Sunday, April 29, 2007

Last Week in Baseball! - Not Panic/Celebration Time Just Yet

If you are like us, you grew up on Mel Allen and “This Week in Baseball.” Here at WCT, we have “Last Week in Baseball!” Please don't sue us Fox!

We are through a month of regular season baseball so it really isn’t “early” anymore, but we really feel like Yankee haters (like ourselves) cannot celebrate the team’s demise just yet. Even though the Yanks are in sole possession of last place, looking up at the Devil Rays, we have seen this from them before. Let us not forget 2005, when the Yanks were 11-19 in early May, then caught fire in the second half including a 17-9 September to beat out the Red Sox for the division title. The Yankees pitching staff was banged up for the entire month of April, and we think this team will stabalize once Chien-Ming Wang gets his legs under him and Mike Mussina retuns from the DL. We may end up being wrong, but we will hold off on our "the Yanks are dead! the Yanks are dead!" parade for at least another month

Now, on to our LWIB notes!

- Speaking of the Yankees, we have no idea why Joe Torre has to go through this every year. Four world series championships, six AL pennants, ten division titles, yet he is managing for his job after a slow April.

- It is really, really sad that we've lost another Cardinals pitcher. There are still guys on this team that have not gotten over the passing of Daryl Kile, and now they lose Josh Hancock in a tragic accident.

- Ian Kinsler refuses to go away.

- Now that Bartolo Colon and Jared Weaver have returned, and Chone Figgens is on his way back, we expect the Angels to take off and finally be the team to beat in the AL.

- Nice to see Julian Tavarez pick up a win for the Red Sox yesterday. We were ready to talk about how much sending him out there every fifth day is killing this team.

- Speaking of the Red Sox, so far
Hideki Okajima has been a lot more impressive than Daisuke Matsuzaka. A LOT. We think the Sox have found their 8th inning set up man.

* * * * *
Its our blog dammit, so we are going to talk about our team every week - This is really scary. The Browns had the best draft of any NFL team, and the Indians are in first place in the best division in the sport. We sincerly expect to be struck by lightning.

* * * * *
How ‘bout tha... er, I mean, I'll be goddamned! - Sunday at Jacobs Field, Fausto Carmona, in what will likely be his last start since Cliff Lee makes his return this week, pitched 8 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and only a 9th inning solo home run. Fausto Freaking Carmona?

The Browns are Having a Great Draft

You have to understand how scary it is for us to say, but we LOVE the Browns draft so far. The fact that they got OT Joe Thomas and QB Brady Quinn in the first round is outstanding, and we do not think they gave up too much to get Quinn. We think that Quinn will compete for the starting job immediately, and if he turns out to be the player that everyone thinks he should be, then he is absolutely worth next year's first round pick. And Thomas will hopefully provide some stability to what has traditionally been one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Not only that, but if UNLV CB Eric Wright from can keep his nose clean, then he is a steal at #53 overall. Wright has been said to have the dreaded "character issues" label, but he also has first round caliber talent.

One more thing, we don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but the New England Patriots are turning into a juggernaught. If they add Randy Moss, as is the rumor right now, and they stay healthy, they may not lose a game next year. We are not happy about this.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Great Moments in Cleveland Browns Draft Day History -"Black Saturday"

One Cleveland Browns fan’s mental preparation for the team's next huge embarrassing draft day failure

This is the big kahuna folks, "Black Saturday" as we call it around here, the infamous draft day disaster that the Cleveland Browns franchise is still recovering from today. Probably the best and deepest draft in the last 25 years. The 1999 NFL Draft.

April 24, 1999. As you could probably imagine, this was one of the most anticipated draft days in Cleveland Browns history. The team was returning to the NFL after the franchise was moved to Baltimore in 1995. Everyone knows that the Browns had the #1 overall pick, but people often forget that they also had the first pick in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

We were wide-eyed college students hundreds of miles away from the fair city of Cleveland where we grew up, but even in our dorm rooms, the electricity was palpable. We didn't sleep very much the night before, and as we stumbled out of bed, the day had a "Christmas morning" sort of feel to it.

If you are any sort of football fan, you probably know who the Browns took with that first overall pick

But the bigger story is who they passed up.

Now, in the interest of space, we will only mention the players that they passed on that actually went to the pro bowl. Because if we start mentioning impact guys who haven't been to the pro bowl like Dre Bly, Kevin Faulk, and Brandon Stokley, then we'll be here all day.

1st Round
#1 Browns - QB Tim Couch (0 pro bowls)
#2 Eagles - QB Donovan McNabb (5 pro bowls)
#4 Colts - RB Edgerrin James (4 pro bowls)
#5 Saints - RB Ricky Williams (1 pro bowl, but we can't blame the Browns for passing on him)
#6 Rams - WR Torry Holt (5 pro bowls)
#7 Redskins - CB Champ Bailey (7 pro bowls)
#10 Ravens - CB Chris McAlister (3 pro bowls)
#11 Vikings - QB Daunte Culppeper (3 pro bowls)
#16 Titans - DE Jevon Kearse (3 pro bowls)
#31 Broncos - LB Al Wilson (5 pro bowls)

If you are keeping track, that is 9 future pro bowlers (36 pro bowls total) drafted in the 1st round and the Browns passed on all of them. Lets take a look at the later rounds shall we?

#32 Browns - WR Kevin Johnson (0 pro bowls)

(quick aside - this is twice as frustrating for Cleveland fans because the name "Kevin Johnson" reminds us of the basketball player by the same name that the Cavs drafted in 1987 and then traded. He went on to become a star in Phoenix.)

#62 Browns - CB Daylon McCutcheon (0 pro bowls)
#73 Steelers - LB Joey Porter (3 pro bowls)

So there you have it. Black Saturday. One of the best drafts in recent memory, and the Browns do not have a single player from this draft on their roster today.

And because this is also the T&A post, we would like to introduce you to native Ohioan, former Playboy Playmate of the year, and former "Price is Right" Barker's Beauty Heather Kozar.

Or as she is known today, Mrs. Tim Couch. She is clearly not attracted to him for his fame or his football talent.

(Obviously there are also plenty of NSFW pictures of Heather...if you're into that sort of thing)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Our Long National Nightmare is Over

WCT punching-bag Josh Barfield got a hit today! That brings the hitless streak to a close at 18 At-bats, or four full games. That also makes two hits since April 15, and puts his slugging percentage back above his weight.

Way to go Josh!
Great Moments in Cleveland Browns Draft Day History - 2003

One Cleveland Browns fan’s mental preparation for the team's next huge embarrassing draft day failure

On April 26, 2003 our beloved Browns spent a second round pick (#52 overall) on Chaun Thompson, a linebacker from West Texas A&M.

Now admittedly, we are displaced Browns fans, living in New York, without Directtv, so we don't get to watch as much Browns football as we would like. But that being said, we have no earthly idea who Chaun Thompson is.

Now we can't really attack a draft pick that happend only four years ago, and far be it from us to question the logic of picking a guy who had eight career college sacks at West Texas A&M, but just for laughs, lets take a look at some of the linebackers who didn't make the cut on the Browns' draft board:

Victor Hobson (Picked #53)
Lance Briggs (#68)
Cato June (#198)

How about other defensive players?

Osi Umenyiora (#56)
Ricky Manning (#82)

Who who will be this year's Chaun Thompson?
Morning Rumor

Was Curt Schilling's famed "bloody sock" from the 2004 postseason really bloody?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

That Nutra-System Stuff is Working Wonders!

Last year
This year

Apparently all it does is make his hair long and greasy.

Thanks to Joe Sports Fan for the pictures.

Great Moments in Cleveland Browns Draft Day History - 2002

One Cleveland Browns fan’s mental preparation for the team's next huge embarrassing draft day failure

April 20, 2002. Imagine yourself in the draft room. It is early in the second round.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue - "Pick #47, the Browns are on the clock"

Browns GM Carmen Policy - "OK guys, showtime! next up on our draft board is the Andre Davis! lets get him!"

Tagliabue - "with the 47th pick...of the 2002 NFL Draft...The Cleveland Browns select Andre Davis...Wide Receiver, Virginia Tech"

Policy - "Great work everyone! great work!"

(Someone forgets to cross Davis' name off on the draft board)
(Several other picks are made over the next few hours including #48 Reche Caldwell #51 Clinton Portis, #62 Antwaan Randle-El, #65 Deion Branch, and #91 Brian Westbrook)

* * * * *
(Fast forward ahead to the fifth round)

Tagliabue - "Pick number 141. The Cleveland Browns are on the clock"

(Policy notices that Davis' name is still on his draft board)

Policy - "Wait, did we forget to take that Davis kid?? What the hell is going on? Draft Davis Dammit!"

Tagliabue -"With the 141st pick of the NFL Draft...The Cleveland Browns select...Andra Davis...Linebacker... Florida"

We are not sure if this is exactly how these events went down in April of 2002, but we can only assume. The part that we did not make up was the fact that in the same draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Andre Davis, and Andra Davis (pronounced as Andre).

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Great Moments in Cleveland Browns Draft Day History - 2001

One Cleveland Browns fan’s mental preparation for the team's next huge embarrassing draft day failure

We were perusing the
Kid Cleveland blog’s recap of the Browns 2001 draft, and they did a great job of outlining who our beloved Browns took, and more importantly, who they could have taken. Namely:

Browns overall pick #3 DT Gerard Warren

16.5 sacks in 4 seasons as a Brown. 0 pro bowls. Now on Denver.

Chargers overall pick #5 RB LaDanian Tomlinson

5 pro bowls, one MVP award, over 9,000 rushing yards, over 100 TDs, and called by some as the best running back ever to play pro football.

Patriots overall pick #6 DT Richard Seymor

5 pro bowls, 25.5 sacks (as a nose tackle), and considered by some as the best d-lineman in football.

Saints overall pick #23 RB Deuce McAllister

2 pro bowls, more than 5,500 rushing yards

Colts overall pick #30 WR Reggie Wayne

1 pro bowl (should be more), more than 5,400 receiving yards

Ravens overall pick #31 TE Todd Heap

2 pro bowls

Chargers overall pick #32 QB Drew Brees

3 pro bowls and a comeback player of the year award

Browns overall pick #33 WR Quincy Morgan

1,912 receiving yards in 3 years as a Brown. 0 pro bowls. Last seen in Denver

Bengals overall pick #36 WR Chad Johnson

4 pro bowls, nearly 7,000 receiving yards

Bengals overall pick #100 RB Rudi Johnson

1 pro bowl, more than 5,200 yards rushing

Bengals overall pick #204 WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Jeez this was a good draft for them!)

Monday, April 23, 2007

This is a Union that We Should have All Seen Coming

If you are ever bored, feel your brain stagnating, and in need of something to make fun of, and it happens to be a Monday, click over to Peter King's column. You will not be disappointed. This week, we found this gem among the 10 things he thinks he thinks he thinks, or whatever:

“I like the way Jason Whitlock thinks”

Nice. The simple fact that you two are on the same page just reinforces our feelings on Whitlock. Also caught this one:

“We'll catch up on The Sopranos either Tuesday morning or next week. Couldn't miss Matsuzaka on Sunday night”

Thanks Petey.
Last Week in Baseball! - Mediocrity Lives

If you are like us, you grew up on Mel Allen and “This Week in Baseball.” Here at WCT, we have “Last Week in Baseball!” Please don't sue us Fox!

Its dangerous to make any sort of conclusions based on records or standings at this point in the season, but it is still interesting to see who fast out of the gates, and we are through almost a month of baseball so its really no longer that early in the season.
Can you believe that 20 of the 30 teams in baseball are no better than one game over .500? We were never really big believers in the idea that there was parody in baseball, but maybe this year there will be. By our estimation, at least three whole divisions (NL Central, NL and AL West) are no better than mediocre, with the AL West having no teams over .500. It will be interesting to see how long it takes teams like the Angels, the Cardinals, the Yankees, and the Blue Jays, supposed playoff contenders who are currently at of below .500, to right themselves.

Now, on to our LWIB notes!

- Maybe the Cubs finally have the 1-2 punch that they have needed in their pitching rotation. And those pitchers are... Jason Marquis and Rich Hill of course! Last week the two were a combined 3-0 with an ERA of 0.43. Hill has been especially strong, leading the NL in WHIP (0.68) and has a 16 inning scoreless streak working. Look for one of these guys' throwing arm to fall off and the other to get struck by lightning in the next few weeks, because after all, its the Cubs.

- How about the Orioles? We thought this would be a last-place team (and they still might be) but at least so far they have been a pleasant surprise. The O’s took two of three from the Devil Rays, then swept the Blue Jays over the weekend to leapfrog the Yankees into second place in the division. We'll have a better idea about this team this time next week after they have played the A's, the Red Sox, and the Indians.

- Brad Lidge has officially lost it, and Phil Garner has completely lost confidence in him. On Sunday, he came in, gave up a leadoff double, and was taken out of the game. On Friday, he walked two batters, gave up a three-run bomb, and gave up a double after getting two outs. Thats seven batters faced over the weekend, two walks, three hits, and three runs.

- There appears to be some negative karma associated with this blog. Both Jason Schmidt, whom we picked to win the Cy Young this year, and Felix Hernandez, whom we highlighted last week, landed on the DL this past week. Oops.

* * * * *
Its our blog dammit, so we are going to talk about our team every week - Ideally we would like to just forget that whole mid-week series against the Yankees ever happend. And we know that Josh Barfield was acquired in the offseason mainly for his glove, and so far he has played a good second base, but would it be too much to ask for him to hit his weight? Or even slug his weight? He is listed at 190 lbs, and is slugging .245 so its close. We'll keep an eye on this. By the way Barfield has seven hits this year, including one in the last calendar week. He started every game but one last week.

The Tribe has the Twins, the Rangers and the Orioles this week.

* * * * *
How ‘bout tha... er, I mean, I'll be goddamned! - Everyone knows that Alex Rodriguez has 12 home runs so far this year (its only the lead story on SportsCenter every night), but did you know that Ian Kinsler has 7 home runs? Ian Kinsler?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Apparently the Lure of Coaching Three More Scarlet-Gray Spring Games Wasn't Enough Incentive to Stay in School

Friday, Ohio State will hold a press conference to announce that three freshmen will be declaring for this summer's NBA Draft. Center Greg Oden (no surprise there, he's ready for the NBA), point gaurd Mike Conley (again, no surprise, he was probably the Buckeyes' MVP through the tournament, plus his dad just recently decided to become a sports agent. Weird coincidence!) And shooting guard Daequan Cook (wait, what?)

Here are Daequan's stats for the season:

19.7 minutes per game

9.8 Points

4.3 Rebounds

1 Assist

Apparently Daequan is getting advice from his older brother, former St. Johns draft bust Omar.*

*(we completely made that last part up, Daequan Cook and Omar Cook are not related)
Touch 'em All, Indeed

We realize that this story has been all over the blogosphere already and we are the last ones to the party, but we don’t care. The T&A post only comes around once a week, right?

The fact that average-to-below-average-MLB-pitcher groupie Alyssa Milano has a blog makes this story a Friday T&A lay-up. The fact that she has named said blog “Touch ‘em All” makes this story a Friday T&A lay-up on a 7-foot basket.

She has even started her own line of “Touch” apparel.

Seriously, this woman sleeps with anything with an ERA over 5 (Jake Westbrook! Someone is undoubtedly asking around for your phone number!!) and now she has a deal with Major League Baseball to sell her own line of clothes? And is blogging her “observations” on the MLB season? This is becoming too easy.

And congratulations to Ms. Milano for being the first ever woman to be the subject of two consecutive Friday T&A posts!

* * * * *
Have a good weekend blog-nation, enjoy the NBA Playoffs (go Cavs) and ESPN's Yanks & Sox-pocalypse.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Coaching Matchup for This Saturday's Ohio State Spring Football Game Will be...


We try not to let our own fan-dom seep too much into the posts of this blog (what? what are you laughing at?) But we can't let this go:

We are thoroughly embarassed to be Indians fans today.

Embarassed. Thats the best word to describe how we feel. How would this three game series have gone differently if a AAA team had showed up to play the Yankees this week instead of the Indians? Would it have been any worse?

How would the 9th inning have gone today if we had been handed the ball and asked to protect a four-run lead instead of Joe Fucking Borowski? Could we have done better? What if we had been handed the ball to start game 1 on Tuesday instead of the $33 million dollar man Jake "I won 15 games two years ago so I'm hanging my hat on that season" Westbrook? Could we have lasted more than 1 2/3 innings?

Oh, and by the way, we know that everybody's MVP Grady "people who see me play 2 or 3 times a year think I'm the second coming of Willie Mays" Sizemore has an OPS over 1000, but he has also now struck out eight times in 40 ABs. And seemingly all of them have come in crucial situations in close games. I guess we are on pace for another 150 strikeout season. When is Wedge going to stop batting him leadoff?

And speaking of Eric "My ass is superglued to the bench" Wedge, why does he continue to leave his pitchers out on the mound 2, 3, 4, 10 batters too long? Does it take an act of God for him to take a pitcher out of the game when he has obviously lost it? Oh, right because Mark "I won executive of the year two years ago so I have this job for life no matter how much I suck at it" Shapiro hasn't gotten anyone decent to come out of the bullpen.

We know that it is only April 19, but so far is there anyone on this team besides CC Sabathia who is not a spectacular disappointment?
AAAAAAH. Thats better. Thank you that was very theraputic.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Ship be Sinkin'

In Monday's LWIB post, we said that the bullpen would be the difference between the The Phillies competing for a playoff spot and another disappointing season in Philly. We would like to amend that statement and add the following factors to "bullpen" on the list of “reasons the Phillies won’t make the playoffs:”

Starting Pitching
Pretty much everyone on this team besides Jimmy Rollins

Other than that, they're good.

Oh and one other thing, we don't wish for anyone to lose their job, but we hope that former Indians manager/failure Charlie Manuel has his resume in order. And threatening to fight this man

Excuse us. Don't know how we made that mistake. THIS man

certainly isn't going to help things. More proof of the Joey Crawford-ization of sports.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Funny Picture of the day

The Fanhouse comes through again.
Why does Yahoo! Sports Hate the Spurs?

Tip of the cap to The Fanhouse and TrueHoop on this one.

Check out these two Spurs box scores from Yahoo! Sports: One from March 26th

and one from last night

In case you couldn't read those, thats Robert Horry - "DNP - Old Age!" and Brent Barry - "DNP - Tummy Ache"
Does Joey Crawford write box scores for Yahoo?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Last Week in Baseball!

If you are like us, you grew up on Mel Allen and “This Week in Baseball.” Here at WCT, we have “Last Week in Baseball!” Please don't sue us Fox!

The Jackie Robinson tributes Sunday were great. It was great because its impossible to overstate his value to American sports, and American history. It was also great because as much as we know (or thought we knew) about Jackie, we learned a lot about him on Sunday.

Now, on to our LWIB notes!

- The Phillies bullpen looks like it is going to be what prevents this team competing for a playoff spot. Its never a good thing when your closer, in this case Tom Gordon, has an ERA of 9, and the
eighth inning last Monday against the Mets was a disgrace. We hope that manager Charlie Manuel is renting and doesn’t own.

- Stop us if you've heard this before, but the Texas Rangers have no pitching. They currently have the second worst team ERA in the American League (5.07) and allowed 9, 8, 6, and 14 runs in games played last week. When is this team going to realize you can't win without pitching?

- Did you know that Mariano Rivera doesn't have a save yet this year? We're still shocked when he blows one as he did against the A's on Sunday. The Yanks starting rotation is becoming the walking wounded, with Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano joining Chien-Ming Wang on the DL.

- If you had "April 13" in your office's "when will Lou Pinella's first tirade as a Cubs Manager occur?" pool, congratulations..

- Manny Ramirez is still without a home run this year.

- Its April 16 and Nationals still suck. We feel that this team is going to make a serious run at the '62 Mets record of 120 losses. We will follow this story all summer.

- Albert Pujols is heating up. He had two more home runs on Sunday.

- The Braves are also hot out of the gates. The Braves-Mets race in the NL east will probably turn out to be the best division race in baseball this summer.

- The NL central, on the other hand, is a joke. In our NL west preview we predicted that division would be the worst in baseball. However, through the first two weeks, it looks like the central will out do the west in terms of suckiness.

* * * * *
Its our blog dammit, so we are going to talk about our team every week - How about the Tribe winning a game with only one hit Sunday? C.C. Sabathia is on point so far this year, and it was nice to see the Indians take two of three from the White Sox and Angels (our pick for the AL pennant) in Milwaukee. Lets see how they do against the Yanks this week.

* * * * *
How ‘bout tha... er, I mean, I'll be goddamned! - "King" Felix Hernandez's pitching line so far this year - two starts, 17 IP, four hits allowed, no runs allowed, 0.47 WHIP, two wins. Yikes!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Wiff!

We made
our feelings known on Josh Beckett during our preview of the AL East: we think he is tragically overrated. Apparently, according to The Boston Herald, The Fanhouse, and The Feed, there are women in the Boston who share our appraisal of the goateed right-hander.

Beckett apparently tried to pick up a girl at a bar with the always famous “hey you!” line. The girl knew exactly who he was (she reportedly told him “you pitched a great game today”) and was not impressed.

Maybe this is erroneous on both counts, but didn’t Beckett at one point or another to date both Leeann Tweeden, AND Alyssa Milano? Although to be fair, it has gotten to the point where we assume that every middling, underachieving Major League pitcher has run through Milano.

So this weekend as you hit the bars, raise your glass to whomever this chick is, and her ability to resist a Major League ballplayer, and a minor league pickup line. And when closing time rolls around, and you find yourself heading home alone, just remember, if a Red Sox player can get shot down at a bar in Boston, it can happen to anybody.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In Defense of Pacman

We might be completely alone on this one, but we think that Adam “Pacman” Jones got a raw deal today.

When it was announced Tuesday that he would be suspended for the entirety of the 2007 NFL season, it raised our eyebrows. When it was announced that Chris Henry would be suspended for eight games next year, we were utterly shocked.

Henry and Jones, who incidentally both went to West Virginia (Goooooo Mountaineers!), have been thorns in the proverbial side of the NFL for the past two seasons. In that time period Henry has been arrested, pulled over, or investigated as many as four times, on charges varying from DUI, to providing alcohol to minors, to driving without insurance, to aggravated assault with a firearm. Also, and more importantly, he has been convicted or plead guilty to three of those charges. Jones, for all of the times he has been alleged to have committed this, or been questioned in relation to that, has not been convicted of a single crime since entering the NFL. As guilty as everyone (ourselves included) think that Jones is of at least some of what he has been accused of, he must be given the benefit of the legal system.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is setting a dangerous precedent by suspending a player without pay for an entire year without a conviction or a guilty plea. Isn’t this just going to invite false accusations of NFL players? If a player does not need to be proven to be guilty of a crime before he is penalized, where do you draw the line? Do you only need an accusation in order to be suspended? The Bengals are the team that has show to have a culture of lawlessness. If you were going to "make an example" of someone, wouldn't you want to choose the Bengal?

And above all, isn’t it a little inconsistent to suspend a player found guilty three times for half a year and at the same time suspend a player found guilty zero times for a whole season?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

WCT Baseball Preview: The Saga Continues

Baseball season is underway, and we here at WCT are psyched. In order to prepare for the season (and so that in October we can brag about how right we were in the spring) we will preview how we think the 2007 season will go.

Today: The Awards!

We swear we made these picks before the season started.

AL MVP: Travis Hafner – There are many statistical measures that would tell you that Hafner is the best offensive player in baseball. Last year he led the American League with a 1097 OPS, and even SCORED 100 runs (if you’ve seen “Pronk” run the bases, then you realize how remarkable it is that he scored that many times). We feel like the only reason he ended up eighth in the MVP balloting last year was because the Indians sucked (NOT because he is a designated hitter. But that is another post for another day). That being said, we think the Tribe will be better this year (you can go ahead and substitute “hope” for “think” if you want) and if he stays healthy, Hafner will be right in the middle of it and will garner the votes he needs.

One week in: If it never stops snowing in Cleveland, and if teammate and
WCT punching-bag Grady Sizemore doesn’t stop upstaging him by hitting home runs every game, Hafner has no chance.

AL Cy Young : Chien-Ming Wang – This is one of the few guys who looks like he has a legitimate shot to toss a new hitter just about every time he takes the ball. We have never seen a sinkerballer who can control a game and frustrate the opposing team the Wang can. And with the Yankee offense scoring six runs a night, there is really no limit to his potential.

One week in: Wang is on the DL and is going to miss at least a month. Oops. Eh, Halladay, or Santana will end up taking it.

AL Rookie of the Year: Daisuke Matsuzaka – Why is it that in one breath people like Peter Gammons (who we respect, and agree with about 90% of the time) say that the Japanese league is somewhere between AAA and the majors, and in the next breath they say that if you consider Japanese players rookies you are disrespecting their league? If Ichiro can win ROY, why not Matsuzaka? Or as the Kansas City Royals Broadcasters called him Daisuke Matsui.

One week in: Seven innings, six hits, one earned run, one walk, and ten strikeouts Thursday against the Royals. Now lets see how he does against a major league lineup (Zing!). If he is as good as everyone says he is, he should win 16 games easily. There are also like five guys for the Devil Rays who could also take this award. If Matsuzaka doesn’t get the votes, look out for Elijah Dukes.

NL MVP: Jose Reyes – We actually could have gone with any of about three Mets (Carlos Beltran and David Wright being the others) but Reyes does so many things to impact a game its hard not to choose him. At the plate, on the basepaths, in the field, he is arguably the most complete player in the game.

One week in: Yes, its only been one week, but he is slugging .720.

NL Cy Young: Jason Schmidt – this is the one pick that we made that may be out of the ordinary. We see the Dodgers as one of the two best teams in the entire National League, so we think Schmidt will be another guy who will benefit from being on a team that makes the playoffs. We think he could have won this award a couple of times in the past if the Giants had been better.

One week in: Five innings, three hits, one earned run allowed. If he stays healthy, he could make us look very smart.

NL Rookie of the Year: Chris Young – No, not the 6’10” pitcher for the Padres, the 6’2” outfielder for the Diamondbacks. To be honest, we have no idea who this guy is. All we know is that Gammons loves him, and that’s good enough for us.

One week in: Young is only batting .182 so far, but he already has a home run and 8 RBI.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Is Hockey Really this Starved for Attention?

The blogosphere is all atwitter with the news of the latest hockey fight.

No we aren’t referring to the fight from a few weeks ago where one goon clubbed the other in the face with his stick. No, we aren’t referring to that fight about a week ago where two goons slugged it out and one of them was wheeled off in a stretcher.

No, we are referring of course to the scuffle between this man

and them.

The gentleman at the top is New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvisk. And the ladies below are the New York Islanders “ice girls.” The ice girls, in case you haven’t been to or seen an NHL game lately (and judging by TV ratings and attendance figures, chances are you haven’t) perform the basic duties that the grounds crew performs at a baseball game. The only difference is they perform these tasks in half-shirts, tight pants, and other attire that we’re sure makes their parents very proud.

According to the report, the rivalry between the Rangers and Islanders was taken to a new height (or depth, depending on how you look at it) when Lundqvist began antagonizing the ice girls when they came to clean his crease during a stoppage. Supposedly, he refused to get out of the way of one of the ice girls, and even whacked one of their squeegees with his goal stick.

(quick aside: Dumber feud this week: Ludqvist vs. the Islander ice girls, or the war of words between
Eric Wynalda and Jim Rome?)

Far be it from us to question anything done by the runaway success that is, the National Hockey League, but they may want to re visit the idea of ice girls. Clearly the idea here is to try their best to objectify these women, but is it wise to have them skating onto the ice during commercials and annoying the players? Is this really all the NHL has left to try to get fans into the arenas?

On another, non-ice girl related hockey note: What the hell is going on in the front office of the New Jersey Devils? This week GM Lou Lamoriello fired coach Claude Julien, less than a year after hiring him, despite the fact that there were only three games left in the season, and the Devils were in first place in their division and in the midst of four wins in five games. Simply amazing. Can you even imagine this happening in any other sport? Only hockey.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

America Held Hostage: Crisis Averted!

We take back all of the bad things we said!*

*WCT does not take back any of the bad things we said about Bud Selig. He is still a douchebag. He is just a douchebag that temporarily came to his senses

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

And Here we Go. Right on Cue.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the emergence of Florida dynasty has spawned the age-old argument of the inane: “can they beat an NBA team??
I totally think they can!!

Why do we have to continue to do this? Why? I really don’t understand why this makes me so mad, but it really gets under my skin. Morons did it with USC a few years back, saying that they could beat the worst of the NFL. It happens all the time.

First of all, full disclosure: regular readers will know that I am an Ohio State fan, and not exactly in love with the athletic teams from the University of Florida right now. That being said, I congratulate them (again) on winning the NCAA tournament and on the great accomplishment of concurrently holding the football and basketball championships.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me get to my point: An NBA team, any NBA team, would CRUSH Florida. They would sweep them in a seven game series with their backups.

Just look at the Charlotte Bobcats for example. They have basically a who’s-who of college all-americans from the past five years, led by Sean May, Raymond Felton, Adam Morrison, Matt Carroll and Emeka Okafor. That’s five all-conference players, four all-americans, two different NCAA tournament most outstanding players, and a national player of the year. This is a much more decorated team than this Gators club. They have 28 wins right now. They get their asses handed to them on a semi-nightly basis.

As great as this Florida team is, and they are GREAT, we have admitted as much in
the past, how many guys on this team could even crack the starting five of the Clippers or the Nuggets or another around .500, average NBA team? Definitely Corey Brewer, probably Al Horford and Joakim Noah, but who else? I’m sorry, Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey ain’t starting in the NBA next year on a decent team. These five guys are college studs and they may not even start in the League.

Not only that, but how many NBA teams can you see losing by double digits to Vanderbilt or Tennessee? How many NBA teams would lose by 10 points to a 5-11 in conference LSU team?

Can we please accept the Florida Gators as what they are, that is, a great college basketball team, bordering on a dynasty. We don’t have to elevate them to something that they are not.
This is the Type of Keen Insight You Can Only Get from One Jay Bilas

Jay Bilas on Mike & Mike this morning on the prospects of Greg Oden returning to school:

"I think that he will probably go to the NBA, but there is also a chance that he stays in school."

So if you are keeping track at home, Greg Oden will definitely declare for the NBA draft. Unless he doesn't.

Monday, April 02, 2007

152 Days till Football Season in Columbus!

Ok, so that went about as well as we thought it would. That is to say, not well at all. Florida was just too good, too deep, too experienced for the young Buckeyes. We fully expect things to now return to normal, and by that we mean we expect Florida players and fans to gloat for the foreseeable future, we expect Oden and Conley to declare for the draft, and we expect Ohio State to return to its status as a second-tier college basketball program.

Ohio State spring game April 21st!
This is Really Getting Annoying

Boy this whole MLBtv arrangement just gets better by the minute

WCT Baseball Preview of the Week

Baseball season begins in earnest today, and we here at WCT are psyched (Indians already up 9-2 on the White Sox!). In order to prepare for the season (and so that in October we can brag about how right we were in the spring) we will preview each divisi
on, and predict the order of finish of the teams.

Today: Baseball's best division, the American League Central

Detroit Tigers – We have a funny feeling about this Tigers team. They are easily the most talented team in the division, but they also remind us a lot of the ’06 White Sox. We have never understood the phenomenon of the “sophomore slump,” but if it happens to any or all of the talented rookie pitchers who carried this team all the way through October, they are going to be in trouble. Kenny “get that camera out of my face” Rogers starts the year on the DL, it will be interesting to see how well he pitches now that he won’t be able to use that mysterious brown substance that was on his left hand during the playoffs last year. The addition of Gary Sheffield will be big, because when Gary is mad, he hits the ball real hard. We see them winning the division, but not without a fight. Call us crazy, but we just have a hunch that this team won’t be as successful as they were last year, or as many experts think they will be.

Cleveland Indians – It scares us to say this, as Indians fans, but the Tribe looks very good on paper right now. The rotation, as long as everyone stays healthy (C.C. Sabathia, we’re looking at you) should be solid. They added Joe Borowski to replace Bob Wickman as the closer, and rest of the bullpen is above average. Trot Nixon should bring the veteran influence that they have needed. Travis Hafner is arguably the best power hitter in the league, and the WCT pick for MVP. If the Jhonny Perralta of 2005 returns rather than the Jhonny Perralta of 2006, then the Indians could have three young studs in the infield with Perralta, Josh Barfield, and Andy Marte. If they put it together, we see the Tribe ending up with the wild card.

(quick aside: Everybody’s darling Grady Sizemore has GOT to cut down on his strikeouts. No one ever talks about this, but the Indians cannot continue to have their leadoff hitter striking out 140-150 times in a season. We love the guy, and we appreciate the way he plays centerfield, but he should be putting the ball in play a lot more often than he does. Or they should have someone who is more of a more contact-hitter, perhaps Barfield, lead off, and bat Sizemore third in the lineup)

(Update: Grady is already 1 for 1 with a leadoff home run, a walk, and two runs scored so we take back everything we said. For now)

Chicago White Sox – We don’t subscribe to the ridiculous idea that Ozzie Guillen is on the “hot seat” this year, but we think that he is beginning to become a distraction to his team. The Sox pitching staff fell apart down the stretch last year, and it cost them in the playoff race. This team will be able to score a lot of runs, but their bullpen lacks depth, and their starting rotation needs to be more like ’05 and less like ’06 if they are going to stay in the race.

Minnesota Twins – This team’s pitching staff looks is if it was assembled with a “Johan Santana, and pray for four days of rain” strategy. Too bad they play 81 games in a dome. Fransisco Liriano cannot return soon enough. One more thing: Honestly, who names their son “Boof?”

Kansas City Royals – Don’t laugh at us, but we think the Royals are going to be respectable this year, bordering on mediocre. 3B Alex Gordon is everybody’s early pick rookie of the year, and the outfield trio of Mark Tehan, Emil Brown, and David DeJesus is better than most people would think. It would not surprise us if they ended up somewhere other than the AL Central cellar, but we have them there just out of force of habit. They’re sort of like the opposite of the Braves of the 90s, until someone else proves that they can come in last in this division, we’re still going to go with the Royals.