Oct. 06, 2016
"The Stack" 10-4-16
The Stack is back on this Tuesday and very happy that the Vikings won last night on MNF. We have reaction to that plus a MLB playoff preview I hope you demand and more so let’s get right to it and see what’s in “the stack” for today, Tuesday, October 4th:
Vikings win on MNF
After losing Teddy Bridgewater August 30th and Adrian Peterson in week 2, it would be tough for anyone to expect the Vikings to be undefeated at the end of the first quarter of the NFL season. Yet that is where the Vikings are after taking down the New York Giants 24-10. Eli Manning was able to negate the Vikings pressure for the most part with a lot of short passes, but the real story was the Vikings defense able to take away Odell Beckham Jr. Odell had a career low three catches for 23 yards. He was obviously frustrated by Xavier Rhodes and blew a bit of a gasket in the second quarter and ended up picking up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Sam Bradford was once again terrific for the Vikings though he did miss Stefon Diggs a few times and the Vikings finally had a bit of a running game with Jerick McKinnon picking up 85 yards and a touchdown. This Vikings defense is super legit and the Vikings are a legit threat in the NFC and the NFL in general.
America wins the Ryder Cup
What a rocking atmosphere at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, last weekend for the Ryder Cup. America jumped out to a quick lead Friday morning, but Team Europe battled back. While America did hold a three point lead headed into Sunday, there was still plenty of pressure on the team. America hadn’t won the Ryder Cup since what 2008? It has been a struggle for much of the last eight years, but leave it to guys like Patrick Reed who beat Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson who beat Sergio Garcia to help lead America to a 17-11 win. Though the final score seems large it was actually much closer. The fans were really into it (some too much with some vulgar things hurled in McIlroy’s direction). It was just a great atmosphere. Danny Willett’s brother may not like America much (though what he said was somewhat true), but Team USA silenced a lot of doubters. I was one of them. Very glad to see the Ryder Cup stay on American soil. Now they just need to duplicate this sort of effort when the Ryder Cup heads overseas in a couple of years.
Vin Scully, Dick Enberg call final games
Two iconic announcers announced their final games on Sunday. Plenty has already been said about Vin Scully and rightfully so. 67 years doing games for one team is an astonishing fact that will never be broken. He has a way with words and storytelling that I only wish I possessed. His final call in San Francisco where the Dodgers lost 7-1 was truly perfect.
Another announcer with a storied career is putting down the mic and headset though his departure didn’t garner nearly as much fanfare. Dick Enberg called his last game for the San Diego Padres. Enberg has called NFL games, NCAA basketball, tennis and much more. One of the great guys in this industry. Congrats on an outstanding career and enjoy your retirement.
Both of the icons will certainly be missed. We shouldn’t forget what they did not only during their careers, but for sports broadcasting in general, especially Scully. Never will be another one like him.
MLB Playoff preview
Baseball’s regular season is over and playoff baseball begins tonight. October baseball (aka playoff baseball) is tremendous. The AL Wild Card game pits AL East rivals against one another as the Baltimore Orioles travel to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays. That game will be at 8 PM ET on TBS. I love what the Orioles have done this season and Mark Trumbo is a major reason why, but it’s so hard to not pick Toronto with their great offense and playing at home, I think Toronto wins. The NL Wild Card will be Wednesday at 8 PM ET on ESPN between the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets. Until the Giants lose, I will pick them to win especially with Madison Bumgarner on the mound. Give me the Giants to move on to the NLDS and the Blue Jays to move on to the ALDS.
The AL playoffs can be seen on TBS which I prefer. The winner of Orioles-Blue Jays will travel to Texas to take on the Rangers beginning Thursday, October 6th. At the beginning of the season I gave very little respect to the Rangers thinking they could win the AL West for a second straight season. They proved me wrong. I’m asking them to prove me wrong again this season if they meet the Toronto Blue Jays. These two teams had a tremendous series last postseason and you may remember the slide by Jose Bautista and the ensuing punch by Roughned Odor in the early part of this season. I would like the Blue Jays to take down the Rangers again, but if it is Baltimore I will take Texas. The Boston Red Sox take on the Cleveland Indians and while the Indians have homefield advantage in this series, they have been dealt with some injuries to their pitching staff and the Red Sox are red hot right now. Their offense is tremendous and there is no way Big Papi is going out in the ALDS in his last season. They take down Cleveland. That would set up Toronto against Boston in the ALCS. I think the Blue Jays have a very good chance in this series to win, but I would lean towards Boston a little more as I think they are a more complete team. I’ll take the Red Sox to be the AL representative in the World Series.
The NL playoffs are on FS1 and FOX. Assuming the Giants win, they will take on the Chicago Cubs. Oh joy! This finally seems like the Cubs’ year to win it all. Their pitching staff has been great. Their offense has been phenomenal. Theo Epstein is the executive of the year. Look what he has done in Boston and now Chicago with two franchises with an extreme lack of luck. The Red Sox have won what three World Series and the Cubs are the on cusp of their first World Series in over 100 years. If there is a team that can take them down it’s the Giants with that pitching staff. Remember the Giants have won the World Series every even year since 2010. I said above I would take the Giants until they prove me wrong, but I can’t go against the Cubs. They’ll win the series. That series starts Friday, October 7th. I didn’t think the Los Angeles Dodgers were making the playoffs this year especially when they lost Clayton Kershaw for a stretch with his back injury. They proved me wrong. It’s going to be tough though against the Washington Nationals even if they are without pitcher Stephen Strasburg for the NLDS. They still have Max Scherzer and they still have Bryce Harper. I’ll take them to win the series and then face the Cubs. Hard not to pick Cubs in this one so I will.
That brings us to the Theo Epstein World Series. Chicago versus Boston. Sorry Cubs fans. Maybe it’s that I’m so sick and tired about hearing about this team that I want to see them lose or maybe it’s more that I want to see Big Papi retire a World Series winner, but I’ll take Boston to beat the Cubs in 6 to win the 2016 World Series. It is going to be a fantastic postseason. Don’t miss any of it.
Coming up Thursday: College football weekend preview plus TNF preview and more.