Monday, July 30, 2007
"Minnesota gets catcher Drew Butera, who will report to Double-A New Britain, and outfielder Dustin Martin, who will go to Class-A Fort Myers. The deal, which came together in less than 24 hours, was completed one day before the deadline for making trades without waivers.
Castillo, who is making $5.75 million this season, can become a free agent after the World Series. He has only nine stolen bases in 13 attempts and just 29 walks in 349 at-bats with 11 doubles, three triples and 18 RBIs, but he has been one of only a handful of consistent hitters for the Twins this year.
and the Twins certainly weren't happy to see one of their best players go."
i'll take it those prospects seem to have medium to low ceilings and castillo can hit for average. He is another potential lead off hitter and should be a better #2 batter than Gotay at this point.
In other Mets news Pedro (Pete) Martinez has kept his promise and will actually make his return in August, Aug 1 in fact throwing around 50 pitches in a minor league game. This is only good news and hopefully things go well enough that Pete will be back dealing @ Shea by the second week of August.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
One definite trade the other a juicy rumor that may or may not be true. The first, the Buffalo Bills traded camp hold out Darwin Walker to the Chicago Bears for a 5th round draft pick. If the Bills could not sign Darwin by August 5th he would have been sent back to Philly for a 6th round draft pick. Of course, Walker was received in the Takeo Spikes/Kelly Holcomb trade that was a cash dump clearly from the beginning. This leaves the Bills with Tiny Tim Anderson and Jason Jefferson as the 4th and 5th linemen on the Bills roster. yeeeeesssshhh. But uh STF if you wanted to keep Spikes, he was getting an exorbitant amount of money and sucks.
Now onto the Buffalo Sabrse, where someone on a message board heard from his mailman's neighbor's exwife er I mean banter on Serius Satellite Radio that the Sabres are in talks with the San Jose Sharks to trade Dan Paille Jaro Spasuck and 2 first round picks for Patrick Marleau, one time Sabre Mike Grier and a 3rd round pick. Also in the mix would be a new contract for Marleau who is up after this season. The new contract allegedly would be for 3 more years and $19 mil.
This trade would cure a few ills for Sabres fans one bring leadership, grit and dump an over paid bum in Spacek. Also some good will towards the fans showing they are willing to bust moves. More as it becomes available.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Left my house around 7:45 in west seneca, got to the college about 90 minutes later. there were absolutely no signs for the college from the thruway or after you got off the thruway. Once we got to the college we weren't exactly sure where we had to park but we knew we had to park in a high school lot. we pull into the college they say " you see that yield sign, go there, make a left its by the canal make another left. and a bus will pick you up" it ended up taking us another 45 minutes to finally find this high school 5 miles away from the school. there were absolutely no signs any where pointing to parking, this high school was in a corn field in the middle of no where, it was ridiculous.. we missed most of the first practice and stayed for the later one, there was no real place to eat nothing with in walking distance and we couldn't find a bar.. i dont see my self goin back ever..
i saw everett drop some balls at least 2 in the same 5 minute drill, ellison had some nice interceptions..
Losman holding his back(this was before we knew it was his back)
he signed everyones stuff for a good 15 minutes
i talked to Nall about Losman. He said "you know he's a cali boy he's probably just takin it easy" I go yea he probably just wanted to give you more snaps and he laughed
he signed auto's longer than anyone, looked jacked and ready for 9/9/07
went in the player parking lot crazy cars, here is two huge ones parked in handicapped spots
Marshawn Lynch signed
"NFL Network's Adam Shefter reports that the Bills agreed to terms with Marshawn Lynch on a five-year, $18.935 million contract. The deal includes $10.285 million.
Technically, the deal is a six-year deal that will void to five if Lynch reaches a minimum playing time threshold. Lynch is expected to take over as Buffalo's starter immediately, but his training camp performance may determine how many carries his backups get. "
JP Losman was cleared to participate in throwing drills Friday and removed from the PUP list.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
"7 Days till Training Camp"
The Bills secondary last year was the strength of the defense, if there was one. The Bills pass defense ranked 7th in the NFL in total yards allowed. Don't get me wrong, the Bills young defensive backs did an admirable job, but this stat is inflated because of the way opposing teams were able to run at will against this defense.
SS Dante Whitner and FS Ko Simpson will be returning as starters for the upcoming season. Whitner and Simpson played well as rookies a year ago. Simpson showed his ability to make plays with 2 interceptions including a game saving INT against Brett Favre. Whitner being the 8th overall pick in the draft, has higher expectations. He had 105 tackles, ranking 2nd on the team, but it would be nice to see that interception number of 1 increase this season. Simpson, being a 4th round pick exceeded expectations and look for him as well as Whitner to continue to improve this season.
The new number one corner this year will be Terrance McGee. In his first few seasons in the league, McGee showed exceptional play making ability. Last year, he didn't at all. Many blame it on the fact that he gained a lot of muscle and lost some quickness. Hopefully this is the case because he has slimmed down this year entering camp. McGee had 0 interceptions last year which obviously will not get it done for a number one cornerback. Also, for a guy who has looked shaky as a cover man at times, he will now have to line up against the likes of Moss, Chambers, Coles, Walker, Owens, Burress, and the list goes on. McGee must pick up his play.
The number 2 cornerback position is an interesting battle. Free agent Jason Webster, Kiwaukee Thomas, Jabari Greer, and the intriguing Ashton Youboty will battle for this spot in training camp. Webster, a former starter in Atlanta may have a slight edge entering camp but that could change real fast. Youboty has the most upside of the group. He is much taller than Webster, standing at 6'0 vs 5'8. This will give him a huge advantage against the taller receivers. Unfortunately for Ashton, he has essentially no playing experience. Regardless of who wins the battle for the number 2 corner spot, the Bills have solid depth at corner.
As far as safety depth, the same cannot be said. The Bills depth consists of Jim Leonhard, John Wendling, and SS/LB extraordinare Coy Wire. It has also been rumored that George Wilson has been getting work there. Essentially, if any of these guys see action, Bills fans will hold their breath. However the upside of Wendling, the Bills 6th round pick this year, is tremendous. Wendling is an incredible athlete. There were rumors the Patriots were seriously looking at Wendling and many had him projected higher than his 6th round selection. If Wendling gets a chance to contribute this season, he could surprise some people. He should at least make an impact on special teams.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
"7 Days till Training Camp"
The depth at o-line currently is adequate, with 2006 draft choices showing promise despite taken late in the draft. The likes of Aaron Merz at left guard and Terrance Pennington at right tackle, whom started a few games in 2006, gives the offensive line some stability regardless of injury. The possibility of injury is huge, however versatility and depth, ie the players mentioned, whom can fill multiple roles on the o-line, will help during the dog days of November and December.
With any luck, and the obvious amount of money poured into the position, hopefully the Bills offensive line will actually be a STRENGTH of the Bills. I know this idea is completely alien to most Bills fans, however, the money spent and the actual talent in place on paper appears as thought it should wreck most d-lines and allow for time for not only JP but also the tandem that is Marshawn and Am-track Anthony Thomas.
Monday, July 23, 2007
"7 Days till Training Camp"
Arguably the most interesting and important position heading into training camp is the linebackers for the Buffalo Bills defense. Losing a bunch of over hyped, over paid, over inflated statistics, old ass players like Takeo Spikes and London Fletcher leaves a gapping hole in the LB corps. But hey, the Bills did draft Penn St. standout Paul Posluszny in the second round! Uh, so where are the 147 tackles those two clowns had last year going to come from?
The Bills run the "Tampa 2" defense which requires team speed and a ballerish middle linebacker that can cover the field. Furthermore the middle linebacker position is the most wide open position available heading into camp. There has been some chatter that John DiGiorgio could beat out young stud Paul P for the MLB spot in camp. According to reports "he played well in the post-draft, pre-camp workouts, and the second-year man, a former undrafted free agent, got most of the first-team snaps". Then again it could just be posturing to prove to the young guys and the whiley veterans that every position is up for grabs in camp.
The starting 'strong side' linebacker, or the LB who will line up across from the tightend and makes the initial tackle on the running back will be Angelo Crowell. Crowell filled in admirably for oft injured Takeo Spikes in 2006 and looks to build on that momentum. He played in 12 games last season and showed a flair for big plays, forcing one fumble and having two interceptions. The 2003 third rounder out of Virginia has hopefully learned well under the aforementioned Spikes and should be primed for a solid season. He is the only guaranteed starter come September 9th.
On the opposite side, the 'weak side' linebacker, typically the speedier of the three linebackers since he is usually chasing from the other side of the play, appears to be 2nd year man Keith Ellison's job to lose. Ellison who? True when you google his name he isn't even on the first page of results, but Ellison can play, playing in 14 games last season racking up 33 tackles and one pick. This potential gem in the rough was drafted in the 6th round out of Oregon State, and although he wears a funny face mask, he should be getting plenty of playing time in 2007.
And finally, the most important and most wide open position, the middle linebacker. The mike is the leader of the defense, he calls the plays and needs to straight ball. People who didn't watch every game of the 06 season may think the subtraction of London Fletcher is a big blow, but making tackles 8 yards down the field isn't whats needed out of this position. The run stopper, the play maker, fast, intelligent and not under sized, granted Fletcher made plays, but his career is gaining momentum on the downside of the hill. This is wear Paul Pos and John DiGiorgio step in.
DiGiorgio has basically come out of no where to realistically contend for the starting MLB position since last season. Sure a perfect storm of addition by subtraction via trading Spikes and allowing Fletcher-Baker to walk, coupled with a real lack of depth at the position has allowed DiGiorgio to leap frog into the lime light, for now. He is a nice story, and if he truly can compete, and shows he has ability, all the power to him, I'll leave the practice evaluation to the professionals. Of course, Bills Nation however will be clamoring for the new young stud, 2nd round pick out of Penn State, Paul Posluszny to start against Denver.
The jump from college to the pros is a huge one. Many starters aren't ready to jump into an important role, especially the leader of the defense, so Paul P could be sitting out come the first snap on defense, but don't except him to sit for long. The Bills moved up in the second round so this guy could contribute right away, and if he doesn't see significant time all season, and even start by at least week 4, this blog would be shocked. Also do not discount the possibility of John D-G starting for Ellison and seeing significant time if he produces in camp.
Other fill ins include ahhh Coy Wire backing up Ellison, and Mario Haggan and fellow special team ace Josh Stamer behind Angelo Crowell. These guys have seen plenty of action on the field, however mostly on special teams and should leave anyone a bit queezy if one of the starting 3 goes down with a severe injury. Lets hope they are ready to step into large roles in 2007 when called upon.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
"7 Days till Training Camp"
In 2006, Lee Evans had a breakout season for the Bills. He had 82 catches for 1292 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also should have had a touchdown pass (to Royal). Evans has remarkable speed and can stretch any defense. Him and Losman showed that they have the chemistry necessary to be the next Kelly/Reed connection in Buffalo. The problem in 2007 however will be the number 2 spot. Evans has been discovered and will be double teamed by every opponent the Bills face. The Bills do not have a number 2 caliber receiver on their roster.
The man penciled in at that position right now is Peerless Price. Price has never lived up to the promise he showed in 2002 which landed him a huge contract with the Falcons. It can be argued that Michael Vick and his lack of passing ability ruined his career, but he has shown nothing to prove otherwise since he returned to Buffalo. As the Bills number 2 man in 2006, Price had 49 reception for 402 yards for an average of 8.2 yards per catch. He also only had 3 touchdowns. Everyone can agree that this will just not get it done as Price will do nothing to distract any defense away from Evans.
Unfortunately, the Bills have no other receiver on their roster to challenge Price. The slot receiver Josh Reed has already proven that he is a disaster at the flanker position by his performance in 2003. Reed is a solid number three though and validated his questionable contract extension with solid play last season. He was more sure handed and seemed to be Losman's favorite target on medium length third downs. Reed's 410 yards receiving ranked 2nd on the team and he averaged 12.1 yards per catch.
The number 4 receiver will be 3rd year man Roscoe Parrish. Parrish proved last year that he has game breaking ability but he is way too small to challenge Price as the number two wide out. Parrish should get more touches this year than he did a year ago as it seemed like some games he just disappeared.
The battle going into camp will be for the final wide receiver position with Sam "clay" Aiken as the front runner. Aiken has been able to solidify his position on the roster since he was drafted because of solid special teams play. Unless their is a major surprise in training camp it looks as if the same 5 guys will return next year as the bills top 5 wide outs.
Robert Royal is the Bills number one tight end. He is a great blocker and allegedly is improving his pass catching ability. He showed some signs last year of being able to go downfield and make plays as he had 4 receptions of 20 yards or more. The problem with Royal is the stupid plays, i.e. the blocks in the back against New England and Tennessee and of course the infamous not getting the feet down on the pass from Evans. Royal is a solid starting tight end, not upper half of the league at all but is adequate.
Brad Cieslak and Ryan Neufield will battle to be Royal's backup. These 2 men will not be expected to make a difference in the passing game. Their main role will be to act as full back to block for Lynch and company.
The X factor in the tight end race is now 3rd year man Kevin Everett. Everett was drafted in the third round by the Bills because of his athletic ability and threat in the vertical passing game. So far the Everett experiment has failed miserably. After missing a year because of injury, Everett only had one reception for one yard a year ago. If Everett doesn't show signs of being the player he was expected to be, his tenure as a Bills could come to an end sooner than later. Proving just another in a long line of brutal draft picks by Tom Donahoe.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
A completely new look is in store for the 2007 Buffalo Bills when it comes to their backfield. Willis McGahee got shipped out, Damien Shelton will not be returning and the entire roll of the running back will change this season.
For the past 3 seasons, the Bills were limited in what they could do with their running backs. McGahee was either not good as a receiver or misused or both. He didn't block well to help the Bills young offensive line. Willis simply did not fit the mold for Steve Fairchild's offensive scheme.
The negative however was that a gaping hole was left at the position. The Bills were left with Anthony Thomas, Shaud Williams, and the NFL Europe standout Fred Jackson. None of these three players should be on the opening day roster if I was the GM but unfortunately i'm not yet.
The Bills addressed the need in the draft with the 13th pick in the draft and selected Marshawn Lynch from Cal. Lynch is a perfect fit for the offense. He is quick and has good speed and is a great receiver out of the backfield, the best in the draft class. He is more in the mold of a Thurman Thomas which is exactly what Bills GM Marv Levy was looking for. Lynch ran for 1356 yards and 11 touchdowns as a Junior at Cal. He averaged over 6 yards per carry. Lynch demonstrated his pass catching ability by adding 34 receptions for 358 yards and another four touchdowns as well.
In the fourth round, the Bills made what seemed like an odd pick at the time in selecting a 2nd running back in Dwayne Wright from Fresno State. The Bills needed depth because Shaud Williams is a bum, A Train is mediocre and Fred Jackson has never played on this side of the Atlantic. Wright is coming off a monster year at Fresno St. He rushed for 1462 yards, 11 touchdowns and averaged over 5.5 yards per carry. The knock on Wright is injury issues. He missed nearly 2 years in college with a torn patella tendon. At 5'11 226 pounds, Wright can be a nice change of pace guy to come in for the smaller and quicker Lynch.
As we enter camp at St. John Fisher, Anthony Thomas will be penciled in as starter. That will soon change as Lynch gets better accostomed to the offense. The coaches are itching to ink Lynch in as the first string tail back I am sure. Thomas will feel pressure from Wright for the back up spot and Jackson and Williams will compete to make the team.
As far as full back goes, look for the Bills to use their tight ends at the H back position. The Bills will not have a roster spot for a true full back like Shelton was last season. Cieslak and Neufield will compete for the starting job at that spot but will feel pressure from the Bills rookie 7th round pick from Boise State Derek Shouman.
Look for the Bills two rookie running backs to emerge as first and second string in the not too distant future.
Friday, July 20, 2007
"7 nights before training camp"
Now, 1 year later, this is Losman's team, the veterans are gone, the leadership role is unfilled, and Losman needs to take the next step. He learned how to win last year and this year needs to learn how to lead a team. He should have better protection with a revamped offensive line, and a running back that will now probably be willing to block for him and GASP catch the ball out of the backfield!
Not just learning to lead, Losman also needs to learn more fundamental quarterbacking skills like changing plays at the line, and according to reports will be able to do that this season. Between that and continuing to maintain a pocket presence, avoiding the big hit, and maintain his composure Losman has the skills to surprise much of the league this year. That means 10 wins and a playoff birth. Sure there is the possibility he takes a step back, Evans has a down year, Lynch is a bust, but who wants to predict that?
Behind Losman there isn't much else. By not much else I mean zero starts between back up Craig Nall and recently drafted 3rd rounder Trent Edwards. Sure Craig Nall was a Bret Favre protege but he has yet to start an NFL game and in fact has only made 6 appearances in the NFL, all in filler time while in Green Bay. If the worst happens and Losman goes down with an injury I will panic but it won't be dooms day. He appears to be sufficiently skilled and was drafted out of the football power house that is Northwestern State so he has the pedigree err.
On to back up back up Trent Edwards. Green isn't even the color to describe T-Eds. What we do know: he's smart, he went to Stanford, the Stanford Cardinals football team sucked, and Edwards took a beating and got hurt a lot. Look for him to sit on the bench for 2 seasons, get bit parts in 2009 and hopefully traded, great move Marv and Co.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
The excitement begins tomorrow with a look at the quarterback corps. Following that, each day we will post a new breakdown. Finally, on Thursday July 26th the Bills will open camp in Pittsford NY right outside Rochester at St. John Fisher College. Hopefully we have a live report as often as possible because obviously bloggers have nothing better to do.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
"23. Buffalo: Even with a worrisome run defense, the Bills are coming off a season in which they allowed only 19 points a game. If J.P. Losman continues his nice progression (.625 completion percentage last year), Buffalo could go 3-3 in the division and be a spoiler for the playoffs."
few other comments, Lions @ 13? Dolphins @ 19? What is everyone else in the world missing that King sees.
Marv Levy will be introducing Thurman Thomas at the August 4th Hall of Fame ceremonies in Canton Ohio. http://www.profootballhof.com/enshrinement/story.jsp?story_id=2454
Camp Cut Down dates
ROSTER CUTDOWN DATES: The all important roster reduction dates are as follows.
Tuesday Aug. 28 - Roster cutdown to maximum of 75 players.
Saturday Sept. 1 - Roster cutdown to maxiumum of 53 players.
In the past the Bills have sometimes pared the roster down to some degree a day in advance and in a few cases down to the required number a full day ahead of time.
Usually the eight man practice squad is assembled a day or two after final cuts, so look for that on Sept. 2 or 3rd.
NOTE: This year the Bills will have a nine-man practice squad as they will be carrying NFL International player DE Daniel Watts as part of an NFL development program. He can never be elevated to the active roster this season.
The All knowing Vinny Iyer has the Bills at 5-11 in 2007
5 Games sold out already
Denver, Jets, Cowboys, Ravens games sold out, only single seats remain for the Patriots game.
The arbitration dates have been set for Roysie and Paetsch:
"NHL arbitration hearings begin July 20 in Toronto and the Buffalo Sabres have two restricted free agents that will have their cases heard.
Derek Roy will go in front of an arbitrator on July 27. Nathan Paetsch will have his case heard on August 2.
The Sabres can negotiate with both players right up until their scheduled hearing to avoid going through the arbitration process. If the player does have a hearing, then the team has until 48 hours after their last one to accept or walk away from any contracts awarded.
The Sabres have one restricted free agent, Dan Paille, that did not file for arbitration."
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Finallllly the All-Star break is over, and as per usual the AL will have home field advantage for the World Series. A few thoughts.. WTF Was LaRussa doing not using Albert Pooholes? Perhaps the NL had no business winning that game any way with the stiffs that were batting in the 9th when the AL bully couldn't hit the broad side of a barn let alone the strike zone. Loading the bases with base on balls and then allowing or even thinking about allowing Aaron Rowand to bat with 2 outs bases chulked and the game on the line? There wasn't one left remaining on the bench to pinch hit? Pujols wouldn't have been a better option?
a quick letter we received
Dear Tony LaRussa,
We know you have had some troubles in the past in regards to drinking and making sound decisions while under the influence but did you really have to start drinking before managing the All Star game that determines home field for the Fall Classic? Thanks for trashing any semblance of an upper hand against a somewhat superior League in the AL. You ass hole, we hate you, we hope you die, now we have to go to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim California or Fenway for game 7. Two letters asshole AA.
Omar Minaya, The Mets organization, Bobby Cox, The Rockies, The Cubs, everyone from the NL West, and Bud Selig C/O The Milwaukee Brewers.
We still hate you.
Now Back to the predictions and what to expect in the second half of the Major League Baseball season:
The Mets have a two game lead but that could change at any time. The Braves and or Phillies could have a charge left in them or an upstart Marlins team only 7 back and lurking could pounce, esp if Josh Johnson regains his '06 form. Look for the Mets to get richer at the deadline by finally dealing Milledge while the Phillies continue to realize they don't have the pitching and the Braves are missing an ingredient, (bullpen, AndrUw Jones, injuries)
Mets and probably the wild card out of the NL East
Anyone that thinks Houston has a chance needs to realize Roger the dodger $1million start Clemens isn't on the team. Cardinals have the talent if Carpenter comes back to make a charge and the Cubs are willing to take on more salary so they should keep it tight. The Brewers don't have the experience to carry the burden of a first place team but do have the talent. It is possible the young guns and solid rotation including getting Capuano back could propel the Brewers to a rare division title but I'm picking the Cubs.
The wild west is up for grabs once again but this year the West appears to be the strongest in the National League with 4 teams at or above .500 at the break. The Padres pitching, and thats what wins games, is simply stacked with Peavy and Young dealing and the whiley veteran in Maddux to keep the kids in line. However their hitting is embarrassing to say the least. The D'backs are a year away but will stick around if Webb and the Red Ass can maintain consistency. The Rockies are too streaky to maintain anything significant which leads us to a battle between the Dodgers and Padres. I think one may eat the other and only one will get into the playoffs, but both have been their before thusly I'll will predict game #163 to determine it all. Who ever wins the coin flip takes the division. I can't predict who wins the coin flip but who ever has tails will win the flip.
Yankees aint catchin them. Red Sox take the division. Sure Manny is old and Ortiz might need surgery but c'mon Beckett, an over rated Matsuzaka, and a Schilling return wont allow this team to consistently play .500 or below. This could be revenge for 2004 though, if the Yankees some how literally find the fountain of youth(who knows what Steinbrenner does in Florida, that is where it was alleged to be) and it can be injected intravenously, then and only then do the Yankees have a shot.
At the break the Indians showed their inability to hold onto the division and that will continue in the second half. The team just doesn't have enough veteran leadership, Grady can't hit .300, Pronk was just foolishly given an extension and will continue to have a down year and the staff beyond 1 and 2 has major holes. On the other hand the Tigers just got their true ace back, Verlander is the next Clemens, and the team continues to hit. Sure the offense is due to take a step back but will the bullpen continue to be mediocre? Doubt it, not with the return of Zumaya imminent, that will be the only shot in the arm this team will need in the dogs days of summer to take the division title. Good news for the Indians though, there is a wild card and this year the White Sox won't be gunning them down in September. Then again, don't forget about the Twinkiessss.
The Angels will surprise people in October mostly because they play on the West coast and will cruise to another AL West crown. Willits and Kotchman are providing some protection for Vlad and the A's just don't have it this year. Well unless Harden can actually stay healthy and the team finds another diamond in the ruff that can augment their putrid offense. Its a shame the Mariners lost their manager because that will severely hamper any real challenge for the division. Well unless Ichiro goes nuts and Yunieski Betancourt gets nasty as I predict he will.
NL East Mets
NL Cent. Cubs
NL West Padres
Wild Card Phillies
Padres v. Mets
Padres in 7 as Beltran takes another pitch down the middle to K looking.
AL East Red Sox
AL Cent. Tigers
AL West Angels
Wild Card Yankees
Tigers v. Angels
Angels v. Padres
San Diego Padres WS Champions
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Highlights include :
- Opening the Seaon at home vs. the Islanders (home and home) Oct. 5th and 6th
- Leafs first trip to Buffalo Oct 15th
- Ottawa's first visit Nov. 21st
- Flyers and Dan the $10million man Dec 21st
- Penguins Sabres Jan 1st 1pm @ the Ralph
- Drury and the Rags come back February 23rd.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
info on the first NHL game outside
Parking now costs %25 instead of $15 wtfFFFF
Monday, July 9, 2007
The All Star game is tomorrow, and without looking it up few if any casual fans could guess the two starting pitchers in this years Mid Summer Classic. Dan Haren of the Oakland Athletics and Jake Peavy of the San Diego Padres will be throwing the first pitches tomorrow as recognition for spectacular seasons thus far.
Sure, both pitchers throw in "pitcher-friendly" ball parks, but half of each pitchers starts are on the road. In fact both players have better ERA's on the road than at home. Peavy's earned run average on the road is a shockingly low .94 while Haren's is a modest 2.29. These guys can straight deal, and seemingly no one knows who these guys are.
Dan Haren, the one time St. Louis Cardinal was traded in a controversial move in 2004 for highly touted "Big Three" member Mark Mulder and hasn't looked back. Since the trade 26 year old Haren has put up 34 wins to Mulder's 22. Sure Mulder has had injury problems the last two years but what do you expect from a guy that averaged well over 200 innings from 2001-05, damn Billy Beane is a genius. I could see this kid was a baller when, in 2004, in the World Series, Haren threw 4 and 2/3 shut out innings against the hot hitting Red Sox on the biggest stage in baseball. I guess La Russa and co. weren't willing to develop pitching and went for the high priced free agent instead. (ps Daric Barton was also included in that trade)
Jake Peavy, the hard throwing 26 year-old righty has been compiling sub 3 ERA's for the past 4 years (well except for 2006 where Peavy had shoulder problems following the World Baseball Classic[ which is a good idea just no time to play the thing, considering seemingly every player got hurt after that]) but I digress. 2004 2.27 ERA 2005 2.88 ERA, and no one really talks about this kid. Maybe because its the West Coast and no one really gives a shit about sports over there since its always beautiful and the women have augmented racks, but damn this kid can toss. The only real knock on Jake is his lackluster playoff performances with an 0-2 record with an Earth shattering 12+ ERA. Then again he was going up against the Cardinals ace on the road, I think his name is Carpenter or something, so he has had some stiff competition in those games.
Anyone that argues against these two starting in the All-Star game need to go back to their
homerism message boards and get a box of tissues. Haren is is top 4 in nearly every statistical category imaginable while leading the American League in ERA and 2nd in Walks + Hits per inning (Whip). Plus he has a killer beard!
Same goes for Peavy who leads the NL in Strike Outs and Whip and 2nd in ERA.
Then again maybe these dudes will throw their 2 innings of perfect ball in the All-Star get over looked by some cheap RBIs ghey-rod picks up and continue to be in the background pitching at 11 oclock EST. But don't say I didn't warn you when they hoist the Cy Young trophy over Beckett and Zambrano.
yes this is Jake Peavy downing Jager straight from the bottle
WHAT A BEASTTTTT
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Sunday Bloody Sunday (one week later)
One of if not the darkest days in Buffalo Sabres history has pasted, its only a week but it seems like it was yesterday. By now Drury is shopping for a house in the Hamptons while little Dan Briere is searching for a nice part of Philly where he will be living for the next 8 seasons (assuming there isn't a lock out and he requests a trade). Most Sabres "faithful" are still begrudging Darc and Quinny, the Buffalo News comes out with a new column by Gleason daily ripping the organization while the few die hard homers have moved on and accepted the new Sabres.
For me, since Black Sunday, it seemed to get worse each day. New details and stories emerged daily. Monday was the infamous press conference where management actually said they would be less competitive, something about a two legged horse, and how they wished they did things a bit different. Then it was about Drury discussing a contract in September and agreeing in principle to a 4 year extension worth somewhere around $23 mil and the Sabres dragging their feet for 2 weeks. Then it was Edmonton perhaps single handedly brining the NHL back to a lockout and offering Vanek 7 years $50 million. Instead of taking the 4 draft picks, turning their backs on the fans and basically buying a one way ticket to Hamilton ON the Sabres matched the offer. And finally, it was the revelation that the Sabres didn't talk to Briere in January or even after the arbitration ruling about a long term deal and lied, well according to Briere's Agent, and of course Lindy's comments err lack of comment saying "no comment" about the entire situation.
Sure, Darc and Quinny are completely inept clueless and lack foresight but its tough to blame them in the Vanek situation. He came off a career year, a career that has lasted 2 seasons, he was benched a little over a year ago in the playoffs but is only 23 and has tremendous upside. Negotiating with Vanek would have never happened and Edmonton fucked up and fucked the sabres, the new NHL!
The argument that, well if the Sabres signed Briere to 5 and $25 mil and Drury to $5.3 or so a year, twenty-three year old Vanek would be gone. BS, Numminen wouldn't have been brought back at 2.6 mil or Kotalik and his 2+ mil would have been shipped else where. Either way something would have been done, the cap is $50.3, you have your two corner stones and your young phenom locked up for the rest of the decade, the fans would have been in full support and the cash would have continued to roll in, further more the team would be much better. Now the Sabres will spend around $46 mil or so and struggle in the first round of the playoffs. Great fiscal decision there.
Losing those two might not be so bad, they are 30+(Briere will be 30 Oct 6th) and never won anything here, between the two of them they have 1 Stanley Cup and that was because of Forsberg/Sakic/Roy etc etc. And of course the fans will be back, I mean they payed for the season tickets, and what else is there to do in January, not NFL playoffs yet. So what was the worst thing to occur following the worst day in Sabres history this decade?
TEPPO NUMMINEN and his $2.6 million contract. Sure he is a veteran presence and does the little things well. But the dude is 39 soft and not the answer for the Sabres defensive issues. Sure, to my shocking surprise he didn't break down in the playoffs, probably cause he doesn't bang in the corners and punish opposing players. In all honesty I can not for the life of me think why Darc decided to bring this guy back. Take his 2.6 try like hell to peace out Spacek and his $3.3 mil and hand it to a Sheldon Souray. Sure he is a possible defensive liability and sometimes a road cone in his own zone, but the dude brings heart. He also has leadership ability, scores, and is straight up nasty. Was it me or was the Sabres power play anemic in the post season? Is toughness and heart a weakness on this squad? Uhhh YES, Souray would have provided all of that, and the young defensemen in the system, ready to make the leap, would have had an available spot on the roster opened for them. I guess that is too much common sense though, or maybe Spacek is immovable or management still likes him who knows, but at this point can you really trust them?
But hey don't say I didn't warn you all of this happening, I mean I had a running count down till dooms day.. either way who wants to be the top dog, wasn't the season before more fun any way?
Friday, July 6, 2007
The Edmonton Oilers did what every Buffalo Sabres fan dreaded, they offered Thomas Vanek a ridiculously huge gigantic contract, seven years $50 million. Of course, the Buffalo Sabres, already without their two best players, Drury and Briere, had to match the offere and did.
Darc and Quinny probably thought long and hard about the 4 first rounder draft picks instead of retaining Vanek but eventually they did the right thing. According to what I read... "The deal would pay Vanek $5 million in the first two seasons, and $6.4 million in each of the following five seasons. The contract will also pay him a $5 million signing bonus in each of the first two years."
More to follow..
Monday, July 2, 2007
Or do you prefer Black Sunday? Either way it was a dark terrible horrible day in Buffalo Sabres history Sunday July 1st. The Buffalo Sabres 2 captains franchise players leaders etc left for richer lives in places like Philadelphia and New York City. The ownership fucked up the players lost faith in the organization and split for straight cash homey.
Lawrence Quinn and Darcy Regier aka Quinny/Darc jumped in the lions den at 2 pm and faced the media. Sure they deserve respect for answering the questions and taking blame, but they seemed incompetent and bumbling the whole time. They blamed Drury and said he wanted to play in NYC and not in Buffalo. Such instant classics as "this is a two legged horse" and "no we won't be as competitive without Briere and Drury".
There are no excuses, they said they couldn't resign Briere and knew that Jan 1. No offer was made to Drury last fall, and they did say they messed things up. Well it doesn't matter how we got here but we are here and the cupboards are bare. Chris Drury and Dan Briere are gone for good and this team no way will be in the Eastern Conference Finals. They are some $14 million under what they spent last year and it seems nearly impossible the team spends more than they did last year as they have stated they did.
Quinny and Darc need to be fired after this season if the team takes a major step back as predicted. If players like Roy, Vanek, and Cambell are signed long team, a player like Bertuzzi, or some one else is brought it and the team changes the mentality of just out skating the opponents maybe they won't bomb. The defense isn't good enough, yet I'm almost positive Quinny/Darc said the Sabres have one of the best d-corps in the league. Thats bullshit this team needs to increase its ability to hit and play defensive.
This shit show that just went down and how Briere and Drury left maybe haunt this organization for years to come. Not paying your key top flight players both players the same year and letting them walk looks like bush league cheapness. Talking about becoming the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NHL is insulting as well, they didn't bring it up but they kept talking about it too. The Buffalo Piratbres? holy shit this was a bad day in Buffalo sports history and all I know is vanek etc need long term deals by the end of the day Monday.
Rally tomorrow @ hsbc arena
" I was told by a friend that himself and a bunch of people were going to hold a "peaceful rally" against the sabres organization.. possibly to get quinn fired. You have to admit, they fucked up big time by letting drury and briere go without signing any big name players to replace them or bolster their blue line. I'm going, whose with us?
Brings signs, face paint, paper bags.. ANYTHING that will grab attention.. SPREAD THE WORD TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW, post online in your blogs, away messages, profiles, myspace, facebook...ETC, tell everyonneeee"
Sunday, July 1, 2007
The Flyers just signed little Dan Briere. The Canadians were offering 6 years $42 million aka $7 million a year. Thus you have to figure Philly up'd the ante just a bit. No official word on the contract just yet.
TSN.ca is reporting the contract is worth 8 years and $52 million. $10 million the first year and a no trade clause. The contract is just less than $7 mil per year on average.
The little guy isn't worth that kind of money, however Darcy Regier receives my scorn and hate for this one because A. he let him go to arbitration last year and B. he didn't get a long term deal brokered when all Dan wanted was 5 years $25 mil.
Drury is looking to get around $8 mil and had a meeting with people in LA today. He is probably not leaving that meeting with out a fat check in his hand.
Briere's message to the fans
"I apologize to the fans," Briere said. "It's obviously a tough decision, and I'll always remember and cherish my time in Buffalo. All I can say is thank you to the fans.
"I'm really sad to be leaving the Buffalo Sabres organization and to leave the city, but it will always be a big part of my heart."
FFFFFFFFFFFFF you Dan the $10 million man