Friday, September 6, 2013

Mile High Massacre..Week 1

Hey...That guy is open again....
Last night kicked off the NFL season as the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens TRAVELED to the mile high City to face the Denver Broncos in a Divisional round rematch from last year.  A place that (as NBC rammed down our throats in case anyone forgot) the Mile High Miracle.  It truly was one of the greatest playoff games I have ever seen, and this was surely going to be a great re-match.........right?


Last year this game gave us the Mile High Miracle and this year it gave us the Mile High Massacre.  Here are the top 5 things I took from the game....

1. Peyton Manning is the best QB I have ever seen:  Bar none, including his own team president.  No QB is more guaranteed to produce with time to prepare than Peyton Manning.  Last night he put on a surgical clinic, and made adjustments throughout the entire game.  The Ravens took away, Thomas, Decker and Welker early.....He found Julius FREAKING Thomas...The 45th string TE on the roster.   Passes and fades were laid exactly where only his WR could get the ball....oh and tying an NFL record with 7 TD passes is pretty impressive no matter who you are (The last guy to do it is probably more remembered for this good time than the 7 TD's he threw in 1969)
Ed Dickson
2. The Baltimore Ravens need to find someone who can catch the ball...soon: Joe Flacco was 34-62 and his "Receivers"(I use that term loosely) had at least 12 drops...Most of which seemed to come on 3rd down.  Joe was not great but he was way better than what his receiving corp showed.  Dallas Clark had 2 KEY drops including a TD to end the half, Ed "Dropsy" Dickson had 4 drops (oh he cant really block either), and Brandon Stokely is old enough that he stopped running for a long pass from Flacco when he realized he was tired and just didnt have that next gear.  Other than Jacoby Jones early on, no one else decided they wanted to get in a rhythm with their QB.

3. Denver's Defense may be better than we all thought:  They are young, fast and athletic, and, oh by the way, were missing their 2 best defensive players....Without Champ Bailey and Von Miller the Broncos D was able to get pressure and able to lock down Torrey Smith.  Sean Phillips was an animal last night.  Peyton and a Defense...uh oh....

4. Baltimore isn't missing the physical presence of Ray Lewis or Ed Reed, but something still seemed weird not seeing them there:  Listen, I am the first to say how big a Ray Lewis Fan I am, but last year he was a physical liability on passing downs.  When new ILB Bynes and Smith were in coverage last night they were able to keep up and stay in coverage, only missing when they had communication breakdowns.  Mike Huff, who was to replace Reed, was actually more disciplined and stayed in his coverage.  The problem, however is that he was BAD at coverage and even WORSE at tackling, things he will get better at.  But even with Suggs and Ngata still there you couldn't help but watch and ask...Where is the swagger?  Where is the ferocious intimidation?  The Answer retired....

5. NBC was still in preseason mode:  From Bob Costas calling Dennis Pittas, "Dan", and Al Michales taking almost the entire first half to realize Manning was wearing a Glove, The crew wasn't ready for the opener or the weather delay.  Then came the coup de graus.........Al Michaels mentioned how the Ravens had to open on the road (something only one other Super Bowl Champ has had to do) because the ORIOLES refused to work with them.  For the last time folks....even if the Orioles wanted to juggle their Playoff stretch schedule, mess with their pitching rotation during a pennant race(which they are very much a part of) and change the game to help their Russell street brothers...they need permission from MLB and the Players Union......Guess who nixed the whole thing?.....YES..Bud Selig and the players union.  This was not the Orioles fault.

"Goldy, but the Orioles and Angelos told Steve Bisciotti NO when he asked them.."
Ok crazy Baltimore fan (yes I am one too) riddle me this......

You own a competitive professional sports franchise.  Your team is expected to compete for the post season again.  Are you going to change the way your key starters play, move a crucial HOME game to another location? Oh wait, and the game in question is in the literal HOME STRETCH of your regular season when all post season berths are decided! The answer is NO over and over and over again......

What did you think of last nights game?


Thursday, September 5, 2013

My favorite time of year calls for a RETURN!

Well hello there sports fans....welcome back to Goldy's.  It has been a while since I last gave you sports fodder to discuss, and now I have decided to re-open the doors and make a good run at making this place bigger and more interactive than before! 

With a new re-dedication to talking sports and covering all those important topics (well what we sports junkies consider important) its time to come back during what is always my FAVORITE time of year!  Second only to Opening day of baseball season, this point in the year is great because there is nothing like September baseball and the beginning of the NFL season!!

First September baseball.....I mean come on...if you enjoy baseball even just a little bit this is the month that is the most exciting.  I know...I know..October is what gets the hype machine going, but the fuel for that machine is SEPTEMBER!  Just think back to 2011....there may not have been a better last week in any sport EVER than the last week of the season that September....Epic Collapses (Red Sox fans are still crying in their Fried Chicken and smashing Robert Andino Bobble heads), tremendous comebacks...Late inning magic (Orioles magic to be exact....well Evan Longoria may have had his moment too).  Think back to 2007 and the FREAKIN Colorado Rockies.   Completely out of it at the beginning of August and get close by September to then rattle off 14 wins in their last 15 games to not only get to the playoffs but then advance to the World Series (Seattle is still waiting to get that far)...Here is a few other..maybe a little more historical, September baseball moments...

1) 1961---Roger Maris Ties, and passes a guy, named Babe Ruth for most Home runs in a season by hitting number 61.
2) 1995---Baseball Crowns a New Iron Man as Cal Ripken passes Lou Gehrig for most consecutive games played at 2131.
3) 2001---When baseball finally returns to New York after the horrific 9/11 attacks, Mike Piazza (should be in HOF) came to bat in the bottom of the 8th with the Mets down 2-1 and hit what may be the loudest cheered HR in history!
4) 2011--- Mariano Rivera passes Trevor Hoffman for most career saves....and still ONLY THROWS ONE PITCH!!

Those are just some historical facts....I didnt even cover the 1982 AL race between Milwaukee's Harvey's Wall bangers and the Earl's Baltimore Orioles.....the race in 78 between the Yanks an Red Sox ending in Bucky Dents blast...This year wont be any different, as only 2 division races are locked up and everything else is up for grabs.  Here is how I see it playing out:

American League:
Wildcard 1---Texas
Wildcard 2---TB
ALCS---Detroit Vs Boston

National League:
Wild Card 1---St. Louis
Wild Card 2--- Cincinnati
NLCS---Dodgers Vs Braves

World Series:
Dodgers Vs Tigers------Tigers in 5

Now on to Football....The NFL has had a rocky off season but that may have honestly just added to the lore and raised the excitement level to a new level.  The Baltimore Ravens attempt to become the first team since the '04 Spytriots....I mean Patriots to win back to back Super bowls...

Everyone knows I love the city of Baltimore and all teams that reside...but there will be no repeat...Not this year.  What I love ost about the start is the preseason picks by the "experts"...there isnt a bigger bunch of guessers out there, well other than weather men.  This is pointless to do, because the decision making is done based on whats on paper only (lets face it preseason proves nothing either) and as we all know games are not played on paper but played inside of Televisions (credit:Kenny Mayne)....So I figure why not join in on the fun and make some senseless picks that have as much a chance to be right as experts like Clayton, Schefter and Mortenson....

East---Patriots by default---They are a pro team in a division with college Division 2 teams
North---Ravens--Why the hell not?
South---Colts--Andrew Luck is the best QB in this division
Wildcards---Bengals and Chiefs
AFC Championship---Broncos/Ravens---Broncos win

East---Cowboys--Laugh now...but watch
North---Lions--Why Not
South---Saints--Sean Payton equals Wins
West---SF--Just too good
NFC Championship---Saints/SF---Saints Win

BRONCOS win the Super Bowl...Peyton Manning retires

Alright now its your turn.....Give me your baseball and NFL picks....tell me what you think of my insanity....and most of all Lets Drink up and TALK SOME SPORTS!!!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

2013 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot


Yesterday the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame announced it 's ballot for the potential 2013 class.  This ballot is special because it will be the first real test for the BBWA .  Among many others this ballot includes the faces of the "steroid Era" in Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.  These 2 have been the only players put on trial and have been the faces of EVIL, if you will, when it comes to cheating and using steroids. Add to that Sammy Sosa and this is the most juiced list yet!

Until now the BBWA have decided that anyone even remotely implicated in steroid has not gotten in on their first ballot, or at all since.  On a matter of principle, and honestly without much challenge, they have not allowed these so called "cheaters" in to the hallowed halls of Cooperstown.  This same fate will apply to Sammy Sosa....HE just isn't going to get in.  

Sosa is, probably more so than Bonds, the poster child of the Steroid Era.  A skinny outfielder that, in the middle of his mediocre career, switched sides of Chicago, gained 40 lbs of muscle and became the most prolific HR hitter of the late 90's.  Then when the steroid allegations started coming around and he left Chicago for Baltimore he appeared to be 20-25lbs lighter....couldn't hit the ball out of one of the most hitter friendly parks in all of baseball and became injury prone...Some saying about quacking like a duck, walking like a duck.comes to mind.  His case is WAY more open and shut (in my opinion) than Bonds and Clemens.

Let me first be very clear that I have no doubt, regardless of what the judicial system has decided, that after the Bonds watched the McGwire/Sosa HR chase and once Clemens crossed 38 years old, that they used HGH and steroids.  With that said.....BOTH Clemens and Bonds were Hall of fame players prior to those specific incidents and prior to them cheating.  They were.....Bonds had 3 MVP awards...Clemens had 5 CY Young awards....In my mind they are still first ballot Hall of Famer's, and shouldn't be subject to the Principals and high horse the BBWA are riding to keep steroid users out....Remember a couple of things...Prior to BALCO, Game of Shadows and the Mitchell report STEROIDS WEREN'T ILLEGAL IN MLB!  Yes in the country but not in baseball...Two, I am tire of hearing cheaters aren't allowed in the Hall...SPARE ME!  Ty Cobb, Shoeless Joe. Gaylord Perry and John McGraw are all NOTORIOUS cheaters and in the Hall...

Sure Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are 2 incredibly easy to hate human beings, but as ball players they were elite, Hall of Fame Ball Players.  This ballot isn't for the Character hall of fame...It is for the greatest and best ball players ever, which both were even before they cheated.  Just look at the Eligibilty requirements:
     A. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.
     B. Player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in 3 (A).
     C. Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.
     D. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.
     E. Any player on Baseball's ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate.

Doesn't say anywhere they have to have a good moral character....

Here are my thoughts on a few others on the ballot:

1.) Jack Morris-----This generations Bert Blyleven.  The difference is Jack was a better pitcher and a multiple time champion....He deserves to be in more so than Blyleven was.  Jack was the Ace on 3 World Series championship teams and was a durable bulldog on the mound.  IN

2.) Mike Piazza----He is the greatest Offensive catcher in the history of baseball PERIOD.  True no one is ever going to say they won a game because of Piazza behind the plate, but the Mets and Dodgers won a TON of games because of his bat.  In 16 years of NL baseball (no DH...had to play Catcher/1B) he hit 427 HR's and had 1335 RBI's ...Oh by the way...managed to bat .308.  Johnny Bench has long been the man that set the bar for catchers and offense.  In 17 years he only had 389 Hr's and batted .267.  Piazza is the new "Bench" mark, yep Pun intended.  Still the greatest opposite field power I have ever seen.  IN

3.) Craig Biggio----There aren't many Astros in the HOF so there is point number 1...The entire time he played only the Ironman Cal Ripken played more games.  He has over 3000 hits and is one of the only players in history to have a 20/30, 20/40 and 20/50 season in HR/SB.  IN

4.) Jeff Bagwell----Again another Astro.....Bags has never been accused nor linked to steroids, but eh hit a LOT of HR's during that time so suspicion will be there.  He was a ROY and MVP and MLB Player of the year in 94.  His 449 HR's and 1500+ RBI's could help but aren't elite level.  Tough call here... NOT IN

5.) Edgar Martinez----In another year he may make it, but not in this year...too many.  Martinez was the first REAL full time DH and he may have been the best. As clutch as any player I have seen he batted .312 for his career but his durability was a HUGE issue.  NOT IN

6.) Don Mattingly-----Donny baseball!  He was Mr Yankee before Derek Jeter.....He was the Yankees in the 80's and early 90's. He batted .308 for his career, won 1 batting title and was an MVP.  He may also be the greatest fielding 1B I have ever seen.  I just don't think, unfortunately the numbers are there to be Hall worthy.  NOT IN....

So My ballot is:

Whats your ballot?  Do Bonds and Clemens get in this year?  At all?  Saddle up to the bar and LET's HEAR IT! 


Friday, October 5, 2012

MLB Playoff Predictions


IT IS OFFICIALLY MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR!!!  It is time for Post season baseball and there is nothing LIKE IT!!!! This Years stories have been amazing between Cinderalla Orioles and A's, rookie Phenoms like Trout and Harper, 7 no hitters, a TRIPLE CROWN and a new Wild Card!!!  MLB has had a great year and will now begin its BEST time of year! 

I admit I wasn't a big fan of this new playoff format at first but after this season I love it!!!  Look at how many teams were involved during the last month and a half of the season.  Look at how IMPORTANT winning your division has rightfully become!  You dont like the one game play in....WIN your division!  You have a $55 million payroll so how can you possibly compete...Go Ask Billy Beane.....Your team is in the AL East and cant possibly compete after 14 years of losing..Go talk to Buck's BIRDS! 

What a year it has been...but now its time to decide who is the best of this group.  First I ask you to go back and take a look at my May prediction post.  After a quarter of the season was over (40 games roughly) I made my playoff and award predictions.  Other than the Rays(A's take their place) and Dodgers (Giants take their place) letting me down, I have every other team right, including the Orioles and Cardinals!!

Now lets pick this years World Series winner!!!



ORIOLES WIN:  Texas continues their sad spiral...BUCKS BIRDS keep the MAGIC alive...
Key Player to win: Matt Weiters


BRAVES WIN: Braves lineup and bullpen are too good for Cards to match.....even with Kyle Lohse having a tremendous season 
Key Player to win:  Chipper Jones


ORIOLES WIN 3-2:  The Yankees Starting pitching and bullpen will falter because it just isnt what it once was..and they have lost the one edge they had on the Birds...Intimidation..O's arent scared to play the Yanks and Jeffrey Maier isnt going to be there this time. 

TIGERS WIN 3-1:   The trouble for the A's will start with their youth in starting pitching.  Look for Triple Crown Winner, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to have a HUGE impact on that.  Oh and by the way..That Justin Verlander guy is pretty good....


BRAVES WIN 3-2: The Nats have had an AMAZING season and have been the best team in baseball for most of the season...the problem is the Braves have been the best team over the last 2 months and have the Nats number....How can you not root for Chipper here!


REDS WIN 3-2:  The reds have been even with the Nats all year and have had the quietest 97 win season I can remember.  Dusty's team is playing lights out and Joey Votto will have his national coming out party!  I just dont trust the Giants lineup to be able to score.



TIGERS WIN 4-2: Buck's Birds run out of Magic here.  The Tigers have figured it out this last few weeks after severely under achieving. I just feel like that O's staff runs out of gas here and ends what has been the most exciting season in Baltimore since 1983.  

REDS WIN 4-3:  Dusty finally gets back to the series.  This Reds team will find a way to get past Kimbrel and will be able to get just enough pitching from their starters to return to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1990....Chipper rides off in to the sunset one more time!


TIGERS WIN 4-2:  Verlander and company send Jimmy Leyland off with another World Championship....Cabrera says take that to all the MVP nay sayers and also wins MVP honors of World Series.

What do you think...Gimme your predictions...share this on FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!!!