Thursday, April 28, 2011

NFL Draft First Day

            On an interesting first day of the 2011 NFL Draft, Cam Newton of Auburn was taken first overall. Newton, the controversial quarterback, was my absolute least favorite player in the draft. I'm not a fan, and I think he will be a bust. Von Miller of Texas A&M, a linebacker, was taken second overall by the Denver Broncos. Nick Fairley of Auburn, a defensive tackle, was taken twelfth overall by the Detroit Lions, who will boast the most powerful defensive line in professional football with Fairley joining Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril. Mark Ingram, the Heisman Trophy winner from 2009, was drafted by the New Orleans Saints, who traded for the pick with the New England Patriots, who seemed destined to pick Ingram with one of their two first-round picks.
            I was surprised that the Tennessee Titans selected Jake Locker with the 8th overall pick. Locker was projected to be selected in the late first round or early second round, and choosing him this early is either a move of genius or a really dumb move, only time will tell.  One of the biggest surprises of the first round was that Da'Quan Bowers, who many earlier in the month had as the projected 1st or 2nd overall pick, wasn't even picked in the first round.

Biggest Steal: Nick Fairley: DT Auburn
Selected 13th overall by the Lions

Biggest Bust: Cam Newton: QB Auburn
Selected 1st overall by the Panthers

Biggest Loss: Jake Locker: QB Washington
Selected 8th overall by the Titans

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Timbers Tuesday

How 'bout the Timbers? I have immediately jumped on the Portland Timbers bandwagon, and will use this segment to highlight and showcase their play. They have won two straight games, each at Jeld-Wen Field, their home stadium, and have improved to two wins, two losses, and one tie on the season. The Timbers beat FC Dallas 3-2 on Sunday, and the Chicago Fire 4-2 last Thursday. They are starting to improve and hopefully will become a contender come playoff time, but their best test will be when they play the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday. The Galaxy are, in my mind, the best team in Major League Soccer. I believe that they could even compete with some teams over in Europe. However, these teams that they could compete with are not the best teams in Europe, not even close. If the Timbers win, it will be a huge morale boost. Although the Timbers aren't the most athletic team in the world, they play very much as a team, and I think they could go far this year.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Special Edition Saturday Special

Game 1. Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago White Sox: The pitching duel was great, but Dan Haren prevailed. Haren, the Angels pitcher, out-dueled Mark Buehrle while only allowing two runs. Mark Trumbo hit a home run for the Angels, and Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu drove in two other runs. Alberto Callaspo drove in the fourth run for the Angels, while A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez drove in the two White Sox runs. Haren got the win, Buehrle, who gave up all four Angels runs, got the loss, and Jordan Walden got the save. The Angels won their fifth straight game and improved to 10-5, while the White Sox lost their fourth in a row and are now 7-8 overall.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Masters Final

             On the final day of The Masters, there were runs, slumps, and anything else you can imagine. South African Charl Schwartzel came out with the victory, his first major, shooting -14 overall and -6 on the final day. Rory McIlroy, the leader after 54 holes, had the lead until the 10th hole, where he shot a triple bogey. After that he bogeyed the 11th and finished with -4 overall, tied for 15th. Tiger Woods and Geoff Ogilvy each shot -5 on the final day, and finished tied for 4th at -10. Adam Scott and Jason Day, both Aussies, tied for 2nd with -12. Defending champion Phil Mickelson finished with -1, and K.J. Choi shot -8 for the tournament. Schwartzel, the victor of the tournament, has a bright future ahead of him, although I think that Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, and Dustin Johnson, the other "young guns" of golf, will win more championships and majors. This was arguably the most competitive Masters ever, and Schwartzel really deserved it. If the other majors are anything like the Masters, then we are in for a great year of golf.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday Special

        Game 1. New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox: Russell Martin hit two home runs and Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano each added another to lead the Yankees to victory, 9-4. Martin hit one in the fourth inning and one off former Yankee pitcher Alfredo Aceves in the seventh inning. Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury each drove in a run and Dustin Pedroia drove in two for the Red Sox in a losing effort. Ivan Nova, the Yankee starter, gave up all four of the Red Sox's runs before he was replaced with David Robertson, the pitcher that got the win. The loss was given to Clay Bucholz, the Red Sox pitcher who gave up four runs. 
        Game 2. Chicago White Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays: A.J. Pierzynski drove in two runs and Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel each drove in one more and the White Sox went on to win 4-2. Felipe Lopez hit a home run in the ninth inning for the Rays to narrow the deficit to 4-2. The White Sox, however, were able to hold on for the win. Ben Zobrist got a double and an RBI for the Rays. Philip Humber pitched well for the White Sox, only allowing one run before getting taken out of the game, and got the win. Wade Davis got the loss for the Rays, and Chris Sale got the save.

The Masters Moving Day Leaderboard

         Here is the leaderboard for The Masters after Saturday.
         1. Rory McIlroy: -12
         T2. Angel Cabrera: -8
         T2. Jason Day: -8
         T2. K.J. Choi: -8
         T2. Charl Schwartzel: -8
         T6. Adam Scott: -7
         T6. Luke Donald: -7
         8. Bo Van Pelt: -6

         Other Notables:
         T9: Tiger Woods: -5
         T9: Fred Couples: -5
         T14: Y.E. Yang: -4
         T18. Phil Mickelson: -3
         T18. Lee Westwood: -3
         T24. Jim Furyk: -2
         T30: Trevor Immelman: -1
         T30. Sergio Garcia: -1
         48. Ernie Els: +5

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Masters Leaderboard

Just thought that I'd show the leaderboard of the Masters after an exciting day one.            
            Masters Leaderboard:
            T1. Rory McIlroy: -7
            T1: Alvaro Quiros: -7
            T3: Y.E. Yang: -5
            T3: K.J. Choi: -5
            T5: Matt Kuchar: -4
            T5: Ricky Barnes: -4
            Other Notables:
            T14: Phil Mickelson: -2
            T24: Rio Ishikawa: -1
            T24: Tiger Woods: -1
            T31: Lee Westwood: E
            T31: Steve Stricker: E
            T49: Anthony Kim: +1
            T93: Martin Kaymer: +6
            96: Tom Watson: +7       

Championship Game Final

             In arguably the worst National Championship Game ever played, Uconn beat Butler 53-41. Neither team seemed to be able to make a shot, with even easy layups missing the basket. Butler shot 18.8% from the field, the worst percentage in Championship history. Uconn didn't shot much better, only making 34.5% of their shots. Butler only made one shot from inside the paint, and only three inside the arc. Jim Calhoun won his third National Title, and Butler suffered heartbreak again. Calhoun, according to reports, may retire over the off-season, which would really hurt Uconn's chances for next year and beyond. This game left many people across the country changing the channel, I mean who wants to watch a defensive struggle? Apparently I am not in the majority of the people, though, because I watched every second of it, no matter how painful. Yes, my pick about this game was wrong, I had a high scoring, overtime struggle with Butler winning, not a 1940's score with Uconn winning, but did anyone expect 53-41? I mean, seriously, if this wasn't the most boring, most impossible to watch game ever, than I will stop covering basketball games. Butler and Uconn will try to defend their finishes next year, and it will be another interesting season. (Hopefully).

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Championship Game Preview

       The National Championship for College Basketball is between Butler and Uconn. Butler returns to the Championship Game for the second straight year, while Uconn comes to its third ever Championship, the previous two having been won by Uconn. Butler's coach Brad Stevens, 34, is exactly half the age of the Uconn coach, Jim Calhoun, 68. However, this is Stevens' second championship game and his second straight Final Four appearance while Calhoun, a Basketball Hall of Famer, has only  reached four Final Fours and three Championship Games.      
        Last year Butler had to face Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils in the National Championship, and suffered heart-break when, down 61-59, Gordon Heyward launched a half-court shot at the end of the game that hit the backboard and could've bounced in, but instead hit the inside portion of the basketball rim and bounced out, Duke won 61-59 and Krzyzewski won his fourth championship. Heyward left Butler to play pro after that, and Butler was faced with the task of rebuilding its basketball program.
       Both teams score on average about 72 points a game, and on defense only allow an average of about 65 points. Butler has more experience in general, as their youngest starter is a Sophomore and they have three Senior starters, while Connecticut's oldest starter is a Junior and they have three Freshman starters. Butler has also been on this stage before, while for most of Uconn's players, the exceptions being the Juniors and Seniors, none of the players had even been in a Final Four. The key matchup in this game will be between Kemba Walker, the Player of the Year candidate from Uconn, and Shelvin Mack, a good all-around player. If Mack has a good game, which I think he will, Butler will win.
               My Pick: Butler wins 80-74 in OT.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday Special: The Baseball Games

Game 1. New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers: Even though A.J. Burnett, the Yankee pitcher, was battling an illness, he still pitched well enough to get the win. He got some help from the Yankee offense, as the Yankees got three home runs, one from Mark Teixeira, his second of the season, one from Alex Rodriguez, his first of the season, and one from newcomer Russell Martin, his first of the season and first ever with the Yankees. Burnett only allowed three runs on six hits before he was taken out, and got the win, 10-6 Yankees. Mariano Rivera got his second save of the season in as many games, Brad Penny got the loss, and Victor Martinez and Austin Jackson homered for the Tigers.

Game 2. Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics: Ichiro Suzuki broke the Seattle Mariners all-time hit record with 2,248 hits and drove in the go-ahead run on the same play in the top of the ninth inning, and after a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly that drove in runs the score became 5-2. Brandon League came in to close out the game for the Mariners, and with two outs and Ryan Sweeney at the plate, a slow grounder gave the Mariners the win, 5-2. Chris Ray got the win, Brian Fuentes got the loss, and Brandon League got the save.

And then there were two

           In an instant classic, Uconn beat Kentucky 56-55. Kentucky came out in the second half on fire, but in the end it was not enough, and Uconn will advance to the championship on Monday night to play Butler.

Final Four Game # 2 Connecticut vs. Kentucky Halftime

            Its been a game of runs so far in the second National Semifinal, with Connecticut beating Kentucky 31-21. Coming into the game, the story line was about Brandon Knight and the "super freshman" at Kentucky playing Kemba Walker and the more experienced Uconn team. During the early part of the game, it was very close, but then Uconn went on an eight to zero run. Kentucky repeated this, and got it to 21-24 Uconn, but then Connecticut went on a 7-0 run to end the half. It will be interesting to see who will pull out of this in the end, and whether the coaches' adjustments will pay off.

Final Four Game # 1 Butler vs. VCU

               In an great game, VCU and Butler dueled it out, with Butler winning 70-62. Although Butler was my lucky charm in my bracket last year, (I had them going to the Final Four and was right), I didn't pick them this year and have started to regret it. After the Round of 32 win over #1 Pittsburgh, I jumped on the Butler bandwagon, and have enjoyed watching Butler ever since. In tonight's game, however, I did not enjoy it as much because they beat fellow Cinderella VCU, a team that nobody, (I'm looking at you sports analysts), thought should even be in the tournament, let alone in the Final Four. VCU played like the world was going to explode if they didn't win, and beat USC, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State, and Kansas, all from power conferences, en route to the Final Four. Butler advances to its second straight Championship Game after last year's heartbreak to Duke, and hope to win this time. As for VCU, they put up a great fight and can hope for the same kind of luck, with a better ending next year.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Opening Day

Baseball is here!!! Finally we get to see the great national pastime played for real. We get to see which big name players get traded, which teams falter, and which team will rise to the occasion to become the World Series Champions. Will the Yankees make a move, will the Phillies rotation be what all the hype says? Will the Giants repeat as champions, or will they go up in flames? Will the Red Sox's moves in the offseason pay off? We'll see.


               Hello, my name is Frank Dwyer. This is my blog the D-Wire. I am going to provide my opinions on sports during the time I run this blog. This is NOT an April Fool's Joke.