Thursday, March 31, 2016

Major League Baseball - 2016 Season Preview

The 2016 Major League Baseball season gets started this Sunday with three games on tap when an inter league battle between the defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets, whom they defeated last year in five games to win the crown, takes place on the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball opener.
The other two games on Sunday include The Toronto Blue Jays traveling to face the Tampa Bay Rays in an American League East division tilt and a National League Central division battle between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It looks to be another exciting season for baseball fans everywhere, especially in Chicago, where the Cubs are expected to have their biggest success in over 100 years.
Many so called "experts" are picking the Cubs to either make and/or win the World Series this year.
The Cubs did enjoy a surprisingly successful 2015 season, making it all the way to the National League Championship Series before falling to the New York Mets.
There always seems to be that one team everyone jumps on each season as the consensus choice to have a big year in the big leagues. Last year that team was the Washington Nationals and they didn't even make the post-season, finishing with a disappointing 83-79 record.
Will that be the case for the Chicago Cubs this season?
Only time will tell, but rest assured it should a great battle between the Cubbies, St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central division once again this year.

The following offers a look at both the American and National League races with predictions for all the races as well as the post-season and World Series winner.

A look at the division races (with  Wild Card teams in italics)


East - 1. NY Mets 2. Washington 3. Miami  4. Philadelphia  5. Atlanta

The Mets appear to be the top team here with their stellar pitching staff. The Nationals will challenge the Mets for the East title.

Central - 1. Chicago  2. St. Louis  3. Pittsburgh  4. Milwaukee  5. Cincinnati

The Cubs appear ready to contend for the World Series title this season but both the Cards and Pirates will have something to say about it before October arrives.

West - 1. San Francisco  2.  Los Angeles  3. Arizona  4. Colorado  5. San Diego

It's an even-numbered year so the Giants will win it all again, right?  Not necessarily but they will battle the Dodgers for the West title and make a deep post-season run.


East - 1. Toronto  2. Baltimore  3. Boston  4. NY Yankees  5. Tampa Bay

The Blue Jays, much like the Orioles, have a power laden lineup but the pitching is suspect. Boston could challenge for the division title. Yanks are too old and the Rays have pitching, but a very anemic offense.

Central - 1. Detroit  2. Kansas City  3. Cleveland  4. Minnesota  5. Chicago

The Tigers appear ready to over take the world champion Royals for the division crown. The Tribe has too many question marks while the Twins have deficiencies with their pitching. 

West1. Texas  2. Houston  3. Seattle  4. Los Angeles  5. Oakland

Rangers and Astros will battle it out until the end in this division. Mariners and Angels will fade away after All-Star break.


National League 

Wild Card Game - St. Louis over Washington

NLDSChicago over St. Louis;  San Francisco over NY Mets

NLCS - Chicago over San Francisco

American League

Wild Card GameBaltimore over Houston

ALDSToronto over Baltimore;  Detroit over Texas

ALCSToronto over Detroit


                                                   WORLD SERIES

                                                                Chicago Cubs over Toronto Blue Jays


Monday, March 21, 2016

March Madness In Full Swing

The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is down to the "Sweet Sixteen" and all four number-one seeds still remain.
The Kansas Jayhawks, North Carolina Tar Heels, Oregon Ducks and Virginia Cavaliers have a good chance to advance to the Final Four in Houston, Texas in two weeks. It would mark the first time in eight years all four number-one seeds make the Final Four if they can pull it off.
In 2008, Kansas, Memphis, UCLA and North Carolina made it to the Final Four, marking the first time in NCAA Tournament history the four top seeds all made the Final Four.
The Tar Heels will have their work cut out when they face the resurgent Indiana Hoosiers in The East region. Notre Dame faces surprising Wisconsin in the other regional semi-final game.
Villanova and Miami (FL) will square off in the South region with the winner facing the winner of the Kansas vs. Maryland game.
In the West, the Oregon Ducks, thought to be the most vulnerable number-one seed, play the Duke Blue Devils, who are the reigning NCAA champions. Oklahoma (two-seed) faces the Texas A & M Aggies, who have to like their chances after a miraculous comeback win over Northern Iowa this past weekend. The Aggies trailed by 12 points with only 38 seconds remaining in  regulation, but rallied to force overtime, where they emerged 92-88 winners in double OT.
Finally, the Midwest region (being held in Chicago) will have the Virginia Cavaliers facing the Iowa State Cyclones while the Gonzaga Bulldogs take on Syracuse, both of whom are double-digit seeds in this regional.

It should be a great weekend of college hoops, and Heftyinfo is sticking with the original pick of North Carolina facing Kansas for all the marbles in two weeks, with the Tar Heels winning the championship.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Here In Illinois, The Voters Sent Gov. Bruce Rauner A Message

The Illinois voters have spoken and they sent a resounding DEFEAT to Governor Bruce Rauner by defeating his hand picked candidates in an attempt to try to get more control in Illinois politics.
Rauner and his shadow money groups (headed by billionaire Ken Griffin) attempted to "bribe" former 5th District State House Representative Ken Dunkin to hold out against the Democratic VETO PROOF super majority in an effort to give Rauner (a republican) the edge in the Land of Lincoln.
Well, it didn't work because Juliana Stratton routed Dunkin in the House race while Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan cruised to an easy victory over his opponent (another Rauner puppet) which will give the Dems a VETO PROOF majority against Rauner.
Way to go Illinois!!!

Trump Rally

Sunday, March 13, 2016

March Madness

The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is set for the 2015-16 season and the picks here for the Final Four in three weeks include Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Michigan State.
The pick here to meet in the Championship Game is Kansas and North Carolina with the NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS winning it all.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Peyton Manning Calling It A Career

Peyton Manning is regarded as perhaps the best ever quarterback in the NFL
The leading passer of all time in the NFL is calling it a career as quarterback Peyton Manning is expected to announce his retirement from the game.
Manning played 17 seasons (missing the entire 2011 season due to neck surgery), including 13 with the Indianapolis Colts (one Super Bowl title with them) and the last four seasons with the Denver Broncos, which included a Super Bowl title this past season, which was one of Manning's worst ever statistically speaking.
Manning holds the all time NFL records for passing yardage in a career, most touchdown passes in a career, most passing yardage in a single season (2013) and also most touchdown passes in a single season, which he also set in the 2013 campaign.
In addition, Manning is the only QB ever to win Super Bowl titles with two different teams and is the only one with 200 career victories, including the post-season.
Manning was the top draft pick in 1998 by Indianapolis and along with New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, formed one of the greatest rivalries the NFL has ever seen throughout the decades of the 2000's.
Manning is a sure thing for the NFL Hall-of-Fame in five years.

Congrats number 18 on your career and enjoy your retirement.

     Here is a list of NFL records for Peyton Manning 

  • NFL career passing touchdown record: 539
  • Most passing yards, career: 71,940
  • Single season touchdown record (2013): 55
  • Most passing yards, season (2013): 5,477
  • Most wins (including playoffs): 200
  • Most games throwing for 300+ yards: 93
  • Most passing touchdowns in a single game (tied, 2013): 7
  • Most games with a passing rating higher than 105: 97
  • Most games with a perfect passer rating of 158.3: 5
  • Most seasons with 350+ completions: 10
  • Most games completing 80-percent passing: 19
  • Most game-winning drives: 56
  • Most comeback wins: 45
  • Highest completion percentage in a postseason game with 450+ yards (2005): 81.8
  • Highest yards-per-game, season (2013): 342.3
  • Most games with 4+ touchdown passes: 25
  • Most seasons passing for 4,000+ yards: 14
  • Most consecutive seasons with 25+ touchdowns: 13
  • One of two quarterbacks to ever beat all 32 teams (shares record along with Brett Favre)
  • First quarterback to beat 31 franchises: 2007
  • Most NFL MVP awards: 5 (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Super Tuesday

It's "Super Tuesday" in American politics as the Presidential primaries for both Democrats and Republicans are being decided across the United States of America.
As expected, both Hillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R) are rolling right along and picking up more delegates en route to their eventual party nominations.
Wake me when it's all over and November 8, 2016 rolls around so we can watch Clinton destroy Trump in the general election as well as seeing the Democratic party take back the United States Senate majority from Mitch McTurtle (oops) McConnell and the GOP.
Until then, here's hoping Bernie Sanders keeps resonating with his "pro America" agenda and message that twists Hillary's arm and forces her to go more progressive in her campaign messaging.
Americans (the 99 percent of us anyway) need a boost with all the shenanigans of the repubs and in  particular, Trump and his lunacy in this election year.