The Oakland Raiders have announced that Jon Gruden is set to become their new head coach. Furthermore, Gruden is going to now be the highest paid coach in NFL history with a 10 year, 100-million-dollar contract with possible ownership stakes. Gruden has not coached in the NFL since 2009, however he was still involved with the NFL, he was a commentator on Monday Night Football as well as having his own show Grudens QB Camp where he worked with soon to be drafted QB’s.
I like the move by the Raiders. This is a guy who knows the game and has been around the game even when he was not coaching. Gruden worked with his now starting QB Derek Carr when he was about to go pro so he already knows how to elevate his game. Gruden also knows the strengths and weakness of other young QB’s since he has worked with most of them. Which will give him the advantage when working with his Defense.
Many people might not like the amount of money Gruden is going to get, let alone the fact that it is a 10-year deal but it seems like every year when there is a coaching job open, sports networks always throw in Gruden’s name as a possibility because they know that this is a guy who not only knows the game, but also is a coach that can win games and elevate his team’s performance.
The Giants traded for third baseman Evan Longoria today. This is a great thing for the Giants considering the fact that they now do not have to worry about playing Pablo Sandoval. I like this move for the Giants because this means they have a gold glove third baseman who even though his last couple years have not been as good as what we know he can do, they are still pretty good. Longoria also has a contract that would not hurt the Giants he has 5 years 81 million left on his contract so it gives the Giants a little wiggle room with keeping him or using him to trade for someone else down the line.
The biggest thing I have been hearing is why him? Why sign Longoria when there is better third basemen that teams are shopping for or are free agents. The answer to these questions in my opinion are simple it because since 2013 Longoria has played in almost every game of the year since 2013 the fewest games he has played in was 156. Longoria will be on the field almost every day making plays and getting hits. He is a consistent player for the most part and that is what the Giants need in order to be a contender in that division. He hovers around batting .270 every year which helps the Giants know what they are truly getting.
I am fine with the Giants passing on guys like Machado or a Moustakas because you get more in the sense of better contract with Longoria. Longoria is more consistent in the numbers and if you try to trade him it will not be too difficult plus Machado could only be there for one year anyway. The Giants still need a lot of help to get back to the dominating team they were but this is a step in the right direction.
This off season has been a tough one for Marlin fans. Derek Jeter comes in and starts firing people left and right and then he gets rid of their best players for prospects and a bucket of balls. Yesterday the Marlins fans had a chance to tell Jeter how they really felt. Many were fighting back tears because they love the team so much and others were just pissed and told him they had no plans to renew their season tickets. It is a tough time in Miami right now no doubt about it.
However, let us just recap what has happened before Jeter took over. Miami has not had a winning record since 2009. As matter of fact they only have six winning seasons since their existence is 1993. Now they do have two world series titles one that even came against Jeter’s Yankees in 2003 but oh wait, the next year they get rid of their best players and their world series MVP goes to Boston and wins them a world series a few years later. Marlins fans are a tough group of people it takes a lot to put up with constantly losing and never having much to be proud of.
The issue I have is that the fans in south beach are making it sound like it is all Jeter’s fault. They are upset that he is gutting the whole organization. But why are they mad? It is not like they were winning with who they had and furthermore the contracts they had tied the hands on the organization to become better. Stanton had to go to New York for many reasons but the biggest is to get rid of the massive contract because the Marlins are not the Yankees they cannot throw that much money at a player and be able to keep growing. Besides it is a known fact that nobody goes to Marlins games the stadium is always empty which is another reason for television companies not to show their games. Last season they ranked 28th out of 30 in attendance beating out only Oakland and Tampa Bay. These prove that even by having a relatively new stadium people will not come if you cannot win games.
I am fine with what Jeter is doing in Miami because it needs to be done if you are not winning games people will get fired and the organization should get shook up. Jeter is right by getting young player that can become the future and get extras that can be traded away for more talent and depth. So, my feelings are very simple towards Marlins fans. Shut up and trust the man, it cannot be much worse for you all then what it already has been and if you do not believe me then look at your attendance and think to yourself why is there nobody here. True fans will stick it out through the good and the bad. If Jeter makes this a playoff team in the future I hope you all will look back and realize how stupid you looked because you threw a fit over losing a couple of players and did not trust the Jeter to build a winning team.
Yankee fans everywhere woke up to the news that their team signed Giancarlo Stanton. The slugger from the Marlins is making a new home in the Bronx and what a sight that will be. Yankee fans are acting like children on Christmas morning when they asked for a gift they thought they would never get but then get surprised with it. While the rest of MLB feels like they just got into a car wreck with a train. Stanton without a doubt will be amazing playing in Yankee Stadium with that short right field and batting along guys like Judge and Sanchez.
Not only is this good for the Yankee’s that a huge star player signed with them but who better to help Judge improve his consistency and becoming a better player than Stanton? Plus, now they have an abundance of outfielders so it is likely that they will rotate around between playing the field and batting DH. This is a plus because it will likely keep them healthier during the long season and keep them fresher for the postseason. It seemed as if the Marlins were really running out of options and Stanton had a no trade clause in his contracted which allowed him to veto the Cardinals and the Giants trade offers. Eric Hubbs from Barstool sports said it best last night, he said with Stanton giving his list of teams he would be willing to go to and with many other teams dropping out left and right, the Yankees were the only guys left at the bar to make a trade with if the Marlins wanted him gone that bad.
The trade consisted of the Yankees getting Stanton and the Marlins getting Starlin Castro as well as two minor league prospects (Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers) also the Marlins are willing to eat 30 million from the Stanton contract and that makes it so the Yankees will end up paying Stanton 265 million instead of 295 million. Basically, a steal for the Yankees when looking at the player Stanton is as well as what they had to give up for him. The prospects they gave up was surprising especially with Miami just getting rid of Dee Gordon it seemed likely that they would take the Yankees #1 prospect Gleyber Torres instead of Castro for rebuilding purposes as well as another top prospect such as perhaps Chance Adams to improve the pitching down there in south beach. However, that is not what happened and the Yankees are sure happy about that.
This trade makes me think back to when the Yankees got Alex Rodriguez and how excited Yankee fans were then. Now obviously that ended in a bitter sweet way and the Yankees hope for a better ending with Stanton but none the less. Stanton is just as polarizing as A-Rod was and with the ability to help Judge and Sanchez makes this even bigger. Just to give you a look at the possible numbers, last year Judge hit 52 home runs last season Stanton hit 59 and Sanchez hit 33 that is a combined 144 home runs just between those three guys. Plus, they have arguably the best bullpen in baseball with Robertson, Betances and Chapman. This is going to be a very scary team to face. Ladies and Gentlemen, this could be the beginning of another Yankee dynasty and a rebirth of the evil empire.
One of the hottest names out there in MLB right now is Japanese player Shohei Ohtani. The “Japanese Babe Ruth” as some are calling him. This guy can pitch and he can hit and he wants to come to America and play with the best players in the world. Nothing wrong with that right? Well, here is the problem, this guy makes zero sense professionally. Athletes will tell you one of two things usually, one, they play to win championships. Ohtani will not tell you that. The other reason is to get rich, but again Ohtanti will not be telling you that either. No, Ohtanti says he wants people to like him and he wants to judge his career on the amount of applause he gets when he ends up retiring.
Who the hell does this guy think he is? You get referred to as the Japanese Babe Ruth which is arguably the greatest compliment ever and you do not care about money, championships or traditions? Now I get it, it’s a child’s game and he is playing for the love of the game but if that is the case, why not just stay in Japan? This guy passed on millions of dollars to come over here now instead of waiting 2 years. Again, I have no problem with this but what reason is behind coming here if it is all about the fans.
When Ohtani arrived the first teams he ruled out was the Yankees, Red Sox and Twins. It seemed like a very odd move but he made a statement that he wanted to play on the west coast because it was closer to Japan. I get it he wants the flight home to be shorter, no problem with that. However, like everything else this guy does he makes a statement that makes no sense he then says the Cubs and Rangers are still in the hunt. Ohtani, look at a god damn map, Chicago Illinois and Arlington Texas are not on the west coast they are both very much in the mid-west. Ohtani then said he wants to play for a small market team because he is afraid of the big cities. Odd move, like did he think that some place like Waco Texas would have a pro baseball team? But then he keeps L.A. on the list of possible teams he might sign with.
Ohtani sets off a lot of red flags for me and I would pass on him if I was a GM because another thing is his numbers are not as dominating as some think. When compared to guys like Ichiro, Tanaka, Hideki Matsui and other Japanese greats they dominated other players in Japan and was truly the best in their country. Ohtani said himself that there are so many more players that are better pitchers and hitters in Japan than him, this is what he said in an interview with Jon Morosi. The confidence is not there which is yet another red flag. Ohtani might come over and maybe he will be in the same conversation with Ichiro and Matsui but he has seemed more like a confused person rather than a legit pro athlete.
On Saturday college football fans everywhere watched as USC played Texas. A game with so much history behind it followed by an 11 year wait to see it happen again. This game was full of hype and everyone was talking about the last time when these teams played each other in the National Championship. For those who may not remember or are too young and did not have the chance to witness one of the classic games of all time. USC and Texas played each other in the National Championship game in 2006 and it was full of hype and stars. The game had three Heisman candidates playing in it and two of them ended up winning the award while in college. Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush lead the way for the Trojans and Vince Young lead the Longhorns. The game was close and there were so questionable calls made by the referees but in the end Young ran it into the end zone with seconds left to beat the Trojans and end their historic run.
Fast forward 11 years and the feeling around college football is the same when talking about these two teams. Almost anyone you talk to will remember that game and talk about how exciting it was to watch. Now USC was ranked #4 going into this game and Texas had a new coach so everyone was excited to see what happened. The result, a double overtime thriller. The game was back and forth and in the fourth quarter within the final minute Texas scores to take the lead the stadium was stunned and USC fans everywhere were thinking “no, not again we were so close to redemption”. But here is where it got wild, Heisman hopeful Sam Darnold marched the Trojans down the field in the final 45 seconds and got into field goal range. Freshman walk on Chase McGrath nailed the 31 yard field goal to send it into overtime. Suddenly USC fans had hope and Texas was not sure what just happened.
Overtime was just as exciting, USC went on to score and touchdown and make the PAT all the defense needed was a stop. Texas ended up countering and scored to tie it up again forcing a double overtime. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger attempted a QB sneak near the goal line and ended up getting the ball stripped and USC recovered. USC was able to get the ball back into range for their young kicker and as the ball went 43 yards through the uprights the USC fans could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Another instant classic between these two teams the only difference was that now the Trojans were victorious.
In the end, it really does not matter if you were shouting “hook em horns” or “Fight on Trojans” because this game lived up to the hype and it was provided a sense of excitement that every college football fan across the nation loved. This game was exactly what everyone wanted and as the old saying goes “it isn’t over till it’s over” and this game reminded fans everywhere of not only that but how sports can make you forget about all that is wrong in the world.
On Friday, the now second longest consecutive winning streak in MLB history ended for the Cleveland Indians at 22 games. This was a remarkable thing to watch even if you are not an Indians fan. During this streak the Indians were on fire at the plate they outscored their opponents by 142-37 and they only were behind eight innings during the entire streak. They batted .306 as a team and their pitching staff was lights out with a 1.77 ERA. Corey Kluber was pitching just like Cleveland fans are used to and Jose Ramirez was able to get out of his slump and lead the team offensively during this incredible journey and guys like Lindor and Santana were the leaders the team tended to lean on.
The question is what does this all mean for the World Series runner up? Well, to be honest other teams should worry because they did this without some of their best talent. Jason Kipnis, Andrew Miller, Michael Brantley they were all on the DL waiting to return and Bradley Zimmer broke his hand during the streak. With this being said, presuming the pitching staff continues to be consistent and the offense continues to produce runs this is a team that could make a deep run in October. But, here is the answer to the question, yes, the Indians will get major help when all their talent returns. However, as the A’s GM Billy Bean once said nothing matters unless you win the last game of the season.
This is still true today, the Dodgers have been having a historic season but if they fall short of winning it all, it does not matter, last year the Indians won 14 straight games but failed to win the last game of the World Series. The Astros and the Diamondbacks have had the best season for their clubs as well so far this season. As a baseball fan this has been a season to remember across the board with so many teams playing great baseball and new stars emerging in to the light. However, as I can say personally there is nothing worse than having such an amazing season and thinking it was your team’s year and then fall short of the title. With this being said, keep grinding Cleveland and keep believing in Believeland because sports is all about who gets hot at the right time.