Well the season is over and Philly won the title just as I predicted. That means I was 5 of 7 in my predictions. Not bad overall. I will try and give a preview of the 2009 Reds including what we need (SS, CF, C) and what we don't need (old, slow players who refuse to get on base). Otherwise, the blog will turn to football, both pro and college, as well as basketball, college only until the NBA playoffs, when teams start trying. There will also be some TV, food, and other topics thrown in for fun. Now some quick thoughts on football this weekend.
-UGA-UF will be the highlight of my weekend. Last year's game featured a combined 72 points, 2 Heisman contenders(Tebow and Moreno) and one great celebration. This years game features many of the same players plus an added element thanks to the celebration. Will Tebow and the Gators dance when they score, will Richt pull out another crazy idea, will there be an all out fight. I say yes to all. In the end, UGA's young, pathwork offensive line will falter as it did against Alabama and UF will make one great play on special teams to pull out the win 38-24.
-Texas-Texas Tech will be an interesting matchup. TT will throw the ball all over. Texas will blitz against a line that has allowed fewer than 5 sacks all year. The winner of that battle wins the game. I say TT wins because blitzing fails more than it works. Ask the Giants. you need to be able to get pressure with only 4 in order to succeed. Blitzing against TT will give Harrell one-on-one and he will pick them apart. Any worry I would have if I were Texas is that this is the biggest game in Lubbuck ever. This is the third biggest game for Texas this month. Who do you think will be more focused and ready. I will take TT in a squeaker 41-38. If Texas loses but somehow wins the Big 12 with 1 loss, and the SEC champ has one loss, I can't wait for the insanity of who gets to beat PSU in the title game. It is gonna be awesome.
-quick note regarding the Red Sox sloberfest posted yesterday. Yes, they have home-grown some talent. Yes, they have a large fan base. This is pretty easy to do when your area covers 5 states. The Red Sox own such a big territory that they can get their own TV station and make a ton of money off it. The Reds own half of Ohio, some of KY and some of IN. Their station is FSN Ohio which is only a small step above PBS in terms of quality and coverage. The Sox own MA, VT, NH, ME, most of RI and parts of CT. Their market is bigger thus generating more revenue from their TV station which is available in all of those states as well as on DirectTV. The Reds could never fund their own station and thus will never get the money that Boston does. And my problem with Boston, other than its fans, is how much it spends and how it spends it. They are able to draft players no one else can because they will pay huge bonus money no one else will. If the player flames out, it would hurt a normal team. The Sox just write it off and cut a million dollar check to another player to replace him. They can afford to pay Coco Crisp $5 million for 350 AB's, Julio Lugo $8 for 300 AB's, Jason Veritek $11 for a 73 OPS+, Schilling $8 to blog and piss people off. These would all be in the top 5 salary wise for the Reds and all were part time, no-time, or bad. The Reds mistakenly signed Eric Milton for 9 million and didn't recover for years. The Sox take it as if it were nothing because of their bags of money. If they make a mistake, they can correct it much easier than 26 other teams. That is unfair.
O, and the players you mentioned, only Nomar was home-grown. Manny, Papi, and Pedro were all bought for money that only 6 teams could have paid for. The Reds never had a chance at any of them. That also makes it unfair. Only one team in the last 15 years has won the World Series with a payroll in the bottom half of the league: The 2003 Florida Marlins. That shows how unfair it is. The only solution would be a salary cap. That will never happen because in order for MLB to make money, NY, BOS, LA, and CHI must be good. They can only be good if they can spend millions to fix their millin dollar mistakes. The cycle continues and, at the start of next season, 15 teams will KNOW they can't win a World Series. When do pitchers and cathers report?
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