Friday, September 25, 2009

Warm up the Fat Lady

I think the Giants are done. Last night was crushing. Losing the game is bad enough, but to lose in the 9th inning with a homer off your closer? Ouch.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Viva Gigantes!

Well, maybe. Zito was notsogood yesterday, but they still won. A win is a win is a win.

Four games back with 12 to play. Not great odds, but at least they pitch Matt Cain tonight. If they're going to make the postseason, they have to win pretty much every game from here on out.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Can they get to the playoffs? Not looking good. Lincecum is allowed one bad start, after all he's done this year. With Lincecum and Cain, they would be a very difficult team to play in a short series, but they have to get there first.

The Rockies magic number is 9, as of today. Not much wiggle room left. Starting tonight? Zito. Ahem. He's actually been generally decent lately, but he's not exactly the guy you want out there.

On the bright side, look at the remaining schedule: 6 against the Snakes (65-85, this is not a good team), 3 against the Cubbies (who seem to be aggressively crumbling), and 3 against the Padres (68-82; they aren't good either). It's an easy schedule, so we can still hope.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Orrin Hatch

I'm looking forward to the followup article on the Senator's thoughts on whether BYU deserves to go to play for the national championship after Saturday's game.

There's a general ridiculousness with this kind of article. After three weeks of games, there are lots and lots of undefeated teams. Plenty of teams *could* run the table, but not many of them will, and not many will be close.

I was also entertained by the last bit, about a possible matchup of two undefeated teams (BYU-Utah) at the end of the season. That sure would be exciting. But BYU wasn't the only Mountain West team to sink it's national championship chances last week.

Right, Senator?

Friday, September 18, 2009


Normally I wish the best for former Michigan football coaches. Lloyd Carr is a quality guy, and I want to see his coaching tree prosper.

But not tomorrow. I hope Ron English has a bad day at his new gig. (Actually, I read somewhere that it was Lloyd Carr, acting as an unpaid consultant to Eastern's Athletic Director, who recommended Ron English for the job. Good for him, and it's good to give Ron English a chance. If he can have a .500 record at Eastern, he will deserve to be hired at a school where he has a real chance of success. Eastern is a tough place to win. It's hard enough to be a small D-1 school in a state with two dominant D-1 programs; it's even harder when you're only the second best program in your own county.)

I also wish the best for former Michigan football players. Those best wishes will also be placed on selective hold tomorrow.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More Greinke

There seems to be a meme going around, at least in some circles, that Greinke should in the Cy Young. Yes! (Note: another win today.)

Granted I thought his main competition wit the voters would be Sabathia, but King Felix (ERA: 2.52) is more deserving as Sabathia (ERA: 3.42) anyway. Greinke's now 14-8. Maybe one more victory will give him a round enough number to get the voters....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cy Young

The American Cy Young is Zack Greinke's to lose. Or it should be, if the voters will vote for a brilliant pitcher on a crappy team.

Yes, Sabathia has more wins, but Greinke's ERA is MORE than a run better, 2.19 vs 3.42. Greinke also has significantly more complete games (6 vs 2), shutouts (3 vs 1), and strikeouts (216 vs 178). He's also a great story. I suppose Roy Halladay could make a late run, but Greinke's ERA is so much better (2.19 vs 3.03), that unless Greinke crumbles, he should win.

In the National League, it's between Lincecum, Carpenter, and Wainwright. They have three best ERAs (in order, 2.34, 2.45, and 2.59). Wainwright's the only one with a chance to get to 20 wins (he's at 18 now), and although wins aren't the best measure, 20 is such a significant milestone that if he gets there, I think he'll win. At this point, though, it's too close to call...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Are We Back?

Michigan had a huge win against Notre Dame and for the first time in almost two years, I'm excited about the team.

Jimmy Clausen has been given a hard time in the past by Michigan fans. But in fairness, wow was he good yesterday. Give him a decent offensive line and he becomes Tom Brady, just sits back and picks you apart. Thankfully, Charlie "Schematic Advantage" Weis decided to stop throwing to his outstanding wide receivers in the 3rd quarter and run the ball instead. Good move Charlie--they were dominating Michigan's defense and thanks for shaking things up!

Michigan is not yet a national power, of course, but we're ranked this week for the first time in a loooooong time. That feels pretty good.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

College Football, 1999-2008

As I did the last two years, it's easy to look at the most dominant teams of the last ten years as well. It's the same scoring as yesterday's post, but no seasons before 1999 count:

Surprising no one, USC is the top program of the last ten years. Because recent results matter more, Florida State is hit a lot harder by this measure than by yesterday's rankings over the last 25 years. Michigan is hanging on at #10, but we'll drop further before we start improving again.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

College Football

Actual college football is starting. Before the season starts, I should update my own rankings of teams over the last 25 years, as I did after the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

To review, last year's #1 team, Florida, gets 25 points and so on down to last year's #25 team, BYU, which gets one point. Every year you lose one point, so the #1 team in 2007 gets 24 points, the #1 team in 2006 gets 23, etc. This chart takes the 2008 season into account:

East Carolina and Fresno State are eliminated from last year; it looks like Minnesota and Pitt (who may be decent) will be next. Oklahoma State is new this year.

In terms of patterns, Michigan continues its fall. Sigh. We were in the top 5 just two years ago, this year we should be passed by Georgia and LSU. USC continues to move up. The big fall is Florida State, which was #1 the first two years and surely would also have been #1 had I done this earlier, but that program has been fading for years as Bobby Bowden refuses to give up. USC and Oklahoma will probably pass them this year. Miami is matching Florida State in terms of the rate of its decay. I don't know that either one of them will turn it around anytime soon.

Nebraska and Colorado have also dropped, which is reflected both in their reduced score and the inclusion of Kansas and Missouri chasing after them.