Wow, what a crazy week in sports. NFL free agency, the MLB trade deadline and the US soccer team hiring a new coach had me glued to Twitter every 10 minutes. It was insane.
Where do I begin? How about with NFL free agency.
NFL Free Agency
• Obviously the big winner was the Eagles. Getting Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and, of course, Nnamdi Asomugha was quite a haul.
I think the interesting thing about the Eagles is the way Michael Vick is viewed across the league. While a majority of the general public still might not like Vick, the players have a ton of respect for him.
Almost all of those free agents said they wanted to go to Philly to play with Vick. I find that fascinating.
Are the Eagles the favorites in the NFC? I think so, as long as Vick stays healthy. If he goes down, it could get dicey.
• Everyone out here thinks the Texans are big winners. I have mixed feelings.
Granted, Houston could have gotten Darrell Green out of retirement and upgraded their secondary, but I still think it isn’t as good as it could be.
Nnamdi is a franchise player and Houston couldn’t get him. I’m not sure if they didn’t offer enough money or what, but that is a failure in my opinion.
Jonathan Joseph and Danieal Manning are upgrades. In fact Joseph could be Houston’s third best defensive player already. However, having watched Manning for several years with the Bears, I can tell you he is not as good as Texans fans think.
• I also have mixed feelings on my Bears. I like the signing of Roy Williams, even though he is a total dick. Amobi Okeye could revive his career with the Bears as well. Not too thrilled with trading away Greg Olson or signing draft bust Vernon Gholston.
The thought regarding the offensive line is the most puzzling. It was by far the biggest weakness of the team, but I don’t think they really upgraded. They added Gabe Carimi in the draft to play right tackle, but then let starting center and team leader Olin Kruetz leave over $500k.
Leonard Davis is still out there, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why the Bears don’t sign him to play right guard. Davis and Carimi on the right side would be beastly in the run game.
• Other winners for me:
New England for adding Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco for practically nothing.
Green Bay for not doing anything. Remember, they had a ton of guys injured last year. Those guys will be like free agent signings.
Arizona for getting Kolb. That was needed to be a competitive team.
New York Jets for being able to sign a lot of their key free agents.
• Losers: Carolina (overpaid a bunch of players), Cincinnati (do they have a plan?) and Seattle (Tavaris Jackson is your QB. Enough said).
MLB Trade Deadline
• I’m not sure what the Cubs were doing? Instead of trying to get something for players that have no business being on a crappy team in need of rebuilding (Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd being the most prime examples), they decided to stay put. I think this Grantland article explains it all.
• I understand what the Astros were doing, but I have mixed feelings.
Trading Hunter Pence wasn’t a popular move, but the Astros got a nice package for him. Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton are immediately the team’s best prospects.
It also helps that Cosart is a hometown kid. I covered him in high school a lot and he has the potential to be a pitching star. He’s been selected to the MLB Futures Game the past two years. He throws 98 mph and has a vicious curveball.
Trading Michael Bourn was also a smart move — until you see what they got for him. Speedy, gold glove, leadoff centerfielders don’t grow on trees. Yet the Astros weren’t able to pry any of Atlanta’s top four prospects for him.
To me, Houston could have traded Bourn for Mike Minor straight up and I would have been OK. Instead, the Braves are laughing that they still have all their young pitchers in exchange for someone that will make an impact for their team.
Meanwhile, expect Houston to have the first pick in the draft this year and probably next as well. Tickets should be on the cheap next year.
• I really like what Philadelphia and Texas did. They could be setting up for a World Series showdown.
At long last, Bob Bradley got the boot from the Men’s National Team. I understand waiting until after the Gold Cup, but it had to be done.
Getting Juergen Klinsmann to be the lead man was a great hire. They have been flirting with each other for years, and it was good to see a deal finally get done.
I’m going to be curious to see how he reshapes the roster. He prefers an attacking style, which isn’t exactly a strength of the current U.S. team.
It is impossible to predict the team he will field in Brazil in 2014. I think the only certainties are Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard.
I think keeping Michael Bradley in the lineup would be smart (maybe try moving him to center back?), and I’m curious to see if Freddie Adu and Stuart Holden end up fitting in Klinsmann’s style.
World Cup qualifying starts next year, and it is going to be interesting to see what Klinsmann can do in that short amount of time.
• Tiger comes back to the PGA Tour this week. I’m excited.
• I played golf with Jenna on Sunday at the ghetto Par 3 course. I was striking the ball really well — almost too well. I blasted quite a few tee shots past the green.
My downfall, however, turned out to be my short game. I was horrible pitching onto the green, never leaving myself with manageable puts. As a result, I shot an embarrassing 18-over.
Jenna ended up beating me by two strokes, thanks in large part to her pitching in for a birdie from about 20 yards away. That was a killer, as was my wayward tee shot on the ninth that sailed into the driving range to the right.
Overall, I am happy with the way I am hitting the ball now, especially with my irons. I have to work on my short game in a major way, though.
• My fantasy football draft is this week. I don’t have a second or a third round pick, but I do have Adrian Peterson and LeShaun McCoy in a points per reception league. If I get one of my three targets in Round 1, I like my chances this year.
• Yeh-Peu-Dah is on vacation in S.C. all this week. I miss her.
• I finished the final season of Farscape and the series-ending mini-series. Suddenly I find that I don’t have much to do with my free time. It’s kind of sad in a way.
Bear Down and Keep the Faith!