It was an interesting week to say the least. TCU played a hell of a basketball game on Saturday. What was that, you say? That was their football team? Well, then, a wacky week it was indeed! There was also the World Series and early morning NFL action to go down that was second to none. This week, however, was also full of tragedy.
Sometimes when you are a sports fanatic like myself, you forget that athletes are people. This is especially true when it comes to fantasy. When one of your guys doesn’t come through, you often curse them and try to figure out how they get paid to play a sport you are seemingly better than them at playing. You overlook their feelings and emotions or even what kind of day they are having in the heat of battle. It is unfortunately once tragedy strikes that we remember these men in uniforms are just like you and I.
Oscar Taveras left this world too soon and it has rocked the baseball community. Taveras was the 22-year old Cardinals elite outfield prospect. When I say elite, I mean he was a top three prospect in all of baseball for the past two seasons. I could list his stats, his accolades, his 2012 Player of the Year award, but this loss is more than numbers. Taveras was just a young kid. He never got in trouble and loved to play baseball. St. Louis fans and fellow players that made it with him from the Dominican League to the MLB were enamored by him. The world could hardly wait to see what was in store when he finally made it.
As if on cue, Taveras homered in his first major league appearance. He was my minor league keeper in my fantasy baseball league, so I knew everything about this kid and this was the day we had all been waiting for. He didn’t disappoint. Hitting a home run in your big league debut is an easy way to get a hardcore, family fan base like St. Louis to fall in love with you, but it was Taveras who fell in love with the fans. You could see it. He looked like a kid having fun, he tweeted fans, he took a curtain call. This was an athlete who not only had a promising career in front of him, but would quickly become a superstar on every level.
His second to last at bat in the big leagues was a memorable, game-tying home run in the NLCS. Taveras struggled in his 2014 debut and was relegated to bench duty in the playoffs. Instead of being a bratty punk who believed the media-created hype around him like most youngsters (Bryce Harper) do, Taveras seemingly instantly bought into the team concept and bided his time. When the Cardinals needed him, he came through. Now, he is tragically gone, entirely too soon and we will be left wondering what could have been. I hope Shoeless Joe Jackson is ready, because the big Field of Dreams in the sky got a little bit brighter last night. Rest in peace, Oscar, you will be missed.
There was still baseball to be played this week and what a World Series it has been. The Giants came out and beat up the undefeated playoff Royals in Game 1. Right when everyone began to jump in on the The Royals run is over hype, the kids in powder blue came fighting back and whooped the two-time champs in Game 2. The Royals played a close one in Game 3, but their trusty bullpen came through yet again as they took a 2-1 lead in the World Series. The Giants have since struck back with a massacre in Game 4 and one of the most memorable pitching performances in recent memory in Game 5 by Madison Bumgarner. The Giants ace pitched a complete game, four-hit shutout, striking out eight and walking none. Doesn’t it seem like any time a World Series is tied up at two games a piece, someone steps up in Game 5 and pitches their brains out? It seems to happen without fail, right Andy Pettitte?
How about this Brandon Finnegan kid? The Royals drafted the lefty out of TCU in July and he is pitching in the World Series. Talk about the quick road to success. The coolest part is that he is the first player to play in a College World Series and in the MLB World Series in the same calendar year. That really is remarkable if you think about it. The dude was taking exams and taking ice luge shots off of sorority girls chests five months ago and now he is in the World Series. Pretty impressive, indeed.
GREAT HORNY TOADS!!! Did you see that butt whooping the TCU Horned Frogs laid down? The #10 Frogs dismantled, destroyed and humiliated Texas Tech Saturday by the score of 82-27. IN A FOOTBALL GAME! I don’t know what is more amazing, junior quarterback Trevone Boykins’ numbers (433 yards passing and 7 touchdowns) or the fact that TCU’s basketball team scored 82 points last season the same amount of times their football team has this season!
The Tigers of LSU ended the undefeated hopes of Ole Miss. It was a doozy of an offensive thriller in Death Valley as the Tigers staved off the Rebels 10-7. LSU had three points for 55 minutes of the game before finally crossing the goal line late in the fourth quarter. This should end the whole it’s a new era of SEC football conversation and return some normalcy.
Of course the big news is that the first playoff rankings come out tomorrow night. While many fans are excited to see where their teams stand, I can’t wait to see how the NCAA messes this up and corrupts it like they do everything else.
Cheerio. Another brilliant idea by Roger Goodell and his brain trust was to wake me up early on Sunday morning to watch the Falcons blow yet another important football game. They were up 21-0, but apparently tired out from to much tea and crumpets at half time. This team has entirely too much talent to be this bad. Matt Ryan is good, Julio Jones is great and Roddy White doesn’t age. The middle of their defense is locked down by a Blue Hen in Paul Worrilow, so you know they have the building blocks. It’s time for this team to find a new direction. Mike Smith is a good coach, but he has run his course. WHO THROWS ON THIRD DOWN WITH LESS THAN TWO MINUTES ON THE CLOCK? Thomas Dimitroff is proving to be in over his head as a GM. The Julio trade was great because it landed them a premier wide receiver, but the loss of draft picks has come back to hurt them. Although, as Sperry pointed out, Dimitroff could be a horrible drafter as it is, so what difference did it make what picks they had.
The Bucs and the Vikings had to go to over time to figure out who in fact is the worst team in the NFL. Anthony Barr forced a fumble on defense and returned it for a touchdown on the first play of overtime, so as it turns out, both teams are still equally terrible. Seriously, fellas. The NFL has a flex schedule for big games, they need to flex some muscles and stop games like that from every happening again.
This just in: Peyton Manning threw more touchdowns.
So did Big Ben, huh? Ben Roethlisberger had the game of his pretty illustrious career against the Colts on Sunday. He blew up for 522 yards passing and six touchdowns. I’ll admit it, I don’t get it. Every time I think that big oaf is done, he has a humongous game and proves he is still one of the better leaders in the NFL. I’m starting to think that the Steelers are for real and with only the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens (who are both incidentally jokes of a team) the AFC North may be their’s once again.
Well, that’s it, folks. Let’s sit back and watch the Cowboys beat a Colt McCoy led Redskins team and listen to how amazing they are for yet another week.