Posted on: June 19, 2009 3:36 pm
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Fantasy Baseball Would You Wait on These Two Aces

This season Fantasy Baseball has been frustrating to many owners.  The new pitching rules have hurt some in their eyes, I think for my team personally, it has benefited more than hurt.  Where my team stands right now, it would get a wild card spot if this was the last week of the season.  The new pitching rules need revamped for next season for the following, which I think CBS has heard a majority of owners in these two issues and hopefully will follow through with a change.  An earned run needs to go back to -1, and a complete game needs to be an additional 5.  Like one of the CBS writers wrote, the pitcher already lost a point for the walk or hit given up to begin with, losing two more points is just more damage on top of losing the one.  Anyway I'm going to get off the rules as this blog is about two aces and basically what to do with them.

Last year my team got burned by Brandon Webb twice.  This year he was going to burn everyone else's team.  Then of course week one he netted a -6 and has been on the DL ever since.  Webb had been progressing throwing on flat ground and was scheduled to do a bullpen session today.  However in Kansas City last night, he stated his shoulder was hurting and went back to Phoenix.  He is to be reevaluated today, hopefully the Diamondbacks will know more by tomorrow.

Jake Peavy was obtained in a trade for Javier Vazquez and Nick Swisher about week two this season.  He cost me a game a few weeks ago pitching with the flu, his -15 was the difference, otherwise he has pulled through more times than not.  Peavy may have to have surgery and even if he does not, his earliest return looks to be mid August.  Even if he does come back this season, how effective will he be with a bad ankle, especially the right one, the one he plants against the rubber to get his power into the pitch with?

Better question for both is will either see action again this season?  Right now the Dodgers are 44-29, the Padres are 14 game back and the Diamondbacks are 15 games behind.  Without Peavy and Webb with their respected teams, does either organization risk adding to their respected injuries when neither will have a chance to contend as Webb's earliest return date now is after the All-Star break.

The Brandon Webb injury has me a little skeptical.  Webb was in contract negoiations when his should injury flared up.  No insurnace companies wanted to insure the Diamondbacks on their contact with him due to his arm, and then he went out opening day, looked awful and then to the DL.  Everytime it looks like he is getting closer to returning, his shoulder hurts again.  He was supposed to have been back end of April, then mid-May, then late-May you can see the pattern.  Is it possible that he is exaggerating this injury because he and the Diamondbacks did not come to terms on a new contract before the season began?  This could be in a way his own kind of holdout, he's getting paid to do nothing, but you're not going to get a big contract from any team if you're not putting up big stats on the field.  Then again there are some teams in the league, if you're healthy this offseason and were great for a few years, they will give you an eight figure contract per season.

Basically in fantasy baseball you play 16, nine batters at each position including utility, then five starting pitchers and two closers.  There is a five man bench.  Do you hang on to Jake Peavy and Brandon Webb, or do you cut them off your team?  My pitching would be way better with the both of them, but when you have other undroppable players on the bench you have to cut from somewhere.  Thankfully CBS just made both of these pitchers droppable.  Right now for week 12 if I go with Ryan Dempster my team would have 10 starts next week, that would mean benching Gil Meche or Chris Carpenter as one would be out anyway due to recently picking up John Danks off waivers as a two start for next week.

My guess is being the Padres are wanting to deal Jake Peavy, he may be done for this season.  They will want him to heal, and probably try and deal him come December at the Winter meetings.  I wonder what the White Sox fan base thought when he was injured the night after turning down the trade to go to Chicago by running the bases, something he would not have to do at US Cellular Field.  I'm sure they did not find it too comical as hardly no one wishes injury on anyone, but it does seem like a coincidence the injury occured when it did.

Brandon Webb could go either way.  However the winning pace the Dodgers are on by the time he were to return, the Diamondbacks will probably be between 23-30 games back.  If he is not pitching to spite the Diamondbacks about the contract, it's doubtful he will come back at all this season.  If this injury is legit and still lingering would the Diamondbacks run him out there just playing out the string?  Wouldn't the Diamondbacks be starting younger guys for a chance in the rotation next season?

Either way I'm ready to drop both of these guys from my team.  I loaded up on pitching due to Webb's absence that my bench has one hitter on it, being Grady Sizemore, I think I want more depth there.  So the question for you the reader is, would you drop Jake Peavy and Brandon Webb now, or hold onto them?  If you say hold, will they be the pitcher they have been in the past? 

Here is a link to an article done on Brandon Webb back on April 11, 2009, this injury did not seem too bad back then after his MRI.
http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2009/04/11/
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r-injury-is-muscular/


        
Posted on: June 12, 2009 10:51 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2009 12:33 am
 

My Son's 1st Baseball Game, A Night at the Minors

Tuesday night, June 9, 2009, we attended a baseball game in Myrtle Beach, SC, the Kinston Indians were at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Braves Affiliate).  It was a nice night to begin with around 80 degrees.  My four year old son was excited, he was going to see baseball in live action for the first time.  He wore his Indians hat to the game, that his step grandpa had sent him after he attended a game at Jacobs Field last Summer.  The Pelicans' Field is very nice.  The park is ten years old, but the appearance of the park looks like it just opened up this season.  The ushers did an excellent job as well.  We had no problem finding our seats, however those they led to their seats, the ushers would make sure each seat was clean before the person they saw to their respected seat sat down.

At 6:15pm, two Pelicans players sat behind home plate to sign autographs for about 20 minutes.  My son got autographs from Braves prospects Donell Linares and Chad Lundahl.  Both players seemed very nice, spoke to my son asking him how he was and they seemed happy to sign for all the fans that lined up for their signatures.  Being beside the Indians bench, my son wanted to meet some of their players as well.  He did get autographs from Nate Recknagel and manager Chris Tremie, however they were obtained after the game as the Kinston Indians have a no autograph policy until after their game is over.

As the first pitch neared, my son was not the only person there wearing Indians gear as about 300 were there wearing their Tribe gear.  Myrtle Beach is a popular vacation spot for the midwest as well, and behind the visitors dugout were a lot of vocal Indians fans.  The game went 10 innings, Kinston won the game 3-2.  It was only one game, but here were the few players that played well on that night.

Kinston Indians
Lonnie Chisenhall went 2 for 5 with a double
Tim Fedroff went 1 for 4 with a home run and a walk.  He scored two of the three runs
Adam Davis went 1 for 3 with the 10th inning homerun and he also had a walk. 
Paolo Espino went 6 1/3 innings giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 7.
Garrison Campfield pitched the 9th and 10th innings getting the win.  He gave up 1 hit, walked 2 and struck out 4.  He was pretty consistent on the radar right at 94 mph.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Freddie Freeman went 2 for 5 with a double.
Michael Fisher went 2 for 4 with a two run homerun.
Jacob Thompson went 6 2/3 innings giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits, 2 walks and struck out 1.
Benino Pruneda who got the loss giving up the homerun to Davis went 2 innings giving up 1 earned run, 1 hit, striking out 3.

My son enjoyed the game, he is looking foward to going to another game this Summer.  His only disappointment was the ballboy right infront of him got a foul ball.  My son had his glove up asking for it to be flipped to him but the ballboy refused.  Whether he kept the ball for himself who knows, there were a few other fans disappointed my son was not given the foulball as well, even booing the ballboy.  What my son enjoyed most about the game was running the bases after the game, and knowing the team he was rooting for won.

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans have a very nice stadium, an excellent staff of ushers, and they give out quite a few free coupons as well.  We each left with coupons for a free doughnut, a free sandwich, and my son left with a free kids meal to a restaurant.  If you vacation to Myrtle Beach and want to see a ballgame, you might want to check out the Pelicans and their ballpark out.  Afterall since 1999, they have sent 67 players to the majors including Tommy Hanson, Kelly Johnson, Brian McCann and Rafael Furcal.
Posted on: May 19, 2009 1:29 pm
 

Interleague Play Brings Us Back to DH Discussion

This weekend is the first weekend of interleague play for the 2009 Major League Baseball season.  Only the Padres and Cubs are exempt from interleague play this weekend as they have a series in San Diego beginning on Friday.  So the question is, as it will be asked mainly by visiting team announcers this weekend, should there still be a DH rule in the American League, and should the National League allow the pitcher to bat or should both leagues adopt the same rule?  Here are my thoughts on both the DH rule and allowing the pitcher to bat.

I'll start first with the Senior Circuit.  Growing up in the 1980's if you had cable, you got 162 games of the Braves and Cubs.  There was the about once a week Orioles game shown on local TV here in North Carolina as we are in their market as far as the American League goes, but unless the American League had the Saturday Afternoon game of the week, there was no other American League exposure here until playoff time.  Watching the pitcher bat can be sometimes painful, what's worse was seeing the batter hitting 8th get walked, who was batting around .223 with no homeruns so they could get to the pitcher's spot was even more painful.  However, not only does the pitcher pitch, he fields a position as well.  How many of you grew up wanting to bat first at your neighbor's or family's house and get told, you know after you bat, you have to go out there and field the ball?  It sounds like a reward to bat doesn't it because you put time in catching flyballs and fielding grounders to justify you get your time to hit.  National League rules make it where the pitcher gets "rewarded" for fielding their position, even though American League fans probably don't see that as a reward.  The DH allows a player to not have to go to the field, all he has to do is swing a bat, thus exempt from playing the field, against the ideals I grew up with.  There are some very good hitting pitchers though and that spans into both leagues.  Micah Owings, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster swing a decent bat in the National League, and CC Sabathia can swing the bat too with the Yankees and what about Andy Sonnanstine.

Another pro National League ideal about letting the pitcher bat is he can help his own cause.  The days of walking the number eight hitter have dwindled quite a bit.  I'm unsure if Rey Ordonez having an absurd amount of intentional walks when he was with the Mets batting eight had anything to do with this, but it seems like the pitcher's spot leads off a lot of innings in today's game.  It is up to the pitcher to usually sacrifice a runner over to second or third when there are less than two outs in the inning.  He gets the job done, the leadoff hitter gets an RBI chance, if not, he strikes out and the runners are still there.  Wins and losses are a team stat, but also a pitcher's as well.  Tight ballgame, pitcher get the job done, if you get the loss though by a run and you didn't help your cause, shoulder the blame.

The DH rule does have it's positives.  First thing that comes to mind before anything is injuries to pitchers.  Chien Ming Wang has not recovered from running the bases at the Astros last year.  He hurt his right foot running the bases because he was not used to it.  The Yankees have stated his pitching woes this season stem from that incident last season.  Also as mentioned earlier Carlos Zambrano is a very good hitting pitcher, and he will come off the DL this Friday in San Diego.  He led off the fifth inning vs the Marlins with a bunt single and pulled his hamstring.  Had the DH been in place, neither would have gotten hurt.

Also not having to hit, the pitcher has one thing to focus on, getting the other team's batters out.  The pitcher does not have to worry about any batting practice, running the bases, and what the other pitcher may throw him in his at bat.  He does not have to worry about coming out of the game in the sixth or seventh inning in a tight game because the number nine spot is due up that inning.  Any extra time studying the other teams hitters on film, in who cannot catch up to a fastball, who will go for the slider in the dirt can be invaluable to a good performance.

There are more arguments to this debate, I just touched on two for each side.  We know the American League will always have the DH, because the Player's Union does not want to see it go out the door.  I cannot see the National League accepting the DH because something needs to distinguish both leagues, as now they both have the same umpires, so really besides that rule both leagues are pretty much the same.

One final argument it seems comes up quite a bit and did again this past Saturday.  John Lackey threw two pitches at Ian Kinsler and was ejected after pitch two hit him.  On TV that night, retired players were saying oh if the pitchers hit in the American League, they would not do that, since they would have to bat.  That theory should be dismissed for one reason.  When have you seen a pitcher throw at another pitcher?  You don't the reason, that's pretty much a guarenteed out.  The strategy that goes into a National League game with the pitcher batting, or seeing a very good batter hit for the pitcher all game, which rule do you prefer?  
Category: MLB
Posted on: May 3, 2009 2:57 am
 

Baseball's Last 300 Game Winner?

Randy Johnson got win 297 on May 1, 2009 vs the Colorado Rockies.  He pitched 7 innings struck out 9 and the Giants won 3-2.  As long as Johnson stays injury free this season, he should get win number 300 sometime before or during the month of June.  

Randy Johnson approaching win 300 should be a big deal to all fans of baseball.  The reason is unless teams go back to a four man rotation when a team has an off day that week, there is a chance that there will never be a 300 win pitcher again.  The new era of baseball is that of pitch counts, middle relievers and closers.  As time goes by, I can see closers getting their 400th, 500th save and so on as the new great pitching statistic.  Jonathan Papelbon was asked a few years ago to become a starter for the Red Sox.  His reply was no thanks, the only way he would get to the Hall of Fame was to remain a closer.  He keeps his closer stats like they are, he will be a shoe in to get to the Hall five years after he retires unless he ticks off over 25% of the voters either before or right after retirement.  

Active pitchers behind Johnson on the all time wins list are as follows.  Jamie Moyer at 249, Andy Pettitte at 217, Tim Wakefield 180, Bartolo Colon 152, Livan Hernandez 148, Kevin Millwood 144, Mike Hampton 142, Roy Halladay 136, Derek Lowe, Roy Oswalt, Javier Vazquez, and Jeff Suppan at 129, Mark Buehrle 126, Barry Zito 123, CC Sabathia 118, Russ Ortiz and Johan Santana 112, and Jon Garland at 108.  

Jamie Moyer is the closest at 249.  However Moyer is 46 years old.  He has 3 wins so far this season.  He won 14 games in 2007 and 16 games last season with the Phillies.  If he were to average 15 wins over the next 2 seasons, that would put him at 276 at the end of the 2010 season as his three wins so far this season are factored in his 249 win total.  To reach 300 wins, Moyer would have to pitch until he is 50 years old, not probable, but not impossible as at 46 he is still getting the job done.

Andy Pettitte will be 37 years old this season sitting on 217 career wins.  He won 15 games in 2007, then 14 in 2008 with the Yankees.  He has 2 wins this season.  If he were to average 15 wins a season he would be would become a 300 win pitcher during the 2014 season.  He would be younger than the age Jamie Moyer is now.  If he stays healthy and wants to continue to play he will have an outside shot at 300, however the Yankees have talent in their farm system, and Pettitte and the Yankees did have a disagreement about a contact before this season began.  If he is not with the Yankees beginning next year or within a few years, you have to wonder what kind of run support and defensive support he would get from another team to help him continue to get wins.

Probably the best shot at 300, is not even at 150 yet.  However, some say this Blue Jays ace is the best pitcher in baseball at this time.  Roy Halladay has 5 wins in 2009 and the calander just changed to May.  He will turn 32 this month and has been with the Blue Jays since 1998.  Halladay is known for the innings he pitches, he had 9 complete games, 246 innings pitched and 206 strikeouts in 2008.  He was a 20 game winner last season.  He could reach 300 wins in 10 seasons if he averages around 17 wins a year.  Halladay is not a pitcher I would bet against achieving 300 win status, however one has to wonder, those pitch count, innings pitched worriers if his arm might not take another 8-10 seasons in the big leagues at the work he puts in on game day.  

Finally we cannot rule out CC Sabathia.  It took him seven seasons to win 100 games.  If he could maintain that average he would win his 300th game in the year 2021, in which he would be 41 years old.  CC does have his slumps but he also has times where he dominates like he did with the Brewers last season going 11-2 during the second half of the season.  If Sabathia can get to 200 wins before he turns 35 he could have a shot to become a 300 game winner, what would help him more though is to be more consistent in the month of April.       

There is probably a college player playing right now, or maybe a little leaguer out there that one day in 20-40 years from now will threathen to get to 300 wins.  However it seems more and more each season that 100 pitch count becomes more and more like a hook to get the pitcher out of the game.  The main question to any of you who respond is will Randy Johnson be the last 300 game winner in baseball?  Will there be another in Moyer, Pettitte, Sabathia, or Halladay?  And will there be another that we have never heard of or will the 200 game winner be the new mark once Johnson breaks 300 wins this season?    
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 24, 2009 11:35 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2009 11:41 pm
 

A New Way To Do the NFL Schedule

 It has been announced that the Steelers will host the Titans in the opening game for the NFL season on September 10, 2009.  I was hoping it would be the Ravens for several reasons not to take anything away from the Titans, in what they did last year and can possibly do this season as they will definitely be a playoffs favorite before the season begins.  However the reason I was hoping Baltimore would be the opening opponent at Heinz Field had several reasons, they played the AFC Title game against them, when they play it will be a hard hitting game, so 10 days rest between games would had been nice, but most of all I believe the first three games for each team should be against a divisional opponent.  The Ravens playing at Pittsburgh week one would had accomplished at least one divisional game vs a divisional opponent, not to say the NFL would had the Browns and Bengals next on the schedule.  I'm going to make a mock schedule using the Steelers and try and explain out my idea the best way I can. Trust me I will try and explain this out to keep confusion down for anyone who reads this as it could be somewhat complicated.

So first three weeks the Steelers since they got the mandantory home game to open would had hosted the Ravens.  Afterward they would had went to the Browns and then hosted the Bengals.  That would mean AFC North wise week one would had been Browns at Bengals and week 2 Bengals at Ravens and week 3 Ravens at Browns.  Each team meets each other in the division once as usually coming out of camp that is the healthiest an NFL team will be all year, so why not line them up against each other at about their fullest strength.  This means all NFC East, AFC East and all the other divisions play just divisional play first three weeks.

Week four would be one of the two uncommon opponent weeks.  By this I mean one of the two teams the Steelers play that the Ravens, Browns, and Bengals do not face.  This year the AFC North will play each other twice, once vs the NFC North and once vs the AFC West.  So the Steelers play one team from the AFC South and East.  This would be the week the Steelers host the Titans and the rest of the North would host an AFC South team. 

Weeks 5 and 6 would be two of the AFC West games the Steelers would play.  One would be on the road, other at home.  Week 5 would be at the Broncos and week 6 vs the Raiders.

Weeks 7-11 would be all 4 NFC opponents and the bye.  Weeks 7 and 8 would be one road game and one home game.  The Steelers would go to the Lions week 7, host the Vikings week 8. Week 9 for the following:  the AFC North, NFC North, AFC West and NFC East would have their bye.  Week 8, the AFC East, AFC South, NFC South and NFC West would have their bye.  Sure 16 teams for two weeks would limit the league to having only eight games for those two weeks, however this would feature teams pretty much nationally that rarely get that kind of exposure and it allows all teams to get their bye midway through the season and not penalizing good teams like last year both the Superbowl teams from the year before the Patriots and Giants had the week 4 bye, that is not right.

Weeks 10 and 11 Steelers finish the NFC playing at the Bears and the hosting the Packers

Week 12 the Steelers would play their second uncommon opponent going to the Dolphins.

Weeks 13 and 14 the Steelers would finish their AFC West schedule going to the Chiefs and hosting the Chargers.

The final three weeks of the season would be a reverse of weeks 1-3.  The Steelers would play at the Bengals week 15, host the Browns week 16 and then go to the Ravens week 17.  Most divisions have not been wrapped up by a team going into week 15 so this would leave it to the divisonal opponents to decide it themselves.  Also the final three weeks of the season if you are playoff bound you usually know what you have going in be it injury wise, and these three weeks you should be playing your best ball of the season so why not play that against divisional opponents.  So here would be the Steelers schedule for this up and comping season and picture just placing your team in and their respected common and two uncommon opponents they will face this year.

Week 1, vs Ravens; Week 2 at Browns, Week 3 vs Bengals, Week 4 vs Titans, Week 5 at Broncos, Week 6 vs Raiders, Week 7 at Lions, Week 8 vs Vikings, Week 9 bye, Week 10 at Bears, Week 11 vs Packers, Week 12 at Dolphins,  Week 13 at Chiefs, Week 14 vs Chargers,  Week 15 at Bengals, Week 16 vs Browns, and Week 17 at Ravens. 

Notice no three game road trips in a row, and no three game homestands.  Only a two game homestand and two games where the Steelers would have to travel in a row away from home.  Otherwise it is a home game then a road game and so on.  It could possibly work out where a team would have to play three road games and three home games in a row either going into or coming out of divisional play but that would be the only time and would affect limited teams.  Just an idea to kick around would like to hear any feedback on what you like or hate about the current computer generated NFL schedule and how do you like how your team it seems gets the same by week each year.  The Steelers it seems always have had their bye before week 6 and coming off the Superbowl win, they are pretty much a lock to have the week 4 bye this year.

 

 

 

 

 

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 10, 2009 2:07 pm
 

Memory Lane Trip, The 1989 Pittsburgh Steelers

The 1989 Pittsburgh Steelers.  That whole season was basically a summation of the decade.  The 1989 Steelers were the worst team in football the first two weeks of the season, they had games later on that year where they appeared again to be the worst team in the NFL.  They also had big wins versus teams that were playoff bound and it would leave a fan to wonder, who are these Steelers?  The team that gets shut out once a month, or the team that beats everyone by double digits?  1989 was probably the biggest rollercoaster ride of a season in Steelers history. 

1989 was pretty much labeled a rebuilding year for Pittsburgh.  The Steelers offense consisted of a quarterback named Bubby, Tim Worley was the running back with Merrill Hoge at fullback, Louis Lipps was still the main recieving threat.  The Steelers at that time were playing a three four defense, main stars on defense were the secondary players, Rod Woodson, Dwayne Woodruff and Carnell Lake. 

The Steelers opened the season with their worst defeat ever in team history, a 51-0 loss to the Browns at Three Rivers Stadium.  They followed that effort by getting beaten in Cincinnati the next week 41-10.  The Steelers had been outscored 92-10 in the first two weeks of the season, it was beginning to look like they were already on the inside track for the number one pick in 1990, and honestly was there any team in football they could beat?

Weeks 3 and 4, the Steelers played some NFC competition.  The Steelers hosted the Vikings week 3 and were to go to the Lions week 4.  The NFC was the power conference at that time, if the Steelers could not hang with AFC competition, how could they stack up with NFC teams.  Pittburgh won their first game that year by beating the Vikings 27-14 and then went to Motown and beat the Lions 23-3.  The Steelers were 2-2 after the dreadful start and the Bengals were next on the schedule.

You have to love the scheduling back then.  Weeks 5 and 6 were vs Bengals and at Browns.  Done with both of those for the year after week 6, yet to play the Oilers at all.  The Bengals had the Steelers number that year they won again but not as much of a blowout 26-16, however the Steelers defense stepped it up against the Browns and won a road game in Cleveland 17-7 to avenge the 51-0 season opening loss they had to Cleveland. 

The Steelers again at .500 now go to the Astrodome only to get shutout by the Oilers 27-0.  Then they turnaround and beat the Chiefs at home 23-17 on a Bubby Brister to Louis Lipps 64 yard touchdown pass that turned out to be the game winner.  Back to .500 again.

The Steelers would not see .500 for long.  The next two weeks were back to blowout central.  They lost 34-7 at the Broncos and then come home to lose to the Bears 20-0.  That was shutout number 3, and that was only the Steelers 10th game.  At 4-6 they were playoffs long shots at best.

Week 11 the Chargers came into Pittsburgh with their new Quarterback Jim McMahon.  Merrill Hoge had a one yard touchdown run that gave the Steelers a 20-17 win.  The next week the Steelers got their first ever win at Miami beating the Dolphins 34-14 in a driving rainstorm.  Whenever you see a highlight of the Steelers and Dolphins playing in slush during the daytime, it is from this game.  The Steelers back at .500 now get the Oilers at home the following week.

The Oilers came into the Burgh, the game was closer but Houston won 23-16.  This put the Steelers at 6-7 with a divisional record of 1-5.  However the following week the Steelers get a shutout of their own, 13-0 at the Jets.  They followed that up with a 28-10 win vs the Patriots at home.  Sitting at 8-7 they could make the playoffs, but would have to get a ton of help and would have to win their final game that year.

The Steelers handled business winning 31-22 at the Buccaneers.  As their game went on, things were falling into place.  The Colts lost at the Saints 41-6, the Raiders lost to the Giants 34-17, so it was up to the Monday Night game.  The Bengals had to lose at the Vikings for the Steelers to be the 5th team to make the playoffs that year.  Vikings 29 Bengals 21, Steelers were to go back to Houston on New Year's Eve.

The Steelers were heavy underdogs in this game, basically everyone was looking foward to a Warren Moon vs John Elway showdown the next week.  Pittsburgh had other plans.  The Steelers kept this game close and fell behind in the 4th quarter 23-13.  They managed to tie the Oilers up and sent the game into overtime.  Gary Anderson kicked a 50 yard field goal that sent the Steelers onto Denver where again they had no chance to win. 

Denver was the end of the road for this team.  The Steelers lead this game 23-17 in the 4th quarter but a one yard touchdown run by Mel Bratton gave the Broncos a 24-23 lead and that would be the final score.

The 2009 season will be the 20th anniversary of the 1989 season.  Doubt there will be any kind of reunion for this bunch, as with 5 rings the Steelers are not a team that celebrates past improbable playoff wins and/or comeback seasons.  The main reflection of this blog was the Steelers could have lost every game that season.  Especially after starting out 0-2 versus divisional rivals.  The team got it together, and had more bad outings, but they always found a way to get things back on track.  It was remarkable they had the Broncos on the ropes in the AFC Divisional Round.  I would have to say minus Chuck Noll's 4 Superbowl years, this has to be his best coaching performance he had.  If you noticed one thing, when they played someone the second time, the game was closer than the first time, and sometimes it was a win.  Also again this was a rebuilding year, and to make the playoffs with that team, especially with the loses they had, he continued to coach them up, and build them up.  The Steelers always played hard and came out on top more times than not when their backs were against the wall.  The rollercoaster of 1989, which Steelers would show up? 

Category: NFL
Tags: Steelers
 
Posted on: December 27, 2008 1:54 am
 

Week 17

Week 17 is here and my first question is where has this season gone?  It is already the last week of the regular season, there are still two wildcard spots to be decided, one in each conference, and four division titles to be decided, two in each conference.  Some games have playoff implications on the line, some have draft pick spots on the line.  For 20 teams in the NFL, this will be their last week of playing football this season.  Week 17 is also known for showing us fans, the good, the bad, and the ugly and I shall explain.

The good is the fight for the playoff positions and spots.  Who would have thought the Falcons could win the NFC South this year?  They have to beat the Rams at home, and hope the Panthers lose in New Orleans.  Atlanta has had an amazing turnaround this season behind Matt Ryan and Michael Turner, they will be a tough out whether they are seeded 5th or 2nd.  Three ballgames really stick out this Sunday.  The feud between Jay Cutler and Phillip Rivers hits primetime Sunday night with the AFC West title on the line for their respective teams.  Chad Pennington leads his new team to East Rutherford to play his old team for the chance to win the AFC East title, the Dolphins as well have had an amazing turnaround.  Then you have the potential classic match up between the Cowboys and Eagles, with not only playoff spots on the line, but more than likely jobs on the line no matter what Jerry Jones says.

The bad is there always seems to be a game or two featuring teams with 10+ loses on the season in the league's final week.  This year we have the Chiefs at the Bengals and Lions at Packers.  The Bengals have actually gotten their act together somewhat winning their last two of which one was shut out on the road, who would have ever thought that would happen before the season started?  The Chiefs seem like they are going to pull one out every week, then they find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Then Lions and Packers, cannot get much worse than 0-16 unless you are the team in week 17 that prevents that from happening.  But the Lions have not won in Green Bay since 1991, so the Packers should prevent the Lions from going 1-15.

Finally the ugly.  The Titans at Colts game could easily get ugly.  No not from fights on the field, or dirty plays.  But from penalties and players that have barely seen the field since August.  I am not a fan of benching every star week 17.  However these two teams deserve the right being the Titans are the one seed and the Colts are locked in at the 5th and will play next weekend.  But remember last year the last Sunday night game, Jim Sorgi was not exactly dynomite, and watching him play alone makes the Bengals Chiefs or Lions Packers a lot more appealing.  But once playoff time comes, nothing should be ugly about the Titans or Colts as they are both showing indications that each has a Superbowl run in them.  I am just glad that they are not the Sunday night game again this year to wrap up the season.  Colts have pretty much said their key guys will get a couple to no reps at all.  All teams need to remember however last year Giants and Patriots held nothing back week 17, they both went to the Superbowl, 2006 Colts won the Superbowl from the Wild Card spot, and the 2005 Steelers had to play everyone in week 17 to get the 6th seed in the AFC that year.  Seems good things happen to those who play out the season as of late.

Hope you all have a Happy New Year, and hopefully the Fantasy Football withdrawal and Sunday Ticket withdrawal will not last too long.  Those are the two major bummers to the season ending.  Hopefully the playoffs will be exciting this year.    

  

Category: NFL
Posted on: December 20, 2008 3:44 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2008 12:23 am
 

Possible Coaching Vacanticies

Ok I have never done a blog before and this is my first entry of a blog post ever.  So much talk and wondering about where Bill Cowher will go, will Marty coach again, will Holmgren and Reid work together and rebuild the 49ers?  Here is my novice guess of what head coaching openings there will be when the season ends.

AFC East:  Buffalo Bills Dick Jauron, I think the losing streak they got on once they started divisional play will cost him his job.  If you cannot beat the teams in your division, why even be there? 

AFC South:  No openings there.  Sure some will think Jack Del Rio is in hot water.  The Jaguars will have to pay him around $10,000,000.00 to cut ties with him.  That alone should make him safe.  Tony Dungy could retire, I highly doubt he will.  The Colts have too much potential for him to hit the road at this time. 

AFC North:  Romeo Crennell is gone for sure after this season.  They went from double digits in wins to double digits in loses within a year, he shows no emotion on the sideline during the games now, and his overall record with the Browns is well below .500. 
Marvin Lewis,I think he is out as well.  Even though they only had Carson Palmer for about four games this year, and the team is still playing hard, it's hard for me to see the Bengals keeping him with their record continuing to get worse every year. 

AFC West:  Herm Edwards will probably be going out the door, as "You play to win the game," and that has not been happening for the Chiefs.  They will also have a new GM next year and doubt the new GM will want to retain a coach who at this time has lead the team to two wins this year.  Tom Cable with the Raiders will also be shown the door, but may get to stay in Oakland as a coordinator.  With Al Davis, he may bring Art Shell back again.

NFC East:  Unless the Redskins get Cowher, Snyder has been courting Cowher behind the scenes since he "retired" from the Steelers Zorn should be safe.  I believe even if the Eagles get into the playoffs Andy Reid leaves on his own.  Rumor is Mike Holmgren will take over as GM of the 49ers and Andy Reid is his pick to become head coach.  However as you will see later on in this blog, I think Singletary stays with the 49ers as head coach.  Reid may want to take a year off or move on to another team as there will be openings.   Wade Phillips probably just earned his pink slip after the game vs the Ravens.  Not only did his team lose their last ever game at Texas Stadium, but the defense allowed two runs longer than 75 yards for touchdowns near the end of the game.  A coach who's background comes from the defensive side of the ball does not allow that to happen.  New stadium for the Cowboys in 2009, along with a new coach.    

NFC North:  No brainer, new GM for the Lions, with their record still at zero wins, new coach coming in. 

NFC South:  Unless one of the coaches in this division resigns, the coaches with their respective teams should return next season.

NFC West:  Holmgren has retired and Mora takes over for the Seahawks next season.  Mike Singletary has done a fine job after taking over the team midseason.  His first couple of weeks were rocky, but the defense has improved and their team has played solid.  He should be back with the 49ers next year.  Jim Hasslett is probably out with the Rams.  They played well for him for the first couple of weeks after he took over, but have been the "Same old Rams" ever since. 

It will be a few weeks before we know if I am right on or way off on these picks.  Like I said this is my first blog so please take it a little easy on me this one time.  Finally hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com