Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In Case You Missed It...

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-Digger's Daily-

In case you missed it...

Big names entering Major League Baseball's free agency lists. 2010 season recently completed. No rest for the weary. Teams are getting busy planning for 2011.
-New York Mets wasting no time changing directions. GM Omar Moniya and Mgr Manuel are gone. Mets hired Sandy Alderson as new GM. Rebuilding New York is no easy task. Alderson has a great baseball resume. Job one will be finding a legit field manager. Step two, build a team from bottom on up.
-Yankees will dominate Cliff Lee rumors. Theory is no team can keep up with Yanks free wielding cash power. Lee's expected to become the most sought after free agent this winter. Buyer beware not to over extend lengthy contracts.
-How much will Yankees over pay captain Derek Jeter? Jeter's fabulous career is nearing an end. He had an off year hitting (.270) but did earn his 5th Gold Glove thanks to a .989 fielding percentage. It's a must to resign the most popular player in New York. Just don't over pay for a player who wants to remain a Yankee no matter what.
-What will the Boston Red Sox do? Last year, they slashed free agent payroll concentrating on building a tremendous defensive club. It didn't work out as injuries too a serious toll all season long. AL MVP candidate 3B Adrian Beltre probably won't be back. Big mistake as it will be hard replacing him even if Youkilis moves from 1st to 3rd. Phils Worth has been rumored as a must sign in Boston.
-Ichiro Suzuki tied an AL record with his 10th Gold Glove. Ichiro has won Glove Gloves in all of his 10 MLB seasons since bringing his star power from Japan. 10 consecutive .300 seasons, 200+ hits, 10 Gold Gloves, .331 lifetime batting average. No too shabby, eh?
-George Steinbrenner elected to Baseball Hall of Fame? Perhaps. Boss George is officially listed on Veterans Committee HOF ballots. George's career is a mixed bag when it comes to HOF consideration. His star shines brightly now. But, it wasn't always rosey. Suspended by MLB in 1974 for illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon. Banned permanently in 1990 (reinstated 1993) from day to day Yankees operations for the Dave Winfield fiasco when Boss hired a gambler to dig up dirt on Winfield. He's not a first timer by Hall standards. Many will argue these misdeeds void consideration. Time will tell.

NFL season is topsy-turvy. Teams expected to win stumble. Teams thought to be big time losers are winning.
-Jerry Jones new billion dollar Cowboys Stadium will host the Super Bowl. Jones pumped millions into players salaries trying to build a championship caliber team. Many prognosticators took the bait and predicted Dallas to be playing in the Super Bowl at home. They're 1-7 and finally fired inept coach Wade Phillips. Jones ran out of excuses. He's apologized, cried and stood by Phillips through thick and thin. Monday night's 45-7 loss to Green Bay wasn't nearly as close as the score leads one to believe (felt more like 100-0).
-All pre-season talk in NY centered on the Jets. Well, many think the Giants (6-2) are NFL's best team. New York newspapers were calling for coach Coughlin's head after beginning the year 1-2. They're now singing praises after 5 consecutive monster victories.
-Brett Favre and Minnesota saved their season for at least another week after a come from behind OT win vs Arizona. At 3-5, the Vikes have a long way to go but a win like this could turn around a season in trouble. So much for my no brainer to force sit Favre in last installment of "In Case You Missed It..." (10/29/10).
-Kansas City (5-3) and Oakland (5-4) lead the AFC West. Talk about surprises. San Diego (4-5) is off to another slow beginning but are right in the thick of it.
-San Diego QB Philip Rivers to break Dan Marino's single season passing record? Could be. Rivers is way ahead of Marino's 1984 pace. SD's QB averages 327 passing yards per game. If Rivers keeps it up he'll finish with 5,232 yards shattering Marino's record of 5,084. Chargers offense has become pass first. Two banged up rookie running backs has coach Turner calling more and more passing plays puts Rivers chances front and center.
-NFL mid-season MVP? Nobody. Plenty of deserving players. No clear cut stand outs. A few MVP types on my radar (in no particular order): Eli Manning (NYG), Philip Rivers (SD), Arian Foster (HOU), Ahmad Bradshaw( NYG), Rachard Mendenhall (PIT), Jamaal Charles (KC), Roddy White (ATL), Aaron Rodgers (GB), Matt Ryan (ATL), Antonio Gates (SD), Hakeem Nicks (NYG), Adrian Peterson (NYG), Clay Matthews (GB).

Two undefeated NBA teams remain. Defending champion Lakers (7-0) and New Orleans Hornets (6-0). 2010-11 could produce the most 60 game winners in league history. My potential 60 gamers: Lakers, Celtics, Magic, Hornets, Thunder, Hawks, Spurs, Mavs. If this turns out to be true then expect quite a few 60 losers: Raptors, Bobcats, Clippers, Timberwolves, Wizards, 76ers, Nets.
-The hyped big 3 of Wade, James & Bosh are starting to gel. James (20.7) and Bosh (14.4) enjoy winning but seem to be having a tough time adjusting to sub-career statistical inputs. James poured in nearly 30/game (29.7) last year. Bosh was good for 24/game. Wade & James have done it all. Bosh struggles to contribute on offense.
-Experts were quick to pick Miami and Orlando as favorites to win the East. My money resides with Boston. Celtics are deep at all positions. Pierce, Allen, Garnett & Rondo dazzle. Hardly any weaknesses. A healthy Boston could have beaten LA. This team is on a mission.

Very few NHL surprises in the early going. Perhaps one big one. New Jersey Devils own 10 losses in 15 games.
-Boston net minder Tim Thomas is having an MVP season between the pipes. 7-0-0, 1.04.
-Lightning C Steven Stamkos is on fire. 11 goals, 11 assists in 13 games. Now if he could only teach fellow TB teammates how to score!
-Carolina C Brandon Sutter shouldn't be taking face-offs anymore. 69 wins, 137 losses (33.5%) STINKS!
-Now that's a name. New Jersey Devils LW needs two uniforms just to fit his name. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond.


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