Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

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Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:27 am

Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

If the Yankees were to back out, it would hurt the Twins' position with the Red Sox and Mets.

By JOE CHRISTENSEN, Star Tribune

Last update: January 15, 2008 - 12:00 AM


http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/13784861.html


Are the Twins overplaying their hand in the Johan Santana trade talks?

It's possible. That thought came Monday, when ESPN.com ran the headline, "Source: Yankees again backing away from Santana."

If the Yankees ever truly reached the point of no return, it would theoretically cripple the Twins' leverage.

The Red Sox just won the World Series, and they have plenty of pitching to win again this year. They might want Santana, but they don't need him.

Their main goal has been keeping him away from the Yankees.

Meanwhile, the Mets need Santana desperately. But if the Red Sox and Yankees don't step forward with better offers, the Mets might not either.

When the Mets offered Carlos Gomez, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra, the Twins asked them to throw in top prospect Fernando Martinez. The Mets are holding their ground, offering Gomez but not Martinez.

The Newark Star-Ledger reported in today's editions that the Mets prefer Baltimore's Erik Bedard to Santana, as Bedard wouldn't require a big contract extension to complete the deal.

If a collapsing market caused the Mets to reduce their offers, an argument could be made that the Twins overplayed their hand. Some will argue they should have taken the best offer they had at the winter meetings and been done with this.

But the Twins seem confident they still have three interested teams. To them, the Santana situation is still status quo.

Citing a baseball official with knowledge of the talks, ESPN Radio (AM-1050) in New York reported Monday that the Yankees had pulled their offer with Phil Hughes off the table.

The New York Times has reported that the Hughes offer hasn't been available since the winter meetings.

"It's most likely that we're going to stay with what we've got," Yankees Senior Vice President Hank Steinbrenner told The Times on Monday. "That always can change -- of course, that's up to Minnesota -- but there were no offers on the table. You don't make an offer unless you 100 percent intend to do it, and the final decision hasn't been made."

The Associated Press also reported Steinbrenner saying Monday night that no decision had been reached, and that the Yankees and Twins remained in discussions -- "There's still a little talk back and forth," he said.

The Twins seem confident they could bring the Yankees back with one phone call. Asked about the earlier ESPN headline, Twins General Manager Bill Smith said, "I'm not going to start responding to every report coming out of New York or Boston."

These teams have discussed countless scenarios. The Twins know the deals the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets would do, and vice versa.

No matter how much their patience is being tested, the Twins are waiting for these teams to come to them.

Asked if he can foresee a point where the Twins will announce they are no longer listening to offers for Santana, Smith said, "You never want to lock yourself out of an opportunity to make yourself better."

Smith disagreed with the theory that if certain teams pull out, the Santana market could collapse.

"Anybody who makes a trade for him is going to do it because it makes them better," he said. "We're not talking about a fourth starter here. We're talking about the best pitcher in the game."

That's a pretty good sign that the Twins won't lower their ultimate asking price to take an offer they can't stomach. Santana still could be their Opening Night starter March 31.

And that's the worst-case scenario.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:33 am

STILL PLAYING
JOHAN-TO-YANKS COULD HAPPEN AT LOWER PRICE

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01152008/sports/yankees/still_playing_91468.htm



January 15, 2008 -- The Yankees New York Yankees haven't abandoned the idea of landing Johan Santana, despite whispers that suggest otherwise, but the Twins may have to initiate the discussions.

Yesterday, in dismissing an Internet report that indicated his team is no longer a player in the Santana sweepstakes, Yankees GM Brian Cashman suggested he could still make a deal for the ace lefty, if the Twins lower the asking price.

Cashman wouldn't name the players Minnesota wants, but another Yankees official said the Twins haven't budged from their demand of Phil Hughes Phil Hughes , Melky Cabrera Melky Cabrera , Ian Kennedy and Jeff Marquez.

"I know what [the Twins] want," Cashman said. "If they call and give us something else to think about, we'll discuss it."

The Red Sox and Mets are the other suitors for Santana, who can become a free agent after this season. Even if the Yankees and Twins were to agree on players, Santana and the Yanks would have to negotiate a new contract. Santana is looking for a six-year $150 million deal or perhaps a seven-year pact for slightly less than $25 million annually. The Yankees have indicated they won't offer seven years.

As for the Mets, according to a person familiar with the situation, they are unwilling to go further than a five-year extension for Santana. That would be added on to his current 2008 pact, meaning the Mets would still control him for six years.

The Mets, the person said, are not engaged in heavy discussions with the Twins. They have discussed what prospects would potentially be included in a deal, but there is no standing "best offer," per se. The Mets are refusing to include Jose Reyes, David Wright or Carlos Beltran.

Twins GM Bill Smith told The Post that although spring training is approaching, that doesn't mean the Twins are closer to having the situation settled.

"We're not locking ourselves into anything," Smith said. "Right now Johan Santana's our Opening Day starter and I like our chances. I keep saying that. If he's our Opening Day starter, I like our chances."

Smith also said it would be "ideal" to get major league-ready players back in any deal, though he admitted he'd be willing to make a trade without that included as well.

"It's a sweet deal if we can get Santana, we need a No. 1 guy," Cano said yesterday in Randolph, NJ, where he spoke to elementary school children.

Cano's enthusiasm for a Santana trade to the Yanks isn't dampened by the fact it would likely mean dealing Cabrera, his closest friend on the team.

Though Cabrera was the Yankees' starting center fielder for most of last season, Cano said there's no guarantee that would be the case in 2008 - Johnny Damon is under contract for two more years - and a trade might be the best thing for Cabrera.

"I love Melky, but he would play every day in Minnesota, so if there's a deal it's probably going to be great for him," Cano said. "I'm going to be happy for him, that's what I told him."

As much as Cano wants Santana on the team, he indicated the only way not getting him would be a catastrophe is if the Red Sox did.

"If they get Santana, they're going to be a way better team," Cano said. "But I hope we get him. It's not a good [thing] for us if they get Santana."





STILL PLAYING
JOHAN-TO-YANKS COULD HAPPEN AT LOWER PRICE

The Hank ans his Puppet aka Cashman finally speaks and his thoughts on Santana

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01152008/sports/yankees/still_playing_91468.htm

Yesterday, in dismissing an Internet report that indicated his team is no longer a player in the Santana sweepstakes, Yankees GM Brian Cashman suggested he could still make a deal for the ace lefty, if the Twins lower the asking price.

Cashman wouldn't name the players Minnesota wants, but another Yankees official said the Twins haven't budged from their demand of Phil Hughes Phil Hughes , Melky Cabrera Melky Cabrera , Ian Kennedy and Jeff Marquez.

"I know what [the Twins] want," Cashman said. "If they call and give us something else to think about, we'll discuss it."

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:33 am

STILL PLAYING
JOHAN-TO-YANKS COULD HAPPEN AT LOWER PRICE

The Loudmouth Hank and his Puppet aka Cashman finally speaks and his thoughts on Santana

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01152008/sports/yankees/still_playing_91468.htm

Yesterday, in dismissing an Internet report that indicated his team is no longer a player in the Santana sweepstakes, Yankees GM Brian Cashman suggested he could still make a deal for the ace lefty, if the Twins lower the asking price.

Cashman wouldn't name the players Minnesota wants, but another Yankees official said the Twins haven't budged from their demand of Phil Hughes Phil Hughes , Melky Cabrera Melky Cabrera , Ian Kennedy and Jeff Marquez.

"I know what [the Twins] want," Cashman said. "If they call and give us something else to think about, we'll discuss it."

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:40 am

PACKERS B-WARE
GIANTS' B-TEAM DEFENSE LOOKING A-OK

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01152008/sports/giants/packers_b_ware_523848.htm


January 15, 2008 -- GREEN BAY - Tony Romo can now go on a longer vacation, but Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin isn't planning to take the week off just because the Giants New York Giants are down to a B-team secondary.

In fact, Philbin swears that while watching tape of the Giants' 21-17 win in Dallas on Sunday he couldn't tell the difference between players such as Aaron Ross Aaron Ross and R.W. McQuarters R.W. McQuarters .

"Those guys filling in rose to the challenge," he said. "They got good pressure on the quarterback and he wasn't able to sit back there and pick them apart, but those [defensive backs] seemed to be in the right spots and play the ball in the air pretty well.

"They were disrupting some routes at the line of scrimmage, overloaded sometimes and weren't afraid to bring a corner one time, a safety the next time and bring pressure. They seem to have confidence in their guys' ability to cover. They present a lot of looks."

Brett Favre threw for 285 yards in the Packers' 35-13 rout of the Giants at the Meadowlands in Week 2 and might just do it again on what is forecast to be a bitterly cold but not windy or slippery day. Regardless of the conditions, the Giants must be able to run the ball to limit Favre's touches.

Eli Manning, who had hurt his left shoulder in the opening game loss in Dallas, played well against the Packers the first time (16-for-29, 211 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT). But Favre played better (29-for-38, 286 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT).

The Giants played the Packers with Brandon Jacobs on the shelf, with Ahmad Bradshaw just a gleam in Tom Coughlin's eye and Derrick Ward as their only ball carrier (15 for 90 yards). Now they are a two-headed offensive backfield monster.

"I'm still doing some research on (Bradshaw)," said defensive coordinator Bob Sanders. "But what I saw today, he's an excellent back. You got the big bruiser guys who can run and then you have the smaller quick guy who is full speed sideways and can cut back."

Sanders swore he wasn't snowing The Post that he's not especially hoping for snow Sunday because of Eli Manning's bad weather struggles.

"Not really, to be honest with you," the coordinator said, his nose stretching the chains. "Hopefully playing here in January would be to our advantage over anybody, but the Giants play in cold weather too

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:51 am

Yankees Expect to Open Camp Without Santana


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/sports/baseball/15Yankees.html?_r=1&ref=baseball&oref=slogin

Phil Hughes has been working out at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Fla., lately, and Johan Santana has been doing the same at the Minnesota Twins’ facility in Fort Myers. They will most likely be in the same place when spring training starts in four weeks

The Yankees have not had a formal trade offer for the Twins to accept since the winter meetings last month, and they expect to open camp with Hughes, and not Santana, in their rotation.

“It’s most likely that we’re going to stay with what we’ve got,” the senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said on Monday. “That always can change — of course, that’s up to Minnesota — but there were no offers on the table. You don’t make an offer unless you 100 percent intend to do it, and the final decision hasn’t been made.”

Hal Steinbrenner, Hank’s brother and a Yankees general partner, has advised against trading for Santana, and General Manager Brian Cashman is also opposed to a deal. Now that the principal owner George Steinbrenner has put both of his sons in charge of the team, Hank and Hal must agree on major issues.

Hal Steinbrenner has shown no inclination to raise a payroll that is already about $200 million. And while Hank Steinbrenner has not ruled out a deal, he is unlikely to overrule Cashman’s recommendation on such an important decision.

“He’s the general manager, and I’m going to pay attention to the opinion of our top baseball people,” Steinbrenner said.

The Twins are not counting the Yankees out, and they continue to hope for a match with the Mets or the Boston Red Sox, who remain interested. But the Yankees’ interest is waning, and all signs are that the Yankees will proceed with Cashman’s plan to build around homegrown pitchers.

“With young pitching, everybody seems to want to keep all of them — a lot of the fans and media seem to lean that way,” Steinbrenner said.

“But everybody’s got to remember, we’ve all got to be patient. They’re only going to get better. That’s a fact. The young pitchers are only going to get better and better each month. If one of them has two or three bad starts in a row, I won’t care, because I know what they can do, and all our people — all our baseball experts — know what they can do.”

Steinbrenner said he would also defer to the judgment of Cashman, Manager Joe Girardi and the pitching coach Dave Eiland on how to initially use Joba Chamberlain, who has shown he can thrive in relief. But Steinbrenner left no doubt as to Chamberlain’s long-term future.

“He’s behind in innings compared to Hughes and Ian Kennedy, and how they bring him along is up to Joe and Dave Eiland and Brian,” Steinbrenner said. “If they want to start him out in the bullpen, that’s fine. But everybody sees him eventually as a starter, it’s that simple.”

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:59 am

Weather or not Eli Manning, Giants survive Lambeau is all in chilling details

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/2008/01/15/2008-01-15_weather_or_not_eli_manning_giants_surviv.html?page=0



Man is essentially a tropical animal. Mannings, too.

Which is why the Giants should be concerned about the six-day weather forecast for a stretch of tundra in the upper Midwest section of America known to the bundled locals as Green Bay - a place where there is so much snow and ice that city Ordinance 9.30 fines residents up to $500 for depositing any extra frozen water into streets or alleys.

It appears a Canadian high-pressure weather system will dip and perch over northern Wisconsin Sunday. Game-time temperatures should fall through the single digits while the NFC championship heads into the night. As any physician will tell you, nerve cells in our bodies do not operate as quickly under such conditions. Manual dexterity (i.e., passing and catching) begins to deteriorate below about 45 degrees.

At 5 degrees, the expected temperature on Sunday, a quarterback generally becomes a pocket Popsicle, unless his name is Brett Favre. Favre, who may be part Yeti, holds a 43-5 record at home when the game-time temperature is 34 degrees or lower.

Eli Manning, a Louisiana native, has never operated in weather as merciless as this. His pro history under unpleasant conditions is less than impressive. He hates the cold as much as he struggles with the wind. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Manning has a quarterback rating under 60 and a completion rate under 50% when the temperature is 39 degrees or below.

The adversity still can all work in the Giants' favor. Under such difficult conditions, the game plan figures to become more modest as Manning looks for receivers on short slants underneath or on developing screens. This conservative scheme has worked recently for the Giants, better than Manning's wobbly long game.

During past cold snaps, he has quarterbacked without the use of an insular glove on his throwing hand. Tom Coughlin predicted yesterday that Manning is unlikely to change his bare-naked habit on Sunday.

"It depends," Coughlin said. "That's up to the individual. I prefer the contact to your hands, to your skin, to your touch. Certainly a lot of that is up to the quarterback. Eli has used the hand warmer, and come to the sidelines between series.

"I don't ever remember him ever complaining about it."

Manning doesn't talk much, even when it's warm out and his teeth aren't chattering. There is no use whimpering now. Nobody can throw a red flag to challenge a cold front.

Coughlin was once a wide receivers coach in Green Bay, before he came to the Giants in a similar capacity. Like Manning, Coughlin is not a fountain of anecdotes when it comes to frigid environs, or anything else.

"I don't remember," Coughlin said. "Of course it was cold. I don't remember any game that was more cold than others. From Thanksgiving on, you can expect any kind of weather at that point in time. I remember a day in Chicago one day that was really cold."

Coughlin doesn't plan to pack Manning or any other players in dry ice this week for acclimation. The coach says he might drag the team outside in East Rutherford, if there is a day "that's chilly with snow around."

"If not, then we'll mentally prepare ourselves and go play it," he said. "You like to think going in the cold is not going to change your plan."

If nothing else, the Giants unexpectedly have earned themselves a rare, glowing football moment at a historic sporting site. The Packers also were not supposed to be nearly this good going into 2007. But now, these two famous franchises will face each other in a big playoff game for the first time since 1962, when the Packers won 16-7 at Yankee Stadium. In 1961, the Pack trounced the Giants in Green Bay, 37-0, in what was then called New City Stadium, later renamed Curly Lambeau Field.

"Lambeau Field is a very special place for football," Coughlin said. "No question, if you're a historian you have to feel that way about Lambeau Field and Green Bay. We try to keep everything in perspective - the next game, next opponent. We're coming to grips with a Green Bay team that we played against and lost (to) once in the season."

The temperature that day, Sept.16 in East Rutherford, was in the 60s. Different weather, different Giants.

fjbondy@netscape.net

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:09 am

Pinch hitting: River Ave. Blues



http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/01/15/pinch-hitting-river-ave-blues/#comments

January is usually a slow month for baseball news. So we’ve lined up a series of guest bloggers to entertain you. Next up are the guys from River Ave. Blues.

Ben, Mike, and Joe have been blogging about the Yankees for years, but only came together to form River Ave. Blues a year ago. One’s an engineer, one’s a writer, and one’s an aspiring lawyer, but you’ll have to figure out which is which.

Here is their post:

Ten days ago, the YES Network polled its readers on a topic that’s left Yankee fans divided: Who should be Mariano Rivera’s primary set-up man?

As expected, YES gave us the usual suspects: Kyle Farnsworth, LaTroy Hawkins, or Joba Chamberlain. They finished in that order reversed. Fifty-three percent of respondents thought Joba would be the most effective in getting the ball to Mariano. And you know what? They’re right.

Take a look at the team’s pitching splits from 2007. First, notice that the bullpen’s ERA — 4.37 — was actually a tick lower than the starter’s 4.57 mark. Looking at splits by innings, the 8th actually comes out ahead: opposing hitters had a .779 OPS against Yankee pitching, fourth-best frame for the team.

Remove Joba’s twelve 8th inning appearances, and the numbers get worse. That OPS jumps to .788, second worst among the Yanks’ nine innings. Clearly, the Yankees have 8th inning problems, but the answer, we believe, isn’t to sacrifice Joba the starter to improve one inning.

Why, if we see how Joba can impact the 8th inning, do we believe Joba should start? Simple: The more innings you get out of a stud like Joba, the better. Yes, the eighth inning is a critical one, but so are the ones that precede it. We should be able to agree that the Yanks can do things in the earlier innings to make life easier in the eighth.

So then we have to explain why so many Yankee fans would prefer to see Joba the reliever instead of Joba the starter. The answer to this paradox is called informational cascading. Wikipedia, if you please:

…a situation in which every subsequent actor, based on the observations of others, makes the same choice independent of his/her private signal…even if all participants as a collective have overwhelming information in favor of the correct action, each and every participant may take the wrong action.

The vast majority of Yankee fans haven’t been exposed to Joba the starter. The first time many heard of him was a rumor that he could be in the second-half bullpen mix. After the hype, we saw the results: His fastball touches 100, and his slider is unhittable.

Because we Yankee fans, as a collective, are familiar with him only as a reliever, we think he’s the ideal setup man for Mo. We’ve seen it with our own eyes and heard peers talk about it. Most importantly, we’ve seen journalists tout his abilities as a reliever. These scribes really push the informational cascade in one direction, because they have the farthest-reaching voices.

So let’s reverse the cascade. In 1998 and 1999, the Yankees finished first and second in the league in ERA, respectively. In 2001 and 2003 they finished third, and in 2002 they finished fourth. In 2005, they were ninth, 2006 they were seventh, and in 2007 they were eighth.

Now, what’s going to help bring down the team ERA more, 75 innings of Joba, or 150 innings of Joba? Of course, he’s not a proven starter yet, but he’s certainly earned his shot. He has the ability to get the Yankees back into the top third of the league in pitching.

We can’t deny that Joba the reliever would work, but to get to your stud 8th inning guy, you have to lead in that inning. Joba the starter gives you a better chance of doing that. We clearly need help there, and the fact that we have six starters penciled in doesn’t change that one bit. Joba the reliever was larger than life; Joba the starter could be even better.










24 Responses to “Pinch hitting: River Ave. Blues”

1. GRRRRRRRRR January 15th, 2008 at 12:09 am

Someone who actually thinks things through with Joba. That is refreshing.
2. Darkstrand January 15th, 2008 at 12:13 am

omes out ahead: opposing hitters had a .779 OPS against Yankee pitching, fourth-best frame for the team.

Remove Joba’s twelve 8th inning appearances, and the numbers get worse. That OPS jumps to .788, second worst among the Yanks’ nine innings.

——————
-

Your acting like 1% increase is that big a difference.
3. Clare January 15th, 2008 at 12:15 am

Nice post guys.

The wiki quote on cascading didn’t make sense to me, but I get the point you’re making. I think if Joba has a couple of good starts, no one will want to see him in the pen ever again. Although that will get messy if he’s moved to the pen halfway through the season due to innings limits.

I’d rather see him as a starter all season (missing starts as necessary to keep him under his limit). What I’m dying to see is a Beckett/2003 performance from Joba in the postseason.
4. Buddy Biancalana January 15th, 2008 at 12:18 am

Hey Guys-

Great post & love your blog, you do an amazing job. I constantly post items here from your blog, of course giving you full credit.

I love the idea of starting Joba in the bullpen to start the season & then moving him to the rotation around the All Star break. Keeps his innings down & his arm fresh for the pennant race. With injuries he may become a starter sooner though.
5. Bennyboy January 15th, 2008 at 12:20 am

JOba was good as a reliever but the Yankees need people to go into the 8th season.Remember last year in May in 5 days not one pitcher went past 5 innings.Thats with HGH Pettitte and Wang.Joba hasnt even started to use his change-up more which he was just perfecting before being called up…he will be nasty.

And Joba can give you 10 strikouts per 9 innings.REmember Brian Bruney lead the Yankees in Strikeouts in all of April and he was a reliever!!!!But because of the innings limit he will have to start in the Bullpen.I don’t know what the Yankees will do with Phil Hughes and his 77 innings last year.
6. Dan January 15th, 2008 at 12:23 am

thank you for this well thought out piece.

There is a reason that Baseball America rated him as having the best fastball, slider, and curveball in the yankees system. You don’t put all that talent in the minors
7. Bennyboy January 15th, 2008 at 12:29 am

WAs it the REd Sox game where he even though he gave up his first earned run he started using the Breaking ball for the first time. and It looked as good as his slider?I believe he got 4 strikeouts in 2 innings that game.It’s crazy people think he would make a better set-up man.
8. Jack Ransovy January 15th, 2008 at 12:32 am

Nice post guys. I don’t think the pole asked if we want Joba as a starter or a reliever it asked if these were our options who would we take. Hence the answer. I actually think most Yankee fans want to see what Joba can do as a starter though nobody predicts success like his ERA as a reliever an ERA of about 3 is not asking too much. The main problem starts when he pitches too many pitches (aka Innings count). Now it wouldn’t be too much to think that Joba going 6 innings will be less than 90 pitches. Thats why I see Joba starting the year a starter and as the year goes on see how it goes.
9. Chris January 15th, 2008 at 12:32 am

It’s nice to know we still have intelligent Yankee fans who understand a starter is WAY more important than a setup guy. Setup guys grow on trees.
10. Jack Ransovy January 15th, 2008 at 12:34 am

Joba can be an ace starter according to most analysts predictions. It would be a WASTE to leave him in the bullpen.
11. Jack Ransovy January 15th, 2008 at 12:39 am

I still don’t expect the yankees to start Joba on opening day. That belongs with Wang if he’s healthy.
12. Whoever January 15th, 2008 at 12:43 am

6 innings 20 starts = 120 innings. Plus 40 relief innings = 160 innings. They might let him pitch more innings as a starter he doesn’t have a limit of 160 innings.
13. dan January 15th, 2008 at 12:43 am

For those of you commenters here who, for some reason, don’t read River Ave. Blues…. I strongly encourage you to do so. In addition to the major league team as discussed above, Mike A. sets the standard for Yankees minor league blogging.
14. McLovin January 15th, 2008 at 12:55 am

dan-

But does River Ave Blues have great blogging of Patriots fan loving worship up to date action which is even better then the Yankees up to date news here.Also out of subject here’s a great quote from Cano on the MLB site.

“”It’s a great deal if we can get Santana. We need it. We need a No. 1 guy like him. … If [the Red Sox] got Santana, they’re going to be a way better team. I hope we get him. It’s not a good idea for us if they get Santana”

Well said Cano.Cano also doesn’t believe Steroids Pettitte and 199 hits in 199 innings Wang aren’t Aces.
15. Harry January 15th, 2008 at 1:13 am

McLovin: PPPPLLLEEEEAAASSSSEEEE go get a life! y r u wastin yr time on a Yankees blog? Go Blog about yr CHEATING PATRIOTS…
16. Harry January 15th, 2008 at 1:22 am

Oh n by the way, stop dissing Pettitte alright? Just because Pap-a$$ Ortiz wasn’t named in the clearly biased George “Sux Front Office Guy” Mitchell Report doesn’t mean HE’S not on HGH which as we all know is undetectable… 20 HR’s with the Twins one year and all of a sudden he’s jackin 45 with the Sux… Hmmm… Didn’t he admit to taking some kind of mysterious “Protein Shake” back in the day in the Dominican?…
17. McLovin January 15th, 2008 at 1:34 am

Harry-

Actually what I meant about the Patriots thing was that Pete is a Patriots fan on a Yankees blog and talks about them more then the Yankees.Go Giants!!!

But what about the Cano post surpised no one here is saying what I been saying and called a idiot for talking about Santana coming to pin stripes and how HGH Pettitte is not a Ace or 199 hits in 199 innings Wang.
18. McLovin January 15th, 2008 at 1:35 am

Also Ortiz is a Steroids guy I Know.
19. susan mullen January 15th, 2008 at 1:36 am

A poster fell into the trap. The so-called Mitchell report excluded most teams, mainly dealt with players in New York from 2 sources. As such, the “Report” should never have been made public. Whatever Andy did was on 2 occasions in 2002 when he was in Tampa on the DL. It did not enhance his performance. In case you followed his career, I believe he spent some years with the Astros at some point after that. Did the “report” question clubhouse guys in Houston? If not, why not? Was the report about drugs or the Yankees? Mitchell didn’t care enough to do that. Because the report was incomplete, and because today’s media environment is quite negative and vicious, there’s been a free for all against Andy for almost nothing while many others guilty of much worse skated. The Report itself said HGH bears no similarity to steroids and shouldn’t be discussed together, but that’s not the bill of goods that was eagerly sold by the media. Again, no names should ever be discussed because it was a political and media exploitation. Paul Byrd, on the other hand, has used at least 1000 vials of HGH and 100 syringes. He lied. He never came forward. He didn’t deny using through his 2007 ALDS win v the Yankees. But he was outed by ESPN employees shortly before the Mitchell report. Even though he’s an obvious egregious long-time user, he wasn’t a Radomski McNamee guy, therefore he has skated.
20. Hideki Balboni January 15th, 2008 at 1:38 am

Not a bad argument. But one problem is that if Joba is only pitching 150 innings as a starter, the bullpen is going to have a lot more problems than finding an 8th inning set up man. They are going to have to get a lot of extra innings out of a very weak middle relief group. Not good. Also, if Joba is in the rotation, what are the Yanks going to do with Mussina or Kennedy? One of those two will have to go to the pen. But if Mussina and Kennedy have good springs, isn’t the team better with both of them in the rotation and Joba in the pen, rather than Joba in the rotation and Mussina or Kennedy twiddling his thumbs in the bullpen?
21. Harry January 15th, 2008 at 1:41 am

McLovin: I know Pete’s a Pats fan. I’ve been reading this Blog for a year and a half. U r just getting on my nerves since last week when U made that comment of how Theo has constructed 2 championship teams in the last 4 years and Cash hasn’t done anything since 2000. Besides, your Cano comment stinks from sarcasm…
22. Summer January 15th, 2008 at 2:22 am

IMO this was the first solid, fresh post of all the pinch-hitter blogs so far. Well done!
23. iYankees January 15th, 2008 at 2:38 am

Great post guys. Joba was such an excellent addition to the bullpen that it seems only right to wonder how he would do if he continued in that role. However, I totally agree that he would ultimately benefit the team as a starter, especially since relievers, as one other poster stated, often “grow on trees.”

True, we’ve had trouble piecing together a lock-em-down bullpen, but, it’s just a matter of trial and error and providing guys with the necessary chances to see what they can do. One or two of them are bound to pan out for you. Hell, this works for closers (Kevin Gregg, Joakim Soria, etc.), so why not set-up men or middle inning relievers.
24. Kyle Anyone January 15th, 2008 at 3:51 am

Joba will have less innings than IPK and Hughes. Thats what it sounded like by Hank in the Times. Does that mean IPK is starting the season as a major league starter?

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:16 am

Hank Steinbrenner insists Yankees still talking Johan Santana swap

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2008/01/15/2008-01-15_hank_steinbrenner_insists_yankees_still_.html



THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Tuesday, January 15th 2008, 4:00 AM

TAMPA - Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner has not closed the door on a trade for Minnesota Twins lefthander Johan Santana.

"It's still in the deciding process," Steinbrenner said Monday night outside Legends Field at the Yankees' spring training complex. "We're still discussing it. There's still a little talk back and forth."

Phil Hughes and center fielder Melky Cabrera would likely be part of a multiplayer package needed to obtain Santana, a two-time Cy Young Award winner who can become a free agent after this season.

Steinbrenner said reports that the Yankees recently withdrew a formal offer to the Twins are not true.

"There wasn't an official offer anyway. You can't withdraw something that wasn't there," Steinbrenner said. "There was no official offer on the table at this time."

The Mets and Red Sox also are interested in Santana.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:18 am

The METS are NOT in the drivers seat. The Twins have Santana and are now and will always be in the drivers seat concerning any deal involving him. It’s a different “ballgame” here in MN than it is in NY or Boston for that matter. The GM here will not be tarred a feathered if we end up with a couple of draft picks at the end of the year for Johan. The fans know how baseball works. The higher the revenue, the more pennants can be bought. The Yankees paid almost as much in luxury taxes than the Twins entire yearly payroll. We in MN don’t like it, but it is what it is. If you think our GM is just going to hand over Johan for a couple of prospects and a couple of undesirables, you better think again. If your best offer is no good, Santana in a Twins uniform is just fine by me. We’ll take our chances with our draft pick. I hope you get him if we trade him, but ONLY for a good offer. WE have Santana, whether the Yankees or Boston are bidding for him is irrelevant, if the package isn’t good enough, he stays here in MN. Good Luck

Well, if the Twins were happy with the Sox offer they would have taken it by now. The Yankees know this as well. The Yankees know the Mets deal is better and so they don’t need to up their offer and they can even pull it back, which is what they did. The Sox don’t need to go up more in their deal- they won the Series without Santana and if the Yankees don’t get Santana, they don’t even need the trade. Therefore the Mets are in the drivers seat on this.
The only question is if the Twins want to deal now or deal in the middle of the season for a lesser deal. If they do this they get some value from Santana this year, and a deal for less prospects but top quality prospects in the middle of the year. Which in essence gets them two top notch prospects and a half a year of Santana.
The trade in August would look essentially like this.
1/2-season Santana + Gomez + Guerra = Santana
as opposed to the current deal
Gomez + Guerra + Humber + Mulvey = Santana.

I can see why it may be worth it for the Twins to wait on this.

By the way, the Sox and Yanks are poised to use the key players in their offers more as part of their team this year and they will not be part of the deal later in the season as they won’t be able to trade off the key parts of their team for Santana at that point

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:21 am

Giants, Chargers Add Spice, But

Patriots Vs. Packers Will Draw

By John Feinstein
Special to washingtonpost.com
Monday, January 14, 2008; 5:06 PM

There is good news in television-marketing land this morning: Peyton Manning has three extra weeks of offseason this year to tape a few more commercials. If need be, Tony Romo can stand in for Eli in the ones that involve the entire Manning family.

Just when you think the NFL playoffs can't possibly be more boring or more predictable, a day like Sunday jumps up and happens. The defending Super Bowl champions lose at home -- to a team that has more wounded than an episode of M*A*S*H -- and the Dallas/Hollywood Cowboys go down to a team that was suppposed to be firing its coach after a 6-10 season right about now.

The only problem with last Sunday is it might -- repeat might -- lead to two one-sided conference championship games this Sunday.

Raise your hand if you really think the San Diego Chargers with a hobbled quarterback, a hobbled running back and a hobbled star tight end are going into Foxboro and beating the unbeaten New England Patriots. Raise the other hand if you think the gritty New York Giants with young Eli are walking into Green Bay, in what is supposed to be single-digit weather, and ending the made-for-TV movie that is the 2007 Packers, starring 57-year-old Brett Favre.

Of course, the Giants weren't supposed to make the playoffs much less knock off Jessica Simpson's boyfriend and the resurgent Cowboys, with Jerry Jones taking time off from making his commercials to watch the game.

Let's get one thing straight here: the Cowboys didn't lose because Romo spent a weekend in Mexico with Jessica Simpson. They lost because they committed more than 100 yards in penalties, several at key moments. They lost because they allowed the Giants to score in the final minute of the second quarter when they appeared to be taking all the momentum in the world into halftime. They lost because, as Dean Smith used to say, "the other team gives scholarships too." As in, the Giants are pretty good. You don't win nine straight road games without being pretty good. (Memo to T.O., if you're going to do a crying act, you should take off your sunglasses to do it).

Even though fans in Dallas and Indianapolis won't see it this way (understandably) the NFL desperately needed Sunday. Think about the first weekend of the playoffs: there was exactly one competitive game: Jacksonville's win in Pittsburgh. For all the yammering in Washington about the "courage," of the Redskins, the fact is the team collapsed in the fourth quarter. The Giants beat Tampa Bay and the Chargers beat Tennessee in games that were watched only by fans of the four teams (maybe) for most of the four quarters.

Last Saturday wasn't a lot better. The Packers handed the Seahawks two touchdowns early and then made the Seattle defense look like it had never seen snow, scoring on their next six possessions. The Jaguars hung with the Patriots for a while. In fact, it isn't that much of a stretch to say that the Jags might be the second-best team in the league. They're young, strong, fast and well-coached. If the Chargers, with Billy Volek at quarterback in the fourth quarter and Michael Turner at tailback for most of the game, can beat the Colts in Indy, the Jags can beat them too. And it still says here that the best of the NFC -- Packers, Cowboys, Giants, take your pick -- is no better than the fourth- or fifth-best team in the AFC.

As good as the Jags were, Tom Brady was better. Isn't Brady almost always better? How good is 26 of 28. If the Patriots complete this storybook season, not only are they likely to go down as the best team that ever played, but it might be time to make the case that Brady's the best quarterback to play the game. Both those statements take in a lot of territory. The Patriots can lose because their defense has been vulnerable at times and if they do, either this week or in the Super Bowl, all the greatest tags go away.

Brady is another story. He already has three Super Bowl rings. He's probably got at least another five good years to play and he's playing for a great coach and a great organization. Odds are when he retires it is with more Super Bowl titles and more all-time records than anyone at his position. You can go back to Sammy Baugh, Otto Graham, Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr or Joe Montana or, for that matter Favre and Brady is absolutely in the argument right now. He may blow up any arguments before he's done, especially if he finished a 19-0 run of the table with two more victories.

But let's talk about Favre for a moment. More often than not, when an athlete keeps returning for one more year, the ending is sad. They're usually hanging on for the money or because they can't face "Life Without Stardom". Just go back to the great quarterback list for a moment and remember Unitas playing for the Chargers or Montana playing for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Favre looked like he might go out like that, coming back this season to a Packers team that had been awful last year. But Mike McCarthy has proven to be the right coach and Favre looks more like 28 than 38 (except in camera close-ups) and the Packers have been a wonderful story all season. Even if they were to lose to the Giants, no one can say Favre didn't do the right thing coming back.

(Momentary pause here to plead with all the TV and radio pundits to try to avoid the term, "frozen tundra," this week. There is no such thing. A tundra is, "frozen ground." That means if you are Chris Berman and you say "the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field 486 times this week you are saying, "the frozen frozen ground of Lambeau Field." Enough. Please.)

Back to Favre and Brady. You can bet the NFL, after a year that began with Michael Vick making several perp walks, is dying for a Favre-Brady Super Bowl. So is most of America. That's no knock on Eli and the Giants (although a week of Tom Coughlin at Super Bowl press conference might leave people pleading for Bill Belichick to take the microphone) or on the Chargers.

The number of people who believed Norv Turner could coach is probably in single digits. But if you were paying any attention at all you might have noticed that he and Charley Casserly took a moribund Washington team and went 11-5 and won a playoff game in 1999. The Redskins were still 7-6 the next year in spite of all sorts of silly free-agent signings made by the meddling owner when Turner got fired. The two years in Oakland simply don't count, because if there's an owner who has messed up his franchise more in recent year than the one in Washington it is the one in Oakland. Though, he did have his moments years ago. Many years ago.

Turner took over the Chargers under almost impossible circumstances this year, following Marty Schottenheimer, who went 14-2 but couldn't win in the playoffs. The Chargers started poorly, but turned it around, and now they're one step from the Super Bowl. That they probably won't get there is no reflection on Turner. Just as a Giants loss on Sunday won't cost Coughlin his job and should not have everyone in New York screaming that Eli Manning can't play in big games. Eli can pitch the football about as well as his brother pitches products.

The Giants and Chargers have already had terrific seasons. They have also given the NFL playoffs some much needed spice.

But the Super Bowl most of the country wants to see is the unbeaten Patriots against the storied Packers. Brady vs. Favre. That's the way this season should end.

And then the two quarterbacks can vacation anywhere they want to go and no one will ask any questions.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/14/AR2008011401822.html

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:24 am

Will cold snap Giants?
Weather could derail their road success
By TOM SILVERSTEIN
tsilverstein@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Jan. 14, 2008

East Rutherford, N.J. - New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin can't remember the coldest weather he experienced during his two years as an assistant with the Green Bay Packers in the mid-1980s


http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=707002

Chances are he'll be reminded of it Sunday.

Coughlin leads his Giants into Lambeau Field for an NFC Championship Game matchup with the Packers and the elements promise to be discussed right up until the ball leaves the kicking tee for the first time. Early forecasts predict a swift drop in temperature before the weekend hits, and with the game kicking off at 5:30 p.m. the cold could rival the last NFC Championship Game played at Lambeau Field.

The temperature was 3 degrees with a wind chill index of minus-17 the afternoon of Jan. 12, 1997, and it was the Packers who handled it better, beating their competition from the South, the Carolina Panthers, 30-13, for the right to go to Super Bowl XXXI.

The Giants are road warriors of the extreme, winners of nine straight away from Giants Stadium since losing their season opener to the Dallas Cowboys. They beat Tampa Bay in the heat to advance to the wild-card round and the Cowboys on turf to get to the championship game.

Now they're going to have to deal with an element a little foreign to them.

"I don't know what kind of preparation you would have for Buffalo or for some of those weather games that we have had," Coughlin said Monday in a conference call when asked about what he can do to get his team ready. "We just have to focus on the game, on the plan, on the execution of our plan."

Playing in the cold isn't something the Giants have had to do much in recent years. Over the past three seasons, the kickoff temperature for Giants games has been below freezing only once. This season, the coldest temperature for any of their games, according to kickoff temperatures listed on the NFL's media Web site, was 36 degrees.

The lowest temperature of the three-year period was 30 degrees (23 wind chill) on Dec. 4, 2005, when the Giants beat the Cowboys, 17-10, at Giants Stadium.

The Giants split their two 36-degree games this season, winning on the road Dec. 9 at Philadelphia, 16-13, and losing at home to Washington, 22-10, in a Sunday night game Dec. 16. Their second-to-last regular season game at Buffalo, a 38-21 victory, had a kickoff temperature of 52 degrees.

Just because the Giants haven't experienced the chill of below-teens temperatures doesn't mean they won't be any better at handling them than the Packers. But the fact is, 21 of their players on the 53-man roster have not played in a game where the temperature was even below 32 degrees, so there could be an adjustment period, especially for the 11 rookies.

"If we catch a day where we can be outside when it is chilly with snow around, then that would be fine," Coughlin said of his plan this week. "And if we can't, we have to just mentally prepare ourselves for it and go play in it."

Also a young team, the Packers and their many cold-game novices got their wake-up call in brutally frigid and windy temperatures in the Chicago loss Dec. 23 at Soldier Field. The Bears - both players and coaches - adapted far better than the Packers and won easily in a game that clinched home-field advantage in the playoffs for the Cowboys.

The game-time temperature Saturday was a comfortable 31 degrees, but it required some winter weather skills because of the heavy snow. The slippery and snowy conditions wound up being too much for the Seahawks to handle.

Coughlin's crew is far better equipped to handle the cold and wind than Seattle because it can run the ball with consistency. Massive halfback Brandon Jacobs can plow the field on his own and carry a few defenders on his back while he's doing it, and rookie Ahmad Bradshaw adds a quick change of pace.

But quarterback Eli Manning, who has been improving every game late in the year, will be put to the test in the cold. Great players tend to perform in any conditions and Manning's next step will be to win a winter duel with Brett Favre.

Coughlin was asked if he thought Manning might wear gloves to keep his hands warm even though he has never worn them before. If Manning wants to wear them he can, Coughlin said, but he doesn't think that will happen.

"Quite frankly, I don't ever remember him even complaining about it," Coughlin said of the cold.

Sunday might be another matter, though.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:26 am

Not to Disrespect The Giants but Favre, Brady matchup one for ages

I've become a Packers fan. It's not just because of the great story of the ageless Brett Favre having a career season despite critics calling for his retirement or because the NFC has proved itself desperately inept for the last couple Super Bowls. It's because I hate the Patriots.
I have hated the Patriots for quite some time and I've never been afraid to admit it. This season, however, my hatred has reached a new level. That's because of the frustration that I have had to face every Sunday as the Pats continue to not just win, but dominate.
Admittedly they began to slide as the season ended but at the beginning of the season the boys from Boston were ripping the rest of the league apart. They could score almost at will and have put on what is arguably the best offensive show in the history of the NFL.
The problem is, its getting harder and harder to find flaws and decry the actual worth of the Patriots. Prior to this season there were still arguments as to whether or not Tom Brady was an overrated quarterback. There were still questions about the running game and the receivers were never anything to write home about.
All of that turned around this season. The Patriots are probably the best team of my lifetime and certainly the best overall team in the league this season. I'll even admit that at this point they can make the argument that they are the best team in the history of all football.
It is for all of these reasons that I have become a Packers fan. I have more or less resigned myself to the idea that the Chargers are not going to beat the Patriots. The Bolts were two dropped passes that turned into interceptions and a fumble away from getting blown out in Indianapolis.
Now with the chance that Phillip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates are not going to be healthy, things look pretty grim for San Diego.
The Packers are most likely the second-best team in the league and if the ball bounces their way a couple times they could possibly steal one from the Patriots. If the Packers can make it past Eli Manning and the Giants they just might have a chance.
So I root for the Packers on the merit that they probably have the best chance against the Patriots and on the merit that if it comes down to Pack and Pats I won't be alone.
Just envision the matchup: The team from middle of nowhere Wisconsin against the big bad boys from Boston. The receiving corps featuring a guy named Donald versus Randy Moss. Mike McCarthy, formerly a tight end for Baker University (I'm sorry… where?) against Bill Belichick, better known for selling his soul to the Devil for superhuman coaching abilities.
Finally:Favre versus Brady.
The all-American boy from Mississippi, the guy whose last name isn't spelled right, the guy whose facial hair is perpetually in the perfectly scruffy phase, who married his high school sweetheart, who high fives referees after he throws touchdowns, who got to where he is by flying by the seat of his pants and, most importantly, wears Wrangler jeans.
It's that guy against the quarterback who symbolizes the downfall of the American man. Tom Brady, the guy from California who gels his hair before and after games, who poses for cologne ads and questionable magazine covers, who dates foreign supermodels, who hasn't been seen smiling (unless you count evil smirks) in years, who is calculating, ruthless, plotting and, most importantly, wears berets and scarves in post-game press conferences.
If the Packers make it to the Super Bowl they won't just be playing for themselves. They will be playing for me and 99 percent of the rest of America. The Patriot fans will be few and far between and maybe, just maybe, that will be enough to bring down this nefarious empire.
Probably not, but it sure is nice to dream.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:29 am

Notes: Harris, Woodson primed to stop Giants Receivers

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=706977

Green Bay - After a less-than-stellar performance against the New York Giants in the Week 2 matchup, the Green Bay Packers' cornerbacks will be sharper the second time around Sunday in the National Football Conference Championship Game, position coach Lionel Washington says

"I think they made some plays and we made some plays," Washington said Monday. "This week is going to be the same thing. Al (Harris) and (Charles) Woodson have to go out and play these guys hard, just like they've played all year."

In the Packers' 35-13 victory over the Giants on Sept. 16, the Giants' top two receivers, Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer, were held to just two catches each. But every reception seemed to do some damage as the Giants' top receivers averaged 20 yards per catch.

Woodson might have had his poorest showing of the season matched up against Toomer. Woodson first slipped on a 14-yard comeback route and then failed to make the tackle as Toomer ripped off a 40-yard gain. Woodson had another missed tackle and wasn't in good position on run support a few times.

The 6-foot-1 Harris did a decent job most of the game against the 6-5 Burress, but Burress did have the Giants' lone receiving touchdown, a 26-yarder in the second quarter. However, Harris didn't receive adequate deep help from safety Atari Bigby.

"Burress is a good football player," Washington said. "I think he's one of the top five players in the league right now at receiver. Al's going to match up well. He's going to do what he does best."

The most impressive Packers defensive back against the Giants is no longer in the lineup. Jarrett Bush, playing as the third cornerback, played physically the entire game. He even knocked the Giants' third receiver, rookie Steve Smith, out of the game with a fractured shoulder blade.

Partly because of performance and a calf injury, Bush is now the Packers' fifth cornerback behind Tramon Williams and Frank Walker. But Washington said Bush wasn't quite done yet.

"He's going to play," Washington said. "Just depends on the situation in the game. He's ready to play and we just have to wait and see what's going on in the course of a game."

Some prediction
It is way too early to talk about the weather for the game Sunday, but since the memory of that Chicago freeze is still fresh in everyone's minds and the snow on Saturday was so memorable, the weather is a topic. The forecasters say the NFC Championship Game will be played in single-digit temperatures.

But please don't tell that to the Packers' staff. They weren't fretting a snow shower on Saturday, either.

"Certainly we're going to have to take a look at that but our weather prognosticators aren't very good," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "We were sitting around before the game, in the office, and the guy says, 'Oh, this is going to blow through before the game, and it will be out of here.' Meanwhile third quarter, it's a whiteout, so, who knows? We're not going to put too much faith in what the weathermen say, anyway."

With all the technology available today, how could the forecasters get it wrong?

George Graphos, chief meteorologist for WBAY, Channel 2, in Green Bay (who was not the guy Philbin was watching), simply said the snow wasn't a total surprise.

"We discussed that snow was likely," he said. "With a system like that, where the temperatures were right around the freezing mark, that's just ripe, with all that moisture, for the big, big snowflakes."

Graphos, who has predicted the weather in Green Bay for 22 years, went on the record to officially say it would be cold for the game Sunday, with winds of about 10 mph from the west.

"And a chance of snow," he added, just to cover himself for good measure. "Of course, this is not an exact science. Sometimes it's an art and a science. And as I always say to our sports guys, listen, I see your predictions, too, so you don't have any room to throw any stones here."

Falcon formation
Philbin said the Packers used their two-fullback, so-called Falcon formation as much against Seattle as any other time this year.

"It's a balanced formation, No. 1, so you can kind of get an idea how a team is going to play their support in their secondary," Philbin said. "You're just trying to figure out what they're trying to stop and then work off that."

The Packers had planned on using their Big Five against Seattle but "sometimes in the course of the game, you stay with what's hot," Philbin said.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:32 am

Atari game a new hit with Pack
By COLIN FLY

http://www.sunherald.com/sports/story/297153.html


GREEN BAY, Wis. --
Atari Bigby's grandmother gave him his unique name, a Japanese form of the word "attack."

The play of the Packers' second-year safety matches his moniker. And that's got the secondary's unquestioned leaders, Pro Bowl cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson, excited about Green Bay's playoff chances.

"He's the real deal," Harris said. "Any plays he makes, we're not amazed, because we see it all the time. He's going to be a great player in this league."

Bigby forced a fumble, made several vicious hits that left Seahawks receivers flinching in anticipation of others, and led the Packers with seven tackles in their 42-20 NFC playoff victory on Saturday.

After being named the NFC's defensive player of the month after four interceptions in December, Bigby's new year sure didn't start well.

He couldn't get back from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on time after a four-day break during the Packers' first-round bye and missed a practice. Packers coach Mike McCarthy had a short, one-sided meeting, doled out discipline and moved on.

With that, Bigby was back and hitting. Now, the Packers are headed to the NFC championship game.

Bigby's biggest play on Saturday was forcing Seattle's most experienced postseason player, Marcus Pollard, to fumble on the first play of the second quarter with the game tied at 14.

"I always tell the guys, 'Play fast, and I'm going to back you up,' " Bigby said. "They threw the ball and I saw it. Before I could blink, I was on him."

Bigby recognized that his hit helped swing the momentum for good after two Packers turnovers helped stake the Seahawks to a 14-0 lead.

And before the record crowd at Lambeau Field could exhale in the snowy setting, the Packers went on a scoring binge with touchdown after touchdown, piling up the most points they've ever scored in a postseason game.

"My attitude was they scored two cheap ones," Bigby said. "We had to do something big to get our fans and our team back into it."

He did, and by the second half, the Seahawks couldn't have been more out of sync.

Bigby's success is a reward for the organization's patience in developing him.

After short stints with the Dolphins and Jets, general manager Ted Thompson signed Bigby to the Packers' practice squad in November 2005.

Bigby secured the starting job in this season's training camp.

"I love having him back there," Woodson said.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:35 am

Clear path to success




http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=706925


Blocking key to Packers' fortunes
By LORI NICKEL
lnickel@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Jan. 14, 2008

Green Bay - Ryan Grant gained almost 1,000 yards in half a season and vowed, as is the tradition for running backs, to acknowledge his offensive linemen with a gesture or gift to thank them for their blocking efforts.


After his 201-yard performance Saturday against Seattle in an NFC divisional playoff game, Grant might have to tip the Green Bay offensive line again, and include the receivers and tight ends as well.

It seemed everybody played the role of mauler at some point in that game.

Whether it was Mark Tauscher stalling out Patrick Kerney at the line of scrimmage, Bubba Franks bear-hugging a linebacker or receivers bowling over defensive backs downfield, the superb blocking was the best overall effort of the season by the Packers.

One example: On third down and 3 in the third quarter, Grant ripped off a 43-yard run down the left sideline. Receiver Greg Jennings had a great block on that side and fellow receiver Donald Driver picked up a man on the right, but receiver Ruvell Martin was just off the charts in his block at the point of attack.

"We probably had our best game blocking," receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said. "We blocked extremely well in the running game, and that's always a focus, and that's always an important part of getting ready to play, is to take the running game responsibility as seriously as we take the passing game. We did a very good job the other day and that's got to continue. There were a lot of other great efforts."

Here's another: Out of a four-wide receiver set in the first quarter, quarterback Brett Favre passed to James Jones. Again, Martin made the key block.

"Ruvell Martin is blocking the guy literally into the bleachers," Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "I mean, it's just a fantastic picture of Ruvell doing some great, great things. In fact, on the shuffle pass to Donald Lee, there's another picture of Ruvell doing a fantastic job. Our tight ends were aggressive, our linemen, everyone downfield. We make a big point of that."

Philbin said his offensive line, now solidified in the middle with Daryn Colledge at left guard and Jason Spitz at right, established the line of scrimmage with a physical style of play against a fast Seattle defense.

"Probably from a consistency standpoint, I would say Saturday's ball game appeared to be the best ball game from start to finish," Philbin said. "Mark played an exceptional game. There was a lot of hype about the matchup he was up against and was he able to handle it. The (guards) played better. They got pretty consistent movement and fundamentally played a little bit better."

Improved blocking will be a must Sunday in the NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants, who led the National Football League with 53 sacks in the regular season and added three in the post-season.

"They do a good job with their flying games, their movements and their twists when they're not pressuring, so yeah, it's going to be a challenge," Philbin said.

The Giants' defensive ends, Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan, lead what Packers offensive line coach James Campen called the most talented defensive line the Packers have faced this year.

In Week 2, Green Bay's offensive line limited the Giants to just one sack in the Packers' 35-13 victory. Favre had 286 yards passing and three touchdowns. But the running game got only 83 yards.

"It was a little shoddy. That's probably being kind. It was not very good," Philbin said.

Campen thinks the Packers will need to duplicate the blocking efforts they showed against Seattle.

"We played them in Week 2 and I believe Strahan was just coming back to camp and Osi Umenyiora was injured a little bit before that," Campen said. "That front, they actually have five guys that you have to be very aware of. Justin Tuck is a roll-in guy that goes between defensive tackle and defensive end. They are very, very good, and this will be our biggest challenge to date. This front has a very good blitz and pressure package.

"Again, in Week 2 it was a new defensive scheme and they've certainly adopted that scheme and have done an excellent job with that. They play with a lot more energy. I'm sure Strahan's stamina is up. He wasn't in training camp and is in stride now. And they're healthy. And they have big people inside. They do a fine, fine job."

Greg A. Bedard of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:38 am

Don't you realize how bad this team is going to be?

Don't you realize how bad this team is going to be? Am I the only one who sees this year as being total disaster.

Three rookie pitchers in the starting rotation is a total joke. Come May and June we are going to wish we traded for Santana especially when he's winning the division for either the Mets or Red Sox.

By putting Joba in the rotation and not getting a real ace makes us a far weaker team in two areas, the bullpen and the rotation. This team would be contenders if we had Joba as the 7th-8th inning guy and Santana in the rotation. Rookie pitchers always get hurt, I guarantee between Hughes, Joba and Kennedy at least two will be hurt this year.

Why Hank and Cashman don't realize this is truly mystifying. I guess Hank and Hal are just going to start pocketing money from the new stadium while putting a bad team on the field.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:40 am

If Halladay misses 2 months every year then how did he pitch 225 innings last year?? Halladay is better than anyone on the Yank staff. If only Burnett could pitch 200 innings then the Blue Jays shot at surpassing the Yanks has real push to it. I think Burnett could be that good. Behind these guys there is talent. Both Shawn Marcum and Dustin McGowan pitched well last year. That's not a bad staff from 1 to 4.

There position players i'm not too impressed with. Alex Rios is a terrific offensive & defensive talent -- he's better than any OF we got. Vernon Wells disappointed but do you really think he's gonna be that bad again?? I won't count on it. Don't forget about Frank Thomas who could still hit .265 BA / 25 hr. Rolen is a pro hitter so i doubt he'll have a rough transition unless he's hurt. Isn't John McDonald touted as the best defensive SS that nobody has heard of??

I doubt this team could surpass the Yanks however. At the end of the day, we've got A-Rod and Jeter to bail us out.

* Luke
* From: Luke
* Posts: 181


Every year it is the same thing with AJ....it is well if he can pitch 200 innings then the team will be good. He never pitches 200 innings! Yes Rios is a talent, but it seems like they want him gone and i would not be suprised if that messes with his game this year. Wells is a question mark conisdering that huge egg he dropped last year. Just metion Frank Thomas makes me laugh. The guy was hurt for the better part of the decade then all of a sudden he has one good year and people say he is the Frank of old. Again Rolen has been hurt for years, he has a problem with managers and the blue jays manager wont take any shi* from him....i think Ted Lilly knows a thing or two about that. As for Rolen....for you to call him a good hitter is ridiculous. He had a terrible hitting year last year in one of the worst divisions in baseball. How do you think he will do in a 3 game set against Beckett, Dice K and Schilling? or a set against Pettite, Wang and Joba? This guy is completly out of his league in the AL East. I dont expect him to stay for too long. As for Mcdonald there has to be a question mark on him condsidering they brougt in Eckstein and are saying that he will start.



Good points but I do like the Jays rotation. McGowan was a nice surprise for them last year as well as Marcum. Litsch was up and down but all three are young. Kind of like us. However I believe that we have better pedigree in our three young guys.

Dustin McGowan
vs
Joba Chamberlain

Joba has more velocity on his fastball but McGowan throws in the mid 90's and has a 90mph slider and a good mid 80's hard breaking ball. They are very similar. Both are young about 6'4" 220 and have the same arsenal. Joba showed better command out of the pen in a small sampling window. We'll see how that works out for him starting every fifth day. Marcum's 12-10 record resulted from poor run support and playing in the AL East. He's got great stuff. He's older than Joba but most anyone will tell you that Joba's ceiling is much higher. I think Joba will top his numbers from last year easily if he can stay healthy the whole season.

Shawn Marcum
vs.
Ian Kennedy
These guys are very similar as well. They both throw a high 80's-low 90's fastball. Both are finesse pitchers that rely on control and both have good breaking balls with good movement and keep hitters off balance. Kennedy is more highly touted and has been since his days at USC. Marcum is no bum though he was 12-6 with a 4.12 ERA in 07'. We can hope for something similar from Kennedy
vs.
Jesse Litsch put up the best ERA of the three young guys from Toronto with a 3.81 which did not translate well into his 7-9 record. He gave up 4 runs or more on 4 occasions through 20 starts. I don't know much about his stuff other than it's not overpowering. He too is more of a finesse pitcher. He is a little guy at 6'1" 175 lbs. I don't think you could compare him to Hughes because Hughes is a power pitcher, definately more comparable to Kennedy. Kennedy has the higher ceiling but I expect his numbers to be better than Marcum and Litch's for two reasons.
1. He's quite possibly the most polished rookie pitcher in MLB
2. He has the Yankees offense behind him.

Other than that its Wang versus Halladay and Pettitte versus Burnett when their guys can stay healthy. I like our chances in both cases.I also would take all three of our young guys over any of their three and their three aren't bad. I think it's interesting that Anyone could actually make a case that the Jay are better than the Yankees because of the Yankees youthful pitching. The thing that strikes me as funny is the team that he chose to compare. They are a nearly a mirror image of the Yankees in terms of pitching (Minus Mariano) although their guys aren't as talented. That being said...Toronto's offense versus NYY's offense is a complete joke. Not even a comparison. Anyone who thinks that Toronto has a better team is out of their mind. They have a bonified ace. That's the only difference. It doesn't matter though because they won't make the playoffs. Halladay can't stay healthy anyhow.

Hope you enjoyed my thoughts on the subject.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:42 am

In these past 2 years, Frank Thomas has put up very solid numbers. Strong OBP and good power numbers for a DH. I'd rather have Frank on my team than Giambi who's absolutely done. Rolen has had a good career and I don't see why last year should be the end all--be all. I'm not saying he'll be better Arod or Lowell, but Rolen will hold his own.

Your right on Burnett though. The man hasnt pitched 200 innings. But neither will Joba or Phil next year.


Really good break down right up till your mention that Halladay can't stay healthy. The man threw 225 innings last year in 31 starts. Even if Halladay didn't make 30 starts he'd still rack up innings b/c he goes deep into games. Alot like Wang but with better stuff. We'll just out-slug these guys at the end of the day. They won't be able to beat the rest of the AL East consistent enough to stay with the Yanks.


the only way the Jays stick with us is if Halladay pitches every game. I hate the Jays but in my opinion when he's on he is the best pitcher in the AL and yes, better than Santana.


saying Frank Thomas is better then Giambi over the last two years really is not saying much considering the guy has barely played. As for Rolen i do not see where you base your idea that he will be able to hold his own in the AL east. The only reason he was seen as a nop notch player for a few years was because of his d. He was a weak hitter in a bad Nl division the last few years and now is going to try and reserect his career in the best division in baseball? I dont think so


Rosenthal is a cabeza de verga

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:53 am

Hank's frank talk on Johan


http://njmg.typepad.com/yankeesblog/


Hank Steinbrenner says a broadcast report that the Yankees have taken their offer for Johan Santana off the table is “erroneous’’ – for the simple fact that there was no “official’’ offer made since the winter meetings.

Steinbrenner said there’s only been “very light talk back and forth’’ with the Minnesota Twins since mid December. Mainly, there’s been no movement “because of the fact that I haven’t decided’’ whether to deal a gaggle of young stars for Santana.

“There was no official offer,’’ Steinbrenner told us by phone late this afternoon. “If there’s an offer on the table, then that means you fully intend to do that deal. There is no offer right now,’’ though Steinbrenner added that “it doesn’t mean that a final decision has been made.’’

Still, the Yankees are proceeding as if Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Marquez and another prospect are too much to give for Santana – who would also gain up to $150 million in an extension.

With the youngsters in their rotation, “I think we can definitely contend for the championship this year,’’ Steinbrenner said, who also added that “if you’re going to develop your own, you’ve got to have patience.

“Everybody complained about us not developing our own, but they’re going to have to be patient (as well). Everybody in baseball wants these guys, Hughes, (Joba) Chamberlain) and (Ian) Kennedy.

“Obviously, we’re not just looking at this year, we’re looking at the next 10 years with these guys

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:57 am

Look who's back
Giants run into a good friend when they face Packers' Grant
Tuesday, January 15, 2008


http://www.nj.com/giants/ledger/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/1200375306167930.xml&coll=1

BY MIKE GARAFOLO
Star-Ledger Staff

Ryan Grant had to call "his boys" once Sunday's game was over. He just had to extend his congratulations to three of his former teammates with the Giants: running back Brandon Jacobs and defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora.

But before he could praise them, all three congratulated him and his Packers teammates for making it to the NFC Championship Game.
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"I was like, 'Me? You just beat up on Dallas. I should be congratulating you,'" Grant, the Don Bosco grad and former Giants player, said last night when reached on his cell phone. "Both sides are very happy for each other."

It's a lovefest for now. But make no mistake, on Sunday, Tuck, Umenyiora and the rest of the Giants' defense will be trying to bury Grant as far under the grass at Lambeau Field as possible.

"They just said they're coming for us and they'll be ready for Green Bay," Grant said. "Absolutely, they should be."

It has been more than four months since the Giants, overstocked with five legitimate running backs, traded Grant to the Packers for a sixth-round draft pick. If they hadn't, they might have had to cut one of their backs and certainly didn't want to part with Jacobs, Derrick Ward, Reuben Droughns or Ahmad Bradshaw.

If they had only known how it might come back to bite them.

Fresh off a regular season in which he rushed for 956 yards and eight touchdowns, Grant took it up another notch in the playoffs by shaking off two early fumbles to run for 201 yards and three touchdowns in the Packers' snow-covered 42-20 blowout of the Seahawks.

Making quick cuts and cutting all the way across the field on a few plays, Grant showed speed and agility that probably should have gotten him noticed in 2005 when he went undrafted out of Notre Dame and signed with the Giants as a free agent.

It's those skills some Giants players wish they had on their side -- even with Jacobs plowing over defenders while Bradshaw scoots past a few as well.

"Trust me, I'm upset Ryan Grant is not with us," defensive end Michael Strahan said. "He's a bull and we have our work cut out to stop him.

"We gave up too many yards rushing (against the Cowboys), so he's probably licking his chops to have another opportunity against his former team. He's one of those guys you think, 'We let one go.'

Added Tuck: "I wish we'd have kept him. That's my guy. He did a great job coming back from those early fumbles. That's how it's been for him. His career was kind of bad early and now he's one of the best backs in the league."

Many of Grant's former teammates still consider him to be their "guy." Actually, Jacobs feels their relationship is closer than that.

"That's my brother, man," he said of the two, who were rookies in training camp three seasons ago. "We're just brothers from another mother."

And they know each other as well as some siblings do, which is what will make Sunday's matchup between Grant and the Giants' defense very interesting. Certainly, coach Tom Coughlin and the rest of the offensive staff have an extensive scouting report on Grant to hand over to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

"Any time that you have spent time with an athlete, you know him better than you would otherwise," Coughlin said yesterday. "Ryan has had an outstanding year and played extremely well with all kinds of big plays in a really outstanding second half of the season and certainly had a big game the other day.

"Other than that we are going to have to contend with the whole (offensive) package."

Said Grant, "Maybe there are some really minute details that might help both sides."

What about the weather? Not a problem for Grant, apparently.

"You never get used to it, but I feel comfortable in the cold," he said.

Then again, maybe he thinks the Giants' players won't be comfortable and that it'll be an advantage for him and his teammates. After all, last week he said, "I know, in the back of their minds, they don't really want to come to Green Bay."

Grant said he was only kidding around.

"It was in a joking manner because not very many people want to come to Lambeau to play," he said. "I know these guys are excited to come up here and play."

And they'll have one of their injured players there to cheer them on. Ward, who broke his fibula on Dec. 2 against the Bears, is planning on traveling to Wisconsin to watch the game. Guess where he's staying. Yep, Grant's house.

Isn't this all kind of a weird situation?

"It was weird the first time around," Grant said of the Packers' Week 2 win at Giants Stadium in which he had only one catch for 21 yards. "I don't think it'll be weird at all."

Mike Garafolo may be reached at mgarafolo@starledger.com






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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:59 am

Eli Manning throws
Amani Toomer catches
Super Bowl ours!

Eighty-Six behind us
Strahan, Umenyiora, Tynes
Bring On Brady's bunch!

Lambeau in the snow
Brett Favre laying on his back
Off to Arizona!

Favre the flatulent
Even methane won't stop us
Strahan lights him up

Brett emits much gas
Can smell the stink in Jersey
Meadowlands team wins

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:00 am

http://slidingintohome.blogspot.com/



Tuesday, January 15, 2008
More From Hank

Tyler Kepner wrote an article for the New York Times today about how the Yankees expect to open up spring training without Johan Santana. This isn't a big deal, and doesn't mean anything. If the Twins lower their demands, a deal will be done within the week.

What I did find interesting were several quotes from the always talkative, Hank Steinbrenner. First, there was the typical ambiguous garbage that we've all been hearing for weeks:

“It’s most likely that we’re going to stay with what we’ve got,” ... Hank Steinbrenner said on Monday. “That always can change — of course, that’s up to Minnesota — but there were no offers on the table. You don’t make an offer unless you 100 percent intend to do it, and the final decision hasn’t been made.”

Nothing new here. The same old “We’re definitely not trading for Santana. We might trade for him” crap we’ve been hearing for weeks. But he then said a couple things that I hope are true, and sort of surprised me. Now Hank has shown, time and time again, that most of what he says is bull****, so I know I shouldn’t believe him here. And honestly, I don’t, but I hope he is telling the truth. Here are the quotes:

“He’s the general manager, and I’m going to pay attention to the opinion of our top baseball people,”

“With young pitching, everybody seems to want to keep all of them — a lot of the fans and media seem to lean that way.”

“But everybody’s got to remember, we’ve all got to be patient. They’re only going to get better. That’s a fact. The young pitchers are only going to get better and better each month. If one of them has two or three bad starts in a row, I won’t care, because I know what they can do, and all our people — all our baseball experts — know what they can do.”

If he is telling the truth, he may have learned from some of his father’s mistakes. George Steinbrenner rarely would listen to his "baseball people", and always thought he knew better than everyone else. This hurt him many times throughout the years, and I think (and hope) Hank was paying attention.

It sounds like he may also be a little more patient than his father.

He also reiterated a point that he made several days ago, that Joba Chamberlain’s role is going to be decided by Girardi, and his staff. We’ll see.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:11 am

epalladi@lohud.com

Can the Giants' pass rush disrupt the Favre and Packers' passing game?
The Giants are sacking Favre twice per simulation. Even when we doubled the number of times the Giants sack Favre, the Giants' winning percentage (from 38 to 43 percent) does not improve as much as one would expect. The reason is the Packers throw a lot of short, slant passes, and even if the Giants blitz a lot, Favre still completes a high percentage of those passes to keep the ball moving.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:13 am

AccuScore numbers game: Favre outduels Manning

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs07/news/story?id=3196265

Who will prevail in the NFC Championship Game? Judging by AccuScore simulations, the Packers will be representing the NFC in Super Bowl XLII. Green Bay is winning 62 percent of simulations by an average score of 25-21.

It looks like the temperature will be under 10 degrees in Green Bay on Sunday, but it does not look like it will snow like it did for the Seahawks game. Giants QB Eli Manning is playing the best football of his career and his simulation numbers are good -- 224 passing yards and 1.5 touchdowns per simulation. In fact, Manning's numbers are not that much lower than those of Brett Favre, who averages 250 yards and 1.6 touchdowns per simulation.

The Giants' hopes could hinge on QB Eli Manning's ability to move the chains and minimize his mistakes.

However, Favre is averaging less than one interception while Manning is averaging more than one interception, and that is a key difference in the game. Both teams run the ball well. The Giants' Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are averaging 140 combined rushing yards per simulation and well over 5 yards per carry. The Packers' Ryan Grant averages more than 5.5 yards per carry and more than 100 yards.

The game is close, with 25 percent of simulations coming down to a field goal or less. For the Giants to win, Manning needs to outplay yet another quarterback. In simulations where the Giants win, Manning averages more passing yards, 0.6 more touchdown passes and fewer interceptions than Favre.

How Important is home-field advantage?
The Giants have lost just one road game this year, and Manning's passer rating has been higher on the road than at home for the past two seasons. Not surprisingly, home-field advantage is not nearly as meaningful in this game as it is in other games. The Giants' winning percentage improves by 13 percentage points at home. For comparison's sake, the Chargers' winning percentage improves by nearly 19 percentage points if their game versus New England were in San Diego.

Is Grant more valuable than Favre?
Grant is forecasted for more than 100 yards and more than 5 yards per carry against the Giants. In simulations where Grant is not playing and Green Bay starts Brandon Jackson with Vernand Morency as a backup, the Packers are winning 54 percent of the time -- a decline of eight percentage points.

Favre is also forecasted for an excellent game -- a 62 percent completion percentage, 250 yards and 1.6 touchdown passes per simulation compared to just 0.8 interceptions. However, if backup QB Aaron Rodgers plays, the Packers are still winning 56 percent of simulations -- a decline of only six percentage points from when Favre starts. The problem with this analysis? It's difficult to measure the intangible leadership quality that Favre brings, but from a purely statistical standpoint, Grant is more valuable to the Packers than Favre.

Do the Giants miss Jeremy Shockey?
It does not look like they do. Without Shockey, Giants tight end Kevin Boss and rookie WR Steve Smith have gotten more passes thrown to them. Manning's completion percentage, touchdown rate and first-down conversion rate are slightly higher passing to Boss and Smith combined than it was to Shockey. In simulations with Shockey playing, the Giants are still winning 38 percent of the time, confirming that the team can continue to win without its star tight end.

Can the Giants' pass rush disrupt the Packers' passing game?
The Giants are sacking Favre twice per simulation. Even when we doubled the number of times the Giants sack Favre, the Giants' winning percentage (from 38 to 43 percent) does not improve as much as one would expect. The reason is the Packers throw a lot of short, slant passes, and even if the Giants blitz a lot, Favre still completes a high percentage of those passes to keep the ball moving.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:16 am

I've never been a big fan of simulations, especially with the Packers this season. Favre is always predicted to throw the ball only 20 times or so, something that rarely happens with most Quarterbacks on a team, none-the-less "our Favre" on "our Packers"

Homefield advantage is interesting this year. Home teams are 4-4, .500, win only half the time.

But with a better look, that's not too surprising

-Tampa Bay lost at home to the Giants
-Pittsburgh lost at home to the Jags
-Dallas lost at home to the Giants
-Indianapolis lost at home to the Chargers

I'm not knocking on these cities, but they aren't the hardest places to play in the NFL. Here would be the 5 hardest places this season:

New England, Seattle, Dallas, Indianapolis, and, of course, Green bay

Between the hype of the Dallas/New York game, I wasn't all that surprised
As for the Chargers/Colts game, unpredictable and outstanding job, probably the toughest road win of the season

All in all, the Giants will have more than just travelling to do this weekend. They will be battling the weather (something they haven't done well with this season). They will be battling the fans (some of the best in all of sports). They will be battling the Packers (evidently a superior team this year)

The Packers had the best weekend so far in 2008 by getting that Championship birth on Saturday and homfield advantage on Sunday.

im a giant fan and i overall agree with the simulation, the pash rush of the giants can be slowed if they do run the quick slants, and favre is one of the best at throwing that slant for 5 yards and it turning into a big gainer


Wow...This article states if Favre is inactive and replaced with an injured A-Rod the Packers still win about 56% of the time?

Do they allow you to bring a wheelchair onto the field when you're in the shotgun?

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