Hot Stove, Hot Stove, Hot Stove, Hot Stove, Hot Stove, Hot Stove
The Hot Stove FINALLY got hot today with all the movement in Baseball that actually involved many of the game’s best players. We’ve got American League teams trying to reload and a certain National League getting better than 2 straight World Series appearances. Now that’s pretty good!
The Phillies made a pretty shrewd deal in a 3-way trade that sent Cliff Lee to the Mariners but brought Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays to the Phillies. Here’s the deal…Cliff Lee is one of the best pitchers in Baseball…so good for the Mariners because they already DON’T suck anymore, but now they totally don’t suck because they have Felix Hernandez AND Cliff Lee. I think they just got the Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels’ attention.
However, Cliff Lee played extremely well for the Phillies so on one hand you could easily say that the Phillies are stupid to move Lee for Halladay because Halladay is looking like a vigilante right now. However, as I just said, Lee is not as good as Halladay. Halladay is one the best to ever do it. Period. This dude’s already in the Hall of Fame and he has yet to face non-DH teams consistently. Imagine what he’s going to do to teams that have to bat their Pitchers all the time? I think that equals destruction.
Then, John Lackey took a walk from L.A. to Boston and the Red Sox made a big score getting another big Pitcher. Lackey left the Angels…but why? Does he think he has a better chance of winning a championship in Boston than he does in Anaheim? I would bet that he does considering how the Angels have been faring in the playoffs lately. I’d hardly think that I could count on the Angels in the playoffs right now. Moreover, the World Series they won was kind of a fluke because they sort of tripped on their “elite” status and though they play well during the regular season they are looking more and more like the Braves every season. (Mind you, that isn’t ALL bad, but I did just break up with the Braves…my hometown team. So, it IS possible to outstay your welcome even if you are winning on a consistent basis because, as we saw in Atlanta, all good things must come to an end.)
Now that I’ve spent a couple hundred words trashing the Angels I need to bring up their signing of Hideki Matsui. This guy was the MVP of the World Series just a couple months ago and now he’s jetting New York for sunny Los Angeles. Frankly, I don’t get it. I mean, I get it if you’re the Angels because they lost Chone Figgins and they need to make a move, but what about the Yankees? They’ve got all the money in the world and they didn’t want to keep this guy? This is one where I have to ask myself…”Does Brian Cashman know something I don’t, or is he a complete idiot?” Only time will tell, but we know two things 1) Hideki ain’t no spring chicken, and 2) He just had the best season he’s ever going to have. So, if you’re the Yankees you let him go now thinking he’s only going downhill from here and if you’re the Angels you’re hoping he can pick up where he left off. For my money I think he’s got a few more good years left in him, but nothing like what just happened.
Then, the Red Sox picked up Mike Cameron. Now, Mike Cameron doesn’t sound like a sexy move to make, but he just gets things done. He hits when he needs to and fields pretty well. His stats probably DO NOT back up what I’m saying, but he’s a solid player to add to an already very good Red Sox club. I feel like I’m talking about Mike Cameron the same way I was lauding Derek Fisher to my buddy during Game 4 of the NBA Finals. He kept asking me why D-Fish was on the floor and I said “He’ll hit a 3 at the buzzer everytime…even if he misses everything else he takes all night.” Well, you know how many 3′s he hit that night and they basically won the Lakers a title. I’m not saying Mike Cameron’s going to win the Sox a title, but I AM saying that he can help get them in good position during a really long season. (BTW- can we work on shortening it already?)
Then there’s the Cards who are looking like they want to sign Matt Holliday to a long-term deal. The number I heard today on the way home was 8 years and about $16 million a year. That’s a $128 million contract. Apparently, he’s been holding out. Well, Senor Holliday, if you don’t sign that thing freaking immediately you are a freaking idiot because you know you’ll see every damn penny of that contract. So sign it ALREADY!!!
Moving on to the All-Americans
Colt McCoy is definitely the best QB in the country…so no big deal. Toby Gerhart and Mark Ingram (1 and 2 in the Heisman voting) work in my backfield….in yours too I would assume, wit Golden Tate and Jordan Shipley to throw the ball to. Yeah, that works, and Aaron Hernandez (the only effective offensive player for Florida in the SEC Title Game) is perfect at Tight End.
Now, they put C.J. Spiller on the team as an all-purpose player. I think that’s great since he’s got like 4 million runbacks for touchdowns and all these insane records concerning return distance and return TD’s, but then I hear someone say that he could have easily been put on the team as a running back, and this brings me back to my original question from the Heisman ceremony:
Is the Heisman a career award or a yearly award? According to the logic that C.J. Spiller should be an All-American Running Back you think the Heisman is a yearly award (because C.J. Spiller didn’t go to New York and he could have only won the Heisman based on career stats) and that also means that the #1 and #2 vote-getters (running backs) deserve the two running back spots because All-American spots are also yearly awards. So, basically that logic is flawed. He’s a great player, but he’s a flash, a slash…not a downhill everydown running back like Ingram and Gerhart…hence, they get the spots at RUNNING BACK! Not wingback, not splitback, not slotback…RUNNING BACK!
Then we hit the defense where I think the NFL is about to be supplied with a GIRTH of massively good defensive players. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the offensive renaissance we’re seeing in the NFL right now is going to die when all of these players hit the league and then hit their prime (Oooh, scary!)
Terrence Cody, Ndamukong Suh, Eric Berry, Rolando McClain, Derrick Morgan, Eric Norwood, Joe Haden, and Javier Arenas. (And one of my favorites from last season who is not an All-American this season: Major Wright from Florida.) What do you think is going to happen to the NFL when all of these guys hit the league (all on different teams probably) and they are all anchoring a defense? MAYHEM! It only takes one to start a defensive renaissance on an NFL club (Ray Lewis was the first to get to Baltimore and DeMarcus Ware was the first to get to the Cowboys, etc.) So, all of these Quarterbacks that we’re in love with are going to DIE when they try to tangle with these beasts. I mean, these dudes are MONSTERS. How in the world does anyone expect to stop them? I know I don’t.
There was an abomination wherein the Cardinals committed SEVEN turnovers in a loss to the 49ers. I mean, I’m glad I was wrong because I really thought the 49ers were going to lose, but how in the world can the Cards play so well last week and beat the Vikings (of all teams) and this week they go in and play a sub-.500 team like the 49ers and get beat? (And cough-up the ball 7 times. Did I mention that?) If they had only turned over the ball maybe 5 times they would have won, but 7 times? How inconsistent can you be?
Kurt Warner’s so over it that he mentioned at his meeting with the press after the game where he said something like “I don’t know when we’re going to get over this one week on one week off thing.” You know if he’s pissed then there’s a problem. Kurt Warner doesn’t get mad (to my knowledge) and he certainly doesn’t take his gripes to the media (his wife does that, but I think she’s mellowed with age.)
Now, this doesn’t mean much, but the 49ers have the Rams and the Lions at the end of the season. I can see how they might be able to sneak up on the Cards if the Cards stay inconsistent. (It probably won’t happen, but stranger things have happened and probably will happen this season.)
(My Picks are coming soon so we’ll have to see how many crazy things I’m going to predict.)
The Browns want Mike Holmgren to be (I didn’t make this up) their “Czar of Football Operations”. WTF is that? I love Mike Holmgren…he’s a Hall of Famer, he’s got like 500 Super Bowl Rings, but why in the hell would you go to the Browns and try to fix that train wreck (and don’t you think a hard ass like Holmgren is going to get in there and the first thing he’s going to do is fire Doofgini?) Doesn’t that compound their other problems (no QB, no RB, no Receivers, no Defense and no Special Teams)? How would you even begin to fix the Browns? They have nothing on the table at all. I mean, at least my plan for the Rams to tank this season so they can draft a QB high makes sense because they have good players on their team, but there aren’t any on the Browns. Wouldn’t you literally have to implode to stadium and start all over?
I’m reading their roster trying to find the good players on their team…here’s what I found:
Mohamed Massaquoi (who was better in college, but he’s pretty good now)
Robaire Smith is pretty good
Phil Dawson (one of the best and most tenured kicker/punters in the league)
That’s it….a VERY young Receiver with no QB to throw him the ball, an older D-Lineman, and a kicker. So, you can run a good route, take up space, and kick the ball if it ever gets to you. That’s the sum total of the Cleveland Browns. I’d ask to be the GM of the Browns, but my wife’s from Dayton and my Brother-in-law is a Steelers fan (and it’s cold in Cleveland this time of year.)
If you want that job you’re out of your mind and if they ever turn it around I will be so shocked. I still don’t know how they went 10-6 a couple years ago. Did they have pictures of their opponents with little boys or something because that season makes no sense. Look at it:
2003 – 5-11
2004 – 4-12
2005 – 6-10
2007 – 10-6
2009 – 3-13 (probably)
I didn’t need to put the 10-6 record in bold italics to make it stand out, but you get the idea. How in the hell did that happen and did that luck-ass season put them in the position they’re in now? Yes, they would have fired Romeo Crennel after 2007 had it been bad and they would NOT have hired Doofgini and they wouldn’t have had to deal with the whole Savage thing and then they might be 7-9 or something like that. Heck, with the AFC heading into the Doldrums like it is they could be playoff contenders (especially since the Ravens and Steelers have been losing such stupid games.) It’s a damn shame really…I liked it better when the Browns were good and Bernie Kosar was the Quarterback by the lake.
There’s just one other thing
There’s this league called the NBA…you might have heard of it, and their Commissioner (this little short Hitler-wannabe) named David Stern just spent the last couple years vilifying Tim Donaghy for betting on games he was officiating. (That probably wasn’t the best idea.)
THEN, this Donaghy guy claims the refs were steered toward calling fouls in favor of teams that were behind in Playoff series during tape sessions. THEN, Hitler-wannabe comes out and says gambling probably isn’t that bad. Huh?
I know the Maloofs are ALL OVER this because their family already owns the Palms and they could easily move the Kings to Vegas, but does David Stern think we’re all stupid? I mean, he just spent forever and a day going OFF on Tim Donaghy and NOW he thinks gambling is ok? All the more reason for me to think that the NBA fixes games. Period. I said it. I think the NBA might be fixing games (and that’s a shame because I really want to think my Lakers won ALL of their titles legitimately, but I get real nervous every time I think about this…)
That’s all. I think positing that a major sports league might fix games is pretty big.
Picks to come soon. I had a bad week and I need a rebound BAD!