Archives for: 2010, week 39


NFL Predictions: Week 4

Permalink 03:00:00 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

This is the first week of bye games. Dallas, Kansas City, Minnesota and Tampa Bay are off. The season has been anything but predictable. Many expected San Francisco (0-3) to make their stand. Instead, they've yet to win and quickly fired their offensive coordinator.

A few interesting must see battles headlining Week 4 featuring Donovan McNabb's return to Philadelphia against his former mates and a red hot Michael Vick. Baltimore and Pittsburgh bang heads in a big early season divisional game. The Giants try snapping out of funk against undefeated Chicago at home. Capping the week off Monday night is New England visiting Miami.

Week 3 was nothing to be proud of. An 8-6 week brings my anemic season total to a less than stunning 24-21 record. My crystal ball has been tossed. Time to get serious....

Week 4 (home in CAPS)

Jets 24 BILLS 3 Killer Jets D vs terrible Bills.
SAINTS 40 Panthers 14 Brees has a big day.
RAMS 23 Seahawks 17 Ugliest game on paper will be close.
Bengals 20 BROWNS 16 Bengals offense not clicking yet.
Ravens 20 STEELERS 13 Big hits will be plentiful. Roethlisberger back next week.
TITANS 23 Broncos 20 Titans secondary not playing well.
PACKERS 34 Lions 10 Pack attack too tough.
FALCONS 28 49ers 10 Niners fading fast.
Colts 31 JAGUARS 24 Manning picks apart Jags.
Texans 33 RAIDERS 14 Houston bounces back after disappointing loss to Dallas.
EAGLES 21 Redskins 16 Vick has been electric. McNabb hasn't lit up scoreboard.
CHARGERS 38 Cardinals 3 SD romps. Gates has beaten double teams all season.

DOLPHINS 26 Patriots 24 Miami looking to avoid back to back divisional losses. Big game in South Florida. If running attack fails it will be a Patriots slaughter.

A funny thing happened this weekend. Week 4 picks were to auto-post on Saturday at noon. Apologies for the delay.



3 NL Teams Fighting for Final 2 Playoff Slots!

Permalink 02:06:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Atlanta Braves (89-69), San Francisco (89-68) or San Diego (87-70). Which two teams will advance into post-season action?

San Francisco and San Diego are in a heated battle for the NL West crown. Both teams have 5 regular season games remaining. The Giants are closing out at home. They're currently hosting last place Arizona while San Diego hosts Chicago for two more. Then, in true dramatic style, the Padres head to AT&T Park to take on the Giants for the season's final 3 games.

Atlanta has snapped out of their late season funk. Their only shot for the playoffs is via Wild Card. Key players are banged up. Chipper Jones is done for the year. Troy Glaus hasn't started after returning from injury. Star second sacker Martin Prado was just sidelined for the year. Reliever Takashi Saito hasn't pitched since September 17th. They've won back to back nail-biter's vs Florida. Atlanta will play them once again Wednesday before taking a day off to regroup for a final weekend series vs division leading Philadelphia. Atlanta's destiny is in their own hands. Bobby Cox's team leads the Padres by 1.5 games including one in the all important loss column. Wild Card baseball is Atlanta's to win or lose.

I've never been a true Braves fan. As a matter of fact, I don't remember rooting for them at all before this season. 2010 represents the final season in the fine career of manager Bobby Cox. For this reason only, I'm pulling for his club to advance. Division leading Philadelphia won't make it easy for their foes this weekend.

Plenty of score board watching will be taking place over the next few days. Starting rotations will shift daily depending on game results from the day before. No team wants their season decided on the final day. But, if that's what it takes....?

Will we be treated to a three-way tie after game 162? In baseball's storied history, there's never been a three way tie for a final playoff slot. Just when we think we've seen it all.... perhaps another baseball first is in the works? Don't count on it. But, you never know.

Just in case you're now wondering... here's what happens in case there is a three way tie? (click here)

2010 has been a great baseball season. Hang on tight, it's about get even better!



Tampa Bay Rays: Why Aren't Fans Watching AL's Top Team?

Permalink 06:55:12 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Tampa Bay Rays own the AL's best record (93-63).
Tampa Bay Rays offense has scored third most runs in the American League (788).
Tampa Bay Rays pitchers have compiled the second best AL team ERA (3.85) and tied for AL lowest batting average against (.245).
Tampa Bay Rays are playing to earn their second trip to the World Series in three seasons.

Rays All Star 3B Ray Longoria wants to know "Where are the fans?" ( article, 9/28/10). He raises a good question. Tampa Bay has problems drawing fans. Not only at home, but, on the road too. Tampa ranks 24th of 30 teams in percentage of seats sold averaging 52.3% (22,913/game). Usually fans flock to watch home teams fighting for playoff births. A large noisy crowd can often help home teams in critical game situations. Teams in the playoff hunt are usually a hot draw on the road too. Not for these Rays ranking tied for last in capacity filled stadiums (60.6%).

The Rays are an exciting team to watch. They hit, run, score, play solid defense, pitch, colorful manager and bow down to no one. Longoria has been a team leader and one of Tampa's most popular players. He's admittedly a bit frustrated by lack of fan support at the ticket booth.

"We've been playing great baseball all year. Since I've been here in [2006], the fans have wanted a good baseball team. They've wanted to watch a contender," Longoria told reporters. "And for us to play good baseball for three years now, and for us to be in a spot to clinch again and go to the playoffs, we're all confused as to why it's only 15,000 to 20,000 in the building."

He has a point. Here's one of baseball best budgeted teams. Tampa's opening day team payroll ranked 21st in MLB. Only Texas and San Diego represent playoff bound teams with lower salary allocations (San Diego hasn't clinched playoffs yet). Tampa is so desperate to fill seats during the final week of regular season games management has decided to give away 25,000 seats for free. That's right, free tickets.

The Rays financial constraints may very well crimp their chances of re-signing LF Carl Crawford or slugging defensive specialist 1B Carlos Pena. Tampa will also be limited in finding replacements for key cogs in their winning formula.

Who can blame Rays players for wondering why local fans aren't showing up in droves? Especially during a pennant race vs rival NY Yankees. It's almost inconceivable to see so many empty seats when a home team is playing for their place in baseball history.

Hopefully, there will not be any backlash against the Rays most popular player (Longoria). All he's trying to do is rally the troops. Trying to light a fire under fans to get their butts into Tropicana Field for support. He's also been very careful to state how this isn't a slap at fans. It's more of a wake-up call or rallying cry.

Either way, it's time for Tampa fans to step up. Tampa has drawn 30,000 or more fans only once in nearly 2 months. Something's gotta give. Hey Rays fans... keep this thought in mind. Would you like a new stadium? Lack of attendance isn't going to help build a new ballpark. Who wants to spend hundreds of millions if no one comes. Tampa is one of the exceptions to the rule of "if you build it, they will come."


Baseball's Final Week

Permalink 12:21:27 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Here we go. The final regular season week for MLB 2010 has arrived. A few questions remain for certain players and teams ranging from home field advantage, division leaders, wild card winners & the final push for award candidates.

Tampa Bay (93-62) vs New York (93-63) for AL East crown has been an up and down battle for both clubs. The Yanks seemed to have taken a somewhat firm grip on the East mid-week only to lose 4 in a row before rallying to beat Boston Sunday night. They trail Tampa by 1/2 game.

Minnesota (92-63) was the first team to clinch their division and now are in a last week battle to secure home field advantage. They may just do it pressure free as most media attention focuses on TB vs NY.

National League play has followed teams shifting up and down. Philadelphia is NL's top club and look nearly invincible behind a star studded starting rotation (Halladay, Oswalt & Hamels). They'll be tough to beat in playoff competition.

What's wrong with Atlanta (87-69)? Not only have they surrendered first place to Philly, but they're now in jeopardy of missing the playoffs altogether. Not quite how Bobby Cox invisioned his final MLB season. Atlanta is in a hot battle for the wild card vs NL West clubs (SF 88-68 & SD 87-68).

Once again the NL West race comes down to the wire. Will another single game playoff determine West champs? San Francisco currently holds a slim 1/2 game lead over San Diego. These two clubs will go head to head on the final weekend of the season. Every pitch is critical. Whoever finishes second could miss out on the playoffs if Atlanta suddenly wakes up and gets hot.

Baseball awards are up for grabs too. There really isn't any clear cut leader for Cy Young or MVP this year. Here's my revised short list of candidates.
AL Cy Young: CC Sabathia (NYY), Felix Hernandez (SEA), David Price (TB), Jon Lester (BOS), Trevor Cahill (OAK).
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay (PHI), Adam Wainwright (STL), Ubaldo Jiminez (COL).
AL MVP: Adrian Beltre (BOS), Robinson Cano (NYY), Josh Hamilton (TEX), Vlad Guerrero (TEX), Carl Crawford (TB), Miguel Cabrera (DET), Delmon Young (MIN), Evan Longoria (TB).
NL MVP: Joey Votto (CIN), Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Troy Tulowitzki (COL), Albert Pujols (STL), Adrian Gonzalez (SD).

2010 represents the final season of a few celebrated baseball stars and managers. Names such as Ken Griffey, Mike Lowell, Lou Piniella, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Billy Wagner & Cito Gaston have all announced this is their final season. (Ok, Torre only stated he's not coming back to LA but odds are he's done for good).

Stay tuned... the final week of MLB 2010's regular season will be filled with plenty of excitement and emotions. More to follow as the week progresses....




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