Sunday, July 31, 2011

Miscellaneous Me

This month on Twitter

Trending nationwide were the following phrases:

"Shawn Bradley." Since he has done nothing in the sports landscape in a decade, I can only assume Space Jam was being shown on television and it was a slow news day.

"Adrian Gonzales." A nice leap into the social consciousness during this month's MLB Home Run Derby for the new Red Sox star. However, until the nation spells his name correctly, I wouldn't put him on Derek Jeter's or Alex Rodriguez's level.

"Kerry Collins." He retired this month from the NFL, ending a surprisingly effective NFL career. Here are some Kerry Collins facts: he ranks in the top 10 all-time in career pass attempts and pass completions; he is number 11 all-time in career passing yards, ahead of Johnny Unitas, Jim Kelly, Steve Young and Troy Aikman.

"Greg Olsen," "Orlando Cabrera," "Michael Bourn," "Lofa Tatupu." These are just a few of the names that were trending nationwide this final week of July thanks to the MLB trade deadline and NFL roster frenzy. It is safe to say, at no other time would any of these men be in the fabric of conversation unless they were killed or had killed.

In other miscellaneous news of the month:

#MLBallstargame - everyone was in an uproar a few weeks ago when Derek Jeter pulled out of the MLB All-Star game with no real injury. Here is just something to keep in mind. He didn't even deserve to make the team. Not that that factored into his decision, just throwing that out there.

#speedlimit - for anyone driving through West Virginia, be aware when taking route 51. This road is like a automobile roller coaster. The speed limit is 50 MPH and the road is an endless cavalcade of huge dips and valleys, leaving you blind to the street ahead with your stomach edging ever closer to your throat.

#NCAA12 - props to the folks behind the video game NCAA '12 for that commercial where the Texas Long Horn's fan is getting a cast put on.

#pokerface - the best description ever for what someone means when they say you have a good poker face comes from Colson Whitehead: "you are a soulless monster whose fright mask is incapable of capturing normal human expressions. You are a throwback to a Neanderthal state of uncomplicated emotions, or a harbinger of our cold, passionless future, but either way, I don't know what's going on in your head."

#xgames17 - I am always a fan of tuning in for the X-Games. It is an entertaining weekend when it comes up in both the winter and summer. Last night, Shaun White threw down a Gold Medal-winning performance in his final run to top Pierre-Luc Gagnon in skateboard vert. Pierre-Luc had won the competition, the Super Bowl of skateboarding as it were, three consecutive years. It was tremendously exciting, something the X-Games is always able to deliver.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dueling Deadlines

On one end we have the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline. After this weekend, players cannot be traded without first clearing waivers, an unpleasant hiccup to circumvent for players with any long term value. So that means any and all serviceable veterans will be dealt for prospects now, while the floodgates are open.

The New York Mets have already dealt their closer Francisco Rodriguez, their outfielder Carlos Beltran and may not be done. The St. Louis Cardinals threw away talented and young outfielder Colby Rasmus for pitching depth. Players such as Heath Bell, Ubaldo Jimenez and Carlos Pena may be on the move any day now, any minute now.

Baseball's trade deadline is an exciting time for teams on either end of the spectrum. Losing teams are able to work off some high priced vets for hopeful, young talent. Teams in contention are able to find that one missing piece that may lead them to autumn glory. The unhappiest fans bases are always of the teams that stand pat, do nothing major while their biggest rivals are wheeling and dealing.

Entirely coincidentally, the very same weekend of MLB's trade deadline, the NFL finally opened its doors and Free Agent Frenzy has commenced as if blood was in the water. Only a day after an agreement had been collectively bargained, big names already have new homes. Quarterbacks with something to prove, Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck, already have brand new starting gigs to fight for. While some skill position players have elected to re-sign with their old teams, like Santonio Holmes and DeAngelo Williams, others are either still waiting to make their move or have already moved on. Sidney Rice just signed on to be a member of the Seattle Seahawks.

It is easy to be overwhelmed this week, as a sports fan. There is a lot of movement to follow, deals going down hour after hour. While one baseball team gets their man, a football team inks a player to a new, huge contract. It has never happened like this before, dueling deadlines, and yet it is exciting and thrilling, adjectives not always used to describe off-season or mid-season roster movement.

So in a time when past years have brought us nothing more than NFL teams running two-a-days in preparation for the Hall of Fame Game and MLB teams had closed their wallets and tightened their colons, 2011 has been witness to a coming together that would rival Omar and Brother Mouzone. Football is offering us sports fans the wildest whirl of player movement we have ever seen. At the same time, baseball is reaching a perfect storm of teams ready to deal and knowing whether they are buyers or sellers. I, for one, could not be more excited.

Article comes to you from The Sports Information and Reports Network on 7/27/11

Friday, July 22, 2011

NFL free agency Top to Bottom

With the lockout winding down, a CBA ready to take hold of NFL business minds and free agency on the horizon, there are a number of highly regarded, talented players who have no home. With the oft referenced frenzy that will come once teams are allowed to speak with free agents, many a player could swing their value based on who they decide to sign with. Here are a number of players with the most to gain or the most to lose based on their desired home for the 2011-2012 season.

Ahmad Bradshaw – 9th rated RB high: 29th rated RB low...

To find out why and read the rest of the list, visit The Sports Information & Reports Network.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Curb your expectations for the NFC South

Welcome to the NFC South, also known as, the Crapshoot. Last year, the Atlanta Falcons ran away with the division with a 13-3 record and the number one seed in the conference. The year before, New Orleans took hold of the South, also finishing as the number one seed with an identical 13-3 record. In 2008, it was Carolina’s turn to finish as the division winner, as they went 12-4 on the year. The prior season, in 2007, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the NFC South albeit with an average 9-7 record.

For the folks with a very short attention span, let’s recap. In the past four seasons, in a division made up of four teams, there have been four different winners.

Taking this a step further....

For the rest of this division preview go here, the Sports Information & Reports Network.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Point Guard U

Saying Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari has detractors is like saying the Final Four is kind of a big deal. New ground is not being broken. However, all the Calipari-haters cannot deny one thing: the man can recruit (legally or illegally) his butt off.

Delving into whether Calipari toes too far over the line when it comes to getting the best high schoolers to come play for him is an issue, but an issue for another column. The issue being tackled here is one of basketball substance, one of historic consequence.

Are John Cal-coached point guards the best the NBA has to offer?....

Find out by reading the rest of this column here at College Sports Madness.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

David Robertson: an unlikely tale

When the 2011 MLB season began, David Robertson was an afterthought for the Yankees bullpen.

The ageless Mariano Rivera was going to hold down the fort in the ninth inning, like always. Much to the chagrin of GM Brian Cashman, the Yankees also brought in free agent Rafael Soriano to pitch the eighth inning and collect oodles of cash to do so. The Yankees' favorite son, Joba Chamberlain, would also be a member of the pen after relieving, starting and relieving again. He would most assuredly be given the seventh inning as his own. Throw in the Damaso Martes, Boone Logans and Pedro Felicianos as lefty matchup pitchers and the Yankees bullpen was filled to the brink, pushing David Robertson to the sixth inning against right handed batters if the starter got knocked out early: not exactly a plush role.

Fast forward to Independence Day....

Read the rest of this post here at The Sports Information and Reports Network.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The reality of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Saying the Pittsburgh Pirates have a losing record at home and a negative run differential for the season makes it seem like the 2011 Pirates are the same as the 2010 Pirates and every other version for the past two decades or so.

In truth, the 2011 Pirates are a game over .500 and are not like any previous Pirates team since the turn of the century. They are, in actuality, the 2010 Padres.

Winning with smoke, mirrors and pitching is a formula that will take them all the way to a disappointing finish come September and another year of the playoffs being played without them....

Check out the rest of this article here at The Sports Information & Reports Network.