Put those champagne bottles back in the fridge, Cleveland. At least for now, maybe forever.
Jon Lester tossed six solid innings, Kris Bryant sparked a three-run fourth inning with a solo home run, and Aroldis Chapman recorded an eight-out save to preserve a nail-biting 3-2 victory in Game 5 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Sunday night.
Going into last night’s game, the Cubs, were on the brink of elimination after a lackluster display in their second successive loss before a hushed Wrigley Field crowd. They had fallen 7-2 in Game 4 Saturday night.
But after this nerve-wracking outing, the two clubs move to Cleveland's Progressive Field for Game 6 tomorrow night, when Chicago starter Jake Arrieta will square off against Josh Tomlin. Hey, It isn't farfetched to think the Cubs can still come back to win their first World Series since 1908. I mean this team won 103 games in the regular season, and have won 3 in a row 16 different times during this past season. One game at a time. Now, they need to win 2 in a row. Then one.
Imagine the angst in Cleveland if the Cubs do force a Game 7 against the Indians, who when last seen in the World Series, lost a deciding seventh game after leading in the ninth inning. The pitching matchup would be Hendricks, the NL ERA leader, versus Kluber, who would be making his sixth start this October, and for the third time on three days' rest.
It's elimination games the rest of the way for the Cubs. Anything’s possible.
Ok Met fans, sit down, take a valium. Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract. Mets are interested in keeping him for four years, preferably around $25 million a season. Multiple reports indicate he wants at least five years, maybe as many as six, while averaging around $30 million a season. Obviously, this is why he and the Mets couldn't agree on a contract extension and why he's looking to get out. He has 3 days after the conclusion of the World Series to make his decision. Everyone already knows he wants more money than the Mets are offering.
Is he worth it? His numbers were still pretty great this year overall, but he hit less home runs (31) than in 2015 (35), and had a lower batting average (.280 in 2016 vs .287 in 2015) and OPS (.884 in 2016 vs .942 in 2015) as well. Is the flamboyant outfielder worth that money he wants for 5 or 6 years? In today’s baseball, once a player reaches 30, teams are very cautious offering more that 4 or 5 year long term contracts. I doubt the Mets will go for more than four.
Yoenis’ future will surely be a hot topic for the Mets this offseason. I think the guy could care less about the Mets. It’s all about him and the money. So, good for him. Look, if he can find a delirious team to give him a six-year deal, he should take it. But, as long as Sandy Alderson is calling the shots, it's not going to be the Mets.
The heavily favored Cubs were shut out last night in game 1 of the World Series. Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber who never pitched in a WS looked like a Fall Classic veteran, setting records along the way as he, coupled with catcher Roberto Perez's two home runs, powering the Indians to a 6-0 win. The Indians are better than people think, but I’m still picking the Cubs.
DraftKings and FanDuel will pay $6 million apiece to New York state to resolve lawsuits alleging the daily fantasy sports companies engaged in false advertising, and illegal gambling operations. Both companies are short of cash, according to people familiar with the negotiations, that they have asked attorney general Eric Schneiderman’s office if they can pay the final settlement in installments, and they have conceded that they are having difficulty meeting their day-to-day obligations. The reason? Because of all the money spent on public relations and lobbying firms that they have employed across the nation to persuade individual state legislatures to legalize daily fantasy game. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo made the games legal in New York, back in August. Don’t worry guys it’s all legal in the Garden State, so help them out with your weekly donations. There gonna need them.
Josh Brown is out as a New York Giant, He was officially released yesterday. The NFL was widely criticized when it suspended Brown for just one game. Commissioner Roger Goodell had promised the league would take a tougher stance against domestic violence after former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice initially was banned in 2014 for two games for punching his now-wife. A tougher stance? Yeahrite!!
If you’re a baseball fan, a die hard, a baseball junkie, your favorite sporting event begins tonight in Cleveland Ohio. The Fall Classic features two teams who haven’t been there in a long while. The Cubs and the Indians. Ok, we all know the story about Murphy the goat 71 years ago. It’s is the longest spell for any team in the four major American sports in between trips to the crowning event, and 108 years since a series win. But the Cubs are not the only ones seeking to reward generations of frustrated fans. The Indians haven’t earned a ring since 1948, the year Harry Truman upset Thomas Dewey to win the presidential election.
For me, the most intriguing story line could be the managerial matchup between two-time World Series winner Terry Francona of the Indians and the Cubs’ creative, risk-taking Joe Maddon. Francona won those titles when he was at the helm of the Boston Red Sox. The first one snapped a 86-year championship drought. Maddon took the Tampa Rays to the franchise's first World Series in 2008.They didn’t win. Both are Manager of the year candidates.
While the Cubs are getting the majority of the attention, don’t count out Cleveland, a team that has been winning with spare parts.
The Indians won the AL Central Division, but their appearance in the Fall Classic is a bit of a surprise, as they limped into the playoffs. Cleveland lost its best hitter, Michael Brantley, for the majority of the season. Shortly before the postseason, starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco suffered a broken finger, ending his season. The team also lost starting pitcher Danny Salazar, out with a strained flexor muscle. He hasn’t been available to pitch so far in the postseason but will be available in the World Series.
What the Indians do have is pitching; led by former Yank and bullpen ace Andrew Miller (I’m still mad they traded him). They have strong starting pitching as well with Danny Salazar (11-3, AL-best 2.75 ERA), Corey Kluber (9-8, third in AL in strikeouts), Josh Tomlin (10-2) and Trevor Bauer (7-3). They can hit as well; Carlos Santana (21 homers), Mike Napoli (22 homers, 67 RBI), Jason Kipnis (16 homers), Francisco Lindor (.303 batting average), Jose Ramirez and Rajai Davis have proven consistent as the core of their offense.
And then there is the Cubs, winners of 103 regular season games. They are are loaded, as anyone watching their entire infield (sans catcher) start in the All-Star Game could attest. Third baseman Kris Bryant led the National League in home runs and first baseman Anthony Rizzo led in runs batted in. Rizzo and Bryant ranked fourth and fifth in OPS (on base percentage plus slugging.)
On the mound, Kyle Hendricks is third and Jake Arrieta eighth in the NL in earned run average, with Arrieta returning strong after the All-Star break. Jon Lester is 14th. Arrieta is third and Lester tied for sixth in wins. A formidable starting trio.
The Indians vs Cubs matchup sounds like an old-time baseball showdown, one where you would expect fans to be dressed in suit and tie, posting their Instagram shots in black and white. Normally being a Yankee fan, I would root for the American league representative, but this time I have to pick the Cubs in 6. What do you think?
Sunday’s 17-10 win by the Giants over the Rams before an enthusiastic international crowd at Twickenham Stadium once again illustrated problems that have plagued the Rams during a slide that leaves them at 3-4. It also illustrates problems for the Giants who are now 4-3.
The Giant defense intercepted four passes, turning two into touchdowns, and terrorized the Rams all game, and that was fortunate, because Eli Manning's offense looked jetlagged and ready for an early tea time. The offense scored one or fewer touchdowns for the fourth time in their seven games (none vs. Saints, one vs. Minnesota, Green Bay and L.A.). Yesterday they showed a measly 232 total yards of offense. Eli threw what should have been a crushing fourth-quarter interception that the Rams' Mark Barron dropped. And it was another game with two minutes remaining that the final score was in doubt.
Odell Beckham caught 5 passes for 49 yards, including a big 22-yard catch on the Giants’ game-winning drive. That 22 yarder was the highlight of the day, as again Big Blue had NO running game. They just can’t run the football. Rashad Jennings did manage a 1-yard touchdown run, but the Giants ran 20 times for 36 yards, a paltry 1.8 yards per carry. Hard to see how running game improves with current O-line. Over and over, they try that same shotgun run up the middle, and get virtually nothing out of it. There’s no imagination in the passing game either. It’s just an endless series of slants, hitches and dump offs to the running backs or tight ends. Eli doesn’t seem to have enough time do do anything else and Mc Adoo doesn’t even attempt to air one out once in a while. And the big 3, just aren’t getting targeted enough and when they do, they often drop passes. Are Cruz, Shepard and Odell over rated?
I’m happy they are 4-3, last year at this time they were 1-6, but I’m frustrated. Always playing from behind and holding my breath with 2 minutes remaining in every game. It’s absolutely maddening. We have the so called 3 best receivers we have EVER had as an organization and half our game plan revolves around checkdowns, slow up the middle runs, and terrible screens to guys like Donell, and to boot Eli is so inconsistent.
I'm not a Mc Adoo hater. I really want to be supportive of our new coach but this game took our offense to a whole new level of incompetence. Boring. Change something, maybe we need another OC, I don’t know. I’m not sure about you, But I for one, miss Tom Coughlin.
Josh Brown will never kick for the New York Giants again. But the stain his domestic abuse history has cast over the Giants as an organization will not easily be wiped clean. The Giants are looking bad here. The NFL looks even worse.
Ex wife Molly Brown told police that Brown had been physically violent with her in more than 20 instances during the past several years. Originally, when this story came out, it was said to be a onetime occurrence. Not true. The NFL along with the Giants agreed on a 1 game suspension. Everyone thought it would then go away, but it didn’t. Apparently the NFL knew more than they admitted.
The league claims their request for more information from the sheriff’s King County (Washington) Sheriff's department was denied. The sheriff's department said it was an open case and couldn’t release details, but told the NFL “this is serious”. Then the league accepted Brown’s original claim of a onetime incident and suspended him the one game, but their new abuse policy is for 6 games. Say what? What happened to the “No More” campaign? The well funded NFL has the resources to have investigated this on their own. They portrayed the sheriff’s office as being obstructive in the matter. All along they knew it was more than a onetime thing and yet did nothing more than the “slap on the hand” one game suspension.
Recently released police documents revealed that Brown admitted he "had been a liar for most of my life." He claimed to have a porn addiction and having been abusive to women all the way back to the age of 7, after being molested as a young boy. He admitted abusing his wife.
Molly Brown indicated that the league was aware of one incident involving her husband. She told police that Brown invited her and her children to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii in January. He said that she would have a separate room. At some point, Molly Brown told police that Brown showed up "drunk and was pounding on her door to let him in. Molly refused to let Josh in, and eventually had to call NFL and hotel security. Josh was escorted away from Molly's room and the NFL ended up having to put Molly and the kids up in a different hotel room where Josh would not where they were." Can the league really claim they didn’t know how serious this was?
The NFL again looks bad. Only a one game suspension for physically and mentally abusing a players wife, yet deflate a football and get four games, lose a first round draft pick and get fined a million dollars. No wonder viewership and attendance is down. The NFL has fumbled again.
With the exception of one game, the Toronto Blue Jays could not make a dent in the Cleveland Indians pitching, and fall in the ALCS four games to one. It was a team effort by the offense, as they managed just a .201 average for the series. They did a poor job of setting the table, with a .283 OBP with no one on, and did a worse job of advancing runners, with a .105 average with men on base. So much for the “he should be shaking in his boots” comment by Jose Bautista about rookie Ryan Merritt .
Meanwhile, the Indians pitching staff demonstrated how to work as a unit. Epically the bullpens lead by MVP Andrew Miller. He was simply “lights out” against the over rated Blue Jays. Miller had 14 strikeouts and three hits allowed in 7 2/3 shutout innings.
The Blue Jays now face the loss of a number of starters including two of their big sluggers, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. It’s possible the window of opportunity for the Blue Jays to win a World Series has closed. Hey I’m glad, I was getting tired of their act.
For the first time since 1997, the Indians are the champions of the AL. This marks the sixth pennant for the Cleveland franchise, which has not won the World Series since the days of Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau and Larry Doby in 1948. The 68-year drought is the second longest in the Major Leagues, trailing only the Cubs, who have not won it all since 1908. Now wouldn’t you just love it if the Cubs could finish off the Dodgers? Wouldn’t that be fun!
Apparently The Jets’ starting quarterback job is back up in the air. If that surprises you, you haven’t been paying attention. The Jets are 1-5.
Immediately after Gang Green’s brutal 28-3 loss to the Cardinals on Monday Night Football, Todd Bowles said Ryan Fitzpatrick would remain the team’s starter. But on Tuesday the coach said he is reconsidering the decision and that there may or may not be a change at quarterback, and that he wouldn’t reveal his decision until today. Fitzmagic went 16-for-31, for 174 yards and tossed a pick. His team put up just 3 points. It’s just the latest in a string of rough performances for the veteran quarterback, who was re-signed to a one-year, $12 million deal this offseason.
He was eventually replaced by a very mad Geno Smith, who ended his only drive by throwing a pick to Tyrann Mathieu. Geno thought he should have been in the game sooner and threw what looked like a tantrum on the sideline after Fitzpatrick’s NFL-high 11th interception on a throw for Marshall in the end zone late in the third quarter. It was a terrible look for a maligned player, who told an ESPN reporter before the game that he was getting antsy for playing time.
The Jets are in deep trouble. They carry 4 QB’s but none appear to be the answer to their offensive problems. Will Bowles go with Smith? I think not, everyone already knows what you get with Geno. Stay with the expensive Fitz, or perhaps think of the future: Mr. Petty and or Mr. Hackenberg? What do you have to lose?
Indians starter Trevor Bauer attempted to pitch with ten stitches crisscrossing the pinky finger on his pitching hand. He started the game by striking out Jose Bautista looking on a full count. It looked like he might be able to give the innings a solid night of work. He pitched around Josh Donaldson and gave up a walk, then got Edwin Encarnacion to line out. So far, so good huh? Oh wait, blood dripping on his uniform and blood on the rubber.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons walked to the home plate umpire and demanded that they look at his pinky. It did not take them long to make a decision, Bauer was done. As he walked back to the dugout, a chorus of cheers rained down from the sellout crowd in the Rogers Centre. Humans have a long history of enjoying blood, guts, and gore at sporting events. Why, the last known Gladiator fight in the Roman Coliseum was 1,600 years ago. Surely society hasn’t progressed much since then, especially in Toronto, where the fans, like the team they root for, have no class.
The good news is that the Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2. The win gave the Indians a 3-0 lead in the ALCS. The Indians are now one game away from advancing to the World Series to play the winner of the Cubs and Dodgers series, and Jose Bautista is complaining again.
Yes once again he’s complaining about the strike zone. Essentially, Bautista is implying the Indians pitchers don’t have to throw him pitches down the middle because the umpires are part of a larger conspiracy against Toronto. As he put it, there’s “circumstances”. While Bautista has a point on certain pitches, this is not something solely going against the Blue Jays. The umpiring at times has been questionable, but for Both teams. This is no way to handle being down 0-3 and just makes Bautista look like he is whining instead of working hard to help lead his team to a victory. We’ve heard the whining before. Bautista can complain all he wants, but he has still struck out six times in the first three games of the series and has done nothing to help his team. These complaints may draw more frustration from his teammates as they may want him to back it up with some production on the field. I say “may” because he’s not the only complainer on a team of rude, arrogant whiners.
The fact is that the Indian pitching has shut down the Toronto hitting, plain and simple. Every time the Jays are embarrassed they blame everyone else but themselves. They’re a team that’s not as good as they think. Stop complaining and start playing like the superstars you think you are. Twitter battles and conspiracy theories aside, Bautista and the Blue Jays will have to overcome these “circumstances” quickly, as Game 4 is set for this afternoon in Toronto.
There were still stupid penalties, bad calls and a nonexistent running game, but this time they won. Yes they won 27-23 in what might be affectionately called The Penalty Bowl. And the star of the show was Odell Beckham.
Things started slowly for Big Blue. On defense they allow a few big 3rd down plays for Flacco and the Ravens, resulting in a field goal. Then on the first play, Eli connects with Odell who then fumbles leading to a Baltimore touchdown, 10-0 Ravens. Fortunately Manning realizes the run’s not working (17 carries for 38 yards on the day) and goes to the air more but cant connect at first. In fact they didn't get a first down until midway through the second quarter. Once he finds his groove, he hits nine different receivers for more than 400 yards. Beckham showed what a star he could be by making big plays in big spots after the fumble then leaving the game with a hip pointer. In his place, Roger Lewis scores his first NFL TD. The OL protection was finally sufficient. Eli was sacked only once. Giants went 4-14 on third down, but converted all three fourth down conversions. Its 10-10 at the half.
Its 17-13 Giants in the 4th, looks like a win right? Well it almost wasn’t. After a Baltimore field goal, there’s the flag. There are bad calls and missed calls in every game. There just seemed to be a lot in this contest (Ravens 15 penalties for 111 yards. Giants 7 penalties for 119 yards) and the pass interference on Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie when he knocked down an attempt that was intended for Breshad Perriman late in the quarter almost turned into the game's deciding factor. It was a terrible call. It set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Baltimore’s Terrance West. That gave the Ravens a 23-20 lead with a little more than two minutes remaining. Eli then connects with the returned Beckham for 66-yard touchdown that gave New York the lead, but 13 was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taking off his helmet while celebrating on the field after his score. And you start to think, oh no, this could hurt. Giants are up by 4. Baltimore advances to the Giants’ 39-yard line, but the Giants appeared to have made a fourth-down stop with 15 seconds remaining in the game. A roughing-the-passer penalty on Giants defensive lineman Owa Odighizuwa (not Odell) , though, gave the Ravens time for three more plays. Tension is in the air. Each pass attempt Flacco, who completed 26 of 48 passes but did not have a touchdown pass, falls incomplete. Finally it’s over. Giants win! Whew!!
Another nail biter. Another game where it’s under two minutes and the outcome is in doubt. And it was all on Odell. Beckham the football player was enough to overcome Beckham the diva/entertainer, and now the Giants are off to London, where he’ll have a new audience anxious to see the show.
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It's a somewhat tongue in cheek OPINIONATED sports blog that promises to cover baseball, football, hockey, basketball, and any other INTERESTING, stupid, and absurd STORY related to sports.