Tag Archives: AL Central

Weekly Nickel 9-10-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Much will be expected from Mark Trumbo (left) and Albert Pujols (right) if the Angels want to make a playoff run.

By Josh Kramer

Football, football, and more football.  How nice was it to have a Saturday and Sunday jam-packed with football action?  Your weekends may be less productive, but more entertaining for the forseeable future.  Not to mention we are nearing the end of the MLB regular season and the Chase for the Cup is on.  Last week was fun, but you better believe that this week will be a good one in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The Chase is finally on.  After 31 races spanning over nearly seven months, the field has been whittled down to 12.  There are ten races left starting at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.  Who will take it home?  We know that Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch won’t.

4.  Strasburg is doneTeixeira could be done.  The injury-bug has struck as the season nears the final twenty games.  It is September and teams are doing all they can to land a spot in the postseason.  The races of note are taking place in the AL East, the AL Central, and of course for the four wild card spots this year.  My matchup of the week takes place in the friendly confines at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles AngelsWho else envisioned the Angels participating in the Fall Classic this year?  I know I am not alone.  Well the clock is continuing to tick and currently, the Angels will miss the postseason entirely.  Fortunately for them, they open up a four-game set tonight against the team they are chasing.  Got to love how MLB scheduling works out at times.

It is make or break time for the Angels.  There is no better way to track down the team you are chasing than to handle business against them head to head.  The Angels appear to finally be clicking at the right time led by the terrific trio of Trout, Trumbo, and Pujols.  Look for the Angels to close the gap by nabbing three of four in front of a very supportive home crowd.  Also, expect the Angels to catch and pass Oakland when all is said and done.  The remainder of the A’s schedule includes the likes of the Orioles, the Tigers, the Yankees, and lots of Texas. Continue reading

Food for Thought 8-7-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Terrell Owens (pictured above) last played in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010. It appears he will be suiting up for the Seattle Seahawks in 2012.

By Josh Kramer

The three-headed quarterback controversy in Seattle is just a minor story compared to yesterday’s news.  It appears the “TO Show” will have another season after all. This time in Seattle.  Yes, the Seahawks have rolled the dice on the 38-year-old locker room killer that is Terrell Owens.

Owens last played in the NFL in 2010 with the Cincinnati Bengals.  Despite putting up solid numbers in Cincinnati, a torn ACL, a riddled past, and old age made him unappealing to NFL teams.  Not to mention Cincinnati went a pitiful 4 and 12 after making the playoffs the year before.  After playing in the Indoor Fooball League, Owens is ready for one final hoorah in the NFL.  The real question is why?

No, I am not asking why Owens is motivated to return to the NFL.  Those reasons are obvious (money).  I am asking why the Seattle Seahawks, a team coming off of a 7 and 9 season, a wild offseason that has included “Beast Mode” going into “DUI Mode,” and a major quarterback competition, is willing to put Owens on a roster with an inexperienced quarterback (all three competitors are fairly inexperienced in the NFL).

I am aware that Seattle finished 22nd in the NFL in passing yards during the 2011 season.  So there is definite room for improvement.  Also, do not forget that Seattle already brought in another troubled wide-receiver this off-season, in Braylon Edwards.  The star power is definitely lacking at the position.  But sometimes that is the best way to go with a young quarterback (See Andy Dalton and A.J. Green in Cincinnati).  A chemistry can form that has lasting power.  Pete Carroll was always a mastermind at managing big egos and star power while at USC.  He still has not proven the ability to do this since coming to Seattle in 2010.

The way I see it, fans in Seattle should be praying for three things in terms of their wide receivers:  Continued improvement from Doug Baldwin.  A healthy Sidney Rice.  Plus, Golden Tate finally living up to the hype he demonstrated in South Bend.  Also they should wish for a fourth thing:  A very low-key and subdued Owens (if that is possible).

There is a reason why the “T.O. Show” has already been cancelled by five NFL teams. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 6-4-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Curtis Granderson (left) and Derek Jeter (right) are two of the main reasons why the New York Yankees are right in the thick of things in the AL East as usual.

By Josh Kramer

Can you say playoffs?  The past month and a half has been defined by playoff action.  Last week though, Grand Slam tennis in Paris was added to the slate.  Not to mention Tiger Woods tied Jack Nicklaus with PGA victory number 73.  I thoroughly enjoyed last week, but this week will be even better as we delve deeper into the playoffs and action at Roland Garros.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  A 20-minute long red flag at Dover on Sunday.  12 cars were involved in the massive collision that occurred on the exit of Turn 2.  Hopefully next Sunday will be a little less eventful at Pocono Raceway as Jimmie Johnson looks to jump Greg Biffle atop the Sprint Cup Series.

4.  It took 8,020 and games and 134 pitches from Johan Santana.  But the Mets finally have a no-hitter.  Both Roy Oswalt and Dustin Pedroia are making two very different types of comebacks.  And after a stellar career in which he posted a career .309 batting average, Magglio Ordonez is officially hanging up the spikes.  Also what is the deal in the East?  All teams are within striking distance in both the AL and NL East, with no team trailing first place by more than 3.5 games.  The matchup of the week will take place in the Bronx.

Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees:  Every team in the AL East is very much in contention at the moment.  Amazingly, all five teams have a positive run differential.  The AL Central currently only has one team with a positive run differential (Cleveland).  But let’s be entirely honest.  Does anyone truly think the Orioles or Blue Jays will be in contention come October?  The AL East has been a three-team race for years now and will continue to stay that way into the foreseeable future.  The Yankees and Rays happen to be two of those three teams in contention each and every year.

As is typically the case in New York, the Bronx Bombers have been dropping bombs all year long, leading the American League in home runs.  Tampa Bay on the other hand has won in a much different fashion, relying heavily on their very talented pitching staff.  David Price and Jeremy Hellickson have both been stifling the opposition since the beginning of April.  For the Yankees, the Captain (Derek Jeter), who actually just celebrated the ten-year anniversary of becoming the Yankees captain yesterday, has turned into a modern-day version of Ponce de Leon, discovering the baseball fountain of youth.  Also, Curtis Granderson’s insane power has been another key to New York’s success.  The Rays swept the Yankees to open the season back in early April.  New York returned the favor by taking two of three at the beginning of May.  Look for Tampa to turn the tables yet again taking two of three, with Hellickson and Price starting two of the games. Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer Four years and 56 million dollars is a large chunk of change.  Back on December 3, 2010, that amount is what the Chicago White Sox offered Adam Dunn, aka the “Big Donkey,” to come play in Chicago.  At the … Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-23-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Not too many people knew who Philip Humber (pictured above) was heading into Saturday. After tossing the 21st perfect game in MLB history, Humber has become a household name.

By Josh Kramer

Saying last week was a great one in sports would be an understatement.  Philip Humber became a household name when he tossed a perfect game on Saturday.  Rafael Nadal finally conquered his Djokovic fears in taking home his eighth consecutive Monte Carlo title on Sunday.  And the NHL playoffs have not been too shabby in their own right.  Want to know the best part?  This week should be even better than last.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Rafael Nadal seems to have regained his “swagger.”  Or at least he temporarily slayed his Djokovic fears in Monte Carlo.  Next stop, Barcelona.  It is no secret that Rafael Nadal, a six-time French Open Champion, is God-like on the clay.  This is his time of year.  A little over a month from now Roland Garros will be the place to be.  Make sure to enjoy the Barcelona stop of the clay-court season this week.

4.  How many of you knew who Philip Humber was last week at this time?  Be honest.  I bet almost all of you know who he is now.  Humber deserves it.  He appears to be a real class act both on and off the field. Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and spring is here.  Come April,  it’s time for baseball season.  There are few minor changes this year to the playoff system, but have no fear, the excitement will … Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer Once upon a time Cleveland was the home of LeBron James.  The King was Cleveland’s savior.  That relationship came to an unfortunate end though and the Cavaliers have been abysmal ever since the infamous “Decision.”  A couple of … Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 8-8-2011

Photo courtesy of latinorebels.com. Can Asdrubal Cabrera (pictured above) come up big for the Indians in a huge AL Central duel against the 1st place Detroit Tigers?

By Josh Kramer

A week defined by NFL Training Camp, gambling issues, and a memorable Hall of Fame induction in Canton has paved the way for another great week in the wide world of sports.

Here are the upcoming events you should be aware of.

5.  Who cares if it appears there will be no NBA season come October.  At least there will be a D-League season and many of our favorite stars will be playing overseas right?  Okay, not really.  But keep an eye out for some crazy moves over the course of the next week as an NBA season continues to look more and more unlikely.  Bruce Pearl, the former Volunteer’s coach is being offered $500,000 by the D-League.  D Wade is considering playing overseas.  This could get awful interesting in a hurry. Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer It is no secret that things have not been great for the Cleveland Indians over the past couple of weeks.  The Tribe heading into tonight had lost three straight games, including seven of ten, plus they sat 1.5 … Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 7-25-2011

Photo courtesy of turnonthejets.com. Bart Scott (pictured above) is one of many people that "Can't Wait" for the NFL to return.

By Josh Kramer

In the words of Jay-Z, “On to the next one.”  Last week was great, but this week has a whole lot of promise as well.  What should you be on the lookout for?

Here is the top five.

5.  Did you know that the Women’s World Cup of Softball is going on?  Well if you didn’t, now you do.  I cannot get over how poorly publicized this event has been.  But it is not too late to tune in and enjoy the fun.  Plus, the US exacted some revenge on Japan Saturday for the heartbreaking loss in soccer last weekend.  Sure Jennie Finch is no more, but the US women are still very good.  Try to tune in to the championship game tonight as the US women look to secure a 5th straight World Cup title. Continue reading