Thursday, July 26, 2012

Who's Next? (Nationals edition)

Now that we've covered some of the recent bigger trades, who still needs pieces, and who has pieces to sell?  According to the Worldwide Leader's playoff odds, eight American League teams (the Yankees, Rangers, White Sox, Tigers, Angels, A's, Red Sox, and Blue Jays) and seven National League teams (Nationals, Reds, Giants, Pirates, Cardinals, Braves, and Dodgers) have at least a 20% chance of making the postseason, with both the Rays in the AL and the Diamondbacks in the NL just under that number.  That's a lot of teams with winning records that could be looking to make moves.  As for who is available, for the right price your team may be able to acquire one or more of the following: Zack Greinke, Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Hunter Pence, almost any Miami Marlin (possibly including beer vendors), Shane Victorino, Yunel Escobar, James Shields, Jon Lester, Daniel Murphy, Josh Willingham, Alfonso Soriano (it's like seeing an old friend!), Bryan LaHair, Chase Headley, Denard Span, Justin Morneau, Jed Lowrie, Shaun Marcum, Huston Street, Brandon League, Jonathon Broxton, and any number of other decent relievers on bad teams.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Trading Season!

Perhaps because there is so little going on in the rest of the sports landscape (apart from the Olympics this year), baseball's July 31st trading deadline is one of my favorite times of the season.  It serves as a barometer for teams to evaluate their chances and decide whether or not they should buy, sell, or stand pat.  Of course it's more fun when a team or three decides to push more chips into the middle of the table, as the Astros did in trading for Randy Johnson in 1998, or the Brewers in 2008 with their deal for C.C. Sabathia.  In both instances those trades were major factors in securing their teams a playoff berth, as both Johnson and Sabathia were dominant post-trade.  Then again, some years are boring, such as 2005 when the biggest name to switch uniforms was either Matt Lawton or a beyond-washed-up Bret Boone. Thankfully, this year already looks exciting, and we still have a week to go before the deadline.  Before we get into any major speculation, let's take a look at some of the trades that have already happened.

Friday, July 13, 2012

An Idol's Fall From Grace

You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them. - Exodus 20:4-5

In sports, particularly in this country and particularly in collegiate athletics, highly successful coaches have received adulation to the point of idolatry for decades.  Think of Knute Rockne. Bear Bryant. Woody Hayes.  Bo Schembechler.  Phog Allen. Adolph Rupp.  John Wooden.  Dean Smith.  Mike Krzyzewski.  Bobby Bowden.  Joe Paterno.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Draft Night!

I love the NBA draft. Because I pay so much attention to college basketball, I'm always interested in seeing where guys wind up, even (sometimes) if they're second-rounders.  Like most other people, I thought that this was an exceptionally deep draft, with plenty of potential starters and rotation players available well into the second round.  Below is my breakdown of many of the selections.