This weeks Theme Music goes out to a Jungan friend of mine that was a roommate of mine at the Ranch System which is sadly shutting down this weekend. Not only is he quite a bizarre fellow but with the acquistion of his new jeep I can see him crusing around like the protaganist in this video.
Friday, May 18, 2007
A lot of people want to jump on the pitching because they've lost the games but when you face the Nationals you should score some runs. Smoltz lost 2-1 on Monday. You pitch like he did Monday night and you should destroy a team like that. Instead they let the Nationals no-hit them through the first seven innings. They followed that up by blowing a 4-1 lead on Wednesday and a 3-1 lead on Thursday to loose the games 6 to 4 and 4 to 3. In both games the Braves had multiple innings to tie the game. Thursday alone they couldn't score one run against the Nationals in 3 innings. On the other hand the division rival Mets managed to score five runs in the bottom of the ninth to come back on the Cubs 6-5.
The problem is that only two players are currently hitting right now. Chipper Jones and Edgar Renterria. So all teams are doing is pitching around these two and feasting on the rest of the lineup. Francouer, McCann, and Thorman are all struggling a little bit. But as young players you have to ride thought it with them and you're not asking or expecting them to carry the team in a rough stretch. They'll turn it around soon. The biggest problem for the team right now is clean up hitter Andruw Jones.
As much as I hate to say it Andruw just isn't a clean up hitter. I love him as a defender and have enjoyed watching him for ten years. Bu he strikes out too much and can't get the hits right now to drive in runs to justify hitting cleanup. The 2005 season were he was remarkably clutch is seeming more and more like a one season anomaly. Much like the 2000 season that was the only time he has ever hit more than .300 for a season in his career. He's just more of a number 6 hitter. The problem with this team is that we have 3 number six hitters in Thorman, Francouer and Andruw and McCann is really more of a five. I'd advocate hitting McCann fourth but as a catcher he won't play in enough games and would keep from solidifying the lineup.
Andruw becomes a free agent and is expecting to get a huge payday this offseason. But he has to step up his performance or he won't be able to justify the numbers he's asking for. I think his problem is that he's got his mind on this huge pay day and is trying to hard to hit homeruns and not just get hits and drive in runs. He's swinging as hard as he can at every pitch and nearly falling down after he misses. It's hysterical to watch until you realize that its costing games.
The Braves got out to a hot start this year. If they want to do anything with it I'd advocate looking into acquiring either through a trade or internally a left fielder or first baseman that can hit in the four hole. He needs to hit for average with some power. This team has enough power but not near enough average. Right now they have two regulars that are hitting over .300 for the season.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Last week I dedicated the theme music to a Mon Calamari friend of mine. This week I figured it would be good way to come up with different theme music during summer months. So watch for the next few weeks for different tributes.
I figured "official" first one need to go out to a special lady wookie I know.
Its hard to build a stronger bond with someone than "naming" your kid after them.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
My first question is where was the commissioner's private room for Aaron Rodgers a couple of years ago? Second I was hoping to see Patrick Willis go to a team that runs a 4-3 defense instead of a 3-4 defense. No offense to San Fransisco I just he transitions to a 4-3 linebacker better than a 3-4. He's the kind of athlete that will be great no matter what system he's in he just would have the chance to make more plays that way. Just remember when Baltimore tried the 3-4 for a couple of years Ray Lewis was still a great player but he complained that he had to fight to get free to make tackles. The Ravens switched back to the 4-3 and he flourished again.
Also excited for the Rebels other draftee Trumaine McBride. Lets hope by the end of training camp they have his name right. Rory Johnson who you can't say should have stayed in school because its looking more and more like that wasn't an option didn't get drafted but signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers. Andrew "Hacksaw" Wicker signed with the New York Jets and Lawrence Lilly signed with the Cleveland Browns.
I also think that if Oakland was planning to trade Randy Moss all along they should have drafted Calvin Johnson. Calvin is the type of receiver that comes along every ten years. Russell could be a bust just as easy as he could be a quarterback that just stays in the league. The only way you pass on a receiver like Johnson is if you know you have a pro bowler like Randy Moss. The guys I was way off on. Levi Brown. I was high on him but everything I'd seen said not to expect him to go higher than 8th and possibly all the way down to 20th. Goes to show how bad the Cardinals need help on the offensive line. Like everyone else I had Alan Branch in the first round but I was expecting him to fall. Just not to the second round. I had a feeling that the Chargers would reach on a wide receiver I just had the wrong one. I went with the receiver that ran the fastest time at the combine which usually gets someone to reach. Instead the Chargers made an even bigger reach by taking Craig Davis in the first. I also did not see Justin Harrell getting drafted in the teens after the injury history he had.
On to the Giants. Thorpe Award winning cornerback Aaron Ross was one of those safe picks that I can't complain about. I'm not super excited and ordering a jersey or anything like when we drafted Eli but I'm not "throwing the remote" either. Solid player taken where he was graded at a position of need. Good value which is the key to evaluating the draft. Other than Jay Alford in the third round the Giants did a great job of maximizing value in this draft. They could have gotten Alford two or three rounds later based on his rankings. Steve Smith. Guy put of huge numbers at The pick I really loved as he may turn out to be the player in this draft is USC wide receiver USC and knows how to run good routes. Should be a solid #2 receiver for years in the Amani Toomer mold. I see him and Eli having a nice relationship for a decade. Kevin Boss has the ability to turn out to be a special tightend. Had great combine numbers. Not as polished of a blocker as I would have like because with Shockey already on the team that is what he'll primarily be called in to do. Adam Koets sounded like as good of a tackle as you'd get in the sixth. Michael Johnson was a steal in the seventh. Not as high on Ahmad Bradshaw because of character issues but hard to complain about seventh round choices. Was hoping we'd get a full back though.
My one complaint was taking Alford in the third when if they really like him they could have gotten him a round or two later. Trade down even and get an extra fourth. I really would have like the team to take an offensive lineman in the third or fourth round in case the Deihl experiment doesn't work and they need a rookie that can play immediately.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
The Dayton 500 has a contest to pick the ticket of next years Daytona 500. Celebrities and Athletes were asked to submit original art and the one with the most votes goes on the ticket. And there are some great choices. Such as the one above by Giants Pro Bowl Defensive End Michael Strahan. Pushing aside my bias for the New York Football Giants I vote for Strahan's because this was just a thing of beauty. You can see them all and vote here.