Big D

Big D

Friday, March 31, 2006

Never a dull moment in Ranger Land - Dominguez dealt to A's

As the Rangers soap opera of an offseason continues, 2 days before opening day, they trade their #5 and enigmatic starting pitcher, Juan Dominguez in a 3 way deal with the Cubs and A's.

I don't know what to think about this deal, but knowing Rangers history with pitching. Trading Juan Dominguez to the A's is most likel going to bite us in the ass.

We got prospects as iffy as Dominguez as far as potential success in the majors.

The Rangers acquire a pair of Johns, John Rheineckerfrom the A's organization and John Kronka from the cubs. Reinecker is a top 20 type pitching prospect for the A's who pitched very well in AAA last year (1.77 ERA), but also has injury problems in his throwing hand (sound familiar).

Kronka slides into the #5 starting job although he probably is going to get lit up pitching in the ballpark. He had a 7.00 ERA in his first cup of coffee with the Cubs last year.

Now, John Kronka may turn out to be a huge bust in Arlington, but this guy has some talent and the Rangers got something decent in return for Dominguez. Getting a lefty who most likely can pitch as well Dominguez this season is all the Rangers really need for this season. With no lefties at all in the rotation in a ballpark that favors left handed pitchers is not a good thing. Kronka at least alleviates that problem short term until John Danks eventually hits Arlington.

With the Eaton news coming down early in the week, I was getting very nervous about the Rangers getting off to a slow start. This trade certainly doesn't do anything to quell those nerves. I'm just ready for this season to start because we have done plenty this offseason to shake things up. Time to play.

Okay, had to get that off my chest. I will take it easy on Rangers talk this year....


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Meet Mr. Durant

As I have already pointed out on countless other occassions, I like following high school recruiting for both basketball and football. I have done it since I was a little kid and I don't see the point in stopping now.

Well I had a chance to see Kevin Durant in person (along with Cody, Matty Fraser, and Kapral) about a month ago. Durant's team (Montrose Christian) was playing in a game against perennial high school powerhouse South Oak Cliff and their own high school All-American, the still undecided Darrell Arthur. Even better for us, this game was in South Dallas. Let's just say we were in the minority at this event. It was a good time and we got to see some amazing high school talent up close and personal.

Well yesterday, the nation saw what Kevin Durant is all about in the McDonald's High School all star game. This 2006 class is the best overall talent I've seen on one court since back when Garnett and Stephon marbury came out many moons ago. Unbelievably, everyone in last night's game will play at least one year thanks to the genius move by David Stern on imposing an age restriction on entering the NBA draft. While everyone who follows basketball knows Greg Oden is going to be the next great Big Man in basketball, Durant put on a show last night. The kid is only 17 years old at 6 foot 10 inches and a shade over 200 pounds soaking wet, has nothing but improving to do as he gets older. The kid has a size 20 shoe! and something ridiculous like a 7'3" wingspan.

I have seen very few players at the high school level with as much skill as Durant. I've heard so many people try to compare him to some of the greats (Garnett, Rashard lewis, Tracy McGrady, etc.). The truth is Durant is going to be one of the greats but he is going to do it his own way.

I'm just glad Texas is going to be the place where he plays his college ball before he takes his talent to the NBA. I would not be shocked to see him spend two years with the strength guy at Texas (Todd Wright), and he will be the #1 pick for sure in a couple seasons. He is that good.

A couple of other playrs who stood out in yesterday's McDonald's All American game.

Javaris Crittendon and Thaddeus Young (Georgia Tech): Both of these players showed some unblievable talent and Georgia Tech is in for a signficant upgrade with these two guys coming in next year for Paul Hewitt

Jon Scheyer (Duke): This guy will help Duke fans get over their hero Redick leaving school. This guy is another in the long line of white guys who go to Duke and can flat out shoot the ball from the outside.

Chase Budlinger (Arizona): This is a big, 6'8" power forward from Cali is going to play for Lute Olsen. He shared MVP honors with Durant and appears to have a ton of skill.

Darrell Arthur (undecided): The South Oak Cliff (SOC) star is down to two schools. Kansas and Texas. I got to give the nod to Texas at this point only because it makes too much sense for him to slide into Aldridge's spot in the middle if and when Aldridge declares for the draft and becomes the #1 pick. I think Arthur is going to get a call from Aldridge (formerely of Seagoville in the DFW area), and Arthur is going to end up in the Burnt Orange.

I hope......

Eaton out 3 months

Just as I begin to get optimistic about the Rangers, their supposed #2 starter goes down with a tendon injury in his pitching hand. As a result, we are going to have R.A. Dickey and most likely Juan Dominguez at the back of the rotation to start the season. Kameron Loe and Vicente Padilla all of sudden have very little room for error as the top 3 guys in the staff are going to have to carry the load early on.

Dickey and Dominguez honesly isn't that much different than Eaton/Dickey, because Eaton most likely would have struggled early in the ballpark.

I just hate to the start the season with so many injury concerns along with Wilkerson's shoulder and GMJ's hamstring. Oh well, let's get this season started already before someone else gets hurt.

I still think the Ranger pen will hopefully be back to 2004 levels when it had one of the best bullpens in the league. Last year was a nightmare in the 7th, 8th and sometimes 9th innings and Coco had an medicore by his standards season. Having the WBC Japanese star (Akinori Otsuka) as the primary setup man for a hopefully resurgent Coco Cordero will make the Rangers much better at the end of games.

Joquin Benoit, Alfonseca, Shouse, Rule 5 draft pick Fabio Castro, and either Scott Feldman or Erasmo Ramirez will round out the pen.

It looks like Laynce Nix will break with the 25 man roster on opening day thanks to GMJ starting the season the DL.

Masters Pool Obligatory plug for Johnny Mackovic (yes that John Mackovic's son) Masters Pool that gets bigger and bigger every year. Sign up a team or 10 see how you do

Friday, March 24, 2006


Thank you Kenton Paulino!!!!

Bring on LSU because we are on our way to Indy!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Soriano Mess; Big Weekend Ahead; Bush

Alfonso Soriano continues to insist on not moving to left field. Despite being one of the worst, if not the worst, defensive 2nd baseman in all of baseball, Soriano has snubbed both GM Jim Bowden (sure to be fired after this mess in trading for Soriano) and legend/manager Frank Robinson.

I used to be a Soriano fan but this is truly disheartening. He has two options, move to left or get put on the "restricted list" and miss a year of service time and not become a free agent until after the 2007 season. Ouch. Either way, Soriano is putting his $10 Million 2006 salary at-risk if he decides to challenge Washington brass and gets put on the restricted list.

Huge Weekend coming up starting with the Sweet 16 Thursday and Friday night and finishing with the Elite 8 and Players Championship final round.

I will try to put up my Sweet 16 picks tomorrow but no promises.

I try not to put anything political in this blog, but this news today I thought warranted mentioning. George Bush said today (in a seemingly nationwide speaking campaign to show he knows what the hell is going on) that the US will be in Iraq as long as he is in office. Boy, oh boy, what a huge clusterfuck this "War" in Iraq has become.

Okay, political rant over.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

What a First Day -- Friday Picks

Wow! is all I have to say about the first day of the tournament. Granted, I'm not in Vegas with Polarek and Company. But I was able to watch almost all of the games online while at work.

Let's get to Friday's picks already. Keep in mind I'm mired in a malaise this college basketball season and have basically sucked the last few months. But I do watch a lot of college hoops. For whatever that's worth....

Wisconsin (+1) over Arizona -- I am just not convinced Arizona can we a game in this tournament, and I think Wisconsin is usually pretty solid this time of year. Lute Olsen always looks in pain when watching this team. Wisconsin's best player (Tucker) and their guard (kid looks exactly like Chris Rock) just seem like a much better team to me than Arizona. Medium Sized Play

I can just picture all the dumb ARizona students at the Vegas casinos blowing their money on this game.

Georgetown (-4) over Northern Iowa -- I just like Georgetown a whole lot this year. Maybe I'm just nostalgic for the Ewing uniforms with those gray undershirts. Whatever it is, I think Georgetown is gonig to wear Northern Iowa down. Watch out for NOrthern Iowa's shooting, always something to handle in the tournament.

Small Play

Monday, March 13, 2006

Russ Feingold on ABC is a fantastic website.

If for some reason you forget to Tivo something (I HATE when that happens), this is a good place to look.

Free signup also...

(Cut and Paste the Link)

Even if you don't like politics (you know who you are), check out the site.

No Whammies, a hurt Ranger, and Plano

With March Madness soon to get underway this Thursday, I thought now would be a good time to put up some random links that you may or may not care about. I'll try to put up my NCAA bracket sometime before the games tip.

First off, CONGRATS to my alma mater, the Plano Wildcaats, who won the 5A boys basketball state championship Saturday night with 60-58 win over Humble Kingwood in Overtime.

It looked like Plano athletics were dead and buried a few years ago, but after the football team's renaissance and my brother's old coach, Tom Inman, leading the basketball team to a state title, PLANO is officially back in the sports arena. That brings a smile to my face as pathetic as that may sound.

I don't know how many of you watched game shows growing up in the 80s. If you did, chances are you remember Press Your Luck. A fabulous game show during its time, and I actually have caught quite a few re-runs of the show thanks to the greatness of the Game Show Network. Unfortunately, the show's host, Peter Tomarken (63) died tragically this morning in a plane crash in Santa Monica, CA.

We will not soon forgot you Mr. Tomorken.

Onto more grim news for our beloved Rangers, their leading 5th starter candidate, Josh Rupe, was flown back to Dallas today to examine "an injury to his right elbow". Not the type of news you ever want to hear but especially right towards the end of Spring Training. Rupe most likely will still win the 5th starter job if healthy, but given this news, I'm not holding my breath.

The Rangers most likely will give Juan Dominguez a chance given his strong end to the 2005 season, and the fact none of the DVD trio is ready to go quite yet.

Volquez is making a strong push and has an outside chance of getting the 5th starter job if the Rangers continue to get discouraged about Dominguez.

My hunch is Buck will start the season with a Millwood/Eaton/Pidalla/Loe/Dominguez rotation and hope Volquez tears it up in AA/AAA and bring him up as needed.

Danks is also coming on strong, but still a young 20, and I thinke he still needs another full season in the minors.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ticket to get Cowboys; March Madness Time

Well, I spent the weekend in Washington, D.C. so I am a little late to the March Madness party that started this past weekend with teams starting to get their invites to the dance.

I, the sick bastard that I am, follow a lot of this worthless conferences because I enjoy wagering on college hoops all season. Not big money but I enjoy putting some money in play following college basketball.

For that reason, I absolutely love this time of year. Two years ago, living at Jefferson, Marcus and I had a pretty good run and I remember being up about $500 at the end of the regular season. Come tourney time, i took a huge bath culminating with a $75 on Georgia Tech +6 or something against UCONN. Of course, UCONN wins the final by 7 and I had burned basically all of my profits by the end of the tournament.

I will advise anyone putting money on games during this time of year to tread lightly. You can get burned.

With that said, I will be posting college hoop plays here from time to time and we'll see how it goes.

I like Iona tonight -8 against St. Peters in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) final. After the Marist Red Foxes got hot and fizzled, Iona has been the class of the MAAC all year and St. Peters has gotten hot recently but is nowhere near the team Iona has been all season.

St. Peters did beat IOna 76-72 back on January 30th at IOna. That would worry me except Iona beat St. Peters 83-75 on the road earlier in the season. Conferences like this don't have any at-large bids so anything's possible, but I'll take the far superior team and lay the points in this one. Small play.

And as of 5 o'clock today, the Ticket is going to be broadcasting Cowboys games for the next 5 years. Not sure if that is a good or a bad thing yet. Frankly I really don't give a damn because I get sick of Cowboys talk on the Ticket already. I do know one thing. I am going to be really sick of Mickey Spagnola very quickly. And no Marcus, I will not leave MICKEY ALONE.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

12 Commits on March 1st, Officially Insane!!!!!

People always wondered how Mack Brown would recruit once he actually won something. Well, he went ahead and won the whole enchilada and his first conference title all at once. And we are now starting to see the dividends of UT's first national championship in football since another Texas nut was in the White House.

University of Texas, less than one month after the 2006 signing day, already has secured 12 commmits its upcoming 2007 class. Now I don't know how closely you follow recruiting (and anyone who knows how big of recruiting sicko in my younger days can tell you the story of my attendance when South Grand Prairie WR B.J. Johnson annouced his commitment), but this is unprecedented.

Now I have no idea how the guy (Geoff Ketchum of and possible homer) who comes up with these rankings and considering none of these kids have played a down of football in their senior season of HIGH SCHOOL take it with a grain of salt.

But it looks to me like Texas is getting whoever the hell they want and everyone else can fight over the scraps. But hey, I just call it how I see it.

Curtis Brown WR 6-0 174 4.4 - Gilmer, TX #6 player in the state
Russell Carter DE 6-3 230 4.7 - Houston, TX #18 player in state
Jerrod Gooch OL 6-4 284 5.58 - Vidor, TX #42 player in state
Kyle Hix OL 6-6 290 - - Aledo, TX #17 player in State
Michael Huey OL 6-5 290 - - Kilgore, TX #50 player in state
Andre Jones DT 6-4 305 5.66 - El Paso, TX #9 Player in State
Aundre McGaskey OL 6-4 290 5.2 - La Marque, TX #12 Player in State
Matt Nader OL 6-6 295 5.13 - Austin, TX #24 Player in State
Keenan Robinson LB 6-3 211 4.5 - Plano, TX (Plano East guy) #14 player in Sate
Earl Thomas ATH 5-10 174 4.4 - Orange, TX #26 player in state
Ben Wells DB 6-0 174 4.45 - Beaumont, TX
Foswhitt Whittaker RB 5-9 170 4.4 - Pearland, TX #41 player in state

Hook 'em