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Tag:ALDS
Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:04 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:12 am
 

Rays to start rookie Moore in Game 1

Matt MooreBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Matt Moore has thrown just 9 1/3 innings in the big leagues. And now he'll be a Game 1 starter in the playoffs.

The Rays announced they would start the rookie left-hander in Game 1 of the American League division series against the Rangers on Friday.

Moore, 22, will be making just his second big-league start on Friday. He started last Thursday against the Yankees and announced his presence with authority, striking out 11 batters, walking one and allowing four hits in five scoreless innings. In all, he's appeared in three games, going 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA. Moore hadn't pitched above Class A before the season, but in Double-A and Triple-A this season, he went 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 155 innings.

Moore debuted in a loss to the Orioles on Sept. 14, allowing two runs on three hits in just 1 1/3 innings. However, he's gotten better in each subsequent appearance, allowing two hits and a run in three big relief innings against the Red Sox on Sept. 17 and then last week's lights-out start against the Yankees.

The Rays had been debating starting either Jeff Niemann or Moore in the first game and picked the rookie. James Shields will start Game 2. The Rays didn't release their entire rotation, but it appears they will have Jeremy Hellickson lined up for Game 3 and David Price for Game 4, if needed. .

Moore will face Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson in the first game of the series. Wilson is 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA and was 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in four postseason starts in 2010.

It's yet another aggressive move by the Rays, who often take a little too long to get their top pitching prospects to the big leagues, but they certainly don't hold them back once they get there.

More Rangers-Rays ALDS coverage

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Posted on: September 29, 2011 6:46 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 2:52 pm
 

2011 ALDS matchup: Tigers vs. Yankees



By Matt Snyder


After winning 95 games and taking home a division title for the first time since 1987, the Tigers get presented with the chance to take down the mighty Yankees, who had the best record in the American League. The Yankees, meanwhile, are in the playoffs yet again -- as they have been every year except 2008 since the '94 strike. But this isn't a mismatch. Far from it. It's a battle of two titans. I fully expect this to be the most exciting divisional series.

TEAM INFORMATION

Detroit Tigers (host games 3, 4)
95-67, AL Central champions
Manager: Jim Leyland
Team batting statistics: .277 batting average (3rd in AL), .340 on-base percentage (3rd), .434 slugging percentage (4th)
Team pitching statistics: 4.04 ERA (7th), 1.32 WHIP (8th), 2.27 K/BB (6th)
Star player: SP Justin Verlander -- 24-5, 2.41 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 250 K in 251 innings.

New York Yankees (host games 1, 2, 5)
97-65, AL East champions
Manager: Joe Girardi
Team batting statistics: .263 batting average (5th in AL), .343 on-base percentage (2nd), .444 slugging percentage (3rd)
Team pitching statistics: 3.58 ERA (8th), 1.32 WHIP (9th), 2.41 K/BB (4th)
Star player: CF Curtis Granderson -- .262/.364/.552, 41 HR, 119 RBI, 136 R, 26 2B, 10 3B, 25 SB

SCHEDULE (Click here to view the entire postseason schedule)
Full Playoff Coverage
Game 1: DET @ NYY, Sept. 30, 8:37 p.m. ET. Verlander (24-5, 2.40**) vs. CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.00)
Game 2: DET @ NYY, Oct. 1, 8:37 p.m. ET. Doug Fister (11-13, 2.83) vs. Ivan Nova (16-4, 3.70)
Game 3: NYY @ DET, Oct. 3, 8:37 p.m. ET. Max Scherzer (15-9, 4.43) vs. Freddy Garcia (12-8, 3.62)
Game 4: NYY @ DET, Oct. 4* Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.75) vs. Sabathia (19-8, 3.00)
Game 5: DET @ NYY, Oct. 6* Verlander (24-5, 2.40) vs. Nova (16-4, 3.70)

* If necessary | ** all pitching matchups projected

TEAM BREAKDOWN (Click player name for statistics)

Catcher
Detroit: Alex Avila
New York: Russell Martin

Martin's been a very pleasant surprise for the Yankees this season, giving them 18 homers and a .732 OPS. The former All-Star had just been given up on by the Dodgers, so most of these numbers were gravy. Of course, Avila's been even better and just as surprising. He hit 19 homers with an .895 OPS and was incredibly durable. He may even garner some MVP votes (voters list 10 names, remember).

Advantage: Tigers

First base
Detroit: Miguel Cabrera
New York: Mark Teixeira

The Yankees wouldn't lose a battle of first basemen very often, but they do here. Teixeira finished the season with 39 homers and 111 RBI, but he only hit .248. He is the superior defender here, but Cabrera is so much better offensively (.344/.448/.586 with 30 homers, 105 RBI and 48 doubles) that it more than makes up for it. This one is close, but it's not a question. It's elite versus very well above average.

Advantage: Tigers

Second base
Detroit: Ryan Raburn/Ramon Santiago
New York: Robinson Cano

The Tigers have used six different players at second base this season and the Yankees have arguably the best second baseman in baseball. This is a blowout.

Advantage: Yankees

Shortstop
MLB Video

Detroit: Jhonny Peralta
New York: Derek Jeter

Jeter is not bad, but he's 37 and his best days are far in the rearview mirror. His 3,000th hit was one of the best moments of the 2011 season and he very clearly has the far better career, but Peralta is the better player in the present tense. He hit .299 with 21 homers, 86 RBI, 68 runs and an .824 OPS. Jeter hit .297 with six homers, 61 RBI, 84 runs and a .743 OPS. Does Jeter's "Yankee mystique" and "clutchness" carry the day here? That remains to be seen, but for now we have to go with tangibles.

Advantage: Tigers

Third base
Detroit: Wilson Betemit
New York: Alex Rodriguez

Betemit's done an admirable job since being acquired by the Tigers, as he's hit .292/.346/.535. That's actually better than A-Rod's .276/.362/.461, but there's little question -- even among A-Rod's many haters -- who the better player is here. As long as he can stay healthy, which is a big question, Rodriguez gives the Yankees an advantage here.

Advantage: Yankees

Left field
Detroit: Delmon Young
New York: Brett Gardner

Young has provided decent power for the Tigers since coming over (eight homers and a .458 slugging percentage in 40 games) from the Twins, but he still makes a lot of outs (.298 OBP). While Gardner doesn't provide much power, he's one of the best defensive players in baseball in addition to being one of the biggest threats on the basepaths (49 stolen bases). And he gets on base at a .345 clip.

Advantage: Yankees

Center field
Detroit: Austin Jackson
New York: Curtis Granderson

Jackson is a better defensive player, but not by leaps and bounds. That phrase could be used to describe the difference in the two players offensively at this point, though. Granderson was one of the premier power hitters this season and his .916 OPS dwarfs Jackson's .690.

Advantage: Yankees

Right field
Detroit: Magglio Ordonez
New York: Nick Swisher

It was a big blow for the Tigers to lose Brennan Boesch for the season, as he could fit here or left field and give them an advantage. Then again, is Magglio "back?" He's hitting .419/.444/.558 in September and looks to have a spring in his step. Maybe it's his last big run (he's 37) as he seeks his first ring. Still, Swisher is still a great on-base guy (.374) with power (30 doubles, 23 homers).

Advantage: Yankees

Designated Hitter
New York: Jesus Montero/Andruw Jones/Jorge Posada
Detroit: Victor Martinez

Martinez hit .330 with an .850 slugging percentage and 103 RBI in 145 games. Even if Montero or Jones gets hot, this isn't even close (at least not yet, as we've only scratched the surface on Montero's immense potential).

Advantage: Tigers

Starting pitching
Detroit: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello
New York: CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia

Fister (8-1, 1.79 ERA since joining the team) puts the Tigers over the top here. Otherwise it would just be one ace on each team with a group of also-rans. You can give credit for Ivan Nova's 16-4 record if you want, but give most of that to his teammates. His ERA is worse than Garcia's. Nova and Garcia is a better duo than Scherzer and Porcello, but, again, Fister's in there. There are only a handful of pitchers I'd rather have in the postseason than Sabathia. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Verlander is one of them. But hey, at least we get treated to an amazing Game 1 matchup here, right? Everyone should tune in for that one.

Advantage: Tigers

Relief pitching
Detroit closer: Jose Valverde
New York closer: Mariano Rivera

Al Alburquerque is one of the best relief pitchers in baseball, but David Robertson is better. Rivera is better than Valverde. The Yankees are a bit deeper, too, as they've gotten good work from Luis Ayala and Cory Wade -- and Rafael Soriano still has a huge amount of talent. He actually had eight straight scoreless outings before a bad one to close the year. 

Advantage: Yankees

Total advantage: Yankees (6), Tigers (5)

PREDICTION (click here to see full postseason predictions)
CBS Experts
Evan Brunell: Tigers in 4
Gregg Doyel: Tigers in 5
Danny Knobler: Yankees in 5
Scott Miller: Tigers in 5
Trent Rosecrans: Tigers in 5
Matt Snyder: Tigers in 5
Matt's take: This is a complete toss up. When submitting my predictions, I actually had the Yankees in five and going all the way to the World Series. Right before I clicked "send" on my email, I changed my mind. Some of it was a gut feeling, but the rest of the thought process went like this: I like the Tigers to get the first two on the strength of great starting pitching. It's entirely possible the Yankees take the next two, in fact likely, but then they'd have to face Justin Verlander with Ivan Nova as the opposing starter in Game 5. Again, nothing would surprise me in this series, though. If I was asked to place a wager on either team, I wouldn't do it. I'm not confident in any outcome here. As I said in the intro, this very much promises to be the best divisional series and if you told me to give you the three best teams, two of them are right here (along with the Phillies). Whoever wins this series is automatically my favorite in the ALCS and maybe even the World Series.

More Yankees-Tigers ALDS coverage

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: September 29, 2011 4:05 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 2:57 pm
 

2011 ALDS matchup: Rays vs. Rangers

By Evan Brunell

The Rays and Rangers will meet for the second year in a row. Last season, Texas came away with a victory, needing the maximum five games to do so. They would go on to advance to the World Series before losing to the San Francisco Giants. Both teams are in dramatically different places this time around, with the Rays team undergoing turnover while the Rangers' offense is one of the most fearsome in recent memory. Let's break down each team's position and determine who has the advantage....

TEAM INFORMATION

Tampa Bay Rays (host games 3, 4)
91-71, AL wild card champions
Manager: Joe Maddon
Team batting statistics: .244 batting average (25th in AL), .322 on-base percentage (13th), .402 slugging percentage (13th)
Team pitching statistics: 3.58 ERA (8th), 1.22 WHIP (2nd), 2.27 K/BB (2nd)
Star player: SP James Shields -- 16-12, 249 1/3 IP, 2.82 ERA, 3.25 xFIP, 65 BB, 225 K

Texas Rangers (host games 1, 2, 5)
96-66, AL West champions
Manager: Ron Washington
Team batting statistics: .283 batting average (1st), .340 on-base percentage (5th), .460 slugging percentage (2nd)
Team pitching statistics: 3.79 ERA (13th), 1.24 WHIP (5th), 2.56 K/BB (5th)
Star player: C Mike Napoli -- .320/.414/.631, 432 plate appearances, 30 HR, 75 RBI

SCHEDULE (Click here to view the entire postseason schedule)

Full Playoff Coverage

Game 1: TB @ TEX, Sept. 30, 5:07 p.m. -- Matt Moore (1-0, 2.89 ERA) vs. C.J. Wilson (16-7, 2.94)**
Game 2: TB @ TEX, Oct. 1, 7:07 p.m. -- James Shields (16-12, 2.82) vs. Derek Holland (16-5, 3.95)
Game 3: TEX @ TB, Oct. 3, 5:07 p.m. -- Matt Harrison (14-9, 3.39) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.95)
Game 4*: TB @ TEX, Oct. 4 -- Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40) vs. David Price (12-13, 3.49)
Game 5*: TB @ TEX, Oct. 6 -- James Shields (16-12, 2.82) vs. C.J. Wilson (16-7, 2.94)

* If necessary | ** all pitching matchups projected

TEAM BREAKDOWN (Click player name for statistics)

Catcher
Texas: Mike Napoli, Yorvit Torrealba
Tampa Bay: John Jaso, Kelly Shoppach

The Rays' catcher situation is like that of shortstop: Choosing between bad or worse. Jaso and Shoppach have both combined for extremely disappointing seasons while Napoli was one of the best offensive players in the game, robbed of his due because his counting statistics aren't up to snuff due to playing in just 113 games, but Napoli can do serious damage. Torrealba isn't a zero either, but most of his value comes on defense.

Advantage: Rangers

First base
Texas: Mitch Moreland, Napoli
Tampa Bay: Casey Kotchman

Kotchman came out of nowhere to give Tampa fantastic value out of first base, hitting at a .306 clip and providing his usual stellar defense at first place. While no one expects Kotchman to keep this up next season, what matters is right now. And right now, Kotchman is head and shoulders better than Moreland, although if Texas goes with Torrealba behind the plate and Napoli at first base, this conversation changes.

Advantage: Rays

Second base
Texas: Ian Kinsler
Tampa Bay: Ben Zobrist

Both Kinsler and Zobrist had excellent seasons -- both at the plate and in the field. Picking one or the other amounts to nitpicking as both players have 30 stolen bases. Zobrist holds a small edge in batting average and Kinsler holds a small one in slugging percentage. Even fielding numbers aren't any help. This is as even as it gets.

Advantage: Tie

Shortstop
Texas: Elvis Andrus
Tampa Bay: Sean Rodriguez, Reid Brignac

As mentioned before, Tampa's shortstop spot is horrible. Between Rodriguez, Reid Brignac and Eliot Johnson, Rays shortstops combined to hit .193/.256/.282. League average was .266/.321/.386. That's simply awful, awful production. The Rangers clearly win out here, with Andrus' solid bat and strong glove.

Advantage: Rangers

Third base
Texas: Adrian Beltre
Tampa Bay: Evan Longoria

Evan Longoria has been one of the best third basemen in the game for a long time. Up until this year, you could have argued that he was the best AL third-baseman for years running. Alas, Beltre's second straight excellent season has supplanted Longoria, coming off a down year. Beltre's 32 homers rank fifth in the AL, and he missed a month and a half! Add in his all-world defense, and he runs away from Longoria even though Longo is still a threat and hit .289/.454/.589 in September.

Advantage: Rangers

Left field
Texas: David Murphy
Tampa Bay: Desmond Jennings

Murphy looked like he would have a lost season, but turned it on down the stretch and forced the Rangers to move Josh Hamilton to center for the playoffs in order to get Murphy's bat in the lineup. It's easy to remember that Jennings debuted with fantastic numbers in August, but September told a very different story. All in all, both players have things working both for and against them and nothing quite standing out.

Advantage: Tie

Center field
Texas: Josh Hamilton
Tampa Bay: B.J. Upton

This is pretty easily Hamilton's domain here after Upton hit just .243. Hamilton remains one of the best players in the game despite being injury-prone. When he's on the field, he produces. Upton can't say the same, although he turned on the jets at the right time for Tampa and had a productive September.

Advantage: Rangers

Right field
Texas: Nelson Cruz
Tampa Bay: Matt Joyce

Here's an interesting matchup. Cruz missed time with injury but when he was right, enjoyed yet another productive season, missing 30 homers by just one blast. Cruz's calling card is power, while Joyce counters with a better overall game, flashing a strong glove. With both players' offensive games basically evening out, the balance tips to defense, and Joyce wins there.

Advantage: Rays

Designated Hitter
Texas: Michael Young, Napoli
Tampa Bay: Johnny Damon

Yet another win for the Rangers on offense. We all know what Napoli can do, but Young figures to get most of the at-bats at DH. Despite Young having to adjust to the DH spot on a full-time basis for the first time in his career, Young coolly racked up 106 RBI and should get some MVP attention. Damon, by comparison, falls far short.

Advantage: Rangers

Starting pitching
Texas: C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis
Tampa Bay: Jeff Niemann, James Shields, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson

The Rays win here, although Rangers fans will probably beg to differ. Yes, Wilson had a fantastic season -- you can't take that away from him. But Shields, Price and Hellickson all had excellent years as well. No one's shorting Holland and Harrison here, but at best, these two pitchers are no better than fifth best overall with three of the first four spots belonging to Tampa. The Rays are in the postseason for their pitching, not their offense.

Advantage: Rays

Relief pitching
Texas closer: Neftali Feliz
Tampa Bay closer: Kyle Farnsworth

Feliz's future as a closer was in doubt even as late as early August, but he clamped down the rest of the way and will pair with Mike Adams for a formidable 1-2 punch. There isn't a soft underbelly of middle relief either, and this bullpen has the potential to pick up the slack left over from the starting rotation to beat Tampa. But the Rays have taken a completely remade bullpen and turned it into an elite corps, too. Tampa's relief ERA of 3.73 is 10 spots higher than Texas' 4.11, but Texas' bullpen is different after importing Mike Adams, Koji Uehara and Mike Gonzalez. Let's call it even.

Advantage: Tie

Total advantage: Rangers (5), Rays (2), Tie (3)

PREDICTION (click here to see full postseason predictions)

CBS Experts
Evan Brunell: Rays in 4
Gregg Doyel: Rays in 4
Danny Knobler: Rangers in 5
Scott Miller: Rangers in 4
Trent Rosecrans: Rangers in 4
Matt Snyder: Rays in 5

Evan's take: The Rangers are a fearsome club, there's no doubt about that. The offense is awe-inspiring and the pitching has the ability to hang tough with Tampa Bay. The Rangers basically cruised to the division title in September, so it's easy to overlook the club because of lack of press, but those who overlook the club are making a mistake. I selected the Rays in four because in the postseason, I believe far more in pitching than offense. I also give credence to how teams played down the stretch. Tampa went 17-10 in September (of course, Texas went 19-8, so there's that) and was in playoff mode for two weeks, constantly playing must-win games then seeing it all pay off when Evan Longoria's second homer of the night went over the fence to give T.B. the wild card. The combination of pitching and the hot hand tilt me toward predicting the Rays to advance.

More Rangers-Rays ALDS coverage

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: September 29, 2011 1:32 pm
 

Brando, Vasgersian talk baseball

After Wednesday night's incredible action on the baseball diamond, MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian joined Tim Brando on CBS Sports Network's Tim Brando Show to discuss everything. Check out the video clip below.

Category: MLB
Posted on: September 29, 2011 1:17 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:16 am
 

2011 MLB Playoffs: Fan guide

By Matt Snyder

Hopefully in the next month we get the kind of excitement baseball provided to us Wednesday night. If that happens, here's how you'll be able to take it all in.

Internet

We've got you covered here. The schedule and results page will be updated throughout the postseason. You can see -- and mock, I'm sure -- our predictions. I've always maintained you don't have the right to complain without listing your own in the comments section, so man up and post them. Also, throughout the postseason, if you can't watch the game on TV, our scoreboard updates live by the pitch. There's even a comments board where you can fight amongst yourselves, which is always popular. And much safer than doing so in person.

Also, if you're on Twitter, follow @EyeOnBaseball, @ScottMCBSSports, @DKnobler, @greggdoyelcbs, @MattSnyder27, @ctrent and @EvanBrunell. Engaging with us on that forum is definitely encouraged.

TV

TBS has all NLDS and ALDS games. It also has the NLCS. Fox has the ALCS and the World Series.

TBS' lead broadcast team is Brian Anderson -- who has been the Brewers' play-by-play announcer -- along with color commentators John Smoltz and Ron Darling. That team will handle the NLCS and the Yankees-Tigers series. Tom Verducci will be the field reporter with this team. The other three broadcast teams for the divisional series are:
• Dick Stockton and Bob Brenly will work the Phillies-Cardinals series with Craig Sager reporting.
• Don Orsillo and Buck Martinez will work the Rangers-Rays series with Jaime Maggio reporting.
• Victor Rojas and Joe Simpson have the Brewers-Diamondbacks series with Sam Ryan reporting.

Of note, Ernie Johnson has been the top play-by-play man for TBS in the past, but he's unable to do so this year as he's with his family. His son has muscular dystrophy and has been hospitalized for weeks.

In the studio, TBS will go with Matt Winer as the host and a trio of former major-leaguers to analyze the action: David Wells and Hall of Famers Cal Ripken and Dennis Eckersley.

Fox will go with the Joe Buck-Tim McCarver tandem for both the ALCS and World Series as things currently stand. If Buck is unable to do so due to his coverage with the NFL -- and he's had voice issues this season -- expect either Thom Brennaman or Kenny Albert to take over. Ken Rosenthal will be the field reporter. Their studio show will be hosted by Chris Rose, with former players Mark Grace and Eric Karros analyzing. Also, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski has been added as another analyst (Chicago Tribune).

APPs

Appatalism.com has a few good ones.

Live play-by-play.

At bat lite, with video clips.

So let's all sit back and enjoy what should be a wonderful postseason.

For more postseason coverage.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:17 am
 

2011 CBSSports.com MLB playoff predictions

2011 MLB postseason predictions
Predictions
Brunell

Doyel

Knobler

Miller

Snyder

Rosecrans
DET/NYY ALDS
in 4

in 5

in 5

in 5

in 5

in 5
TB/TEX ALDS
in 4

in 4

in 5

in 4

in 5

in 4
ARI/MIL NLDS
in 5

in 5

in 5

in 4

in 4

in 4
STL/PHI NLDS
in 3

in 3

in 5

in 4

in 3

in 4
ALCS
in 7

in 6

in 7

in 7

in 7

in 6
ALCS MVP Justin Verlander James Shields Russell Martin Miguel Cabrera Doug Fister Jose Valverde
NLCS
in 6

in 7

in 7

in 6

in 7

in 5
NLCS MVP Prince Fielder Ryan Braun Justin Upton Hunter Pence Chase Utley Roy Halladay
WORLD SERIES
in 5

in 6

in 7

in 7

in 7

in 6
WORLD SERIES MVP Zack Greinke Corey Hart Derek Jeter Roy Halladay Cliff Lee Miguel Cabrera

For more postseason coverage.
Posted on: September 24, 2011 6:20 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Wilson to start Game 1 of ALDS for Texas

C.J. WilsonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Not that there was much of a question, but Rangers manager Ron Washington made it official on Saturday, announcing that C.J. Wilson would start Game 1 of the American League Divisional Series, no matter who the Rangers face in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington didn't announce the rest of his rotation, but the Rangers currently have Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison following the left-hander.

The Rangers will keep Wilson in the rotation and have him start Monday against the Angels, but plan on cutting his putting short so that he can start Game 1 on three days' rest on Friday in the start of the playoffs.

Wilson had a blister pop up on the middle finger of his left hand in his last start, Wednesday against Oakland, but he told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com that his finger is "completely healed." A blister forced him from Game 2 of the World Series last year, his lone start in the World Series. Wilson went 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in four playoff starts last season. The Rangers, of course, had Cliff Lee as their top starter a year ago.

Washington also said he would keep eight relievers on his playoff roster, meaning he'll take just two catchers, Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli, leaving Matt Treanor at home.

Texas enters Saturday's game tied with Detroit for the second-best record in the American League. Whichever team finishes with the worse record will open the ALDS in New York against the Yankees.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com