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Friday, February 27, 2009

Pick 28 - Philadelphia Eagles

#28 Philadelphia Eagles

Let’s start with a thank you. After a short week hiatus, I am back. And it is so good to be home again! Thank you for your patience, now let's talk some football!

I’m back in action on possibly the biggest day of the off-season. Sad to see Big Al go, but seriously?! 100 million?! Easy Ted Dibiase! Easy does it, Trump! Who is dishing out that kind of money for an old face stomper? For the record, Trump doesn’t really own the Redskins. Ivanka does. No, I'm kidding... but seriously.

Anywho, today I resume the 2009 NFL Mock Draft.

The Philadelphia Eagles were a mid-season soap opera this past season with the benching of their starting QB, the face of their franchise (along with a crazy mom who puts the chunk in Chunky, forgive me). After taking the electric wide-out DeSean Jackson with their first pick last year, don't be surprised if the pick up someone who can help protect McScabb and give him the prototypical flat route to throw to. A tight end seems like the perfect marriage.

With the recent absence of TE L.J. Smith, the ever dropping Brandon Pettigrew has come up in many discussions. Pettigrew had a poor 40 in the combine but looked to be the most complete TE at the Senior Bowl.

With the offseason troubles of Brian Dawkins, the Eagles might be spending time in the war room trying to find that quality DB. Sean Smith spit out a 4.5 at the combine and measured in at a miniscule 6-4 214. With William Moore dropping like a bad habit (sorry Mizzou faithful), Smith is climbing up the ranks.

Tomorrow pick #27 the Indianapolis Colts

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

:(

I'm sorry all you loyal readers out in the fields. As of now, you can only see my bare white knuckles gripping the cliff of school. I have entered the week where every teacher calls each other and says "let's do a test THIS week." It's like they have a code of conduct or something.

All this to say I will not get to my next draft update until the weekend. Thank you for your patience and again, like A-Roid, I'm very sorry. Except I would have remembered if I was getting stuck every day by another man. (This is you taking your head out of the gutter)


Random Athlete of the Month - February

This month's random athlete is...

TODD ZEILE

Zeile is a German word. When translated to English, it means line or row.

So get on board as we zeile, zeile, zeile our boat gently down the stream of random athletes.

• • •

When people first talk about Todd Zeile and ask which teams he played for, it's usually easier to respond with which teams he DIDN'T play for. The man was so great and so selfless, he wanted everyone in the league to have little taste of the Z-Man!

Todd Zeile may, to the uneducated public, be a forgettable player in the game of baseball but to the franchises of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Baltimore Orioles, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Florida Marlins, the Texas Rangers, the New York Mets, the Colorado Rockies, the New York Yankees, and the good ole Montreal Expos, Todd Zeile was an iron man with a heart of a champion.


You don't remember Todd Zeile?

Well, I'm sure you remember Mike Piazza. Todd was the man who decided to accompany Mike on his trade to the Florida Marlins. Poor Mike couldn't make the trip by himself, so Todd said, "Hey guys, I'll take one for the team and go with Mikey. I heard Florida is nice this time of year."

It was that summer when Los Angeles lost one of the greatest persons to ever put on a Dodgers uniform. And I'm not talking about Piazza.

He was at least the greatest Dodger ever with a last name starting with the letter "Z".


All of this still not ringining a bell?

Todd played on one of the most historic Texas Rangers teams in their franchise's history. In 1999, Todd joined the Rangers making him the third player on the team with a last name that starts with the letter "Z". The Rangers were the first team since the 1916 Cubs to have three players with "Z" last names.

Forget the Killer B's... they were the Killer Z's!


Has your bell been rung yet?

Todd Zeile went to school at UCLA after graduating from William S. Hart High School in Newhall, California. "What do I care?" you ask. Well, Hart High School is the same school that yours truly would have gone to had I not moved from Valencia, California as a child. BOOM!

Todd Zeile is not only a ture American on the field but off it as well, as he is a descendant of John Adams, the second president in our United States's history! Now that's patriotism! These colors don't run! BOOM!

Speaking of patriotism, Todd Zeile also married a perfect 10! No not a model, a gymnast. But not just any gymnast... a U.S. Gymnast. Julianne McNamara, the first American Gymnast to earn a perfect 10.0 at the Olympics. BOOM! BOOM!

Forget Will Smith... Todd Zeile, YOU are legend. A man amongst men. Literally... I mean, his genitals have got to be huge compared to all other Major Leaguers, as Zeile obviously never took part in steroids while he was in the league.

Now we at Korked Bats don't know this as a fact, but the man only had 253 home runs in 16 seasons. Todd, if you did take 'roids, you may want to look into getting your money back for them. They worked as well as Franklin Roosevelt's legs.

Too soon?


"But why exactly is this Todd Zeile SO great?" you intriguely ask.

Well, if everything above isn't enough to win you over, how about this? In the history of baseball, it is Todd Zeile who has hit the MOST home runs in a career than any other player...

...with a last name starting with the letter "Z".

Try and find me another pro baseball player with a "Z" last name that has more home runs. You'll be Googling for hours until your fingers start to bleed. You can't do it. Todd Zeile is your final answer.

However... As good as Zeile was in his career, and no matter how near and dear he is to our hearts. It is true that no one is perfect. In 2002, he had the most errors in the league with 21.

But who's counting? Everyone makes mistakes. I mean, I'm pretty sure he made up for those 21 botches by starring in the film, Dirty Deeds as Mullet/Duncan Rime. On DVD now at your local video vendor. (I don't believe it's Red Box available yet, unfortunately.)


A few more quick facts about the best thing to ever happen to baseball since leather gloves, Zeile who has always been big on technology, is the proud owner of a Citation X jet. How many ball players do you know who own a jet?! BOOM!

If you answered that question with a legit answer. Then answer this Einstein...

How many ball players do you know who own a jet with a last name starting with the letter "Z"?

Todd Zeile, you will always be at the top of our list of greatest ball players of all time (with a "Z" name) even if you wouldn't have hit a home run in your final major league at bat (cliché, we know).

Todd, your major league career was a class act, just like yourself and it makes us so very proud to name you, Korked Bats first Random Athlete of the Month!


Do you have a random athlete idea that you think should be next month's Random Athlete of the Month? Leave a comment below and see if your random athlete will be next month's Korked Bats' Random Athlete of the Month!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This Has Nothing To Do With Sports

I know this is a sports blog but I just had to share this video somewhere. This was on TV a long time ago but I could never find it. Sue me, new guy.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pick 29 - New York Giants

#29 New York Giants

The New York Giants have been apart of the tabloids for quite some time. From a shocking Super Bowl win, a gap teeth retiring, to bullets in legs, and beating Kevin O'Shea's Cowboys, they’ve managed to keep it all on lock. There aren’t very many questions with this squad in this off-season. The offensive side of the ball is now secure with the franchising of RB Brandon Jacobs. While there would be no surprise to see them snag a wideout this late in the round, prepare for them to concentrate on their linebacking core.

James Laurinaitis
ILB - #33 - Ohio State
6’2” 240 lbs

Laurinaitis’s (Disclaimer: We here at Korked Bats are not responsible for the crapping of your pants due to the mere sight of this guy. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.) instincts hedge him into the first round of this years draft. He’s got a great ability to understand blocking schemes and beat offensive linemen to positions. He has yet to miss time with an injury which is an attractive attribute for a team that will continually go deep in the playoffs. He’s a great open field tackler. He’s got the ability to stick so close to RB’s that he could braid their hair.

Michael Johnson
DE/OLB - #93 - Georgia Tech
6’7” 259 lbs

Johnson is the best specimen at the combine this year. This 6’7” beast is just that. He comes off the ball much like a young Javon Kearse. His best attribute is his speed and ability to chase down the LOS. He is the hybrid type you might hear about that the NFL will look to translate - due his speed - into a DeMarcus Ware type DE/OLB.

The Giants will look for someone to play a role. They’ve got enough superstars that shoot themselves. Another great linebacker will help put that defense back in the top of the league - much like the championship squad.


Sunday’s the sabbath. See ya Monday folks.

Monday on Korked Bats:
Pick 28 - Philadelphia Eagles (From Carolina)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Campaign Propoganda


    Hello world o' blog. I need your help. Today, I'm going to take a break from the X's and O's of the sports world to make an attempt at self-promotion (insert ego joke here).


    Here's a quick introduction to this post:

    -I'm applying for a position on Tour Team- The University of
Missouri's official student group in charge of giving tours and
answering questions pertaining to prospective students. By my own
estimations, there will be some 200 students (at least) applying for
about (gulp) 20 open spots.

    -As a part of the application process, interested students are asked to include a project that creatively illustrates their passion for Every True Son, what makes their love a unique one, and what makes them qualified for such a competitive position.

    -Now, the reason they include the creative project portion is to allow the applicants the opportunity to include their creative prowess as a dimension to the application. I feel like my best "creative attribute" lies within the realm of creative writing. I didn't want to write a paper, however, because we already include a cover letter that explains our aspirations for Tour Team; I felt like the blog I contribute was my best option.

    -So please feel free to read the following passage (first time the word "passage" has been used in that context in blog history) and- here's the important part- leave your comments. Feel free to add why you think I should be on Tour Team, why I shouldn't, why you liked the post, why you hated it, how you feel about my comb over, how you feel about my Xanga- you know- whatever. I would just love the support of anybody that can/wants to give it in order to aid my application process.

So, without further pandering and begging, allow me to make my creative case for my selection to be on Mizzou's Tour Team.

10 Reasons I Love the University of Missouri-Columbia and/or Why I Am A Qualified Dude

1. I've never not loved Mizzou (wrap your brain around that!)

I'm going to start this party with an urban legend that resonates around my part of the world (Kansas City). Legend has it that- some 19 years ago- a young Jared Launius (pronounced lawn•e•us) was being held in his mother's lap. His mother was trying to coerce him into his first word when the following conversation took place:

Mom: "Can...you...say...'Mommy?'"

Young Jared: "M...M...M...

Mom: "Mommy?"

Young Jared: "Muh...Muh...Muh..."

Mom: "Yeah? Mommy?"

Young Jared: "Muh...Muh...Mi..."

Mom: "No, Mommy?"

Young Jared: "Muh...Mi...Mi..."

Mom: "No no. It's Mom-my"

Young Jared: "Mi...Mi...University of Missouri-Columbia."

Look people, I didn't create the legend. It's a legend! Nobody knows where they start. It's just something that's been passed down and permeated through the generations. Don't kill the messenger.

2. I predicted the 12-seeded Tigers basketball team to go the the Final Four in 2002

Joke is over, people. This ain't no legend. I wish I still had my bracket as documentation, but I picked us to beat the 5-seed Miami Hurricanes in round 1, and then advance all the way to the Final Four. This was, of course, based on nothing but love for Kareem Rush, Clarence Gilbert, Ricky Paulding, Arthur Johnson and company. My fatal flaw could only be described as loving them too much. I was so blinded by my love for them that I PUT A FREAKING 12 SEED IN THE FINAL FOUR! That's how much I love Mizzou basketball, and gives you insight to the breadth of my dedication and mad love for the program and school.

3. I can walk backwards with the best of them

A position on Tour Team requires a certain propensity for being able to walk backwards- because a dedicated member must face the people they are enlightening on the tour while describing the wonderful attributes of the school.

I’ll level with you, I might be the most adept backwards walker that Missouri has ever seen. I’m not trying to brag, but sometimes when I sing along with Lil’ Wayne songs, I interchange the word “backwards walker” with the word “rapper” so that I say “I’m the best backwards walker alive” 18 times a track.

So what makes me such an elite backwards walker? Wish I could tell you. Just like anything else, you’re either born with it or your not- and I was born with six of ‘em.

Please, allow me to elaborate. When I played football in eighth grade, I was a cornerback. For all of you non-football people, the cornerback is the guy that covers the wide receiver. For all of you non-football people, the wide receiver is the guy that the quarterback throws the ball to. For all of you non-football people, the quarterback is the hot guy. So basically, a cornerback’s job is to keep the hot guy from passing the football to the wide receiver.

(I have a point, I promise)

In order to keep an eye on the hot guy AND the receiver at the same time, the cornerback has to…wait for it…RUN backwards! That’s right, run. Can you imagine how amateur hour WALKING backwards would be for me? Imagine Usain Bolt being put in a walking competition. Multiply that times a thousand.

But it certainly doesn’t stop there. Cornerbacks have to be aware of everything in front of them (the people I’m giving the tour to) and everything beside and behind them (potential curbs, poles, bicyclists, asteroids, etc.) while they are moving backwards. The best part about all of that is this: guess how many times I got beat by a wide receiver in eighth grade? I’ll give you a clue- you will need zero fingers to count the number of times. Want another hint? It’s the same number as the number of times you laughed at the last Dustin Diamond stand up you watched. Give up? Yeah, the answer is a big ZERO. What can I say? I’m a master of my craft.

Again, I didn’t ask for this power, I’m just trying to channel it for the good of the commonwealth.

4. I’m a server at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Yeah you read that 100% correctly. I am a PAR IV Server Trainer at the Pleasing People capital of America (pronounced u•muhr•i•ka). Have been for 3 and a half years.

Go ahead, make your joke. Seriously. I’m listening. Make your joke.

(picking my teeth as I listen to your joke)

Oh haha. Good one.

Anyway, you may say that this adds absolutely nothing to my candidacy. You may go as far to say that mentioning it is actually borderline disturbing to the point that it deters from it. But I say nay!!

I work at Cracker Barrel. Have you ever been to a Cracker Barrel? I will bet my $3.50 an hour salary over my next two shifts that there is absolutely NO demographic that I haven’t waited on multiple times and am therefore fully qualified to deal with, should they be a part of the tour. You know. People who want extra everything? Check. Smokers? Double check. Non-English speakers? Check. KU fans? What do you think? I worked at the Cracker Barrel in Kansas City for three years before transferring to Columbia. Guys that point at an imaginary watch on their wrist when things are going too slow? Check. Surgically-enhanced cougars? Come on, you’re boring me. Grandparents? Are you seriously asking me this? They probably went to Cracker Barrel at 6 am the morning of the tour to split an Uncle Hershel’s favorite and asked their server six times how to get down to one peg on the peg game.

Still not convinced? Imagine this situation: we’re starting a tour and an OCD father of a prospective student gets upset about the route we take to start the tour:

    OCD Man: “Hey! The itinerary that I had the university send me in advance said that the tour started by heading east toward that thingy with the wrong Roman Numeral. Isn't our ETA 10:13?!"

    Me: “Sir, you are absolutely correct. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.”

    OCD Man: (raising voice) “Are you the type of ‘rocket scientist’ that goes to this school?

    Me: (remaining calm) “Sir, there is no reason for you to raise your voice. But you are absolutely correct. I am incredibly inept. Thank you for letting me know about this.”

OCD Man: “So what are you going to do about it?”

    Me: “You know what sir? Because you’ve been so helpful and because I have made such a blatant error, I’ll talk to my manager and we will get your son’s tuition 'taken care of.’” (wink at him)

See? You can thank me later.

5. I’ve gone to a KU game in order to root against them

In 2004, opening-round games of the NCAA Tournament were held at Kansas City’s Kemper Arena. As fate would have it, one of the two games that I got tickets for was KU’s opening round game versus the University of Illinois-Chicago.

You know me by now. What do you think I did? If you said anything other than wear an MU shirt, shorts, high socks and headband to the game while chanting “UIC! UIC!” the entire time then you are sadly mistaken. I still have the ticket stub on my door at home as a memento to such a proud day in my Tiger history.

You might ask why I’ve only done this once if I’m such a great fan? Nice try, but there is a wonderful reason: Kansas won that game. By like 30. I don’t want to be a good luck charm for a bunch of slightly-overweight, bizarrely colored birds- so why would I go to another game of theirs? Sheesh.

6. I’ve wanted to come to Mizzou since middle school

I’ve known three things since I was 12 years old: I want to be a professional sports writer, I want to get my degree for this from the finest journalism school in the nation, and that the movie Ghost sucks.

I’ll only talk about the first two though, because I’m still trying to figure out how the third one works in to my destiny.

Anywho, I have no punch lines here. I haven’t waivered the slightest in seven years- despite the best efforts of my Statistics teacher last year. She told me I was wasting my parents' money by getting a degree in journalism. I told her anyone can do statistics. Me: 1, statistics teacher: 0.

I seriously didn’t even look at an application for any other colleges last year. Either I would get accepted to Missouri or I was going to wait on Cracker Barrel regulars forever. How many other people didn’t even apply elsewhere? I remember when my mom suggested I apply at Truman State just as a safety blanket. I haven’t talked to her since. Sorry ma, but you knew better.

7. C'mon. I've been a Tiger's fan in a KU city for my entire life, throw me a bone

I grew up in Kansas City. Been there recently? The word "Kansas" is in the title of the city. The retail shop at Cracker Barrel-Kansas City is littered with over-sized KU sweaters and tea pitchers. My entire formal education was in schools that are predominantly blue and red. Two of my best friends own multiple "2008 NCAA Champions" t-shirts that they ordered off of E-Bay. I was at a Royals game one time when Drew Gooden threw out the first pitch.

Have I ever broken my loyalty? Uh, no. I still have the ticket stub from my very first MU basketball game on my bedroom door. I still have a folder that I grafittied with Tigers players' names in seventh grade. My mom refused to let me name my dog "Truman" because that was the name of the rival high school in my city. I didn't care. One time I got cut and literally bled black and gold. Subsequently, I submitted the gold blood to "Cash 4 Gold" and wasn't reimbursed in the least.

But I digress. Here's the bottom line- I endured 19 years in a city that actually thinks this figure is imposing. I did it just because of that ray of hope at the end of the tunnel, that ray of hope that was my new life in Columbia. It wasn't easy. I actually flat-lined one time, but I made it. How about some love?

8. I skipped my very first Spanish 2100 lecture last semester AND was late to my first shift at Cracker Barrel-Columbia to wait in line for Tiger’s Lair sign ups

After we had been waiting in line for 30 minutes and only made it a quarter of the way through the line, it became quite apparent that I wasn’t going to get through before my Spanish class started. Did I consider leaving? Sure I did. I had tested into sophomore Spanish, and I knew I would be missing important stuff. But if I left, I ran the risk of the section being full by the next day.

Did it affect me at all? Sure it did. I ended up getting a B in the class because I inadvertently missed the first 2 weeks of homework- which was explained on the first day. My teacher also gave 5,000 points of extra credit for everyone that was there on the first day. The class was only 1,000 total points. Yeah, I was the only guy that didn't get 500% in the class.

Would I do it differently if given the chance?

Are you seriously asking that question?

9. I've talked on the phone to strangers before, and stuff

Another part of being on Tour Team includes sitting at the land desk at the entrance to Jesse Hall answering the questions of people needing a point in the right direction. 

I've been to Jesse Hall before. I've actually been there like seven times. So, uh, like...um you know, I totally know where the stairs and stuff are. And that auditorium thing. So...you know.

I'm also wayyyyyy good at deferring questions!

In addition, I have plenty of experience talking to strangers on the phone- which is another function of the desk job. People calling the university with queries on different topics are directed Tour Team members. Sometimes people call my phone by accident, so I'm totally good at answering questions like "Is this Tom?" and "This isn't Steve's Bait Shop is it?" How hard can it be to tell someone that our campus is in Columbia, Missouri, or that our mascot is the Tiger? The questions can't be much tougher than that, right?

Right?!

10. I actually have some experience

Last year, as a senior in high school, I was the student council president of a student body of 1,600 students (please hold your applause until the end). I did a lot of things as a student ambassador, as I talked up my high school to audiences ranging from the Rotary Club to the student bodies of the city's middle schools.

One time, a group of private school students that had to transfer to my high school came to visit. We started the tour in a conference room as I talked about the school's history (William Chrisman is the high school of Harry Truman. Trivia!) and fielded questions about school involvement, classes, etc. Then, I lead the group around the school, showing them certain things and answering further questions. Later, I went to lunch.

Wait, that all sounds rather familiar.

What does the preceding situation sound like?

(BUZZ)

Yes, Jared?

Oh oh oh!! Mizzou Tour Team! It sounds like the type of thing a member of the University of Missouri Tour Team would do!

Fabulous! That is 100% correct, Jared! What do we have for him, Johnny?

How about...

(Building suspense)

A position on Tour Team?!

Well, that's up for you good people to decide.

-Jared

Pick 30 - 2009 Mock Draft

#30 Tennessee Titans

This one will be a little biased folks. I’m going to predict on what I think the Titans should do. As a fan it was tough to see a great regular season but a tough post-season. Chris Johnson has an uncanny ability to stretch the field but could anyone lend him a hand? The Titans have no other deep threat. Look for the Titans to finally take a risk on a wide-out, but don’t be surprised if you see them snag a cornerback to help the aging Nick Harper.

Hakeem Nicks
WR - #88 - North Carolina
6’1” 210 lbs


Nicks has unbelievably big and strong hands. He reeled in 68 balls for 1,222 yds. And 12 dances. He doesn’t possess the deep speed that the Titans could use but his ability to run after the catch and punish the tackler are appealing. Nicks was an All-ACC player in 2008.

Percy Harvin
WR - #1 - Florida

5’10” 187 lbs


Now this is a dream of mine. Harvin will drop further than expected due to his spotty health. However if he runs well in the combine, don’t expect him to be here this late. Percy Harvin has become a household name to due his ability to catch and RUN! He has great vision which could benefit a hampered Titans squad. With the late emergence of Justin Gage, expect the Titans to like Harvin as a slot receiver. There he could take a lot of pressure off Johnson.

D.J. Moore
CB - #17 - Vanderbilt
5’10” 182 lbs


Moore is an extremely fluid and instinctive player. He’s got a great knack for jumping routes and covering quicker receivers. Look for him to pounce on an incredible 40 time and benefit the Titans in the return game. Does his ties to Nashville and the Vanderbilt area sway the Titans? Only Jeffy knows.


Tomorrow on Korked Bats, #29 the New York (Football) Giants

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Let's Get Ready to RUMBLE the Bison



The Oklahoma City Thunder unveiled their new mascot on Tuesday evening in front of a near sell out crowd at halftime of their game against the New Orleans Hornets.

What could their mascot be? Their nickname is the Thunder.

Hmmmm... Let's think.

Oh, I know!

How about a bison?!

Yup, a bison.

Oh... Sweet... A bison.

A mascot that is just as exciting as the city it represents.

Oklahoma City could have chose an accountant as their mascot and it would have been more entertaining.

Why a bison?

It seems like the actor from the Beauty and the Beast Broadway play left straight from rehearsal to dance at halftime of the Thunder game without changing his costume.

Who gets paid to come up with this?

His name is Rumble the Bison. He has quite an intriguing story. If you have time, check it out here.

In his first entrance, he was lowered from the roof of the Ford Center playing the drums. So your first impression of him would be that he was cool! Because everyone who plays the drums is cool, right?

Then ole Rumble decided to show off his sweet dance moves for the crowd.

Watching the Thunder Girls is one thing, but watching them dance with Tom Hanks from Cast Away just doesn't appeal to me.

And it shouldn't appeal to anyone else. Unless maybe to the Hendersons.

Along with the dancing, Rumble wanted to show off his athleticism by performing a couple gravity defying slam dunks.


Well, unfortunately for OKC they picked Rumble to be their mascot and not Teen Wolf, because Rumble missed both dunks that he attempted.

But it was nothing new for Thunder fans. They are used to seeing missed dunks. ZING!


But let's give the organization the benefit of the doubt, it's hard to come up with a mascot for a sound. I mean, what does Thunder look like anyway?

Well, apparently Oklahoma thinks it looks like a wookie.

I guess the players and front office people were getting homesick for Seattle and wanted something around to remind them of their roots.

I just don't understand why a new team went to all the trouble to invest in a mascot costume and a person to be the mascot when there are other fully capable people of being a mascot who are out of work. He's pretty much an animal anyway.

I apologize for being so harsh on the "new guy", it's just for your first impression, you would think he could have trimmed up a little. Just get a little haircut and not look so shaggy.

Sorry, enough beating around the bush...


The Oklahoma City Thunder's new mascot is flat out UGLY and GROSS!


Any other Rumble the Bison mascot jokes or look alikes? Post a comment below with your thoughts.

2009 NFL Combine News

LeSean McCoy has the flu and will skip the bench press portion of the NFL Combine. He still plans to run and jump but has lost some weight and will surely take a big hit if his performance is not up to par.

Pick 31 - 2009 Mock Draft

#31 Arizona Cardinals

I think it’s safe to say that everyone in America - minus the Sixburgh faithful - were rooting for the birds from the west earlier this month. The air corps was unleashed in the playoffs and Larry Fitzgerald showed that he is the real deal. We all are aware that The Cardinals can launch the rock. However, if you take a look at their running stats (76 YPG, 32nd in the league and only 14 rush TDs in the regular season), you’ll see that there is a serious need for re-evaluation.

Let’s take a look at the top running backs who will be available at the end of the first round:


LeSean McCoy
RB - #25 - Pittsburgh
5’11” 210


Semifinalist for Maxwell Award and Doak Walker Award
Eclipsed Larry Fitzgerald for the most TD’s as a Freshman and Sophomore
Notched back to back 1,000 yard seasons
Very consistent 4.8 YPC over his two year stay in Pittsburgh
Waltz in the endzone 35 times on the ground in those 2 years
Projected to run in the 4.4 area

Mccoy is a great fit for the Cardinals. You’ll see him plugged in much like Chris Johnson was plugged into the Titans system this past year. His speed and consistency will allow him to be a first round pick.


Shonn Greene
RB - #23 - Iowa
5’11” 235

6 YPC average last year
1,850 yards with 20 TD dances in 2008
Projected to run in the 4.6-4.8 range
Only RB in NCAA FBS to go over 100 yards every game

I’m going out on a limb here and predicting that Greene will have a great combine and impress the Cardinals and remind them a lot of Edgerrin James and his great pass protection skills. His big frame will help him block for the Cardinals air attack. One question is was he a one hit wonder at Iowa (He only started one year)?

Also be aware for a drop in Knowshon Moreno (Depending on his combine) or the rise of Texas A&M’s Mike Goodson.


#30 Tennessee Titans come to Korked Bats tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pick 32 - 2009 Mock Draft

# 32 - Pittsburgh Steelers

The champion Pittsburgh Steelers took home the hardware this year. So how will this franchise approach the draft?

The Steelers are a well meshed team. They don’t have a roster full of superstars but more role players that have bought into a good scheme. I predict that Sixburgh will look to improve their offensive line in the first round of this years NFL Draft. Losing Alan Faneca proved to hurt them early in the season so look for them to strengthen that line with a good center or guard.

On the table this late in the round will most likely be two men. Alex Mack (no, not from Nickelodeon) and Max “Not Over But” Unger.


Alex Mack
C - #51 - California

Mack is a 6’ 4”, 316 lbs. Athlete. Just in his senior year, Mack posted the following awards and accolades:

Draddy Trophy - College Football’s top scholar-athlete
Pac-10 scholar athlete of the year
First Team All-American by Rivals.com
Morris Trophy - Pac-10 Best Lineman
Rimington Trophy Finalist - Best Lineman in College Football

Obviously size matched with his knowledge will produce a great fit for this organization. Keep an eye on his speed inside and his footwork during the combine. Look for him to replace G Chris Kemoeatu or fill in for veteran Center, Justin Hartwig.


Max Unger
OL - #60 - Oregon

Unger has a MOTOR. He’s got some of the best hands for an offensive lineman and has a great ability to climb to the second level and seal a linebacker. His 6’5”, 300 lbs frame gives him a great ability to control the interior line. He was also considered a finalist for the Rimington trophy but also received attention as a finalist for the Outland Trophy which is award to the nation’s top interior lineman. He also started 51 consecutive games displaying his durability.


*THIS JUST IN*

Alex Mack will NOT be participating in the 2009 NFL Combine due to a sprained ankle he suffered on Monday.


Tomorrow is #31, the Arizona Cardinals...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Birth - The Story of the NFL's Journey into Korked Bats

Is it wrong to request entry into such a beautiful oasis of knowledge? I was talking to my brain today and thought:

“Brain, I need to bring an NFL correspondent to Korked Bats. Someone who brings in-depth NFL analysis to the table.”

My brain has this weird chuckle when it knows that I - sorry, it- is on to something. Kinda cute. Anywho, I approached Austin with this idea. He told me that he had kids from China that had better insight into the NFL.

Naturally, I drove to Columbia, Missouri and did this.


I then had to drive back to Nashville and face his mother, Lisa. She did this.


Much to your surprise, I’m just joshing. Austin was delighted (I’m taking it upon myself to use that word) to have my interest. So without further adieu, I bring you my first article:


The Old but Still Restless
By: Davis Naish


Is there any respect left in the NFL for a west coast, slightly flamboyant quarterback? Is there any room for an extremely underrated, silently threatening running back?
Does experience have no say?!?!

Apparently Jeff Garcia and Fred Taylor have lost their bang for their buck.


http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/football/bob_blog/jeffgarcia.jpg http://skylarsraiders.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/fred_taylor.jpg


Dear Tampa Bay,
Are you gentlemen aware that you haven’t had an ounce of luck at the quarterback position... EVER?! Trent Dilfer? Shaun King? Brian Griese? First, I honestly think that Dilfer wouldn’t be able to pick which lineman he’s supposed to get the ball from if there wasn’t a ball in play. Thankfully my brain has kindly dropped the memories of Shaun King and his drastic underachievement. Thanks to ESPN, we have to catch the glare from both of their heads whenever they attempt to enlighten us with sub-par knowledge and commentating. Lastly, yes, Brian Griese is good for a 400 yard game once per three years but he is second on my “Who’s arm will fall off first” list - right behind Ben Roethlisberger. 119 touchdown throws in 11 years? Brady would’ve done that in 2 if he didn’t get his knee bamboozled. What are you guys thinking? You’re asking yourself, why are we dropping Jeff Garcia - one of the most fitting Quarterbacks this franchise has ever owned?

Could it be due to the recent firing of former head coach and “Chucky” look-a-like, Jon Gruden?

Could it be his age?

I think the success of Kerry Collins has busted that myth. He’s shown that even if your hair is grey, your knees are buckling, and you can’t throw a ball beyond 45 yards, you can manage a team to the playoffs. Well, not in all cases. Take the advice of a mere bystander, Mr. Dominik.

Apologize to Jeff and restructure your offensive line!

• • •

Dear Jacksonville,
You idiots. Seven 1,000 yard seasons. Hmm. A 4.6 Yard Per Game career average. Hmm. Only 26 fumbles in 11 seasons. Hmm. Did you at least scratch your heads before making this decision? I do agree that Pocket Hercules (Maurice JD) is a prized back - But is he an every down back? We can’t say yet but size is an issue. Again you can rebut this with “He’s getting up there in age.” Sure a 33 year old running back isn’t ideal, but he ran for 1,146 yards when he was 30 and 1,202 yards at 31. Stats don’t lie Mr. Del Rio. Have a heart. Give the man his six mill and call it a day.

• • •

Obviously I'm trying to punch these two organizations square in the "hooies", but everybody needs a cup check every now and then. Do two things for me today all you readers (I’m sure there are thousands). Listen to The Dan Patrick Show 1:00 to 4:00 ET on ESPN Radio and prep yourself for my 32 day Round 1 Mock Draft.

Sabbatical is Over -- It's Money Time Chackos

I have returned from my long winter vacation. I do not know why Huff is breathing down my neck. In a blog purely dedicated to sports (where the notion of an off-season was invented) I do not see what is so wrong with stepping down for a while. I just needed to re-invent myself for a little bit.


Let's think about it. Lots of people in sports took extended
leave only to come back and be awesome.




1. Michael Jordan
Although I do have a theory that he actually was forced into an early retirement because he actually was suspended by David Stern for gambling on basketball. All this happened under the table to maintain the integrity of the sport. I will go into details in a later blog post.









2. Lance Armstrong
Stepped away from professional cycling because he got woo'ed away by Mizzou's own Sheryl Crow or something like that. Actually I think it was because of cancer, but how the hell am I supposed to keep all of these facts straight. I have been in hibernation for the last 3 months.







3. Ricky Williams
Dude just wanted to toke it up for a while but came back to the league and was a big part of making the Dolphin's somehow relevant again. I think he also had a stint in the CFL. Once again, still not in the mood to fact check. It is basically my second first day.







4. Stump the dog
He walked away from dog competitions after nearly dying at the age of 6, but was able to come out of retirement when he was 10 years old and winning best in show at the Westminster Dog Show.







5. Ryne Sandberg
The only reason the Cub great makes the countdown is because he is the only athlete to be legendary who has a name that resembles Ryan. Ryan Howard has a chance, but lets see if he can keep those lb's off first. We discovered this fact when my friend Ryan Lauer learned that he was destined to never be a star athlete in anything because he has the least athletic name of all time.



So there you have it, lots of people take a break and come back. It is not a huge deal. And lots of stuff happened while I was gone. We added a K, my identity got jack'd, Huff tried to replace me, the Chiefs have started putting together the dream offseason, and the U.S. has the first president that I want on my rec basketball team.

Monday, February 16, 2009

You Kan Kount on Kickin it with the New Korked Bats

Today's post is brought to you by the letter K!


Take a look around our site... Notice anything different?

No, Zach isn't back yet.

Guess again.

Yes, Jared is new, but that's old news.

Keep guessing.

Wait what? What was that?

If your guess was the fact that we changed the spelling of our site, then you are correct. We are trying something new. Tryin' to spruce up the site... I said spruce, not juice, A-Rod.

So we dropped the C.

We added the K.


But think about it with us for a moment.

What is C? Average? We don't want to be average! We want to be our own. We want to be the BEST sports blog that nobody reads! What famous athletes have names starting with C? Cynthia Cooper, Cecil Fielder, Matt Christopher, Charlie Conway, Chase Utley, Champ Bailey, Coco Crisp, Chris Bosh, Chuck Taylor, Charles Barkley? Well, like Sir Charles, we are willing to take a gamble with our name change. Besides, those athletes have only had "great" careers. Not "wicked awesome oh my goodness I don't know what to do with myself these guys are so sick amazing" careers!


Think of all the great things K stands for? Like, a strikeout swinging! And... Uh. Special K! And... ummm... Special K Red Berries! And, Ki-Jana Carter! Or how about Kyle Orton? And strikeouts swinging! Did we already say that?


See, there's gotta be a plus side to switching our name! Right? Please say yes. Well, regardless, we're doing it. I mean c'mon, just a couple months ago, everyone was hoping for change!

It's not permanent. We may change back. But this is how it is for now. We wanted to do away with the dash mark in our web address. That was confusing. Of course spelling corked with a K will be just as confusing, but isn't it kinda sexy at the same time? Plus we want to try and be the reason for hundreds of kids nation wide to miss the question on their spelling test that asks how to spell "corked".

Old URL: corked-bats.blogspot.com

NEW URL: korkedbats.blogspot.com

Leave a comment telling us what you think of the change. Should we keep it? Should we go back? Should we just forget everything and just dance? Let us know.

We already know that Kirk Cameron is going to be torn between the change.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sports Caste

**Quick note: before you read this, please please please go read Austin's Valentine's Day post. You will be so happy that you did.**


(The screen is dark and ominous. Jack Bauer's voice rings out of the darkness)


Previously, on Corked Bats...


Colbie Caillat...soudough burgers...Quit Journalism Now...Salt Lake City...Soul Devourers...Danny DeVito...Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day...Ghandi...M.I.A....DA DA DA SPOOOOOOOOORTZ CASTE!!!!!

In case you missed it, I rambled out a thousand words introducing my next blog, The Sports Caste.


Ok, we good?


(Pulling goggles down over my eyes as I pin my hair back)


Let's do it.

1. A-Rod, A-Roid, A-Fraud, A-HGH


I debated including this at all. I knew I would either have to put it first or not at all. See my view of steroids might run a little bit different than everyone else's. Baseball is the only sport that anyone seems to get grumpy in when people do steroids. Grumpy is a major understatement. The reaction to a prominent baseball player testing positive for banned substances lies somewhere between the reaction on "Airplane!" when Elaine asks if anyone on boards knows how to fly a plane, and the crowd's reaction to Paul Rudd's "masterpiece" in "Everyone's A Critic." (Fast forward to about 1:20 remaining and don't watch after eating greasy food) Suffice it to say that people get testy. Sports writers say they're defacing the game, Bud Selig says they're 'shaming the game' (more on this in a second), and Sammy Sosa says "No hablo ingles."


These thoughts lead to this list: the two reasons I literally don't care at all that Alex Rodriguez did steroids from "2001-2003"


Number 1- Bud Selig


(picturing myself behind a news desk as I put on my Seth Myers face)


Really Bud Selig? Really?! You're grouping Alex Rodriguez with those players that have "shamed the game?" Really? I'm assuming, then, that you're grouping him with those players whose "activities" you turned a blind eye to when they were pounding out 60 home runs because it made people care about baseball for the first time since the strike in 1993? Really? Really, Bud Selig, you sat back and watched Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa turn into Hanz and Franz, go on historical home run terrors, and then break down more acutely and depressingly than my old 1997 purple Buick Skylark because it put butts in your seats, but became a baseball purist when the rest of the world finally realized that they had roided? Really? Really, Bud Selig, you refused to admit there was a steroid problem until people that cared about baseball's sacred records forced your hand, and now guys that are doing the same act that you so conveniently looked the other way on are "shaming the game?" Really? I think that you have the least respect for the game. Those guys were playing for contracts. Your salary is fixed. Those guys get murdered if they don't perform up to expectations. You lurk in the darkness and pawn blame off on everybody else. And really? Alex Rodriguez really has a tainted name now, because he was one of 104 PLAYERS THAT TESTED POSITIVE FOR WHAT ARE NOW BANNED SUBSTANCES IN 2003? 104 players! How many guys did they test? 150? 175? Really Bud Selig, I can't wait to see your reaction when the other 103 are released and David Ortiz, Jim Thome, Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr. and likely a dozen other All-Stars are included. Your problem, not mine. You created this "loosey-goosey climate" that A-Rod suggests. Either take the blame or don't comment. Really!!


(Wait, did I just rip Seth Meyers or Jim Rome? I'll remain ambiguous for legal reasons.)


Number 2- Baseball's double standard


Terry Bradshaw and Shawne Merriman: What do they have in common? Steroids. They both did steroids. I don't see any asterisk on Terry Bradshaw's plaque in Canton. I don't see anyone wanting to wipe off Merriman's Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, which he won just months before testing positive for a banned substance. No one wants to wipe off the 17 sacks he had in 2006 after his failed test. But baseball has this romanticized idea of their records. Tainting that makes you more evil and impure than Coach Wolf Stansson. Quick news for ya: Cy Young still holds the record for most career wins despite the fact that he pitched in a baseball era in which the same ball was used until the seams started to unravel (not to mention the fact that the ball was very heavy compared to todays'), the spitball was legal, and stadium boundaries were routinely 500+ feet. Babe Ruth wouldn't have touched a barbell unless it was made of steak, smoked like a Cracker Barrel server (myself not included), and couldn't have taken any worse care of his body. Now guys have dietitians, strength coaches, a personal masseuse, protein shakes, "natural supplements," and so on; but these guys are still legends comparable to our time, right? I guess Ruth and Young might be a bit dramatic, but their parts are still integral in the record books, despite the fact that their time periods are so drastically different from ours.

Here's my take: The fact of the matter is that great players do great things. For example, I really don't think that if Alberto Callaspo were to start taking HGH, he would all of a sudden hit 45 dingers. I don't think that Mark Buehrle is going to go out and strike out 250 because he gets some cream from Brian McNamee. Sure one guy might get an edge for a few seasons, but we've seen what steroids does to your body in the long run. We'll know in two years if A-Rod has done steroids for more than those three years because he'll swing at a James Shields change-up one day and his arms will fly into left field. He might hit 60 home runs in a season, but his odds of getting to 700 home runs would be comparable to David Eckstein's. (Not to mention Madonna is going to be quite disappointed, if you follow me) These things work themselves out.

Ugh. I can't talk about this anymore.


2. Shifting atop the NBA's power rankings


My top 5 power rankings at the All-Star Break:


1. Los Angeles Lakers- it's bizarre that they make their first move (in my mind at least) to the top overall spot AFTER losing their best interior defender. But here's the formula: Win at MSG behind a Garden record 61 by Black Mamba, sending out two messages to the NBA: 1) The Lakers aren't going anywhere. 2) Kobe has added a few moves to his league-leading arsenal of 1,237, and is still THE MAN to go to if you need one game won. Then, end two huge streaks by two of the NBA's other top 4 teams (the Celtics were on a 12-game win streak, and the Cavs were 23-0 at home this year), and finish 7-0 overall on a January-February road trip.

Now I'm a practical Lakers fan. I still had the Celtics ahead of them all season because they showed that they are more than capable of picking apart the Lakers' frontcourt flaws in a 7-game series. So what exactly has changed then? Wrap your brain around this: The Lakers won at the TD Bankworth Garden sans Bynum AND with Kobe going 10 for 29 from the floor. 10 for 29! Do you really think Kobe would go 10-29 every night in seven-game series? (Somewhere Paul Pierce is crossing his fingers) Now the Celtics are without the guy that guarded Kobe for most of the Finals last year (James Posey) and their best bench big man from a year ago (P.J. Brown). The C's all of a sudden seem a little more vulnerable, and KG, Pierce and Ray Ray (32, 31, and 33, respetively) aren't getting any younger.

Now, throw in the fact that the Lakers have the best personnel in the league (the combo of Bryant, Ariza and Odom) for guarding LeBron, they don't have to give minutes to Vlad Rad anymore, and they are all of a sudden a possible Finals favorite if they can get past San Antonio's Big 3. Speaking of which…

2. San Antonio Spurs- What have you done for me lately? How about winning in Boston behind an emerging 4th banana in Matt Bonner (23 points in back-to-back games earlier this week), still having the game's best big (and owner of 4 championship rings), and a coach in Gregg Popovich that you know gets his guys ready for every big game. Also, his divine beard that adds a much needed zen-like element to his persona. Now, the Spurs are an incredibly tough match-up for the Lakers if they don’t have Bynum (check out Duncan's numbers against them in the conference finals last year with Gasol guarding him, and then his day in January when he was matched up with Bynum), and they are in their conference. Things will get interesting.

3. Boston Celtics- Losing at home to both the Lakers and Spurs in a four-day span isn't a great omen for the defending champs. P.J. Brown and James Posey's minutes have turned into Big Baby Davis and Tony Allen's minutes. The Lakers have ended Celtic winning streaks of 19 and 12 games en route to a season sweep, thus securing a home court tie breaker should the two teams meet in The Finals with the same regular-season record. I could stop here. Should I? (I see confetti pouring from the ceiling in the TD Bankworth Garden as KG yells "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!" Nah, I’m enjoying this too much) The Lakers and Spurs now have a psychological belief that they can win in Beantown, and the odds of Leon Powe attempting more free throws in an NBA Finals game than the entire Lakers roster is ancient history (unless the refs pick the C's in Streak For the Cash). I can't wait for June.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers- What a last couple weeks it's been for everyone's indie pick to win the finals. Mo Williams gets skirted for the All-Star game twice before finally getting Chris Bosh’s injury spot, LeBron goes 5 for 20 from the field at Quicken Loans Arena in a loss to the Lakers, they lose on a foul call in the last .8 seconds of the fourth quarter against the Pacers on Tuesday, and Ben Wallace still starts for them at center. Yikez.

5. Orlando Magic- Still here because Portland is too young (and their center can't stay out of foul trouble), the Nuggets still can't defend the post- or the wing- or the popcorn guy, and New Orleans and Utah can't get healthy. But they'll catch up- that Jameer Nelson injury was enormous.

(Wiping the sweat from my brow as I breathe heavily)


...That was intense...Two down...When I feel parched, there's nothing I injoy more than an ice cold Gatorade...(looking at the camera as i wink) Ahh, now that's refreshing. Now that's G.

3. That's Amare!


Last year, when the Phoenix Suns traded for the Shaqtus to come play alongside Amare Stoudemire, my thought was that GM Steve Kerr was panicking (the antithesis of this) because he didn't think that Mike D'Antoni's Seven Seconds Or Less (SSOL) offense played enough defense to get past the Spurs. So he pulled the trigger on a deal that brought Kazaam to the dessert, thus making room in the SSOL era for the SSOLUSIOTF (Seven Seconds or Less Unless Shaq is On the Floor) era. Their awkward system went into the playoffs and lost (again) to Timmy D and the San Antonio Borings.

So, with coach D bolting for big bucks in New York after the season, the Suns were left with several players that only knew how to run and not play defense, and Shaq- with the added spice of a new Coach in Terry Porter that is more clueless than Popeye when it comes to getting his guys to play for him. Now, with Porter's dismissal looming, the team sitting only 5 games over .500, and Stoudemire's decline in effort, Kerr is all ears to a deal that will ship Amare out of Phoenix to clear cap space for 2010.

The home run situation seemed to be Amare to Miami for Marcus Banks and Shawn Marion, but that fell out earlier this week when Banks and Marion were shipped to Toronto for Jermaine O'Neal. So what remains?


(BUZZ) Oh! Oh! Oh! Golden State? The Golden State Warriors?


Correct! The Golden State Warriors are essentially a professional rec league team. Think about it, all the pieces are there. Jamal Crawford is that guy that every rec team must have. You know, the hot shot that forces up 5 fadeaway three pointers a game because he fancies himself the team's best player. Monta Ellis is the guy that always has an injury and bad body language. Steven Jackson is the enigma guy that is the best player on the floor some nights, and other nights shoots you out of the game. Andris Biedrins is the one guy on the team that does all the right things: he plays hard, plays defense, sets picks- but eventually develops bad habits because no one else on the team wants to do anything except jack up 30-footers and scream "OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH" everytime someone contests one of their shots. Corey Magettee wears a head band and high socks. Don Nelson is the drunk that the guys pick up to "coach" them, because they have to have someone on the sidelines. So he just drinks from a flask from the bench and yells obscenities every now and then about his ex-wife while not coaching.

Tell me that doesn't have Amare written all over it!! Even if Golden State isn't headed to the playoffs, at least they play a system that we know that Amare loves. Unlimited offensive freedom? Check. No defense? Check. A temperate climate? Check. Interested? Yes please! I'll take five!

So here's how it'll go down: Amare to Golden State for Brandan Wright, Corey Maggettee, and Ronny Turiaf. Shaq's $21 million, Nash's $12.25 million and Alando Tucker's $1 million will be off of Phoenix's cap in 2010, as would Brandan Wright's $2.5 million, meaning that Phoenix would still be dropping $23 million of cap space in 2010 once Tucker, Shaq, Nash and Wright come off.


Subliminal message to Steve Kerr and Golden State GM Chris Mullin: Hey(make) guys!(this) I(freaking) just(deal) think(NOW) you're(NOW) great!(NOW!!!)


4. The Chiefs


Sorry if you don't care, but I have no problem admitting that I'm a homer. 350 words for my favorite sports team is warranted here.


2009 Chiefs draft manifesto:

  1. Trade him (I can't bring myself to put his name down with "trade" in the same sentence). Trust me, I don't want to. He's my favorite all-time athlete. He's re-writing the record books. He would be a safety blanket for a young quarterback. He's an incredible clubhouse guy. He has the strength of a thousand men. A thousand. But, he will net a second round pick from a contender desperate for a tight end- possibly the Giants or Cardinals? I'll repeat this several times, but when you're rebuilding, you need a quantity of picks. If you can get a second rounder out of a guy that has publicly stated that he won't be with the team in three years, I feel like you...you have to do what's best for the...sometimes you just have to make...at times, you just need...I just can't say it. (a single tear leaks down my face.)
  2. In contrast, the next phrase makes me feel this happy: Trade LJ. Trade LJ! Trade LJ! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! That feels so liberating! Is there a team out there willing to give up a third rounder for a 29 year old running back only two years removed from back-to-back 1700 yard seasons? Oh hey Seattle! Hey look Seattle!! This is called a runningback. Ever seen one of these before? Trade it to ya for a third round pick! OK? No givesies backsies!
  3. On draft day, trade the number three overall pick to the Jets' for their first and third round picks. Now all of a sudden you have one first round pick, two second round picks, and three third round picks. That makes 6 picks in the first three rounds! I pee a little bit thinking about the prospect of Scott Pioli being able to have 6 of the first 66 (AAAAHHHHH creepy!!!!666!!) picks off of the board. Let's do this now! (banging my fists on the table) NOW NOW NOW!!!!

Well people, it's been great.


How was it for you?


-Jared