February 08, 2016

Playing Pepper Preview

I like making predictions on these pages, although I think I have yet to make one forecast that's even close to being correct. But that hasn't stopped C70 at the Bat from asking me to participate in their annual Playing Pepper project for the 5th season in a row.

You can look here at what I said going into the 2012, 20132014  and 2015 seasons.

This year I have been asked to answer the following questions.

1) What are your thoughts on the team’s offseason?  Did they do what they needed to do?
2) There are a good number of new faces on this squad.  Which one are you most excited about?
3) Will the David Ortiz farewell tour threaten to overshadow what happens on the field?
4) What player do you expect to make the greatest strides this year?
5) What’s your projection of the team’s record and where will they finish in the division?
6) Which team in the division do you most enjoy beating and how do you think you’ll fare against them in 2016?

My answers and those of several other Red Sox bloggers will be published on or around February 25h at the C70 site.  Check there daily for previews of all other teams as well.

I will post my answers here at about the same time, and will be interested in my reader's comments on my thoughts.

February 06, 2016

Did you hear the one about NFL parity?


Best part of Super Bowl? Truck Day is around the corner!
(courtesy of Boston Globe / David L. Ryan)
So, this year the Super Bowl pits the #1 seed from the NFC vs the #1 seed from the AFC.  And they both got their by virtue of beating the #2 seeds in their respective conference championship games.  Yet, the NFL media machine keeps spewing the “on any given Sunday, any team can win” bullshit.  I guess if you didn’t believe that, you’d have a hard time selling out games in Cleveland, Tampa, Jacksonville, Nashville and other places that haven’t seen a winner in a long time.  And I’m not just talking about this year but throughout the league’s history it’s been dominated by a handful of franchises.  Anyhow, Jayson Stark has once again articulated this very well here.  Proving once again how MLB baseball has the most parity of any professional sports league.  Before you say “But the Yankees win every year!!!” make sure you first (a) read the article in the link and (b) check that you didn’t just wake up from a coma you were in since the end of last century.

January 20, 2016

Don't Complain about the Exchange Rate, Blue Jays

Get ready to hear him explain why Jays can't compete (Photo: Nathan Denette)
The Canadian loonie is low and dropping fast.  Is this going to affect the competitiveness of the Blue Jays?  Will it be tougher for them to shell out big bucks for high priced players?  Will they need to raise ticket prices to survive financially because of this? no, No, and NO!

And anybody who tells you otherwise is either lying, or likely not smarter than a 5th grader.

I've explain it all in detail over on my other blog as it affects hockey teams as well, so I posted it to a wider audience.  Go take a look.

December 31, 2015

2016 Hall of Fame ballot

In my previous Hall of Fame posts, I have covered former Red Sox on this year's ballots, as well as Canadians.  Those posts covered 14 of the 32 players on this year's ballot. This post will cover the remaining players and reveal my ten player ballot.

Of the remaining players, I would cast a vote for:

Alan Trammell
Barry Bonds
Ken Griffey Jr.
Trevor Hoffman (can't not vote for him, after making the case for Lee Smith and Billy Wagner)

No need to justify Bonds and Junior.  As for Trammell,comparing him to other shorstops he should be in. He has a higher JAWS than some Jeter guy and essentially the same WAR as Barry Larkin. He was overshadowed by Ripken during his career so may not have gotten as much recognition as he deserved, even being robbed of a well earned 1987 MVP. Alas, by the time the voters recognized the extent of his full accomplishments the ballots were too crowded and there was no room for him.

December 24, 2015

Hall of Fame - Canadian related players

Now that I’ve covered the former Red Sox players on the Hall of Fame ballot, time to look at players of interest to Canadians.  This includes both players born here, as well as those who played here. As I did in my previous post, I will just look at each player on his own merits to see if he deserves induction, and ignore the ten vote per ballot limit for now.

The players who I will cover today (in order of years on ballot) are:

Tim Raines (9th season, 55% votes last year)
Fred McGriff (7th, 13%)
Edgar Martinez (7th, 27%)
Larry Walker (6th, 12%)
Roger Clemens (4th, 37%)
Jeff Kent (3, 14%)
Mark Grudzielanek (1st year)
Troy Glaus (1st)