Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mike Leach fired; kids taken over college sports part 2

Another great injustice in college sports as Texas Tech fired football coach Mike Leach over claim "mistreatment" of a player with a concussion. The player, Adam James, claimed Leach confined him to a "dark room" twice. The claim disputable as this is a report about the "dark room"



If its the room Texas Tech made the wrong move and supporting the wrong person. Players, both former and current, have came out in support of Leach and mention James is pretty lazy on the field. Another theory why Texas Tech quickly fired Leach because Adam James father worked for ESPN. Fearing backlash and/or lack of publicity from a "big time" sports conglomerate they quickly unfairly fired Mike Leach. What James did is lie and have his daddy work company do hatchet job putting Mike Leach on a negative light. Shame on Texas Tech, ESPN, and most importantly the shitty James family. First Mark Mangino, now Mike Leach. Kids have taken over college sports once again.

Boycott Texas Tech til Gerald Myers is no longer athletic director. In fact, hope entire football team throw the bowl game. The most exciting pass happy college football team has be destroyed thanks to one spoiled hack college player.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Urban Meyer takes leave

Shocking news in college football as Florida coach Urban Meyer resigns after Sugar Bowl citing health issues. Here's a coach that is going to be missed. In his nine seasons of coaching he been successful from Bowling Green to Utah to Florida. With his unstoppable work-ethic he coached Utah to its undefeated season (2004) and Florida to two National Championships along five seasons of 10+ wins in his nine seasons. Sadly his full speed work-ethic coaching and recruiting dedication took its toll of him. He decided to resign and get his health back in check. Urban Meyer left his post in his prime and will go down as one of best coaches in college football.

UPDATE: Meyer decided to take a leave instead to resign. Offensive coordinator Steve Adazzio takes over til Meyer returns.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What the hell Jim Zorn?


Click on the six screen shot picture and you wonder what was going on Jim Zorn's mind when he made this call. All it got was a Giants interception which Bruce Johnson taking it over 50 yards before finally get pushed and taken down. If it wasn't for two Redskins players it might have returned for a touchdown. You got to give Zorn credit for trying something experimentally. Execution-wise it failed in embarrassment big time.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brett Fraud shows his true self

The real Brett Favre showed up during the loss against a struggling Carolina Panthers. Despite having a very slim lead he was getting pounded from all defensive sides. Coach Brad Childress wanting to protect his quarterback wanted to pull him out of the game. He refused leading to a huge disagreement with Childress. The result was Panthers destroying the Vikings 26-7 with 20 of the points coming in the 4th quarterback. Favre was ineffective in his start throwing 224 yards and an interception while Panthers QB backup-turned-starter Matt Moore threw 299 yards and 3 touchdowns. It was later revealed Favre been changing Childress playcalling calling out his own audibles. As it turns out his audibles blew when the Panthers defense put a pounding on him. Despite both claim to resolve their issues, the game against the Panthers revealed Favre true self. Favre is in it for himself than the good of a team. This situation had been played out in Green Bay (commitment issues during the offseason which hindered Packers offseason moves) and New York (a "loner" during final weeks of the season). Now he likely becomes a Viking problem this could affect the team especially with the playoffs coming up in few weeks.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Topps redemption is a hit AND miss

I got my redemption cards from Topps today and it was hit AND miss.

First for the hit as it was this:


Not quite bad as it was redeemed on June 2 of this year. It took them half a year to get it out. The card delivered in mint condition. Then comes the miss with this:


It may look normal, but a close up scan show the condition of the card delivered to me.


The card was dinged on the right corner and creased on the lower left corner. Topps sent me a damaged card. Another note this is 2007-08 Topps Finest basketball card. Even the redemption card was passed its due date I still able to redeem it. I redeemed it on September 7 of this year. Another thing this card set was two years ago and already produced yet it took them 3 months to send it. Strange they took a company long to send a card that was already produced two years ago. This is not the first time Topps sent me a slightly damaged redemption card. Here what I received from them last year with two hole marks on the card:


The problem with Topps is the long wait for redemption cards which they need to improve big time. It doesn't look good when they often send damaged cards to collectors who have may wait close to a year to get the cards. Topps needs to overhaul on the redemption cards or else get rid of the idea once and for all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Upper Deck redemption card a success

Look what came in the mail today! It's 2009-10 Upper Deck basketball draft edition Jrue Holiday Jordan Brand Classic game-used redemption card. How long did it took to come in after redeeming the card online? 28 days which is much faster than Upper Deck 45-day redemption card goal. After too many horror stories of redemption cards at least I have success on this. Good job to Upper Deck for getting this out within 45-day time frame. It's a damn good card as well

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How not to sell tickets: Promote a famous name and have a look-a-like instead

Owner of NBDL team Utah Flash pulls a fast one in selling tickets. For the Flash home opener they promote Michael Jordan vs Byron Russell in a 15 minute one-on-one charity game at halftime. To promote it the owner sent a Jordan look-a-like all over the Orem (home of the Flash) on the day of the game with "late breaking news" of Jordan "sightings" to even put up a video on YouTube of "him" eating at a restaurant as you can see below:



It resulted of 7,500 fans showing up at the home opener hoping to see him. Byron Russell showed up, but when the Jordan look-a-like showed up the fans booed with free t-shirts tossed on to the court.



The owner was apologetic and offered fans with tickets of that Monday's game free tickets to a future game. Advice to any owners never make claims of a big name player to show up to sell more tickets and bring out a fake.

More sources:
http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/article_d623c5d8-e36c-11de-937a-001cc4c03286.html

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Another bad break for Greg Oden


Greg Oden's luck took another turn for the worst. He fracture his left kneecap after colliding with Rockets' player Aaron Brooks and will miss the rest of the season. It's been injury-plagued career for the former number one overall pick. He missed entire rookie season after having microfracture surgery on his right knee. He bounced back to played 61 of the 82 games in his second season. This season he played all 21 of the team's games showing glimpses of potential star before the freak injury happened forcing him to miss entire the season. Sadly there will be talks of him being compared along the lines of a former Trail Blazers high pick from the past: Sam Bowie. Bowie, a second overall pick in 1984, had injury riddled career hampered with leg troubles. The player picked after Bowie end up becoming NBA legend name Michael Jordan. Thus Bowie known as a big NBA draft bust and the Blazers looking like idiots despite the fact Blazers already have Clyde Drexler at short guard. Same thing happened to the Blazers when they got the 2007 first overall pick. The team stacked at guard position with Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge leading the way and in need of a big man. Greg Oden became Blazers big man and one of the faces of the organization. The Sonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder), with the second overall pick, took forward Kevin Durant. He end up being a top caliber player putting up All-Star like numbers and the face of the franchise. When Oden bounces back from this injury next season let's see if he can still be everyday starter putting up respectable number or end up continually fragile. If the injuries pile up watch in ten years the sports journalists and media will unfairly blow up Greg Oden is a big NBA draft bust. Good luck in recovery Greg!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mangino out at Kansas; parents and kids have taken over college sports

Coach Mark Mangino is out at Kansas after reaching financial settlement. This stems from some current and past players over his verbal treatment. Let me say it's official the parents and student athletes are taking over college sports. Most of these athletes are getting a free ride on scholarships and are lucky to be school in the first place. Instead using it to better themselves they get their parents involved demanding forms of "special" treatment. Mangino did what any coach do: yell and scream to get the players motivated. Instead some of the players went crying to their parents and the media what a horrible man he is. It's pathetic that student athletes rather be babied instead becoming a real man/woman. Bob Knight used this approach and so did the late Bear Bryant did. The current crop of student athletes wouldn't last in the 50s, 60s, and 70s where coaches demean and fault over every mistakes. I'm glad former and current Jayhawks players stuck up for Mangino and credited him for making them a better player and person. Here's a coach that took a football program from the toilet and built it up to have the best season in the program. Now I hope Jayhawks football program goes down the drain along with the new stadium upgrades because they deserve to after siding with the crybaby athletes and parents. What happened in Kansas football will likely happen to any college sports as parents taking over their kids' roles in college sports than coaches despite getting a free education.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Topps gets exclusive minor league baseball card licensing rights

The Cardboard Connection reported Topps secure multi-year exclusive minor league baseball card licensing rights starting January 1, 2010 with a release of Topps Pro Debut set in March. This is potentially good for prospect collectors. Could this be what Topps needed to reinvent Bowman which was known as the home of the rookie card?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rockets are better off without Tracy McGrady

Tracy McGrady is one of the league's most overrated players. His stats show he can put up 20 points per game but on the court play is a different story as his team leadership skills is questionable at best. In his entire career the teams (Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets) he played for never made it past the first round of the playoffs. Last season he was limited to 35 games before missing remainder of the season with microfracture surgery. In the games he started and played team went 21-14. Without him, the team went 32-15. That is big improvement with Luis Scola and Aaron Brooks in his place. Along side with Yao Ming, Shane Battier, and Ron Artest they made it past the first round of the playoffs, a career first for Yao Ming and Rockets first since 1996-97 season, and took Los Angeles Lakers to 7 games in the second round before losing. For first time in several seasons the Rockets played together cohesively. That run prove the team are better off without McGrady. His knee surgery gave Rockets opportunity to take extended look at the player's potential with Brooks and Scola coming through while Luther Head was released. In a three-way trade they traded for Kyle Lowry hoping to become their long term point guard. While they lost Artest through free agency they signed Trevor Ariza, only 24, to a long-term contract joining alongside a youthful team of Scola, Brooks, Lowry, and Carl Landry. Rockets end up rebuilding and stacking for the future without tearing half the team up.

For McGrady he is on the last year of his contract and likely will not re-sign with the team after the season. He wore out his welcome in Houston last season with some of the team's fans turning their backs on him. Houston Chronicle posted on their website (now gone) highlighted his big contract on how he gets paid while injured. He went behind the team's back to have microfracture surgery. Yahoo Sports reported McGrady and coach Rick Adelman got into heated discussion over his court return which both deny. While he's driven to play he's a big risk with another question mark added to him. The question mark is his longevity in the league joining with his leadership skills, toughness, and injury concerns. McGrady "star power" is waning while the Rockets might rise higher in the future.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dwayne Bowe loses in depth chart, then weight, now four games

Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe suspended for four games for violating performance-enhancing policy. ESPN reported it was for diuretic. A big blow for the Chiefs as he was their key receiver of their struggling offense. This leaves Bobby Wade, Chris Chambers, and Jamaal Charles as their top receivers. Chambers is still capable catching for a score while Charles can run it in. It's going be a rough stretch for the Chiefs. Glad I dropped Bowe few days ago from my fantasy team.

Buffalo drops Dick

Buffalo Bills have fired coach Dick Jauron. I'm not surprise he was fired, but I was surprise someone gave him another chance to coach in the first place. In 10 years as NFL coach he had one winning record (2001; 13-3 with the Bears). The second most wins he had in a season is 7 which he done 4 different times. He is defensive coach at best while he lacked doing anything on offense. Every season he coached there have been an efficiency problem at quarterback position. When he was coaching for the Bears he gone through these quarterbacks: Cade McNown, Jim Miller, Shane Matthews, Chris Chandler, Kordell Stewart, and Rex Grossman. With the Bills he went through J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards, and now with Ryan Fitzpatrick. For some strange reason Losman and Edwards regressed the year after their first season as full time starter. Bills receiving core have been underutilized during his tenure. Lee Evans could put up better numbers elsewhere even at Detroit. For Buffalo they decide to replace Juaron with a defensive coordinator when all they need at best is a coach that run the offense. Buffalo Bills is in a sad state.

Friday, November 13, 2009

No Fun League strikes down

Take the initials of NFL and call it No Fun League. You can call them that as earlier this week the league banned Captain Morgan pose for its guerilla marketing plan. Today they fined Bengals WR Chad Ocho Cinco $20,000 for his $1 bribe joke on a referee. No Fun League indeed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Good riddance to Loser Johnson

Chiefs release running back Larry Johnson. Let met say good riddance. Despite being a good runner he became aloof and lazy after 2006 season. He have been mostly trouble since day 1 with the Chiefs battling coaches such Dick Vermeil, Herman Edwards, and Todd Haley to several run-ins with the law. The straw that broke the back when Johnson blasted coach Haley on Twitter calling him a fag several times. Chiefs suspended him along with NFL fining him for his conduct. Chiefs' fans had enough of his antics putting out a petition to stop Loser Johnson from breaking all-time team rushing yard record held by Priest Holmes. The Chiefs front office heard their voices and decide to cut the joke known as Loser Johnson. What a total waste of roster spot. Good-bye Loser, hello Jamal Charles.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dan Snyder misses a point

Redskins owner Dan Snyder admitted, short of an apology, being disappointed with the team. Funny how this coming from a guy that refused to re-negotiate their fanbase season ticket plans and sued for defaulting on payment. He banned fans' signs from home games which the No Fun League approved. Dan Snyder needs to look in the mirror that HE IS the problem of the Redskins. Ever since he bought the team is been downward. Along side with GM and lackey Vinny Cirrato, have made bad terrible roster moves mostly involve giving players big money contracts and hardly living up to it. They made several coaching moves such as bringing and quickly fired Marty Schottenheimer after one season and luring Steve Spurrier from Florida who end up flopping bad. Bringing Joe Gibbs back was their only coaching highlight because he brought the team back respectability before retiring and giving the reigns to Jim Zorn. Zorn, despite 8-8 finish last year, appear to lose control of the team just few games into the season. Snyder isn't confident with him that he stripped away his offensive play calling and let him finish the season. This likely shattered the psyche on the field with Zorn and the players trying to give a damn on the field, but are walking around like headless chickens. The bad product on the field lead their loyal fanbase questioning every move he made. Snyder shows them how he cares about the fans by banning signs at the stadium. Nice way to crush your fans creative support. He screws the fanbase from being a fan with his draconian move alongside of taking away tickets and reselling so he can gives himself more money. He tried to be Jerry Jones and Al Davis (before he lost his mind after 2003) but has failed terribly. The late Jack Kent Cooke is rolling on his grave.

I suggest Redskins fans to boycott their team such as refusing buying tickets to their games and merchandise. See how he responds. If he responds with threatening to move the team despite a decade old football stadium you know his loyalty are the green bills he gets in his pockets than the team he cheered for before he bought it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Jayson Werth most likely decided the series

To me it was not Brad Lidge blowing a tie game was a possible series decider. It was a single Melky Cabrera hit at top of the 5th that sent Nick Swisher to second. What was not mention is Jayson Werth blunder which he tried to flip the ball to Chase Utley, but the ball end up dead in midair as the Phillies missed a potential inning ending double play. The next two batters singled driving in two runs giving the Yankees 4-2 lead at the time. If they made the double play the game would have still been 2-2 going into bottom of the 5th. I notice the media making Lidge out as the bad guy but they have NOT shown that Cabrera single on the highlights. I felt Werth blunder is not only a game decider, but a possible series decider.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"The Game" Jimmie Johnson

I don't like NASCAR "The Chase" format. It's screwy and it benefit a few drivers. One driver that benefited from The Chase is Jimmie Johnson. There's no driver that brought his "A" game during Chase races better than Johnson. He's one of few drivers that been to The Chase every year since its inception in 2004. He won 17 Chase races along with 42 top-10 finishes so far. In fact he won three straight championship and is on his way to number four this year. He methodically race his way for a win or to a points finish during The Chase. His crew chief Chad Knauss strategically have Johnson hold back only to hope for misfortunes in front of him and race with final laps/miles to go. It paid off as cars wrecked in front of him along with cars running out of fuel. With that in happening in front of him he netted himself a 6th place finish. Not bad for a driver who decide to be around 30th position with 50 to go. The fans have grown to dislike Johnson for being a winner similar to the days of Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon. Some believe he is just a poster boy on how "The Chase" works for a driver. It's likely the fans are jealous he's outperforming when needed. This is why to me Jimmie Johnson is "The Game" of NASCAR.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The nation, say hello to Cliff Lee

In the sports media and viewing capital of world say hello to 2007 AL Cy Young winner and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee.

Cliff Lee put on a World Series pitching performance to remember, and of places, at the new hitter friendly Yankees Stadium. He pitched a complete game striking out 10 batters and gave up 6 hits and a run taking the Phillies 6-1 game 1 win. The run was unearned at the bottom of the 9th. He stifled the heart of the Yankees lineup of Mark Teixeira, ARod, and Jorge Posada as they combined for 0-12 performance with 8 strikeouts. His complete game helped from potentially stretching and tiring out the team's bullpen unlike the Yankees who brought in 5 relievers in game 1.

After flirting with Roy Halladay trade Phillies pulled the trigger trading for the 2007 AL Cy Young winner which is the best move they made before the trade deadline. He became essential part of the rotation going 7-4 in his 12 starts with ERA of 3.39 and one of key core players of the team playoff run. In four starts in the playoffs he is 3-0 with 30 strikeouts with .54 ERA while giving up 4 runs, 2 unearned. If the series extends and likely will expect him to lead the charge on the mound as Phillies try to repeat as World Series champion.

Cedric Benson blasts the Bears and backs it up

Chicago Bears got burned on Sunday from a running back name Cedric Benson. After drafting him fourth overall in 2005 they released him after three disappointing seasons and run-ins with the law. He signed with the Bengals middle of last season and put up respectable running yards. This season he turned it around with multiple hundred yard rushing games and leading the league in rushing yardage. Last week, what thought be sour grapes, the Benson blasted his former team claiming they tried to blackball him before joining the Bengals last year. His public airing motivated him to stick it to the Bears on Sunday. He backed up his comments rushing for 189 yards and a touchdown as Bengals destroyed the Bears 45-10. It didn't help as Bears second year running back Matt Forte, who replaced Benson, rushed for 24 yards in 6 carries and fumbling twice on the goalline. After a thousand yard season in his rookie season Forte have struggled this year a pale comparison to Benson who is currently rushing yard leader. Look like the Bears gave up on Benson quick as the Bengals got a piece of the puzzle for the team's rushing game.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

To come out early or not to come out early

Student athletes might have a tougher choice on whether to enter the sports draft early or stay in school. Yesterday Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford hurt his throwing shoulder for second time this season. Last year Heisman Trophy winner decided to stay for another season instead going to the NFL draft despite projected as one top QBs. He is still projected as the top QB on the draft board. The effect of his injured shoulder will cause lower his draft stock and losing out in a guaranteed $10-$20 million contract. With Sam Bradford being injured this will cause student athletes to ponder enter the draft early.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Shane McMahon resigns from WWE

Shane McMahon resigns from his family company, WWE, effectively on Jan 1, 2010. This shocking news came out of nowhere and I'm still speechless about it. From his entertaining and crazy matches to his role in WWE I will miss him. Let's see how the future goes for WWE.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Crabtree finally signs; Braylon jets to New York

Michael Crabtree ends holdout finally agreeing to six-year, $32 million deal. It's the best move for him he could accept. With the deadline coming a week away he either sign or risk re-entering the draft and get laughed at the end when he gets drafted second/third round or worse undrafted. That's loss of millions right there. Good thing he choose to sign. Good job for 49ers for sticking to their guns. How about Crabtree just dump his agent and find a new one?

Cleveland Browns shipped wide receiver Braylon Edwards to the Jets for Chansi Stuckey, Jason Trusnik, and two 2010 draft picks. For Jets it was too much to give to become the team no. 2 wide receiver despite his veteran presence. Do they even have a draft pick for 2010? For the Browns they blown this team up again and rebuild as they couldn't build off from 2007 success. It's rough return to the NFL for the team with one trip to the playoffs (and it wasn't 2007 season) in a decade. This leaves Mike Furrey as team no. 1 wide receiver with a possibility rookie Mohamed Massaquoi taking over the spot in the season. Chansi Stuckey could become team go-to receiver not now, but in a few years. Browns are likely to waste the picks in the draft. The trade of Edwards left Brodney Pool the only player 2005 team draft class remaining and is the longest tenure player from any of the team's draft. This trade looks even for both teams. While Braylon Edwards gets a fresh new start with the Jets can he catch balls without dropping it?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tough to be Detroit sports team

It's tough to be a major sports team in Detroit. The economic meltdown resulted in job losses and high unemployment thus making citizens tighten up the wallets and keep a close eye on spending. Already dealing with empty seats, loss of revenue from sales to sponsorships, now the city four major sport teams have been hit hard with heartbreak or just simply bad on the playing field.

Before last week win Lions lost 19 straight straight regular season games going back to late 2007. Pistons went 39-43 and exited out of the first round playoffs their shortest playoff run since 2000. Red Wings made it to the Stanley Cups finals only to squander 3-2 series lead and lose in seven games to Pittsburgh Penguins. Tigers is the latest team from Detroit to hit rock bottom.

A month ago (dating September 6) they had 7 game lead over the Minnesota Twins. From there they went 11-15 starting with a five game losing streak. Twice they had three game losing streaks. The longest winning streak was four which was done once. Twins went 18-8 withing winning streaks of six, five, and four. By last week (dating September 30) Tigers still have three game lead over the Twins including splitting the series going into last weekend of regular season. Tigers lost the first two to the Chicago White Sox before winning the much needed final game of the series. They were outscored in the series putting up total of 6 runs to White Sox 16 runs. Twins swept Kansas City Royal in convincing fashion outscoring them 28-15. The Twins three-game sweep and Tigers going 1-2 in their series put both teams tied on top of AL Central standings forcing one game playoff. Tigers started off with 3-0 lead thanks the Magglio Ordonez RBI single and Miguel Cabrera two-run homerun. Twins battled back to lead 4-3 with Orlando Cabrera two-run homerun in the seventh. Tigers tied it in the eigth from Ordonez homerun. Both teams traded runs in the tenth. It was in the twelfth inning where the baseball Gods favored the Twins. Tigers had a bases load with Brandon Inge on the plate. A pitch grazed Inge jersey but the didn't get the call from the umpire. He grounded into a force out at home plate. Tigers didn't score a run in the inning. At the bottom of the twelfth it took Alexi Casilla single to send Carlos Gomez home from second as Twins win the game and trip to the postseason while sending Tigers out of the postseason. Tigers came so close only to collapse and lose out at the end.

It's another tough heartbreaker for Detroit sport teams.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Why the Astros underachieved since 2006 - Part 1

This year's Houston Astros finished the season at 74-88. Ever since their World Series appearance in 2005 they have gone 315-332 without a playoff appearance and changed managers three times. They have fallen on hard times as key veteran players while still producing become older, questionable pitching rotation outside of Roy Oswalt (who been hampered with injury bug), iffy middle relief, and plenty of poor decisions in the front office. So what went wrong? This will be multi-part post on why the Astros underachieve because its long to discuss.

Here is my reasons why they underachieved.


Trades
- They made moves but most of them has set them back and/or depleted their prospects from the minor league system. Instead keeping younger potential prospects to rebuild the team up they went for broke shipping them out going for "names" to contend for a playoff spot. Here are impacting trades they made from 2006-current that got them where they are.

Trade: Mitch Talbot and Ben Zobrist
To: Tampa Bay Rays
Get: Aubrey Huff and cash
Winner: Tampa Bay Rays

Astros jumped the gun weeks before the trading deadline getting Aubrey Huff in hope for second half dash to the NL Central crown or a wild card spot. Huff played 68 games, batting .250 with 13 HRs and 38 RBIs in his only season with the Astros. Ben Zobrist, in the other hand, spent his time around Rays minor league system, worked his way from utility/bench player to everyday starter with a breakout season this year with a trip to All-Star game. Oh yeah, Rays made the playoffs last year.


Trade: Willy Taveras, Jason Hirsh, and Taylor Buchholz
To: Colorado Rockies
For: Jason Jennings and Miguel Asencio
Winner: Colorado Rockies

How did Rockies won out this trade? All three players have played two seasons with the club whether its full time or part time. As for Jennings? He spent half of the season on the DL not without going 2-9 in 18 starts with a whopping 6.45 ERA. He was gone after 2007 season. Asencio never made it back to the majors at all.

On possible what if the Astros could have kept Hirsh and Buchholz and have them be part of the rotation for a year or two. Instead they shipped potential prospects at the time to somewhere else.


Trade: Dan Wheeler
To: Tampa Bay Rays
For: Ty Wigginton
Winner: Tampa Bay Rays

In a run for the postseason they shipped a struggling Dan Wheeler for Ty Wigginton to replace a declining Morgan Ensberg who was designated for assignment. Instead it was other way around. While Wigginton did bring a bat he lasted a year and half with the team. After continue to struggle with his new team Wheeler turned it around the following season lowering his era from 5.30 to 3.12 along with notching 13 saves. He was one of key relievers for the Rays' playoff and World Series run. Rays won out this trade.


Trade: Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett
To: Philadelphia Phillies
For: Michael Bourne, Geoff Geary, and Michael Costanzo
Winner: Philadelphia Phillies

At the time this trade went Astros way. Brad Lidge wore out his welcome in Houston when he was blowing saves and removed from closer role. Astros' fans were happy see him gone. In return they got major league ready player as in Michael Bourne. Bourne became the team's leadoff hitter with good base stealing and a potential superstar. Geary end up having a decent season as a reliever in his first year with the team before falling off this year and end up at Triple-A Round Rock. Costanzo was used as trade bait (which soon to be mentioned). For Lidge something strange happened in his first year with the Phillies. Instead blowing saves like he was in Houston, he converting saves perfectly. In fact he was 48 out of 48 throughout the season including the playoffs. He was one of key players to the Phillies playoff run. How did he end 2008? He closed the season with a save giving the Phillies a World Series title. Phillies became the big winners of this trade. It didn't help Rays have Dan Wheeler and Ben Zobrist in their playoff run as well. Mark four players Astros traded that end up playing in the World Series that year. Lidge returned back to earth this season while utility player Eric Bruntlett made history with a spectacular unassisted triple play to end a game. Not only his name end up in the history and trivia books his jersey gone to Cooperstown. Double ouch! There's a chance this trade could even out in the future, but thanks to Lidge 2008 season Phillies won this trade big time.


Trade: Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Troy Patton, Dennis Sarfate, and Mike Costanzo
To: Baltimore Orioles
For: Miguel Tejada
Winner: Astros

Astros got a much needed 3B in this trade it costed them big time. They got Tejada and remaining of his six-year, $72 million contract signed in 2004. Orioles received a decent, but seldom used Luke Scott along with at the time Astros two top pitching prospects Matt Albers and Troy Patton, Dennis Sarfate, and minor leaguer Costanzo whom they got from Phillies trade. Tejada put his two solid seasons with the Astros leading the league in doubles this year despite leading the league in grouding into double plays. He was named on the All-Star team in both years. For the Orioles so far Scott been a bright spot hitting 20 HRs, 60 RBIs for second straight season but done it in 113 games this year. Albers been a dissapointment in middle reliever role. Patton has battle back from Tommy John surgery in 2008 putting up good numbers in AA but had up and down starts in AAA. Sarfate put average to nightmarish numbers in two seasons while Costanzo still in the minors. Astros won this trade for now but there two potential Orioles' x-factors out of this trade. Luke Scott, if he were to play entire this season would likely hit 30 HRs, 80-90 RBIs. Let's see how next season goes if he remains in Baltimore. The other x-factor is Troy Patton. If he remains with the Orioles organization, work out on his pitching and put up respectable numbers in AAA he could get a good look in a call up next season. He is still highly touted pitcher at this time. More on Tejada in later posts.


Trade: Chris Burke, Chad Qualls, and Juan Gutierrez
To: Arizona Diamondbacks
For: Jose Valverde
Winner: Astros, just barely

In need to replace Brad Lidge they went for Jose Valverde without costing few more players especially two much needed pitchers. While Valverde notched 44 saves in his first season, Chad Qualls was decent in his reliever role and end up being the team's closer by end of the season. He continued on as closer this season til a freak injury sent on the DL. This where Juan Gutierrez comes in. With Qualls out, he stepped in the closer role and did fairly well going 8-for-8 in save opportunities just giving up one earned run. Astros has the slight edge on this trade but the key player in this trade is Gutierrez. He's been ranked in top 10 Astros prospect for three straight years (8, 5, 4). There's a chance Diamondbacks win out of the trade if Gutierrez becomes the team everyday closer from now to a few years. Astros should have kept and build him as the team's future closer, but instead went for a "name" player.


Trade: Matt Cusick
To: New York Yankees
For: LaTroy Hawkins
Winner: Houston Astros

They won this one because Cusick has yet made it to the majors while Hawkins been a good reliever and closer when Jose Valverde was on the DL. There's a possibility Hawkins is next year's team closer.


When you look through the trades Astros made most of it looked good paper but at the end it became a disaster in the results column. The trades for Aubrey Huff, Ty Wigginton, and Jason Jennings didn't net the team a playoff berth. Only Wigginton been with the team the longest at one and half season. Then there who knew department. Ben Zobrist put up fair numbers in the minors at the time and wasn't anywhere as a prospect. Dan Wheeler just didn't put up the numbers in Houston while he did better elsewhere. Was Lidge suppose to be lights out in his first season? When players done a decent job going elsewhere it left you scratching your head. There was shipping the prospects off when they needed it. For years Astros had very questionable middle relief core. They could have used one of the minor league prospect starters and put in middle relief slowly building it up before getting a shot in the rotation later in the year or the next. Instead they ship them away for "name" players like it was trade one, get one or two free free offer. Imagine if Patton was in the rotation or Gutierrez was in the bullpen for the Astros with Buccholz, Hirsh, and Albers being servicable for few years. There was a time Astros had the one of top pitching prospects in the minor league system. Now they barely have a pitching prospect to be plug in the starting rotation next year. With Ed Wade as GM and Drayton McLane as owner it will not get better. Part 2 coming up soon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You CAN'T politic and show off your way for the Olympics

Rio de Janeiro became big winners and heroes as they got the bid to host 2016 Summer Olympics. Chicago quickly gone from potential to zero as they were eliminated in the first round of voting despite having Oprah Winfrey and the Obamas (complete use of Air Force One at the expense of U.S. tax dollars). This is another proof despite having "star power" you can't get everything handed to you from championships (hello 2004 L.A. Lakers) to hosting events. You have to work hard and the drive and determination to deserve it. Let's get ready for The Carnival in 2016.

Friday, October 2, 2009

101 Years Later and They Still Suck

With Colorado Rockies taking the final playoff spot the Chicago Cubs are eliminated (since last week) and will NOT win World Series for 101th year since their last. The beer-league team was plague with unfortunate injury to a key player, massively overpaying average outfielders and closer who manage to have ERA of 4.72 and disruptive fans. In tribute to Chicago Cubs let me introduce this:



Please Cubs fans switch you allegiance to another team with winning values like the White Sox, Cardinals, Phillies, and even the Yankees.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Week 3 comments

Is it over for Chad Pennington? He torn a capsule in his throwing shoulder putting him out for the season. It marks the third time he suffered a shoulder injury in few years. As much I like him he got to consider on calling it quits. His finest moment when he beat Brett Favre led New York Jets, his original team he started for, to give Miami Dolphins at 11-5 record, AFC East crown, and trip to the playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys, in two possessions, made it to the one yard line only to get two field goals out of it. It was their second trip on the yard line their play-calling were questionable. Instead going for established run they threw both times and didn't score a touchdown. They need to work goalline red zone.

Can the Browns ever score a touchdown? Even the Lions can score more than one in their losing streak.

Dear ESPN, quit glorifying Vikings winning pass TD like its the greatest thing since slice bread! There were better plays like a fake field goal touchdown that actually worked this time.

It's a miracle! Lions win!

Take one good look at the picture. It shows joy of victory after losing 19 straight games dating back to late December 2007. Lions have achieved their season expectation getting a victory over Washington Redskins 19-14. To those almost 40,800 fans estimate watching at Ford Stadium saw themselves not only a great game but sunlight coming out through the dark clouds after last year perfect futility. Rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford, having throw total of two touchdown passes and five interceptions in his first two games, didn't get throw an interception and threw for a score to Calvin Johnson. It's a long time coming. Great job to the Lions for finally winning in what has to be their "Super Bowl" win after going winless for 19 straight. Maybe the beginning of something special for the Lions. Can they get to competitiveness?

Thumbs down to Washington Redskins for not only losing to the Detroit Lions but scoring 14 or less points in 8 out of their last 12 games including this game. For a team with an owner trying be like Jerry Jones they are failing terribly at it.

Congratulations to the Detroit Lions! Go for win no. 2 and they are overachievers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Great One steps down as Coyotes coach

A week before the season a coaching change been made in the NHL. Wayne Gretzky steps down as Phoenix Coyotes coach citing he wasn't in the plans from the bidders of the team. This been a tumultuous offseason for the Coyotes from ownership issues to possible relocation. Dave Tippett been named as new coach. Gretzky ends his coaching tenure with a record of 143 win, 161 loses, and 24 overtime losses without making a trip to the playoffs.

Cowboys' Legends: Romo isn't Cowboys material

Another Dallas Cowboys legend isn't impressed with quarterback Tony Romo. Tony Dorsett mention on FOX Sports Radio he has no idea how Romo was anointed as NFL superstar. Mark that this is a third Cowboy legends to criticize him. Emmitt Smith doesn't think Romo has the leadership while Troy Aikman questioned him on what it takes to be a quarterback.

Comparing from what Romo has from the past few years to Cowboys dynasty its hard to believe they still haven't won a playoff game under Romo. Consider he been given Terrell Owens to throw to or giving the ball from Julius Jones to Marion Barber and several various choices now. It's either make or break for Romo. While he does have Jerry Jones support soon not only the legends but the Cowboys fans sees him as a guy that been given good lineup and failed to delivered.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS = 2009 TEXAS LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!!!


Oakland A's Double-A and my minor league team, Midland Rockhounds, defeated Northwest Arkansas 4-2 in 12 innings to clinch the championship series for their third league title.



On a verge going to a deciding game 5 Corey Brown hits a two-run homerun to send the game into extra innings.

On the top of the 12th the last player on the bench Raul Padron hits two-run homerun to put the Rockhounds on top for good as Jason Fernandez manage to shut down the Naturals for the victory.

Just when the team was gutted with call ups of Adrian Cardinas, Tommy Everidge, Sam Demel, Mike Benacka, and Chris Carter in the middle and late of the season they manage to deal and trudge through winning the second half crown, beating San Antonio Missions in the South division championship (3-1 series) then beating Northwest Arkansas (3-1) to win the Texas League title.

Graham Godfrey was gold on the mound along side with Travis Banwart, late-season call-ups and signees of Tyson Ross and Kyle Middleton. Despite losing three key offensive players to call-ups Corey Brown who wasn't 100% throughout the season led the way alongside with supporting cast of Josh Horton, Matt Spencer, and Shane Peterson (one of the players picked up in the Matt Holliday trade) with last year first round pick Jemile Weeks coming through at the right time.

Let me thanks the entire Rockhounds from players to management for the nights and entertainment I spent at the stadium. What I saw like each and every year I been is a magical moment on the diamond. Thanks to Bob Hards for his radio play-by-play when the Rockhounds were on the road.

Congratulations Midland Rockhounds for winning the 2009 Texas League championship!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Fall of Charles Rogers continues

Former Detroit Lions WR and draft bust (chosen 2nd overall in 2003 draft) was arrested yesterday afternoon on DUI and driving without a license.

This continues his freefall from NFL limelight to being out in after three seasons battling collarbone injuries and marijuana use. After that his substance usage now including pills spiraled to a domestic dispute which led him to sober up.

He appeared ESPN Outside the Lines recently discussing his playing days and marijuana use.

While his playing days are over and admitted to every substance use can Charles Rogers able sober himself up?

What a fall from grace.

NFL Week 1 thoughts

For Jay Crapper...errr...Cutler, there's a difference between arm strength and accuracy. Arm strength is good for throwing long but accuracy is much greater when you are throwing to your receivers wearing the same jersey colors as your, not to the ones in different jersey colors. Also you attitude still needs work. Who does he think he is? Jeff George?

Drew Brees going crazy with six touchdown passes and throwing to eight different receivers. Rest of the teams take notes on how use the passing game. Brees has a tough task going against strong Philadelphia Eagles secondary picking off five passes from Carolina Panthers' quarterbacks. Donovan McNabb continue to be tough but fragile as he suffered a broken rib in the game. His status is unknown at the moment.

Good debut for NY Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez leading the Jets to 24-7 win against Houston Texans throwing for 272 yards and a touchdown. Now his next test is against New England Patriots whom came from scoring 12 unanswered points against Buffalo Bills to take the victory.

49ers quarterback Sean Hill is now 9-3 as starter beating Arizona Cardinals. He can somehow make it win. Same goes for Kyle Orton as Denver Broncos barely made it by Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals bungled themselves a win when a tip pass off Bengals cornerback Leon Hall hands went right of Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley hands for 87 yards TD. Another reason why they are called Bungles.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Topps first (and only) attempt on video game market

Topps did try to enter the video game market in 1996 licensing their name to a Data East baseball game for original Playstation and Sega Saturn. It never materialized as the project was delayed for over a year then scrapped and sold to Psygnosis. Here's the ad for the Topps MVP Baseball 96 taken from scans of defunct Electronic Game Monthly magazine in 96.


The fact Bluesky Software engine (known for Sega Genesis World Series Baseball games) was along with imagine what could have been.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Baseball card advertising

I was reading Mario of Wax Heaven about baseball card advertising (you can read right here). Here's another form of advertisement they used to do in form of TV commercial. This one about 1992 Donruss.



The TV commercial experiment was short-lived. The last baseball card commercial I recall was 1994 Topps baseball. Now the advertising is strictly on magazine publications like Beckett and Tuff Stuff.

Friday, September 4, 2009

NBA Last of Old School Defensive Player call it a career


One of NBA top defenders, Bruce Bowen called it a career after 12 years, mostly with San Antonio Spurs, in the league. Here's a player who's stats doesn't tell a story but watching him play does. He is known for his 80s style defensive play and shooting a three pointer at the corner. His defensive play is one key components of San Antonio Spurs dynasty which netted him three championships. Away from the court he is one of great outstanding citizens helping out with charitable causes especially with school kids around San Antonio area, something the media refuse to touch.

I will miss Bruce Bowen for his hard work ethic on and off the court. I can't wait to the night his number 12 is risen up to the rafters at ATT Center joining David Robinson, George Gervin, Johnny Moore, Sean Elliot, and James Silas as the only numbers retired in San Antonio Spurs history. Thank you Bruce Bowen!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

They are known as the Bungles for a reason

Despite throwing several red flags (check here and there) Cincinnati Bengals drafted offensive tackle Andre Smith as the team top overall pick (6th overall in the NFL). What they got was a lengthy holdout til last week of preseason signing 4-year, $26 million deal, $24 million guaranteed. On his second day of practice he fractured his foot during non-contact drills forcing him out for two weeks. Looks like they bungled on team's top draft pick once again. This is nothing new to suffering Bengals fans who has to deal with it eighteen years and counting.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vikings' players lingering QB doubts

It didn't take long for the team divided on quarterback situation. You have a group thinking Tavaris Jackson as the player to lead the team to a win while another group think its Sage Rosenfels while Brett Fraud..err...Favre has little support. This was drama from the start when Vikings persued Fraud. It didn't help when he said no only to change his mind to return immediately becomes the starter without working out with anyone on the team when Jackson and Rosenfels was doing the work at camp. To see the full effect of the drama I have wait out the next four months on how well the Vikings play and where are they on NFC North standings. For Brad Childress the pressure is on him because if and when the Vikings fail to make the playoffs this year he better have his resumé handy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NHL gets egg on its face as Reinsdorf pulls out

After trying to get a group led by White Sox and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf to buy the money-losing, cash strapped Phoenix Coyotes, Reinsdorf group pulls out of the sale. This has NHL and a group, Ice Edge, as potentials buyers and hopes to keep the team in Glendale.

First of all would it be best for NHL to swallow their pride and sell it to Blackberry CEO, Jim Ballsillie, and have him move it to Hamilton, Ontario? Second, they should drop the "southwest" expansion idea because it failed bad as the team never made a profit since they moved to Phoenix/Glendale. Third, what sounds like a better deal? Moving to a location where they have immediate fanbase and likely earn revenue or stay put and lose money each and every year?

Gary Bettman is out of his mind for continue to save Phoenix Coyotes from moving while he didn't do squat when Quebec Nordiques, Winnipeg Jets, and Hartford Whalers relocated.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Michael Beasley falls off the wagon and checks in to rehab

Sources have Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley checked himself rehabilitation facility in Houston. This come after couple of disturbing Twitter texts along photo of plastic bags.

This is sad and I'm glad he's getting help, but can help himself out of the gutter? He's is very talented player that is about to throw it all away. His lack of maturity been a problem and was busted during rookie symposium for possible marijuana use. During the AP interview he echoed, "Me vs. the World" sentiment just like one of his tweets before going to rehab. Whether its drug use or depression hope rehab sobers him up and act like a grown man.

Here's a player I was so impressed with his play in college I joined his bandwagon. I even rated him higher than Derrick Rose in the draft. Hope Beasley learns from this. Only he can help himself and learn from his mistakes. He needs to look at the past players that made similar mistakes and threw it away: Chris Washburn, Michael Ray Richardson, Stanley Roberts, and Len Bias.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Problem with opening past wax: sealed pack syndrome

I love to buy boxes of sport cards from the past trying to put a set a together or the fact I didn't have it in my collection. Then there's the problem I often run into when I open past packs: sealed pack syndrome. It's when you open the pack and the cards are stuck together like glue. When you peel the cards off each other bits of the card photo is stripped off. Recently I encountered a problem with 2001 Topps baseball. Here's the pic I took holding on the cards.


After unsuccessfully try to peel each card here what I wound up with.

As you can see the "stripping" reveals the white on the card with remains left on a card packed next to it. 90% of the cards end up like this. I have another box 2001 Topps baseball but I don't feel like opening it. 1994 Topps baseball and basketball also the same problems with cards sticking to each other. I wish I can find a way to reduce the "stripping" because a box of sport cards don't come cheap.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Al Davis might have found his right coach

Fanhouse.com reported Raiders coach Tom Cable got into altercation with defensive assistant Randy Hanson punching and fracturing his jaw on August 5th at training camp. When asked Tom Cable said nothing happened. NFL are investigating the alleged fight.

Of the five coaches Al Davis hired and replaced within few short years look like he found the right guy to lead the Raiders. The alleged fight is just a normal day in Raider-nation.

Brett Fraud returns to the Vikings


Here comes the Brett Favre egotistical circus once again. Three weeks after to stay retire, he un-retired for millionth time signing one year deal with the Vikings for $10-12 million. What pisses me off Sage Rosenfelds and Tavaris Jackson busted their ass in the training camp for starting quarterback spot only to get taken away for overrated egotistical fraud of a quarterback seeking revenge on his former team Green Bay Packers. Both Sage and Tavaris working hard with the players in camp for over a month while a legend destroying his own legacy comes in, get the starting spot WITHOUT working with anyone on the Vikings. Vikings management are pathetic as well thinking they hit the lotto while keeping Sage and Tavaris in the dark over this. Also why trade for a possible starting quarterback when they are NOT going to start him at all? I wish this entire thing blows up in both Brett and Vikings faces. Bret Fraud is all for one thing and its himself, not the team. Vikings going to learn the hard way and I would not be surprise if entire staff is swept clean during or after the season.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cubs fan throws beer at Shane Victorino

The ugly Cubs fans rear its head at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night. In the 5th inning Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino was making a catch on a pop fly when unruly Cubs fan threw cup of beer at him. Despite getting doused he still made the catch. The fan got ejected but security got the wrong fan. Shane Victorino, in return, filed a police report on this jackass. The idiot fan is charged with one count of battery and one count of illegal conduct within a sports facility.

Any fan who throw items at players is NOT a fan at all and should be prosecuted. It's embarrassment to entire team from management to players to fans. It ruins the enjoyment of being at attendance of the game.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Two more stars tested positive on 2003 and I DON'T CARE

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz are now two names on the list of players that tested positive for steroids or performance enhancing drugs. You know what?

I DO NOT CARE!

Why? There's a point and time majority of the roster used steroids or performance enhancing drugs. I believe the 2003 "unofficial" tests to make sure players are "cleaned" up for 2004 steroid/PED testing. I say just release the entire list and move on. Sooner or later you got to vote the players busted for steroid/PED in the Hall of Fame. Majority of the players will be guilty later on.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Coyotes goes to the Bulls and NHL still doesn't get it

NHL Coyotes remain in Phoenix with NHL owners rejecting Jim Balsillie bid and approved ownership role to Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

My problem with this you have Jim Balsillie, a diehard hockey fan, willing to buy a cash strapped team for $212.5 million and move up to rabid Canadian fan base where it would mostly play in front of packed arena instead half-filled arena in Glendale. Instead of adding potential revenue with a move to Canada they rejected him as owner and gave it to a sports owner that will allow the team stayed in a money losing situation. Gary Bettman must have really hate Canada.

NHL "southern" expansion been failure. Teams like Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, and Tampa Bay Lightning won Stanley Cups but often struggle attendance wise. Atlanta Thrashers, Florida Panthers, and occasionally Hurricanes and Lightning been drawing half or 2/3 of arena capacity while its well known Coyotes barely play half empty arena.

I suggest reading Hockey Night in Dixie about minor league hockey in the south. It gives you detail from about teams and players playing in the area to how fans felt about hockey when it was fresh before tailing off.

Vikings fans be thankful Brett Favre stay retired


After all the Vikings courting for Brett Favre to return for one more season he decided to stay retired ending this circus on should I play or should I go.

Vikings' fans can breathe a sigh a relief and be happy. Why? He's effecting the team before training camp started. Imagine how quarterbacks Sage Rosenfels and Tavaris Jackson, both of whom battling for starting spot, felt on thought of possible Favre comeback and likely sitting on the bench. Wait they were not happy being kept in the dark. Time for damage control. Anyway his continual indecision to play charade went on four years too long.

Then there's last year's debacle when he retired then unretired when Packers already moved on with Aaron Rodgers as starting quarterback. This caused plenty of headache meetings between him and Packers management that he demand a trade. He was shipped to New York Jets which led the team to release Chad Pennington who end up signing with division rival Miami Dolphins. The team won and was on top of AFC East in the final four weeks. Then it all fell apart when his age caught up to him with a torn biceps and DID NOT tell the team about it. Instead being behind the bench he started and Jets tanked their way out of the playoffs. To add insult to injury it was Chad Pennington, the quarterback Jets released for Favre, that led the Dolphins to a win and AFC East division crown. To see how bad Favre effected the team coach Eric Magini was fired, disgruntled wide receiver Laverneous Coles (due to Favre) released, and Jets players said he was "distance" from the team. In that one comeback season he manage to set entire New York Jets team 2-3 years back and likely 4-5 years back with drafting of Mark Sanchez after trading away two much need drafted picks along with three players just to move up to no. 5 and select him. Mark Sanchez is immediately on the clock while first overall pick Matthew Stafford can just win one game and call it a success.

For the Vikings' fans be glad he remain retired. Despite his Hall of Fame numbers his age and willing to play is more trouble and team wrecking. At the end he was more for himself than the team. Just take it from a Jets fan having deal with his garbage circus.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Washington Nationals Crisis 2009

We are 2009 Washington Nationals. Our years of incompetent management have landed us to below the depths of the chart this year from bad free agent signings to trades that does not pan out in the long run. Despite having offensive numbers with Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn leading the way, our pitching and defense is another story. Our pitchers are heavily inexperienced and rushed to the starting role quickly earning us with fewest wins (lovely 26-61 by the All-Star break) in the majors and the highest ERA (5.21 before the All-Star break) in the National League. Our team fielding is laughable at best being last in the majors with .975 fielding percentage and whopping major leading 82 team errors before the All-Star break. This cause us to fire manager Manny Acta and replaced him with Jim Riggleman. The GM that put this team together through the years Jim Bowden resigned when his name was surfaced in connection of alleged skimming bonuses from Latin American players. His last prior GM experience was with the Cincinnati Reds manage to drive the team to the ground and haven't recovered since. It's likely we are on pace to break the futility mark with the most loses this season. Don't worry fans this is just a "village idiot" phase. Stan Kastens did take the Braves from the cellar to contenders. Things are getting a bit better. We drafted not only the top pitcher, but the top player of the entire draft Stephen Strasburg. At same time we still haven't reached and spoken to him since draft day. He will get signed to the team or we are really idiots and have not learned a thing from last year when we could not sign our top pick (Aaron Crow) of that year. Even with a vast of young talent but with little or no team chemistry we are better off in D.C. not in Montreal, right? Right?

Note: There's a saying, "The more things change, they more they remain the same." You can say this about Washington Nationals. Just like the final decade as Montreal Expos they are plague with young players but a bad product and lousy management.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why I love the NBA Draft

Here why I love the NBA Draft and become must-watch for me.

- Suspense. Drafting a player is stressful for the team GMs and the fans. They bank on the draft to build the team and hope to lead them to prosperity or to downward oblivion. Every fan on the edge of their seat when the words, "With the X picked *insert team* selects *insert player name*" comes up.

- Fine threads. What a way for incoming player introducing himself to the NBA fans with a best dressed, sick-looking suit and bling to celebrate on getting drafted.

- Emotions. The joys and disappointments of getting drafted from happiness, cheering, slapping hands, crying, and pouting. How can anyone not forget Rashard Lewis breaking down in tears when he was picked in the second round or Steve Francis reaction he was going to then-Vancouver Grizzlies?

- Analysis and info. Listening to the draft analysis going on about player talents to which team is a good or bad fit for him. They also ramble on the "best" player still on the board firing off the stats, positives, and negatives to which player should have stayed in school.

- usage of words. The words "intangible", "upside", and "unlimited" gets tossed around so much that you could have a drinking game out of it. Anytime one of the analysis mention those words take a drink.

- watching it 5-10 years later figuring which teams made the right or wrong picks, which players become stars, playmaker, bust, or late round steals, and which analysis made a fool out of himself when his predictions went all wrong.

I love the draft.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why NASCAR All-Star race is the only All-Star exhibition that matters

- one winner out of 50-60 potential qualifiers

- big prize: million dollars

- always at Lowes Motor Speedway

- intensity of the drivers wanting to win a million

- driven to win or crash trying

- despite the ever-changing format it will always be 90 laps

- only the winners from season before starting after All-Star race and before this year All-Star race and former race winners are automatically in the All-Star race.

- The winner of the All-Star Open will get final spot in the All-Star race field.

Forget about MLB All-Star and their "home-field" advantage. That doesn't matter any more. NBA All-Star? More of a big show off contest. NFL Pro Bowl? It's a Hawaiian vacation for the players. Also player voting is a giant popularity contest.

In the NASCAR All-Star race every driver and team busted their ass hard to preparing the cars to race. They do anything from finding and exploiting loopholes hoping to get a race advantage. It's wreckers or checkers. Out of all sports NASCAR got their All-Star exhibition right.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Manny Ramirez busted for performance enhancing drugs

Another big name gets caught for performance enhancing drugs and its Manny Ramirez. His agent Scott Boras said it was a drug prescribed by a doctor that triggered the positive test. Once again Jose Canseco is right.

Coyotes: Broke and possibly migrating to north of the border


Phoenix Coyotes, despite getting getting money loans from the NHL, have filed chapter 11 bankruptcy protection against NHL wishes. The NHL stripped Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes of any authority. Guess who came to pounce with a price tag?

It's Blackberry co-CEO Jim Balsillie, who failed attempt to buy Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators, quickly jump on Coyotes with a price tag of $212.15 million with a possibility of moving the team north of the border to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. But its long fight before it happens.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman doubted the sale of the Coyotes gain approval from NHL owners. Also he reiterated the league on keeping the team in Glendale. Meanwhile, the city of Glendale trying to block the sale of the team from moving the Canada.

Up in Hamilton excitement is high for possible Coyotes relocation with support from Ontario premier and Canada prime minister.

It's going be a huge showdown and a mess in the offseason. Will Jim Balsillie finally get his NHL team and move to Hamilton or will Coyotes remain in Glendale?

Monday, April 27, 2009

New York Jets new franchise player and the likely pain he will cause to Jets fans.

Mark Sanchez you are immediately on the clock.

New York Jets made a big move on draft day trading three players and two draft picks to move up to sixth in the draft selecting USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. It was hefty trade for the Jets hopefully it will pay off big time. But what if he doesn't pan out? Sanchez is under more scrutiny than Matthew Stafford. He's playing in the largest media region along one of the largest latino/hispanic population. It's also a fact Jets sent two draft picks along with three players to the Browns. Where that leave the Jets in next year's draft? Three draft picks minus compensation. That's how much Sanchez trade cost them. Building toward the team's future look bleak and it will be bad if Mark Sanchez didn't materialize like he's projected. It also the risk of taking a USC quarterback which are a hit or miss.

- Matt Leinart. Drafted 10th overall by the Arizona Cardinals and heir apparent to Kurt Warner. Started off well then suffered a season ending collarbone giving way to Kurt Warner start. Warner hasn't relinquished the starting roll and Leinart sits on the bench. Oh yeah Warner guided the Cardinals to the Super Bowl. Leinart still has lot of time to improve.

- Carson Palmer. Drafted 1st overall by the Bengals and sat on the bench in his rookie season. Given the start the following season he started ablaze with three Pro Bowls and leading Bengals to their first trip to the playoffs in almost 15 years. Lately he fizzled and battled injuries. Hopefully his arm/elbow will be healed in time for 2009. Jury still out on him

- Todd Marinovich. Drafted 24th overall by the Raiders he lasted two seasons where he spent most of the time on drugs. Bust

- Rob Johnson. Played nine seasons with Jaguars, Bills, Buccaneers, Redskins, and Raiders where he started most of his games with Bills. He gave them misery with fans wanting Doug Flutie back as starter. Miss

- Matt Cassell. He only played one full season after starter Tom Brady went down. Leading the team 11-5 season. Will get to start full-time as he was traded to the Chiefs. Jury out of him based on how well he does in Kansas City.

Hopefully Matt Sanchez become a future star and the franchise player of the team. If not, its gonna be misery to Jets fans.

Besides as a Jets fan I feel it was too much to give up to move and take Sanchez.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sport card of the week

Sport card of the Week
1989 Score Football #270 Troy Aikman


This one of key cards in this memorable football set. In fact I feel this is one of Score's signature cards.

Score made its debut in the sports card market back in 1988 putting out a very bland baseball set. When they decide to produce football cards in 1989 they made sure their cards stood out to the hobby. For the card design they printed out the players name with their team's helmet logo, position, and their photo. What really stood out the rookies on the set with the word "ROOKIE" splashed across the top of the card and their face portrait. Unlike Pro Set, which made its debut the same year, they limited produce the set.

The set would become a big hit among collectors especially with rookies like Troy Aikman.

For Aikman he became of many key figures on the rebuilding of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty. He would lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowls titles along being Super Bowl MVP, six-time Pro Bowler, and NFL Hall of Famer.

Twenty years later Score still producing just primarily on football cards. Then there's the 2009 draft...

With Detroit Lions choosing Matthew Stafford with their first pick on this year's draft could he lead the Lions from the depths down below and rise up on top much like Troy Aikman did it with the Cowboys?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Midland Rockhounds vs Arkansas Travelers: Opening night April 16

Opening night at Citibank Ballpark as Midland Rockhounds (Double-A A's affiliate) took on the visiting Arkansas Travelers (Double-A Angels affiliate). The starting pitchers for the night are:



Jason Fernandez





Jordan Walden
Angels #2 Prospect


It was gusty windy night with rain coming and going on and off. Both pitchers were shaky. Fernandez, despite pitching decent in the early innings, issue walks while Walden has control issues. In the bottom of the second with two outs he gave up a hit to Corey Brown then walked Yung-Chi Chen and hit Corey Wimberly with two strikes on him. Josh Horton drove in two-run single and walking Chris Carter before getting yanked after 1 2/3 inning. Bryan Rembisz entered only give up a two-run single to Tommy Everidge. Rembisz got out of the jam with Rockhounds leading 4-0. Travelers battle back trimming the deficit to 1 run when Ryan Mount hit three-run homerun in the 4th. In the 5th they took the lead for good for Mark Trumbo smacked a two-run homerun making it 5-4. Arnold Leon entered the game f0r Fernandez before the 6th and pitched well. Rockhounds' batters went silent as Travelers' pitchers kept them grounded. Before the 7th inning the winds quickly picked up as the storm about to hit. After the 7th I quickly left the stadium trying to beat the in-coming storm and listen the rest of the game. The results were the same when I left the ballpark. Final score Travelers 5 Rockhounds 4. Still got hundred more games to left and two halves for the Rockhounds to make the playoffs.

Friday, April 10, 2009

RIP Nick Adenhart (Aug 24 1986 - April 9 2009)

R.I.P. Nick Adenhart

Sad day in baseball as Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart died in a car wreck in the early morning hours after pitching 6 shutout innings. He was one of Angels top young pitching prospects with a bright future ahead. He was only 22 when he died.

I saw him play back in 2007 when he was with Angels Double-A club Arkansas Travelers. The picture on the left was from the game I attended which he pitched 5 innings, striking out 1, walking 2 and giving up 5 hits, 3 runs all earned.

RIP Nick Adenhart. Baseball fans will miss you.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Next on the list....Manny Ramirez?

Jose Canseco next claim to be on steroids? Manny Ramirez. At speaking engagement Canseco believes he's one of 103 players tested for positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.

Before so many quickly dismiss Canseco claim as bullshit just remember his claims in the past.

- of the many players he listed on "Juiced" they were caught from admission (Jason Giambi) to positive tests later on. Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire gave embarrasing testimonies to Congress while Rafael Palmeiro wagged his finger claiming he didn't use it. Palmeiro end up getting busted for later in the 2006 season and claimed his then-teammate Miguel Tejada injecting him with a tainted B-12 vitamin.

- in "Vindicated" claimed Alex Rodriguez used steroids. Alex came clean in February to admit using steroids from 2001 to 2003 after it was leaked in the media he was one of 103 players tested positives for performance-enhancers in 2003.

There is multiple sides to every story. ESPN Sportscenter crew quickly dismiss Manny and PED claims and mention Jose Canseco just trying to get his name out in public. Whether Canseco is right or wrong just remember how many dismiss his earlier claims til the real truth came out. Afterwards the critics turned around and went, "You know, maybe he is right all this time."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Card of the Week



1989 Upper Deck baseball #1 Ken Griffey, Jr.

Twenty years ago Upper Deck enter the sports card hobby with this grand baseball set. It became huge hit among the hobby and easily one of the best product of that year. The set revolutionize and changed the landscape of the hobby with superb photography and glossy anti-counterfeit picture cards along with over-abundance of rookies. One of the rookies in this sit is Ken Griffey, Jr. which Upper Deck banked on as the "face" of the company. It was worth a gamble as his rookie card was huge hit among the hobby and became Upper Deck signature card in the hobby.

It helped the fact he quickly busted on the major league baseball scene. As 19-year old he quickly made the Seattle Mariners team as non-roster player in spring training that year and the rest is history. His nasty homerun shots and his defensive play dazzled fans. He was one the key main players as the Mariners rose to powerhouse threat from 1995-1999 before getting traded to the Reds in 2000 spending 8 1/2 seasons there before spending 1/2 the season with the White Sox. He returned back "home" signing with the Mariners in the offseason. The future Hall of Famer currently has 612 homeruns with 1773 runs batted in.

Here we are 20 years later. Ken Griffey, Jr., at 39, still has the nasty pop while Upper Deck trying to retain MLB license to produce 2010 cards. If Upper Deck loses their license just remember their amazing debut baseball set back in 1989 especially Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie card.