Archives for: 2009, week 22


Randy Johnson Joins 300 Win Club!

Permalink 03:05:51 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

All World All Sports

-Digger's Daily-

Five time Cy Young Award winning southpaw slinger Randy Johnson won his 300th career game Thursday night in Washington. 300 wins and 4845 strikeouts spanning 22 seasons. During his prime RJ was one of the most dominating and feared pitchers of all time.

I predict we've seen the last of 300 game pitchers for a long time. There are a few current hurlers who could challenge. Johan Santana (116), Roy Holladay (140), Roy Oswalt (131), Mark Buehrle (131), CC Sabathia (122), Carlos Zambrano (99) & Jake Peavy (91) are the current crop aiming for 300. These guys will need a few 20 win seasons to get there. No pitcher will approach the mark for about 10 years or more.

A couple of pitching records will probably never be broken. Career strikeouts will forever belong to Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan (5714). Here's another of Nolan's records never to be broken... base on balls... walks (2795). Today's generation of baseball focuses on pitch counts so no chance anyone will ever threaten Ryan's records. Cy Young's 511 wins will never be touched either. Back in his day hurlers were starting 40+ games/season.

On the hitters side... Joe D's 56 consecutive game hitting streak seems out of reach. Every once in a long while some one starts chasing. Pete Rose was closest with 44. Ichiro is one player with the ability and mind set to challenge. He's currently riding a 27 gamer and holds the single season hits record (262). I'm a bit surprised no hitter has batted .400 since Ted Williams in 1941.



Baseball Power Rankings '09

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

All World All Sports

-Digger's Daily-

Joe Torre's Los Angeles Dodgers have been baseball's best after the season's first two months. Most teams have had their hands full dealing with multiple injuries or suspensions. Over 100 games remain before divisions are decided. It's time for my non-statistical power rankings. I'm shooting from the hip here based on current standings and personal observations of games thru June 3.

Top 10
1- Los Angeles Dodgers (36-18) Tough team top to bottom. Continuing to win even with Ramirez suspended for 50 games. Deep bench, clutch hitting, pitchers throwing strikes and one of the games best managers.
2- Boston Red Sox (31-22) Winning thru injuries and lack of production from top power hitter (Ortiz). Rotation to get shot in arm when Smoltz makes his '09 debut. No easy outs in Sox lineup.
3- New York Yankees (31-22) Starting rotation beginning to gel which means doom for opponents. Offense is clicking too. New Yankee Stadium giving up homers at an alarming rate.
4- Philadelphia Phillies (30-20) Need to find another starting pitcher. Offense beginning to wake up. LF Ibanez is MVP candidate.
5- Toronto Blue Jays (30-25) Began season red hot before a recent losing streak knocked them from AL East lead. Dangerous team with a great manager (Gaston).
6- Texas Rangers (31-21) It's great to see Texas finally playing inspired baseball. Top hitter Hamilton has been a non-factor while battling nagging injuries. Starting pitchers turning heads. Head hunter Padilla cut today which should boost locker room cohesiveness. Rangers problems will be dealing with summer heat. Team usually fades when 100 degree July games kick in.
7- St. Louis Cardinals (30-22) Winning thru injuries. Carpenter has been great when healthy. Glaus is out for an extended period. Ankiel banged up. LaRussa has been managing his butt off. Pujols continuing to prove he's NL's best player.
8- New York Mets (28-23) It seems as though a different player gets hurt every night. Reserves have played a big part of NY's success and became quick fan favorites. If the Mets could score some runs for Santana then they'd be leading Philadelphia. Mets need to add a big OF bat. Wilpon lost hundreds of millions in the Madoff scandal. Don't expect (m)any trades in '09.
9- Milwaukee Brewers (31-22) If the Brew Crew could learn to make contact then they'd be runaway winners in this division. Strikeouts will always doom this club. Lack of big time starter could haunt these guys in September.
10- Los Angeles Angels (26-25) Vlad and injured stars are returning. Angels have stayed close and I expect them to turn in on right about now. AL West is tough and it's a winner take all division as wild card will come from the East.

Teams to watch:
Atlanta - Just cut Glavine and traded for McLouth. Team wants to win and will probably solve 1B or RF problem quickly.
Kansas City - Had a great April until fading fast. KC is a good team. I think they'll be back in the race once injury bug croaks.
Detroit - It's all about pitching. If pitchers step up, then Tigers will be one of AL's strongest.
Minnesota - Some days good, some not. Bottom third of order are automatic outs. They need to make a deal.
Chicago - Piniella must be having fits as Cubbies play below potential. Aramis Ramirez injury has been a huge loss.



NBA Championship: Lakers vs Magic

Permalink 05:14:00 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

All World All Sports

-Digger's Daily-

NBA Finals 2009 tips off on Thursday. We've been treated to a great playoff season so far and the Finals matchup promises more of the same. Los Angeles (65-17) shoots for their 15th NBA Championship. Orlando (59-23) takes aim at their first ever title. Disney East vs Disney West... Phil Jackson vs Stan Van Gundy... Kobe Bryant vs Dwight Howard. Plenty of headline hoopla flooding airwaves before the opening tipoff.

This has all the makings of an epic seven game series. Orlando is making their first Finals appearance since the days of Shaq (1994-95). LA seeks their first championship since the days of Shaq (2001-02). Dwight Howard is a player on the rise. Kobe Bryant is trying to prove he's capable of finally winning a title without Shaq (0'fer 2).

Here's a look at keys to winning this years title:
1) Point Guards - Rafer Alston (Orlando) vs Derek Fisher (LA) - Alston can light it from downtown. On D, he leads Magic with 29 playoff steals. He'll have to check his nerves at the door and come out ready to play. Fisher is a savvy vet but has struggled during the playoff season. He'll have his hands full trying to defend a younger, quicker, hungrier opponent. Edge Magic.

2) Shooting Guards - Courtney Lee (Orlando) vs Kobe Bryant (LA) - Lee has his hands full. Bryant is hungry to put ghosts of Shaq to rest. It brings back memories of Steve Young trying to win in the post Joe Montana era. Kobe's on his game averaging nearly 30 points. He'll suck in defenders. Supporting cast must step up to help draw double teams away from one of the NBA's biggest scoring threats. Lee needs to disrupt passes to Kobe. Good luck. Edge Lakers.

3) Shooting Forwards - Hedo Turkoglu (Orlando) vs Trevor Ariza (LA) - Hedo plays big. He runs the floor, finds the open man, is a dangerous shooter, and wants the ball with the game on the line. His presence on the floor seems to spark teammates. Ariza plays hard. Not a household name yet but this might change if he keeps playing big game D (27 playoff steals). He'll be hard pressed to continue shooting at 55%.. but if he does, then Orlando is in trouble. Edge - even.

4) Power Forward - Rashard Lewis (Orlando) vs Pau Gasol (LA) - It'll be fun watching this pairing. Lewis has played well. Gasol has been outstanding on both ends of the court (18.2 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 57% fg, 36 blocks). Gasol is a key cog for LA. Orlando needs Lewis (19.4) to take high percentage shots. Edge Lakers.

5) Center - Dwight Howard (Orlando) vs Andrew Bynum (LA) - Howard is Orlando's main cog. They'll go as far as he'll take them. 21.7 ppg on 62% from the floor. A dominating rebounder (15.4), shot blocker (40) and team leader. Bynum will shuffle in and out of the game with plenty of help trying to contain Howard. Phil Jackson will certainly have a game plan in place to disrupt Howard's dominating style. Edge Orlando.

6) Coaches - Stan Van Gundy (Orlando) vs Phil Jackson (LA) - Stan has led Orlando to back to back division titles. He's often criticized but his successes speak volumes. He was masterful vs Cleveland helping orchestrate multiple double digit deficits as his Magic *poofed* Cleveland in the Semi's. Phil Jackson is an NBA legend who has dealt with many bigger than life player personalities in championship settings. He'll remind LA of Orlando's Magic ride vs Cleveland. Biggest message, take no lead for granted. Edge Lakers.

7) Bench/Role Players - In my opinion role players will have tremendous impact and could decide this series. Both benches are very deep and come ready to play. LA's Lamar Odom is the biggest name and must play big time hoops. Transition basketball by role players is huge. Edge - even.

Experience vs youth. Dynasty vs team on the rise. It all goes out the window after the opening tipoff. From what I've been reading most experts don't give Orlando any chance of beating LA. LA to win headlines will certainly fuel Orlando. Late game Semi-Final heroics had to have given the Magic a tremendous air of confidence.

Keys to victory. For Orlando, it's about team basketball in all phases and keeping Howard out of foul trouble. For LA, it's Kobe. If he ball hogs then Lakers teammates may not get into a rhythm. He must move the ball around, especially when facing double teams.

Prediction: Orlando shocks LA in 7.



Florida State 37, Ohio State 6

Permalink 10:15:24 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

All World All Sports

-Digger's Daily-

A quick glance at Florida State's 37-6 blowout over Ohio State might not turn too many football fans heads. Guess what folks? It wasn't a football game. FSU's 37-6 victory was the final score of a NCAA Regional Playoff baseball game!

The Seminoles (45-16) broke NCAA records for runs in a tournament game (37), doubles in any game (15), total bases in a tournament game (66) and hits in a tournament game (38). The score was 20-0 after three innings, 32-0 before OSU finally managed a run. Mercy rule? No chance. Everything FSU hit found a hole. Grounders, pops, liners... it didn't seem to matter according to post-game reports.

Stephen Cardullo (FSU, SS) set the tournament record and tied the FSU school record for most hits in a game with seven (3 singles, 3 doubles, 1 triple). Way to go kid!

The modern day Major League record for runs scored by one team in a single game is held by the 2007 Texas Rangers (30). All Time record of 36 belongs to the 1897 Chicago Colts (soon to be Cubs).

I'll be keeping an eye on when this game is replayed so I can check it out for myself. This ranks as a must see for myself type of game. FSU needs to keep their focus as they advance to the Super Regional. Their coaches know this game was a fluke. Hopefully their players aren't overly confident after their record setting performance.




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