Monday, October 29, 2007

Its good to be Tony Romo

Whoever said nothing interesting happens on the Bye week forgot to tell that to Tony Romo. While Tom Brady was spanking the Redskins Tony Romo was probably spanking Britney Spears. Romo was seen hanging out at Hollywood hotspot Les Deux with Britney Spears and mutual friend Alli Sims. Word is Britney even gave him a lap dance. And if that isn't good enough, Romo just became a very rich man. ESPN is reporting Romo has signed a 6 years $67.5 million dollar extension with the Dallas Cowboys. It is believed $30 Million of the 67.5 is guaranteed. Not bad for an off week...not bad at all

Same ol' Song... Yankees steal the headlines again

In case you didn't know The Redsox won the world series...big deal. The bigger headlines are coming out of New York. A-Rod has opted out of his contract and will test the open market. Joe Girardi is expected to become the new Yankees manager and the old Yankees manager Joe Torre reportedly is in talks to replace Grady Little of the Dodgers. I love that all of this comes out the day after the Red Sox win their 2nd WS in 4 years.

Friday, October 26, 2007

New Lamar-Itis case found in Philadelphia

The Man, The Myth, The Legend Chuck LaMar has landed a job with the Phillies as a director of professional scouting. I guess Philly fans have someone new to blame losing on.

The Stat Pack Weekly Special

This weeks Football upsets courtesy of Stat Pack

Tommy V.

Buffalo Over Jets

Texas A & M Over Kansas

Jules W.

Lions over Bears

UConn over USF

Oakland Raiders retroactively fine Randy Moss

Ok so not really, but they might think of doing it now. We don't normally cover tennis here at TSP but this story was too good to pass up. Nikolay Davydenko, already at the center of a betting investigation, was fined $2,000 for lack of effort a loss at the St. Petersburg Open. The story goes on to say that "Davydenko couldn't believe he was asked about his level of effort" and "I was simply shocked to hear him say that. This is just outrageous. How does he know what I was trying to do? I was so upset with the whole thing I started crying." A male athlete crying over a judge/ref/umpire's decision? Fantastic. Did The Big Fundamental Tim Duncan start to cry when Joey Crawford ejected him for laughing? I think the lesson here is parents, don't let your kids grow up to be tennis players.

The RockSox vs the SockRox

Will it ever stop? Add two more writers to the list of people who feel obligated to use the "Rox vs Sox" tag line for their stories. I've never been a big Eric Karabell fan, and in his ESPN fantasy baseball(Insider required) piece this week the headline is "Rox vs Sox, fantasy style!". A person I don't dislike, in fact I admire, is Rob Neyer. I love his wit and wisdom on the game, but even he has succumbed to the appeal of titling a piece he wrote this week "Sox over Rox." I've heard that Rob doesn't write the headlines for his blog articles, and if that is the case I still scold him for not bucking the trend and changing it himself.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fuel to my fire

Let The anti Cowboys pro Giants saga continue folks. Here is our latest WTF? from ESPN. Check these quotes from ESPN's Mike Sando

"And when Tony Romo isn't imploding the way he did in Buffalo, the Cowboys can make even a great team like New England work for a victory."

"Romo struggled down the stretch last season. His five-interception performance in Buffalo reminded us that he's still unproven."

Unproven? Lets let the number talk for a minute. In 17 regular-season starts, Romo is 12-5 as a starter. He has thrown for 4,887 yard while throwing 35 touchdown & 22 interceptions. I know he has a lot of turnovers but, even in a game where he threw 5 INTS he still brought his team down the field when it counted and came out a winner. In the other 6 games of the season Romo has posted a QB rating of at least 91.0 averaging a 105.45 with 14 TDs and 4 Ints. Eli Manning on the other hand has the same number of Int's this year (9) with less TD's, less Passing Yards, less Completion %, and the biggest less of all...W's. I guess Eli's the better QB though because he's had a few bad games mixed in with some average ones but, he didnt have one really bad game that his team won anyway.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Save that tuition money....

I’ve noticed lately that a lot of NFL starting QB’s didn’t attend some of the “better” college football programs. So I complied a list of the current starting QB’s and their alma maters. Not on the list….Ohio State, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU. The only reason Miami is on this list is the ageless wonder Vinny Testaverde (not known if he or Carr will start Sunday). However we do feature heavyweights like Alcorn State, Arkansas State, Alabama State, Eastern Illinois, Central Florida, Central Washington, Northern Iowa, San Jose State and Florida A & M. It's pretty interesting once you actually look at where these guys have come from and now they are starting NFL QB’s for one reason or another.

Trent Edwards-Stanford
Chad Pennington-Marshall
Tom Brady-Michigan
Cleo Lemon-Arkansas State

Ben Rothlisberger-Miami OH
Steve McNair-Alcorn St
Derek Anderson-Oregon St
Carson Palmer-Southern Cal

Peyton Manning-Tennessee
Quinn Gray-Florida A & M
Matt Schaub-Virginia
Vince Young-Texas

Daunte Culpepper-Central Florida
Damon Huard-Washington
Jay Cutler-Vanderbilt
Phillip Rivers-North Carolina State

Tony Romo-Northern Illinois
Donovan McNabb-Syracuse
Eli Manning-Mississippi
Jason Campbell-Auburn

Brian Greise-Michigan
Jon Kitna-Central Washington
Tavaris Jackson-Alabama State
Brett Favre-Southern Mississippi

Jeff Garcia-San Jose State
Vinny Testaverde-Miami
Joey Harrington-Oregon
Drew Brees-Purdue

Marc Bulger-West Virginia
Trent Dilfer-Fresno State
Matt Hasselbeck-Boston College
Kurt Warner-Northern Iowa

Aaaaaaand it starts

Last night on Baseball Tonight Karl Ravich uttered the phrase "Rocktober vs Soxtober." I told you the Rox vs Sox thing was going to start taking over. My vomit count is now 1.

NFL Recap

BAL (4-3) 14 @ BUF (2-4) 19

TV: I’m sure McGahee was glad to get out of buffalo again this week. Trent Edwards might be the guy buffalo has been looking for since Jim Kelly

JW: Ray Lewis blasts Billick for passing the ball three straight times when they needed one yard for the first. Since they're primarily a running team Lewis said "You can't make oranges into peaches." Quote of the year folks.

TB (4-3) 16 @ DET (4-2) 23
TV: Earnest Graham looks like he may be able to carry the load. Bucs lost this game more than the Lions won it.

JW: Bucs lose KR Mark Jones for the season and WR Michael Clayton has a high ankle sprain.

ARI (3-4) 19 @ WAS (4-2) 21

TV: Why would AZ run a WR Option on a 2 point conversion?

JW: I'd like to see Tim Rattay throwing it around more so the shots of Kurt Warner's wife are limited.

ATL (1-6) 16 @ NO (2-4) 22

TV: Joey Harrington rides again….Does anyone care?

JW: Leftwich gets hurt while standing in the pocket like he's wearing cement boots...shocking.

SF (2-4) 15 @ NYG (5-2) 33

TV: Giants beat another crappy team, ESPN rejoices.

JW: As a reward they get to fly to London and play Miami.

TEN (4-2) 38 @ HOU (3-4) 36

TV: 8 FGS???? Special Team player of the week. Sage Rosenfels joins the list of backup QB’s to see action this year

JW: Rosenfels hadn't thrown 4tds in his career, let alone one game.

NE (7-0) 49 @ MIA (0-7) 28

TV: The New England Pats look like they are playing Madden out there, 42-7 at half…Are you kidding me?

JW: I'd like to hear what all those fantasy pundits who said don't draft Moss have to say.

NYJ (1-6) 31 @ CIN (2-4) 38

TV: I don’t think Pennington is the problem in NY, but what the hell make the change

JW: My Grandma could throw it farther from her walker than Chad can from the pocket.

KC (4-3) 12 @ OAK (2-4) 10

TV: Surprise 1st place team in the NFL: The Chiefs

JW: How long until we see Russell starting in Oakland?

STL (0-7) 6 @ SEA (4-3) 33

TV: Would the Rams win a game even if Steven Jackson was playing

JW: Alexander averaging 2.5ypc in his past 2 games. Terrible.

MIN (2-4) 14 @ DAL (6-1) 24

TV: Romo gets the bye to rest the hammy. MBIII is a beast

JW: If the Vikings had ANYONE back there besides Tavaris Jackson they would have won that game. Is Jay Fiedler still taking calls?

CHI (3-4) 19 @ PHI (2-4) 16

TV: Brian Griese with 703 passing yards in the past 2 games. Starting to hear whispers in Chicago about the other Adrian Peterson getting more time.

JW: The Moose gets a lot more looks from Griese than he got from Rex.

PIT (4-2) 28 @ DEN (3-3) 31

TV: Denver pulls themselves right back into the AFC West race

JW: How many more games can Denver win on last second field goals?

IND (6-0) 29 @ JAC (4-2) 7

TV: People are already looking forward to the week 9 showdown. Tough games await both teams this week though. Quinn Gray?

JW: Will the Jags fall out of the playoff race with their starting QB out for a couple weeks?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Intelligent life in Bristol, CT?

A follow up to my rant on the Cowboys/Giants/ESPN. I asked Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson about the situation and to my surprise he agreed with me. Maybe they aren't all brainwashed....yet.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Please explain to me why people are jumping on the Giants bandwagon. Their last 4 opponents(Eagles,Jets,Falcons,Niners) are 6-20 and 3 outta the 4 games were in Jersey.

Matt Williamson: (1:11 PM ET ) I touched on some reasons why people are on that bandwagon, but yes-those four teams are pretty terrible. Excellent point and I should have brought that up earlier. I want to see them beat someone. Still, they look like a playoff team.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More from the world wide leader....

More from the World wide leader in sensationalism. ESPN is no doubt best at presenting one side of the story in order to get across the view they want. The latest case comes in the sudden band wagoning of the New York Giants. After the first 2 weeks "Team Turmoil" was getting hammered on ESPN. They had quit on their coach, had a bunch of divas, the locker room was a complete mess and they were 0-2. However, five weeks later the New York Giants are being called the best team in the NFC by two ESPN analysts(Mark Schlereth & Merril Hoge). Call me a Cowboy homer all you want but how does a team go from awful disappointment to best team in the conference by beating teams like the Jets, Falcons, 49ers and a real disappointing team the Philadelphia Eagles. Granted they did beat the Redskins who are a contender but the combined record of those four other teams is 6-20. Did I also mention 3 of the 4 games were played at Giants stadium? Oh, and I forgot the most important fact of this whole discussion...The Cowboys BEAT the Giants in week one by 10 points.

Another issue in the Giants vs. Cowboys debate is the tale of the two quarterbacks. Tony Romo gets criticized if he throws 5 TD's or 5 Ints. All Tony Romo has done is lead his team to the best record in the conference(6-1) while posting a QB rating of 95.6. He's 2nd in the NFL in Touchdown Passes, Passing Yards, Passing YPG, AVG Yards per attempt, 1st downs & 1st down %; trailing the amazing Tom Brady in all categories. I guess that's not enough though. On the other hand Eli Manning gets the "he's still developing" excuse. I keep hearing how Eli's finally putting it all together even though he's behind Browns QB Derek Anderson in all those categories besides Yards and 1st Downs. Keep in mind Anderson has played two less games then Eli and would be ahead had he even played one of those games. Maybe my bias is showing a little too much on this one. Maybe I'm reading too much into what two analysts had to say, but this is not the first and won't be the last time that our glorious "World wide leader in sports" uses sensationalism to present a story.

I may puke

I'm sure this has been said somewhere today other than here, but I can guarantee that we'll be subjected to "Rox vs Sox on FOX" or "On Fox, it's the Rox vs the Sox" for however many games the World Series lasts and America may collectively vomit.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stat Pack Exclusive Interview with RJ Anderson

You may not have heard, but some of us over at The Stat Pack have tested positive. For what you may ask? It's a rare and fatal virus known as Lamar-itis. As Rays fans we were exposed to the virus early on in 1998 when Chuck Lamar became the General Manager of the Devil Rays. Luckily on October 5th, 2005 cure was found and we've been on the road to recovery ever since. RJ Anderson, a columnist for DRaysBay and BeyondtheBoxscore is also a fellow Lamar-itis infectee. He's written a book appropriately titled Lamar-Itis which chronicles Mr. Lamar's near decade of destruction. RJ has been kind enough to provide us with an excerpt from the book as well as an exclusive interview.

TSP: How did you get your start in writing and what are your plans beyond this book and the websites you write for?

RJ: I’ve been writing since grade school, thanks FCAT, and along the way I was told that I was good at it, so combined with a natural interest in baseball it just felt right. Not sure about the future, maybe I’ll do some writing on the side, but don’t look for me in the Tribune or Times, I’m simply not as dedicated as Lancaster and Topkin. That’s of course not to say I wouldn’t be interested in certain situations, but writing as my profession? Highly unlikely.

TSP: Who are some of your influences, writer wise?

RJ: Michael Lewis, I’ve always wanted to write a book like Moneyball, Will Leitch showed the world that you don’t have to toil in mediocrity for most of your life before getting a few books published and becoming a cult icon, and Bill Simmons, like Leitch, only with a huge brand backing and less originality nowadays.

TSP: As a Rays fan you've always had an interest in what goes on with the team, but what was the moment or event that made you want to write this book?

RJ: Combination of things, originally it was going to be a DRB post surrounding LaMar’s 10 worst moves, but much like the McGriff mini-book after I outlined it, something I rarely do on paper, I noticed there was so much information that it would be a huge post. While all of that was floating around in my head I got the invite from Leitch to write the baseball preview, and he asked me for an intro, so I just threw the book out there and sure enough it got some buzz from the Deadspin and Rays’ readers alike.

TSP: Everyone focuses on the bad transactions of LaMar's tenure, Bobby Abreu, The Hit Show, Juan Guzman etc...But LaMar laid a lot of ground work for the current team and its future. Just look at his Chuck's draft history Crawford, Baldelli(when healthy), Shields, McGee, Niemann, Davis and how could we forget the Kazmir trade. In your opinion was the LaMar era a failure because of Chuck LaMar the GM or Vince Naimoli the owner?

RJ: One of the things that’s so misleading about the title, and something I’m sure I’ll one day regret for doing is naming the book as a shot at LaMar, it’s hard to blame most of the failures on LaMar since as you mentioned he drafted really well and had his moments in trades and signings. With Naimoli you have an owner who made his millions laying off workers, and he hires an inexperienced GM and coach basically so he can have his way, the Hit Show signings were all him, LaMar even admitted he knew they would fail, but didn’t feel comfortable telling the boss no. Extending further Naimoli wouldn’t allow LaMar to deal fan favorites like Quinton McCracken due to negative PR, in fact he blocked deals for Richie Sexson and Cesar Izturis, but not too long later would okay to McGriff for Manny Aybar and Jason Smith in what was clear salary slashing.

TSP: We've gotten to know you over the past couple of months through popular Rays Fan Sites such as Draysbay & . You seem to be pretty patient with the new front office of the Rays, however after recent comments by Stu Sternberg that the payroll (34 million in 07) would only be raised 20% or so this offseason do you feel that in another 10 years you will be writing Stu-berculosis or Andrew Friedman Syndrome(AFS) as the sequel to Lamar-itis?

RJ: I would hope Rayvolution would be the title, but sure at times I’ve leaned into the green (blue?) too much, recently I don’t want to say I’ve flipped the switch, but it’s easy to get carried away when comments that aren’t appeasing are made, particularly when the team isn’t playing and nothing is happening.

TSP: With all of their young talent obviously everyone would like to see players such as Crawford, Kazmir,Upton, etc remain here for their entire careers but we know that's not possible. How do you see the roster shaking out over the coming years?

RJ: Hard to say, but I doubt you see two of the three outfielders here pass 2013, I think guys like Fernando Perez, Desmond Jennings, and Eleem Salem will come in handy in that situation.

Pitching is a toss up, but I could see us winning without Kazmir, but as LaMar’s jewel I’d like to see him stick.

Let’s hope we’re like the 90’s Yankees, and Longoria / Upton are our Jeter / Williams combo.

TSP: If you were in charge would you have picked up Joe Maddon's option for 2 more years? Why or Why not?

RJ: Probably, although I’d make sure he has upgrades wherever possible, particularly the bullpen and bench.

TSP: What do you think of the recent resignations of some of the more veteran and well respected General Managers such as John Schuerholz, Bill Stoneman, Terry Ryan...etc.?

RJ: Most often thought that crosses my mind when I hear one: So is this the team that hires DePodesta?

TSP: The Diamondbacks made a great run this season using mostly young
players, do you see the Rays making a similar run in the next few
seasons? Or is the AL East too tough of a division to claw out of?

RJ: There are some similarities there, but the D-Backs’ pen had five guys with mad nuts years, if you can tell me that Salas, Reyes, Wheeler, Balfour, and Dohmann all have ERAs below 3.3 next year then I’d say we’d be in Wild Card contention entering September. The key to winning is to holding leads, a good pen = more leads held = more wins. Having no bullpen and the lead is like a cockroach and a nuclear blast; if it’s close then bye-bye bug, the more distance away and the bug can survive the heat, in some cases just barely. Winning the AL East? Not sure, but nothing is impossible in baseball.

TSP: And Finally we'll let you off easy with...when will the Rockies lose a game?

RJ: They’ll lose game one of the World Series before storming back and winning the series then proceeding to give Mike Coolbaugh’s widow the winnings

The Stat Pack would like to thank RJ for sitting down and discussing the Rays and his book with us. Please check RJ out at Draysbay & Beyondtheboxscore

And as promised here is an exclusive excerpt from RJ's up coming book "Lamar-itis"

The next deal was sending Bubba Trammell and Rick White to the New York Mets for Jason Tyner and Paul Wilson. Surprisingly I like this deal, though that isn’t saying it’s a dead push. Trammell bombed in New York, Tyner never had the stats to bomb, Wilson had some of his better seasons here, including not a single one with an ERA higher than 4.9, and White had a good year and a half run for New York before moving on. I’d say it’s a quite equal deal.

Tyner would become a fan favorite for reasons that are quite obvious. It wouldn’t be until years later, in 2006 when David Eckstein won the World Series MVP with the St. Louis Cardinals, and afterwards the plethora of ‘heart and hustle’, ‘size doesn’t matter’, ect. stories would be written. Tyner stands 6’1”, 170 pounds, that’s five inches taller than Eckstein, yet they weigh the same. Tyner as of 2007 has claimed that never, not even in little league, has he hit a homerun, that’s over In 2004 Tyner hit his first homerun at Richmond in over 2,632 at-bats through high school to the majors, and he’s yet to hit a homerun at the Major League level, over 1,158 at-bats without a four bagger. Eckstein’s longest drought without a homerun in the Majors is 101 games, which doesn’t even equal half of Tyner’s struggle. The undersized Eckstein plays shortstop, where ‘smaller’ players are supposed to play, Tyner plays the entire outfield and even DHs a load for the Twins, yes he DHs, nothing makes up for a lack of power like Jason Tyner’s grittiness, why is it again that Eckstein is a national hero, but Jason Tyner is just a ‘child’ playing a man’s game? Even more items to love about Tyner, his middle name is Renyt, which if you notice is ‘Tyner’ spelled backwards, his first pro hit was off of Mike Mussina, he tied the U.S. National Team’s record of hits in a single game with five in 1997, and of course he’s left handed and fast!

The next move is quite irritating, Mark Guthrie and Steve Trachsel to the Blue Jays for Brent Abernathy. Guthrie was still pitching at least at a league average 4.5 ERA, Trachsel while not great was having a Paul Wilson like 4.58 ERA year, and both would go on to produce for years after the deal, but Abernathy…In his first 79 games Brent looked like the real deal, hitting .270, playing decent defense, and then 2002 hit, and Abernathy playing in 117 games hit for .242 and had one more double than he did in nearly 40 less games the year previous. He’d only get 34 at bats in 2003, and posted a .059 average in that time before being waived and sent to Kansas City, he would later end up in Minnesota but yet again his bat failed him. His claim to fame would be my fabled ‘Sandberg to Abernathy to Cox’ infield that is a play off of the infamous ‘Tinkers to Ever to Chance’ poem written by Franklin Pierce Adams in the 1910’s, and so here it is:

These are the saddest of possible words:
“Sandberg to Abernathy to Cox.”
Trio of sting rays, playing pitifully by the bay,
Sandberg and Abernathy and Cox.
No real bats to speak of, nor potential to groom,
When all three are on a ball club, break out the broom,
“Sandberg to Abernathy to Cox, not in time.”

I’ll be at the local coffee place all month folks. It was later revealed that the Rays were given a choice between Abernathy and another middle infield prospect, Michael Young. Looking at the career stats, Abernathy played in 232 games, and through 2005 would have a line of .244/.297/.325 with eight homeruns, 79 RBIs, and 21 stolen bases. Young has played in 975 games, .299/.343/.450 with 98 homers and 52 stolen bases while playing second base as well as taking over at shortstop after Alex Rodriguez was dealt, needless to say the Rays made a mistake. As for Abernathy he’d be reunited with LaMar in 2007 as a minor leaguer for the Nationals.The Rays had two players that they’d attempt to build around, two former national team players, including the gold medal winning Abernathy. Neither were much of hitters, although they’d alternate leadoff and second order duties throughout the season.

Again Thanks to RJ Anderson.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A special surprise

The StatPack is bringing all you baseball/Rays fans out there a special treat tomorrow. You'd be more interested if you're already a Rays fan, but if you're not I think you'll enjoy it anyway. Stay tuned.

The Stat Pack Weekly Special

This weeks Football upsets courtesy of Stat Pack

Tommy V.

Bucs over Lions

Miami over Florida State

Jules W.

Arizona over Washington

Kentucky over Florida

Trick or Treat is reserved for Halloween

Someone please tell that to Rutgers football who used not 1 but 2 trick plays to beat the #2 team in the country and #1 in our hearts USF Bulls. First Kicker/Punter Jeremy Ito (no known relation to OJ Judge Lance Ito) throws a 36 yard pass on a fake punt in the first quarter that lead to a FG. If that isnt bad enough 3rd string QB Andrew DePaola throws the game winning TD pass on a fake FG. What's next Ray Rice riding on the back of the Scarlet Knight's horse on 4th and goal.

Weekly Chats

Welcome to another addition of the Stat Pack Chat Wrap. This week ESPN's Chris Mortensen and BP's Bryan Smith were very generous in answering our questions. We also have some question in there from Steve Goldman, David Thorpe, Matt Mosley & Mel Kiper Jr.

First up some Football Chatter with ESPN's Mort, Mosley & Kiper Jr.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Mel, I watched the Cal/OSU game and I was extremely impressed by Yvenson Bernard. Besides the hair he reminded me of Marion
Barber the Cal defense couldnt take him down. What do you think of him
and where does he project in the NFL?

Mel Kiper: He's always been a tough, productive player. Not a
game-breaker, but at the end of the day, he gets his yards. Probably a
day 2 guy who has a chance to make an NFL roster.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Anything on Romo's shoulder or will he be good to go sunday? Do you think this was the wake-up call the Cowboys needed?

Chris Mortensen: (11:05 AM ET ) I am assuming Romo will play. Wake up call? The Cowboys are not a dominant team. I saw them struggle in Miami for three quarters, in Buffalo and the Bears' game wasn't a breeze. All they can do is work on their deficiencies. They're a good team and, trust me, there aren't a lot of good teams in the NFL.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Can Chambers really be the #1 the Chargers have been looking for?

Chris Mortensen: (11:11 AM ET ) No, but he can be a really good No. 2 and, don't forget, the Patriots won three Super Bowls with WRs who were No. 2-type receivers.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Hey Mort, I here that the countdown guys hang around in the "War Room" on Sundays watching games and talking. Wouldnt that be a good show?...better then bowling

Chris Mortensen: (11:19 AM ET ) It's true, we watch all the games in a big conference room...big screens...HDTV... and it would be very popular TV....and some of us would probably get fired. (just kidding).

Tommy(TheStatPack): I know its early but I haven't heard many coaches on the hot seat yet. How safe is Marvin Lewis in Cincy?

Chris Mortensen: (11:44 AM ET ) The Bengals owner, Mike Brown, is generally patient. The next step, I believe, is for Brown to allow for a true general manager to work with Lewis. There has to be a change of organizational philosophy.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Hey Mort, I just bought Playing for Keeps haven't got a chance to read it yet but just wondering if you had any desire to write another book?

Chris Mortensen: (11:54 AM ET ) Thanks. I have a desire to write several books when my career settles into the next phase. I may give it a go this next off-season.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Did the Cardinals ever consider Drew Bledsoe?

Matt Mosley: (3:20 PM ET ) Not to my knowledge. Drew's trying to get his new winery up and running.

Next up some NBA & Seinfeld stuff with ESPN's David Thorpe

Tommy(TheStatPack): Isn't it crazy that Scott Boras represents A-Rod, Bonds & Kramer's pal Bob Sacamano

David Thorpe: (12:03 PM ET ) Nice.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Can Kenyon Martin, AI & Melo make the nuggets serious contenders in the west?

David Thorpe:
(12:13 PM ET ) Sure they can. But will they? I'd lean to no, but inspired and focused play can change my mind.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Your listening to Mozart right...are you wearing a puffy shirt to go with it?

David Thorpe: (12:20 PM ET ) But I don't want to be a pirate!

Finally our friends at Baseball Prospectus Steve Goldman and Bryan Smith round out the week with some Baseball talk.

TV: This was funny, I had to include this other guys question so you could understand my question.

Chris (Minot, ND): Kevin, what do you deem as the chances of the Twins extending Santana? And if they do decide to trade him, can they possibly get equal value?

Steven Goldman: Hi, Chris. This is Steven Goldman here, Steve to my friends, one of whom, I am proud to report, is Kevin GoldSTEIN, BP prospect guru. I don't know what I'm a guru of around here. I've edited or co-edited a whole bunch of the books, including the recently released "It Ain't Over," and I guess I have the history beat with my "You Could Look It Up" column. Honestly, it doesn't matter so much if I'm a guru or not, as I'm just happy to be here with these wonderful guys and gals, anyone of whom would give you the shirt off his/her back if you were caught out in the open during a sudden downpour in the fifth inning of a Senators-Browns game in 1937. I'm honored to be mistaken for Kevin, though you wouldn't make that mistake in person. I have the hair, he has the funny hat. And the snappy comebacks.

Tommy (TheStatPack): Hey Will I love the UTK series good job!

Steven Goldman: Thank you. Please try to ignore the supermodel on my arm as I examine your groin pull. You'll only embarass us both...

...The word "best-selling" seems to have disappeared from my intro between NY Times and Baseball Prospectus. It's not like they bought BP or anything.

Tommy (TheStatPack): Is it time to push the panic button on Reid Brignac yet?

Bryan Smith: I get a question like this a lot, and I'm really surprised by it. The perception of this season as a bad year mirrors the same perception in 2005 -- and then he broke out. Expectations are a bit high if a 21-year-old shortstop in a tough AA league and stadium posting a .173 ISO isn't enough. No, Brignac is still a very good prospect, and certainly still the shortstop of the future in Tampa. The biggest problem is that this team needs all the defensive help it can get, and Brignac is fine, but far from golden, up the middle.

Tommy (TheStatPack): How come Granderson gets more love that Crawford?

Bryan Smith: Granderson plays a very good center, while Crawford now plays an average left. That's the most significant difference. The other, obvious one is that Granderson is a very affable character that isn't shy with the media or the fans. This plays a part in public perception. Lastly, he's younger and he has a fun record.

Tommy (TheStatPack): Do you watch House M.D.?

Bryan Smith: I did the first season on a weekly, religious basis, and really enjoyed it. Was glad Hugh Laurie got his Emmy, but for me, the show started to tail off a bit in the second season. I don't watch it anymore, but I have some friends that still swear by it.

Tommy (TheStatPack): You gotta come back to House...How do you see David Prices season progressing where does he start the season and where does he end up?

Bryan Smith: I think you see David Price start the season in Montgomery in Double-A. I'll guess he has something like 10 starts there, 8 starts in Durham, and 12 starts in the Majors. I like Tampa next season a bit, more in 2009, and a lot in 2010. If they can figure out the best mix for all these players and improve their defense, they'll fast forward to 90 wins pretty quickly.

Jules (TheStatPack): Do you watch Law and Order? Which one is your
favorite? SVU? CI?

Bryan Smith: Doesn't everybody? Law and Order is a great show to waste
an hour on, because it takes no prior knowledge of the show to watch an
episode and enjoy it. That's why it has lasted so long, I think. I like
SVU the best because of Mariska Hartigay, but the original L&O was very
good, too. I don't like the CI actor at all, or rather I don't like his
character: too smug.

Tommy (TheStatPack): Shocker non Rays question from me...What are your thoughts on Dellin Betances? Has he developed a true second pitch to go with that nasty fastball?

Bryan Smith: Last chat I missed that Betances got hurt this season, so I wanted to mention that. Betances has a curve that flashes signs of being good, but it's inconsistent.

Jules (TheStatPack): Speaking of Homer Bailey, what effect do you see
the hiring of Dusty Baker having on his career?

Bryan Smith: You're talking to a guy that lived in Chicago and watched
Dusty Baker as he destroyed two of the great pitching talents of this
generation. It really does bother me that Dusty Baker has found work
again, and for now, all I can hope is that he entered this arrangement
with stricter guidelines than he did when the Cubs handed him their keys

Jules (TheStatPack): Do you think Manny knows he used to play in

Bryan Smith: For what it's worth, I absolutely love Manny Ramirez. I
find him to be one of the funniest people in baseball today, though he
doesn't always mean to be. However, he also loves baseball very much,
and he's one of the best ever. Does he remember living in Cleveland?
That answer could really go either way. I think that if he does, he
certainly couldn't remember where he lived.

Jules (TheStatPack): How far as Justin Smoak's stock fallen?

Bryan Smith: Not too far, because his freshman season, Cape season, and
sophomore season is still a really valuable body of work to draw from.
However, he has about as much pressure on him in the spring as any
projected top ten pick, because he'll slide if he gives at-bats away
like he did on Team USA. However, even without a great spring, I'm not
sure I can really argue Yonder Alonso over him yet

Tommy (TheStatPack): Its being reported that Torre will return to the Yanks on a 1 yr deal with a club option for 09. Does this matter to A-Rod at all?

Bryan Smith: Possibly on a public relations level only. If Torre isn't back, I think, PR-wise, you almost need A-Rod, Mo and Jorge all to be back next season. If Torre is back, maybe that lessens the hit of losing A-Rod, although I don't think it should. The Yankees should step up and meet A-Rod's demands, but I think there might be a chance it makes a difference

Tommy (TheStatPack): Does it soften the PR blow now that the Yanks make what looks like pretty fair offer and Torre was the one who walked? I could see Yankee fans seeing this and now siding with George

Bryan Smith: I actually think this means they NEED to get A-Rod signed. If they make pretty good offers to Torre and Alex Rodriguez, and those two Hall of Famers opt for greener pastures, what does that say about the state of Yankee baseball. The Bronx would be in panic mode, I'd bet. As far as A-Rod's pocketbook, this may have been the ideal scenario.

Tommy (TheStatPack): Is Carlos Silva the front runner for the Darren Dreifort like contract this offseason?

Bryan Smith: Well, different scenarios because I don't see Silva getting hurt and ruining his contract. Just being bad and making it look like a horrible contract. I guess were should call than Chan Ho Park like, though Silva won't be that bad. Then again, he could go to the National League and go all Jason Marquis on us.

Here are some non Stat Pack questions but Rays related and interesting.

TGisriel (Baltimore): If you were a GM would yuo be willing to acquire
Elijah Dukes, or do you think the headaches aren't worth the potential?

Bryan Smith: I would want a significant background check done on what
Dukes has been doing for the past few months. Other factors would need
to be involved, but if I was a small market team like Florida or KC, I'd
consider it if I got the right answers.

patsen29 (Toronto): What do you expect a Rays lineup to look like in

Bryan Smith: Moving around the diamond: Navarro, Pena, Harris, Brignac,
Longoria, Crawford, Upton, Young and Alvarez

BrettG (Worthington, OH): How did you forget Elijah Dukes in your answer
to "top-five guys who made their major league debuts in 2007?" I know
there are the obvious issues, but aren't the tools still there?

Bryan Smith: Dukes is just such an enigma, it's hard to anticipate where
he could even play baseball next season. I hope he figures his life out
and focuses on baseball, because he is so immensely talented, it's
scary. I'll really never forget the home run I saw him hit off Chuck
James in Durham. It was unbelievable.

RP (Chicago): Which side of the Jeff Niemann fence are you on?

Bryan Smith: I'm pro Jeff Niemann as a guy that, literally, could be the
fifth starter in Tampa soon. He'll be inconsistent, but he'll be
brilliant sometimes

That's all for the chats this week folks, be sure to tune in next week. Same Stat time, same Stat channel.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

NFL Recap

STL (0-6) 3 @ BAL (4-2) 22

TV: Kyle Boller leads the Ravens to another ugly victory. Air McNair will be also grounded this week .

JW: McGahee having a good season under the radar.

MIN (2-3) 34 @ CHI (2-4) 31

TV: Adrian Peterson is a monster. Who would the Bucs rather have now him or Gaines Adams?

JW: The Bucs? How about the 6 other teams that passed on him? This kid's been NFL ready since his freshmen year at OU.

TEN 10 @ TB 13

TV: All Matt Bryant does is kick game winning FG’s. The Bucs proving that 30 is really the new 20.

JW: Gaines Adams gets his first career sack because Vince Young fell down in front of him. Congrats Gaines!

MIA 31 @ CLE 41

TV: Derek Anderson is Brady Quinn’s worst nightmare

JW: I think Anderson is going to be trade bait in the offseason.

PHI 16 @ NYJ 9

TV: Could it be Thomas Jones decided to play? Too bad the rest of the team didn’t show up.

JW: Time for a younger Clemens with a better arm to get the ball in NY.

HOU 17 @ JAC 37

TV: Quietly the Jags are one of the hottest teams in the league. Big game this week Monday Night against Indy

JW: Once you get past Jones-Drew their offense is just a bunch of tall receivers who can't catch.

WAS 14 @ GB 17

TV: How long can Brett Favre keep this team on his shoulders without a running game? I hear Dorsey Levens is working out

JW: You're telling me you have no faith in the stud who is DeShawn Wynn?

CIN 20 @ KC 27

TV: Bengals and Saints easily the biggest disappointments of the season to this point

JW: How long until a Bengal player kills Marvin Lewis? I'm betting on it being Chris Henry.

CAR 25 @ ARI 10

TV: Vinny Testaverde 21 straight years with a TD Pass

JW: Jules Winnfield, 21 straight years of being alive.

NE 48 @ DAL 27

TV: Tom Brady spanks the Cowboys like a hot model. What can I say except...they kicked our ass

JW: Our? What's your uniform number on the cowboys?

OAK 14 @ SD 28

TV: 2 straight wins the Chargers look to be they add a really nice WR in Chambers

JW: I still refuse to believe in a team with Norv Turner as Head Coach.

NO 28 @ SEA 17

TV: Reggie Bush showing he can carry the ball 20 times a game but how long can he last?

JW: I'm going to steal this from Matt Berry over at ESPN but "the Diet Pepsi machine is winning so far."

NYG 31 @ ATL 10

TV: Worst Monday night game in a while
JW: Giants with 4 wins in a row and Plex looking like a Pro Bowler.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


More on the incredible USF season. The latest AP Poll has USF as the #2 team in the country behind Ohio State. USF also received 11 1st place votes and are expected to be #2 in the BCS standings released today. The Bulls plays Rutgers this thursday.

In unrelated news I'm developing a man crush on Devin Hester... 9th TD return in 2 years.

Mark May is a beautiful man

How could you not love that face? I was watching the 10:30am SportsCenter and they had College Football Hall of Famer/Analyst on to rank his Top 5 teams. When he started out with LSU at 5 I stopped paying attention thinking that he would leave USF off his list. I nearly fell out of his chair when he listed USF number 1. We here at The Stat Pack are big South Florida fans. Mark May, I love you.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Unusual Bowden comments raise eyebrows following Demon Deacons' dreadful drubbing of 'Noles

After watching his football team give up seventeen unanswered points in the second half Thursday night en route to a 24-21 loss at Wake Forest, Bobby Bowden's comments to the media revealed what appears to be a much deeper in-house issue. In response to being questioned about a highly-scrutinized decision to lift starter Xavier Lee from a tie ballgame in favor of retread Drew Weatherford early in the fourth quarter, Bowden responded by saying "We'd call a play, and he'd [Lee] run it the wrong least [Drew] Weatherford would run the play you called."

After an unimpressive 3-and-out
on Weatherford's only possession, which led to Wake Forest's go-ahead touchdown, Lee was injected back into the game, never to miss another snap. Visibly rattled, however, he was unable to lead the Seminoles to victory, managing just a meaningless touchdown in the final seconds. This was FSU's 4th October loss in the last two years, just another sign of their ineptitude over the last half-decade. With Miami coming to town next week and road games at Boston College, Virginia Tech and arch-rival Florida, the road gets no easier for these young Seminoles.

This was a tough loss for the 21st-ranked 'Noles, who will surely drop from both polls after another weak outing. Coupled with UM and UF losses on Saturday, as well as two schools who are making big names for themselves and just so happen to be facing off this weekend in Tampa--UCF and USF--FSU's loss shows that the talent gap in the sunshine state is swiftly dwindling.


I know this isn't sports related but stuff like this really strikes a cord with me. Fox News reporter John Gibson went on a rant blaming hiphop music for recent Ohio school shooting.

"another example of Hip Hop culture bringing murder and mayhem into the rest of our society"

"I know the shooter was white, I knew it as soon as he shot himself," Gibson remarked during his Oct. 10 broadcast. "Hip-hoppers don't do that. They shoot and move on to shoot again."

"I know there's a few of you who want to call me racist. But when you do, remind -- let me remind you, African-Americans are dying in major cities because people won't face this problem."

For record the Shooter Asa Coon was into Gothic culture and listened to Marilyn Manson.

I've been listening to hiphop music since I can remember and never once have I thought of killing someone because of it.

This is just ignorance at its finest.....For the rest of the article

Mitchell Investigation to reveal names

According to sources Sen. Mitchell's Investigation on steriod use in baseball is expected to be released between sometime after Oct 31st.

Immediately I think of Jose Canseco's comments about A-Rod....Why? Game 7 of the World Series if necessary of course would be played Nov. 1st. A-Rod has to notify the Yankees if he's opting out his contract within 10 days of final World Series game. If A-Rod is diry as Canseco eluded to would he give up that guaranteed 81 Million and hit the open market knowing his name might be in the report? Pure speculation but something to think about

The Stat Pack Weekly Special

Another new weekly thing to look forward to here at The Stat Pack. Tommy, Jules & Dean-O (if we can find him) will each pick one upset from College Football & the NFL. Here we go with this weeks upset specials.

Tommy V.

Dallas over New England 31-27

Louisville over Cincinnati 35-20

Jules W.

Oakland 27 Over San Diego 20

Missouri 20 Over Oklahoma 17

Bulls Love Page 2's Jemele Hill throws USF some love. The column is advocating a college football playoff system. If the Bulls run the table and finish 12-0 it'll be interesting to see where they end up in the BCS and the light the national media puts on them.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Rays Hire Dave Martinez as Bench Coach

Former Tampa Bay OF Dave Martinez has been named Rays Bench Coach

I always like Dave as a player and think he could bring some energy to this staff. Good Hire...I guess Maddon wants to bond with him.

Seeds of Success

I stole that headline from the guys over at USSMariner. They wrote an excellent piece on the GM's of the 4 LCS teams. Everyone should check out their site, even if you don't care about the Mariners.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Why I Love Terrell Owens

Here's what the whole letter says

"Dear Reporters,

"Due to the magnitude of this week's game and high volume of questions for the Original 81 about the other 81. I will be taking all questions immediately following Sunday's game.

"Sincerely, (followed by Owens' signature)"

"p.s. Getcha Popcorn Ready."

Weekly Chats

It's that time of the week, Chat Day here at The Stat Pack. We have started to branch out into the other sports a little more since the NFL is in full swing and NBA is about to start up. Oh and by the way we've busted out the big names...Chris Mortensen, Mel Kiper Jr, Jim Callis, Will Carroll etc...

We'll start out with Jim Callis of Baseball America, he seems to be our biggest fan. Then we'll move to John Perrotto & Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus, Lots of good stuff there. Besides our typical Rays talk we branched out to some other things. Tommy tried to start a nickname Ryan Braun Campaign with Perrotto that included Back 2 Back Chat posts By Tommy & Jules; very Big Papi & ManRam-like. Jules may have started a possible war with Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus on who really started the Rays World Series Bandwagon...Enjoy

We're going to start including questions/statements from other chatters that are Rays-centric.

Jules (TheStatPack): I think the guys at BP are taking the reins of the Rays Bandwagon from you. You gonna step it up Jim?

Jim: I built that bandwagon! They can not take the reins! Come on! Back in our season preview, I had the Rays making the playoffs in 2010. I defy BP to show earlier support, so I will not relinquish the reins!

JW: People start asking him '10 Rays questions after I questioned his commitment.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama): Is the David Price going to be the rays #1 starter when they go to the playoffs in 2010?

Jim: Yes.

PJ (Agawam MA): Are the Rays the East champ in 2010 or the wild card?

Jim: I had them as the East champs . . . and beating the Dodgers in the World Series.

Rob (ct): Best farm system in the AL east?

Jim: Devil Rays.

JW: That one was easy

Morgan (Newport Beach, CA): Brandon Wood or Evan Longoria

Jim: Longoria.

That's it for the Baseball America portion. On to Baseball Prospectus.

First up is the Tuesday chat with Kevin Goldstein.

userlock (NC): If Brignac has a good showing in the AFL, how much does he improve his stock? A Triple-A start with a look in september maybe?

Kevin Goldstein: I think that's Brignac's schedule as-is, even before the AFL season begins. I'm not sure how a big month in Arizona would change that too much.

Upton Fan (Tampa): Joe Sheehan and Will Carrol were talkin on fantasy 411 about Ian Stewart taking over at third sooner rather than later. Did I miss something good in his development? Or should I call and straighten them out about his future with the Rocks?

Kevin Goldstein: I'm just not buying it, but I think I'm also way further down than most are on him. He's just not that good. He's never been more than alright since his huge Sally League season -- and that's pretty much ancient history at this point. Decent third-base prospect, but no more.

Why'd that guy post as Upton Fan(Tampa) then ask a Rockies question?

JW: This question isn't Rays related or funny in any way, I just thought it was very interesting.

Scott (Chicago): How much do scouts make? From the 30 year scouts to the guys who have yet to make any organizational impact.

Kevin Goldstein: The job starts at about 30K/year with 200+ days a year of travel. A bigtime experienced area scout with an important region -- like SoCal or Texas or part of Florida is probably up to maybe 50-60K. Once you get into the cross-checkers and supervisors you move up a little more, and scouting directors get into the six-figures -- with more coming if they're also Asst. GMs

jaymoff (Salem, OR): If you were running the Tampa Bay (Devil) Ray ship how would the next 1-3 years shake out? They have so many young studs up now plus many more in the minors. This would certainly take a long time to answer in order to cover all the angles, but what would be the Cliff Notes version of your explanation?

Kevin Goldstein: 1. Spend $0 on free agents2. Use 2008 to evaluate young offensive talent and decide which you want to give pre-arb extensions too.3. Look at all young arms and evaluate for 2009 roles.4. Compete in 2009, be even better in 2010.

Justin (Brno, Czech Republic): Hi Kevin, appreciate your work. I have a theoretical question. Should the Pirates sell high and trade Snell and/or Gorzelany? If they did could they get a good prospect say like Evan Longoria from tampa bay?

Kevin Goldstein: No, and no.

JW: Is that guy high? Snell and/or Gorz for Longo? I wouldn't take the entire Pirates team for Longo.

Jules (TheStatPack): What do you see Longoria doing in the AFL? And What are your expectations for Halo 3?

Kevin Goldstein: I see him continuing to perform at a very high level, lining up for a 2008 rookie year. I'm a Playstation guy, as I tend to strongly prefer games developed in Japan. I'm sure Halo 3 is great and all, but FPS games just ain't my thing.

Jules (TheStatPack): Do you have a personal blog? Or do you just write for BP?

Kevin Goldstein: I don't, but I might -- I've thought about it in the past.

We'd love to get him on as a guest blogger.

JW: I asked this one as Matt Holliday:

Matt Holliday (Coors): Why am I naturally bald at 27?

Kevin Goldstein: Um, because that's life? I went to high school with a kid that was already going bald, and if any of you have ever been to a BP event or seen me elsewhere, you'd know that I'm hardly an expert in having a lot of hair.
That's all from KG. On to Will Carroll and John Perrotto.

Tommy (ChaimBloomsOffice): What are we gonna do with Elijah Dukes?

Will Carroll: Let him play Winter Ball, make him prove himself at every step, and see if Dukes can bring his career around, Josh Hamilton style.

Oh and while Jim Callis is claiming the Devil Rays bandwagon, I've been on it for perhaps longer than I should have been:

JW: See what I started?

Tommy (TheStatPack): Does Rocco Baldelli play 100 Games next year?

Will Carroll: Do rehab games count?

TheStatPack (St. Pete): Who's more bald? or is it balder? You or KG?

Will Carroll: I think I shave it down further, since I am a straight razor guy.

Matt Holliday (Colorado): Why am I naturally bald at 27? When did you start?

Will Carroll: Because it looks good? Early 20s.

JW: That was me as Matt "The Snowman" Holliday again.

Tommy (TheStatPack): There always talk about Mcgee/Davis/Niemann, but what do you think about some of the Rays other arms like Jeremy Hellickson, Chris Mason, & Heath Rollins?

John Perrotto: Hellickson is the guy I hear good things about. Some scouts think he has a chance to be a pitcher at or near the of the rotation.

Tommy (TheStatPack): Who would you rather have the Yanks trio of Kennedy/Joba/Hughes or the Rays trio of Kazmir/Shields/And insert one of the following Mcgee/Davis/Price/Niemann

John Perrotto: At this point in time, Kazmier/Shields/whoever because they have proven they can pitch effectively at the major-league level. I really believe Kazmir and Shields can become one of the best 1-2 combos in the game very soon.

Tommy (TheStatPack): Where do you see Ryan Braun playing 3B or LF?

John Perrotto: I think eventually left field. He is shaky at third, to say the least, but, boy, you have to love his bat. He's something special offensively.

Tommy (TheStatPack): I agree Im in awe of Braun at the plate but doesn't he need a cool nickname.

John Perrotto: Yes, he does. Any suggestions?

Tommy (TheStatPack): The Lumberjack?

John Perrotto: Eh. I don't know. He went to the University of Miami, so Lumberjack just doesn't jibe there.

Jules (TheStatPack): How about Ryan "The Human Overthrow" Braun?

John Perrotto: Now, now, be nice.

John Perrotto: Well, thanks for all the questions I am so very looking forward to covering the ALCS for all the great BP readers. It should be a blast. And keep thinking up Ryan Braun nicknames.

ndubby (yay area): Tampa Bay is the only recent expansion team to not sniff the playoffs because a) they're in the AL, b) they're in the AL East, or c) they were run by Chuck Lamarr.

John Perrotto: B and C, though a lot of the young talent there now is courtesy of Chuck LaMar. Though he justifiably took his share of hits, he did bring in some pretty impressive young talent.

I thought that question was intersting and the answer was better. I'd like to see what RJ Anderson over at thinks of it.

For our NFL part Here are a few questions for ESPN's Chris Mortensen & Mel Kiper Jr. Also emailed NFL Injury Question with Sports Illustraded & BP's own Will Carroll

Tommy(TheStatPack): Hey Mort any truth to Larry Fitzgerald to Dallas
rumors? Do you see anyone being moved before the deadline?

Chris Mortensen:(11:30 AM ET ) I haven't heard those rumors. The Cowboys do have two first-round draft picks and it's hard for me to fathom the Cardinals trading Fitzgerald when they are clearly in the hunt for the NFC West.
Now, if it included one of the receivers that former Cowboys receivers
coach Todd Haley likes (Haley is now on Arizona staff), plus a first
rounder, then that sounds like fun...mostly, it sounds like fun rumor stuff.

Did we just beat Chris Mortensen to a scoop?

Tommy(TheStatPack): I believe the Saints are better then what they've shown. So out of the other Winless teams who has the bigger chance to go
0-16 Rams or Dolphins

Chris Mortensen:(12:16 PM ET ) Nobody is going 16-0 or 0-16.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Hey Mel what are Matt Grothe's prospects for the NFL. He's like a shorter version of Tim Tebow

Mel Kiper: (1:09PM ET ) He's what he is; a very smart, intuitive QB. He has that 'it'factor as a college QB. He's got great toughness and leadership, and he makes plays. He delivers in the clutch a lot, but he's only about 6 feet,
205 pounds. He's only a sophomore, and I don't think he'll be an elite NFL
QB because of his size, and he doesn't have the great arm.

This is from an E-mail that Tommy sent to Will Carroll:

Hey Will,

Its rare fort an NFL QB's have TJ surgery, have there been any other cases
you know of? And 2nd question do you think Delhomme can make a full
recovery and come back just as strong if not stronger like a pitcher?

Will's Response: Rob Johnson's the one I can come up with. No reason to think he can't come back, though I'm dubious of the timeframe that the Panthers are throwing up there.

On to the NBA/Seinfeld Hour with David Thorpe

Tommy(TheStatPack): Does Penny have any gas left in the tank?

David Thorpe:(12:22 PM ET ) Not enough, I'm afraid.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Which Florida Gator makes the biggest impact for his team this season?

David Thorpe:(12:18 PM ET ) The odds say Big Al, but Noah and Brewer will make an impact too.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Better Seinfeld episode...Soup Nazi or The Contest?

David Thorpe:(12:24 PM ET ) I prefer the Menage episode, written by my friend Sam Kass.

That's all for the chats this week folks, be sure to tune in next week. Same Stat time, same Stat channel.

Season of the Living Dead

Forget the fad of calling timeouts before game winning kicks. The real hot trend in the NFL is bringing QB's back from the dead. Our latest case is in Carolina where the Panthers have signed...DRUMROLL...Vinny Testaverde. Pending a physical Vinny will be on the field taking snaps with the Panthers who lost their starter Jake Delhomme for the season and have a dinged up David Carr.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Who's that Fucka on ESPN2

Assist to Jules on this one. On Sunday EPSN2 was showing a exhibition basketball game between Virtus Roma vs. Toronto Raptors. During the game Jules sends me a text message saying Roma has a guy named Fucka, so of course I stop watching football and tune in and there he is right there Gregor Fucka

NFL Recap Week 5

JAC (3-1) 17 @ KC (2-3) 7

TV: Slowly Im becoming a believer in the Jags. They have solid running game to go along with a solid D. Huard left the game with injury. I think its time to start the Croyle era anyway.

JW: Del Rio is looking like a genius for cutting Byron.

CLE (2-3) 17 @ NE (5-0) 34

TV: The Patriots steamroll thru Cleveland on their way to the big showdown in Big D

JW: And the Pats said this was the worst game they had played all season.

CAR (3-2) 16 @ NO (0-4) 13

TV: The David Carr show is in full effect now that Delhomme is done for the season with Tommy John Surgery? Really, TJ surgery in football.

JW: Carr may be out this week as well. Good luck Matt Moore!

NYJ (1-4) 24 @ NYG (3-2) 35

TV: Giants D comes up big again. Pennington feeling the heat in NY but its not his fault Thomas Jones hasn’t shown up yet.

JW: It is his fault that he can't throw the ball 10 yards in the air however.

MIA (0-5) 19 @ HOU (3-2) 22

TV: Kris Brown 5 FG’s and 3 from 50 yards…Waiver Wire Gold

JW: The Texans D is actually coming around.

SEA (3-2) 0 @ PIT (4-1) 21

TV: Pittsburgh dominates one of the top teams in the NFC proving the gap in the 2 conferences. Good Luck to Mack Strong the long time Seattle fullback who retired after being injured in this game.

JW: Pitt won without a handful of starters also. Mack Strong may have had the coolest name in football.

DET (3-2) 3 @ WAS (3-1) 34

TV: Detroit looked like…Detroit. Washington looking better each week.

JW: Kitna needs to start praying more after that game. At least Roy Williams said he is finally starting to tip Pizza delivery men. I'm not making that up.

ATL (1-4) 13 @ TEN (3-1) 20

TV: Not only is Joey Harrington alive but he should have been playing with the game on the line instead of Leftwich who has been there like 2 weeks.

JW: I agree with Bill Simmons on this point, you can't be a great QB and be named Joey. Would Joe Theismen been any good if he went by Joey? I think not.

ARI (3-2) 34 @ STL (0-5) 31

TV: One way to break up the 2 QB system…Break Matt Leinart’s collarbone. WOO HOO Arizona more shots of Kurt Warner’s manly wife

JW: I have nothing to add about the game, but I did break my friend's collarbone when I was a teenager.

TB (3-2) 14 @ IND (5-0) 33

TV: Pats/Cowboys are getting all the headlines but I believe the Colts are the best team in the NFL. Without 4 starters including Harrison, Addai & Bob Sanders they hang 33 on the top scoring defense and allow only 17 rushing yards

JW: It does help when the running backs are Ernest Graham and Michael Pittman who was injured in the early going.

SD (2-3) 41 @ DEN (2-3) 3

TV: Shanahan is suffering from the bad karma he brought on with this whole time-out before game winning field goals

JW: OR Denver isn't very good. They couldn't stop ME running the ball.

BAL (3-2) 9 @ SF (2-3) 7

TV: If a game happens in San Francisco and nobody sees it...did it really happen?

JW: Good to see Trent Dilfer's corpse is doing well.

CHI (2-3) 27 @ GB (4-1) 20

TV: Brian Griese was very efficient in the Bears victory. If they can get that play out of him every week the Pack needs to watch out.

JW: Favre one pick away from a record that may never be broken.

DAL (5-0) 25 @ BUF (1-4) 24

TV: Holy crap where do I start….5 Romo picks 2 for TDs… a Buffalo Kick Return for 103 yards and the Cowboys still win on a Nick Folk 53 yarder (which he had to kick twice since he was Shanahaned). Cudos to the Cowboys D only giving up 3 points and Where was the Cowboys running game last night?

JW: I turned this game off at two seperate times beacuse I thought it was over. If the Cowboys play this bad against the Pats, they're doomed.

Ladies and Gentlemen Mr. Nick Folk

Whew, That was a close one. 6 turnovers and the Cowboys still comeback to win 25-24. More on the NFL in our week 5 recap later...but now I would like to introduce you to my favorite kicker....America Meet Nick Folk

Monday, October 8, 2007

Not to Rain on USF's parade but.....

USF is now ranked #5 wonderful... right??? Not so fast every team that has been ranked #5(Oklahoma, Michigan, Florida, West Virginia, Wisconsin) this year have gone on to lose at some point in the season. 3 teams Michigan, West Virginia & Wisconsin have all lost as the #5 team.

The Fighting Jim Harbaugh's

Any loss that moves USF up in the polls is a good loss, that's why I was happy to see Saturday night that USC had fallen to Stanford. I was doubly happy because for reasons I don't remember I've always been a big fan of Stanford's head coach Jim Harbaugh. Maybe it's because I thought the Colts should have beaten the Steelers on that hail mary in the '95 AFC Title game. Whatever the reason, congrats to the 40 point underdog Standford Trees...err I mean Cardinals.


I wish I had an editor to makeup catchy headlines for my posts, but sadly I AM the editor for this site.

Joe Torre needs to come back from a 2-0 deficit in this series or he gets fired. The Boss is like Willy Wonka at this point, releasing a press statement from time to time. He says "I think we're paying him a lot of money. He's the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don't think we'd take him back if we don't win this series." If he does fire Torre then who does he get to replace him that would make a significant difference? Joe Girardi? Donny Baseball? What if they make the playoffs then get bounced in the first round? Or what if they miss the playoffs all together? Do you fire them? The players on that team love Torre, and I don't think another manager could handle New York any better than Mr. Torre does. Until Torre punches an opposing player like Woody Hayes or decides to bat A-Rod 9th he should stay in New York as long as he wants. That was hard for me to write as a life long Yankee Hater.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Yankees & Indians under attack

The Canadians are coming....The Canadians are coming.

Canadian Soldiers or Mayflies are swarming Jacobs Field. I think Joba Chamberlain swallowed like a pound of them during the 8th inning and also gathered quite a bunch on the back of his neck. Kenny Lofton is our first causality he's been hit in the eye with a bug.

Plastic Man Lives

Straight from the "we thought he was dead" file... Stacey "Plastic Man" Augmon has signed with the Denver Nuggets.

Odd and Ends Friday

Its end of the "work"(like any of us actually work thanks to Al Gore's Internet) week so I'd figure I post some random stuff I've been chatting about and some current stories

The Pirates canned Jim Tracy after going 135-189 in 2 years....Joe Maddon goes 127-197 in those same 2 years and has his option picked up thru 09. Go Figure

Did anybody believe Marion Jones didn't take steroids?

How many players will the Buffalo Bills put on IR before the end of the season. They just added their 9th In Peerless Price...I hear Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed & Bruce Smith have started training.

Now on to random chats...Ask the Stat Pack version of Tim Cowlishaw (except Im much younger and better looking) It is my duty to throw some NASCAR on The Stat Pack page. As a Tony Stewart fan I decided to ask's David Newton some questions...I guess he really liked me cause he answered a bunch.

Tommy(TheStatPack): How many races into next season before Tony punches Kyle Busch

David Newton : (3:16 PM ET ) The over-under line is 7.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Im taking the

David Newton : (3:19 PM ET ) I set the line, so I'll go with over.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Will JGR lose any steam by switching to Toyota? Or is that team strong enough to take Toyota to the next level?

David Newton : (3:23 PM ET ) I don't think they'd make the move to take a step backwards? How about you?

Tommy(TheStatPack): I hope not but have you see Gibbs coaching the past few years? More that a few questionable decisions...

David Newton : (3:24 PM ET ) Good point. Maybe J.D. Gibbs should give the Redskins a try and let dad run the race team for a while.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Would Skins Owner Dan Snyder notice?..Back to the track..Do you think Amirola has a shot to take over the 8 car after 08 or will they bring in somebody from another team?

David Newton : (3:35 PM ET ) The deal Mark Martin signed for the 8 was for two years. So I'd say anything that happens will be after '09.

Tommy(TheStatPack): Number of Championships for Tony Stewart...Im setting the under/over at 7 sound good?

David Newton: (3:57 PM ET ) Number is good. I'll go for under.

Since Me and David have become such good Homies I think I will try and make his chats more often.

Now on to the lighting round...or just random questions I asked some people in chats

From Scouts Inc.'s Craig Haubert about USF's recruiting status now that they are the shit

Tommy(TheStatPack): With their new rise to fame does USF grab some highly touted players this year?

Craig Haubert: (3:27 PM ET ) It is possible -- they are grabbing major headlines and nothing seems to suggest this is a fluke. The gap between the big 3 in Florida and USF has greatly closed. I think USF is still doing a great job getting those really good players some of the bigger programs have overlooked or passed over. Prospects like Demetris Murray out of Buford, GA and DT Jamarcus Allen are very good players.

This one comes from Baseball Prospectus's Steve Goldman

Tommy (TheStatPack): Clint Hurdle NL Manager of the Year?

Steven Goldman: It aint Willie Randolph. Maybe that's what we should call the sequel to "It Ain't Over" - "It Ain't Willie Randolph."

The way the voters usually go on these things, I imagine that Hurdle won it, but you can also make a solid case for Bob Melvin, Bud Black (even with the last game loss), and maybe Lou Piniella - not necessarily because of anything he did, but because of his propinquity to a Cubs team that did something positive and the way it puts Dusty Baker in the rear view.

Excellent...I am definitely going to use It Aint Willie Randolph as a response more often to questions.

And Finally to bring it all full circle a Rays related question to end the day.

From Baseball Prospectus's Clay Davenport

Tommy (TheStatPack): Hey Clay, Do you think Carlos Pena will put up similar number next season?

Clay Davenport: No, but speaking as someone who picked him up in the draft portion of a roto league, I can say that I'll certainly resign him at 5 for next year and hope he comes anywhere close to this.

However I may well have said the same thing of David Ortiz in the past, although he ramped up much more steadily. Pena's is a sudden and explosive surg, and may prove to be more along the lines of, oh, Brady Anderson for repeatability

Ouch Brady Anderson?

Strange Injury in Giants Locker room

Accoring to Giants LB Chase Blackburn almost ruptured his ear drum when a reporter bumped into him while he was cleaning out his ear with a q-tip. Blackburn fell to the ground and his ear started bleeding. Doctors expect his hearing to return slowly


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Weekly Chats

We try and participate in all the chats we can on Baseball Prospectus and . We submit questions and hope they're insightful/witty enough to catch the attention of the chatter so they'll answer them. Christina Kahrl and Jim Callis were chatting at the same time on BP and respectively. Later on in the day we even got a quick word in with ESPN's Around The Horn panelist J.A. Adande. It turned out to be a good day.

Jules(thestatpack): Do you think the '09 Rays can be te '07 Dbacks?

Jim Callis: '10 Rays. I'm on that bandwagon.

Awesome, that makes 3 of us on this wagon.

This one wasn't from us but it was about the Rays so I thought I'd include it.

Pedro Alvarez (Vandy): Please compare my offensive *potential* to that of past elite 3B prospects coming out of college like Gordon, Braun & Zimmerman. Will I be manning LF for Tampa in 2 years?

Jim Callis:
More comparable to Gordon, who was considered a cut above Braun and Zimmerman. I do see Alvarez moving off 3B, and not just because Evan Longoria will be in Tampa.

There is a report on mlb site saying David Price is a contender for making Rays rotation out of Spring Training. Is there anything to that? Could Price jump straight to the Majors without anytime in the Minors?

Jim Callis: He could, but why rush him? I bet he's up in August or September. Not like he's going to push the Rays over the top in '08.

Tommy asks this same question to Ms. Kahrl later.

Jules(thestatpack): What size shirt do you wear? I'm printing '10 Rays playoff shirts tonight.

Jim Callis: XL.

I've heard his voice, there's NO way Callis needs an extra large anything.

Tommy(Thestatpack): 2008 AL ROY Longoria or The Field

Jim Callis: The field. A lot of times the rookies come out of nowhere. I wouldn't have picked Ryan Braun or Dustin Pedroia, the likely 2007 winners, at this time a year ago.

Jules(thestatpack): 2009 Rays rotation: Kazmir, Shields, Price, _____, _____

Jim Callis: Jake McGee, Wade Davis.

I think Mr. Callis has a man crush on the Rays/us.

Here's the question that Tommy asked Callis originally

Tommy (TheStatPack): There is a report on mlb site saying David Price is a contender for making Rays rotation out of Spring Training. Is there anything to that? Could Price jump straight to the Majors without anytime in the Minors?

Christina Kahrl: I can't say it's *that* surprising. They tolerated Casey Fossum for so long I was beginning to wonder if they were simply forgetting to keep score in his starts.

Tommy (TheStatPack): Am I the only one that thinks Cal Ripken Jr. and Steve from Jerry Springer were seperated at birth?

Christina Kahrl: Has anyone ever seen them in the same place at the same time?

If you've seen the TBS playoff coverage you'll understand.

Tommy (TheStatPack): Will you be attending any of the ballpark events next year or do they have you locked in a cage like Goldstein.

Christina Kahrl: Maybe the best way for us to bust out of our cages is to do an event at Kane County next spring? Seriously, though, I had the privilege of co-hosting the ballpark event in RFK that Stan Kasten and company were willing to make happen, for which I haven't problem thanked them (or Maury Brown for his assist, for that matter). I look forward to doing more next season.

Tommy(TheStatPack): What is the seating capacity at Adande lounge?

J.A. Adande: Fire marshall caps it at 800. Huge dance floor. Exclusive
VIP section with bottle service

Its pretty much a given that The Stat Pack members are on that VIP list

Fantastic. As you can see...we're kind of a big deal.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Matt Holliday's new nickname....

I'm really liking "The Snowman".
A) He plays in Colorado, where there is a lot of that substance during the winter (unfortunately, not during baseball months so that we could see The Snowman in his natural habitat, but the ice-capped mountains are still there)
B) He has a shiny bald head that makes him look a little bit like a snowman.
C) Guys who lead the league in BA and RBI deserve badass nicknames.

Obviously, The Snowman's hand melted under Barrett's cleat Monday night, and the puddle did touch the plate, the replays clearly show. Only if you have an HDTV, though.

And just since this is my first post, I'm going to make everyone aware of my currently-embarrassing team loyalties.

NFL - Miami Dolphins (0-4 4th place, AFC East) - What can I say positive about my Dolphins other than the fact that Cam Cameron seems to be working well with Ronnie Brown....almost 500 total yards in the last two games, not bad at all. The receivers don't look bad either, and the offensive actually looks good run-blocking, while the pass-blocking has been decent. Our defense is anemic, the secondary is the worst in the NFL and the interior linemen get no movement up front. Trent Green is TERRIBLE as well, and Ted Ginn Jr. was a worse pick than....(this is a nice segway into my next loyalty)
NBA - Orlando Magic- ....Fran Vasquez. Yes, I'm serious (considering what was available to Miami....). Anyway, the Magic are on the upswing, possibly more than any of my favorite teams. I'm looking forward to watching Rashard Lewis, although I don't think he was worth the max contract, sorry 'Shard. Dwight Howard is blossoming, and that alone is worth the price of admission a few times a year. I have my fingers crossed that JJ Redick can play well with a starting role this season and maybe our offense will not be among the worst in the NBA. Hoping for a nice seeding in the Eastern Conference.
MLB - Atlanta Braves (84-78, 3rd NL East, No playoffs again...) - No more Andruw now, either. That move doesn't bother me, he is a shell of his youth right now. Probably going to experience a career turnaround and have another couple peak years, but right now he's not worth the cost to keep him, and he just isn't inspired. I love Tex, though. And if we sign Glavine, that will be a great move. All the young hitters look good, too. I wish our bullpen had been consistent throughout the year and that we'd had one more quality starter.
NCAA - Florida State Seminoles (3-1) - Big win vs Alabama. That felt great to see Nick Saban get crunched, being a Dolphins fan and all. Xavier Lee finally showing promise, we'll see how they look this weekend against NC State. It's a home game, but we always seem to slip up against these mediocre ACC rival schools. Hopefully this weekend is different.

MLB Playoff Predictions


Diamondback vs. Cubs

TV: Diamondbacks in 4

JW: Dbacks in 5

Rockies vs. Phillies

TV: Phillies in 3

JW: Phillies in 4


Indians vs Yankees

TV: Yankees in 4

JW: Indians in 4

Angels vs Red Sox

TV: Angels in 5

JW: Sox in 4


TV: Diamondbacks vs Phillies (Diamondbacks in 5)

JW: Dbacks vs Phillies (Phillies in 6)


TV: Angels vs Yankees (Angels in 6)

JW: Sox vs Indians (Indians in 7)

World Series
TV: Diamondbacks vs Angels (Angels in 7)

JW: Indians vs Phillies (Indians in 6)

ESPN Fair & Balanced....

I love how ESPN manipulates numbers and stories in order to make teams they love seem so much better than others. See this weeks NFL Power Rankings. They continue to throw love the Patriots way but they "dont want to rain on the Cowboys parade"

In the power rankings they say the Cowboys opponents only have 3 combined wins so "We'll know how seriously to take this team on Oct. 14 vs. New England"....The combined win total for the New England Patriots opponents....4

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


The contract of Rays bench coach Bill Evers was not renewed today. Evers had the longest tenure of any member of the organization. I'd really like some sort of explanation from the Rays brass about this. Did Evers ask not to be renewed so he could persue other coaching opportunities? Did the Rays front office Stu-Crew feel his services were no longer needed? Evers was an extremely popular coach at all levels in the Rays organization. The Rays many young players grew up with Bill as their coach and it will be a shame to see the Rays start to succeed without Mr. Evers on the bench. Good luck Bill.

Edit: Marc Topkin from the St. Pete Times reports:

Bench coach Bill Evers was hurt and disappointed to be let go by the Rays on Tuesday.

"It hurts deeply,'' Evers said. "I gave them those years, saw all those kids grow up, saw the whole organization grow up. They're definitely headed in the right direction. I just wish I could be part of it.''

Carlos Pena AL Comeback Player of The Year

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Congrats to Carlos Pena on winning the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Pena's Year .282 AVG. 46 HR 121 RBI 103BB 99 R 1.038 OPS. Also played Gold Glove caliber 1B.

Again Congrats to Los, a great guy and a great player. Hopefully the Rays are thinking long-term with him.

NFL Recap

Week 4 Recap

Houston (2-2) 16 @ Atlanta (1-3) 24

TV: Joey Harrington spoiled the return of Matt Schaub by completing 79.3% of his passes with 2 TDS 0 INTS

JW: Wait Joey Harrington’s Alive?

New York Jets (1-3) 14 @ Buffalo (1-3) 17

TV: Rookie Trent Edwards leads the Bills to their 1st victory of the season. Too bad they play “Dem Cowboys” next week

JW: Prediction: A Boys/Bills Superbowl type beat down.

Baltimore (2-2) 13 @ Cleveland (2-2) 27

TV: I’m officially in the drivers seat for the "Start Kyle Boller Bandwagon"...who’s coming with me

JW: Plenty of seats still available.

St Louis (0-4) 7 @ Dallas (4-0) 35

TV: How bout them Cowboys…I haven’t been this excited about the boys since 95. Sorry Parcells Im getting out my anointing oil for Romo

JW: They need to sit Jones and play MBIII more.

Chicago (1-3) 27 @ Detroit (3-1) 37

TV: Same ol’ story Grossman with 3 more picks one returned for a touchdown….oops that was Griese

JW: Did anyone actually believe Kitna when he said they would win 10 games this year?

Oakland (2-2) 35 @ Miami (0-4) 17

TV: How great was it to see Culpepper shove it to the Phins by throwing 2 TDS and RUNNING for 3 TDS. Glad to see the Dolphins got their man in Trent Green.

JW: He's going to be starting in Philly next year while McNabb moves to Chi-town.

Green Bay (4-0) 23 @ Minnesota (1-3) 16

TV: Some guy named Favre set a record…he’s gonna be a good one

JW: Bring on the Kelly Holcomb era.

Seattle (3-1) 23 @ San Francisco (2-2) 3

TV: You thought Joey Harrington was dead….Trent Dilfer played QB for the Niners

JW: It's cool that they let people play postuhumously.

Tampa Bay (3-1) 20 @ Carolina (2-2) 7

TV: Cadillac screws my fantasy team 2 years in a row…Thanks

JW: No one cares about your fantasy team, but why draft him in the first place?

Denver (2-2) 20 @ Indianapolis (4-0) 38

TV: Manning throws 3 TD’s without Harrison who could be out for a few weeks

JW: This Brandon Marshall guy on Denver is looking pretty good.

Pittsburgh (3-1) 14 @ Arizona (2-2) 21

TV: How long till Leinart puts the moves on Warner’s Wife and break up the happy 2 QB System

JW: Have you SEEN Warner's wife? She looks exactly like him, like when people start to look like their pets.

Kansas City (2-2) 30 @ San Diego (1-3) 16

TV: Whew….Am I glad the Cowboys passed on Norv Turner in favor of Wade Phillips

JW: Worst decision a team has made since everyone passed over Brady till the 6th round.

Philadelphia (1-3) 3 @ New York Giants (2-2) 16

TV: Who would Philly fans rather have now McNabb or Garcia…wouldn’t make much difference with that offensive line

JW: I think LT would have gotten 12 sacks by himself. I'm not talking about the LT of the 80s, I think the 2007 version could have.

New England (4-0) 34 @ Cincinnati (1-3) 13

TV: Mike Vrabel needs to be eligible as a TE in Fantasy leagues

JW: 9 career receptions, 9 tds.

Replay in baseball

After watching last nights Rockies/Padres game and wondering if Holliday scored or not I think baseball needs some form of instant replay. However, ESPN's Tim Kurkjian says no replay in Baseball because it would slow the game down and waste 10 minutes. This is the same sport where Steve Trachsel walking around for 2 minutes between pitches and Robby Cano walking around the batters box after every pitch is perfectly ok but taking the time to get the call right in a do or die game would be too much....