Saturday, December 13, 2014

It's Marcus!!

CONGRATULATIONS TO MARCUS MARIOTA
2014 HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER

jlgraffix








Sunday, December 7, 2014

Why The Big 12 Got Hosed!!

Just ask Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and his "CO-CHAMPIONS"!


Friday, November 14, 2014

It's Heeere! No. 1 Mississippi State at Alabama

USA Today Sports
There's no question the No. 1 Mississippi St. Bulldogs have had a dream season. But their biggest test (by far) of the season has arrived-- a showdown in Tuscaloosa with the No. 5 Crimson Tide! If the Bulldogs want to prove all their doubters (including me) wrong-- THIS IS IT!!

Are the Bulldogs worthy of the No. 1 ranking? We shall see.... but I still have my doubts!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cy Young & MVP: The Perfect 10


KUDOS to Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on becoming the 10th pitcher in MLB history to win both the Cy Young Award and the MVP Award in the same season. If just winning one award isn't hard enough, imagine winning both? It's amazing that this rare feat as actually been accomplished 10 times.

Here's a list of the Elite 10:
  1. Don Newcombe, Brooklyn Dodgers - 1956
  2. Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodgers - 1963
  3. Denny McLain, Detroit Tigers - 1968
  4. Bob Gibson, St. Louis Cardinals - 1968
  5. Rollie Fingers, Milwaukee Brewers - 1981
  6. Willie Hernandez, Detroit Tigers - 1984
  7. Roger Clemens, Boston Red Sox - 1986
  8. Dennis Eckersley, Oakland A's - 1992
  9. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers - 2011
  10. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers - 2014
Simply amazing!! 

For more on the subject, read Bleacher Report's excellent article by Joel Reuter.

MVP! MVP! MVP!

 














 






Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jacob deGrom is ROY!!

AP Photo
Congratulations to Jacob deGrom on winning the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year Award!

9-6 W/L, 2.69 ERA, 144 K, 43 BB, 1.14 WHIP

Read more, here.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Memphis Grizzlies Flying Under The Radar…Again

Getty Images

It has been a pretty common theme for the Memphis Grizzlies in the last few years to be overlooked. After all, this is a franchise that is in a small market and in a loaded Western Conference. However, they are one of the most consistent teams in the NBA. They’re off to a hot start this year, and people are wondering if this might be the year they could somehow make it to the NBA finals.

The focus at the beginning of the season in the Western Conference was on 3 teams: San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Los Angeles (Clippers). Those teams are all going to be major factors in the spring, but Memphis probably deserves to be mentioned in that same breath right now. They have relatively the same nucleus back that they have played with in the last few years, and they have added another seasoned veteran in Vince Carter.

Many people look at Vince Carter as one of the most under-appreciated players in the NBA right now. People remember him as a standout in fantasy basketball during his prime, and he was arguably the best dunker of all time. Those days might be over, but he has evolved into one of the best outside shooters at his position. He gives them offense at a time in which they really need that help as much as possible.

Starting off the season with 4 straight wins has gone largely unnoticed so far for Memphis. They have one of the best front-courts in the NBA with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, and the hope right now is that Mike Conley continues to progress as one of the best point guards in the NBA. He has started off very well putting up huge numbers in fantasy basketball, and he will need to be big to take down any of the other Western Conference teams with talented point guards.

Offense can still be a struggle at times, but this meant the team looks as good as ever so far this year. With uncertainty surrounding Oklahoma City thanks to some injury issues, they could be in a tough situation by the end of the year. San Antonio and Los Angeles have looked vulnerable early on as well, so this could be the final try for Memphis as their window starts to close. They have plenty of veterans on the squad ready to show what they have left.

This article was written and provided courtesy of Mark Jensen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#MOOOOOOOOOOSE: KC Is On The Brink!!

2014 ALCS: Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles
Royals lead series, 3-0









Monday, October 6, 2014

#KCvsBal: May The Best "Man" Win!!


#TakeTheCrown

2014 ALDS: Kansas City Royals vs. Los Angeles Angels
Royals win series, 3-0


Congrats KC! It's been a LONG time coming!!

CONGRATS to the Baltimore Orioles!









Post by ESPN.






Sunday, October 5, 2014

2014 MLB Playoffs: With KC In, The Toronto Blue Jays Are Now On The Clock!

Getty Images
With the 2014 Kansas City Royals ending their major-league leading 28-year playoff drought, the baton has now been passed to the Toronto Blue Jays, who currently have a 20-year playoff drought. In fact, the Blue Jays (now stand alone) as the only major-league team NOT to make the postseason in the 21st. century.

Here's a look at the longest CURRENT postseason droughts:
  1. Toronto Blue Jays - 1993
  2. Seattle Mariners - 2001
  3. Miami Marlins - 2003
  4. Houston Astros - 2005
  5. San Diego Padres - 2006
  6. New York Mets - 2006
It's time Toronto! Get with it!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Kansas City Royals Party Like It's 1985!

Kansas City has waited 29 years for this! 


2014 AL Wild Card: 

Kansas City Royals 9 - Oakland Athletics 8 in 12 innings

2014 ALDS: 

Game 1: Kansas City Royals 3 - Los Angeles Angels 2 in 11 innings
Game 2: Kansas City Royals 4 - Los Angeles Angels 1 in 11 innings
Royals lead series, 2-0  

GOOD LUCK the rest of the way, KC!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

CONGRATS to Rory McIlroy, The New King of Golf!!!!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Derek Jeter Surpasses The Flying Dutchman


CONGRATS to New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who today, hit a single for career hit number 3431, surpassing the legendary Hall of Famer Honus Wagner (The Flying Dutchman) for 6th place on the all-time career hits list. Next on the list is another legendary Hall of Famer, the great Tris Speaker, with 3514 hits. Jeter, who is playing in his final season, needs 83 hits to catch Speaker which he (more than likely) won't get in the final 46 (team) games of his career. But being 6th all-time is, without a doubt, a monumental achievement. So KUDOS to the Yankee Captain!!

Here's a look at the Top 10 all-time hits list:
  1. Pete Rose - 4256
  2. Ty Cobb - 4189
  3. Hank Aaron - 3771
  4. Stan Musial - 3630
  5. Tris Speaker - 3514
  6. Derek Jeter - 3431
  7. Honus Wagner - 3430
  8. Carl Yastrzemski - 3419
  9. Paul Molitor - 3319
  10. Eddie Collins - 3315
What a player!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

It's Heeeere!!

houstontexans.com
The 2014-15 Houston Texans Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar has just been released!!!

I've already ordered my copy!

You can BUY IT HERE!!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Can Someone Help This Man?!

Getty Images
Is it mathematically possible for a starting pitcher to have a miniscule ERA of 1.62 and be 0-4 with 5 no-decisions? In other words, have the second lowest ERA in the National League and somehow be winless in 9 starts?

The answer is a big fat-- YES!

That is the plight of Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija. Talk about NO HELP from your offense! Samardzija has pitch extremely well in all of his 9 starts and somehow the Cubs have managed to lose 8 out of the 9 games. In fact, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, his ERA is the lowest in major-league history for a pitcher who is winless in his first 9 starts.  Well at least since the ERA became a stat in 1913. Unbelievable!

Shame on the 106-year title-less Cubs!!!! I can't for the life of me figure this one out!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

California Chrome Does It Again!

2 DOWN, 1 TO GO!

CALIFORNIA CHROME WINS THE 2014 PREAKNESS STAKES....

USA TODAY Sports

....and thus continues his quest for the elusive Triple Crown.

California Chrome is the 13th horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown since the last Triple Crown winner (Affirmed) in 1978. The 12 before him have ALL failed!

Will California Chrome break the curse? He's the only one that can!

Next stop-- The Belmont Stakes

Friday, May 16, 2014

2014 Eastern Conference Finals: Heat vs. Pacers: A No-Brainer!

ESPN
The 2014 Eastern Conference Finals is all set up! It'll (once again) be the Miami Heat vs. the Indiana Pacers in a rematch of their 2013 conference finals clash. This matchup was perhaps the easiest in NBA recent history to predict as the Pacers and Heat were the undisputed No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the conference. Heck, at one point early in the season it seemed as if they were going to be the only 2 teams in the conference with winning records. As it turned out they were the only 50-game winners in the (somewhat) anemic East. So to think anyone else was going to reach the conference finals was simply wishful thinking.

The Pacers and Heat are the elite of the Eastern Conference, no doubt about it.

The Heat breezed into the conference final by going 8-1 in the first two rounds, barely breaking a sweat. The Pacers, however, had a bumpier road going 8-5 in the first two rounds. The Atlanta Hawks were a real threat to the Pacers taking them to 7 games (in the first round) but in the end Indiana managed to escape. They needed 6 games to dispose of the pesky Washington Wizards in the second round.

Although the Pacers are the No. 1 seed, it seems like the juggernaut in Miami is stronger than ever. Their dominant performances in the first two rounds coupled with Indiana's inconsistency make the two-time defending champions the perennial favorites. Something tells me they will not be denied the chance to 3-peat as NBA champions. At least not by the Pacers. Heat in 6. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

California Dreamin'

CALIFORNIA CHROME WINS THE 2014 KENTUCKY DERBY!

AP Photo

.... and thus begins his quest for the elusive Triple Crown which has eluded 35 Kentucky Derby winners before him. Not since Affirmed in 1978 has the sport of horse racing seen a Triple Crown winner. Of the past 35 winners, 12 have gone on to win the Preakness Stakes only to fall short at the Belmont Stakes.

Will California Chrome break the 35-year curse? Another year, another candidate.... we shall see!

Next stop-- The Preakness Stakes!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Brew Crew: The Boys Of April

USA TODAY Sports
What a month for the Milwaukee Brewers! The Brewers ended the month of April with a 20-9 record which is tops in the major leagues and they did it the old fashion way-- with good hitting and great all-around pitching.

As a team, their hitting hasn't been overly astronomical but it has been good enough to complement their superb pitching. The team is a modest 6th in the National League with 114 Runs Scored and 5th with a .255 team batting average. They are, however, 2nd in the NL with a 2.82 team ERA. Only the Atlanta Braves (2.59) have a better team ERA. Opponents are batting a paltry .222 against them which is second best in the league to the St. Louis Cardinals (.218).

The Brewers' starting rotation also leads the entire major leagues with 22 Quality Starts which is a stat that is often overlooked. Quality Starts is a good indicator of how well the starting pitchers are keeping the team in a good position to win games. It is a crucial stat in my opinion. And for Milwaukee, their bullpen has also been fantastic with a league-leading 14 Saves. Quality starters and quality relievers will always win you many games, no doubt about it.  

Of course it's too early to tell how the team will respond to the long and excruciating season but with one month in the books, they are definitely headed in the right direction. We'll see how much gut they have as the wear and tear of the long season progresses.

Keep it up Brew Crew! A parade in the great city of Milwaukee is long overdue!  

Good Riddance!

AP Photo
'Nuff said!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Daytona 500: The Return of the King!

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

AP Photo

On Sunday Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the prestigious Daytona 500 in stellar fashion and perhaps, at long last, began living up to his legendary name. As Jay Busbee of Yahoo! Sports put it, "He's got "Junior" in his name, yes, but with this, the best race he's ever run, he's his own man."

This was Dale Jr's second win at Daytona (2004, 2014)-- a long and stressful decade apart. I'm sure Dale Sr. is somewhere very proud right now.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Captain's Last Hoorah!

AP Photo
This past Thursday was the official start of spring training for New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter who, earlier this month, announced he will retire after the 2014 season. Of course there are mixed opinions about Jeter's surprising announcement but I'm on the side of those who think it's a good decision. Some quick thoughts:
  • Jeter no longer has anything to prove and, at 39, he no longer can compete at the level he's accustomed to competing. If he were 100% healthy there's no doubt he'd still be a Top 10 player (even at 39) but, as his struggles from last season showed, the rigors of a 162-game season are just too demanding on his aging body.
  • With 5 World Series rings, 5 Gold Gloves, 13 All-Star appearances and 3000+ hits the captain is an unquestionable first-ballot Hall of Famer. For a guy who has played his entire career in the tainted Steroid Era, Jeter is the epitome of a clean and honest player. He is the example for all up-and-coming young players to emulate.
  • He's playing in the final year of his contract and by retiring he avoids the long and dragged out process of negotiating a new deal. Even he had a rough time with the take-no-prisoners Yankee brass the last time he was negotiating a new contract.There's no need for him to tarnish his stellar image with the circus-like atmosphere that comes with negotiating with the hard-nosed Yankees. I think it's safe to say he doesn't need the money.
  • Baseball is a passion for Jeter, not a job. He, himself, has said that once it starts to feel like a job, it's time for him to go.
  • Last but not least, he avoids all the annoying questions that all Yankee players will face when the A-Rod circus returns in 2015. It couldn't have been written any better as the 2014 spotlight will solely be focused on Jeter without the distraction of all the A-Rod drama. Let the Yankees deal with their nuisance in 2015. By then the captain will have long ridden off into the sunset.
Farewell Captain!

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Evolution Of Mike Trout

Getty Images
There have been very few players in the history of major league baseball who outplayed as well at such a young age like Mike Trout. The outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels is coming off back-to-back seasons in which he finished runner-up in the American League MVP race. As if that was not impressive enough, many people believe that he could have easily won both of those awards in most other years. As we get ready for the 3rd full season of Trout, people who play in FanDuel leagues are still trying to find a hole in his game.

Miguel Cabrera has been considered the best position player in major league baseball for the last few seasons, but he does not bring speed and defense to the table. Trout is close to Cabrera as a hitter, but he is able to also steal bases with the best of them and play Gold Glove caliber defense. Many people have been pretty bold when they compare him to Willie Mays, but the fact the matter is there may not be a better comparison as far as production goes.

Trout will enter the 2014 regular-season with a .314/.404/.544 slash not to mention 62 home runs, 196 RBI and 86 stolen bases in just a total of 336 games. If you are into advanced statistics, his wins above replacement (WAR) have been off the charts as well. Not only is he able to hit for both power and average, but his speed and defense allows him to bring more value to the table.

As good as he has been so far, there are some people who believed that he could even get better as he matures and hits his prime. There is really no hole in his swing, and he is becoming a more disciplined hitter overall. He was able to cut down on his strikeouts a little bit this past season, and he was also able to walk a lot more. In fact, he led the American League in walks with 110 in 2013, and that certainly helped him with his on-base percentage.

Defense will be the 1st thing that peaks for him, but he still has a few seasons left to win a few Gold Gloves. That award is certainly not the only way to be recognized for defense, but it is something that he should be able to earn once he gets more of a reputation out there in centerfield.

There have been a lot of promising young players to come up in recent memory. Few players have been able to make the type of impact that Mike Trout has so early in his career. As long as he is able to stay healthy, there is no doubt that he will be a perennial MVP candidate for the next decade.

This article was written and provided courtesy of Jason Berhens