Friday, July 11, 2008

Trader Rater 1.0

Baseball offseason is upon us and about a week ago I took a look at the contender in the CC Sabathia Sweepstakes. Well, we do have a winner and we also have another big name pitcher off the market as well.

The Milwaukee Brewers were the winners and the team able to land the reigning AL Cy Young. The Brewers gave up 4 top prospects and it centered around Double-A star Matt LaPorta. I had suggested that the Brewers were the most likely landing destination.
The following day, the Chicago Cubs made a splash that essentially came out of nowhere. The Cubs were able to grab Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin from the Oakland A's for a package of 4 decent minor leaguers, with some major league experience. I really do think that the Cubbies stole Harden from the A's, assuming he can make most of his starts this season.
So what does this do for the National League? Well it definitely puts the Brewers and Cubs as the top 2 squads in the NL. Before the Harden deal, the Brewers were definitely pushing the Cubs for NL supremacy. A top of the rotation of Ben Sheets and CC Sabathia could only be matched by a say Carlos Zambrano and Rich Harden top of the rotation.
The next question is, What are your moves Philadelphia Phillies, St.Louis Cardinals, Arizona Diamondback, and New York Mets to counter?

NBA Free Agency!!

Surprises and Mini-Rivalries brewing!!

When Baron Davis opted out of his contract with the Warriors, the NBA was stunned and it immediately changed the landscape of the upcoming offseason. Soon there after, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette both opted out from their contracts with the Los Angeles Clippers setting up a decent crop of free agents, while also adding a few players to the list of teams with cap space this Summer. The Grizzlies, Sixers, Warriors, and Clippers were all now geared up to be the major players in the offseason.
To recap, there have been 3 significant moves so far in free agency.
The Los Angeles Clippers signed PG Baron Davis to a 5 yr - $65 Mil
The Philadelphia 76ers signed PF Elton Brand to a 5 yr - $82 Mil
The Golden State Warriors signed SF Corey Maggette to a 5 yr - $50 Mil
Soon after Baron aka B Diddy opted out of his contract, the Clippers thought they had made a big enough splash to not only retain Maggette and Brand, but to also become an instant contender in the West. With a starting 5 of Baron, Maggette, Thorton, Brand, and Kaman, that is a pretty legit lineup. Soon thereafter Brand decided to sign with the 76ers.
Even with Brand leaving, I still like the move by the Clips and it shows that they are ready and willing to spend the big bucks. I do not entirely blame the Clippers for Brand leaving, I feel that was more on Elton and his agent. Baron Davis gives the Clippers the true point guard they need to run a fast break offense and also impose his will at any point during a game. He will instantly make Kaman better, and also youngsters Thorton and Eric Gordon.
As a Sixer fan however, I am absolutely elated to have Elton Brand coming to Philly. A lot of people in town are doubting him and calling him the next Chris Webber (a busted trade that did not sit well with fans), but Brand is the perfect fit for a team who was exposed in the playoffs for not having a lost-post presence who can score in quantities, um hello Elton Brand fits that description. The Brand signing will significantly help Dalembert develop even further and become a better player. Also, Andre Miller and Brand have played together before with the Clippers and that year Brand was an All-Star. I don't think this move will make the Sixers the East favorites this year, but assuming everyone stays healthy they should be a top 4 seed in next year's playoffs.
Understandably, Clipper coach Mike Dunleavy was a bit ticked off by the recent events of the Brand situation and sounded off with displeasure on 710 ESPN in LA with the Mason and Ireland Show. This interview can be heard at their website on July 10th.
What do you think of the moves and the Brand/LA/Baron situation?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Blogs Unite!

Mr. Joe Petro, our buddy who does a fine job disecting the world of music inside and out at Certain-Songs MusicBlog, has published my top 10 of tunes rocked at baseball stadiums across the country in one of his features, The Mixbook.

Joe put together all of the songs on the countdown into a playlist that can be downloaded right on the spot! He also takes a look at "Take me out to the Ballgame" and its 100th Birthday, with some videos of different renditions of the classic baseball stadium tune.

Do indeed check out the blog, which is loaded with cool features and daily posts on all the new music and basically anything music related!

Once again, Certain-Songs MusicBlog is the site. CHECK IT.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

TOP 10: Baseball Stadium Tunes

With the recent 100th Anniversary of "Take me Out to the Ballgame" I figured it was time for another edition of the Top 10! This time I am going to take a look at the Top 10 songs played at baseball games.

Onward to the countdown!

10. Steam - "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" - Typically played after a pitcher is taken out of the game or a player/manager is ejected.

09. AC/DC - "Hells Bells" - One of the great entrance songs for closers, as made popular by Padres closer Trevor Hoffman. The San Diego fans know the end is near when AC/DC is cued up.

08. Zombie Nation - "OhOhOh (Remix) - This song is used more often in basketball arenas, but has began to gain popularity in all sorts of sporting events.

07. Village People - "YMCA" - Although tough admit by many, this song is one of the best between inning jams that gets the crowd pumped and everyone doing the motion to follow Y M C A.

06. Kool & The Gang - "Celebration" - What better way to celebrate your team's victory than to pump a little Kool & the Gang?

05. Queen - "We Will Rock You" - Although is not usually played in its entirety, the chorus is enough to get on the visiting team's nerves and attempt to either continute pouring on the runs or mount a comeback.

04. Metallica - "Enter Sandman" - Hands down the best entrance music for a closer, Mariano Rivera and Billy Wagner utilize this awesome song to essentially put the opponents to sleep.

03. Gary Glitter - "Rock & Roll Part 2" - For as long as I can remember, this song has been played at major league parks and can always be related to attending a ballgame. An extreme favorite of mine and many other I am sure.

02. Guns N Roses - "Welcome to the Jungle" - Need a rally or a comeback? The beginning portion of the song will surely get your team up and most importantly the fans pumped up.

01. "Take me out to the Ballgame" - As made famous by Harry Caray and many others, this 100 year old song is a staple to the 7th inning stretch and should around as long as baseball is.

Cleaning Up the Mess...


Let's get on with the news and my favorite picture, the Cedric Benson mugshot!
- Former SD Chargers safety Terrence Kiel was involved in a terrible car accident and passed away Friday evening.
- "Inside the NFL" will be moved to Showtime and will be hosted by James Brown, Phil Simms, and Cris Collinsworth
- Dan Patrick will join the ever-growing crowd on the NBC Football coverage and will accompany Keith Olberman, Bob Costas, Jerome Bettis, and Tiki Barber among more!
- Imprisoned Michael Vick has filed for bankruptcy protection
- And YES, Brett Favre may unretire again, and for some reason I can care less every time this is brought up.
- All Star teams were indeed announced with Clint Hurdle and Terry Francona as the team's managers. You can find the all-star rosters here:
- The Brewers were able to acquire CC Sabathia from the Indians for 4 prospects including stud Matt LaPorta
- The Final Vote contestants for the All-Star games are: Aaron Rowand, Corey Hart, David Wright, Carlos Lee, and Pat Burrell for the NL and Jason Giambi, Evan Longoria, Jermaine Dye, Brian Roberts, and Jose Guillen for the AL (in which you can use the widget in the upper right hand corner to vote with)
- Home Run Derby Participants so far: Chase Utley, Grady Sizemore, Josh Hamilton, Dan Uggla, Lance Berkman, and Vladimir Guerrero
- The Seattle Sonics will be relocated to Oklahoma City
- Baron Davis will sign with the Clippers
- Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas will return to the Wiz
- Chris Duhon will sign the Knicks
- Vinny Del Negro added some experience to the bench, adding Del Harris and Bernie Bickerstaff as assistants
- Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer to win the 2008 Wimbledon in a classic
- The next Winter CLassic in the NHL will be at Wrigley Field next year and it will be between the Blackhawks and the Red Wings
Anything I missed?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Top 10: Recent Rivalries

After today's epic showdown between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, I decided it was time for another top 10 and a countdown of the Top 10 rivalries in sports in the recent years.

10. Philadelphia Flyers v. Pittsburgh Penguins ~ NHL - This instate rivalry has intensified lately with the NHL's unbalanced schedule and with having both teams being relatively young and talented, although this year's playoff series was not very competitive.

09. University of Southern California v. Notre Dame ~ College Football - This has been a relatively storied rivalry with the game pitting Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush versus Brady Quinn immediately coming to mind as an all-time classic.

08. Cleveland Cavaliers v. Washington Wizards ~ NBA - These teams seem to meet every year in the playoffs with the Cavs primarily getting the upper hand. After this year's fiasco with Soulja Boy, Deshawn Stevenson and Lebron James, these two will surely continue to battle.

07. Philadelphia Phillies v. New York Mets ~ MLB - Up until the past few season, these two teams never seemed to be good at the same time, but recently every game has been heavily contested and the crowds at these games are second to none.

06. Ohio State v. Michigan ~ College Football - This famous rivalry will always be intact and it seems like every year these two teams play on the final weekend of Big 10 football and it usually involves the conference title being on the line. It should be interesting how new coach Rich Rodriguez fits into the rivalry.

05. Chicago Cubs v. Chicago White Sox ~ MLB - This is one of the few situations in which interleague play has helped enhance this cross-town rivalry. These two teams have been involved in several potentially volatile situations, ejections, and brush-backs. With 6 games taking place every season and both teams on the up and up, it should be a very entertaining rivalry.

04. Duke v. North Carolina ~ College Basketball - Duke and UNC always put on a great show every year when they matchup and it is more often than not a matchup of two top-10 teams in college basketball. With the quick turnover of many players and programs in college hoops, UNC and Duke are always two constants.

03. Rafael Nadal v. Roger Federer ~ Tennis - Federer and Nadal have been ranked 1 and 2 for almost 3 years now, respectively. Head to Head Nadal leads 12 to 6 overall, and also leads 4 to 2 in Grand Slam Finals. After today's epic 5 set match in the Wimbledon's final, Nadal was finally able to defeat Federer on his own game on the grass. The next step is for Federer to take one from Nadal at the French Open.

02. Boston Red Sox v. New York Yankees ~ MLB - This rivalry pretty much speaks for itself with everything from epic playoff series to players switching sides in the rivalry. It's tough to imagine either one of the teams letting themselves slip out of contention and spoiling this rivalry.

01. New England Patriots v. Indianapolis Colts ~ NFL - In a matchup of two teams who seem to play at least once, if not twice annually even though they are not division rivals, these two teams always deliver. In the beginning the Pats owned the Colts, with recent history showing the Colts starting to even up the series a little bit. This also features the classic rivalry of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Honorable Mentions: Eagles v. Cowboys, Texas v. Kansas (MBB), Texas v. Oklahoma (CFB), Tiger Woods v. Phil Mickelson, San Antonio Spurs v. Phoenix Suns, Indiana Pacers v. Detroit Pistons.

Agree? Disagree? Do Comment Below.

All Star Starters Leaked

According to a report from the New York Post (in which the link has recently been removed), the All-Star starters have been leaked for the game at Yankee Stadium. Here is what is reported,

NL All-Star Starters:
C: Geovany Soto (Cubs)
1B: Lance Berkman (Astros)
2B: Chase Utley (Phillies)
SS: Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)
3B: Chipper Jones (Braves)
OF: Alfonso Soriano (Cubs)
OF: Kosuke Fukodome (Cubs)
OF: Ken Griffey Jr. (Reds)
SP: Brandon Webb (Diamondbacks)
EDIT: So the report wasnt entirely correct as Milwaukee Outfield Ryan Braun did surpass Griffey as starting outfielder.

AL All-Star Starters:
C: Joe Mauer (Twins)
1B: Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox)
SS: Derek Jeter (Yankees)
3B: Alex Rodriguez (Yankees)
OF: Manny Ramirez (Red Sox)
OF: Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners)
OF: Josh Hamilton (Rangers)
DH: David Ortiz (Red Sox)
SP: Cliff Lee (Indians)

Hopefully this report is valid and it will be able to confirmed at the TBS All-Star Game Selection Show today. I'm guessing that the DH for the NL will be Albert Pujols.

Who do you wanna see on the squads? The only players I disagree with as starters are Soriano, Griffey, and Pedroia. I know it is based on fan voting but hopefully the guys who deserve to be on the team find their way on the teams and not suffer from the we need at least one Royal or Pirate on the team rule.

CC Sabathia: Oh the places he'll (potentially) go...

Well it is July, so that means the baseball rumors start to heat up and everything from borderline bogus to so outrageous it just may work is given some thoughts in hopes and anticipation of improving the ballclub.

Every year there seems to be a big name or two who is rumored to go everywhere and anywhere depending on what newspapers and websites you check out from day to day. The big name in this year's deadline talks CC Sabathia of the Cleveland Indians.
Let's take a quick look at the possibilities of landing locations for the CY Young aka CC Sabathia.

Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays clearly have the talent to make the deal and have plenty of young prospects both in the minor leagues and at the big-league level. The rotation has a very solid young foundation right now with James Shields, Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza, and Andy Sonnastine, but adding Sabathia would round out a very tough to beat deep rotation. Do the Rays have the guts to pull it off? And would they actually sign CC long-term?

Boston Red Sox: When healthy, it's tough to argue the Red Sox would have a glaring need for Sabathia. Remember last Winter they toyed with the idea of going after Johan and eventually backed off. The Sox rotation of Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, Masterson,Wakefield and Colon/Bucholz lurking, is good enough to carry this squad.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers are another team who always seem to have a lot of young talent, but never seem to make the big move on in-season trades. In a division that is basically there for the taking with no one over .500, it would be wise of them to add Sabathia to Derek Lowe, Hiroki Kuroda, Billingsly and the injured Brad Penny. Will the Dodgers make the move and trade some of their prospects a la Andy Laroche and Matt Kemp?

Milwaukee Brewers: Lately, the Brewers have been the team with the most about of publicity going for Sabathia. Offering top prospect Matt LaPorta among other talent seems to have caught Indians GM Mark Shapiro's eye. The Brewers have some interesting in-house pitching issues to deal with, such as free agent to be Ben Sheets. However, in a short a series I would like to have Sabathia-Sheets-Gallardo on my side.

Philadelphia Phillies: Probably the team that needs Sabathia the most. With the recent demotion on Opening Day starter Brett Myers to Triple-A, the Phillies need another staring pitcher in the worst way. Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer have pitched pretty well for Philly, but a pairing of Sabathia and Cole Hamels would make opposing lineups cringe. The issue at hand here is, do the Phillies have enough prospects besides Carlos Carrasco that would interest the Tribe?

Chicago Cubs: At this point in the Sabathia sweepstakes game, it appears as though the Cubs will be a long shot to land this year's deadline prize. The word is, is that the Indians are looking for infield help most notably at third base and second base and the Cubs don't appear to have any prospects who will be able to help for another 2 to 3 years. What the Cubs do have is pitching talent in the upper minor league levels, but the Indians seem to be set with their staff.

If I had to predict as of today which team Sabathia will go, I would have to say the Brewers. They seem to have the talent to make the deal and GM Doug Melvin has a recent track record of making in-season deals.

Who do you think will trade for CC?