Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NFL: 3 Teams without a win after Week 7; Do they need LUCK?

It is amazing that there are still 3 teams in the NFL that is undefeated after 7 weeks of play. It is tough to see that a perennial playoff team like the Indianapolis Colts could really be 0-7. Is Peyton Manning really that valuable? I guess, the many time MVP is indeed the Most Valuable Player of the Colts. Without Manning, the Colts look liked a mess. With him, they look invincible. That is how a franchise QB can launch a franchise. That it is why they are the highest paid and most protected investments by their teams and by the league. The Colts will be in the bottom this year and hope that Peyton Manning will be back next year.

As for the St. Louis Rams, they are regressing towards a repeat of 2009. They drafted a "franchise" QB in the 2010 draft and Sam Bradford had a promising rookie year. You may call it a sophomore jinx but the Rams are now 0-6. They do not look like a pro team out there. They allowed an unknown rookie to run circles around them. They cannot defend the run. They will draft a defensive player for sure in the upcoming draft. It might be too early to talk about it but with the way they are playing, they are a lock to bag a Top 3 draft pick in 2011.

The Miami Dolphins should relocate or try to have a feng shui expert go to their home stadium. They have lost 12 of 13 home games dating back last season. If the season were to end today, they are the ones who will most likely draft QB Andrew Luck. Yeah, they need Luck.  I mean, luck. 

The 3 teams are going to face really difficult teams in the coming weeks and all 3 could go winless by Thanksgiving. Hopefully none of them will emulate the 2008 Detroit who went 0 for 16. Supposed to be, this is gonna happen as the NFL prides itself of being the most competitive league among the four major sports in the USA. For now, parity and equality is at the backseat. At least the NFL teams are playing, unlike the NBA. ;)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2011 MLBP: Bye bye Yankees

The 2011 season of the Yankees ended when A-Rod stuck out to end Game 5 of the ALDS match-up between New York and Detroit. Yankee Stadium and its biggest crowd so far fell silent. New York goes home and highest paid line-up goes home again with a disappointing playoff result.

Here are interesting statistics of the Series and the Game:

1. +11 - The New York Yankees actually outscored Detroit 28-17 in the series. It simply means that you have to win those games to go deep in October. A 10 run rout is just as good as a 1-0 squeaker.

2. 3 HRs. The number of home runs of Delmon Young in the series to enter the record books of the Tigers. He now owns the record of having the most home runs for the Tigers in a playoff series. Who would have thought that Minnesota would just give this guy to a divisional rival.

3. 11 - The Yankees left 11 players on base in this game. Those are big missed chances. They never capitalized several bases loaded situations. They got one from it but it was because of a walk and not a hit.

4. 2nd - This is the second consecutive year that the Yankees season ended while Alex Rodriguez is at the plate. No wonder he is getting booed.

$202 Million did not result a win for the Yankees. It is sad but MLB's most valuable franchise will most likely go for the biggest free agents of the season. They will likely target some of the best arms available.

Here are the Salaries based in Usatoday of the playoff teams (parenthesis denotes MLB Rank):

NewYork - $202 Million (1)
Philadelphia - $172 Million (2)
Detroit - $105 Million (10)
St. Louis - $105 Million (11)
Texas - $92 Million (13)
Milwaukee - $87 Million (17)
Arizona - $53 Million (25)
Tampa Bay - $41 (29)

The Yankees spent 5 times the Rays and yet both of them went to vacation in the first week of October.  No wonder, Yankee are so disappointed when their team losses in the playoffs.

I was never a big Yankee fan although I fell for those Yankee fanatics. The Yankees loss makes the Big Red nation breath a sigh of relief. I wonder what changes will be coming in New York. The old guards are aging. Posada, Rivera, Jeter, and A-Rod are not in their primes anymore. I am sure some big changes will be coming. It is not of my concern though. For now, I got to enjoy October and see how far the Tigers can go? Will the Phillies be like the Yankees? Will the $53 Million Dbacks go far? Will Texas get redemption? Will the Cards and Pujols make another run? Will Milwaukee end their drought?

Bye, bye New York Yankees! Hello Tigers, Rangers, et. al

I wonder what will ESPN will take about now??? ;)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ateneo quest for 4-peat is complete!

News: Ateneo beats FEU to complete a 4-peat

In 2011, the Ateneo Blue Eagles won 16 of 17 games. Their only loss was against the eventual 3rd placer  the Adamson Soaring Falcons in the second round of the eliminations. This year's Ateneo team might be one of the best in years. Best first 5, perhaps. They have a dominating center with Greg Slaughter. A high leaping forward with an outstanding shooting range in Nico Salva. A tough defender of a swingman in Kirk Long. A wily point guard in Emman Monfort. Last but not the least, a high scoring freshman guard in Kiefer Ravena. On paper, it's hard to find a collegiate 5 that can compete with them. On the court, they are indeed harder to beat. With a big time coach like Norman Black, the team can win 99% of the time.

FEU never figured them out after playing 4 games in the UAAP season and always coming up empty-handed. Ateneo must have luck on their side that Noundou, Sentchou, and Cawaling were injured. With those three, I guess FEU would have competed better. 

So, what is in store for the next year? Long, Monfort, Bacon Austria, and Chris Sumalinog will no longer be on the team. They will have another marquee name in Chris Newsome, a 6-2 Fil-am guard. They will likely elevate Kris Porter from the Blue Eaglets. Ryan Buenafe could come back and suit up. For the other slot, Ateneo can give other schools a run for their money in the recruiting wars. The Ateneo war chest is deep and they can be capable of winning 10 straight titles in the UAAP with the current playing field. 

UAAP is becoming the battleground of billionaires. Unlike the US NCAA where perks and incentives are strongly regulated, in the Philippines anything is possible. I could envision that eventually blue chip recruits might opt to play here rather than the states. The UAAP is eclipsing the PBA when it comes to popularity. The schools have bigger following than our top pro teams. That is why it is not surprising to see rich people backing a UAAP school.

Manny V. Pangilinan supports Ateneo. NU now has Henry Sy. If there is a team that could challenge Ateneo in the next few seasons, it could be NU. They now have Ray Parks, a blue chip guard who was supposed to go to Georgetown. We do not know who else they might be "hiding".

These kind of recruitment practices might be good for the spectators but I am hoping that they will not neglect the local basketball talent. Imports have come to invade our college scene recently. Even the lowly UP has an African"import".  They are taking slots that were supposed to be for Filipinos who uses their athletic abilities as a means to earn a college degree from a prestigious school. I hope our basketball leaders will see what is happening before it is too late. A league will surely lose following if only one team or just a select few wins every time. Just look at the PBA. ;)

It was a great season but hopefully season 75 will be more competitive and showcase more Filipino talents. :) 

Congratulations, Ateneo ! (The expected happened).