Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Mock Draft: Round 1

After countless requests from my cult following (my form of jersey popping) I have decided to deliver the much anticipated and highly credible COMPLETE 1st Round NFL MOCK DRAFT:

1. Miami Dolphins: Jake Long, T Michigan With the Dolphins announcing that Long has agreed in principle to an offer, he'll join the likes of Hall of Famer Ron Yary, and future Hall of Famer Orlando Pace as the only offensive lineman to be the top pick. If you determine Ronnie Brown is enough backfield and John Beck is enough QB, then why not protect them?

2. St. Louis Rams: Chris Long, DE Virginia The Rams need a pass rusher way more than they need a defensive tackle (Dorsey) and in many scouts mind Chris Long is the best defensive prospect in the entire draft.

3. Atlanta Falcons: Glenn Dorsey, DE Louisiana State Blank & Co. need a little bit of everything and with Dorsey you get alot of one great thing. It's a start, they have some work to do. The second round will have a quarterback for them, none as good as Matt Ryan.

4. Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden, RB Arkansas The prospect of having the most explosive player in the draft right in your hand is way to much for Al Davis to give up. Kiffin probably doesn't want another rusher but this is Oakland and only the guy in the white jumpsuit has any say.

5. Baltimore Ravens: (from Kansas City Chiefs) Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College Your first blockbuster of the day is delivered by the Chiefs to the Ravens, subject to the Ravens not giving up too much along with their eighth pick overall this should happen. You all know how I feel about Matt Ryan and John Harbaugh feels the same way. Those who think this wasn't necessary, the Patriots are at #7 and Carolina is looming at #13. I can hear the deal rumbling from Foxboro.

6. New York Jets: Vernon Gholston, DE Ohio St. The gift has landed in the lap of Jets fans and thank god because right after the cross town rivals win the Super Bowl they needed something. The Buckeye pass rusher will instantly be a hit in New York improving a weak defense, not to mention getting him before the Patriots do.

7. New England Patriots: Branden Albert, G/OT Virginia I've become more and more convinced that New England may be forced to actually use this pick. After the blockbuster Chiefs/Ravens deal New England won't be holding anything more than the seventh pick, to early to draft a corner and they don't use rookie linebackers. New England lost the Super Bowl because their offensive line got outplayed, Albert can play both offensive line positions and will eventually replace Matt Light, it's a good pick.

8. Kansas City Chiefs: (from the Baltimore Ravens) Ryan Clady, OT Boise St. Clady is a very good offensive tackle and the second best available in the draft. Selecting him anchors an offensive line in need of help since the retirement of future Hall of Famer, Willie Roaf. After months of draft rumours the Clady talk hasn't died down, the Chiefs and Ravens did each other a great favor.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Sedrick Ellis, DT USC Remember how I said that the Jets needed to improve their defense? Well the Bengals defense is worse, Ellis was a two-time All Ameican at USC and in his senior campaign absolutely crushed offenses to the tune of 58 tackles and 8 sacks. The California native is under 300 pounds and can move better than any nose in the draft. Great effective choice for the Bengals. (once they agree to move Ocho Cinco, they'll have more picks to work with)

10. New Orleans Saints: Keith Rivers, LB USC Why not? Rivers is the latest of USC linebackers to wear #55, following the likes of Junior Seau and Willie McGinest, that's good company. Rivers is BY FAR the best linebacker in the draft and the Saints clearly aren't going for a DB in 2008, reunited with his former USC teammate Reggie Bush the top rated LB stays in the top ten.

11. Buffalo Bills: Derrick Harvey, DE Florida Plenty of corners on the board but the Bills are the last team in the AFC East to pick, they have to go impact, Harvey is certainly impact. The 6'4 defensive end ran the 40 in 4.75 which shows his speed off the edge, enough speed to beat Patriots tackle Matt Light. If Brady can't get the ball off, who cares how bad Randy beat your DB's.

12. Denver Broncos Malcolm Kelly, WR Oklahoma Where I think that this may be a bit of a stretch the 6'4 Kelly has been an outstanding receiver for the Sooners since 2005 and the Broncos certainly have offensive issues, give Cutler better protection and more weapons then make the decision on how good he really is.

13. Carolina Panthers: Chris Williams, OT Vanderbilt It is safe to say that Carolina will probably end up in the 5-10 area of the draft in 2009 so they address their need of a perfect fit zone blocker in the quick tackle Chris Williams from Vandy in 08'.

14. Chicago Bears: Jeff Otah, OT Pittsburgh Definitely could see the Bears improve their backfield with the 14th pick (Mendenhall or Stewart are options) Otah is a much safer bet and can instantly improve the Bear offense which needs significant line help.

15. Detroit Lions: Phillip Merling, DE Clemson Being a Boston College fan I've seen Merling compete in the ACC and he is legit. A major part of the Lions collapse last year was due to their inability to put pressure on the quarterback. Lions would have loved to get a DE like Harvey from Florida but they coudln't move further up, Merling fits.

16. Arizona Cardinals: Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois No, I'm not going to tell you he is 1B to Darren McFadden because that is just rediculous but with the Cardinals ranking in the bottom five of the NFL in rushing yards last year they need to take Mendenhall. Leinart w/ a backfield then we can determine what he really is.

(Before we get to pick 17, I'll let you know that I know I haven't drafted a single corner yet and there is a reason behind that. I'm a firm believer that everyone of these teams knows after watching the Super Bowl & the playoffs that games are won in the trenches and this draft has alot of trench guys, quality trench guys)

17. Minnesota Vikings: Brian Brohm, QB Louisville Tarvaris Jackson? That is who you are planning on living and dying by? Vikings take Brohm and sit him for the first few weeks then let him play. Brohm can move better than both Flacco & Henne, significantly, and is more accurate than both of them. Five months ago we were still debating wether Brohm or Ryan was the top selection. Minnesota has a great offensive line and excellent backfield, the lifespan on that isn't real long just ask the folks in Seattle.

18. Houston Texans: Mike Jenkins, CB South Florida Playing against Peyton Manning twice a year is brutal enough and Jenkins could help. Along with former number 1 overall, Mario Williams and breakout LB DeMeco Ryans, Jenkins could anchor the Texans secondary for years to come, I'd say that is a pretty good nucleus. He's the best corner in the draft and has played against stronger competition than McKelvin & Rodgers-Cromartie.

19. Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Thomas, WR Michigan State Get McNabb some help if the clock hasn't already struck midnight for the McNabb/Reid show then it's approaching and fast. Thomas is a big wide receiver who had a good bowl game against Boston College, no quality offensive lineman worthy of this pick so the Eagles get the next best help, a receiver.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DeSean Jackson, WR California Once considered a top ten selection Jackson will be a much needed boost of youth for this cor that includes 32 year old Ike Hilliard & 37 year old Joey Galloway. Jackson also pays for himself on the return game which could use some help in Tampa.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: (from the Washington Redskins) Jonathan Stewart, RB Oregon Here is my 2nd Blockbuster of the day, with Stewart still available and Washington in need of a big wide receiver i.e. Chad Johnson, the Bengals agree in terms to a deal that sends the pro bowl wideout to Washington in exchange for the 21st pick overall and a King's ransom. Limas Sweed, WR Texas is still on the board and is very big but Snyder goes for name, not potential. Stewart would win this job in training camp and Rudy Johnson would become well he's already become useless.

22. Dallas Cowboys: Leodis McKelvin, CB Troy State Only one team that picks ahead of their next pick at 28 needs a wideout, Tennessee, James Hardy from Indiana and Limas Sweed are still available but Jones wants a top flight corner and McKelvin is that guy. Banking on the Titans taking one of the two then Jones will go for what is remaining, if both are gone expect the running back, Felix Jones from Arkansas.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Gosder Cherilus, OT Boston College Despite Big Ben wanting taller wideouts the bigger offensive concern is on the line. Losing Alan Faneca in free agency was a huge blow for the Steelers and what better than to replace him with a Boston College rookie OT; Like USC quarterbacks, BC linemen are always a good choice.

24. Tennessee Titans: Limas Sweed, WR Texas Vince Young to Limas Sweed, that looks pretty damn good to me. Finally Vince Young gets a tool to work with on the offense, added bonus the kid is from Texas. The 6'4" Longhorn may not even be available at this point but if he is there isn't any chance the Titans pass on him.

25. Seattle Seahawks: James Hardy, WR Indiana Hardy is one of the top four receivers in the draft and gives Seattle another offensive weapon, adding Duckett & Jones in the off season they are staying away from running backs and Hardy will be a welcome addition to an offense which needed improvement.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quentin Groves, DE Auburn Groves is ranked as high as the 3rd best defensive end in the draft and would be a great selection for the Jags. My preseason pick to make it to the AFC championship, Jacksonville was looking to strike it big in the first round but would be satisfied with Groves at this point.

27. Green Bay Packers: (from San Diego Chargers) Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB Tennessee State May be a reach for Green Bay to jump ahead of Dallas and San Francisco to make the selection neither of them are making but with Rodgers-Cromartie dropping, the second round is looming and teams are trying to move up to draft the corner. San Diego really isn't interested in paying first round dollars for a guy they could get in the second round but will have to; See pick 30. Cromartie

28. Dallas Cowboys: Felix Jones, RB Arkansas He won't be there when Dallas selects in the second round and give Jerry some credit he'll have had a very good first round when the day is over. Felix can give Marion a blow this year and allow Cowboy fans not to rid themselves of their Julius Jones gear. The Razorback Alum is to enticing for Jerry to pass up on. Felix played B to McFadden in college and will have no problem doing the same for the bruising Marion Barber.

29. San Francisco 49ers: Kentwan Balmer, DT North Carolina The 49ers need to address their run defense and defense as a whole. Ranking in the lower half of the NFL in both pass and rush defenses, Balmer should provide pressure and with Patrick Willis the 49ers could be building a solid very young solid defense.

30. San Diego Chargers: (from Green Bay Packers) Anthony Collins, OT Kansas adding a second tier offensive tackle to the mix is good enough for the 30th pick overall. Collins is a quality tackle and there isn't any takers to trade back into the first round so the Chargers will have to deal with it.

31. New York Giants: Kenny Phillips, S University of Miami Remember how much I love BC lineman, well Miami DB's Ed Reed and the late Sean Taylor have a new member of their club, Kenny Phillips. Phillips is a playmaking free safety with great skill, my opinion is that Phillips is the best safety in this years draft and best overall DB. The Giants are getting a player at 31.

Live the Draft, Love the Draft . . .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

No Love, For Kevin Love

Absolutely foolish, that is what I call UCLA center Kevin Love's decision to go pro. My first question is this, who is assisting him in his decision making and when did Pacman Jones fire that person? No matter Love's impact in Westwood this past season he isn't built for the NBA at all. I'm not sure on his financial situation but I can't imagine his stock NOT rising if he had stayed in college another year or two, maybe even get him in the top 5 as oppose to the range of 10-20 in the 08' draft. His monster game against Western Kentucky (29 points, 14 boards) in the tournament doesn't exactly impress me, especially when playing against an NBA style defense in Memphis he was held to 12 points and 4 of 11 from the field. As far as the argument "He was the conference player of the year" goes, it was the Pac-10 give me a break, Washington State was destroyed by Carolina, Stanford was throttled by Texas, and his Bruins got handled by Memphis to the tune of a 15 point loss in the Final Four. The most impressive thing Love did in the tournament was hit a full court shot in warm-ups, I think I saw Lucky the Celtics mascot do that the other night. Love just isn't as athletic or physical as NBA style centers and in the NBA his size turns him into a power forward. Athletic rookie center Al Horford weighs 245lbs. and can run the floor, Kevin Love weighs 271 pounds and is the same height as Horford. Don't get me wrong I think that Kevin Love is an excellent college basketball player but he should have stayed in college and needs to get in better shape before the NBA draft. Durant, Oden, Beasley, Rose, even Kansas State's other freshman stud Bill Walker were and are more pro-ready than Kevin Love. Kevin be cool, should've stayed in school.

( If you don't know the picture on the right side is of Kevin Love getting posterized by Memphis guard Chris Douglas-Roberts )

May I remind you . .

My brother and best critic of LynchyRightNow.Com recently commented on my columns being to 'bias' toward the east coast and specifically Boston sports. My response was this, CAN YOU BLAME ME? Three months ago the sports world was focused on New England; The Red Sox coming off a second World Championship since 2003, the Boston Celtics were running roughshod over the NBA and the New England Patriots were approaching the greatest season in NFL history, ahhh wasn't it good to live in the epicenter. Then came the Super Bowl, the Pats coughed up a shot at history, pitchers and catchers hadn't began to report, and the dog days of the NBA were ahead of us, the media adjusted and moved out of Beantown. Well I'll say it, WELCOME BACK!

This time there is a new component to the domination of professional sports in Boston, the black & gold of the Boston Bruins. Yes, I know you forgot that they played professional hockey in Boston but they do and pretty well I might add. Now that the Bruins have received coronation from ESPN's only remaining NHL analyst, Barry Melrose, it is official I will be upset if the Bruins lose game seven of their first round playoff series against the Canadians. While were talking about Melrose, he's got the best job on the planet, Barry could completely make up the things he says and his employer wouldn't know the difference or care for that matter. I'm going to utter something I never thought I would, ESPN should reconsider allowing playoff hockey on the world wide leader and if they don't go for that at least let Melrose announce a first round NIT game or something:

"I don't know what this here sport is called EH but they are shooting an object into a net EH so I'm getting into it, EH"

Back to the B's, not only have I been following this entire series but I'm impressed at a number of things here; the Bruins & Canadians fans are absolutely out of control and I love every minute of it, the Bruins head coach, Claude Julien, looks eerily similar to former pro wrestling legend George "The Animal" Steel, and there isn't a player in any sport who looks scarier than Bruins defensemen Zdeno Chara, the man is 6'9 and on skates is 12 feet tall. I'm getting alot out of this playoff series (besides the fact that I need to get something called NESN plus, this way I can watch both Sox and Bruins game when their start times cross path) normally I would be writing like a blockhead about how I love fights, can't see the puck, and have no idea why the whistle is ever blown but now I'm writing about how netminder Tim Thomas isn't just from the same town (Flint, MI) as Michigan State legend Mateen Cleaves but has kept the Bruins in the series especially when he allowed just 1 goal in game 5. It took Claude Julien 3 games to play Bruins young center Phil Kessel but since Kessel has come to play with 3 goals and an assist and in my novice mind will be the guy who decides the series. If you haven't been watching playoff hockey since . . ever, then you should start and I'll finish this with three specific reasons:

1. If you love college sports because of the fans and the atmosphere then hockey is for you. Not only are the fans nuts and to put it bluntly, crazy, but they actually play a role in letting everyone at home know when a goal is scored or a puck is saved, without them you'd spend half the game confused.

2. If you loved the Golden State Warriors knocking off the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA playoffs in 2007 then this Bruins v. Habs series is for you. The Boston Bruins may be one of the most storied franchises in professional hockey but in 2008 they are the eighth seed on the verge of knocking off the top seed on the road.

3. The NHL eastern conference playoffs doesn't include Mickey Mouse. Franchises like the Hurricanes, Lighting, Thrashers, and Panthers are at home watching the quest for the cup while the Flyers, Rangers, Capitals, Bruins, and Canadiens will see who takes home Lord Stanley.

Game 7 Bruins @ Montreal 7:00p.m. Eastern Standard (Not to worry, It's marathon monday so the Sox will have already wrapped up)

. . . . Call me bias, the Celtics are the favorites to win the NBA Title, the Red Sox wrapped up the Indians this week and took 3 of the first 5 from the Yankees, the Patriots are prepared to draft in the top 10 a season after they went to the Super Bowl, the Boston College Eagles just won the NCAA Hockey National Championship, it isn't a bias it is just WHAT IT IS.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The smoke isn't clearing . .

As the 2008 NFL Draft is approaching the top 5 picks are becoming a more difficult read than the bible. The Dolphins are talking contracts with Jake Long, Michigan's monster left tackle, future superstar Darren McFadden is getting more hype than ever, and once again the New England Patriots hold the best position in the first round. A tad hungover from that Yankees/Sox battle in the Bronx last night; I'm going to attempt to put together a comprehensive top 5 selections for the fans.

1. Miami Dolphins Is it that hard to imagine Bill Parcells throwing up smokescreens by talking contracts with Jake Long and Ohio St. defensive end Vernon Gholston? The Tuna is the same guy who traded his #1 overall pick with the Jets in 1997 to the Rams, who used the pick to draft perennial all-pro, Orlando Pace (also a standout, Big-10 offensive tackle) Could you honestly see Parcells taking Jake Long with the top pick? Of course not. Remember just months ago when it was said that the Tuna was headed to Atlanta then just days later he is in Miami being introduced as the team president. Bill is all about leverage, just like he leveraged the Patriots to get major dollars from the Jets, just like he leveraged Arthur Blank to get paid by Wayne Heizinger, finally just like he is leveraging Jake Long and Vernon Gholston to get Chris Long to lower his price. Virginia DE Chris Long is the top pick to the Miami Dolphins.

2. St. Louis Rams What team would CLEARLY buy that Vernon Gholston was at one point actually considered for the #1 pick by the fish? The St. Louis Rams of course. The Rams drafted Adam Carriker in 2007 and now have the chance to draft an equally impressive defensive player in 2008, enter Vernon Gholston who fits the 3-4 defense, and would immediately impact that soft Rams defense. To the Glenn Dorsey whispers, he isn't a nose tackle and each of the last two seasons has had injury problems, YOUR DRAFTING SECOND OVERALL not 23rd, this pick could be a disaster if your selection sits out 8 games with turf toe. Gholston is safe and would be a good edition to the Haslett defense. Ohio State DE, Vernon Gholston #2 to the St. Louis.

3. Atlanta Falcons Let me sound off on Arthur Blank for a second, If Matt Ryan hasn't heard from you about a contract by April 25th, I got Mike Vick calling collect from Leavenworth. The worst decision Matt Ryan ever made was throwing into double coverage, I'd say that is a remarkable upgrade from your last franchise quarterback. Here is your opportunity to really bring respect to the franchise and your going to draft either offensive tackle Jake Long or defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey? Ryan may not be Peyton Manning but hasn't he proved that he can produce with little to no talent around him once? Ryan would have his work cut out for him in Atlanta but in my mind he shouldn't slip past the Falcons and if he does GOOD because I'd love to see him on a team with more talent. I'd take Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan with the 3rd pick but something tells me Mr. Blank has other ideas; To afraid to make a mistake Atlanta selects Michigan OT, Jake Long at 3.

4. Oakland Raiders before the commissioner can even get "With the . " out of his mouth, Oakland has already turned in their pick and Darren McFadden is hugging his family. Do I think that Oakland has better options at 4? Of course I do, do I think if they played their cards right they could have enticed say Baltimore to trade ahead of Kansas City to grab Matt Ryan, maybe. The Raiders do what the Raiders do best, make you scratch your head. With McFadden being the most talented player in the draft it is hard to say that he isn't a good selection here. Jets fans grab the tissue box; Oakland makes Arkansas RB, Darren McFadden the #4 pick

5. Kansas City Chiefs Maybe Herm Edwards is a genius and is attempting to throw EVERYONE off track at pick number 5. The only head coach or general manager to come out and gush about BC quarterback Matt Ryan was Herm, he even went so far as to attend the quarterbacks pro day on Chestnut Hill. The Chiefs clearly need help on their offensive line and from jump street experts talked about names like Jake Long and Boise State's Ryan Clady. On April 19th a week away from the draft the likes of Glenn Dorsey & USC DT Sedrick Ellis are being rumoured about. So who the hell are the Chiefs going to pick? Call me crazy but several things haven't been said that need to be: Really, Brodie Croyle? Brodie Croyle is the guy your entrusting your team with? I'm not as sold on Croyle as ummm anyone is. Aren't the Cheifs the same team that selected Larry Johnson coming off a great career at Penn State when Priest Holmes had just ran for 1,600 yards and 21 touchdowns? It may have been a smokescreen in December but when your head coach and general manager show up at pro day in MARCH none the less, to watch the ONE player that everyone is there to see something is definitely up. Believe it or not, the Kansas City Chiefs select Matt Ryan, quarterback Boston College.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

3-Horse Race

We're talking NBA MVP, and for starters the Cleveland Cavaliers have the 4Th best record in the Eastern Conference, hush the Lebron for MVP talk. This is a 3-Horse race, hence the title; Bean Bryant, KG, and CP3 are the likely suspects and I'm here to break it down for you.

It is currently the single greatest turnaround in NBA history, the 07' Celtics finished 24-58 and were openly placing all their eggs in the Greg Oden basket (that worked out well), yet the 08' Celtics would return to glory finishing 66-16 and with the NBA's best record. The reason why could be summed in two words; Kevin Garnett. I'll freely admit the additions of MORE than serviceable bench players, perennial all-star Ray Allen, and the emergence of guard Rajon Rondo all contributed to the miraculous turnaround. Those players were all great but don't result in a 42 additional wins, including straight slapping the Western Conference around to the tune of 25-5. Kevin Garnett's 9 boards a night and 20 points don't seem like MVP numbers, then again no other MVP candidate is playing with future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce & most likely the greatest shooter of the last 15 years, Ray Allen. The Big Ticket has brought basketball back to Boston, one of the top media markets in the country, and THE BEST yes I said it THE BEST franchise in league history. Let us not forget this may not have happened had Garnett still felt the way it was said he felt about Boston; Garnett didn't appreciate the stereotype that Boston didn't respect it's athletes of color, that is a hard thing for any man to swallow and Garnett did so, to win. The Celtics are the top team in the Eastern Conference and in my mind the #1 team in the NBA, not just because they play in Boston but because they are the most consistent team in the NBA, night in night out. Garnett is the court general and the intensity that he brings has rubbed off on everyone from Rajon Rondo to Leon Powe, what other player has made an impact on his team more than Kevin Garnett?

Hornets super guard, Chris Paul, otherwise known as CP3. Anyone who knows ANYTHING about the NBA knows that Chris Paul is the best guard in the best league in the WORLD. In a stretch of 3 years Chris Paul has gone from quality rookie point guard into MVP candidate a.k.a. Steve Nash can't hold his jock. Paul has led the Hornets from Nawlins' to the #2 playoff seed in the Western Conference with the likes of Jannero Pargo and David West, who are they? Exactly. Paul has gone an entire season averaging 11 assists a game to go along with his 21 points. Aren't impressed yet? More then ten games which Paul had over 15 assists (3; 20+ assists per game contests) It isn't like Paul is doing this against average teams, last month in a victory over L.A. the Hornet guard had 17 assists and 27 points, against the Spurs he had 17 assists and 26 points, and finally against Steve Nash and the Suns, never mind the 17 point victory Paul scored 25 points in the game and dropped 15 assists. Extending the careers of both Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic, Chris Paul has contributed in large part to the double-double of Chandler and 17 points a night from the former Sacramento King. Need some more, Ok. Chris Paul leads the NBA in steals per game and assists per game all while averaging 21+ per night. While the Suns added Shaq, the Mavericks added Kidd, and the Lakers added Pau, the Hornets added the likes of BONZI WELLS and STILL they are have the second best record in the Western Conference and the second best record WITHIN the Western Conference. Say what you will about Lebron, but he does it in the East.

Bean Bryant, after all the sniffles were dried up from last summer Kobe decided to play with what he had. The likes of Ronny Turiaf, Lamar Odom, Jordan Farmer, and of course Andrew Bynum, how do I rip him I'd cry to if that was my support. The seven footer Bynum hadn't averaged more than 8 points and 5 boards a game in his previous two seasons, the Chicago Bulls wanted to keep Luol Deng instead of trade for perhaps the best player on the planet (that one worked out well Chicago) and the Boston Celtics had just traded their entire roster to give Paul Pierce a shot at the title. Meanwhile the Los Angeles Lakers signed free agent Derek Fisher and were banking on great things from Kwame Brown (When Michael Jordan gets the best player in a deal, you know your getting screwed), sounds fair enough to Kobe right? Then came old friend Jerry West who decided all he wanted in return for all-star seven footer Pau Gasol was a bag of donuts, two seats in the Viper Room, and Kwame Brown. Enter; The best combination in the Western Conference - Pau & Kobe. Seven letters in their first names combined and a #1 seed in the playoffs sounds like a fair deal to me. You know the drill, Kobe goes for 25-30 a night and decides passing the ball isn't such a bad idea except this time it's to Pau Gasol and not Luke Walton (Please if you think he has anything to do with the Lakers your nuts) avoids injuries and lead the Lakers back from the depths. You weren't going to give Kobe the MVP when he was scoring 40 a night; You didn't want him winning the MVP when he was on trial for sexual assault; and when you finally were going to use the excuse that Lebron is the MVP he promptly carried the Cavs to a 4th seed in the east (kind of like winning a bronze when 4 people are in the contest) When it comes down to voting for Kobe just remind yourself this: How much of the MVP is based on career accomplishments?

After all that wouldn't you like to know who I'm voting for? That question was rhetorical. I throw my hat into the ring of . . . . CP3. Chris Paul deserves the MVP. The Hornets won the #2 seed without adding much at the deadline, they didn't receive gift wrapped superstars from the Timber wolves & Grizzlies just like the Celtics & Lakers did, and they are doing it with one of the worst run franchises in professional sport. Chris Paul is the New Orleans Hornets and he IS the 2007-2008 NBA MVP.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

MLB PREVIEW: Part 2 the predictions

I couldn't fit the whole baseball preview into one part, the result: Part Deuce. I have had alot of response to my theory that the Mets and Tigers will miss the playoffs, after the Tigers explosive start (1-8) people are starting to buy it. If the Tigers are out, who's in?

American League

The Cleveland Indians remember the Indians? The same Indians that came within a game away from the World Series last year and return much of the same lineup and pitching staff. About that pitching staff; C.C. Sabathia who MAY not end up in a Yankee uniform next year (see the re-signing of Fausto Carmona) and the afformentioned Fausto Carmona lead one of the most dominating rotations in major league baseball. Hitting wins 95 games, Pitching wins bling.

The Seattle Mariners you've gotta go out on a limb sometimes and with this pick I'm limbing it. If you read part 1, I highlighted how I believe this is the year Felix Hernandez jumps into the Beckett/Sabathia/Verlander league. Along with Hernandez, new Seattle lefty Eric Bedard who finished 13-5 in 2007 with the Orioles is a welcome addition and should give Seattle one of the top 3 1-2 punches in the American League. (I expect Seattle to add another bat to their lineup before they make a playoff push)

I'm about to shock you here . . The Boston Red Sox. Seriously though, I think the Red Sox could be shakey until June or July after the extended Japan road trip. With Mike Lowell recently hitting the DL and Josh Beckett's back issues the Red Sox are a little banged up but expect Sean Casey and newcomer Jed Lowrie to make an impact in Lowell's absense. Bottom line on the Red Sox is they have youth mixed with veterans and a solid rotation. (Since were talking AL East I must say it . . the Blue Jays do exist)

American League Wild Card is awarded to the New York Yankees along with the general public I hate the Yanks, but how many years are we going to say the Wild Card is going to another division and it doesn't? The Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy era isn't off to the best start but the Yanks still do one thing better than most teams, score runs. I don't think that Girardi will lead these guys to a pennant or even a playoff series win, but I do think he can manage a team well enough to get them in the playoffs. Sh*t he's got enough talent to do it.

National League

Phillies fans are lining up along the tops of buildings in Philadelphia, after getting robbed in last nights Mets game the Phantics (No, I didn't mispell it) are all fired up. I don't like this Mets team and am very aware that you know that, I give the division to the fighting Phillies. Jimmy Rollins is that kind of player and this team has quality starting pitching, they don't rely on 35 year old starters past their prime; see the Mets and Pedro Martinez.

Central goes to THE BREW CREW, after caughing up the division to the Cubs last year the Brewers are back (even with Eric Gagne as the closer) You know about the usual suspects, Prince Fielder, phenom Ryan Braun, and of course ace of the staff Ben Sheets. Former American League journeyman, David Riske will do what every failed relief pitcher does from Boston, go lights out; and Craig Counsell, Bill Hall, and Rickie Weeks provide additional offense for the crew. HOW CAN I NOT PICK THE CREW THEY ADDED FORMER MINOR LEAGUE MANAGER GABE KAPLER to the roster? Game is hitting .389with 2 homers in his last 10 games, WHOSE IMPRESSED?

Sorry Joe (Torre) the Dodgers won't win the National League West, that my will go to my FAVORITE national league team, THE ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS Brandon Webb, the best pitcher in the national league in 07' will go for his 3rd win this month and we aren't even half way through tonight, Dan Haren the offseason acquisition is off to a good start, and of course everyones angry pitcher Randy Johnson set to have a great season as the 3rd starter in a great staff. I don't even care if they get outscored again their pitching is dominating.

The Wild Card Winners go to Joe Torre and the L.A. Dodgers, a staff that includes the bulldog Brad Penny, the ageless Chan Ho Park, and my favorite Derek Lowe. The offensive power in the Dodger lineup comes from Russell Martin and Rafael Furcal who are surrounded by veterans Jeff Kent, Andruw (wow has he gone down) Jones and future standout Matt Kemp. I like the Torre factor what can I say? What the Dodgers can get out of Broxton and Billingsly alike will determine how far they go. I wouldn't be shocked if the Cubs had something to do say about the Wild Card, they have a ton of talent.

Lemme' Break it down . .

Divisonal Series
Red Sox v. Seattle
Cleveland v. Yankees
Diamondbacks v. Phillies
Brewers v. Dodgers

League Championship Series
Cleveland v. Red Sox
Diamondbacks v. Dodgers

World Series
Diamondbacks v. Cleveland

World Series Champions
Arizona Diamondbacks (shaking it up baby)

MLB Annual Awards:

National League MVP Jimmy Rollins
National League Cy Young Brandon Webb
National League Manager of the Year Joe Torre
National League ROY Kosuke Fukudome

American League MVP Alex Rodriguez
American League Cy Young C.C. Sabathia
American League Manager of the Year Eric Wedge
American League ROY Jacoby Ellsbury

PLAY BALL . . . . two weeks late

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

March Madness: Day 10; O-V-E-R

I was at opening day in Boston yesterday so I apologize for this being a day late. So the NCAA tournament is over and WHAT a tournament it was, we had a Cinderella playing for the Final Four, game winning 3's (See Western Kentucky v. Drake), and finally a National Championship game worth every cent. I'm throwing every bit of negativity out the window for this blog, I won't rip Coach Cal for not properly using timeouts, I won't rip Derek Rose for not fouling with 10.5 remaining on the clock, and finally you won't get me to admit my true feelings about instant replay in sports. Oh no, this one is a tip of the cap to the Jayhawks and arrival of head coach Bill Self into the Izzo/Williams/Krzyzewski League, if he wasn't already there.

Kansas has won a National Championship and WOW was it deserved, with minutes remaining in Monday nights finale Kansas stifled the Memphis team that had all but cut down the nets. With the Sherron Collins 3 ball to bring the Jayhawks within striking distance Memphis just couldn't hold on. Missed free throws and a Chalmers game tying 3 with 2.3 remaining on the clock just about set the stage for a Kansas torching of Memphis in the OT. At the end of the day I want to know that the team hoisting the trophy is the best team in the country, even though you could argue that Memphis didn't help themself out much, Kansas was the best team in the country. You can't say that Kansas didn't have their share of challenges, RPI #1 conference, Big-12Conference Champions (Regular Season and Tournament), toughest team to beat to GET to the final four in Davidson, BEAT North Carolina in the Final Four even if they were a bogus #1 overall, I'd say that is deserving enough. On Tuesday morning there were three certainties:

1. Bill Self should go to Oklahoma State- He has done everything he can at Kansas and there is a blank check waiting at his Alma Matta.

2. Derrick Rose should be the #1 pick What Rose did in the NCAA tournament against the likes of other top guards Brandon Rush, D.J. Augustin, and Darren Collison has done more than legitimize the Memphis freshman superstar. 1 and DONE.


This isn't the end though, because of the rumours surrounding which of the super freshman are going pro and which are staying in college I wanted to weigh in, you know it's important for me to let the fans know what I think. (hence the blog which I give my opinions on a weekly basis)

Texas guard, D.J. Augustin - While an upperclassman Augustin is currently mentioned in every sentence when it comes to WHO is the best guard(s) in the country, because of how the Memphis NBA ready guards dominated the Longhorn he should: STAY

Memphis guard, Derrick Rose - Rose is the consensus top guard in the country and many would say top player in the country. Rose could be THAT guy to turn around the franchise in Manhattan: GOES

UCLA center, Kevin Love - Love is a GOOD college basketball player, he isn't nearly physical enough to play an 82 game NBA schedule and needs alot of work on his physique. Love is young and has good upside: STAY

Kansas State forward, Michael Beasley - Clearly good enough to play in the league and has the size. Played 1 year in a quality conference and was by far the best player in the conference let alone COUNTRY if you ask me. Beasley was a college basketball player for just two semesters and that was two semesters to long: GOES

Southern Cal guard, O.J. Mayo - To me, Mayo's game translates to both the NBA and college ball, this one is difficult because for me Mayo could be servicable in the NBA but another year wouldn't hurt him. I'd like to see where this USC team could go in year two: STAY

UCLA guard, Darren Collison - Again an upperclassmen who needs another year, the NBA is full of Derrek Roses . . . Billups, Paul, Williams, Nash, Rondo, Roy, etc. all guards that could dominate Collison and I can't help to think that the emergence of Russell Westbrook didn't help out Collison: STAY

That's all folks . . . .

Monday, April 7, 2008


This is the inaugural LynchyRightNow BASEBALL preview, I'm as excited as Client #9 on a Saturday night at Scores. I've injected myself with growth hormone but if you ask me in a year I will most likely tell you I've misremembered that, and TO THE PREVIEW we go:

Not only was Sports Illustrated's Baseball Preview my favorite preview in past years (check it out, on newsstands everywhere) but it showcased some of the greatest young talent in the game. From Brewers Slugger Ryan Braum to Red Sox phenom Clay D. Buchholz, SI documented each of the games bright stars and how they will impact baseball in 2008. Here are my young guns:

Kosuke Fukudome, okay so facing Eric Gagne in a game closing situation may not be as tough as it it once was, but slamming a 3-run game tying blast over the vines sure was validating to the legions of Cubs faithful. Placed in a lineup that includes Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, and Derrek Lee might just be the situation best fit to acclimate him into the majors. The 32-year old rookie has participated on two Olympic medal winning teams while in Japan and also a participant of the 06' World Baseball Classic with fellow Japanese star and current Red Sox ace, Daisuke Matsuzaka. In his last full season (2006) in the Nippon Professional League in Japan, Fukudome hit an astounding .351, with 31 homers and 104 RBI's. Since 2002 the newest Cub has hit over .300 in 4 of 6 seasons, the two he didn't hit .300 or better in, he played less than 100 games in, most likely injury plagued seasons. Most interesting thing I found out about Fukudome was that not one but SEVEN teams drafted him in the 1995 first round of their professional draft (confirmed by Wikipedia), now I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA HOW THAT HAPPENS but I'm assuming it is pretty impressive, just imagine if you could do that in the States:

1. Alex Rodriguez (Boston)
2. Alex Rodriguez (New York)
3. Alex Rodriguez (Los Angeles)
4. Placido Polanco (Oakland's cheaper pick)
5. Alex Rodriguez (Cleveland)

That would be how the picks go in the MLB draft if every team could draft the same player. MAN, I LOVE JAPAN!

Troy Tulowitzki, BAM! That is how he burst onto the scene last year and that is how he is bursting onto my baseball preview. The Santa Clara shortstop hit .291 last year in his first full season with the big league Rockies. Tolowitzki started in all but 10 games in 2007 for Colorado and was instrumental in the Rockies postseason run toward the Fall Classic. With Troy playing in a lineup surrounded by young, extremely good talent in, Matt Holliday, Brad Hawpe, and Ryan Spilborghs who hit .299 in 97 games last year, he'll be able to see good pitches and develop into a nice young star. Expect Tulowitzki to have an all-star caliber spring and finish the season strong.

Brace yourself for the arrival of King Felix Hernandez, Seattle's rising star finished 07' with just 14 wins and has spent considerable time on the DL each of the last two seasons. With that said, he has pitched in at least 30 starts in 06' and 07', the Mariners, having significantly upgraded their pitching staff with the addition of Eric Bedard, Felix should have some help this year. In his fourth year Hernandez is only 22 years old has struck out 165+ in two out of his first three years and that rookie year he struck out 77 in just 12 games. In Felix's two starts against the Red Sox last year he struck out 11 batters in 14 innings and hitters hit a mere .226, against the Yankees they hit .208, and Cleveland hit just .276. (that was a playoff prediction teaser) With Johan now in the National League, expect Felix to takeover the American League

This next one goes out to my buddy Nelson, Brewers slugger, Ryan Braun. Braun's numbers in his first season in the big leagues are so insane that they needed to added verbs:

34 Homers
97 RBI's
.324 Avg
.634 Slugging
15 Stolen Bags

He only played in 113 games, NUFF SAID. A fantasy geeks' dream, Braun is a threat on the base path and can go yard at anytime, the ultimate 5-tool baseball player. What has Braun done against National League Playoff teams? Against Philly Braun hits an astounding .429, against Chicago .395, and against Colorado .368, impressed yet? The one-two punch of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder slugged a combined 84 homers in 2007 and are poised to do it again, watch for the Brewers duo to mash all year long.

Finally Johnny Cueto, the Cincinnati Reds 21 year old phenom was lights OUT last night in his big league debut. Unfortunately it was in Cincinnati and raining in April so there was all of about 29 fans in attendance. LUCKILY we have Peter Gammons and a little thing in Connecticut called ESPN. Cueto finished his first game allowing just 1 hit (a homerun) over seven innings and fanning 10 batters against the Arizona Diamondbacks to boot. The baseball jesus, Peter Gammons, would have told you several weeks ago that new Reds manager Dusty Baker is more than excited about the young righty, there had to be something to get him out of Bristol into the managerial trap known as Cincinnati right? In four Triple A starts last year, Cueto finished 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA and 21 strikeouts. You want to know why I love Cueto most? Because he played with former CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS STANDOUT, Rick Asadoorian, on the same staff for the double A Chattanooga affiliate of the Reds. Cueto was a strikeout animal sitting down 77 strikeouts in 10 starts going 6-3 with an ERA SLIGHTLY over 3.00, more impressed? Try only 11 walks in 10 starts. He'll have a great season, then need Tommy John by the time he is 24.

Who doesn't love to hear the chant "O-O-V-V-E-E-R-Rated" ? I am beginning to make my season long attack on the Detroit Tigers and New York Mets, both of whom I not only HOPE miss the playoffs but WILL miss the postseason.

First off the table, welcome to the D, home of the worst bullpen of all the American League contenders. I want you all to know that I've been saying this for months and this has nothing to do with the fact that they just got swept by the Kansas City Royals, that's right, the Kansas City Royals. How jacked up about the 44 year old Kenny Rogers are you? This isn't your fathers Kenny Rogers who was starting All-Star games and throwing cameramen down stairs. Maybe you want some Dontrelle Willis, do you realize what the American League lineups do to pitchers from the National League? Somehow Willis' 10-15 record with an era of 5.17 and 131 runs allowed, IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE, doesn't exactly translate well for the D-Train. BUT they still have Jeremy Bonderman right? HAHAHAHAHAHAH PLEASE 5.01, that is his ERA, I'm not exactly banking on him to bolster the rotation. Nate Robertston is still in the Tiger rotation, along with his 9-13 record and 1 season with an ERA under 4.00 in his 4 years as a starter with Detroit. I'll give you Verlander he is just FILTHY, but so is Scott Kazmir and the Rays aren't going anywhere, so is Roy Halladay and the Jays aren't winning a ring, and so is Joe Blanton and the A's aren't winning a ring either. To that faithful bullpen, I LOVE MY CLOSERS TO HAVE AN ERA of 4.38!!!!! Todd Jones will have to carry the Tiger pen until Rodney and Zumaya come of the DL, good luck Leyland. I know they have a terrific line up, but you know what terrific lineups get you? SQUAT, scoring 1,000 runs doesn't do much when your entire staff could have ERA over 4.30, with the exception of Verlander. I don't think they can beat Cleveland who has a slightly less powerful lineup with much better starting pitching depth, not to mention a better pen.

The second most obnoxious fans in New York City, the Met fans, won't be so happy to hear this. YOUR NOT GETTING IN THE PLAYOFFS. In one year somehow, Pedro Martinez went from being a guy who couldn't make a start until August, to making Met fans believe he is the definative #2 starter on their roster. Since leaving the Red Sox, Pedro has spent as much time on the disabled list as Eliot Spitzer spent at the Mayflower. IS ANYONE SURPRISED THAT HE IS ON THE DL? Now you are banking on starts from John Maine, really, JOHN MAINE? and Oliver Perez? This is the odds on favorite to win the National League? Explain to me how Arizona who reaches the National League championship series, then goes out and adds one of the top 5 starters in the American League to their rotation in Danny Haren, yet they aren't THE favorite? Shall we discuss their collapse at the end of last season? They did add the BEST pitcher in the American League in Johan Santana, but at best he pitches 40 starts, say he breaks all records and gets 30 wins in his starts, where are you getting the other 60 from? Wagner is another year older, Delgado is still your first basemen and the Mets are still playing in the National League East with the Phillies who most likely aren't going to spot the Mets another 7 game lead with a month go in the season. The Cubs, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Rockies, and Braves could all make the playoffs, someone from the East won't be getting in. Don't worry though, I'm sure Pedro could give you some quality starts . . . . in September?


The trade deadline is one of the most exciting times of the year, this season it will be a tad different. The Seattle Mariners won't be trading to get what they need though, they'll be signing the best available free agent:

Enter 7x MVP, Barry Lamar Bonds. Barry's move to the American League should have happened three to four years ago, allowing the San Francisco Giants to evaluate BEFORE committing major dollars to Barry Zito, AND when having Bonds added to your roster wasn't the circus it will be, come July. Ask yourself these questions; What hitter in the past twenty years affected the game more than Barry? What hitter determined the way pitchers pitched to him more? Lastly, picture this scenario . . . runner on second, no outs, bottom of the ninth, tie ball game, Are you that confident that pitching to Bonds is SO EASY now? The Seattle Mariners 4th outfielder is none other than Charlton Jimerson and their DH is Jose Vidro (who has hit a grand total of 21 homeruns over the last 4 seasons). Barry missed 40 games last year and still had 28 homeruns. What city would be more accepting of Barry than Seattle? Starbucks, Kurt Cobain, and Fish that is what Seattle knows you don't think they'd welcome Bonds? BONDS TO THE M's . . .I LIKE IT.

. . . .Part 2 Coming (Awards, Division Winners, & WORLD SERIES PICK EM')

Sunday, April 6, 2008

March Madness: Day 9, WOW!

Final Four: Game 1

Memphis was #1 seed most likely to be eliminated first, the team who couldn't shoot free throws, and now the FAVORITE to win the NCAA Championship. John Calipari and the Memphis Tigers are a game away from finishing the 08' campaign with a National Championship and a 39-1 record overall and they are doing it with authority:

Sweet 16 Michigan St. loses 92-74
Elite 8 Texas goes down 85-67
Final 4 UCLA gets run out of the gym; 78-63

The latest victim of Memphis was shut down last night, UCLA was kept to 38% from the floor and out rebounded 42-35. UCLA super freshman, Kevin Love, was held to his lowest point total of the tournament (12) and dominated on the glass by senior forward, Joey Dorsey (15 boards, 0 points). Memphis left the Alamo Dome last night leaving no questions unanswered, this team is real physical, real fast, and real good. You knew the game was over when junior guard Chris Douglas-Roberts received a base line pass and proceeded to posterize Love in one of the more remarkable plays of the tournament. Douglas-Roberts and freshman sensation Derek Rose combined for 53 of the Tigers 78 points and will play for the National Championship tomorrow night.

(If you still want to discuss free throws, the Tigers were 20 for 23 last night and I've put that issue to rest)

Game 2: Kansas v. Carolina

After having too many chicken wings, too many miller lites, and watching Memphis dismantle the Bruins it was time for the second game of the night, Kansas v. Carolina. My hatred for North Carolina had reached an all time high and I was openly cheering for Kansas to destroy the Tar Heels in dramatic fashion; ask and you shall receive. Midway through the first half Kansas had jumped out to a 40, yes 40 to 12 lead which left most of the country in tears. No more Tyler Hansbrough love fest, no more Roy Williams, and no more extreme media East Coast bias . . . .and we were only minutes into the first half. FF (fast forward on your television remote) to six minutes remaining in the second half and Carolina had closed the gap, 54-50 Kansas on top. AHHHHHHH! That is what was coming out of my mouth along with alot of swearing. While Kansas looked to be on the verge of one of the most monumental collapses in college basketball history, North Carolina was poised to deliver that blow. Until Kansas gave their one last gasp and proceeded to go back to what they had done in the first half, the bigs of Kansas owned Hansbrough and Roy Williams was stunned, the Tar Heels had never been this outplayed all year. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK! Kansas survives 84-66.