Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wire Check - 8/24/09


- While I would suggest that the Giants playoff chances ended when they failed to sign Manny, I think we can all agree they officially ended last night. [SF Gate]

- Jeff Kent may not be a Hall of Fame guy but there is doubting how important he was to the Giants. [SF Gate]

- Is there anything more pointless than reading an article on a team's website? [sfgiants.com]


- This is why I hate Bay Area sports. Mediocre coaches in poor towns in the mid-west (see Kirk Ferentz at Iowa) get paid millions of dollars and the capital of venture capital is mad that a rich Stanford booster gave Jim Harbaugh a nice bathroom. [SJ Mercury]

- Shaun Hill will start for the 49ers. In other news, the Niners will fail to make the playoffs because they have Chicago Bears disease: good defense wasted by not having a good Quarterback. [SJ Mercury]


- The Warriors finally make a good move by signing a Hoosier. [Contra Costa Times]

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wire Check - 8/24/09


Kawakami anticipates Zito's most important Giants' start, yet. Also, Lincecum's performance after 120+ pitch counts. [Merc]

The A's have mastered the art of disaster, so says Ray Ratto. [SFGate]


While Alex Smith didn't improve his chances for a regular season start in his preseason start on Saturday, he did show some toughness, which was nice to see. [Merc]

Dan Brown's case for Shaun Hill to be starting QB for the 49ers. [Merc]

Matt Gutierrez runs down day after notes from Coach Cable including Javon Walker news. [Sac Bee]

According to Cable, Kirk Morrison's injured elbow shouldn't keep him out of week 1. [CC Times]

Mike Lombardi looks at Vegas and how they do lines. [NFP]


Michael Beasley checks into rehab? [Yahoo!] I wonder why? [SportsbyBrooks]

MTII ponders the Warriors' playoff chances next season. His conclusion: Hell Mutha F#@$ing No! [CC Times]

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wire Check - 8/21/09


Bruce Jenkins wonders why there are no left-handed catchers? [SFGate]

Baggs' post-game notes including a half-hearted defense of Howry. Stop. Howry has been the weak link in the bullpen all year and pitching him in Cincinnati's park is playing with fire. [Merc]

A's? Anyone? No? Okay.


Bruce Jenkins, again, this time looking at the QB drama in the NFC North. [SFGate]

Ray Ratto rains on Jahvid Best's award chances. [SFGate]

A slow day for Matt Maiocco as the 49ers prepare for tomorrow's game against the Raiders means Q&A. Some questions about the Ahmad Brooks-Manny Lawson-Parys Haralson and Nate Davis. Plus, nothing new whatsoever with Crabtree. [Press Democrat]

Raiders notes from David White. DHB and Louis Murphy, both rookies, will be the starting WRs against the 49ers. I smell some INTs. [SFGate]


MTII ponders the notion of Stephan Curry in the starting lineup for the Warriors next season. [CC Times]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wire Check - 8/19/09


Kawakami highlights his Raiders musings from Monday. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Raider Nation will not be happy.[Merc]

Ratto on the impact of Chaz Schillens' injury. Not good. [SFGate]

Gwen Knapp writes what we're all thinking regarding Favre, embarrassing. And, UGH! [SFGate]

Mark Purdy poits the finger at Tom Cable for not coming clean with the "true" story. [Merc]

49ers-Raiders scrimmage notes from Matt Maiocco. [Press Democrat] And from David White on the Raiders. [SFGate]


John Shea profiles the patience of Nate Schierholtz. Nate must know Randy Winn's contract is up this season and Fred Lewis won't be allowed back inside AT&T. [SFGate]

Lincecum didn't have it yesterday, at all. He did have some karma leftover from last week and the Giants actually overcame a 5-1 deficit. Ryan Garko got two key hits. It's true. [Merc]

Maybe another reason why the Giants weren't too hesitant about parting with Alderson, #1 draft pick, Zack Wheeler. [SFGate]


MTII checks in on the Warriors machinations with CJ WAtson. [CC Times]

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wire Check - 8/17/09


Bruce Jenkins is not a fan of Fred Lewis. [SFGate] 2009 was Fred Lewis' year to prove himself as a legitimate piece of future Giants lineups and he has failed to live up to that billing. Next.

Kawakami took a break from watching Tiger lose the PGA Championship to update us on the Giants performance since the Sanchez/Garko acquisitions. 6-7 and scoring 2.8 runs over their last nine games and Garko has one extra base hit. We're sure it's Ryan Garko and not Shea Hillenbrand? Positive? [Merc News]

Heeeeeeeeeeeeee's baaaaaaaaack. Starting tonight for the Oakland A's...........Brett Tomko! [CC Times]

Not a lot of positives in the post game wrap from Baggs. [Merc] Randy Winn finally had a good at bat and they lost anyways and Fred Lewis wouldn't man up to dropping a ball on Saturday. Fantastic.


49ers RB, Thomas Clayton, was waived/IR'd after his season ending injury. [Press Democrat] The team waived him so he wouldn't be counted against their roster limit, but will be put on IR after he clears and then will be paid.

Matt Maiocco also went down the roster for player by player evaluations from the preseason opener. [Press Democrat]

Kevin Lynch breaks down the 49ers' first drive, play by play. [SFGate]

Jeff Garcia should be hitting the field soon for the Raiders. [CC Times]


Tiger couldn't close the door for the first time at a majort. [Merc News]

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wire Check 8/12/09


Baggs is predicting some bean balls in today's Giants-Dodgers finale. I'd settle for 10+ Ks and a shut out from Lincecum, but that's just me.

Daily A's game wrap that you have absolutely zero initerest in.


Tim Kawakami says don't expect to see Michael Crabtee before September. The irony is all of this agent posturing will be moot after the 2011 NFL lockout and subsequent new CBA with rookie contract limits.

The Raiders have a QB-WR disconnect so far, says Jerry MacDonald. Also, the Radiers are rumored to be interested in former Buccaneers LB, Derrick Brooks.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wire Check - 8/11/09


* When your starting pitcher walks the first hitter of the game on 4 pitches, you are going to lose. I actually turned off the game and did something productive with my evening. How many of you did the same?

* The Dodgers signed Manny Ramirez so they are going to win the West. The Giants didn't sign Manny Ramirez so they won't. I don't think baseball has ever been this simple.

* True or False. The Red Sox don't really want to win the division because they own the Angels in the post-season and would rather face them than an AL Central team? (Hint: True)

* The A's win and again ... nobody cares.

* The player du jour is Eugenio Velez. When he starts to struggle, here are the odds on the next utlity player that everyone will hail as a hero: Ishikawa 2 to 1, Juan Uribe 3 to 1, Bowker 5 to 1, Ortmeier 20 to 1, Aurilia 200 to 1. My money is on Aurilia.


* I hate pre-season football. Here is your meaningless Raiders article.

* I hate pre-season football. Here is your meaningless Niners article.

* I hate pres-season football. Here is your meaningless Stanford article.


* Speaking of meaningful football ... USA v. Mexico tomorrow.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Don't believe the hype. Target the studs, not the posers in the first round

by Koski

NFL Training camps are in full effect, the Hall of Fame Game is in the books and the NFL season will be under way in less than a month. August is fantasy football draft month and that means it’s time to study up, fantasy football training camp style. The first thing you need to do is separate the true first round studs from the over-hyped phonies masquerading as first rounders. It doesn’t matter whether you have the first pick or the twelfth, the first round may be your only chance to land the impact player that leads your team to title town. Don’t screw it up because you won’t have time to make lemonade if your first pick is a lemon. Don’t worry, I’m here to help. Although you won’t win your league with your first pick a first round bust can sink your season fast.

Here’s the low down on the top 18 players according to average draft position and my opinion on whether they are a certified first round STUD or POSER:

1. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings RB (STUD)
Certified Stud. He doesn’t do a whole lot in the passing game, but doesn’t need to because he’s going to rush for 1,500+ yards. His only issue is that the Vikings QB situation (Tarvaris Jackson/Sage Rosenfels) doesn’t force opponents to respect the Minnesota passing game. It was the same story last year and All Day ended up 1,760 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns anyways.
2. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons RB (POSER)
Phony. He might be hot, but he’s just going to break your heart. Curse of 370. What is the Curse of 370 you ask? You can read more about it at FootballOutsiders.com, but it says that there is a severe drop in a running back’s production the season after a he logs more than 370 regular season carries or 390 carries including playoffs. Here’s some evidence from a Washington Post article written by FO writer, Doug Farrar. Michael Turner had 376 regular season carries last year and totaled 394 after the playoffs. Even though it was his first season with such a workload, there’s a lot more risk involved than you want in a first round pick.
3. Maurice Jones-Drew - Jacksonville Jaguars RB (STUD)
Brad Meester, the Jaguars’ starting center, missed the first six games last season while both starting guards were injured in the first game and missed the rest of 2008 season. MJD still managed 1,300 total yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. With an improved line and 100 or so more total carries heading his way with the departure of Fred Taylor, you can have confidence selecting this pocket Hercules as your team’s cornerstone.
4. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears RB (STUD)
Forte carried the Bears’ offense last year, accounting for the second highest percentage of touches in the league.1 Despite his breakout rookie campaign, Forte’s potential seemed limited during the off season because defenses could key on him as the only offensive playmaker. Jay Cutler’s arrival should ease those concerns as opposing defenses will be forced to respect the passing game. The Bears lack of receiving options will also ensure Forte still sees a lot of passes out of the backfield.
5. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals WR (STUD)
The wide receiver version of Adrian Peterson. He cannot be stopped. 1,400+ yards and 10+ touchdowns and 96+ receptions each of the last two seasons. Finished in the top 10 in scoring last year (non-QBs) and he is only getting better. Even if Kurt Warner gets hurt, a distinct possibility, Larry Fitzgerald will get his stats.
6. Brian Westbrook – Philadelphia Eagles RB (POSER)
Obviously, Westbrook is no phony, he’s a great player, but risk keeps him from being a stud. He’s never started 16 games in a season and he had off season knee surgery then hurt his ankle in May. Westbrook will also be 30 when the season starts and that is usually when healthy running backs begin declining. Westbrook still maintains a lot of value as a receiver, but the Eagles passing game is going to be more active this season as DeSean Jackson matures and the arrival of first round draft pick, Jeremy Maclin, but Westbrook could also see his touches limited in the name of preservation. I know. He’s tempting, but don’t do it.
7. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers - RB (POSER)
He had 18 touchdowns last year! Williams only started two games prior to 20082, but he made the most of his opportunity last season. Williams got into the endzone more than four times his 2008 total and more than doubled his rushing yardage. However, Jonathan Stewart is going to get more carries this year, so it will be hard for Williams to match his 2009 numbers, especially the fluky touchdown total. The Panthers also have depth concerns on the offensive line, so an injury or two could really spell trouble for Williams’ numbers.
8. LaDanian Tomlinson – San Diego Chargers RB (STUD)
Yes, he is still a stud. I know what you’re thinking. Tomlinson is the same age as Westbrook and was banged up last season, so why the discretion between the two? Simple, the Chargers’ offense is a well oiled machine and Tomlinson will get his share of yards and touchdowns because defenses have to worry about Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson. The presence of Darren Sproles should help keep LT fresh while ensuring he still gets those tasty goal line carries.
9. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints QB (STUD)
STUD. He threw for 5,000 yards last year with his best receiver and red zone target, Marques Colston, missing most of the first half of the season due to injury. Brees will return to earth a little yardage-wise, but should still eclipse the 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns easily.
10. Steven Jackson - St. Louis Rams RB (STUD)
Jackson had a nagging thigh bruise much of 2008, his offensive line was in shambles and the team stunk over all. The Rams used the second overall pick this year on mauling tackle, Jason Smith and added veteran center, Jason Brown. Jackson just turned 26 and is the performance peak of his career. With news of Donnie Avery, the Rams only legitimate receiver, being out four to six weeks with a leg injury Steven Jackson will be the focal point of the Rams offensive attack. Pass on him at your own peril.
11. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers RB (POSER)
As much as I’d love to see him emerge as a stud, I can’t. Too risky. Gore is a consistent contributor, but not upper echelon. He’s hit 1,000 yards the last three seasons, but hasn’t scored more than eight rushing touchdowns in any season. He gets a boost for being active in the passing came, but not enough for stud branding. If you have faith that Shaun Hill or Alex Smith is going keep defenses honest, be my guest.
12. Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants RB (POSER)
He’s got the best line in football in front of him, and he’s a beast, especially near the goal line. Being a big bad beast does have its drawbacks. Jacobs is not going to play in every game and he’s not going to catch many passes (six in 2008). Jacobs is a great running back, but you’re going to have to lean on your first pick some weeks in the fantasy season and Jacobs might not be there when you need him most. Also, the Giants’ super offensive line was extremely healthy last season and might not be so fortunate this year.
13. Tom Brady – New England Patriots QB (STUD)
Always a stud. No worries about his knee. When Carson Palmer injured his knee it was in the first playoff game, Brady injured his in the first regular season game. Brady returns to the offense he set the all time touchdown mark with which is the same offense that made Matt Cassel a very rich man. Another 4,000+ yards, 30+ touchdown season with limited interceptions.
14. Andre Johnson - Houston Texans WR (STUD)
He’s going to top 100 receptions, 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Stud.
15. Randy Moss – New England Patriots WR (STUD)
Moss had a down season last year, but Brady can throw it deep, just how Moss likes it. From Football Outsiders Almanac 2009: Matt Cassel to Moss on passes 30+ yards in the air, 3-26. Tom Brady to Moss on passes 30+ yards in the air in 2007? 10-20. Look for 90+ catches, 1,200+ yards and 10+ touchdowns. Stud.
16. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans RB (POSER)
Definitely a dangerous back with blazing speed, but he still splits carries with LenDale White. The carries that Johnson ends up losing are near the goal line, which are pretty important for your first pick. Long touchdowns runs are exciting, but also volatile. Not quite stud level.
17. Steve Slaton – Houston Texans RB (POSER)
Slaton didn’t start carrying a full load until late in the season when he had 744 yards in the second half. The problem is Slaton is in a prolific offense that spreads the ball around to various weapons like aforementioned stud, Andre Johnson. Slaton will put up good numbers, but not enough to be a first round stud.
18. Peyton Manning - Indianapolis Colts QB (STUD)
I had to change my mind. Peyton Manning is a stud. 4,000+ yards, 27+ touchdowns each of the last three seasons. Marvin Harrison may be gone, but so is Manning’s knee injury that depressed his numbers early last season. Manning will get stud level quarterback numbers, 4,000+ yards and 30+ touchdowns in 2009.

Boom! Championship! You’re welcome. You’re probably in a league full of morons so you’ll be able to draft two of these studs! Now, you have more time to work on the perfect fantasy football team name.

Next week: I’ll throw some sleepers at you. BTW, I’ve read good things about Javon Walker’s knee this year.

Wire Check - 8/10/09

I'm going to look over my fantasy article one more time and then post and send to you.


Bruce Jenkins likes the match-ups for the Giants against the Dodgers, starting tonight. I don't know if I like the Joe Martinez or Jonathan Sanchez match-ups, but it goes without saying this is a huge series for the Giants. The Giants and Rockies are only 5.5 games behind the Dodgers. A home sweep and the Giants are only out 2.5 games. If the Giants want to be for real this season, they have to take two of three, at least.

Kawakami returns from vacation with sarcastic praise for Zito and real praise for the man of the hour, Eugenio Velez. The moneyline:
-Put together this stat line since the call-up: .423 BA/.454 OPS/.673 SLG/ 1.137 OPS. Crazy stats.
Ray Ratto goes deeper into the Eugenio Velez story.

Every once and a while, Scott Ostler writes something that doesn't suck. Oh, how the tables have turned! Oh, the irony! I can't wait for the Man-Ram boos at AT&T. I want to thank the Dodgers fans for

Wow, a really interesting story from the Dallas Morning News', Tim Cowlishaw relating to Josh Hamilton's recent incident. I have to say, it was really refreshing to read this piece, but I'm quite sure why.

Susan Slusser from her A's blog yesterday morning said
I respect the sentiment, but just because Suzuki wants to play every day doesn't mean he should, especially in this kind of weather.
I highlight this quote because sometimes, even when your reasoning is sound, it blows up in your face. Kurt Suzuki was 2-4 with a home run yesterday.

The Blue Jays put a bunch of players through waivers like all teams do August 1st, but Alex Rios was reportedly claimed by a team. If so, Schulman says it's not likely the Giants.


Matt Maiocco's latest and greatest with 49ers QB coach, Michael Johnson. Johnson is a young coach on the rise, despite being unemployed last season and if the Singletary coaching staff survives in SF, Johnson could be Jimmy Raye's heir apparent.

From Michael Crabtree to Stephen Strasburg, Bruce Jenkins is sick of these rookie holdouts! The good news is the NFL should have rookie max contracts in the next CBA, whether that comes before or after a lockout, we'll have to wait and see.

Gwen Knapp says the best way to put pressure on Michael Crabtree to get into camp will be for Josh Morgan, Jason Hill and Dominique Ziegler to have a good showing in Friday night's exhibition opener against the Bronocs.

Jerry MacDonald sat down with Sanjay Lal of the Raiders for a Q&A.

Meanwhile, DHB is working on his hands.


Mark Purdy presents his annual Top 25 Bay Area sports power players. Gary Radnich is down to #25! WTF?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wire Check - 8/7/09


The big news in 49ersland is that Michael Crabtree is prepared to sit out the entire season and re-enter the draft in 2010. All this according to his "adviser." Here's my problem with this story. Why does this guy keep getting referred to as Crabtree's cousin and adviser? To me, that says he's Crabtree's cousin who has given himself title of adviser. Two days ago, Matt Maiocco mad a good point about holding out. Why would you not say you're willing to hold out the entire season? If you didn't it'd be an empty threat. Also, said adviser doesn't have the shiniest resume according to a Dallas Observer story from seven years ago. This story is overblown. Let Crabtree's agent speak for him, that's what he's paid to do. Besides, the #3 pick, #4 pick, #9 pick, #11 pick, #12 pick and #19 pick all haven't signed as of now as well. They just don't have advisers saying stupid things in the press.

The Patriots will salvage another Raiders' cast off. Al Davis, you are officially Bob Kraft's bitch.


How could we miss this yesterday? The A's signed Brett Tomko!


European Futbol aka Soccer invades the Bay Area tomorrow night when FC Barcelona takes on Chivas after the Earthquakes-Crew match. Are you pumped? Thought so.

Mark Purdy says that it's not that Americans don't like soccer, they just don't like bad scoccer. I will partially agree. Soccer is boring. Why do you think the fans have to make up songs, hop up and down all game and brawl?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wire Check - 8/6/09


* The worst Giants signing yet and Sabaen is not to blame for this HUGE mistake.

* There must be someone out there who thinks the Raiders are worth following.

* Everything you may or may not want to know about the Niners training camp.


* Nothing would make me happier than to see some team give Rajai Davis more than $1 mm to play baseball. I really think there is a chance Beane gives him a Terrance Long contract (3 years, $11 mm). Awesome.

* Andrew Baggarly had a great chance to write about how much sense it makes for Fielder to play for the Giants now that he hates the Dodgers but he decided to write something pointless about him wanting to go after Jonathan Sanchez. Sometimes I think it is amazing that guys with this much access can write such bland garbage.

* I love that piling on Moneyball is getting out of hand.


* This week tells you how Americans like to watch high quality soccer. Next week, he will tell you that Americans would rather watch the San Francisco Giants instead of the Fresno Grizzles. I really don't understand why newspapers are going out of business.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wire Check - 8/5/09


Ray Ratto with a stupid argument to sign Crabtree at all costs, because the 49ers need him. Um, yeah. That's kind of how the top 10 picks work, the worst teams get to draft first and they pick players that they need. It's pretty basic. Did Eugene Parker, Crabtree's agent, talk to Ratto recently? Here's my counter-argument: Why haggle over $2M when you're still going to get $20M guaranteed? If you're so good, load the contract with incentives and prove it on the field.

Paul Gutierrez' Tuesday Raiders' camp wrap up.


Bruce Jenkins checks in with the state of the NBA Western conference.

Marcus Thompson has the entire Warriors' 2009-2010 schedule.


Gwen Knapp takes an in-depth look at A's prospect, Cliff Pennington.

Monte Poole says Sabean deserves a contract extension because he scouted and signed Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Pablo Sandoval, et al. Where Do I begin? Pablo Sandoval looks like the only everday, legitimate position player Sabean's produced in 13 years and Sabean is still 0-for-the draft in that department. Poole goes on to say that Lincecum and Cain are already the most dominating NL duo since Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. Really? I mean, I hope so, but let's give it another season, shall we?

Joe Martinez is back from getting hit on the head by a batted ball and is ready for his first MLB start.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wire Check - 8/4/09


* A's win. Take the Rangers to win today.

* The Giants could get the world for Matt Cain. It is going to be an interesting off-season for the Giants. Giants win.


* Heyward-Bey is not very good. I know, I know ... not newsworthy.

* I really feel sorry for Jeff Tedford. How is he going to survive on a salary of less than $1.8 mm!?

* So much for Arena football.

* Michael Crabtree will get more money than Heyward-Bey. You heard it here first.


* For all you hockey fans out there, the Sharks are interested in a big time goal scorer. In other news, they will break your heart again next year.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wire Check - 8/3/09


Bruce Jenkins has an interesting idea to help clubs introduce propsects to the fans.It'd be cool, but seems unlikely. It would be nice for CSNBA to broadcast some minor leagues games during the break, though.

Gwen Knapp sprinkles sunshine and rainbows on the Giants and then bats her eyes. But Krukow as a minister? That's good stuff.

When you have to resort to talking up a two-hit game by Rajai Davis, you might be an A's fan.


Kawakami's review of the first weekend of 49ers training camp.

Matt Maiocco's update of yesterday afternoon's 49ers practice mentions Vernon Davis is the leading receiver thus far.

Kawakami also talked to Vernon Davis yesterday and Davis likes the new offense that has him running shorter routes.

Javon Walker, yes THAT Javon Walker, looks great. Darrius Heyward-Bey? Not so much.


Mark Purdy thinks the Sharks have a good shot at landing premier goal scorerer, DannyHeatley.