|August 14, 2012||Twins send Brian Dozier to Triple-A||1 comments|
|August 13, 2012||Fifty shades of football: Day 32||no comments|
|August 06, 2012||Ole Miss track Olympians in action on Tuesday||no comments|
|August 06, 2012||Fifty shades of football: Day 25||no comments|
|August 04, 2012||Fifty shades of football: Day 23||no comments|
|August 02, 2012||Fifty shades of football: Day 21||no comments|
|August 01, 2012||Fifty shades of football: Day 20||no comments|
|July 31, 2012||Fifty shades of football: Day 19||no comments|
|July 30, 2012||Fifty shades of football: Day 18||no comments|
|July 30, 2012||Daily Journal Olympic coverage||no comments|
Brian Dozier, the Fulton product who's been starting much of the season at shortstop for the Minnesota Twins as a rookie, was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after the Twins' game on Tuesday night.
A Twins blogger provides some analysis here.
The 25-year-old Dozier, who played at IAHS and Southern Miss, was hitting .234 in 84 games with six home runs and 33 RBIs. There had been buzz this week at ESPN.com that the Twins' management was considering sending Dozier down for more work on his hitting and fielding. Dozier has 15 errors this season.
“I'd have sent me down, too,” Dozier told reporters. Last year, he was the Twins' minor leaguer of the year.
Minnesota assistant GM Rob Antony told the local ESPN Radio affiliate that the demotion to Triple A was as chance for Dozier to “get his confidence back offensively and defensively.” Story here.
He may have made the decision easier with a play in the field on Sunday that that led to a Twins loss, after he failed to try to throw home in tie game. It didn't go into the books as an error, but was portrayed by the Twins' local media as a mental lapse.
Jamey Carroll (.247) started Monday and Tuesday at shortstop for Minnesota.
A quick fan favorite despite his struggles, Dozier has been the subject of a couple recent stories in the Daily Journal, this one from about a month ago and this one from about two weeks ago. Always, he's been unfailingly good to deal with.
A couple of things that jump out after looking in depth at Dozier's batting stats – he was hitting only .206 in night games, .227 against right-handed pitchers and .207 with runners in scoring position. He had 16 walks against 58 strikeouts and a .271 on-base percentage.
Dozier was hitting .276 in 28 games at Rochester – with a much better .339 on-base percentage – before his callup in early May. At Triple-A, he was hitting .316 against right-handers.
(We’re counting down to the first Saturday of college football, now 19 days away)
Wow, sorry, but the past week was mainly dedivated to the production of our Football Journal high school preview section.
A question I was getting a lot at the end of last week was how I thought the departure of "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu from the LSU roster would affect the Tigers' outlook.
I sad then, and I'll repeat - it will cost LSU one win at some point this season. His potential as a kick returner and a general all-around gamebreaker will be hard to replace.
A pair of track athletes with Ole Miss ties will be in action Tuesday at the London Olympics.
Rebels junior Isiah Young runs at 5:50 a.m. CT in the first round of the men’s 200 meters.
Here is a link to an Ole Miss website story.
Young was third at the U.S. trials and is making his first Olympic appearance.
If he advances, the 200 semifinals are Wednesday.
Gulfport’s Brittney Reese, the favorite in the women’s long jump, will tackle the qualification round at 1:05 p.m. The finals are set for Wednesday afternoon.
It’s been 16 years since an American has medaled in the women’s long jump. Reese has the best jump in the world this year, 7.15 meters (23 feet, 5.5 inches).
Reese finished fifth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
(We’re counting down to the first Saturday of college football, now 26 days away)
There's nothing I can write in this space today that will top the analysis of the Mississippi State football team at the fine website PreSnapRead, which listed the Bulldogs 31st in their countdown of all 124 major college teams. Link to the MSU profile here.
Previous SEC teams that have been profiled:
93-Ole Miss (Link here).
(We’re counting down to the first Saturday of college football, now 28 days away)
As Parrish Alford and I were talking earlier this week on his Rebel Sports Radio podcast about the Ole Miss stadium, it sent me looking for a list of the SEC stadium sizes. I thought I would share that today.
Tennessee: 102,455 (3)
Alabama: 101,821 (5)
Georgia: 92,746 (8)
LSU: 92,400 (9)
Florida: 88,458 (11)
Auburn: 87, 451 (12)
Texas A&M: 83,002 (13)
South Carolina: 80, 250 (20)
Arkansas: 72,000 (23); refers to Fayetteville's Razorback Stadium
Missouri: 68,349 (30)
Kentucky: 67,942 (31)
Ole Miss: 60,580 (44)
Mississippi State: 55,082 (49)
Vanderbilt: 39,773 (80)
The nation's two biggest stadums are Michigan (109,901) and Penn State (107,282). One of these is much more likely to have a sellout this fall than the other.
Sorry, got too busy dealing with some other things today, but I will point you toward the USA Today coaches preseason poll released on Thursday. Link here.
The one team here that's caused some static today is Florida, which was 7-6 last season and has had back-to-back mediocre seasons.
We'll have a poll story in Friday's Daily Journal. The AP media poll is released on Aug. 18.
(We’re counting down to the first Saturday of college football, now 31 days away)
As a little throw-in in the midst of all that data Phil Steele throws at you in his magazine, he lists his estimated homefield advantage for every team. We looked at the SEC Eastern Division on Tuesday, so let's take a look at the SEC Western teams:
Alabama: 5.5-point advantage
Texas A&M 4.75
Mississippi State 3.75
Ole Miss 3.0
As we noted yesterday, USA Today's Jeff Sagarin assigns a generic 3.0-point home advantage for any team, so Ole Miss - from Steele's perspective - has no additional edge playing at home compared to any other team playing at home. The Rebels are 4-10 at home over the past two seasons.
I read an essay recently that was publushed last year that tried to argue Mississippi State as having a significant homefield advantage based on real performance compared to projected result, but the fact is the Bulldogs are 28-36 at home in the past decade, 10-10 for Dan Mullen.
LSU is 62-8 at home in the past decade, with 17 home wins in a row. Alabama is 55-17, but that loss at home last year to LSU, and one the year before to Auburn, suggests that it is possible for a (very slightly) inferior opponent to win at Bryant-Denny.
The SEC West team with the best record "against the spread" at home over the last 10 years is actually Arkansas. Which suggests a little something about true homefield advantage.
(We’re counting down to the first Saturday of college football, now 32 days away)
(We’re counting down to the first Saturday of college football, now 33 days away)
We looked at the most crucial early stretches in the schedule for teams in the SEC Eastern Division on Saturday, so now it's time to do the same for the SEC Western teams.
Alabama: Sept. 1 vs. Michigan (at Cowboy Stadium), Sept. 8 vs. Western Kentucky, Sept. 15 at Arkansas. Defending national champs have won 13 consecutive openers, but it's fair to say that not all of them were against a non-league BCS foe. The Tide is working on a 10-win streak in home openers, but don't need to get caught looking ahead.
Auburn: Clemson on Sept. 1, at Mississippi State on Sept. 8. We're going to quickly find out what kind of team Gene Chizik has this time around. Here's a guess that he's going to have more 8-win seasons at Auburn than 14-win seasons, but an 0-2 start will make it very tough to get to 8. LSU visits on Sept. 22.
Arkansas: After the Sept. 15 home game against Alabama, the Razorbacks play a good-on-paper Rutgers team on Sept. 22 before two road SEC games - at Texas A&M on Sept. 29 and at Auburn on Oct. 6. If Bobby Petrino had been in Fayetteville, you could see Arkansas going at least 6-1 through that stretch, but this team now has a lot to prove.
LSU: There doesn't appea to be anything to fear on the Tigers' September schedule, with four non-conference home games including a Sept. 29 mismatch against Towson. But Phil Steele points out that the visiting team in the LSU-Auburn series has won just once in the last 12 meetings. The path gets tougher in October, with back to back league games - at Florida (Oct. 6) and home against South Carolina (Oct. 13).
Mississippi State: Home against Auburn on Sept. 8 and at Troy on Sept. 15. Dan Mullen hasn't beaten Auburn in three tries, so this one is crucial. But win that one and the next game looks trappy, in the fashion of the Bulldogs' most recent games against UAB.
Ole Miss: The Rebels must win the three winnable early games - Sept. 1 against Central Arkansas, Sept. 8 vs. UTEP and Sept. 22 at Tulane. To do otherwise would be a disaster. That leaves the Sept. 15 game against Texas, and the No.1 task there is to play hard and leave it all on the field - the two home games last year against the highest-ranked teams resulted in two losses by a combined 104-10 margin. Such efforts for a new staff would be unacceptable.
Texas A&M: Aug. 30 at Louisiana Tech, Sept. 8 vs. Florida. I have expressed concerns about that opener already - this will be the Super Bowl for La. Tech. The SEC opener, played at home, will be emotional - but the Gators should be significantly better.
If you're keeping up with the Olympics, we hope our daily Olympic page in print editions of the Daily Journal will be helpful. It's brought to you in part by the fine folks at Renasant Bank, and we have to give them a big tip of the cap.
The page will include previews of each day's TV events, the top news from London and at least one "good read" each day about an athlete or event of interest.
We also have an online Olympics page (link here), utilizing the power of the mighty Associated Press. It has all kinds of stories and a nifty medal chart.
On the run up to the Olympics, I gave you my perspective on security matters in a cclumn here. I imagine I'll write a couple more before the games end. My wife wrote this column in 2010, during the Winter Games, which ponders why we enjoy watching the Olympics so much.
We've written quite a bit in the past about former Ole Miss standout Brittney Reese of Gulfport, a favorite in the women's long jump. You can catch up with stories about her by Parrish Alford (here) and the AP's David Brandt (here).
Mississippi State will be represented by sprinter Daundre Barnaby, who's from Canada. Brad Locke caught up with him and wrote this story before the Games began.