Friday, September 26, 2008

Three Games To Decide NL Playoffs

Carlos Beltran, walk-off RBI single. Ryan Braun, walk-off Grand Slam. New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers are all even. 88-71. One game behind the NL East leading Philadelphia Phillies who sit at 89-70.

The Phillies play three games at home against the Washington Nationals. The weather should be cold and wet. With Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer and Cole Hamels starting each of the games, I would think the Phils will take two of three. The Phillies will face some decent pitching from the Nationals, but more importantly a suddenly surging offense. 2 of 3 will give the Phils a season record of 91-71.

The Brewers play three games at home against the NL Central Champion Chicago Cubs. The weather should be great up there on Lake Michigan. The Brew Crew will have a semi-injured Jeff Suppan starting the first game followed by Dave Bush and then CC Sabathia. With the Cubbies probably resting some more players in the first game and possibly the first two games I would think the Brewers will take two of three also. Should finish the season 90-72.

The New York Mets play three games at home against the Florida Marlins. The weather should be that same cold and wet that Philadelphia will get. The Mets have Mike Pelfrey in the first game, followed by 21-year old Jonathon Niese and then Ace Johan Santana on the finale day of Shea Stadium. The Mets hit and they win. Pelfrey and Santana should give them great starts and hopefully will pitch 7+ innings. Niese is the wild card (Ha). The Mets should hope for 5 solid innings from the kid and hope that the offense gives them a lot of runs and a solid lead. If they get that on Saturday afternoon the Mets will win. They should sweep the Marlins and finish the season 91-71.

NL East Champions = NY Mets
NL Wild Card = Philadelphia Phillies
NL Out-of-Luck Team = Milwaukee Brewers

Thursday, October 25, 2007

BoSox Thump Rockies in Game One

I know how excited the Red Sox Nation is right now - I'm friends with enough of them to figure that they think this World Series will be finished come Sunday night. After last night's drubbing, they have reason to feel that confident. But it won't be that easy.

The Rockies looked and played like a team that was both scared to be playing under the brightest lights, and also hadn't played in more than a week. Their bats, for the most part, didn't come into play and the pitching was dreadful. They didn't do much of anything good during last night's 13-1 loss to the Sox, but I'm sticking to my prediction that this World Series will go 6 games...Sox in 6.

Manny and Papi were great (as usual) but how about guys like Kevin Youkilis, Julio Lugo and even J.D. Drew coming up big. Yooouuuuukilis has been a steady performer for the Sox for a few years now, but he's just scorching the ball. Lugo and Drew both struggled in their first season in Boston but the "Nation" will forget all about .237 and .270 with a total of 19 Home Runs if they keep delivering in the Fall Classic.

And then you get to Mr. Dominance in October, aka Josh Beckett. Just filthy on the bump again. 9 K's and just 1 Walk over 7 innings. He's got another start in him and if needed can probably throw a game in relief.

The Rockies need two guys to get going with the bats...Matt Holliday and Garrett Atkins. They also could use some pitching, but I'm sure that it was first game jitters and the layoff that played the biggest factor in the 13-1 loss. Sox fans need to remember that they beat the Indians easily in the first game and then had to claw their way back to win the ALCS...this series is going to be a good one.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Leader Needed for Mets

As I try to climb out of the hole that New York Mets made all of their fans fall into I have thought long and hard about why the 2007 Mets fell apart in the last few weeks of the season. My only conclusion - they lacked a true leader in the clubhouse. The player or players that would get the rest of the guys fired up or even stir the pot by challenging the team to play sound ball. The few guys on the Mets that people look at as superstars aren't that leader...yet.

David Wright has all the makings of being a leader someday, but he's only 24 years old and it isn't his role just yet. Jose Reyes is a great player, but I'm not sure if that will ever be his role. Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and Aaron Heilman are all top notch players but they are more reserved and quiet. The same can be said for future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, he's not a get in your face kind of guy. Other players like Moises Alou and Luis Castillo were both in the first year with the team and probably didn't feel like it was their duty (just yet). Pedro was away from the club until early September and might have felt it wasn't his job to step in and chastise the guys that had played all season. Guys like Paul Lo Duca and Billy Wagner tried to fire the team up but it must have fallen on deaf ears when they didn't produce down the stretch.

The two guys that the Mets missed this season...Julio Franco and Jose Valentin. Franco was released during the All-Star break and Valentin was lost to injury around the same time. These two veterans gave the Mets two voices and strong personalities in the lockeroom. I'm not certain that the collapse would've been stopped, but having veterans that aren't shy about what they say to their teammates is invaluable and was missed in mid-late September.

I'm sure some changes will be made this offseason in Queens...but one aspect that Omar and Willie need to address is bringing in a few players that can and will take the leadership role of the Mets.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Giambi Apologizes

Yankees DH Jason Giambi stepped up and said what hundreds of players should have already said...that Major League Baseball should apologize for the steroid problem that is hanging over the sport like the darkest of clouds.

"I was wrong for doing that stuff," Giambi said Wednesday before the Yanks played the Chicago White Sox. "What we should have done a long time ago was stand up players, ownership, everybody and said: 'We made a mistake.'

It has been widely rumord that in 2003 Giambi told a federal grand jury during the BALCO investigation that he used steroids and human growth hormone. Giambi also said that he's happy about Major League Baseball's new steroids testing program that also checks for amphetamines.

I think Giambi, Bonds, Canseco, Palmiero and McGwire are guys that will always have the public perception of cheaters...but let's be honest - there were only a few players in the 90's and until about two years ago that weren't using perfomance enhancing drugs.

They all should apologize, because even if Mark Grace or Derek Jeter or John Olerud never used them, they played each played with a hundred or so that did.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

He's Baaaaack

I'm not talking about Roger Clemens...I'm talking about 'Field Level'.

In my hiatus a lot of great things have happened in sports. The NCAA crowned a back-to-back champion in basketball. Oh yeah, they also crowned that same school in football. De La Hoya lost to Mayweather, Jr. The Colts and Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl.

I'm glad to have posted a tid bit and hope that in the coming months the bloggersphere will catch me and give me the push that I had from mid-2005 to mid-2006.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Great Garcia

Jeff Garcia has led the Eagles on an improbable run to the postseason since taking over for Donovan McNabb and tomorrow he will try to lead the Eagles to another division title when they host the Falcons. His return to prominence has been almost storybook-like.

Two weeks after replacing the injured McNabb, Garcia and the Eagles needed a win at home against Carolina. Although Garcia played good in his first start of the season against the Colts the game did not go well for the team as they lost 45-21. The game against Panthers didn’t start off good either as the Eagles trailed 14-7 at halftime. In the third quarter, Garcia was hearing the loud boos from the Philly fans when he led the Eagles and beat Carolina, 27-24. Garcia completed 21 of 39 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. He’s been on fire ever since…

Garcia is now a fan favorite in Philadelphia. The Eagles are red hot, having won four straight games to reach 9-6 and come within one win of earning their fifth NFC East title in six seasons.

I’m not saying that they are the team to beat in the NFC. I still think the Bears are, even with their own QB inconsistencies. But the soon to be 37-year old Garcia has picked up the Eagles and the city of Philadelphia like few have before and in such a short time no less. It is very reminiscent of his play with the 49ers back in 1999. He made that team and city believe that they were still a championship quality team. His three seasons of 2000, 2001 and 2002 were as good as they get statistically. As a passer he was accurate and very good and he added the running element to his game that made him an even greater threat.

Pct. Yds. TD INT Yds TD
63.3 4278 31 10 414 4
62.7 3538 32 12 254 5
62.1 3344 21 10 353 3

He might be getting up in age now but the San Jose State alumnus is on a mission to prove that he can still be a quarterback that does the job in the NFL, where there are about a dozen teams that need significant help at the position.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Some Thursday Thoughts

-Wow, what's Michael Strahan's deal? I'm not sure if he realized it or not but the reporter that he spoke so disrepectfully to was doing her job. It didn't seem like she was trying to cause conflict in the Giants lockeroom ... if anything Strahan already did that when he called out Plaxico. Shame on Strahan - he should apologize to that reporter.

-Tony Romo is playing great football right now. At this rate, I hate to say it, they might be the team to beat in the NFC. I think the powers in the AFC will win the Super Bowl again this year but I would hate to see the Cowboys make it.

-Albert Pujols is complaining that he didn't win the National League MVP Award? Is this guy joking? I'm not sure if he knows it or not but Ryan Howard's numbers were as good as they get and had anybody pitched to him in the finals three weeks of the season he probably would've hit 65 dingers. Pujols says that the MVP should come from a guy who's team makes the playoffs...lucky for him that the NL Central was so bad this year - the Cards won the division with 83 wins. Newsflash to Albert, the Phillies won 85 games and missed the playoffs because they played in a better division.

-The three best teams in the NBA might all reside in Texas. Dallas is currently 11-4, San Antonio is 11-5 and Houston is 10-5. I see all three playing deep into the playoffs because they all have good guard play and good big men.

-Manny Pacquiao KO'd Erik Morales in the 3rd Round of their fight last weekend...the rubber match between these two great champions. Pac-man is no joke. He hits harder than any 130 pounder on this Earth and is as fast as Junior Earnhardt's #8 car. I enjoy watching him box.

-Ben Wallace has a problem with Chicago Bulls Head Coach Scott Skiles enforcing a no headband rule. I don't blame him. That's exactly what Skiles should be worrying about right now...what his players are wearing around their heads. Maybe he should just be happy that he's got one of the best defensive players in the NBA on his team and he should focus on getting his guys to play better?

-The New Jersey Nets will win the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division this year...and probably have a losing record...that's sad.