Friday, 26 March 2010
Saturday, 20 March 2010
Arsene Wenger has summed it up well: "Of course they are a good side, but so are we. For me, we have a 50-50 game - if we turn up with our best performance we have a good chance to beat them.” It’s set to be a cracking tie; let’s hope it can live up to the potential (and a victory for the mighty Gunners!).
Thursday, 18 March 2010
SP - Zack Greinke KC (2nd pick)
SP - Cliff Lee SEA (4th pick)
SP - Jake Peavy CHW (11th pick)
RP - Andrew Bailey OAK (8th pick)
RP - Ryan Franklin STL (14th pick)
RP - Scott Downs TOR (21st pick)
P - James Shields TB (13th pick)
P - Ted Lilly CHC (17th pick)
P - Kevin Slowey MIN (22nd pick)
Zack Greinke, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, is the jewel of my pitching crown. I’m quite pleased about grabbing him when I did; let’s just hope he has a similar season to last year. Cliff Lee and Jake Peavy (hoping to get some form back in Chicago) round out the rest of my starters, but if things go wrong I’m counting on Ted Lilly and James Shields to pick up some of the slack. Lee has just been suspended for the first 5 games of the season, so Shields might step in for him there as he’s projected to be the Ray’s number one guy this year. I’m particularly pleased with the addition of Bailey, who is undoubtedly the finest pitcher on the Oakland roster.
C – Jorge Posada NYY (16th pick)
C – Carlos Santana CLE (20th pick)
C – Bengie Molina SF (23rd pick)
As you can see, the catcher position was not one of my top priorities in the draft and I left it late to get someone. I’m hoping Posada, who is only in the Yankees’ starting lineup for his bat now, can take advantage of the hitter’s paradise that is the new Yankee Stadium. Santana was a homer pick, and I had to get the Indian’s top prospect before anyone else did. He won’t be called up to the bigs for a while but I’m saving him for later, when I'm hoping he can put up some good numbers. Molina is strictly a backup if we get hit by injuries.
1B – Kevin Youkilis BOS (3rd pick)
2B – Ben Zobrist TB (6th pick)
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera CLE (7th pick)
3B – Alex Rodriguez NYY (1st pick)
1B/3B – Michael Cuddyer MIN (12th pick)
2B/SS – J.J. Hardy MIN (18th pick)
DH – Hideki Matsui LAA (15th pick)
My first pick of the draft was the always powerful Mr Rodriquez, whose consistency and numbers didn’t give me any choice but to get him. If he stays healthy all year, he should put up better numbers than 2009, which wasn’t half bad. I took another homer pick with Asdrubal (currently my favourite Indians player) and I’m expecting him to have a solid year. Youkilis, as everyone knows, is an on-base machine and can play third base too, so he is expected to have another good season in Boston. The rest of my infield is pretty solid, but I’m intrigued by Zobrist who is a player I don’t know too much about but is ranked rather high amongst MLB second basemen.
OF – Jay Bruce CIN (9th pick)
OF – Cody Ross FLA (10th pick)
OF – Marlon Byrd CHC (19th pick)
OF – Matt LaPorta CLE (24th pick)
Monday, 15 March 2010
Sunday, 14 March 2010
Saturday, 13 March 2010
It has recently been reported that Brady Quinn is rumoured to be on the trading block, and is currently being shopped around the league by Mike Holmgren and the Browns staff. Now this doesn’t surprise me, there are always plenty of rumours circulating around the league, and the Browns are no different. However, I’d like to think the organisation has a little bit more faith in Quinn than some of the media, and I’d also argue that Quinn should be given another shot at being the starting QB this year.
I can understand that Holmgren and Heckert may be sceptical (and it’s common knowledge Mangini has never been Quinn’s biggest fan). They’ve come into Cleveland with fresh ideas and a general plan in their minds for how they want this team to look and perform, and have unfortunately inherited the broken pieces of the Crennel and Savage era. Quinn was Savage’s choice, not Holmgren’s, so I can see why the president may be considering a total overhaul of the team beginning with the dismissal of Quinn from Cleveland. There are obviously other options at QB for the Browns to consider, and Holmgren has been busy exploring every possible avenue there is. From trying to hi-jack either McNabb or Kolb from the Eagles, to bringing in Jake Delhomme for “a chat”, Holmgren is looking far and wide for a new QB, and there’s no doubt the Browns will be looking at a few draft prospects as well. From all this activity, it’s become glaringly apparent that Quinn’s position with the Browns is in jeopardy, and his future in Cleveland is under threat.
My support for Quinn to remain with the Browns, and ultimately be given another chance to see if he has what it takes to lead them to glory, stems from a sense of loyalty and commitment that I think the NFL is lacking at times. I understand that the modern world of sport is big business and decisions are always made in light of what is good for the organisation involved. I simply feel that Quinn’s hard work should be rewarded to a certain extent, that he be given another chance and not be written off just yet. After all, what exactly has he done wrong? His rookie year was spent on the sidelines with a clipboard watching Derek Anderson emerge into a Pro-Bowler (albeit for one season). After Anderson’s spectacular collapse in 2008, Quinn was finally given the opportunity to start but an injury to his finger limited him to just 3 games. After Mangini's quarterback competition that wasn’t very competitive, Quinn was named the starter for 2009 against the Vikings. Criticism soon built up that Quinn was too conservative with his decision making, that his arm strength crippled his ability to be a successful NFL quarterback, plus much more. Mangini eventually benched him in Baltimore after a poor offensive performance from the entire offense, even though Quinn had completed 75% of his passes (and 1 stupid interception which probably cost him his job from then on). He eventually returned to starting under centre in Week 11 and had a career high performance, showing signs of what he could do as he burned the Detroit defence for 304 yards and 4 TDs. He played well against San Diego two weeks later (271 yards for 3 TDs), and led the Browns (with rather pedestrian performances) to 2 wins over Pittsburgh and Kansas City. He was then ruled out for the last two games of the season with a foot injury, but had shown briefly that he could at least play with some success in the NFL, and more importantly for the Browns.
The fact that we have yet to see Brady Quinn perform over an entire season is the major factor in the case for Quinn to remain in Cleveland. Coaching decisions, media pressures and injuries have all halted his progress from Notre Dame phenom to legitimate NFL starter. Now that Holmgren has full control of the Browns, he has already begun his own rebuilding process with the signings of Ben Watson, Scott Fujita and Tony Pashos. With the mountain of draft picks available to us, no doubt the team can only get stronger. The key to Quinn’s success is obviously giving him some decent targets to throw to. Watson is primarily a pass catching TE so that can only benefit Quinn there. Through this year’s draft the receiving core can be built upon, whereas last season it was only Massaquoi who emerged as a real target. It’s common knowledge the receivers in Cleveland suffered from “the dropsies” in 2009, which doesn’t help any quarterback whatever team they’re on, let alone the Browns. Strengthening the receiving core will benefit Quinn enormously, and naturally the Browns will be the better for it.
Quinn was drafted in 2007 with the idea he would become our franchise QB, something Cleveland have lacked ever since expansion in 1999. Franchise QBs take time to develop; this is not a new revelation. Most athletes go through difficult times in their careers, especially NFL quarterbacks, and Quinn has had his share of bad times but there is still hope. Holmgren shouldn’t give up on the Ohio native, and neither should the fans. It’s only fair the Browns don’t write Quinn off just yet.
Thanks for reading.
Friday, 12 March 2010
I am simply one sports obsessed fan, infatuated with “The Forest City”, but unfortunately stuck in the wrong country. Enjoy and thanks for reading.