Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

-  So the "big" news of the day in Gopher land is that the Big 10/ACC Challenge match-ups were announced and the Gophers got screwed.  No, it's not Florida State for the 12th time, but they ended up getting slated to go on the road to Wake Forest.  Despite finishing 7th in the league, the Gophers get last season's 11th place Demon Deacons who are probably going to be even worse.  At the same time, the 6th place Hawkeyes get North Carolina, and Illinois and Indiana, who both finished below the Gophers, get much more favorable match-ups in Miami and Pitt, and last place Purdue got a fun match-up in NC State.  This is horseshit.

There are 14 Big Ten teams.  There are 15 ACC teams.  Should be pretty straight forward, although with the realignment I suppose they had some leeway to play with things, but this is bullshit.  No chance in hell Purdue, 12th in the Big Ten, should get NC State, who finished tied for 7th.  If things were fair, horrible shit box Virginia Tech sits out (not Notre Dame) and based on records you get:

Virginia vs. Michigan
Louisville vs. Wisconsin
Syracuse vs. Michigan State
Duke vs.  Nebraska
UNC vs. Ohio State
Pitt vs. Iowa
Clemson vs. Maryland
NC State vs. Minnesota
FSU vs.  Illinois
Miami vs.  Indiana
Wake vs.   Penn State
Georgia Tech vs.  Northwestern
Notre Dame vs.  Purdue
BC vs.  Rutgers

Way better and much more fair.  Fucking NCAA Fascist bastards.  Wake sucks, and they might even be worse next year.  One of their top bench guys is transferring, and they're losing two starters.  It's probably not all bad because their two leading scorers are back and they've got some decent young players, but I'm crabby so I'm bitching because the Gophers clearly got screwed because they're looked at as a bottom tier Big Ten program.  Maybe they are but shit, you don't have to out of your way to fucking remind me.  I need a drink.

-  Going with Knob Creek.

- A little more news that might be of interest to Gopher fans is that Naadir Tharpe is transferring from Kansas.  You may remember Tharpe from blogs such as this one because at one point he was ranked #90 overall and the #20 point guard in the country and all things pointed to him being a Gopher.  If you don't feel like reading back, Tharpe had a two school list of Minnesota and Rutgers and then Rutgers signed Myles Mack so he canceled his official to Rutgers and the Gophers were in the driver's seat.  Then Josiah Turner signed with Arizona (which did not work out well - DUI, kicked off team, transfer, reneg on transfer enter NBA draft, not drafted) which meant Kansas didn't have a point guard in their incoming class so they called Tharpe and about five minutes later, without even a visit, he was a Jayhawk.  Once again, I don't need to be reminded constantly how the Gopher program ranks nationally.  Thanks again, Tum Tum Nairn (who did almost the same thing).

Now, after 3 so so years in which he's made pretty good progress each year (1ppg/1apg to 6ppg/3apg to 9ppg/5apg) he's out.  Kansas is fairly loaded at guard, and Tharpe actually lost his starting spot for a few games, but Tharpe is transferring to be closer to his daughter in Massachusetts (I think) who has been having some health issues.  I would assume BC, UMass, and any of those Rhode Island schools are in play, and who knows, maybe UCONN.  This is a pretty clear case of somebody who deserves a hardship waiver to be immediately eligible.  So he's probably 50/50.  The NCAA is neat.

-  It's been awfully hard to keep up with the Twins this year considering they never seem to play, when they do it's almost always day games, my vpn trick to make think I'm in California so I can watch their games on my computer has stopped working, and the pitching staff is once again horrible.  Who could have possibly predicted that trying to upgrade the starters by signing two mediocre or worse starters and resigning a terrible one wouldn't have worked?

The team's starters post an ERA of 6.08, a WHIP of 1.64, a FIP of 4.74, and a xFIP of 4.95, numbers that are second worst, worst, second worst, and worst in the majors and this was coming into the day not even accounting for Pelfrey getting destroyed.   Every single one of those numbers is worse than last year.  Look at this rotation (ERA/FIP/xFIP/WHIP):
  • Ricky Nolasco:  6.67/5.36/4.32/1.75
  • Phil Hughes:  5.14/3.42/3.72/1.39
  • Kevin Correia:  7.33/4.21/5.24/1.67
  • Mike Pelfrey:  7.32/8.22/6.87/1.88
  • Kyle Gibson: 4.34/3.55/4.79/1.55
As Ian Malcolm once said, "that is one big pile of shit."  Gibson's the only one who has looked halfway decent but his last two outings have been pretty bad and I fear his hot start was mostly fluky.  Hughes has been far and away the second best starter on this team so far.  Phil Hughes!  The good news is most of these guys aren't quite as bad as they've looked since with one exception their FIPs and xFIPS are lower than their ERA, which suggests that either luck or bad defense is making things worse and considering the team's horrendous corner outfielders it could be that, but they aren't suddenly going to get better.  The bad news is that Mike Pelfrey might actually be worse than he's looked.  Worse!  

They're clawing around .500 thanks to an offense that has been putting up a shocking amount of runs ranking fifth in the majors, but man does that ever feel like fool's gold.  Second in the majors in walks (after finishing 7th last season) should hold up and the team likely will keep putting runners on base, but there feels like to much fluky, timely hitting bringing in all those runs especially since they were a bottom six run scoring team last year.  Sam Fuld (who I thought was brought in to be a fifth/sixth outfielder, not an every day starter), Trevor Plouffe, and Chris Colabello are all probably playing way over their heads, and I find it unlikely that Brian Dozier really has the kind of power he's showing so far.  Now Joe Mauer and Aaron Hicks should probably be better than they're showing (can you believe Chris Herrmann pinch hit for Hicks today?  Talk about a career low point) so it could kind of even out a bit, but if this team's going to do anything it's with pitching.  And this pitching sucks.  At least

-  The Kentucky Derby is this weekend, and I'm always big fan and have given you jerks picks each of the last four years.  Four years ago I hit Super Saver and two years ago my wife picked the winner with I'll Have Another, so you know what that means - I'm practically guaranteed to pick the winning horse.

My favorite bet is Intense Holiday at 16/1.  He fits the profile of your typical derby winner - solid year at age 2 with improvement at age 3.  He's also one of the best closers in the field.  If he can stay middle of the pack for most of the race he should be able to make a late charge.  Like this horse a lot.  Also put down on Danza at 9/1 and Medal Count at 25/1.  Danza is coming in hot and is a fast horse, but also has a lot of stamina in his pedigree, could very well be a wire to wire winner.  Medal Count is similar to Danza in that he has a lot of stamina, but similar to Intense Holiday in that his best bet is to win with a late charge because he's not as fast as Danza.  Long shot to win but I'll take a closer with stamina at 25/1.  My kids chose Candy Boy (25/1) because hey, candy, and the wife went with Vicar's in Trouble because "he sounds British."  So there you go.  I'll probably do some kind of trifecta or exacta or something with my three horses and one of the front runners.  Looking to win big this year.


(ended up doing an trifecta box with Danza, Intense Holiday, California Chrome, Commanding Curve, and Wildcat Red)

1 comment:

WWWWWW said...

That Trifecta hit.