Big D

Big D

Friday, December 30, 2005

Back Against the Wall Time

Okay, This bowl season has been crazy. Nothing standard about the way this entire bowl season has played out and tonight's LSU-Miami outcome just continued the odd string of games that have played out the last week or so.

Don't get me wrong, it has been a great and exciting bowl season, but this is crazy. One thing I have to give credit it to is the Big 12. The conference is doing a hell of a a job. OU and Kansas both had great wins and even Mizzou snuck one out against South Carolina. The only dud was Colorado who just was in disarray without their head coach going into bowl season. Pretty dang impressive.

I don't know how the rest of the bettors out there have been doing, but I've been on a roller coaster. Won my first three out of the gate (Toledo, BYU, and NAVY - BIG), and I have been in a tailspin ever since including heartbreakers in Nevada (1 pt. win but didn't cover the -2.5 on Christmas EVE), Clemson (DAMN JAD Dean got his PAT blocked and the final score ended up being 19-10, and I had Clemson -9.5, OUCH), and Minnesota's meltdown today after leading 21-10 at half.

I guess it isn't all bad since Dave had South Carolina -4 today and was up 21-0 going into for another touchdown and Mizzou intrecepts the pass and returns 99 yards for a touchdown. From there, Mizzou never looked back and end up winning going away.

It's been a rough ride. This is my last stand tomorrow. Well, until January 2nd of course:

TCU -3 against Iowa St. in the EVI.Net bowl -- Medium

Despite a 49 day layoff, I still think TCU will win this one. I don't what it is but I just have never been on the TCU bandwagon this year. And since nothing is going right this year, I might as well ride them in the bowl game. They have a chip on their shoulder and would love nothing more than to knock off one of the big boys. And if you are in TCU's world, beating Iowa St. is knocking off one of the big boys. All I got at this point is emotional angles since my gut instincts this year have been totally wrong for the most part.

TCU has had a huge turnover differential edge this year, but so has Iowa St. so who knows who has been the luckier team.

I think for whatever reason the way Iowa St. finished their regular season (2nd blown chance to win the Big 12 North) is a huge negative way to end the season. Tough to get up for this bowl game. But the Big 12 has been the best conference in bowl season so far so this is a risky play. Hell, I just want to win a game at this point.

Tulsa +7.5 over Fresno St. in the Liberty Bowl -- Small

I have been riding Fresno all year so I figure why not go the other way with the way my luck is going . I really don't have a lot else other than a lot of these games seem to be fairly close for the most part. Tulsa has relished the role of underdog to this point and I expect them to at least match Pat Hill's gameplan. Steve Kragthrope seems like a good bright young mind and they should give Pat hill a good game. I just hope they are physical enough to play with Fresno's lines. That's what this game will come down to and turnovers of course. I think Tulsa makes this close and could even win outright. That's the hope anyway.

Tulsa / Fresno over 61

Yes, I've resorted to betting totals this bowl season. I might as well at this point. Nothing else is working. Both these teams have some pretty potent offenses and okay defenses. I expect this game to go like many of the other bowl games already have, hopefully a high scoring affair. Anyways, wish I had better logic, but I'm just looking for a W.

Good luck to everyone this weekend. I will be back Monday, assuming tomorrow is not another bloodbath. Okay, I'll be back...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Forget the Cowboys: Stars, Rangers, and Mavs All Making Noise

I know that Dallas traditionally and especially with the media is a Cowboys town. I've come to accept that fact. Hell, I will freely admit that I despised the Cowboys when I first moved here. I grew up an ND fan and hated the University of Miami with a passion during my childhood. So when Jimmy Johnson left Miami for the Cowboys right about the time I moved to town, it was bad timing.

While I accepted the Rangers and Mavericks as my own upon arriving in the Metroplex circa 1989, I refused to root for the Cowboys because their new head coach was Jimmy Johnson. In hindsight, that decision was probably a huge mistake. Instead of letting bygones be bygones and forgetting JJ's college allegiance, I continued to root against the cowboys all during their championship runs of the 90s. I was the guy at the Super Bowl parties in this area rooting for the Bills while the Cowboys won 3 super bowls in 4 years. It was not a pleasant experience. Even now, the Cowboys are #4 on my Dallas sports pecking order because of that history.

While I may have missed out on some glorius times to be a Cowboys fan, I stayed true to my allegiances and feel like I am a better fan because of it.

Which brings me to my main point, you could argue right now that the other three DAllas franchises (Stars, Mavs, Rangers) who have always played 2nd fiddle to the Cowboys are all in better shape in terms of competing for a Championship than the city's #1 team.


21-7 T-1st with San Antonio for best record in the West

The Mavericks look to be in better shape than ever before to make a run at a championship. Even the 2002-2003 team which had a magical run all the way to game 6 of the Western Conference Finals probably isn't as well equipped as this Mavericks team to win a championship. Avery Johnson after going through some growing pains last year has assembled along with Cuban a team that has a legitimate shot to knock off San Anotonio in the west.

Dirk is the superstar and has really picked up all aspects of his game this season and is looking again like one of the top 5 or 10 best guys in the league.

The backcourt is shaping up nicely with Jason Terry, Devin Harris, and Darrell Armstrong all doing a good job handling the point guard duties.

If Josh Howard and Marquise Daniels can ever be healthy at the same time, they can provide a pretty formidable 1-2 punch at the small forward position.

Jerry STackhouse looks to be rounding into form especially after that posterized dunk on Jermaine O'Neal last night.

Desagana Diop has exceeded anyone's expectations in providing a formidable defensive presence around the basket

This team has everything it needs to make a deep run in the playoffs and the future is very bright indeed for the Mavs


23-10-1 47 pts. T-1st in Pacific Divison

After a very slow start to the season (especially from their goalie), the Stars quitely have been on a tear recently and have put themselves in good position to make a run this year hopefully deep into the playoffs.

The Stars have been able to find a good mix of veterans with up and coming young players to put together 2 or 3 good lines of scoring punch on their lines. Modano has had a renaissance of sorts teamed up with the always underrated Jeri Lehtinen.

If Turco can get that monkey off the back in the playoffs, look out. If anyone remember the Stars cup run in '99, you really can't beat playoff hockey. It should be a fun April/May/June around DFW if the STars and Mavs play up to capabilities this Spring.


"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies"

-- Letter from Andy Dufresne to Red in the movie Shawshank Redemption

I know readers around here get sick of me talking about the Rangers. Well, there is plenty of room on the Rangers bandwagon and I think 2006 could be the season the Rangers become relevant in this area again. The Rangers have been stuck in mud ever since their last division title in 1999 and have never won a playoff series in their franchise's history.

From the A-Rod trade debacle to the Chan Ho Park signing, this franchise has done almost nothing right (well, that's probably overly harsh but you get my point) in the last 5 years.

As hard as it has been to root for this team during the last few seasons, 2006 should be the year where all that pain and suffering pays off. The young, wonderkid GM Jon Daniels has basically done everything right this offseason short of bringing a 21 year old Roger Clemens in here. He has made all the right moves (Chris Young trade makes sense after the Millwood signing) and has not given away any major pieces of our farm system (Adrian Gonzalez would never have a role on this team as long as Tex is here) in the process.

The future has never looked brighter for the 3 "other" teams in Dallas sports.

So while everyone around the area (most especially the media) worries about the Cowboys playoff lives and how they are going to make it in, I will be waiting for the Stars, Rangers, or Mavs to bring Dallas its next championship.

And oh yea, the Horns are in the rose bowl too so we may be talking about that as well..

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas comes late in Arlington: Millwood to Texas.....

Oh my god, Tom Hicks shocks the world and gets Millwood away from Boston and a host of other teams.

I am speechless.

I started to question Jon Daniels plan after the Young for Eaton swap, but this signing makes that deal make sense.

Your 2006 starting rotation in Arlington:

Millwood -- 5 years 60 million dollar deal (5th year option based on number of innings pitched)

Eaton -- Arbitration year but will most likely be resigned if he pitches well (at home especially)

Padilla -- Another arbitration guy who will want to rebound from a shaky '05. Former all-star so asking for a decent season is not unreasonable. Will be interesting to see how he handles AL hitters.

Loe -- I love this guy and I think he proved late in '05 that he can be an effective starter for us. Expecting big things....

Dominguez -- Obviously has had some shaky streaks, but not too much pressure as a definite #5 guy.

Offensive outlook tomorrow.

Update coming tomorrow about Stars, Mavs, and of course more Rangers talk.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Glendon's BACK!!!!! and other Random Stuff

Dave -- This post is certainly relevant to you and should bring back some fond memories of our Bent Tree West days. Anyone from the DFW area during our high school years (well at least if you were following high school sports like us nerds), will most likely remember Glendon Alexander.

Glendon of Newman Smith fame is still the leading point scorer in Texas 5A history and averaged something like 33 points a game during his high school career.

Dave and I and maybe Cuyler, Zach? saw him play in person many times. The guy's pregame dunks were stuff of legends. Good times.

Anyways, Glendon's on his way out of jail after getting in trouble for among many things

stealing $46,500 from a Carrollton dentist, $1.5 million from a California adult entertainment executive, and cash, jewelry and shoes from former major league outfielder Derek Bell

Free Glendon!

Bet you can't guess where this shot ended up?

Rangers Pick Up Pitcher, Give Up Pitcher???

The Rangers pick up Padres starter, Adam Eaton (28) and a pretty darn good setup guy, rightanded Akinori Otsuka (33) who was a great closer in Japan and has peformed in his first two major league seasons as a 7th and 8th inning guy.

He is exactly what Jon Daniels was looking when he mentioned top priority for this offseason along with starting pitching (new rotation now most likely Eaton/Padilla/Loe/Dominguez/5th?) and I'm glad he picked Otsuka up. I'd say the bullpen and starting pitching are at least somewhat upgraded going into 2006.

Offense looks at least to be somewhat more productive with additions of Jiminez/Kinsler at 2B and Wilkerson in the outfield to replace Soriano and Hidalgo. This team will be better in '06 but probably won't win the West without a few more moves at some point.

Giving up Adrian Gonzalez (great prospect at 1B but is blocked by Tex and needs to play now) and Termel Sledge (would have fought for a 4th or 5th outfield slot) is not a huge price.

But Chris Young being added to the deal baffles me. This is a guy who is signed through 2009 at a reasonable price and is hometown, Highland Park product. I'm really surprised Daniels made this deal but he must really have a feeling about Eaton. It's a magnified risky move because Eaton is a potential free agent after the 2006 season and has already stated publicly before this trade that he would need "crazy money" to sign with Texas when he was rumored to be coming here.

You never know, maybe Eaton is lights out and Otsuka leads the Rangers bullpen to a playoff run and both sign long term deals this offseason.

I sure hope so, because losing Chris Young is really confusing for an organizaiton supposedly hell bent on growing home grown pitching. DVD can't get here soon enough after this deal.

I'm still optmistic about 2006 and this hopefully is just a speed bump in the already wild Ranger offseason.

One name to look for: Chad Bradford who was not offered arbitration by the Red Sox. He is a right-handed bullpen submarine style pitcher who spent some successful seasons with the A's in the AL West. He would be another nice bullpen piece to throw at rivals. He is only 30...

More randomness to follow later this week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Leinart Living it Up -- BRAVO

After the heisman cermony Saturday in NYC, these photos would probably be much funnier if this chick was a cow...

Check out the chick in the background's face -- somebody's jealous!!!

And the accompanying email:

>quick story you guys might enjoy. went to a party at laurens on
>saturday night. about 20 people. half of us went to some random bar,
the other half went to this upscale place called Marquee (davedigital
would definitely know this place). anyways, these 2 pretty girls who
were visiting lauren from texas went to
Marquee, i didn't of course opting for the hole in the wall with $3
>So yesterday morning, lauren calls me and says "Do you know some guy
>named Matt Line Hart?" i laugh and say yeah and don't bother to
correct her. she says, well he was at Marquee last night, and hit on
one of the girls from texas all night, danced with her, and then was so
drunk he groped her....she turned around and slapped him, and left.
>i said yea yea, i doubt it even though it kinda made sense that he
would be in an upscale club getting trashed after losing the heisman. i
told her i'd believe the story when i saw pictures. wellll, here they
>joby west coast trash

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sori Traded !!! Rangers get Wilkerson from Nats

The Rangers FINALLY make a move dealing one of my personal favorites, Soriano, but the the Rangers need to free up payroll (Sori would have made $10 Mil in 2006 with arbitration) and this deal makes sense becauase you can plus Wilkerson in center and bring up minor league stud Kinsler to play 2nd. Getting Sledge (should be a 4th outfielder) and a PTBNL is a good return for Jon Daniels first trade.

I give this a thumbs up. Now let's go get some pitching...

I will always be a fan of Soriano. I hope he does well in Washington. He might not enjoy being moved to left field with Vidro entrenched at 2B.

More to come tomorrow...