Saturday, April 14, 2012

Random Rumblings - Strange & Stranger

Visit - "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

Back by popular demand - another installment of "All World All Sports" Random Rumblings. A few strange but true stories coming from the world of sports.

Ozzie Guillen suspended by Miami Marlins. I guess freedom of speech and expression doesn't exist in Major League Baseball. Guillen was suspended for comments he made about Fidel Castro. His comments didn't sit well with the Cuban-American crowd in South Florida which erupted into a frenzy following Guillen's praise of Castro's ability to remain free of assassination. In case you missed it, he said: "I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that son of a bitch is still there."
Obviously, his comments touched a nerve in South Florida. However, Miami suspending their new manager during the first week of baseball season is a bit much. No one can blame folks who get upset over controversial comments. However, this stinks. If Marlins ownership was truly disturbed Guillen would be gone. Marlins brass was clearly trying to avoid losing ticket sales. This isn't a pretty picture no matter how you slice and dice the situation.

Former NFL washout Ryan Leaf charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of criminal possession of a dangerous drug. Leaf could arguably be the #1 draft pick bust in NFL history. Legal troubles continue to mount. A brief description via "In May 2009, Leaf was indicted on burglary and controlled substance charges in Texas. He was undergoing drug rehab in British Columbia at the time of the indictment and was arrested by customs agents as he returned to the United States. On June 17, 2009, he posted $45,000 bond in Washington state for the criminal charges in Texas. In April 2010, Leaf pled guilty in Amarillo, Texas to seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a simulated controlled substance, all felonies. State District Judge John B. Board sentenced Leaf to 10 years of probation and fined him $20,000. - On March 30, 2012 Leaf was arrested on burglary, theft, and drug charges in his hometown of Great Falls, Montana. Four days later, Leaf was arrested again on burglary, theft, and two counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs."
Leaf's violation of parole and back to back arrests signal doom and gloom for the pain pill addicted idiot. He's been a complete washout since his college football playing days. NFL players/teammates hated his lack of work ethic. He was fired from college coaching career due to pain pills too. I guess leading a life of crime was easier than going to rehab? There's no doubt Leaf will be in jail for a few years. Over/under <1.5 character witnesses testify on Leaf's behalf.

New York Knicks climb into 2nd place in Atlantic Division - trail Boston by 3 games. Coach Mike Woodson helped turn around the Atlanta Hawks. Now he's working miracles on Broadway. The Knicks are 13-4 under his leadership and have climbed into 2nd in the Atlantic and 7th overall in Eastern Conference action. Deja vu from the shot season of 1998-99 season when the went to the NBA Finals as the 8th seed? We'll soon find out. Amazing what a mid-season coaching change can do to wake up a team. Knicks have been playing great basketball lately. Sleeper pick for sure. So was the 98-99 squad. Keep an eye on these guys.

New York Mets begin 4-0. Much has been written of Mets failures in recent years from ownership to players. New York opened their season at home and delighted fans with 4 consecutive victories to begin the new season. They swept arch rival Atlanta Braves in 3 games. Johan Santana is back. Niese pitched a 1-hitter. Duda is the new fan favorite. Wright is off to a quick start. Bullpen didn't blow any games. A solid beginning for a team trying to put turmoil in their rear view mirror. Enjoy it while it lasts.

"Rangers Fans" - Shannon and Cooper Stone statue unveiled in Arlington. Nine months after a Texas Rangers fan & father (Shannon) died trying to catch a baseball thrown by Josh Hamilton, his 7-year-old son (Cooper) helped unveil a statue honoring his father and others who love America’s pastime. Last season, Shannon Stone reached too far to catch a baseball for his son and died from injuries sustained after falling from the upper deck in front of a stunned Texas crowd. How many times have we (fans) lunged for baseball's at games? How many times have we witnessed fellow fans scramble and fight to retrieve baseball's? This time it was tragic as a father fell to his death right before his sons eyes. Texas Rangers management honored the father and son. Shannon and Cooper Stone statue is a tremendous (and heart breaking) dedication. Nolan Ryan & Rangers ownership represent baseball's best. This is a tremendous tribute - not only to the Stone's - but, for fans everywhere.

Monday, April 9, 2012

2012 Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions

Visit - "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

Time flies! NHL Playoffs begin Wednesday night. Can the Boston Bruins become the first team to win back to back Stanley Cups since Detroit pulled it off in 1997-98?

Defending champion Boston had an up and down season on their way to winning the Northeast. NHL's top point getters Vancouver (111) hopes to take home the Cup after losing to Boston last season. Never count out New Jersey Devils - winners of six games in a row to close out the regular season.

Let's take a look into our crystal ball to predict who will win it all.

Series A: (1) New York Rangers over (8) Ottawa Senators 4 games to 1.
Series B: (2) Boston Bruins over (7) Washington Capitals 4 games to 3.
Series C: (3) New Jersey Devils over (6) Florida Panthers 4 games to 2.
Series D: (4) Pittsburgh Penguins over (5) Philadelphia Flyers 4 games to 0.

(4) Pittsburgh over (1) New York 4 games to 2.
(3) New Jersey over (2) Boston 4 games to 3.

(4) Pittsburgh over (3) New Jersey 4 games to 1.

Series E: (1) Vancouver Canucks over (8) Los Angeles Kings 4 games to 0.
Series F: (2) San Jose Sharks over (7) St. Louis Blues 4 games to 1.
Series G: (6) Phoenix Coyotes over (3) Chicago Blackhawks 4 games to 2.
Series H: (4) Detroit Red Wings over (5) Nashville Predators 4 games to 2.

(1) Vancouver over (6) Phoenix 4 games to 2.
(4) Detroit over (2) San Jose 4 games to 2.

(1) Vancouver over (4) Detroit 4 games to 3.

Vancouver Canucks over Pittsburgh Penguins 4 games to 2.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

2012 MLB Regular Season Predictions (Final)

Visit - "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

All World All Sports previously made baseball predictions during the first week of spring training. The regular season has begun and it's now time to update our final regular season prognistications.

Major League Baseball announced additional Wild Card teams beginning this season. There will be a single game playoff involving one additional team per league. In other words, two Wild Card teams per league will generate added playoff fever by the time September rolls around.

Lets get to it.

American League
New York Yankees - Powerful lineup. Starting pitching remains #1 concern.
Tampa Bay Rays - Winning/losing squarely on shoulders of starting pitchers in division with potent lineups.
Toronto Blue Jays - This team plays long ball. Starting pitchers need to stay sharp. Don't be surprised if they finish first.
Boston Red Sox - Bobby Valentine's arrival has increased tensions. It's going to be a long season in Boston.
Baltimore Orioles - Simply outclassed by 4 better divisional opponents.

Detroit Tigers - Pitching + hitting = wins. Suspect defense could hurt in playoffs.
Kansas City Royals - That's right. KC has a great nucleus of young talent. Will pitchers have stamina to survive 162?
Chicago White Sox - Dunn is back on track.
Minnesota Twins - Lack of extra back hit ability will hurt.
Cleveland Indians - They may surprise if injury free.. probably not.

Texas Rangers - Great lineup. Solid D. Two time West champs will be challenged by Angels. Staying healthy key to success.
Los Angeles Angels - How far will they go? Division champs? Wild Card? Tough team, tougher to handicap. Golden if injury free.
Oakland A's - Competitive but lacking power of Angels/Rangers.
Seattle Mariners - Nothing to write about after Hernandez/Ichiro.

Wild Cards: Angels, Rays. Don't count out Toronto or KC.
AL Champ: Rangers.
AL Cy Young: Verlander (DET)
AL MVP: Butler (KC)

National League
Philadelphia Phillies - Loaded rotation.
Miami Marlins - New look team getting stronger & wealthier.
Atlanta Braves - Developing problems, injuries, searching for answers.
New York Mets - Duda & Wright take advantage of shorter fences. Pitchers surprise.
Washington Nationals - Fail to live up to promo's. Pitchers faulter.

St. Louis Cardinals - Defending champs lose Albert, Carpenter hurting. Deep team, talented... won't miss a beat.
Cincinnati Reds - Players love Dusty Baker. Pitching key to success. Lineup is locked and loaded.
Milwaukee Brewers - Excited fans will be disappointed. This former AL team should have been singled out to switch back to AL. Guess former owner turned commissioner keeps them protected.
Pittsburgh Pirates - Young team slowly improving.
Houston Astros - Final season in NL. New owners shafted by agreeing to shift to AL in 2013. HUGE mistake.
Chicago Cubs - Not even overrated Epstein can help an aging banged up team.

Arizona Cardinals - Tough team. Gibson keeps them ready to play.
San Francisco Giants - Many question marks. Talented. Will make run at playoffs.
Los Angeles Dodgers - New ownership. Where will they take this team. Nucleus is solid.
Colorado Rockies - Ho-hum.
San Diego Padres - Need to take a lesson from others... move in outfield fences.

Wild Card: Reds, Giants.
NL Champ: Cardinals.
NL Cy Young: Kennedy (ARI)
NL MVP: Duda (NYM)