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Sunday, December 30, 2012

5 Predictions for the Minnesota Wild in 2013- Plus Bonus Predictions

The following predictions are based on my belief that there will be an NHL season in 2013. The NHL and NHLPA can't possibly be dumb enough to lose another full season, right? RIGHT? Especially, when they are so close on so many issues. Both sides know that losing another full season would irrevocably damage the game and it's popularity; causing each side to lose money and sponsors. Plus, it would create a smaller revenue stream in the future. And if there's one thing we know the NHL and NHLPA can agree on: it's the fact that both sides like making as much money as possible. With all that said, let's get to the predictions.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Adrian Peterson is Really, Really Good

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings running-back, is the best player in the NFL, and it's not close. Without Peterson, the Vikings would be staring another 3-13 season in the face. Instead, they are fighting for a playoff berth with only two games remaining in the regular season. And Peterson deserves all the credit. As he is the Vikings' offense.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The 2012 NHL Lockout- Greed, Ego, and Stupidity

As the NHL lockout continues to drag on, it gets harder and harder to comprehend how greedy, moronic, shameful and egotistical both the Players Association (NHLPA) and the Board of Governors (NHL Owners)have acted, throughout it all. After last Thursday's charade, the damage both sides are doing to the league and the sport of hockey is palpable.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vikings' Week 12 Reactions

Week 12 outcome: Bears 28- Vikings 10

  • Sadly, the game was not as nearly as close as the final score indicates. The Bears thoroughly dominated the Vikings on Sunday.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears Preview

On Sunday, November 25, the Minnesota Vikings(6-4) will take on the Chicago Bears(7-3) at Soldier Field. The Vikings, with six wins against four losses, are a game behind both the Bears and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Houston Aeros Update


The following is a quick update on the Minnesota Wild's AHL team-the Houston Aeros.

Standings: In 16 games played, Houston has seven wins, six losses, one overtime loss and two shootout losses (7-6-1-2). They trail the Oklahoma City Barons by one point for second place, and are currently seven points behind the Charlotte Checkers for first place in the AHL's South Division. The Aeros are currently tied with the Rochester Americans for eighth place in the AHL's Western Conference. This is important, as only the top eight teams from each conference will make the playoffs

Friday, November 2, 2012

NBA Season Predictions Part 2

 NBA Season Predictions Part 1

6. The New York Knicks will struggle to make the Playoffs.
-I don't know why anyone would pick the Knicks to be good this season. And it has nothing to do with the fact that they let Jeremy Lin walk. They will struggle this season because they are a horrendous defensive team and they employ two of the most overrated players in the league- A'mare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo is a ball-hog, who refuses to pass, and dribbles in a stationery position for 7-10 seconds before he decides to jack-up a contested 20 foot jumper. That style of play is the reason he has won only two Playoff series in his career. A'mare has knees that are so bad they can not be insured, and is the worst defensive player in the league. The Knicks will be lucky to make the Playoffs this year. And if they do, it will be another quick 1st round exit.

NBA Season Predictions Part 1

 Predictions for the upcoming NBA season.

1. The Miami Heat will repeat as NBA Champions

Monday, October 22, 2012

Who will win the NFC North this year?

Who will win the NFC North this season?
The correct pick to win the NFC North this season is the Green Bay Packers. Despite being in third place at the time of this writing, the Packers boast the best all-around team in the NFC North. Plus, they have the easiest schedule remaining out of all of the NFC North teams. Those two factors, plus the Vikings' and Bears' regression to the mean, should allow the Packers to win the NFC North for the second consecutive season.

NBA Preview Northwest Divison Part 1

1. Oklahoma City Thunder-
Last season the Thunder dominated the Northwest Division. Finishing, nine games  ahead of their closest competitor, the Denver Nuggets.  Eventually, Oklahoma City won the NBA's Western Conference and advanced all the way to the NBA Finals last season. Where, they eventually fell to the Miami Heat in five games. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Houston Aeros Preview

The following is the Houston Aeros' AHL roster for the 2012/13 season. The Aeros are the Minnesota Wild's AHL affiliate.

Forwards:
Mikael Granlund,Charlie Coyle, Kris Foucalt, Jason Zucker, Brett Bulmer, Jarrod Palmer, Chad Rau, Johan Larsson, David McIntyre, Carson McMillan, Justin Fontaine, Nick Palmieri, Zach Phillips, Joel Broda.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thursday night NFL Pick

Finally, the NFL regular season is back. The season kicks off tonight, with the Dallas Cowboys at the New York Giants.

Dallas(+4) at NY Giants Over/Under 45.5 pts scored

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gophers at UNLV pick against the spread

Minnesota(-9.5) at UNLV
How can Vegas favor the Gophers by 9.5 points against any team on the road? I know UNLV sucks. But, the Gophers are just as terrible. And they are on the road.

Minnesota Gophers College Football Preview

The Gophers kick off the 2012 college football season tonight against the UNLV Running Rebels. Minnesota is coming off a 3-9 season last year in coach, Jerry Kill's first year on the job. Kill's teams have improved in his second year on the job everywhere he has been. With a cake non-conference schedule, the Gophers, at least on paper, could be competing for a crappy bowl game invite this season.Which would be their first since 2009. Will it happen?

Friday, August 24, 2012

NFL Preview Part 7 NFC Preview- Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles- Last year the Eagles finished the season with a disappointing 8-8 record. Failing, to make the playoffs. And disappointing their fan base, which had aspirations of winning their first Super Bowl title in franchise history. The expectations for the Eagles remain the same this season: Winning the Super Bowl.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

NFL Preview Part 6 NFC Preview Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers- The Packers were 15-1 in the regular season last season, but they lost at home to the eventual Super Bowl Champion, NY Giants in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Green Bay will look to rebound from that playoff loss, and return to the Super Bowl this season.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NFL Preview Part 5 Awards Predictions

The following are my awards predictions for the 2012 NFL season. Along, with a few awards I made up myself.

MVP: Tom Brady- Brady, a two-time MVP will win his third MVP this season.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ramblings

Vikings Thoughts-
Adrian Peterson is practicing with the Vikings again.............This guy is a beast.........He tore two ligaments in his knee just 8 months ago.............And he is already back.............Filthy........

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

NFL 2012 Preview-Part 4- Top 12 Fantasy QB's This Season

Top 12 Fantasy QB's this season-

12. Matt Schaub-  Schaub, has the privilege of being able to throw the ball to WR Andre Johnson. When these guys are both healthy, they make for a lethal combo. Without Johnson, Schaub is an average NFL QB

11. Peyton Manning- No doubt, Peyton would be higher on this list, if he were completely healthy. There is no doubting his talent. And he will have good wideouts to throw to in Denver. But is his neck 100%?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

NFL Preview Part 3- Power Rankings/The Playoff Teams

For Part 2 click here Power rankings part 2
For Part 1 click here Power rankings part 1

Here is the third and final part of my NFL preseason power rankings. These are the teams that will make this seasons playoffs. Book it.

#12 Carolina Panthers-  Cam Newton is poised to become a top 5 NFL QB this season. He has all of the qualities you would want in a modern NFL QB; Speed, power, arm-strength, smarts. He is is the total package. The Panthers also have a solid offensive line, and a good group of skill position players. This young team will make the playoffs this season. Especially, if they can get their defense to improve a little bit.

NFL Preview Part 2- Power rankings

For part 1click this link Part 1- teams 32-22

Middle of the pack teams:

#21 Arizona Cardinals- Poor Larry Fitzgerald. One of the best Wide-receivers in the NFL, is straddled with two incompetent QBs.(Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.) Neither of these two players should be starting in the NFL. The Cardinals have talent. And they play in a crappy division. But they have no chance of making the playoffs, with these two manning the QB position.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

NFL Preview Part 1- Power Rankings

With training camps beginning this week, what better time to begin previewing the 2012 NFL season. In part one, we will discuss the teams at the bottom of the NFL rung according to me. Here is part one of my NFL power rankings.

quick takes on PSUscandal/ NFL off-season trouble

Penn State Scandal:

Penn State definitely deserved to get punished as harshly as they did. You can't have your football coach, athletic director, and university president cover up this big of a crime. And expect nothing to happen to you, in regards, to sanctions, penalties, etc.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

random thoughts

 Twins Thoughts:
The Minnesota Twins continue to lose baseball games at an alarming rate. This week it's the bullpen that can not get the job done....This team needs to trade away Liriano, Willingham, Span, Morneau, and anybody else on the team that will fetch prospects....The Twins are a good 3-4 years away from competing again.......Now is the time to bottom out and acquire prospects, who will hopefully blossom into integral parts of the next competitive Twins era............Bottoming out, will also allow young players, such as: Aaron Hicks, Joe Benson, and Chris Parmelee to play in the big leagues.....There is no better time than now to see if these guys can contribute at the major league level........What do the Twins have to lose? Besides more baseball games.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest Blogger Trav's British Open Preview

Clearly Tiger Woods will be the favorite at Royal Litham. At 6 to 1 I like his price. He’s the hottest player in the world and he wants his 15th major more than ever. Forget about his MC at Greensboro, Tiger will have his game dialed in and I doubt there will be anyone in his way when it comes to holding the Claret Jug.

Best Bang for your Buck Bet= I will take Ian Poulter at 40 to 1. Poulter always plays well in Majors , he has made both cuts this year, including a T-7 at Augusta. He has been playing well overseas lately and he will not back down from the pressure of winning his first major.

I’m gonna make a $5 bet= Sang Moon Bae at 150 to 1. This PGA Tour Rookie started out the season hot but has cooled off lately. However if the 26 year old wins a major in the next year he does not have to fill his military obligation to his native South Korea. If that does motivate you to put it together for 4 days, I don’t know what will.



 
BT’s Top 5 (in order)
1. Tiger = 6 to 1
2. Dustin Johnson = 33 to 1
3. Justin Rose = 25 to 1
4. Sergio Garcia = 25 to 1
5. Lee Westwood= 12 to 1


Hard to leave off the World’s #1 and #2, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy, but McIlroy hits to ball too high to win a British and has not played well of late—I think you could blame it on his love life, but who knows. And British Opens seem to be a Bomber’s Paradise and that is just not Luke Donald’s game.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Twins Grades: Starting Pitchers

There is only one word that describes the Twins pitching staff at the All Star break: Brutal. Out of 30 Major League teams, The Twins are; 29th in ERA(4.86), 28th in quality starts(30), 28th in whip(1.41), and 29th in Batting Average Against(.281). (whip= walks/hits per innings pitched.) This is a team that plays half of its games in a "Pitchers Park." (Target Field) Imagine what the stats would be, if they played in a hitters park.
Starters:
Scott Diamond: A
-I shudder to think where this team would be without Diamond. He has been the only consistent pitcher in the Twins rotation. He boasts; a 7-3 record; 9 of the team's 30 quality starts; and a 2.62 ERA. He has accomplished those statitistics in just 12 starts. Diamond, leads the team in wins, quality starts, era and whip. His 2.62 ERA is fifth best in the American League. He is having an incredible season. And would be a legitimate rookie of the year candidate, if Mike Trout wasn't having an MVP year, as a rookie, for the Angels.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Twins Grades at Mid-Season- Position Players.

In this post, I will be giving letter grades to the Minnesota Twins' positional players. As we enter the second half of the season, the Twins have a 36-49 record. They are currently in the basement of the American League Central Division. Minnesota trails the Division leading Chicago White Sox, by 11 games. The Twins are 9 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the second AL Wild Card spot.

A horrible start to the season for the Twins has knocked them out of any serious playoff contention. Minnesota should use the second half of the season to see who can contribute to the franchise's future. Meanwhile, they should trade away some of the veterans who will not be around by the time this team is in serious playoff contention. In other words, this team needs to be completely rebuilt. On to the grades

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ramblings, From an Elated Minnesota Sports Fan



Holy shit. In less than 48 hours, the Wild signed the two best NHL free agents available; Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, and the Timberwolves signed Brandon Roy and Nic Batum...............Now, I know, what it must feel like to live in NYC........This guy is in shock.........


Brandon Roy to the Wolves Take( Update Nic Batum does too)

According to a report, Brandon Roy just agreed to terms with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Roy, was originally drafted by the Wolves in 2006. He was then immediately traded for Randy Foye and some cash on draft night. (Typical Wolves move. Always trying to save some cash.)

Timberwolves update



The Timberwolves, have yet to sign anybody on the free-agent market. They have made overtures to restricted free-agents; Greg Stiemsma, and Nic Batum. The Wolves had also had visits with unrestricted free-agents; Brandon Roy, and Jordan Hill.

Minnesota Wild 2012-13 Updated Depth chart

This is an updated Minnesota Wild depth chart for the 2012-2013 season. I Still can not believe the Wild have Zach Parise, and Ryan Suter. Those two players alone, give the Wild so much more depth than they had all of last season.  Add on the Torrey Mitchell, and Zenon Konopka signings, and this team has more talent and depth then they have ever had.

Wild signs Parise, Suter

  


What a coup. Signing Zach Parise, and Ryan Suter instantly transforms the Minnesota Wild into one of the NHL's highest profile teams. And makes the Franchise relevant.  Having those two players aboard; guarantees a Winter Classic will be held in Minnesota in the next two years, it guarantees the Wild will be a featured team on NBC; and most importantly it guarantees the Wild will be successful, relevant, and important for at least the next decade. Even if you do not like hockey, you have to be impressed by what this team did yesterday. Never before, has a Minnesota sports team pulled off anything like this.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

quick takes on the T-Wolves and the Wild

Nic Batum is coming to town...................... It is about time the Wolves listened to me................. If the Timberwolves can sign him, he would be the perfect addition to this team..................Get it done Kahn..............Does a Frenchman count as a white guy in David Kahn's mind???? I hope so because the Wolves need him........Greg Stiemsma is also in town to be wooed by the grand master Kahn............Great, another big white guy stiff.........just what the Wolves need if they amnesty Darko.........I guess he would balance out the Frenchman, if he signed

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Trading Derrick WIlliams for Pau Gasol

Trading Derrick WIlliams, for Pau Gasol would be the dumbest move yet, by  David Kahn. Seriously, it would be dumber than; drafting 4 point guards in his first draft; drafting Wes Johnson over Demarcus Cousins; drafting Johnny Flynn over Steph Curry; signing Darko to a 3 year contract; and not giving Kevin Love a maximum contract for the maximum term. All of those moves were terrible. But trading your highest ever draft pick (after just 66 games played) for a 32 year old power forward, who has clearly lost a step, would trump them all.

Timberwolves free agent preview

The Minnesota Timberwolves are close to being a Playoff team in the 2012-13 season. Let's take a look at how they can get there, who they might target this off-season, and who they might let go from the current roster.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Top 5 hitters in MLB History

 This is my list of the top 5 hitters of all-time

Minnesota Wild/NHL Comprehensive Free Agency Preview

NHL Free-Agency is just two days away. The start of free-agency, will mark the beginning of the biggest and most important off-season in Minnesota Wild history. This team has missed the playoffs in each of the previous four seasons. Wild fans, are growing restless and want to watch a winning team. In fact, the Wild is playing to 1/3 empty buildings nowadays. This is a franchise, that once sold out every single game for the first ten years of its existence.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another White Guy Joins the T-Wolves

What the Hell is David Kahn trying to pull? Perhaps, he is trying to pull off the reverse of the 1966 Texas Western team, which was the first ever team to win a NCAA Championship starting 5 African-Americans. With the drafting of Purdue's Robbie Hummel, the Wolves now have 8 white guys on the roster. Someone tell them this is not the 1950's. Besides trying to become the Tea Party's favorite NBA team, I have no idea what the Wolves are trying to accomplish. But we now have more white guys on this team then Duke. Coach K, is even embarrassed by this team. Tomorrow, I'm expecting the Wolves to trade; Wes Johnson for Kyle Korver; JJ Barea for JJ Reddick; and Derrick Williams for Mike Miller. I believe this is all apart of Kahn's ultimate plan, or his "singular" move that he keeps talking about.

NFL Regular Season Win Totals Over/Under NFC South

This is part two of my NFL Over/Under win totals for the 2012 regular season. All totals based off Sportsbook.com's current spread. Each day, I will be doing a different division. Up second is the NFC South Sportsbook's spread in parenthesis.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NFL Regular Season Win Totals Over/Under NFC EAST

This is part one my NFL Over/Under win totals for the 2012 regular season. All totals based off Sportsbook.com's current spread. Each day, I will be doing a different division. Up first is everyone's favorite division, the NFC East. Sportsbook's spread in parenthesis. 

Timberwolves Draft Preview

Well, as things stand right now, the Timberwolves, currently hold just a second round pick in this years NBA Draft.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

5 Thoughts on a variety of Sports Subjects




 

5 Thoughts on a Variety of Sports Subjects


1. Pavel Bure Makes the Hockey Hall of Fame-
This is long overdue, as Bure definitely deserved to be a first ballot Hall of Famer.  Bure scored 437

Friday, June 22, 2012

Late Night Finals Ramblings & other ramblings

  
A begrudging congrats to Lebron on winning his first NBA Title.....He played phenomenal throughout the Finals and the whole Playoffs for that matter........Congrats to the Thunder, on a Hell of a Playoff run for such a young team.....They will be back next year, and better than ever......Kevin Durant needs to command the ball more.....He is the best player on his team, and they need to get him the ball more in early game situations....I still hate the Heat, although I'm torn on which Heat player I dislike most... Let's break it down list style...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guest Blogger BT Trav (updated)

NBA Finals Guarantees:
1. Heat in 5
2. Lebron shuts down Durant
3. Under 195 game 1
4. Lebron MVP-- gimme

Boom! NBA Analyst....
PSPS. Dustin Johnson wins the US Open by 2....
(BT) Trav

Shags' take: The commentary above was written before the Finals started last night by my buddy Trav. As usual, it is not easy when making predictions. I feel confident my predictions; the Thunder in seven games and Kevin Durant as Finals MVP will hold up.  My prediction of the over hitting last night was correct, but Miami failed to cover the 5.5 point spread, which I thought they would.
originally posted on June 15.
UPDATE
Well, we all had fun at Trav's expense after game 1. But it turns out he was right. The Heat did win in 5, and I assume Lebron will win the MVP of the Finals.(The refs in games 3 and 4 should be nominated as well.) Congrats on the picks Trav.

A quick take on Knuckleball Pitchers in the MLB (by request)





RA Dickey, the MLB's only current knuckleballer, is 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA so far this season. Dickey's stats in his past six starts; 6-0;  allowed just 2 runs, 1 earned, for an ERA of 0.18; 63 strikeouts; just 5 walks allowed; and just 20 hits against. That is phenomenal. Especially only allowing 5 walks in that time frame as a knuckleball pitcher, as the Knuckleball is the hardest pitch to throw for a strike. In his past two starts, Dickey has thrown complete game 1-hitters. Just Sick. He is the first player since 1944 to accomplish that feat.                                  more after the jump.

MInnesota Wild Draft Preview and Trade Preview



The NHL Entry Draft takes place tomorrow night in Pittsburgh. The Wild hold the seventh overall pick in the draft. General Manager, Chuck Fletcher has done a great job of accruing prospects in his previous drafts. Hopefully this draft will include more of the same. This draft is very heavy on defensive prospects. But does feature a few potential impact forwards. Minnesota currently has more Forward depth in it's prospect pool then defenseman. But the Wild will select the player they think has the most potential, regardless of position.                  more after the jump.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MLB Power Rankings



Welcome to the first edition of Michel's MLB Power Rankings. Yes, it is the time of the year when baseball is the predominant thing to talk about, because all of the other sports are either finished or soon to be finished for the year.

Special Thanks to Ticket King for being my first paid sponsor. And to all of the people reading this, thank you.

30.Chicago Cubs(23-44):  Proud owners of the worst record in the bigs. . The only thing interesting about the Cubs is; who will they trade, to speed up there rebuilding process? SP Ryan Dempster is as good as gone. Can they find takers for Alfonso Soriano's gigantic contract? Is Matt Garza on the block, or will new GM Theo Epstein see him as part of the future? more after the jump

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Matt Cain Perfect Game

Pitching is getting out of control in the MLB. Matt Cain, of the San Francisco Giants is the latest example. He just got done throwing the second perfect game of this season, and the fourth no-hitter of the year in the MLB already. Cain, finished with 14 strikeouts. Equaling Sandy Koufax, for the most strikeouts in a perfect game. Koufax set the record in 1965. Watching the last two innings, while I finished my golf preview, Cain looked un-hittable. The Houston Astros had no chance. Shit, the 1927 "Murderers Row" Yankees would have had no chance to hit him. He was filthy.  Every single pitch he threw, he threw with a purpose. His fastball was topping out at 94-95 MPH with sick movement, and he was locating it wherever he wanted. His off-speed stuff was knee-buckling, starting from one chalk outline of the batters box and finishing right off the far side of the plate. This was not a fluke, and was easily the best pitched game of the year, so far.

US Open Preview


 
There are plenty of story-lines coming into this years US Open, which will be played at The Olympic Club, San Francisco California. Can Tiger Woods win his first major in four years? Will Luke Donald, or Lee Westwood finally win break through, and win a major championship? Can Rickie Fowler continue his hot play, and take home his first major championship? Will Phil Mickelson make enough short putts, and avoid the disastrous hole, to finally win his first US open, after finishing second five times at this tournament? Does Bubba Watson have the game to win another major, after winning the Masters earlier this year? Can Rory McIlroy regain his form and defend his title? more after the jump

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Late Morning Stream of Consciousness

  


RIP Dark Star........The Sports Show will not be the same without you.........Hope you are somewhere were you can drink and gamble............It has been just one day without the NHL, and I miss it already......Stoked for the Wild to not suck next year(hopefully)......I also hope the NHL is not dumb enough to lockout its players again.........But this is a league that missed an entire season, so you never know.......Terrible officiating in game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals......Two hits from behind 10 seconds apart.......No call on the home team, and a 5 minute major for the visiting team.....not saying it was rigged(boxing) or manipulated(NBA) but that was a terrible call.....Does not take away from the fact that the Kings deserved to win the Cup..........Zach Parise just stated that he would not play for the Rangers next year........One less team the Wild has to worry about competing with......I think he ends up back in Jersey, or with Detroit........Those two teams have a track record of making the playoffs and competing for the Stanley Cup most years.......Sadly, the Wild do not.......The boxing match on saturday night was definitely fixed.....Manny was a huge favorite, but his odds dropped dramatically in the two days before the fight, meaning all the smart money was bet on his opponent, Bradley......This was the most egregious fix of a sporting event, since the 1919 Black Sox,......Kevin Durant proved that he is the best player in the NBA with his performance last night.....In his first Finals appearance he scored 36 points; becoming the 4th youngest player to score 35+ points in a Finals game.....He scored 17 of his 36 in the fourth quarter...I hate Dwayne Wade......I never used to, but after watching him stink up the court, for the most part in these playoffs, his whining and false bravado have really soured me on him.....He never used to do that.....Wade will be the reason the Heat lose in the Finals from a Heat perspective, but Lebron will get the blame.....The fact is the Thunder are the better TEAM....The Twins should not trade Denard Span.......He is the best all-around player on the team and he is still improving......I can not famoth why they would even discuss trading Denard......Somehow the Twins are only 8.5 games out of the Division lead......Just goes to show the AL Central is always winnable........Byron Buxton has been compared favorably to Mike Trout of the Angels.....If he is half as good as Trout, the Twins will have hit a Home-run that pick, which they need.......Trout is already third in the MLB in winshares, and he has only played 38 games in the big leagues this year........Imagine the attention he would garner if he played on the East Coast......He is better than Bryce Harper, the Nationals phenom............that is not a knock on Harper who is having a great season......it is a compliment to Trout, the best rookie since Ken Griffey JR........

Guest blogger (BT) Trav


NBA Finals Guarantees:
1. Heat in 5
2. Lebron shuts down Durant
3. Under 195 game 1
4. Lebron MVP-- gimme

Boom! NBA Analyst....
PSPS. Dustin Johnson wins the US Open by 2....
(BT) Trav

Shags' take: The commentary above was written before the Finals started last night by my buddy Trav. As usual, it is not easy when making predictions. I feel confident my predictions; the Thunder in seven games and Kevin Durant as Finals MVP will hold up.  My prediction of the over hitting last night was correct, but Miami failed to cover the 5.5 point spread, which I thought they would.
originally posted on June 15.
UPDATE
Well, we all had fun at Trav's expense after game 1. But it turns out he was right. The Heat did win in 5, and I assume Lebron will win the MVP of the Finals.(The refs in games 3 and 4 should be nominated as well.) Congrats on the picks Trav.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

NBA Finals Game 1 pick

Miami (+5.5) at Thunder OVER/UNDER 196
The Thunder will be the fresher team and will have the home court advantage. Game 1 is a huge game in the NBA Finals especially for the home team. The Thunder need to win this game, if they want to win this series. I believe they will, but they will not cover the spread.
The Pick: OKC 105 Miami 100 OVER

NBA FINALS PREVIEW

 


 Miami Heat VS Oklahoma City Thunder


The NBA's two most star-laden teams square off in this years NBA Final; Oklahoma City and Miami. Each team is led by their "Big Three"-Lebron James, D'wayne Wade, and Chris Bosh for Miami. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden for the Thunder. All of the hype and focus is on Lebron versus Kevin Durant. But there are many other questions; can Miami's pick and roll defense shut down the best pick and roll offense in the league? Will the Thunder turn the ball over, and allow the Heat to get out in transition, or have they fixed that problem? Miami is deadly in transition, and scoring easy baskets off of turnovers is their best offense. Will the Thunder's superior depth allow them to wear down the Heat?   Can Lebron vs Durant become the 2010's version of Magic VS Bird? Can Lebron get his first NBA Championship? More after the jump

Thursday, June 7, 2012

OKC Thunder

 


Last nights game between the Thunder and Spurs was the best basketball game I have seen in quite some time. We saw the birth of a new mega-star in Kevin Durant, and the potential birth of the next NBA dynasty in the OKC Thunder. The Spurs gave it everything they had, but the young Thunder where just too talented and too athletic for them. Kudos to the Spurs and coach Greg Popovich, for maximizing the most of their talents and winning 20 games in a row this season. The Spurs had a great season and are an extremely well run organization, so it will be no surprise if they continue to defy father time, make deep playoff runs. Without getting help, the Spurs and for that matter any Western Conference team, will be looking up at the Thunder for many seasons to come. more after the jump

Heat/Celtics game 6 pick plus questioning the Heat








Heat(-2) at Celtics OVER/UNDER 181

Miami is down three games to two against the Celtics in their Eastern Conference Finals series. The Heat have lost the last three games, after winning the first two games of the series. This has been an unpredictable fall from grace for the Heat. Nobody expected Boston to be this competitive, let alone, up three games to two in this series. Boston barely beat an average Sixers team in round two, yet The Celtics are now one win away from another NBA Finals appearance. Miami has completely collapsed under the pressure Boston has surprisingly given them in this series. The Heat look frazzled and uninterested, while the older Celtics look rejuvenated and fresh.

The main difference between these two teams is chemistry. Boston looks to be playing for each other. The Heat look to be playing for themselves. There is no flow to the Heat offense, while the Celtics are moving the ball amongst themselves and getting good shots from everyone on the court. This is not an indictment on Lebron, but an indictment on the lack of depth and poor coaching for the Heat. Who exactly is going to make shots for the Miami besides Wade and Lebron? Mike Miller's carcass? Shane Battier's just a warm body at this point. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra is getting schooled by Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Rivers has had a plan for everything that has happened in this series. Spoelstra refuses to use Lebron(Miami's best defender) to guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo is the key to this Celtics squad, and Miami is playing five feet off him, which allows him to pass and get the ball to the open guy much easier. Kevin Garnett is killing Miami all over the court, because the Heat have no one that can guard him. Garnett, in his sixteenth season, wants to win more than anybody else on the court.

If the Heat lose this game, there will be changes in Miami before the next season. The coach will definitely be gone and one of the big three will possibly be traded. This is also the final chance fairly or not, for Lebron to prove himself in the playoffs and redeem himself. Another year without a title, means another year of questions about his character and his desire. Each year this team does not end the season as a champion, the bigger joke Lebron and his buddies become.

The Pick: Boston 94 Miami 90 OVER
Somehow Miami is favored on the road, despite losing the past three games of this series. How can that be? The Celtics should win this game unless Miami is able to get 70 points combined from Wade, and Lebron. The Celtics seem to want this more than Miami, which is extremely sad. Boston has proven themselves, yet they are still hungry. Miami has proven nothing, and they don't seem to want to prove anything, except that they have been overrated for the past two years. It appears this will be the last game, for the ESPN created dream team. ESPN has to be pissed with all the hype they've given the Heat including a daily blog following them around, and nothing to show for it. Unless you count crying, pouting, and missed jumpers/shots in close games a good thing.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ramblings



 The NBA Conference Finals have been amazing....Watching my boy Kevin Durant take over the Spurs has been thrilling....Durant has shown that he is the best player in the NBA with his play in the Western Conference Finals....Unlike certain players, Durant gets better in tight games.....James Harden has been clutch as well.....his step back three to ice game 5 in San Antonio was cold blooded.....The way the Thunder and Celtics have come back to take 3-2 series leads after being behind 2-0, is what the NBA needs....unpredictability.....Kevin Garnett appears to have found the fountain of youth.... he looked washed up at the beginning of this season, but has played some of the best basketball of his career in these playoffs....His competitiveness and fierce determination to win have led the Celtics within one game of the NBA Finals....He just wants to win more than Lebron and Wade.....It is that simple.....If Lebron had KG's tenacity and will to win, he would have at least three NBA titles, and would be gunning for a fourth.....Instead Lebron is still looking for his first title, and is still shying away from the big moment in close games......The Heat's struggles are not all Lebron's fault though......Wade has been hit or miss in this series.....his play depends on the referees calling fouls when he barrels into the lane....when they do he puts up good numbers....when the refs don't call the ticky tack fouls his numbers are not good.....The rest of the Heat are terrible......Without Lebron carrying them, this is a lottery team........Battier and Mike Miller are just cadavers at this point in their respective careers.....When Udonis Haslem is your third best player, you can not win an NBA title.......Also working against Miami in this series is their coach......Erik Spoelstra is getting schooled by Celtics coach Doc Rivers.......The Celtics seem to score a basket after every time-out, while the Heat only run isolation plays for Wade, or Lebron.....The Celtics are just a better TEAM than the Heat.......The LA Kings have been the most dominant team in the NHL playoffs that I can remember....they don't score as many goals as Gretzky's Oilers or Lemieux's Penguins, but they score enough and they dominate teams with their defense and puck control.....The King's are 10-0 on the road in the playoffs this year....That's an NHL record.....LA is also 15-2 in the playoffs overall....With a win tonight they will equal the 1988 Edmonton Oilers for the best record ever in the NHL Playoffs(16-2)..... Kings goaltender, Jonathon Quick, has got to be the Conn Smyth winner(MVP of the playoffs) his play has been ridiculous.......he has 15 wins......he has saved 95% of the shots he has faced.....he also has a 1.36 goals against average.....Quick and the Kings have allowed just 24 goals in 17 playoff games.......The confidence Quick gives the Kings in front of him is incalculable.....LA's forwards and defenseman can just go out and play and take chances, because they know their goalie will make stops at the other end of the ice....The Twins have played much better lately.....They actually look like an MLB team, and not a glorified AAA team anymore.....The team has been much improved at the plate and in the field......The teams pitching has improved somewhat thanks to Scott Diamond and PJ Walters(huh), but still is the worst in the league.....Getting rid of the human rain delay Jason Marquis was helpful......at least I don't have to watch him labor through 3 innings at an hour per inning pace.....The Twins are still along way from respectability though......Finding a way to get rid of Joe Mauer's contract should be GM Terry Ryan's top priority.....Mauer's contract is just too expensive for this team to afford....If he can turn it around and hit like he did in 2009 then I could see keeping him, but you can not pay a guy 25 million plus a year to hit 300 with 10 HRs and 80 RBI.....even if he is from St. Paul......This is a guy that will most likely be playing first base exclusively two years from now(when he is not hurt that is).....You need a power hitting first baseman to win in the MLB....You do not win with a slap hitter at first base.....At this point if some team offered to pick up Mauer's whole contract(unlikely), I would take a washing machine back for him, or a bag of baseballs.......How dumb is Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon??? How do you get a DUI before you sign your multimillion dollar rookie contract???? At least wait till after you sign the dotted line, before you get behind the wheel hammered......He cost himself a lot of money......The best part is this is the second DUI he has gotten......Some peoples kids......It pains me to say this, because I loved Reggie Miller as a NBA player, but he is a terrible announcer....TNT needs to demote him and let Kerr and Marv(kinky)Albert do the games......They are the best announce team in the world for any sport.....TNT's Inside the NBA is the best show on TV......I almost like listening to Chuck, Kenny and Ernie bicker and talk basketball more than I like watching the games.....Shaq has got to go though.....He mumbles way too much.....The ESPN version of Inside the NBA is garbage.....Magic is terrible at TV work, Jon Barry is a moron and Mike Wilbon is not comfortable as the host of the show.....The fact this is on ESPN at all is pathetic.....the guys have no chemistry and look like public access analysts, because they are so nervous and out of their elements.....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stanley Cup Finals Preview

 
New Jersey Devils vs LA Kings
 

New Jersey finished the regular season with 102 points and a 48-28-6 record. The Devils finished in a tie for the fifth most points in the Eastern Conference with the Boston Bruins. Forward Ilya Kovalchuk led the Devils in points with 83, and goals with 37. Forward Patrik Elias had 52 assists to lead the team. Bryce Salvador, a defenseman, led the team with a plus/minus of +18. Goaltender Martin Brodeur finished the season with a 31-24-4 record, and a goals against average of 2.41.

In the Playoffs, the Devils; defeated the Florida Panthers in seven games (with Adam Henrique scoring the OT winner in game seven), the Philadelphia Flyers in five games, and the New York Rangers in seven games.

New Jersey's leading scorer in the playoffs is Iyla Kovalchuk; he leads the team in goals(7), assists(11), and points(18). Forward, Adam Henrique, has ended two playoff series in OT. (Panthers and Rangers.) Martin Brodeur has a 12-5 record, and a 2.04 Goals against average in the playoffs.

LA finished eighth in the Western Conference, off a 40-27-15 record in regular season play. The Kings were second to last in goals per game, scoring just 2.3 per game. LA's leading scorer during regular season play was forward Anze Kopitar. He finished with 76 points. Kopitar, also led the Kings in goals(25), and assists(51). Defenseman, Willie Mitchell, led the Kings with a +20, in the plus/minus statistic. Goaltender, Jonathon Quick, finished the regular season with a 35-21-13 record. He recorded a 1.91 goals against average, good for second in the league.

Dustin Brown, a forward, and Jonathon Quick are been the biggest reasons the 8th seeded Kings are in the Stanley Cup Finals. In the playoffs, Quick leads all goalies with a 1.54 goals against average, and a .946 save percentage. He also is 12-2 in the playoffs. Brown has 7 goals, and 9 assists for 16 points. He, and teammate Anze Kopitar, are the only players averaging over a point per game left in the playoffs. 

The Kings have rolled through the playoffs, needing only 14 games in three series to make the Finals. LA defeated; the Vancouver Canucks in 5 games in round 1, the St. Louis Blues in 4 games in round 2, and the Phoenix Coyotes in 5 games in the Western Conference Finals.


The advantage at the forward position is a wash between these two teams. LA has two great scoring lines, and a very productive third and fourth line. New Jersey has more depth at forward than LA. They also have two stars in Kovalchuk and Parise, so this is a really tight matchup.

The  Kings have a slight edge at the defensive position. Drew Doughty is a stud D-man and he leads the Kings D corps. LA also gets big contributions from veterans Willie Mitchell, and Rob Scuderi on the back end. New Jersey's defense is led by Anton Volchenkov, and Bryce Salvador. Peter Harrold is able to chip in offensively, for the Devils.

This is a great goaltending matchup between these two teams. Jonathon Quick is the best goalie in the NHL, and has been the best goalie in the playoffs. Martin Brodeur was the best goalie for many years in the NHL, and is the best goalie of all-time. This is the most important matchup of the Finals. Whoever wins the goaltending duel, will win the Stanley Cup.

The Pick: Devils in 7
LA is the favorite and they should be, as they beat the top three seeds in the West on their way to the finals, and it only took them 14 games to do it. The Kings are also undefeated in eight games on the road this postseason. The Kings have had eight days off since their last game though, and could be rusty. The Devils are peaking right now. They have the momentum from beating their hated rival, the New York Rangers, in the Eastern Conference Finals. NJ is also playing for Martin Brodeur, as he may be retiring after this series is finished.

Both teams will forecheck and play aggresive hockey, which should make for a thirlling Stanley Cup Finals. This should be a long series with multiple ovetime games, because the two teams are so evenly matched. In the end, I believe Brodeur's experience will win out in the seventh and deciding game for New Jersey.

Celtics at Heat pick

 

Celtics(+8) at Heat OVER/UNDER 178
Lebron and Wade controlled game one of this series, for the Heat. Boston could not score in the second half, as they ended up with just 33 points combined in the third and fourth quarters, or two less points then they scored in the second quarter alone. The Celtics looked tired in the second half. Their second round series against Philly looked like it took a toll on this old team. Miami was definitely the fresher team. Can the veteran Celtics recover, and put forth a better effort tonight?
The Pick: Miami 92 Boston 85

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thunder at Spurs game 2 pick








Thunder(+5) at Spurs OVER/UNDER  203
The Thunder need this game to stay in this series, and slow down the Spurs momentum. With a win, the Spurs will grab a commanding 2-0 lead on the Thunder.
THE PICK: Thunder 101 Spurs-99 under

Monday, May 28, 2012

Celtics at Heat pick against the spread




Boston(+8) at Miami OVER/UNDER 180

Boston is coming off a grueling seven game series against the Sixers, and they are banged up. They played on Saturday night and then had to travel to Miami. Miami has been off and is well rested. The Heat also have the two best players in this series. Look for Wade and James to cause havoc on the defensive end, which will lead to easy buckets on the offensive end. Boston is a veteran team and has to be running on fumes right now. It might be in there best interest to rest players, if this gets out of hand early.

The Pick Miami 90 Boston 76/ Under

NBA Conference Final Previews

 


Eastern Conference Final
#5 Boston Celtics at #2 Miami Heat
Miami is the favorite in this series, as well they should be. Boston is extremely banged up, and will need Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo to play out of there minds, in order to upset the Heat. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are both battling leg injuries for the Celtics. Boston will also be without Avery Bradley, a key cog for them, for the rest of the playoffs. Miami will likely be without Chris Bosh, for the entirety of this series.

Miami is of course led by D'Wayne Wade and Lebron James. Those two account for the majority of the Heat's offense. The Heat have no bench and will need Wade and James to continue their stellar play to beat the Celtics. Miami is well rested and will have the home court advantage in this series.

The Celtics are fielding a team that has four star players, but two of them are playing at about 60%. Boston will need an epic Rajon Rondo series to keep them competitive. The Celtics rely on their defense, but they have no one that can keep up with Lebron or Wade. Boston struggles to score, and that will be more of a problem against the Heat then it was in there previous two series. Unless Ray Allen and Paul Pierce can get HGH shots to cure their respective injuries, this will be a short series.

The Pick: Miami in 5 games. This would be a much more competitive series, if Pierce was healthy, but he can't guard Lebron on one leg. Lebron should dominate this match-up, if he doesn't, he will never win an NBA Title.

Western Conference Final
#2 Oklahoma City Thunder at #1 San Antonio Spurs
The Thunder blew game 1. They had an 11 point lead to start the fourth quarter and they allowed the Spurs to come back and win. This does not bode well for them. The Spurs have won 19 games in a row. They have won there first nine playoff games. The last team to do that was the 2001 LA Lakers, who went on to win there first 11 playoff games en route to the 2001 NBA Title.

OKC is led by Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. In order to come back and win this series, they will need Westbrook and Harden to play much better. The Thunder thrive when they can get out and run in the open court. If they can do this, they will make this a long series and mabe even win it. If the Thunder have to settle for jump shots, the Spurs will win this series. The Thunder have the young legs, but the Spurs have the playoff experience.

The Spurs are led by Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. If these two guys out play Westbrook and Harden, this will be a quick series win for the Spurs. San Antonio gets contributions from every player that steps on the court for them. They also have a great coach in Greg Popovich. He is far and away the best coach in the NBA, and provides his team with a huge advantage. This Spurs team has rolled through the NBA playoffs so far, and they appear to be unstoppable.

The Pick. Spurs in 7 games. The Thunder showed they can play with the Spurs, but the Spurs are too well coached and have too much depth to lose this series. This should be the best series of the NBA Playoffs, as both teams are extremely talented, can score the ball, and play hard. The Spurs experience will be the difference maker in this series.

Top 5 MLB Hitters in MLB Part 5









#5 Willie Mays
#4 Rogers Hornsby
#3 Babe Ruth
#2 Ted Williams
#1 Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb, "The Georgia Peach" is far and away the greatest hitter in MLB history. When Cobb retired, he held over 90 MLB records. He still owns the highest lifetime Batting Average in MLB history(.366). In his career, the Georgia Peach won 12 American League batting titles. A record that still stands today. Cobb, won a record nine consecutive batting titles from 1907-1915. Cobb also finished second in batting average three times. His nearest competitors have eight career batting titles(Tony Gwynn and Honus Wagner). Ty Cobb batted over .400 three times in his 24 year career. Cobb holds the records for highest batting average over a two year span(.414 over 1911 and 1912), and a three year span(.408 from 1911 to 1913).

The Peach finished his career with 4,191 hits, an MLB record, that stood until Pete Rose broke it in 1985. Some of Cobb's other records that have since been broken; most career runs 2,246, broke in 2001, most career games played 3,035, broke in 1974, most career at bats 11,434, broke in 1974, most career stolen bases 892, broke in 1977. Ty played 24 years in the MLB and was elected by 222 of  226 voters for the inaugural Hall of Fame class. His 98.2% of the vote was higher than any player on the ballot, which included; Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner and other greats. The Georgian also won the AL triple crown in 1909.

An average Cobb season over 162 games looks like this; 162 games played, 698 plate appearances, 611 at bats, 120 runs, 224 hits, 39 doubles, 16 triples, 6 home runs, 103 RBI, 48 stolen bases, 67 walks, 36 strikeouts, .366 batting average, .433 on base percentage, .512 slugging percentage, and 313 total bases. That is just an average season over his 24 year career. That is an amazing stat line.

Ty Cobb is second all time in career offensive WAR(wins above replacement level) with 144.9 win shares. The Georgia Peaches career stats; .366 lifetime batting average first all-time, 4,191 hits second all-time, .433 on base percentage ninth all-time, .512 slugging percentage 71st all-time, 3,034 games played fifth most all-time, 11,434 at bats fifth all-time, 2, 246 runs scored second all-time, 5,854 total bases fifth all-time, 724 doubles second all-time, 295 triples second all-time, 1,938 RBI seventh all-time, 897 stolen bases fourth all-time, 3,053 singles, second all-time, 1,136 extra base hits 12th all-time, and he was on base 5,532 times good for third all-time.

I believe Cobb to be the greatest hitter of all-time and it is not even close. He was the top hitter of his generation. A generation that only used one or two baseballs per game. These balls were much different from the baseballs used in 1920 and thereafter. They were not wound tight, and they did not carry nearly as far as the modern baseball. Despite these differences, the Georgia Peach still managed to hit .366 for his career. Cobb played in an era that was much different than today's, but he was that generations top slugger. His power numbers compare favorably with the greats when you factor in the different era he played in.

Here is a story  that best sums up his career. On May 5, 1925, Cobb began a two-game hitting spree better than any even Ruth had unleashed. He was sitting in the dugout talking to a reporter and told him that, for the first time in his career, he was going to swing for the fences. That day, Cobb went 6 for 6, with two singles, a double, and three home runs. His 16 total bases set a new AL record, which stood until May 8th, 2012 when Josh Hamilton hit four home runs and a double for a total of 18 bases. The next day he had three more hits, two of which were home runs. Cobb's single his first time up gave him 9 consecutive hits over three games. Cobb wanted to show that he could hit home runs when he wanted, but simply chose not to do so. At the end of the series, 38-year-old Cobb had gone 12 for 19 with 29 total bases. The fact that he could do that shows he is by far the greatest hitter of all-time.

part 4

part 3

part 2

part 1


Friday, May 25, 2012

NHL Pick

 
New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils

The Devils own a 3-2 series lead and are looking to close out NY tonight. This series should be over already, as the Devils have really dominated the play throughout in this series. Without Henrik Lundqvist's solid play in goal, the Rangers would be eliminated and golfing already. The Devils have gotten out to fast starts all series long, if they can put one past Lundqvist early they should win the game. NY needs to score first, as it has lost its last seven games win giving up the first goal of a game. The Rangers also appear tired and scoring the first goal could give them some much needed energy and momentum. Just like this series this game could go either way. Whichever goalie plays better, and makes the key saves at the right time will win this game.

The Pick NJ 2- NY 1- Martin Brodeur has a chance to get to another Stanley Cup Final at the age of 40 with a victory tonight. I think he outplays Lundqvist and the Devils advance to the Finals.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Top 5 MLB Hitters in MLB History part 4







#5 Willie Mays
#4 Rogers Hornsby
#3 Babe Ruth

#2 Ted Williams
Ted Williams, "The Splendid Splinter" is the second greatest hitter in MLB history. "The Kid" is the last player to hit .400 in the MLB. He batted .406 in 1941. Williams won two triple crowns in the American League(1942 and 1947). He was also a two time AL MVP. (1946 and 1949).  Williams' career was interrupted twice by War during his prime. He served in World War II; missing the 1943,44,and 45 seasons. He also served during the Korean War missing the 1952 season and most of the 1953 season. Williams owns the highest lifetime batting average(.344) of anyone who hit more then 500 HRs. After 19 seasons in the MLB, "The Kid" was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in 1966 with 93.4% of the voters electing him.

Williams average season for 162 games look like this: 545 At Bats, 127 Runs, 188 hits, 37 Doubles, 5 Triples, 37 Homeruns, 130 Runs Batted In, 143 Walks, 50 Strikeouts, .344 Batting Average, .482 On Base Percentage, .634 Slugging Percentage, and 345 Total Bases. Some of these totals are lower than they should be. Williams played just 6 games in 1952, and 37 games in 1953, because he was serving in Korea.

The Splendid Splinter has a lifetime Offensive War of 122.9 this is good for sixth all-time. His career batting average of .344 is good for eighth all-time. Williams won six AL batting titles. Williams' .482 on base percentage is the best of all-time. He either walked or got a hit 48.2 % of the time he came to the plate. That is 12 percentage points higher than his nearest competitor.  Williams' .634 slugging percentage is the second best of all-time. His 521 career HRs are good for 18th in MLB history. Ted finished his career with 1,839 RBI fourteenth most in history. His 2,021 walks are good for fourth most in MLB history.

Williams is the second greatest hitter in MLB history. He put up all of his numbers, despite missing almost five years of his prime serving his country in WWII and Korea. If his career had not been interrupted, he would have over 3,000 hits and probably close to 700 HRs. He definitely would be in the top ten all-time in RBIs, and probably would have won at least one more batting title. It is hard to judge where to put Williams in the pantheon of greatest hitters of all-time, because of his missed time serving during the war. Even if you just judge him by the numbers he put up, he is definitely a top five hitter of all-time. If you judge him by adding his career averages to the five seasons he missed, he definitely is a top two hitter of all-time. I think you have to judge Ted on what he could have done in those five seasons he missed serving his country and in my judgement he is the second best hitter in MLB history.



Top 5 Hitters in MLB part 3


NBA Pick





Miami Heat(-2.5) at Indiana Pacers  OVER/UNDER 182 points
GAME 6
The Heat will be without Udonis Haslem and Dexter Pittman. Both players were suspended for flagrant fouls they delivered in game 5. With Chris Bosh already out hurt, we get to see the return of Eddy Curry to play center. This should be fun. The Pacers potentially could be without more important players to their team, as they could be without Danny Granger tonight, as he was injured in game 5. Indiana's David West, also hurt in game 5, is expected to play in tonight's game. The Pacers blew their chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead by blowing game 4 at home. Indiana followed up there game 4 loss, by suffering the worst defeat in their franchise's playoff history in game 5. The Pacers have had no answer for Lebron and Wade in the second halves of the previous two games played in this series. Paul George and Roy Hibbert will have to carry this Pacers squad tonight. I do not see that happening.

The Pick: Miami 92- Indiana 88

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Top 5 MLB Hitters in History Part 3



#5 Willie Mays
#4 Rogers Hornsby

#3 Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth is generally considered the greatest hitter of all-time, but that is highly overblown in my opinion. Of course The Babe was a great hitter, but he also benefited greatly from new rules in the MLB. The MLB adopted a new baseball that flew out of the park with much greater ease in 1920 and thereafter. This coincided with Ruth's ascension to greatness after he was sold to the New York Yankees in 1920. Another rule change in 1920, and thereafter was tossing out baseballs after they became scuffed, muddied, and discolored from being used. Before 1920, MLB games where generally played with just one or two baseballs. This obviously led to balls becoming disfigured and discolored, even lopsided. This made it harder to see the baseball, and even harder to hit the ball with any kind of power. Another rule that benefited Ruth and the rise of the Homerun; was the outlawing of the spit ball and other doctoring of the baseball by pitchers.

After the previous paragraph disparaging Ruth, let's discuss how good he was. When Ruth retired in 1935 he was the MLB'S all-time leader in HR with 714. He was also the MLB'S all-time RBI leader with 2213. The Babe, is also number 1 all-time in offensive WAR with 151.3 win shares. Ruth was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1936 with his name appearing on 95.1% of the ballots cast. This was the first class of the Hall of Fame, and only Ty Cobb finished ahead of Ruth on the ballot.

Babe Ruth's average 162 game season looks like this; 544 At bats, 141 runs scored, 186 hits, 33 doubles, 9 triples, 46 HR,  143 Runs batted in,  8 stolen bases, 133 walks, 86 strikeouts, .342 batting average, .474 on base percentage, .690 slugging percentage, and 375 total bases.

Ruth is; third all-time in HRs with 714, second all-time in RBI's with 2.213, third all-time with 2,062 walks, and fourth all-time with 1,356 extra base hits. Babe's career batting average of .342 is good for tenth all-time. Ruth led the American League in offensive WAR ten different seasons, and finished in the top ten 16 times.

Babe Ruth is one of the top hitters of all-time as his statistics show. He definitely benefited greatly from playing in New York. He received more media coverage than any other MLB player at the time and possibly of all-time. Almost all of that coverage was favorable, as media back then covered up any transgressions he committed, and glorified/portrayed him as a mythical like man in pinstripes. He also benefited from playing in a park that was tailor made for him and his swing. At his home park, Yankee Stadium, it was just 295 feet down the right field line. Right Center at Yankee Stadium was just 350 feet away from home plate during Ruth's time. All in all the Babe was a great player, but he is not the best hitter of all-time.

top 5 hitters in MLB history part 2

NBA Pick

Celtics(+1) at Sixers OVER/UNDER 176
The Celtics own a 3-2 series lead, and are looking to close out Philly tonight. The Celtics won game 5 thanks to Brandon Bass. While I don't Bass will have another game like that, I do think the Celtics will win tonight. No doubt this is a banged up Celtics team, but they have enough to get past Philly tonight. The Celtics know they need all the rest they can get for Paul Pierce. The Sixers just do not have enough consistent offensive fire power to win this series. They have too many stretches were they go 5 minutes without scoring. The over has hit the last three games of this series. I don't see that happening again. I think this game will be an; ugly, defensive, low scoring struggle.
The Pick: Boston 86 Philly 83

Granlund Signs




The Wild were able to sign Mikael Granlund to a three year entry level contract today. This is great news for fans of the team. This is just one step forward on a long road to the playoffs, and having a fun team to watch. The Wild still have plenty of work to do, as they try to build a roster and organization that can compete for the Stanley Cup year in and year out. Granlund, barring injury will definitely be on one of the teams top two forward lines.

The next step is using our vast salary cap space on the right players. Whether this is by signing free agents(Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Matt Carle) or trading for players remains to be seen. This summers free agent class does not have a lot of depth, so trades might be the best way to improve the roster this year.

The Wild with; Granlund and Charlie Coyle(MVP of the QMJHL Playoffs) will have two legitimate Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) candidates on the team next year. At the very least the team should be a hell of lot more entertaining to watch next season. I just hope that entertainment translates into success.

Friday, May 18, 2012

NBA Picks

Celtics(+2) at Sixers OVER/UNDER 174 pts
Take the Celtics and the points. They figured out the Sixers last game.
Celtics 89-Sixers 81  Under

Thunder(+2.5) at Lakers   OVER/UNDER 189 pts
Can't believe the Thunder are getting points. Take the Thunder.
Thunder 99-Lakers 94


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Top 5 Hitters in MLB History part 2


  



This is my list of the top 5 hitters in MLB history.

#5 Willie Mays
#4 Rogers Hornsby

#4 Rogers Hornsby
Rogers Hornsby or the "Rajah" is the greatest right-handed hitter in MLB history. The Rajah played 23 years in the MLB for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and St. Louis Browns(1915-1937).  He played second base, shortstop, and third base. His career offensive WAR is 119.1. This is good for eighth all-time. The Rajah had an astounding .424 batting average in 1924. That is the highest battting average ever by a RH hitter. All told, Hornsby, hit over .400 three times in his MLB career. He also won one World series in 1926. Rogers was a two time triple crown winner for the Cardinals(1922 and 1925). he was a two time National league MVP(1925 and 1929). The Rajah was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1942. He appeared on 78.1 % of the ballots cast.

The Rajah finished first in offensive WAR 12 different times in the National League. His lifetime batting average of .358, is the second highest of all-time in the MLB. He has the highest lifetime batting average for a RH hitter. Hornsby, led the NL in batting average seven times, including 6 in a row from 1920-1925. He won; two HR titles, 4 RBI titles, and led the NL in hits four different times. The Rajah also led the NL in total bases seven different times.

Hornsby's 162 game average season looks like this: 586 At Bats, 113 runs scored, 210 hits, 39 doubles, 12 triples, 22 Home-runs, 114 Runs batted in, 10 stolen bases, 74 walks, 49 strikeouts, .358 batting average, .434 on base percentage, .577 slugging percentage, and 338 total bases.

Rogers Hornsby finished his career with; a lifetime batting average of .358, 2,930 hits, 541 doubles, 169 triples, 301 Home-runs, 1584 RBI, 1,038 walks, .434 on base percentag e, .577 slugging percentage, and 4,712 total bases. His career on base percentage is good for 8th all-time. The Rajah's career slugging percentage is good for 11th all-time.

The Rajah is by far the greatest hitting middle infielder of all-time. He was the National Leagues best player in the 1920's. His career tailed off in the 1930's, which is why he does not crack the top three on this list. For a decade though, he was the first or second best player in all of baseball. Hornsby, is one of the most underrated players in MLB history. He deserves to be mentioned as the greatest second baseman of all-time.

Part one Top 5 hitters in MLB history part 1

NBA Picks

Heat(-2.5) at Pacers  OVER/UNDER 181
Heat win 91-87- under

Clippers(+10.5) at Spurs OVER/UNDER 194
Spurs win 102 -90 under

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Top 5 MLB Hitters of All-Time part one


 

 This is my list of the top 5 hitters of all-time. I will be featuring one player a day.

#5 Willie Mays
Mays is the second greatest right-handed batter of all-time. His career offensive WAR is 131.3(WAR or wins above replacement level player is a statistic that is a single number that presents the number of wins that a player added to his teams total, above what a replacement player would add.) On a single season scale the number 8+ wins is a MVP type year, 5+ wins is a all-star caliber season, 2+ is an everday player and 0 or minus is a replacement player.  Mays was a player that could hit for average, power, and had phenomenal speed.  Over a 22 year career, his average 162 game season totals out to:112 runs scored, 178 hits, 36 HRs, 103 RBI, 18 Stolen Bases, 79 walks, 83 Strikeouts, 28 doubles, 8 triples, .302 Batting Average, .384 On Base Percentage, .557 Slugging percentage, and 328 total bases.  Some of these numbers are a little low, because Mays played four years longer than he should have. By hanging on too long, he lowered his career averages.

Willie was selected to the Hall of Fame in1979, his first year of eligibility,  with 94.9% of the voters including him on their ballots. Mays finished in the top 4 of the National League for Offensive WAR 13 straight years(1954-1966).  Willie is; third all time with 6,006 career total bases, 4th all-time in Home-runs with 660, 11th all-time with 1,903 RBIs, 7th in career runs scored with 2,062, and 7th all-time with 2,368 runs created. Mays also has; the 5th most extra base hits in his career with 1,323, the 11th most at bats with 10.881, 9th in career games played 2,992, 11th all-time with 3,283 hits and led the league in stolen bases four different times.

Mays, combined power and speed better than any player, ever. This was a man who could lead the league in Home-runs and stolen bases. Willie led the National league in HRs four different times, twice hitting more than 50 in a single season. He also finished four different seasons at the top of the National League in Stolen Bases. He led the NL seven different times in offensive WAR. Mays was also a consistent .300 hitter, who won one NL batting title in his career.

Mays produced all of these numbers as a right-handed hitter. Mays also had to face racial bigotry and racism from fans throughout most of his career. The only thing keeping Mays from being higher on my list is the fact that he only won one career batting title. He, also really fell off a cliff, in terms of production the last 6-7 years of his career. The Say Hey Kid is still the second best RH hitter of all-time and definitely deserving of a spot as high as number 3 on this list. He will have to settle for number 5 though

Top 5 hitters in MLB History part 2

top 5 Hitters In MLB History Part 3

Top 5 Hitters In MLB History Part 4

NBA Picks against the spread

Boston(+2) at Philadelphia  OVER/UNDER 172 points
Take the Celtics. They are getting two points, and they are the better team. True, the Sixers are a better home team than road team, but the Celtics are the better overall team. Paul Pierce, is due for a big game against Philly, as he has not really done much so far in this series. The Sixers are not going to make the Conference Finals are they? Boston gets it done late in the fourth quarter.
The Pick: Boston 85- Philly 81

Lakers(+8) at OKC Thunder  OVER/UNDER 196 points
The Thunder killed the Lakers in game one, as predicted here. Look for more of the same in game 2 Tonight. The Lakers have no one on their team that can guard Westbrook,Harden, or Durant. If the Lakers try to go to a zone defense, the Thunder will eat them alive with drives to the basket, and open 3pt jumpers. This is just a bad match-up for a tired and aging Lakers team.
The Pick: Thunder 108 - LA 95

NHL
Devils win 2-1


Ramblings

The Kings strike again...Set an NHL record with 9 straight road wins in the NHL Playoffs....Can anyone stop this team??? Jonathon Quick, is having an amazing postseason for the Kings.....He is definitely the front runner for playoff MVP....I can not believe the Coyotes are in the Conference Finals.....They play just like the Wild....The Twins are really bad....They are on pace for 116 losses.....That would give them just 46 wins on the year.... The Twin's are one of only three teams that have yet to win three games in a row.....It is getting to the point that it's not even fun, making fun of them anymore.......So much for making hay against the Division....We gave Derek Lowe his first shutout in seven years.....and he did not even strike anyone out.....Lebron misses free throws, then does not even take a shot in the final three minutes.....The more things change the more they stay the same....The Heat bench and the other starters, besides D-Wade and Lebron are atrocious. They combined for just 23 points against the Pacers..........Chris Bosh takes a lot of flack, and rightfully so, but he is really important to the Heat.....They really struggle without him......The Pacers look like they are going to make this a better series than I thought....I'm not surprised the Wild went cheap and hired Anthony Lapanta to take over the play by play duties....This is an organization that has made numerous mistakes since Craig Leipold took over as owner.....Lapanta is almost as bad as Terhaar......He takes homerism to another level......Not to mention he sucked calling Gopher games, and has a toupee.....The Thunder are going to continue to romp all over the Lakers.....LA has no one that can guard Westbrook, Durant, or Harden.....Watching the Lakers unravel last night was fun.......The Spurs are a really good team....They are actually fun to watch unlike most of there previous squad....Eric Bledsoe is a really good player minus the fact he does not guard anyone, and almost cost me money three games in a row.....Not to jinx myself, but I have hit 10 out of 11 on over/unders....When in doubt always bet the under in the NBA playoffs...too bad I have not bet all of those....Justin Morneau comes back tomorrow.....How many games until he is injured again???? Mad Men is one of the best TV shows of all-time......I can not wait for the Wild to start it's off-season......One last Twins note......They have hit into 37 doubleplays this year in 36 games.....that is tough to do....Tiger Woods needs to start banging pornstars and Perkin's managers again, whatever it takes to get his confidence back.....The world of Golf needs him to be good....Matt Kuchar, winning the Players Championship, is not going to get anyone watching golf......Tiger also needs to start playing more tournaments, so he can get his feel for the game back......He also should stop messing with his swing.....He was doing just fine before he decided to overhaul it.....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

NBA Bets Against the Spread

Pacers(+6.5) at Heat OVER/UNDER 186
Miami covered last game, but barely. The Heat will not have Chris Bosh, who was hurt in the last game. Despite being the fodder for many jokes, the heat are a better team with Bosh on the floor. Indiana has to get better production from Danny Granger in this game. He made only one shot in game 1.
The Pick: Heat cover 93-86- This is a game that could go either way. I think the Heat are the better team, but this is one game to stay away from.

Clippers(+11) at Spurs OVER/UNDER 192
This is game one of the series. The Spurs are a heavy favorite in this game. The Spurs have not played for over a week, while the Clippers just ended their first round series on Sunday. The rust did not seem to hurt the Thunder yesterday, during their blowout of the Lakers. I think the Spurs will destroy the Clippers in this series in 5 games or less. Tonight, I believe the Spurs cover. The Clippers will be tired, and their two best players are hurt.
The Pick: Spurs 105-Clippers 88
Yesterday 3-1
Overall  12-6
4-5 against spread
8-1 Over/Unders

Timberwolves Summer Primer

The Minnesota Timberwolves are close to being a Playoff team in the 2012-13 season. Let's take a look at how they can get there, who they might target this off-season, and who they might let go from the current roster.

Wolves roster and the salary they are due next year and what I would do with them.

Michael Beasley- is due $8.17 million Qualifying offer- He is gone at that price.
Martell Webster- Team option at $5.7 million-gone-too much money for a player who doesn't get it.
Darko Milicic-$5.2 million this year-Gone I would amnesty him. Good riddance.
Brad Miller-Retiring.
JJ Barea $4.5 million-returns- good guy off bench.
Kevin Love-$13.67 mil-trade, just kidding-obviously keeping him.
Derrick Williams-$4.9 Mil-keep-need to find a way to get him in the starting lineup, or trade him.
Nik Pekovic-$4.6 mil-Keep him and sign him to an extension-may have the best contract in the league.
Wes Johnson-$4.3 mil-Keep him or trade him-The Wolves have a team option for his contract in 2013.
Luke Ridnour-$4 mil-keep him-good backup pg.
Ricky Rubio-$3.7 mil-keep him-he will attract guys to play with him here even with the cold weather.
Anthony Randolph-$4mil qualifying offer-I think we should keep him-he's got great talent.
Anthony Tolliver-Free Agent-possibly re-sign on the cheap-gives everything he has even if it's not much.
Wayne Ellington-3.1 mil qualifying offer-keep him- another guy that gives his all-can shoot a little bit too.

After making my cuts here is the Wolves roster for next year, with salary.
JJ Barea-$4.5 mil
Kevin Love-$13.7 mil
Derrick Williams-$4.9 mil
Nik Pekovic-$4.6 mil
Wes Johnson-$4.3 mil
Luke Ridnour-$4 mil
Ricky Rubio-$3.7 mil
Anthony Randolph-$4mil
Wayne Ellington-$3.1 mil
Total salary $46.8 million for 9 players. NBA rosters are 12 players

This leaves the the Wolves with 9 players under contract at $46.8 mil in salary.  Depending on what the Wolves do with the 18th pick in this years draft, they will need 2-3 players to fill out the roster. The salary cap for the 2012-13 season is expected to be about $58 million. This will give the Wolves roughly $11.5 mil to spend on free agents. This leaves the T-Wolves, with enough space under the cap to attract a quality Free-Agent.

Potential targets for the Wolves this off-season in order of importance.
1.Nicolas Batum SF Portland-(RFA)- This would be the perfect player for the Minnesota Timberwolves to target this off-season. He is an elite defender, which the Wolves desperately need. He also can shoot, as he made 39% of his 3point shots this season. The Wolves need someone, who can consistently make the open jump-shots Ricky Rubio creates.The only downside is he is a restricted free agent(RFA), which means Portland can match any offer the Wolves make. Portland will be close to the cap, so the Wolves could get creative and steal him away. Getting Batum, would make this team an instant Playoff contender. It would also allow the Wolves to explore trading Derrick Williams, who despite being immensely talented has nowhere to play on this Wolves squad, and he needs to play.
2.Jamal Crawford SG-UFA- Getting Crawford would give the Wolves a shooter, which they desperately need. By adding Crawford, the Wolves would be adding a scorer, and a ball-handler. This would also allow the Wolves the option of seeing if Derrick Williams can play SF on a consistent basis.
3.Courtney Lee SG-Rockets-(RFA)- Lee is a more cost effective option at SG. He is also younger than Crawford, but he is a RFA, so the Rockets could match any Wolves offer. Lee, is not as accomplished as Crawford, but he is an intriguing player to look at.
4.Ray Allen SG(UFA)-He would be second on this list if there was any chance the Wolves could get him. He would bring a veteran presence to this roster that the Wolves sorely lack. He also is one of the best shooters of all-time.
5.Nick Young SG(UFA)-He may be crazy, but he can shoot, and he has shown some promise playing with the Clippers.
6.Eric Gordon SG-Hornets(RFA)-He would be number 1A) after Batum. But there is no chance, the Hornets would not match any offer he receives. He would be ideal for the Wolves.

Other targets-Players who are intriguing, but a step below the players listed above.

1.Grant Hill SF (UFA)-He would be perfect for this squad, but he will either retire, or re-sign with the Suns.
2.Kevin Garnett PF (UFA)-He would definitely add leadership and character to his former squad, but what position would he play? Would he want to come back?
3.Steve Novak SF (UFA)-Great 3pt shooter, but that is all he can do. He can not defend.
4.Spencer Hawes C (UFA)-He has probably played his way out of the Wolves price range-great backup C.
5.Greg Oden C (UFA)- Worth a shot-Would be a great backup Center as well.
6.Joel Pryzbilla C (UFA)-Might play another year-could do worse backing up Pek.
7.Marcus Camby C (UFA)-Probably too pricey-would provide veteran stability.
8.Michael Redd SG (UFA)-Played well in spurts for the Suns. Would be a veteran off the bench.
9.Tracy McGrady SG(UFA)-He has been in the league for ever, still has something to give off the bench.
10.Landry Fields SG(UFA)- Good defender.


Monday, May 14, 2012

NBA Picks against the spread, Bonus Bets

So far I am 3-4 against the spread 6-1 on over/unders 9-5 overall
 As always, these picks are for recreational purposes. Picking every game is hard, I definitely am not betting all of these games, if betting were legal that is. All lines courtesy of Bovada.lv
76ers(+5)at Celtics  Over/Under 174 points
The Celtic's were lucky to escape game one with a one point win over the Sixers. The Celtics played terrible and still won. A lot of people on Bovada are betting the 76ers to cover this spread because they almost won on Saturday Night. I'm going the other way. Take the Celtics. They will not play nearly as bad tonight, as they did in game 1. A win for them tonight gives them a stranglehold on this series. Look for the team and the crowd to be way better in game 2. Take the under as well. The over hit last game, but the under has hit in 7 out of the last 8 NBA playoff games.
The Pick:Celtics 88-Sixers 80

LA Lakers(+7.5) at OKC Thunder OVER/Under 191
This is game one of this series. The Lakers where in a 7 game war that ended just 2 days ago. The Thunder have had over a week off. My only worry about this game, is the amount of rust the Thunder might have, after such a long layoff. I'm still taking the Thunder to cover the spread in this game. They have too many athletes for the Lakers to defend. I think the Lakers keep it relatively close for 3 quarters, but then lose steam in the fourth. Look for the Thunder to dominate the fourth quarter. This over/under is a tough one but I'm going with the over. One of these days it will hit why not this game? I think it will be close either way.
The Pick Thunder 101- Lakers 92
Bonus Bets
NHL
The Devils moneyline is +105 against the Rangers tonight. Take it. This is the best odds to make money  for this game, unless you really think the Rangers can win by 2 goals. That line is Rangers +250. The Rangers can't score more than 3 goals in a game, so that is a real risky bet.
The Pick Devils 3-NY 1- New Jersey is well rested, NY is not.
 MLB
The Indians are +125 to win by more than 1.5 runs against the Twins. Take that bet. Please. Pavano is the scheduled starter for the Twins. He is hurt right now, and not pitching well on top of that. Don't be afraid to bet against the Twins, they are 10-24 this year. You might as well make some money off them, while you watch them disgrace our town with their inept play.