 New York Yankees 2000-2001 Oakland Athletics 2002   Awards 1990 N.L. Rookie of the Year 1993 N.L. Silver Slugger - OF 1997 N.L. Silver Slugger - OF 2000 ALCS MVP   All-Star Selections: 3 (1993, 1994, 1997)   League Leader None   Career Ranks SLG%: 90th OPS: 95th HR/AB: 73rd   Best Performance May 7, 1999 - Cleveland at Tampa Bay Went 4 for 4 with two homeruns, four runs scored, and five RBI.   Hall of Fame Stats Gray Ink: Batting - 43 (564) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 28.7 (309) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 43.5 (416) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: 1 (Larry Doby) Other Similar Batters: Tim Salmon, Ryan Klesko, Rudy York, Kent Hrbek, Greg Luzinski, Jeromy Burnitz, Darryl Strawberry, Roy Sievers, Mo Vaughn   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1989: 0/0.1 1990: 20/4.5 1991: 22/6.0 1992: 23/8.0 1993: 29/8.5 1994: 19/7.5 1995: 19/5.5 1996: 7/2.7 1997: 26/7.6 1998: 13/4.8 1999: 16/4.8 2000: 20/7.5 2001: 8/2.6 2002: 11/3.5   Career Win Shares: 233 Career WARP3: 73.6   My Stupid Opinion   Good hitter who could rarely stay healthy an entire season. He managed to play over 150 games in a season only once in his career, which also happened to be his best year in 1993. His career does prove that postseason experience doesn't mean shit when it actually comes to playing the postseason as he played in 112 postseason games but hit only .224/.335/.382. He did fuck Halle Berry but he's not close to being borderline candidate where such a feat can be considered.

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HOF Profiles: Chuck Knoblauch

Chuck Knoblauch - Second Baseman   Minnesota Twins 1991-1997 New York Yankees 1998-2001 Kansas City Royals 2002   Awards 1991 A.L. Rookie of the Year 1995 A.L. Silver Slugger - 2B 1997 A.L. Gold Glove - 2B 1997 A.L. Silver Slugger - 2B   All-Star Selections: 4 (1992, 1994, 1996, 1997)   League Leader 1994: Doubles 1996: Triples   Career Ranks SB: 63rd   Best Performance July 30, 1999 - New York at Boston Went 5 for 6 with a double, homerun, and 4 RBI against the Red Sox.   Hall of Fame Stats Black Ink: Batting - 3 (503) (Average HOFer ≈ 27) Gray Ink: Batting - 67 (360) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 33.8 (209) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 66.5 (275) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: 1 (Lou Boudreau) Other Similar Batters: Eric Young, Jason Kendall, Edgar Renteria, Mark Grudzielanek, Larry Doyle, Alvin Dark, Dave Lopes, Pete Runnels, Delino DeShields   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1991: 20/5.8 1992: 23/7.8 1993: 16/4.5 1994: 20/6.3 1995: 27/9.9 1996: 32/11.1 1997: 23/7.6 1998: 22/8.5 1999: 25/7.1 2000: 10/2.5 2001: 11/3.0 2002: 2/0.0   Career Win Shares: 230 Career WARP3: 74.2   My Stupid Opinion   Very good player during the 90's but by age 32 he was already washed up. Had a very good knowledge of the strikezone as the majority of his years he had more walks than strikeouts. His Gold Glove in 1997 was largely undeserved as he was above average at his best and then became very poor a couple of years later when he developed a mental block when it came throwing to first base. Having that happen to you while you are playing for the Yankees just magnified the problem and his offensive numbers would begin their downward spiral the following year.

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HOF Profiles: Todd Stottlemyre

Todd Stottlemyre- Starting Pitcher   Toronto Blue Jays 1988-1994 Oakland Athletics 1995 St. Louis Cardinals 1996-1998 Texas Rangers 1998 Arizona Diamondbacks 1999-2002   Awards None   All-Star Selections: None   League Leader None   Career Ranks None of note   Best Performance August 26, 1992 - Toronto at Chicago Carried a no hitter into the 8th inning before a Dan Pasqua double with one out breaks it up. Finished with a complete game, one-hitter.   Hall of Fame Stats   Gray Ink: Pitching - 28 (812) (Average HOFer ≈ 185) HOF Standards: Pitching - 13.0 (582) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Pitching - 15.0 (716) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Pitchers in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Pitchers: Darryl Kile, Woody Williams, Livan Hernandez, Pat Hentgen, Ron Darling, Kevin Tapani, Mike Krukow, Tim Belcher, Pedro Astacio, Mike Hampton   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacment Level (WARP3)   1988: 0/0.0 1989: 6/2.7 1990: 9/4.9 1991: 15/6.0 1992: 7/3.1 1993: 7/3.1 1994: 10/6.2 1995: 10/5.4 1996: 14/5.7 1997: 11/5.3 1998: 14/4.8 1999: 6/2.0 2000: 6/3.0 2002: 0/-0.1   Career Win Shares: 115 Career WARP3: 54.0   My Stupid Opinion   If you look up "Middle of the Rotation Starter" in the dictionary you'll probably see Stottlemyre's face. He's this year's "Why the hell is this guy on the ballot?" winner as there's nothing in his career that stands out. Now he was a better pitcher than Bobby Witt who was on last year's ballot and freakin' Gary DiSarcina was on the 2006 ballot so there have been worse nominees. He did pitch for two World Champions in Toronto (he was out for the season during the D-Backs 2001 run) but in his only World Series start he was shelled, the infamous 15-14 slugfest in Game 4 of the '93 Series.

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HOF Profiles: Rod Beck

Only eleven first ballot candidates this year and I already made it known in the Hall of Fame Ballot thread that Tim Raines is the only one deserving to get in, not that that is any great insight. But I'll still run through all eleven newbies but a little different from last year when I was going through the whole ballot and ended each entry with my opinion of whether they'd get my imaginary vote or not. Instead I'll just give "My Stupid Opinion" on each player. Also this year I'll throw in a link to the boxscore of each player's "best" performance, although really I'm not putting that much research into it. For the order of players I'll again go in reverse order of career Win Shares.   Rod Beck - Closer   San Francisco Giants 1991-1997 Chicago Cubs 1998-1999 Boston Red Sox 1999-2001 San Diego Padres 2003-2004   Awards 1994 N.L. Rolaids Relief   All-Star Selections: 3 (1993, 1994, 1997)   League Leader None of note   Career Ranks Games: 78th Saves: 23rd   Best Performance April 18, 1993 - Atlanta at San Francisco Notches five strikeouts in pitching a shutout 9th and 10th (struckout the side) in a 13-12, 11 inning thriller against the Braves.   Hall of Fame Stats   Black Ink: Pitching - 1 (818) (Average HOFer ≈ 40) Gray Ink: Pitching - 23 (946) (Average HOFer ≈ 185) HOF Standards: Pitching - 13.0 (582) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Pitching - 63.0 (188) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Pitchers in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Pitchers: Jeff Montgomery, Armando Benitez, Robb Nen, Troy Percival, Keith Foulke, Jason Isringhausen, Todd Worrell, Gregg Olson, Tom Henke, Ugueth Urbina   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacment Level (WARP3)   1991: 3/1.2 1992: 16/4.9 1993: 16/5.9 1994: 7/4.2 1995: 7/3.1 1996: 10/4.9 1997: 12/4.5 1998: 13/6.0 1999: 3/1.0 2000: 5/1.7 2001: 7/3.5 2003: 6/4.3 2004: 0/-0.1   Career Win Shares: 105 Career WARP3: 45.1   My Stupid Opinion   Due to his death earlier this year the five year rule was waived for Beck. A fan favorite who will be better known for his appearance and personality than his pitching prowess. A very good closer in his prime but rarely dominate and no where near the elite the closers of all-time. Maybe deserves a special spot in the Hall of Fame for overdosing on cocaine that he snorted off his own baseball card, which I'm pretty sure is the Score 1994 card pictured above.

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Bowl Projections

I'm not into making projections a month into the season, basically so I won't look stupid, and I like to wait until the final week of the season to make projections. Now these are purely based on every higher ranked team winning their game next week and obviously that won't happen but it makes it easier to make projections that way. Note Navy, Southern Miss, and Memphis have already accepted invites to bowls.   BCS: Missouri vs. West Virginia Orange: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Fiesta: Kansas vs. Arizona State Sugar: LSU vs. Hawaii Rose: Ohio State vs. USC   Capital One: Florida vs. Illinois Cotton: Kansas vs. Arkansas Holiday: Oregon vs. Texas Chick-fil-A: Boston College vs. Auburn Gator: Oklahoma vs. Clemson Outback: Tennessee vs. Wisconsin Sun: South Florida vs. California Alamo: Penn State vs. Texas A&M Champs Sports: Virginia vs. Michigan Music City: Mississippi State vs. Florida State Insight: Texas Tech vs. Indiana Meineke Car Care: Cincinnati vs. Wake Forest Las Vegas: BYU vs. Oregon State Liberty: UCF vs. Alabama Independence: Kentucky vs. Colorado Emerald: UCLA vs. Maryland Motor City: Central Michigan vs. Michigan State Humanitarian: Boise State vs. Georgia Tech GMAC: Bowling Green vs. Tulsa Texas: Houston vs. New Mexico International: Rutgers vs. Ball State Poinsettia: Navy vs. Utah Armed Forces: Air Force vs. Purdue PapaJohns.com: Connecticut vs. Southern Miss Hawaii: Fresno State vs. East Carolina New Orleans: Troy vs. Memphis New Mexico: TCU vs. Louisiana Tech

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Bored's Pointless Top 25 Cal is heading to El Paso Edition

Much kudos to UCLA this week for ending Cal's Rose Bowl hopes and thus extending their drought to 49 years. I wish I had been bold enough to make the proclamation a few weeks ago but there was almost no doubt in my mind the Bruins would lose to Notre Dame but beat Cal. If they played a high school Powder Puff team next week they'd lose but put up against a strong opponent and they usually win.   Top 25, you know the drill. I can hold off on ranking any three loss teams for at least another week. Sure there's an argument for Auburn but they could easily have five losses as well. I might become really ambitious this week and try to make bowl projections but usually I'm way too lazy to do such a thing.   1. Ohio State 2. Boston College 3. Arizona State 4. Kansas 5. LSU 6. Oklahoma 7. South Florida 8. West Virginia 9. Oregon 10. Missouri 11. Virginia Tech 12. Florida 13. South Carolina 14. Kentucky 15. USC 16. Virginia 17. Georgia 18. Connecticut 19. Wake Forest 20. Alabama 21. Michigan 22. Texas Tech 23. Penn State 24. Hawaii 25. Boise State

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The Greatest World Series Game Never Played

I'd figured I'd take a break from the usual lists to tell a quick story about the only World Series game I ever had the chance to attend. It's a pretty well known game because it didn't end being played as scheduled and it was 18 years ago today. It was Tuesday, October 17th, 1989 as the Oakland A's were to play the San Francisco Giants in Game 3 of their Bay Bridge World Series at Candlestick Park.   My Dad had bought tickets from Game 3 and 4 at Candlestick and he was going to take me to Game 3 and my brother to Game 4. Now you might wonder why as A's fans we'd have tickets to games in San Francisco and not Oakland but then you'd have to realize what a dump Candlestick Park was/is. The Oakland Coliseum today is thought of as one the worst ballparks around but at the time it was still regarded as good park and might as well have been Candem Yards compared to Candlestick. The A's had a larger season ticket base than the Giants at the time and with having the much nicer stadium the four games scheduled for Oakland were gone in an instant. Of course the games for Candlestick were gone quickly as well but there was actually people willing to give up those tickets for the right price unlike the games at the Coliseum. If I remember right I believe my Dad was able to buy our tickets off someone from he knew at work at $50 a piece in the nosebleed section. I don't think my Dad let me actually know how bad the seats really were but in the end would just be happy to be going to a World Series game especially with the A's out to a 2-0 series lead.   My memories of the day are pretty sketchy. I remember my Dad had bought a World Series program for me before hand for me to read on the way to the game. With the early 5:15 start time start time to get the game in east coast primetime we only got there probably about 20 minutes before the first pitch. Since we were so close to the game starting we decided to grab food before we got to the seats since there was no way I'd leave my seat during the game. Just as we got on line for food the stadium started shaking. We were on a concession line that was below the upper deck of the stadium and I remember just looking up as I guess that was my natural instinct was to see if anything was gonna fall. My Dad grabbed and rushed me to the little overhang by the concessions. Just a hunch if the stadium actually collapsed we'd be dead but if we actually survived what a better place to be trapped than by the food? For those of us who were not in their seats there wasn't even 100% certainty that it was earthquake or if the fans shook stadium. I remember right after the stadium stoppedd shaking a loud roar went up in the stadium and I heard a Giants fan near by yell "that's how you start a fucking game!" It was definately felt like a big earhtquake but it went by so quick and everything pretty much seemed fine. I was scared shitless but at least I was still going to see a World Series game.   Our seats were out towards rightfield and when we got to them I could see the leftfield foul pole was still shaking. I looked straight down the rightfield foul pole but one problem, you couldn't see rightfield at all from the angle of our seats and god damn did the field look far away. But again at least I was going to see a World Series game, if not really see the whole game itself with our view. Everyone seemed to think the game would be played although clearly delayed at that point. I can't remember at what time they called the game but shortly before that the gravity of the situation hit us when someone with a radio near by said this:   "The Bay Bridge collapsed."   That's a shit your pants moment right there. The image that went through my head was that the bridge went into the fucking water. What about the other bridges? How do we get home? As it turned out it was just a single portion of the upper deck of the bridge that collapse but at this point there was obvoiously going to be no baseball played that night. The rest of the night is a complete blur. I think my 11 year old brain had exploded that night and I was just worried about us getting home, although part of me was also excited by the prospect I might not have to school the next day. Although the Bay Bridge was the only bridge with major damage, all bridges were closed so we had to head south towards Santa Clara and go around the Bay to get home. This would normally be about a 40 minute drive but with so many people either trying to get home or get out of the city this turned into about a four hour trip just to get to the South Bay. Another problem that night was that because of the quake a lot of gas stations closed and we ended running out of gas in Santa Clara by the Great America theme park. On fumes my Dad got us into a hotel parking lot but as you can imagine that night all hotels were booked up. It was a very large hotel with a huge lobby and they were allowing people to come in without a room and sleep in the lobby which it appeared we'd end up doing. But my Dad was able to buy some gas from a gardner at the hotel from a lawnmower and enough to fill up to find an open gas station and get home. So about seven hours after the earthquake we were finally home. And I had to go to school. Fuck.   So at the start of this I mentioned that this would be about the only chance I had to go to a World Series game. Of course everyone the series resumed 10 days later but I didn't go. Why? Becuase I was a big fucking pussy. Okay I guess in reality i was just a scared kid who was going through some post traumatic shit but on the other hand I was just a pussy, who also watched way too much of the post-earthquake news coverage. I'm one of those people who will watch non-stop disaster news coverage. I remember for weeks after 9/11 watching the footage of the planes going into the WTC over and over and over and over again no matter how tough it was to watch. Every 9/11 when that footage starts getting replayed on t.v. again I always end up watching it. Back in '89 after the earthquake I just kept watching the news coverage of the earthquake and the home video footage shot in the immediate aftermath of the quake. This in particular of a car falling down the collapsed portion of the bridge was played non-stop and I ended up just scaring myself into not going to the next game. To this day I'm actually not scared of earthquakes at all but I was then. So I regret that I've never had another chance since to go to a World Series game but I suppose also I should be happy the earthquake didn't last longer or otherwise I might have been a Candlestick Park sandwich.

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2007 Player Rankings: Leftfielders

Leftfielders   2004 1. Barry Bonds 15. Pat Burrell 30. Reed Johnson   2005 1. Manny Ramirez 15. Rondell White 30. Larry Bigbie   2006 1. Manny Ramirez 15. David DeJesus 30. Brad Wilkerson   2007 1. Matt Holliday, Rockies 2. Adam Dunn, Reds 3. Barry Bonds, Giants 4. Carlos Lee, Astros 5. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs 6. Pat Burrell, Phillies 7. Raul Ibanez, Mariners 8. Carl Crawford, Devil Rays 9. Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks 10. Josh Willingham, Marlins 11. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox 12. Hideki Matsui, Yankees 13. Moises Alou, Mets 14. Ryan Church, Nationals 15. Chris Duncan, Cardinals 16. Matt Diaz, Braves 17. Garret Anderson, Angels 18. Reggie Willits, Angels 19. Luis Gonzalez, Dodgers 20. Jason Kubel, Twins 21. Shannon Stewart, A's 22. Geoff Jenkins, Brewers 23. Ryan Ludwick, Cardinals 24. Jason Bay, Pirates 25. Willie Harris, Braves 26. Frank Catalanotto, Blue Jays 27. Jay Payton, Orioles 28. Emil Brown, Royals 29. Rob Mackowiak, White Sox/Padres 30. Craig Monroe, Tigers/Cubs

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Bored's Pointless Top 25 THAT BOWS DOWN TO NO MAN Edition

What We Learned Last Night: The only team capable of beating USC in the Coliseum is Stanford. Hey they got the last two wins there.   Everything continues to be completely fucked up this year. We're now down to ten BCS conference undefeated teams and only three of them would anyone have expected to be at this point. Again I always give the benefit of the doubt to those teams so all of them are in my Top 10, even UConn. Also decided not to rank any two loss teams for this week, although that will go out the door next week. Sure you could argue Florida but they lost Auburn, who lost to Mississippi State and all three of those teams have two loses. I can't really justify ranking Mississippi State above Florida but how can you rank Florida above Auburn if they lost them at home?   The only one loss teams that I don't have ranked are Texas Tech and Texas A&M. Tech has played just about the weakest schedule of any BCS conference team to this point and lost to a bad Oklahoma State team. I did a double take when I noticed A&M was 5-1 as they've looked like complete shit against any team with a pulse but they pulled out close wins over Fresno State and Oklahoma State to keep their season from turning into a disaster. Those two happen to play each other next week so whoever wins I'll finally rank them.   But really none of this means anything, so don't bother reading it.   1. LSU 2. Ohio State 3. California 4. South Florida 5. Boston College 6. Missouri 7. Cincinnati 8. Arizona State 9. Kansas 10. Connecticut 11. South Carolina 12. Oregon 13. Oklahoma 14. West Virginia 15. Kentucky 16. USC 17. Illinois 18. Virginia Tech 19. Wisconsin 20. Florida State 21. Indiana 22. Hawaii 23. Boise State 24. Wyoming 25. Virginia

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Bored's Pointless Top 25 Fuck Cal Edition

Before I get to the football, this week I go on baseball overdrive with the Bored's 2007 MLB Awards and Bored's 2007 MLB Player Rankings. Both are great if you were in a coma since April which I wish I was instead of being subjected to the A's season.   I didn't end up having work yesterday after all so I was able to be lazy and gorge myself on college football all day after all but the Cal/Oregon game left such a bad taste in my mouth that I didn't feel like doing an unfunny Wrap Up entry. Cal is now a legit Top 3 team which means there is no God.   As for my Pointless Top 25, with so many top teams losing this weekend it is pretty much impossible not to give some 1 loss teams a decent ranking. But that being said I stil think the entire Top 10 should only be unbeaten teams, even though that is proving very difficult. Again don't even bother reading it.   1. LSU 2. USC 3. Fuck! 4. Ohio State 5. Kentucky 6. South Florida 7. Boston College 8. Wisconsin 9. Arizona State 10. Cincinnati 11. Oregon 12. South Carolina 13. Florida 14. Missouri 15. Georgia 16. Purdue 17. Oklahoma 18. Kansas 19. West Virginia 20. Kansas State 21. Illinois 22. Michigan State 23. Texas 24. Hawaii 25. Connecticut    

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Bored's Pointless Top 25

iggymcfly and Carnvial have them so I might as well too. I'm actually doing this in lieu of my pointless College Football Wrap-up as I missed all of the mid-day games yesterday and next Saturday I have to work and possibly the Saturday after that as well so it might be a while before I do another Wrap up entry. I did want to do a Worst Top 25 poll but then I realized that would take more time than doing a generic Top 25 so I opted for the lazy route.   One thing to get out of the way before this quickly thrown together poll I do have one crackpot theory about early season polls. I rarely see a point during the first month of the season of ranking a team that has already lost a game. With the current college football postseason structure, the regular season is supposedly a "playoff" unto itself where if a team loses they are eliminated. This of course is not true since one loss teams have and will win national championships but you get the idea. Teams that lose this early in the season are very likley to lose again and I personally don't see any team that has lost a game already this season that is going to run the table, although I won't keep anyone from making the argument for one. So that said for now I'm only going to rank teams that are undefeated but after next week we will be almost month into the season and at that point I may change that, if I actually do another one.   Also I'm really for the most part only taking into account what has happened so far this season, which is how the polls are supposed to work but don't. Yes Boston College is ranked too high but they've won three conference games and none of them were really in any doubt late in the game so I say give credit where credit is due at this point. I put this together in about ten minutes so don't even bother looking at it.   1. LSU 2. USC 3. Oklahoma 4. Florida 5. West Virginia 6. Boston College 7. Ohio State 8. South Carolina 9. California 10. Oregon 11. Texas 12. Penn State 13. Wisconsin 14. Rutgers 15. Kentucky 16. Auburn Alabama 17. South Florida 18. Clemson 19. Arizona State 20. Cincinnati 21. Missouri 22. Hawaii 23. Texas A&M 24. Kansas 25. Purdue

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2007 MVP Watch #5

It's been over a month since my last MVP Watch and to my surprise not much has changed, although I do have a new #1 in each league. Chase Utley hasn't played since breaking his hand on July 26th so he lost the #1 spot by default but he's still hanging on in the Top 5 for the moment. David Wright has been red hot since the break and has made the biggest jump. To no surprise at Albert Pujols is making a serious MVP run yet again. What is amazing about the current N.L. MVP race is that the two best players in the N.L. right now play for a team that is nine games under .500, that being of Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera of the Marlins. Neither has any shot at winning the real award but they are a cut above the competition at the moment.   And finally...Eric Byrnes still leads in the N.L. in Win Shares! I continue to be baffled by this unless he really has become a great defensive outfielder rather than the "one great diving play, misplay the next five" outfielder he was with the A's but I find this hard to believe. Win Shares is the only reason I'm bothering to keep him in the Top 10.   10. Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks .301/.367/.494, 82 RC, 117 OPS+, .289 EQA, 35.6 VORP, 24.7 Win Shares   9. Barry Bonds, Giants .280/.495/.589, 79 RC, 183 OPS+, .367 EQA, 51.3 VORP, 18.2 Win Shares   8. Matt Holliday, Rockies .338/.399/.581, 88 RC, 146 OPS+, .314 EQA, 50.9 VORP, 19.9 Win Shares   7. Prince Fielder, Brewers .284/.380/.609, 89 RC, 154 OPS+, .319 EQA, 49.7 VORP, 20.9 Win Shares   6. Jose Reyes, Mets .304/.377/.453, 92 RC, 121 OPS+, .295 EQA, 48.2 VOPR, 22.6 Win Shares   5. Chase Utley, Phillies .336/.414/.581, 84 RC, 154 OPS+, .327 EQA, 55.0 VORP, 21.0 Win Shares   4. Albert Pujols, Cardinals .317/.419/.550, 89 RC, 154 OPS+, .327 EQA, 49.9 VORP, 24.0 Win Shares   3. David Wright, Mets .310/.398/.521, 95 RC, 144 OPS+, .319 EQA, 51.6 VORP, 23.6 Win Shares   2. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins .343/.395/.578, 102 RC, 157 OPS+, .325 EQA, 71.1 VORP, 22.9 Win Shares   1. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .334/.414/.616, 106 RC, 171 OPS+, .340 EQA, 65.5 VORP, 24.4 Win Shares     In the A.L. it has gone to sort of being a four player race to a definitive two player race. Magglio Ordonez still hasn't fallen off a cliff which makes me think we're close to someone starting a steroid rumor about him. Speaking of steroid rumors, A-Rod grabs the top spot this time around but it is pretty much a toss up at this point. Ichiro Suzuki and Vladimir Guerrero hung tough through the first half and are still solidily in Top 5 but they have fallen off the Maggs/A-Rod pace. The rest of the Top 10 is a mess and you could jumble it several different ways without getting an argument out of me.   10. David Ortiz, Red Sox .311/.424/.543, 86 RC, 152 OPS+, .315 EQA, 49.6 VORP, 17.2 Win Shares   9. Jorge Posada, Yankees .334/.416/.531, 75 RC, 154 OPS+, .316 EQA, 52.6 VORP, 17.4 Win Shares   8. Curtis Granderson, Tigers .293/.351/.543, 84 RC, 134 OPS+, .295 EQA, 43.5 VORP, 19.7 Win Shares   7. Grady Sizemore, Indians .278/.382/.465, 93 RC, 126 OPS+, .291 EQA, 39.1 VORP, 22.9 Win Shares   6. Brian Roberts, Orioles .313/.397/.461, 89 RC, 128 OPS+, .302 EQA, 48.6 VORP, 20.7 Win Shares   5. Victor Martinez, Indians .301/.374/.505, 81 RC, 133 OPS+, .295 EQA, 42.2 VORP, 22.9 Win Shares   4. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels .319/.404/.531, 95 RC, 151 OPS+, .311 EQA, 46.0 VORP, 24.3 Win Shares   3. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners .347/.396/.431, 99 RC, 125 OPS+, .299 EQA, 49.6 VORP, 25.8 Win Shares   2. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers .356/.430/.595, 114 RC, 169 OPS+, .337 EQA, 65.3 VORP, 26.8 Win Shares   1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees .305/.412/.630, 117 RC, 177 OPS+, .334 EQA, 68.0 VORP, 26.1 Win Shares

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CFB Pick 'Em Contest Announcement

Regulars of the Sports forum know that for the past three years I've been running a College Football Pick 'Em Contest. At the conclusion of last season I was uncertain if I wanted to continue running this contest. During last season the contest started to become a chore for me to run rather than a fun time killer. But after giving it it some thought and given the desire of others to keep it going I've decided to do it for at least one more year. I'll be holding off on posting the sign up thread for this upcoming season until mid-July as I hope having sign ups start closer to the beginning of the season will mean less people jumping ship right as the contest starts. Last year I started signs up around this time and I had four people drop out within a month into the season. Further details of the 2007 contest will be held off until then, including a change in the BCS rankings.   To keep this entry in with the theme of my blog, it's time for a random list which relates to the contest. Last year I posted the Bored's College Football Pick 'Em Encyclopedia which had a recap of the first two seasons of the contest and all-time standings. I don't really feel like typing up a recap of last season but I have gone ahead and updated the all-time contest standings so here they are.   All-Time Records (ordered by total wins)   Note: Results where replacements picks were used are thrown out.   1t. CanadianChris 29-13 1t. teke 184 29-14 3. iggymcfly 28-11 4. Edwin MacPhisto 27-14 5. Vern Gagne 25-16 6t. AlwaysPissedOff 23-17 6t. phoenixrising 23-18 8t. Bored 22-18 8t. nogoodnick 22-21 10t. Cuban Linx 21-7 10t. Lando Griffin 21-19 10t. Spaceman Spiff 21-21 10t. Will Scarlet 21-22 14. Spicy McHaggis 20-21   15t. MarvinisLunatic 19-12 15t. Cartman 19-21 17t. Agent of Oblivion 18-21 17t. Gert T 18-21 19. Kotzenjunge 17-20 20t. JHawk 16-22 20t. bravesfan 16-23 22t. Secret Agent 13-12 22t. Agent Bond34 13-14 22t. Kingofthe909 13-16 22t. the pinjockey 13-25 26. Porter 12-13 27t. SilverPhoenix 11-10 27t. therealworldschampion 11-20   29. A MikeSC 9-3 30t. Loaded Glove 8-13 30t. Damaramu 8-15 30t. Carnival 8-17 33t. kkktookmybabyaway 7-5 33t. Urban Warfare 7-6 33t. Danville Wrestling 7-7 33t. Flyboy 7-7 33t. Vampiro69 7-7 33t. Leena 7-8 33t. Vitamin X 7-16 39t. UTBroward 6-7 39t. HarleyQuinn 6-8 39t. Angel Grace Blue 6-19 42t. Hawk 34 5-7 42t. Ortonsault 5-7 44t. Matt Young 4-2 44t. Dangerous A 4-7 44t. 2GOLD 4-9 44t. Mad Dog 4-9 48t. Jimbo 1-1 48t. "Hail" bps21 1-2 50t. IK Cool Jew 0-3 50t. Rob E Dangerously 0-4

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TSB Sim Season: Week 13

The Vikings continue their surprise run to the top of the NFL standings and wrap up the NFC Central division title by eviscerating the Lions 42-14. The NFC playoff picture is pretty clear with the Vikings, Giants, and 49ers leading the divisions and the Eagles and Redskins as wild cards with the only final playoff spot up for grabs between the Rams, Saints, Bears, and Cowboys. Over in the AFC it is a little more muddy. The Raiders still have a nice cushion in the AFC West even after being stunned by the Bengals this week who were without Boomer Esiason. Bills sort of avenged their shocking defeat at the hands of the Patriots in Week 10 by eeking out a three point win. In the AFC Central the Oilers looked to be close to running away with the division a couple of weeks ago but divisional losses later and they find themselves tied with the Steelers at 7-5. The Dolphins are a near lock for a wild card while the Chiefs, Chargers, and Browns are fighting for the final two spots along with the whoever doesn't win the AFC Central.   Week 13 Scores   New Orleans 23, Atlanta 9 NO: 6-6, ATL: 2-10 -Falcons: 12 yards rushing   Pittsburgh 28, Houston 20 PIT: 7-5, HOU: 7-5 -Louis Lipps: 6 rec, 111 yards   N.Y. Giants 30, Tampa Bay 27 OT NYG: 10-2, TB: 4-8 -Ottis Anderson: 108 yards rushing   San Diego 31, N.Y. Jets 0 SD: 7-5, JET: 3-9 -Marion Butts: 178 yards rushing   Cincinnati 14, L.A. Raiders 9 CIN: 5-7, RAI: 9-3 -James Brooks: 106 yards rushing   Philadelphia 28, Phoenix 10 PHI: 8-4, PHX: 2-11 -Randall Cunnigham: 246 yards passing   Denver 38, Seattle 28 DEN: 5-7, SEA: 5-7 -Mark Jackson: 5 rec, 136 yards   Green Bay 28, Indianapolis 27 GB: 4-8, IND: 4-8 -Ed West: 5 rec, 120 yards   Washington 23, Cowboys 7 WAS: 8-4, DAL: 5-7 -Ernest Byner: 111 yards rushing   Buffalo 27, New England 24 BUF: 10-2, NE: 3-9 -Thurman Thomas: 199 yards rushing   Miami 20, Chicago 14 MIA: 9-3, CHI: 5-7 -Sammie Smith: 77 yards rushing   Minnesota 42, Detroit 14 MIN: 11-2, DET: 2-10 -Wade Wilson: 183 yards passing   Kansas City 30, Cleveland 10 KC: 7-5, CLE: 6-6 -Barry Word: 137 total yards   San Francisco 35, L.A. Rams 34 SF: 9-3, RAM: 6-6 -Jerry Rice: 6 rec, 169 yards   Leaders thru Week 13   PASSING LEADERS   Rating 1. Phil Simms, 201.8 2. Dan Marino, 177.8 3. Randall Cunningham, 174.9   Yards 1. Warren Moon, 3018 2. Joe Montana, 2910 3. Jim Everett, 2783   Touchdowns 1. Montana, 31 2t. Marino, 29 2t. Everett, 29   RECEIVING LEADERS   Receptions 1. Jerry Rice, 59 2. Andre Rison, 41 3. Anthony Miller, 40   Yards 1. Rice, 1524 2. Sterling Sharpe, 1044 3. Rison, 1022   Touchdowns 1. Rice, 17 2. Miller, 12 3. James Lofton, 11   RUSHING LEADERS   Yards 1. Thurman Thomas, 1143 2. Neal Anderson, 1101 3. Christian Okoye, 1029   Touchdowns 1. Tom Rathman, 14 2t. Many tied with 12   DEFENSIVE LEADERS   Interceptions 1. Kevin Ross, 9 2t. Many tied with 8   Sacks 1. Lawrence Taylor, 18 2t. Bruce Smith, 15 2t. Derrick Thomas, 15   SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS   Field Goals: Jeff Jaeger, 16 Punting Avg: Rohn Stark, 51.3 Punt Return Avg: Henry Ellard, 12.2 Kick Return Avg: David Meggett, 20.6

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TSB Sim Season: Week 12

This seems to be turning into a weekly Bills update but something interesting happens to them every week. This week in their showdown with the Dolphins for first place in the AFC East, Jim Kelly was knocked out of the game in first half. Lucky for them they have one of the few decent back up quarterbacks on the game in Frank Reich and he led two 4th quarter touchdown drives for the 24-21 win. Bills sweep the season series giving them essentially a two game lead on the Dolphins now. In other quarterback injury news, the Bengals lost to the Eagles and lost Boomer Esiason to injury dimming their already very slim playoff hopes. The Browns season seemed to be spiraling out of control after three straight losses including two huge blow outs but this week they knocked off the divison leading Oilers to pull back within in a game of first palce. Last week the Bears appeared to be on the verge of turning their season around after their win against the Vikings but they shit the bed against the Colts this week and now the Vikings can clinch the division next week.   Week 12 Scores   San Francisco 21, Phoenix 10 SF: 8-3, PHX: 2-10 -Tom Rathman: 100 yards rushing   San Diego 24, New Orleans 20 SD: 6-5, NO: 5-6 -Billy Joe Tolliver: 179 yards passing   Indianapolis 28, Chicago 17 IND: 4-7, CHI: 5-6 -Albert Bentley: 77 yards rushing   Philadelphia 35, Cincinnati 21 PHI: 7-4, CIN: 4-7 -Boomer Esiason: leaves injured   Cleveland 24, Houston 21 CLE: 6-5, HOU: 7-4 -Bernie Kosar: 264 yards passing   Tampa Bay 24, Atlanta 9 TB: 4-7, ATL: 2-9 -Chris Miller: 31% comp pct, 3 int   Kansas City 30, Denver 6 KC: 6-5, DEN: 4-7 -Christian Okoye: 106 yards rushing   Buffalo 24, Miami 21 BUF: 9-2, MIA: 8-3 -Jim Kelly: leaves injured   L.A. Raiders 17, Seattle 14 RAI: 9-2, SEA: 5-6 -Bo Jackson: 85 yards rushing   Pittsburgh 17, Washington 7 PIT: 6-5, WAS: 7-4 -Bubby Brister: 202 yards passing   N.Y. Giants 33, Dallas 28 GIA: 9-2, DAL: 5-6 -David Meggett: 112 yards rushing   L.A. Rams 31, Detroit 21 RAM: 6-5, DET: 2-9 -Jim Everett: 259 yards passing   Minnesota 37, Green Bay 14 MIN: 10-2, GB: 3-8 -Steve Jordan: 4 rec, 105 yards   N.Y. Jets 34, New England 14 JET: 3-8, NE: 3-8 -Al Toon: 5 rec, 137 yards   Leaders thru Week 12   PASSING LEADERS   Rating 1. Phil Simms, 201.0 2. Dan Marino, 175.2 3. Randall Cunningham, 167.5   Yards 1. Warren Moon, 2770 2. Montana, 2684 3. Jim Everett, 2536   Touchdowns 1t. Marino, 27 1t. Montana, 27 3. Moon, 26   RECEIVING LEADERS   Receptions 1. Jerry Rice, 53 2t. Many tied with 36   Yards 1. Rice, 1355 2. Sterling Sharpe, 989 3. Eric Martin, 970   Touchdowns 1. Rice, 14 2t. Many tied with 10   RUSHING LEADERS   Yards 1. Neal Anderson, 1056 2. Christian Okoye, 962 3. Johnny Johnson, 945   Touchdowns 1. Tom Rathman, 13 2. Johnson, 12 3. Many tied with 11   DEFENSIVE LEADERS   Interceptions 1. Joey Browner, 8 2t. Many tied with 7   Sacks 1. Lawrence Taylor, 17 2. Bruce Smith, 15 3t. Many tied with 14   SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS   Field Goals: Jeff Jaeger, 13 Punting Avg: Rohn Stark, 51.3 Punt Return Avg: Jeff Query, 12.8 Kick Return Avg: David Meggett, 20.5

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TSB Sim Season: Week 10

Do you believe in miracles?   After blazing to an 8-0 start without breaking a sweat the Bills were stunned by the worst team in TSB in Week 10. I don't know what's more shocking, the Patriots beating the Bills or the Patriots now already having three wins. In other surprising news, I had accidently been listing the Vikings as having two losses but after looking at the standings on the game they had only one and now with the Bills' loss, the Vikings of all teams now have the best record in the league at 9-1 and could clinch the NFC Central by Week 12. After a slow start the 49ers have moved into sole posession of first place in the NFC West after the Rams have dropped back-to-back overtime losses in the division. The Packers and Jets met in a battle of one win teams with the Pack prevailing 38-17 and sending the Jets to the bottom of the league at 1-8.   Week 10 Scores   New Orleans 24, L.A. Rams 21 OT NO: 5-4, RAM: 5-4 -Steve Walsh: 241 yards passing   Miami 31, Indianapolis 14 MIA: 7-2, IND: 3-6 -Tony Paige: 4 rec, 103 yards   N.Y. Giants 27, Philadelphia 22 NYG: 7-2, PHI: 5-4 -Phil Simms: 200 yards passing   Green Bay 38, N.Y. Jets 17 GB: 2-7, NYJ: 1-8 -Ed West: 5 rec, 148 yards   Minnesota 28, Tampa Bay 21 MIN: 9-1, TB: 2-7 -Wade Wilson: 166 yards passing   Denver 20, Pittsburgh 10 DEN: 4-5, PIT: 5-4 -Bobby Humphrey: 103 yards rushing   New England 30, Buffalo 28 NE: 3-6, BUF: 8-1 -Steve Grogan: 222 yards passing   Cincinnati 21, Cleveland 13 CIN: 3-6, CLE: 5-4 -Rodney Holman: 71 yards receiving   Washington 27, Houston 24 OT WAS: 6-3, HOU: 6-3 -Art Monk: 5 rec, 140 yards   Chicago 30, Detroit 6 CHI: 4-5, DET: 2-7 -Brad Muster: 86 yards rushing   Dallas 21, Phoenix 14 DAL: 5-4, PHX: 2-8 -Emmitt Smith: 93 yards rushing   San Francisco 24, Atlanta 17 SF: 6-3, ATL: 2-7 -Joe Montana: 310 yards passing   Bye Weeks: Kansas City (4-5), L.A. Raiders (7-2), San Diego (4-5), Seattle (5-4)   Leaders thru Week 10   PASSING LEADERS   Rating 1. Phil Simms, 205.2 2. Dan Marino, 189.6 3. Joe Montana, 177.5   Yards 1. Warren Moon, 2363 2. Montana, 2249 3. Marino, 2136   Touchdowns 1. Marino, 25 2. Montana, 24 3t. Many tied with 21   RECEIVING LEADERS   Receptions 1. Jerry Rice, 43 2. Anthony Miller, 32 3t. Many tied with 31   Yards 1. Rice, 1120 2. Ellard, 791 3. Mark Duper, 767   Touchdowns 1. Rice, 11 2. Ernest Givens, 9 3t. Many tied with 8   RUSHING LEADERS   Yards 1. Johnny Johnson, 849 2. Neal Anderson, 846 3. Thurman Thomas, 810   Touchdowns 1. Johnson, 12 2t. Many tied with 10   DEFENSIVE LEADERS   Interceptions 1t. Joey Browner, 7 1t. Kevin Ross, 7 1t. Erik McMillan, 7   Sacks 1. Lawrence Taylor, 16 2t. Many tied with 13   SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS   Field Goals: Gary Anderson, 10 Punting Avg: Rohn Stark, 51.7 Punt Return Avg: Jeff Query, 12.8 Kick Return Avg: Danny Peebles, 20.1

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Top 50 Most Replied TSM Sports Forum Threads

Hey its entry #200! Ya I had nothing special thought out. I've tried putting together a list of the Top 50 Oakland A's of All-Time but am never satisfied with the list when I put it together. I also tried putting together a list of the Top 100 baseball players of my baseball lifetime but that became too difficult and eventually too subjective as I made adjustments to it. So as a total cop out I decided to list the Top 50 most replied to threads in the Sports forum here at TSM which is pretty much the only forum I post in for the most part. I'd pull quotes from these threads but not even I'm not Bored enough to go through threads with thousands of posts to find something remotely funny although feel free to do it for me.   1. One & Only MLB playoff discussion thread 3616 replies Sarted September 27, 2003 by KingPK Most Posts: Choken One - 612   2. English Football 3483 Started June 22, 2003 by welshjerichomark Most Posts: TheFranchise - 893   3. The Official MLB Offseason Topic 2396 Started November 9, 2003 by Bored Most Posts: alkeiper - 448   4. Fantasy NBA League? 2264 Started October 1, 2003 by MarvinisaLunatic Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 415   5. The OAO NBA Playoffs/Finals Thread 2145 Started April 10, 2004 by Dangerous A Most Posts: Choken One - 203   6. And So it Begins 2132 Started October 28, 2004 by Bruiser Chong Most Posts: alkeiper - 238   7. The one and only NHL playoffs thread 1989 Started October 6, 2003 by Urban Warfare Most Posts: ???   8. The ALCS: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 1902 Started October 9, 2004 by The Dames Most Posts: Anglesault - 246   9. NFL Discussion Forumtable 1870 Started November 14, 2006 by Agent of Oblivion Most Posts: Porter - 144   10. Smartmarks Fake Baseball League 1714 Started October 18, 2003 by Evolution Most Posts: Evolution - 553   11. Another reason why ESPN sucks 1681 Started April 13, 2006 by KingPK Mosts Posts: Leena - 156   12. 2006-7 MLB Offseason Thread 1593 Started October 2, 2006 by Mik Most Posts: cheech13 - 182   13. 2006 NFL Off-Season 1558 Started January 3, 2006 by FFMS Most Posts: Carlito Brigante - 203   14. The OaO 2003-2004 NBA Thread! 1369 Started October 23, 2003 by Just J Most Posts: alfdogg - 167   15. The 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs thread 1317 Started April 4, 2004 by CanadianChris Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 99   16. The Official 2003 NBA Playoffs Thread 1246 Started April 16, 2003 by Crazy Dan Mosts Posts: ???   17. Official College Football thread 1229 Started September 2, 2003 by Vern Gagne Most Posts: Bored - 216   18. The NFL Offseason/Pre-Draft Thread 1177 Started January 22, 2005 by MrRant Most Posts: Vitamin X - 158   19. TSM Fantasy Baseball 2007 1150 Started January 12, 2007 by MJ Styles Most Posts: MJ Styles - 179   20. TSM 2006 NBA Playoffs thread 1140 Started April 17, 2006 by Dangerous A Most Posts: alfdogg - 105   21. The One & Only 2003 NFL Draft Thread 1126 Started April 25, 2003 by Flyboy Most Posts: ???   22. The Rose Bowl Thread 1112 Started December 3, 2005 by Bored Most Posts: Damaramu - 236   23. NBA Offseason Thread 1109 Started May 8, 2006 by Kingofthe909 Most Posts: alfdogg - 143   24. NBA Offseason News and Moves 1104 Started June 17, 2004 by NaturalBornThriller4:20 Most Posts: alfdogg - 106   25. 2006-07 MLB Offseason Thread (Part II) 1095 Started December 11, 2006 by alkeiper Most Posts: cheech13 - 154   26. NHL 2006 Playoffs thread... 1087 Started April 17, 2006 by Carlito Brigante Most Posts: CanadianChris - 165   27. NBA Roundtable Discussion 1056 Started December 7, 2006 by alfdogg Most Posts: Ripper - 145   28. Head 2 Head Fantasy Baseball 2005 1026 Started February 21, 2005 by Lightning Flik Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 205   29. NHL 2006 Off-Season... 1012 Started June 19, 2006 by Carlito Brigante Most Posts: Kingofthe909 - 134   30. NCAA Basketball Tournament Thread 1006 Started March 17, 2005 by Slayer Mosts Posts: Damaramu - 131   31. The OAO NHL 2003-2004 Season Thread 1003 Started December 2, 2003 by CanadianChris Most Posts: CanadianChris - 118   32. Super Bowl XL 996 Started January 22, 2006 by CanadianChris Most Posts: Hawk 34 - 67   33. NBA Offseason Stuff 953 Started May 31, 2005 by alfdogg Most Posts: alfdogg - 128   34. The One and Only Divisional Playoffs thread 917 Started January 10, 2004 by CanadianChris Most Posts: FrigidSoul - 102   35. College Hoops: NCAA Tournament Rounds 1 and 2 913 Started March 13, 2006 by SilverPhoenix Most Posts: Leena - 100   36. 2005-2006 MLB Offseason thread 891 Started October 19, 2005 by Mik Most Posts: FFMS - 138   37. Fantasy Football 871 Started July 7, 2003 by razazteca Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 162   38. The Official SmartMarks Fantasy Football Thread 869 Started July 28, 2002 by The Man in Blak Most Posts: ???   39. NBA Playoffs 2006: Conference Semifinals 867 Started May 6, 2006 by alfdogg Most Posts: naiwf - 89   40. TSM Head-to-head FantasyBaseball League~! 841 Started February 18, 2004 by Lightning Flik Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 216   41. TOAO NFL Week 2 Thread 813 Started September 13, 2003 by bps21 Most Post: tpww - 144   42t. Anyone up for Fantasy Football? 808 Started July 3, 2004 by LaParkaMarka Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 151   42t. 2005-06 MLB Offseason Thread (Part II) 808 Started Decmeber 11, 2005 by alkeiper Most Posts: alkeiper - 114   44. OAO 2004 MLB Games Thread 800 Started April 4, 2004 by HarleyQuinn Most Posts: Anglesault - 165   45. Yankees/Twins ALDS Thread 799 Started October 5, 2004 by alkeiper Most Posts: mike546 - 131   46. The ONE and ONLY World Series Thread 795 Started October 16, 2003 by alkeiper Most Posts: Mik - 179   47. The 2006 NFL Draft Thread 766 Started April 28, 2006 by Gert T Most Posts: teke184 - 100   48. World Cup 2006 in Germany 753 Started May 10, 2006 by CurryMan Most Posts: Kingofthe909 - 75   49. The 2004 NFL Draft 749 Started April 15, 2004 by JackBauer Most Posts: bps21 - 102   50. NBA Playoffs 722 Started April 17, 2005 by alfdogg Most Posts: The Electrifyer - 59

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Worst...Game...Ever

I attended the Mariners/A's game last night. On paper it seemed like a very favorable match-up with Dan Haren pitching for the A's against Jeff Weaver of the Mariners. Haren didn't have it last night, and he really hasn't had it for the last few weeks, but through six innings he had only given up one run mainly due to the Mariners over agressive hitting. He'd thrown 99 pitches to that point and I thought it'd be a good idea to get the hook instead of pressing their luck especially with scored tied 1-1. But manager Bob Geren did press his luck and got the whammy as Jose Vidro would hit a two run double to give the Mariners a 3-1 lead to finally knock Haren out of the game, the Mariners eventually going on to win 7-1. Now this was not the worst game I've ever been to from the standpoint of a heartbreaking loss (that would be this game) but it was one of the worst games I've ever been to from the quality of play by the A's. The A's committed five errors with Marco Scutaro tying an American League record with four errors in one game by a third baseman. Hey I saw history! So for this brief entry I give a brief list of some of the worst performances by the A's that I've seen live in person. The list is brief is I'm doing this off the top of my head and my memories of individual games as a kid aren't particularly good which I'll chalk up to having a short attention span.   June 21, 1987 vs. Texas. Now see talking of not having a good memory, I can't 100% vouch for that I went to this game but it was the second game of a double header and I have an early baseball memory of being at a double header against the Rangers with the A's getting blown out so odds are it was this game. A's lost 13-3 and some guy named Bob Brower for the Rangers hit two homeruns. Ron Cey DH'd for the A's that day. God I feel old.   June 30, 1997 vs. San Diego. The A's hit rock bottom as a franchise in 1997 and this game was pretty much how the season went. The Padres scored seven runs in the 2nd inning, featuring two three-run homeruns by Wally Joyner and Tony Gwynn off starter Don Wengert. He was replaced by Dan Johnson who I thought was good at the time because he had a 2.08 ERA. Not really grasping the idea of sample sizes at that point, he'd only pitched 13 innings so far that season, I would be very dissapointed as he would give up six runs of his own including a two run homerun to Greg Vaughn in the 4th. It was 11-3 at the end of the 4th, 15-5 at the end of the 6th, with the Padres clinging to a 15-6 win.   October 1, 2004 vs. Anaheim. This was an awful game and it was a heartbreaker. It was the first game of the final series of the year and the A's were one game out of first place behind the Angels. Mark Mulder made the start despite having a horrific last two months of the season and clearly needed to be skipped in the rotation for rookie Joe Blanton. Mulder would get hooked after surrendering four runs in the 2nd. Blanton would shadow him and kept the A's in it until the 6th when the Angels figured him out and Alfredo Amezaga (who hit .161/.212/.247 in 93 at bats that year) hit a grand slam to make it 8-0, eventually skunking the A's 10-0. And it was my birthday. Angels clinched the division the next day.

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A's All-Time Draft

With Baseball-Reference.com now adding an extensive amateur draft database I thought for a quicky entry it might be mildly interesting to take a look back at who were the best picks for each round by the A's since the draft started in 1965. I originally thought of going through every round but settled on the first 20 rounds as you get later into the draft you have some rounds where they have zero players ever making it to the Majors.   1. Reggie Jackson, OF, Arizona State, 1966   Hard to go wrong with Reggie or Mark McGwire (1984). The year before taking Reggie #2 overall they had the #1 pick overall in the first ever draft taking Rick Monday. Other A's first round picks include Chet Lemon (1976), Walt Weiss (1988), Eric Chavez (1996), Mark Mulder (1998), Barry Zito (1999), and Nick Swisher (2002).   2. Jason Giambi, 3B, Long Beach State, 1992   Next best pick was Vida Blue in 1967. After those two you get Kevin Tapani (1986) and then drop to Mark Bellhorn (1995) and Mike Gallego (1981).   3. Mike Davis, OF, Hoover High School, 1979   Almost no success at all in this round for the A's as the only other player with an extended career in the Majors was Floyd Bannister in 1973 but he didn't sign.   4. Rickey Henderson, P, Technical High School, 1976   Yup RICKEY~ was a pitcher but obviously he went on to other things. Curt Young is the next best pick from this round but who cares when you have RICKEY~?   5. Mickey Tettleton, C, Oklahoma State, 1981   Tettleton did nothing for the A's but he's the easy pick here. Only middle reliever Dave Hamilton (1966) really contributed anything of signifcance for the A's form this round.   6. Sal Bando, 3B, Arizona State, 1965   The captain of the 70's championship teams is the pick here. They drafted Jim Sundberg (1969) and Alvin Davis (1981) in the 6th round but neither signed. Tim Hudson also drafted here in 1997.   7. Matt Keough, 3B, Corona del Mar High School, 1973   Slim pickings in the 7th, Keough became a pitcher for the A's with one good year in 1980. Todd Burns and Dan Johnson are the only other players to do anything with the A's.   8. Eric Byrnes, OF, UCLA, 1998   Glenn Abbott (1969) and Craig Paquette (1989) the only other "legit" Major Leaguers.   9. Terry Steinbach, 3B, Minnesota, 1983   A's regular catcher for a decade is an easy choice here. Another long time starter Wayne Gross was picked in 1973.   10. Lance Blankenship, 3B, California, 1986   Nothing of note here so I'll go with the only professional athlete I ever had a brief conversation with. Probably because I was one of about five people on line at a autograph signing appearance at a grocery store in 1990 but as a 12 year old kid it was pretty cool.   11. Greg Caderet, P, Grand Valley State, 1983   They drafted Eric Soderholm, third baseman with some pop who played with the Twins and White Sox, in 1967 but he didn't sign and Caderet is the only player from this round that had more than a cup of coffee in the Majors.   12. Chris Michalak, P, Notre Dame, 1993   Fewer than 200 innings in the Majors, and none with the A's, but there was literally no one better.   13. Rod Beck, P, Grant High School, 1986   A's traded him to the Giants for some nobody in a minor league deal in 1988.   14. Ron Coomer, 3B, Taft Junior College, 1987   Former "All-Star" was released by the A's in 1990. No A's 14th Round pick made it the Majors before him.   15. Jose Canseco, 3B, Carol City High School, 1982   Besides this piece of shit the A's also drafted defensive wizard Dwayne Murphy (1973) and fat power hitter Bob Horner (1975) although he didn't sign.   16. Doug Johns, P, Virginia, 1990   Only three 16th round picks made it the Majors and this is the best.   17. Rich Harden, P, Central Arizona College, 2000   Hall of Fame stuff but looks like the A.L. Mark Prior right about now. David Newhan (1995) the only other the Major Leaguer from this round.   18. Darren Lewis, OF, California, 1988   Just one of two 18th round picks from this franchise to make it the Majors but at least he did have an extended career and was a superb defensive center fielder.   19. Rick Lysander, P, Cal State-Los Angeles, 1974   See why I stopped at 20 rounds?   20. Gene Tenace, SS, Valley High School, 1965   Getting a guy who played 15 years in the Majors with .388 OBP is pretty good value here I'd say. Also picked Scott Brosius in 1987 in the 20th.

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Draftback: 1987 MLB Draft

The MLB Draft is this week and for the first time it will be televised which will likely replace the NFL Draft for the boringest sports program ever. At least with the NFL Draft you've seen the top players play because college football is everywhere on Saturday's in the Fall but you are rarely able to catch any college baseball on t.v. outside the College World Series plus on top of that many of the top prospects are drafted out of high school.   I just picked 1987 to do a Draftback since by now most of the players from this draft careers are either done or winding down which just makes me feel so very old. It also has two first ballot Hall of Famers in the 1st Round with the #1 pick overall being one of the most hyped prospects ever and almost immediately living up to that hype.   1. Mariners - Ken Griffey Jr., Outfielder, High School   By far the best #1 pick of the 1980's Griffey would already be a superstar by 1990 and help turn around what was the Clippers of Major League Baseball into a respectable franchise.   2. Pirates - Mark Merchant, Outfielder, High School   On the other side of the coin we get this guy. Ironically enough he ended being traded to the Mariners organization in 1989 but never made it to the Majors and did not reach Triple-A until 1993.   3. Twins - Willie Banks, Pitcher, High School   Walked 107 batters in 125 2/3 innings in low A ball in 1988. Had one solid year in the Majors in '93 (11-12, 4.04 ERA) and that was it. Pitched for seven different teams in nine years in the Majors. Per the Baseball Cube in 2005 he gave up 15 runs in two innings pitched for the independent Newark Bears.   4. Cubs - Mike Harkey, Pitcher, Cal State Fullerton   Harkey had shoulder problems almost immediately but did to put together a very good rookie year in 1990 (12-6, 3.26 ERA) finishing 5th in the N.L. ROY voting. But that was his high point as he could rarely ever stay healthy.   5. White Sox - Jack McDowell, Pitcher, Stanford   Made his MLB debut just three months after being drafted. Very good pitcher for a few years including picking up a Cy Young in 1993 but started to break down by age 30. Probably best known for flipping off the Yankee fans in 1995 after being pulled from a game in his one season in New York.   6. Braves - Derek Lilliquist, Pitcher, Georgia   To no surprise he became expendable in the Braves organization and was traded to San Diego in 1990. Had two very good years as a middle reliever with the Indians in the mid-90's but little success at any other point.   7. Orioles - Chris Myers, Pitcher, High School   I found almost nothing on this guy. As you can imagine he never pitched in the Majors.   8. Dodgers - Dan Opperman, Pitcher, High School   Another guy where it is almost like he never exsisted. He apparently blew out his arm very early into is pro career.   9. Royals - Kevin Appier, Pitcher, High School   Excellent pitcher during his early to mid-20's with the Royals and I think was bit overlooked during his peak. Pitched reguarly into his mid-30's but was not particularly effective after age 29.   10. Padres - Kevin Garner, Pitcher/Outfielder, Texas   All I found out is he became a first baseman and was traded in 1991 with Joey Cora to the White Sox. Never sniffed the Majors.   11. Athletics - Lee Tinsley, Outfielder, High School   Never played for the A's and didn't make is MLB debut until 1993 with Seattle spending the majority of his brief career as a 4th or 5th outfielder.   12. Expos - Delino DeShields, Shortstop/Second Baseman, High School   A speedy, decent hitting, but poor fielding second baseman who spent 13 seasons in the Majors. Probably best remembered though for being the guy the Dodgers traded Pedro Martinez for.   13. Brewers - Bill Spiers, Shortstop, Clemson   13 years in the Majors mainly as a utility infielder.   14. Cardinals - Cris Carpenter, Pitcher, Georgia   No this is not Chris Carpenter. This Cris Carpenter pitched eight years in Majors primarily as a reliever.   15. Orioles - Brad DuVall, Pitcher, Virginia Tech   Chose to return to school the next year but didn't help his stock as he dropped to 23rd overall to St. Louis in the '88 draft and would never reach the Majors.   16. Giants - Mike Remlinger, Pitcher, Dartmouth   Only pitched 123 2/3 innings in the Majors thru 1996 he wouldn't have any real success until age 33 as a middle reliever with the Braves and was able to hang around until last year.   17. Blue Jays - Alex Sanchez, Pitcher, UCLA   Spent 18 days in the Majors in 1989: 11 2/3 IP, 16 H, 13 ER, 14 BB, 4 SO. Ouch.   18. Reds - Jack Armstrong, Pitcher, Oklahoma   Has to be one of the most obscure pitchers ever to start an All-Star Game doing so in 1990 but he'd collapse in the second half that year, would be left out of the Reds postseason rotation and really was never good again.   19. Rangers - Brian Bohanon, Pitcher, High School   Despite 5.19 career ERA still threw over 1000 innings in the Majors which again proves if you have a son who is left handed you better make him learn how to pitch.   20. Tigers - Bill Henderson, Catcher, High School   Another almost non-exsistant player.   21. Tigers - Steve Pegues, Outfielder, High School   Well at least one of the Tigers back-to-back picks made it to the Majors but Pegues didn't do it until 1994 with the Reds and played a total of 100 games in the Majors.   22. Astros - Craig Biggio, Catcher, Seton Hall   Okay he is washed up now and is just barely hanging by a thread to get to 3000 hits but he's had a remarkable career and doesn't need to get 3000 to be a lock for the Hall of Fame.   23. Rangers - Bill Haselman, Catcher, UCLA   Career back up catcher who played 13 years in the Majors.   24. Mets - Chris Donnels, Third Baseman, Loyola Marymount   Non-descript career in the Majors, played four years in Japan from 1996-1999.   25. Angels - John Orton, Catcher, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo   Damn teams sure were in desperate need of catchers in 1987. In 448 plate apperances in the Majors he hit .200/.265/.274.   26. Red Sox - Reggie Harris, Pitcher, High School   Had a five year gap between apperances in the Majors between 1991 and 1996, only threw 121 career innings.     Other Picks of Note   2nd Round, Blue Jays - Derek Bell 2nd Round, Indians - Albert Belle 2nd Round, Mariners - Dave Burba 2nd Round, Mets - Todd Hundley 2nd Round, Yankees - Pete Schourek 3rd Round, Cardinals - Ray Lankford 3rd Round, Brewers - Jaime Navarro 5th Round, Blue Jays - Mike Timlin 6th Round, Dodgers - Darrin Fletcher 6th Round, Padres - Dave Hollins 7th Round, Twins - Mark Guthrie 7th Round, Pirates - Mickey Morandini 7th Round, Reds - Reggie Sanders 11th Round, Orioles - Mike Mussina (did not sign) 13th Round, Orioles - Steve Finley 13th Round, Braves - Mike Stanton 18th Round, Orioles - David Segui 20th Round, Athletics - Scott Brosius 24th Round, Brewers - Jeromy Burnitz (did not sign) 26th Round, Yankees - Dan Wilson (did not sign) 28th Round, Twins - Bret Boone (did not sign) 30th Round, Astros - Darryl Kile 32nd Round, Rangers - Robb Nen 34th Round, Astros - Scott Erickson (did not sign) 37th Round, Cubs - Jeff Cirillo (did not sign) 45th Round, Blue Jays - Darren Lewis (did not sign) 48th Round, Yankees - Brad Ausmus 58th Round, Royals - Jeff Conine

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Award Redo: 2002 A.L. MVP

A's lost two out of three to the Orioles this weekend in Baltimore and as May closes out it is once again looking like this is the year the A's string of winning seasons comes to an end. But it seems that way every year the first couple of months of the season before they go on some insane run for a couple of months that saves their season. Their former shortstop Miguel Tejada had never homered in 25 games against the A's before homering in back-to-back days this weekend and it was five years ago when Tejada played a major role in the A's most remarkable run of all when they won an American League record 20 straight games. It was that streak and some timely hits by Tejada that would be the primary reason he would be awarded the A.L. MVP after the season and it was always a very questionable win in the minds of statheads. I fully supported him winning the award at the time Miggy could have shit on my floor and I wouldn't have minded but enough time has past that it is time for me to take back what he didn't really deserve.   Tejada received 21 of the posssible 28 first place votes beating out Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano by a comfortable margin. A-Rod hit 57 homeruns and had 142 RBI in 2002 and those normally would be plenty for the writers to give him in the MVP the problem being this was of course when he was with the Rangers where wins did not come very often in Texas. Tejada hit 23 fewer homeruns than A-Rod and had a near idential OPS to his teammate Eric Chavez who finished 14th in the voting. But the main facotr in the writers view was that the Rangers won only 72 games, finishing 31 games behind Miggy and the A's, thus A-Rod could not have been truly "valuable" if his team played so poorly. Soriano had his breakout year with the Yankees, coming up with one homerun shy of a 40-40 season but given how loaded the Yankees line up was it was hard in the view of the writers to give the award to a player with so much help around him with teammates Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams both finishing in the Top 10.   So should A-Rod have been the slam dunk winner and how bad of a choice was Tejada?   Actual Results 1) Miguel Teajda 2) Alex Rodriguez 3) Alfonso Soriano 4) Garret Anderson 5) Jason Giambi 6) Torii Hunter 7) Jim Thome 8) Magglio Ordonez 9) Manny Ramirez 10) Bernie Williams 11t) David Eckstein 11t) Nomar Garciaparra 13) Barry Zito 14) Eric Chavez 15t) Eddie Guardado 15t) Troy Percival 17) Ichiro Suzuki 18) Billy Koch 19) Derek Lowe 20t) Pedro Martinez 20t) Mike Sweeney   #10 .310/.352/.528, 118 RC, 132 OPS+, .290 EQA, 64.8 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #9 .320/.381/.597, 132 RC, 152 OPS+, .312 EQA, 57.7 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #8 169 ERA+, 2.33 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP, 75.3 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #7 .308/.354/.508, 116 RC, 122 OPS+, .288 EQA, 58.6 VORP, 32 Win Shares   #6 .300/.332/.547, 123 RC, 131 OPS+, .291 EQA, 68.9 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #5 .333/.415/.493, 125 RC, 143 OPS+, .312 EQA, 66.7 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #4 .349/.450/.647, 125 RC, 190 OPS+, .353 EQA, 75.4 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #3 .314/.435/.598, 143 RC, 174 OPS+, .341 EQA, 79.2 VORP, 34 Win Shares   #2 .304/.445/.677, 145 RC, 191 OPS+, .357 EQA, 85.0 VORP, 34 Win Shares   #1 .300/.392/.623, 150 RC, 152 OPS+, .317 EQA, 86.8 VORP, 35 Win Shares   Some idiot on this board once said this back in 2003: Oh wait, that was me. Fuck.   Anyways A-Rod, Thome, and Giambi all have great cases. Thome suffered the same fate as A-Rod that year as he was on a bad team otherwise he may have had a shot at the award if he had been on a contender. Alas I deferred to A-Rod's slight edge in both VORP and Win Shares (WARP3 as well) to give him the nod but there was simply no easy pick that season so this was the perfect year for someone like Tejada to win.

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Where'd They Go? 1980 Montreal Expos

Been a long time since I did one of these as I got discouraged after flushing my 1991 Mariners entry by accident. But after doing the 80's tournament figured I might as well do one on the team that won it, the 1980 Expos. I normally try to focus on teams from the last 20 years since many of the players I at least have memories of seeing play but there are a quite a few interesting players from this club and I hadn't done one on the Expos yet.   Expos were in a heated three team race with the defending World Champion Pirates and eventual World Champion Phillies for the N.L. East title much of the second half. The Pirates faded down the stretch but the Expos and Phillies were tied for first going into the final weekend of the season and just happened to have a series against each other Montreal. Phillies won on Friday 2-1 and then the next day the Expos heart was broken when Woodie Fryman couldn't close it out in the 9th as the Phillies tied it 4-4 on a two out Bob Boone RBI single and then in the 11th Mike Schmidt hit a two run homerun off Steve Bahnsen to win it.   C: Gary Carter (.264/.331/.486, 34.9 VORP, 30 Win Shares) – “The Kid” at age 26 had already established himself as one of the best catchers in the game and finished a distant 2nd to Mike Schmidt in the MVP voting. Like most Expos stars they didn’t hang on to him and he was traded to the Mets following the 1984 season for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham, and Floyd Youmans. He would hit the catcher wall in 1987 and was released following an injury plagued 1989 season. Picked up with the Giants where had a decent year as a platoon catcher. Signed with the Dodgers for 1991 and then returned for nostalgia to Montreal in 1992 where he retired. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.   1B: Warren Cromartie (.288/.345/.430, 19.8 VORP, 17.4 Win Shares) – Cromartie was a highly touted prospect who never quite lived up to the hype and he hit for very little power for a first baseman. Played in Montreal thru 1983 and then headed to Japan where he became a big star for Yomiuri Giants. He’d write a book about his experience in Japan which would inspire the movie “Mr. Baseball.” He returned to the States in 1991 where he played for the Royals as a back up.   2B: Rodney Scott (.224/.307/.293, 9.8 VORP, 13.2 Win Shares) – Scott was all speed and little else. He stole 63 bases and led the N.L. with 13 triples in 1980 which would lead to someone giving him a throw away 10th place MVP vote. For his career he hit just 3 homeruns in 2487 plate appearances, all of them in 1979. Most notable thing about him was in 1982 he walked off the Expos team in protest for them releasing Bill Lee and the Expos were more than accommodating in releasing Scott the next day. He was picked up by the Yankees who would also release later that year and would mark the end of his MLB career.   3B: Larry Parrish (.254/.310/.427, 9.2 VORP, 12.6 Win Shares) – Parrish had come off what appeared to be a breakout year offensively where he hit .307 with 30 homeruns and finished in the Top 5 in the MVP voting but it turned out to be a fluke, although part of his struggles in 1980 were due to a wrist injury. Dealt right before the 1982 season to Texas for Al Oliver. Played almost the rest of his career with the Rangers before being released in his final year of 1988, then picked up by the Red Sox to finish out the season. Had a brief but forgettable run as manager of the Tigers in 1999.   SS: Chris Speier (.265/.351/.330, 15.0 VORP, 12.5 Win Shares) – Speier was in the middle of a decent 19 year career although much of the rest of his career was spent as a back up. Traded to the Cardinals late in the 1984 season he’d then sign with the Cubs for a two year stint. Signed with the Giants from there where he played out the rest of his career, retiring after 1989. His son Justin currently pitches for the Angels.   LF: Ron LeFlore (.257/.337/.363, 17.0 VORP, 18 Win Shares) – LeFlore was a very interesting player because he was an ex-con and was discovered in prison by Billy Martin. After robbing people of their money for several years, LeFlore was robbing bases! Yeah I didn’t put too much thought into that. Stole a career high 97 bases in 1980 and is the only player to ever lead both leagues in steals. He signed as a free agent with the White Sox following the season but struggled there for his final two years in the Majors.   CF: Andre Dawson (.308/.358/.492, 50.9 VORP, 29.1 Win Shares) – This was Dawson’s breakout year at age 25, winning his first Gold Glove and finished 7th in the MVP voting. A free agent after 1986, with his knees already destroyed by the Olympic Stadium turf he signed with the Cubs where he’d win a very dubious MVP award his first year in Chicago. Stayed a fairly productive hitter thru his entire tenure in Chicago but after signing with the Red Sox in 1993 his power disappeared. Spent his final year with the Marlins in 1995. Currently fighting an uphill battle to get into the Hall of Fame and he just barely misses the cut for me.   RF: Ellis Valentine (.315/.367/.524, 23.9 VORP, 15.2 Win Shares) – Valentine was a super talented player but injuries starting this year derailed his career and was limited to just 86 games this year. He was hit in the face by a pitch from Cardinals’ reliever Roy Thomas in a game in late May, suffering a broken cheek bone. He struggled mightily following this season and the Expos traded him during the 1981 season to the Mets for Jeff Reardon which ended being a brilliant trade for Montreal. Played for the Angels in 1983, didn’t play a game in the Majors in 1984, and then played just 11 games with the Rangers in 1985.   Rotation   Steve Rogers (120 ERA+, 50.6 VORP, 19.7 Win Shares) - Steve Rogers was a scrawny fine arts student specializing in industrialization in the 1940's before America entered World War II. He attempted to enlist in the army only to be turned away due to his poor constitution. A U.S. officer offered Rogers an alternative way to serve his country by being a test subject in project, Operation: Rebirth, a top secret defense research project designed to create physically superior soldiers. Rogers accepted and after a rigorous physical and combat training and selection process was selected as the first test subject. He was given injections and oral ingestion of the formula dubbed the "Super Soldier Serum" developed by the scientist Dr. Abraham Erskine. Rogers was then exposed to a controlled burst of "Vita-Rays" that activated and stabilized the chemicals in his system. The process successfully altered his physiology from its frail state to the maximum of human efficiency, including greatly enhanced musculature and reflexes.   After the assassination of Dr. Erskine. Roger was re-imagined as a superhero who served both as a counter-intelligence agent and a propaganda symbol to counter Nazi Germany's head of terrorist operations, the Red Skull. Rogers was given a costume modeled after the American flag, a bulletproof shield, a personal sidearm and the codename Captain America. He was also given a cover identity as a clumsy infantry private at Camp LeHigh in Virginia. Barely out of his teens himself, Rogers made friends with the teenage camp mascot, James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes. Barnes accidentally learned of Rogers' dual identity and offered to keep the secret if he could become Captain America's sidekick. Rogers agreed, and trained Barnes. Roger met President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who presented him with a new shield made from a chance mixture of iron, Vibranium and an unknown catalyst. Throughout World War II, Captain America and Bucky fought the Nazi menace both on their own and as members of the superhero team the Invaders, which after the war evolved into the All-Winners Squad.   In the closing days of World War II in 1945, Captain America and Bucky tried to stop the villainous Baron Zemo from destroying an experimental drone plane. Zemo launched the plane with an armed explosive device on it, with Rogers and Barnes in hot pursuit. They reached the plane just before it took off, but when Bucky tried to defuse the bomb, it exploded in mid-air. The young man was believed killed, and Rogers was hurled into the freezing waters of either the North Atlantic. Neither his body or Bucky's were found, and both were presumed dead.   The Avengers discovered Rogers' body in the North Atlantic, his costume under his soldier's uniform and still carrying his shield. Rogers had been preserved in a block of ice since 1945, which melted after the block was thrown back into the ocean by an enraged Sub-Mariner. When Rogers revived, he related his last, failed mission in the closing days of the war. Rogers accepted membership in the Avengers, and although he soon adjusted to modern times well enough to eventually assume leadership of the team, he was plagued by guilt for not being able to prevent Bucky's death. He also undertook missions for the national security agency S.H.I.E.L.D., which was commanded by his old war comrade Nick Fury. Rogers established a residence in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York and has discovered that Bucky had been held in suspended animation throughout the Cold War performing assassinations as the Winter Soldier.   Recent events have been tumultuous for Captain America. As the passage of the the Superhuman Registration Act drew near, Maria Hill (the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.) propositioned Rogers and the Avengers to join S.H.I.E.L.D. in enforcing the act. When he refused, Hill had her trained "Superhuman Response Unit" attack him. During the scuffle Rogers avoided being tranquilized and managed to escape by lodging his shield in an aircraft and forcing the pilot to fly him to safety. Soon after, at the Baxter Building the Watcher told the heroes who had gathered there about the Captain's escape. Captain America soon became the de facto leader of the Secret Avengers, heroes fighting against the registration act, much to the consternation of his erstwhile friend Iron Man. While the two made sporadic attempts to reconcile during the Civil War, the clashes between their respective teams became more and more heated, ultimately leading to a pitched battle in the middle of New York City. At the end of the battle, as Cap was about to deliver a finishing blow to Iron Man, he was tackled by several emergency workers. Realizing the damage the war was doing to the city and its civilian population, Captain America unmasked and surrendered as Steve Rogers.   On his way to an arraignment at the Federal Courthouse in New York City, Captain America was shot in the right shoulder by a sniper's bullet. Several subsequent shots were fired point blank at Rogers by Sharon Carter, brainwashed by Dr. Faustus who was allied with the Red Skull. Sharon, unaware of her actions and concealed by the crowd during the shooting, escorted Rogers to the hospital while the Falcon and the Winter Soldier subdued the sniper, Crossbones (Brock Rumlow). Captain America was pronounced dead on arrival at Mercy Hospital. Sharon's memory was restored by a keyword spoken by the Red Skull's daughter, Sin (Sinthia Shmidt).   Oh wait...wrong Steve Rogers. This Steve Rogers was the rock of the Expos rotation, playing his entire 13 year career in Montreal. There you go.   Scott Sanderson (115 ERA+, 37.9 VORP, 14.4 Win Shares) – I actually went over Sanderson already in the '89 Cubs entry. He was actually quite the phenom at this point as he was only 23. Traded to the Cubs in a three team, six player deal after the 1983 season.   Bill Gullickson (119 ERA+, 22.9 VORP, 10.1 Win Shares) – Gullickson was the #2 overall pick in 1977 and this was his rookie year at age 21. Had a losing record in 1981 but did pitch very well although it would pretty much be his peak. Very mediocre for the majority of the rest of his career, he was traded after one of his better years in 1985 to the Reds. They traded him to the Yankees in late 1987 and Gullickson then spent the next two years in Japan. Came back to America in 1990 to pitch for the Astros and then signed with the Tigers where he won an offense aided 20 games in 1991. Played the rest of his career there thru 1994. Ironically enough Gullickson and Sanderson are both #1 on each others career similarity scores.   Bill Lee (72 ERA+, -7.6 VORP, 1 Win Share) – Lee, Charlie Lea, and David Palmer shared the 4th spot in the rotation but I went with Lee since he’s the most recognizable name. The Sapceman’s career was obviously winding down at this point as he had a terrible year. Rebounded a bit in limited duty the following year but as before mentioned was released in 1982.   Relief Ace: Woodie Fryman (159 ERA+, 17.5 VORP, 12.7 Win Shares) – We’re still a little bit away from the closer position taking the role we know it as today as Fryman led the Expos with 17 just saves at age 40. He had actually retired midseason three years earlier while with the Reds but changed his mind after the season. Retired after 1983.

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Draftback: 1997 NFL Draft

I've been lazy with this blog for a few months now so no surprise I'm only getting around to second Draftback before the draft. Decided might as well do one from 10 years ago with the 1997 Draft and it is interesting to look at because one first rounder is in jail and another is dead. Can't beat that combo.   1. St. Louis - Orlando Pace, T, Ohio State   Not always glamerous to pick a lineman with the first pick overall but hard to argue with the Rams choice here. Selected to seven Pro Bowls.   2. Oakland - Darrell Russell, DT, USC   Lived up to the hype his first few years in the league but drug problems would derail his career among various other issues. Out of the league by 2004 and out of this life by 2005 when he was killed in a car accident.   3. Seattle - Shawn Springs, CB, Ohio State   Very good corner all be it a bit inconsistent at times during his career.   4. Baltimore - Peter Boulware, LB, Florida State   Would win Defensive Rookie of the Year and was selected to three Pro Bowls.   5. Detroit - Bryant Westbrook, CB, Texas   Not a total bust but pretty close to one considering he was a Top 5 pick.   6. Seattle - Walter Jones, T, Florida State   A complete bitch when it comes to contracts but he gets the job done. Six Pro Bowl selections.   7. N.Y. Giants - Ike Hilliard, WR, Florida   Okay receiver but when you take a receiver this high you'd hope they'd have at least one 1000 yard season and Hilliard has had none.   8. N.Y. Jets - James Farrior, LB, Virginia   The Jets had the #1 pick but they traded down. Farrior was considered a bit of a dissapointment while with the Jets but excelled with the Steelers.   9. Arizona - Tom Knight, CB, Iowa   It's the Cardinals, so really what did you expect? Three interceptions in his career.   10. New Orleans - Chris Naeole, G, Colorado   Big risk taking a guard this high but Naeole has been a solid player.   11. Atlanta - Michael Booker, CB, Nebraska   Not very good at all.   12. Tampa Bay - Warrick Dunn, RB, Florida State   Has a chance to pass the 10,000 yard mark in rushing this year and one of the true good guys in the NFL.   13. Kansas City - Tony Gonzalez, TE, California   Likley on his way to the Hall of Fame but he went to Cal so fuck him.   14. Cincinnati - Reinard Wilson, DE, Florida State   Well I guess on the plus side Wilson wasn't horrible like most Bengals' 90's first round picks but still not anything to get excited about.   15. Miami - Yatil Green, WR, Miami   Tore his ACL on literally the first day of training camp and never fully recovered. Only played one season in 1999.   16. Tampa Bay - Reidel Anthony, WR, Florida   I thought he'd be awesome. I was wrong.   17. Washington - Kenard Lang, DE, Miami   Average at best.   18. Tennessee - Kenny Holmes, DE, Miami   Another unspectacular Miami end.   19. Indianapolis - Tarik Glenn, T, California   Has developed into a very good tackle and selected to the last three Pro Bowls. But another Cal product, bleh.   20. Minnesota - Dwayne Rudd, LB, Alabama   A complete beast at Alabama...not so much in the NFL. Best known for his helmet tossing incident in 2002 that cost the Browns a game.   21. Jacksonville - Renaldo Wynn, DE, Notre Dame   Mediocre.   22. Dallas - David LaFleur, TE, LSU   LaSucked.   23. Buffalo - Antowain Smith, RB, Houston   Decent although he has to be one of the worst backs ever to have two 1,000 yard seasons.   24. Pittsburgh - Chad Scott, CB, Maryland   Has been a solid DB.   25. Philadelphia - Jon Harris, DE, Virginia   Two years. Two sacks. Bust.   26. San Francisco - Jim Druckenmiller, QB, Virginia Tech   Jesus tap dancing Christ, I had blocked this pick out of my memory. Horrible. Seriously do not know what the fuck they were thinking here especially with Jake Plummer on the board who seemed like a pefect fit for the 49ers offense at the time.   27. Carolina - Rae Carruth, WR, Colorado   Yessss it's everyone's favorite hiring a guy to kill your pregnent girlfriend and get found hiding in the trunk of your car wide receiver. Complete disphit.   28. Denver - Trevor Pryce, DE, Clemson   The string of mediocre ends, um, ends here. Four time Pro Bowl selection.   29. New England - Chris Canty, CB, Kansas State   Lasted four years and no one really noticed.   30. Green Bay - Ross Verba, G, Iowa   I just like the Deadspin entry on him.     Other Players of Note   34. Baltimore - Jamie Sharper, LB, Virginia 36. N.Y. Giants - Tiki Barber, RB, Virginia 42. Arizona - Jake Plummer, QB, Arizona State 43. Cincinnati - Corey Dillon, RB, Washington 44. Miami - Sam Madison, CB, Louisville 52. Buffalo - Marcellus Wiley, DE, Columbia 60. Green Bay - Darren Sharper, S, William & Mary 65. Dallas - Dexter Coakley, LB, Appalachian State 66. Tampa Bay - Ronde Barber, CB, Virginia 69. Chicago - Bob Sapp, G, Washington 71. Philadelphia - Duce Staley, RB, South Carolina 73. Miami - Jason Taylor, DE, Akron 91. Pittsburgh - Mike Vrabel, LB, Ohio State 98. Tennessee - Derrick Mason, WR, Michigan State 108. Chicago - Marcus Robinson, WR, South Carolina 229. N.Y. Jets - Jason Ferguson, DT, Georgia

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13 Years Ago

This past week the Golden State Warriors ended 13 years of misery by finally clinching a playoff bid. My interest in the Warriors has never come close to my passion for the A's or even the 49ers but I'm excited never the less. As a kid I was a bandwagon Laker fan, which was hard not to do in the 80's, but around age 12 or 13 I dumped my bandwagon ways and started rooting strictly for the local teams then finally adopting the Warriors as my NBA team. I was a freshman in high school the last time the Warriors were in the playoffs and I only have vague memories of their season. I do remember going to their fan fest that year and getting my picture taken with Byron Houston, well because the lines for Chris Mullin and Latrell Sprewell were way too long. Damn little I knew at the time how oddly cool it would have been to have a picture taken with Sprewell although I seem to remember Houston got arrested on gun posession charges later in the year.   Now trying to figure out an entry for this I finally found an excuse to use paperofrecord.com. It's a free newspaper archive service that happens to have an expansive archive of old Sporting News. The Sporting News was still some what relevent then, although by then had already lost of a lot of it's prestige, so I figured it'd be interesting to check out an issue from 13 years ago this week and see what was being talked about in the world of sports.   Cover Story: Soar Subject. Can Danny Manning and the Hawks rise to occasion? -Hawks had the #1 seed in the East going into the playoffs but they would be pushed to five games by the Heat in the first round and then lost in six to the Pacers in conference semis.   Sound Bites: Gorge Steinbrenner, giving yet another manager a vote of confidence: -Hey he didn't lie. He'd fire him after 1995 instead. Who would have thought that 12 years later Steinbrenner hadn't fired another manager since? Showalter has of course been fired from two more jobs since.   -The NFL announced for the first time their games would be available by pay-per-view for home dish owners.   -In 1994 for the first time those advertisements behind home plate started popping up and in the "Voice of the Fan" section there is one from a fan saying he won't purchase any product shown behind homeplate and urging others to do the same. How'd that boycott turn out?   A Lively Debate: Only two weeks into the season, juicy theories abound about the core of the game - the ball itself. -Everyone in baseball seemed to be hitting homeruns to start the season and many thought the ball was juiced. The word "steroids" is never mentioned once in the article. I miss those days.   -In a little blurb with an update on the baseball labor situation it is mentioned that Senator George Mitchell is a lock to be the next commissioner, if he wants the job. Guess he didn't want it.   -Dave Stewart accuses Barry Bonds of not respecting anyone but himself. Get out!   -In the Expos' notes section, pitcher Ken Hill shows why his future wouldn't have been as a GM. Expos were off to a slow 4-8 start and he complained about them trading Delino DeShield to the Dodgers in the offseason and saying that teams didn't fear them anymore. Who did the Expos receive for DeShields? Some guy named Pedro Martinez.   -Of course this time of year the NFL Draft was about to happen and they had an article ranking the top defensive players in the draft.   Defensive Ends: 1. Willie McGinest 2. Henry Ford 3. Joe Johnson 4. Shante Carver 5. Fernando Smith Defensive Tackles: 1. Dan Wilkinson 2. Bryant Young 3. Sam Adams 4. Romeo Bandinson 5. William Gaines Outside Linebackers: 1. Trev Alberts 2. John Thierry 3. Jamir Miller 4. Rob Fredrickson 5. Ron Woolfork Inside Linebackers: 1. Winfred Tubbs 2. Kevin Mitchell 3. Allen Aldridge 4. Ken Alexander 5. Jermaine Younger Cornerbacks: 1. Aaron Glenn 2. Antonio Langham 3. Dewayne Washington 4. Thomas Randolph 5. Tyronne Drakeford Safties: 1. Toby Wright 2. Marvin Goodwin 3. Van Malone 4. Jason Sehorn 5. Anthony Phillips   -They added a quick Top 50 overall rankings. Comment on Heath Shuler: "A cut above Rick Mirer." High praise indeed.   -Also they had a mock 1st Round draft. Most interesting pick they had...Charlie Ward 19th overall to the Vikings. Ooookaaay.   -Speculation that the Raiders might move to Orlando. Damn, too bad that didn't happen. A's might have had a new stadium in Oakland by now.   -Charles Barkley on the Knicks. Knicks would come within one win of winning it all.   -Dennis Rodman on the Sonics. Wow, Rodman surprisingly prophetic as the Sonics were shocked by the Nuggets in the 1st round.

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Draftback: 1986 NFL Draft

Oh it's the time of year again where idiots like me waste an entire weekend watching the most boring possible thing to watch in sports, the NFL Draft, but for someone reason we just can't turn away. So in honor of this I'll do what I did last year and take a look back at the 1st Rounds of a few drafts of the past providing zero analysis and bad jokes. Here were the ones I did last year:   1990 1993 1983 1995   This year I picked 1986 to start as the #1 pick didn't even sign and it was quite the draft for my 49ers but they had no 1st round pick so I won't be talking about it.     1. Tampa Bay - Bo Jackson, RB, Auburn   No we are well aware that it is not unheard of for #1 picks to whine their way into the trade like John Elway and Eli Manning but for one to not sign at all? Only the 80's Bucs could have pulled off such a feat. Jackson decided he'd rather play baseball for the Royals, who weren't a joke back then, than for the sorry Bucs. The Raiders would then steal him in the 7th round the following year where he'd play partial seasons for them for four years before suffering a career ending hip injury in the playoffs following the 1990 season.   2. Atlanta - Tony Casillas, DT, Oklahoma   Solid but never a standout player for 12 years, best known for winning two Super Bowls with the Cowboys.   3. Houston - Jim Everett, QB, Purdue   Always seemed like an odd pick as Houston of course already had Warren Moon, Everett never signed and his rights were eventually traded to the Rams. Dubbed the "Quarterback of the 90's", no I'm not making that up, after two very good years in 1988 & 1989 but a complete ass beating at the hands of the 49ers in the '89 NFC Championship Game seemed to shake his confidence and he never lived up the hype.   4. Indianapolis - John Hand, DE, Alabama   Another solid but unspectacular top 5 pick, had 10 sacks in 1989.   5. St. Louis - Anthony Bell, LB, Michigan State   A bad pick by the Cardinals? A shocking development to say the least.   6. New Orleans - Jim Dombrowski, T, Virginia   Primarily a guard in the NFL, started every game for the Saints between 1988 and 1995.   7. Kansas City - Brian Jozwiak, T, West Virginia   Bust, lasted three years and never made a start.   8. San Diego - Leslie O'Neal, DE, Oklahoma State   Would win Defensive Rookie of the Year after registering 12.5 sacks, finished with 132.5 career sacks and was selected to six Pro Bowls.   9. Pittsburgh - John Rienstra, G, Temple   "The Raging Rhino" lasted seven years, almost exclusively as a back up.   10. Philadelphia - Keith Byars, RB, Ohio State   Made a name for himself as superb receiver out of the backfield, eventually moving to tight end later in his career. Finished with 610 career receptions.   11. Cincinnati - Joe Kelly, LB, Washington   Played 11 years but hell if I remember him. I'll just assume announcers always called him "Jim" by accident.   12. Detroit - Chuck Long, QB, Iowa   Lions probably should never take a quarterback in the 1st round ever again. Maybe that's why Millen always takes receivers. 64.5 career passing rating.   13. San Diego - James Fitzpatrick, T, USC   Chargers didn't fair nearly as well with their second pick of the 1st round. Lasted six years, did nothing of note.   14. Minnesota - Gerald Robinson, DE, Auburn   Total non-descript career only playing two years with the Vikings.   15. Seattle - John L. Williams, RB, Florida   I guess this was the year for drafting receiving backs as John L. had 546 career receptions and made two Pro Bowls as a fullback.   16. Buffalo - Ronnie Harmon, RB, Iowa   Holy crap, had to be more receptions by running backs than any other draft. Harmon had 582 career receptions, better known for his days in San Diego.   17. Atlanta - Tim Green, LB, Syracuse   Better known now as an announcer and writing a lot of bad novels.   18. Dallas - Mike Sherrard, WR, UCLA   Suffered a badly broken leg in a scrimmage before the 1987 season, he wouldn't play a down again until 1990 making a comeback as third receiver with the 49ers and Giants.   19. N.Y. Giants - Eric Dorsey, DE, Notre Dame   7 sacks in seven years.   20. Buffalo - Will Wolford, T, Vanderbilt   Very good tackle for the majority of his 13 years, made three Pro Bowls.   21. Cincinnati - Tim McGee, WR, Tennessee   One very good year in 1989, but merely decent the rest.   22. N.Y. Jets - Mike Haight, T, Iowa   Haight wasn't even considered a lock to get drafted at all so this was your typical Jets' 1st round pick. Did last 7 years though.   23. L.A. Rams - Mike Schad, T, Queens University   That's Queens University in Ontario, Canada and was the first Canadian university player to ever be picked in the 1st round and did nothing to make his country proud after that.   24. L.A. Raiders - Bob Buczkowski, DE, Pittsburgh   Who are you to doubt the scouting genius that is Al Davis? Played a total of two games for the Raiders.   25. Tampa Bay - Rod Jones, CB, SMU   Hey at least the Bucs signed him. Did play 11 years, mainly as a back up.   26. New England - Reggie Dupard, RB, SMU   Hey he's a running back from SMU so he must be another Eric Dickerson! Um, not quite. 704 career rushing yards.   27. Chicago - Neal Anderson, RB, Florida   Had the misfortune of having to replace Walter Payton but he did a fairly good job with three straight 1,000 yard years from 1988 to 1990.     Other Players of Note   34. Houston - Ernest Givens, WR, Louisville 43. Cleveland - Webster Slaughter, WR, San Diego State 50. L.A. Rams - Tom Newberry, G, Wisconsin-La Crosse 51. N.Y. Giants - Pepper Johnson, LB, Ohio State 56. San Francisco - Tom Rathman, RB, Nebraska 60. New Orleans - Pat Swilling, LB, Georgia Tech 67. Pittsburgh - Bubby Brister, QB, NE Louisiana 76. San Francisco - John Taylor, WR, Delaware State 78. Cincinnati - David Fulcher, S, Arizona State 84. Green Bay - Tim Harris, DE, Memphis State 96. San Fancisco - Charles Haley, DE, James Madison 101. San Francisco - Steve Wallace, T, Auburn 102. San Francisco - Kevin Fagan, DE, Miami 135. Pittsburgh - Brent Jones, TE, Santa Clara 146. Washington - Mark Rypien, QB, Washington State 162. San Francisco - Don Griffin, CB, Middle Tennessee State 208. Philadelphia - Seth Joyner, LB, UTEP 213. Washington - Kurt Gouveia, LB, BYU 233. Philadelphia - Clyde Simmons, DE, Western Carolina 254. St. Louis - Vai Sikahema, KR, BYU

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