NHL Free agent thoughts

by misterd 27. July 2009 05:04

Thoughts on some NHL free agents still without a new team:  I really tried to stay away from familiar names, but these two, Petr Sykora and Mats Sundin stick out to me as "curious".  Sykora had a solid regular season but seemed to disappear in the playoffs and Sundin was a much ballyhooed pick up for Vancouver that supposedly guaranteed a Stanley Cup run for the Canucks.  At 32 and 39 respectively the two may be looking at greatly reduced roles wherever they may land.

From defensemen the one that sticks out to me is Darryl Sydor of Dallas.  A leader on and off the ice, he would be a good fit looking for a team that needs to improve defensively quickly.  This could apply to a contender looking for a specific role to be filled, or a young team that would benefit from a "player coach" of sorts.  At 38 and a couple of Stanley Cups to his credit the idea of teaching while finishing his career might be appealing to him.

Goaltenders, a soft spot for me.  Olaf Kolzig and Curtis Joseph are out there, but lets stretch our imaginations a bit here as both those storied netminders have had long successful careers.  Manny Fernandez (Boston) comes to mind for me.  Every time I get to see him I think he could be that dependable #1, but only in Minnesota did it happen for a long stretch of games.  Is he one of those guys that perhaps despite solid numbers there is something under the surface that scares teams from bestowing #1 status to him?  Hard to tell, so perhaps if you are a team a year or so away with a young netminder in the pipeline, Fernadez could be your man at the right price to fill the gap and solve the mystery once and for all.

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trading deadline around the corner

by misterd 24. July 2009 06:50

Ok, I'm from Cleveland so here are some baseball thoughts as the trading deadline nears.  The Tribe has two guys that are very attractive to contenders in Cliff Lee & Victor Martinez.  I don't necessarily think the Indians are that far from contention in the near future, so I don't think they will "push" getting rid of either.  A small, but potentially interesting move they did make was moving Rafael Betancourt to Colorado to clear his 5mill for next year from payroll.  Reports also from inside the Indians are that other non baseball related jobs are being cut such as ushers, ticket takers and such as cost cutting measures since attendance and revenue are way down.  Since the team on the field right now isn't producing any excitement or has any real identity with fans it shouldn't come as a surprise that steps are being being taken to reduce the entire organizations payroll.  Another thing I have noticed as an alarming pattern with the Tribe, is how ex-Indians seem to thrive when given a chance elsewhere that started under Eric Wedge.  Two that stick out are Franklin Guttierrez and Jeremy Guthrie that seem to have become very solid players when out from under what appears to be Wedge's extremely thin line of failure.  Young players seem to be afraid of making mistakes in his lineups.  Another example for this year is Jeremy Sowers.  Admittedly he cannot seem to get past the 5th inning, but isn't that what development is about, taking your lumps?  Why is he not pitching every 5th day for the seaon as David Huff is?  Toma Okha, are you kidding me?  It could be because the Tribe has too many of the same guy in Sowers, Huff, Laffey and even Scott Lewis, soft tossing lefties.  They all can benefit from being around Cliff Lee, so that is why I think Lee may stay and Martinez may go.  Chris Jimminez made his 1st ML start at catcher yesterday and that could be a sign that Martinez will be on the move in the next few days.  Just a few thoughts to consider.

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Take Me out to the Ballgame

by Capece 6. July 2009 07:06



 
Sitting poolside the other day, sipping my drink and taking a long draw on my San Cristobal El Morro, it occurred to me that the only two days of the year that there aren't any regular or preseason professional U.S. sporting events are the days before and after the MLB Allstar Game. That means, when action is your income, you've got to get a piece of the Midsummer Classic. Talk about baseball running in streaks, the AL currently is on a 12 game unbeaten streak and are 17-3-1 since 1988 winning the last three games by just one run. The AL streak follows a NL streak tht saw the NL win 22 of 25 over the years 1963 to 1987 with the NL winning 11 in row starting in 1963. As usual both teams are loaded, but three of the AL sluggers, Jason Bay (BOS), Josh Hamilton (TEX), and Evan Longoria (TB) have been slowing down going into the final week before the game and Mark Texiera (NY) has cooled off following a scorching June. We will keep an eye on them. Both teams have plenty of pitching with Zack Greinke (KC) and Roy Halladay (TOR) taking a back seat to nobody. NL starters Tim Lincecum (SF), Matt Cain (SF), Josh Johnson (FL), and Chad Billingsley (LA) are an outstanding group of young hurlers. Will the NL finally end the AL winning streak? No team has ever one more than 11 in a row--2002 was a tie. Will the NL ever be the home team in a World Series? Will "Capece Sports" be named the most interesting handicappers in the world? For the answer to these and all other questions, stay tuned for our Allstar Game picks whether you are gonna play the moneyline, the runline, or the totals. And let's make some money because that's what its all about...
 
Come get some! Zeke