Friday, August 6, 2010

Six Very Important Things this Morning 8.6.2010

I really don't intend every single post to be in this format, it just worked out that way this week.  It's so easy and I like doing it.  I do still intend to do some more in depth type of posts, and definitely will during basketball season.  But for now, you'll get what you get and you won't get upset.

1.  The bullpen tried like hell to blow the game.  Luckily, the Twins were able to scrap together a couple of runs in the top of the ninth, mainly thanks to a Jason Kubel popup that hit the catwalk above the field and resulted in a hit and the first run, and then Matt Capps managed to shut the door.  I didn't get to watch the game, being at work and all, so I don't have too much to add except that they really surprised me.  Splitting a four-gamer on the road against a team like the Rays is a very positive outcome, especially considering they dropped the first two.  If they can keep splitting with the good teams and win the series against the bad, they should be in good shape assuming Chicago decides to lose once in a while.  With 63 games to go they probably need to go about 34-29 or so.  That would get them to 95 wins, and I have to assume that would win this division.  Again, assuming Chicago doesn't go 45-15 like they have recently.

2.  Naturally the White Sox won as well.  Because they never lose.  Not even when world's worst closer and possible worst pitcher and human being ever Bobby Jenks gives up a 3-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game.  Why he is still closing I'll never understand, especially since they have Thornton, Putz, and Santos who are all much better pitchers.  It's that damn save statistic.  Man, people are more obsessive and devoted to that then their bibles.

3.  In case there weren't enough young pitchers making noise this year.  Go ahead and add James McDonald to the list.  McDonald, once a pretty good prospect in the Dodgers' system, made his debut for the Pirates after being acquired for Octavio Dotel at the trade deadline and pitched well.  He had mainly been working out of the bullpen in his one full season with LA last year, but acclimated himself well, going six innings and allowing just four hits and no runs while striking out 8.  I like what the Pirates are doing, maximizing the value on some marginal veterans over the last few years to acquire some possible future solid talent.  I was going to list all the upside-y guys on their roster, but there's just too many.  Just know that the Pirates might be finally starting to move in the right direction.  They're young, they have some talent, and if some of these young prospects develop they could find themselves on the right side of .500 sooner rather than later.  At the very least there seems to be a plan here, unlike, say, Kansas City.

4.  Tiger Woods officially sucks at golf.  Tiger shot a 74 today in the first round of the Bridgestone Invitational, which is +4, and you may think that's just a bad round and other golfers like Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas shot similar scores, but this is notable for one big reason:  he completely dominates this course.  Forget about Augusta, Pebble, or St. Andrews, Firestone is where he really dominates, having won this tournament something like 7 out of the last 10 times he's played it with a runner-up mixed in as well.  That 74 is not only his worst score on this course by two strokes, but it also puts him in a tie for 70th - and there are only 81 golfers entered.  He only shot better than seven golfers, several of whom barely even count, on a course he's owned.  I think it's safe to say his career is pretty much over.  Might as well retire and start collecting stud fees.

5.  I guess Calipari didn't teach Josh Pastner everything.  Slick Cal never seemed to have issues getting his recruits eligible (see:  Rose, Derrick and Evans, Tyreke) but Josh Pastner has just run into some issues with Will Barton, Class of 2010's #2 rated shooting guard and #11 on the Rivals list.  Barton has been ruled academically ineligible for the year, and if the NCAA doesn't pass him on appeal (they won't), it will be a major blow to Pastner's attempts to keep Memphis relevant.  The question for Gopher fans is how will this affect Trevor Mbakwe and his possible choice between the Gophers and Tigers?  There's some speculation that seeing Memphis suspend a player for the entire year would turn him off, but I don't really see it.  If his trial is pushed back again and Minnesota won't let him play but some team promises he can suit up, whether it's Memphis or Morehead State, I have a feeling he'll be there.  And then, in two years, we can watch both Royce White and Trevor Mbakwe make All-American teams while the Gophers grab yet another double-digit seed.

6.  The Gophers will play Western Kentucky in the Puerto Rico Tip-off.  And if they beat the Hilltoppers, and they should, they will likely have a date with Harrison Barnes and the North Carolina Tarheels.  Can Tubby and the boys pull off another marquee win in an early season tournament to go with their wins over Louisville and Butler the last two years?  I don't know, probably.  

As far as WKU goes, they're generally amongst the top team's in the Sun Belt, but they are still a far cry from the sweet 16 team or the team led by Taco Hawk, and are losing their top player in guard A.J. Slaughter.  Still, the Hilltoppers have proven over and over again that this isn't a program you can ever take lightly.  They have four of their top seven back from the 20-12 team from last season, the same team that beat Vanderbilt and Mississippi State, and have a Rivals Top 150 player coming in guard Derrick Gordon (#126).  Great, I've suddenly talked myself into being terrified for this game.

The rest of the schedule was released as well, and I sort of feel like it maybe deserves it's own post but ugh.  Look at this:  Northeastern State, Winona State, Wofford, Siena, NDSU, Virginia, Cornell, @ St. Joe's, Eastern Kentucky, and Akron.  Woof.  I know three of those teams were in the NCAA Tournament last year, but both Siena and Cornell were hit hard by graduations.  Wofford is the only team on there that is likely to get a bid, although Siena could still grab one with what they have left.  Overall pretty underwhelming.  Just like your mom.


gay new yorker on the subway said...

No, john rocker is the worst pitcher and human being ever

rghrbek said...


Repko hit his bomb on a breaking ball, I just saw the replay. What the hell do I know?

Maybe teams did give up on him too early with the small sample size...

Anonymous said...

The Twins are 61-48 (109 games)
They have 52 games left this year. To get to 95 wins the would need to go 34 - 18. Chances are thats not happening.

WWWWWW said...

Wow. That was some horrible math on my part.

AndyD said...

Something is seriously amiss with Tiger. He owns this course. Think we just know the tip of the iceberg.