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An Eye-Popping Stat

Posted on 09 September 2008 by Mark Mussina

While the sports world has turned to football, one of the greatest athletes of our generation is about to accomplish something that has to be considered astounding. Greg Maddux is less than ten innings away from reaching 5000 for his career. That’s right 5000!
I think innings pitched may be one of the most underappreciated stats in all of sports. It’s not like at bats, or pass attempts, or even attempts fromm the field. To record innings you must actually get people out. Think about that. It’s not the number of pitchers a guy throws, nor is it the number of batters that he faces. It’s about how many outs a pitcher gets, and Maddux has got them more often than about anyone.
In the 20-year span from 1988 to 2007, Maddux reached 200 innings 18 times. He even threw 202 innings in 1994 when the strike occurred in mid-August. And the two years that he didn’t reach 200 innings, in ’02 he had 199 1/3, and in ’07 he had 198. Even now, as a 42-year-old, he’s over 175, with maybe four starts to go. His record of 7-12 is not very Madduxesque, but his ERA is still in the low fours. A lot of 32-year-olds would take that.
But as much as I’m in awe of the innings total, he has another stat that may even be more impressive. He has yet to walk 1000 men in his career. Right now he sits at 999. Let’s put it this way. Tom Glavine, who, like Maddux, is known as a control/finesse pitcher, is next on the active innings list with just over 4400. He has walked exactly 1500 guys.
When talking about pitchers of this generation, we’ve had a few guys who had impressive stretches: Johan, Pedro, Randy, and Clemens. But when you look at what Maddux did from ’92-’98, his stretch is as good as anyone’s. Someday we’ll be able to tell our grandkids that we saw the last guy get 350 wins and 5000 innings.

P.S. You do realize that Aubrey Huff leads the American League in total bases.

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Some Sleepers and Busts for your viewing!!!

Posted on 07 August 2008 by KZ

2008 Fans Fantasy Football Sleepers and Busts

Sleepers:

Now this list is long…but it’s complete

QUARTERBACKS:

Kurt Warner – he has to start at some point doesn’t he?
Jason Campbell – I am not a big fan, but can’t argue with his completion percentage
Alex Smith – 4000 yard QB’s seem to follow Martz around

RUNNING BACKS:

Reggie Bush – He can’t be that bad can he?
Thomas Jones – good line, good WR’s…a better TE will all help
Jesse Chatman – seems to always have a good run for a few games…handcuff to Jones?
Tim Hightower – everyone’s buzzing about him…Edge has to slow down at some point…
Andre Hall – RB’s that play in Denver…enough said!
Pierre Thomas – If Deuce is not healthy he could surprise.
Lamont Jordan – vulture supreme?
The rookies: Ray Rice, Jonathan Stewart and Steve Slaton all could get a chance to shine this year!

WIDE RECEIVERS:

Calvin Johnson – he is going to be a stud in the NFL…is this the year?
Chris Chambers – With Gates not 100% someone has to catch the ball.
Rashied Davis – Devin Hester is not a starting WR in the NFL…sorry!
Bryant Johnson – If Alex Smith throws for 4000 yards…someone has to catch the ball
Eddie Royal – could surprise if he gets a chance.

TIGHT ENDS:

Greg Olsen – fast, smart…just a matter of time
Alge Crumpler – in a TE oriented system now…will be VY’s best friend if stays healthy
LJ Smith – Health is the only thing holding him back
Ben Patrick – Size, hands, speed…has the tools…
Will Heller – again has the tools…in a passing system.

BUSTS:

John Kitna – Martz is gone…so are 4000 yards
Eli Manning – 23 td’s and 20 ints…Super Bowl winning QB, which stats help you in fantasy more?
Derek Anderson – He may be OK, but he is not a top 5 QB!
Willis McGahee – Something scares me about him in 2008
Jamal Lewis – There is no such thing as a fountain of youth..I see a drop off
Julius Jones – I just don’t see stud RB..plus will his TD’s be vulture?
Bobby Engram – no way he duplicates 2007
Roddy White – may have a ROOKIE QB throwing to him for a long part of the year.
Desmond Clark – They drafted Mr. Olsen for a reason
Randy McMichael – never could count on him, why start now

KICKERS:

Rob Bironas – He can’t duplicate 2007…no way…good kicker, but do not overvalue him

MARQUES COLSTON AWARD NOMINEES

MARCUS MONK (WR) – 6’4” 212 ran a 4.41 in his pro-day…plays in CHICAGO…
JACOB TAMME (TE) – If Dallas Clark goes down…watch out for this guy!

JOSH MORGAN (WR) – If he makes the team in SF…could surprise!

COULD GO EITHER WAY…could be a sleeper…could be a bust…flip a coin:

RONNIE BROWN – coming off of ACL surgery, had a great start to 2007…has RICKY WILLIAMS looming…???

Go to www.fansfantasyfootball.com

for all your Fantasy Football needs!

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From Ravens training camp: Day 1

Posted on 21 July 2008 by caseywillett

Before Coach John Harbaugh can even pull into the parking lot here at the Best Western to begin training camp, he is greeted by a welcome sign outside of the team hotel.
 
All is quiet around here at 7:53, there are only two of us from the media here and none of the players have reported as of yet. Ravens linebacker’s coach Greg Mattison is sitting here in the lobby enjoying the continental breakfast while he reads the sports.
 

This will be a running blog as the day goes on, so keep checking back for updates.

 

 8:45
So for those with any concerns about Joe Flacco and his contract situation, worry no more. Joe will report to camp later this afternoon and will sign his contract and then along with Ozzie Newsome meet with the media at 2 p.m. Coach John Harbaugh will talk at 2:30.
 

Haruki Nakamura wins the award for being the first to report when he walked through the doors at 8:45. Haruki said he has a deal with the Ravens and woke up so excited this morning that he went over to the facility and jumped in the hot and cold tub. Haruki said that he got goose bumps driving over here just thinking about what this is going to be like and he is so excited to get going. He was wondering around the lobby of the hotel and said he is like a kid at school on the first day.

9:45
 
Players are expected to start to come in later this afternoon, as they will begin physicals around 3 p.m. So far, Haruki Nakamura is the only guy here when he reported around 8:45 a.m. and checked into the team hotel. Haruki said he was going to his room to read and study his playbook. Haruki was kind enough to join Drew on the Comcast Morning Show for a few minutes this morning.
 
Congratulations to Marisol Renner of the Ravens public relations department, as her and her husband welcomed their second son to their family this past weekend.

 

10:25
 
The new sheriff in town has arrived. Coach John Harbaugh walked through the front door at the Best Western to begin his first camp as a NFL head coach. Speaking of Coach Harbaugh, I hope the people here at the Best Western did not put a lot of time into putting Coach Harbaugh’s name on the sign outside, because I have a feeling it will be coming down soon. Coach Harbaugh is so much about the team, that he is not a big fan of his name out on the Best Western sign. On one side it says Welcome Coach John Harbaugh, on the other side it reads Welcome Ravens, W.I.N. The W.I.N. is the acronym for something Coach Harbaugh stands for What’s Important Now.
 
The injured vets are scheduled to come in today also. These are the guys that finished the season on injured reserve. Here are the players that finished the year on injured reserve: Prescott Burgess, Dan Cody, P.J. Daniels, Todd Heap, Chris McAlister, Trevor Pryce, and Samari Rolle.
 
Patrick Carter a wide receiver from Louisville just checked into the team hotel.

 

11:55
 
So guys are starting to report to camp now as Joe Flacco, David Hale, and other members of this rookie class have started to check into the team hotel. It is funny watching these guys walking in to the hotel with no idea of where to go or what to do when the walk in.
 

Here in the lobby of the team hotel, they are starting to set up for the press conference later this afternoon with Joe Flacco, John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome. There has been no word on Ray Rice or Tom Zbikowski signing with the team.

 

2:58
 
Sorry for the long delay, but between lunch and waiting for the Joe Flacco press conference and then to listen to Coach Harbaugh equaled the delay. More on that later, but Ozzie Newsome announced all the draft picks have agreed to deals and will be in on time.
 
PJ Daniels and Prescot Burgess have both arrived here at camp.
 

Listen for P.J. and Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh’s presser on the Rob Long Show.

3:50
 
Trevor Pryce has arrived here at Ravens camp. Trevor was one of the injured players who were asked to come into camp, although it was voluntary. That is a good sign of his commitment to the team for him to show up that early.
 
Dan Cody and Dan Wilcox have also been seen here at the hotel. Demetrius Williams came into the team hotel with a walking boot on his lower left leg. I am guessing he will not be ready to go as they start camp. Dan Wilcox will probably also be a guy who will not be ready to start when they practice and be on the physically unable to perform list.
 

Here is what Joe Flacco had to say today when he was asked about being the starting quarterback by the end of camp “I’m going to go out there and act like I am, just like everybody else should do. I want to go there and play the way I’ve always played football, and expect myself to play. I want to go out there and prove to everybody, prove to the coaches, most importantly, and myself and my teammates that I can play, and obviously at the end of training camp we’re going to find out.”

4:55
 
The other two quarterbacks on the team have arrived here at the Best Western as Kyle Boller and Troy Smith have both arrived here at the facility within the last 10 minutes.
 
Had a minute to catch up with Dan Cody who said he is healthy and ready to go. Dan was unaware that one of his friends Jeremy Shockey had been traded to the New Orleans Saints. Jeremy and Dan both share the same agent in Drew Rosenhaus.
 
Here is a n interesting quote from John Harbaugh about starting a rookie quarterback, “I think that’s factored into the equation, the fact that he’s a rookie and he hasn’t played an NFL game before and his long-term development. We have to factor that into the equation. That probably weighs against him. But if, all of those things are being considered, if he’s the best guy and gives us the best chance to win, he’ll be the guy.”
 

Trevor Pryce just returned from his yearly training camp shopping trip to Target. Trevor usually goes to target to buy pillows and other supplies for his room here at camp.

6:17
 
So as the first day of camp is coming to an end, the Ravens have all of their draft picks signed and ready to go tomorrow when they hit the field at 8:45 a.m. tomorrow for the first practice and then an afternoon practice at 3:30 p.m. Just as a reminder, the practices will roughly run between two and two and half hours. Keep in mind that tomorrow it will just be the rookies and quarterbacks here as the whole team will practice for the first time Friday.
 
Here is schedule for tomorrow and the rest of the week:
 
Tuesday: 8:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
 
Wednesday: 8:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
  • veterans report on this day, but will not practice
 
Thursday: closed to fans and media
 
Friday:  8:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.

 

6:51
 
So as I am preparing to leave for the afternoon in walks a 6’9 Jared Gaither which was a total surprise. Jared appears to have dropped some weight and looks to be in good shape. It is a tremendous sign for a young guy who has had a shaky off-season to be in on camp early and show a commitment to being the starting tackle for this team.
 

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Orioles post game notes and observations

Posted on 15 April 2008 by caseywillett

 From Orioles 4-3 win over the Blue Jays
 
  • Matt Albers picks up the win after going 5 innings giving up 5 hits and only allowing 1 run. Albers had over 40 pitches after the first two innings, but settled down and was able to provide the O’s with a solid performance in a spot start.
  • Dave Trembley continues to speak very highly of the job that Jim Johnson has done for the team so far.
  • The more that I see George Sherrill pitch, the more I am convinced that he will be the closer of the future for the Orioles. Interesting that after the game he was wearing a “Boomer Sooner” shirt. He is from Memphis, TN and went to Austin Peay University.
  • Jay Payton suffered a cut high up on his shin after his collision with Greg Zaun in the bottom of the 8th inning. Dave Trembley said Payton is OK and should not have to get stitches for the injury.
  • Adam Jones came through for the Orioles tonight with a three-hit performance. Adam had been in a slump coming into the game and hit some pitches he had been missing in the past.
  • Kevin Millar also broke out of the slump that he has been in lately with a 2-for-4, 3 RBI performance tonight including a homerun in the 5th inning that put the O’s up for good.
  • Millar has a Kenny Chesney Orioles jersey hanging in his locker. Millar is friends with Chesney and invited him to spring training to take batting practice. Just for those of you keeping score, it is a No. 7 on his jersey.
  • Several of the Orioles hitters were impressed with Dustin McGowan of the Blue Jay. Kevin Millar went as far as to call him a “little John Smoltz.”
  • While in the clubhouse tonight, every Orioles in the clubhouse was watching the Sox-A’s game while eating their food.
  • Tonight’s announced attendance was 11,510
  • Here is a interesting note from the Blue Jays game notes. Frank Thomas has now had 9,836 at bats without a sacrifice bunt, which is the major league record. With 9 more sacrifice flies, he will pass Eddie Murray (128) for the all-time lead.
  • Alex Cintron has yet to play in the minors, but is expected to play in Norfolk in the next day or so.
  • This time last year the Orioles were 6-6  and tied for third place
  • Final game of two game series vs. the Blue Jays tomorrow as Steve Trachsel (1-1 3.00) will face Shaun Marcum (1-0 2.57).

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Hall of Fame Debate

Posted on 14 April 2008 by roblong

Today, I’m starting a three part series of current players who are Hall of Fame worthy.

Today, I’ll start with MLB. Don’t look for Barry Bonds and Mike Piazza, because they aren’t on anyone’s rosters.

Here it is, 15 players who are worthym and a list of five who are conspicuous by their absence.

– Alex Rodriguez – Nine Silver Slugger Award with over 500 homeruns and a career batting average over .300.

– Derek Jeter – Eight All-Star appearances and four World Series titles. The most recognizable figure on the most recognizable team.

– Manny Ramirez – Manny being many mean a career .313 average with over 2220 career hits.

– Ivan Rodriguez – The best all around hitter of his generation. Well over 2000 hits.

– Vladimir Guerrero – .320 career average with over 2000 hits. Never played on a very popular team.

– Ichiro Suzuki – The best and most popular Japanese born player. .333 career average and already over 1600 hits.

– Greg Maddox – May be the best pitcher of his generation. 350 wins, over 3000 k’s and less than 1000 walks.

– Chipper Jones – The best third baseman of his generation. The best offensive player of the Braves National League dynasty.

– Tom Glavine – Over 300 wins and the second best lefty of his era.

– Pedro Martinez – Not a 300 wins guy, but he dominated the NL and AL for seven years.

– Billy Wagner – 2.40 era and over 350 saves. Had eight years of over 30 saves.

– Albert Pujols – Only Manny and A-Rod are better right handed hitters. Over 280 homeruns already.

– Ken Griffey, Jr. – .290 batting average, 590 homeruns, and 13 All-Star appearances.

– Randy Johnson – The most dominant lefty of his generation. 14 times over 200 innings. Six times over 300 k’s. 4600 career k’s.

– Jeff Kent – 360+ homeruns and career .290 average are better than Joe Morgan.

Conspicuous by their absence

– Mike Mussina – He has great numbers but so does Don Sutton and he shouldn’t be in the Hall. He was never considered GREAT.

– Jim Thome – Tremendous homerun numbers, but represents the current 500 homerun club. Very one dimensional.

– Roy Halladay – If he stays healthy, he has Hall of Fame stuff.

– Gary Sheffield – .295, 480 homeruns and 2500 hits may not be good enough.

– Jason Isringhausen – Has a lot of saves, but 3.50 era means he wasn’t dominant.

Give me a call, 410-481-1570 or e-mail me at rob@wnst.net. Let’s talk about it. It should make for a great discussion.

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