Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quick Hits - 1/11/12

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Former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin was the only member elected into the Hall of Fame this year by the Baseball Writer's Association of America (BWAA). Larkin received 495 of a possible 573 votes, good for 86.4%, well over the required 75% needed for election. While I have absolutely zero issues with Larkin being elected (he was on my mock ballot as well), I'm a little disappointed that Jeff Bagwell only received 56% of the vote. Especially when you consider that 4 people voted for Bill Mueller, 2 for Brad Radke and 1 for Eric Young. Seriously? Bill Mueller made zero all star teams in his 11 year career. He played over 130 games just 4 times, he never had 200 hits in a season, he never hit 20 homers in a season, and he hit over .300 just once after his rookie season. Radke had a winning record just 6 times in his 12 year career, finished only 9 games over .500, and had a lifetime ERA of 4.22. Eric Young made one all star team, scored over 100 runs just twice, and hit just .269 outside of Colorado in his career. And people voted for these guys! You're only allowed to vote for 10 players on your ballot. There's no way you convince me that there weren't 10 more deserving guys than Mueller, Radke and Young. Here's how the final voting ended up:

 Speaking of voters...

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So 4 of the AP voters elected not to choose Alabama as their number 1 team at the conclusion of the college football season. While 3 voters elected to pick Oklahoma State, Erik Gee, of KNML-AM in Albuquerque, was true to his word and picked LSU. Prior to the National Championship Game on Monday, Gee stated:

"I will vote for LSU no matter what happens in the national championship game. How in the world can they be the SEC West champ, the outright SEC champ and lose to Alabama in a 'neutral' site game (I guess you can debate the Superdome being a neutral site) after they have already beaten them in Tuscaloosa, have the series split 1-1 and not at least have a share of the national title?"

I guess my question for Mr. Gee would be, did you watch either game? Alabama should've won the game the first time these two teams met. They outgained LSU 295-239, had more first downs (17-15), converted more third downs (5-3) and only failed to win in regulation and because they missed 3 field goals and had an interception in the red zone. Then follow that up with the 21-0 beatdown they issued in the National Championship Game and you really want to argue that LSU was better?

"I was a lot closer than I thought I would be to changing my mind. I don’t think I necessarily felt good about voting for LSU. But I also didn’t feel good about voting for Alabama. I stared at the computer for 10 minutes. It wasn’t an easy decision."
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Again, did you even watch the game?

As for the Oklahoma State voters, I'm not sure I agree with their picks either. Here's the thing. Nobody had anyone other than LSU at number one before the bowl season started. But there were certainly those who had Oklahoma State ahead of Alabama at 2 and 3 respectively which I have no issues with. But who had the more impressive bowl win? Alabama, who absolutely dominated the consensus "best team in the country" or Oklahoma State who only won the Fiesta Bowl over 4th ranked Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson missed a 35 yard field goal that would have won the game at the end of regulation? I'm just saying. Even in those cases, I think you have to go Alabama, Oklahoma State, LSU.

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Dwyane Wade returned to the Heat lineup yesterday and scored a season high 34 points after sitting the previous three games with a foot injury . However, Wade struggled down the stretch connecting on just 2 of 10 field goals in the 4th quarter and overtime as the Heat blew a 17 point second half lead and fell to the Warriors 111-106. It wasn't just Wade who faltered in the 4th though. The Heat as a team hit just 2 of 17 shots in the final period allowing the shorthanded Warriors to rally for an improbable win. Nate Robinson, signed just a week ago after Curry's latest injury setback, led the charge and single-handedly outscored the Heat in the 4th quarter 15-12 while pulling Golden State within striking distance. Dorell Wright also came up big late hitting the game tying three in the final minute of the fourth quarter and then scoring 8 of Golden State's 15 points in overtime. Robinson and Wright were among four different Warriors scored at least 20 points in the game.

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Eight different Wizards scored at least 8 points, but no one more than 15 as the Wizards used a balanced attack to beat the Raptors 93-78 last night for their first win of the 2011-12 season. The Wizards used a big second quarter to take control of the game and they never looked back. John Wall continues to have his troubles though hitting on just 3 of 12 field goals. He did however have 9 assists. Every NBA team now has at least one win this season.

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It appears that 33 year old Kobe Bryant still has a lot left in his tank. Bryant went for 48 points in just 39 minutes last night against the Phoenix Suns helping the Lakers to a 99-83 win. The 48 points were the most Bryant had scored in a single game since he scored 49 points against the Suns back in March of 2009.

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Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur shut out Tim Howard, Landon Donovan and Everton today 2-0 in a midweek Premier League showdown. The Spurs got goals from Aaron Lennon in the first half and Benoit Assou-Ekotto in the second, while Everton failed to put a shot on target. Tottenham now finds themselves level with 2nd place Manchester United in terms of points trailing them only on goal differential. More importantly, they are now 8 points clear of 4th place Chelsea. Everton's loss was their 10th of the season as they stay in 11th.

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