I think the Christmas season has made me slightly lazy so no full post here just a few thoughts, musings and observations on the world of sport.
NHL – The Maple Leafs are still playing uninspired hockey and are certainly a long shot at this point to make the playoffs. I still write about them, quite regularly at one of the best hockey sites on the net “Maple Leafs Hot Stove”.
NBA – Well, the Miami Heat (whom I just wrote about) are playing some very solid basketball and are now 24-9 on the season and only 2 games behind the Eastern Conference leading Boston Celtics (24-5). I for one can’t wait for the playoff matchup between them.
The Christmas day games were busts, offering the viewer little in actual NBA basketball. If I were a betting man (wait, I am) I would have taken the under on both ABC games and made out like a bandit as there was some awful shooting (especially the Lakers) and lack of interest most of the game. My question is why waste the best matchup(s) on a day when most of the players want to be with their families.
Blake Griffin (Rookie, Los Angeles Clippers) is a beast, a man-child, a – you get the point. He makes Vince Carter (in his prime dunking days) look like Eric Montross. The kid plays above the rim, like way above.
Orlando made some big moves acquiring Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkuglu (yuck) and Gilbert Arenas and while I feel it likely makes them better this season, it’s all window dressing at this point, they can’t beat Boston or Miami in a series and I think they know it.
The Toronto Raptors play hard and are well coached but I don’t mind seeing a few losses as it gets them closer to a better pick in the lottery.
NFL – Michael Vick is the MVP, comeback player of the year and when I start my Madden 11 franchise, likely the QB I will target! Tom Brady will likely win the actual MVP award but Vick is most deserving.
MMA – Georges St. Pierre is the undisputed pound for pound best fighter in the world. He didn’t finish Koscheck, so what, give Kos credit, he hung tough but in the process took one of the worst beatings of his career. Worse for him (Kos) is that GSP said he won’t ever fight him again, tough luck kid.
I love Anderson Silva and the muay thai approach and laser guided strikes but Chael Sonnen just showed us how to beat him – great wrestling, ground and pound and heart. GSP is a superior wrestler (MMA wise) to Sonnen, has shown a better ground and pound and of course has great heart and outstanding cardio.
GSP would take him down, and with his vastly superior BJJ (to Sonnen) would not likely have gotten caught in that triangle choke (that caught Sonnen late in the 5th round). If they fight, I will wager on GSP, hard.
MLB – A lot of people questioned the Jays decision to move our “top” starter in Shaun Marcum for top prospect (and Canadian) Brett Lawrie. I didn’t mind the move and it’s not because I am overly sold on Lawrie (he will be a solid 6 or 7 hole hitter and likely play RF) but we were dealing from strength (starting pitching).
Talent wise I would have ranked the Jays hurlers Morrow, Romero, Cecil and then Marcum. With Kyle Drabek on his way up Marcum might have even ranked 5th at the end of the 2011 season if still with the team. So they were proactive with an eye towards 2012 and beyond, while adding the highest ever drafted Canadian in the confident Lawrie.
I am involved in a minor league draft in my simulation DMB league and the first round is now completed. I now see why MLB has such an amazing product, TALENT TALENT TALENT. There are some unbelievable talents that make their MLB and MILB debuts every season and it is almost a never ending supply. I picked 16 out of 16 (yeah, my team is that good) and here are the results:
Bryce Harper, OF
Dustin Ackley, 2B
Michael Pineda, P
Jesus Montero, C
Mike Trout, OF
Zach Stewart, P
Julio Teheran, P
Martin Perez, P
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Matt Dominguez, 3B.
Jacob Turner, P
Wil Myers, C
Jameson Taillon, P
Matt Moore, P
John Lamb, P
Mike Moustakas, 3B
I was shocked when Mike Trout wasn’t automatically taken after the prodigious Bryce Harper and I think Pineda was taken maybe a full round too early, but when it comes to prospects, who really knows? Zach Stewart probably could’ve lasted another round (maybe two) as his stock took a slight hit this year but the rest of the picks look pretty damn solid.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Moustakas hanging around when my pick came up and I think he will rank in the Top Five in most “Prospect” publications/circles after a massive 36 HR campaign as he was also named the top player in the Texas League (AA) by Baseball America. Possesses massive power, and though some feel he might not stick at 3B, his bat plays anywhere on the diamond.
For those of you unaware the Kansas City Royals are poised to join the elite in the AL Central with one of the strongest minor league systems in the history of the game. Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, John Lamb and Mike Moustakas are just four of the many that are ready to make a contribution at the big league level in the next 3-5 years. Watch out MLB.