Results tagged ‘ Football ’

Friday at the Ballpark

As you might imagine, the ballpark is pretty quiet on a Friday in early November.   The cooler weather has finally found Frisco and it’s starting to “feel” like college football outside.

The ballpark this morning at 9:30 (Aaron's iPhone)

Even though things are a little slower since the end of the World Series, here are some of the things happening here, with the Rangers, and around minor league baseball:

  • Last night at 8:00, the Rangers and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced that Texas Rangers’ infielder Michael Young is the winner of the 2011 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.  The award is presented to the player “whose on-field and off-field performance most inspires others to higher levels of achievement by displaying as much passion to give back to others as he shows between the lines on the baseball diamond.”  Young becomes the third player to ever win the award twice (John Smoltz, 2002, 2003; Jim Thome, 2001, 2004).
  • The Rangers also announced yesterday a series of improvements to the Ballpark in Arlington totaling $11.5 million.  Upgrades for 2012 include a complete renovation of Vandergriff Plaza and much of the office building first floor in centerfield with the construction of a new Batter’s Eye Club, Restaurant/Sports Bar, Kid’s Zone, and concession stands. In addition, the areas that previously contained the bleacher seating will be remodeled and the visitors bullpen will be reconfigured.

The visitors bullpen will move to the bottom of the former bleacher section (left) along the outfield fence. New features will include an indoor restaurant and sports bar on the bottom floor of the suites alongside an indoor Kid's Zone (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

  • The Akron Aeros (Double-A, Indians) of the Eastern League will not be changing their name after all.  A contest held by the team and the local newspaper asked fans to choose their favorite possible team name from a list including Aeros, RubberDucks,Vulcans, Tire Jacks and Gum Dippers (are you kidding me!!).  The Aeros nickname won in a landslide, garnering 67% of the vote. (ballparkdigest.com)
  • If you’re not aware, it’s officially “Movember.”  Movember is the month formerly known as November, where men and women across the globe join together to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues. To help achieve this, men grow a Mo (moustache) for 30 days.  Since a number of us can’t grow a mustache (mainly me), our graphics designer Alex Yocum-Beeman helped us out (if you can’t recognize me, I’m the top left corner):
Enjoy your weekend … and some football.
-AG

‘Riders Fantasy Football Advice

I made my way around the ‘Riders clubhouse in Northwest Arkansas before batting practice yesterday and found a few guys who are pretty passionate about fantasy football (like I am). It was fun learning who they believe are this year’s sleepers, busts, and breakout players.

LF, Mitch Hilligoss

10 TDs for Ochocinco and Brady? Hilligoss thinks so.

Favorite team: Chicago Bears
Sleepers: Chad Ochocinco
Busts: Arian Foster, Kevin Kolb
Players targeting the most: Tom Brady, Chad Ochocinco
Draft philosophy: RB, QB, WR in the first three rounds
Leagues: Mitch plays two leagues: one with current teammates, and one with former teammates from when he played in the Yankees’ system.

Mitch told me a great story about when he played in the minors for New York, he and his teammates would meet back at the hotel late after a game near the end of the season, order and bunch of pizzas, and do a live fantasy draft.

 

 

 

LHP, Derek Hankins

After a monster 2010 season, Hilligoss and Hankins don't believe Arian Foster can repeat in 2011.

After a monster 2010 season, Hilligoss and Hankins don't believe Arian Foster can repeat in 2011.

Favorite team: Chicago Bears
Sleepers: Felix Jones (especially in a PPR league), Jordy Nelson
Busts: Arian Foster, Brandon Lloyd
Player targeting the most: Ray Rice
Draft philosophy: In a PPR league, two WRs with his first three picks
Leagues: Derek, like Mitch, plays in two leagues: one with some former teammates from Round Rock, and another with some friends he played with while in the Pirates’ farm system.

After talking with Derek, it obvious he’s a huge football fan.  He loves his Bears and has already purchased a Roy Williams and Marion Barber jersey – two free agent signings this off-season. Although he doesn’t live in Chicago, he gets to a few Bears’ games each season.

Congrats to Derek who is getting married during the off-season. Hopefully his fiancee knows he has a standing appointment with his couch every Sunday afternoon.

 

 

RHP, Tyler Tufts

If Tyler wants Andre Johnson he'll have to be willing to spend a first-round pick.

If Tyler wants Andre Johnson he'll have to be willing to spend a first-round pick.

Favorite team: Cleveland Browns (poor guy)
Sleeper: Ryan Williams (who suffered a potentially season-ending injury in a preseason game against Green Bay.
hours after Tyler and I talked  Chalk it up the the ‘Riders Insider Curse.) Also, Plaxico Burress.
Busts: Michael Vick, Reggie Wayne
Players targeting most: Andre Johnson, LeSean McCoy
Draft philosophy: RB, RB, RB with first three picks (non PPR)
Leagues: Tyler plays in the ‘Riders team league with Mitch and also plays in a league with his family.

Tyler, like our own Brian Boesch, has lead a tortured life as a Cleveland sports fan.  Fortunately, both have fantasy football to keep them going no matter how the Browns play.

Although we didn’t talk about it, Greg Little is a nice mid-tier sleeper for the Browns this season.  He had two catches, one for a touchdown, Friday night in a preseason loss to Detroit.  Other than TE Ben Watson, who else does Colt McCoy have to throw to?  Little is a big target (6-2, 220 lbs.) who has a chance for a nice year.  I was able to get him with my final pick in my first fantasy draft of the season.

-AG

 

RoughRiders’ All-Gridiron Team

With the NFL lockout over and August underway, football is in the air.  The ‘Riders have some solid athletes this season which prompted the question “who would play where if the RoughRiders were a football team”? Seems logical.  After consulting with Frisco strength and conditioning coach Eric McMahon, here is the ‘Riders All-Gridiron Team. Feel free to leave comments with your opinions.  -AG

Offense

Quarterback: Ben Snyder
Although he was a two-time All-State wide receiver in high school, Snyder like the logical fit as QB. He has good athleticism, is a veteran, and has the intelligence the position demands.

Wide Receiver/Flanker: Justin Miller
At 6’4″, Miller is the prototypical deep threat. He has nice leaping abilities and is will force matchup problems for opposing defensive backs. “Snyder to Miller” is something we’ll be saying a lot.

Wide Receiver: Carlos Pimentel
He might be the most athletic pitcher of the ‘Riders staff. Pimentel has a quick burst off the line and is the perfect over-the-middle compliment to Miller going deep.

Running Back: Davis Stoneburner
Although he’s not the prototypical pounding back some might desire, Stoneburner possesses the quickness and elusiveness to to run effectively. What he lacks in size he makes up for in determination and confidence. Stoney is a nice open field runner who also contributes in the passing game.

Wide Receiver/Running Back (Flex): Corey Young
His quick hips and burst make Young a versatile offensive weapon both in the backfield and in the slot. He can lineup in a split-back set with Stoneburner, or can run complimentary routes over the middle with Pimentel in-between the first and second layers of the defense. His run after the catch abilities can turn a five yard dump pass into a 15 yard pick up.

Tight End: Tanner Scheppers
This is a natural fit. At 6’4″ with a long wingspan, Scheppers is the perfect red zone target for Snyder. He’s great over the middle of the field and, as a former short stop in college, has more athleticism than anyone on the line.

Right Tackle: Adalberto Flores
Big, tall, and physical, Flores shoulders the responsibility of protecting Snyder’s blindside. He has the quick feet and powerful arms to move quickly and keep a clean pocket.

Right Guard: Robbie Ross
With a low center of gravity, Ross wards off the blitz well. He also has enough quickness to pull on running plays and open up holes for Stoneburner.

Center: Jose Felix
Another natural fit. “Chief” is the anchor of the offensive line.

Left Guard: Richard Bleier
Bleier has the intelligence to read the defense and the athleticism to pull.

Left Tackle: Fabio Castillo
Pound-for-pound the biggest guy on the line.  Fabio is aggressive with string hands and a wide upper-half.

Defense

Defensive End: Mike Bianucci
Has the size to stay in on running downs, but the athleticism and burst to rush the passers. His low center of gravity helps keep him on his feet, and his motor will wear down offensive tackles by the fourth quarter.

Defensive Tackle: Jose Ruiz
As one RoughRider told me, if Jose joined a Division I football program today, in four years he’d be an All-American. Ruiz has elite lateral movement and a sharp burst. He’s a beast clogging up the middle and has the speed to rush the passer.

Defensive Tackle: Jake Brigham
Fear the beard.  Brigham has the strength and aggressiveness to compliment Ruiz next to him. He also has the long arms to knock down passes when rushing.  He brings the intensity and heart his position demands.

Defensive End: Johan Yan
Love this choice. His height and weight profiles as a rush defensive end. He runs well, has a long wingspan, and is big and strong enough to play the run.

Outside Linebacker: Elio Sarmiento
Thick and strong, Sarmiento can stuff the run but also has the quickness to cover a tight end who releases from the line. He can cover the flat and is disciplined enough to be trusted take down a running back in the open field.

Middle Linebacker: Jonathan Greene
His physical build and tools make Greene a nice choice here. He stuffs the run well and isn’t afraid of contact.

Middle Linebacker: Tommy Mendonca
Like Greene, Mendonca has the build to stuff the run. His strong forearms help him wrap up well and he has the quickness to move in a confined space well.

Outside Linebacker: Mitch Hilligoss
Aside from having a linebackers neck, Hilligoss can drop back like a safety, rush like a defensive end, and stop the run. Like Sarmiento, Hilli is a good fit here.

Cornerback: Engel Beltre
Beltre has big play, pick-six potential. His elite speed matches up with any wide receiver. He has all the makings up a shut-down corner.

Cornerback: Renny Osuna
While Renny may not have the speed of Beltre, he is ultra reliable and can cover the run as well. Has the athleticism to cover all types of receivers and has a nose for the ball.

Free Safety: Tyler Tufts
Perfect combination of size and speed to cover the entire third layer of the defense. Tufts has nice range and is a sound safety blanket for Renny and Osuna on the outer thirds. His big hits make receivers think twice before coming over the middle.

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