Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Jay Cutler Day!

One year ago today, the impossible became a reality. The Bears landed a franchise QB. Regardless of what anyone says I still believe that he is. His numbers are similar to many great QB's in their fourth year, like Peyton Manning. I think you'll see him look great this year, sort of like he did in the last two games last year. In commemoration of this great day I'd like to reminisce for a little bit on where I was when the trade happened:

I had just come back from I cannot remember where. I had been constantly refreshing webpages to see if there was any news. After all, there were rumors out there that we were a suitor. So, I walked up to my computer after coming back from where ever I was and as I hit refresh on's "Hot of the Wire" page and I see breaking news: Bears Trade for Jay Cutler. I pull out my phone to text everyone I know. Immediately as I pull out my phone Steve, our fellow ACSS poster, texted me something along the line of "Bears trade for Jay Cutler." Then my brother, then my cousin (who isn't even all that into football). Then I knew I had to run to call my now fiancé, Annette (who I post as on here sometimes... oops). As I ran I had to go to the bathroom real bad. Keep in mind I'm in my law school's library. So, I'm running, and I'm farting out loud with each step I take. Of course I ignore it. I call Annette, and she already knows... dang. I spent the rest of the day getting texts from people I forgot to text and celebrating with Steve the day we traded for Jay Cutler! 4/2/2009 Will Always have a place in my heart!

Dayton wins the last NIT Ever?'s Kurt Snibe provided the picture of the Dayton and UNC NIT commerative jerseys. I think it's a little bit of an exageration. I mean, would you rather be a 14 seed and loose after one weekend or play 5 games, includeding two in MSG? The later doesn't sound so bad.

The question at hand now is, will Dayton be the last NIT champion ever. It appears expansion to 96 teams is going to happen, so what's going to happen to the NIT? The quality of teams will be going down, as well as the possibility that not enough teams will qualify (.500 record or better). I think if they do expand, the NCAA, which owns the NIT, will just get rid of the post season tournament all together. Meaning, that yes Dayton will be the last NIT champ ever. For the schools who don't qualify for the NCAA tournament, don't worry there's always the CBI championship.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My MLB Predictions

Okay, lets start off with the AL:

1. Yankees
2. Rays (Wild Card)
3. Red Sox
4. Orioles
5. Blue Jays

The Yankees have a stacked rotation and lineup. They have a lights out closer in Mariano Rivera. They are the World Series Champs. I expect them to win this division.

The Rays have a very exciting lineup, especially if BJ Upton bounces back. Evan Longoria is entering his third year and I expect him to be in the running for MVP. They have a strong pitching staff with a strong bullpen. They finally landed the closer they've wanted. I expect them to take the Wildcard.

The Red Sox have a arguably the best pitching staff in the MLB. They have an awesome closer. However, they totally adjusted their lineup in a way that I am not all that impressed with. Further, they don't have that strong of a bullpen to allow their pitching staff to a spot in the playoffs in this strong of a division.

The Orioles have some nice young hitters. Although their pitching is incredibly weak, I expect them to finish fourth b/c of how much the Blue Jays dismantled their team.

The Blue Jays totally dismantled their team. They lost two of their key players in Rios and Halliday. I expect them to finish last.

1. White Sox
2. Twins
3. Tigers
4. Indians
5. Royals

The White Sox have arguably the best pitching staff in baseball. They have arguably the best bullpen in baseball. They have a fast lineup with some serious pop in there. They can play solid defense. This team has transformed itself to a slow boring team to a fast team. I am excited about their offense and I actually see the Sox finishing with the best record in the AL this year.

The Twins might have won the wildcard with Joe Nathan. Without him, they'll be lucky to get 85 wins this year. They are no longer in the roller dome so their pitchers and hitters are going to be much more vulnerable.

The Tigers went with a youth movement ditching some of their talent, including Edwin Jackson (he was young and had a good year, I'm lost?). I see this team finishing .500 because of their strong pitching staff.

The Indians... suck. I'm just banking on them being better than the Royals.

The Royals may actually finish third, but they are the Royals. For that reason alone, I have them finishing last.

1. Mariners
2. Rangers
3. Angels
4. A's

The Mariners were close last year and they added some serious talent this year. They improved their pitching talent with Cliff Lee. They improved their anemic offense with a dynamic lead off hitter in Chone Figgins and even Milton Bradley (although he sucked with the Cubs he'll likely revert back to his career averages). The only worry I have with this team is David Aardsma closing. I think he'll suck again. However, with those changes and the decline the Angels are sure to see is enough for the Mariners to take the division.

The Rangers have some nice hitting along with some decent pitching in both the bullpen and the starting lineup. They could easily win this division, however, I just don't think they are as talented as the Mariners. I think you'll see their pitching break down (as usual). I could see them finishing 3rd in this division.

The Angels lost some key players in John Lackey and John Washburn (although I think they lost him a few years back). They also lost Chone Figgins as their leadoff hitter and Vlad as a hitter. I do not see them maintaining their reign on top of the AL West.

Now on to the NL

1. Phillies
2. Mets (Wildcard)
3. Braves
4. Marlins
5. Nationals

The Phillies have a strong rotation a strong bullpen and a strong lineup. They have been to the World Series both last year and the year previous. They are 1-1 in the World Series. I don't see them suddenly declining.

The Mets, if they can stay healthy, are a solid team and may sneak into the playoffs this year. A strong lineup and solid pitching rotation can carry them.

The Braves have a bright future, I just don't see it happening this year.

The Marlins seem to try to ruin their chances every time they develop talent by getting rid of that talent. However, they do have a good offense and I could see them beating out the Braves and possibly the Mets.

The Nationals suck. They have no offense, no pitching, no defense. Worst team in the MLB.

1. Cardinals
2. Cubs
3. Brewers
4. Reds
5. Astros
6. Pirates

The Cardinals are the best team in this division and I think they will run away with it. Led by a solid offense and good arms.

The Cubs could win the division if they can turn around their hitting and their pitching hasn't aged too much.

The Brewers aren't what they were two years ago, however they do have some very good players. Rumors are that they will trade Fielder before the All-Star break, which would seriously hurt their chances.

The Reds are a team that I think showed improvement last year. As such, I see them continuing this trend and putting up a decent fight in this otherwise weak division.

The Astros, I don't really know, I don't see them doing too much. Plus, I'm getting a little sick of writing this up!

The Pirates blow. They got rid of some of their best talent last year, and will continue that approach just soe they don't have to field a real team.

1. Giants
2. Dodgers
3. Rockies
4. Diamond Backs
5. Padres

The Giants are led by arguably the best pitching staff. They've also got a good bullpen, and I think they have just enough offense to pull off winning the division.

The Dodgers are a solid, but aging, team. Manny Ramirez is what? 50? Probably in whatever Latin American country he comes from. Not to mention he has already voiced that he doesn't want to play there next year. Way to start off the season with some chemistry...

The Rockies are one of those teams that are hard to predict. With good pitching this team could take the division. However, I just don't see it this year.

The Diamondbacks have some good pitching. But I don't think they are any near talented enough on offense, and even in their staff and bullpen, to take the division.

The Padres are going to suck, big time. They sucked last year. They got rid of Peavy. I hope they are enjoying... crap I can't even remember the kids name (although I did like him and this is really bothering me). They are probably going to get rid of their only offense (Adrian Gonzalez) by the all-star break. Not going to happen for them for at least 5 years... sorry Padre Fans.

AL Pennant: White Sox

NL Pennant: Giants

World Series Champs: White Sox

One Step Closer to the ESPN 8 The Ocho

ESPN has annouced that it's online video is being changed from to This could lead the next step of makeing ESPN3 an actual cable channel and bring us one step closer to joining Lance Armstrong and watching Dodge Ball on the OCHO

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

LOST - 6 Episodes Left - More Questions Than Answers

I’ll be honest – This blog entry is not sports related at all, but I know Noffke and I aren’t the only writers/readers of ACSS that watch the show LOST so I thought I’d go a little off topic with this one.

Noffke has heard enough from me during our weekly Wednesday morning LOST discussion at work (great way to pass the time…). It is time to find out what you all think about where the show is headed in its final season.

So far this season there have been a couple questions answered which I expected…but it seems like for every question answered there are another two that confuse the hell out of you. The mysteries behind the island, intriguing characters, and the continual surprises through the first five seasons are what got millions of viewers like myself hooked in the first place – but it gets old after 5 years. I am really hoping that these final 6 episodes can tie a nice bow on one of the most intense shows that I have ever followed, but I have this underlying feeling that the series finale will either leave us wanting more or severely disappointed in the direction the show went.

My main gripe with this season through yesterday’s episode “The Package”, has been the complete overhaul of the show – this season just feels different. In season 1 we saw the Oceanic survivors making sense of their new surroundings. They were learning about themselves and each other while also making unexplainable discoveries about the mysterious island. Seasons 2-5 brought TONS of questions and intrigue to the island but still managed to further develop the characters and relationships in a way that not many shows are capable of. (When was the last time we had a moment like the time the Survivors were playing on their homemade golf course?)

Season 6 has changed the whole scope of the show. To me, the once magnificent island has turned into a game board for two bickering enemies to fight out their differences – Jacob and The Man in Black (and apparently Charles Whidmore now). The survivors who used to be the heart and soul of the show are now just pawns in the game. At this point anyone of them could die and it wouldn’t surprise me. When Charlie died in the early seasons it was one of the most intense moments of the show – if Jack were to die in next Tuesday’s episodes it wouldn’t even phase me. And does anyone care if Jin and Sun find each other?

While season 6 has been wildly unpredictable – in some ways it has been too predictable. If you had bet me with 10 to 1 odds that anybody but Desmond was “The Package” I would have said “No way”. Not to mention that every connection in the sideways world has been too convenient – and some of them almost corny.

With all that said I am not giving up on the show. I am in it until the very end and hoping that the writers are able to wrap it up nicely (it’s going to take a lot to do that). I think that the biggest problem has been the writers not knowing how they wanted to end it all. Instead of working towards something they kept building away from it in about 5 different directions. It is going to be extremely difficult to get everything to connect in the end.

What does everybody else think? Do you agree with the direction this season is heading?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

World Series of Unfortunate Events

So as I prepare to root on the Cubs for another season, I have hopes they will go far into October. I really hope they can at least keep me onboard until the end of Summer. Derrek Lee hurting himself while eating is not a good start. Yes, it involved a chair collapsing but the NL Central should prove more dangerous this season. It got me thinking back to the other recent "freak" injuries that have plagued the organization.

2009- Ryan Dempster breaking his big toe jumping over the railing. It's ok to celebrate victories but this season try walking up the stairs onto the field.

2008- Alfonso Soriano straining his right calf doing his signature "hop." Alfonso I know it supposedly helps you with your timing but just make sure you land right. Also, be careful when celebrating victories in center field after games. Celebrating can be dangerous, just ask your teammate shown above.

2007- Kerry Wood slipping while getting out of the hot tub. If his arm wasn't enough of a problem for the years leading up to this incident, his stomach and chest took a beating this time. It was an early sign of things to come with Mr. Dempster...Don't climb in/out of things if you are a member of the Cubs and it can be avoided.

2004- Sammy Sosa sneezing in the clubhouse forcing him out of the lineup in San Diego. The sneezes caused his back spasms to flare up so much so he had to grab a CHAIR for support. Sosa is long gone, but we're back to an "event" that involved a chair one way or another. Is there any possibility that the same chair caused havoc on Derrek Lee?

History says the Chicago Cubs are cursed by a goat. That might be true, but maybe it has just been a chair causing the heartache all along.

I Like Bob Huggins!

At least, I always kinda liked Bob Huggins.

Then Rick Reilly got his two cents in. Now I *really* like Bob Huggins.

"I don't like Bob Huggins. Don't like his zero-point-zero graduation rates. Don't like his three-hour practices. Don't like the Vegas sweatsuit top. The artless, sledgehammer style of his teams that sucks all the air out of the gym. Not to mention the joy. Still, Huggins is brutally effective, kind of like a Russian gulag, only with slightly less charm."

Also, ESPN probably realized they needed to balance out their resident holier-than-thou jackass Reilly, so here's a column on the same topic from Andy Katz (minus the sermonizing).

Quick Link: White Sox Top 10 Plays of 2009

Top 10 Plays for the Chicago White Sox in 2009

Baseball Predictions


Cy Young: Johan Santana - Mets
MVP: Ryan Howard - Philadelphia
ROY: Jason Heyword – Atlanta

I went with Heyword over Strausburg because I think he will be surrounded by better talent. Strausburg, even if he starts right away, is good for what, 10-12 wins tops on the Nationals. The Braves will be competitive in the NL East which will keep Heyword in the spotlight for a greater part of the season. I have heard people comparing Heyword to Ken Griffey Jr. so there is plenty of hype around both rookies.

NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Cardinals
NL West: Diamondbacks
NL Wild Card: Mets

NL Pennant: Phillies

Phillies are the best team in the NL and will go to their 3rd straight World Series. Also, because I feel the Phillies are the best team, I think the MVP voters will give the award to Howard over Pujols. The stat heads love the Diamondbacks, because they are such a young team. I think the young team finally puts it all together and beats out the Dodgers for the NL West


Cy Young: King Felix - Seattle
MVP: A-Rod - Yankees
ROY: Brian Matusz – Baltimore

King Felix has a better team around him and with Lee on the roster will inspire him to pitch better (think Johnson and Schilling In Arizona). The Yankees will have the best record in baseball, and just like the NL, MVP voters will vote for the best player on the best team.

AL East: Yankees
AL Central: White Sox
AL West: Mariners
AL Wild Card: Rays

This is a make or break year for the Rays, if this team doesn’t produce, expect to see a Marlins style demolishing of the team. I think the players know this, and will play inspired all year to produce a Wild Card berth for the franchise and the second post season berth in 3 seasons. Maybe I’m biased (OK I am), The White Sox pitching staff can go toe to toe with in rotation in baseball, This will carry them to a division title. I know the Twins will be around (because, well the Twins are always around), but with their new stadium, Target Field, I don’t see how they can keep winning with the same style of baseball that worked in the Metrodome.

AL Pennant: White Sox

White Sox Pitching will carry them to the AL Pennant.

World Series Title: Phillies

So my White Sox bias isn’t that crazy. I think the Phillies have the best team in baseball in 2010 and will bring the World Series title back Philly for the 2nd time in 3 years.

I’m throwing down the gauntlet for all ACSS writers. I want to see which writer can predict most of the following correct. The MVP, CY Young and ROY for each league, the four playoff teams and the pennant winner for each league and finally, the World Series Winner.

Why do Teams Like Hitting Carlos Quentin

Why do teams love hitting Carlos Quentin? It seems like every time I read a box score, Carlos is getting drilled. Two days ago in a spring training game he got hit twice. TWICE! IN SPRING TRAINING! Don't worry, he got revenge by going yard. Carlos did not play most of 2009, but he did play in 2008. In 2008 he finished third in HBP and he missed the entire month of September. Heck, just do an image search on him in Google and the 10th picture you'll see is the above picture of him getting drilled.

What is going on?

I'm sure his stance has something to do with getting hit so much. He is very active in his stance and he tends to lean in over the plate. But that can't count for everything can it?

It doesn't seem like he's a jerk or an antagonizer like AJ that you would expect pitchers want to throw at. He doesn't seem to show up pitchers after a home run that leads to bean balls . I don't get it.

Is it just me who notices this, or do more of you out there agree it seems CQ gets hit an awful lot?

Monday, March 29, 2010


In psuedo-sports news this weekend was wrestlemania 26. One of the main event matches was Undertaker vs HBK. The Undertaker put his undefeated streak on the line vs HBK. If Undertaker loses he loses his streak if HBK loses he retires. As it turned out the Undertaker retained his perfect streak at wrestlmania and on Monday night RAW Shaun Michaels retired after 32 years in the wrestling buisness. Normally, the WWE would never have been on my radar, however on this occasion i had to flip on RAW. As a kid I would watch and he would be one of my favorites. Between his early day rivalries with the Harts to his DX days he was always fun to watch. So thank you HBK for all the years of entertainment.

Trivia: Top Five Starts for the White Sox

Can you name the 5 White Sox Pitchers who started the most games from 2000-2009? Yes #1 is a tough one. Answers will be in the Comments on Wed.

Bears O-Line Set?

It is being reported the Bears are pursuing former Seattle Seahawk Guard Rob Sims. If the Bears do end up getting him, they will only have to give up a 4th round pick for him. I know the Bears are short on Draft picks, but giving up a 4th round pick for an opening day starter is worth it for me. If the Bears complete this move their opening day O-Line would basically be set.

Chris Williams will be the starting Left Tackle which he excelled at after switching from Right Tackle to replace an injured/ineffective Orlando Pace.

Frank Omiyale will move from Guard to his natural postion of Right Tackle. I know a lot of people are down on Omiyale for his play last year, but I will give him the benefit of a doubt that he is a better Tackle then he is a guard.

The two guard spots will be filled by Rob Sims and Roberto Garza who is getting older, but is still a solid player. Olin Kreutz will play Center on what could be one of his last years. I think the Bears should draft a Center in the later rounds, let him develop this year and next and groom him to replace Kreutz.