I Wonder if Jay Cutler ( a Small Defense)

Was overpaid in his $54 million guarantee, but was the QB to lead the, had the coach that gave him a great offensive system, and had a defense around that seemed healthy in August of 2013.

One month after Star Date 09.01.BHO6 (I dare you to think what that means), injuries to the defense collapsed this team, and the franchise’s trust in Marc Tressman.

He fucked up. Management fucked up. You know you’re gonna get 3-4 injuries to key starters over the season? Where was the depth? Where was the plug? You had NO REPLACEMENT for Tillman?? You already lost a great (but slow) linebacker to retirement. Did you think his bumbly frame wouldn’t stand up to the passing offenses of today, because you, Marc Tressman, assumed the league wouldn’t stand up against yours??

That is what put down Tressman. I’m sorry, it wasn’t Cutler. You had a player pretty much cultivate 20 pts per game even when he throws 3 picks in a quarter. Did he get much over that or somehow made horrible mistakes and help his team lose?? Of Course!!

But when your defense can give up 30 points in 3-4 games IN A ROW!! In a FUCKING ROW!! How is the QB prepared to come out for a drive, knowing that he can make 3 great plays, but if he doesn’t score not one but TWO TDs in the next 10 minutes his team is finished??

There are rookies on wayward teams that aren’t given that type of assignment. At least most of the shit teams are competitive enough not to get blown out in 3 straight games. To see opponents score 14 times while your team scores 5 is debilitating. Over 3 games, the offense denatured just under the sheer insane responsibility that was placed against them, sometimes even with 7 minutes left in the 1st half!

They essentially had to play a game where they already were down 14 to start the game, and had to score at least 10 in the first quarter to prevent mass drowning. You have to big WR who can catch in triple-coverage, and you need to get to 32 points JUST TO BE SAFE?!? What do you do if you are Jay Cutler??

He gets a pass/incomplete this season. He could’ve been much better, but I can’t say he EASILY OR SHOULD’VE been much better because the pressure for him to score, even with  a really good offense, was immense. And half his stats have probably accumulated while trailing by 3TDs. What play schemes do you develop for a drive like that? OK, lets come back from 21, how about an inside hitch, fake off and deliver to Jeffrey on post?

Down by 14. What next? The opponent is prepared. Pick-6 next offensive play. Because there IS NO PLAN coaches have when teams are down by 20 and can’t even hold it to that number. There just isn’t.

And Tressman has to go because of it. He pretty much tried to Chip Kelly his defense and it didn’t pay off. It would’ve been decent if it weren’t for injuries, but for a team not to have depth for rebuilding in its second year, with 2 defensive studs leaving, is a travesty. Moreso because the Bears had a prolific offense that was pretty scary.

But the depth was nonexistent. Specials teams was rot. If Jay Cutler was with the Raiders, we’d be talking about a shitty Raiders team. But at least they’d be 6-8 with a vet QB to lead the team next year. Now Cutler, who still seems to do bs stuff at QB but might’ve been better if he had leads, looks like the package of scapegoats for this team for next year.

And I hope he proves them wrong next year. Because there will be a next year. And Cutler will start because he is owed too much money. But, at least he will have something around him. Or maybe he won’t. But if he sucks next year he’s not starting in the NFL again.

He knows this. That’s why Tressman’s out.  But a defense needs to get built ASAP. Cutler’s money is worth nothing if you don’t give him a chance to win. I think he isn’t that great, but 2014 wasn’t even close to a test more than it was destiny. For Cutler to be hated, once again. But I want a real reason to dislike him. Almost feel bad what Tressman gave him this Xmas. A coal for defense; and a mistletoe and a wish for some coach to make him an Alpha.

Clay Buccholz, Tiger Woods – Erratic Play Microcosm of Opiate Use??

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I was going to have a long conversation about this, and I’m not making any claims or allegations that any of these athletes are partaking in any of these drugs. But one makes you wonder when these guys go through debilitating back injuries, return “normal”, but then have so many focus and mechanical issues that don’t seem day-to-day consistent.

Woods has shown glimpses, glimpses mind you, of his old game where he also showcases he can still win a major at any point. But most of the points lead to failure, and more bewilderment of how physically he is capable, but simultaneously is stunted mentally still. And we are almost a half-decade in from the crazy situation that began his new mold.

Buchholz had gone through a back surgery, and a surge of medications to keep him physically pitching, and since mid-2012 this guy hasn’t been the same since. But he has.

One some games, Buchholz looks like one of the best pitchers in baseball. Other times, it seems like he’s totally not there. His change-up is there. Sometimes. His fastball is there. Sometimes. His control is there. Sometimes. His health is there. All the time recently, according to the Red Sox brass.

Even for a blogger, it is wrong to claim that a player’s performance is deteriorating based on an outside situation when there’s no evidence, or sometimes even when there is. Red Sox fans cobbled together Troy O’Leary’s decline toward the divorce of his wife in the early 2000s. We overlooked and were shocked to see Vin Baker’s quick departure from the Celtics organized by the hand of alcohol abuse.

I don’t know much about Tiger or not passionate enough to assume, but something I always wondered about how Buccholz can be so bad, but still sustain enough talent and prowess to be a great pitcher. I’m only running with the odds; if he had the yips he’d be out of the league. If I want to play the odds, thinking about whether his withdrawal from stopping chew or possibly adding/stopping painkillers seems a decent discussion.

There isn’t any discussion right now, and there should be. Clay Buchholz can easily be a number 1# and has shown it in the past. Just because we won a World Series doesn’t mean I don’t care about his future with us. But as someone who does care, I’d like to know more about why he disintegrated when hitting has declined to its lowest in decades.

Why isn’t he doing the same. What is holding him back. If it isn’t his health, since he is starting on the mound and will possibly for 2015, what other events could lead him to such an erratic play? Seeing how big the epidemic is in the Northeast, how it has taken a few star players down in the amateur and pro leagues, and seeing how his talent is still there on some days, I’m just looking at the odds.

While Looking at Yahoo BoxScore… Find Show My Boobs Meme?

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I don’t really get these game-day memes that Yahoo puts into their boxscores for each game. I don’t know if they are made by Yahoo or by fans, but none of them are really ever funny or noticeable to care.

Today, I find one that still has no entertainment value, other than the fact that it seems a little raunchy and off-handed. Also seems like its an image taken from game video that someone used to make a joke about a girlfriend promising to show her breast if the Atlanta Braves win.

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I’m not making this into a controversy, but if I were these two people I’d be a little upset at this meme. And I wouldn’t care if my 8-year old son (if I had one) had seen this meme, but I know many other parents would be a little “wtf is this?” on these pages.

It’s not in the NSFW arena, but if this can pass, I might have to take two looks on others. Not even because they are funny, but because there’s forum banter about titties on pages accessed by people of all ages. And… I can’t see what this woman is carrying. Seriously I’m not being misogynistic, but if the narrative was that they did post this as a joke, part of the absurdity, along with ballpark nudity, would correlate to objectifying breast size.

Damnit… I need a girlfriend :(

The REAL Reason of Verlander’s Decline 2014

3 things to make sense of Verlander right now:

1. The drop in velocity is a combination of age, but moreso his pitching style. He is a very good pitcher who has run up so many innings (including the postseason) each year that this “new” Verlander approach was built so that he throws his fastballs slower, keeps his stamina in games for longer, keeps his pitch count down by utilizing weak contact in a huge ballpark, and possibly keeps his arm from blowing out.

He’s so talented that it seems odd to redevelop your pitching style, but you see it with a lot of guys who either come of age or reach that point where they can’t consistently throw filthy pitches without greater fatigue. Pretty sure management and Big-V sees what happens when you get too old change your pitching style with the likes of Jake Peavy or CC Sabathia. They waited too long, and look at how their doing.

Jon Lester did the same thing couple of years ago, and he was only 26-27 at the time.

2. His new approach is a little more hittable, but he still can dominate, and save his energy for the postseason. Same with Lester, they hold up on the gas and keep hitters from squaring on the fastball with cutters and sliders. Verlander’s fastest pitch last year was 99.9MPH. Not a speed that should be coming from a broken arm.

Downside to pitching more for contact is that it takes time to progress, and depending on age, injuries, decline etc. the “ability” to pitch that way might take time, and might not co-exist when you have your best stuff. By time Pedro was able to utilize his game around a slower fastball, the Yankees already had the best of him and injuries killed his Mets tenure.

With Verlander, he’s much stronger, and as we saw last year it might take a good 3rd of the season to pitch this way. Now, when July rolls around, he won’t be fatigue since he isn’t gunning it a 98 every pitch. And with age, sometimes the fastball and curve might have more off-days. Instead of being lost, he can still dominate with less stuff or holding back until its needed (like we saw in the playoffs).

3. Verlander started “slowing” down his FB after that contract extension. I think they were already aware of his longevity, and it must be painful to have to change your style. But in the long-run, he will become a more efficient pitcher, which will allow him to pitch heavy loads of innings, and then come out strong when the Tigers need it in the WS. As great of a pitcher as Greg Maddux was, one of his weird faults was that he would b exhausted by time the postseason started. And if he had some energy left in the tank, ATL could’ve had 2+ championships in the 90’s.

Look at Verlander’s decline as a re-invention. He knew he wasn’t going to pitch 100mph forever, and if he kept going he would’ve blown his arm out or become lost when he actually can’t hit those speeds anymore. He’s growing, and its not the same as the old V. But he will still be a great pitcher. If he masters his new approach, possibly better.

Brandon Belt Injury Update – Maybe Ready to Move Hand Soon

Brandon Belt did a Q&A for the Giants fans on twitter through the club’s profile a few days ago. He had some funny answers (or “unique” I should say, Tombstone is his favorite movie. He’s only 26 right?) to fans questions, but when someone asked about his injury, he said:

So it looks like when the Giants come back home this week he’ll take the cast/pins off his hands and will begin feeling out his hand movement. So, for all of you fantasy heads that have Belt on your team, be prepared to see him in the next 2-3 weeks, barring any setback.

Why Vernon Davis Missed the Voluntary Workouts (Not about the Money)

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There are only three reasons I could come up with why Vernon Davis would skip over 200,000 smackaroos just to come to voluntary practices for the 49ers. Which, I also believe, are less strenuous due to the labor deal passed a couple of years back.

1. He is out of money, and trying to get a new contract. This can be a possibility, but a huge risk to lose that much money from voluntary workouts. Easily could voice his discontent and threaten/ask to be traded if he doesn’t get money.

2. He had some bigger issues going on. Shit happens. But this would’ve been known by now. 200Gs though….

But here is what I wrote on CBS Sports page on the real reason Vernon Davis hasn’t shown up: Harbaugh’s coaching:

Doesn’t make sense. His contract was front-ended and he was getting paid good money in 2012 when his stats are mediocre. BUT, let me defend this here.

 

Their offense puts him on a lot of blocking assignments, and a great deal of his yards with Kapernick have been 15+ yard plays. Most of the time its pretty physical, and half the season he’s playing against very physical defenses. That brutal style won’t get you those stats or even keep you well physically over time. He is reaching that age where if he’s only going to get one contract left, why toil on a team and lose most of your speed by 32 creating holes for running backs or cutting off linebackers on screens?

 

This doesn’t happen on a … let’s say Eagles or Saints, where they’ll treat the TE more as a receiver and less as a bruiser. This might be a situation where he doesn’t like his role at all regardless of the money. He signed his last contract before Harbaugh came in and expanded his blocking assignments under Smith. And Harbaugh seems like a type who will bury a player into the ground to win the SB.
And rightfully so, and so should Davis. But I wonder if Davis is scared to sacrifice the last of his physical prowess on a team that doesn’t seem to have answers against the Seahawks past two years. He’s probably looking at it that he can gracefully do a Shannon Sharpe and play/get paid another 5-7 years on a less-intensive team, then possibly take the edge of his career to a contender.

 

He plays this year and he plays well. But I think he is willing to have one more year of this type of style and I think he bolts regardless if they win the SB. But he’s counting on a ring this year, so this will be his only stir.

 

Don’t be surprised if you see Gronk do this next year either. These guys are waaayyyy above in their game and seeing the money (and pretty much softer assignments) and winning ways of Jimmy Graham they might forego being on the best teams to extend their careers. But they will take the beating in the short-term to get that ring. Gronk is now an injury risk (remember, his forearm injury happened because Belly has him on SPECIAL TEAMS for EXTRA POINT BLOCKING) and Davis’s stats might be sacrificed and physical toll heightened.

They know their coaches can win it all, but in 2016, Houston and Indy might be up there too. And will pay them more with less physical strain on their bodies. They are aware of this, and when this game can take out the best players in the blink of an eye, they might not chance it for their current teams further then their current contract’s expiration date.

Harbaugh already seems to have recent player and management issues popping up that this could be more as a concern with how he is coaching than how much the current contract entails. Even getting to the NFC Championship and Superbowl hasn’t crowded out some of the friction happening on this squad. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Davis just another symptom for the growing conflict between staff, management, and players.

Watching Arthur Chu Lose, And Understanding Life’s Struggles (And the Bruins)

Arthur Chu losing in Jeopardy, for some reason at 345AM, was something I had to watch before bed. His opponents got breaks on categories they were familiar with. He ignored his game-plan by wagering too much when he had a lead. He lost his composure as the game winded down. He underestimated his opponents’ ability to gain money quickly and let the clock run out. He underestimated his opponents to mimic his own game, which when he abandoned cost him his match.

This was a metaphor for competition you see in daily life. I learned nothing other than knowing watching Jeopardy is awesome! But it reinforced lessons I’ve learned in life on how to become better. You always have to prepare. If you have a winning plan, you have to stick to it. Take the big risks, but only if you have to. Don’t stray away from your game-plan. Don’t lose hope when the deadline pops up.

Saw this with the Bruins as well. But I have a totally different reason on why they lost, although it was similar.