11/12/13

Marlon Byrd signs 2-year deal with Phillies

     Outfielder Marlon Byrd has signed a two-year, 16 million dollar contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Byrd began his career with the Phillies in 2002, and has since played for the Nationals, Rangers, Cubs, Red Sox, Mets, and Pirates.
     Last season, Byrd slugged 24 home runs, 35 doubles, and scored 75 runs in 532 at bats. His OPS was quite good at .847. Byrd can play all three outfield positions, but the Phillies should use him in right field for the majority of next season. Byrd had 10 outfield assists and a .980 fielding percentage last season with the Bucs and Mets.

Analysis: This is a great pickup for the Phillies, as they really needed a right handed power bat, as well as a good right fielder. Expect Byrd to bat fifth or sixth in the lineup.
     

10/7/13

DeSean Jackson mocks Victor Cruz after touchdown


     Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson mocked Giants receiver Victor Cruz by doing Cruz's touchdown salsa dance after he scored in the Eagles' 36-21 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday. Not bad D-Jax, although some would consider it rude.

     I'd also like to mention the Colts' win against the Seahawks. I still think Andrew Luck has an edge over Russell Wilson.

10/3/13

Can Clayton Kershaw take down the Braves?

     Tonight at 8:30PM Eastern, Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA) and the Dodgers take on Kris Medlen ( 15-12, 3.11 ERA) and the Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta. Kershaw has not faced the Atlanta Braves this season, which should give him an advantage over the strikeout crazy Braves lineup.

     Dan Uggla (2B) will not play in the NLDS, as he was left off the Braves' roster not because of injury, but performance. His .179 batting average was the lowest in the Majors this season, though he slugged 22 home runs.

     The Dodgers seem to have the advantage almost across the board, with sluggers like Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, and Hanley Ramirez. The Braves have slight advantages in OPS and runs scored this season, as well as team ERA, but after the All-Star break, the numbers are switched in favor of the LA Dodgers.

     Anyways, my prediction will be the Dodgers in 5 games, as I think the Braves have enough power alone to win games against the stacked Dodgers pitching staff.

     What about the other series? Well I'm not going to watch any of the others (heh), but here's my picks:

  • St. Louis over Pittsburgh in 5 games
  • Boston over Tampa Bay in 5 games
  • Oakland over Detroit in 4 games (okay, there's my wild pick)

9/28/13

No more one post a day!

     I've been doing one post every day on Cardboard Sports Blog for almost four months. I have now decided to switch to 1-3 longer posts per week. Thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to do so!

9/27/13

Niners take down Rams

     The 49ers beat the Rams 35-11 yesterday. Colin Kaepernick threw two touchdowns in the victory. Sam Bradford did not look good at all, going just 19 for 41 for 202 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. The 49ers are now 2-2 while the Rams are stuck at 1 win so far in 2013.

150 posts for Cardboard Sports

9/26/13

Benches clear in Atlanta


     The benches cleared in yesterday's Braves - Brewers game after Carlos Gomez stood and watched his home run go out. As he was rounding the bases he was barked at and before he reached home plate he was stopped by catcher Brian McCann. The benches soon cleared and a few punches were thrown. Gomez, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, and Braves' catcher Gerald Laird were ejected. The Brewers won the game 4-0.

9/25/13

Indians hang on thanks to Giambi

    

     42-year-old Jason Giambi is hoping for one last run into the playoffs. Yesterday he kept that hope alive with a titanic walk off shot to keep the Cleveland Indians one game ahead of the Texas Rangers for the American League's second wild card spot. Not bad for an old guy.

9/24/13

Peyton Manning is the new Tom Brady




     Peyton Manning is the new Brady. Literally. He passed Tom Brady on Monday for the most touchdowns passes in the first three games of the season. Manning now has 12 touchdowns and no interceptions to go along with 1,143 passing yards. This puts Manning on track to throw for over 6,000 yards with 64 touchdowns this season. Now we all know he probably isn't going to do that, but he has a significant chance to break Tom Brady's 50 touchdown record (he's the new Brady, remember?).

     Now to get back to Tom Brady. The Patriots are 3-0, so why all the fuss about him? Well his passer rating is a pedestrian 79.4 so far this season and he has been held to just 698 passing yards. You can say that his receivers aren't the same this season, and they aren't. But aside from Reggie Wayne, Peyton Manning never really had the receivers that Brady has had throughout his career.

     Tom Brady had (and has) the privilege of throwing his touchdowns to guys like Randy Moss, Wes Welker (meh he is on the Broncos now, but he is past his prime), Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and even old Troy Brown.

     Tom Brady is quite overrated, and when you start to take away the stars around him, it's quite obvious. The Patriots without Tom Brady for a season went 10-6. The Colts without Manning went 2-14. The most underrated quarterback of the past decade is Donovan McNabb, who had tons of talent but never any talent around him (aside from Terrell Owens in 2004, in which the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl).

     Bottom line: give McNabb or Manning receivers like that and a 15-1 or 16-0 season is likely.

9/23/13

NFL Sunday Week 3 Recap

     This NFL Sunday of Week 3 had some crushing victories. The Ravens held Arian Foster to just 54 yards on 12 carries in their 30-9 rout over the Texans. The Indianapolis Colts smashed the San Francisco 49ers 27-7 (I told you Colin Kaepernick was overrated).

Interesting stat-lines for Week 3 so far:

    NFL.com
  • Colin Kaepernick was held to just 150 passing yards and an interception. His quarterback rating for 2013 so far: 72.5
  • Robert Griffin III looked solid against the Lions (32 for 50, 326 yards, INT), but the Redskins could not pull of the win.
  • Cam Newton threw for 223 yards, with 3 touchdowns and an INT. The Panthers beat the Giants, 38 to zip. The 2012 Super Bowl Champs are 0-3.

9/22/13

Tech Canoe

     Hey guys, wanted to let you know I made a new blog for tech and electronics called Tech Canoe. I made it a few weeks ago and just now started to post. Tech Canoe will have 2-3 posts per week and each post will be top-notch. I plan on making Tech Canoe the best place to go for tech news, reviews, and guides.


Tech Canoe

9/21/13

Boston Red Sox are AL East Division Champions once again


     The Boston Red Sox have clinched the American League East division title. It is the first time they have won the division since 2007 when they won the World Series. Koji Uehara picked up the save in the 6-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

     The Red Sox this season have been powered by their offense. They had four players in yesterday's clincher who were batting .300 or better. The Bo' Sox lead the Majors in runs, OPS, walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, doubles, and total bases. 

9/20/13

Chiefs stomp on Eagles in Reid's return to Philly


     The Kansas City Chiefs crushed the Philadelphia Eagles 26-16, forcing 5 turnovers and keeping Chip Kelly's offense an afterthought. Donnie Avery caught 7 passes for 141 yards and Jamaal Charles ran for 92 in the Chiefs win.

     LeSean McCoy was the only bright spot in the Eagles' loss. He rushed for 158 yards on just 20 carries with a touchdown. He is the league's leading rusher as of last Sunday, and looks to be for this week as well.



  • Andy Reid returned to Philadelphia as the head coach of the Chiefs, he won 140 games as the Eagles head coach.
  • The Eagles officially retired Donovan McNabb's #5 jersey in a halftime ceremony. 

9/19/13

Hunter Pence is tearing it up this season

USATSI_7402358

     Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has always been able to tear the cover off of a baseball. Now he has the stats to prove it. Anyways, I was checking out stats on MLB.com and I noticed that Pence is second in the National League in total bases with 294. I mean I knew he was good, but now he's almost at MVP level. Pence is tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the most total bases in the past seven days, and has 5 home runs in that span.

     Pence is just two total bases behind Andrew McCutchen since the All Star break among National Leaguers. He has the most RBI since the All Star break as well in the NL, with 45. He is definately a Top 5 MVP candidate.

9/18/13

Eagles' stats have disappeared from NFL.com


     The Philadelphia Eagles are gone from NFL.com today. I checked the game page to see the preview, and realized all the Eagles' players' stats are gone. I checked the NFL.com stats lists and all Eagles players appear to be gone. As far as I know, all of the other teams are still in the NFL, and the Eagles still exist, right?

     Maybe Andy Reid doesn't have to face his old team yet.

9/17/13

MLB Power Rankings - September 17th

  1. Boston Red Sox
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Atlanta Braves
  4. Detroit Tigers
  5. Oakland Athletics
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates
  7. St. Louis Cardinals
  8. Texas Rangers
  9. Tampa Bay Rays 
  10. Cincinnati Reds
Cardboard Sports Blog


   

9/16/13

NFL Sunday Week 2 Recap


     The second Sunday in this 2013 NFL season is now complete. There were a lot of tight games. The Vikings almost beat the Bears. The Chargers scraped past the Eagles. New England (once again) barely took down their opponent in New York. Peyton Manning took down younger brother Eli in Manning Bowl III.


NFL.com     Here are my interesting stat-lines for Week 2 so far:
  • Colin Kaepernick had just 127 passing yards and 3 interceptions in San Francisco's 29-3 loss to Seattle (maybe overrated?)
  • Eli Manning threw for 362 yards and a touchdown, but had 4 interceptions in the Giants loss to Denver.
  • Michael Vick threw for 428 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 23 yards and a touchdown, yet the Eagles lost San Diego by a field goal.

9/15/13

Is Max Scherzer a lock for the Cy Young award?


     That blurry picture of Scherzer doesn't seem to help his chances at all, but his 19 wins sure does. Scherzer is second in strikeouts, first in wins, first in WHIP, and sixth in ERA among American League starters. Judging by these stats alone, Scherzer is on his way to his first Cy Young award.



9/14/13

Chris Davis belts 50th home run



     Chris Davis hit his 50th home run of the season, tying Brady Anderson for the most in Orioles history. Davis is now tied for 37th on the all time single season home run list. I guess pitchers still haven't learned: don't give anything good to Chris Davis.

In other news:
  • The Washington Nationals beat the Phillies for their seventh straight win as they try to make one last push for the playoffs.
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia belted a go-ahead grand slam in the Red Sox' 8-4 victory over the Yankees.




9/13/13

Alfonso Soriano makes a nice play, robbing Manny Machado of a solo shot


     Alfonso Soriano has been knocking balls out of the park for a long time. When he returned to the Yankees this season he hit quite a few. This time Soriano felt like taking away a home run. He robbed the Orioles' phenom Manny Machado of a solo home run in the eighth inning. The New York Yankees ended up winning 6-5. That means Soriano's nice play could have been a game saver.

9/12/13

Jose Fernandez hits first career home run, Fish scuffle with Braves


     The Braves and Marlins had a little brawl last night. From MLB.com this is what happened: "Brian McCann, Chris Johnson and Jose Fernandez exchange words, and benches clear after Fernandez gazes at his first career home run."

     From what I saw, it looked like Chris Johnson said something to Fernandez, and Fernandez got him back.

9/11/13

If the season ended today - postseason picture


     If the 2013 MLB season ended today, this is what the postseason picture would look like. The match-ups are looking pretty good so far. How about the Dodgers versus the Cardinals? 

     Anyways, today is 9/11. So go USA!

9/10/13

Chip Kelly and the Eagles sharp in victory over Redskins


     The Philadelphia Eagles new 2013 Chip Kelly offense might end up putting them in the playoffs. The Eagles defeated the division champion Redskins 33-27. In the first half the Eagles ran 53 offensive plays and scored 26 points. The score could have been 40 to 20, but the officials did not make a very good call on the Eagles' first drive. Michael Vick made a pass that was knocked down and picked up by the Redskins. It was ruled a lateral pass.

   

     LeSean 'Shady' McCoy and DeSean Jackson combined for 293 all purpose yards and a couple of touchdowns in the win.

9/9/13

NFL Sunday Week 1 Recap


     The first Sunday in this 2013 NFL season is complete. There were a lot of surprises, to me at least. The Falcons lost to the Saints. The Jets beat the Bucs. New England barely took down Buffalo.


NFL.com     Here are my interesting stat-lines for Week 1 so far:

  • Blaine Gabbert got shut down, going just 16 for 35 with only 121 passing yards and no touchdowns and a couple of interceptions.
  • Eli Manning threw for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns, but had 3 interceptions in the Giants loss to Dallas.
  • Cam Newton had just 125 passing yards in his season debut against Seattle. Russell Wilson looked sharp.


9/8/13

Asdrubal Cabrera highlights again with nice Double Play



     Asdrubal Cabrera made a nice play on a ball flipped high by Jason Kipnis to turn a double play. Cleveland ended up winning the game 9-4.

In other news

  • Matt Wieters, Todd Frazier, and Freddy Galvis walked off for their teams.
  • Adam Wainwright shut down the Pirates, allowing only two hits and no runs through seven innings while striking out eight.
  • The Red Sox beat the Yankees 13-9, slugging four home runs. The Red Sox have scored 54 runs in their past four games, an average of 13.5 runs per game.

9/7/13

Yusmeiro Petit almost perfect



     Yusmeiro Petit of the San Francisco Giants almost through a perfect game versus the Diamondbacks. He settled for a one hit shutout. Eric Chavez hit a two out single in the ninth inning to break up the perfecto. As disappointing as it is, Petit now knows that he has what it takes to shut down hitters for nine innings. The 28-year-old struck out seven in the game and has a 2.05 ERA this season. 72% of his pitches were strikes by the way. Not bad.

9/6/13

Broncos, Manning, stomp Ravens


     


     Peyton Manning tied the NFL record for touchdown passes with 7. He threw no interceptions and had a 462 passing yards in the 49-27 victory over Baltimore. Wes Welker caught two touchdowns.

     Say what you want about Denver's weak schedule. Crushing the defending Super Bowl champions this easily can't be ignored. Peyton Manning may finally get to be the real Peyton Manning again.

9/5/13

MLB Power Rankings - September 5th

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. Detroit Tigers
  4. Atlanta Braves
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. St. Louis Cardinals
  7. Oakland Athletics
  8. Texas Rangers
  9. Tampa Bay Rays 
  10. Cincinnati Reds
Cardboard Sports Blog

     After a crushing 20-4 victory over Detroit, the Red Sox move up to number two in this week's Power Rankings. The Dodgers are rolling as well and are the best team in baseball today.

   

9/4/13

Billy Hamilton gets first Major League stolen base


     The Reds' number one prospect Billy Hamilton now has his first Major League steal under his belt. The 22-year-old switch hitting center fielder recorded 155 stolen bases in his 2012 Minor League season, a professional record. Hamilton came into the game in the 7th inning to pinch run for Ryan Ludwick, and later scored the game's winning run.

9/3/13

Never a bad time to do Push Ups, right?

Austin Jackson

     MLB.com always makes the best baseball GIFs, and this one is no exception. After successfully stealing second and falling over the bag, Austin Jackson decided he might as well to some push ups before he got back up.

9/2/13

Todd Helton doubles for hit number 2500


     In his 17th major league season, at age 40, Todd Helton has reached 2,500 hits. Helton is a possible Hall of Famer who would be a lock if he his numbers weren't from Coors Field. Helton was also robbed of the 2,000 National League MVP and possibly the 1998 Rookie of the Year.

9/1/13

Michael Young traded to Dodgers


     Former Phillies corner infielder Michael Young is now a Dodger. The Phillies acquired lefty Rob Rasmussen in the trade, who is in AA. Young has a 1.155 OPS in his last seven games and has been solid at the plate this season, but had a hefty price-tag and was a defensive liability.

8/31/13

Ryne Sandberg and the Phillies beat the Cubs, of course


      Ryne Sandberg won his return to Wrigley Field as the Phillies came back from a 5-0 deficit in the late innings. Sandberg played 15 seasons for the Chicago, where he became a Hall of Fame second baseman.

  • Michael Young wen 4-5 and drove in the winning run
  • Roy Halladay did not look sharp, allowing 5 earned runs in 5 innings
  • The Phillies have a 9-6 record since Ryne Sandberg took the helm, a .600 winning percentage

8/30/13

Can the Nationals make the playoffs?


     The Nationals are 8-2 in their last ten games and have pushed to 6.5 games back of the NL Wild Card behind only the Diamondbacks and Reds. The Nats can thank Jayson Werth for igniting their offense. Werth is second in the National League among outfielders in OPS (at least 350 at bats) and has 57 total bases in the last month.

     It may be a long shot, but the Nationals can pull things together and take that second Wild Card spot... it's possible.

8/29/13

NFL 2013 MVP, Super Bowl Predictions


     It's time for football. That means it's time for my NFL 2013 preseason predictions. Here we go...

MVP - Peyton Manning over Adrian Peterson and Tom Brady

Super Bowl - Denver Broncos over Seattle Seahawks

     It is definitely all or nothing for the Denver Broncos this season. The division is weak. The schedule is weak. The Patriots are vulnerable, and the Broncos have Eric Decker and Wes Welker. Peyton Manning is 37 this season and his window is closing for another Super Bowl win. He should find a way to win it this time.

     The Seahawks have a chance to come through though, so watch out for Wilson and the birds.

8/28/13

MLB Power Rankings - August 28th

  1. Atlanta Braves
  2. Detroit Tigers
  3. Boston Red Sox
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. St. Louis Cardinals
  6. Texas Rangers
  7. Pittsburgh Pirates
  8. Tampa Bay Rays 
  9. Oakland Athletics
  10. Cincinnati Reds
Cardboard Sports Blog

     The Braves are still holding on to the top spot, but Detroit could just as easily be #1 in the rankings.

   

8/27/13

Barnes makes nice leaping grab, Allen Craig goes grand


     Brandon Barnes robbed a possible home run from Adam Dunn over the tall wall in left center field.



     Allen Craig hit his first career grand slam as the Cardinals downed the Reds 8 to 6.

8/26/13

Halladay solid in return


     Roy "Doc" Halladay has returned from the disabled list. He was solid in his outing against the Diamondbacks, allowing just four hits and two earned runs over six innings. He had a little help from Roger Bernadina though, who robbed the D-backs of a two run homer.

     The two-time Cy Young award winner said that his movement and arm slot are back to where they need to be, and that his cutter (clocked at 87-89 mph on Sunday) will gain a little velocity as time goes by.

8/25/13

Jets have little to work with at QB

A moment Geno Smith would rather have back. (Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports)
image from USAToday
     Rex Ryan got a little frustrated in the post game interview. I would too. You can give any coach in the NFL Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith and say, "now go make the playoffs". You'd be asking the impossible. At least that's what it looks like so far. Mark Sanchez is injured. Geno Smith threw three interceptions in only 30 attempts.

     The Jets need to let Smith play until Sanchez gets back. If he is going well, bench Sanchez. If not, let Sanchez play and hope for a good QB in the draft or via trade.

8/24/13

Phillies walk off third straight



     Under new manager Ryne Sandberg, the Phillies have walked off three times in a row. The first was driven in by Michael Young, the second by Domonic Brown, and the most recent on a bases loaded walk by Chase Utley to beat the Diamondbacks.

     Nothing feels better than a walk off win, and the Phillies are showing signs that they have what it takes to win consistently again. I have a feeling that they will finish the season strong and end up close to .500.

8/23/13

Kershaw dominates Marlins



     Clayton Kershaw has been dominant this season, more-so than any other pitcher in the game (sorry Max Scherzer and Yu Darvish) by far. His 1.72 ERA and 0.86 WHIP lead the majors, and his 188 strikeouts lead the National League. The only pitcher in his dimension right now is Matt Harvey. 

     Kershaw is on his way to his second Cy Young award in three years and would be a lock for MVP if he had a few more wins. Expect Clayton Kershaw to be a Cy Young contender for a long time.

8/22/13

Ichiro Suzuki collects his 4,000th professional hit



Ichiro Suzuki now has 4,000 hits in his professional career. He now has 2,722 hits in his Major League career as well. He joins Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only players with at least 4,000 hits.

     Of course, his total includes his hits from Japan. I think there is a strong case for including the hits though. Although pitchers in Japan are not quite as good as the ones in MLB, the strike zone is larger and the baseball they use is slightly smaller. We can all agree that those two things make it a decent bit harder to hit. The stadiums that they play in are a little smaller too, which would be beneficial to a home run hitter, but not to a contact hitter like Ichiro. The outfielders in Japan have smaller ground to cover.

     The last reason is that in Nippon Professional Baseball, each season is only 135 games. Ichiro played seven seasons as a starter in Japan. This means he would have had up to 189 more games to play if he had played in America. This would mean an additional 150-250 hits, easily putting him up there with Rose and Cobb. Add in the fact that Ichiro played better overall in MLB, and there is no reason why we can't say that Ichiro has 4,000 hits. He is one of the greatest of all time and possibly the greatest contact hitter of all time (aside from Ty Cobb maybe).


8/21/13

MLB Power Rankings - August 21st

  1. Atlanta Braves
  2. LA Dodgers
  3. Boston Red Sox
  4. Detroit Tigers
  5. Texas Rangers
  6. St. Louis Cardinals
  7. Pittsburgh Pirates
  8. Oakland Athletics
  9. Tampa Bay Rays 
  10. Cincinnati Reds


Cardboard Sports Blog

   The Braves are on pace for about 98 wins, while the hot Dodgers (and some guy named Yasiel Puig) could very well reach 100.

8/20/13

Dempster suspended 5 games for hitting A-Rod


     Ryan Dempster was suspended for 5 games for intentionally hitting Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. A starting pitcher, Dempster will not really miss any real time. Yankees players like CC Sabathia expressed their disappointment on his suspension. Dempster did not have much to say about it himself.

8/19/13

Alex Rodriguez plunked, then homers


     It is obvious that not too many people like what A- Rod Roid did, but nobody has done anything but talk. Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster intentionally hit Rodriguez. The umpires kept the game under control, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected. 

     Later in the game, A-Rod hit a home run off of Dempster.

8/18/13

Ryne Sandberg replaces Charlie Manuel



     I know this post is a little late.... so yeah. Anyways, a couple of days ago Phillies third base coach and Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg was promoted to manager as Charlie Manuel was released. Manuel was the best Phillies manager of all time, helping them to one World Series victory and a couple of NL pennants in seven-plus seasons. He essentially turned the Phillies from an average team to the best in baseball for years.

     Unlike in the case of the Philadelphia Eagles (firing longtime coach Andy Reid), the Phillies won't get anywhere by firing their best manager in history. Not because Sandberg is a bad manager, but because the Phillies do not have much anything to work with right now. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has made some good moves (signing Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee) and he has made some stupid ones (getting rid of Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino, as well as signing guys like Ryan Howard to huge, risky contracts), but this one takes the cake.

      All in all, there was no point in firing Charlie Manuel. None at all. You can give an artist a brush, and even if he's Pablo Picasso, he can't do much without any paint.

8/17/13

Yu Darvish should get around 275 punchouts in 2013



     Earlier this season, I extrapolated Yu Darvish's strikeout numbers and estimated he could get over 375 strikeouts this season based solely on his numbers. Now using the same process, this number comes out to around 275. If he had not missed time on the DL, he would have a good shot at 300 strikeouts, but for now I would expect 265-275 strikeouts, which is still enormous for today.


<<< I had to put this GIF up.

8/16/13

2014 will bring expanded use of Instant Replay



      Bud Selig has announced that MLB will expand its use of instant replay in the 2014 season. Managers can now inform the umpires that he wants to challenge a play. Like in football, the umpires have to come together and review the video on the play. If the call is overturned, the manager retains his challenge.

     Each team receives one challenge before the seventh inning, and two more after the seventh. The challenge before the seventh inning can not be used after the seventh. Most plays will be challenge-able, but some (10-15%) will not.

8/15/13

D-Backs walk off third straight


     Aaron Hill wins it for the Diamondbacks in 14. The D-backs have walked off three straight to sweep the Orioles, bringing them to 62 wins and 5 1/2 games back for an NL wild card spot.

8/14/13

MLB Power Rankings - August 14th

  1. Atlanta Braves
  2. Detroit Tigers
  3. Boston Red Sox
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates
  5. Texas Rangers
  6. St. Louis Cardinals
  7. Oakland Athletics
  8. LA Dodgers 
  9. Tampa Bay Rays
  10. Cincinnati Reds


Cardboard Sports Blog

     With 73 wins thus far, the Braves remain the top team in baseball, barely edging the Detroit Tigers, who could very well meet them in October.

8/13/13

Darvish almost gets no-no



     Yu Darvish allowed one hit over 8 innings and struck out a career high 15 against the Astros. Darvish walked one and his only hit was a home run. Closer Joe Nathan picked up his 35th save of the year.

8/12/13

Jeff Tuel, EJ Manuel looking good in Bills win



     The Buffalo Bills have options at quarterback. After their first preseason game (a 44-20 win over Indy), I can now safely say that EJ Manuel should be their starting quarterback come Week 1. Manuel went 16 for 21 with 107 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Tuel went 19 for 23 for 212 yards. Kevin Kolb did not play.

   From what I've seen of Kolb over the past few seasons, it is also a safe bet that if the Bills start him, they will lose. Not every single game, but they'll have a tough time winning. Kolb is an average QB at best with limited mobility and an arm that's nothing special.

    On the other hand, EJ Manuel is a young quarterback with all the physical tools he needs to be a solid above average passer. Sure, his first real game is yet to come, but I think it should come in Week 1.

8/11/13

NFL.com Fantasy Football has begun


     You can now play 2013 NFL Fantasy Football on http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball! Join a league, draft your team, and win as many games as you can.

     If you've never done fantasy football, you have to start now. In my experience, the NFL.com fantasy game is one of the best you can play. The interface is simple, you can view live stats and projections, and the draft system is great.

 Sign up now!

8/10/13

Josh Reddick hits three homers


     Josh Reddick helped fuel the A's 14 to 6 barrage of the Toronto Blue Jays with three home runs after going hit-less since July 29th. Reddick now has 8 home runs in 281 at bats thus far with a .655 OPS.

     Could this be the start of a turnaround for Reddick?

8/9/13

Baltimore, Cincinnati dominate preseason openers




     The Ravens and Bengals outscored their preseason opponents 78-26. The Ravens had three interceptions and the Bengals had 434 yards of offense.

     Seattle, Denver, Washington, and Cleveland also won their openers.

     16 teams play their openers today, with one game being on both Saturday and Sunday.

8/8/13

Matt Harvey shuts out Rockies for first career Complete Game



     Having a four hit shutout as your first complete game is pretty nice, which is what Matt Harvey has now after the Mets beat the Rockies 5-0 on six strikeouts and no walks. Harvey now leads the big leagues in WHIP.

This is also the...

 Cardboard Sports 100th Post 

8/7/13

MLB Power Rankings - August 7th

  1. Atlanta Braves
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. Pittsburgh Pirates
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Detroit Tigers
  6. St. Louis Cardinals
  7. Oakland Athletics
  8. LA Dodgers 
  9. Texas Rangers
  10. Cleveland Indians
Cardboard Sports Blog

8/6/13

A-Roid suspended through 2014


     Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been suspended until the end of the 2014 season for using performance enhancing drugs. He has appealed the suspension in an attempt to play a few more games this season.  Rodriguez admitted to using steroids a few years back, so this should not be surprising to even Yankees fans. Even with 647 home runs, you have to wonder if he will even make the Hall of Fame now.

8/5/13

Atlanta extends winning streak to 10



     The Atlanta Braves are now 12 1/2 games ahead of the Nationals for first place in the National League East after beating the Phillies 4-1. The Braves are the hottest team in baseball with a 10 game winning streak.
     
     Record-wise, the Braves (67-45) are the third best team in baseball behind the Boston Red Sox (68-45) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (67-44).

8/4/13

Scherzer now 16 and 1


     Max Scherzer threw 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball to improve to 16-1, the first pitcher since Roger Clemens to do so.

     Scherzer struck out six and improved his ERA to 2.85.

8/3/13

What the heck is this Riley Cooper deal about?



     A few days ago, a video surfaced showing Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper using the "forbidden ever to be said by a white person"  word. Now most of the NFL and the country hates him.

     While I do believe that using the N-word is obviously wrong, I don't think Cooper deserves this much crap from everyone. I want to point out a few things:

  1. Cooper was probably drunk, which is not a good enough excuse, but still worth noting.
  2. He is obviously not a racist, or he would not be so chill playing football with a bunch of blacks.
  3. Black people use the N-word ALL THE TIME. Sure it's not the same, but it is worth noting.
  4. Black people (including those in the NFL) use racial slurs such as cracker ALL THE TIME.
  5. Many argue that because the N-word was used to describe slaves. Sure it was, but back then all it was was slang for Negro, which just means black.
  6. How many former slaves do you see today? How many people who went through the heart of segregation? Not too many. Black people today are benefiting from wrongs that they were not a victim of whatsoever. 
  7. Blacks should not be so easily offended. I mean really, if I was black, I could not care less what some random white guy thought about blacks.

8/2/13

Darvish strikes out 14 D-backs


     


     Yu Darvish struck out 14 through 7 shutout innings. In his last 4 starts, Darvish has 35 strikeouts and a 2.13 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP.

     Darvish has a major league leading 186 strikeouts in just 21 starts. His 2.66 ERA is fifth in the AL, and his 1.02 WHIP is third. In my opinion, only Felix Hernandez and Bartolo Colon are having seasons as good as Yu (or me).

8/1/13

Chris Johnson vs Cheetah



   

     Chris Johnson raced a cheetah. We can all watch it in November on Nat Geo Wild. CJ2K claims he can outrun Usain Bolt as well. To even make that statement means he is either stupid, or really cocky.
   
     Can't wait to see him get owned by a cat though.

     

(Sorry if the pictures are formatted wrong)

7/31/13

MLB National League WAR Leaders - Pitching

Wins Above Replacement
  1. Clayton Kershaw - 5.3
  2. Adam Wainwright - 5.2
  3. Matt Harvey - 4.9
  4. Jorge De La Rosa - 4.0
  5. Jhoulys Chacin - 4.0
  6. Cliff Lee - 4.0
I've surprisingly never heard of the two Rockies on this list...

Kershaw has the Cy Young if the season ended today.

7/30/13

MLB American League WAR Leaders - Pitching

Wins Above Replacement
  1. Felix Hernandez - 5.0
  2. Chris Sale - 4.7
  3. Bartolo Colon - 4.3
  4. Clay Buchholz - 4.1
  5. Max Scherzer - 4.0
I think Hernandez should have started the All Star Game, but Scherzer is still up there with 4 WAR.

7/29/13

MLB National League WAR Leaders - Batting

Wins Above Replacement
  1. Andrew McCutchen - 5.4
  2. Carlos Gomez - 5.4
  3. David Wright - 5.0
  4. Paul Goldschmidt - 5.0
  5. Carlos Gonzalez - 4.9
Nothing too surprising here, any one of these guys can win the MVP.

7/28/13

MLB American League WAR Leaders - Batting

Wins Above Replacement

  1. Miguel Cabrera - 5.6
  2. Manny Machado - 5.1
  3. Robinson Cano - 4.9
  4. Mike Trout - 4.8
  5. Chris Davis - 4.7
Manny Machado pops out on this list, but when you look at his stats (39 doubles) you can see why.

7/27/13

What will Chip Kelly's offense look like?


     Eagle's head coach Chip Kelly has been charged with turning a team around. Ever since trading away Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles have slowly gone from Super Bowl contenders, to jokes at the bottom of the NFC East.


    The bright side is that Chip Kelly knows how to run an up tempo offense. The Eagles have a lot of up tempo guys like LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and QB Michael Vick. The Eagles also have an option in young QB Nick Foles, who has the size and potential to be an above average quarterback in the NFL.

     Training camp is (finally) here, so let's see what Chip can do.

7/26/13

MLB Power Rankings - July 26th

  1. St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. Oakland Athletics
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. Texas Rangers
  7. Atlanta Braves
  8. Cincinnati Reds 
  9. Detroit Tigers
  10. Baltimore Orioles

Cardboard Sports Blog

The Rays are getting hot, moving into the Top 5.

7/25/13

Braves lose Tim Hudson to broken ankle

MLB.com

     Atlanta has lost righty Tim Hudson to an injured ankle when his ankle was stepped on while covering first base. Hudson, who was having a decent season (3.97 ERA with an 8-7 record) should miss the entire season with surgery.

7/24/13

Matt Garza to start for Rangers against Yanks

image from ESPN

     


     The new Rangers starting pitcher Matt Garza will start today against the New York Yankees. Garza, 29, has a 3.17 ERA this season, as well as a solid 6-1 record.

     The Rangers are looking to improve upon an already Top 5 pitching staff in the American League, with a team ERA of 3.74.

7/23/13

Ryan Braun finally Suspended


MLB.com

     Ryan Braun admitted to using performance enhancing drugs and was suspended for the rest of the 2013 season as a result. This comes after a failed PED test and being linked to the Biogenesis steroid clinic.

     Nobody knows what drug Braun used, or if he got any from the Biogenesis clinic, which leads me to believe he could have plea bargained his way out of a bigger suspension by just giving up now.

     The Brewers outfielder won the 2011 NL MVP award over Dodgers' outfielder Matt Kemp, even though Kemp had more home runs, more RBI, more stolen bases, and a higher on base percentage.

7/22/13

Pujols gets Colon

MLB.com

     Albert Pujols untucked Bartolo Colon's jersey on the way to the dugout after flying out to deep center field. Colon almost acted like nothing happened.

7/21/13

Chris Stewart's Double Play

MLB.com

     Yankees catcher Chris Stewart makes an into-the-crowd catch on a popup and then fires to second base for the 2-4 double play. The Yankees ended up winning 5-2 over the Red Sox.

7/20/13

Is Colin Kaepernick Overrated?


    


     Colin Kaepernick is, supposedly, the 81st best player in the NFL. Sure, this comes just after throwing for 1,800 yards in half a season, and a 100+ QB Rating in the playoffs, but is he really better than guys like Percy Harvin and Jimmy Graham? Or even RG3 like many claim he is.

     I say play a full season and put up those numbers, and you're good. But for now it's pretty obvious to anyone with eyes that guys like Robert Griffin and Russell Wilson are better quarterbacks than Kaepernick.

     It's one thing to step in and do well for a team like the 49ers, and it's another thing to make a team like the Redskins and Seahawks good.

7/19/13

MLB Trading Block 2013

MLB.com

     Matt Garza is one of the few players who are very likely to be traded this season. The Cubs pitcher is having a good season so far, going 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 11 starts. He is already in talks to be traded to the Rangers.

     The Phillies have a few pieces they could move as well, but are unlikely to do so at this point. Those pieces being Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee, and Michael Young.

7/18/13

MLB Power Rankings - July 18th

  1. St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. Pittsburgh Pirates
  4. Oakland Athletics
  5. Atlanta Braves
  6. Texas Rangers
  7. Cincinnati Reds 
  8. Detroit Tigers
  9. Baltimore Orioles
  10. Tampa Bay Rays

Cardboard Sports Blog

7/17/13

American League wins All Star Game

   
MLB.com

     The American League won the 2013 All Star Game, 3 to 0. J.J. Hardy, Jose Bautista, and Jason Kipnis had RBI. The AL held the weak NL lineup to only 3 hits, and Yankees closer Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect eighth inning to secure the MVP award.

7/16/13

Cespedes wins Home Run Derby, Harper comes in second

MLB.com

    The Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes won the 2013 Home Run Derby, beating out Nationals phenom Bryce Harper. His 32 total home runs tied him for third all time in Derby history.

     Harper's 24 homers put him in eighth all time.

7/15/13

Davis ties AL record for most home runs before All Star break


MLB.com

     Chris Davis has enough home runs so far this season to put him in 6th place for the AL last season. His 37th home run ties him with Reggie Jackson for the most before the All Star break in American League history. Davis will participate in the Home Run Derby today as well.

7/14/13

Lincecum hurls No Hitter



     Tim Lincecum threw a no hitter against the Padres. He struck out 13 and walked 4 over 148 pitches. The no-no was the 15th in Giants history. He got some help from his defense, including a diving catch by right fielder Hunter Pence.

7/13/13

Aaron Hicks guns down Vernon Wells from deep in the Outfield

     
MLB.com

     Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks threw out Vernon Wells at third base from deep right center field. The ball never touched the ground.

The Yankees ended up winning the game 2-0.

7/12/13

Derek Jeter returns to Yankees lineup

 
      
from MLB.com

     Derek Jeter went 1 for 4 in his season debut yesterday. Jeter ran hard whenever he could and did not seem to still be injured. He did leave in the 8th inning with leg tightness though, but it does not appear to have anything to do with his previous injuries.

7/11/13

Koji Uehara should be an All Star

Koji Uehara

     Take a good look at this little infographic from MLB.com. Of all the relievers on the American League Final Vote ballot, Koji has the best overall stats line. In addition to being first in WHIP, Opponent AVG, and Strikeout to Walk Ratio, Uehara is second in strikeouts and his ERA is within 2 tenths of a point from Joaquin Benoit. Vote now before it's too late.


7/10/13

2013 MLB All Star Game Home Run Derby Roster



National League
David Wright - Mets (captain)
Bryce Harper - Nationals
Michael Cuddyer - Rockies
Carlos Gonzalez - Rockies

American League
Robinson Cano - Yankees (captain)
Chris Davis - Orioles
Prince Fielder - Tigers
Yoenis Cespedes - Athletics

I predict that either Chris Davis or Bryce Harper will win the 2013 Home Run Derby.

7/9/13

Carlos Gomez saves game with leaping catch to rob Votto of a sure Home Run

from MLB.com

     Carlos Gomez robbed Joey Votto of a go ahead two run home run in the top of the ninth inning in yesterday's Reds-Brewers game. The Brewers ended up winning 4-3.

7/8/13

Braves' Freeman leading NL Final Vote


     


     Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has a narrow lead over Dodgers outfield phenom Yasiel Puig in the National League All Star Final Vote, even though Puig has only played a few dozen games so far.

     Freeman has 56 RBI (not RBIs, RBI... runs batted ins makes no sense) and is hitting over .300 so far, while Puig has a monster 1.114 OPS through 32 games.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                  image from bleacherreport.com

7/7/13

2013 MLB All Star Game Roster

The Starters are shown in this video from MLB.com

     American League

Pitchers
RHP: Clay Buchholz, Red Sox
LHP: Brett Cecil, Blue Jays
RHP: Bartolo Colon, A's
RHP: Jesse Crain, White Sox
RHP: Yu Darvish, Rangers
RHP: Felix Hernandez, Mariners
RHP: Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
RHP: Justin Masterson, Indians
RHP: Joe Nathan, Rangers
LHP: Glen Perkins, Twins
RHP: Mariano Rivera, Yankees
LHP: Chris Sale, White Sox
RHP: Max Scherzer, Tigers
RHP: Justin Verlander, Tigers
Reserves
C: Jason Castro, Astros
C: Salvador Perez, Royals
1B: Prince Fielder, Tigers
2B: Jason Kipnis, Indians
2B: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
2B: Ben Zobrist, Rays
SS: Jhonny Peralta: Tigers
3B: Manny Machado, Orioles
OF: Nelson Cruz, Rangers
OF: Alex Gordon, Royals
OF: Torii Hunter, Tigers
DH: Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays

     National League

Pitchers
LHP: Madison Bumgarner, Giants
LHP: Aroldis Chapman, Reds
LHP: Patrick Corbin, D-backs
RHP: Jose Fernandez, Marlins
RHP: Jason Grilli, Pirates
RHP: Matt Harvey, Mets
LHP: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
RHP: Craig Kimbrel, Braves
LHP: Cliff Lee, Phillies
LHP: Jeff Locke, Pirates
RHP: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
LHP: Travis Wood, Cubs
RHP: Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
Reserves
C: Buster Posey, Giants
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs
1B: Allen Craig, Cardinals
2B: Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
2B: Marco Scutaro, Giants
SS: Everth Cabrera, Padres
SS: Jean Segura, Brewers
3B: Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
OF: Domonic Brown, Phillies
OF: Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
OF: Carlos Gomez, Brewers
OF: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

7/6/13

Juan Uribe falls single short of the Cycle


     The Dodgers' Juan Uribe drove in seven runs and had 9 total bases in Los Angeles' rout of the San Francisco Giants. Uribe drove in 7 runs and brought his season OPS to .800 against his former team.

7/5/13

Raul Ibanez still has Power


     Raul Ibanez (41 years old) has 21 home runs so far. The most by any player (in history) over 40 before the All Star break. He has only had 241 at bats, good for 55th in the big leagues among outfielders.


     With that being said, if he played a full season of 500+ at bats, that's around 45 home runs. The most Ibanez has ever hit in a season is 34 (2009), and he had only 500 at bats.

7/4/13

MLB Power Rankings - 4th of July

  1. Pittsburgh Pirates
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Texas Rangers
  5. Atlanta Braves
  6. Oakland Athletics
  7. Baltimore Orioles
  8. Cincinnati Reds 
  9. Detroit Tigers
  10. Cleveland Indians


Cardboard Sports Blog

7/3/13

All or nothing for the Denver Broncos in 2013-2014?



   


      Peyton Manning, Eric Decker, Brandon Stokley, and Wes Welker are all playing on the same offense. Can the Broncos win the 2014 Super Bowl, and if they don't, can they do it in the future with Peyton Manning? 2012 was Peyton's best season since 2004 (stats-wise), and yet the Broncos lost to the Super Bowl champion Ravens.

     I think if Manning can play above 100 QB Rating football, he can bring his team deep into the playoffs.

7/2/13

NL Outfield All Star Race heating up

     With Yadier Molina starting to run away with the starting catcher spot, the race for the second and third outfield spots is getting close.

Carlos Beltran, Cardinals: 5,013,806
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies: 2,928,606
Justin Upton, Braves: 2,917,659
Bryce Harper, Nationals: 2,902,393
Matt Holliday, Cardinals: 2,697,608

     The 2-5 spots are separated by less than 250,000 votes with a few days left. The amazing thing is that Justin Upton is third. His .802  OPS is 14th in the NL among outfielders. Bryce Harper shouldn't be there stat-wise, but he has All Star talent.