Archives for: January 2011

01/31/11

Power Rankings Movers & Shakers

Permalink 05:54:18 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

MLB
Big league teams are soon to open spring training camps. Get ready for another thrilling season. Teams fine tuning, trade rumoring and negotiating with remaining free agents.

1 - Philadelphia Phillies
2 - Boston Red Sox
3 - Oakland A's
4 - Tampa Bay Rays
5 - San Francisco Giants
6 - Minnesota Twins
7 - Chicago White Sox
8 - New York Yankees
9 - Los Angeles Angels
10- Atlanta Braves

NFL
Super Bowl XLV. Pittsburgh Steelers vs Green Bay Packers. Green Bay 2.5 point favorites. In a few days NFL will crown a new champion. A terrific contest on paper. We'll soon witness how it all unfolds on the playing field.

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

NBA
Pro hoops is steaming right along. One can already tell this seasons' playoff series will be hotly contested contests.

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

NHL
Back to action after All Star weekend. NHL All Star format was anything but enjoyable. At least it's over. Now it's time to regain focus on the season's second half.

1 - Philadelphia Flyers
2 - Vancouver Canucks
3 - Detroit Red Wings
4 - Pittsburgh Penguins
5 - Tampa Bay Lightning
6 - Boston Bruins
7 - Dallas Stars
8 - Washington Capitals
9 - New York Rangers
10- Montreal Canadiens

NCAA Men's Basketball
One major university remains undefeated. Ohio State (22-0) keeps rolling. All others keep jockeying up and down the rankings ladder.

1 - Ohio State
2 - Kansas
3 - Pittsburgh
4 - Texas
5 - Duke
6 - San Diego State
7 - Bringham Young
8 - Connecticut
9 - Notre Dame
10- Kentucky

NCAA Women's Basketball

1 - Duke
2 - Connecticut
3 - Tennessee
4 - Baylor
5 - Texas A&M
6 - Stanford
7 - UCLA
8 - Xavier
9 - Notre Dame
10- DePaul

(www.allworldallsports.com)

01/25/11

2011 Pre-Season MLB Predictions

Permalink 03:57:03 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Spring Training begins in less than one month. Baseball general managers are busy fine tuning their teams via trades, gobbling up remaining free agents and soon to be held arbitration hearings. It's time to take a quick peak at how the standing will look after 162 games. Note, many roster moves will take place before opening day rosters become final. The following predictions will be revamped upon team breaking camp for regular season action including in depth analysis for all squads.

2011 Pre-Season Predictions

American League
East
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles

Central
Chicago White Sox
*Minnesota Twins
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Cleveland Indians

West
Oakland A's
Los Angeles Angels
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners

National League
East
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves
Florida Marlins
Washington Nationals
New York Mets

Central
St. Louis Cardinals
Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs
Houston Astros
Pittsburgh Pirates

West
San Francisco Giants
*Colorado Rockies
San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers
Arizona Diamondbacks

Stay tuned for team by team coverage when spring training ends...

(www.allworldallsports.com)

01/23/11

All World All Sports 2010 NFL Awards

Permalink 11:19:35 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

The regular season is done and results are in. All World All Sports NFL Awards. NFL 2010 was a wild ride filled with early season upsets, unlikely winners & losers, turmoil and plenty of fines. Here's our list of the best of the best from 2010 regular season action.

Team of the Year: (tie) Atlanta Falcons (13-3), New England Patriots (14-2).
Coach of the Year: Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons)
Offensive Player of the Year: Tom Brady (New England)
Defensive Player of the Year: Clay Matthews (Green Bay)
Special Teams Player of the Year: (tie) Leon Washington (Seattle Seahawks), Devin Hester (Chicago Bears).
Comeback Player of the Year: Michael Vick )Philadelphia Eagles).
Rookie of the Year: Ndamukong Suh (Detroit Lions).
Most Improved Team: (tie) Kansas City Chiefs (10-6), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6).
Most Disappointing Team: Dallas Cowboys (6-10).

(www.allworldallsports.com)

01/22/11

Power Rankings Movers & Shakers

Permalink 01:15:27 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

It's time for our first power rankings of 2011. There's been quite a rankings shake-up since our year end post. Baseball general managers heating up headlines with trades, free agent signings and salary extensions. Hockey teams streaking from hot to cold. NBA stars battling injuries, Melo trade negotiations and the battle for league supremacy. College basketball is as thrilling as ever. Only a few teams remain undefeated as the collegiate season counts down to March Madness.
Time for rankings....

MLB
Baltimore has been very active prepping for 2011. Vlad Guerrero is rumored to become the birds newest acquisition. They've already brought in the likes of JJ Hardy, Mark Reynolds & Kevin Gregg. More on the way? Angels made a big trade sending Napoli & Rivera to Toronto for Vernon Wells. Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon are AL East teammates once again soon to lace up for Tampa Bay. 2011 promises another action packed season. Pre-season rankings.

1 - Philadelphia Phillies
2 - Boston Red Sox
3 - Oakland A's
4 - Tampa Bay Rays
5 - San Francisco Giants
6 - Minnesota Twins
7 - Chicago White Sox
8 - New York Yankees
9 - Los Angeles Angels
10- Atlanta Braves

NFL
Playoff results shuffling teams a few notches. Jets mastery over Patriots left New England fans bewildered. Seattle pulled off the upset of the year over champion Saints. League Championship Games on deck. It's beginning to feel like a Green Bay vs Pittsburgh Super Bowl.
1 - Pittsburgh Steelers
2 - New York Jets
3 - Baltimore Ravens
4 - New England Patriots
5 - Green Bay Packers
6 - Chicago Bears
7 - New Orleans Saints
8 - Philadelphia Eagles
9 - Kansas City Chiefs
10- New York Giants

NBA
Headlines shifting from Miami's big trio to Knicks early season success to Melo trade fiasco to league wide injuries. Playoff action will be intense. Right now, it's all about teams returning to full strength and taking care of business.
1 - San Antonio Spurs
2 - Boston Celtics
3 - Los Angeles Lakers
4 - Miami Heat
5 - Orlando Magic
6 - Chicago Bulls
7 - Dallas Mavericks
8 - Oklahoma City Thunder
9 - Utah Jazz
10- Atlanta Hawks

NHL
One week to go before NHL All Star experiment (not a fan of new format). Only 5 NHL teams with sub .500 records translates into one heck of a late season playoff battle. How many would have predicted New Jersey was one of the 5 losing teams?
1 - Philadelphia Flyers
2 - Detroit Red Wings
3 - Vancouver Canucks
4 - Pittsburgh Penguins
5 - Washington Capitals
6 - Boston Bruins
7 - Dallas Stars
8 - Nashville Predators
9 - New York Rangers
10- Montreal Canadiens

NCAA Men's
Ohio State, one of four remaining undefeated teams, is ranked #1 in all major polls. Do they have the right stuff to all the way? No clear cut "best" team in the nation right now. OSU, Syracuse, Duke, Kansas and Pittsburgh all itching for #1 slot. Time will tell.
1 - Ohio State
2 - Syracuse
3 - Kansas
4 - Duke
5 - Pittsburgh
6 - San Diego State
7 - Villanova
8 - Connecticut
9 - Brigham Young
10- Texas

NCAA Women's
Duke holding strong. Connecticut suffered first loss. Tourney time will be here before you know it. Big games soon to determine how final rankings shake out.
1 - Duke
2 - Connecticut
3 - Tennessee
4 - Texas A&M
5 - Stamford
6 - West Virginia
7 - Baylor
8 - UCLA
9 - Xavier
10- DePaul

NASCAR
Get ready for a new NASCAR points system. Nothing finalized yet. Both drivers and officials seriously considering transforming current format.
1 - Jimmie Johnson
2 - Denny Hamlin
3 - Ken Harvick
4 - Carl Edwards
5 - Kyle Busch
6 - Tony Stewart
7 - Kurt Busch
8 - Jamie McMurray
9 - Jeff Gordon
10- Clint Bowyer

(www.allworldallsports.com)

01/20/11

NFL Conference Championship Weekend Predictions

Permalink 09:57:30 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Is it possible Super Bowl XLV will feature two number six seeds playing for all the marbles? It very well may shift from possibility to reality if the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers win on Sunday. Strange but true. AFC & NFC Championship Games will be hard fought tooth and nail games. Time to break down the games.

NFC
Green Bay Packers (6) @ Chicago Bears (2)
(3 pm)
Chicago Bears defensive back Charles Tillman claims Green Bay has the best receiving crew in football. The Bears main focus is taking away Packers QB Rodgers targets and shut down their powerful passing attack. Will they do it? The home team won both times during regular season action. Chicago taking the first game 20-17. Packers won their season finale in Chicago 10-3 to secure NFC sixth seed.

What will it take to win on Sunday? Controlling the line of scrimmage. Packers must protect Rodgers and give him enough time to find passing lanes. Rodgers needs to remain cool in the pocket and play callers refrain from looking for 50 yard bombs all game long. Crisp over the middle crossing routes could provide tremendous gains vs an aggressive pass rush. No one really fears Packers rushing attack setting up a perfect opportunity for solid misdirection gains. Packers defensive front four and linebackers must shut down Chicago's running attack. Another defensive key for Green Bay is to limit Bears QB Cutler's ability to dance out of the pocket. Cutler is dangerous on the move.

In order for Chicago to be the NFC Champ they'll need a very strong ball controlled performance to chew up the game clock and keep Green Bay's celebrated offense on the sidelines. Ball control will also set up great field position for da Bears offense, defense and special teams. Cutler must be efficient by not taking drive killing sacks or forcing passes against a ball hawking Packers defense. On defense, Bears fans never know which unit will show up bringing us right back to ball control & field position issues. Do whatever it takes to chew up the clock and keep defense rested. A shootout is not in Chicago's best interest.

Prediction: All indicators tell me to say Green Bay. My gut says otherwise. Chicago Bears 26 Green Bay Packers 24 in a thriller!

AFC
New York Jets (6) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (2)
(6:30 pm)
In the second #6 vs #2 seed game....
Get ready for a hard hitting bone jarring game. These two defenses come ready to play hard. No mercy. Jets and Steelers defenders are some of the best football has to offer. Both coaches do an excellent job game planning and prepping players for game day. Jets every changing and diligently disguised blitz packages will try to keep blockers and QB Roethlisberger out of sync all game long. Steelers defenders will put a hurting on whoever touches the ball. Success for both clubs lies squarely on offensive lines. Can they effectively hold up blitzers and talented linemen from disrupting QB timing and clogging running lanes?

Jets offense rests on offensive line opening gaps for New York's two back attack. Staying away from often called play action passes will give Sanchez a few extra seconds to find receivers. Steelers will bust apart play action calls. Pittsburgh's defense represents Jets greatest challenge in the season's most important game. New York did pound out a hard fought 22-17 win earlier in Steelers country. It will take fighting for every inch on every play to be successful a second time. Special teams for either side could be the big unspoken difference maker in this contest.

QB Roethlisberger is no stranger to big game competition. I'm expecting him to be on his game Sunday night. Steelers front line and blocking backs should offer Big Ben time in the pocket. Steelers key is finding a way to get wide receivers open. Jets CB Revis rarely falters. If Big Ben beats blitz packages then this game may not be as close as everyone suspects. Many prognosticators expressing how running game is key for the passing game. Not Sunday. Pittsburgh will come out throwing going right after the heart of New York's defense (as good champions always do). Once the Jets fall back, then Pittsburgh's running game will take over right up the middle. On defense, hard hits are nothing new to these players or their wallets. No Jets player will escape heavy hits.

Prediction: Jets are pumped up for this one but will hit a Steel Curtain. Pittsburgh prevails 27-13.

(www.allworldallsports.com)

01/18/11

Hey Patriots.. Win Like Champs.. Lose Like Champs

Permalink 10:51:56 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Congratulations New York Jets! One of football's most heated rivalries was on display in Sunday's AFC Division Playoffs. New York prevailed 28-21 and now advances to play Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship.

There was plenty of trash talking between Jets (11-5) and Patriots (14-2) players leading up to the big showdown in Foxboro. Things were getting so heated in the papers NFL commissioners office felt compelled to urge both sides turn down the rhetoric. The two had split their season series with New York 28-14 in week 2 and New England sealing the AFC East after a 45-3 demolition job on Monday Night Football in week 12.

Animosity between these rival clubs has been well publicized for years. Bill Belichick's post game antics, trash talking players, SpyGate (Patriots illegally filming Jets), finger pointing, cheap hits and on field taunts have become the norm when Patriots & Jets go head to head. When the Patriots win they imitate Jets soaring celebrations, finger point at players and coaches after scores followed by post-game insults. Patriots celebrations have bordered on nonsensical for years. Make no mistake, Patriots have been a dynasty type franchise since Belichick's second season, winning their first Super Bowl in 2001. After finishing 14-2, Pats players set their sights on their 4th Super Championship. The Jets put an end to those dreams on Sunday.

Jets players celebrated victory emphatically. Patriots players were quick to moan and groan of the Jets exuberance. Many Patriots players didn't have the decency to shake hands with their rivals. Instead, they turned an ran off the field as the game clock ticked towards :00. New England, one of football's most successful teams in recent history, looked like spoiled children denied candy. Even post game press interviews recorded Pats players dissing the Jets as classless individuals. The Patriots aren't known for their sportsmanship. A team accustomed to winning needs to learn how to lose gracefully from their owner to coaching staff to players to fans.

The Jets celebrated and gave the Patriots a taste of their own medicine. A classless celebration? Perhaps. But, when New England teams are used to taunting, insulting, mimicking and disrespecting everything New York for nearly a decade then they have no solid ground to stand on after the Jets finally win a big playoff game.

Win like men. Lose like men. Something tells me this rivalry just got turned up a notch.

(www.allworldallsports.com)

01/13/11

In Case You Missed It...

Permalink 07:34:06 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

NFL: The road to Super Bowl XLV has already been great after one weekend of playoff football action. Defending champion Saints were stunned by a well prepared 7-9 Seattle Seahawks team nobody thought could compete. The Saints Super Bowl challenger from one year ago was also eliminated during Wild Card weekend. The Jets and coach Rex Ryan finally figured out how to beat the Colts on a late field goal, 17-16.

On to the divisional round which promises to be every bit as good. The trash talking New York Jets head to Foxboro to face arch enemy New England Patriots. Jets players have been bad mouthing New England all week. Pretty lame considering New York was completely annihilated by Brady & Co earlier this season 45-3. The game of the week could be Baltimore @ Pittsburgh. All four of these teams has what it takes to win it all which only adds to the drama of action to come.

NFC features Seattle taking on Chicago. Bears fans already believe this game is in the bag. Wake up Chicago, New Orleans fans thought the same thing. In playoff football often times the best teams fall to hotter ones. Will this be the case on Sunday? NFC power match-up features Green Bay @ Atlanta with the winner holding an inside path leading directly to Super Sunday.

Predictions: Steelers 24 Ravens 23, Patriots 36 Jets 14, Bears 21 Seahawks 17, Falcons 28 Packers 24.

MLB: After recent weeks of heavy player movement most teams seem stuck in holding patterns. Yankees still awaiting on Andy Pettitte to make up his mind on retiring or coming back for one last hurrah.

Big names from our just ended decade still waiting on contract offers. Manny Ramirez, Andruw Jones & Johnny Damon keep hoping to receive a decent offer before spring training begins.

Baseball's all time saves leader officially retired this week. Trevor Hoffman enjoyed an illustrious major league career. His bullpen heroics will soon earn him a place in Cooperstown.

Speaking of Cooperstown, congratulations to Bert Blyleven who waited 14 years to be voted in. Joining Blyleven is 2B sensation Roberto Alomar who hails from a baseball rich family.

NHL: It's getting time for All Star Hockey. I'm not a fan of the new format instituted for 2011. It resembles a school yard pickup game. No more East vs West. Predetermined team captains will pick one by one until rosters are deemed complete.... "A coin toss will decide first pick with the team captains, joined by their two alternate captains, alternately drafting the 36 remaining All-Stars through 18 rounds. Each team will consist of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards total. For sake of fairness in the draft, the captain and alternate captains for each team will consist of two forwards and one defenseman. Also, to ensure that the final draft picks are true selections and not simply predetermined due to position requirements, each team’s three goalies must be picked by the end of Round 10 and each team’s six defensemen must be picked by the conclusion of Round 15." Is this the NHL? Really? Can someone please explain the point of this worthless exercise?

Stay tuned... more to follow...

(www.allworldallsports.com)

01/07/11

The Road to Super Bowl XLV

Permalink 06:13:07 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Wipe the slate clean. It's time for NFL football playoff style. Four games on this weekends schedule. Three might go down on NFL Films as games to remember. Then there's New Orleans (11-5) playing a potential laugh-er in Seattle (7-9).

Time to break down the games.

New York Jets (11-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
Has Jets coach Rex Ryan finally figured out a game plan to beat the Colts? Manning has his number. Only this time, Indy is banged up on both sides of the football. Colts running game is non-existent. Passing game relies 100% on Manning's decision making. Timing with an ever changing receiving corps had its' share of snafu's during regular season action. Jets opportunistic defense feasts on mistakes. If there was ever a golden opportunity for the Jets to take out Manning, this is it.
Jets will try playing ball control chew up the clock style offense. Indy beware of the big play action pass. Jets would be wise to turn Saturday's game into the LaDanian Tomlinson show.

Prediction: Jets 31 Colts 23

New Orleans Saints (11-5) @ Seattle Seahawks (7-9)
Seattle isn't your every day playoff football team. They won the West by default in NFL's worst division. As a reward, they'll face Super Bowl XLIV Champion Saints in Saturday's late game. Saints shouldn't have any problems knocking the stuffing out of Seattle. Only one thing can unhinge New Orleans... turnovers. Over confidence can lead to careless mistakes. Brees is a savvy vet ready for action.
Saints hold the advantage in every phase of this match-up on paper.

Prediction: Saints 44 Seahawks 3

Baltimore Ravens (12-4) @ Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
Intriguing game in Sunday's opener. Baltimore's defense has been well documented for years. Kansas City is a heavy run oriented team with the two headed attack of Charles and Jones. Does KC have blocking schemes to thwart Ravens aggressive defense? If not, it will be a long afternoon in Missouri.
Ravens offense is efficient. QB Flacco had 25 td's vs 10 int's in a ball control style system. Matt Cassel finished with impressive numbers (27 td, 7 int) but wasn't consistent week to week. Ravens promise to feature plenty of disguised blitz packages.
Ravens defense must win the field position battle or this one might come right down to the wire. Most expecting a Baltimore victory. KC defense shouldn't be taken likely. Their bend but don't break style often stops drives dead in their tracks. Don't be surprised to see an upset, however unlikely.

Prediction: Ravens 24 Chiefs 16

Green Bay Packers (10-6) @ Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
Wild Card rounds final contest is the game of the week. Packers and Eagles both advanced by stunning the suddenly hapless Giants to earn playoff seeds. Packers passing attack is dynamic. Running game struggles. Eagles blitz from every direction causing havoc for opposing QB's. Aaron Rodgers will have a target on his back all game long. Eagles #1 defensive strategy is disrupt the passing game.
How will Green Bay's defense contain Michael Vick? Only one team scored more than 30 against Packers (New England 31). Pack defenders intercepted 24 passes and jarred 14 footballs loose.
Eagles had deep threat receivers and a QB in Vick who can buy time for them to get open. Vick is the obvious wild card in this game of aggressive defenses. His elusiveness is unparalleled in NFL history. Love him or hate him, Vick is a gamer.
This will game will be decided by big plays. I'm expecting to see at least 3 scoring plays over 50 yards.

Prediction: Eagles 38 Packers 30

(www.allworldallsports.com)

01/06/11

14 & Done, Blyleven Voted into Hall of Fame!

Permalink 04:56:41 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Baseball's great debate is over. At least one of them. Bert Blyleven has been voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Blyleven waited 14 years for enough voters to finally realize this guy was a Hall of Famer. Nominee's must receive 75% of votes to be elected. Bert made it as one of 2011's representatives with 79.7% Blyleven pitched 22 big league seasons compiling a 287-250 record, 60 shutouts, 3,701 strikeouts in 692 games. He had the misfortune of pitching for teams rarely advancing to post-season play. Was this one of the reasons Blyleven was denied entry for so long? Say it isn't so. Bly was magnificent in 3 playoff years (5-1, 2.47) and was a member of the 1987 Twins championship club.

Better late than never...

"Fourteen years of praying and waiting and I want to thank the baseball writers for, I think, finally getting it right," said Blyleven. "I've got goosebumps."

Way to go Bert Blyleven! A well deserved Hall of Famer.

(www.allworldallsports.com)

01/04/11

2011: New Year, New Champions

Permalink 01:35:52 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Happy New Year! 2011 has arrived. Another new year will soon crown new champions. Time to play prognosticator once again. Here's quick rundown of future 2011 champions.

NFL - Pittsburgh Steelers
NHL - Pittsburgh Penguins
NBA - Dallas Mavericks
MLB - Philadelphia Phillies
NCAA Basketball - Duke (Men's), Connecticut (Women's)
NCAA Football - Ohio State
NASCAR - Jimmie Johnson
PGA Money Leader - Ernie Els
LPGA Money Leader - Cristie Kerr
MLS - New York Red Bulls
ATP - Roger Federer
WTA - Serena Williams

(www.allworldallsports.com)

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