Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend Review - 10/26/2009

 I'm going to avoid talkinmg about the Vikes I think, just because you could come up with five things that were awesome and five things that sucked just from that game without even trying.  AP is ridiculously good and Childress is still an idiot.  Seriously, you're going to pass twice from the 1-yard line and then kick an 18 yard field goal when you have the best back in football?  Arg.  But, it's an AFC/NFC game, and I didn't really expect the Vikes to win in the first place, so I'm not too worried about it.  There are plenty of other things to talk about.


1.  The Twins.  Season's over, but the Twins manage to get in here thanks to their actually spending some money and dipping into the foreign player market.  In case you missed it, and most people did thanks to the miracle comeback and subsequent sweep, Bill Smith went out and signed Miguel Angel Sano, who, according to that article from ESPN, is considered by many to be the top teenage prospect in Latin America (he claims he's 16, but it's Latin America so he could be anywhere from 14 to 30).  He's a shortstop who is already 6-3, 200 lbs, so odds are he will end up being moved to third or the outfield, but apparently his bat is good enough for that not to matter.  The Twins coughed up $3.15 million for a bonus to sign Sano, which is the second most ever given to a Dominican player and a veritable fortune for the Twins.  For more on Sano, as well as the Twins other aggressive moves this offseason you may have missed, check out this post by the Jesus of Twins bloggers, Aaron Gleeman. 

2.  A-Rod.  I wrote this here before, but I'll say it again - I'm incredibly happy A-Rod is having the postseason he is, because now idiots may finally start appreciating maybe the best right handed hitter in history.  I won't get into a whole big argument here, maybe I'll save that for another post sometime, but he's definitely in the conversation, yet all the morons in the media and idiot fans can ever talk about is his "postseason choking" - now they won't have that to fall back on.  After going 2-2 last night (with 3 walks), A-Rod has a hit in every single game this postseason, with an RBI in every game except one and a total line of .438/.538/.969.  Just an incredible run, and if that's not enough to shut up the morons, I don't know what to tell you.    

3.  TCU.   Both BYU and Boise State had claims to being the best non-BCS conference team in the country at different points this season, but after Saturday's 38-7 shellacking that the Horned Frogs put on BYU, they're looking like the best bet to break up the BCS party.  Not only did they smoke the Cougars, but they did it in Provo, and did it by shutting down a very good QB in BYU's Max Hall, who threw for just 162 yards on 18-28 passing.  I haven't had a chance to actually watch TCU this year, so I don't know if they can hang with Florida or Alabama, but this win is a pretty compelling argument, as is their early season win over Clemson.  At 7-0 and with easy games left outside of a November 14th match up against Utah, they should be looking at a BCS bowl.

4.  The Colts and the Saints.  Both remained undefeated, and both showed why they are the favorites to make it to the Super Bowl, although they did it in very different ways.  The Colts just came out and stomped the piss out of the far inferior Ram, jumping out to a quick 14-3 lead on the way to a 42-6 win in which Peyton Manning barely had to break a sweat, while Marc Bulger continued to spiral down the drain.  The Saints had a rougher go, falling behind 24-3 to the Dolphins and looking lost, before a Miami fumble with time winding down in the first half changed their fortunes.  The Saints scored with five seconds remaining in the half, and used that as a springboard to a huge second half where they outscored Miami 26-10 and ended up winning 46-34, thanks to Drew Brees bouncing back from a horible start and leading them on three consecutive scoring drives of over 60 yards in the second.  If it does end up being these two in the Super Bowl, and it looks like there's a good chance it will, we might be looking at the highest scoring Super Bowl ever.  I'm thinking like, 55-52.  Sweet.

5.  Ryan Anderson.  White boy can ball folks.  I loved Anderson at Cal, but wasn't really sure how his game would translate to the NBA, but after catching part of the Magic's preseason game on Friday night, I'm sold.  It was a rare chance for me to get to the bar, and they happened to have the game on for a little while before they felt the need to change every single TV in the place to the shitty Gopher hockey game, and he's not only good, but he's aggressive.  In like six minutes of play he took 4 or 5 shots, inside and outside, and hit a couple of deep threes and got a put back or two.  Checking the preseason stats, he's averaged 14 points and 4 rebounds while shooting 49% overall and 56% from three.  He was decent with the Nets last year, but no where near this good.  Everybody thought Vince Carter was the jewel of that trade, but the "throw-in" of Anderson might end up being the most significant part of that deal (which I already mentioned somewhere on this blog after the trade was made).         


1.  Gopher football. I know I am hard on Gopher football when I accidentally pay attention to it, but jeezum was that awful.  Following up a 20-0 loss to Penn State with a 38-7 shellacking by Ohio State in a game that wasn't even that close is a good way to lose your fan base, and plant your coach firmly on the hot seat.  And yes, I understand those are two of the top teams in the conference, but let's not get carried away here.  Ohio State lost to Purdue and Penn State struggled with Illinois - we aren't talking Florida here.  Sadly, they will beat South Dakota State and either Michigan State or Illinois, win six games, and go to a crappy bowl and some fans will point to this as a successful season.  At this point, the only way you could consider this successful is if they run the table, including a win over Iowa, or they win three games with MarQueis Gray at quarterback.  And after his performance Saturday (5-6 passing and the only TD, 81 rushing yards) it's stime to hand over the keys and see what he can do in a full game.  As Buck Bravo wrote over at the Daily Gopher, "Adam Weber's accuracy, decision-making, footwork, ability to recognize defensive schemes, and confidence have regressed."  Couldn't have said it better myself.  Go with Gray - at the very least he's exciting to watch.

2.  Illinois.  Speaking of Illinois, do you realize how god awful this team is?  I didn't.  And I have no idea what happened.  In 2007, they were the hot young team, who went 9-4, including a huge win over Ohio State, and ended up going to the Rose Bowl (where they were stomped by USC).  Sophomore QB Juice Williams looked like he had taken the next step in his development, and was going to lead Illinois football back to national prominence.  2008 started ok, but was a bit disappointing.  With three weeks to play, Illinois was 5-4 with two very winnable games left against Northwestern and Western Michigan, needing just one win to get to a bowl, a disappointing bowl, but a bowl nonetheless.  Instead the Illini dropped all three, with Williams throwing more picks than TDs, getting sacked 9 times, and not scoring a single TD, and they finished the season 5-7, and are still trying to recover.  They lost 24-14 against Purdue on Saturday, which now drops their record to 1-6 on the season, with their lone win over Illinois State.  Williams has thrown more picks than TDs, has yet to break 60 yards rushing in a game, and is dead last in the Big Ten in QB rating and passing yards.  This certainly isn't where I thought the Illini would end up two years ago.

3.  LaDainian Tomlinson.  Last week I used this exact same space to talk about how LT looked better than he had in a couple of years, and maybe he wasn't fully washed up just yet.  Then comes today's game against the Chiefs, and although 23 carries for 71 yards isn't awful, it's the lack of a TD tacked on there that is the horrible part.  Tomlinson, once a goal line runner the rival of Emmitt Smith and Shaun Alexander in their primes, was given the ball eight times inside the five, six of which were from the 2-yard line or closer, and failed to get in the end zone (he did, at least, score on a play that came back due to a penalty).  Today was the kind of game that an in his prime Tomlinson scores 3 or 4 TDs, a good back gets at least two, and an average back scores once - minimum.  I read a game report that the blocking down on the goal line for San Diego was absolutely awful, but in any case this is pretty disappointing, and a big blow to those that were hoping LT was still an above average runner.  

4.  Chicago Bears.  Nice game.  Geez you guys suck.  Take your pick, offense or defense, and there's plenty to discuss.  Defensively, they pretty much let the Bengals do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.  Carson Palmer could have thrown a touchdown left-handed, but instead decided not to show the Bears up and stayed with the right hand, going 20-24 for 233 yards and five TDs, including two to Ochocinco.  If that's not enough, suddenly completely rejuvenated back Cedric Benson shredded his old team (who betrayed him like Lando Calrissian) for 189 yards and a touch on 37 carries.  The Bengals just did anything they wanted, and never even had to punt.  And just in case you thought maybe the Bears could get into a shootout or something and win, they instead decide to turn the ball over four times (3 on Cutler INTs) on their way to scoring just ten points, aka five touchdowns less than the Bengals.  I think it's safe to say the Vikes don't have to worry about the Bears anymore. 

5.  Cleveland Indians.  Manny freaking Acta?  Seriously?  According to the article, the Indians like how Acta developed young players for the Nationals, and are disregarding his record - one of the worst in baseball history and bad enough that a web site exists called "Has Manny Acta been fired yet".  My question is, exactly who has he developed, outside of Ryan Zimmerman?  Elijah Dukes has been a perpetual disappointment, and Lastings Milledge failed so brilliantly after coming over from the Mets that he was banished to the minors before getting traded to the Pirates.  Wily Mo Pena has gotten worse since joining the Nats.  He didn't screw up Jordan Zimmerman at least, but he hasn't exactly lit the world on fire either.  Well, who am I to complain when they're in the Twins' division.  About the only downside here is that Gardy might not be the worst manager in the AL Central anymore.  

Manny Acta?

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