Whats better 61 or 55?

Well if you are a golfer, 55 is Tiger Woods on crack.  Its been awhile since I posted a blog but I just saw something on espn.com that blew my mind. 

ESPN will post a poll question on its website to engage thoughtless purveyours of the sports world.  Today’s poll question came on the back of the incredible performance that Kobe Bryant put on in New York City last night.  Kobe scored 61 points in Madison Square Garden, the most ever scored in the now defunct worn down arena. 

The record Kobe broke belonged to the great Bernard King, who scored 60 points for the Knicks on Christmas Day in 1984.  However not to allow a great player from the West Coast go without comparison, the East Coast Bias world had to throw in Michael Jordan’s “record” of 55 points, the most ever at MSG by an opposing player.

Cool.

So what poll question does ESPN post?  Pretty straight forward actually: “Which performance at Madison Square Garden was most impressive?” 

The two options? Kobe’s 61 points or Jordan’s 55 points.  Thats it!!!

Choosing the two was pretty simple.  Hmmmm more points is better right?  So after clicking and choosing Kobe’s feat, ESPN will take you to a “Electoral Map” showing you the break down of how the rest of America is voting.

At first I was thinking this was pretty boring because outside the state of Illinois and maybe North Carolina, the rest of the country would choose the obvious and pick the guy who scored more points right?

So you can guess that I was astounded when the map revealed itself that minus California there was a clean sweep for Jordan!  WTF?

Would somebody please explain to me how this makes sense.

For those who did not witness the game, the crowd in Manhattan were chanting in unison MVP MVP MVP for Kobe when he went to the free throw line.  When Kobe exited the game a standing ovation which included Spike Lee.

 

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Game 1 Commentary

Funny how the Angels dismantled the Sox this season 8-1 and all of the East Coast Biased media kept talking about how none of the past matters. 

Now during the game the TBS announcers cant help themselves to bring up all of the past postseason success the Sox had aganist the Angels..

Doesnt seem to be as many Idiot Red Sox Fans there tonight.  So the letter ‘R’ will be used throughout the stadium (Nomaaaaaaa)

The Senate voted on the Bailout Bill.  Suprise Suprise Obama didnt vote Present.  Okay back to baseball.

2-1 Boston.  Jason Bay hit a monster over the left field fence.  Now the announcers are saying how the Angels are nervous now.  Puhleeeeease

The announcer just said “Wicked” when describing Ortiz’s swing.  Such a lame Boston term…Just more evidence these putzes are rooting for Boston.

Reverse The Curse

Tonight the Red Sox and Angels begin yet another Postseason matchup.  Of course the East Coast Biased media has clearly said the Red Sox will either win or lose in 5.  And if they lose its only because they have injuries.  And of course they cant help themselves to mention that Boston has won the last 3 postseason meetings against the Angels.

1. 1986 Boston win 4 games to 3 in one of the most memorable postseasons ever!

2. 2004 Boston sweeps the Angels to go on to win their first World Series in nearly a century.

3. 2007 Boston sweeps the Angels again in the ALDS.  Oh yeah Garret Anderson and Vlad were hurt but you never heard excuses from us!

So this year the Angels went 8-1 against Boston.  Swept Boston in Boston and won a franchise record 100 victories.  All of that goes out the door.

My Prediction: Angels 3 – 1

Another Ho Hum Victory

While the Angels were racking up their 75th victory of the season, ESPN had breaking news about the Red Sox outscoring the Texas Ranges 19-17.

Okay even if anybody is reading this post, you are probably saying that is quite signifigant in Baseball. 

Here’s the deal: Everybody knows that Texas lacks any quality pitching.  The lowest ERA amongst their starting pitchers is a dismal 4.85! So they have to score 10 plus runs a game to be able to compete. 

However what the Red Sox Network didnt say was how pathetic was Boston’s pitching giving up 17 runs! 

I understand sometimes this just happens in a ball game.  Hitters can catch fire,but again the reason for this blog is show East Coast Bias.  This is what I love about Mike Sciosia.  He doesnt care if he wins a game 1-0 or 12-0, as long as his team comes out with a ‘W’

Buh Bye Boston

It looks like Boston the media darlings of ESPN has somewhat faded over the last couple of days after the Angels went into Boston and swept the BoSox.

To further legitmize the Angel’s current dominance ESPN posted the current breakdown of the best bullpen’s in the Majors:

Ranking contenders’ bullpens:

Francisco Rodriguez

Rodriguez

Los Angeles Angels

1 The good: Francisco Rodriguez is on track to obliterate Bobby Thigpen’s single-season save record. He’s added a changeup to complement his fastball and terrific curve, and he’s motivated by the prospect of a huge free-agent deal this winter.

Scot Shields and Jose Arredondo make for a formidable setup tandem. Arredondo throws a fastball in the mid-90s and is confident enough in his splitter to throw it at any time in the count.

The contenders: ML bullpen ranks

  ERA K/BB BAA
Angels 13 10 20
Cubs 16 3 13
Phillies 3 23 14
D-Backs 17 5 16
White Sox 5 2 10
Dodgers 2 1 7
Yankees 11 4 T-2
Red Sox 9 18 9
Rays 6 21 1

Fatigue shouldn’t be an issue down the stretch. The Angels’ bullpen has had the lightest workload in the majors, and the team’s huge division lead gives manager Mike Scioscia the luxury of backing off in September and making sure the relievers are fresh for the postseason.

The bad: It’s not the deepest ‘pen on the planet. Darren Oliver is solid, but not your prototypical shutdown lefty. Then again, lefties are hitting .145 against Shields and .170 vs. Arredondo, so it might not matter.

Justin Speier, signed to a four-year, $18 million contract in 2006, has been a disappointment. He’s given up 10 homers in 47 innings.

“His velocity is way down, and he’s not locating his slider anywhere near as well as he used to,” an American League scout said.

The yet-to-be-determined: Shields handles the Yankees’ lefty hitters very well, and Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford and Eric Hinske are a combined 4-for-31 against him. But if it’s October and David Ortiz is coming to the plate in a big spot in the seventh or eighth, who gets the call? Big Papi has three homers and a 1.480 slugging percentage in 12 career at-bats against Shields, so Scioscia better give it some thought.

Which Angels starter goes to the bullpen when the rotation gets shorter in the postseason? Jered Weaver looks like the early frontrunner.

Kerry Wood

Wood

Carlos Marmol

Marmol

Chicago Cubs

2 The good: Feel free to deduct points for Kerry Wood’s blister problems and Carlos Marmol‘s occasional hiccups, but Chicago’s eighth and ninth inning duo has combined for 141 strikeouts in 108 innings this season. These are two relievers whom nobody enjoys facing — trust us.

Neal Cotts has been solid from the left side, and Chad Gaudin was a nice pickup from Oakland in the Rich Harden deal. Although Bob Howry‘s overall numbers aren’t pretty, manager Lou Piniella keeps running him out there. Howry has a 5.30 ERA, but he’s stranded 21 of 24 inherited runners.

The bad: If Wood’s blister issues reoccur, it’ll turn into a daily soap opera in Chicago. Marmol is back on track after some pre-All Star Game travails. But after 58 appearances and 62 1/3 high-intensity innings, his workload merits watching. “The guy only has so many bullets,” a National League executive said.

Chicago’s bullpen has also allowed 44 homers, third-most in the NL.

The yet-to-be-determined: We talked to several front-office people who aren’t sold on Jeff Samardzija yet, but one NL scout was bowled over by the former Notre Dame right-hander/wide receiver. “He has the potential to have the same impact for the Cubs as Joba Chamberlain did for the Yankees [in 2007],” the scout said.

Samardzija hits 93-96 mph on the gun and his ball has lots of movement, but he needs to work on his control. He struck out 44 batters and walked 42 in Double-A ball this season. And in his first two August outings with the Cubs, Samardzija threw 33 strikes and 31 balls.

Brad Lidge

Lidge

Philadelphia Phillies

3 The good: The Phillies are baseball’s premier bullpen-turnaround specialists. Brad Lidge, whose star was tarnished in Houston, is 28-for-28 in save opportunities and secure in a new, three-year contract. He’s shown no signs of a drop-off after warming up a ******** six times in the All-Star Game.

J.C. Romero, whose three-year, $12 million contract was the focus of some industry scorn, has been terrific. While Romero’s control comes and goes, lefties are hitting .083 (6 for 72) against him. And Chad Durbin has been a strike-throwing, double-play-inducing godsend.

Philadelphia’s relievers have allowed only 24 home runs, fewest in the majors, despite playing half their games in a tiny park with no margin for error.

The bad: The Phillies kicked the tires on a bunch of lefty relievers, from Ron Mahay to Jack Taschner to John Grabow. But after dipping into their farm system to pry Joe Blanton loose from the Athletics, they didn’t have much ammunition left to make a deadline deal. Good luck in your auditions, Les Walrond and J.A. Happ.

The yet-to-be-determined: Tom Gordon has begun throwing off a mound in Clearwater, Fla., but the Phillies aren’t optimistic that he’ll make a contribution in August. If he’s back by September, Gordon could give the ‘pen a boost.

Brandon Lyon

Lyon

Arizona Diamondbacks

4 The good: Like the Angels, the Diamondbacks take pressure off their bullpen with a deep and effective rotation. With Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, Randy Johnson and Doug Davis routinely pitching six innings or more, Arizona’s bullpen is rarely overworked.

Juan Cruz is a strikeout machine in the middle, Chad Qualls churns out double plays, and Tony Pena could graduate to closing eventually. The addition of Jon Rauch, a workhorse in Washington, gives the Diamondbacks another guy to contend with Manny Ramirez, Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols in Arizona’s 22 remaining games with the Dodgers, Rockies and Cardinals.

The bad: Arizona’s bullpen is overwhelmingly right-handed. While Cruz, Qualls and Rauch all have good numbers against lefties, manager Bob Melvin won’t have the luxury of playing matchups against the likes of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard or Carlos Delgado in the postseason.

The yet-to-be-determined: Max Scherzer, who missed a month with shoulder fatigue after striking out 33 batters in 31 innings for Arizona, topped out at 98 mph for Triple-A Tucson last week. You can count on seeing Scherzer again in Phoenix this season.

Brandon Lyon, Arizona’s closer, relies more on fastball command and a four-pitch repertoire than overpowering stuff. We’ll see how that plays in September and, possibly, the postseason.

“Will he keep you on the edge of your seat? Yeah, sometimes,” said a scout. “He wouldn’t be one of my top choices as a closer. But he’s taken that role and thrown strikes and gotten guys out.”

Octavio Dotel

Dotel

Bobby Jenks

Jenks

Chicago White Sox

5 The good: Bobby Jenks gives Chicago one of the dominant closers in the game when he’s right, and Octavio Dotel is averaging more strikeouts per nine innings (12.87) than Carlos Marmol. Scott Linebrink, on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, has begun a throwing program. And lefty Matt Thornton has 55 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings.

The White Sox play in one of the most homer-friendly parks in baseball, yet their bullpen has surrendered only 25 homers. Chicago’s relievers have also walked a major-league-low 106 batters.

The bad: While the ‘pen was a strong point through June, Chicago’s relievers have a 6.23 ERA in their past 19 games. You also have to wonder about Jenks. His velocity has held steady in the 94-95 mph range, but 22 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings don’t compute for a closer with his stuff.

The-yet-to-be-determined: Linebrink’s problem isn’t structural, and the White Sox think he’ll be ready for a rehab assignment soon. He has a lot of mileage on that right arm, so the brief hiatus could do him some good down the stretch.

The roster merry-go-round kept spinning Tuesday when Chicago sent Clayton Richard to the minors and recalled Adam Russell. If the Sox need further reinforcements they could look to Double-A closer Jon Link or baseball vagabond Jason Childers, who is posting some eye-popping numbers for Triple-A Charlotte.

Desperately Selling Tickets

The Dodgers just aquired the great but embattled Manny Ramirez:

man.jpg

My question to Frank McCourt is: Does this improve your team?

His answer would be: Of course!

It would be hard to argue against somebody who is hitting .300 with 20HRs and 68 RBI’s.  However given the fact of Manny’s mantra of “Manny Being Manny,” and how lousy the Dodgers are, I truly doubt that this will actually make the Dodgers any threat.

What this does however is put butts in the seat.  Low IQ Dodger fans who watch the Red Sox Sports Network (ESPN) will believe that Zeus has descended down from the clouds to play in Chavez Ravine. Expect long lines ascending up the hill to pay $15 bucks for the privelage of parking to see a game in the ugliest stadium in baseball. 

Here’s the other problem: The Dodgers have a recent history of big hype players that have busted.  Remember Kevin Brown? I bet you didn’t! 

It wasn’t long ago that the great Tommy Lasorda said about his beloved Dodgers, “We need to start playing for the names on the front of our jersey’s not the one on our back.”

I’m sure in Boston Red Sox eyes, this is the greatest move ever!  Of course according to sox fans, everything the Sox do should be marked in history.

My advice to Manny: Shave down the dreads kick back SoCal style and embrace the City of Champions.