Odds & Ends-Volume 17

Although the Oakland Athletics were not able to beat the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS, I have to say they had a damn good year. A lot of people, myself included, had this team finishing with upwards of up to 100 games lost (I believe I had them at 61-101) and this team proved everyone who doubted that they could win a division with a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of wrong.

My big question now is will Athletics general manager Billy Beane, the architect of the practice called “Moneyball”, keep this team together for years to come? Or will he do what he generally does, bring up new talent and send them packing time and time again.
I hope for A’s fans (I am sure they do as well) that he will do the former,but you just don’t know that with Beane. The atmosphere that blanketed the Oakland Coliseum is something that should exist all season long, not just for a couple weeks in the season when things are finally getting good. This team could very well contend for the American League pennant next season and may be a sexy pick for baseball writers to win it all before the start of the 2013 season.

If Beane doesn’t keep some of these guys together for the long run, get ready to see the Coliseum empty out, say goodbye to the Bernie lean and any chance for the A’s to win and win now.

Is it just me or is the Musical Quarterbacks game being played by Jim Harbaugh getting a little old?

Smith, then Colin Kaepernick, then back to Smith,then back to Kaepernick. Enough! Choose a quarterback and stick with him. And I know,he is using Kaepernick as part of a “Wildcat” package (something that rarely works,kids), but in yesterday’s 26-3 loss to the New York Giants he was going back and forth between the two quarterbacks like they were going out of style. I don’t know many offenses that are in sync when quarterbacks were shuffled in and out of the game like they were by Harbaugh on Sunday.

Would Bill Belichick do this with Tom Brady? Would Mike McCarthy do this with Aaron Rodgers? Would whoever is coaching the New Orleans Saints do this with Drew Brees? Absolutely not.

This is a team some have said will win the Super Bowl this year. Not if you don’t have a consistent presence under center.

In Thursday’s Pigskin Picks, I picked the Green Bay Packers to give the Houston Texans their first loss of the season. I’m sure people thought I would be crazy to pick an undefeated team to lose at home to a team that has struggled to get themselves going, but I had a hunch that the Packers could do it. I am glad I was right.

Aaron Rodgers had probably the best game of his career throwing six touchdowns, three of them to Jordy Nelson, against one of the best defenses in the NFL on their own home field. He also tied a team record set by Matt Flynn last season. Flynn is now a well paid back-up to a rookie quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.

However, this doesn’t mean the Texans aren’t for real. Every team has a hiccup like this somewhere during the season. This team is still one of the best in the AFC that teams should be very afraid to play. The Packers may have exposed them a little,but it’s only because they are officially back as the perennial contender they are. Make no mistake about it,these two teams still make up my Super Bowl pick.

The New England Patriots are proving that they aren’t as sharp as they oughta be as they let a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter disappear against the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson led the Seahawks back to win 24-23 at home. The Patriots are now 3-3 and now questions about them not being as good as they once were are abound.

As a Patriots fan, i don’t think they’re this bad. I think defensively they’re getting better,but they’re a young defense finding their way in the league. I think truthfully they are a lot better than this, but I am cautiously optimistic. They are losing to teams they should beat easily like the Cardinals and even the Seahawks. A big test for them will be against the Jets going into Foxboro this coming week. I think this is a game they need to be up for,it’s their longtime hated rival who has been up-and-down themselves. I do think they’ll win this game because the Jets don’t have Darrelle Revis patrolling the secondary the rest of this year and that’s something the Pats can take advantage of. Sure,you still have Antonio Cromartie,but I am sure they can handle him.

I knew the San Francisco Giants were in for a fight with the St. Louis Cardinals,but I still think they’re in this series.

Many of my Facebook friends and others out there are saying the Cardinals are going to sweep the series, and those are people I must disagree with. Didn’t they see the series they had with Cincinnati? The comeback from being two games down to end up snatching the series with them. I guess not.

The Cardinals are not the Reds, in fact,they’re the defending champions. They should be this feisty and competitive. I expect no less and have expected no less from them all season. But the Giants are just as feisty and competitive and I see this series going all seven games. I hope the Giants can win the series still, but no surprise will come from me if they don’t.

The New York Yankees are down 0-2 in their series with Detroit Tigers and I am absolutely not surprised, even though Derek Jeter’s season is over. The Tigers have the pitching to shut down Yankee hitters and Alex Rodriguez has just not shown up here in October.

Now the Yankees have to go into Detroit to face the guy who is quite possibly the best pitcher this postseason, Justin Verlander. I don’t think there will be a sweep here, but I won’t be surprised if there is. The Tigers are pretty damn good.

By the way, you can catch me and my friend DJ Mappquest on Sports Madness, this Tuesday from 6-7pm Pacific Time on kssu.com, Sacramento State Student Radio.

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