Big 12 Media Days: Loaded Sooners Launch Title Run

The Oklahoma Sooners, 13-1 to win the National Championship this season, are once again the favorites to win the Big 12 this year. Bob Stoops talks about his team at this years Media Days.

Moderator: Coach, welcome, and your opening comments.
Stoops: Okay. Great to be here, 2014, starting another year here in the Big 12. We’re really excited, really, about what our team has done through the winter and spring, and we’ve had a great summer. So I know our guys are really anxious to get back on the field here next week.
And I’ve got five great players down here with us. On offense I’ve got senior tackle Daryl Williams, quarterback Trevor Knight. And then on defense I’ve got three seniors, two up front, Geneo Grissom, outside linebacker, and then defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue. And then senior quarterback/nickel back Julian Wilson, who has been a three?year starter, going on three?year starter for us.
So you’ll get a chance to visit with them here soon.
So open it up, I guess, for questions.

Question: Just curious, you were way out in front of the curve as far as playing fast, speed of tempo, all that. Five, six years ago you were ahead. Now a lot of teams are following suit, most of the teams in the Big 12 playing faster. Is there anything we can look forward to how you can even tweak this a little bit more than what you had?
Stoops: I don’t know that there’s a whole lot that you can do to go much faster, to be honest with you. You still have to be able to get lined up yourself and officials to get in place and still snap the ball.
So I don’t know that there’s much more that can be done that way, really, quite honestly. But we’ll keep looking for ways.

Question: Are you still hopeful that Dorial Green?Beckham can play this year? Can you take us through the process of how he came to Oklahoma?
Stoops: Yes, there’s an appeal being processed, so that hasn’t been ruled on yet. But as far as the process of him being a part of our team, through extensive conversations, first of all, I had a close relationship as did Coach Norvell, our receiver coach, from recruiting Dorial personally as well as with his family.
And then through extensive conversations with the people at Missouri and our people, it was something that we felt the person that he is, the potential that he has as a young man and as an individual, that we felt the opportunity to give him a second chance at our place could serve him well and be great for his future and believe in him as a young man and what he’s able to maybe continue to become.
So through that process we gave him the opportunity to be with us.

Question: With the new rule changes and the coaches being allowed to hold mandatory practices during the summer, what benefits have you seen from that? And also if you could comment on maybe some on the freshmen and their development so far.
Stoops: Yeah, the new rule is great in that you just keep players?? we’re so accountable to these young men through the summer and really year?round in what they’re able to do. Just the ability to be able to see them daily, to go into the weight room, put your arm around them, interact with them, motivate them, how is school going, that’s just the positive side of it just to have more interaction with them and to hopefully influence them in a positive way that way.
So it hasn’t really affected or changed the way we’ve gone through our summer working out. Coach Schmidt won’t give me any more time. He uses it. It’s allowed us maybe an hour a week to go over some film study with the players. So that’s really helped the freshmen in particular, your new guys that have come in.
And then the opportunity to watch them work out, and I’m really excited, the freshmen really look strong. Some of the key guys that everybody’s paying attention to really have been impressive in the summer and being able to handle the volume of our running and lifting and just a different level from high school and not everybody can handle it. And a lot of these guys really handled it well and looked to be in position to really affect this year.

Question: Coach, how much do you have to rework things in your coverage of Aaron Colvin going to the NFL and which defensive backs will be building around this year?
Stoops: We really don’t?? we won’t change our coverages at all. The other guys that will be working in there, I already mentioned Julian Wilson was recruited to be a corner, has been working out there along with a good number of other guys, Dakota Austin, and you already have Zack Sanchez on the other side, Stanvon Taylor, Cortez Johnson, all those guys will be battling.
We really like some of our young freshmen that just got in. So there’s talent there. Those guys, we’re just going to see who is the most consistent and making the most plays.

Question: Charlie Strong is a new addition to the Big 12. Could you speak about your familiarity with him and what you expect him to bring to Texas?
Stoops: Charlie and I have known each other for a good number of years now being former defensive coordinators together and even our background back at Florida, all of that together we’ve had a chance through the years to get to know each other some.
I think Charlie’s a great coach. He’s an excellent person. We’ve really enjoyed the times I have been around him. So I gotta be careful. I can’t wish him too much luck, but I know he’ll do a great job and he’s a great coach.

Question: Trevor got knocked out of a couple of games last year. Do you look at those situations as just being flukey or are there some things you try to talk to him about that might keep him a little safer this year?
Stoops: Yeah, I think that’s very correct in that there’s always a little bit of both. Some injuries you just can’t avoid that are just going to happen. But at the quarterback position, regardless of how much or little we run him, when he has the opportunity and he is out on the perimeter running, we want him to avoid and take as little contact as possible to step out of bounds, slide, get down if you already got 13, that’s good enough. Someone’s closing in on you, slide, get down, avoid the big hits.
So it’s something that we’ll talk a lot about with him and even tried to a year ago. But I think another year more experience he’ll be more familiar and used to doing that.

Question: One of your weapons this year is Michael Hunnicutt. Talk about how much he brings to the offense and how much easier it is to know you can get points when he kicks it?
Stoops: Michael Hunnicutt is a true guy that has a chance to be a First?Team All?American, was definitely within an eyelash of being that a year ago. Very consistent, very strong leg.
Michael’s been a mainstay for us now going on three years and excited about he continues to get stronger every year.
He really works hard in the out of season, so we’re really expecting Michael to have a great, great year.

Question: A lot of the conversation from the commissioner on down here has been about full scholarships, potential for additional compensation that some people are seeking for student?athletes. Just generally where do you stand on that issue? Do you feel like scholarship is enough?
Stoops: I’ve always been in favor of cost of attendance. So whatever that entails and the more we can continue to support these players in different ways, whether it’s transportation home, on and on, I think it’s always good that that cost of attendance obviously would benefit us in being able to transport players back home and back to school on breaks, that kind of thing is ?? were always positive steps, and hopefully we can continue to take them.

Question: Bob, will you be tempted to use Blake Bell at quarterback some or just at tight end?
Stoops: Not at all. That’s funny, it keeps coming up. Blake was recruited definitely as quarterback. But when you look at him now after three years, he is the pro type at tight end. He’s got great hands, great size, 6’6″, he’s almost 260. He can run. Natural spacing as far as where to be in his routes.
And I go back to even it’s in his genes, his dad was an NFL tight end for eight years. So he fits the bill perfectly and it’s a position that we want to continue to make stronger.
So I think he’s really going to impact us in a great way at the tight end position.

Question: On your other quarterback, Mayfield, the fact that he transferred and he was a walk?on at Texas Tech, do you think he should be eligible to play immediately?
Stoops: Well, I do. I think it’s one thing if you’ve invested a scholarship in an individual and he decides to leave, heck, they even half the time allow them to play immediately. But a guy that you haven’t invested a scholarship in, I don’t know why that would even be something?? why it would be an issue.
But in the end, it’s something that we’re working through.

Question: And how good is he?
Stoops: Baker is really a good player. Through all our scrimmages in the spring, it was obvious to everyone that he played a year ago, that he’s been on the field, in action, the way he handles himself, the poise, the plays he makes, he really does an excellent job.

Question: You lost your big trio of running backs coming back this year.
Stoops: They weren’t that big.

Question: Who do you see emerging at the position?
Stoops: Three bigger guys (laughter). We lost Roy Finch, Brennan Clay, and ?? who was the third? Damien. Damien was pretty big. But these guys are all, when you look at Keith Ford, Alex Ross, and David Smith, they’re all 215, 220. Six foot. 6’2″. They’re really strong, big players.
So those guys ?? you’ve got Daniel Brooks, also a speedster that’s in there that’s a little smaller. But all those guys are very capable.
And of course we’ve got Joe Mixon who is all of 220, 6’2″, runs great, looked really impressive in the summer. And so has Samaje Perine who is about 240 and runs great. So we’ve got some physical guys in there that we’re excited about.

Question: Joe Castiglione has done such a fantastic job with your nonconference schedule the next decade or so with teams like Tennessee this year, Ohio State, Michigan, LSU. Do you think that has eyes for the committee because they’ll be looking at things a little bit more from a human angle than the computers in the past to get the four teams at the end?
Stoops: I would think so. But I think it would open the eyes of a computer as well if it had eyes at the end of the day. Joe has worked hard on our schedule. He has always confided in me, and we’ve been in agreement on who we were to play in the out?of?conference schedule. And we’re proud of that. We just came off the last four years series with Notre Dame and Florida State.
Now, like you said, we’ve got Tennessee and Ohio State coming with Nebraska and Michigan, on and on down the road. And it’s been intentional, that ?? in the BCS formula, and even now with a playoff formula. When all things are equal with records and whatnot, if someone has played a tougher nonconference schedule, to some degree it would usually benefit you. Otherwise, why play? Otherwise, you might as well just schedule three yawners that no one will pay attention to and not put yourself at risk of losing that game.
But in the end we felt, and it’s worked well for us, that it prepares you for a tough season but it also in the formula helps you have an opportunity to be one of those teams competing for the National Championship.

Question: Can you describe how beating Alabama like you did in the Bowl game sustained you in the offseason, an extra pep in your step, I guess?
Stoops: I don’t know. I think, like all experiences, you build off of them. And you build off of some that are negative, you build off some that are positive. In the end we were fortunate that we were able to build, finish recruiting in a really positive way. I think that really did give us a boost in the last week or two of recruiting. And then it also, I think, as much as anything, it inspired our players to really to build on it in the winter in the way we trained, the way we went into spring and we had a fabulous summer. One of the best. I’ve never seen my strength coach, Coach Schmidt, so happy because he can be hard to please and he’s really elated at the way the guys have worked.
So I think it’s just really maybe our guys have built on it in a positive way, just the chemistry and their willingness to work when they see the benefits of it like that.

Big 12 Media Days: Texas’s Charlie Strong, With 63-1 Odds to Win Title, Talks Football

The Texas Longhorns will see some major changes this year, starting with the man on the sidelines. After 15 seasons under Mack Brown, Charlie Strong is now running the show. Strong played football and graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in 1983. He had numerous assistant coaching jobs before becoming the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals in 2010. During his four year stint, he led the Cardinals to a 37–15 record, ending each season with a bowl game. The Longhorns aren’t expected to contend for the National Championship this year. They are currently listed as 63-1 longshots to win the title.

Moderator: We’re now joined by Coach Charlie Strong, University of Texas. Your thoughts about the upcoming season.
Strong: Really excited to be at my first Big 12 Media Day. And what’s really great, there’s one true champion in a conference that’s very powerful.
Had a chance to sit out there and talk to some of the head coaches, Coach Snyder, Coach Stoops, guys that I have a lot of respect for. And just looking at this whole conference, looking at the venue, what you’ve got going, really tough home territories, try to go win football games. But very collegiate about this whole conference and what it’s trying to accomplish.
You look at the University of Texas. I have four players here with me today: Espinosa, Cedric Reed, Malcolm Brown, and Quandre Diggs. And the thing about it, these guys have all worked extremely hard. I’ve been very pleased with my football team at just how hard they work and we’ll continue to work.
And right now we’re in phase three. Beginning in a week or so it’s going to be phase four and it’s going to be preseason camp. Now, when you get into preseason camp, it’s all about building a football team and watching this football team come together.
It’s all about putting a team back into Texas. We talk about putting a team back into Texas, you talk about toughness, you talk about trust, talk about togetherness, and you talk about just becoming a team.
You can never become a team until you have toughness to you, and then you look at guys. You can’t trust one another until you can trust yourself. And it’s all just about coming together, just becoming a team that is exciting to watch.
I know this. I followed an icon in Coach Brown 16 seasons at the University of Texas, did an unbelievable job, won a National Championship. The foundation has been laid. Now it’s up to us to continue this foundation and continue to build on it.
And that’s what we’re looking at, excited. Looking at the season, looking at the beginning, the start of the season, the first three games ?? North Texas, BYU, UCLA, three teams that won eight games or more.
It’s going to be very challenging, but we’re looking forward to it. But what’s really great is I don’t have to start that season tomorrow. I have some time. I’m looking forward to that time.
But really excited about being here, and we’ll open it up for questions.

Question: Can you assess personally and then with your coaching staff how you all feel you’ve done in in?state recruiting? Because in your first press conference you said we’ve got to win the state of Texas. How you guys have done in terms of building relationships with high school coaches and with recruits?
Strong: On Friday nights we had a camp, what we called Under the Lights. What we did with that camp is we invited the juniors and seniors within the state. What we tried to do there is just make sure that we get them on campus for one more time.
And recruiting is a year?long process. The great thing about it is Signing Day is not until February. But you always want to build the relationship with high school coaches because that’s where it all starts at. And we have outstanding coaches within the state, and we will continue to build those relationships.
Our coaches have broken down, and each one of them have a part of this state. They know just how critical it is, how critical it is to go recruit the top players and get them into our program.

Question: I’m sure you knew a lot about the job that you were hired for when you took it, but what have you learned about Texas and the job since you have gotten there? And maybe it’s not as big as I would think, maybe it is just coaching football at another school, but what have you learned about the job since you got there?
Stong: Well, the main thing, what’s really key, you can’t look at any job any different than anywhere else you’ve been. What’s been great for me, I’ve had an opportunity to coach at really outstanding programs, whether it be University of Florida, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Ole Miss and been the head coach of University of Louisville coming to the University of Texas. But what’s key is just make sure you surround yourself with good people.
And the mission is very simple. It will never change. We will make sure we graduate our young men. We want to make sure we go compete for championships, but we want to make sure they become a better person than they were when they came into the program.

Question: Besides the Xs and Os, what are some of the other elements that are important to the student?athletes in your program?
Stong: Well, it’s all about academics. And our student?athletes understand it. They’re in college to go get a degree. And it’s our job as a coaching staff. We have a great?? our academics are unbelievable there at University of Texas. It’s second to none. But what’s really critical, they get a degree and they’re going to walk out of there with a degree in their hand.
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Pregame.com Shedding Handicappers

When we last looked at RJ Bell’s Pregame.com fleecing shack, it wasn’t too impressive. 20 of the 26 handicappers in Bell’s stables were losers over the course of the study, surprising news when one accounts for the creative accounting done by Pregame.com.

A lot has changed in the two months since the article was published. Johnny Detroit has decided to “go back to college”. Vegas Runner, with his dozens of made up syndicates and steamers, has gone from one shady site to another. Marco D’Angelo jumped ship. Denver Money said adios. More are ready to bail, according to the rumors.

There is a good reason for the defections. You can’t put lipstick on a pig. RJ Bell hires swines to be his gambling experts, then is forced to cut them loose once they are exposed as fast talking coin-flippers with no understanding of what it takes to win as a sports bettor.

But that’s OK in Pregame.com’s world. There is never a pig shortage when it comes to sports betting touts. A Pregame.com degenerate gets fattened up by Bell’s media enablers, then quietly slaughtered for bacon when he’s exposed as a fraud.

We are now tracking 24 of Pregame.com’s pros. Of those 24, sixteen are net losers even before counting the pick-buying fees. The list:

Still Active at Pregame.com:
Tony George: 133 wins, 146 losses, -$4548
Fezzik : 134-120, -1732
Rocky Atkinson : 116-118, -5421
Joe Gavazzi : 299-280, -7835
JR O’Donnell : 475-445, -4470
Andy Iskoe : 193-194, -8063
Ken Thomson : 158-142, -1670
Bryan Leonard : 221-233, -7839
Greg Shaker : 520-508, -4953
Chuck Edel : 173-174, -4672
Scott Spreitzer : 378-317, -987
Stephen Nover : 211-232, -8097

Turned into Bacon:
Vegas-Runner : 448-400, -4710
Marco D’Angelo : 281-278, -6022
Denver Money : 168-167, -2175
Johnny Detroit : 68-74, -2535

So a few touts go, a few more come in. Dave Cokin, a Jim Fiest veteran, is the new phenom. He’s been a sports bettor for decades. Note to all: there is a reason why a lifelong gambler is selling picks. It isn’t because he’s a winner.

RJ Bell is still getting his brand out there on radio. Lazy radio talk show hosts usually don’t care what he says as long as he’s interesting. But RJ is still stuck. He knows his handicappers are losers. With most touts, hiding in the dark recesses of an extended stay Vegas hotel, that’s OK. With Pregame.com, not so much. Thanks to ESPN and Colin Cowherd, the sun shines brightly on RJ, Fezzik, and friends. They may claim to be sports betting experts, but when light comes on and money is counted, we find out that’s not the case.

But Bell is working it out. The solution looks to be a two-tier trick. Pregame can sell different levels of picks to different audiences. One level will show some transparency, with picks posted to the public a few hours after the game has started. The second level will show no such transparency. And that’s where the typical tout tricks can be used. This program, called Bet Like a Pro, started last year using Fezzik as the guinea pig.

The results: while Fezzik is down big with his public plays, he claims to be a huge winner with his private plays. Those private plays are available to all for just $1,000 a month.

One born every minute, as the saying goes. In order for Pregame.com to survive, that will have to be the case.

Potential Playoff Matchup? Dodgers Visit St. Louis

Los Angeles Dodgers (+116) at St. Louis Cardinals (-126, 7.5 O/U )

In what may be a prelude to the playoffs, the Dodgers will be slight underdogs tonight in MLB action against the St. Louis Cardinals. Right-hander Dan Haren, 8-6 with a 4.23 earned run average in 2014, will be the starting pitcher for the Dodgers in their road matchup with St. Louis. Haren had his shortest outing of the year his last time out, allowing four runs in four-plus innings in a second straight rough start. He has given up 17 home runs in his last 12 starts. With a sub-90 mph fastball, his success depends on location. That location has been lacking lately. The Dodgers are 10-9 in games started by Haren, and have gone over 63% of those games. L.A. is 29-19 on the road so far this year, and 54-43 overall. Over their last ten games, L.A. has gone 6-4.

Right-hander Lance Lynn will take the mound for the home team. Lynn will lead the Cardinals into the second half of the season after last pitching July 9. In his past two outings, Lynn has pitched 13 1/3 innings, allowing just two runs. 11 of Lynn’s 19 appearances this season have been quality starts. The Cardinals, 12-7 in his starts, have gone over 39% of the time in those starts. St. Louis is 25-24 on the road so far this year, and 52-44 overall. Over their last ten games, St. Louis has gone 6-4. The game time temperature will be 79°F with winds blowing out at 6 mph. The humidity will be around 45%. No rain is expected in this game.

Lynn: 26 years old right-hander, 6’5” 250 pounds. Throws: fastball, slider, curve, changeup : 2013 velocity, 92.4: 2014 velocity, 92.3: velocity over the last two weeks, 92.6

About the offense of the Los Angeles Dodgers:

Runs per game (league ranking), 12 (4.16 per game) : Home Runs, 22 (76 HRs)

    Bat Ave, 7 (.258) : OB%, 5 (.328) : Slugging, 9 (.398)

      Walks, 6 (3.4 per game) : Strikeouts, 15 (7.6 per game) : Stolen Bases, 1 (87 SBs)

      Last seven games, 27 (.575 OPS) : Last 14 games, 19 (.707 OPS) : Last 28 games, 14 (.703 OPS)

        Versus Righties, 4 (.746 OPS) : Versus lefties, 28 (.668 OPS)

          Home, 17 (.716 OPS) : Away, 4 (.737 OPS)

            1st Inning Production, 11 (.760 OPS)

              Facing a Power Pitcher, 18 (.663 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 3 (.794 OPS)

                Facing a fly ball pitcher, 17 (.720 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 18 (.660 OPS)

                  Run Production at Night, 12 (.720 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 4 (.743 OPS)

                    First five innings, 7 (.743 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 14 (.686 OPS)

                      Haren: 32 years old right-hander, 6’5” 215 pounds. Throws: cutter, fastball, splitter, curve

                      Fly Ball Pitcher : 2013 velocity, 88.9: 2014 velocity, 87.4: velocity over the last two weeks, 88.4

                      Offense Rankings of the St. Louis Cardinals:

                      Runs per game (league ranking), 29 (3.75 per game) : Home Runs, 29 (60 HRs)

                        Bat Ave, 14 (.252) : OB%, 13 (.318) : Slugging, 26 (.372)

                          Walks, 17 (2.9 per game) : Strikeouts, 28 (6.9 per game) : Stolen Bases, 25 (36 SBs)

                          Last seven games, 7 (.791 OPS) : Last 14 games, 9 (.742 OPS) : Last 28 games, 12 (.705 OPS)

                            Versus Righties, 22 (.682 OPS) : Versus lefties, 14 (.711 OPS)

                              Home, 11 (.721 OPS) : Away, 29 (.661 OPS)

                                1st Inning Production, 25 (.648 OPS)

                                  Facing a Power Pitcher, 24 (.639 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 27 (.682 OPS)

                                    Facing a fly ball pitcher, 26 (.686 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 18 (.660 OPS)

                                      Run Production at Night, 21 (.689 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 18 (.691 OPS)

                                        First five innings, 16 (.714 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 27 (.649 OPS)

                                          Colorado Takes on Pittsburgh in Friday MLB Action

                                          Colorado Rockies (+137) at Pittsburgh Pirates (-149, 7.5 O/U )

                                          Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa takes the mound tonight for the road team Colorado Rockies. He is 10-6 on the year with a 4.70 ERA. In his last four starts, De Rosa is 4-0 with a 3.76 ERA and has been all the Rockies could count on in the rotation. He has pitched most of the season with a lower back strain and a bruised left middle finger. The Rockies are 12-6 in games started by him. Colorado is 16-30 on the road so far this year, and 40-55 overall. Over their last ten games, Colorado has gone 4-6.

                                          The Pittsburgh Pirates will send left-hander Francisco Liriano out as their starter; he has a 1-7 record so far in 2014. The Pirates are 7-8 in games started by Lirano this year. Pittsburgh is 20-26 on the road so far this year, and 49-46 overall. Over their last ten games, Pittsburgh has gone 5-5. Temperatures are expected to be around 79°F at game time tonight. Humidity will be at 43%, with the wind blowing out at 5 mph.

                                          Liriano: 29 years old left-hander, 6’2” 215 pounds. Throws: fastball, slider, changeup,

                                          Ground Ball, Power Pitcher : 2013 velocity, 93: 2014 velocity, 92.2: velocity over the last two weeks,

                                          About the offense of the Colorado Rockies:

                                          Runs per game (league ranking), 4 (4.76 per game) : Home Runs, 3 (112 HRs)

                                            Bat Ave, 1 (.281) : OB%, 4 (.331) : Slugging, 1 (.451)

                                              Walks, 26 (2.5 per game) : Strikeouts, 19 (7.3 per game) : Stolen Bases, 12 (57 SBs)

                                              Last seven games, 2 (.856 OPS) : Last 14 games, 16 (.712 OPS) : Last 28 games, 6 (.735 OPS)

                                                Versus Righties, 1 (.778 OPS) : Versus lefties, 2 (.795 OPS)

                                                  Home, 1 (.872 OPS) : Away, 18 (.683 OPS)

                                                    1st Inning Production, 1 (.843 OPS)

                                                      Facing a Power Pitcher, 14 (.679 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 1 (.865 OPS)

                                                        Facing a fly ball pitcher, 1 (.812 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 18 (.660 OPS)

                                                          Run Production at Night, 4 (.765 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 1 (.817 OPS)

                                                            First five innings, 3 (.788 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 2 (.748 OPS)

                                                              De La Rosa: 32 years old left-hander, 6’1” 215 pounds. Throws: fastball, changeup, cutter, slider

                                                              Finesse Pitcher : 2013 velocity, 91.1: 2014 velocity, 92.6: velocity over the last two weeks, 91.9

                                                              Offense Rankings of the Pittsburgh Pirates:

                                                              Runs per game (league ranking), 14 (4.12 per game) : Home Runs, 12 (85 HRs)

                                                                Bat Ave, 9 (.257) : OB%, 3 (.332) : Slugging, 11 (.389)

                                                                  Walks, 7 (3.4 per game) : Strikeouts, 12 (8 per game) : Stolen Bases, 5 (67 SBs)

                                                                  Last seven games, 15 (.733 OPS) : Last 14 games, 10 (.739 OPS) : Last 28 games, 15 (.702 OPS)

                                                                    Versus Righties, 10 (.728 OPS) : Versus lefties, 23 (.686 OPS)

                                                                      Home, 7 (.743 OPS) : Away, 12 (.696 OPS)

                                                                        1st Inning Production, 22 (.675 OPS)

                                                                          Facing a Power Pitcher, 2 (.767 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 22 (.704 OPS)

                                                                            Facing a fly ball pitcher, 5 (.769 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 18 (.660 OPS)

                                                                              Run Production at Night, 2 (.778 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 29 (.613 OPS)

                                                                                First five innings, 6 (.749 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 16 (.679 OPS)

                                                                                  Bitcoins Enter the Online Poker World

                                                                                  There are not a lot of good poker sites that take bitcoins. Betcoin.ag is hoping to change that, however. They have recently announced that they have joined the Winning Poker Network (WPN) and will be offering daily and monthly tournaments, including a 150 btc guaranteed tournament each month.

                                                                                  The Winning Poker Network is owned by Betcris, one of the most respected online gambling companies in the world. Licensed out of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, the network takes most US players. Only Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, and Washington players are banned from the network.

                                                                                  Betcoin, through WPN, combines all the best aspects of an online poker website. Deposits are instant, immediate rakeback, a VIP Player’s club, high priced poker tournaments and sit-n-go’s, detailed player statistics, player notes, instant hand history, game replayer, and private / password protected games.

                                                                                  The use of bitcoin for gambling is a key positive versus using currency like the US Dollar or Euro. Bitcoin is digital cash. More specifically, bitcoin is a decentralized currency and payment network making it a new kind of money.

                                                                                  Bitcoin uses peer to peer technology to operate without a bank or any type of central authority. Transactions are managed and bitcoins are issued collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open source, with its design completely public therefore nobody or entity owns or controls bitcoin yet everyone can take part in bitcoin. Because of its unique properties, bitcoin allows for extremely fast transactions including instant deposits and instant withdrawels, as well as a myriad of other uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system. With bitcoin you no longer have to wait for deposits to clear and company’s to send you your money. If you deposit and win you can withdraw quickly.

                                                                                  For many poker players, forced to wait weeks for a payout by the likes of Bovada and other US-facing poker companies, Betcoinag’s entry into the poker world is great news. No longer will the “check be in the mail”. Bitcoin bettors who play at quality sportsbooks are quite familiar with getting paid in minutes rather than weeks. Now poker players will get that opportunity as well, thanks to Betcoin.