Take It Down A Notch New York!!

Hey, you!!

Don’t jump!!

Step down from the ledge and slowly..walk..away.

While New York’s MLB teams are having polar opposite seasons, both seem ready to hit the panic button….

The New York Yankees

The Yankees have the 3rd best record in MLB (63-35). They’re in the midst of a spectacular season, on pace to win 104 games, and head to the postseason for the one billionth time. However, Yankee fans, alongside local writers and talk show hosts, are leaning toward the panic button — again. That’s my cue….

Allow me to say the same thing I said when the Yankees were 9-9 (on April 20th):

relax

Yes, I’m aware they’re 13-13 since June 22nd. Yes, I’m also aware they’re 6 games back of the Red Sox in the AL East. And YES, I’m aware if they don’t win the division they’ll have to settle for a (ridiculous) one-game playoff. But let’s stop pretending the Yankees are falling off a cliff. Offensively speaking, they either lead, or are in the top-five, of the following statistical categories:

Lead: home runs (162) and slugging percentage (.462)

Top-Five: runs (511), total bases (1555), r.b.i. (493), and on base percentage (.332)

And while everyone is freaking out, clamoring for a new starting pitcher, their pitching staff ranks in the top-five of the following categories:

Top-Five: e.r.a. (3.56), ks (977), saves (30), and runs allowed (382)

severino 2

Now, I’m not saying everything is perfect. The Red Sox ARE 40 GAMES OVER .500 (71-31)!!!! And while I trust Luis Severino, and the Yankees, in a home, one-game playoff against the Seattle Mariners, ANYTHING can happen.

Have I mentioned how much I despise this wild card, playoff format?!

Hell, if Severino pitches like he did Monday night, the Yankees’ postseason will be over before it starts. Which brings me to Mr. Gary Sanchez, the laziest man in show business. The Yankees lost 7-6 to the Tampa Bay Rays Monday night. While Sanchez wasn’t the sole reason the Yankees lost, he certainly DID NOT help their cause:

http://www.espn.com/core/video/iframe?id=24178715&endcard=false

Gary, Gary, Gary….

Gary Sanchez is the most talented, offensive catcher in baseball. Despite his despicable .188 batting average this season, he’s in scoring position every time he steps in the batter’s box. However, effort, energy, and hustle are not things you’re born with. They are not predetermined. ANYONE can hustle!! So, for Gary Sanchez to lollygag after a baseball, that bounced off his own foot, down the 3rd baseline, and allow a runner to score from 2nd base, is inexcusable. For Gary Sanchez to not run out a ground out, because he THOUGHT the play was going to 2nd base, is reprehensible. Side Note: It did go to 2nd base. And he was still thrown out at 1st.

While the Yankees need Sanchez’s bat in the lineup, he MUST be benched for at least one game.  

The moral of the story is the Yankees will be fine. It couldn’t hurt to add a starting pitcher along the lines of Chris Archer or J.A. Happ, but I won’t freak out if they stand pat.

**For those who read this far….THANK YOU!! This is also a friendly reminder that I am a rare breed of human. They call me an ‘Objective Yankee Fan’.**

 

Check back with DaveTalksSports.com tomorrow to catch me tie a pretty little bow around the ineptitude we call the New York Mets.

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One Does Not Simply Tell Gregg Popovich What To Do

This has been a unique week….

How often do two top-five players, in different sports, get traded in the same week?!

Kawhi Leonard Gets Shipped North Of The Border

Ask, and you shall receive. The only thing is, you don’t always get exactly what you ask for. Despite being lauded as the NBA’s gold standard over the past two decades, the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard grew out of love. In June, Leonard publicly requested a trade. Leonard’s destination wish-list was short: The Los Angeles Lakers.

As hard as it is to imagine Gregg Popovich laughing, he probably doubled over when he heard Leonard’s request.

gregg-popovich-laughing-gif

Oh, you want to play in sunny California, for one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, in Popovich’s conference?!?! That’s cute. Instead, Leonard was banished to the Toronto Raptors for the final year of his contract. In return, the Spurs received DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a 2022 1st-round top-20 protected pick.

The Spurs won this trade — by a lot.

Yes, Leonard is better than DeRozan, so (assuming Leonard is a good soldier this year) the Raptors have a chance in the Eastern Conference. However, knowing Leonard wasn’t going to resign with the Spurs, and CLEARLY isn’t going to resign with the Raptors, the haul the Spurs got for their disgruntled (rental) superstar is astonishing. DeRozan is an all-star who’s under contract for three more years. And don’t sleep on the 22-year old, seven-footer (Poeltl). He’s the type of player Popovich turns into a 10 point, 8 rebound machine, providing depth in the frontcourt.

I’m Moving To Los Angeles!!

machado

It’s good to be Manny Machado.

It’s not every day you start your day on the worst team in MLB (Baltimore Orioles), and end your day on a World Series contender (Los Angeles Dodgers). Also, the weather is slightly better in L.A. than Baltimore — last time I checked.

Like I said….it’s GOOD to be Manny Machado.

Just like Kawhi Leonard, Manny Machado is a top-five player in his respective sport. Just like Leonard, Machado is an expiring contract, and wasn’t expected to resign with his former team. And just like Leonard, Machado helped bring his former team quite the haul.

The Orioles received five prospects for Machado: outfielder Yusniel Diaz, right-handed pitchers Dean Kremer and Zach Pop, and infielders Rylan Bannon and Breyvic Valera.

Diaz is the prize here, as he was ranked #73 in Baseball Prospectus’ rankings prior to this season.

This deal makes sense for both sides. The Orioles read the tea leaves and did what they had to do, while the Dodgers immediately launched themselves into World Series contention.

And Machado seems to have adjusted nicely to his new home. He’s hitting a smooth .385 through his first three games. Yeah, he’s pretty good.

With just eight days remaining until the MLB trade deadline, stay up to date with every move on DaveTalksSports.com.

July — Don’t Knock It Until You Try It!!

You say these are the ‘dog days’ of Summer.

I say….you’re an idiot.

There’s A LOT going on in the world of sports:

Wimbledon, The World Cup, MLB’s All-Star Game/Home Run Derby, and The Open Championship. 

Wimbledon

Novak-Djokovic-wins-Wimbledon-2015_3324607

The Novak is back!!

After coming up empty-handed in his last eight Grand Slams, Novak Djokovic has reclaimed his spot amongst the games elite. His Wimbledon victory Sunday over Kevin Anderson marked Novak’s 13th Grand Slam Title, ranking 4th all-time. Maybe, he can finally put his personal issues in the rearview mirror and get back to not sucking at tennis….

While Serena Williams’ Wimbledon Finals appearance was impressive, she fell short of her 8th ‘All England Title’. Angelique Kerber dominated Serena in straight sets (6-3, 6-3), winning her 2nd Grand Slam Title.

World Cup

Vive La France!!

France is the 2018 World Cup Champion, winning their 2nd World Cup Title in 20 years. This leaves Spain, England, and Uruguay as the only World Cup champions without multiple titles. France capped off an exciting World Cup with an entertaining, dramatic 4-2 victory over Croatia.

Imagine being at the Eiffel Tower yesterday:

4E475D1D00000578-5956427-France_fans_celebrate_in_Paris_as_they_watch_their_side_claim_a_-a-7_1531732209921

That must have been AWESOME!!!!

MLB All-Star Game/Home Run Derby

barkley

I have to be honest….I know I said there’s a lot going on in sports this week, but I’m not sure I could be LESS interested in MLB’s All-Star Festivities.

The All-Star Game is awful. Nobody tries. Pitchers make one inning appearances. The game has been known to end in a tie. And it’s not how I’d choose to spend three hours of my life.

But hey, somebody will be watching. Last year, while the All-Star Game grabbed 8.6 million viewers, it was not the most watched TV event that evening. America’s Got Talent was. Sad. Oh so sad.

The Home Run Derby is cool. I’ll put it on as background noise tonight, however, this year’s Derby is lacking the most important thing of all; Star Power.

636669456357242768-071118-mlb-home-run-derby-bracket-2018

The Open Championship

Allow me to preface this statement — with a statement:

My subconscious has NOTHING to do, in any way, with my rational, conscious thought process.

dream

Sunday night, I dreamt that Tiger Woods won the 2018 Open Championship. For those who skim articles, I’m going to repeat myself. I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that happens, but I dreamt it. Tiger Woods is a shell of himself. While he still moves the needle (inexplicably), he has literally NO CHANCE to win a Major. Not now. Not ever.

Have a nice day!

Serena Williams Doesn’t Care About YOUR Expectations

Accomplishments walk hand-in-hand with expectations.

As crazy as this is about to sound, NO ONE expected Serena Williams to win Wimbledon. Don’t lie to me. I don’t appreciate it. Yet she’s just one match away from doing the improbable (nothing is impossible for Serena Williams).

See 316 days ago, Serena Williams was giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. And while Serena always planned to return to the game she loves, even she didn’t expect to compete for her record 24th Grand Slam Title this soon, “It’s crazy. I don’t even know how to feel, you know, because literally, I didn’t expect to do this well in my fourth tournament back.”

Ranked 25th for this year’s All England Championship, some felt she was ranked too high after a lengthy hiatus. Wimbledon, however, doesn’t play by your rules. They don’t concern themselves with world rankings. And with 9-out-of-the-top-10 players ousted before the 4th round, Serena’s path became that much easier. Not to diminish Serena’s accomplishment, but this is the worst performance by top-10 seeds in the Open Era. After steamrolling Julia Georges in just 1 hour and 9 minutes in the semifinals (6-2, 6-4), Serena should be well rested for Saturday’s finals.

702450-serena-williams-afp

Now, only Angelique Kerber stands in Serena’s way of completing one of the most impressive feats in professional tennis history.

See 274 days ago, Serena Williams was climbing out of bed for the 1st time after complications from child birth. Immediately following her daughter’s birth, Serena suffered a pulmonary embolism and blood clots in her lungs. While her doctors quickly had her on the road to recovery, she was confined to bed rest for six weeks.

Ahhhhh, yes, the realization is setting in for you, my reader, of the magnitude of Serena’s accomplishments at Wimbledon. To come from a near-death experience, to her 10th Wimbledon Final’s appearance in less than year, is not something human beings often (or ever) do.

See in 1 day, Serena Williams WILL win her 8th Wimbledon Title. She WILL continue to make history. And she WILL defy the odds.

serena

And all we’ll be able to do, is appreciate the accomplishment, and throw expectations out the window.

Prediction: 7-6, 6-4 (The Best Who Ever Did It — Serena Williams)

Tune-in to ESPN Saturday, July 14th @ 9:00 A.M. EST to catch all the action.

 

I’m Taking My Talents North Of The Border!!

Although nearly a week has passed, Islanders’ fans are still mourning the loss of John Tavares. No, he’s not dead, but he left for Canada (they’re almost the same thing).

John Tavares became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2017-2018 NHL season. For months, stories and rumors, predicting Tavares’ landing spot, floated around the NHL universe. The Islanders, despite their lack of success in recent history, did everything possible to convince Tavares to stay in New York….

  • They were awarded a site at Belmont Park for a new stadium.
  • They brought in the best general manager in the history of general managers; Lou Lamoriello.
  • Lamoriello brought in a Stanley Cup winning coach; Barry Trotz.
  • And Lamoriello had a successful NHL Draft, setting the Islanders up for the future.

All this….was for naught.

The New York Islanders knew this day could come. Despite drafting him #1 overall in the 2009 NHL Draft, Tavares is from Mississauga, Ontario (right next to Toronto).

“Not everyday you can live a childhood dream.”

tavares_bed

Enter collective sigh here  ————–>

Listen, the Islanders are not to blame here. It’s not everyday a diehard fan, turned professional athlete, gets the pick of the litter. And the top-pick of the litter happens to be a Stanley Cup contender, just footsteps from his childhood treehouse. Hell, I’d have made the same decision as Tavares. It just sucks that I also happen to be an Islanders’ fan.

So, Tavares will enjoy the next seven seasons, at home, getting paid $77 million along the way.

Oh well New York….

I guess you’ll just have to wait for another generational superstar to fall into your lap….

 

Who do you blame for John Tavares choosing the Toronto Maple Leafs over the New York Islanders??

I’M DONE WITH THE NBA!!!!

The NBA is BROKEN!!

It’s also stupid, and imbalanced, and predictable, and irrational, and stupid.

I’ve asked this question before, but let’s give it another try: If you already knew the outcome of a game, would you still watch?? You’d have to be insane to say yes. No. The answer is no. Soooooooooooo, why would anybody watch the NBA?!?!

The Golden State Warriors have won three out of the last four NBA Finals. Even before they added DeMarcus Cousins to their roster, Monday, they were headed toward a three-peat. Although Cousins is working his way back from a ruptured Achilles, he is a top-10 player (when healthy). Since increasing his assist totals, and three-point percentage, he’s become the most versatile big man in the league.

I’m aware of Anthony Davis’ skillset, however, the ability to pass the ball AND shoot the three puts Cousins in a league of his own.

There’s some speculation on Cousins’ path to the Warriors, but as with any story, there are three sides (yours, mine, and the truth).

Cousins claims the Warriors were the only team to offer him a contract….

jim

I’m not saying I don’t believe him….BUT I DON’T BELIEVE HIM.

A report leaked that the New Orleans Pelicans offered Cousins a two-year, $40 million contract. Also, the Los Angeles Lakers claim they turned Cousins down. Also not believable. But if that’s true, the Lakers should punch themselves in the face — immediately.

No matter how Cousins landed on the Warriors, the upcoming season is over. It was over without Cousins. As long as their starting five remain healthy, and under contract, they’ll continue to win championship after championship.

So, now that we’ve established the NBA is broken, DaveTalksSports is going to fix it. With the salary cap increasing every year, and the presence of a “soft” salary cap, ‘Super Teams’ will never cease to exist.

DeMarcus Cousins should not be allowed to join the Warriors for $5.3 million.

DeMarcus-Cousins-Warriors-1

While we live in a free-market, capitalist society, the NBA is a private organization. They should regulate themselves as they see fit. Instituting a pay scale, based on performance, would solve this problem. his would actually help better players earn more money.

Sounds ridiculously fair to me.

This pay scale would be based on statistical performances, plus 1st-team, 2nd-team, and 3rd-team accomplishments (offensively and defensively). The league and the player’s association would then need to agree on how many players from each “tier” would be allowed on a single team. This would create parody, fair play, and a fair season, ultimately resulting in a product that DaveTalksSports (and the world) would want to watch.

As presently constructed, I will NOT be watching the NBA this upcoming season.

That is all. Thanks!

 

LeBron Longs For La La Legacy

LeBron James is going to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Re-read that. Let it sink in. Still sounds weird, doesn’t it??

While he could have dragged out his decision, creating another ‘Summer of LeBron’, he wasted little time. NBA’s free agency moratorium period began on July 1st at 12:00 a.m. Just 17 hours later, LeBron informed the world, via Klutch Sports, he would be donning purple and gold next season.

**The moratorium period runs from July 1st through July 6th. This means free agents may discuss, and announce contracts, however can’t officially sign on the dotted line until the end of this period.**

LeBron’s move to one of the most storied franchises in NBA history is not surprising. It’s never a bad idea to join forces with Magic Johnson, while carrying the torch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant have kept lit for over 40 years. His contract, however, is surprising. LeBron James has made the one-year contract cool. This method has allowed LeBron the freedom to skip town the second stuff hits the fan, maximize his earning potential, and keep the ball in his court. How many idioms can I squeeze into one sentence?? The answer, apparently, is three.

LeBron’s contract: 4 years, $154 million (4th year player option)

magic

LeBron is giving Magic the most valuable gift imaginable; time. Having the peace of mind that LeBron won’t be going anywhere for a minimum of three seasons is priceless. Now, Magic can shift, shape, and maneuver accordingly.

Which naturally begs the question: Who ELSE is coming to La La Land??

Everyone and their grandmother assumed Paul George to the Lakers was a done deal. However, he and Russell Westbrook’s party burst that bubble before midnight on Saturday….

paul george

Will the San Antonio Spurs acquiesce to Kawhi Leonard’s demands, and trade him to the Lakers?? I don’t know. They want a King’s ransom, and the Lakers should give it, but just because I say it doesn’t mean it’ll happen.

Will the Lakers sign Demarcus Cousins?? They should. They have a meeting setup with Cousins, so the world will see how far Magic’s smile can carry him.

Final Thought

magic vs bird

The NBA is the big winner here. The league is better, and happier, when the Lakers are good. It’s also beneficial when the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and other big markets are competitive too. Two-out-of-three ain’t bad. There was no better era in basketball than the 1980s: Showtime Lakers vs. Bird’s Celtics. There’s no guarantee this will be that, but if the Lakers bring in another top-10 player this year, and Klay Thompson next year, ya never know.

 

Thoughts. Questions. And concerns. You know where those go….

National League Mid-Season Report

We’ve saved the worst….for last.

Yesterday, we broke down the good half (American League). Today, we’ll get to the half that still (inexplicably) lets pitchers hit (National League)….

National League

Best Team – Arizona Diamondbacks

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This was harder than it looks. Figuring out the best team in the National League is like ranking your favorite diseases. At 47-34, the Diamondbacks have the 2nd best record in the National League (Milwaukee Brewers: 47-33). While the Diamondbacks, and Paul Goldschmidt, had a May to forget (Goldschmidt hit .144 in May, and the team went 8-19), they’ve bounced back to the tune of 19-7 in June.

Robbie Ray is back. Zack Godley is pitching to his abilities (again). And the other Zack (Greinke) is 5-1 since May. While the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are nipping at their heels, expect the Diamondbacks to win their 1st NL West Division Title since 2011.

Biggest Surprise – Milwaukee Brewers

Cardinals Brewers Baseball

I knew the Milwaukee Brewers were a good baseball team. I just didn’t know they’d be THIS good. To have the best record in the National League, with THIS pitching staff, is no small feat. If you can name the entire starting rotation for the Brewers, I’ll make your next car payment. I’m serious. GO ahead. I’ll wait….

Even ‘The Google’ doesn’t know.

The Brewers’ roster is filled with a long list of good players. No superstars. No CY Young Award candidates. Just good, do a little bit of everything, players. Only time will tell if they can hold off the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central Division.

MVP – Freddie Freeman

freddie

Until May 14th (my birthday), A.J. Pollock was running away with the NL MVP Award. And then he got hurt. Now, your guess is as good as mine….

While the aforementioned Paul Goldschmidt has turned his life around, he’s not the MVP. Freddie is. Freddie Freeman is having the best season of his career. He’s on pace for 31 home runs, 111 rbi, and 12 sbs with a .318 batting average.

Oh, and the Atlanta Braves are in 1st place in the NL East (45-34).

CY Young – Max Scherzer

max

As deserving as Jacob deGrom is of a CY Young Award, Max Scherzer is THAT much better than deGrom. If this was the ‘I Feel Really Badly For You Award’, deGrom would be the unanimous victor. However, Max Scherzer is the best pitcher in MLB.

Now, OPEN YOUR EARS AND LISTEN:

Max Scherzer has been the best pitcher in MLB for the past seven years.

Yes, I’m aware Clayton Kershaw has been in MLB for the past seven years as well. But I’m also aware that you can’t win baseball games from the trainer’s room. While Clayton Kershaw’s stuff is unparalleled, Max Scherzer’s durability makes him the best, most consistent pitcher in MLB.

 

Do you think I’m crazy?!?! Explain yourself in the comment section below….

American League Mid-Season Report

“Are we there yet?!”

No, but we’re about half way there….

As MLB teams approach the midway point of the season (no, the All-Star Game is not the midway point of the season), it’s time to get judgmental:

American League

Best Team – Houston Astros

astros

While I wanted to write the Yankees in , they simply aren’t the best team in the American League. When push comes to shove, especially in the postseason, great pitching beats great hitting. While Dallas Keuchel has regressed BIG TIME, he’s still light years better than every other #5 starter on the planet. If, and when, the Yankees acquire a good starting pitcher, they’ll assuredly leap frog the Astros.

Biggest Surprise – Seattle Mariners

mariners

This is the biggest surprise in MLB this season. It’s not even close. The Mariners, despite losing arguably their best player, Robinson Cano (suspension), have the 4th best record in baseball (50-31). If you can name five players on the Mariners, I’ll give you a cookie. Go ahead….

I didn’t think so.

Behind the performances of Nelson Cruz (20 home runs), Dee Gordon (21 steals), Ryon Healy (15 home runs), Edwin Diaz (30 saves), and Mike Leake (8 wins), the Mariners are quietly having one of the more impressive seasons in MLB.

MVP – Mike Trout

mike trout

While there are other worthy candidates for AL MVP (Mookie Betts and JD Martinez), Mike Trout is the best baseball player in the world. He has been for six years. Having played exactly half of the season, Trout is on pace for his most home runs in a season (46), to go along with 26 steals, while hitting .323. The man is not a man at all. He is a machine. An MVP machine.

CY Young – Luis Severino 

severino

Luis Severino is the best pitcher in the American League. I’m aware of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Chris Sale’s accomplishments, but Severino is outperforming them all. With the most pitches of 99 m.p.h. or more in all of baseball, Severino’s stuff is electric. He’s also singlehandedly holding the Yankees’ pitching staff up with one hand, while throwing absolute, unhittable gas with the other.

Check back with DaveTalksSports tomorrow for your National League mid-season report!!

 

 

Bad New York, Bad!!

It was a forgettable weekend in New York.

The New York Mets’ losing ways CONTINUED, and the New York Yankees started a losing streak of their own.

Did one of the Mets’ disappointments sneeze on a Yankee?! 

‘The Amazin’s’

turner

The Mets continue to outdo themselves. I guess if you’re going to lose everyday, it would behoove you to find new and inventive ways to land in the loss column. Sunday afternoon was certainly new. The Mets gave up SEVEN SOLO HOME RUNS!!!! First of all, how is that even possible?? Second of all, how is that even possible?!

When the game started with back-to-back home runs by Enrique Hernandez and Max Muncy (who’s turning into a star by the way), the Metropolitans should have known it was going to be a long afternoon. Solo shots in the 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 11th innings would cap off a heart breaking 8-7 loss.

Check out all seven homers, including former Met, Justin Turner’s, decisive 11th inning blast:

Turner, ironically had the day off Sunday, but was brought off the bench in the 8th inning, only to put his former team out of their misery. The Mets have now lost six games in a row, and 13-of-14 at Citi Field. And to add insult to injury (literally), the Mets’ one bright spot this season, Brandon Nimmo, left the game in the 7th inning with a hand injury. Nimmo will have an MRI Monday on his right pinky finger, and the Mets are optimistic he’ll avoid a stint on the disabled list.

The Yankees Do Their Best Mets Impersonation

yankees swept by rays

ONE MONTH.

It had been exactly one month since the Yankees lost consecutive games — and a series. Apparently, the 22nd and 23rd of the month are bad luck for the Yankees. They also went on to lose Sunday (7-6), marking their 1st three-game losing streak of the season. And to overuse the term adding insult to injury, the Yankees have seemingly lost Gary Sanchez to the disabled list as well. Sanchez strained his groin trying to beat out a double-play in the 10th inning.

Allow me stop Yankee fans from reaching for the panic button — again.

The Yankees are 50-25 on the season. And despite losing three games in a row, they still have the BEST RECORD IN MLB!! They’ll be fine.

Throughout a 162-game MLB season, teams will have offensive droughts. Players will get injured. And teams will doubt their general direction. The Yankees should do no such thing. Outside of (possibly) acquiring a good starting pitcher before the trade deadline, the Yankees should stand pat, and enjoy their winning ways.

Plus, nothing helps a struggling offense more than playing in Citizens Bank Park.

 

Are you a panicking Yankee fan?? Slap yourself in the face, and then explain yourself in the comment section below. 

You can find me on the Radio as well. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’m on live, every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. Each show is also broadcast on Facebook Live via: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.

Since you LOVE my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! NOW GO TELL ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS!!