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17 year old Cale's very opinionated view on everything sports.

Posts Tagged ‘San Diego

NFL Season Preview: # 5 Indianapolis Colts

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Overview: The Colts had a rough season with injuries in ’08 as well. QB Peyton Manning’s knee was surgically repaired, and didn’t really get going until mid season. WR Marvin Harrison was also banged up, and seemed to have lost a step in his old age. S Bob Sanders always struggles with injury, due to his style of play. Despite all of this, the Colts had a 12-4 record and lost in the first round to San Diego.

Offseason Moves: Coach Tony Dungy retired, but many of his former staff members are still in place. Along with Dungy, WR Marvin Harrison went packing, as the Colts released him. Indianapolis started adding to their team by selecting Connecticut RB Donald Brown in the first round. Besides this, the Colts made very little changes.

Upcoming Season: QB Peyton Manning is fully healthy, but lost his favorite target in WR Marvin Harrison. WR Reggie Wayne is still in place, and WR Anthony Gonzalez will have to step up. The Colts now have two strong running backs in Joseph Addai and Donald Brown. All this offense is supported by the strong Colts’ offensive line. On defense, the team can be suspect at times. The defensive line is strong, and led by DE Dwight Freeney. The line backing core and secondary could use a little more depth, but is still solid enough to shut teams down.

Anthony GonzalezPlayer to watch: QB Peyton Manning had the most passes and completions to WR Marvin Harrison than any other combination in history. Now with Harrison gone, WR Anthony Gonzalez will be taking his place. Gonzalez had a solid rookie season, and thus far in the preseason, looks great. Look for Gonzalez to provide a strong target opposite WR Reggie Wayne.

Prediction: 11-5, 1st in AFC South

The Colts are again the strength of the division. With a healthy QB Peyton Manning, the passing attack is nearly unstoppable, and look for Indianapolis to show that this season.

NFL Season Preview: #8 Atlanta Falcons

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Overview: The Falcons were another team clouded in mystery last season. They had no quarterback after the departure of QB Michael Vick to jail, and had released RB Warrick Dunn. Atlanta then drafted QB Matt Ryan, and signed RB Michael Turner to replace them, and these two players helped lead the Falcons to an 11-5 record and a division title.

Offseason Moves: On offense, the Falcons added a load of new targets for QB Matt Ryan. Most notably, TE Tony Gonzalez was acquired in a trade from the Chiefs. Atlanta also signed WRs Marty Booker and Robert Ferguson. On the defensive side of the ball, the Falcons began adding through the draft, selecting DT Peria Jerry in the first round. Atlanta also signed LBs Mike Peterson, Jamie Winborn, and Tony Gilbert.

Upcoming Season: With a stronger offense, and a more experienced quarterback in Matt Ryan, the Falcons look ready to explode this season. QB Matt Ryan has a complete passing game with deep threat WR Roddy White, and the intermediate with TE Tony Gonzalez. The passing attack is balanced out by RB Michael Turner, who had a career season last year. On defense, a revamped line backing core and solid defensive line have Atlanta looking strong. The secondary can be questionable at times, but should hold up as the Falcons could have one of the best teams in the NFL.

Player to watch: RB Michael Turner took his workload to new heights lastMichael Turner season. Previously a backup in San Diego, Turner had 376 carries in ’08, which of course, results in taking 376 hits. People are questioning whether Turner will hold up this season, and the Falcons are talking about targeting the 325 carry range. Look for Turner to produce about the same as last year, knowing that the Falcons are a run first team.

Prediction: 10-6, 1st in NFC South

The Falcons have a tougher schedule this season, but have a better team than last season. It should balance out, and result in the Falcons going deep into the playoffs.

As the deadline passes, many players are finding new homes

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Red Sox first basemen Adam LaRoche to the Braves for first basemen Casey Kotchman: This move was strictly made to free up some money for the Red Sox, and to acquire great defense off their bench in Kotchman. Adam LaRoche now returns to Atlanta, and provides a better offense at first.

Grade : C for Red Sox, C for Braves

Indians’ catcher Victor Martinez to the Red Sox for P Justin Masterson, P Nick Hagadone, and P Bryan Price: The Red SoxVictor Martinezobviously needed another bat to make a legitimate run at the World Series. They got it in catcher/first basemen Victor Martinez. This trade also gives the Sox some versatility. Martinez can catch and spell Jason Varitek every now and then. Victor can also play first, which would slide Kevin Youkilis across the diamond if Mike Lowell continues to hurt. Martinez also provides a switch hitter with power in the middle of the lineup that balances Boston’s order. The Indians received three top prospects in starters Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone, and a closer in Bryan Price.

Grade: A – for Red Sox, B for Indians

Padres’ pitcher Jake Peavy to the White Sox for P Clayton Richard, P Aaron Poreda, P Dexter Carter, P Adam Russell: In a surprise move, the Padres finally got the injured Peavy to waive his no trade clause, and accepted the White Sox trade. If Peavy comes back this year, this gives the White Sox a great one-two punch in Mark Buehrle and Peavy, and closes the gap between them and the Tigers. The Padres, on the other hand, dumped Peavy’s salary like they had desperately attempted to earlier. They also acquired three top prospects in Richard, who has started 26 games in the Majors this year, Poreda, a 2007 first round pick, and Carter, a thirteenth round pick in 2007. Adam Russell also has some relieving experience in the Majors. These players just add more pieces to the puzzle for San Diego, as they rebuild their team.

Grade : B+ for White Sox, B- for Padres

A’s shortstop Orlando Cabrera to the Twins for SS Tyler Ladendorf: A move that was considered a lock, occurred Friday, as the Twins finally sured up the middle of their infield. The Twins, as many teams have, had a void in their middle infield and filled it with Cabrera. Orlando provides solid defense as well as a bat that can be placed almost anywhere in the lineup. The A’s got prospect Tyler Ladendorf, who was a second round pick in 2008, and who is currently at Single A.

Grade : B for Twins, C for A’s

WashburnMariners’ pitcher Jarrod Washburn to the Tigers for P Luke French and P Mauricio Robles: The Mariners decided they were not in contention this year, and traded away Washburn, in the middle of a career year. This gives the Tigers a great rotation, especially a top three of Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson, and Washburn. The interesting part of this trade is that the Mariners very well could resign Jarrod Washburn after the season. Washburn has stated that he loves Seattle, and would fit in their picture for next season. As for the players they acquired, French is a rookie this season but has been serviceable thus far. Robles is a top prospect that could be in the Majors in as soon as two seasons.

Grade: B+ for Tigers, B- for Mariners

Orioles’ pitcher George Sherrill to the Dodgers for 3B Josh Bell and P Steve Johnson: The Orioles coveted reliever was sent on his way for a top prospect in third basemen, Josh Bell. Baltimore figured that it will not be a contender for at least another year or two, so they got the best value they could for their closer, which would be the heir apparent to 3B Melvin Mora.

Grade: B for Dodgers, C+ for Orioles

Blue Jays’ third basemen Scott Rolen to the Reds for 3B Edwin Encarnacion, P Josh Roenicke, and P Zach Stewart: Reds GM Walt Jocketty had previously traded for Rolen, and now has done it again. The Reds traded young third basemen Edwin Encarnacion, along with two pitching prospects for Rolen, who is in the midst of his best season since his shoulder injury three seasons ago.

Grade: C+ for Reds, C+ for Blue Jays

Pirates’ pitcher Tom Gorzelanny and P John Grabow to the Cubs for P Kevin Hart and P Jose Ascaino: After getting a Cubs win yesterday, pitcher Kevin Hart received the news that he was traded to the Pirates. Hart and pitcher Jose Ascaino, give the Bucs some more arms to rummage through as they continue to build their team from the bottom up. The Cubs got once fourteen game winner, Tom Gorzelanny, who they believe to be on track again after struggling earlier this season. Chicago also acquired lefty reliever John Grabow, who they will pair with lefty Sean Marshall, for the stretch run.

Grade: B for Cubs, B- for Pirates

Nationals’ first basemen Nick Johnson to the Marlins for P Aaron Thompson: The Nationals dumped salary and injuries to the Florida Marlins today. Johnson, having his seemingly most healthy year, was traded to Florida for a former first round pick in pitcher Aaron Thompson. This move gives the Nats another arm on which to build their franchise. Johnson will give the Marlins a better all around player at first, as well as the versatility to play many different lineups based on match ups.

The Moves Not Made

Halladay: As I said yesterday, Toronto GM over played his hand based on the market, and ended up keeping Roy Halladay. Now he will attempt to deal him in the offseason, at much lesser value. This scenario reminds me very much of what went on with P Johan Santana, almost two years ago.

Gonzalez: In my opinion, the Padres were never going to trade first basemen Adrian Gonzalez. He is relatively young, cheap based on his talents, and someone they can rebuild their team around.

Trade Deadline Winners

Pirates Giants Trade BaseballGiants: The Giants needed offense to even make it a race against the Dodgers, who have the Majors best record. They added two bats, Freddy Sanchez and Ryan Garko. Sanchez is a former batting champion, and Garko had hit 35 home runs the past two seasons. With their already strong pitching, considerably stronger than the Dodgers, the Giants look primed to now challenge Los Angeles for the NL West crown.

Red Sox: Theo Epstein works in curious ways. When all is said and done, the Red Sox walk away from the deadline with Victor Martinez as an insurance policy for Mike Lowell, and a bat in the middle of the lineup. The Sox also gave up relatively little for Martinez, who they will also have for 2010.

Cardinals: The Cardinals got a bat to protect Albert Pujols, and set themselves up for the stretch run with the acquisition of outfielder Matt Holliday. Besides giving up top prospect, Brett Wallace, who had questions surrounding him anyways, the Cards got Holliday for barely anything. Not to mention they acquired red hot Julio Lugo, and versatile Mark DeRosa.

Phillies: Thought to be front runners for Roy Halladay, the Phillies went in and swooped up Cliff Lee for a much lesser price than what Toronto GM J.P. Riccardi was asking for. Lee gives the Phillies one of the best rotations in the NL, and cements them as serious threats to repeat.

Trade Deadline Losers

Athletics: The A’s traded away Matt Holliday and Orlando Cabrera this deadline. The boatload of prospects Oakland walked away with shows that they won’t be players anytime soon.

Indians: Although I liked the prospects the Indians acquired in both the Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez deals, you can’t trade last year’s Cy Young Award winner and the best catcher in baseball, and be considered a better team.

Blue Jays: Now that they haven’t traded Halladay, his value will go way down. One GM has even been quoted as saying that his value would drop 30-40%. Good luck getting what you ask for now J.P.