Archives for: 2010, week 31

08/06/10

2010 College Football Predictions

Permalink 12:09:20 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Get ready for another season of fantastic college football. Each season the drama has intensified. 2010 will be no different. College pre-season polls are beginning to surface. Time for a little crystal ball gazing to predict the final end of year poll rankings (top 10).

1- Alabama
2- Texas
3- Florida
4- Ohio State
5- Virginia Tech
6- Oklahoma
7- Nebraska
8- Iowa
9- TCU
10-Penn State

08/04/10

Can Nolan Ryan Strike Out Mark Cuban?

Permalink 09:21:24 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan vs billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban. These are two headliner names competing to purchase the Texas Rangers by way of an unusual bankruptcy court auction. It's become a bidding war as both groups of investors keep upping their ante's. According to latest reports, Cuban's group has offered the most money while Major League Baseball had been siding with Ryan's group.

The AL West leading Texas Rangers (61-45) are putting together one of their franchises greatest seasons. No Ranger team has ever won 100 games. They're not on pace right now to reach triple digits. However, their chances of 100 improved with recent acquisitions. Much credit needs to be given to Rangers President Nolan Ryan. Ryan is a true blue disciplined baseball man. Since Ryan arrived on the scene in 2008, Texas finally started playing fundamentally sound baseball. His hands on presence has been felt throughout the Rangers organization on and off field. Outgoing owner Tom Hicks finally made one good decision, hiring Ryan as President.

A group of investors including Ryan seemed on the verge of becoming new team owners. Mark Cuban's name had been rumored as leading another group of potential bidders. Until recently, it was just a rumor. Well, from rumor to wild bidding frenzy reality, Cuban's group seems prepared to better any offer. Legal maneuvering and battles between the groups have led into heated shouting matches between competing principle's and attourney's in court hallways. Procedural actions have been called into question as has qualifying bids. It'll be hairy until a decision is rendered. Bids are said to be in the $520million+ range.

Personally, I'm steadfast in Ryan's corner even if his group doesn't put forth the highest bid. Leave Cuban to his Mavericks. Ryan is Mr. Baseball in Texas. Besides, one of the determinations the judge should be considering is which group can be trusted with the Rangers franchise? A free spending tycoon with no baseball experience? Or, a group of baseball men? Advantage Ryan. Then again, in today's world of greed at all costs... the highest bid may prevail.

Watching the Rangers finally come together on the field has been long awaited in the Lone Star state. Ryan understands what it means to build a team from the ground up. Texas finally has restocked their farm system. They seem to have a grasp on scouting and evaluating pitching talent. Front office decisions and player signings have been very prudent and fruitful. Texas enjoys an 8 game lead heading into tonight's action. Their lineup measures up very well against any team in the league. Pitching staff added an ace in Cliff Lee. Bullpen has been clutch. Defense improving. The Rangers are an exciting team again.

If Cuban's group were to win we could soon witness a free wheeling baseball owner much like George Steinbrenner in his heyday. Cuban's leadership of the Mavs earns him praise in Big D and fines from NBA Commissioner Stern. He's dedicated to his ballplayers. Meddlesome? Yes, but not necessarily to a fault. If he were to install a good baseball man as GM (Ryan already claims he's out if Cuban is in) and then open the vault who knows what will become of Texas baseball.

No matter who wins this crazy bidding process the Texas Rangers are sure to dramatically improve from the disfunctional Hicks ownership group.

(www.allworldallsports.com)

08/03/10

Trade Deadline Dead, Waiver Wire Alive

Permalink 06:56:32 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

July 31 was MLB's official trading deadline. That doesn't mean no more trades can be made by teams looking to beef up playoff chances or by cash strapped organizations looking to economize.

Here's how late season waiver claims/trades work: A player exposed to waivers can be claimed by any team, and if there are multiple claims, the player would be offered to the team with the worst record. At that point, a team has 48 hours to either try to work out a trade with the claiming club or remove the player from waivers. A player can only be pulled back from waivers once, but if he clears waivers either the first or second time through, a team can attempt to trade him to any club.

An intriguing variable included in waiver rules creates a wondrous chess match among major league general managers. It states waiver claims are "...a secret within the personnel of the Major League Baseball clubs; no announcement of a waiver is made until a transaction actually occurs. Many players are often quietly waived during the August "waiver-required" trading period to gauge trade interest in a particular player. Usually, when the player is claimed, the waiving team will rescind the waiver to avoid losing the player unless a trade can be worked out with the claiming team." (Wikipedia.com, "Major League Baseball transactions").

Basically what this tells fans is teams do not know who is bidding on players until a deal is actually completed. I thoroughly enjoy this aspect of waivers. Washington just placed slugging 1B Adam Dunn on waivers. There could be plenty of suitors. Boston lost key cog Youkilis to a thumb injury yesterday. Philadelphia, already without All Star 2B Chase Utley, lost slugger Ryan Howard to an ankle sprain. Anaheim also needs 1B help as they've been playing short handed without Kendry Morales. The White Sox had been actively chasing Berkman, who opted for Yanks, might throw their hats into the ring. Detroit has been bitten hard by injuries lately and need offense. Texas has been busying adding in hopes of advancing to their first ever World Series. Dunn could go a long way to creating a pound for pound heavyweight playoff matchup vs Yanks. San Francisco could use a power hitter too. All in all, know one will know until we know.

Dunn happens to be baseball's first big name exposed to waivers. There will be plenty of others. How many claims will be successful? We'll find out soon. Get ready for more big headlines and deadline deals. Also, be prepared for blocks by teams attempting to prevent opponents from gaining strength. It's baseball's version of poker. Waiver period ends (for playoff eligibility) August 31.

08/02/10

Injuries Mounting in NFL Camps

Permalink 08:25:58 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

NFL training facilities should start posting signs for players reading "enter at your own risk". Nearly every team is facing a rash of injuries. There's sure to be more once pre-season games begin. (click here for team by team injuries courtesy of CBS.com).

Denver lost 2 runningbacks within minutes of each other (Buckhalter, Mareno). Cowboys coveted rookie Dez Bryant will miss the rest of pre-season. Throw in players holding out for bigger paydays, returning from previous years' injuries, plus those placed on PUP lists and it's easy to realize head coaches will have many tough personnel decisions. Another factor will be key players missing opening weeks due to suspensions. In some cases, game plans will be drastically altered to fit players healthy enough to suit up or forced into action.

Last year a few teams suffered through season altering injuries. NY Giants, Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers all had a change in fortune once key cogs were lost. Not only did these three lose key starters but they also endured the misfortune of backup players going down.

There's nothing better than strategic planning in football. No other sport is like it. Play to play is carefully designed for specific opponents. Of course, some plays work out better than others if players fail to execute. Watching how head coaches on both sidelines adjust when sudden disturbances arise is part of the behind the scenes action I enjoy focusing attention towards. There will be plenty of in game adjustments all season long.

Get ready, preseason football games begin this coming Sunday, August 8 when Cincinnati hosts Dallas.