What the Jake Peavy Trade Means for the Giants

With Matt Cain on the DL, the San Francisco Giants made a big move on the morning of July 26 by acquiring  Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy.  The Giants gave up minor’s Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree, both pitchers.

Peavy has started the season terribly at 1-9, with a 4.72 ERA, in 124 innings.  With Yusmeiro Petit in the rotation, the move was much needed. Peavy also returns to the NL, where he pitched for 8 seasons with the Padres.  The Red Sox made the right move.  They are definitely selling this year.  Jon Lester could be on the move, along with Will Middlebrooks.

With the Giants in the thick of a division battle, the trade helps certifies their rotation for the playoffs.  The other plus in the trade is Peavy is a free agent next year, meaning the Giants won’t own him any money after this season.  Peavy was traded last year from the White Sox to the Red Sox, in a three team deal that included the Tigers.  It’s to bad that a former Cy Young winner has had such a bum season, but hopefully the change of scenery, which includes winning (at least this year) will help Peavy recover.

The Giants also could be buying some more, with needs at 2B and LF.  Asdrubal Cabrera, the Indians SS, could be a target for the Giants.

Ray Rice Pays the Price, Well, Sort of

We don’t exactly know what happened in that Atlantic City casino in New Jersey between Ray Rice and his then fiancé. We’ve seen the footage, we knew their were going to be consequences.

However, the punishment that NFL handed down to Ray Rice on Thursday was ridiculously weak.  Rice was suspended two games and will not be paid for one of them.  He will be allowed to participate in training camp and pre-season.  Speculation was at least a six game suspension, and possibly eight.  I felt like eight was the right number, giving what the footage obtained by TMZ Sports showed and his indicted on assault charges.  I don’t know what Roger Goodell was thinking.  Either he was scared of over-doing it or he has evidence we don’t.

One of the oddest things that’s came out of this incident is on March 28, Rice and his girlfriend, the unconscious person the video, got married.  This came one day after their indictment. They just ran off and got married like Selena and Chris Perez.  Could this of convinced Roger Goodell to limit the suspension? It’s like a mending thing, I guess.

So how does this affect the Ravens football wise? The Ravens play the Bengals in Week 1 and the Steelers in Week 2, both divisional games.  Both teams have good, run stopping defenses.  It’s most likely Bernard Pierce will start instead of Rice.  The Ravens are a running team, with weapons at WR.  With Rice gone, the Ravens could be throwing the football more in the first two weeks.  The Bengals have a decent secondary, but have a hole at Strong Safety.  In Week 2, the Steelers have a great secondary, which may limit the pass game.  AFC North games are always gut-wrenchers,  it’s a defensive division.

I don’t think it will be a huge loss for the Ravens.  They can throw the football pretty well.  If Rice was suspended for a reasonable amount of time, it would’ve had a deeper impact.

The Unfortunate Retirement of Sidney Rice

In 2009, nobody would’ve thought Sidney Rice would be retired at 27 in 2014. Rice had came off a Pro Bowl season, and helped Brett Farve and the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. He posted a 83-1312-8 line (REC-YRDS-TD).  Rice was a explosive player and had many 100+ yard games that year.  However, during the game, which the Vikings lost to the World Champion New Orleans Saints, Rice suffered a hip injury, and declined to have surgery in the off season.  Though during training camp, he had the surgery, and was out until November.  When Rice returned, he led the team to wins over the Bills and Eagles later in the year.  In Week 17, he suffered a concussion.  This led to more problems and eventually retirement.

Rice did not re-sign with the Vikings after the 2010-2011 season, and Rice signed with the Seahawks for 5 years, $41 million.  He did not play his first season with Seattle, being placed on IR.  Rice made a huge impact for the Seahawks in 2012, catching game winning TD’s against the Bears and Patroits.  In October of 2013, he tore his ACL, ending his season and career.

Injuries ultimately played a huge role in his retirement.  It’s a total disappointment, because there are teams needy of Wide Receivers, like New England and Carolina.  Rice said “I want to be able function and do things later down the road”.

So, what will Sidney Rice be remebered for?  His massive, back-to-back games that exceeded 150 yards and 2 TD’s.  The time he caught 3 TD’s in a playoff game for an NFL record.  Overall, Sidney Rice, got what he wanted, a ring.

sidney thanks
Picture posted on the Seahawks website


Why the Cavaliers Don’t Need Kevin Love+Rumors and Analysis

Remember when the Celtics were front runners in the Kevin Love sweepstakes? That’s came along way, hasn’t it? At this point in this rumor cyclone that has developed since this previous season’s trade deadline, the best option for the Minnesota Timberwolves is to trade Kevin Love. Minnesota knows that they are not going to be able to keep Love. If he plays with the T’Wolves this season, he will become a free agent, and walk away from the team. It’s not that complicated. Minnesota has nothing to look forward too. They are in a tough Western Conference, and Ricky Rubio is beyond horrid, who is on pace to become the worst shooter in NBA history by FG%.

Minnesota’s best option is too trade him. Reports suggest that the Cavaliers are the front runner, which is very respectable.  However, the Cavaliers don’t necessarily need Kevin Love, and here’s why:

Look, the Cavaliers have three No.1 overall picks on their team in the past 4 years.  Kyrie Irving, Anthony Bennett, and Andrew Wiggins.  Bennett hasn’t turned out as planned, yet.  Kyrie is good, really good, and is getting better.  Lebron, is Lebron.  That’s that.  Honestly, the Cavaliers took Wiggins over Jabari Parker because they thought he was ready. They thought Wiggins was better, and would make a immediate impact.

But since Lebron arrived, it’s more about what he wants. He’s kinda the GM now.  He’s the one who is going to ask for players. It’s his team.  If he wants it, they’ll get it.  Lebron wants Kevin Love. Adding Kevin Love would make the Cavs the easy favorite in the Eastern Conference.  Right now, they, in my opinion, are the best team in the East, ahead of Chicago. Yes, I did just say that. If Derrick Rose is 75% of his 2011 MVP year, the Bulls will be lucky.  You can’t expect him to be anywhere near as good as that year.  Two major knee injuries/surgeries in two consecutive years is rough.  Chicago added Pau Gasol, which is a nice piece, but I don’t think that’s the difference in a championship year, especially at his age.

Sure, the Cavs would be thrilled to add Love.  The hardest part is giving up Wiggins.  They have enough picks stashed to do it without Wiggins, though Dion Waiters would be packaged in.  But maybe it’s no deal without Wiggins for the T’Wolves.  That’s when it gets dicey.  See, if Wiggins lives up to the hype, and becomes great, and Kevin Love plays in Cleveland with Lebron and they don’t win a championship, the trade looks horrendous.  It’s a crapshoot.  You either win multiple championships with Love and Lebron, and Wiggins becomes good, but not as good as expectations, or Wiggins is great, and Lebron and Love don’t win championships.  Here’s the point, If Wiggins meets or beats expectations, Minnesota wins the trade, if Minnesota ends up with him.

The other but unlikely side to this is that the T’Wolves keep Love for the season, and he becomes a free agent.  By this, he can see what Cleveland’s results were during the season, and decide from their. However, the Cavs would have to sign him in free agency, which could create cap problems.  And that wraps up the Cavaliers side of it.

Other teams still believe they have a shot at Love too. (That sounds pretty funny, doesn’t it?)  The Golden State Warriors are fluctuating in&out on their offer, which is rumored to include David Lee, Harrison Barnes, and possibly Klay Thompson, which seems to be the X-Factor in this.  The Warriors sound like they aren’t trading Thompson, which Minnesota demands.  Golden State has the best offer out of anyone.  Minnesota really needs to look at it.  But breaking up the Splash Brothers isn’t only a dumb basketball decision, but from a marketing standpoint, well, their you go, Splash Brothers, it’s a nickname, and it’s marketable.  Love would re-sign their if traded.

Another team, mentioned earlier, are the Chicago Bulls, who have also fluctuated.  The Bulls were in serious talks before Carmelo Anthony opted out.  Then, in their pursuit of Anthony, shot down talks.  When the Bulls lost out on Melo, they re-emerged, and their offer is better than the Cavs, honestly.  The big names in their offer are Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler, plus reserves.  Kevin Love would also re-sign there. (The only place Love wouldn’t re-sign would be Boston, Denver or Minnesota, most likely).  If Love would be traded to the Bulls, they would be the easy favorite in East, yes, above the Cavs.

And weirdly enough, the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets are also in the hunt.  Though both of these seem very unlikely, Denver has a interesting offer.  They would send Aaron Afflao, Kenneth Faried, and Wilson Chandler to Minnesota for Love.  I would think Minnesota would consider it, but the Warriors offer is better.  On the Celtics, it’s not worth it.  At this point, it’s not possible.  The Celtics offer comes no where close to what other teams are offering.

So, my prediction?

Prediction: Kevin Love to the Cavaliers.

They may not need him, but if they keep Wiggins, and are able to get Love, that’s a championship team.

2014 MLB All-Star Game Preview

I love the logo. Minneapolis’s skyline is like the Emerald City (sorry Seattle), it’s a bunch of huge buildings in the middle of nowhere!

The 2014 MLB All-Star Game will take place on July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis.  Since I live in the Twin Cities, I will be in attendance.  So, why not write a preview?

The thing that’s cool about the MLB All-Star game is that it actually means something.  It’s not just a game that’s fun to go to and has the best players. Whichever league wins get home-field advantage in the World Series.  The players try. In NFL, the players don’t try, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s right before the Super Bowl. It’s no fun anymore.  And honestly, in baseball, it’s kinda hard not to try. You can notice if someones not trying, unlike in football.

Let’s start on defense, the AL outfield is stacked, with Mike Trout and Jose Bautista.  While the NL has speed, lots of speed.  Guys who are going lay it out for the ball.  The AL has the advantage, more because of arm strength, not taking anything away from Puig, because his arm is incredible.  The AL has the easy advantage at 3rd base with Josh Donaldson and I’m still confused how Aramis Ramirez got voted in. He missed 22 games!  At shortshop, well Tulo is good, but Jeter, unstoppable.  Tulo had the most NL votes, which made sense with the offensive numbers he’s put up. Moving on to 2nd base, Utley has the advantage over Cano, giving some of the plays he’s made over the past couple of years.  1st base is a tough one, really tough.  Paul Goldschmidt or Miguel Cabrera. Honestly, their’s no way you can go wrong.  You catch the ball at first place, not much else.  At catcher, Yadier Molina was supposed to start, but a injury to his thumb will have him out 8-12 weeks, in what is devastating injury for the Cardinals. In his place, Jonathan Lucroy will start. Salvador Perez (starting in place of the injured Matt Wieters) will start for the AL.

On the offensive side off things, the NL has a lot of gap hitters, who are going to get on base for power-hitters like Goldschmidt, Puig and Stanton. The AL, on the other hand, has so much power. Guys like Cruz, Trout, and Bautista can hit the ball at anytime. The AL lineup has a total of 139 HR’s compared to the NL at 127.

The lineups are listed above.

Felix Hernandez (The King!) will start on the mound for the AL. He deserves it. (11-2, 2.12 ERA, 154 SO, 144.1 innings) Go ahead and try to tell me someone else should start.  On the NL side, their was a competition. Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright have had amazing seasons.  However, Wainwright’s manager is the NL manager, so Wainwright was selected to start. His stats were incredible. (12-4, 1.83 ERA, 115 SO, 138 innings)

Overall, I like the AL roster better than the NL. I will be rooting for the NL though.  If the AL bats are swinging, that will be the difference.

Prediction– AL-6 NL-5




World Cup Roundup


John Brooks scores the game-winning goal for USMNT vs. Ghana
John Brooks scores the game-winning goal for USMNT vs. Ghana

Who would’ve thought that the World Cup would have such a deep impact for 32 days on a Nation.  Who had the USA making it out of their group?  Who had Spain and Portugal not making it out of their group?  Who had Costa Rica making it to the quarterfinals?  Not me, and probably none of you. You see, that’s what great about the World Cup. It can inspire a Nation. And it did.  Not only the hype, not the controversy surrounding riots and stadiums not being built in time, but the team.  And it wasn’t the fact that we were underdogs. It’s how we played, it’s how we won games.

Massive viewing parties at bars, arenas, downtown plazas like in Kansas City and Detroit.  And unfortunately, it came to a end to soon.  The USA lost to Belgium 2-1 in the Round of 16.  In what was a heart breaker, it still inspired a meme that included Goalkeeper Tim Howard, who recorded 16 saves in that game.  It was quite a ride, and now, the Country looks forward to next year (Yup, 2015 Women’s World Cup). I said back in May, when excitement was rising, when it was a discussion during class or PE.  Watch out, Germany is good. I had them in the Semi’s, but I didn’t expect (no one did) what they did to Brazil.  That was stunning.  It was embarrassing for Brazil, the host country, and the favorite, to go out like that, and then lose in the 3rd place match.  More on that later.  Germany was in USA’s group, and they advanced with the USA to the Knockout stage.  Going through Algeria and France in Full Time, and then destroying Brazil in the Semi’s.

I was really hoping that the Final wouldn’t go PK’s.  A game with so much at stake doesn’t deserve that, and neither do the fans. But when Mario Gotze scored the game-winning goal at the 113th minute, Argentina’s fans who came from across the Continent of South America, were shocked and disappointed.  Messi had carried the team through Switzerland and Belgium and was looking to get Argentina’s 3rd World Cup since Diego Maradona in 1986.  However, Argentina, who was preparing for penalty kicks, gave up the game-winner, in a thriller 2nd half of extra time.  Germany’s run will go down as a complete team effort, everyone contributed to their dominate performance.

When Brazil went down 3-0 to Germany at the 24th minute in the Semifinal, the boos started, Brazilians were let down by their team, who were the favorites in the beginning.  The teams star, Neymar, had been injured in the previous game and was out for the rest of the Cup.  He had addressed Brazil as a country in a TV interview, trusting his team that they would win. It didn’t seem unreasonable, but it was a challenge, with himself out and Thiago Silva suspended, Brazil’s chances slipped, and instead of a heartbreaking loss, the team collapsed, completely.

That pretty much sums it up.
That pretty much sums it up.

Brazil lost 7-1.  One of the worst defeats in history, and the worst defeat in World Cup Semifinal history, it’s not even worth talking about.

The World Cup couldn’t of been more patriotic for the USA.  The USMNT inspired the Nation, beating the odds, scoring game-winners, it couldn’t of been more fun, and hopefully, it’ll be even better in 2018.

Melo and his Money

Phil Jackson was hired by the Knicks to oversee basketball operations back in March, his main goal was to retain Carmelo Anthony.  The superstar who was almost certain to leave after a disastrous 2013-2014 season.  Melo sign a 5 year, $129 million on Saturday. This gives him and Jackson enough time to build a terrible team in to a contender.

Carmelo is taking more money to stay.  I see this as Melo getting his money, and if it doesn’t work out, he can be traded.  Melo loves and always has loved his money. Phil Jackson has the piece he needs to build a winning team.

However, this is going to take time.  They have Derek Fisher as their new coach, in a complicated triangle offense.  The Knicks do have a lot of young talent, with Tim Hardaway Jr, Cleanthony Early, and now Shane Larkin, who they acquired in a trade with Dallas.  The Knicks also received Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert and Wanye Ellington for big man Tyson Chandler.  Not only is Chandler injured a lot, but has a massive salary hit, considering his production at $13 million.  Its a nice amount of assets for the Knicks.

Remember, Melo had other options. We waited a long time for his announcement. The Knicks got worried that Melo was leaving for the Bulls or Lakers. It came down to those teams. Melo attracted criticism after touring the country and visiting teams.  The Rockets were eliminated pretty early for what they presented, including a controversial picture of Melo in a Rockets uniform, with Jeremry Lin’s No.7 jersey on and well, it didn’t matter. He’s out of there.

See, I thought the Rockets and Bulls were going to have great off seasons. I thought both of them had great shots at Melo, although, sometimes, it comes down to how much you paid others.  Money was the issue in Chicago. He would of made a little more than half of what he’s going to make in New York.  In Houston, the real problem, in my opinion, was shots.  See, that’s what happens when you have to many superstars on one team, people get unhappy because they don’t see the ball. We saw this with the Lakers in 2012-2013.

Overall, Melo’s best fit was in Chicago, but money was the down side to that. Staying with the Knicks is better than going to the Lakers. It also sounds like LaLa, his wife, was very insistent on staying in New York. It’s not on her, but it sounds like that was part of it. If Melo never wins a championship, this will be the decision that people point to, but, I think it will work out.


Miami’s Redux



After Lebron James left the Miami Heat for the Cavaliers, Chris Bosh, one of the now past Big 3 members, was expected to go to the Houston Rockets, and join Dwight Howard and James Harden, in what would of became a monster team. Bosh was offered a 4 year, $88 million contract by the Rockets. Houston had traded Jeremy Lin to the Lakers on July 11 in order clear cap space for Bosh. Houston was waiting, like everyone else, for Bosh to sign with them. They had all the specs, and just had to make it official.

Miami, on the other hand, knew that if Lebron left, Bosh would go to Houston. However, Miami didn’t expect Lebron to leave. They felt confident that they had him secured, and that the Big 3 would be together for at least this season.

But when the Heat offered Chris Bosh a 5 year, $118 million in the midst of the media frenzy that took place after Lebron’s second decision, Bosh re-considered, and took the extra money. I feel like Bosh made the wrong decision, because going to Houston would make them a top three team in the Western Conference, and gave him a better chance at another ring. In Miami, it will be Bosh’s team now. He is in his prime, unlike Dwayne Wade, and will be playing with a manifesto of young, un-proven players, and good, but not great, starters who were payed for what they’ve accomplished in the past, or were the face of a franchise and were simply out-played by others. It’s called the Alex Smith Syndrome.

The Heat have also added Luol Deng, a player who is supposed to fill Lebron’s void…. Not sure where that came from.  Deng is a defensive guy who can also score, which is what the Heat are looking for.  But replacing Lebron? Good luck.  As mentioned up top, the Heat added Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger.  I’m still shocked they got Granger at that price (2 yr/$4.2 million). McRoberts made a name for himself last year with the Hornets (Hey, I got it right!), averaging 11.5 PPG and 6.5 REB in the playoffs.  They also locked up Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen (The Birdman!).

Miami is re-tooling, and expect them to be good next year.  In my opinion, the East has gotten better, not worse. I can’t believe it, I’ve heard people say the East has gotten worse so far through free agency, instead of it being wide open. Nope.  My main example is Cleveland. That’s a non-playoff team last year, and now their going to be contending for the  Eastern Conference this year.

No, the Heat are probably not going to Finals, but they have good 2nd and 3rd tier guys along with Wade and Bosh who will make a impact.  A touch on Wade’s contact, I really believe Miami is being nice to him since Lebron left. If Wade went to a different team, especially a contender, their is no way he makes more than $10 million.

The Return of the King

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed Friday morning, watching The Herd on ESPNU, when I saw the Sports Illustrated tweet, “The King is coming home”. At that moment, Colin Cowherd, broke the news, and read the tweet I just saw. The coincidence was incredible.  I had told my Dad the night before, “As much as I want to be right with my Lebron prediction (I had him back to the Heat) “I want him to go back to Cleveland”. “It would be a great and emotional story”.

The way Lebron left the Cavaliers in 2010 was wrong and heartbreaking for the City of Cleveland.  He had been born 40 miles south of town and was the cities’s hero for eight years.  He left for winning. He wanted a championship and he knew that was not possible in Cleveland at the time.  He did, he won two in Miami with the Big 3.  He went to the Finals four straight years with Miami. He had a experience that he never had with the Cavaliers. He won a championships.

He had a choice to return to Miami with Wade and Bosh.  His agent met with other teams. He had all the power. Lebron held every free agent to a standstill. The whole league waited on his decision. Free agents held off until he decided.

And now, on July 11, 2014, Lebron is coming home.  He will join Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, Dion Waiters, and a new, amazing coach in David Blatt.  Kevin Love could be joining the squad, but lets not get to ahead.  The story is incredible.  Cleveland has alot to look foward to.  In March, the sports scene was terrible. The Cavs had won 33 games. The Browns learned about Josh Gordon’s possible suspension.  A city that hasn’t won a championship in 50 years, now has hope.  Cleveland deserves this.

The Race for the NL West

Coming into the 2014 season, many people looked at the NL west as the best division in baseball.  A division where last year, every team held the lead at a point in time.  The Dodgers ended up winning the division after going on a 40-8 streak.  Catching the league by storm, with the flash of Yasiel Puig, they were the favorites in 2014.  As of July 6, 2014 the Dodgers are a half of a game ahead of the San Francisco Giants. The Giants, who led the NL West, and who were the reigning World Series Champions, fell apart, like everyone else except the Dodgers in the division in 2013.  They signed Michael Morse, and locked up Ryan Vogelsong after the disappointing collapse.  They added Tim Hudson, the 38 year old pitcher who had came off a broken ankle. Hudson, who as of June 6, has a 2.53 ERA with a record of 7-5, has blown all of the critics and writers who doubted the signing.  The Giants sit in 2nd place in the NL West.  Both teams have excellent pitching, with Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum throwing no-hitters in the past month.  Both teams can score quickly, with the hitting of Adrian Gonzalez, the powerful when healthy Carl Crawford, and the flash of Yasiel Puig for the Dodgers.  With the Giants, the streaky Pablo Sandoval, the clutch Hunter Pence, and the star power of Buster Posey put together a talented group of hitters.  The Giants have had injury problems, with Brandon Belt, who got off to a fascinating start, and who has also returned as of July 2, and Marco Scutaro.  If the Giants stay healthy, they will hang with the Dodgers, in what will become a great race.

The other three teams in the NL West, the Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Padres have fluked, stumbled, and hit rock bottom in some cases.  The Rockies, who were playing incredible baseball in May and early June, have slowed down, falling 13 games back from first.  The Padres and Diamondbacks, the worst of the worst in the division, are fumbling towards the end of the season. The Diamondbacks were projected to contend for the division.  They lost Patrick Corbin, their ace, to Tommy John Surgery.  David Hernandez also had the surgery. They traded Ian Kennedy to Padres at last year’s trade deadline.  On offense, Paul Goldschmidt has had a very good year, although he is batting .298.  Mark Trumbo, the offseason addition, was bombing home runs before suffering a stress fracture in his foot.  The Diamondbacks just can’t put it together.  However, the Diamondbacks made a surprise move in May, by hiring Tony LaRussa as chief of baseball operations.  I was a little perplexed by the move, wondering what changes he is going to imply to the team.  Overall, the Diamondbacks are ailing because of their inability to win close games, and the injuries to their pitching staff. The Padres (oh, the Padres) are just to painful to talk about.  The terrible offense, the switching of GM’s, it’s just unbearable.

Once we hit the All-Star break, we should have a good guess which team will be pulling ahead. If the Giants continue to slump, the Dodgers will take advantage.  Also, don’t expect any selling from either team at trade deadline.  Both teams would look to buy. Whatever team finishes 2nd, will surely receive a Wild Card.  The NL West may not be as good as projected, but be prepared for a September division battle.