O’s Ink Balfour to 2 year, 14 mil deal

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The Orioles finally spent some money. Hopefully this move will mean a few more are coming in the next few days. Still need OF, DH, and a SP. Plenty on the market. I like Balfour a lot. Was an absolute stud last year posting a 2.59 ERA with 38 saves. Only 72 Ks, but he gets the job done, and is an absolute savage.  A’s fans loved this dude, would go wild when he entered the game. He’s the perfect closer to land in B-more.

A little surprised he went so cheap. I know he has injury issues, but dude was an All-Star and reliable all season.

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CBS Fucks up big time; Plays ‘Africa’ over a Nelson Mandela memorial montage

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Huffingtonpost

“CBS This Morning” raised eyebrows on Tuesday when it played Toto’s “Africa” while previewing an upcoming segment about Nelson Mandela’s memorial services.

The show played the hit 80s rock song to footage of people paying tribute to Mandela in South Africa, before cutting to commercial break.

CBS is going to be looking for a new Producer and Editor after this one. CBS gets coverage of the memorial of one of the most important and influential politicians and philanthropists of our time and they play Africa- Toto to a montage of people crying and celebrating his life(including his wife). Look, I love this song, nothing better than doing the rain dance at the bar at 2am, but were talking about NELSON MANDELA here. Was waiting for them to play ‘Waka Waka(This Time For Africa)’- Shakria after. Complete amateur hour. It’s pretty obvious the only choice here is a traditional South African song to lead into the comercial break. I would love for CBS to play ‘Africa’ at my memorial and have the crowd simultaneously bust out the rain dance, but once again, we are talking about Nelson Mandela.

You think things couldn’t get any worse and then the sign language impersonator was just making shit up. Dude had no idea how to sign and was thrown out there to make a fool out of himself. It’s not like he only did one speech, dude was out there fake signing for a solid hour +. Must have ran out of ideas after the first 3 minutes.  If I was this dude, I’d be sweating like a whore in church, knowing there was no chance this could be successful. Could you imagine being a deaf person and watching this? Must have been the most confusing/funniest thing of all time. Dude just signing random words that are not sentences and have nothing to do with Nelson Mandela. They probably got a good chuckle when they realized the dude was bullshitting. Or the complete opposite.

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This is my favorite one. The NBA 3 pointer sign. Spot on.

Phillies put Papelbon, Lee, and Hamels on the block. O’s need to make a move.

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The O’s are in need of a closer and a starting the pitcher. The Phillies are willing to sell some of their top talent in the rotation and pen. The O’s need to take a serious look at some possibile moves. Papelbon, who is 33, is the first target. His 13 million a year contract is not what the Orioles are looking for, but his numbers as a closer are. His past two year in Philly have been pretty good, posting a 2.44 ERA in ’12  and 2.92 in ’13. He recorded 31 and 38 saves, also missing some time with injuries in both years. The Phillies want to move him so a deal could easily be made. We know the Phillies will be looking for pitching, and they are not going to sell him cheap, so expect one of the top O’s pitching prospects to be involved. Gausman, Rodriguez,  Bundy(probably not) are what the Phils are looking for. If the O’s want to spend, they could try and do a package deal and pick up Cole Hamels/Cliff Lee at the same time. Hamles is 29 while Lee is 35, and they are both dominate lefties. The Phillies would rather move Lee, so we’ll start with that. Cliff Lee and Papelbon are going to cost the O’s a lot. Moving JJ Hardy along with a Gausman/Rodriguez/Bundy and another top prospect would probably be the only way the Phillies move both these guys. I just don’t see the O’s moving all three prospects and likely another 1 or 2 like Schoop. The O’s will also take a huge hit on their salary, absorbing 13 mil from Papelbon and and  21.5 from Lee. JJ Hardy’s 7 million a year contract would help a little.

The O’s are set up to win this season. Both New York and Boston are missing key players from the team last year. The Rays should be without David Price. The O’s desperately need pitching, and a deal like this would give them a solid #1 pitcher, which is what they have been searching for, and a shut down closer. Looking at the division, now is the time to move prospect for proven veterans. Instead of Lee, the O’s could go for Hamels but would likely have to move Bundy, Hardy, and possibly Rodriguez.

The O’s have all the pieces to make this trade. There are not many teams with talented prospects like the O’s, and I’m sure Philly called the Orioles immediately when they decided to put this talent on the block. I like Bundy, Gausman, and Rodriguez  as the possible 1,2,3 of the future, but with the way the division looks now, this could be one of the only years the O’s have a chance to make a run for the Series. It’s do or die right now for Buck and the boys. The AL East is at its weakest its been in years(still very strong), and the O’s need to strike. Pull the trigger and bring in some veteran pitching. The Phillies are more than willing to move these players if the right deal is put on the table.

Possible Trades:

Philies have a strong minor league system and can provide a solid prospect for the O’s.

1.) Papelbon + minor leaguer for JJ Hardy + a top prospect (Rodriguez/Gausman)

2.) Papelbon + Lee/Hamels + minor leaguer for JJ Hardy 3 top prospects and 1-2 good prospects

Phillies could also be looking at Matusz, Tommy Hunter, and O’Day as possible players to land. They will need someone to close for them if they move Papelbon.

Ravens vs Vikings Reaction

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Final Score: Baltimore 29 Minnesota 26

I had the opportunity to actually be at this game yesterday, and I have to say– I challenge you to find a better environment for football than an absolute snow day in Baltimore. It was electric. The beers were flowing, the Fireball was smuggled in, and everyone was like a giddy kid on Christmas throughout the entire game. 

Dennis Pitta being back on the field was huge. Most Ravens fans know the chemistry he and Flacco have on the field, and it couldn’t have come at a better time than the 1-yard TD catch on 4th and goal. Huge. This sparked what has been called the most insane final 2 minutes in NFL history. SIX lead changes. Jacoby taking a Kickoff back for a score. Vikings answering. Twice. 

Then, Joe cool came through to Downtown Marlon Brown for the final score of the game. This was Baltimore football. It’s never easy, but we get it done. Blue collar, bare knuckle. We’re still alive in hunt for the playoffs. 

 

PS: Adrian Peterson, yeah snowballs were being thrown. You’re playing in a football game with snow everywhere. Lighten up a little bit and build a snowman or something. 

World Cup 14 Bracket Announced Today

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So Brazil decided to make a spectacle of the World Cup selections and broadcast it live on ESPN2. It included legendary soccer players like Zinedine Zidane and smoke show host Fernanda Lima show it all off.

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Looking at the Bracket, The US of A is going to have a tough time getting through Group G. Groups B, D, and G are all very tough while the rest should be pretty straight forward. Key match up for the USA is when they take on CR7 and Portugal. I expect Germany to sweep through this group, and Portugal, Ghana, and the US to battle it out for the 2nd spot. Ghana is no laughing stock either, playing pretty well in the past 2 cups. Portugal is getting older and Ronaldo is pretty much their only effective offensive player. US needs to play slow and counter the Portugal attack. I think there is a possibility for the US to advance and play France or Switzerland, both very winnable games.

Group A: Brazil should steam role and I think Croatia could come out of that group. Mexico will  battle for the 2nd spot though. Futbol is godly over there.

Group C: One of the weaker groups, Colombia should easily make it through with striker extraordinaire Radamel Falcao leading the way. Ivory Coast and Japan should be in line for the second spot. Those Japanese are tough.

Group E: Not a good bracket at all. France and Switzerland through.

Group B: Don’t sleep on the Chileans. Spain should advance, and Holland, but Chile is a solid squad. Might be able to squeak out an upset vs the Dutch.

Group D: This is a brutal group. Solid top to bottom. Italy should make it out. Uruguay would be my pick but England seems poised to make a run. Costa Rica is a solid team. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go 0-3.

Group F: Argentina B team will roll through this group. I guess Nigeria makes it through. Pretty weak bracket.

Group H: Belgium and Russia are pretty solid. Belgium has some of the best in the Prem league, including a ridiculous 2 deep set of  midfielders and wingers that could start almost anywhere in the world. Problem is they don’t have a reliable striker.  South Korea is not a team to sleep on though. I could see them sneaking in with a solid line up of Prem and Bundesliga players.

US will need to get team chemistry at an all time high to come out of this group. Hopefully we can get Donovan, Altidore, and Dempsy on the same page and make a little run into the 2nd round and then face a France/Switzerland team which we are capable of beating. We’ll likely face Germany next and even after that Brazil, so things are not looking up for the boys. Let’s bring them hell though, US of A style!

America F

O’s Feldman Leaves for Astros

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(MLB Trade Rumors) 

The Astros have agreed to a three-year, $30MM contract with right-hander Scott Feldman, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports ). It’s been a busy few days for Feldman’s agent, Matt Brown, as he also represents Curtis Granderson, who just agreed to a four-year, $60MM deal with the Mets.

Feldman’s contract represents both a significant raise for the pitcher — he earned $6MM in 2013 — and a significant change in philosophy for the Astros. Houston trimmed payroll in 2013 to the point where Erik Bedard‘s $1.15MM salary made him the only Astro with a salary north of $1MM. By signing Feldman and acquiring Dexter Fowler and his $7.35MM salary earlier this week, the Astros are making good on their promise to fans that they will spend money this offseason.

I will be the first to admit I trust Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter. 100% absolute, complete trust in the rebuild of the Orioles. But, why are we still in rebuild mode? Shouldn’t we be putting the final pieces of the puzzle together to put ourselves in contention? We have the Yankees doing their usual spend, spend, spend (AND the Mariners, ha!), and we’re sitting waiting to pick up middle-tier guys. Newsflash, players want to be paid. In my humble opinion as a long-time suffering Orioles fan… give us the guys we need to win. Spend the money. Keep putting people in the seats and at the bar in center field. Bring people to the Yard to stuff their faces with Boog’s and down it all at Dempsey’s. The only way that’s going to happen, is if we win. The only way we’re going to win, is if we have the players in-place to do so. Feldman wasn’t the guy to take us to the promised land, but it sure seems like we have more holes to fill now than this time last year.

Mariners sign Cano to 10 year 240mil contract, Bad News for O’s

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With the Mariners overpaying big time for Cano, this means the Yankees now have 40+ million to spend on starting pitching. This likely means they will sign two top starters for 15-20 million each, spiking the the price for pitching. As starters become more valuable as the Yanks sign them to ridiculous contacts, players like Bronson Arroyo and Paul Maholm will look to cash in. My guess is the Yankees sign Ervin Santana or Bartolo Colon to a monster deal and then sign Kuroda to a similar one. They also have their eye on Masahiro Tanaka from Japan who posted ridiculous numbers last year. This leaves the O’s with limited options with all starting pitchers now wanting huge contracts. Further down the list are unreliable pitchers like Jerome Williams(32), Tommy Hanson, Shaun Marcum(31), and Jason Marquis(35). One of these older pitchers may be a target with the market up. Tommy Hanson had some promise but has dealt with injuries his entire career. Roberto Hernandez aka Fausto Carmona before being caught for fake identification so he would be younger is available too.

O’s need to make a move quickly before the Yankees ruin the market, but if I’m a starting pitcher, I’m waiting for the Yankees to make a move and cash in.

Funny thing about the Cano deal, the Mariners will still not make the playoffs. The offense is not very good. The division is stacked(OAK, TEX, LAA, HOU[jokes]). They need to spend around 30 mil on the outfield and pick up another starting pitcher to even have a chance at the playoffs.