Breath it in

Archive for February, 2010

The all 25 and under team

Posted by mvetack on February 26, 2010

Every Sport can not hang on to the same stars to fuel their league forever.  Baseball is no different and has already begun the process of passing the torch so they say to the younger guys to carry Major League Baseball.  Here is a look at the top players by position who will be 25 years old or younger on opening day in 2010.

C – Not a ton of young talent that have been in the Majors enough to prove that they have what it takes to be a star in this league.  Buster Posey of San Francisco is expected to be one of those guys but has not had enough of an opportunity to prove himself yet.

Matt Wieters – Orioles9 HR 43 RBI .288 avg .340 OBP .412 SLG 0 SB        5/21/86

Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Rangers 9 HR 34 RBI .233 avg .290 OBP .371 SLG 0 SB        5/2/85

SS – The young and talented short stops that we have grown to know just got a little younger.  Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes were the poster children for young and exciting short stops and now a new trio of short stops even younger is stepping up their game and making their presence known.

Troy Tulowitzki – Rockies32 HR 92 RBI .297 avg .377 OBP .552 SLG 20 SB        10/10/84

Asdrubal Cabrera – Indians6 HR 68 RBI .308 avg .361 OBP .438 SLG 17 SB        11/13/85

Elvis Andrus – Rangers 6 HR 40 RBI .267 avg .329 OBP .372 SLG 33 SB        8/26/88

2B – Second Base is by far the weakest position as far as under 25 years old talent goes.  Thest two guys have proven at times that they can be a star but still are not consistent enough or have not done it for long enough to be sure things.

Luis Valbuena – Indians 10 HR 31 RBI .250 avg .298 OBP .416 SLG 2 SB        10/30/85

Emmanuel Burriss – Giants 0 HR 13 RBI .238 avg .292 OBP .267 SLG 13 SB        1/17/85

3B – Third Base is one of the most talented positions with players under 25 years old.  There is a mix of five year vets, Gold Glovers, proven guys on the upswing, and guys fresh out of their first MLB season.

Ryan Zimmerman – Nationals33 HR 106 RBI .292 avg .364 OBP .525 SLG 2 SB        9/28/84

Evan Longoria – Rays 33 HR 113 RBI .281 avg .364 OBP .526 SLG 9 SB        10/7/85

Pablo Sandoval – Giants25 HR 90 RBI .330 avg .387 OBP .556 SLG 5 SB        8/11/86

Gordan Beckham – White Sox 14 HR 63 RBI .270 avg .347 OBP .460 SLG 7 SB        9/16/86

1B – First Base, like third base, is a talented position for young players.  After these three great young talents there were even more bunched up on a second tier level that could be on this list if they were a little more well rounded (EX Chris Davis of the Rangers).

Prince Fielder – Brewers 46 HR 141 RBI .299 avg .412 OBP .602 SLG 2 SB        5/9/84

Billy Butler – Royals – 21 HR 93 RBI .301 avg .362 OBP .492 SLG 1 SB        4/18/86

James Loney – Dodgers 13 HR 90 RBI .281 avg .357 OBP .399 SLG 7 SB        5/7/84

OF – Young Out field talent is loaded.  Filled with power, speed, hitting, fielding, and great arms, the outfield will be patrolled by some very talented ballplayers for many years to come.

Matt Kemp – Dodgers 26 HR 101 RBI .297 avg .352 OBP .490 SLG 34 SB         9/23/84

Justin Upton – Diamondbacks26 HR 86 RBI .300 avg .366 OBP .532 SLG 20 SB        8/25/87

Adam Jones – Orioles – 19 HR 70 RBI .277 avg .335 OBP .457 SLG 10 SB        8/1/85

Melky Cabrera – Braves 13 HR 68 RBI .274 avg .336 OBP .416 SLG 10 SB        8/11/84

Jay Bruce – Reds22 HR 58 RBI .223 avg .303 OBP .470 SLG 3 SB        4/3/87

B.J. Upton – Rays – 11 HR 55 RBI .241 avg .313 OBP .373 SLG 42 SB        8/21/84

Dexter Fowler – Rockies 4 HR 34 RBI .266 avg .363 OBP .406 SLG 27 SB        3/22/86

SP – Young good pitching is sought after by every team in the big leagues.  Any team would love to have the names on this list part of their starting rotation.  Whether it is a freak, a king, or a young California kid, top to bottom their is a lot of talent.  Not to mention two Cy young awards and I’m sure more to come.

Tim Lincecum – Giants – 2.48 ERA 15-7 225.1 IP 261 Ks 1.05 WHIP        6/15/84

Felix Hernandez – Mariners 2.49 ERA 19-5 – 238.8 IP 217 Ks 1.14 WHIP        4/8/86

Matt Cain – Giants 2.89 ERA 14-8217.2 IP 171 Ks 1.18 WHIP        10/1/84

Jair Jurrjens – Braves 2.60 ERA 14-10215 IP 152 Ks 1.21 1/29/86

John Lannan – Nationals 3.88 ERA 9-13 206.1 IP 89 Ks 1.35 WHIP        9/27/84

John Danks – White Sox 3.77 ERA 13-11 – 200.1 IP 149 Ks 1.28 WHIP        4/15/85

Yovani Gallardo – Brewers 3.73 ERA 13-12185.2 IP 204 Ks 1.31 WHIP        2/27/86

Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers 2.79 ERA 8-8 171 IP 185 Ks 1.23 WHIP        3/19/88

Posted in Baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MLB Pocket Profile – Rays

Posted by mvetack on February 25, 2010

Out of 5 possible, total of 30

Starting Rotation – 3.5
Bullpen – 3.5
Power – 4.5
Hitting – 3
Speed – 4.5
Defense – 4

Total – 23

Posted in Baseball | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Internet Gold – NCAA Sweet 16 Game Video

Posted by mvetack on February 23, 2010

The official NCAA Vault has launched at  It is easy to say this is the greatest video collection of all time.  The website allows you to watch full game broadcasts and highlights with stats of every Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4, and National Championship game since 2000.

I will definitely be wasting away some hours watching the Tarheels two National Title runs in the decade.  I will not be watching their games against Georgetown and Kansas.

Posted in Basketball | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Give that Man a Guinness

Posted by mvetack on February 23, 2010

Over All Star weekend, Orlando’s Dwight Howard got his name in the Guinness Book of World Records when he hit the “longest basketball shot while sitting on the floor”.  Dwight’s shot came from 52 feet 6 inches from the rim.  After returning from Dallas the competitiveness in Dwight’s teammates, namely Vince Carter, kicked in and challenged Howard’s record as the two tried to one up each other.  Vince Carter clobbered Dwight’s record with this 85 foot bomb from his backside.

I believe you can see Dwight Howard laying next to Vince yell moan, “Oh no” and lay in disbelief as Vince runs away.

Posted in Basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MLB Pocket Profile – Reds

Posted by mvetack on February 23, 2010

Out of 5 possible, total of 30
Starting Rotation – 3
Bullpen – 4
Power – 4
Hitting – 2.5
Speed – 3
Defense – 4.5
Total –  21

Posted in Baseball | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Experiencing USA vs Canada Hockey without MSNBC

Posted by mvetack on February 22, 2010

America's Rafalski lead team USA with 2 goals

Last night in prime time the underdog USA hockey team took down the heavily favored Canadians.  That, you all know.  If you are like me, you may not know how exactly it happened.  That is because your cable package does not include MSNBC, the channel that was providing the biggest game of the Olympics so far. Here is how I, someone without the game on tv, experienced the mammoth upset.

After getting out of work an hour early on Sunday, I rushed home to watch the first good hockey match up of the day, Czech Republic versus Russia.  After watching a great physical game of hockey I knew I had a couple of hours until the nightcap – USA vs Canada.  That is until i heard Bob Costas say. “Coverage starts at 7:00 on MSNBC”.  Referring to the USA Canada game.  This got me a little nervous as I don’t have MSNBC.  But, earlier in the Olympics another game, I believe Canada was playing, was said to be on MSNBC but CNBC (which I get) also carried it.

So approaching game time I began watching CNBC and they were showing Curling.  This was around 7 o’clock.  I knew the game was at 7:45 and the curling match was closing in on the 10th end so I knew it would end about five minutes prior to the opening face off.  Curling ended, with the US losing once again, and no sign of a hockey game.  They switched to another curling match and this is when I was really worrying.  But, the match was again in the 1oth end so maybe the hockey game wasn’t officially starting till a bit later.  Well that match ended and then disaster!  SI swimsuit history or something like that was starting.

CNBC = not carrying the game.  Next step try NBC.  Flipped to NBC (with no confidence it would be on) and saw them talking about tonight’s lineup.  A good line up indeed.  Two man bobsledding, pairs figure skating, and Bode Miller going for gold.  So quickly flipped to the last channel that was showing Olympics all week in the USA network.  The USA network had to carry this game. USA hockey on USA network, a match made in Olympic heaven!  But no, Pirates of the Caribbean was more important to the world.  Yea Jack Black is awesome in those movies but come on, I can rent that any day of the week.

On a side note I realized that I could watch New Hampshire native Bode Miller go for Gold instead (reluctantly a decent substitute) but it was about this time that my brother walked in the house and announced that Bode Miller won Gold.  NOTE – he did not know what we were watching at the time, and he figured we were watching the Hockey game anyway.  Still, kind of sucked.  The one thing I could accept watching for the next couple of hours I knew the results of.

So no game on TV and Bode already had Gold.  Next option was to go watch the game in crappy and choppy streams at select sites (very possibly in another language) This would have to do but I wasn’t rushing to get online as I was settling on watching Bode anyway.   Then my friend (who has MSNBC and the game on tv) texted me that USA was up 2-1 with 9 minutes left in the first period.  This exciting news convinced me I had to watch this game.  I could be missing something special.  (My friend lives too far away to drive to see the game.  Would not have seen much of it if I made the drive.)

So to the internet I went.  Found the game and it was extremely choppy.  The Ratio of video to frozen picture of the game was easily 10:1.  This was my best option until another stream resulted in decent video with French broadcasters.  At this point I vented my frustration to the world of Facebook posting how I hate not having MSNBC for once and how I am missing the game.  Seeing this post my sister responded with a convincing argument of yes you do have that channel I know you do.  Lets back up a minute, I of course flipped through every channel on my TV twice while i knew the game was not in a commercial to make sure.  So she suggested how to watch it and when getting to that medium the other French broadcast stopped working and her idea failed.

So now I have nothing but a friend text messaging.  I got another text about an hour after this fiasco began saying that the game is all tied up at 2.  Upset that I am not watching this game, I already know Bode won, and now we gave up a goal.  What a mess. Finally a link decided to work again and now the video to still picture ratio was at 2:1.  This would have to do and it did.  Watching players chop their way down the Ice I witnessed us having the puck at one moment and the next moment seeing Drury celebrating with teammates.  My brother and I yelled Goal!!! with a little bit of a question in our tone.  Then the text came and yes we were indeed up 3-2.

At this point it was the second intermission and I set out to find who had scored our goals.  In the world of being able to watch TV online ( even if is in French and choppy ) I could not for the life of me find a box score or gamecast of the game.  I searched every website imaginable and All I got was a quick update paragraph saying that Drury had given us a lead.  Finally right before the third period began had a game thread going on the hockey game and I quickly found that Rafalski scored our first two goals.

On to the third period.  The choppy stream was, at the least, letting me know if anyone had scored or not.  I could not see exactly what was happening every second but I could see scoring chances occasionally and if a goal was scored or a power play began.  7 minutes into the final period again I saw the US team embracing on the ice and the score had changed.  Langenbrunner had scored a power play goal and All of a sudden it was 4-2 USA with 13 minutes to play.  Sure enough right then I got another text.

With about 6 minutes to play although by magic a stream worked beautifully.  It was wide-screen and it was working very smooth.  With 5 minutes left in the game I was finally watching the game of the Olympics so far.  This was the most intense five minutes of this decade.  Completely giving up on attacking the US squad was sitting back and doing everything they could to limit the Canadian’s scoring chances to outside slap shots.  6 seconds away from killing a huge power play it was Sidney Crosby who brought his team that he captains to with in one goal.  3 minutes and change remained and I was nervous.  And yes I did get another text.  I didn’t look at this one.

More time passed and so did scoring chances.  Ryan Miller was playing out of his mind and deferring scoring chance after scoring chance.  Finally we noticed the Canadians had 6 guys on the ice (remember we are watching this in a different language) and realized they had pulled thier goalie with about a minute to go.  We knew we were in for an exciting minute.  As soon as we got hunkered down ready to see shot after shot after shot for the next minute, Ryan Kesler made a tremendous hustle play and a great diving shot attempt to score the clinching empty net goal.  We then watched the final seconds tick off the clock and the USA raise their sticks in victory.

My experience with this game was not ideal but it will certainly be memorable.  Even though I saw about ten total minutes of hockey being played, I feel that I did experience and see one of the most exciting and important American hockey games of my lifetime.   May the next US hockey game not be on MSNBC and if so may I find a sports bar that is showing it.

Posted in Hockey | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Antawn Jamison, Welcome to Cleveland

Posted by mvetack on February 19, 2010

Antawn Jamison, where getting blocked 5 times, throwing up 2 air balls, shooting 0-12, scoring 2 points, and getting smoked by 17 in your debut happens.

Posted in Basketball | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Kevin Martin Upgrades Exposure with Trade

Posted by mvetack on February 19, 2010

Averaging 19.8 pts, 4.3 reb, and 2.6 ast per game, Martin was traded on Thursday's deadline

Ask the casual NBA fan what they know about Kevin Martin and you will not get much of an answer.  They may tell you about his odd looking jump shot or his mid 1990’s hair cut, what they probably won’t tell you is anything about his game.  If they have looked at a couple box scores they will at least tell you that he is a decent scorer.  When Kevin Martin was traded to the Rockets in a three team exchange, it was not the Kings, Rockets, or Knicks that came out as the big winner.  It was the NBA fan.

Houston is a much larger market to play in and gets a lot more exposure than his former Sacramento Kings.  Yes the Rocket games may be passed on by some east coast viewers because of the usual 10:30 tip off times, but overall the Rockets highlights are more abundant and their nationally televised games are as well.  Now that Kevin Martin will finally be playing in front of the public eye, this is what people will finally know about Kevin Martin.

Martin is one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA.  For a couple of years in Sac-town, Martin has not had too much help and never once did you hear him complain (although you wouldn’t hear about it with him playing in obscurity).  A career 85% free throw shooter, Martin gets to the line almost as much as anyone in the NBA.  If his shot is off, which it rarely is, you can always count on him filling it up at the line.  Martin has had to develop the ability to create his own shot being the leader of a sub par team and he has done exactly that.  Kevin has never been afraid of being the guy with all the pressure on him and that pressure is only going to grow now that he is playing in playoff contending Houston.  Young Trevor Ariza and Aaron Brooks now have a complement to go to that has the expereience with the ball in his hands during clutch time.

Kevin Martin to the Rockets is good for Houston’s win column, good for Kevin Martin, and most of all good for basketball.

Posted in Basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MLB Pocket Profile – Diamondbacks

Posted by mvetack on February 19, 2010

Out of 5 possible, total of 30

Starting Rotation – 3
Bullpen – 2.5
Power – 3.5
Hitting – 2.5
Speed – 3
Defense – 1.5

Total – 16

Posted in Baseball | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why not Evan Turner?

Posted by mvetack on February 18, 2010

The Chicago native has plenty to smile about leading up to the 2010 draft

We all know about John Wall, but should this guy also be a house hold name?  Wall gets more attention than any other college player from just about any type of media that covers college basketball.  Wall certainly deserves this coverage but does he deserve all the coverage?

Evan Turner has the Buckeyes in the top ten and he is by far the leader of that team.  Turner leads his team in points, assists, rebounds, and steals.  As of Wednesday night, Turner is averaging 19.5 points, 5.8 assists, 9.2 rebounds, 1.9 steals, and .8 blocks per game.  And remember this guy suffered two fractured vertebra back in early December that forced him to miss a month of the season.  While losing three of six games in his absence, upon his return Ohio State has won 10 of 13 games in conference play.  Turner is a big guard at 6 foot 7 and has played the point, shooting guard, and forward this season.  Turner has great dribbling skills and has needed them while being called upon to lead the offense from point guard many times this season.  Turner has a good mid range shot and is not afraid to be physical down in the paint where he finishes with ease.  Turner is also a good on ball defender and great at jumping passing lanes when off the ball.  His size alone makes him a tough matchup as you never know what position he will be playing on the floor.

John Wall is a very good point guard (has to lower the turnovers to be even better) who is athletic enough to do some things that most point guards can not (did you see that pin late in the Texas A&M game?!?!).  But I think we have to keep Evan Turner in the discussion for player of the year and even number one draft pick in the NBA.

Posted in Basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »