So, the Jays opened up the wallet and signed Russell Martin. He is a good player and the fact that we now have two top-line Canadian players on the roster is a huge deal. I have no problem with the money or length of contract because Martin is a bona fide starting catcher who will make our starting pitchers better. The one thing that I have not heard mentioned yet was his shortcomings at the plate in his first try in the AL East. Hitting .290 with 11 homers and 67 RBI in the NL Central is fine, but the pitching is a little better in the AL East. When Martin played for the Yankees in 2011 and 2012 he hit .237 and .211 respectively and even though he hit more home runs (18 & 21) he was much less productive getting on base. I’m not saying that he is the same player he was then but it’s still a tougher division and there is the added pressure of playing in front of his hometown crowd 81 times. Let’s approach this with caution and remember that if he’s batting .203 at the end of April, it’s not the end of the world. He’s here for the long haul so we might have to be patient to see the best of Russell Martin.
I am getting to the point where I want to just stop paying attention to the Leafs until April. It is unfathomable how inconsistent and hot & cold they are. Obviously, it should be no surprise as no one is going to accuse them of being over-talented but it is still mind boggling that a team can dominate so much one night and loo like a Pee-Wee team the next. The embarrassed themselves on a weekend that hosted the 2014 class of HOF inductees, including the late Pat Burns, by losing 2-1 to Pittsburgh on Friday (Bernier played great and got no help) and then absolutely hit rock bottom by getting rocked 6-2 by the league-worst Buffalo Sabres. It looked like a practice for both teams because the Leafs D seemed to be trying out moves last seen on my NES version of Blades of Steel. The Leafs are not talent-heavy so they have to work hard and in a case like this they did not show up and they need to fix it fast.
The Lions offense looked absolutely lost in their 14-6 loss in Arizona on Sunday. The defense showed why they are still ranked 1st in the league as they didn’t allow a point after two 1st quarter touchdowns where they seemed to be caught off guard. The Lions had a dozen chances in the 4th quarter and a reversed call on a punt return cost the Lions great field position and they never recovered. It is hard for me to understand how a team with these offensive players can be so invisible some weeks. Better clean it up because they have New England next week and that is not a nice place to play.
Shout-out to the Raiders! 0-10 so far and only six losses to go! This is going to be a good thing as long as they don’t screw up the first pick (again) because their quarterback Derek Carr looks like a competent kid and his numbers are impressive despite his team. I think this lost season is the start if the Raiders rise and a likely move back to L.A. is on the horizon and once that happens, it’s only a matter of time until they are in the Superbowl.
Is there any team more hate-able than the Steelers? I can’t stand Big Ben and his giant head. He throws 12 TDs in two games and then almost gets beat by the 2-7 Titans last night. As a team, they drive me crazy week after week. When they win, they can’t cover the spread and when they lose, they should have won. Last night they were up by 3 and had the ball with over six minutes left and just grinded it out and took a knee. Push the ball down the field and score! They couldn’t cover six points to give me the pick so it would have been better for them to lose and knock a few guys out of the Survivor Pool. Those faces Big Ben makes are ridiculous. My favorite Twitter moment of last weekend was this photo done by a fan:
I think that sums it up nicely.