The Sound Off by Long Island Sound – November 22, 2013

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October 23, 2013

The Cover 4.com presents you with The Sound Off by Long Island Sound! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @thecover4 or facebook at theCo VerFour

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October 11, 2013

The Cover 4.com presents you with The Sound Off by Long Island Sound! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @thecover4 or facebook at theCo VerFour

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October 4, 2013

The Cover 4.com presents you with The Sound Off! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @thecover4 or facebook at theCo VerFour

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September 26, 2013

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September 14, 2013

 

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September 6, 2013

The Cover 4 presents you another installment of The Sound Off by Long Island Sound…

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The Betting Corner: Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

alg-cliff-lee-pitches-jpg4-8-13 Recap:

LOSS: 1 Unit – NY Mets at Philadelphia (-112)

LOSS: 1 Unit: Cincinnati at St. Louis (-110)

Season YTD: 11-6 +4.36 Units

MLB Futures Watch:

.5 Units: Pittsburgh Pirates Under 77 (-110) 2-5

1 Unit: Houston Astros Under 59.5 (-110) 1-6

1 Unit: Atlanta Braves Over 87.5 (-110) 6-1

1 Unit: Seattle Mariners Over 77 (-125) 4-4

1.5 Units: Cleveland Indians Over 77 (-110) 3-4

Been slipping back to reality the last couple days after our hot start to begin the season.  Tough 0-2 day having to watch the bullpen implode in St. Louis after taking a lead into the 8th inning.  With Philly, I was optimistic after watching Halladay’s first inning of work, but it was all downhill from there.  Halladay’s gonna have to do some serious soul searching because it’s not just these first two starts; he struggled all last year as well.  It will be interesting to see his next couple starts and whether he’s able to make the necessary adjustment to get back to his old dominant self.

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1 Unit – NY Mets at Philadelphia (-1.5) (+125)

Not a big write up for this one.  The Phillies have never, and I repeat, NEVER, lost 3 straight games started by the trio of Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee.  Cliff Lee pitched an 8 inning 2 hit shutout against Atlanta last week; expect more of the same this week.  Philly knows they’ve come out of the gate slow this year, and it’s obvious Hamels and Halladay have struggled mightily.  Cliff Lee is exactly who I’d want on the mound in this situation.  I feel bad for Dillon Gee (who has a 6.46 ERA in his career against Philly) in this situation, because he can pitch great like Medlen did last week against Lee and still come out with the loss.

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1 Unit: LA Dodgers at San Diego (-140)

Still not sold on San Diego.  In their home opener, runs are going to be even harder to come by now that they’re out of the mountains and beachside in sunny San Diego.  Even though Clayton Richard has faired decent against LA in the past, he didn’t look good against New York in his first outing.  Becket on the other hand threw decent against the defending World Champs.  He’s also 5-2 in 7 career starts with a 2.09 ERA against SD.  I’ll lay the chalk in this one and take the favorite.

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Why Larry Fitz Needs To Be Like KG

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After a 58-0 loss to division rival Seattle, the Arizona Cardinals have lost nine consecutive games, dropping their record to 4-9. Yes, that means they began the season 4-0, a record that had a few people believing that placed them amongst the elite teams in the league. Those few who were so willing to look past the glaring hole the Cardinals have at the most important position in all of sports are now eating crow. Just as another writer for the site touched on Mark Sanchez possibly being the most “unfortunate” quarterback in the league, Larry Fitzgerald is so “unfortunate” he’d probably be happy to take either one of the Jets two shaky QBs.

Larry Fitzgerald is THE best receiver in the NFL. Yes, better than A.J. Green, Andre Johnson and Megatron. His work ethic is unparalleled (watch his pre-game warm-up drills), combined with his size, strength, speed and hands. Factor in his physicality and blocking ability and you have a skill set possessed by no other receiver in the League.

The last time Fitzgerald had a decent NFL QB was the Cardinals’ NFC Champion 2009 season with Kurt Warner at the helm and Anquan Boldin on the other side of Fitzgerald. That year, Fitz had 97 receptions for almost 1,100 yards and 13 TDs. The following year with Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall throwing him the ball, he caught 90 for 1,137 but only 6 Tds. Last year with Kevin Kolb and Skelton he posted a career-high 17.6 yards per catch on 80 receptions. These numbers are all in spite of having terrible quarterback play amplified by an even worse offensive line. Trading for Kolb was supposed to be the answer but he hasn’t been able to stay on the field and even if he could, it still doesn’t appear that he’s a starting QB in the NFL.

Fitzgerald signed an 8-year $120 million extension prior to 2011 season to remain loyal to his one and only team, so he will be there for the foreseeable future. It is that loyalty that may be his Achilles heel. Many may remember when Kevin Garnett was in Minnesota; it was his team, no doubt. He was one of the top five players in the league and he and Tim Duncan went back and forth as the best power forward in the NBA. Garnett wanted desperately to win in Minnesota but they were at their max potential and would never get past the likes of the Duncan’s Spurs or Kobe’s Lakers. KG realized this and before the 2007 season he did what was best for himself as a player and requested a trade.

In the NFL, trades are far less prominent and I don’t foresee Fitzgerald requesting a trade but, it is every player’s goal to win their respective championship. Garnett requested a trade and was able to win a couple of titles. As someone who values loyalty and appreciates Fitzgerald for it, I hope he takes a page from KG.

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Efficiency vs. Potential: You Make the Call

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By now everyone in the football world has heard Jim Harbaugh’s decision to start Colin Kaepernick over a now healthy Alex Smith for the San Francisco 49ers as they take on a formidable St. Louis Rams team this coming Sunday. Niners’ football faithful along with the casual football fan all have an opinion on the matter. I have an opinion on the matter, as I’m sure you have an opinion on the matter; and fortunately for you, we want to hear it.

​Forget for a second that Jim Harbaugh actually drafted Colin Kaepernick (and simply inherited Alex Smith) & put yourself in his shoes. Alex Smith has done nothing but produce for the 49ers recently, winning 13-of-16 regular season games in 2011 & posting a 6-2 (13:5 TD:INT ratio) record before being knocked from a Week 10 battle vs. Rams with a concussion.

If Smith’s recent win/loss record isn’t good enough to remain the starter, then let this sink in. At the time of his benching, Alex Smith was the LEAGUE LEADER in completion percentage. That’s right, Alex Smith completed more of this passes this season than Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees – at 70.0%.

After a woeful beginning to his career, Alex Smith has finally gained the confidence of all 49ers’ fans with his efforts this season and last. His true camaraderie and gamesmanship even transcended between sports as he played a small, but exciting role in the 2012 San Francisco Giants playoff push and eventual championship.

Alex Smith wore a Giants’ baseball cap to one of his press conferences earlier in the 2012 NFL season. In turn the Giants invited Smith to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to one of their playoff games. Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy and other Giants’ players even donned 49ers hats to support Smith and the team. After the Giants won the 2012 World Series, Alex Smith drove Matt Cain’s car in the parade throughout San Francisco. The city and fans alike have all finally fully invested in Alex Smith – or at least he thought.

Enter electrifying second-year quarterback out of University of Nevada-Reno, Colin Kaepernick. The 25-year old can essentially make all the plays that Alex Smith simply can’t.  Before being drafted 36th overall to the 49ers in the 2011 NFL Draft, Colin Kaepernick was actually drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2009 as a pitcher, despite not having played baseball since high school – so you know he has an extremely strong arm.

The 6’4, 230lb Kaepernick adds plenty of upside to the quarterback position for the 49ers besides his obvious arm strength. As was evident in his only two NFL starts versus Bears & Saints, Colin Kaepernick has all the necessary tools to be successful in the NFL.

He can make throws on a rope, zipping the ball directly to his receivers, drop balls in the “bread basket” with pristine accuracy and touch, and he possesses the power to launch the ball clear across the field, which must have veteran wide-receiver Randy Moss licking his chops.

Another skill Kaepernick possesses is his inherent ability to elude pass rushers. For such a huge frame, Kaepernick is incredibly slippery and agile, which awards him more time to look downfield to find wide-open teammates while under heavy pressure. Oh, and if those teammates don’t happen to be open, scampering for a first down is another aspect of the game in which Kaepernick trumps Smith. Colin Kaepernick defines upside & potential, and with his surprising 2-0 start in this league, the future could be now.

Although Kaepernick is a perfect 2-0 in two NFL starts, it remains to be seen what the future holds for the San Francisco 49ers with the 2nd-round pick at the helm. Clearly, Alex Smith isn’t in complete agreement with the move Harbaugh ultimately made Wednesday afternoon, naming Colin Kaepernick the starting QB.

​“I mean, it sucks,” Smith told reporters on Friday, the first time he’s spoken with the media since the decision had been made public.

“I don’t know what else to say,” he continued. “I feel the only thing I did to lose my job was get a concussion.”

If this Kaepernick experiment fails, Alex Smith must be prepared to reassume the role as starting quarterback and leader of the team, psyche and confidence fully intact. Ultimately, this could be too much to ask of the 8-year veteran. It’s simple really: if Smith’s confidence is shot, his play might be negatively affected. So was it too soon for the Kaepernick era to begin? You tell us.

On one hand, you have a proven veteran winner with an accurate arm, relatively limited skills, and a city that finally respects him. On the other hand, you have a young, unproven, inexperienced 2nd-year player with incredible physical ability, a perfect 2-0 starting record, all the potential in the world, and a city starving for a championship. Who do you start Sunday versus Rams? While you think about it, consider this:

Which do you value more: efficiency in the present or potential for the future?

Jesse Cintron (Twitter: @JesseJCintron)

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