Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Monday, April 26, 2010
Major Wright Safety Florida (3rd Round-75th Pick)
Major Wright was among the players on my pre-draft list of sleepers I’d love the Bears to take. When I saw that they drafted Major Wright with their pick I was about as ecstatic as someone could be about a third round pick. Major Wright is comparable to former Bears safety Mike Brown but believe it or not lays harder hits (lets just hopes he can stay a little healthier than Brown). Starting 33 games in his three years at Florida, Wright had 165 tackles and eight interceptions in a tough SEC conference. At 6’0″, Wright has speed running a 4.50 in the 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine. The Bears have drafted a safety in six consecutive draftsand have had trouble filling the slot with a consistent player, starting 20 different strong safeties under Lovie Smith. In a safety heavy draft, the Bears lucked out with getting Major Wright in the third round, in any of year he would have been a first or second rounder.
Corey Wootton DE Northwestern (4thRound- 109th pick)
You might ask why the Bears took a defensive end in the fourth round out of Northwestern, and more importantly a player coming off of an ACL tear and a four sack season. Ifound myself asking the same question but when I took a look at Woottons entire body of work I was really happy that the Bears got him. In 2008 Wootton was All Big-Ten and a projected first round pick (some projections had top ten). He had 10 sacks for the Wildcats in 2008 before tearing his ACL in the Outback Bowl. Wootton was expected to go in the second or third round this year but fell right into the Bears lap at the 109th slot. If he is able to get back to the form he was in before the ACL tear, the Bears have got themselves a huge steal. Coming back to 100% from injuries that are that severe is unlikely but that was a risk the Bears were willing to take.
Joshua Moore CB Kansas State (5th Round- 141st Pick)
After going for a safety in the third round, the Bears looked to add depth to the cornerback position. While he has some speed running a 4.55 at his pro-day, he really lacks strength; completing only two repetitions of the 225 lbs. bench press. In a physical NFL, Moore may have trouble keeping up. He had six interceptions in three seasons at Kansas State. After releasing Nathan Vasher during the offseason the secondary was already young as it was, and lacked a solid second corner. While Moore, 5’11″, is taller than last years Bears third round pick DJ Moore (5’9″), he wasnt the biggest corner available at this spot. Moore looks to compete with Zachary Bowman and Corey Graham for a spot.
Dan LeFevour QB Central Michigan (6th Round- 181st pick)
The most shocking pick by Jerry Angelo was drafting a Quarterback in the sixth round. Some had LeFevour as the fifth best quarterback prospect in the draft and when the Bears have the philosophy of taking the “best available player” it was no doubter that LeFevour would go off the board with 181st pick. LeFevour compares to Florida’s Tim Tebow but with better statistics. Playing at a MAC school, LeFevour has the FBS (Division I) record for total touchdowns with 149. He also is the only player in NCAA history with over 12,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards. The Bears hadnt signed a veteran quarterback, and had only Caleb Hanie behind Jay Cutler on the depth chart. LeFevour who went to high school at Benet Academy near Chicago, may have been a surprising pick, but for his value, I think was a good one.
J’Marcus Webb OT West Texas A&M (7th Round- 218th Pick)
The Bears waited too long to address their biggest need. While Webb could contribute down the road for the Bears, he is not likely to make the team. Although he played at West Texas A&M, he played in twelve games for the Texas Longhorns before transferring after his freshmen year. At 6’8″ and 335 pounds, Webb has NFL size and with a weak Bears offensive line may see some playing time.
Overall the Bears failed to draft a offensive lineman with one of their early picks but addressed their other big needs. For having only five picks, all of which were after the second round, I thought the Bears had an above average draft. While the Bears took some risk, they took good “value” picks. Look for Major Wright to make a impact at some point during his rookie season. They didnt draft a lineman early but they didnt feel at the picks they had they could get a player worth taking with that pick. They may look to add recently released G Alan Faneca to their roster.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Another artist that I have recently fell in love with is Gyptian. Unlike many other reggae artists, he does not hail from Kingston. The St. Andrew product was a prodigy at age 7, but recently decided to take his music to the United States. He earned his nickname from his habit of tying a shirt around his head and twisting his chin hair like a Egyptian pharaoh. Here is his most recent song, Hold Yuh. Check it out..
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Chicagos’ winningest team of the 2000’s (857-764, .528) failed to make the 80 win mark only twice during the decade. One of those years was 2009 when the Sox finished 79-83 in third place of the AL Central.
2010 is the start of a new year and a new decade. The White Sox will make the jump and finish in first place in the AL Central.
2010 Projected AL Central Standings
87-75 White Sox (79-83)
82- 80 Minnesota Twins (87-76)
72-90 Detroit Tigers (86-77)
72-90 Kansas City Royals (65-97)
63- 99 Cleveland Indians (65-97)
Right before last years all-star break, White Sox GM Ken Williams was really busy. The White Sox traded for Padres all-star pitcher Jake Peavy, they picked up Alex Rios from the Toronto Blue Jays and acquired Mark Kotsay in a trade with the Red Sox. While Rios batted below the “Mendoza Line” (.199) with three home runs, Kotsay batted .292 with 3 home runs, and Peavy won his three starts with a 1.35 ERA. These three pick-ups were no doubly moves by Williams to improve the team for the future.
It looks as if the White Sox are trying to have more of a balanced lineup and get away from the slow, softball like offense they’ve had the past few season. 2005 World Series MVP Jermaine Dyes’ contract was declined, they traded away Jim Thome and made a few key offseason acquisitions to get faster.
Juan Pierre was traded to the White Sox in December for two young prospects. This trade made it clear that Scott Podsednik would not be returning. Pierre had the most steals during the 2000’s decade ahead of Carl Crawford, he also has a .310 batting average in his ten seasons.
Mark Teahen was acquired in a trade from the Royals. Sensational Rookie, Gordon Beckham, will be switching from third base to second base to make room for Teahen. Beckham is a short stop by birth but played third base last season. He struggled at first to learn third base but eventually got the hang of it, now he is moving to second base which is a completely different throw than third base.
The lineup will be a lot faster than in years past but will also be losing a lot of the home run power. The White Sox are still missing a true lefty power hitter and are working with a “DH by comity.” Kotsay and Andruw Jones will be rotating in at DH, with Konerko rotating at the DH spot and at first base. Omar Vizquel is an 11 time gold glove winner but at 42 will be in a mentoring role for Alexei Ramirez at shortstop.
Here’s what the Opening Day Line-up should look like:
1. Juan Pierre -LF
2. Gordon Beckham -2B
3. Mark Teahen -3B
4. Carlos Quentin -RF
5. Paul Konerko -1B
6. Aj Pierzynski -C
7. Alex Rios -CF
8. Alexei Ramirez -SS
9. Andruw Jones -DH
After trading for Jake Peavy, the White Sox had a question at who would start Opening Day; Peavy or Mark Buehrle? Buehrle will make his ninth Opening Day start, a White Sox record. The top four starters will look like Buehrle, Peavy, Gavin Floyd, and John Danks. The fifth spot however is in question. My prediction is that Freddy Garcia will be the last spot in the rotation come April 5th.
Don't forget about Mark Buehrles’ Perfect game that highlighted his mediocre season of 13-10 (3.84) . John Danks had the tenth best ERA among American League starters with a 3.77 ERA. Gavin Floyd struggled throughout the season posting an 11-11 record with a 4.06 ERA. Peavy made only 16 (9-6, 3.45) starts in 2009 being sidelined with an ankle injury. The White Sox had the second best ERA in the American League and after adding Peavy, they look to improve on their already above average pitching rotation.
Bobby Jenks looks to return to peak form after giving up drinking alcohol this offseason. With the lose of Octavio Dotel the Sox added JJ Putz as another set-up man next to Matt Thornton. Scott Linebrink will hopefully return to the form of his first half of 2008 season.
Oh and the Twins wont be playing in the Metrodome this year. No more 1-11 on the road against Minnesota.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Lately there have been a lot of rumors about Texas having preliminary talks with Big Ten officials about perhaps joining the conference. From the Big Ten's perspective this would make perfect sense. Texas provides a package of big-time football, a rising basketball program and strong academics (47th among national universities). Texas could be a huge potential revenue source for the Big Ten.
Only a school like Notre Dame could bring a package like Texas, but we all know that won't happen. As good as this might sound to some people, I don't see it happening. First, I don't think the Texas baseball team would ever lose a game in the Big Ten, and it could effect their recruiting. Second, would Mack Brown want to play a late November game in Happy Valley? Would fans travel across the country to see tennis matches, cross-country meets, etc.?
There are too many roadblocks for Texas to accept the invitation but it is still an intriguing idea. If Texas were to join the Big Ten, I feel they would have to keep the OU rivalry and Texas A&M game. Then, you got think about how hard of a schedule that would be because of your conference opponents being the likes of Ohio St., Penn St. , Wisconsin and Michigan.
Being the biggest brand in college athletics, Texas deserves to be in a better conference. Although, they do have a bright future with the evolution of the Texas Sports Network that will be similar to the Big Ten Network. Joining the Big Ten would boost revenue, but Texas has so many revenue streams that I don't think that would matter.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and whether or not other schools will express interest. If the Big Ten is serious about expanding, it should consider schools that are much closer. There’s been talk in the past of other Big 12 schools like Missouri and Nebraska joining the Big Ten, but nothing has happened in the conference since Penn State joined in 1990. An interesting idea would be if the Big Ten offered a package deal for Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. The creation of a "Super Conference".
Saturday, February 13, 2010
When you think of steroids in baseball several players come to mind; Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens and more recently as A-Rod, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. Steroids have been around since the 1930’s but really started to surface during the 1980’s and a high percentage of players were using during the 90’s and 2000’s.”The Steroid Era” which presumably started in 1988, will always be associated with steroids whether the MLB ever officially puts an asterisk next to the names of the players that came forward.
With the retirement of former White Sox player Frank Thomas on Thursday, this brought up the question; of the hitters not tied to steroids who played during the “Steroid Era,” who is the best?
It may very well be “The Big Hurt.”
Eliminating the names of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa because of their ties to Steroids, the list of elite players during this era really narrows.
Only a few other players’ have had outstanding careers spanning the time period; including Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, and Mark Grace.
At 22, Frank Thomas made his major league debut o August 2nd, 1990, at the height of steroid usage. In his first full season he finished third place in the AL MVP voting batting .318, hitting 32 home-runs and slugging in 109 RBI.
In 1993, Thomas became the first White Sox player to win the MVP award since Dick Allen in 1972. Hitting 41 home-runs with 128 RBI, he led the White Sox to the American League Championship Series where they fell to the eventual World Series Champion Toronto Blue Jays.
In 1994, he became the second first basemen to win back-to-back MVP, hitting .353, 38 home-runs and 101 RBI in a season shortened by 49 games. Between 1991 and 1997 Thomas finished in the top 10 every year for AL MVP voting. His five all-star appearances, four silver slugger awards, a comeback player of the year award in 2000 and a 2005 World Series ring put him among the greats of all-time.
His 521 career home-runs puts him at 19th on the all-time list behind several tainted names, also his 269 home-runs puts him only behind steroid user David Ortiz for most as a designated hitter.
Perhaps the most impressive stat of them all is that Frank Thomas became part of an elite class of four players including Mell Ott, Ted Williams and Babe Ruth to have at least a .300 batting average, 500 home runs, 1,500 RBI, 1,000 runs and 1,500 walks in a career.
Thomas’ longevity solidified his name in history. In 2006 after leaving the White Sox for the Oakland A’s, Thomas placed fourth in MVP voting finishing the season with an amazing 39 home-runs at the age of 38.
Having played football at the University of Auburn on a scholarship, Frank avoided many steroid accusers because he stood at 6′5″ and weighing in at 257 lbs throughout his lengthy career.
Mark Grace had the most hits in 1990’s, Craig Biggio is a part of the 3000 hit club, and Mike Piazza may be the best catcher of all-time but none of them compete with the numbers Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas put up.
While Griffey had a little over one hundred more home-runs than Thomas, Frank batted more than fifteen points higher. Frank also had a .417 OBP while Kenny had a .371 OBP. Although Griffey had more RBI in over 300 more games played, their statistics just about evened out.
Both players regardless of era would be considered among the best players of all-time. Had Griffey not been injured as often he may have won more than one MVP, and if the “Steroid Era” continues for many more years Albert Pujols will be considered the best non-steroid user in the era. However with all this said from 1988 to 2010 in a time where “juicing” took over the game, one player emerged as the leader of the anti-drugs, “The Big Hurt.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Taco Bell Skills Competition- Derrick Rose, he will defend his title with another monster dunk at the end. Him and Jennings will face each other in the finals.
Rookie/Sophomore Game- I am going to pick the Rookies in this one simply because Derrick Rose will not be participating. I expect Stephen Curry to get the MVP.
3 Point Contest- Stephen Curry, his smooth shooting stroke will be perfect for this competition.
H.O.R.S.E.- Kevin Durant, the real question is why is Rajon Rondo in this competition when he can't even shoot regularly. Hook em
Dunk Contest- I am going to take the underdog in this one and go with Shannon Brown. If you don't know about him then you are about to find out. Demar Derozan should have some tricks up his sleeve but no one can fly like Shannon.
All-Star Game- East, Lebron will get the MVP just because of all the fast break dunks he will get. Hopefully, he will turn an ankle. Although it would be nice for Dirk to go off in front of his fans because he has had a great season thus far.
Monday, February 8, 2010
On Saturday the NFL announced its 2010 class of Hall of Famers, but for seventh straight year Richard Dent was denied entry. Dent, a former defensive end of the Chicago Bears ranks sixth all-time in quarterback sacks with 137.5 in his career.
Dent is arguably the second best defender on arguably the best defense of all-time, the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears. During his first stint withe the Bears between 1983-1993 he had 124.5 sacks and accumulated a Super Bowl MVP and ring. Including another year with the Bears in 1995, he played for San Francisco 49er’s (1994), Indianapolis Colts (1996) and Philadelphia Eagles (1997).
When Dent retired in 1997 he was third all-time in career sacks. Over his 15 seasons he averaged an amazing .92 sacks per start, imagine averaging almost a sack per game. The only defensive end in the modern era with a higher sack per start rating was Fred Dean with 1.14. However Dean only had 93 sacks over his career which doesnt even put him in the top ten all-time, while Dent had 137.5.
Dents’ average of .92 sacks per start puts him ahead of “the Minister of Defense” Reggie White (.87), all-time sack leader Bruce Smith (.75), and ahead of Giants great Michael Strahan (.69). Richard Dent also had eight interceptions, a modern-era record for defensive linemen.
Richard Dent was a finalist for six out of his seven years of eligibility for the NFL Hall of Fame. Highlighting this years class was the best wide receiver of all-time 49er’s Jerry Rice, and career all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith who both were enshrined on their first years. Vikings defensive end John Randle had the same amount of career sacks but was a less dominant player then Dent. Among the others that entered were Saints outside linebacker Rickey Jackson, Redskins linemen Russ Grimm and as veterans’ Dick LeBeau and Floyd Little.
The Chicago Bears have 26 players enshrined in Canton, which is the most by any single franchise. Of the Super Bowl champions Bears, Walter Payton, Mike Singletary, and Dan Hampton are the only players inducted in the Hall.
Waiting eight rounds to be drafted out of Tennessee State in 1983, Dent may find his luck in 2011, his eighth year of eligibility.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saints vs Colts in the Super Bowl. Should be a lot of points and Kim Kardashian which makes for a good game. My Pick: Saints
Top Defensive End Jackson Jeffcoat will announce his college decision next Sunday. Finalists include Texas, Oklahoma, Florida.
The Bears are still without an Offensive Coordinator and Defensive Coordinator.
The Knicks lose to the Mavericks by 50 points. After the game Coach Mike D'Antoni said, "They took our heart out of us,"
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Titans running back Chris Johnson received no votes for NFL MVP in last weeks voting.
Six players in NFL history have rushed for at least two-thousand yards in a season. A NFL history that has been around for 90 years and that has seen tens of thousands of players step foot on the field. Johnson was one of the six players and did not get a single vote for this years NFL MVP. Four players received votes for MVP, all of which were quarterbacks, while Peyton Manning won the race in a land-slide with 39.5 percent of the votes.
Along with the likes of Barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson, OJ Simpson, Terrell Davis and Jamal Lewis, Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards during the season. Sanders, Simpson and Davis won the NFL MVP in their respective seasons.
Breaking Marshall Faulks NFL record for yards from scrimmage was just one of Chris Johnsons other accolades.
How could he not receive a single vote? Not taking away anything from Peyton Manning, but Chris Johnson had arguably the best season an NFL running back has ever had. Peyton Manning had a great season but not one of the best in NFL history. Not one person gave him a vote for MVP and that is really mind-blowing after everything he did this season. Did he not get any votes because he wasnt on a playoff team and all the other vote getters were? The Titans finished 8-8 and just missed the playoffs in the final weeks.
He was all the Titans had offensively. Think about it, the Titans dont have a pass game and each defense knew that Chris Johnson was getting the ball and he still set all of the records. Thats amazing. Chris Johnson is the fastest player in the NFL and thats why he averaged an astonishing 5.6 yards per carry.
I dont know about you, but when I look at Chris Johnson I think, there is the most valuable player in the NFL. Zero votes for Chris Johnson is incredibly disrespectful. Chris Johnson= Snubbed.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Glad to see he has recovered and is still playing in the NBA.
In my opinion, this one was the worst and if you listen carefully at the :22 mark you can actually hear it pop. Sad to see it happen to a senior...