Archives for: 2010, week 30

07/29/10

Random Thoughts: Predicting Final 2010 MLB Standings

Permalink 05:55:19 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Get ready for a little wheeling and dealing before baseball's trading deadline expires July 31. Philadelphia just completed a deal for Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt. Imagine how their rotation could have looked if Lee wasn't traded? Halladay, Lee, Hamels & Oswalt. Four #1 starters. Oswalt is a superb addition. Philadelphia is riding a 5 game win streak. Oswalt should be able to help Philly retake first place from Atlanta. It'll be a dogfight to the finish.

A few teams have surprised baseball handicappers. Texas is very strong. Adding Lee goes a long way towards playoff legitimacy. Cincinnati and St. Louis figure to go toe to toe right down to the wire. San Diego's pitching keeps steaming along. San Francisco finds themselves back in the West race after fading. Ozzie's White Sox are finally creating positive headlines. Twins have been banged up all year long. They keep finding ways to win as good teams usually do.

There's an epic division battle shaping up in AL East. Yankees vs Rays while the Red Sox lurk ever so close. Yanks lineup is second to none. Relievers has been iffy. Tampa plays big. Starting pitchers and timely hitting earn the Rays baseball's second best record.

Which teams will be active buyers? Sellers? MLB non waiver trading deadline ends midnight Sunday. Yanks need relievers. Rays could use a heavy bat. If they were smart then Milwaukee's Fielder should be on their radar. I'm sure he's not but talk about a perfect fit. Giants, Padres, Dodgers need bats. Red Sox could use a shot in the arm up the middle. Tigers need help as key players are dropping like flies. They'll have a tough time finding a good deal. It's just a case of bad luck in Detroit.

Here's how I see the pennant race shaking out (as of now).

AL
EAST Yanks, Rays, Sox, Jays, O's.
CENTRAL Sox, Twins, Tigers, Royals, Indians.
WEST Rangers, Angels, A's, Mariners.

NL
EAST Phils, Braves, Mets, Marlins, Nats.
CENTRAL Reds, Cards, Cubs, Brewers, Pirates, Astros.
WEST Padres, Giants, Dodgers, Rockies, DBacks.

WILD CARD: AL Rays, NL Giants.

WORLD SERIES: Phils over Yanks 4-1.

07/28/10

NFL 2010 Preseason Predictions - AFC West

Permalink 02:35:47 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

How will the West be won in 2010? Easy. San Diego (13-3) will run away with the division crown again. Denver had high hopes until reality set in. They're not playoff calibur. Nor is Kansas City and Oakland. KC is rebuilding. Oakland continues to be in a state of confusion.

1) San Diego Chargers S.D. has big shoes to fill. For the first time since 2001 they'll be without RB LaDanian Tomlinson. How does a team replace over 16,000 total yards and 153 touchdowns? Carefully. Running attack will be tested early and often placing more pressure on QB Phillip Rivers to deliver. Future RB hopes focus on 1st rounder Ryan Matthews (Fresno State). A few new faces in place or competing for roster spots. Chargers should have no trouble repeating in NFL's weakest division. Can these guys step up and win playoff games? That's another story.

2) Denver Broncos 2009 was a tale of two seasons. They stampeded out of the gate to 6-0 glory only to stumble losing 6 of final 8. Defense was solid for 1st six, miserable the rest of the way. Offense never found fluidity. Running game was inefficient. Passing game suffered outside of Brandon Marshall. Injuries piled up. Drafting was focused on offense. Demaryius Thomas (Georgia Tech) is an impact WR who will pay immediate dividends stretching opposing defenses. No one knows for sure if QB Tim Tebow can handle NFL pressure. We'll soon find out in training camp. Many question marks surrounding Denver. Probably just another .500 season on the way? Dropping to 3rd if they're not careful.

3) Kansas City Chiefs Chiefs rebuilding in a hurry. Solid pieces in place on both sides of line. Draft secured hard nosed safety Eric Berry from Tennessee regarded as a gamer with great instincts. The only way to go is up after a harsh 4-12 '09. KC has a few years to go but don't be surprised at all if these guys finish in 2nd place.

4) Oakland Raiders Six games in single digits says all one needs to know about how far this team has fallen. Year after year of great draft position has produced very little to speak of except for monumental busts. JaMarcus Russell was the NFL's #1 draft pick in 2007. An abomination on and off the field. He's gone. Replaced by another inefficient QB, Jason Campbell. This team has self destructed from top (Al Davis) to bottom. No help in sight. Raider Nation will not be happy campers in 2010.

07/27/10

Permalink 10:01:12 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

AFC Conference Champion Indianapolis Colts (14-2) completely dominated South division rivals (6-0). Houston and Tennessee had big second half surges for respectability. Jacksonville could be seeking relocation if season ticket sales continue declining. The Colts remain South's team to beat. Titans and Texans aim to challenge for wild card.

1) Indianapolis Colts I'll be the first to admit not thinking Indy would have a cake walk season. They could easily have gone 16-0 if it wasn't for a coaching decision to bench starters midway through game 15. Terrible, terrible decision. A perfect season and momentum was theirs for the taking. 2010 should produce another division title. Manning returns with a team greatly strengthened on draft day. Excellent selections addressing team needs: defense. Will we be treated to another New Orleans vs Indianapolis Super Bowl?

2) Tennessee Titans They were the terrible Titans during first six games of 2009 (0-6) before Vince Young took over in game seven. He resurrected the Titans season and his own career finishing the year 8-2. Tremendous coaching staff knows full well how to get every ounce from players. Sensational ground attack opens up passing game. Defense was taxed early but settled down once offense started chewing up the clock. If they're able to beat Indy at least once then Titans will be right in the thick of a playoff race.

3) Houston Texans Houston fans can only wonder what could have been in '09 if the running game showed up? These guys played tight games all year long. Things were looking up when they reached 5-3 right before dropping 4 in a row effectively knocking them out of playoff contention. Strong draft netted a highly ranked gamer in DB Kareem Jackson (Alabama). 2nd rounder Ben Tate (RB, Auburn) has a bright future if he can handle NFL speed. Texans are a good team getting better season after season. 2010 is a key year.

4) Jacksonville Jaguars Vic Ketchman of Jaguars.com calls this the "save the whale" juncture in team history. Jacksonville's fan base is diminishing rapidly. If season ticket sales don't pick up dramatically then Jags brass will seek relocation. Team play and conduct has not been inspiring in recent years. Draft grabbed solid defenders. This is a team in a little turmoil surrounding coach Del Rio and QB situation. Division rivals getting stronger. Jags lack of ticket sales straining management ability to secure core players to long term deals. Get ready for local blackouts in Jacksonville. Good news as Gators, Seminoles, Dolphins and Bucs are on local tv.

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and.... Rats!

Permalink 08:59:08 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

ESPN's "Outside the Lines" recently reviewed and revealed health department inspection reports from all 107 stadiums used by the MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL. You're not going to like the results unless you enjoy eating rat feces, mold, cockroaches or spoiled (contaminated) food. Yes, the report is that bad.

Now we know why vendors charge $10.00 per beer and $7.50 for hot dogs. Because, there's a little something extra with each and every meal. Perhaps coupons for doctor's visits are in order?

Here's my question. Had these vendors been restaurants wouldn't local Departments of Health shut them down immediately for being a threat to the public? My next question is why only one inspection per year when nearly every major sporting facility has multiple violations?

Commissioners of all sports need to set strict guidelines of vendor requirements. Guess what public? Food prices will necessarily skyrocket. Sobeit. You're already being suckered at the rate of $7.50 for contaminated hot dogs. How about $8.50 for clean ones? Sounds better, doesn't it? Most vendors act independently of teams meaning it's their responsibility, not team or stadium owners, to follow proper guidelines. This needs to change nationwide. It isn't unreasonable to "demand" vendors be responsible enough to ensure proper safeguards and cleanliness. There should also be mandatory bi-weekly or monthly inspections conducted by individual stadiums. So many multi-million dollar beautiful new ballparks have been built at taxpayer expense creating thousands of new jobs and revenue streams. How about looking out for the general public?

How many of you witness food vendors with disgusting habits from wiping noses, coughing or sneezing into their hands right before serving you? How about those 100 degree summer days when we're treated to the fantastic event of ordering food from an over heated attendant dripping filthy sweat on your food as they handle it with money dirtied hands? Delicious thoughts. By the way, servers cleanliness wasn't factored into the report.

Great job by ESPN on reporting. Will anyone act to right an obvious wrong?

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