Thursday, November 29, 2007

Delmon Traded - Coaching Carousel

So one of my favorite Devil (yes I did say devil) Rays was traded yesterday in a six player swap with the Minnesota Twins. Right Fielder Delmon Young was traded along with Brendan Harris and minor leaguer Jason Pridie for pitcher Matt Garza, shortstop Jason Bartlett and minor pitcher Eduardo Morlan. Delmon had a great rookie season for our team in St. Pete if you take out the time he had to play center field in between Rocco Baldelli and B.J. Upton's injuries. Young hit .288 with 13 home runs and 93 RBI. Harris had a pretty good year hitting .286 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI. I really hope the Twins don't expect Delmon to replace Torii Hunter in center field, otherwise they are in for a rude awakening. He's a good right fielder with a cannon arm, a solid bat, and decent speed. Harris is your perfect utility infielder in that he can play all four positions and provide good speed on the bases as well as a solid bat.

Garza is one of the Twins prized pitching prospects and went 5-7 with a 3.69 ERA. The 24-year-old is a good compliment to Kazmir and Shields in the rotation. Bartlett plays good defense but only hit .265 with five home runs and 43 RBI. He also stole 23 bases. As far as the minor leaguers only time will tell if either of them even make it to the show.

With baseball in Hot Stove Season, Black Monday passes as college football goes through transistions with coaches all over the country getting fired, "resigning," or moving on to bigger and better jobs. In less than a week 10 coaches have been relived of their duties and there may be more to follow. Dennis Franchione is gone for Texas A&M but everyone saw that one coming like a hurricane in the Atlantic. The same can be said for Bill Callahan at Nebraska. Mike Sherman is already in place at A&M but I'm not sure how much he'll chnage the culture in College Station. In Lincoln Tom Osborne decided he will just go out on his own and recruit for the Huskers like he used to except he will choose the coach later probobly from the duo of former quarterback Turner Gill or LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini.

Ed Orgeron was fired from Ole Miss after receiving a vote of confidence form the school president in the middle of the season. Orgerson did go 10-25 as the coach in three years and will probobly head back to being someone's defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, something he excels at.

Speaking of Ole Miss, Houston Nutt resigned from Arkansas on Monday and was the new Ole Miss coach by Tuesday. After all of the off-season turmoil (Mitch Mustain and the Springdale players transfer, offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn left, and his infamous text messaging before games) this was another forgone conclusion. Nutt did it the right in that he can say he was never fired, get a nice payment to leave, and then pick up a job in the same conference and if he's lucky, can stick it to his old team time and time again.

Joe Novak at Northern Illinois was also axed, but I only mentioned this because some hot coordinator could parlay this job into a big job opening.

Ted Roof at Duke. Not suprised either. 6-45 isn't good when the hoops team continually goes 45-6 in the same span of time. It is a lot easier to recruit three gusy that can get into your school and 20 each season. Word on the street is Steve Spurrier may want to go back to the school he made successful and hasn't been since he left.

Chan Gailey is gone and so are many of the players he recruited this year. He does have Calvin Johnson to show for his time there, but he also has Reggie Ball. Gailey will surface as someone's coordinator next year either in the show or in college.

Jeff Bower was let go after 17 seasons at Southern Miss. Good luck finding their next coach. Bower ahd 15 winning seasons there and no one is goin to be there long enough to make waves. After any success whoever they hire will jump to another job.

Sonny Lubick left Colorado State after years of mediocrity and Washington State got rid of Bill Doba who took over for Mike Price. Two bad jobs that will be lucky if they find somone to pull them out of the garbage.

I'm sure more changes will occur after next weeks championship games and into bowl season, we'll just have to wait and see what they are.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I know I"m late but its always a sad day when someone dies too young. Redskins Pro Bowl Safety Sean Taylor died early this morning after being shot in his Miami home Sunday night. He was 24.

The first time I saw Sean Taylor was during the Florida State Football Championships in 2000. My Venice team was playing Friday night and his Gulliver Prep team played Saturday afternoon. He was bigger than everyone else on the field it seemed like and he ran the ball, caught all five passes his team completed and played defense. He was every where for that team and led them to the 2A championship. My brother Nejay said to watch where this guy ends up, he's that much better than everyone out there.

My next memory of Taylor is as a sophomore safety at UM. After losing three first round picks from their defensive backfield, Taylor and his new backfield mates kept the tradition going of lockdown corners and playmaking safeties. During the 2002 FSU-UM game Taylor made a hit on Nole receiver P.K. Sam that Sam never recovered from that season. As Sam went over the middle he caught a pass and was immediately helicoptered by Taylor. I enjoy Stanford Samuels' hit on Roscoe Parrish the next year but Taylor's on Sam was just as ferocious. Taylor also for some reason was Chris Rix's favorite receiver during those games. The most impressive thing about Taylor was that in that 2002 season, he was bigger than all three of UM's starting linebackers, two of which were first round picks.

Taylor was the fifth overall pick to the Redskins after an All-American career at Miami. He was the new breed of safety. There weren't and still aren't safeties out there like him. He was big (6'3 230 pounds), ran and covered like a corner, and was one of the most violent hitters on the field. The Redskins defense is a different team with him on the field. Watch the Dallas game without him playing and the Cowboy recievers are running wild. With Taylor in there teams didn't venture in the middle for catches for fear of losing players.

My thoughts are with his family and his team.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ovinton J'Anthony Mayo and more college hoops

After last night's football game (yes the one my team blew), I stayed up late to watch USC play Southern Illinois and get my first look at Trojan super frosh O.J. Mayo. Thanks to Tim Floyd I had to stay up an extra half hour because he didn't start Mayo, or sophomore Taj Gipson for that matter. When Mayo finally did come in I liked the way he played but he didn't do anything that made me get up out of my seat and go crazy (which I tend to do a lot during a good game). I am forgoing sleep to catch west coast games like I always do but I need to send a memo to the coaches out there to play good games so its worth my while, and anyone else on this coast that stays up.

Speaking of hoops, at least FSU's mens hoops team decided to show up and beat the Gators 65-51. I wasn't sure what Coach Ham's guys had in the bag after losing to Cleveland State, but the senior laden backcourt needs it to continue.

Another thing I like about this season is that the other four of the Big Bowl Six Conferences (Big Bowl Six - ACC, SEC, Big 12, Pac-10, Big East and the Big 11) are pitting their teams against each other in showcases like the Big 11/ACC Challenge. The Big 12 and Pac-10 are starting a Hardwood Series, and the SEC and Big East are having a Showdown. Everybody benefits from these showcases. We the fans get to benefit because instead of the normal early season blowouts we get innter conference matchups and the teams get to get good wins on their tournament resumes. Enjoy this week as the ACC and Big 11 kick it off. Wake Forest got the ACC off to a good start with a win at Iowa. Tomorrow features these matchups - GT at Indiana, Wisconsin at Duke, Purdue at Clemson, Northwestern at UVA and my Noles get to host Minnesota. Enjoy the next three weeks of good matchups as college hoops heats up and that other season that I refuse to talk about comes to a close.

Can I get a Football Win this Weekend

All I asked for last week was to get a win out of one my team's in big games this weekend and neither one of them delivered. FSU got crushed and it was not close ant any point in the game. I wanted the linebackers that did all of the talking in the time leading up to the game to make plays and they made none. Everytime the Gators needed a play they made it and FSU's offense drove down the field but kept having to settle for Gary Cismesia field goals. Cismesia provided the only bright spot hittinga 60 yard field goal.

The Eagles had many chances to win Sunday Night's game until A.J. Feeley made a terrible decision. Philly had been killing the Pats with in cuts all night but Feeley went deep at the wrong time. Late in the game with the Eagles drving Feeley went up top on Asante Samuel who picked off the pass to seal the victory. The Pats looked vulnerable and the Eagles have written the blueprint on how to beat the Pats.

After these two games I have finally moved on from football season and conceded that I am doomed to another long summer of hope that one of them will get it together.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

College Hoops

I have been raving about how happy I am that the NBA has returned, but realized last night that the games are hardly ever on. Furthermore, college hoops is where its at. Most of the time we are subjected to early season blowout games but last night was enjoyable.

Duke played Illinois in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational while number 1 UCLA played number 11 Michigan State. I watched the entire Duke game but only made it to half time of the UCLA-MSU game. Some of the things I did see were that Kevin Love is for real. I read all of the magazines and hear all of the hype surrounding him but I am one that has to see it with my own eyes. Love has a complete game. I haven't seen Michael Beasley of Kansas St. yet but Love so far is the best big man in the freshman class. In last night's game, Love at one point had 9 of his team's 13 points on an array of moves: he hit a short face up jumper, a jump hook, some free throws, and the one that impressed me the most a face up, dribble drive to the bucket from outside the three-point line. I'm excited to watch more college hoops the rest of the season, but I'm not sure how good FSU's hoops team will be.

For anyone to say that television doesn't have a Duke bias I will use this morning's highlights between Mike & Mike segments. Between their talking segments they show highlights from games from the night before and with all the college games played last night, the only highlights shown were from number 10 Duke against unranked Illinois. Number 20 Oregon was upset last night, no highlights. The UCLA-MSU game I mentioned featured two highly ranked teams but there were no highlights from that game either. I don't hate Duke like most people, I actually find them entertaining to watch, but ESPN is adding to the people that hate them.

Speaking of Duke, the team played better defense when freshman Nolan Smith was in the game and not Greg Paulus. Paulus is the veteran and knows the system but the game changed when Smith came in and upped the defensive pressure on Illinois point guards. Kyle Singler, I'm not sold yet. He's supposed to be in the Love, O.J. Mayo, Michael Beasley, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose class of freshmen but I don't see it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Jimmy is MVP

I said it right after the season ended that Jimmy Rollins is the MVP and I'm happy my guy won. Yes I'm a homer but I still think he deserved the award over Matt Holliday. Yes Holliday's team beat Rollins's team in the playoffs but the MVP is a regular season award. Both players had stellar seasons (Rollins hit .294, 30 HR, 38 2B, 20 3B, 94 RBI and stole 41 bases while playing every single game and winning the Gold Glove at shortstop; Holliday hit .340, 36 HR, 50 2B, 6 3B, 137 RBI and stealing 11 bases, he also led the league in total bases). Both were great but I'm happy Jimmy got the nod.

I was wrong about Monday Night Football this week. I was sure that the Titans would just turn around and hand the ball off but with the big plays the Broncos kept getting, Tennessee couldn't do that. Brandon Stokely caught a 49 yard Td pass from Jay Cutler and Glenn Martinez had an 80 yard punt return. Denver was able to ite themselves for the first in the AFC West with San Diego at 5-5. That's a terrible division as they have no winning teams. Mike Shanahan continues to churn out running backs. Monday Night's edition was Andre Hall, the former South Florida running back scoring his first career touchdown on a 62 yard run.

The NFC West is in terrible too and has one winning team in the 6-4 Seahawks. I don't think that will last that long and the Cardinals at 5-5 still have a chance to overtake them.

All the Bucs fans are happy but the NFC South stinks. The Bucs picked a good time for everyone in the division to have misfortune. I don't want them to keep winning but I'm happy for Jeff Garcia after the way my team dumped him in Philly.

Speaking of Philly, it would make my year for them to knock of the Pats in New England on Sunday night. I believe it can happen if they can shorten the game and Jim Johnson's D gets to Brady. Easier said than done.

I wish the FSU LBs would just be quiet. I appreciate their confidence and willingness to want to stop Tebow but make it happen on the field. Let your play do the talking. I really want Geno Hayes and Dekoda Watson to back it up. If I had to choose one victory to get from the weekend I want the Noles to beat the Gators.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Field Goals Aren't Reviewable

I know William McConnell is very happy about the result of the Browns-Ravens game from Sunday. After Phil Dawson's kick was originally called no good, replay showed that the ball actually hit the support through the uprights and bounced back. While the referee didn't actually go under the hood to review it, the play was still reviewed and the reversed. The Baltimore players were changing and already in the locker room when they were told that they would have to play overtime. Right then I know the Ravens had no chance. When a player takes himself out of the game mode its really hard to turn it back on. For example, in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl the Hurricanes players had already dumped water on their coach and were celebrating their win when the flag came out. Now they have to get ready to play again against a team that has new life. I guess you got lucky again William.

What's wrong with the Colts? I know they're banged up but 13 points against the Chiefs at home? The second straight game Peyton doesn't have a TD pass. I agree a W is a W but two weeks ago the Colts should have beaten New England and now the Pats have distanced themselves even further.

I think Bobby Petrino has given up on the Falcons this season and is waiting to land Brian Brohm. There is no reason for him to be playing Byron Leftwich instead of Joey Harrington. They both are bad but Harrington has been better. Right now the Falcons are just a bad football team and it may be a while before they can fix it.

I still can't believe the Packers are 9-1. I have been impressed with their defense but not with much else. Favre is playing better than in previous years but I don't think they will make much noise in the playoffs.

The Steelers and Jags are both 7-3 now but I still don't think they're in a class with the Pats. After watching the Steelers lose to the Jets they don't have what it takes to beat the Pats or Colts for that matter. I really liked Big Ben after last week but yesterday he didn't make the plays he made the week before and the Jets D shut Willie Parker down.

By the way, did you see Pittsburgh giving Leon Washington the Devin Hester treatment? Maybe Josh Cribbs from the Browns needs to added to the list. The Ravens kicked to him twice late in the game and he killed them.

As for the Jags, their D held LT to 62 yards without Marcus Stroud. They will only play better when he gets back and with the way they run the football they could beat anyone.

I'm never one to say a pro athlete is under paid but Brian Westbrook has a point. He is the Eagles best player and only offensive playmaker. He plays hurt and he puts up yards and points. His latest contract is for $25 million but he has probobly out performed the deal compared to what other starting running backs are making.

In the Monday nighter I see the Titans beating the Broncos. For two reasons, Tennessee runs the ball well and Denver can't stop the run. The second reason is the Titans D is nasty and will give Jay Cutler fits. I think the score will be 23-10.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Football this weekend

Another one of my friends decided to get married so my football watching on Saturday was limited but I managed to watch FSU play and the Michigan-Ohio State games while treating the soon to be married man to a last second lunch at Hooters. Congratulations Gavin and Katie.

So after I point out that Big 12 should be smiling right now Oklahoma goes out and loses to Texas Tech. The Sooners will still most likely play in the conference championship game but if they beat the North representative then the Big 12 will not have a rep in the title game. I haven't gotten to watch Red Raider freshman Michael Crabtree but after seeing last night's highlights he is the real deal. I thought his numbers were a product of the system but he is outstanding.

Michigan lost to the Buckeyes again and Lloyd Carr is apparantly going to retire. The Les Miles talk can start now. I'm not as sold as most that he is automatically leaving LSU but I do understand why people say he is. He played there, he's a Schembechler guy, he coached there but he would be leaving a lot of talent at LSU. Plus, if he wins the National Title, does he just up and leave? He would have lots of great recruits coming in and a talented team coming back. Maybe the pull of coaching at his alma mater would be too much for him to say no to. I only want Michigan fans to understand that it's not a slam dunk that Les Miles will be their next coach.

The more I watch Preston Parker the more I like him. My buddy Josh who was at the game said it perfectly, Parker is a poor man's Percy Harvin. With Antone Smith, Jamaal Edwards and Russell Ball all hurt Jimbo Fisher decided to turn to Parker as the main running back. Yes he put the ball on the ground a few too many times but he still ran for more than 100 yards and scored a TD. I'm hoping next week's matchup against UF goes in my favor. I'll be there and I don't want to have to deal with any UF people. The Noles already lost to Miami this year and I don't want to lose to both of our rivals in the same year.

I oly got to see parts of the BC-Clemson game but it was an instant classic. Matt Ryan continually leads the Eagles back and now they will be playing the winner of the Commonwealth Cup (UVA vs VT) for the conference championship in Jacksonville.

I'm happy the Eagles won today but #5 got hurt again. I'm getting nervous with all of the trade talk anyway but maybe the Eagles have the right idea.

I'm really happy the NBA season has started but not happy that the Celtics are still undefeated. Boston people don't deserve all of this winning. The Sixers have given me no hope for this season. They have Andre Iguodala and nothing else.

More to come tomorrow and I promise I will be better about posting.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm Back After a Long Delay

So I'm sorry for not posting as much as I should but I think that I have been able to correct my computer problems. I know I missed a lot in the last few weeks (Adrian Peterson's record game, the Antonio Cromartie coming out party, Tim Tebow's 7 TD game, College Gameday at some Division III school, and a lot of hockey check that I always miss hockey) I can only pick up from where yesterday left off.

Three big stories in one day. #2 Oregon loses QB Dennis Dixon and then a shot at the National Title last night losing to Arizona 34-24; A-Rod re-signs with the Yanks for $275 million; and the granddaddy of them all the Feds finally brought charges against Barry Bonds.

Barry's career is over. He had a lot of baggage to deal with anyway and now that he's been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, his talent can't overcome the headaches he causes. I don't know if I said this before but what bothers me about Bonds is not the he was a jerk to everyone, not that he blew to the size of the Incredible Hulk and broke the home run record, it's that he was so good before all of the steroid talk. He was the definition of a five-tool player. His first MVP season in 1990 he hit .301, 33 home runs, 114 RBI and stole 52 bags while winning his first of eight Gold Gloves. His second MVP in 1992 he hit .311, 34 HR,103 RBI, and stole 34 bases. 1996 he had a 40/40 season, 42 HR/40 SB; and in 1998 (I call this the jealousy season where he was mad at Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa for getting all of the pub) he hit .303 with 37 HRs and drove in 122 runs. In 2001, he hit 73 home runs way above his career high of 49. He's the only player to hit 500 homeruns and steal 500 bases and all of this was before the steriod talk started. So I mad one of the best players in history tainted his already amazing numbers by becoming greedy and jealous. My question now is what changed from what the Feds already had to yesterday? I don't think Greg Anderson sang but he may have gotten sick of sitting in jail.

I'm not even going to devote much time to A-Rod. 10 years/275 million. Less than what Scott Boras his agent wanted to get him but more than he was making. The news is that the Yankees offered Mike Lowell a four year deal to play first base but I don't think he'll leave Boston.

Oregon marked the fifth time this season that the #2 team lost joining USF, BC, Cal and USC. I didn't start watching the game until the third quarter (I was at a wedding rehearsal dinner, that's a decent excuse) and checked my phone on the way back home from Sarasota. My man Josh sent me a message that Dixon was hurt and that Oregon had no hope. Dixon scored on a 39 yard run in the first quarter but later hurt the same knee he sprained against Arizona State. Dixon fell to the turf without being touched and the Ducks shot at a national title fell with him. I felt bad watching Brady Leaf (yes Ryan's little brother) try to bring the Ducks back but only hearing that he was just Ryan's brother and isn't that good. Now Brady didn't play that well but give the guy a shot. Just cause his brother is crazy doesn't mean he is. The Big 12 celebrated huge last night as now they're in the driver's seat to have one of their teams in the title game.

Oklahoma has Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and then the Big 12 Championship Game left; Kansas plays Iowa St. this Saturday and Missouri plays Kansas St. Next Saturday Missouri and Kansas play each other for a shot at the Sooners in the title game. The winner of the Big 12 championship will then probobly play for the National Title. If some how all of the Big 12 beats up on each other and someone loses to a team they aren't supposed to, Ohio State can beat Michigan this weekend and sneak in. Or Arizona State can win out and get a shot. I'm still not a fan of the BCS, but it has made every Saturday an entertaining one.

The WAC commissioner is licking his chops. Its highly unlikely, but if high ranked teams keep falling Hawaii and Boise St. may get into the BCS. Right now Hawaii is ranked 13th and BSU 17th. They have a matchup next week and the winner will probobly crash the BCS as long as they don't lose the game after that one. Hawaii will be playing Nevada at 11 tonight, so you can stay up late to watch ro just catch the end after you get home from a night out. Colt Brennan makes all of the games entertaining.

Lastly, my high school alma mater Venice has a home playoff game tonight against Cape Coral so let's hope Coach Peacock and the boys can get the W.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My computer

Sorry for the length between posts but I will have to take a hiatus until I can get my computer fixed. I will let you know when I'm back up and running

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Weekend in Football

Where do I begin? I need to get better about doing this as the games are happening.

First of all I didn't get to watch as much ball Saturday as I would have liked. The wedding tour made a stop in Venice for my boy Brad to get married. I did manage to watch the FSU game.

I'm elated that FSU decided to show up and ball in Boston on Saturday night. Many critics thought the game was a speed bump in BC's run but the Noles proved otherwise. The offense finally showed consistency and Drew Weatherford made me eat crow by having a big game and coming up with the plays when they needed them. Even better was seeing my favorite Nole Geno Hayes seal the game with the pick 6.

There is a lot of space on the USF bandwagon these days. After peaking at number 2 the Bulls have crashed back down to Earth and may be relegated to a second tier bowl game again. It seemed that everytime I looked up the Bulls were turning the ball over. I have been skeptical of Matt Grothe for a long time and while I like him a lot he has a lot of growing up to do. He can't keep making the same mistakes. What would really help him out is if they Bulls got a running game. Between Mike Ford, Jamar Taylor and Ben Williams one of those guys have to start carrying the load.

Dennis Dixon is the truth. All the talk of him not being ready becuase he played baseball this summer is taking a backseat to the stellar perfromances he puts on every Saturday. With the help of Jonathan Stewart the Ducks offense may have a shot to get into the National Championship if they can get a little help from the teams above them.

The Gators looked ok and whoever's decision it was to move Mike Pouncey to defense made a good one. He brings nice energy to the defense. And Percy Harvin is amazing. I'm talking to my dad while he was at the game and all of a sudden the conversation stops when Harvin got the ball. Everytime he has the ball I can't look away because he could do something special. It pains me that he is only a sophomore and the Noles have to deal with him this year and next year.

Darren McFadden just put himself back in the Heisman race. His 300 yard game on Saturday was absurd and to think that sidekick Felix Jones also ran for 100 yards also. Both backs are over 1000 yards again this season. With Arkansas not being that good this season I thought McFadden wouldn't have a chance to win the trophy but the definition of the award is the most outsanding player and D-Mac has been that.

As I said before I didn't get to watch a lot but I did get to see many of the NFL games and I'll have more on that later.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hingis and Coke, Who's Jerseys are They Wearing, the Yankees

Someone please explain Martina Hingis to me. She dominates tennis for a while when no one could beat the Williams sisters, reitres to kick it, comes back and plays decent but not great, then retires again so she doesn't have to face a two year suspension for coke? Her excuse for saying why that could never happen is that, "no one could play a game while under the influence of that stuff." I guess in Europe they have never seen Lawrence Taylor play.

Last nights GT v VT game was that entertaining. VT rolled them up pretty easily behind Sean Glennon. I noticed this later that Glennon, backup qb Tyrod Taylor, rover Kam Chancellor and cornerback Brandon Flowers were wearing old GT jerseys. Apparently these players jerseys got lost somehow and GT provided them with old ones. The players blackend out the Yellow Jackets on the front of the jersey and wrote their names on the back with a Sharpie. What I didn't notice was that they had to blacken the Russell Athletic Symbol and drew their own Nike swoosh. Corporate sponsoring at its finest when the players remember to make sure they have a Nike swoosh.

As much as I try to avoid it the Yankees are still in the news. Joe Girardi has chosen the number 27 for what he says, " a symbol the goal of the team for the team this season." Championship number 27 for those not scoring at home. Good luck Joe, your team is aging and you'll probobly be without baseball's best player from April to October 1.

Grady Little will be seeing Joe Torre is his sleep. Not only did Torre beat the Red Sawx in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS that cost Little his job. Now the Dodgers decided to court Torre and name him managers without even getting rid of Little first. I'm not sure if Torre is the great manager everyone makes him out to be. Before he came to New York, Torre was 894-1003 as a manager in the National League. I don't know if he can still do it in L.A. I think it will tarnish his image as a great manager but what it will really do is let everyone know he wasn't that good in the first place.

Tonight I'm at St. Pete High again covering Seminole at St. Pete High. STP hadn't won a game until I started covering them and now they are 2-0 since I've been there. For Josh's sake, maybe they can go 3-0