Oh What A Night

Order of the day: first we’ll talk baseball, then college football and then the NFL

First up: Baseball
This game was the most ridiculous, the longest, and the craziest game I have ever sat
through.

papihomer.jpgAnd I had to balance this while watching the oh-so-nerve-wracking gymnastics team finals (USA won a silver…they should have had gold) and Michael Phelps (who was, at least, stellar and I never doubted him) I can’t handle more nights like this one.

Papi hits not one, but TWO homers in the first. We go into the second inning 10-0 against the rangers. Game over, right?

Wrong.

If anything, this game highlighted our bullpen problems and then put them under the microscope. Zink was good for three, then he got rocked. The innings between Zink and Okajima were horrible. Who has a 12-2 lead and blows it to be losing 16-15 in the eighth? Ladies and Gentlemen, our bullpen.

This was Zink’s first game at the Show ever, so I am willing to forgive him and let him have another chance. He was nervous. And we made a lot of errors. That was a sloppy game. That could have been the most embarassing loss in the history of the regular season (we have had some stupid post-season losses that I will not mention here). All I gotta say is thank goodness for Youk. The beastly man struggled earlier when the Sox were hitting like an offensive machine, but came up with not one, but TWO homers in the fifth and eighth. The second of which would prove to be the game-winner.

youkcelebrate.jpg
Here’s the goal for tonight: bring that same offense, but please, please, please have better defense. With the solid southpaw on the mound, I have no doubt that Lester can rebound from the loss to the ChiSox and turn in a dominant performance. Everyone will be tired, I know, but that’s okay, because the Rangers had to stay up for last night’s nonsense too. I told my housemate how long the game was and she said “Wow. How many innings did it go to?” and I replied “Eight and a half.” That is so not normal.

Oh well, we are the Sox, and we did notch the all-important W (which is even sweeter coming off a day where the Rays snagged a beautiful L) I think the absence of Longoria is hurting them and the Sox need to capitalize on this. Perhaps the addition of Byrd (thank goodness for replacing Buchholz) will give the Sox that extra bit that they need to maybe even take back the division.

Speaking of Clay. Look, he’s a young, talented pitcher, but something is not clicking. It might be something small, I mean, look at Okajima. He went from lights out to terrible, and then changed one pitch and started looking lights out again. The big boys know Clay’s pitches. He’s not really throwing that poorly, but he’s getting hit. A lot. So maybe a little trip down to the minors and a little work on his pitches to really get in there and fool a batter and we could possibly have another ace on our hands. Call me crazy, but I have faith in the kid.

And now onto college football…

I just have one complaint to go on: I hate that Ohio State is expected to go to the BCS championship again this year. I’m so tired of seeing them ride their easy schedule to the top only to lose and/or be blown out by a better team. The BCS either needs to go to a playoff system so we can have a real national championship, or at least end the love affair with Ohio State and come up with a way to get the two best teams into the National Championship, even if they do have two losses. As a consumer (my fave team is I-AA and has no shot) who wants to watch good football, I want to see a game for the national championship, not OSU getting their butts handed to them, again.

Finally, the NFL:

Okay Ladies and Gents, football season is fast approaching, and power rankings are in. Here are mine:

  • New England Patriots
    • Not only am I a fan, but no one has come up with an answer for the Brady-Moss-Welker trio and with five versatile and talented backs, that offense will keep defenses guessing
  • San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts
    • These guys are tied, mostly due to injuries. While they don’t keep them out of the running for Superbowl contention, they certainly don’t help.
  • Dallas Cowboys
    • Good until the end…this may be Romo’s year to finally win a post-season game. Maybe.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
    • The human bolling ball and big man tandem of Taylor and Jones-Drew is scary good
  • Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns
    • Tie, again, though the Browns may slip because of injuries. Big Ben looks great this year, and the depth of the Browns is great, not to mention they are hungry for the playoffs after being kept out last year
  • Minnesota Vikings
    • Running backs! And QB Jackson looks a lot better, so teams will have to start paying attention to him as well.
  • New York Giants
    • Despite being reigning champs, a few off-season losses and the dreaded superbowl
      hangover don’t help much.
  • Washington Redskins
    • Don’t laugh, Jason Campbell is the real deal, and he’s only going to get better. Plus the addition of Jason Taylor will only help. And for the first time EVER the Skins have minimal injuries and no key players out at the start of the season.
  • Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints
    • Why a four-way tie? These four teams are the wild cards, each making some moves in the off season that might propel them to greater hieghts or they might just stay middle-of-the pack. Here’s each team’s various wild-cards. Green Bay: Aaron Rogers. It could go either way. As for Seattle, they’ve stepped up the defense, but the offense has been doing some shifting. The Eagles its all about health. If they stay healthy, they stay in contention. Problem is, when are the Eagles ever healthy? Finally, the Saints have beefed up their defense to match what is, already, a really good offense.
  • Houston Texans
    • Their rank would be higher, if only they weren’t in the AFC South
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    • Mostly because the only division competition they face is the New Orleans Saints, if the Bucs stay consistent, they’ll probably be in the playoffs.

The Runners Up
(This bunch of teams probably won’t make the playoffs, but they might be 8-8 or 6-10 on the season, and deserve mentioning.)

  • Buffalo Bills
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Denver Broncos
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • New York Jets
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Chicago Bears
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Detroit Lions
  • Miami Dolphins (I think adding Pennington gave them a big boost)

And the Bottom of the Barrel Teams (lets just call it a “rebuilding year”)

  • St. Louis Rams
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • San Fransisco 49ers
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Oakland Raiders
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