Atlanta Braves, MLB

Braves ink veteran backstop Suzuki to a one-year deal

The Atlanta Braves biggest priority coming to the off-season was finding a catcher to go along with Tyler Flowers. On Saturday they filled that need signing veteran backstop Kurt Suzuki to a one-year 2.5 million dollar deal. This isn’t a sexy move for one of the big names we either weren’t comfortable signing or someone just beats us out, but I really like this signing for us at this point.

Suzuki 33 hit .258 with nine home runs and 49 RBIs in 106 games with the Minnesota Twins last season. Those numbers don’t jump off the page, but decent considering the catching position has become being good at defense or offense not both. Those are serviceable offensive numbers for a backup catcher, which is likely the role he will have with the Braves.

Most importantly, he is very durable since the 2014 season Suzuki is one of six catches to make 2,900 appearances behind the plate. A remarkable stat considering the amount of punishment a catcher takes from foul tips and blocking balls in the dirt. He definitely provides a reliable option if Tyler Flowers were to go down with an injury or needs a day off. Who knows? Suzuki could revert back to his All-Star form he had in 2014 with the Oakland Athletics, but regardless he is a great cost friendly option for the Braves.

Additionally, Suzuki is a great clubhouse addition, especially with all the young guys in this organization. They will be able to pick his brain and watch how he goes about his business on a daily basis. The Braves pride themselves on having a great clubhouse and cohesiveness between players and personnel Suzuki is a great in that regard as well.

The Braves have done an excellent job this off-season adding veteran players that will help this young nucleus develop both on and off the field. The best part about it is most of the deals we have done this off-season are 1 to 2 years, which means they’re not blocking our top prospects they are just great stop gaps until the young guys are ready.

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NFL

Rodgers Football Instincts are incredible it’s what sets him apart.

The 2017 NFL playoffs have been entertaining to watch for the most part because of the Hall of Fame caliber quarterbacks we have remaining. The question that keeps running through my head, watching his games play out is how in God’s green earth did Aaron Rodgers fall to 24th overall in the 2005 draft? It’s mind-boggling to me, I understand he was lightly recruited out of high school and ended up at the University of California.

He put up pretty good numbers with 43 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his two seasons with the Golden Bears. Despite the good numbers he continued to tumble in the first round, then lucky for Packer fans everywhere they selected Rodgers and that is proving to be one of the best decisions in franchise history. Rodgers vowed to make every team that passed on him regret it and boy has he. He spent a three-season apprenticeship behind Hall of Famer Brett Favre soaking in all the knowledge possible while waiting for his opportunity.

Patience paid off as in 2008, Rodgers took the reins of the franchise and now has a stranglehold on that position for as long as his body will allow. He’s gone from that lightly recruited high school kid to a Super Bowl champion and a two-time MVP in a flash. Making good on his promise that he would prove those teams wrong that passed on him on that fateful April day.

It’s clear that Rodgers has the physical attributes that make a good NFL quarterback with pinpoint accuracy and the size to absorb hits from 350-pound defensive lineman. That being said, the thing that sets them apart from all the great NFL quarterbacks today and many from the past is football IQ and instincts much like Peyton Manning had during his career.

Rodgers has the ability to catch defenses with their hand in the cookie jar multiple times during a game whether that be drawing them off sides giving a free play or 12 men on defense. Thus, putting his team in the best position to succeed play after play because he’s always aware of his surroundings and what is going on. He has thrown a touchdown pass 13 times after drawing the defense offside the next highest amongst quarterbacks is three touchdowns simply incredible.

His mind is a tool that is unmatched and he does things on a football field that can’t be taught. You better not take any play off against him because of your lax at any point he will make you pay ask the Giants, Cardinals, and Lions he has completed hail Mary’s against them, resulting in victories and huge momentum changers, a play that is supposed to rarely work Rodgers has made look easy. Another reason to marvel at Rodgers’ physical and mental abilities on a football field.

Rodgers has had a Hall of Fame caliber career despite the lack of running game because of injury and lack of production. Also he has been able to turn wide receivers that were undrafted or late round picks into Pro bowl worthy players! He makes us remember names like Geronimo Allison, Jeff Janis, and Richard Rogers it’s remarkable how much Rogers impact the game of football and the careers of individual players.

As you can see, the game of football is much more than just the X’S and O’S Aaron Rodgers is the poster child for affecting the game in the tiniest of ways and that end up being the reason they win the game. He’s going to need to play his best game of the season in my opinion to get past the Atlanta Falcons who come on strong. This game will be a shootout and I think the team that forces the first turnover will win. It’s going to be fun to watch! I’m not going to bet against Aaron Rodgers, who affects the game in multiple ways!

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NFL

Chargers Moving to LA: What should we expect

The NFL landscape changed greatly Thursday as the San Diego Chargers officially relocated to Los Angeles joining the Rams. This move has been discussed for the last three years, so it’s not much of a surprise. I feel terrible for the city of San Diego and their fans losing part of their identity has to be a hard pill to swallow. The Chargers owner Alex Spanos is partially to blame for this move because I don’t think the invested enough in his organization to make them perennial contenders year after year.

As a result, the teams play has been mediocre over the last handful of years, thus causing a big decline in average attendance the last two seasons, ranking 19th and 31st respectively resulting in declining revenue for both the team and the city. Ultimately the final nail in the San Diego Chargers coffin was the inability to come to terms on a new stadium. A conversation that has been going on for the better part of 15 years, finally came to an end and the Chargers are packing their bags for Los Angeles.

The National Football League is a business and having two teams in Los Angeles opens up numerous revenue opportunities because it’s such a big market. However, this could backfire at least in the short term because both of these teams are in a transitional period the Charges with an aging quarterback and they don’t have the future on the roster currently to learn from Philip Rivers, which could set them back even more.

As you can see, there are tons of questions for the Charges and last time I checked it’s important to win games and get people excited about the organization’s direction and honestly this organization is in flux. Theoretically relocation to Los Angeles should help revenue, but you are competing with the Rams. Whom have a young quarterback and running back to build around with a top 10 defense. For those reasons I am more confident in the Los Angeles Rams long-term future than I am the Los Angeles Chargers even though they have good pieces to build around, but a quarterback is essential for success.

Despite all the questions this team faces new situations create new opportunities that’s the best part about this entire situation. The Chargers have a clean slate with a new coach and a new city where they can build a lasting legacy. Although, Philip Rivers is aging and they need to look at the draft for the future, he is still a very capable quarterback to lead them to victories. They also must avoid the backbreaking injuries and fourth-quarter blunders. The reality is it doesn’t matter where you play your games a little luck and smart football always applies.

This team has definitely lacked those qualities over the last couple years and that must change if they want to start winning on a consistent basis. Another positive thing about this move is they have a chance to make a great first impression and make the city of San Diego regret they weren’t able to get that new stadium. I hope they have success in Los Angeles for all their fans across the country.

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