Sports


I don’t mind balls being called strikes or strikes being called balls as long as it goes both ways.  That’s not the case for the 2009 World Series.  It seems that the Phillies have gotten each close call go their way and now they are getting strikes called balls.  It is way beyond ridiculous.

Not only is the strike zone way off but balks aren’t getting called, guys who are tagged within 10 feet of a base are now called safe, no infield fly rules, and check swings that are actually checked don’t matter.

I feel like the umps are part of what went on in 1919 with the Black Sox.  SCANDAL!  This has gotten so bad that wether you are a Rays fan or not you have to feel sick watching these umps “work”.

MLB has to do something about this.  They have to make sure the best umps are in the World Series.  The stupid deal that umps can’t work back-to-back World Series is utterly ridiculous.  An investigation has to be performed because this is just beyond belief.

I am done… for now.

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This is a deep league.  10 teams, head-to-head, and a 25 man roster.  The roster breakdown looks like this and my selections:

QB – Carson Palmer
QB – Donovan McNabb
RB – Brian Westbrook
RB – Ernest Graham
WR – Andre Johnson
WR – Lee Evans
WR – Kevin Curtis
TE – Chris Cooley
W/R – Edgerrin James
W/R – Rudi Johnson
DEF – Pittsburgh
K – Matt Bryant
DB – Sean Jones
DB – Champ Bailey
DL – Barrett Ruud
DL – Shawn Merriman
D – Bob Sanders
D – Will Witherspoon
BN – LaRon Landry (DB, D)
BN – Santana Moss (WR)
BN – Lorenzo Booker (RB)
BN – Matt Leinart (QB)
BN – Ray Rice (RB)
BN – Maurice Stovall (WR)
BN – Bobby Engram (WR)

Here is the scoring system:

Stat Categories: Passing Yards (15 yards per point)
Passing Touchdowns 8
Interceptions (-2)
Rushing Yards (6 yards per point)
Rushing Touchdowns (6)
Receptions (2)
Reception Yards (10 yards per point)
Reception Touchdowns 8
Return Touchdowns (6)
2-Point Conversions (2)
Fumbles Lost (-2)
Offensive Fumble Return TD (6)
Field Goals 0-19 Yards (3)
Field Goals 20-29 Yards (3)
Field Goals 30-39 Yards (3)
Field Goals 40-49 Yards (4)
Field Goals 50+ Yards (5)
Point After Attempt Made (1)
Sack (1)
Interception (2)
Fumble Recovery (2)
Touchdown (6)
Safety (2)
Block Kick (2)
Points Allowed 0 points (12)
Points Allowed 1-6 points (9)
Points Allowed 7-13 points (6)
Points Allowed 14-20 points (3)
Points Allowed 21-27 points (0)
Points Allowed 28-34 points (-3)
Points Allowed 35+ points (-6)
Tackle Solo (2)
Tackle Assist (1)
Sack (2)
Interception (2)
Fumble Force (1)
Fumble Recovery (1)
Touchdown (6)
Safety (2)
Fractional Points: Yes
Negative Points: Yes

I am very happy with this team. I got a lot of backs, two good QBs, great individual defenders, and a top TE. My bench needs some help but so does everybody else in our league since it is so deep.

Tune into 1470 AM if you are in the Tampa Bay area or go to espn1470. com and watch the show if you can’t get the station. I’ll be on for about 5-10 min starting around 6:40 pm talking about the Rays.

I was actually going to include Carlos Gomez in my Yunel Escobar rant yesterday but figured my annoyance with him would pass, until his game yesterday.  Here is a piece by Tom Powers of twincities.com:

In Wednesday’s game, Gomez, the team’s irrepressible young center fielder, had three hits, scored two runs, knocked in a run, stole a base and forced a balk. He also was chastised for hot-dogging while catching fly balls and for trying to steal third base with two outs and Joe Mauer at the plate.

Which he did, by the way, but then was thrown out at home after the ball skipped a few feet from the third baseman.

What a show!

He’s been doing it all year.  The fact that I don’t get to see a ton of Twins games has made me less annoyed by his antics.  But manager Ron Gardenhire seems to think his antics are ridiculous:

“It’s kind of crazy, really. It’s high school,” Gardenhire said of Gomez’s antics. “I don’t even know if it’s college (level). But he’s so enthusiastic and such a talent … “

I can’t disagree with him here.  What does Gomez think?  Who does he think he is?  He needs to earn his stripes and even then he needs to behave in a manner that is respectable to the game.  You can show your emotions in a positive way that is not showboating much like Papelbon, David Ortiz, Sabathia, and David Wright to name a few. 

Here is how the base running crap went down:

Two outs, Gomez on second and the Twins’ hottest hitter, Mauer, up, Minnesota is clinging to a 4-3 lead. Suddenly, Gomez breaks for third base. Who knows why? Gomez can score from second on almost any single. Plus, the left-handed-hitting Mauer gives the catcher a clear throw to third base.

No matter, Gomez was off to the races. Catcher Toby Hall’s throw beat Gomez, but the ball squirted out of Joe Crede’s glove when he attempted to apply the tag. As the baseball rolled maybe 10 feet away, Gomez popped up and raced for home.

He was called out on a very close play that could have gone either way. Gardenhire ran out to argue with home plate umpire Tim Timmons but admits his heart wasn’t in it.

“I couldn’t even make a good argument,” he said. “I kept thinking, ‘what the *$#@% is he doing?’ “

Gomez is a very exciting player and should be a very good one in time but for now he needs to settle down and become a team player and cut the antics.

I honestly can’t stand watching Yunel Escobar bat.  The man flips his bat like he hits a homerun almost everytime.  It is frickin’ annoying!  I just had to complain about it becuase it’s only going to make me more annoyed if I hold it in.

I started this league and made it like my other league but with a few differences.

We all took one team (A few of the Rays fans, myself included, decided not to take the Rays so we would have equal share in the players during free agency), I took the Brewers due to the quality of young inexpensive players they have.

 The league allows for $200M total salary and we get to protect 15 minor leaguers (including the 4 round minor league draft).  We have 13 teams in our league.  Here is how my team looks right now.

4yr deals
2B – Rickie Weeks – 1.9 (2011)
3B/OF – Ryan Braun – 0.7 (2011)
1B – Prince Fielder – 0.7 (2011)
C – Miguel Montero – 0.4 (2011) (FA)
C – Joe Mauer – 21.0 (2011) (FA)
C – Jeff Clement – 0.8 (2011) (FA)
1B – Billy Butler – 8.1 (2011)+ (FA)
2B – Tony Abreu 0.4 (2011) (FA)
2B – Alberto Callaspo 0.4 (2011) (FA)
2B – Chris Burke 0.4 (2011) (FA)
3B – Andy LaRoche 1.0 (2011) (FA)
3B – Chase Headley 0.4 (2011) (FA)
3B – Edwin Encarnacion 1.9 (2011) (FA)
OF – Travis Buck 0.6 (2011) (FA)
OF – Nate McLouth 0.4 (2011) (FA)
OF – Lastings Milledge 2.4 (2011)+ (FA)
OF – Matt Kemp 8.4 (2011)+ (FA)
OF – Carl Crawford 36.0 (2011)+ (FA)
OF – Steve Pearce 0.4 (2011) (FA)
OF – Wladimir Balentein 0.8 (2011) (FA)
SP – Tom Gorzelanny 4.1 (2011) (FA)
SP – Chad Billingsley 2.0M (2011) (FA)
SP – Scott Baker 0.4M (2011) (FA)
SP – Edinson Volquez 0.4M (2011) (FA)
RP – Juan Morillo 0.4M (2011) (FA)
RP – Felipe Paulino 0.4M (2011) (FA)
RP – J.P. Howell 0.4M (2011) (FA)
RP – Alan Embree 0.6M (2011) (FA)
RP – Brad Thompson 0.4M (2011) (FA)
RP – Derrick Turnbow 1.9M (2011) (FA)
SP – Scott Kazmir 26.0M (2011) (FA)
RP – Joaquin Benoit 0.4M (2011) (FA)
RP – Juan Guttierez 0.4M (2011) (FA)
RP – Jonathan Meloan 0.4M (2011) (FA)
RP – Craig Hansen 0.4M (2011) (FA)

3yr deals
SP – Ben Sheets – 11.0 (2010)
SS – J.J. Hardy – 2.8 (2010)
SP – David Bush – 2.5 (2010)
SP – Manny Parra – 0.4 (2010)
OF – Corey Hart – 0.4 (2010)
SP – Yovani Gallardo – 0.4 (2010)
C – Chris Iannetta – 0.8 (2010) (FA)
1B – Lance Berkman – 15.0 (2010) (FA)
1B – Nick Johnson – 1.5 (2010) (FA)
SS – Michael Young 5.8 (2010) (FA)
SP – Randy Wolf 0.4M (2010) (FA)
RP – Al Reyes 1.4M (2010) (FA)

2yr deals
RP – Zach Jackson – 0.4 (2009)

1yr deals
RP – Eric Gagne – 10.0 (2008)
RP – Chris Ray – 0.5 (2008)

Cap Space – 13.6M

Minor League Keepers
1. Evan Longoria – 3B (Draft)
2. Desmond Jennings – OF (Draft)
3. Matt Wieters – C (Trade)
4. Jarrod Parker – SP (Draft)
5. Rick Porcello – SP (Trade)
6. Matt La Porta – OF/1B
7. Jeremy Jeffress – SP
8. Alicides Escobar – SS
9. Mat Gamel – 3B
10. Caleb Gindl – OF
11. Angel Salome – C
12. Cole Gillespie – OF
13. Cale Iorg – SS (Trade)
14. Michael Main – SP (Draft)
15. Brent Brewer – SS

This is the lineup I will throw out for most days:

C – Joe Mauer
1B – Prince Fielder
2B – Rickie Weeks
3B – Ryan Braun
SS – J.J. Hardy
MIF- Michael Young
CIF- Lance Berkman
OF – Corey Hart
OF – Billy Butler
OF – Matt Kemp
OF – Carl Crawford
UT – Lastings Milledge
UT – Edwin Encarnacion

Pitching

SP – Ben Sheets
SP – Yovanni Gallardo
RP – Eric Gagne
RP – Tony Pena/Chad Qualls/Heath Bell
P – Manny Para
P – David Bush
P – Tom Gorzelanny
P – Scott Kazmir

I am please with this team.  Our stats are:  (AVG/OPS/HR/RBI/RUN/SB) – (W/ERA/K/SV/WHIP/K-BB)

 I would obviously like another closer or two but I am very pleased with this team, especially my minor leaguers.

To be blunt – Lakeland sucks for autographs!  The place is like Fort Knox!  You can’t get close to the players.  My friend Mike and I got to the game before the gates opened and batting practice was already done for both teams.  It was about 11:00am and we were standing on the first base side, more like right field, where the Tigers’ players come out.  After 45 min the ushers were pushing everybody out.  We still had 1 hour and 15 minutes until game time!  The ushers even pushed us away from the next two sections and they took thier posts like guards for the White House.  Al Kaline was the only one who signed and only the people in the first 5 rows with tickets could get autograph.  The ushers wouldn’t even let a kid come down, they turned him away promptly.  It was awful!

 Luckily, we went to the Braves side and Chipper Jones was signing and he was signing for everyone.  We got him on a ball and it made up for a little of our frustration.  It was a huge surprise to me that he was signing since the Braves only brought about three starting position players. 

 Needless to say, we went to Lakeland to get Tigers’ autos and we came away with none and a sour feeling towards the way things are done there.  I don’t plan on giving that stadium any more of my money anytime soon.

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