Inter-sport Trading: The Dream of the Hometown Fan

Written by :
Published on : May 19, 2017

 

While there certainly are some exceptions, for the most part I think sports fans grow up rooting for their local teams, riding out the highs and lows while sticking with those teams no matter how bad the tough times can get. I mean, take it from me, I’ll devote every season to my Detroit Lions even after their disastrous 0-16 season.

 

I would venture to guess that most fans are like me in that sense. Growing up here in the Metro Detroit area, we are fortunate to have a franchise in all of the four major sports, and each one is the team I stand behind. If it’s the fall you can spot me wearing that Matt Stafford #9 jersey, in the winter months there I am hoping for the return of the glory days for my Red Wings and Pistons, and come summer you can find me enjoying a cold one while sitting behind home plate looking at a re-surging Detroit skyline while rooting for arguably the greatest hitter of my generation, Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers.

 

 

Being a Detroit sports fan has blessed me with a lot of great memories as I have been able to witness and celebrate multiple championships courtesy of the Red Wings and Pistons, and have been along for the ride on some close calls with the Detroit Tigers in recent years. However, I think the dream for any sports fan is for all of their teams to be at the top of their game every season, or at the same time, and with that wish came an idea that I envisioned many years ago — the idea of inter-sport trading.

 

Now, understand this about the idea, I do realize it is essentially impossible given the fact that these teams don’t in fact belong to the cities they represent. Owning a sports franchise is a business and all businesses of course are in the business of making a profit. Therefore, even though Detroit has four franchises, they are not owned by the same individual and therefore they would more than likely never be interested in my idea. However, we all can dream right? So here is my dream, the dream of the hometown fan.

 

With the NBA Lottery complete, the Boston Celtics are on the clock with the #1 pick and are in a prime position to remain a contender for years to come. Currently, the Boston Celtics are heading into the Eastern Conference Finals as the #1 seed and therefore in a great place going forward building around guys like Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford. Also in the Boston area, you have a perennial power in the New England Patriots, and even the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins have enjoyed recent success. All four franchises have won the championship in their respective sports in the past decade which is something to be really excited about if you are a Boston fan, and something that fans of other cities may wish to experience themselves.

 

 

In this example, seeing as how the Celtics are in a great spot contending for an NBA Championship, the Patriots are coming off a Super Bowl season and look to be ready to contend for another this season, and the Red Sox early on are hoping to be in the World Series conversation come October but currently find themselves in 3rd place in the AL East. If inter-sport trading were a thing, I would bet many Red Sox fans would definitely entertain the idea of being able to dangle that #1 pick that the Boston Celtics may not have much use for and trade it to another NBA franchise who could desperately use that #1 pick. Now the question is what’s the return for a Boston fan in this deal? Well, suppose the NBA team that receives the #1 pick is the Chicago Bulls. Chicago is rumored to be possibly facing a scenario where they move Jimmy Butler looking to shake their roster up and therefore a #1 pick would help that process. In return, coming off a World Series title, the Chicago Cubs are loaded with talent and perhaps could afford to lose a spare part in their rotation or lineup to give to the Boston Red Sox.

 

So in this scenario, you have the Boston Celtics still playing at a high level with salary cap space and perhaps not much need for a high draft pick at this time and the Red Sox would boost their roster via the return from the Cubs. If you’re a Chicago fan, you just gained a #1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft and potentially still have a very deep roster where such a move wouldn’t affect the World Series chances for the Cubs.

 

 

However, this scenario does pose a difficult issue considering Chicago is one of many cities or states where two or more franchises reside in the same city or state. For example, South siders and North siders may both love their Bulls but will have very different opinions of the Cubs with the White Sox also having loyal fanbases in the area. Therefore, half of the city would not be in support of inter-sport trading.

 

In another scenario that ultimately inspired the idea for me, we have to go back to 2003. My beloved Detroit Pistons were on the cusp of greatness vying for an NBA Championship with a core group that featured Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, and Tayshaun Prince. The lottery balls that year fell in Detroit’s favor landing them the #2 overall pick. However, with LeBron James going #1, the Pistons faced a dilemma of who to take with that pick. Hindsight is of course 20/20 but they definitely struck out with their selection in the long run, but in the short run it may not have been the worst thing in the world.

 

The Pistons went on to select Darko Milicic, and he rarely saw the court during his tenure in Detroit but during his rookie campaign, that may not have been the worst thing. The Pistons had a great starting five and a good group of role players off the bench that seemed to form a perfect team, and it’s possible that even with future superstars in Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony available in that draft, their best chance to win an NBA title in 2004 was with a guy like Darko who didn’t get in the way by stealing minutes from the other Pistons.

 

Darko-2003-NBA-Draft

 

In the short run therefore, drafting Darko may have not been a horrible option, while in the long run it of course looks like one of the worst draft picks in this history of the NBA as Darko Milicic went on to retire from basketball at age 27. However, I think the best scenario would have been to trade the pick because quite frankly, the Pistons just didn’t need it. This is where I drew the inspiration for my idea of inter-sport trading. The Pistons could have found a suitor in the NBA who would have jumped at the opportunity to get guys like Wade, Bosh or Melo and in return another franchise in Detroit could have reaped the benefits from it.

 

Prime example being the Indiana Pacers. The Pistons went on to beat Indiana in the Eastern Conference Finals that year thanks in part to the block heard round the world when Tayshaun Prince ran down Reggie Miller swatting him at the rim. With Reggie set to retire, Dwyane Wade would have been a perfect replacement in Indiana had they traded for our #2 pick. Or imagine the frontcourt of Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal with Ron Artest at the small forward position. Just down the road in Indiana, the Indianapolis Colts were riding high with Peyton Manning winning 3 straight NFL MVP’s from 2003-2005 and went on to win 12+ games in seven straight years beginning in 2003. The Colts went on to win the Super Bowl in 2006 and perhaps back when the Pistons could have traded that #2 pick the Colts would have been willing to ship their #1 and #2 or a pro bowl quality player to the Detroit Lions.

 

Again, the idea of inter-sport trading would never work, I get it. Unless teams became property of the cities themselves or owners bought the rights to every pro franchise in that particular city, no owner would sacrifice his own business by helping another business. But a sports fan can still dream right?

 

 


A Look Back at My “Ten Bold Predictions for the 2015 NFL Season”

Written by :
Published on : March 3, 2016

 

 

 

Back in mid-August, I wrote a piece giving ten bold predictions I expected we would all see happen during this past NFL season. In this article, (which can be found here) I mentioned all of the obvious predictions like, “Who will win the Super Bowl?”, “Who will win MVP?”, as well as some other more “out there” ideas. So with the Denver Broncos winning Super Bowl 50 about a month ago, (spoiler alert: I didn’t get that one right) and thus concluding the 2015 NFL season, I figured now would be a good time to check back into that crystal ball and see how my picks turned out.

 

1. Adrian Peterson wins the rushing title

Result: CORRECT

 

I got off to a good start here as AP led the NFL with 1,485 rushing yards, edging out Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin. While drafting him didn’t help me win my fantasy football team this year, I had a feeling Peterson would come back strong this year after being suspended for much of last season and he helped the Vikings earn their first playoff spot since 2009.

 

2. The New England Patriots will finish 2nd in the AFC East

Result: WRONG

 

Well this took a quick turn. I think what makes this worse is I predicted Miami to win the division. Gross. Let me explain my rationale here though. At the time this article was published, Tom Brady was still set to be suspended for the first 4 games and I figured with Jimmy Garoppolo under center for those games, a 2-2 start was the best case scenario for the Patriots. If that were the case, New England finishes 10-6 instead of 12-4 and who knows what happens seeing as how the Jets also finished 10-6.

 

3. Ray Rice will be back in the NFL

Result: WRONG

 

I took a loss on this prediction as well and I still am a little bit surprised about it, especially once Greg Hardy put an NFL uniform back on. Now I fully understand the severity of what Ray Rice did and I don’t by any means condone it, but after being suspended for all of last season, I figured someone would be willing to take the chance and may have needed a veteran back. The Cowboys made the most sense to me when I made the prediction, fittingly, they wound up being the ones to sign Hardy.

 

4. Jameis Winston and Amari Cooper win NFC/AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year

Result: WRONG-ish 

 

So the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award went to Todd Gurley, and rightfully so as he finished third in the league in rushing yards. However, I feel like I should get half-credit or something because Jameis Winston won the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year at the same NFL Honors Award Show. Amari Cooper had a solid rookie year with Oakland as well.

 

5. Leonard Williams and Landon Collins win AFC/NFC Denfensive Rookie of the Year

Result: WRONG

 

Kansas City corner Marcus Peters won this award by a landslide after leading the NFL with 8 interceptions and helping to make the Chief’s defense one of the best in the league. Leonard Williams was third in the voting, and according to Mel Kiper Jr should have won, so I guess I had someone in my corner.

 

6. The Carolina Panthers will have the biggest increase in wins from 2014

Result: CORRECT

 

By finishing 15-1, Carolina easily had the league’s best record as they narrowly missed perfection during the regular season. Following a dreadful, 7-8-1 record last year, (granted they still made the playoffs in an embarrassing NFC South) I figured at least 11 wins was very realistic for the Panthers. Instead, Cam decided to put up video game numbers and they won 15. Either way, a win for me.

 

7. The Dallas Cowboys will have the biggest drop off in wins from 2014

Result: CORRECT

 

I knew the loss of DeMarco Murray would hurt this team…well I guess the loss of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant for much of the season didn’t help either, but regardless, I knew this team wasn’t duplicating its 12-4 season from 2014. While I didn’t predict 4-12, the Cowboys still had the biggest drop off in the wins column.

 

8. Peyton Manning will retire following the 2015 season

Result: To be determined…

 

Despite Peyton’s best efforts, the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl last month after he had an absolutely miserable regular season. Easily his worst professional season, and one that even caused him to miss a stretch of games late due to injuries. Peyton came back just in time for the playoffs and looked rather pedestrian in the process. However, because of an absolutely dominating defense, Denver made it so Peyton could ride off into the sunset a now two-time Super Bowl champion. The question still remains as to whether he will take that ride or jump back into the saddle with another NFL team.

 

9. Aaron Rodgers will win MVP, again

Result: WRONG

 

After a 6-0 start to the season, the Packers fell flat after their bye week and never really turned it around. Aaron Rodgers never looked like himself. While his stats were nowhere near, say Peyton’s, they weren’t what we have come to expect from him. Again, a 31 touchdown, 8 interception season isn’t anything to sneeze at, but he had his lowest QB Rating since becoming a starter in Green Bay. Cam Newton wound up dabbin’ his way to the NFL MVP Award in what was a fantastic year for him.

 

10. The Green Bay Packers will defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 50

Result: WRONG

 

Ugh, this one is right up there with picking New England to lose the AFC East. First, allow me to defend myself a bit with my reasoning here. Jordy Nelson tore his ACL just days after this article was written, which certainly hurt Green Bay going forward. For Indianapolis, Andrew Luck missed most of the season as well, but frankly they were better off without him (record-wise) as Hasselbeck wound up winning 5 games for the Colts, while Luck finished 2-5 on the year.

 

Overall Record: 3 CORRECT, 5 WRONG, 1 WRONG-ish, (1 TBD)

 

So there you have it. Not the best showing, but with only 90% of precincts reporting (a little election pun for you), I still have a shot to steal one more if Peyton would just make up his damn mind. So help me out, Peyton. Grab a few of those Budweisers you were talking about after the big game, open another Papa John’s Pizzeria, and just enjoy what retirement has to offer: Growing thick beards, Wrangler commercials, and copper sleeves for aching joints. Hey, it’s working for Brett Favre.

 

 


SBS Stadium Series: Chauncey Billups’ Jersey Retirement Night at The Palace

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Published on : February 13, 2016

 

 

Wednesday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills was a very special night for the Detroit Pistons, their fans, and for me personally, with the jersey retirement of former Piston Chauncey Billups. Like all of us here at SBS, I am a diehard sports fan, but I’m also a hometown guy who roots for his hometown teams. Born in 1986, and growing up in the Metro Detroit area, I was two years too late for the Tigers’ World Series in 1984 and too young to really remember the Pistons going back-to-back in the Bad Boys era. Certainly, since then I have enjoyed a handful of Stanley Cups brought home by my Red Wings, some near misses from my Tigers, the Lions made the playoffs a couple times, which given their history is as good as it gets. However, with all of those accomplishments from my hometown teams, my favorite teams, none were as fun, or as memorable, as the ride my beloved Pistons took me and the rest of the fanbase on in 2004.

 

Chauncey was signed by the Pistons way back in the summer of 2002 and was one of the first building blocks to team president Joe Dumars’ championship club. At the time, Chauncey was joining his sixth team in his first six years, but Joe was confident in Chauncey’s ability and said, “The fact that Chauncey chose Detroit as his home validates our feeling that this organization is headed in the right direction. We feel he is a player that can come in and make an immediate impact on our team.” Boy was he ever right.

 

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In Chauncey’s first year with the team, the Pistons reached the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the New Jersey Nets. The 8 playoff wins that year was equal to the amount of playoff wins the franchise had in the past ten years combined. With Chauncey on board, the culture had changed. Joe Dumars put together these misfit toys that no one wanted and gave the reigns to a guy considered to be a journeyman at this stage in his career, a guy that many considered a two-guard and not a true point, and built it into a perennial contender, and eventually a champion.

 

After having the bitter taste of defeat in their mouths all offseason, the Pistons went back to work the next year determined to bring home a championship to the Motor City. Coined the “Goin to Work” era, and led by public address announcer Mason and his constant shout of “Deeeetttroooooittt Baaaasskeetbaaallllll! Detroit was a blue-collar town, entertained by athletes with a blue-collar work ethic feeding off of each other making for some very memorable nights at the Palace, and Chauncey Billups was the team’s leader.

 

Midway through the 2003-2004 season, Dumars added another misfit toy by acquiring veteran Rasheed Wallace in a deal at the trade deadline. A skilled big man who mastered the stretch-four position while being able to bang in the post on both the offensive and defensive end. He had all the tools in his game but was thought to have a couple screws loose, with a hot temper, and a short fuse. According to Chauncey, it took just one practice for this well oiled machine to take on its new component and at that moment he thought no team in this league should be able to beat us. Much like Joe, boy was he right.

 

starting5

 

That summer, the Pistons went on to defeat the star studded Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games in the NBA Finals. Led by who other than Chauncey Billups, “Mr. Big Shot.” Billups would dominate the Lakers going on to win NBA Finals MVP, helping the Pistons bring home their first NBA Championship since 1990. Over the next four years, the Pistons would continue to dominate the Eastern Conference advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals in each of those four years and losing to the San Antonio Spurs in a 7-game NBA Finals series in 2005.

 

While another title would have been great and would have really bolstered their case for any dynasty talk, that six year run of watching my beloved Pistons was possibly the greatest stretch of time as a fan. I am not sure I was ever as invested emotionally in a team than I was with that team. That collection of guys, what they stood for and represented, to actually embrace that they were all just pieces to a puzzle that needed each other to make the final vision complete was so refreshing to see, and it all started with their floor general–Chauncey Billups.

 

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As always in sports, good things must come to an end. For the Pistons, it was a rather abrupt end within a few years of winning their championship in 2004. Free agency began to lure the core away and some business decisions had to be made as players began to be dealt away. The Pistons currently haven’t been back to the post-season since the 2008 season, and attendance at the Palace has gone from the peak years when Detroit was “Goin to Work” to now looking more like a place hard hit by unemployment.

 

However, the memories and the proof that champions once filled these walls are a pleasant reminder when you look up to the rafters. Isiah Thomas said on Wednesday night that when he first got to Detroit there was no tradition, and he would dream that one day he and his teammates would fill this place with championships and retired jerseys. He mentioned that when he and his teammates passed the torch to the next core of guys, it was their responsibility to carry on the tradition before then passing it to the next core of guys. Well add some banners to the rafters they did, not to mention the amount of memories they provided to countless Pistons fans, including myself.

 

So as we honored you on Wednesday Chauncey, let me just say that I appreciated all that you did for the community while you were here, the way you conducted yourself on and off the basketball court, and for so many other reasons, you are my favorite Detroit sports athlete of my lifetime. Wednesday was your night, Chauncey Billups Night at the Palace, but believe me, for myself and I’m sure thousands of Pistons fans that night, it was incredibly special for us too. You will always be a Detroit Piston to us.

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Super Bowl

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Published on : February 4, 2016

 

 

 

Super Bowl 50 is nearly upon us. All I can see in my head is Ace Ventura whispering those magic words that the game is almost here. I love it all: the food, the commercials, the half time show. And sometimes the game is even fun. Not two years ago though. Seattle killed Denver from the first snap. That was one the most lopsided contests I’ve seen in a while. Well maybe the Panthers ripping the Cardinals in the NFC Championship was close a second. Never send a bird to do a cat’s job. Back to the main event. What time is it Ace?

 

 

 

We have the epic showdown of the Denver Broncos versus the Carolina Panthers. A clash of new and old. Cam Newton versus Peyton Manning. The Panthers look solid and seem poised to bring a trophy back to Charlotte. And I like how the Panthers decided to let South Carolina also have a NFL team by cutting the word “North” from their name. That was sweet of them to include their weird little brother. One the other side, we have Peyton. Most would say the greater Manning even if he has less rings than his weird little brother, Eli. That can all change February 7th, 2016.

 

Going into the the big game, we have a three way tie with in the picks with Ryan, Treasure and yours truly. To ensure we don’t end tied, we have each writer also guess the final score. If we are still even, then closest score without going over will be named champ. Standard Price is Right rules. I have the Panthers winning big. I think Cam and the boys will be able to run and that will open up chunk plays through the air or scrambling when the pocket breaks down. Denver’s defense looked great against a one dimensional Patriots offense but that won’t be the same case against Carolina. If I win the playoff picks, I promise to take my girlfriend out to a fancy dinner. Doesn’t that sound nice. Go me!

 

Here is ScoreBoredSports staff picks for the Super Bowl:

 

Super Bowl

 

Wow, everyone has the Panthers winning. I didn’t see that coming. I hope they win so we don’t all look like fools. More importantly, I hope they win by 14 points. Also, no one tell Peyton. It might crush him to find out that no one at SBS thinks he can win even with that killer defense.

 

Conference Championships

Divisional Round

Wild Card

 

And don’t forget about our party we are hosting here in Los Angeles.

 

SB50Flyer

 

 

 


Earning His Stripes: How Al Avila Won Big in His First Off-Season as GM

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Published on : January 23, 2016

 

After winning four consecutive American League Central Division titles from 2011-2014, the Detroit Tigers had high hopes entering last season as they again looked to contend for the division crown. After a 6-0 start and eventually winning as many as 11 of their first 13 games, everything seemed to be on the right track.

 

While sweeping the Minnesota Twins to start the season, the Tigers outscored their opponent 22-1 over the course of three games, setting an American League record of 24 scoreless innings to start a season. An unearned run in the 7th inning of the final game in the series ended Detroit’s string of pitching dominance.

 

 

On the mound, David Price looked locked in to have a Cy Young season, heck with the starts Alfredo Simon and Shawn Green got off to early on, it appeared his own teammates may be his toughest competition. With former Cy Young winner and league MVP Justin Verlander out until June or July, it was a very promising start from the new look rotation.

 

At the plate, things looked just as good through the first couple weeks as Miguel Cabrera was in his usual groove showcasing Ted Williams like numbers, and unlikely heroes José Iglesias and newcomer Anthony Gose were spraying the ball all over the outfield while flashing some leather in the field. For a team that hadn’t won the World Series since 1984, it had the feeling early on that this just may be the year. After four consecutive division titles, fans hoped that the third time was the charm, considering the Tigers made it to the World Series twice in the past decade only to come up short both times.

 

 

But how quickly things can change in this cruel game. Just a month or so later, the Tigers would drop eight consecutive games and fall to .500 for the first time all season. The Tigers would hang around the .500 mark for the next few months before deciding to unload at the July trade deadline. David Price, Yoenis Cespedes and closer Joakim Soria packed their bags late in July as Detroit cut its losses and began to carve out a plan for a quick “reboot” according to then President/General Manager Dave Dombrowski. Vowing this team wouldn’t endure another 15+ year rebuilding process that I witnessed during the bulk of my childhood and early teen years, but instead that this “reboot” would have us back next season.

 

Just a week later, Dombrowski was gone. Said to be a mutual decision between he and owner Mike Ilitch, Dombrowski resigned, handing the reigns to his assistant Al Avila after nearly 14 years with the team. Some two weeks later, the Boston Red Sox hired Dave Dombrowski to the same role and a few months later kicked off the off-season with some blockbuster moves, highlighted in a piece I wrote last month. But what about Dombrowski’s former team? How would the Detroit Tigers do with their offseason? With Dombrowski no longer apart of the organization, were the Tigers still in a “reboot” and ready to make a splash of their own during the offseason with new General Manager Al Avila? The answer, Detroit fans would come to find out, was yes.

 

 

Heading into the offseason, the Tigers had three glaring holes to fill if they had any dream of contending for a world championship, let alone the American League Central. Some of those holes required more than one player to fill them. First and foremost, the starting pitching needed to be addressed. With David Price dealt away at the deadline and Anibal Sánchez having a less than stellar 2015 season, Detroit needed a guy that had ace like stuff. They got that with Jordan Zimmermann, who had been with the Nationals. While some may worry about the decline on his fastball and the fact that he has had Tommy John surgery in the past, Zimmermann can flat out pitch and has a great strikeout to walk ratio. As a backend of the rotation type guy or potentially even a long relief bullpen arm, the Tigers also signed veteran Mike Pelfrey, most recently with the Minnesota Twins. This one was by no means a no-brainer like with Zimmermann and potentially a head scratcher at $8 million per, but these days signing a starting pitcher for less is rare.

 

Sticking with pitching, the Tigers also needed to add a couple quality arms to their bullpen. While the starting rotation didn’t have its best year in 2015, the bullpen didn’t fare any better. Aside from Joakim Soria, who was dealt away in July and maybe Alex Wilson too, the bullpen didn’t give Tiger fans much confidence in the later innings of ballgames. Al Avila made what appears to be a fantastic move by acquiring Francisco Rodríguez, or K-Rod, from Milwaukee for a prospect who many don’t see making it beyond AAA for any extended period of time. So the Tigers scoop Major League Baseball’s active saves leader for the next two seasons for just under $12 million? Yes, please. Avila, also added two more relievers in RHP Mark Lowe and LHP Justin Wilson.

 

The third and final major hole the Tigers needed to fill came after the trade of Yoenis Cespedes. When the Cuban Centipede was dealt away at the deadline, Tiger’s fans knew an outfield of JD Martinez, Anthony Gose, and Rajai Davis was not the answer for 162 games. Very early into free agency, the Tigers brought back a familiar face in an attempt to upgrade the outfield by acquiring Cameron Maybin from Atlanta in exchange for Ian Karol and a LHP prospect. With Atlanta covering $2.5 million of Maybin’s 2016 salary, this move was a low risk, but potentially also low reward. Over the next couple months, fans saw guys like Jason Heyward sign with the Cubs, Alex Gordon re-sign with Kansas City, and hoped that the Tigers would go out and splurge by bringing back Cespedes or another left fielder high on many GM’s lists, Justin Upton. While the familiarity of Cespedes probably had most fans preferring the highly touted 5-tool Cuban, Upton had the potential to add a wide variety of talents to a contending team. Then, late Monday night, the Tigers and Justin Upton had agreed on a 6-year deal.

 

 

Things moved really quick with the Upton deal. It was barely considered a legitimate rumor around much of Major League Baseball, but Al Avila got the final word from Mike Ilitch to go ahead and make the move even though it places them well above the luxury tax range. But as Mr I has always said, “Scared money don’t make money.” He said that right? Well, at any rate, Upton could be the final piece to the Tigers contending in 2016 and beyond. While Upton does have an opt-out clause after year two of the deal, both parties seem to be interested in keeping Justin here for the long haul. Upton brings a bat with great extra base power, a decent walk rate, and can steal you 15-20 bags a year to go along with solid defense in left field.

 

At first glance, Al Avila’s first full off-season as the head man in the front office for the Tigers probably couldn’t have been much better. He addressed every need, even going as far as to get multiple guys at each of the positions, and adding a few other backup spots elsewhere on the diamond as well. What Tigers fans need to understand is they were never in on guys like David Price, Zack Greinke, or Jason Heyward. So to come out with Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Upton and Francisco Rodriguez to fill your biggest voids grades out at a solid A in my book. With the 2016 season just around the corner, the Tiger’s “reboot” appears to be complete and while Rome wasn’t built in a day, Detroit hopes it’s beloved baseball team has been rebuilt in just one offseason.

 

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Conference Championship

Written by :
Published on : January 20, 2016

 

 

 

Football is not stupid. It is unpredictable.

 

 

I came in dead last with my regular season picks, which serves me right since my picks weren’t based on anything other than a false gut feeling about which teams would win games.

 

In the postseason, however, I redeemed my shameful last staff member standing and am now in a three-way tie with Bruno and Ryan. And just when I began to feel like a cool kid, I hit a wall.

 

It was helpful to look at the regular season standings to pick teams in the postseason, but this technique wasn’t so helpful in determining which team would take the Conference Championships. The Broncos and the Patriots are both 12-4 in the regular season, which makes this mutually assured destruction with pigskin.

 

I have no idea who to pick.  Thanks to South Park‘s Eric Cartman, I know the Patriots will stop at nothing to win even if that means cheating and stealing. For some reason I cannot explain, my gut says Peyton Manning will win it. It’s the right thing to do. My boyfriend has appealed to my emotions by telling me that the former Trojan and current QB for the Cardinals, Carson Palmer, is likely to retire this season or the next. He says it would be nice to see Palmer win a ring before his playing days are over. I say of course! He must fight on for ‘ol SC and it would be cool to see. If that were to happen, and if the Broncos win their Conference game, then the Super Bowl would be a battle of the veterans between Manning and Palmer. I’m not a big fan, but football, you’ve now got my attention.

 

It seems that these upcoming Conference games are toughies and promise to be good shows.

 

So who takes the Conference Championships? I’ve called it for the Broncos, but I’m debating wether I’ll change my mind and call Alex last minute and say the Patriots! As a Trojan, I’m going with the Cardinals.

 

Here are your ScoreBoredSports NFL Playoff staff picks for the AFC/NFL Conference Championship:

 

Conference Championships

 

 

Divisional Round

Wild Card

 

 


A Quest for Greatness: A Look Back at How I Won the SBS Staff Picks

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Published on : January 10, 2016

 

About a year ago, I received a message on Facebook from Alex asking me if I would be interested in becoming a writer, or contributor in some facet, for a sports website that he and Bruno had in the works. I eagerly jumped at the opportunity and looked forward to contributing in whatever ways I could. A couple months went by and Alex kept me in the loop as to how the progress on the development of the website was going, and when approximately we would be ready to launch. I anxiously brainstormed some ideas that I thought would be great articles and potential big debates that could catch any sports fan’s eyes and along with the help of everyone else, I’d say we came up with a pretty damn good first year.

 

Without knowing hardly anyone involved with this project personally, there did come a little bit of trepidation on my part as well though wondering a bit, “What if they all think I don’t know shit?” And then of course a bigger nightmare as I get turned into Milton from the movie Office Space and I continue to write articles that never get published and eventually I’m put in charge of rubbing the shoulders of each SBS staff writer as they sit in their cubicles feverishly trying to meet their deadlines. But then I stopped, I took a breath, and said to myself “Relax. SBS doesn’t even have cubicles.” Whew.

 

This past August we decided to come up with an NFL Staff Picks section where we could flex our muscles a bit and show our readers who knows their stuff (or who has the most luck) by picking who we thought would win each game every week. This was it, this was my chance. As an undersized, thin, awkwardly athletic kid, growing up I didn’t have too many trophies that didn’t say the word “Participant” on them, so I decided to take my talents to picking winners instead of being one. It sounds sad, but it’s not all bad.

 

I got off to a hot start but spent the first few weeks looking up to Antoine as he carried the pace for the site. I remained in striking distance however, and by Week 5 I surpassed him. Fortunate to have a few members of the staff get off to some rocky starts, it was shaping up to be a two-man race around the midway point of the season. The amount of 80’s movie themed montages that came to my mind during this season was incredible, and quite unnecessary, as we battled down the stretch.

 

Heading into the final few weeks of the season, I just needed to avoid any sort of meltdown week and I would be ok. It was grind time. I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t shower, I drank a ton of soda pop. I was all over the place. Wound up, tense, anxious. This is how those people that work out at 3:00 in the morning must feel I told myself, this is that “runner’s high” or jolt people get. I of course didn’t take this madness to those lengths, I was not about to hit the gym over this, that’d be just silly. I eventually just took a shower.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 1.53.53 AM
                                                                       This one’s for you Clinton Township!

 

 

At the end of Week 17, after the final whistle had blown on the 2015 NFL Regular Season, we had our first champion. The inaugural SBS Staff Picks season had ended and the title was won by–me. The sub-six-foot kid from Clinton Township, Michigan stood alone atop the leaderboard. Overtaken with emotion, it’s taken me until now to put my feelings to print, and looking back over the past three months of this season, I can’t help but dedicate this title to my hometown. We may just be a Charter Township of under 100,000 people, but we are Michigan’s most populous township and don’t you forget it! It’s like Vince Lombardi always said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” It’s been one heck of a ride, and I enjoyed looking back at how I became a champion of the first SBS Staff Picks competition. Shout out to our sister city in Yasu, Shiga in Japan!*

 

Final Regular Season Standings

1. Ryan (168-88)

2. Antoine (163-93)

3. Bruno (160-96)

3. Joe (160-96)

5. Sandy (153-103)

6. Alex (152-104)

7. Roger (151-105)

8. Patrick (150-106)

8. Michael (150-106)

10. Bryce (146-110)

11. Nick (144-112)

12. Mike (143-113)

13. Treasure (142-114)

 

 

 

* All “facts” in regards to Clinton Township, Michigan are according to Wikipedia and therefore you can take it with a grain of salt.

 

Be sure to check out the ScoreBoredSports NFL Playoff Staff Picks: Divisional Round page to see who myself and the SBS team picked to win the AFC and NFC Wild Card games this weekend.

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Playoff Staff Picks: Wild Card Round

Written by :
Published on : January 8, 2016

 

 

Wow, what a crazy NFL regular season it has been. Tons of surprises on all fronts. Like the Carolina Panthers, who turned out to be absolutely amazing. Meanwhile, their cat-bros up north, my Detroit Lions, started the 2015 campaign off so poorly (1-7) that their above-average finish (6-2) turned out to be meaningless. Unless you count how it probably saved the job of their below-average head coach, Jim Caldwell. Add that to all of these horribly depressing rumors regarding Calvin Johnson’s possible retirement, and we are about par-for-the-course in terms of end of the year misery for us Lions fans.

 

As for the ScoreBoredSports Regular Season NFL Staff Picks, they went about how we thought they would for most of the year. Ryan had about one bad week all season and was never in any real danger of losing the contest. That’s ok guys, we will get him next year. And hats off to you Mr Jaquith. It’s about time for you to start putting those skills to use and get your sports gambling career off the ground.

 

Now that the pain of the regular season has been dealt with, we turn our attention to the time of year when I don’t have to worry about my emotional state because my team is never around for the playoffs. For the ScoreBoredSports NFL Playoff Staff Picks, the slate has been wiped clean and everybody starts from the same place. It’s like an entirely new contest all together. So suck on that, Ryan.

 

It looks like the road teams are getting a ton of love from the SBS Staff and that seems a bit surprising. The only road team that I think is a lock to win is the Seahawks. If you’ve seen them play recently then you understand what I mean. Sorry Bryce, it’s not like I don’t think the Vikings are any good, because I do, it’s just that Seattle has been here before and their defense and QB are playing pretty out of this world right now. And Marshawn Lynch is back at full speed, and running on a fresh set of legs. Prepare for some classic ‘beast mode’ moments. I know it hurts, but it’s ok. There’s always next year….

 

The Wild Card Picks:

Divisional Round

 

Week 17

 

 


Champ and Chump: Week 17

Written by :
Published on : January 6, 2016

 

2016 is only in its first week but it’s off to a very exciting start. From the drama of NFL Playoffs kicking off this week, the College Football Championship game coming up on Monday to college basketball beginning conference play. As the NFL wrapped up its regular season with week 17 coming to a close, so does the Champ and Chump column.

 

So for one last hurrah until next season, we recognize some of the youngest and brightest in college hoops while shaking our head at a big loser on the college gridiron. We celebrate two players, one breaking records, and another chasing some. For one last time, let’s see who wore the crown this week and who wore the frown. The Champs and Chumps!

 

Champ: Draymond Green

Mr Triple Double

 

Raise your hand if you saw this type of potential with Draymond Green when the Golden State Warriors drafted him in 2012…I’ll wait… Neither did I. Following an NBA Championship last year, Green signed a long-term deal worth $85 million and many wondered if a guy like Green was worth such a large contract. With a little more than half of the season left, the Warriors are chasing history sitting at 32-2 and much of it is thanks to Draymond Green. On Monday night, Green finished with his 3rd consecutive triple-double leading the Warriors to a victory over the Hornets.

 

So far, Draymond has seven triple-doubles, only two other players in the entire league have more than one. Averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists a game, Green is chasing a little history of his own as only Oscar Robertson has averaged a triple-double over the course of the season.

 

Honorable Mention:

Christian McCaffery- How exciting is this young guy? Narrowly missing another Champ of the Week performance this year, McCaffrey broke the Rose Bowl all-purpose yard record (368 yards) and led the Cardinals to a dominant 45-16 Rose Bowl win. McCaffrey will have a tough time one-upping himself for next season. A Heisman Trophy may be in his sights.

 

Diamond Stone- The Maryland freshman provided a huge spark off the bench in a win over Penn State scoring 39 points on 10-15 shooting (19-25 free-throws) and 12 rebounds.

 

Brice Johnson- From freshman to senior, Brice Johnson was just as dominant as Stone on Monday night when he led his Tar Heels to a big road win over Florida State. Johnson finished with 39 points and 23 rebounds.

 

 

Chump: Memphis football player Reggis Ball

 Ball can’t hold on

 

After losing 31-10 in the Birmingham Bowl to the Auburn Tigers, senior defensive back Reggis Ball showed an incredible amount of bad sportsmanship when he tackled an Auburn staffer, took the game ball and ran with it, holding it up in one hand, middle finger flying in the other. Just another example of today’s generation demanding the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

 

Ball had himself a fine afternoon finishing with 5 tackles and 2 interceptions, however no takeaways will get more attention than his last, the hit and strip of an Auburn staffer.

 

Dishonorable Mention:

Michigan State football- As I wrote earlier this year, it was a playoff or bust for the Spartans, and while they achieved their goal and the season was an overall success, getting blanked 38-0 in the Cotton Bowl to Alabama was an absolute embarrassment. Making the playoff is a great program builder for Mark Dantonio and company, but it’s going to take a while for these wounds to heal before we can celebrate the season that it was.

 

New York Jets- The Pittsburgh Steelers found themselves in this spot last week when they lost a seemingly easy game against the Ravens which allowed the Jets to pass them in the playoff standings. This week, the Jets returned the favor by losing to Buffalo and eliminating themselves from playoff contention while handing Pittsburgh the final spot.

 

Oregon football- Leading 31-0 at halftime against a TCU team playing with a walk-on at quarterback and their top wide receiver out with an injury, the Ducks were ready to end their season on a high note with an Alamo Bowl victory. Instead, Oregon miraculously allowed the Horned Frog offense to do whatever they pleased in the second half and TCU beat Oregon 47-41 in a triple-overtime thriller.

 

 

Until next time.

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 17

Written by :
Published on : January 2, 2016

 

 

Well folks, it’s been an incredible year making picks for the all the SBS staff. We’re a bunch of smart motherfuckers. Though there was a heated competition and I am currently a distant second, I will make my boldest prediction yet: I will become the ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks Champion. In fact, here is an excerpt of my acceptance speech:

 

 

But the real point here is more exposé than anything. What the hell got into SBS Editor and possible PED user Bruno? Here we are in a two-man race between myself and Ryan, comfortable on our laurels, when all of a sudden this dude Bruno gets the Shining and mounts a ridiculous comeback. In the last five weeks he’s been among the top two in picks, including blowing us all (out of the water) this past week. Sick of it. Someone needs to dig up the dirt.

 

Moving on, the trickiest game on the slate this week for me to pick was the Cardinals – Seahawks matchup, mainly because they’re both damn good.  The game is in Arizona, but there’s very little at stake for the Cards, already having won the NFC west, while Seattle and Russell Wilson were straight up Megachurching everyone in their path before that unfortunate Rams loss (yes, when it applies to Russell Wilson on the football field, I believe “Megachurch” can be used as a verb). That loss makes this game critical for the Seabirds, not so much for the Sandbirds, so I went with Seattle.

 

That about does it for the ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks for this year.  Thanks so much to the readers, we sincerely hope that you made money gambling illegally, using our tried-and-true methods of nonsense.  Here’s to a great end of the NFL season, playoffs, Super Bowl, and hopefully a Roger Goodell Satan-worshipping scandal in the off-season.

 

My New Year’s resolution for 2016:

 

 

Week 17

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

 

 


Champ and Chump: Week 16

Written by :
Published on : January 1, 2016

 

Happy New Year from myself and everyone here at SBS. As we ring in 2016, we make our New Year’s resolutions. Many of us we plan to make the gym a part of our daily routine, or put down our smokes or maybe it’s less drinking. For others maybe we just want to focus on becoming a better person overall, or get more in touch with our families and friends. While that all sounds great for you and me, we’ve chronicled a lot of athletes over the last 15+ weeks whose resolutions should have been to stay on the right side of this list. This week we take notice of a couple guys who outplayed the competition and also find a couple teams who were outplayed. We hit the hardwood a bit too, recognizing a great individual performance and could be on the way to seeing a first for a team in college ball. For the last time in 2015, let’s take a look at the picks for Champ and Chump, and I’ll see you again in 2016

 

 

Champ: Kirk Cousins

 Cousins has the Redskins headed to the playoffs.

 

How good is Kirk Cousins feeling right now? Out of nowhere the Skins have won the NFC East and are looking more and more like a contender every week. Defeating the Eagles on Saturday night, Cousins threw for 365 yards and 4 touchdowns without turning the ball over. Perhaps more importantly, the connection of Cousins to Tight End Jordan Reed (9 catches, 129 yards, 2 touchdowns in the game) has become lethal and seemingly unstoppable. I am not sure many people predicted a division title for Washington this year and I’m sure even fewer predicted a season like this for Kirk Cousins, but two things are for sure, Kirk Cousins is about to get paid and reporters and fans around the D.C. area definitely like that.

 

Honorable Mention:

Isaiah Ford- The Virginia Tech Wide Receiver caught 12 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown in a 55-52 Independence Bowl win over Tulsa, sending legendary coach Frank Beamer out with a W.

 

CJ McCollum- Starting in place of injured Damian Lillard, McCollum just missed a triple-double in a win over the Sacramento Kings. CJ finished with 35 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals.

 

Bryant McIntosh- Northwestern has never made the NCAA Tournament but is off to a 13-1 start and hoping for the school’s first bid. Sophomore guard Bryant McIntosh, leads the Wildcats including a 33 point/8 assist night against Loyola Maryland. McIntosh hit 11 of 14 field goals leading the charge.

 

 

Chump: Bill Belichick

 Belichick wearing his chump face.

 

Bill Belichick showed Shades of Marty Mornhinweg this past weekend, as Patriots’ coach was on the losing end following a very questionable decision to kick heading into overtime against the New York Jets. Belichick decided to play the wind, and trusted his defense to at least hold New York to a field goal, hoping Brady and the offense would then drive down and win the game. Unfortunately for Belichick, his defense couldn’t hold off Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets and they found the endzone on their first possession, ending the game and making Bill Belichick look foolish. I understand that with the new OT rules a field goal on the first drive no longer ends the game but when Tom Brady is your quarterback and you win the toss, go out there and trust Tom Terrific to lead your team to a touchdown on the first drive.

 

Dishonorable Mention:

Green Bay Packers- I keep waiting for the Packers to hit their stride but it appears they may not find it this season. Heading to Arizona and looking to make a statement, the Packers were overmatched everywhere on the field losing 38-8. The Cardinals defense swarmed Green Bay, finishing with 9 sacks and 4 takeaways.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers- In control of their own destiny for the playoffs, Pittsburgh had seemingly one of the easier matchups this past weekend when they headed to Baltimore. The 4-10 Ravens had Ryan Mallett making his first start with the team after being signed December 15, yet the Steelers couldn’t take advantage and now find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture needing help to get in.

 

Manchester United- Winless in their last 8 games, Man U is fading fast. At one point they found themselves atop the table but those days seem incredibly far away. Manager Louis Van Gaal may be on his way out as the club struggles to find a long term replacement for the great Sir Alex Ferguson.

 

 

 


Champ and Chump: Christmas Edition

Written by :
Published on : December 28, 2015

 

Ho, Ho, Ho. The Champ and Chump piece gets into the holiday spirit a bit this week by playing Santa and separating our naughty and nice lists, and yes we’ve definitely checked it at least twice. The bowl season is under way, the NFL is gearing up for playoff action and both the NBA and NCAA hoops are rolling along. So grab yourself some eggnog, some fig pudding, and sit back and enjoy this week’s Christmas edition of Champ and Chump.

 

Nice: Charles Woodson

 

He made just two tackles in a win over the Chargers on Thursday night, but after an amazing career, Woodson played his final home game for the Raiders and is sure to go down as one of the all-time greats. Coined “Mr Everything” during his days at the University of Michigan, Woodson won the Heisman trophy before being drafted by Oakland in 1998. He has been almost a perennial pro bowl corner and safety and went on to win a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers before returning to Oakland to finish out his career in the black and silver. A pleasure to watch on the field, and off it, Woodson has been a leader in the locker room and in the community. For everyone at SBS, we tip our caps to the great career of Charles Woodson.

 

Honorable Mention:

Draymond Green- 22 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists in a win over Cleveland, and NBA Finals rematch that I’d love to see again.  

 

Jamauri Bogan- The running back from Western Michigan led the Broncos to a Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl win over Middle Tennessee State by toting the rock 19 times for 215 yards and 4 touchdowns.  

 

Kahlil Felder- Standing just 5’9″ doesn’t keep Felder from showcasing himself as one of the premier point guards in the country, even though he plays for a small school in Michigan, Oakland University. Felder helped Oakland take #1 Michigan State to overtime before losing a close game. Felder finished with 37 points and 9 assists against the Spartans. Expect to see Felder leading an NBA team in the near future.

 

 

Naughty: Odell Beckham Jr

 

Last Sunday, the New York Giants hosted the undefeated Carolina Panthers looking to put an end to their perfect season while keeping their own playoff hopes alive. All week leading up to the game, there was a lot of trash talk between cornerback Josh Norman of the Panthers and New York’s Odell Beckham Jr. It turned into a very physical matchup on the field that afternoon. Beckham has been accused of some extracurricular activity this season with punching, hitting the face mask area but has also been one of the best wide outs in football. This week he took it too far and was fortunate to avoid an ejection when he threw a headshot at Norman by leading helmet to helmet after the play. Beckham wound up being suspended this week and deservedly so. His actions were incredibly selfish and for a team desperate to win, he put himself and his own personal vendettas over the team’s needs. We can all talk about how he was provoked and taunted prior to and perhaps during the game but you’re in the NFL. Trash talk has been around these athletes since they played high school ball.

 

Dishonorable Mention:

Donald Brown- While he did find the end zone once for San Diego, Brown could only muster 17 yards on 14 carries as the Chargers got nothing on the ground in a loss vs Oakland.  

 

New Orleans Pelicans- What happened to the Pelicans? An up-and-coming team, led by budding superstar Anthony Davis, made the playoffs last year. All of the sudden, they find themselves at 9-20 following a loss to Miami on Christmas. Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans combined to shoot 7-26 with just 9 assists and 8 turnovers.  

 

Hayden Moore- Cincinnati Bearcats’ quarterback had a tough go of it on Christmas Eve in a blowout loss to San Diego State. Finishing with under 200 total yards on the night, Moore threw 3 interceptions and had one returned for six in a 42-7 beat down.

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 16

Written by :
Published on : December 24, 2015

 

Sweet week 16. I’m still in 3rd place with a shot to overtake Antoine. A bunch of jerks behind me. Unless Ryan is unable to get to a computer then the prize is his. Unrelated, would anyone be interested in stealing a computer for me? I’ll pay. The winner of this year’s Staff Picks will receive a pretty dope trophy. Trust me, you want it. This trophy will rotate year to year with the champion. Who knows, maybe even YOU can hoist it. Write us something, join the staff and win next year!

 

I had a solid week with a 13-3 record. Only Roger and Joe (both 14-2) did better. Overall we killed it. It’s almost like we are getting better at this as the year goes on. Wild. I’m going with a few road dogs hoping to keep last week’s trend rolling. I think Washington has a solid shot at Philly. I’ll take Pats, Panthers, Texans, Bears and Steelers. All on the road. I have the Cards at home over the Packers. If AZ can run the ball like the did last Sunday then they should cruise but this is the time of year Rodgers likes to go off. So keep an eye on this one. GB wins big here and they march into the playoffs with some real energy. I’d hate that.

 

Can the Panthers stay undefeated? I’m not betting against them. Even in a divisional game. I see Cam Newton dancing (dabbing?) into more end zones but is coach Ron Rivera going to sit him at some point? To preserve him for the postseason. I mean, he is a running QB. One good hit and that team is in serious trouble. Winning the Super Bowl is more important than going 16-0. But they have the first round bye locked up. And if he sits too long then that may ruin the offensive rhythm. So I don’t even know what the right call is. Either way, they beat Atlanta.

 

I hope to god I don’t finish in 3rd so people stop calling me “Bronze Medal Bitch Bruno.” Here are your picks—

 

Week 16

 

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

 

 


5 Big Winners of the MLB Offseason

Written by :
Published on : December 21, 2015

 

With Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings wrapped up and Opening Day just a few months away, there were a lot of big names on the move and still a handful of marquee players available. The hot stove was blazing the past few weeks, setting up for a very interesting 2016 season. Here are my 5 Big Winners of the MLB Offseason so far. The 5 teams that I think improved themselves the most from last year.

 

 

#5San Francisco Giants 

The Giants have given Bumgarner a lot of help and he is excited.

 

The San Francisco Giants are looking to get back into the post-season after missing out last year. A very successful team over the past decade, the Giants have won two World Series titles under manager Bruce Bochy and still have a very talented team. Led by ace Madison Bumgarner, they added to their arsenal by adding two solid arms in Jeff Samardzija (5 years, $90 million) and Johnny Cueto (6 years, $130 million).

 

The Giants have the potential to have the most talented rotation in all of baseball and may even be the favorites to win the National League West, if not the pennant as well. Veterans Matt Cain and Jake Peavy round out the rotation, with perennial all-star Buster Posey calling the pitches. The Giants also may be interested in signing left fielder Alex Gordon, which would move the Giants way up this list.

 

 

#4Chicago White Sox

 Robin Ventura should be very pleased with how this off season has gone.

 

The Chicago White Sox haven’t made much noise in the American League Central the past few years as they have entered somewhat of a rebuilding mode. Last year, the Chi Sox got only 13 homers from their 3rd base spot, so they went out and sought better hitting from the infield. In a 3-team deal with the Dodgers and Reds, Chicago gave a few young players to get 3rd baseman Todd Frazier from Cincinnati. Frazier is one of the better power hitters in baseball the past couple years, bringing 30+ home runs annually, and will add some major pop alongside first baseman José Abreu.

 

In a previous deal, the White Sox acquired Brett Laurie from Oakland, who is set to play 2nd base. They are hoping he will reach his full potential and be a guy that can find the seats in a hitter friendly ballpark. Lawrie is a reasonably cheap upgrade and Frazier is an absolute steal right now as he is set to make just $7.5 million, and doesn’t hit free agency until after 2017.

 

 

#3- Arizona Diamondbacks

The Greinke signing has been the biggest splash yet this off season.

 

The Diamondbacks needed to make a big move to try and compete with the likes of the Giants and the Dodgers out west, and what a splash they made. Getting potentially the biggest free agent in all of baseball, starting pitcher, Zack Greinke for 7 years in a monster deal. A signing that came out of left field, nobody saw Greinke heading to the desert. Joining Greinke in Arizona will be another quality arm as the Diamondbacks acquired Shelby Miller from Atlanta for former first round pick Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte.

 

While dealing away two potentially great players, the Diamondbacks get potentially an even better player in Miller. He is a legitimate #2 after posting solid numbers with the Braves last year but was very unlucky with what little run support he received. Also, at just 25 years old, Miller is under team control for another few years.

 

 

#2- Boston Red Sox

 Price and Dombrowski: Reunited in Boston.

 

When Dave Dombrowski joined the front office in Boston, he wasted little time in trying to build another championship roster in Beantown. Headlined by the signing of former Cy Young winner David Price, the Red Sox improved their pitching staff immensely. Coming off one of his best seasons with the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, Price signed a 7 year deal worth $217 million but has an opt out option after 3 years. For Boston, they are back into familiar territory looking to win now and they feel they have the pieces to make it happen.

 

Joining Price on the pitching staff, the Red Sox acquired one of the best closers in baseball from San Diego, Craig Kimbrel. Koji Uehara has been lights out in that role for the Red Sox over the last handful of years but with an injury plagued season a year ago, the Red Sox now boast a nearly unbeatable backend of their bullpen.

 

In a trade with Seattle, the Bo Sox also received reliever Carson Smith and starting pitcher Roenis Elias. Smith is a very reliable bullpen arm who posted a 2.31 ERA in relief with a lot of strikeouts. Elias is more of a backend of the rotation guy who doesn’t have outstanding career numbers. He does have five more years of team control for cheaper than what Wade Miley was earning, and for arguably around the same if not slightly better numbers. Bottom line, with the offense that the Blue Jays has in that division, the Red Sox had to get some pitching to be able to shut them down, and took the ace of Toronto’s staff in the process.

 

 

#1- Chicago Cubs

 The Cubs signed Heyward to overcome his former team, the Cardinals.

 

My winner thus far in the MLB offseason has to be the Chicago Cubs. Theo Epstein has done a remarkable job since joining the Cubbies front office. After making it to the NLCS last year, it’s looking like World Series or bust for the Cubs this year. The two biggest acquisitions the Cubs made may be more about who they stole them from and not as much about who the players are. Constantly looking up in the standings to the St Louis Cardinals in the NL Central, the Cubs plucked two very talented players from St Louis to hopefully shake the standings up a bit this year.

 

The biggest splash was with the Cubs agreeing to terms with outfielder Jason Heyward for 8 years and $184 million. A pretty large contract possibly considered a bargain considering Heyward is rumored to have turned down some $200+ million offers to sign with Chicago. The other former Cardinal to join the Cubs is veteran starter John Lackey. At 37 years old, Lackey signs a 2-year, $32 million deal with the hopes of building on his already sound postseason numbers. Coming off a year in which he finished the regular season with a 2.77 ERA, Lackey appears to have plenty left in the tank.

 

A familiar face for manager Joe Maddon also joins the Cubs as former Tampa Bay Ray Ben Zobrist signed a  4-year $56 million deal. While this deal may prove to be a little steep for a utility guy at age 34, Zobrist isn’t your average utility man. He can play just about anywhere in the outfield and infield, and he was a key piece in the Kansas City Royals’ World Series run last year, as he started most of their games after being acquired at the trade deadline. He’ll see a lot time in the starting lineup again this year and may even see some time in the middle infield helping to take over for Starlin Castro, who was traded to the Yankees in exchange for a talented young pitcher Adam Warren. The Cubs are set up nicely with a lot of young talent to contend for many years to come.

 

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 15

Written by :
Published on : December 17, 2015

 

Here we sit on the precipice of week 15. The ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks are almost done for the season and what a fun ride it has been. At least for Ryan and Antoine, who are the only ones who have had a legit shot at the title since the beginning of the year. With 3 weeks of picks left, it’s not likely that Ryan is going to be unseated from the top spot. I suppose he could have a couple of bad weeks and I could miraculously catch up, but this guy just seems to know how to pick winners. He’s a madman who can’t be stopped, and he should probably start gambling on sports.

 

But we can talk about Ryan’s future gambling addiction some other time, right now let’s look at this exciting slate of games. Actually the only game that really looks exciting to me is Panthers at Giants. Mostly because these last fews Panthers games are going to be really suspenseful as they try to go undefeated, but also because it seems like the Giants are finally starting to put it together. Some of that bad luck has turned into late season good luck with that win over the Dolphins last week and they sit in a 3-way tie for the top spot in the abysmal NFC East.

 

There’s also a bunch of garbage matchups, either between good teams who will crush their bad opponents ( Titans @ Patriots, Browns @ Seahawks), or between two bad teams ( Dolphins @ Chargers, Lions @ Saints.) Either way, those will all be hard games to watch, but we’ll watch ’em anyways, because it’s football. And we love football!

 

On to the picks…..

Week 15

 

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

 

 


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