Sunday, January 29, 2012

Two Packers make ESPN's NFL Any Era Team

ESPN released their NFL Any Era Team, which is their most recent scheme to make something out of nothing. Here is ESPN's description of the NFL Any Era Team: " and ESPN The Magazine sought a list of the 20 current players who 20 Hall of Famers (and one Hall of Fame writer) believe could play in any era of the NFL." Not the most scientific approach by the folks at ESPN.

ESPN comes up with borderline ridiculous ideas like the NFL Any Era Team and rides them into the ground by having their personalities talk and write about them across all of their platforms for as long as possible.

I guess I am perpetuating ESPN's craziness by writing about it but since two Green Bay Packers ended up on the list it is at least worth mentioning, especially since a bunch of Packers are playing in the Pro Bowl today instead of preparing for the Super Bowl. The two Green Bay Packers that made the list are: Aaron Rodgers (ranked 9th) and Charles Woodson (ranked 4th).

I am fine with both of the selections, especially since HGH would not be readily available in any era for Clay Matthews...kidding (sort of) and with the relaxed rules for receivers I am not positive Greg Jennings would be as explosive in any era. It makes senses that Charles Woodson finished in front of Rodgers although I would bet there are a bunch of guys behind both that are salty.

Patriots fans have to be pissed that Tom Brady was ranked #11 while Rodgers was ranked #9. Add in that Ben Roethlisberger was ranked #3 and luckily Patriots fans can look forward to Super Bowl XLVI instead of worrying about these stupid lists.

Speaking of Super Bowl XLVI, it is being played in Indianapolis this year where Colts fans are about to have an ugly divorce with their franchise quarterback Peyton Manning. I guess that means the least of their worries is that Manning was ranked #20 while Lefty Jesus aka Tim Tebow was ranked #19.

I already gave this ridiculous list more coverage than it deserves, you are welcome to seek out the whole list and complain if you like. If possible, enjoy the Pro Bowl since it will be the last time you will see anyone wearing Green and Gold on an NFL field for at least six months.

Check back over the next few weeks for a bunch of Packers coverage as I put the final touches on the 2011 season and look forward to the 2012 season.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Prince Fielder signs with the Detroit Tigers

Before we jump into the details of Prince Fielder's historic contract, let me put the negotiations in context. In early 2010 the Milwaukee Brewers offered Fielder a five-year, $100 million contract. Fielder's agent Scott Boras "according to sources" countered with an eight-years, $176 million contract. The counter-offer by Boras ended the negotiations between both sides because apparently Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, most likely after consulting with principal owner Mark Attansio, decided they could not make a solid counter-offer.

Fast forward to a few months ago when the Brewers were eliminated from the playoffs by the St. Louis Cardinals. In most cases a team in the Brewers' spot at least makes a courtesy offer but apparently Boras told the Brewers that it was going to cost at least $200 million to sign Fielder. If $176 million ended negotiations, $200 million made even a courtesy offer impossible. At that point everyone knew Fielder played his last game in Milwaukee, the question turned to where will Fielder actually sign?

With most of the big market clubs out of the "bidding war" for various reasons: Angels (Albert Pujols), Cubs (owner trying to be cost conscious), Dodgers (current owner already bankrupt), Mets (owners might go bankrupt), Phillies (Ryan Howard), Red Sox (Adrian Gonzalez), White Sox (Paul Konerko), and Yankees (Mark Teixeira) that left very few bidders for Prince Fielder.

For the last month it has been a flip of the coin between the Washington Nationals and the Texas Rangers. The Rangers always made more sense by the mere fact that they play in the American League so Fielder could DH part-time now and full-time sooner rather than later. Outsiders always thought the Nationals were involved just to help drive up the price for Fielder to ultimately land in Texas and gobble up some of the Ranger's new local television money set to start flowing in a few years. Much like Pujols seemingly out of nowhere signing with the Angels, Fielder signed with the Tigers instead of the Nationals or Rangers.

Once the dust settles the numbers might be slightly different but as of right now Fielder signed a nine-year, $214 million contract to play for the Detroit Tigers. To put that huge contract in perspective, there have only been three larger contracts signed in MLB history: Albert Pujols' recent deal (10-years, $240 million for 2012-21) and both of A-Rod's record breaking contracts ($252 million for 2001-10 and after opting out early he signed a $275 million from 2008 to 2017).

I have been critical of agents like Scott Boras and Drew Rosenhaus many times in this same space. Unfortunately Boras delivered the goods and probably inked a few more high-profile soon-to-be free agents in the process. The only asterisk for Boras is that if Victor Martinez didn't recently tear his ACL, there is no way that Fielder signs with the Tigers. Either way, Boras pounced and got his client the $200 million that he promised.

In the short-term the Brewers have a huge hole in the middle of their order with Fielder signing with the Tigers and Ryan Braun facing a 50-game suspension.

Only time will tell if Fielder is worth all that money. The easy answer is to say no and that Fielder will eat his way out of the league sooner rather than later, we all know that he has the means after signing a $214 million contract. I am not saying Fielder is worth $214 million but I am intrigued by him playing for his estranged father's former team. Thanks for the great memories Prince and good luck across Lake Michigan playing for the Tigers.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mark Wilson wins the 2012 Humana Challenge

Watch out PGA Tour, the Cheeseheads look like they are going to dominate 2012. Steve Stricker got things started by winning the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions two weekends ago.

A non-Cheesehead, Johnson Wagner, won the 2012 Sony Open in Hawaii at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu last weekend.

Mark Wilson got the Cheeseheads back on track winning the 2012 Humana Challenge this weekend. Wilson's win means the Cheeseheads are beating the entire PGA Tour 2-1 to start the 2012 season.

Despite battling winds of up to 35 mph that forced the field to complete the third round on Sunday, Wilson shot 24-under par (66-62-67-69=264) to beat Robert Garrigus, Johnson Wagner, and John Mallinger by two strokes. Wilson notched his fifth career PGA Tour win pocketing $1.01 million in the process.

Following the Humana Challenge, Stricker stayed 5th in the world golf rankings while Wilson moved up to 40th. Jerry Kelly, the most animated Cheesehead golfer, is currently ranked 129th in the world and due for a win to give the 2012 season a Cheesehead hat-trick.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Steve Stricker wins the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Thanks to shooting an impressive 23-under (68-63-69-69=269) over four days, Steve Stricker started off the 2012 PGA Tour season with a win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Stricker bested the 27-player winner's only field with his putter.

Stricker's domination of The Plantation Course allowed him to notch his 12th career PGA Tour win. Stricker has been on quite a hot streak over the last few years winning eight of his last 50 PGA Tour starts.

If Stricker was in his late 20's or early 30's then a streak like he has been on the last few years wouldn't be that shocking but Stricker is 44 years old. Just to hammer the point home, Stricker won an astounding nine times since turning 40 years old.

Not only did Stricker win $1.12 million today but he moved up to 5th in the world rankings. As I have said many times, Stricker is a like a fine wine...he gets better with age.

Previous Steve Stricker Posts:
- Cheeseheads Rule Day 1 of the 2011 PGA Championship
- Steve Stricker's Three-peat at the John Deere Classic
- Steve Stricker won the 2011 Memorial Tournament
- Steve Stricker Wins the 2010 John Deere Classic