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Armando Galarraga’s Perfect? Game

Posted by Jack Deus on June 3, 2010

June 2nd, 2010 was a memorable baseball day. It was the day the retirement announcement of one of the game’s greatest players (Ken Griffey Junior) got overshadowed by a blown call. The fact that a call was blown in a baseball game should come as no surprise. There is a huge human element to the game, and that is one of the things that makes the game what it is. Most blown calls are taken as part of the game, and not even second guessed, let alone talked about on every news outlet, radio show, and corner of the blogosphere, and not just the sports ones.

So what makes this blown call different from all the rest? Had the call been made correctly it would have been the last out of a perfect game. A perfect game is where no player reaches base. Not by hit, walk, bean ball, or error. This game would have been only the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history. There has been a lot of clamoring for the commissioner of MLB to overturn the bad call and give the pitcher, Armando Galarraga, his perfect game. Here are the reasons why that would be a good and bad idea.

Good Idea

-Perfect games are rare. Despite the fact that this should have been the 3rd perfect game in 4 weeks, this would have only been the 21st perfect game in the last 130-odd years.

-The next batter, Trevor Crowe, is batting .240 and grounded out to end the game, so overturning the call won’t really affect anything.

Bad Idea

-Changing the call after the fact sets a bad precedent. There have been many bad calls throughout the years that have affected games, playoff series, and even World Series (as a Cardinal fan, the 1985 World Series comes to mind). None of these calls have been overturned, so why should this one?

-What if the 1st batter of the game was where the mistake was made and the rest of the game was perfect? Or what if the bad call came in the 4th inning? Would people be clamoring to overturn the call then? Doubtful anyone would have even paid attention to this game if that had happened. Also, would the Tigers have even let Galarraga continue pitching, or would they have brought in their closer to earn the save?

-What if the Tigers hadn’t scored any runs and the game went into extra innings? Would all of the plays made in that/those inning(s) be nullified when the call was overturned because they happened out of order?

-What if the Tigers had only scored 1 run, and Trevor Crowe hit a home run when he came up for the fourth time that game? Would the outcome of the game and the standings of the AL Central division been switched too?

-What if the call is reversed, taking away the out Trevor Crowe made, then he goes on the greatest hitting streak ever seen and wins the AL batting title by one point, and with the out he wouldn’t have won the title?

-What if the last call had been the opposite way? What if the runner should have been called safe and instead had been called out to give the pitcher the perfect game? Would we want that call overturned to protect the integrity of the game?


There is only one good reason to overturn the bad call made yesterday: Armando Galaraga deserves to have his name mentioned with the other 20 perfect game pitchers, and because of this age of supersaturation of media coverage and the obviousness and timing of the bad call, he may still be. But there is so much baseball history that would be trampled and spit on, so many cans of worms opened, and so much water muddied if the call was overturned after the fact that it simply cannot be. If instant replay had been a tool the umpires had at their disposal, then I would be the first proponent of using it to get the call right, at that time. Maybe as a silver lining to Galaraga, his name can be synonymous with ushering in a new era of baseball. An era where calls like this can be corrected instantaneously and the beauty, integrity, and history of the game can be left intact.


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NFL 2009 Postseason Predictions

Posted by Jack Deus on January 9, 2010

Before the season started I made NFL postseason predictions. You can find them here. Seeing as how I only correctly predicted 4 of the NFC teams and 3 of the AFC teams that actually made the playoffs, I figured I better update my predictions with the teams that actually made the playoffs.


Round 1

(1) New Orleans Saints & (2) Minnesota Vikings – bye, I guarantee these two teams will be playing in round 2. 😉

(3) Dallas Cowboys – 27, (6) Philadelphia Eagles – 21. Eagles actually keep this game closer than the matchup in Week 17 (a 24-0 Cowboy win), but Tony Romo will continue his hot streak into January and finally give the Cowboys their first playoff win since 1996. Oh, and DeSean Jackson will continue to get owned by the Dallas defense.

(5) Green Bay Packers – 34 @ (4) Arizona Cardinals – 24. Arizona will actually put points on the board in this Week 17 rematch, but Green Bay’s defense will prove to be too much for Kurt Warner, especially if Anquan Boldin can’t play. Aaron Rodgers finally gets his chance to prove to Packers’ fans he was worth keeping, and his won’t disappoint.

Round 2

(1) New Orleans Saints – 31, (5) Green Bay Packers – 27. Drew Brees will lead his team to victory in this shoot-out, proving to Saints fans the last 3 weeks of the regular season were a fluke.

(3) Dallas Cowboys – 20 @ (2) Minnesota Vikings – 17. If this matchup happens, it is really a coin toss as to who will win, but the Cowboys have been in playoff mode since they beat New Orleans a few weeks ago, and Minnesota has floundered the last few weeks. The nail in the coffin with Minnesota will be when Brad Childress decides to try to rely on Adrian Pederson, rather than let Brett Favre open up and sling the Vikes to victory.

NFC Championship Game

(1) New Orleans Saints – 31, (3) Dallas Cowboys – 20. The Saints will exact revenge on the Cowboys for ruining their shot at a perfect season.


Round 1

(1) Indianapolis Colts & (2) San Diego Chargers – bye. I actually predicted the exact seed the Chargers would be in my previous predictions.

(6) Baltimore Ravens – 13 @ (3) New England Patriots – 10. The loss of Wes Welker in the final game of the season doomed the Pats. The Ravens defense will stack the box and double team Randy Moss, making 10 points questionable for the Pats to score.

(4) Cincinnati Bengals – 24, (5) New York Jets – 17. The Jets defense will actually keep them in this game, but let’s face it, they shouldn’t even be in the playoffs. If not for the Colts and Bengals both giving the Jets a win in the last 2 weeks of the season because they both had their playoff seed solidified already, the Jets probably wouldn’t even have a winning record. I look forward to watching this game to see what Chad Ochocinco will do when he scores a touchdown.

Round 2

(1) Indianapolis Colts – 27, (6) Baltimore Ravens – 14. I feel sorry for the Ravens in this game. Peyton Manning hasn’t played a truly meaningful snap for weeks, and he had his perfect season taken away from him by a stupid decision made by Jim Caldwell. He will run up and down on a very good Ravens defense, taking out his frustrations over the last few weeks.

(2) San Diego Chargers – 38, (4) Cincinnati Bengals – 24. Chargers have won 11 in a row and are running on all cylinders. Bengals have no way to stop the quintuple offensive threat of Philip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson, Darren Sproles, Antonio Gates, and the overlooked one, Vincent Jackson.

AFC Championship Game

(2) San Diego Chargers – 31 @ (1) Indianapolis Colts – 28 (in overtime). For the second year in a row the Chargers will beat the Colts in an overtime playoff game in which the Colts offense never got to touch the ball. Hopefully this will prompt the league to finally reevaluate its assinine overtime rules. Hopefully it will also get teams to review their “I’m gonna piss off the football gods by not chasing the perfect season I have a very good chance of completing” stance.

Super Bowl

I’ll go with my original prediction from August:

San Diego Chargers – 41, New Orleans Saints – 38. (Two of the) highest scoring offenses in the NFL will make Super Bowl XLIV one of the most entertaining ever. This game will basically come down to whichever team gets the ball last, so I give the edge to the team that has the better defense: San Diego.”

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2009 NFL Predictions Rehash

Posted by Jack Deus on January 4, 2010

The NFL regular season is over and the playoffs are about to begin, so it is time to look back at my NFL predictions from August and see how close (or far) I was to being Nostradamus.

AFC Predictions Recap

East: 1. Patriots, 2. Dolphins, 3. Bills, 4. NY Jets

North: 1. Steelers, 2. Ravens, 3. Bengals, 4. Browns

South: 1. Colts, 2. Titans, 3. Texans, 4. Jaguars

West: 1. Chargers, 2. Raiders, 3. Broncos, 4. Chiefs

Some of the predictions I made and what actually happened.

“Pats have a good chance of going undefeated” – They lost 6 games.

“Dolphins should still be able to finish above .500” – They finished 7-9

“Addition of T.O. should make a drastic difference” – He did lead the team in receptions and yards, but the Bills still stunk.

“Jets will be lucky to win 6 games this year” – They must be super-duper-pooper-scooper lucky: won 9 games and made the playoffs.

“Steelers know how to get the job done to defend their Super Bowl title” – Missed the playoffs by playing like crap in the middle of the season. 

“Bengals won’t have a winning record” – Won 10 games and the division.

“Ravens rushing attack may be even better this year than it was last year” – 2200 yards and 22 TDs this year. 2376 yards and 20 TDs in 2008. Call it a wash.

“Browns and Lions will be battling for worst team in the league” – St Louis actually took that honor, but they did beat the Lions. Wash again.

Peyton Manning will do everything he can to make sure the Colts finish 1st this year” – The Colts are a stupid coach away from finishing with a perfect regular season record, due in large part to MVP Manning. Finally got one right!

“Texans will finally finish with a winning record” – Got another one. They finished 9-7.

“Titans are not very confident with Vince Young” – He won a lot of games after being made the starter because of their putrid start with Kerry Collins at QB.

Maurice Jones-Drew won’t have the energy he did last year having to handle the full RB load” – Back to being wrong. He had a great statistical year.

“Chargers will score a lot of points again this year” – 4th in the NFL in points this year. 2nd in 2008. Slight drop off, but still accurate.

“With Jeff Garcia challenging him, JaMarcus Russell will get better” – They cut Garcia, and Russell still stunk.

“Only way the Broncos avoid the cellar is if they have a RB do great” – They avoided the cellar and didn’t have a RB with 1,000 yards rushing.

“The Chiefs won’t win more than 3 games this year” – 4-12. So close, and yet so far.

NFC Predictions Recap

East: 1. Eagles, 2. Cowboys, 3. NY Giants, 4. Redskins

North: 1. Vikings, 2. Bears, 3. Packers, 4. Lions

South: 1. Panthers, 2. Saints, 3. Falcons, 4. Bucs

West:  1. Seahawks, 2. Cardinals, 3. 49ers, 4. Rams

Some of the predictions I made and what actually happened.

“If McNabb and Westbrook stay healthy the Eagles should be very good” – Westbrook was hurt a good chunk of the season and they were still very good.

“With T.O. and Jessica Simpson out, Romo will finally prove he can finish a season” – He had a great December. One right already!

“Giants will miss the playoffs but finish above .500” – Finished 8-8. Call it a wash.

Jim Zorn will get fired and Bill Cowher will be the new coach of the Redskins” – All reports point to Mike Shanahan being the next head coach.

Adrian Pederson may have his best year yet” – Defenses kept stacking the box waiting for the shoe to drop with Favre, but it never did. AP still had a good year, but not his best ever.

Cutler is a better QB than Orton and Grossman put together” – and he threw more interceptions than them put together too. Oh, wait, that doesn’t make him better.

“Packers won’t move past the Vikings of Bears” – Finished 4 games ahead of the Bears

“The Lions will not finish 0-16 this year” – They actually won 2 games despite losing to the worst team in football (the Rams).

“Until someone proves you can stop Williams and Stewart the Panthers will finish on top” – They both ran great, but the Panthers still finished 3rd in the division.

Drew Brees will find a way to win the games the Saints lost last year” – They won a lot of games this year because of Brees.

Ryan and Turner will be worse statistically and miss the playoffs” – Two in a row.

“Bucs have QB troubles and will stink” – Three in a row!

“Seahawks have all the offensive keys to finish atop the division” – 5th worst offensive scoring in NFC. Finished 3rd in division.

“Cardinals won’t improve on their 9-7 record from 2008” – Finished 10-6.

“49ers may be able to finish the season around .500” – 8-8 is exactly .500. Woohoo, another one right.

“Rams will stink almost as bad as 2008 Lions” – Their only win this year was against the Lions.

How I Did

I correctly predicted where the Patriots, Ravens, Browns, Colts, Jaguars, Chargers, and Chiefs would finish in the AFC. That’s 7 of 16. Not bad, but not good.

I correctly predicted where the NY Giants, Redskins, Vikings, Lions, Bucs, and Rams would finish in the NFC. That’s only 6 of 16. If not for the really bad teams being easy to predict at the bottom of each division I would have done horribly.

I made a lot of specific predictions and got a few of them right, while getting most of them wrong. Hey, I am like Nostradamus. I just need to be a little more vague and people may start thinking I am him reincarnated.

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NFL Postseason Predictions 2009

Posted by Jack Deus on September 12, 2009

I’ve already predicted how the regular season for the NFC (link here) and AFC (link here) will unfold. Now it’s time for the postseason predictions; both the playoff predictions and the awards predictions.



Round 1

(1) Philadelphia Eagles and (2) Carolina Panthers-bye

(6) New Orleans Saints – 34 @ (3) Minnesota Vikings – 21. Drew Brees getting to play in a dome for the first round of the playoffs = no home field advantage for the Vikings. Brett Favre continues his late season nose-dive and throws too many costly picks.

(5) Dallas Cowboys – 21 @ (4) Seattle Seahawks -20. Tomy Romo goes into one of the toughest places to play and lets it affect him for the first three quarters, but finally overcomes the pressure and leads Dallas to two fourth quarter touchdown drives. The cycle won’t be truly complete because Wade Phillips won’t let Romo be the holder for the clenching extra point try, but he’ll take the victory none-the-less.

Round 2

(6) New Orleans Saints – 27 @ (1) Philadelphia Eagles – 23. Drew Brees continues to put up sick playoff numbers and Reggie Bush helps the team the by giving them great field position and six points with his kickoff and punt returns. Philly fans boo Donovan McNabb for his continued ability to not win in the playoffs (completely forgetting that even making it to the playoffs is a feat in and of itself).

(2) Carolina Panthers – 24, (5) Dallas Cowboys – 21, in overtime. The NFL’s stupid overtime rules eliminate the Cowboys without them even getting a chance to score, as Carolina wins the coin toss and DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart run the Panthers the 45 yards they need to get into field goal position.

NFC Championship Game

(6) New Orleans Saints – 24 @ (2) Carolina Panthers – 10. The Panthers have no answer for Drew Brees, and he gets the Saints off to a huge early lead, forcing the Panthers to all but abandon their rushing game. The Saints are able to double cover Steve Smith, effectively eliminating any offense Carolina can hope to put together.


Round 1

(1) New England Patriots and (2) San Diego Chargers– bye

(6) Houston Texans – 20 @ (3) Pittsburgh Steelers– 17. The Texans won’t be satisfied enough to just make the playoffs, they will go into the defending champion Steelers’ house and shock the world.

(4) Indianapolis Colts – 23, (5) Tennessee Titans – 10. The Colts will take the rubber match of the season series by not letting the Titans offense keep up with Peyton Manning and the rest of the Colts offense.

Round 2

(1) New England Patriots – 31, (6) Houston Texans– 17. The Texans magical season will end in Foxboro when they can’t find an answer for Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker.

(2) San Diego Chargers – 34, (4) Indianapolis Colts – 28. In a battle of high powered offenses, the Shawne Merriman led Chargers D will find a way to stop Peyton Manning just enough to send the Charger to the AFC title game.

AFC Championship Game

(2) San Diego Chargers – 13, (1) New England Patriots – 9. Cold weather and snow will neutralize both team’s passing games. The Chargers’ LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles are much better running backs than whoever New England will march out there for that particular game.


Super Bowl

San Diego Chargers – 41, New Orleans Saints – 38. The two highest scoring offenses in the NFL will make Super Bowl XLIV one of the most entertaining ever. This game will basically come down to whichever team gets the ball last, so I give the edge to the team that has the better defense: San Diego.


Individual Awards

NFL MVP-Drew BreesSaints. Voters will be stupid not to give the MVP award to Brees when he breaks the single season record for passing yards this year.

Runners-up: Tom BradyPatriots, Adrian PetersonVikings.

Offensive Player of the Year-Drew BreesSaints. See above.

Runners-up: Adrian PetersonVikings, Larry FitzgeraldCardinals.

Defensive Player of the Year-Shawne MerrimanChargers. He will play “lights out” this year to prove last year was an injury fluke.

Runners-up: Albert HaynesworthRedskins, Mario WilliamsTexans.

Coach of the Year-Gary KubiakTexans. How do you not give the award to the coach that led his team to the playoffs for the first time in their history?

Runners-up: Sean PaytonSaints, Mike McCarthyPackers.

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AFC Predictions 2009

Posted by Jack Deus on August 31, 2009

There are lots of questions going into the 2009 NFL season: Can the Steelers repeat as Super Bowl Champs? Has Tom Brady recovered enough to lead the Patriots back to the playoffs? Can Matthew Stafford lead the Lions to even a single win? How will Brett Favre and Michael Vick do on their new teams, the Vikings and Eagles? These and many other questions will factor in to how I will predict the final season standings for all 8 divisions, as well as the playoff match-ups and winners. Below are my AFC predictions. Click here for NFC predictions.


1. New England Patriots – Tom Brady is showing all the signs that he is back to his 2007 form, which should benefit Randy Moss and Wes Welker immensely. As long as the shoulder injury he sustained against the Redskins in the 3rd preseason game isn’t serious he will have a great chance of leading the Pats to another undefeated regular season. They have two tough tests early in the season when Baltimore comes knocking week 4 and Tennessee travels to Foxboro week 6. How they fair in those two games will give us a better idea of how far they can go.

2. Miami Dolphins – Miami got lucky last year in a few games where they surprised teams with the wildcat. Too bad for them that everyone has had the entire off-season to plan for it now and will be able to stop it with much more regularity. Chad Pennington is still a good quarterback that, despite all of the flaws people harp on about him, knows how to win games and Ronnie Brown is an excellent running back. The Dolphins will fall back to earth a bit this year, but should still be able to finish above .500.

3. Buffalo Bills – The addition of Terrell Owens will have a drastic impact on this team. He has a history of playing well the first year he gets to a team. Not only will the Bills benefit from the yards and touchdowns he will bring to the team, Lee Evans should have a better year too, not having to face off against the opposing team’s number 1 cornerback. If Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson do their part in keeping teams honest by pounding the rock well, Trent Edwards should have time to find the open Owens or Evans and the Bills may actually jump the Dolphins to number 2 in the division.

4. NY Jets – With Brett Favre as their quarterback last year, the Jets started off 8-3 and looked like they might make a run at the Super Bowl. Those dreams died about the same time as Favre’s arm and they finished the season 1-4. This year, the Jets won’t have the benefit of Favre’s fast start. They will take a lot of lumps this year with rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez failing to imitate Matt Ryan‘s, or even Joe Flacco‘s success from last year. The Jets will be lucky to win 6 games this year.


1. Pittsburgh Steelers – Until someone proves they can knock off the defending Super Bowl champs, I can’t not put them winning their own division. Ben Roethlisberger, Willie Parker, Hines Ward, and Santonio Holmes will never have the stats to compete with the elite fantasy players at their positions, but they know how to get the job done and they know how to work as a team. It doesn’t hurt that they play in a division with putrid Cleveland and Cincinnati either.

2. Baltimore Ravens – Baltimore’s defense is what people tend to focus on when they talk about the Ravens. While it is a very good defense (3rd in the AFC last year in points allowed) it is the offense that helped the Ravens finish so well last year (4th in points scored in the AFC last year). The Ravens’ rushing attack may be even better this year than it was last year, but I don’t see how Joe Flacco avoids a sophomore slump. Also, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed have to be running on fumes by now, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a dip in their defensive potency this year, either.

3. Cincinnati Bengals – With Carson Palmer back the Bengals should be able to double the number of wins they had last year. Unfortunately, that will only get them to 8 wins, so unless they have another tie this year they won’t have a winning record. Chad Ochocinco will have his typical good year, and will Tweet about non-stop, but there is no way Chris Henry fills the role vacated by T.J. Houshmandzadeh when he went to Seattle.

4. Cleveland Browns – This will not be the year for young quarterbacks as Brady Quinn will struggle, just like Matthew Stafford in Detroit, Mark Sanchez in New York, and Joe Flacco in Baltimore. The bad news for Quinn is that his supporting cast is just barely better than Stafford’s so the two of them will be battling for worst team in the league.


1. Indianapolis ColtsPeyton Manning didn’t like losing the top-dog billing in the division last year so he will do everything he can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Marvin Harrison leaving will actually be a good thing for the Colts, because they will be able to focus on making Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez the guys to throw to. Losing Tony Dungy on the sidelines will definitely hurt the Colts, but I think Dungy had his succession plan in place and the transition should be smoother than it ought to be.

2. Tennessee Titans – Losing Albert Haynesworth to the Redskins was a big blow to the Titans defense. Teams will now be able to double up Kyle Vanden Bosch more which will make it a lot easy to run against the Titans. Not only that but Kerry Collins is going to turn 37 this year, and you have to wonder if he will be able to make it through another full season. If not, how confidant are the Titans that Vince Young will be able to take over and lead this team to some late season wins? I’d say not very.

3. Houston Texans – This could finally be the Texans’ year to finish a season with a winning record. They have a good quarterback in Matt Schaub, a Top-5 wide receiver in Andre Johnson and a Top-10 running back in Steve Slaton. This team seemed to gel last year, finishing the season 5-1, and should be able to build on that this year. Unfortunately for them they play in a division with the Colts and Titans so 9 or 10 wins is about as good as they can hope to do, which will still only get them 3rd in the division.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars – I hear a lot of people saying that Maurice Jones-Drew will benefit from not having to split carries with Fred Taylor this year, but I don’t buy it. MoJo is a much better back when he can keep his legs fresh and do what he does best, which is flair out and catch passes out of the backfield. There were three games last year where he led the Jaguars in receiving, and I just don’t see him having the energy to do that again this year if he has to carry the ball 20-25 times a game. David Garrard better hope St. Louis retread Torry Holt isn’t washed up and that Troy Williamson does better here than he did in Minnesota, because he isn’t going to be able to look towards MoJo as an outlet nearly as much as he did last year.


1. San Diego Chargers – The Chargers offense last year scored more points than any other team in the AFC, and were second only to New Orleans in the entire NFL. All of the key components to that offense, LaDainian Tomlinson, Darren Sproles, Philip Rivers, and Antonio Gates are all back and unless one of them gets hurt they should have no problem scoring a lot of points again this year. With the return of Shawne Merriman on defense the Chargers won’t give up nearly as many points as they did last year, which will help them wrap up this division by Thanksgiving.

2. Oakland Raiders – The Raiders defense was good at times last year, and one of their bigger problems was they were always on the field because the Raiders’ offense was so poor. This year, with Jeff Garcia breathing down his neck, JaMarcus Russell will have no choice but to get better, and his receiving core of Darrius Heyward-Bay and Jonnie Lee Higgins should provide ample deep threats to keep teams from stacking the box against Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas. Last year’s offensive shortcomings shouldn’t hurt the Raiders nearly as much this year, and finishing the season with 7 or 8 wins shouldn’t be out of the question.

3. Denver Broncos – Replacing Jay Cutler with Kyle Orton at quarterback is a huge downgrade for this team. Add in the fact that Brandon Marshall wants out and is currently suspended, and things are shaping up to be a very long season for new Head Coach Josh McDaniels. The only chance the Broncos have of staying out of the AFC West cellar is if they can manage, for the umpteenth year in a row, to plug in a new running back and have him do well.

4. Kansas City ChiefsLarry Johnson is washed up. The Chiefs wide receivers are a collection of has-beens and no names, except for Dwayne Bowe. But he currently doesn’t have anyone good to throw him the ball, since Matt Cassell just got hurt in a preseason game against the Seahawks. Even if Cassell was still healthy he isn’t nearly as good of a quarterback as his numbers last year with the Patriots make him out to be. If Cassell doesn’t return or has to play injured the whole year the Chiefs will be lucky to win half as many games this year as they did last year. Even if the injury turns out to be a minor one, the Chiefs won’t win more than 3 games this year.

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