Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rapid fire again

It's been released to the press that the pedestrian struck by Donte Stallworth was not in the crosswalk at the time of the accident, nor was Stallworth driving excessively fast at only ten miles per hour over the speed limit. In spite of reports of intoxication, those two facts might be enough to keep Florida authorities from pursuing the most serious of possible charges - vehicular manslaughter, and it's likely those two facts will keep the wide receiver our of jail.

Anyone else see OLB Clay Matthews III, as a strong candidate for the Pats' first pick in the draft if he's still around at the 23rd pick? The guy's a 6' 3" 246 pound outside backer with sterling blood lines, being the son of former NFL linebacker Clay Matthews, Jr (19 seasons for the Falcons and Browns - including time playing for Bill Belichick), grandson of Clay Matthews (four seasons in the 1950's as an offensive tackle and defensive end for the 49ers), and nephew of former offensive lineman Bruce Matthews (Oilers/Titans, 19 seasons).

It's just a hunch that we'll see him in a Pats uni this year, but I also thought there was a fair chance that the team would make a run at Zack DeOssie given Belichick's familiarity with the family. So, who knows?

Scouting reports from the WBC say that Daisuke Matsuzaka was pounding the strike zone with his fastball and pitching less tentatively than he did during last season. The Diceman wasn't the most dominant pitcher in the tournament, but he wasn't far off in posting a 2.45 ERA over 14.2 innings. He gave up only four runs on 14 hits along with five walks and 13 strikeouts (making his WHIP 1.30). Not bad for going against (theoretically) the best that the world has to offer.

Should Matsuzaka build off of this, and stay aggressive during the season, the Sox likely have at least four starters that will win at least 12 games between Dice, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Wakefield. If Penny can stay healthy and return to pre-Dodger form, we could be looking at a staff that has four starters winning at least 15 games and a fifth winning at least 12. My guess is that Beckett, Dice and Lester all end up between 16 and 20 wins, Penny between 14 and 16, and Wake at around 12 or 13 (assuming the staff remains reasonably healthy). That means that from the rotation alone we could be looking in the range of 80 wins.

I liked what I saw of George Kottaras in last night's preseason match up against the Yankees.

It looks like Lance Armstrong's come-back bid has been slowed down severely. Armstrong, the single most dominant force in the sport of Cycling - ever - broke his collar bone during a recent stage of the Vuelta of Castilla and Leon race in northern Spain. Some had speculated that this might keep him out of the sport's premier event, the Tour de France.

He'll ride in it, I just don't know that he will be in top form and that he will be able to compete for the yellow jersey.

According to literature, his injury will take six to eight weeks to heal. That would put him on schedule to possibly be healthy, but not particularly competitive in the Giro d'Italia on May 9th - the last major race he can possibly use as a tune-up before the grueling TdF.

Given I thought he, despite his age and the time he had taken off, was the likely favorite going into the Tour before the accident, I think this makes the race more compelling.

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