Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Ultimate Home Run Derby

            With the MLB All-Star Break rapidly approaching, every team will get a chance to unwind and rest for the second half of the MLB season. One of the festivities for the All-Star Break is the infamous "Home Run Derby", which has produced countless long ball memories. This begs the question: Which players would you like to see in the "Home Run Derby"? Here's a list of eight players I'd like to see partake in the "Home Run Derby".

  • Ken Griffey Jr., 630 home runs: One of my favorite players growing up, Griffey had a pure swing emulated by many youngsters back in the day (myself included). The four-time AL home run leader has cracked many long balls with the Seattle Mariners, also possessing some leather with his stellar play in center field.
  • Ted Williams, 521 home runs: Williams doesn't just have prowess for power; he's also the last MLB player to bat over .400 in a season by hitting .406 with the Boston Red Sox in 1941. He led the American League in home runs four times (1941-1942, 1947, 1949). 
  • Albert Pujols, 602 home runs: Although his play has degenerated from a sabremetrics standpoint, Pujols is still cranking home runs. Pujols is known for his consistent swing and his batting stance, which has helped him hit so many bombs.
  • Barry Bonds, 762 home runs: Despite Bonds being a polarizing figure, it would be fun to see Bonds partake in a "Home Run Derby". Not only does he hold the record for most home runs in his career, he holds the record for most home runs in a season (73 home runs in 2001).
  • Babe Ruth, 714 home runs: No "Home Run Derby" would be complete without 'The Bambino'. One of the greatest Yankees of all time, Ruth also has the MLB record for highest career slugging percentage (.6897) and OPS (1.164). Ruth was also a dominant pitcher for the Red Sox before becoming a legendary hitter.
  • Hank Aaron, 755 home runs: Originally the "Home Run King" and seen in the eyes of many baseball fans as such, Hammerin' Hank made a living crushing the ball with the Atlanta/Milwaukee Braves. What's amazing is how consistent he was at hitting home runs; Aaron never hit more than 50 home runs in a single season, but never hit less than ten home runs in a single season, either. Aaron holds the record for most career RBIs with 2,297.
  • Mickey Mantle, 536 home runs: A Triple Crown winner (1956), 20-time All-Star, and seven-time World Series champion, Mantle has a great resume as an MLB legend. Mantle also hit the first home run in the history of the Astrodome and has the longest home run in MLB history, hitting a 643-foot home run at Tiger Stadium on September 10, 1960. 
  • Frank Robinson, 586 home runs: Robinson has spent his illustrious career with five different teams, mainly making his mark with the Baltimore Orioles. He also has his number retired by three different teams (Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, and Cleveland Indians) and won the MVP award in two different leagues.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Tigers Have Become the Latest Version of the Post-2009 Phillies

             Remember when the Philadelphia Phillies were really good? They had one of baseball's best rotations consisting of Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee. They also had players like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard. They won the 2008 World Series and returned the next year, only to lose to the New York Yankees, 4-2. After that, it was a steady drop-off that devolved into monstrous contracts and a barren farm system. Now, the Phillies are in another year of rebuilding, stuck near the bottom of the National League.
             Enter the Detroit Tigers, a team that had a fantastic run when Dave Dombrowski was general manager. They made two World Series appearances, won four straight division titles from 2011 to 2014, and even had a Triple Crown winner in Miguel Cabrera (2012). Unfortunately, they didn't win a World Series during that run. Ever since their 2013 ALCS loss to the Red Sox, it has been a steady decline for the Tigers that has been comparable to the Phillies. Anchored by fat contracts to the likes of aging superstars Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, the Tigers have plenty of bad contracts on their payroll. Instead of retaining Max Scherzer, who has continued his assent to becoming the best pitcher in baseball, they re-signed Victor Martinez, an aging veteran who can barely move around the basepaths. They also signed Mark Lowe, Mike Pelfrey, and Francisco Rodriguez last year, players who are no longer on the team.
            The Tigers also have a bare cupboard in terms of their farm system, only boosting one player in MLB.com's Top 100 prospect list (Matt Manning at No. 63). The main cause of this has been Dave Dombrowski's willingness to trade prospects for superstars. This was made evident by the trade he made to acquire Chris Sale for the Boston Red Sox, which saw Boston send MLB's No. 1 prospect, Yoan Moncada, and No. 11 prospect, Michael Kopech, to the Chicago White Sox. Players like Avisail Garcia, Andrew Miller, and Robbie Ray were a part of the Tigers' farm system, but were traded to acquire players like Yoenis Cespedes and Cabrera.
            The Tigers might attribute their misfortunes to Brad Ausmus, who has done little to fill the void Jim Leyland left as the manager of the Tigers. Critics are quick to point out Ausmus's inability to engage with the players, probably explaining why players like Cabrera, Verlander, and Nick Castellanos are underperforming this year. Currently, the Tigers are on an eight-game losing streak that includes a winless West Coast trip (at least so far). Who would replace Ausmus as manager? One rumor, and perhaps a favorite name among Tiger fans, is Ron Gardenhire, the former manager for the Minnesota Twins. But one name that could really help is Omar Vizquel, who managed the Venezuelan team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Vizquel is said to have developed great chemistry with the Hispanic players on the team, which could help the Tigers going forward.
            Regardless, there seems to have been plenty of regrettable decisions for the Tigers' future in the past few years. From Verlander's $180 million extension to re-signing aging players like Victor Martinez to giving away the farm system, the Tigers will have no choice but to wipe the slate clean. They can start off by trading superstar J.D. Martinez for a prospect or two, but this will be the best they can do. Ian Kinsler has a laundry list of teams he doesn't want to be traded to, Cabrera's contract is enormous and so is Verlander's. And what team would want Victor Martinez and Jordan Zimmermann with those contracts? These are the reasons why the Tigers should just tank it the rest of the way, start from scratch, and not get stuck in a long rebuild the way the Phillies are right now.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Warriors' Championship Run Has Sparked An Offseason Madness

            When Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors last summer, it left no doubt as to who would be appearing in the 2017 NBA Finals. The Cleveland Cavaliers would meet up with the Warriors in those finals only to get steamrolled, 4-1. The ensuing offseason has sparked a plethora of rumors and moves that have teams scrambling to form their own supersquads. The concept of the "superteam" isn't anything new. After all, the 2003-04 Los Angeles Lakers tried this with Karl Malone, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Gary Payton, only to be usurped by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals.
            One example of this is the Bulls trading Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves for no reason at all. Granted, Minnesota hasn't made the playoffs in over a decade and needs an additional superstar/dual position player to compliment Karl Anthony-Towns. However, the Bulls got very little back from the T-Wolves, even going as far as to surrender a first round pick to Minnesota. Butler's been linked to the likes of Boston and Cleveland, but those trades fell through due to the asking price not being ripe enough or due to a toxic culture in the organization.
            That hasn't been the only rumor swirling. Chris Paul has been linked to the San Antonio Spurs and Pau Gasol has taken on a contract with less money just to help the Spurs add Paul. Paul George has informed the Indiana Pacers that this will be his last year, leaving George to be linked to the Cavs and Lakers. New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis is also being shopped around by Phil Jackson and New York's front office. Even LeBron James has been discussed in potential rumors, possibly looking into one of the two Los Angeles franchises.
            Whatever the case, the Warriors have sparked a madness in the NBA that won't be going away any time soon. Teams will be looking for any combination of superstars that'll put them over the top. However, the Warriors will still be on top until that one team knocks them off their perch.

Photo courtesy of HoopsHype.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Grading the Vegas Golden Knights' Expansion Draft

            The Vegas Golden Knights have taken their first cracks at comprising an NHL roster tonight. There were notable names like James Neal, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Jonathan Marchessault that have been picked up by Vegas. Remember that some of these players won't be sticking around with the Golden Knights. So how did Sin City's inaugural pro sports team do?

What I Liked: Vegas added plenty of goal scorers like center Marchessault, forward David Perron, and right wing James Neal. So the Knights should have no problem putting the puck in the net. General Manager George McPhee has stated that he wants to contend right away and he seems well on his way to doing so. The blue line has some experienced players who can hit opponents hard and block shots. Fleury is also a nice veteran pickup between the pipes for the Golden Knights. Vegas also added some prospects such as Tomas Nosek, which should help Vegas with the first youth movement.
Growing Pains: The team does have plenty of veterans on the squad, but the team mostly consists of >26 year-olds. However, that's usually the case for many expansion teams drafting players. Players like Neal and Methot will add leadership to a young squad.
Overall Grade: A-: It wasn't a bad draft and the Golden Knights' front office hit the notes they needed to hit. They went for the experienced veterans while picking up young players. Vegas also acquired numerous draft picks, leaving a blueprint for future success. The draft has left people like Mario Lemieux in awe, leaving many to believe that the Golden Knights are serious about competing.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Teams That May Sneak Into the Playoff

             Believe it or not, college football season is quickly approaching. With the season just two months away, it'll be that time where you should be spending your Saturdays watching the best college football games. Now there are some teams that have favorable schedules that can help them get into the playoff if they play their cards right. Granted, these teams need to win their conferences in order to get to the playoff. Still, which teams have a chance to sneak into the playoff based on their schedules?

  • Michigan: This may sound funny, but Michigan has a winnable schedule that can benefit them greatly. If they beat Florida in Arlington, either Penn State or Wisconsin on the road (preferably both), and Ohio State at home, the Wolverines should be sitting pretty heading into the Big Ten Championship.
  • Oklahoma State: The only tough road game will be at West Virginia on October 28, with a road game at Pitt on September 16 possibly being a trap game. Other than that, they get Oklahoma at home along with Baylor and TCU. 
  • Washington: Surprisingly enough, the Huskies make the list despite making the College Football Playoff last season. Still, they avoid Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans and play only two tough road games (Colorado on September 23 and Stanford on November 10). 
  • Florida: The Gators have a chance to go undefeated heading into the SEC Championship with their 2017 schedule. They only play three(!) road games this season and all three road games are against the SEC's worst teams. What's more is they get to avoid Alabama in the regular season. 
  • Miami: A September 16 date at Florida State is the only game the Hurricanes should sweat. Otherwise, they have the opportunity to build on a nine-game slate that only consists of three road games. 
Photo Courtesy of USA Today

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Greatest Sports Moments For Dad

             Sports are an easy way to bond with your old man. Both of you share a love for the game(s) and you're passionate about your team winning. That's why this blog is dedicated to those who raised you and taught you life's essentials. Here are some of the greatest moments concerning athletes and their fathers.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Best Mike Francesa Moments

            Mike Francesa is known for being one hell of a professional sports broadcaster. He's also known for some serious gaffes on the air. Here's a little tribute to America's favorite unintentional goof, Mike Francesa.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Biggest Questions Heading Into The NBA Offseason

           Another NBA season is in the books, with Golden State returning to the throne. Now that one of the most milquetoast, boring seasons is in the books, will we have an off-season that can add more flair than the 2016-2017 regular season? Here's some of the questions that will be asked in the NBA off-season.

  1. Will the Cavaliers Add Another Piece or Trade For a Better Player? The hope in Cleveland is that the Cavaliers will add another big piece to their line-up. The problem is that they'll need a great amount of contract restructuring or pieces given up to do so. The Cavs have given up a considerable amount of draft picks, so they'll have to pull some strings if they want to get a player like Paul George or Carmelo Anthony. 
  2. Can the Spurs Acquire Chris Paul? Clippers point guard Chris Paul is in the last year of his contract, which makes him some valuable trade bait. While his contract may seem lofty ($24,268,959 cap hit) and Paul may be on the wrong side of 30, taking a rental on Paul seems quite feasible, especially if the Spurs are to compete with the Warriors. Paul is great at ball distribution and running the floor, making him a valuable piece for the Spurs. 
  3. Who Will the Celtics Take With the No. 1 Pick? Markelle Fultz seems like the consensus No. 1 pick, but the Celtics do have options. They can trade the pick for the likes of Jimmy Butler or Blake Griffin (yes, Griffin's in the last year of his contract as well, although the 15% trade kicker could make things interesting). Still, Fultz is an offensive force who can score in bunches and is reminiscent of James Harden.
  4. What Will the Clippers Do With the Expiring Contracts? The aforementioned Paul and Griffin are in the last year of their contracts, so Doc Rivers has some things to consider and do. Will the Clippers begin the rebuilding process or will they still go for the gold? Rumors are circulating that Lebron James may leave Cleveland again for the likes of Los Angeles or San Antonio, so the Clippers' future looks very intriguing. 
  5. Where Will Lonzo Ball Fall? The speculation around Lonzo Ball is interesting. Reports have stated that the Lakers aren't as interested as LaVar Ball would like. This is due to Lonzo looking out of shape to observers at a recent workout. Both LaVar and Lonzo might scare away the Lakers and someone might not be happy about the outcome if it happens.
Photo Courtesy of SI.com

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Best NFL Rivalries Right Now (Or In Recent Memory)

            The NFL is built in part on intense rivalries. Some rivalries have historical context, some are between competitive division rivals. As a salutation to the competitive nature of American football, here's some of the most intense rivalries in the NFL.

  1. The NFC East vs. Each Other: Really, the NFC East is a division where every team is either competitive year in and year out or has a deep history to their team. Thus, this makes for a mix-and-match of terrific rivalries and for great television. 
  2. Seahawks vs. 49ers: Although the rivalry has died down quite a bit due to the 49ers' lack of competitiveness, this was a marquee match-up a few years ago. Both teams had offense centered around mobile quarterbacks and stout defenses. 
  3. Steelers vs. Ravens: The two teams have escalated their rivalry in recent memory in part to trash talking and success on the field. Pittsburgh and Baltimore always makes for a close game. 
  4. Bears vs. Packers: The oldest rivalry in the NFL, this dates back to 1927. Green Bay and Chicago have won a combined 22 championships and have 65 members in the NFL Hall of Fame. The all-time series is tied at 94-94-6.
  5. Patriots vs. Jets: It doesn't who the coach for the New York Jets is; they usually have a beef with Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots, and their way of conducting business. Noteworthy tidbits of this rivalry include Spygate and Rex Ryan's trash talk towards Belichick.
  6. Falcons vs. Saints: An extremely underrated rivalry in the NFL, the two teams are usually battling for NFC South supremacy. The rivalry may be between two franchises with notable histories of futility, but the "Southern Showdown" is always an intense match-up.
  7. Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady: Two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, the games between the two were always solid prime time viewing. The two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks have combined for seven Super Bowls, seven MVPs, five Super Bowl MVPs, 133,522 passing yards. 995 touchdowns, and an average completion rate of 64.6%. Brady leads the all-time series 11-6. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

What to Do Now That the Warriors Have Essentially Ended the NBA Finals

             The Golden State Warriors (namely, Kevin Durant) have put the Cleveland Cavaliers in a gigantic hole that they won't escape from, going up 3-0 in a 118-113 win in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. With the Warriors basically ending the Cavaliers' hopes of repeating as NBA champions, that leaves a bit of an early void for this month. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Finals, mind you. With that being said, here's a list of what you can do with some friends and family (or by yourself) for the next week or two before it's baseball-only time (unless you're a soccer fan).

  • Get a head start on watching baseball games
  • Fire up the barbecue and start grilling with your peeps
  • Watch the French Open and witness Rafael Nadal try to win another title in France
  • Start a bonfire and crack a cold one with your friends
  • Head out to the lake for some aqua fun
  • Get up early and watch overseas football or watch MLS matches during the evening
  • Work on the summer body
  • Take a good ol' dump on the can and listen to music

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Oakland, CA: A Sports Ghost Town

            It's hard to imagine a city like Oakland having some championship pedigree in the NFL, NBA, and MLB, yet they're on the verge of losing all of their franchises in a span of a decade. The Oakland Athletics and Raiders play in a broken-down swamp known as Oakland Coliseum and the Golden State Warriors are jumping across the bay to the more hip city in San Francisco in 2019. The Raiders are headed to Sin City in 2020, accompanied by a $750 million stadium funded in part by the taxpayers. The A's are scrambling to find a new stadium to get them out of their native dump, but are also facing relocation rumors (the most prominent being San Jose and Sacramento). With all this reshuffling of Oakland's teams, it seems like San Francisco's bay brethren will become a sports "ghost town" in the near future.
            It wasn't always like this. From the 1972-75 Oakland A's to the modern budding dynasty in the Golden State Warriors, Oakland has quietly been a sports bastion and home to some of the greatest teams in sports history. The 2002 Oakland A's won 20 straight games and were the revolutionary sons of "Moneyball", a concept and brainchild of Billy Beane that was centered around sabremetrics. The Warriors are introducing the concept of efficient three-ball shooting and "small ball" teamwork where the players move better up and down the floor. The Raiders are on the comeback, invoking memories of the 1980's Raiders and making the playoffs for the first time since the early 2000's. They're armed with some dangerous offensive weapons in Derek Carr and Amari Cooper. Raider fans are still filling the "Black Hole" to this day in spite of a shoddy owner relocating the team in the future.
            Unfortunately for Oakland fans, two of their better teams are leaving for greener pastures. The city itself has been bogged down by crack/cocaine problems dating all the way back to the 1980's and violent crime. The crack/cocaine epidemic has evolved into one of economic woes. Filled with a large number of African Americans, Oakland has had its share of trauma that it's had to deal with, but sports has given the city hope. Unfortunately, in an age where taxpayer-funded stadiums are the norm, cities like Oakland can't afford to keep up with such trends, especially at the expense of their citizens. Granted, this is a good thing for a rebounding city like Oakland. But who will the people have to fall back on in the face of various epidemics like the crack/cocaine epidemic?
            This was a city that had lost franchises in the past: They lost the California Golden Seals in 1976 as they moved to Cleveland and eventually folded (they played in the Oracle Arena like the Warriors, which was known as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena back in the 70's). They also lost the Raiders before the Las Vegas move. Al Davis moved the Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles before moving them back to Oakland in 1994. Franchises moving out seems like a part of being a fan of Oakland sports, especially when the teams are moving to cities that have more sex appeal and leaving a city with a beautiful sight like Lake Merritt.
            The days of Jim Plunkett, Rickey Henderson, the Bash Brothers, and Tim Brown are behind Oakland sports fans. What's more, sports have been the one thing that has kept Oakland residents happy for as long as they remember. With the uprising of the Warriors and the Raiders, this only makes it worse for Oakland. The city will be reduced to just a sports "ghost town".

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Best NBA Finals Moments

            Since the NBA Finals (and the NBA playoffs, for that matter) have been extremely lackluster this postseason, let us take a trip down memory lane and revisit some great moments in NBA Finals history.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Early MLB Trade Targets

            The MLB season is already flying by and there are teams that are looking into selling some assets. A lot can change in a span of a month. But in the meantime, let's take a look at which of these valuable pieces could be expendable come late July.

  1. Sonny Gray, Oakland A's: Sonny Gray's name has been thrown around quite a bit regarding trade talks. Oakland can fetch a sizable package for Gray before the deadline in spite of not having the best year. Gray's K/9 is an adequate 8.09 and his BB/9 is 2.83. His ERA's 4.57 and his groundball rate's 59.3%, so teams will have to be cautious of Gray throwing meatballs. 
  2. J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers: In just 22 games (72 at-bats), Martinez has ten homers, 22 RBIs, an OPS of 1.201, and an average of .292. Martinez is perhaps the only Tiger who can garner a quality return in trade talks. The one problem is that the Tigers are teetering between contending and selling and this is the last year of Martinez's contract.
  3. Zack Cosart, Cincinnati Reds: Cosart has been another trade target for teams. The Reds can at least get one MLB Top 100 prospect for Cosart, who's batting .344 this year with nine homers and 33 RBIs. Cosart is also a stellar defensive shortstop, which will help his asking price quite a bit. 
  4. Eric Hosmer, Jason Vargas, and Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals: Hosmer's having another solid season at first base, batting .305 with a decent OPS of .796. Cain has an OPS of .736 and is a threat on the basepaths (12 steals this season). Vargas has seven wins this year to go with an ERA of 2.08. It appears that the Royals are going to be sellers by the trade, so Kansas City will have to start selling and making moves in a month (Maybe sooner). 
  5. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers: Surprise! Jose Quintana's not on the list since he's not having the best of seasons. So here's a look at Darvish. Although Darvish has allowed three runs in his last two starts, Darvish still is a valuable pitcher. Capable of striking out double-digits with a nice fastball and decent breaking ball stuff, Darvish has a K/9 of 9.64 and an FIP of 4.01. His ERA's decent as well, standing at 3.13. Darvish is more of a flyball pitcher and is often prone to allowing home runs and walks, but that shouldn't deter teams from trading for him considering how many strikeouts he racks up along with how many guys he leaves on base (84.6% this year). 
Photo Courtesy of MLB.com. Stats courtesy of Fangraphs.com

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Blending Buddy

            Welcome to another edition of "Blending Buddy", where I show you what I've been drinking to help me lead a healthier lifestyle. This month's edition is called the "Kickstart Your Intake". It consists of these ingredients:

  • 1 kale leaf (maybe 2)
  • 1 1/3 inch slice of pomegranate
  • A pinch of tumeric
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (fill the rest of the container with water)
  • 2 tomato halves
  • 5 slices of cucumber
  • 1 1/3 inch slice of lemon
  • 1 chopped carrot
           This is supposed to be the ultimate health drink (at least I think so, from gathering all the information about these ingredients). Just a bit of background on some of these ingredients: Tomatoes are great for your heart's health, so if you're struggling with heart problems, add some extra to your drink. Pomegranates are also a great help regarding heart health and have many nutrition benefits, including plenty of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and folic acid. However, they have an overpowering taste (same thing with the apple cider vinegar). So, if you're not a big fan of puckering up after drinking this, put a limited amount in. While apple cider vinegar won't help you instantaneously lose weight, it is a solid support of weight loss and can help relieve acid reflux and lower blood pressure. This is due to its healing compounds, which include magnesium, probiotics, and potassium.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

On The Playlist

            Here's another edition of "On The Playlist", where I show you what's playing on my songs list. I hope you enjoy what I have on here!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day!!

            Today is Memorial Day, a day where we honor those who have fallen in the line of combat. I have comprised a list of some of the greatest athletes ever to step into the battlefield for the sake of our freedom. This list does include those who have partaken in war and have survived, but are currently deceased. Here's a look at some of the notable athletes to serve their country.

  1. Pat Tillman, NFL: A former Arizona Cardinals linebacker, Tillman was a star at Arizona State University and in the NFL before he joined the military. He died apparently from friendly fire, but his services haven't gone unnoticed: Arizona State erected a mural of Pat Tillman leading the team onto the field at Sun Devil Stadium and has a statue in his honor.
  2. Hank Greenberg, MLB: One of the Detroit Tigers' greatest sluggers to grace the Olde English D, Greenberg registered in America's first peacetime draft in 1940. Greenberg stepped away from baseball from 1941 to 1945 to serve in World War II as a part of the U.S. Army. He re-enlisted as a sergeant in 1942.
  3. Ted Williams, MLB: "Teddy Ballgame" was another notable MLB Hall of Famer who served in World War II. Not only did he serve as a Naval Aviator in WWII, but he also served in the Korean War. Some awards won by Williams for his services include the Naval Aviator Badge, an Air Medal with two gold stars, and a National Defense Service Medal
  4. Jack Dempsey, Boxing: The Manassa Mauler wasn't just known for his punching prowess. He also served in World War II as a lieutenant in the Coast Guard Reserve. Eventually, he was promoted to lieutenant commander in 1942 and commander in 1944. 
Photo Courtesy of Boston.com

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Boston "K" Party

            The Red Sox are usually known for having one of the more prolific lineups in baseball. They've had names like Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Ted Williams, and Carl Yastrzemski mashing hits all over Fenway Park. However, the Red Sox are on a five-game winning streak thanks in part to their stellar 1-2 punch of Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale.
            Dave Dombrowski's big offseason acquisition in Chris Sale has certainly paid off. Sale just fell short of the most consecutive games with 10+ K's in an MLB season with seven and has 101 on the season. Sale's also posting an ERA of 2.34, a WHIP of 0.81, a WAR of 2.8, and a K/9 rate of 12.45. These numbers are not only Cy Young-worthy, but are god-tier.
            The other stellar Red Sox pitcher hasn't posted Sale-like numbers, but his stats aren't too shabby on their own. Eduardo Rodriguez has an ERA of 2.77, a K/9 rate of 9.60, and a WAR of 1.3. Rodriguez has allowed fewer earned runs than Sale (17 compared to Sale's 19), but hasn't gone as deep into games as Sale has (73 IP for Sale, 55.1 IP for Rodriguez).
            David Price, the team's de facto ace, will be returning soon for Boston. If Price comes back in top form, the Red Sox will be a force to be reckoned with in the American League once again. In the mean time, Red Sox fans are enjoying the "Boston 'K' Party" that Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez are throwing in Beantown.

Photo Courtesy of ScoopNest.com

Monday, May 22, 2017

Best Sports Games In My Opinion

           Some of you know that I'm a fairly big gamer. When I'm not spending time watching a sporting event or doing my podcast, I'm usually playing some video games to pass the time. Here's some of my favorite sports games that I've played.

  1. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (PS2): Loved playing this as a kid. Not only did you customize your own characters, but you could customize your own skate park.
  2. Ken Griffey Jr's Slugfest (N64): I still play this game to this day. You can create your own characters, therefore putting some of your favorite modern-day players on the same team as Hall of Famers Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey Jr. 
  3. NHL Hitz 20-03 (XBOX, PS2, Gamecube): You can make up a team and have them compete in the NHL regular season if they're good enough. You can also fight and your players can become blazing hot if their meters are boosted high enough. A great game made by Midway (Unfortunately, Midway went bankrupt in 2009 and folded a year later). 
  4. Wii Sports (Wii): No star athletes here, just you and your family and friends! I like the bowling game the best, but there are different modes like boxing and baseball that you can play.
  5. WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain (PS2): Great story mode, beautiful women, and Stone Cold and the Rock. What more could you ask for?
Honorable Mentions: Punch-Out, NBA Live, All-Star Baseball 99, Madden series

Friday, May 19, 2017

NFL Teams With the Easiest/Toughest Stretches in Their Schedules

            This is supposed to be a time devoted to the baseball season and playoffs for the two main arena sports. However, it's never a bad time to talk about the NFL. With that being said, here's a look at what teams are facing the most brutal parts of their schedule and which teams have it easy for a period of time.

Brutal First Nine: Denver Broncos: While the Broncos' five of their first nine games are at home, their home opponents are mostly tough. Home games against Dallas, Oakland, the New York Giants, and New England make for intense competition in the Mile High City. Their road games in their first nine games aren't as forgiving, either. The Broncos will be going through a three-game road swing stemming from late October to early November as they take on the Chargers, Chiefs, and Eagles.
Easy First Five: Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons would like to get their revenge on the New England Patriots for their 28-3 comeback in Super Bowl 51, but they don't want to do it in Week 1. Luckily, they get to feast on Bears and Bills to help prepare them for their October 22nd date in Foxboro. What's more is they get the Packers and Dolphins at home before they face New England on Sunday night.
Brutal First Six: New Orleans Saints: Four of the Saints's first six games are on the road, with trips to Lambeau, Carolina, and Miami. Their two home games are against playoff teams from last season (New England and Detroit). Luckily, their next five games are winnable, with stints against Chicago, Buffalo, and a home game against Washington.
Easy Last Five: Green Bay Packers: If the Packers need to make another late-season run like they did last year, the last five games of their schedule are extremely forgiving and open for that to happen again. Three of their last five games are on the road, but they're against the Browns, Panthers, and Lions.
Easy First Seven: Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh can easily get a head start on the AFC North with a 5-0 start. A stretch that only contains two tough games (Road games at Baltimore and Kansas City) could give the Steelers a commanding division lead by week seven and can keep them in the running for home-field advantage in the AFC playoff picture with the likes of New England and Kansas City.
Brutal Last Eight: Oakland Raiders: Really, you can say that Oakland has a rough schedule for the entire 2017 season. However, it's their last eight games that should test the Raiders' mettle. After their road game against Buffalo on October 29, five of their next six games are against last season's playoff teams. However, they do get to play four of those six at home, so it could be a winnable stretch down the road. But don't overlook their last two road games at Philly and Los Angeles; the Chargers and Eagles are viewed by experts as sleeper picks in the upcoming NFL season.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Why the Celtics Shouldn't Pick Markelle Fultz With the Number One Pick

            Just to clarify to all my readers, the Brooklyn Nets don't have the No.1 pick in this summer's NBA draft (My apologies for my mistake). For some reason, they gave away their first round pick and other picks and stuff to the Boston Celtics for some aging superstars. What this means is that Boston is in great position to compete in the Eastern Conference for years to come while the Nets are set to wallow in mediocrity for years to come. 'Smart' move, Brooklyn.
            Anyways, the Celtics are projected by many to pick Washington point guard Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick, which isn't a bad idea. After all, analysts are saying that Fultz is the best player in the draft and rightfully so. He makes his teammates better and has solid ball-handling and court vision. Fultz averaged 23.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 5.9 APG, and a three-point percentage of 41.3. However, I have a couple reasons why the Celtics should pass on taking Fultz with the No. 1 pick.
            For starters, they already have a great point guard in Isaiah Thomas. Thomas is a great leader for the Celtics and is already looking to prove himself as being the Celtics' version of Kobe Bryant. If this postseason is any indication, Thomas looks to be a franchise cornerstone for years to come. Yes, Thomas is undersized. But Boston already has their star point guard in Isaiah.
            There are some issues with Fultz's game as well. One gripe about Fultz is his lack of defensive focus. Granted, that was on a nine-win college team. But Fultz is chided for not having the mentality and intensity necessary to be consistent on defense. He's often criticized for being intense enough on the defensive end as well, so that could be an issue. Still, that same team had little offensive spacing, so that raises Fultz's already-high profile on offense. Another concern regarding Fultz is his free-throw shooting, which was a paltry 65% as a freshman. This suggests that he may be prone to being streaky. There's also some concern about Fultz maintaining his efficiency against better players, with his efficiency nosediving playing against top programs.
            So who would the Celtics go after in the draft? One option is Malik Monk from Kentucky. Like Fultz, he has great offensive efficiency as a jump shooter and can score a handful of points in a hurry. He also has ridiculous leaping ability and is athletic. However, he is prone to droughts when opponents take away his post-up opportunities. He is also undersized for a shooting guard and tends to not play with much intensity like Fultz. Another option is the No. 1 pick in CBS Sports's mock draft, Jayson Tatum of Duke. Tatum can score on any level given and is compared to Ron Artest during his good days. Boston could also trade the pick if they wanted to win now for an established superstar like Blake Griffin or, as the mock draft for CBS Sports would suggest, Jimmy Butler.
            Still, Fultz is a dynamic offensive weapon who could be a perennial All-Star as an offensive player. He could turn out to be a James Harden-like player: able to rack up points and be the center piece of an NBA offense. After all, this is a deep draft regarding point guards. Will the Celtics pick him with the first pick? Most likely. But a No. 1 overall pick isn't a guaranteed success (See Anthony Bennett). It'll be up to the Celtics to make the most of a golden opportunity in the NBA draft.

Photo Courtesy of StatePress.com
Stats Courtesy of DreamExpress.com

Monday, May 15, 2017

Who Should The Big 10 Go After For Expansion Next?

            With Notre Dame thinking about going to the ACC for all sports, the topic of conference expansion is once again on the table. This will potentially lead to possibly the college football landscape evolving into a Power Four 'oligarchy' of sorts. These Power Four conferences (Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Pac-12) will have control on many issues within the college football world and will have the winner of their respective conference championships be the representative of their conferences in the playoff. In other words, the Big 12 will be on the chopping block, which is unfortunate considering that there was once a time where Big 12 football reigned supreme in the college football world.
            Now, why do I bring Notre Dame up? The Fighting Irish have tried fighting to get into the Big 10 in the past. However, schools such as Michigan weren't having any of it, barring them from entering the conference. Thus, the legend of Notre Dame being independent in football is born. Anyways, expansion appears to be on the horizon and the Big Ten will need some new members. Here's who the Big 10 can go after in the Big 12 to go with the next wave of potential expansion.

Texas: The good thing about getting Texas into the Big 10 is that this would be a big-money move; the Big 10 would have markets in Chicago, Texas, Washington D.C., and New York. Wow. However, the Longhorns do have an albatross that is their network (Longhorn Network), so the Big 10 will have to either dissolve the network into the Big Ten Network or disband it altogether.
Iowa State: Iowa State would surprisingly be a good pick-up considering that they are Iowa's rival and their basketball programs (Men's and Women's) are decent. However, they have a mediocre football program and it be almost anonymous of an expansion considering how unknown the Cyclones are.
Kansas: This would be a HUGE pick-up for the Big 10 regarding college basketball in the men's field. It would make the Big 10 as competitive and tough as the ACC is right now. You'd bring in Kansas State, which isn't a bad college for sports, either. But like Iowa State, their football team stinks.
Oklahoma: Right now, the Big 10 is a better football conference than the SEC (Yes, you read that right). The SEC only has Alabama and a bunch of ranked also-rans in their conference. The Big Ten has a loaded Big Ten East with Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. They also have Wisconsin to boot. Imagine how lethal the Big Ten would be with the Sooners in their conference for football. Adding Oklahoma State wouldn't be bad, either. Plus, Nebraska gets to rekindle an old rivalry with the Sooners.
Baylor: While Baylor is a hot program for sports right now, there is great turmoil in picking up Baylor considering the sexual assault hullabaloo that's going on right now. The Big Ten should probably steer away from this idea.
Texas Tech: If you asked me if the Big Ten should add the Red Raiders to their conference about a decade ago, I probably would've said that that wouldn't be a bad idea. However, Texas Tech has become average at best in the sports field (At least for the moneymaker sports). This would be the safe option for the Big Ten and probably the most average expansion candidate.
West Virginia: Don't sleep on the Mountaineers as an expansion candidate. With some solid programs and proximity near Columbus, Happy Valley, Maryland, and New Jersey, West Virginia wouldn't be a bad choice for expansion for the Big Ten.
TCU: The Horned Frogs would add the Dallas market to the Big Ten, which would make the Big Ten plenty of money and expand their market. The Big Ten should hope that TCU doesn't turn out like Rutgers and fall out into the abyss, though.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Blending Buddy

             Here's another edition of "Blending Buddy", where I show you what's in my blender! Here's a little something that can help you lead a healthier lifestyle! Bottoms up!!

  • 1 handful of blueberries
  • 1 handful of strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • 1 celery stick
            I call this, "The Basics". It's a good drink for people just getting into the blending/juicing gig. It has many antioxidants that'll help cleanse your body. Blueberries are essentially rich in anthocyanin, which is a flavonoid with great antioxidant potency. 

Photo Courtesy of BlueberriesInFlorida.com

Friday, May 5, 2017

First Month Surprises

            The first month of the MLB season is in the books with some fanfare. From the Orioles-Red Sox to Aaron Judge and Eric Thames, the MLB season is producing some noteworthy storylines. Who's doing well and who's letting you down?

Pleasant Surprise: New York Yankees: Aided by Aaron Judge's hot start (13 homers, 27 RBIs), the Baby Bombers are sitting pretty in first place in a loaded AL East. They have a 12-3 home record, which is the best in the majors. Their 148 runs are the most in the American League so far, giving Yankees fans reason to believe that their time for contention is coming sooner than you think. What's more, they've done this without the likes of Gary Sanchez.
Pleasant Surprise: Arizona Diamondbacks: Mainstays like Paul Goldschmidt are what make teams like Arizona great. But the overall pitching of the D-Backs has been spectacular. Only behind division rival Los Angeles in overall ERA (3.76), Arizona has gotten nice help from the likes of Patrick Corbin (2.29 ERA, 30 SO, 11 BB), Robbie Ray (3.47 ERA, 49 SO, 12.14 K/9), and a rejuvenated Zach Greinke (3.19 ERA, 40 SO).
Disappointment: The Cubs' Rotation: You'd think that the Cubs wouldn't have a World Series hangover considering how they have no weaknesses on paper. However, it seems their rotation has suffered just that. The Cubbies are tied for 24th in rotation ERA (4.68). Opponents are also batting .270 against Cubs starters and the Cubs are 28th in opponent's OPS (.800). Can Chicago turn their rotation around in time or will a repeat be out of the question?
Disappointment: Toronto Blue Jays: Like the Cubs, Toronto's been plagued by bad starting pitching (26th in opponent's OPS at .778, 25th in rotation WHIP with 1.40). However, that hasn't been the only problem. The Jays have only scored 107 runs so far, only ahead of Kansas City and Oakland and tied with Boston in the American League. It seems that not only is Edwin Encarnacion's presence is missed in the lineup, but Jose Bautista (.196, two homers, nine RBIs, .622 OPS, .294 SLUG) is not playing up to the contract standards he set last offseason. Look for Toronto to be a popular team for trade pieces if this persists.

Photo courtesy of NJ.com

Monday, May 1, 2017

On The Playlist

            Here's another edition of "On the Playlist!" This is where I showcase what's playing on my playlist!! Check it out!!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Winners and Losers of the NFL Draft First Round

            The first round of the NFL Draft has come and gone, with many trades occurring and lots of fanfare going about. Which teams won the night and which teams flubbed badly?

Winner: San Francisco 49ers: John Lynch made some impressive trades in the first round, fleecing the Bears by gaining more picks in exchange for their No. 2 pick (Which ended up being Mitch Trubisky) and making another with Seattle. The 49ers established an identity of wanting to build on defense, picking DE Solomon Thomas from Stanford and LB Reuben Foster from Alabama.
Winner? Cleveland Browns: I'd say that the Browns are winners here, considering that they made like the 49ers and gathered picks (Three in the first round!!). However, it's hard to call Cleveland winners here considering their recent misfortunes with first round draft picks. Still, picking DE Myles Garrett from Texas A&M, versatile LB Jabril Peppers from Michigan, and TE David Njoku from Miami seems like a good draft since at least one of these picks can't possibly be a miss.
Winner: New York Jets: While the Jets do need a quarterback, they also need a playmaking safety and that's what they got with Jamal Adams from LSU. Named by some pundits as the best player in the draft, Adams carries a lot of range, great 1-on-1 tackling ability, and spectacular coverage skills. Besides, not all great quarterback wind up being taken in the first round (See Russell Wilson and Tom Brady) and the Jets don't have a solid history of drafting 1st round quarterbacks.
Loser: Chicago Bears: 

I love to kiss tittiess
— Mitchell Trubisky (@Mtrubisky10) December 28, 2011

Hell yeah, Go Packers
— Mitchell Trubisky (@Mtrubisky10) January 11, 2015

This is your "Quarterback of the Future" that you took a sizable mortgage on, Bears fans.
Loser: Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars did get a good third-down running back in Leonard Fournette, but it won't mean a thing if he has blockers opening up holes for him. Granted, there were no solid offensive linemen to be had in this draft. But it's imperative that Jacksonville rectifies this mistake through free agency in the future.
Loser: Green Bay Packers: Could trading out of the first round when you had a chance to get local boy and brother of JJ, T.J. Watt, come back to haunt the Packers? Considering that the Packers look to be faltering defensively, it looks like a possibility. However, the Pack usually find ways around such issues in order to make themselves a playoff team year in and year out.

Photo Courtesy of NYJetFuel.com

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NHL First-Round Awards

            One round of exciting Stanley Cup Playoff action is in the books as the "Elite 8" has been determined. Who's surprising, who disappointed, and who's the favorite?

Biggest Surprise: The Nashville Predators rode a hot goaltender and great puck possession past the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division semifinal. If Rinne can get shutouts the way he did in the first two games of that series, the Preds could be on their way to their first Western Conference final. Speaking of the Blackhawks...
Biggest Disappointment: There were no "Chelsea Dagger's" to be heard this postseason at the United Center as the 'Hawks went goalless at home. Not enough from players like Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane as Chicago was sent home packing in the first round for a second straight year. Is there a need for a major shake-up in the Windy City?
Best Effort: Mike Babcock often gets knocked for not being "a player's coach", but Babs nearly had his young Toronto Maple Leafs upset the best regular season team in the Washington Capitals. Hockey wunderkind Auston Matthews had four goals in that series while players like James van Riemsdyk played hard, giving Toronto fans reason to believe that a Cup will be arriving in the future.
Favorite To Win It All: The Pittsburgh Penguins could be the first team to repeat since the late-90's Detroit Red Wings. They're also getting scoring from more than Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Players like Jake Guentzel (5 goals) and Bryan Rust (4 goals) have contributed nicely for the Pens.
Darkhorse To Win It All: Connor McDavid isn't the only solid offensive player on the Edmonton Oilers. Players like Milan Lucic, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Leon Draisaitl can also create offense for Edmonton, giving opposing teams fits on the back check.

Photo Courtesy of Epoole88

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why The Cubs Should Go After Shohei Otani

            It's rumored that one of Japan's biggest baseball superstars, Shohei Otani, could be on his way to MLB as soon as next season. Although he suffered a setback with a groin injury that sidelined him for six weeks, he will still be a hot commodity if he comes over from Japan. It's also rumored that the New York Yankees, who are no strangers to signing Japanese superstars, are in front for the Otani sweepstakes. But here's why Theo Epstein and crew should get on top of signing Otani to the Cubs' rotation and stop the Yankees from signing yet another Japanese superstar.

  1. Otani is (Or Looks to be) the Real Deal: Armed with a 100-MPH fastball, Otani is capable of blowing hitters away with ease. His career WHIP is 1.06, his SO9 is 10.3, and his last three seasons saw his ERA go below 3. His RAvg has also continued to drop since his rookie season, going as low as 2.12 last year. 
  2. Believe It Or Not, the Cubs' Rotation Isn't Stellar Right Now: While the Cubs have a team ERA of 3.60, which isn't bad, pitchers like Kyle Hendricks, John Lackey, and Brett Anderson have struggled so far this season. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester have been solid for the season, but both are getting older. How great would the Cubs be if they got a pitcher who was not only solid, but young at the ripe age of 22?
  3. Otani Would Fit In Well In the National League: Otani doesn't just pitch. He also plays the outfield and can hit the ball. Last season, Otani batted .322 with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs in 104 games. He also had an OPS of 1.004, a Slugging Percentage of .588, and an OBP of .416. Adding Otani could also benefit the Cubs' lineup and make the North Siders even more lethal at the plate.
Photo Courtesy of Scout.com

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Poundin' The Poetry

            Here's a new segment called, "Poundin' The Poetry". It's where I try to flex my poetic muscles and try to write. Berate me all you want if some of this doesn't look to rhyme. I honestly don't care at this point.

Tin cans, you're my only friend,
The reason why my life doesn't end.
Tin cans, you're my only friend,
The reason why I don't break, but bend.
Stuck in a 9-5 job that don't pay rich,
Stuck married to a bitch.
Should I end it all?
If I try to, will I have the gall?
That's where you come in,
Jack, Jim Beam, Miller, and Heineken.
Make me forget my issues and woes,
Make me forget my feelings that are low.
Tin cans, you're my only friend,
The reason why my life doesn't end.
Tin cans, you're my only friend,
The reason why I ignore the ties that don't mend.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

When A Meme Saves A Life

            Memes are a staple of internet lore, often concocted from the randomness and pleasure from its users. But memes aren't used for saving lives as much as they are for mere amusement. That was the case for Stefan Karl Stefansson, the Icelandic actor who played Robbie Rotten in the show, Lazy Town. Stefansson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2016, which led to a GoFundMe page being created by Lazy Town creator Mark Valenti. The campaign received attention due to YouTube user SilvaGunner uploading a song, leading to the popularity of the internet meme, "We Are Number One". The campaign surpassed its $100,000 goal and Stefansson thanked contributors with a livestream version of the song. Here's a bit of the greatness that is "We Are Number One."

Monday, April 10, 2017

Best Memories of the Joe

            Yesterday, the Joe Louis Arena hosted its final NHL as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the New Jersey Devils, 4-1 (Riley Sheahan finally scored this season!!). The Joe has been the host of countless memories, mostly involving the sport of hockey. While the Joe might make visitors retch from the smell of alcohol and sweat, it's often seen by Detroiters as their own 'swamp'. Here's a salute to one of sports' most genuine arenas.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

WATCH THIS: Tyler Myers Breaks the Glass

           If you're a sports fan, you'd want to get seats closest to the action. Just be careful not to agitate players of the opposing team. That's what this Flyers fan did as Tyler Myers continuously fired pucks at the glass until one of his shots broke the glass.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Blending Buddy

            Here's another edition of "Blending Buddy", where I show you what helped me lose 30 pounds in the span of four months. This edition's concoction is called, "The Dave Walters Special". It consists of the following ingredients:

  • A handful of blueberries
  • One banana 
  • Cup of milk
            Basic and easy for beginners of a juice fast to try, the "Dave Walters Special" is a great way to introduce someone new into the concept of juicing. While there may not be any vegetables in the drink, there are a couple fruits that'll help kickstart your day.

Photo courtesy of FitBrain

Saturday, April 1, 2017

On The Playlist

            Here's another edition of "On the Playlist", where I show you everything that's bumpin' on my playlist!! Check it out!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

An End of an Era

             The Detroit Red Wings were eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday, losing to the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1. This marks the end of a 25-season run of playoff appearances. The Wings won four Stanley Cups and made six Stanley Cup Finals appearances during their unprecedented run. What was going on during the 1991 year?

  • George H.W. Bush (The first Bush) was in the Oval Office.
  • The original "Beauty and the Beast" was in theaters.
  • "Love Will Never Do" by Janet Jackson was topping the charts.
  • The SNES was being released to the general public (SIX Nintendo consoles were released during this run, including the Switch).
  • The Detroit Lions made their only NFC Championship appearance, getting thwomped by the Washington Redskins, 41-10. This was also the last season the Lions won a playoff game (Cowboys by a score of 38-6).
  • The Gulf War was coming to an end.
            A lot has happened since the Red Wings last missed the postseason, as you can tell.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

About This Tournament...

            The first weekend was surprisingly awesome in spite of the lack of upsets. I mean, people anticipate that an upset will happen, right? People want to see a #13 seed or #14 seed pull off the stunner or a thrilling buzzer beater. What if we anticipate it so much that we're surprised when it doesn't happen? That's a part of why the first weekend was better than you thought. It was a nice break from the Cinderella action.
           Now you got one school booking their first trip to the Final Four (Gonzaga or Xavier) and you got another battle of the blue bloods (Kentucky and North Carolina) after a riveting battle of the blue bloods (Kentucky and UCLA). You also have two lower seeds (South Carolina and Xavier) who could potentially make the Final Four. How exciting is that?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

LaVar Ball's Statistics

            Lonzo Ball's father, LaVar Ball, has been in the news quite a bit lately, boasting about how good his son is and how he'll be drafted by the Lakers. He's been so outspoken that LeBron James has issued a stern warning to LaVar. But did you know that LaVar played basketball at Washington State? He played 26 games for the Cougars, averaging 2.2 points per game, 2.3 rebounds per game, and an assist per game. Apparently, his son's a lot better than he was back in his hey-day.

Photo Courtesy of TMZ

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Avs-Wings Rivalry

            Back in the day, the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings didn't like each other. I mean, they hated each other's guts. It started with a dirty hit by Colorado's Claude Lemieux on Detroit's Kris Draper in the 1996 Western Conference Finals. Colorado went on to win the series. 4-2, and they won their first Stanley Cup that year. This was in spite of the Red Wings breaking the regular season record for wins with 62. Detroit managed to come back and win the next two Stanley Cups. Between the two teams, they've appeared in six Stanley Cups and have won five together during their amazing runs up to 2002. Here's an ode to one of the greatest rivalries not just in the NHL, but in all of sports.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Why They Didn't Make March Madness

            This year's March Madness features tons of adversity and plenty of parity. This is unprecedented, considering Vanderbilt made it as a ninth seed in spite of having 15 losses on the season. Anyways, here's a breakdown as to why these "bubble teams" got burst by the selection committee.

  • Syracuse (More Road Wins, Please): Syracuse had a stellar home record of 16-3 and had quality wins against Duke, Florida State, and Virginia. So why did they miss the tournament? They had 14 losses, marred by horrible road play. They had two wins on the road this season and their road losses include one to Boston College. Ouch. 
  • Illinois State (Make A Harder Schedule): The Redbirds just had to win the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and they were in. They had six losses, which get most teams in the tourney. They would've taken a spot from a team like Vanderbilt and probably would've been in the play-in game. The problem is that the Redbirds lost to the likes of Murray State and San Francisco (San Francisco isn't that bad; it's just their RPI's not great). Throw in the lack of quality wins and Illinois State is in the NIT. What Illinois State needs to do in order to make the tournament next year is summed up in this Dan Muller tweet: 

      • Indiana (Fulfill Expectations): Indiana started off the season with lofty expectations. Ranked in the Top Five with a quality neutral-floor win over Kansas and another over North Carolina would make any resume look like a No. 1 contender. There were a couple of issues with Indiana's season, though. Aside from the eye-catching collapse, the Hoosiers went on to lose 15 games this year, including losses to Fort Wayne and Nebraska.

      Sunday, March 12, 2017

      GIFS Galore!

                  I got more GIFs to show you today!! Prepare to be entertained!!

      Thursday, March 9, 2017

      Picking Your Bracket

                  March Madness is nearly upon us. The average citizen will fill out a bracket in hopes of it becoming perfect so that they can brag to their friends about the little moment they achieved with the bracket. Anyways, if you're having a hard time filling one out, here's a few suggestions to help you out.

      1. Look For The Big Names: Teams like Louisville, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke are the popular picks to make the Final Four year in and year out. They're basketball bluebloods and are known to pull in the best recruits every year. If you're having a hard time establishing a Final Four, look to these names for some help.
      2. Mascots!! If you're having a hard time filling a bracket out in general, just pick a team based on whose mascot you like more. It won't guarantee you a perfect bracket. Then again, what way will considering the unpredictability of March Madness?
      3. Bet On The Top Seeds: A No. 1 seed has never lost to a No. 16 seed in the men's game. There have been eight No. 15 seeds that have beaten their No. 2 seeded opponent in the Round of 64 (Middle Tennessee State is the most recent to win). The closer the match-ups are seed-wise, the more likely of an upset (A No. 1 seed would have less likely of a chance to be upset than a No. 3 seed, for example). The only exception to this rule is the sixth seed/11th seed compared to the fifth seed/12th seed match-up (The 12th/11th seeds have won 46 times in the Round of 64 each). Also, keep in mind that there have only been four teams with the tenth seed or lower that have reached the Final Four (Syracuse is the most recent).
      4. Look At The Conferences. Popular Final Four picks tend to come from conferences like the ACC, the Big East, and the Big Ten. Conferences like the Pac-12 haven't produced a champion in a long time (Arizona in 1997) in spite of UCLA having the most men's basketball titles in tournament history. If you don't know who to pick, just go with the team that's either in one of the aforementioned conferences or pick against conferences like the Pac-12 (Unless they're a higher seed). 
      5. Research! Look up where a team's strengths and weaknesses lie. What defense does the school run? Is their offense an up-tempo offense? How do the match-ups line up? Knowing these attributes along with knowing the match-ups will help you not only pick your Final Four, but will help you pick which upsets will occur.
      6. Coin Flip: You can do a match-up (Or even an entire bracket) by flipping a coin. You might get some wacky results!
      Photo Courtesy of Sporting News