Sunday, March 31, 2013

And Then There Were Four

The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four is set for next weekend in Atlanta, Georgia as only one number-one seeded team advanced (Louisville Cardinals) along with (number-nine) Wichita State, Michigan (number-four) and number-four seed Syracuse.


            VS.                                                                                                                     VS.



Saturday, March 30, 2013

2013 Major League Baseball Preview

After winning the World Series for the second time in three years last season, the San Francisco Giants showed you don't necessarily have to  be good all season long, just be good when it matters most.
The Giants rode the hot streak in much the same way as in 2010 when they knocked out the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals in the National League before blasting the Detroit Tigers for the championship ring.
It is never easy to repeat (especially in baseball) and the Giants will face a stiff challenge from both the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves of the National League Eastern division as well as perennial contender St. Louis as they seek to defend their crown.
In the American League, the Tigers have to be considered front runners once again to reach the Fall Classic.
Along with the Tigers, there are the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A's from the American League Western division. The Tigers will have to fend off the Chicago White Sox and the ever improving Kansas City Royals in the Central division this year.
The American League East, considered by many to be the best division in Major League Baseball, has the New York Yankees, the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles, who shocked the baseball world last year by making the post-season for the first time in 15 years and pushed the Yankees to the brink before falling in the Division Series.
A new wrinkle this season will be interleague play throughout the entire season as the Houston Astros move over to the American League West from the National League Central. That means each league now has 15  teams in them and thus the need for the interleague schedule all season long.
It should be an exciting season once again as the Giants try to show they were no fluke in 2012 and the Orioles and A's try to move further in this year's playoffs, provided they make it there again.
The Washington Nationals really appear loaded for a big run at the World Series after choking away a big lead last year in the Division Series to the Cardinals.
As the season plays along, expect some surprises and disappointments from your favorite ball teams and individual players as the teams go for the crown.
In the meantime, just sit back and enjoy the coming summer season and all the action around the ball parks. It all starts tomorrow night in Houston with the Texas Rangers welcoming the Astros to the American League.
Play Ball!

Here's a capsule style preview of the division races for the 2013 season, along with post-season picks as well.


Eastern Division

1. Baltimore Orioles - This team had a lot go their way last year, but they appear hungry and ready for another challenge in 2013.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (WILD CARD) - They lost some pitching and the lineup might suffer with B.J. Upton leaving, but manager Joe Maddon is one of the best in the business. They will contend again this year.

3. Toronto Blue Jays - This team appears to be taking the blue print of the Yankees and Red Sox with the trades and free agent signings of big name players, which does not always provide positive results.

4. New York Yankees - This could be the year that age and injuries finally catch up with the the Bronx Bombers.

5. Boston Red Sox - Look for the Bosox to try to rebound from last season's disaster. Not going to happen in Beantown this time around.

Central Division 

1. Detroit Tigers -  They have a solid lineup and Justin Verlander leading the pitching staff. Bullpen could be a thorn in their side.

2. Kansas City Royals - Look for the Royals to finish ABOVE .500 and possibly contend for a wild card spot.

3. Chicago White Sox - The Sox faded last year and have some issues with their pitching staff still recovering from some injuries this spring. Stay tuned.

4. Cleveland Indians - Can new manager Terry Francona rekindle the magic of the Tribe?

5. Minnesota Twins - The Twins are in transition and appear to be a few years away from contending.

Western Division 

1. Los Angeles Angels - Josh Hamilton joins Albert Pujols and Mike Trout to provide more punch to the lineup. Look out!

2. Texas Rangers (WILD CARD) - The team lost some power from their lineup, but the pitching is solid and they should be right there at season's end.

3. Oakland A's - The over achievers of 2012. Can they do it again?

4. Seattle Mariners - It's a new beginning in Seattle as the Mariners look to restore their presence in the AL West. Just not this year.

5. Houston Astros - Can the Astros make the transition in the American League and avoid 100 losses for the third consecutive year?


Eastern Division

1. Washington Nationals - This team appears to be loaded and ready to win it all this season. No excuses.

2. Atlanta Braves  (WILD CARD) - The Braves will once again push the Nationals in this division race.

3. Philadelphia Phillies - Age and injuries appear to have caught this former NL powerhouse. The playoffs are not out of the question, but everything will have to go just right for that to happen.

4. New York Mets - Johan Santana gone for the season and that's not good.

5. Miami Marlins - If the Toronto Blue Jays win it all this year, then the Marlins deserve a lot of the credit. This could be a long summer in south Florida.

Central Division 

1. Cincinnati Reds - They have to shake off blowing a 2-0 series lead in the NLDS and get back to business in 2013. The Reds are solid and should contend once again.

2. St. Louis Cardinals (WILD CARD) - The Red Birds pulled off a miracle finish against Washington in the NLDS and appear to be ready for another run this season.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates - The Bucs WILL FINISH above .500 this year.

4. Milwaukee Brewers - This team is a mystery coming into 2013. They have potential IF the pitching, especially the bullpen, comes through.

5. Chicago Cubs - Go Cubs Go! Just not this season as they appear to be over matched in this division.

Western Division

1. San Francisco Giants - Their top pitcher (Tim Lincecum) wasn't in top form last year and they STILL won the World Series. They have a chance to repeat.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers - The National League version of the Toronto Blue Jays.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks - The D-Backs could contend. The pitching will be the key for them in 2013.

4. San Diego Padres - A good core of young players. Don't be surprised it the Padres pull off what the Orioles and A's did last season.

5. Colorado Rockies - They have some rebuilding to do. Give 'em a couple of years.



Texas Rangers over Tampa Bay Rays in Wild Card Playoff Game.

Division Series

Los Angeles Angels over Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers over Texas Rangers


Los Angeles Angels over Detroit Tigers


Atlanta Braves over St. Louis Cardinals in Wild Card Playoff Game.

Division Series

Washington Nationals over Atlanta Braves
San Francisco Giants over Cincinnati Reds


Washington Nationals over San Francisco Giants





                                      WORLD SERIES

                                        Washington  Nationals over Los Angeles Angels 


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Over!

The Chicago Bulls did the impossible Wednesday night, beating down the Miami Heat 101-97 and snapped the
Heat winning streak at 27 games, which was within six of the all-time NBA record winning streak of 33 games set by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1972.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

He's Back

Looks like Tiger Woods is back on the prowl ... on the golf course that is as he is rolling along and streaking to the number-one ranking in the world once again.
Good on him.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Why is this asshole still  a member of the U.S. Senate?
Let alone holding up President Barack Obama's nomination for Secretary of Labor.
David Vitter, a Republican from Louisiana, has the mark of hooking up with prostitutes when he was named in the "black book" of a D.C. madame.
He still serves in the Senate, which is absurd considering other members of Congress  (House and Senate members of both parties) have given up their spots for similar scandals in the four years since Vitter was outed as a patron of prostitutes.
Enough of this hypocrisy already. Vitter has no business being in the Senate based on events that have occurred.

NCAA Tournament - Who Are These Guys?

Surprise! Surprise!
Or is it really a surprise any more when a number-15 seed beats a two-seed or a 13 or 14-seeded team springs the "upset" win on the team they face?
The Georgetown Hoyas, New Mexico Lobos and Kansas State Wildcats all fell in the early round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament the past two days. A fourth team, number-three seeded Marquette in the East Region of the tourney, barely survived number-14 Davidson on Thursday afternoon, rallying back from seven points down in the final minute to pull out the win.
The fact is these teams are fairly balanced talent wise these days when it comes to the tournament. It's not at all like the days when you could pretty much pencil in the Elite Eight or Final Four in the March Madness.
Remember, just three years ago, Butler stunned the college basketball world by reaching the Final game before losing by just two points to Duke.
In 2011, they did it again by reaching the Final game, this time losing to Connecticut, another surprise team in their own right that year. Another "Cinderella" was Virginia Commonwealth, which also made the Final Four in 2011. How about George Mason making the Final Four in 2006?
Can we really call these teams "Cinderella" any more?
The kids (young men) don't stay all four years (or even three years for that matter) any more to help a team have the cohesiveness necessary to be consistent from one season to the next.
The mid-majors have made their mark on the tournament and continue to do so. They aren't going away anytime soon, either.
Every year people make such a big deal out of the "upsets" that take place in the tournament. But can we really refer to them as "upsets" anymore?
When filling out a bracket on Monday, I looked around the regions and thought to myself this tournament is going to be wide open and that has been the case in these first two days.
When Harvard beat New Mexico in the West regional, it was surprising yes, but not all that stunning of an upset. Florida Gulf Coast knocked off Georgetown last night in the South region. The "upset" by the Eagles shouldn't be that surprising though because this team beat Miami (Florida), which is the number-two seed in the East, earlier this season. Plus the fact the Hoyas had been slumping as the tournament approached also factored into the results.
Kansas State (number-four seed) also fell hard, losing to LaSalle yesterday in the West region. The West features number-one team Gonzaga, which used to be considered the "Cinderella" on an annual basis in March.
The Zags nearly got knocked off by Southern University Thursday afternoon before squeaking out the win to advance to the Round of 32 teams today and tomorrow. A number-16 team has NEVER beaten a number-one seed.
It's going to happen one of these years and then all the clamoring about the biggest upset ever will be echoed throughout the land as the bracket sheets are torn into pieces by the basketball fans.
Looking ahead, the Sweet 16 takes place next weekend and the Heftyinfo picks still has three of four Final Four teams left in the mix. Georgetown was the choice to win the title against Louisville.
Oh well.
The prediction business is tricky because as stated before, one never knows just what these 18, 19 and 20-year old kids are going to do game in and game out.
That is why they play the games and that's why we call it March Madness.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Brian Urlacher No Longer A Chicago Bear

Former Bears LB Brian Urlacher in happier times with Chicago Bears.
The Chicago Bears offered linebacker Brian Urlacher, a 13-year veteran who has spent his entire career in the Windy City, a two million dollar deal for the upcoming season, which he refused.
Urlacher is now a free agent and will likely not play for the Bears again in his NFL career.
Thanks for the memories Brian, and best of luck to you wherever you may wind up for the 2013 NFL season.

Monday, March 18, 2013

NCAA Tournament Picks - Here Goes Nothing

The Heftyinfo picks for this year's Final Four in Atlanta, Georgia . . .





Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wait And See

Today is Sunday, March 17, 2013 (St. Patrick's Day) and is also the day the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament will see the teams selected for this year's version of "March Madness."
There is always speculation as to which teams will get in and where they will play.  
Many (and I do mean too many really) prognosticators/analysts will give their views on the field of teams and give people advice on how to fill out the brackets with the team pairings for the next three weeks of all the basketball action that starts on Tuesday night with the "play in" games and then gets going for real with the field of 64 teams on Thursday.
When all is said and done, there will be the Final Four in roughly three weeks from right now and surely there will be some surprises along the way.
Every year, fans of college basketball see these guys in suits and ties pontificating their views of what they think will happen once the tournament gets going and never are any of them correct regarding every game.
Not going to happen folks.
There simply is NO WAY to figure out what these 18 and 19 year-old kids are going to do from one moment to the next during these games.
Looking back in time, perhaps two of the biggest upsets ever occurred in the championship games.
In 1983, the North Carolina State Wolfpack (coached by the late Jim Valvano) stunned the Houston Cougars on a dunk off an air ball shot at the buzzer to win it all. Two years later, the Georgetown Hoyas were seeking a second consecutive championship, but were stunned by the Villanova Wildcats in the final game.
Recently, the Butler Bulldogs confounded the so called experts by reaching the championship game two years in a row, only to lose. But getting there was huge and definitely stunned millions across America during the three week period of March in the 2010 and 2011 tournaments.
Looking to this year, the selections will be revealed later this afternoon after the final games of the conference tournaments take place and no doubt there will be jubilation and disappointment all around.
The analysts will debate the selections and moan and groan about which teams should have been left out and which teams should have been included.
The fact is there is nothing they can do about it. They don't play the games, nor do they coach the teams. Fact is it is just a lot of hot air going about on the television and radio sports talk shows, especially on ESPN, which really has become a parody of itself with all the bloviating on that network.
Once Monday morning rolls around and the tournament is ready to get going, I will fill out ONE BRACKET and see how it goes because I have no control over the tournament and for this sports fan/blogger it is just three weeks of fun action as the teams decide who will be crowned this season's champion.
It's not about making money in bracket challenges and filling out twenty-something brackets.
For those who like to indulge in that spectacle, I would suggest going to Las Vegas and squandering your money on teams at the betting parlors.
May the best teams win and advance to the Final Four in two weeks.
In the meantime, once the pairings are announced, I will fill out ONE BRACKET and wait and see what happens.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hodge Podge of Political Topics

Politically speaking, there is too much bullshit coming out of politicians mouths these days.    
But, of course that is par for the course.
Let's start with John Boehner, the current Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, saying there will be no new revenue and President Obama got his "tax increase" already.
Hey Boehner, you nitwit, don't you ever pay attention to FACTS?
The Bush (43) tax cuts were set to sunset (which means expire) after TEN YEARS when they were initially passed in 2001.
So, when 2011 rolled around (do the math Boehner) it was TEN YEARS and because you and your fucktard buddies Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor decided to hold the United States economy hostage along with Mitch McConnell (aka Mitch McTurtle) from the Senate side, the Obama Administration was forced to do what you re-thug-licans wanted.
So the Bush tax cuts were extended for another two years so the economy didn't crash.
Now, in 2013, the Bush tax cuts expired and you and your goon friends call it a tax increase.
That is just the tip of the iceberg folks.
These clowns on the right lie, lie and lie some more and the mainstream, corporate owned and controlled media laps it up like a hooker sucking on a stiff rod.
The fact that Ryan (who was the LOSING RUNNING MATE along with Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential election) continues to show up on the news reels every night is disgusting.
We, the PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA voted and Barack Obama won a second term in yet another landslide.
Who gives a flying fuck what Ryan and his merry band of losers think?
The right wing just won't quit and they are still after the big three of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Fat chance you whiners.
Elections have consequences and you righties lost ... BIG TIME!
Another bunch of bullshit is this sequester which is all the doing of Boehner and his boys two years ago.
These assholes want the economy to fail and for Obama to fail (remember Rush Limbaugh leading the cheers four years ago?) ... is that not economic treason?
What true red-blooded American actually wants their country to fail?
The salty language here just emphasizes the fact that I am fired up and letting loose for the first time in a lonnng time regarding these right wing pieces of shit.
These unethical bozos spent like drunken sailors while Bush Jr. and Dick (head) Cheney were in charge and now they are screaming about the deficit. It was Cheney who said that deficits don't matter.
Not much will change in the next year and a half until the 2014 mid-term elections because too many stupid people keep putting republicans back into office and gave them control of the House and far too many state legislatures.
The fact the GOP used gerrymandering to rig the elections in various state districts to maintain their strangle hold on the House is total bullshit and the good people of states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, etc. must reverse this in 2014 and get these assholes out of power and KEEP THEM OUT!
The best thing that can happen is for scandals to hit and these right wing extremists be banished from the political scene forever.
Until then, pay attention to what goes on around the political world and voice your opinions at your local town hall meetings and let these clowns know you want change.
Change for WE THE PEOPLE, not the rich bastards and corporations that are destroying our country's economy for their own greedy agenda.
God Bless America!