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ATTENTION READERS: CMFOST HAS BEEN MARKED

In the comments today, following the rumor of a possible Jason Bay trade to the Tampa Bay Rays, the troll of S&Fs

CMFost said…

Well if he does not go the Red Sox, Tampa would be OK. That way when the Red Sox do not make the playoffs…

July 31, 2008 3:23 PM

——————————–

He continued on with something about the Yanks not making the playoffs as well, but that is always to be expected. As you can see, once again CMFost wore his Pink Hat with pride and was prepared to bail on his so-called “beloved” Red Sox.

For a little history, this is what was said last October when the Sox were down 3-1 in the ALCS:

Blogger CMFost said…

It is all over, the Red Sox will not even get this series back to Boston. It is disappointing but Cleveland is the better team. Go Luck in the World Series.

10/17/2007 08:53:00 AM

CMFost, you should be completely ashamed of yourself. You are a pathetic wannabe Boston fan, who gives up when any adversity may have been thrown your teams way. This is an organization that came back from being down 3-0 to their hated rivals. They won game 7 in Yankee Stadium to complete the rally. Yet time and time again you bail on them.

We advise all Boston fans to deny entry to CMFost from any New England area arenas or stadiums. We also advise you do not grant him the privilege to enter into any of the well established bars. However you can direct him to any Southie bar with his Pink Red Sox hat. They will know what to do to him.

*****UPDATE******We are receiving word that MannyRamirez has been traded to the Dodgers, with Pittsburgh’s Jason Bay now headed to Boston as part of the 3 team deal, the Bucs will receive 4 minor leaguers (God it sucks to be a Pirates fan). This does not excuse CMFost from these statements. We now expect over the top antics from him following the confirmation of this deal.

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The Odds-On Favorite

What an absolutely perfect day. It’s sunny here in New England, there is all kinds of baseball trade news flashing across the InstaWebs, and I’m writing my first of hopefully many posts for Sparty & Friends.

Seems like a perfect time to discuss… Super Bowl Odds. Right? I can feel the enthusiasm oozing through the screen.

Well, as training camps begin to open around the country for the 2008 NFL season, gamblers are lining up to get the best odds on their picks – the favorites, the long-shots, and the sleepers alike. July and August are the best possible time to either make a boatload of money in February or lose your shirt with the first ACL injury in the preseason. I mean, how many bookies got crushed by preseason picks of the Giants at 25/1 to win it all last season?

Anyway, looking at the numbers this year, there are a few that stand out for one reason or another. So, after a short disclaimer, let’s break it down all scientific-like…

(Disclaimer: Gambling on sports is illegal unless you are in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Also, if I’m horribly incorrect with these picks – as I have been in the past – sorry. If you can’t afford to lose, don’t play. John Anthony – “The Million Dollar Man with the Billion Dollar Plan” – is not a real person. All lines from Bodog and accurate as of the time this was typed. That about covers it.)

The Favorites:

New England Patriots (7/2): Any discussion about the Super Bowl really need to begin and end right here. And that’s not me speaking as a lifetime Pats’ fan, but as a lifetime gambler. At 7/2, the return on the bet isn’t all that great. But if you’re just looking to take your best chance at winning a bet, this is the route to go. 2/1 favorites to win the AFC outright isn’t a bad bet either.

Indianapolis Colts (15/2): I don’t like this line for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is the obvious one – “Peyton Manning”; “knee surgery”. Not to mention the return of Marvin Harrison after missing most of last year and having his own share of off-field issues since the 2007 season ended. To me, 15/2 isn’t enough of a payoff to take the risk involved in picking the Colts to win it all.

Dallas Cowboys (6/1): They’re a much better bet to win the NFC (9/5 favorites), but as last year proved – just get to the Super Bowl, and anything can happen. But they’ve certainly got the offense to win the NFC Title, and have enough defense to slow down most of the other major contenders. Again – better bet to win the NFC (even if the payoff isn’t all that great), but anything can happen in February.

The Second Tier:

Jacksonville Jaguars (12/1): Really, at this point in the year, they’re the only team getting a good enough number who actually has a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl this year. They’ve got a crushing defense and a competent offense – it won’t be pretty, but they’ve got the tools to take over the AFC South this year and make a stand in the AFC in general.

New York Giants (16/1): I can’t remember the last time a defending NFL Champion was this big of an underdog to repeat – maybe the 2002 Patriots. But let’s face it; no one saw them coming. Hell, even my friends who are die-hard Giants fans were expecting Tom Coughlin to be fired by Week 12. 16/1 is a great number for a defending champion, but I’d look more to the 13/2 to win the NFC.

Minnesota Vikings (17/1): They’ve got the defense and the running game. Now all they need is a quarterback… If there’s any noise that Brett Favre might end up in Purple & Gold, jump on this line and the 7/1 to win the NFC before they both hit rock bottom.

The Long-Shots:

Green Bay Packers (25/1): With or without “He who shall remain nameless” under center, the Packers should still be the favorites to at least win the NFC North. But the Minnesota Vikings are getting better odds right now (7/1 to win the NFC, 17/1 to win it all). Maybe the oddsmakers are predicting #4 ends up in Minnesota after all; if that’s the case, not only will Minnesota’s numbers drop, but Green Bay’s will skyrocket.

New Orleans Saints (24/1): Last year wasn’t really that big of a surprise. They feasted on a last place schedule in 2006, then had to deal with a first place schedule in 2007. Not rocket science. This year, they get a third place schedule to work with – maybe with the addition of some defensive playmakers and the confidence building from picking up 10-11 regular season wins, they can make a strong push towards the NFC title (17/2) and the Super Bowl itself.

Oakland Raiders (50/1): Just kidding…

Pittsburgh Steelers (16/1): They’re not really a long shot, but at 16/1 they can’t exactly be called a favorite either. If they can avoid Jacksonville and New England in the playoffs, there’s no reason to think they couldn’t win the AFC (at 9/1) or go on to win it all.

The Sleepers:

Philadelphia Eagles (20/1): Donovan McNabb might not be among the marquis quarterback names in the league anymore, but Philly still has the talent to compete in the NFC. They might be playing for a Wild Card spot all year with Dallas in the same division, but that’s still a playoff berth and a chance to win four straight.

Arizona Cardinals (50/1): I do this every year. I find a reason to talk myself into a bet on the Cardinals at some ridiculous number. This year, I’m going to justify this with some combination of “They’ve made moves to upgrade the defense… The offense could really explode this year… the NFC West is weak… they’ve got a soft schedule…” I’m not expecting a big payout with them winning the Super Bowl. But at 50/1 and 20/1 to win the NFC, I just can’t pass up the opportunity.

Denver Broncos (50/1): Another team playing in the Western Division of their conference with no expectations. The difference from Arizona is, the Broncos have been contenders in the past decade. At 50/1 they’re more of a long shot than a sleeper, but remember – Mike Shanahan can conjure runningbacks out of thin air, Jay Cutler isn’t all that bad of a quarterback, and last year they had a cloud hanging over the team all season long with the death of Darrent Williams. With the malcontent Javon Walker out of town and still the best defensive backfield (at least on paper) in the league, the Broncos could easily make some noise.

Weekly Caption – July 31, 2008

You all know how this works. Lets try to limit this thread to captions only, using the post before or after to continue discussion. We’ve got some creative, sarcastic people browsing these pages. Let’s hear it.


“Someone named CMFost won the bid”

Baseball Trade Deadline Tracker

Ken Griffey, Jr. has a chance to return to the postseason, and add that ring he has been unable to attain. Griffey to the White Sox(Fox Sports)***UPDATED***

The Morning After: July 31, 2008

If you were looking for Sparty… you’re lucky! You found me, GuyInTheCorner, instead.

Today’s obligatory yet regrettable Favre-related link.

The Yanks traded for Pudge as most of you know now. While most are saying the Yanks pulled another great one, I disagree. I don’t think it was a failure of a trade, but that it was balanced, although if I was forced to pick a winner, it would be the Tigers.

1st thing’s first; straight cash homey. Pudge is owed $4.3 million and Farnsworth is owed $1.6 million. Next, I would point out that the Yanks also traded LaTroy Hawkins yesterday. Even though neither Farnsworth nor Hawkins is a star, all the other contenders are going to get bullpen arms, not trading them away. While the Yanks catching can’t hit, Pudge can’t really either (OPS+ for last 3 years: 92). Pudge’s greatest talent is managing a pitching staff. How is that helpful as a midseason acquisition if he has never spent time with any of the 5 guys in the rotation and there may be as many as 6 new starters coming through the revolving door that is the Yanks rotation?

It took 13 innings, but the weirdness that was the Tigers at Indians last night finally ended. Let’s do this in bullet points:
• Cleveland started by scoring 5 in the first 2 innings.
• Detroit put up a run in the top of the 3rd but the Indians came back with 3 runs in the bottom to make it 8-1.
• The Tigers didn’t like that. So they put up 6 runs in the next 3 innings to pull it back to 8-7.
• Cleveland, feeling threatened, immediately answered with 3 more to push the lead to 11-7.
• The Tigers, feeling like the donkey chasing the carrot, made one huge lunge for it in the 8th and tied it up at 11 with some help from Marcus, Maggs, and Miguel.
• The Tigers, apparently upset with having to chase a carrot, took the lead with a Polanco sac fly to make it 12-11.
• Kelly Shoppach homered off newfound closer Fernando Rodney in the bottom of the 9th to draw the game to a 12 all tie.
• Most of the next 2.5 innings were boring until the bottom 12, when the Indians loaded the bases with no outs. Too bad they didn’t score.
• Then came the top of the 13th where the Indians really wished they hadn’t failed in the last half. The Tigers tacked on 2 runs (RBI groundout, error) to take the 14-12 lead and held it (apparently harder than previously thought).
Some stars of the game were Granderson (5-7, 2RBI, 2R), Polanco (2-6, 3RBI, 2R, SB), Cabrera (3-5, 4RBI, HR, 2B), Sizemore (2-6, 3RBI, HR), Fransisco (4-7, 2 solo HR) and last, but most, Kelly Shoppach (5-6, 3 RBI, 4R, 2HR, 3 2B, IBB). His 5 extra-base hits tie the major league record for the most in a single game.

The Yanks avoided a sweep by the O’s thanks to Abreu (3-4, 3RBI, 4R, 2HR, 2B, BB) but Edwar Ramirez was tossed after 1 pitch that almost decapitated Kevin Millar. This was in response to A-Rod being hit in the shoulder the day before by Daniel Cabrera. The only problem was that the plunk of A-Rod was unintentional. Cabrera leads the AL in both HBP and BB and has a notorious control problem and the Yanks did nothing to deserve the HBP and the O’s were up 6-1, yet he was tossed with no warning to even the Yankee announcers’ confusion. Joe Girardi said after the game that he thought it was intentional and Edwar didn’t look at all shocked when he was ejected.

Around the league…
Chad Billingsley threw a 5-hit, no walk, 8K, shutout against the Giants, Alex Gordon went 0-0 with 5BB and Joakim Soria got his 30th save in the 10th over the A’s while Brad Ziegler stretched his streak of scoreless innings to a clean 30, Chris Carpenter’s first start back was good enough for the Cards to beat the Braves, the Angels swept the Red Sox in Boston behind Joe Saunders’ 14th win and Garrett Anderson’s night(4-5, 4RBI, HR, 2B), the Cubs improved to 3 for 3 so far in their 4-game set against the Brew Crew in Favre Country behind Ryan Dempster’s continued brilliance, Adam Dunn homered twice (32 HR leads MLB) to lead the Reds over the ‘stros, and the Twins are now 0-10 since June 25th in opportunities to take a share or outright lead of the AL Central with a loss to the White Sox thanks to Carlos Que’in (no he di’n’t, 3-5, 4 RBI, HR, 2B).
… and there were 6 other games that I didn’t mention.

The latest Manny rumor is this: The Red Sox would give up Manny (but pay his salary) to the Marlins, the Marlins would send Jeremy Hermida, top prospect Mike Stanton (no, not that one), and 1 more mid-level prospect to the Pirates, the Pirates would send Jason Bay and lefty reliever John Grabow to the Red Sox. I think this trade looks good for everyone involved… except the Red Sox, cause… like, you know… they would lose Manny.

Other hot rumors right now: Orlando Cabrera to the A’s / Huston Street to the White Sox, Adam Dunn to the Rays, Greg Maddux or Paul Byrd to Dodgers, Raul Ibanez or David DeJesus to the Cubs, Lefty Relievers (Scott Eyre, Will Ohman, Ron Mahay, J.J. Putz, Arthur Rhodes) to Contenders, Jarrod Washburn to the Yanks.

Little League World Series is implementing instant replay, is a well-run organization.

Speaking of players going to play basketball in Europe… Shawn Kemp?!?!?

For those who care, X-Games 14 start tonight. They always open with Skateboard Big Air, followed by Moto X Best Trick. Perhaps you remember this incident from last year’s Big Air…

… and he will be back competing for the first time in tonight’s event.
Perhaps you remember some of the things from recent Best Trick events. Like say…

Well, there will be attempts of the double back flip, a never before landed in competition 75-foot body varial, a new trick by the defending champion that has never even been landed in practice called the Electric Death, and the near-suicidal, never even attempted before, front flip. Basically, you might see something incredible, you might see someone die. It’s on ESPN tonight from 9 till 11.

Oh, you were wondering why I’m here? Well, it turns out that there are two reasons:
1. Sparty is lazy and wants a day off.
2. I’m about to live blog the USA vs. Turkey in their Olympic warm-up game live at 8 AM from Macau, China.

Editors Note: This is what happens when you allow people freedom. They rip on their boss publicly and talk about a game that no one else is watching…We apologize for Brett Favre as the lead in link. Totally unacceptable and Shanoff-like, today’s writer has been put on probation…

Please start commenting on the post after this one.

Just Because

Enjoy this piece from an ex-Patriot beat writer.

The Morning After: July 30, 2008


Not a big believer in statement games in July, however I am a believer in statement series in July. The Cubs widen the lead in the NL Central to 3 games. The Cubs beat down Ben Sheets and the Brewers 7-1 at Miller Park. Carlos Zambrano played the role of the best pitcher quite well, throwing 8 innings of shut out ball. (Chicago Tribune)

Things are getting a whole lot tighter in the AL Central. Led by Justin Morneau, the Twins rallied to beat the divsion leading Chicago, 6-5. The win helped Minnesota close the gap to .5. No matter how many guys leave this team to free agency, they always seem to be back in the thick of things the following year. (Star Tribune)

The Tampa Bay Rays continue to fall into Bolivian (did Mike Tyson or cmfost say that?) Actually they not only continue to be in first place, but move another game further ahead of the Yanks and Sox as July begins to end. Matt Garza finished off the Blue Jays from start to finish for his first career complete game shut out. (TBO)

Speaking of the Sox, they almost were no hit at Fenway last night. John Lackey had put up zeros on the board until Dustin Pedroia broke up the bid with 1 out in the ninth. Not only did he end up losing the no hitter, but a shutout as well. Nevertheless, the Angels continued to dominate the Sox this season with a 6-2 road victory. (LA Times)

Oh yeah, more regular season dominance. the Yanks cannot seem to figure out the Orioles this season. The O’s were able to hold on in the ninth to beat the Yankees again, 7-6. The Yankees were previously the hottest team in the league since the All Star break, but now have dropped 3 straight. (NY Post)

As we continue to watch the trade deadline draw near, the Angels make the biggest splash yesterday. A day after the Braves announced Mark Teixeira was 100% available, they traded him to LA for Casey Kotchman. Without question this improves the Halos. They get the big bat they needed in the middle of the lineup to take pressure off of Vlad. He may be a 3 month rental, but well worth it. (LADN)

With that move out of the way, Jon Heyman breaks down the big names that remain on the block. (SI.com)

A big trade happened on the NBA front as well. The Houston Rockets are set to acquire Ron Artest from the Sacremento Kings. It is a six player deal, but the main components to get Artest are Bobby Jackson, and a 1st round pick. This instantly makes the Rockets a much stronger team in the buzzsaw that is the Western Conference. T-Mac, no more excuses. If this team is healthy, you have to win in the 1st round. (Houston Chron)

Looks as if the Bulls are finally getting something done correctly, as they near a 6 year deal with Luol Deng. Deng is the most versatile player on the Bulls, and they could not risk having him leave after next season. (ESPN)

The Bobcats finally came to terms with Emeka Okafor, agreeing on a 6 year 72 million. (USA Today)

Disgraced referee Tim Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in prison for his involvment with gambling and the NBA. David Stern is hoping that this is the last chapter in this black eye for the league. We will see. Still believe there are more involved. (NBC Sports)

Annika Sorenstam goes after Michelle Wie, questioning why she keeps playing with the men, especially since she is unable to qualify for an LPGA major. We know Sorenstam did play against the men once, but she also was the dominant golfer on the ladies tour at the time.(Fox Sports)

Michael Rosenberg is here to let you know that there is more going on in the NFL besides Brett Favre. Yeah we know, he sent in his papers for reinstatement. (Fox Sports)