I’m Over Game 6

As I kept tabs Wednesday on the buzz surrounding the arrival of Baseball Easter (aka Pitchers and Catchers Report) for the Texas Rangers, I felt, as seemed to be common, a charge of excitement.  I’ve been looking for a good reason to start writing more in this space, and PACR gave me that impetus.  So, I’m going to resolve to try (operative word) to offer some sort of unique perspective on the Rangers on a regular basis.  I don’t know yet what niche I will be able to carve out (if any), how many people will read it (if any), or whether there’s even any need for my thoughts, since we are fortunate to have a slew of must-read Rangers material in this market already (see BBTiA, Lone Star Ball, Newberg Report, Scott Lucas).

Nonetheless…here goes. Continue reading

Abandon All Hope

In one brief statement after last Sunday’s season finale in the Meadowlands, Jerry Jones summed up the direction and organizational philosophy of the Dallas Cowboys in the way that only he can:

“The facts are that I’ve spent 22 years doing this exactly the same way,” Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM. “I’ve made a lot of changes from year to year as time goes along, but frankly, I know that when we do not have the kind of success, when we don’t have expectations lived up to, the one that should get the most heat is the one that ultimately makes the decisions, period, with the Dallas Cowboys. And that’s me.”

The contradictions in those remarks are obvious, yet the logic contained within is so full of twists and turns that it defies analysis. Find a new team to root for, people.

Thank You Mike Sherman

Image Courtesy TheBattOnline

I want to thank Mike Sherman for his service to Texas A&M University over the past 4 years.  He recruited and developed players with character and did things the right way.  Unfortunately he wasn’t able to produce the necessary results on the field, especially given the talent on the team this year.

Coach Sherman took over a team in disarray.  This was evidenced last year, when only 4 starters on offense and defense combined were seniors.  He showed improvement in his 2nd and 3rd seasons, and with a pre-season top 10 ranking  2011 was poised to be the best Texas A&M Football season since 1998.

Then the season started, and the team blew 17 and 18 point halftime leads against Oklahoma State and Arkansas.  This trend would continue throughout the season, 5 times blowing double digit leads.  The only game the team really deserved to lose was at Oklahoma.  Coach Sherman seemed to always coach with an NFL mindset, tightening up with a lead, and that doesn’t really translate to the college game.

I don’t disagree with the decision to fire Coach Sherman.  I was actually still on the Sherman bandwagon until the Missouri loss.  After the home loss to Texas, I had decided not to renew my season tickets unless a change was made.  I’m glad the administration was able to make such a difficult decision, especially with all of the change going on with the move to the SEC.

Coach Sherman has certainly left the program in a much better place than when he arrived.  I will not be surprised to see him on the sidelines of an NFL team next year.

2011 NFL Week 12 Rankings

Here are the latest ratings for the NFL season.  The Cowboys are in the top 10!

2011 FLD NFL Power Rankings through Week 12

Team Rating
1. Green Bay Packers (11-0) 0.764
2. Baltimore Ravens (8-3) 0.673
3. San Francisco 49ers (9-2) 0.662
4. Houston Texans (8-3) 0.661
5. New England Patriots (8-3) 0.658
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) 0.648
7. New Orleans Saints (8-3) 0.631
8. Chicago Bears (7-4) 0.606
9. Atlanta Falcons (7-4) 0.588
10. Dallas Cowboys (7-4) 0.585
11. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) 0.572
12. Detroit Lions (7-4) 0.571
13. Denver Broncos (6-5) 0.564
14. Oakland Raiders (7-4) 0.561
15. New York Jets (6-5) 0.528
16. Tennessee Titans (6-5) 0.519
17. New York Giants (6-5) 0.473
18. Miami Dolphins (3-8) 0.449
19. Philadelphia Eagles (4-7) 0.447
20. Arizona Cardinals (4-7) 0.434
21. Seattle Seahawks (4-7) 0.431
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) 0.408
23. San Diego Chargers (4-7) 0.401
24. Buffalo Bills (5-6) 0.400
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8) 0.392
26. Cleveland Browns (4-7) 0.385
27. Washington Redskins (4-7) 0.382
28. Kansas City Chiefs (4-7) 0.380
29. Minnesota Vikings (2-9) 0.360
30. Carolina Panthers (3-8) 0.358
31. St Louis Rams (2-9) 0.313
32. Indianapolis Colts (0-11) 0.193

 


Cowboys Quick Hits – 2011 Week 11 @ Washington

Dez Bryant Scores a Touchdown in the First Quarter

Here are my quick hits from the game:

  • Cowboys definitely tried to establish the run early.  6 of the 9 plays on the Cowboys first drive were running plays.  Even so, they were never able to establish a solid running game.
  • Where is Dez Bryant?  Again, he has no impact after the first quarter.  I think he is the most talented player on the Cowboys roster, but he just disappears.  (OK, I typed this before his big overtime catch to convert on 3rd down and get the Cowboys into field goal range)
  • It never felt like the Cowboys were winning.  Even when they were up by 10 in the first half, it always felt like they were behind.  They just never seemed to be playing very well.
  • Sean Lee continues to be a stud.  He may not have had any game changing plays, but he led the team in tackles with 10.
  • Sensabaugh also has a great game.  Second on the team in tackles with 9, and had the big fumble recovery.  He’s been better this year than I expected.
  • Martellus Bennet had his best game of the season.  3 catches for 31 yards, the most receptions and yards he’s had in a game this season.  At least the ball never went off of his facemask into a defender’s arms.  What a disappointment.
  • Have the Cowboys finally found themselves a kicker?  Or is this another Nick Folk?  Dan Bailey is now 25/26 for the season on field goals including a game winning 39 yarder in overtime today.
It wasn’t the best game the Cowboys have played, but right now I’ll take a W any way I can get it.  I guess I have to pull for the Vince Young led Eagles tonight.  Yay.

 

2011 NFL Week 10 Rankings

I’d like to share something I’ve been working on over the last few weeks, and I was finally able to put it all together this weekend.  The first edition of the freelance dogs NFL team ratings.  I’ll try to go into more detail in a future post, but for now know that the ratings take the following into account:

  1. The week games were played (A week 1 game counts less than a week 10 game)
  2. The location of games (Home wins count less than away wins)
  3. Margin of Victory (capped at 28 points)

According to our ratings, the NFL consists of the Packers, the 49ers, and everyone else. Oh and the Colts REALLY suck.

Check out the ratings after the jump.

Continue reading

Tomorrow. Game 6.

The Rangers are on the brink of doing something I don’t think I ever imagined they would do:

Win a World Series.

These Rangers are special. They had to win 10 of their last 11 games to clinch the #2 seed in the AL.

They were the first team to qualify for the CS by beating Tampa Bay in 4.

They followed that up by beating Detroit in 6 when Nelson Cruz had possibly the greatest ALCS in the history of the game.

In Game 1 of the World Series they battled, but lost.

In game 2 they were down to their final 3 outs to get 1 run, and they got both the game tying and game winning runs on back to back sac flies. That hadn’t been done in a WS since 1930.

Game 3 unraveled after a blown call, then Pujols went off.

Then came game 4: When their backs were against the wall, the team needed a win, and the bullpen needed relief, the Dutch oven delivered with an 8 1/3 inning shutout gem. Possibly the biggest pitching performance in Texas Rangers history.

In game 5 they needed Mike Napoli and he delivered with a 2 RBI double to the gap in right center. He now has 4 WS games with 2+ RBI, tying Mickey Mantle for first place. if the Rangers win, he has surely positioned himself to be the World Series MVP.

None of this even takes into account the grabs by Beltre, the spectacular double plays turned by Andrus and Kinsler, or Napoli gunning down Gentry at second base. Twice.

Colby Lewis has a 2.22 ERA through 7 Career postseason starts. If I had to ask just about any Rangers fan who they would want to start tomorrow, they would surely say the Colbra. I like our chances.

These Rangers haven’t lost back to back games in 60 days. If they can keep that up they will be Champions by the end of the week.

I don’t know what to think of all this. I don’t even know how I’ll digest it, win or lose. I just want to enjoy the ride.

Tomorrow night I believe the Rangers will win the final game of the 2011 season.

Win or lose, savor it. Enjoy it.

It will have ups. It will have downs. It will likely be the most tense baseball game you’ve ever watched, and you can’t ask for more than that.

Let’s go Rangers!