Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Free College Football Picks: Week 1

College football season is here and on every Wednesday night our sister blog, The Garnet Way, will post predictions for the upcoming weekend. Week 1 picks are now out. Click here to see the best picks for the opening weekend of the college football season.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

College Football Pick 'Em Contest

College football season is here and it is time for the College Pick 'Em Challenge. The contest is real simple. Each week ESPN chooses ten college football games. Your job is to pick a winner for each game and then rank how confident you are in each game you pick. The confidence value you give each pick will be how many points you are awarded if you get that pick correct. Your points will add up each week all season long.

All the games will be Saturday games and you will have until noon on Saturday to get your picks in.

This year we are adding a little more incentive with a $20 buy in. The payouts will go as follows:

1st place: 65% of the pool
2nd place: 25% of the pool
3rd place: 10% of the pool

To enter the contest, click here and create your entry. Once you do that you will then search for the group name. The group name is Otis Day and the Knights. The password is password.

You have until Saturday at noon to get your picks submitted. The $20 is expected to be paid by early October. Don't be that guy....or girl who doesn't pay. Payment information is found within the group or you can email  Good luck!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Arnold Palmer Wins The British Open

Arnold Palmer captured the first major of his career by winning The British Open by five shots. Palmer set a blistering pace in the first two rounds and carried a two shot lead into the final round. The final round brought extreme weather. 25 mph winds and a rock hard golf course. While other golfers faltered, Palmer shot a two under par 70. Next up is the PGA Championship at Valhalla. It is the last tournament before the Tour Championship at Cherry Hills which will be followed by The Ryder Cup. Click here to get the season summary.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lawson Little Holds off Nicklaus and Norman to Win US Open

Lawson Little won the US Open in real life in 1940 and he has now won the first ever US Open in the All Time Greats Simulation as he held off Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Johnny Miller among others. Here are the updated season rankings. The greats head across the pond next for the British Open. 

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Hitting Streak Ends, Sox Fall Again

May 30th, 1967

It was an awful day at Fenway Park as the Sox were swept in a four game series by the Baltimore Orioles. For the Orioles it was their ninth straight win, while the Sox have now dropped six in a row. The latest loss puts the Orioles in first place and for the first time all season the Sox are not in first.

If news could not get any worse, it did as Reggie Smith's 36 game hit streak was ended.

Mike McCormick who has six wins on the season will be out at least four months due to a severely torn muscle in his back. Dennis Bennett will take his spot in the rotation.

Carl Yastrzemski injured his hand in the first game of the series and sat out the last couple days. Yaz will not play in the doubleheader against the Angels but he should be ready for the Twins series.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Rory McILroy Fires 62 to Win The Masters

Rory wasn't just unstoppable in real life in Louisville, he was also unstoppable in the virtual world at Augusta National. The real Rory McILroy will head to Augusta next April in search of the career grand slam, the virtual McIlroy shot a 62 in the final round to win the Masters and beat the best golfers in the world in their prime.

This simulation uses the best 200 golfers of all time in their prime. The golfers from the early history of golf are modernized with the latest equipment so they can compete on the courses of today. Of those 200, only the top 100 were invited to Augusta.

McIlroy entered the final round trailing by three shots but a 62 got him the win going away.

Next up is the U.S Open at Pinehurst #2  Below is the final leaderboard and here is the PGA Tour Simulation Stats Summary along with the current World Rankings. 

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Friday, August 8, 2014

The 1993 Atlanta Braves and The Last Pennant Race

Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux were inducted into the Hall of Fame last weekend. John Smoltz should be inducted next year. 1993 was the first year they were all together. Maddux would sign with the Braves as a free agent in the offseason. It would create one of the greatest starting rotations in baseball history. For all their greatness, they were only able to win it all once and that was in 1995.

1993 was the last season without wildcards. The Braves were in the NL West and it would take 104 wins for them to win the division. Like Maddux, Barry Bonds was also a free agent in the offseason leading up to 1993. He would sign with the Giants and he would lead them to 103 wins, one short of winning the division. Can you imagine winning 103 games and not going to the playoffs?

The Braves would end up getting beat by the Phillies in the NLCS, another October disappointment for the Braves.

1993 is special to me because it was the year I went off to college. Born and raised in NY, I came south for college in the August of 1993. I was now living in Braves country. I had watched them on TBS for years, saw some awful teams, but now they were one of the elite franchises in baseball. It was tough not to start pulling for the hometown team.

The Braves went after it all in 1993. The signing of Maddux in the offseason and the July trade for Fred McGriff put the Braves in championship or bust mode. It is what made the loss in the NLCS so tough to take.

Speaking of McGriff, has there ever been a guy involved in more interesting trades in their career? McGriff was drafted by the Yankees and a year later he was traded to the Blue Jays along with Dave Collins and Mike Morgan for Tom Dodd and Dale Murray. It is safe to say the Blue Jays won that trade.

At the end of the 1990 season, the Blue Jays traded Fred and Tony Fernandez to the Padres for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter. Once again, the Blue Jays came out winners. Alomar and Carter would be key players in their back to back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.

Then came July 18th, 1993, the Braves traded Vince Moore, Donnie Elliott and Melvin Nieves for The Crime Dog. A big win for the Braves.

Then there is a guy named Chipper Jones. Chipper was just 21 in 1993 and spent the majority of the season in the minor leagues as a shortstop. Chipper would get into eight games with the big club going 2-3 with a walk. Chipper would miss the 1994 season due to injury and would return in 1995 as a rookie third baseman and eventual World Champion.

I became a Chipper fan pretty quick. I am fan of his still today. I blog about him often, like this post on why he is better than Derek Jeter, or this post on how Chipper dominated an obnoxious Mets fan on twitter. Chipper is special because as he got old, so did I. It is tough to watch your baseball heroes go away but even tougher when you happen to be the same age as them. I blogged about that void here.

What do you do when you miss watching Chipper Jones play? The same thing you do when you miss watching a rotation of Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine, you turn to Out of the Park Baseball

I have taken over the 1993 Braves as manager and GM. Chipper is in the minors but I doubt he will be there for long. Maddux gets the ball for Opening Day in Chicago to face the team he just left via free agency. The sky is the limit. Can I lead the the Braves to more than one title? Opening Day did not quite go as planned as Maddux and the Braves would lose to the Cubs. In real life, Maddux and the Braves would beat the Cubs 1-0 on Opening Day of 1993. The Braves would beat Mike Morgan on that day, ironically one of the guys traded to the Blue Jays from the Yankees with McGriff back in 1982. Here is the boxscore of that game in 1993.

Here is the boxscore from the simulation 1993 season. Notice that it is Sid Bream with the big day for the Braves. Who needs Fred McGriff? 

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