Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Breakdown of the 2010 NFL draft

It would take far too long to do all 32 teams, so I’ll just cover some of the teams I know the followers of this blog are fans of. I’ll go in depth on the players drafted in the 1st two rounds and go through some of the other picks. Be sure to check out the links I posted! It’s kind of long.

Seattle Seahawks

The hawks arguably had the best draft of any team. Having two 1st round picks will help do that. The Hawks did a good job of staying patient and letting the players they targeted fall to them. GM John Schneider and Pete Carroll added franchise left tackle Russell Okung and ball-hawk safety Earl Thomas in the 1st round. The Hawks made a pair of nice deals for halfbacks Leon Washington and Lendale White. They also traded for Charlie Whitehurst earlier in the off-season. In the 2nd round they found Notre Dame receiver Golden Tate. In all, the Hawks added 12 players through the draft that should help shape the core of the team in a season featuring a change in the front office and coaching staff. That is a good haul of players in year 1. Post-draft prediction: 7-9, 3rd in NFC West.

Bold Prediction:
Earl Thomas wins defensive rookie of the year over the Chief’s Eric Berry.

Rd. 1, 6th overall, OT Russell Okung, OSU: Most scouts and other “experts” considered Okung the top left tackle prospect in this class. A few mocks had him going to Detroit 2nd overall or Washington at 4th overall. At 20 years old, Okung will start right away and will be replacing future Hall-of-Famer Walter Jones; who is expected to retire. Jones, who was the 6th overall pick in 1997, was a mainstay at LT for 13 years. Protecting the QB is becoming more important every year and being able to lock down the position for 20+ years in a row will be a nice luxury for the Hawks. He’s said to be a mauler with good pass protection skills. It’s difficult to find good highlights of o-lineman and as a 49er fan I despise the Hawks and everything they do; so I’ll just link this cheap shot and call him a dirty player!

Rd. 1, 14th overall, S Earl Thomas, UT: Eric Berry overshadowed Thomas a bit in this process and in another year Thomas could have been considered a top 10 talent or the “next” Ed Reed. He has amazing ball-hawk skills. Check out this highlight video and at about the 1:11 mark they breakdown an interception. On ESPN he said he recognized this play from before and just jumped the route. He can play corner and safety, and play them well. The Hawks will probably use his talents as a safety. He’s kind of a smaller guy, but he can make a hit if he needs to.

Rd. 2, 60th overall, WR Golden Tate, ND: There’s no question the Hawks need help at receiver. They found great value here. Tate came out after his junior year, but he’s considered one of the most NFL ready receivers in the draft class. He should come in and compete for that #2 spot with Branch and Butler. The knock on him is that he catches the ball too close to his body and not enough with his hands, but he’s a capable deep threat and great after the catch. He doesn’t shy from contact and he competes for the ball. He’s also not afraid to go over the middle. Check out this TD and his band dive. How about that song? Here’s another highlight reel. Notice how he catches the ball with his body. Might lead to some drops. He was a halfback in high school and even looks like a running back, which might explain his pass catching technique.

Some late round picks: Walter Thurmond (4th rd, 111th) is a talented corner, but is coming off a knee injury that sidelined him for most of 2009. The upside is worth the pick and he’ll provide depth. Kam Chancellor (5th rd, 133rd) is a big physical safety capable of playing down in the box, but is a liability in coverage. He’ll likely be used on special teams. Anthony McCoy (6th rd, 185th) will follow Carroll from USC to Seattle and become the #2 TE. He’s a capable blocker and pass catcher and can contribute behind John Carlson.

Oakland Raiders

After years of bad picks, the Raiders finally got some good value! The Raiders were a good team last year when they had good QB play. They beat some top teams and they seem like a team on the rise. Davis clearly wants to “just win baby” and they have a chance to do that in 2010. By making a draft day trade for QB Jason Campbell the Raiders have said no more to JaMarcus Russell. Campbell needed a fresh start and so did the Raiders at QB. Campbell will help highlight some of these top picks over the last few years and the Raiders offense should be much improved. They also used picks to add some defensive depth via trade, including OLB Kamerion Wimbley and DE Quentin Groves. They looked like a team with a plan after using their first two picks on inside linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive tackle Lamarr Houston to add to the front seven. They added some high ceiling tackles Edwin Veldheer and Bruce Campbell in the 3rd and 4th rounds and added depth to their secondary in the later rounds. It was a good draft for a team looking to win more games in 2010. Post-draft prediction: 8-8, 2nd in AFC East.

Bold Prediction: McClain leads the AFC West in tackles.

Rd. 1, 8th overall, MLB Rolando McClain, Alabama: McClain is a beast and will help the 29th ranked defense against the run. The “experts” say it’s a little early to draft a middle linebacker, but he won a National Championship and the Dick Butkus award while at Alabama. Guys like McClain don’t come around often. The guy doesn’t have elite speed, but he can get sideline to sideline. He’s a ferocious tackler too. The improvement of Oakland’s defensive line will allow McClain to roam free and make plays. Check out these highlights. Again, this guy is a beast and should be a fun Raider to watch. He’ll look good in the silver and black.

Rd. 2, 44th overall, DT Lamarr Houston, UT: The Raiders are considering a switch to a 3-4 defense in order to fit the abilities of their players more effectively. Houston is said to be versatile enough to play the nose or end. So it’s likely he would compete for playing time at both. He has great motor and is relentless in his pass rush. His strength though is his ability to create push at the point of attack, and he should be one of many trying to take on blockers to free up McClain to make plays.

Some late round picks: In the 3rd and 4th rounds the Raiders drafted a couple of high upside offensive tackles. Edwin Veldheer (3rd rd, 69th) is 6’8” with good feet for a left tackle. Bruce Campbell (4th rd, 106th) is a workout warrior and showed it at the combine. Some scouts gave him a 1st round grade for potential. Believe it or not, the Raiders literally drafted a track star this year with receiver Jacoby Ford (4th rd, 108th) from Clemson. How could Davis resist? The Raiders selected 3 defensive backs Walter McFadden (5th rd, 138th), Jeremy Ware (7th rd, 215th), Steven Brown (7th rd, 251st) and linebacker Travis Goethel (6th rd, 190th) who should all compete for a roster spots, provide depth, and help on special teams.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have been able to add talent to their roster over the past few years through the draft and free agency. They think this is the year they go to the playoffs. It all depends on Smith. The Niners have given him the necessary weapons to be successful and in the first round they gave him even more help on the offensive line by selecting tackle Anthony Davis and guard Mike Iupati. On day two, the Niners changed their focus to the defense by selecting an exciting safety and linebacker. They finished up the draft by adding a blocking tight end, HB and WR depth, and help in the secondary. They also turned their 5th round pick into former first round pick Ted Ginn. He should come in as the favorite to win the kick/punt return duties and play his way into the offense. The Niners did sign an undrafted free agent, LeRoy Vann, who could be an interesting commodity in the return game. The division is up for grabs and I think their draft was an indication of that. They filled their most glaring needs with capable starters and should finally be able to take the NFC West. Post-draft prediction: 10-6, 1st in NFC West.

Bold Prediction:
Gore rushes for 1,500+ yards behind the Niners revamped o-line.

Rd. 1, 11th overall, OT Anthony Davis, Rutgers: The Niners traded up two spots in order to get the guy they targeted at a good value. At the time it made no sense and felt like a waste of a 4th round pick, but the Niners didn’t want a team to jump ahead of them to draft Davis. Davis is young and considered a bit developmental. He’s considered good enough to start right away and he’ll likely line up at the right in 2010. He may eventually switch sides with Staley if he shows that he is a premier pass-blocker. Right tackle was the one of the biggest weaknesses for the Niners and they turned it into a strength.

Rd. 1, 17th overall, OG Mike Iupati, Idaho: Listening to Mike Singletary talk about Iupati and Davis made it feel like the Niners targeted these 2 players all along. Iupati is considered by a few to be the most likely pro bowler out of this entire draft. The guy is huge and should be good at clearing huge running lanes for the next 10 years. Gore should have fun running behind him. Iupati will likely come in and take over for David Baas at left guard. The Niners have built a nice offensive line. Would you want to go up against this guy?

Rd. 2, 49th overall, S Taylor Mays, USC: Mays was the sexy pick for the Niners. He fits right into the Singletary philosophy of being fast and physical. There was a rumor of a 4.24 40 for a little bit, but that was exaggerated. There are concerns that Mays is a liability in coverage, but he can lay the wood. He’s not going to be asked to cover wide-outs in man coverage. He’s replacing Mike Lewis, who is a physical in the box type of safety. So as long as Mays can be as good as Lewis in coverage this should be an improvement to the defense. A lot of Niner fans wanted them to draft Mays because of the Ronnie Lott-USC connection. He’s not the same type of safety as Lott though. He’s more in the Rodney Harrison mold. He goes for the hit more than the ball. Watch the hits.

Some late round picks: Navarro Bowman (3rd rd, 91st) is an outside linebacker being converted to inside “Ted” backer. He’ll be the eventual successor to Takeo Spikes. HB Anthony Dixon (6th rd, 173rd) has an impressive highlight reel. Be sure to watch the interview at the end. It’s like if Ol’ Dirty Bastard played halfback. TE Nate Byham (6th rd, 182nd) is a blocking tight end. WR Kyle Williams (6th rd, 206th) has a ton of speed and could be utilized in the return game and an eventually as a slot receiver.

Undrafted free agents: The Niners signed two interesting names immediately after the draft. HB LeGarrette Blount, the guy who was suspended for his entire senior season for this sucker punch. He has 2nd round talent, but the character concerns caused him to not be drafted. The other player they signed was kr/pr LeRoy Vann. He’s tiny, but he’s lightning quick on kick returns. He might compete with Ginn for the return duties. The Niners definitely added nasty, ghetto, and attitude to their roster.

***Note: Blount backed out of his agreement to terms with the Niners and signed a deal with the Titans. I guess you could say he threw another sucker punch, a-ha!

San Diego Chargers

It was well known that the Chargers were targeting a halfback in the 1st round after releasing future Hall-of-Famer LaDainian Tomlinson. I know one Chargers fan who has to be happy with the replacement they found. They traded up in the 1st round with the dolphins in order to secure halfback Ryan Mathews from Fresno State. The Chargers ended the draft with only 6 picks, mostly because they traded up twice to get their guy. The Chargers are not a team rebuilding and could afford to package picks to get the players they targeted. Their other picks were used on a future starting “Mike” backer Donald Butler, depth on the d-line and secondary, a developmental QB, and an interesting H-back type tight end. The Chargers are a team with very little needs and they address everything they needed to by selecting Mathews. Post-draft prediction: 12-4, 1st in AFC West.

Bold Prediction: Mathews rushes for 1,000+ yards and finishes in top 3 for offensive rookie of the year.

Rd. 1, 12th overall, HB, Ryan Mathews, Fresno State: The Chargers are handing the keys to the run game to Fresno State alum Ryan Mathews. Darren Sproles will play a big roll, but Mathews should be the workhorse. He’s a downhill runner with good vision and balance and always seems to fall forward. I’ve heard one comparison to Frank Gore. He will be used in between the tackles, but he does have the speed to get to the edge and break off long runs. The knock on him is that he didn’t have to contribute to the passing game while at Fresno. He was not used in protection or in pass catching situations all that much and he could use improvement in those areas, but that’s not why San Diego drafted him. This is why.

Some late round picks: Donald Butler (3rd rd, 79th) is an athletic and strong linebacker and has all the tools to be a solid starter for the Bolts in a couple years. He set a record at the combine for bench presses by a linebacker. He just lacks the instincts to be as effective as someone like McClain. Safety Darrell Stuckey (4th rd, 110th) is another player that can develop into a solid starter, but lacks football knowledge and instincts to start right away. He did single-handily beat Missouri. DT Cam Thomas (5th rd, 146th) is a two gap defensive lineman that fits San Diego’s scheme and will provide depth. Jonathon Crompton (5th rd, 168th) is a developmental QB from Tennessee and TE Dedrick Epps (7th rd, 235) is considered more of an H-back in the mold of Chris Cooley. He is a liability as a blocker, but he’s athletic with good hands.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are another team with enough pieces in place to allow them to target specific players or positions. And how ‘bout them Cowboys, Jones got exactly who he wanted. Just for fun, here’s the video of him running his mouth at a bar. Anyway, Jones got his man, WR Dez Bryant, in the first round. They followed up that pick with inside linebacker Sean Lee from Linebacker “U”. The Cowboys inside linebackers are getting old and they could use some youth. The Cowboys only ended up with 6 picks, and they finished the draft up by adding secondary depth and depth to the o-line and d-line. The Boys play in arguably the toughest division in football. It’s a division with a lot of questions, but a lot of talent. The Cowboys are the most stable team in the division. They win the division and compete for the conference title! Post-draft prediction: 13-3, 1st in NFC “Beast”.

Bold Prediction: Dez Bryant scores 10 touchdowns in 2010.

Rd. 1, 24th overall, WR Dez Bryant, OSU: Bryant could have been a top ten if he didn’t get suspended for the 2009 season and for other character concerns. He did forget his cleats and there are concerns of his family and childhood. The Cowboys are never scared to take a chance at a rare talent like Bryant. Jerry Jones said he would not let another talented wide receiver slip through his hands like he did with Randy Moss, years ago. I know one fan that wanted them to draft Taylor Mays, but trust me you’re better off with the guy you got. Roy Williams has been reassured that his starting spot is safe along with his $13 million, but is has to be assumed that Bryant will play a significant role from day one. Here are some of his highlights.

Rd. 2, 55th overall, ILB Sean Lee, Penn State: Lee is considered small for a linebacker, but he has good instincts and is good at shedding blocks. I’ve heard comparisons to Zach Thomas. Lee will have a shot to earn a starting job, but he’ll likely add depth and contribute to special teams in year 1. Is Sean Lee the steal of the draft?

Some late round picks: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (4th rd, 126th) is a cornerback that may be converted to safety. If he does remain at corner, he’ll be asked to play press as a nickel. He adds some value as a kick returner. Sam Young (6th rd, 179th) will provide depth along the offensive line. He has good strength, but lacks the athleticism needed to be consistent. Jamar Wall (6th rd, 196th) is a corner that should provide depth and play special teams. Watch this hit.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have had one of the top off-seasons in the NFL. Their 4 biggest needs were ILB, OLB, WR, and S. They filled a need by signing inside linebacker Karlos Dansby. Of course, they traded for Brandon Marshall! The nose tackle is considered the most important position in a 3-4 defense. The dolphins sort of addressed that in the 1st round, trading back to accumulate picks and selecting defensive tackle Jared Odrick 28th overall. In the 2nd round, the Fins addressed the loss of Jason Taylor and Joey Porter by selecting outside linebacker Koa Misi. The fins drafted four linebackers in total. They also added guard John Jerry for depth and help in the secondary. The Dolphins are a good team filling in the pieces. Henne to Marshall is big for them this season. In another division they could be a 10-6 team and in the playoffs. Post-draft prediction: 8-8, 3rd in AFC “Beast”.

Bold Prediction: Misi and Odrick combine for 12 sacks.

Rd. 1, 28th overall, DT Jared Odrick, Penn State: Odrick is a 5-technique defensive tackle, a good fit for a 3-4 defense, but not a true nose. A 5-technique DT is used as an end for the 3-4. Adding depth to the position will help out the rotation until they find a true nose tackle. Odrick is a talented player and can get to the quarterback. After losing both outside linebackers, the Fins need to find sacks from other positions in 2010. He could be a good source.

Rd.2, 40th overall, OLB Koa Misi, Utah: Misi is making the transition for defensive end to OLB to fit the 3-4. Misi has a knack for getting to the QB and should show a ton of value in that regard. I’ve seen him referred to as a “dynamic” pass rusher. He’s strong enough to hold up against the run and will earn him playing time immediately. Here are some highlights.

Some late round picks: John Jerry (3rd rd, 73rd) is an offensive guard who will provide depth and has upside to potentially develop into a starter. A.J. Edds (4th rd, 119th), Chris McCoy (7th rd, 212), and Austin Spitler (7th rd, 252) will all provide depth to the linebacker corps. Edds will compete with Camerion Wake for playing time opposite of Misi. McCoy and Spitler will contribute on special teams. Safety Reshad Jones (5th rd, 163rd) is real talented and could be a steal. He needs to show improvement to overall instincts and football knowledge and he could develop into a starter with upside. Check out this hit.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers may have lucked into a good draft. They didn’t have a 1st round pick, but that didn’t matter. They ended the draft with 10 picks and an overall good haul. The Panthers have a super bowl worthy rushing attack and a solid defense. However, they have been missing a QB since the sudden collapse of Jake Delhomme. The Panthers also need to finally find that #2 wide out and a replacement for Julius Peppers. That is what the Panthers focused on and why they had a good draft despite not having a 1st round pick. After snatching up the quarterback Jimmy Clausen in the 2nd round, the Panthers drafted 2 wide receivers; Brandon LaFell and former Appalachian state quarterback Armanti Edwards. They found help for their front 7 in the middle rounds and finished up with 3 defensive backs and another QB with a lot of upside, Tony Pike. The Panthers were the favorites to take the NFC South in 2009 before the emergence of the Super Bowl Champion Saints. The Falcons are on the rise and the NFC south will be competitive. The Panthers get enough out of their new QB and the run game to make the playoffs. Post-draft prediction: 10-6, 2nd in NFC South.

Bold Prediction:
Jimmy Clausen leads the Panthers to a playoff berth.

Rd. 2, 48th overall, QB Jimmy Clausen, ND: The Panthers had a pressing need at QB and no 1st round pick and somehow the #2 QB on most people’s boards fell all the way to them in the 2nd round! Talk about the luck of the Irish! There is probably a reason Clausen fell to the 2nd round, but he was considered the most NFL ready of any of the top quarterbacks in the draft and he’s in a good situation with Carolina. They run the same offense Clausen ran at Notre Dame. So he should come in prepared to compete for the job. He’ll have the spot at some point, unless Matt Moore shines. It would be good for Clausen to enjoy some early success to give him the confidence to lead the Panthers the way Mark Sanchez did with the Jets in ’09. Let’s just hope that Steve Smith doesn’t punch Clausen at any point. Smith has been known to punch teammates and Clausen is known as someone who gets punched. Anyway, Here are some highlights.

Some late round picks: Wide receiver Brandon LaFell (3rd rd, 78th) will compete for the spot opposite of Steve Smith. It’s said that he has some of the biggest upside of any receiver in the class. Former Appalachian state QB Armanti Edwards (3rd rd, 89th) will play receiver for the Panthers. LaFell is a bigger possession type receiver and Edwards is more of an explosive type receiver. Edwards will be a project and could contribute in the wildcat formation. His better is better. Outside linebacker Eric Norwood (4th rd, 124th) will compete for playing time as both a weak side and strong side backer. Defensive end Hardy (6th rd, 175th) has commitment issues apparently and will have to show an improved work ethic. He is said to have 2nd-3rd round talent. David Gettis (6th rd, 198th) is another receiver who will compete for playing time. Quarterback Tony Pike (6th rd, 204th) was highly productive at Cincinnati and should come in ready to compete. He’ll be a nice project quarterback in case the whole Clausen thing doesn’t work out.

Chicago Bears

With no pick until the 3rd round, the Bears were going to have a difficult time improving their team. Signing Julius Peppers and Chester Taylor on the first day of free agency qualified as their 1st 2 picks. They ended the draft with 5 picks. The Bears made a good value pick in the 3rd round when they selected Safety Major Wright (75th overall) and he should be an upgrade in pass coverage. He can hit like you would expect a Chicago Bear would. Watch this hit. The Bears made another great value pick in the 4th round when the selected defensive end Corey Wootten 109th overall. Wootten tore his ACL in 2008 and slid down into the 4th round. He played in 2009, but had not returned to form. He was highly touted as an eventual 1st round pick until that injury. Cornerback Joshua Moore (5th rd, 141st) will provide depth. Quarterback Dan LeFevour will be an interesting project. Some scouts are high on him and others think he doesn’t have what it takes. J’Marcus Webb (7th rd, 218th) is an offensive tackle that will likely end up on the practice squad to be developed. Post-draft prediction: 7-9, 3rd in NFC North.

Bold Prediction: Major Wright earns the starting job and makes 6 interceptions.

Posey to be called up soon…

I read various articles today about Posey being called up before the end of May.  This to me, is a good idea.  Simply put, the Giants offense is fucking shit right now.  Bring him up next week, fuck tomorrow would be fine.  Once he is called up the question will be, how much will he help this offense? Is he a better #2 hitter than Renteria?  At least we know the Giants management is finally seriously considering bringing him up, and not just sitting on this shitball offense.  I was all for these guys when they were putting up 6 runs per game the first week and a half, but it’s very hard to sit through a game when the starting pitching is this good and the hitting is this bad. The team era is 2.68 after 19 games, but before last night they were 5/55 with runners in scoring position in the previous 8 games.  Offense?  Maybe by the end of the month they will have some things figured out.  Rowand will be back, Posey called up, and Sanchez off the DL.  Then, we will see how the team looks.  Also, I wouldn’t be opposed to packaging Bumgarner and another prospect for a power hitting OF.
Posey article: http://bleacherreport.com/tb/b3Tkg

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mike Doug

                                                       You wish he was your dad.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ben Roethlisberger: A bad tipper?

In the midst of allegations of rape and overall douchey behavior, a new claim has surfaced.  Ben Roethlisberger only tips 7%, even on tags with more than 8 people.  Rick Velsinco, a waiter at Ben's second favorite Georgia restaurant (2nd to Hooters), Jack's Steakhouse, says that the Steelers QB has been shorting him for years.  "That motherfucker came in last tuesday with a group of young coeds, pulled me aside, and asked me to drop a roofie in one of their drinks.  Naturally, I did, and the son of a bitch only tipped me 10 bucks on a $200 tab.  Now I'm facing accomplice to rape charges. "

Roethlesburger offered no comment.

In other Roethisburger news: according to Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star, a Pittsburgh food company has reportedly cut ties with Roethlisberger.  Big Ben's Beef Jerkey will no longer be available to the people of the greater Pittsburgh area.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Just tied the game with a solo shot off Heath Bell in the 9th.  Best hitter on the Giants right now.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Giants Get Revenge

Giants pound Dodgers 9-0 with no lube, or Rowand.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Breaking News: Tiger Woods Accused of Beastiality While on Tour in Europe

Jodar, Spain. There has been another twist in the saga of Tiger Woods. Two people have come forward in recent days claiming that the feline Tiger Woods has been raping their goats.
One woman, who declined to be named for safety reasons, says she went out to the pasture to feed her flock when she interrupted Woods in mid-thrust. The woman screamed in horror and chased Woods off with a garden hoe. She has decided not to press charges against Woods, mostly due to lack of hard evidence. There were no other witnesses.
Woman and her Goat
Andulacia Mtns, Spain. Javier Velasquez is just a simple goat farmer. He has a wife and three kids, all of whom work on the farm with him. One fateful night ( not long after the first incident), Javier went out to check on his horses, when he heard squealing coming from the barn. He pulled open the rickety old door, and witnessed an appalling scene. There was Tiger, wearing his red polo shirt and nothing else, going to town on a 250 lb Angora. Velasquez says he and Tiger made eye contact, but Tiger proved to be far too elusive, even with his pants around his ankles, to be apprehended. Velasquez’s goat, Jorge, is doing ok after the traumatizing event, but did need 16 stitches, which Javier did himself.
and more goat
Tiger refused to comment on these allegations at his press conference during the recent Master’s PGA event, but his agent had this to say, “Any intercourse Tiger has ever had has been consensual.”

The time has come...

So I started this blog about a month ago and have yet to post anything. Sometimes the garbage can gets full and needs to be taken out or better yet burried deep in a landfill. Only problem was it took me a good three years to figure this out. Oh well better luck next time....

Monday, April 12, 2010

14 Hour Giants Extravaganza

The day started at about 7:30 am with the sound of people shuffling around, preparing for a cold, rainy day at AT&T Park. I got up from my spot on the hard wood floor in the dining room, threw on my Tim Lincecum Cy Young t-shirt, (It was a give away at a Fresno Grizzlies game last year) and was ready to go.

As we traveled north on highway 101, the sky steadily became more and more ominous. Once we passed San Bruno, the rain began to fall, and didn’t let up until about 4:00 pm. Regardless of the rain, we remained optimistic that there would be a game; we just didn’t know when.

We reached San Francisco by 10:00 am, parked at a sleazy lot a few blocks north of the stadium, and began our wet, rain filled day. Luckily, one of the guys with us had ponchos, so we all were prepared for some rain. We cracked open some beers, and hung around in the rain for about an hour before heading into the ball park.

The field was drenched, infield covered, and the rain was relentless. We hung around the stadium until about 2 or 2:30, when we decided to wait out the delay at a nearby sports bar. By this time, we had been in the rain for about 4 hrs, and my shoes were wet with no prospect of drying out any time soon.

rain game

Every bar within two miles of the park was jam-packed. With the group becoming restless, we headed back to the parking lot to drink more beer and listen to the radio. The rain came down with force, and it was cold to boot, but we still stood out in the rain and drank, clinging to a slim hope that the game will be played.

Suddenly, around 4:00, the rain let up. About 15 minutes later, the staff at the park announced a projected 5:15 start time. We were all about to call it quits when we heard the announcement; I was preparing myself for some clean socks and some Super-T. We all pounded another beer and felt a second wind. I threw another jacket on to bring my layer count to 5.

First pitch was at 5:14 and the crowd was pumped. The Giants started off slow. Brian McCann hit a two-run dinger off Lincecum in the first, and the Giants didn’t get on base until the 4th inning. It was Pablo Sandoval’s two out triple in the 4th that got things going. Huff then came up and pushed a grounder through the gap between SS and 3B, to bring the Giants within 1. The next time through, it was Sandoval once again that got things going, hitting a single and was eventually driven in on a two-run single by DeRosa. Lincecum lasted 7 innings on 108 pitches while striking out 10, limiting the Braves to the 2 runs they got in the first.

Sandoval Catch

The highlight of the night had to be Sandoval’s solo shot into right center field, although Matt Diaz’s error in the 8th caused quite a stir. It was a rough night for Diaz as he struck out to end the game. Immediately after the last pitch there was a sudden down pour. Talk about good timing. The final score of the game was 6-3 Giants.

Based on the length of the wait, the extremely miserable conditions, wet socks, stiff joints, and my wind burnt face, it’s hard to believe that this game was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had at a Giants game. We arrived home around 10 pm and it took about a whole 5 minutes for me to pass out.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Slugger Aaron Rowand Gets an Extra 15 Million For Running Into Wall

In the winter before the 2008 season, the Giants were looking for a spark. Ready to embark on the post-Bonds era, they were in need of a clubhouse leader and run producer. After scouring a weak free agent market, the Giants came across Aaron Rowand. Rowand was known around the league for being a good fielding, average hitting, piece of meat. Initial contract negotiations were slow, with the Giants offering Rowand a deal in the 5 yr, 45 million dollar range. A very modest sum. Rowand's camp declined for obvious reasons. Rowand was quoted, " Haven't they seen me dive into the wall? And my awesome stance?"

The Giants, being the more desperate side, decided to review some tape of Meat. Sabien and company were so enthralled by Rowand's intensity, and shear heart, they upped the offer another 15 million. The Giants were sure that Rowand would be yet another brilliant signing...

It's now 2010, year three of the Meat deal. Since his signing he has hit an average .263, with 28 dingers and averaged 67 RBI's. He is now slotted in the leadoff role, and has started the year 0-10 at the plate. Yes, it is early, but he has looked horrible at the dish so far. Looking back on the deal, it has become clear that Rowand's propensity to run himself into walls has been the basis for his extra fat contract. That said, it should at least be fun to watch Rowand squat at the plate, and run around in the outfield with no regard for his own well being.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The NBA has become Pro Wrestling

Once upon a time, long ago, in Santa Barbara, I had a wonderful experience that would prove to be formative moment in my development as a sports fan. Magic Johnson was in town, and he brought a whole team of ex-NBA stars to play an exhibition game for professional basketball deprived Santa Barbarians. It was a fantastic game - there were top college prospects and old pros trading baskets and increasingly difficult shots. The game came down to a final play. The details are fuzzy, but I remember the moment the game ended with absolute clarity. Magic made his patented hook shot with time running out. Interestingly, he made this shot from half court.

What really intrigued me, though, and what intrigues me to this day, is that there was no way that ball was going to careen off the edge of that basket. It was going in; there was no doubt about that. So, why didn't Magic take this half-court shot all the time? Clearly, he could make it often, with reasonable certainty. Wouldn't a half-court hook shot be an amazing weapon to have in your arsenal? Yet, that was the only time I saw Magic use this shot.

"No really, I NEVER make this shot. Pure luck"

This leads me to my current assertion. The NBA is fake. I love it. I love watching the current Lakers team, with the uber-clumsy but effective Pau Gasol toss in hook shots like it's the first time he's touched a basketball.

"I'm so big and sexy and Spanish"

But it's fake. I'm sorry to be the one to have to tell you this. So, "what's your proof that the NBA is fake?" you are probably asking me right now. Let me explain, like a Spaniard would.

1) Let us begin with the obvious: The refs are crooked. Most of us who have watched any amount of NBA games over the past few years knew this, so we weren't at all surprised by the Tim Donaghy adventure. If you watched the Spurs-Suns series last year, you knew something was rotten in the state of Arizona. Poor little white Canadian Steve Nash's bloody nose was one of the most pathetic sights in NBA history, and it was compounded by the fact that it was the result of yet another dirty ass play by the leagues dirtiest team, the San Antonio Spurs (more on their terrible "contributions" to the current state of the NBA later).

"Some body's going to do something about Robert Horry, right?"

2) Dunks. Why aren't there more of them? It's clear that most of these guys are tall enough and athletic enough to dunk on almost every play, yet they are a relative rarity. Sometimes, you'll see a player dunk with little or no effort, and then on the next play, this same exactly player will miss an awkward two-foot hook shot. This makes no sense. It's almost like David Stern has one of those collars from the beginning of The Running Man around every NBA player's neck. If you dunk too often - POP! There goes your head. And all your endorsements.

"I don't have to jump to dunk, but it looks more realistic when I do"

3) Free Throws. This one boggles the mind. How do professional basketball players ever average less than 80% on free throws. They're free. Any kid can spend a few months shooting baskets outside his house and get up to 80% on his free throw percentage. That's why I am absolutely dumbfounded when players like Shaq struggle their entire careers to get over 50%. You are telling me that Chipper Jones is batting .400 and yet there are professional basketball players that can't make 4 out of 10 free throws? Nonsense.

"If you can't make free throws, you deserve to lose at life"

4) Exaggerated Arguing/Flopping/Fouling. I had to combine these all into one category, but I think everyone knows what I mean. Sarah can't stand basketball because, in her words "THEY ARE ALL A BUNCH OF WHINY PUSSIES!" (Sarah is a Packers fan. In her eyes, basketball players are primadonas who couldn't hold Brett Farve's jockstrap.) So, this is where the Spurs come in. Have you ever seen Tim Duncan's eyes when he's called for a foul? They are practically lunar. Have you ever seen Bruce Bowen or Manu Ginobili flop to the ground for no apparent reason other than they just got burned on their defensive assignment? (If your answer is no, just watch a Spurs game for more than three minutes) And then there's my favorite - The Mystery Foul. No one knows why it was called. There weren't any players even close to the ball. The other team just got mugged on the other end of the court. Yet, there's that whistle. No rhyme or reason - almost as if the refs are working on commission, and need to call one more foul so they can buy that jet ski they've had their eyes on.

5) Travelling. It happens on every play. Also randomly called at times.

"Hey refs! Do this more often!"

6) The dagger in the heart of the legitimacy of the NBA is the Harlem Globetrotters. Have you seen what they can do to the Washington Generals? I say put them in the NBA, and they'll win all 82 games. Kobe ain't got nothing on Reece "Goose" Tatum.