The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players Ever 2011 Ed. #180-171

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#190-181 is here.

180. Ken Boyer 3B WARP+WAR = 116.5
1955-69 Cardinals
OPS+ 116
translated BA/OBP/SLG .292/.359/.481
MVPQ  none (Best season – 1961 15.5)

-Nettles, Cey, Buddy Bell and now Boyer - a lot of similar players here in the bottom of the list as I go third base heavy.

179. Joe Gordon 2B 116.5
OPS+ 120
MVPQ  1942 (16)

-Gordon only played 11 years to accumulate that total of 116.5, he lost both '44 and '45 to the war.  A list that made some accounting for peak value would have Gordon solidly higher, given how few years it took him to hit that overall value.  Gordon also was a pivotal player for two of the greatest teams of all time, the '39 Yankees and the '48 Indians.  I've got a ranking of all 106 World Series winners, by regular season pythagorean record, that I'll post at some point (I've got all the Super Bowl winners and NBA Champions too; I've gone on a compiling run for a few months) those two teams are in the top 10 of all time.  Joe Gordon was terrific.  

178. Andre Dawson RF/CF 116.6
1976-96 Expos/Cubs
OPS+ 119
MVPQ – 1981 (16.6)

-High slugging, low on base, his translated slash line looks a lot like Bobby Bonds, who accumulated his value in 7 fewer seasons.  Dawson's translated OBP is lowest of any position player on list so far.  

177. King Kelly C/RF 116.8
1878-93  White Sox/Red Sox
OPS+ 138
MVPQ – 1886 (18)

-The list is going to be a little lighter on catchers than is ideal, WAR (recall, I use the baseball-reference version) is a little less catcher friendly than is WARP (and that I'd prefer).  Kelly's the first catcher to make it.  

176. Jimmy Wynn CF 116.9
1963-77 Astros
OPS+ 128
MVPQ 1974 (17, Dodgers) 1965 (16.1)

-Look at the big bat on Jimmy Wynn.  OPS+ of 128 for a center fielder.  That's a tasty translated slash line.  

175. Kenny Lofton CF 117
1991-07 Indians
MVPQ (none) Best season 1994 (14.5)

-did you know Lofton's translated career batting average would be so high?  Lowest OPS+ on the list so far and solidly so, Lofton's value was in his glove.  

174. Joe Torre C/1B/3B  117.4
1960-77    Braves/Cardinals
OPS+ 128
MVPQ( none) Best Season 1966 (14.7)

-and now two catchers on the list - look at Torre's bat, that's a great slash line for a non-catcher; there's probably no way to convince anyone that Torre was a better player than manager, but you wouldn't rank him any lower than this on an all time list.  

173. John Olerud 1B 117.4
1989-05    Blue Jays/Mariners
OPS+ 128
MVPQ  1993 (17)

-Olerud and Torre have pretty similar career bats; Torre's position advantage (catcher is more valuable than first base) balanced by Olerud being a better glove at his position than was Torre at his.

172. Shoeless Joe Jackson LF/RF 117.4
1908-20        Indians/White Sox
OPS+ 170
MVPQ  1911 (16.6) 1912 (18.7)

-we'll have to go a long way on the list to get a bat like Jackson's - look at that OPS+; Shoeless Joe could mash the baseball; just one of the all time, superpremium elite bats in baseball history.  

171. Stan Hack 3B 117.9
1932-47 Cubs
OPS+ 119
MVPQ (none) 1945 (14.6)

-how about one more third baseman to finish off the first 30 in the list.  

30 down.  170 to go.  See you next week.  

The Weekly Tendown November 21-27 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dear Internet:

Tendown 53 is maybe when I pull the bus over to the side of the road, 'cause if I have to spend another second working this week I'm gonna start crying.  And as long as they pay me to teach classes and I can't earn any money via these ramblings, this is where the cut gets made.

So - let's do some Tendown.

1. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...In Jail.
Probably not Tom Delay; I'm gonna guess they let him stay out on bond during the appeal, but that dude got found guilty this week.  Interesting that ABC had no problem sticking him on Dancing With the Stars even though he was under indictment, but Barry Bonds has had to vanish the past several years while waiting for the government to finally put him on trial.  That dancing show loves them some right wing - right?  Tucker Carlson, Delay, then the Family Palin; I'm glad that of the largely nutrition free programming that I watch, that show is not among the list; I might start shooting televisions too.

2. Maybe the Mayans Were Right
The left is of two minds about the possibility of Sarah Palin as the Republican nominee in 2012; one is gleeful, of the belief (not unwarranted, she polls really badly; her negatives are high) that she's not electable - I tend toward the more pessimistic, like this piece. I dislike her act enough that I wouldn't watch her reality show even to write about it, but were I guiding her campaign, I'd look to mainstream her as a celebrity while continuing to keep her right wing bonafides  through churches, Fox News, closed speaking engagements and facebook.  That combination - of going true believer batshit while being treated as mainstream through celebrity culture might be enough two years from now.  I'm not sure we fully appreciate the Fox+Citizens United calculus; the midterm results...not the results, but the conversation, really - that in complete defiance of facts, our response to the destruction of the economy, proximately caused by 30 years of right wing dogma, is to elect more Republicans - I am more convinced than have I ever been in the futility of the American future.  It is more likely that we become China - with a heated economy propped up by squashing labor, than that we ever get back to 1970 America.  I don't know that Palin is particularly less qualified than was Bush; she'd be just a mouthpiece for Wall St, only worse than Obama on the cultural margins.  If there was any chance for the left to galvanize a popular movement against the three decade wealth suck from the working and middle class it would have been now, after the complete, naked exposure of the bankruptcy of right wing economics.  But the Democrats largely just worked to prop up business, and the media machine of the right was able to sell the story that somehow the Democrats were communists - and in the absence of a real left wing popular movement - a right wing popular movement rose in its place.  Instead of burning down the plutocracy, we curb stomped volunteers.   Its the authoritarians with all the passion, the fervor; I don't know that I see a scenario away from that.

3. The First Thanksgiving
Until this week, I missed the right wing meme that the real message of Thanksgiving was that socialism doesn't work.  My favorite part, I mean, aside from that it's entirely made up and a couple hundred years before socialism existed - is the Republican congressman in the clip, saying that socialism was "unbiblical."

I think, as I'm likely to mention in my next point, that if Christians want to wrap themselves in hatred of gays, they're allowed - they at least have a textual argument that hating gays is commanded by their god.  But the attempts to shoehorn Jesus into the anti big government rhetoric since Obama was elected seems as transparent to me as faith healing.  Somehow, legislation that would make insurance companies provide coverage for pre-existing conditions is sold as an abomination to Jesus.  It's not my text, so my tendency is to say those who claim it can claim it anyway they want, but it's Benny Hinn level nonsense from where I sit.

4. Hate Groups
The Southern Povery Law Center labeled the Family Research Council a hate group this week.

About time.  Here's the current issue of the SPLC journal, discussing that gays are the most targeted group for hate crimes.  It always interests me, just in my own classrooms, quarter after quarter, the ease with which, under the cover of religion, students feel free to express their hatred for gays in the kinds of terms that you would never hear discussed openly for any other group.  There are mainstream religious services going on today in this country that in preaching about gays have no greater moral standing than Klan meetings.  And mainstream media (and maybe all of mainstream society, such as in classrooms like mine) in allowing, under the banner of remaining neutral during a debate, gives host to hateful rhetoric against gays that it would not allow against blacks or Jews.

5. 1.66 trillion
US corporations were at their most ever profitable last quarter.  And why not?  Low taxes, low labor costs - it's the gilded age and our only protests are about imaginary communism.  We didn't extend unemployment benefits, the right wing is arguing to continue tax breaks for billionaires, I'm guessing those record corporate profits haven't "trickled down" to getting you a raise (me either) and it certainly hasn't led to a round of massive hiring.  The right wants our economic lives to be as precarious as they can be - they want our health care tied up in our jobs, so we take whatever we are given by our corporate masters - and make sure we stay in line and not criticize the system.  Remember - when the left criticizes the government - when the left protests a war or civil liberties violations - it's called treason - but when the right criticizes the government - say when the government enacts financial reform or tries to stop insurance companies from letting their customers die and the right explodes in anger - it's called patriotism.

6. $5850 per tweet
That's how much Punky Brewster gets paid.  Almost 6 grand a tweet.

I'll do it for ten bucks.  Someone wants to pay me 10 bucks a tweet, I'll tweet ten times a day. About whatever you'd like.

7. H-O-R
The mathematics of horse. 

8. I Might Have Gone with Broder
Salon's Hack 30.

9. Oh, it's okay.

I saw Marisa Miller on Conan this week, referring to the Giants as "we."  Presumably, this picture in a Cubs jersey was a paid gig, and she quickly regretted the transgression.

I'm entirely for hot girls hopping aboard the Giants bandwagon.  Or even not so hot girls.  What the hell. There's only a bandwagon when you win; it's a minor inconvenience.

10. Wait, Those Are the World Champion Giants I'm Talking About

That's Willie Mays.  In case you were wondering.

I'll see you next time, if there is a next time....

Your pal,


TBOR Athlete of the Month - November, 2010 +2000 Athlete of the Year

Thursday, November 25, 2010

You can get to the previous 10 months here.

Tim Lincecum.  Runners-up.  Kevin Love.  Michael Vick.  Manny Pacquiao.

That's 11 months.  One to go.  SI does their Athlete of the Year at the beginning of December, I would as well if I had decided.  I have not, so I'm inclined to go all the way until I have a December winner.

Oct - Matt Cain
Sept - Troy Tulowitzki
Aug - Josh Hamilton
July - Diego Forlan
June - John Isner
May - Rajon Rondo
April - Phil Mickelson
March - Maya Moore
Feb- Drew Brees
Jan - Peyton Manning

Back in 2000, the Athlete of the Year was Tiger Woods - AP also picked Woods

Jan - Kurt Warner (Peter Warrick, Steve McNair, Torry Holt)
Feb - Andre Agassi (Pavel Bure, Shaquille O'Neal, Vince Carter)
Mar - Mateen Cleaves (Kenyon Martin, Alonzo Mourning, Marcus Fizer)
Apr - Vlad Guerrero (Vijay Singh, Randy Johnson, Lennox Lewis)
May - Shaquille O'Neal (Andres Galarraga, Pedro Martinez, Patrick Ewing)
June - Tiger Woods (Reggie Miller, Mary Pierce, Martin Brodeur)
July - Lance Armstrong (Pete Sampras, Tiger Woods, Mike Piazza)
Aug - Carlos Delgado (Will Clark, Tiger Woods, Karrie Webb)
Sept - Marion Jones (Venus Williams, Barry Bonds, Ian Thorpe)
Oct - Derek Jeter (Jim Edmonds, Edgardo Alfonzo, Mariano Rivera)
Nov - Ladainian Tomlinson (Shane Mosley, Lennox Lewis, Allen Iverson)
Dec - Marshaull Faulk (Terrell Owens, Ray Lewis, Rich Gannon)

I Pick College Football Games in 2010 - Week 13

Last week (including my game of the year) is here.


Texas A&M -3 Tex win
Kentuck +2.5 Tenn loss
Missouri -24.5 Kansas win
Miss St -3 Miss win
Va Tech -23.5 Va win


I Pick Every NFL Game in 2010 - Week 12

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Last week is here.

ATS: 69-70-7
SU:   89-57

NE -7 Det win/win
Dall +4 NO (Saints win game) win/win
NYJ -9 Cincy win/win
GB +2 Atl loss/loss
Pitt -6.5 Buff loss/win
Panthers +10 Browns (Cle wins game) win/win
NYG -7 Jax loss/win
Wash -1 Minn loss/loss
Tenn +6.5 Hou (Houston wins game) loss/win
KC -2 Sea win/win
Miami +3.5 Oak win/win
StL +4 Den (Broncos win game) win/loss
Philly -3 Chi loss/loss
Balt -7.5 TB win/win
SD +3 Indy win/win
Niners -1 Ariz win/win

ATS: 10-6  79-76-7
SU: 12-4  101-61

The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players Ever 2011 Ed. #190-181

#200-191 is here.

190. Bobby Doerr  2B WARP+WAR 113.6
1937-51 Red Sox
Translated Line BA/OBP/SLG  .280/.345./485
OPS+ 115
MVPQ = none, Best season 1944 (13.3)

-The first middle infielder on the list; Doerr missed '45, his age 27 season.

189. Buddy Bell 3B 114.1
1972-89 Indians/Rangers
OPS+ 109
MVPQ – none, Best Season 1984 (13.4)

-Comparable to Nettles/Cey from the first ten - Bell's the 4th third baseman out of the 12 players on the list thusfar (5 if you count Killebrew.)

188. Roy Halladay RHP 114.1
1998 –            Blue Jays
ERA+ 136
MVPQ – none, Best season 2010 (Phillies, 15.5)

-Halladay turns 34 in 2011, his 14th year in MLB.  It's a safe bet that he cracks the top 150 by the end of the season, were you betting, he probably cracks the top 140.  Were he to match his 2010, unlikely, as it was his best ever season, but were he to match his 2010, he'd be #122 overall at the end of 2011.

187. Tony Mullane   RHP 114.2
1881-94 Reds
ERA+ 118
MVPQ – 1884 (18.9, Toledo Blue Stockings)

-I have eaten Tony Paco's Famous Hungarian Hot Dogs, as per the recommendation of Toledo's own Max Klinger, mother dying, father pregnant.  

186. Ducky Medwick LF 114.5
1932-48 Cardinals
OPS+ 134
MVPQ -  1937 (17.2)

Medwick's translated .559 SLG is the highest so far on the list; it's about to get equaled (and by an active player, meaning that there's nowhere for it to go but down, so Ducky's going to take him out too; no one will pass that SLG until the guy at #172.

185. Clark Griffith RHP 114.6
1891-1914 Cubs/Yankees
ERA+ 122
MVPQ – 1898 (17.1)

184. Carlos Beltran CF 114.7
1998 -           Royals/Mets
OPS+ 119
MVPQ – 2006 (17.5)

-Beltran and Halladay are the same age, but it would appear far apart in their remaining value.  After two down years due to injury and now turning 34, hard to project how much Beltran has left.

183. Bret Saberhagen RHP 114.8
1984-01         Royals/Mets/Red Sox
ERA+ 126
MVPQ – 1989 (18)

Sabes has a better ERA+ than any arm on the list thusfar besides Halladay.  

182. Vladimir Guerrero RF 114.8
1996-             Expos/Angels
OPS+ 146
MVPQ – none (Best season 2004 17.4)

-Big section for active players; Vlad turns 36 in 2011 and obviously he should never put on a glove again.  There's probably room for his bat on an AL roster for the next couple of seasons.

181. Enos Slaughter RF 115
1938-59 Cardinals
OPS+ 124
MVPQ 1942 (16.8)

-I'm not of the mind that time lost because of military service is somehow worthy of more historic credit than time lost due to injury; but not only did Slaughter lose 3 years - Slaughter lost his prime; his MVPQ season was when he was 26 - he didn't play again until he was 30.

20 down.  180 left.  See you in a week.

1st and Ten - The Weekly Tendown November 14-20 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dear Internet:

Go buy this book.  I read it this week and it's how we're going to begin Tendown 52.

The new America, instead, is fast becoming a vast ghetto in which all of us, conservatives and progressives, are being bled dry by a relatively tiny oligarchy of extremely clever financial criminals and their castrato henchmen in government, whose main job is to be good actors on TV and put on a good show. This invisible hive of high-class thieves stays in business because when we're not completely distracted and exhausted by our work and entertainments, we prefer not to ponder the dilemma of why gasoline went over four dollars a gallon, why our pension funds just lost 20 percent of their value, or why when we do the right thing by saving money, we keep being punished by interest rates that hover near zero, while banks that have been the opposite of prudent get rewarded with free billions.

I do a lot of grading; I'll ballpark this - grading takes up roughly 137% of my week.  Students, say in Ethics will occasionally ask something like "does it matter what we believe for our grade - is there a right answer"?

Often - the right answer is the consistent answer.  Say there are moral facts.  Say there are no moral facts.  Don't say both.  Demonstrate consistency.

Does the right wing want debt reduction?  Is reducing the debt, the burden that future generations will carry, the most important thing that needs done - which certainly was the battle cry since Obama was elected (in contrast to the battle cry over the previous 8 years, but let's put that aside).    That was the rationale this week when Republicans stopped the extension of unemployment benefits by saying we can't fund everything.

But one can't consistently hold the position that cutting the debt is the top priority and simultaneously say we need to extend the Bush tax cuts.

You can't hold both positions simultaneously.  You gotta pick.  Even if you take as an element of your faith, despite all of the years of counter-evidence, that handing money to the wealthy is going to have a stimulative effect that will juice the economy (not nearly as great, obviously, as unemployment benefits have.  Or food stamps.  But again, I digress) you can't hold the position that what it will do is reduce the deficit.  Incidentally, the archetype of the serious minded, principled conservative is to tsk/tsk at the concept of the "nanny state", that we grow weaker when we depend on government to do for us.  Let me suggest that all conservatives do is replace the teat; the right wing is constantly saying "give money to the wealthy and let them take care of you" - it's 30 years waiting for wealth to trickle down - and every year the gap between those wealthy and everyone else grows wider and wider - and somehow, despite this, conservatives remain able to get away with the tax cuts for the wealthy will create jobs canard.

You can't simultaneously wave your copy of the constitution, saying we need to get back to the principles of the founding fathers - while saying terrorism suspects don't deserve due process, or that Bush's admission of ordering torture should be celebrated. You're not against big government if you were for the Patriot Act.  I welcome the right wing criticism of the intrusive TSA patdown procedure this week; anytime they want to condemn warrantless wiretapping of Americans or the President claiming the ability to order the execution of US citizens without judicial oversight, they are welcome to join the cause.  Sure, when civil libertarians have been criticizing big government as overreaching in the war on terror for the past 8 years, the right called it treason - but when there's a Democrat in the White House and people are getting groped at the airport, now, suddenly, it's a constitutional crisis - but that's okay.  Better late than never.

You aren't in favor of a strict constructionist view of the constitution if you are for the show your papers law in Arizona.  And if you're going to campaign in favor of repealing "Obamacare" because:

the answer to the ever-rising cost of insurance is not the expansion of government-run or government-mandated insurance but, instead, common-sense market based solutions that ensure decisions are made by patients and their doctors

...then maybe demanding your special government provided health insurance sooner than the 30 days you have to wait for it after taking office is not the best way to kick off your congressional tenure.

Consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but its opposite will earn you a paper filled with red marks.

After the jump - the rest of the tendown.  This week - you get 9.

I Pick College Football Games in 2010 - Week 12 + Preseason 2011 College Hoops Top 25!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Last week is here.

Season Record: 57-62-1

Rutgers +14 Cincy loss
Clem -14 Wake win
ECarol -8 Rice loss
LSU -16 Miss loss 
Mich St. -20 Purd loss
Missouri -11 Iowa St win
Okla -7.5 Bayl win
Ok St -24 Kansas win
Syr -4 UConn loss
FAU +22 Tex loss
Special Double Bonus Value Pick!!  My Double Steam Game of the year!!: Stanford -6.5 Cal double win


I'm late with getting the hoops picks posted - here they are:

1. Duke
2. Ohio St.
3. Kansas
4. Michigan St.
5. Pitt
6. Syracuse
7. Texas
8. Purdue
9. North Carolina
10. Wisconsin
11. Kentucky
12. Washington
13. Memphis
14. Illinois
15. Georgetown
16. Baylor
17. Kansas St.
18. W Virginia
19. Villanova
20. Florida
21. San Diego St.
22. Missouri
23. Arizona
24. BYU
25. UNLV

Survivor Series 2010 Preview (Plus the Top 10 Survivor Series Matches ever)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Summer Slam 2010 preview, explaining what the hell is going on, is here.  You could also rewind a year to read my 2009 Survivor Series preview here.

Kirk Hiner and I attended the best Survivor Series ever together in 1996.

It was a helluva atmosphere, 1996 MSG - but, most likely to the consternation of the office, the most constant chants throughout the night were "NWO!  NWO!" and "E-C-Dub.  E-C-Dub."  I don't know that I participated in the former, although I was all about cool heels in '96; but I absolutely was full on board for the latter - historically, Survivor Series '96 is important because it was the PPV debut of The Rock (and for those  of us who like workrate; it included the best match in Survivor Series history - Bret/Austin, which I have at 4 3/4 and think it better than their subsequent Mania match - and in fact, I think it's Austin's best ever match.  Austin was crazy over, and I didn't think they'd be able to wait much longer before turning him; I want to say in the six hour RAW taping in Connecticut we saw the following night they did a brawl between he and Undertaker - in fact, I want to say they did it twice, presumably dissatisfied the first time - and my thought at the time was it was designed to keep positioning Austin as a heel) but in the building that night, it was about Cactus Jack, Furnas and LaFon, and 2 Cold Scorpio.

Right up until the main event - when the crowd completely, completely turned on babyface Shawn Michaels in favor of Sid.  John Cena has occasionally been the subject of dislike among a percentage of the fanbase (me! me!  I am in that percentage!) and some wrestling analysts make a Shawn Michaels comparison - babyface Michaels, as seen most specifically in the '96 Survivor Series, totally lost the younger, male audience who preferred to see even someone as breathtakingly untalented as Sid as WWF Champion (admittedly, I was on that side too; I maybe got caught up in the title change excitement a little bit and abandoned my burgeoning preference for workrate.  I'm an older male now, and whatever gender gap Cena might have is disinteresting to me; I dislike him because of his Madonna Number.

That was the last Survivor Series I attended or really had an opportunity to attend - but this week a friend of mine with tickets (actually a former student of mine from a decade+ ago; that's right, old students want to go to the graps with me; that's 'cause I was the cool teacher, all the time ripping up the poetry textbooks and standing on the desks and reciting O Captain, My Captain) offered one my way as Survivor Series 2010 is in Miami.

I ain't going; my schedule's too tight; my lady type friend has gone to see her parents for the weekend and I'm alone with the 5 animals (5...there are 5 right...Jesus, did I lose one?) and I have reached a point in my life where attending any event for any reason doesn't have as much appeal as staying at home and napping.  I gets sleepy is all.

But they will be putting on the show in my absence - and as I've done for the better part of the past 15 years - here's my preview written for Kirk Hiner.  If you aren't him - do with this as you will.

WWE TITLE MATCH: Randy Orton © vs. Wade Barrett w/John Cena as special referee. 
- The big storyline on RAW, by  multiple factors, has been Nexus - when we last left at Summer Slam, Cena was leading a group of RAW wrestlers to an elimination match (a Survivor Series style elimination match!) win over Team Nexus.  Fast forward three months and now Cena is a member of Nexus, albeit against his will, having lost a "you must join" stip match at..let's say the October PPV.  It's a good story, I did it a couple years ago in the Counterfactual, they're telling it well - the hero Cena forced to do the bidding of the heel stable, Cena subjugated to the will of another man.  

When we last left, Sheamus was the champ - and he kept that belt until September when he dropped to Orton, now the top babyface in the company. It's Orton's 6th run with the lineal WWF title belt.  He's not a good babyface and his match quality, either because of the constraints of WWE style or because he's decided Hogan had the right idea about workrate, has grown...really.......deliberate.  Barrett's just a guy, good talker, as the size they like, real green, not awful, but no reason to think he'll develop into a good worker.

So - the match won't be anything most likely and because of that I don't care about it - but they've got a good stip - if Barrett wins, Cena gets to leave Nexus - if Orton wins, Cena's fired.  They've done a good job at selling that as a real stip, at least as well as could be done when we all understand there's no way Cena gets fired.  I don't hate the program, and really don't hate that Cena's the referee as opposed to working - but don't care even a little bit about the match or the outcome.

They've positioned it so it could go either way - the stronger creative choice would be the Cena heel turn - Cena screws Orton, puts on the Nexus shirt, "go to hell, John Cena, go straight to hell" and then they get a heel Cena run with Orton and a returning HHH as babyfaces (and maybe a heel Cena v. Undertaker's streak at WM).  Or - they could have him stand up to Barrett - knock everybody out - allow Orton to keep - sacrifice his career to do what's right like babyfaces do.  

It doesn't matter much to me - I like good matches, and there's not one coming out of this program. 

WORLD TITLE MATCH: Kane © vs. Edge 
-The Smackdown picture is not good.

You may recall Kane (yes, that Kane, in 2010, not like a new wrestler with the same name - but the big red monster, by God, Kane) took the Smackdown title from Rey at Summer Slam; it was like a dozen years from his last WWF Title run, the longest stretch of time ever.  His push was designed for a feud with a returning Undertaker, who took the summer off like he does ever year now - but the Taker blew out his rotator cuff, shutting him down at least until Mania.  Edge, recall, was a babyface at Mania in the program with Jericho (Jericho's deal expired and he's gone; as is Batista and Michaels and Matt Hardy and Shelton Benjamin- Punk/Christian/Evan Bourne all down with injury) he was a heel when he was on Team WWF at Summer Slam - but turned face again when he moved back to Summer Slam to take the Taker's spot in this Kane program.

And Paul Bearer's back.  True story.

It's unwatchable.  Edge is not a great babyface and Kane has no redeeming qualities.  I don't have any idea where they're going with this or who wins this terrible, terrible match.  

US TITLE MATCH: Daniel Bryan v. Ted DiBiase
-Daniel Bryan is Bryan Danielson, the best wrestler in this hemisphere.

This match hasn't been officially made, but they set it up on RAW and I'm going to decide they do it.  Danielson, recall, returned as the surprise member of Team RAW at Summer Slam, he was an original member of Nexus but got shoot fired after being too intense in their initial angle.  Danielson's had the best match on every show he's been on since, taking the US Title from the Miz (the Miz has the money in the bank briefcase, and theoretically might cash it in to take on the champ at night's end; Money in the Bank is a good idea; I've lifted it for the Counterfactual). He's not in a program and is still being absolutely buried on commentary because Vince hates us for our freedoms, but has consistently won matches.  DiBiase's floundered a bit - he was given the Million Dollar Belt and a valet - was just in a weird feud with Goldust (yes, Goldust in 2010, although to be fair, Dustin can work the hell out of a five minute match).  Monday, he attacked Danielson, and I would guess he's going over here.  They were about to do a Danielson/Punk program, which would be cream cheese frosting.  

This will be good, although short, and it's fair to point the finger at DiBiase for not developing his work the way one would have hoped.  

IC TITLE MATCH: Dolph Ziggler v. Kaval
-Kaval is Low Ki; a few years ago, an elite, world class worker, although it has been a couple/three years now since he routinely turned out 4 star matches.  They're gonna make this match on Smackdown Friday - if they are using both Low Ki and Danielson at Survivor Series, I'm going to have to pick a direction for them in the Counterfactual; I don't know if they're faces or heels or they're tagging together or feuding.  Don't know if they win belts right away or beat people to work their way up the card.  So many choices!

Ziggler's paired with Eddy's widow Vicki - he's a good looking young guy; I'm higher on him than any of the guys who has just come through developmental without establishing an indie presence first.  He's got a bit of a Hennig thing about him - he took from Kingston a couple months ago and probably keeps here.  Kaval won Season 2 of NXT - and while he puts on good matches at every opportunity, he goes under each time - until this Friday when he's going to beat Ziggler in a non title, and then use his "I can challenge for any belt" opportunity to make this match.  He'll lose, I'd guess.  But it'll be good - too short, but good.

Sheamus vs. John Morrison
-  This is a hotshot angle; Sheamus has been in a comedy feud against Santino - Morrison has the role of athletic babyface they plug in when they need a guy now that Benjamin is gone.  It should be good; I would guess Sheamus goes over.  I'm picking a lot of heels.

WWF Tag Titles: The Nexus (Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater) © vs. Santino and Vladimir Kozlov
- When last we left, the Hart kids were tag champs - they dropped (and have now broken up, Tyson Kidd turning heel) to Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre - they dropped (and have now broken up, neither of them turning) to Cena and Jennifer Hudson's husband, and then Nexus forced them to yield the titles to Gabriel (athletic, maybe a good worker, too hard to tell really) and Slater (just a guy).  Santino and Kozlov are a comedy act.  I hate comedy wrestling.  I'm guessing the babyfaces take.

SURVIVOR SERIES MATCH: Team Rey Mysterio (Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, MVP, Chris Masters and The Big Show) vs. Team Alberto Del Rio (Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Tyler Reks, Drew McIntyre and Jack Swagger)
-There is an elimination match at this year's Survivor Series - the guy they like here is Del Rio, doing a Latino Bradshaw gimmick that's fine and he's fine in it.  Like much of WWE - it's neither good nor bad - it's as homogenized, corporatized, middle America/kid friendly - you could watch Glenn Beck and 2 And A half Men and Jay Leno and yell that government better stay out of your Medicare and then comfortably watch WWE and have all of your world views gently confirmed as you rock yourself to sleep nestled in the bosom of our plutocracy.  

Rey is Rey, Kofi's good enough athletic babyface, MVP has been buried pretty good in 2010, Chris Masters is maybe the worst member of the active roster and you know the Show.  

I assume Del Rio survives, maybe with Cody, the pushes for McIntrye and Swagger have clearly slowed, and I don't have any idea why Tyler Reks has been chosen for this mini-push in the past couple of months.  

That's the show - the two secondary title singles matches, assuming they do Danielson/DiBiase, is the whole show in terms of match quality, although I'd expect them both to me under 10 minutes long and maybe closer to half that.  I like Nitro and am cool with Sheamus, so that's a good match too - elimination matches are almost never good in terms of quality, but I like having one, both because it's Survivor Series and you should have one - and because it helps the Counterfactual, which is really all I care about.  

I can't imagine anyone cares about either the tag titles or the Smackdown match - in terms of storyline, this is a one match card, and not a very good match at that.

I would not expect any matches Sunday to break this list, although there's certainly room at the bottom.

Oh - there's a women's match of some type.  A tag, I think.  Now to the list.

Top 10 Survivor Series Matches of All Time:
1. Bret Hart d. Steve Austin ('96)
2. Bret Hart d. Shawn Michaels ('92)
3. Bret Hart d. Diesel ('95)
4. Shawn Michaels d. Bret Hart ('97)
5. Eddy/Chavo d. Angle/Benoit and Edge/Rey ('02)
6. Jericho/Christian/Orton/Steiner/Henry d. Michaels/RVD/Booker/Dudleys ('03)
7. Sid d. Shawn Michaels ('96)
8. Strike Force/Young Stallions/Rougeaus/Bees/Bulldogs d. Hart Foundation/Islanders/Demolition/Bolsheviks/New Dream Team ('87)
9. Bob Backlund d. Bret Hart ('94)
10. HHH d. Ric Flair ('05)

I Pick Every NFL Game in 2010 - Week 11

Last week was here.

ATS - 60-63-7
SU - 78-52

Miami -1 Chicago loss/loss
Steelers -7 Oakland win/win
Jets -7 Texans loss/win
Balt -10 Carolina win/win
Tenn -7 Wash loss/loss
Dall -6.5 Det win/win
GB -3 Minnesota win/win
Bills +5.5 Bengals (Bengals win game) win/loss
Browns +1.5 Jags loss/loss
KC -8 Arizona win/win
Seattle +12 Saints (NO wins game) loss/win
Falcons -3 Rams win/win
Niners -3 TB loss/loss
Colts +3.5 NE (NE wins game) win/win
Eagles -3 NYG win/win
Den +10 SD (Chargers win game) loss/win

ATS 9-7    69-70-7
SU  11-5   89-57

The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players Ever 2011 Ed. #200-191

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Part I in the series, with the top players who just missed, the top active players who are in the vicinity of the list, and the underlying methodology is here.

The positions and teams listed aren't comprehensive, instead they are most representative of the player's career.

The slash stats aren't raw, they're translated for park/era.

MVPQ refers to all seasons where the player had a combined WAR/WARP of 16, as that's the number that means a MVP caliber season.

200. Harmon Killebrew 1B/3B   WARP+WAR 111.4
1954-75 Twins
Translated BA/OBP/SLG             .268/.383/.545
OPS+ 143
MVPQ – none (Best season ’67 WARP+WAR 14.7)

-The precision with which we evaluate offense is sharper than our understanding of defense; were you looking to make changes to the list, one way would be to bump up guys like Killebrew, whose value was almost entirely tied into offensive production.  An OPS+ of 143 is a big ole' stick.

199. Goose Goslin LF 111.5
1921-38 Senators
OPS+ 128
MVPQ – none (Best season ’28 – 13.7)

-Gotta love that translated +.500 SLG.

198. Jimmy Collins 3B 111.5
1895-1908 Red Sox
OPS+ 113
MVPQ – none (Best season ’98 – 15.4)

-WAR (reminder, I use the B-Ref version) overrates the 19th century players a little bit; consider that when looking at guys like Collins.

197. Jose Cruz LF 111.8
1970-88 Astros
OPS+ 120
MVPQ – none (Best season ’84 – 15.3)

-Of note, Cruz's best seasons, sizeably so, were when he was 35 and 36.  He has avoided steroid accusations.

196. Bobby Bonds RF 112.2
1968-81 Giants
OPS+ 129
MVPQ – none (Best Season ’73 14.6)

-The first SFG; the father/son Bonds is the greatest father/son combo in baseball history.

195. Graig Nettles 3B 112.4
1967-88 Yankees
OPS+ 110
MVPQ – none (Best season ’76 15.1)

-A mistake sportswriters have been prone to make (as reflected in HOF votes) is underestimating positional value (WAR does as well a little bit).  Nettles wasn't a great bat, as evidenced by that 110 OPS+, but there aren't many guys who could give you two decades at third base with even that bat - and that's why Nettles makes the list.

194. Jack Clark RF 113.2
1975-92 Giants
OPS+ 137
MVPQ  - none (Best Season ’87, with Cardinals 12.7)

-Two SFG in this first section; note that his best year wasn't with the Giants, but instead with the Cardinals.

193. Ron Cey 3B 113.2
1971-87 Dodgers
OPS+ 121
MVPQ – none (Best season ’75 - 15.1)

-The best of that longtime Dodger infield.

192. Dazzy Vance RHP 113.4
1915-35 Dodgers
ERA+ 125
MVPQ – 1924 (18.7) 1928 (18.7)

-Our first pitcher on the list; ERA+ works like OPS+ the higher above 100 (the baseline number) the better.  Also the first player to have MVP type seasons; in my previous build of this list, I gave bonus points for those seasons to reflect some type of peak in my list - I'm not doing it here, but if you want to consider that, at his best, Vance was one of baseball best players (twice!) and bump him up, I wouldn't object.

191. Jim Bunning  RHP 113.5
1955-71 Tigers/Phillies
ERA+ 114
MVPQ – 1966 (17.7) 1965 (17.4) 1967 (16.2)

-A better pitcher than statesman, which probably is not the last political comment in the list, but they're unlikely to be any more incendiary than that.

That's the first ten - next ten coming next week.

1st and Ten - The Weekly Tendown November 7-13 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dear Internet -

There have been experiments like this.

Some with rats, or the Israeli Army, or elementary school students.  They all go like this.

There's a random division between two groups.  The rats, the military candidates, the kids, all randomly divided.

But those charged with training the groups (scientists, commanders, teachers) are misled, told that one of the groups has higher intelligence than the other.  Even though the groups, again, completely divided randomly - all of the subjects had been given a test prior to the division; there's no difference in the scores of group A from group B.

A fixed period of time goes by, and then that pre-division test is again administered to the two groups.

What do you suppose is the result?

The group that the instructors believed to be more intelligent did significantly better than the other group.

The things we think about ourselves; the messages in our head about who we essentially are - they come from somewhere and they have real consequences.  Could be a third grade teacher decided for whatever reason that you couldn't do math, and your whole life has been fulfilling that expectation.

Consider this - they took college students and divided them in 3 groups (this experiment might be in the book Sway - I have forgotten)

1. Women
2. Men
3. Mixed

The women were told was they were going to receive a 5 minute phone call from a man they did not know.

The men were told they were going to make a 5 minute phone call to a woman.  They received a picture and bio of the woman they were going to call.  The bios were real.  The pictures were not.  Half of the men got pictures of hot women.  Half the men, not so much.

After the phone call, the men were asked to evaluate the women.

It will not surprise you that the men who had pictures of hot women had significantly higher opinions of those women than those who believed they were talking to less attractive women.  The fake pretty women were smarter, more confident, funnier, more engaging than the fake not pretty women - according to the men.

You get that.  It's an aspect of the halo effect.  We ascribe all sorts of positive qualities to attractive people.  It's one of the reasons why NFL quarterbacks have symmetrical facial features at a significantly higher rate not only than the general public but compared to other football players.  The good looking kid is considered to be a better leader at some early stage of development, and is funneled to quarterback, a position of leadership.  He's treated like a leader, and he becomes a leader.  The elementary school kids are treated like smart kids - and they become smart kids.  And the converse.  Who we become is a function of how we are treated, of the messages about ourselves that are in our brains for reasons we cannot reconstruct.

That's where the mixed group comes in.  They were played the tapes of the phone calls - but just the women's half of the call.  And then they were asked to describe the women.

Which women did they like more?

Yeah - the fake pretty ones.  Smarter, more engaged, more interesting, more confident.

That's how much we are impacted by the way we are treated - men believe they are talking to pretty women and therefore treat them in a particular way - the way they treat them then causes behavior from those women that is so noticeable that it can be heard in a five minute phone call by an outside group.

And the converse.

We think who we are is who we are.  But here are these adult women, personalities fully formed, yet the belief that men have about their level of attractiveness (remember, the pictures - fake) can cause behavior so clear it is evidenced by an entirely non-biased outside group, a group which doesn't hear the men speak and doesn't see the pictures.

I've been doing a lot of writing about the World Champion San Francisco Giants over the last several months; I've talked about my childhood affinity for Charlie Brown, whose status as a loser (a lovable one perhaps, but a loser nonetheless, and a San Francisco Giants fan) was a defining characteristic.  I've posted a link to a 2006 piece I wrote about the Giants that contained a line from Underworld about a character who loved the
New York Giants (the baseball version, yes):

He knows how to find the twisty compensation in the business of losing, being a loser, drawing it out, expanding it, making it sickly sweet, being someone carefully chosen for the role.

If you were to travel back in time a quarter century, either via flux capacitor or hot tub, to see teenage Jim Jividen in Prospect, Ohio - if I wasn't watching a Giants game, you'd probably see me watching the old David Letterman show.

Letterman's the most important comic voice of my lifetime, his "I'm here, but not really here; I'm commenting on this even as I live through it" sensibility is the way that I process my life, and I'd argue the way my generation and maybe the one subsequent has processed its reality (most recently seen in the Stewart/Colbert Un-Rally).  But until this week, when I read The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy Bill Carter's new book about the Conan/Leno contretemps, I hadn't thought about Letterman in Charlie Brown language.

There's a passage that includes a quote from Robert Morton, longtime Letterman producer, discussing the change the show went through when it moved from 12:30 to 11:30 when Dave was passed over for the Tonight Show and moved to CBS.

"The new show had to be about success. It can't be about failure, " Morton had said. The old show had celebrated failure.

And he's right.  And he's right and that's why I liked it, and what I missed about it after the move to CBS.  I enjoyed the failure.  I identified with the failure.

So - which comes first?  The Charlie Brown, David Letterman, San Francisco Giants  - is it that I identified with the failure and so I gravitated toward it - or is it that the I internalized those messages of failure about myself?  Who had the ugly girl picture of me?

That's what I thought about this week.  After the jump - the rest of Tendown 51.  Special Elevendown!

I Pick College Football Games in 2010 - Week 11

Friday, November 12, 2010

Last week is here.

Overall: 51-58-1

Army over Kent win
Auburn -7.5 Georgia win
UCF -10 So Miss loss
Iowa -10 Northwestern loss
Mary -1.5 Virginia win
Miss +2.5Tenn loss
Navy -14 Cent Mich loss
N Tex +11 Mid Tenn win
Ok St -5.5 Tex win
Tul -4 Rice win


I Pick Every NFL Game in 2010 - Week 10

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Last week is here.

ATS: 55-54-7
SU: 73-43

I've got nothing going at all against the number, last week was my worst of the season - but I'm rolling straight up, now 30 games above .500. 

Balt +1 Atlanta loss/loss
Buff -3 Detroit loss/loss
Chicago +1.5 Minn win/win
Cle +3 NYJ loss/loss
Tenn -2 Mia loss/loss
Indianapolis -7 Cincinnati loss/win
Hou +1.5 Jax loss/loss
Carol +6.5 TB (Bucs win game) loss/win
KC -1 Den loss/loss
Ariz -3 Seattle loss/loss
Dall +14 NYG (Giants win game) win/loss
Rams +6 Niners (niners win game) win/win
NE +4.5 Pitt (Steelers win game) win/loss
Eagles -3 Skins win/win

ATS 5-9
SU 5-9

The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players Of All Time 2011 Edition (by WAR/WARP) Who Just Missed The List/Top Active Players Not On the List

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I like sports. I like sports analysis and discussion. The grease that lubricates sports discussion has historically consisted of some variation of "Who's Better: X or Y?"

I recall being 10-11 years old and just laboriously pouring over Maury Allen's book where he listed the Top 100 players in MLB history; I'm a sucker for lists, be they films or books or rankings of Supreme Court justices, I want to play.

Performance analysis has advanced since 1981 (although you shouldn't tell Murray Chass...hell, you can't really tell Bob Costas; my guess is that we would agree far more often than not on the big issues of the day, perhaps even on more metaphysical matters - but when I watch he and Keith Olbermann talk about baseball as if the sabermetric insights of the past quarter-century haven't happened, that they continue to deny the massive paradigm shift that has occurred during their professional careers and instead revert back to the same level of understanding they had as children, I get incredibly frustrated.  And they're the smart guys - your average beat writer is worse - your average sports radio call in host is much worse - and then fans/politicians/and finally Tim McCarver) and my views have evolved; first with Bill James, then with Pete Palmer, then Rob Neyer and Baseball Prospectus, now with Fangraphs.

This is my ranking of the 200 Best Major League Baseball Players of All Time; my reliance is not on anecdote, not on fitting into a particular childhood narrative that player X simply must be better than player y. My reliance is on facts and not faith, on statistics and not storyline. I happen to believe that baseball is more objectively quantifiable - the "truth" of what happens on a baseball diamond more knowable than in virtually any human endeavor.

WARP is, in my view, the superior "universal theory of everything" number; I prefer it vastly to Win Shares  as expressing actual career value. The list is skewed to career, as opposed to peak value - I'm attempting to express who had the greatest careers as opposed to "on any given day, who would you pick to win one baseball game for you." That's a reasonable list, I guess, but it's not this one. I add to that WAR (baseball-reference version; I understand if you prefer Fangraphs WAR - choices have to be made.) and that's the totality of the number you see next to the player.  In previous versions, I added some "peak" component; BP expresses peak itself with a JAWS number, taking the 7 best years and combining it with the WARP, and at some point, all of those numbers will be sortable and, one assumes, they'll put out their own list of this type; I might even prefer it to mine. There is no peak component to this list, with the tiny exception that I'm breaking ties by favoring the player who played in fewer seasons (or the player who is still active). 

The defensive metrics have really evolved even since I began putting the list together, that partially explains the differences between the version you're about to see and any previous you may have read from me. The level of evolution has also served to further reduce the degree to which this is just a career as opposed to a peak list. It's still solely a regular season list, completely ignoring the postseason.

WARP is about to undergo another revision. Could be that after 2011, I have to carve this up again.
Right now, I want to read a book that, using the statistics which I believe are most revelatory, lists the 200 best MLB players ever. A book that adjusts for era and ballpark; that doesn't reflexively list the same top players at each position that the author decided upon when he was 12...

Spoiler alert.....

The greatest catcher of all time is no longer Johnny Bench.

...if there was a book like that, I'd buy it.

But there's not. So - I'm writing this list.

From 1871-2010, I've looked at every single career - with the caveat that I'm just the one dude and maybe I missed a guy, or miscounted, or that the numbers will change before you read this - meaning this is my definitive, up to the moment the 2011 season begins, list. (here's the edit - it's the All-Star Break in 2011; in addition to their being two versions of WAR, there are now two versions of WARP; I'm going to use Clay Davenport's, as he's got his database to go back further than the Prospectus database.  Maybe one day I'll add the BP and the Fangraphs versions of their respective metrics for the ultimate universal number.  Which would then immediately have 4 opportunities to be revised each year.)

I'll do ten a week over the next 20 weeks, walking all the way up to Opening Day.

They're still gonna play baseball in 2011, right?  SFG won the WS, so I'm unsure what the point is in continuing - we can focus all of our energies on Golden St.

The previous version, with different methodology, is here.

Okay - without revealing who number 200 is - his combined career WAR+WARP is 111.4 and there are another 50 players with career WAR+WARP of 100-110 and 5 players, who couldn't have come any closer to making the list, who had career numbers above 110.

Here they are - numbers 201-205

201. David Cone (56.9+67.6=124.5)(Edit - so, as of the middle of 2011, Cone, Wynn, Helton will make their way into the main list)

202. Early Wynn (58.3+62.0=120.3)

203. Todd Helton (59.7+69.1=128.8)

204. Sherry Magee (59.1+45.2=104.3)

205. Stan Coveleski (49.5+53.1=102.6)

Helton, obviously, is likely to move into the top 200 in 2011, if he returns.  There are 7 additional players, still active at the time of this writing, between 100-110 in total WAR+WARP, meaning they are threats to crack the Top 200 by the end of the 2011 season:
Andy Pettitte (49.4+60.6=110.5)

Jamie Moyer  (46.7+57.1=103.8)

Ichiro Suzuki  (54.4+46.5=100.9)

Jorge Posada (45.5+54.4=99.9)

Jason Giambi (53.5+60.9=114.4)

Lance Berkman (49.1+59.9=109.8) 

Johan Santana (47+58=105)

Helton's 2010 WAR/WARP was .4; he needs to better it, by a little, in 2011, and he'll wheeze into the 200th all time spot. 

Pettitte's was 6.2; if he can match that in 2011, that would take him all the way up to #189 (and knock Helton off the list, in that scenario).

Moyer was .4.; it seems improbable he has enough career left to make the list.

Posada was 3.4; he'd have to hold that value 2 additional seasons to make the list.

Giambi doesn't have enough career left to make the list.

Ichiro's combined WAR+WARP in 2010 was 9.4; so he's on the list by the end of 2010 - if he matches his 2010 in 2011, he'll be 179th at season's end - so he and Pettitte are looking at taking two spots. 

Berkman's 2010 season (3.2) won't get it done if he repeats it; one assumes a bounceback in 2011 gets him closer than that.

Santana had a combined WAR+WARP of 10, repeating it would get him into the current list - tie him with Helton under the above projections - but they'd both find themselves out given the Pettitte/Ichiro numbers.  Obviously, Santana is likely to finish his career solidly on this list.  He turns 32 in 2011, so his slide is underway (as seen in his Mets tenure) but finishing in the Top 100 is not an unreasonable goal. 

Active players with WAR+WARP above 90:  Tejada (99.6), Cameron (91.1) Damon (91.6) Sabathia (104.5) Oswalt (104.4) Hudson (108.3)  None of them will make the list by end of 2011.  Sabathia and Oswalt will make it by the end of 2012. 

Joe Mauer and Chase Utley are both in the low 80s.  They have outside chances of making it by the end of 2012, but you'd expect both by end of 2013.  Mark Teixeira and Miguel Cabrera are in the low 70s; Hanley Ramirez in the low 60s - they're really too far away to talk about, as is everyone younger you might be thinking about. 

Next week - #200-191.

Giantdown: All the Giants Posts Are Here

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It hardly seems real.

My thoughts about winning the World Series are here.

Newspaper headlines the day after are here.

My WS prediction post is here.

My history of the San Francisco Giants in the World Series, now updated to include 2010 is here.

My history of the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS, now updated to include 2010 is here.

My prediction post for the NLDS is here.

My prediction post for the entire postseason is here

My breakdown of every San Francisco Giants season, literally every one, by WAR/WARP is here.  Actually, that's just the 2010 season, but it has the links to every season from 1958 on.  So, if you wondered how Aubrey Huff in 2010 compared to Al Oliver in 1984 (spoiler alert - favorably) that's where you'd go.

Would you like to see the all time best/worst seasons by San Francisco Giants?  Would you like to know the answer to - "I wonder what was the single worst season by a SFGiants second baseman ever" - I have that here.

How about our all time roster?  Who would be the fifth starter on the All Time San Francisco Giants starting pitching staff?  How about the utility infielder?  How about this - what two current Giants rank in the Top 20 All Time for San Francisco Giants value?  here.

The first Giants piece I wrote, back in 2006, which began with the line I'm a San Francisco Giants fan, we're never going to win the World Series. here.

There's no Tendown this week, which I mentioned in last week's 50 issue post, which consisted of links to the  previous 49.  You can find that here.

Too much stuff to buy!  Yikes.  I need extra courses next quarter just to buy World Series merch.

Enjoy the offseason.  Starting this week will be my revised/updated countdown of the 200 greatest major league baseball players of all time.  10 a week for 20 weeks, taking us all the way up to the 2011 season.  Fun!

I Pick College Football Games - Week 10

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Last week, awful though it was, is here.

Overall:  44-49-1  Picking 16 this week, that gets me to 110 games picked.  Took all season to get to .500 after starting so badly - blew it last week.  Goal this week is 10-6. 
VT -13.5 GT (loss)
Boise v. Hawaii under 67 (win)
Army +7 AForce (loss)
BC -3 Wake (win)
Iowa -17 Indiana (loss)
LSU +6.5 Alabama (win)
Miss v. La/La under 66 (win)
Missouri -4.5 TTech (loss)
Navy +3 ECarolina (win)
Nebraska -18 Iowa St (loss)
Okla -3 AM (loss)
Okla v AM under 62 (win)
OkSt v. Baylor under 73 (loss)
Ore St -5 UCLA (loss)
SDSt -17 Col St (loss)
Wisc -20 Purd (win)


I Pick Every NFL Game in 2010 - Week 9

Last week is here.

ATS:  51-46-6
SU: 63-40

Atlanta -8.5 TB (loss/win)
Chicago -3 Buffalo (push/win)
NE -5 Cleve (loss/loss)
Jets -4 Detr  (loss/win)
Carolina +6.5 NO (Saints win game) (loss/win)
Dolphins +5 Ravens (Balt wins game) (loss/win)
Chargers -1.5 Houston (win/win)
Vikes -9 Arizona (loss/win)
NYG -7 Seattle (win/win)
Indy +3 Eagles (win/loss)
Chiefs +2.5 Raiders (loss/loss)
GB -8.5 Dallas (win/win)
Bengals +4.5 Steelers (Pitt wins game) (loss/win)

4-8-1   55-54-7
10-3    73-43

The 100 Greatest Players in Professional Football History: 10-1 (The Full List is Here)

20-11 is here.

I'll edit in the NFL Network list once they air the episode.  Here's how we got to the top 10. My list is first, then NFL Net list.  If all you want is the top ten - scroll to the bottom.

100. Larry Allen (Joe Namath)

99. Tom Mack (Michael Strahan)

98. Ozzie Newsome (Lee Roy Selmon)

97. Steve Van Buren (Derrick Brooks)

96. Michael Strahan (Mel Hein)

95. Norm Van Brocklin (Larry Allen)

94. Donovan McNabb (Lenny Moore)

93. Lance Alworth (Sam Huff)

92. OJ Simpson (Michael Irvin)

91. Lou Groza (Fran Tarkenton)

90. Jack Youngblood (Kurt Warner)

89. Sam Huff (Ernie Nevers)

88. Paul Krause (Ed Reed)

87. Cris Carter (Crazylegs Hirsch)

86. Chris Doleman (Willie Davis)

85. Sammy Baugh (Marcus Allen)

84. Alex Karras (Joe Schmidt)

83. Tony Dorsett (Norm Van Brocklin)

82. Don Maynard (Ted Hendricks)

81. John Brodie (Steve Young)

80. Bobby Layne (Troy Aikman)

79. Gene Hickerson (Emlen Tunnell)

78. Chuck Howley (Bruce Matthews)

77. Michael Irvin (Tony Dorsett)

76. Too Tall Jones (Art Shell)

75. Roger Staubach (Darrell Green)

74. Willie Wood (Marion Motley)

73. Will Shields (Ozzie Newsome)

72. Carl Eller (Jonathan Ogden)

71. Ladainian Tomlinson (Paul Warfield)

70. Curtis Martin (Marshall Faulk)

69. Terrell Owens (Bobby Bell)

68. Len Dawson (Mike Webster)

67. Tom Brady (Kellen Winslow)

66. Mike Haynes (Willie Brown)

65. Ken Houston (Randy Moss)

64. Rickey Jackson (Herb Adderly)

63. Darrell Green (Jim Otto)

62. Mike Webster (Randy White)

61. Forrest Gregg (Ladainian Tomlinson)

60. Harold Jackson (Jack Ham)

59. Tim Brown (Mike Ditka)

58. Night Train Lane (Steve Van Buren)

57. Ken Anderson (Mike Singletary)

56. YA Tittle (Gene Upshaw)

55. Alan Page (Earl Campbell)

54. Thurman Thomas (Forrest Gregg)

53. Howie Long (Willie Lanier)

52. Jack Lambert (Eric Dickerson)

51. Randy Moss (Bart Starr)

50. Joe Perry (Terry Bradshaw)

49. Herb Adderly (Mike Haynes)

48. James Lofton (Red Grange)

47. Bruce Matthews (Ray Nitschke)

46. Derrick Brooks (Roger Staubach)

45. Tony Gonzalez (Tony Gonzalez)

44. Marshall Faulk (Mel Blount)

43. Steve Young (Alan Page)

42. Marcus Allen (John Mackey)

41. Marvin Harrison (Rod Woodson)

40. Eric Dickerson (OJ Simpson)

39. Ted Hendricks (Gino Marchetti)

38. Jackie Slater (Lance Alworth)

37. Randall McDaniel (Jim Thorpe)

36. Randy White (Raymond Berry)

35. Bob Lilly (Chuck Bednarik)

34. Merlin Olsen (Deion Sanders)

33. Mike Singletary (Sid Luckman)

32. Willie Brown (Jim Parker)

31. Steve Largent (Bruce Smith)

30. Jim Otto (Night Train Lane)

29. Otto Graham (Jack Lambert)

28. John Hannah (Emmitt Smith)

27. Jack Ham (Merlin Olsen)

26. Mel Blount (Bob Lilly)

25. Ronnie Lott (Dan Marino)

24. Deacon Jones (John Hannah)

23. Joe Greene (John Elway)

22. Ray Lewis (Gale Sayers)

21. Gene Upshaw (Tom Brady)

20. Fran Tarkenton (Brett Favre)

19. Rod Woodson (Bronko Nagurski)

18. Don Hutson (Ray Lewis)

17. Junior Seau (Barry Sanders)

16. Bruce Smith (Otto Graham)

15. Anthony Munoz (Deacon Jones)

14. Johnny Unitas (Sammy Baugh)

13. John Elway (Joe Greene)

12. Peyton Manning (Anthony Munoz)

11. Barry Sanders (Ronnie Lott)

10.Deion Sanders DB 89-05 Falcons/Cowboys
-53 career picks, 9 returned for TD, returned 9 kicks for TD.  Could control a game from the DB position in a way no other player ever could.  (NFL chose Dick Butkus, not on my list - more myth than man, short career, no team success, it doesn't make him bad, obviously, just overrated.)

9.Emmitt Smith RB 90-04 Cowboys
-was 6th on the all time TD list after only 6 seasons in the league, finished with 18,000+ yards rushing and a total of 175 tds.  (Don Hutson - appeared in my previous ten)

8.Walter Payton RB 75-87 Bears
-16,000+ yards rush, 110 TDs rush, 4.4 y/c, another 4500+ receiving yards and 15 TDs.  Payton as pass catcher plus the era in which he played edges him past Emmitt by the narrowest margin to be the second best back of all time. (Peyton Manning - appeared in my previous ten)

7.Brett Favre QB 91-   Packers
-holds all of the counting stat records for QBs, in 2010 he’ll hit both 70,000 yards and 500 TD passes.  Two  QB still remain.  (Reggie White - still to come.)

6.Lawrence Taylor LB 81-93 Giants
-first defensive player to be voted unanimous MVP.  132 sacks, 11 recovered fumbles.  His productive career fewer games than you'd think and that slips him outside the top 5. (Johnny Unitas - appeared in my previous ten)

5.Jim Brown RB 57-65 Browns
-averaged 5.2 y/c, 104 yds rushed per game.  Short career keeps him lower on my list than he’ll be on the NFL list where he’ll either be 1 or 2.  (Walter Payton - just appeared.)

4.   Dan Marino QB 83-99 Dolphins
-61,000+ yards, 420 TDs, 7.3 yards per attempt.  Most of his career before the big offensive enhancement changes in the mid 90s. (Joe Montana - still to come.  I forecasted this correctly, incidentally.  If you were to ask who my favorite all time athlete is, the only reason I wouldn't automatically say Joe is he's bigger than the competition.  I'm a 40 year old life long San Francisco sports fan; as deeply as my respect and affection go for others - there's Joe and then there's the field.)

1.                         3.   Reggie White DL 85-00 Eagles/Packers
-7 Pro Bowls, 124 sacks, 11 fumbles recovered - before he got to Green Bay. The greatest defensive player in the history of football. (Lawrence Taylor.  Just appeared.)

1.      2.  Joe Montana QB 79-94 Niners
-4 Super Bowls. 83 of 122, 1142 yds, 11 TD, 0 Int (and 17 rushes for 101 yards and two TDs). 4 Wins.  O Losses. When you find someone who matches it, get back to me.  (Jim Brown.  That means they got it right.)  

1.       1. Jerry Rice WR 85-04 Niners
-Jerry Rice’s career: 499 catches. 6518 yards. 43 touchdowns.  That’s his career…after he turned 35.  He’s first in catches – by 400+, first in yards – by 7,000+, first in receiving TDs, by 50.  There’s Jordan, there’s Bonds, there’s Gretzky, there’s Rice.  Overarching, near mystical dominance.    If there is a way to reasonably compare eras and positions - if such a list like this has any type of credibility - then there is only one choice to be named Greatest Football Player of All Time.  And that's Jerry Rice. (Jerry Rice.  Amen.)

This was fun.  I've got my revised, really revised, as I changed out half the methodology, 200 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time ready to go - I think I'll keep this schedule, posting ten a week all the way until thhe next season starts.

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