As we open the door to analyzing the competitive NL West we must first look at what teams do not have.
I have never heard of a team being wildly successful with as few weapons as The San Diego Padres posses. Unfortunately, for the city named after “A Whale’s Vagina,” I will be power ranking their ball-club at 5th in the west. I’m hard pressed to believe that the Friars will exceed 70 wins this season, which would be a 7-game victory improvement from last year’s amateur hour.
Jake Peavy is God in San Diego. Without him, the organization might as well take a yearlong vacation. He will be 27 years old on Opening Day and is arguably a top three MLB pitcher. He should be primed for another 200+ strikeout season and double digit wins. But who does he have to support him in the rotation? Exactly. Chris Young fills in as the #2 guy. He’s ok if he can stay healthy, which isn’t his strongest suit. Finishing off the depth chart is a flop of: Cha Seung Beak, a Korean from Seattle with a 5.1 ERA, Kevin Correia who is barely more than a middle relief guy, and potential rookies Wade LeBlanc or Ivan Nova. Yucky…
Even assuming that Jake Peavy blows away a MLB record and marks 30 wins this season (joke), there isn’t any offense to give run support to the lackluster bats on the team. Adrian Gonzalez has emerged as a legitimate 1st class first basemen and will be the center of their offensive. The developing and supportive Chase Headley and Kevin Kouzmanoff will bolster the team by sharing third base, with Headley in left as well. The rest of the offense is extremely blasé, however, with: David Eckstein (2B), Craig Stansburry (SS), Nicholas Hindley (C) and Bryan Giles, Scott Hairston and Jody Geirut (who might be something) in the outfield.
Heath Bell is now the closer with Hoffman gone, and this simply supports my theory that San Diego will not surpass 70 this year.
What San Diego has going for them is the absence of a monster competitor in their division. I can’t see them falling victim to the Dodgers or the Rockies an embarrassing amount of times, but know they will not be able to climb to 3rd in the division either.
Check back soon as the StatDragon will power rank the rest of the NL West.
For a second consecutive off-season, The Minnesota Vikings are trying to execute a deal to acquire Houston (part-time) quarterback, Sage Rosenfels. If you are a Vikings fan and this trade goes down, celebrate.
Rosenfels expressed interest in playing for the Vikings prior to last season. A deal was not agreed upon when the Texans would not accept the offer of a 3rd round draft pick in return. A current trade proposal is being offered to the Vikings for a, lesser, 4th round pick in the upcoming draft.
The Vikings will be making a TERRIFIC decision to trade a 4th round pick to acquire Rosenfels. In the past two seasons Rosenfels has started in 10 games and participated in 15. The StatDragon notices that he has produced 22 TD’s in this period of time and has achieved a respectable quarterback rating of 81.
Rosenfels has the “perfect stock” to buy into right now if you are Minnesota. Having been a backup for the often injured Matt Schuab, Rosenfels has proved that he can get it done. He’s won 6 of his 10 starts. Yet, not having ever been a “starter” for a team, Rosenfels can’t command the higher deals that QB’s such as Kurt Warner and Jeff Garcia (amongst others looking at an open market) can.
Also, how much are you losing out by parting with a 4th round draft pick? Not a lot in my opinion. In a sport where coveted draft picks have been wasted on the Alex Smiths and Ryan Leafs of the world, the Vikings would be guaranteeing themselves production ability and would avoid the risk of having to count on a rookie draft pick at this position.
Minnesota is knocking on the door of being a very intimidating NFL team. They have proved this by having one of the strongest rush defenses in the league, complimented by the young and sensational Adrian Peterson on offense. By signing Rosenfels, the Vikings would have the opportunity to fill in other holes by drafting young WR’s and DB’s to bring into the system.
It was mentioned that Rosenfels has a career QB Rating of 81. Guess what? 2-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a career rating of 89. The Vikings can find talent to fill the gaps on their team though making wise decisions this upcoming off-season. Sage Rosenfels is a quarterback that has matured into the type that could take a team to a Super Bowl with a strong enough supporting cast.
Lastly, The Vikings were able to become the 3rd seed in the NFC last year with Gus Frerotte and Tavaris Jackson leading the way. You can only assume that they would be bettering your team by letting Rosenfels take the helm.
Don’t be stupid Minnestoa, make this deal happen.
And THAT’s what the StatDragon is breathing fire about!
The magic number is 41.
And I’m not referring to Hall of Famer Tom Seaver who sported the number on his jersey. This is how many days are left until the first pitch will be thrown out across America and every baseball fan across our great nation will rejoice in the commencement of a new season.
For me, a new season is synonymous with a new year. A time for new goals and resolutions. A time in which anything is defined as ‘possible.’ Even the most lackluster teams from the previous year stand a chance as different acquisitions throughout the off-season have been made, injuries have been treated and the proverbial ‘slate’ has been wiped clean. On the contrary, the biggest threats from previous seasons have to enter on a new stage in an effort to remain the force that they have been in seasons past and reprove themselves again.
Although the race is addictive to watch in all divisions I am particularly interested to see what will transpire in the NL West this season. The West presents a more opened door for the division than it has in years past and there is clearly no forerunner or favorite as there are in other divisions.
The universal fight over Manny Ramirez is incessant and driving me crazy. I go to bed every night praying that someone will offer him the 3rd year he desires in his contract so I can wake up the next morning a NEVER hear about it again. If he finds a home in the NL West, with the Dodgers for another year OR in rumored San Francisco, the division will become slightly weighted. Nonetheless, the division presents to the league an interesting race to follow.
Check in during the following weeks as I dissect the NL West and allow you to take a scientific look into the division’s teams. We will look at strengths, weaknesses and other variables that might allow us to answer the question, “Who looks to be the favorite in the NL West?”
Holler Back. StatDragon.
You know how the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” The statement could not be more appropo for Deuce McAllister today. McAllister was released from the New Orleans Saints as the organization is trying to cut numbers to get under the $123 M salary cap for 2009. With the emergence of Pierre Thomas who compliments and aides All Star running-back Reggie Bush, The Saints felt it was better to part ways with Deuce who would be owed $5 M in the fall.
In a press conference, Deuce acknowledged that although he has battled injuries recently, he still hopes and expects to find a pivotal role in the backfield for another team. He acknowledged that more than money, he desires to find a new home where his talent can be used more.
However, McAllister can’t begin to think that a 31 year old recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and a history of injury will command tons of attention in the free agent market, let alone find a deal where he will be making much more that $5M/ year.
I like Deuce. I think he’s a cool cat and has done a lot for The Saints. The StatDragon is not about to throw McAllister in the line of blog-bashing. However, I have a hard time believing that he will find a “starting” role ANYWHERE. With the emergence of talented young running backs in the NFL, the pool is full. And with interesting prospects entering the NFL Draft this spring, there is NO reason any team will take a leap of faith on Deuce. At best, I believe he could find a 2 year/ $ 9 M contract in other city backing up a young blue chip. Theoretically, he could stand behind Matt Forte in Chicago taking some 3rd down situations off his hands, filling in as a blocking back during the pass. Of course, now McAllister has to compete with Fred Taylor in the moss-back section of free agency.
Deuce, the StatDragon wishes you a speedy recovery and the best of luck in finding a new home. Please just stay the hell away from San Francisco.
Holler Back. StatDragon
“When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure, I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day,” Rodriguez told ESPN’s Peter Gammons in an exclusive interview held today.
“Back then, [baseball] was a different culture,” claims A-Rod. “It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful.”
Alex Rodriguez’s admission is politically well-timed, as it comes 48 hours after Sports Illustrated confirmed A-Rod was apart of the 100 plus MLB players who tested positive for illegal substances in 2003.
In true fashion of professional athletes who are found guilty of such treachery, Rodriquez claimed that he did NOT know what exactly he was taking at the time. I find this bypassing comment to resemble former President Clinton’s “I never inhaled,” excuse. Look Alex, whether or not you knew the exact NAME of the drugs you were consuming, you still knew you were doing something wrong.
In a world where the economy is faltering, people are losing their jobs and familes are being put on the streets, Alex Rodriguez has enjoyed the fruits of the largest contract in MLB history ( $252 M ). He was able to attain this astronomical salary through the aide of illegal drugs and for that he should feel regretful.
A-Rod alleges that he only took anabolic steroids during a few years with the Texas Rangers and that he has remained clean for his career in New York. I suppose that it’s just a matter time until this lie is revealed to us as well.
To view the exclusive interview click here to watch it at sportsfly.com the emerging leader in sports games and news.
And THAT’S what the StatDragon is breathing fire about!
Anquan Boldin may have played his last game in Arizona. Well, at least it was the Super Bowl…
Boldin was quoted Friday in USA Today, “I don’t think the relationship can be repaired with the organization. It takes more than, ‘Well, we did you wrong and we’ll pay you this.’ It’s not about the money. It was always about the principle, guys being true to their word. I guess I was expected to uphold my end of the bargain, and it wasn’t reciprocated.”
Team president, Michael Bidwell claims that the Cardinal organization has continually been working with Boldin and agent Rosenhouse to restructure and, even, extend Anquan’s contract. Teammate Larry Fitzgerald has even offered to have his own contract restructured and lessened in order to facilitate the possibility of retaining Boldin.
However, all this probably won’t be “enough” for Anquan. He seems determined to leave Arizona in search of something new. Given Boldin’s selfish mentality he may find a better fit in a organization that has winning qualities yet vacancies at the “star” wideout position. Or he, simply, may choose to go anywhere that will “Show him the money!!”
StatDragon thinks that the 49ers, Eagles and the Bucs are all interesting options as teams that have quite a bit of money to play with in the off-season and who could greatly benefit from a blue chip receiver on their team. Could Mr. Boldin become a proud member of one of these franchises? I guess we will have to see what develops through the spring…
And THAT’s what the StatDragon is breathing fire about!
Larry Johnson wants out of Kansas City… well, so does everyone in Missouri…
In a radio conference held yesterday, Johnson claimed “my departure would allow the Chiefs to find what they want and I can go on and try to rebuild my career and find what I want.”
But what do you want Mr. Johnson? You will be 30 years old next season, which hardly makes you the age in which a team is bound to offer you a huge multi-year deal and build their franchise around you. Given great health you may have 3 years left in the tank and your behavioral track record hasn’t proven that you are capable of becoming a beacon of morality and responsibility (note: your 4 arrests since 2003).
I’ll tell you what hurts you also. The emergence of the effective rookie running back. Players such as Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Steve Slaton and Adrian Peterson have all pioneered respect for rookies in the league and shown viability to be just as productive in their first season as many blue chip running backs in their 3rd or 4th seasons.
So why would a franchise want to invest in you? And where do you think you would find a starting job? I have never seen the amount of talent at the running back position across the board in the NFL like there is right now. I’d venture to say 90% of teams in the league are perfectly content with who they have in the backfield. The Philadelphia Eagles may be concerned that time will run out shortly on the aging Brian Westbrook, but signing a guy only a few years younger (you) isn’t the solution. The Eagles will likely go after someone like Knowsho Moreno from Georgia, or Chris Wells from Ohio St. to integrate into the system as Westbrook nears retirement.
Mr. Johnson. Here’s my suggestion. Stay in Kansas City. You know the system. The organization is starting to turn and you aren’t likely find success “rebuilding” anywhere. Have your agent renegotiate you a better deal and clean up your act for a few more years until you are 33 and destined to retire.
And that’s what the StatDragon is breathing fire about…
As you all know by now, the StatDragon is a big Super Bowl commercial fan. Although I thought this year’s ads were weaker, on whole, than they have been in previous years, I have provided my favorites from Sunday that I believe to be worth another look:
1. THANK YOU SOBE, FOR TURNING RAY LEWIS INTO A LIZARD:
2. WATCH THE RHINO HERE. THIS IS HOW I USED TO STROM INTO FRAT PARTIES IN COLLEGE:
3. “GIVE DADDY A KISS:”
4. ANYTHING WITH A BOB DYLAN SONG AND I TURN INTO A SENTIMENTAL MESS:
… and for those of you who put down too many PBR’s before the 4th quarter, here’s what it all came down to:
Peace in the Middle East. StatDragon.
Want to be your own StatDragon this Super Bowl Sunday? Take a look at these interesting trivia facts and impress your fellow Super-Bowl-watching friends during the big game!!!
Most Rushing Yards – Timmy Smith, Washington. 204 YRDS in Super Bowl XXII
Most Passing Yards – Kurt Warner, St. Louis. 414 YRDS in Super Bowl XXXIV
Most Recieving Yards– Jerry Rice, San Francisco. 215 YRDS in Super Bowl
Most Touchdowns– Steve Young, San Francisco. 6 TDs in Super Bowl XXIX
Most Completions– Tom Brady, New England. 32 COMPS in Super Bowl XXXVIII
Most Interceptions– Rod Martin, Oakland. 3 INTs in Super Bowl XV
Most Sacks- Reggie White, Green Bay. 3 Sacks in Super Bowl XXXI
Most Field Goals– Ray Wersching, San Francisco. 4 FGs in Super Bowl XVI
Most Super Bowl Victories– three teams own 5 trophies: San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Dallas
Most Super Bowl Losses– three teams have been embarrassed 4 times: Buffalo, Denver and Minnesota
Average Cost of 3o Sec. Commercial– $ 3 Million
# of Super Bowls that went into OT– zero
Now that you’re an expert play for free at:
to win great prizes.
Ok guys. I’ll be honest. I think this year’s Super Bowl is going to be a complete blowout. I’ll say now and I’ll say it again: I don’t think the Arizona Cardinals are a championship caliber team. To tell you the truth, I could give two sh*ts who comes away with the Lombardy, because this Sunday I’ll be watching the game for one reason…the commercials! For your viewing pleasure, StatDragon has complied his Top 5 Super Bowl Commercials of all time:
Any predictions for this year? It’s always safe to bet on big dawgs of the marketing world. Something sentimental from Budweiser, something artistic and awe inspiring from Nike and something utterly ridiculous from an upcoming dot com are all safe bets. I guess we will just have to wait until Sunday!
Peace in the Middle East- StatDragon