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Sports nostalgia and useless facts

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2006 MVP Watch #9

Been a little while now since the last MVP Watch as was waiting for Hardball Times to finally update the Win Shares totals.   Hey so did you hear that Ryan Howard is now the N.L. MVP winner? If your left handed and fat, this is your year! You know the media goo-goos and ga-gas over homeruns and RBI and then they wonder why players take steroids? Of course is Howard even the MVP of the Phillies is a more interesting question. As for the league he's in Top 10 but with a month left he's got no shot at the top spot on my ballot. Now as for the #1 spot things keep getting more interesting. I really, really wanted to give Beltran the top spot finally but I didn't pull the trigger but that might change a month from now. Also we may have a late 3rd candidate to the race as Miguel Cabrera clocks at a very strong #3.   #10 Nick Johnson, Nationals .286/.423/.511, 93 RC, .312 EQA, 42.5 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #9 David Wright, Mets .294/.369/.511, 97 RC, .294 EQA, 34.4 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #8 Ryan Howard, Phillies .294/.382/.628, 96 RC, .313 EQA, 50.2 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #7 Jose Reyes, Mets .298/.351/.488, 103 RC, .285 EQA, 47.9 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #6 Chase Utley, Phillies .317/.385/.525, 94 RC, .296 EQA, 53.5 VORP, 23 Win Shares   #5 Alfonso Soriano, Nationals .294/.365/.603, 110 RC, .303 EQA, 52.9 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #4 Lance Berkman, Astros .308/.414/.614, 112 RC, .323 EQA, 54.7 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #3 Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .337/.426/.585, 117 RC, .328 EQA, 64.8 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #2 Carlos Beltran, Mets .286/.389/.631, 111 RC, .321 EQA, 63.1 VORP, 34 Win Shares   #1 Albert Pujols, Cardinals .323/.424/.665, 114 RC, .337 EQA, 65.4 VORP, 30 Win Shares     For the A.L. it's still anyone's guess but by the way things are shaking out now Derek Jeter may win the real award by default and he's still in strongly my Top 5. I nearly had a new #1 here and originally had Manny Ramirez taking the top spot but changed my mind due the uncertain staus of his knee. The media favorite David Ortiz is now clutching his heart (awww I'm mean) and his season could be over. Joe Mauer is still in the Top 5 but he needs a strong September to grab the award.   #10 Vernon Wells, Blue Jays .319/.374/.583, 93 RC, .310 EQA, 59.0 VORP, 21 Win Shares   #9 Jason Giambi, Yankees .261/.420/.594, 101 RC, .330 EQA, 46.9 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #8 Jermaine Dye, White Sox .326/.392/.649, 99 RC, .328 EQA, 59.3 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #7 Johan Santana, Twins 153 ERA+, 5.03 K/BB, 1.02 WHIP, 62.7 VORP, 21 Win Shares   #6 Jim Thome, White Sox .294/.413/.615, 103 RC, .331 EQA, 53.9 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #5 David Ortiz, Red Sox .287/.400/.633, 105 RC, .329 EQA, 61.0 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #4 Joe Mauer, Twins .356/.434/.514, 91 RC, .322 EQA, 57.6 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #3 Derek Jeter, Yankees .337/.413/.480, 108 RC, .311 EQA, 61.3 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #2 Manny Ramirez, Red Sox .326/.442/.628, 108 RC, .345 EQA, 62.8 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #1 Travis Hafner, Indians .307/.434/.643, 120 RC, .347 EQA, 74.6 VORP, 23 Win Shares

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College Football Wrap Up 9/10

Let's just get yesterday's depressing day out of the way.   Game of the Day: Akron 20, N.C. State 17. By far the most fun I've had watching a game thru two weeks in what's been a dull start to the college football season. ESPN actually made a good decision for once by dumping Rutgers skull fucking of Illinois and switching to the ESPNU telecast of this game for the 4th quarter. The Zips appeared on the ropes after N.C. State took a 10-7 lead and blocked a punt deep in Akron territory. Coach Steroid made a dubious call to go for it on 4th down inside the five instead of kicking the field goal and the Zips stuffed them. Akron had only -2 yards on offense in the second half to this point but proceded to go 96 yards on six plays for the go ahead touchdown. State then marched back down and scored a touchdown on a 4th down to take a 17-14 lead with under two minutes to go. Then it what should have provided more controversy than it did the referees flagged State for excessive celebration. The most pathetic thing is sports right now is college referees after a player scores a touchdown. You see them run over immediately to any player and try get in their face to go back to the sideline even if all the player is doing is hugging a teammate. State had just scored a potential winning touchdown in the 4th quarter and they aren't supposed to celebrate? If you aren't taunting the other team no flag should ever be thrown. In any event Akron got decent field position on the kickoff and marched down for the winning score which we all know was on a 4th down with three seconds left. You had to agree with the call because quarterback Luke Getsy made a mistake when he scrabbled and had the touchdown by fell to soon to the ground to avoid the hit and came up inches short of the goal line. Settling for three would have deflated the team's momentum for overtime.   The WTF Score of the Day: New Hampshire 34, Northwestern 17. Northwestern coach Randy Walker must wish he was dead after this performance. Oh wait...   The "No mah son ain't the problem" Game of the Day: Florida State 24, Troy 17. A school with the talent resources that FSU has should never only have 10 points against a Sun Belt team after thee quarters. This game is also a perfect example of why motivation does play an important role in college sports as I doubt the Seminols gave even a second thought about this game possibly being competitive.   The Too Bad it Wasn't on T.V. Game of the Day: Iowa State 16, UNLV 10. Apparantly the Rebels stayed on the field for about 15 minutes after the game stomping on the Cyclones logo after the game as the refs didn't review an incomplete pass in the endzone on the last play of the game that would have given the Rebels the win if overturned. Oh ya and Cyclones don't make any plans for Kansas City in December.   The "Fuck You Cosby" Game of the Day: Louisville 62, Temple 0. That line is stolen from Deadspin and it was funny enough that I had to post it here. A Louisville fan had posted on their that back in the 80's Bill Cosby had mocked the Louisville football program on the Tonight Show after a blowout loss to Temple.   Whack Pac Wrap Up   Boise State 42, Oregon State 14. It's scary to think that the Beavers may only be the 3rd or 4th worst team in the Pac-10 and they get humiliated like this.   Oklahoma 37, Washington 20. I suppose it's nice the Huskies played them tough for a half but considering how bad the Sooners looked against a mediocre UAB team last week, I wouldn't take any moral victories from a a 17 point loss.   Washington State 56, Idaho 10. At least we know Wazzu is better than Michigan State.   LSU 45, Arizona 3. Um ya, probably wan't a good idea to talk shit about LSU during the week. Let's see who should talk shit, the team that won a national title in 2003 or the one that hasn't been to a bowl game since 1998?   California 42, Minnesota 17. Meh, you guys still were humiliated on national television by a team that was a two point conversion from losing to Air Force this week.   UCLA 26, Rice 16. Now I take back what I said about being impressed by the Bruins.   Arizona State 52, Nevada 21. Nice to see the Sun Devils actually show up this week.   Oregon 31, Fresno State 24. The Ducks needed a Leon Lett play from Fresno to help them win this game but any game where the kicker scores the winning touchdown is fun. The Ducks are now the last hope for the Pac-10 getting any respect (not that they deserve any right now) with the game against Oklahoma next week. Ducks had to win this game just have the Pac-10 go 3-2 against the WAC this week.   San Jose State 35, Stanford 34. I hate football.

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2006 MVP Watch #10

This is likely going to be my final look at the MVP race since there is now only two and a half weeks left. Last time I nearly bumped Albert Pujols from the top spot for the first time this season in favor of Carlos Beltran but this time around Pujols' has a firm grip back on the #1 spot. Of course in the media it's a two man race that doesn't include Beltran and almost a once man race with Ryan Howard. I mocked Howard last time but he's almost making a believer out of me as he makes a big jump (now finally the Most Valuable Phillie) but in my view he's still far behind Pujols and Beltran. For those who insist that Howard is the MVP ask these three questions:   Is he the best hitter in the league?   Is he the best all around player in the league?   Is he the best player on the best team in the league?   The answer to all three of those questions is no. He's had an amazing year and he might break the "non-steroid" homerun record (which kkk pretty much echoed my thoughts on that bullshit last week) but he's not the MVP.   10. Garrett Atkins, Rockies .326/.401/.551, 111 RC, .303 EQA, 51.8 VORP, 24 Win Shares   9. Jose Reyes, Mets .297/.349/.496, 112 RC, .284 EQA, 52.6 VORP, 27 Win Shares   8. Nick Johnson, Nationals .297/.434/.532, 109 RC, .323 EQA, 53.8 VORP, 27 Win Shares   7. David Wright, Mets .311/.384/.538, 114 RC, .303 EQA, 49.6 VORP, 30 Win Shares   6. Alfonso Soriano, Nationals .290/.361/.590, 122 RC, .303 EQA, 54.7 VORP, 31 Win Shares   5. Lance Berkman, Astros .306/.411/.606, 123 RC, .322 EQA, 57.8 VORP, 30 Win Shares   4. Ryan Howard, Phillies .316/.413/.682, 118 RC, .332 EQA, 74.1 VORP, 28 Win Shares   3. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .339/.430/.582, 132 RC, .330 EQA, 74.7 VORP, 33 Win Shares   2. Carlos Beltran, Mets .283/.388/.617, 119 RC, .318 EQA, 67.3 VORP, 37 Win Shares   1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals .323/.426/.677, 131 RC, .342 EQA, 75.5 VORP, 35 Win Shares     Now the A.L. has been a wide open race all year...until now. It's not over yet but Baseball Jesus has now emerged as the clear choice for A.L. MVP. Travis Hafner already had no chance at the writer award and now he has no chance either now on my ballot due to his season ending broken hand. He's at #2 currently but obviously he'll fall lower than that. Now Johan Santana is starting to enter the MVP dicussion in some circles and I think he's making himself a legit case as well. But I think it's going to be tough for him or teammate Joe Mauer to catch Jeter. As the Red Sox have faded, so has Manny Ramirez. I almost gave him the top spot last time but now he barely stays in the Top 5. Jermaine Dye seems to be Jeter's main competition in the media but I doubt he can win if the White Sox don't make the playoffs.   10. Grady Sizemore, Indians .293/.377/.535, 112 RC, .309 EQA, 65.5 VORP, 22 Win Shares   9. Justin Morneau, Twins .324/.379/.583, 110 RC, .313 EQA, 51.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares   8. Jim Thome, White Sox .291/.414/.604, 111 RC, .329 EQA, 57.5 VORP, 23 Win Shares   7. David Ortiz, Red Sox .285/.401/.628, 111 RC, .327 EQA, 63.4 VORP, 24 Win Shares   6. Jermaine Dye, White Sox .322/.388/.637, 110 RC, .325 EQA, 63.5 VORP, 24 Win Shares   5. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox .318/.436/.612, 109 RC, .338 EQA, 60.7 VORP, 26 Win Shares   4. Joe Mauer, Twins .348/.433/.505, 97 RC, .321 EQA, 61.1 VORP, 28 Win Shares   3. Johan Santana, Twins 166 ERA+, 5.35 K/BB, 0.98 WHIP, 74.8 VORP, 24 Win Shares   2. Travis Hafner, Indians .308/.439/.659, 124 RC, .353 EQA, 80.0 VORP, 24 Win Shares   1. Derek Jeter, Yankees .346/.423/.492, 125 RC, .321 EQA, 75.0 VORP, 30 Win Shares

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College Football Wrap Up 9/24

Game of the Day: Notre Dame 40, Michigan State 37. It was almost like the Spartans decided they'd have a game that would mirror the way they usually play every season. Hot start, then a lousy finish. Being that this was on ESPN on ABC on ESPN2 on Disney this is now "one of the ages" or something. Of course if this game had been played in South Bend and thus been televised on NBC, ESPN probably wouldn't care that much. ESPN did nail it though in what this game meant as Notre Dame just earned $14 million last night with this win, though they seemed to celebrate the fact more than look down on it. The Irish simply don't have another challenging game the rest of the year until they travel to Los Angeles and even they get humiliated in that game they will still be guarenteed a BCS bowl. Like I said last week they will play themselves back into the national title picture whether you like or not.   WTF Score of the Day: Georgia 14, Colorado 13. There was no jaw dropping upset yesterday (sorry Ball State, you're barely I-A as it is) and this was as close as we were going to get. The Bulldogs were the Top 10 that was a mystery to people coming into this week. The mystery is over, they aren't a Top 10 team.   Other Games that I Make Little Analysis and Lame Jokes About   Arkansas 24, Alabama 23. You know people have been lynched in Alabama for a lot less than what kicker Leigh Tiffin did yesterday. Time to transfer to Florida State, kid. I'm guessing the good feelings Tide fans had for Mike Shula last year will dissapear in a hurry this year.   SMU 55, Arkansas State 9. Isn't there something in the NCAA rules that if you lose by more than 40 to SMU you are demoted to Division II the next day? I mean god damn, it's fucking SMU! Let's not forgot Arkansas State is the defending Sun Belt champions. I think a 46 year old Eric Dickerson could run circles around a Sun Belt defense.   Maryland 14, Florida International 10. Maybe it's time Ralph Friedgen started putting weight back on as the Terps were much better a 100 pounds ago.   Ohio State 28, Penn State 6. I was watching the A's game so I missed most of this one and I unfortunately missed sideline reporting about Joe Paterno almost shitting his pants during the game.   Houston 34, Oklahoma State 25. I only mention this game because Vern reads the blog and I won my match-up against him in my pick 'em contest yesterday because of this game. Kevin Kolb is yo daddy Vern!   Whack Pac Wrap Up   California 49, Arizona State 21. God damnit.   Washington 29, UCLA 19. Newsflash, the Huskies don't suck this year. Isaiah Stanback is becoming quite the competent quarterback.   USC 20, Arizona 3. Zzzzzz. Good lord was that boring. That Emmanuel Moody though is pretty damn good.   Oregon State 38, Idaho 0. If you're still wondering how Michigan State coul blow that game last night then remember that they acutally made Idaho look halfway decent in their opener.   Washington State 36, Stanford 10. Hey the Cardinal defense allowed 238 rushing yards, their best showing of the year. Progress! I wanna cry.

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College Football Wrap Up 10/1

What if a day of college football passed without anything interesting happening? Would it make a sound?   Game of the Day: Illinois 23, Michigan State 20. Woof. Texas Tech/Texas A&M was probably better I'm guessing but I only saw the end of that game when ABC put us on the west coast finally out of our misery by pulling Oregon's live rape of ASU's defense. My local Comcast Sportsnet picks up the 4th tier Big Ten game that gets thrown on ESPN+ and these games usually end up being more entertaining that the games ESPN puts on in their early timeslots on the main channels. This game made me sad because it means there's one more BCS team that you can't argue that they might be on the level of Stanford. Hey way to defend the middle of the field after the game Spartans, you think that would have worked during the game? We're all gonna miss John L Smith's rantings after he's gone. It might be tommorrow.   WTF Score of the Day: See above.   Other Games that I Make Lame Jokes and Little Analysis About   Arkansas State 31, Florida International 6. So if Arkansas State loses by 46 to SMU and the FIU loses by 25 to Arkansas State the next week, does that mean FIU gets relegateted to high school?   Virginia 37, Duke 0. Thank you Blue Devils. You're my last hope to eclipse the futility of Stanford.   SMU 33, Tulane 28. This was Tulane's first home game since Hurricane Katrina and obviously only the Saints . Hey SMU now has a winning record. Are they paying their players again?   Georgia 14, Mississippi 9. You know I can appreciate good defensive football and realize that is what the SEC is about but this was like watching flies fuck.   Colorado State 35, Fresno State 23. Something to keep on eye with Oregon's move up the polls is their close call against Fresno is suddenly looking pretty bad right now.   Wisconsin 52, Indiana 17. Let's see Northwestern's coach dies and the Wildcats get crushed by a I-AA team and Indiana's coach returns from brain cancer and they play like this. I feel bad Kansas' fans after Mark Mangino finally has a heart attack.   Whack Pac Wrap Up   Oregon 48, Arizona State 13. Damn that Rudy Carpenter voodoo doll that Sam Keller has is working pretty well.   California 41, Oregon State 13. People are so excited about Cal in the Bay Area that this game wasn't even televised locally. One of the few times the complete indifference to college sports here benefits me.   USC 28, Washington State 22. OMG USC SHOULD BE SPELLED SUC. One thing about the Trojans though is they do need to start featuring Emmanuel Moody more. He's clearly better than Chauncey Washington.   Washington 21, Arizona 10. Watching Ty Willingham begin to resurrect the Huskies program isn't making me feel better.   UCLA 31, Stanford 0. For the first time this year the Cardinal defense forced a team to punt. More progress! Please kill me.

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2006 Player Rankings: Catchers

2004 Top 3 1. Ivan Rodriguez 2. Javy Lopez 3. Jorge Posada   2005 Top 3 1. Victor Martinez 2. Jason Varitek 3. Joe Mauer   2006 Catcher Rankings   1. Joe Mauer, Twins 2. Brian McCann, Braves 3. Jorge Posada, Yankees 4. Victor Martinez, Indians 5. Ramon Hernandez, Orioles 6. Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers 7. Kenji Johjima, Mariners 8. Michael Barrett, Cubs 9. Paul Lo Duca, Mets 10. Jason Kendall, A's 11. Russell Martin, Dodgers 12. Mike Piazza, Padres 13. David Ross, Reds 14. Ronny Paulino, Pirates 15. A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox 16. Johnny Estrada, Diamondbacks 17. Bengie Molina, Blue Jays 18. Mike Napoli, Angels 19. Miguel Olivo, Marlins 20. Eliezer Alfonzo, Giants 21. Damian Miller, Brewers 22. Jason Varitek, Red Sox 23. John Buck, Royals 24. Brian Schneider, Nationals 25. Rod Barajas, Rangers 26. Yadier Molina, Cardinals 27. Toby Hall, Devil Rays/Dodgers 28. Dioner Navarro, Dodgers/Devil Rays 29. Brad Aumus, Astros 30. Jose Molina, Angels

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2006 Player Rankings: 1st Basemen

2004 Top 3 1. Albert Pujols 2. Todd Helton 3. Sean Casey   2005 Top 3 1. Derrek Lee 2. Albert Pujols 3. Carlos Delgado   2006 1st Basemen Rankings   1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals 2. Ryan Howard, Phillies 3. Lance Berkman, Astros 4. Justin Morneau, Twins 5. Nick Johnson, Nationals 6. Paul Konerko, White Sox 7. Carlos Delgado, Mets 8. Mark Teixeira, Rangers 9. Todd Helton, Rockies 10. Nick Swisher, A's 11. Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays 12. Adam LaRoche, Braves 13. Nomar Garciaparra, Dodgers 14. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres 15. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox 16. Richie Sexson, Mariners 17. Prince Fielder, Brewers 18. Scott Hatteberg, Reds 19. Kevin Millar, Orioles 20. Ben Broussard, Indians/Mariners 21. Mike Jacobs, Marlins 22. Conor Jackson, Diamondbacks 23. Mike Lamb, Astros 24. Doug Mientkiewicz, Royals 25. Chris Shelton, Tigers 26. Sean Casey, Pirates/Tigers 27. Craig Wilson, Pirates/Yankees 28. Shea Hillenbrand, Blue Jays/Giants 29. Dan Johnson, A's 30. Travis Lee, Devil Rays

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God bless this

I already posted in the ALCS thread about the game, where I was probably on t.v. for a split second on the Inge homerun, so I'd like to throw in something for the blog. Ever since 9/11 the New York Yankees and I'm guessing the Mets as well play "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch and in the immediate aftermatch of 9/11 this was common across baseball. As time has passed the regular tradition of the 7th inning stretch has continued in most ballparks, including in Oakland. But since we're in the playoffs now Bud Selig feels it's necessary to force everyone to play this God awful song that grinds a game to a complete halt and makes break in the middle of the 7th twice as long. If New York wants to do it that's fine but forcing all other teams remaining in the playoffs to do it is lame and really pointless. What exactly is the significance of playing "God Bless America"? Even if you're the most patriotic of Americans you have to admit it's not a good song. Tonight it didn't really matter with the general awfulness of the A's performance but the break to play "God Bless America" can completely take the air out an entire stadium after an exciting Top of the 7th.   Sorta off topic I hadn't been to a playoff game since 2002 and I forgot how long the breaks are between innings because of network commercials. Almost every inning the pitcher would finish his warm ups and have to just stand there for 30 seconds so FOX could come back from commercial.   Tommorrow, back to the player rankings moving on to shortstops. God Bless Jeter.

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2006 Player Rankings: Starting Pitchers

And finally the starting pitchers to complete this year's rankings. The list is made up of the top 120 pitchers in games started. Francisco Liriano did not make the cut while Roger Clemens and Jered Weaver were among the last five to make it. I factor in the same stats as I did for the relievers but I also include ERA+ for the starters.   As I mentioned in my 2006 awards entry I wasn't sure if I'd end up changing my selection the 3rd best pitcher in the A.L. I picked C.C. Sabathia for 3rd when I posted the entry but as you'll see that changed here in the rankings.   2004 Top 10 1. Randy Johnson 2. Johan Santana 3. Ben Sheets 4. Curt Schilling 5. Jason Schmidt 6. Roger Clemens 7. Jake Peavy 8. Carl Pavano 9. Brad Radke 10. Oliver Perez   2005 Top 10 1. Roger Clemens 2. Johan Santana 3. Andy Pettitte 4. Pedro Martinez 5. Dontrelle Willis 6. Chris Carpenter 7. Jake Peavy 8. John Smoltz 9. Roy Oswalt 10. Mark Buehrle   2006 Starting Pitcher Rankings   1. Johan Santana, Twins 2. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 3. Roy Oswalt, Astros 4. Chris Carpenter, Cardinals 5. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays 6. John Smoltz, Braves 7. Bronson Arroyo, Reds 8. Aaron Harang, Reds 9. John Lackey, Angels 10. Jason Schmidt, Giants 11. Mike Mussina, Yankees 12. Curt Schilling, Red Sox 13. C.C. Sabathia, Indians 14. Carlos Zambrano, Cubs 15. Jered Weaver, Angels 16. Derek Lowe, Dodgers 17. Chien-Ming Wang, Yankees 18. Dan Haren, A's 19. Chris Capuano, Brewers 20. Jason Jennings, Rockies 21. Roger Clemens, Astros 22. Scott Kazmir, Devil Rays 23. Erik Bedard, Orioles 24. Chris Young, Padres 25. Jeremy Bonderman, Tigers 26. Justin Verlander, Tigers 27. Brett Myers, Phillies 28. Barry Zito, A's 29. Josh Johnson, Marlins 30. Jake Peavy, Padres 31. Kelvim Escobar, Angels 32. Dave Bush, Brewers 33. Kenny Rogers, Tigers 34. Greg Maddux, Cubs/Dodgers 35. Matt Cain, Giants 36. Nate Robertson, Tigers 37. Kevin Millwood, Rangers 38. Tom Glavine, Mets 39. Jose Contreras, White Sox 40. Dontrelle Willis, Marlins 41. Jeff Francis, Rockies 42. Clay Hensley, Padres 43. Freddy Garcia, White Sox 44. Jon Garland, White Sox 45. Aaron Cook, Rockies 46. Ervin Santana, Angels 47. Jake Westbrook, Indians 48. Brad Penny, Dodgers 49. Andy Pettitte, Astros 50. Vincente Padilla, Rangers 51. Javier Vazquez, White Sox 52. A.J. Burnett, Blue Jays 53. Cole Hamels, Phillies 54. Jamie Moyer, Mariners/Phillies 55. Scott Olsen, Marlins 56. Felix Hernandez, Mariners 57. Woody Williams, Padres 58. Ted Lilly, Blue Jays 59. Zach Duke, Pirates 60. Jeff Suppan, Cardinals 61. Josh Beckett, Red Sox 62. Brad Radke, Twins 63. Miguel Batista, Diamondbacks 64. Pedro Martinez, Mets 65. Orlando Hernandez, Diamondbacks/Mets 66. Randy Johnson, Yankees 67. Cliff Lee, Indians 68. Mark Hendrickson, Devil Rays/Dodgers 69. Ian Snell, Pirates 70. Joe Blanton, A's 71. Doug Davis, Brewers 72. Jarrod Washburn, Mariners 73. Gil Meche, Mariners 74. Tim Hudson, Braves 75. Matt Morris, Giants 76. Livan Hernandez, Nationals/Diamondbacks 77. Jon Lieber, Phillies 78. Daniel Cabrera, Orioles 79. Noah Lowry, Giants 80. Jaret Wright, Yankees 81. Claudio Vargas, Diamondbacks 82. Cory Lidle, Phillies/Yankees 83. Tim Wakefield, Red Sox 84. Mark Buehrle, White Sox 85. Esteban Loaiza, A's 86. Kris Benson, Orioles 87. Paul Maholm, Pirates 88. James Shields, Devil Rays 89. Eric Milton, Reds 90. Rick Nolasco, Marlins 91. Chan Ho Park, Padres 92. Steve Trachsel, Mets 93. Byung-Hyun Kim, Rockies 94. Jamey Wright, Giants 95. Paul Byrd, Indians 96. Mike O'Connor, Nationals 97. Adam Loewen, Orioles 98. Josh Fogg, Rockies 99. Taylor Buchholz, Astros 100. Tony Armas Jr., Nationals 101. Elizardo Ramirez, Reds 102. John Koronka, Rangers 103. Rodrigo Lopez, Orioles 104. Mark Redman, Royals 105. Casey Fossum, Devil Rays 106. Scott Elarton, Royals 107. Jeff Weaver, Angels/Cardinals 108. Ramon Ortiz, Nationals 109. Sean Marshall, Cubs 110. Jae Seo, Dodgers/Devil Rays 111. Odalis Perez, Dodgers/Royals 112. Wandy Rodriguez, Astros 113. Carlos Silva, Twins 114. Jason Marquis, Cardinals 115. Jason Johnson, Indians/Red Sox/Reds 116. Joel Pineiro, Mariners 117. Runelvys Hernandez, Royals 118. Brian Moehler, Marlins 119. Shawn Chacon, Yankees/Pirates 120. Oliver Perez, Pirates/Mets

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Bowl Projections...sort of, Part 2

December 30th - Meineke Car Care Bowl (Big East #3/Navy vs. ACC #6) Navy vs. Clemson/Boston College/Miami   The mean 'ol Naval academy is stealing the Big East's bid here due to a conditional bid they had with this unfortunately named bowl. Clemson is likely to end up here after having what appeared to be promising Orange Bowl hopes just a couple of weeks ago.   December 30th - Alamo Bowl (Big XII #4 vs. Big Ten #4) Texas A&M/Missouri/Nebraska vs. Purdue   Purdue will end up here by default and A&M is obviously favored here, if the Holiday Bowl doesn't grab them. Nebraska would probably be passed on if their available since they played here last season.   December 30th - Chick-fil-A Bowl (ACC #2 vs. SEC #5) Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech/Maryland/Boston College vs. Georgia/Alabama/South Carolina   And just another reason why people have a hard time taking bowl game seriously. Chick-fil-A just wasn't satisfied with being the sponsor of the Peach Bowl so they bought out the name. I'd never even heard of Chick-fil-A when they first sponsored the bowl. The assumption right now by the projections is that the SEC will get two teams in the BCS thus leaving this game with a 7-5 team at best from the SEC. Although none of them picked them, when you look at the remaining schedule there is a distinct possibility Kentucky ends up here as they could go 7-5 while the other three all finish 6-6 and thus would have to be passed over. If Georgia Tech loses the ACC title game they'll end up here which obviously would eliminate Georgia from consideration.   December 31st - MPC Computers Bowl (WAC #1 vs. ACC #8) Nevada/San Jose State vs. Miami/Florida State/Wake Forest   Larry Coker's last stand will likely be freezing his ass off in Boise. Like I said in the prior entry I'd be surprised if Nevada isn't Boise State's replacement here. Of course though perennial doormat San Jose State playing perennial national power Miami on blue turf would be delicious is so many ways.   Jaunary 1st - Gator Bowl (Big East #2/Big XII #5 vs. ACC #3) West Virginia/Nebraska vs. Wake Forest/Clemson/Maryland   The Gator Bowl has become the ugly stepchild of the January 1st bowls and has been passed over the Peach and Holiday Bowl on the bowl totem poll in recent years. As mentioned before if Nebarska is available they will pass on an 11-1/10-2 Big East team to do so. A lot will depend on who ends up in the Holiday Bowl from the Pac-10 as if it's Cal is there then they will probably grab Nebraska but if it's USC they'll have to pass on them.   January 1st - Outback Bowl (Big Ten #3 vs. SEC #4) Penn State vs. Tennessee/LSU/Arkansas   Although the Gator Bowl is the ugly stepchild of January 1st, this game has always felt like an unecessary January 1st game to me. It's starts way too early for us on the West Coast (8:00 AM after New Year's Eve? Fuck that) and the 3rd or 4th best team from the Big Ten playing the 4th or 5th best team from the SEC isn't all that exciting to me especially when there is a much bigger Big Ten/SEC match-up later in the day. It will be especially unexciting this year as an unranked Penn State team will be here by default barring something bizarre happening in the Big Ten in the last couple of weeks.   January 1st - Cotton Bowl (Big XII #2 vs. SEC #3) Oklahoma vs. LSU/Arkansas/Auburn/Tennessee   I always kind of hope that the Cotton Bowl will one day regain it's status as the 2nd biggest bowl game but that will never happen. Oklahoma is almost a lock here at this point unless Texas gets upset in the Big XII title game and there is always a preference to take a team from the SEC West division so not sure what CFN is thinking with Tennessee.   January 1st - Capital One Bowl (SEC #2 vs. Big Ten #2) Wisconsin vs. Tennessee/Florida/Arkansas   There's 99.99999999% chance the Badgers end up here. As for the SEC a lot will depend on what happens in the SEC title game.   January 1st - Rose Bowl (Pac-10 #1/BCS vs. Big Ten #1/BCS) California/USC vs. Michigan   Aww the Grand Daddy of them all back where should always be played, on January 1st. Won't get the Big Ten champ but at least we will get a Pac-10/Big Ten match-up. Of course if Cal beats USC I will not be watching this game until Michigan has a substantial lead in the game. And as you can see no one is picking them to beat Ohio State.   January 1st - Fiesta Bowl (Big XII #1/BCS vs. BCS) Texas/Notre Dame vs. Boise State   This appears to be the easiest bowl to predict at this point. Texas wins the Big XII and Boise State wins out, they'll be playing each other. Now you see Notre Dame and well that's because Ivan Maisel thinks Texas will end up in the BCS Title Game which is too scary to think of right now. Although I think they'll get crushed at least Boise will get to prove themselves against an elite team unlike Utah a few years ago who were stuck playing a Pittsburgh team that had no business being there in a year that turned everyone on the Big East.   Jaunary 2nd - Orange Bowl (ACC #1/BCS vs. BCS) Georgia Tech/Wake Forest vs. Auburn/LSU/Louisville   I'm sooooooooo rooting for Wake Forest and Rutgers to win their conferences and play here as it might cause the Apocalypse. Obviously the popular choice seems to be the 2nd SEC team getting here.   January 3rd - Sugar Bowl (SEC #1/BCS vs. BCS) Florida/Arkansas/Auburn vs. Notre Dame/Louisville   Convential wisdom is the Sugar Bowl will gobble up Notre Dame as they are ahead of the Orange and Fiesta on the BCS pecking order this year.   January 6th - International Bowl (MAC #3 vs. Big East #4/#5) Ohio/Western Michigan/Kent State vs. Pittsburgh/South Florida   Exhibit A why when a bowl is played is overrated. It seems unlikely USF would be picked here to travel all the way to Toronto.   January 7th - GMAC Bowl (Conference USA #2 vs. MAC #2) East Carolina/Tulsa/Houston vs. Ohio/Western Michigan/Central Michigan/Northern Illinois   And Exhibit B as nothing bowl game GMAC decided to get cute and schedule themselves the day before the BCS title game.   January 8th - BCS Championship Game (BCS #1 vs. BCS #2) Ohio State vs. Louisville/Florida/Texas   Playing two bowl games at the same site a week apart is lame and January 8th is looooooong time to wait for the title game. Words can not describe how I don't want to see a Ohio State/Texas rematch although the elitist in me would prefer to see Florida than Louisville, not to say I don't think Louisville wouldn't be more deserving if they finish undefeated.

Bored

Bored

 

HOF Profile: Jim Rice

Jim Rice - Leftfielder   Boston Red Sox 1974-1989   13th year on the ballot   Past HOF Voting Results 1995: 29.78% 1996: 35.32% 1997: 37.63% 1998: 42.92% 1999: 29.38% 2000: 51.50% 2001: 57.86% 2002: 55.08% 2003: 52.22% 2004: 54.55% 2005: 59.50% 2006: 64.80%   Awards 1978 AL MVP 1983 AL Silver Slugger - OF 1984 AL Silver Slugger - OF   All-Star Selections: 8 (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986)   League Leader 1977: Homeruns, Total Bases, Slugging % 1978: Hits, Homeruns, RBI, Triples, Total Bases, Runs Created, Slugging %, OPS, OPS+ 1979: Total Bases 1983: Homeruns, RBI, Total Bases   Career Ranks Hits: 93rd HR: 52nd RBI: 52nd TB: 63rd SLG: 89th RC: 79th   Hall of Fame Stats   Black Ink: Batting - 33 (49) (Average HOFer ≈ 27) Gray Ink: Batting - 176 (56) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 42.9 (122) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 146.5 (82) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: 4 (Orlando Cepeda, Duke Snider, Billy Williams, Willie Stargell) Other Similar Batters: Andres Galarraga, Ellis Burks, Joe Carter, Dave Parker, Luis Gonzalez, Chili Davis   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1974: 1/0.1 1975: 20/4.8 1976: 17/4.2 1977: 26/7.4 1978: 36/10.4 1979: 28/8.2 1980: 16/4.9 1981: 15/6.3 1982: 21/6.4 1983: 24/9.1 1984: 17/7.3 1985: 14/5.4 1986: 28/9.4 1987: 8/2.7 1988: 9/2.6 1989: 2/0.1   Career Win Shares: 282 Career WARP3: 89.2   Would he get my vote?   No. A few years ago I was on the Rice bandwagon but I have since jumped off. He was fabulous from 1977-1979 but when you look at the rest of the career there's only two other great seasons and the offensive standards for a being HOF corner outfielder are almost as high as first basemen. He also benefitted from playing his entire career in Fenway Park and he had a large home/road split posting an OPS 131 points higher (.920 to .789) at Fenway than on the road. I think he needed two more good years to push him over the top but his skills eroded rapidly in his mid-30s so much so that he's become the poster boy for a player who has a sudden decline in production in their mid-30s. If he had been a great defensive outfielder or a great base stealer that could have also pushed him over the top but he was neither. I will say that he seems a tad underrated by WARP3. He is gaining support from the writers and I could see him getting a big bump in one his final two years on the ballot although he obviously no chance this year. There's a case to be made for him and I won't have a problem if he ever gets in but he doesn't get my imaginary vote.

Bored

Bored

 

HOF Profile: Alan Trammell

Alan Trammell - Shortstop   Detroit Tigers 1977-1996   6th year on the ballot   Past HOF Voting Results 2002: 15.68% 2003: 14.11% 2004: 13.83% 2005: 16.86% 2006: 17.69%   Awards 1980 AL Gold Glove - SS 1981 AL Gold Glove - SS 1983 AL Gold Glove - SS 1984 AL Gold Glove - SS 1984 World Series MVP   All-Star Selections: 6 (1980, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990)   League Leader None of note   Career Ranks None of note   Hall of Fame Stats   Gray Ink: Batting - 48 (505) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 40.4 (146) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 118.5 (116) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: 2 (Ryne Sandberg, Pee Wee Reese) Other Similar Batters: Barry Larkin, B.J. Surhoff, Jay Bell, Lou Whitaker, Tony Fernandez, Julio Franco, Buddy Bell, Dave Concepcion   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1977: 0/-0.3 1978: 14/5.5 1979: 13/3.0 1980: 21/7.0 1981: 14/8.7 1982: 16/8.0 1983: 26/10.3 1984: 29/10.5 1985: 16/7.0 1986: 26/10.2 1987: 35/13.1 1988: 23/8.3 1989: 13/6.3 1990: 29/9.7 1991: 12/4.3 1992: 4/1.7 1993: 17/6.3 1994: 3/2.5 1995: 6/1.5 1996: 1/-0.2   Career Win Shares: 318 Career WARP3: 123.3   Would he get my vote?   Yes. An excellent peak gives him the nod from me, the first player I've voted "yes" for. Five times he had an OPS+ of 130 or better in a full season, six if you include his 1993 season although that came in 112 games. As you see Trammell is getting little support, not even at the level of Dave Concepcion. What has hurt Trammell the most is probably the era he played in. You could make a legitimate argument that in the last 25 years we've seen seven of the top 10 to 12 greatest shortstops of all-time as we are truly in a golden age for the position. Trammell's peers included Cal Ripken, Robin Yount, Ozzie Smith, and Barry Larkin and since he retired Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter (maybe needs one more good year) have joined that list. When he retired Trammell was without question one of the Top 10 shortstops of all-time. He shouldn't be punished because his career numbers were dwarfed by all-time greats like Ripken and Yount nor should he be punished for the feats of players who came after him like A-Rod and Jeter.

Bored

Bored

 

HOF Profiles: Tony Gwynn & Cal Ripken

Wrapping up the 2007 Hall of Fame Ballot with the two slam dunks on the ballot and barring a major upset the only two who will be elected on Tuesday. Since there is no real suspense in whether or not these two will be elected I figured I'd just group them together. Sure one could argue than one or the other was overrated in their own right and there will of course be those who will leave them off their ballot just to make sure no one ever gets 100% of the vote. But no one can make a legitimate argument that either is not deserving of being a member of the Hall of Fame. Obviously they are easy "yes" votes from me.   Tony Gwynn - Rightfielder   San Diego Padres 1982-2001   Awards 1984 NL Silver Slugger - OF 1986 NL Gold Glove - OF 1986 NL Silver Slugger - OF 1987 NL Gold Glove - OF 1987 NL Silver Slugger - OF 1989 NL Gold Glove - OF 1989 NL Silver Slugger - OF 1990 NL Gold Glove - OF 1991 NL Gold Glove - OF 1994 NL Silver Slugger - OF 1995 NL Silver Slugger - OF 1997 NL Silver Slugger - OF   All-Star Selections: 15 (1984-1987, 1989-1999)   League Leader 1984: Batting Average, Hits 1986: Hits, Runs 1987: Batting Average, Hits 1988: Batting Average 1989: Batting Average, Hits 1994: Batting Average, Hits, OBP 1995: Batting Average, Hits 1996: Batting Average 1997: Batting Average, Hits   Career Ranks AVG: 20th Games: 61st Hits: 18th Runs: 84th 2B: 22nd TB: 50th RC: 41st   Hall of Fame Stats   Black Ink: Batting - 57 (18) (Average HOFer ≈ 27) Gray Ink: Batting - 155 (78) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 53.9 (57) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 277.5 (13) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: 9 (Zack Wheat, Rod Carew, Paul Waner, Wade Boggs, Sam Rice, Roberto Clemente, Heinie Manush, George Silser, Sam Crawford) Other Similar Batters: Vada Pinson   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1982: 7/1.8 1983: 10/3.0 1984: 35/10.2 1985: 20/7.3 1986: 29/10.8 1987: 29/12.1 1988: 23/6.6 1989: 30/9.3 1990: 17/6.4 1991: 22/6.7 1992: 18/5.3 1993: 18/6.1 1994: 17/10.0 1995: 23/8.1 1996: 17/4.6 1997: 39/7.9 1998: 19/3.8 1999: 18/3.0 2000: 3/0.6 2001: 4/0.8   Career Win Shares: 398 Career WARP3: 124.3     Cal Ripken - Shortstop   Baltimore Orioles 1981-2001   Awards 1982 AL Rookie of the Year 1983 AL MVP 1983 AL Silver Slugger - SS 1984 AL Silver Slugger - SS 1985 AL Silver Slugger - SS 1986 AL Silver Slugger - SS 1989 AL Silver Slugger - SS 1991 AL MVP 1991 ML Sporting News Player of the Year 1991 AL Gold Glove - SS 1991 AL Silver Slugger - SS 1992 AL Gold Glove - SS 1993 AL Silver Slugger - SS 1994 AL Silver Slugger - SS   All-Star Selections: 19 (1983-2001)   League Leader 1983: Hits, Runs, Doubles, Runs Created 1991: Total Bases   Career Ranks Games: 8th Hits: 14th Runs: 31st 2B: 13th HR: 37th RBI: 20th BB: 61st TB: 13th RC: 30th   Hall of Fame Stats   Black Ink: Batting - 19 (112) (Average HOFer ≈ 27) Gray Ink: Batting - 116 (171) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 58.3 (33) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 236.0 (25) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: 7 (Dave Winfield, Robin Yount, Al Kaline, Eddie Murray, Carl Yastrzemski, George Brett, Tony Perez) Other Similar Batters: Craig Biggio, Harold Baines, Andre Dawson   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1981: 0/-0.6 1982: 23/8.2 1983: 35/13.9 1984: 37/15.0 1985: 25/10.9 1986: 28/12.5 1987: 20/7.2 1988: 25/9.7 1989: 26/10.1 1990: 20/9.4 1991: 34/17.0 1992: 21/6.8 1993: 17/5.9 1994: 18/7.7 1995: 16/7.5 1996: 22/7.0 1997: 18/5.0 1998: 13/4.6 1999: 12/4.2 2000: 8/3.8 2001: 9/3.4   Career Win Shares: 427 Career WARP3: 169.1

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Bored

 

80's Tournament: A.L. West Quarterfinals

This division/region was completely blown to pieces in the 1st round but this round things almost went to form. The '86 Angels did what the '89 A's were supposed to do and that was sweep the '87 Mariners. The other three series all went at least six games with the one upset by the '83 White Sox as they eliminated the '87 Twins in seven games. Interesting thing about that series is every game was won by the road team, the complete opposite of the '87 World Series. That now leaves no World Series teams left in this division/region.   Again stat lines are for both rounds.   (9) 1986 California Angels def. (16) 1987 Seattle Mariners 4-0   Game 1: Angels 4, Mariners 3 Game 2: Angels 5, Mariners 0 Game 3: Angels 4, Mariners 1 Game 4: Angels 4, Mariners 0   Brian Downing: 11-37, 4 HR, 7 RBI Don Sutton: 2-0, 1.40 ERA   (12) 1988 Minnesota Twins def. (13) 1982 Kansas City Royals 4-3   Game 1: Twins 3, Royals 0 Game 2: Royals 5, Twins 3 Game 3: Twins 11, Royals 1 Game 4: Twins 11, Royals 9 13 innings Game 5: Royals 3, Twins 2 10 innings Game 6: Royals 8, Twins 6 Game 7: Twins 8, Royals 2   Tim Laudner: 20-53, 3 HR, 12 RBI Jeff Reardon: 1.93 ERA, 5 SV   (6) 1983 Chicago White Sox def. (3) 1987 Minnesota Twins 4-3   Game 1: White Sox 9, Twins 2 Game 2: White Sox 8, Twins 1 Game 3: Twins 9, White Sox 1 Game 4: Twins 12, White Sox 1 Game 5: Twins 5, White Sox 4 Game 6: White Sox 14, Twins 7 Game 7: White Sox 6, Twins 2   Rudy Law: 19-54, 14 R, 11 SB Floyd Bannister: 3-1, 4 GS, 32 IP, 42 K   (10) 1984 Kansas City Royals def. (15) 1981 Texas Rangers 4-2   Game 1: Rangers 3, Royals 0 Game 2: Rangers 5, Royals 1 11 innings Game 3: Royals 3, Rangers 0 Game 4: Royals 6, Rangers 1 Game 5: Royals 10, Rangers 4 Game 6: Royals 4, Rangers 3   Willie Wilson: 17-47, 7 R Bud Black: 2-1, 1.30 ERA, 4 GS, 3 CG     A.L. West Semi-Finals (12) '88 Twins vs. (9) '86 Angels (10) '84 Royals vs. (6) '83 White Sox   Up Next: N.L. West Quarterfinals

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Bored

 

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

Bored

Bored

 

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: 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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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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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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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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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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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: 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: Tim Raines

Tim Raines - Leftfielder   Montreal Expos 1979-1990, 2001 Chicago White Sox 1991-1995 New York Yankees 1996-1998 Oakland Athletics 1999 Baltimore Orioles 2001 Florida Marlins 2002   Awards 1986 N.L. Silver Slugger - OF 1987 All-Star Game MVP   All-Star Selections: 7 (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987)   League Leader 1981: Stolen Bases 1982: Stolen Bases 1983: Runs, Stolen Bases 1984: Doubles, Stolen Bases 1986: Batting Average, OBP, Runs Created 1987: Runs   Career Ranks Games: 48th Runs: 46th Hits: 68th TB: 100th BB: 33rd SB: 5th RC: 51st   Best Performance April 18, 1994 - Chicago at Boston Hit three homeruns against the Red Sox.   Hall of Fame Stats Black Ink: Batting - 20 (105) (Average HOFer ≈ 27) Gray Ink: Batting - 114 (176) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 46.8 (91) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 90.0 (175) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: 5 (Lou Brock, Max Carey, Fred Clarke, Harry Hooper, Enos Slaughter) Other Similar Batters: Kenny Lofton, Willie Davis, Jimmy Ryan, Jose Cruz, Julio Franco     Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1979: 0/0.0 1980: 0/0.1 1981: 18/5.6 1982: 21/5.5 1983: 29/9.1 1984: 32/9.0 1985: 36/11.8 1986: 32/9.9 1987: 34/10.3 1988: 19/6.4 1989: 25/8.1 1990: 19/5.1 1991: 19/6.5 1992: 28/10.2 1993: 19/5.9 1994: 14/4.6 1995: 14/4.8 1996: 7/2.1 1997: 9/3.3 1998: 11/3.3 1999: 1/0.6 2001: 3/1.4 2002: 0/0.1   Career Win Shares: 390 Career WARP3: 123.9   My Stupid Opinion   Second greatest lead off hitter of all-time who should be a slam dunk, first ballot Hall of Famer this year but won't be. In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, which was published in 2001 right near the end of Raines' career, James ranked Raines as the 8th best leftfielder of all-time behind Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Carl Yastrzemski, Joe Jackson, and Al Simmons. You could make a legitimate argument that from 1985 to 1987 Raines was the MVP of the National League each season yet he failed to crack the Top 5 in the writer's vote in those years. Playing his prime years in Montreal and being overshadowed by Henderson certainly hurt the national media's perception of him. Maybe also hurt by that he probably hung around a few years longer than he should have but he'd hardly be the first HOF to do that. The very small sample of writer ballots that have become public are at least semi-encouraging as it appears he'll probably end up on between 30-40% of the ballots which isn't bad for someone the writers don't view as a first ballot HOF.

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Fantasy '86

Since 1995 I have played the computer version of Strat-O-Matic Baseball which might as well be Dungeons & Dragons for baseball geeks. I always order the updated version of the game online but they still send me the mail order form along with some little newsletter. I usually just glance at it and throw it away but something caught my eye this time. SportingNews.com in recent years has run some sort of fantasy baseball version of Strat-O-Matic but I've never been interested in it as it costs $25 a team. Well apparently very soon they will be running a free game that will be based on the 1986 MLB season where you can make up your own team of players from 1986. They are doing in conjunction with their 1986 Take Two promotion where "celebrities" are replaying that season. From what I know of with the Sporting News version of the game the leagues are 12 teams each, you draft 25 man rosters with a salary cap, and play a 162 game season. You don't actually "play" each other as the games are simulated but you can make trades and make line up adjustments during the season.   So I pose the question to my three blog readers...would anyone be interested in doing this? The website say it's a limited offer so I have no idea if I'll even be able to create a league but it sounds like an interesting alternative to typical fantasy baseball and best of all it's free. If I get a feeling that there will be enough interest on the board I'll probably create a thread for it in the Sports folder when they starting take sign ups, which will be February 27th.

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