Archive for September 23rd, 2010

2010 MLB Power Rankings: Playoff Edition

September 23rd, 2010 by Johnny G | 24 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General

The Power Rankings Are Back!

1. New York Yankees (92-60)-  The Yanks are still the class of the MLB but this team is starting to show some weaknesses. The starting rotation has taken some major blows since my last ranking. Javier Vazquez has been removed from the rotation, A.J. Burnett has continued to struggle, Andy Pettite is still not back from injury, and CC Sabathia is the only consistent starter for the Yankees right now. Gardner in Left Field has seen his average steadily decline recently and Derek Jeter, despite his latest 11-game hitting streak is still hitting just .267. This is the kind of veteran team that can turn it on when the bright lights come on, though.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (90-61)- This is the Rays chance. Ownership has stated they will be cutting payroll by 22 million next season, no questions asked. That means it is extremely unlikely that guys like Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford, and Rafael Soriano will be resigned. On the flip side of the coin, the Rays minor league system is flush with talent just waiting to be summoned to the Major Leagues. The knock on this team entering the playoffs right now would be their lack of a true ace. James Shields has not pitched like a #1 but David Price certainly has. With Price, Garza, Shields, and Niemman, it is going to be tricky figuring out how they will shuffle this rotation. This team is built perfectly for a 162 game season, not necessarily a 5 or 7 game series, which is the only thing that would worry me entering the playoffs.

3. Philadelphia Phillies (92-61)- Well, its September. That could only mean one thing- the Phillies are absolutely red hot. With Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt, they have the best top of the rotation in the game. As crazy as it may seem, Hamels has actually pitched most effectively in the second half and he has looked nearly unhittable for months now. The Phillies have won 10 in a row without the services of Jimmy Rollins and Brad Lidge has quietly pitched effectively over the last several months. This is where I draw an imaginary line between these three teams listed above and the rest of the MLB. The Phillies, Rays, and Yankees are in a class of their own and whoever comes out of the ALCS between the Rays and Yanks, will be facing off against Philly in the Fall Classic.

4. Minnesota Twins (92-60)- The Twins were the first team in the Big Leagues to clinch a division title so it will be interesting to see how they go about resting some of their big sluggers. This team needs to get Justin Morneau back to have a shot at advancing deep into the Playoffs and they will also need their largely inexperienced rotation to pitch effectively. Ron Gardenhire has already announced that Francisco Liriano will get the ball in their first playoff game but will Gardy go with the veteran Pavano or the young guns like Brian Duensing and Scott Baker. We’ll find out soon enough.

(more…)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Breaking News: Sixers Trade Willie Green

September 23rd, 2010 by Johnny G | 3 Comments | Filed in Basketball, General, Sixers

Yes, you heard it here first, your very own 76ers traded Willie Green on Thursday along with Center Jason Smith. In return, the Sixers will receive Darius Songaila and Craig Brackins, the 21st selection in this years draft. Brackins was originally drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder before being traded to the New Orleans Hornets. This marks Brackins second trade before every suiting up for an NBA team. Songaila is merely an expiring contract for the Sixers but Brackins is an interesting piece. Last season for Iowa State, Brackins averaged 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

With all joking aside, this deal does look pretty solid for the Sixers. Lets see what else Eddie Stefanski has up his sleeve.

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Third Edition – The Weekly Rant and Rave (a day late)

September 23rd, 2010 by OD20 | 4 Comments | Filed in General

Is that the Eagles' OLine(aka, the reason Kolb isn't starting) or a Pile of Trash? I have a hard time telling the two apart

I apologize for the delay in my posting of my weekly thoughts on the national sports scene with emphasis on the truly important sports stories (those happening in Philly).  I couldn’t post yesterday because *insert lame excuse about unimportant things here*.  Since I’m a day late, I promise to deliver the goods to make up for it….. kinda.

To the one topic that is on everyone’s mind regarding the Eagles.  Wide Receiver, Kendra’s Husband… or whatever Baskett’s first name is, was cut from the Eagles’ squad this week.  Baskett was cut to make room for the signing of running back Joique Bell.  This was clearly a case of the Eagles management realizing that we needed more guys with sweet first names on this team.  Regardless of the motive, Baskett and his playmate wife appear to be headed elsewhere (to Minnesota?  Solid consolation prize for Childress having missed out on Vincent Jackson… they are about as similar as a ’11 Mercedes and a ’88 Buick Lesabre, and a Lesabre that drops onside kicks at that).

Wait, my editor is telling me that there is apparently a bigger story out there in Eagles’ Land.  Hold on a second… Andy Reid did WHAT!?!?!  He made Mike Vick the starter????  Doesn’t he realize he made dogs fight, and went to jail, and punched a baby harp seal?  Since when do football coaches care about who the best player on the field is that helps his team win?  Ohhh since FOREVER!

There is a bizarre mix of excitement and outrage accompanying the REAL story in Philly this week.  The national media is all over it, the local media has officially beaten it to death, and honestly, no one knows jack about it, in my opinion.  People are screaming that it will ruin Kolb… really?  Allowing Vick to try to take this team to the playoffs in a division that currently sports 1-1 and 0-2 teams is going to end the Kevin Kolb era?  Having Kolb back up a qb who runs as often as our running backs do, and who takes more shots than Ben Rothlesburgers next “consensual” bathroom hook up, is really going to set him back?

(more…)