Archives for: 2008, week 16

04/26/08

Miami Dolphins: Parcells Sets Goals on Rebuilding Once Proud Franchise

Permalink 12:00:01 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

by Digger

Miami Dolphins football hasn't been the same since former owner Joe Robbie died (1990). Times got harder after legendary coach Don Shula retired (1995). Add Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Marino's retirement in 1999 to this list and it's easy to see how a once proud franchise has yet to fill big shoes in management, sidelines and on the playing field. For six consecutive seasons (team record), the Dolphins have failed to make the playoffs culminated by a franchise worst 1-15 record last season.

Enter Bill Parcells as Executive Vice President of Football Operations on December 19, 2007. Can he save the day? The City of Miami will soon find out. Owner Wayne Huizenga has tried many different combinations from head coaches to front office, none have worked out well. It's now up to no nonsense Parcells to right this sinking ship. Plain and simple, Parcells is a winner (coaching record). He's been credited with turning around four franchises as a head coach and will be counted on to revive the Dolphins.

Parcells first order of business was to sign a new Head Coach, Tony Sparano. Step number two is the NFL's first overall draft pick. Offensive Tackle Jake Long (University of Michigan) has been signed to a long term deal as Parcells goes back to his roots, building around the line of scrimmage. It's hard to imagine Long as an immediate impact player or franchise saver. However, this signing is believed to be essential in putting together the pieces for a strong nucleus of players. All Pro Jason Taylor is rumored to be on the trading block for draft picks which will help Miami rebuild quickly. To date, this is only a rumor... most likely it will become a reality. Someway, somehow this team needs to find a true field general on offense. Since Marino retired, the quarterback position has been in shambles. One of the NFL's worst. It shouldn't be long before the leadership slot is filled.

Parcells grit, no nonsense style and tell it like it is attitude should rub off positively throughout this organization. Miami was lucky to be beneficiaries of his services and desperately needs his guidance. Hopefully, this is a long term gig for Bill. He's been known to get restless easily and this is a long term retooling job. For the very first time since Don Shula retired, Miami finally has the right man at the right time. Give 'em hell Bill.

04/25/08

NHL Playoff Predictions: Conference Semi-Finals

Permalink 12:08:24 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

by Digger

EASTERN CONFERENCE
(1) Montreal Canadiens vs (6) Philadelphia Flyers:
Both teams are coming off grueling seven game first round series. This is the first time these teams have squared off in the playoffs since 1989 Conference Finals.
Philly will have their hands full trying to contain Montreal.
Montreal in 6

(2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (5) New York Rangers
These two squads have enjoyed long layoffs. Question will be which team comes out fresh and ready to play? This seems like a great matchup on paper. Both teams play hard, have big game offenses and superb goaltenders. Pittsburgh has the edge heading into this series, but is playoff hockey time... anything can and will happen.
New York will prevail in seven hard fought games.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
(1) Detroit Red Wings vs (6) Colorado Avalanche
This series is about two bitter rivals. Each game will be hard fought with heavy hitting and great goalies.
From '96 - '02 these teams met 5 times in playoff action. These two squads dominated the West in those days... different players skate these days but their unrelenting talent and gritty play remain the same.
Detroit in 5.

(2) San Jose Sharks vs (5) Dallas Stars
In the season ending finale, 160 penalty minutes were handed out as these teams battled toe to toe, check to check and fist to fist. Both have sworn of bitter feelings... do you believe it? I don't. This will be a physical battle from the first puck drop. San Jose owns the advantages in most facets of this matchup. Dallas is a bit banged up but it didn't prevent them from scoring a West best 20 goals in 6 opening round games.
This series boils down to the power play units. Whoever avoids retaliation type penalties should prevail.
Stars in 7.

04/21/08

New Boss Hank Sounds Like Old Boss George

Permalink 11:16:53 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

by Digger

New Boss Hank Steinbrenner needed only 20 games into his first season as Yankees President to sound like former Boss George.

Yankees (10-10) baseball 2008 has been inconsistent early on and Boss Hank is not happy. Boss Hank barked aloud stating his desire for New York sensation Joba Chamberlain's immediate insertion into the Yanks very thin starting rotation.

Steinbrenner was quoted in a New York Times interview: "I want him as a starter and so does everyone else, including him, and that is what we are working toward and we need him there now. There is no question about it, you don't have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a set-up guy. You just don't do that. You have to be an idiot to do that."

How quickly times change while remaining the same. Last season, Chamberlain saved the day upon his arrival into big league baseball. His 100 mph fastball left hitters baffled and speachless. He was an instant hit in New York. Joba was to be eased along into major league play for a few reasons... or so we were told in '07. First, they didn't want their star rookie crumbling in New York's spotlight. Mission accomplished. Second, their bullpen was blowing games left and right... Joba stepped in as set up man for Mariano Rivera and the Yanks started winning. Mission accomplished. If it wasn't for a bug filled Cleveland night last October, Yanks might have advanced to play Boston for the AL crown.

There was much speculation leading up to spring training of where Joba would fit in with Yankee plans. Starter? Set-up man? Eventual replacement for Rivera? It didn't take long for Cashman and Manager Girardi to let the world know Joba would begin '08 as Mariano's set up man while youngsters Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are to be given every opportunity as fourth and fifth starters. This has not worked out yet to Steinbrenner's satisfaction. Hughes is 0-3, 8.82 and Kennedy 0-2, 9.64. These kind of results will keep the Yanks out of Boston's (14-7) rear view mirror. Unless these kids turn it around ... Bronx jeers will be heard all around town.

This off season the Yankees had a golden opportunity to trade for baseball's premier left handed starter Johan Santana. GM Brian Cashman and top Yank officials balked at parting with future talent required by Santana's former team (Minnesota Twins) to get a deal finalized. Melky Cabrerra, Hughes and Kennedy were some of the names New York was unwilling to part with... this will haunt the Yanks for years to come. Santana was eventually traded to cross town rival New York Mets. Had the Yanks successfully landed Santana, they would have been a force for years. There's no chance this current rotation can keep pace with Boston... maybe not even Tampa Bay.

GM Cashman will be the first fired. He staked his future by not pulling the trigger on this deal by flatly stating this teams future rests with young home grown talent. Funny (sad for Yank fans) this is a GM who had no problems chasing down old pro's (Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens) but passes on the games best left handed starter still well within his prime????????? Just imagine Santana, Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte and Joba Chamberlain. Yanks would win 105 games... no doubt.

Back to Boss Hank's statement. Missing out on Santana was a mistake. Ok, old news... onward and upward. This team really had no solid game plan for Joba. 2008 is underway. If the Yanks were to suddenly pull Joba from bullpen duties then they'll be without anyone to set up Rivera. Perhaps a rejuvinated Bruney can handle it but this is a big "IF" question. Also, in order for Joba to set his arm up for surviving 6 or 7 innings, he'll have to be sent down to prepare for extended innings (stamina). Very poorly handled by Boss Hank, GM Cashman and Mgr Girardi. Initially, it was said Joba would begin the year as a reliever and upped to starter come June. Bad plan folks. Point is... what is the point of this kind of move? It's either one or the other but both roles is ludicrous and benefits no one in New York.

Yankees big bats have been silent (27 few runs than Boston) and untimely in April. This doesn't help a team with the third worst American League ERA (4.60). Robinson Cano (.169), Jason Giambi (.109), Johnny Damon (.215) and Jorge Posada's sore shoulder have disrupted what should have been one of the best AL lineups 1 thru 9.

It's going to be a long year in NY (All World All Sports previously predicted 3rd place finish). Get used to a new Boss screaming and making headlines as a new Bronx Zoo chapter is written. This is historic Yankee Stadium's final season... not quite the send off New Yorkers had in mind.

Permalink 02:26:49 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

by Digger

This was a great weekend for sports fans who thrive on multiple non-stop televised action. A true sports smorgasbord with eye popping results. Making headlines were Danica Patrick, Lorena Ochoa, Boo's at Hilton Head, Joe Calzaghe Punches to Light Heavyweight Crown, David Ferrer Serves Valencia, Mets vs Phillies, NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs, Olympic Football/Soccer Seedings and NFL Draft rumors heating up.

Top news honors belongs to hard driving and sexy Danica Patrick who made history becoming the first woman ever to win an open-wheel race (Indy Japan 300). Danica has been a strong competitor since entering the racing world back in 2005. Leading up to Indy Japan 300, she had 8 top 5 finishes and 26 top 10's in 47 career starts totaling over $3.2M (US). Three cheers Danica, hope to see you winning many more races!

Another big news item this weekend was Lorena Ochoa's fourth consecutive LGPA title by winning the Ginn Open at Reunion Resort and Club. The worlds #1 bested the field by three strokes and became the first player in seven years to record four straight (6th win of '08, 10th in last 15, 22 in career). Ochoa showed nerves of steel as she was challenged often throughout the tourney. She's riding a high and has a bright future.

If you're a fantasy sports player, this time of year leaves no rest for computer strained eyes and multiple scoreboard checks. Plenty of competitive basic and money leagues featured managers jockeying lineups on all of the major sports. NBA playoffs were hotly contested. NHL playoffs rolled along. And, there was plenty of baseball news including Frank "Big Hurt" Thomas being released by Toronto Blue Jays' brass one season after leading his former club with 27 round trippers. Tom Glavine (1st time in 22 seasons) and MVP Jimmy Rollins found their names added to an ever growing MLB disabled list. Yankee Stadium hosted the Pope. NFL was the only major sport missing this weekend. Have no fear, NFL teams have been busy evaluating future rookies while searching for stars ahead of next weekend's 2008 draft (scout your hometown team needs on All World All Sports Sports Sections from around the World).

Plenty more action will be featured this week. Visit All World All Sports for all the latest action, headlines and links to your favorite events.