Thursday, December 29, 2016

Previewing the College Playoff Games

            The college football playoff is only a couple days away and there are exciting match-ups for this year's playoffs amid all the controversy. Everyone's expecting Alabama to run the table and win out, but it might not be as easy of a task as the experts are making it out to be. Here's a preview of the playoff games

What to Watch For in Washington/Alabama: Honestly, this could be a much closer game than people (and Vegas) are making it out to be. All Washington needs to do to have a chance is to avoid turnovers and they should be in this. Alabama has 14 non-offensive touchdowns this season, which should have Chris Petersen's squad on the edge. However, Alabama's passing game isn't the best, while Washington's secondary yielded 192.6 yards per game, good for 22nd in college football. The Huskies need to also shut down the Tide in the trenches to stand a chance. Alabama's defense will be stingy on their own, so Jake Browning and Washington's skill receivers will be tested quite a bit.
What to Watch For in Clemson/Ohio State: The youth of Ohio State's team will be tested against one of the better passing offenses in college football. Deshaun Watson and Clemson rank fifth in total receiving yards (4,324 yards), but the Buckeyes' secondary yields only 164.5 yards per game, good for sixth in college football. First-Team All-ACC receiver Mike Williams (1,171 yards, ten touchdowns) and other Clemson receivers will have one of his toughest match-ups yet. Something will have to give in this match-up. The coaching match-up between Urban Meyer and Dabo Swinney will also be something to look out for.

Final Score Prediction For Washington/Alabama: Again, I feel this game will be a lot closer than the experts are making it out to be. Washington has a decent offensive line that may help Jake Browning and crew stand up on their own two feet for a good part of the game. They also have a solid secondary that should shut down Jalen Hurts and the Alabama passing game. But will it be enough to overcome Alabama's pure power and speed? Alabama 26, Washington 20
Final Score Prediction For Clemson/Ohio State: This will be the game that everyone will be watching. Urban Meyer versus Dabo Swinney. Deshaun Watson versus the Ohio State secondary. So many good match-ups in this game. The Buckeyes take this one in a nail-biter. Ohio State 30, Clemson 27


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Final Week of Regular Season Picks

             It's the last week of the NFL regular season!!! All AFC playoff berths are secured; it's just a matter of sorting who plays who in the playoffs. As for the NFC. two spots are up for grabs. I'll be picking all of the games with playoff implications!! Here we go!!


  • Panthers over Buccaneers
  • Patriots over Dolphins
  • Falcons over Saints
  • Redskins over Giants
  • Seahawks over 49ers
  • Broncos over Raiders
  • Chiefs over Chargers
  • Packers over Lions
Record: 67-33-2 (+13)

Monday, December 26, 2016

New Year's Resolution(s)?

            It's that time of year again. The time where we vow to lose all of that stubborn weight and belly fat (and we usually don't commit to it). That's right, it's the "New Year's Resolution." I won't be making a resolution on my weight loss since I'm keeping up with my own plan (although I still have some time before I reach my goal). Anyways, here's a list of some "resolutions" that I hope to achieve.

  • Be a Nicer Person: Working at a fast-food restaurant can bring out the ugly side of almost any person. That's why I hope to change my tone a bit. That doesn't mean that I'll steer away from cracking jokes. In fact, I need to starting owning my words better. Speaking of fast food...
  • Get the Hell Out of the Fast Food Industry: I'm hoping that I can make my new podcast take off. I'll be experimenting a bit with some new technology that I got, so I'll be investing some time in my podcast. In the meantime, I need to find a new job that isn't frustrating to work in. The restaurant that I work in right now is a good environment to work with regards to my co-workers. It's just that the restaurant itself brings in the WORST customers ever. Like ordering four double quarter-pounders, two egg McMuffins, and two sausage McMuffins and having coupons for ALL of these sandwiches kind of bad. My restaurant brings in some of the worst inbreds around and I hope to escape such an environment.
  • Invest More In My Podcast: I really want to make a new podcast that I have planned to work. I don't have a name for it, but I'll have to make sure that everything sticks. More advertising, more marketing, and more promotions. I got big plans in my future and I want to ensure that my future comes to fruition. 
  • Get an Internship: I slacked on getting an internship this year and I'm disappointed in myself for it. This year, I need to commit in finding one, especially since I got a light semester to work with.
  • Save Money: That pretty much coincides with the investing of my podcast. Just make sure that I save and don't spend beyond my means.

Photo courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

Friday, December 23, 2016

Ranking the NBA Christmas Match-ups

             The NBA on Christmas Day is a staple of the birthday of Jesus. Featuring the best match-ups, the NBA counters the NFL's Thanksgiving slate with a Christmas slate of their own. Here's how I'm ranking this year's slate of games.


  1. Golden State vs. Cleveland: An NBA Finals rematch, the 26-4 Warriors might not have as good of a record as they did last year. However, Golden State does have Kevin Durant, who leads the team in PPG with 25.7 and blocks per game with 1.6. The match-up of Stephen Curry and LeBron James will be must-see TV.
  2. New York vs. Boston: New York and Boston are rivals in almost every sport. Baseball. Football. Now, the rivalry between the two storied franchises is being revived on Christmas. Derrick Rose and the surprising Knicks will be taking on Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics.
  3. Chicago vs. San Antonio: Pau Gasol will take on his former squad, the Bulls, in the late cap of the ABC match-ups. What was supposed to be a transition year for Chicago has actually been a surprise as they're the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference at 14-14. As for the Spurs, well, they're the Spurs. With a record of 23-6 (good for second-best in the Western Conference), San Antonio has proven that they can hang without the presence of Tim Duncan.
  4. LA Lakers vs. LA Clippers: The Tinseltown Rivalry has seen a role swap that is interesting, to say the least. The Lakers, who are known for winning titles, are sitting ten games below .500. The Clippers, a normally hapless franchise, are sitting in third place in the Western Conference with a record of 22-8. The Clippers may not have Blake Griffin, but they did beat the Spurs yesterday.
  5. Minnesota vs. Oklahoma City: Will Russell Westbrook post another triple-double? Will Zach LaVine display some high-flying dunks? How will Karl Anthony-Towns fare against the Thunder? All these questions will be answered with this match-up.
Photo Courtesy of SI.com

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Picksmas!! Happy Pickadays!!!

            Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays (whichever one you prefer) to everyone in the holiday spirit. I am certainly in the spirit of the holidays considering that I got another solid week of picks in! Here's hoping Santa can give me some correct picks for the Christmas season!!!


  • Giants over Eagles
  • Raiders over Colts
  • Bengals over Texans
  • Steelers over Ravens
  • Chiefs over Broncos
  • Cowboys over Lions
Bonus Pick: Dolphins over Bills

Record: 63-31-2 (+13)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Think About This For A Minute

            How bizarre does this sound? The CLEVELAND BROWNS have a Pro Bowl selection (Joe Thomas for the tenth straight season, only the fifth NFL player to be selected in each of his first ten seasons), while the first place Detroit Lions do not. This is in spite of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford having an MVP season, completing 66.3% of his passes while throwing for 3,720 yards, 22 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Don't forget that Cleveland hasn't won a single game this season and is on the verge of a winless season. Stafford might be an alternate (second) along with punter Sam Martin (first), kicker Matt Prater (first), and cornerback Darius Slay (second). But doesn't this sound odd that a hapless franchise like the Browns have more Pro Bowl picks than a team hoping to be the NFL version of the 2016 Chicago Cubs in the Lions?

Photo Courtesy of USA Today (Steelers Wire)

Monday, December 19, 2016

How To Fix The NFL's Sagging Ratings (At Least One Way)

            Thursday's NFL tilt between the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams was what Richard Sherman called a "poopfest". The game turned out to be a 24-3 "poopfest", so Shearman was right about that. Sherman went on a rant about how Goodell should take a walk in a player's shoes and pad up for a Thursday night game after starting to rest on Monday morning (especially after a grueling loss to Green Bay). The Rams/Seahawks game drew 2.96 million viewers on the NFL Network on Thursday, but suffered among 18-49 year old viewers. The rating took a hit from 1.4 the previous week to 1.2 this week. The NBC viewership consisted of 7.68 million viewers. While the number isn't bad, it certainly can stand for improvement.
            While the Thursday night game isn't exactly the best idea for the health of the players (which is another example of how the NFL poorly treats its players), the concept of the Thursday night game shouldn't be scrapped. The Thursday night game, like many of the NFL's games this year, has suffered from sagging ratings. Yes, the TNF ratings before the Rams/Seahawks game were good, with the Chiefs/Raiders game drawing 8.09 million viewers on NBC last week and the Cowboys/Vikings game drawing 10.61 million viewers on NBC the week before. But the NFL has had to deal with issues, like players kneeling for the national anthem and events like an exhilarating Presidential election and 2016 World Series earlier in the season.
            So how can the NFL improve its ratings? Now that the media storm of elections and the MLB postseason is done, the ratings should go up a bit. However, the NFL does need to start off with its Thursday night match-ups by scrapping the whole "every team gets at least one primetime game" mantra. Nobody wants to see the Cleveland Browns automatically lose or the Titans-Jaguars draw 4.85 million viewers on Thursday or watch Jeff Fisher coach an average game. Viewers would rather go channel-surfing to see what's on rather than watch any of these things.
            Rather, the viewers want to see quality match-ups. Roger Goodell and the NFL shouldn't be afraid to put the best teams on Thursday like how some of the best play on Sunday night. For example, the Cowboys/Steelers drew 28.9 million viewers (two fire-brand franchises!!) and the Super Bowl 49 rematch between the Seahawks/Patriots scored a 14.3 overnight rating. Imagine if those were TNF games with games like the Patriots/Broncos for the Sunday night game. If the NFL wants to get its ratings back (or at least a good amount), start off by making the Thursday night match-up actually intriguing. Give the viewers more of the best teams like the Cowboys, Patriots, or Seahawks.
            Now is it a good idea to run a Thursday night game almost every week of the NFL season? For the player's safety, it is not. However, if the NFL doesn't want to scrap Thursday night games altogether, they should make some minor changes and give NFL fans quality games they deserve.

Photo courtesy of Variety.com

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Why Does Nobody Want Jose Bautista?

              One of the biggest names in free agency this offseason is Jose Bautista, formerly Toronto's superstar slugger. Bautista sought a deal worth more than $150 million before the 2016 season started and will probably want somewhere around that range money-wise. But the winter meetings have already passed and Bautista still doesn't have a new home. So what's the hold-up?


  1. Bautista Isn't The Most Likable Person In The World: Baltimore Orioles GM Dan Duquette made a comment a couple weeks ago about why he didn't pursue Jose Bautista. Duquette replied that "he [Bautista] is a villain in Baltimore" and "the fans didn't like him." Bautista isn't well-known for being the most friendly person on the diamond, as seen by his scuffle with Rougned Odor in recent memory. Bautista's been notorious for getting into shouting arguments with opposing pitchers over "bad" pitches. What team would want to take on his emotional baggage?
  2. His Age: Bautista just turned 36 years old in October, so his best years are behind him. There probably won't be a team that will be willing to offer a 36-year old slugger a four-year deal and pay him around $150 million.
  3. Bautista Is A Defensive Liability And Is Starting To Become A Liability At The Plate: Bautista saw his production from 2015 tail off, going from 40 homers and 108 RBIs in 2015 to 22 homers and 68 RBIs the year after. His ISO power fell from .285 to .217 and his BB/K rate fell from 1.04 in 2015 to .84 in 2016. Defensively, his arm strength is deteriorating and isn't as accurate as it once was. While his defensive value actually improved, it still doesn't leave Bautista as a reliable source of fielding.
  4. His Market: Considering that there's no Designated Hitter in the National League, Bautista going to any NL club is out of the question. Boston is looking for a DH, but one of the short-term variety. You know about Baltimore and Texas probably doesn't want Bautista's personality in the clubhouse, either. The Yankees have already spent big money on Aroldis Chapman and are looking to avert the luxury tax in the future. They also have a lot of young talent in their farm system that they'd like to develop. Throw in the fact that a team would lose a draft pick for signing Bautista and he looks less appealing to a team.
            So where will Jose Bautista end up? There's a good chance that Bautista will end up back in Toronto for less money than he asked for. He'll probably get a deal with less years on it as well. For a man who want a deal as grandiose as Bautista himself, selling himself high was nice, but not a realistic possibility. 

Photo Courtesy of Washington Post

Friday, December 16, 2016

WATCH THIS: Buzzer Beater Edition

             The buzzer beater is one of sport's most spontaneous (or most deflating) moments. You can go from losing to winning (or the opposite, for that matter) in just an instant. But what about those 'special' buzzer beaters? That's what we're highlighting today. Check out some of these special winners.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Picks Are Here!!!

           Last week was another solid week regarding the picks. The season's winding down, so there's no letting up on the gas. Here are this week's picks!!!
  • Seahawks over Rams
  • Dolphins over Jets
  • Giants over Lions
  • Patriots over Broncos
  • Cowboys over Buccaneers
  • Redskins over Panthers
Bonus Pick: Chiefs over Titans

Record: 58-30-2 (+13)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wouldya?

            When you're a Buffalo Bills fan, you don't have much to cheer for. You went to the Super Bowl four years in a row, only to lose all four Super Bowls. You also have the longest playoff drought in all of North American professional sports. You also live in one of the most frigid environments in Buffalo, New York. So how do Bills fans cope with such a harsh reality? By doing wrestling and other crazy acts. Here's a little bit of what "Bills Mafia" is known for.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Safe and Sound

            The Seattle Sounders' triumph over Toronto FC in the MLS Cup was one for the ages. The Sounders had no shots on target throughout the entire match and were outshot greatly by Toronto. However, they managed to outlast Toronto FC due to a strong performance by goalie Stefan Frei.
            For a franchise that was founded as an MLS franchise nine years ago, the search for MLS supremacy has been a long one. The capacity of the Sounders' stadium, Centurylink Field, has increased greatly since the Sounders' MLS inception in 2009. This is mainly due to the rising demands of tickets in the area. The Sounders even have their own marching band called the "Sound Wave", a 53-person marching band that was the first of its kind in MLS.
            Seattle's championship season is rather one of great interest. The Sounders parted ways with then-coach Sigi Schmid after an embarrassing loss to Sporting Kansas City on July 26. They promoted Brian Schmetzer to interim head coach and signed Uruguayan midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro on a designated player contract on the same day. Lodeiro scored four goals in 13 regular season matches and four goals in six MLS Cup appearances. Lodeiro also had eight assists during the regular season. Other significant performers on the Sounders include homegrown Jordan Morris (12 goals, six game-winning goals) and Clint Dempsey (eight goals). The Sounders ended up finishing fourth in the Western Conference after being in last place at one point in the regular season. They toppled the Colorado Rapids 3-1 to advance to the MLS Cup, eventually grinding out a win on penalty kicks (5-4) over Toronto FC.
            For a franchise that has supported soccer avidly in the area (and have witnessed their rival Portland Timbers win the MLS Cup a year ago), winning the Cup in grinding fashion was well worth the wait for Seattle's soccer fans. Their patience accumulated to their team hoisting the ultimate league prize and has them wanting more.

Photo Courtesy of King5

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The D's Finest Moments

            I wanted to do a post highlighting Detroit's finest sports moments, but my 313th post was part of the NFL preview. However, I feel an obligation to give back to one of America's hardest-working cities. Some of you might know that I'm not the biggest fan of Michigan (or living in it). However, Detroit is the one place that won't go away in my heart no matter how hard I try.
            In an age where "safe spaces" run wild, the city of Detroit is the one constant in the United States. Gritty, hardy, and not giving a fuck. And why should they? They've got to get on the grind. Get up. Go to work. Punch out. That's the Detroit way.
            Anyways, this post is dedicated to one of America's most hardcore sports towns. In Detroit (and throughout most of Michigan, for that matter), sports is king. Bring up the Red Wings and someone will strike up a conversation with you about how good Dylan Larkin is (he really is good). Bring up the Lions and they'll talk about Matthew Stafford's latest fourth-quarter comeback (or talk about the Lions' historical woes).
            I've asked some of my Facebook friends (who are avid Detroit sports fans) what their favorite sports moment in Detroit was. Here's what I got.

             So saddle up, grab a coney dog, and watch some of these greatest moments in Detroit sports history.              

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Here Are The Picks!!

            Last week was a good week for me. I thought I would do terrible with the picks, but that wasn't the case. A 5-1 record last week was all that I needed to be satisfied. Here's hoping that I can be successful with my picks once again.


  • Chiefs over Raiders
  • Steelers over Bills
  • Titans over Broncos
  • Seahawks over Packers
  • Giants over Cowboys
  • Patriots over Ravens
Bonus Pick: Cardinals over Dolphins

Record: 53-29-2 (+13)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Bored...

            I'm extremely bored right now. Instead of doing a homework assignment, I'm sitting here tired as all hell. I want to get a workout in before I work on this assignment, but I'm not feeling like driving a distance. I need to get to school anyways, so I'll have to get up eventually and go to the library to work on this project. Anyhow, here's a few random pics to get you all by.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Five Takeaways From the Championship Weekend

            The most nerve-racking weekend has come and gone, with teams clinching their spots in the playoff while others fall out from the Group of Six. Here are a few takeaways from this weekend.


  1. Washington Deserves To Be In: First, I'd like to apologize to Chris Petersen and crew for doubting the Huskies. I didn't expect Washington to throttle #8 Colorado the way they did in the Pac-12 Championship. A 41-10 drubbing of the Buffaloes not only solidified their resume, but it gave the Huskies a valid argument over a school like Michigan (a school with a 'razor-thin' difference from Washington). The Wolverines had trouble with the Buffaloes at the Big House until Colorado's starting quarterback Sefo Liufau got injured in the third quarter of that game. Anyways, Washington deserves to be in and they might not even be the fourth seed. 
  2. The Big Ten's Not Getting Three (Probably Not Even Two) Teams In: With Washington's win, getting the proposed three teams into the playoff mix is out of the question. Regardless of who's winning the Big Ten Championship, Ohio State's getting in. The Buckeyes have four wins against teams in the current Top Ten. Wisconsin lost to Ohio State and Michigan while Penn State lost to Michigan and Pittsburgh. There's a good possibility the committee will keep it at all one-loss teams. 
  3. Alabama Doesn't Need A Lot Of Offense To Drub You: The scary thing about the Crimson Tide isn't that they can put up points on you in a hurry. It's how they do it. Alabama has 14 non-offensive touchdowns on the season. The Tide picked off Austin Appleby three times in the first half of the SEC Championship, including one pick returned for a touchdown by Minkah Fitzpatrick. They also blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown.
  4. Temple Just Saved The Committee (And The System) From A Big Headache: There was talk of how a potential Navy win in the AAC Championship game would 'paralyze the bowl system' considering the Midshipmen play a game against Army a week after. However, none of that will matter since the Temple Owls ousted Navy, 34-10. With a Temple win, Western Michigan should be rowing the boat to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl.
  5. Even With The Big Ten Championship, Penn State Won't Likely Get In: The Nittany Lions needed a convincing win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship and while they did win the game, it took a Badger collapse to make the Penn State win possible. To make matters worse, Clemson won (barely) the ACC Championship and Washington left no doubt in the Pac-12 Championship. It's likely that Ohio State will get in over Penn State, with the Nittany Lions probably headed to the Rose Bowl or another Group of Six bowl.
Final Ranking Prediction:
  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Ohio State
  4. Washington
Photo Courtesy of Seattle Times

Friday, December 2, 2016

On the Playlist

            Here's another edition of "On the Playlist"! I give you an inside look at what's on my playlist. Some songs you may like, some you may not. Anyways, here you go!!!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

My Picks

            Last week wasn't a bad week at all concerning picks (although I wish Philadelphia would quit acting like an enigma). Let's hope that this week brings some good fortune (I'm actually worried about this week's picks).


  • Cowboys over Vikings
  • Chiefs over Falcons
  • Dolphins over Ravens
  • Steelers over Giants
  • Seahawks over Panthers
  • Free Pass on Colts/Jets 
Bonus Picks:  Coin flip on Colorado/Washington (Colorado)
                       Clemson over Virginia Tech
                       Alabama over Florida
                       Oklahoma over Oklahoma State
                       Wisconsin over Penn State

Record: 48-28-2 (+10)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Assessing the Playoff Situation

            The college football playoff is an intriguing race. There are about eleven teams that could potentially make it in. In order to get four teams in, we need to break down the current situation that each of these teams faces.

Should Be Good To Go:
Unless the Crimson Tide get blown out by Florida in the SEC Championship Game, Alabama should be fine. The Tide ensured their playoff hopes with a win over Auburn and should make it in.
Wait and See:
Ohio State's case is more curious. Since the Buckeyes aren't in the B1G Championship Game, it'll be interesting to see if the committee a team like Wisconsin over Ohio State just for winning their conference championship. The Buckeyes' strength of schedule is good with quality wins over teams like Oklahoma and Michigan. That alone could help get Ohio State in regardless of what happens in the B1G Championship Game.
What will the committee think about a two-loss Wisconsin team? Will they leave them out or will they give them the benefit of the doubt and put them in if they win the B1G Championship? The Badgers' two losses did come to Ohio State and Michigan, so those aren't bad losses by any stretch. However, Wisconsin will need a blowout win to convince the committee that they belong. 
Need One More Win:
Clemson has survived almost every scare thrown at them, from Florida State driving down the field to North Carolina State almost pulling the upset. It's not that Clemson needs another statement win; it's that if they lose to a team like Virginia Tech, they're done. 
The Huskies have the worst non-conference schedule in all of college football, beating weak teams like Rutgers and Idaho in convincing fashion. However, if Washington can get a convincing win over a Top Ten team like Colorado in the PAC-12 Championship Game like the one they had in the Apple Cup, that should help boost their resume and get them in.
Needs Some Help
Penn State winning is said to be the doomsday scenario for the playoff committee. What would happen if the Nittany Lions won? Would they get in over an 11-1 Ohio State team? If Penn State wants any consideration, they'll need one or two teams in front of them to fall.
Like Ohio State, Michigan will be staying at home for the B1G Championship. However, if one, two, or even three of the teams in front of them lose and chaos ensues, you can bet that the Wolverines will get in. 
First, one of these two teams will need to win their game against the other. Then, they'll have to hope for one or more teams to fall so that their team's chances of getting in improve. 
A win over Washington in the PAC-12 Championship will help matters. But Colorado will need absolute anarchy everywhere else in order to clinch a playoff spot. 
The Gators need to beat 'Bama first. Then, they pray.



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week Thirteen College Football Winners and Losers

            The college football regular season is winding down with conference championships looming. Which teams made the most during a stacked 'Rivalry Week' and who fell out of the picture? Who won this week and who blew it?

Winner: Washington: In need of a resounding win in order to boost its playoff chances, the Huskies got exactly what they wanted with a big win against in-state rival Washington State, 45-17. Aided by not one, but two goal-line stops, Jake Browning and the Huskies won the Apple Cup and the PAC-12 North by racking up 28 points in the first quarter. The win also helps boost their resume with a win over a ranked team. However, their work isn't done; they still need to win the PAC-12 conference championship against Colorado in order to possibly get in.
Winner: Pitt-Syracuse: That was a good basketball game, huh? A 76-61 win for the Panthers over the Orange. Over 1,300 yards of total offense from both teams combined with many rushing yards galore. A high-scoring fourth quarter really made for an exciting game. Wait, this was a football game?!?
Winner: Kentucky: Kentucky gave Lamar Jackson hell all game, forcing him to throw three interceptions and get sacked three times. Granted, Jackson ran for 171 yards in the game. However, a road win over a ranked opponent, especially one that has been a playoff contender all season and an in-state rival, is always good for a beleaguered football school like Kentucky.
Loser: Nebraska: It wasn't a good day for the #16 Cornhuskers against Iowa. Allowing 264 rushing yards against the Hawkeyes was just a part of the day that Nebraska had as they got embarrassed, 40-10.
Loser: Michigan (Wilton Speight): There were plenty of opportunities for the Wolverines to upend their rivals down south. Fumbling near the goal line along with a couple interceptions while being in the red zone five times isn't a good way to play against a team like Ohio State. What hurts even more is that they had a chance to win on the road with J.T. Barrett and the Buckeyes' passing game looking pedestrian.
Loser: Texas: The Longhorns got rid of Charlie Strong and ended their season with a whimper, losing to TCU by a score of 31-9. Three losing seasons was enough to get Strong canned as the Longhorns's football program remains in competitive turmoil. The good news? They just hired Tom Herman, who's done a great job putting Houston football on the map.


Other Winners: Western Michigan, Tom Herman, Air Force, Penn State
Other Losers: Referees in the U-M/OSU game, Tennessee, Ole Miss, SMU

My Playoff Four:
  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Clemson
  4. Washington
Photo Courtesy of KOMO News

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Best Thanksgiving Moments

           It's Thanksgiving, which means there will be plenty of food, football, and political arguments (especially with this crazy election season). In order to help quell the absurdity that is sitting with your in-laws and other family members, here are some of the best (or not-so-best) moments that occurred on Thanksgiving Day (spoiler alert: all of them are football-related).


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gobble Gobble Gobble Picks

            Last week was a silent week, yet it was a good week for me regarding the picks. Can this Thanksgiving weekend give more blessings with the picks?

  • Vikings over Lions
  • Cowboys over Redskins
  • Steelers over Colts 
  • Raiders over Panthers
  • Chiefs over Broncos
  • Eagles over Packers
Bonus Picks: Ohio State over Michigan
                      Washington State over Washington
                      Alabama over Auburn
                      Colorado over Utah
                      Florida over Florida State
                      Clemson over South Carolina

Record: 44-26-2 (+8)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Reflecting on a Great Career

            A couple days ago, Jimmie Johnson won his seventh Sprint Cup title. That's more than the number of NBA titles Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have won. That's more than the number of Lombardi Trophies the Dallas Cowboys have hoisted. That's more than the number of World Series titles the Cubs and White Sox have won--combined. But if you want to grasp how dominant Johnson has been throughout his career, check out his career statistics.
            No. 48's seven titles include a five-year run from 2006 to 2010 where he was the Sprint Cup champion. Johnson is tied with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for most Sprint Cup Series championships (seven). He's also a four-time Sprint All-Star Race winner, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, a five-time Driver of the Year, and the 2009 Male Athlete of the Year.
            Johnson's career numbers consist of 80 wins, 330 top-ten finishes, and 35 pole positions. In 543 races ran over a 16-year span, that's a very solid track record for a racer. His career also includes 219 top-five finishes, accounting for just over 40% of races that he's finished in the top-five. His 80 wins make him the winningest active driver. He is also the all-time winningest driver at the following tracks:

  • Auto Club Speedway (6)
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway (8)
  • Dover International Speedway (10)
  • Kansas Speedway (3, tied with Jeff Gordon)
  • Las Vegas Motor Speedway (4)
  • Texas Motor Speedway (6)
            The only tracks that Johnson hasn't won a Cup Series race in are Chicagoland Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, and Watkins Glen International (three tracks!!). Johnson is also the only driver to have qualified for the Chase every year since its 2004 inception. 
            In perspective, Jimmie Johnson is easily one of the most dominant NASCAR drivers in recent memory. Here's the thing about Johnson that you need to know: He's not done yet. Barring any changes in heart or freak accidents, Johnson will probably have at least six more years in him to win more races and be in the Chase. This'll mean that even more greatness awaits for Johnson. 

Photo courtesy of NASCAR.com


Sunday, November 20, 2016

NFL Coaches On the Hot Seat

            The NFL Season is starting to wind down. Once the NFL regular season's over, there will be some coaches that will be receiving pink slips at the end. But whose seat is scorching? Here's a look at who could be cut at the end of the season?

John Fox, Chicago Bears: Obviously the hottest seat in the NFL belongs to Fox. Known for successful turnarounds with Carolina and Denver, Fox has struggled to rally the Bears and turn them into a contender. Chicago is 2-8 and will definitely miss the playoffs. Fox's record with the Bears in two years is a dismal 8-17.
Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars: This was supposed to be the year Jacksonville took the next big step to becoming Super Bowl contenders. However, they have been anything but, faltering to 2-8 after Week 11. Bradley's record with Jacksonville is 14-43, a record that leaves a lot to be desired.
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers: McCarthy has done the Packers no favors with his play-calling. Yes, Aaron Rodgers hasn't looked good this season. But a big part of the blame can be assessed to McCarthy's ineptitude.
Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts: Pagano has actually done pretty well with the Colts, garnering a 44-28 record in his five years with Indy and three playoff appearances. You also can't blame Pagano for the myriad of injuries to the defense. However, if problems with Andrew Luck persist, there will likely be major changes.
Rex Ryan, Buffalo Bills: You have to give Ryan credit: he turned the Bills into one of the best run-stopping defenses in the NFL. Granted, Ryan still has some trouble working with quarterbacks (he is more of a defensive-minded coach, after all). However, the culture is Buffalo looks to be changing for the better.
Jim Caldwell, Detroit Lions: Caldwell's job is safe as long as the Lions keep winning. Caldwell should really be thanking Matthew Stafford, who's bailed the Lions out with six comeback wins on the season. Caldwell does have a playoff appearance under his belt with the Lions. However, a total collapse of the season could result in Caldwell's seat getting extremely toasty.
Hue Jackson, Cleveland Browns: Yes, Cleveland hasn't won a game this season and probably won't. However, you can't really pin this on the first-year coach as much as you can on an inept squad devoid of talent.
Jeff Fisher, Los Angeles Rams: Fisher just signed an extension with the Rams, so it's unlikely that Los Angeles will can him this year. However, if a few more '8-8' seasons happen under Fisher's watch and the quarterback situation doesn't get resolved soon, Fisher's seat will get warmer.

Photo courtesy of Fox Sports

Week Twelve College Football Winners and Losers

            What better way to capitalize on a crazy weekend of upsets than to kick this week's slate of games with an upset? There's so much of the upset bug going around right now that it's messing with the playoff picture. Who won the week and who faltered?

Winner: Joe Thomas Sr.: The 55-year-old running back for South Carolina State carried the ball for three yards in a game this week. He made history as the oldest player in Division I football. Fun fact: Thomas Sr. is the father of Packers LB Joe Thomas Jr.
Winner: Houston: With basically nothing to play for, Houston went into Thursday's game against #5 Louisville with the mindset that this was their Super Bowl. The Cougars stepped up to the challenge, calling all sorts of trick plays en route to a shocking rout of the Cardinals, 36-10. Houston recovered three fumbles and sacked Lamar Jackson 11 times, showing a solid defensive effort when it mattered.
Winner: Kansas: The Jayhawks hadn't beaten an FBS opponent in over two years heading into their game against Texas. They finally did it against Texas, winning on a game-winning field goal in overtime by a score of 24-21. It was also the first time in 78 years that Kansas had beaten Texas in a football game. Normally, it's the basketball side of Kansas that does the "Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk." But today, it was the football side's turn to 'chalk' one up.
Loser: Lamar Jackson: When Louisville needed the Heisman front-runner the most, he was nowhere to be seen. Jackson went 20 for 43, throwing for 211 yards and a touchdown. However, the touchdown was in the second half when Louisville was down by 31. Jackson ended up with a QBR of 20.4 and gave Houston two points for intentional grounding in the end zone in the fourth quarter, not a performance that a Heisman candidate should have in a game. Thanks to his lackluster performance, Louisville is basically knocked out of the playoff running.
Loser: Tyler O' Connor: The Michigan State Spartans were knocking on the door against Ohio State, inching close to an upset. However, their quarterback couldn't get the job done. Two picks thrown including the game-sealing interception cost MSU a chance to create some playoff chaos as the Spartans fell to #2 Ohio State, 17-16. Maybe if they had at least a Connor Cook-type quarterback, they'd probably pull of the shocker.
Loser: Utah: The Utes were victims of a terrific last-second catch by Darren Carrington II as the Oregon Ducks pulled off the upset against #11 Utah, 30-28. Check out the highlight below.

Other Winners: Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida's goal-line defense, Kentucky in the second half
Other Losers: Charlie Strong's job, Texas Tech, San Diego State, Kentucky in the first half

My Playoff Four:


  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Ohio State
  4. Michigan

Friday, November 18, 2016

Unprecedented

            There are plenty of streaks that are amazing in sports. Joe DiMaggio's hit streak. Cal Ripken Jr.'s and the number of consecutive games played. The New England Patriots' win streak. Mount Union's winning streak (which was recently snapped).  However, there is one streak that should be mentioned in the same breath as all of these streaks and that's the UConn Women's Basketball Team's current winning streak.
            The Huskies are currently on a 77-game winning streak. The last time UConn lost was in 2014 against Stanford, another prominent program in women's collegiate basketball. In the process, the Huskies have won two straight championships.
            This isn't the first time UConn has had a long streak. They ran off a 70-game winning streak from 2001 to 2003, winning two national championships in the process. But their most impressive streak started during the 2008 season and ended in 2011. Like the start of their current winning streak, the Lady Huskies lost to Stanford, which ended their streak.
            Some players to keep an eye on when watching UConn women's basketball are Napheesa Collier and Katie Lo Samuelson. Collier is averaging 19 PPG in two games this year and is averaging 9.5 RPG this year. Samuelson is the three-ball threat; she's 5-12 from beyond the arc this year and has averaged 15 PPG so far.
            This program has produced great players like Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart, and Diana Taurasi. The program is up there--maybe even better than--the likes of Tennessee and Stanford regarding women's college basketball. Who knows? Geno Auriemma and the Lady Huskies might even make it to John Wooden's UCLA Bruins.

UConn Women's Basketball/NCAA

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Here Are The Picks!!!

            Last week was a good week for me regarding the picks. I can always do better, though!!! Here are this week's picks!!


  • Panthers over Saints
  • Cowboys over Ravens
  • Cardinals over Vikings
  • Seahawks over Eagles
  • Redskins over Packers
  • Raiders over Texans
Bonus Pick: Bills over Bengals

Record: 39-25-2 (+7)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Coolest NCAA Team Names!!!

            To kick off the college basketball season returning, I've compiled a list of some of the coolest names/mascots in college basketball. See if your school's on there!!!

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Marshall Thundering Herd
Kent State Golden Flashes
IPFW Mastodons
Vermont Catamounts
New Orleans Privateers
UTSA Roadrunners
Idaho Vandals
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
UC Irvine Anteaters

Sunday, November 13, 2016

NFL Midseason Grades

            The NFL is a little past the halfway point, which means it's time to start thinking about the playoffs. There really aren't many teams that stand out sans Dallas and New England, so it's anybody's game (except for San Francisco and Cleveland).
            Here's how the grading works. Each team will be placed in a grade tier. The best tier (obviously) is the A+ tier, reserved for the best teams in the NFL. The worst tier is the F- tier. Here's how the teams are graded after eight or more games of this NFL season

A+
Dallas Cowboys: How 'Bout Dem Cowboys? The NFC East as a whole has been quite impressive this season, but no team stands out more than the Cowboys do. Anchored by a stout offensive line and Super-Rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas has a fairly firm grip on home-field advantage in the playoffs at the moment.
New England Patriots: When Tom Brady's four-game suspension was reinstated, I thought to myself, "Brady's going to be angrier than a Sun God." Boy, has he been on fire (and pissed)! He's completed 73.1% of his passes this season while throwing for 1,319 yards and 12 touchdowns. Not only that, but he has a rating of 133.9. The scary part? He hasn't thrown a pick yet.
A-
Oakland Raiders: Surprise!! The Raiders are in first place in the AFC West. Aided by a young quarterback in Derek Carr (66.3% comp., 2,505 yards, 17 TD, 3 INT), Oakland is riding high. One thing they must work on is defense. Otherwise, it seems likely that the Black Hole will host one last playoff game. Fun fact: The Raiders, along with the Patriots and the Cowboys, are one of three undefeated teams on the road this year.
Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are starting to mold into a nice duo. These two are a big part for why Atlanta's high-flying offense (most points scored in the NFL with 305 and most passing yards in the NFL with 2,835) is soaring. But what should surprise you about this team is Vic Beasley Jr. on the defensive side. The linebacker has 26 tackles, three forced fumbles, and 7.5 sacks this year. 
B+
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs have quietly marched their way towards a 7-2 record, mostly because of a stingy secondary. Kansas City leads the NFL in Give/Take ratio with +13. The Chiefs have 20 takeaways on the year with 12 of those being interceptions (highest in the NFL). Marcus Peters (five interceptions) has been a focal point of the Chiefs secondary.
B
Seattle Seahawks: One surprising facet of the Seahawks that hasn't been effective is the running game (30th in the NFL with 603 rushing yards). However, Russell Wilson has been sacked 16 times this season, compared to the Seahawks getting 29 sacks of their own (Cliff Avril has nine of those). Perhaps it's the offensive line that is having quagmires?
Denver Broncos: The Super Bowl Champions still have a stellar defense. However, they have young, inexperienced quarterbacks in Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian who'll need more experience under their belt. Denver also needs to do a little better at stopping the run; they're allowing 1,157 rushing yards compared to the 871 rushing yards the Broncos are getting.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings have proven that they have an elite defense. The proof is in their give-take ratio (+12) and total defense (2nd in the NFL with 2,391 yards). But can their defense carry their injury-riddled team to the playoffs after a 5-0 start?
B-
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers have one of the more dynamic passing/receiving duos in Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown and will use it immensely. On the other side, Pittsburgh needs to do a better job at getting to the quarterback; they're tied for dead-last in the NFL in sacks with 11.
New York Giants: The Giants aren't doing so hot with regards to creating turnovers (-7 in give/take ratio) and getting sacks (tied for last in the NFL with 11). In fact, New York hasn't had a solid defensive unit since they last won the Super Bowl. However, there is one bright spot in their defense and that's stopping the run. The Giants are 7th in the NFL in stopping the run with 751 rushing yards. 
Houston Texans: Losing J.J. Watt for the season isn't something to smile over. However, the Texans have the league's best secondary. They've only allowed 1,524 yards through the air. Houston's also one of the most disciplined teams in the NFL, amassing only 353 penalty yards. 
Baltimore Ravens: Believe it or not, Baltimore's been one of the more consistent franchises in the NFL in recent memory. A staple of Raven teams is being able to stop opponents from gaining a lot of yards and that's what Baltimore's doing this year (4th in the NFL in total defense with 2,534 total yards). The Ravens are only allowing 71.3 rushing yards per game, tops in the NFL.
C+
San Diego Chargers: Honestly, this is the best team under .500 at the moment. Melvin Gordon has improved significantly from his rookie year (768 rushing yards, nine touchdowns), Philip Rivers is, well, Philip Rivers (2,560 yards, 17 touchdowns, 96.2 rating), and San Diego's stopping the run effectively (eighth-fewest yards allowed in the NFL with 768 yards). The Chargers have also beaten teams like Atlanta and Denver this season.
Philadelphia Eagles: I don't really know what to make of this team. Carson Wentz actually has more passing yards in Eagle losses this year (983 to 907) and a better completion rate as well (65.5% to 63.1%). They're in last place in the NFC East, yet their point differential is +57. It's pretty hard to put a pulse on this team.
Detroit Lions: If you told me that the Lions would be in first place in the NFL North by mid-November, I would've shaken my head and laughed. However, that's where they are thanks to the chemistry between offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and Matthew Stafford, who has 22 career come-from-behind wins (five of them are from this year).
Washington Redskins: The fifth-best pass attack in the NFL (2,390 yards) has also done a good job converting first downs (186). The 'Skins are also doing well in punt returns (best punt return average in the NFL with 17.6 yards per return). However, the Redskins will need to do better at stopping their opponents from getting first downs (185).
C
Green Bay Packers: What the hell's going on in Lambeauland? The Packers are stumbling around at the .500 mark and could possibly miss out on some playoff mingling. So, what's the problem? For one, the ground game has been ineffective. The Packers are only gaining 853 yards on the ground this season and should be getting more from the likes of Eddie Lacy and James Starks. Also, take the play-calling duties away from Mike McCarthy. The man has a hard time getting out of his own way.
New Orleans Saints: It's been business as usual for Drew Brees; he's been racking up yards for the 2nd-best pass attack in the NFL (2,611). New Orleans is also playing better after their 0-3 start because they're converting on third downs (best in the NFL with 53% conversion rate). If the Saints can cut back on giving up points, they'll be a serious contender.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills were a pleasant surprise early on, but ran into a tough stretch of the schedule as of late. Their defense, led by linebackers Lorenzo Alexander (10 sacks, 39 total tackles, three forced fumbles) and Zach Brown (89 total tackles, two forced fumbles, three sacks) has kept the Bills in contention. Buffalo has also gotten some offense, leading the NFL in total rushing yards with 1,395 and rushing yards per attempt with 5.3.
Miami Dolphins: Running back Jay Ajayi has been white-hot for the Dolphins, running for 200 yards in back-to-back games. However, head coach Adam Gase hasn't been able to turn Ryan Tannehill into a competent quarterback (eight touchdowns, seven interceptions). The Fins are also having a hard time converting third downs (tied for 30th in the NFL with 33). 
C-
Arizona Cardinals: David Johnson (156 carries, 705 yards, eight touchdowns) has been a pleasant surprise for a Cardinals team that has surprisingly been disappointing. Injuries have hampered this team for a lot of the season and the schedule doesn't appear to be getting any easier, so the Cardinals need to turn the turbos on immediately.
Tennessee Titans: Tennessee's offensive line has actually been surprising, giving DeMarco Murray a lot of room to run and Marcus Mariota a lot of time in the pocket. However, the Titans can get more out of their passing game. Defensively, the Titans are doing well at getting to the quarterback (23 sacks). 
D+
Indianapolis Colts: Remember all the hype surrounding the Colts being Super Bowl contenders from last year? What a difference a year makes. Bogged down by injuries defensively, the Colts have been a car wreck to watch. One positive is that they're leading the NFL in kickoff return yards (545).
Carolina Panthers: What a Super Bowl hangover Carolina's having. The Panthers are 3-6 and Cam Newton isn't having the best of seasons (57.7% completion, nine touchdowns, six interceptions, 1,733 passing yards). However, Newton's been sacked 21 times this season. If Cam wants to direct his anger at someone for all the dirty hits he's received, he should aim it at his porous offensive line who's done a poor job protecting him.
Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green has proven to be a formidable weapon for the Bengals once again. But the rest of the team has been pedestrian this season. Cincinnati has to be better than average in order to get back into the playoff race.
D
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It's interesting that it took the Bucs their fifth home game to finally get their first home win of the season. Doug Martin has been out for a good portion of the season, but Tampa Bay has gotten good production from Mike Evans, who has 745 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Tampa Bay has also been sneaky-good on third downs, only yielding conversions 36.5% of the time. The Bucs will need to work on their secondary and stopping the run, though.
Los Angeles Rams: Todd Gurley's been a disappointment so far. There are calls for Jared Goff to start. Los Angeles just gave "Mr. 8-8" Jeff Fisher a contract extension. Yet, here are the Rams at 4-5 and in the thick of the playoff race. 
D-
New York Jets: If there's one thing that's going right for the Jets, it's stopping the game in the trenches. Gang Green's fifth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed with 729 and fourth in yards allowed per game with 3.5. Sadly, that's the only thing aside from the run game that has been a positive for the Jets.
Chicago Bears: John Fox's seat keeps getting hotter as the Bears are looking at another lackluster season. Unable to convert third downs (33 conversions, tied for 30th in the NFL), the Bears have a myriad of problems to deal with before they ever become relevant again. At least the Blackhawks are doing well.
F
San Francisco 49ers: Chin up, Niner fans. Your team doesn't get called for a lot of penalties (fewest penalty yards in the NFL with 322). You might have a team that doesn't have a lot of talent and a head coach that should be coaching at the collegiate level. But hey, at least you aren't the Browns.
Jacksonville Jaguars: This was supposed to be the year that Jacksonville took that next step. Unfortunately, those plans have stalled as the Jaguars have limped to a 2-7 record. Jacksonville has had limited success getting first downs (21st in the NFL with 168) and converting third downs (worst in the NFL with 31.4%). Luckily, the AFC South is putrid. Every team, the Jaguars included, has a chance to take the division crown.
F-
Cleveland Browns: Again, this is one season that Browns fans will want to forget. Will they make it to 0-16?



Week Eleven College Football Winners and Losers

            It's yet another exciting week in college football, where we get closer to determining who's in the playoff. It's feast or famine as teams can't afford to lose one game. Who's one step closer to getting in and who suffered a major blow to their hopes in this crazy week?

Winner: Alabama: Of course, 'Bama won big against lowly Mississippi State 51-3 on Saturday. But they were winners in another sense. #9 Auburn went down to Georgia by a score of 13-7, leaving the Crimson Tide to clinch the SEC West heading into the Iron Bowl. Now they can get ready for the SEC Championship with less pressure on the Tide.
Winner: Duke: College basketball season is back and what better way to kick it off than beating your hoops rival in a football game? The Blue Devils upset #17 North Carolina 28-27, aided by a good trench game that amounted to 207 team rushing yards and three touchdowns. Joe Giles-Harris also had a monster game for Duke, amassing 16 total tackles and a tackle for loss. It was Duke's first conference win this season during a year that has been rather forgettable for the Blue Devils.
Winner: The Shake-Up of the System: First, Clemson went down. Then, Washington got tripped up by USC's defensive line. Then, Michigan was upset (in spite of covering the pink locker rooms up) by Iowa. Did I mention that #9 Auburn lost? It was a weekend with a complete shake-up of the system that breathed new life into teams like Ohio State and Louisville. Speaking of Clemson...
Loser: Clemson: All of those close calls seemed to have foreshadowed issues for the Tigers, as they were upset at home by Pittsburgh by a score of 43-42. Despite DeShaun Watson throwing for 570 yards and three touchdowns, he also threw three picks in the game. Now a couple of those picks weren't his fault since his receivers ran the wrong route at times. However, such costly errors along with 50 team rushing yards and nine penalties for 101 yards let a Panther team that was 3-for-11 on third down back into the game. This was another game that Clemson should've won. Instead, the Tigers let Pittsburgh bite them in the ass.
Loser: Baylor: With more dirt coming up involving the gang-rape scandal at Baylor involving Art Briles pulling a Joe Paterno, the Bears were dark horses to make the playoff. Suddenly, there in a free fall. First, Seth Russell suffered a gruesome leg injury (he had a QBR of 34.4, a lost fumble, and two interceptions in the game prior to the injury). Then they get blown out by 21 points to #11 Oklahoma, who's suddenly back on the rise. Now there are growing calls for Baylor's football program to be suspended for their misconduct regarding the gang-rape scandal.
Loser: Mount Union's 112-Game Winning Streak: This legendary streak came to a close as the D-III powerhouse fell to John Carroll 31-28. The Ohio school hadn't lost since 2005 and the loss was in the OAC Championship in Alliance, Ohio. To understand the magnitude of Mount Union's dominance, the last time they lost was when George W. Bush was beginning his second term and the White Sox were the other Chicago team that won the World Series.

Other Winners: Iowa schools, Michigan State finally winning, Wisconsin's playoff hopes, USC
Other Losers: Jake Browning, Being the fourth-ranked team in the playoff, Virginia Tech, Auburn's playoff hopes

My Playoff Four:


  1. Alabama
  2. Louisville
  3. Ohio State
  4. Michigan



Thursday, November 10, 2016

Why the Red Sox Should Hold Off Before Replacing David Ortiz

            One of the biggest voids left not just in Beantown, but in all of baseball, has been David Ortiz. Ortiz retired this season after an outstanding career that saw Big Papi win three World Series titles, the World Series MVP, the ALCS MVP, and one home run title. He has 541 career home runs, 1,768 career RBIs and is the all-time leader among designated hitters in home runs (485), runs batted in (1,569) and hits (2,192). Who should the Red Sox replace as their designated hitter?
            One of the names that keeps popping up for Boston is Toronto slugger Edwin Encarnacion. He had a solid season with the Blue Jays last year, hitting 42 home runs and 127 RBIs. Encarnacion would certainly love to play in the bandbox known as Fenway Park and it would boost his home run totals. But why should the Red Sox hold off on giving Encarnacion a contract?
            For one, the Blue Jays have already made a $17.2 million qualifying offer to Encarnacion. Is it worth giving a draft pick to Toronto for the Red Sox to sign Encarnacion, especially when it comes to signing the 34-year-old? Would a three-year or four-year contract be worth it, especially if it's $20 million per year or more?
            Besides, this free agent class isn't exactly the best class. In fact, it's one of the weakest. The hitting market is alright, but it's also one of the older markets. A lot of the hitters in this market are 30 or older.
            A short-term solution would be to offer a player like Carlos Beltran a one-year deal and wait until the 2018 offseason rolls around. Beltran actually had a productive season with the Rangers and Yankees this season, hitting .295 with 29 home runs and 93 RBIs. Getting a hitter like Beltran on a one-year deal for around $8 million would not only be cheap, but it would help Dave Dombrowski and Boston to spend on key pieces like a middle reliever. Another thing to look at with the 2018 MLB offseason would be at how loaded it is. The starting pitching market is outstanding, but so is the batter market. Free agents like Jose Altuve (assuming his option doesn't get picked up), Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce, and J.D. Martinez would make it worth the wait for Boston.