On Any Given…Day!

Thursday, 28 April 2011, 14:23 | Category : MLB
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The common saying, “on any given Sunday ,“ suggests that any NFL team, no matter how awful their season play is, could beat even the best team in the league, which due to the American sentiment for underdog success, helps keep us glued to the TV for the most lopsided matches possible (I’m thinking VCU and Kansas). However, last night I was reviewing the records in MLB and I realized that that saying should be expanded to any day of the week, and applied to baseball.

St. Louis Cardinals, Houston AstrosThere are two main reasons this statement applies. First, baseball plays more than ten times as many games in a season as football, so naturally their schedules consist of games from every day of the week. Secondly, upsets are even more possible in baseball. The best teams must play their best at all games or risk an embarrassing loss. Six years ago the Yankees were cruising in August to the playoffs with the best record in the American League, but let their guard down at a game in New York and lost 22 to ZERO against the Indians, who didn’t even make the playoffs, in front of one of their biggest crowds all season long (coincidentally that was the same year they unprecedentedly gave up their 3-0 series lead to the Red Sox).

I know the season is early, but let’s look at my team’s division to make a point. The St. Louis Cardinals have the best batting average, best on base average and they are third in slugging percentage and runs in MLB, and they lead their division. The Reds, also a good team, are only half a game back. The Brewers, one game back, the Cubs and Pirates, two games back, and the Astros four. Despite being twenty two games into the season, two of those teams could overtake the Cardinals simply by taking two out of three games in a series with them. Two would take the lead if they swept the Cardinals. Even the Astros, who start a series with them tonight, could bring it within a game if they swept the Cardinals. As a Cardinals fan I hope that doesn’t happen (sorry Jimmy), but I must admit that every game does matter, and judging by the stiff competition, stats and standings so far this season, anything is possible on any given…day.

American Idol Power Rankings: Sweet 6

Wednesday, 27 April 2011, 22:05 | Category : Other
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Stephano is gone!  Stephano is gone!  Stephano is gone!  Stephano is gone!  Stephano is gone!  Now that he’s gone I kind of feel bad.  He seemed like a nice enough guy, so it’s not personal.  It’s just that even he looked surprised when he wasn’t voted off.

Last week I started to question if everything I saw before had been a lie.  Were they really as good as I thought?  Did I just make it up in my head that this was a stacked season just because it made it easier to get through since my wife was making me watch it?  This week was everything last week wasn’t.  Everybody did a good job.  This is what I was hoping the Top 6 would look like, where no matter who gets kicked off it doesn’t feel quite right.  Nice job folks.

Since this is Casey’s third week at the top and James completely surprised me, I’m mixing it up by posting James’s performance.

1. ↔ (1) Casey Abrams*: He does bring something new every week.  He also edges out Haley for the top spot because he kept me on my toes the entire performance.  Third week in a row at the top.

2. ↑(3) Haley Reinhart: I had a hard time deciding who was going to get first this week.  She nailed it.  On a different note, have you ever noticed how she sometimes looks like she’s in pain while she’s singing?

3. ↑(7) James Durbin: The first James performance I liked.  It was good enough, in fact, that I’ll have to refrain from saying how I’d like to see him go.

4. ↔ (4) Lauren Alaina: She always does a good job, and I’m glad she pushed herself.  But for some reason, just never makes that jump to the top performance of the night.

5. ↓(2) Scotty McCreery: The beginning was cool, but it was not one of my favorites from him.  It’s kind of a silly song to sing so seriously.

6. ↓(5) Jacob Lusk: He’s actually one of my least favorites now that Stephano is finally gone, but I was pleasantly surprised.  It kinda reminded me of the Jacob that impressed me in the earlier rounds.

I also thought it would be appropriate to rank the duets.

1. Casey & Haley: I like it when they growl together too.  Can we just name them Co-American Idols now?

2. Lauren & Scotty: If I had to guess, Ryan, Lauren is into Scotty, but the feeling isn’t mutual.  They do really great duets together, so it makes sense they keep doing them.

3. Jacob & James: They were at a disadvantage in this task because their voices just don’t go the way the others’ do.  Even so it exceeded my expectations, but that’s not saying much.

Which performance was on top of your rankings?  Who’s duet was best?

Playoffs?

Sunday, 24 April 2011, 11:22 | Category : MLB
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Bud Selig recently mentioned that baseball is seriously thinking about expanding the playoffs from 8 teams to 10.  It would add one extra wild card team in each league.  The two wild card teams would play each other for the right while the other three teams would essentially receive byes.  Here are a couple of my thoughts on the subject.

1.  One positive is that fans of perpetually bad teams will now have a little more hope of sneaking into the playoffs.

2. This would most likely decrease the excitement of the regular season.  In my opinion the fewer playoff teams there are, the better the end of the season is.  September baseball is always intriguing.  Winning the division is actually important in the sport unlike basketball, football, and hockey.  I consider myself an NBA fan, but there was absolutely zero drama to the ho-hum end of the regular season this year as every bad team tanked for draft position and every good team rested their stars because they had clinched a playoff spot a month earlier.  Also, two month long playoffs is a little too long.

3. Baseball is a sport of rhythm.  No player enjoys taking a week off because it messes up your timing at the plate.  As it is, players complain about too many travel days in the playoffs under the current system.  Making the three best teams in each league wait around for a week while the wild card teams play each other would actually be a major disadvantage for the teams with the better record.

4. In my opinion, the only change that should be considered is lengthening the first round of the playoffs from a best of 5 set to a best of 7 like the NBA did.

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