Lates Links

October 31, 2007 at 9:02 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel | 11 Comments

First off, there appear to be no worries on the Iman Shumpert recruiting violations. I’m sure many will snark on Carolina clearing itself, but I have extreme confidence in the program’s integrity. After all…we initiated the investigation. Butch is planning on bringing in some JUCOS next season to speed up the rebuilding process. Seems reasonable to me. Not much on Maryland yet, but I’m sure there will be tomorrows.

Grady Little has resigned. Honestly, I feel sorry for Grady Little. I was against hiring him, but he did a reasonable job, giving several of our young players chances and handling the pitching staff pretty well. You could blame him for sticking with Gonzo, Nomar and Pierre but really those guys were all signed to new contracts last off-season. That is on Ned. Everyone in Dodgertown is pretty excited about Joe Torre. I’m not sure why because Joe likes to sacrifice/hit&run, he abuses his bullpen, and he sticks with vets too long. All things that Grady was criticized for last season. Will Joe bench Pierre and Nomar? I have my doubts. I’ll wait to see if he gets hired and then I’ll have to see him on a daily basis. At this point the only reason to be excited is that the odds on A-Rod coming might increase a bit.

Jonah Freedman interviews (via readers) Don Garber. His answers are pretty interesting and I’m not really sure what to think. Is there anything MLS can do to get Euro-snobs to watch? I mean really…we (self-admitted ES)  all want one table, no turf, relegation, honoring FIFA dates, etc…but if all that happened this summer would we start watching? There is no doubt that Americans will support teams in cold weather, but will they support soccer teams? I feel like MLS is still making pretty decent moves…building slowly and locally…. not catering to the snobs.  Most of us probably won’t be watching much MLS regardless of what Don Garber does, no?

Week 8 DVOA is out. I guarantee the Dolphins don’t lose this week. Until laters.

Lates Links

October 30, 2007 at 9:02 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel | Leave a comment

Which day of the 5-day common cold is worse? The first one : “Oh f*ck, I’m getting a cold” is pretty dreadful, but you don’t feel that bad. The worst might be the second…when you can’t swallow without tiny razors (seemingly) destroying your throat. Anyways, I’m in day 4 now. I sound like a drunk piano player and am coughing up radioactive waste. Feels pretty good. What..you came here for sport….right..

Bill Cole writes that we are trying to move on. Perhaps UNC gridiron will just embrace depression and and never play another game. I think we’ll probably manage though. Richie Rich is not selfish and I think moves like this demonstrate where the program is right now. Making lemonade with peaches. Only the peaches are white, not yellow. Um. Adam Lucas is already thinking about the future. Stuff like this just shows exactly how silly college gridiron is. You get three to four non-conference games and really it’s like deciding whether or not to go for the quadruple bent axle and risk falling or just doing that spinorama that looks cool, but is actually easy and everyone knows it. Hopefully, the judges will be impressed. I only ask that we not make recruiting more difficult than it already is by playing ASU, ECU, and Charlotte if they get a gridiron team.

Can’t find much this morning about Carolina basketball. We play Shaw in the first exhibition on Saturday. I’ve got a wedding though. State cracks me up, those things are going to be worth something when the valet gets canned in three years.

Congratulations to the Red Sox. Boston really needed the underdog to come through and I’m sure everyone is happy for the city, getting a championship in such tough times. The Dodgers, meanwhile, are thinking pissing in the wind about signing Alex Rodriguez. He’s the guy who cost the Yankees the last three titles….oh…no wait…but Mike Lupica said…I…whoa….he’s actually the best player in baseball. So could the Dodgers sign the best player in baseball? No, they won’t, Detroit or LAAOCCAUSA probably will. Still, I can’t agree with Jon here because he doesn’t seem to acknowledge that the current front office WILL do something stupid. Signing A-Rod would keep Ned from being able to do anything else too stupid…like signing Tori Hunter for 100 million and moving Juan Pierre to LF, where he might would become the first LFer to go homerless in 100 years or something. I say give him 35 million a year for 4. This is a good move.

I’m going to go play video games now.

Lates Links

October 29, 2007 at 9:07 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel | 2 Comments

Ugh….I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck this morning…right in the sinuses….so this will probably be brief. I probably feel better than the Heels though. Butch was not happy with the mistakes, but I just kind of expect them. I also think the scoreline was pretty harsh on us as it seemed we were right there even after the terrible start. One thing that has become a big problem is pass protection. We have the weapons to exploit most ACC secondaries, but T.J was constantly under pressure. Bill Cole questions the effort but I don’t really agree. Wake didn’t run it down our throats and we actually had more yards from scrimmage. The bowl exhibition talk can stop now and I’m quite happy to see our team compete week in and week out as Butch builds the program. We lost by 27, but it wasn’t that bad. I am in the camp that thinks UNC should not be losing to Wake Forest in gridiron, but we have to remember that losses like that are why we had to move in a new direction. Give Butch some time.

Huge win for the soccer team yesterday! In a bit of brilliant scheduling the Heels host Campbell on Halloween night. Should be easy to get there for the 7:30 kick from Durham, right?

Hurricanes had an up and down weekend and were screwed by the refs on Friday night.

Suck it Boston…must have been a rough weekend for New England sports fans.

Week 12 highlights are not up yet but should be laters. Arsenal or Liverpool could have won yesterday. I think the result was fair, but also that the Gunners are the better side. Should be a decent game next Saturday and I’ll be watching with MOD, a good friend, frequent commenter, and Manure supporter. He is Setanta-less, he’s also on my recreation football team, and we have a match that takes place at the same time as the big match so he can’t stream. We’ll see if we are still good friends next Sunday.

I’m going to go crawl under my desk and die now.

Lates Links

October 26, 2007 at 7:38 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel | Leave a comment

Short one this morning as I’m feeling like a lie in. McPaper says we are #1. Wake Forest game guide.

Basketball Prospectus will be covering the NBA too. Kevin Pelton lists several great links for those of you who follow the pro game and as for the many college basketball fans who have trouble getting into the pro game….those links should help. Mike Cranston writes that Felton will be the key.
July is clearly the best time. You can pretend that a silly game or 20 should not get in the way of a lifelong commitment or you can just get her used to it early.

Premiership previews are here and Sp*rs will have a new manager. I think Jol was fooled into thinking Jenas, Zokara, and Tiano were good enough. The Fire lead 1-0 after the home leg.

Have a lovely weekend and go Heels, Gunners, Canes, and um Dolphins.

Doc Rivers Blows It Again

October 25, 2007 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Basketball, Jackie Manuel | Leave a comment

 manuel-missing.jpg

Good luck winning a title with three players that missed 68 games last year.

The real #5 will be back.

Week #8 – WAKE FOREST

October 25, 2007 at 1:42 pm | Posted in Gridiron, Jackie Manuel | Leave a comment

wake-carroll.jpg

Not even Deacon Carroll could have imagined Wake’s gridiron team winning the ACC.

Wake Forest University

It really is hard to believe that Wake Forest won the ACC championship last season. I wonder what kind of odds you could have gotten on them in August of 2006? Of course it is a bit of indictment on the Heels and the rest of the ACC. If Wake can do it with all of their handicaps (private school/tough admissions/same small recruiting pool) than why can’t we? I definitely think that Wake’s success helped end both Bunting and Amato’s tenure. This year’s Demon Deacons got off to a slow start but they have won 4 in a row and if you take a peak at their schedule and then Boston College’s schedule, you realize that they are in the mix for a repeat. Granted the Russian judge thinks BC is too good to lose to anybody but Ohio St. right now…but you just never know. The BCS might have been wrong before. So can the Heels get four more yards and ruin the family’s weekend?

Keys to the Game:

1. Score more points.

2. Play to our strength. It just so happens that Wake has struggled a bit defending the pass and the Heels must give T.J. some time to find his receivers.

3. Make Riley Skinner beat us with his arm. The kid can throw, but if we can’t stop the run we’ll be leaving Winston Salem with a L.

Info: 12:00 Raycom/LF (WRAL), WF is favored by 5.5

Prediction: First road win of the season. UNC 30-26 WFU

Lates Links

October 25, 2007 at 9:23 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel | Leave a comment

No gridiron in the links this morning, but look for the Wake Forest preview laters today. Could Dook be in trouble? First, by trouble I don’t mean that Dook will be battling Miami for 10th place or anything. Clearly, they are still pretty good this season and have several talented players on the radar for 2009. Odds are that they’ll get a few blue chippers then and combined with this year’s incoming class…well…the Blue Devils will still be in the running for Final Fours. That said….one has to question whether Coach K’s love of Kobe his country have legitimately hurt Dook. What if they do miss out in 2009? Not much to be found regarding Carolina basketball, but Ken Pomeroy is tinkering with similarity scores and points out that most of the current ‘analysis’ is raced based. I’d love to see more of this, just so we could remember that just because Greg Paulus looks like Richie Sambora, that does not mean that he is as good.

I told you it should be a good one. Josh Beckett looks more like a nu metal fan, than an October ace, but he’s clearly the latter. Baseball Prospectus with a thoughtful series preview.

Here are the latest Cash Cup standings. Are Liverpoo in a crisis? I’d really have preferred that the Scousers win, but now Sunday’s match really is as big as it gets for them. Hopefully, Hyppia will continue his fine form. DC United travel to Toyota Park for leg one. TOP understands why DeMarcus went to Rangers.
That was fun! Carolina really only played well for one period, but that was more than enough to beat the Sabres. You could see the frustration on Lindy Ruff’s face and based on that performance, Buffalo is not going to be in the playoff mix.

Will the Timberwolves win 20 games?

Lates Links

October 24, 2007 at 9:37 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel | 1 Comment

Let us start with the newest members of the 2007-2008 North Carolina basketball team! Jack Wooten, J.B, Tanner, a Patrick Moody have made the team as walk-ons. They could get a decent amount of time this season too. Not much else to be found, Eddy Landreth writes about Ty Lawson’s importance.

Jim Grobe is scared of our receivers and Josh Adams is pumped. More coming on the huge trip to Winston Salem tomorrow. THF has been blogging about the rumor that Butch Davis might leave for Fayetteville. He thinks it is unlikely and I agree. The opportunity here is a good one (despite the small recruiting pool split between 5 schools) and if/when Butch leaves, you have to think it will be for a factory. At any rate, the good players keep coming in and apparently Melvin Williams (a 4 star DB) committed as soon as we talked to him.

The men’s soccer team scored more than 1 goal! The Heels will host Clemson on Friday and 3 points are a must. I won’t be able to make it, unfortunately, but if you do go, look out for the local boy who wasn’t recruited seriously by Carolina. Not that we could have used goal scorers or anything.

Arsenal are good. Maybe not premiership champions good yet…but tying Juve’s Cash Cup record and seemingly doing so without really trying very hard is unbelievable. Here is a round up from yesterday and SSN has this afternoon’s previews. Meanwhile Grant Wahl defends Landycakes and wants to know the same thing we do…when will Jozy get a game for the Nats.

Baseball Prospectus takes a look at Coors and Fenway. Really hard to pick a side in this one but tonight should be great. A paragraph from BP on each starting pitcher:

Everyone seems to have a different theory as to why the 27-year-old Beckett comes up big in big games despite his relative youth and lack of postseason experience. Beckett thinks it is because of his ability to adapt and his willingness to win. “Don Sutton used to tell me every time you go out there, you’re going to be a different pitcher. So throughout the course of a year, you can be between 30 and 35 guys,” Beckett said, referring to the Hall of Fame pitcher. “If you’re going to get me, generally the first inning is the time, because I’m still trying to figure out who I am that day. And whether it be Chien-Ming Wang or C.C. Sabathia or whoever, nobody wants it more than me. When I’m out there, I feel like all the guys are behind me and that we’re better than everybody else.”


Year Team IP K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 H/9 BABIP QERA
2007 Colorado(MLB) 215.1 6.9 2.6 2.6 1.0 9.8 .321 4.21

 

His actual ERA was 0.01 away from his QERA, and 0.04 away from his 75th-percentile PECOTA-forecasted PERA, which is both neat and scary. The fact that Francis was able to succeed in spite of the Coors effect on balls in play is a testament to how good a pitcher he really is, and you have to love that he’s been able to reconcile his earlier solid strikeout numbers with his later work in reducing hits on balls in play.

 

Buffablow comes to town. Chad LaRose will be miked. The Sabres are really fighting it and hopefully we can keep things going for them.

Finally….Gregg Easterbrook hates the Patriots. Who doesn’t? Is his case based on Reason? Not really, though he’s dead on in making fun of the hypocrisy behind New England’s persecution claims. They cheated and rather then feeling embarrassed, they project and use it as inspiration. It IS all very silly but this is pretty much what any football team would do, no? Should they get all introspective and meditate or something? As for running up the score…well it doesn’t bother me. Don’t get me wrong…I wanted Joey Porter to tear Tom W.’s ligaments…especially after the fake spike play. It is a professional game though (one could argue Miami is barely pro, but you understand what I mean) and I think they get paid regardless of how hurt their feelings are. In college or high school it is pretty unethical, but in the NFL it is just questionable tactics. Anyways…I loved the article and I love even more that thousands of Boston sports fans are undoubtedly writing essays to ESPN this morning. Easterbrook is smart and funny and he hasn’t always hated the Patriots…he just does now. The Patriots are not Evil but they are evil. Get me?

Lates Links

October 23, 2007 at 9:14 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel | Leave a comment

Morning, all. We start with gridiron and the Heels are ready for the run-in. There won’t be a game we can’t win, but there probably won’t be a game where we are favored by more than 7 either(maybe Dook). The second half of the USC game has hopes pretty high amongst the Carolina faithful, but let’s not talk bowl exhibition at 2-5. I’ll get to Wake laters this week, but there was some bad news for the improving D. If a sophomore can’t get high on his bye week, when can he?

Wayne Ellington is ready to step up his game. This is good news, but the article discusses the ill-advised shot selection in last year’s Elite Eight. Wayne says:

“That’s definitely going to stay with me a while,” he said. “I’ll just use it as motivation. I practiced it many, many times over again now, so . . . I’ll definitely be ready next time it comes my way.”

I don’t feel so good about all of this focus on the Georgetown game. It was not a massive upset or a choke job. If you had to point to one thing that hurt us, you’d point to Brandan’s fourth foul, not Wayne Ellington’s bad shot. I’d prefer the Heels move on from all of this, really. We lost to a very good team in the regional finals….end of story. Basketball Prospectus continues with excellent conference previews. I can’t recommend the site enough. K is not a good liar.

Did I say yesterday was the low point for the franchise? I meant today. Now my fantasy season is over too.

I didn’t see this and so, not much that I can say. Reads impressive though.

FFS. Hard to believe that an baseball organization in 2007 does not have any understanding of Value Over Replacement(VORP). I know this if difficult for you Ned, but this is not how you make lemonade. Biggest off-season in many years for the Dodgers and every day my stomach aches a bit more when thinking about how clueless the GM is.

Sanford’s Soccer Net has Cash Cup previews. Rangers-Barca is on ESPN2 this afternoon and I’ll be interested to see if Henry relishes his return to Britain. Arsenal can take command of their group with three points, but with a visit to Scouse-land this weekend, I’d not be surprised if Cesc and a few others are rested. The madness has started! I’m not sure I’ll be filling out 18 brackets but I do plan to tivo most some a few of the games.

Can Rick be funny again? I’m guessing he’s more Sports Putz II.

Lates Links

October 22, 2007 at 9:26 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel | 3 Comments

I start this morning with a bit of a change….I’m going to try and make the Lates Links a bit more conversational. This change might be over by tomorrow, it might showcase my poor spelling and grammar a bit more, and it might mean the links come a bit lateser.

Viv Bernstein writes that the Heels are already waiting for March. The expectations were high last season, sure, but you get the feeling they are even higher now. It comes with the territory, but I suggest taking it easy. We don’t know how much we’ll miss Brandan and Reyshawn, especially defensively, and it will be much harder to enjoy this team if we take our cues from the media and become obsessed with the end game right now. We’ll be there in March and we’ll worry about March in March. ACC recruiting update.

The Rocks are favored? Hmm….I’m not sure if PECOTA might be worried about defying God here but since it is smarter than I am, I’ll assume the 90 win team from the NL West is better than the 96 win team from the NL East. Maybe PECOTA remembers this. Going against the Lord was not even listed. There is only one CSTB.

Martin Jol does not understand how the table works? I’m not sure if that will please or irritate Sp*rs fans, but I think that its foolish on several levels. 1. Newcastle and Tottenh*m are in the same league….literally. 2. They really don’t need a hostile Geordie reception tonight. 3. Sp*rs are shite. Premiership highlights. Good weekend for the big four and Citeh are trying to make it the big five.

Fantasy philanthropy? Now, I do find this to be an interesting idea, but what about when the United Way’s first round pick, whom is an absolute stud with healthy births, goes down in week 3 and they decide to trade their second round pick for a draft pick? Who is helped then? I suppose I challenge the premise that philanthropy can be really done better in a for-profit format. Philanthropy isn’t really black and red, is it?

Scott Boras improving the game? I’ll try to get to this laters…but Ben McGrath is usually hard to argue with, so it should be a compelling read.

Hurricanes taking on cancer and Canucks tonight. Erik Cole was hurt playing soccer? Wonderful. This weekend was both encouraging and disappointing. We got two tough road points, but really we should have had more after outplaying the Penguins and Flyers. I was hoping he’d play against Columbus and rest tonight, but no dice.

FO’s scramble. Yesterday may have been a low point for the Miami Dolphin franchise. Even the news that Trent Green was done for the season could not cheer me up. Our next home game is in London, our only good player (and one many a marine mammal supporter owns in fantasy leagues) is having a MRI this afternoon, we are seven games out of first through week 7, Ted Ginn Jr. might be our best remaining offensive player , our starting QB’s first name is Cleo and his last name is Lemon, Tommy W. Brady threw 6 TD’s in about 45 minutes (two to former Dolphin Wes Welker), Jason Taylor is looking on the bright side by comparing our season to Iraq, and Cam Cameron probably won’t be fired this off-season. When and how can you resign your support for a team?

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