Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday - Game Day

Today's the "biggest" game of the college football season (until the next one of course..ha ha) with number one Ohio State hosting second ranked Michigan in Columbus. After Friday's passing of Wolverine legend Bo Schembechler at age 77, the game comes with a heavy heart. But don't think for a minute that Bo's death will diminish the emotion, the passion and the excitement of the game. You put Heisman front-runner Troy Smith and Teddy Ginn up against Michigan's front seven and you've got a dream match-up. My prediction: Big Blue 24-21.

Now, onto the Red Sox. 51.1 million good reasons to sign Diasuke Matsuzaka. Yes, Dice-K to you and me! The 26 year old flat out is the best young pitcher out on the market. Don't give me the "we paid too much for him" saying or we just don't know enough about the kid. Yeah, we, the lay-fan and media members may not, but Theo Epstein and his staff do. Period. Would you rather pay 75-90 million on 30-year old Barry Zito? Or maybe 40 million on 34-year old Jason Schmidt? Both good additions, but not aces for years to come. And if you think Zito is, tell me the last time he came up big in a money spot! Now, if that were the end of the worries for this team, I'd feel much better. Schilling, Dice-K, Beckett, Papelbon and Wakefield (or as I like the say, The Aging 26's) is a formidable rotation. Now, who's closing for this team? Where's the lefty to help out here? Justin Speiers would be a nice start. How about Eddie Guardardo or Eric Gagne on cheap, incentive type deals. That would be nice. To leave it in the hands of Craig Hansen, Manny Delcarmen and the outgoing Mike Timlin leaves a little to be desired. Hansen and Delcarmen will get there, just the ride is not complete just yet.

As for J.D. Drew, not sold on the kid. Is he better than Trot Nixon, no doubt. But the personality and durability of Drew leaves me lacking if you're talking about a 12-15 million a year pricetag. His OBP is a great fit (.393), but he doesn't play over 135 games (just twice in nine years, both in the last three) and doesn't hit for consistent power (over 25 HR's just twice). If he were an 8-10 million dollar ballplayer or just a two-year deal, I'll take him. Anything more than that where you lose flexibility, don't go there.

Guys I like on the market: Frank Catalanotta, Mark Mulder, Joe Borowski, Ted Lilly, Alex Gonzalez (yes I'd bring him back) and before he got signed this week, Sean Casey.

Did you hear Lita's taking some time off from the WWE? That's a shame, but Mickey James will take over.

Pigskin Picks this week:
Houston over Buffalo -2.5
Miami over Minnesota -3.5
Dallas over Indianapolis +1
Arizona over Detroit -2
BB: NYJ over Chicago +7

For all the picks on the Handicapper's Corner from this week's Sportsbeat on the Score, click here.

Now, some treats: