Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Playoff Possibilities...

If the Yankees, Red Sox and Indians finish with identical records:

For the first time in baseball history, there would be a double playoff. New York and Boston would play Monday at Yankee Stadium to decide the AL East winner. The loser would play the Indians on Tuesday for the wild card -- it would either be New York at Cleveland or the Indians at Boston.

-- If the Yankees and Red Sox finish tied, with better records than the Indians: Both New York and Boston make the playoffs, the Indians are out. Because both the Yankees and Red Sox would be assured spots, then the head-to-head record comes into play; in this case, the Yankees would have a better record vs. Boston and be the AL East champion and the Red Sox would win the wild card.

-- If the Yankees and Red Sox finish tied, with a worse record than the Indians:

Boston and New York hold a one-game playoff at Yankee Stadium on Monday to decide the AL East winner, Cleveland win the wild card.

-- If the Yankees win the AL East and Boston and Cleveland finish tied:

The Indians play at Fenway Park on Monday in a one-game playoff for the wild card.

-- If the Red Sox win the AL East and the Yankees and Cleveland finish tied:

The Yankees play at Jacobs Field on Monday in a one-game playoff for the wild card.

Yanks 8 - Hapless Orioles 4

Jason Giambi crushes a first inning pitch for a 3 run homer to get the Pinstriped Princes off to a fast start last night. The Yanks maintain their 1 game lead over Boston in the East Division and Cleveland in the Wild Card.

Only 3 games left, all in Boston. Sounds like a good weekend for a remote in 1 hand and a beer in the other.

Go Yankees!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Stay Home!

This is awesome! The Yanks are really playing like a team, and those other suckers...well, they are not doing as well recently. We are taking the bull by the horns, and creating our own destiny, and I think the other teams are hoping to "slip in."

Friday night is a huge game...if we can beat Boston in that first game, I think it will put more pressure on them than they can handle. Come on Yanks!

The best thing would be if the Yanks won the division, and Cleveland won the wild-card, leaving poor Boston at home. How sweet would that be?

Clutch...

The Yanks are bringing it on big time, just at the right time too. Shawn Chacon pitched a 1 run, 4 hit gem and Derek Jeter knocked in the go ahead run in the 7th to win it for the Bronx Bombers 2-1 over Baltimore. Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera closed it out as Boston and Cleveland were losing.

This leaves the Yanks 1 game up in the Division and the Wild Card race with 4 games remaining. Of course the last 3 games are in Boston! Can't you just feel the tension? This is why I will always be a Yankees fan!

Mike

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Jake's 12th Birthday


Had a great time at Jake's 12th Birthday. We played some Texas Hold'em Friday night (Chuck took it down). Got up Saturday and had a nice little party for Jake and then headed for Eugene for the big game. The Ducks held it together in the first half but USC came on strong in the second half for the win.

See all the photos from Jake's weekend at FlickR.

Mike

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Yanks Regain First

Randy Johnson threw a 3 hitter and was backed up by some great defense as New York (88-63) defeated the Orioles 2-1 Wednesday.

Coupled with a loss by the Red Sox (88-64) to Tampa Bay the Yanks are back in first for only the 3rd time this season.

There are only 11 games remaining for the Yanks and the timing couldn't be better for a return to the top of the standings.

This is one of the most exciting finishes in recent history. The Yanks have won 9 of their last 10, I just hope they win the next 10 out of 11!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Oregon 37, No. 23 Fresno St. 34

EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon's new offense is rounding into form, and the timing couldn't be better with top-ranked Southern California due up next for the Ducks.

Kellen Clemens threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns to lead a balanced Oregon attack in a 37-34 victory over the No. 23 Bulldogs on Saturday.

Whitehead (pictured here) took a seemingly routine pass from Clemens and ran it willy-nilly 42 yards into the end zone, hopping over downed teammates and shrugging off clinging defenders to make it 37-27 for the Ducks with 4:16 left.

Fresno State scored once more to make it 37-34 and then the Ducks held on for the victory. ext up USC next Saturday. Can't wait!!

As a side note, we had a great turnout for this game: Chuck & Susie, Dave, Andy, John Ryan, Jeff & his brother, Chad & Vanessa, Sean & Gina & yours truly.

Ducks' Football SRO Tickets On Sale Monday

Media Release - Scout.com
September 17, 2005 at 6:19pm ET

EUGENE - Standing room-only tickets for the University of Oregon's four Pacific-10 Conference home games will go on sale Monday, Sept. 19, at the Casanova Center Athletic Ticket Office as well as on-line.

All seats for the Ducks' four conference games vs. USC (Sept. 24), Washington (Oct. 15), California (Nov. 5) and Oregon State (Nov. 19) have been sold, with the standing room tickets all that remain for the rest of Oregon 's 2005 home football schedule. On-line sales will begin at 8 a.m. Monday through the Ducks' official athletic department website, www.goducks.com and will commence at 9 a.m. in person at the Casanova Center or by calling (541) 346-4461 or 1-800-WEBFOOT.

Cost of the tickets will be $18 for games vs. USC and California, and $20 for contests against Washington and Oregon State.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Jonathan Stewart Update...


As reported today in a press conference given by head coach Mike Bellotti. Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart has been wearing a boot on his sore ankle since the injury occured last Saturday. However, Stewart says he is going to join the team practice on Wednesday and is listed as 50-50 for Saturday's game against Fresno State, good news for all Duck Fans...

Mike

Martinez named Pac-10 Player of the Week -- Again!

Found at Yahoo! Sports...

Steve Summers - Scout.com
September 12, 2005 at 5:37pm ET

Junior place kicker Paul Martinez was named today as the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against Montana last Saturday.

Martinez connected on six field goals of 26, 40, 38, 37, 42 and 20 yards in the 47-14 win.

Last week Martinez was named Player of the Week for his 5-of-6 field goal made against Houston.

The six kicks made tied the Pac-10 single-game record for field goals made. The effort established a new Oregon record for field goals made in a game and tied the Pac-10 record (John Lee, UCLA vs. San Diego State, 1984).

Martinez currently leads the nation in field goals per game with his 11-for-12 field goals made statistic.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Ducks take Montana 47-14

Found at Yahoo! Sports...

Steve Summers - Scout.com
September 10, 2005 at 9:37pm ET

Eugene, Ore. -- Eugene, Ore. -- Paul Martinez has eased every Duck fan's mind about whether Oregon has a field goal kicker. Martinez set an Oregon and stadium record on Saturday by kicking six field goals in Oregon's 47-14 whipping of Montana in front 58,168 fans, the 37th consecutive sellout of Autzen Stadium. Martinez was perfect on all six of his attempts and for the second week in a row, the junior has tied the school record for single-game field goal attempts.

Not that Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti will turn down Martinez's hot kicking streak, but if Bellotti had his druthers, he'd rather have touchdowns instead. For the second week in a row, the Duck offense has managed to find the redzone but converting the great field position has not been such an easy task. Oregon managed to score 11 times against Montana, but six were by field goals, four by touchdowns and one by a safety.

"We don't necessarily want him to lead the nation in field goals and we need to convert more extra points," said Bellotti of Martinez's effort against Montana. "But we'll take it."

Montana, a Division I-AA, team runs a similar offense to the Ducks and that may have it's up and downs. First, the Oregon defense is used to seeing the spread offense and have a pretty good idea how to defend it considering they practice against it everyday. Secondly, of course the same can be said for Montana's defense too. While the Ducks were efficient moving the ball, recording 21 first downs, and 426 yards of total offense, Montana was limited to seven first downs and 144 yards of total offense. The Ducks also led in one of Bellotti's most watched statistics - turnover-to-take away ratio. Oregon had two interceptions by the same two players that recorded picks last week, Aaron Gipson and Rodney Woods . The Ducks also recovered two of Montana's fumbles. Oregon did not give up an interception but lost two fumbles, one when a lateral from Kellen Clemens bounced off Terrence Whitehead . Montana was able to recover and throw its sole scoring strike of the first half on the ensuing change of possession play.

"Being on the plus side of turnover margin is always a good thing," observed Bellotti. "Besides that one Dennis Dixon interception last week, which I don't really count, we haven't turned the ball over on offense all year and that's a huge thing for us."

The game started off spectacularly enough with an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by freshman Jonathan Stewart . Stewart picked up a pooch kick at his own 18-yardline, swept right and simply out ran the Montana defenders to the goal line. Even though the point after hit the upright, the stadium noise that erupted because of Stewart's run carried through the following kick off and created so much confusion it caused an errant snap. Stewart's day ended in the first half when he found himself on the bottom of a pile and he suffered a sprained ankle. Bellotti is hoping that Stewart's injury is not too bad, as he will be needed in the weeks to come.

"He got a little tired on that opening kick return," Bellotti said of Stewart's kick return. "It showed his great combination of speed and athleticism and we are going to need that as the season progresses."

After Stewart's kick return though, the first half was all about the Ducks getting into the redzone and being unable to take advantage of the field position. After Stewart's initial touchdown, the Ducks scored one more touchdown and five more field goals, by Martinez. Demetrius Williams scored in the second quarter on a 17-yard pass from Clemens and Martinez had good kicks of 26, 40, 38, 37 and 42 yards in the first half.

The Ducks gave up a score in the second quarter when senior cornerback Aaron Gipson misjudged a pass and leaped too early and landed back on the ground as the ball soared into Montana's Jon Talmage's hands in the Oregon endzone.

In the second half, the Ducks defense dominated the Montana offense, yet the Oregon offense seemed to be more like a team running through practice than one playing a game. It was if the Ducks were trying to get their offense ignited and they ended up having to punt once, lost a fumble, turned the ball over on downs twice (once in the waning moments of the game), scored two touchdowns and kicked one field goal. Montana gave up a safety, punted three times, gave up an interception, missed a field goal and scored a touchdown with a little over five minutes left to play when the game was completely out of reach.

Clemens was 24-of-40, 275 yards and two touchdowns and for the second straight game he had no interceptions. Clemens also rushed for seven yards on 12 carries. Dennis Dixon came into the game during the third quarter and threw a touchdown pass of 39 yards to Kyle Weatherspoon . Dixon was 1-for-1 passing for 39 yards. Dixon rushed the ball five times for 16 yards. Brady Leaf was 2-of-5 for 25 yards. While Houston was unable to sack a Duck quarterback last week, Montana sacked both Clemens and Leaf this week.

"It was nice to see Dennis Dixon get on track with that great pass to Kyle Weatherspoon," Bellotti mentioned. "I thought that was an excellent football play as a whole."

Demetrius Williams was the leading receiver for the Ducks with five catches for 93 yards and a score. Weatherspoon had three catches for 49 yards and a score. James Finley grabbed three balls for 37 yards and Time Day and Dante Rosario both had three catches (26 and 27 yards respectively).

Terrence Whitehead was the leading rusher with a net of 36 yards on 18 carries. Whitehead was tagged for a minus 14 yards on the missed lateral. Terrell Jackson had five carries for 16 yards. Whitehead, a senior was not pleased with the Oregon rushing game. The Ducks ended up with a total of 87 net yards.

"We've got to pick it up a lot," said Whitehead. "I got the ball more today. I just have got to make more plays with it."

Defensively, Anthony Trucks , who had nine total tackles, led the Ducks. Darius Sanders started the game on fire with three tackles for loss, and ended up with a total of four tackles. Haloti Ngata had a total five tackles including one tackle for loss, one forced fumble (that lead to the safety), one fumble recovery, one break up and a sack.

"I challenged Haloti (Ngata) a little this week and he responded well," indicated Bellotti. "Darius Sanders had many key tackles, and it was good to see Aaron Gipson and Rodney Woods get some big interceptions in the secondary."

Next week, the Ducks face a ranked opponent in Fresno State and according to Bellotti, Oregon will have to get a whole lot better than today.

"They are a ranked Division I team and they are known to play well on the road, so that is certainly a tough game for us," admitted Bellotti. "We are going to have to work hard this week to get ready for them."

While beating Montana was expected, perhaps it was Clemens that summed up the season the best to this point.

"I am unsatisfied with this win," said Clemens. "First of all, we have to run the ball better. We didn't get enough first downs. There were too many field goals. But we are 2-0."

Kickoff for the Fresno State game is scheduled for 4 p.m. next Saturday at Autzen Stadium. The game will be carried on TBS.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Ramble On! Pac-10 Picks: Week Two

Snippet from Yahoo! Sports:


KYLE SHERWOOD - Scout.com
September 8, 2005 at 11:46pm ET


MONTANA at OREGON
Now do Griz fans worry more about getting slaughtered in a loud Autzen stadium or about whether or not they can get home in time for the 23rd Annual Testicle Festival next week? As much as I'd like to say this will be a cakewalk for the Men in Neon, never count out the men who gather in massive numbers to celebrate the devouring of bull balls.
Pick: Ducks

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Welcome Home Mr. Wines

Just thought I would drop you a quick note. I had my first day back with the kids today. I really have quite a sweet bunch of little urchins. They seem like they might be a little bit chatty, but I will take sweet chatty kids over quiet mean ones any day. Last night I had about five distinct nightmares leading up to the first day. I get really nervous about this day just because it feels like there is a lot of pressure. I know that I am going to be making a fast impression on them, and in turn, they will do the same with me. It always feels like there is more pressure than there really is. Anyway, in most--if not all of my dreams--I walked into the classroom, and standing in front of me was a bunch of middle school kids. OUCH (no offense Jakers)! I was getting attitude right and left in the dreams, and it was not a good night of sleep. Good for me that none of it came true. It all went exactly as planned, and I love my class.

Back to School

My yearly trip to Dave's class to help out before the first day of school. Thought I would share this photo of a true Duck fan who happens to be a teacher too!

Go Ducks!

Big Bang Oregon Style

Be sure to check out the Live Science - Forces of Nature article. Very scary stuff, especially if you live downstream from the Sisters.

Mike

Friday, September 02, 2005

Oregon 38 - Houston 24

Very nice start to the season with the revamped offense. Ducks got off to a shaky start but the foot of Paul Martinez kept Oregon close in the first half.

Oregon took over in the second half on both sides of the ball. How about Jonathan Stewart carrying 5 Houston defenders at the end of his 33 yard run? Kid looks impressive.

Next up is Montana on Sept. 10th at home. Can't wait!

Go Ducks!