Posts Tagged ‘Chris Carpenter’

March Madness – Day 2

March 16, 2012

In any other aspect of life, 11 out of 16 really isn’t that bad. It’s probably a passing grade, at least. And it’s definitely not the relevant version of an apocalypse. But when it comes to a March Madness bracket, missing five on day one is a terrible outcome. And ladies and gentlemen, my bracket is officially busted.

But, I won’t give up. Yahoo! Sports has a $5,000 “second-chance” pool, and I’m all in on that. We keep on keepin’ on in rough times like these, even if my little newspaper bracket has more red lines than cow has stomachs. No, literally there are five, as compared to four cow stomachs (okay, four compartments within the stomach, whatever).

So here we go. My first round, day two predictions for March Madness:

(6) Cincinnati def. (11) Texas – I got asked a funny question by a friend when the NCAA field was announced. He said, how the hell did Texas get in? I responded, they are Texas. And that’s really all there is to it. That old saying “it’s the name on the front of the jersey…” really applies to UT. Because the selection committee saw that burnt orange and started drooling, regular season be damned. Well, Cincy is here to show them who’s boss.

(3) Florida State def. (14) St. Bonaventure – This is a case of another team many believed got unfairly included in the field. Why was a team like Drexel left out for the likes of St. Bonavenutre? I’ll tell you what – against a team that beat Duke AND North Carolina twice each this season, St. Bonny’s is in for a whoopin’. I’ve got the Seminoles in my Final Four, so I’m pulling hard for these guys. I expect FSU to do exactly that – F.S.U. (F*** shit up)!

(2) Duke def. (15) LehighDuke may not be quite themselves this year with so much youth on the team, but they are still damn dangerous and I expect them to make a deep run. Step one will be defeating Lehigh, who hails from…um. Where…who…what…I literally have no idea. It sounds like a preppy private high school. Good luck staying within 25 points, Lehigh.

(7) Xavier def. (10) Notre Dame – I honestly don’t even remember who I picked in this game on my real bracket. But I’m going with X-to-the-A, Xavier! How can you root against the only team who will ever start with an X? And rooting for Notre Dame is so cliche, anyway.

(6) San Diego State def. (11) NC State – I swear I’m picking an upset eventually. Just not this one. This was actually a very tough choice for me, based on the logic of sympathy. SDSU was supposed to be in the midst of a down year, and instead ended up with a favorable seed in March Madness. NC State was the last team in, and their live reaction to the news could be a Disney movie in itself. In the end, the Aztecs win because Ron Burgundy likes San Diego.

(8) Creighton def. (9) Alabama – Creighton Fraker, one of the top 24 American Idol contestants this season, was unjustly upset when he wasn’t put through to the Final 13. So, his namesake is making up for it by pummeling Alabama (who should really stick to football). Okay, fine the Tide is pretty solid, but nobody likes to see a show-off.

(3) Georgetown def. (14) Belmont – A lot of people have tabbed this as a potential upset. I can see why, but I’m not interested in agreeing. Belmont could be a Cinderella, sure. Especially against chronic choke artists like Georgetown. But I don’t see it happening this year. The stakes are high, especially for the 14 seed. You could say…the Belmont Stakes are high…No?

(1) North Carolina poops on (16) Vermont – No Syracuse/UNC Asheville scare here, although it would be pretty cool. I think UNC will do dirty, unspeakable things to Vermont. Are they still a state, by the way? Anddddd the judges have conferred…the ruling is…YES! Vermont is still a state. Which is good, because this crew is going straight back home after two very ugly halves of basketball.

(4) Michigan def. (13) Ohio – The two major schools in these respective states hate each other with a fiery passion. I can relate (Giants vs. Dodgers, Cougars vs. Huskies). Unfortunately for hopeless dramatics, this is the baby brother of Ohio State. And they aren’t very good at basketball. Good enough, I suppose, but Michigan should run these guys ragged on the hardwood.

(7) St. Mary’s def. (10) Purdue – All hail the East Bay boys! St. Mary’s is a solid 12-minute drive from my house, so of course I’m pulling for them. I ultimately have other motives too. St. Mary’s and Gonzaga have a huge rivalry, and it’s a small victory for my pride every time Gonzaga loses. As long as the Gaels get farther than Gonzaga in this tournament, I can mask my indifference with a smile.

(12) South Florida def. (5) Temple – There we go. There’s the upset we’ve been waiting for. I love these 12/5’s for some reason. This is legit though – in the play-in game against Cal, South Florida just whooped on the Bears. I believe the halftime score was somewhere in the neighborhood of 325-13. Look for that momentum to carry over to today’s game.

(2) Kansas def. (15) Detroit – This should be interesting. Kansas is one of the best teams in the nation and will have no trouble handling Detroit if all goes right. But you never know with Bill Self and KU – they’ve been victims of an incredible amount of legendary upsets over the past five tournaments or so.

(10) Virginia def. (7) Florida – This ain’t your back-to-back National Champion Billy Donovan Gator team. This is your about-to-get-crushed by Jeremy’s alma mater’s former coach’s new team Gators. Confused yet? Basically what I’m saying is Florida isn’t really all that great, but the Cavs, led by former Washington State coach Tony Bennett, definitely are. This is a pretty easy upset to call if you ask me.

(2) Missouri def. (15) Norfolk State – I want Mizzou to lose, partially because I have good friends at Kansas (they are not cool with Missouri, to put it nicely). And also because when the seedings were announced, most teams jumped up and down and celebrated and hugged. Missouri had confetti pouring out of their ceiling. Literally. And this is after one good season of basketball. But, I can’t pick against a team this talented. Not when the opponent is Norfolk State, at least.

(8) Memphis def. (9) Saint Louis – I can’t believe I made this choice. I mean, that David Freese guy is so clutch and Chris Carpenter is a bona fide ace out there on the mound! Oh, it’s the SCHOOL St. Louis? Not the entire city? Well that’s a stupid name. In that case, go Memphis!

(1) Michigan State def. (16) LIU Brooklyn – This could be a fun game. What does LIU stand for (don’t Google it ya cheater!)? I’m going with Lazy Irish Unicorn personally. Doesn’t fit quite with the whole Brooklyn stereotype. Then again, neither does losing at basketball. But it’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen hard. Although I’d love to see the Spartans go down in a historic fireball of FAIL since Sports Illustrated picked them to win the whole shebang.

There’s my 16 games for Day 2! Hopefully I can stay awake long enough to hit refresh a million times while wishing I had a TV at work. Go LIU!

Wednesday Top Ten!

March 7, 2012

Like how I throw that title up there as if this is a regular thing? I’m not going to lie…it’s because I’m wholly unmotivated to be creative today. Instead, I’ll just blow you away with insight and analysis. So ladies and gentlemen, put on your best snuggies and let’s get rollin’.

Today’s top ten will be all about baseball. Because it’s the best sport. Feel free to argue with me on that point, just don’t complain when this happens. You’ve been warned.

I want to discuss the ten best pitchers in baseball. There’s a helluva lot of them. The San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies could probably make a top ten list by themselves. But we’re going to do it anyway. I’m feelin’ crazy. By the way, I’m a Dodgers fan. So you can guess who number one will be. Muahaha!

10. Dan Haren, Los Angeles Angels – Oh boy that rotation in Anaheim is going to be scary in 2012, ain’t it? Haren is the best of the bunch, and the first pitcher on the list who doesn’t have a Cy Young to his name. He should, he could and he might before his time is done, but time will tell. Six seasons of 14 + wins ain’t too shabby though.

9. Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals – Okay, really? If Carp is ninth on this list, you know it’s gonna rock your socks off. This big righty has dominated for the Cards and has two rings and a shiny Cy Young (2005) to show for it. He’s got one of the best curveballs in the game and is possibly the most dominant postseason pitcher on this entire list.

8. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners – It’s tough to NOT feel bad for King Felix. Stuck on the Mariners his whole career, he hasn’t racked up huge numbers. Just imagine what the 2010 Cy Young winner’s numbers would look like on a team that could actually score runs.

7. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants – How can a two-time Cy Young winner (2008-2009) only be eighth on this list? Easy – he’s on the Giants and he went to University of Washington and I’m a spiteful, Dodger and Washington State-lovin’ bastard. So that says something that I felt compelled to still include The Freak on this list at all.

6. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels is the first of a trio of Phillies to appear on my list (how is that even fair?) and the second who doesn’t have a Cy to his name. Yet. He’s still got plenty of time. What Hamels does have is a mean fastball, some filthy control and a World Series MVP. Not too shabby.

5. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels’ southpawtner in crime DOES have that Cy Young award (2008) but less postseason success. Lee dominated last year, going a cool 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA for Philly. And his awesome birth name (Clifton Phifer Lee) boosted him at least three spots alone.

4. C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees – The lefties just keep on comin’. I have a special appreciation for Sabathia, because he hails from the Bay Area like me. That’s not the end of our similarities though. I’m ALSO a 6’7″, 290-pound black man with a Cy Young (2007) and World Series ring…By the way, C.C. has 176 wins at age 31. Don’t tell me 300 isn’t viable for him.

3. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies – Finally, the Philadelphia onslaught comes to a merciful end. But there is no doubt in my mind that Doc Halladay is the best of the bunch. The 8-time all-star and 2-time Cy Young winner (2003 and 2010) has been so dominant for so long that it’s just a foregone conclusion he’ll put up 15+ wins every season. Oh, did I mention that no-hitter in the playoffs? That’s impressive I guess.

2. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers – Last year’s Cy Young and MVP winner in the American League has finally reached the height of his potential. And I don’t think he’s planning on regressing anytime soon. Verlander’s 24-5, 2.40, 250 strikeout 2011 was far and away one of the best individual pitching seasons I’ve ever seen. And the scary thing is he’s only 28.

1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers – You want to talk about incredible seasons at a young age? How about the next coming of Sandy Koufax (I think I just heard you gasp from here…)? Kershaw cruised to the pitching Triple Crown in the National League last year, and won the Cy Young as a result. Here’s the thing though. Kershaw is 23 years old. Like, my age. What the HELL!

That’s my list. Thanks for helping me kill time. Comment below and tell me why I’m absolutely right-on with all my picks. Or if you must, disagree and make suggestions. I’ll probably ignore you, but hey, it’s worth a shot!

And I ammmmmmm outta here!


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