Tuesday, December 27, 2011

If the season ended today...NFL Week 16

Just the AFC for right now...

1- New England (12-3)
AFC East title
Clinched first-round bye
Clinches home-field with win or Bal & Pit loss/tie
(If NE, Bal, and Pit finish 12-4; Bal wins home field. The win head-to-head over Pit; then would win tie-breaker over NE. They would be tied in conference record, but Bal would win in the next tie-breaker: strength of victory. They have a three-win margin right now over NE (80-77). If NE loses, the range NE could increase its SOV next week is 5-7 games. The range for Baltimore is 12-16 games (they would gain a +9 by beating Cin alone.) Thus, there is no way NE could overcome.)

2- Baltimore (11-4)
AFC North leader
[wins tie-breaker over Pit based on head-to-head 2-0]
Clinches division with win OR Pit loss/tie OR tie & Pit loss/tie
Clinches home-field with win AND NE loss
Clinches first-round bye with Pit loss AND Hou loss/tie OR tie & Pit loss/tie & Hou loss/tie

3- Houston (10-5)
AFC South title
Clinches first-round bye with win & Bal loss & Pit loss

4- Denver (8-7)
AFC West leader
[wins tie-breaker over Oak based on common games 7-6 to 6-7]
Clinches AFC West and #4 seed with win OR tie & Oak tie
[loss eliminates Denver]

5- Pittsburgh (11-4)
Wild Card #1 [clinched playoff spot]
wins AFC North and first round bye with win/tie AND Bal loss
Clinches home-field with win AND Bal loss and NE loss
#5 seed if Bal wins

6- Cincinnati (9-6)
Wild Card #2
Clinches #6 seed with win/tie OR
Oak loss/tie & NYJ loss/tie & Ten loss/tie

Wild Card: Cin @ Hou; Pit @ Den
Divisional: Cin/Pit/Den @ NE; Hou/Pit/Den @ Bal

Also still alive...(if any team loses, they are eliminated)
Oakland (8-7)
Wins AFC West and #4 seed with win AND Den loss/tie
Wins wild card and #6 seed if win AND Cin loss & Ten loss OR Cin loss & NYJ win & Ten win (Oak would win SOV over Ten and NYJ- currently its Oak 53 SOV wins- NYJ 47- Ten 45. The minimum Oak will increase their SOV next week (in this scenario) is 11. The max NYJ can increase is 13; Ten- 17. Thus, even in the worst case for Oak, it would be 64-60-62.

Tennessee (8-7)
Wins wild card and #6 seed with
win AND Cin loss & Oak loss/tie OR
win AND Cin loss & NYJ loss/tie

New York (8-7)
Wins wild card and #6 seed with
win AND Cin loss & Oak loss/tie & Ten loss/tie

1- Green Bay (14-1)
NFC North title
Clinched home-field

2- San Francisco (12-3)
NFC West title
Conference record (9-2) over New Orleans (8-3) for #2 seed
Can clinch #2 seed with win OR tie & NO loss/tie OR NO loss/tie

3- New Orleans (12-3)
NFC South title
Can clinch #2 seed with win & SF loss/tie OR tie & SF loss

4- New York (8-7)
NFC East leader
can clinch NFC East lead and #4 seed with win/tie
[eliminated with loss]

5- Detroit (10-5)
Wild Card #1 [clinched]
can clinch #5 seed with win/tie OR Atl loss/tie

6- Atlanta (9-6)
Wild Card #2 [clinched]
can clinch #6 seed with win & Det loss

Wild Card: Atl @ NO; Det @ NYG
Divisional: Atl/Det/NYG @ GB; NO/Det/NYG @ SF

Still alive
Dallas (8-7)
can clinch NFC East and #4 seed with win
[eliminated with loss]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Giants roster update

In a bit of a surprising move, the Giants did offer backup catcher Eli Whiteside a contract, and he did accept.

Initially, it was thought Whiteside, an arbitration eligible player, was non-tendered, but that turned out not to be the case.

It is also reported that the Giants (as expected), resigned relief pitcher Guillermo Mota.

Those two additions now bump up the 40-man roster to 39 men.

As far as the catcher situation, it will now be a three-man race to back up Buster Posey. Whiteside, Chris Stewart and rookie Hector Sanchez will all vie for the spot. Will the team keep one or two backup backstops? Will they send the remaining catchers down to Fresno? Stay turned.

Also, the agent of P Eric Hacker tweets that the pitcher signed a minor league contract with the Giants. Hacker pitched with Fresno in 2010, then with Rochester (Minnesota Triple-A) in 2011, with  a 7-14 record, 6.10 ERA, 1.555 WHP. His 2010 numbers (16-8, 4.51, 1.467) were slightly better. He has two MLB games to his credit, in 2009 with the Yankees.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

If the season ended today...NFL Week 15

The nitty gritty is a upon us. Now, the rest of the major media has caught on to what I started week 1. Here we go....

1- Green Bay (13-1)
NFC North title (clinched)
Clinched first-round bye
Clinches home field with win or SF loss

2- San Francisco (11-3)
NFC West title (clinched)
Clinches first-round bye with win and NO loss
Clinches home field with two wins and two GB losses (tiebreaker based on common games)

3- New Orelans (11-3)
NFC South leader
clinches division with win or tie vs. Atl
can still be #2 seed

4- Dallas (8-6)
NFC East leader
Clinches East with win and NYG loss/tie
(East winner will be #4 seed no matter what)

5- Atlanta (9-5)
Wild Card #1 leader
head-to-head over Detroit for tiebreaker
clinches playoff spot with win or tie
Can still win NFC South (with two wins and two NO losses)
Can still be #2 seed if they win SOV over SF

6- Detroit (9-5)
clinches playoff spot with win or tie

Still alive: division or wild card only: NYG (7-7) ; wild card only:  Chi (7-7), Ari (7-7), Sea (7-7); division only: Phi (6-8)

Loss/tie eliminate Philadelphia, Seattle, Arizona and Chicago.

Wild Card: Det @ NO; Atl @ Dal
Divisional: Det/Atl/Dal @ GB; NO/Atl/Dal @ SF

1- New England (11-3)
AFC East title (clinched)
Clinch home field with win/tie and Bal LOSS & Pit LOSS & Hou LOSS

2- Baltimore (10-4)
AFC North leader
Clinched playoff spot
head-to-head over Pit (2-0) for North lead; head-to-head over Hou (1-0) for #2 seed
Can clinch AFC North with WIN & Pit LOSS

3- Houston (10-4)
AFC South title (clinched)

4- Denver (8-6)
AFC West leader

5- Pittsburgh (10-4)
AFC Wild Card #1 leader
Clinched playoff spot

6- New York (8-6)
AFC Wild Card #2 leader
common games (3-2) over Cincinnati (2-2) for #6 seed

Still alive: Cincinnati (8-6, wild card only); Tennessee (7-7, wild card only); Kansas City (6-8, division only); wild card or division: Oak (7-7); SD (7-7)

Loss/tie eliminates Kansas City.

Wild Card: NYJ @ Hou; Pit @ Den
Divisional: NYJ/Pit/Den @ NE; Hou/Pit/Den @ Bal

Draft Order (tiebreaker is stronger Strength of Schedule (SOS) moves higher in the order):
1- Indianapolis (1-13)
2- St. Louis (2-12, .558 SOS)
3- Minnesota (2-12, .567 SOS)
4- Tampa Bay (4-10, .545 SOS)
5- Cleveland (4-10, .522 SOS)

6- Jacksonville (4-10, .500 SOS)
7- Buffalo (5-9, .522 SOS)
8- Miami (5-9, .518 SOS)
9- Carolina (5-9, .504 SOS)
10- Washington (5-9, .459 SOS)
11- Kansas City (6-8, .513 SOS)
12- Philadelphia (6-8, .500 SOS)
13-Seattle (7-7, .543 SOS)
14- Chicago (7-7, .527 SOS); wins tie-breaker over NYG based on conference games (6-4 over 4-7)
15- New York Giants (7-7, .527 SOS)

16- Oakland (7-7, . 518 SOS); wins tie-breaker over SD based on head-to-head (1-0)
17- San Diego (7-7, . 518 SOS)
18- Arizona (7-7, .469 SOS)
19- Tennessee (7-7, . 464 SOS)
20- Cincinnati (8-6)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Giants roster update

According to "Shea Hey" (John Shea of the SF Chronicle), the Giants non-tendered two players, C Eli Whiteside and 2B Jeff Keppinger at the December 12 deadline to offer arbitration-eligible players or let them go as free agents.

The Giants made the following moves during the Winter Meetings:
OF Angel Pagan  (trade with NYM)

OF Andres Torres (traded to NYM)
P Ramon Ramirez (traded to NYM)
2B Jeff Keppinger (non-tendered)
C Eli Whiteside (non-tendered)

The 40-man currently looks like: (* arbitration-eligible)
Pitchers (15)
Jeremy Affeldt
Madison Bumgarner
Matt Cain
Santiago Casilla*
Hector Correa (added during offseason)
Steve Edlefsen
Tim Lincecum*
Javier Lopez
Danny Otero (added during offseason)
Sergio Romo*
Dan Runzler
Eric Surkamp
Ryan Vogelsong*
Brian Wilson
Barry Zito

Catchers (3)
Buster Posey
Hector Sanchez
Chris Stewart

Infielders (12)
Ehire Adrianza
Brandon Belt
Emmanuel Burriss*
Brnado Crawford
Charlie Culbertson (added during offseason)
Mike Fontenot*
Conor Gillaspie
Aubrey Huff
Brett Pill
Freddy Sanchez
Pablo Sandoval*
Angel Villalona (added during offseason)

Outfielders (7):
Melky Cabrera* (added during offseason)
Justin Christian
Tyler Graham (added during offseason)
Roger Kieschnick  (added during offseason)
Angel Pagan*  (added during offseason)
Francisco Peguero
Nate Schierholtz*

The Giants have 37 men on the 40-man, leaving room for three more.

Current Giants Free Agents
OF Carlos Beltran
OF Pat Burrell
2B Orlando Cabrera
UT Mark DeRosa
P Guillermo Mota
OF Cody Ross

Of the six, the only rumored re-signing is Mota. Burrell is likely to retire. DeRosa is rumored to stay on a minor league deal. The remaining free agents are probably not going to be signed.

The Giants can still sign Whiteside and Keppinger, as they are now free agents.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

NFL Week 14 seedings/draft


1- Green Bay (13-0)
NFC North (clinched)
First-round bye (clinched)
Home-field with win or SF loss

2- San Francisco (10-3)
NFC West (clinched)
Conference games (8-2) over  New Orleans (6-3) for #2 seed

3- New Orleans (10-3)
NFC South leader
playoff spot (clinched)
can clinch NFC South with win and Atlanta loss/tie OR tie and Atlanta loss

4- New York (7-6)
NFC East leader
Head to head (1-0) over Dallas for NFC East lead

5- Atlanta (8-5)
Wild Card #1
Head to head (1-0) over Detroit for Wild Card #1

6- Detroit (8-5)
Wild Card #2

Wild Card: Det @ NO; Atl @ NYG
Divisional: Det/Atl/NYG @ GB; NO/Atl/NYG @ SF


1- Houston (10-3)
AFC South (clinched)
Conference (8-2) over New England/Baltimore (both 7-2) for #1 seed

2- Baltimore (10-3)
AFC North leader
Head-to-head sweep over Pittsburgh for top seed in North; common games (4-0) over New England (3-1) for #2 seed

3- New England (10-3)
AFC East leader

4- Denver (8-5)
AFC West leader

5- Pittsburgh (10-3)
Wild Card #1 
Can clinch playoff spot with win OR loss by TEN & OAK

6- New York (8-5) 
Wild Card #2

Wild Card: NYJ @ NE; Pit @ Den
Divisional: NYJ/Pit/Den @ Hou; NE/Pit/Den @ Bal

Draft: (SOS- strength of schedule)
1- Indianapolis (0-13)
2-  Minnesota (2-11, .567 SOS)
3- St. Louis (2-11, .553 SOS)
4- Tampa Bay (4-9, .538 SOS)
5- Cleveland (4-9, .529 SOS)
6- Miami (4-9, .524 SOS)
7- Jacksonville (4-9, .505 SOS) wins tie-breaker over Carolina b/c of head to head victory
8- Carolina (4-9, .505 SOS)
9- Washington (4-9, .457 SOS) 
10- Kansas City (5-8, .524 SOS)
11- Buffalo (5-8, .514 SOS)
12- Philadelphia (5-8, .490 SOS)
13- San Diego (6-7, .534 SOS)
14- Seattle (6-7, .538 SOS)
15- Arizona (6-7, .462 SOS)
16- Oakland (7-6, .524 SOS) wins tie-breaker over Chicago b/c of head to head victory
17- Chicago (7-6, .524 SOS)
18- Cincinnati (7-6, .510 SOS)
19- Dallas (7-6, .474 SOS)
20- Tennessee (7-6, .471 SOS)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More on interleague scheduling

Come 2013, with the NL and AL both with 15 teams, it means ever day will have an interleague game. Something to consider:

Under my plan below, every team would play 30 interleague games (15 home/15 away) versus five different opponents or 10 interleague series (3 games apiece).

This means there would be 150 total separate interleauge series (30 teams *10 series/2). My calculations have the schedule with 54 separate series (average of 3 games apiece = 162 games).

So, 150-54=96 series "left over." This means that there can be a full interleague schedule for three weeks (96 series/15 at a time =6 plus 6 series left over).

How to balance the baseball schedule

Starting in 2013, the AL and NL will have 15 teams apiece. The biggest change to the schedule means there must be an interleague series every day, as opposed to bundling it up in on block. How will this work?

Well, there is a way to now have a balanced schedule, meaning each team will be similar schedules. Here's how:

Each team would play nine home games vs. its four divisional opponents (9 games x 4 teams = 36 games).
Each team would play three home games vs. the other 10 teams in its league (3 games x 10 teams = 30 games).
Each team would play would play three games vs. five teams for the other league (3 games x 5 teams = 15 games).

36+30+15= 81 games (double for road games).

It would be simple enough to have a divisional rotation for interleague play, similar to the NFL. However, there are eight regional rivals that would need to be protected, so those teams could play every year (SF vs. Oak; LAD vs. LAA; ChC v. ChW; NYM vs. NYY; Cin vs. Cle; Mia vs. TB; StL vs. KC; Was vs. Bal).

This will require a tweaking of the interleague teams that are opponents. Because, now that Houston is switching leagues, all rivalries play for similar divisions (West vs. West, Central vs. Central, East vs. East). When that is in the rotation, no tweaking is required. When the rotation is West vs. East, Central vs. West, East vs. Central (or West vs. Central, Central vs. East, East vs. West), some changes are made. Taking the first pairings and the Giants for example, they would normally play home-and-home's with:

Baltimore, Boston, New York, Tampa Bay, Toronto

But to preserve the rivalry with Oakland:
Baltimore, Boston, New York, Tampa Bay, Toronto,  Oakland

This would cause a chain reaction, involving up to 22 teams. Replacing Toronto with Oakland is arbitrary (it could be any of the AL East teams; it would be have to be done in a 15-year rotation as to which team is "out").

Now for Oakland (vs. NL Central):
Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Francisco

Toronto (vs. NL West):
Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, team TBA
The replacement team can be figured out after going through the chain reaction, and find the NL team needing an AL pairing.

The chain continues:
St. Louis (vs. AL West):
Houston, Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, Texas, Kansas City

The chain would continue with Kansas City, and so on (to make sure the other six remaining regional rivalries are matched up correctly). If the schedulers really wanted more work, they can separate the teams "crossed off" for the home and road series (ie The Giants miss Toronto at home, but play them on the road, and skip Baltimore).

Monday, December 5, 2011

NFL Week 13 seedings/update

1- Green Bay (12-0)
NFC North title (clinched)

2- San Francisco (10-2)
NFC West title (clinched)

3- New Orleans (9-3)
NFC South title

4- Dallas (7-5)
NFC East title

5-Chicago (7-5)
Wild Card #1
Conference games (6-3) over Detroit (5-5); head-to-head over Atlanta

6- Atlanta (7-5)
Wild Card #2
head-to-head over Detroit

Wild Card: Atl @ NO; Chi @ Dal
Divisional: Atl/Chi/Dal @ GB; NO/Chi/Dal @ SF

1- New England (9-3)
AFC East title
Strength of Victory (.426) over Houston (.383) for #1 seed

2- Baltimore (9-3)
AFC North title
Head-to-head sweep over Pittsburgh for top seed in North; head-to-head over Houston for #2 seed

3- Houston (9-3)
AFC South title 

4- Denver (7-5)
AFC West title
Division (3-2) over Oakland (2-2)

5- Pittsburgh (9-3)
Wild Card #1

6- Cincinnati (7-5)
Wild Card #2
Conference (6-4) over Tennessee (5-4) and Oakland/New York (5-5)

Wild Card: Cin @ Hou; Pit @ Den
Divisional: Cin/Pit/Den@ NE; Hou/Pit/Den @ Bal

Draft: (SOS- strength of schedule)
1- Indianapolis (0-12)
2-  Minnesota (2-10, .568 SOS)
3- St. Louis (2-10, .552 SOS)
4- Jacksonville (3-9)
5- Tampa Bay (4-8, .542 SOS)
6- Cleveland (4-8, .531 SOS)
7-Miami (4-8, .521 SOS)
8- Carolina (4-8, .500 SOS)
9- Philadelphia (4-8, .495 SOS)
10- Washington (4-8, .453 SOS)
11- Kansas City (5-7, .521 SOS)
12- Seattle (5-7, .544 SOS)
13- San Diego (5-7, .536 SOS)
14- Buffalo (5-7, .516 SOS)
15- Arizona (5-7, .469 SOS)
16- New York Giants (6-6)
17- Detroit (7-5, .557 SOS) 
18- Oakland (7-5, .521 SOS)
19- New York Jets (7-5, .484 SOS)
20- Tennessee (7-5, .464 SOS)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Restaurant Review: Yard House

A little change up here. Had a chance to preview a new restaurant in Fresno: The Yard House. Located at River Park, it officially opens Sunday, December 4. I had a chance to check it out Friday as part of a media preview pre-opening event.

The Yard House, the latest national chain to invade Fresno, offers a variety of American, Asian and Italian inspired dishes. Most appetizers, salads and sandwiches go for $10-15. Steak, seafood and ribs are in the $20-25 range.

It was a crowded event, but my family and I found a table outside. It was cool, but comforatable with the heaters and a jacket. Servers went around table to table with food samplers.

I must say that everything tasted great. The hamburger/cheeseburgers were very moist, juicy and meaty, made of "natural beef."

Other highlights included the margherita pizza, moo goo egg rolls, penne pasta (although my wife thought it a bit spicy), grilled sweet Korean BBQ beef (sweet & spicy).

Yard House also features many beers and spirits. I tried the Black & Tan, as well as a Cool Mint Martini. I recommend both.

I was impressed by the food and excellent service. No glitches, everything ready to go. The only knock is that inside seating seemed real dark and crowded. I guess it is good if you are out on a date, but tough if you are with your family.

The restaurant had plenty of big screens with sports on. The speakers were also playing adult contemporary music. The music was loud, but not loud enough to drown out any conversation.

Thanks to manager Tim Dolan for the invite.