Archive for December, 2012

Couch Side Podcast Episode 40: Over the Hill

The L.A. Kings' 2012 run to a Stanley Cup title made the list of Couch Side top moments in sports for 2012. Photo by: underactive / Flickr

The L.A. Kings’ 2012 run to a Stanley Cup title made the list of Couch Side top moments in sports for 2012. Photo by: underactive / Flickr

BY staff

Couch Side is jacked to bring you the 40th episode of our show. Join hosts Wade McMillin and Craig Paul for dicussions about a couple of very tight divisions, the best sports moments of 2012, the R.A. Dickey trade, Duke taking over the No. 1 spot in the AP college men’s basketball poll and the return of Steve Nash. Join us for this very special holiday episode by clicking below:
• Click here to download Couch Side Podcast Episode 40: Over the Hill … via Talkshoe

Nick Swisher: An overlooked commodity

BY JUSTIN MILLAR, syndication

Free agent outfielder Nick Swisher may just land the next big deal. Photo by: Keith Allison / Flickr

Free agent outfielder Nick Swisher may just land the next big deal. Photo by: Keith Allison / Flickr

While we are all sitting here absorbing the shock of Josh Hamilton’s new enormous contract with the Angels, a fellow free agent outfielder is making his 2013 plans, albeit at a much lower pricetag.

Since becoming a full time regular in 2005, Nick Swisher has been a model of consistency. Aside from his 35 home run outburst in 2006, he has hit between 21 and 29 home runs in every full season in his big league career. He has hit 30+ doubles each of the past 4 years, and has scored between 75 and 106 runs in 7 straight seasons. Swisher’s OPS+ has also been 120+ in 6 of the past 7 years. And since 2006, his walk rate has only dipped below 12% once (2010). Since 2005, he has accumulated a 26.3 WAR (via Fangraphs), averaging 3.3 wins above replacement per season.
The fact is, Swisher excels at parts of the game that traditionalists overlook, such as getting on base and position versatility. Swisher can play all 3 outfield positions as well as first base. And he can play all but center field at an adequate level. These factors alone make Swisher an extremely valuable player, and an underrated one as well.
With Josh Hamilton off the board, Swisher is now the top free agent bat on the market, and he could be in line for a nice payday. Most estimate Swisher to be getting a contract around 4 years with an average annual value in the $12-$15 million range. It definitely would not surprise me if he ended up getting a contract worth 4/$60. There are a number of teams rumored to be interested in his services including the Rangers (who are looking for an outfielder now that they lost Hamilton and Justin Upton), Mariners, and Indians. (more…)

NBA Power Rankings Week Seven: Clippers catching steam


NBA Power Rankings (week seven) are organized with this week’s ranking, the team and last week’s ranking in parenthesis. 

Western Conference

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (1) – The Thunder stay atop the Rankings this week. They are rolling with 10 wins in a row. I think they have reached the confidence level that they were playing with last year. They have two tough games at Atlanta and at Minnesota this week, and then an anticipated match up against Miami on Christmas Day.

2. L.A. Clippers (4) – The Clippers had another undefeated week. They have won their last 9 games, and that is why they jump up to the 2 spot this week.

3. San Antonio Spurs (2) – San Antonio had two losses this week against two good teams in Utah and Portland. They have another tough week with a road trip through Okalahoma and Denver. They can make their push for the top spot this week!

• For the rest of Couch Side’s NBA Power Rankings Click Here

Eastern Conference

1. New York Knicks (1) – They have proven to be the best team in the NBA so far this season. The Knicks are still undefeated at home sitting at 10-0; they have 3 games at home this week playing Houston, Brooklyn, and Chicago. That is a tough schedule we will see if they can get to 13-0 at home.

2. Miami (2) – I am a little disappointed in the Heat. I feel like they are just coasting through the regular season, and as good as they are they will be fine, they still might win the East, but I think they are underachieving so far this season. Personally I think they are good enough that they should threaten the Bulls regular season record.

3. Atlanta Hawks (3) – Atlanta went 2-2 this week with losing to the Heat and the Warriors. They have a tough week ahead of them with two back-to-backs, one ending with Oklahoma City and the other ending with Chicago.

• For the rest of Couch Side’s NBA Power Rankings Click Here

WWE Year in Review: In Memorial


Professional wrestling has an inherent entertainment value absent from many other sports due to its predictability and knack for combining soap opera-quality storylines with physical violence. That’s not to say it can’t be enjoyed by your average sports fan, however.

This past year, pro wrestling entered mainstream media in a way it hadn’t in years with the returns of superstars including The Rock, Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar. Regular mainstays such as CM Punk reigned an entire calendar year as WWE Champion, whereas John Cena has entered what has to be considered a slump due to his numerous losses in big match situations.

Just like every sport, there are winners and losers in the world of professional wrestling, and to commemorate the end of the year, we are going to take a look back at WWE throughout 2012. Whereas the WWE has its Slammy Awards, Couch Side has its own celebration of the year that was, and what fans can expect come 2013.

Rising Star

Brett: Antonio Cesaro — Cesaro, real name Claudio Castagnoli, debuted on WWE television soon after WrestleMania 28 and in the nine or so months since appearing has carved out a nice reputation so far. He’s the current United States Champion, a title he has held since August’s SummerSlam pay-per-view, and has been every bit as dominant as he was in other promotions before the WWE got their hands on him. He has all the tools in the ring to be a success and can work it on the microphone when necessary. I mean come on…the dude speaks five languages. He is a star in the making and rarely, if ever, disappoints when put in a big-time scenario. It is only a matter of time before the name Antonio Cesaro is not only a prominent name in pro wrestling, but also in the mainstream.

Matt: Ryback — When 2012 started, Ryan Reeves was on the active WWE roster, but had next to no ring appearances. 12 months, and a mouthful of jobbers later, the man now known as Ryback has taken the WWE by storm in an attempt to quench his massive appetite. Predicting the rise of a guy who wasn’t anywhere near the main event until Hell in a Cell in October would have been foolish months ago. Even back in October, many were worried Ryback’s push was too much, too soon. But now, the WWE has arguably its next big star in the form of a guy who has transcended any similarities with Goldberg and developed his own character. Sure, Ryback won’t be winning the big one any time soon, but to have cemented himself as a main event talent after facing competition that includes Curt Hawkins earlier in the year, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.


NFL Power Rankings Week 15: Chasing the playoffs


Each NFL team now has three games remaining in the 2012 season, some teams are jockeying for postseason position, while some are playing their way out of the playoffs. Also we have a new team on top of this week’s power rankings, with the Texans and Falcons both losing in week 14. With that here are your week fifteen NFL power rankings:

(Last week’s ranking), Team, (record)

  1. (3) New England Patriots (10-3)- The Patriots take over the top spot with a 42-14 throttling over last week’s number one team the Houston Texans. This team has solidified itself as the top team in the AFC, winning seven straight and scoring a league high 36.3 points per contest. New England also has quality wins against the Broncos and Texans and now has a viable shot at home field advantage in the playoffs. Tom Brady added to his campaign for MVP in the torching of the Texans, as he completed 21 of his 35 attempts for 296 yards and 4 touchdowns. This team is on a roll at the right time, as usual.
  2. (4) Denver Broncos (10-3) – The Broncos make it to the number two spot because of their eight game win streak which was extended with a 26-13 win over their rival Raiders. They now have a big matchup this week against the Baltimore Ravens, a team they will most likely see in the playoffs. So far Denver is 0-2 against AFC playoff teams with losses to the Patriots and Texans, so this game will be a true test of how good they really are.
  3. (1) Houston Texans (11-2) – The Texans fall to the number three spot after a dismal performance on Monday night’s game against the Patriots. Tom Brady exploited the numerous holes this team’s defense has especially in their secondary. The Texans now face a red hot Colts team, whom they must beat to hold onto a well needed home –field advantage in the playoffs.

Click here for the rest of Couch Side’s NFL Power Rankings 

Couch Side Podcast 39: Winter Meeting Mojo

The Couch Side gang dives into the MLB Winter Meetings in this week's episode. Photo by: Steve Dean / Flickr

The Couch Side gang dives into the MLB Winter Meetings in this week’s episode. Photo by: Steve Dean / Flickr

BY staff
Couch Side keeps rolling this week with headlines around the NFL taking center stage. Join hosts Wade McMillin and Craig Paul and special guest Sean Schoonover is sports discussions that include the NFL playoff picture after Week 14, a review of the MLB Winter Meeting and NFL coaches who may be on the Hot Seat. Click below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side Show podcast:

• Click here to stream Couch Side Podcast Episode 39: Winter Meeting Mojo … via Talkshoe