Posts Tagged ‘A Fan’s Point of View’

40 Iconic Moments in Football

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

by LeRoy McConnell III

Leroy Blog






Here at Sports Kings/War Room Sports, we went brainstorming in the past and present for the best iconic moments in football. Our goal is to feature players who have wowed us with their signature move that fans all over have talked about, mimicked, or can tell you where they were when the incident happened. We will use Terrell Davis for example. Do you remember the Mile High Salute? Well if you were a Denver Broncos fan or hater, you saw it plenty during their Super Bowl run in the late ’90s. The Mile High Salute indicated the Broncos way of celebrating one of their many touchdowns. There are 40 iconic moments that were chosen. They are not in any particular order.

40. Terrell Davis Mile High Salute

39. Ickey Woods “The Ickey Shuffle”
Ickey wasn’t in the league very long but he did make an impact when he reached the end zone. Woods’ touchdown dance became hip hop!

38. Michael Irvin’s First down Salute I can’t remember who was the first to celebrate a first down but you knew when it was 3rd and 9, Troy Aikman was going to hit Irvin with that ten yard slant. First and ten Cowboys!


37. Walter Payton’s Bulldozing Over Defenders & Jumping Over the Top Of The Pile. Sweetness, now that’s funny, Walter Payton was everything but SWEET! He was probably pound for pound the most physical mixed with athletic running back the game had ever seen.  

36. T.O. SMH! The Star, Popcorn, Sharpie, Pom Pom Terrell Owens brought WWF to football. Since the NFL only marketed the great Peyton Manning, Terrell promoted himself better than anyone else. Besides no one loves T.O more than T.O!  

35. Shawn Merriman’s Lights Out Dance Shawn Merriman perfected the Mark Gastineau sack dance representing the Charger’s bolt. Just when he made his niche as a sack master father time set in soon after.

34. Peyton Manning’s Cadence I always got tickled when Peyton barked out his cadence. You would see defenses change their call, for what? We all know Peyton is throwing the ball! Nevertheless, Peyton hike the ball please!  

33. Deion “Prime Time” Sanders Showboating Prime Time, Prime Time, Prime Time! Did anyone have more swag than #21. You knew if you Deion was at corner then his whole side of the field was covered.

32. The Eddie Lacy Spin Move Eddie Lacy is probably the only back in history that enjoyed the spin move drill in practice. Lacy’s looks like a human pinball machine.  

31. Bo Jackson’s 91 Yard Touchdown vs Seattle Seahawks Damn you Bo, how could you be the one to end Brian Bosworth’s football career! Hmmm, just think Bo was one time a marketing machine. I wonder who’s our Bo Jackson today?  

30. The Mack Brown’s Clap! If you are a Texas Longhorn fan shouldn’t we be clapping at Mack Brown’s resignation? After losing out on RGIII, Andrew Luck, Johnny Manziel, and Jameis Winston. Job well done Mack!MackBrown-Clap 

29. 1993 Buffalo Bills Greatest Comeback Against Houston Oilers Houston Oilers up 35-3 and Buffalo Bills are without Jim Kelly at the helm. Here comes backup quarterback, Frank Reich with a second half surge throwing for 21 of 34 pass completions for 289 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 1 interception.

28. Desmond Howard’s Heisman Pose Desmond probably got the Heisman for the simple fact he posed better than the Heisman himself!Desmond-Howard  

27. Jim Mora “Playoffs?” Don’t you just love meltdowns, does anyone even remember if they ever won a again?

26. John Elway’s Helicopter Run Of all the highlights John Elway has been a part of, his helicopter
run signifies a Super Bowl victory.

25. Robert Brooks’ Lambeau Leap I’m sure there were many of Packers before Brooks that leaped into the land of Cheese heads but I can’t think of one that did it before Brooks. I’m sure some Packer historian can tell me who was the first.  

24. Cam Newton’s “Superman” Is Cam really Superman? Not only does he have a S on his chest. He now wears Superman socks. Thank the Lord he’s winning football games now.

Carolina Panthers v Washington Redskins

23. Franco Harris’ Immaculate Reception All I can say is in the right place at the right time but what was the big deal, they lost to the undefeated Miami Dolphins a week later.  

22. Jamal Anderson’s “The Dirty Bird” What was once the Bird by Morris Day and the Time. Then comes Jamal Anderson with his touchdown celebration and it was a little bit on the dirty side.  

21. Dennis Green’s “Meltdown!” Yep, I agree Dennis your Cardinals did let the Bears off the hook, epic but not quite the greatest meltdown.  

20. Jim McMahon’s Headband You had to love Jim McMahon being ornery, he was the bad boy of sports. Without Jim McMahon pushing buttons you may not have a T.O. or a Chad Johnson.mcmahons-headbands 
19. Michael Strahan’s Sack Record So who really cheapens this sack record, Brett Favre or Michael Strahan? I guess if you are going to give it to me, I have to take it, right?  

18. Eric Dickerson’s Goggles & Neck Brace For those who don’t know what Eric hairdo was back in the day was, it was the Jheri Curl. The Curl also signified coolness to go along with the goggles and neck brace. Everything Dickerson did was cool, heck he even ran cool!Eric-Dickerson-Goggles-2 

17. Dwight Clark “The Catch against the Cowboys” That catch ended the Cowboy reign in the NFC and started a dynasty for the 49ers. Is that when the two-minute drill all started. Joe Montana to Dwight Clark!


16. Lynn Swann’s Circus Catch I guess it’s pick on Cowboys day! Yes it’s Lynn Swann and one of his epic Super Bowl catches. Okay it was spectacular!  

15. Mike Singletary’s “Intense Eyes” Is it me or did running backs just fall down after the Singletary stare at them?


14. Jerry Jones On The Sidelines No one complained when the Cowboys were winning but heck that was 16 years ago! Then again if my team was worth close to 2 billion dollars I would be on the sidelines too!


13. Tony Dorsett’s 99 yard touchdown run This happened on Monday Night Football January 3, 1983. This record will always be intact, it can only be tied.  
12. Tom Brady’s “Tuck Rule” This play started all this Patriot Dynasty BS! Of all teams getting screwed, DA RAIDERS! Between the Tuck Rule and Spygate……… Equals a New England Patriot Dynasty. Spygate wasn’t included but probably should have been.

11. David Tyree’s Super Bowl Catch David Tyree should have been given a second Super Bowl ring for this catch. One from the NY Giants and a second one from the ’72 Miami Dolphins. His catch led to the winning catch by Plaxico Burress. He kept New England from the perfect season of 19 – 0. Heck no love afterwards, Tyree didn’t make the squad the following season.


10. “Steve Tasker’s Hustle Play “Super Bowl XXVII” “Leon Lett” Oh Leon, if only people knew how dominant of a defensive tackle you were, but blunders like this and who could forget the Thanksgiving Day when you touched that blocked kick!  

9. Keyshawn Johnson’s “Give Me The Damn Ball” Perfect title for a starving wide receiver. Funny how Wayne Chrebet was getting the ball instead!


8. Kordell Stewart’s Hail Mary Throw To Michael Westbrook It was Kordell’s only highlight of his football career. As for Michael Westbrook, I can only remember him giving his former Redskins teammate Stephen Davis a can of whoop a$$!  

7. Pat Summerall & John Madden The pair was a very entertaining. Pat Summerall’s voice, I can hear it now giving True Value Hardware some love and Madden, I can envision him drawing plays on the tv monitor.


6. Mike Gundy’s “I’m A Man I’m 40!” Thank God for 40, I’m finally a MAN!  

5. Chicago Bears “Super Bowl Shuffle” The big bad Bears pulled this one-off. I remember having to do this same bit in choir back in junior high school. They came, saw, and kicked a$$ while doing the shuffle.

4. Herm Edwards “You play to win the game!” The best meltdown to this point. Who has more charisma than Herm Edwards? Great motivator, like him even more on ESPN  

3. “The Drive” Denver vs. Cleveland The Drive was only the start. It wasn’t the Cleveland Browns that was haunted by John Elway. It was Marty Schottenheimer who was being tormented. After Marty left Cleveland for Kansas City, Elway picked on him for another decade in KC.   

2. Joe Namath’s Super Bowl guarantee Namath’s Super Bowl guarantee gave the American Football Conference some legitimacy. Don’t hear too many bold predictions anymore.

1. 1972 Miami Dolphins Undefeated Season 17 – 0
I guess we can continue to watch these old geezers pop open champagne year after year. I don’t think anyone is going perfect anytime soon despite the league being watered down a bit.

LeRoy McConnell of A Fan’s Point of View, for War Room Sports

Watch: Larry Allen humors the crowd with his Hall of Fame speech

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

by LeRoy McConnell III

Leroy Blog






(Image via Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

(Image via Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

After watching longtime Dallas Cowboy, Larry Allen get inducted into the Football Hall of Fame Saturday Night, my first thought was, “is he really going to talk?” I’ve watched this massive human being anchor the offensive line since the time he stepped on the gridiron in 1994. Throughout his career I have never heard the man talk. This is the same individual who was walking to the Cowboys’ players parking lot many years ago with teammate, Terry Glenn and I just had to see what kind of vehicle he drove. I’m thinking it has to be some sort of SUV or a gigantic luxury vehicle. Well, it wasn’t a surprise to see Mr. Glenn get into a black Lamborghini. Glenn, a former wideout has a small frame that suits a fast, exotic car. As Terry got into his vehicle, Mr. Allen walked past Terry’s car to get into his black Lamborghini! I’m thinking WTF? Get out of here! How is this BIG MAN going to get into this itty bitty car? Just like Terry did, he got into his car and drove off.

Click here to read the rest of this story and watch videos of Larry Allen’s HOF induction speech and his 700 lb bench press.


LeRoy McConnell III of A Fan’s Point of View, for War Room Sports

MLB All-Star Trivia

Monday, July 15th, 2013

LeRoy McConnel III

Leroy Blog






(Logo courtesy of

(Logo courtesy of


In light of the 2013 MLB All-Star Game approaching this Tuesday (July 16th), WRS would like to provide some interesting tidbits leading up to the game. Scroll through our 25 MLB All-Star trivia questions and see how knowledgeable you are. Some of the questions require no effort at all; but hopefully there are some that will require a little thought. If by chance you don’t know the answer, the answer key is below the questions at the bottom of the page. So check out the list of questions and see how many you can answer without peeking!

Click HERE to see the list of trivia questions.


LeRoy McConnel III of A Fan’s Point of View, for War Room Sports

40 All-Time Iconic Baseball Moments

Monday, July 15th, 2013

LeRoy McConnel III

Leroy Blog






"The Babe" calling his shot. (Photo courtesy of

“The Babe” calling his shot.
(Photo courtesy of


Here at WRS, we went brainstorming for a list of baseball players in the past and present to see who has the best iconic moments. Our goal was to feature players who have wowed us with their signature move that fans all over have talked about, mimicked, or can tell you where they were when the moment occurred. We will use Babe Ruth for example. We have long heard about how he allegedly called his home run shot. Baseball purists have told stories about that for years. How truthful was it? We will never know. It sounds more like a tall tale but it’s still Babe Ruth’s iconic move.

Let’s take a look at other Major League players’ trademark or brand-defining moments that have made them forever popular. The iconic moments are not in any order.

Click HERE to see the list and accompanying video footage.


LeRoy McConnell III of A Fan’s Point of View, for War Room Sports

Top 11 Athletes That Have Been Involved in a Murder

Monday, July 15th, 2013

by LeRoy McConnell III

Leroy Blog






(Photo courtesy of

(Photo courtesy of


In light of what’s going on with Aaron Hernandez, I thought we could take a look back at other disturbing situations that involve murder cases.  Let’s take a look at the top 11 athletes that were involved in the most heinous murders of all-time.

Click HERE to see the list.


LeRoy McConnell III of A Fan’s Point of View, for War Room Sports


Sergio Garcia Is Getting A Reality Check

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

by LeRoy McConnell III





(Courtesy of

Sergio, EVERYBODY IN AMERICA EATS FRIED CHICKEN!  Though you are not from the U.S., you don’t get a pass for your racist remark made toward Tiger Woods.  In the last few weeks, the sports world has witnessed how much disdain you have for the world’s number one golfer.  If you want to exchange insults with him, then privately say it to his face!  Sergio, don’t be surprised if the African-Americans are offended by your choice of words.  Just ask Fuzzy Zoeller, who also made the same inappropriate comment about “fried chicken”.  Zoeller is a racist bigot who maliciously attacked Tiger Woods in front of the world back in 1997.  Tiger Woods left Zoeller out to dry and Fuzzy was crucified for it.

In my opinion, those words were 100% directed toward Tiger Woods.  I don’t think Sergio meant to offend me or other African-Americans.  I don’t know Sergio personally, but I haven’t heard anything to lead me to believe he is a racist bigot.  However, I have to hold him accountable.

The only reason Sergio Garcia apologized today was the $10-12 million in endorsements that he is probably trying to save.

Luckily for you Sergio, Tiger Woods was classy enough to rescue you by responding to your apology.  I believe you can make a racist comment without being a racist.  If I’ve made the same mistake, I would pray someone would forgive me.

Look Sergio, if you want to get even with Tiger Woods, then you beat him on the playing course.  Until then, shut up and play golf.


LeRoy McConnell III of “A Fan’s Point of View”, for War Room Sports

The 8 Famous Mommies In Sports

Monday, May 13th, 2013

by LeRoy McConnell III






courtesy of

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies all over the world.  Moms are famous for several reasons: For their nurturing, being a tad bit on the crazy side, and well, you know…“MILF”.  I wanted to take the opportunity of the occasion to shed light on The 8 Famous Mommies In Sports.


8. Wilma McNabb: Mother of former NFL QB Donovan McNabb


courtesy of nextimpulsesports

Wilma McNabb is better known as America’s Favorite Sports Mom.  She became famous in her own right thanks to the Chunky Soup commercials, where she fed her son and teammates.  She put an end to the fake mom on the commercial as it only made sense for her to play the role of Donovan’s mom, since in fact she is his real mom!


7. Gloria James: Mother of NBA Superstar LeBron James

Gloria James, the proud mother of LeBron; you’re talking about someone who hit the lottery!  I don’t know who really is the parent here, her or LeBron.  It’s amazing that LeBron turned out to be spectacular on and off the court, because the antics his mother puts him through are disturbing.  Slapping a hotel valet attendant while intoxicated, mouthing off with Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce after he fouled James hard during LeBron’s Cleveland days, and of course the rumors of her and Delonte West!


6. Sonya Curry:  Golden State Warrior’s Superstar Steph & former Duke standout Seth Curry

The MILF; the most talked about mom in college basketball.  I sure hope she starts showing up to some of these NBA games now, since both of her kids are done with the NCAA.  There have been countless times that she is compared to the beautiful actress, Thandie Newton.  Sonya, also was an athlete.  She was a volleyball player at Virginia Tech, same place where she met her husband, former NBA player Dell Curry.


5. Ann Iverson: Mother of former 76ers great Allen Iverson

If you were an Allen Iverson fan, then you knew his mother quite well.  She was trying to be just as hip as her trendsetting son.  Then again, she was just a baby herself as the mom and son duo are only fifteen years apart.  When the initials A.I. came about, one would wonder who you were talking about, Allen or Ann!  Ann Iverson has to be at the top of the list of moms who defends their son whether he is right or wrong.  Sometimes it’s better if mom just stays out of it.


4. April Justin: Mother of Alabama recruit Landon Collins

Who says that mothers always know best?  Well Ms. Justin will tell you she does.  Her son, Landon Collins, one of the most coveted high school seniors in the country, chose to play football at Alabama next season.  No-brainer right…playing for Nick Saban and the national champions, Alabama Crimson Tide?  Only problem was mommy didn’t approve.  Let’s see how she felt about his decision and what she wants him to do.


3. Pamela Bryant:  Mother of 5-time L.A. Lakers Champ Kobe Bryant


courtesy of tmz

No child should ever think about putting his or her hands on their mom.  Especially her neck, and NO Kobe did no such thing, but he was probably thinking it.  I suppose that Mother’s Day wasn’t celebrated on Kobe’s end as he is engaged in an ugly lawsuit over his childhood memorabilia.  I guess since Kobe won’t front mommy with more money for a new home, Pamela Bryant is taking matters into her own hands by selling items of her beloved son, all the way back from his high school days.  I have to say, MY LAMB!

2. Pamela McGee:  Mother of Denver Nuggets Javale McGee

pam mcgee

courtesy of NBA Mistress

Pamela was the first WNBA player to have a child play in the NBA.  Pam is the overprotective mom who manages Javale’s career.  Lord knows what she may be doing to Javale’s social life when it comes to women!  Fortunately we may soon see a reality show called Millionaire Mama’s Boy, starring Javale and Pam, which will be airing on Oprah’s network real soon.

1. Janet Hill:  Mother of L.A. Clippers’ Grant Hill


courtesy of

The Hill family were compared to the Cosby show (Heathcliff & Claire) because it was rare to see an African-American couple, both having professional careers.  She married Yale graduate and former Dallas Cowboys running back, Calvin Hill.  Mrs. Hill raised one of the most elegant, respectable gentleman that the NBA has ever had in Grant Hill.  Oh by the way Janet Hill will always be linked with Hilary Clinton because they were roommates in college.


Happy Mother’s Day!


LeRoy McConnell II of “A Fan’s Point of View”, for War Room Sports



2013 MLB Top 10 Outfielders

Monday, April 1st, 2013

by Ryan Kantor





10. Atlanta Braves, RF, Jason Heyward

As tough as it was to leave guys like Bryce Harper and Adam Jones off the top 10 list, the Atlanta Braves right fielder squeaks in as the 10th best outfielder in the game.  At just 23 years of age, Heyward is only approaching his prime after completing his first 20-20 season.  With the Upton brothers, Brian McCann, and Freddie Freeman hitting around him, Jason Heyward is primed for a breakout year.  The first of many 30-20 seasons from the Braves slugger may be on the horizon.


9.  Los Angeles Angels, RF, Josh Hamilton

In the most exciting move of the offseason, the Los Angeles Angels used their “Grienke Money” on Josh Hamilton, giving them the best outfield in baseball.  Hamilton batted .285 with 43 home runs last season, but in the two seasons prior he donked 25 and 32 dingers, respectively.  He’ll have a less grueling summer in the mild climate of southern California, but expect some regression as he moves away from the Ballpark in Arlington after a stellar year.  Something in the neighborhood of a .290 average with 34 home runs is still realistic.



8.  Atlanta Braves, LF, Justin Upton

The former number one overall pick will finally join his brother, B.J. Upton, as the Braves added both to their lineup this season.  Aside from the nice story and perfect marketing ploy for a team losing their legendary third baseman, Chipper Jones, Justin and his brother offer a rare speed/power combo.  Justin Upton has hit .300, he has slugged 30 home runs, and he has stolen 20 bases.  Entering his age 25 season, this will be the year it all comes together.  A batting average near.300 with about 30 home runs and 20 stolen bases is achievable.


7.  Toronto Blue Jays, RF, Jose Bautista

One of the best pure power hitters in baseball, Jose Bautista will now have Jose Reyes to knock in for a nasty Blue Jays ball club.  With an offseason to heal up his injured wrist, Bautista should be back to the form that saw him hit 54 home runs in 2010 and 43 with a .300 average in 2011.

Jose Bautista

6.  Miami Marlins, RF, Giancarlo Stanton

Stanton is one of the best up-and-coming power hitters in baseball, however he will be held back by the lineup around him.  The next best power hitter and his only hope for protection in the Marlins’ lineup may be Logan Morrison. Pitchers working around Stanton is a risk to his fantasy value, but even so, it is hard to believe he won’t record a respectable average, collect a handful of steals, and hit 30 home runs – possibly threatening the 40 home run plateau.

Giancarlo Stanton

5.  Pittsburgh Pirates, CF, Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen posted 31 home runs and 20 steals to go with his .321 batting average and .400 on-base percentage. With marginally less upside and less injury risk, he’s basically Cargo in Pittsburgh (though you could argue he’s better after controlling for field effects).  McCutchen is only 26 years old and should continue dominating in the National League Central, where he will continue to be a lock for 20-20 with potential for 30-30 and .300+.


4.  Colorado Rockies, LF, Carlos Gonzalez

When healthy, Carlos Gonzalez is capable of 30-30 .300.  Drafting Cargo is always a injury risk, but if you can swallow the pill you may get one of the best players in baseball.  He’s only 27 years old and should be good for 500 fantastic at bats.  If so, you’ll have one of the most well-rounded players in the game.  With a quality lineup and an advantageous home field, the sky is the limit for Mr. Gonzalez.  Plus, he is the only player to post 20 home runs and 20 steals over the past three seasons, indicating that, despite the injury woes, his floor isn’t too low.

Carlos Gonzalez


3.  Los Angeles Dodgers, CF, Matt Kemp

We’ve made it to the top three outfielders in baseball, and these three should be obvious, even if the order is not. Coming in at number three is Matt Kemp.  He nearly captured the NL MVP in 2011, barely being edged by Ryan Braun, but 2012 was largely derailed by injury.  Even still, he remains the closest thing to a 40-40 threat in baseball, falling just one home run short in 2011, and he is just entering his age 28 season.  With a full, healthy season in a lineup with Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp is primed for a big year. Matt Kemp 

2.  Los Angeles Angels, CF, Mike Trout

Although many are selecting Mike Trout as the top outfielder and even the top overall player in their fantasy drafts, I stop just short, ranking the youngster as the number two outfielder and number three overall player.  While it is tempting to project a ridiculous 30-60 type season, let’s just cool off and break it down for a moment.  Mike Trout has less than a full season of track record, so some risk is inherent.  He also plays the most demanding outfield position and does so with reckless abandon, again some risk.  Additionally, he’s gained a fair amount of weight over the offseason, causing some to wonder if he can steal bases with such ease in 2013 (he was 49/54 in 2012).  He also batted .284 and .257 in August in September, respectively.  While a stupendous .300, 30 home run, 40 stolen season wouldn’t shock anyone, a still great .290, a 25-35 campaign shouldn’t come as too big as a shock either.  Still, Mike Trout is a star and will likely be a stalwart as one of the games biggest stars for years to come.


1.  Milwaukee Brewers, LF, Ryan Braun

Despite the steroid controversy, I am comfortable calling Ryan Braun the best outfielder in baseball.  He had his first 40-30 season last year, and easily could have won the NL MVP.  He’s cranked thirty home runs in all but one of his six professional seasons.  If you can overlook his inclusion in ugly steroid rumors (as an unbiased fantasy manager should) you’ll see a player that is as much as a lock for .300 30-15 with upside to reach 40 home runs and over thirty steals.  He is a career .313 hitter and at age 29, there’s no reason to expect significant drop off from the studly, Jewish-American superstar.  While repeating 40 home runs may be much to ask, a batting average over .300, over 30 home runs, and over 20 stolen bases with a long track record of reliability earn Mr. Braun the Reading Between The Seams crown as the best outfielder in baseball.



Players who could easily crash the party:

Baltimore Orioles, CF, Adam Jones could have easily cracked the top 10 as he is the continues to rise the ranks of up and coming outfielders in MLB.  Since signing his six-year deal last season, he managed to reach career highs with a .287 batting average, 186 hits, and 32 home runs.  This season Jones will bat cleanup which should provide opportunities for him to reach the century mark in RBI.  If Adam Jones wants to crack the top 10 he will have to improve on his career OBP of .323.

Oakland Athletics, CF, Yoenis Cespedes played in only 129 games in his first season and torched opposing pitchers with a .292 batting average and 23 home runs.  He managed to steal 16 out of 20 bases.  Now he is approaching his second season, barring a sophomore slump, he should reach 20-20 and has the potential to reach 30-20. If you don’t know any Oakland A’s players by name then keep an eye on this five-tool player.  His name once again is Yoenis Cespedes.


Ryan Kantor of “Reading Between the Seams”, for War Room Sports

Ryan Kantor is an author at Reading Between the Seams. He is a life-long Yankees fan and a proud Clemson alumnus, residing in North Carolina, where he works in marketing research. For more stories like this, you can visit his personal blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Ryan_Kantor.

2013 MLB Top 10 Third Basemen

Friday, March 29th, 2013

by LeRoy McConnell III





10. Pittsburgh Pirates 3B  Pedro Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez

When looking at Pedro Alvarez’ .244 BA last season, you may wonder how can he be part of top 10.  My take is it was his first full season in the big leagues.  Never mind the batting average, let’s talk about the power he displayed.  In his first full season at third base he smacked 30 HRs and drove in 85 RBI on an up and coming Pittsburgh Pirates team.  Alvarez will be asked to provide the same power as last season.  He will bat in the middle of the lineup once again with plenty of RBI chances.  If he can improve on his batting average, he will become even more dangerous.

2013 Prediction .249BA 29HR 99RBI.315OBP.440SLG

9. Toronto Blue Jay 3B.  Brett Lawrie

Brett Lawrie is a Canadian born player, playing right in his backyard for the hometown Tor0nto Blue Jays.  There is so much promise for the second-year stud as he has shown speed on the bases and power at the plate.  With the addition of Jose Reyes, Lawrie will now bat in the middle of the order to provide Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista with some needed protection.  Brett put up decent numbers last season before missing the last two months with an oblique strain.  The injury has been a lingering problem for Lawrie as he just removed himself from the WBC this past week.  The key for Brett Lawrie is to just get well.  He could miss opening day.



2013 Predicitons .282BA 20HR 76RBI 24SB .330OBP.450SLG

8.  San Diego 3B Chase Headley

Stats don’t lie.  31HR 115RBI and OBP of .376.  This individual was a Silver Slugger and won the Gold Glove last year.  Kind of strange that those numbers didn’t even warrant a trip to the All-Star game last season.  I mean this guy earned these numbers playing half his games in a pitcher’s park in San Diego.  Padres aren’t known for scoring a lot of runs and Mr. Chase Headley managed to lead the NL in RBI last year.  Could you imagine what type of publicity Chase Headley would receive today if he played in a bigger market?  Put Headley as the starting third baseman for the New York Mets and he would be the one with the $100 million dollar contract.

2013 Prediction .272BA 27HR 100RBI 16SB .360OBP .440SLG



7. San Francisco Giants 3B  Pablo Sandoval

If we are keeping score at home, Kung Fu Panda has two more World Series rings than the legendary San Francisco great, Barry Bonds.  Oh, I forgot, he won the 2012 World Series MVP as he joined Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only members to hit three home runs in a World Series game.  Two of the long bombs Sandoval hit were off of Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander.  Pablo didn’t stop there.  He played Winter ball and was the MVP of the Venezuelan League.  With all the accolades Pablo has received, he has yet to post a 30 homer/100 RBI season.  Is this the year that the 26-year-old, 2-time all-star puts it all together?


2013 Prediction .297BA 28HR 94RBI .350OBP.480SLG        


6. Milwaukee Brewers 3B  Aramis Ramirez

Hard to believe Ramirez has been in the Major Leagues for 15 years!  He has been a pleasant surprise for the Brew Crew, as he protected MVP Ryan Braun in the lineup with the departure of Prince Fielder just a year ago.  Aramis proved to the baseball lords that he could put up numbers outside of Wrigley Field.  Ramirez led the majors in doubles with 50 last season and also maintained a .300 average.  Though he is now in his mid-thirties, expect Aramis to continue protecting Braun in the lineup and putting up MVP numbers.



2013 Prediction .300 26HR 101RBI .344OBP.497SLG


5. Washington Nationals 3B  Ryan Zimmerman 

Who says that the Washington Nationals aren’t serious about winning?  They paid Zimmerman over $100 million to man the position at third base.  Ryan is the second highest paid third baseman behind Alex Rodriguez because he has some serious game.  Just last year he bounced back from an injury plagued season to put up 25HR and 95RBI while batting in the #3 hole.  Zimmerman went and had shoulder surgery during the offseason and though his surgery was successful, he may come out of the gates a little slow this spring.  As the season progresses, look for Ryan to enjoy another successful season at third base.  

2013 Prediction .285BA 30HR 100RBI.350OBP.471SLG 



4. New York Mets 3B David Wright

Is David Wright ready to be the darling in New York?  Well he does wear a “C” on his uniform, just not in pin stripes.  Jeter is still the man in the Bronx while David owns Manhattan.  Mr. Wright is definitely the right man at third.  He has been a cornerstone for the Mets for the past nine seasons.  The 6x-All-Star, 2x Gold Glove, and 2x Silver Slugger will own every statistical offensive mark in a Mets uniform before he is done.  So while he is now in his prime, it’s time to go after the National League MVP.  That award is within his reach and it will be the first time a Mets player would hold such an honor.


2013 Prediction .294BA 27HR 89RBI.366OBP.464SLG



3. Tampa Bay Rays 3B Evan Longoria

An injury plagued season kept Evan from having another  decent year at the plate.  Any time he is in the lineup, he is sure to do damage with his wooded piece.  Just last season, he spent 13 weeks nursing a hamstring tear that cost him and his team another playoff berth.  The former Rookie of the Year hits for average, has power all over the field, is willing to take a pitch, and draws walks.  He is a 3X All-Star, 2X Gold Glove, and has a Silver Slugger’s Award at the ripe old age of 27.  He is now entering his prime and barring injuries could make a run at Most Valuable Player.




2013 Prediction .295BA 31HR 102RBI .365OBP.510SLG



2. Texas Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre

By far the best defensive third baseman in the majors, as he has now collected back to back Gold Gloves (total 4) since joining the Texas Rangers.  This 3x All-Star could have easily been last year’s MVP with his .321 BA, 36 HR, 102 RBI, getting on base 35% of the time, and with a slugging rate of .561!  Texas will lean heavily on Adrian’s production even more this year with the departure of Josh Hamilton and Michael Young.  Beltre is the clear leader on this team now and will bat cleanup again, protecting the likes of newly acquired Lance Berkman.  Adrian will turn 34 in early April and is entering his 16th season in the BIGs.  The question is, how much longer will the talented third baseman play at an elite level?


2013 Prediction .305BA 33HR 117RBI .355OBP.519SLG




1. Detroit Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera

Without a doubt the 7x-All-Star, Miguel Cabrera is flat out the best third baseman in baseball.  He became the American League MVP last season by achieving the triple crown (first time since Carl Yastrzemski in ’67) which primarily gave him a slight edge over Mike Trout as being the best player in baseball.  The 29 year old, Cabrera reached career highs in average, home runs, RBI, and collecting his first ever 200 hits in a season.  With the addition of Prince Fielder last season, Miguel was able to take advantage of pitchers and that contributed to his historical season.  Cabrera is now entering into his prime years with the Tigers and with Prince protecting him, so don’t be surprised if Miguel continues putting up triple crown-like numbers.

2013 Prediction .322BA 39HR 131RBI.401OBP.574SLG




Players who could easily crash the party.

David Freese – Freese made the All-Star game for the first time last year and the World Series MVP is capable of cracking the top 10.  2013 Prediction .300BA 22HR 86RBI.351OBP.436SLG

Will Middlebrooks – Numbers should improve even more now.  He will be the every day player for a full season and also half of his games are in Fenway, which should contribute to a successful second year.  2013 Prediction  .290BA 22HR 76RBI.310OBP.430SLG

Todd Frazier- Todd has the chance to put up some pretty nice numbers hitting in Great American Ballpark.  2013 Prediction .258BA 25HR 70RBI.314OBP.433SLG

LeRoy McConnell III of “A Fan’s Point of View”, for War Room Sports

2013 MLB Top 10 Shortstops

Friday, March 29th, 2013

by LeRoy McConnell III





10.  New York Yankees, SS, Derek Jeter

Remember the days of A-Rod, Jeter, and Nomar Garciaparra headlining the most exciting position in the infield?  They took the torch from superstars like Ozzie Smith and Cal Ripken Jr.  Well, times have changed.  A-Rod, like Ripken went to third (and has faded fast) and Nomar has been gone for years.  But there is no way we could leave off Derek Jeter – a 13-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove winner, and five-time World Series Champion, who by the way had 216 hits last season.  Each time Derek connects for a base hit, we are witnessing history, as he is the only active player in the Major Leagues that has over 3,000 hits.  Currently he is 11th all-time and barring a setback of sort he should be sitting at #6 on the MLB all-time hit list at the end of the season.  The fractured ankle is behind him and the love handles are a distant memory, so expect another sensational season.  Jeter is very motivated to have a better year than last as he is still chasing that illustrious sixth championship ring (sounds like we are talking about Kobe).  Derek will never hit for power but he is the guy you want up at the plate in crunch time.  Jeter delivered as a young man and though father time may have set in, he will still find a way. 

2013 Predictions .307BA 7HR 50RBI.362OPB.



9. Baltimore Orioles, SS, JJ Hardy

JJ just received his first Gold Glove Award last season but he didn’t match the same intensity at the plate.  His batting average dipped into the .230s and he had a career high in strikeouts with 106. 

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter puts it bluntly.  He wants to move J.J. Hardy out of the second spot in the lineup.  Can you blame Buck?  J.J. is still one of the better power hitting shortstops in the Majors, as he has hit 52HRs in the past two seasons.  Hardy has been part of offseason trade rumors with the Detroit Tigers.  If you are in a fantasy league, you may want to keep your eye on this one just in case a trade does happen.  The Tigers are loaded on offense and if he is surrounded by better players, then Hardy, who is known for his streakiness, could certainly have a productive year. 
2013 Prediction .265BA 27HR 81RBI .310OBP .407SLG



8.  Texas Rangers, SS, Elvis Andrus

If only this kid could do a cartwheel followed by a flip; we would have our reincarnation of Ozzie Smith.  Well not true, Ozzie was a switch-hitter but in the field my man Elvis is a wizard in his own right.  This 2X All-Star has completed his fourth season and is a fixture at the shortstop position for the Texas Rangers.  Since being called up, he has been one of the better clutch hitters in baseball, as he shows the toughness of an Omar Vizquel in the field and each year becoming a difficult out at the plate.  Andrus will not provide any power from the plate, in fact shame on you pitcher for even allowing him to go yard on you, as he has 14 career home runs in his first four seasons.  Elvis is a sure bet to bat in the first two spots in the lineup and wreak havoc on the bases.
2013 Predictions .302BA 1HR 57RBI 28SB .355OBP .378SLG 



7.  Philadelphia Phillies, SS, Jimmy Rollins

Rollins is the first NL MVP (2007) on the Top 10 list.  Yes, he is decorated – 3-time All-Star, 4 time Gold Glove winner, a member of the 30/30 club, and a World Champion.  He is now entering year number 14 and still holds his rightful place at the leadoff spot where he continues to provide some power and speed at the age of 33.  Gone are the days of 20 triples in a season, but he can still place the ball all over the park.  He was able to steal 30 out of 35 bases last season, so he can still display the speed too.  He was able to manage 23 dingers last year, but my concern with him would be his batting average and on base percentage.  It seems he was going for the fences a lot more.  Even a veteran must be reminded that we need you on base to start things off.
2013 Predictions .264BA 21HR 60RBI .333OBP .404SLG




6. Cleveland Indians, SS, Asdrubal Cabrera

Asdrubal Cabrera 

Asdrubal Cabrera is a bright star for the Cleveland Indians.  Though he had a dismal second half last season, the Indians are expecting him to bounce back to his 2011 numbers.  Asdrubal, a switch-hitter, will bat second in the lineup this season and will hope to provide plenty of offense to a mediocre Cleveland team.  With newly acquired Michael Bourne leading things off and Jason Kipnis providing protection in the three hole, there should be plenty of opportunities for Asdrubal at the plate.

2013 Prediction .278BA 19HR 87RBI .335OBP .421SLG


5.  Washington Nationals, SS, Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond was just as big a surprise as the team he plays for, the Washington Nationals.  What a difference a year makes, as Desmond’s numbers from 2011 to last season could warrant him Most Improved Player.  In 2011 he had a .253BA 8HR 49RBI; in 2012 he had a .292BA 25HR 73RBI in 24 fewer games.  Ian’s speed and power allowed him to be a member of the 20/20 club last year.  He had a phenomenal season that landed him his first All-Star appearance and Silver Slugger Award.  There is no doubt the talent Ian has displayed but the question is for this season, will he improve on last years numbers?


2013 Predictions .287BA 24HR 81RBI 28SB .340OBP 501SLG


4.  Chicago Cubs, SS, Starlin Castro

The Chicago Cubs are looking at their rising star, Starlin Castro, and saying it’s time to take the kid gloves off.  After three full seasons in the big leagues, we have seen flashes of an elite shortstop; but at times in his young career, he can be a bit aloof.  Castro can play at the professional level as he has already record his second All-Star appearance at the age of 23; but for him to reach superstar level he needs to focus for the entire 162 games.  The only flaw in Castro’s game is on defense, as he led the NL in errors with 29.  On offense, his batting average has been around .300, he is hitting a high number of triples with 21 in the last two seasons.
2013 Predictions .301BA 14HR 77RBI 23SB .339OBP .440SLG


3.  Toronto Blue Jays, SS, Jose Reyes

I can arguably say that Jose Reyes is the first DIVA on the top 10 list.  Anybody that removes himself out of the lineup to secure a batting title is considered a Diva.  Good thing he plays the game with a lot of swagger, and in my opinion he is the best lead-off hitter in all of  baseball.  This 4-time All-Star has recently won a batting crown (.337) in 2011, usually leads the Majors with double-digit triple numbers, and always among the top of the stolen base list.  Reyes had just become the newest member of the $100 million club by committing to the Miami Marlins last season; unfortunately it was short-lived as the team, which had high expectations, flopped and the Marlins ended up conducting a fire sale that sent Reyes to his new home in Toronto.  Becoming a Blue Jay could be a blessing in disguise, as on paper they may have the best talent in the American League East.  In order for a successful season in Toronto, Jose must get on base, swipe bases, stay healthy, and surely he will cross home plate just plenty with Encarncaion and Bautista batting behind him.
2013 Predictions .304BA 9HR 51RBI 40SB .350OBP .422SLG


2.  Los Angeles Dodgers, SS, Hanley Ramirez

Diva?  The former Rookie Of The Year, 3-time All-Star, Hanley Ramirez is the epitome of DIVASTYLE!  Anyone who scowls about having to change position for the betterment of the team is a Diva.  Maybe pouting was his plan all along as he made things so miserable in Miami that the Marlins traded him midseason to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  With all the acquisitions that the Dodgers made in the past year, LA is looking like the sexy team to play for this season.  Their line-up is star-studded and has Ramirez projected to bat 5th in the order.  Expect to see a happier Hanley, who has a chance to surpass last year’s power numbers of 24HR and 92RBI.  He no longer has to be the one to carry a team on his back.  Ramirez will be able to supply both speed and power in the middle of the lineup, which could potentially get him close to another 30/30 season.
2013 Predictions .284BA 27HR 96RBI 31SB.332OBP.447SLG 


1.  Colorado Rockies, SS, Troy Tulowitzki

The guy who can take the shortstop position to new heights would be no one other than Mr. Troy Tulowitzki.  Just two seasons ago this dynamic young superstar hit .302BA with 32HR and 105RBI in just 143 games.  He has become a main draw in Colorado, when he plays.  Troy has recently been getting a stigma of being an injury prone player.  In the last three seasons he has played 122, 143 and 47 games, respectively.  Last season was cut short after having season ending surgery on his left groin.  When Troy is available to play, he is as dominant of a hitter as you will find in baseball.  Look for Tulowitzki to have a heathier campaign,  focusing on getting back to his All-Star and Gold Glove form.

2013 Predictions .305BA 28HR.100RBI.388OBP.521SLG


Players who could easily crash the party.

Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Zobrist has been a valuable fantasy commodity for the past few years due to his eclcetic tool set that offers speed, power, and position versatility. He qualifies at shortstop for fantasy, though he is expected to start in right field. He’s delivered a OPS over .820 in four of his last five seasons with over 70 RBI each of the last four seasons (and over 90 in two of those seasons). In his age 31 season, don’t expect a major uptick, but more of the same from the versatile Zobrist.                      2013 Predictions .268BA 20HR 85RBI 19SB .368OBP

 Martin Prado, 2B/SS/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks 

After another strong season with Atlanta, Martin Prado was sent to Arizona as a part of the Justin Upton trade where he’ll start at third base, but maintain his shortstop eligibility for fantasy purposes. He moves to a more hitter friendly ballpark and is still only 29. Another one of his well-rounded seasons with a great average, a little pop, and a little speed should be expected.  2013 Predictions .297BA 11HR 71RBI 19SB.348OBP.430SLG


LeRoy McConnell of “A Fan’s Point of View”, for War Room Sports