Prediction Friday: Ravens-Bucs and baseball's best offseason buy
Welcome to Prediction Purple and Black Friday, where we’ll hunt for a bargain while giving proper due to the Ravens-Buccaneers game on Sunday.
I think the Buccaneers are a whole lot better than I had assumed at the beginning of the season. But I’m not buying them as a force just yet – despite a 7-3 record.
We’ll get to that game in a second, but first a little Connolly’s housekeeping.
First, did anyone see what happened in the annual Calvert Hall-Loyola Turkey Bowl game? I was busy, and as a proud Hallman, I am just curious. So let me know. (By the way, fellow CHC alums need not respond. I want to hear it from the mouths of Dons. One time is a fluke. Two times ...)
OK, seriously, I do have a piece of business I ignored this week because I was too caught up in Orioles’ coaching hires and arbitration decisions (and turkey) to properly address last week’s Prediction Friday winner.
The Ravens beat the Panthers 37-13, and pretty much everyone predicted a blowout, including the fake barkeep. I had it at 31-3, and, honestly, it was way too close for comfort until the defense took over.
I am giving out drink chips to Ron (37-10) and Keith (38-7), but the big winner is Barry with his almost perfect 38-13 prediction. Due to the delay, you can drink up through all of next week on me, Barry. Enjoy. If I am not mistaken, this is not the first time Barry has squeezed the juice out of this place for a week.
As for this Sunday, I am going with the Ravens to win 27-20. I think Josh Freeman will manage a couple scores, but the Ravens’ D will eventually put the whippersnapper in his place. My hero of the game is Joe Flacco with three TD passes to three different receivers.
Now it is your turn. Predict the score and the player of the game (tiebreaker) for the Ravens-Bucs on Sunday. Winners get a bottomless imaginary glass for a week.
For those of you that want Orioles’ discussion in this space, I’ll give you a bonus – and one that is properly themed. Aubrey Huff, one of my favorite guys to deal with over the past few years, signed a two-year, $22 million deal to stay in San Francisco this week.
That’s a hefty raise from the $3 million he got last offseason. He is considered the best buy – given his price and production – of the 2010 class.
Since it is Black Friday, and all the bargain hunters are out, I want your prediction for the best free agent buy of 2011. The anti-Garrett Atkins, if you will.
I am going to go with another ex-Oriole. I say Miguel Tejada, after being re-energized on a competitive team in the second half last year, will get his competitive juices going and have one more above-average season – and do it all on a one-year deal.
There are plenty of other options, including guys coming off injuries such as Brandon Webb, Eric Chavez and Magglio Ordonez, for instance.
So give me some names.
Daily Think Special: Ravens-Bucs
Bonus Think Special: Who will end up as this offseason’s unlikeliest best buy?