Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Game Log: Fable 2

I've played maybe 8 hours of Fable 2, and all I can say is that it sucks. I don't know how different it is from Fable 1, but I just don't like it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Favre and Mangini Should Go

I place the blame for the Jets' not winning the AFC East on Mangini and Favre.

That is all.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Hope you all get great gifts! (like the Yankees getting Mark Teixeira)

May your Christmas be merry and joyful!

Monday, December 22, 2008

You Know It's Fantasy Baseball Season When...

  • My Hot Stove League note sheet is already two pages long.
  • I'm posting on other fantasy baseball blogs.
  • I've restarted work on my mid-draft fantasy baseball analysis tool (Walrus).
  • I've had a 2-hour conference call with league co-commissioners to determine rules for next year.

I Sound Like Joe Morgan: Mangini was Inconsistent

When I look at each of Eric Mangini's decisions this past game, I can understand each one of them individually. But when you put them all together, they paint a very inconsistent picture of the third-year coach. Let me go through the key decisions and point out in each case what Mangini must have been valuing.

Opening drive of game, 4th and 2 feet, 2.5 yard line of Seattle (0-0):
Mangini decides to kick the field goal instead of going for it. He takes the (all but) guaranteed 3 points instead of taking a slight risk of no points. His decision here is conservative, valuing points on the board above a higher risk play. He also disregards the field position the Seahawks would start with. That early in the game, I completely understand just wanting to get some points.

Early in 4th quarter, after Feely nails a 45-yard field goal negated by a delay-of-game penalty (10-3 Seattle):
This time Mangini decides to play for field position. He has Hodges punt and pin Seattle on their 6 yard line (way to save your job, Reggies) instead of risking giving them the ball at about midfield. Again Mangini took the conservative play, but this time he was playing for field position instead of points. (And let's not forget that Feely absolutely drilled the 45-yarder so well it would've been good from 55 yards).

Late in 4th quarter, 3rd and 2 on the Jets 21 yard line, about 2:40 left (10-3, Seattle):
Most analysts will tell you Mangini's big mistake came on 4th down, but I think he screwed up on third down. We know in hindsight that Mangini was planning to go for it on 4th down (assuming the Jets didn't lose yardage). Why not run the ball? You have 3 time outs. You have the 2-minute warning. You have plenty of time. Thomas Jones averaged around 4 yards a carry. Or you could call a draw to Leon "Hot" Washington from the shotgun. Here Mangini lost sight of the game clock, really. He had tunnel vision and forgot about the run.

Late in 4th quarter, 4th and 2 on the Jets 21 yard line, 2:21 left (10-3, Seattle):
Ok, so incomplete pass, now it's 4th down. Mangini decides to go for it. Isolated from the rest of his decisions, I like this call. If you punt it, all Seattle has to do is get one first down and the game is basically over. And how hard is it to get 2 yards anyway (see previous play)?

But this decision is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum from his other decisions. He eschews field position, despite knowing that if they don't get a 1st down, the game is really over, as Seattle will kick a field goal to make it a 2-score game. Again, tunnel vision. He was in "4-down situation" and could not consider other options (the CBS crew did a good job pointing out the reasons to punt the ball there).

Of course, they don't get the first down (Favre decides to throw deep into good double coverage when all they needed was 2 yards?). Mangini is clearly showing his inexperience and lack of skill. He's not as smart as I thought he was.

It's My New Workout Regimen

I don't mind shoveling snow. I even have this kind of macho thing going; I like to shovel now becausae I can shovel. There will be a point in my life when I won't be able to. And shoveling fits into my mindset very well.

That said, I shoveled snow for seven hours this weekend. That's not a typo. SEVEN HOURS! 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jets Suck

It's a fact of life.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Going Once!

Less than five hours left on most of my auctions! Strike while the iron is hot!

Baseball Prospectus Needs Some TARP Funds

Joe Sheehan and Jay Jaffe both HATED that the Yankees did not offer arbitratrion to Bobby Abreu and Andy Pettitte. The gist of their argument was that arbitration meant either 1 year of a good player or draft picks, and if the Yankees wouldn't mind either of them on their team, then they turned assets into dust.

But they forgot to look at the other side of the coin. Abreu and Pettitte could be assets or they could be liabilities. The two players each made $16 million each last year. In arbitration they could easily earn $18 million each. Let's look at the opportunity cost of each.

Abreu's offensive has been steadily declining since his then-record-setting performance at the 2005 Home Run Derby, but he's still pretty good at the plate. His defense, however, is terrible. I'll leave the sabrmetric analysis for others, but with Damon, Melky/Gardner (or now Cameron), and Nady as full-time outfielders and Swisher and Matsui as backups, the Yankees hardly need a declining expensive OF taking playing time away from better younger players.

The case with Andy is even simpler. The Yankees knew that Pettitte only wanted to play for the Yankees. That leaves him with no leverage. Cashman wanted to give Andy a paycut, so offering arbitration would just be throwing money at him.

And the final argument is that Cashman knew what we didn't; that the Yankees were going to put the full-court press on CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett both. Knowing that, tying up $36 million in two players who are not the solution to the Yankees' problems would be dumb*. Fiscal responsibility, folks. It's a good thing.

* Now, none of us knew that, and of course Sheehan and Jaffe didn't know it when they wrote their posts. I disagreed with them well before Cashman signed CC and A.J., but I'm a slow blogger.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bill Belichick is a Jerk

I can't believe Belichick challenged that play... up by 29 (five scores) with 2:33 left to go, he challenged the spot of a Raiders 4th-down conversion. This guy has no sportsmanship. 

Wow, the Jets Pulled That One Out of Their Ass

So the Jets finally won a game against a team they should've beat. Thank goodness, it's about time.

The Jets looked like two different teams this game. During the 1st and 4th quarters, they looked like the team that dominated the Titans and went toe-to-toe with the Patriots. In the 2nd and 3rd quarters, however, they looked like the 4-12 Jets of last year.

Quick thoughts:
  • They have GOT to find a way to get Leon "Hot" Washington the ball more (1 rush, 1 reception, 6 kickoff returns). His 47-yard TD run in the 2nd quarter just proved how explosive he can be.
  • Mad props to Steven Johnson of the Bills. After his TD catch in the 2nd quarter, he pulled his celebration right out of "The Replacements" from Clifford Franklin (ball-glued-to-hands spike).
  • Favre's first interception wasn't his fault (two crazy bounces), but the second one was. What was he thinking? I know Favre has thrown his fair share of deep bombs, but he does not have the arm for it anymore. He underthrew the receiver (Cotchery? Clowney?) by 10 yards.
  • David Clowney made an impression in his first NFL game. He made a great catch by tipping the ball to himself twice. I hope he gets more chances to prove himself.
  • The Jets had more luck in this game than they deserved. The Bills choice to throw when all they had to do was run out the clock, and then the lucky bounce into Shaun Ellis' hands... hopefully they had karma to spare.
Miami won and New England is already up 21-0 against Oakland, so the Jets still need to win out.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's A Problem!

Filip Bondy: Master of Words.

"There was an absence of despair, which is good. There was no sense of desperation, which is not."

There was no despair. That's good. There was no despair. That's bad.

"When he speaks to the media, the coach talks in circles about commitment and consistency. If his players require a more direct translation of this dire situation, then here it is: Things could get very ugly around here in a hurry."

Now, I'm not an NFL head coach, but if I were, I wouldn't give the same speech to the media and to the players. Anything the coach tells the media will be read by every other team in the league! Let's just give up all our secrets, shall we?

"Laveranues Coles, whose recent quotes about Favre demonstrate a very fragile truce, becomes even edgier and outspoken as locker-room dissenters are empowered by failure."

My favorite part about this line is that in the very same issue of the Daily News, Ohm Youngmisuk debunks the theory that Favre and Coles do not get along.

"Millions of dollars in salaries are jettisoned in the offseason, while Woody Johnson re-thinks the club's decision to build a contender quickly by splurging in the free agent market."

I think it's hard to dispute that Alan Faneca, Kris Jenkins, Damien Woody, and Calvin Pace have had an immensely positive effect on the team. Faneca and Woody have cemented the O-line (and made D'Brickashaw Fergason and Nick Mangold far better), while Pace and Jenkins have given the Jets one of the best run defences in the league.

Clearly the failure is not with those four players. 

Here ends my lame attempt to fill the void left by

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bold Prediction Wednesday! It's the Yankees Again

Prediction: Yankees fail to sign CC Sabathia. Yankees do sign Mark Texeira for $120M over 6 years.
All rights reserved. Take that!