Thursday, August 28, 2008

Opening weekend

College football is in the air! There aren't many great matchups this weekend, but after App. State beat Michigan on opening day of last season, you never know what will happen.

There are a couple of great games within the top 25 and a couple good ones outside of the rankings:

Michigan St. @ Cal (-7) [+/-55]
I like Cal at home, and Michigan State has enough offense returning from last year to put some points on the board. Cal and the over.

NC State @ South Carolina (-13) [+/-45]
NC State deserves a little more credit than this, but South Carolina is a much improved team this season. At home, opening day, I like them to win big. South Carolina and the over.

Tennessee (-5.5) @ UCLA [+/-46]
Interesting matchup here. The oddsmakers don't respect UCLA's new coach and new offense. I'm not gonna join the haters. UCLA and the over.

Alabama @ Clemson (-5.5) [+/-46]
Probably the best game we'll see this weekend. Clemson has a lofty expectations coming into the season, and Alabama has that SEC blood running through its veins. Defense and ground game control the tempo. I'm taking the upset in Carolina. 'Bama and the under.

Illinois @ Missouri (-7.5) [+/-60]
I'm not gonna start hating on Ohio State YET, but I can still rip the rest of the Big Ten to shreds. They can't even compete with the mid-level Big 12 teams. Missouri and the over.

and the steal of the week:


Virginia Tech @ East Carolina (+11.5) [+/-50]
I will not vouch for the Hokies' offense until I watch this game. Frank Beamer redshirted QB Tyrod Taylor, the phenom who showed flashes of brilliance last season as a true freshman (to take pressure from competition off of senior QB Sean Glennon), and one of Tech's starting Wide Receivers was arrested for driving drunk or something like that. VT's D will do the job against ECU and the ground game should put up big numbers. I'll be shocked if Carolina puts up double digits.
VT and the under.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A.J. Pierzynski is the dirtiest player alive

So here are my picks for NFL division winners (and why)
It looks a lot like the final standings from last year, but the good teams didn't get worse, and the bad teams didn't get much better.

...except for the Dolphins, but they didn't get THAT good.

NFC East: Dallas Cowboys (Osi Umenyiora, Jessica Simpson)

NFC North: Daaaaa Bears. (Kevin Jones, Brett Favre, Mike Ditka)

NFC South: New Orleans Saints (Jon Vilma, Reggie Bush)

NFC West: Seattle Seahawks (Mike Holmgren, plus nobody else in the division is any good)

AFC East: New England Patriots (Jets, Dolphins, Bills)

AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers (Seahawks/Patriots syndrome...8 wins could take this division, but the Steelers will show off and win 10)

AFC South: Jacksonville Jaguars (the Colts will really win the division though. I just feel bad for the Jags, Titans, and Texans...look for three teams to make the playoffs out of this division again)

AFC West: San Diego Chargers (Denver got better, but not good enough to beat LT and the Bolts twice. 5-1 in the division always helps your chances to win)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Legit Football Preview AFC Version

Just like most Yankee fans, I can not wait for the NFL Season to kick off. Going into this season, there are many valid questions. Can the Patriots get vindication for their Giant choke job last year? Will Brett Favre lead the Jets to the playoffs? Will Matt Leinart take advantage of his free time to perfect his keg stand technique? Let's delve right in.

Predictions by Division


1. New England Patriots (11-5): Yes, I know that they've laid more eggs this preseason than the Red Hook Varsity Football team under the "tutelage" of Josh Mandel (had to). But if Brady is under center for Week One, this New England team has to be considered the favorite yet again. Their defense needs to stand together and adopt their "bend not break" strategy last year.

2. New York Football Jets (10-6): Perhaps 10-6 is a lot to ask of a team that was absolutely unwatchable last season. But without the drama of a quarterback controversy and a significant upgrade under center, this scrappy team will make an impressive little run to the wild-card. Jerricho Cotchery could become the next Antonio Freeman/Donald Driver/Greg Jennings.

3. Buffalo Bills (9-7): Shhhh. Don't tell anyone, but the Bills almost snuck into the playoffs last year. They really are a quality bunch of players, with Marshawn Lynch becoming an absolute specimen. If Trent Edwards can make the leap to good quarterback, don't be surprised if the Bills overtake the Jets this year. Plus, if Paul Pozlusky can play the entire year, their defense will be very underrated.

4. Miami Dolphins (4-12): I like Chad Pennington. Maybe it's because I didn't have to root for him for four years, but I kind of like the guy. However, he is not the one that will make the Dolphins into a team that anyone cares about. It should be a long season in the city where the heat is on, all night on the beach til the break of dawn.


1. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6): The Steelers may have faded down the stretch faster than Sugar Ray in the early 2000s (apologies to Mark McGrath...and fade away), but they have all the tools to make a return trip directly to the top of the AFC Norest. Gotta love Big Ben.

2. Cleveland Browns (9-7): I'm not completely sold on the Browns. Yeah, they have a high flying offense, led by Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow, and Jamal Lewis, but they can't stop anyone at all. Everyone is high on the Browns this year, but I think 9-7 might be a stretch.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (7-9): Another team with a high flying offense (Carson Palmer, Chad Ocho Cinco, TJ Houshmandkdhbfoadhfldjajldfeh) that might get burned by their stationary defense. Also, they are weaker at the RB position than most teams, relying on Chris Perry to carry the major rushing load.

4. Baltimore Ravens (7-9): A look at their offense and it's a who's who in great college football players over the past five years. McGahee. Smith. Flacco. Rice. Unfortunately, Tulsa is not on their schedule this year.

AFC South

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5): You read that correctly. This is the year that the Jaguars overtake the Colts for first place in the AFC South. David Garrard quietly had a phenomenal season last year, the tandem of MoJo and Freddy Taylor are the best platoon in football, and the defense is tough. Plus, I love the fact that their head coach has a name that sounds like a cocktail. I'll take a Jack Del Rio on the rocks, please.

2. Indianapolis Colts (10-6): If Manning is himself, this team will have no problem winning their fair share of games. The X factor here is Bob Sanders. Although I believe him to be grossly overrated as a player, you can't argue that his presence is felt on the field by the defense.

3. Tennessee Titans (8-8): Nobody had a more disappointing 2007 season than Vince the Prince. After having arguably the most successful 2006 of any football player (Rose Bowl, leading the Titans to respectability), he just did not make the leap that everyone expected him to. Is this the year that Mr. Young becomes the stud that he can become?

4. Houston Texans (7-9): Matt Schaub proved last year that he is a legitimately good starting quarterback. But I don't think there are enough parts around him to build a contender. Not yet, at least.


1. San Diego Chargers (11-5): LDT is determined to make up for his early exit in the AFC Championship game. This Chargers team has a lot of weapons on both sides of the ball and are a dangerous team for anyone. I'm concerned about Shawne Merriman's decision to play through his injuries. Hopefully, the guy doesn't end up regretting his decision.

2. Denver Broncos (8-8): The Mile-High City is desperate for a return to glory. Jay Cutler is supposed to make the leap this year, but I've heard that before. I'll believe it when I see it. This Denver team is not easy to prognosticate. They could really have 4 more wins or 4 more losses and I wouldn't be shocked.

3. Oakland Raiders (7-9): While their defense scares precisely nobody, I like their young nucleus of Russell, McFadden, and Ronald Curry to put some points on the board. Oakland fans should be happy with where their team is at right now.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (5-11): Just not enough weapons for Larry Johnson and Tony Gonzalez to hang out with. Should be a long season for the Chefs.

Wild Card Round
JAX over NYJ
IND over PIT

Divisional Round
JAX over SD
NE over IND

Conference Championship
NE over JAX

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

People who need to shut up

Vin Scully - Who does he think he is? What does he think he's being paid for? He's certainly not there to observe that after hitting no more than .277 and as low as .203 in each month from April to July, Jeff Kent magically turns around and hits .410 in August. Well, okay, it's fine that he observes that, but HOW DARE HE attribute Kent's sudden success to the arrival of Manny Ramirez! Slugging up almost 100 points, on-base percentage up over 100 points...the answer is quite clear--his wife told him that if he didn't pick up his game, he couldn't ride his new motorcycle when the season ends. Come on, any 40-year old can randomly double his production 2/3 of the way through the season. It's certainly not thanks to a steady feast of fastballs because Manny is here. Jeez. Stupid Vin Scully! How long has he been doing this? He doesn't know what he's talking about.

Philadelphia fans - What kind of fans boo a player for poor production? What a bunch of ungrateful bastards! Jimmy Rollins has every right to attack them! "They're frontrunners," Rollins said in an interview on Fox Sports Net's Best Damn Sports Show Period. "When you're doing good, they're on your side. When you're doing bad, they're completely against you."

It's like they're paying to see him play or something.

And who can blame Jimmy for saying that?! After hitting .296 with 30 homers, 94 rbis, 139 runs scored, 20 triples, and 38 doubles last year, winning the MVP, he's hitting .263 with 8 homers, 42 rbis, 56 runs scored, 8 triples, and 27 doubles this year. Why on earth would the fans boo him? He's only making $8 million this year. What do fans expect? Him to help them win a pennant? New Yorkers are lucky Jimmy doesn't play there, because he'd REALLY tear them a new one if they dared to boo him.

Umpires - Boycotting the conference call to get the wheels turning on implementing instant selfish of them! All MLB is asking is that they create a completely new rule mid-season with the playoff races heating up and every game meaning something. It's not like the UMPS would be blamed if there is a malfunction in the instant replay and the call gets screwed up anyway. Nobody blames the umps for screwing up calls now, so why would they shoulder the blame if the technology craps out on them?! Baseball games are too fast, anyway. We need some more timeouts to run into a clubhouse to make a phone call or watch replays for two minutes. Who cares if all the nuts and bolts aren't ironed out? The pressure needs to be taken off Bud Selig's shoulders and put onto the shoulders of people who are paid less.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Can I just say that my reactions while watching Nastia last night parred on Bela Karolyi's (if you haven't seen the video, you have to). Who'd a thunk that I'd get so into gymnastics? My favorite part of the night though had to be Bob Costas throwing it back to Al Trautwig by saying "And now let's see the elegant Nastia Liukin and the adorable Shawn Johnson." Adorable? Thanks for the journalistic objectivity, Bob. She's 16 years old. Just throwing that out there. Costas kind of sounded like that creepy 40 year old guy at the varsity girls soccer game that is not anyones father/uncle/teacher. Now that that's done, congrats to Nastia for having one of the most bad ass names ever and for kicking some 4'9" adorable gymnast butt.

Agree with Travis on Misty May-Treanor (I hate Matt Treanor) and Kerri Walsh. I've loved those two for years. Phelps is other-worldly, but people already knew that. I'm making a bold prediction, though. Michael Phelps will win silver on the 100 butterfly. He's still godly, but if people learned anything from the Super Bowl, perfection is near impossible. The Redeem Team (not sure how I feel about that name yet) has the racist Spain team coming up next. In this day, how can a whole entire team of adults think that making slanty eyes in their team picture wouldn't be a problem? Pau Gasol says that he wasn't a big fan of what they were doing, but he didn't speak up. That's extremely easy to say after everything went down.

Finally, good on my favorite tennis player James Blake (journalistic objectivity!) for knocking off Roger Federer yesterday. The changing of the guard is happening, people. Federer will never be the dominant force he once was anymore. And I could not be happier.

The Dodgers are my new second favorite team!

Props to them for bringing the Phillies down to earth, though I'm not sure if I'd rather face them or the D'Backs in the playoffs now that they have Manny--and Nomar is healthy, Loney, Blake, Kent, and Martin are producing...What's next?

Andruw Jones hitting higher than the Mendoza line when he's healthy?


Now the Mets need to just keep winning. Swept the Nats and now the lowly Pirates are up next. This is a great chance for them to garner a significant lead in the division. Philly goes to San Diego which doesn't seem too tough on paper, but you never know.

Maddux vs. Moyer
Young vs. Kendrick
Baek vs. Hamels

On paper it looks like a sweep for Philly, winning two of three at worst (losing the first game). San Diego has no offense, though, and their best hitters are left-handed which is money in the bank for Moyer.

Pelfrey vs. Davis
Martinez vs. Duke
Santana vs. Karstens

Karstens isn't invincible anymore, but it should be an interesting series with all the pressure on the Mets.

As for the west, the D'Backs go to Houston and the Dodgers host Milwaukee, whose eight-game winning streak was just snapped. The Dodgers manage to avoid C.C. and Sheets, but the Brewers are one of those teams that has a bunch of hit or miss pitchers in the 3-5 slots.

Webb vs. Rodriguez
Petit vs. Backe
Johnson vs. Oswalt

I think due to the pitching matchups, Houston has a decent shot to take two games this series.

Billingsley vs. Parra
Lowe vs. Bush
Kershaw vs. Suppan

L.A. benefits from the pitching matchups, each coming off of decent games. The Dodgers' pitching staff has done a great job of limiting the potent offenses, so they're hoping that happens again against a dangerous Breweres squad.

I'll give L.A. two wins in that series, overtaking Arizona to stand alone in first place. But they have to watch out, Penny throws against Colorado in game one of the next series.

I'll check out the A.L. soon. This Minnesota/ChiSox race is very underrated.

P.S. The Olympics are so good. Gymnastics and Swimming are fun sports to watch. Beach Volleyball is epic. Misty May and Kerri Walsh rock. I'll squirt tears if they lose.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Patriots Preview featuring Timbaland

New England Patriots (11-5)
Strengths: Brady to Moss, perhaps? The best team in the NFL last year will not even threaten with an undefeated season, but if Tom, Randy, and Wes are all clicking, the Pats will have their shot at vindication.
Weaknesses: Corners. With Asante Samuel bolting to Philly, the Pats are a bit light at the corner back position. Is Troy Brown still available?

2008/2009 Theme Song: I hear Belicheck is a Police fan. Which is why he enlisted Sting to write their rally song this year.

Every snap you take
Every huddle you break
Every single day
Every single play
I'll be taping you

Everything you say
Every plans you lay
I watch Favre get gray
I watch you pray
I am taping you

Oh Mangini
What did you do to me?
You're such a douche
Your Jets must louche

With no tape, I am lost without a trace
I wish that I could see Tony Dungy's face
LaDanian running all o'er the place
I don't care if you think I'm a disgrace
I'm begging Roger, Roger, Roger pleeeeeeease

Every snap you take
Every move you make
Every single play
Every single day
I'll be taping you.

Monday, August 11, 2008


1) Have I ever ranted about how much I hate the Mets' bullpen? Pedro finally has a good start today (even though it was against the Pirates, I'll take it), and they managed to screw that up. I didn't know the Pirates, without Xavier Nady and Jason Bay, were even capable of scoring 7 runs. Well, against the Mets they are!

2) I hate when the Yankees play the Twins. No matter how good the Twins are, they'll never be able to take a series from the Yankees.

3) I hope I'm wrong about that like I am about everything else. Like this afternoon in the first inning of the Mets game when I told my sister I felt bad for the Pirates because the Mets were going to score 20 runs on them. I'll never take pity on an opponent ever again.

4) Even better for the Yankees is that the Rays have not only lost Carl Crawford to the DL, but now Evan Longoria! Trouble in St. Pete!

5) The Dodgers better destroy the Phillies this series. The Mets will probably have a hard time with the Nationals. Watch out for Florida to take first!

6) The Olympics have been pretty good so far. The swimming races are always intense. There were some epic ones last night where Katie Hoff lost to Rebecca Adlington by .07 seconds in the 400m freestyle then Jason Lezak had a legendary performance to help his relay team (including Michael Phelps) win gold. The difference in that race was only .08 seconds.

7) The storylines have been a bit much, like the Laure Manaudou (French swimmer) drama with Federica Pellegrini (Italian swimmer). Apparently Manaudou fled France to be with her boyfriend, Italian swimmer Luca Marin. Italian government wouldn't let Manaudou train with Pellegrini and Marin, so she went back to France, breaking up with Marin. Pellegrini and Marin started dating and then nude pictures of Manaudou were posted on the internet. Did you follow that? Yeah...excessive.

8) The Mets will not make the playoffs unless their starters go nine innings every day the rest of the way.

9) Yeah, I'm really bitter right now.

10) At least I have the Olympics. I even watched women's Water Polo this morning. The announcers on NBC really know how to instill an unsafe amount of patriotism in viewers.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bold prediction

$20 says the Yankees lose to the Angels today

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The [brutal] life [death] of a Mets' fan

Let me set the stage for you:

It starts in 1999. After 10 years, you finally have a contending team again. You win the Wild Card and make it to the National League Championship Series where you get blown out by your division rival, the Atlanta Braves. They win the series on an extra-inning, walk-off walk. Thank you, Kenny Rogers.

The next year, you've parted ways with an integral part of the team, John Olerud. You're not mad, though. He's a good guy and wants to be closer to home. It's fine. His replacement, Todd Zeile, helps you to the World Series (you avoided the Braves in the playoffs, thank God), but you get blown out by an even bigger rival, the New York Yankees. Names like Armando Benitez and Jose Vizcaino haunt you forever.

The next several years, your players get older, you drain your farm system, and top it off by trading the #1 left-handed prospect in the entire minors, Scott Kazmir, for Victor Zambrano. That's right, Victor. Your front office claims it's a "win now" situation, but you aren't even in first place.

After some mediocre seasons, some Zambrano injuries, and watching Kazmir grow into a #1 starter all the way down the east coast (a trade the Rays will be BRAGGING about for years to come), you finally build your club back up into a contender. You are the favorite in the 2006 season, with up and coming names like David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, etc...

You make it to game seven of the NLCS, Endy Chavez makes "the catch," then flies out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning. Carlos Beltran watches strike three to end the Mets' chances of making the World Series. The Cardinals destroy the Tigers in five games.

Down but not out, the Mets return in '07, a more competitive division, but still have a commanding lead in September. We all know what happened. I don't wanna talk about it.

So to battle "the collapse," the Mets drain their farm system to acquire the best pitcher in the majors, Johan Santana. We're the favorites again!

Santana isn't a bust at all, but his starts tend to be. The bullpen seems to blow every single lead he hands over, and to date, they have blown five saves for him.

Here I am, this is essentially a live blog now. I just watched an inning as difficult to watch as the 1999 NLCS loss, the 2000 WS loss, the 2006 NLCS loss, or the 2007 collapse.

Santana has given up two hits through seven innings. The Mets lead, 3-1. He comes out for the eighth and gives up two straight hits. Jerry Manuel comes out and takes him out of the game. Nobody is thrilled. Why did he do that?

Duaner Sanchez comes in and drills the first batter. Bases loaded, no outs. Slow and painful death is imminent.

Pedro Feliciano comes in and gets a ground ball force out at home. Then Adrian Gonzalez singles through the hole, but luckily the runner on second slides into third and can't tie the game. 3-2 Mets.

Joe Smith comes in, bases loaded, and somehow induces an inning-ending, circus double-play. You'd have to see it to believe it. The Mets maintain the lead.

Due to all of the changes for the Padres, there is some miscommunication that leads to problems with the umpires. The manager and a bench coach get thrown out of the game, it all seems to be unraveling.

In the ninth inning, Scott Schoeneweis comes in to get the save and put down the Padres for good. A line drive to the gap from the first batter is run down by Carlos Beltran. One out. Jody Gerut steps up, who has been hurting the Mets all series. Floater across the plate. SEE YA.

Into the Mets' bullpen to tie the game. Hopefully it hits them all in the head so they can't blow anymore saves for Santana. That's six times this season. He should be 15-7 but instead he's 9-7 with a 2.85 earned run average. This is pathetic. I'm not even going to watch the rest of the game. This makes me sick.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Deadline moves paying off

Every team seems to be benefiting from roster moves made in July, except the teams that didn't make any...coughcoughMetscoughcough.

The Angels and Mark Teixeira are enjoying a nice symbiotic relationship, Manny is producing in L.A., Xavier Nady is on another planet in the Bronx, and Jason Bay is fitting in nicely in Boston. Rich Harden and C.C. Sabathia are doing lovely in the N.L. Central, and even Joe Blanton had a nice start for the Phillies.

But the person who is enjoying his move the most is.........Jeff Karstens! The punk kid who doesn't wear his hat straight has two consecutive gems in Pittsburgh. Last week he threw six shutout innings against the Cubbies, and today he dueled Randy Johnson, throwing a two-hit, complete game shutout against the D'Backs. His only two starts of the year in the bigs, and he's thrown 15 scoreless innings against division leaders, and has yielded only seven hits.

Some players can't flourish in New York, and the way Karstens has started leads me to believe he may be joining Jeff Kent, Kaz Matsui, Bobby Cox, and Homer Bush on the list of players who couldn't cut it in the Big Apple but then made their name elsewhere.

Okay, I was just name dropping with Bobby Cox and Homer Bush...they didn't play well anywhere. You get the point.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Brett Favre's Daily Schedule

7 AM: Wake up DeAnna to tell her that I haven't decided if I'm going to the store today.
8:30 AM: Shower. Opt not to shave so I can keep the grizzled veteran stubble.
9:00 AM: Watch SportsCenter and pray that I get mentioned within the first five minutes.
9:15 AM: Shoot John Anderson a text thanking him for bringing up my name in a completely unrelated story. Suck on that, Milwaukee Brewers!
10:00 AM: Grab quick bagel as I head off to train with a bunch of high school kids.
12:00 PM: Lunch break! Shoot Aaron Rodgers an e-mail that just says "Watch ur back. Brett"
4:00 PM: Arrive home, check voicemail. Hope that Berman and Madden aren't the only ones that have called me.
4:15 PM: Curse as I realize that all 30 voicemails are from Berman and Madden
4:30 PM: Wake DeAnna up from her nap to tell her that I still haven't decided if I'm going to the store today.
5:00 PM: Watch Around the Horn and PTI to see what Woody Paige and Michael Wilbon think about me.
6:00 PM: Contemplate taking the Packers offer to stay retired for 20 million. Stop seriously considering it when Mike Greenberg brings up that I'd be a hypocrite for taking it on the 6:00 SportsCenter.
7:00 PM: Finish my Aaron Rodgers voodoo doll.
7:15 PM: Eat dinner with DeAnna. Pray that she asks me about coming back to the Packers.
7:50 PM: Announce to DeAnna that I will be going to the store.
7:55 PM: Announce to DeAnna that I will not be going to the store.
8:45 PM: Turn on ESPN Classic to see if I'm on it.
9:00 PM: Crank call Mike McCarthy.
10:00 PM: Announce to DeAnna that I have yet to decide if I'm going to bed.
10:30 PM: Tearfully tell DeAnna that I've had a great run, but it's time for me to go to bed.
1:00 AM: Go to bed.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Best trading deadline in recent memory

It's just too bad my Manny BoSox jersey is now retro.

The winners at the deadline this year are all easy to figure out. Cubs, Brewers, ChiSox, Dodgers, Yankees, and Angels.

The losers? Tampa Bay and Arizona primarily, with honorable mention given to Boston, Florida, Philly, and the Mets.

Each winner made vast improvements to its team. The Dodgers and Angels each added necessary power to home run-deprived lineups, giving up minimal prospects to win now. The Dodgers really saved their own asses here, making up for that Casey Blake trade. The White Sox picked up Ken Griffey, Jr., which gives them another left handed power threat. The Cubs and Brewers each added a star pitcher they can keep for awhile. Brian Cashman was a flawless artist in July, bringing back memories of the '06 offseason when he unloaded Jaret Wright and Randy Johnson, and actually getting value for them. Picking up Sexson for virtually nothing, landing Nady and Marte from the Pirates, and then trading for Pudge (doesn't excite Yankee fans off the bat, but Cashman traded Farnsworth while his value was at its absolute HIGHEST)---the Yankees have been given the best possible opportunity to take the A.L. East.

Oh yeah, and when is the next time the Yankees ever have to face Manny Ramirez??

Tampa Bay loses since no moves were made to solidify the offense or bullpen. Arizona loses because they failed to keep pace with the Dodgers by landing another bat. The D'Backs apparently were in the hunt for Teixeira again, but were outbid the second year in a row.

I'm shocked Manny was traded, which is why Boston gets an honorable mention as a deadline loser, but getting Bay from the Pirates limits the losses offensively and upgrades the outfield defense in Bean Town. Bay is right-handed, so the Monster will juice up his numbers (Lowell-esque) , and he can hit 3rd, 4th, or 5th in any lineup. You just need to wonder what this drastic change does to the ball club and the fans. Psychological advantage in the East lays with the Yankees. Too bad for them they're playing the Angels right now and may not be able to act on that advantage until next week.

Finally, the top three N.L. East teams all get honorable mention as losers because none of them made a move to improve the roster. Sure, the Marlins picked up Arthur Rhodes, a lefty specialist from the A.L. West. He wasn't exactly facing Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in those situations. The Phillies picked up Joe Blanton...give me a break. He's pitched eight innings total since the trade, six against the Mets and two against the Braves (rain delay knocked him out), and he's given up seven earned runs to the tune of a 7.88 earned run average. Philly isn't exactly preparing a parade for him. Then there's the Mets, who did absolutely nothing. Hopefully they'll make a waiver move by the middle of August to sure up the outfield or bullpen. We'll see.