Roysaidit 2010 NFL Predictions

National Football Conference

NFC EAST
 Dallas 
 Philadelphia  -Wildcard
NY Giants 
Washington 

NFC NORTH
Green Bay 
Minnesota-Wildcard
Chicago
Detroit 

NFC SOUTH
 New Orleans 
Atlanta
Carolina 
Tampa Bay 

NFC WEST
San Francisco 
Seattle
Arizona
St. Louis 

Final Four: Dallas, NO, GB, Minnesota

Conference Final:  Dallas v. GB

 American Football Conference

AFC EAST  
New England
NY Jets  -Wildcard
Miami 
Buffalo 

AFC NORTH
Cincinnati 
Baltimore -Wildcard
Pittsburgh
Cleveland 

AFC SOUTH
Indianapolis
Tennessee
Houston
Jacksonville 

AFC WEST
San Diego
Oakland 
Denver
Kansas City 

 Final Four:  Indy, SD, New England, Cincinnati

Conference Championship Indy v. SD

Super Bowl:  Dallas v. Indy

Super Bowl Champion: Dallas

On Being a Mets Fan (with apologies to U2…and the rest of you)

To paraphrase those lyrical poets of the 80s, U2, on rooting for the Mets:

I have climbed the Flushing fences, I have run through the Shea and Citi Fields
Only to be with the Mets, only to be with the Mets
I have run with Jose Reyes, I have crawled with Timo Perez
I have scaled those Shea Walls (with Endy), now these Citi walls
Only to be with the Mets
But I still haven’t found 1986.
But I still haven’t found 1969.

It couldn’t get worse for the Mets, or could it?

If you are one of us Mets fans, you know the answer.

I wish I could say that I were making it up that the Mets’ (former?) closer Francisco Rodriguez (whose nickname K-Rod has nothing to do with what I am about to tell you) now appears to be out for the rest of the year due to injuries he sustained beating up the grandfather of his children.

Yes, you read that right.  Rodriguez now appears to require season-ending surgery to repair thumb ligaments he injured by repeatedly punching his children’s grandfather in the head and face.  The obligatory adjective “alleged” is barely appropriate here, given that the many stated witnesses to the attack included the wives and children of Mets players.

The “good news” (at least for the Wilpons, for whom the season has become an indictment of the damage they have let GM Omar Minaya do to the team over the last half decade) is that Rodriguez’s “non-baseball-activity” injuries may enable the Mets to void the remainder of Rodriguez’s contract, perhaps preventing him from poisoining the Mets current crop of young players who, we hope, might usher in a vastly more professional (and more talented) era than the current culture of which Rodriguez’s showboat antics and off-the-field troubles have become an symptomatic.

A hopeful good riddance to the classlessness exhibited by Rodriguez since his arrival.

Mets Mess

Met closer Francisco Rodriguez was arrested and jailed for allegedly throwing his girlfriend’s father, Carlos Pena, against a wall and, until being pulled away by security, pummeling him with enough punches to bruise his face and send him to the hospital.  All of this occurred at Citi Field in full view of other Met players’ wives and children.   Met ownership expressed their “disappointment” in Rodriguez’s “inappropriate” behavior.  Inappropriate?  Really?  Met Manager Jerry Manuel said “We’ve had a lot of things go on here and there.”  “Maybe it’s a distraction we need,” Met Outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. “Not to say it’s a good thing. But maybe at the end of the day we can turn it into a positive. I know for him, it’s between him and his family.”

Where is the outrage for the Mets’ $12-million-dollar-a-year closer beating up his relative in front of players’ wives and children at the ballpark?  How about “unacceptable”?  How about “intolerable”?  How about suspending him for the rest of the year?  How about Mets management finally holding someone accountable for the inmates running the Met asylum?  Met fans have long given up the mantra of “meaningful games” in September, but is it too much to ask for condemnation when their players are arrested for assaulting family members in front of other players’ children?

The Mets entered the summer vying for a playoff spot…

… Then from the end of June until the beginning of August, as the Phillies and Braves added key pieces to make their playoff runs, the Mets made no moves and now have the worst record in baseball during that time.  Yet owner Fred Wilpon has just given GM Omar Minaya a vote of confidence for 2011.  Confidence in what?

Congrats to Rays Matt Garza for Pitching a No-Hitter. What about the Mets?

Every major league franchise has pitched a no-hitter, except two:  the San Diego Padres, and, of course, the Mets, who have not managed a no-hitter in their almost-50-year existence, despite having some of baseball’s best pitchers over that period.  Ex-Mets who went on to pitch no-hitters elsewhere include Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Mike Scott, Hideo Nomo.

And 10 Pitchers pitched no-hitters BEFORE they joined the Mets.

Bonus trivia:  Hideo Nomo pitched no-hitters both before he pitched for the Mets, and after.

Dawson in the HOF. Gwynn in too. Where’s Raines?

Ryne Sandberg said the following at his Hall of Fame induction speech on July 31, 2005: 

“Andre Dawson, The Hawk. No player in baseball history worked harder, suffered more or did it better than Andre Dawson. He’s the best I’ve ever seen. Stand up Hawk. The Hawk. I watched him win MVP for a last-place team in 1987 and it was the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen in baseball. He did it the right way, the natural way and he did it in the field and on the bases and in every way, and I hope he will stand up here someday.”

I hope that Dawson issues a similar tribute to his former teammate, Tim Raines, at The Hawk’s induction today. Raines was a superior offensive force to Dawson (higher OPS and 500 more stolen bases), and Raines was at least as good an offensive weapon as Lou Brock, Tony Gwynn and other HOF table setters.

Consider:

Raines reached base more times in his career than Tony Gwynn and Lou Brock. 

Raines had more triples, more home runs, and 500 more stolen bases than Gwynn.

Henderson and Brock are the only two players in the last 100 years to steal more bases than Raines, but both of them got caught stealing more than twice as often as Raines.  Henderson led the league in caught-stealing 5 times, and Lou Brock 7 times. Raines NEVER led the league in times caught stealing.

Raines is one of the greatest offensive threats ever, and deserves enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.

George Steinbrenner – Two Sides of a Coin

The Boss gave no quarter in his unparalleled drive to win at all costs, and eventually, when he let (or was forced to let) his baseball people like Gene Michael and Buck Showalter make decisions, win he did, baseball equity be damned. 

On the other hand, Steinbrenner spared no quarter in helping others, whether policemen, firemen or military personnel, or those stricken with devastating diseases.  He hurt many close to him and helped many who never met him.  A contradiction during life.   May he rest in peace in death.

Let’s Go Mets!

The question is:  Go where?

Spain won!

Congratulations.  Finally, something more important than LeBron James!

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