Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yankees Acquire Javier Vazquez

The New York Yankees have acquired Javier Vazquez from the Atlanta Braves for Melky Cabrera and Mike Dunn, sources told ESPN The Magazine senior writer Buster Olney.

In addition, the Braves are sending right-hander Boone Logan to the Yankees, sources said.
Vazquez, with a 15-10 record, ranked second in the major leagues last season with 238 strikeouts and sixth in ERA at 2.87. This is his second time around with the Yankees, having pitched in New York in 2004, when he went 14-10 with a 4.91 ERA.

You gotta wonder what the heck is Omar Minaya doing on the other side of town..........

Thursday, November 5, 2009

27 Thoughts on #27

1. TPC said it was inevitable and it was. When you have better starting pitching and a better bullpen, you usually win. The Yanks did just that.

2. Arod is officially forgiven and all those naysayers have nothing left to say as he performed unbelievably in the postseason (setting many Yankee records) and is now a "True Yankee" by all accounts.

3. The Captain earns his 5th ring by hitting .407 . He All Time leading postseason hit total is now at 175 and before it's all said and done, that record might be as untouchable as Cy Young's 511 Wins.

4. Pettitte pitched a great game despite being squeezed by the blind umps. He won his 18th (ML career leader) postseason game and record 6th Series clinching game. He might have just punched his ticket to Cooperstown with this latest run.

5. I love the rivalry and I love the theatrics with Pedro, but in some ways it was sad to watch one of the greatest of all time, have nothing in that type of spot. It reminded me of Ali vs. Holmes or Holmes vs. Tyson. The once great Heavyweight getting knocked around as a shell of his former self.

6. Matsui had the single greatest World Series clinching game since R-E-G-G-I-E. Great stuff.

7. With that being said, you can't give the MVP to someone who only started 3 of the 6 games. Seems a little ridiculous to me, no matter how great Matsui did play.

8. For my money, I would have split the MVP. Pettitte and Matsui. Or Pettitte and Arod. Pettitte won 2 games, maybe the two most crucial games and should have garnered consideration.

9. Damon had a great Series and continues to show what a great big game player he is. Remember, he was one of the main reasons the Red Sox came back on the Yankees in 2004.

10. What more can be said about Rivera? The guys greatness knows no bounds. He puts such pressure on the other team to be ahead after 7 it's amazing. Even Jeter said "Everybody" knew it was over when Mo came in the 8th with a 4 run lead. What he has done on the biggest stage might be the most remarkable thing about this whole run. He has defied everything and we take his greatness for such granted.

11. C.C. was the horse we expected which means a lot considering everything that comes along with all that cash. Just a big guy for the big game.

12. Why didn't Ryan Howard play in the Series?

13. A year ago this time Brad Lidge was being compared to Mo and Cole Hamels was the next Josh Beckett. What a difference a year makes.

14. Jeter has more rings (5) than The Babe (5).

15. The Yankees opened the old Stadium with a Series victory in 1923 and did likewise in 2009. Should be the start of a great run.

16. For all the hits Girardi took (some rightfully so) he did a few things that should be absolutely commended for. He had the guts to move Jeter up to leadoff and Damon down to #2. They both had superb seasons and thrived in their new roles. He did a great job of managing the bullpen during the regular season, not overworking anyone. He stuck to his guns with the 3 man rotation and it paid off.

17. How does Manuel leave Pedro in to face Matsui the second time around? Pedro had nothing. He had no fastball and Matsui was all over him the last at bat. Season on the line, Manuel had to go to Happ a lot quicker there. Just a bad job.

18. For as horrible as Cano was this postseason his bat was coming around the last two games. Should be in midseason form for the Winter Games.

19. For as good and clutch as Posada seemed at the plate, he was just as awful behind the plate. He called a shaky game every time out- was constantly being shaken off by the pitchers, any pitch that wasn't close seemed to turn into a passed ball and Jason Giambi probably could have stolen at will on him.

20. Home A.J. is a lot different than Road A.J. Pettitte really bailed out Girardi last night. Burnett on normal rest at home would have been a lot more effective than Road A.J. on 3 days rest.

21. Texiera had a rough time at the plate all postseason but his few hits were big and his defense was stellar, proving 1B is a very important position, and not one where "just anyone" can play it.

22. I would have loved to have seen Arod at the plate in Game 5 with a chance to win. Amazing what a difference a year makes. This time last year Yankee fans were praying Arod got no where near the plate with the game on the line.

23. I thought Joba had some electric stuff and he probably worked his way back to being the 8th inning guy next year with Hughes going into the rotation.

24. What a remarkable turnaround for Marte. He went from being a punching bag to a huge weapon against those Philly lefties. Great move by Joe for sticking with him.

25. Robertson showed a lot of guts and I would have no issue with him and Aceves working the 7th and 8th next year if both Joba and Hughes go to the rotation.

26. This would have been a lot easier with a healthy Chin-Min Wang.

27. Parade down the Canyon of Heroes this Friday. Party NY style!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TPC Explains Why #27 is Inevitable

Despite AJ Burnett getting beaten while showing Steve Phillips type control in a room full of Lewinsky look a likes, despite Texiera evoking memories of Vintage Postseason Arod 2005-2007 and despite a lineup in Game 5 that featured 3 hitters (Jeter, Damon and Arod), the Yankees are still in complete and utter control of this seasons fall classic.
Here's TPC's take and why Yankee fans should get the Budweiser ready (I hate Champagne. For starters it's French. Secondly, it tastes like cheap Beer and Third, it's French.).

1- Going into the Series, we knew the Yankees had two clear cut and distinct advantages. a) They would have a huge edge in starting pitch in at least 5 of the 7 games. That has not changed. Pettitte and Sabathia are distinctively better than Pedro and whoever has the guts to take the ball from Manuel in Game 7 (gotta love Lee copping out and not going Game 4 and & and Hamels hoping the season ends already. It's Ph-aaan-tastik!!! Philly style). b) They have a big edge in the bullpen (which is magnified by their starting pitching edge) especially with Rivera at the end. Games 4 and 5 showed us exactly how big that edge is. Lidge blew Game 4 despite having 2 outs and no one out in the 9th, and Madsen all but gave away last nights game except Jeter and Tex decided to be nice and cho--and make big outs late.
The Phillies will not be able to breath easy, no matter the score until the final out has been made, while the Yankees know if they have a lead going into the 8th, it's game, set and match. That edge has mentally worn down the Twins and Angels and will continue with the Phillies, especially after last nights near implosion by the Philly pen.

2- The lineup changes the Yankees make in their home park is a decided advantage for them. Just look at last nights lineup with Swisher, Cano, Gardner, Molina and the Pitcher now being replaced by Matsui, Posada, Cano, Swisher and Gardner. Your going from a borderline Triple A end of the lineup to one that has some real pop. The length of the lineup will cause Pedro- even if he has his good stuff- to max out at 6 innings and that will lead to the parade of clowns we saw yesterday. Pettitte is used to throwing against the extra hitter and despite his big hit in Game 3, he will gladly take a seat for Godzilla's stick in this one.

3- Manuel made a very curious decision last night leaving in Lee to start the 8th. Lee was not his usual sharp self all game, walking 3 to that point and going deep in counts all night. He was already at 100 pitches and Manuel knows he's going to need him in relief if there is a Game 7. Knowing he has no confidence in his bullpen, Manuel left Lee in too long. It did a few things that I think sealed the Phillies faith. a) It showed the utter lack of trust Manuel has in his pen which is going to kill him the next two games when he will need to go to that same pen early and often. b) It gave the Yankees confidence that no matter what the score they can and will come back on the Phillies. c) if they do face Lee in Game 7, the armour has been pierced. The Yanks know they can get to him. Plus, Lee will be thinking a little differently now that he gave up those 3 late runs. He might also be a tad more tired which is the most curious of all reasons why Manuel left him in.

4- This Yankee team is much different than the 2004-2008 versions. It used to be the Yanks would go down a few runs and it was over. This year it's different. Anyone who has watched these Yankees knows they feel they should win every game, and no lead is safe. It's why the Yankees leading the league with 51 come from behind wins was no accident. It's the result of a good bullpen keeping them in games, a deep lineup which allows them to get to the other teams middle relief and the confidence that they can and will win when down late no matter who they are facing.

5 -Redemption for Pettitte. The last time Pettitte had a chance to close out a World Series for the Yankees he got shelled in Game 6 of the 2001 Series against Arizona and Randy Johnson. Pettitte has been a fighter all his career and will gut his way out to this win. He will beat Pedro and will pitch well in doing so.

Monday, November 2, 2009

27 for 27

One more win is all the Yankees need to make #27 a reality. 27 more outs for Jeter, Posada, Pettitte and Mo to win one for the thumb and for Arod, C.C. and co. to win their first.
Tonight, Burnett goes for the clincher against this seasons best postseason pitcher in Cliff Lee. Burnett will be going on 3 days rest while Lee is going on his usual 4, but facing a 3-1 deficit and the burden of lengthening the season squarely on his shoulders.
It seems interesting that just a few short days ago, Girardi was getting run out of town for his "over managing" and for his curious decisions (including here). Now? Well, Girardi has done a masterful job this World Series. His bullpen managing, his lineup maneuvers (although letting CC to hit in the top of the 7th was a very curious decision), even his critically acclaimed pinch running moves have worked out. He has out managed Manuel and now has a chance to change his number to 28 next season.
Can a player who has only 2 hits through 4 games be considered an MVP candidate? Yes, when your first hit is a 2 run HR in Game 3 with the series tied at 1, down 3-0 when your team is looking listless at the plate and when your second hit is a 2 out top of the 9th run scoring double that breaks a 4-4 tie and gives your team a commanding 3 games to 1 lead. Arod has done the unthinkable. It used to be he was a collector of stats and only failed when it counted. This Series he has only done something when it counts MOST. Amazing turnaround from Arod.

Damon would also be in consideration with his clutch hitting and great baserunning, except if he played even average in Left Field, C.C. would have given up only 1 run through 7 and not have to labor nearly as much. He misjudged and misplayed Victorino's bloop which led to the first Philly run and should have caught Feliz RBI single in the 4th or at least thrown out Howard at the plate. I love Damon's stick especially in bug games, but they can only re-sign him as a DH next season. With that being said his taking 3rd on that steal made Lidge throw the fastball that hot Tex inside instead of going to his slider, which was nasty last night. Ledge didn't want to bounce one and it allowed Tex to reach base and allowed Arod to drill one down the line.
Posada's catching abilities, both calling the game and throwing out runners has severely declined over the last two years (yesterday's game really proving this out) but he is as clutch as they come. Not sure where he will play next season, but looks like he might be a part time catcher- more time DH.
2nd game in a row CC didn't have his good stuff and 2nd game in a row he went 6+ and gave the Yankees a chance to win. It's why he's the Horse and the Ace and why the Yankees are in this position.
All MVP talk will be put to bed tonight if AJ throws anything similar to the way he pitched in Game 2 and the Yankees wrap it up in 5.
It's really nice having Mariano to close things out. Showed again yesterday. Lidge dominated Matsui and Jeter, 2 outs two strikes to Damon and he couldn't close the door. It's why the Sandman is arguably the most important player on the Yankees for the last 15 years.
Maybe you didn't notice but Jeter is hitting .412 for the Series. True greatness.
Pettitte pitched a really gutsy game in Game 3. Early on, we were seeing shades of Game 6 vs, Arizona in 2001 (Yanks led 3 games to 2 when Pettitte gave up 6 runs in two innings losing Game 6 and eventually the Series). Somehow Andy got it together and pitched 4 solid innings after that and delivered a huge hit to tie the game. Amazingly, the Yankees almost didn't sign this guy this past offseason. Needless to say, he earned everything they gave him.
I thought the home plate umpire was horrible last night, incredibly inconsistent with his strike zone and is also why CC struggled early and Blanton didn't. Seemed to me Blanton was getting the calls that CC wasn't.
That Ryan Howard is really scary huh? Scary as Arod circa 2006 postseason that is.

Marte has been huge for the Yanks this postseason and has finally made that trade from last seasons trade deadline pay off. Remember, Marte was supposed to be the bridge to Mariano but injuries and then ineffectiveness stopped that. He is now showing why he was once considered the toughest pitcher in the league against lefthanded batters.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

TPC's Game One Thoughts

Two words describe what happened to the Yankees in Game 1. Cliff Lee. Lee threw a brilliant and as dominant a performance as we have ever seen pitched in a World Series game. It was the first time EVER that a pitcher had a complete game with 10 Strikeouts, O walks and 0 Earned Runs in a World Series. Just dominant stuff that Lee threw at the Yankees last night. However, going into the Series we knew the only reliable starter the Phillies had was Lee, so nothing really has changed except the affirmation of what we all knew. The Phillies had to have that Game and Lee delivered.

CC pitched a very good game, albeit without his best stuff. he gave up 2 ER in 7 innings a usual formula for Victory behind the great Yankee offense. He made two mistakes to Utley which was all Lee needed. Sabathia should be good to go for Game 4, as it looks like he will be needed.
Lee will obviously not pitch game 4 as Manuel left him in the game in the 9th with a 6 run lead and Lee finished with 120+ pitches thrown. Manuel isn't a big favorite of pitchers on short rest, so he let Lee finish what he started.

Utley had a monster game, his real coming out party for his postseason career, which date hasn't been anything to write home about. Last night will end that. He blasted two shots off Sabathia, making both mistake pitches dearly paid for. Keep in mind those were the first two HR's given up by Sabathia to a lefty at the Stadium this year. Good stuff by Utley.

Girardi has a huge issue now in the 8th inning as Hughes has now proven he cant be trusted. We were told his "mechanical" problems were fixed after the Minnesota Series and we were told the same after the ALCS. We were lied to. He has huge issues as his control and stuff are not nearly what they were in the regular season. We have to hope he's not hiding some type of injury. Hughes is having a postseason meltdown along the lines of Byung-Hyun Kim and Armando Benitez. Girardi has to go elsewhere- either Joba or Robertson at this point as Hughes can not be trusted.

Derek Jeter continues to Amaze. On a night when Lee was as dominant as anyone we have seen, Jeter rolled out a 3-4 and continues to show why October Baseball was made for him. It's uncanny his ability to step up in the game games.

Arod and Tex went a combined 0-8 with 5 strikeouts. If the Yankees have any thoughts on #27, this obviously needs to change tonight.

Marte has been a pleasant surprise in the postseason. He will be needed with all those lefties in the Philly lineup. Girardi's confidence in him has to be growing with each performance.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

World Series 2009- TPC's Take

Elvis impersonators, Casinos and bachelor parties belong in Vegas. Surfers, freaks and Movie Stars belong in Hollywood, the World Series has come back to where it belongs, the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium in 'da Bronx, NY.
Yankee Stadium will host Game 1 tomorrow night featuring the AL's best, Bronx Bombers and the NL's best (for two years running) the Philadelphia Phillies in a very intriguing matchup with numerous subplots, which The People's Champ will breakdown right here-right now!

Who will be A Team for the Ages

The 2009 version of the Yankees have drawn comparisons to the Great 1998 Yankee squad, which many consider the greatest Yankee Team of all Time. This years version features what may be the greatest offensive infield ever to play the game at one time, with the AL's HR and RBI leader, Mark Texiera playing 1B, Robinson Cano and his .320+ average, 25HR's and 204 hits at 2B, Derek Jeter in one of his finest seasons hitting .334 and 214 Hits (Jeter and Cano became the first middle infield combo in MLB history to both amass 200+ hits in a season) and the Great Offensive force in Baseball, Alex Rodriguez at 3b (30HR and 100RBI in only 124 games after his preseason hip surgery). They have a borderline Hall of Fame Catcher in Posada, a productive OF in Swisher, Damon and Melky. Their starting pitching, although lacking in depth, features CC Sabathia, who will finish at worst, top 3 in this years CY Young Voting and was the ALCS MVP, AJ Burnett and the winning pitcher in postseason history, Andy Pettite. Despite his struggles to date in the postseason, Phil Hughes was as dominant a force as any out the bullpen this year and the Greatest of them All, Mariano Rivera is as dominant as ever (statistically speaking, Mo's best two seasons were his last which is incredible considering most closers lack of longevity).
The Yankees led the league with 103 wins. They led the league in HR's, Runs, On Base Percentage and were second on Batting Average. They were tied for third in the AL in ERA despite playing in the friendliest hitters park in the league and led the league in Strikeouts. They dispatched a good Twins team in 3, and beat an Angel team that has been a nemesis for them for years in 6. A win in this World Series would justify their offseason $400M shopping spree on Tex, Sabathia and Burnett (not to mention the already inflated payroll). It would also cement their place as one of the great Yankee squads of all time.

The Phillies? Well, all it will do for them is become the first NL team to win back to back World Series since the Big Red Machine in the mid 70's. While the Yankees were slugging their way through the AL, the Phillies were doing likewise to the NL, leading the circuit in HR's and Runs. A lineup featuring the games biggest slugger in Ryan Howard, all World 2B Chase Utley, former NL MVP and the only legitimate comparable to Jeter, in Jimmy Rollins at SS. They are clearly the most stacked team in the league and their postseason bludgeons of the Dodgers have not veered anyone off that opinion. While their pitching has been an issue (we'll get into that soon) and their bullpen is their biggest weak spot (despite the apparent re-emergence of Lidge being a dependable closer), the Phillies are as tough as Rocky Balboa (Philedelphia's best known athlete). They get hit, they get bruised but they keep coming back. A win here will cement their place in history and with a core in their primes, they could be the next great Baseball Dynasty.

Arod and Howard
Coming into this postseason, Arod was the most maligned star this side of Lindsey Lohan. We all knew about his failures to perform in the clutch. He was Mr. April thru September to Reggie and Derek's Mr. October (s). He was the guy managers would intentionally load the bases to face in big spots. He was the guy with all glitter and with no glory. But a funny thing happened on the way to 2009. He got divorced in a public mess. He was named as the only one of 104 MLB players that were supposedly anonymously tested for steroids (after of course proclaiming many times he never touched the stuff- most famously on 60 Minutes). He then went public in an interview supposedly in a tell all interview that many felt was staged and didnt tell all. He then missed the first month of the season and Spring Training with hip surgery. He then realized that maybe all this stuff has gotten the "I always need to be perfect" monkey off his back. It got him to relax. To enjoy the moment and to trust his teammates. He no longer cared that this was Jeter's town and he should be happy to be along for the ride. He started getting big hits. Big Home Runs. He played a flawless 3b all season. But all tjis would mean nothing if he couldn't carry it into October. Well, all Arod did in October was produce the most clutch and dominant offensive performance we have ever seen. He has 5 HR's so far, 3 of which tied games in the 7th, 8th and 11th innings of games. He has been walked 6 times in the last 3 games, including twice late in the game with 2 out and no one on, a situation so against the book but with Arod, it's the right move now- rewriting a new book. He looks possessed. You see his eyes and you know he's going to do damage. He has become Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Mark Messier and Tiger Woods all rolled up into one. It says here he will have a World Series for the ages- if Manuel decides to even pitch to him.

Howard had fared a little better than Arod through his run last year and has been as dominant as Arod this season, albeit without the huge clutch hit. Howard had a dominant NLCS with 2 HR and 8 RBI's in 5 games. He is already the games most feared HR hitter and a great World Series will fuse his place forever in baseball lore.
This years winner between the two titans will play along way as to who wears the ring.

When the Yankees let Buck Showalter go and brought in Joe Torre, the famous headline of "Clueless Joe" was printed on the front cover of the New York Daily News. Well, seems like the Daily News was about 14 years early. In what has been the running of theme of these playoffs, Girardi's managing- or rather mismanaging has finally cost them a game and has also gotten the Angels right back into this thing.

There was the micro managing of the bullpen in round one. The pulling of Pettite early in Game 3 and some other not-so-worthy moments that we glanced over because of Arod and Jeter's heroics, we didn't seem to care.
Game 2 in the ALCS saw Girardi pinch run for Nick Swisher in the 7TH Inning of a tie game, using Coke and Chamberlain for too short a period in a tie game that eventually could have burnt Girardi and then using another pinch runner in the 9th, to now having Guzman and Gardner protect Arod in the late stage of a tie game of an ALCS (which makes Arod's HR off Fuentes the other night that much more amazing. Plus, how does Fuentes throw a down the middle fastball there with those guys in the wait?).

Well, last night the Yankees Magic couldn't bail out Girardi's Knumbskullness (new word?).
I don't really have a problem with leaving Pettite in there for the 7th. He was pitching well and had not thrown too many pitches. You can't kill Girardi there. He brought in Joba and Marte when we was supposed to. Marte did the job, getting Figgins out with one pitch and a runner in scoring position to end the inning.
Here's where Girardi's micro managing, mismanaging, drunken stupor, whatever you want to call it started. It's a tie game. Late innings. Just coming off a 13 inning game two nights before. So of course, Joe removes Marte after ONE PITCH, to bring in ANOTHER LEFTY ( Coke) to pitch to ONE BATTER, and now, he is left without a single lefty in the pen in a tie game- late. Ummmm, why? What possible reason could there be to make that change?
Ok, so in the top of that inning Matsui leads off with a walk. He brings in Gardner to pinch run. No problem there. Stay out of the Double Play, score on a ball into the gap, first to third on a single, it's the right move. Posada is up, first pitch strike. 0-1. Pitcher throws over to first base a few times. And then Gardner tries to steal second on the IDEAL PITCHOUT count. So of course, Scocia, a real Manager, pitches out, nails Gardner easily and there goes the threat. Now keep in mind, John Sterling- probably the most clueless baseball announcer in history was saying this prior to the pitchout so how doesn't a Major League Manager know this? Inexcusable. Of course, Posada then goes deep and ties the game which potentially could have been a go ahead HR.
Now the inexplicable of inexplicabilities happens (another TPC addition to the Miriam Webster Dictionary). Bottom of the 11th, postseason star Dave Robertson (who also mind you led the majors in Strikouts per Nine Innings this season) was in the game cruising along, easily getting out the first two batters. Now remember, tie game, again, 11th inning. Yankees have only Gaudin and Aceves left in the pen. So, for no reason whatsoever, Girardi pulls Robertson (after a whopping 11 pitches) for Aceves, who has been very shaky in the postseason (he gave up the run in the 11th the other night when Arod bailed him out). First batter singles, next batter doubles, game over. Angels go crazy on the field, get a major pump of life back into their chests in their homefield and now it's a series again.
I have seen many bad managerial moves and second guesses. Torre had tons of questionable moves. But they were "questionable". These moves had no rhyme, reason or defense. Coaches can win Football games and basketball games. They can only lose Baseball games and Girardi just cost the Yankees big yesterday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

NFL 1st Quarter Report

Here we are prior to Week 6, and The People's Champ- FINALLY- has something to say on the NFL. With respect to the millions of TPC's fans, without further pomp and circumstance, here we go......
Is there anything more surprising this year than Steve Smith- no, that Steve Smith- leading the NFL in receiving yards through Week5? Look at the other names on the list, in order- Wayne, Clark, Ward, Andre Johnson, Vince Jackson, and Randy Moss. How the heck is The Other Steve Smith doing it............
Eli Manning. He has slowly (and as TPC has been saying this for years) developed into a Top 5 NFL Quarterback- at worst, to this point. Going into this season, every single major NFL expert and Fantasy Football Guru, were saying how Manning would suffer greatly without Plaxico, and the Giants would only be able to win if Jacobs and Bradshaw went nuts. You know what, Eli is doing exactly what the Great Ones do. He is making players around him better. Smith, Manningham, Dixon, et al. The Giants have had a dominating passing attack and that falls squarely on the shoulders of Eli. His 2nd ranking NFL QB rating (Peyton is first) 0f 111.7 with 10 TD's and only 2 INT's is not a fluke. And he isn't doing it with Reggie Wayne or Randy Moss.
The second biggest surprise so far has been the job Josh McDaniels has done in Denver. It was only a short while ago that Denver fans (and all NFL fans for that matter) were calling for McDaniels head for dealing Cutler- a 25 year old franchise type QB- for a sub worthy Kyle Orton and a first round pick. For crying out loud, the Giants gave up a ton more than that for Eli- prior to him ever throwing an NFL pass. Well, Orton has proven to be a very good NFL QB in the right situation, McDaniels has built a surprisingly very solid defense in Denver (fewest points allowed and second to the Giants in yards allowed) and even Brandon Marshall is happy in the Mile High City. Looks like Denver made a great deal. Chicago is happy too. Cutler has performed admirably and the Bears are off to a very good 3-1 start. Looks like a deal which benefits both squads.
I love what Rex Ryan has done in NY. For anyone living in NY, living and breathing the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS, Ryan has given the J-E-T-S a personality and an edge that they haven't seen since Parcells was the coach. I love his brashness. I love his attacking defensive style and I love that he isn't afraid to let his Franchise Rookie QB make plays. On that note, Sanchez has proven to be the QB the J-E-T-S and their fans hoped he would be and the NY football scene has a very good QB situation, seemingly for a long time to come (although it wasn't that long ago that a young Chad Pennington was talk of the town and being compared to Montana and Brady, so let's just relax a little on Sanchez for now. These are the J-E-T-S, remember).
For all the annoyance that has become of Brett Farve, he has given the Vikings a legitimate shot at a Super Bowl title. His miracle play against the 'Niners was one for the ages, a play only Farve can make (interesting side note. While watching the game with my 7 year old son, prior to the last drive I told my son the game was over. he said "Daddy, but the Vikings have Brett Farve" and I explained he is no longer THAT Brett Farve. Well, a few plays later, I told my son "you know what, your right. he is Brett Farve"). While Farve might cost them at times, he can single handedly win games like that and gives the team a huge confidence factor in that huddle. Don't forget, the Jets were 8-3 last year and had people talking Super Bowl after the win against Tennessee, prior to his injury. He has the leagues best running back, a good defense and a game changer in Percy Harvin. I think they are the second best team in the NFC behind the Giants.
As long as Peyton Manning is playing at these levels, the Colts are always a force. Yes, their defense has holes. Yes, the running game is so-so. But Peyton is the great equalizer. Watching him play is truly a privilege. The guy gets better every year and to this point, the only better QB's I have ever seen play are Montana and Brady and even that is very arguable at this point.<
I don't remember a season where such a vast amount of horrible teams existed at one point. The Oakland Raiders might be the worst sports team I have ever seen and JaMarcus Russel is clearly the worst NFL QB I have ever seen. Their coach is facing possible criminal charges- for attacking his assistant coach!- and their prized Franchise RB (McFadden) cant stay on the field.
The Rams (although now with Bulger back they should go from Putrid to just very bad), the Chiefs, the Lions (both these teams at least seem to be heading in the right direction with young talent), the Bucs, Redskins, Browns (only win against the Bills), and the Bills (lost to a team that's starting QB went 2 for 17). It's really the first time I remember such horrid teams in the National Football League, where any given Sunday and Team can win. Well, not anymore. These teams cant beat good teams. They cant even beat average teams.
I like what the Saints and Bengals have done with their defense this year, but markedly improved from prior seasons, but I'm not 100% sold on either. I like Brees a lot, but I'm not putting him anywhere near Brady-Manning status because he has gaudy numbers in a great system. Let's see some long term success before you compare him to two of the Greatest Ever.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Goodbye Captain Lou

Captain Lou Albano, one of The People's Champs all time favorite wrestling personalities died today at the age of 76. Albano managed some of the most famous Tag Teams of All Time including, Teh Wild Samoans, The Moon Dogs and Mr. Fuji and Mr. Saito. He also managed such revered personalities as Don Muraco, George "The Animal" Steele and "The Superfly" Jimmy Snuka.
Captain Lou will be missed.

The People's Champ would like to also say, he is back and will posting NFL and MLB news very soon. Stay tuned.......

Friday, June 26, 2009

The King is Dead- A Sad Day in America

America, a country built on fundamentals such as "all men are created equal" (albeit not woman or the black man who were only given 3/5 status of an "equal man" when these words were created; nonetheless...), a country and home where one could practice their choice of faith and religion in freedom and peace (ask the Iranians how they feel about not having this policy) a place where people from all different cultures and ideals can come together and still stay apart, an example of Advanced Society for all others to follow, took a major turn for the worse yesterday.
Michael Jackson, the self proclaimed (and probably accurate claim) "King of Pop" died yesterday at the age of 51. Jackson first appeared to us as the Uber Talented 5 year old and leader of the Jackson 5, a family that produced a bevy of talented artists- albeit an extremely dysfunctional one at that. He then went on to his solo career, a career rivaled in fame and popularity only by the King himself, Elvis Presley. Jackson revolutionized the music industry with his music video- 'Thriller". Thriller was probably the single biggest reason MTV became what it did and Jackson and his super talent, from songwriting, singing and dancing (not to mention his theatrics- although that would soon be his downfall) was the man most responsible for that.
Unfortunately, like many children whose parents made the choice of sacrificing those precious early years of development for fame and fortune, Jackson was never able to become a card carrying member of society. Even worse, his fame and popularity only increased as opposed to most child stars that usually just fade into the sunset (or darkness of drug and alcohol abuse). His development curtailed to such a point that he was forever stuck in that children's mind with sexual tendencies (allegedly......) toward the same.
Jackson built his estate, Neverland, as an amusement park geared towards 10 year old boys. You don't think this is a little weird? A far cry from Graceland. There were allegations against the King of Pop of sexual misconduct and payoffs to multiple families of multi millions of dollars to quiet those rumors. Still all were put on the back burner to the mans immense talents.
So what does this all have to do with the despicable state of the current American lifestyle? Instead of being relatively relieved that a true evil doer has now left our World making it a far better and safer place (as it would be whenever any rapist, murderer or pedophile leaves this world), American media took the time and opportunity to create a celebration of Jackson's life. Check all the major media outlets today and see what it says about Jackson. Look at the majority of Facebook and Twitters status and tweets today and you'll find lines like "RIP-The King is Dead" and "I'm in tears, Michael is dead" etc, etc. The basic message being said is a man of enormous talent is dead- oh, and he had an eccentric lifestyle that might have had some allegations against him. You don't pay millions and millions of dollars to multiple familoies unless there is some serious fire behind all teh smoke. This is a man who no sane person would leave alone with their children for more than 6 seconds and the Media brushes it off because he was a Pop Culture Icon and incredible performer?
People, we need to wake up and stop idolizing shallowness and perversion and start admiring people for acts of human greatness. I was at CitiField yesterday and took my son (7 years old) to his first game. When we walked in to the Stadium we saw the huge #42 in the lobby and was proud to answer when my son asked "who was #42". When we talk about the greatness of Jackie Robinson we talk about the sacrifice he made for all mankind, someone who experienced tremendous persecution, torment and torture all because he was a Black Man playing a White Mans sport. We talk about the fact that through all this he never lost his temper, never lost his cool and never acted out because he knew if he did, his mission for all Black and White America alike would be dashed. He was a true American Hero. And ONLY THEN do we talk about the overwhelming athletic talent of Robinson, how despite all this he was a the first NL Rookie of the year, a consecutive 6 time all star, World Series and NL MVP, not to mention the first player in NCAA history to letter in 4 sports in college (Football, Basketball, Track and Baseball-his worst sport while at UCLA).
You see this difference folks. It's first about who you are, then it's about your talent and if your exceptional enough like a Jackie Robinson, your talent can make the world a better place. But when you have to brush away faults that those less rich and talented would be spending lifetimes in prison, because someone was an exceptional talent- why there America, is the problem.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tiger Schulmann MMA Rules at Bellator

Friday Night's Bellator Fight Card, that concluded by the crowning of their first Welterweight Champion, will go down as the night Tiger Schulmann MMA officially became a big name in the MMA community, and no longer just another Karate School.

TSMMA, was founded by Shihan ("Master") Danny "Tiger" Schulmann in the mid 80's with a small school in Quakerstown Pennsylvania, called United American Karate. Tiger Schulmann being an innovator was not comfortable with the traditional Karate fighting defenses for the American streets and took his Karate Style (Kyokoshin Karate) and combined it with Boxing type skills to combat the typical American fighter. Over the years he incorporated more Kickboxing and Grappling and eventually became the single largest Martial Arts System in the US; known as Tiger Schulmann Mixed Martial Arts.

The TSMMA system has always produced quality fighters, most notably (until at least now) in Muay Thai and Kickboxing, featuring Champions such as Uriah Hall, Shannon Maceo, Munah Holland, Will Hamilton and Jimmy Rivera, amongst many others. They have dominated the East Coast circuit in organizations such as Lou Neglia's Ring of Combat, Combat at the Capital and the recent Asylum Fight League. Friday night at the Mohegan Sun changed all that.

June 12, 2009 4 TSMMA fighters took to the cage for the Bellator Fighting Championships. All 4 fighters would win in convincing style in front of a packed house and a nationally televised audience for ESPN Deportes.
Jimmy "El Terror" Rivera would lead things off for Team TS. Rivera came in with a 3-1 Pro MMA record, a 7-0 amateur MMA record and a 4-0 Amateur Kickboxing record. He has held the New Breed and WKA East Coast Muay Thai Belts. "El Terror" in his second Bellator fight would dominate from end to end winning a unanimous decision over Nick Garcia.

Uriah "Prime Time" Hall, known in the Martial Arts community for his devastating striking game as witnessed during last seasons WCL ( a Pro Kickboxing association created by Chuck Norris- yes, THAT Chuck Norris), and his flashy kicks, not to mention the official MMA instructor of The People's Champ. Hall making his first appearance in a cage put in another dominating performance for Team TS, as he put on a striking clinic vs. the veteran Edwin Aguilar. Very rarely do you see someone in his first major event dominate a veteran like Hall did during his 3 round match, which ended with the referee stopping the fight in the last 30 seconds of round 3 as Aguilar could not defend the barrage of uppercuts and round kicks that Hall was putting on him. Hall displayed tremendous agility and speed as he hit Aguilar with an unorthodox variety of attacks which included Superman punches, knees, flying spinning hook kicks and spinning back kicks. Hall proved you can bring these skills inside the cage as Aguilar's defense was of no avail. Hall also displayed tremendous strength (as did all the TSMMA fighters) throwing Aguilar around physically; including tossing Aguilar off, while being mounted!

Nick Pace would then become a YouTube legend with one of the most devastating and ferocious KO's you will ever see. About a minute into round 1, Pace would hit Collin Tebo with a flying knee kick while following up with a devastating right while Tebo was bouncing off the ground. The ref stepped in and that was it. Pace is now the unofficial King of YouTube and MMA message boards everywhere. While his nickname is "Pretty Boy" his fight game is vicious.

The Main Event of the evening was the event the would change all for Team TS, an event that pitted TSMMA best fighter, Lyman Good- a perfect 9-0 MMA Pro record against, Omar De La Cruz, a fighter who knocked out former UFC Welterweight Champ (yes, the same division that now has George St. Pierre as it's Title holder) Dave Menne to get into the Bellator Welterweight Championship Finale.
Good, who might be the most physically imposing Welterweight fighter in the world, came to the ring with one focus. Dominate his opponent and win the belt. The winner would receive a $100,000 check, an immense purse for a non UFC bout (by comparison, Uriah Faber and Mike Brown each made less than that in their WEC Title bout last week). Good, who takes care of his two sisters and his mother, a fighter out of Spanish Harlem, would use the money to change their lives; a better life than what they had till then.
He would not disappoint; not his family, not his fans and not Team TS, who would now be known as a top fight training system, not only to their students, but to the entire MMA community.
Good powered Cruz right down, was held in the guard, just picked up Cruz and pegged him against the cage. This put Cruz in a very uncomfortable position and before long Good, was hailing lefts and rights that Cruz could no longer defend. The ref stopped the bout and Good was crowned the first Bellator Welterweight World Champion.
Team TS all showed a tremendous advantage in their conditioning, power and speed. While this wasn't the first Professional success for Team TS, it was surely it's greatest and will now be put on the map along with the Lions Den, Team Couture, etc. in the MMA fight training scene.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Manny Being Manny

Major League Baseball today, suspended it's biggest star to date under it's new drug policy, as Manny Ramirez- possibly the most dangerous right handed hitter in the history of baseball was suspended for 50 games due to testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
A few interesting points in this matter:
  1. Manny allegedly tested positive for a Sexual Enhancing PED, which only goes to grow the 'Manny being Manny" legend. Seriously, if there was a draft to pick one star who would test positive for PED's but it not being steroids but a Super Edition Version of Viagra, wouldn't Manny be the consensus #1 overall pick?(keep in mind, some authorities say the Sexual enhancer actual aids in keeping testosterone at high levels after a steroid cycle. Personally, the Manny being Manny story is much funnier).
  2. You think maybe Joe Torre is such a players coach because he turns a blind eye to certain player "activities" and just manages egos? Now, I love Torre as a Manager, but look at his track record. Yes, Giambi, Sheffield, Arod, etc were all users prior to joining the Yanks, but maybe, just maybe Torre looked the other way when the acquisitions were being contemplated?
  3. We will now see why Manny is the Most Valuable asset in any lineup. When he left Boston, Big Papi was transformed from the Most Feared left handed hitter in baseball to the hitter Steinbrenner passed on after he left the Twins, and he turned a Dodger lineup that was average at best to the #1 hitting lineup in the NL this year. Say what you want about Manny, but the guy hits like no one else

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tiger Schulmann's Lyman Good wins First Round matchup at Bellator Week 2

Wilson Reis and Lyman Good enter tourneys at Bellator Week 2

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TSMMA, Sensei Lyman Good, won his Bellator debut with a convincing 2nd round submission of Hector Urbina.
With the win, Good now enters the semi finals in the 170 pound welterweight tourney.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ball Hype's NBA MVP- Bloggers Choice

Ball Hype has recently put together a collaborative piece by some known (and not so known) Bloggers, including The People's Champ. Click here to read the whole article, an interesting read by all accounts.
Here is TPC's part in the article:

MVP is always a subjective award although it shouldn't be. It's about the player who is most valuable to his squad. A team with 31 wins doesn't have an MVP because chances are they would suck almost as much without him. Here is my criteria:
1- He must play for a winning team.
2- He must make his teammates better—that can be by a number of factors, whether he gets them better looks due to his passing, gets them more fast break and transition hoops because of his defense and/or rebounding, or teams need to gear up to stop him that they need to double and triple him which causes more foul trouble, easier looks, etc etc.
3- He can not have a severe deficiency in his game. It's why Dwight Howard and his putrid FT% keeps him off this list.

MVP: Lebron James-Cleveland Cavaliers
The stats tell one story. Leads his team in points, assists, rebounds, blocks and steals. His squad tells an even more telling story. They have the best record in the East and besides Mo Williams who was a nice player in Milwaukee before turning All Star this year with Lebron, the Cavs would be fighting for lottery position without The King.

Runner Up: Dwyane Wade-Miami Heat
Leads the league in scoring. Leads his team in assists and steals. Who does he play with? Jermaine "washed up" O'Neal? Udonis Haslem? Meanwhile Wade has these guys fighting for the 5th position in the East. With Wade missing 31 games last season and injured for muchof the 51 he player, they finished with 16 wins.

Second Runner Up: Chris Paul-New Orleans Hornets
He scores (22+PPG), he leads the league in assists at close to 11 a game and is also the games best defender at the point guard position, averaging almost 3 swipes a game. He shoots over 50% from the field and is leading his team to another 50+ winning season despite his second best player (David West) missing a lot of time due to injury and his Center being non existent this year (Tyson Chandler). CP3 is the man.

*Unsung MVP-Brandon Roy-Portland Trail Blazers
When talking about the best guards in the game, invariably the first names that get brought up are Wade, Paul, Kobe and Nash. Rarely do you hear Roy’s name being brought up with them although you can make a very good case he's right up there with them all. He is the leader of a 44-27 team. He leads them in scoring, assists and steals and is as cool as cat as there is. He shoots 83% from the line and is a great clutch performer. He shoots 90% from the line in clutch situations and turns it over only 2.6 times per 48 clutch minutes (Kobe is at 3.0, LeBron is at 5.1 and Wade is at 4.2). He is the guy you want with the ball in his hands with the game on the line.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bench Clearing Brawl at HS Hockey Game- TPC Advises on the Issue

MoChassid recently wrote an article on a local High School Semi Final Hockey game between HAFTR and Maagen David, where with 90 seconds left, trailing 2-0, one of the players on Maagen David made an aggressive hit on one of the HAFTR players and a bench clearing brawl, including SOME PARENTS, took place.
Keep in mind, this is a no hitting league and a player that is involved in a fight in any shape or form is automatically suspended for at least the next game.

Here's the problem. The next game in this case is the Championship Game. It is also the last game of many of the players, the High School Seniors. The question is what does the league do and more importantly what do the respective schools do.

In my response to MoC, I wrote:
The problem here is HAFTR was not the instigator, so no matter how wrong it was to retaliate, they are basically being penalized for being the victim of a team taking a cheap shot when the game was decided.
The bigger issue here is the fact that parents were involved. I don't know about the situation, but if your facts are correct, the bigger chinuch issue is what do we do with the parents. It's one thing for kids to get out of control in an emotional, physical game such as hockey (being a former HS player nothing is more important in a kids life than winning that Championship and emotions do take over-rightfully or wrongfully).
What is the parents excuse and what price do they pay? What lessons are they teaching their kids?
There is more to the question and comment.

First off, assuming the league takes a hard line and suspends the players involved and basically giving the Championship to DRS (they won their other Semi Final Game). DRS gets screwed by not being given the chance to win it on the "ice". HAFTR gets screwed because they were just retaliating (albeit wrongfully) to a cheap shot to one of their players (no matter how wrong it is, there is still some good here in the standing up for your teammate). Maagen David gets off scott free because being on the losing end they have no game to be suspended for. This leads to my main point and because I was personally involved in a similar situation 20 somewhat years ago, I know exactly the psyche of Maagen David (no lose situation, frustration, etc). In my opinion, First thinsg first. I would let HAFTR play DRS at full strength. I would then have the school meet out a punishment for each of the players involved. The punishment would coincide with the more important problem here, the parents who actually got involved. We'll get back to the punishment in a minute.

Watching my son and nephew in various Little League and other competitive sporting events, I noticed a major trend that needs to be dealt with in a major way. This is nothing new to most who watch the news, but I can tell you the source. I see parents getting way to involved in the kids events, to the point where parents on opposing squads are viciously arguing with each other (sometimes these guys are good friends, neighbors and sit next to each other in shul on Shabbos). You get a lot of language from the parents that would in no way, shape or form be tolerated from their kids. These parents, most of whom I know from High School and College were generally NOT the guys that were "players" but rather mediocre athletes at best and are now living their "fantasies" through their kids. The guys I competed against (and sometimes still do) generally want their kids to learn the game, play to the best of their abilities and just enjoy the sport. They don't need to have their kids being pressured to win at all costs for them. I see this as a huge problem amongst the kids being put in pressure situations where they might be just 6-8 years old and the main objective is for them to learn a sport and it's virtues rather than complete some dream a father wasn't able to achieve on his own. This usually leads to the kid hating the sport, the father, etc. This also leads to what happened between HAFTR and Maagen David.

The parents involved in this brawl must pay a lot more than the kids, who are basically, as I wrote earlier, acting out on emotion in possibly their last ever High School game in a very emotional and physical game. While I agree it is wrong, it is to an extent understandable. The parents have no excuses.

Back to the punishment. I would suspend the players involved for the first 3 games of next season for HAFTR and 5 for Maagen David for being the instigator.
For the remainder of the school year, ALL the Seniors, their parents and the parents and kids of all the remainder involved (i.e. if a sophomore was involved in the brawl, he and his parents or if some parent was involved and his kid wasn't or wasn't even on the team, he and his kid) would enter into an after school counseling/ learning program twice a week for the remainder of the school year. There would be no excuse of "I have to work and I can't make it" or "I have no one to watch the kids" etc. If this is the case the school would provide the babysitter. The program could start at an hour late enough to give the parents ample time to get home, or even do it on a Sunday night. This way all three will make a major sacrifice and need to be held accountable for their actions.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Greatest Defensive Players- By Position in Baseball History

TPC is currently competing in Sports2Debate's first ever Blog Madness Tournament, and has been matched up against My Sports Rumors in the opening round of the North Region.

Here is the first question. TPC urges his fans to vote early and often!

-Name your All-Defense Team, using every player in the history of MLB.

-One player at every position listed below.

-Back up your statements with facts. Refute your opponents points.

-C: 1B: 2B: SS: 3B: OF(3): P(3):

The Peoples Champ has been known to be offensive at time (or if I was Canadian Oh-fensive), so we now we go the way of defense, and as TPC will tell you- Defense Wins Championships- and therefore, the Greatest Defensive Team in History will have it's share of rings.

First and foremost, if you want a great defensive team, you need to limit the amount of hard hit balls at you, so on the mound we will have the Greatest Pitcher of the Modern Era- the one with the lowest career WHIP (1.0512), which is Pedro Martinez. When he was in his prime his WHIP was always an unearthly Sub 1.00, which means he doesn't get hit. It's a lot easier to play D when the ball isn't getting hit hard at you. I'm a Yankee fan, and nothing makes me hurt more than putting a Red Sox on this list, but Pedro was the best I ever saw.

In dealing with the rest of the squad, we will take into account a few things:
The players range (as defined by his range versus his peers, gold gloves (although subjective), using The People's Eye- you don't need to have statistical proof that Ozzie Smith was a genius, and general stuff I like to throw in). We also take into account the player must have played 1000 games minimum to define a decent work.

Anyone who has watched baseball knows Keith Hernandez with his two World Series rings and record 12 Gold Glove Awards at 1b is the best player at that position. When you take into account putouts per game (a very telling stat for 1b) Hernandez is one of the tops in the modern era and factoring in range and fielding percentage he has no peers.

At 2b we have Bill Mazeroski and Ryne Sandberg. Statistically, no one else is in the game. Mazeroski had a range factor of 123 to Sandberg's 122. Joe Morgan, Frank White and Roberto Alomar, all of whom are generally considered as some of the best defensive 2b in history have range factor between 105-110. (Range Factor - the number of (Putouts + Assists) per game (or 9 innings played). Sandberg gets the nod because he has the highest fielding percentage in history at the position at .989 (Mazeroski is at .983). He gets to the most balls and he catches the most by percentage? Uh-huh, that's the guy I want. Sandberg also has 9 Gold Gloves to Mazeroski's 8.

At SS I will not insult any one's intelligence with statistical proof that Ozzie Smith is the greatest of all time at his position. Anyone who has ever seen him play knows this 100%. Bill James once told Peter Gammons Ozzie saved his team over 100 runs per season. That's the difference between a 3.50 and a 4.30 ERA for a pitcher. WOW.

I love Greg Nettles. I loved how he single handedly saved the 1978 World Series with his glove. I also loved the way Buddy Bell and Mike Schmidt played the position. All great 3b. However, Brooks Robinson, who not coincidentally has the All time Fielding percentage mark at 3b (.971 compared to Bells .964, Nettles .961 and Schmidt's .965) with good range, great arm, etc etc. Brooks is your man. Brooks also owns 13 Gold Gloves, the most by any 3b.

To round up the infield, our Catcher is the hardest position to "prove" who was the best defensively. Some think it was Pudge- no one threw out runners at a higher clip, some say it was Bench who had good throwing percentages and better passed ball and wild pitch numbers than Pudge, and some say it was a guy like Brad Ausmus, who statistically is as good all around as anyone who ever played the game. However, Catcher is also a position of Generalship (did i just make that word up) and I'll go with Yogi Berra who was one of the all time greats in preventing wild pitches and passed balls, and he also has 14 pennant winning flags to prove it.

In Center Field, as much as I would like to put Joe D or The Mick or even Willie Mays on this list, Richie Ashburn was the statistically best CF'er of them. First off, the most important stat for a CF'er is the range factor, in other words, how many extra balls do they get to than the average guy at that position. Ashburn has the top Range Factor in Major League history of any outfielder at 147. To put that in perspective, Gary Maddox was 2nd on the list at 140 and Mays was at 136, while Ashburn had a better Fielding Percentage than Mays and was even with Maddox at .983. No one else is even in the statistical discussion. Ashburn also had the best "arm" amongst the group throwing out an average of 16% more players than the average OF'er while Mays was at 5%. Kirby Puckett had an astonishing 48% better mark, but he got to 20% less balls with a worse fielding percentage, so he isn't in the discussion.

The corner OF'ers we have to adjust the stats for, being range is important but an arm is more important because of the amount of run prevention a good arm accounts for. It's why I would take Jesse Barfield and Roberto Clemente (moving Robbie over to left) as my two corner Of'ers. First Barfield. He had the best arm in Major League Baseball history, throwing out more than twice the amount of runners than the average ML Of'er (his number is actually 202). He had a good fielding percentage and decent range to boot. Clemente had slightly better range and the second best arm of all time, throwing out 78% more runners than average. To put these numbers in perspective, Bonds, some considered an all time great fielding Left Fielder prior to his "alleged" steroid issue, had slightly better range and Fielding Percentage numbers, but through 2005 (his numbers since have decreased dramatically) he threw out 35% more runners on average. Basically, Barfield and Clemente prevented a ton of singles turning into doubles, guys going first to third or scoring from 2B on a single, and they have done it while playing RF, the most taxing in terms of throwing runners out..

Well, there you have the greatest fielding team in history according to The People's Champ.

(statistics were mostly taken from http://baseball-stats-online.com- a truly great site).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tapout founder "Mask" killed in early morning auto accident (Updated)

Tapout founder "Mask" killed in early morning auto accident (Updated)

In shocking news, Tapout's leader and Co-Founder, "Mask"- Charles Lewis Jr. was killed this morning in a vehicular manslaughter in Newport Beach California.
Tapout is the #1 clothing line amongst MMA hardcore fighters and fans alike and the creator of the popular reality show on Versus.

Click on the above link for the whole story.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

TPC Sport Thoughts- Cassel, Cutler, Wade and more

Over the weekend we saw the Chiefs trade a 2nd round draft pick and a guaranteed $14M for Matt Cassel. As my millions and millions of loyal readers know, TPC is not a big fan of Cassel and thinks it was very apropo for the poor K.C. Chiefs to trade for the overpriced system QB. When you let Herm Edwards ruin your franchise and all time great Fantasy Football systems, why stop there?
Cassel is a very good QB in terms of mobility, but as I pointed out many times Cassel came into the perfect situation. He had a very good offensive line. Two Pro Bowl Wide Receivers (Moss and Welker) and basically the same team that broke almost every passing record in NFL history the year before. With all that he had modest success, 21 TD's and 11 INT's with a QB rating of 89.4 and a 7.2 Yards Per Attempt. Keep in mind this was also against one of the worst NFL schedules in recent years. Compare that to Tom Brady's 2007 stats and you wonder what all the fuss is about with Cassel (50TD's 8Int's a 117 passing rating a YPA of 8.3).

Now, while all this was going on, seemingly the Denver Broncos were willing to throw Jay Cutler into the mix in order to have a shot at Cassel. Why would a team with a 26 year old up and coming Pro Bowl QB stud in Cutler go after a guy like Cassel is really mind boggling. Now granted, I have said many times prior that Cutler hasn't been as good as his statistics would lead you to believe and the fact is, he makes big mistakes at bad times. However, he is also only 26 and is the most physically gifted QB in the NFL bar none. When he's on his game, no one can do what he can do, with his arm strength and mobility. Yes, he has a big mouth and yes he's prone to the big mistake, but he's freakin only 26- a puppy in NFL QB years. You can make a very good case that if the NFL put all their players in a big pool and started a draft tomorrow, Cutler would be a top 10 pick at worst and possibly top 3, while Cassel wouldn't go in the top 50. So why does Josh McDaniels and new Denver Management do this? Who knows. Maybe they are just showing their inexperience. Maybe there's more to Cutler being a pain in the toochas than we all know.

The Bucs signed former Giant Derrick Ward for a 4 year $17M deal which will not make the Buc fans happy. Yes, he's a decent back but Ward made a living facing a defensive front that just got it's teeth smashed in by Brandon "The Real Deal" Jacobs. You can put any decent back in behind Jacobs and that offensive line and he will be successful. Ward was a product of that system.

Between the Cassel-Cutler fiasco and the Ward deal, you wonder what you need to do to become a GM in the National Football League.

At least the Jets got it right by signing the right LB from Baltimore and not paying for the overpriced and overaged Ray Lewis. Bart Scott was the right man for the Jets and will help shore up that defense.

Dwayne Wade had an incredible week, scoring 24 points in the 4th Quarter to lead a 16 point comeback againts the Knicks and then fell just short in his Mano a Mano game vs. Lebron last night scoring 41 points, 7 rebounds 9 assists and 7 steals. WOW. You can take Kobe all day, for my money D-Wade is the second dog to King James.

We're about a month away from opening day and the most dangerous hitter we have ever seen (Manny Ramirez) is still waiting for a call. This after he posted a monster second half- averaging about an RBI a game and hitting .400 leading the Dodgers to the postseason. Amazing times we live in.