Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mets Heat Up NL East Race

The Mets have aquired Johan Santana from the Twins earlier this week. This move will certaintly improve the Mets pitching staff and put pressure on other NL East contenders like the Phillies and Braves. The Mets sent four players to Minnesota but they didn't even have to give up their top prospect to get him. Johan is a potential Cy Young award winner who is coming off a off season for him. He was 15-13 last season with a 3.33 ERA. Those numbers may not seem so great but listen to this: Johan has had 15 or more wins since 2004. He also has over 230 strikeouts since 2004. That's four good, consisitent year for Johan and look for him to bounce back to twenty wins this season. Their is no doubt that this deal does not make Johan better. He is coming to a new league (the National League) and is playing for a very good team. The Mets team is looking very good now and I think the Phils need to counter by getting another starter. I not talking big-name pitcher but maybe a decent middle-rotation starter. I think this Johan deal was a very good move for the Mets and that may put them over that World Series hump this year.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Phillies Get Help at Hot Corner

The Phillies improved their team yesterday with the signing of third baseman Pedro Feliz. Feliz is definitely a step up from Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs, who were the main starters last year at the hot corner. Wes Helms definetly had a off year last year and don't be surprised if the Phillies release him or trade him. I think they should keep Dobbs, who is a pretty good hitter. Let's get back to Feliz. He is an excellent fielder who can drive the ball. They signed the 32-year old Feliz to a 2 year contract worth 8.5 million. Feliz smacked 20 homers and 72 RBIs while batting 253, definitely a step up for the Phils. I like this move and think it will improve the team.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Super Bowl Showdown

So, it will be the Patriots (obviously) against the surprisingly good Giants. New York has been playing well on both sides of the ball, so I think both teams deserve to get their chance at a world championship. Eli Manning showed he can play good consistently against good defenses. I think he has finally proven his relentless critics wrong.

Most people think this Super Bowl isn't even worth watching, but I think this will actually be a good game. The Patriots haven't been playing great recently. They almost lost to a real banged-up Chargers team and the Chargers D forced three Brady interceptions. My early interpretation of this game is that it should be relatively close. I may change that as we near Super Bowl Sunday.

The key for the Giants is to get their terrific pass rush to Brady. They need Osi Umenyoria, Micheal Strahan , and Justin Tuck to force Brady to make the bad decisions.

As for the Patriots, they just need to play like they've done all year and win, yet again.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

NFL Picks of the Week

Last week: 1 out of 3

Chargers at Patriots, today at 3:oopm est
winner- Patriots
My Prediction: Patriots 35, Chargers 24
The Chargers three playmakers are not 100%: LT, Antonio Gates, and Phillip Rivers. That should be a major factor in this game. I do think all of those players will play but the Pats should beat them regardless. Tom Brady should breeze through the San Diego D.

Giants at Packers, today at 6:00pm est
winner- Packers
My Prediction: Packers 28, Giants 21
The Giants have been playing well but I think luck only goes so far. They beat a bad Cowboys team last week. They will struggle against a complete Packers team. Look for Ryan Grant to have a repeat performance of last week's 201 yard game.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Playoff Predictions

I went 3 for 4 last week.

Today's Games:

Seattle at Green Bay, 4:30pm est.
winner- Packers
My Prediction: Packers 28, Seahawks 24
This should be an enticing match up between two good teams. The Packers have become two dimensional with the emergence of tailback Ryan Grant. And Brett Farve has been playing great this season and will most likely play again next year. Matt Hasslebeck has been playing on fire recently but should be slowed down by the Packers solid secondary. This one will come down to the fourth quarter.

Jaguars at Patriots, 8:00pm est.
winner- Jaguars
My Prediction: Jaguars 35, Patriots 31
This is the game of the week, right here ladies and gentlemen. The jags are the most dangerous team out there right now and they will grind one out against the undefeated Pats by their lethal combination of run and pass plays. The Jags defense is tough and will sort of contain the Pats' explosive offense. David Garrard needs to have a better game this week than he had last week in order for this to happen.

Tomorrow's Games:

Chargers at Colts, 1pm est.
winner- Colts
My Prediction: Colts 31, Chargers 28
The Chargers are hot now but their number one receiver (Antonio Gates) may not be a 100% healthy nor playing. The Chargers may become one dimensional, but their one dimension is pretty good. LT will have yet another good game but it won't be enough to beat the Colts.

Giants at Cowboys, 4:30pm est.
winner- Cowboys
My Prediction: Cowboys 24, Giants 21
As an Eagles fan, I hate both of these teams but I will show no bias. This will be a hard-fought game between two division rivals. The Giants defense has been spectacular, but so has the Cowboys offense. Eli Manning has been making less mistakes of late, and he should play fairly well. But the Cowboys are the better team and they will win.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Clemens; Clearing his Name

Rogers Clemens is trying extremely hard to clear his name and keep his cool. Clemens was included in the Mitchell report. The report said that Clemens' personal trainer Brian McNamee injected Clemens' with HGH or Human Growth Hormone in 1998 and 2002. Clemens is fiercely denying any accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his long career. On a 60 Minutes interview Roger said that he swore that McNamee has never injected him with any performance-enhancers. He did say, however, that McNamee injected him with the pain-killer lidocaine and the vitamin B-12. Their is one thing suspicious about that. Your personal trainer is not supposed to inject you with anything. Injections are supposed to happen at a doctor's office or a hospital.

I don't think Roger used the drugs. I am not just saying that because I want to believe the game's greatest players aren't drugged-up freaks. I do believe that that baseball's so-called Home Run King (Barry Bonds) has been using drugs to get an edge over players for many year. Bonds is a self-coincided player, who mostly only cares about his own stats. Roger made a comment at a press conference saying that he "doesn't give a rat's ass about the hall of fame." And I can tell you that most selfish, steroid-using sluggers would not say that. Of course, he could have been lying. He could be lying on all these things, though.

On ESPN, they showed a taped phone conversation between Clemens and McNamee that was bogus. Clemens knew it was taped but McNamee didn't. If it wasn't taped, I think Clemens would have gone berserk on McNamee, whether he took the drugs or not. Clemens did say something like this: if he came down here I'd feel sorry for him. Back to the phone conversation, McNamee said to Clemens,"What do you want me to do?" like 20 times. Come on McNamee, it doesn't take a brain sergeant to figure this one out. Clemens wants you to take back your comments about his steroid use. The other thing vaguely interesting about the phone conversation is that McNamee never denied anything Clemens said about never using performance-enhancers.

Even if Clemens did use the 'roids, I don't think it's that bad. McNamee said he only injected Clemens twice. According to the book Game of Shadows, their were guys who were being injected multiple times a day and also taking like 25 pills to enhance their performance. I am not saying what Clemens did was O.K. by any means, he legacy should be tarnished if he did take steroids.

The biggest reason for me not thinking Clemens used performance-enhancers is this: Clemens agreed to show up to a hearing with his friend and admitted-HGH user Andy Pettitte and McNamee. Clemens will be under oath when he is asked if he ever used the drugs at the hearing. It would be downright stupid to lie under oath after what has happened to Bonds. Bonds will be in court for lying under oath in a court case against BALCO (for more on Bonds' chargers look for my article titled "*Bonds Indited*"). Clemens doesn't want to be in the same situation as Bonds is in right now. Clemens will do anything to clear his name and if he says he didn't cheat at the hearing, that will convince me. Even if he lies, I'm sure it will come back to bite him.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

My Postseason Picks

Here is how I think the playoffs will pan out.

NFC Wild Card Games:

Redskins vs. Seahawks, Today at 4:30
winner- Seahawks
My Prediction: Seahawks 28, Redskins 17
The Redskins have a lot to play for: they made it to the playoffs even though their starting quarterback Jason Campbell went down with an injury, and Shawn Taylor was murdered earlier in this season. They will play their hearts out but the Seahawks will play the bad guy as they put the 'skins' Super Bowl dreams to rest. Give the Redskins credit for getting to this point with all of the things that they have faced this season. Look for Matt Hassleback to have a good day.

Buccaneers vs. Giants, Tomorrow at 1
winner- Bucs
My Prediction: Bucs 35, Giants 14
Even though the Giants are favored in this game, they will be outplayed and beaten by the Buccaneers. The Bucs' defense will put pressure on Eli Manning and force him to throw multiple interceptions and ultimately have a bad game. Jeff Garcia will lead the Bucs to victory by putting together long scoring drives.

AFC Wild Card Games:

Steelers vs. Jaguars, Today at 8
winner- Jaguars
My Prediction: Jags 31, Steelers 28
The Jags have been rolling of late using their dynamic runing duo of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. Look for them to have stellar days against a rock hard Steelers' defense. Fred Taylor will use his power and speed to have another 100-yard day. This will be a close game in which Steelers' QB Ben Rothelisberger air it out all game and has a good day. The Jags will just edge out the Steelers in this one.

Chargers vs Titans, Tomorrow at 4:30
winner- Chargers
My Prediction: Chargers 24, Titans 16
With the Titans all banged up, the Chargers will win this game. They will use LT to tire out the Titans' D. Look for LT to have a spectagular game. Vince Young is not playing at 100% and that should be evident. The Titans are also without their starting running back Lendale White who has been a workhorse for them.

A Look into the Future:

NFC Divisional Games (Jan. 12-13):

Cowboys vs. Buccaneers
winner- Cowboys

Seahawks vs. Packers
winner- Packers

AFC Divisional Games (Jan. 12-13):

Jaguars vs. Patriots
winner- Jaguars

Chargers vs. Colts
winner- Colts

NFC Championship Game (Jan. 20)

Cowboys vs. Packers
winner- Cowboys

AFC Championship (Jan. 20)

Jaguars vs. Colts
winner- Jaguars

Super Bowl (Feb. 3)

Cowboys vs. Jaguars
winner- Jaguars

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Mounting Pressure on Pats

So, it finally happened: the Patriots have finished undefeated in the regular season with 16 wins and no losses. They are the second team to go without a loss in the regular season. The other team to do that was the 1972 Dolphins, who went 13-o. The Patriots are the first team since the NFL implemented a 16 game season to win all 16. The Patriots blew out most teams they faced and lead the league in points, yards, and passing yards. Their quarterback finished the season with a remarkable 117.2 passer rating.

From what I have seen during the season, I can safely say that the Pats had the best regular season in the history of pro football. I don't think they will win it all, though. The Pats do have so many great weapons on both offense and defense, but I think that they will struggle in the playoffs. They also have the Associated Press Coach of the Year in Bill Belichick. The pressure mounting on them is so great because they are expected to win the Super Bowl and it would be a huge disappointment if they don't. They pressure has already started to bring them down. Just look at their late-season games. They just edged out the Giants, Ravens, and Eagles. Only one team in that group (Giants) are heading to the playoffs and has a winning record. The Patriots made some major mistakes against Giants last week. For example, golden boy Brady threw multiple TDs and sure-handed Randy Moss (above, right) dropped a deep pass that was right in his hands. They almost lost to a horrible Ravens team. They also struggled against an Eagles team playing their second-string quarterback. I think when they play a good team with confidence and a nice winning streak, they will be upset. Then again, they will probably win the Super Bowl, just because I said that.