Archive for the ‘Philadelphia Phillies’ category

Purple Jesus, Dreamboat, and the rest of week 6

October 15, 2007

Minnesota 34, Chicago 31–Best performance by an opposing player I’ve ever seen. Purple Jesus went off. 224 yards rushing and 3 scores, and he added a 55 yard kick return to set up Ryan Longwell’s game winning 55 yard field goal at the gun. The time when us Bears fans could rely on the defense to make plays and keep us in games no matter what is over, and the tackling of the secondary–especially Daneal Manning and Brandon McGowan–was absolutely dreadful for the second straight week. On the bright side, Devin Hester continued his dominance with an 89-yard punt return and a 81-yard touchdown reception with just over two minutes left. There have been better Bears, but Hester is by far the most exciting player to wear the uniform in my lifetime. People talk about the great Gale Sayers, and while Sayers was a better overall football player, I can’t imagine that he’s more exciting that Hester.

Cleveland 41, Miami 31–Derek Anderson is the truth, son! This situation reminds me of the Bengals a few years ago. Remember, they drafted Carson Palmer but decided to let Jon Kitna start that first year? And Kitna responded with a huge season? Well, Anderson is Jon Kitna and Brady Quinn is Carson Palmer. Anyway, the Browns seem to really have something on the offensive side of the ball, with Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow becoming Pro Bowl-level targets in the passing game. For the Fish, Cleo Lemon threw for 256 yards and 2 scores but it wasn’t enough as Miami fell to 0-6.

Green Bay 17, Washington 14–So I click on ESPN.com to read the box score for this game, and the Web site provides a link with one line which summarizes the game. For example, the Bears-Vikings game was something along the lines of ‘Peterson explodes as Vikings upset Bears.’ Well, the link for this game is ‘Favre leads Green Bay to 5-1.’ So what did Brett Favre do, you ask? 19-for-37, 188 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions. The winning touchdown was scored by the Packer defense, a 57 yard fumble return by Charles Woodson. This is a perfect example of why non-Packer fans are fucking sick of the Favre love. He played a shitty game, the defense made a huge play to win an important game, and the media lazily puts up ‘Favre leads Green Bay to 5-1.’ Give me a fucking break.

Kansas City 27, Cincinnati 20–Apparently the Cheifs aren’t that shitty. Either that, or the Bengals are really bad. It could be both. The 2007 Heartless Pig Award might go to the Bengals defense, which week after week gets torched. Larry Johnson, previously left for dead after 5 horrid weeks, had 119 yards and a score and ensured that his fantasy owners will now keep him in the lineup for the rest of the year, thinking he is back. Marvin Lewis should go ahead and sell his home and scour for defensive coordinator positions, cuz this ship has sailed.

Philadelphia 16, NY Jets 9–Hey, Mangenious…..any time you want to get Chad Pennington the fuck out of there, Jets fans will appreciate it. The New Yorkers got 130 yards from Thomas Jones and still couldn’t score a touchdown. Meanwhile, Kevin Curtis and Wes Welker are battling for the title of Best White Receiver of the Year. Previous winners include Steve Largent, Don Beebe, and Tom Waddle.

Tampa Bay 13, Tennessee 10–I’ll tell you kids something–look at Jeff Garcia’s numbers for this season. 1188 yards passing with a 66.7 completion percentage. % touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 103.6 passer rating. Tony Romo is getting all the publicity, but Garcia is the best quarterback in the NFC right now. He might not be a fantasy superstar, but he’s getting the job done very effectively for a team which will probably win its division. If you’re Dallas or Green Bay, do you want to play the Bucs in the divisional round of the playoffs, with Garcia running around like a jackass, throwing off balance and that defense playing like it is? I wouldn’t. Meanwhile, the Titans truly suck, and if Vince Young is ever injured seriously, they’ll lose about 75 percent of their games.

Jacksonville 37, Houston 17–Wasn’t it cool at the beginning of the year, when the Texans were 2-0 and everyone was talking about them being the sleeper of 2007? Yeah, not so much. The Texans can’t stop the run, and when you’re playing Jacksonville, that’s not good. 244 yards rushing, not good. David Garrard is doing in the AFC what Jeff Garcia is in the NFC: quietly putting together a stellar, if unspectacular, season. 1069 yards passing, 66.2 completions percentage, 6 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 104.7 rating. Meanwhile, Byron Leftwich really likes the new chicken fries from Burger King.

Baltimore 22, St. Louis 3–Lordy, are the Rams horrid. Every week, I write something small about the Ram game because I want to leave the true dissection of the team to our resident Rams fan, everyones on steroids. But it doesn’t seem as if he’s very interested in this garbage. So I’m gonna lay something out for the kids in the Lou: sit Bulger and Jackson for the rest of the season. Why bring them back now? So they can play hurt and the Rams can finish 5-11, 4-12? Please. Sit em, play some kids, finish one or two games worse than that, and get a top 5 pick. As for the Ravens, they are really boring and I hate writing about them. They had 5 interceptions on defense, and I’m guessing Willis McGahee did something.

Carolina 25, Arizona 10–Elway. Montana. Unitas. Marino. Favre. Manning. Brady. Make room, gentlemen. Vinny’s back. Testaverde blew the fuck up against the Cardinals, throwing for 206 yards and a score to lead the Panthers to a big victory on the road. It would be really awesome if Vinny was the starter for the rest of the year. Why not? What, Carolina should be anxious to throw David Carr back in there? Please, he blows. On the other side, Tim Rattay rallied the Cardinals after Kurt Warner hyperextended his elbow. Rallied them to 159 yards and 3 interceptions. After the game, Rattay looked at the stat sheet, saw he got monster-fucked by a 44 year old dude who wasn’t even in the league last week, and hung himself.

New England 48, Dallas 27–I didn’t even know these two teams were playing this week. You would think that two 5-0 teams matching up would of had more of a build up. Anyway, the Patriots will probably go 16-0 if they stay healthy. Since the Pats and Cowboys will probably represent their conferences in the Super Bowl, we already know that New England will blow out the Cowboys in February. So, on October 15, the season is over. Fuck you, Dreamboat.

San Diego 28, Oakland 14–LT got the ball. He ran for 200 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wow. Look what happens when you give the best player the fucking ball. Thanks Norv; you owe me 500 dollars. (Suicide pool pot that I lost when picking SD a few weeks back).

New Orleans 28, Seattle 17–This was one of the worst coached games I have ever seen. Mike Holmgren should be fired after this season. The Seahawk playcalling was horrible. In the 4th quarter, here are some of the calls Holgren made: 4th and 3, called timeout and then ran a draw–with the fullback–and gained 1 yard; team scored to make it 28-17, kicked an onsides kick with over 7 minutes left in the game–kick failed; with under 2 minutes left, facing a 4th and 9 on the Saints’ 20, decided to go for it instead of kicking the field goal to cut it to 8 and then trying an onsides kick. You need 3 anyway, Mike…..why not get it now instead of trying a 4th and 9? Fucking moron. Go comb your walrus mustache.

the real problem with the chicago bears offense

October 3, 2007

Yeah, it turns out it wasn’t Rex after all. Who would have thunk it? (Oh, yeah, me).

But I wasn’t the only one that saw past Rex’s horrible passes and into deeper reasons for the Bears offensive ineptitude. The receivers drop passes and outside of Bernard Berrian, don’t get open frequently. The offensive line seems half as effective as they were in 2006, both in the passing game and in the running game.

But the real issue is Cedric Benson. The guy is not an every down, load-bearing back.

Sure, like I said earlier, the offensive line isn’t opening the same holes. But it can’t be doing that much worse than in 2006. And I’m not buying into the idea that many meathead Bears fans believe, that with Thomas Jones the offense would be cruising along. Check Jones’ stats with the Jets. He’s not exactly tearing it up.

But if a guy is going to be a focal point of an offense, a 300-carry, 1200-yard plus running back, shouldn’t he be the a top ten or top fifteen back? I think so. And yet, if the Bears had their choice, I bet there are a ton of running backs in the league they would start ahead of Benson for the remainder of this season.

In fact, lets go with that premise: How many active running backs would I, hardawayhatesyou, rather have as the Bears’ premier back for the remaining twelve games on the schedule?

  • Dallas: 2; Marion Barber is a definite and Julius Jones is a strong back who has proven he can be a number one back.
  • Philadelphia: 1; Brian Westbrook is an absolute yes–sure he might break down on his first carry, but if he’s healthy he is a beast.
  • NY Giants: None; You could make an argument for both Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward, but neither have proven to me that they can be an every-down NFL back.
  • Washington: 2; While Clinton Portis has not shown the same burst in DC as he did in Denver, he’s definitely better than Benson. Ladell Betts went over 1000 yards last year and is a strong runner.
  • Minnesota: 2; Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor are both better than Benson.
  • Detroit: None; Like the Giants, Detroit has two backs–Tatum Bell and Kevin Jones–who one could argue are better than Benson, but I’m not ready to go there. Jones would be a definite yes if I thought he could last more than six games.
  • Green Bay: None; Maybe in a year or two Brandon Jackson will be a stud, but I’d take my chances with Benson at this moment. I’ll take their quarterback, though.
  • Seattle: 1; Shaun Alexander is a definite yes.
  • San Francisco: 1; Frank Gore, despite his recent struggles, is clearly a better option.
  • St. Louis: 1; Steven Jackson, see the Gore comments.
  • Arizona: 2; Here is where I might lose some people. Edgerrin James is easily better, but I’m also gonna throw Marcel Shipp as a better option than Benson. Shipp had over 800 yards on 188 and 224 carries, respectively, in 2002 and 2003. He also had 103 receptions in his first three seasons. So yes, I’d rather have Marcel Shipp than Cedric Benson. Wow.
  • Tampa Bay: 1; And its not Carnell Williams. I’m going to go with Earnest Graham, a guy who is just recently getting a chance. He runs hard and finishes his runs with a fervor I have never seen out of Benson.
  • Carolina: None; DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams are the two backs in Carolina, and while both might be better, I wouldn’t necessarily want both ahead of Benson. Foster can impress, but he is really injury-prone.
  • New Orleans: 1; Reggie Bush isn’t an every down NFL runner, but I’d take him ahead of Benson. And this number would be 2 if Deuce McAlister hadn’t just blown out his knee.
  • Atlanta: 1; Warrick Dunn has proven he can carry the load successfully. Jerious Norwood might pass Benson by the end of the season, as well.
  • Indianapolis: 1; Joseph Addai is a monster.
  • Tennessee: None; Although Vince Young might be a better running back than anyone on the Bears roster.
  • Jacksonville: 2; Maurice Jones-Drew has not played well in 2007, but I saw enough out of him last year to know that he’s better than Benson. And yes, I’m going to say I’d rather go to bat with Fred Taylor. Taylor is about as injury-prone as it gets, but when healthy, he might be one of the ten most talented and hard-working backs in the NFL.
  • Houston: None; No, Ahman Green is not better than Cedric Benson. Its close, though.
  • Cincinnati: 1; Rudi Johnson, no question, and Kenny Watson–if ever given an opportunity–could prove to be an adequate dual threat out of the backfield.
  • Cleveland: None; I am not a Jamal Lewis fan. Unless I can get the 2003 version.
  • Baltimore: 1; Willis McGahee is not a picture of health, but he’s clearly a better player than Cedric.
  • Pittsburgh: 1; Willie Parker, absolutely. And I’m tempted to add Najeh Davenport here, partly because he is a tough runner and partly because he once took a dump in a girl’s laundry basket.
  • New England: 1; I love Laurence Maroney, although he seems pretty injury-prone. Sammy Morris may be a solid back, but I’m not ready to say he’s a better option than Benson.
  • Miami: 1; Ronnie Brown’s resurgence this year has me flabbergasted.
  • NY Jets: None; This is interesting. I have to divulge that I agreed with the decision the Bears made in trading Jones and allowing Benson to be the number one guy. Jones, while hard-working and a leader, isn’t fast and doesn’t break enough tackles to be considered a better option than Benson.
  • Buffalo: 1; Marshawn Lynch has already proven to be what Benson should be, and he’s only been in the league for a month. Damn.
  • San Diego: 2; I’m not even going to argue about one of these; and yes, I think Michael Turner, while having never had more than 25 carries in an NFL game, has shown enough that I would want him to be the Bears running back in the last twelve games of the season.
  • Denver: 1; Travis Henry is better, although its hard to tell how good Bronco backs are because almost everyone can rush for 1200 yards there.
  • Kansas City: 1; LJ is better, no question.
  • Oakland: None; I’ll believe the Lamont Jordan renassiance when he carries the load for a full season with either sucking or blowing out a knee. Although I like the idea of Justin Fargas, Huggy Bear’s son, being an NFL star.

So there you have it. A total of 28 running backs in the league are better options than Cedric Benson. Six teams have two backs on their current roster who I would rather see taking the bulk of Bear carries for the remainder of 2007. And only nine squads have the same issues at running back as Chicago does. Of those nine teams, only Detroit, Green Bay, and Tennessee have winning records. Detroit won’t have one by the end of the year; the Packers and Titans have superhuman quarterbacks to even things out.

So there ya go. The answer is not actually Brian Griese, or someone else behind center; its the guy behind the guy.

hhy’s 2007 baseball postseason outlook

October 2, 2007

Oh, what excitement. The 2007 postseason is upon us, and for the White Sox and Cardinal fans who write this site, it really couldn’t be better than to see the Cubs in the postseason. Outside of watching our teams battle for (another) title, the next best thing is to see how in the world the Cubs will choke this year.

Ah, I’m just playing, Cub fans. I won’t be cheering against you; in fact, I would love to actually see what would happen in this city if the Cubs won. Would the city implode? Mass orgies on Waveland? Dogs and cats living together? Who knows.

But will it happen? Can the Cubs overcome the hilariously exciting and ridiculous National League playoffs? Here’s a breakdown of the four first round series, complete with predictions that are sure to…….be not right. (Ha! I’m original!):

Cubs vs. Diamondbacks: It seems to me that this series could be decided by the end of Game 1. If the Cubbies can find a way to beat Brandon Webb, the D-Backs don’t have much of a chance to get back to Arizona for a chance to win the series in 5. They surely won’t win three in a row if they lose Game 1. After Webb, Doug Davis, Livan Hernandez and Micah Owings figure to face Ted Lilly, Rich Hill and Zambrano on the turn around. Those are ugly matchups for the D-Backs. I see Webb pulling off a close win in Game 1 over Zambrano, maybe a 2-1 type score. I then see the Cubs rattling off three straight, clinching the series in 4 with a weekend win at Wrigley, even if Arizona brings Webb back to start an elimination game. Cubs 3 games to 1.

Phillies vs. Rockies: Did you guys watch the Rockies-Padres game last night? Did you see the fat douchebag who had his little rat dog sitting on his lap behind home plate? How do you get a dog in the park? Why bring a dog? How does anyone who would bring a dog to a baseball game get seats in the first row behind the plate? It totally flabbergasted me throughout the game. Anyway, all signs point to the Phillies dominating this series. They can match the Rockies’ offensive output, and they have far superior starting pitching. The Rockies are the hottest team in baseball, but the Phils might be a close second. There is really nothing that shows me that the Phillies should lose more than one game in this series. That’s why I’m picking Colorado. What I saw last night was something I haven’t seen out of any other team in these playoffs, at least to this point: baseball magic. Down 2 runs in the 13th against Trevor Hoffman? Double, double, triple, walk, sac fly, we win. Wow. Look for Matt Holliday to show all casual fans that he is rightful winner of the 2007 NL MVP in a close race over the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins. Rockies 3 games to 2.

Red Sox vs. Angels: As much as I like the idea that the Angels are playing ‘National League baseball’ in the American League, I just don’t see how they match up in any way with Boston. Unless John Lackey can beat Josh Beckett twice in this series, the Halos don’t stand a chance. Vlad Guerrero’s October collapses will continue, and the Red Sox will cruise to an easy sweep of Anaheim (not LA Angels of Anaheim, that shits dumb). Red Sox 3 games to none.

New York vs. Cleveland: As an AL Central guy, I thought in March that the Indians were the team to beat in the division, and they proved me right. But they did it a bit differently than I thought. While Travis Hafner didn’t have his usual scary offensive season, Fausto Carmona came out of nowhere and gave the Tribe an awesome 1-2 punch in the rotation. Meanwhile, while everyone decided the Yankees were done in June, I warned fellow fans that the Yankees do this shit every year: they suck for like 2 or 3 months, then Torre and the boys make the necessary roster adjustments, their lineup gets hot and they make the playoffs. Since I’ve been right about these teams all year, believe me when I say that the Indians will beat the Yankees. The Yankees are the sexier pick, and the media will hope and plead for a Red Sox-Yanks ALCS. But even the New York lineup won’t beat Carmona and Sabathia 3 times in 4 starts. Indians 3 games to 1.

So there it is. Cubs-Rockies and Red Sox-Indians. So be sure to look for Diamondbacks-Phillies and Angels-Yankees.