Friday 6 Pack

1. Melky Cabrera of the Giants was suspended for performance enhancers last week and suspended 50 games.  Many players have been caught and suspended; do the current rules work for MLB in testing and the punishment?  Should something more be done?
Matt – 50 games doesn’t seem to worry these guys.  I say suspend them a year without pay.  Second strike your done.  That may be enough of a punishment to keep clean.  These guys have kids looking up to them.  An organization that is paying them greatly relies on them to be clean.  Strike fear in them.  They just aren’t worried right now about it.
WendtI saw a tweet about one and done when it comes to suspensions, and while I doubt that will ever happen it might actually keep these guys from cheating. Feels like MLB wants them to continue to hit a ton of homeruns and if they need to cheat, do it, but don't get caught
Painter – I'm close to the point of letting these guys get juiced up and let them have at it.  Players that want to cheat will find a way around the rules if at all possible.
Blake – The users are always ahead of the testing, that's why it seems like it would be smart for baseball to bring on Victor Conte as a consultant.  Short of that, I'm not sure why you get 3 strikes before getting banned.  Why not one strike?  1 positive and you're done with the game forever.  That should be a deterrent
BSox50 games is pretty big, and if you’re like melky and get caught at the end of the season, it becomes an even bigger deal.
MajorsUntil the salaries are adjusted, the players will continue to keep skirting the rules. It's all about the benjamins
Silker50 games is a big hit. I think that is a good punishment. However if he is found guilty of making the fake website, then a larger suspension should be in order. As strong of a penalty as ESPN analysts are saying with deportation, I think this is a bit harsh.

2. Chad Johnson was cut by the Dolphins last week after an arrest.  TO is currently buried on the Seahawks depth chart.  The best WR in the game are very quiet in Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson.  Is the NFL Diva WR dying out? 
Matt – Larry Fitzgerald, Jerry Rice, Calvin Johnson—these guys are the model WR.  TO and CJ acted like they just spent a season at the U with Michael Irvin.  I hope the diva player is dying out and knowing they can get cut. 
WendtHaving confidence is great but over the line "hey look at me" stuff just never seems to work. I like my players being confident until it turns into "look at me"
Painter – It was a fad and just like every fad it will die and then come back.  I think there are still some diva WR but the top players are doing it the right way (letting their play speak for them).  I gotta admit it was kind of fun when CJ and TO were performing well and performing their stunts.
Blake – I hope so.  A very similar thing happened in the NBA.  A lot of the diva players (think Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Allen Iverson) fizzled out, and were replaced by more humble stars (yes, LBJ and even the Dwightmare are more humble than the aforementioned).
BSoxNa, there will always be those dudes, it just happens to be the Chad and TO got old, but at least at some point they backed up all the hype.
MajorsNo, you still have Dez Bryant who is banned from the Dallas area malls, you have Titus Young, you have Santonio Holmes, you have Plexi-glass, you have Crabtree. The number of them may be a little smaller, but they are still there
SilkerI hope so. These "Divas" are actors who play football. We shouldn't give them the time.

Ok, College football is damn near here; TIME FOR PREDICTIONS!

3.  Who wins the faces off in the Big Ten title game in Indy and who raises the Stagg Trophy as Big Ten Champion?
Matt – Wisconsin over Nebraska.  There will be a bit of Red in Indy. 
WendtWisconsin vs Michigan State with Sparty pulling the upset
Painter – Wisconsin vs Michigan with Michigan going to the Rose Bowl.
Blake – I'll take Wisconsin and Michigan, and Wisconsin hoists the Trophy.  That said, it's Football and strange things happen
BSoxI’d love to say Iowa, but I don’t think it will happen. I gotta believe that Wisconsin will be one of the teams simply because there isn’t a better choice in the leaders because of Penn St and Ohio St banned from post season. Right now, I’m going to go with Michigan from the Legends. Nebraska could make it, but Michigan looks like a better bet at the moment.
MajorsI'm going with Wisconsin & Michigan, ugh. I say the Sconnies take the title
SilkerUnfortunately I have to say Michigan wins it all. I dislike them as a team but they have all the weapons to be a title contender

4.  Who wins the Big XII conference?  Will a newbie in TCU or West Virginia topple Texas or Oklahoma?
Matt – Boomer Sooner.  Though I think Texas, West Virginia and K-State could pull off a surprise here.
WendtI'll take the safe pick with Oklahoma
Painter – I'll take the powerhouse that is Oklahoma 
Blake – Don't forget K-State either.  They have the potential to be a big time spoiler if those other teams stumble.  I don't see Texas winning the league, and think it's mostly between Oklahoma and West Virginia.  
BSoxWest Virginia might have a chance, but I’m going with Oklahoma…until they stumble for whatever reason like past years
MajorsI think OU is still tough, they will take it this year
SilkerOklahoma continues its winning ways. TCU starts strong but is not a big enough power house yet.

5.  Who wins the second to last BCS Championship game?  Does the SEC make it 7 in a row?
Matt – I’m taking USC to end the SEC streak over the Georgia Bulldogs
WendtUSC vs LSU and I'll take USC as BCS National Champions
Painter – Against my best judgement I'm going with USC. 
Blake – First time I can ever say this, but if it's not a Big 10 team, I'm rooting for USC.
BSoxUSC or Bama. I’m leaning SEC though
MajorsMan, tough to count out the SEC. I think the lack of depth will hurt USC, plus they have to play Oregon twice more than likely. I am going to go with a little long shot, though. How about them Dawgs? Let's see if UGA can pull off an upset
SilkerI hope someone other than the SEC. However I will take a Bama repeat before a trojan win. I hope lane kiffin never wins it with the Trojans

6.  Politics and the 2012 election are taking over commercials, social media and seem like daily phone calls.  Is there anything worse than the last few months of the election?
Matt – I’m really tired that it’s all negative.  I don’t see it getting any better.  First you cut down your own party members, and then you try to work with them.  And really do they need to waste this much money?  Think of where that money could be going.  Sad thing is after November it’s going to ramp up to midterm and 2016 too.  Our political system is really messed up
WendtThe only thing that is worse is watching politicians say something stupid and thinking to yourself "this guy wants to help run the country?" SMH
PainterThe only thing that can come close is the month or two before the Presidential caucuses.
Blake – This year is worst than most.  The negativity, fear mongering, and over the top politics are making me sick.  The worst part is, we will only have a couple months off, and then the politicking for the mid-terms will start.  Ugh
BSoxI’d love to say yes, but I have to go with no. I hate when people are republican or democrat, and they have no real reason as to why they are. The last election drove me crazy because people didn’t vote for Obama because of his ideas, they voted for him because it was the popular thing to do. My biggest thing is just for people to read and research before they vote.  
MajorsYes. The Iowa State Cyclones
Silker Does dancing with the stars count? I agree though each year the election period gets longer and longer and worse and worse for negative campaigns. This year is bad with the super pacs being able to buy their own advertising without the campaign endorsement. 

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