#MLB Expansion

Last season I wrote of how expansion in MLB could work. I feel as though we need to expand upon my original idea. This past week we witnessed the Oakland Raiders obtain a vote to leave and turn the Silver State (Nevada) into the Silver and Black State. That’s right if you haven’t heard the Raiders are ¡Viva Las Vegas! now. I know that song is now stuck in your brains. So now that that has happened, the Athletics should get some sweet new digs or at the very least renovate. They have a few years to figure this all out, but I’m sure it’ll happen. That was one part of my solution that I thought would figure itself out. Another part of the problem we have is the Tampa Bay Rays. Despite them being well run for many years and being smart and all that, they still ranked 29th in attendance last season. They’re always in the bottom third of MLB and more often than not they are in the bottom 2. Again I say move to Montreal! Let’s bring back the Expos! The next two spots I proposed to expand were Portland and Vancouver. I’ve read recently that now Commissioner Manfred is thinking that Las Vegas could be a possibility for MLB. There are certainly pros and cons here. Once the Raiders (again with the football, geez) and UNLV move into their new fancy stadium, that opens the possibility for Sam Boyd Stadium to be turned into a fine MLB facility. It has the capability to seat 40,000 fans and this isn’t a from-the-ground-up kinda deal. Honestly this could work. On the other hand, how can we expect Las Vegas to support 3 major sports franchises? I know that Las Vegans know that their city is growing, but they don’t quite have the infrastructure ready. They may have put the cart ahead of the horse with the Raiders and may have looked over some key things such as education and whatnot. So let’s not get too carried away. Plus, would you want to play baseball in July and August when the average temperature is 103-106 degrees? I think not. So we can keep Portland and Vancouver on our short list. Now we keep our lineup of divisions as follows:
AL East-Baltimore-Boston-New York-Toronto
AL North-Chicago-Cleveland-Detroit-Minnesota
AL South-Houston-Kansas City-Los Angeles-Texas
AL West-Oakland-Portland-Seattle-Vancouver
NL East-Montreal-New York-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh
NL North-Chicago-Cincinnati-Colorado-Milwaukee
NL South-Atlanta-Miami-St. Louis-Washington
NL West-Arizona-Los Angeles-San Diego-San Francisco

How would we fit 162 games? First we will have a home and home 3 game series. So if you take 1 team and do that against every other non divisional league member that’s 12 teams times 6 games and that equals 72 games. Then you factor in the regionalized inter-league play. Say you play in the AL South, you play a home and home against the NL South. That equates to 6 games times 5 teams. There’s another 30 games and we are at 102 games. Now divisional play: 15 games apiece against every divisional opponent makes the last 60. As for playoff structure we will have 4 divisional champions seeded 1-4 and 2 wild card winners seeded 5-6. Earning a division championship should at the very least earn you a home field advantage. The top 2 seeds in each league shall earn a bye from the new wild card format. I think everyone is in agreement that the winner take all wild card games are must see TV. So let’s expand upon that. So seed 3’s will play seed 6’s and seed 4’s will play 5’s. I proposed a Thursday thru Sunday 4 game stretch of prime time games. So Thursday AL-3 vs AL-6, Friday NL-3 vs NL-6, Saturday AL-4 vs AL-5, Sunday NL-4 vs NL-5. The 3/6 winner plays the 2 seed and the 4/5 winner plays the 1 seed. Just for fun let’s seed the teams that would’ve participated in the playoff last season.

AL-1 Texas Rangers (South Champ)
AL-2 Cleveland Indians (North Champ)
AL-3 Boston Red Sox (East Champ)
AL-4 Seattle Mariners (West Champ)
AL-5 Baltimore Orioles (Wild Card)
AL-6 Toronto Blue Jays (Wild Card)

NL-1 Chicago Cubs (North Champ)
NL-2 Washington Nationals (South Champ)
NL-3 Los Angeles Dodgers (West Champ)
NL-4 New York Mets (East Champ)
NL-5 San Francisco Giants (Wild Card)
NL-6 St. Louis Cardinals (Wild Card)

Thursday prime time
Blue Jays @ Red Sox

Friday prime time
Cardinals @ Dodgers

Saturday prime time
Orioles @ Mariners

Sunday prime time
Giants @ Mets

I think that we have solved some things here. I need a grassroots movement to help me propose my plan to the powers at MLB. I’m sure ESPN, Fox, and TBS would get in a bidding war to broadcast those Thursday-Sunday night winner take all wild card games. Maybe even another network might get in the bidding for something like that. I know I’d be glued to them. My wife would no doubt hate that. But she does like baseball so maybe we are on to something.

Follow me @originaldaveo on Twitter

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Greatest #CollegeFootball Programs…EVER

Today the AP put out their Top 100 College Football Programs of all time. You can read all about it here: http://collegefootball.ap.org/top-100

It uses a formula that is really good, but I wanted to know what would happen if some other variables were added. So on top of the AP formula counting poll appearances (one point) to mark consistency, No. 1 rankings (two points) to acknowledge elite programs; I edited the bonus National Championship (10 points) to include claimed National Championships, then Total Victories (1 point) and Bowl Victories (5 points) were also added in. The results are similar to the AP list but I did not go down 100 schools (might have taken until the start of the season to compile that data). I am going to give a Top 25 with an “others receiving votes” starting at #26 and ending at #35. Data for calculations taken from: http://www.winsipedia.com/ & http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/

Other’s Receiving Votes: West Virginia, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Colorado, Iowa, Syracuse, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, & Stanford.

25 Ole Miss – 281 AP appearances, 3 #1 Rankings, 3 claimed National Titles, 655 Total Wins, & 24 Bowl Wins

Ole Miss was 29th in the AP article

24 Georgia Tech – 307 AP appearances, 0 #1 Rankings, 4 claimed National Titles, 714 Total Wins, & 24 Bowl Wins

Only team in Top 25 to have never been ranked #1

23 Pittsburgh – 294 AP appearances, 21 #1 Rankings, 9 claimed National Titles, 704 Total Wins, & 13 Bowl Wins

I had no idea Pittsburgh had 9 National Titles, it did not change their position from the AP list though

22 Arkansas – 410 AP appearances, 1 #1 Ranking, 1 claimed National Title, 702 Total Wins, & 15 Bowl Wins

The Hogs just do not have enough postseason or #1 ranking success, hard to change that in the SEC West

21 Clemson – 387 AP appearances, 7 #1 Rankings, 1 claimed National Title, 703 Total Wins, & 20 Bowl Wins

Clemson almost added to an impressive resume last season, have a shot this season as well

20 UCLA – 521 AP appearances, 7 #1 Rankings, 1 claimed National Title, 585 Total Wins, & 17 Bowl Wins

The Bruins consistency of being ranked is why they are so high without the lofty win totals that some schools below have

19 Michigan State – 375 AP appearances, 29 #1 Rankings, 6 claimed National Titles, 681 Total Wins, & 11 Bowl Wins

Everything looks like the Spartans are one of the most successful programs ever, except they only have 11 bowl wins-head scratching

18 Washington – 401 AP appearances, 15 #1 Rankings, 2 claimed National Titles, 702 Total Wins, & 18 Bowl Wins

Washington is has been a sleeping giant lately, this year they may be awakened

17 Texas A&M – 424 AP appearances, 7 #1 Rankings, 3 claimed National Titles, 717 Total Wins, & 17 Bowl Wins

The Aggies have a rich history, they have been good in the SEC but we are all waiting for that breakout

16 Miami – 458 AP appearances, 67 #1 Rankings, 5 claimed National Titles, 596 Total Wins, & 18 Bowl Wins

Much of the success of The U has been in the last 35 years

15 Florida State – 540 AP appearances, 72 #1 Rankings, 3 claimed National Titles, 522 Total Wins, & 26 Bowl Wins

The Seminoles are another run like they were under Bobby Bowden, watch out America

14 Auburn – 532 AP appearances, 9 #1 Rankings, 2 claimed National Titles, 748 Total Wins, & 23 Bowl Wins

Everything about the Auburn program screams top 15-20 in the nation, no surprise here

13 Florida – 562 AP appearances, 41 #1 Rankings, 3 claimed National Titles, 701 Total Wins, & 21 Bowl Wins

There was a lull in between Spurrier and Meyer, then another one after Meyer left, now it seems they are rolling again under McElwain

12 Georgia – 532 AP appearances, 15 #1 Rankings, 2 claimed National Titles, 787 Total Wins, & 28 Bowl Wins

Georgia is almost always a threat to win double digit games each year

11 LSU – 575 AP appearances, 30 #1 Rankings, 3 claimed National Titles, 770 Total Wins, & 24 Bowl Wins

As long as those recruiting grounds in Louisiana stay fertile, LSU will stay relevant

10 Tennessee – 568 AP appearances, 18 #1 Rankings, 6 claimed National Titles, 820 Total Wins, & 27 Bowl Wins

Now we are into Top 10 territory, the Volunteers can stand up to almost everyone in the country and this year it seems they will add to this rich history

9 Penn State – 589 AP appearances, 19 #1 Rankings, 4 claimed National Titles, 856 Total Wins, & 28 Bowl Wins

The Nittany Lions are just outside the Elite 8 (to borrow from the basketball tourney). Lets stop here and take a moment. The next 8 college football programs are hands down the elite of all time. There are no other arguments, you may can crunch numbers to jockey up the order but if these next 8 are not in your top 8 then you have a list that is not worth reading.

8 Texas – 703 AP appearances, 45 #1 Rankings, 4 claimed National Titles, 885 Total Wins, & 27 Bowl Wins

Just look at how the numbers take a defined leap from Penn State to Texas, and they’re only in the 8 position

7 Nebraska – 717 AP appearances, 72 #1 Rankings, 5 claimed National Titles, 880 Total Wins, & 26 Bowl Wins

Under Tom Osborne, Nebraska enjoyed one of the longest (if not the longest) runs of sustained excellence the nation has ever seen – last program under 2000 total points

6  USC – 743 AP appearances, 91 #1 Rankings, 11 claimed National Titles, 813 Total Wins, & 33 Bowl Wins

The Trojans have the 2nd highest total of bowl wins and national titles in the country

5 Michigan – 806 AP appearances, 34 #1 Rankings, 11 claimed National Titles, 925 Total Wins, & 21 Bowl Wins

The Wolverines have the most total wins in the country

4 Notre Dame – 766 AP appearances, 98 #1 Rankings, 11 claimed National Titles, 892 Total Wins, & 17 Bowl Wins

The Irish are an 8 win season away from being the second program in the country to amass 900 total wins

3 Oklahoma – 784 AP appearances, 101 #1 Rankings, 7 claimed National Titles, 861 Total Wins, & 28 Bowl Wins

The Sooners have the 2nd most #1 rankings in the country

2 Alabama – 745 AP appearances, 74 #1 Rankings, 16 claimed National Titles, 864 Total Wins, & 36 Bowl Wins

The Crimson Tide have more claimed national titles and bowl wins than anyone else

1 Ohio State – 852 Appearances, 105 #1 Rankings, 8 claimed National Titles, 875 Total Wins, & 22 Bowl Wins

The Buckeyes are #1 in this and the AP list, they have appeared and been ranked #1 more than anyone else

 

Did you see the clear separation of the top 6? The amount of programs from the Big 10 and SEC? Now do you get why the media covers these teams and these two conferences more than the others. Now you get why the Big 10 and SEC play each other so often in the New Year’s Day games and why the Rose Bowl seems to have the same pool of teams squaring off each year. This list is proof of all those statements. Thanks for reading and if you want to dispute then bring your list to @originaldaveo on Twitter.

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#MLB Division Champion Locks

With tomorrow the trade scenarios will cease. Rosters will be primed and ready for the stretch run, we are officially on the road to October. The 6 divisions in MLB are really starting to give us a picture of who will be in the World Series Tournament. Let us take a look at the up to the minute standings and give a lock (if possible) for each division.

AL East

Toronto, Baltimore, and Boston have been jockeying for position all summer long in the most contested division in all of baseball. All 3 squads have a legit chance of making the postseason. I cannot say any of them is a lock, as all of them are flawed teams. In other news, the Yankees have turned into bonafide sellers with the recent moves of shipping Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and Andrew Miller to the Indians. There is a possibility that the Yanks are just bolstering the farm to sell it off in a trade for Chris Sale. It would probably take almost the entire haul that the Yankees received for both players in order to convince the White Sox to budge, but I wouldn’t rule out anything if the Yankees are involved. As for the 3 contenders, it really seems like a flavor of the week division. Whoever gets hot in September will be the champ and I expect the other 2 to be playing in a Wild Card game. Both Baltimore and Boston need pitching, I think Toronto has shown they may be just a slight tick above both the Orioles and Red Sox and they may be ready to separate themselves a bit.

AL Central

Print the shirts: Cleveland Indians 2016 AL Central Champs. The Indians have acquired Andrew Miller and pending a waive of his no-trade clause Jonathan Lucroy. This division is set, the Indians have a real chance to keep the Believeland magic going and wind up in the World Series. Jobu is pleased with the moves the Tribe has made to bolster the best record in the AL. What remains to be seen is whether or not the Detroit Tigers can push for a Wild Card. Right now they are only 1 game behind the Red Sox for the second spot. One more story to keep an eye on is the firesale that is about to happen in Kansas City. After 2 years of AL supremacy the Royals have came back to earth and are apparently ready to sell off some veterans to contenders. It was good while it lasted in Kansas City wasn’t it?

AL West

Right now the Rangers have the most wins in the AL, just percentage points behind Cleveland for best overall record. They currently have a 5 game lead over second place Houston and that is the largest division lead of anyone in the AL. If they could get completely healthy they would present the biggest challenge in Cleveland’s path to a World Series appearance. The Rangers have also been in the mix for seemingly every rumored blockbuster, based on their surplus of great prospects just waiting on an opportunity to play everyday. Unless Houston acquires a front line starter to take the ace position away from Dallas Keuchel, who hasn’t been an ace this season, I think it is very safe to crown the Rangers as a lock to win this division. Wouldn’t we all like to see a Divisional rematch between Texas and Toronto?

NL East

The Mets highly touted quintet of aces have turned into injuries and subpar performance this season. The Nationals have taken full advantage of the situation and placed themselves atop the division. Recently acquiring Mark Melancon from the Pirates was a really good move. They should utilize him in the 9th with the ever polarizing Papelbon setting him up. The Nationals have turned games into 7 inning affairs and when you have a 2 headed monster of Scherzer and Strasburg you are really setup to advance in a playoff series. Not to be overlooked, even though they are 5 games behind the Nats, the Marlins appear to be coming under the radar. Does anyone remember 1997 and 2003? Overdue, the Marlins seem to be peaking this season like those two World Championship seasons and I think everyone from Chicago to Cleveland need to be worried about the fish if they get in the postseason. Right now we will say Washington is a lock to win the division, but they may not make it the farthest in the postseason.

NL Central

They have been the class of MLB all season, the Warriors of the MLB. The Cubs are determined to end the World Championship drought. Acquiring Aroldis Chapman, even if it is a rental, was an outstanding move. The prospects they gave up to get him have better players on the active 25 man roster above them and it is foolish to keep hanging on to those players when you can better your chances for a title this year. The Cubs have the largest lead of any division leader and I think it is safe to say this division has been a lock for the Cubs since the first week of spring training. The St. Louis Cardinals are right in the Wild Card mix and they have been quietly been playing good baseball. There is a chance of them getting hot down the stretch but that will only be good enough to get them in a Wild Card game. This is the strongest lock of the six divisions, Cubs will win this division going away.

NL West

It is an even year, San Francisco is doing their thing again. Bumgarner and Cueto have World Series experience and the Shark behind them has improved. Hunter Pence is recovering from the DL and they just bolstered their bench by acquiring Eduardo Nunes from the Twins. They could probably use another big bat in the middle of the lineup or another high velocity arm in the pen, but really we are nitpicking. Even though the Dodgers have picked up the pace and are now withing 2 games of the division lead, I think the Giants still have the upper hand in this division. Speaking of the Dodgers, I think the entire LA metro is hoping Clayton Kershaw can come back soon. I hope he is 100% when he comes back. Kershaw is the best pitcher hands down in MLB. The Dodgers are another team that have been in every rumor, they are alot like the Yankees from the post ’94 strike to the late George Steinbrenner’s passing a few years back. They have all the capital you can ask for but in addition they have one of the strongest farm systems in all of baseball. Can they put all that together and add an impact piece to end their drought (1988) of appearing in a World Series? I’m saying the lock is the Giants, and if Kershaw comes back sooner then the Dodgers are a lock for the postseason.

If the playoffs ended today: Boston @ Baltimore with the winner getting Cleveland in the Divisional round. Toronto and Texas face off in a rematch of last years batflipping extravaganza. St. Louis and Miami are tied so there would be a play-in for the Wild Card game. The winner would travel to LA. Whoever comes out of that scrum would play the Cubs and the Giants and Nationals would rekindle their postseason matchup of two years ago when Bryce Harper really came into his own heading into last season.

Going off of who is in at the moment I am going to say that my World Series pick remains the same since I predicted Giants-Indians at the All-Star break. Bay Area vs Believeland. I don’t see a 49ers-Browns Super Bowl though. I don’t think there is a chance of them going 3 for 3. Having these two markets square off in two consecutive championship situations is fun especially since the Warriors and Cavaliers have made the last 2 NBA Finals so interesting. Follow me on twitter @originaldaveo for sports talk or just to talk about anything.

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#NBA Trade Scenarios

There are players on teams that flat out do not fit. There are also reportedly disgruntled players out there that have no clue what the front office is doing. There is also one player that reportedly does not want to be traded, but may sign elsewhere like a teammate just did. I have not heard any of these trades proposed, honest to goodness I am really just on the trade machine and trying different stuff until I get a match.

Trade proposal #1

Milwaukee Bucks receive Jonas Valanciunas and the Toronto Raptors receive Greg Monroe

If you watched the Eastern Conference Finals last season it was painfully obvious that the Raptors need an offensive presense down low, even though Bismack Biyombo did yeoman’s work on the interior. Valanciunas was injured and could not make it on the court. I think this swap would fix that, Toronto ranked 3rd in points allowed last season but just 13th in points scored. Sometimes you just need a dude that can get you a high percentage attempt on the block. I think Monroe can be that option for the Raptors. It would be a big turnover from Valancuinas and Biyombo to Monroe and Poetl. I do not think Toronto’s defense would suffer greatly though. Monroe has a rep as a terrible defender, and yet Milwaukee was 17th overall in points allowed. Not elite but not terrible. Now adding Valanciunas would improve that. Remember 2 years ago when Milwaukee made the playoffs and gave Chicago fits? Milwaukee has the length to bother everyone in the league and this would only add to that while letting their younger stars in Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Parker be the offensive vocal points. The trade analysis states I improved Milwaukee’s win total by 1 win, Toronto’s win total remains unchanged. I think that is an indication that this is a win-win.

Trade proposal #2

In a three-team trade the Brooklyn Nets receive Enes Kanter, the Denver Nuggets receive Brook Lopez, and the Oklahoma City Thunder receive Kenneth Faried

Think about this scenario: Russell Westbrook grabs a rebound and pushes the ball up the floor with Victor Oladipo drawing a defender towards the corner 3 position. Out of nowhere Westbrook just lobs a ball in the air, in the directing of Tulsa, Kenneth Faried comes literally out of nowhere to slam it home and the crowd goes wild. Having Westbrook and Faried on the same team would be a lot of fun to watch and the Thunder only have to give up Enes Kanter to do it. Faried would play well with Steven Adams next to him. For Brooklyn, giving up Lopez hurts but Kanter is 4 years younger and they can build around him and the young core developing of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LaVert. Suddenly Brooklyn would have some upside by dealing one of their last trade chips. As for Denver, this is a gamble. Brook Lopez is not Kenneth Faried and never will be, but what he lacks in athleticism he makes up for in being the guy that puts the ball in the bucket. Lopez is a legit 20 ppg guy and that would help Denver get back to crashing the playoff picture and possibly even winning their division for a top 4 seed. The analysis states I increased Brooklyn’s win total by 2, Denver’s was unchanged, and decreased Oklahoma City by 2. I am not sure how unloading a bench piece for a legit starter at the 4 position makes you a worse team but that isn’t for me to decide.

Trade proposal #3

In a 4 team blockbuster the Boston Celtics receive Alec Burks and Kevin Love, the Cleveland Cavaliers receive Derrick Favors and Jonas Jerebko, the Orlando Magic receive Avery Bradley, and the Utah Jazz receive Amir Johnson and Nikola Vucevic

Wow I surprised myself when I got the green light for this one. Next to Al Horford, Kevin Love would have the defensive protection he needs to be the offensive superstar that the Celtics need. The defending champion Cavaliers get better by swapping the underwhelming Love for another rebounding machine in Derrick Favors to put next to Tristan Thompson to form one heck of a physical frontline. In Avery Bradley the Magic get 3 point shooting and an ace wing defender for new head coach Frank Vogel to deploy next to the up and coming Elfrid Payton. Look out for that monster defensive backcourt. Utah gets an offensive big man that they can either play with Rudy Gobert or have him anchor a second unit with Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw. Suddenly the Jazz, if healthy, look like even more legit contenders in the Western Conference. The analysis states I increased Boston, Cleveland, and Utah’s wins by 2 but decreased Orlando’s by 8. I do not know if the analysis has noticed that the Orlando Magic have acquired Bismack Biyombo and Serge Ibaka to deploy as a new frontcourt that should strike fear into the hearts of the Eastern Conference.

3 trades, 9 better teams we feel. How’d we do? Feel free to hit me up on Twitter @originaldaveo or just send a reply to the blog.

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