Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yankees get a little Randy

The Yankees reportedly filled one of their needs Wednesday afternoon when they came to an agreement with outfielder Randy Winn on a one year deal worth about $2 million. The 12-yr veteran spent the last five seasons with the San Francisco Giants.

The signing of the 35-yr old switch-hitter effectively ends the possibility of Johnny Damon returning to the Bronx this season. It is, however, a curious choice made by Brian Cashman and the Yankees’ front office.

Winn is an obvious defensive upgrade over Damon, but his offense leaves something to be desired. The Yankees could use a right-handed bat to complement lefty hitters Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner, but Winn isn’t the answer. At least not based on his 2009 season when he hit just .158 against left-handers. Couple that with Granderson’s .190 average and lefties and the Yankees could be hurting against southpaws.

As for Damon, Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn’t see a deal happening even before Winn’s signing. Speaking at the Baseball Assistance Team dinner, Girardi expressed doubt that the Yankees budget would fit Damon’s contract demands. The skipper accepted the Bobby Murcer award for Yankees. It is given to the team that raises the most money for B.A.T..

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Colts - Vikings is the Pick

The Jets and their fans have had a great run. The regular season was up and down, and it took some good luck to the make the playoffs. Once there though, "Gang Green" (or "Gag Green" as we Giants prefer to say) has taken full advantage of their situation. They've posted impressive back to back wins against the Bengals and Chargers.

Today, I feel their run comes to an end as they play their third straight road game. I do feel though that they will play a close game today - Colts 20 Jets 17 - that's my pick.

A lot of this run of course reminds you of the Giants Super Bowl victory course two seasons ago. There's a notable exception, however, and that is the inexperience of Mark Sanchez compared to that of Eli Manning. The running game is the key for the Jets today. Stopping the Colts weak run game and using Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene to pound the ball at Indianapolis.

While I think the 'D' will be successful in stopping the Colts ground game, stopping Peyton Manning is another story. A story, I believe, that will provide for an unhappy ending for the Jets.

The Saints-Vikings NFC championship should be a great one. Brett Favre has won the big one before , or in this case, the second biggest one. Drew Brees is still trying to get to the next hurdle after losing to the Bears in 2006. That Bears team, of course, lost to the Peyton Colts in the Super Bowl.

I see Brees watching at home again this year due to the Vikings defense and enough bursts by Adrian Peterson to give Minnesota the win over N'Oleans. Vikings 27 Saints 21

Saturday, January 16, 2010

NFL Round 2 Predictions

I was 3 out of 4 last week, just missing out on the Ravens victory. Though I did point out that I thought that they could pull off the upset. This week I don't see any upsets occurring.

The Jets magical mystery tour comes into an end in San Diego. The Chargers' Phillip Rivers will be the difference in this one. Chargers by 10.

The Cowboys could very well upset the Vikings. I see this game much like the Ravens-Pats last week. But I see the Vikings winning it on a late field goal.

The Ravens played an inspired game last week and will be fired up this week for the Colts. But despite the Colts lack of a running game, Peyton Manning and Indy will be the victor in this one by 7-8 points.

The Saints lost their last three regular season games entering the playoffs. Granted, they were going at it on all cylinders. The Cardinals survived that wild and wacky game with Green Bay last week when a record 96 points were scored. I like a high scoring affair with Drew Brees passing the Saints to a 10 point victory.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'll Take a Big Mac with a Side of 'Roids

Mark McGwire taking steroids is no shock to anyone. What is shocking is that Big Mac finally admitted it today. With McGwire's new job as St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach looming on the horizon, McGwire knew he had to set the record straight. Maybe it was even a stipulation of him taking the job. Reporters constantly bombarding him with questions would have been a distraction. Whatever the reason McGwire decided it was time to release a statement.

"I used steroids during my playing career, and I apologize," McGwire said in the release. "I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989-90 offseason and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again.

I used them on occasion throughout the '90s, including during the 1998 season. I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era."
McGwire will expound further on his steroid use when he sits down shortly with Bob Costas for a 7 p.m. EST interview on the MLB Network.

The statement also comes mere days after the announcement of the 2010 baseball hall of fame class. McGwire has suffered in the voting due to his apperance before Congress and the suspicion that he abused PEDs. The Baseball Writers Association of America will now have to decide if McGwire's coming forward will or will not affect his voting status.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

NFL Round 1 Predictions

I didn't make weekly picks this season, but here's my look at the NFL playoffs this weekend.

Jets over the Bengals - It's not that I think that much of the Jets, the Bengals are one of the worst 10-win teams ever.

Cowboys over Eagles - It's hard to beat a team three times in a season, but the Cowboys, the worst 11-win team ever, have the Eagles number.

Patriots over Ravens - This is going to be a close one. The Ravens could even win it, but we'll go with the more experienced Brady at QB.

Cardinals over Packers - I'm not impressed by the Packers rout of the Cardinals last week. Kurt Warner will be playing a full game and the Cards' defense is vastly underrated.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dawson Lone Electee to Hall

In a stunning surprise, Andre Dawson is the only former baseball player elected to the Hall of Fame in this year's balloting. Dawson was the only player to reached the required 75% total with 77.9%.

Bert Blyleven, despite 287 wins, missed by just .8%. Roberto Alomar, in his first year of eligibility, inexplicably fell short with 73.7%.

To make matters worse, five ballots from the Baseball Writers Association of America (BWAA) were returned completely blank.

Congrats to "The Hawk", but bad job by the BWAA.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Big Fugly Calls it a Career

Randy Johnson's time in New York wasn't a pleasant one for him or Yankees fans, but the "Big Unit" had a Hall of Fame career with stops in Montreal, Seattle, Houston, Arizona (twice), and San Francisco. Today, after 22 seasons, the left-hander called it a career.

Johnson, who should be a first ballot Hall of Fame entrant in 2014, finished his career with 303 wins and 4,875 strikeouts (tops among left-handers). Among Johnson's accomplishments was five Cy Young awards, 10 All-Star appearances, two no-hitters (one of which was a perfect game), a 20-strikeout game, and he was a three-time 20-game winner.

And despite his bad back, bad attitude, and really bad hair, he was a 2-time 17-game winner in the Bronx (2005-2006).

Holliday Gets Big Gift

SI's Jon Heyman reported earlier this evening that the St. Louis Cardinals and free agent outfielder Matt Holliday have agreed to a seven year deal.

Holliday, who tore up NL pitching after his trade from Oakland to St. Louis on July 24, gets a mulligan for the costly error he made in this past season's playoffs. And he'll be be paid handsomely to do so. The Cards gave Holliday $120 million reasons to stay in St. Louis.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Red Sox: Yo Adrian

Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown has confirmed tonight that the Boston Red Sox and free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre have agreed on a contract. Buster Olney reported earlier that Beltre's deal is for one year and will be for $10 or $10.5 million annually. There is also thought to be an option for 2011.

The Red Sox had tried to move incumbent third baseman Mike Lowell in a deal earlier this off-season, but it fell through when it was determined Lowell would need thumb surgery. It's possible the deal with the Texas Rangers will be revisited during Lowell's recuperation.