Monthly Archives: October 2009

Bulls open season as winners – Heinrich, Noah BIG

Derrick Rose looked like himself, Chicago Bulls looked like winners — chicagotribune.com

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Joakim Noah gets double double facing Tim Duncan

Joakim Noah gets double double facing Tim Duncan

The Chicago Bulls looked like winners in last night’s opener at the United Center vs The San Antonio Spurs. It was a team performance through and through and if John Salmon’s could hit a few shots, it would have been a blowout. Joakim Noah  had a double double even though he was matched against the great Tim Duncan. Kirk Heinrich not only had 14 points but also 6 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and made Tony Parker irrelevant. His defense was only an example of the whole team playing team defense and shared scoring with 6 players in double figures.

The Chicago media is raving about Derrick Rose and he had a good game for someone playing the first time in four weeks. But he was only a contributor to the team effort. Tyrus Thomas had a big third quarter that salted the game away. Luol Deng celebrated his return with 17 points and nine rebounds. Brad Miller contributed 9 points as well to the team effort. John Salmons missed a boat load of shot and still had 10 points, so his season can only improve.  The most impressive thing is that the team looked steady and professional throughout  the game and had no long dry spells. And unlike the last few years there was no third quarter drought, instead they took the lead and built it up steadily. Impressive.

Our local sportswriters are writing how the Bulls will either not make the playoffs, or maybe match last years’  .500 season. They are all lamenting the loss of Ben Gordon like it will cost the Bulls the playoffs. I think they are dead wrong. I not only think they will have at least 45-50 wins, but I think they can get as high as third seed in the Eastern Conference. I think Orlando and Cleveland may have better records, but I like the team, their attitude, their ability to play defense and the maturity Noah and Thomas are showing on both ends of the court. Go Bulls!

Sho(u)t of the day 10/28

The story below is one of the most amazing sports stories I have seen in years. I hope the whole world could see this one.

http://www.thevillagesdailysun.com/articles/2009/10/28/sports/sports01.txt

Teel equals ladies’ benchmark with impressive set of games

By STEVE DAY, DAILY SUN

THE VILLAGES —It doesn’t surprise the local bowling community when Carol Teel posts big numbers on the lanes. But last week, Teel outdid herself, even by her own high expectations

The Village of Amelia resident rolled an 827 (238-289-300) series at Fiesta Bowl capping it with a perfect game in the finale of the three-game set. The series surpassed the Leesburg Bowling Association ladies record of 795, which Teel set in 2008.

“I knew I needed a 273 game for an 800 series. It was a tall order and I was just going one frame at a time,” Teel said.

To put it in perspective, the senior ladies’ national record is the same 827 score Teel shot. Karen Pullman bowled that series in 2001 season when she was 58 years old.

Teel will not share in that record because at age 53 she is not considered a senior by the United States Bowling Congress. Although the senior professional tours consider a bowler over 50 years old to be eligible to compete, the USBC considers seniors to be 55 and over.

What seemed to be a premature celebration in the last game confused some people.

“I knew I needed a mark when I got to the 10th. When I got the strike on the first ball in the 10th, I was really happy. People were kind of wondering why I was so happy and had two balls to go for a perfect game.”

It was a series in which Teel had 30 strikes out of 34 throws.

“I left three 10-pins and a four-pin,” Teel said.

She began the night with a 238 game, which featured eight strikes and three nine-spares. In her next game, Teel entered the 10th frame with a chance at a 300 game. Teel struck on the first ball, left a 10-pin on her 11th ball and picked up the spare. That left her short of a perfect game with a 289. In the third game, Teel was perfect in converting 12 strikes.

Beginning with a strike on her final ball of the first game, Teel rolled off a streak of 23 strikes in 24 rolls to finish the night.

“It felt unreal. I didn’t have one negative thought all night,” she explained. “I thought all of my shots had been in the pocket, and there was no reason for them not to be in the 10th frame.”

Teel once rolled an 804 three-game set, but it came at the end of a four-game series and is not recognized officially. The perfect game was Teel’s sixth of her career. She now has two perfect games in The Villages this year.

There have been two other 300 games shot by ladies in the history of bowling in The Villages.

Earlier this year, Teel notched six gold medals and a bronze while competing in seven events in the 47th Lee Evans Tournament of the Americas. She scored 6,950 in 36 games of the international competition.

Teel has set a new goal for herself.

“I’d like to shoot a higher 800 series,” she said. “I work a lot on my game and get a lot of support from guys like my husband Jerry, Bob Chamberlain, Dick Merrill and Rob Wiltsie.”

Teel was not the only member of her family to roll big at Fiesta Bowl last week. Her husband won the Senior Bowlers’ of America tournament Saturday, defeating Hall-of-Famer Dave Soutar in the final match.

There was another reason the huge series was so important to Teel.

“My mom and sister were visiting and watching me bowl,” Teel said. “We just lost my dad and he was always very supportive of my bowling. He wore one of my 300 watches and my Mom had just returned it to me. I think he was watching over me.”

Bears fans: Wait till next year!

Well it didn’t take long. After waiting in line at the ESPN club for over an hour and a half to get a table watching a nice hd 32 inch TV (the Cowboys got all the big screens even though it was the game on local tv that nobody came to the bar to see) with the Bears game on. Before I even finished my share of the nachos, before even halftime…..poof the game was gone off our tv and the bears were relegated to a 19 incher in the corner of the bar I needed binoculars to see. But by this time I was already making enemies with other Bears fans by waving a white napkin of surrender and pleading for a bag to put over my head. It was 31-0 and it gave me an excuse to bail out and go see an awesome Taylor Dayne concert at Epcot. I am posting some videos on facebook.com/jpawlak if you want to friend me and see them.

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Taylor Dayne at Epcot Sunday. AWESOME!

But back to the Bears. Lovie Smith was totally outcoached again, just like the Atlanta game. Made no adjustments, just like the Atlanta game. The offensive line remained offensive, leaving Jay Cutler running for his life and mumbling something about Denver….. The defense was even more offensive letting that loafer Benson guy run instead of just falling down like he did when he was on the Bears. Of course when he was on the Bears he had to run behind the loafers of the line that made Grossman and Orton run for their lives. And he never got to run against the Bears defense (what defense?). I didn’t even get to write any critical blogs on the Bears and the season is all over. Since Lovie Smith looks like he’ll be around at least two more years after this one, the next three seasons may be all over. Oh well, the Bulls start Thursday and it will give me something to blog about. And the Blackhawks are looking good for a team with no goalie of any fame. But Bears fans. IT IS ALLLLLL OVER!!!!

2009 White Sox…Did they earn their paychecks?

Friedell: Report card for the 2009 White Sox

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The above link shows ESPN’s take on the 2009 White Sox. I want to do my own, instead focusing on each player, and if I felt they earned their paycheck.  I don’t care how much they make and if they were a value or not. I only want to play GM and say how much I would add or reduce their current paycheck based on performance as I perceived it. Here goes:

Ozzie Guillen.....Success or Failure?

Ozzie Guillen.....Success or Failure?

Manager: Ozzie Guillen      70%

Ozzie had a horrible season making pitching moves. Every move seemed like the wrong one and his timing was horrendous. This is one of the main jobs a manager has in managing a game. His timing on calling for steals was also off many times. leading to unneeded double plays. But overall, the team seems to respond to his leadership abilities. He has tremendous rapport with the latin players, and may coerce Alexei Ramirez into becoming a star yet with his method of tough love. The veterans on the team all appreciate his support when they stunk, which helped team harmony, and he has assembled a pretty competent coaching staff, especially Don Cooper, who keeps the starting pitchers healthy and a strength of the team. Overall, if he is not fired, as I think he deserved at times, he is better than average at team leadership, which I hope will mean a better future. If next year turns into a repeat of this year, he should be gone. But for now……lower his salary.

Coaching staff:

Don Cooper  110%  Greg Walker  50%  The rest 100%

As I said, Don Cooper is one of the best pitching coaches around, and his starting pitchers are always prepared and remarkably healthy. Most of the pen is the same, although some of the players are not up to major league ability, but that is not his fault. He does his job, they sometimes don’t do theirs. Greg Walker did not do the job. Hitters cost the Sox many games with incompetent bunts, swinging at pitches out of the zone and lack of preparation to hit the first pitch when it is down the center of the plate. This is a part of his job to fix and it continued from start to finish this season. Dump him…or cut his salary. The rest of the coaches did their jobs well, although I do think Harold Baines could have been a little more forceful in advising hitters.

Pitchers:

Mark Buerhle 85% with a 20% bonus for a perfect game and leadership

Perfect game? Enough said. The rest was a little less exciting.  He was competent in that he kept the Sox in the games he pitched almost every game, but he failed as number one starter to be the stopper and big game guy he was paid to be. Competent but average earns a little less in my bottom line.

Gavin Floyd    95 %

If not for the awful start, he deserved his pay this season, making more progress toward being a number two starter. If  not for Jake Peavy being on the team, I would say he could earn number one status in the future. Very positive future.

John Danks   100%

At times looked like a number one starter and at times was just average. But over all, he made strides and could turn into one of the best left handed starters in the game if he keeps improving. I see losing him in the future because we won’t be able to afford him, but for now, he certainly earned his pay.

Jake Peavey     100%

Season grades for Jake Peavey are incomplete due to his injury, but he is a former Cy Young pitcher for a reason, He has all the pitches and knows how to use  them. I am really excited about his future, now that he seems to embrace the team and Chicago. A real professional in dealing with the media means he will make a great team leader. Pay him whatever it takes, but no raise due to incomplete performance.

Freddie Garcia    100%

Although no longer a number one starter, he certainly earned his salary this year. Hope for the future if he can just do what he did for the short time he pitched this year. Bring him back!  (I never thought I would say that when they signed him)

Bobby Jenks          100%

Although he had a couple bad games under the spotlight at the end of the season, the rest of his season was very good. It started out spectacular, so good I thought he deserved an all star spot. The rest of the year was fine and he is probably up for a raise. Even though I would not give him a giant raise, I would pay his arbitrated salary rather than trade him. He is not done by any means.

Matt Thornton        150%

Not only did he have a great year, hev was consistently good and may have even earned the closer job. Another guy we are gonna have to pay and pay big to keep. Give  him a raise!

Octavio Dotel          80%

Great at times, but way too inconsistent. Probably not worth keeping at present salary.

Scott Linebrink       60%

Even more inconsistent than Dotel. Not worth his salary, whatever it is. Keep only if he takes a cut in pay, to be  used in washup duty.

Tony Pena           50%

Did not earn his pay. Cost us a good prospect. Kenny Williams’ worst move. “nuff said

D.J. Carrasco           125%

Give the man a raise. consistent in long relief. Good in short relief. OK as a starter. A keeper.

Carlos Torres      100%

Inconsistent as a starter, but looked good at times. May be a diamond in the rough. Bring him back. May be good in the bullpen.

Catchers

A.J. Pierzynsky    100%

Although a defensive liability at throwing stealers out, I had to gulp hard and say he well deserved his pay. With a .300 average, 13 homers and 49 RBI, he was one of our few consistent hitters.  And he is absolutely great calling the game and getting the most out of the pitchers. They never shake off his signs. They have confidence in him and he seems to be the team leader, if not a love/hate character in the locker room.

Ramon Castro        100%

Did not play enough to judge his true value. Caught the perfect game, so must know how to call a game. Looks like  a competent backup catcher.

Tyler Flower           100%

Did not see enough to know his worth. He  is certainly big and strong, but looks too big to be a catcher. The ump can’t see around him. May have a big future at a different position, but for now, pay him and  keep him.

First Base

Paul Konerko          88%

Still a liability on the bases, he caused more than his share of base clogging this year because he drew so many walks and got plenty of hits. He had a much better offensive year with 28 homers and 88 RBI. Should have had more RBI considering his place in the lineup, but he is a specialist at the solo home run, my least favorite statistic. He was very consistent and at times well above average in the field, making a shaky defensive infield passable. My favorite candidate to trade but it doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen so pay the man, albeit not a full salary that should command at least 100 RBI. At least he was more consistent than last year.

Mark Kotsay    150%

Whatever we pay him, give him a raise. Good in the field, both at first and in the outfield. Hit .278 in limited appearances, but was very consistent, professional, and positive in every thing he did in the field and at bat. You can never have enough of this type player.

2nd Base

Chris Getz           150%

Might have been rookie of the year if Gordon Beckham stayed in the minors. Very good in the field. Had injuries that affected his hitting averages as they came just when he started to hit consistently. Still ended up with .261 and many key hits anchoring a surprisingly good bottom of the batting order. Looks like a keeper. Give him  a raise!

Jayson Nix          100%

Had he not been injured in spring training, probably would have been the starter. Is smooth in the field at all three infield spots. Hits well, although striles out too much trying for the long ball. Hit 12 homers and 32 RBI in limited appearances, so probably has a good upside. His fielding makes him a better alternative to Juan Uribe and he is young and has time to grow. A keeper.

Shotstop

Alexei Ramirez       100%

I am really tempted to say cut his pay due to inconsistency, but when you look around the league and think back on our recent shortstops, Alexei stacks up. He is still young and learning a new country and job. He hit .277 with 15 homers and 68 RBIs.(another reason Konerko’s 88 looks shabby) Ramirez’s biggest problem is that he is still erratic defensively. He made 20 errors this season. He has a knack for the big hit, which we sorely lacked this year. Overall. you have to say he earned his pay.

3rd Base

Gordon Beckham           200% plus a bonus for rookie of the year and team’s best player

As you can tell, I love Gordon Beckham. I loved him in the College World Series. I loved him in spring training. I thought the Sox were nuts to send him to the minors at all. He got thrown into a new position with no training, made a few errors, but became a very good fielder by the end of the season. You could see improvement from game to game. At bat, he started out lousy, got hot and ended with .270 with 14 home runs and 63 RBIs in just four months of action. He has actually been referred to as a doubles machine. I like to think of him as the next Arod, The Sox better start investing in gold in order to pay him when he reaches arbitration and better never let him near free agency. Can’t pay him enough.

Josh Fields           50%

What do you pay a bust? He fooled the management with his hard work over the winter becoming competent in the field (an upgrade from awful), then went into the tank hitting. Strikes out way too much. Doesn’t know the strike zone. Has good power, but pitchers never have to throw him strikes to get him out. He was so bad he forced management to see the error of their ways and caused them to bring up Gordon Beckham. For  that Josh Fields at least deserves part of his salary.

Outfield

Carlos Quentin         85%

My favorite outfielder had a very inconsistent season due to injury. They best I can say he looked like the best hitter on the team the last week of the season. The rest of the year was like watching rehab in the minors. He did manage to get in 99 games and had 21 home runs and 56 RBI, but never really was playing injury free. I still have big hopes for the future, but his future was supposed to be  this year. One of the main reasons the team dropped from contention was a missing Carlos Quentin of 2008. Can he stay healthy? The answer to that may be the key to the White Sox future. If he fails next year we will have to start over with youngsters.

Jermaine Dye             60%

Another big favorite of mine but I’m afraid he’s done. His defense slipped all year. His offense went totally in the  tank in the second half. As bad as he was he still had 27 homers and 81 RBI, again emphasizing how bad Konerko’s RBI total was. His bad second half and Quentin’s missing numbers cost the Sox the season. Not much can be said when you see a favorite lose his skills. My heart says bring him back.  My head says goodbye and thanks for the memories.

Scott Posednick          130%

Another player I was totally wrong on. I cried when we signed him. (Of course we could have had Bobby Abreu), but it turned out he was not only just what we needed (a leadoff man to get on base), but he became one of the few consistent hitters we had. He stole some bases but was always being thrown out somewhere, negating some of his speed, but was fun to watch. He is a liability in the outfield, making his return problematic, but he surely earned his pay and then some.

Alex Rios                 90%

I know. You think I’m nuts to even suggest we pay this guy at all. But I see a big future. My most favorable impression was his fielding ability. He is fast. He can catch. He is not afraid of the wall like Posednick. The other team NEVER runs on his arm. And he looks like he can play any position. Hiting wise, he is a puzzle. He did almost nothing in the White Sox offense, but his overall numbers show 17 homers, 71 RBI, a .296 OBP (amazing since it seemed like 0 on the Sox) and a slugging percentage of .395 overall. He must have done a few things right on Toronto. I think he just had a bad slump at the same time as all the other Sox, which made him look worthless. I am hopeful for a big season and future. So for now,  just a slight pay cut for a lousy few games with the White Sox.