Sunday, June 19, 2016

2009 ESPY Winners Headed by Olympians

The 2009 ESPY winners were only part of the 2009 ESPY show. The 2009 ESPY winners were already leaked before the 2009 ESPYs, since the show was taped before it aired last night. So the 2009 ESPY winners were no surprise to those who read the lists earlier. Host Samuel L. Jackson claimed that the 2009 ESPY were about the fans, since the fans chose who the 2009 ESPY winners were. Last night, their choices were made official on the broadcast.

The biggest winner of the 2009 ESPYs was the biggest winner from last summer, Michael Phelps. After winning eight gold medals, Phelps settled for just four ESPYs. Phelps ended Tiger Woods’ reign as Best Male Athlete, after Woods had won that ESPY five years in a row.

Of course, Woods made it a little easier by being unable to compete that much in the last year, and not winning a single major. Woods’ quest to take back that ESPY title didn’t get off to a good start with his missed cut at the British Open.

Michael Phelps was also a 2009 ESPY winner in Best Record-Breaking Performance, Best Championship Performance, and Best Male Olympian. But with no Olympics in 2009, Phelps will probably have a harder time repeating at the ESPYs in 2010, making the field a little more open next year.

Another Olympian that won big was Nastia Liukin, who won the Best Female Athlete ESPY for her gymnastics gold medal. The Olympics also triumphed in the Best Moment ESPY, for the shocking relay comeback early in the games that kept Phelps’ record-setting quest alive.

Some sports other than the Olympics made an impact on the 2009 ESPY winners list as well. The Los Angeles Lakers got named Best Team after winning their latest NBA championship, while the Pittsburgh-Arizona Super Bowl was named Best Game.

For Best Upset, the very late entry of the U.S. soccer team’s upset of Spain in the Confederations Cup won the prize. Albert Pujols, LeBron James, Larry Fitzgerald and Sidney Crosby won the best individual ESPY awards for their sport.

The 2009 ESPY winners were mostly just secondary to the show, and to gather all the biggest names in sports together. In that regard, the ESPYs are just the same as many other award shows, a feat they have achieved in just 17 years of existence.

The big difference is that the fans still get to vote for all the ESPY winners online, though not all of them may agree on the victors. But in all of the actual sports – except the BCS – the winners are still decided on the field.

Sources

Daily Contributor- “ESPY Awards 2009 Results: Phelps and Liukin named Best Athletes of the Year” http://ift.tt/1OxRnt6

Sports Examiner- “2009 ESPY Awards, winners and losers” http://ift.tt/1UJgjdG

Bitten and Bound- “ESPY Awards 2009 Red Carpet and Winners List” http://ift.tt/1OxRkxB

Tags:2009 ESPY Winners Headed by Olympians

2009 Double Rainbow Around the Moon in Nelson County Virginia

It is Monday, March 9th, 2009, and it is 8:07 pm in Nelson County, Virginia, and as I look behind my house (looking east), I see a spectacular sight. I received a phone call just moments before, alerting me to the occasion, but I didn’t expect to see anything spectacular. There, before me, was a rainbow around the moon. Now that is a pretty rare occurrence, but as my eyes became better adjusted to the darkness I saw that it was something I have never seen before – a lunar double rainbow! I am so happy to have gotten that phone call.

Now a solar double rainbow is a treat in itself. Never seen one? Click here to see a photograph of one. Granted, the solar double rainbow is more beautiful than the lunar counterpart, but the lunar double rainbow is truly a magnificent spectacle and is much more mysterious. There are very few examples online of lunar double rainbows, but here is one.

Unfortunately, I did not have the equipment to take a photograph of the one I looked at. This is particularly unfortunate, as it is much more spectacular than the one I provide reference for above. The Nelson lunar double rainbow has a more intense second color band.

So what causes a rainbow? Well, it involves optics – in particular – refraction (the bending of light). It also involves moisture, which can be in a variety of forms. In addition to solar and lunar rainbows, there are rainbows appearing in mists such as from a waterfalls and rainbows generated by spray from waves. There are even rainbows generated by Geysers.

In the case of a double rainbow, the inner rainbow is called the primary rainbow. The rainbow has colors appearing in the order of the mnemonic, “Roy G. Biv” – that is, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. When there is a secondary rainbow, the colors are in reverse order. Thus in the middle of the double rainbow, the two red bands are nearest each other.

Triple and higher-order rainbows are possible, though as expected, they would be increasingly rare. Here is an image of a triple over Inverness, Scotland.

Lastly, here is a quadruple rainbow movie on YouTube. Solar, of course. It was taken in the year 2000 in Connecticut.

Tags:2009 Double Rainbow Around the Moon in Nelson County Virginia

2009 Fantasy Baseball Busts

One of the hardest aspects of fantasy baseball is being able to predict a player’s bust potential. How many times have we seen the player have an All Star season only to disappear of the radar in the following seasons? Too many to count.

How does a fantasy baseball owner protect themselves from making bad decisions? One of the best ways is to take a look at the past two years in a player’s history. By doing so, you will have a better gauge of whether their performance is a fluke and they will be come a fantasy baseball bust or if they have become a legitimate big name player.

The following is a list of the top fantasy baseball busts at each of the positions.

First base – Carlos Delgado (New York Mets)

During the 2008 season, Delgado started the season as an apparent fantasy baseball bust when he was hitting .231 during the first 3 months with 14 homeruns. Delgado caught on fire in the second half and ended the season with a .271 batting average while scoring 96 runs, 115 RBI’s, 38 homeruns, and 1 stolen base.

Despite his success, there is cause for concern for Delgado, especially since with the age factor of 36 years old. If you want a glimpse of what to expect from Delgado during the 2009 season, take a look at what he produced in 2007. Delgado managed a .258 batting average with 71 runs, 87 RBI’s, 24 homeruns and 4 stolen bases. If you are still sold on Delgado, make sure he is not selected until the top ten first basemen are off the board, which should probably be around the ninth or tenth rounds.

Second base – Robinson Cano (New York Yankees)

Countless New York Yankees had disappointing seasons in 2008 and one of them was their up and coming second baseman, Robinson Cano. The 26 year old Cano had a disappointing April that he seemed never to bounce back from and was labeled a fantasy baseball bust. He ended the season with a .271 batting average, 70 runs, 72 RBI’s, 14 homeruns and 2 stolen bases. These numbers were a major departure from 2007 where Cano hit .306 while scoring 93 runs, 97 RBI’s, 19 homeruns, and 4 stolen bases. Part of his problem is Cano is a streaky hitter and as he showed in 2008, there are times where he slumps for months.

There are some who are high on Cano in 2009 because of the addition of Texeria to the Yankee lineup. Despite the added help, Cano is going to continue to have an awful April and will find it hard to bounce back and have a productive season. There are going to be fantasy owners who buy into the hype and waste a selection on Cano only to be disappointed when he becomes a fantasy baseball bust again in 2009.

Shortstop – Mike Young (Texas Rangers)

One of the most consistent shortstops in the past few years, Young has quietly put together a quality career playing for the Texas Rangers. Despite rebounding slightly from a disappointing 2007 season, Young’s numbers were considerably less than those he produced in 2005, when he had a .330 batting average with 114 runs, 91 RBI’s, 24 homeruns, and 5 stolen bases.

By the time the 2008 season was over, Young scarped together a .283 batting average with 102 runs, 82 RBI’s, 12 homeruns, and 10 stolen bases. These were not awful numbers, though Young did continue to decline in three of the five statistical categories. The biggest concern for Young was his batting average which was below his .300 career average for the first time since 2002. Though he is only 32 years of age, Young has already topped out when it comes to his talent at the plate and we can only expect his numbers to dwindle. Young is best served as a stop gap shortstop rather than the number one shortstop on your fantasy baseball team. Leave this potential fantasy baseball bust for those owners who are drafting based on past seasons.

Third base – Mark Reynolds (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Though the Arizona Diamondbacks took a step back from their successful 2007 season, third basemen, Reynolds saw mixed success at the plate in 2008 when he scored 87 runs, drove in 97 RBI’s, with 28 homeruns and 11 stolen bases. All of these numbers were improvements on his 2007 campaign; Reynolds had a .278 batting average with 62 runs, 62 RBI’s and 17 homeruns. The only area where he decreased in 2008 was his batting average which dropped to a paltry .239.

The majority of the reason for the decline was Reynolds being able to set a new major league record when he struck out a total of 204 times during the season. This went along with a major league leading 35 errors in the field. Though Reynolds has power potential at the plate, he has grown to become a real liability on the field.

This could lead to the 25 year old Reynolds being a fantasy baseball bust in 2009 because if he falters with his glove, the Diamondbacks may pull the plug and let a veteran like Chad Tracy take over the corner position.

Outfielder – Milton Bradley (Chicago Cubs)

Bradley has been one of those players who have never been able to live up to his potential while he bounced around to teams like the Indians or Dodgers. Things began to change for him in 2008 when he was able to play in 414 games, the second highest total of his injury plagued career. He ended the season with a .321 batting average to go with 78 runs, 77 RBI’s, 22 homeruns, and 5 stolen bases. Bradley used this success to find his way into the friendly confines of Wrigley field.

Do not follow the Cubs footsteps and select Bradley too early in your draft, especially if you plan on making him one of your top three outfielders. To have a better idea of what you should expect from Bradley, take a look back at 2006 when he had a .276 average to go with 53 runs, 52 RBI’s, 14 homeruns, and 10 stolen bases.

Bradley is going to be under pressure in Chicago, especially if he finds himself on the 15 day disabled list. Even worse, he will not have the ability to hit behind Josh Hamilton. Despite the chance for an upside, Bradley is too big of an injury risk that makes the label, fantasy baseball bust, a certainty before the season is over. Wait on selecting Bradley until the final few rounds of the draft as your fourth outfielder.

Starting Pitcher – Carlos Zambrano (Chicago Cubs)

At the end of the 2007, Zambrano was on the rise after he compiled an 18 – 13 record with a 3.95 ERA in 2.16.1 innings and 177 strikeouts. As a result, numerous fantasy baseball owners selected Zambrano to be the ace of their pitching staff in 2008. The only problem is Zambrano did not pitch like a number one pitcher. He finished with a 14 – 6 record with a 3.91 ERA in 188.2 inning and a disappointing 130 strikeouts.

Despite the lackluster season, there are those who feel Zambrano is going to bounce back in 2009 as he helps carry the Cubs into the playoffs. Before you jump on the bandwagon, here is what Zambrano produced in the second half of 2008; a 4 – 3 record with a 5.40 ERA. Let’s not forget how poorly he pitched in the postseason against the Dodgers. Zambrano’s numbers have slowly begun to decline since 2006, so expect more of the same this upcoming season for this fantasy baseball bust. If you make sure to draft Zambrano as the third pitcher on your team, you will be able to find moderate success.

Relief Pitcher – Brian Wilson (San Francisco Giants)

With so many questions at the relief pitcher position, selecting the fantasy baseball bust 2009 was a bigger challenge than expected. But in the end, the nod was given to Brian Wilson of the Giants. In 2008, Wilson had a breakout season and was able to save 41 of the 47 games while pitching in 62.1 innings with a 4.64 ERA, 67 strikeouts, and 62 hits allowed. Despite the high save total, there are numerous questions for Wilson.

One of the biggest indicators of his bust potential was the dreadful 6.24 ERA he posted while pitching at home. Another concern for Wilson was the 28 walks he issued during the 2008 season. Many owners will start to drool at the thought of selecting the NL closer whose save total was ranked second in the league. There are going to be better reliever options in 2009 and you would be best served to leave this fantasy baseball bust until the final rounds.

Statistics Courtesy of CBSSportsline.com

Tags:2009 Fantasy Baseball Busts

2009 Elite Eight Out to Improve on Sweet 16

The 2009 Elite Eight is filled to the brim with the top teams in college basketball. So hopefully, its not too much to ask for the 2009 Elite Eight to deliver some good games. The Sweet 16 should have done that, but it only further dragged down the 2009 NCAA Tournament. With only two actual compelling games that went down to the wire, the Sweet 16 was largely decided early. But now that the 2009 Elite Eight is here, things will hopefully improve in time for the NCAA Tournament.

The common complaint of the NCAA Tournament this year is that too many of the favorites have won. But logically, if all the favorites win, that should mean the final rounds would be compelling, thrilling and exciting, considering the powerful teams getting matched up. The Elite Eight needs to start proving that theory correct tonight.

Connecticut has not been in the business of providing drama in the NCAA Tournament, except off the court. The Yahoo Sports report about recruiting violations is the only thing to slow down the Huskies, rather than their actual competition. Connecticut rolls into the Elite Eight against Missouri, hoping that will not change.

Connecticut seems to reach the Final Four from the West every five years. The only thing left to stand in their way in the Elite Eight is Missouri, whose run-and-gun, high scoring style has finally caught notice in the NCAA Tournament. The clash of the Huskies physical power and the Tigers speed will hopefully not be a mismatch.

Almost shockingly, the 2009 Elite Eight only has one game between two teams from the Big East. That game is the East Regional final tonight, in which struggling top seed Pittsburgh takes on red-hot third seed Villanova.

The Big East could very well get three teams in the Final Four for the first time since the Wildcats last trip in 1985. The Wildcats’ destruction of Duke and UCLA is making people start to believe in them, while Pittsburgh is out to silence a brand new crop of doubters.

The 2009 Elite Eight ends tomorrow, with the two match ups set last night. Louisville utterly throttles Arizona in the Sweet 16, and will face Michigan State, which rallied back against Kansas.

The final piece of the Final Four will be filled by either North Carolina or Oklahoma. Blake Griffin and the Sooners have silenced late-season critics, while the Tar Heels have rolled on as expected. Will Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson finally deliver on their national title promise, or is Griffin just too dominant?

With four number 1 seeds, two number 2 seeds, and two hot number 3 seeds left, the 2009 Elite Eight would look to be an impressive gathering. For the sake of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, the Elite Eight must deliver on that promise.

Sources

Bleacher Report- “NCAA Tournament 2009: Saturday’s Elite Eight Predictions” http://ift.tt/1OxRKE7

Yahoo Sports- “Probe: UConn violated NCAA rules” http://ift.tt/1UJecXw

Tags:2009 Elite Eight Out to Improve on Sweet 16

2009 Dancing with the Stars Win Goes to Shawn Johnson

The 2009 Dancing with the Stars finale crowned a new Dancing with the Stars champion after months, and two more hours, of waiting. The 2009 edition of Dancing with the Stars had the usual escapades of dancing, hype, some off-set controversy, and C-list celebrities making a new name for themselves. But to close Dancing with the Stars 2009, young Shawn Johnson went from Olympic gold to Dancing with the Stars champion, defeating two more heavily favored pairs on the final night.

The 2009 version of Dancing with the Stars ended with Shawn Johnson, Gilles Marini and Melissa Rycroft as the three celebrity finalists. Like so many other reality competitions, the 2009 finale of Dancing with the Stars had to pad out a final announcement that would take one minute, into two hours.

After one final dancing performance, singing by Lady GaGa, and comedy from Jeffery Ross, Johnson, Marini and Rycroft finally found out their fate. To determine the Dancing with the Stars winner, the judges’ scores and audience voting combined for only a less than 1% margin of victory for Shawn Johnson, according to Tom Bergeron.

Marini placed second by that slim margin, while Rycroft, considered a favorite, was in third. Shawn Johnson not only became the youngest Dancing with the Stars winner at 17, but the third former Olympian to do it, along with Apolo Ohno and Kristy Yamaguchi.

Sporting stars tend to be a very successful demographic on Dancing with the Stars, considering the success of football legends Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith and Warren Sapp on the show. Shawn Johnson wasn’t considered a favorite at first, however, and had to rise through the ranks week after week to get this far.

Johnson was also the center of a scare in the middle of the season, when a fan of hers tried to break into the ABC lot to find her. That incident, Lil’ Kim’s near wardrobe malfunction, and David Alan Grier’s remarks after being eliminated made up the highlights and lowlights of Dancing with the Stars 2009 before last night.

The eighth season of Dancing with the Stars is now complete, with the usual high ratings and big buzz for ABC. Plus, Dancing with the Stars 2009 had the courtesy to finish last night, so that American Idol doesn’t have any real competition for its own gigantic, bloated ending tonight.

Sources

Hartford Courant- “After Gold, Shawn Johnson Wins ‘Dancing’ Trophy Too” http://ift.tt/1UJfDoN

Hollywood Hookup- “Shawn Johnson is Dancing with the Star Winner 2009” http://ift.tt/1OxRmWd

The Celebrity Café- “Shawn Johnson Wins Dancing with the Stars” http://ift.tt/1UJfd1J

Tags:2009 Dancing with the Stars Win Goes to Shawn Johnson

2009 Florida Gator Football Schedule

As the 2008 SEC Champions and 2008 National Champions, the Florida Gators are preparing for their 2009 season that will be led by head coach Urban Meyer.

Urban Meyer has been the head coach for the Florida Gators since December of 2004 and the main goal for him was to bring the Florida Gators back to being recognized as a strong team to beat. The 2009 Florida Gator football season will be their chance to show if the still have the talent they had in the 2008 season.

The Florida Gators play their home games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, also known as “The Swamp”. The stadium has received major renovations since it was built in 1930 making it a fierce facility for competitors to enter. The average attendance for a Florida Gators home game is around 90,000. “The Swamp” is rated as the largest stadium in the state of Florida. Florida has a home record of 106 wins and only 13 losses since 1990, the best in the country.

The 2009 Florida Gator Football Schedule is as follows:

Saturday, September 5th Florida will play Charleston Southern in Gainesville, Florida

Saturday, September 12th Florida will play Troy in Gainesville, Florida

Saturday, September 19th Florida will play Tennessee in Gainesville, Florida

Saturday, September 26th Florida will play Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky

Saturday, October 10th Florida will play LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Saturday, October 17th Florida will play Arkansas in Gainesville, Florida

Saturday, October 24th Florida will play Mississippi State in Starkville, Mississippi

Saturday, October 31st Florida will play Georgia in Jacksonville, Florida

Saturday, November 7th Florida will play Vanderbilt in Gainesville, Florida

Saturday, November 14th Florida will play South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina

Saturday, November 21st Florida will play Florida International in Gainesville, Florida

Saturday, November 28th Florida will play Florida State in Gainesville, Florida

Florida’s Homecoming will be held on October 17th against Arkansas.

If you plan to visit “The Swamp” during the Florida Gator 2009 season be sure to follow all policies. No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the stadium and smoking is prohibited inside the stadium. If you violate these policies you will be ejected from the stadium. Fans are not allowed to leave and re-enter the stadium once the ticket has been torn. Chairbacks larger than a single person are prohibited as well. The gates to the stadium open 90 minutes prior to game time and it is recommended that you arrive early.

Tags:2009 Florida Gator Football Schedule

2009 Fashion Trends: Dresses for Spring

Before we know it spring will be here. It’s time for women to start preparing their spring wardrobe with the hottest dresses for spring 2009 including silk tunics and maxi style dresses. This article will detail five cute dresses fitting the spring fashion trend.

Edie silk blend tunic by Diane von Furstenberg

If you’re looking for a cute spring dress with a wonderful blend of colors, consider the designs of Diane von Furstenberg. She has a few dresses available for spring that you’ll want to wear to a party or beachside wedding. You’ll appreciate the Edie silk blend tunic which is priced at $300. You can find the print in a pink, white and yellow camouflage pattern and a blue, black and white camouflage pattern. You’ll always feel like you’re on vacation with this dress on. To purchase, visit www.net-a-porter.com.

Brazil Maxi Dress by Austin Jade

For a fun and flirty look for spring Austin Jade has a spring collection sure to please. The 19-year-old designer has one dress in particular, the Brazil Maxi Dress, that you’ll find comfortable and stylish. The silk chiffon dress with silk lining comes in a blue shade you’ll love to wear to the mall or on a date. You can find Austin Jade dresses at boutiques through the country. For a listing or to purchase directly, visit www.austinjade.com.

Free People ‘Lotus Pond’ Dress

If you’re in great shape comes spring and want to show it off, you’ll want to pick up the Free People ‘Lotus Pond’ Dress for your spring dress collection. The dress has a variety of blue shades that are subtle, yet enough to draw attention. The dress also features a front neckline with a knit bodice and a racerback. The bottom of this woven dress has a fun floral pattern that will draw you attention to its flirt flair. You can wear this light and breezy dress around the house, to the beach or a gathering with friends. This dress is $128 and available at www.nordstrom.com.

Hessnatur’s 100% Silk Georgette Tunic

This tunic dress is sure to be one of the spring fashion trends with its 100 percent silk material. This dress was first introduced during the New York Fashion Week show which takes place each September. And it’s proving to be a piece you’ll want to add to your wardrobe for the spring because of its butterfly-like quality. There is also a longer version of this dress for more formal events or the more modest. Consider purchasing either the tunic or the longer dress because of its environmental friendliness. Each is made from organic silk of high quality. Those living in the United States the dress can be purchased from the Hessnatur catalog. To request a catalog, visit www.hessnatur.com .

Taylor V-Neck Empire-Waist Corkscrew Chiffon Dress

You’ll turn heads if you choose the Taylor V-Neck Empire-Waist Corkscrew Chiffon dress for a party or a night out on the town. This flirty dress is for the bold looking for attention. The pink hue, empire waist and layers of sheer chiffon twirls down to the hemline will create a sense of movement. The cost is $158. You can purchase this dress from www.macys.com.

Tags:2009 Fashion Trends: Dresses for Spring

2009 Grammy Winners List and a Review of the Awards Ceremony

There were a lot of memorable moments as well as forgettable ones during the 2009 Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Sunday, Feb. 8th marked the 51st Grammy Awards. (Complete list of 2009 Grammy winners follows below.)

Some of the night’s highlights included Whitney Houston, who made an appearance presenting the award for Best R &B Album to Jennifer Hudson for her self-titled album. Hudson, who lost her mother, brother and nephew to murder in October, kept her emotional acceptance speech short and sweet thanking her family in “heaven and those who are here…” She later gave an emotional performance with “You Pulled Me Through.”

Another Grammy highlight was a performance by the Jonas Brothers who performed with Stevie Wonder and Miley Cyrus who gave an awful performance as she sung with Taylor Swift on her song “Fifteen,” off her album Fearless.

One notable missing Grammy nominee was R &B singer, Chris Brown, who is being investigated for alleged felony assault on a woman. He was scheduled to perform that night. His girlfriend, singer Rihanna, who was also scheduled to performed, also skipped the event. Brown’s performance was replaced by Al Green’s classic hit “Let’s Stay Together” sung by Green, Justin Timberlake, Boyz II Men and Keith Urban.

As far as fashion, pregnant rapper M.I.A. gets the ugliest dress award for arriving in a blue and green ruffled dress with a psychedelic pattern. She also gets a thumbs down for her black and white polka dot outfit as she performed on stage with Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West and T.I. in “Swagga Like Us.” M.I.A. is due to have her baby any day now and showed bravery performing on her due date.

Highlighted wins were: Alicia Keys, who won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Superwoman”; Carrie Underwood, who won Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Last Name” and Coldplay who won Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for “Viva la Vida.”

The complete list of 2009 Grammy winners are as follows:

Souce: www.mtv.com

Album of the Year

Winner: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Raising Sand

· Coldplay – Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends

· Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III

· Ne-Yo – Year of the Gentleman

· Radiohead – In Rainbows

Record of the Year

Winner: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – “Please Read the Letter”

· Adele – “Chasing Pavements”

· Coldplay – “Viva la Vida”

· Leona Lewis – “Bleeding Love”

· M.I.A. – “Paper Planes”

Song of the Year

Winner: Coldplay – “Viva la Vida”

· Estelle (featuring Kanye West) – “American Boy”

· Adele – “Chasing Pavements”

· Jason Mraz – “I’m Yours”

· Sara Bareilles – “Love Song”


Best New Artist

Winner: Adele

· Duffy

· Jonas Brothers

· Lady Antebellum

· Jazmine Sullivan

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Winner: Adele – “Chasing Pavements”

· Sara Bareilles – “Love Song”

· Duffy – “Mercy”

· Leona Lewis – “Bleeding Love”

· Katy Perry – “I Kissed a Girl”

· Pink – “So What”

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

Winner: John Mayer – “Say”

· Kid Rock – “All Summer Long”

· Paul McCartney – “That Was Me”

· Jason Mraz – “I’m Yours”

· Ne-Yo – “Closer”

· James Taylor – “Wichita Lineman”

Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

Winner:Coldplay – “Viva la Vida”

· The Eagles – “Waiting in the Weeds”

· Gnarls Barkley – “Going On”

· Maroon 5 – “Won’t Go Home Without You”

· OneRepublic – “Apologize”

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals

Winner:Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – “Rich Woman”

· Alicia Keys & John Mayer – “Lesson Learned”

· Madonna, Justin Timberlake & Timbaland – “4 Minutes”

· Rihanna & Maroon 5 – “If I Never See Your Face Again”

· Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown – “No Air”

Best Dance Recording

Winner:“Harder Better Faster Stronger”

Daft Punk

Thomas Bangalter & Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo, producers; Thomas Bangalter & Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo, mixers

Track from: Alive 2007

· “Ready for the Floor”

Hot Chip

Hot Chip, producers; Dan Carey, mixer

Track from: Made In The Dark

· “Just Dance”

Lady Gaga & Colby O’Donis

RedOne, producer; Robert Orton, mixer

Track from: The Fame

· “Give It 2 Me”

Madonna

Madonna & The Neptunes, producers; Andrew Coleman & Spike Stent, mixers

Track from: Hard Candy

· “Disturbia”

Rihanna

Brian Kennedy, producer; Phil Tan, mixer

Track from: Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded

Best Electronic/Dance Album

Winner:Alive 2007

Daft Punk

·New York City

Brazilian Girls

·Bring Ya to the Brink

Cyndi Lauper

·X

Kylie Minogue

·Last Night

Moby

·Robyn

Robyn

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance

Winner:“Gravity”

John Mayer

Track from: Where The Light Is — Live In Los Angeles

· “I Saw Her Standing There”

Paul McCartney

Track from: Amoeba’s Secret

· “Girls In Their Summer Clothes”

Bruce Springsteen

Track from: Magic

· “Rise”

Eddie Vedder

Track from: Into the Wild

· “No Hidden Path”

Neil Young

Track from: Chrome Dreams II

Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

Winner:Kings Of Leon – “Sex on Fire”

· AC/DC – “Rock N Roll Train”

· Coldplay – “Violet Hill”

· Eagles – “Long Road Out of Eden”

· Radiohead – “House of Cards”


Best Hard Rock Performance

Winner:The Mars Volta – “Wax Simulacra”

· Disturbed – “Inside the Fire”

· Judas Priest – “Visions”

· Mötley Crüe – “Saints of Los Angeles”

· Rob Zombie – “Lords of Salem”

Best Metal Performance

Winner:“My Apocalypse”

Metallica

Track from: Death Magnetic

· “Heroes of Our Time”

DragonForce

Track from: Ultra Beatdown

· “Nostradamus”

Judas Priest

Track from: Nostradamus

· “Under My Thumb”

Ministry

Track from: Cover Up

· “Psychosocial”

Slipknot

Track from: All Hope Is Gone

Best Rock Song

Winner:“Girls In Their Summer Clothes”

Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen)

Track from: Magic

· “House of Cards”

Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood, Ed O’Brien, Philip Selway & Thom Yorke, songwriters (Radiohead)

Track from: In Rainbows

· “I Will Possess Your Heart”

Benjamin Gibbard, Nicholas Harmer, Jason McGerr & Christopher Walla, songwriters (Death Cab For Cutie)

Track from: Narrow Stairs

· “Sex on Fire”

Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings Of Leon)

Track from: Only by the Night

· “Violet Hill”

Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin, songwriters (Coldplay)

Track from: Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends

Best Rock Album

Winner:Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends

Coldplay

·Rock N Roll Jesus

Kid Rock

·Only by the Night

Kings Of Leon

·Death Magnetic

Metallica

·Consolers of the Lonely

The Raconteurs

Best Alternative Music Album

Winner:In Rainbows

Radiohead

·Modern Guilt

Beck

·Narrow Stairs

Death Cab For Cutie

·The Odd Couple

Gnarls Barkley

·Evil Urges

My Morning Jacket

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

Winner:“Superwoman”

Alicia Keys

Track from: As I Am

· “Me, Myself and I”

Beyoncé

Track from: The Beyoncé Experience Live Audio

· “Heaven Sent”

Keyshia Cole

Track from: Just Like You

· “Spotlight”

Jennifer Hudson

Track from: Jennifer Hudson

· “Need U Bad”

Jazmine Sullivan

Track from: Fearless

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance

Winner: “Miss Independent”

Ne-Yo

Track from: Year of the Gentleman

· “You’re the Only One”

Eric Benét

Track from: Love & Life

· Take You Down”

Chris Brown

Track from: Exclusive

· “Can’t Help But Wait”

Trey Songz

Track from: Trey Day

· “Here I Stand”

Usher

Track from: Here I Stand


Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

Winner:“Stay With Me (By the Sea)”

Al Green (featuring John Legend)

Track from: Lay It Down

· “Ribbon in the Sky”

Boyz II Men

Track from: A Journey Through Hitsville USA

· “Words”

Anthony David (featuring India.Arie)

Track from: Acey Duecy

· “I’m His Only Woman”

Jennifer Hudson (featuring Fantasia)

Track from: Jennifer Hudson

· “Never Give You Up”

Raphael Saadiq (featuring Stevie Wonder & CJ Hilton)

Track from: The Way I See It


Best Urban/Alternative Performance

Winner: “Be OK”

Chrisette Michele (featuring will.i.am)

Track from: I Am

· “Say Goodbye To Love”

Kenna

Track from: Make Sure They See My Face

· “That’s the Way of the World”

Dwele

Track from: Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire

· “Wanna Be”

Maiysha

Track from: This Much Is True

· “Many Moons”

Janelle Monae

Track from: Metropolis: The Chase Suite (Special Edition)

· “Lovin’ You (Music)”

Wayna (featuring Kokayi)

Track from: Higher Ground

Best R&B Song

Winner:“Miss Independent”

Mikkel S. Eriksen, T.E. Hermansen & S. Smith, songwriters (Ne-Yo)

Track from: Year of the Gentleman

· “Bust Your Windows”

Salaam Remi & Jazmine Sullivan, songwriters (Deandre Way, Jazmine Sullivan)

Track from: Fearless

· “Customer”

I. Barias, Raheem DeVaughn, C. Haggins, K. Oliver & Johnnie Smith, songwriters (Raheem DeVaughn)

Track from: Love Behind The Melody

· “Heaven Sent”

Keyshia Cole, Jason Farmer & Alex Francis, songwriters (Keyshia Cole)

Track from: Just Like You

· “Spotlight”

Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen & Shaffer Smith, songwriters (Jennifer Hudson)

Track from: Jennifer Hudson

Best R&B Album

Winner:Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson

·Love & Life

Eric Benét

·Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA

Boyz II Men

·Lay It Down

Al Green

·The Way I See It

Raphael Saadiq

Best Contemporary R&B Album

Winner:Growing Pains

Mary J. Blige

·Back Of My Lac’

J. Holiday

·First Love

Karina

·Year of the Gentleman

Ne-Yo

·Fearless

Jazmine Sullivan

Best Rap Solo Performance

Winner:“A Milli”

Lil Wayne

Track from: Tha Carter III

· “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)…”

Jay-Z

Track from: American Gangster

· “Paris, Tokyo”

Lupe Fiasco

Track from: The Cool

· “N.i.*.*.e.r. (The Slave and the Master)”

Nas

Track from: Untitled

· “Sexual Eruption”

Snoop Dogg

Track from: Ego Trippin’

Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group

Winner:“Swagga Like Us”

Jay-z & T.I. (Kanye West & Lil Wayne)

· “Royal Flush”

Big Boi (featuring Raekwon And Andre 3000)

· “Mr. Carter”

Lil Wayne (featuring Jay-Z)

· “Wish You Would”

Ludacris (featuring T.I.)

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

Winner: “American Boy”

Estelle (featuring Kanye West)

Track from: Shine

· “Low”

Flo Rida (featuring T-Pain)

Track from: Mail On Sunday

· “Green Light”

John Legend (featuring Andre 3000)

Track from: Evolver

· “Got Money”

Lil Wayne (featuring T-Pain)

Track from: Tha Carter III

· “Superstar”

Lupe Fiasco (featuring Matthew Santos)

Track from: The Cool

Best Rap Song

Winner: “Lollipop”

D. Carter, S. Garrett, D. Harrison, J. Scheffer & R. Zamor, songwriters (Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major)

Track from: Tha Carter III

· “Low”

Tramar Dillard, M. Humphrey, Faheem Najm, Korey Roberson & Howard Simmons, songwriters (Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain)

Track from: Mail On Sunday

· “Sexual Eruption”

Calvin Broadus, S. Lovejoy & D. Stewart, songwriters (Snoop Dogg)

Track from: Ego Trippin’

· “Superstar”

Lupe Fiasco & Soundtrakk, songwriters (Lupe Fiasco Featuring Matthew Santos)

Track from: The Cool

· “Swagga Like Us”

Jeff Bhaskev, D. Carter, S. Carter, Clifford Harris, Plain Pat & Kanye West, songwriters (M. Arulpragasam, N. Headon, M. Jones, J. Mellor, T. Pentz & P. Simonon, songwriters) (Jay-Z & T.I. Featuring Kanye West & Lil Wayne)

Track from: Paper Trail

Best Rap Album

Winner:Tha Carter III

Lil Wayne

·American Gangster

Jay-Z

·The Cool

Lupe Fiasco

·Untitled

Nas

·Paper Trail

T.I.

Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media

Winner:“Down To Earth” (From “Wall-E”)

Peter Gabriel & Thomas Newman, songwriters (Peter Gabriel)

· “Ever Ever After” (from “Enchanted”)

Alan Menken & Stephen Schwartz, songwriters (Carrie Underwood)

· “Say” (from “The Bucket List”)

John Mayer, songwriter (John Mayer)

· “That’s How You Know” (From “Enchanted”)

Alan Menken & Stephen Schwartz, songwriters (Amy Adams)

· “Walk Hard” (From “Walk Hard — The Dewey Cox Story”)

Judd Apatow, Marshall Crenshaw, Jake Kasdan & John C. Reilly, songwriters (John C. Reilly)

Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media

Winner: Juno

(Various Artists)

·American Gangster

(Various Artists)

·August Rush

(Various Artists)

·Mamma Mia!

Meryl Streep (& Various Artists)

·Sweeney Todd — The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street

(Various Artists)

Best Score Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media

Winner: “The Dark Knight”

James Newton Howard & Hans Zimmer, composers

· “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”

John Williams, composer

· “Iron Man”

Ramin Djawadi, composer

· “There Will Be Blood”

Jonny Greenwood, composer

· “Wall-E”

Thomas Newman, composer

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical

Winner: Rick Rubin

·Death Magnetic (Metallica)

·Home Before Dark (Neil Diamond)

·Mercy (Dancing For The Death Of An Imaginary Enemy)

·Seeing Things (Jakob Dylan)

·Weezer (Red Album (Weezer)

Danger Mouse

·Attack & Release (The Black Keys)

·Modern Guilt (Beck)

·The Odd Couple (Gnarls Barkley)

Nigel Godrich

·In Rainbows (Radiohead)

Johnny K

·Big Bad World (The Black Keys)

·The Illusion Of Progress (Beck)

·Light From Above (Black Tide)

·3 Doors Down (3 Doors Down)

will.i.am

· “American Boy” (Estelle featuring Kanye West))

· “Encanto” (Sergio Mendes)

· “Funky Bahia” (Sergio Mendes featuring will.i.am & Siedah Garrett)

· “In The Ayer” (Flo Rida featuring will.i.am)

· “Pick It Up” (Fergie)

· “Picture Perfect” (Chris Brown featuring will.i.am)

· “What’s Your Name” (Usher featuring will.i.am)

Best Short Form Music Video

Winner: “Pork and Beans”

Weezer

Mathew Cullen, video director; Bernard Rahill, video producer

· “Honey”

Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu & Mr. Roboto, video directors; Megan Gutman, video producer

· “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul”

Gnarls Barkley

Chris Milk, video director; Anne Johnson, video producer

· “Another Way To Die”

Alicia Keys & Jack White

PR Brown & MK12, video directors; Dexton Deboree, Lance Ebeling, Mick Ebeling, Sheira Rees-Davies & Jane Tredget, video producers

· “House of Cards”

Radiohead

James Frost, video director; Dawn Fanning, video producer

Tags:2009 Grammy Winners List and a Review of the Awards Ceremony

2009 FedEx BCS National Championship Game Predictions

Miami, Florida, is the site of two BCS college bowl games this year, but most avid fans will argue that there is only one game of importance and interest: The Oklahoma Sooners will square off against the Florida Gators in the FedEx BCS National Championship Game. This game will provide sixty minutes of non-stop offense and average defense from both teams.

The key match up that fans and analysts will be discussing is between the quarterbacks. This match up features the Heisman Trophy winners of the past two years, Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow.

On paper Sam Bradford has more impressive statistics than Tim Tebow. However, Tebow exemplifies all that is great about college football. He is a tremendous quarterback on and off the field. He is also a man of faith and when he is not schooling the opposing team on the football field, he is schooling inmates in prisons and foreign countries about the value of having faith in a higher power. He will probably be a starter in the NFL, but he will also end his college football career a champion regardless of this game’s outcome. During the 2008 season, Tim Tebow completed 174 out of 268 pass attempts for a 64.9 completion percentage. He threw for 2,515 yards and threw 28 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He not only throws the ball with great accuracy, he is agile in the pocket, not afraid to run, and willing to take on opposing linebackers. He ran for 564 yards and rushed for twelve touchdowns. When I think of Tim Tebow, I think of a passionate leader of a team who makes everyone around him better. This football game will be a close one going into the fourth quarter and he will lead this team to victory late in the fourth quarter.

Despite my personal liking of Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford is also a great quarterback. He has very few critics as his stats are very impressive. Bradford completed 302 passes out of 442 pass attempts for a 68.3 completion percentage. He threw for 4,464 yards and threw 48 touchdowns with six interceptions. Oklahoma players are very quick and talented, but they lack the recent experience of big games. Bradford is more of a pocket passer, and look for the defensive lineman to get to him early and ruin his confidence.

As with any team, the quarterback alone cannot bring a victory. Championship teams need strong running backs and talented receivers. Oklahoma has much better running backs than Florida. Chris Brown and Demarco Murray rushed for over 1,000 yards each for the Sooners. The pair of backs rushed for 34 touchdowns combined. Mossis Madu is very good on third downs and short yardage situations. Chris Brown knows how to find the smallest of holes and once he gets through the hole, he can accelerate and avoid tacklers. Look for both of the star running backs to each get ten to fifteen carries.

Although the Florida running backs are good, the Florida offense is all centered around Tebow. Percy Harvin is the feature back in the Florida offense. His health has been questionable in the last few games. If he is completely healthy by game time, look for him to have about 15 carries for eighty yards and one touchdown. Chris Rainey and Jeffery Demps also had solid seasons for the Gator backfield. They are not as explosive and powerful as the Oklahoma backs, but the wide receivers for both teams are comparable.

Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow each have three good receivers they can depend on; Jauquin Iglesias, Manuel Johnson, and Jermaine Gresham for Oklahoma and Louis Murphy, Emmanuel Moody, and Percy Harvin (a running back) for Florida. Jauquin Iglesias has been amazing this year, seeming to catch anything thrown within four yards of him. Although technically not a receiver, Percy Harvin of Florida has great hands and speed and is the second leading receiver on the team behind Louis Murphy.

The defense and special teams are a wash. I expect this to be a high scoring game with each team compiling over 400 yards of offense.

Player Predictions:

Florida

Tim Tebow: 20/25 attempts for 275 yards 3TD, 1 int. He will also rush for the game winning touchdown on a quarterback sneak with just over two minutes to go in the game.

Percy Harvin: 15 carries, 80 yards and 1TD

Oklahoma

Sam Bradford: 28/37 attempts for 335 yds, 3TD, and 2 Int. His interception in the 4th quarter will start the Gators on their game winning drive.

Chris Brown: 18 carries, 120 yards and 1TD

Game Prediction:

Florida: 42 Oklahoma: 35

Tags:2009 FedEx BCS National Championship Game Predictions

2009 Fantasy Football: Wide Receiver (WR) Sleepers - Top 5

With the 2009 fantasy football season about to get under way, here are my top 5 wide receiver WR sleeper picks to begin the 2009 season. Sleeper picks are based on a normal mixed NFC/AFC one-year redraft fantasy football league, with scoring categories including: receptions, receiving yards, rushing yards, return yards, touchdowns. Each players age for the 2009 season is listed after their name.

Wide Receiver (WR) Sleepers – 2009

1. Domenik Hixon – New York Giants (25)
With Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer gone, Hixon should step right into a starting wide receivers roll for the 2009 season. With a solid running game that defenses will be paying extra attention to, and a pro-bowl quarterback throwing him the ball, Hixon should post a career year in 2009. Entering the season, Hixon is worthy of being drafted as a top 40 overall fantasy football wide receiver. If he does breakout as expected, Hixon has the potential to end the 2009 season as a top 25 overall fantasy football wide receiver.
2008 Stats: 43 receptions, 596 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 70 receptions, 800-1,000 receiving yards, 5-8 touchdowns

2. Sidney Rice – Minnesota (23)
As the popular theme goes, Rice will be entering the typical 3rd year breakout season for wide receivers. Armed with a new quarterback in Sage Rosenfels, or possibly even Brett Favre, Rice could easily emerge into the top 30 overall fantasy football wide receivers for the 2009 season. Be prepared to gamble on Rice late in your fantasy football draft this year.
2008 Stats: 15 receptions, 141 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 65 receptions, 700-900 receiving yards, 4-8 touchdowns

3. Nate Burleson – Seattle (28)
After tearing his ACL in the first game of the season last year, Burleson will be looking to bounce back fully healthy for the 2009 season. Teaming up with TJ Houshmandzadeh should open up a lot of coverage’s for Burleson. And as long as Matt Hasselbeck remains healthy, Burleson should have a solid bounce back year in 2009.
2008 Stats: 5 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
2009 Projections: 60 receptions, 600-900 receiving yards, 4-8 touchdowns

4. Patrick Crayton – Dallas (30)
With Terrell Owens finally out of town, Crayton should take full advantage of being an every game starter alongside Roy Williams. After posting three consecutive seasons of 516, 697, and 550 receiving yards, Crayton should be a reliable and proven late round WR pick for fantasy football teams in 2009. A career year is very possible.
2008 Stats: 39 receptions, 550 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 60 receptions, 600-900 receiving yards, 4-8 touchdowns

5. Earl Bennett – Chicago (22)
With a year of NFL experience under his belt, Bennett could breakout in year two with the Bears. Teaming up with his former college quarterback, Bennett and Jay Cutler could form a potent tandem in Chicago during the 2009 season. Be prepared to take a flyer on Bennett late in your draft, or earlier if it is a keeper league.
2008 Stats: 0 receptions, 0 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 45 receptions, 400-700 receiving yards, 2-6 touchdowns

Check out my complete Top 100 WR Rankings – 2009 Fantasy Football

Tags:2009 Fantasy Football: Wide Receiver (WR) Sleepers - Top 5

2009 Golden Globe Nominations Announced for 2010 Awards Show, Glee Show Huge

The 2009 Golden Globe nominations came out this morning for the 2010 Golden Globe Awards. The 2009 Golden Globe nominations were spread over 25 categories by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and have set up some interesting battles that will play out at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards Ceremony. The big winner in the networks was HBO, bringing in 17 total nominations for its films and shows, and ending up way ahead of Fox and Showtime which came in second with six nominations apiece. The 2009 Golden Globe nominations were very nice to Fox, which had Glee come away with a total of four Golden Globe nominations.

The top films in this year’s Golden Globe nominations were Up in the Air with six nominations, Nine with five, Avatar with four, and Inglourious Basterds with four as well. In television Glee leads the way with its four, and then several shows received three nominations each including 30 Rock, Big Love, Damages, Dexter, Georgia O’Keeffe, Grey Gardens, Into the Storm, and Mad Men. It’s an interesting list of chows, spanning both comedies and dramas, led by the little-show-that-could which premiered on Fox earlier this year (Glee).

Receiving nominations for the Golden Globe of Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture Drama are Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), George Clooney (Up In the Air), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), and Tobey Maguire (Brothers). The Best Actress in a Drama nominations are Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria), Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (An Education), and Gabourey Sidibe (Precious). Quite a list of familiar faces and new-comers and it will be very interesting to see which of these actors or actresses can emerge for a win at these next Golden Globe Awards.

Full 2009 Golden Globes Nominations List

1. BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

a. AVATAR

Lightstorm Entertainment; Twentieth Century Fox

b. THE HURT LOCKER

Voltage Pictures C/O 42West; Summit Entertainment

c. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

The Weinstein Company; The Weinstein Company

d. PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE

A Lee Daniels Entertainment / Smokewood Entertainment Group Production;

Lionsgate

e. UP IN THE AIR

Paramount Pictures; Paramount Pictures

2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

a. EMILY BLUNT THE YOUNG VICTORIA

b. SANDRA BULLOCK THE BLIND SIDE

c. HELEN MIRREN THE LAST STATION

d. CAREY MULLIGAN AN EDUCATION

e. GABOUREY SIDIBE PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL

PUSH BY SAPPHIRE

3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

a. JEFF BRIDGES CRAZY HEART

b. GEORGE CLOONEY UP IN THE AIR

c. COLIN FIRTH A SINGLE MAN

d. MORGAN FREEMAN INVICTUS

e. TOBEY MAGUIRE BROTHERS

4. BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. (500) DAYS OF SUMMER

Watermark Pictures; Fox Searchlight Pictures

b. THE HANGOVER

Warner Bros. Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures

c. IT’S COMPLICATED

Relativity Media, Scott Rudin Productions; Universal Pictures

d. JULIE & JULIA

Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing

e. NINE

The Weinstein Company; The Weinstein Company

5. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR

MUSICAL

a. SANDRA BULLOCK THE PROPOSAL

b. MARION COTILLARD NINE

c. JULIA ROBERTS DUPLICITY

d. MERYL STREEP IT’S COMPLICATED

e. MERYL STREEP JULIE & JULIA

6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY

OR MUSICAL

a. MATT DAMON THE INFORMANT!

b. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS NINE

c. ROBERT DOWNEY JR. SHERLOCK HOLMES

d. JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT (500) DAYS OF SUMMER

e. MICHAEL STUHLBARG A SERIOUS MAN

7. BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

a. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation; Sony Pictures Releasing

b. CORALINE

Laika, Inc.; Focus Features

c. FANTASTIC MR. FOX

American Empirical Picture; Twentieth Century Fox

d. THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG

Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios

Motion Pictures

e. UP

Walt Disney Pictures/PIXAR Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion

Pictures

8. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

a. BAARIA (ITALY)

Medusa Film; Summit Entertainment

b. BROKEN EMBRACES (SPAIN)

El Deseo SA; Sony Pictures Classics

c. THE MAID (CHILE)

(LA NANA)

Forastero; Elephant Eye Films

d. A PROPHET (FRANCE)

Chic Films; Sony Pictures Classics

e. THE WHITE RIBBON (GERMANY)

(DAS WEISSE BAND – EINE DEUTSCHE KINDERGESCHICHTE)

Wega Films; Sony Pictures Classics

9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A

MOTION PICTURE

a. PENÉLOPE CRUZ NINE

b. VERA FARMIGA UP IN THE AIR

c. ANNA KENDRICK UP IN THE AIR

d. MO’NIQUE PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL

PUSH BY SAPPHIRE

e. JULIANNE MOORE A SINGLE MAN

10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A

MOTION PICTURE

a. MATT DAMON INVICTUS

b. WOODY HARRELSON THE MESSENGER

c. CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER THE LAST STATION

d. STANLEY TUCCI THE LOVELY BONES

e. CHRISTOPH WALTZ INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

11. BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

a. KATHRYN BIGELOW THE HURT LOCKER

b. JAMES CAMERON AVATAR

c. CLINT EASTWOOD INVICTUS

d. JASON REITMAN UP IN THE AIR

e. QUENTIN TARANTINO INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

12. BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

a. NEILL BLOMKAMP, DISTRICT 9

TERRI TATCHELL

b. MARK BOAL THE HURT LOCKER

c. NANCY MEYERS IT’S COMPLICATED

d. JASON REITMAN, UP IN THE AIR

SHELDON TURNER

e. QUENTIN TARANTINO INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

13. BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE

a. MICHAEL GIACCHINO UP

b. MARVIN HAMLISCH THE INFORMANT!

c. JAMES HORNER AVATAR

d. ABEL KORZENIOWSKI A SINGLE MAN

e. KAREN O,

CARTER BURWELL WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

14. BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE

a. “CINEMA ITALIANO” – NINE

Music & Lyrics by: Maury Yeston

b. “I WANT TO COME HOME” – EVERYBODY’S FINE

Music & Lyrics by: Paul McCartney

c. “I WILL SEE YOU” – AVATAR

Music by: James Horner, Simon Franglen

Lyrics by: James Horner, Simon Franglen, Kuk Harrell

d. “THE WEARY KIND (THEME FROM CRAZY HEART)” – CRAZY

HEART

Music & Lyrics by: Ryan Bingham, T Bone Burnett

e. “WINTER” – BROTHERS

Music by: U2

Lyrics by: Bono

15. BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

a. BIG LOVE (HBO)

Anima Sola and Playtone in association with HBO Entertainment

b. DEXTER (SHOWTIME)

Showtime Presents, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Clyde

Phillips Productions

c. HOUSE (FOX)

Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z

Productions and Bad Hat Harry

d. MAD MEN (AMC)

AMC

e. TRUE BLOOD (HBO)

Your Face Goes Here Entertainment in association with HBO Entertainment

16. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –

DRAMA

a. GLENN CLOSE DAMAGES

b. JANUARY JONES MAD MEN

c. JULIANNA MARGULIES THE GOOD WIFE

d. ANNA PAQUIN TRUE BLOOD

e. KYRA SEDGWICK THE CLOSER

17. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

a. SIMON BAKER THE MENTALIST

b. MICHAEL C. HALL DEXTER

c. JON HAMM MAD MEN

d. HUGH LAURIE HOUSE

e. BILL PAXTON BIG LOVE

18. BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. 30 ROCK (NBC)

Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video and Little

Stranger Inc.

b. ENTOURAGE (HBO)

Leverage and Closest to the Hole Productions in association with HBO

Entertainment

c. GLEE (FOX)

Twentieth Century Fox Television

d. MODERN FAMILY (ABC)

Twentieth Century Fox Television

e. THE OFFICE (NBC)

Universal Media Studios, Deedle Dee Productions, Reveille LLC

19. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –

COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. TONI COLLETTE UNITED STATES OF TARA

b. COURTENEY COX COUGAR TOWN

c. EDIE FALCO NURSE JACKIE

d. TINA FEY 30 ROCK

e. LEA MICHELE GLEE

20. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES –

COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. ALEC BALDWIN 30 ROCK

b. STEVE CARELL THE OFFICE

c. DAVID DUCHOVNY CALIFORNICATION

d. THOMAS JANE HUNG

e. MATTHEW MORRISON GLEE

21. BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

a. GEORGIA O’KEEFFE (LIFETIME TELEVISION)

Sony Pictures Television

b. GREY GARDENS (HBO)

Specialty Films and Locomotive in association with HBO Films

c. INTO THE STORM (HBO)

Scott Free and Rainmark Films Production in association with the BBC and HBO

Films

d. LITTLE DORRIT (PBS)

Masterpiece/BBC Co-production

e. TAKING CHANCE (HBO)

Motion Picture Corporation of America and Civil Dawn Pictures in association

with HBO Films

22. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION

PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

a. JOAN ALLEN GEORGIA O’KEEFFE

b. DREW BARRYMORE GREY GARDENS

c. JESSICA LANGE GREY GARDENS

d. ANNA PAQUIN THE COURAGEOUS HEART OF IRENA

SENDLER

e. SIGOURNEY WEAVER PRAYERS FOR BOBBY

23. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION

PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

a. KEVIN BACON TAKING CHANCE

b. KENNETH BRANAGH WALLANDER: ONE STEP BEHIND

c. CHIWETEL EJIOFOR ENDGAME

d. BRENDAN GLEESON INTO THE STORM

e. JEREMY IRONS GEORGIA O’KEEFFE

24. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A

SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

a. JANE ADAMS HUNG

b. ROSE BYRNE DAMAGES

c. JANE LYNCH GLEE

d. JANET McTEER INTO THE STORM

e. CHLOË SEVIGNY BIG LOVE

25. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES,

MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

a. MICHAEL EMERSON LOST

b. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

c. WILLIAM HURT DAMAGES

d. JOHN LITHGOW DEXTER

e. JEREMY PIVEN ENTOURAGE

Source:

Golden Globes Web Site

Tags:2009 Golden Globe Nominations Announced for 2010 Awards Show, Glee Show Huge

2009 Fantasy Baseball Top 5 Draft Rules

2009 Fantasy Baseball Top 5 Draft Rules
written by: Delon Ferdinand

Spring training is under way, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down to the nitty gritty. Fantasy Baseball is upon us, which means you need help trying to decide a whole bunch of things. What round should I draft a pitcher? Should I spend high for a closer? Is Matt Holliday still a top 20 talent? All of these are great questions, but before you jump into the pool you need to know how to swim. So I’m here to offer you the top 5 fantasy draft rules for Baseball. For the sake of this article, we’re basing this on a standard Roto league with 5X5 scoring and 12 fantasy teams. We’ll dive into head to head and keepers on a later date. We also take our research based on the 2009 rankings from ESPN, Yahoo, CBS, Fox Sports and Sporting News.

1. Stay far, far away from starting pitching in your first five rounds
Take it from me; I’ve been burned by this far too many times in my eleven-year history of fantasy baseball. However, starting pitching before round 5 creates headaches like you wouldn’t imagine. This includes 2009’s top studs like CC Sabathia, Johan Santana, Tim Lincecum and anyone else you might put up there. Stay away from these players if you want to build a successful fantasy team. It’s not that these guys aren’t good. Quite the opposite, but what you spend to get them is not worth it. Let’s look at the facts:

Let’s take a look at Johan Santana’s numbers against Ervin Santana’s. Based on all of the major rankings, Johan is being drafted in the first round, as early as pick seven and as late as pick ten. Ervin Santana is being drafted on avg. as high as the sixth round and as low as the seventh. Here are both of their numbers for last season:

Johan – 34 games, 16-7 record with a 2.62 ERA, 206 Ks and a 1.15 WHIP

Ervin – 32 games, 16-7 record, 3.49 ERA, 214 Ks, 1.12 WHIP

Stellar numbers for both of these guys, that’s for sure. Now let’s look at Johan’s last five years vs. Ervin’s last three years (he’s only been in the league for four seasons):

Johan – 33.6 games started, 17.2 wins and 7.8 losses, 2.82ERA, 237.8Ks and a 1.02WHIP

Ervin – 31 games started, 13 wins and 9.6 losses, 4.51ERA, 160Ks, 1.30WHIP

There is no question Johan is the better pitcher, that much is obvious. However, we’re talking about Johan giving you 2.6 more starts, 4.2 more wins with 2.2 more losses, 1.69 lower ERA, 77.8 more Ks and a 0.28 lower WHIP based on their averages. If you base it on their performance last season, Johan starts 2 more games, gives you an identical record, 0.82 lower ERA, 8 less Ks and a 0.03 higher WHIP. This is a difference between a Porsche and a Camry. Both get you from point A to point B. You can even listen to the radio the same way, but one will cost you 70K while the other will run you about 30K with fancy options. You have countless cases like this throughout the entire draft but you want to avoid the urge of taking a big name pitcher in the first five rounds. I’ll take big Teixeira in the 10 spot if he’s there over Johan and that brings us to our next point.

2. Hitting, hitting and more hitting
Are you starting to get the theme of the article? I’m not against pitching; I just think there’s a certain place you take them. I cannot begin to stress how important it is to take an every day player vs. one who plays every five days. I believe most people know that already. The key is not to panic when you see other GM’s taking pitchers off the board. We’ve all been a part of the “pitcher run” on draft day when one GM sets it off by taking Johan, the next one takes Lincecum, then Sabathia goes and all of a sudden eight straight pitchers have been selected. You start thinking to yourself “I got to get a SP too, now is the time”. This would be the single biggest mistake you can make. Let the other GM’s take, you need to stick to the script. If someone wants to take Brandon Webb over Manny Ramirez, you need to be very glad they did. Don’t worry about which GM’s are getting who, you’ll get your starters and here’s why:

In baseball there are 30 teams. Each team starts 5 pitchers. That’s over 150 starting pitchers. Now for arguments sake, let’s say that only the first 3 starters for each team are the only ones worth starting on a fantasy team. That’s still 90 starting pitchers in the draft. In a 12-team league that means no matter when you start taking pitchers, every team in the league can have 7.5 really good starting pitchers. That’s more than enough to go around. Look at the Yankees first 3 starters, Sabathia, Burnett, and Wang. Looks good to me. Take Boston’s rotation of Dice-K, Beckett and Lester. All three will be drafted at some point. A small market team like the Royals brings Meche, Greinke and Bannister to the table. That’s not ideal but I’m willing to bet that all three find their way on someone’s fantasy team this season. Here’s a quick test:

34 games, 14-11 record, 3.98ERA, 183Ks, 1.32WHIP

25 games, 10-8record, 4.18ERA, 122ks, 1.35WHIP

One is Gil Meche and the other is John Maine. I’m sure a lot of you think the first is John Maine upon first glance. He was on the Mets, more wins, NL park, yadda, yadda, yadda. But the first one is Gil Meche. What’s the over/ under on Meche being drafted ahead of Maine this year? Point is, you’ll get your pitching. Don’t panic and get into draft day “runs” because everyone else is doing it.

3. PUNT a category
No matter how hard you try, you will not get 10s in every category. It’s hard enough to get 7s and 8s all year. If Baseball were a one-month season then you would have no problems. Since it’s a six-month season, the odds of you maintaining a 10 you have in HRS after the first two months are low at best. You can’t draft everyone. You can’t be heavy on the hitting and expect to dominate the pitching numbers. That would take finding an abundant amount of gems in the later round, along with waiver wire gold during the season. Everyone has a category they will do badly in. So why not go into the draft punting a category to strengthen the others. The two categories to punt are SB and SAVES. You punt HR, then you can say goodbye to RBIs too since they go hand in hand. If you punt ERA, say goodbye to having a good WHIP. Stolen bases and saves stand on their own. So you can lose either category and you’re only losing in one area. However, it is not a good idea at all to punt SB. Here’s why:

Stolen bases are like fantasy gold. You hold on to it when you have it. Then when you need to make a deal, there’s always someone who needs it badly. It’s incredibly valuable and you only get it during the draft. Try finding a 40-50 SB guy on your wire. That’s not happening, because even if that guy is there, you got 11 other GMs licking their chops at him. Plus, chances are he probably hurts you in other areas like maybe having a .208 avg. or something like that. Looking at you Juan Pierre. Saves however can be found everywhere.

Let’s say after May your team is down by 40 SB already. Jose Reyes has 20 SB to start the season. He’s a lock to get another 40 the rest of the way. Sounds like the perfect trade target for your team right? Now ask yourself if you think the GM holding Reyes would give him up. Probably not! But even if he was available, do you know what you would have to give up to get him? It’s just not happening. That’s how valuable stolen bases are. PUNT the saves and focus on shoring up everything else. Which leads us to:

4. Do not spend high for closers
This one is short and self-explanatory if you’ve been reading the whole article. But delve into it deeper and this is why you don’t spend high for closers:

You have 30 MLB teams and that means 30 closer jobs. In a 12-person league that means 2.5 closers for everyone. There are probably 10 teams with closer by committees, so for arguments sake, there’s 20 rock solid closers. That’s still close to 2 per team. But closers lose jobs like bankers on Wall Street. Every week there’s a guy on your wire picking up saves. Pitchers go down more frequently than hitters. Imagine spending a 5th round pick on Mariano Rivera only to watch him hit the DL (he is almost 40 years old). Then you see a savvy GM pick up his replacement and gobble up all those saves you expected Rivera to get. Obviously injury hurts everyone. But a hitter plays in 150 games a year if he’s healthy. He hits the DL and misses 15 games and you still have 135 games with him. He still has a chance for some multiple home run games to make up for what he lost. Same with RBIs, but you can’t have multiple save games. Two weeks for a closer is 5-6 saves lost. Yet you drafted Rivera primarily for the 40 saves you expect out of him. That’s 15% of his total gone. Spending a 5th through 9th rounder on a closer is the second biggest mistake you can make. Not to mention all of the laughter you hear from GM’s once you do it.

5. Always draft the all around player

This one is tricky, but benefits you in the long run. Remember it’s a marathon not a race. It happens all the time during the draft. You’re midway through and you’re looking at your team. You realize “man I need more HRs”. So against better judgment, you go ahead and select Adam Dunn two rounds earlier than he should be going rather than Vernon Wells. You’ve fallen in love with the 40 dingers because you feel you “need it” after looking at your team. In theory it should work but in actuality you’re making your team worse. Here’s the line on both for 2008:

Wells – .300avg, 20Hrs, 78RBIs, 63Runs, 4SB

Dunn – .236, 40Hrs, 100RBIs, 79Runs, 2SB

Wells missed 54 games last season. Project his numbers over a full season and you have:

.283, 25Hrs, 100RBIs, 88Runs, 8 SB

Anyway you look at it, Dunn will get you about 10 more hrs, probably 20 more RBIs with nearly identical runs missed games or not. Yet his avg. absolutely kills you. It’s like working out your arms and neglecting your stomach. You’d have big pythons with a beer gut. For me, I’ll take the well-rounded body thank you very much. It’s the same thing for SB. You pass on Matt Holiday for Ichiro Suzuki. Even though that makes more sense because Suzuki really helps you in average and runs along with the stolen bags. He’s still a three-category player while Holliday is a four-category player.

Now you are ready to swim in the pool. You still need to have a good draft. You can’t use this strategy and then go out there and draft Carlos Lee with the 3rd overall pick and expect things to work out for you. You also have to work your waiver wire and make some trades along the way. Everyone has bad years and some players may be drafted in the first round but actually perform more like a 4th rounder. But if you follow these golden principles you should have a very good team ready to compete.

Tags:2009 Fantasy Baseball Top 5 Draft Rules

2009 Ford Escape - Finally, a Fuel Efficient SUV!

The 2009 Ford Escape is the SUV that is “squeezing the last mile from every gallon.” Everything about this new Ford Escape has been revamped to please the customers in this time of increasing fuel prices. Sport utility vehicle owners no longer have to be guilty of owning gas guzzling machines at the expense of the environment and their own wallets. The Ford Escape is constantly receiving outstanding reviews on its performance and availability of options, and now it can be proud of its fuel economy as well.

The Ford Escape was rebuilt with better air dynamics for a better ride. The engine has been remade to use every drop of fuel with the best possible fuel economy. As if that were not enough, there is also the option of purchasing a Hybrid model.

Do not settle for a sport utility vehicle that will drain your wallet each time you fill up at the pump. The Ford Escape is simply what every sport utility vehicle should strive to be. For a better tomorrow, get a Ford Escape when choosing a new SUV. It is worth the great quality and vast amount of extra space for travel.

What else is available in the Ford Escape? A navigation system, voice activated, is available in most models. You can also get the lowest fuel prices and traffic and weather reports straight to your car from SIRIUS Travel Link, as well as directions from the Navigation system.

Life has never been so simple. You can also store photos and music from C.D.s to personalize your screen and your music. You can have everything at your fingertips. Isn’t this the way it should be? Everything you need, right in your car. Take advantage of all of the newest technological safety and entertainment features. You will wonder how you previously got along without them.

One of the other great features of the Ford 2009 Escape is the roomy interior. This is ideal for campers, hikers, of anyone who just wants a little extra comfort. If you fold down the rear seat backs, you will have about 70 cubic feet of room. That is a lot of space for bikes and sports equipment, or whatever your heart desires! You will have all of the space of an SUV without the waste of precious gas. You just simply do not have anything to lose with the new Ford Escape!

Tags:2009 Ford Escape - Finally, a Fuel Efficient SUV!

2009 Fantasy Football Rookie Profile: Knowshon Moreno - RB - Denver Broncos

2009 Fantasy Football rookie scouting report on Knowshon Moreno – RB – Denver Broncos. Includes player profile, fantasy football outlook, keeper league incentives, draft rankings, and 2009 expectations and stat projections.

Player ProfileKnowshon Moreno:

Height: 5-11
Weight: 217
Born: July 16, 1987
Draft: 2009 – 1st Round (12th pick) Denver Broncos
Position: Running Back

Fantasy Football Outlook:

As the first running back drafted in the 2009 NFL Draft, Knowshon Moreno offers the complete package as an NFL running back. Knowshon Moreno has the ability to gain rushing yards between the tackles, offers excellent breakaway speed, and has exceptional pass catching ability out of the backfield. From a fantasy football perspective, Knowshon Moreno has the greatest potential to be the best fantasy football rookie during the 2009 season.

During his two college seasons at Georgia, Knowshon Moreno tallied a combined 2,736 rushing yards, 30 rushing touchdowns, 645 receiving yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns. In 2008 alone, Knowshon Moreno posted 1,400 rushing yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, 392 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. With this type of stat production, Knowshon Moreno has the ability to make a Steve Slaton/Chris Johnson type of rookie impact for fantasy football teams in 2009. During his prime, Knowshon Moreno could be a pro-bowl type running back with the potential for a 1,300 rushing yard, 500 receiving yard, and 16 touchdown season.

Keeper League Incentive:

In fantasy football keeper leagues, Knowshon Moreno is an excellent early-mid round running back pick. With the potential to be the starting running back in Denver by week 1 of the 2009 season, Knowshon Moreno could very easily kick off his NFL career with a 1,000 rushing yard season. At just age 22, and offering the ideal running back size at 5-11 and 217, Knowshon Moreno appears headed for fantasy football stardom over the next five to eight years. Entering the 2009 season, Knowshon Moreno is worthy of being ranked as a top 20 overall fantasy football keeper league running back option.

2009 Expectations:

With a Denver backfield that includes Correll Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan competing for carries as the starting running back with Knowshon Moreno, there is little to no reason why Moreno won’t be the Broncos starting running back by week 1. Assuming Knowshon Moreno does win the starting RB job to open the season, he could easily tally 1,000 plus rushing yards and 6 plus touchdowns.

2009 Stat Projections:

Low End: 600-800 rushing yards, 100-200 receiving yards, 2-4 touchdowns
High End: 900-1,100 rushing yards, 200-400 receiving yards, 5-8 touchdowns

2009 Fantasy Football Draft Ranking:

Entering the 2009 season, Knowshon Moreno is worthy of being ranked as a top 25 overall fantasy football running back in traditional one year re-draft leagues.
In fantasy football keeper leagues, Knowshon Moreno should be ranked as a top 20 overall fantasy football running back, with the potential for a top 15 ranking.

Tags:2009 Fantasy Football Rookie Profile: Knowshon Moreno - RB - Denver Broncos

2009 Fantasy Baseball Strategy; Pitching Domination Draft Tips

There are many fantasy baseball strategies to choose from and there is no wrong or right way to pick a fantasy team. There is however dominant strategies that can lead to a league championship. In this article I will cover my favorite dominant draft strategy; pitching domination. This strategy is not a favorite among many fantasy baseball team managers and is not even mentioned as a strategy according to this article on Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategies. The urge to take dominant hitters and your favorite position players is too great for many managers to handle this pitching focused strategy. I will give the rules to this strategy and then show my actual ESPN Live Draft results and the roster I compiled using the strategy.

When using this strategy there are several rules to follow:
#1. Your first two picks should be the best position players available. Pitchers are usually not ranked in the top 10 picks and sometimes not in the top 20. You can get more use out of your first two picks by drafting position players.
#2. Take from 6-8 pitchers in your first 10 draft picks. If a position player falls in your lap and there are no dominant pitchers that are worth your pick, and then by all means take the position player, but if you continue to do this you will fall into a balanced team strategy that is the most common with fantasy owners.
#3. Always go for starting pitching first. Many relievers, even the best don’t go until the mid 40’s and later. Draft a couple of starters before you go for closers.
#4. Draft a decent mix of closers and starting pitchers. You do not want any pitchers who simply be used for relief, they must be starters or closers. You should have more starters than relievers but try to have three to four closers and six to seven starters.
#5. Don’t panic about your position players, there is enough talent and players that will progress during the season to make up for lost hitting stats.
#6. When you start to draft position players (after pick 10) you must balance power, batting average, and steals.

Please see my other articles for other strategies, MLB Sleepers, MLB underrated players, and more.

Here is my team selected using the Pitching Domination strategy:

1st Pick (7th Overall): David Wright- 3B
Remember your first two picks should be position players. Wright was the best player left on the board, and puts up amazing numbers in several categories. In 2008 he batted .302, had 115 runs, 33HR’s, 124 RBI, and 15 stolen bases.
2nd Pick (14th Overall): Josh Hamilton- OF
Hamilton similar to Wright had significant numbers in several categories. Hamilton batted .304, had 98 runs, 32HR’s, 130RBI, and stole 9 bases. Hamilton should have similar numbers this year, and was the best position player available. If possible I would have drafted a harder position to fill such as a SS or 2B (Rollins, Utley, or Reyes).
3rd Pick (27th Overall): Brandon Webb- SP
At this point a total of five starting pitchers had been taken off the board. Webb won 22 games last year with a 3.30 ERA, this was an easy choice.
4th Pick (34th Overall): Cole Hamels- SP
No pitchers had come off the board since my last pick, I am able to get Hamels who should receive better run support this year then he did in 2008. Hamels won 14 games with 196 strikeouts and a 3.09 ERA. Hamels may be a bit overrated due to his postseason performance, but with the 34th pick I don’t mind taking the chance.
5th Pick (47th Overall): Joe Nathan- RP
At pick 47 only one closer has been taken (Papelbon @ #41), Nathan is the correct choice, had 39 saves with a 1.33 ERA. His fantasy value is huge.
6th Pick (54th Overall): Mariano Rivera- RP
No more closers have come off the board since my last pick, I chose Rivera over Joakim Soria, either pick would be good here. Rivera had 39 saves with a 1.40 ERA in 2008.
7th Pick (67th Overall): Brad Lidge- RP
I almost can’t believe that Lidge is still on the board. 41 saves and a 1.95 ERA in 2008 still don’t get him in the top 60 picks. Now with my third closer in a row it’s time to get a few more starting pitchers, still a lot of talent on the board.
8th Pick (74th Overall): Josh Beckett- SP
Injuries in 2008 have made him a very cheap buy in 2009. If he can control his curve, his stats should get incredibly better than last years 12 wins with a 4.03 ERA.
9th Pick (87th Overall): Daisuke Matsuzaka- SP
Dice-K at 87? I feel like I am just robbing everyone. 18 wins and a 2.90 ERA in 2008, I am ecstatic to get him this late in the draft, other teams are still grabbing position players instead of focusing on pitching.
10th Pick (94th Overall): Scott Kazmir- SP
Kazmir is a great talent but inconsistent, definitely worth a look here.

I’ve nailed pitching; now it’s time to focus on the hard to fill positions (C, SS, 2B) and look out for sleepers.

11th Pick: Troy Tulowitzki-SS
12th Pick: Ryan Doumit- C
13th Pick: Andre Ethier- OF
14th Pick: Placido Polanco- 2B
15th Pick: Justin Verlander- SP
Verlander was a favorite to win the AL Cy Young in 2008, now is a sleeper after a very rough year for him and the Tigers. at the overall 147th pick, I’d consider this a great pickup.
16th Pick: Cameron Maybin- OF
Maybin is a sleeper outfielder for the Marlins with tremendous upside. He should get you a high batting average with a decent amount of steals, he also is a great pickup for triples, which are hard to come by.
17th Pick: David Price- SP
The future of the Tampa Bay Rays is David Price. This will be his first year in the rotation, and he should have a big impact right away. His youth scares many fantasy owners away, but he is worth the gamble.
18th Pick: Miguel Tejada- SS
Needed Tejada to fill in my 2B/SS position, many fear a further fall from greatness after his steroid admittance. Tejada can still produce; you just have to throw out your personal opinion when thinking about the success of your fantasy team.
19th Pick: Mark Reynolds- 3B
Reynolds is another sleeper, although he had 97 RBI in 2008. His downside is his batting average, .239 in 2008.
20th Pick: Brandon Lyon- RP
The new Tigers closer should put up very nice numbers with an improved and healthy bullpen. I would expect 35 saves with a decent ERA. Lyon and Atlanta closer Gonzalez are my favorite sleeper closers.
21st Pick: Jason Giambi- 1B/DH
Forget about how old he is, Giambi is still a productive power hitter. Giambi had 32 home runs and 96 RBI in 2008.
22nd Pick: Travis Hafner- DH
Hafner had shoulder surgery in 2008 but should be close to 100% for opening day. He is a nice steal this late in the draft.
23rd Pick: Hideki Matsui- OF
24th Pick: Jose Guillen- OF
25th Pick: Garret Anderson- OF
With my last three picks I needed consistent outfielders, and all three match that. These players still put up great numbers but because of their age are forgotten. Remember, your fantasy draft is only for one year, not for the future. Don’t shy away from solid veterans.

Please tell me what you think of the team and my strategy. The league name is Kansas City 82609 and my team name is Get That Corn Outta My Face (LUCH) on ESPN.

Tags:2009 Fantasy Baseball Strategy; Pitching Domination Draft Tips

2009 Great Outdoors Month in Reno, Nevada

In celebration of the first anniversary of National Get Outdoors Day, June 14, 2009, this writer chick is highlighting an amazing regional park I accidentally recently discovered in Reno, Nevada. When we think of Reno it brings up images of one armed bandits and gambling; by living here I’ve discovered for residents Reno is about the great outdoors. When I lived in Las Vegas, a friend from out of town commented that we really like our artificial environments. Since relocating to Reno, here we love the great outdoors that is all around us, no artificial environments for us. And there is one great outdoorfree resource right in the heart of Reno for residents and tourists alike to enjoy. I had been driving past this area every day on my way to work. To say my curiosity was peaked is an understatement. I could see dogs running without restraint while their owners watched and socialized with the other dog owners. What I didn’t know was how to get there or that this dog park was part of a much larger park, the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park.

One day while reading the local listing for events in the Northwest Reno Newspaper, I read there was going to be a talk about labyrinths at the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. Being curious about labyrinths, I called a friend and together we went. Imagine our surprise when the directions took us to the exact spot I had seen on my way to work. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, I realized we had not only found the dog park but also a vast recreational area, the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park and the Wilbur D. May Center, which includes an arboretum, wetlands, a museum and is home to the Great Basin Adventure.

The Washoe County Parks and Recreation website www. http://ift.tt/1UJeAoF has this to say about the Wilbur D. May Center inside the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park: “The Wilbur D. May Center is an adventure for people of all ages. It is a museum, a collection of rare and exotic artifacts, a place to experience fun traveling exhibits and special moments. The arboretum is where gardeners gather seeds of knowledge; an incomparable display and living museum of colorful flowers, creek side meadows, outdoor courtyards and secluded benches. The Great Basin Adventure is a fun-filled family experience where kids can pet animals, ride a pony, pan for gold, ride an old fashioned log flume, or explore in our “touch anything” discovery room”.

Since attending the labyrinth walk and talk that evening, we have continued to return again and again to explore all that the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park and Wilbur D. May Center has to offer. Again from the website: “Wilbur D. May was a local Nevada rancher, businessman and philanthropist. The Wilbur D. May Center was built to perpetuate Wilbur’s commitment toward family, children and education”. The park is located a short distance from the University of Reno and the downtown district.

We have walked in the arboretum amid a multitude of native plants, trees and shrubs. We have held hands on a secluded bench tucked away amid the shrubbery. We have contemplated the natural beauty of the great outdoors in the solitude of the gardens surrounded by the magnificence of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. We have walked the hikingtrails that wind through the arboretum stopping to read the plaques highlighting the native vegetation. We have spent quiet moments in meditation inside the labyrinth and have garnered the insights this time has brought us. We have enjoyed a picnic under a shady tree and enjoyed watching children play nearby with their families. Around every corner of this amazing public park is something new to explore. In Reno, National Get OutdoorsDaywould not be complete without a visit to the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park and the Wilber D. May Center and discovering for yourself what this park has to offer.

If the Reno weather is not ideal for being outdoors, this has not stopped us from enjoying the park. We can go inside to explore the museum which has a cascading waterfall, an indoor garden along with the many rotating exhibits the museum features throughout the year and a collection of Wilbur D May’s treasures found during his numerous world travels and exhibits of his life as a Nevada rancher.

One special event held at the Rancho San Rafael Park is the great Reno Balloon Race. This year, the Balloon races are being held on September 11, 12 and 13, 2009. This is what www. http://ift.tt/1OxR2Xq has to say about this event: “What began with just 20 balloons in 1982 has grown to showcase more than 100 balloons and pilots from as far away as New Zealand and Switzerland. On average, 140,000 spectators from all over the world come to share in the wonder of this three-day event”. Last year, these colorful and majestic balloons floated over our house while we watched from our backyard. This year we will attend the free Great Reno Balloon Race at the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park.

After spending an afternoon at the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, we arrive home happy and full of energy. As we spend time at the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, our spirits are rejuvenated. For a few hours, we’ve removed ourselves from the concrete jungle and noise of the city and have connected with the natural beauty of this Regional Park.

This year marks the 160th anniversary of the Department of the Interior. On March 3, 2009, President Barack Obama in his speech to celebrate this day said in part: “It’s a child wandering amidst ancient redwoods, a love for science stirred as she looks skyward. It’s a young man running his hand along the walls at Ellis Island, where his grandmother once carried her every possession and the hope of a new life. It’s a family hiking along canyons carved by ancient floods, or mountains shaped by shifting continents – of finding peace in the beauty of the natural world. These are experiences that enrich our lives and remind us of the blessings that we share. An experience I will never forget. It’s an experience I want for my daughters, and for all of our daughters and sons, to see the incredible beauty of this nation”.

In conclusion, in Reno what better way to spend Saturday, June 13, 2009 National Get Outdoors Day then to spend it exploring a great natural free resource right in our very own community? This National Get Outdoors Day, take to heart the words of our President Barack Obama and see the incredible beauty of this nation, by starting in our own “Biggest Little City In The World” and the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park and Wilbur D. May Center. If you are anything like me, you will not be disappointed with this free treasure right in our own backyard.

Tags:2009 Great Outdoors Month in Reno, Nevada

2009 Holiday Gift Guide for Divas

All divas want to be treated special and what better way than to give a gift from the 2009 holiday gift guide for divas. The 2009 holiday gift guide for divas offers a nice assortment of affordable gifts for the diva in your life. It’s not always so much about money as it is class and taste. The 2009 holiday gift guide for divas includes a variety of tasteful, affordable gifts certain to be a hit this holiday season.

If you want to keep your budget under $50.00 and still give one of the top gifts from the 2009 holiday gift guide for divas this is very doable. One of the top choices is the Honora Cultured Pearl 6mm Semi-Round Jewelry Set. The elegant cultured pearl 18″ strand of pearls and stunning 6mm stud earring set from is available in gold, white, or gray and set in sterling silver. If you can imagine giving a gift that can be worn every day this is the perfect gift from the 2009 holiday gift guide for divas. Available for $49.99 from QVC this is definitely an excellent value for the price and one of the choice gifts from the 2009 holiday gift guide for divas.

Another excellent choice of gifts from the 2009 holiday gift guide for divas and definitely for pearl lovers is the Cultured Pearl Stud Earring Box Set. The recipient of this elegant gift will be delightfully happy and the look and size of the elegant pearls. The set includes 5 sets of 8-9MM pearls in an assortment of colors which include white, chocolate, black, pink and pistachio. Pearls this size are acceptable for daily wear again making this set from Honora one of the best gifts in terms of use, value for price and definitely one of the top picks from the 2009 holiday gift guide for divas.

One of the most fail proof gifts from the 2009 holiday gift guide for divas is the gift of massage. Give the diva in your life a gift certificate for a massage at her favorite spa or one of the networks of spas. Usually spas offer a 30 minute massage for $50.00 making this a top choice from the 2009 holiday gift guide for divas. This will keep you at your budget price while giving the diva in your life something to look forward to. This pleasurable and stress relieving gift from the 2009 holiday gift guide for divas is certain to be appreciated.

If the diva in your life loves chocolate there is a gift guaranteed to make her happy. One of the top chocolate gifts from the 2009 holiday gift guide for divas is the 36-Piece Holiday Gift Box from Godiva. The wonderful collection of chocolates features an assortment of chocolates which include winter almond marzipan with milk chocolate, dark chocolate winter cocoa infused with cinnamon and spice, pralines, caramels, ganaches, mandarin orange snowflake with white chocolate and so much more. The 36-Piece Holiday Gift Box from Godiva is a favorite pick from the 2009 holiday gift guide for divas at a retail price of $45.00. For more information visit the official web sites of the referenced retailers.

www.godiva.com
www.honora.com
www.qvc.com

Tags:2009 Holiday Gift Guide for Divas

2009 Halloween Events in Virginia

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream – Sept. 25 – Nov. 1 – Williamsburg, VA – Busch Gardens is one of the most beautiful theme parks in the U.S. and for a couple of weeks in the fall its beauty changes to beast for the annual Howl-O-Scream. Fear not, 90% of the rides are up and running, which is nice because the park tends to be a little less busy during the regular high traffic hours. You’ll be amazed, though, at the park’s transformation. This is an ideal Halloween event because there are attractions for every age and the scary level is clearly labeled on the park’s map. If you have small children pay close attention to the park map because it also labels areas where live actors in creepy costumes are lurking. There are new Halloween themed shows, mazes, lights, haunted houses, creepy music and much more to keep guests in the spirit.

Hunt Club Farm Halloween Festival and Haunted Hayride – Oct. 2 – 31st – Virginia Beach, VA – The Hunt Club Farms offers a wide range of Halloween activities featuring mazes, it’s famous hayride, cider, carnival rides and more. There are three pricing levels for individuals but they also offer group rates. They even provide Party Room rentals for Halloween get-togethers.

DarkWood Manor Haunted House – Oct 2-Nov 1 – Luray, VA – This is a haunted house that was built in 1880 and has many stories of murder, apparitions and unexplainable occurrences. The actors make the visit to this ghastly home even more exciting as they tell (or scream) the legends surrounding the dwelling. Noted for their original characters and professional sets, DarkWood Manor is definitely one of the top rated Halloween events in Virginia.

Haunts of Richmond Ghost Tours – Open Now through Nov 1 – Richmond, VA – A variety of Halloween related events, everything from ghost walking tours to sinister theatrical shows to pub crawls, so there are Halloween activities for everyone in your group! The walks and tours take visitors to places in VA’s capitol rumored to have paranormal activity. There are a couple of different tours to choose from…if you dare.

Ghost Train at Northwest River Park – October 15 – October 24 – Chesapeake, VA – An eerie train takes brave guests through Northwest River Park while the storytellers speak of spooky happening as they play out around the train in the dark woods of Virginia. You never know who may be waiting in the trees.

Sources:
Virginia Is for Lovers, It’s Halloween in Virginia!, Virginia.org

Haunts of Richmond, Tours and Attractions, HauntsofRichmond.com

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