Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's

Happy New year's everybody. And I'm off to go celebrate and imbibe with some friends. I imagine tomorrow morning I'll feel like Sammy White after getting introduced to Jack Tatum. Don'e get the reference. Just go here and you'll see what I mean.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who Fields Death Valley In Yankee Stadium in 2010?

Bryan Hoch on wrote recently that the Yankees might be bluffing with their left field scenario.

We can debate if Brett Gardner or Jamie Hoffmann will really be in left field on Opening Day (I tend to think it's a lot like after the '05 season, when they insisted that Bubba Crosby would be the Opening Day center fielder until he wasn't and Johnny Damon was), but the GM is doing his best to throw ice water on any fantasies of another big-ticket addition this winter. "I will continue to look at any remaining piece, but it won't be a big piece," Cashman said Dec. 22. "Any speculation about some high-end player who has big ability and dollars attached on a large scale would be inappropriate."

It certainly is possible that the Yankees will make a move to shore up left field—especially if Johnny Damon or Xavier Nady drops the price tag a little bit. It could be the Yankees are bluffing. However, there are a few things to consider about the differences between 2005 and now.

In the spring of 2006, the Yankees had just gotten knocked out of the first round of the playoffs, and this after 2004's disastrous playoff series against the Red Sox. Jason Giambi was a shell of the megamillion dollar superstar that was supposed to reinvigorate the Yankee success train and resided under a cloud of steroid suspicion. Bernie Williams and Tino Martinez were on their way out. And the Pavano, Wright and Randy Johnson signings were looking like mistakes.

In short, the Yankees looked like an aging, out-of-control behemoth.

They couldn't have Bubba Crosby start in left and still pretend to be trying to reignite the dynasty. There would be just no way.

Going into 2010, however, the Yankees are defending World Champions. They won 70% of their games in the second half of 2009 and seem poised to continue their dominating ways. Mark Teixiera, last year's free agent prize, won a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, placed 2nd in the MVP race and wont turn 30 until April. They added Curtis Granderson, all of 29, and hopefully invigorated batting in the Yankee lineup, to play centerfield. And they picked up Nick Johnson and his .426 OBP to help keep the batting order potent.

The Yankees, of course, would love to have Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. But they don't need them. Their lineup remains extremely dangerous, and the additions should only make it more so. If Brett Gardner is the starting left fielder on Opening Day, his .270 batting average, good defense and feisty base running wouldn't be the worst option for the home run hitting Yankees. Or the Yankees could go with someone like Reed Johnson as an insurance policy.

Then again, if Matt Holliday drops his price, all of this could be moot. Word is however, that the Yankees are serious about keeping a budget this year and will not sign a big ticket free agent ("No chance on Matt Holliday, no chance on Jason Bay.  Zero. None. Underline it.").") and I for one, believe them this time. So don't be surprised if Brett Gardner trots out to left field on Opening Day.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Tell me something. How do the Giants, who are in a must-win situation, go out and lay an egg like they did? Just a disgusting performance.

Have to agree with Chad Jennings. With the way the Yankee's rotation is panning out, the Yankees should probably start Phil Hughes and move Chamberlain to the pen in 2010. I still believe that Hughes is the better starter in the long run. And Joba just has the reliever mentality.

Also gotta agree with this sentiment from Matt Zemak of CFN: "How generous of the replay booth reviewer at AT&T Park to give the USC Trojans a late Christmas present of 14 points on two of the worst non-reversals ever witnessed in major college football." Totally true. Not that BC played a great game on Saturday night against USC. Still, those two calls had to be some of the worst calls in football, college or pro.

An under-the-radar pickup seems to be panning out as a steal for the Browns. Matt Roth, acquired off waivers from the Dolphins has 4 sacks in 5 games and is active on tackles. Roth would be a much-needed boost for Mangini's Browns if he can keep up the good play.

"I disagree with their whole scheme ... They don't let me rush. They're all against me, or whatever."
That was Albert Haynesworth after he was sent home for being 20 minutes late to a meeting. Just one question, Albert....shouldn't you have maybe, I don't know, checked what the scheme was before you signed a 7-year contract?

Good point by Jon Paul Morosi saying that the Padres might get more value for Adrian Gonzalez in July at the trading deadline than they would now. Also, if Padres are out of it in July, maybe it hurts the Padres fan base less than it would now. Gonzalez is popular and if they trade him now, the Padres are telling their fan base they are done for 2010 already. If they do it when they are 23 games back, maybe it doesn't seem so vile to the fans.

Question: How come Wes Welker isn't being considered at all for MVP? Despite missing two games, Welker leads the league in receptions by 21 receptions. He's just 20 receptions short of the record—again, even though he missed two games. He leads the league in yards per game, and is second in YAC. He's also 1 behind Reggie Wayne in 1st down catches and 6th in the league in punt return yards. Now I'm not saying Peyton Manning or Darrelle Revis shouldn't be the MVP, but shouldn't Welker at least be in the conversation?

Said it before, will say it again. Jason Campbell does not look like a starting NFL quarterback. A backup maybe.

Incredibly easy call for AAPTBNL Man of the Week. Jonathan Stewart, come on down. 208 yards at 7.4 ypc and making it look easy. Congratulations on winning Man of the Week in a walk.

And finally, in the wake of Tiger Woods, (as well as Steve Phillips, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Steve McNair, Rick Pitino, Kobe Bryant, Derek Lowe, etc, etc), 3 athlete's wives—Tia Robbins, Jasmine Silva and Jerika Johnstone—started a company called Off The Market. Says Robbins:

"My husband told me that since he had that ring on his finger, women have been flocking to him more....We have to be open with each other and we think we can help with these unique relationships....We want to help athletes sustain a positive and sexy relationship with their mates."

So how are they gonna do that?

"We'd like to offer a private lesson for strip pole dancing one day or even offer to have a strip pole built in a home. (We have a male sex toy that)...our men can use this product on the road and that will help them stay straight at home."

Male sex toys? Can't imagine an athlete on the road saying, "No guys. I don't want to go to the strip bar with you guys. I'm gonna go back to my hotel room by myself, grab my sex toy and get in touch with myself. Yeah, that's what I'm gonna do."On the other hand, Robbins' wife is kinda hot so.....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yankees Do Not Trust Their Farm System

If one thing has been shown this off-season, it’s that the Yankees, despite assurances that they want to get younger and cheaper, do not trust their farm system.

How else do you explain their trading 2 of their top prospects in the past few weeks? Austin Jackson, (23) long one of their prized position players—the centerfielder of the future—was spun for Curtis Granderson, and this morning, Arodys Vizcaino, the number 3 prospect in their farm system according to Baseball America, all of 19 years old, was traded for Javier Vasquez, 33 years old and making close to 12 million.

“You always want to get younger, especially when you have an older team,”

That was Cashman at the Winter Meetings a few weeks ago. Cashman now has a starting rotation who’s ages are 36, 38, 33 and an 29-year-old in Sabathia who’s arm is more like 33 what with the number of innings he’s put on it.

“(With all the injuries we’ve had recently)’re starting to see the necessity of [why] you have to get younger.”

That was Cashman at the end of 2008. However, how long does he thing a rotation in its mid 30s will hold up? Burnett and Pettitte have a history of injury issues. So far, Vasquez has been relatively healthy—but how long will a 33-year-old Vasquez remain so? Can Burnett and Pettitte pitch healthy into September and October?

If they all remain healthy though, a rotation of Sabathia, Burnett, Vasquez and Pettitte would be potent. Even with Hughes or Chamberlain in the 5th and all their youthful volatility, that rotation should be dominant. Again, the question is age.

Apparently, Cashman isn’t concerned. Otherwise he wouldn’t have traded Baseball America’s 2008 top Yankee prospect, Austin Jackson, and, Vizcaino, who Keith Law of ESPN felt could jump well into the top 50 prospects of the game.

And maybe Cashman is right. Maybe the Yankees aren’t a team that believes that prospects could or should play a large role in their Yankees Universe. Maybe they should just be chips in trading for proven commodities. They aren’t the Rays or A’s, driven by cheaper talent. They are the Yankees.

“Ultimately, what I feel is a strong reluctance to trade three or four assets to another team [for a player] and then sign him to a multiyear contract. You trade for a guy, give up three or four assets [and then pay him], then you’ve crushed your payroll and your assets at the same time.”

And while the Yankees didn’t extend contracts, they did add contracts. And payroll. Vasquez’s contract is close to 12 million. Melky and Vizcaino add up to about 3 million. Jackson made AAA money; Granderson has 25+ million coming through 2012.

So while Cashman may not be wrong about adding payroll and proven talent (maybe), he is at the very least, contradicting himself.

In any event, its clear Cashman has turned around from his 2005 proclamation that the Yankees need to build through the farm. Since 2005, the Yankees have grown some talented youngsters, Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson, Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Tabata, Melky Cabrera among others. They will however, blossom with other teams. Because it’s now clear that Brian Cashman, like his predecessor sees the Yankees winning through acquiring talent, not growing it.

Let’s hope his plan works.

Monday, December 21, 2009


So Favre is "irked" that Childress wanted to seat him, when he wasn't playing so well? Guess Childress forgot the 11th Commandment. "Thou shall not displease the Lord, your Favre, even if ye be the head coach. The team is not yours, but the Favre’s."

Anyone watch the New Orleans Bowl or the St. Petersburg Bowl. Anyone. Anyone at all.....?

Now that the Cubs have gotten rid of the walking migraine known as Milton Bradley, who do they get to play center at Wrigley? Marlon Byrd? Melky Cabrera? Seems to me that with the way the Cubs are designed, they need a lot of production from that position and, right now, options are limited.

Another thought. Now that the Lowell to the Rangers deal is off, could the Rangers be interested in Jason Bay and vice versa? The market for Bay appears to have dried up and Bay isn't all that interested in going to the Mets and spacious Citi Field. Rumor has it the Rangers are sniffing around Vladimir Guerrero, but perhaps they could get the righty bat they need in Bay and have an outfield of Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Bay. That's potentially 100+ HRs just from your outfield.

Anyone else catch those scorch marks all over Leon Hall from where Vincent Jackson was burning him for big plays?

I know it's been said a bunch of times before, but Jared Allen is one heck of a player. It was like he was one of the only few players in the Vikings defense to show up yesterday. 6 tackles, a sack, 2 stuffs and a forced fumble. If I had to start a defense, it'd be tough to choose between him, Darrell Revis or Patrick Willis as the first pick.

With "Everyday" Eddy Curry playing a grand total of 12 minutes last season, 62 minutes this season, and buried like a sarcophagus in Mike D'Antoni's depth chart, you think maybe Curry is going check the "Yes, please" box on his 11 million dollar player option for next year?

"I've been in this league 12 years, and I've been through a lot. And these shoulders that I have on my body, you can put the earth on it. So just to let you know, I bounced back. I appreciate it."

That was Randy Moss. Geez, Randy, you're a wide receiver, not the frickin' Messiah on the cross. You got called out for dogging it. Deal with it.

Hard not to pick Josh Cribbs or Jerome Harrison on the Browns, but I gotta go with Big Ben again. All Roethlisberger did was throw for, and this is not a mistype....500+ yards, 3 TD passes (including the game winner with no time on the clock on a beautifully placed ball to the side of the end zone. An unbelievable performance, especially considering his running backs totaled for 65 yards the entire game. Amazing.

And finally, happy birthday to JoePa 83 years young today. And as Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror writes, Penn State needs you more than ever. No because you've won the Big 10 twice in the past five years and revitalized the program and are bringing in recruits by the buckets to the tune of a Top 5 class. No, Penn State needs you now, because with you being the face of the program's success, they are jacking up ticket prices. Giger writes:

Penn State will be jacking up season-ticket prices in 2011, raising annual Nittany Lion Club contribution levels from $100 per seat to $600 and $400 apiece for thousands of fans. It will be a lot easier for many longtime, diehard Lion fans to fork over the extra money simply as a show of support, loyalty and admiration for Paterno.

Nice, Penn State. Middle of a horrific recession, people hurting, out of work, and the University jacks up prices on the face of a beloved old coach. One again, college football doesn't fail to nauseate. Stay classy, Nittany Lions. Stay classy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Smith & Young. Not a Law Firm....Redemption Defined

Picking a quarterback in the first round is always a risky business. For every Troy Aikman, there's a Jeff George. For every Peyton Manning, there's an Akili Smith. Carson Palmer, Ryan Leaf.

That's probably why when Vince Young and Alex Smith began to show signs of less-than-brilliance, so many teams were ready to write them off. Young and Smith, the 3rd overall pick in the 2006 Draft, and the 1st pick in the 2005 draft respectively definitely did not enter the NFL reminding people of Marino and Montana. However, they did earn something that most athletes never get a chance to do: redeem themselves somewhat.

In Catholicism, redemption means to atone so that you may be freed of sin. And Smith and Young both did sin. In football, they committed the sin of failing to live up to expectations. And coming into the league, both Smith and Young had huge expectations.

Alex Young went 21-1 as a quarterback for the Utah Utes. He finished fourth in the Heisman voting his senior year, amazing considering he played in the lightly regarded Mountain West Conference. Under Urban Meyer, Smith's Utes beat Pittsburg in the Fiesta Bowl, the first BCS Bowl game to have a non-BCS team in it. And he won.

However, to be blunt, Alex Smith did not enter the NFL with the look of a future number one pick. Completing barely 50 percent of his passes in his first year, and throwing 11 interceptions and just one touchdown pass, he looked lost and scared in the pocket. Over the next year, Smith shows glimpses of talent, but always regressed soon afterward. It didn't help that Smith had 3 different offensive coordinators in his first 3 seasons. That said, Smith threw 16 interceptions his 2nd year and was sacked 35 times. Fans grew impatient with Smith's slow growth and across the web begin a variety of Alex Smith "stinks" web sites and in the media, the "bust" label began to be whispered.

Then the roof fell in. Sacked early in his 3rd season, Smith injured his throwing shoulder. Rushed back into the lineup by coach Mike Nolan, Smith played truly horribly. Smith complained his shoulder wasn't right; Nolan didn't believe him and called him out to the papers. Eventually, however, it was discovered by doctors that Smith's shoulder injury was more server than previously thought, and he was placed on IR and had surgery on the shoulder. The next year, 2008, with yet another offensive coordinator, this time Mike Martz—his 4th in 4 years—Smith was demoted to second-string quarterback, behind journeyman J.T. Sullivan. Smith was thought to be a bad fit for Martz's wide-open attack, and Martz knew Sullivan from their time in Detroit. Then things got even worse.

Before the season, Smith's shoulder required a second surgery, which would cause him to miss the entire 2008 season and would lead to Smith be called a full-fledged bust. After the season, with the threat of being cut, Smith was forced to renegotiate his contract, reducing his pay for the final two seasons from 25 million to 8.

Starting the 2009 season as both a second-string quarterback and a bust waiting to be cut, Smith looked renewed, and was inserted into the starting lineup in the 7th game. And all of a sudden, the bust began to play like the first round pick he was supposed to be. When asked why Smith seemed different this year than from all others, Coach Singletary had this to say:

    "Alex is a totally different guy today than he was even six months ago. I think his mindset is clear. The thing what spoke volumes to me about him was in the offseason he had a chance to move on and go to another team and make more money. But he decided to stay because he felt that he wanted to be a part of what was here. He wanted to finish what he started.''

In just 8 games, Smith has 15 TD passes, or just one short of his career high. He is throwing for a 61% completion rating and has career highs in almost every passing category. He is 7th in the league with a TD% of 5.4 Against the Cardinals, Smith was credited with causing three offsides using a excellent hard count, and keeping the Cardinal rushers on their heels all game. While not a polished Drew Brees QB just yet—he throws too many interceptions still—Smith has shown the signs of not only not being a weak point in his team's offense, but actually being an asset. He has shown signs on multiple occasions of placing the Niners on his shoulders and producing when the team needed him too. After a long, strange trip, Alex Smith finally is becoming the quarterback he was drafted to be.

For Vince Young, the story was even more roller coasterish. After the unbelievable BCS Championship game, Young had an even more fairy tale-like rookie season. Playing in a controlled offense, Young managed the Titans to an 8-5 record as a starting quarterback and himself to a Pro Bowl nomination. His second season was a combination of even more good and some bad, though improved throughout the season, markedly improving his completion rating. Young however threw 17 interceptions to just 9 TDs.

Then, like Smith, the roof caved in.

After a poor performance in the first game of the 2008 season, Young was booed and benched. Distraught beyond reason, Young, after the game, went missing. Young's therapist said that Young was with a gun and was contemplating suicide.

Given time to straighten things out in his head, Young was "relieved of starting duties." Benched in favor of Kerry Collins for the rest of 2008 season, Young essentially became the forgotten man during the Titans exceptional 2008 season. To start the 2009 season, Titans coach Jeff Fisher told the media that Young was the second-string QB and would have to "earn his job back." Once a Pro Bowler and one of the NFL's stars of the future, Young was now an afterthought, and a heavily doubted one at that.

However, as brilliant as Collins was in 2008, he was equally awful in 2009, leading the Titans—once popular Super Bowl picks—to a 0-6 record. Eventually, and by request of the Titans owner, Vince Young was brought back to start for the Titans. And he has responded. Young is not only putting up the best numbers of his career, but is also by leading the Titans as a veteran quarterback, to a 6-1 record. Young's interceptions are way down and his yards per attempt are way up—as is his quarterback rating, 20 points higher than his previous high.

But more to the point, and like Smith, Young appears for the first time, to be a leader. Again, not to be confused with Tom Brady, Young, again like Smith, seems to have grown the ability to be able to take the team on his shoulders. Like Smith, they are fulfilling the promise they had when their teams selected them so high.

Redemption is a rare thing in sports. Not many players, taken with so much expectation by a franchise, and who fall so flat in the face of those expectations, have a chance to redeem themselves. Ask Tim Couch. Couch, who had a similar career path to Smith and Young, who succeeded marvelously in college, who was taken high in the draft, who showed early promise but had the deck stacked too much against him—including a parade of offensive coordinators and schemes and a sieve-like offensive line—and ultimately failed. Couch, despite being the Cleveland Browns all-time leader in completion percentage, despite a Pro Bowl birth and despite leading a talent-deprived expansion franchise to a playoff berth, Couch was released. He was a bust.

Which is why we should note Smith and Young's redemption. Because it so rarely ever happens. Unlike baseball, where a struggling young player can be sent to the minors to work his problems out, football is a do-or-die sport, where if you don't succeed, you're a bust. Football doesn't want to hear it—win or go home.

So congratulations are due to Alex Smith and Vince Young. Both of them came into the league with huge expectations. Both got knocked down. And both got back up and are succeeding. And that's something that should be commended.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Five

Sorry for the lack of updates. Hell week at work here. Anyway to the questions:

1. If you were the Phillies, would you have tried to sign Lee to a long-term deal. Or would you have made the trade for Halladay?

2. Who is your NFL MVP? Peyton? Chris Johnson. Brees? Someone else?

3. If the Big 10 expands to 12, what will they call themselves?

4. Now that we are deep into the Hot Stove, what was the worst free agent signing of all time?

5. Would you ever watch a game called the Poinsettia Bowl?

Monday, December 14, 2009


So, think the Steelers wish they could go back to the offseason and maybe, actually address their offensive line woes? I mean, 8 sacks? To the Browns? I gotta ask, why do the Steelers hate Ben Roethelsberger?

Sorry to say this because he seems like a nice guy, but....Kellen Clemens is not a NFL caliber starter. He just isn't. He wasn't just rusty on Sunday. He was missing guys by 10 yards.

Good article at the Hardball Times about the decline of Derek Lowe. The article also talks about Takeshi Saito, but the really interesting part, when you consider a lot of people were questioning the big paycheck he got from the Braves, is the statistical analysis on Lowe. Didn't the Braves do their homework. Even though Lowe had a nice 2008, stats show he was beginning to slip.Yet they gave him a 4-year fat contract. And now they can't give him away, even if they offer Turner Field along with him.

You know, in the pre-season, I picked Green Bay to surprise and win it all. And when they lost to the Bucs a month ago, shame entered my life in a big way. But since, they've won 5 in a row, and are starting to resemble the team no one wants to play in the playoffs.

I hope Turner Gill works out at Kansas. I just love to see when sports matter to people. And after watching this video of him winning the MAC at makes me wish I was a recruit so I could play for this guy.

The real Randy Moss is starting to show up....uh oh.

There really is no excuse for the Giants to fumble 4 times in a inter-division game in a battle for first place. Eli Manning, injured foot and all showed up and threw for 3 TDs and 400 yards. Where were the rest of the Giants?

And right about now, Steve Spagnuolo is missing the Giants and the Giants are missing Steve Spagnuolo.

I feel AAPTBNL should apologize to Norv Turner. This blog has said some pretty rough things about him. But with the Chargers going 10-3 and looking like one of the most dangerous teams right now, you have to think that Turner has finally found the right situation, and is doing a nice job down there in southern California.

At one point last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were 9-3. Since then, they've gone 1-16. Seriously, what the heck happened? How does a team tank that fast?

Lesley Visser writes a good column about the Heisman, and how even though Mark Ingram, a great and talented running back , no doubt—won the Heisman, every one knows the best player and no. 1 draft pick was Ndamukong Suh. It's just that the Hesiman never goes to defensive players.

For AAPTBNL Man of the Week....with apologies (great performance, but your team lost) gotta go with DeSean Jackson. 2 TDs, both over 60 yards, almost single-handedly deflating the Giants. Heck, his 6 catches averaged out to 30 yards a catch. Wow. Explosive, thy name is DeSean.

And lastly, AAPTBNL was sorry to hear that the Yankees didn't tender Chien-Ming Wang. I wish him only the best of luck wherever he goes. He was a class act and a good pitcher. He deserves a second chance.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Five

1. Is Brain Kelly going to bring Notre Dame back to relevance?

2. What are Curtis Granderson's BA, HR and RBI this season for the Yankees?

3. If you were the coach of the 6-7 Steelers, would you sit a beat-up Big Ben. Or is that a bad precedent for a veteran team?

4. Do you get the NFL Network in your area?

5. The first time you saw Khalil Greene, were you surprised he was white, being that Khalil is typically an African-American name?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jimmy V.

As a sarcastic, skeptical dead-inside SOB, I never like listening to speeches. Speechifyiung, to me, is a lot of overblown hot air, masquerading as "true feelings."

And then there is Jimmy Valvano.

In honor of Jimmy V. Week at ESPN, I'd like to link to one of the best speeches I've ever heard by anyone, anywhere. To those of you who have never heard this, you are in for a treat. To those who have, I defy you not to listen to it again and not choke up.

Without further delay, Jimmy Valvano.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It Happened! Yanks Trade for Granderson

What is sweet Jehoshaphat just happened?

Did someone secretly replace Brian Cashman's brain with delicious Folger's crystals?

So Cashman in all seriousness, thought a trade for an in-decline centerfielder, who batted .249 last season, was worth our best ready-to-play prospect, Austin Jackson (who we didn't want to part with to get Johan Santana), Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy.

At least we held on to Jesus Montero.

So our starting outfielder's last year batting average, bated .276, .249 and .249. Put together, that's  .256. Swell!!

Not sure I can see any advantage to this. Some suggest it's a way to save money to go and get Halladay. But you just gave up some great pieces of the puzzle to go and get him. No, for sure, you'd have to trade Jesus Montero, voted no. 2 by Project Prospect of all minor league prospects. Supersweet!!

In any event, I hope there is a plan. Because trading Damon and Matsui for Granderson—a lifetime .272 hitter with two straight years of steady decline—makes this outfield into a galactically average outfield

Really? Granderson for Hughes and Jackson?

Let me get this straight. To get Curtis Granderson, the Yankees would have to part with Austin Jackson and Phil Hughes.

Why not give them A-Rod and Jeter?

I mean, has Granderson turned into the embodiment of Rickey Henderson when I wasn't looking?

And where do the Tigers get off thinnking they have such a prize to dangle on the trade winds?

Mr. Granderson batted a Giambi-esque .249 last year, the second straight year of a precipitous drop of over 20 points off his batting average. True, he did hit 30 home runs, but do the Yankees need long ball power at the cost of a young talented pitcher and a blue chip prospect? And despite the 30 home runs, his slugging percentage is a meh .455.

Somehow, Granderson got voted into the 2009 All-star game. This despite his only real appearance in the league leaders was in strikeouts (141, good for 9th).

The question to me, really is, why would the Yankees even be interested? Austin Jackson seems ticketed to start in centerfield in 2011, if not sooner. Until then, Melky Carera and Brett Gardner seem more than capable if not exemplary fill-ins till then. Why even dangle the notion that Phil Hughes and Jackson could be had. please let this be nonsense

Monday, December 7, 2009


Can someone please explain how frickin Florida State gets a New Year's Day Bowl game? The Gator bowl? For a team that went 6-6 and lost to both Clemson and Boston College; teams who got shafted and stuck with the Emerarld City and Music City Bowl. Really, why have a regular season, if we can pick whoever we want to play in whatever bowl game we want. It just makes a team's record obsolete and meaningless.

Seriously, I know I've written about this a million times before. but look. If the Mets won 110 games and won the NL East by 19 games, but MLB "choose" the Phillies because they "preferred" them, people would flip out. And rightly so.

BTW, where's the love for Clausen? His stats, on an inferior team, outshine both McCoy's and Tebows. But nary a word for him? Seems odd to me.

Right about now, I'm guessing Eric Mangini is wishing he took a year off from coaching. or at least looked at the Browns roster before accepting the job. Heck, even the ref standing next to him in the picture looks like he feels bad for him.

How the heck does Wes Welker get open so often? You would think the opposing coaches would design something that would at least slow him down. He caught 10 passes for the Pats on Sunday, the rest of the team caught 9.

Good for the Kansas City Royals showing their fans that they are actually trying to get back to respectability.

You can pretty much write Sam Bradford's name in ink next to the Carolina Panther's first selection at next year's draft. Oh wait. They don't have a first round pick. Uh oh.

Think Belichek is going defense in free agency in the draft this off-season?

Did Cris Colinsworth "interview" of Brett Farve last night come with a spit-shine of Lord Farve's shoes?

Speaking of that sound I hear that the inevitible sound of Farve's December implosion.....?

You know, I was with the people who said that Tiger didn't owe anybody an explanation: private matters are private. But Jason Whitlock—are you on Tiger's payroll?

As for Mark Sanchez's performance last Thursday, the numbers dont show it (7-15, 104 yds), but to me he looked more decisive. Like he actually had a clue and a gameplan. Doesn't help when Braylon Edwards, wide open drops a perfectly thrown bomb that hits him in the face. Seriously, take a look at the video.

And for the AAPTBNL Man of the Week. Gotta give it to Bruce "the Grad Man" Gradkowski. Goes into Steel Country, and drops 3 TD passes in the final 8:21 to beat the World Champs in their house. For that, he should get AAPTBNL Man of the Month. Gradkowski, who went to school in Toledo, this has to be a day to remember. Congrats Grad!

And lastly...hate those new Florida unis. They totally look like they're a Canadian football team.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saturday Sports Thoughts

Had to babysit a friend's kid all day. So like any good, red-blooded American male, I tossed the kid some crayons and plopped myself down on the couch and watched sports all day. Here's some thoughts.

I had a feeling Florida gets crushed by Alabama. Florida, all season kinda looked like they were phoning it in. Saban's Red Tide on the other hand, were getting hungrier as the year went on. The result seems kinda of forseen: Florida went in and got killed.

Watching Texas play....Alabama is gonna kill them too, I think.

Some knucklehead Stanford sportwriter is complaining about Stanford possibly having to play against Boston College. Uh, Brucie. What was Stanford's record? 8-4? And BC's record 8-4? You are touting a win against Notre Dame? Against a wildly, wildly overrated USC team that Arizona beat last night. yeah, and you also lost to Wake freakin' Forest. You're 8-4. Take the Bowl game and stifle yourself.

I get the feeling, watching the 2 early Big East games, that a blogger, who's  rumblings I read a while back might be right. And his theory was that  the Big 10 and the ACC are going to try to carve up Big East football teams, with the ACC and Big 10 getting Cincinnati, Louisville, Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. The Big East would then become a basketball only division.

Speaking of which, it was nice that St. John's at least didn't embarrass themselves against Duke.

Kinda tired of everyone maligning the ACC now. They had a great game last night with Georgia Tech-Clemson. Yeah, I know everyone was watching the Texas-Nebraska game, but maybe they should have watched the Yellow Jackets high-tech offense beatup a pretty good defense.

Another hunch. Colt McCoy, even though he's listed at 6'2", 210, looks smaller than that. And when he gets to the NFL, and has those guys hit him a few times.....well I think McCoy is going to be on the injured list a lot.

Not saying that Bob Stoops will definitely be the next Notre Dame coach, but every time I saw the scroller at the bottom of the TV saying "I will not be the next coach at Notre Dame" I thought of Nick Saban, two years ago saying the exact same thing about the Red Tide job.

And finally, it was so nice to not hear anything about Tiger Woods. For at least one day.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Five

1. Is Albert Pujols the best Cardinal of all time, including, Stan Musial?

2. Could the SEC play in the NFL right now?

3. Do the Saints run the table?

4. Especially after having read my article on the state of NY basketball, will St. John's ever be a dominant college basketball program again?

5. Give me your Vegas odds on the Arodis Chapman (The Cuban ace defector trying to sign in MLB right now) ends up with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The 2010 Yankees

Now is the time of year when, undoubtedly, Yankee fans see thousands of articles on what to do in free agency, who to sign, etc. etc. Every nitpicky sports writer with an opinion tells the Yankee what to do. And to that I humbly add, my version.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Is it me, or does it look a lot like Ladian Tomlinson was hit by Lex Luthor's evil energy-sapping ray? I mean, not too long ago, L.T. would hit the hole and be past the linebackers ina flash. This year, it feels like it him takes a half an hour to get to the line.

Jason Campbell....once again....good stats, no results. Seems like he's just one of those guys who's numbers look respectible, but doesn't get the job done.

Seems like all those LenDale White has matured articles were a tad premature.