Last night was the NCAA final for men's basketball. Villanova vs North Carolina. Villanova won on a buzzer beater. I had UNC -2. Because of course I did.
I have had a lot of gambling losses. I have lost a LOT more money on games than I did last night. In fact, last night I didn't lose that much but I still think that may the most devastating gambling loss of all time.
The last two days I had been saying how I liked Nova and they felt like a team of destiny. (Check it out on the latest episode of 3MP) all the things I thought about them came to fruition last night: Lights out shooting and great defense. Yet I faded myself at the last minute and took UNC. Stupid, stupid move.I am so mad at myself for not going with my gut. Yeah it's getting smaller everyday on this diet but I still need to trust it.
I felt awful as soon as I locked in my bet because like 70% of the money online was on UNC. Whenever it is that skewed I I get worried because there is a reason Vegas and these off shore sites are so huge. Whenever a large majority of the money is on one side I feel like they always lose. I swear this shit is rigged.
I'm not gonna go over the full game, but it was an all time classic. Awful officiating though and I'm not just saying that cause I lost. They were inconsistent all night long and took away from a great game. I'm a big fan of letting teams play, especially in a stage like that. Refs are losers who weren't good enough to make it as players so they try to make the game all about them. It's bs, nobody is watching any sport for the officials.
Nova shot the lights out all night and they were up 10 with like 3 minutes left but UNC was able to fight back.
Marcus Paige (UNC) hit one of the craziest shots you'll ever see to tie the game at 74 with 4.7 seconds remaining.
I mean honestly look at that picture....how on earth did that fall?
It sucks for him that that shot will probably be forgotten because they lost but that is one of the most impressive shots I've ever seen. Off-Balance, double clutched, last chance for UNC and he drains it.
Reminds me a lot of the Kearse bobbled catch in Super Bowl 49 that some people forgot about thanks to my man Malcolm.
(Had to include something that makes me happy because I'm honestly still shook from that L)
I still can't believe he hit that. For a split second I felt great. I wasn't even looking at the clock and figured OT a sure thing. I was so excited for that brief moment because UNC was able to fight back after they looked like they were dead. I was about ready to throw away my ticket then Marcus Paige happened. After scratching and clawing all night to get back in the number it looked like there was still a great chance to win. People also are gonna forget about Meeks ripping the ball away from Nova to make it a 3 point game late. If that doesn't happen the game is over before these crazy shots.
I was texting back and forth all night with a couple friends who also had UNC and we were all nervous wrecks all night. One kept saying we were gonna get are hearts ripped out but I didn't believe it, I was trying to stay positive but he sure was right.
Then I looked at the clock and saw 4.7 seconds left. My joy of the tie soon turned to fear for the worst as that was plenty of time to get a decent look. I still don't get how they left that much time. After Nova's time out ended I stood up and watched the final 4.7 seconds with an awful feeling that the worst was yet to come. I still can't believe UNC let Nova get such a great shot off in that situation. I know you don't wanna foul but they let them run up court with ease. I just don't get it.
Then this happened and everybody backing UNC, who thought they were dead with minutes left, only to be revived back to life, had their hearts, and guts ripped out as Kris Jenkins hit the game winning 3 as time expired. Cold blooded kill shot.
I mean all the credit in the world to this guy. What a shot. Nothing but net to win the National Championship. Ultimate dream scenario for any basketball player.
But for us backing UNC it was the ultimate kill shot. I am not a UNC fan at all but that shot killed me. Losses like that make you question everything, will I ever win a bet again?
I could have dealt with losing in OT but having that heartbreaker only seconds after thinking you are going to OT legit may change my life forever. Highest of highs followed by the lowest of lows. I do think UNC wins if that game goes to OT, they had all the momentum in the world after the final 2 minutes. But that didn't happen, and that's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.
A loss like that though is going to put me in retirement for a few days but I will be back. The key to being a good gambler is like being a good pitcher. You need to have a short memory.... last hitter went yard? Move on and go strike out the next guy. On the wrong side of one of the greatest buzzer beaters in the history of basketball? Move on and go win back everything by betting on baseball.
Part 3 is the final part of my MLB preview blog. In here I will go over the final remaining teams, give my playoff teams, World Series winner and major award picks. The teams in part 3 is a mixture of hot picks to surprise, fake contenders and legit contenders. Some teams are good on paper, but lets see what happens when real games are played. Some of these teams have flaws that make them not legit contenders right now. These are teams that are gonna be in the mix that may make a trade or have an unknown guy step up that takes them to the next level. Legit contenders will be the final tier of teams. Pretty obvious there, that right now I think they are the best teams in baseball.
Teams That Are The Sexy Surprise Pick
These are the franchises that may have made a big splash in the off season or are expected to have their homegrown guys make a bring leap. These teams are expected to take the next step but still have a lot of question marks.
The Diamondbacks have one of the best youngish stars in the league in 1B Paul Goldschmidt. They are young, homegrown exciting team. This off-season they added two frontline starting pitchers in Zack Grienke and Shelby Miller. They also totally redid their uniforms. I know it's not the case but I feel like whenever a team totally re-hauls their unis they get good because the Rays did it in 2008.
Now that the D-Backs have added two top level starters to round out their team many think this team may take a big leap in the 2016, especially when they signed Grienke from the Dodgers which not only made them better but made LA worse. The NL West is going to be a 3 headed monster in 2016 with the Giants, Dodgers, and D-Backs. The Diamondbacks could make some serious noise in 2016 and find themselves playing in October.
The Seattle Mariners have the longest playoff drought in MLB. They haven't played a meaningful game in October since 2001 when they broke the single season win record.
The Mariners despite sucking for years have one thing that all legit contenders need...an Ace.
Felix Hernandez is one of the top pitchers in baseball. They have legit bats in Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager, and Robinson Cano. While Cano has disappointed in Seattle this team on paper does have many guys in the lineup who could be dangerous.
Health is the biggest key for Seattle to be successful in 2016. I expect them to finish 3rd in the AL West but depending on how the rest of the league is, that may get them the 2nd wild card.
The Indians have one of the best starting rotations in baseball. Corey Kluber had an awful win-loss record last season, but don't let that fool you. He still pitched well in 2015. The Indians are the opposite of most teams I've listed so far, they have great pitching but a subpar offense. With a great veteran manager like Terry Francona and the pitching the have I expect the Indians to give the Royals a run for their money in the AL Central.
Boston Red Sox
I'm not only saying this because they are my favorite team, but the Red Sox are the most intriguing team in baseball. They could finish in last place for a 3rd straight year, they could win the AL East.
After trading away their entire 2013 World Series winning pitching staff in 2014 the Red Sox were left without an Ace. They didn't have one in 2015 and were awful.
Finally they addressed that by signing David Price this offseason to sure up the rotation. But behind him the rest of the staff is spotty at best. Clay Buchholz is sneeze away from a 4 month DL stint. Joe Kelly and Rick Porcello have shown flashes but are way too inconsistent and E-Rod is hurt. Their line-up has many guys who have underproduced that are trying to bounce back as well.
Not to mention it is David Ortiz's final season. Will it be a rallying call or the ultimate distraction? As a Red Sox fan I have no idea what to expect. Manager John Farrell is also on a very short lease so if this team comes out the gates cold he may be out of a job by Memorial Day. My heart says the Sox will be a good team in 2016 but my head sees mediocrity.
Teams Who Made The Playoffs That I Expect To Take A Step Back
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals won 100 games last year so I think it's pretty easy to assume they'll take a step back. The Cards are just the Rays or A's with deeper pockets. Every year they lose great players but somehow replace them and are just as good if not better. They lost Jason Hayward and John Lackey but it will somehow not hurt them.
Personally I am just Cardinal-ed out. They have been constantly been the best team in the National League since 2011. While the Giants have more rings, the Cardinals have won a World Series and haven't missed the playoffs any of those season which is something the Giants cannot say. They will probably win 95 games this year and be right in the thick of things but for this I'm putting them right here because at the end of the day I do not think this team will win the World Series.
New York Yankees
They probably have the best bullpen in baseball... but the main question is will they ever all be on the field at the same time? Andrew Miller is hurt and Chapman is suspended. They have a scary 7-8-9 inning combination and if they can all be healthy at once the Yankees are going to be playing 6 inning games.
However after Tanaka I don't love their rotation and they are way too old and questionable everywhere else. A-Rod had a nice bounce back last season but who knows what to expect this year. McCann has been a disappointment. Beltran is like 50 years old. Ellsbury isn't the same guy he was with the Red Sox. Tex is getting up there as well. Yankees were a wild card last season but lost the Wild Card game to the Astros, I don't think they'll be making the playoffs in 2016.
The Pirates won 98 games last year 2nd best in the entire MLB. Unfortunately for them they play in the NL Central where that was only good enough for second place in their division. They played the 97 win 3rd place Chicago Cubs in a one game playoff and faced Jake Arrieta who was on a historic run and they were done after one game. I feel bad for the Pirates because they struggled for 20 years and when they finally get good and are the top wild card team for 3 straight years they have to play in the one and done game. I personally don't like the way it is set up currently but thats how it is.
I do think the Pirates take a step back, I just think the fact they've lost the Wild-Card game two straight years hurts them mentally somehow. I hope I'm wrong, I like this team a lot and hope they compete. They probably will, wouldn't be surprised at all if this team won 90+ again but I do think the NL is loaded and they will have a tough time making the playoffs for a 4th straight season in 2016.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays surprised many by winning the AL East last season and making it to the ALCS. They rented David Price who was major reason they went on a run in the 2nd half. However in the postseason he was shaky. The Blue Jays lost him in the off-season to a team in their division, The Boston Red Sox.
The Blue Jays have the scariest line-up in all of baseball but as we've seen in the playoffs, great pitcher beats great hitting and although the Blue Jays should have a full season of Marcus Stroman they don't have great pitching.
The Blue Jays could win the AL East again, however I think it is going to be a very tight race this year in the ultra-competitive division.
Personally I just think the Blue Jays don't have the pitching depth to be a serious World Series contender. They will be in the mix though in 2016.
After signing Max Scherzer in 2015, everybody had the Nats winning the NL East. However they underperformed greatly under 2nd year manager Matt Williams and only won 84 games. Williams lost his job and the Nats signed Dusty Baker to run the club.
Dusty imo is one of the most overrated managers in MLB history. He's prehistoric in his style and hasn't given saber metrics any respect. He gets teams to the playoffs but doesn't do much in them. However with all the talent on this team I think you cannot write them off. The Mets are the favorites to win the East and have amazing pitching but IMO still have some flaws that I'll get into later. The Nationals have Bryce Harper who is the 2nd best player in baseball and a pretty good pitching staff. I expect the Nats to be in the hunt all season long, they may not win the East but I expect this team to be much better than they were in 2015.
Los Angeles Dodgers
New skipper Dave Roberts will have a lot on his plate in 2016. The Dodgers have been one of the premiere NL teams for the last decade but have yet to make it back to the World Series. This offseason they lost stud pitcher Zack Grienke within the division and replaced him Scott Kazmir who has recently resurrected his career in the AL with stops in Cleveland, Oakland and Houston. The move to the NL should help Kazmir but with all due respect he's no Grienke.
The Dodgers still have one of the most talented rosters in baseball and as long as Clayton Kershaw is healthy you cannot count them out. As a baseball fan, I am very excited to see the 3 team race out west with the Dodgers, Giants and D-backs.
The Astros shocked baseball by leading AL West for most of last season. The stumbled down the stretch and ended up as the 2nd wild card but won the Wild Card game on the back of Cy Young winner Dallas Kuechel. The 'Stros had a 2-1 series lead in the divisional round against the defending AL champion Royals and looked like they were going to the ALCS. They blew a big lead in game 4 and ultimately lost the series.
The Astros are a very young, exciting team with promise. They have two great young pitchers leading their staff and a young SS in Carlos Correa who many are already calling the best SS in baseball despite half a season under his belt. The Astros are lucky the moved to the American League because the AL is much weaker than the NL and they have a great chance to win the AL pennant this year I truly believe that. The AL West winner will be a Texas team as they are the Rangers both look like tough teams that will have a year long race for the division crown.
The Rangers winning the AL East in 2015 shocked me. Yes this team had been a contender in 2010, 11, 12 and 13 but in 2014 everything changed as the Rangers were a last place team, winning only 67 games.
Under new manager Jeff Banister the Rangers in 2015 did not start hot, infact they were under .500 in early August. I remember wondering why did they trade for Cole Hamels when they seemed to be out of the race? But they got hot and ended up stealing the AL West crown from the instate rival Astros. In the playoffs the Rangers shocked again by winning the first two games of their division series on the road in Toronto. However they lost the next 3 games and their season was over.
In 2015 they did all of this without ace pitcher Yu Darvish. With him back in 2015 paired up with Cole Hamels the Rangers have one of the best one-two punches in the AL. With the renaissance of Prince Fielder in 2015 it seems like he is back to himself offensively. With other veterans like Adrian Beltre, Mitchmore and Shin-Soo Choo and promising young players such as Rougned Odor and Joey Gallo the Rangers have a solid lineup. In a weak American League the idea of the Rangers winning the Pennant isn't outlandish.
San Francisco Giants
Well it's an even year. After going without a championship since 1954 when they were the New York Giants, the San Francisco Giants have turned it around completely. Winning the World Series in every even year this decade, 2010, 2012 and 2014.
After a down year in 2015 the Giants signed pitchers Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to pair up with Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain and Jeff Peavy. Now they have one of the best starting staffs in baseball. With many proven position players like Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and Hunter Pence the Giants look to rebound in 2016 and be one of the best teams in the National League. Skipper Bruce Bochy is also one of the most underrated managers in baseball. 3 rings and I feel like nobody ever brings him up when taking about the best managers in baseball. It is going to be tough as I said previously in the NL West but I expect the Giants to be in the hunt all year long.
It is an even numbered year after all.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals are the defending World Series champs. Can't count out the Royals. I still don't understand how they do it because their team is just a bunch of solid guys no legit superstars IMO and they don't have a great starting rotation but they get it done. Royals bullpen is lights out, even when they lost Holland last year. With two straight World Series appearances this team knows how to win and showed last post season that they aren't dead until the 27th out is made. I'm sick of the Royals and hope they don't make the playoffs but they probably will. In a weak American League they are probably the favorite right now even if Vegas doesn't think so. This team has defied logic for two years in a row.
New York Mets
In 2015 the Mets won the National League Pennant. Most expected their division rival, the Washington Nationals to be in their shoes. In 2015 the Mets starting staff was lights out but they had a historically bad offense. Most Met fans didn't expect a move to made as this team has notoriously bad ownership. However the Mets traded for OF Yoenis Cespedes and it helped fix a lot of their offensive struggles. They ended up winning 90 games and went to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
In the playoffs the Mets beat the Dodgers in the divisional series then swept the Cubs in the NLCS. In the World Series the Mets struggled to close out games. It felt like they blew a late inning lead in every single game. Personally, I think that this Mets team is flawed offensively and in the bullpen. But with hands down the best starting rotation in baseball many think that will hide a lot of this teams bruises. It's weird I hate NY sports but couldn't help but like this team with the young long haired stud pitchers and personalities they have on the roster. Mets are a hot World Series pick this season. I'd say anything less than a division title in 2016 would be a failure.
Under new manager Joe Maddon many thought the Cubs would improve in 2015 from a last place 2014 finish. I don't think anybody expected this team to win 97 games. The Cubs broke onto the scene a year earlier than expected. Led by breaking season from pitcher Jake Arrieta the Cubs were one best teams in the NL in 2015. In the playoffs the Cubs beat divisional foe Pittsburgh in the Wild Card game, then archival Cardinals in the NLDS before getting swept by the Mets in the NLCS.
Last year they were the cute cinderella team, this year they are expected to win the whole damn thing. Everybody knows the Cubs haven't won the World Series in over over 100 years. 1908 was the last time the Cubbies were World Champs. Pre World War I.
Many believe that 2016 is the Cubs year to change that. This team is young and exciting with a fantastic offense with young players like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber leading the charge. Their starting staff features Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta and 40% of the 2013 World Series Champion Red Sox rotation in Jon Lester and John Lackey. The Cubs also added super utility man Ben Zobrist from the World Champion Royals.
Nobody expected the Cubs to be in the NLCS in 2015, this year everybody does. Will the added pressure be too much to handle for this extremely talent but young team?
My DOZONLIFE Regular Season Standings Predictions
I'm gonna include how many games I expect the teams to win. It may not add up correctly, idc, I'm blogging for free.
East: Central: West: Wild Card Teams:
1. Red Sox 90-72 1. Royals 93-69 1. Astros 95-67 Rangers and Indians
2. Blue Jays 85-77 2. Indians 89-73 2. Rangers 92-70
3. Yankees 79-83 3. Tigers 81-81 3. Mariners 86-76
4. Rays 78-84 4. White Sox 79-83 4. Angels 70-92
5. Orioles 71-91 5. Twins 78-84 5. Athletics 67-95
East: Central: West: Wild Card Teams:
1. Mets 94-68 1. Cubs 96-66 1. Giants 95-67 Nationals and Diamondbacks
2. Nationals 92-70 2. Cardinals 90-72 2. Diamondbacks 91-71
3. Marlins 78-84 3. Pirates 88-74 3. Dodgers 89-73
4. Braves 67- 95 4. Brewers 72-90 4. Padres 74-88
5. Phillies 63-99 5. Reds 69-93 5. Rockies 72-90
Wild Card Game: (4) Rangers beat (5) Indians
ALDS: (4) Rangers beat (1) Astros
(2) Royals beat (3) Red Sox
ALCS: (4) Rangers beat (2) Royals
Wild Card Game: (4) Nationals beat (5) Diamondbacks
NLDS: (1) Cubs beat (4) Nationals
(3) Mets beat (2) Giants
NLCS: (1) Cubs beat (3) Mets
National Champion Chicago Cubs beat American League Champion Texas Rangers
Cy Young Winners: MVP:
AL: Chris Archer (Tampa Bay Rays) AL: Mookie Betts (Boston Red Sox)
NL: Noah Syndergaard (New York Mets) NL: Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs)
Rookie of the Year: Manager of the Year:
AL: Joey Gallo (Texas Rangers) AL: Terry Francona (Cleveland Indians)
NL: Corey Seager (Los Angeles Dodgers) NL: Chip Hale (Arizona Diamondbacks)
These are my predictions for the 2016 MLB Season. I hope I'm wrong with the World Series, I'd love to see the Red Sox win it in David Ortiz's final season but I didn't wanna be a homer. If it isn't gonna be the Sox I'd love to see the Cubs or Mets win it all. Anybody other than the Yankees, Royals, Cardinals or Dodgers and I'm good. I was gonna list the Rays and Orioles too but I don't think that I have to worry about that.
I can't wait for baseball to start. Thanks for reading!
Part 1 of my dozonlife MLB Preview featured the teams that I think have 0.00% chance of winning the World Series or even making the playoffs.
Part 2 is the middle of the pack teams that probably won't contend, but have a slight chance of making the playoffs. Again they are just bunched together, no real rankings yet. These teams in my mind have a chance to someone contend. Probably won't but I'm not completely writing them off like the first group.
Teams That I Have No Idea What to Expect
Now I don't expect the Twins to make the playoffs. But for most of the season last year they were playing .500 ball. Manager Paul Molitor got a lot out of the talent he had available, as they won 84 games. They don't have great pitching but this team surprised last year. I probably could have had them on part 1 but I'd give the Twins like a 7% chance at stealing a Wild-Card spot. They added Korean player Byung Ho Park who could be a big surprise this season. Hopefully Joe Mauer is healthy and himself this year, it's impossible to root against a guy like him. A real pro's pro.
Chicago White Sox
The AL Central is weird. Much like the East, almost no order of teams would shock me. I hate the White Sox. They are not the Sox, the Red Sox are the Sox and it drives me crazy when they are referred to as the Sox. As much as I irrationally hate this team I do think they have some legit talent. Chris Sale is one of the best pitchers in the American League. Jose Abreu is a beast. This team could finish 2nd or 5th in the AL Central though and it wouldn't shock me.
With players like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton, Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, and Victor Martinez on offense the Tigers should be able to score some runs. From 2011-2014 the Tigers won the AL Central every year and were always one of the best teams in baseball but were unable to win the World Series. I still can't believe the got swept in 2014 when they were starting Verlander, Price and Scherzer.
A lot of guys from those teams are gone and Justin Verlander is no longer the stud ace he used to be. IF he can rebound and pitch like it's 2012 the Tigers could compete in the American League but this team is full of question marks. I've said it with a ton of teams but I honestly don't know what to expect from the Tigers. A lot of experts think this team will finish under .500 but I'm not gonna complete write off the Tigers yet.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Two words: Mike Trout.
This Angels roster is nothing special, but they have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout. Many baseball experts think this team is wasted Trout's prime by having a subpar roster around him. I too kind of agree. The Angels did make the most underrated move of the off season however, they signed OF Daniel Nava. Expect a big bounce back in 2016 for Nava. They still have Pujols as well who had a nice year in 2015. The key to the Angels season will be starting pitching and how will Garret Richards do in 2016. I expect the Angels to finish the season right around .500
Tampa Bay Rays
Another small market team with limited resources, the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays roster on paper sucks but the Rays always have no name guys that always find a way to produce. They have a legit ace in Chris Archer and a lot of other young talent like always. After they lost manager Joe Maddon to the Cubs I thought the Rays would go away and we'd never hear from them again but they are still always in the mix. I hate the Rays and think they'll finish 4th in the AL East but it they some how hit lightning in a bottle it wouldn't shock me.
Opening Day is Monday but there are games Sunday too. Baseball is trying to stretch out the festivities as long as possible. Theres just something special about opening day. Even if MLB is trying to turn it into opening week. Whatever, whenever it starts, basically is back. I for one and very excited. Unlike most people my age, I LOVE baseball. I love knowing that pretty much everyday for the next 6 months I'll be able to watch the Red Sox play. There are a lot of great story lines across baseball this year and tons of uncertainty. I can't wait.
Before I started blogging every year on Facebook or Twitter I post my projected standings and playoff predictions for the MLB season. Now that I have dozonlife I can do that but also go a little bit more in depth.
Teams with NO Chance of Making of the Playoffs
These teams have no chance at all to be successful in 2016. There is no order here, they all are equally trash.
It wasn't that long ago where the Phillies were the class of the National League. With a solid infield of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins the Phillies won the NL East every year from 2007-2011. During that time they won 2 pennants, and the 2008 World Series.
Those days are long gone. The Phillies have been one of the worst teams in the entire MLB since 2013, last year they lost 99 games. Philly sports are a joke right now but at least they aren't the 76ers.
The one bright spot of this roster is 3rd basemen Maikel Franco. He may turn into a star on an awful team this year.
Much like the Phillies it wasn't that long ago were the Braves were a legit team in the NL. Most recently in 2013 they won the NL East. 2016 will be the Braves last season in Turner Field as they are moving to a new stadium in a suburb of Atlanta next year. I went to Turned Field two years ago and although it is kind of in a bad area the actually stadium was enjoyable. Tons of hot Georgia chicks too.
However, their last season in Atlanta will be one to forget. They traded away stud SS Andrelton Simmons to the Angels and other than 1st basemen Freddie Freeman idk who is on this roster. They have one of the best minor league systems in baseball but the major league product will not be good in 2016. No shot hotlanta sees the postseason in 2016.
The Rockies have always had stud position players because of Coors Field but no pitching. The Rockies have been irrelevant basically since 2009. There's been rumors of trading Carlos Gonzalez for at least the last 5 years yet he is still in Colorado. Nolan Arendado is a stud, but is wasted by being on a nothing franchise. 0.00% chance the Rockies make the post season.
There is a trend here..not that long ago the Reds were legit. They made the playoffs in 2010,12, and 13. However as a small market team they have a tough time signing free agents and have started a rebuild again by trading away Todd Frazier and Chapman. Poppa Don will hate to see this but the Reds suck and theres no way they make the playoffs in 2016. At least they have Joey Votto.
Another small market team in a rebuild. The A's shocked all of baseball by winning the AL West in 2012. Then they won it again in 2013. In 2014 they were the best team in baseball for the first few months and decided to go all in trading OF Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester. They also added pitcher Jeff Samardzija. They went all in and it failed, they stumbled the rest of the year and barely made the playoffs. As the 2nd AL Wild Card they lost a heartbreaker to the Kansas City Royals and after one playoff game their season was over.
Even though it failed I give the A's all the credit in the world for having the balls to switch things up and go for it. Unfortunately for them it did not work and now they are in a rebuilding mode yet again. Until they get a new stadium and start making legit money the A's are always gonna be a small market, moneyball, build through young players kind of team. I have a soft spot in my heart for the A's but this year they are gonna stink. They have a few nice players but I wouldn't be shocked if they ended up trading them. The one guy in mind here is pitcher Sonny Gray. I wouldn't be shocked at all if he ended the season on the Red Sox or Yankees.
The Brewers suck. They should go back to their old logo. Ryan Braun is a liar. He also is the only player I can name on the Brewers. They aren't going to sniff success in 2016.
San Diego Padres
Another team with a fantastic throwback logo. The Padres aka the Fathers tried to make a splash last off season by adding James Shields and Matt Kemp. Ended up winning 74 games. They did add one of the best announcers in all of sports by getting Don Orsillo. I have nothing against the Padres and hear San Diego (which we all know means a whale's vagina) is a beautiful place, but they are not going to be a competitive MLB team in 2016.
RIP Tony Gwynn
I went to Camden Yards in 2011 with a buddy of mine and our then girlfriends, the park was actually a beautiful park. Great place to watch a ball game. They accepted my ex's fake ID so I have nothing but great things to say about Camden Yards. Red Sox won by like 8 runs, it was a great day. Baltimore though is a dump and I hate Baltimore. We enjoyed the local cuisine by getting Jimmy John's for lunch and Burger King for dinner.
Ravens are scumbags btw.
The Orioles have a good lineup with a lot of power but no pitching at all. They are going to end the Red Sox 2 year reign as the last place American League East team. I have nothing but ill will for this city.
The Marlins have a fantastic power bat in Giancarlo "Mike" Stanton and a stud pitcher in Jose Fernandez. Dee Gordon is a great player as well.
I expect them to finish in 3rd in the NL East and are the only team that I think will finish 3rd that is included in this part of my blog, but with how good the National League is at the top I don't see a way that this team especially with how they never, ever add talent through the trade deadline makes the playoffs.
Also they have the worst logo and uniforms in the league.
When I woke up this morning (about 15 minutes ago) I did what I always do, check my phone to see all the notifications I had while I was sleeping. They are almost always all ESPN, maybe a snapchat or favorited tweet notification but never a text. People don't text me :/
But I saw some of the best Red Sox news I've seen since they signed David Price and that was that John Farrell actually grew a set of balls and benched Pablo Sandoval for Travis Shaw. Pablo is a fat loser who doesn't care at all since he has 3 rings from his time with the Giants and fooled the Red Sox into giving him 95 fucking million dollars.
In honor to the fat Panda getting benched this week's sports #tbt is when Pablo hit 3 homers in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series.
Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Albert Pujols and Pablo Sandoval....Which one of those names doesn't belong?
As a learned more and more about the history of baseball growing up, one thing that always had a bunch of lore was the fact that Reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs in game 6 of the 1977 World Series. Babe Ruth had also done it a million years ago when he played. Two all time greats hitting 3 home runs in a single game on the biggest stage.
Then in 2011 Albert Pujols did it as well. Up until then in his career Pujols was on track to be one of the greatest of all time. So his name being mentioned in the same breath as them wasn't that insane.
Then next year in 2012 Pablo fucking Sandoval joined the club by hitting 3 home runs in game 1 of the Fall Classic, two off Justin Verlander which may be the craziest part. That one game basically cemented him as World Series MVP since the Giants swept the Tigers in 4 this is the only thing I remember about that boring World Series.
Pablo Sandoval was an average player at best in the regular season during his years with the San Francisco Giants but because of two good postseasons in 2012 and 2014 he fleeced the Red Sox for 95 million. Honestly I wish the Red Sox would just outright release him and eat the money. I don't want him anywhere near the Boston Red Sox.
I hate Pablo Sandoval, here is the greatest moment of his career.
After having probably the best game of his career in January's loss to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game Gronk has had a pretty interesting off season. Highlighted by the Gronk Cruise, the Pats trading away his best friend, Chandler Jones and contract complaints on twitter.
Well today he made up for all of it with his classic goofy party boy persona in a post on instagram announcing he joined.
1. Didn't know you could post videos over 15 seconds now. GAME CHANGER.
2. The hashtags are soooooo Gronk #hashtag
3. His brother is freezing his nuts off in Buffalo
4. Gronk is actually kinda funny...NOT
5. Thank God Gronk is the best TE in NFL history because I don't see any other job on Earth he could do
I know baseball haven't even started yet but I cannot wait for the Pats and the NFL to be back.
Playing football and the later affects it may have on a person physically has been one of the biggest issues in all of sports the last few years. I kind of fall down the middle on the debate because I love football, I played in high school and have no regrets about playing. But I do believe there are health risks to playing. To me it is common sense that having multiple hits to the head is probably not the best thing for your brain, but I also think a lot of the head trauma stuff is over blown. Just because you get a concussion or two does not necessarily mean you're going to get CTE or ALS later in life. I don't think people should stop playing football especially in high school because more likely than not if you play football for 4 years in school nothing too serious is going to happen to you.
However many key NFL figures, despite multiple examples of players with CTE and tons of science backing up the claims that football can lead to serious health issues later in later disagree with the claims that football is dangerous.
I do feel bad for all the guys who used to play that had no idea what was coming for them down the line. But personally I don't feel bad for players now because they know the risks. I always compare it to being a soldier or police officer. There are occupational hazards. If you sign up to join the Army you know there's a chance you may not make it home. With all the money, women, and fame that comes with being in the NFL I believe this is the chance you have to take/trade off for the lifestyle.
The most well known bean head in sports, Jim Irsay recently compared the dangers of football to the dangers of aspirin. Anybody with a brain would have to agree that is an idiotic claim.
Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy murdered Irsay in cold blood with this shot to him on instagram asking "frequent trips to the pharmacy make you an expert on CTE?"
For those of you who don't know, Jim Irsay is the owner of the Indianapolis Colts. He is also an alcoholic, pill popping, lunatic and I'm glad he got called out. Here is Orsay's full quote
"I believe this: that the game has always been a risk, you know, and the way certain people are," he said. "Look at it. You take an aspirin, I take an aspirin, it might give you extreme side effects of illness and your body ... may reject it, where I would be fine. So there is so much we don't know."
I think I see what he's trying to say but it is an awful comparison. Getting hit in the head 40 times in the game 16 times a year is not nearly the same as taking a fucking tylenol.
Many in the NFL keep denying the facts about head injuries and Irsay is just the latest. Irsay is not exactly what you call smart guy or an upstanding citizen. He's been suspended before for DUI and for pills.
He also had a very interesting promotion last year as the Colts owner.
Basically give him your pills and you can get a DVD with 2014 Colts highlights. I can't believe that tweet is still up tbh with his past history. That tweet was a PR nightmare. Personally these are my favorite highlights of their season.
As a Patriots fan I hate everything about the Colts and really hate Jim Irsay. I'm glad there are others in the NFL who have issue with him as well. DeAndre Levy you're alright in my book. Anybody in the NFL who doesn't believe that playing football in the NFL can lead to CTE, ALS or any other serious issues is lying to themselves. Countless players have died from these terrible diseases. Owners like Jerry Jones and Jim Irsay who deny it are just as big of a problem.
DeAndre Levy can play on my team any day.
Opening Day for the 2016 Major League Baseball season is a week away. It's a special day where all 30 teams are even. Everybody is is first place, and has a chance to be a good team. Everybody thinks this can be THEIR year.
David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox has the same goal as a every other player and team, to win the World Series. For the one we've grown to love and have called Big Papi for over a decade, this marks the beginning of the end. In November of 2015 Big Papi announced that the 2016 campaign will be his last. This is the last year we'll get to see #34 and his big signature smile at Fenway Park as the Designated Hitter for the Boston Red Sox. What remains to be seen his how the Red Sox will handle this? Will they make the playoffs this season?
When the Red Sox signed David Ortiz in January of 2003 nobody could have ever expected what was to come. 445 home runs, 1803 RBI, 9 All Star teams, 6 Silver Sluggers and 3 World Series titles later you could make the argument David Ortiz is the most important free agent signing in the history of not just the Red Sox but the entire city of Boston.
Yet despite all the success Big Papi has had, he has also had his fair share of criticism, from outsiders and Bostonians alike. Whether it be for appearing on a list for a "failed drug test" in 2003...people bashed David. For not running hard to first base on grounders or complaining about not getting proper credit for a hit or rbi.....people bashed David. For having seasons in 2008 and 2009 that were far below his standard....people bashed David. Since 2009 when many claimed he was "done" and the Sox needed to move on David Ortiz has had four seasons of at least 30 home runs, including the last three straight years. In 2012 after he hurt his achilles many said it was time to move on again from Big Papi, he followed that up by being a key piece of a World Series Champion in 2013, and took home World Series MVP honors by hitting .688 with 2 HR and 6 RBI in the fall classic.
Personally, I love David Ortiz. I've grown up with David Ortiz. Much like how I've grown up withTom Brady. Like Brady, David Ortiz has been a huge part of my life as long as I can remember. When Tom Brady took over as Patriots QB in 2001 and won the Super Bowl I was in 4th grade. Now I'm 24 years old, and David Ortiz has been on the Red Sox since I was 11. I honestly can barely remember life without either of them.
Now with the end officially in sight with David it has me reflecting. Just another sign that I am truly not a kid anymore, one of my childhood heroes is officially retiring. They say all good things must come to an end and man have the David Ortiz years been a great thing for the Red Sox. The man who I've rooted for for over half my life is not going to be playing baseball for my favorite team anymore. Every summer from as long as I can remember I've been following the Red Sox, and other than Fenway Park, Papi has been the one constant. Players and managers have come and gone but David Ortiz (when healthy) had been the DH of the Red Sox for basically my entire life. 2016 is going to be the final summer of Papi across New England. It's going to be a tough adjustment to life without him.
It's not like he's dying but it is going to be very weird to see a Red Sox team without Big Papi. Obviously there are more important things in the world and in life than sports. I get that. We all have own real lives and more important things to worry about whether it be work, school, or our loved ones. With ISIS and everything that has happened in Europe the last few months, we as a nation have to worry about terrorism today just as much as we did in 2001.
But to me and millions of other New Englanders David Ortiz has been responsible for creating some of our biggest memories. I can remember following the 2004 Red Sox vividly and really falling in love with baseball. I had sort of followed the Sox for a couple years before, but there's nothing that will ever be like 2004. What I really remember from that year is watching games and the entire playoffs with my mom. I have great memories of that run, but what I really think about is who I was enjoying it with and how it brought us closer together. Baseball did that. Thinking the Sox were dead down 3 games to 0 and her being the forever optimist saying it's not over. We all know what happened next. The story of 2004 Red Sox was bigger than just winning the World Series. It was about all the families, not just in New England but nationwide who had grown up loving that team and hoping that this was the year...year after year. It was about all the time spent watching and listening with loved ones who weren't around to see it. That championship was for everybody who ever rooted for the Sox.
Sports have brought me some of the biggest letdowns and heartaches but also brought me some of most joyful moments and best memories of my life. There's nothing like it, it's why we watch, for the moments or happiness. I've been lucky to have a ton as a Boston fan. I love being a Boston sports fan, it is a gigantic part of who I am.
Many will say sports are just a game and don't matter. In a sense they are right, it is just a game, but they sure do matter. Sports are important in the sense that they can bring people together. Whether it be family members getting closer or bringing strangers together for something bigger than themselves.
In any part of the country two random people can connect and talk about the local team. It's very simplistic but it's a big part of American life. Sports are at their core are entertainment, but they are also an escape from the harsh realities of life. Maybe you may can't stand your job, but look forward to watching your team when you get home. Maybe you and your mom/dad don't get along, but some team has always been the one thing you can talk to each other about. Theres a bunch of other examples I could list. The beauty of sports is they can just help you get through shit in life. I remember back in 2001 despite being the three time defending the champs, the country getting behind the Yankees and their run after 9/11.
To me personally, there's no example bigger of sports helping heal tragedy in real life than what David Ortiz and the Red Sox did for the city of Boston in 2013 after the Boston Marathon Bombing.
Even now, nearly three years later, thinking about what this region went through, and what Papi and that team did for not only Boston but all of New England brings tears to my eyes. That speech was more important than a walk off homer against the Yankees. It showed just days after tragedy that Boston was not scared and would not let some coward ruin our freedom. Despite growing up in the Dominican, David Ortiz is a Bostonian, and he said what everybody was thinking in his own way. Even the FCC had no issue with what he said.
On that Saturday afternoon in April nobody knew what was in store for the 2013 Red Sox. After Daniel Nava's 3 run-homer in the 8th inning put the Sox on top, that day and game was a sign of brighter things to come for Boston. The 2013 Red Sox season helped heal a city.
We all know about all the great seasons and clutch moments David Ortiz has had in a Red Sox uniform but to me his speech on April 20th, 2013 is his greatest highlight. When he gets a statue outside of Fenway Park some day I believe it will be depicting this moment.
Now the big question left is what is going to happen with David Ortiz's final season? The Red Sox as a team have had one of the strangest four year runs I have ever seen. Last place in 2012, World Series Champs in 2013, then last place again in 2014 and 15. Over that same time period however, Papi has produced on the field. Despite being on bad teams he has been the same David Ortiz, somewhere around 30 home runs and 100 RBIs a year.
In 2012 Atlanta Braves third basemen Chipper Jones retired and had the first real retirement tour I can remember. He'd go around from city to city and they'd all honor him with some sort of gift and ceremony before the game. The Braves made the playoffs that year, losing in the inaugural Wild-Card playoff game to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2012, Chipper's final season, he played 112 games hit .287 and I'd say helped more than he hurt in his final year despite the "retirement tour" distractions.
More recently the Red Sox bitter rivals, the New York Yankees have had two of their own all time legends retire. In 2013, Mariano Rivera had his final season, and retirement tour. In 2014, it was SS Derek Jeter who retired and also had his farewell tour. In both of those seasons, the Yankees were somewhat competitive but missed out on the postseason. Rivera was the same old lights out sandman in 2013, 44 saves and a 2.11 ERA. Statistically he went out on top. Jeter on the other hand was a shell of his former self, while he did have a nice final moment in his last at bat at Yankee Stadium, many believed he was hurting the Yankees by still playing shortstop at 40 years old. The Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA are in a similar situation currently with the Kobe Bryant retirement tour. The Lakers are completely out of the race and essentially just dedicated the 2015-16 season as a goodbye to Kobe. His play is hurting the team but they are allowing him to still play major minutes.
With the Red Sox the 2016 season is a mystery, they have signed free agent pitcher David Price to sure up their starting rotation but the team still has a lot of question marks. They could win 75 games, they could win 95 games, neither to me would be shocking.
David Ortiz has also said before he did not want a retirement tour whenever his time was up, but after announcing his retirement in November it seems inevitable that he will have one as well. I personally have no issue with this, he deserves it. To me David Ortiz is the most important player in Red Sox history. Even more so than Ted Williams. While Ted Williams is probably the greatest pure hitter of all time he unfortunately had to go up against great Yankees teams and never was able to win a World Series. David Ortiz on the other hand, helped win three and end the 86 year title drought.
Some worry that now at 40 years old, this will be the year Papi finally breaks down and had a bad year and it would tarnish the whole last thing. I personally don't think that will happen, he's a DH and has the proven track record of success. I think he could probably play in 2017 too. The major question really is how will the Red Sox do. Obviously I'd love to see them rally around Papi's final season and win the World Series. Probably won't happen but I do expect this team to be in the hunt and fight for a spot in the post-season. With all of the clutch, historic post-season moments it sure would be fitting for David Ortiz to get one last run in October and maybe one more clutch hit to add to his résumé.
2016 is going to be David Ortiz's final season with the Boston Red Sox. It had to happen at some point, lucky for David, he is going out on his own terms. Not many professional athletes get to do that. It does make me sad because I really do love Big Papi and am truly grateful for all the happy moments him playing baseball has given me. I'm going to miss watching him hit countless home runs and breaking other teams hearts. The question of his Hall of Fame candidacy will be addressed a lot this year. Personally I think he should be, he's gonna retire with somewhere around 530 home runs and at least 3 rings. So many guys from this era have steroid allegations but I truly believe that he is a HOFer the numbers speak for themselves.
2016 will mark the end of the David Ortiz era in Boston. Hopefully it ends with a victory in the World Series. Either way I'm just happy and feel lucky I was able to experience all of it. Thank you Papi.
P.S. Couldn't write this blog and not include some of his monster highlights over the last decade plus.
Another new segment I'm gonna have on dozonlife is a throwback to a moment in sports the dozonlife sports #tbt of the week. It may be a historic moment, could be a funny one, or something completely different, basically whatever I want this is my blog.
First one in honor of Texas A&M's crazy comeback against Northern Iowa in the tournament Sunday night is going to be when T-Mac single handedly brought the Rockets back from the dead against the Spurs in 2004.
Obviously just a regular season game and Sunday's comeback was in the tourney... but the show T-Mac put on here just shows the freak he used to be. It's a shame his teams could never do anything in the playoffs. When I think T-Mac this is one of the first things that comes to mind. Tracy McGrady was the man.
The other day Lebron James unfollowed the Cleveland Cavaliers on twitter and it caused twitter to explode. Everybody had their own theories. The Lebron apologists will say it doesn't matter and make 100 excuses for their guy that they'll follow blindly into the fire. While other people will say it is kind of weird for him to do in the middle of the season. I hate Lebron and have never hid that fact. But no matter what your views are of him I don't understand how you can't think this is a big deal.
With the huge platform he has as arguably the best basketball player on the earth (he isn't anymore S/O Steph Curry) I don't buy for a second that he didn't think this would become news. Lebron has 29 million twitter followers and a huge audience outside of social media, everything he does is under a microscope. Obviously one weirdo would notice and make a big deal about it. That weirdo was @kanyecobain. One of the worst twitter handles I've ever seen featuring two of the most overrated musicians of all time.
We all know the past about King James.....
Lebron is from Ohio and famously left his hometown Cavs in 2010 again countless early playoff exits and problems with management. He announced he was taking his talents to South Beach in "The Decision" which was probably the most egomaniacal move an athlete has made this millennium.
In 4 seasons in Miami, Lebron led the Heat to the NBA Finals 4 times, they won twice (2012 & 2013) and lost twice (2011 & 2014).
After losing in the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals James was a free agent and decided to go home and finally give Cleveland a championship, something it hasn't had since Jim Brown's 1964 Browns won the NFL Championship......so long ago it was before the Super Bowl even started.
Last season the Cavs lost to the Warriors in the Finals in 6 games. I hate him but there's no shame in that. The Cavs were without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. Plus it was just Steph's year.. that Warriors team was loaded and won 67 games in the regular season.
This year the Cavs have been the #1 team in the Eastern Conference, but the season has still been full of drama. Lebron essentially got their coach David Blatt fired despite being the defending conference champs and in first place at the time. Lebron's relationships with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have been rocky to say the very least. Now it appears Lebron has unfollowed the Cavs on his twitter account.
When asked about unfollowing the Cavs on twitter this is what he had to say about it.
"Next Question" when he had an opportunity to defuse the situation he did nothing.
Lebron has famously gone "Social Media Silent" during playoff runs which has been one potential reason for this move (which could very well could be his explanation) but I think thats unlikely. Just mute them or stay off twitter. Unfollowing in that situation seems like a little bit of overkill to me.
Personally I think that move is a little staged and ridiculous too, like not checking out girls on instagram is gonna somehow make him play better? Lebron just wants everybody to know he's "staying off" social media to make himself look like more of a competitor or whatever personally I think it's stupid and really doesn't matter at all when it comes to his play... But whatever if thats his thing than thats his thing...
BUT if he is getting ready for his no social media during the playoffs charade why is he just joining snapchat now?
Side note really Bron Bron? Joining Snap in 2016? I've had that shit since 2012 bro get with the times once for me. I guess better late than never.......but never late is better.
I just don't think it is that crazy to wonder if he is going to Cleveland again. Its clear there seems to be a lot of issues going on.
What happens after a break up?...... You unfollow your ex on social media.
Could Lebron be getting ready to break up with the Cavs again?
As I said theres been a lot of issues in Cleveland despite the relative success the team has had. Lets not forget that Lebron can opt out of his deal after this season. With his boys in Miami playing well again and his track record of having no loyalty and leaving as soon as there is adversity, (left for Miami after losing to the Celtics in 2010 playoffs with Cavs, left Miami after they lost the finals and his team was starting to look really washed up) I don't think it's THAT crazy to think he could leave Cleveland again.
As stupid as this whole story is that is sports and life in 2016 where social media is a huge deal. Is it unfair? Maybe but that is how it goes now.
As much as I hate Lebron I hope he doesn't leave Cleveland that would be the ultimate coward move (which is somewhat fitting) and I think that would be an awful PR move for him and his camp. Does he have the right to leave? Of course but it is not that simple, not even a little bit. After going back to Cleveland and the whole letter he wrote in Sports Illustrate leaving Cleveland again would be worse than before in 2010.
Winning just 1 title in Cleveland for Lebron would be bigger than 5 anywhere else. With how the Warriors and Spurs look this year it doesn't look like the Cavs would be able to beat either in the Finals. But that is months away. It is sure going to be very interesting to see what happens with all of this in the playoffs and off season.