Well a new year is upon us. My resolution: to write on the blog more. Why? Because I am fed up with college football and the only good thing to happen in college basketball has been this:
Well the final Bowl game is tonight and as I predicted it is an overrated SEC team against Oklahoma. I picked an overrated SEC team to win and I think that will happen. Florida, who lost at home to a 9 win Ole Miss team, gets to play for the title instead of USC, who lost to a 9 win Oregon State team two days before. Utah goes undefeated, beating that same Oregon State team along with No. 12 TCU and No. 14 BYU before trouncing the almighty Alabama in the Crimson Tide's backyard, yet gets no shot at a title. Why do these teams have no shot? Because they don't play in the almighty SEC. That being said, Oklahoma was the second best Big 12 team and should be able to hang with Florida but, in the end, Florida will pull it out because the home team usually wins a close game and this game is being played 300 miles from Gainsville and 1,500 miles from Norman. Sure is nice that the SEC gets the benefit of the doubt from the pollsters and computers even though they aren't a top 2 team(LSU 2003, Florida 2006, LSU 2007, Florida 2008) and gets to play the title game in their own backyard almost every year(LSU 2003, LSU 2007, Florida 2008). No matter what happens tonight, the real national champion will not be crowned because USC, Utah, and Texas have just as much a right to call themselves champions as tonights winner.
As for the Reds, I missed a few things during the holiday break. The Reds signed Willy Taveras to a 2 year deal worth $2.25 million this year and $4 million next year. He is a speedy CF, still fairly young at 27, and has shown signs of being a good leadoff man. His OPS in 2007 was .367 before falling to .308 last season. If he can go back to his 07 season, he would be a huge upgrade over previous leadoff/CF because his defense is pretty good and his baserunning is excellant. He was 68 for 75 last year which is the most steal in the league as well as one of the highest averages at 91%. Either way, he is better than Corey Patterson who has somehow gotten another chance at playing baseball, this time with the Nationals.
The other move was a resigning of Jerry Hairston on a one year deal. I also like this move because it is only a 1 year deal and he can play a variety of position, when healthy. He can play SS if A-Gon continues his 3 year rehab as well as CF and LF if we don't find another bat.
The righthand hitting LF search continues and things aren't looking too good. Milton Bradley is headed to Chicago, Pat Burrell is in Tampa, and it looks like the Red Sox will take Rocco Baldelli. That leaves only one available player, Manny Ramirez. He is still out there meaning his price has to have come down to around 20 million, something the Reds could probably afford but won't be able too because baseball is not meant for everyone to compete, only for big markets to compete every year with a random team thrown in to spice it up. I have seen all the stats about how many teams have made the playoffs/WS in the past 20 years but I give you this one, only once in the past 15 years has a team in the bottom half of payroll actually won the WS. That team was the Marlins. Goes to show you that those who can spend and do spend, win the WS. Those that don't have the means, have to hope for a miracle run to the playoffs or WS but don't have a realistic shot at actual winning the trophy. So, as pitchers and catchers begin to report in a month, remember that only 15 teams have a chance to hoist the trophy. What a great game.