Forever Giants:1962 National League Champion San Francisco Giants Year 5 (80)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

1961 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season.  The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

1962 98-64
C Tom Haller 3.6 
1B Orlando Cepeda  4.3 
2B Chuck Hiller 2.7 
SS Jose Pagan 1.6 
3B Jimmy Davenport 4
LF Harvey Kuenn 2.15 
CF Willie Mays 9.9 MVPQ 
RF Felipe Alou 4.1 
C Ed Bailey 1.85 
LF Willie McCovey 2.2
OF Matty Alou .55 
SP Billy O Dell  2.7
SP Jack Sanford 3.45  
SP Juan Marichal 3.85 
SP Billy Pierce 2.65
RP Stu Miller -.1 (13.7) Final Season. 

-Just like 11 years before in New York, the Giants take a 3 game playoff against the Dodgers to win the pennant (and then lose the Series to the Yankees).  It's the tenth time in franchise history the Giants lose the Series, 4 of which coming to the Yanks.  Mays has his 7th MVPQ season (8+ WAR) tying Mathewson, it's his best year since '54.  The entire Giant starting 8 is at least 1 win above replacement for the first time since '53. McCormick leaves, but he'll be back.  It's Stu Miller's last season and Gaylord Perry's debut. 

Forever Giants:1961 San Francisco Giants Year 4 (79)

Friday, January 30, 2015

1960 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season.  The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

1961 93-69
C Ed Bailey  1.45
1B Willie McCovey  2.45 
2B Joey Amalfitano .35 
SS Jose Pagan .3
3B Jimmy Davenport 3.05 
LF Harvey Keunn .6
CF Willie Mays 8.25 MVPQ  
RF Felipe Alou 2.45 
LF Orlando Cepeda 6.2 
2B Chuck Hiller .15
RF Matty Alou 1
SS Eddie Bressoud -.55 
C Tom Haller -.2
SP Mike McCormick 4.9
SP Jack Sanford 1.7 
SP Juan Marichal 1.6 
SP Billy Loes .15
RP Billy O Dell .75 
RP Sam Jones -.1 
RP Stu Miller 4.35

-We tour Japan before the season and Stu Miller gets blown off the mound at the All Star Game. Former Giant Alvin Dark takes over and leads Giants to their best pythag finish since '54. Mays pulls into third for all time Giants WAR

Top 100 Wrestlers in the World 2015

I watch a lot of wrestling (not much Mexico).  Here's my list of the best 100 wrestlers in the world for 2015.  Your mileage may vary.

1.       Tomohiro Ishii NJPW
2.       Shinsuke Nakamura NJPW
3.       Kota Ibushi NJPW
4.       Hiroshi Tanahashi NJPW
5.       Daniel Bryan WWE
6.       Takashi Sugiura NOAH
7.       Sami Zayn WWE
8.       Hideo Itami WWE
9.       Cesaro WWE
10.   Katsuyori Shibata NJPW
11.   Kazuchika Okada NJPW
12.   Go Shiozaki AJPW
13.   Brock Lesnar WWE
14.   AJ Styles NJPW
15.   Finn Balor WWE
16.   Katsuhiko Nakajima K-Dojo
17.   Naomichi Marufuji NOAH
18.   Togi Makabe NJPW
19.   Kenny Omega NJPW
20.   Adrian Neville WWE
21.   Harashima DDT
22.   Alex Shelley NJPW
23.   Daisuke Sekimoto NOAH
24.   Austin Aries TNA
25.   Seth Rollins WWE
26.   Prince Puma Lucha Underground
27.   Kohei Suwama AJPW
28.   Shingo Takagi Dragon Gate
29.   Tetsuya Naito NJPW
30.   Hirooki Goto NJPW
31.   Yuji Nagata TNA
32.   Davey Richards TNA
33.   Dolph Ziggler WWE
34.   Masaaki Mochizuki Dragon Gate
35.   Masato Yoshino Dragon Gate
36.   Daisuke Harada NOAH
37.   Kotaro Suzuki AJPW
38.   T-Hawk Dragon Gate
39.   BxB Hulk Dragon Gate
40.   Akira Tozawa Dragon Gate
41.   Minoru Suzuki NJPW
42.   Kento Miyahara NOAH
43.   Eita Kobayashi Dragon Gate
44.   Atsuhi Kotoge NOAH
45.   Kyle O’Reilly PWG
46.   Kevin Owens WWE
47.   Samoa Joe TNA
48.   Yamato Dragon Gate
49.   Jimmy Susumu Dragon Gate
50.   Luke Harper WWE
51.   Keisuke Ishii DDT
52.   Atsushi Aoki AJPW
53.   Tetsuya Endo DDT 
54.   Isami Kodaka Big Japan
55.   Jay Briscoe ROH
56.   Low Ki TNA
57.   Adam Cole ROH
58.   Eddie Edwards TNA
59.   Shigehiro Irie DDT
60.   Zach Sabre NOAH
61.   Fujita Jr Hayato D-Ring
62.   Kengo Mashimo KDojo
63.   Matt Jackson NJPW
64.   Nick Jackson NJPW
65.   Tomoaki Honma NJPW
66.   Yujiro Kushida NJPW
67.   Christopher Daniels ROH
68.   Kenichiro Arai Dragon Gate
69.   Jun Akiyama AJPW
70.   Masato Tanaka NOAH
71.   Michael Elgin ROH
72.   ACH ROH 
73.   Yujiro Takahashi NJPW
74.   Chris Hero NOAH
75.   Roderick Strong PWG
76.   Yuji Okabayashi Big Japan
77.   Bobby Roode TNA
78.   Kaz Hayashi AJPW
79.   Taiji Ishimori NOAH
80.   Matt Sydal ROH
81.   CIMA DGate
82.   Tyson Kidd WWE
83.   Jay Lethal ROH
84.   Mark Briscoe ROH
85.   Sheamus WWE
86.   Yuko Miyamoto Big Japan
87.   La Sombra CMLL
88.   Jigsaw Dragon Gate USA
89.   Johnny Mundo Lucha Underground 
90.   Shuji Kondo DDT 
91.  Ry Taguchi NJPW
92.   Johnny Gargano Evolve
93.   AR Fox PWG
94.   John Cena WWE
95.   Kenou NOAH
96.   Jeff Hardy TNA
97.  Dean Ambrose WWE
98. Mascara Dorada CMLL
99. Takeshi Morishima NOAH
100.                        Minoru Tanaka Wrestle 1

Forever Giants:1960 San Francisco Giants Year 3 (78)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

1959 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season.  The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

1960 85-77
C Bob Schmidt  .85 
1B Willie McCovey 1.6 
2B Don Blasingame 1.1
SS Eddie Bressoud  1.3 
3B Jim Davenport .85  
LF Orlando Cepeda 4.05 
CF Willie Mays 8.5 MVPQ  
RF Willie Kirkland 2.45 
IF Joey Amalfitano 1.4
OF Felipe Alou  .7
IF Andre Rodgers .3 
C Hobie Landrith .05 
1B Jim Marshall -.1
SP Mike McCormick  6.2 
SP Sam Jones 1.8  
SP Billy O’Dell 3.45
SP Jack Sanford  1.15 
RP Johnny Antonelli  1.3 (33.65) Last Season
RP Stu Miller .85 

-Oldest person to debut as a manager, Tom Sheehan, a Giants scout who took over from Rigney at midseason.  Marichal also debuts in the Giants first season at Candlestick. Antonelli was public about his dislike of playing in San Francisco and this is his last season.

Forever Giants:1959 San Francisco Giants Year Two (77)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

1958 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season. The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

1959 91-71
C Hobie Landrith  1.85
1B Orlando Cepeda 4.65 
2B Daryl Spencer 2.6
SS Eddie Bressoud 1.75 
3B Jim Davenport .6 
LF Jackie Brandt 1.65
CF Willie Mays 6.95 
RF Willie Kirkland 2.55
RF Felipe Alou .85 
SS Andre Rodgers  1
1B Willie McCovey  3.6
C Bob Schmidt  -.05 
LF Leon Wagner .7 
SP Johnny Antonelli  5.1 
SP Sam Jones 5.6
SP Mike McCormick .6 
SP Jack Sanford 3.45
RP Stu Miller 2.35
RP Eddie Fisher -2.1

-McCovey arrives and San Francisco gets a pennant race.  It's the best Giants club since the Series title four years prior. 

Forever Giants:1958 San Francisco Giants Year One (76)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1957 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season. The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

1958 84-78
C Bob Schmidt  1.6
1B Orlando Cepeda  3.6
2B Danny O’Connell  1.35 
SS Daryl Spencer 4.15 
3B Jimmy Davenport 1.05
LF Hank Sauer .35 
CF Willie Mays 9.6 MVPQ 
RF Willie Kirkland .45
3B Ray Jablonski .05
LF Leon Wagner 1.65
LF Felipe Alou  .9
C Valmy Thomas .55 
2B Eddie Bressoud -.1 
Uti Whitey Lockman -.25 (14.2) Last season
SP Johnny Antonelli 4.65 
SP Ruben Gomez 1.65 (16.35) Last Season
SP Mike McCormick .3 
SP Stu Miller 4.65 
RP Al Worthington 1.65 
RP Ramon Monzant -.3

-Hey, the Giants live in San Francisco now. They (we!) move to Seals Stadium and have their best season since '55. Cepeda, Davenport, and Felipe Alou all have their first seasons. Mays has his best year since '54. Gomez and Lockman finish up.  

Super Bowl 49 Pick

Monday, January 26, 2015

Seattle +1
Under 48.5
Brady attempts under 35.5
Brady completions under 23.5
Brady longest completion under 37.5
Total Points Gostkowski under 8.5

Wilson longest completion over 37.5

Seattle 24 NE 21

I'm 7-3 against the spread in the playoffs; a year ago, I gave you Seattle +2.5 in Super Bowl 48.

This is a very tight game; let me use a basketball metaphor - Seattle's pass defense dares the referees to blow the whistles, which, in championship games, they are understandably less likely to do.  To the extent "deflategate" matters, can we stipulate that the league, were they booking the game like a wrestling match (in the way the NBA has occasionally been accused of doing) they would not desire an outcome where the Patriots are holding the title (under inflating the footballs might not be a one off occurrence).  This isn't wrestling, however, were the Seahawks, as is their wont, to challenge the officials to throw the flags, maybe they aren't so eager to throw them.  

Were I in the Seattle camp (and I'm not - a year ago, for multiple reasons, I rooted for them, even as a Niner fan, this year, I'd like to see them lose in the most painful way possible) that would be my reading of the current political climate.  Rough up the Pats receivers, hold Gronkowski on every play like he's Shaq, dare the officials to keep throwing flags.  

That drives my game pick and most of the above prop selections.  

(Boyhood wins Best Picture - I'd be happy with it or Birdman, but my favorite movie was Whiplash)

If you're interested in my historical Super Bowl work - here it is

Forever Giants:1957 New York Giants(Year 75)

1956 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season. The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

1957 74-88
C Valmy Thomas .9
1B Whitey Lockman -.8 
2B Danny O’Connell 2.05
SS Daryl Spencer 1 
3B Ray Jablonski 1.9
LF Hank Sauer .4
CF Willie Mays 8.45 MVPQ
RF Don Mueller -2.6
2B Red Schoendienst 1.75 
1B Gail Harris .25
3B Ozzie Virgil -.2
OF Bobby Thomson .45 (22.1) Last Season
OF Dusty Rhodes -1.65 
OF Ray Katt -.2 
SS Eddie Bressoud 0 
C Wes Westrum -.55 (13.35) Last Season
SP Ruben Gomez 4 
SP Johnny Antonelli 3.95 
SP Curt Barclay 2.95
SP Ray Crone  .2
RP Marv Grissom 1.75 
RP Al Worthington 1.95 
RP Stu Miller 2.15

-75 years later, the New York Giants are no more. The Giants had a forgettable final season in the Polo Grounds, below a .500 pythag and the worst attendance in the NL. Bobby Thomson comes back to see the Giants off.  Westrum finishes as a Pureblood Giant. From a San Francisco Giants fan - Thanks to the fans of the New York Giants; they're forgotten about a little bit, but they lost their baseball team after 75 years.  

Here are the 50 greatest NY Giants.  The Forever Giants

1. Mel Ott RF 105.85 (1926-47, full career as a Giant - Pureblood Giant)
2. Christy Mathewson SP 99.8 (1900-16)
3. Carl Hubbell SP 69.3 (1928-43, Pureblood Giant)
4. Amos Rusie P 60.25 (1890-98)
5. Roger Connor 1B 56.85 (1883-89, 91, 93-4)
6. Bill Terry 1B 49.2 (1923-36, Pureblood Giant)
7. Art Fletcher SS 44.5 (1909-20)
8. Travis Jackson SS 43.45 (1922-36, Pureblood Giant)
9. Mike Tiernan RF 43.2 (1887-99, Pureblood Giant)
10. George Davis SS 42.3 (1893-01, 03)

11. Buck Ewing C 40.95 (1883-89, 91-2)
12. Mickey Welch P 40.85 (1883-92, only a Giant during life of the Giants)
13. Willie Mays CF 39.7 (1951-57) 
14. Frankie Frisch 2B 35.6 (1919-26)
15. Larry Doyle 2B 34.8 (1907-16, 18-20)
16. Art Devlin 3B 34.4 (1904-11)
17. Hal Schumacher SP 34.1 (1931-46, Pureblood Giant)
18. Johnny Antonelli SP 22.65 (1954-57) 
19. George Burns LF 33.25 (1911-21)
20. Johnny Mize 1B 29.7 (1942, 46-9)

21. Joe McGinnity P 28.9 (1902-08)
22. Dick Bartell SS 28.6 (1935-8, 41-6)
23. Hooks Wiltse P 28.55 (1904-14) 
24. Tim Keefe P 28.15 (1885-89, 91) 
25. Ross Youngs RF 27.9 (1917-26, Pureblood Giant)
26. Freddie Fitzsimmons P 26.9 (1925-37)
27. Roger Bresnahan C 26.1 (1902-08)
28. Alvin Dark SS 25.4 (1950-56) 
29. Jouett Meekin P 24.2 (1894-99)
30. Hank Thompson 3B 24.05 (1949-56)

31. Jeff Tesreau SP 23.9 (1912-18, Pureblood Giant)
32. Sal Maglie P 23.5 (1945-55)
33. High Pockets Kelly 1B 23.3 (1915-17, 19-26)
34. Larry  Jansen SP 23 (1947-54)
35. George Van Haltren CF 22.75 (1894-03)
36. Bobby Thomson CF 22.1 (1946-53, 57)
37. Freddie Lindstrom 3B 22.05 (1924-32) 
38. Cy Seymour CF/P 21.9 (1896-00, 06-10)
39. Chief Meyers C 20.9 (1909-15)
40. Harry Danning C 19.85 (1933-42, Pureblood Giant)

41. Monte Ward SS 19.65 (1883-89, 93-4)
42. Cliff Melton SP 17.15 (1937-44, Pureblood Giant)
43. Monte Irvin LF 17 (1949-55)
46. Jim O’Rourke OF 16.75 (1885-89, 91-2, 04)
45. Sid Gordon 3B/LF 15.95 (1941-3, 46-9, 55)
46. Rube Marquard SP 15.35 (1908-15) 
47Ruben Gomez SP 15.1 (1953-57)
48. Dan McGann 1B 14.85 (1902-07) 
49. Willard Marshall RF 14.8 (1942-49)
50. Dave Koslo SP 14.75 (1941-53)

Tendown Jan 25, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

159 is here. This is Tendown 160

Don't tell Republicans.  It violates their delicate sensibilities.  But it's getting hotter.

1. No, he wasn't.

2. Your 35-6 Golden St Warriors have the second best point differential in the NBA...since the merger.  Are of the best teams of all time?  What the hell did Klay Thompson do Friday night?

3. Here's the second weirdest Tiger Woods picture this week.

4. Russell Wilson was terrible against the Green Bay Packers.

All part of God's great plan.  Meanwhile, I'm 7-3 ATS, 8-2 straight up in the playoffs.  I'm likely to pick Seattle +1 and under the 48.5

5. Multiple learning styles, as any educator can tell you, are bullshit.

6. Here's Taibbi about lazy, jingo American Sniper  Here's Vox.

7. My mother has a longstanding interest in baseball players' walkup music.

8. Have to admire the rugged individualism of Jodi Ernst

9. The largest jury pool in US history.

10. The Royal Rumble is tonight.

And one more.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time, if there is a next time...

Your pal,


Forever Giants:1956 New York Giants(Year 74)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1955 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season.  The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

1956 67-95
C Bill Sarni .5
1B Bill White  3.75
2B Red Schoendienst 1.5
SS Daryl Spencer -.1
3B Foster Castleman -.05
LF Jackie Brandt 1.55
CF Willie Mays 7.35 
RF Don Mueller -2.35 
LF Dusty Rhodes -.65 
SS Alvin Dark -.2 (25.4) Last Season
3B Hank Thompson 1.1 (24.05) Last Season
LF Whitey Lockman .15
SS Eddie Bressoud -.6
C Wes Westrum 0
C Ray Katt .95 
SP Johnny Antonelli 6.75 
SP Ruben Gomez .85 
SP Al Worthington 2
SP Jim Hearn -.15
RP Marv Grissom 2.9 

-The Giants drop 35 pythagorean games from their World Championship season two years prior.  The Giants were last in attendance in the NL and an off season deal for Jackie Robinson resulted in Robinson retiring as opposed to becoming a Giant. This is it for Dark and Thompson. 

Forever Giants:1955 New York Giants(Year 73)

Friday, January 23, 2015

1954 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season. The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

1955 84-78
C Ray Katt -1 
1B Gail Harris -.65
2B Wayne Terwilliger  1.8
SS Alvin Dark 1.1 
3B Hank Thompson 2.75 
LF Whitey Lockman .15 
CF Willie Mays 9.2 MVPQ 
RF Don Mueller -1.55 
2B Davey Williams -.25 
IF Bobby Hoffman .8
LF Dusty Rhodes 1.3 
SS Billy Gardner -.55 
3B Sid Gordon  1.1 
LF Monte Irvin .4 (17) Last Season
C Wes Westrum .1
SP Johnny Antonelli 4.65
SP Jim Hearn 3.7
SP Ruben Gomez 1.8 
SP Sal Maglie 1.2 (23.5)  Last Season
RP Marv Grissom 2.3
RP Hoyt Wilhelm .95 
RP Don Liddle 1.25

-Durocher's last year, a former Giant, Rigney, will replace him.  It's the end of the Giants careers for both Maglie and Irvin.

Connor played with Davis played with Mathewson played with Roush played with Ott played with Mize played with Irvin played with Mays

That's going to be 90 years of Giants baseball connected by Hall of Famers.  

2015 Royal Rumble Preview

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The greatest Royal Rumble match ever took place 11 years ago when Chris Benoit went wire to wire to win the match and become number one contender.

If you're ever interviewing for a position at Titan Tower, don’t give that as your answer.
Historical accuracy isn't in the WWE business model; both given the nature of his final acts and the degree to which concussions may have played a part in their commission, there’s probably not a voice in the office suggesting that Benoit be edited back into WWE history (similarly, Dave Duerson doesn't have a prominent role in celebrations of the ’85 Bears. The NFL would rather us look at deflated footballs than its body count, understandably).

Aside from the most minor of internet cranks (hey, wait a goddarn second…) no one really cares about this; a corporation able to avoid offering health insurance to its workers through the “independent contractor” dodge can create its own historical record. As it turns out, so can movies about the civil rights movement. If you've ever taught American history you know that, at best, Lyndon Johnson is remembered for Vietnam, and now Selma’s erroneously (well, no, it wasn't an error, it’s intentional, he’s a villain in the film) branded him as an obstacle to civil rights (sure, not as far from the mark as “I wish I could shoot everyone with a Koran ” Chris Kyle being turned into a tormented hero, but pro-war jingo shouldn’t be the best we can do).

Now that I’ve alienated virtually everyone, let’s get to the show.
* WWE World Heavyweight Title Match: Brock Lesnar vs. Yawn Cena vs. Seth Rollins
* Royal Rumble Match
* WWE Tag Team Title Match: Miz/ Mizdow v. Usos
* The New Age Outlaws vs. The Ascension
* Womens Tag Match

Given the stipulation that the winner of the Rumble will wrestle for the title at Mania, and absent the February Elimination Chamber buffer that had the ability to alter that trajectory, we need to talk about these matches together.  I think there are two likely results.

At Summer Slam, as predicted, Brock Lesnar beat Cena to become WWE Champ and has maintained that title, largely in absentia, since then. The booking plan, again, also predicted, appeared to be Lesnar vs. Reigns at Mania, with Reigns avenging the Undertaker and sending the heel Lesnar out of town.

My suggestion is that match will still take place, but, in Scenario 1, without the WWE title.
So – who is the WWE Champion in this scenario?

I think its Rollins; he loses the fall to Cena in the main event (the only reason to put Rollins in the match is so Lesnar can drop the belt without losing a fall) an angered Lesnar destroys Cena (Lesnar seemed to be turning babyface on the go home RAW, that was smart, as the crowd is likely to cheer him regardless; were he to attack Cena postmatch, that cheering won’t stop) and Rollins recovers with the aid of the long since played out Authority to cash in his briefcase and win the belt.

Who does Rollins wrestle at Mania?

I don’t have much confidence in these predictions, but I was certain of the following in my Rumble preview a year ago:

“there’s a Yes Chant coming, and if it’s not coming Sunday it’s coming at Wrestlemania 30”

It didn't come at last year’s Rumble – but Daniel Bryan, the most over act in the promotion, was the unquestioned star at Mania.

Wrestlemania 31 is in the San Francisco Bay Area, home of the World Champion Giants, whose rally cry throughout the 2014 season was “Yes, Yes, Yes”. Daniel Bryan appeared before a playoff game, Daniel Bryan appeared at the Giants victory parade. Perhaps even more than last year, this will be a crowd dying to chant Yes and there’s no possibility WWE doesn't let them do that.  Further, Bryan's book was scheduled for a July release - it's been pushed to the week after Mania (that's a scoop! I bring you scoops! I criticize the left for enabling Selma's turning LBJ into a wrestling heel and I bring you pro graps scoops!)   I am flat guaranteeing Daniel Bryan goes over in a high profile Wrestlemania match; probably for the WWE Championship

In this scenario Bryan wins the Rumble (probably the only result the Philadelphia fans will accept this weekend) and we get the Ring Of Honor title match at Wrestlemania (in a variant, they just keep the belt on Brock and Bryan beats him - it's the cleanest scenario with the biggest Mania payoff)

If Bryan loses, the only other option is Reigns winning, leading to Scenario 2 and here’s my sort of far out prediction:

Roman Reigns leaves Wrestlemania as a heel.

WWE isn’t ahistorical, it has a particularly curated narrative – one of the items the company has committed to its institutional memory is “Die, Rocky, Die” – that the Maivia Subsequently Known as The Rock was pushed down the fans throats, rejected by those fans, turned heel on those fans, and it was that turn which led to his stardom.

I think that’s the path they will walk down with Reigns; he beats Lesnar at Mania with the shocking aid of Paul Heyman. The fan reaction coming at the Rumble will be what is pointed to as the impetus for that change (maybe they plant a Die Roman Die sign) in this scenario, a Reigns win would be even more powerful to engender that fan reaction than Reigns finishing second, but they can get what they need either way. That allows them to have a new monster heel (who could benefit from a mouthpiece) as Lesnar leaves the promotion.

So, that’s what I got – the two Mania matches are Bryan/Rollins and Reigns/Lesnar, one of which is for the title. Regardless of whether it's Rollins or if he goes clean over Brock - Daniel Bryan is who comes out of Mania as the man.  

Those are both probably good matches and if Bryan could, say, stay in the Rumble for a long time (Reigns eliminating him at the end after a wire to wire run would really draw a negative crowd response – don't bet wrestling, folks, but if the Rumble match is before the title match and you see Reigns go over, get in heavy on Lesnar) that could really be a terrific match.

(edit - Brock wins the three way in what will probably be the best WWE match all year I went 4 1/2 and have it the 12th best match in promotion history; Bryan was a non factor in the Rumble, the crowd, as was true a year before turned on the event, Reigns went over.)

There’s nothing else to watch on Sunday. Miz and Mizdow are tag champs (edit, as a comment has reminded me, no they aren't, they've already lost the belts to the Usos) it’s probably time for Mizdow to turn babyface; let’s say that team blows up here and loses the belts to the Usos. The Ascension was not a good act in developmental and are being positioned to be enhancement, they probably go over the Outlaws here but it’s just to set them up. The women’s match will be five minutes long. The second best wrestler (at worst) on the main roster is Cesaro, he’s going to lose a tag match on the pre-show.

(Ascension won, as did Cesaro/Kidd, the Usos, and the Bellas - I liked Cesaro/Kidd, as you'd expect; nothing else mattered).

I've seen every match in Rumble history. Here’s the list. My star ratings included for 3 stars and up matches. Times are approximate.

1. ’03 WWF Title: Kurt Angle d. Chris Benoit 20 min 5
2. ’00 WWF Title HHH d. Cactus Jack 27 min 4 ¼
3. ’01 IC Ladder: Chris Jericho d. Chris Benoit 19 min 4 ¼
4. ’04 Rumble Match: (Chris Benoit) 61:30 4
5. ’92 WWF Title: Rumble Match (Ric Flair) 62 min 4
" '14 Bray Wyatt d. Daniel Bryan 22 min 4
6. ’91 Rockers d. Orient Express 19 min 4
7. ’95 WWF Title: Diesel draw Bret Hart 27 min 4
8. ’10 Rumble Match (Edge) 49:30 3 ¾
9. ’00 Tables Hardys d. Dudleys 10:30 3 ¾
10. ’94 Tags: Quebecers d. Bret/Owen 16:30 3 ¾
11. ’04 WWF Title: HHH draw HBK 22:30 3 ¾
12. ’11 World: Edge d. Dolph Ziggler 20:30 3 ½
13. ’02 WWF Title: Chris Jericho d. Rock 19 min 3 ½
14. ’98 WWF Title: Casket Match: Shawn Michaels d. Undertaker 22 min 3 ½
15. ’07 WWF Title: Last Man Standing: John Cena d. Umaga 22:30 3 ½
16. ’99 WWF Title: I Quit Match: Rock d. Mankind 22 min 3 ½
17. ’93 WWF Title: Bret Hart d. Razor Ramon 18 min 3 ½
18. ’11 Rumble Match (Alberto del Rio) 69 min 3 ½
19. ’90 Rumble Match (Hulk Hogan) 59 min 3 ½
20. ’97 Rumble Match(Steve Austin) 50:30 3 ½
21. ’01 WWF Title: Kurt Angle d. HHH 24:30 3 ¼
22. ’13 WWF Title: Rock d. CM Punk 23:30 3 ¼
23. ’93 IC Shawn Michaels d. Marty Jannetty 14:30 3 ¼
24. ’05 Edge d. Shawn Michaels 18:30 3 ¼
25. ’09 WWF Title: Edge d. Jeff Hardy 19:30 3 ¼
26. ’12 Rumble Match (Sheamus) 55 min 3 ¼
27. ’05 Rumble Match (Batista) 51:30 3 ¼
28. ’03 Rumble Match(Brock Lesnar) 53:30 3 ¼
29. ’00 Rumble Match(Rock) 52 min 3 ¼
30. ’01 Rumble Match(Steve Austin) 62 min 3 ¼
31. ’06 Rumble Match (Rey Mysterio) 62 min 3 ¼
32. ’07 Rumble Match (Undertaker) 56:30 3 ¼
33. ’89 Rumble Match(John Studd) 64 min 3 ¼
34. ’98 Rumble Match (Steve Austin) 55:30 3 ¼
35. ’08 Rumble Match (John Cena) 51:30 3 ¼
'14 WWF Title: Randy Orton d. John Cena 21 min 3 1/4
36. ’10 World: Undertaker d. Rey Mysterio 11 min 3 ¼
37. ’11 WWF: Miz d. Randy Orton 20 min 3 ¼
38. ’05 World: HHH d. Randy Orton 21:30 3 ¼
39. ’07 Hardys d. MNM 15:30 3 ¼
40. ’12 WWF Title: CM Punk d. Dolph Ziggler 14 min 3
41. ’01 Tags: Dudleys d. Edge/Christian 10 min 3
42. ’08 WWF Title: Randy Orton d. Jeff Hardy 14 min 3
43. ’92 Owen/Anvil d. Orient Express 17 min 3
44. ’95 Tags: Bob Holly/123 Kid d. Tatanka/Bam Bam Bigelow 15:30 3
45. ’02 Rumble Match(HHH) 69:30 3
46. ’94 Rumble Match: (Bret/Lex) 55 min 3
47. ’93 Rumble Match: (Yokozuna) 66:30 3
48. ’91 Rumble Match (Hulk Hogan) 65 min 3
49. ’96 Rumble Match(Shawn Michaels) 59 min 3
50. ’99 Rumble Match (Vince McMahon) 56:30 3
52. ’95 Rumble Match (Shawn Michaels) 39 min 3
51. ’09 Rumble Match (Randy Orton) 58:30 3
'14 Rumble Match (Batista) 55 min 3
53. ’13 Rumble Match (John Cena) 55 min 3
54. ’88 Rumble Match(Jim Duggan) 33:30 3
55. ’02 IC: William Regal d. Edge 10 min 3
56. ’04 Eddy Guerrero d. Chavo Guerrero 8 min 3
57. ’13 World: Last Man Standing: Alberto del Rio d. Big Show 17 min 3
58. ’09 ECW: Jack Swagger d. Matt Hardy 10:30 3
59. ’96 Tags: Smoking Gunns d. Bodydonnas 11 min 3
60. ’03 Tags: Dudleys d. Regal/Storm 7:30 3
61. ’97 WWF Title: Shawn Michaels d. Sid 14 min 3
62. ’89 Haku d. Harley Race 9 min 3
63. ’97 IC: HHH d. Goldust 17 min 3
64. ’06 Jr.: Gregory Helms d. Kash, Funaki, Noble, Nunzio, London 7:30
65. ’88 Jumping Bomb Angels d. Glamour Girls 14 min
66. ’89 Hart Foundation/Duggan d. Dino Bravo/Rougeaus 16 min
67. ’96 WWF Title: Undertaker d. Bret Hart 29 min
68. ’08 World: Edge d. Rey Mysterio 12:30
69. ’88 Ricky Steamboat d. Rick Rude 17 min
70. ’00 Taz d. Kurt Angle 3 min
71. ’02 Ric Flair d. Vince McMahon 15 min
72. ’98 IC Rock d. Shamrock 11 min
73. ’05 WWF Title: JBL d. Big Show/Kurt Angle 12 min
74. ’06 WWF Title: John Cena d. Edge 14
75. ’97 Vader d. Undertaker 13 min
76. ’13 Tags: Hell No d. Rhodes Scholars 9:30
77. ’93 Steiners d. Beverlys 10:30
78. ’07 World: Batista d. Ken Kennedy 10:30
79. ’90 Ronny Garvin d. Greg Valentine 17 min
80. ’10 ECW: Christian d. Ezekial Jackson 12 min
81. ’88 Islanders d. Young Stallions 14 min
82. ’02 Tags: Taz/Spike Dudley d. Dudleys 5 min
83. ’12 World: Cage: Daniel Bryan d. Big Show/Mark Henry
84. ’00 IC: Chris Jericho d. Chyna d. Bob Holly 7:30
85. ’08 JBL d. Chris Jericho 9:30
86. ’10 US: Miz d. MVP 7:30
87. ’97 Garza/Aguayo/Canek d. Estrada/Metal/.Guerrera 11 min
88. ’04 WWF Title: Brock Lesnar d. Bob Holly 6:30
89. ’03 Brock Lesnar d. Big Show 6 min
90. ’99 Euro: Sean Waltman d. Gangrel 6 min
91. ’98 Vader d. Goldust 8 min
92. ’95 IC Jeff Jarrett d. Razor Ramon 18 min
93. ’99 IC: Ken Shamrock d. Billy Gunn 14:30
94. ’04 Jr. Rey Mysterio d. Jamie Noble 3:30
95. ’91 Boss Man d. Barbarian 14 min
'14 Brock Lesnar d. Big Show 2 min
96. ’92 IC: Roddy Piper d. Mountie 5:30
97. ’08 Ric Flair d. MVP 8 min
98. ’98 Mini/Mosaic/Nova d. Battalion/Torito/Tarantula 8 min
99. ’97 Ahmed Johnson d. Farooq 9 min
100. ’96 Ahmed Johnson d. Jeff Jarrett 6:30
101. ’10 WWF: Sheamus d. Randy Orton 12:30
102. ’07 ECW: Bobby Lashley d. Test 7:30
103. ’04 Tags: Evolution d. Dudleys 4:30
104. ’03 World Title: Scott Steiner d. HHH 18:30
105. ’09 World John Cena d. JBL 15:30
106. ’99 Boss Man d. Road Dogg 12 min
107. ’90 Hacksaw Duggan d. Big Boss Man 10:30
108. ’91 Ted DiBiase/Virgil d. Dusty/Dustin 10 min
109. ’00 Tags: New Age Outlaws d. Acolytes 2:30
110. ’94 Tatanka d. Bam Bam Bigelow 8
111. ’94 IC: Razor Ramon d. IRS 11:30
112. ’96 IC: Goldust d. Razor 14:30
113. ’89 Rockin Robin d. Judy Martin 6:30
114. ’11 Women: Eve d. Natalya/Layla/Michelle McCool 5 min
115. ’12 Bellas/Beth/Natalya d. Kelly/Eve/Alicia/Tamina 5:30
116. ’02 Women: Trish d. Jazz 4 min
117. ’09 Women: Melina d. Beth Phoenix 6:30
118. ’92 Tags: Natural Disasters d. LOD 9:30
119. ’98 Tags: LOD d. New Age Outlaws 8 min
120. ’91 Mountie d. Koko 9
121. ’05 Casket: Undertaker d. Heidenreich 13:30
122. ’91 WWF Title: Sgt. Slaughter d. Ultimate Warrior 12:30
123. ’06 World: Kurt Angle d. Mark Henry 9:30
124. ’93 Bam Bam Bigelow d. Big Boss Man 10 min
125. ’95 Undertaker d. IRS 12:30
126. ’01 Women: Ivory d. Chyna 3:30
127. ’99 Women: Sable d. Luna 4:30
128. ’12 Brodus Clay d. Drew McIntyre 1 min
129. ’06 Boogeyman d. JBL 2 min
130. ’90 Bushwackers d. Rougeaus 13:30
131. ’12 John Cena draw Kane 11
132. ’90 Brutus Beefcake draw Lanny Poffo 11 min
133. ’92 Beverlys d. Bushwackers 15 min
134. ’10 Women: Mickie James d. Michelle McCool :30
135. ’03 Torrie Wilson d. Dawn Marie 3:30
136. ’06 Women: Mickey James d. Ashley 7:30
137. ’94 WWF Title: Yokozuna d. Undertaker 14:30

Forever Giants:1954 World Champion New York Giants(Year 72)

1953 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season. The parenthetical is a career Giants WAR total with the eventual goal of a top 100 Giants of all time. The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

1954 102-60
C Wes Westrum .5 
1B Whitey Lockman -.75 
2B Davey Williams -.15 
SS Alvin Dark 4.2 
3B Hank Thompson 4.1
LF Monte Irvin 2.55 
CF Willie Mays 9.9  MVPQ
RF Don Mueller 1.75
C Ray Katt .45
LF Dusty Rhodes  2.25 
IF Bobby Hoffman .15
3B Billy Gardner -.25
SP Johnny Antonelli 7.3
SP Ruben Gomez 4.1
SP Sal Maglie 4
SP Jim Hearn .4
SP Don Liddle 2.6
RP Marv Grissom 4.2
RP Hoyt Wilhelm 3.5


And now here, once again, the World Champion Giants.  Would have been hard to believe there would be only 3 more seasons for the New York Giants.  Would be even harder to believe if would be more than a half century before another World Championship would be won.  

The Giants dealt Thomson, got Mays back from the military, and swept the Indians in the Series. With 101 pythagorean wins, this is the best Giants club since 1917 and their best WS Champion since '05.  Mays's season is the best since Hubbell's in '33. Jansen finishes up. Look at the years from the bullpen on this club.  I'd bet this is the best 1-2 bullpen punch in club history.

Final Build - 2015 NBA All Star Roster Selections

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My 30 game look is here.

I don't care at all about team performance in these selections, nor career achievements, this is strictly a "best players for the first half" acknowledgement.

C Al Horford Atl
F Pau Gasol Chi
F  LeBron James Cle
G Kyle Lowry Tor
G Jimmy Butler Chi

C Nikola Vucevic Orl
F  Paul Millsap Atl
F Kevin Love Cle
G Jeff Teague Atl
G John Wall Wash
G Kyrie Irving Cle
G Kemba Walker Char

Alternates (in order)
Chris Bosh Mia
Dwyane Wade Mia
Jonas Valanciunas Tor
Andre Drummond Det
Kyle Korver Atl
Carmelo Anthony NY
Brandon Knight Mil
Greg Monroe Det

C Marc Gasol Mem
F Anthony Davis NO
F Blake Griffin LAC
G Steph Curry GSW
G James Harden Hou  MVP

C Tyson Chandler Dal
C DeAndre Jordan LAC
F LaMarcus Aldridge Por
G Chris Paul LAC
G Damian Lillard Por
G Klay Thompson GSW
G Russell Westbrook OKC

Alternates (in order)
Mike Conley Mem
DeMarcus Cousins Sac
Derrick Favors Uta
Tim Duncan SA
Gordon Haywood Uta
Rudy Gay Sac
Dirk Nowitzki Dal
Ty Lawson Den
Eric Bledsoe Pho

Forever Giants:1953 New York Giants(Year 71)

1952 is here.

My WAR calculation is a combination of Baseball-reference and Clay Davenport; I believe it to be the "best" WAR number available for historical comparison. 8 WAR is an MVP quality season.  The record is pythagorean adjusted for 162 games.

1953 83-79
C Wes Westrum  1.45 
1B Whitey Lockman 1.5 
2B Davey Williams 1.1 
SS Alvin Dark 4.45 
3B Hank Thompson 4.35 
LF Monte Irvin 3.85 
CF Bobby Thomson 1.15 
RF Don Mueller 1.35 
IF Daryl Spencer -.65
IF Bobby Hoffman .6
1B Tookie Gilbert -1 
OF Dusty Rhodes 0 
C Ray Noble .15
SP Ruben Gomez 3.9
SP Jim Hearn 1.65 
SP Larry Jansen 1.95 
SP Sal Maglie 1.65 
SP Al Worthington .8
RP Dave Koslo -.4 (14.75) Last season
RP Hoyt Wilhelm 3.35 
RP Al Corwin .65

-A brawl with Brooklyn costs Dodger Carl Furillo the last month of the season; it's the worst Giants season since '46.  Tookie Gilbert played two big league seasons, three years apart, both for the Giants and both bad.  Thomson's going to spend the next three years away, but he'll be back.  It's Koslo's last season.

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