Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goodbye, Junior


Let me just say that this is a good deal for the Reds ... and I am sad to see Griffey go.

Despite the fact that he never brought his greatness with him, I liked the Ken Griffey Jr era in Cincinnati.  I didn't love it because we never made the playoffs, barely even sniffed being in a race and we didn't get what we thought we were.

Since his first season here, he has never been near the top of the stats in home runs, RBIs or average.  We didn't get a steady dose of his gold glove.  He was more Grumpy than Griffey.

All that was evident in his final week in town ... as he was warming up at the plate as well as getting into it with announcer Jeff Brantley.  That's a sad way to part ways.

Still, Griffey was a star (albeit a dimmed one) on a franchise that needed one.

Having said that, the Reds did the right thing by moving him.  Sure, they are paying his salary for the rest of the season ($4 million), but they are getting a couple of pitching prospects for a guy that wouldn't be here after a season where the Reds are out of contention.

I'm also happy for Griffey, who is at the end of his career.  Sure, he may have a few years left of DHing and some outfield duty somewhere ... but his chances to play in a World Series are almost gone.  He is going to the AL Central leading White Sox, who's biggest move could be watching Manny Ramirez traded from Boston (it could happen).

This could be the first in a line of moves for the Reds.  Adam Dunn's name is being bandied about Tampa Bay;  Josh Fogg is rumored to be heading back to Colorado.  Griffey's trade is ... for some, FINALLY ... the first move in an attempt to transition from the Griffey-Dunn Era to the Bruce-Votto Era. 

As I'm sad to see you go, good luck in Chicago, Junior!  I'll be rooting for you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What If the NFL Divisions Weren't Realigned?

When the Houston Texans joined our little NFL club back in 2002, the NFL decided it was time to realign into four divisions in two conferences (good move).

Still, it is always fun to go back and see how things would shape up had the NFL decided to keep the three division format (and, for arguments sake, putting the Texans in the NFC West).

AFC EAST:  Buffalo, Indianapolis, Miami, New England, NY Jets.
Now this is a division!  The Colts and Pats have been two of the most successful and photogenic teams ... so imagine if they (a) were fighting for a division title every year and (b) we got two games between them ... or maybe three!  Aside from that, everything would look the same ... except for some sad faces in Buffalo, Miami and NYC.

AFC CENTRAL:  Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tennessee
This was the only division with six teams and it had quite a run.  This is essentially the new AFC North with the Jags and Titans thrown in there ... two teams that were very successful right before realignment.  This would be one heck of a division with the Steelers trying to fend off the Jags and Titans (I love that Pitt-Jax rivalry!!!!) ... with Cleveland not too far behind.  Cincinnati and Baltimore both have talent ... but it isn't enough.

AFC WEST:  Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego, Seattle.
Remember that Seattle was an AFC team ... and judging what's been going on, they'd dominate their West division too.  Would it be any solace to Seahawks fans that if not for realignment ... they wouldn't have had to see their team get screwed over in Super Bowl XL?

NFC EAST:  Arizona, Dallas, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington.
The only addition is the Cardinals, who were then ... and still would be ... always trying to be a somebody in this division (or any division).  Still, Cards fans would love seeing the Cowboys come by every year.

NFC CENTRAL:  Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, Tampa Bay.
Again, the only change is adding the Bucs, who sadly didn't get to strut their stuff as an Black-N-Blue Division beast.  Still, it would be a nice race with the Packers, Bucs and Vikings fighting for the division title.

NFC WEST:  Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, New Orleans, San Francisco, St. Louis
This division had the most changes since, well, most of its teams weren't in the west.  On paper this year, this would be the weakest division.  The Rams have stunk, the Falcons will stink and the Niners have been stinking.  Houston hasn't ever made the playoffs.  The Panthers and Saints are the most likely to have success, but neither can be trusted to do so.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

R.I.P. Seattle SuperSonics


The city of Seattle is the latest place to get screwed by an owner with an agenda.

No more SuperSonics ... oh, unless another team magically shows up in a few years.  As we've seen in Charlotte, that isn't always a good thing to replace an old franchise with a new one immediately.  And cities like Kansas City, San Diego, Vancouver, Cincinnati and Buffalo haven't seen the NBA come back.

It seems that every time something like this happens, it is the team wanting new digs and the city not wanting to pay for it (or know that their consituents will be mad if they make them).  Forget that smaller market, crap ... Los Angeles lost two NFL teams in the same year. 

I do feel bad for Seattle.  I've seen the Charlotte thing up close and this is one of those heart wrenching things a city can have happen.  These Sonics have been to the Finals and have a NBA Championship, so their mark has been made.