The battle of O. Perezes.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
My picks are Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Arizona, and Pittsburgh, at whatever lines we get for our pool at pigskin.com. I am on the fence with some other games and may add one or two more tomorrow morning.
...I will add J'ville too.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Don't forget to make picks this week. The link at the top left will get you there if you've got post-concusssion syndrome and can't remember how. Still time to join the pool, too, and compete for fabulous hooraws and huzzas. So far I have one pick set: I love the Steelers this week. More picks later.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Whenever I have an off-week picking games, I usually blame picking them early, if that's the case. This week I'm determined not to get eager and won't pick games until Saturday or Sunday morning. (FWIW, The pool is still open to new players.)
In the meantime, here's a question. The Steelers come on at 4:15. The Pirates will be at LA at 4:10. Fans will be forgiven if the Pirates have slipped their mind when the great Alan Faneca takes the field.
At one o'clock, assuming you could have your pick of the litter, which one of these games will you be watching?
Atlanta at BuffaloI have my opinion, but I'd like to hear yours first.
Cincinnati at Chicago
Jacksonville at New York
Oakland at Philadelphia
Tennessee at St. Louis
Carolina at Miami
Cleveland at Indianapolis
New Orleans at Minnesota
Tampa Bay at Green Bay
Dejan writes about him.
I think the Bucs have to cut him loose.
. . .I should elaborate. Two theories come to mind that answer the, "What's wrong with Kip?" question. The first and most common one appears to be, Kip does not like playing in Pittsburgh, does not improve under our coaching, and does not know how to help himself. This leads to the worry that the Pirates will let him go, and some other pitching guru will "solve" him over a weekend. And he'll pitch like Jason Schmidt for the next ten years.
I am not privy to the opinions of Pirate coaches on Kip Wells. I don't know how they explain his inconsistency and general failure to get good results from good stuff. I would guess, however, that if they have a hypothesis, Kip has either rejected it or they have tested it with bad results.
The second theory, which does not get enough play I think, is simply that Kip is a bad pitcher. Not all Pirate pitchers left Pittsburgh for greater success elsewhere. KPatrick brings up Jimmy Anderson. The second theory is simpler. Why buy into a line of psychobabble about a young man's troubled response to what he (maybe) perceives as his dysfunctional baseball family? Why not just say, Kip Wells is a bad pitcher?
More and more he reminds me of Brett Tomko. I think I've said that before.
The odds are that, no matter where Kip pitches in 2006, he's not going to pitch well. I wish him luck but that has to be the most common-sense prediction.
Since he's not going to pitch well, we can't afford to pay him. If we bring him back at a much higher salary, that's a Daryle Ward-type gamble with much higher stakes. We don't need to gamble with the rotation at this point, especially since it's clear we are committed to Oliver Perez.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
KPatrick kicks it off with this comment: "Hey since there's no game 152 thread up, I'll ask: has Kip Wells just quit? Is he tanking? Is there any reason Gorzelanny and or Bullington shouldn't have his spot? Could we get Rabies in a trade for Wells right now?"
His question - do the Indians have self-inflicted wounds the size of Aramis Ramirez and Chris Shelton - is a good one. I pay more attention to the Tribe than to any other AL club, but I draw a blank. Unless of course "trading away Matt Lawton" ... uh nah. They did squander Bartolon Colon for some uberprospect shortstop who never went anywhere. I'm not sure that qualfies.
At the end, Dejan requests a new, distinctly Piratical name for the notebook section collecting all the undiscovered, suggestive, and often unexpected odds and ends. How about "Hidden Vigorish"?
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
Ed Bouchette runs down the teams installing or still adapting to the 3-4. I saw that comment from Dom Capers in last week's interview. It's good to be ahead of the curve. I also thought that both Carr and Capers sounded unusually deferential to the Steelers.
As they should, I suppose.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Surprise of the day: Tennessee 25, Craisins 10. It's not surprising that the Tennessee, a week after going to school to study with the best, would play strong and win. What does surprise me is this: Jamal Lewis 10 carries, 9 yards. Chester Taylor 3 carries, 5 yards. Anthony Wright 25-for-40. 13 runs, 40 passes? WTF were they thinking? Was the Titan run defense was that stout?
...just listened to the first quarter. Craven offense inept. First series, three and out. Second series, Lewis fumbled the ball away on the second play. Two penalties on the third drive. Tennessee has possession more that ten minutes. Tenn. announcers swooning about Pacman Jones' debut. Albert Haynesworth doing the gimpy General act. Tenn. announcers saying Ray Lewis has lost a step but remains smart.
On offense, the Titans run screen after screen. Travis Henry running like Eddie George of six-eight years ago. Titans get a long field goal.
... now listening to the second quarter. Ravers with the ball. Haynesworth shoots right through the Ravin' OL, which the Titans are dominating, and buries Jamal Lewis. Wright completes one dink and one dunk--punt formation. Titans drive into Raven territory and turn the ball over. Wright sacked twice; Lewis gets some on a draw; punt. Next possession, Raisins stuffed, sacked, incomplete, punt.
The story of this game appears to be total domination in the first half. The three first-half sacks extinguished Baltimore completely. They got three more in the second half.
I'm downgrading the Ravens after this one. The o-line played terribly. They are old and not fully recovered from injury. Their run-blocking looked as bad as their pass-blocking, which was not even good last year. Anthony Wright looked inept, and the Titans made the Baltimore defense look average. I now grade the AFC North as Pittsburgh 5 stars, Bengals 4, Ravens 3, Browns 1.
I guess Kordell Stewart will start for Baltimore before the end of the season.
The Brownies did well today, but I didn't see much reason to lift them up. I see the Pack as a 3-star team (average), and given the circumstances, I didn't think that upset was a huge shock. The Browns go to Indy next week. I expect they'll do a little better there than San Francisco did in Philadelphia.
Game on 1:35pm. Eric Milton and Ollie Perez. Any chance the Pirates have of a winning season in 2006 involves Oliver Perez getting back to something like his
2003 2004 form.
That's stating the obvious, perhaps. Here's hoping he can show us something this afternoon.
...Albert mentions the Winter Leagues. Maybe Ollie is like Odalis Perez--maybe he can only pitch well if he pitches year-round.