Sunday, October 17, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
1. San Diego
2. Indy (How much have you heard about Peyton Manning’s down season?)
3. New York Jets
5. Patriots (Note: Only 4 games so far)
6. Detroit (Note: All teams above the Lions are from the AFC, meaning the Lions have scored more points than any team in the NFC. Interesting, no?)
8. Green Bay
Except for the highest scoring team in the league, and the poor Lions, every team on this list has a winning record. #11 is Oakland, by the way.
2. Top 10 in Point Differential
1. NY Jets (54)
2. Atlanta Falcons (43)
3. Tennessee Titans (37)
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (36, only 4 games, all without their starting QB)
5. New England Patriots (35, only 4 games, and tied with…)
6. Indianapolis Colts (35)
7. San Diego Chargers (34)
8. Green Bay Packers (30)
9. Baltimore Ravens (20)
10. Kansas City Chiefs (20)
The Bills are far and away the worst team at -74, but I could see the Panthers making a run at them, sitting in 2ns with -58. The 49ers, who seem to believe they’re actually a good team, are only 4 points ahead of the Panthers. All three of the aforementioned are 0-5. Strangely rounding out the bottom 5 are Arizona (-30) and Jacksonville (-30), both of which have winning records. Oh, what a wacky league.
3. The Packers have yet to play on artificial turf.
4. The Packers would be tied for first place in the AFC South.
5. The Packers would be tied for last place in the AFC South.
6. NFC North – Next 5 opponents and where they rank in Point Differential
Miami – 27th (-26)
Minnesota - 19th (-4)
NYJ – 1st (54)
Dallas – 21st (-6)
Minnesota again 19th (-4)
Average Rank – 17.4
Seattle – 15th (-2)
Washington - 18th (-3)
Buffalo – 32 (-74)
Minnesota – 19th (-4)
Miami – 27th (-26)
Average Rank – 22.2
Dallas – 21st (-6)
Green Bay – 8th (30)
New England – 5th (35)
Arizona – 29th (-50)
Chicago – 12th (18)
Average Rank – 15
NY Giants – 14th (8)
Washington – 18th (-3)
NY Jets – 1st (54)
Buffalo – 32nd (-74)
Dallas – 21st (-6)
Average Rank – 17.2
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
1. Providing the San Francisco Giants with the winning run by not calling Buster Posey out trying to steal second.
2. Providing New York with the lead runs by not calling Lance Berkman out on strike 3.
3. Possibly denying us a few extra games as the Yankees are now exceedingly likely to sweep the Twins.
4. Costing Major League Baseball millions of dollars in revenue by (possibly) shortening the Twins series.
Hunter Wendelstedt called an awful game last night. It's never a good sign when even the announcers are complaining about the officiating. He was all over the map with his zone. He noticeably tightened up the zone with 2 strikes. He was a huge factor in the outcome of the game.
What is this, the NBA?
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
“Because Bob Brenly probably did as many stupid things as you can do as a manager and still win the World Series. One of the odd things about the Series was this: Brenly made two terrible moves with his pitching staff, and yet he got blasted by the baseball writers just once…and that was for a move that actually made sense.
Going into the Series against the dynastic Yankees, the big question was, would Brenly get four starts from his aces, or five? Actually, there was another big question too.: if Brenly would ask Randy Johnson or Curt Schilling to start three games, which one. They totaled virtually the same number of innings during the regular season, and Johnson’s ERA was significantly better during the regular season. But where Johnson was number one in the National League, Schilling was number two. Both were well rested; the Diamondbacks had knocked out the Braves on October 21, six days before the first game of the World Series. Brenly chose Schilling for the opener. It was a questionable decision, but Brenly probably deserved the benefit of the doubt on that one; presumably, he knew which of his aces was better equipped to start twice on three days rest.
Schilling was great in Game 1, the Yankees weren’t. After four innings, the Diamondbacks led 9-1. After fice innings, the Diamondbacks led 9-1. Schilling had his W in the bag. Time to turn this one over to the pen, and get an early start on resting up for game 4. But Schilling pitched on.
After 6 innings, the Diamondbacks still led 9-1.
And Schilling pitched on.
Finally, in the bottom of the seventh, Brenly did what he should have done in the bottom of the fifth; he replaced his starter with a pinch hitter. Curt Schilling left the game after throwin 102 pitches.
Johnson started Game 2 and fired a three-hit shutout. Brian Anderson and a pair of relievers pitched well in Game 3, but Roger Clemens and Mariano Rivera pitched better.
So three days after game 1 it’s Schilling’s turn again in Game 4. He was great…but after seven innings he was also gassed. Brenly took him out, the game tied at one run apiece. Arizona took a 3-1 lead in the top of the eight, but then with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Tino Martinez tied the game with a two-run homer off Byung-Hyun Kim. The Diamondbacks didn’t score in the tenth. And then, with two outs (of course) in the bottom of the tenth, Derek Jeter hit another homer off Kim to end the game.
The Media jumped on Brenly for taking Schilling out of the game. That wasn’t fair; Brenly had ample evidence that Schilling was indeed tiring. A smaller portion of the media jumped on Brenly for sending Kim out for thenth, his third inning. That might have been fair; he’d pitched three full innings in a game just once all season, and that was way back on May 18th.
But what everybody somehow missed was Brenly’s big mistake, which was letting Schilling pitch seven innings in Game 1. If Schilling had pitched just five or six innings in the opener, isn’t I tlikely that he could have gone more than seven innings in game 4? If Schilling had lasted eight innings in game 4, isn’t it likely that Kim would have finished off the Yankees in the ninth? Kim retired five of the first six Yankees he faced, four of them on strikeouts. (Of course, all of this assumes that Schilling couldn’t have pitched the ninth inning himself. And if he’d thrown twenty-five or thirty fewer pitches in Game 1, maybe he could have. )
Okay, so Brenly screwed up. He didn’t rest his pitcher when he had the chance, and it probably cost him a World Series game. But Brenly’s a smart fellow; so he learned from his mistake, right?
Nope. Brenly made almost the exact same mistake in Game 6.
The last paragraph is probably the most damning:
“Bob Brenly madetwo great decisions in the 2001 World Series. He chose Curt Schilling to start three games, and he sent Randy Johnson to the bullpen in Game 7. But those great decisions were nearly undone by his ridiculous obeisance to the notion that it’s somehow unmanly for a starting pitcher to come out of a game simply because his team has a huge lead.”
The fantastic range is why Hardy is rated highly by every defensive metric available today. Over about 4.5 full seasons, UZR rates Hardy as a +41 SS, DRS rates him as +38, and TotalZone rates him at +23. Regardless of which one you choose, Hardy has provided fantastic value as a solid glove shortstop, and both the scouting reports and the eye test back that up.
Hardy might not have been as good as his +8 UZR suggests in such a small sample, but the fact that he put up 1.6 WAR in 375 plate appearances before factoring in defense is enough to merit a look. Throw in the fact that a +8 UZR in that sample is legitimately attainable for somebody with Hardy’s defensive prowess, and you have a shortstop that could arguably be the best remaining in the playoffs.
'Melvin had this to say about Brenly rumor: "Unless somebody else has been doing the hiring process, that's not true."'
Bob Brenly may very well be your next Brewer manager. I just want to make it known that Bob Brenly sucks. He's never seen a bunt he didn't like. He likes the "little things that win games" that actually lose games. He's into being a touch guy and not coddling players. He's (debatably) advocated hitting Ryan Braun for the sin of looking at Ryan Dempster funny.
I think basically all baseball managers are bad. Brenly strikes me as extra bad.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
"It was frustrating," Toon said. "I feel like I could have contributed a little bit more but that's just the way the plays were called today. That's how it is some days. It is what it is . . .
"I just think the main issue was I just didn't get enough opportunities to make plays."
Strange comments coming from a guy who single-handedly killed two drives by dropping simple passes. I feel like you could have contributed a lot more as well, Nick...by not playing like absolute garbage.