--Less than 2 weeks after Melky Cabrera was suspended for violation of the league's substance abuse policy MLB announced that Rueben-esque right-hander Bartolo Colon was also banned for 50 games after testing positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs causing one to wonder who should be more embarrassed MLB or the Steriod makers?
Bartolo Colon, one of the rare instances of a fat guy with an even fatter guy struggling to get out...Not to mention another case of knowing those D-cups weren't real!
--In other pitching notes former Red Sox malcontent Josh Beckett lost his first outing in Dodger Blue thereby lowering his team's record in his starts this year to 7-15 including a disatrous 2-11 going back to the end of May. Beckett was shown after the game answering reporters questions in the L.A. lockerroom while tucking into a plate of chicken with a Heineken chaser...and somewhere a tear rolled down Big Papi's face...And finally in Calgary, Alberta an argument over the Toronto Blue Jays pitching ended in the death of one patron and the arrest on manslaughter of another making me glad on yet another level that I can't name a member of the Blue Jays staff. I mean the Tigers acquisition of Anibal Sanchez (6.33 ERA, 1.85 WHIP in 5 starts) I could see, but Toronto?
Now this is the kinda (performance) enhancement I can condone...
--Moving to the NFL I thought the medical community had eliminated the occurence of "dropsy" then I saw Terrell Owens in the Seahawks third preseason game. I hadn't seen that many balls hit the ground since the lockerroom scene in Coccoon earning Owens his immediate release. Meanwhile former NC State/Wisconsin star Russell Wilson still managed to win the QB job over Matt Flynn with a 13-19, 185 yd., 2 TD performance. Consider Wilson, who also had runs in that game of 31 and 27 yards, a deep sleeper, 3rd QB with decent upside in your fantasy drafts. Also note with Owens out of the picture, Sidney Rice slow to come back from two shoulder surgeries and Golden Tate still underachieving Kellen Winslow might be the most attractive option for Wilson in this passing game. Seattle is not gonna light it up through the air, but Winslow did manage to average around 73-800-4 the last 3 yearts in a similiarly constructed Tampa Bay attack. Second TE Zach Miller is questionable with concussion concerns and RBs Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington and Michael Robinson combined for less the 50 receptions all of last year meaning Winslow should be Wilson's check-down guy. He's currently rated TE20 by Yahoo, but with his still considerable athleticism and RotoWire's comment that Seattle has been specifically targeting the TE position more this preseason he could easily exceed that projection and be a nice TE2 for owners who don't grab one of the Three G's (Gronkowski, Graham, Gates) early.
Something tells me this ain't gonna be an easy job this year...
--In more Supermarket shenanigans I noticed this product on the shelf
and the Tosh.0 bit "How many jokes can you make in 30 seconds" came to mind so here goes: 1. They can put a man on the moon, but they can't cure... 2. What you say when you've seen Richard. 3. The official disease of the band Def Leppard. 4. Over-consumption may lead to Pussyfoot. 5. Best not served with Head Cheese. 6. Spotted Dick in the can? Isn't that how Hepatitis B started? 7. May contain nuts. 8. What my Dalmatian died of. 9 "I've had this taste in my mouth before..." and 10. With a name like Spotted Dick...it has to be good! Feel free to add your own in the Comments section.
--And finally if you've visited here before you know I'm not really a Glass Half-Full kinda guy. In fact I'm more of a "my glass is half empty and which one of you Jackasses drank my beer" sort. Thus I'm not quick to lavish praise on players and tend to look for underlying reason for their success that could cause them to be overrated. For example on the nightly Baseball Tonight Web Gems I'm always checking to see if a Molina is chugging down the line on that diving play and throw so I can discount it as simply an infield hit had anyone else been running.
In that vein I have come to severely discount all big-time QBs coming out of the Big 12. You see in recent years a proliferation of pass-happy signal callers have dominated the conference, but while most ESPN experts types have been calling this a Torrent of Talented Tossers I've been wondering if maybe it just a Debilitating Dearth of Defense.
This first came to light in the person of former Missouri QB Chase Daniel who not only smashed passing records like Lindsay Lohan does "Beamers", but was the focus of a popular Sunday News Magazine's feature on NFL scouting where he was touted as "can't miss". Unfortunately after competing in All-Star games and underwhelming at the combine Daniel didn't just miss he "airball-ed" it by not get drafted and signing with Saints as an Unrestricted Free Agent where he's been seen backward-hatted and clipboard-handed every week of his NFL career.
But Daniel was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg as Mike Leach's Texas Tech squads rolled out the likes of Kliff Kingsbury, B.J. Symons, Sonny Cumbie, Cody Hodges and Graham Harrell. All big stat college QBs who were passed over or toiled in virtual anonymity in the NFL.
And with this perhaps the race was on to match talent with Leach's wide-open spread attacks while defense took a back seat. Vince Young's National Championship Texas team, for example, averaged an ungodly 50.2 points per game in 2005 only to see his up and down pro career put on hiatus last week when he was released by the Bills after failing to threaten Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job or beat out Tyler Thigpen for the backup role. Fitzpatrick and Thigpen it should be noted hail from those bastions of Pigskin Pulchritude Harvard and Coastal Carolina respectively.
The reason we bring this up is because presently there are 6 recently graduated Big 12 QBs starting for teams this year: Sam Bradford, Josh Freeman, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden and Robert Griffin III (not to mention 5 backups: Daniel, Harrell, Colt McCoy, Stephen McGee, Zac Robinson). With the exception of Freeman most of these are just late round Fantasy fodder, but their performances will certainly impact their teams' ability to score points and the fantasy value of some of their more well-regarded teammates. WRs Santana Moss, Pierre Garcon, Vincent Jackson, Greg Little, Danny Amendola, Davone Bess; TEs Fred Davis, Marcedes Lewis, Dallas Clark, Anthony Fasano; and assorted RBs may all be effected.
Ryan Tannehill and his wife. I mean you'd think with $12.6 million you'd could buy a little bronzer, guy...
Bradford and Freeman's inconsistent performances, Gabbert's disastrous rookie campaign and Colt McCoy's washout in Cleveland all seem to reinforce our point. Running ability and the prescence of Mike Shanahan may aid RGIII, but Weeden and Tannehill look like they both could be overmatched against any but the worst defenses to start the season and the rebound of Bradford, Freeman and Gabbert seems anything but certain.
We wouldn't completely ignore the players for these teams, but be careful of overpaying based on hype. Big college stats are no guarantee of NFL success particularly where the outrageous offenses of the Big 12 are concerned.
I chose this girl specifically so I wouldn't have to write a witty caption...
--Finally in the Opening Night of CFB how 'bout we toss out a few plays: UCLA/Rice Under 59.5 tonight and Michigan State -7 over Boise State on Friday. Try to be back on Saturday with more plus it's a nice excuse to show Co-Eds...see ya.
Sometimes you think, "maybe it's all worth the crushing student loans..."