The Twins were fishing around with Fransisco Liriano early in spring training about trading him. If you read my earlier posts you would see I was totally against this because Liriano is a solid pitcher, but mainly because I didn’t think we would get anything for him in the trade just like when we traded Santana. I think if the twins would have kept Santana Liriano might be a better pitcher and Santana would probably have a better career right now, he wouldn’t be hurt all the time. The New York Mets are good and everything but it seems like all there starting pitching gets injured sometime during the season. I was right about us trying to go after Michael Young for the short stop or second baseman. Look at our short stops and second basemen now. We have Alexi Casilla at short and Matt Tolbert with the Japanese player at second base along with Luke Hughes. Casilla, Tolbert, and Hughes are back up players at best, not starters. The Japanese player sucks at second base because he already made 2 or 3 errors so far in the games he has played and then we find out he doesn’t know how to turn a double play in New York so now he’s injured. He looks good hitting wise but can he stay healthy and play better in the field? If we had Michael Young, who is hitting the ball this year like every other year, we would look better right now in the line up. And if we were really serious about trading Liriano we might as well just traded him for Young and a pitching prospect from the Rangers farm system. Instead teams are seeing how horrible Liriano really is. He only has one good game where he walked five gave up two home runs in six innings pitching against the struggling Baltimore Orioles. Other than that he has had two starts where he gave up four earned runs and two starts where he let up seven earned runs all in five innings or less. In five starts so far he has an ERA, earned run average, of 9.31. He walks batters and he falls behind batters which leads to him getting hit more often. Since coming back from tommy john surgery Liriano has had major control issues and can’t seem to win games where he has control of the game. I thought with our pitching coach and Liriano being a dominate pitcher back in 2006 we would figure this thing out this year finally. It doesn’t look good. People can say it is too early in the season to say this because Johan Santana and Jon Lester gets off to slow starts almost every year. But this is not Lester or Santana, it is Liriano. He pitches like this in almost every game in at least one inning in each start. The only difference is if he can get out of that inning that he has control issues in and he hasn’t been doing that this season. This is how Liriano always pitches for people who think this is just a early season struggle because it’s not.
Today they announced who would be on the cover of the new madden game, Madden 2012. To my surprise they pick a guy that had his first real year in the NFL as starting running back for a losing team! What kind of people do they have up there in madden to let Peyton Hillis be on the Madden cover. This is a guy who had a career year but so did a guy named Arian Foster and he scored 16 touchdowns and was the rushing leader when Hillis had 1,177 yards with 11 touchdowns. Not to mention Hillis had eight fumbles in only 270 rushes when Foster had a total of three fumbles in 327 attempts not mentioning all his catches. Now Hillis had a good season, but it is nothing compared to Arian Foster’s and the other nine guys ahead of Hillis in rushing yards, haha. I might understand why he would be on here if he was on a winning team but he wasn’t. His team, the Cleveland Browns, didn’t make the playoffs and had a 5-11 record finishing third in there division. I don’t get it! I also don’t get how the fans had a say in who got to be on the madden cover. Once it was narrowed down to Hillis and Michael Vick the fans supposedly got to vote. Vick had an MVP type season and took the Eagles to a division title and almost beating the Super Bowl Champs in the Green Bay Packers in the first round. I mean really we had are Super Bowl in the first round with the Eagles and Packers because who ever would have won that game would have won the Super Bowl. So what’s up fan!? I very much question why and how Vick didn’t win, and I question how Hillis was one of the last two considered for this. I didn’t even know we could vote until I learned who got voted in for the cover, so I did not vote because I did not know! There is no doubt who I would have picked because I am a real football fan and vote for a guy who deserves it the most. Personally Aaron Rodgers should have really been considered because he had an awesome year, not as good as Vick, and he won a championship. I am a Vikings fan for life and I am saying this. So the Madden cover I am not happy with and they need to change it or else I won’t buy the new madden. People who are with me should boycott buying the new madden edition, but who even cares really with no football this upcoming year? I really should just start talking about my picks and sleepers for the upcoming fantasy drafts for football. Don’t draft a quarterback too early, haha. Seriously I saw that today online a sports writer talking about the upcoming fantasy season and they had Adrian Peterson at the number one pick followed by Arian Foster, Com’on man! We don’t even know about this lockout being lifted as a good sign, I’ll leave it at this will the owners and the NFL actually get anything done with it being lifted?
It’s about time I talk about this lockout the National Football League has been doing. This lockout has been going on probably a month now and technically longer because the conversations the NFL and the owners were having weren’t ever going to solve anything, they both are too stubborn and thickheaded to get a deal done. Personally they are both being selfish and just need to come to an understanding and agreement so we can get all of this drama out of the way for football to open up in the fall of 2011. I am sick of drama having a whole season of drama last year with the Vikings, I just want there to be no drama incorporated with football and just let the sport play. I want to watch the Vikings this year with nothing else attached to the game expect for the game itself. With Favre and Childress gone we will have a clear headed season as long as the NFL and owners are dip-shits about the terms, which they have been so far. Just let the players play and do their thing, I want fantasy football again. With a lockout there is no football and with no football there is no fantasy football. The best thing that has happened to football and all sports the past couple of years has been fantasy leagues. It’s really fun to build your team, look at the stats, and try to predict who will do good again this year or do good for the first time. Plus you can have one or more team’s spending money or doing it for free, so you can experiment with one team. So not only should they stop this lockout to let the players play but also to let the fans do their thing. We watch, cheer, play football online, spend money for football, and get together to watch our team play winning record or losing record we still watch and care. I am happy that they have released the NFL schedule because I take it as a sign that there will be football next year. I do have a problem with it though because they are still in a lockout but they go ahead and release the NFL schedule for next year and are still going to have the draft. Since they have decided to do both these things then the NFL should decide to come up with an agreement with the owners or else what they’re doing right now is stupid and wrong. I mean if they don’t plan to do what the owners want or don’t plan on at least settling with them then they are giving everyone false hope. That is hurting the paid players right now, the first year players, the coaches, and the ticket holders/fans. If I was a star football player and I was a sophomore or junior in college I would stay in college for another year because there is a very good chance if they go into the NFL draft they won’t play football a whole year. But some college players are doing this and probably because they see the schedule being released and the draft about to happen as a good sign. I really hope there is football next year and think there will be, but I still don’t like or agree with what the NFL and the owners are doing right now. They are making the game of football look like a joke and it’s not.
With the Barry Bonds trail going on and Bonds finding himself guilty on one of the four accounts and the most serious account it seems like a good time to talk about all the tainted hall of famers, HOFers, that aren’t yet in the hall of fame but have the career numbers to easily be in it. Barry Bonds is the home run leader statistically and Alex Rodriguez will probably replace him as the home run leader in a couple of years but both will have a tough time getting into the Hall of Fame because of there steroid use. This is 1,379 career home runs in two guys and both might not be in the Hall of Fame. Another duo of steroid users that has 1,192 home runs combined that most likely won’t get into the Hall of Fame is Sammy Sosa and Mark MaGwire. As for Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez who have the numbers for hitting homers and driving in runs for the Hall of Fame, 1,124 homers and 3,665 RBIs together, but both probably won’t be in it because they both used steroids and not to mention how Manny left the game and how Palmerio denied using steroids over and over again. Overall the Hall of fame is going to at least miss 3,695 home runs, that’s a lot. The one baseball player that I have a hard time not seeing in the Hall of Fame is Pete Rose. I believe he would get voted in easily that is if the Baseball Hall of Fame didn’t vote to ban the permanently ineligible list from ever becoming inducted into the Hall of Fame. Rose is on this list because he gambled as a player and a manager on games. He did not use steroids and did shave points. He is the all time career hit leader and I believe he never gambled against his teams, especially when he was a player. He just wanted to make some extra bucks and have fun with it. He had that much confidence in the Reds and his team to put money on them, that’s all right with me. Now if he bet against the Reds as a manager then we have a problem, but I don’t think he did. So this is the one guy I would vote for that has the numbers and the rings, but Major League Baseball won’t have the choice for me to vote for him. It’s unfortunate to see the all time hits leader, 4,256 hits, without taking any performance enhancing drugs not being able to get voted into the Hall of Fame. I do think the Baseball Hall of Fame and the MLB needs to over-rule this decision and make Rose a HOFer for life.
As a fan of sports and an ex fan of basketball I just thought it would be interesting to see what teams are facing each other in the playoffs this year. Now I have been trying to follow basketball again this season and have been doing a pretty good job, so we’ll see how much knowledge I will have about these playoff matchups. In the East we have the number one seed in the Chicago Bulls against the number 8 seed in Indiana Pacers, and then the number two seed the three headed monster in the Miami Heat going up against the number 7 seed of the new AI and his Philadelphia 76ers. Both these matchups will definitely be dominated by the top seeds. Miami is too talented for the 76ers and the way the Heat are playing defense recently they will probably sweep the series 4-0. The number one seed in the Bulls have tons of depth and have what I thought an overrated point guard in Derrick Rose until I saw him play this year and saw the numbers he is putting up. I just want to say that I take everything I thought about Rose back because of this year, and I really like seeing the Bulls being a dominate force again in basketball. Even though they have made the playoffs since Michael Jordan they haven’t been the number 1 seed in the playoffs and haven’t look this dominate since the Jordan era. The last two matchups in the East are the Boston Celtics the number three seed and the New York Knicks the number 6 seed, and then we have the fourth seed being the Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Hawks at the 5th seed. To me these series could go either way. I know people are saying the Celtics have too much experience so the Knicks won’t beat them, but I have to disagree. The Knicks have plenty of experience plus younger more talented stars in there prime. They have a point guard that has been to the Finals and won it with Detroit, along with a power forward that is definitely in his prime with playoff experience, and a small forward that is also in his prime and has had plenty of playoff experience as well. I really think the Knicks could take this series against Boston and hope they do. I personally think Boston is too old to run with these guys for seven games, only Rondo can stay with them. The last match up will probably go to the Magic because of Dwight Howard but if he gets a technical in a game or two in the first round I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Hawks in the second round. Now to the West, where the Minnesota Timberwolves will not find themselves in this conversation, ha. The West has an interesting 1 and 8 match up. San Antonio Spurs hosting the Memphis Grizzlies. I think Memphis has a shot and I have heard others say that they do as well, but I know the Spurs won’t be bounced in the first round, they are too good and experienced to be beaten by a 8th seed. If it did happen I would be happy because I hate the Spurs. Either way Memphis will make it somewhat of a series and the Spurs will probably get knocked out in the second round, hopefully. After that we got the number 2 seed with the Los Angles Lakers matching up with the New Orleans Hornets, 7th seed. I’m going with L.A. all the way to the Finals again so absolutely will be going for the Lakers. N.O. has a great point guard that could lead a team to a Finals appearance but he doesn’t have much talent around him, besides Wright who can be inconsistent, I know because I have him on my one lonely basketball fantasy team this year. To wrap up the West we have the the third seed in the Dallas Mavericks going head to head with the 6th seed, Portland Trail Blazers, and then we have the fourth seed going up against the fifth seed of course. The Denver Nuggets traveling to Oklahoma City for 4 of the seven games. In this first match up I like the Trail Blazers, but the Mavs are just simply too good for them. In the other series I like the Thunder against the Nuggets because they do have home court advantage and have Kevin Durant with Westbrook, but I just feel that the Nuggets will win a series or two. Where ever they get bounced they are going to be a hard team to beat. So that sums up who are playing and who I think will win: Bulls, Heat, Knicks, Orlando, Denver, Dallas, Lakers, and the Spurs are all my picks, what’s yours?
The Twins have started off the season 3-6 making us last in our division and Cleveland Indians are 8-2 making them first. The Twins shouldn’t be that worried because it is the beginning of the season, but the Twins haven’t had a game scoring more then 5 runs and the time they scored 5 runs they needed extra innings to do so. We came home against the Oakland A’s and lost the series somehow scoring a total of 5 runs in the whole series. Just like the Boston Red Soxs the Twins look good on paper but the players haven’t been playing up to there potential, much like Albert Pujols so far. It’s funny to see how good teams and players struggle so early but then are able to come back. The Phillies did it a couple of years ago coming back for a poor start to win there division and Boston might do the same this year. As for the Twins we do need to score some runs because we have had problems in the past against no name pitchers. Being limited in scoring runs and losing against guys like Ivan Nova, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, and Brandon McCarthy isn’t a good look. The only game they won was against Anderson, but he pitched 7 shut out innings and 8 innings of only letting up 2 earned runs, also he is a very talented lefty. Other then that pitcher Nova is not a very good pitcher but he beat us, Gonzalez is an overrated pitcher that leaves curve balls over the plate but he shut us out, and McCarthy is a bullpen guy who started and beat us. This is what worries me about the Twins that they can’t beat guys like this. The good sign is that the Twins can win close games and rally against good starting pitchers and relief pitchers. We made CC Sabathia get a no decision in Yankee Stadium and made Anderson get a lose. Both great starters and we won both games. Without the Twins being able to do that they are only looking at 1 win so far this year. Every win we have gotten Joe Nathan has wrapped it up for us and that is another good sign. So in order for us to be a serious threat to other teams we just need to score some runs against bad starting pitchers. Tonight we have to go up against Jeff Francis of the Kansas City Royals who have been playing some good baseball. Francis isn’t that good of a pitcher but he had success in his first start becasue the American League hasn’t seen much of him yet, he played his first five seasons for the Colorado Rockies in the National League with some injury problems. So the Twins should have at least some success but the way there bats have been going they might have no success. Another good thing going is that the Twins are awesome against there division opponents and hopefully they can continue the great success against all of them in the 2011 season. First things first we just need to get some runs.
As I was watching the Cardinals and Gaints game in the top of the 9th with Brain Wilson coming in with a 3-2 lead I was skeptical if he could do it or not because I didn’t know if he was 100% yet. Now the cards ended up taking the lead after the top of the 9th 4-3 with Wilson not finishing the inning and leaving with the bases loaded. This would indicate that Wilson is not even close to 100% but I will tell San Fransisco fans why not to worry and why he is close to 100%. He threw his fastball up to 96 mile per hour and was consistent at 96 and 95. He had solid control of the fastball and when he threw the two-seam fastball at 91 and 90 he was around the plate, very good control with that pitch. Although he did walked three batters and hit a batter in two-thirds of an inning he really wasn’t that bad. This is how the top of the 9th went down. Wilson gets two quick outs in the inning and is facing Yadier Molina with two gone and no guys on. Molina takes a first pitch ball that should have been a strike, trust me it was right there. So later in the at bat a 3-2 pitch is called a ball and rightfully so, but Molina took the second strike and that should have been the third strike if the umpire would have gotten the call right earlier in the at-bat. So not a huge deal letting up a walk to a slow catcher, at least not at first. The next guy bounces to second base and Miguel Tejada, the short stop, comes out of now where to scoop it up and has trouble getting the ball out of his glove so the guy is safe at first. The second baseman would have had a easier play to get the guy at first. Instead the inning goes on and Jon Jay comes up to pinch hit. Jay gets brushed barely on the jersey and the ump quickly calls it a hit by pitch and gives him first base. I have never seen a home plate umpire call a hit by pitch so fast before and it was close to not even getting him. Any ways Ryan Theriot for the cards comes up with the bases juiced and has a career hitting of 0-5 with 4 strikeouts against Wilson. Theriot is down in the count 1-2 to Wilson and Wilson throws a strike middle in and the ump calls it a ball. Even the St.Louis Cardinal announcers said that was a strike and the ump missed the call. Now the 2-2 pitch is on the outside corner not as close as the other pitch, which was in the strike zone almost in the middle of the plate, and the ump calls it a ball! This pitch could have been called a strike and should have been called a strike since the umpire missed the previous strike call. It was obvious to the ump that he blew the first call because Theriot cringed when he took the pitch and made a move to his dough-out, he thought he was out on strikes. So this next close pitch should have been called a strike because of how obvious it was that the ump missed the call. So the count goes to 3-2 and about four balls fouled off later Theriot hits a soft grounded that goes into left field and two runs come into score. Wilson walks the next guy on four straight pitches and that makes Albert Pujols come up with the bases juiced in the 9th. The manager removes Wilson for the game so Ramon Ramirez comes into face Pujols. The first pitch is a ball up high but the ump calls it a strike, haha. The second pitch is like the one Wilson threw where it hit the outside corner a boarder-line pitch and he called that a strike well. Now this is a no name reliever in Ramirez and the ump calls the boarder-line pitches and a pitch that was out of the zone for him. But for Wilson he won’t call a ball that is in a strike zone a strike or the boarder-line pitch. He will give a guy like Theriot the call over a a batter like Pujols, and he will give Ramirez the call over a pitcher like Wilson, I don’t get it. He has no respect for players that have proven themselves in the majors over and over again. We all know the veterans should and do get the calls and the benefit of the doubt. So not only is this ump bi-polar with his strike zone, but he lets the no name baseball players get the calls. It seems like this ump wants to make the better players play more and to say I call the game. He’s just trying to be the big shot man and say to these players I’m right and your wrong even if a pitch is actually in the strike zone. It’s bad judgment and this ump should be fired. The MLB needs to hire umps that don’t have that big of an ego. Now the Gaints did tie it up in the bottom of the 9th and just won it in the bottom of the 12th, so I got to analysis this umpire a little more. He did get a little better but still had some bad judgment calls. He gave the Cardinals bullpen pitcher the outside call when there was a Gaint on second with two outs to end the bottom of the 11th. So he was still having issues and the crowd absolutely hated this ump. As far as Gaints fans go they shouldn’t be worried about Wilson because he looked pretty good. Really he should have probably had two strike outs to end the game on two different occasions but instead had no strike outs and didn’t end the game. Aaron Rowand ended it for him.