Monday, June 27, 2005

I'm baaaack....

Sorry I've been off the blog so long - between the job, family, marathon, and Aussie rules training, I haven't had much time for, back to it -

Finished the first three quarters of the Frederick Marathon in just over three hours, had a ligitimate shot at a four hour marathon time. Then I hit the, that's not accurate, the wall fell on me and the rest of the building caved in on top of me. My final time was somewhere around 4:55 and change. For an exact time look Kevin Smith up at the results page of, I finished 311th - But I Finished.

Right now, the Baltimore Washington Eagles, the Aussie rules football team I play with, is going into the summer hiatus with a win over the North Carolina Tigers moving us up in the Eastern Australian Football League standings.

Onto the pros -

Football -
In Philly - who didn't see this coming a year ago? Well, besides the Eagles?
What I can't understand is why so many sports journalists persist in stating that TO helped the Eagles get to the Super Bowl. Let's look at some of the numbers -

Opponents combined record in 2004; 116-140
Not including the Post Season – The Eagles finished their season 13-3 against opponents with a combined winning percentage of 0.453
NFC East opponents winning percentage 0.375
Combined winning percentage of teams Eagles lost to, 0.646 (31-17)
Record against teams 8-8 or better; 3-3
Avg margin of win 12 points
Avg margin of loss 21.7 points

How important was TO to the Eagles overall record? TO played in only one of the Eagles' losses - the worst one, a 27-3 embarassment at the hands of Pittsburgh. The other two losses happened while Reid was giving a number of his starters rests at the end of the season.
Then the Eagles worked their way through the playoffs without their superstar, averaging 27 points per game and getting over the hump of the NFC championship game, the game that he was supposed to help them get past.
I submit to you, TO helped the Eagles win maybe one additional game this past season, if that, and that it's likely that they would have made the Superbowl even had they not acquired him. Marching through the Vikings and the Falcons to get to the big game is not exactly the challenge that going through the Colts and the Steelers is...some might argue that its not even the challenge that going through the Chargers and the Jets is.

Is Ty Law the Nomar Garciaparra of football?
Both rejected generous multi-year deals from the teams with whom they came into their respective leagues. Both, in a manner, were allowed to walk and, in essence, to pursue deals as free agents, and neither will come close to making the money of their original offers due to injuries.

I'm putting the odds at 2-1 that the Yankees finish at .500 or worse. Let's face it, the pitching staff that so many experts predicted as being the best in baseball is showing itself for what it is -
An over the hill ace with chronic knee problems having trouble with his velocity,
A so called youg gun who's capitalizing on his one good season,
A once solid #2 pitching erratically and showing his age
The biggest freakin' head case on any pitching staff in baseball
A talented but injury prone starter that's had only one or two healthy seasons
Honestly, with a staff like that, if they finish with a record of 81 - 81, that will be a minor miracle.

Meanwhile the Sox are on the verge of getting Schilling back. Their big problem is who gets pushed to the pen - sixth starter/middle reliever John Halama is already there. Otherwise, the Back Bay neighbors will have to look at the group of Schilling, Clement, Wells, Wakefield, Arroyo, and Miller and figure out who goes to the pen.
Seeing as the Sox's biggest problems are in middle relief, this could solve the teams problems without them having to go out and trade minor leaguers for the stretch run.
My money's on Arroyo or Wakefield. Both offer more flexibility than the other starters - Wells age makes using him out of the pen prohibitive; Miller, due to his arm history can't be used in back to back appearances, limiting his usefulness; Clement is pitching like an ace and will not come out of the rotation - leaves Arroyo and Wake.

Check back later this week for my comments on the lead boneheads of last year's NFL rookie class; Sean Taylor and Kellen Winslow.