Archive for March, 2011

Predicting the Orioles

Posted in Baltimore Orioles on March 28, 2011 by birdbytes

I have already given you my breakdown of each position, and at this point it looks like it’s all pretty accurate.  Health is an issue heading into opening weekend, and how the veterans hold up and mix in with the core players will be key.

My prediction for the first full season under Buck?  I think these O’s are capable of winning around 72 to 78 games this season.  They’ll be in the mix for 81 wins (.500) in August and September, but I just don’t envision them having enough in the tank to get there this year.

However, that’s a strong improvement over last season and I think it will give them something to build on.

Enjoy opening weekend and I’ll see you at the yard!  I will be there on the 7th to see them take on the Detroit Tigers.


Big Games: Penguins vs. Flyers

Posted in Pittsburgh Penguins with tags , on March 23, 2011 by birdbytes

Thursday at 7 o’clock eastern time, the keystone state will drop the puck on one of two key match-ups in the next two weeks.

This one is extremely big for the Penguins.  They will enter the game trailing their cross-state rivals by 5 points.  If they want to have any shot at catching the Orange and Black, this one is a must win.  A loss will set them back six points with only one head-to-head remaining.

A win, however, especially if it is in regulation, would change the chase.  That would put the Pens just 3 points behind the Flyers with one remaining head-to-head.  Then if they simply keep pace, beat the Flyers again and get one more win than the Flyers, we’re looking at a division winner and top 3 in the conference.  Why is that important?

For starters, it’s always better to win the division.  If they get one of the top two or three spots, there is a good chance they’ll have home ice through the first two rounds.  It also means they would most likely avoid playing the Caps or Flyers until, at earliest, the conference finals.  The Caps have owned the Penguins this season, and they are on a roll.

It also would give this team a confidence boost heading into the playoffs.

Bottom line, this is entertainment and it is gearing up for the postseason.

Who will claim the best hockey team in PA?

Imagining Life Without Football

Posted in Philadelphia Eagles with tags , , , , on March 11, 2011 by birdbytes

I hoped to not have to write this entry, but in three hours the NFL will be shutting down operations, being sued by the NFLPA for anti-trust (whatever that means), and things could get ugly.

For the first time since 1987, we the fans are forced to listen to million and billion-aires talk about how to split 9 billion in revenue.  Good times…

So it got me thinking about a lot of things that aren’t related to this title, but I want to mention a few.  I am not a member of a union, and my job security and salary is based solely on my own efforts.  I can’t earn “tenure” or collectively bargain for benefits, days off, or anything else.  If I’m not happy, I have to find — without any assistance — a new job.

Likewise, for essentially no reason, my employer can choose to relieve me of my duties.  There is no protection for me.

Why should that be any different for anybody else?  To be fair, I don’t know enough about unions to make a strong case for or against them.  I just know I don’t need one, have never been a part of one, and don’t believe that they are entirely necessary beyond providing some income for some greedy lawyers.

And that brings us to the NFL.  Greed is the central theme of this imminent lockout.  (They will tell us that it’s about transparency, but that is a fancy way of saying “Show me the MONEY”)!

In all candor, it is awfully tempting to stage a fan lockout once the dust settles.  We should all skip the first regular season home game for our teams — forcing the NFL to black out every home market once, losing single ticket sales, parking and concessions/merchandise.  Just to let them know we don’t approve of their ignorance, we should not watch any NFL in week 1.  It’s hard to believe that these adults are bickering over, boiled down, 9 billion dollars.  I understand the business of it — that is the league revenue and they’d like to get their “piece of the pie” or whatever.  How about *gasp* passing some savings down to the fans.  Why don’t the owners take $4 bilion, give $4 billion to the players, and then pass the last $1 billion on to the fans as cost cuts — ticket prices are outrageous, cable bills are sky high, a new jersey is unaffordable, $9 for a crappy beer (not even a good beer, Miller Lite for $9? Come on).   Not that it’s better in any other sport… but I can go to an O’s game for around $30 if I play it right.  I don’t go to an Eagles game every year, and generally when I do it’s preseason and I sit in nosebleed seats, eat in the parking lot, and don’t buy much in the stadium.

With all of that said, I just can’t do it — just like you, I’ll turn on the games in week 1 and root for my favorite team.  I can’t imagine life without football.

So raise your cheap beer of choice to swift end to the negotiations, the draft in April and free agency in May this year.  Because they need to get paid, too.

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