We bunt for a hit this week with a quick assessment of the Patriots loss to the Cardinals, some NHL, an NFL ref opinion, and some MLB wild card thoughts.
NFL Week 2 picks record: 9-16 Season: 20-32
After that Patriots loss, one pulled field goal attempt that made my golf drive look straight, it is fairly clear to me how the Patriots offense is centered around Tom Brady throwing to Aaron Hernandez. The way the production dropped off was evident once he left as was the offense’s flow. I understand game planning and how Aaron Hernandez with his body type and skill set could have dominated the Arizona Cardinals, but once he is out of the game don’t you have a back up plan? The Patriots are anal enough to script touches. Maybe not down to the exact number, but in a ‘we want to get Hernandez the ball 12-16 times, we want to get Gronk the ball 8-10 times, we want to get Ridley the ball 20 times, etc.’ But part of being a good coach is adapting on the fly and adjusting the plan as it falls apart. Uncharacteristically, the Patriots did a very poor job of that and that is why they lost to the Cardinals, not because of Stephen Gostkowski.
Wait, the Eagles have 9 turnovers and are 2-0? WOW! That is one hell of an anomaly that is sure to catch up with them.
I don’t have the answer to the problem of the replacement officials in the NFL, but it is a problem. I coached football for a long time so I’m more familiar with rules and regulations than the average person and sometimes I don’t know what these guys are looking at out there. They look confused at times, don’t come off as professional on occasion and now we are finding out that many of them can’t officiate certain teams because they are fans of those teams. The owners need to realize the on field problems. They are at the head of the class of sporting leagues, they need the men who take care of their game in between the white lines to be the best as well.
I am done with the Red Sox for 2012, but here is a quick 2013 note; Junichi Tazawa is my sleeper the make the Red Sox rotation in 2013. I’ve always liked his stuff and think he is a big league starter. Not an ace or #2, but a low end 3 or 4 for certain.
As much of a joke as these replacement officials are, the NFL is being bailed out to a degree by the absurdity that is the NHL and their lockout of the players, that has some people talking about ANOTHER missed season. They have finally gained a foothold in the culture of the US, and have an annual event, The Winter Classic, that brings in viewers hockey never would have had without it. A lot of those fans stuck around at least casually, and now they will all disappear because there won’t be a Winter Classic this year, there very likely won’t be NHL hockey at all.
There seems to be a sense of acceptance in MLB about the addition of the second wild cards added to both leagues and the fact that they are keeping more teams in contention. While this is very true, I do not know if its good. Does the average baseball fan want a team that is 2 games under .500 (as the Diamondbacks are) only 4.5 games out and with a legit chance to get into the October tournament? I think it is a money/attention grab too far and lowers the standards set for regular season established well before most of our parents were even born.