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)