Random Thoughts 3/31/14

-Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I was moving all this past weekend and have been very busy.  There is a lot to discuss for sure.  I’ll start with Major League Baseball opening day today.  It should be a super fun day.  It’s a fresh start for all teams in the Major Leagues.  I’ll be watching as much as I can throughout the day.  I’m picking the Cardinals to win it all this year.  It pains me to say that being a Cubs fan, but they just seem to have a ton of talent.  They have done a great job of staying young and having great veteran talent.  There are so many teams that could win it all though.  I like Boston still.  I like SF and LAD.  I think the Nationals could make some noise with Matt Williams as their new manager.  It’s so hard to tell in baseball because the season is so long.  Anything can happen during the year and there are always a few surprises.  If I had to pick a surprise team it would be Toronto.  They had so much pressure last year after their big trades and signings.  This year there won’t be nearly as much pressure and they still have a ton of talent.  If they stay healthy, I really believe they can fight for first in the AL East.  I’ll try to do a bigger write-up on the new baseball season if I have time later this week.

-The Final Four is set in March Madness.  Anyone who thinks picking this stuff is easy needs to give it a try.  We had a 1 seed, 2 seed, 7 seed and 8 seed in the Final Four.  Some may say that Kentucky should have been a much higher seed than an 8.  They have tons of talent and they’re finally playing that way.  However, no one saw UConn coming.  They were 18th in the preseason rankings, but no one was predicting a Final Four berth from this team.  I think Kentucky is going to be very difficult to beat.  Wisconsin has been playing great, but simply doesn’t have the talent that Kentucky does.  Wisconsin is not a highly efficient offensive team.  They also really struggle at rebounding and Kentucky is a very good rebounding team.  This could end up causing problems for Wisconsin.  Kentucky is out rebounding teams by an average of 10 rebounds per game during the tournament.  It’s been a big reason why Kentucky has advanced.  I’m picking Florida and Kentucky to advance and Florida to win the title.

-The Pacers continue to struggle in the NBA.  They’ve lost 2 straight since beating the Heat last Wednesday.  Indiana is now only 1 game up on the Heat and tied in the loss column.  They do, most like, hold the tiebreaker.  However, Indy has a few super tough games left.  They play San Antonio tonight and then OKC in about 2 weeks.  Both of those games are at home, but they are still super tough.  I am predicting that the Heat will end up passing the Pacers and get the #1 seed.  The West continues to be a big jumble at the bottom.  Phoenix, Dallas and Memphis are all within a 1/2 game of each other.  Golden State is only 1 1/2 games up too.  If any of those teams lost 2-3 in a row they could be out of the Playoffs.  I still think Phoenix is going to be the team on the outside looking in, but they have definitely been playing better lately.  I think Phoenix has the toughest schedule remaining.  They really only have 2 games that aren’t super tough and they are both on the road.  5 of their 8 games left are on the road.  They face LAC, Portland, OKC, NO, SA, Dallas, Memphis and Sacramento.  Ouch!  Dallas is definitely easier, although not entirely easy either.  They also play 5 road games, but do have LAL, Sacramento and Utah at home.  They should definitely win those three.  Memphis definitely has the easiest schedule to me.  They play Denver twice, Minnesota, Philadelphia, LAL, Miami, Phoenix, SA and Dallas.  So they only play 4 games against Playoff teams.

-NT FB and Museum BB both released last week.  In a way, they are very similar products.  They both have a bunch of truly awesome, high end cards.  However, they can both be fairly atrocious on the box level as well.  I love high end products as much as the next guy.  However, I do wish they could be a little more balances sometimes.  That to me is the difference between a good high end product and a great one.  Every high end product has some nice stuff in it.  The great ones have boxes that are solid even when they don’t have anything super nice it.  I don’t think Museum or National Treasures FB have that from what I’ve seen.  They are still a ton of fun to open though.

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