Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 12:57 AM
Nick Bogdanovich is doing his best to make his final month with us a September to remember! After going 2-1 Sunday in baseball, then sweeping the board Monday Night 2-0, Nick swept the board again Tuesday Night in Major League Baseball with:
- NY Mets (+110) at Florida…WINS 7-4
- Detroit (pk) at Cleveland…WINS 10-1
That's 6-1 the last three days...with five of the six winners on underdogs, and the other one in a pick-em game!
It’s easy to take the worst of it in September by hoping that contending favorites keep winning every night. Nick’s experience as an oddsmaker and big bettor has had him picking spots very intelligently down the stretch. Remember that Nick will be staying with us through the end of baseball, then will devote his full energy to his work as Sportsbook Director at the Cal Neva outlets in Nevada. We were proud to have him as a charter member of VSM, and wish him the best in his future endeavors.
Monday Night in the pennant races…
*Boston obliterated Toronto 14-0 to put the pressure on the New York Yankees in the AL East. The rain that washed out the US Open schedule Tuesday led to a long delay tonight in the Bronx. The Orioles and Yankees got underway a few hours late, which means it will end long after publication deadlines.
*In the AL West, Texas beat Tampa Bay 8-0 as they continue to try and tread water during a long schedule gauntlet. It’s about over, with one more game in Tampa Bay. Texas is 8-7 lately against Boston, the LA Angels, and Tampa Bay. A lead after Wednesday is important because a lot of games with stragglers Oakland and Seattle are coming up. The LA Angels lost late to Seattle 2-1, falling 3.5 games behind the Rangers. .
The mainstream media responded with shock and horror when the Jacksonville Jaguars cut starting quarterback David Garrard Tuesday. If you’ve been following the team closely, it’s less of a surprise.
*Jacksonville saved themselves $9 million by cutting Garrard.
*Garrard was NOT seen as a great leader by his teammates. In fact, when they voted for team captains on Monday, they chose running back Maurice Jones-Drew and tight end Mercedes Lewis as offensive captains.
*Garrard had a bit of an altercation with his offensive line in the exhibition finale last Thursday against St. Louis. The cameras caught it (which is why you should try to watch as many Preseason games as possible!). ESPN was busy hyping Wisconsin-UNLV at the time, and their weekend TV schedule. That’s probably much of the reason ESPN pundits seemed so shocked about the announcement today.
*Garrard was never seen as a great quarterback by head coach Jack Del Rio. They were hoping he’d develop. He hit a plateau and stayed there. That plateau was around “average,” which is a semi-valuable quality in this league. But, an “average” guy who doesn’t have the respect of his teammates is much less valuable. And, the world of advanced stats tends to rate Garrard as slightly below average because of his tendencies to take sacks, fumble the ball, and underperform vs. top competition.
*Did we mention that Jacksonville saved $9 million?! They were overpaying once you account for leadership and being a good teammate.
*Let’s face it…holding onto Garrard this long also kept the Indianapolis Colts from pursuing him as a backup plan for Peyton Manning. The Colts encouraged Kerry Collins to come out of retirement. Had Jacksonville given up hope on Garrard in the offseason, or tipped their hand after the Preseason opener…who knows? It was clear that Peyton Manning had medical issues. And, it was certainly clear last Thursday that Garrard hadn’t progressed to where Del Rio wanted…just as Manning was on the verge of being ruled out for the season opener. Maybe those two storylines are unrelated. Maybe not. Garrard may not be as good as ESPN was suggesting all day. He’s better than Curtis Painter. He’s probably better than a rusty Kerry Collins too.
It’s a gamble…but it’s not quite the “OH MY GOD” story of the week. Jacksonville will face Tennessee, Carolina, and Cincinnati within their first five games. After that, it gets pretty brutal. You already know Garrard flounders vs. brutal schedule stretches. Luke McCown has a chance to win over his teammates in the first five weeks of the season.
Back with you Wednesday for more here in the VSM blog!