Monday, April 21, 2008

Sox-Cubs 1st Place Ball Clubs

Chicago Sports World is officially back! Sweet post by Mike on the NFL road trip and thanks to CNNSI for raising that street cred! We haven't been posting consistently, but now that baseball is in full swing and the NFL draft being right around the corner, this is going to change.

For baseball fans in Chicago, things couldn't be better right now as both the sox and cubs are sitting atop of their respective divisions! Could this be a prelude to a Windy City Classic in October?

OK, lets not get carried away, its a long year. With that said, here are just a few quick hits from what I have seen thus far from both ball clubs.

Lets start off with the Sox:

  • A few of the bats that were extremely quiet in 2007 seem to have new life in 2008 much to the joy of all White Sox fans. Dye, Pierzynski, and Crede are sporting .344, .339, and .286 batting averages respectively, all with an OPS over .900.
  • Nick Swisher is already looking to be a positive addition to this White Sox team. Although he is only batting .246, his OBP currently sits at .421 which puts him in the top 10 in the AL in OBP and makes him a comfortable option for the lead-off spot in that lineup.

  • Jim Thome needs to bolster his performance in the middle of that lineup. I know I am saying this the day after a 4 hit game, but when you consider he had 4 hits and his average was raised from .172-.222, he hasn't exactly been killing the ball. Let's hope yesterday was a sign of things to come as he is currently on pace to bat in the low .200's with close to 170 strikeouts.

  • Gavin Floyd... wow! Chicago has got to be excited about the start this kid has had. The 25 year old is currently boasting a 2-0 record in 3 games started with an ERA of 1.4 with a WHIP of 0.88. Opposing batters are hitting .140 against him. It will be interesting to see if he is able to sustain this success.

  • Mark Buehrle has not quite looked himself thus far in 2008. Most feel as though Buehrle falls under the 'its early' category, but he certainly has not impressed in 2008 with an ERA of 5.96 and opposing batters hitting over .380 against him. I beleive Buehrle needs to pick things up and truly be the ace of this staff in order for the Sox to win the AL Central

And How bout those Cubbies?

  • The offense has been nothing short of phenomenal to start the season. The Cubs currently sit right near the top of the league in runs scored, run differential, and about 6 players of their typical everyday lineup are batting over .300. Through 19 games, they have scored 119 runs.
  • Carlos Zambrano is off to a great start as opposed to the abysmal April/May he had last season. Big Z has 4 quality starts in 5 outings with a 2.67 ERA. He has given up a few more hits than is typical but has only walked 5 while striking out 27 with a WHIP of 1.10. Cub fans would certainly like to see this Zambrano for the entire year.
  • Ted Lilly and Rich Hill need to be solid pitchers for the Cubs to go deep in the playoffs. I thought Lilly was the Cubs most consistent pitcher last year, not with devastating stuff, but he always kept you in ball games. He needs to figure things out thus far as in 4 starts, he has an ERA over 9 and has only thrown 18 innings. If the Cubs truly want to make that big run this year, their rotation needs to be deep.
  • Soriano needs to be taken out of the leadoff spot upon returning from injury. I have seen reports saying that the Cubs are better off without him, which I truly do not believe. He is a very talented player, but he needs to come to grips with the fact that he is not a lead-off hitter. If the Cubs lineup continues to produce how it has, it will be interesting to see how Lou handles the lineup card upon Soriano's return.
  • How can you not like Kosuke Fukudome?!?! Fukudome is currently boasting a .328 BA with a .444 OBP and an OPS over .900. Another interesting statistic I heard regarding Fukudome is that he currently leads the majors in pitches per at bat. If he continues to produce and come through in big situations like he has already done this year, you will be hearing plenty of those "FU-KU-DO-ME!" chants at Wrigley!

Those were just some quick takes on what I have noticed from both the Sox/Cubs this year. Lets hope the first month of the season is just a mere preview of things to come with both teams currently in first place in their respective divisions. Although it is early, if you compare the start of the '08 season to the one from '07, Chicago Baseball fans should certainly be encouraged by what they have seen. There will be plenty more to come as the season unfolds and we are certainly looking forward to it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Every team and every stadium in one season?

Yesterday on the Charlie Pallilo radio show a listener called in and wondered if it was logistically possible to see every team and every stadium in one NFL season. I caught the tail end of the conversation, but I thought it was an interesting topic and I decided to figure it out. I can't speak for all NFL season, but I can tell you that it is possible for the upcoming 2008 season.
Now keep in mind this is a rough draft, so if you see any errors let me know and I'll figure it out. Also, this does not include any games or stadiums out of the US, which makes it a little more of a challenge because that is a few less home games in which to deal with.

Here is the breakdown.

Week 1
Thursday, September 4, 2008 Washington Redskins at NY Giants.
Opening day of the NFL season, that knocks out the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins, and Giants Stadium.

Sunday, September 7, 2009.
We skip the first set of games here and make our way out to San Francisco for the Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers matchup at 4:15 EST at Monster Field. After the game drive across the bay for the Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders game at 10:15 PM EST at McAffee Coliseum…maybe even stop for a beer.

Week 2
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The early game of the Tennessee Titans at the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. From there we catch Continental flight 8693 from Cincinnati to Cleveland for the Sunday night game of Pittsburgh Steelers vs the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Monday, September 15, 2008
On Monday morning we fly to Dallas to see the Monday night matchup of the Philadelphia Eagles at the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium.

Week 3
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The Atlanta Falcons host the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome for the noon game.

Monday, September 22, 2008
The Monday nighter takes us to QualComm Stadium for the New York Jets at San Diego Chargers matchup.

Week 4
Sunday, September 28, 2008
We will be in Charlotte NC for the start of week 4 for the Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers matchup at Bank of America Stadium.
From there we will catch US Airways non-stop flight 3131 to Chicago for the Sunday night game of Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Monday, September 29, 2008
Heinz Field and the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens in a divisional matchup.

Week 5
Sunday, October 5, 2008
The only game we'd be at this weekend on Sunday is the noon game where the Houston Texans host the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium.

Monday, October 6, 2008
The New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings at the Louisiana Superdome for the Monday nighter.

Week 6
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Heading out East for the Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium

Monday, October 13, 2008
NYG at Cleveland Browns - been there, done that. We have the night off to rest our livers.

Week 7
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Traveling North to Buffalo for the noon matchup of the San Diego Chargers at the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Monday, October 20, 2008
The New England Patriots host the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium.

Week 8
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Noon game of the Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

Monday, October 27, 2008
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans. We have seen both teams, but not LP Field…so why the hell not?

Week 9
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Noon game of Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

Monday, November 3, 2008
Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Hello FedEx Field.

Week 10
There is a Thursday game this week, but it is between two teams that we have seen at a stadium we have been to.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
We will start off with the noon matchup of the Green Packers at the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome.

Monday, November 10, 2008
San Francisco 49ers at the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium for the Monday nighter.

Week 11
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Sunday, November 16 the Seattle Seahawks host the Arizona Cardinals at Qwest Field for the 4 o'clock game.

Week 12
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Noon game of the New England Patriots at the Miami Dolphins at Dolphins Stadium.

Week 13
Thursday, November 27, 2008 the Philadelphia Eagles host the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field.

Sunday, November 30, 2008 the Green Bay Packers host the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field.

Week 14
Sunday, December 7, 2008 for the noon game the Washington Redskins visit the Baltimore Ravens at M & T Bank Stadium.

Week 15
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The noon game is the Seattle Seahawks at the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome.

Week 16
Thursday, December 18, 2008 the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Municiple Stadium.

Sunday, December 21, 2008 the Denver Broncos host the Buffalo Bills at Invesco Field for the noon game.

Week 17
Sunday, December 28, 2008 the Indianapolis Colts host the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium.