The Adventures of Manny Machado

It’s officially February 1st, and the start of Spring Training is less than 2 weeks away, when pitchers and catchers start reporting to camp. But while we all look forward to the 2019 season, there are still a lot of top tier free agents available, and none of them have a team to play for.

It seems that after the World Series, the talk of free agency begins and the MLB experts predicted what a player was worth. In January, now the MLB experts started using Sabermetrics to analyze and determine what they thought a player was actually worth, in contract years and money, and the values seemed to have gone down. Bryce Harper was going to get close to $400 million. Manny Machado was going to get $300 million. Craig Kimbrel wants $100 million. Yet, they all remain unsigned. Were owners reading into this? Did they open their wallets and see they didn’t have that kind of money to spend? Did the owners not want to get burdened with a long term deal? Or did owners say they can save their money, and work with their up and coming farm systems, and build from within? The answer isn’t known, but seems that there are not a lot of suitors for these remaining free agents.

We could talk all day about Bryce Harper, but we know that he’s going to get paid. So it leads me to my own question, what exactly is Manny Machado worth? Initial reports after the World Series, was that he was on pace for a 10 year, $300 million type of contract. So it was to be expected that teams were going to line up for his services, and he would let them place their bids until he got the contract he wanted.

But something changed. Was it the fact that he didn’t lead the Dodgers to a World Series title? Perhaps it was his piss poor attitude during the playoffs? Maybe it was the experts with their overall numbers and player projections, which determined players aren’t worth the risk of a long term contract. Whatever the reason, seems the line was smaller than expected, and sounds like the take home pay isn’t what he was expecting.

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Than came the report, that Machado was offered a 7 year deal with the Chicago White Sox, for somewhere between $170 – $180 million. Sounds like Manny thinks he’s worth more than the similar type contract that another guy in Chicago got, Jason Heyward.

Now I’m not a Manny Machado fan, but of all teams, I think Manny is a perfect fit with the White Sox. Manny and Jose Abreu would make good in the 3 and 4 spot in the batting order, and with both of them help up and coming talent Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson and Daniel Palka improve their offense, you could have your first 6 batters in the lineup with those above names. I believe the White Sox are on pace to be contenders in the AL Central in about 3 years, and if they can sign Manny, that brings my theory up a year. I dare say it would be sooner, but with the injury to Michael Kopech, I think we’re delayed a year.

But after the new one year deal Nolan Arenado just received from the Rockies (1 year, $26 million), I think that just helped Manny’s value skyrocket, and possibly putting the White Sox out of the running. If Nolan can get $26 million, Manny has to think he can top that. My guess is that Manny is now taking no less than $250 million. He may try to push it, because he knows what ever he ends up signing for, Nolan will top that next year.

My overall guess with Manny, is that he’s doing the right thing, and waiting for Bryce Harper to sign first. Whatever Harper ends up signing for, definitely determines how Manny plays the money game. My original thought was that he would “settle” and get a $200 million deal. With the Arenado signing, now he won’t sign for anything less than $250 million. Only way he gets $300 million or more, is if Bryce Harper does not sign with the Phillies.

Part of me believes that no matter where Manny Machado signs, he won’t stay with said team through the entire contract, as he’ll get traded away like Giancarlo Stanton did from the Marlins, with his absurd contract. Spring Training is less than 2 weeks away and I’m ready for Opening Day. Let’s get the rest of these players signed, so I can get to a ballgame.

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Anticipated WWE Royal Rumble 2019 Results

I am happy to admit, the Royal Rumble is my favorite WWE Pay Per View event to watch. From the hopeful new signings who may appear in the Rumble match, the return of current and former superstars to gear up for Wrestlemania, and the effort the WWE puts in for the next two months in regards to some decent story lines,

While the Royal Rumble is the start of Wrestlemania season, it’s also my filler between the end of the NFL season and the beginning of the MLB season. While I can’t predict when and where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are going to call home, let me post my predictions of what’s going to happen on Sunday.

Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami vs. Kalisto

What I would like to happen: Not happy to admit, I don’t watch 205 Live. Only two wrestlers I’ve seen do their thing are Buddy Murphy and Kalisto. I like the work Buddy does, and think he has the potential of being on the main roster one day. So to keep that train rolling , I would like Buddy to retain his title.

What will most likely happen: Buddy Murphy loses, but ends up in the Rumble.

Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

What I would like to happen: HAPPY RUSEV DAY!

What will most likely happen: Rusev keeps getting held in pre-show matches, and Cheesecake Nakamura has become irrelevant since turning heel. Rusev won’t squash Shinsuke, but the defeat of last year’s Rumble winner should be easily done in under 10 minutes.

The Bar vs. The Miz and Shane McMahon

What I would like to happen: I would like the tag team division to mean something. While I think The Miz performs better when he’s a champion, The Bar can’t go down like this.  I want The Bar to win, but…..

What will most likely happen: ….this is obviously the set up of The Miz vs. Shane McMahon matchup at Wrestlemania. Miz and Shane win the titles, then we have betrayal at Elimination Chamber after they lose the titles, and the first match at Wrestlemania is booked.

Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles

What I would like to happen: I actually have no opinion for this match, and I don’t mean it in a bad way. Both are performing at high levels, and these two will tell a great story at the Rumble. While either can be champion, I see Daniel Bryan retaining and keeps playing the great heel he’s become until Wrestlemania.

What will most likely happen: Pretty simple, Daniel Bryan wins, AJ enters the Rumble.

 

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Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks

What I would like to happen: I really want to see the Sasha Banks from a few years ago, when she feuded with Charlotte Flair, and they had some pretty epic matches that made people realize women’s wrestling is legit. We won’t get that same kind of match with these two, but this should be the match that Ronda gives her best performance, and wrestling fans start taking notice of how good a worker Ronda really is.

Since everyone thinks this is another squash match for Ronda, I would love to see Bayley come down to the ring, and interfere in the match to give Sasha the win. Since everyone has already penciled in Ronda vs. Becky at Wrestlemania, I want to see a few shocked faces when the fans don’t get what they want.

What will most likely happen: Ronda wins, but not without a brutal fight.  Then Sasha goes and prepares to try and win the tag team titles with Bayley at Elimination Chamber.

Asuka vs. Becky Lynch

What I would like to happen: I do really want Becky to be champion again, but wouldn’t mind her losing this match, just to see her scramble a bit to get that main event match at Wrestlemania. Becky being on the hunt, makes her that much better. Than have a woman’s Elimination Chamber match for a title shot, and watch her destroy all 5 other women in the match, to earn her spot in the main event.

What will most likely happen: Becky wins back the title, setting up the storybook main event the fans want at Wrestlemania with her and Ronnie.

Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor

What I would like to happen: I would like the Universal title to be relevant again, but holding that title is like the Madden Curse from the early 2000’s. Balor got it, hurt. Kevin Owens got it, hurt. Roman Reigns got it, hurt. Goldberg doesn’t count, he was just keeping it warm for Lesnar. Either way, Lesnar has held it hostage long enough. Let Balor finally have it back.

And all the talk seems to be to let Balor come out as The Demon. Demon never lost a match. I say let Balor win this match by DQ, and then be given another shot at Elimination Chamber, where then, he comes out as The Demon, to win the title.

What will most likely happen: Brock wins! LOL!

Woman’s Royal Rumble Match

What I would like to happen: With all the talk of Horsewomen vs. Horsewomen, give us the two baddest woman in the same Horsewomen group, and have Shayna Baszler win the Rumble, to then challenge her friend Ronda for the title at Wrestlemania.

What will most likely happen: Charlotte wins the Rumble, and can’t decide whether she wants to face Becky or Ronda at Wrestlemania.

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

What I would like to happen: I think a great match at Wrestlemania would be Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre. I think Drew is the guy that can give Brock a run for his money, and nothing would make me happier than to see Brock go down with a Claymore Kick. Drew McIntyre for the win?

What will most likely happen: Everyone is already penciling in Seth Rollins as the Rumble winner. I’m penciling in Braun Strowman. He “lost” his title shot for the Rumble, so he gets paid back, and more time to heal, with a Rumble entry and win.

 

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Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to take many dance breaks during the Rumble.

The Ultimate Royal Rumble

So with the Royal Rumble happening this Sunday, and everyone making their predictions on who will win, I was driving home and had one of those fantasy booking moments.

So I went to Twitter, and asked this question,

“If you took all the past winners of the previous Royal Rumbles, and put them all in one Rumble match to rule them all, who’s your winner?”

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Got a great turnout and some great answers, and wanted to share everyone’s answers.

@peteopolis (myself) – Ric Flair

@MGoose37 – Stone Cold Steve Austin

@nicksrnwpodcast – Stone Cold Steve Austin

@nicodad26 – Stone Cold Steve Austin

@RevisionistBook – Kane

@PodcastDTF – Undertaker

@MaryCarr5 – Shawn Michaels

@BFrost28 – Ric Flair

@ChrisRuckerShow – Roman Reigns

@Boot2TheFace – Hacksaw Jim Duggan (Chris Rucker’s real choice)

@daTRUTHallstar5 – Asuka

@ABeardedMaster – Stone Cold Steve Austin

@thatJakeSenesac – 1996 Shawn Michaels

@bluewalker2023 – Shawn Michaels

@imthathoop – Ric Flair

@pissedmelinafan – Vince McMahon

@chikarametal666 – Edge

@406Yeti – Big John Studd

@DudeMantheFuck – Vince McMahon

@BrianSand08 – Stone Cold Steve Austin

@yeah_dats_mee – 1994 winners Bret Hart and Lex Luger

@_talkamania – Bret Hart

So if you like the fantasy booking, feel free to pick your winner to add to the list, and let Wrestlemania season begin.

My All Time Top 10 Women of Wrestling

Inspired by another homework assignment from the Boot 2 The Face Podcast, we went from our own Top 10 Wrestlers of All Time, to our own Top 10 Women of All Time.

This list was a little tough, because the the timeline for women in wrestling has evolved so much, each era gets better and better. When I first started watching wrestling in the 1980’s, any woman that appeared on a wrestling program was in the form of a valet. Woman wrestlers were few and far between, unless they were on G.L.O.W. Than the 90’s came, and we got the T and A era, where you were either in Playboy, or you were involved in the type of matches that showed “Puppies”.

But than the 2000’s came along, and woman’s wrestling got a little more aggressive. It was more than slaps and awkward dropkicks, and from this, the Diva’s division was born. But thanks to a mix of Diva’s, NXT and some really great woman, the Woman’s Evolution of wrestling is upon us, and woman are putting on better programs than the men. For me personally, if it wasn’t for the woman right now, I would have a hard time turning on WWE right now.

So onward we go. With the last four “eras” in mind, here are my top 10 women I’ve enjoyed in wrestling.

10 – Lilian Garcia – Lilian will always be in my Top 10, thanks to her incredible rendition of the National Anthem, which she sang on Smackdown right after the events of 9/11. WWF was one of the first entertainment companies to broadcast their programming again, and Lilian brought the house down when she let the world know nothing will stop us, and we are moving forward. Take a minute to jump on YouTube and watch Lilian sing.

9 – Stephanie McMahon – The Million Dollar Princess. We’ve all had a boss like her in our working careers, and no matter how she mean could be, we can’t help watching her put down our favorite wrestlers, like a good McMahon would.

8 – AJ Lee – Putting her geek cred aside, she gave the Divas division the little spark it needed. She can wrestle, she can cause trouble, she was good on the mic, and she was a pretty good general manager for her short time in a suit. It’s a shame she had to retire due to injury, because she had the potential to be a legend in the woman’s division.

7 – (tie) Trish Stratus and Torrie Wilson – Because of this.

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6 – Alexa Bliss – Little Ms. Bliss has the makings of the complete package in the WWE. Her heel character needs a little more work, before she has it all. Wrestling skills are OK, only because she can’t face the bigger opponents for an extended period of time. Her mic skills are almost there for a heel character. Due to her recent concussion, WWE made the right move by keeping her on TV. While I think she has the potential makings of a GM in WWE, I think she might make a better fit on the announce team, kicking off Renee Young.

5 – Charlotte Flair – No matter who Charlotte wrestles, it’s always going to be a great match. Charlotte is one of the main reasons the Woman’s Revolution is as good as it is. Charlotte raises the bar for good wrestling, and her opponents have to step up their game just to compete. Not many female wrestlers get the “This is awesome!” chant as much as Charlotte, and it’s very hard not to disagree.

4 – Becky Lynch – Please, please, please, don’t ever change. Her heel turn was the best thing in wrestling this whole entire year. Always a good wrestler, this new and improved Becky is exactly what we need. From her Twitter trolling, her promos, and her invasion on RAW, this is exactly what make me tune in every week. This is the mark of a great heel, and she makes me want to turn on the TV every week, like Ric Flair used to do in the 80’s.

3 – Tessa Blanchard – Tessa is the Baddest Woman on the Planet. Name another woman who holds 5 different wrestling titles at the same time. Watching her wrestle is a spectacle. She can take any woman on the WWE roster, and doesn’t even need to be signed by them to know it’s true.

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2 – Lita – Personally, I believe Lita is the start of the Women’s Revolution, even before the Divas division was a thing. Lita definitely did not belong in the T and A era.  When she came out with Essa Rios, and started doing moves off the top rope, people immediately forgot about Rios. She wasn’t involved in pillow fights or bra and panties matches, and didn’t even get into the swimsuit photo shoots. She was a wrestler first, and always made a presence in the ring. My opinion is that this made her and Trish into the best woman for the early 2000’s, because they complemented each other’s style in the ring, and gave us one great feud we all looked forward too.

1 – Miss Elizabeth – The Queen of Queens. Elizabeth was the first woman in wrestling everybody loved. She is wrestling royalty.

My Top 10 Wrestlers of All Time

Inspired by a tweet from the Boot 2 The Face podcast, they are doing an episode this Thanksgiving week, based on their Top 10 wrestlers of all time. They asked listeners to submit there own list, so I had to make own list. Some of my choices aren’t going to be your obvious picks, so decided to give an explanation on why I chose my wrestlers for my list.

Quick side note, I missed most of the 90’s due to wrestling becoming to “cartoonish” and boring, and converting over to cable TV (which I didn’t have). So to me, Stone Cold was still Stunning Steve Austin, HBK was still a Midnight Rocker, and I still didn’t care for Hulk Hogan.

But here’s my list. There is a top 3 that won’t ever change, but choices 4 – 10 are in no particular order.

10. Triple H – Triple H was ok doing his DX thing, but really more of a fan when he went solo as The Game. Great heel, good mic skills, and great wrestler. Probably would have been higher on the list if I didn’t keep hearing about his backstage politics, but for what he does with NXT, the good will outweigh the bad. (Sorry Rucker)

9. Curt Hennig – Easily could have been one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, but always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Got stuck in the U.S. Champion and Intercontinental Championship programs, and the only World Championship he ever held was for the AWA. Curt could have easily been World Champion in every federation, several times, but never got his due.

8. CM Punk – Punk was the indie darling, but he jumped the ranks for me after the Pipebomb promo. Not knowing if the promo was real or scripted, what the hell just happened? Punk made me tune in every week, because I wanted more. Some of it got longwinded, but a lot of times it was great TV. Love him or hate him, he made wrestling fun for me.

7 and 6. – Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson – There the MF’in Horseman. There was no faction greater in all of wrestling. Tully and Arn were a legit tag team, in both NWA and WWF. They talked the talk, and walked the walk, and they beat the living shit of people. That’s my kind of crew. All my life, I wanted to be a Horseman.  Side note, Tully makes some fine ass daughters.

5. Terry Gordy – The Freebirds were alright, but they were nothing without Bam Bam. He didn’t say anything, and didn’t need too. His fists did the talking. He was the second best brawler in the business behind Bruiser Brody, but I didn’t get to see enough of Bruiser to rank him. Terry Gordy was the best. And I’m confident enough to say, if Gordy fought Brock Lesnar in his prime, Gordy would make Brock his bitch.

4. Dynamite Kid – The British Bulldogs were one the first wrestlers I liked in the WWF, when I really got into wrestling. They were a good combo of size and speed. I liked Dynamite Kid more, because I thought he had more technical skills than Davey Boy Smith. Than I saw Kid’s matches with Tiger Mask, and they were nothing compared to what he was doing in the WWF. This helped me get hooked, and Kid made me want more.

3. Rick Rude – “What I’d like to have right now, is for all you……” I absolutely love wrestlers who can talk shit and kick ass. For all the girls in school who wouldn’t give me the time of day, I want to swivel my hips at them, then fling my sweat at them, while Bobby Heenan stood behind and laughed. But even after the great promos, he put on a fight. From the Von Erichs to the Ultimate Warrior, he was the 3rd greatest heel of all time.

2. Randy Savage – Freak out, freak out. The baddest dude on the planet. The Macho Man was a beast. Everyone wanted to be him, and couldn’t even compare. He wanted nothing short of excellence, and than you hear the stories of how he prepared for matches, and all you can do is applaud him for always wanting to give his best. Than he defended Elizabeth’s honor, after Hogan tried to take her away from Randy, and Hogan got what was coming to him. Best build ever.

ric-flair-103015-wwe-ftr_qaq2ml8c9l6d1cmew3abk8yv2 Continue reading

Crown Jewel Predictions Cancelled!

I am a bad wrestling fan. I have no interest in Crown Jewel. Plain and simple, none of these matches interest or exicite me. I already have more interest in the Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey match at Survivor Series, than all of Crown Jewel.

So I’ll get back on the prediction train once Survivor Series comes around. In the meantime, here’s how I filled my creative juices last night.

In honor of Crown Jewel, here’s a picture of Hulk Hogan riding a horse.

And last night, I made The Joker our new, all fearless leader of the Free World.

Until Survivor Series, when we do this all again.

WWE Super Showdown Predictions Post

This will be quick, as I didn’t have time to sit down and write a blog post, so going to try and do this on my phone. Going by the match lineup on Wikipedia.

Triple H vs. Undertaker

Guessing there will be interference on both sides, with a HHH stolen win, to start a build up towards Wrestlemania between Taker and HHH or HBK.

Bob and John vs. Kevin Owens and Elias.

I’m hoping for a win for KO and Elias, as I could see this be a team building up for later on, with them bring potential tag team champions.

Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz

I really want Miz to win, but sensing the rebuilding of Daniel Bryan, back to winning matches and getting main evert status for 2019.

The Shield vs. Braun, Dolph and Drew

All the belts, with nothing to lose. I have no horse in this race, so guessing a DQ win for The Shield. And no heel turns from either side.

The Bella Twins and Ronda Rousey vs. The Riott Squad

I want to party with The Riott Squad, and I want them to win as well. I’m guessing this is where the Bella’s attack Rousey to set up the Evolution match.

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe

I’m hoping AJ Styles wins. Every time I bet against AJ, he wins. So now I love AJ Styles, hope he wins. Team AJ all the way.

Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy

These two sound like they should be in cop costumes, solving crimes in a better fashion than Breezango. But I’m cheering for Buddy, because Alexa Bliss.

New Day vs. The Bar

Well fought match, Bar with the win.

Asuka and Naomi vs. The IIconics

The IIconics are having a match in their homeland of Australia. So they have to win, rigbt?

Becky vs. Charlotte

Match of the night. Charlotte wins. By DQ.