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Posted: Wednesday September 9, 2009 2:27PM; Updated: Wednesday September 9, 2009 5:20PM
Joe Posnanski Joe Posnanski >
VIEWPOINT

My NFL predictions, more (cont.)

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Got stuck playing in a fantasy football league, and here was something strange: One of my friends in the league couldn't make it for the draft. So the computer actually picked his team. And here was the thing: The computer was a MUCH better drafter than my buddy. No joke, the computer was picking good players my buddy had never heard of as early as the third round. Now my friend may win the league with a computer-picked team.

So is this the future of fantasy sports? You just sit around with buddies eating Doritos on draft day while 10 computers pick the teams? We have become so lazy as a society.

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Look, I'm all for an NFL coach doing whatever he has to do to get through the week. It's a hard job. Football is a complicated game. There are million things that can go wrong at any time. There are land mines around every corner.

That said, I have absolutely no idea how it's going to help Cleveland Browns' coach Eric Mangini to keep his starting quarterback a secret. This seems to be the sort of thing that coaches do when they have run out of ideas... a bad sign for Mangini since this is his first game with the Browns. Does he really think that Minnesota defensive coaches are locked in their offices panicked because they don't know whether Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson will start?

It seems a lot more likely that they are telling Jared Allen: "Whoever happens to be the guy with the football, yeah, sack that guy."

* * *

Tweet: They still play Hells Bells for Trevor Hoffman, which is cool in that nostalgic "Let's go see REO Speedwagon at the state fair" way.

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I never understand stories like these: Apparently Melanie Oudin, the surprise of this year's U.S. Open, was evicted from her Times Square hotel because her reservation had run out. She, of course, had not expected to make it this far in the tournament, which is why she had not scheduled a longer stay.

Here's my question: Is there REALLY a hotel executive stupid enough to throw out the darling of the U.S. Open because her reservation ran out? There are really people out there that tone deaf? I guess there are, but it just seems stunning to me.

* * *

Tweet from New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro: "Gosh it would be terrible if teams started running up the score on the undermanned Sooners now, wouldn't it?"

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Peter King had five thoughts on the trade of Richard Seymour from New England to Oakland for a first-round pick. I only have two:

1. I don't want to say Bill Belichick is unsentimental, but I suspect he was giggling at the end of Brian's Song.

2. Do you think teams around the NFL will call Oakland owner Al Davis and offer to trade him John Riggins and Too Tall Jones and Paul Warfield?

* * *

Tweet: Why is it that big league managers never do that crazy three-infielders-to-one-side shift for right-handed hitters?

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Was talking with ESPN's Keith Law, who saw Pedro Martinez's start the other day and came away impressed. It seems that Pedro, for the first time, seems to have accepted that he can no longer be the ridiculously overpowering Pedro Martinez of 1997-2003. There has never been a pitcher in baseball history -- not Walter Johnson, not Lefty Grove, not Sandy Koufax, not Tom Seaver, not Roger Clemens -- who was more overwhelming than the young Pedro. It was hard for him to let go of that, and who can blame him?

Thing is, now that Martinez seems to have accepted that he can't ever again be THAT dominant pitcher -- he will never just be able to overpower hitters -- I think he could enter another phase of his career and be a very good big league pitcher for a few more years. He always had one of the best changeups in baseball. He can still jump his fastball into the 90s a couple times a game. And now he's attacking hitters from all kinds of different arm angles like a mini El Duque. Top that off with Martinez's natural pitching brilliance -- nobody knows more about getting hitters out -- and you still have a guy who can do some great things on the mound.

* * *

Tweet: Milwaukee used eight pitchers against the Cards on Tuesday. Was manager Ken Macha practicing for managing a future All-Star Game?

* * *

I'm going to give you an amazing statistic about Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke. He is, unquestionably, the best pitcher in the American League. He leads the league in ERA, complete games, WHIP and home runs per nine innings. He is second in strikeouts, and fifth in walks per game.

No, I haven't given you the amazing statistic yet.

He leads the league in shutouts. He has made 20 starts where he allowed two runs or less, most in the American League. He has made 24 starts where he allowed three runs or less, most in the American League. He has only had two starts all year where he has given up five runs in a game.

No, haven't given you the stat. Not yet.

Greinke's first 10 starts, he had an 0.84 ERA. His last five starts, he has a 1.38 ERA. Greinke himself has a higher slugging percentage (.333) than the right-handed batters who have faced him this year (.318).

And no, that's not the stat either. Here's the stat that will blow your mind.

The Kansas City Royals have a losing record in games that Zack Greinke has started this season.

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Tweet: I don't care what anyone says, I predict that Derek Jeter will break Lou Gehrig's New York Yankees hit record.

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