The sports contributor sucks

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College Basketball
Think about this one: It’s not a stretch to see Gonzaga as the fourth No. 2 seed and Duke as the top No. 1 seed. If that occurs, we could get our potential Adam Morrison vs. Redick matchup in the Elite Eight in Atlanta.

Baseball
Fantasy sports owners are every where. It is with fantasy sports in mind that I begin a series evaluating teams for the upcoming baseball from the perspective of the fantasy franchise owner.First up, the dreaded Cards…

St. Louis Cardinals: Even if Scott Rolen didn’t get hurt last season, St. Louis wasn’t winning the World Series. It’s not as though the Cards lost to the Astros because they had bad play at third base. The Astros played better the final few months. It was like the Steelers never losing again after Thanksgiving, except the Astros ran into dominant starting pitching in the White Sox. Anyway, the Cards are strong again, despite a few losses, and are perhaps the only NL playoff lock at this point. But there are questions.

Fantasy questions:
— Is Rolen healthy, and where should we draft him? That nasty first base collision with big boy Hee Seop Choi pretty much ruined Rolen’s season, and yours if you like Rolen or picked him on your fantasy team. He was coming off 34-124 and a .314 average. Is Rolen that good? Should we expect that again? I’d say no, but don’t forget about the guy, either. He’s not Barry Bonds coming off three knee surgeries. Rolen’s shoulder is getting better, and the Cards expect him to be ready for Opening Day. Maybe he won’t reach 30 homers, but he’s going to knock in runs and hit for average. I’ve seen his average rank among third basemen around Rolen seventh, which seems about right. He’s in the Eric Chavez-Melvin Mora range. I could definitely see him finish in the top five, though..

— Is it time we forget about that Chris Carpenter injury history? Yes, it probably is. Carpenter made 33 starts last season and was a deserving Cy Young winner. That’s two straight seasons he has been terrific, and he has averaged 18 wins in those seasons. Forget about his Blue Jays days. He’s a top-20 player overall and one of the top three pitchers.

— What about Sidney Ponson? You won’t find me drafting him. I looked at that 17-12 Orioles-Giants season from 2003 and wondered why he can’t do it again, but then I looked at his last two seasons, his weight, etc. I think he can get that ERA into the 4s, but in my opinion he’s not worth it.

Football
A few post-Super Bowl random thoughts: I’m not surprised Pittsburgh won, even though I had Seattle going into it, but let me make a few points.

  • Until the fourth quarter, Matt Hasselbeck played as well as I’ve ever seen a Super Bowl QB play whose team was trailing entering the last 15 minutes. Even though I would have liked to see Shaun Alexander running more — except in the last minute of the first half, a dumb call that drained the clock — Mike Holmgren called a good game, and Hasselbeck read Pittsburgh’s defense as you can. If he gets more help from his receivers and refs, Seattle wins this.
  • The position that impressed me most Sunday was Seattle’s offensive line in pass protection. For the most part, Hasselbeck had time to pick the Steelers apart, and Pittsburgh didn’t blitz as much as I expected.
  • Pittsburgh had 181 yards rushing, and 105 of them came in the third quarter. To that point, Seattle’s defense had done well against the Steelers. The Seahawks picked a bad time to fall apart.
  • This was the first time an AFC team had won when ABC was televising the game.
  • Rolling Stones halftime show: Not a fan. And I could really do with out the camera shots behind Mick Jagger as he shakes his octogenarian money-maker.
  • Big Ben’s passer rating of 22.6 is the lowest for a winning QB. No wonder he felt so relieved to win. If he hadn’t played so well during the playoffs, there’s no way Pittsburgh would have gotten past anyone. One more take: His 37-yarder to Hines Ward in the second quarter was Elway-esque: Roll left, throw back right, huge gain. Roethlisberger is the youngest QB to ever win a Super Bowl and will be back, I’m sure.
  • I’m not sure whether Holmgren was miked for the game, but I would love to hear an unfiltered account of what he said after Big Ben’s iffy touchdown stood, after all of Jerramy Stevens’ drops and after the two missed field goals.
  • Wright Thompson had a good account of The Bus’ walk out of football
  • For my money, I preferred the Ameriquest Financial commercials. But I don’t want to “judge too quickly.”

And finally a less Super thought on football from a Saints Fan: USC quarterback Matt Leinart was in Detroit for a sponsorship deal in which a sweepstakes is being held to have a fan go with him to the NFL draft. Most people expect Leinart to be the No. 2 pick to the New Orleans Saints. The good news for the Saints is that Leinart isn’t going to pull an Eli Manning.
“I feel like it’s an honor being drafted,” Leinart said. He said he has no plans to manipulate the draft. He’d been content to be No. 1 with Houston, No. 2 with the Saints or No. 3 with the Titans. Getting a chance to be with former USC coach Norm Chow would also interest him. “If I was reunited with coach Chow, it will be cool,” he said.

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7 Responses to “The sports contributor sucks”

  1. DeJon Redd Says:

    This year’s Ameriquest commercials can be seen here.

  2. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Chris Carpenter is a cheater. Wearing fake fingernails (which he admits freely) is clearly a foreign substance banned by rule 8.02(b).

    And Mick is a sextagenarian, not an octagenarian, but this does not make his “money-maker” shaking any more acceptable.

    I’d say a healthy Bonds makes the Giants more of a playoff “lock” than the Co-ards, especially playing in the NL West which looks even worse than last year. Sanders is gone. Huge loss. Walker is gone. Another big loss. Grudzielanek (aka “eyechart”) is another loss for the Cards. Each was a key member of the conspiracy. They also lost Morris and Tavarez. Oh… but they signed Braden Looper (pride of Mangum, OK) to fill the gap in their leaky bullpen. Yep, they’re a “lock” all right.

    C’mon Cub fan. Have some faith in the rest of the NL Central.

  3. DeJon Redd Says:

    Joe, that last thing I would want to do is carry the Cardinals’ banner. And I think they took a step back in the off season. But they were the best team in the MLB over 80% of last season.

    I think my Cubs made up some ground, but had more ground to make up than your Astros. But I also think your boys had some talent degredation in the off-season. But that statement could be OBE after 1 May.

    I also believe the Central is the strongest division in the NL and top-to-bottom maby the whole league — especially with Pittsburgh’s signs of life and Milwaukee’s emerging talent. I’m confident the NL Central will take two teams to the playoffs again. And as much as I hate it, I believe St. Louis has the best chance to be one of them.

  4. Al Sturgeon Says:

    DeJon is attempting this reverse psychological trick. Pick the Cards, they lose.

    Thanks a lot.
    🙂

    BTW, what do you guys think about Kornheiser doing Monday Night Football?!

  5. DeJon Redd Says:

    I’m a big Kornheiser fan. I couldn’t believe he was snubbed for Dennis Miller last go ’round.

    While I can’t really picture his role as the third wheel in the booth. I find him incisive, smart, and wicked funny.

  6. Joe Longhorn Says:

    I like Kornheiser and, in general, I like the ESPN format of putting sports columnists on TV. But please, please, PLEASE get Woody Paige off my screen.

    Actually, I think a great show format would be Woody Paige, Dick Vitale, and Chris Berman in a roundtable discussion.

    (For any ESPN execs that may stumble across this blog, that last sentence was sarcasm. I’d rather watch a 12-hour “Birth Day” marathon on Discovery Health than sit through 5 minutes of the show I just described.)

  7. Michael Lasley Says:

    I’m with you, Joe, on Woody Page.

    And Kudos to Leinart for not trying to manipulate the draft. It would be hard, I think, to go from USC to a team that is not likely to win anytime soon. Actually, all of the top prospects seem to have their heads on straight this year. They will all be assets to their teams and communities.

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