Phillies Continue Youth Movement, Sign Jim Thome.

Let's Do Jim Thome. One More Time.

I’m sure the acquisition of Jim Thome will be described as a low-risk move several times in the coming days.  And, considering Thome will only make a little over a million dollars and he’s universally respected around the league, it is a low-risk move in many ways.  You could even make the argument that Thome deserves his final shot here, because his original signing with the team helped drag it up the ladder of respectability.  Are you sensing a “but” coming?  Here we go…

Thome has played 28 innings in the field since leaving the Phillies.  That was about six years ago.  Thome even said at one point that he didn’t even own a glove anymore.  To bring Thome in to play in the National League severely restricts your team’s versatility.  For reference, I think the Phils need more versatility considering their aging roster–not less. I’m sure the Phillies are assuming (hoping) that Thome can still play a little bit of first, but with the equivalent of a game in the field every two years since he left–how would you know?   He’s not a double-switch option, he’s a liability on the bases (if he gets on late in a game, it’s a two player move, because you have to run for him). It’s not a lot of money, but it’s a lot of money to pay a guy to come up and swing for the fences 75 times a year.

Then there’s Thome’s connection to Charlie Manuel.  Is Manuel the right guy to be in charge at the end of Thome’s career? At some point Thome just isn’t going to be able to play anymore.  It could be this coming season.  He looked like he was at the end two years back before rebounding a bit this season.  With Thome’s history here and his history with Manuel would the Phillies be able to make a tough decision if they need to?

I love Thome’s presence in the clubhouse, I love that he can get on-base, and I think he’s probably still got a puncher’s shot to hit a bomb or two.  I just hope he’s got enough left to not leave the Phillies with a 24.5 man roster.

 

Free of Jeter, Minka Kelly Wants Winners.

And, A Lifetime Supply of Gym Socks.

So, I went to this place in Paoli last night for dinner called T.J.’s.  They have great rolls for their sandwiches!  And, they have a pretty thorough beer selection.  I’ve secretly for the last week or so been trying to figure out when Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale comes out.  This is the best seasonal beer of all-time.  It’s like the Shamrock Shake of beers.  I don’t like Shamrock Shakes, I just make the correct analogies.  Anyway, with some extensive research I found out that the beer usually ships out of Chico, CA around Halloween.  Was expecting the beer to make it to Paoli in 3 days a little optimistic? Maybe it was, but I thought it was an outside chance.  Sierra needed to rebound from that Tumbler I choked down last month.  Alas, it was not meant to be.  No Celebration Ale yet, and they were still peddling the Tumbler.  Someone kick the damn keg!  I opted for a Thomas Hooker Hop Meadow IPA, which I didn’t enjoy saying, but enjoyed drinking quite a bit. Incidentally, Thomas Hooker was the founder of Connecticut and not the Civil War Major General.  That was Joe Hooker–who probably needs a microbrew named after him as well.  On to the picks…

Big Dub:  23-14-3

Miami +4 over Kansas City.  Chiefs looked awful against the Chargers.  They prove their stankiness by losing to the Dolphins.

San Diego +6 over Green Bay.  San Diego moved the ball up and down the field against the Chiefs.  I’m not sold on Green Bay’s defense, so reason to think they won’t do it here.  Everyone gives their best shot against the defending Super Bowl Champs (See Carolina and Minnesota).  Chargers win outright.

New York Giants (+9) over New England.  I’m going to pick against New England as long as they have that awful defense.

Baltimore (+3.5) over Pittsburgh.   Pittsburgh has a ton of injuries at linebacker.

Denver (+7.5) over Oakland.  Holy dogs this week.  Raiders run defense stinks, allows the Broncos to take the pressure off Tebow.

***

Kraft:  19-17-4

St. Louis +3.5 over Arizona.  This is a battle between two turds, but St. Louis just beat New Orleans and it looks like Arizona will be trotting out “Helter” Skelton at QB.  Would you feel comfortable laying 3.5 with Skelton?  I didn’t think so. Poor Larry Fitzgerald.  What a waste of talent.

Buffalo (-1.5) over NY Jets.  Just do not trust Mark Sanchez on the road.  They’ve played like trash on the road, if this game was in Toronto, I’d lay 10. When the Fireman and the rest of the Jets fans truly turn on Sanchize it’s going to be ugly.

Atlanta (-7) over Indianapolis.  “Suck for Luck,” “Suck for Luck.”  Yeah, I’ll lay 7.  Until Indy shows some pride one time, I’ll keep taking their opponents.

New York Giants (+9) over New England.   The Patriots win by seven (and believe me, I’ll be rooting for the Pats).  I don’t the 9 points, especially since NY can move the ball and New England can’t stop anyone.  They need Troy Brown back at corner.  What is Ty Law up to these days?  Is Ted Johnson answering the phone?

Green Bay (-6) over San Diego.  Stick a fork in San Diego.  No heart, they’re empty inside.  Norv Turner would go 7-9 with the 2008 Patriots.  The only way Green Bay doesn’t cover this is if they are completely disinterested and bored.  Stan Humphries would have never fumbled that ball in KC, and Natrone Means was 10x the back Ryan Mathews is.

***

Grossy:  20-18-2

St. Louis (+3.5) @ Arizona.  For anyone curious we freeze the lines on Thursday to keep them universal.  Here’s one that has moved since, thanks to the likely absence of Kevin Kolb, but it doesn’t make any difference.  The Rams are going to win this game.  They won’t need three points, one point, whatever.  John Skelton, aka the man who crushed D.A.’s dreams in Arizona takes the rock until they get sick of him throwing picks and put in Monty Hall or whoever their 3rd string QB happens to be.  Steven Jackson 21, Cardinals 12.

San Francisco (-3.5) @ Washington.  What would this line have been before the season?  At least ‘Skins by 3, right?  If not more.  We’re still getting a handle on exactly how bad Washington is, and the answer is very, very bad.  I don’t even like the 49ers that much in the big picture, but I can’t think of way the Skins will score more than 3 or 4 points in this game. Back-to-Back shutouts?  Perhaps.  Fred Davis cannot win this game on his own.  Niners in a walk.

New York Jets (+1.5) @ Buffalo.  Here’s two things that could never happen for the general public.  We’d never get rid of the Jets this easily, and no one is really going to challenge New England for the division.  The Bills are a nice story, they’re tough at home, but the Jets absolutely have to have this game.  What they bring that some of Buffalo’s other opponents have not is a solid defense.  They’ll get the Bills out of rhythm, and might even score a few points themselves.  Jets in a squeaker.

Cincinnati (+3) @ Tennessee.  I don’t know where the Bengals rank in the league defensively, but they seem like a god damn clamp out there.  And, it doesn’t even matter if they’re beating bad teams because….Tennessee is a bad team.  They can’t run it.  They can’t throw it.  I think the only reason that the Titans are favored here is because people still look at “Bengals” and the word-association is: HORRENDOUS.  Am I going to feel like an idiot if Little Red Riding Hood throws 4 picks?  Sure, but I’m going to roll with it.

New England (-9) over New York Giants.  Part-Two of my AFC East plan.  The Pats rebound right back to the head of the AFC with a little old-fashioned tail-whipping of the Giants in Foxy-boro.  The Giants have issues at RB, so they’ll be less potent offensively and this is just what Tommy Brady needed to find his way back to  my favorite town, a little place called 400yd-ville.  Unless Joe Morris walks through that door, the Pats focus on flustering Eli-Face and get a nice, Belichick-style, 35-21 cover.

***

JCK: 23-16-1

  1. New York Giants (+9) over New England
  2. Atlanta (-7) over Indianapolis
  3. Oakland (-7.5) over Denver
  4. Kansas City (-4) over Miami
  5. Dallas (-11.5) over Seattle

***

Nichols:  16-22-2

Atlanta (-7) over Indy — ATL needs a big game to prove they are still relevant.  This is that game

San Fran (-3.5) over Washington — 49ers are 3-0 when traveling east.  Make that 4-0

Giants (+9) over New England — I know, the Giants post-Oct. win percentage is horrid, but this is the game they prove they can hang.  And, the Giants have the upper hand in this matchup.  At least since SB 42.

Pittsburgh (-3.5) over Baltimore — Rapelisberger is the 2nd best QB in the league over the past 4 weeks.  He is the deciding factor since every other matchup is equal.  My fantasy season rests on his shoulders too.

Chicago (+9) over Philly — It’s time for the Eagles to return to let-down status.  Besides, we don’t need Philly fans actually thinking they have a shot.  Bears win by 6.

***

Commissioner’s D.A. Top-10:

  1. Matt Moore
  2. John Beck
  3. Tim Tebow
  4. John Skelton
  5. Colt McCoy
  6. Curtis Painter
  7. Tarvaris Jackson
  8. Matt Hasselbeck
  9. Carson Palmer
  10. QB Rams

***

God, look at that list.  How are most of those guys even in the league.  Anyway, get those picks in.  It’s pretty much a must-win across the board in D.A. this week.  The time is now!  That’s it for the week.  This week, we’re actually rolling the clocks back.  Last week I was just messing with you.  So, when you stumble bleary-eyed out of Harrah’s Chester at 4 am Sunday morning, it’ll actually only be 3 am.  Plenty of time to hit a diner.