Archives for: 2010, week 37


Razzie's Award: Derek Jeter Hams It Up

Permalink 12:05:54 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Derek Jeter put on quite a performance Wednesday night in St. Petersburg. One of baseball's true good guys is taking a beating in sports pages nationwide after faking being hit by a pitch during a crucial game against Tampa Bay for the AL East division lead.

Let's set the scene. Top of the 7th. Derek Jeter batting vs Chad Quails. Jeter turns to bunt. Quails throws a heater inside. Jeter twists to get out of the way. During the live telecast, viewers initially thought Jeter was hit by the pitch near his left wrist. Home plate umpire Lance Barksdale immediately signals Jeter was hit. This is when Jeter started faking it. He keeled over in pain (or so we thought). New York's trainer rushed out of the Yanks dugout to tend to Jeter. Girardi soon followed. After a minute or two Jeter jogged to first.

Give Jeter the Golden Raspberry Award (Razzie). There really wasn't any need to over act (fake) getting hit to the extent displayed by one of baseball's all time good guys. Sports pages nationwide went on a tirade belittling what happened as replays clearly showed the ball hit the handle of Jeter's bat. Everyone on the field except the umpires knew Quails pitch hit the bat. The ball ricocheted off the bat deep onto the infield. Tampa Manager Maddon was eventually ejected after arguing.

Jeter's at bat quickly became a game changer. Next batter up was Curtis Granderson who promptly cracked a go ahead two run home run over the right field fence. Tampa came back to win on Dan Johnson's second two run homer but the talk of the town wasn't the Rays win or sole possession of first place... it was all about Jeter's razzie.

Comments ranging from "Jeter's a Cheater" to you name it were thrown around as if DJ was Jose Canseco. Not the case. Did he over act? Absolutely. He probably should have just jogged down to first instead of pretending to be hurt. How many times have we witnessed batters hit but umps missed the call? Plenty. How many times have we witnessed batters faking it who were never hit? Plenty. So when a baseball umpire says "Take your base"... take it.

Derek's only fault was over acting. NOT the fact he took first base. The state of professional media elites these days is to castigate anyone and everyone. The baffling part is why Derek Jeter? Here's a guy who plays by the rules. A humanitarian. One of the few players interacting with fans at home and on the road. Never a bad word spoken of him by players, coaches or umps during a storied career. A true professional who plays through pain. No boozing it up stories. No drug abuse. No groping stewardesses. No steroids. No arrests, gunshot wounds, rapes, reckless driving, DWI, foul mouthed tirades or disrespect of America's favorite pastime. Perhaps, this act gave reporters ammo they've long searched to "create".

Make fun of his performance if you wish. He deserves a ribbing in good fun. Lay off the personal attacks. Jeter did nothing to warrant condemnation from pencil scribblers who probably never played an inning in their lives. Instead of celebrating felonious thugs masquerading as athletes how about cutting a good guy a break?



NFL Predictions: Week 2

Permalink 09:39:04 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Week one is in the books. It was a great opening weekend. Fans were treated to a few great games. Unfortunately, the injury bug bit hard. Jets lost DT Jenkins for the season. Packers RB Grant is also done for the year. Detroit's starting QB Stafford is smarting too. Plenty of team doctor's are busy trying to get banged up players ready to get back onto gridirons. Coaches are now scrambling to revamp game plans and hunt for suitable replacements.

There were big disappointments to be found throughout the NFL. Perhaps, reality will set in for over zealous coaches. A few reality checks 1) Jets have no offense, 2) Cowboys offensive line is horrendous, 3) Houston is for real, 4) San Diego's passing game may not survive starting rookies, 5) Minnesota needs better game preparations, 6) Jets coach Ryan's team recently nicknamed Animal House thanks to their wild roster, 7) Al Davis should sell the Raiders!

Opening weekend predictions also disappointed. 8 correct, 7 wrong. Not an impressive beginning. Time to right the ship....


TITANS 20 Steelers 13. Big test for both teams.
VIKINGS 27 Dolphins 17. Both coming off unimpressive week 1 performances.
FALCONS 34 Cardinals 10. Big mismatch. Falcons offense snaps out of funk.
Ravens 23 BENGALS 17. Ocho & T.O. need to make this a statement game. Don't bet on it.
Chiefs 24 BROWNS 10. KC ground game to strong for weak Browns.
Bears 30 COWBOYS 17. Bears win line of scrimmage battles.
Eagles 27 LIONS 3. Vick plays huge.
PACKERS 42 Bills 7. Green Bay tees off on terrible Buffalo.
PANTHERS 21 Buccaneers 17. Rebuilding teams square off in mistake filled contest.
BRONCOS 24 Seahawks 16. Broncos bounce back after tough loss.
Rams 21 RAIDERS 10. Will Oakland win any this year?
Texans 23 REDSKINS 20. Don't be surprised if Skins win.
Patriots 30 JETS 0. Patriots embarrass Jets trash talking D.
Jaguars 23 CHARGERS 21. Another slow start for SD. Upset pick of the week.
Giants 37 COLTS 33. Eli vs Peyton. Both top 325 yards. Super Bowl preview? Game of the week.

Saints 26 49ERS 14. Saints find better rhythm this week.



NFL Stunners Highlight Opening Weekend

Permalink 03:00:57 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

NFL kicked off its' 2010 season this weekend. There was plenty of everything from blowouts to final second nail-biters. Houston played a statement game and knocked off AFC Champion Indianapolis. Highs and lows for NFL rookies. Games decided in final seconds, Plenty of trash talking. Tons of heavy hits unfortunately produced potential season ending injuries. It's apparent a couple of offenses looked completely lost and need to rectify problems or 2010 will become a huge disappointment.

I've decided to focus on two teams. First up, the New York Jets. Coach Rex Ryan has been trash talking of how his Jets will win the Super Bowl this season. Jets players trash talked all week leading up to their Monday night home opener. A few players even got into a bit of over blown trouble by catcalling and hooting after Mexico TV Azteca stunning sideline reporter Ines Sainz. Sainz, a former Miss Universe contestant, will soon become the most Googled woman on the internet.

Expectations are high for Jets fans. Perhaps, a bit too high. Defense may win Super Bowls, but teams need an offense to get there. The Jets offense looked horrible for most of Monday night. It's tough to determine if the culprit to poor performances are due to play calling or QB Sanchez. Perhaps a bit of both. One thing is for certain. Not many teams will be fretting matching up against the Jets offense.

The New York Jets are clearly a team of no discipline on or off the field. Coach Ryan doesn't seem overly concerned with lack of team discipline. It showed on Monday's 10-9 defeat. The Jets were penalized 14 times for 125 yards. That's an awful lot of field position and positive plays wiped out by bone headed sloppy play.

Two things should come out of the Jets loss. First up, Ryan needs to crack his whip. His offense is not focused. They have weapons to stretch the field. Sanchez needs some extra time. Games are won on the field. Not by local newspaper hype. Second, drill into the heads of the NFL's most penalized team that penalties help your opponent. It's going to be a very disappointing season for Jets fans. They're no better than a .500 team unless they find a way to score.

The second team which looked completely disoriented was Dallas. Terrible play calls by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. If ever a team needed to make coaching changes....? Head Coach Wade Phillips and offensive coordinator Garrett need to be canned. The Cowboys are loaded with talent on both sides of the field. Their big weakness of a terrible offensive line was exposed for all to see Sunday night.

It appeared Dallas had beaten Washington on the games final play with time running out. Tony Romo maneuvered around Redskins defenders and found a wide open Roy Williams for a winning TD. Guess again. Lying on the field was a yellow flag. Another holding penalty against lineman Alex Barron turned a game winning play into a game losing play. Washington won 13-7.

Dallas Cowboys offensive woes are hard to fathom. They were completely out of sync during pre-season. They weren't any better vs Washington. Dallas controlled the clock. Ran more plays. Out gained Washington by 130 yards. Out rushed and out passed Washington. But, they lost where it counts most. On the scoreboard.

The biggest play during the Cowboys loss wasn't necessarily the bone headed negated TD. It was an ill conceived play which ended the first half. Instead of running out the clock from their own side of the field with halftime approaching, Garrett called a passing play. The plan went sour in a hurry. Romo was forced to scramble and shoveled a short pass to RB Choice who was promptly hammered. Washington stripped the ball away from Choice and DeAngelo Hall scooped it up and ran 32 yards for a 10-0 lead.

For most of the contest Dallas had opportunity after opportunity to score. Just about every key play was negated by penalty. 12 yellow flags were tossed. None bigger than the games final play.

Dallas is clearly in deep trouble. Romo still hasn't stepped up as a team leader. Phillips isn't able to preach a winning attitude into these guys. Garrett has no clue calling plays. Especially in red zone situations where Dallas is one of NFL's worst.

It's only one game into the 2010 season. Dallas and New York have the tools to regroup.



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