Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Incoherent Ramblings of an Angry Baseball Fan Pt. 1

       Whats up guys, im here and back at it again. Being that its the middle of December and Spring Training is on the distant horizon there isnt a whole lot of baseball news to talk about. There is only so much you can say about offseason trades and free agent signings, especially when they havent even hit the field yet. Because of this and because of the fact that I feel the need to get my opinion out, even if nobody is paying attention, I'm introducing a new segment called "The Incoherent Ramblings of an Angry Baseball Fan" (working title). Basically this is going to be a stream of consciousness of what is bothering me in baseball at that point in time.

The first thing I want to cover with this segment is the state of the popularity of baseball in America. Baseball has been "America's Pastime" for over 100 years. Im here to address the fact this is an antiquated notion. Im not saying that the NFL or the NBA have taken over the that role entirely, but they have taken away more than enough shine from the MLB. In the first couple installments of this segment I'm going to address certain problems with the game and the MLB as a whole that have led to this decline in popularity. In this segment I'm going to start by talking about the MLB's poor job of marketing their star players.

For starters, I just want to say that the MLB has done a good job of marketing Bryce Harper, possibly their biggest star right now (in terms of ability and personality). You can see him in Gatorade, T-Mobile, Under Armour and even Geico commercials.

Other than Harper though I found myself scratching my head trying to find another baseball player that you consistently see on TV. Baseball currently has an unusually high number of young up and coming superstars with more coming on the scene every year (2016: Trevor Story, Corey Seager, Trea Turner, Michael Fulmer and Gary Sanchez to name a few). This is an exciting time for baseball and baseball fans alike. The problem is that nobody else realizes this. Ask most casual sports fans that rarely watch baseball and they cant name anybody other than Harper and maybe Trout or Kershaw.

       Because of this I decided to hold a survey, and by survey I mean that I asked my 19 year old brother who considers himself a pretty avid NFL and NBA fan if he knew the top 25 players in baseball now. You're probably like "Hey Tones, if you're doing a survey why would you ask only one person? And why you're brother?". Well my brother fits the profile of people that the MLB should be marketing too, young men who are big sports fans. And if I'm being honest he happened to be sitting next to me while I was writing this and I really didnt feel like finding anybody else. Now granted the 25 players I used for this aren't necessarily the absolute best 25 players, but any baseball fan would agree that they are names that should be known. For each player theres 3 possible answers "yes", "no" and "heard of them". For the answer to be a yes he had to be able to name what team the player was on. Also keep in mind he was playing Battlefield at the time this survey was taken.

As you can see he didn't know 14 of the players at all, and could only name what teams 6 of the players were on. Baseball has some catching up to do.

       Take a look at the NFL for example, you cant watch TV for 15 minutes without seeing that fake Italian asshole Papa John Schnatter alongside the king of the try hards JJ Watt and Peyton "five head" Manning. 
Yea I know, its tough to watch Peyton

And who can forget Aaron Rodgers and his annoying State Farm "Discount Double Check" Commercials.

Give to'em Raji

Or you can look at the NBA with the likes of Lebron and his preposterous endorsement of KIA
Or cornball ass samsung commercials
Or whatever the fuck this is from Russ Westbrook

A little sidenote here but has there ever been a bigger try hard super star than Lebron? I've never seen anybody with so much God given ability who can easily just say fuck the haters but still wants to be loved by everybody. Newsflash bro, during MJ's heyday most people outside of Chicago hated him. Same could be said for Kobe in LA. Get off of twitter and stop subtweeting people and just play ball.

       But I digress, the MLB has a plethora of young players in major markets that aren't being marketed properly in the mainstream media. Let me start with New York for example. The Yankees are in a rebuilding mode and hopefully will have more superstars in the coming years but for right now they have one bonafide stud in the making with Gary Sanchez. The Mets on the other hand have much more to offer with any of their starting pitchers, most notably Thor, and their superstar outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. You go to LA with the Angels and Mike Trout or the Dodgers who have Clayton Kershaw and unanimous rookie of the year winner in Corey Seager. Or take a trip up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco where you have Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner. Or head over to Boston where 3 of the 5 starters were all-stars last year and the other two were David Price and Cy Young winning Rick Porcello to go with the likes of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. Head over to Chicago and the Cubs have former Rookie of the year and current NL MVP in Kris Bryant, not to mention Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and pitchers Jake Arrieta and John Lester. 
       Now I know there's guy im leaving out but I can go all day naming players like this. And I get that not every single one of these guys has the charisma or even wants to try to be the face of baseball. All I'm saying is that out of all of these exceptional young players there has to be 3 or 4 of them willing and capable of filling this role for the MLB. If baseball wants to make a comeback and become America's Pastime again they would be wise to start marketing their young players to the young audience. 

Thats it for this rant.
You guys stay classy now

Friday, December 16, 2016

Grading this Offseason's Trades


  Welcome back to your favorite baseball safe space. Today on the incoherent ramblings of a baseball fan Im going to delve into some of the bigger trades made this offseason, and there have been some big ones. With the White Sox asking themselves WWJTD(what would John Taffer do), they decided to pull a "SHUT IT DOWN" on any hopes of making a playoff push within the next 2-3 years, and there was a lot of activity on the trade market.

Im going to dive into the biggest trades made so far and who it would seem the winner of the deal is right now. Obviously its hard to judge the true winner and loser of a trade before any of the players even see the field, and its almost impossible to predict what will happen with all the prospects being shuffled around no matter how talented they may appear to be. Thats why I will be basing my winners based on what I know and what I think about what I know. So in this scenario word is not necessarily bond.

Chris Sale
     Chris Sale getting traded to the Red Sox is easily the blockbuster deal of this offseason. The Red Sox sent over the #1 position prospect Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech (#30 prospect), and two other minor leaguers in return for Sale. The Red Sox got a bonafide ace, in Sale, to go along with David Price, reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright who were both All-Stars last year. The Red Sox just have to keep Sale away from scissors and 14 year old boys and they should have one of, if not the best rotation in baseball.

     The White Sox are in full rebuild mode which is evident by them trading their once in a generation ace, but they got a hell of a haul in return. Moncada, the Cuban phenom, has been compared to Robinson Cano, and there just arent many 2B getting that kind of comparision or with that kind of skill set. Kopech, the #30 prospect in all of baseball, was said to have topped out at 105 mph in a start this past season. Moncada and Kopech immediately took over the #1 and #3 spots respectively in the White Sox prospect rankings.

Winners: For now the Red Sox...

Adam Eaton
     The White Sox continued their rebuilding process by dishing CF Adam Eaton to the Nationals in return for pitching prospects Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning. Giolito is the #1 pitching prospect and #3 overall prospect in all of baseball and is considered by many to be a bonafide ace in the making with a mid to high 90s fastball, a devastating 12-6 curve and an ever improving changeup. The flame throwing Lopez is currently the #38 prospect in all of baseball. Dunning was the Nationals first round pick in 2016 and hasnt had a full season in professional ball yet but is projected to be a stud as well. Between this trade and the Chris Sale trade, the White Sox have totally restocked their farm system. Between the two deals, the White Sox have added 5 players into the top 10 ranks including the #1 position prospect and #1 pitching prospect. The top 4 prospects in their system were added through these two deals.
     In Adam Eaton, the Nationals got one of the best CF in baseball according to certain sabermetric stats. While his traditional stats don't necessarily catch the eye (.284 BA while hitting for 14 HR 59 RBI and 14 SB) he did have the 4th highest WAR at 15.4 behind Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Kevin Kiermaier. After missing out on the Chris Sale bonanza and not being able to make a deal with the Pirates for McCutchen it would appear the the Nationals settled the way many a bro's have settled at last call at their favorite bar. We've all been there, you've been at the bar all night testing the waters with some 8's and 9's thinking "hey maybe I can pull this deal off, she seems pretty interested". But then you go to the bathroom and by the time you come back she's talking to this guy


At the end of the night the lights turn on and you look around and you see that one 6 that you talked to a little earlier in the night and you think "hey she's got a vagina (I think), she's got boobs and I dont have to put a paper bag on her head, lets do this shit". Thats exactly what happened here. Not saying its a terrible move for the Nationals because this allows them to move Trea Turner back to his natural SS position, seemingly making them better defensively.

Winner: Live look-in at the White Sox front office

Brian McCann
     Continuing with the trend that the Yankees started last season, they were able to dump McCann's contract off to the Astros for pitching prospects Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman. On the surface this trade seems like a win-win-win deal. I know what you're thinking "hey Tones, how can it be a win-win-win, theres only two teams involved in this deal". Im getting to it bro, take it easy. The Yankees win because they get another contract of an aging star off the books while opening up the full time catching position for phenom El Gary Sanchez and they get a pitcher that slides into their top 10 prospects immediately with Abreu. The Astros win because they gain a veteran bat that can help take some of the catching/dh load off of Evan Gattis. And Brian McCann wins because he doesnt have to look like a veiny chode anymore and can finally grow his beard back.


Winner: I know I said this was a win-win-win trade so im not going to nit pick on who the winner is out of the three. So im just going to go with this guy that came up when I google image searched Brian McCann, hes the real winner in all of this.

PS: This guy fucks.

Jorge Soler/Wade Davis
     With the closer signing bonanza going on with the likes of Melancon, Chapman and Jansen the Cubs went out and found themselves a more fiscally responsibly, yet just as qualified, closer in Wade Davis. To make this deal possible the Cubs gave up Jorge Soler. Soler was stuck behind a log jam in the outfield and wasnt able to see consistent time on the field. The 6'4 214 lb Cuban is loaded with oodles of raw talent but just hasnt been able to spread his wings in Chicago due to lack of consistent playing time. Soler is under contract until 2020 making no more than $5m during any of the remaining years. With Soler set to take over full-time duties in RF, if he is able to reach his potential than this trade is fully worth it for the Royals.

     The Cubs got back one of the premier closers in baseball after losing Chapman to the Yankees this offseason. It is apparent that the Cubs don't trust Hector Rondon to close anymore, citing the World Series last year. During the World Series Rondon only pitched in Games 1 and 4, games which the cubs lost 6-0 and 7-2 respectively. Clearly they didnt trust him in high leverage situations

Winner: The Cubs got a top 5 closer for basically one of their bench players (a very talented bench player but a bench player nonetheless). Until Soler reaches his full potential (which is not out of the question) I have to go with the Cubbies here.

PS: Somebody needs to stop farting in this guys face before every picture he takes

I think he's starting to like it at this point.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

NFL Week 15 - Jeff Fisher Gets the Boot

Mediocre quarterback play, juicy sound bites and our first head coach firing of the season highlighted Week 14. Just eight days after it was reported Jeff Fisher had a contract extension in place to remain with Los Angeles, the oft-criticized head coach was kicked to the curb by the Rams. While the decision to move on from Fisher was long overdue, the timing is a bit puzzling considering the aforementioned news that broke last week. With that said, the tension within the Rams organization is well-documented and a head coaching change was pretty much inevitable.

With three weeks of regular season games remaining, the playoff race is shaping up to be very entertaining. Despite a shaky start and decline in ratings, the rumblings regarding the NFL's demise appear to be greatly exaggerated. It's safe to say that people simply enjoy gambling on football, whether that be in the form of office pools, fantasy football or picking games, which is primarily why the NFL reigns supreme in comparison to the other major American sports leagues. Additionally, when the most popular teams, such as Dallas and Pittsburgh, are relevant, the macro sentiment surrounding the league won't have as much of an impact, but I digress.

Without further ado, let's jump into Week 15.

Los Angeles @ Seattle (-16) O/U 38.5

Fun Fact: Before leaving the office on Friday, I told my co-worker I wouldn’t be surprised if Atlanta came out flat against St. Louis, considering they had to travel across the country to LA and play outside the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome. That’s a true story. Fast-forward to Sunday and the Falcons were up 42-0 before the third quarter ended.
This organization is a complete dumpster fire.

Pittsburgh (-3) @ Cincinnati  O/U 44

Lev Bell put up an NCAA-esque stat line in snowy Buffalo last week, carrying the rock 38 times for over 200 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Currently riding a four-game winning streak, Pittsburgh has the inside track to win the AFC North after Baltimore's loss to New England on Monday night. Despite their Jekyll and Hyde tendencies, the Steelers are a dangerous team that can contend with any of the AFC heavyweights come playoff time.

Last year's bizarre Wild Card matchup between these two teams was unfortunately littered with injuries and cheap shots. Vontaze Burfict was an absolute menace on the field that night (as shown above) and ultimately cost his team the game while receiving a three-game suspension in the process. I hate to say it, but considering Cincinnati is out of the playoff hunt with nothing meaningful to play for, this game could get ugly, especially since Burfict will be on the field after missing their first meeting due to said suspension.

It's safe to say Pacman Jones doesn't have much respect for Terelle Pryor. 

Detroit @ New York Giants (-4) O/U 41

While both of these teams possess a 9-4 record, the jury is still out on whether or not either squad is actually good. Eight of Detroit's nine wins have been decided by seven points or less, which is absolutely absurd. Ironically, the Giants have also won an unsustainable eight games decided by one possession. Historically, these types of games are often decided by a coin-flip and thus the numbers tend to revert back toward the mean from year-to-year.
After beginning the season running an offense revolved around a hurry-up style, Detroit has done their best Dallas Cowboys impression, adopting a ball control style in an attempt to mask their defensive deficiencies. As Evan Silva points out, Detroit is playing keep away with their opponents, which enables their defense to stay off the field, or at the very least, fresh and well-rested.
On another note, Eli Manning was my dark horse MVP candidate coming into the season and I drafted him in all three of my fantasy leagues.


New England (-3) @ Denver O/U 43.5

Continuing our trend of fantastic postgame interview clips, below is Aqib Talib's reaction after Harry Douglas landed an egregious cheap shot on fellow Broncos teammate Chris Harris Jr.

If I were to construct a set of power ratings ranking the NFL players you would least likely want to beef with, Aqib Talib would be up near the top of that list (along with our boy Pacman). Not only does Talib have legitimate street credibility, but he also has the pedigree of an enforcer considering his Grandma is an East Cleveland legend. Come to think about it, maybe I'll follow through with this and create some rankings in an offseason post.

P.S. What a time to be alive

Monday, December 12, 2016

More Hot Stove Talk

Hey guys I’m back and better than ever thanks to all of the constructive criticism I got from everyone.

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Apparently my writing is comparable to that of a middle aged Ukrainian immigrant trying to text his kids. That’s fair considering I haven't written anything longer than a text in like 3 years. I’m not trying to write a book here guys, just trying to talk some baseball, but I will definitely try to be more coherent. And to the guy that told me to use more apostrophes and cut down on the profanities, suck a bag o’ dicks bitch.

Ok, now back to baseball. Last time we convened we talked about the closer market. Today I wanted to focus on some of the big position players that hit the market this offseason. I'm trying to find the best format to write this in so it’s going to be a little different than the last post. In this post i'm just going to focus on the guys who have signed already; because if we’re being honest, there are a lot more position players to write about than closers.

Wilson Ramos
Ramos signed a 2 yr/ $12.5m deal with the chance to reach $18.5m through incentives with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays got a steal here. They got one of the best hitting catchers in baseball, when healthy, for around $6 million dollars AAV(average annual value). For context, some contracts of other catchers from around the league that jump out are Joe Mauer ($23 mil AAV), Brian McCann ($17 mil AAV), Russell Martin ($16.4 mil AAV) and Francisco Cervelli ($10.3 mil). Last year Ramos finished T-1st in BA, T-3rd in HR and T-2nd in RBI among catchers. This is including the fact that he missed around a month at the end of the season due to injury. Ramos has had trouble in the past staying consistently healthy but considering that he is in the AL now, he has the option to DH. Look for Ramos to have an even bigger year than normal.

Steve Pearce/Kendrys Morales
Normally I wouldn't even bother throwing either of these guys into this write up. However these two being signed by the Blue Jays directly impacts Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. Pearce signed for 2 yr/ $12.5m and Morales signed for 3 yr/ $33m. It looks like the Blue Jays are trying to avoid giving long-term deals to aging superstars. This seems to be a trend across the league after teams have been burned on deals with players like Arod, Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Carl Crawford, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira etc etc.

Ian Desmond
Ian Desmond finally got the money he deserved by signing a 5 yr/ $70m deal with the Colorado Rockies this offseason. Desmond, an almost perennial 20/20 threat, is one of the bigger cautionary tales of what can happen when you don't take the money and run. In spring training of the 2014 season the Nationals offered him a 7 yr/ $107m contract extension which he turned down in hopes of having another big year and getting more money. Desmond had to settle for a 2 yr/ 17.5m deal with the Nats after a very down year. Once that deal expired, he signed a 1 yr/ $8m deal with the Rangers last offseason right before spring training. He had one of the best years of his career hitting .285, 22 HR, 86 RBI, 21 SB while scoring 107 runs. Desmond also showed his versatility by moving to the outfield from his normal SS position. It is said that the Rockies plan to have Desmond take over duties at 1B with SS of the future Trevor Story already in place and an outfield already headlined by Car-Go, Blackmon and the youngster David Dahl.

Yoenis Cespedes  
Cespedes’ story has had so many different chapters that it can be difficult to really see how consistently good he has been since his debut in 2012 with Oakland. For a player who has never hit less than 22 HR and 80 RBI in a season, it is peculiar that he has been on 4 different teams in his 5 years in the league. He has a reputation of being a mercenary, but it looks as if he has finally found a home with the Mets. Over the years, the Wilpons have often been compared to an alligator trying to reach for the bill at dinner.
They were finally able to reach into those pockets and lock down that middle of the lineup bat that any team would take with a 4 yr/ $110m deal. YO GONNA EAT!

Carlos Beltran
The 39 year old Beltran signed a 1 yr/ $16m deal with the Houston Astros this offseason. I don’t hate this signing by the Astros considering they have a young, talented team that underperformed last year after a promising 2015 campaign. The Astros are looking to add some veteran leadership to the team with the signing of Beltran and by trading for Brian McCann as well. This isn't Beltran’s first stint with the Astros as many of you may recall. You may also recall his mind bottling playoff run with them in 2004, where he hit for 8 HR, 14 RBI, 21 runs, 6 SB and hit for a .435 BA. Unfortunately that is not the playoff moment that most people remember when they think of Beltran.
I winced back in 2013 when the Yankees gave him a 3 yr/$45m contract at the age of 36. But it would appear that the possible future hall of famer still has something left in the tank.

Dexter Fowler
Last offseason, the Cubs signed Jason Heyward out from underneath the Cardinals which induced even more bad blood between the two clubs. This offseason, the Cardinals flipped the script by signing Dexter Fowler to 5 yr/ $82.5m contract out from under the Cubs. This kind of thing happens any time a team wins a championship. You see it in football and basketball too, everybody wants a piece of the winning puzzle. The Cardinals definitely overpaid for Fowler, but it's not an outrageous contract for somebody who was an All-Star last year and is said to be a great clubhouse guy. Plus they get to keep him away from the Cubs who are now without their starting CF.

Carlos Gomez
It's amazing that this guy keeps getting contracts. I didn't think it was possible for a player to have this much natural talent and be this much of a waste of space at the same time year in and year out. To be fair Gomez had a pretty decent run with the Brewers from 2012-2015. However since then, the supposed 5 tool player has largely underwhelmed everywhere that he’s been. It got to the point of being released last August by the Astros. Later in the season he eventually signed with the Rangers where he had a decent finish to his 2016 campaign. Somehow he got a 1 yr/ $11.5m contract with the Rangers this offseason.
Thats right Carlos, take the money and run.

Matt Holliday
Holliday signed with the Yankees for a 1 yr/ $13m deal. It would seem that Holliday will primarily take over DH duties as well as playing some corner outfield due to the retirements of ARod and Teixeira and the trade of Brian McCann to the Astros. For a team that just a year ago was overloaded with overpaid under-producing albatrosses, the Yankees have done a good job of clearing cap space and making room for the bevy of promising prospects to make an impact at the major league level. Holliday is holding down the fort until uber prospects Aaron the Judge (the jury, and the executioner) and Clint Frazier are ready to make an impact with the big league club.

If any of you guys ever want to talk some baseball or just shoot the shit check me out on twitter. I havent really used it a whole lot since ive made it but thats because nobody really wants to associate with me. If you dont mind the social stigma feel free to hit me up.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gather Round the Hot Stove its Time to Talk Baseball

Hey Everybody, new to LV sports here. A little background, me and Gavin used to go to school together, saw he had this site up and running. Also saw he didnt have a baseball guy, thats where I come in. I was going to wait until closer to the start of the season to start posting but with all of the hot stove moves going on in the last week I decided it might be a good time to tip my toes into the blog life and to get acquainted with the fans. Over the next week or so Im going to be covering the big free agent signings and what that might mean for the rest of the free agents on the market. I know this site is geared more towards betting lines and such, its just kind of hard to talk about betting on baseball in the offseason, but dont worry once the season starts ill talk about that plenty.


Its that time of year again folks. Time to gather around the hot stove and see where this offseasons big free agents are going. There is a lot that I want to talk about, but for this post im going to focus on the relievers. This has been the offseason of the reliever with a bevy of big names hitting the open market including Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, Brad Zeigler, and Jonathan Papelbon among others all becoming free agents.
Historically speaking, giving closers big contracts hasn’t worked out very well for the most part. Who knows what it is, maybe they get lazy once they get that fat paycheck like so many athletes do, or maybe with closers being such creatures of habit the change of scenery is what throws them off. But after the last two World Series its evident that the game is shifting towards having so called “super bullpens”. In the last two world series only 9 starting pitchers have made it through 6 innings out of 12 games and 24 possible starters. Out of those 9 starters only 2 made it past the 7th and that was Johnny Cueto and Matt Harvey in 2015.
The San Francisco Giants made a big splash signing the first closer this offseason with a record setting 4 yr/ $62 mil contract. It makes sense for the Giants who have one of the better 1-2 combos in the bigs with Bumgarner and Cueto. Throw Jeff “Shark” Samardzija and Matt Moore and they have a more than serviceable rotation. Their biggest weakness by far was their sham of a bullpen, blowing a Major League record 30 saves! Now look, I know that nobody is perfect and even the best bullpen last year (Cleveland) blew 11 saves. But if take even a third of those blown saves and say they convert them to wins, they win the NL West by 6 games, meaning that they dont have to face the eventual WS champion Cubs in the first round. Melancon, since he took over full time as closer for the Pirates in 2014, has 131 saves which is the most in the bigs over that span. If youre going to offer a record setting contract to a closer, it might as well be the best one over the last 3 years. Naturally theres going to be some baseball old heads complaining about how you cant pay a guy who only pitches one inning that much money. Im all for getting it how you can, if the market dictates that you get $62 mil over 4 years then you take it and run. Thats capitalism folks. If you dont like it you can go watch the KHL with the rest of your commie pinko comrades.
All this being said about Melancon, his record breaking contract will be broken within the week. Here are the other big names still available and what Melancon’s deal will mean for them.

Aroldis Chapman
Chapman is considered to be the crown jewel of the free agent class this year. Like the old saying goes “You cant teach 106”. Incase you dont know what Im talking about check this out. I wish I had waited a couple hours to write this because thats all it took for the whole first part of this post to not make sense by the time you got to this. Unfortunately for you theres no shot im going back and rewriting all of that shit. Since the time I originally wrote this post Chapman signed a 5 yr/ $86 mil deal with the New York Yankees. This is the largest contract for a reliever in league history coming in at almost 30% more than the previous record deal, which was set 48 hours earlier. Obviously you can make an argument for Chapman being overpaid here. But if youre going to overpay a closer it might as well be the closer that had a 1.55 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 90 K’s in 58 innings last year and 2,241 pitches over 100 mph since 2010, more than the next 7 pitchers combined. Drinks on Chapman tonight.

Kenley Jansen
If we’re comparing Jansen to Melancon since 2014, during which Melancon leagues the majors in saves, Jansen actually is second in saves with 127 only 4 less than Melancon. Despite being second to Melancon he is most certainly first most atrocious looking beards in the majors.
Jansen is reportedly being pursued by the same four clubs that are after Chapman. Most likely what will happen is Jansen will sign with one of the three remaining teams after Chapman is scooped up. Look for Jansen to be making something between what Chapman signs for and the 4 yr/ $62 mil deal that Melancon received. Youre probably sitting there like “Hey, if Melancon has the most saves and Jansen has the 2nd most, how is Jansen going to make more?” Well thats what happens when you sign first.

Brad Ziegler
Ziegler, with his unorthodox submarine delivery, has been low key one of the better closers in the Majors the last two years. In 2015 with the Dbacks he had 30 saves with a 1.85 era, and 18 saves with a 2.82 era in 2016 before he was traded to the Red Sox at the deadline where he ended up being the setup man  for Kimbrel. As we’ve seen in the past, closers with submarine deliveries have never imploded or anything.
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All joking aside look for Ziegler to make a deal after all of the big three sign. He could be a good consolation prize for a club who missed out on one of the big three or not wanting to spend 60-70 mil on a closer.

Jonathan Papelbon
Theres a lot of things you can say about Papelbon. You can say he looks/acts like a used douche. You can say hes a club house cancer. You can even say that he likes to tounge kiss his sister (this one is most definitely true). But you can also say that since he debuted with the Red Sox in 2005 he has been one of the premier closers in the game. He’s not going to get paid Melancon/Chapman/Jansen money but he’ll definitely get a big ole paycheck when all is said and done.

Keep an eye out over the next couple of days as I finish up talking about the rest of the free agent class.

Friday, November 11, 2016

NFL Week 10 - Marquette King for President


Houston @ Jacksonville (-2) - O/U 42

First reaction after seeing this game on the slate.

Kansas City @ Carolina (-3) - O/U 44

Although it may be too little too late, Carolina has started to show signs of life. After commencing the year 1-5, the Panthers have won two straight and currently find themselves installed as three-point favorites against a 6-2 Chiefs team. I've said it before and will say it again - the market doesn't pay attention to win/loss records. Considering point spreads (and the betting market) are the most accurate indicators available in terms of predicting the outcome of a sporting event, win/loss records don't have much relevance in determining how good a team is, but I digress. Despite being sizeable underdogs to reach the postseason, Carolina could conceivably be in the conversation for a wild card spot if they can get to 9-7.

Denver @ New Orleans (-3) - O/U 49.5

Circling back to the notion that oddsmakers don't put much stock in win percentages, the 4-4 Saints find themselves favored by a field goal over the 6-3 Broncos. Granted New Orleans has a strong home field edge and Denver will be traveling across the country for a 1:00 PM ET start, it still supports my belief. Despite dropping their first three games, New Orleans has won four of their last five, while putting up over 32 points/game during that span. Rocky start aside, the Saints are only a half-game out of a playoff spot

Atlanta (-2) @ Philadelphia - O/U 50

If it weren't for NFL tickets being egregiously expensive, I'd probably be on hand in Philly to catch this one.
Considering Ryan Matthews has played on just 10% of the snaps over the past two weeks, this is not breaking news. However, I'd much rather Pederson mix in the two together instead of picking favorites. As much as I love Sproles, he is pretty much the opposite of a between-the-tackles power back. After dropping two straight divisional games, Philadelphia's playoff aspirations are looking bleak.

Dallas @ Pittsburgh (-2) - O/U 49.5

While Pittsburgh's home/road splits are well-documented and Dallas is going on the road with a rookie quarterback, this line seems high at first glance. Big Ben is clearly not 100% and the Cowboys have demonstrated they are one of the few elite teams the NFL has to offer this year. On the surface, Seattle/New England appears to be the most appealing game of the week, but personally I'm looking forward to this matchup the most.

P.S. I didn't get to touch on them due to a bye week, but Oakland's punter, Marquette King, is probably my favorite player in the NFL. 


Thursday, November 3, 2016

NFL Week 9 - Brady for MVP

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find time to write last week. As I alluded to in my return post, sports blogging is a secondary hobby and takes a back seat to more important aspects of my life. As much as I want to consistently create content, sports writing will not take precedence over family dinner with relatives or happy hour with co-workers.

As we reach the halfway mark of the NFL season, essentially every team has visible flaws. New England is in a class of their own atop the league, but even they have some kinks to iron out (on the defensive side of the ball). Although he missed the first four games due to suspension, Tom Brady is currently the favorite to win the MVP by a wide margin. Since the star quarterback returned under center, the Patriots are 4-0, winning each game by double-digits and scoring an average of 34 points/game in the process. Fortunately for the rest of the league, New England is on a bye this week.

 Atlanta (-4) @ Tampa Bay - O/U 51

After dropping two straight winnable games, Atlanta bounced back and took care of business against a potential playoff team. Matt Ryan continues to look sharp, despite the absence of Tevin Coleman and limitations of a hobbled Julio Jones last week against Green Bay. While the defense remains a concern, the Falcons have established themselves as an upper-echelon team in an NFC Conference littered with question marks.

Despite their opponent committing an NFL-record 23 penalties (resulting in over 200 penalty yards), the Bucs failed to take advantage of the opportunity. Offensive tackle Demar Dotson summed it up pretty well in the video shown above. If Tampa Bay wants any chance to win the NFC South (and potentially earn a postseason bid), they absolutely have to win this game. 

Philadelphia @ New York Giants (-2) - O/U 43

My beloved Eagles blew a ten-point fourth quarter lead in an important divisional game against Dallas and ended up losing in overtime. Admittedly, I fell asleep during the third quarter so I can't comment too strongly on what transpired. After beginning the season 3-0, Philadelphia has dropped three of their last four. To make matters worse, seven of their remaining nine games come against teams currently above .500, with the exceptions being at Cincinnati and at Baltimore. According to numberFire, the Eagles have about a 50-50 shot to make the playoffs, which I personally think is pretty generous.

Dallas (-7) @ Cleveland - O/U 47.5

Despite leading his team to an overtime victory after trailing by double-digits in the fourth quarter, Dak Prescott looked like a rookie for most of the night. The former Mississippi State quarterback finished with a completion percentage under 50% for the first time in his young career and threw an egregious red zone interception. However, Prescott added 38 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown to help balance out his deficiencies in the passing game.

Indianapolis @ Green Bay (-7) - O/U 54

I've said it before and will say it again - Indianapolis might have the least talented roster in the NFL, and if it wasn't for Andrew Luck and an annual cupcake schedule, they would be bottom-feeders every year.

Broncos @ Raiders (PK) - O/U 44

The Derek Carr for MVP chatter is in full force after throwing for over 500 yards and four touchdowns last week. Although they have a 6-2 record, oddsmakers still don't respect the Raiders and the current market price of a PK (despite this game being played in the Bay Area) supports that notion. Considering Oakland is an unsustainable 5-1 in games decided by seven points or less, I'd have to agree that the skepticism is warranted.