Cubs’ Future is Here

BG It has been a long wait, a total tear down, but the Chicago Cubs are close.  While those are words that probably ring ‘truth’ to fans as much as there’s always next year.  However, the Cubs’ future is in fact here.

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Brushback Pitches

BG - The big story this past week was the Tony Stewart accident, and NASCAR’s dropping the ball with rules.  Pops has a problem with the Little League World Series and all the television cameras being put in front of their faces.  Is it too much for kids this young?  Also, the Clippers have finally been sold giving the NBA another positive mark for handling problems while all the other leagues continue to drop the ball.  Team USA is also up for debate with the Paul George injury and the risk to the stars for the ‘World Cup’ of basketball.

Brushback Pitches Podcast

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Fantasy Baseball Week 21: This Shoe(maker) Fits!

HG Week 21 will put to an end the month of August with September starting for week 22.  For fantasy owners, precious little time remains to get into your league’s playoffs.  Certainly, owners can gain victories for important seeding ramifications that can help propel them to winning your league title.

Matt Shoemaker of the Angels has been a nice surprise all season, but his performance of late has him as a must add for fantasy owners.  His last shutout performance in Boston, a day after the Halos lost Garrett Richards, was a shot in the arm for LA and highlights him as potential difference maker also for fantasy owners.  Just two starts prior, he limited the Dodgers to 2 earned runs over six to gain the win for the Angles.  At 12-4 and with a 3.50 ERA, Shoemaker is an ideal add for any owner win aspirations of a league title.

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Fantasy Football Preview: Tight Ends

HG - This is the fourth in a series of fantasy football previews that this weeks takes a look at tight ends.  In a position that is top heavy and can offer dynamic playermakers in the top two or three, after that is where owners could go any of a number of ways.

The top of the TE draft is pretty obvious.  However, there is plenty of talent that owners can wait on.  The second tier has starters in it, and owners can wait even longer to find starters that will still be available late.  If you don’t get one of the top three, just wait, you should reap the benefits from your patience.

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Eastern Conference Decided Again

BG Last season in the NBA everyone in the East was just waiting for the conference finals.  It was going to be a knock down, drag out war between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers.  Suffering through the worst regular season only made the wait that much worse.  Unfortunately, the match up between the Pacers and Heat didn’t provide the war that everyone was waiting for.  However, this season the top two for the East already looks decided again.

With LeBron James going back home, and soon to be joined by Kevin Love, Cleveland is of course a title contender already.  Having James on the team of course makes any team a title contender.  It would be a huge upset, and of course seemingly impossible that the Cleveland Cavaliers won’t make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.  And just like last year, their opponent looks already prepped to face them.  It’s the Chicago Bulls.

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We’re Back; Brushback Pitches!

BG We apologize for our hiatus, but our podcast has been revamped.  It’s the same great content, with a whole new sound.  You can’t be a sports fan and miss our weekly podcast.  This week everything is covered from steroids in the baseball Hall of Fame, trade deadline reactions, another domino falling in collegiate players getting paid and a quick touch on Purdue football.

Brushback Pitches Podcast

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Hazell’s Boilermakers Year 2

BG Darrell Hazell entered last year with a lot of excitement and raised bexpectations.  If the nickle and dime coach Danny Hope could get Purdue to six wins, then surely Hazell could do that in year one.  He was a coach unlike the ones normally hired by Morgan Burke.  He had worked in the Big Ten with the Ohio State and had success at Kent State, but Purdue was a bigger rebuilding project then everyone expected.

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Fantasy Baseball Week 20: Get Carter

HG - Week 20 is on deck as the final few weeks of your fantasy league’s regular season is at hand.  This past week saw more attrition as pitchers Yu Darvish and Hyun Ji-Ryu hit the disabled list.  Colorado teammates Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez were officially announced as being out for the rest of the season.  OF George Springer also had a set back and his return is delayed even longer.

This weeks’ best waiver claim is former A’s first sacker Chris Carter who now is hitting bombs for the Houston Astros.  After spending the first half of 2014 hitting around 185 and an occasional homerun, Carter has gotten hot over the last month and has been able to sustain his power surge.  Since play resumed post All Star break, Carter has hit 15 long balls with a batting average of 328.  This 30 days or so is his longest streak over his career and bodes well going forward.  While it isn’t conceivable that he will continue to hit at a 320 pace, a 250 average, along with his power, jumps him up to be an everyday fantasy player.

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Fantasy Football Preview: Wide Receivers

HG - This is the third in a series of fantasy football preview articles that this week covers wide receivers.  This position is the deepest of any of the offensive positions because of the emphasis on passing the ball.  Combined with the effort by the league and refs to better police contact in the secondary, wideouts will be given even more of an advantage which should mean more scoring in the NFL.

It would seem that WR is a position in which fantasy owners can wait and take their choice after the first few rounds, but upon closer inspection, there are noticeable tiers of receivers that can make a big difference come playoff time for owners.  There is depth at WR, but in an owners’ efforts to get into the playoffs consistent production is key.  It makes more sense to try to get one of the elite top 6 wideouts to be the bell cow of your receiving corp.  Augment him with depth so you do not try to guess which is the best match to play this player for your entire set of receivers.

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Bears All or Nothing

BG Phil Emery was brought to the Windy City to bring the Bears to the 21st century, and the job he has done on offense is nothing short of spectacular.  For years the Monsters of the Midway were an elite defense and an embarrassing offense.  The O Line in particular, but before Jay Cutler the quaterback position as well.  Under Lovie, it was a team that mucked about and had a good year every few.  However, now things have changed and the pieces are in place and it’s all or nothing.

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