Jays get Upton Jr. from Padres

The Toronto Blue Jays get Melvin Upton Jr. from the San Diego Padres. They only gave up a Class A pitcher. The Padres were looking to dump Upton Jr. salary and Jays needed an outfielder can who can play every day if someone got hurt. Jose Bautista is coming back from a turf toe injury. Kevin Pillar and Michael Saunders have been healthy. The move means Jose may DH more often and less at bats for Justin Smoak. Edwin Encarnacion would play first base more often.

This is not an earth shattering move, but it will be interesting to see where Upton Jr. will hit in the line-up because his 16 homeruns and 20 stolen bases is more suited to be a leadoff hitter than Joey Bats. The new outfielder has a high strikeout number for the season (106), which should put him towards the bottom of the line-up.

Upton Jr. didn’t cost the Jays much in assets and they will have to the remaining of the season and next year before contract runs up. He does have playoffs experience from his time with the Tampa Devil Rays and Atlanta Braves.

It is a smart move to get an extra outfielder right before the playoffs who has is fielding .987 for his career who also has speed and power. It is not the trade that is going to make people believe the Jays will be in the playoffs for sure, but it is a solid.

The Jays still need some help in the bull pen to finish the season strong. The Blue Jays beat the San Diego Padres 4 – 2 yesterday with the bull pen (Bo Schultz) giving up a 2 home run that forced John Gibbons to bring in Roberto Osuna to get 2 outs.

Hopefully for Blue Jays fans he plays like B.J. Upton not like Melvin Upton Jr.

Can the Jays make the playoffs without getting bullpen help?

Have a fantastic day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Great news for Cleveland Browns with Gordon back

Great news for the Cleveland Browns organization with the return of Josh Gordon. He has averaged 17.1 yards a catch during his career with the Browns. The Browns wide receiving unit has former Baylor players Corey Coleman and now Josh Gordon. Head coach Hue Jackson can feel comfortable calling passing plays that can stretch the field to take advantage of the team speed and Robert Griffin III’s arm strength.

Coleman is the Browns first round pick at 5’11” and 225 pounds with great speed, which is confirmed by his two consecutive 1 000 yards seasons at Baylor and a kickoff returner. He will be used a lot like Percy Harvin with reverses and lining up in different spots to maximize his ability.

The big problem is can Gordon avoid another suspension? He had a career high in 2013 87 catches, 1 646 yards, 9 touchdowns and 18.9 yards a catch. He is a play maker who can give an offense a 1 play drive capability. He is 6’4” and 220 pounds to go along with his great speed.

The Browns also have Terrelle Pryor who is 6’6” and 240 pounds with great speed who is a former quarterback. Coach Jackson has had a relationship with Pryor from his Oakland Raiders days when he was a back-up quarterback. He had 576 yards rushing in 2013 with a 6.9 yards a carry.

A quarterback who wants to be an elite player again will have the players around him and a coach who is considered an offensive guru to have a great season. RGIII will have a monster season with this group if they can healthy and avoid suspension for 16 games.

Cleveland could be a fun team to watch because their three wide receivers are a big talented, fast and play makers that can make the Browns a good over team and fantasy picks.

The over under 4.5 wins could be a great bet.

Will Browns win 5 games?

Have a fantastic day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

NFL minority head coaches win. Hire them!

The NFL owners have found a new way to discriminate against African-American candidates despite the “Rooney Rule.” The rule was established in 2003 it requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. There is no quota.  It is a formality because many African-American candidates interviewed have no prior coordinator experience.

The Rooney Rule is being respected because the minority candidates are being interviewed, but many feel that they don’t have a chance to get the job because the minority that is being interviewed doesn’t have prior head coaching or coordinator experience (Offensive and Defensive). The majority of head coaching jobs who get hired need those criteria to truly considered.

The head of football operations have found a convenient way to discriminate in their hiring practices by focusing ONLY by hiring offensive coordinators who don’t have head coaching experience; therefore, eliminating many potential African-American candidates. Presently there are ONLY 4 African-American offensive coordinators and 8 defensive coordinators.

Lovie Smith was fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after two seasons after the team showed vast improvement between the first and second season. The Bucs went from 2- 14 to 6 – 10, which is the type of improvement that should help the head coach keep his job for another season. Instead, the Bucs fired him because the organization didn’t want to lose their offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter who was going to interview head coaching job.

Smith is a defensive-minded coach from his many years as a defensive coordinator before becoming a head coach. The Bucs wanted their franchise quarterback Jameis Winston have the same offensive coordinator in his second season. Koetter takes over as head coach because he was an offensive coordinator and that is what many NFL teams are looking for when they are looking for a new head coach. The awful Bucs made a 4 win improvement. His team was 6 – 6 and lost the last 4 games. The Bucs justified their decision, and they have moved on from Smith.  In my opinion, Lovie was fired unfairly for the second time in his career.

The first time Smith was fired by the Chicago Bears in 2012 after a 10 – 6 record. He was the only head coach that summer to be fired who had a winning record. The Bears hired head coach Marc Trestman, who was known as having a great offensive mindset. Smith was the head coach of the NFC Champions and lost in the Super Bowl in 2006. Since Smit’s departure, the Bears have struggled and have not made the playoffs.

The NFL has 32 teams with each has a head coach, offensive and defensive coordinator for the 2016-17 season. There are 96 “prestigious” positions in a total of which African-American hold 5 head coaching, 4 offensive coordinators, and 8 defensive coordinator titles. African-American represent only 17.7% of the “prestigious” title. The African-American only make-up of 15.6% of head coaches and Ron Rivera is the only Latin-American head coach; therefore only 18.75% head coach are minorities. The number of African-American head coaches stayed the same despite Hue Jackson being hired by the Cleveland Browns. The Bucs fired Smith during the off-season.

The 2016 African-American head coaches are Todd Bowles (New York Jets), Jim Caldwell (Detroit Lions), Hue Jackson (Cleveland Browns), Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals) and Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers).

A point of interest, the Tennessee Titans hired Mike Mularkey, who has an 18 – 39 career record and finished 2 – 7 as interim head coach last season when he took over. He is a former head coach who failed before, finished the season poorly and now is a head coach again. WOW!!! No one else to interview for the position???  It is rare opportunity an African-American head coach is given a second chance.

In the history of the NFL, African-American head coaches were as rare as a white tiger, but many have been very successful records despite the limitations and lack of opportunities.

Name Year Games Wins Loses Ties Winning% 10 or more wins
Fritz Pollard 1921            
Art Shell 1989 108 56 52 0 .519 2
Dennis Green 1992 207 113 94 0 .546 5
Ray Rhodes 1995 80 37 42 1 .469 2
Tony Dungy 1996 208 139 69 0 .668 10
Herman Edwards 2001 128 54 74 0 .422 2
Marvin Lewis 2003 208 112 94 2 .543 6
Lovie Smith 2004 176 89 87 0 .506 4
Terry Robiskie 2000 8 2 6 0 .250 0
Romeo Crennel 2005 83 28 55 0 .337 1
Mike Tomlin 2007 144 92 52 0 .639 6
Emmit Thomas 2007 1 1 0 0 1 000 0
Mike Singletary 2008 40 18 22 0 .450 0
Jim Caldwell 2009 80 44 36 0 .550 3
Raheem Morris 2009 48 17 31 0 .354 1
Perry Fewell 2009 7 3 4 0 .429 0
Leslie Frazier 2010 54 21 32 1 .398 1
Eric Studesville 2010 4 1 3 0 .250 0
Hue Jackson 2011 16 8 8 0 .500 0

 

The list above has two African-American head coaches who have 3 Super Bowls as head coaches: Tony Dungy (Super Bowl XLI) and Mike Tomlin (Super Bowl XXXVII and XLIII). The first and only time 2 African-American coaches faced each other in the Super Bowl. The Dungy lead Colts beat the Smith led Chicago Bears. Caldwell’s Colts lost in Super Bowl to the New Orleans Saints. The modern day era saw 14 African-American head coaches start a season, and 4 made it to the Super Bowl, which is 29% success rate, and Latino head coaches Tom Flores and Rivera have a 100% success rate. Flores won Super Bowls as a head coach and is a member of the Hall of Fame.

This group has 11 head coaches who lead their team to10 or more wins in one season. The coaches that have accomplished the feat: Shell, Green, Rhodes, Dungy, Edwards, Lewis, Smith, Crennel, Tomlin, Frazier, Morris and Caldwell. Only Crennel, Frazier, and Morris have accomplished the feat once. Singletary and Jackson are the only African-American head coach who coached a full season to not have a 10 or more wins season. They each had at least one 8 – 8 season which is a .500 record.

The NFL owners and management disdain for hiring African-American head coaches despite the amazing success of many candidates doesn’t make sense for their fans and players. Every team’s goal is to hire the best available candidate who can create a winning legacy for the city. Many of the most successful organization will have the same head coach for many years such as the Pittsburgh Steelers who had Chuck Knoll, Bill Cowher, and Mike Tomlin as their only head coaches since 1969 and they have won 7 Super Bowls in total. If we compare that to the Cleveland Browns, who have had 17 head coaches since 1969 and haven’t appeared in the Super Bowl once!

Many qualified African-American coaches are excellent candidates for head coaching positions in the NFL. However, they are not many who get the opportunity to spread their wings to be excellent head coaches. The NFL must step in to ensure the league is an equal opportunity employer for all its employees, not just one segment. The statistics in this post confirm African-American coaches can and has been very successful in being great leaders and creating a winning legacy.  Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Sources:

www.pro-football-reference.com (Site for all the head coach record)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rooney_Rule

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_National_Football_League_offensive_coordinators

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_National_Football_League_defensive_coordinators

NFL African-American Head Coaches 2016

The NFL has 5 African-American and 1 Latin American head coach going into the 2016 – 17 season. They are Todd Bowles (New York Jets), Jim Caldwell (Detroit Lions), Hue Jackson (Cleveland Browns), Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals) and Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers). Carolina Panthers Ron Rivera is the only Latin American head coach.

2015 there were also 5 and Lovie Smith was fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the season. Jackson joins the small fraternity for a second time when he was hired by the Cleveland Browns.

Who is the most likely to be fired? Caldwell job is on the line this year if his team doesn’t make the playoffs this year it could be his last. The Lions finished on a three game winning streak last season. Losing Calvin Johnson will make it more difficult to have a winning record.

Lewis team has won 52 games in the last 5 years and made the playoffs each season without winning a playoff game. The Bengals has made the playoffs 7 times in total during his tenure without winning a playoff game. He needs to win a playoff game to keep his job another season.

The Jets are going into the season without their starting quarterback from last season when they were 10 – 6. Ryan Fitzpatrick is still not signed and the organization is not fully behind Geno Smith. Bowles will have a tough repeating the success he had last season. He should still be around for another season after this one because he has an excellent defense which will give the Jets a chance to win every game.

Jackson is taking over a team that won only 3 games last season. He convinced the Browns organization to take a chance on Robert Griffin III. Jackson previous head coaching job with the Raiders he had an 8 – 8 record. The Browns will win more than 3, but less than 8 games next year. They could be a good team to beat on with the point spread because they are considered the worst team in the NFL.

Tomlin has nothing to worry about with the Steelers as long Big Ben Roethlisberger is his quarterback the head coach will have job security. Since 1969 Pittsburgh has only had 3 head coaches Chuck Knoll, Bill Cowher and Tomlin.

Rivera has nothing to worry about over the next few years with many young stars on his team: Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly to lead each side of the ball.

Lewis, Tomlin and Rivera have an excellent chance to make the playoffs again this year.

Should more NFL teams look to hire more African-American head coaches?

How many minority coaches will make the playoffs next season?

Have a great weekend!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Jays Sanchez to the bullpen makes no sense

The Toronto Blue Jays Aaron Sanchez to the bullpen makes no sense because right now he is the Blue Jays best pitcher. Marco Estrada has a bad back and didn’t itch in All-star game. J.A. Happ has had better run support, which explains his 12 wins compared to Sanchez’s 10. Sanchez has proved during his 19 starts 10 -1 record, 2.87 ERA and an All-star game appearance that he is an excellent starter. Aaron’s 125 inning pitched is number one on the Jays.

Toronto’s record in 1 run games is 9 – 17 and 3 – 6 in extra innings games. Only the Tampa Devils Rays has a worst record in the division with a 7 – 13 record in 1 run outcome. The Jays bullpen could be what prevents them from making the playoffs despite the great offense and better than average starting pitching.

Marcus Stroman was supposed to be the top of the rotation starter and he has been inconsistent. R.A. Dickey is on pace to pitch over 200 innings again this season and have close to a .500 record at the end of the season. Right now he is 7 – 10. Estrada back is a concern and Happ has tied his best win total so far in his career. He could be due for a slump.

Manager John Gibbons must know that he can’t remove Sanchez from the starting rotation unless he can get a quality starter to replace him also injuries could play a factor in the decision. Sanchez must be in the starting rotation if the Jays want to make the playoffs this year.

The last game for the Blue Jays this season is October 2, 2016. The last 3 inter-division series starts September 23, 2016 New York Yankees (4), Baltimore Orioles (3) and Boston Red Sox (3) to finish the season. There is less than 3 months in the season and the Jays are running out of time to make the decision. They are a few games away for reaching the 100 game mark.

The best solution is to give Sanchez extra rest by skipping a start to protect his arm. Gibbons can’t afford losing a starter who averages 6.5 innings per start in the middle of a playoff race.

What should Gibby do?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Santana Moss says RGIII is the fifth best QB played with in Washington

Santana Moss states RG3 was the fifth best QB he played with in Washington. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/07/19/santana-moss-mark-brunell-was-my-best-qb-in-a-decade-in-washington/

Looking at his list 1) Mark Brunell, 2) Donovan McNabb, 3) Rex Grossman, 4) Jason Campbell and 5) Robert Griffin III. Really was this based on their personality type more than what they did on the field or talent?

Moss doesn’t give the African-American quarterbacks any sympathy. His 2010 season was his best season with Washington statistically with 93 catches for yards; he had Donovan McNabb throwing him the ball. Moss 2nd best season 79 catches for 1 044 yards Campbell was his quarterback.

Robert Griffin III biggest downfall was his leadership and ability to get along with his teammates, which is definitely more important than being a talented quarterback sometimes in the NFL. We have seen Brian Hoyer and Ryan Fitzpatrick lead their teams to playoffs despite not having franchise quarterback ability.

RGIII rookies season passed for 3 200 yards, rushed for 815, threw 20 TD, only 5 interceptions and rushed for 7 TD. No other Washington quarterback during Moss’ career put up those type of numbers. RGIII following two season were affected by coming back to early from a knee surgery.

Moss lists was made based on personality because Burnell and McNabb were towards the end of their career when they came to Washington. They were no longer great quarterbacks that they were with Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles.

Moss putting down RGIII is not necessary. He is now the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback and will have a great season playing for Hue Jackson who is an excellent offensive coordinator.

I would like to see a survey asking the Washington season ticket holders or NFL fans to choose Washington’s best quarterback since 2005? I’m sure many will disagree with Moss selections. I would like to know why Moss didn’t base his selection on his statically success?

In which order would you put the five quarterbacks mentioned in the post? Burnelll, McNabb, Grossman, Campbell and RGII.

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Source:

www.pro-football-reference.com

Can the Cleveland Browns win 5 this season?

The over/under for the Cleveland Browns win total is 4.5, which is the lowest total for the betting lines. The Browns are considered the worst team in the NFL going into the season. They once again have a new head coach this time it is Hue Jackson. He was previously a head coach for 1 season with the Oakland Raiders and finished with an 8 -8 record.

The Browns record last year was 3 – 13 with four losses by a touchdown or less. They are 21st overall playing a .480. I do see a very good possibility for them to win 5 games. The opponents that they can beat Philadelphia Eagles on the road, Baltimore Ravens at home, at Miami Dolphins, at Washington football club, at Tennessee Titans and at Buffalo Bills. Those are the 6 games and they have a great chance to win at least 3 or 4. The remaining 10 games as a bettor you would only need 2 more wins.

Johnny Manziel had a 2 – 4 record as a starter last year for the Browns.  Why can’t the Browns win 5 this season?

Jackson running the offensive side of the ball, Pep Hamilton working with quarterbacks and Al Saunders helping with the wide receivers. Saunders has head coaching experience with a 17 – 22 during his 3 years with the San Diego Chargers. Ray Horton is back as the defensive coordinator. He is an excellent at what he does and has been interviewed for many head coaching jobs. Based on this coaching staff alone Browns fans have a major upgrade and should see a better record.

RGIII resurgence can help the Browns make a major leap forward with their rebuilding plan to be competitive immediately. He will be surrounded by a team coaching staff that wants and needs him to succeed. His body should be healthy and ready to go. The 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year wants to establish himself once again as a franchise quarterback.

The Browns could be a very good team early in the season because they will be heavy underdogs and will have big point spreads. The season opener on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles the Browns are presently + 7. They will be covering many point spreads this season.

Can an improved coaching staff, Robert Griffin III and multiple draft picks be enough to improve the Browns fortunes?

Will the Browns win more than 4.5 games next season?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

JJ Redick thinks complaining about “Super Team” is garbage

The Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick twitted:

JJ Redick @JJRedick

Since Miami formed their “superteam” in ’10 there have been 5 different champs in 6 seasons. All this complaining about comp balance is garbage .

3 retweets 1 like

Let us look at the NBA Finalist since 2011 the first season for the Miami Heat Super Team. The Heat made 4 straight NBA Finals representing the Eastern Conference and the Cleveland Cavaliers were the last 2. The Eastern Conference 2 Super Teams made every Finals since. LeBron James is the common denominator for each Eastern Conference team.

The Western Conference representative was Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder went once each, while San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors went twice back-to-back times. Only 4 teams represented the Western Conference in the 6  Finals.

Yes, the winners were 5 different teams: Mavs (2011), Heat (2012 and 13), Spurs (2014), Warriors (2015) and Cavs (2016).  A closer look and we notice Heat (2) and Cavs (1) won half of the last 6 NBA Titles. The two teams were not built thought the draft it was “Super Team” concept.

The NBA rosters only have 12 – 15 players and Super Teams can dominate for a few years. The Eastern Conference has only been represented by the team LeBron signed with; therefore, eliminating every other city from a possibility to make it to the NBA Finals.

Warriors Super Team either they win or not the Championship as long as they make the Finals it will be bad for the NBA. Competitive balance is important because every team that represents their cities should be able to have a chance at winning an NBA Title. I don’t want to see Real Madrid and Barcelona type teams in the NBA.

Do you like or dislike NBA Super Teams?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Red Sox made first big trade in AL East

The Boston Red Sox made the first big move in the AL East by acquiring Drew Pomeranz from the San Diego Padres. Boston had to give up their top pitching prospect to get the hard throwing lefty with an imposing frame 6’6” and 240 pounds.

This gives the Red Sox David Price, Steven Wright, Rick Porcello and Pomeranz as their starting rotation. Clay Buchholz, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara in the bullpen. Buchholz is a World Series Champion as a starter will now have opportunity to help his team in middle and long relief.

Pomeranz 117 strikeouts already puts him second on team to Price 140. Now their starting rotation can challenge the Blue Jays as the best in the American League East Division.

The Red Sox have made a great move for their clubhouse and fans. Everybody knows this move means they are going for the World Series this season like a powerhouse team should sacrifice the future for the present. A team may never know when the next time it will have a chance to make it.

The Blue Jays batters against left handed pitching after 866 at bats are only batting .260 as per this link: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batting/split/31 . The Jays are fourth in homeruns with 34 and 17th in RBI 103. The Baltimore Orioles are 23rd against left handed pitching with 29 homeruns tied for 13th, 11th in RBI with a .246 batting average. Price and Pomeranz gives the Red Sox a great advantage.

The Red Sox getting another power throwing lefty starter was with the Blue Jays and Orioles statistics against left-hander in mind. The Jays and Orioles now have to make some counter moves.

The Red Sox have just guaranteed themselves a playoff spot because they upgraded their weakest area, while maintaining their great offensive players.

Did the Red Sox guarantee themselves a playoff spot?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Political activism by athletes could go either way

Political activism by professional athletes could be a good and bad for the athlete. I totally agree millionaire athletes can’t forget they have become a role models with powerful voices because of their fame and fortune; therefore, they need to speak out against injustice. The majority of stars in NBA and NFL are African-Americans the pressure is on them to be leaders of the cause.

It is great that LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony are making this request as a united group. LeBron and Wade took pictures in their hoodies with their sons after the Trayvon Martin murder. Paul and his Clippers teammates dealt with the racist rant of their former owner. Each one has made statements and stands at different times.

The problem will be the media will bait Black athletes into situations and questions at in appropriate times to get controversial, top of his head or heat of the moment comments that will be sensationalized. Many athletes will not take the time to pick and choose when they will comment on incidents. They need to carefully think about what they say or write to avoid their message be discarded because the message didn’t come across the way they wanted.

Many twitter mistakes by many players have caused a negative response and being labeled as ignorant. The NBA are full of one and done NCAA athletes, while the NFL have many players who only went 2 years to college. Yes, LeBron came straight from high school, Melo played 1 year at Syracuse, Wade (Marquette) and Paul (Wake Forest) played two years each. They are smart, articulate and have rarely been caught saying anything they had to later apologize for to the public. Many athletes have worked on themselves to be like the four mentioned.

Yes, we need more stars to speak up about injustice just like sports heroes from the 60 and 70’s: Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Jim Brown, Bill Russel and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who were not afraid of the consequences of fighting against social injustice.

Will Social activism and professional athletes be a good, bad or great mix?

Have a great day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

 

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