Or handegg, as WBBaS calls it.
Can the Pats beat the Broncos in Denver? Can the Cardinals beat the weather and the Panthers in Charlotte? For info on these burning questions, go to NFL.com.
Can we get these games out of the way so we can enjoy (!) all the hype of the next two weeks and get that much closer to Spring Training?
In Dodgers news, prospect Cody Bellinger is #6 on MLB Pipeline’s ranking of 1B prospects. He hit 30 HRs and led the California League with 97 runs scored and 103 RBI in 2015. If he pans out the Dodgers just need to squeeze two more seasons out of Adrian Gonzalez.
The same outfit has ranked LHP prospects, and Julio Urias of the Dodgers comes out on top. The only thing he’s short on is experience: he’s yet to pitch more than 90 innings in a season.
Changes at ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball: Curt Schilling moves to Monday Night Baseball, John Kruk goes back to Baseball Tonight, and Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone move into the chairs next to Dan Shulman for the Sunday game.
Monte Irvin has died at 96. He joined the NY Giants from the Negro League Newark Eagles in 1949 (the second black player on the team behind Hank Thompson) and played left field next to Willie Mays. In the 1951 World Series those three men formed the first all-black starting outfield in World Series history. Jay Jaffe has more.
Rob Neyer at FoxSports:
The Dodgers were expected to spend WHATEVER IT COSTS to retain the services of Zack Greinke. Absent Greinke, or maybe even with Greinke, the Dodgers were expected to acquire one of the other big-time pitchers out there: David Price or Johnny Cueto.
Greinke signed with the Diamondbacks, Price with the Red Sox, and Cueto with the Giants. Ergo, the Dodgers had (or are having) a lousy winter. Right?
Before exploring that question in some detail, we should start with this salient fact: The Dodgers won 92 games last season.
Thank you, Mr. Neyer. The pundits and fans do somehow forget the team has won three titles in a row, and only two of them were Greinke-aided. It can survive without him.
Neyer points out that the Dodgers re-signed Anderson, who was pretty good and figures to be close to that again. They signed Kazmir, who figures to be better than Anderson. They signed Maeda, who only has to be an average pitcher for him to replace the 12 guys who tried to fill that role at the back end of the rotation last year. They also still have Wood, who’s young and whose history is better than his performance with the Dodgers last season. They’ll get Ryu back, and we don’t know yet how complete his recovery might be. Finally, they’ll get McCarthy back mid-season, and if he’s recovered most of his form that will be the equivalent of getting a mid-season trade for a starter done without giving up a player or two.
Neyer thinks the Dodgers will be pretty good this season. So do I.