Archives for: 2010, week 10

03/12/10

2010 MLB Preseason Predictions

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-Digger's Daily-

Spring training is in high gear. Players fighting to make major league clubs are lobbying to get their numbers called. A couple of big time rookies have turned heads with great performances. Pitchers busy fine tuning mechanics in limited action. Hitter's in pursuit of "the zone". Injuries and nagging tweeks caught managers eyes too as they now must adjust accordingly. It's all part of pre-season baseball.

I thought I'd give my preliminary predictions for the upcoming 2010 MLB season. I'll be getting into detailed analysis and final fortune telling after rosters are officially announced.

AL
East: Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles, Blue Jays.
Central: White Sox, Twins, Tigers, Royals, Indians.
West: Mariners, Angels, Rangers, A's.
Wild Card: Boston or LA.
AL Champ: Yankees.
MVP: Teixeira (NY).
Cy Young: Hernandez (Sea).
Rookie: Jackson (Det).

NL
East: Phillies, Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals.
Central: Cubs, Cards, Reds, Brewers, Astros, Pirates.
West: Rockies, Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Padres.
Wild Card: Wide open race. Only teams not in hunt are Nats, Pirates, Padres.
NL Champ: Phils are favorites. At this moment, look out for the Rockies too.
MVP: Howard (Phi)
Cy Young: Santana (NY)
Rookie: Heyward (Atlanta)

There will be some very good ballclubs in 2010. Perhaps one of baseball's most memorable beginning to end pennant races? Great pitching in hurler heavy NL West. Mariners & Phillies caught everyone's attention with big trades. Yankees, everyone's favorite team to hate, aim to match Girardi's new uniform number 28. Pujols back is flaring up. Nathan's elbow shot for the year? Giants restocked offense hopes to put up runs for great rotation. New look and healthy armed Red Sox ready to rumble. My two cents, theories and team by team prognostications soon to follow as opening day creeps closer.

03/11/10

Random Rumblings

Permalink 02:40:19 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Interesting news in the world of sports never stops. Spring training is in high gear as teams take aim at regular season openers. Tiger's saga continues as he practices for what promises to be a media circus upon his return to active status. March Madness is in early stages as teams battle in conference tournaments. NBA & NHL teams busy fighting for playoffs. Retirements, injuries, rookie sensations... it's been a busy week.

Nomar Garciaparra hung up his spikes this week retiring in a Boston Red Sox uniform. Nomar exploded on the scene and was considered one of the games best SS's until injuries wrecked his career. He played during the Curse years. Interestingly enough, Boston traded Nomar mid-season of the Curse busting season. After his departure, the Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918 (2004, then again 2007). A fan favorite, he never got to enjoy Boston greatness even when producing stellar stats. Boston did grant Nomar one final wish by re-signing him this week so retirement as a member of Red Sox Nation could be fulfilled.

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has been accused of assaulting another woman. So far this story seems to be a bogus accussation. Nowadays, athletes had better start picking their friends and companions better. It's not the first time Ben's been linked to some sort of misconduct with female acquaintances.

March Madness is heating up as college teams are competing in Conference Tournaments. Teams on the bubble are hoping strong finishes catapult into NCAA Tournament glory. #1 seeds have had a difficult time holding onto the top spot. It's going to be a great tourney as no one team stands above the rest.

University of Connecticut Women's Basketball won their 72nd consecutive game (33-0 this season). That's right, 72 in a row! And none by less than double digits! No team can even make these girls sweat. UConn stands six wins short of becoming the first team to go through consecutive seasons unbeaten. The Huskies, who have won both the regular season and conference tournament title the last three years and 14 times in school history. UConn improved to 14-0 against top 10 opponents (winning by an average of 26.3 points). The Huskies have won five of the last six conference tournament titles and enter the NCAAs unbeaten for the fifth time in school history. This has been one of the most dominating runs in sports history. Only a fluke can beat them now.

Has anyone been keeping tabs on Atlanta Braves rookie RF Jason Heyward? This guy is a future star. Braves are hoping the future is now. He's 6'5" slugging rookie and plays like a vet. I'm betting this 5 tool star on the rise breaks camp as Atlanta's starting RF. If he's able to keep a cool head then the Braves will be in the NL East hunt all season long. He's my odds on favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year.

Austin Jackson will quickly make the Yankees pay for trading him away. Here's 2010 soon to be AL Rookie of the Year. The Tigers new star to be CF has it all. Superb defense, explosive bat, speed and a cannon arm. Perhaps playing away from inquiring Big Apple minds is just what this kid needs to shine without day to day soap opera chatter.

48 year old veteran Chris Chelios returns to NHL action. The Atlanta Thrashers recalled Chelios and will be on the ice tonight. This isn't a publicity stunt. Chelios can still play. It'll be interesting to see if he can keep up with players half his age. No reason to think he can't. Otherwise, the Thrashers wouldn't be risking their season on a player who began his NHL career in 1983.

03/09/10

College Bowl Games Heading to Yankee Stadium

Permalink 12:38:15 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Get ready for "The New Era Pinstripe Bowl". Leave it to the entreprenurial prowess of the Steinbrenner clan for finding new innovative ways to strengthen their Yankees brand.

Football tradition starts a new chapter of sports in the Bronx. Yankee Stadium will host the Big East's third ranked team vs Big 12's sixth ranked team (after excluding the conferences' respective BCS teams from consideration). The four year agreement to host games gives the New Era Cap Co. "exclusive headwear licensing rights and non-exclusive apparel licensing rights on Bowl-Game-related merchandise." ESPN owns broadcasting rights for both tv and radio.

Another financial home run for the Steinbrenner's and Yankees. Yankee Stadium has a rich tradition in holding spectacular non-baseball related events from heavyweight boxing championships to visits from the Pope. This will be the first time college football returned to the Bronx since 1962. Is this just the beginning of Yanks brass trying to secure future higher ranked games? Or, will the Steinbrenner's be satisfied with the new status quo? Time will tell.

The Yankees empire continues to grow. New Yorkers love it. Yankee haters despise anything Yankee related. There's been a recent trend developing in sports arenas. Bold owners are reaching beyond their respective sports to find new avenues of entertainment. Cowboys Stadium (NFL) recently hosted the NBA All Star Game. Boston's Fenway Park hosts NHL regular season games. Let's not forget the countless music venues held across the country in arena's large and small.

This is a home run deal for all involved. New York is the media capital of the world. NCAA, New Era, ESPN and the Yankees will all capitalize on this deal even in the midst of our economic downturn. Yankee fans can celebrate a new revenue stream which will undoubtably secure what this team has always tried doing... chasing after the best baseball talent the game has to offer.

03/08/10

NFL Free Agent Winners & Busts

Permalink 07:40:14 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

NFL salary caps are out in 2010. Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement between players and owners is making no headway whatsoever. Owners have stated cash strapped ways will lead to massive changes down the road. Not yet though. NFL teams haven't wasted any time throwing big dollar contracts at top free agents. Some teams have been clear winners. A few, big losers. Here's my short list of best and worst moves...

Winners

Atlanta Falcons Improving defense is key if Atlanta wants to become a true NFL power. They took a step in the right direction by signing CB Dunta Robinson to help slow down opposing passing attacks. Atlanta has more work to do before becoming off season winners but at least they're addressing pressing issues for future success.

Baltimore Ravens Welcome addition to a terrible WR group... Anquan Boldin was obtain via trade and quickly rewarded with a handsome new contract. Coupled with Dante Stallworth, these two finally give Baltimore much needed solid targets for QB Joe Flacco.

Chicago Bears Heading into last year Chicago wanted us to believe all they needed was a QB change. They traded Orton for Jay Cutler. Cutler was a bust but is a talented QB who will get another shot in 2010. Now he has help. Chicago's secured three impact players: DE Julius Peppers ($42M), RB Chester Taylor & TE Brandon Manumaleuna. Is it enough for the Bears to catch division rivals Green Bay & Minnesota? Probably not but they'll be much better. Don't forget, new Offensive Coordinator is Mike Martz. Bears fans can be optimistic once again.

Miami Dolphins A team in need of star calibur players got a boost by signing impact LB Karlos Dansby (5 years, $43M). Hard hitting Steelers safety Ryan Clark is expected to be signed within moments. Chad Pennington is coming back as insurance for young QB Henne. More work to be done in Miami but they're off to a flying start addressing off season needs.

Losers

Buffalo Bills Chan Gailey as new head coach. Are you kidding me? With all of the available talented coaches available Buffalo goes with Gailey??? The Bills were rejected by Super Bowl winning coaches Mike Shanahan and Bill Cowher. At least their new head coach matches up well with current players. Buffalo will have to be very lucky if they plan on winning any games in 2010. They need help everywhere from front office all the way down. Current ecomonics begs me to ask one question... who would spend a $1.00 to sit in frigid conditions to watch the NFL's worst team content on losing ugly?

Dallas Cowboys Cowboy fans must love owner Jerry Jones devotion to everything Cowboys. However, he's prone to making moves which work against progress. Jones has vowed to make "many" moves this off season. Nothing substantial yet. Dallas needs to be careful. They have a great team. No need to shake it up. WR help is a must. Special teams tacklers could help too. Dallas hosts 2011 Super Bowl. Jerry wants Cowboys playing in the big game. The best move for this franchise is to scrap their offensive coordinator and head coach.

New York Jets Father's hide your daughters! Jets, a team on the rise, signed a problem child. CB Antonio Cromartie was once a very promising pass defender has been labeled uncoachable and locker room distraction. Poor practice habits, poor tackling and various off field personal issues including fathering seven children with six women in 5 different states (also named in 5 paternity suits in past 2 years). Is this really the type of athlete you want to throw away future talent (2 draft picks) to bring into your home?

Undecided

New York Giants I've always been a fan of Antrell Rolle's talents. As a matter of fact, I was pleased to learn the Giants picked him up... until hearing NY made him the highest paid safetry in NFL history (5 years/$37M). Giants were desparate for secondary help especially after losing so many starters to injury in '09. On its' surface, Rolle's contract is way over priced. All will be forgotten and big money contract will be a bargain if Giants reach NFC Championship. There's more work to be done if this franchise has Super dreams (pass rusher, linebackers, WR's and special teams).

More to follow as NFL teams get ready for draft day.