Archive for December, 2011

The SF Giants’ Contract Crisis

For the San Francisco Giants, last year was one to forget. A slow death all season, 2011 was in fact the antithesis of 2010’s magic and perseverance. The clock struck twelve for Cinderella as we bid farewell to unlikely heroes Andres Torres and Cody Ross.

The World Series hangover has passed. The injuries have drifted away. Buster and Freddy should be ready to bounce back. And the Giants actually have a lot to prove this year. San Francisco is transforming from a mid-market team into a large market franchise. The Giants have enjoyed many seasons of watching their young studs spin gems for pennies on the dollar. That time has come and gone.

And so, General Manager Brian Sabean has made it very clear that the Giants’ main objective this offseason is to extend starting pitchers Tim Lincecum (1A) and Matt Cain (1B). The Freak is eligible to become a free agent after the 2013 season while Cain is eligible to test the market after the 2012 season. Can you imagine the Giants without their two horses? It’s a scary thought to envision them in pinstripes.

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The Pro Bowl: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Yesterday the NFL announced its AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters. Players are voted in by coaches, players and fan balloting; each accounting for one third of the total vote. Whether you like it or not, the purpose of a Pro Bowl is to reward teams for their successes over the course of a season by selecting certain players to represent them. In a perfect world, the best players at every position would earn the nomination to play in the Pro Bowl. But this is hardly the case, as we’ll get into.

Nonetheless, the San Francisco 49ers have 8 Pro Bowlers. That is not a typo. And you could even argue they deserved a few more. The last time the Niners had this many Pro Bowlers was 1995, when 10 of them were named to the NFC squad.

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The Yule Blog: Week 16 NFL Picks

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even Monta Ellis’ spouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas would end Kobe Bryant’s affair…

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Scouting the Steelers

The enemy is at the gates and it’s T-6 until Christmas. Three peculiar things happened yesterday:

1. The Packers lost to the Chiefs at Arrowhead (never underestimate a team where the coaches and players are auditioning for next year).

2. The Colts emerged victorious over the Titans.

3. Tim Tebow did not lead a 4th quarter happy-ever-after comeback.

Now that we’ve got those headliners out of the way, let’s get acquainted with the Pittsburgh Steelers Scouting Report:
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Week 15 Power Rankings & The Wildest Week Ever

Before we get into my personal NFL Power Rankings, we have some business to attend to. I really can’t remember a wilder week in sports. If you so much as blinked you may have missed one or all of the following:

  • The mighty forces of Hurricane Katrina David Stern have run the New Orleans Saints and thus the NBA into an iceberg sized problem. And we still don’t know how the ransom for Chris Paul will play out. The LA Lakers and Clippers have already swung and missed.
  • The reigning NL MVP, Ryan Braun, tested positive for a banned substance. Even though he’s adamantly denying it, his alleged extremely high testosterone levels are making the last of baseball’s Old Guard shake in their Mizuno’s.
  • Albert Pujols and his agent headlined MLB free agency with a 10 year, $254 million contract to the Angels. “Stan the Man” Musial made $1.26  million in his 22 year career which equates to $9.33 million today. Pujols will earn that in 69 games this season.
  • One of the most underrated NBA players, perhaps ever, was forced to retire this week. Brandon Roy and his terrible knees never saw eye to eye.
  • RGIII won the Heisman Trophy and in turn Andrew Luck was hosed. His college football career is the stuff of legend. There’s a reason my Mel Kiper rates him the highest of any college football player, in any position, since John Elway. Stanford in the house!
  • Cody Ross and Andres Torres will not be in a San Francisco Giants uniform next season. Torres is the embodiment of the roller-coaster 2010 season while Ross is the embodiment of the 2010 playoff magic. I will miss those guys.
  • It was Jimmy V Week on ESPN. This gave me a chance to watch some great college basketball matchups at Madison Square Garden as well as an excuse to rewatch one of the best speeches ever given:

 

Onto the Week 15 Power Rankings!

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NFC Playoff Positioning Preview

You’d think I’d be celebrating the 49ers’ first NFC West division title since 2002, but I’m not. I should be rejoicing Alex Smith’s renaissance into a quality quarterback too. I should even be stoked the team and City of Santa Clara secured the funding for a new stadium in 2015! But I’d rather not.

I WANT MORE!

Face it, comrades. It’s time to start thinking about the postseason; NFC playoff positioning to be specific. Yes, Jim Mora. I’d like to talk about playoffs.

 

So let’s dive right into it. Continue reading