Archives for: April 2010

04/29/10

NHL Conference SemiFinal Predictions

Permalink 05:30:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

NHL Conference Quarterfinals was an action packed fan thrill ride. There were many great games and a couple of stunning upsets. Montreal knocked out #1 seed Washington in 7 games. Washington's best regular season team in franchise history folded to pressure packed playoff hockey. Boston blindsided Buffalo in 6. New Jersey's coach Lemaire quit after a stunning 5 game defeat to rival Flyers.

Time for the Conference SemiFinal round. Pittsburgh is the East's most potent and balanced. Anything can happen in the West. Boston vs Philadelphia brings back vivid memories of their 1970's era playoff matchups. Talk about a hard hitting series from second to second. Chicago vs Vancouver back in the 70's had plenty of long penalty filled boxscores too. Let the battles continue. Prediction time (correctly picked 5 of 8 opening round games)...

Eastern Conference
Pittsburgh over Montreal in 5
Boston over Philadelphia in 6

Western Conference
Detroit over San Jose in 7
Chicago over Vancouver in 7

04/28/10

Mets Magic Leading NL East

Permalink 08:31:16 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

New York's (13-9) sweep of LA put the finishing touches on a 9-1 homestand. Is the Magic back? Seven consecutive victories enabled New York to climb the NL East ladder all the way to the top. Holding onto first place may be only temporary unless these guys can carry their recently created magic down to Philadelphia for a crucial early season 3 game series in Citizens Bank Park.

The Mets were left for dead by most before spring training ended. Question marks remained everywhere from the front office down to reserve players and coaches. The first dozen games left fans wondering if this team was ready to challenge 100 losses. Injuries blossomed before one game was played. One of those players hurt is starting 1B Murphy. Not a household name by any means but his bat was expected to contribute for lineup lacking left handed pop. Murphy's replacements failed miserably. The Mets didn't waste much time deciding it was time to bring up their future star firstbaseman.

Introducing Ike Davis. An instant sensation was born in Flushing. The Mets won 9 of 10. Defense has improved. Pitching improved. Offense doing just enough to win ball games. Like Ike? New Yorker's are going crazy over their new hero. In 10 games Davis is batting .355, 3 2B's, 1 HR, 6 RBI. A massive improvement over platooning Mike Jacobs (.208) and Fernando Tatis (.214).

New York's seven game streak comes at a perfect time. Red hot Mets players head to play hated division rival and co-leading Philadelphia (13-9). These teams do not like each other. Plenty of barbs traded between players on and off the field in recent years. Philly's lineup packs a mean punch. It's stacked with run producers. Phillies starters haven't settled into groves yet. Anything can happen this weekend. Will Mets magic go poof? Or, does Philadelphia have something to worry about?

04/27/10

Brewers Ambush KO's Pirates

Permalink 05:45:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Perhaps ambush is a mild understatement. Milwaukee Brewers hitters have destroyed Pirates pitchers this season. After only four games vs Bucs pitchers in baseball's opening month Brewers batters have piled up 53 runs. 8-1, 8-0, 20-0 in Pittsburgh. Tonight, 17-3 opening game demolition in Milwaukee. Good grief Charlie Brown!

Milwaukee owns division rival Pittsburgh. 37-12 since 2007 including 22 straight in Miller Park. Rarely has a team been this abused. The Pirates young roster has been given a strong dose on humility. It's sad for Pirates fans now lacking a reason to fill seats at PNC. Pittsburgh's front office must be stunned at April's abysmal pitching performances. Bucs hurlers are walking batters at alarming rates. 88 walks in 164 innings. Throw in 208 hits and it's amazing these guys actually won their first seven of twelve. The tide has turned. Bucs are sinking fast losing seven straight with two more in Milwaukee before heading west to play Los Angeles.

Brewers (9-10) fortunes have been plentiful vs Pittsburgh (4-0) but not good against the other NL teams (5-10). Over confidence and poor pitching led to dropping 3 straight lopsided games in Chicago after outscoring Pit 36-1. The Brew Crew heads west after Wednesday's game for a 10 game road trip to San Diego, LA and Arizona. A big test awaits against three strong staffs. Milwaukee has plenty of hype to live up to. Their west coast swing will go a long way in determining whether these guys are contenders or pretenders.

04/26/10

Baseball Power Rankings Packed with Surprises

Permalink 03:42:59 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Tampa Bay owns baseball's best record (14-5). Secret to success early on in 2010 has been pitching. Staffs fairing well have led their teams to baseball's best won/loss records. The following power rankings are based on 20 games played, not projections.

1- Tampa Bay (14-5) - Doing nearly everything right.
2- NY Yankees (13-6) - AL's best lineup and stellar pitching.
3- Minnesota (13-6) - Finding ways to win.
4- Philadelphia (11-7) - NL's top lineup saving inconsistant pitching.
5- Oakland (12-8) - AL's biggest surprises led by 2.93 staff ERA.
6- San Francisco (10-8) - Lincecum working on 3rd consecutive Cy Young.
7- San Diego (11-7) - NL's biggest surprise led by 2.87 staff ERA.
8- St Louis (11-7) - MLB best 2.72 staff ERA making up for punchless attack.
9- Colorado (10-9) - Solid overall team stats not translating into victories.
10- Cubs (9-10) - Zambrano out of rotation. Lineup scoring. Cubs starting to win.

04/22/10

Rough Opening Week for Veteran Stars

Permalink 04:13:00 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

There's a familiar sound echoing within the friendly confines of Major League Baseball stadiums. Baseball's boo birds are back. It began on opening day in Washington when President Obama wore a Chicago White Sox hat while getting ready to throw out the season's first pitch.

Two weeks of the 2010 season is history. Unfortunately for many star players, their slow beginning is still alive and well. Accompanying their struggles has been the chorus of dissatisfied fans who show great displeasure by heckling their one time hometown heroes. Boo birds no longer reside only in hometowns. The rising success of fantasy sports can very well leave a fan in North Dakota screaming at his computer screen when David Ortiz fails to deliver.

Time for a look at early season strugglers.

Prince Fielder (MIL) was homerless and batting .226 in 13 games before connecting this afternoon. Not quite what fans had hoped for from their slugger who belted 46 in '09.

Grady Sizemore (CLE) hitting .191 isn't quite what experts expected. The good news is 5 extra base hits (3 2b, 2 3b) in 12 games.

Jon Lester (BOS) seemed to be high on most Cy Young prediction lists. He's been anything but dominant (0-2, 8.44).

Javier Vasquez (NYY) it's hard to believe the Yanks were willing to give another chance to the pitcher who was bombarded by Boston in Game 7 ALCS (2004). Javy had a career year in '09. However, 2010 looks like 2004 (1-2, 8.27). New Yankee Stadium's home run frequency will not be a friend to this fly baller.

Carlos Zambrano (CHI) has been demoted to bullpen duty after only 4 starts (1-2, 7.45). A troubling sign for the ace of the Cubs rotation. Get ready for another long year in Wrigley.

Trevor Hoffman (MIL) already credited with 2 blown saves to go with a not so sporty 12.60 ERA.

Frank Francisco (TEX) is no longer the Rangers closer. 2 opening week blown saves cost his job.

Aramis Ramirez (CHI) sports one of the lowest averages in all of baseball (.131). 21 strikeouts in 15 games is cause for concern. Maybe Zambrano can play 3B?

JD Drew (BOS) (.140) is one of many struggling Red Sox players.

David Ortiz (BOS) was once a hero in Boston. Now he's being attacked daily by Boston sportswriters after consecutive seasons of sub par April's. Homerless and .146 BA has kept boo birds active.

David Wright (NYM) is getting rough treatment in CitiField. Mired in an 8 game strikeout streak (14 in 29 AB) while runners are left stranded game after game.

Hunter Pence (HOU) proves spring training stats don't count for much. After tearing it up in March, he's lost it in April (.173)

Mark Teixeira (NYY) owns MLB's lowest batting average (.114). Yanks aren't worried yet since Teix started slowly in '09 on the way to posting AL best power numbers.

Carlos Lee (HOU) had been one of the most consistant year after year. However, 2010 has Lee baffled. 1 extra base hit, 2 walks and .145 BA. Not good for a career .290 hitter with 300+ homeruns.

Raul Ibanez (PHI) went from being '09 early MVP candidate to pure disaster at the plate. .186 to begin '10 has many wondering if his days in Philly are numbered.

Don't go pushing any panic buttons. It's conceivable most mentioned above will enjoy strong rebounds. However, from managers to fans to fantasy players, there's cause for concern even in the very early stages of April baseball.

04/20/10

Random Rumblings

Permalink 12:26:41 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

April is always a big month in professional sports. NBA and NHL playoffs are underway. NFL draft later this week. MLB season is gaining steam. World Cup Soccer on the horizon. There's plenty to keep even the not so active fans eye swirling. Time for another version of Random Rumblings.

NHL
How embarrassing for New York fans. Both Big Apple teams (Rangers, Islanders) failed to qualify for the playoffs. 15 of 30 NHL teams play post season hockey. Rangers troubles were well documented all season long as they failed to qualify for the first time since 2003-04 season. Local papers pointed fingers squarely at the coaching staff.

Islanders faithful always seem to think each new season offers hope for improvement. In the past 21 seasons, Islanders teams have finished higher than 4th place on only three occassions. Isles have failed to participate in playoff hockey 14 of those 21 seasons. Front office decisions have been just short of catastrophic. Making matters worse is failure of Long Islanders to approve "The Lighthouse Project". All in all, New Yorkers will have a long wait before championship hockey returns.

NBA
Local New York NBA teams (Knicks, Nets) can pal around with NHL counterparts (Rangers, Islanders) while most rivals are busy playing playoff basketball. New Jersey lost 70 of 82 games becoming one of five to post 70 losses in a season. Nets have been a terrible judge of talent and traded their stars in an effort to slash payroll. They're $23M under cap and will have plenty of opportunities to chase some of the most sought after free agents. Question is, who willingly wants to play in Newark?

Knicks were in a rebuilding year. They too have slashed payrolls. Big name potential superstar free agents will be given red carpet treatment in an effort to bring their skills to Madision Square Garden. James, Wade, Kobe are just a few names dangled in New York papers. Don't bet on it. However, one can expect the Knicks to tremendously upgrade before 2010-11 season kicks off.

Will anyone dethrone the Lakers? Not in the West as LA will return to the NBA Finals. Which East team will give LA a run for their money in the Finals? Cleveland? Orlando? Boston? Get ready for Shaq vs Kobe.

MLB
Trouble in Red Sox Nation (4-9)? David Ortiz is being raked over the coals after another slow April. He continues to struggle and Boston papers are wondering if manager Francona is giving their former World Series hero too much slack. Starting pitchers have struggled. Their new and improved defense has been flat. Scutaro (SS) has already made three errors. Catcher Martinez hasn't been able to slow down opposing base stealers (14 of 15 successful steals). Even Papelbon was torched recently. Two weeks does not make a season... normally. These aren't normal times. AL East division rival Tampa Bay (10-3) and defending champion Yankees (9-3) are red hot out of the gate. Boston could be cooked before April ends.

Ubaldo Jiminez throws Rockies first no hitter! He shut down the Braves in Atlanta April 17th. Can his performance kick start another slow opening month for one of baseball's best September teams? Time will tell. Colorado doesn't want to fall too far off the pace this season as many teams will fight to the finish for playoff honors.

NFL
Draft day is quickly approaching. Will we be treated more draft snafu's by early drafting teams. Rams, Lions, Bucs, Redskins and Chiefs own the top 5 picks. Which way will they go? All need help in most phases of the game. These teams have a recent propensity for picking disasters. Expect to see a few pre-draft trades as teams target potential signees. Isn't it amazing how cellar dwellers continue making bad decisions with early picks while upper echelon organizations continue signing key contributors in later rounds?

Rumor mill has ESPN reporting new Redskins QB Donovan McNabb would like Washington to sign free agent WR Terrell Owens. Owens and McNabb together again? Really? Shocking considering the well publicized rift between these two former Eagles teammates. Never say never although it's hard to believe first year Skins coach Mike Shanahan would open the door for a player who has a well chronicled history of disrupting team chemistry.

04/18/10

NBA 2010 Playoff Predictions - Round 1

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-Digger's Daily-

It's time. The NBA Playoffs have begun. The best of the best will take dead aim at dethroning reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers. Who will be left standing when all is said and done? Lakers? Magic? Cavs? Celtics? Mavs?

Here's a quick look at how I see the first round shaking out:

West
Lakers (1) over Thunder (8) in 4
Mavericks (2) over Spurs (7) in 6
Suns (3) over Blazers (6) in 5
Nuggets (5) over Jazz (4) in 5

East
Cavs (1) over Bulls (8) in 4
Magic (2) over Hornets (7) in 4
Hawks (3) over Bucks (6) in 6
Celtics (4) over Heat (5) in 7

04/15/10

#42

Permalink 10:09:24 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

April 15, 1947 will go down as the day Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers forever changed the game of baseball. Today, Robinson is being honored in every major league park across our country. His #42 is the only mandatory retired uniform number in the game. Today, in honor of Jackie Robinson, every major leaguer will wear #42. Tributes and pre-game ceremonies will also mark his historic accomplishments.

The year was 1945. Brooklyn Dodgers President and visionary Branch Rickey was actively scouting Negro League players. Jackie Robinson was discovered while playing for the Kansas City Monarchs. After numerous investigative background checks Rickey and Robinson met. According to various reports, Rickey grilled Robinson to test his toughness on many levels, including how he reacted to racial taunts. On August 25, 1945 Robinson was signed to a minor contract. After a stellar season in Montreal it was soon announced he would be promoted to the major league Dodgers club as the first African American baseball player.

Mixed reactions within our country soon followed. Segregation and racial discrimination were very much alive and kicking in those days. Robinson soon received numerous death threats. Often times being treated as less then human when refused admission to restaurants and hotels while enduring racial epitaphs directed at his family and culture. There were a few Brooklyn players who protested Robinson's signing. Branch Rickey laid down the law stating Jackie was here to stay. Rickey had also made clear to Robinson, how he wanted a player strong enough to handle the harsh treatment JR would receive as the leagues first African American player. Robinson responded admirably while enduring harsh reactions early in his career.

None of us could possibly fathom what it was like for Mr. Robinson. Enduring hate mail day after day, crowd jeers, racial divide, teammates not associating with him etc. It was a much different world in those days. And thru it all Jackie excelled (see Robinson's Major League stats from www.baseball-reference.com). Perhaps it was his excellence on the baseball diamond which finally won over most of his team, fans, and respect by Americans. Jackie was a star, patriot and top rate human being.

His first season was a smashing success as he was named Rookie of the Year while helping his Dodgers capture the National League Pennant. In 1949, he was selected Most Valuable Player as he won batting title honors with a .342 average. Robinson's Dodgers played in six World Series during his ten year career. He quickly became an American hero and offered hope to many young African American players around our country.

Robinson paved the way for future African American athletes... and perhaps too... players of all denominations. April 15th will always be honored each season by Major League Baseball and rightfully so. Integration into professional sports and the American way of life was long overdue by 1947. We are all created as equals ... yet, something happened along the way in our nation a very long time ago which created deep rooted hatred of our fellow man. It took many years for racial divides to be overcome and in some walks of life racism still exists today.

Jackie Robinson Day should be viewed for more than just breaking the color barrier in baseball. He should be honored for opening eyes of society, paving the way for future generations, and for what great men are made of by overcoming adversity while striving for success.

04/13/10

NHL Playoffs - Get Ready for a New Champ

Permalink 05:00:49 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Another great NHL season is now history. It's Playoff time! Washington dominated regular season play posting a franchise best 54 wins. They're the odds on favorite heading in. Never count out Martin Brodeur and his NJ Devils NHL stingiest defense. Chicago finished one win from best in the West. Has their time come?

Here's my 1st round predictions...

Eastern Conference
Washington (1) over Montreal (8) in 5
New Jersey (2) over Philadelphia in 5
Boston (7) over Buffalo (3) in 7
Pittsburgh (4) over Ottawa (5) in 6

Western Conference
San Jose (1) over Colorado (8) in 5
Chicago (2) over Nashville (7) in 5
Los Angeles (6) over Vancouver (3) in 6
Detroit (5) over Phoenix (4) in 7

04/12/10

Target Field: New Home of the Twins

Permalink 05:49:34 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Target Field. Baseball's newest stadium officially opened for games today. Minnesota fans are thrilled. Twins ownership went all out and built a beauty. Players new and old, coaches, fans, management, broadcasters and baseball enthusiasts are all giving Target Field rave reviews.

This is how it's supposed to be done. New York Mets owners take notice. Mets might have built a revenue stream. CitiField is far from a "Mets" home park. The Twins build a shrine for Minnesota baseball centering on team history and fan friendly atmosphere. Twin Cities themed foods for quick and easy to gourmet. Spectular action statues honoring Hall of Fame greats Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew & Kirby Puckett. An outdoor, true baseball field. Minnesota fans laugh at the thought of weather being too cold for baseball. Twins relics and artifacts everywhere from original team logo's to player portraits. Playing surface is adopted towards team strengths and is a true field as compared to tiny parks in Cincinnati & Philadelphia. Target Field is a true gem inside and out.

One day in the not too distant future I will make a special trip to watch a Twins game. Target Field is a must!

Magic Man Mickelson Masters The Masters

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-Digger's Daily-

Chalk one up for the good guy! Phil Mickelson was superb this weekend winning Green Jacket number three. Phil's wife Amy has been valiantly battling breast cancer for many months. He's been by her side all the way. Most mortals would fold under pressure of the masters and personal outside influences of greatest magnitude. Not Phil. His concentration was unbreakable.

On Saturday, Mickelson had a stretch of eagle-eagle-birdie immediately taking dead aim at the leader board. On Sunday, he played gutsy golf attacking greens all the way down the stretch. Hole #13 went from near implosion to spectacular triump. With a 2-shot lead, he was stuck between two Georgia pines and had just over 200 yards to the hole. He sent a wicked smash to within feet of the cup. The gallery erupted on 18 when he tapped in to win. Phil was soon embracing his wife as he headed off 18.

"It's been such an incredible week, an emotional week," Mickelson said. "And to cap it off with a victory is something I can't put into words. It's something we'll share for the rest of our lives."

Isn't it amazing. Here's a feel good story of a husband and wife very much in love facing a tragedy no one can possibly understand without living through. He's stuck by her and her always by him. Never a negative word by fellow golfers or written in papers when it comes to the Mickelson's. So how is it Tiger Woods gets all of the attention? The press was so hot on his trail hanging on Wood's every move. So much so tv mic's picked up a mini anger outburst and blew the story into headlines. In the meantime, Phil was steadily gaining steam.

Way to go Phil!

04/11/10

Yankee Legends Set Longevity Record

Permalink 10:57:59 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Babe Ruth. Joe DiMaggio. Mickey Mantle. Whitey Ford. Ron Guidry. Thurman Munson. The New York Yankees are sports most storied and successful franchise. 2010 marks a new accomplishment for the record books.

For the first time in major professional sports history (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) a trio of teammates have now played together for 16 consecutive seasons. Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada & Mariano Rivera. In today's age of free agency and players changing teams at the drop of a hat, this is quite an accomplishment. Had the Yanks not let Andy Pettitte go play for Houston, this trio would have been a quartet.

Yankees baseball is full of tremendous records. Joe D's 56 game hitting streak. Babe's 60 home run season (he hit more than the rest of AL combined). Maris' 61. 27 Championships.

Love 'em or hate' em, there's never been anything on the scale of Yankees baseball.

04/09/10

Permalink 08:33:05 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

2010 FIFA World Cup will be held in South Africa this summer. The world's best players will go head to head representing their respective homelands. Eight groups consisting of four teams/group will compete for superiority... and of course... the World Cup.

Unfortunately, it seems as though the war on terror will soon focus on Cup matches. England vs USA match scheduled for June 12th has been directly targeted by an online contributor to a militant website. Various unconfirmed reports site different potential groups responsible for the posting. I'm not an investigative journalist so no point in mentioning a rumor of an individual claiming responsibility of this magnitude without being able to back it up. However, the threat was real. South Africa, England and United States officials are busy beefing up security training and infrastructure for the match.

American's here at home often take safety for granted. Most are immune from how people live in different corners of the world. Asia, Middle East, South America, Europe. People of the world know full well terror can strike at any momnent. Hopefully, terror groups will never strike on our soil ever again. Unfortunately, unthinkable as it might be, September 11th is a distant memory to many here at home while terror activities continue thriving abroad. And now, a World Cup match is suddenly on full alert.

04/07/10

McNabb Trades Wings for Hatchet!

Permalink 07:31:35 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Season after season NFL fans have heard all the rumors claiming Donovan McNabb was about to be traded. Rumors, bloggers and various speaking heads had speculated of this day for years. Well, after 11 years of high's and low's, Philadelphia finally parted company with one of the franchises most popular players. On paper, McNabb's statistics seem impressive. 82-45-1 record, 32,873 yards on 59% completions, 216 TD vs 100 INT, 3,249 career rushing yards (5.7 average). The one glaring ommission... and NFL Super Bowl Championship for a city that hates to lose.

Perhaps it's time for the Eagles to find a new path. My biggest question isn't why was McNabb traded? Put in simplest of terms... why trade McNabb to a division rival??? There's no good reason for this. NFL teams far and wide would clearly line up for his services. Now, McNabb will not only get to play against his former team... he'll probably beat them too. He brings more to Washington than talent. He has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to education his new coaches about their division rival. He knows their defense inside and out. Offensive tendencies inside and out. Trading McNabb will be debated in Philly for years. Trading McNabb to arch rival Washington has been lambasted from cover to cover.

Washington gains something they have not had for years. A real NFL quarterback. Lack of a leader under center has taken its' toll on this once proud franchise. New Head Coach Mike Shanahan was all smiles after landing McNabb. He has an All Pro QB and can now focus attention on refining draft day strategies. Shanahan will certainly revamp a floundering Skins offense and he has a near perfect weapon to get things rolling. Look for many Washington changes approaching draft day. Not much work needs to be done to turn this group of underachievers into winners. Philadelphia fans will soon regret the day Donovan was traded. As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for!

2010 College Basketball Champions Crowned

Permalink 07:06:17 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Another thrilling NCAA basketball season has concluded. Duke held on for a last second 61-59 victory over cinderella fan favorite Butler. Fitting ending for college basketball's winningest team over the past two seasons (65 wins). Coach Krzyzewski now has won four National Championships. It doesn't get much better for Duke fans. The celebration continues for one of our nations greatest collegiate basketball programs.

How about those Huskies !?! Here's a few quick highlights of perhaps the most dominating team ever. Back to back National Champions. 78 consecutive wins. 4 undefeated seasons. 28 straight wins vs ranked teams. 34.9 point average margin of victory. 34 Big East titles. 17 Sweet 16's. 11 Final Fours.

UConn exhibited never before witnessed dominance by destroying nearly every foe during their 78 game streak of ages. Until.... they found themselves trailing at halftime vs Stanford's spirited game plan. UConn was not to be denied as they stormed back for a convincing 53-47 victory. If you haven't watched these women play you've missed out.

04/02/10

April Fool's Mets Fans

Permalink 04:36:10 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Mets fans should start considering enlisting the entire month of April, not just calendar day one, as April Fool's. Last year, their much anticipated brand new home (CitiField) was ripped to shreads by Mets enthusiasts and local pundits. Soon thereafter, all hopes of returning to playoff baseball crash landed when half of New York's key contributors were lost to injury.

Most New Yorker's were glad when the season ended. There was plenty of talk surrounding potential free agent and/or trade acquisitions. Jason Bay was much sought after in free agency. Mets got lucky when he decided to sign (most of us are still wondering why he chose a losing team over winners?). Not much else was done to fix huge gaping holes on this club. The front office under GM Moniya has been a complete embarrassment. Lack of trades and complete free agent washouts has dominated Moniya's tenure. Throw in an inter-organizational rift between major & minor league clubs to boot. It's amazing how this guy still has a top position.

Now here we are and deja vu sets in on April 1. Lost at least a month due to injury is starting 1B Murphy. Who, you ask? That's right, NY has settled on defenseless, powerless Murphy over free agents and potential trades. Starting SS Jose Reyes has been babied to the point of insanity. He's only started playing/practicing and will also begin 2010 on the DL. Starting CF Carlos Beltran will miss all of April and probably most of May. Even when he returns, it's doubtful he can contribute at full speed.

New York Mets ownership hasn't been smart of late. One might even suggest sending the top honcho's into a corner wearing nothing more than pointy hats until someone explains how to maintain a "respectable" franchise. Don't forget, they were 1 strike away from playing in the 2005 World Series. It's been a downhill spiral ever since. Mets failures have been systemic. One can argue until blue in the face over individual personnel moves from players to executives. This is not the subject of my point today.

April Fool's is here again as the Mets continue failing to field a team best suited for their new nearly $1,000,000,000.00 anything but a Mets themed home stadium. Look at playing dimensions and then take a peak and tell me which lefty hits for power? None. Pepsi Porch may look great on tv. Most likely the only players hitting long home runs to Pepsi will be opposing batters. Opposing pitchers might have an easy go hurling against an extremely low OBA oriented lineup. Mets will probably finish '10 dead last in OBA.

Now, most of us know the secret to success is having a serviceable starting rotation. Johan Santana has been one of baseball's best for nearly 10 years. He's New York's only potential bright spot. The rest are flat out awful. Perhaps the majors worst starting rotation? Spring training is rarely used as a barometer of things to come unless it relates directly to players recovering from injury. Plenty of Mets hurlers are trying to regain their old form. It hasn't worked out too well as NY has a collective 5.00+ team era. John Maine, Mike Pelfrey & Oliver Perez are starters 2-4. Not one of them has an era under 7. That's no typo. None under "seven". Even Santana's been getting lit up (6.75). Do the math. On paper, Mets have a one in five shot of victory per five games (Santana). How ugly is that?

Buy plenty of brown paper bags Mets fans. Better yet, break out those Yankee hats. 2010 Mets baseball already reminds me of their early 1960's losers. It's going to be an extremely long & comical year.

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