Sunday, March 16, 2014

Kirbyology: Projecting the Field

Here is my shot at Bracketology. I hope I didn't miss anyone. Teams are listed in order of s-curve. Teams with a (P) after indicates that they will play in the play-in game in Dayton.


1. Florida, Wichita State, Arizona, Villanova
2. Michigan, Kansas, Virginia, Iowa State
3. Wisconsin, Duke, Creighton, Louisville
4. New Mexico, Syracuse, UCLA, Michigan State
5. San Diego State, VCU, Kentucky, Connecticut
6. North Carolina, Cincinnati, Gonzaga, Ohio State
7. Baylor, Oregon, Oklahoma, Massachusetts
8. Saint Louis, Texas, Saint Josephs, Oklahoma State
9. Memphis, George Washington, Kansas State, Colorado
10. Stanford, Arizona State, Xavier, Tennessee
11. North Dakota State, Pittsburgh, Nebraska, BYU (P), SMU (P)
12.. Providence, Harvard, Stephen F. Austin, Toledo (P), Dayton (P)
13. Western Michigan, Manhattan, Delaware, Tulsa
14. New Mexico State, North Carolina Central, Mercer, Eastern Kentucky
15. Louisiana Lafayette, Milwaukee, American, Weber State
16. Wofford, Albany, Coastal Carolina (P), Mount Saint Mary's (P), Texas Southern (P), Cal Poly (P)

Last 10 Out: Minnesota, Iowa, Southern Methodist, North Carolina State, St. John's, Belmont, Green Bay, Florida State, Missouri, Louisiana Tech

Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014 NCAA College Basketball Conference Championship Schedule


Monday, March 3



Patriot 1st Round: TBA (2 games)

 

Tuesday, March 4

 

A-Sun Quarters: 7:00, 7:00, 7:00, 7:00

Horizon 1st Round: 7:00 or 8:00, 7:00 or 8:00, 7:00 or 8:00 (Horizon Network)

 

Wednesday, March 5

 

Big South 1st Round: 12:00, 2:30, 6:00, 8:30 (Big South Network)

NEC Quarters: TBA (4 games)

Ohio Valley 1st Round: 7:00, 9:30 (OVC Digital Network)

Patriot League Quarters: TBA (4 games)

 

Thursday, March 6

 

A-Sun Semis: 6:30, 8:30 (ESPN3)

MAAC 1st Round: 5:00, 7:30, 9:00

Missouri Valley 1st Round: 7:00, 9:30 (MVC TV)

Ohio Valley Quarters: 7:00, 9:30 (OVC Digital Network)

West Coast 1st Round: 9:00, 11:30

 

Friday, March 7

 

Big South Quarters: 12:00, 2:30, 6:00, 8:30 (ESPN3)

Colonial 1st Round: 7:00 (CAA.TV)

Horizon Quarters: 7:00, 9:30 (Horizon Network)

Ivy League: Harvard at Yale – 7:30*

Missouri Valley Quarters: 1:00, 3:30, 7:00, 9:30 (MVC TV)

Ohio Valley Semis: 7:30, 10:00 (ESPNU)

SoCon 1st Round: 11:00, 1:30, 4:00 (ESPN3)

 

Saturday, March 8

 

American East Quarters: 12:00, 2:30, 6:00, 8:30 (ESPN3)

Big South Semis: 12:00, 2:30 (ESPN3)

Colonial Quarters: 12:00, 2:30, 6:00, 8:30 (CAA.TV)

Horizon Semis: 7:00 (ESPN3), 9:30 (ESPNU)

MAAC Quarters: 12:00, 2:30, 6:30, 9:00 (ESPN3)

Missouri Valley Semis: 2:30, 5:00 (MVC TV)

NEC Semis: 12:00, 2:00 (FCS)

Ohio Valley Championship (ESPN2)

Patriot League Semis: 3:30, 5:30 (CBS Sports Network)

SoCon Quarters: 12:00, 2:30, 6:00, 8:30 (ESPN3)

Summit Quarters: 7:00 (FCS)

West Coast Quarters: 3:00, 5:30; 9:00, 11:30 (ESPN2 – only 9:00 & 11:30)

 

Sunday, March 9

 

American East Semis: 5:00, 7:30 (ESPN3)

A-Sun Championship: 2:00 (ESPN2)

Big South Championship: 12:00 (ESPN2)

Colonial Semis: 2:30, 5:00 (NBC Sports Network)

MAAC Semis: 4:30, 7:00 (ESPN3)

Missouri Valley Championship: 1:00 (CBS)

SoCon Semis: 6:00, 8:30 (ESPN3)

Summit Quarters: 7:00, 9:30 (FCS)

 

Monday, March 10

 

Colonial Championship: 7:00 (NBC Sports Network)

MAAC Championship: 7:00 (ESPN2)

MAC 1st Round: TBA (4 games)

MEAC 1st Round: 6:30, 9:00

SoCon Championship: 9:00 (ESPN2)

Summit Semis: 7:00, 9:30 (FCS)

West Coast Semis: 9:00 (ESPN); 11:30 (ESPN2)

 

Tuesday, March 11

 

C-USA 1st Round: 5:30, 8:00, 10:30 (C-USA Digital Network)

Horizon Championship: 7:00 (ESPN)

MEAC 1st Round: 4:00, 6:30, 9:00

NEC Championship: 7:00 (ESPN2)

Summit Championship: 9:00 (ESPN2)

West Coast Championship: 9:00 (ESPN)

 

Wednesday, March 12

 

American Athletic 1st Round: 7:00, 9:30 (ESPNU)

Atlantic 10 1st Round: 7:00

ACC 1st Round: 1:00, 3:30, 7:00 (ESPN2)

Big 12 1st Round: 7:00, 9:30 (ESPN3)

Big East 1st Round: 7:00, 9:30 (FOX Sports 1)

C-USA 2nd Round: 2:00, 4:30, 8:00, 10:30 (C-USA Digital Network)

MAC 2nd Round: 6:30, 9:00

MEAC Quarters: 6:00, 8:30

MWC 1st Round: 5:00, 7:30, 10:00 (MWC Network)

PAC-12 1st Round: 3:00, 5:30, 9:00, 11:30 (PAC-12 Network)

Patriot Championship: 7:30 (CBS Sports Network)

SEC 1st Round: 7:00, 9:30 (ESPN3)

Southland 1st Round: 6:00, 8:30 (Southland Digital Network)

SWAC Quarters: TBA

 

Thursday, March 13

 

American Athletic Quarters: 1:00, 3:30, 7:00, 9:30 (ESPNU)

Atlantic 10 2nd Round: 12:00, 2:30, 6:30, 9:00

ACC 2nd Round: 12:00, 2:30, 7:00, 9:30 (ESPN)

Big 12 Quarters: 12:30, 3:00 (ESPN2); 7:00, 9:30 (ESPN3)

Big East Quarters: 12:00, 2:30, 7:00, 9:30 (FOX Sports 1)

Big Sky Quarters: TBA (3 games)

Big 10 1st Round: 12:00, 2:30 (BTN); 6:30, 9:00 (ESPN2)

Big West Quarters: 3:00, 5:30, 9:00, 11:30

C-USA Quarters 2:00, 4:30, 8:00, 10:30 (C-USA Digital Network)

MAC Quarters: 6:30, 9:00

MEAC Quarters: 6:00, 8:30

MWC Quarters: 3:00, 5:30, 9:00, 11:30 (CBS Sports Network)

PAC-12 Quarters: 3:00, 5:30, 9:00 (PAC-12 Network); 11:30 (FOX Sports 1)

SEC 2nd Round: 1:00, 3:30, 7:00, 9:30 (ESPN3)

Southland Quarters: 6:00, 8:30 (Southland Digital Network)

SWAC Quarters: TBA

Sun Belt 1st Round: 7:00, 9:30 (Sun Belt Network)

WAC Quarters: 3:00, 5:30, 9:00, 11:30

 

Friday, March 14

 

American Athletic Semis: 7:00, 9:30 (ESPN or ESPN2)

Atlantic 10 Quarters: 12:00, 2:30, 6:30, 9:00 (NBC Sports Network)

ACC Quarters: 12:00, 2:30, 7:00, 9:30 (ESPN or ESPN 2)

Big 12 Semis: 7:00, 9:30 (ESPNU)

Big East Semis: 7:00, 9:30 (FOX Sports 1)

Big Sky Semis: TBA

Big 10 Quarters: Noon, 2:30 (ESPN or ESPN2); 6:30, 9:00 (BTN)

Big West Semis: 9:00 (ESPN3); 11:30 (ESPNU)

C-USA Semis: 4:00, 6:30 (CBS Sports Network)

MAC Semis: 6:30, 9:00

MEAC Quarters: 6:00, 8:30

MWC Semis: 9:00, 11:30 (CBS Sports Network)

PAC-12 Semis: 9:00 (PAC-12 Network); 11:30 (FOX Sports 1)

SEC Quarters: 1:00, 3:30 (ESPNU); 7:00, 9:30 (ESPN3)

Southland Semis: 6:00, 8:30 (ESPN3)

SWAC Semis: TBA

Sun Belt Quarters: 7:00, 9:30 (Sun Belt Network)

WAC Semis: 9:00, 11:30

 

Saturday, March 15

 

American East Championship: 11:30am (ESPN2)

American Athletic Championship: 6:00 (ESPN)

Atlantic 10 Semis: 1:30, 4:00 (CBS Sports Network)

ACC Semis: 1:00, 3:30 (ESPN)

Big 12 Championship: 9:00 (ESPN)

Big East Championship: 8:30 (FOX Sports 1)

Big Sky Championship: 8:00 (ESPNU)

Big 10 Semis: 1:40, 4:10 (CBS)

Big West Championship: 10:30 (ESPN2)

C-USA Championship: 11:30am (CBS)

MAC Championship: 6:30 (ESPN2)

MEAC Championship: 6:00 (ESPNU)

MWC Championship: 6:00 (CBS)

PAC-12 Championship: 6:00 (FOX Sports 1)

SEC Semis: 1:00, 3:30 (ABC)

Southland Championship: 8:30 (ESPN2)

SWAC Championship: 6:30 (ESPN2)

Sun Belt Semis: 3:00, 5:30 (Sun Belt Network)

WAC Championship: 10:00 (ESPNU)

 

Sunday, March 16

 

Atlantic 10 Championship: 1:00 (CBS)

ACC Championship: 1:00 (ESPN)

Big 10 Championship: 3:30 (CBS)

SEC Championship: 3:15 (ESPN)

Sun Belt Championship: 1:00 (ESPN2)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reds Offseason Predictions

Here is my list of offseason moves (or non-moves) the Reds make this offseason:


Shin-Soo Choo signs elsewhere for more money.
Bronson Arroyo signs elsewhere for more money.
Reds also don't re-sign Manny Parra, Cesar Izturis, and Nick Masset.

Reds do re-sign Zack Duke.

Reds trade Brandon Phillips for prospects (my best guess would be the Dodgers).

Reds sign 2B Mark Ellis.
Reds sign INF Skip Schumaker.
Reds sign OF Nate McLouth.

Reds make a big play for Curtis Granderson, but fall just short to someone else with bigger pockets.
................................................................................

Reds 2014 Opening Day Lineup:

CF Nate McLouth
1B Joey Votto
3B Todd Frazier
RF Jay Bruce
LF Ryan Ludwick
2B Mark Ellis
SS Zack Cozart
C Devin Mesoraco

Bench: Skip Schumaker, Chris Heisey, Xavier Paul, Jack Hannahan, Ryan Hanigan.

Rotation:

Johnny Cueto
Mat Latos
Homer Bailey
Tony Cingrani
Mike Leake

Bullpen:

Aroldis Chapman
Sean Marshall
Alfredo Simon
J.J. Hoover
Sam LeCure
Zack Duke
Logan Ondrusek

Missing in action: Broxton is still hurt when the season starts, and Billy Hamilton doesn't make the opening day roster (but will get called up around May). Reds will have a crowded outfield with Derrick Robinson, Jason Bourgeois, and Hamilton in AAA.



Friday, October 4, 2013

Farewell, Dusty

The Reds announced on October 4, 2013 that Dusty Baker was fired.


It was a year too late.

I've been a critic of Dusty for quite some time, and this year his old school, player friendly baseball philosophies finally led to his demise.

Dusty's tactical beliefs are horrific. From batting far below average OBP guys in front of your best hitter, to always playing the veteran player over the more talented young player, to moving your $30 million starting pitcher to the bullpen, to never using your $30 million pitcher in anything other than a save situation.

It wasn't just tactical decisions though. Dusty's passive approach with his players far outran it's course. Dusty made excuse after excuse for his teams lack of success in the postseason, and some of his players joined in on his excuse train.

He let his second baseman call a reporter a fat mother f-er, right in front of him. He didn't try to stop him. He simply didn't have control of his team.

There simply was no accountability to this team. While letting some players play through slumps might work in the long run, he let too many guys stay in the lineup or rotation, despite absolute failures in the field. If Dusty made a bad call on who to pitch late in the game, every night he would come up with an excuse. He would never take ownership for his teams failures.

Even Baker's own player said this today:

"I don't want there to be a comfortability, I want someone to come ruffle some feathers." - Sam LeCure.

And worst of all, he criticized his best player's approach at the plate. He didn't even understand just how fortunate he was to have such an incredible, and valuable hitter on his side.

It wasn't all bad with Dusty Baker though. In the beginning, he helped orchestrate a turnaround that led the Reds back to the postseason for the first time in 15 seasons. He inspired confidence in young players like Jay Bruce, and got his players to buy in.

Dusty just didn't have enough to sustain what he built. Ultimately, his tactical, and lack of discipline among his clubhouse caught up with him. The result was two major missed opportunities for the Cincinnati Reds: the 2012 NLDS collapse, and the disappointing finish to the "all-in" 2013 season.


As a fan of this great organization, I would like to thank Dusty Baker for his time. He helped bring playoff baseball back to the Queen City, and without him their might never have been the great 2010 clinchmas, with Jay Bruce's walk-off bomb.

For the Reds now, we have new hope. We can believe in this team again. The search for a new leader, and the countdown to the 2014 season beings now.

Monday, September 30, 2013

NL Wild Card Game Preview: Reds at Pirates

It will all come down to a one-game wild card playoff game in Pittsburgh for the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds came up short of their goal of winning the division during the long 162 game season, but they are still alive and kicking. Well, at least for one more night.



The crowd in Pittsburgh will be intense. This will be the Pirates first home playoff game since 1992, and their first ever at PNC Park. I was in Pittsburgh last week when the Reds played, and that crowd was electric. Expect an even more intense, hostile crowd on Tuesday night.

Game time: 8:07 PM
TV: TBS
Weather: 68° at game time, 65° at game end. 0% chance of precipitation all night. 

Pitching Matchup:



Johnny Cueto (5-2, 2.82 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 2.7 BB/9)
vs.
Francisco Liriano (16-8, 3.02 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9)

Projected Lineup:

Reds:

Choo CF
Ludwick LF
Votto 1B
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF
Frazier 3B
Cozart SS
Hanigan C
Cueto P

Pirates:

Marte LF
Walker 2B
McCutchen CF
Morneau 1B
Byrd RF
Alvarez 3B
Martin C
Barmes SS
Liriano P

Pitching Numbers:

Johnny Cueto:

2013 vs. Pirates: 2 GS, 1-0, 12.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K, 0.73 ERA, 0.41 WHIP 
2013 at PNC Park: (both starts at PNC Park)
Career vs. Pirates: 21 GS, 13-4, 2.37 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 121 K, 37 BB
Career at PNC Park: 13 GS, 8-2, 1.90 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 70 K, 20 BB

Francisco Liriano:

2013 vs. Reds: 4 GS, 0-3, 24.1 IP, 17 H, 10 R, 10 BB, 28 K, 3.70 ERA, 1.11 WHIP
2013 at PNC Park: 11 GS, 8-1, 1.47 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 91 K, 37 BB
Career vs. Reds: No other starts outside of 2013

Batters vs. SP 

Reds vs. Liriano:                        
                                      
                    PA  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP   SLG   OPS
Shin-Soo Choo       32  6  0  0  0   2  1 10 .194 .219  .194  .412
Brandon Phillips    12  3  0  0  0   1  1  3 .273 .333  .273  .606
Joey Votto          12  2  0  0  0   0  2  2 .200 .333  .200  .533
Jay Bruce           11  0  0  0  0   0  0  6 .000 .000  .000  .000
Zack Cozart         11  2  0  0  1   1  1  3 .200 .273  .500  .773
Todd Frazier        10  3  0  0  2   2  1  3 .333 .400 1.000 1.400
Ryan Ludwick         9  4  1  0  0   2  0  1 .444 .444  .556 1.000
Devin Mesoraco       9  2  2  0  0   0  3  1 .333 .556  .667 1.222
Jack Hannahan        8  2  0  0  0   1  1  2 .286 .375  .286  .661
Cesar Izturis        7  3  0  0  0   1  0  1 .429 .429  .429  .857
Derrick Robinson     5  1  0  0  0   0  0  3 .200 .200  .200  .400
Chris Heisey         4  2  0  0  1   2  1  1 .667 .750 1.667 2.417
Corky Miller         4  2  1  0  0   0  0  0 .500 .500  .750 1.250
Total              144 32  4  0  4  12 11 40 .241 .299  .361  .660

Outside of Choo, the Reds at-bats against Liriano are all from this season. Liriano is extremly tough on LHB this season:
                                                               
           Split   PA   H  2B  3B HR  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
    vs RHB as LHP 3306 732 148 12 86 345 765 .253 .334 .401 .735
    vs LHB as LHP  954 183  27  4  6  74 244 .212 .283 .274 .557

It's hard to imagine Choo or Bruce will have much success against Liriano (Choo is 6-31, Bruce is 0-11). You would expect Votto to at least reach base via a walk, or stay back on a pinch and shoot it the other way. It's hard to believe any of the Reds lefties will be able to hit one out of the park against him (only allowed 6 HR in 954 PA vs. LHB).

It will be important for the Reds RHB to get something going. Cozart has hit a bomb off Liriano this season, and Frazier has actually taken him deep twice. Ludwick is 4 for 9 against him, and Phillips 3 for 11. Most likely it will be up to one of these guys to provide some sort of offense for the Reds. It scares the daylights out of you though to rely on the Reds RHB to extend the season though.

Pirates vs. Cueto:
                                                                     
                    PA  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
Andrew McCutchen    45  9  2  0  3   5  5  6 .231 .333 .513  .846
Garrett Jones       43  11 4  1  1   3  4 11 .282 .349 .513  .862
Neil Walker         33  6  1  0  0   3  4  5 .214 .333 .250  .583
Pedro Alvarez       21  5  0  0  0   1  2  4 .278 .333 .278  .611
Clint Barmes        14  2  1  0  0   0  0  3 .143 .143 .214  .357
Marlon Byrd         14  7  1  0  1   3  2  2 .583 .643 .917 1.560
Russell Martin      11  1  1  0  0   1  0  2 .091 .091 .182  .273
Gaby Sanchez         8  2  2  0  0   1  1  2 .286 .375 .571  .946
Jose Tabata          8  0  0  0  0   0  0  1 .000 .000 .000  .000
Travis Snider        7  0  0  0  0   0  0  3 .000 .000 .000  .000
John Buck            6  0  0  0  0   0  1  1 .000 .167 .000  .167
Josh Harrison        6  0  0  0  0   0  0  1 .000 .200 .000  .200
Starling Marte       5  0  0  0  0   0  0  2 .000 .000 .000  .000
Jordy Mercer         4  1  0  0  0   0  0  1 .250 .250 .250  .500
Felix Pie            3  0  0  0  0   0  1  1 .000 .333 .000  .333
Total              235 46 12  1  5  17 21 47 .220 .299 .359  .658
                                      
Cueto has seen quite a bit of success against the Pirates, especially at PNC Park. He is certainly a wild card though in the wild card game, as he has only made two starts since returning from the DL. He has been solid in those two starts though (they were against the Astros and Mets, however):

W L  ERA GS  IP H R ER HR BB SO  WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
1     0 0.75 2 12.0 8 2  1  1  4 10 1.000  7.5  2.50
   
Cueto has done a good job against McCutchen, Walker, and especially Martin. Newly acquired Pirate Marlon Byrd however has owned Cueto (7-12 with a HR). Cueto has never faced Justin Morneau. 

Relievers:

Pirates:
                  ERA   G     IP    H  ER  BB   SO  WHIP BB/9 SO/9
Gerrit Cole      3.22  19  117.1  109  42  28  100 1.168  2.1  7.7
Jason Grilli     2.70  54   50.0   40  15  13   74 1.060  2.3 13.3
Vin Mazzaro      2.81  57   73.2   68  23  21   46 1.208  2.6  5.6
Justin Wilson*   2.08  58   73.2   50  17  28   59 1.059  3.4  7.2
Tony Watson*     2.39  67   71.2   51  19  12   54 0.879  1.5  6.8
Mark Melancon    1.39  72   71.0   60  11   8   70 0.958  1.0  8.9
Jeanmar Gomez    3.35  34   80.2   65  30  28   53 1.153  3.1  5.9
Bryan Morris     3.46  55   65.0   57  25  28   37 1.308  3.9  5.1
Jared Hughes     4.78  29   32.0   37  17  16   23 1.656  4.5  6.5

The Pirates said that SP Gerrit Cole will be available in pen for the WC game. The Reds have never faced the Pirates stud young arm. The Pirates have an outstanding bullpen, and their pen's 2.89 ERA and 1.17 WHIP are both the second best in the NL.

Reds:                                                 
                 ERA  G SV   IP  H ER HR BB  SO  WHIP BB/9 SO/9
Aroldis Chapman*2.54 68 38 63.2 37 18  7 29 112 1.037  4.1 15.8
  Alfredo Simon 2.87 63  1 87.2 68 28  8 26  63 1.072  2.7  6.5
    J.J. Hoover 2.86 69  3 66.0 47 21  6 26  67 1.106  3.5  9.1
     Sam LeCure 2.66 63  1 61.0 50 18  4 24  66 1.213  3.5  9.7
   Manny Parra* 3.33 57  0 46.0 40 17  5 15  56 1.196  2.9 11.0
 Logan Ondrusek 4.09 52  0 55.0 53 25  8 16  53 1.255  2.6  8.7
     Zach Duke* 0.84 14  0 10.2  8  1  1  2   7 0.938  1.7  5.9
 Sean Marshall* 1.74 16  0 10.1  4  2  0  2  10 0.581  1.7  8.7

The Reds bullpen hasn't been as good as the Pirates in 2013, but the Reds still have some dangerous arms. Chapman at the end is outstanding, and Hoover and Parra have been outstanding in the second half of the season.