Posted on: February 15, 2009 8:13 am
 

A Mark Martin Rant!

A Really good Mark Martin Rant. Will he win today...

 

I have not regularly watched racing since Mark Martin's final season in 2006. Though, I did catch the 2007 Daytona 500, as I thought it might even be his final chance to win that race. I was devastated when he was passed on the final lap. I thought for sure that the Cubs of NASCAR was at least going to get the Daytona 500 victory that he so deserved that year since he was never able to quite capture the Cup Championship he has always deserved. .02 seconds. That was it, as Harvick passed him by. Second place. Always second place.

 

I remember my unwarranted anger toward his former teammate (former by just one race) Matt Kenseth, for helping push Harvick past Mark. Mark Martin, a true class act. A man that must be a great teammate. A man that would have still helped Kenseth push past Harvick had the roles been reversed. Kenseth goes and pushes Harvick past Martin. He helps Harvick. He stabs Martin in the back. And, so perhaps my anger is still there.

 

Damn overtime rules. Damn green, white, checker. Years ago, that race belonged to Mark. Mark won the Daytona 500. Mark failed to win the Daytona 505. The things NASCAR has done over recent years that have ruined the purity of the races are numerous as they try to keep the popularity they suddenly gained in the '90s. Whether it be green, white, checker or their new tendency to call cautions for no reason just to get the pack closer together and sometimes seemingly just to get golden boys Jimmie Johnson or Junior closer to the front. Or the horrible Chase. A points system that worked for decades is no longer good enough.

 

True, this Chase nearly helped Martin in 2002, but he's been second place before this wretched system ('98, '94, and '90), and he has finished in the top 10 in points in every year he has raced a full season since 1989 except 2001 and 2003. He returned to fourth place finishes in 04 and 05, shutting up all those who thought he was over the hill. And he was winning the standings when his 'retirement' became official in 2007. How I wished he would change his mind. The full time 8 ride was offered to him, and he turned it down. He stuck to his guns.

 

But now he's back. He's starting the Daytona 500 second. Kind of where he left off really. And I am back, paying attention to NASCAR. More importantly, paying attention to Mark's final season. Hoping he can get both, that Daytona 500 victory, and the Cup Championship that he deserves before his racing days, and my watching days, are done.

 

#6 - Forever.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 15, 2009 7:46 am
 

Vote for the Mets to Win!

he Mets team is looking pretty good for 2009. Here's the positional breakdown. Please comment.

 

First Base - I think Delgado will be fine at first base. He probably won't put up the same numbers he did last year, but I could easily see him hit .265 with 20 HRs and 100 RBIs. That's not half bad IMO and I can see him doing even better than that. If Delgado gets off to a fast start I think he'll pull off .275 30 HRs and 120 RBIs.

Second Base - Second base is a bit of problem for the Mets, but although Castillo is way overpaid he puts up average numbers for a second basemen. If he can bring his average up to somewhere in the .260 to .270 range I'll be thrilled. We know he won't hit for power or drive in too many runs. If Castillo starts playing like he did last year we'll probably see him spilt time with Cora and maybe Valentine. I can see Cora hit around .270.  As we saw last year Jerry is not afraid to bench Castillo and bench him often. I wouldn't be surprised if Murphy gets some time at second aswell.

Third Base - We are 100% set at third base with David. He'll bat .300 hit 30 HR and drive in 130 runs.

Short Stop - The Mets need Reyes to play well this season. We know Reyes will bat close .300 hit 10-20 HRs drive in about 60-70 runs and steal 60 bases, but I have one thing I want to see from Reyes this year... show up in September. Reyes seems to be one of the least clutch players on the Mets IMO. If he can bat .300 in September we won't blow the division this year.

Catcher - The Mets will have Schneider and Castro sharing time at catcher this year. I'm fine with this if Castro can stay healthy this season. Schneider can hit for .260 (not too bad for a cather) and Castro can hit for power. I liked the way Jerry handeld the catcher situation last year and I hope he has the same approach this year.

Outfielders - Right now our outfield looks like this: Ryan Church in Right, Carlos Beltran in Center and Daniel Murphy /Fernando Tatis in left. We know that Beltran will give us 20 HRs, 100 RBIs and hit for .280 because he does it every year. We need Church to get off to a fast start to help him forget about his injury problems and go back to playing like he did before. Murphy and Tatis played well last year but there is no way Tatis will be able to do that again. As for Murphy he may be able to hit for a very strong average maybe .300 if we're lucky. We also have some depth in the outfield with Pagan, Evans, Reed, and Sulivan.

Starting Pitching - Our rotation is Santana, Pelfrey, Maine, Perez, Garcia/Redding/Niese/Parnell. I expect Santana to get 20 wins with an improved bullpen and I expect Pelfrey to put up good numbers as well. Maine is a bit of question mark but I think he'll make it out okay. Perez will be more consistant than last year because he will be more consistant without Peterson screwing with his motion. After Peterson left Perez stopped having those terrible games that brought his era up so high. Garcia could potentially be the best five starter in the MLB or being sitting on the DL with another injury. If Garcia is 100% healthy he should easily win the job. Remember only a few years ago he had 17 wins. He won't be that good but I could see him with 12-14 wins which is great for a 5 guy. If Garcia gets hurt then it's down to Niese and Redding. Unless Niese pitches incredible in Spring Training Redding will get the job. I don't love Redding, but he's not a bad 5 guy. He can go 10-10 or 12-9 this season with a little help.

Bullpen - The Mets bullpen is much stronger than it was last year. We got a nasty one-two punch with K-Rod and JJ Putz. For the middle innings we got Green, Feliciano, and Sanchez. I like Green and Feliciano but I'm not a big fan of Sanchez. He hasn't seemed to get it together since his injury a while back.

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets, New York
 
Posted on: February 15, 2009 12:41 am
 

Todays a New Day

Try this again,..Cool

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: Phillies
 
Posted on: February 15, 2009 12:22 am
 

On The Move Blog!

These blogs are dedicted to others blogs...lets spread out and make sure we read lots of them..

 

 

 

The Baltimore Orioles have accomplished what I believe to be their main objective this offseason. They turned over a good portion of the forty man roster. In addition, they extended invitations to numerous non-roster players including the free agents that they just signed to minor league contracts. Among those invitees, I'm sure, will come other roster additions and deletions. In all fairness, I'm not too sure that the O's are any better than at this time last year. But I do know that by the sheer numbers alone, especially at the pitcher position, that the possibilities of success is at the very least, marginally improved.

The 2008 version of the Orioles 40-man roster included 24 pitchers. Eleven of them (45.8%) are no longer on the 40-man roster. The following (with one exception) are no longer part of the O's organization at all. Greg Aquino (Indians ), Randor Bierd (Red Sox ), Chad Bradford (Rays ), Brian Burres (Blue Jays ), Daniel Cabrera (Nationals ), Fernando Cabrera (Red Sox), Rocky Cherry (Mets ), Fredy Deza (Orioles), Jon Leicester (Japan), Adam Loewen (Blue Jays), and Garrett Olson (Mariners ).

The 2008 version of the Orioles 40-man roster included 16 non-pitchers. Eight of them (50.0%) are no longer on the 40-man roster. The following (with two exceptions) are no longer part of the O's organization. Ramon Hernandez (Reds ), Guillermo Quiroz (Orioles), Brandon Fahey (Blue Jays), Luis A. Hernandez (Royals ), Freddie Bynum (Nationals). Jay Gibbons (Brewers ), Jay Payton (Unsigned) and Tike Redman (Orioles).

So, in total, 19 players (11 pitchers and 8 non-pitchers) from last year's 40-man roster are no longer on that roster (47.5%), and 16 of them (40.0%) are no longer with the Orioles at all. But what does it all mean? Is it like a game of poker, where you discard 4 cards and keep your ace in hopes of getting lucky by starting over? Are the pure pitching numbers just masking an unpleasant truth? Well, I think it's both. It creates a smokescreen to hide the lack of talent at the upper level currently, but also enhances the chances of finding the next diamond in the rough. And then, of course, O's fans know that whoever pitches now is only keeping the mound warm for the future young guns who are rapidly approaching prime time. Oh yes, those youngsters. The talented crop that includes first round pick Brian Matusz , Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman . But another pitcher or two may actually steal the limelight. Bradley Bergesen , the O's minor league pitcher of the year, may be ready for the jump to the major league. His teammate, David Hernandez , had an equally good 2008 season and may also transcend into a quality big league pitcher. So, believe it or not, the next generation of Orioles starters (with just Chris Tillman being an exception), may actually be products of the farm system. Matusz, Arrieta, Tillman, Bergesen and Hernandez along with holdover Jeremy Guthrie and Troy Patton , should give Baltimore a solid rotation for the next dozen years.

But what about the future of the everyday players? The Orioles have the best catching prospect in baseball, Matt Wieters , who is expected to make his pro debut sometime this season. Whether his future is behind the plate or at 1B, Wieters' contract will be controlled by the O's through 2015. Outfielders Adam Jones and Felix Pie are controlled through 2013 and Nick Markakis is also signed through 2014. The three outfield positions and catcher appear set for the long term. The infield, however, is a different story. Aubrey Huff , Brian Roberts , Melvin Mora and Ryan P. Freel have expiring contracts after this season. Cesar Izturis , Gregg Zaun and Ty Wiggington were signed for just two years and those contracts expire iafter the 2010 season. Luke Scott has only two more arbitration years before he is eligible for free agency as well. That leaves a lot of holes to fill over the next season or so. The Orioles do have some prospects in the minor leagues, but none are taking the fast road at this point. The only catching prospect, Caleb Joseph, is at least 3 years away, and 1B is weakly represented by Brandon Snyder , Joe Mahoney and Elvin Polanco. The 2B prospects do offer some hope with ex-Reds Justin Turner leading the way. Others include Jerome Hoes and Ryan Adams. At 3B, there are very powerful but only average at best options in Scott Moore , Mike Costanzo and Brandon Waring. The real hope may lie in Tyler Henson or super prospect, 20 year old Billy Rowell. At SS, Blake Davis is below average to date and Greg Miclat is at least three or four years away.

The Orioles will need to determine this season if there is any infield help in the minor leagues. Once the assessment is clear, the club will need to find players via free agency or trades. If the organization wants to take advantage of the tremendous young arms they possess, then fielding a team that can support those arms with both their bats and gloves is imperative. Andy MacPhail has accomplished that already in the outfield. The O's will be able to boast having the fastest outfield in baseball and arguably the best defensive outfield with all three owning cannon arms and gold glove ability. Now it's time to shape the infield as well. With Wieters at catcher, the O's are off to a good start.

Category: Fantasy Baseball
Tags: Baseball
 
 
 
 
 
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