I feel bad even writing anything that will diminish what the Astros did because what they did goes beyond even cheating. This isn’t a pine tar or spit ball scenario or even a guy on second trying to pick up signs; this is a blatant breach of code that borders on disgusting. What they did does not fall into the “game within a game” or “unwritten rules” category and to be honest I think AJ Hinch should be banned from baseball perpetually. When I dove into the stats however, from 2019 and 2017, for some of the core players I don’t see any clear and glaring advantage (Correa may be the exception). In fact the majority of the players had better stats on the road then at home. So this begs to question while egregious how much did the system the Astros implemented actually help?
2019 Home – .306/.372/.608 18 HR 37 RBI
2019 Away - .291/.336/.500 13 HR 37 RBI
2017 Home - .311/.371/.463 9 HR 35 RBI
2017 Away - .381/.449/.633 15 HR 46 RBI
2019 Home – .287/.366/.565 18 HR 47 RBI
2019 Away - .297/.398/.614 21 HR 49 RBI
2017 Home - .273/.366/.509 16 HR 42 RBI
2017 Away - .292/.367/.534 18 HR 43 RBI
2019 Home – .278/.400/.523 16 HR 50 RBI
2019 Away - .315/.446/.663 25 HR 62 RBI
2017 Home - .278/.343/.444 9 HR 30 RBI
2017 Away - .290/.360/.503 10 HR 41 RBI
2019 Home – .323/.404/.630 11 HR 31 RBI
2019 Away - .242/.320/.516 10 HR 28 RBI
2017 Home - .333/.406/.581 11 HR 40 RBI
2017 Away - .301/.379/.525 13 HR 44 RBI
2019 Home – .311/.351/.615 19 HR 62 RBI
2019 Away - .287/.336/.479 12 HR 42 RBI
2017 Home - .285/.322/.470 8 HR 33 RBI
2017 Away - .312/.340/.500 10 HR 42 RBI
Sorry my Lions Brethren but this ain’t happening and nobody should want this to happen. The best chance the Lions have next year and for the foreseeable future is to have Stafford under center. Say what you want, love him or hate him, but he has been a warrior for a terrible franchise that honestly isn’t doing anything to even try and win or produce a winning culture. As a lifer I say this with love, the Lions management and front office has never set this team up for success and as a result they have wasted many a players careers. The Ford family needs to sell, but that is an argument and discussion for another day. The Lions actually made some decent strides last year and up until Stafford got hurt were competitive. Stafford too was on his way to one of his more efficient seasons and was flourishing in Darrell Bevell’s system. Ownership has made it clear the Lions need to win now or ANOTHER new regime will come in not to mention if they trade Stafford they will be on the hook for a cool $32M, so it’s not happening. If you want to make the argument for drafting Tua hoping the early competitiveness turns into wins early in the season and then they can look to sit on Tua until its finally time to part ways with Stafford then I’m all for that but flat out trading him is not going to happen. Not to mention he’s coming off of back issues so his value is at a low point. My personal opinion is either take Okudah and hope last year’s positive steps continue while enforcing your secondary and sign another pass rusher, or trade out of the 3 spot and take a QB you can develop in the mid-late first or second. Stay the course for once.
That one option is staying with the Patriots. We all have to be honest with each other here Tom Brady is not the same guy anymore, yes I get it his supporting cast was as weak as it ever had been but that’s a weak excuse, there are a lot of quarterbacks with weak supporting casts. For instance Ryan Fitzpatrick played for arguably the worst team in the league and had a higher QBR, Ryan Tannehill had a rookie as his WR1 and had a higher QBR, Derek Carr had 0 weapons and had a higher QBR, Kyler Murray a rookie had a higher QBR. Get where I am coming from? It would be terrible to see the greatest QB of our lifetime and potentially ever jet off to SD behind an average O line and look completely washed up for a team that misses the playoffs. It would be sad quite frankly. At least with the Patriots we all know there is a winning formula and you have a great defense. He knows the system better than anybody so even with diminishing skills he can at least win games. Not to mention N’Keal Harry should presumably take a step forward and the staff will sign somebody, they don’t have an option. If they don’t go out and sign a big FA who can take pressure off of Edelman and help them stretch the field all the sudden you are the 3rd best team in the AFC and everyone is riding off into the sunset. This is not news but you aren’t beating the Chiefs or even coming close without another weapon, big weapon, like A.J. Green type weapon. This is why I don’t pay attention to any of the rumors, there is no other option for Brady, he knows and we know it, stay and continue to at least win or go and flame out.
Trevor Bauer has many talents, he is a great pitcher but lately he has been making headlines more for what he says than what he accomplished on the bump. Whether it be attacking the Houston Astros players, coaches, and entire organization or attacking the commissioner whatever comes out of his mouth is pure gold. His most recent statement I am 100% on board with. Maybe I wouldn’t have worded it like he did but the new proposed expansion of the MLB playoffs is flat out stupid. As Bauer said “No idea who made this new playoff format proposal, but Rob is responsible for releasing it, so I’ll direct this to you, Rob Manfred. Your proposal is absurd for too many reasons to type on twitter and proves you have absolutely no clue about baseball. You’re a joke.” So Trevor tell us how you really feel? Love it. I completely agree, first off why does the MLB feel the need to change the current structure. Yes I understand that it all comes down to Money but the MLB is one sport that has a fair and competitive playoff structure. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet the proposed changes are below.
It’s just common sense that there really is no haul you could get that could ever equal the impact and talent that Mookie Betts brought to the table. He is a generational talent that will compete for MVP’s for the next decade. I will say this though, version 1 of the Betts trade was a complete and utter slap in the face to every Red Sox fan on this planet. Version 2 while still not what you’re looking for at least returns Boston some highly regarded prospects that could turn into everyday players for years to come. Believe me I completely understand the Red Sox main goal in this trade was dumping the David Price contract so they were going to get the short end of the stick either way but at least now that have rebuilt their system a bit and have some pieces for positions that are in need. Connor Wong was selected in the third round of the 2019 Draft and while he has yet to play in the big leagues and spent his time last season split between Double-A and Single-A he hit .281 with 24 home runs, 82 RBIs and 24 doubles. This is from a guy who has only been catching for a few years so the potential is there to not only be a catcher of the future but he is athletic enough to move in necessary. Jeter Downs was drafted in the first round of the 2017 Draft and like Wong, has yet to play in a big-league game. He spent most of last year in Single-A and only briefly played in Double-A. Between the two leagues, the 21-year-old batted .276 with 24 home runs 86 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. The belief is that he will move to 2B to be the guy who takes over once Pedroia officially retires. These are promising numbers for young players for a system that was desperate for talent. I have touched on Verdugo before but he has already proved himself to be a really good player, he was actually the Dodgers #2 prospect behind Walker Buehler in 2018 and 32nd overall in the MLB and as a 23 year old in 106 games hit .294 with 12 HR’s 44 RBI’s and a .342 OBP with only 49 SO’s. That is a very impressive hit tool for a 23 year old in a major market and he grades out as a plus fielder. I think version 2 of this trade lessons the blow for the Red Sox Nation a little bit and as is the case with young players you never know how things will end up but at least now the farm system has been injected with some talent and the team is set up to make some moves in the near future, all eyes are now on how Bloom will use that money.
I was listening to the R2C2 podcast this morning (www.uninterrupted.com) and CC Sabathia made a great comment that I one had not heard before and two completely blew me away. With all of the focus these days on Black QB’s and the NFL communities reluctance to accept them as true QB’s why hasn’t the media talked more about Patrick Mahomes being only the 3rd black QB to ever win a Super Bowl? Especially in 2020 when all things considered we are seeing the NFL transitioning from the Bradys, Brees, Mannings, and Rivers of the world to the Mahomes, Watsons, Jacksons, and Wilsons of the world? In theory this was the year of the black QB was it not? We had an MVP, a Super Bowl Champ, and another that could potentially win the Rookie of the Year. It makes no sense and I am curious as to whether this is the media focusing more on Andy Reid and the Chiefs finally winning one or the NFL is just blatantly missing out on a huge opportunity to anoint a new face of the NFL and appeal to the communities that it has continuously clashed with as well as pretends to appeal to? It’s a weird message that I can’t seem to wrap my head around. It doesn’t matter how you feel about the Colin Kaepernick situation but I feel like the NFL missed a huge opportunity to further distance itself from that topic and capitalize on the changing face of the NFL.
I just ran in what I believe was my 6th Half Marathon and while yes I live in Chicago and yes it was absolutely freezing and yes it was snowing and yes there were puddles everywhere I actually ended up running a personal best time. What I was most excited about though was this was the first road race since we had our daughter so obviously I tried to train as much as I could but I didn’t have nearly as much free time as before she was born. It is also not exactly easy to train during the winter in Chicago, and to be honest who wants to go running when the air temperature, not the wind chill, is in the single digits? Nobody, as a result most of my training was done on a home treadmill. While this is not ideal it was the best case scenario for the situation I was in. This is what brings me to the point I want to make with this post. I trained less than ever before during my previous half marathons but what was the main difference? This was the first half marathon I ran since I became a vegan. I could go on for pages about the personal benefits of my diet change but what I have noticed over the last couple months while training for the race was that my cardio levels were much better than ever before and I felt lighter, I felt healthier, I felt cleaner, and In all seriousness I just felt younger. My first half marathon was run when I was 27, this last race I was 37 and I took well over 10 minutes off of my time. You do the math. #govegan
Where do I even start? The loss of Mookie Betts is devastating to all of Red Sox Nation; it is a sad day in the Nation that is for sure. I want to get this out of the way first though, I do not blame Chaim Bloom he was put in a very tough position when he came on board and was hit with some decisions that would immediately define his tenure in Boston. One of those decisions was how to cut payroll and get under the luxury tax threshold. To be honest I blame Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox ownership. Everyone knows this is the situation a guy like Dealing Dave puts you in. He may win you a World Series but in doing so he sets your franchise back years. Now Bloom has come in to clean up his mess and packaging your best player with your worst contract is the painful, yet quick and easy way to do this. What pisses me off is you’re not getting a May or a Lux, or a Ruiz or a guy that projects as a perennial All-Star. A talent like Mookie should fetch you an absolute HAUL similar to the haul the White Sox got for Sale. A Haul that single handily takes your farm system from bottom third to top 10. I understand the Dodgers are taking on the albatross that is David Price’s contract but come on man this is a generational type talent that does not come around often. Mookie should have been the face of the Red Sox for the next 10 years. Don’t get me wrong Alex Verdugo is a really good player, he was actually the Dodgers #2 prospect behind Walker Buehler in 2018 and 32nd overall in the MLB and as a 23 year old in 106 games hit .294 with 12 HR’s 44 RBI’s and a .342 OBP with only 49 SO’s. That is a very impressive hit tool for a 23 year old in a major market and he grades out as a plus fielder. As far as Brusdar Graterol he is a top 100 prospect and was the best pitching prospect in the Twins system and has a 100 MPH fastball so he has plenty of promise but this is Mookie Betts we are talking about. Mookie has multiple Gold Gloves, an MVP, is a World Series Champion and is entering only his golden age 28 season. That does not grow on trees folks.
I was talking with a friend today who said at face value this deal looks awful but you get a few nice pieces and you free up a ton of money. I guess the moral of the story is I am depressed today but I am going to give Bloom the benefit of the doubt and give him a year or two to see how he uses these funds to set up the Red Sox to compete. It is hard for me to say but congrats to the Dodgers, you got a special one and it would not surprise me to see Mookie win at least another MVP and more World Series titles, he is special. There are not many guys in this league that are put even near the same level as Mike Trout but Mookie is one of them.
This is by far one of the best stats I have seen in a long time and it totally shows you the greatness of Mahomes and why teams like my team the Lions are, well, the Lions. I have been a Lions fan my entire life and yes it has been really really depressing and growing up in New England makes it even worse since I had every right to be a Patriots fan but Barry Sanders was my guy and my hero and I have for better or for worse been a Lions fan ever since. So I saw this stat today on Mahomes and what he has done this year including the playoffs when the Chiefs we 3rd and 15+ yards. It is already incredible impressive but what makes it even more incredible to me is that even though the Lions have a top tier QB when they have 3rd and 10 even its a guarantee punt. If I had a quarter for every time the Lions threw a bubble screen to Tate on 3rd and 10 form 3 yards I'd be a part owner with Martha. It is either the bubble screen or a quick dump off over the middle or a well covered slant that goes for 5 yards. The Lions franchise and coaching has just never given their players the chance or put them in a position to succeed. How can you not trust Stafford in that situation? Yes he tends to hold onto the ball to long but give your franchise player a chance to make a play. Anyways the real story of this post is that on 3rd and 15+ yards during this past season including the playoffs Mahomes and the Chiefs were 13-17 for 299 yards and 3 TD's. Outrageous.
Congrats to the Kansas City Chiefs and especially fellow vegan the “honey badger” Tyrann Mathieu. In what Vegas deemed to be the closest Super Bowl in history, the game did not disappoint. On the Chiefs side of the ball what they did in the 4th quarter will, with time, go down as one of the most impressive offensive displays in Super Bowl history. Scoring 21 points in roughly 5 minutes against one of the best defenses in the league is testament to Mahomes greatness and the genius of Andy Reid. Props to that Defense too, talk about getting big stops in big moments. Going into the game all the talk was about the front four of the Niners but it was the Chiefs front that made the plays when they mattered most. I also think Damien Williams should have got MVP. It’s hard when you have the face of the league as the other option but 17 for 104 and a TD and 4 for 29 and a TD is pretty hard to beat not only in this game but recent memory. As far as the Niners go, I feel for Kyle Shanahan. He is such a great coach but at this point in his career people are only going to start looking at those 2 double digit leads blown late. This one wasn’t as bad as what the Patriots did but man, this one has to sting. They have the pieces in place though and the right vision so the future is bright for that franchise. Shout out to Andy for putting a cherry on top of that Hall of Fame career and my condolences to the Chiefs front office for the check they are going to have to write to Mahomes in the very near future!