SCSP 151| Baseball Free Agency The “Chasers” talk MLB Baseball Free Agency, Aaron Judge signing back with the Yankees, and other signings. MLB is possibly tinkering with baseballs, according to a scientist who collected over two hundred balls this past 2022 season. Dan K’s “The Hockey Dude” talks about NHL and the Power NHL teams. The “DA” talks about FIFA and World Cup Soccer 2022, the favorites France and Brazil emerging as the teams to beat. D-Dubb talk pro boxing. NCAA Football playoff top four teams of Georgia, Michigan, TCU, and Ohio State. Also, NFL picks on the upcoming Week 14 with playoff implications.

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It’s Spooky Outside

What’s up, everybody? Welcome to the Sports Chasers show. It’s Kevin L. Warren, your host and moderator here on another episode to talk 90 minutes about sports or what’s going on in the sports world. We have a lot to jump into. With that said, let’s meet the crew here. We got my man, D-Dubb. What’s happening, brother? How are you? What’s up, fellas? How are you doing? We got Dan, “The Hockey Dude.” Dan, what’s good? How are you? I’m doing good. How’s everybody doing? D.A., what’s up? How are you? What’s happening? I’m doing all right. We’re back. We’re going to cover Major League Baseball free agency. Dan has hockey with him. It’s not me tonight. Dan did an outstanding job by the way. I will let him tell you here in a few minutes. We will continue to cover the Deion Sanders fallout of his leaving Jackson State and accepting the job at the University of Colorado. We will also talk about the World Cup with Dorian. NFL Week 14 will be here with us. Daniel Snyder is doing other things. We will talk about that. That’s it. The Angry One is here. What’s good? How are you? What’s up? How are you doing? With that said, let’s jump right into it. Two things about Major League Baseball. We will talk about free agency. We will jump into that real quick. Aaron Judge is staying in the Bronx. The superstar slugger and reigning American League MVP is purportedly re-signing with the New York Yankees on a nine-year $360 million deal according to multiple reports. With Judge coming off a magical 62 home run season after he declined an extension offer. It would’ve been a major blow to the Yankees‘ continuing pursuit of their first World Series since 2009 and the team’s sheen of superiority. The biggest prize of the winner’s free agent crowd, Judge is coming off a performance that transcends the individual season beyond the 62 home runs. Since 2022 he featured a 311 batting average and an MLB best.425 on-base percentage. He’s 211 park-adjusted OPS+, meaning he is 111% better than the league-average hitter. It was the best by any qualified hitter in a full season since D.A.’s cousin, Barry Lamar Bonds. Since we said that, I will start with the D.A. What do you think about the signing of Aaron Judge? I think it was the right move. It was the best move for the Yankees to make. They will make back the money that they’re spending in 1 or 2 years, maybe 3. This is where we’re at. This is the type of team. This is their business model. I’m not saying it’s the correct business model, but it is theirs. Walk with me here because I just got my PS5. They got these nerd games where they got the world building. It’s not just the character but the characters around the characters. I always go back to the sport. It’s the team and the scouts. You need that to have a good team. Even if you’re paying Judge X amount of dollars for nine years, he’s not going to play that long maybe. For sure, he’s not going to be that good for nine years. For three years between him and some rookies or some guys in the farm that comes up, that is supposed to sustain that team to World Series. If you look at the good teams down here that do it, that’s how they do it. You have Freddie Freeman with Atlanta. He was the big star. They had a bunch of young pups underneath him. Boom, here we go. Mookie Betts with Boston. They had to make a decision between him and J.D. They made their decision. This is what you do because the reality is there is no salary cap in baseball. We can just throw all that out the window because it does not exist. If it’s $80 to $90 for each person going into that stadium, maybe packing out three-quarters of the game over a season, you will make back that $200 million to $300 million easy. That’s what it’s about. People think it’s about owners winning championships, but it’s about owners winning the accounting ledger. That’s what the win is. The win is in the profit. People think sports about owners winning championships. It's actually about owners winning the accounting ledger. Share on X Look at Albert Pujols. They did make their money. I’m pretty sure when people thought that old Albert could still play, those first 2 or 3 years of old Albert being out there in Los Angeles, he probably packed it out. Nothing happened to the fan. Something happened to the owners. They got their money back. In any investment, it’s about getting your money back or at least a portion of it that matters to you. I understand as a fan. I told Kevin during the day, sometimes I feel bad calling myself a sports fan because sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I analyze what I see because that’s what I do for a living. From what I’m seeing, would you let the dude go and not pack the stadium out? This isn’t the Knicks where you’re inside. It’s the summer, you’re outside. If the Yankees are not good, people are not coming. That being said, would you rather not be good and not make your money? You got to think of it from the board side sometimes. That’s what I’m starting to do. I understand as a fan what it is and I understand what people are saying, but it is what it is. I’m not going to change the way I’m thinking because I’m getting older. When I was a younger man, I thought of it just like a fan. Now, I’m an older man, I think of it from both sides of the corner. I don’t think it’s a bad move. I think he will be good for another four years. It’s up to the Yankees to put a crew around him to win the World Series within the next three years. It’s not up to him. That’s my Judge thoughts. I will go with Eric. He was making funny faces. I don’t know if he was making that to D.A. I agree with everything that D.A. said. I just don’t like it. I emphatically said this a couple of months ago, “He was hot, trade him.” Everybody looked at me like, “Are you crazy?” I’ve been called that before. My thing is this. It’s a Yankee move, so I’m not disagreeing with it. I’m just looking at it not as a Yankee fan but as a baseball fan. You lock this guy up for however many years. Okay, fine. You pay him all this money. Okay, fine. My thing was, you could have easily used that money to fill up the other holes that the Yankees have. If you don’t think that the Yankees have other holes, then you got another thing coming. We have group chats, whatever. D.A. says something that made sense. It’s up to the Yankee organization. My thing is I don’t have a lot of confidence in their scouts because of what they have given us all these years. If there was anybody good, they traded them all to bring somebody else in. That was a big start. That was a big draw. I get it. It’s a Yankee move. I’m not mad at it as a Yankee fan per se because he did do his thing last time. Salute to Aaron Judge. My thing is I’m in the field of productivity matching your dollars. I’m not pocket-watching. I’m production-watching. From what I see with a lot of the players is that the production doesn’t match the contract. That’s the only standpoint that I get. They trying to make their money back. I get it from my owner’s side. I get it from the fan side. I’m just giving it to you all from my side. Would I have done it? No. Do I like it? No, but I understand it. Thank you, E. We will go with Dan, who usually gives us the Pirates. I got you. We’re going to need you this summer. That’s why before we got on, I was saying that we got the number one draft in July. You tell us who you want. We will develop them. We will give it to you for next to nothing. Just send us an email. On behalf of the Pittsburgh Pirates fan club, I’d like to say thank you to the Yankees for paying him $360 million. That’s going to mean more money for our owner’s pocket and luxury tax. That’s awesome. In nine years, he can be 39 years old making all that cash. I don’t know. You look and see what the Marlins did and some of these other teams that don’t have this type of money. You could trade this dude and get 5 to 6 people easily and rebuild your team to be good, not just for the next 3 or 4 years. He’s probably going to keep the same type of career trajectory. Once he starts falling off, then what? You’re still paying him all that money. I agree, Dan, but only if you got people in your organization that is smart enough to make the right move. In the last ten years, they haven’t been good at it. What makes you think they will be good today? True, but that’s where you need to vet and re-evaluate who you have as scouts. Maybe revamp your scouting and maybe even some of your lower Triple-A and Double-A teams. Get coaches that can coach these guys and get them better. Give them the tools. Does that mean development? Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Send them to us. We will develop them, and give them right back. We got to get them from you all first. That’s how it works. Here’s what you need to do. You need a partnership with our Triple-A and Double-A teams. That way, they can put both players together, then you can use our coaches to get them better. You don’t have to pay somebody to do it. We will do it for you. Just think of it like we will scratch your back after you give us that luxury tax. I like that idea, Dan. I will make a call. I’m going to give it to D-Dubb who has been also making funny faces. D-Dubb, what seems to be the matter? It sounds like something my mama would ask, what’s it? We had these talks earlier. I’m just not feeling it. I told D.A. I was not feeling this. I told him that there was no way. He’s 30 years old. Nine-year deal. Again, we’ve seen this story before. I’m going to point directly to Albert Pujols and there are countless others. There are a couple of other people. When you pay them this big amount of money, after they get the bag, we will be lucky if we get three more seasons of him popping out 45-plus home runs or more. If he doesn’t do that, then this is bad all the way around. What Dan and E said, we could have used that money. The Yankee spent money. We know that, but there are other positions and other places where we could spend this money to get a quality team. What D.A. says about the owners spending money to pack out the seats, I get it. What happens if we pay him $100 million and he doesn’t produce or doesn’t perform? You’re going to be stuck with the same problem but now a nine-year problem. The reality is people will still come to the stadium because they still want to see him. That’s what it is. I don’t think so. I know so. They come for the star. People always come for stars. He’s the only one we got. Exactly. If we ain’t winning, then what are we doing? I will go two years ago in point. The Yankees were hot garbage. Kevin, did they pack out every night game. Did you see it? They are stinking hot summertime Brooklyn garbage, and people were there. They go. It’s an event. I love you, guys. I agree with your point, but if the Yankees were good at giving talent, what makes you think if they traded him for five guys, they would trade for the five right guys? That’s what it is. That’s the trade. What if they got five guys that can’t play? Well then, you got one guy who strikes out 175 times. He hit 62 home runs. That was one year. That was one time. Yeah, but all we can go off of is what we’ve seen. You’re selling me hope. Stop. I don’t have to sell anything because it’s not my team. The point I’m making to you is there are people that are casual fans of baseball. They will see this guy hit 62 for one year and think he’s going 62 for the next three years. That’s what I’m saying. I know he won’t be that guy for three years, but I’m going to still sell it to you if you’re going to buy it. There you go. I’m still going to sell it to you if I’m the owner and you’re going to buy it. That’s my job. E, you forgot your stance. What were you going to say? Hope with your dollars. There you go. They’re not. The second coming of Aaron. Never put that in the garbage. That ain’t going to happen. I wouldn’t have done it if this was my team. I understand D.A. and the rest of you guys. I’ve seen this movie before and it ends up bad. You end up with an old man in the seat and he’s getting paper. I’m not mad, but the team suffers in the end. When he’s 40, we’re going to be trying to parade him around like he’s the Aaron Judge. I’m looking at it from that perspective. I get what you’re saying, D.A. Packing the seats, I get it. These people are going to come regardless. If I was the owner, I’m not giving this guy $400 million for 9 or 10 years. I’m not doing it. It doesn’t make sense to me. If he was Mike Soto at 25, absolutely. I will give him the money but not now. Let’s look at the gang of baseball. Tatis is a bit of a story. Juan Soto, Tatis is another one, and maybe 1 or 2 others. They came in that young and got their first contract at that age. They were that good to get that kind of money. People got mad at Bryce. People are always going to complain about whatever happens. Let’s understand that first and foremost. It happened to Trout, Bryce, Soto, the first one now getting big paper, and maybe 3 or 4 more guys. It doesn’t happen a lot where they came in at 18, and get to that first 5 years when they’re 23 and 24, and get to that next big contract that early. It doesn’t happen a lot because, in the Minor League’s system, guys don’t get up until they’re 22 or 23 most of the time. When you look at Judge’s age, I understand. Don’t get me wrong, but this is how it turns into because you don’t get up to the Majors until you’re 22, then you got five years on the contract. If you do good, you‘re 27 or 29 in this case or whatever the crap is. I wouldn’t sign you for that long either. From a baseball perspective, it’s physically what you can do. Let’s say, Barry Bonds. You get worse. I will let it go to say this. I agree with you, guys, but just know that in baseball in the coming years, you’re going to see a lot more of this. San Diego was going to give the money to him. They weren’t going to give the money to him because he was going to be good for nine years. They were going to give the money to him because he was going to pack out that damn stadium with that crew for the next eleven years. I think San Diego offered him more. San Diego offered $400 something. The dude is trying to get the long-game money. As I say, everybody believes that the owners want to win chips. No, they don’t. All fans need to understand that. Let me jump in here because we got to go on to the next thing here. I’m inclined to agree with D. I think it’s a lot of years, but I knew the Yankees is going to do it because that’s what they do. They did it. They have no remorse about it. They didn’t want this star to get away who just had a monster year where he broke the Major League’s record for home runs. Judge bet on himself and the Yankees paid. There it is. It’s going to wind up as Dan said because it just never works out. These long contracts never work out. We are never mad at the play again money because they’re paying. D, I understand what you’re saying from a financial aspect. Had he come to play in San Diego, I would have been to Petco Park. It’s a beautiful park out there in San Diego. They would have had $50,000-some out there in the center town of San Diego for Aaron Judge. He goes back to the Yankees. We will see if the Yankees can build around Judge, get some guys that can hit and coach, just go the other way, and things of that nature. In my opinion, baseball has gained way too much with the launch angles, analytics, and all of that stuff. Nobody hits the other way to the fact that they had to change the rule. It’s coming up next year. They’re changing the rule where there’s no shift. The shift is an illegal defense like in basketball, which we all know in basketball, they don’t do anymore. Baseball has gained way too much with launch angles and analytics. Share on X You can’t even do that no more. It is what it is when it comes to that. Other notable signings here are I saw Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts. He received a $280 million deal from the Padres for 11 years. The Red Sox signed Japanese outfit Masataka Yoshida to a 5-year $90 million deal. He was one of those pitchers that were out there from Japan. The Cubs‘ long-time catcher, Willson Contreras, signed a 5-year deal to go to the rival Cardinals. The Red Sox signed former LA Dodger Kenly Jansen for a 2-year deal at $32 million. There was some other news. My man from the Phillies, Trea Turner, got the bag. The Phillies’ 2020 payroll is already projected north of $241 million. Where did the Phillies get all this money from? D, you’re going to find out. There’s no cap. For all the casual folks here, unlike the NFL which has a hard cap, and the NBA which has a do whatever you want soft cap, there’s no cap in baseball. They do pay some luxury tax, but they go over a certain threshold and the money goes to poor teams like Dan seeing the Pirates. Can I ask a question? Do the Yankees still have Josh Donaldson? I don’t know. Somebody look that up real quick for me. I’m not sure. I think they do. That’s one person that they need to get rid of and unload quickly. He got the bag and did absolutely nothing in the playoffs. Again, a bad business decision of Cashman. I don’t know what’s going to change. Let me read this story real quick with baseball. We probably need to go back and revisit it, but it’s just to put it out there. This is also from Yahoo Sports. Chris Cwik says, “It wouldn’t be an MLB off-season without a baseball-related scandal. Despite Commissioner Rob Manfred insisting that one baseball will be used during the 2022 season, there’s more evidence that three different baseballs were utilized according to Bradford William Davis of the Insider. That conclusion comes courtesy of Dr. Meredith Wills, an astrophysicist who has conducted various studies on MLB baseballs.
SCSP 151| Baseball Free Agency
Baseball Free Agency: Commissioner Rob Manfred insists that one baseball was used during the 2022 season. But there is more evidence that three different baseballs were utilized.
“In the past couple of years, Dr. Wills managed to collect a sample of 204 baseballs from the 2022 MLB season. She determined that three types of balls were used in games. The dead ball MLB promised will be used. The juiced balls that were used in previous seasons. A third ball that split the difference. Dr. Wills dug the third ball, the Goldilocks ball, given that it’s a measurement between those of the juiced balls and the dead balls. “Every ball obtained by Dr. Wills has MLB manufacturing specifications. However, those specifications had came under scrutiny as some have argued that the acceptable range for a legal baseball is too large, which could result in legal baseballs that are very wildly in performance. They go on to say that when Judge was in pursuit of the American League record, those balls were used.” Here we go again. I do have something to say, Mad Dog Russo, F you. There you go. You hit me with, “He’s the real champ.” All right. Until we find out that the balls were too small. Now, we’re back to Barry Bonds. I don’t understand English anymore. This is where we going now. You’re telling me that Barry cheated. You can say that. Now, we can say that Judge cheated. That’s what we can say now. Let history tell the story. Let all dudes shut the F up until it’s over. Stop putting their feet in their mouths. That’s hard to follow that up with a prayer. I’m sorry. We have very strong opinions here. They got an astrophysicist up there collecting balls. Baseballs out here are doing whatever they’re doing and causing some reasonable doubt. Why? E, you got a funny face. It’s spooky out here. It’s spooky outside. The stuff that comes out, whether it’s true or not, does not shock me anymore. “I can’t believe they would do such a thing,” I’m way past that. If it is or if it isn’t, I’m numb to all of this stuff. We have the name of this episode, “It’s Spooky Outside.” D-Dubb, you got something before we go into Dan for hockey? I’m with E. Nothing surprises me no more with this game. It’s everybody’s game. There’s always some type of controversy, drama, or dirt. What was wrong with the balls that you can’t just leave them alone? You’re the same guy that says Santa Claus is not real. I’ve been proven right. That’s correct. I don’t understand what were we messing with the balls for in the first place. Anyway, MLB has done it again. I got it. Dan, The Hockey Dude, is up next. Dan, do you have an opinion about the baseballs or whatever before you go to hockey? No, because my team can’t seem to hit them. It doesn’t matter. I’m not going to say a word. They could be impeachable. Dan is all with hockey. Dan is talking hockey. Go ahead, Dan. We’re about a third away into the season. This is the “make it or break it” point of the season. The teams that are struggling, are they going to make the playoffs? You got some teams that are lightening it up. What’s funny is I was looking to see the power rankings that each site has. You have The Hockey Writers. You have the NHL site and the CBS. The more I looked at these things, I was like, “I don’t know what people are smoking.” I’m just going to give my power rankings of probably the top eight because after that, it’s like a hodge podge of teams. Boston and New Jersey are killing it. This is how scary these two teams are. Boston played 25. Jersey played 26. Boston finally lost a home game. They won 13 or 14 straight. The goal differential between these two teams is Boston has scored 100 goals and only given up 53. Jersey scored 96 and only gave up 57. That’s crazy. The leading team in the West, Vegas, only has a 19-goal differential, 95 and 76. Winnipeg is next with 79 and 61. Dallas is pretty good, 98 and 76, plus 22. I would say Boston, Jersey, Vegas, probably Toronto, Winnipeg, Seattle, and Dallas. I’ve tossed up between Carolina and the Penguins. Carolina is struggling at the moment. They went 4-1- 5 in the last 10, whereas the Pens went 8-1-1. They ride the ship after their seven-game losing streak and are starting to play way better hockey. The good news is Kris Letang resumed practice ten days after his stroke. Not sure when he’s going to be back in the lineup, but it’s good to see that they cleared him enough to practice. Boston, Jersey, and Pittsburgh all went 8-1-1 in the last 10 games. Toronto went 7-1-3. Winnipeg went 7-3-0. Seattle won 7-2-1. Seattle surprised me. They’re playing well. They’re third in that division.
SCSP 151| Baseball Free Agency
Baseball Free Agency: Chris Ang resumed practice 10 days after his stroke.
What’s doing it for Seattle? Why do they turn around there? What’s going on with them? As I said, you won’t see another Vegas expansion draft. They took players to mold their team. They had some injuries last year. The goal-tending struggled a bit, but then they started making moves at the trade deadline, moving Giordano and getting some picks. What changed is they got Matty Beniers in the draft. That kid has been on fire. When I was texting you about the Buffalo vs Columbus game, they had a graphic. Four of the top five draft picks all came from the University of Michigan. There were Beniers, Johnson, and Owen Power. I can’t remember the fourth. In that sense, I don’t know if all these other sites are banking with the future almost like the stock market like, “This team’s good. They’re going to get in there.” It’s like your Rangers. They shouldn’t be in the top 16. They’re not even in the playoff. They won the last two. They did beat Vegas 5-1, and they beat Columbus or St. Louis the game before. They went 5-4-1. They’ve been on the struggle bus to the point where Kreider got in a fight the other night and was skating off the ice yelling at his own bench, and chucking his helmet into the glasses as he went down the runway like, “Wake the F up.” I don’t know what it is. They lost a couple of guys, the free agency, but they still have a really good team. I don’t know if it’s the hangover for Shesterkin, where he played so much last year, and that he’s tired. I don’t get it. They should be a much better team than they are. The Rangers are currently 13-10-5. They’re right behind Tampa Bay for the last spot. It would be Vegas last night. I watched a little bit of that. On the flip side of some of the disappointments, I would say Florida would have to rank up there after the deals they made in the off-season, getting to Chuck and losing Wheeler and Huberdeau. I don’t know why they did that trade. Both of those guys fit well. They were moving in the right direction, and this disrupted their chemistry. Even in the West, Colorado is right behind Minnesota as far as playoffs, but they’re dealing with a ton of injuries. I saw where they had nine people out. Nathan MacKinnon got hurt. It’s just not like your third-line center got hurt. They got a lot of guys. MacKinnon, Lehkonen, Manson, Evan Rodrigues, Byram, Nichushkin, Darren Helm, and Gabriel Landeskog are out. Those are five top players that they’re missing. At the same time, they’re still playing well. That would be one team I would think is going to make the playoffs even though they’re struggling right now. They’re currently tied in the Western Conference. They’re back there. Vancouver is 500 sitting at 27 points too, but they’ve played 3 more games than Colorado has. I don’t know what’s up with St. Louis. I watched them against the Penguins the other night. We absolutely destroyed Binnington to the point where he lost his noodle and started yelling at the bench when he got pulled. They played the other night, and they played well. It’s like, whatever. Chicago is going through a rebuild. Anaheim has got some good players. I don’t understand how they only have seven wins. Arizona is back. Usually, they are at the bottom. 7-17-3. I feel for Columbus. I was texting Kevin because I was watching the game while I was playing Call of Duty. I’m like, “Holy sh*t. It’s 6-0 in the first period on 14 shots. Tage Thompson had four goals in the first period, and they weren’t getting any. He had two one-timers that he scored on, and then a couple of nice wrist shots. This kid could be scary good. He’s the size of a mew. He’s 6’6”. He’s got good hands. He can skate. He roofed one wrist shot and one backhand. You could hear a clank right up under the bar. It was unreal. I thought I sent you a meme where they said Columbus has been regulated to the EHL because that’s how awful they have been. They got Laine back. They got Gaudreau. They’ve been getting bounced all week because we beat them. I think you guys beat them. The Rangers beat them, and then Buffalo beat them. This Buffalo Team, if they could learn how to play defense and sacrifice a little bit of offense to play better in their own end and not give up so many odd-man chances, this team is on the brink of being good. They got Rasmus Dahlin on defense. The kid that was playing, I think his name is Luukkonen. It was his third straight start and he played well. With your forwards, they got Tuch from Vegas. They got Tage Thompson. They still got Jeff Skinner, the old Carolina Hurricane dude. They’re fast. They move the puck well. I felt bad for Columbus. They got bombshelled. It was 6-0 on 14 shots. As soon as they brought in the backup goalie after, it was goal 4 or 5-1-2. Tage Thompson comes down on a breakaway and rips a nice beauty of a backhand up in the top shelf too. Hopefully, they figure out how to play defense and block shots, and learn how to play a little bit dirty or mucky. You don’t have to make all these great plays. That dude was fifth in goals going into last night and he scored five, and now he’s second or third. Dan, I got a question. In basketball, we talk about defense and how it’s played. Some teams have guys that may play one-on-one defense. You got some teams that play team defense even though they don’t have a great one-on-one defender per se. In hockey, could you explain to our audience how is defense there? Is it more of a team thing or is it guys like your defensemen or data anchors in most cases? How does that work? The reason why I’m asking is I’m looking at Anaheim. You only scored 69 goals and you gave up 1-14. Please explain. It’s more of a structure. Depending on who your coach is and what their philosophy is, the structure is the way you play defense. There are more defensive teams like back in the day with New Jersey Devils. They would dump the puck in, and then set up one guy on the blue line, and then they would have two at the red line, and then the defensemen were just behind them. They basically played a trap. The neutral zone trap. They would slow the game down so that it would force you to either make a bad pass or try to make a play. You shouldn’t make a play up the middle or whatever. They would get the turnover and go the other way, or they would make you dump the puck. Of course, they had Brodeur back there who was one of the better puck-handling goalies. He would chuck that thing right out of the zone forward and they go the other way. The 2-zone trap is all about slowing the game down. It forces you to either make a bad pass or try to make a play. Share on X The way the Penguins play and a lot of teams are starting to play is you will see the guy will have the puck on one side of the boards, and then battling the guy. He will wrap it around the other side of the boards. That actual defenseman will come down to face off and try to keep the puck in, and then the high forward will go back and take his position so they still have people back to try and eliminate the 3-on-1, 2-on-1, and that kind of thing. It’s the structure of if my weak side defenseman pinches, the high forward has got to take his spot. It’s like an if-then type of thing. If this happens, then this is what you need to do. It’s that type of structure. It’s whether you want to play aggressively and pinch, or if you want to play more of a back position and force teams to beat you through the system where you could try to get the turnovers. Some teams have a good system. Some teams like Anaheim. If I had to guess, Anaheim has probably got a lot of young players. You got Jayson Megna, Sam Carrick, McTavish, and Zegras. They’re all first, second, and third-year players, but they do have some veterans. I don’t know. Maybe their system is not working. The other thing too is how many penalties you are taking in giving up goals on the power play. The other thing that I heard or saw or read about was that Ovechkin played Philadelphia the other night and they pulled a goaltender. He scored two empty net goals. He’s at 795. He’s behind Mr. 99 for the all-time record. If he could play probably two more years and if he keeps the current pace, he should be able to break that record. A lot of people are like, “The empty net goals count.” The Oilers in the ‘80s were a freaking all-star team. The guys that were on that team like Kurri and Grant Fuhr in goal were just all the way up and down the line. They were so good. They didn’t get many empty net games where they could put the puck in the empty net because they were already up 6-1. It will be interesting to see how long it takes him, and if he can get to it. It’s more about age and injuries. As long as he could stay healthy and off the IR, he should do it. Talk about other athletes on this very show that are stats-stuffing, what’s the difference? We don’t talk about them no more. The equivalent of what Ovechkin is doing is like someone breaking the all-time scoring leader of the NBA. You’d be the number one score ever. Let me ask this question real quick. In the hockey realm, how do they view Ovechkin? Is he one of the greats already? Is this something that he has to do in order for him to be put on whatever? For sure, he’s going to be a first pilot hall of famer. His biggest hangup is they couldn’t win the cup. Once he won the cup, it was like he’s got everything else. I don’t know if it’s not fair, but those that make it to the hall or are viewed as greats are the ones that have the cups, like Ray Bourque. He’s probably one of the best defensemen to play in the league. It took him 22 years and he had to go to Colorado for one year to win it. He got it. Was he a hall of famer without it? Absolutely. It’s just that icing on the cake if you know what I mean. You can’t debate it. There’s one other thing I wanted to talk about, and I told Kevin about this the other day. Usually, I’m a happy-go-lucky person. Here’s my thing. We have professional athletes in all sports, and it doesn’t matter what the sport is. They tweet, interview, or do whatever. They may say something that people don’t agree with or that they probably shouldn’t have said in the first place. In turn, they get suspended, this, that, and the other. It was Tampa and Boston, and it was the knucklehead that does the announcing for the Bruins. As far as homers and announcers that I can’t listen to, I will turn the volume off if that’s the only broadcast I get because there’s no way I’m listening to it because he’s a meathead. He went on for probably a minute and then rant during the game about Pat Maroon and basically fat shaming him, saying his inadvertent fasting is him not eating a meal for four hours. I’m sure he hasn’t missed a pizza since. That has nothing to do with the game. That’s not something that should be said on national TV or broadcast because there are probably a lot of people that have self-esteem issues or body image issues. That shouldn’t be said. The one positive that I got out of it was Maroon is a big dude. He’s not the fastest guy, but somehow this dude is always in the right position and scoring big goals. I love how he took the high road. He basically ignored what the numb nuts said. He just said, “I’m going to donate money to the Tampa Thrives non-profit that deals with these kinds of things.” Some of his teammates also donated money. I think within the first little bit, they raised $50,000. He’s like, “It’s over. Done with the ball. We will move on.” Class act that they are in Tampa Bay, they went the high road. If you don’t know him, ladies and gentlemen, that would be Jack Edwards. Is that correct, Dan? Yes. All I got to say is if you want some entertainment, go to YouTube, pull up some Boston Bruins broadcast games of a fight, and you will understand what I’m saying. If you’re listening to the game on the radio, you would think that a Bruins guy was kicking the guy’s ass. Meanwhile, he’s eating rights after rights. He’s getting his ass beat. “He got a good right. No, he hit the helmet.” He didn’t even hit his face. Dan, thank you so much. That’s Dan, “The Hockey Dude” bringing this storm with the hockey. I appreciate you. Up next, we got the D.A. talking about World Cup Soccer. Finally, the world’s most populous watch sports. We come on five. The World Cup. It has been a very good World Cup. I don’t think there are too many surprises other than I thought Japan vs. Croatia was a pretty good game. I didn’t expect it to be that, but a friend of mine reminded me that part of the world, there are some other things going on, so they might not have everybody they need. I didn’t see Poland beating France, so that wasn’t a thing to me. Morocco is beating Spain. I think that has a lot to do with not necessarily what we call the off-season, but the friendly season. I don’t think that Spain took things seriously. At the same time, they have an agent team. Soccer or football is without a doubt. We’re talking about old athletes and everything else, it won’t happen here. It is not at all an old man’s sport. Old in football is 33 years old. You got to get your money early and bounce. Did Brazil bench Ronaldo? Yeah, but he will play again. It’s okay. They had a dude that replaced him, Ramos. He had to go. Ramos is 22 years old or 23 years old. Football is a game where coaching means a lot, whether people believe it or not. When you’re watching the matches, you will see at a point in time some dudes who blow signs, which are the clocks being held up. You will start to see a bunch of subs come in. They’re not subs because they’re bad. They’re subs because they’re old. In football, coaching really means a lot, whether the people believe it or not. Share on X They will come in and they will give you a goal because they’re that good in that few minutes. They will set something up that quickly. You’re bringing a dude that’s maybe not 25. He’s maybe 31 or 32. On the pitch, he knows what he’s doing. He knows where to be. He knows how to set you up. Kevin knows this. We were watching one match and I screamed because one team didn’t do something. Had they done it, they would have scored a goal. It’s simple mathematics. With that being said, I see going forward Argentina beating the Netherlands because the Netherlands was a very young team. They have a cat that’s definitely in the Golden Boot Award for the most goal in a World Cup. His name is Gakpo. He had three goals from the Netherlands, but I think he’s out of here unless he does something crazy. I see Brazil winning against Croatia. That’s like the A1 team football. The great one. I’m telling you, Saturday at 2:00 PM, France against England. You have 2 of the top 10 scorers on each team. For France, you have Mbappe. He was nice. He’s that guy. You have Giroud who is 31 or 32. He’s the old dude. He has one of the lead scores with three goals. For England you have Saka, he has three goals. Rashford has three goals. Just the two big names, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling are also on the England team. The reality is that one of those guys will not be brought up until the end of the game when they can help. If they need a goal for the team and they have to get one, you want to put those experienced guys on the pitch because it helps out. You have Morocco against Portugal. As I said, Ramos is there. That’s a young team too. He’s getting older and still looks good. He is a legend and he’s a sniper. You cannot underestimate how good these guys are just to see an open situation like a great hitter. Seeing that fastball, and just cranking, it’s there and they never miss it. You need those guys in the game, but they can’t play a whole match. If you’re watching, it’s like 90 minutes non-stop marathon. With that being said, it looks like we’re going to have a great weekend. We got some great guys in the Golden Boot Award. I think Mbappe at five goals now is a lot. It’s going to be hard to catch him.
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Baseball Free Agency: Ramos is a legend, and he’s a sniper.
He curled one the other day. I was like, “Wow.” It’s a different world. We can talk about it, but it’s a different world from the way these kids grow up playing soccer and learning soccer. They become experts at a very young age. I’m going to talk to FIFA about the blue line on the television screen, so we can get onto all sides though it doesn’t matter. We will have another talk about that. That has a lot to do with the alignments for defense and offense within the game. There are 5 or 6 that most use, but there are a lot of variations and how to line up those 11 guys. That’s based on the team’s makeup and how they do things. Some are defensive teams. Some like to get the lead and hold on. Some are very aggressive teams. I guess that’s why when E asked you, Dan, about hockey and defense. It’s the same thing as to the way your team plays and the identity of your country. It’s the way you set up your lineup and the way you play defense. Whether you have four back defensemen, three in the midfield, and three up front. That’s what it is. Congratulations to the teams that won. I will be watching it. No doubt. That was D.A. with soccer. We got soccer. Very good weekend for the World Cup. I will be watching a little bit when I can. It has been a very good World Cup for me. The United States is not there yet. Brazil, that’s where it’s at. They’re the favorites. With that said, we’re going to move right along to D-Dubb. He’s up next. He’s going to talk about boxing this December. D-Dubb, what do we got as far as the boxing? On the boxing side, at the end of the year towards the beginning of next year, usually, some of these fights start to come about. First off, I want to shout out. Many of you guys don’t know the legendary referee Mills Lane has passed away at the age of 85. He has been a part of a lot of big fights including Bernard Hopkins. He pushed Bernard Hopkins out of the ring. Bernard Hopkins ended up getting injured, but came back and referee his last fight. He was part of Mike Tyson’s bite fight with him and Holyfield. He was part of a whole lot of fights like when Oliver McCall suffered that nervous breakdown in the ring against Lennox Lewis. The other one is Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield. Remember a fan with the parachute into the ring. They’re ready to beat that ass. This guy was such a staple back in the ‘90s throughout that period. I want to call that an attitude era. Mills Lane, every time you saw a fight, he was part of one of the biggest fights. I also remember they did the claymation during one of MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatches. He would be part of that. Shout out to Mills Lane, a legendary referee. What have we got going on? We got some good fights. I believe one of the Charlo twins is going to fight Tim Tszyu. He’s the son of Kostya Tszyu. I know D.A. remember Kostya Tszyu when he fought Zab Judah. This is his son, and he will be fighting the Charlo twins in January 2023. That’s coming up. We also got Tyson Fury and Mr. Usyk. They’re supposed to begin it here in the first quarter of the year. Look out for those fights. We also got Gervonta “Tank” Davis. He will be fighting later in January as well. We got some good fights coming up. You usually get these fights early in the year, first quarter. Some of them are in the middle part of the year in July. We’re looking forward to a lot of good fights. There’s nothing really in the last quarter. I can’t remember the last time there was. Last quarter, if you’re talking about November, something might sneak in, but not too many. Bud Crawford is not fighting the fight that we want to have happened. His fight is coming up on December 10th. We also have Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko. That might be coming soon. We got some good fights. I was just saying Tank Davis and Hector Garcia coming up in January. Tank is saying he’s not looking to fight too much longer. He said he’s going to get these guys out of here. He’ll clean it up and then he’s going to bounce. We will see. We hear the boxer say that all the time. Something just keeps on calling them back like big paydays. We will see. That’s about what I got on the boxing front, Kevin.
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Baseball Free Agency: Tank Davis is saying he’s not looking to fight much longer.
That was D-Dubb with boxing. We appreciate D-Dubb coming through on the boxing tip. Next, we’re going to go to college football. Georgia is number one. Michigan won its conference championship against my alma mater, Purdue. Michigan is number two. TCU lost to Kansas in their conference championship. The powers to be with the playoff format said TCU is still good. Nick Saban is a little upset about this. The Ohio State Buckeyes slips into the number four spot because they lost to Michigan early. Those that are novices of college football, you got to remember, if you lose early, it’s not such a big deal. If you lose late, it’s a big deal. They teach you to lose late, and so did Ohio State. It just goes to show you that we need to go back to the computer. As long as you let humans do it, there’s going to be some cheating. There’s going to be some TV money. There’s going to be some which side of the country you got the biggest people watching the game. Be careful what you wish for people. Everybody was like, “They get the computers, but they don’t know what they’re looking at.” I know I looked at TCU lose. That’s what I saw. I know that the quarterback is a good guy. He can play. Do what you want to do. It doesn’t matter really because you’re still going to put in who you’re going to put in. I’m just going back as an older guy. Be careful what you wish for. You may have been better off fixing the computer program than leaving it in a room for the people with no real set criteria as to why they do what they do other than the RPI and strength of schedule. It means different things to different people every week. There you go. That’s my two cents. I got no more. Eric, your take on the playoff. I don’t have much to say. This is what we got. I’m not arguing, “This one should have been.” I don’t do that anymore. I just want to see good games. That’s it. Can you give me good games, please? That’s all. I don’t see any of these teams. Maybe Michigan, but I don’t want to be in Georgia, so it doesn’t matter. Just allow me to watch the whole game. At least that’s all I’m going to say. The whole game and not get off and go watch TV and play Madden. Don’t make me get the cold one out of the fridge in the second quarter. It can happen in any game, don’t get me wrong. Dan, your thoughts on college football’s top ranking here? Looking at it, I expected it was going to happen the way it happened. TCU lost to Kansas in overtime in the championship. They played in a championship game. How many of these conferences don’t have it? I don’t know. Who else would you put in there? Who deserves to be in front of them? Not Alabama, they lost twice. That’s not what St. Nicks says. St. Nicks says, “We should have been in there.” He and Dion need to go back and get some gap insurance. That’s the only way they’re getting in with two losses. You can say TCU or whatever you want to say, but I’m going to defend the little school just like I did back with Boise State when they were getting screwed. It’s the same way when ECF got screwed. You never know. You got to give them a chance. They played 12-1, I think. The strength of schedule was good. I think it’s funny the way that they set it up to make sure that Ohio State doesn’t play Michigan in the semis. Is there some selective hearing when it comes to these decisions? Absolutely. They want to make sure if they play, they play in the championship game. I don’t care who’s in it. Georgia is beating all of them. D-Dubb, we will go to you real quick. What have you got? You know I don’t got much. To that point though, I’m not mad at that. If we’re going to get a good championship game, I’m not mad at that. If they hold this team against this team, as long as you get a good championship game. With that being said, TCU made it. Ohio State is in. I’m with you. We scream about these teams. Let these teams get in because it’s exactly what you said, Alabama got two losses. If this is anybody else, they wouldn’t be in as well. I’m cool with it. As I said, Georgia is the juggernaut and they’ve been the juggernaut all year long. I don’t expect anything else different. Hopefully, if it’s a Georgia vs. Michigan, it should be a good game. TCU could surprise us and knocks it off. They are playing Ohio State. Is that correct? Yes, correct. I’m okay with that. We will see. We don’t have a choice. Let me ask you a question. When they open it up for the other teams to get in, was it supposed to be twelve? How is that working? Going to twelve. Next year or the year after, it’s going to be six games. I guess it’s about player safety too in college. We don’t have enough time. Will these games take all this space between the conference championship and the bowl game? I got to wait five years to wait for a bowl game, a potato chip bowl, and all this other stuff. That’s the only good thing you will get. They will come in between. In between the end of Thanksgiving with also the conference championship is the first week in December, so we will get all that. It makes sense. Let me go back to the safety part of it. Are these teams along with the NFL worried about CTE? No. We need to get that in the next episode. I’m just asking the questions. How does that work? I’m sorry. It’s so many conversations to have. It’s a lot going on this week. I’m afraid to step on this next one. I’m not afraid to, but we just got to get to something else. Let me go to the NFL before I try to go to that. The NFL week-14 has started. What’s going on with the Thursday night game? The Las Vegas Raiders are leading. The Super Bowl champs, 10-3, in SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. As I heard a horse racing guy say, “Down the stretch we go” with the NFL. We’re only going to talk about the games that are of playoff importance. With that said, I will start off with the NFL. The New York Jets go up to Orchard Park to visit the 9-3 Buffalo Bills. The Jets had a game where I think they should have won. They had 200 more yards of offense than the Minnesota Vikings. The Jets’ receivers hold onto the ball. Mike White looked like he forgot how to play in the first half. The Jets had to play catch up. Also, the Jets’ Red Zone offense was not good. With that said, I’m rolling with Buffalo. Buffalo probably will be 10-3 after the game at 1:00. I will go to D.A. Who have we got in this game?
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Baseball Free Agency: The Jets had a game last week when they should have won. They had 200 more yards of offense than the Minnesota Vikings.
Buffalo. D-Dubb, who you got? The Jets went and played Buffalo earlier this year and won that game. I think Buffalo will revenge on that and knock them off at home. Buffalo wins. E, what you got this game? I think it’s not all systems go, but Buffalo. Dan, who are you rocking with? I’m going to take the Bills. We’re all going to take the Bills. We need to go back and see what our picks were. I think we might do that at the end of the year here. Next game with playoff importance. I’m only saying this because the Bengals are of playoff importance. They’re 8-4. They’ll face the 5-7 Cleveland Browns. I will start off with E. Who have you got in this game, the Browns and Bengals? That game is in Cincinnati. I’m going to say Bengals. If this was still Jacoby Brissett’s Cleveland Browns, I may lean the other way. This has a lot of rush to brush off. I don’t think it’s going to get anybody against Cincinnati. I think they’re hungry for chops. I’m going for Cincinnati on it. D.A., who do you got? I go to the upset, so I will take Cleveland for my fantasy team. D-Dubb, who do you got? Cincinnati is on the little high street right now. They’ve been playing well. Knocked off Kansas City. They should do the same against this Cleveland Brown team. Cincinnati for the win. Dan? I got the Bengals. I’m like D-Dubb. The Bengals have been playing better. We will see. I got the one in. Let me go to the next game. Texas against Dallas. Nobody cares. Dallas should win that game. Eagles and Giants are my bet. There’s nothing else to talk about. More Giants fans. Let’s go. The Eagles won that game. The Giants don’t have enough offense. I’m just saying. I will be shocked if they win. The Eagles are the cream of the crop. They’re the best. What did I say? Baltimore against Pittsburgh. Dan, who do you got? I would like to say Steelers. They ain’t got no quarterback. They got to win. I can’t go there. I think it’s a lot better than it was last year. If we can’t score in the Red Zone and we’re just kicking field goals all night, we’re going to get beaten. D-Dubb, who do you got? No Lamar. I don’t believe he’s coming back out there. He’s out. I’m taking Pittsburgh at home at Acrisure Stadium. You had to go there with Dan. Eric, go ahead. Who have you got in this game? I’m going to go with Pittsburgh. I think this is going to be one of them old black-and-blue types of deals. I don’t see Baltimore winning in this one. 13-10 Steelers. D.A., who do you got? Najee Harris is one of my running backs, so it’s Steelers. D.A. went all analytical. Since you’re playing that game. I’m going to skip over this one game right here. Tennessee should beat Jacksonville. Denver is going to lose to Kansas City. Seattle should be Carolina in Seattle. Tampa Bay goes to Santa Clara to see the 49ers. Who’s going to lose? Go ahead, D.A. Who have you got? Tampa Bay is going to be wrecked. I’m sorry. The dude is old. Did you say what? The GOAT we trusted on Monday. He won’t even be there in the fourth quarter. He didn’t come by then. It was six times. He will be sitting down. You’re putting a bounty on the man. No, they just don’t have an offensive lineman. We keep getting defensive linemen back. They can’t get open. He throws the ball in 2.3 seconds. They can’t get open in 2.3 seconds. Joey Bosa hits home in 2.3 seconds. I like Tom Brady a lot. To give a testimonial, I had a couple of golf fans tell me this past week. They were like, “We didn’t have a chance to throw the ball.” I said, “Yeah, the Niner D was on your man. He never had a chance to throw the ball.” That would be serious. It’s really serious. Since I’m made him talk, I’m taking the Niners. Niners will win this game. The Niners’ defense is going to shine again. D.A. said Brock Purdy, he’s a system quarterback. We just need you to manage the game. Get the ball to McCaffrey. Throw 20 to 25 times during the game. Hopefully, we will take it home to the house. Let our defense help us out. Dan, who have you got? Niners all the way. With their defense, there’s no way. Tampa struggled against the Saints. It’s not happening. D-Dubb, who you got there? The Niners are at home in Santa Clara. They should take care of Tampa. That was a good little come-from-behind win by Tampa Bay on Monday night. I don’t see that happening again on Sunday. San Francisco is too good. E, who do you got there? I just want to say that I told you that when the Niners get healthy, they will be one of the scariest teams in the league. Defense is all systems go. They can run the ball. I don’t care if it’s Purdy. It doesn’t matter who they got in that quarterback slot in there, I got the Niners. Brady is going to look really old on offenses this Sunday. Let me go to this last game on the tilt here. The aforementioned Miami Dolphins are still on the West Coast. They travel to SoFi Stadium to face the LA Chargers. Miami is 8-4. The Chargers are 6-6. D-Dubb, I’m going to start off with you. Is it a must-win game for the Chargers? They are 6-6. There are talks about their coach. They’re going to change the coach. Payton going to get the job. Jason Garrett is waiting for the job. I told you, they’re always having it. They will lose this game to Miami. I think they are going to lose to Miami. I think Miami would win this game. I told you earlier. Sean Payton was in the running for that. It’s probably going to come true, and he’s waiting. That job is his. I don’t care if Los Angeles goes on a hell of a run down the stretch. It’s still his job, so I thought Los Angeles was going to be a lot better than what they’re showing. They’re very mediocre. It is what it is. Miami gets to win. I’m picking Miami too. Miami will come around. San Diego’s offense, Herbert is doing what he can, but I don’t think they have enough to be on the Dolphins. When that game got flexed, thank God that game got flexed. NFL is doing better with flexing games and making interesting games. I wish they just get rid of the Thursday night games and we will be all good. Baker is already playing for the Rams. I got the game. I didn’t see it. Is he? He has been there two days like, “Here you go. Here are the keys.” Dan, who do you got in this game? Miami. I don’t know what it is with the Chargers, besides their coach is not very good at making decisions. There’s no reason they should be as bad as they are but it is what it is until they figure it out, or change some personnel in the building. I don’t think it’s going to be a very good season for them the rest of the way. Miami should beat them easily. Another coach, a man in Denver, looks like it might be one and done for him. You’re right. We’ve had a bunch of coaches in the last ten years. Dan got us. I think this is our little pop-chat here. D-Dubb, Minnesota will get caught out there and lose to Detroit. That game is in Detroit. I don’t know. The Lions play hard, but I don’t think they’re better than Minnesota. They have not been playing well, other than Thanksgiving when they came back. Minnesota’s games have been suspect here lately. If you win the games, you win. Whether you win it by 40 or you win it by 20 or you win it by 2, you won. You just got to take it and move forward. That’s what I like about football. I will just go to a better team. Minnesota also needs to stay where they’re to get that by. What are they, 10-2? Yeah. It’s a very great show as always. I’m always fired up. With that said, we’re going to go to our party shots. We’re going to get out of here. We’re on to 90 minutes. I will start with The Angry One. What’s up? Great show as always. I appreciate Dan with the hockey knowledge, D.A., with football, and D-Dubb with boxing. Mike Miller, we miss you on the next round. Thank you all for tuning in. Vote with your dollars. We didn’t even get a chance to talk about that. There were a couple of topics that we had to leave on the table because we would be here for another two hours. I will go with Dan, “The Hockey Dude.” Great show. Shout out to Mike Mills. Sorry, you couldn’t be here, but we will be back on Monday. I hope everybody has a good evening. Stay safe. Be good. I appreciate that, Dan. D-Dubb, what do you got? Not too much or anything heavy. Everybody has a good weekend. We didn’t get a chance to dip our toe into this NFL Daniel Snyder thing. As you said, that’s probably about another 15 to 20 minutes to talk about that. Everybody, have a good weekend. Thank you for joining us. We will see you on the next fourth and short. According to Mike Mills, it wasn’t fourth and short. It was A/F lines. Mike Mills, wherever you’re at, fourth and long. D.A., what do you got? Everybody, thank you for coming. Have a good night. Take care of yourselves. That’s all. It’s all good. No matter how you look at it, I only ask you to just look at it. That’s all. Peace. That’s an interesting take. Thank you, D.A. I appreciate that. I don’t have anything heavy. I appreciate those that have tuned in.  

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