Archive for May, 2006

WState blog – cool new turf pics, plus Greg Trent is HUGE

May 29, 2006

Found a new WSU blog that is very well done, and they are linking to this site as well. They have some new pics of the brand new turf laid down at Martin, and it looks quite sharp compared to last year. The biggest difference is Fieldturf now sews in the lines and I believe the numbers, so they never fade, and it’s a big difference. Check it out, a pic found at Cougzone:

Here’s the blog address that is quite good:

And, from that blog, check out Greg Trent after hitting the weights this winter – WOW:

Free Agency – NOT the answer in MLB!

May 20, 2006

So, with our M’s limping hopelessly and listlessly and rumors fly of a managerial change, you have to start to wonder – how the hell do you build a winner? Is it luck? Is it timing? Or are some teams just better, top to bottom, in regards to scouting, front office, etc??

It’s interesting to look around and see the different approaches, and how they work (or don’t work). Cleveland and Detroit tore it all down and started over, now they have contenders. The Red Sox and Yanks throw millions around like it’s play money, yet between them, they’ve won one single World Series in the last 5 years, so it’s not like free agency is the guarantee.

I look at the M’s, and I see what seems on paper at least to be a wise strategy. Sign a few big-ticket free agents who you hope are your superstar players (Ichiro, Sexson and Beltre), develop some good young players who you control for many years (Lopez, Betancourt, Putz, Reed) and then hope to round the roster out with mid-level guys who you cross your fingers that they will have career years. But obviously, the last couple of years, the approach is failing on a huge level.

Some people bitch the M’s won’t spend money, well, their payroll shows otherwise ($95 million). But is throwing money at free agents really the answer? Check it out:

Is Randy Johnson pitching well for NYY? How did Kevin Brown and Javy Vazquez do with huge contracts in NY?

Matt Clement has pitched about as well Gil Meche the past two years for Boston.

Keith Foulke is making more than 7 million a year to basically suck and couldn’t keep a closer job to a rookie in Papelbon.

Steve Finley was signed to a huge deal last year, but was terrible for LAA, so bad that they dealt him for Edgardo Alfonzo who’s done nothing for them but ask for a trade. That’s it.

Jeff Weaver at 8 mil? The guy couldn’t get anyone out pitching in a pitcher’s league – NL – in a great pitcher’s park – Dodger Stadium – last year. Hmm, no wonder he’s now awful in Anaheim!

Speaking of Anaheim, Darin Erstad has been making 8 mil a year to be, well, a pretty lousy hitting first baseman/outfielder for the past three years. He’s living off his 220+ hit season a few years ago. $32 MILLION is still due to him as well. Orlando Cabrera is worth 8 mil? I don’t think so. Not close. Wouldn’t you rather have Betancourt at 1/10th of that price right about now?? Me too!

People gush about Billy Beane and his ability to contend with a nothing payroll, but how about Jason Kendall, whom the A’s will pay him 19 mil over the next two years.
Kendall is an awful hitter, awful. He can’t throw anyone out and he has never been good at blocking balls in the dirt. He’s Dan Wilson, circa 2004-2005, with four times the contract. AND $19 MILLION is still due over the next 2 years! Think about that. Oh, and Loaiza sure isn’t working out for Oakland. No command, no velocity, no nothing but a “dead arm”.

How about JD Drew for the Dodgers? They threw stupid money at him after losing Beltre, and all he’s done is exactly what everyone said he would. Get injured and spend about 50% of his time on the DL.

How do you think the Rockies feel about Mike Hampton’s contract?? It’s been traded 3 times yet they still are making payments on that huge msitake. The M’s, by the way, are STILL PAYING ON JEFF CIRILLO in 2006! Can you believe that?? Actually they are in the last year of paying Kevin Jarvis, but it’s Cirillo money, $7.5 million. Thank you Pat Gillick.

Anyway, all those listed above? Failures on a huge scale. All teams that spend money in any capacity have this problem. So before I cry “poor M’s” and “FIRE BAVASI!” it’s wise to see that the M’s aren’t alone with free agency not working out!

Free agency might be sexy during the hot stove league, but it’s almost staggering to see how many deals have flat-out exploded in GM’s faces over the years!

That said, I’m ready for a change on the field. I don’t think they would be able to get a match in the marketplace right now on Beltre, but they might have even more trouble trying to move Sexson and his age, contract and injury history. At least Beltre has been an MVP candidate at a very young age and is still only what, 27? Sexson is scaring a lot of people right now, me included, because he’s nearing that age – 34 – where power hitters can really start to fall off a cliff. We might be seeing his downfall before our eyes, and this isn’t just a slump.

Mkristo gets some TSN love; Auburn game under the lights

May 12, 2006

From the TSN, Mkristo getting some early love for next year:

Finally, Auburn under the lights on ESPN 2 (which means NO HD probably! Damn.)

Per Glenn’s blog:

The Auburn game has been set – I believe this is now firm – for a 4:45 p.m. Pacific kickoff, to be televised on ESPN2. That’s Sept. 3, for those of you who aren’t counting down the days. (Yes, that start does mean it’ll be under the lights the whole time in Alabama.)

Kiper’s top 5 by position for 2006

May 8, 2006

Check it out. Nice to see J-Hill getting some love for coming back as a senior! Still, I look at the NFL draft results for this year, and I believe that had Hill come out this year, he would have for SURE been a day-1 draft pick. Maybe not a first-rounder, but he’s a more accomplished WR than Santonio Holmes in regards to pure production and he went late in the first round. Hopefully this can be Hill’s “Brandon Roy” season and he’ll be a top-10 pick next year?

Oh yeah, check out the D-ends too. Would be nice to see both Mkristo and Hill go on day 1 in 2007. I would also imagine that character and the term “upside” will be thrown around alot in regards to Mkristo!

Finally, Kenny Irons of Auburn is the #2 RB, and for good reason. He’s a HORSE. And probably the biggest reason we’re going to run out of gas late in that game in September. We’ll start out strong, but they will wear us down in that oppressive heat and humidity and that kid is going to be dragging tacklers by the end. That’s the one downside to having a fast defense, you know? Speed gets tired, especially on foreign soil when it’s brutally hot. But, who knows, maybe Brink and Hill hook up for like 3 scores and we build a big early lead and they can’t rely on the run? Of course we saw the same thing at Notre Dame a few years ago, and they STILL wore us out with Julius Jones at the end. And that was a GREAT defense.

1. Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
2. Drew Stanton, Michigan State
3. Troy Smith, Ohio State
4. Jordan Palmer, UTEP
5. John Beck, BYU

Running Backs
1. Michael Bush, Louisville
2. Kenny Irons, Auburn
3. Tony Hunt, Penn State
4. Brian Leonard, Rutgers
5. Courtney Lewis, Texas A&M
5a. Kenneth Darby, Alabama

Wide Receivers
1. Jason Hill, Washington State
2. Jarrett Hicks, Texas Tech
3. Courtney Taylor, Auburn
4. Jeff Samardzija, Notre Dame
5. Steve Smith, USC
5a. Joel Filani, Texas Tech

Tight Ends
1. Clark Harris, Rutgers
2. Martrez Milner, Georgia
3. Matt Spaeth, Minnesota
4. Ben Patrick, Delaware
5. Joe Newton, Oregon State

Offensive Linemen
1. Joe Thomas, Wisconsin
2. Levi Brown, Penn State
3. Justin Blalock, Texas
4. Kyle Young, Fresno State
5. Doug Free, Northern Illinois

Place-Kickers1. Mason Crosby, Colorado
2. Justin Medlock, UCLA
3. Mike Barrow, Idaho
4. Brandon Pace, Virginia Tech
5a. Andrew Wellock, Eastern Michigan
5b. Kyle Schlicher, Iowa
5c. John Deraney, NC State

Defensive Linemen
1. Gaines Adams, Clemson
2. Adam Carriker, Nebraska
3. Kareem Brown, Miami
4. Quentin Moses, Georgia
5a. LaMarr Woodley, Michigan
5b. Victor Abiamiri, Notre Dame
5c. Mkristo Bruce, Washington State

1. Paul Posluszny, Penn State
2. Patrick Willis, Mississippi
3. Ahmad Brooks, Virginia
4. Oscar Lua, USC
5. Rufus Alexander, Oklahoma
5a. Prescott Burgess, Michigan
5b. H.B. Blades, Pittsburgh
5c. Anthony Waters, Clemson

Defensive Backs
1. LaRon Landry, LSU
2. Brandon Meriweather, Miami
3. Michael Griffin, Texas
4. Eric Weddle, Utah
5. John Talley, Duke

1. Daniel Sepulveda, Baylor
2. Adam Graessle, Pittsburgh
3. Brandon Fields, Michigan State
4. Adam Podlesh, Maryland
5. Michael Gibson, Memphis

Darryl Tapp – THE BEAST!

May 5, 2006

Check out the highlights of Darry Tapp, the new d-end the Hawks drafted over the weekend. WOW. I read that some people back V-Tech’s way called him “The Beast” and with some of the power and quickness he shows, I can see why!

Click on the little video camera icon next to his name and you’ll see what I mean. Impressive.

Looks like another strong Tim Ruskell draft. Smart, hungry, driven FOOTBALL players with the first couple of picks, and both guys could be fixtures on D for years to come.

Now, for a sadder video – Will Derting. Watching his highlight video, it just breaks my heart to think of what injuries did to his career potential. If healthy, he really could have been another Lofa Tatupu. The last two years were tough for him, but the video is a nice reminder of what he used to be. By the way, the word I’ve heard and read so far is that he’s probably not even going to pursue an NFL career, mainly because of injuries. One rumor has him just quitting football altogether and working on his ranch. Good for him! And thanks “WMD” for some fantastic moments along the way:

He’s the 15th ranked LB, just again, click on the camera icon.

Finally, nice to see Jason Hill and Mkristo Bruce getting some “seniors to watch” pub. Fox Sports has both in the top 50 for next year, and I’ve heard that Kiper has both players in the top 5 of their positions for next year. I really like Hill, of course, and I think he’ll have a gigantic season, but Bruce might have a better shot at being a first-round pick. He’s got a serious NFL d-end’s body (6-6, 260) and while he could probably stand to gain 20 lbs, he’s really a long, lean athlete. I bet 10 sacks isn’t out of the question for him this year either.