Friday, October 08, 2004

Bones 38-22, Scoop 37-23

Bones and Scoop are mopping the floor with my sorry game-pickin' swami headscarf.

I see Pro Football Weekly is pimping the picks of their man Jeff for his 33-23-3 record, and they make you pay for them.

If you can't beat them, jinx them, that's what I"m thinking.

Good luck, gentlemen, with your picks for week 5.

Larry Foote biography

Ed Bouchette helps us to get to know Larry Foote.

The running game

Gerry Dulac has this great report on the state of the running game. More zone blocking, less 38 boss.

One of these days, Verron Haynes will have a big game. I've always linked him, in my mind, with the Browns' William Green because of 2001 Music City Bowl. I thought the Steelers picked themselves a great player when they got Haynes, who emerged from deep in the depth chart as a bruising, move-the-pile college runner. And as Coach Cowher would say, Haynes finished college with most of "his body," i.e., with little wear, since he only started for the second half of his senior year at Georgia. Looking over his college career on draft day - reading recaps of the various games Haynes starred in - I thought to myself that this would be the next great Steeler back.

He's been kind of fragile but he hasn't had enough chances to say he's been a disappointment.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

$100 cheesesteak

I'm sorry, I just have to link to this picture of $100 cheesesteak.

As you were.

Honest Wagner NFL pick-em: week 5

det 06.5 ATL (det) ..ATL (det)
mia 12.5 NWE ..mia ..NWE (mia)
tab 03.5 NWO ..NWO ..NWO (NWO)
cle 05.5 PIT ..cle ..PIT ..cle
min -4.5 HOU ..min ..min (HOU)
nyg 03.5 DAL (nyg) ..nyg ..nyg
oak 09.5 IND (oak) ..oak ..oak
jax -2.5 SND ..SND (jax) ..SND
buf 06.5 NYJ ..NYJ ..buf (NYJ)
arz 01.5 SNF ..arz ..arz (SNF)
stl 06.5 SEA (SEA) ..stl ..SEA
car 05.5 DEN (DEN) ..DEN
bal 00.5 WAS ..WAS ..bal ..WAS
ten 02.5 GNB ..GNB ..GNB ..ten

Parentheses indicate best bets.

Season to date:

Bones 38-22 .633
Scoop 37-23 .617
Rowdy 29-31 .483

Best bets
Bones 10-7 .588
Rowdy 10-11 .476
Scoop 5-7 .417

Bones: Stillers win but don't cover. Lot of lines are too big this week, fixes must be in.

Scoop: No comment.

by Rowdy:

det: go ducks
mia: smarty jones
NWO: saints owe me big-time
cle: browns mediocre, sloppy, but scrappy, and they know the fans will forgive any amount of incompetence and embarrassment if they can only beat the steelers
HOU: fix is in
nyg: michael strahan
oak: amos zereoue
SND: powder blue
NYJ: mike mularkey
SNF: cardinals owe me too
SEA: mike martz
car: coin flip
WAS: by astragalomancy
ten: will be close, prob. favre getting gentleman's win

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Carpal tunnel Kip

Kip Wells had carpal tunnel release surgery. My wife, like a lot of women, developed carpal tunnel during her pregnancy and we're waiting to see if it abates in the months after childbirth. The doc told us the surgery provides immediate relief and solves the problem dramatically. Hopefully she won't need it.

This explains Kip's numbness earlier in the season and I can understand why he would have trouble pitching with that condition. Even if it's only confined to one finger, it's tough to do things like typing with one numb finger.

Littlefield is talking like he has every intention of bringing Kip back. Last night I was thinking about the rotation for 2005 and realized that Oliver Perez, while he is our ace, may not be the guy we want to start the season as our #1 starter. I'd be more comfortable with 2003 Kip as the #1, Ollie as the #2, Fogg as the #3, and then determining the rest of the line in spring training.

Ricky William: Big Loser

I defended his decision to retire and walk the earth, but now Ricky just looks like a huge loser to me.

Ben for Rookie of the Week

Fan voting appears to determine the winner of this award. You can vote here.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Pirates and Expos

Beaver County columnist John Mehno debunks the notion that no one in Montreal cares for baseball.

He also has some words for Kip Wells for his role in the hazing of rookies. Hazing is a hideous, barbaric, undemocratic and profoundly un-American practice that brings out the worst in people. I'd be curious to learn if every front office around the league permits, colludes, approves, winks, or turns the other way at the hazing of rookies. It's bad enough among teenagers. When grown men do it, it's just sad all around.

Thanks to Walt for the link.

...8pm ok that was a little over the top. Hazing is stupid. Making another person wear a chicken suit is stupid and it undermines the spirit of equality that makes America a great and free nation, but it's not torture. I imagine stuff like this is a distraction but who am I to say the players can live without it.

Stats Geek: Trade Kendall

Brian O'Neill lays out some of the reasons for trading Kendall now. I'm on board with this proposal. I don't expect the subtraction of Kendall to do for the Pirates what the trading of Alex Rodriguez did for the Rangers, but if it costs $10M to save $24M, that frees up $14M for retaining other guys. That could go a long way if managed wisely.

And we have plenty of catchers in the system who deserve a shot.

Monday, October 04, 2004

All hail Bones

Dr. Bones went 12-1 ATS yesterday in our pick 'em pool.

Makes me dizzy. Huzza for that! numbers: week 4 Bones 12-2, Scoop 8-6, Rowdy 4-10, b-bets Scoop 2-1, Bones 3-2, Rowdy 3-3. Overall Bones 38-22, Scoop 37-23, Rowdy 29-31; b-bets Bones 10-7, Rowdy 10-11, Scoop 5-7.

Eat like a fat rat

I love the decision to make Jerome the goal-line back, and so far at least, Duce is cool with it too, as Ed Bouchette reports in his notebook.

Just roughing up dudes

It's hard not to like Polamalu. A lot. Good story there by Gerry Dulac.

Josh Fogg

Joe Rutter reviews his season. He finished strong.

I believe in this guy and want to see him return for 2005.

Tike Redman

He finished strong and finished with a high batting average, a miserable on-base percentage, and a very low slugging percentage.

I'd like to see the team start someone else out there in 2005. Tike had his chance and with a torrid finish, his overall numbers remain mediocre at best.

Congratulations, Phil Garner

I'm surprised more teams don't cast about to hire a former Bucco when looking to rally their team into the playoffs.

Congratulations, Scrap Iron, but I'm still rooting for the Cardinals unless they get eliminated and then I'll root for Phil Garner.

Jack Wilson, .300 hitter

Batting average is overrated, yeah, but whatever. Jack took a lot of abuse early as a guy who would never finish at .300. Like Adrian Beltre, he proved the doubters wrong with a strong year start to finish. As Robert Dvorchak points out today, "The only time this season Wilson's average was below .300 was after his first at-bat against the Phillies on opening day. He was a consistent contributor from Day 1."

The Michael Young comparison still make a lot of sense to me. Wilson's a legitimate asset at the plate and will continue to be that way, I expect, in 2005 and 2006.

Jason Bay NL Rookie of the Month for September

Congratulations, Canadian guy. As Ed Eagle reports, other NL rookies who got votes included: San Francisco's Noah Lowry; David Wright of the Mets, Cincinnati's Luke Hudson; Adam LaRoche of the Braves; Colorado's Luis Gonzalez and Jeff Francis; Yhency Brazoban of the Dodgers; Montreal's Termell Sledge and Chad Cordero; and Gavin Floyd of the Phillies.

More Bay coverage here.

Torres for Closer

"Pre-closer" my ass. Let's retire Jose on a high note, promote everyone up a spot in the bullpen, and make room for other experiments.

If 2005 was going to be a make-or-break year because of impending retirements or losses to free agency, then I'd be more inclined to bring back Mesa.


The old-timers appreciate the fact that Jack stopped at 201 hits, only tying, and not breaking, the 1908 Pirate hit record owned by the great and reckless gorilla-armed beer barrel.

Congratulations, St. Louis

105 wins is pretty damn impressive. Going into the season, I thought 92 wins might win the division but alas, the Bucs, the Reds, and the Brewers weren't as competitive as I expected.

...besides having some world-class hitters, the key for the Cardinals was the stability and excellence of the rotation. It's not often, as I wrote before, that a team gets 30 or more starts from four different pitchers, and 28 from their fifth starter. Check it out. Only three starts were made by the number six and seven guys on their depth chart. Rotation-wise, the Cardinals achieved in 2004 what the Cubs achieved in 2003. As we saw this year with the Cubbies, the Cardinals have a window of opportunity now that will probably close sooner then they expect.

I'll be rooting for the Cardinals throughout the playoffs.