How did it happen: The Nationals on top

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It’s not weird when unexpected teams win anymore. But it’s always a bit of a surprise. Who would’ve called the Giants winning in 2010? Or the Cardinals in 2011? But this is unexpected. Most people put the Nationals as their wild card, or even not a playoff team at all. And until June, there was no worries about them. But with 10 as a magic number for the number one seed, the MLB wonders – how did it happen?

First, this isn’t new. This has been planned since 2007. The Nationals were failing as a win now team. They said goodbye to Alfonso Soriano, the center. And it became a draft and wait team. Strasburg, Harper, Storen, Espinosa, and more were drafted. They made little known trades to slowly but surely build up their system in the minors. And this winter, they added the final piece of the puzzle with 2 more starters in Gonzalez and Jackson. Even so, they went under the radar.

Late last September, I made a prediction. By September 2012,  the Nats would have a playoff spot. If they sweep the doubleheader tonight – they’ll have a playoff spot.

The Nationals have built their franchise around 3 players: Ryan Zimmerman, the veteran, Stephen Strasburg, the fireballer, and Bryce Harper, the prodigy. And when those three met this year, with great surrounding players, for us who have been paying attention it was no surprise.

But when it came towards the middle of April, there was a bit of a jump. The Nationals home opener had been filled, even on a day that the high was about 60 degrees. The city of DC took notice that they (for once) actually had a great team.

And Davey Johnson, a name and face you associated with 1995 is a frontrunner for NL manager of the year. Maybe the lack of the attention was what made them a little more comfortable.

But make no mistake – the nationals are here, and here to stay.

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Double post!!! How did it happen – the West and Central/ Nicknames!

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Double Post Part 1 – for nicknames, scroll to the next bold words.
Flashback in your time machine. Back when there was no Washington Nationals, when the Marlins, (yes, MARLINS) were world series champs, when the Red Sox and Yankees were everything. And throw it out the window.
This year, it seems like there has been a major power shift, and made everything equal – in the land of baseball. All the sudden, West and Central divisions are the place to be, and the world series picks are there – Angels, Giants, Tigers, Brewers, Rockies, and more. How did that happen? Let’s find out.
It all started in 2010. The battle of the west. Two fairy tale teams from Texas and California put 2009 to bed, when it was a World Series you drove from Philly to New York to watch the games. No, now the action is on the west side of the country. And action it was. After beating their league’s eastern superpowers (Rangers over Yankees, Giants over Phillies) they both advanced to a world series that was not seen coming. The Giants won, and it seemed like a victory for them and them only, but it was a victory for the AL & NL West & Central.
The next season, all who saw that coming were halted. Adrian Gonzalez, the NL West’s most intimidating slugger moved to Boston. And then Cliff Lee moves to Philadelphia. And even more – Manny Ramirez comes to Tampa, and Jose Reyes breaks out. It seems like that minute of fame was over for the Central and West. But then. Then, the Eastern superpowers were destroyed. The Phillies went down first – down to the Cardinals. Then the Yankees – down to the Tigers. And then the Rays, beaten by the Rangers. And not one eastern side team remained. It came down to Rangers VS Cardinals, and the Cardinals proved the Central a place to be, as well as the Rangers showing the west is the place.
This year, it became official – the power shift. Prince Fielder signing with the Tigers, Yu Darvish to the Rangers, Albert Pujols to the Angels, and the Cubs gaining Theo Epstein. Then the Cardinals and Dodgers came out hot of the gate, and all the sudden – it’s a whole new ballgame.
Part 2: Nickname Central

But, there is one thing that the East, West, and Central all share – nicknames.
Michael Morse, the beast, Dustin Pedroia, the laser show, David Ortiz, Big Papi, Prince Fielder, the prince of power, Albert Pujols, Prince Albert, Ichiro Suzuki – Hercules – the list could go on for quite some time, if you get my drift.
Even so, two of the games most talented players remain nicknameless. Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander. So vote on these poles, and help me decide the official unofficial nicknames of Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander!! Leave me a comment on what you think it should be!

How did it happen? Peyton Manning in jeopardy

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Manning, Manning, Manning, Manning, Manning. In the city of Indianapolis, that is all there is. Or at least, that is all there was. Peyton Manning was the face of the Colts. Peyton Manning may have run out of time.

How does this Super Bowl winning, hall-of-famer (most likely) become on the market or forced to retire? Well, here’s how. After 12 years of success, Peyton’s carrer is on the market. The Colts are going to  go back to where they were then. A number one pick team. Why that? Simple, they lost their quarterback to neck surgery.

The way it happened is because teams need quarterbacks, now. The Colts are considering Andrew Luck instead of Peyton Manning. Like, this season. Now. But where would Peyton go?

Peyton Manning is technically not on the market, but we all know better than that. He really has two choices. Go to the Redskins, or go to the golf course. Basically, going to the Redskins is trying to take a team that needs to take it back to the start, to the playoffs. Retiring is going out with a whimper, but not as badly of a whimper as it could be for the Redskins.

I’m saying it’s not a good situation. The best way to go out would be to stay on the Colts, and get a standing ovation at the end. But, that may not be what Dan Snyder wants…

Special Post! How did it happen/The Updater: LINSANITY!!!!

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All credit goes to ESPN for photo

Which it is. How the heck did this happen? And is it a trend, or a fluke? Let’s get started.

After beating the Lakers, people have realized this guy is real. Let me explain.

New York had everything they needed – except for one thing – you might say glue. As you may know, putting talent together doesn’t necessarily make a good team. You need them to gel, to learn each other’s style. And Jeremy Lin is just that.

Jeremy Lin is the point guard you want. The un-drafted, all-odds-against-him, point guard. About two weeks ago, would YOU think I was crazy? Probably. Some of the best – well, bottles of glue have come from late picks or even no pick. Take Tom Brady – or Mark Buehrle , or even Danny Woodhead?

The NBA has always missed those, though. Until now. The un-drafted player out of Harvard, has found a way to make the Knicks work together. Until now, it was get the ball to Carmelo or A’mare and pray for defense.

Now, they can move the ball easily, and have a player that can take pressure of of everyone else.

Is this a trend?

I think not. This is a great basketball player, and he’s proved it.

How did it happen? The Giants beating the Patriots – again

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AUGH AUGH AUGH AUGH! I am still getting over the loss of that game. I will officially start baseball season as soon as I’m done with this post.

The Patriots in words, got run over by Mario Manningham. After scoring a touchdown in the fourth, we seemed to be well, dead.

The Giants have always seemed to overpower us defensively, but they found a way to do it on offense. I really feel like they had more receivers that could actually catch the ball and a QB that could throw. Eli Manning had found a way to overpower Tom Brady again. He had more yards, accuracy, less picks – really better everything.

The receivers of New England seemed to be in dropped ball city. They always had a way to miss the pass and lose the game.

But, there is a silver lining to every cloud. If the Patriots can play better defense they can win a Super Bowl.

Sadly, to me – it could take a while.

How did it happen – the Eagles fall

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New segment day! This is called “how did it happen?” I’ll give you an example.

How did this dream team fall on their butts and into the oh so average fifteenth place?This is how. The Eagles in September were given a label other contenders could only dream of – the dream team. Sadly, they did not rise up to the name – in the least. Everybody thought Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and Desean Jackson were unstoppable.

Let’s go back to the last time they said a team was unstoppable. That would be last years Dallas Cowboys, who have been forgotten in the shame of the Washington Redskins and glory of the Giants. Anyhow, EVERYONE said they would play in their own stadium in the super bowl, win, blah blah blah. And what did they do? They fell. Hard.

Back to the main topic, it seemed like the Eagles would be heading to Indy to face the Patriots. But, first, they were plagued by injury and overconfidence. DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy both had problems with coach Reid, and Vick lost a third of his season to his ribs. When you have your best three players have that situation – well, it pretty much sums up how it happened.