Monday, May 5, 2008

Interesting World Series Info

-The Reds are the only NL team since 1963 to sweep the World Series (1976, 1990)

-The last time two teams were both making their first World Series appearance was in 1906.

-Since 1920, the only time both World Series participants were titleless was 1980.

-We've never had a World Series featuring two 'expansion' teams.

-The 1990s were the first time since the 1930s that we didn't have a Yankees-Dodgers World Series.  It looks like it won't happen this decade, either.

-Since 1975, all World Series have been different matchups.  Meaning that there have been no duplicate series during that time period.

-The Boston Red Sox have played all current non-expansion NL teams in the World Series ... except the Braves.  They've faced the Reds, Cubs, Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants and Pirates.

-The Yankees have beaten all eight in a World Series.  They've also lost to six of the eight (not the Cubs or Phillies).

-The Colorado Rockies are the only franchise to face Boston in the World Series, but not the Yankees.

-The last six World Series has featured at least one Wild Card team. 

-The National League hasn't had home field advantage in the World Series since 2001.

-The only current teams to have never made the World Series are the Tampa Rays, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals.

-The Astros, Brewers, Padres and Rockies are the only franchise that have made the World Series but never won it.  The Padres are the only team to have made it more than once.

-The Florida Marlins own two World Series championships.  They own zero division titles.

-The Florida Marlins have never lost a playoff series.

-The Florida Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays are the only franchises to have made multiple World Series appearances and not lost.

-The Cubs, Giants and Reds are the only NL teams to win back to back World Series.

-The Red Sox, Yankees, A's and Blue Jays are the only AL teams to win back to back World Series.

-The Braves have won World Series in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta.

News Flash: The Reds Suck Again!


We have just entered May, but it already seems as if the 2008 season for the Cincinnati Reds will end the same way it has for the last 13 years:  without a playoff appearance.

The Reds are now 12-20 ... which means they are on pace to go 60-102.  All this and the team really hasn't had horrid injury issues, they've spent money and they hired a fairly successful (albeit controversial) new manager.

The GM has already been canned.

In reality, the biggest elephant in the room wears the #600.  When Ken Griffey Jr finally reaches the mighty 600 home run plateau, I fully expect the team to deal him away.  From a purely selfish standpoint, I don't want to see that happen.  However, the only think Griffey has to offer the Reds is the pub (and ticket sales) when he gets to that mark and the prospects he would be worth to a contending franchise. 

Obviously, the Reds would be fools to deal him now.  They can't wait to put the number 600 right into the media guide next to 4192.  Dealing him beforehand would be moronic. 

However, once he gets to the mark ... he's probably gone.

He could be followed out the door by Adam Dunn, who is seemingly always on the trading block.  There are other guys Cincy would surely want to deal away (Arroyo, Gonzalez) ... but would anyone want them?  The only veteran that I could see being off limits is Brandon Phillips. 

In will come those vaunted prospects from Louisville and Chattanooga and we will enter Florida Marlins territory. 

I don't mean disrespect when I say that.  It seems that there are two ways to win in today's baseball:  spend like a mo'fo or trade away your stars for top prospects.

The Marlins have chosen to do the latter.  They develop young talent into a contender for a season or two ... then deal them off (when they are due to get paid) for some more young talent.  Hey.  They've won a World Series doing exactly this.  Oakland and Minnesota have been pretty successful doing the same sorts of things.

There is no middle ground.  You very rarely see a team spend average amounts of money win.

The Reds have been stuck in this middle ground for a decade or so.  There is some good talent in the minors, but not an amazing amount.  There are some big salaries on the roster, but no one who wows you. 

And this is one of the reasons baseball has lost me a bit.  I used to love it but have now grown weary of it all.  While the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Mets can make constant trips to the postseason, the Reds, Brewers, Pirates and Royals can't get a sniff.

I'm not getting into all of that, but it does suck to sit here on Cinco de Mayo and know there is no point in the rest of the season.

Great Moments in Sports Video Games: Arch Rivals

Ahhhhh.  Remember Arch Rivals?  The old arcade and NES classic that featured two man teams going at each other with jump shots and right hooks.

You could be:

  • Blade: A crowd pleaser
  • Hammer: Rebound king
  • Lewis: Top shooter
  • Mohawk: Tough & mean
  • Moose: A real champ
  • Reggie: All-American
  • Tyrone: Defensive giant
  • Vinnie: A great player
  • You could play for Chicago, Los Angeles, New York or Denver.  Or how about Natural High and Brawl State? 

    Others tried but failed (including Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball, pictured below).  Arch Rivals had everything you wanted in a quick, B.S. style hoops game.


    Saturday, May 3, 2008

    Just Because You Struggle in the First Round Doesn't Mean You Still Can't Get There


    The Boston Celtics are looking at an embarassing Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.  Embarrassing because the Celtics were the NBA's best team during the regular season while the Hawks ... making their first postseason appearance in nearly a decade ... entered the playoffs with a losing record.

    We all might think this just shows this weakness to other teams which may try to exploit it.  Maybe ... but don't count the Celtics out of winning the whole shabang if they manage to pull out Game 7.

    Two teams in the last 20 years have had to go the distance in their first round series only to still go on and win the NBA Championship. 

    2000-Los Angeles Lakers.  The Lakers entered the postseason with the NBA's best record.  That still didn't keep them from struggling in the first round against the Sacramento Kings.  The Lakers won two, Kings won two, before LA closed it out in the series' final contest.  Shaq and Kobe would go on to win the NBA title.

    1995-Houston Rockets.  The defending champs were actually the 6th seed against Utah in the first round.  Still, the "heart of a champion" came through and Houston won the clinching Game 5 in Salt Lake City.  Houston would go on to repeat as champions ... sweeping Orlando in the NBA Finals.

    There have been six other teams in the last 20 years to go the distance in their first round series and gone on to lose the NBA Finals.

    2002-New Jersey Nets.  The Nets were pushed to a full five games in their first round series with the Indiana Pacers.  New Jersey would go on to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Lakers.

    2000-Indiana Pacers.  The same year the Lakers struggled with the Kings in the first round, the Pacers got all they wanted from the Milwaukee Bucks.  The series went the full five games with Indiana eeking out a 96-95 win in the final contest.  Indiana would go on to the NBA Finals and lose to the Lakers.

    1999-New York Knicks.  This one gets an asterick of sorts, because they were the #8 seed in a strike shortened season.  The Knicks took the #1 seeded Miami Heat to a full five games before disposing of them.  New York would go on an unprobable run to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Spurs. 

    1998-Utah Jazz.  We remember this Jazz team for nearly knocking off the Bulls in the Finals ... but they needed a full five games to beat Houston in the first round.  The Rockets actually had a 2-1 series lead before Stockton-n-Malone soared for the last two wins.

    1993-Phoenix Suns.  This was the MVP Charles Barkley season.  The Suns ... who had the NBA's best record ... actually lost their first two games against the Lakers (at home) in their first round matchup.  Suns eeked out elimination in Game 3, won Game 4 and pulled out an overtime victory in Game 5 to keep from being embarassed.

    1988-Detroit Pistons.  We all remember the magical Lakers-Pistons NBA Finals of that year.  Well, in nearly didn't happen (and not just because the Lakers needed to win Game 7s against the Jazz and Mavs along the way).  No, Detroit had a heck of a time trying to rid themselves of the Washington Bullets in their first round meeting.  After blowing out the Bullets in the first two games, Washington went home and pulled out two to send it back to the Silverdome for a winner-take-all.  The Pistons won and made their first trip to the NBA Finals.

    Thursday, May 1, 2008

    Two Mo' College Football Bowls


    The NCAA has decided that we need two more college football bowl games ... bringing up the total to 34 bowls.  That means there will be 68 teams that will see postseason play next year.

    Unlike many, I like it.  Not because I think we need two more bowls or that I'll actually watch the games ... but there is nothing wrong with giving these kids one more opportunity to play a game they love.  For many of them, it will be their final game.

    The games will be in Washington and St. Petersburg.  That's not so bad.  I'm sure that fans and players will enjoy the sunny St. Pete weather and all the things the Tampa Bay area has to offer.  And how about D.C.?  I'm sure there will be no shortage of stuff to see and do there.


    Karl Malone is Nasty


    Karl Malone may be a Hall of Fame basketball player, but he's also in the Hall of Fame of horrible dads.

    It's one thing to dismiss your offspring ... it's another thing when his mom was 13 when she had her.

    Yeah, Malone is quite disgusting in so many ways.