Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Don Mattingly Manages Dodgers, Matthew not sure what to think.

I think that face sums up my initial reaction to the Dodgers declaring Don Mattingly the manager of the 2011 (and beyond) team. Why was that my initial reaction? Well, mostly because Mattingly has zero (zip, zilch, nada) managing experience, and he comes from the same family tree as Joe Torre, who has made many, many, many perplexing moves this year. While Torre was great for the 2008-2009 Dodgers, he was almost as lethal for the 2010 Dodgers as the core failing after the All-Star Break.

So it was with a bad taste in my mouth that I heard Mattingly was going to be hired, because he's essentially a new version of Joe Torre, minus the championship rings and managing experience.

So who else did I initially think the Dodgers should have hired? Well, AAA Manager Tim Wallach would have been a good place to start. He's a Dodger, through-and-through, he's got experience managing, and he knows the pros and cons of all the Dodgers in AAA better than anyone else. I'm not really interested in Dusty Baker managing (not with his talent of destroying the arms of young pitchers), there's no way Joe Girardi comes to L.A., and Tony La Russa is likely staying in St. Louis. So that basically leaves Mattingly and Wallach. I know Mattingly has been groomed to be the successor of Joe Torre, but did Wallach even get an interview? A chance to show that he's worth keeping around? If he did, fine. But if he didn't, shame on Ned Colletti.

But back to Mattingly. Like I said, initially, I was not too pleased. Torre has made some downright strange moves with his roster, and his inability to manage a bullpen is quite well known by now. But is Mattingly the same as Torre? Hopefully not, and I don't think it's fair to brand him as Torre 2.0 if he hasn't made it clear that he is. Also, people really need to get over his "two trips to the mound fiasco" or whatever that was. I really couldn't care less, and honestly didn't think much of it after about 2 days.

So as the title says, I'm not sure what to think of Mattingly. And that's probably good, because he's never managed, and his managing style is unknown. I'd like it if he wasn't Torre 2.0, or at least didn't have the obsession with veteran grit and strange bullpen usage that Torre had/has. But if has to be, Wallach better be the bench coach, ready and waiting to seize the job should Mattingly prove to be completely (yes completely, if he makes a few mistakes, that's fine. Managers do that) incapable of managing. Hopefully it won't come to that though.

When the season ends, I will give my assessment of the Dodger season, i.e., what went wrong, and what needs to be (realistically) changed. For now, I wish Mattingly the best of luck in the Arizona Fall League, and as 2011 Dodger manager.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Matthew's 2010-2011 NFL Season Picks.

Only one more day until the NFL, and to celebrate, I will offer my picks for everything important! Starting with Division Winners, and then all the way to Super Bowl Champs, as well as the important awards.

NFC West: San Francisco 49'ers
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
Wild Cards: Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants
First Round Byes: Saints and Packers
NFC Championship Game: Packers defeat Saints

AFC West: San Diego Chargers
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts
AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens
Wild Cards: Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers
First Round Byes: Ravens and Colts
AFC Championship Game: Ravens defeat Colts

Super Bowl: Packers defeat Ravens

MVP: Peyton Manning
Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers
Defensive Player of the Year: Troy Polamalu
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jahvid Best
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Ndamukong Suh

Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Projecting the season for the Green Bay Packers

Alright, pre-season is finally over, so I'm going to give the week-by-week prediction of each game on the Packer's schedule for this year. Now I'm not going to give the scores, because expecting teams to have all the same players throughout the year is foolish, but I think it is possible to judge the general strength of each team throughout the year. Unless they get New York Met/Boston Red Sox-itus (i.e., injuries everywhere).

Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles: Win
Buffalo Bills @ Green Bay: Win
Packers @ Chicago Bears: Win
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay: Win
Packers @ Washington Redskins: Win
Miami Dolphins @ Green Bay: Win
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay: Win
Packers @ New York Jest: Loss
Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay: Win
Bye: Win
Packers @ Minnesota Vikings: Loss
Packers @ Atlanta Falcons: Win
San Francisco 49'ers @ Green Bay: Win
Packers @ Detroit Lions: Win
Packers @ New England Patriots: Loss
New York Giants @ Green Bay: Loss
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay: Win

Final Record: 12-4

I think that one upset happens to every team, which is why I see the Giants winning, plus I like the Giants quite a bit. Should someone ask: "So why do they beat the Cowboys and lose the Giants?" I'd say it's because the Packers beat the Cowboys last year at Lambeau, and while the score was 17-7, the Cowboys were shut out until they scored in garbage time. Plus I think the media will make a big deal about it, causing Tony Romo to choke, something he's very good at. As for the Jest, I don't think the Packers will go into the bye week undefeated, and I don't really want them too either. The Jets are a team on the rise (although I think they're overrated), and it could very likely be one of those games where everything goes wrong. Lastly, the Patriots and the Packers will probably have a shootout, and no matter what I think of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady is one of the most clutch QB's to ever play the game. It's not hard to be on the losing end of a game-winning 2 minute drill, especially with how easy the NFL has made it for Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers.

As for the playoffs, I think the Packers will make it to the NFC Championship Game, but I'm hesitant to call them a Super Bowl team. They will have the best offense in the NFL, and that alone should get them there. I think a 12-4 record also means a First Round Bye, because the NFC divisions are all very top heavy (expect for the NFC West, which is a huge joke), and being top heavy means that good teams beat up on each other. Looking at it that way, 12-4 is probably good enough for a First Round Bye for the Packers and Saints.