Archives for: November 2010


NCAA Power Rankings ... Who's #1?

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-Digger's Daily-

One week to go. Football ranking grumblings are beginning. Auburn moves up to BCS #1. Oregon continues it's hold on AP #1. "Digger's Daily" keeps saying it's Auburn. Final weekend games to determine who gets the regular season top slot. Auburn edged then #11 Alabama this past Saturday 28-27. Next up, #19 South Carolina (9-3) in front of Georgia Dome fans. Back on October 9th, the Gamecocks ended Alabama's dreams of a national championship knocking of the then #1 team 35-21. Oregon closes out their regular season on the road vs rival Oregon State (5-6). It's been a mixed bag of a year for OSU. This will be their sixth game vs top 20 ranked teams. Wouldn't it be something if both Auburn and Oregon lost? Now, that would throw the entire ranking system into a tilt mode!

Why is nobody talking of TCU (12-0)? Where will they land in bowl selections? Is TCU, season completed, an automatic #1 if Auburn and Oregon lose? One step at a time. We'll soon see what happens next weekend.

Power Rankings

Football Top 10
1 - Auburn
2 - Oregon
3 - TCU
4 - Wisonsin
5 - Stamford
6 - Ohio State
7 - Michigan State
8 - Arkansas
9 - Oklahoma
10- LSU

2010-11 College hoops have begun. This season's top 10 battle promises to be quite a show all year long. Future coverage and guest college blogger's soon to follow. For now, here's an abbreviated top 5 list. Way too early to go much deeper on the heels of just one week of games.

Basketball Top 5
1 - Duke
2 - Michigan State
3 - Ohio State
4 - Kansas State
5 - Pittsburgh



NFL Predictions: Week 12

Permalink 05:00:50 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Donating my crystal ball to the Atlantic Ocean worked! 11-5 last week improves our season record to 81-72. Not great but getting better. NFL teams struggling to find winning ways don't have much time left in the season to right their ships. Several teams expected to challenge haven't lived up to pre-season hype. San Diego is coming on strong. Winners of 3 straight after beginning 2-5. Second half surges seem to be the norm for the Chargers. MVP race is up for grabs. My front runners are Vick (Phi), Rivers (SD), Foster (Hou), White (Atl), Brady (NE), Rodgers (GB).

WEEK 12 (home in CAPS)
Patriots 43 LIONS 20
Saints 34 COWBOYS 17
JETS 23 Bengals 16

Packers 30 FALCONS 27
Steelers 31 BILLS 20
BROWNS 24 Panthers 3
Jaguars 31 GIANTS 30
Vikings 28 REDSKINS 20
TEXANS 42 Titans 6
Chiefs 20 SEAHAWKS 14
RAIDERS 21 Dolphins 9
BRONCOS 26 Rams 16
BEARS 16 Eagles 13
RAVENS 24 Bucs 7
Chargers 26 COLTS 20

CARDINALS 14 49ers 13



Power Ranking the Majors

Permalink 02:59:28 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Doesn't every sports season seem to keep getting better from year to year? Intensity has never been higher all sports venues. College and Pro Football teams fighting for every inch. NBA & NHL teams adjusting to early season successes, failures and costly roster injuries. Baseball news making waves as well.

"All World All Sports" Power Rankings (Top 10)

Add Minnesota to the list of coaching changes. Childress is out. Defensive Coordinator Frazier takes over for under performing 3-7 Vikes. Giants (6-4) handed another game away and lost another offensive weapon (WR Nicks, 3 weeks). Eli Manning has been careless with the football in all New York losses. Philadelphia (7-3) climbs the power ranking charts. Michael Vick is a human highlight reel. Watch out for this team when January rolls around. Eagles suddenly looking Super. Jets (8-2) continue Super trash talk after another tough victory (30-27). Last minute heroics have become the norm and confidence has never been higher in the Meadlowlands. Everything is clicking in Atlanta (8-2). Look out Dan Marino. Another record could fall this season. Chargers (5-5) Rivers is having an MVP style season for injury depleted San Diego. He's taking dead aim at Marino's single season passing yards record of 5,084 (Rivers has 3,177). Kansas City and Tampa Bay are for real. They're taking advantage of early soft schedules. KC has it easier on paper. TB's test of true mettle comes soon enough. Either way, these teams have had a successful rebounding year.

1 - New York Jets
2 - Atlanta Falcons
3 - New England Patriots
4 - Baltimore Ravens
5 - New Orleans Saints
6 - Green Bay Packers
7 - Pittsburgh Steelers
8 - Philadelphia Eagles
9 - Chicago Bears
10- New York Giants

Oregon seems to be everyone's #1. So why have I consistently ranked Auburn higher? Strength of schedule. Auburn's remaining games vs #11 Alabama & #18 South Carolina will not be easy. This marks 5 games vs top 20 teams.
Only 4 undefeated college teams remain (Auburn, Oregon, Boise State, TCU). Bowl match-ups far from determined in this anything can happen season. Two weeks remain in the regular season. Intensity increasing by the play.

1 - Auburn
2 - Oregon
3 - Boise State
4 - TCU
5 - Wisconsin
6 - LSU
7 - Stanford
8 - Ohio State
9 - Oklahoma State
10- Michigan State

Injuries are beginning to creep up. Miami is without Haslem. Celtics Rondo's gimpy. Houston lost Ming. Has anyone been watching Spurs games? They're streaking. 11 in a row! It's been a complete team effort. In my view, NBA has 3 categories of teams. Great, strong and give it up. We're barely 15 games into the young season and the standings have split quickly. Upper teams will jockey for positioning all year as fading teams attempt their best floating techniques.

1 - Los Angeles Lakers
2 - San Antonio Spurs
3 - New Orleans Hornets
4 - Oklahoma City Thunder
5 - Boston Celtics
6 - Orlando Magic
7 - Dallas Mavericks
8 - Utah Jazz
9 - Miami Heat
10- Chicago Bulls

New York Islanders fans suffering again. Teased into believing 2010-11 was to be Cinderella-like after beginning 4-1-2. 13 straight defeats cured illusions, or should I say, delusions? New Jersey & Edmonton have looked terrible. Most other teams seem to be playing competitive hockey. Consistency missing? Or, it is league balance from team to team?

1 - Detroit Red Wings
2 - Washington Capitals
3 - Philadelphia Flyers
4 - Montreal Canadiens
5 - Boston Bruins
6 - Los Angeles Kings
7 - Phoenix Coyotes
8 - Colorado Avalanche
9 - Columbus Blue Jackets
10- Tampa Bay Lightning

Joey Votto NL MVP. Ron Gardenhire (AL), Bud Black (NL) Managers of the Year. Felix Hernandez (AL) & Roy Halladay (NL) Cy Young Award winners. AL MVP announced later today. I'm in agreement with all but one. Bud Black's team collapsed in September after leading the NL West for most of the year. Dusty Baker held together a young team who stunned everyone outside of Cincinnati to win the Central.
Yanks vs Jeter in contract negotiations has been front page sports fodder. Yanks not winning any PR wars. Across town rival Mets announced new GM Alderson. In a buddy system type of move, Mets hired Terry Collins as new manager. This move needs to work out. Priority number one must now be to sign the perfect player for CitiField. Carl Crawford. Mets will be biggest off season free agent losers if Crawford isn't #1 target. Why is it no team aggressively pursues Adam Dunn? Do teams not want a 40 homer, .400 OBA player? Free agent frenzy news to start picking up steam as 2010 barrels towards December 31st. Power ranking baseball teams is a bit meaningless when so many personnel uncertainties remain questions of the day for most teams.

1 - Philadelphia Phillies
2 - San Francisco Giants
3 - Minnesota Twins
4 - New York Yankees
5 - Texas Rangers
6 - Atlanta Braves
7 - Boston Red Sox
8 - Chicago White Sox
9 - Cincinnati Reds
10- St. Louis Cardinals



Yankee Stadium Hosts Notre Dame vs Army

Permalink 06:56:35 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Football in the Bronx. Yankee Stadium's football venue kicks off November 20 when Notre Dame and Army renew their old rivalry. This will be the 50th meeting between the two schools with Notre Dame leading the series, 37-8-1. The two schools met 21 times between 1925-46 at the old Yankee Stadium, where the Irish held a 14-5-3 advantage in the series.

New Yankee Stadium is a gem. A perfect place for more than baseball. Bowl games will soon return to New York too. Get ready for "Pinstripe Bowl" games. This contest, featuring teams from the Big East and Big 12, will mark the first NCAA football bowl game in the Bronx since the Gotham Bowl on Dec. 15, 1962, when the Nebraska Cornhuskers edged the Miami Hurricanes, 36-34, at the original Yankee Stadium.

Long overdue tradition returns to the Big Apple 48 years later. Hats off to New York and the Yankees hierarchy for winning over NCAA officials. A great national stage for regular season and bowl games. Notre Dame vs Army kickoff on Saturday will showcase Yankee Stadium's football capabilities while two long time foes go toe to toe. Yankee brass is certainly busy entertaining possibilities of extending their lineup. Old Yankee Stadium's hosted heavy weight boxing championships, The Pope, summer camps, rock stars, movie productions. Safe bet Yankee Stadium's doors will continue expanding their tradition rich ways. Another home run!



NFL Predictions: Week 11

Permalink 05:00:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Hide my wallet. Week 10 produced just four correct picks. My crystal ball donated to the Atlantic Ocean. Season record drops to 70-67. Win some, lose some.

What happened to NFL kickers this past weekend? Miss after miss. Shank after shank. Don't be surprised when head coaches announce roster changes. NFL special team units have been shaky. Blocked punts. Dropped snaps. Shanks. It's becoming an epidemic.

Let's try out a new picking system.

WEEK 11 (home in CAPS)
DOLPHINS 24 Bears 23

BENGALS 31 Bills 27
COWBOYS 26 Lions 24
TITANS 34 Redskins 21
CHIEFS 20 Cardinals 14
Packers 38 VIKINGS 24
Texans 28 JETS 23
STEELERS 21 Raiders 10
Ravens 23 PANTHERS 6
JAGUARS 27 Browns 20
49ERS 21 Buccaneers 14
SAINTS 40 Seahawks 10
Falcons 24 RAMS 20
PATRIOTS 38 Colts 33
EAGLES 20 Giants 16

CHARGERS 31 Broncos 21



In Case You Missed It...

Permalink 02:23:46 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

In case you missed it...

Baseball's Gold Glove winners spark debate. Derek Jeter led all qualifying MLB short stops with a .989 fielding percentage. Naysayers suggest Jeter doesn't get to enough balls. His range is only mediocre. He's a Yankee. He wins because he's a good hitter. It's a popularity contest. List all the reasons you want to debunk players and coaches selection of Derek Jeter as a Gold Glove winner. Valid arguments can be made. One glaring omission hasn't been mentioned when criticizing the Yankees captain. The cold hard fact is Jeter made only 6 errors all season playing one of the most demanding infield positions. This alone more than qualifies and validates Jeter's selection. Many seem to forget the Gold Glove Award is for exceptional defensive play by ballplayer's making less errors than their counterparts.

Not even a New Meadowlands Stadium blackout was enough to wake up the New York Giants yesterday. Arch rival Dallas, and their new head coach Jason Garrett, carved up the Giants 33-20. New York was a heavy favorite to beat up on underachieving Dallas. It was not to be. Dallas ripped New York all game long. Giants defense never showed up. Here's a team which had 9 first half sacks a few weeks ago. They barely even tried attacking backup QB Kitna. Kitna converted one big play after another. Let this be a wake up call to Giants players. Game are won on the field.

Brett Favre or Ray Childress. Who's to blame in Minnesota? Coach? Players? Ownership? Everyone. Minnesota seems to be sleepwalking in 2010. A great defense has been marginalized. An explosive offense can't consistently move the ball and score. Favre's mistakes magnified. There's been plenty of Favre mistakes from forced throws turning into interceptions to fumbles when scrambling away from defenders. 2010 reminds me of Favre's early years. Certainly a player of Favre's experience and on field intelligence should know when to throw a ball away instead of trying to force plays. Minnesota's offense has provided plenty of momentum for opposition to feast on. Yes, it's a banged up team. 2010 is Favre's last. As a betting man, it's time to can the head coach too. Way too much talent on this squad for the Vikes to be playing so poorly. Play calling isn't helping matters either.

New York Islanders fired another head coach. Yawn. Hockey's perennial losers never improve. Front office is the pits. Highly publicized draft picks quickly become busts. Here's a team in desperate need of a no nonsense coach. Al Arbour is the only coach in team history to get solid results. Islanders posted just four winning seasons since 1993-94. New York is s team stuck in reverse. Ownership has been unsuccessful attempting to secure a new arena. Any wonder why?

New Orleans Hornets (9-0) NBA's best team? Or, just sporting the best record for now? All the hype heading into 2010 surrounded Miami's super trio, Lakers chances of repeating and which team will get Melo? New Orleans is for real. It's been a total team effor tfrom starters to role players off the bench. Ball movement has been tremendous. Defensive plays timely. Coaching moves all paying off. Hornets on a great early season roll out of the gates. Let's see how long they keep it going.

Baseball's free agent signings aren't quite as frenzied as many anticipated. Cliff Lee sweepstakes remain calm and free of wild rumors. Carl Crawford suitors remaining relatively silent. Yankees seem intent on securing core players first before rattling sports section headlines. Mets still searching for a new field manager. Red Sox contemplating future direction of club. General Managers play the waiting game. Who will be the first to venture into the waters?

Super Bowl contenders? Only a few in my book at the moment. There's plenty of season to go. NFC - Giants, Green Bay & New Orleans top my list of potential reps. AFC is a crowed picture. Any one of the following will represent AFC - Jets, Steelers, Patriots, Ravens & Colts.

Stay tuned....



NFL Predictions: Week 10

Permalink 04:18:51 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Here comes Thursday Night Football on the NFL Network. At least one game will be played on Thursday's every week from now until Week 17. Good luck catching games in blacked out areas. Baltimore visits Atlanta tonight in a battle of 6-2 teams. Jason Garrett debuts as Cowboys head coach vs red hot division rival New York Giants. Four banged up teams welcome the bye week to heal.

Predictions improved last weekend. 9-4 brings the season total to 66-58.

WEEK 10 (home in CAPS)
Ravens 27 FALCONS 20

BILLS 28 Lions 24
Vikings 27 BEARS 20
Jets 26 BROWNS 23
BUCS 24 Panthers 16
Texans 41 JAGUARS 27
Bengals 34 COLTS 31
Titans 31 DOLPHINS 14
Chiefs 30 BRONCOS 28
GIANTS 44 Cowboys 10
Seahawks 21 CARDINALS 20
STEELERS 30 Patriots 23

REDSKINS 28 Eagles 27

Bye: Green Bay, New Orleans, Oakland, San Diego.



In Case You Missed It...

Permalink 06:46:36 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

In case you missed it...

Big names entering Major League Baseball's free agency lists. 2010 season recently completed. No rest for the weary. Teams are getting busy planning for 2011.
-New York Mets wasting no time changing directions. GM Omar Moniya and Mgr Manuel are gone. Mets hired Sandy Alderson as new GM. Rebuilding New York is no easy task. Alderson has a great baseball resume. Job one will be finding a legit field manager. Step two, build a team from bottom on up.
-Yankees will dominate Cliff Lee rumors. Theory is no team can keep up with Yanks free wielding cash power. Lee's expected to become the most sought after free agent this winter. Buyer beware not to over extend lengthy contracts.
-How much will Yankees over pay captain Derek Jeter? Jeter's fabulous career is nearing an end. He had an off year hitting (.270) but did earn his 5th Gold Glove thanks to a .989 fielding percentage. It's a must to resign the most popular player in New York. Just don't over pay for a player who wants to remain a Yankee no matter what.
-What will the Boston Red Sox do? Last year, they slashed free agent payroll concentrating on building a tremendous defensive club. It didn't work out as injuries too a serious toll all season long. AL MVP candidate 3B Adrian Beltre probably won't be back. Big mistake as it will be hard replacing him even if Youkilis moves from 1st to 3rd. Phils Worth has been rumored as a must sign in Boston.
-Ichiro Suzuki tied an AL record with his 10th Gold Glove. Ichiro has won Glove Gloves in all of his 10 MLB seasons since bringing his star power from Japan. 10 consecutive .300 seasons, 200+ hits, 10 Gold Gloves, .331 lifetime batting average. No too shabby, eh?
-George Steinbrenner elected to Baseball Hall of Fame? Perhaps. Boss George is officially listed on Veterans Committee HOF ballots. George's career is a mixed bag when it comes to HOF consideration. His star shines brightly now. But, it wasn't always rosey. Suspended by MLB in 1974 for illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon. Banned permanently in 1990 (reinstated 1993) from day to day Yankees operations for the Dave Winfield fiasco when Boss hired a gambler to dig up dirt on Winfield. He's not a first timer by Hall standards. Many will argue these misdeeds void consideration. Time will tell.

NFL season is topsy-turvy. Teams expected to win stumble. Teams thought to be big time losers are winning.
-Jerry Jones new billion dollar Cowboys Stadium will host the Super Bowl. Jones pumped millions into players salaries trying to build a championship caliber team. Many prognosticators took the bait and predicted Dallas to be playing in the Super Bowl at home. They're 1-7 and finally fired inept coach Wade Phillips. Jones ran out of excuses. He's apologized, cried and stood by Phillips through thick and thin. Monday night's 45-7 loss to Green Bay wasn't nearly as close as the score leads one to believe (felt more like 100-0).
-All pre-season talk in NY centered on the Jets. Well, many think the Giants (6-2) are NFL's best team. New York newspapers were calling for coach Coughlin's head after beginning the year 1-2. They're now singing praises after 5 consecutive monster victories.
-Brett Favre and Minnesota saved their season for at least another week after a come from behind OT win vs Arizona. At 3-5, the Vikes have a long way to go but a win like this could turn around a season in trouble. So much for my no brainer to force sit Favre in last installment of "In Case You Missed It..." (10/29/10).
-Kansas City (5-3) and Oakland (5-4) lead the AFC West. Talk about surprises. San Diego (4-5) is off to another slow beginning but are right in the thick of it.
-San Diego QB Philip Rivers to break Dan Marino's single season passing record? Could be. Rivers is way ahead of Marino's 1984 pace. SD's QB averages 327 passing yards per game. If Rivers keeps it up he'll finish with 5,232 yards shattering Marino's record of 5,084. Chargers offense has become pass first. Two banged up rookie running backs has coach Turner calling more and more passing plays puts Rivers chances front and center.
-NFL mid-season MVP? Nobody. Plenty of deserving players. No clear cut stand outs. A few MVP types on my radar (in no particular order): Eli Manning (NYG), Philip Rivers (SD), Arian Foster (HOU), Ahmad Bradshaw( NYG), Rachard Mendenhall (PIT), Jamaal Charles (KC), Roddy White (ATL), Aaron Rodgers (GB), Matt Ryan (ATL), Antonio Gates (SD), Hakeem Nicks (NYG), Adrian Peterson (NYG), Clay Matthews (GB).

Two undefeated NBA teams remain. Defending champion Lakers (7-0) and New Orleans Hornets (6-0). 2010-11 could produce the most 60 game winners in league history. My potential 60 gamers: Lakers, Celtics, Magic, Hornets, Thunder, Hawks, Spurs, Mavs. If this turns out to be true then expect quite a few 60 losers: Raptors, Bobcats, Clippers, Timberwolves, Wizards, 76ers, Nets.
-The hyped big 3 of Wade, James & Bosh are starting to gel. James (20.7) and Bosh (14.4) enjoy winning but seem to be having a tough time adjusting to sub-career statistical inputs. James poured in nearly 30/game (29.7) last year. Bosh was good for 24/game. Wade & James have done it all. Bosh struggles to contribute on offense.
-Experts were quick to pick Miami and Orlando as favorites to win the East. My money resides with Boston. Celtics are deep at all positions. Pierce, Allen, Garnett & Rondo dazzle. Hardly any weaknesses. A healthy Boston could have beaten LA. This team is on a mission.

Very few NHL surprises in the early going. Perhaps one big one. New Jersey Devils own 10 losses in 15 games.
-Boston net minder Tim Thomas is having an MVP season between the pipes. 7-0-0, 1.04.
-Lightning C Steven Stamkos is on fire. 11 goals, 11 assists in 13 games. Now if he could only teach fellow TB teammates how to score!
-Carolina C Brandon Sutter shouldn't be taking face-offs anymore. 69 wins, 137 losses (33.5%) STINKS!
-Now that's a name. New Jersey Devils LW needs two uniforms just to fit his name. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond.



NCAA & NFL Power Rankings

Permalink 08:00:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Another wild weekend of football action. College rankings have been shaken up once again. Michigan won in triple overtime 67-65. Big plays galore. The season is winding down. A select few big time rival games remain on the docket. Here's how the top 10 shakes out.

TOP 10
1- Auburn
2- Oregon
3- TCU
4- Boise State
5- LSU
6- Wisconsin
7- Nebraska
8- Stanford
9- Ohio State
10-Michigan State

It was a highlight filled Sunday. 3 overtime games. Favre goes wild for 446 yards. Dallas is the leagues new laughingstock following their embarrassing 45-7 shellacking by Green Bay on national television. New York Giants are looking Super. Oakland is sneaking into AFC playoff contention. Jets survived a Lion scare. Buffalo fell short in their quest for victory number one. Fans were kept on seat edges all day long.

TOP 10
1- Giants
2- Jets
3- Ravens
4- Steelers
5- Packers
6- Falcons
7- Patriots
8- Saints
9- Eagles

These rankings are jumping the gun a bit as Pittsburgh faces Cincinnati later this evening. Steelers are locked into 4th heading into week 10 regardless of Monday Night's outcome.



Bettors & Thieves: Mets Clubhouse Manager Under Investigation

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-Digger's Daily-

Bettors & thieves continue within Major League Baseball stadiums. Thursday's New York Daily News is reporting Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels is in a heep of trouble. The Queens District Attorney's Office is conducting a formal investigation into Samuel's participation in an organized crime gambling ring.

The cardinal rule in baseball is "no betting". No formal charges have been filed to date. It's only a matter of time. Samuels is believed to have "(provided) inside information and tips for friends who also placed bets on games and for using his Mets accounts to cover gambling debts." The Mets fired him last week after an internal probe uncovered Samuels had used team bank accounts as loans to cover gambling debts. Some loans were repaid but team officials are unable to determine, at least publicly, how much remains uncollected.

The story goes deeper. Samuel was ripping off and scamming players too. The Daily News stated: "Samuels is also under scrutiny for possibly skimming money on the hotel rooms he ordered for players as the team's traveling secretary and for Mets property that went missing from the clubhouse, including hundreds of bats, balls and jerseys."

The Samuel revelations of ties to organized crime (gambling) is nothing new in New York. In 2005 "head groundskeeper Dominic Valila was one of 36 people charged by the Queens DA's office with participating in a $360 million gambling ring that had ties to the Bonanno crime family."

Samuels was a trusted man within the Mets organization. He was New York's clubhouse manager for 27 years. Now he's being described as "the spider who sat in the middle of a money web." This moron earned $80,000 in salary yet shows $600,000 in tax reported income. He violated trust bestowed upon by Mets management, players and personnel. Stealing money to cover gambling debts is disgraceful. Stealing from "friends", players and co-workers too? Get ready for the perp walk Samuels on your way to a view from behind iron bars. Unless, of course, you chooses the life of a rat in exchange for lenient sentencing.


Baseball Teams Wasting No Time Prepping for 2011

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-Digger's Daily-

San Francisco Giants became World Series Champs last week. This week, teams and players set their sights on 2011.

Clubs have tough re-negotiation sessions coming up highlighted by New York's soon to be publicized discussions with captain Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. The Steinbrenner kids fired the first shot warning it's business first time. It's unlikely either will have any difficulty re-signing. No one wants to rock the boat. However, it's doubtful multi-year deals will be offered.

Cliff Lee has been the most publicized of free agents. Texas is interested in resigning their star hurler. It remains to be seen how this team, recovering from bankruptcy, proceeds. Did New York fans ruin Yankees chances of signing Lee? Reports claim New Yorker's at their worst displayed pathetic behavior from beer tossing to name calling.

Starting pitchers will be the most coveted free agent prizes. To date, the list is thin. Lee is the top dog. Jon Garland, Carl Pavano, Hiroki Kuroda and Adam Harang represent the second tier.

Top of the class position players feature Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre, Adam Dunn, Vlad Guerrero, Paul Konerko, Derek Lee, Benji Molina, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Pena. Plenty of other big names and solid reserves awaiting suitors (Jim Thome, Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada, Johnny Peralta).

How quickly teams begin chasing free agents is anyone's guess. Remember last year's free agent class took a long time receiving offers largely due to U.S. economic concerns. Those concerns are greater these days. However, with such a thin crop of pitchers expect teams to get busy early. Lee can write his own ticket. Where he lands is the question. Texas? New York? Boston? Atlanta? Tampa Bay? Time will tell.

Sandy Alderson is in as New York Mets new GM. He has much work to do after Omar Minaya's turbulent leadership and notorious reputation for poor signings. Which direction will New York go? Job number one is signing a new manager. This club needs a leader in the dugout. Mets haven't had an effective decision maker in years. The Carl Crawfords of the baseball world represent the type of players New York needs to chase. Power hitters will fail in CitiField. Double and triple speedsters will shine. Reyes and Crawford? Go hard after Orlando Hudson and this team sets up a great top 3 for cleanup hitter Wright. Pitching and speed is the only formula for the Mets. Anything else is a waste of time and energy.

A serious synopsis soon to follow with team by team needs and player recommendations within the coming days.

R.I.P. One of baseball's top managers passed away this week. Sparky Anderson. My all time favorite manager guided one of the most celebrated teams nicknamed "The Big Red Machine." 1970's Cincinnati Reds baseball featured Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, George Foster and Pete Rose. 1975-76 teams were considered one of the best of all time. Anderson also won the World Series guiding the 1984 Detroit Tigers. Sparky completed his 26 year career having managed 4030 games, recording 2194 wins, 1834 losses (.545) and 3 World Series titles.



NFL Predictions: Week 9

Permalink 09:14:35 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Randy Moss has found another home. Tennessee Titans takes a calculated gamble adding Moss so long as they can get him to hustle. NFL races are starting to take form. We're crossing into the halfway point of the season. It's been an anything can happen year.

Last weekend kept the streak of mediocrity in tact. 7-6 brings the season total to 59-54.

Week 9 (home in CAPS)
FALCONS 34 Buccaneers 17
Bears 18 BILLS 17
Patriots 27 BROWNS 14
Jets 27 LIONS 20
Saints 31 Panthers 6
RAVENS 23 Dolphins 10
TEXANS 33 Chargers 30
VIKINGS 21 Cardinals 17
Giants 33 SEAHAWKS 10
Colts 28 EAGLES 24
Chiefs 26 RAIDERS 20
PACKERS 42 Cowboys 3

Steelers 24 BENGALS 20

Bye: Denver, Jacksonville, St. Louis, San Francisco, Tennessee, Washington.



Football Shuffle: NCAA & NFL Power Rankings

Permalink 05:00:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

The wacky and crazy NFL season continues. Tampa Bay (5-2) and Kansas City (5-2) keep on marching towards playoff dreams. Jerry Jones open apology to Cowboys (1-6) fans won't mean much without serious changes within the entire Dallas organization beginning from top down.

The college ranks shifted early on. Oregon (8-0) retains consensus #1 status. Auburn QB Cameron Newton has been incredible. 15 TD passes, 14 TD runs for the Heismann favorite.

Power Ranking time...

1- Auburn
2- Oregon
3- Boise State
4- TCU
5- Utah
6- Alabama
7- Wisconsin
8- Oklahoma
9- Nebraska

1- New England Patriots
2- New York Giants
3- Baltimore Ravens
4- New York Jets
5- Pittsburgh Steelers
6- Atlanta Falcons
7- Indianapolis Colts
8- Kansas City Chiefs
9- New Orleans Saints
10-Green Bay Packers