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Posts posted by AnythingChicago

  1. I'd flip PSG and Donetsk in Group A, but other than that, that's pretty much how I see things playing out.

    I think PSG is primed to flop considering that most of their players are just past their prime. Di María is their X-factor in my opinion, but there's no reason to believe he'll improve all of a sudden.

    Shakhtar arent good any more though. Otherwise Id say theres a decent chance of it happening, but theyll get played off the park in Paris.

    Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, but I think that the addition of Eduardo is what will allow Shakhtar to advance. He has a great history of scoring goals and lots of them.

  2. I'd flip PSG and Donetsk in Group A, but other than that, that's pretty much how I see things playing out.

    I think PSG is primed to flop considering that most of their players are just past their prime. Di María is their X-factor in my opinion, but there's no reason to believe he'll improve all of a sudden.

  3. Predictions? Sure!

    Group A

    1. Real Madrid CF

    2. FC Shakhtar Donetsk

    3. Paris Saint-Germain FC

    4. Malmö FF

    Group B

    1. Manchester United FC

    2. PFC CSKA Moscow

    3. VfL Wolfsburg

    4. PSV Eindhoven

    Group C

    1. Atlético de Madrid

    2. Galatasaray SK

    3. SL Benfica

    4. FC Astana

    Group D

    1. Sevilla FC

    2. Manchester City FC

    3. Borussia Mönchengladbach

    4. Juventus FC

    Group E

    1. FC Barcelona

    2. Bayer 04 Leverkusen

    3. AS Roma

    4. FC BATE Borisov

    Group F

    1. FC Bayern München

    2. Arsenal FC

    3. Olympiacos FC

    4. GNK Dinamo Zagreb

    Group G

    1. FC Porto

    2. Chelsea FC

    3. FC Dynamo Kyiv

    4. Maccabi Tel Aviv FC

    Group H

    1. Olympique Lyonnais

    2. Valencia CF

    3. Zenit Saint Petersburg

    4. KAA Gent

  4. No. Tigers kinda remind me of the old-school Rockies minus the thin air- very dangerous with the bats, but they aren't that elite in other areas.

    Price, Verlander, Simon, Sanchez. Not a terrible playoff rotation, plus they could have traded some excess bats for another starter and definitely some bullpen help; there were plenty of quality arms available at this year's deadline for relatively cheap.

  5. This Tigers team's hitting is absolutely devastating. They never fail to crush mistake pitches, and there have been several "pitcher's pitches" that they have put good wood on as well. These guys just flat out hit.

    Now, I understand that the Tigers have scuffled this season and that Cabrera was hurt for awhile there, but watching this team hit, I think I now understand why Dombrowski was let go. I'll bet ownership knew that this club could definitely make a playoff push despite their lower-than-expected record given their offense and the fact that the AL Wild Cards are essentially up for grabs.

    I'm guessing that ownership would have rather seen Detroit pick up some bullpen help and maybe another starter, but Dombrowski, the great GM that he is, knew that he could get a disgusting return from Toronto for Price, a load that wasn't worth renting him for just a few months, and smartly he made a great deal (which is easy for me to say as a Cubs fan watching Daniel Norris demolish the Cubs with his big left arm and his :censored: ing bat right now).

    So ownership wanted Detroit to go for it because with their offense and some bullpen help, they easily could have grabbed a wild card, gotten hot in the playoffs, and made a deep run. But Dombrowski kinda did the franchise a favor by working some fantastic deals that replenished a farm system that desperately needed to be replenished, but in doing so began a rebuilding process of sorts and went against ownership's interests and lost his job because he was on an entirely different page than ownership.

    Tigers fans, am I far off here with my observations?

  6. I had a feeling that today's game versus Watford was going to end in a tie and low and behold, it did. Apparently, we're going to repeat last year's campaign of falling behind, seeing a surge of relevant offense, following by hair pulling examples of bad defending.

    Jolly good show.

    Exact repeat of last season's debut against Leicester, wasn't it?

    That said, I think this Watford side is going to be one of the EPL's surprises this season. They carry over a deadly attack from last season's Championship squad, and they did a marvelous job bringing in a multitude of under-the-radar transfers.

  7. NFL-style MLB Realignment (playoff format would mat h that of NFL with Wild Card Round consisting of five-game series and all other series consisting of seven games)

    American League


    Baltimore Orioles

    Cleveland Indians

    New York Yankees

    Raleigh/Durham (formerly Tampa Bay Rays)


    Boston Red Sox

    Detroit Tigers

    Montreal Expos (expansion)

    Toronto Blue Jays


    Chicago White Sox

    Houston Astros

    Kansas City Royals

    Texas Rangers


    Las Vegas (expansion)

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    Sacramento Athletics (formerly of Oakland)

    Seattle Mariners

    National League


    New York Mets

    Philadelphia Phillies

    Pittsburgh Pirates

    Washington Nationals


    Chicago Cubs

    Colorado Rockies

    Milwaukee Brewers

    Minnesota Twins


    Atlanta Braves

    Cincinnati Reds

    Miami Marlins

    St. Louis Cardinals


    Arizona Diamondbacks

    Los Angeles Dodgers

    San Diego Padres

    San Francisco Giants

    Here's a handy (albeit crudely drawn) map so you can see that despite some weird divisions -- such as St. Louis and the White Sox both being aligned in the South -- this actually makes a hell of a lot more since geographically than the NFL's current divisional alignment.


  8. Nice to see the Giants channel their inner Sharks tonight :(

    I was at that game donning a Cubs hat, monitoring the out-of-town scoreboard, and vehemently rooting against the Giants. It was incredible.

    And with that breathtaking Braves win and the Cubs-Pirates rainout, the Cubs have leapfrogged San Fran for WC2 once again. Nonetheless, this week is going to be a serious gut check for this Cubs team; I'm looking forward to the remaining games in Pittsburgh and especially the series with the Giants.

  9. That damn Marlins fan is at the Giants-Nationals game behind home plate. I wish I had his money...

    IIRC, he was at the Cubs-Marlins game either today or yesterday. He was also at the Cubs-Reds game in Wrigley when they played on Sunday Night Baseball a few weeks back; I'm pretty sure he goes to nearly every Sunday Night Baseball game played when the Marlins aren't at home. That son of a gun sure does get around....

  10. The Cubs just continue to consistently win ballgames. I've been adamant all year that this a transition year and next season the Cubs should be a legitimate World Series contender if not a favorite (à la KC Royals 2013 and 2014). But, man, with the way that Maddon masterfully manages this team, if they picked up an extra arm and a bat at the deadline, they could be a force to be reckoned with come October.

    Now, I'd be much more optimistic if the Cubs were in the NL East (or West, or, hell, any other division in baseball) since the Cubs (the team with the 5th best record in baseball as I type this) play in the same division as the Cardinals and Pirates (the teams with the 1st and 3rd best records in baseball, respectively, as I type this). Since St. Louis will inevitably Cardinal Way their way to the division title once again, the Cubs will probably have to play in a Wild Card game against a team such as Pittsburgh, or maybe the Giants or Dodgers (that is assuming they continue playing winning baseball and actually make the playoffs). And from there it's really a crapshoot; we've seen teams like last year's Giants and Royals advance to the World Series after winning that game, but then again we've seen teams like last year's A's have the best record in baseball for a good chunk of the season only to lose a back-and-forth, down-to-the-wire slugfest in that game.

    But I mean, hey, this has been a fun, refreshing season thus far for my Cubs. Whatever happens this year, I'll still retain my belief that next year will see these Cubs in their absolute prime, so I guess I'm glad to say I'm just along for the ride. :)

  11. You'd have to be incredibly naïve to believe that the Cardinals, a franchise that prides itself on a "Cardinal Way" of winning baseball games by finding under-the-radar players who simply work harder than the rest and play the game in a fundamentally sound manner, would hack into the database of a team that is known for its superior research into players, both at collegiate/high school and professional levels, with no intention of gaining any strategic advantage whatsoever, solely because they wanted to act on a gripe they had with the team's GM.

    And is it simply a result of the Cardinals' infallible and unmatched genius that they're having a substantially better regular season in 2015 than they did in 2014? Yeah, I don't think so.

  12. I've been reading that the Cubs have a very similar database to that of the Astros and that Epstein said he has double-checked the security system on said database. Part of me is glad that the Cardinals didn't cheat off of the Cubs, but my other half is kind of wishing they had; it would give me even greater reason to hate on that despicable baseball organization, and shouldn't it be considered common courtesy to at least cheat off of a rival if you're going to stoop to that level?

  13. I'll be honest: I watched and rooted on my Blackhawks religiously last year, but this year I've been dedicating most of my primetime TV time to watching a newly-rejuvenated Cubs team and hence relegating myself to sort of a backseat Blackhawks fan.

    That said, the Cubs were not playing good baseball tonight so I prioritized the Blackhawks, and damn did they deliver. Teravainen was nothing short of extraordinary in that third period, and that Vermette goal was an absolute snipe. The defense and Crawford performed extremely well and held the Lightning to only a few really good chances; it's great to see a team fire on all cylinders and come from behind like that, especially when it's not the stars but the unlikely heroes who deliver the deciding blows.

    Definitely looking forward to the rest of the series and am hoping to see Chicago carry that level of play into Saturday's contest.

    Go Hawks!

  14. If there's one man who can win games with the a bullpen as bad as the Cubs' is right now, it's Joe Maddon. Bringing in the nasty hobo (@JasonInMiami) for the eighth didn't pan out, but luckily Coke and Motte got out of the jam masterfully. No manager on Earth would have thought to bring left-handed, 5'11" starting pitcher Travis Wood on for the save, but he induced three lazy fly balls to end the game.

    And in the quirkiest, Maddon-esque fashion possible, the Chicago Cubs have won six straight games for the first time since 2011!

  15. The Cubs pitching staff outside of maybe 2 or 3 guys is an utter wasteland. It's a disgrace.

    They were off to such a promising start, too. Ever since Neil Ramirez's injury the pen simply hasn't been the same. Rondón's been shaky of late, and other guys like Motte, Coke, and Strop that should be able to hold leads haven't been able to recently. They were smart to pick up Varvaro and Russell, although Varvaro was sent down the other day.

    As for the starting rotation, Lester's beginning to settle in, Arrieta and Hammel have been great for the most part, but yih never know what to expect with Wood and Hendricks has not been able to repeat his 2014 success thus far.

    The Cubs' staff definitely has the talent to pull itself together and keep the team competitive this season. However, as I've been telling people all year, I still expect this to be a transitional season for the Cubs. They should finish around .500, but then grab another arm or two like Price, Cueto, and Zimmermann and probably bolster the outfield and maybe add a veteran closer as well over the offseason. Then you'll have the core of your team in its prime or with its best still yet to come, and they'll have a year of experience winning some ballgames together under their belts.

  16. First Round

    Western Conference

    (1) Golden State Warriors over (8) New Orleans Pelicans in 6

    (5) Memphis Grizzlies over (4) Portland Trail Blazers in 7

    (3) Los Angeles Clippers over (6) San Antonio Spurs in 6

    (7) Dallas Mavericks over (2) Houston Rockets in 6

    Eastern Conference

    (1) Atlanta Hawks over (8) Brooklyn Nets in 5

    (5) Washington Wizards over (4) Toronto Raptors in 6

    (3) Chicago Bulls over (6) Milwaukee Bucks in 4

    (2) Cleveland Cavaliers over (7) Boston Celtics in 5

    Conference Semifinals

    Western Conference

    (5) Memphis Grizzlies over (1) Golden State Warriors in 6

    (3) Los Angeles Clippers over (7) Dallas Mavericks in 7

    Eastern Conference

    (5) Washington Wizards over (1) Atlanta Hawks in 7

    (3) Chicago Bulls over (2) Cleveland Cavaliers in 7

    Conference Finals

    Western Conference

    (3) Los Angeles Clippers over (5) Memphis Grizzlies in 6

    Eastern Conference

    (3) Chicago Bulls over (5) Washington Wizards in 6

    The NBA Finals

    (3) Los Angeles Clippers over (3) Chicago Bulls in 6

  17. FWIW...

    First Round

    (4) Minnesota over (1) St. Louis in 7

    (3) Chicago over (2) Nashville in 7

    (4) Winnipeg over (1) Anaheim in 7

    (2) Vancouver over (3) Calgary in 6

    (1) Montréal over (4) Ottawa in 6

    (2) Tampa Bay over (3) Detroit in 5

    (1) New York Rangers over (4) Pittsburgh in 4

    (2) Washington over (3) New York Islanders in 6

    Second Round

    (3) Chicago over (4) Minnesota in 6

    (4) Winnipeg over (2) Vancouver in 7

    (2) Tampa Bay over (1) Montréal in 6

    (1) New York Rangers over (2) Washington in 5

    Conference Finals

    (4) Winnipeg over (3) Chicago in 7

    (1) New York Rangers over (2) Tampa Bay in 5

    Stanley Cup Final

    (1) New York Rangers over (4) Winnipeg Jets in 4

  18. Last year's Stanley Cup playoffs were exhilerating. This year, you can expect the same great matchups and unpredictability, yet good competitive balance, but with tons of feel-good teams in the mix (Islanders, Winnipeg, Calgary, Nashville, hopefully Ottawa). And being able to enjoy the playoffs sans the Kings (!) and hopefully the Bruins warrants a long sigh of relief.

    It's gonna be a GREAT tournament; I can't wait to root incessantly not only for "my" Blackhawks, but for the aforementioned feel-good teams as well.

  19. I had Wisconsin winning it all in my bracket and loved what I saw in that Kentucky game. Of course, the Badgers manage to get ahead by 9 in the second half to immediately blow the lead and lose to Duke as a result of uncharacteristically poor play and some BS calls (you can't possibly convince me that they couldn't determine that the Duke player tipped that ball out; I was watching on my four inch phone screen and I could see it clearly. That's pro-Duke bias at its finest right there; they just had to add to the whole 1,000 win Coach K worship this season by allowing him to win another :censored: ing championship at any cost).

    As you can imagine, I despise Duke even more than the average sensible human being after that.

  20. Anyone else think Wrigley needs better lighting?

    I've noticed it for years, esp early April & October earlier sundowns. I guess the batters can see alright, though it does seem gloomy.

    I point this out because years of watching golf have taught me that 'it's always darker than what tv shows'.

    Lights weren't added until the late 1980s, so they did the best they could to optimally illuminate a field that wasn't originally configured to be artificially lit.

    And of course many Cubs purists would argue that there shouldn't be any lights at all. Of course, no amount of protest was going to stop the revenue-hungry MLB from forcing the Cubs to install lights. If the Cubs were ever to play a World Series game in Chicago during the tail end of the no lights era, they would have been forced to play at Comiskey Park so that the game(s) could be aired as primetime television.

    But I've gone off on a tangent. On a more relevant note, thanks for putting on a :censored: show in all four facets of the game to properly end my Easter Sunday. Let's try not to make this kind of laughable performance a habit like it has been in the past God knows how many years, shall we, Cubbies?