Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Aaron Rodgers is Awesome, Leads Another Comeback Against Dallas

It turns out this Aaron Rodgers cat is pretty damn good at football. I didn't get to watch this game because I was flying home from Clemson and also had a pretty important playoff game to attend in the Bronx. (Hell of a weekend by the way, would do again for sure.) But, what a damn comeback. Rodgers doesn't have a ton of 4th quarter comeback wins in his career because his MO is getting off to hot starts and beating teams early and often. But this season he has absolutely dominated 4th quarters and led two impressive second half comebacks (he has 3 total counting defeating Seattle in week one after being down 3-0 at the half, but I wouldn't call that impressive).

(Ignore the foreign language.)

The Packers were down 21-12 at the half, thanks to two missed PATs. A one TD deficit wouldn't seem terrible but 9 points is two possessions against a quality team. On the road too. But Aaron Rodgers led his team to another great comeback and got a little help from a pick six by Demarious Randall. The Cowboys scored to go ahead 31-28 with 1:13 left on the clock. That's not only a ton of time for Rodgers to get within field goal range and tie the game, but it's plenty for him to get to the end zone. And that's exactly what he did. Incredible drive from Aaron and he capped it off with a great toss to Davante Adams for the game winner. Adams had a pair of TD catches in the game and both were pretty fantastic. Also, rookie fifth round pick Aaron Jones looked incredible running the football in his first start with Ty Montgomery out. 19 carries, 125 yards and a TD. Gotta love that production and hopefully he can team up nicely with Montgomery when he gets back.

The defense wasn't great, giving up 31 points obviously, but the made some plays when they had to - namely the pick six by Randall. The ball was dropped by the receiver with Clay Matthews closing in on him and Randall seized the opportunity, snatching the ball outta the air and scampering in for the TD. It's plays like that that the Packers defense needs to come up with in order to make a serious run at the Super Bowl this season. Yards and points aren't a big deal if Rodgers and Co. are putting up points themselves. But when opportunities present themselves for a big defensive stop or turnover, they have to come through. I saw a lot of 3rd down plays turn into big plays for the Cowboys and that is surely something that Green Bay will look to improve on Sunday in Minnesota. Get the opponent off the field and give the ball back to Rodgers. A lot easier said than done but if you create third and longs, don't let up on third down. It's like Hobbs telling Dom in Furious Seven, "and if you find that sumbitch...don't miss." If it's 3rd and 12, don't give up a god damn 40 yard completion. That's the lesson.

But luckily Rodgers is a legend and the D made a few plays, and the Packers made it out of Dallas with a win and a 4-1 record. They're in Minnesota to take on the 3-2 Vikings on Sunday. The Vikings STINK, hopefully the Packers can show up on the road against them. A rare occurrence in recent years. Go Pack.

P.S. That last lateral play by the Cowboys was fucking hilarious. Fat guys tumbling all over the place. Gotta love that shit.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Clemson Uses Fast Start to Beat Wake Forest and Move to 6-0

I was down in Clemson this past weekend for homecoming and it was great to be back in Death Valley. The noon start time was a bit of a buzzkill but it was great to see some Tiger football in person nonetheless. I'd much prefer a 3:30 start but oh well.

Clemson got off to a hot start, opening with two straight TD drives in the first quarter. KB looked great, he was spreading the ball around, the running game was doing well. And then it was like the offense hit a wall. For some reason they just couldn't sustain drives the rest of the first half. Even to start the second half they looked pretty bored with the game. But they kicked it back into gear down the stretch, getting the lead to 28-0 with two more scores. Kelly Bryant did exit with an ankle injury but I think he's expected to play Friday at Syracuse. It came right before the Tigers extended the lead to 21-0. KB was trying to muscle into the endzone and twisted his ankle a bit. He stayed in to hand the ball off to Etienne for the TD on the next play but that was it. Zerrick Cooper came in and they ran some weird plays for him, and he didn't look very good at all. Hunter Johnson came in and they ran exactly the plays I'd expect them to run for a freshman QB in semi-garbage time, and he looked great leading them to their fourth TD drive and his first career TD pass. 

The defense, once again, carried the team for the most part. There weren't very many flashy plays, no turnovers created, and they needed a couple missed field goals to keep it scoreless for a bit but it was the same ole dominant Clemson defense. They held Wake Forest to fewer than 4 yards per carry which was solid because that QB had some nifty moves when he took off to run. They hardly let Wake Forest throw the ball anywhere on the field, holding them to 14-30 passing. Clemson allowed a couple garbage time TDs to Wake but no big deal. Woulda loved to keep that shutout but whatever. It wasn't a flashy win by any means on either side of the ball but I'll take it. I honestly hate when they play like that, but whadaya gonna do? Can't be perfect all the time.

Clemson's got the Friday night game up at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse this week. Hopefully KB is ready to go, but I'd be confident in either of the other two guys to beat god damn Syracuse regardless. Defense travels anywhere. Go Tigers.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Packers Embarrassed the Bears Last Thursday

First off, realized tonight that I hadn't written about either Clemson or Green Bay this week so my b. Traveled Friday after Green Bay's win Thursday, and then got black out Saturday and watched the Clemson game, traveled Sunday, busy Monday, had to do the Yankees preview and watch the game last night (FUCK YES btw), finally got some time to do these posts tonight.

Gotta love Green Bay taking care of business on Thursday Night Football against the miserable Bears. However, the injuries kept piling up for the Packers. Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams, Joe Thomas, Davante Adams (more on his injury later). The Packers can't escape the injury bug ever.

Aaron Rodgers and Ty Montgomery led Green Bay down the field on the opening drive for a quick and easy touchdown. However, Montgomery left the game and didn't return after that drive with a rib injury he suffered on the first carry of the game. Clay Matthews forced a fumble on Mike Glennon on the first play of the game for the Bears and just like that Rodgers had the ball inside the 10 again. He threw his second TD pass in under a minute of play and it was 14-0. LOVE it. 

The Bears continued turning the ball over the rest of the game, including one of the funniest fumbles I've ever seen. Glennon basically punted the ball forward accidentally and the Packers recovered. Before you knew it, it was 21-0 Green Bay and you could pretty much book it that the Pack would win. The Bears did cut it to 21-7 at the half but the Packers wrapped it up in the second half by winning 35-14. I went to bed because it was way too late for such a sloppy game, but a nice win for Green Bay. 

It took another toll though with the injury to Davante Adams. Just got absolutely demolished in a helmet to helmet hit while fighting for extra yards. He was basically held up, not moving anywhere forward and Danny Trevathan came flying in and launched his helmet right into Adams' head. Entirely fucked play and Trevathan ended up getting suspended. Adams was on the ground for a while and went immediately to the hospital but ultimately was a lot better than anyone probably could have thought he was. Scary moment for sure though.

You can't read too much into the performance by the defense due to Chicago's incompetence, but obviously I liked the ability to force turnovers and seize opportunities when they presented themselves. You have to beat teams like the Bears in this manner to be taken seriously. Hopefully the Packers can build off that momentum, get rested up and a little healthier in the long week, and be ready to beat the Cowboys in Dallas again Sunday afternoon. 

Clemson Moved to 5-0 with Another Dominant Win Last Saturday

And just like that another dominant win over a top 15 team. The final score was only 31-17 but it was a lot more dominant than that. Even so, the victory almost doubled the spread on the game so that's pretty significant. 

It was another defense-led attack last Saturday and there's just nothing left to say about these guys. Crazy athletes all over the field. A 72 yard TD drive in garbage time against the second team defense actually gave Virginia Tech more total yards than Clemson, but the Tigers were able to force 3 turnovers and one went for six. The pick six was Dorian O'Daniel's second pick six of the season and that dude is just a freak. 10 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, and a pick six. He's doing it all for the Tigers defense and it's amazing to watch. Speaking of freaks, how bout Austin Bryant? The guy's a D-End out there making acrobatic interceptions and on a fourth down he lined up on a wide receiver and forced a 5 yard loss. Fuckin incredible. 

Kelly Bryant wasn't sharp but he once again proved he can lead the team on the road in a tough environment and win football games. He missed some deep balls that could have put the game away real early, but he didn't turn the ball over after throwing two picks against BC and again made some really clutch throws on 3rd downs, so I'll take that performance all day. Plus, he ran for almost 100 yards again so he's consistently creating plays with his legs and arm. 

The running backs had a down night for the standards that they've set, but with KB keeping most of the carries they didn't have a ton of opportunities. Tevian Feaster made the most of one huge opportunity out of the backfield catching and running for a 63 yard TD to put the Tigers up double digits early. Hopefully some of the backs get rolling again this week against Wake Forest.

Speaking of Wake Forest, they've had a good start to the season as they are 4-1 and took FSU down to the wire. However, the Tigers defense will just be too smothering I think. And I believe Dabo will be a little less cautious with his offense this week in Death Valley. Let's get some big plays going and get it over with quick. Go Tigers.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

AL Wild Card Preview

The New York Yankees are set to face off against the Minnesota Twins tonight in the American League Wild Card game. A one game playoff to get to the ALDS will make any fan sweat their ass off, but with the Yankees heavy favorites after finishing 6 games ahead of the Twins in the wild card standings, us Yanks fans expect to win tonight and will be especially devastated if they lose.

We've got Luis Severino going up against Ervin Santana. The Yankees have owned the Twins this century, but that hardly matters. It's one game to move on or your season is donezo. It sucks but that's what you get for not winning the division. The Yankees swept the Twins in the Bronx about two weeks ago, including a win over Santana to basically cement the fact that they'd be hosting this eventual Wild Card game. Credit to the Twins though, they bounced back after that and didn't really let anyone back in the second wild card race. I'm pretty impressed at the way the Twins have played in general in the second half though. You simply can't overlook them. They've scored the most runs in the league in the second half, and they traded two pitchers at the trade deadline. They were "sellers" not "buyers." Also, you gotta tip your cap to Paul Moliter and the team for becoming the first team ever to make the playoffs the year immediately following losing 100 games. They're underdogs, but do not overlook them or else you're fucked.

That being said, the Yankees have the far superior roster and are the much better team overall. They have a dominant starting pitcher going tonight, they've scored the second most runs in baseball this year, and they have the deep and dominant bullpen to wrap up games. They have the blueprint to be successful in the postseason. There's something about this team that makes me believe that won't royally fuck up tonight and they'll win the game they're supposed to. A lineup boasting Judge, Sanchez, Didi, Castro, Bird, and Gardner is scary for an opposing pitcher. This team makes pitchers WORK too. They will take pitches and foul off pitches and battle. I'm pretty confident in this year's Yankees. It may be stupid considering the recent Yankees teams, but I just do. Obviously given the way some of the losses this year have gone, I could totally see the Yankees losing this game 2-1 or 3-2 but I think they got this shit. 

Prediction: I think the Yankees take this one 4-2. Santana is good enough to not get blown out of the water by the Yankees high scoring offense, but ultimately Severino and the Yankees bullpen are just better. You never know when someone will just totally suck but Severino just has a big game attitude about him. I don't care that he's never pitched in a playoff game. A few weeks ago he went up against Chris Sale on Sunday Night Baseball and outdueled the absolute shit outta the guy. You think a September start against Boston and Chris Sale on Sunday night to try and close the gap in the division isn't a playoff type start? Fuck outta here, he's got the attitude to go out and dominate tonight. Can't wait to watch him go to work. I say 6 innings, 1 run, 8 Ks for Sevy realistically. But if he pitches a perfect game like I predicted on twitter earlier today then that is my official prediction. 

Here are the lineups for both squads:


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Best Music from One Tree Hill

As I wrote about in my Dan Scott appreciation blog back in May, I finished up One Tree Hill just this year because I finally had some access to Netflix and got some persuasion from enough people that I caved and gave it a shot. Terrific fucking show. Great drama (yeah I know that's more of a chick thing but I dig it), great cast of characters, and absolutely awesome music. Which is why I'm writing this now.

When I finished the show I started diving into the music of each episode to try and make a playlist. Well I finally finished that playlist Monday night. The Playlist King refused to quit despite facing adversity (laziness). Kings stay kings. Now I have to admit I did not do as thorough a job in the first couple of season in my review of songs. If they didn't have good popularity on Spotify I assumed it wasn't good. I did my due diligence once I came up with the strategy to cue up songs during work and just save them if I liked them enough. This whole process still took me a solid 4 months to go through every episode of every season. 9 seasons, over 20 episodes in most seasons, I'd say an average of 8-10 songs an episode. That's a lot of fucking songs to listen to folks. But, I managed to come up with 347 playlist worthy songs. Almost a day's worth. But like I said, HERE is the website I used to find every song from the show so if you (Nick and Gina mostly since you're the only ones that will care about this) think I missed some good ones, tell me to add them. But I think I did a pretty good job. Playlist King indeed.

Now, that ain't all I got for ya. That playlist isn't just soundtrack songs, some of them were from live guest appearances on the show by the bands and artists and some of them were by cast members themselves. I'm gonna break down some of my favorites of each.

Top Live Musical Guest Appearances

7. The Wreckers

What a duo, what a song. And it comes at a pivotal moment too. Clutch gene like you read about from the Wreckers.

6. Sheryl Crow

Although it's just one acoustic song at the cafe, Sheryl Crow crushes this song. What a tune too. Plus I appreciate the other songs featured on the soundtrack by Sheryl so gotta give her some credit for the cameo as well.

5. Angels & Airwaves

Angels & Airwaves headlining Tree Hill's USO concert was sweet. Gotta love a couple A&A songs getting dropped into the show. Tom Delonge's secondary band puts out some jams as well. Blink 182 is obviously better, but hey these songs are solid too. Tom is a weird dude but if you don't fuck with his unique voice, I don't fuck with you.

4. Gavin DeGraw

The theme song of the show, Gavin crushes the live performance in the cafe. I never realized what a bonafide superstar Gavin DeGraw was until this show. Countless hits in the soundtrack. Stud.

3. Fall Out Boy

Bonus points for two separate appearances. And two quality tracks too. They have plenty of good songs on the soundtrack overall, but gotta love these guest performances. Almost underrated as a band. Some absolute jams in their catalog. 

2. Jack's Mannequin

Got a little sneak peak at JM in that last Fall Out Boy video, but they have some terrific songs and I love them having the guest appearance at Tric. Good shit having two of their songs played at the show too. "Dark Blue" is the better song of the two but I think you only hear it good at the end of the song in that FOB video. 

1. Jimmy Eat World

I mean just electric performances outta Jimmy Eat World. Three songs all in the episode, but I could only find a video for "Hear You Me." "Work" and "Polaris" are fucking great songs though so I wish I could find videos of those in the show as well. Solid repertoire of soundtrack songs too. Underrated band. They're better than just "The Middle." 

Honorable mention: Kid Cudi, The Noisettes, Lupe Fiasco - in that order. Don't ask why I only felt like writing about 7.

Top Cast Member Singers

7. Erin (Laura Izibor)

The Irish girl who calls into the suicide hotline actually has pipes! Who knew?!

6. Jake (Bryan Greenberg)

Jake with a sneaky good voice just using his guitar to make Peyton fall for him. Their whole thing was cool for a bit but we all know where she belonged.

5. Grubbs (Michael Grubbs)

Grubbs, the bartender at Tric for a little while, just killin it with his band Wakey!Wakey!. Fuckin odd name for a band but who cares, Grubbs can crush hits!

4. Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz/Galeotti)

There from season 1 til the end, Haley is obviously a main character and a staple of the show. Late in season one we get a taste of what she can do with the pipes, and her music career ends up being a big part of the show. Love it.

3. Chris (Tyler Hilton)

How bout Chris fuckin Keller? Guy sucked for the first few seasons, just a total dickhead. But he eventually became a low key hero and hilarious character. And he puts out jams, gotta love it.

2. Mia (Kate Voegele)

Peyton and Haley's first find with the record label, Mia Catalano drops absolutely continuous heat on us for the rest of the show. Love her as a character and her music is pretty damn good.

1. Alex (Jana Kramer)

Alex was only on the show for like 2 seasons but Jana Kramer dropped some of her first career singles as her character. And Jana Kramer's career now is pretty much singing so it's pretty clear to me she's the best artist of any of the OTH characters. Jana's got some heaters for sure.

Top Music Moments
Just sit back and enjoy these moments. Perfect music to go along with these.

10. Everybody Hurts

9. I Shall Believe

8. Wedding Dress

7. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You

6. Here Comes A Regular

5. Feeling A Moment

4. Maybe Tomorrow

3. Lavinia

2. Heartbeats

1. Dare You to Move

Some absolutely iconic shit in these scenes. Gotta love the contributions that the soundtrack make to the show. These songs are engraved in my brain with these scenes. What a show, folks. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Packers Come Back from Down 14 to Beat the Bengals in OT

For the 3rd straight week, the Packers played an absolute garbage first half (offensively especially), and for the 2nd time in those 3 weeks they were able to make some plays in the 2nd half and snag a win. 

One might say that a team with Aaron Rodgers at QB facing an 0-2 Andy Dalton team at home should be a bit more relaxing of a game, but it's the NFL. They're all professionals, anything can happen. Andy Dalton has made the playoffs 4 times in his career and the Bengals defense hasn't been the problem for them this year so far either. I missed most of the first half but the Packers offense was dogshit after their lone TD drive of the half. Rodgers threw a pick six and he seriously needs to stop throwing interceptions. Kinda sick of that garbage. The defense let up a couple of TD drives and it was 21-7. Hard to blame the defense when the offense only gained like 75 yards or something in the first half. 

Rodgers came out of halftime firing and closed the gap to 21-14 pretty quickly. The defense kept the Packers in the game with some key stops, and Rodgers was able to lead a field goal drive as well. The Bengals tacked on a field goal eventually, and the Packers offense was tasked with scoring a TD in the final minutes of regulation. Rodgers made some great throws, receivers made some great plays and they were able to score a TD and tie the game up with under a minute to go. Geronimo Allison and Jordy Nelson made some clutch catches down the stretch and G-Mo would make one more in OT.

With the game tied, it headed to overtime where the Bengals won the toss and elected to receive obviously. Aaron Rodgers had never won a game in overtime entering Sunday. Largely because he had only ever attempted 6 passes in the 7 overtime games combined. He rarely even gets an opportunity in OT. But the Packers defense forced an awesome 3 and out and would give Rodgers that chance. After two incompletions Rodgers induced his classic free play off an offsides on the hard count and hit G-Mo down the left side for a 72 yard catch and run. Fucking awesome play and Crosby was able to knock in the 27 yard game winning field goal. 

It was really nice to see the defense step up, albeit against another iffy offense, and give the offense a chance to catch up in the second half. Gotta love the effort from those guys on D, down quite a few players once again. Absolutely LOVE Josh Jones. The second round pick is a stud who is a safety/linebacker hybrid. He had two sacks on Sunday and I'd like to see more of him going forward. I hope Rodgers will have a game without a pick this year, but he's played well in second halves this year which is always nice. Knowing you're never out of a game because you have a stud at QB capable of making any throw at any point in the game is a good feeling. 

The Packers have to turn around and play Thursday night against Chicago so it's unlikely they can get completely healthy before Thursday. But hopefully they can be closer to 100% on both sides of the ball when they travel to Dallas in a week and a half. Go Pack Go.

Also, another thing I wanted to mention is that Tony Romo is wonderful as an announcer. Dude cracks me up and actually has fantastic points and insights during the game. Love the Nantz/Romo combo on CBS' big games.

Clemson Struggles for 3 Quarters, Pulls Away from BC in the 4th

Wasn't able to watch this one, but I think I'm glad I didn't. By all accounts Clemson's offense sucked for 3 quarters before finally pulling away in the 4th quarter. I'm gonna try and give my main takeaways just from watching highlights, but this probably won't be one of my better recaps. I'm also not gonna totally freak out about the non-blowout as I've been known to do. It might be because I didn't watch, but I also think that the Tigers will be just fine.

Obviously not a great passing game for Clemson in this one. Two interceptions for KB and no passing TDs. Not ideal, but it seemed like he was under a little bit of pressure for a lot of the afternoon. Hopefully they clean up the air attack before Virginia Tech this week because Bud Foster's defenses are always pretty damn solid. I still believe in KB even after he struggled. Maybe this game was a bit of a wake up call for him - not every game is gonna be as easy as they say on paper, and you don't get to face Louisville's defense every game. 

KB didn't let his poor performance passing affect his running game as he posted over 100 rushing yards and 2 TDs on the ground. He's a smooth but strong runner and he can make people miss tackles in multiple ways. His running game will always be a key in games to keep defenses on their toes. Against a more quality opponent, you won't be able to rely on just one aspect, in my opinion. Also, before I move on from talking about KB I should mention that his 3rd down throw to Overton in the 4th quarter when it was still tied was one of the more impressive throws I've seen him make this year. And it was a huge play in the game.

The rushing attack was one of the bigger question marks facing the Tigers coming into the season. And all they've done is rack up almost 275 rushing yards a game, good for 13th in the country so far. Dabo wanted to give CJ Fuller and Adam Choice their chances as "veterans" of the group but Tevian Feaster and Travis Etienne are top tier talents at the position, and have emerged as the go-to guys. Fuller and Choice have their strengths for sure, but Feaster and Etienne are much more talented and fun to watch. Feaster didn't have his best game in his first start, but he's the right guy to give the most playing time to right now. I can't say enough about Etienne though. He leads the team in rushing yards despite only having 23 carries and not playing in the Auburn game. And he is a threat to break one to the house every time he touches the ball. I fucking love this kid. It looks like we'll be seeing more of him too going forward which is quite good news.

And I'd be remiss to not mention the defense, who kept BC scoreless for so long despite the offense giving them some pretty good field position a few times. The defense continues to dominate games and they figure to only get better. Hopefully some of the injuries in the secondary aren't too serious (Mullen and Fields both left the game Saturday) but the front 7 is so insane right now I'm still confident in the defense as a whole. 

The Tigers go on the road to another top 15 team this weekend, facing Virginia Tech. One of the tougher venues to play in in college football, I'm more nervous about this game than I was about Louisville. It helps that VT is starting a freshman QB but he seems to be pretty damn good so far. I imagine KB and the offense will have a little bit harder time getting going than they did at Louisville so I'm hoping the defense can remain dominant and stuff VT until the offense gets rolling. I think KB will bounce back but it might take a couple of series to do so. Go Tigers. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Packers Get Stomped in Atlanta Again

Welp, as much fun as watching Clemson destroy Louisville was, watching the Packers get trounced by the Falcons again was as painful. The 34-23 loss was worse than the final score and eerily similar to the blow out loss in the NFC Championship last season. The team was injured, the defense looked lost, Aaron Rodgers was under duress, and he struggled to make plays even when he wasn't pressured. 

The defense got off to a HOT start allowing an easy TD drive on the first Falcons series. I'm a big defer to the second half guy, but giving Matt Ryan and Julio Jones the ball first against your suspect defense is just a weird move. Especially when you cough up a fumble and TD on your opening drive to start the second half anyway (more on that later). But anyway, predictably Ryan and Jones carved up Damarious Randall and co. on the opening drive for a 7-0 lead. To make matters worse, Mike Daniels left the game with a hamstring injury and never returned. However, Rodgers and the Pack responded nicely tying up the game on their first drive. It was all downhill from there though.

The Packers defense just could not stop Atlanta at all, and Rodgers was under fire with two starting tackles missing the game. Atlanta opened up a 17-7 lead all of a sudden and it was looking pretty grim. Aaron Rodgers is a tremendous quarterback, the best talent the league has ever seen at the position. But you can just tell when it's one of those games where he doesn't have it. The pressure caused him to fuck up a few times and he was just missing throws, rushing throws, holding it too long, just struggling to come up with anything. Also, Jordy Nelson left during the first drive with some kinda quad injury. Not ideal and I'm sure that didn't help Aaron out.

Before the half it looked like the Packers were cooking something up. Randall Cobb caught a pass over the middle and ran until he was tackled at midfield. But the fucking jabroni refs called pass interference on Martellus Bennett for an illegal pick at the line of scrimmage. From what the announcers were saying and from what the Packers said after the game, you're allowed to pick within one yard of the line of scrimmage. And it sure as fuck looked like Marty was not further than a yard down field when he came in contact with the defender. The worst part is that Rodgers and Marty and Mike McCarthy all said that he was just running his drag route and not even trying to screen the defender. Obviously that could just be an excuse, but why would they have to come up with excuses when it was a legal play anyway? Anyway, they got a half the distance to the goal penalty instead of gaining 25-30 yards and being at midfield. It went from a very good possibility of being 17-14 or 17-10 at halftime to Rodgers throwing an interception two plays later. He tried to make up for the penalty and he threw it down the sidelines to Geronimo Allison who just stopped like he was expecting a back shoulder throw or something. I don't know, I like Allison but this is the kinda shit that happens when you don't have your number one receiver on the field who you've thrown to for the last 8 years or so. 

But anyway, that interception led to another Atlanta touchdown and it was 24-7 at halftime. 17 points is a lot to overcome in one half of NFL football against a team that made the Super Bowl the year before, but given how said team lost said Super Bowl (lay up joke, crushed it) and given the quarterback on the team currently losing the game, I'd say the Packers chances of coming back were as good as anyone's. But a few plays in my hopes were completely dashed by a fumble picked up and brought into the end zone for an Atlanta touchdown. Rodgers was pressured, and he tried to move to his left but there was more pressure and when he turned back to the right there was a dude just totally in his face so he tried to get rid of the ball while being tackled. He was able to make a throwing motion so if the ball went forward it woulda been an incomplete pass. However the refs ruled it a backwards pass even after review and the Atlanta TD stood. Absolutely mind boggling how they ruled it a backwards pass when it went about a half yard forward. Yeah the Packers sucked on Sunday night, yeah it wasn't Aaron Rodgers best night, but my god a little help from the officials woulda been nice. Rodgers would eventually put up a few touchdowns to make the final score a little less terrible but I can't imagine it was anything more than Atlanta's defense just playing relaxed coverage. I don't know, I went to bed after the fumble.

I just hope the Packers can get relatively healthy on both sides of the ball this week and recover against weak-ass Cincinnati at home. Bulaga and Bahktiari are huge on the offensive line and obviously Jordy is necessary to make the passing attack truly unstoppable. Cobb is also a little banged up so hopefully he's okay - he's also a crucial part of the offense. And can Dom Capers stop putting Damarious Randall on teams' best receivers? The guy can't cover anyone, let alone Julio Jones or AJ Green. I think Kevin King is ready to step up and make an impact as a rookie. The Packers didn't draft King and Josh Jones for them to sit on the sidelines and watch Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins get carved up over and over. Make the switch Dom you fucking "I'm gonna coach from the booth" nerd.

Another thing I want to add is why the fuck are the Packers always the team who is on the receiving end of the "We've always had an absolute DOGSHIT venue to play in, here's our brand new billion dollar awesome stadium opening night!" dick caving. They had to do it week 2 in Minnesota last year and they did it again in week 2 this year. Schedule someone else next time a stadium opens Goodell you piece of shit. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Clemson Obliterated Louisville to Move to 3-0

One of the more dominant and satisfying wins I've seen from Clemson in recent memory. Just completely outplayed Louisville in every aspect of the game, and that was possibly the most fun I've had watching any game since the shutout performance against Ohio State in the playoffs. 

Kelly Bryant has made it so clear that Dabo made the right choice naming him the starter out of camp. He has looked so calm early on and two of the three games have been against top 15 opponents, with this one being his first career road start. He's in complete control of himself and the game at all times it seems, and he's been a delight to watch. I've loved his poise on third downs especially so far this season, both running and throwing. Hunter Renfrow is his go-to third down guy making clutch catches all over the place. KB got it going early Saturday with an absolute DIME throw to Renfrow for 40 yards which set up Bryant's first rushing TD. Louisville would tie it up for a bit, but Clemson was still in total control. 

KB led a field goal drive to put Clemson up by three, and then threw a 79 yard TD to Ray Ray McCloud to extend the lead and really put Louisville away for good. Ray Ray has been a pleasure to watch as well, save for the fumble last week when he was fighting for extra yards. He's been an Artavis Scott type guy just all over the field making plays and I love it. The receiving core looks pretty great right now and Deon Cain hasn't even gotten going yet! He's only got 8 catches through the first 3 games. Imagine if they get him going. This offense will be almost as unstoppable as the defense.

Speaking of the defense, I mean there's just not much to say other than they rolled Lamar Jackson up, stuffed him in a bottle and tossed him in the sea. The (undeserving) Heisman winner looked absolutely flustered the entire night and it was awesome to watch. I started cracking up when Dorian O'Daniel picked that ball off early in the second half and ran it back for the TD. Just hilarious watching that fraud get stuffed in a locker by a real defense. Of course Bobby Petrino let him stay in down by a billion points so he could get 300 yards and 3 TDs against 2nd and 3rd teamers in the fourth quarter. That's the kinda program they are. Just all about individual stats and achievements and not about the team. I love watching this Clemson team cheer on each other and rally around each other and just come together to completely dominate the opponent. It's amazing. 

Another notable takeaway from the game Saturday is the running game. Every running back was able to find space pretty much. I believe Tavien Feaster took over the RB1 job with his production. CJ Fuller struggled to start and Feaster gave the Tigers a nice spark when he came in. Adam Choice had some good runs and then Travis Etienne just took the fuck off on an 81 yard TD run. Simply stunning speed and acceleration in that run and he's just another glimpse at how deep this team is and how scary it is. 

The best part of this game was that Clemson was +1 in the turnover differential. Last year the Tigers struggled mightily with turnovers and were I think -3 this season coming into the game. KB was fantastic not turning it over and no one coughed the ball up in the run game either. O'Daniel had the pick for the first turnover created this season. If turnovers start to come with the rest of the domination by the defense, I mean just watch out. I don't want to overhype this team but they looked REALLY good Saturday on the road and I'm confident they're only going to get better. Now let's dominate BC at home before thinking about another primetime road contest against VT. Go Tigers.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Packers Open Up 2017 with a Gritty Win Over Seattle

I just wrote about how Clemson and Auburn played an old school defensive battle on Saturday. Well up in Green Bay yesterday, the Packers and Seahawks played a similar contest and luckily the good guys came out on top in this one as well. 

I missed most of the first half because I was driving but the offense was pretty sluggish by all accounts early on. I mean Rodgers threw a pick six that got called back because of a holding on the return. Still a pick but the defense forced a 3 and out right away rather than Seattle scoring a defensive TD. Also on the play there was an absurd ejection for Seattle for "punching" even though it wasn't a punch, but I'll take it because Seattle is full of fucking punks that I hate so I don't care. Anyway, the offense didn't get anything going at all in the first half and the defense played pretty much perfect until Mike McCarthy screwed them over with about 45 seconds left in the quarter. With the ball inside their own 15 with something like 50 seconds left it looked like Seattle was just gonna run the ball out and not go for any points before the half. But Mike McCarthy had two timeouts to use so he called one after a run stuff on first down. Then another on second down so it was 3rd and short with 40 seconds or so left. Seattle got a first down and then called a timeout just for the fuck of it. Why not right? So they go ahead and run off two plays of 34 and 29 yards and actually had 2 shots at the end zone before kicking a field goal as the half expired. Unreal use of his timeouts by McCarthy and it cost them.

Green Bay's defense helped get the offense going by stripping Russell Wilson inside his own 10 yard line at the beginning of the second half. Ty Montgomery scooted into the end zone for the first points of the season for the Pack. Tough defense to run against for Montgomery but I love him as a running back. Rodgers seemed to get going in the second half, the defense was on fire going after Russell Wilson and kept them out of the end zone, and eventually Rodgers and Jordy burned the Seahawks with 12 men on the field for a sweet TD connection. Rodgers led another good drive that resulted in a field goal, and then was clutch protecting the 8 point lead on the final drive of the game. Aaron scrambled for a big first down and KJ Wright tried to go for his head when he dove. Martellus Bennett immediately shoved Wright to the ground. Absolutely bullied that fucker to the turf. Loved every second of it. Got a penalty but it was after the play so it really didn't affect the game that much. He made up for it too by catching and running for 25+ yards on a big play later in the drive. Game sealer. 

Great team effort week one. Offense got rolling in the second half, the defense looked much improved. Tough test at Atlanta on Sunday but loved the victory over those losers from Seattle. Any time we beat those insufferable douchebags led by the 9/11 truther Pete Carroll, it's a good win. Check out the highlights below. If they aren't great, not my fault. NFL doesn't let you embed their highlight videos.

Clemson's Defense Absolutely Dominates Auburn in Week 2

A little old school football took place in Death Valley this past Saturday and the good guy Tigers came out on top 14-6 thanks to a defense that relentlessly smothered Auburn. Ho hum, another victory over an SEC team and a ranked opponent. Clemson moves to 2-0 on the young season and I've generally liked what I've seen from them so far.

The offense didn't light up the scoreboard obviously, but Kelly Bryant has shown that he can clearly move the ball effectively and consistently. Some penalties and a couple of fumbles - one by a WR and one by a RB - ruined a few drives, some of those being drives where KB was looking pretty good. The fumble by Ray Ray McLoud on their second possession was at their own 10 and led to 3 points for Auburn. But KB was finally able to lead a scoring drive before the half, with a sweet 3rd and 10 throw down the left sideline to McLoud and then finished it off down at the goal line by himself. Absolutely bullied the Auburn defense into the end zone. 

Early into the 3rd quarter the game saw its last points when Bryant finished off another TD drive himself, this time scampering in from 27 yards out. He's a very smooth runner and he made some awesome moves on this TD run to go up by 8. Even though the Tigers were held scoreless the rest of the game, I loved how KB made plays down the stretch. Big throws on 3rd down, runs on 3rd down, he did a little bit of everything and he didn't turn the ball over. Clemson did have the two fumbles lost but neither of them were his fault. Protecting the football is the first order of business for a first time starter quarterback and he did that Saturday.

Now let's talk about the defense. I mean they were simply unbelievable. Simply bending Auburn over basically all game. Penalties and the fumble led to 6 points in the first quarter for Auburn but that was it. And they stopped them at the goal line pretty impressively on those field goal drives. This front four is SCARY. Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell have all been touted as potential future first round draft picks and Austin Bryant is the fourth guy on the line and he had fucking FOUR sacks on Saturday. Eleven total for the Tigers defense. Motherfucking ELEVEN sacks. One shy of the school record. Just relentless pressure on Jarrett Stidham, and after Pettway had some success running the ball in the first quarter, they shut the run down too. And don't sleep on the pass defense either. Only 79 passing yards allowed. Obviously this is in part thanks to the pass rush but I liked what I saw from the secondary for the most part as well. It was especially nice to see considering Stidham was supposed to bring a solid passing attack to Auburn this year, and Clemson didn't really get a decent test against Kent State and their 5 pass attempts in week one. I can't wait for this defense to stuff Lamar Jackson in a locker this weekend and shut up Louisville again. Those fuckbags are insufferable.

Another prime time game awaits against Louisville this Saturday. Would love to see the Clemson fans just totally take over Louisville like Georgia fans did in South Bend this past Saturday. Let's see if a Louisville receiver steps out of bounds short of a first down on fourth down in the closing minutes of a one possession game again. Probably not. This one should be all Tigers. Check out the Auburn game highlights below. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Clemson Kicked Off Their Title Defense by Handling Kent State Saturday

I wasn't able to watch the game because I was in the bleachers of Yankee Stadium watching Masahiro Tanaka jam his Japanese cock down the throats of the Boston Red Sox, but Clemson destroyed Kent State in just the manner I'd like to see in week one. Given that Death Valley and Yankee Stadium are 1 and 1a on my list of favorite places in the world, I wouldn't say I was jealous of the folks on hand to watch Clemson begin their title defense, but if I swapped locations with someone I wouldn't be angry at all either.

For all intents and purposes, Kelly Bryant looked like he can handle being QB1 for the Clemson Tigers, which is obviously a great sign. And if he falters at some point at least the Tigers were able to get Zerrick Cooper and Hunter Johnson some game action too. Remember when Clemson had to replace legend Tajh Boyd 3 years ago and Dabo gave the job to the "experienced" Cole Stoudt? Yeah everyone knew Deshaun Watson had more talent but Dabo was loyal to the guy who waited in the wings. It didn't turn out great since Cole Stoudt is a certified ASS quarterback and Deshaun would step in by week 3. This situation is similar except in the fact that Kelly Bryant is immensely more talented than Cole Stoudt, and I don't think anyone is gonna be comparing Hunter Johnson to Deshaun Watson any time soon despite being a 5 star QB recruit. I think I'd be comfortable trotting out KB, Zerrick or Hunter on any given Saturday but KB had two years behind Deshaun and I'd say sticking with him for now is a good call.

The talent around KB was on full display as well. The team had over 300 yards in the air as well as around 350 yards on the ground. I imagine against a more formidable foe, Dabo and the OCs will try and stick with one or two running backs for most of the game but basically everyone who got a carry on Saturday ran well which is a great problem to have. I'd love for Tevian Feaster and Travis Etienne emerge as the main backs but CJ Fuller and Adam Choice aren't slouches I suppose. Deon Cain showed off his big play explosiveness with a 61 yard touchdown catch, and the Tigers' new tight end Milan Richard had a great game as well, making some big plays. Speaking of explosiveness, Kelly Bryant showed off his own running ability with a fucking smooooooth scramble for over 40 yards. 

As far as the defense goes, they only allowed 120 yards and 3 points. They only allowed 1 passing yard (LOL) but that's because Kent State only attempted 5 passes. I imagine as Clemson starts to face real teams with some more traditional offenses, they'll be giving up more passing yards than rushing as that front 4 is STACKED and the secondary has a few more question marks. 

All around, it was a great week one for the defending national champion Clemson Tigers, and I can't wait until 7pm this Saturday to watch them take on Auburn in the Valley. Check out some highlights below from week one.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Recap of the Yankees Tigers Brawl Yesterday

So in case you live under a rock, or you just hate sports, the Yankees and Tigers got into a huge brawl yesterday afternoon. A+ entertainment, and the Tigers and umpires can be blamed in full. Yeah I'm a Yankees fan but they really didn't do anything wrong.

A little background: Back in July when these teams played in New York, the Yankees plunked Mikie Mahtook twice and he took it personally. Mikie fucking Mahtook! This guy thinks he's good enough to get hit on purpose. So anyway, Michael Fulmer drills Ellsbury in the hip the next inning. Okay whatever, the Yanks hit someone twice, they understood, Ellsbury took it like a man (surprisingly) and went to first base. If I remember correctly he scored that inning and Michael Fulmer got shit on late in the game anyway. Suck it loser. But they played two more games in New York and nothing happened.

Fast forward to yesterday and Gary Sanchez hits his 4th BOMB in 3 games in Detroit. Guy is on an absolute tear. Such a monster. But his next at bat, first pitch right in the hip from Michael Fulmer. What a fucking cry baby. Can't give up a dinger without drilling the guy the next at bat. Soft as fuck. Umpires issue no warning even though intent was crystal clear. 

So then later on Kahnle throws behind Miguel Cabrera. Kahnle gets IMMEDIATELY tossed. Yo, what?? There wasn't even a warning. Yeah Kahnle probably threw behind him on purpose but so did Fulmer. Girardi came storming out of the dugout like a George Brett and got tossed himself. Love when Girardi gets fired up. I'll knock him for decision making but I can't knock is loyalty to his players. He loves his guys and he'll go down with them when they get fucked. 

So Cabrera seemed to take it okay, but then for some reason got into it with Austin Romine behind the dish while Aroldis Chapman was warming up. Cabrera shoved Romine when they got face to face (love Romine taking off his mask to talk shit unlike that coward Jason Varitek) and then he threw some absolutely terrible punches that didn't come anywhere close to landing on Romine's face or body. Romine straight up tackled Cabrera and things went on from there. Romine got some good gut punches in on the ground. Gary got some good ones on some guys who were pinned down. Love the tag team effort. Pin em down, Gary will finish them the fuck off. 

So all that shit died down. And then the next inning, Dellin Betances came in and on the second pitch he absolutely drilled James McCann in the dome with a 98 MPH fastball. Laugh out loud funny stuff. Obviously you have to eject him there but if you think he was throwing at the guys head on purpose you have rice pilaf for brains. It was a tie game and I'm pretty sure he was gonna be expected to pitch two innings if he didn't drill the guy. You could see him pleading to the ump pretty intensely that it wasn't on purpose. "It's a tie game! There's no one in the bullpen!" were definitely sentences I saw him shout at the ump. No one goes through that much effort in defense of themselves if they're guilty of throwing at the guy. -- Also, fun story I was once involved in a little disagreement with the opponent in a men's league game one summer. I was pitching and gave up a ground rule double, guy thought it was gone, I yelled at him, he yelled back, they overturned the call cuz the ump was an idiot. Benches semi cleared and there were just a lotta shouts to one another. Next batter all I was thinking to myself was "don't hit this guy, don't hit this guy" and sure enough my first pitch went buzzing right over the fucker's head. Whoops my bad. My coach took me out and everyone thought I did it on purpose. I told them if I were trying to hit him I woulda hit him square in his forehead like a poor man's Mike Piazza. -- So anyway, benches cleared again, Robertson had to come in and he shit the bed. He actually hit the next batter in an 0-2 count (LOL) and then walked the guy after that before giving up a bases clearing double which would cost the Yanks the game.

So then later this punk Alex Wilson thinks he has to retaliate AGAIN as if the Tigers didn't start everything, and he drills Todd Frazier in the hip. He said after the game "it was just something I had to do at that point in the game." Bro, WHAT??? I don't think you'd have to do that if your teammates weren't absolute fucking assholes. Get lost.

So a lot of people out there are roasting Sanchez for sucker punching guys who were on the ground. Yeah not a great look but at least he got down on a knee and got into the scrum before laying the punches. He's 24 years old, there's a huge fight going on, punches being thrown all over the place, he just wanted to get in on the action. Probably coulda done it better but whatever. Glad he only got a 4 game suspension. Romine got 2. They can work around it so they have a catcher on the roster for the next two series.

Pedro Martinez can unequivocally go fuck himself. Talking about Gary Sanchez's legacy and reputation around the league because he punched a guy on the ground. Bro, he got drilled for no fucking reason other than being a billion times better than the pitcher is or ever will be. Sorry he wanted to get a few punches on the team full of punks.
Hey Pedro, when benches cleared one time you grabbed a 70+ year old dude by the skull and ripped him to the dirt. Get fucking bent talking about reputations from your god damn high horse. Fucking LOSER.

Sidenote: Big homestand for the Yankees this weekend. Need a 7-3 or better against some of the American League's best teams. Would love that.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The New York Yankees Continue to Drive Me Absolutely Bonkers

Could this team be any more frustrating? Every other game I'm witnessing the worst loss of the season. The Yanks come into a 3 game series with Boston sitting 4.5 games behind them for first place in the AL East, and let a perfect opportunity to gain some ground slip away. After a fantastic comeback Friday night (that Chapman tried to blow in the 9th) to kick off the rivalry weekend the Yanks had a real chance to take at least 2 out of 3. Luis Severino got the ball Saturday and Gary Sanchez even gave him a 2-0 lead right away. That's quite the rarity and let's just say that Sevy -- who had been on an absolute roll lately -- did not take advantage of that lead. He cruised through the first two innings but in the 3rd he couldn't put away the two worst hitters in the Boston lineup after getting to two strike counts. Freaking Christian Vasquez and Jackie Bradley Jr just fouling off pitch after pitch and eventually working walks. You HAVE to finish off the 8-9 hitters when you have the chance. You can't just put them on base for the top of the order. So anyway, Eduardo Nunez comes up and hits a ball right at Todd Frazier. Dude just refused to field it. Hit his glove and then bobbled the dickens out of it trying to pick it up. Next batter, single. Two runs. Next batter. Three run home run. That was the game right there. The Sox added 5 more runs off of Severino and that concluded his worst start of the season. A real stinker.

Anyway, Sunday night, the Yankees actually managed to gain a 2-1 lead in a game that Chris Sale pitched. 2-1 into the 9th! But that wouldn't matter because Aroldis Chapman has a serious knack for giving up runs to the Red Sox this season. It's like his favorite hobby. Dude BLOWS. So yeah there went that game too. Gave up another run in the 10th and that was that. Just absolutely pathetic that the Yankees shit the bed this much in a huge series, after gaining a ton of momentum on Friday night.

This team stinks right now and has for basically half of the season. It's honestly shocking that they're still atop the wild card race. Good news is I'm here to give the Yankees some quick solutions that should immediately make this team better. Now obviously you could fire Girardi but I don't think that's the best solution in the middle of the season. That just screams desperation and for a team that's 6 games over .500 still, that's a tough look. So here are some other ideas.

1. Fire Larry Rothschild. This guy doesn't even come close to resembling a decent pitching coach. He never says anything useful when a pitcher is struggling.

2. Stop playing Austin Romine every other game. This guy shouldn't even be on a major league roster and Joe Girardi is starting him at catcher 3 times a week! Girardi loves this guy for no fucking reason. Sanchez had a tough couple weeks with passed balls but he is a superior defender as well as a supremely superior hitter. Austin Romine should be in AA Trenton. Instead he's starting some of the most important games of the season. It's bullshit and it needs to stop.

3. Stop resting a starter every game. A guy is in a slump? Let him hit out of it. You don't get out of slumps by not facing pitchers. Put your best 9 out there every game and they'll be fine.

4. If you need a spot start do not use Luis Cessa, Bryan Mitchell or Caleb Smith. Call up Chance Adams and let him show us something. Have the Yankees ever won a game started by one of those 3? Doubtful.

5. Remove Chapman from the defined closer role. Go with the hot hand. We've got like 76 closers in the bullpen. Why does Chapman have to pitch every time we have a 1-3 run lead in the 9th inning? The closer role is stupid.

Boom. Follow those steps and you're a world champion.

P.S. I was at the game last night and there were a few annoying Red Sox fans around me as you might expect. However, there was also a guy in an Orioles jersey in my section too. A few of the Red Sox fans and probably some Yankees fans too started chanting "Asshole" at the guy in the Orioles jersey. Which is fine I guess. I'd rather have Yankees fans chant "Asshole" at the Red Sox fans, but whatever. The guy is an asshole, he's wearing an Orioles jersey at a Yankees Red Sox game. Douche. BUT, then this one Red Sox fan started screaaaaaming "Go back to Baltimore!" Uh what bro, this isn't your stadium. You can't yell that. And you know what? EVERY single Yankees fan in that stadium would rather have that Orioles fan in the stadium than any Red Sox fan. Red Sox fans are the worst. Hey fucking loser, YOU go back to Boston. Nerd.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Yankees First Half Season Review

I haven't written about the Yankees at all this year. Hell, I've barely written about anything at all this year. But anyway, I'm here to break down the first half of the Yankees season and look towards the second half. 

The Yankees' season started with a pretty fantastic April, a mediocre May but stayed in or around first place for the most part. The beginning of June started with a 6 game winning streak. However, the June 9-11 series against the Baltimore Orioles was the last time the Yankees won a friggin series. They've gone 0-7-1 in series since that point. The worst part is they haven't even been playing great teams in that stretch, save for a 3 game set in Houston. After that series sweep against Baltimore, the Yankees were 4 games up in the AL East, and after losing 18 of their final 25 games before the All Star break, the Yankees are now 3.5 games behind Boston. So that's how the roller coaster season has gone so far for the Yanks.

The Good
Aaron. Judge. This guy is simply incredible. They had said that throughout his pro career that when he fails at one level, he conquers it the next season. Well he is certainly conquering his first full major league campaign this season. I'm just glad that the Yankees brought him up in August last year to let him play everyday for the most part, so he could come into the spring with adjustments made. And boy has he made them. Despite being on pace to strike out more than 200 times this season, he has cut down his strikeout percentage by almost 10%. He is hitting the ball to all fields, with power and for average. He is sitting at .329/.448/.691 with a 1.139 OPS, 30 HR, 66 RBI and 75 runs scored. The guy is an absolute monster and I love him. Current frontrunner for the MVP.

The young starters are carrying the Yankees right now. Luis Severino has had a very good first half. A few inconsistent starts wrapped up his all star first half, but he's still the best pitcher the Yankees have. He strikes a lot of batters out and doesn't walk very many which is a great sign. I expect him to come out firing on all cylinders after the timely all star break. The second best starter is rookie Jordan Montgomery. He earned the fifth spot in the rotation in the spring and has been very solid. An ERA in the mid-3s might just earn him second place in the rookie of the year voting (behind Judge obviously). Walks hurt Montgomery early but expect his numbers to get even better as he really starts to hone in his command at the big league level. He's a former Gamecock so it was tough to accept at first, but I love Gumby if he continues to pitch as well as he has. 

A few other bright spots. Gary Sanchez, Starlin Castro, Matt Holliday, Didi Gregorious and Aaron Hicks have all been very productive when on the field. This lineup is so deep when healthy and it's the clear strength of the team. You can't pitch around Judge every at bat when he's followed by El Gary AKA The Kraken mashing behind him. He ended the half in a slump but he still earned an all star bid while only playing a little more than 50 games. Castro has had a breakout season really putting up solid numbers and he earned an all star bid as well. Holliday is probably the best offseason free agent signing made by any team. For the amount the Yankees are paying him, the production they're getting from him isn't fair. Hicks is having a breakout season after an awful 2016. Didi is one of the best shortstops in baseball. This lineup is incredible when healthy.

The Bad
Injuries. The Yankees got hit with the injury bug in June as CC, Castro, Hicks and Holliday went down. Sanchez and Didi were out for all of April basically. Chapman missed over a month. It's tough to win a lot of games when this many impact players go down, and go down all at the same time. However the Yanks are still above .500 and should be getting Castro and Holliday back soon. Chapman seems to be returning to form after struggling a bit when coming back from the DL as well.

First base and third base, typical power positions have been just about awful for the Yankees. First base especially. Greg Bird had a fantastic spring, but lingering pain from a foul ball off his ankle hampered his start and went to the DL after 60 at bats hitting .100. He has yet to return and some are worried he won't return at all this season. We Yankees fans were lucky enough to witness Chris Carter fill in for the most part as he struck out almost every at bat, didn't live up to the power he had last year with Milwaukee, and eventually became a horrid fielder as well. Dude couldn't even catch balls right at his chest from shortstop. Chase Headley had a solid April but he has mostly flat out sucked since. He had a little hot streak for about two weeks when everyone else was sucking but that's about it. I like Chase Headley the person, but Chase the ballplayer can get off my team.

The Ugly
The bullpen. They started off fine. Betances and Chapman were dealing. Clippard seemed to be decent in the 7th. Warren was great. But then injuries to Chapman and Warren forced Clippard into bigger roles, in which he absolutely SUCKED. I want him off this team right now. He's horrible. Betances thrived as the fill in closer, but for some reason Betances ended his first half in a real funk. He went from a 0.40 ERA to a 3.29 ERA in about a week. It was embarrassing to watch. He's walking a ton of guys and he needs to figure it out. The bullpen has blown a bunch of leads during this shitty stretch and it has to stop for the Yankees to go far.

Joe Girardi's stupid fucking face.

The Second Half
I'm expecting the Yankees to make a trade for another solid bullpen arm. It just simply has to happen. The starters have been inconsistent but the bullpen needs to be lock down almost every game. It's just how the game works these days. Starters go 6 innings and then 3 arms need to shut down teams the rest of the way. Especially with Binder Joe at the helm. Some say the Yanks need to trade for another starter but I say we just call up Chance Adams. He's balling in AAA and I think he's earned his shot. Honestly, trade Michael Pineda for whatever you can get for him now because he STINKS and call up Adams. Tanaka has been horrible but you don't just have 3 fantastic seasons to start your career and then forget how to pitch. I'm confident in him figuring out whatever is making him suck and he'll be OK. CC has been a pretty surprising solid back end of the rotation guy. Sevy and Gumby are the top two right now in the rotation. As far as the offense goes, the Yankees acquired a first baseman from the Brewers today who is having a breakout season in AAA this year. I don't know what to expect from him if he gets called up but it's probably gonna be better than Ji Man Choi and Austin Romine platooning first base. Also, getting some of these guys back from injuries might as well be trades. I'm not sure what the plan is with Clint Frazier when guys come back but as far as I'm concerned, don't take him out of the line up right now because he's been one of the lone bright spots since being called up July 1st. And if the Yanks do make a trade, I'd prefer not to lose Torres, Frazier, Adams, Rutherford or Sheffield but it might be difficult to get a solid piece without giving up one of them.

I think the Yankees will win the division unless Boston makes a trade that really puts them above others. Their third base problem is worse than the Yanks so if they make a big trade for a third baseman, that will scare the shit out of me. The Yankees have the best offense in the AL behind Houston and will only get better when they get guys back. They also have a run differential in the +90s despite only being 4 games over .500 right now. That usually means the team will start winning some more games. They're losing a lot of one run games which isn't good, but they have the capability to absolutely crush teams relentlessly when they win. We've got a big 4 game series this weekend right out of the gate up in Boston. This series can go a long way in how New York feels about the rest of the second half. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Was Dan Scott the Greatest TV Character of All Time?

I just finished up One Tree Hill last night, and while I know the show ended in 2012, this was the first time I'd ever seen the show. By season 2, Dan Scott had emerged as my favorite character. Not because he was a likable guy but because he was the most over the top dickhead villain I'd ever seen. Everything he said made me crack up because it was more of an asshole comment than the previous. While his comments might make everyone else hate the guy, they made me love him. He then, of course, goes and (SPOILER) murders his brother Keith for no real reason which made me hate him for about an episode. And then he spit on his grave and the over the top dickhead villain was BACK. Not only was he out here murdering some of my other favorite characters in cold blood, but he was spitting on their graves like an absolute savage. I loved it. Missed Keith, but holy fuck did I love Dan Scott pimping all over his grave, becoming mayor, and just not giving a fuck for a while.

And then, in the greatest 180 since Tony Hawk retired, Dan Scott became a good guy. Admitted his murder, went to prison, flipped burgers for a while, saved Quinn from murdering a chick, saved Jamie's dumb ass a billion times, saved Nathan from the crazy blackmailing chick, and finally saved Nathan from his kidnappers. Sure, he stared Keith in the eyes and shot him right in the heart, but he saved so many lives after that I think he made up for it. Dude's a boss and gave some of the best asshole one liners in television history.

Unfortunately I couldn't find great highlight packages or quote lists for Danny Boy, so I'll just leave you with this gif of him saving the god damn day at the end of the series.

In short, yes it's very possible he is.

P.S. One Tree Hill is a very good show. I recommend it to anyone who hasn't watched it yet.