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Thursday's List of 13: Ranting on Moneyball and other stuff........
13) How much talent do these SEC football teams have? David Nelson caught winning TD pass for Buffalo Sunday; he wasn’t a full-time starter for the Florida Gators. Speaking of Florida and WRs, Tim Tebow made a cameo as a WR in Sunday’s game for Denver.
12) San Diego State visits Michigan this week, rare game where one coach was the other team’s coach the year before. Brady Hoke parlayed his quick success with the Aztecs into the big money job in Ann Arbor, but his old team won’t be a pushover here. Hoke made some comments about how he would have walked from San Diego to Ann Arbor. Young RB Hillman is an NFL player and the senior QB Lindley is pretty good, too.
11) Apparently the Pac-12 is staying with 12 teams, which supposedly makes Texas A&M’s move to the SEC easier for the Big IX to swallow. If the Big IX were to add Louisville-West Virginia-BYU, they’d be back to the Big XII and become a stronger basketball league, and not that much worse in football.
10) Why would a kid from New Jersey go to UCLA to play basketball? I don’t understand it; there is good weather and hot women a lot closer than LA, and you can get to the NBA from anywhere. Good for Ben Howland though. Hope the kid stays for more than one year.
9) Baltimore’s Brian Matusz is 1-8, 10.68 in 44.2 IP this season; as it stands, he would have the worst ERA of any pitcher since 1900 who pitched 40+ innings that season. Surprising whose record he would break; in 2000, Roy Halladay was 4-7, 10.64 in 67.2 IP.
8) If the Giants are serious about re-signing Carlos Beltran, they need to play him in leftfield, where his creaky knees won’t do as much damage defensively- he just doesn’t have the range he used to. Nate Schierholtz is really good in spacious RF for the Giants.
7) Elias Sports points out that when the Red Sox scored 18 runs twice in a week, they were the first team since the ’96 Reds to do so. Their problem is they scored 18 runs in a Lackey start and he still couldn’t get the win. Their starting pitching looks to be shot. Eric Bedard threw 51 pitches in the third inning Tuesday and he didn’t finish the inning.
6) You look at the top five relievers in appearances this season, and three of them are Braves. Craig Kimbrel pitched 10 games in 19 days; they better be careful they don’t blow these kids’ arms out. Wouldn’t be the first time.
5) Twins are the first team since the ’07 White Sox to win 90+ games one year, then lose 90+ the next.
4) Looks like the Mets are going to move the fences in at Citi Field next year; would be cruel if they did that, then traded away David Wright. You move the fences in, you keep Wright.
3) Before I rant a little about Moneyball, kudos to the A’s for signing interim skipper Bob Melvin to a 3-year deal. Melvin brought structure and order to a team that was imploding under the previous manager, Bob Geren, who was overmatched in the job. Am excited to see how the team will look in 2012 after a full spring training with Melvin.
2) I’ve been an A’s fan since I was 8 years old, a very long time ago (think Jose Santiago/Lew Krausse as pitchers, Jose Tartabull (Danny’s father) as an OF). The Moneyball era when Hudson-Mulder-Zito propelled the small market A’s to contention was fun as hell, but they didn’t win a World Series, which is why I cringed when they let Michael Lewis write his book, which is a very good book.
To me, if you took someone who knew nothing about baseball to this movie, the logical question after the movie is going to be, “How has this team done since that year when they won 20 straight games?” And the answer is, “Well, they made the playoffs in 2006, but have pretty much sucked the last five years.” Terrific. Outstanding. Lets make a movie!!!
1) Anyway, I hate it when people pat themselves on the back, and to me, Moneyball was Billy Beane patting himself on the back. All it does it put a target on you to make others want to beat you more, which is why I don’t want to go see the movie. That said, I’ll definitely see it at some point because, dammit, I’m as A’s fan, and always will be. If only they could get a new stadium. And some hitters.
Friday's List of 13: Dishing out some college knowledge........
13) There are 120 teams in I-A football; Notre Dame (-8) has the worst turnover ratio in the country.
12) How about Iowa State’s 3-0 start? They beat I-AA Northern Iowa by a point, beat arch-rival Iowa in OT and then came back to win 24-20 at UConn. Plus the Big 12 is staying together, so their program will still be cashing big checks. Big month for the Cyclones so far.
11) Auburn’s opponents’ 3rd down conversions in their three games so far: 10-17/11-20/14-18. Not good.
10) Hard to believe, but last week was first time North Carolina won its ACC opener since 2000.
9) Nebraska is banged up on OL; they started three walk-ons on offensive line last week, first time since 1998; they beat Washington 51-38, so it didn’t hurt them too much.
8) Not only are the Akron Zips 0-3, they’ve been outscored 98-3 in the first half, 142-17 overall. Someone needs to get out recruiting, or updating their resume. People get fired for losing that badly.
7) Boston College is also 0-3, but they’ve only trailed one game at the half; they’ve been outscored 41-6 in the second half.
6) Looks like Oklahoma is staying put in the Big IX (or X or XII), and so is Bob Stoops, who is now signed on with the Sooners thru 2018, with an extension worth $34.5M. Good work if you can get it.
5) Missouri Tigers are having open tryouts for basketball walk-ons October 3-4; its weird, at a big school like that, you can find a good practice player every so often.
4) SEC/Pac-12 both have equal sharing of network TV revenue, which is a good thing. Very good if you’re Vanderbilt, since they’re raking in the cash even though they’re never any good in football. Commodores are good in basketball and baseball, but football is the money sport.
3) Very surprised West Virginia got turned down by the SEC. Thought they were a good fit. They’d also be a good fit to replace Texas A&M in whatever that league with Texas/Oklahoma in it is called now.
2) There are 33 unbeaten college football teams left; think there are eight games pitting unbeatens this weekend. Of the 33 unbeatens, Boise State is only one that hasn’t played a home game yet (played Georgia in Atlanta, at Toledo).
1) Weird thing about how college football works: Boise really needs Ohio State to start playing well since Toledo lost by only 27-22 in Columbus, then got drilled 40-15 by the Broncos. Better Ohio State/Toledo play rest of the way, better Boise State looks to the voters.