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Gabe Zaldivar | The Sports Report Girl - Part 2

American League CENTRAL Preview

April 6, 2010 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Baseball, MLB, SRG's Blog

1. Twins
2. White Sox
3. Tigers
4. Royals
5. Indians

The Twinkies and Sox will battle it out the whole year. Granted those of us in warmer parts of the country may have but a passing interest. In the end, Minnesota will shock some and impress most by putting together pitching and defense with timely hitting. They are a model to those teams hoping to keep the payroll down and still win consistently.

The White Sox have depth in the starting rotation. Buehrle, Peavy, and Floyd will hold down what will be the most consistent aspect of the team. The White Sox may have to worry about a lineup that can be at best explosive and at worst schizophrenic.

Looking up and down the lineup card, Ozzie has to scratch his head at the expectations. You have those past their prime in Konerko and Andruw Jones, those that are waiting to see if they can reach their best in Quentin, Alexei Ramirez, and Gordon Beckham, and those that will either falter or flail at some point in Teahen, Pierre, and Pierzynski.

The Indians, are bad. You can properly gauge how bad as I have them finishing below the Royals. The Royals are the perennial nether region of MLB. Watching a Royals game is a bit like eating a full meal from KFC. It seems harmless, even appetizing, at first. By the end, frequent trips to the bathroom are necessary. And I have the Indians below that.

National League EAST Preview

March 31, 2010 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Baseball, MLB, SRG's Blog

1. Phillies
2. Braves
3. Marlins
4. Mets
5. Nationals

There it is. That is how they will finish.

Why not start a breakdown of every division with the easiest to call. Philadelphia comes into this season every bit as talented as last year. In some senses they went and got better. They now have the best in the business in Roy Halladay. He will prove a vital tool when the Phils make it back to the playoffs. Philadelphia has a bit of karma on their side by throwing geriatric hurler Jaime Moyer every fifth day, and some say the elderly are useless, puhshaw. Philadelphia has an American League type lineup with hitters one through eight and will run away with the division, if they decide to win at home this year.

The problem for prognosticators comes at second and third place. Therein lies real challengers to the wild card race.

While both the Braves and Marlins tout strong pitching staffs, the Braves get the edge with a little more depth. Even with a sophomore jinx, Tommy Hanson will be one of the best 4th starters in baseball. He should keep his ERA under 3.50 and net at least five more wins over the Marlins fourth hurler Chris Volstad.

The Mets should find a way to under utilize Johan, Beltran, Reyes, Wright, and Bay. They will suck but not in a way that anyone will notice. Which is the worst kind of suck.

The Washington Strasburgs will sell out every five days if and when their lord and savior Stephen Strasburg gets called up.

American League EAST Preview

March 31, 2010 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Baseball, MLB, SRG's Blog

1. Yankees
2. Red Sox
3. Rays
4. Orioles
5. Blue Jays

I imagine it must suck to be the Tampa Bay Rays. You wake up every morning knowing that no matter how hard you try, you may not succeed because you play in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees. Now take that feeling and imagine you are the Orioles. Its like you wake up and someone tells you that Santa does indeed exist but he finds you to be utterly horrible and will never visit you or your city.

The AL East, also known as the douche-bag division houses two teams that literally throw money at their problems. Rumor is George Steinbrenner came down with a bad case of SARS but then just rubbed a finsky on his chest and, voila! It wouldn’t be so aggravating if it didn’t actually work.

It will once again be a coin flip at the top of the table. More than likely the loser of heads/tails will still get into the playoffs as the wild card. It is my hope however that the Rays can bounce back from a less than stellar year and show us all that youth and vitality is not wasted on the young, or the vital.

The Blue Jays should bring up the rear on the division. They are gutted and want for any semblance of a star. But please don’t count out the Orioles and their amazing ability to play really bad baseball.

Fantasy Baseball: This Year Things Will Be Different

March 27, 2010 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Baseball, MLB, SRG's Blog

I had my fantasy baseball keeper league draft this past weekend. One thing I have noticed about fantasy owners, they always think they drafted the best and you drafted the worst. You can follow every mock draft and pick with the precision of a scalpel but you’re still an idiot. In the end, the grass always looks greener on your own front yard post draft. So here is the information you didn’t ask for:

KEEPERS
The eleven team league I am in is a collection of dudes I have known from college. They range from the obsessed waiver wire pick-up guy to those that lose interest sometime in April. The constant rule is you keep your six best players from the year before. This has posed a detriment to me when I had to keep the likes of Adrian Beltre from lack of star power. This year is different. It just has to be. Because I am horrible at fantasy sports. I am the Washington Nationals of our league. Perennially in last place, it all changes here and now. I feel it with this list of studs:

Matt Kemp
Prince Fielder
Mark Teixeira
Victor Martinez
Brian Roberts
Yovani Gallardo

There it is, speed, pop, and pitching. That’s even before I drafted.

DRAFT
This is what separates the men from the boys. Championships are won and lost through season long tinkering but immediate scolding and draft smack talk happens immediately. Here are some of the finer points in this years draft:

- In the first round of the keeper draft Mike starts a closer run by picking three straight closers. This is for lack of a better term, a dick move. No one like drafting closers. They are unreliable messy entities. They are kind of like pubic hairs. Very messy up-keep but everyone has them. So you may have to trim Brad Lidge every once in a while but rest assured this particular pube is on someone’s team.

- I take Nate McLouth in the fifth round (13th overall). A great pick until after the draft when I find out he forgot how to hit. Now the next few weeks will be dedicated to stalking the progress of McLouth like he was an ex-girlfriend on Facebook. Unhealthy, but it happens.

- Adrian Beltre goes to Keith in the 23rd. I always have a special place in my heart for this steaming pile of 3rd baseman. I put so much trust into him for so long and he always underachieves. I feel like a disappointed father season after season as I see this man who could have been a mixture of Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt. Being a loafer myself I can appreciate when someone is phoning it in. And I hate it. So I make special note when he gets taken.

- We added a 25th round this year. Usually the last couple picks are poop you wouldn’t scrape off your shoe but for some reason the guys really wanted to draft more poop. I am particularly proud of mine because he backs up Billy Wagner. Being Billy Wagner must be tough because you live everyday knowing you are going to get shelled and/or hurt for a 15 day spell. Here is to Saito in the 25th.

Well despite my fantastic picks I am sure to suffer from torn hamstrings, bloated ERAs, and the like. But I will be sure to keep you up-to-date on my ineptitude.

Around The Horn 3-12-10

March 12, 2010 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Baseball, MLB, SRG's Blog

Nomar
No-Mah retired Wednesday. Now I can stop feeling bad. The last few years have been really tough on me, perhaps even on Mr. Garciaparra himself. Everyday I saw him try to hit the ball with power or play first base with seriousness I lost a little of my soul. No-Mah was a Hall of Fame talent with a brittle body. Imagine what he could have done had he taken steroids. He may have hit 8 home runs last year. The world will always wonder.

Baseball Injury
Every year we are treated to a baseball injury. A player might sneeze to hard or dream about spiders and then wham, 15 day disabled list. Now Jose Reyes may miss eight weeks because of elevated Thyroid levels. He may have to cut down on his seafood intake but that’s about it. The great thing is it is not career threatening, not that any baseball injury ever really is.

Duh
Cubs GM Jim Hedry lambasted Milton Bradley this week. His sentiment was basically that Bradley needed to look into the mirror to find all his problems. He then relayed that his signing of Bradley was “a mistake.” The GM’s of the Expos, Indians, Dodgers, A’s, Padres, and Rangers were heard to yell “No, Shit” immediately. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik was quoted as saying “oops” to the signing of Bradley.

What gets me is how many teams Bradley has touched with his awesome craziness and superhuman ability to deteriorate team morale. Yet he keeps getting passed along to the next sucker. Why not send him to MLB oblivion, or are the Royals all set in the outfield?

The Winter Olympics Bring Out The “Bitch” In All Of Us!

February 17, 2010 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Other Sports, SRG's Blog

The Winter Olympics started this weekend and women all over the world lost their shit. In what can only be described as a mix of a Taylor Swift concert with a Twilight premier combined with Brad Pitt sensibilities, Couples Figure Skaters engaged in the short program this weekend.

Husbands, boyfriends, and overzealous single men will be forced to “pay attention to how graceful that is” for the next fortnight. Known to some as the World Cup for Vaginas, Figure Skating is rocking the foundation of what is normal in everyday society.

Many men find they may feel like complete idiots for the next week or so. With no idea of how figure skaters are scored, men are relegated to such phrases as:

“Wow.”

“They really stuck that landing.”

“I can see that guy’s package.”

“Isn’t’ Project Runway on?”

Meanwhile, women will relay that that “Zayak Rule” disallows skaters from repeating the same triple or quadruple jump continuously in their free skating program.

Well, I have to go now. My petite female counterpart just polished off the last chicken wing and went into the bathroom with the Sunday paper. I’m off to do the dishes now. She doesn’t appreciate what I do around here anymore.

I can’t wait for baseball season.

Around The Association 2-17-10

February 17, 2010 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Basketball, NBA Basketball, SRG's Blog

Well, we are sneaking up to trade deadline time. This usually means a great deal of rumors with most, if not all, never panning out. Some years the trade-deadline-buzz flat out fails to deliver. It is following that same path this year. While talk of Amare to Cleveland or Ray Allen being exiled abound, we are left with some lack luster news. The Clippers got rid of Marcus Camby for Scott Blake and Travis Outlaw.

While the trade does get the Blazers a Center that isn’t currently in crutches or naked on the internet, it doesn’t lift them into the playoff picture at all. From the Clippers standpoint… Wow, did you see that..? I actually stopped caring mid-sentence there.

Meanwhile, some teams are on the hot seat to make a trade. Boston is going through some growing pains. They seem to be a bit old or too dysfunctional to challenge for the title as currently designed. I guess things look that way when you lose half time leads to the lowly Hornets. They remind me of Carrie Fisher in When Harry Met Sally… You could see the inevitable aging happen on screen, right before your eyes. And so it is with the Celtics. With every game, they look more and more like a middle-aged white woman.

Ron Artest Is Ready To Lose It

February 11, 2010 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Basketball, NBA Basketball, SRG's Blog

If you’re anything like me you have been waiting patiently for a blow up from Ron Artest. We were almost treated to one late last week. Ron-Ron took offense to being held up by Joey Graham and almost socked his face.

The above clip is particularly delightful for a number of reasons. My favorites are as follows:

Joel Myers reaction of “ooo” when Artest spun and fired the haymaker is priceless. In that instant he was really saying. “No Ron, for the love of god they will suspend you for the entire season!”

But what is magical is the debate between Stu Lantz, the color commentator for the Lakers and Joel Myers on why there was a technical. When Myers fails to illustrate that almost hitting someone with a closed fist isn’t enough, they decide it’s the playful shove of the face that did it in the end.

Either way I am now glued to the TV for every game, as I am sure Artest is one ticky-tack foul away from going mailman on everyone.

Around the Association 1-23-2009

January 23, 2010 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Basketball, NBA Basketball, SRG's Blog

All-Stars
Proving once again that the general populace can be trusted with not even the slightest of responsibilities, Allen Iverson was voted into the Eastern Conference All-Stars. The NBA did side step embarrassment when Tracy McGrady was finally outpaced in voting. This did not deter the public at large from voting in Iverson as a starter in this year’s festivities. Granted the East is this year’s equivalent of the short yellow bus, but there are more deserving guards in the Association.

Iverson has played a grand total of 19 games. Those 19 games were not grand or spectacular. Allen Iverson is a mediocre player attempting 14 shots a night. What happened to the glory days of chucking up 25-30 a game? Diminished skills are not the only reason he should be watching from home February 14th. Karma should have a say as well. He mentally and physically quit on the Grizzlies forcing them to trade him away. Time and again this type of action gets rewarded in sports. Iverson gets a homecoming to the team that started his career, as well as an undeserved All-Star bid.

Blake Griffin
Blake had successful knee surgery which will keep him resting 4-6 months. He hopes to be back and training by summer. This should give him ample time to get well enough to re-injure himself before the start of the 2010-2011 season.

Dunks
This week, the lineup for the Slam Dunk contest was finalized. It is by far the worst lineup to date. All participants can dunk with creativity I am sure. But there is not a celebrity amongst them. Nate Robinson will return, again. It was tremendous to see what he did the first and second times around. But I get it now. You’re small. You dunk. Congratulations!

In what reeks of desperation, the NBA will have a dunk off between Eric Gordon and DeMar DeRozan for the final dunk spot. Really, a play-in game for the Dunk Contest. How has the play-in idea worked for the NCAA?

Around The Association 12-18-09

December 18, 2009 by Gabe Zaldivar  
Filed under Basketball, NBA Basketball, SRG's Blog

Kobe is playing with stomach aches and broken fingers. Referees are missing blatant calls and calling ones that don’t exist. It must be another week in the NBA.

Kobe
Kobe had 42 points against the Bulls Tuesday night – not very impressive for a man with his skill set. What is astonishing is that he did it with a fractured finger on his shooting hand. What is even more remarkable is that he was having er, um, digestive problems all day. I remember I ate a bad calzone once. I immediately lost five pounds, shook uncontrollably, and slept for a week. Kobe Bryant decided to drop 40 points on the Bulls while his stomach had the taco gurgles. Oh the next day he hit the game winner against the Bucks. I am definitely underachieving in life.

Hall-of-Fame Jerry Colangelo, Naismith’s newly elected chairman of the board is toying with the notion of allowing the fans and media to have a say in who makes it into the Basketball Hall-of-Fame. He said the fans would be “involved,” which many are hoping means the results would be made public much like the NBA and MLB do. What makes me cringe is having the fans actually have even a modicum of say in who makes it into the Hall. These are the people that are voting Tracy McGrady into 2nd place in All-Star voting this year. This just in, T-Mac has not played at all this season.

Creamsicles
Kevin Durant unveiled his new line of Basketball shoes in a game against Dallas Wednesday night. They look as if Nike went to Nerf and said gives us the first thing that comes to mind. I tried to watch the game but between Durant bricking shots and the whole team wearing these atrocities my eyes stopped working for two hours. I didn’t go blind necessarily. My eyes just refused to capture the images on the screen. It was actually the only pleasant part of the game.

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