Posts Tagged ‘Washington Nationals’

The NHL awards the Hart Trophy to its MVP and I thought we’d take a look at some of the contenders to win the award are. Pretty much any MVP conversation can start with Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Crosby is 3rd in the NHL with 70 points; 23 goals and 47 assists. The Penguins are 39-18-10 and have 88 points and they are currently 3rd in the Metropolitan division. Crosby is still the best player in the NHL and barring injury he should always be included in any M.V.P. talk. Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks is close to having the best year of his NHL career. Getzlaf has 63 points on the season; 22 goals and 41 assists through 67 games. The Ducks have the most points in the NHL with 93 and a record of 43-20-7. There are some people who think Getzlaf doesn’t belong in the M.V.P. conversation, but the best player on the best team is always a contender to win the award. You’d have to think that New York Islanders Center John Tavares would be in the MVP talk. Tavares leads the NHL in points with 72; 33 goals and 39 assists. The Islanders have 90 points with a record of 43-23-4 and are in 2nd place in the Metropolitan division, but are just one point out of 1st.  Being the leagues leading point getter will get you votes and your team going to the playoffs doesn’t hurt either; so look for Tavares to get some MVP votes. How about Washington Capitals Left Wing  Alex Ovechkin for MVP Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 45 and has added 26 assists for a season total of 71 points just one behind Tavares for the league lead. While Ovechkin may not have the name value that Crosby does, but he’s a name people will recognize. Ovechkin has had a couple of down seasons; well down for him and has bounced back this season. Washington is holding on to one of the Eastern conference wild card spots and you have to wonder if the Capitals don’t make the playoffs if voters would consider Ovechkin for MVP Let’s look at one more MVP candidate and it’s a Goalie. There are people who think goalies shouldn’t win this award, but I have to tell you if I had a vote it would go to Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators. Rinne did miss a little time with an injury, but he’s 36-14-3 in the net with a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 2.09 a Save Percentage of .927 and has three shutouts. The Predators are 42-20-7 and tied for 1st place in the Central division of the Western conference with 91 points. I think Rinne should get some votes because I’m not sure the Predators are a playoff team with him. Here’s five more players that should be in the MVP conversation and might pick up some votes for the award. 1) Rick Nash, New York Rangers. 2) Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens. 3) Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals. 4) Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers. 5) let’s throw out another goaltender; Carey Price, Montréal Canadiens. As the N.H.L. regular season comes to an end will one of these players set up and win this award or will someone who’s not even mentioned here surprise voters and find a way to become MVP

Now I understand when you’re running a NFL organization you have a salary cap to deal with, but if you’re a fan of the New Orleans Saints are you wondering what their team is doing. Your off-season starts off by bringing Mark Ingram back; you’d think that’s a good start. They add a defensive lineman in Tyrunn Walker; solid move the defense needs help. Linebacker Curtis Lofton is released. I think they said failed physical, but there were salary cap reasons involved. They also terminated the contract of running back Pierre Thomas. While they released a couple of players that had some service time with them not anything earth shattering. Then they send Jimmy Graham and a 4th round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for Max Unger and Seattle’s #1 pick which is 31st in the upcoming draft. While they got a quality player back in Unger; he did have some injury issues and picking at #31 doesn’t guarantee you’ll land a star player. You gave up one of the top tight ends in the NFL It’s clear that Graham and Rob Gronkowski have separated themselves from the other tight ends in the NFL Did they get enough in return for Graham besides moving his salary. The next move saw the Saints send two time Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs to the Kansas City Chief for a 2015 5th round draft pick. Grubbs did have a down year in 2014 and the Saints wanted him to take a pay cut, but when they couldn’t agree he was dealt. In another deal the Saints sent wide receiver Kenny Stills to the Miami Dolphins for linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and a 2015 third-round pick. Then the Saints added a free agent as they signed running back C.J. Spiller to a four year $18 million dollar deal. Spiller is a former 1st round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills who at times showed flashes of brilliance, but never turned into the every down back the Bills had hoped he would. He’s battled some injuries throughout his career, but the Saints offense looks like it should be a good fit for him. So it looks like the Saints are going to rely on the running game  Ingram, Spiller and Khiry Robinson working in the backfield together, but who is Drew Brees throwing the football to. Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks look to be the top receivers on the roster. Will Nick Toon get a look as the 3rd wideout or is there a free agent out their the Saints might try to sign. Josh Hill and Benjamin Watson are the tight ends on the roster, but they are down grades from Graham. Brees is 35 years old and you have to wonder how many more seasons he’ll have as an elite quarterback. The Saints added some draft picks and may have saved some money or made some salary cap room, but did they improve is the question.

Most experts have already picked the Washington Nationals as the best team in Major League Baseball even though we’re only a week plus into spring training. With their returning roster and the addition of big time pitching free agent Max Schrezer the Nationals look great on paper, but remember they don’t play the games on paper. What;s the one thing that can derail a teams World Series dreams very quickly? Injuries and the Nationals are piling them up. Here’s what the nationals are dealing with right now; Anthony Rendon’s sprained left medial collateral ligament and Drew Storen’s hamate bone joined Yunel Escobar’s strained oblique, Jayson Werth’s surgically repaired right shoulder and Denard Span’s recently repaired core. Is this just a fluke or they way the Nationals season will go.

So how was your week?

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Well Week 2 of the National Football League season is over and our picks for the week weren’t great. Dan the Man was the only one to end the week over .500 at 9-7 and he’s 18-14 on the season. Schaumburg Stu was 7-9 in Week 2 and is 16-16 so far this season. Mr. Fantasy and I where a horrible 6-10 for Week 2 and are 2 games under .500 at 15-17 through two weeks. Luckily it’s earlier in the season and there’s time to make up some ground.

At the end of the show on Sunday’s, this football season I have Mr. Fantasy pick which players will be the highest scorer at their positions. He didn’t get any picks right last week; so let’s see how his picks for Week 2 went. At quarterback Mr. Fantasy choose Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos for the second week in a row. Manning ended up as the 4th highest scoring quarterback as Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was the top scorer. Mr. Fantasy went with a Chicago Bears player at running; he choose Matt Forte Week 2’s highest scoring running back was Giovani Bernard of the Cincinnati Bengals. Forte finished the week in 35th for running backs. Mr. Fantasy had Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green as his pick, but the highest scoring wide receiver was the Green Bay Packers Jordy Nelson. Green got injured during Cincinnati’s game and didn’t score in Week 2. Mr. Fantasy’s tight end pick for Week 2 was Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers. Sure enough with 7 catches for 96 yards and 3 touchdowns Gates was the highest scoring tight end for Week 2. At kicker Mr. Fantasy went with Cairo Santos of the Kansas City Chiefs. Dan Bailey of the Dallas Cowboys was the highest scoring kicker in Week 2. In Week 2 Santos finished 20th among kickers. Mr. Fantasy’s sleeper of the week was Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata. Asiata had 13 rushing attempts for 36 yards and caught 5 passes for 48 yards and a touchdown and he was worth 21.40 points.

Two divisions were clinched last night in major league baseball. The Washington Nationals won the National League for the second time in three years and for the first time since 1997 the Baltimore Orioles won the American League East. There where a lot of people picking the Nationals to win their division this season including myself and Schaumburg Stu. The Orioles on the other hand have to be considered a bit of a surprise division winner. The Nationals have 2 number 1 overall picks on their roster in Steven Strasburg and Bryce Harper and at the trading deadline added Asdrubal Cabrera to solidify the 2nd base position. The Orioles on the other hand lost All-Stars; catcher Matt Wieters and 3rd baseman Manny Machado for the season with injuries and then slugger Chris Davis was suspended 25 games for failing a drug test. So how did the Orioles win the division? Well it starts with the best free agent signing on the off-season Nelson Cruz. Cruz has provided the power that Davis didn’t this season with 39 home runs and 103 RBI’s while hitting .264 so far this season. Adam Jones is hitting .286 with 25 home runs and 87 RBI’s. While Chris Tillman appears to be the ace of the Orioles pitching staff leading them in ERA at 3.29 and in strikeouts with 139. Wei-Yin Chen is leading the Orioles staff in wins with 16. Bud Norris has 13 wins and Tillman has added 12 wins. After an early season injury to Tommy hunter Zach Britton stepped in and picked up 35 saves in 39 attempts. Andrew Miller was added to the bullpen at the trading deadline and the left-handed specialist posted a 1.04 ERA in 19 games. Darren O’Day was 5-1 with 23 holds and an ERA of 1.53 as Baltimore’s main set up guy. For the Orioles to have playoff success the pitching staff will have to continue throwing the way they have this season. While it looks like Tillman, Chen and Norris will be the top three starting pitchers in the playoffs if the Orioles decide to use a 4th starter they’ll have to pick between Ubaldo Jiménez, Miguel González or Kevin Gausman for that spot. For the Nationals it looks more and more like Denard Span will be the key to Washington’s post season success. Span is hitting . 299 and has 31 stolen bases in the lead off spot. Anthony Rendon bounced between 2nd and 3rd base this season, but has hit .285 with 20 home runs and 80 R.B.I.s. Adam LaRoche is leading the Nationals in home runs right now with 24, but Ian Desmond is just 1 home run behind at 23 and Desmond also leads the Nationals in RBI’s with 88. If Ryan Zimmerman can get healthy he’ll add one more bat to the Nationals line up either playing everyday or coming off the bench in the post season. Tanner Roark leads the Nationals pitching staff with 14 wins while Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman have 12 wins apiece. Zimmerman leads the staff in ERA. at 2,83 and Strasburg has the most strikeouts on the staff with 230. Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez round out the Nationals starting five and you have to wonder which one would head to the bullpen for the playoffs. Drew Storen has stepped into the closer role as Rafael Soriano has struggled down the stretch. getting Soriano right may be another key to playoff success for Washington. Was it just an odd fact that these two teams who aren’t located that far apart clinched their divisions on the same night. Let’s see who’s next to wrap up one of baseballs playoff spots.

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This Old Stub

Posted: October 28, 2012 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Uncategorized
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I’m sure ill hear comments about the title of my new blog but I don’t care and besides isn’t that what they turn into, To those of us who save their ticket stubs from the games we’ve gone too. If I do nothing all spring or summer, I always find a way to make it to a baseball game. Whether its to Wrigley Field or any park, my goal of course is to visit every park in the country but no the Yankees stadium is not the first on my list especially since they tore down “the house that Babe built.” And I’d rather go anywhere than stay in the south side of Chicago. Anyways….I hope you like my new series and maybe you’ll be inspired to reminisce with myself and Big Jack on Sports Time Radio or send me your story and ill blog about it.

Now this first visit to the friendly confines was from this year, which isn’t much for reminiscing about the old days or anything like that but it holds some significance and hopefully we can a look back and say i remember when…..It’s April 2012 and the MLB just stepped on the mound and all March I kept telling Big Jack, how I wasn’t going to to any Cubs games because our savior Theo and his team hadn’t done anything to draw me to pay for tickets. But he knows me well enough that there are some things I just cannot resist and spending 3 hours on a gloomy April Sunday, sitting outside on the North side of Chicago, where you never know If there will be clear skies or violent storms. I wake up extra early or was it that I couldn’t sleep or am I just adding this line for a dramatic effect? Either way, the night before, I print up the tickets and place them on the black granite kitchen counter tops by the back door with my keys on top. My promotional Cubs drawstring back pack…the small kind that usually girls in high school track use….from a bank that is no longer in business has 2 Officially licensed Cubs Poncho’s (I know what your thinking), a pair of Cubs Gloves Scarf and Skullcap, old ticket stubs and a bag of peanuts inside it. I of course double check it before we leave. I put the tickets in there, Lock the door and were gone. Every time we go, my wife loves to wait until we are somewhere on Lake Shore Drive, to give me that nervous look and say, ” Did you grab the tickets???” As my eyes begin to pop out of their sockets, all I can blurt out is, “The Bag” I swear she does this every time. I exit Belmont, turn right on Inner Lake Shore, then a left on Addison and the anticipation begins to stir in my stomach. Apartment buildings, stop signs, the Shell on the left corner. You can see the L tracks, the parking lot I used to park at until the old Mexican guy sold it, across from him is the new parking garage that is also used for the new police station. We’re walking up to the Addison Red Line stop All you hear is “TICKETS, WHO NEEDS TICKETS; PEANUTS, CHEAPER OUTSIDE THE PARK….” The only time I walk fast, I’d run but you know, I hand my wife her ticket and don’t even look back, I’m in the bag check line, my tickets scanned and I’m wishing I could have made to the second game so that I got my 2012 Cubs Magnet Schedule…it never gets old. A deep breath to take it all in….and to our seats section 220-1Row 2, now this is where knowing the stadium comes into play. When looking for tickets, I’m not only looking for the best deal but also location, kind of like buying a house. I’ve sat in just about every section at Wrigley to know what gives you the bet view and pretty much anything behind home plate makes for a great view. Not to mention sitting in the terrace reserved can be beneficial when bad weather ones about. The terrace is covered by the upper deck blocking out the sun and rain but can be a little cooler so dress warm with no sun, especially being in the second row. You’d be surprised but sitting in the middle of a section is going to keep you much warmer. Now the second row brings you much closer to the field but also to the stairs that lead to the concourse. I don’t like to do awhile lot of walking up & down stairs but you always pay for convenience. After grabbing some ood drinks and my personal favorite that I do not ever share, A Super Rope, buy it at the stand & not from the guy walking around.

Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012, opening weekend for the Chicago Cubs, looking to not be swept by the future NL East Champions. Stepping to the mound for his first Major League start since 2010, the 6’5″ 225lb, Notre Dame alum and the man the Cubs plan to build the team around, Jeff Smardzija. First up Ian Desmond with a double to Soriano simmering down the excitement of the fans but not putting any hopes down at all on my first look at Jeff. With Danny Espinoza and Ryan Zimmerman flying out and Adam LaRoche striking out. We head to the bottom of the first, Jodan Zimmerman takes to the rubber and David DeJesus, Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro, 1-2-3. This pitching duel continues into the bottom of the 3rd when Catcher Steve Clevenger singles to Former Cub, Xavier Nady in left, with Jeff’s first at bat, it’s traditional situational NL ball with the advancement of the runner to 2cd on a sac bunt, but DeJesus lines out to 2cd. The very next inning, Castro singles to center, then steals 2cd base and moves over to 3rd on a pass ball then scores on Alfonso Soriano’s sac fly, sending a wave of cheers throughout the friendly confines and just like that the Cubs take the lead but in the fifth aren’t able to get Bryan LaHair home after his double. Jeff continues to shutdown the Nats until the top of 6 when Wilson Ramos (C) singles to center then moves to second on J. Zimmerman’s sac bunt. After Desmond’s single moves Ramos over to 3rd, Espinosa gets a Sac Fly RBI and were all tied up. But the Cubs answer that run in the bottom half of the inning after Barney’s first double and is moved over to 3rd on a fly out by Castro, Soriano singles to left to score Barney and take the lead 2-1. To lead off the bottom of the 7th LaHair hits his second double of the day but yet again does not cross the plate.
With 7 innings pitched, 6 hits and 1ER Zimmerman is replaced by Ryan Matheus to walk DeJesus but gets Barney to fly out. Then Castro steps up to the plate and sends a rocket to left field scoring David and sending the stadium into a frenzy. Castro then steals 3rd and the Nats decide to walk Soriano then bring in Sean Burnett to finish the inning but he allows a single to center by Ian Stewart, scoring Castro, Wrigley Feild is going nuts and the Cubs are up 4-1 and its looks like they will get their first W of the season.

It’s the top of the 9th with one out to go, Ryan Zimmerman steps up to the plate the final potential out, Ground ball to Short but Ryan reaches on a fielding error by Starlin. Just one more out to go Smardzija has pitched 8 2/3 innings with 4 hits and 1ER, when Adam LaRoche steps to the plate and Home Run to right field and the Nats are down by 1 point and can tie this game up. Dale Sveum walks to the mound to relieve Jeff and bring in the unpredictable Cubs Closer Carlos Marmol. In true Marmol fashion, keeping all Cubs Fans on the edge of their seat walks Jayson Werth. With one out to go, one man on Nady fouls out to Stewart to end the game and allowing the Cubs to raise that W flag for all of Wrigleyville to see.
There’s nothing better than going to a Cubs game and watching them Win and being able to stay as the players take to the clubhouse and sing Steve Goodmans, “Go Cubs Go” with upwards to 40000 people. It’s an experience and that’s what it comes down to, it’s all about experience the team live, Your favorite team, hell any team for that matter. Now this was the Cubs first victory and on my drive home all I could think about was how i knew the start of SportsTime Radio was going to be a winner. Easter, an odd day to debut a sports talk show, but the Big Jack and I couldn’t think of a better day to start our show, it coincided with our favorite sport and that W by the Cubbies just boosted my confidence that day but allows the Big Jack and I do what we are passionate about..hearing ourselves speak! We love bringing our opinion into the sports world and having a platform to do it on. And we get to talk about what we want not just the ” Hot Topic” of the day. For the both of us I thank everyone for the support. Please continue to listen to us and spreading our blogs to your friends.

Side note: sometime during the game, my wife shows me a picture of us, my cousin found us and had a powerful lens and sent us the pic. Nothing like spending Easter Sunday with the fam at a baseball game, well they’re Greek Orthodox, so their Easter was on a different Sunday and they chose that day because after the game, you were able to have your kids run on the field. My wife and I thought about staying…..and then we saw the line. My cousin said her kids had fun but that I would have been just like her husband, more excited than the kids and wanted to run the bases himself. I thought about telling her, No I wouldn’t, but we both know its not true. We’ve gone the last two years on Easter and maybe I’ll have to go next Easter???