The Grand National Championships

June 22, 2008

So, I know that Mock Drafts can be comedic at best.

But as a man who loves draftery? You kind of need to give it a go. Even if it’s an exercise in futility, or as I like to call it, exercise.

Thus, the Grand National Championships proudly present…an NBA Mock Draft Pit 350.

1. Bulls: Derrick Rose (PG) Memphis

As this draft goes, there are two special talents in this draft, and while I still think there’s going to be an issue in the Bulls being with a conservative general manager such as John Paxson and the mess of talent still in the backcourt, Mr. Rose has two advantages over Beasley. One, a local boy #1 pick brings great joy to Jerry Reinsdorf’s quest to become Scrooge McDuck. And two, his downside is being merely great instead of special.  

2. Heat: O.J. Mayo (SG) USC

I know this seems shocking, but if you think about it logically, it makes perfect sense. Michael Beasley seems to have shrunk himself into a young Shawn Marion, and his refreshing honesty makes the professionalized life of O.J. Mayo into a better fit for Riley’s demeanor. Also, if there was any way shape or form that O.J. Mayo could fall to fifth? Beasley would be a Grizzly by Friday.

3. Timberwolves: Michael Beasley (PF) Kansas State

And if I’m right, Minneapolis becomes the hipster haven of the NBA. Not saying this to ape Free Darko, Mayo to Miami just makes more sense to me.

4. Supersonics: Jerryd Bayless (Combo Guard) Arizona

Obvious pick is obvious. The Sonics are in dire need of somebody with point guard skills. And with Mayo off the board? Jerryd is an offensive playmaker who make Kevin Durant a lot better. If they don’t kill each other first.

5. Grizzlies: Brook Lopez (C) Stanford

The way the Grizzlies are built, they would be looking for an inside presence, scoring ability optional. Many of the draft boards say that Kevin Love (to love you baby) is the Naughty Girl for the Grizzlies. But the fact of the matter is that Love’s fat, undersized, and offensive minded. And if Brook Lopez is available at this pick the Grizzlies would be damned fools to pass on Lopez here.

6. Knicks: Eric Gordon (SG) Indiana

Now Gallinari may have a guarantee to be drafted here, but the fact of the matter is if no superstar slips out of the Top 5, the doughy-faced assassin is the perfect fit for a run and gun offense. All Eric Gordon does is put the biscuit in the basket. D’Antoni will love his style. 

7. Clippers: Russell Westbrook (PG/SG) UCLA

Love lands here if Brand decides he’s going to become a Free Agent, but if not, the board falls to Westbrook. He has excellent athleticism and great defense. He’s not a pure 1, and his offense is questionable. But as a high energy guy to back up/provide insurance to Shaun Livingston? It would be a great pick for Elgin Baylor.

8. Bucks: Joe Alexander (SF) West Virginia

Scott Skiles is living in his own private hell. He’s a defensive oriented coach living with a team that has no defensive skill and there is no defensive skill in a position that they need. Love is a poor defender. Gallinari’s too much the poor athlete. And Anthony Randolph is Stromile Swift 3.0. Joe Alexander may not be a great defender, but Skiles will feel better with his unorthodoxy and efforts.  

9. Bobcats: Kevin Love (PF/C) UCLA

Nazr Mohammad had a great year last year, but he is not a long term answer. If Love is available here? He’s a great fit. A very good offensive center, and he has the outlet passability to send Gerald Wallace and Jason Richardson on rim-rocking fast breaks. He’ll find his place in the research triangle.

10. Nets: Danilo Gallinari (SF) Jeans from the Italian Suit People.

Now they could just as easily take a flier on an Anthony Randolph or a DeAndre Jordan, but the fact of the matter is that Gallinari is the best player for what Lawerence Frank wants to do. The fans may not be happy with an undersized four, but he provides energy, toughness, and a spectacular mid-range game.

11. Pacers: D.J. Augustin (PG) Texas

The perfectly logical fit. He will make Danny Granger an all-star, and not in the Scott Cooper, Mark Redman there’s nobody else sense. Also, he’s everything Jamaal Tinsley’s not. So maybe he’s going to get a hit out on him. See, because Tinsley loves guns, right and…

Moving on.

12. Kings: Anthony Randolph (SF/PF) LSU

Here’s where the upside gambles come out to play. His measurables are, according to Draft Express, quite bad. So what’s good? His left-handed athleticism, his handles and his mid-range game. But he’s 18. And if the lights turn on? He could turn into Rudy Gay. If every light turns on?

13. Blazers: Alexis Anjica (C) France

They’re going to make every effort to move up to get Augustin or Westbrook. Let’s make that perfectly clear. But should they fail? It’s best power player available. Mareese Speights and Javale McGee don’t grade out at the late lottery. DeAndre Jordan has negative fundamentals. Kosta Koufos grades out as the next Mehmet Okur, but the Frenchman is the play here. His upside is magical, and he already has developed a nascent offensive game. Also, he has a 7’10” wingspan. They can wait for the light to turn on here.

14. Warriors: JaVale McGee (C) Nevada

This is a bit of a reach. He does not have a great power game, but in Nellieball? He’s a perfect fit. Great wingspan, great hands, a good shot, and he can put the ball on the floor. He could very well be the next Patrick O’Bryant. But his offense has something there there. With fundamentals, he could have NBA Three threatability.

15. Suns: Brandon Rush (SF) Kansas

Are you asking for the first steal on the board? Then go for this Modern Day Warrior. He has the three point range that’s required for a Suns wing, as well as the solid defense that the Suns so desperately need. He’s finally coming back to full health off of his ACL surgery. Donte Greene is too Tim Thomas for the Suns liking.

16. Sixers: Marreese Speights (PF/C) Florida

His face up offensive game is ready for the world now. And overall? His offense is pure. His defense? It’s another story. But for the Sixers? He’s perfect.

17. Toronto: Donte Greene (SF) Syracuse

Toronto got by on moxie and can-do at the three last year. If they don’t trade Ford and the pick for Boris Diaw? Donte Greene is a offensive force upgrade. If they do? Robin Lopez goes here.

18. Wizards: Kosta Koufos (C) Ohio State

A ready-made offensive center. He has the shooting touch of an international, even if he is Columbus born and bred. He is decent defensively, and even if he isn’t explosive. He is solid, if not sexy. 

19. Cavaliers: Chris Douglas-Roberts (SG) Memphis

LeBron James needs scoring help. The Szczerb? Always gets hurt. Boobie? A Mo Williams clone. CDR is a pure scorer. His mid-range game is off the chain, and his defense will fit into a Mike Brown system quite nicely. 

20. Nuggets: Robin Lopez (C) Stanford

DeAndre Jordan is still on the board, but they are looking for a polished defender on the pivot in Denver. And Jordan is still merely upside. Robin is all toughness and energy and shotblocking. Also, he’s high character.

21. Nets: DeAndre Jordan (C) Texas A&M

Admittedly Jordan is a lot of a project, but on a team where resode DeSagana Diop, a nascent game is acceptable. He has the tremendous upside potential. But he’s got 10 percent of his potential used up.

22. Magic: Courtney Lee (SG/SF) Western Kentucky

He’s more than this, but all the Magic really want is a perimeter pip to Dwight Howard’s Gladys Knight.

23: Jazz: Roy Hibbert (C) Georgetown

A power player built for a slowed down pace. He’s a Zydrunas Illgauskas lite.

24. Sonics: Darrell Arthur (PF) Kansas

When he’s right with the world? He’s among the best prospects. The problem? Pedigree and a lack of focus. He may yet be another Wayne Simien.

25. Rockets: Nicholas Batum (SF) France

The phyisicality and feel of the game bring him to the first round. He could be French Josh Smith if the Rockets are patient.

26. Spurs: Serge Ibaka (PF)

The Spurs picked a foreign guy? That doesn’t make sense!

27. Hornets: Richard Hendrix (PF) Alabama

He’ll start in the land of NBA hope as a back-up, but the man’s a Paul Millsap clone. And if you don’t know? That’s an awesome thing.

28. Grizzlies: Omer Asik (C) Turkey

Omer is not a scorer, but his defense is indeed bad ass. And he does have upside. My only regret? His shot-blocks will be proven Omerized.

Look it up.

29. Pistons: Bill Walker (SF) Kansas State

His knees are bad, but his game is the truth when he’s healthy. If he stays healthy, Dumars made robbery.

30. Celtics: Devon Hardin (C) California

Jason Thompson is available here. Sure. But the Celtics don’t need a scorer and mid-range threat. They need a low-post defender. They need a burly bad ass for when Bynum returns. They need to get Hardin.

Yeah. I did it.


June 19, 2008

Jim Riggleman is the Devil…

He has found his way out of his binding spell. He and his career .448 winning percentage notwithstanding. It took the blood of six All-Stars from his former teams to get this retread back into the managerial circles. Don’t believe me?

Jim Edmonds, Michael Barrett, Jake Peavy, Mark Prior, Chris Young, and Alfonso Soriano. Twice.

Carlos Zambrano was just icing on the cake. If the M’s get out on a run? It shall be a run of evil. Evil.

Or not? I will trade the M’s 10 dollars for Erik Bedard.

June 16, 2008

Blockbuster trades that will never happen…

I got to thinking during the long car ride home from the great state of Mehigan.

Why wouldn’t the Brewers play for the playoffs this year? I know? They have Ned Yost. He does not make any sense. But that’s neither here nor there.

I can make a proposal for C.C. Sabathia. I can make it so the Brewers don’t lose any of the Huntsville Eight. All it would take? A little bit of visionary thinking.

Oh, and Prince Fielder.

(Yes. I know. This is crazy. But dig the premise.)

One, the Indians would get a superstar that they could control for three years. Donny Garko is a mediocrity as a full-time first baseman. Move him to the weaker half of a DH platoon with Pronky Kong? And you’ve got an offensive stew going.

Also? This is the dude you’re going to get four to six prospects for. Cleveland? You know you want it.

But why would the Crew put the Prince up for bids? They have dudes ready. You could look at Double A and have Mat Gamel and Matt LaPorta ready to roll up on you with a Miguel Cabrera impression. There’s Brad Nelson who finally…FINALLY is generating enough offense to be worthy of big league entry. And then there’s Chris Errecart. He’s Ryan Garko level right now, but he’s also one of the Huntsville 8. Or they could say fuck it and go with Joe Dillon.

But Sabathia guarantees the Wild Card. Flat out. I know what you’re saying. “Dude! He sucks right now!”

But here’s the deal…he is dominant from August on. True story? He’s 42-18 with a 3.25 ERA. With Sheets and Suppan? They pass the Cardinals and Marlins. They get the Wild Card.

And they don’t mortgage the future to do it.

Or I’m drunk, either way I’m feeling good. 

The Combo Guards are waiting for another year…

Sure, Tiger has disappointed the masses for his 14th major. But you know what? I’m moving on. Freaking Cyborg’s got to beat some unlikable dude for me to care about him…

But why are we here? Because people are making a return to the innocent halcyon fields of the college ballcourt. And you know how we are going to do this? We’re going to play a game of Combo Guard*, White Guy, or Moment of Clarity!

The rules of breakdown are simple. These players are either combo guards/tweeners, white dudes, or people who have found their moment of clarity.

A.J. Abrams, Texas: Combo Guard. At 5’11” and being the tag team partner of D.J. Augustin, he does have solid catch and shoot skills, but let’s be honest. He’s a 5’11” 2-Guard. He needed to come back.
Antonio Anderson, Memphis: Moment of Clarity. While Anderson does have some solid distributive magic with his 6’6″ height. But his shooting is bad, his defense is inconsistent, and he’s going back to Memphis as a starter. This is a decision that could make him millions.
Chase Budinger, Arizona: Combo Tweener. He has good athleticism, he has good catch and shoot abilities. He can finish. But there are days, weeks, and months where he offensively disappears. That and he can’t defend 2’s, let alone 3’s.

Also? He looks right retarded. Admit it.
Lee Cummard, Brigham Young: White Guy. A mad scientist could intersperse DNA of him and Budinger and clone themselves the white George Gervin.
DeMarre Carroll, Missouri: Moment of Clarity. While he is still taking his Flinstones Chewable vitamins, and he is with the upside, he was hurt last year. He needed more time.
Josh Carter, Texas A&M: White Guy. Even if he’s really not a white guy? His game is two steps and no handles. He’s a deadly standstill shooter and a high-effort defender. Another year may not help, but it couldn’t hurt.
Robert Dozier, Memphis: Moment of Clarity. There is something to be said for the skinny 4 who’s athletic enough to play the three. And when Dozier is hot, he is the Matrix Reloaded. But like the sequel, his focus can be fuzzy and his mid-range game is as annoying as that goddamn rave scene. Also? Don’t hit women Robert Dozier.
Wayne Ellington, North Carolina: White Guy. His shot is sexy. He has a decent ability to create an opening for his shot. The problem? No handles, no athleticism, and no toughness. He is your prototypical white guy stereotype.
Alonzo Gee, Alabama: Moment of Clarity. His athletic ability is off the hook. But his game is tartar levels of raw. He had all eyes on him from the wing this season, and his shot fell off. Nobody was even gonna look at him in Round 2 this season.
Danny Green, North Carolina: Moment of Clarity. I don’t say this as a reason to hate, but the fact of the matter is, he has a chance to really improve his draft stock. He developed decent handles and a good shot to go with his athleticism and his shut-down defense. If he can consolidate his offensive game? He’s a 2009 first rounder.
Lester Hudson, Tennessee-Martin: Combo Guard. Lester’s got a story and an ability to put the biscuit in the basket to rival Steffen Curry. His athleticism is not great. He’s 6’1″ and his handles and creativity aren’t great. Even so? He has freakishly long arms (ZOMG 6’9.5″ WINGSPAN LOL) and upside. If he learns how to play on more than instinct? Look out.
Stefon Jackson, Texas-El Paso: Moment of Clarity. Now I honestly don’t know why this cat isn’t better hyped. He is one of the best pure scorers from inside the arc. His slashing game is awesome and his handles are tight. Put it this way? He doesn’t need a 3-point shot to win the dance, but he’s Michael Redd 2.0 if he develops it. (He can defend you know?)  
Ty Lawson, North Carolina: Moment of Clarity. All he needs is a healthy, non-criminally active season and he’s a lottery pick. It’s worth about 3 million dollars to him if he does.
Leo Lyons, Missouri: Moment of Clarity. On offense, when he’s got the ball facing the basket? He’s a force of nature. The problem? He is pretty useless everywhere else. He needs to get the stew of his game going.
Jerel McNeal, Marquette: Combo Guard. He is a lock-down defender. He is an exquisite slasher. He has plus-plus athleticism. He needs to develop his shot from form on upward. But as it goes? He’s a retarded Leandro Barbosa.

Should I really make a joke here?
Jeremy Pargo, Gonzaga: Combo Guard. He has great athleticism. His shot is marginal to mediocre. And at 6’2″ he needs to learn how to develop more than a 1.71 to 1 Assist to turnover ratio. Supernintendo Chalmers says stay in school.

MMMM…Stay in school. 
Josh Shipp, UCLA: Moment of Clarity. Admittedly, he is a 6’5″ small forward. But it goes deeper. His defensive game is not great in the man-to-man aspects. He can get shots, but he can’t make them. He does provide excellent point forward skills and finish on the break, but when you’re sinking less than 33% of his jumpers? You best take more time. 
Ron Steele, Alabama: Moment of Clarity. Missed the 2007-2008 season and then declared. Self-explanatory.
John Riek, Winchendon School (MA): Moment of Clarity. Because the Winchendon School seems like a place to cultivate secret handshake motherfuckers. All honesty? He needs to cultivate his inner Hasheem Thabeet. And he’ll need at least three years of college to do it.
Robert Vaden, Alabama-Birmingham: Tweener. Sure he’s got 21 points per game. Sure, he’s got touch beyond the arc and at the line. But he’s a 6’5″ forward without defensive powers. That never works.  

Sure, some of these are suckers who will either fall off or never be heard from again. But there’s some definite intrigue here. Lester Hudson could roll up on Steffen Curry all like “Boo Motherfucker!”

I dunno. What the hell is wrong with me?

June 12, 2008

Twenty-Five Dollars and a six pack to my name.

The Milwaukee Bucks are in one of the worst positions heading into the Summer. It sucks and I know it sucks. But that’s the crux of it.

But you know what? The #8 pick has no chance of suck. Well…mostly no chance of suck. And I shall break them down for my Homerists presently.


Draft Express calls him Matt Harpring with super athleticism. Free Darko calls him a Suburban Chris Andersen (BIRDMAN FLYING HIGH, GET IT???) Both are right. Harpring has a very nice mid-range game, and Chris Andersen has a hyperactivity on court. He is taller and can out-jump one Michael Beasley, and while his offensive game is still raw, he will put the time in. His tremendous upside potential means he could be locked in to the Bucks, who are in desperate need of a 3.

D.J. Augustin (PG-TEXAS)

The lazy writer would compare him to T.J. Ford. And in build, sure it works. But here’s the thing about D.J., he’s a lot better offensively. He sacrifices an ounce of speed, for a well-developed offensive game. His shot, when it’s on, is pure. He efforts his defense (he is 5’10”, so he’ll never be a shutdown defender). Now, I know the Bucks have Mo. I know the Bucks have The Ramon Sessions on Beale Street. But I would love a scenario where it goes Gallinari to the Knicks and Gordon goes to the Clippers.

Because then the Bucks would be in the rumored 10-team trade. And that? That would be sweet.

Eric Gordon (SG-INDIANA)

He’s a bad defender. He has poor shot selection. But you know what? His scoring instincts are pure. His shot is solid when he’s focused on it. And he’s not afraid to finish. He’s an undersized 2. But he’ll get his 20 PPG. His doughy face may be destined to be a great player on bad teams. I wouldn’t mind him on the Bucks? But he’s a tiny Michael Redd, even if right now he has the perimeter to go with the slasher.

Anthony Randolph (SF/PF-LSU)

Tremendous athleticism. Long wingspan. Good shotblocker. So why do I not want him anywhere near my team? A seemingly irrational reason, but bear with me.

Anthony Randolph went to LSU. He is a skinny power forward who left school as a super-underclassedman. You know what that reminds me of? Stromile Swift. Also, Tyrus Thomas. So if I can put on my Vampire Cape and Stephen A. Smith hat on.

1! 2! 3! 3 Busts! AH AH AH! 

Danilo Gallinari (SF-Brought to you by Pat Riley’s Suits)

He’s the rough equivalent of the well-hyped Cuban baseballer. You’ve heard what they can do, but the fact is, you just don’t know. He vibes as a Hedo Turkoglu/Toni Kukoc hybrid, with versatility, on-court skills and a good shot. But point of fact? He’s not a great athlete. Other point of fact? If the Knicks want D’Antoni to be happy, he’ll be long gone before the Bucks pick. 

Russell Westbrook (PG/SG-UCLA)

Now I don’t love the combination guards as much as others. But Russell Westbrook I’ll make an exception for, mainly because the Bucks presently have no shot at Jeryd Bayless. Westbrook brings defensive dominance and a Barbosan level of enthusiasm and athleticism to his game. His offense may never be of a quality level, but if the Bucks want to show love for Scott Skiles? They go here.

They won’t. But hey…

Yeah, this is homerist. But it’s the advantage of having a lack of elegance.

I may come back later tonight. I may not. Things may fall apart if you will.  

June 10, 2008

Premise: There is a reason for Blogfrica to like Every Team in College Football

Even an eminently hateable team like Ol’ SC. I am here to speak the truth to power. There’s a reason to love every team in The NCAA Division One. And I’m here to share it with you.

NOTE: The rankings are from one of those entirely too early football magazines. I’ll leave it to you to guess which one.

119. Florida International: We all remember the big fight in 2006 between Miami and Florida International. And if you don’t, here’s all you need to know. FIU had an injured running back who went out amongst the crazy with nothing more than crutches and heart. His name is A’Mod Ned. He is now FIU’s starting running back.
118. Utah State: Schadenfreude fans? You want your best bet to run the table of suck? Look to the Aggies. They will need to beat Idaho on September 20th to have any chance, and that’s coming off games at Oregon and a rivalry game versus Utah. Lose here?
117. Idaho: Bloodlines are made of win here. One of the most productive WAC running backs is Deonte Jackson? Guess who his uncle is? Steven Jackson! He was a Fantasy Football +10 off-tackler runner for chaotic evil!
116. North Texas: They grow offenses bigger in Texas. In Todd Dodge’s first season, he took an offense that only averaged 12 points in 2006 and doubled that. He took a random quarterback named Giovanni Vizza and took him to a 2400 yard season and a game where he threw for 8 TD Passes. And now he’ll have his son as an option if Vizza doesn’t keep his stride.
115. Eastern Michigan: Andy Schmitt is what lazy writers would compare to Matt Groethe. A good arm with some run skills, he will keep EMU in games for as long as he can. Because outside of Daniel Holtzclaw? The defense has nothing to bring to the table. 
114. Arkansas State: Hey look Native Americans! They’re the Red Wolves now! You can show love for All-Conference Selections Corey Leonard and Reggie Arnold! Huzzah?
113. Middle Tennessee State: Are you looking for something in a waterbug speedburner? The Blue Raiders would like to have a word you about Desmond Gee. He’s 5’8″, 168 and he runs a 4.44 40 yard-dash. He plays receiver. He plays tailback. He returns kicks. He allows lazy people to make a joke about him doing other work in the stadium. 
112. UAB: The best kicker in the nation? Swayze Waters. He can drain it from fifty yards and keep Baby out of the corner all at once! GET IT?!?!
111. Army: They’re rolling up on people with the Wishbone. Also, they have a quarterback whose named Carlo Sandiego. He has the loot, and the warrant. And he’s about to nab the Contessa!
110. Buffalo: I know Buffalo has sucked forever. I know they haven’t even sniffed a bowl game since forever. But Turner Gill has an offensive stew going. Drew Willy is a draftable quarterback. James Starks is a powerful runner, and the line has 4 starters back. If the defense becomes even subpar? They’ll have a winning season.
109. Temple: Why cheer for Temple? They have 21 starters and their special teams back. Sure, the line allowed 45 sacks, and that’s no bueno. But Temple’s no longer the irrelevant joke that they were once earlier in the decade.
108. UL-Lafayette: Hey video game fans? Do you love the option? Do you love building teams from scratch? Well, the Ragin’ Cajuns are for you. With two 1,000 yard rushers in Michael Desormeaux and Tyrell Fenroy and a Sun Belt affiliation, those who would play NCAA Football 09 will be in hog heaven.
107. Western Michigan: In a league where the offenses are so high-powered, having a defense that returned all 11 starters is something to cheer. Sure, it wasn’t the most successful defense last year, but behind their secondary they should improve greatly.
106. Northern Illinois: If you can have 10.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss in a 2-10 season and an insatiable motor? You have an excellent pro future. The Huskies may not have a lot to cheer about this year, but they do have Larry English. 
105. UNLV: Frank Summers may not seem like a great running back, but like Will Ferrell after one taste of the beer bong, when Frank Summers gets rolling downhill? He’s going streaking! Whoo! Also whoo!

104. Ohio: Now, Frank Solich has an excellent dual quarterback threat in Theo Scott and Boo Jackson, but that’s not why we’re here. It’s because with minimal help along the defensive line, Jameson Hartke has developed into an excellent prospect. He converts to a 3-4 OLB nicely.
103. Rice: The best passing combination you’ve never heard of in Chase Clement to Jarrett Dillard. They’re seven scores away from being the most prolific duo in NCAA History.
102. Akron: If you’re looking for a Devin Hester candidate, look to the rubber capital of the world. There you will meet Bryan Williams. A man who was an all-conference running back last season, he has moved to safety this season. He sports excellent speed, and as for return skills? How’s 31.9 yards as a Kick Return average taste. Tastes good right?
101. UL-Monroe: The Warhawks beat the Saban last year. Behind Kinsmon Lancaster and a stout defense they also took out Rusty Smith and FAU on their way to winning four out of their last five games. If they get to Alabama A&M with a split? They’ll be dangerous. (They are Arkansas’ trap game).
100. Toledo: This is why you should root for Toledo.

This is Tom Amstutz. He’s the coach of Toledo. He has the gut instinct of Mark Mangino with none of the obvious hype. He needs your love. 
99. Bowling Green: In a world where the minimal spotlight is shining all its power on Dan LeFevour and its sloppy seconds upon Nate Davis, being the third best quarterback in the conference is a tough road to hoe. But don’t sleep on Tyler Sheehan. He was awesome last year, and he is deep in skill positional options.
98. SMU: If Justin Willis comes back, look for him to be a breakout quarterback, as well as the face the predatory homosexuals fear most of all.
97. Tulane: Behind Andre Anderson, this team in no way shape or form will miss Matt Forte and his hyper production. Also, when they Face LSU on November 1st? This team could already be 6-1.
96. Kent State: Eugene Jarvis will see your Desmond Gee and raise you a 5’5″ shifty scatback who rushed for over 1600 yards last season. And he also invented Defender and Robotron! He is your best in tiny all-purpose running backs. 
95. Colorado State: I know it looks bad when a tight end is the thing you should be rooting for, but Kory Sperry has had his dream defferred. And now he has little quarterback experience coming back. He is facing loads of adversity here. If he can thrive? He’ll be in the early part of day 2, Martin Rucker style.
94. Louisiana Tech: Bloodlines! Guess who head coach Derek Dooley’s father is? If anybody outside of the Garden of Good and Evil guessed former Georgia Head Coach Vince? That’s 200,000 college football nerd points! Yaa!
93. Duke: They aren’t affiliated with March Madness or Tobacco Road.
92. Syracuse: Mike Williams may be gone, but Delone Carter does return. And with Andrew Robinson as a quarterback who can string drives togethere? If you want to see a once-proud team try to bounce back from the hardest of times or blow it up yet again? Root for the Orange.
91. San Jose State: Kevin Jurovich is their go-to receiver. Kevin Jurovich is a white guy. If you’re into that sort of thing? Consider your boat floated.
90. San Diego State: They lost three offensive starters to the NFL. Four offensive lineman have left from a team that had 3 qb’s fall to injury. But there is a downy soft opening, and their defense is going to get them through. Or at the very least keep them competitive. 
89. Marshall: Sure, Darius Passmore is a quality name for any receiver in football. But the putative starting running back? Chubb Small. No joke. I’ll leave you to make the dick jokes here.
88. Troy: If you’re looking for another contender for the small school Tebow throne? Watch to see if Jaime Hampton can win the job here. Omar Haugabrook turned Troy’s offense into his own personal playground. And Hampton does have the same style.

87. UTEP: If you want a sleeper as to a quarterback that for the Nation of Islam Sportsblog will be hyping in September? Look for Trevor Vittatoe. With home games against New Mexico State, Rice, and SMU, he could have 4000 yards this season. Also, he’s a black dude.
86. New Mexico State: Mummeball is a system that develops spectacular offenses for great justice. Also? Their defense usually stink, so it adds to the chucking of the ball around the field. Chase Holbrook has the skills to pay Mumme’s bills.
85. Wyoming: A good running game. A potentially great defense. Joe Glenn has a team that could get to .500, but they’ll settle for vengance on October 11th vs. Utah.

84. Florida Atlantic: Rusty Smith is the best quarterback that you’ve never heard of. A sophmore quarterback who came out of nowhere last year to take down Minnesota and throw for five touchdown passes in his lone national television appearance. He’ll have a golden opportunity to make a name for himself early with games at Texas and Michigan State.  
83. Baylor: Baylor is where Head Coaching dreams go to die. Sure, it’s a BCS conference. Sure, the leavings in Texas high school prospects like to rock the party. But this is where coaching cred goes to die. Art Briles? Expect a call from Permian in two years.
82. Northwestern: Northwestern is strong in its skill position mojo. C.J. Bacher is a great spread triggerman. Tyrell Sutton and Omar Conteh are pretty good runners. And Mick McCall makes his offenses pop. It may be another 6-6 bowless season in Evanston.
81. Air Force: This is the most Christian team in college football. If you love the Rockies for their morals? Then feast your eyes on the fine moral values of Special Teams Ace Ryan Harrison!
80. Iowa State: You know that school that is lacking in the talent department but will always make games close for three quarters? Meet the Cyclones. With Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech off the schedule? This is a team that could get to five or six wins. Which is actually nice for Clone nation.
79. Washington State: There is one bright spot in Pullman. Brandon Gibson. The winner of the quarterback battle can throw it up, and he’ll get it. Otherwise? They got squadush.
78. Vanderbilt: Here’s the thing about Vanderbilt. They always seem to have one or two good pro prospects, even if it is a lot more academic than athletic at Vandy. This year’s big prospect is Thomas Welch.
77. Southern Mississippi: If you’re looking for a Spec Play for 2009? Look for the Golden Eagles. The putative starting quarterback is a freshman. And while DeAndre Brown’s eligibility has not cleared as far as I know, he would be ready to rock in 2009.  
76. Hawaii: No Colt Brennan, no June Jones. But they do have a bright spot in the linebacking duo of Adam Leonard and Solomon Eilmimian. Expect struggles, but the defense will not get punked by the mid-majors.
75. Minnesota: Last season was a dystopian nightmare. Their only win was an overtime game versus Ball State in the Metrodome. And they lost to Bowling Green, Florida Atlantic, and North Dakota State. But you know what? Their recruiting class is awesome. Give Tim Brewster time and the road will improve*.
74. New Mexico: Love defense? Then New Mexico is your Huckleberry. Rocky Long brought Urlacher to America, and his defenses are strong despite the gimmickry. And if the offensive line gells, the offense has the skill positional talent to destroy some suckas.
73. Nevada: If you’re looking for a gimmick offense with style. Nevada is your bailiwick! With Sophomore Ace Gunslinger Colin Kaepernick and white running back Luke Lippincott, the Wolfpack’s pistol offense will be…firing…on all cylinders.
72. Navy: Ken Niumataolo is the first Pacific Islander to become a major college head coach. And we have the best name since Chris Fu’amatu-Ma’alafala in starting quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada. Let’s see Sameer Mishra spell that!
71. Virginia: The Cavaliers are in a different state of mind this season. Instead of coming off a season where they didn’t live up to expectations, the Cavaliers actually get to flip the script. Peter Lalich could turn into a Matt Schaub clone by 2010. 
70. Miami (Ohio): If you like defense, the best in the MAC lives here. Clayton Mullins is an Outside Linebacker with an excellent pro future. This defense will allow them to contend against every team they play this year.
69. East Carolina: I know I’m going to say something odd here. A blogger? Saying root for a Holtz in an unironic fashion? But Skip Holtz is a man who turned Chris Johnson into a weapon worthy of the first round. He’s made a quarterback tag team effective. He turned a bad defense into a bad defense that gets turnovers. He’s actually a good coach.
68. Ball State: Ball State has a way with shootouts. With a throw-catch combination of Nate Davis to Dante Love and a defense that can’t stop the run (remember how Ray Rice destroyed them). They’re going to have a lot of first to 40 wins games. Those are fun. 
67. Central Michigan: Dan LeFevour. 4,774 yards of total offense (and remember that sacks count against a rushing total). 47 Touchdowns. Tim Tebow? 4,181 yards of total offense. 55 Touchdowns. Catch the fever! LOL!

66. Stanford: Wopamo Osaisai. All you need to know about Stanford is right there.
65. Indiana: They may not have James Hardy anymore, but let me introduce you to Marcus Thigpen. His yards per carry average may not be the greatest, but he is one of the few who has the 30 yard kickoff return average and three touchdowns. If Kellen Lewis comes back? I see a Detroit Bowl Game in their future.
64. Washington: Even while he is in year two of his Huskie Era, Jake Locker still compares favorably to the Little Mac. And we all know that’s awesome!
63. Kentucky: Now we all know about the magic quarterbacking that Andre Woodson perpatrated. But did you know that Curtis Pulley actually beat him out? It’s true! So maybe Andre Woodson went all Batman in the Summer of 2006. But by this analogy? Curtis Pulley is Wolverine. That’s all good sir. 
62. Cincinnati: Their defense still will have days when it is life-changing, turnovers and pressure, and oh my god how are they getting to Sam Bradford? But the sleeper? Adrien Robinson. His triangle numbers have Mel Kiper Jr. salivating. (6’5″ 250 4.49)
61. Kansas State: Josh Freeman is 6’6″ and 250 pounds of essential single-season recordness. He brought Jordy Nelson as much love as Jordy brought Josh. Jordy may be gone, but Josh Freeman’s rocket arm remains ever powerful.
60. Arizona: If you want a stealth contender for 4,000 yards? Ask for Willie Tuitama. With a Texas Tech offense, every starting receiver coming back, and a sieve-like defense? He is going to be chucking the ball early and often.
59. Notre Dame: There is no reason whatsoever to cheer for Notre Dame.
58. Georgia Tech: Paul Johnson had an ability to consistently win at a service academy. And as miracles go? That’s one tick below parting the Red Sea in modern sports parlance. Now he brings the majesty of the Triple Option to the BCS. How will he do with actual athletes? Therein lies the question. Therein lies the intrigue.
57. Louisville: There are some who are saying to themselves, OH NOES, BRIAN BROHM CAN HAS BACK-UP QUARTERBACK CHEEZBURGER! I say to them, chill baby. Hunter Cantwell is the one you want. He has a cannon for an arm, and he will not punk out due to injury.
56. NC State: You want a sleeper team in the ACC? Go here. Their turnover margin was 116th. Their front four is stout, and if they can find a quarterback? They may shock the Atlantic division. Or make a charge at the Champs Sports bowl, whatever.
55. UCF: If you want a storyline game that goes under the radar, feast your eyes on September 6th. Last year, on the way to the #2 ranking, South Florida destroyed UCF 64-12. This year UCF gets USF at their place. And it’s a trap game if you believe in the Mangino. Also, Joe Burnett could find his way into being this years Leodis McKelvin.
54. Arkansas: We may get an opportunity to see if Bobby Petrino is nothing more than a liscenced asshole. If Casey Dick (a.k.a. the Swiftboat Quarterback for Truth)** can become a good passer? Then Bobby Petrino is the truth in the college ranks.
53. Ole Miss: Good news for Michael Oher! The subject of The Blind Side finally has someone legitimate that needs his…blind side…protected in Jevan Snead. Sure, it’s year one of the Houston Nutt Oxford Era? But they have an offense and a defense of experience! Huzzah? Sure! 
52. Memphis: The Memphis Tigers has a veritable posse of tall receiving options. From 6’4″ Duke “The Duke” Calhoun to 6’8″ fade route specialist Carlos Singleton, the Tigers have 5 receivers who are 6’3″ or taller. Also, doesn’t the name Arkelon Hall sound like a comic book villain?

“I’ll get you NFL SuperPro, if it’s the last thing I dooooo…..”
51. Nebraska: Joe Ganz is a mythical creature that came from the Kansas hinterlands to mop-up the second and third team defenses of the Big 12 in 2007. This year? He gets Marlon Lucky and four-fifths of an offensive line to prove his cup of coffee wasn’t a fluke.
50. UConn: Randy Edsall is a mystical man who is able to develop talents out of the unheralded. There are 19 starters back from a team that won 9 games last year. Also, Andre Dixon and Donald Brown are a running game that you can have a three yards and a cloud of dust with.
49. Houston: Why like Houston? Because if you like a quarterback who can roll up on you in the two minute drill, then introduce yourself to Case Keenum.
48. Oregon State: It’s not often that you roll up on a dude who lacerates his kidney. It’s less often that a lacerated kidney belongs to an All-American receiver. Oregon State has the rarity. His name is Sammie Stroughter.
47. Purdue: Curtis Painter is a stud. The problem for Mr. Painter is that he has one experienced receiver and gimpy linemen sourrounding him. If Curtis painter improves on his 29-11 TD/INT ratio, it’s proof that he has the NFL in his future.
46. Mississippi State: Hey, did you know the African-American can coach college football? By the lack of black faces, you may not have noticed. But it’s true! And you know what else? They can take a small town in Mississippi and send them to Bowl Game excitement! I wonder why more Athletic Directors don’t consider going down this road?
45. Iowa: Rumors of a lack of institutional control, no experience at running back or cornerback, and a Mike Samuel at quarterback in Jake Christensen are all problematic. But this is the Big 10. There is minimal sexy in terms of the offense. If you can stop the run? You can get to seven wins. Mitch King and Matt Kroul are undersized forces of nature.
44. TCU: At Texas Christian, the defense is always good. It’s the offense that takes them as far as they want to go. Aaron Brown and Andy Raymond are speedy and Joesph Turner has some skill as well. If Raymond doesn’t Sophomore slump, this team is freakin’ adorable.
43. Miami: This is another team that could be outstanding in 2009, but the fact of the matter is the reason why this team is likable is because of a bunch of 18 year-old kids. I’m not saying this as a hater, I’m just saying man cannot win on Freshman sensation alone.
42. North Carolina: Here’s the thing about the Coastal Division of the ACC. There’s open competition for the top of the pops. And the Tar Heels? They could be as good as anybody. 17 Healthy starters return. Greg Little is emerging as a spectaular running back. And the defense is solid and returns 9 starters. And they get Virginia Tech in Chapel Hill. Sleeper lives here.
41. Oklahoma State: Zac Robinson turned Mike Gundy into a YouTube Phenomenon. Zac Robinson led an offense to perfect run-pass balance. His option quarterback game rolls up with some dropbackability. He may even be as good as Pat White.
40. Colorado: Darrell Scott is the Freshman sensation running back who does not have much to climb over to get the bulk of the carries. I am not going to bestow upon him next Moreno status. But if you want the preseason pick? Go here.
39. Utah: A team that had to battle injuries in 2007. 2008 looks to be the year where Kyle Whittingham finally puts it all together. Brian Johnson is an accurate passer who just gets first downs, and along with him return healthy triplets Matt Asiata and Brent Casteel. This is a spoiler in waiting.
38. Tulsa: Come for the 576 yard per game total offense, stay for the coach that looks like a weirdo raper guy!

“Why don’t you come over and have a seat. Come on, have a seat.”
37. UCLA: Rick Neuheisel may be a corrupt son of a gun, but he’s snagged two good coordinators in his sights. Norm Chow will cobble an offense out of those who aren’t walking wounded, DeWayne Walker? He’s already got a good nucleus. Genius will be used loosely in Westwood.
36. Michigan State: As John L. Smith’s players leave the program, Michigan State is developing into something dangerous. Brian Hoyer delivers the danish with style and aplomb, execpt for when he doesn’t, but Javon Ringer is the stud here. Without short-yardage vulture Jehuu Caulcrick, the Ringer is going to be a force of nature in East Lansing.
35. Boston College: Ryan Purvis is the only reason that the Eagles offense will not fall off the cliff straight away. Josh Haden is a tiny running back. Those do well in the Chestnut Hills. Chestnut…hehehehehehe.
34. Maryland: Darrius Heyward-Bey is the best prospect to exit the Fridge since Shawne Merriman. He has height, speed, and no matter if it’s Chris Turner or Jordan Steffy tossing the bean? Darrius is going to be the single greatest Bey the world has ever seen since 1990’s talk show host Richard.
33. Rutgers: Mike Teel has an accurate arm. Kenny Britt is a deep threat extraordinaire. But if you want something in a freshman sensation look at redshirt freshman Jourdan Brooks. He has the power to handle the workload Schiano likes to foist upon his #1 runner.
32. California: Their center’s name is Alex Mack. Those of us who were tweens in the days of SNICK are laughing at that.

31. Michigan: Meet Stephen Schilling and Carson Butler. They’re the reason why the cupboard isn’t bare for Rich Rodriguez. Carson Butler is the next Bennie Joppru. And Stephen Schilling is…a right tackle, I can’t do this. The Wolverines are in danger of a 5-7 season. And if you’re a hater? It’s beautiful.
30. Texas A&M: Three things here. Another test of the mediocre pro coach theory as Mike Sherman becomes the new coach. Jevorskie Lane is 285 pounds of doughy steel and short yardage appeal. And all in all? The Aggies have a running game to build off of.
29. Virginia Tech: The Hampton area is where the dominant athletic quarterback lives. From Aaron Brooks to AI to the crazy Vick brothers. Hampton is where you get your quarterback who can run for show, even if they may not pass for dough. Tyrod Taylor is the latest, even if he may never be the greatest. 
28. Boise State: Ian Johnson is still in Boise. He’s the active leader in rushing yardage, touchdowns, and marrying hilariously last named cheerleaders. Look it up.
27. South Carolina: I’m not too proud to be lazy, I’m going to crack wise on the comedy that is somebody with the last name of Smelley, especially when he plays for the Gamecocks. And during my time as a game show gadabout I asked for a smelley gamecock.

…I don’t want to talk about it. 
26. Penn State: Anthony Morelli’s gone! He’s not coming back! I promise! Derrick Williams and Maurice Evans are spectacular playmakers, but that doesn’t matter! ANTHONY MORELLI’S GONE! If you don’t know, that’s just awesome!
25. Florida State: The only intrigue in the land of the Seminole is will Drew Weatherford complete his Chris Rix impersonation in time to keep the Seminoles from staying out of the Top 25.
24. Tennessee: In a world with Percy Harvin, Tim Tebow, Knowshon Moreno, Matt Stafford, and even Michael Oher’s got some juice behind his name. It’s hard out there for an Arian Foster. He’s just a solid back from a school with a good pedigree. Maybe if he gets arrested, he’ll get the hype he needs.
23. Pittsburgh: I know you want me to discuss Wannie’s porn stache. But no. I’m spinning away from that because LeSean McCoy is a force of nature who has the will to improve the 71st ranked rushing offense. Mr. McCoy is the truth. 
22. Fresno State: The go-to mid-major that the four letter network paid their attention to in the early part of the decade is back! With a three-pronged rushing attack, and the Trent Dilferesque song stylings of Tom Brandstater, they’re on the prowl for a BCS berth. Rowr?
21. Oregon: In a parallel universe, they are coming off of a National Championship. But if Justin Roper and Nate Costa start to coalesce as the next Dennis Dixon. They have Jaison Williams and they have an O-Line. Vincent Jackson fans in the house? 
20. Alabama: The Saban is the devil. The Devil is a good recruiter. Julio Jones will be playing Sam to Nick Saban’s Ray Wise. All John Parker Wilson has to do is make a virgin sacrifice at the opening frat party where some white dude’s sporting Blackface. Yes, the one on Water Street.
19. South Florida: Matt Groethe is not Tim Tebow with his run-pass capabilites, but he’s good at what he does. Some call him scramblor. But what you want to know about is George Selvie. 31.5 TFL and 14.5 sacks. That’s scary to all the left tackles. 
18. Illinois: Mike Locksley is the best coordinator that you might not have heard of. He turned Juice Williams into a sensation, Rashard Mendenhall into a 1st-Round Pick, and Aurrelious Benn into more than just a cool name. The Zooker’s got the team reloading instead of rebuilding.

17. Wake Forest: They lead the ACC in starters with awesome names. From Special Teams Ace Sam Swank to Linebacker Chantz McClinic to wide receiver/future anchorman Chip Brinkman, the depth and bredth of quality names in the land of the Demon Deacons is truly awe-inspiring. 
16. Texas Tech: The best pass-catching combination that you’ve heard of in Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree. Yards and yards and scores and scores! The Red Raiders are gonna put some numbers in bunches. Early favorite to be overexposed with a #2 ranking midway through the year. 
15. Kansas: Todd Reesing does return both receivers and his offensive interior. And if he should fall? It’s a great excuse to bring back this photo.

14. Arizona State: Rudy Carpenter-Keegan Heering-Chris McGaha are the best triplets that you will find within the Pacific Ten. Also, Dennis Erickson has found a job that for which he will not be leaping away at the slightest sniff of interest for. If the line stays strong? They’ll be one of the best 10-2 teams in football.
13. Auburn: Can a system that allowed Troy to take down Brad Smith’s Mizzou or Zac Robinson’s Oklahoma State work in the big time? Auburn hired Tony Franklin to find out. It ruled for the Peach Bowl, but what happens when all the offensive players are new fish? That’s just intrigue.
12. BYU: This team has an ability to place four players in the highest levels of the NFL. From Quarterback Max Hall to running back Harvey Unga and guard Ray Feinga, and pass rusher Jan Jorgensen, this team will be atop of the Mountain West for years to come. Even if the BCS is only a 2008 proposition.
11. Wisconsin: Forget about Bielema. Forget about Beckum. The Badgers are four deep in the sexy of the running backs. P.J. Hill was a two-year starter who’s averaged 1400 yards a season. He could start 2008 FOURTH on the depth chart.
10. West Virginia: Who’s still in Morgantown? Pat White goes without saying, but could I interest you in a Noel Devine? He was able to run it for 8.6 yards a pop in his limited time last year. And Mike Poitier? He’s as dignified of a back-up as the Poitier name calls for.
9. Clemson: The tigers are street-rated as skill position sexy. Cullen Harper is the cool in the clutch gunslinger. James Davis and C.J. Spiller are truly the most dynamic of running back duos. Also? Aaron Davis Kelly is 6’5″. That’s tall receiver gold. Oh yeah! 
8. Texas: Jamaal Charles had some fourth quarters that were Playstation level. But you know what? The Burnt Orange will not miss a beat. Vondrell McGee is the truth. He runs hard. He runs mean. If Colt McCoy improves? They’re in some good shape. Also? Quan Cosby. That’s a receiver that African-American culture can be proud of.
7. LSU: Now, you and I love Glenn Dorsey. But here’s the thing. The Bayou Bengal’s D-Line may not lose the smooth now that Dorsey’s gone. Tyson Jackson’s a force, and Ricky Jean-Francois may be just one touch higher caliber than Glenn Dorsey. If they can avoid the shootout noid? They’ll be mighty.
6. Florida: Umm, is it all right if I go for the photo and move on? Percy Harvin’s awesome pass-catching skills say it is.

As likely as a shitty spoof movie!
5. Missouri: I know Chase Daniel is the Heisman Favorite. (By the logic of no repeat winners in the modern era…) But he’s not what you want. Jeremy Maclin is the one you want. 199 touches. 16 touchdowns. 4.32 in the 40 yard dash. And he went for a 1000 yard season at receiver. Trust in the Maclin. It will reward you.
4. Oklahoma: Sam Bradford is your ace, but if you love sexy in the trenches? Phil Loadholt, Duke Robinson, and Austin English are the elegance on both sides of the ball. If you want emergence? Look for DeMarco Murray. He’s got takeittothehouseability.
3. Ohio State: Now here you would expect me to make another cheap joke about how there’s no reason for anybody anywhere to like Ohio State. But, the divinity of Beanie Wells is undeniable. And Terrelle Pryor has some schadenfreude points in your favor.
2. USC: I’m sure that you all love Lofa Tatupu and his undersized one man hit squad. Meet Rey Maualuga and his tag team partner Brian Cushing. They are big, they are bad, and they can run. The defensive line may be something half new, but few runners will even sniff the second level.  
1. Georgia: If you want one off the Knowshon Moreno-Matt Stafford path? There is a sleeper of potential emergence, if you believe that freshman defenders only grow? Then you need to feat your eyes on Rennie Curran. If not? I heard that Knowshon’s got a good shot of getting the Heisman.

Yeah, I know. This post may roll up on people as a TL;DR. But you know what? If you took your time, read it in chunks, you’ll be rewarded.

I hope you understand.


The Grand National Championships.

*Statement void if eligibilty issues don’t get smooth.
**See because his claims of quarterbacking legitimacy are spurious at best? Yeah, I know…


June 8, 2008

Terry Porter to the Suns?

It would be a very nice fit. He does have the professional skills necessary to be able to work with guys in the backcourt and on the wing. They may never be seven seconds or less ever again? But there are things that Terry Porter can bring that can only help the Suns.

1) He can develop mad point guard skills.

Mo Williams was little more than a scoring combo guard when he was signed by the Bucks in Porters second season in Milwaukee. But the fact of the matter is, he unleashed Mo’s skills with a 6.1/2.5 Assist to turnover ratio in only 28.5 mnutes of play. Mo Williams has never been as skilled as he was in his second season.

What does that mean? Leandro Barbosa is going to find at least some of his tantalizing potential getting tapped.

2) Would you settle for 10 seconds or less?

When his team wasn’t ravaged by injuries, he kept his team in the top third of offensive pace. And with some real offensive talents on this team, they won’t lose too much of the smooth.

What does this mean? Umm…the pace wouldn’t slow too much.

Ultimately? The Suns aren’t going to be a team worth of critical acclaim unless a miracle occurs. Robert Sarver is not a good owner. Anyone who doesn’t keep his picks for restocking purposes can suck it.

But while the Championship window is closed, they’re still going to be dangerous for another year or two.

June 5, 2008

Will Leitch is leaving Deadspin?

Oh shit! I am so fucked!

Honestly, in my limited dealings with him, he’s been nothing but fair to me. And I really do hope that he makes New York Magazine as something I go to for something other than purient interests. But the fact of the matter is, this does not make me a happy panda. And not because there’s a possibility that a KSK’er is going to take control.

It’s because Deadspin earned it’s reputation as the King Shit of Blog Mountain, not by affiliation, not by inexplicability. It was by talent. And now he’s going to be making jokes about me posting in my parents basement. It’s a sad day.

June 4, 2008

Why is Elvi Patterson gone?


He took the Stanley Cup off. And with the win tonight. Your Detroit Red Wings have won the Lord Stanley’s Cup.

And if you know about sporting championships in Detroit? Then you know that our boy Elvi is getting buckwild in the city. If there’s a car to be tipped, he’ll be there. If there’s a store to be looted, he’ll be there. If there’s a building to be set on fire! He’ll be there.

If there’s cheap shots to be made about a city in Mehigan! He’ll be there!

Even if he doesn’t know it yet.

Yay Yankees of Hockey!

June 3, 2008

My World Series Preview! Magazine!

You know what’s the thing about Football? The Magazines come out ridiculously early. This? Simply illogical. I mean really. What’s good about NFL draft magazines coming out before the combine? How about College Football Magazines that come out before Memorial Day?

And what about the nerdgasm that is Fantasy Football? Really helpful coming out before training camp.

So, using this logic? I’m ready to preview the World Series.

What? I’m going to tell you how secret Muslim Bobby Jindal is going to kill us all with his Manchurian Ascension to the Presidency. And all you Republicans? I am kidding here. Chill your roll.

But anyway…THE WORLD SERIES!!!

They called it the Tampa Bay Miracle. A hodgepodge rotation. Untested prospects. But it all came together on Deadline Day.

“It was a move we had to make.”

For Andy Sonnastine, David Price, and Reid Brignac. C.C. became the singular ace, and they were able to hold off your Boston Red Sox and win the AL East. But if you don’t believe that? Feast your eyes on this!


It was a 100 year wait. But with a line-up of Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, and Geovanny Soto? There was no chance of the Cubs being stopped. Not even the return of Steve Bartman and the ensuing riot, which forced a one-game playoff with your Milwaukee Brewers due to the forefiture. But…


Anyway. Let’s break this down positionally, and we’ll find out who will be your World Champion.

Catcher: Geovanny Soto is an offensive juggernaut. A .946 OPS puts him among the positional leaders. And when you add that to his passable defense, he makes the Co-Catchers of Dioner Navarro and Shawn Riggans pale in comparison, even if Navarro hit .352. Advantage: Cubs +2.
Baseman: Derrek Lee has an advantage over Carlos Pena in terms of hitting and power. Pena’s eye may be better. But the fact is? Pena couldn’t get to .230. Lee wins. Big.  Advantage: Cubs +2.
Second Baseman: Mark DeRosa is pretty solid offensively at second base. His range isn’t spectacular, even if his Zone factor is gold. Aki Iwamura does not have the maddest of offensive skill, however. His defense is nice. Real nice. Again, the Cubs have a bit of an advantage here. Advantage: Cubs +1
Third Baseman: Aramis Ramirez is bad at defense. He’s the worst in terms of getting to balls by far. His offense is great. It’s what pays his bills. As for the Longorian? He’s just a touch above on defense and a touch below on offense. Both players are hot hitting right now. This could be your X-Factor. Advantage: Cubs +0.5
: Ryan Theriot is a talented David Eckstein. He does not have the greatest basestealing judgement, but he is scrappy with a good eye. It’s not an empty .320, even if his defense leaves something to be desired. Jason Bartlett is of a walks, steals, defense skill set. You really don’t have an advantage here.
Left Fielder: Carl Crawford has been a bit of a disappointment this year. The bit of power he’s been showing in his game? Gone. His defense is spectacular, and that is why Alfonso Soriano and his 44 bombs do not mean too much of an advantage. But in a battle of Apples and Oranges, Soriano does win. Advantage: Cubs +1
Fielder: Jim Edmonds is too old. His defense and ability to hit righthanders is gone. He does have that nebulous thing called intangibles. But even the most fervend Cubs fan would rather have Bossman Jr. He may not be the powerman he was last year, but he doesn’t need to be, with a positively Tony Phillipsian ability to rack up 100’s in RBI’s/Runs/Walks/and Strikeouts. Oh, and he’s a real rival to Torii Hunter in spiderman defenses. Advantage: Rays +2
Fielder: Eric Hinske is another low average bomber. Gabe Gross is his defensive replacement. Both have good eyes. Are they as good as a Kosuke Fukudome? No. Mr. Fukudome is the epitome of solid, and E.G. Hoss is just one notch below. Advantage: Cubs +1
Bench: The Rays shine here. Willy Aybar is a nice batch of versatility who can cover first, second and third base with a dash of power. Cliff Floyd and Jonny Gomes are power bats off the bench. And Floyd is a very nice DH to boot. As for the Cubs? Reed Johnson is a decent lefty masher. Daryle Ward is a disappointing hitter. Ronny Cedeno and Mike Fontenot are both middle infield coverage as Mark DeRosa is apt to move positions. Cedeno is playing decently with both the bat and the glove. As for Fontenot? He’s a scrappy white guy. Henry Blanco provides a Mike Matheny game to back-up Soto. The Rays have the advantage here. Advantage: Rays +1 
: Here is where Tampa Bay is a Viking! Sabathia has been a well dressed maniac sense his early run of bad luck normalized. Scott Kazmir is all you have to say in regards to Steve Phillips divinity as a baseball “expert.” James Shields is the best #3 in Baseball, and Matt Garza goes game 4. The Cubbies won with offense. Zambrano’s awesome. But Ted Lilly sucked this year, Ryan Dempster fell off, and Jason Marquis can’t even be bothered to use his inherent Frenchness to throw a goddamn strike. Rays close the gap here. Advantage: Rays +4 
Middle Relief: The only reason the Cubs have an advantage here is because of Carlos Marmol. That dude can deal. Sure, there’s a whole lot of solid. But Marmol can dominate in ways J.P. Howell and Dan Wheeler can only dream of. But in a street fight of set-up men, they all die of decency. Advantage: Cubs +0.5
: Troy Percival’s death by a roving band of zombie fantasy nerds was a tragedy, but the Rays were able to coalesce around Al Reyes as closer. Now, he’s not as good as Kerry Wood. But with ESPN’s hiring of Dusty Baker as an analyst, I’m expecting Kerry Wood to struggle. Advantage: Push

Journey with me into the mind of a maniac!
/thrusts crotch

All in all? I’m giving the D-Rays a bonus point because they are a much better defensive team. And with the AL winning the All-Star game? I’m projecting a classic. Nothing weird happens, besides Kerry Wood’s elbow exploding. D-Rays in 7. Bank on it.*


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