Wednesday, January 18, 2017

N.Y. Rangers: The Coach is ReAL iN


No he doesn't.  He's a pacifist.

New York Rangers: He still thinks he's going to win a Cup by turning the other cheek.

Even the Florida Panthers demoted Dylan McIlrath.

Yes, that speaks about his actual talent and abilities as a defenseman, and perhaps why Alain Vigneault had no use for him.  I get that.  But he's still very useful for proving a point.

In a Dec. 13 game between the Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild, Dylan McIlrath twice reacted in response to perceived indiscretions taken against his goalie, Roberto Luongo.  He threw down gloves in the first period against Chris Stewart, then again in the third period against Kurtis Gabriel.   Shortly thereafter the stripes declared McIlrath's night over.  On his way off the ice and towards the tunnel, Dylan McIlrath received a pat on the back from his coach (interim Tom Rowe) for a job well done.

Two nights later on Dec. 15, the New York Rangers were in Dallas playing the Stars.  This was Henrik Lundqvist's first game back since a Dec. 6 loss to the Islanders.  Midway through the first period, Dallas' Cody Eakin barreled through Henrik Lundqvist while playing a puck behind net.  I believe in physicality, but even this hit went too far.  Lundqvist was forced to sit out more than five minutes until he could regather himself.

Not one Ranger skater challenged Cody Eakin.  Not one.  And for the remaining fifty minutes of the game, Eakin's act continued to go unchallenged.  Keep in mind, the NHL eventually handed down a suspension for the hit on Lundqvist.

But where does that leave Henrik?

Answer ... in the hands of a pacifist name Alain Vigneault.

The Rangers hosted the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.  In a rather disgraceful display, the Rangers collectively allowed the Stars seven goals.  The fact the Rangers scored six of their own deserves little mention - not when you allow that many.

Finally ... and I do mean finally, Chris Kreider challenged Cody Eakin.

Is that the plan, Coach?  To have Kreider fight our battles for us?


Since I'm going there, the Stars were quite chippy Tuesday.  I watched Jamie Benn and Antonio Roussel take their liberties what seemed like all night.  A slash here and a cross-check there, much less a run at the goalie, are things that generally continue to go unaddressed by this head coach.

Today, what good is leading the league in goals scored if all that gets you is fourth place in the Metropolitan Division?

I wish I had a better outlook.  But I said this many times, and I'll say it again: you can pirouette through the regular season, but you can't do that in the playoffs.

I didn't say fire him.  I'm just calling him a hopeless dove, and that I'm sick and tired of teams taking their liberties against the Rangers because they know they can.

This isn't everything wrong with the Rangers ... just what bothers me.

P.S. Rick Nash threw his body around.  That was nice to see.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Winter Leagues: Criollos de Caguas take 2-1 series lead in Puerto Rico finals

Hiram Bithorn Stadium
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Criollos lead series 2-1
I - CAG 1; SAN 0
II - SAN 6; CAG 3
III - CAG 4; SAN 2
IV - Wednesday

Caguas      4
Santurce   2

Puerto Rico: David Vidal's HR is the difference as Criollos de Caguas win Game Three, and take 2-1 series lead against Cangrejeros de Santurce.

For a third straight game in this Serie Final, the home team failed to win.

Los Cangrejeros de Santurce fell for a second time to los Criollos de Caguas at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.  Los Criollos now own a 2-1 series lead, with Game Four scheduled for Parque Sola Morales on Wednesday.

A pair of fielding errors by Santurce second baseman Abiatal Avelino in the first inning paved the way for two unearned runs and an early lead for Caguas against Cangrejeros starter Hiram Burgos.

Making his third start of the post-season, Criollos right-hander Jose de la Torres made the hosts regret the errors of their ways, limiting them to just a pair of hits by lead-off batter and left fielder Drew Ferguson through the first 3.2 innings of the game.

Then the rain came...

After a brief delay, a home run to left off the bat of third baseman David Vidal in the top of the fourth gave Caguas some much needed breathing room.

As expected, the quiet didn't last.  The league's top team during the regular season inevitably threatened in the bottom of the sixth.  Jose de la Torre surrendered back to back singles, but regrouped to strikeout Cangrejeros first baseman Neftali Soto on three pitches.  On the next play, however, an error by Caguas shortstop Jack Lopez loaded the bases.  Abiatal Avelino then bounced to third base for a force, but first baseman Ruben Gotay was unable to handle David Vidal's throw to complete a double play.  The runner from third scored making it a 3-1 game.  Criollos manager Luis Matos then took the ball from Jose de la Torre and handed off to reliever William Oliver.  Santurce catcher Christian Vasquez promptly greeted him with a double to center, scoring one.  But Caguas escaped further damage when Avelino was thrown out at the plate while also attempting to score.

Caguas reliever Miguel Mejia took over pitching duties and pitched a scoreless seventh.

Then rain delayed the game a second time.

Upon resumption of play, Caguas handed off to reliever Ricardo Gomez for the bottom of the eighth. With two outs, los Cangrejeros put runners on the corners but failed to plate the tying run.

Caguas scored a sorely needed insurance run in the top of the ninth on DH Randy Ruiz' RBI double.

Gomez walked the lead-off batter in the bottom of the ninth, but got the next two Cangrejeros batters to pop up in the infield.  Left fielder Drew Ferguson kept Santurce's at-bat alive with a single to right, but shortstop Ivan DeJesus Jr. then flied to right ending the game.

Jose de la Torre earned the victory.  Ricardo Gomez notched his fifth save of the playoffs.


Dominican Republic

The final four round-robin is done.  With Tuesday's Tigres del Licey victory over Leones del Escogido, coupled with Gigantes del Cibao loss against Aguilas Cibaenas, the Dominican League serie final is set.  Licey will play against Aquilas for the championship.  With a 27-23 regular season record, the now eliminated Gigantes finished just a game ahead of Licey, and a mere two games ahead of third place Aguilas.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Winter Leagues: Criollos fall to Cangrejeros; Series tied

Santurce  6
Caguas     3

Los Cangrejeros de Santurce Outlast Andrew Barbosa; Bullpen Fails Punchless Criollos.

Now that each team has lost at home, let the series begin...

Caguas got yet another stellar performance from their starting pitching, only this time it went for not.

Andrew Barbosa kept los Cangrejeros de Santurce scoreless through six full innings pitched, facing twenty batters, allowing a lone hit and two walks, while fanning four.

But with los Criollos clinging to a slim 2-0 lead in the top of the seventh, Caguas manager Luis Matos relieved Barbosa with Jake Newberry.  Four batters later, Newberry was out of the game, charged with four earned runs on three hits and a walk, and inevitably, the loss.

  • While still pitching at the time for Mayaguez, Andrew Barbosa allowed los Criollos one earned run on five hits and a walk, and fanned four during Game Four of the semis.  He was then smartly selected by Caguas in the roster fortification process.  Barbosa joins Orlando Roman, Jose de la Torre, and John Brownell, in los Criollos starting rotation.
  • This best of nine series is now tied at a game apiece.  After a day off on Monday, the series shifts back to Hiram Bithorn Stadium on Tuesday for Game Three.

Hiram Bithorn Stadium
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Parque Yldefonso Sola Morales
Caguas, Puerto Rico

!Mi Rieno por un Hit!

My kingdom for a hit...!

Caguas has now been limited to three or fewer runs in seven of their eight post-season games played to date.  Their lone offensive outburst came during Game Three of the semi-finals when they posted a 5-4 victory over los Indios de Mayaguez.  However, despite advancing through the semis in six games, Mayaguez outscored los Criollos by a 14-15 margin.  Over all, Caguas has been outscored by an 18-21 margin through eight playoff games, averaging just 2.25 runs per game.

And there's the rub...

Caguas is now 5-3 in these playoffs.  They are 1-3 in games during which they surrendered four runs or more, but are 4-1 when they limit their opponent to a run or less.

During Game One's victory over Santurce, los Criollos went a mere 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position, and left nine men on base.  They fared no better Sunday in Game Two, going 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position, and leaving another nine runners on base.  In six games against Mayaguez, los Criollos batted just .180 (9 for 50) with runners in scoring position, and left an average of eight men on base.  That makes them .171 (12 for 70) in the playoffs with runners in scoring position.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Winter Leagues: Caguas Prevails Over Santurce in Puerto Rico Finals Opener

Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente


Caguas Criollos             1
Santurce Cangrejeros   0

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Los Criollos de Caguas followed up their semi-final clinching 1-0 whitewashing of los Indios de Mayaguez with yet another 1-0 shutout performance, this time in Game One of Puerto Rico's Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente championship series against los Cangrejeros de Santurce.

Five Criollos pitchers combined to limit top seeded Santurce to just four hits and two walks, while fanning six.  Despite failing to qualify for a victory, Caguas starter Orlando Roman tossed 4.2 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and a walk, and fanning four.  Four Criollos relievers then allowed los Cangrejeros just one hit the rest of the way.

Caguas right fielder Jorge Padilla promptly led off the game with a double off Santurce starter Adalberto Flores, then scored on a two-out single by DH Randy Ruiz for the game's only run.

Santurce won their previous series (over los Gigantes de Carolina) in five games and were coming into Saturday's game off three full days of rest.  Or should we say rust?  Meanwhile, Los Criollos are now winners of five straight.

The series shifts from Hiram Bithorn Stadium 
to Caguas for Game Two on Sunday.

Estadio Yldefonso Sola Morales
Caguas, Puerto Rico

Santurce finished the regular season with a league best 28-12 record, two games ahead of second place Mayaguez.  Caguas on the other hand, posted a third place finish with a sub par 19-21 record, three games ahead of los Gigantes de Carolina.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Winter Leagues: L.I. Ducks Ace Pitches Gem for Caguas Criollos

 Liga de Beibol Profesional Roberto Clemente 

Pitching for los Criollos de Caguas, Long Island Ducks ace starter John Brownell earned a victory with seven scoreless innings in Game Six of their semi-final series against los Indios de Mayaguez.

The lone run of the game came in the bottom of the fourth when Caguas first baseman Ruben Gotay was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring center fielder Rico Noel from third, who likewise led-off by getting hit with a pitch.

Brownell allowed just three hits and a walk, fanned five, and retired his first eleven batters faced.   This was his second victory of the post-season.  He previously earned a victory in Game Three, allowing two earned runs over 5.2 innings during Caguas' 5-4 victory over Mayaguez.

After falling behind 0-2 in their best of seven series to Mayaguez, Caguas regrouped to win four straight.

Los Criollos will now take on los Cangrejeros de Santurce in Puerto Rico's Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League finals beginning Saturday evening at San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

In the league's other semi-final series, Santurce easily advanced passed los Gigantes de Carolina by a four games to one margin.

Caguas finished nine games behind the first place Cangrejeros in the regular season standings.

The finals are a best five of nine series.  Game One takes place in Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan.   Game Two is scheduled to be played in Caguas.

Estadio Yldefonso Sola Morales
home of
Los Criollos de Caguas

PIGSKIN 2016: Divisional Round Playoffs


Divisional Round

Featuring the revenge of Tom Brady 
and the continuing demise of Jerry Jones

Saturday Home Favorites

FALCONS -5 (Seahawks)
I would love nothing more than to watch Matt Ryan and Julio Jones lay siege upon Richard Sherman and the Legion of Boom.  It is high time Matt Ryan stepped out of the shadows and into the NFL limelight ... or not.  He's an MVP candidate, but that means nothing unless he finally makes his mark in the playoffs.  The Falcons playing at home will help as there will be no 12th man backing the Seahawks.  The Falcons averaged over 30 points a game this season.  I'm not sure they'll score that many against the Seahawks defense, but I do feel Atlanta will outscore Seattle.  Atlanta's generous defense will need to make stops, though, in order for the Falcons to emerge victorious.  The Seahawks do not run the ball as well as they used to, which could lend itself to a few more offensive possessions and much needed clock consumption for Atlanta.  The question here is whether Seattle can hold Atlanta under 20 points ... and to that I say probably not.
WIN  36-20 Falcons

PATRIOTS -15 1/2 (Texans)
Will the Patriots cover all that cheese?  Houston has a good defense.  They can sack (the statue) Tom Brady early on (like the Giants did to Aaron Rogers).  But how long would Bill Belichick allow that to happen before he adjusts?  Moreover, how often can the Texans force New England into settling for field goals?  And there's the rub.  Tom Brady's and Bill Belichick's propensity to run up the score is now legendary.  It's Super Bowl or bust for them both.  But this is when the NFL will truly start to feel the wrath of Tom Brady in particular over DeflateGate.  On the other side of the ball, the Texans are not an offensive juggernaut to begin with.  Whichever QB they have under center will prove inconsequential playing against the NFL's stingiest defense.  Any given Sunday does not apply here as this is a Saturday night game, making this outcome as sure as taxes and death.  It'll be a wicked good time in Foxboro.
WIN  34-16 Patriots

Sunday Road Underdogs

Packers +5 1/2 (COWBOYS)
Unlike the New York Giants, Dallas can protect their QB, and rush the ball behind the best offensive line in football.  And unlike against the Giants, Green Bay's defense will need to play a more honest game, having to respect the run and the Cowboys ability to throw into their secondary.  For as long as Dak Prescott and the Boys pass the ball on their terms, they should be okay ... right?  After DRC left last week's game with an injury, you saw how Aaron Rogers picked apart a good Giants defense.   The Giants did a great job of containing him in the pocket all game, but after recording a few early sacks they never touched Rogers again.  Under little duress, Rogers threw five touchdown passes (while the Packers maintained run/pass balance throughout).  Outside of two or three designed QB roll-outs, Rogers never felt the need to scramble.  If he decides to take-off this week, Dallas is in trouble, because even minus Dominique Rogers Cromartie, I still think the Giants defense is better than the Dallas Cowboys defense.  In this situation, I like the hot team playing on a roll over the team returning from a week off.  On a side note, I wouldn't mind seeing Dak Prescott struggle, and having Tony Romo inserted into the game ... if only to take down Jerry Jones for old times sake.
WIN  34-31 Packers

Steelers +1 (CHIEFS)
This is the toughest of all four games to pick.  The spread accurately reflects a game between two evenly matched cold weather teams playing in poor conditions.  But are the Chiefs laying a point because they're the home team, or because of Big Ben's questionable foot injury?  After all, Roethlisberger's ability to buy time and throw on the run are part of which make him him great.  He's big and bouncy and creates magic outside the pocket.  He's big and bouncy within the pocket too, and throws to a guy named Antonio Brown.  But if Big Ben's foot isn't up to the task, then perhaps the feet of Le'veon Bell will be.  The worse the conditions are, the more Bell will be asked to do.  When the Chiefs have the ball, Alex Smith rarely makes mistakes.  I respect that.  I think he's underrated.   Overall, the Chiefs aren't flashy, but they're effective and consistent.  With regards to Sunday's potential playing conditions, that means business as usual for the Chiefs.  Edge Kansas City because the Steelers rely somewhat more on creativity.  If the Chiefs create and convert turnovers, they'll win. But if the Steelers keep it clean, they win.  That's what this spread is all about.  P.S. - See Green Bay.   I like the team playing on a roll over the team returning from a week off.
WIN  18-16 Steelers

Thursday, January 12, 2017

N.Y. Mets: MetsMusings Podcast

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

Talkin' Mets Baseball
with Gary Mack on 
(episode #270)

The lukewarm Hot Stove
Mets outfield situation
A poor free agent pool?
The bullpen and re-signing Jerry Blevins
Travis d'Arnaud/Kevin Plawecki/Rene Rivera
First Base
TJ Rivera and Brandon Nimmo
Starting Pitching and The Dark Knight
The N.L. East

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

N.Y. Giants: There is no MiamiGate

From the desk of: DO IT FOR THE DUKE

What is this issue you speak of...?

New York Football Giants: Beckham's Big Blue Brush Off

Odell Beckham Jr. said there is no link between MiamiGate and Sunday's loss to the Packers.

I guess that's it then ... because OBJ said so.

In other words, stay tuned for his next feat of unchecked narcissism, at a time and place of his choosing.

If I didn't fear cultural imprisonment for being a millennial age dissident, I'd swear he was censuring me.

And there's the rub...

This generation wants to be liked, followed, and befriended on social media.  They are intoxicated with the ability to live out and self-promote fantastic, self-idealized lives (whether real, imagined, or otherwise).

World wide social media is completely unique to this generation.  Instant self-exposure, notoriety, and even fame, are now measured by one's digital heat index, or, one's social media activity.  They have somehow weaved real life into a wi-fi fantasy, and vice-versa.  This has even supplanted reality for some.

Make no mistake - modesty has left the building.

Self-aggrandizement is now anthem of the day.

And now for the inescapable culture clash...

Growing up, my generation knew athletes weren't saints, and the older we got the less we wanted to learn about their private lives.  In the 1980s, we still maintained a mind your own business attitude.   Nowadays, every one's business is just a click, or an app away.

That being said, my generation gave birth to these people, who's every day has become its own mini reality adventure for all the world to see and like.  My generation thought they were going to outsmart their kids by spending more time being their friends than being actual parents and risk being the bad guys.

Sarcasm, however, is a trait my generation excels at.  My generation wrote the book on passive aggressive.  We Generation X'ers were angrier than the Baby Boomers.  Where the Boomers said never trust anyone over 30, my generation was telling everyone (including the Boomers) to f*** off.

  • A phrase I learned in the 1980s: teenagers are people who will one day grow up to be as stupid as they thought their parents once were.

In a few words, Gen X was defiant, antagonistic, and supremely skeptical.  Said another way, we maintained social circles, social loops, and even social clubs.  But if you weren't mingling, you didn't matter.  Even then, we trusted no one.

Right to privacy still means something to Generation X'ers.  That's why the willingness of millennials to live their lives on public social media assaults our senses.

Odell is right.  Technically, without accountability, there's no link.

I'm just gonna have to suck it up.

Shame on me for not being a professional athlete.

*          *          *

Jerry Reese said the Giants will help Odell Beckham Jr. with the process of growing up.

*         *          *

Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.  Victor Cruz had it within his power to avoid any and all controversies.  I place full responsibility of MiamiGate on him for failing to implement leadership.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

N.Y. Giants: Back to the Frozen Tundra

From the desk of:  DO IT FOR THE DUKE


New York Football Giants: Best way to defeat Aaron Rogers is by keeping him on the sidelines..

Let the record show, that in his first campaign as head coach Ben McAdoo ended Big Blue's four year playoff drought, guiding them to a well earned Wild Card berth - considering, that is, the team punctuated their 11-5 record with two victories over this season's NFC East champion (and #1 seed) Dallas Cowboys.

That being said, let the second season begin!

The Giants will again trek to Green Bay's famed Lambeau Field where they'll resume their ongoing subarctic conflict against the Packers.  This time led not by Tom Coughlin, but by Ben McAdoo who returns to the place where he helped create the beast Big Blue must slay named Aaron Rogers.


The Giants obviously emerged victorious in a pair of epic confrontations played at Lambeau during their 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl runs ... games Packer fans would much rather forget.  Which is why Sunday every cheese head in Wisconsin will have nothing but revenge on their minds.

*          *          *

But if the Giants are to be successful in Green Bay, and hopefully beyond, they'll need to gain a measure of ground control and clock management.  They'll need to run the ball whether they like it or not.  They must do so in order to keep the Packers defense honest, which is another way of saying keeping Eli Manning alive and maximizing play-action.  Running the ball will help keep Aaron Rogers on the sidelines, and perhaps lessen the burden being placed on the Giants defense (minus JPP) when Rogers is on the field.

  • Question:  What is the single most factor differentiating these Giants from the Super Bowl champions of XXI, XXV, XLII, XLVI?
  • Answer:  Previous opponents were forced to respect a formidable Giants running game.  Joe Morris and O.J. Anderson ran behind superb offensive lines led by all-pro center Bart Oates, while Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw rushed behind another superb offensive line anchored by yet another all-pro center, Shaun O'Hara.

Promising center (I'm being kind) Weston Richburg is good, and will get better.  In fact, the Giants do their best running up the middle.  However, he does not have the quality of personnel lined up to his left and right that Oates and O'Hara enjoyed.  The performance of left tackle Ereck Flowers has been the most distressing of the lot.  Otherwise, left guard Justin Pugh represents the best of the rest.

Having Shane Vereen on injured reserve combined with Rashad Jennings' unspectacular style and underwhelming performance only exacerbates the situation.

So what's a coach to do?

Everyone says the Giants should go right after Green Bay's weak secondary.

I could not agree more.

But I say do that by attacking Green Bay's more competent front seven.  Sit a third receiver from time to time, and at least attempt to smash mouth a way through to daylight.  Let Nikita Whitlock play like a true fullback.  Give Green Bay some double tight end sets.  Said another way, do what it takes to gain 3.5 yards per carry.  Give Weston Richburg, Justin Pugh, and John Jerry, the help they need to make this happen.

But a coach must first try, and commit.

Sell out.

Because at this point rookie Paul Perkins is the most powerful and elusive runner the Giants have.   Take that with a grain of salt, especially coming off a 102 yard performance during the season finale against a disinterested Washington Redskins defense.  That game nevertheless marked the first time this season a Giants running back rushed for 100 yards in a game.

To his credit, Perkins has been consistent.  He rushed 112 times this season, averaging 4.1 yards per carry.  He closed out the regular season on an uptick, rushing 47 times for 226 yards over the Giants final three games for an average of 4.80 yards per carry.

Run ... so Eli Manning can throw the ball to Miami Vice on his terms, not Green Bay's.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

PIGSKIN 2016: Thanksgiving Day


Thanksgiving Day Games
Week Twelve

Week Four
No Week Five
Week Six
Week Nine 
Week Ten
No Week Eleven

Week Ten Record:  3-8-1
Overall Record:  49-65-4
Schmear of the Week:  5-4
BAGELS in the Basket:  -15

Wednesday Line ~ NYDN

LIONS -2 (Vikings)
It's one of the fundamental laws of nature: 
never bet against the Lions, at home, on Turkey Day.

COWBOYS -7 (D.C. Hogs)
I'd like to take the points here.  
The Hogs are coming off a big win, and the Cowboys have to lose at some point, right?  
I just can't get myself to do it.

Steelers -8 (COLTS)
Andrew Luck had his bell rung.  The up and down Steelers should enjoy an UP day.

Happy Thanksgiving Day 2016


I'm thankful for our troops,
All our men and women, brothers and sisters,
mothers and fathers, friends and loved ones,
thank you for your efforts and sacrifices.

I'm thankful for all those who have ever visited this blog, 
and continue making this an enjoyable endeavor.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

PIGSKIN 2016: Week Ten

Week Ten

Week Four
No Week Five
Week Six

Week Nine Record:  5-5-1
Overall Record:  46-57-3
Schmear of the Week:  4-4
Bagels in the Basket:  -12

Pardon this blog's inactivity these last few months.  Reality continues pounding away at my leisure time.  I'm going no-huddle again this week, which means no frills football.

Week Ten
Friday Line ~ NYDN

JETS -2 (Rams)
Loss  9-6 Rams

Texans -2 (JAGUARS)
WIN  24-21 Texans

Chiefs +3 (PANTHERS)
PUSH  20-17 Chiefs

Broncos +2 1/2 (SAINTS)
Loss  25-23 Broncos

Falcons +2 (EAGLES)
Loss  24-15 Eagles

Vikings +2 1/2 (D.C. HOGS)
Loss  26-20 Hogs

Packers -2 1/2 (TITANS)
Loss  47-25 Titans

BUCS +1 (Bears)
WIN  36-10 Bucs

CHARGERS -3 1/2 (Dolphins)
Loss  31-24 Dolphins

49ers +13 1/2 (CARDINALS)
WIN  23-20 Cardinals

STEELERS -2 (Cowboys)
Loss  35-30 Cowboys

PATRIOTS -7 1/2 (Seahawks)
Loss  31-24 Seahawks

GIANTS PK (Bengals)

Schmear of the Week:
Packers -2 1/2

Good luck, and have a happy Football Sunday everyone.

Post Game:
Week Ten Record:  3-8-1
Overall Record:  49-65-4
Schmear of the Week:  5-4
BAGELS in the Basket:  -15

Saturday, November 05, 2016

PIGSKIN 2016: Week Nine

Football Sunday
Week Nine

Week Four
No Week Five
Week Six
Week Seven
Week Eight

Week Nine Record:  6-4-1
Overall Record:  41-52-2
Schmear of the Week:  3-4
BAGELS in the Basket:  -14

1st and Ten:
  • The first place Patriots traded their best linebacker.  Hahahaha!  Only Belichick.
  • The soon coming Dak Prescott/Tony Romo controversy is beginning to simmer.
  • The high flying Atlanta Falcons have scored 305 points, which is 80 more points than the second ranked and last place San Diego Chargers.  The Falcons have allowed the most points this season as well.
2nd and Short:
  • Five of eight second place teams have losing records.  The most ponderous second place club is Arizona with a 3-4 record.
No Gain:
  • If there's a game but no one shows up to see it, was there really a game?  If numbers hold true, the Chargers and Raiders will both play before less than 60,000 apathetic spectators.
  • The Cleveland Browns have yet to win a game.
  • Giant problems: flag on Jerry Reese for his avoidance of the Josh Brown issue.  Eli Apple's mom continues lambasting the organization.  The team isn't good.  The sharks are circling.
  • Norv Turner resigned his position as offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings.  Why?   Easy.   At this point being a coordinator is beneath him, especially knowing he's better than the head coach.
  • Ben McAdoo said "stats are for losers."

Friday Line ~ NYDN

Eagles +2 1/2 (GIANTS)
Two INTs in Week Seven are all that prevented the Giants from entering Sunday with a losing record. They are a zebra ... meaning the Giants are an indistinguishable middle of the pack team, blending into the background.  They are largely undetectable until someone other than OBJ moves.
Loss  28-23 Giants

DOLPHINS -3 1/2 (Jets)
The Jets are expected to win this game.  But playing the Dolphins has become a flat out pain in the ass.  The NYJ to date are one of four AFC teams to allow over 200 points.  Derrelle Revis risks making Ryan Tannehill look good.
WIN  27-23 Dolphins

CHIEFS -7 (Jaguars)
This could get ugly...
Loss  19-14 Chiefs

I like the Vikings at home.  I like Minnesota's defense against the Lions offense.  The x-factor here is Norv Turner's sudden decision to resign.  It could mean the Vikings are rotting from within, or, Turner merely butted heads with the hierarchy.  A pick-six by the Vikings defense would go a long way this game...
Loss  22-16 Lions

Cowboys -7 1/2 (BROWNS)
That extra half-point makes this problematic ... not!  Am I being overly confident?  Perhaps.
WIN  35-10 Cowboys

Steelers PK (RAVENS)
Home or away ... with or without Big Ben ... I believe the Steelers are one point better than Baltimore.  The Steelers have still more injuries that may tip the scales in the Ravens favor.   However, even before he hurt his shoulder, I said Joe Flacco looks like he's simply going through the motions - disgusted even.
Loss  21-14 Ravens

Saints -4 (49ERS)
The Niners are a piano falling out of the sky.
WIN  41-23 Saints

Panthers -3 (RAMS)
This pick is based solely on Carolina's victory over the Cardinals.
PUSH  13-10 Panthers

Colts +7 1/2 (PACKERS)
Green Bay's cheesy secondary will allow Andrew Luck to keep this game within range.
WIN  31-26 Colts

CHARGERS -5 (Titans)
Truth be told, I flipped on this pick, originally siding against San Diego.  I've been holding a grudge against the Jekyll and Hyde Chargers for some time now, while pumping the Titans this season with mixed results.  I like Rivers at home.
WIN  43-35 Chargers

Broncos +1 (RAIDERS)
From the shadows of Mount Davis will emerge an AFC West leader.  The Black Hole has truly become a dismal place to play.  Oakland's home/road record says it all.
Loss  30-20 Raiders

Schmear of the Week:
Saints -4

Guten Appetit:
Wings, wings, and more wings - buffalo, and garlic parmigiana style.  Cheeseburger sliders with fried onions.  Loaded salsa chips.

Good luck, and have a happy Football Sunday everyone!

Post Game:
Week Nine Record:  5-5-1
Overall Record:  46-57-3
Schmear of the Week:  4-4
Bagels in the Basket:  -12

Monday, October 31, 2016

Salem: Happy Halloween 2016

October 2016

Salem Witch Museum

First Settler of Salem ~ 1629

Witch Dungeon Museum

Gallow's Hill and The Witch Gaol

During the witchcraft persecution of 1692, many of the accused were imprisoned here.  
One of them, the aged Giles Cory (b.1611), was pressed to death on these grounds.

The Burying Point

Witch Trials Memorial

Among the 19 hanged in 1692
Sarah Good - July 19
John Proctor - Aug.19
Alice and Mary Parker - Sept. 22

Happy Halloween