Tag Archives: NFL

Nats land Scherzer. Super Bowl set.

Max Scherzer goes to the Nats, $210MM over 7 years, with 1/2 deferred. So $15MM over 14 years. I don’t know about paying someone $15MM between the ages of 37-44, esp. when they are a) washed up b) declining severely and/or c) injured. Not to mention d) retired.

The Yanks said they were not in for Scherzer or Shields, and some but not all, believed them. Maybe with Scherzer off the market, it can be believed now (Shields is still available). It seems last year’s big splash took them out of the market for any big splash (just little splashes–see Headley, Drew….) this year.

That said, there are a lot of free agent pitchers available next year. See this post

http://bronxbaseballdaily.com/2015/01/top-9-pitchers-yankees-can-sign-in-2016/

from our friends at Bronx Baseball Daily to see who may fit the Yanks needs in next year’s free agent draft. The problem is, who comes off the books? McCann has four years left on his deal, A-Rod three, Teix, CC and Beltran a couple. Then you have in-their-prime players like Ellsbury and Tanaka signed to multi-year deals. Even Headley has a four-year deal. Hal doesn’t want to increase the payroll, and there is little flexibility as long as those multi-year deals, especially the ones for aging, fading players, are on the books.

The Yanks did look at Johan Santana, a low-risk, high-reward option. I doubt anything will come out of it. I hope not.  Santana was pitching in the Venezuelan league in hoping for a comeback. Reports have it he was at 86-89 and pitching more on guile than anything else. Santana has missed all of 2011, 2013 and 2014. In his only season since 2010, Johan was 6-9, 4.85 in 2012 (with a tainted no-hitter, the only one in Mets’ history). ERA+ 79. He’s had two shoulder surgeries and turns 36 in March. Minor league deal with incentives? Maybe. But I wouldn’t expect much out of it. Santana had a nice career, not HOF, and it’s a shame his career came to an end basically at the age of 31. 2 CYA, 6x consideration, and 2x in the top 10 for the MVP award. 139-78, 3.20, ERA+ 136. Once great. Now?

I am heading up to the Stadium on May 24th. Hmmmm….. that’s about 1/3 of the way through the season, and A-Rod is 6 HR away from tying Willie Mays at 660. You can do the math. At 18-21 HR/yr. (how much does he have left, if anything?) that could be about the time A-Rod ties or passes Willie. If he does it in front of me, #660* or #661*, I won’t be applauding.

Not much else in Yankeeland right now. That, and busy at work, have me writing less.

The Super Bowl is set. The defending champion Seattle Seahawks vs. the New England Patriots. Interesting games yesterday on Championship Sunday. The Seahawks were outplayed by the Green Bay Packers for 57 1/2 minutes, and the Pack had a 19-7 lead with three minutes to go. TD Seattle with 2:09 left to make it 19-14. Recovery of an onside kick. TD. 2-point conversion to put Seattle up 22-19. Green Bay comes back to tie it on a last-second 48-yd. FG. 22-22. Seattle gets the opening kickoff of OT and scores to win 28-22. What a finish. What a choke by the Pack.

It was the fourth OT NFC title game in the last eight years.

In the AFC, no contest. New England wins 45-7 over the Colts. It’ll be SB #6 for the Belichick/Brady duo. Now the authors of “spygate,” Belichick and the Patriots, are being investigated for deflated footballs. Whatever. They still dominated and will be hard to stop.

It’s a pick ’em right now after the line opened at Seattle by 2 1/2.

So does Seattle repeat for the first time since New England did it a decade ago, or do the Patriots add to their legacy?

 

Yankees make incremental move.

You remember when, in playing SCAT, the card game, that you would put down a 3 of hearts and pick up a 5 of hearts because it gave you more points? (Especially if you already held the Ace and King of Hearts?)

That is kind of like the move the Yankees did yesterday. They picked up Chris Martin for cash from Colorado. Martin is a RHP, and a project. He did make the majors last season, and went 0-0, 6.89 in 16 games. 15 2/3 IP, 14 K. He is 6’8″, a big boy, and 28 years old.

In picking him up, they DFA’d Gonzalez German, a 27-year-old RHP, who they got from the Mets for cash just last month. German was 0-0, 4.75 for the Mets in 2014 in 25 games, 31 K in 30 1/3 IP.

Apparently the Yanks felt that Martin is, or has to potential to be, an incremental upgrade over Germen. We’ll see. It doesn’t appear like a major move or upgrade, but…. see the SCAT reference above.

The Yanks finalized their coaching staff. The hitting coach will be Jeff Pentland, who will have Alan Cockrell as the asst. hitting coach. Joe Espada (3b/infield). Tony Pena moves to 1b Coach and Rob Thomson becomes the bench coach. Larry Rothschild is the pitching coach and Gary Tuck the BP coach.

One thing I’ve pointed out elsewhere. Some people wanted a former major leaguer to be a coach. Sometimes it works. But coaches have to teach and just because someone was talented themselves doesn’t mean they can teach. Charlie Lau was a great hitting coach who was a .255 hitting catcher. Meanwhile, Ted Williams was the manager of the 1972 Texas Rangers who only hit .217 as a team.

So the #4 seed won the national championship? What’s scary is that Urban Meyer thought next year would be the time. A lot of sophs and juniors here. Ohio St. and TCU (who finished #3) are on top of a lot of lists right now for the best of next year.

Championship Sunday is set. AFC: Colts @ Patriots (the 4th straight AFC title game for New England), and NFC: Green Bay @ Seattle. Both home teams are favored by about 7.

 

Four-time SB winning coach Noll dies at 82.

I happen to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and today is a bit of a sad day.

Chuck Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowls, died yesterday, June 13, at the age of 82.

Noll coached the Steelers from 1969-1991, going 209-156-1 (of which 16-8 were in the postseason). He coached the Steelers to four SB victories in six years, winning Super Bowls IX, X, XIII and XIV.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Before his coaching career (assistant and head coach) began, Noll played for the Cleveland Browns from 1953-1959. Those Browns’ teams won NFL titles in 1954 and 1955, and lost the NFL title game in 1953 and 1957.

SB 48 a blowout

From the first snap, the Super Bowl was a blowout. That first snap sailed over Peyton Manning’s head and resulted in a safety.

It was all downhill from there for Denver. Seattle won SB 48, 43-8.

It was basically over before halftime. One lousy game if you weren’t rooting for Seattle.

The weather held up as the NFL lucked out. Some 6-9″ of snow started falling less than 12 hours after the game ended.

Super Bowl set as we wait on Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka’s decision could come as early as Tuesday (tomorrow) or Wednesday in order for all physicals to be done by the deadline for him picking a team—5 p.m. Friday. A friend asked me my opinion as to who Tanaka signs with, and quite honestly, I have no clue. Apparently six teams, including the Yankees, all put in bids of at least 6 years and at $20MM/yr. Arizona is said to have put in a strong bid. I hope the Yanks get him (and I hope Ichiro and Matsui put a bug in Tanaka’s ear about playing in NY) but I don’t have any feelings or premonitions where he may go.

Once he goes, the rest of the dominoes (Jiminez, Garza, Arroyo, E. Santana, etc). should fall.

Meanwhile, Super Bowl 48 (please dispense with the Roman Numerals already) is set for the Meadowlands Feb. 2. Denver vs. Seattle. With about a month to go in the regular season, a friend had me fill out a form for him for a contest. You had to pick the 12 playoff teams (I got 10 or 11 of the 12) and the Super Bowl contestants. I nailed Denver and Seattle. He is supposed to split the winnings with me if we win. As for the Super Bowl pick, I had Denver 35, Seattle 21. After that interview Erin Andrews had post-game with Richard Sherman, I really hope I am right. I’d rather root for the classy Manning than people like Sherman (or, for that matter, Pete Carroll).

Game 162. Yanks win finale in 14, 5-1.

For a while, it seemed like the season and this game would never end.

But end it did and the Yanks won 5-1 in 14 to finish their season 85-77, tied with Baltimore for 3rd in the AL East, 12 out of the division lead and six out of that 2nd wild card slot.

Speaking of which, Tampa Bay has to fly from Toronto to Texas to face the Rangers Monday night in a one-game matchup to determine who IS the second wild-card. The winner flies to Cleveland to face the #1 WC Indians in a one-game playoff Wed. to determine the AL wild card.

I fear this season may be the last winning season for the Yanks for a while.

Houston ended the season on (I believe, I may be off by a game) a fifteen game losing streak. They end 51-111. Ugh. The Yanks struck out 19 Astros in 14 innings.

David Huff started and went 5. 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and  7 K. Overall ERA 5.50 (Cle/NYY).

Brett Marshall 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 3 K. 4.50.

Dellin Betances 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 4 K. 10.80.

Preston Claiborne 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 4.11.

David Phelps 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 2 K. 4.98.

Matt Daley 2 IP (W, 1-0, first MLB win), 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 0.00.

David Robertson finished, no save situation. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.04.

Down 1-0 in the 8th, the Yanks tied it on a double by Nunez and single by Granderson.

In the 14th, Reynolds HR’d (21). After two strikeouts, Ryan and Almonte singled and Nunez doubled in two. Murphy singled in Nunez.

Before the game, Mo was feated. He received gifts and apologized to the Astros’ fans for not pitching this weekend (classy). He explained that the farewell at the Stadium, with Derek and Andy coming out to get him, was the perfect ending.

Football: It was a rough enough day for this Steelers’ fan to see his team go to 0-4 on the season, but then I found out that #68, L.C. Greenwood, a DE on that great Steel Curtain team of the 1970s, passed away today at the age of 73. Another piece of my childhood gone. Known for wearing those yellow shoes, I remember him in SB IX, acting like a volleyball player in spiking down a few of Fran Tarkenton’s passes. I always wondered why he wasn’t in the HOF. Maybe now he can be put in—too late for him to relish it.

Ravens win SB 47

Joe Flacco was the SB MVP as the Ravens defeated the 49ers 34-31. It was like two different games. A 108-yd. kickoff return to start the second half gave Baltimore a 28-6 lead, then there was a power outage. It’s like the power outage affected the Ravens, enabling SF to almost pull out a miracle come-from-behind win.

Congrats Ravens (even though I was rooting for SF because I can’t root for Ray Lewis).

… and yes, I really wish the NFL would knock it off with the Roman numerals already.

Yanks sign Hafner

It hasn’t been announced officially yet, but the Yankees have signed Travis Hafner, formerly of the Indians, to be their lefty-hitting DH.

Hafner still has a good bat….when he plays, that is. This could be a good move for the Yanks, if Hafner can stay healthy.

The problem is, Hafner hasn’t been healthy for a while. Hafner, who finished top-10 in the MVP voting in 2005 and 2006, hasn’t played the field since 2007 and only once since 2007 has played in 100 games in a season.

Last year, Hafner hit .228-12-34 in just 66 games. His OPS+ was 121. For his career, he is a .278 hitter with 201 HR and an OPS+ of 137.

From 2004-2007 he averaged .296-32-108, OPS+ 156. But that was so long ago.

Meanwhile, Earl Williams, a C-1B-3B for the Braves, Orioles, Expos and A’s in the 1970s died at the age of 64. He was the 1971 NL ROY when he hit 33 HR for Atlanta. He hit .247 in his career (1970-1977) with 138 HR. An average year for him would have been about .246-20-65, OPS+ 105.

I never got into the X games. The death yesterday of a snowmobiler is why. I mean, why? Why do somersaults at God knows what speed on a snowmobile? To me, the X games are just reckless.

I’ll be rooting for SF on Sunday. I can’t root for Ray Lewis.

Update: The Hafner deal is $2mm, 1 yr., + incentives. Hafner will turn 36 in June.

Brother vs. Brother

You wonder how their parents will handle it.

John and Jim Harbaugh will be coaching against each other in the Super Bowl since each of the brothers coached their respective teams to wins in today’s AFC and NFC title games.

Ravens vs. 49ers it is. I think the 49ers will be about a 4-pt. favorite from what I saw.

I’ll be rooting for the 49ers, even though if the 49ers win, they’ll tie my Steelers for most SB victories with six.

I just can’t root for Ray Lewis.

As for Atlanta, they blew a big lead last week vs. Seattle and got away with it. Not this time as they blew a 17-0 early lead.

Forgetting the past.

I can’t root for Ray Lewis or the Ravens. First of all, I’m a Steelers’ fan. But mostly, I can’t root for Ray Lewis because of this (from Wikipedia):

Murder trial

Following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000, a fight broke out between Lewis and his companions and another group of people, resulting in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were questioned by Atlanta police, and 11 days later the three men were indicted on murder and aggravated-assault charges. The white suit Lewis was wearing the night of the killings has never been found. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard alleged the blood-stained suit was dumped in a garbage bin outside a fast food restaurant.[36]

Lewis’ attorneys, Don Samuel and Ed Garland, of the Atlanta law firm Garland, Samuel & Loeb, negotiated a plea agreement with Howard, where the murder charges against Lewis were dismissed in exchange for his testimony against Oakley and Sweeting, and his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice.[12] Lewis admitted he gave a misleading statement to police on the morning after the killings. Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner sentenced Lewis to 12 months’ probation, the maximum sentence for a first-time offender,[37] and he was fined $250,000 by the NFL, which was believed to be the highest fine levied against an NFL player for an infraction not involving substance abuse.[38] Under the terms of the sentence, Lewis could not use drugs or alcohol during the duration of the probation.

Oakley and Sweeting were acquitted of the charges in June 2000.[39] No other suspects have ever been arrested for the crime.

The following year, Lewis was named Super Bowl XXXV MVP. However, the signature phrase “I’m going to Disney World!” was given instead to quarterback Trent Dilfer.

On April 29, 2004, Lewis reached a settlement with four-year-old India Lollar, born months after the death of her father Richard, pre-empting a scheduled civil proceeding. Lewis also reached an undisclosed settlement with Baker’s family.[39]

 

Now Lewis may have tried to make amends since, and may have been a good citizen since. I can’t answer that.

What I wonder about is his degree of culpability in what happened. Should Lewis have gone to jail? Did he commit murder or manslaughter?

What I don’t wonder about is this:  that the Ray Lewis farewell tour media suck-up disgusts me.

The kissing up that the media is doing disgusts me completely. It’s one thing to call him the greatest middle linebacker ever. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t.

But ask yourself, outside of what you just read, have ANY of the media that is currently sucking up to Lewis and kissing his ass in his final games mentioned ANYTHING about what happened those many years ago? Has any media outlet mentioned it at all?

That’s what disgusts me. There are two sides of the coin here.

Praise Lewis for his football career, but don’t forget his involvement, whether major or minor, in the deaths of two people.