Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Opening Day Predictions

April 4, 2012

Okay, okay. I know the A’s and Mariners played in Japan and the defending-champion Cardinals already defeated the Marlins at the new stadium earlier tonight. But a big slate of games is finally set for tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited. 

We’ve got seven games lined up for tomorrow, capped off with reigning Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and my Dodger squaring off against the Padres in San Diego. Without further adieu, here are my predictions for tomorrow’s games:

Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers: This is the first of the great pitching matchups we’ll see over the first weekend of play, but it might just be the best one. Jon Lester will take the hill against last year’s Cy Young and MVP winner, Justin Verlander. Normally, I’d expect a pitcher’s duel, but Lester is a notorious slow starter, so look for a big game from Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder and the Tigers to take the home opener 5-2. (Side note: Jose Valverde will get his 51st straight save, creeping slowly towards the record of 84)

Atlanta Braves at New York Mets: I like this pitching matchup for a number of different reasons. First of all, I really enjoy watching Tommy Hanson pitch. If he’s healthy for Atlanta this year, it’s going to be huge for their playoff aspirations. But the real story here is Johan Santana’s return to the hill after a multitude of injuries have crippled the former Cy Young winner. I’m going to take my first upset, but don’t expect the Mets’ winning streak to last long. Give me the Mets 3-2.

Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates: Another former ace takes the hill on Opening Day, hoping to rebound. Erik Bedard won’t have as much success as Johan does in New York, although I do expect an above average season out of the lefty in 2012. Roy Halladay is going to be too much for the young Pirates offense, and the Phils take it on the road 5-0.

Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs: Raise your hand if you’re as excited to see Stephen Strasburg on the mound tomorrow as I am! He takes on the re-tooled Cubs and Ryan Dempster at Wrigley. And I’m sorry Cubbie fans, but the curse will continue, starting with an ugly loss at the hands of the Nats. I’m going to enjoy watching Strasburg go 8 innings with 10 strikeouts in a 7-1 win.

Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians: This might be the most underrated pitching matchup of the day. If you like young, up-and-coming stars on the bump, this is the game for you. Ricky Romero is my dark horse candidate for A.L. Cy Young this year, and Justin Masterson for Cleveland isn’t far behind. I think this is going to be the best pitching duel of the day. Toronto takes it 1-0 on a late solo homer by Jose Bautista.

Miami Marlins at Cincinnati Reds: One of the Marlins’ big free agent acquisitions is opening this series, and Mark Buerhle can certainly be trusted to give a quality outing. Johnny Cueto gets the ball for Cincy and two very strong offenses will have their respective hands full. Give me the wily veteran for the new-look Marlins’ first win in a 4-3 game.

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres: You know this is the one I’ve been waiting to talk about. You’ve gotta like the young lefty Kershaw to start defending his Cy Young title with a pretty dominant win at Petco Park. I think the Dodgers put up a five spot on Edinson Volquez early and chase him from the game. I want to give the Padres a pity run to sound unbiased, but they just aren’t a good enough team to score against Kershaw. Final score: 6-0 Dodgers.

That’s all folks! Call in sick tomorrow, ditch school, and watch MLB Network all day to see my picks put into motion. Happy baseball! Peace.

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Quarterbacks Galore

March 6, 2012

I know, I know. It’s baseball season. TRUST ME. I understand that. I spent half my day listening to the Dodgers’ Spring Training broadcast on my phone. But first of all, there are three big QB topics to discuss today. And secondly, I’m still a little butt-hurt that the aforementioned Doyers lost to the Giants…

…it’s gonna be a long season.

Let’s start with my boy Alex Smith. I’ve been hearing way too much on talk radio over the last few days that Colin Kapernick should “get a shot.” The only shot Kap should be taking right now is shots of Patron as he chills on the bench, watching Smith lead the 49ers back to the playoffs.

Wow, that was an awfully bad play on words. Give me a break, I’m off my game – that Dodgers loss is really getting to me!

Smith will be back with the Niners next season, he will be the starter, and Kap will get another full season to hone his skills and learn a little leadership under Jim Harbaugh. I’m fine with giving the kid a shot in the preseason and in blowouts, as long as he doesn’t throw the ball to Josh Morgan. Since he jinxed him and Morgan busted his ankle on that catch-and-run from Kap last year.

But for now, you can talk about Smith’s inability to throw the deep ball, his mediocre stats or his boring demeanor all you want. I’ll show you tape of the NFC Divisional playoff all day and challenge you to tell me that Alex Mother Beepin’ Smith wasn’t the biggest reason we advanced to the NFC Championship just a couple short months ago.

Now, he’s no Drew Brees or even post-neck-surgery Peyton Manning. Not many QBs are. But that brings me to my next point. The New Orleans Saints are just being plain STUPID lately. Don’t even get me started on the bounty nonsense, because this blog will turn into a very angry novel. I’m talking about how they pissed off their franchise quarterback by tagging him with that exact distinction: their “franchise” player.

Except this time, it means that he gets paid a shit ton less than he should. That’s not even what Brees is “livid” about. He’s upset that he specifically told the Saints not to franchise him and wanted to knock out a long-term deal. Telling Brees no in this situation is like the animals on Noah’s Ark kicking him overboard. Brees saved the Saints’ franchise and brought them a Super Bowl title, yet they are going right at his knees with this contract crap. Ironic, considering…nevermind I won’t go there.

And in the biggest news of the day, the elder (and now less-prominent, as far as Super Bowl victories go…WTF?) Manning is out in Indy! The Colts declined to pay him $28 million to do nothing. Okay, so that’s fine. I can understand that business decision. And it’s too bad, because even though Andrew Luck may be a once-in-a-lifetime prospect, he’s still unproven.

If anything, you can expect a Sam Bradford-esque rookie season out of Luck. I’m sure the Colts will enjoy letting their new QB get beat up and rack up “L’s” while Manning does his thing in Washington, or Seattle, or Arizona or wherever the hell there is a GM smart enough to pick him up!

Don’t get me wrong – I like Luck and I think he’ll do great. But those are some gigantic, Hall-of-Fame sized cleats to fill in Indianapolis. As for Peyton? Don’t fret. He missed out on a cool chunk of change, but the dude’s gonna get paid a King’s ransom no matter where he goes. And chances are, he’ll probably be playing postseason football wherever he goes.

That’s all for today. Tomorrow, it’s back to baseball. I promise. Heck, I’ll even make a plug right here, right now.

Cretins! Read the Three Up, Three Down blog! Listen to the Three Up, Three Down podcast! Like the Three Up, Three Down Facebook page! And follow us on Twitter at @3U3D. You won’t be disappointed.

Until tomorrow, this is Colin Kaepernick…taking Jam Shots. (No? Not even a giggle?)

How About a Little Cougar Lovin’?

February 13, 2012

Yes, I am hoping that title attracts the bulk of 18-24 year old men to this blog. And it should. But for a different reason. I’m talking about my alma mater, Washington State University and our proudest sports product, Klay Thompson. The 11th overall pick in the NBA draft last year is having himself quite a rookie season. And people are finally starting to take notice.

Don’t ask me how this kid didn’t make the rookie-sophomore all-star game, or how he’s relatively unknown outside Pullman, WA and Oakland, CA. And definitely don’t ask Warriors coach Mark Jackson. After a slow start this season, all Thompson is doing in February is averaging 10 points per game off the bench. Not just any 10 though. He discovered his long-range stroke and is hitting treys like Chris Brown hits…nevermind. He’s on fire, is what I’m trying to say.

Thompson was arguably the biggest recruiting coup in Washington State basketball history. Hearing we would have the son of a former first overall pick suiting up got things buzzin’ in Pullman. And Klaymania got off to an early start, when He’s a freshmannnnnn became regular in Beasley Coliseum as Klay’s sweet stroke started enveloping the student section.

By his sophomore year, he was far and away the best player in crimson and gray on the court every single night. And by his junior year, he was dropping 40+ points in pre-season tournaments, averaging over 20 a game during conference play and on a short list of candidates to even get consideration for National Player of the Year awards. Yet he stayed relatively anonymous, staying away from the spotlight, patiently awaiting his name to eventually be called in last year’s June draft.

The day Thompson announced he was foregoing his senior season at WSU to jump to the NBA, it was honestly like a natural disaster had hit the campus. Our snowy little town of 30,000 people (22,000 students to give you a better idea…) might as well have just been hit by a deadly, contagious disease. Oh, wait that happened too. Anyway, nobody took the news of Thompson leaving harder than me. Sure, I was graduating but I still was looking forward to him leading my Cougs on a final NCAA run.

Then, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in June, I received an e-mail. Then another. And another. And finally one from my Mom with the press release attached: Warriors select Klay Thompson 11th overall in draft. As in the Golden State Warriors. As in the team that plays 25 minutes from my house. I was giddy. I ran down the halls of the ship looking for my fellow Cougs. I found them. And we celebrated this little stroke of luck.

Now that little stroke of luck is coasting on the big stroke of Thompson’s right arm. He’s quickly becoming one of the best overall rookies of the 2011 draft. He’s helping the Dubs stay afloat in their quest to return to the postseason. He’s trying to be a savior for a franchise which, save for 2006, has been a league doormat for years because of bad coaching, a lack of star power, and failed drafts.

But as Thompson continues to sink three’s and make pinpoint passes and play suffocating defense, Pullman and Oakland won’t be the only places noticing the gold mine the Warriors stumbled upon. Forget former Warrior Jeremy Lin and all his hype. Thompson is the real deal and he’s here to stay. I assure you, if his clutch, late-game heroics continue, the Warriors will find a way in eventually. And you’ll have a young, silent assassin to thank. Go Klay Thompson. And as always, Go Cougs.

Is Driving a Zamboni Even Possible When You’re Sober?

February 3, 2012

Oopsies…

There’s going to be so much college football recruiting news in today’s blog, you’re going to be tackling red shirt walk-ons in your sleep. We’ve got a Jamarcus Russell-sized QB commit, one who loves fast food, and one who could allegedly be the butt of “therapist” (insert a space in the appropriate place and figure it out) jokes when it’s socially acceptable in a few years.

Let’s talk about Fatty McFattysons first. And please don’t tell him I said that, cause the dude is SCARY. I don’t know how effective a passer he’ll be in college, as he’s already rated as a “worse passer” than Russell was at this point in the recruiting process. But one thing is for sure. If he gets past the D-line when he’s scrambling, the only person with a prayer to bring him down is the mascot in a celebratory jump hug. Here’s to hoping he turns out more positively than Russell did.

Now this is just hilarious. I remember the day I had to choose which college I was going to attend. Not because I was signing a letter of intent to smash opposing players in the mouth, but because my mom called me at lunch in high school and told me I had to decide by the end of the day. But I absolutely did not choose Washington State over San Diego State because there were two McDonald’s in Pullman, WA. Give me a break, kid.

This one is not as funny. It’s scary, sad and troubling. If it’s true, of course. When it comes to the combination of sports and crime, though, it can be pretty gut-busting. For example, how does one get a DUI? If you drink, don’t drive. Duh. But, if you get a DUI driving a Zamboni on the ice rink?! That’s just silly. And you deserve a high five before getting locked up.

Hey, did you all hear? Tom Brady is now “The Most Hated Man in Buffalo!” Do you know why? He said the hotels in Buffalo weren’t that great. Jesus, media members. Chill the hell out. People in the city named after a stinky, dirty, ugly animal are offended that somebody was unhappy with the mints on their hotel pillows. Who gives a buffalo dropping?

The fact that this story is news pisses me off. And the fact that Buffolians are pissed off about it makes me want to punch a puppy. An ugly one though. Cute ones are unpunchable. This whole Brady-hatred-for-innocent-statement saga makes no sense. It’s not newsworthy. If he had pulled something like this, I’d understand a little anger.

Here’s some anger for you. If I could do this even from a distance; from a remote island to a disappearing ESPN cruise ship sailing into the sunset, I’d die happy. Then I’d draw “Screw YOU Skip!” in the sand and pee all over it. Props to you, Mr. Smith. And am I ever jealous.

I hate to end this blog on a sad note, but I have no choice. Josh Hamilton is one of the best sports stories in the world. He’s like Miracle combined with the Natural combined with Warrior, all on steroids. Oh, shit. Not on steroids. That joke definitely doesn’t work when referring to baseball. Comic relief aside, reports have surfaced that Hamilton was spotted drinking in a bar in Dallas. I really, really hope that these aren’t true. I’m a big Hamilton fan. And relapse is okay when you’re Jamblinman and you’re drinking the daily sports scoop. But when you were suspended for multiple years for drug and alcohol abuse, relapse is not ideal.

What can I do now, but leave you with an awesome song to jam to while you read the rest of my fabulous blogs? By the way, Buffalo. Everyone hates you. How appropriate, given my Friday Song of the Week. I feel like an actual band made up entirely of horses would sound a hell of a lot worse. Alright, go away…time for a beer. Too soon?


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