Friday, November 27, 2015
The Mets are ready. After a long, painful teardown and a frustrating rebuild, the 2015 Mets made the World Series, and could have been champions with a little bit better play. 2016 is the year the Mets make the transition from building to winning. They are on the correct side of the win curve to start to add players who can provide a couple of wins that will push the Mets over the top from playoff contender to World Series champion. But the Mets must also remember they have a fantastic young core, and they should make moves designed to help the team this season -- and beyond -- without blocking young players and the contributions they can make. I'll go through player by player with some comments: Yoenis Cespedes: Cannot be resigned. Had the best six weeks of his life then went ice cold and really hurt us in the World Series. Brain fart at end of Game 4 has been overlooked, but cost the Mets a decent chance to get back in that game. Look at his WAR season-by-season over four years in the majors: 2.9, 2.4, 3.3, 6.7. Weight runs created plus (100 is league average): 136, 102, 109, 135. He's a good hitter, great leftfielder, average centerfielder. And again everything has to be looked at through the scope of what else can be done. Cespedes + Conforto with Lagares on the bench or Conforto and Lagares and $100M+, which scenario makes the Mets better. Daniel Murphy: I wouldn't hate resigning him but I think they have to let him walk. You cannot pay him based on the playoffs, because odds are he will never hit like that again. But he is a good hitter, a useful player and could still be valuable for three years around $40m.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
One of the most frustrating weeks in the history of making these picks. A perfect 6 ripped away from us on a late score in the Monday Night game to get a push. And worse yet, it was our best bet, so we don't even have five points as a consolation. I continue to be at a loss to explain why we are consistently worse on best bets compared to other picks. 26-18 on regular picks and 4-7 on best bets. Amazing. This week we go after it early with all three Thanksgiving games. minnesota +1 1/2 ATLANTA The Vikings are good and the Falcons are terrible. They were 5-0, but in their last five games they're 1-4 with the one win being a squeaker against the Titans. Normally we like to go against the trends, but I don't see this one reversing itself. oakland -1 1/2 TENNESSEE What happened to the Raiders? Everyone thought they were so great, I wasn't convinced. Then I started to believe and they started to shit the bed. But I think they can win this game on the road. philadelphia +2 DETROIT When the world is ending and the morons on Philadelphia sports radio are getting feisty, that's when we know the pendulum has swung too far. The Eagles will bounce back, the Lions aren't good. GREEN BAY -8 chicago After a momentary lapse the Packers are back to normal. And after a couple amazing performances from Jay Cutler, all of Chicago thinks he sucks again. BEST BET carolina -1 1/2 DALLAS The worst spread I have seen in all the years we have been doing this. People seem to think Tony Romo is so great because they lost every game without him. He is good, but the reason they lost all those games is because the replacements were so bad. If the Panthers were going to have a let down (which I don't expect) all the Romo Thanksgiving hype should eliminate that. Last week: 4-1 (3 points) Season: 30-25 (27 points) Best Bets: 0-1 (4-7) Home Favorites: 1-1 (10-11) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1) Road Favorites: 1-0 (12-11) Road Underdogs: 2-0 (7-2)
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Evaluating where I was right and wrong in my opinions about the 2015 Mets: I was wrong about one major thing: I thought the Nationals were good. They sucked. Here's what I was right about: Getting Cespedes was a good trade. He was exactly what the Mets needed at that time. Every other trade was bad. Yes Juan Uribe did well in certain spots. Kelly Johnson was awful. Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed helped in the regular season but were generally too unreliable to be trusted. Eric O'Flaherty sucked. The Flores and Wheeler for Gomez trade would have been a disaster. And most of all, it was way too early in the cycle for the Mets to go that hard after a title. Remember, mathematically, after the July 30th disaster the Mets had only a 22% chance of making the playoffs. Even if Cespedes put them even with the Nats, they were still a huge dog to win the World Series, not the kind of odds you should max out for. And before you say most of the players given up (except for Clippard and Cespedes) were useless, remember, if they could bring back something of value this year, they could do the same next year. The Mets gave up 11 or so pitching prospects this season. That will surely come back to bite them at some point down the road. Also remember, what happened after July 31st was the absolute peak of what could have been expected, it wasn't a fait accompli, get Cespedes make the World Series. If the Nats hadn't folded the Mets might not have even made the playoffs. And if not for a few breaks against the Dodgers, they could have been out in the first round. The Mets have followed the formula for sustained excellence: draft and develop good young players, especially pitchers. They should not have sacrificed all that for a <50% chance to make the playoffs. Hopefully, this magical run to the World Series will be the beginning of a long sustained period of success, not a momentary glimpse of fleeting happiness.
Another lousy week as a good season is going downhill in a hurry. CAROLINA -7 washington I can't believe I am doing this again. Picking against the Redskins for the third week in a row. But I really think the Redskins are very bad and can't believe people actually think they have a chance to knock off the undefeated Panthers. green bay +1 MINNESOTA Can the Packers really have become this bad this quickly? tampa bay +6 PHILADELPHIA Same rationale as last week. The Eagles are too bad to give up this many points. denver -1 CHICAGO Backup QB theory. Everyone is freaking out about Brock Osweiler. I think he will do better than most people think. BEST BET NEW ENGLAND -7 buffalo The Patriots are the best team in the NFL. They had a squeaker last week. That won't happen again. Last week: 2-3 (1 point) Season: 26-24 (24 points) Best Bets: 0-1 (4-6) Home Favorites: 0-2 (9-10) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1) Road Favorites: 1-1 (11-11) Road Underdogs: 1-0 (5-2)
Friday, November 20, 2015
Pennsylvania authorities say Oakland Raiders linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong did not act maliciously when he confronted a police dog just before the start of a Nov. 8 game in Pittsburgh against the Steelers. Investigators had been trying to determine whether the player's conduct constituted taunting of a police dog, a third-degree felony. The sheriff's office has said the player lifted his shirt, beat his chest and barked at the explosive-detecting dog before telling a deputy to release the animal, which she did not. The sheriff and prosecutor have agreed that the player's behavior was not a malicious act but still created an unnecessary security risk. The dog had to be taken out of service after the incident.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
A French police dog named Diesel was killed in the raid on an apartment in a suburb north of Paris.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Some Jewish women are protesting Nordstrom's zany Hanukkah sweater that says "chai maintenance" and "Hanukkah J.A.P." forcing the store to stop selling it.
Only my beloved Redskins kept me from going -1 last week. A promising start to the season has turned sour in the last two weeks, let's see if we can turn it around. carolina -5 TENNESSEE Mariota is going to have his good games, he's going to have his bad games. I really don't see the Titans being the team to knock off the Panthers. new orleans -1 WASHINGTON I really hate doing this but the Redskins are very bad. Especially their pass defense. I expect Drew Brees to light up their secondary. miami +6 PHILADELPHIA So the Dolphins went from being terrible, to being great and totally remade by a new coach whose hard-nosed attitude turned the team around. Apparently Campbell's act has already worn thin. I'm not sure what to make of the Dolphins but I just think the Eagles are too bad to be giving this many points. OAKLAND -3 minnesota I've been skeptical about the Raiders and fully on the Vikings bandwagon, but I just feel like the Raiders coming off a loss and the Vikings coming in with a winning streak, this could be a game when things turn around. BEST BET GREEN BAY -10 1/2 detroit I hate best bets giving this many points because of the crazy shit that can happen. But I love best bets that are good teams coming off losses. The Packers don't suck. Aaron Rodgers isn't bad all of the sudden. They just hit a rough spot and faced two undefeated really good teams in a row and lost them both, totally understandable. They will bounce back. They will win this game. But can they win by enough, that's the only question. Last week: 1-4 (0 points) Season: 24-21 (23 points) Best Bets: 0-1 (4-5) Home Favorites: 1-3 (9-8) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1) Road Favorites: 0-0 (10-10) Road Underdogs: 0-1 (4-2)