Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Do not read this if you haven't seen it but want to. I liked the movie, but didn't love it. If I had to give it a grade I would give an A-, maybe a B+. A couple of issues: I thought Finn was too jokey. He wasn't wise-cracking like Han Solo. Just a little annoying, and didn't provide comic relief, just disrupted the tension. I hate, hate HATE when a show or a movie seemingly kills off a character, the other characters believe he's dead, and then he comes riding in when he's needed most, as happened with Poe Dameron. It's intellectually lazy movie-making. But my main issue is I felt that not enough was made of The Force. What has always separated Star Wars from other science fiction or action movies is they actually had a fascinating plot point. The Force, the good and evil inside all of us. Do you give in to your negative feelings, fear and anger, or do you let the good in you shine through. There were opportunities to do so here, they just passed on them. Problems that in retrospect weren't really problems: 1) The movie was too derivative of the originals. Yes, a droid containing a crucial piece of information is being pursued across the galaxy by evil people and good people have to see that it doesn't fall into the wrong hands, culminating in the destruction of the super weapon. How many Death Star and Death Star-ish things can they possibly build. Yes, but...if they had completely abandoned the earlier movies I would have been even angrier. I know there's some middle ground there but probably a very thin target to hit. 2) It was too predictable. As the movie wore on you knew Kylo Ren was the son of Han and Leia and you got a pretty good idea that he was going to kill Han. You knew they were going to blow up the Death Star and you knew they were going to find Luke. Yes, but...if they had a serious of ridiculous plot twists I would have been even angrier. In summary, it was a good movie. I really liked it. There were some chill-inducing scenes. The special effects looked great. It is one of the few movies I really think does need to be viewed on the big screen. I think they have set up the next movie to be phenomenal. It can leave behind the past and blaze its own trail. Is Rey Kylo's sister? Is she Obi-Juan's descendant? Will Luke train her, and a new order of Jedi Knights? Will Kylo Ren be redeemed in the end as was Darth Vader. I can't wait to find out. But the boys certainly seemed to like it:
Sunday, December 27, 2015
I had never heard of University of the Incarnate Word before November. But now, a strange series of events has occurred and it now seems like all I hear about is Incarnate Word. The first time I heard of Incarnate Word I was looking at the coaching tree for Pat Summitt. I saw that Angela Lawson is now the head women's basketball coach at Incarnate Word. The second time I heard of Incarnate Word I was searching for something about Oklahoma, and a recap of Oklahoma University's college basketball game against Incarnate Word came up. The third time I heard of Incarnate Word I was looking up RPI and was looking for the team with the #1 Strength of Schedule: Incarnate Word. The fourth time I heard of Incarnate Word, I was listening to college basketball scores and St. John's suffered an upset against a school no one had ever heard of before: Incarnate Word. I know what you are saying. All these things have to do with college basketball. The school has only been Division I for three years, so it's not unusual to have never heard of them before now. The Universe is going to have to do something better if it wants me to believe in its powers. So I decided to look up Incarnate Word. It's a Catholic University, obviously. It's located in San Antonio and has nearly 10,000 students. Incarnate means "in human form," often used along with the word "devil." Any of that interest you? No, ok, hope about the University's motto: "The Universe is Yours."
Saturday, December 26, 2015
This is a pretty tough week. Let's see if we can keep the streak going. But this is the part of the season where you'd think that teams fighting for something would beat teams who are out of it, but it doesn't always work that way. BUFFALO -6 1/2 dallas KANSAS CITY -10 cleveland houston -5 TENNESSEE san francisco +10 DETROIT BEST BET cincinnati +3 1/2 DENVER Last week: 4-1 (5 points) Season: 40-35 (39 points) Best Bets: 1-0 (7-8) Home Favorites: 1-1 (13-16) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-2) Road Favorites: 2-0 (16-11) Road Underdogs: 1-0 (9-6)
Thursday, December 24, 2015
There's an old breakup song by Dru Hill called "What Do I Do With the Love?" and one line "what do I do with my time, if I'm not spending time with you?" has really hit home for me ever since Diesel died.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Sunday, December 20, 2015
I do better when I don't explain. MINNESOTA -5 1/2 chicago cincinnati -6 SAN FRANCICSO kansas city -6 1/2 BALTIMORE JACKSONVILLE -3 atlanta BEST BET houston +2 INDIANAPOLIS Last week: 3-2 (4 points) Season: 36-34 (34 points) Best Bets: 1-0 (6-8) Home Favorites: 2-1 (12-15) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-2) Road Favorites: 1-0 (15-11) Road Underdogs: 0-1 (8-7)
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
The loss of Diesel has been hard on every member of the family and the kids have dealt with it, in their own way, befitting their normal personalities. Chase was sweet, saying when he is sad he goes and lays with Diesel who makes him feel better. He is old enough to understand the permanence and gravity of the situation but young enough that he doesn't quite know what to do with these feelings.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Diesel, 11 (77), of Fair Lawn, NJ died Thursday, December 10th, under the loving care of the veterinarians at Valley Brook Veterinary Hospital, after a brief battle with cancer. Diesel, an energetic, loving, black Labrador Retriever, enjoyed long walks in the park, chasing tennis balls (and rabbits and squirrels, too), laying in the sunlight and swimming in the ocean. A lifelong Mets fan, Diesel was known to get incredibly excited every time he heard those magic words, "Mets win." Diesel is survived by his parents, Paul and Kate, his brothers, Chase and Julian and a long list of adoring grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. In lieu of flowers, please pet the next dog that you see. Especially if it is your own.
Yikes! ST.LOUIS -3 detroit TAMPA BAY -4 1/2 new orleans indianapolis +1 JACKSONVILLE new england -3 1/2 HOUSTON BEST BET CAROLINA -8 atlanta Last week: 0-5 (-1 points) Season: 33-32 (30 points) Best Bets: 0-1 (5-8) Home Favorites: 0-2 (10-14) Home Underdogs: 0-1 (1-2) Road Favorites: 0-0 (14-11) Road Underdogs: 0-2 (8-5)
Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Saturday, December 05, 2015
I hope everyone took that Panthers-Cowboys game to the bank. Worst spread I've seen in my life. I'm going to try a strategy I seldom employ, but I like a lot of the underdogs. houston +3 BUFFALO Houston might be the better team right now. Their defense is playing amazing. But there has been heavy action on Houston since the open of the line, moving the spread by three points. MIAMI -3 1/2 baltimore This game is the same story, but in this case I like the favorite. I can't figure why people think Baltimore is so good when they needed a miracle to beat the miserable Browns. ST. LOUIS +6 arizona I have loved the Cardinals all year but I just have a feeling they won't blow out the Rams. indianapolis +7 PITTSBURGH The Colts are undefeated with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback. He doesn't throw interceptions or make mistakes. That should be enough to keep this game close even though Roethlisberger is expected to play. BEST BET NEW ENGLAND -9 philadelphia Very good team at home versus very bad team. I haven't done too well with big spreads this season but that doesn't mean I should be afraid. Last week: 3-2 (4 points) Season: 33-27 (31 points) Best Bets: 1-0 (5-7) Home Favorites: 0-1 (10-12) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1) Road Favorites: 2-0 (14-11) Road Underdogs: 1-1 (8-3)
Actor Robert Loggia died at the age of 85. Loggia is known for his many film roles, but is most remembered for encouraging a generation of kids to drink orange juice. We should also note that Mr. Loggia is from Staten Island. He went to New Dorp High School and Wagner College.
Friday, December 04, 2015
The Mets should sign Ben Zobrist. They should give him the 4th year, and pay up to $80M if they have to. Here's why: He's a great player. His last six full seasons he had a WAR above 5 in 5 of them. That's outstanding, MVP-level production. He's exactly what the Mets need. He's a good contact, high on-base guy who could and should bat second for the Mets. He can play several positions, including the Mets biggest need (second base), but he can also play third base to give Wright a rest, and the outfield to give Conforto and maybe Granderson a day off against tough lefties. But Paul... He's old. Yes, he's 34 now and would be 38 by the end of a 4-year contract. But his skills, on-base, versatility, are not skills that erode as quickly with age. Though his drop-off in defense last season is concerning, he has always been a great defender. Shouldn't a $15-$20 million a year man hit home runs? No! Didn't you watch the playoffs? The game is changing. The Mets are built around pitching and defense. They play in a big park and they need to tailor their offense to it as well. Contact hitters who can reach base are what the Mets need. Don't you hate paying a lot of money for free agents? No! The efficacy of spending money on free agents, especially older ones, is entirely dependent on where your team is on the win curve. If your team is likely to win fewer than 80 games, it's unlikely one player would make any difference. Even improving from 80 to 85 wins accomplishes basically nothing, you still miss the playoffs. But the Mets were so close to winning it all last year, that one player could make a huge difference. And that's why the time to spend is now. Other possibilities: Jason Heyward: Great player. Fantastic. Some team will likely give him $200 million over 10 years, and they will probably be happy to do so, and the deal will work out. But I just don't think that's the best option for the Mets, because I think Conforto, Lagares, Granderson is a good enough outfield. If somehow the Mets did get Jason Heyward, I wouldn't object, I just can't see it happening. Carlos Gonzalez: I heard talk about the Mets trading Matz and Nimmo for him. That is absolutely insane. In three of the past four seasons he was 760 OPS or worse on the road. And CitiField is worse than the average park. Plus, he's frequently hurt. Ian Desmond: From 2012-2014 he had a WAR of 4 or better in each season. That's great. For a shortstop. Sign him up. But he fell to 1.7 last year. Would you really want to spend $60 million over 4 years on a guy who wasn't better than Wilmer Flores in 2015? Wouldn't the extra $15 or $20 million be better spent on Zobrist? Dexter Fowler: This is exactly the type of player the Mets should not go after. Last year was the best year of his career. Before this season he had never been higher than 2.3 in WAR. In his 2 non-Colorado years his OPS was 774 and 757. Which is fine, but not so much better that its worth the downside, which is taking away playing time from developing young players like Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto and eventually Brandon Nimmo. Denard Span: Similar thoughts apply to Denard Span, except his is a better player than Fowler (though they are fairly similar) but he is recovering from an injury. The Mets haven't had too much luck with injured players on the wrong side of 30. Relievers: The Mets need a couple but I am not really sure who is available and at what price. But I think they really need to sign a couple of hard-throwers. Bottom Line: The Mets need to spend responsibly and deploy their resources (money) where it will have the most impact, ie filling the biggest areas of need. The Mets must resist the temptation to spend a lot of money to make minor improvements over their existing players (at first base and in centerfield). I want the Mets to sign Zobrist and a couple of relief pitchers for around $100 million, or $30 million per year, roughly the salary that is coming off the books anyway. These young Mets proved they were championship caliber last season and now is the time to make practical improvements to make the 2016 Mets a serious World title contender without impacting their ability to add and develop more young players to help the Mets win in 2017 and beyond.
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
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)
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Sunday, November 08, 2015
Saturday, November 07, 2015
I've been in this weird run lately where I've been winning or losing all my 1pm games, and then I do the opposite in the later games. Had a good start, then lost 3 in a row. Maybe having too much confidence in the Jets. Well if you think I have too much confidence in the Jets...keep reading. NEW ENGLAND -13 1/2 washington I hate to do this. I really do. But I think the Patriots are just pounding people and I think the Redskins are really that bad, and likely to get pounded. The only problem with doing this, is there is probably a good chance of double misery, the Redskins losing, but by less than 13 and a half. PITTSBURGH -4 1/2 oakland Maybe the Raiders really are as good as everyone says. But I don't think so, not yet. I think the Steelers with Roethlisberger will score enough to beat the Raiders. miami +3 BUFFALO Apparently all the excitement about Dan Campbell wore off thanks to one ass-whupping from the Patriots. But the Bills aren't the Patriots and the Dolphins do seem to be much improved. SAN DIEGO -4 chicago I know both of these teams are horrible underachievers, and even though the Chargers lost last week, they hung tough and won against-the-spread. I expect Philip Rivers to put a lot of points on the board. BEST BET NEW YORK JETS -7 1/2 jacksonville Ok, so I blew it with the Jets last week. But it's possible my thesis is still correct: The Jets are a decent team with a strong running game. But they need Ryan Fitzpatrick. Once he got hurt and Geno Smith came in I knew my hopes were done for. The Jags are not a good team and Jets should pound them easily. Last week: 2-3 (1 point) Season: 23-17 (23 points) Best Bets: 0-1 (4-4) Home Favorites: 0-0 (8-5) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1) Road Favorites: 1-3 (10-10) Road Underdogs: 1-0 (4-1)
Thursday, November 05, 2015
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Can you believe it has been ten years since I started the Poop? I'm still enjoying doing it, though with much less frequency. I've cut back on how often I post of course, but I hope I still give you reason to come back and visit at least once a week. I don't post as much current events because by the time I get around to doing it, they're no longer current. But it's been a great way to catalog my life experiences and pictures, and stay in touch and share thoughts with friends. Out of nearly 7,000 posts here are some of my favorites. My favorite soups My favorite song My favorite gruesome sports injury The funniest moment of Chase's life An important moment in Chase's life A funny moment on home shopping networks, two moments actually My defense of the Charlie Brown Halloween special The post that really started it all My favorite tag/label The most popular post ever And of course this one that we all look forward to every year If I stick with this for 10 more years, there will be a post about dropping Chase off at college. Marinate on that.
Monday, November 02, 2015
At the end of the year, one team wins, every other team loses. In the world of professional sports there are no moral victories or nice tries. You either accomplished the goal and won the title, or you failed in your quest. That's one way of looking at the 2015 New York Mets. But there's also another side to this team. This team took us on an incredible ride from July 31st (which should be remembered as the day Wilmer hit a walkoff home run, not the day we got Cespedes) until Game 4 of the NLCS. It's unfortunate the car ran out of gas before the journey ended, but it was still a fun journey. The enduring memory of 2015 for most fans will be how Wilmer went from weeping to winning in the span of two days.
Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals, 2015 World Series Champions. The Royals are a great team and a very deserving champion. As good as the Royals are, the Mets played horribly in this series. Three blown leads, in the 8th or 9th inning. Errors and otherwise dumb plays in every single game, leading directly to Royals runs. And a complete and total lack of hitting by the Mets lineup. As good as the Royals are, they are incredibly lucky. Every bloop and bleeder fell in, every bounce went their way. As good as the Royals are, Terry Collins gifted them this series. How did he lose Game 3? He took out a pitcher who just had an easy inning (Reed) for another guy out of the pen (Clippard). He left in a pitcher after a walk (Clippard), making it tougher for Familia. Does that sound familiar? I do not blame Terry for letting Harvey start the 9th. But there is absolutely no way he can leave him in after that leadoff walk. He's seen how Familia has been going, why risk putting more runners on. And why take out Niese after a strong inning for Reed who has pitched in every game? What a great game by Harvey. He deserved a better fate. After all those asshole Mets fans criticized him and wanted to trade him. The guy was a horse in the playoffs. Now we need to pray that this ill-advised workload doesn't cause injury. Even so, we should call Scott Boras, ask his highest offer, add 10 million to that and sign him up for 8 years. Very selfish of Cespedes to ask to stay in when he could barely walk. A pinch hitter with two good legs could have gotten the Mets an extra run there. And of course stupid of Terry to leave him in. The 2015 Mets had a great season and a thrilling run through the playoffs but somehow it all just evaporated in the World Series. Some of it has to do with the Royals, maybe there is something about the whole layoff things (now 8 of 9 LCS sweepers have been World Series weepers), but 3 Mets had good World Series (Harvey, Syndergaard and Granderson). Some others did ok (Conforto, Lagares, Matz). Everyone else was far below their expected performance, including playoff hero Murphy who couldn't hit or field the ball. Obviously, I'm tremendously disappointed with losing in the World Series, especially in this manner, when it could have just as easily been the Mets winning in 5 games, but I will also remember the great 2 1/2 months from August to mid-October that this team gave us.
Sunday, November 01, 2015
We keep on trucking along with decent weeks and alternating best bets, but now is the time to string together a bunch of best bets in a row. We're having a decent season, but not getting enough of those crucial key picks. minnesota -1 CHICAGO I guess he will keep riding the Vikings until they start getting some respect from the oddsmakers. san diego +3 1/2 BALTIMORE I don't pick enough underdogs. The Ravens are bad. I had the Falcons but then realized they've really fallen off in the past few weeks and the ECPs are improving. Plus I like that extra half point on the spread. green bay -3 DENVER Aaron Rodgers is just better than Peyton Manning right now, at this stage in their careers. seattle -4 1/2 DALLAS The Seahawks have been losing to good teams (their 4 losses are to teams with a combined 21-3 record) and beating the bad ones. Hopefully that holds true here. BEST BET ny jets -3 OAKLAND I can't believe I am doing this. In the history of this blog, I wonder how many times I have made the Jets my best bet. I would suppose it's been very few. Two main reasons behind this: 1) Once I started hearing everyone talk about how great the Raiders are, I immediately thought they hype had gone too far. 2) The Jets are a good team when Chris Ivory is carrying the football. Last week: 3-2 (4 points) Season: 21-14 (22 points) Best Bets: 1-0 (4-3) Home Favorites: 2-1 (8-5) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1) Road Favorites: 1-1 (9-7) Road Underdogs: 0-0 (3-1)
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Starting pitching is important. Timely hitting is essential. Defense is imperative. But relief pitching is the most important thing in the playoffs. And the Mets bullpen has not done the job. And of course Terry Collins makes it work with his mishandling of the pen. I do not know why he insists on going to Tyler Clippard. Reed was going well. Why not let him start the 8th and if someone gets on bring in Familia. I cannot stand guys who come into games and walk guys. That's why hard throwers are so important. Clippard is afraid to let guys hit his pitches, so he's too fine, and he walks guys. Also, why the fuck did he bring in Familia last night? Knowing he might need him tonight. You absolutely, positively cannot blow games, and the Mets blew a 9th inning lead in Game 1 and an 8th run lead in Game 4. And that is why they will not win the World Series. That, and an absolutely choke job by the two biggest reason (offensively) that the Mets have even gotten this far, Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes. And if their horrible hitting weren't enough both of them made horrible, inexcusable mistakes, Murphy's error, Cespedes's bone-headed base-running that probably bought each of them a ticket out of town. The Mets had their chance to retake control of this series, and they blew it. Congrats to the Royals. They are just an incredible team that capitalizes on your mistakes and gets hits in bunches when the need to. And their bullpen doesn't blow leads.
The Mets bats finally woke up! Huge home runs by Wright and Granderson.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Maybe there is something to this thing about the long layoff. The curse of sweeping the LCS, or just too many days off, but this is not the same Mets team that swept the Cubs. It has a lot to do with the Royals of course. deGrom just couldn't strike those fuckin guys out. And even though he sailed through four innings (mostly, barring a couple bad/unlucky defensive plays) once they got hits, they came in bunches and put the game away. And the Mets hitting has just been atrocious. Cespdes, Wright and d'Arnaud all of them, awful. Conforto seems to have a huge hole in his swing. He's got a big loop and is popping everything up. If he even makes contact, and doesn't just swing at bad pitches. The Royals have an entire lineup of guys hitting singles. The Mets have half a lineup of automatic outs. There were no dramatics, no subtleties, just one big inning and a team that just cannot hit. This series is starting to remind me of the 2000 World Series where the Mets had a lead going into the 9th and their closer blew it. They lost in extra innings, lost in Game 2 and were basically not a threat for the rest of the Series.
What a crazy way to start off a World Series, with an inside-the-park home run. Just a crazy fluke play. I'm still not sure if Cespedes really lost the ball, or there was confusion between him and Conforto, and he pulled up thinking Conforto would catch it. But I do think Lagares makes that play 99 times out of 100.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
The New York Mets are in the World Series. I couldn't possibly be more excited. I can barely sit still or keep a thought in my head. The Kansas City Royals are an excellent team. Unlike the powerful sluggers of the Cubs who were shut down by the Mets, the Royals have a lineup of pesky hitters who keep rallies alive with singles and walks. They take extra bases and they don't make errors. There will not be dropped fly balls like the ones Schwarber gifted the Mets in the NLCS. Also, the Royals have Wade Davis. He is virtually unhittable. Since becoming the Royals relief ace last season he has a sub-1.00 ERA. But the Mets have Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. The Royals will be starting (in order) Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Yordano Ventura and Chris Young. Do this thought experiment: take the four pitchers for each team, add them to an otherwise identical roster of 21 other players. Computer-simulate 1000 7-game series. How many do the Mets win? Reissberg and I each speculated the number would be between 800 and 900. It is with that reason, that I believe the Mets will win the 2015 World Series. Let's Go Mets.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Tough week as the Patriots robbed us of a 5-pointer by allowing those late points to the Colts. We also missed a perfect Poop game Thursday night as the Seahawks were an obvious choice to pound the 49ers. Some good games I like on the schedule this week though, so let's see if we can get back on track. atlanta -6 TENNESSEE The Falcons coming off their first loss of the season. The Titans using Zach Mettenberger. We could fall into the backup QB trap here, but I think the Falcons will score more points than the Titans can. minnesota -1 DETROIT I stand by my man Teddy and think the Lions are a pretty awful team. And I like to pick against bad teams coming off wins. INDIANAPOLIS -4 new orleans If Andrew Luck is healthy enough to play, I think he will be good enough to put a lot of points on the board. I always fear Drew Brees, but they are coming off a big win over the Falcons and of course I am always looking to pick against teams that pull off upsets the previous week. NEW YORK GIANTS -3 dallas Another one of our corollaries is that teams that do poorly on Monday Night Football are viewed more skeptically by the oddsmakers than had their bad performance occurred on a Sunday. How could the Giants be only 3-point favorites at home against a team quarterbacked by Matt Cassell? The backup QB trap could be at work again here, but generally it applies to backups who never play. We have plenty of evidence to suggest that Cassell is not a good NFL QB. BEST BET CAROLINA -3 philadelphia The Panthers are a good team. The Eagles are not. The only thing that concerns me is that last week was a huge win for the Panthers. As we always say, teams in the NFL don't always play consistently week-to-week. Last week: 3-2 (2 points) Season: 18-12 (18 points) Best Bets: 0-1 (3-3) Home Favorites: 1-0 (6-4) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1) Road Favorites: 1-2 (8-6) Road Underdogs: 1-0 (3-1)
Saturday, October 24, 2015
A local TV reporter delivers an entire report without having watch the last five seconds of the Michigan-Michigan State game. I actually blame the producers back at the studio. The reporter has to be outside getting ready, can't wait for the game to end. They needed to tell him what happened, and not go to him until the game truly was over. But he looked like a douche for saying the fans were pouring out of the stadium and celebrating. Speaking of douches in local news, a reporter in Toronto fails to use a key verb and tricks a poor Blue Jays fan. Idiot should have said "are you going to get tickets?" The way she said it I can understand why the woman was confused. But I'd have hated to be the person who had to break it to her.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Now that the Mets are in the World Series (the Mets are in the World Series!!!!!) with 5 days off before Game 1, the question has turned to how the Mets should set their pitching rotation. A lot of people think they should stick with essentially what it is right now, Harvey-Syndergaard-deGrom. But I think they should set their best pitchers first, deGrom-Harvey-Syndergaard. I want deGrom to go first because he feel he gives the Mets the best chance to win Game 1. And I do not believe in saving deGrom for a potential Game 7, as that could be a recipe for losing before you even get there. Also, I would prefer to get Thor his first start at home, just in case there is something to his road troubles.
The New York Mets are in the 2015 World Series! I remember reading/hearing last year or the year before that Theo Epstein was building his team around power hitters, because they are in scarcer supply in today's game than power pitchers. But I will always believe that most times, good pitching will beat good hitting and the Mets great young power pitchers just shut down the Cubs great power hitters for four straight games. But we should remember there are no absolutes. Remember when the San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals to prove, absolutely and indubitably, once and for all, that team basketball beats one or two great individual players. Except for the year before, when basically the same two teams met in the Finals and the Heat won. The Cubs are a good team and I expect many battles with them over the next few years and I would expect different results, at least some of the time. But this is an amazing triumph for the Mets and I am thrilled as hell that they are in the World Series. I hope they can keep this going and bring the title home. They won the World Series when the team was 8 (kind of). The won the World Series when I was 8. And now it's time to win it when Chase is 8. Two things will be addressed on this blog after the World Series, win or lose: the midseason drama including what I got right and what I got wrong, and the off-season moves the team would and should make.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Today is the day I've been waiting for, for 30 years. Ever since Doc told Marty where we're going we don't roads, and that he was going 30 years into the future because it's a nice round number. Now that the day is finally here, let's look at the newspaper from that day:
Monday, October 19, 2015
I don't know who is having a more amazing postseason: me or Daniel Murphy. I'm very lucky have to now been to 3 of the Mets home games this postseason. This time we had seats in left field.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
A very weird week as all 3 of my early teams blew leads and in the case of the Seahawks, completely choked away a game they should have had. But I salvaged it with my best bet, picking the Patriots. cincinnati -3 BUFFALO This goes against a lot of my theories, particularly the one about not overestimating how much a backup quarterback will hurt a team. But I really like the Bengals and think they should win this one, even on the road. arizona -4 PITTSBURGH Once again, I am not overestimating how much not having Big Ben will hurt the Steelers. I am just correctly valuing how good the Cardinals are. Very good. carolina +7 SEATTLE This seems to be a lot of points to get from a team that hasn't been playing very well and may not have their best offensive player. MINNESOTA -3 1/2 kansas city I continue to like the Vikings and think this spread is a little too small, considering they are playing a bad team at home. BEST BET new england -9 INDIANAPOLIS I am not doing this because I think the Patriots are on some kind of fuck-you-revenge mission. I am doing this because I think the Patriots are very good Colts are not. And because Belichick doesn't giving a shit about running up the score. Last week: 2-3 (3 points) Season: 15-10 (16 points) Best Bets: 1-0 (3-2) Home Favorites: 0-2 (5-4) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1) Road Favorites: 2-0 (7-4) Road Underdogs: 0-1 (2-1)
Saturday, October 17, 2015
I recently went on a popcorn odyssey, four days and nights of eating popcorn in 4 different places in 3 different states, and I documented the entire thing to share with you guys. Day 1: Popcorn from Target for Game 1 of the NLDS.