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Cherington has not only done a terrific job of building a roster, he's done it in a way that doesn't mortgage the farm. This guy's good!
7 months, 3 weeks ago on Just When You Thought You’d Never Hear “Grady” and “Red Sox” in the Same Sentence, Ever Again
Bagwell should get the Hall Call eventually. Time will come when the suspicions of voters will give way to the fact that players still had to work for their achievements. The PED era will never be forgotten, but it shouldn't define every player from that period or invalidate the accomplishments of that time.
8 months, 1 week ago on Jeff Bagwell and the Hall of Fame
Your last sentence encapsulates the discussion: Pitchers will throw first-pitch strikes as long as batters remain patient. If/when batters find themselves down in counts quickly for being too selective, or too set in their ways, the pendulum will move in the other direction and pitchers will modify their approach.
Apart from this, can it be said that the Red Sox lineup was able to capitalize because of its depth and talent being greater than that of most opposing bullpens? Whether the pendulum is at the extreme left or right, a talented batting order should generally prevail. No?
8 months, 1 week ago on Pre-Emptive Strike
Well written and cogent piece. If a single-year, seven-figure contract would get Drew back on the roster, there would be little debate. As it appears, we have a good chance at signing him, but I'd feel better if the Sox went in the direction of a Jeff Francoeur, a Gold-Glove OF who is accustomed to platooning. He's 30 and coming off a $7.5 million contract. Adding him would give defensive security to RF if Bradley slumps and Victorino has to move to CF. Nava and Gomes could remain in LF.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks, Too
Every team has its Achilles heel. The Cards should have the ability to contend with anything the American teams throw at them. Barring injury, Strong will have his team focused and in a position to win every week.
That said, I don't think it's a Top 5 team. Maybe Top 10 by virtue of record, but Louisville won't surprise another BCS team this postseason.
1 year, 1 month ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: Louisville Cardinals
@CFBZ Agreed, but it should be amped and ready for season opener.
1 year, 3 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
@BigTeaBone Interesting order. I don't share your confidence in Cincinnati or UConn, but I expect UCF, Houston and USF to be better than you expect.
Just saw the news: academically ineligible. This hurts but not as much as Sims. Coogs have some depth at WR.
1 year, 3 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: Houston Cougars
@aztecfan1 Why do you expect a freshman to start? I think Holder has one CB slot sewn up. What about Whittaker for the other?
1 year, 3 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: San Diego State Aztecs
@CFBZ Sims's departure seems to be the story so far. Here's hoping someone else emerges to give this team a spark.
Paul Petrino has his hands full but, as an independent for 2013, the Vandals have nothing to lose.They can -- and should -- leave it all on the field each week. Those two home games -- Temple & Old Domion -- may seem the only legitimate opportunities for Ws, but just let someone overlook them and Idaho spoils their season.
1 year, 3 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: Idaho Vandals
Truth is the school really needs the visibility. UMass needs to get out of Foxboro though. That'll improve the bottom line.
1 year, 3 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: UMass Minutemen
I'm actually really high on this program. They've got a tough schedule, so I agree that the wins will be few, but the losses shouldn't be as lopsided as last year.
@CFBZ One thing UMass definitely has going for it: the arrival of Georgia State in the FBS.
1 year, 3 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: Temple Owls
@CFBZ Not in Moscow...
The fans like Coyer but he's not a pro set QB.
Regardless of how other teams fared last year, Temple is going to be much different this year. There are no easy wins on the schedule.
@CFBZ Coyer's move is a done deal. Temple wants to stretch the field and his throwing ability doesn't allow them to do it in the manner they want to.
I don't share your optimism about this team's potential under a rookie head coach, with the loss of so much talent, with a wholesale scheme change and with so much travel. ...
@CFBZ Navy is virtually always undersized, no matter the opponent. The flexbone, when executed well, helps overcome that disadvantage to a degree ... but you still have to stop the other team from scoring too.
Keenan Reynolds and Noah Copeland give the Mids some hope on offense, but the D needs to improve because the flexbone, when effective is going to eat up clock but not necessarily run up the score. Navy put up 56 points at East Carolina last year, but averaged 25. The D held VMI to just three points, but gave up an average of 25.6.
As narrow a margin as 0.6 points is, it doesn't add up to Ws.
1 year, 3 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: Navy Midshipmen
Congrats to the seniors for their endurance. A new head coach every season is no bargain.
1 year, 3 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: Arkansas State Red Wolves
@CFBZ I've been to Toledo.... Not sure why they can recruit so successfully, but hats off to them. Of course, recruiting success is measured by pundits at their keyboards rather than players on the field.
Whatever the case, the Rockets were young an inexperienced last season. Look for improvement, but the MAC is a funny conference in that there's seldom a runaway team. The season is often in question until the finals weeks.
1 year, 3 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: Toledo Rockets
@CFBZ There's a good piece over at Crystal Ball Run on the Toledo defensive picture this season: http://www.bloguin.com/crystalballrun/2013-articles/may/mac-preview-tom-matukewicz-leads-toledo-rockets-defense.html
@CFBZ The Aztecs just picked up several defensive recruits that should provide some help even this year. Long runs the 3-3-5 scheme, popularized by Jeff Casteel at WVU (and now again with RichRod at Arizona). Its an effective system but requires the right personnel and discipline. They should be very stingy on that side of the ball in 2013.
@CFBZ I've done plenty of both ... mainly the latter.
1 year, 3 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: Western Michigan Broncos
After my Huskies suffered two upset losses in last two seasons to the Broncos I'm thinking the changes didn't happen soon enough.
Amen ... on all counts.
1 year, 3 months ago on The Sophomore Slump: Fact or Fiction?
@CFBZ Definitely agree re your points. That puts more pressure on him as well. No one expects him to be there in 2014, but if the team doesn't show marked improvement his next gig may not have the visibility he might be hoping for.
1 year, 4 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: WKU Hilltoppers
@CFBZ It's hard not to take interest in this situation, i.e., Petrino. I liken it to Mike Leach rolling into Pullman last season: there's a lot of anticipation for an offensive outburst.
I admire Chad's candor too about the fans' opinion of Petrino. I'm not so quick to offer him a pass on his many past transgressions, but I will be watching the scoreboard when the Hilltoppers are playing each week.
Sigh ... Just no love for the Zips!
1 year, 4 months ago on MAC Preview: The Crystal Ball Run staff makes their conference championship picks
@The Saturday Edge Never count out RichRod and intangibles my friend!
1 year, 4 months ago on CFB Roundtable: Most Intriguing Storylines for 2013
@CFBZ I think the Ducks will come up a little short this year w/o Kelly. It's not just about his coaching but his persona too.
@The Saturday Edge The advantage for RichRod is he's a year on in his transformation on the program. Trust me, he didn't have the highest level recruits @ WV. With him it's about the system, which he could never sell in Ann Arbor.
@CFBZ My best guess: Mora and RichRod. Graham and Leach are a year behind at least.
@CFBZ I agree regarding Kiffin, or USC in general. With so many Pac-12 teams on the rise -- or showing promise for improvement -- the Trojans don't seem enjoy the dominance they've had for so long. I don't think Pat Hayden will let the program slip too far, so Kiffin probably has a short leash.
Not denying the effect of injuries last season, but Ohio just lost momentum and couldn't regain it.
1 year, 4 months ago on 2013 Pre-Season Preview: Ohio Bobcats
Holmes hasn't received much love among the fans yet, but he has a good football pedigree. He attended Mater Dei HS and started three seasons at USC. He was an Academic All American candidate last year (already earned his master's degree) and one of six Rimington Trophy finalists. That's no assurance of NFL success ... but it's worth a little patience.
1 year, 4 months ago on Colts Offseason Notebook: The Rookies
I'd take even one Madden NFL cover season out of Williams -- or any seventh rounder ... à la Peyton Hillis.
1 year, 4 months ago on What to Expect 2013: Kerwynn Williams and Justice Cunningham
Did he have any "issues" at UT Martin?
1 year, 4 months ago on All-22 Analysis: Scouting Montori Hughes
@cfbz What are chances we could see a defensive player claim Heisman in 2013?
1 year, 4 months ago on CFB Roundtable: Darkhorse Heisman Candidates
@ABlueColt Agreed. Shipley's performance last year was a benefit -- and he did win the Rimington Trophy at Penn -- State but he was a seventh rounder and was cut by both Pittsburgh and Philly (2x). Time will judge this move. At this point it's not one that I would have made, but it's not a blockbuster ... and I don't have as many facts as Grigson. Let's pay attention to early reports on Holmes this weekend.
1 year, 4 months ago on Colts trade C A.Q. Shipley for conditional draft pick
Appreciate the research and analysis. Here's hoping for many more examples in blue and white to choose from in the future.
1 year, 4 months ago on An All-22 Examination of Ricky Jean-Francois
Boyett supposedly has great instincts and field intelligence -- and a high motor, plus he has played through injury. Success is predicated more by passion and will than physical attributes. I like the pick.
1 year, 4 months ago on What to Expect 2013: John Boyett
Sheppard was obviously expendable to Bills too. His stats were better ... but Buffalo and Indy defenses are not side by side comparisons. At worst this trade is a wash for Colts.
1 year, 4 months ago on Colts trade OLB Jerry Hughes to Buffalo for LB Kelvin Sheppard
@CFBZHead scratcher. Surprised Cincy hired a coach that has never recruited in the north.
1 year, 9 months ago on Tommy Tuberville Headed Back East
@CFBZ Yep ... that's what I mean.
1 year, 9 months ago on Tennessee Settles for Butch Jones | December | 2012 Articles
@CFBZ LOL! Definitely! ... except people virtually everywhere else call it the SEC superiority complex.
@CFBZ How to put this concisely...? The sense of entitlement is really annoying to me today.
@CFBZ I don't believe Gruden was a serious candidate, or Gundy for that matter. The former is having too much fun on TV; the latter has it very good at his alma mater.
I understand that Vols fans would like to have a more high profile name, but stop judging negatively just because of his previous coaching jobs. Urban Meyer and Nick Saban one coached in the MAC. They earned their way up; Jones deserves the same opportunity.
@CFBZ It's a general comment. Why would an apologetic post be needed if it weren't the case?
Jones has earned respect elsewhere.
Tennessee had come up empty in the hiring process thus far despite canning Derek Dooley before the end of the regular season. The Vols could do much worse than Butch Jones.
Why is it that anyone or anything coming out of the Big East is automatically tainted or second rate? Butch Jones is a successful coach who deserves an opportunity to prove his worth.