For those of you who complain that small-market teams cannot compete in Major League Baseball, I present yet more evidence that you are way off base:
In this year's baseball playoffs, six of the eight teams were not in the playoffs last year.
Of the nine highest payrolls in MLB, seven did not make the postseason
Tampa Bay's five starting pitchers made a total salary of $8.5 million this season. That is less than Yankees' ace CC Sabathia made by the All-Star break.
Heisman Trophy race
Last season was a rare year in the Heisman race. There were two past winners (Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow) back to compete for the award. Also, you had Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy. In the end, Mark Ingram, ran away with college football's biggest individual honor.
With all due respect to players like Terrell Pryor, Cameron Newton, Andrew Luck, Ryan Mallett and Kellen Moore, it looks like Ingram and two others have pulled away from the field.
Here are the three players to watch for this year's Heisman:
Denard Robinson (Michigan)
The sophomore quarterback has been amazing.
Robinson is putting up numbers we have never seen before. He engineered a game winning drive last weekend against Indiana as the Wolverines won 42-35. In the process, Robinson piled up 277 yards passing, going 10 for 16 with three touchdown passes.
On the ground he was equally dazzling. He ran the ball 19 times for 217 yards and two more scores. He became the first player in Division I history to pass for 200 yards and run for 200 yards in the same game twice. And he has done this in just five starts.
For the season, Robinson is 67 of 96 passing and has already thrown for 1,008 yards and seven touchdowns. He is leading the nation in rushing with 905 yards (181 yards per game) on just 98 carries.
Robinson's Heisman hopes could rest on the next few weeks, when the Wolverines face Michigan State, Iowa and Penn State.
LaMichael James (Oregon)
James burst onto the scene last year, when Oregon starter LeGarrette Blount was suspended following the season opener. To say James stepped up would be an understatement. The diminutive tailback (5-foot-9, 180 pounds) ran for 1,546 yards and 14 TDs on just 230 rushing attempts. He was named the national freshman of the year following his terrific campaign.
Despite his huge numbers a year ago, James was still fairly unknown for many East Coast fans. That all changed last weekend. In a huge top 10 matchup against Stanford, James ran wild to lead the Ducks to a 52-31 win. He had a career-high 257 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries. That pushed his four-game total to 712 yards (179 yards per game) and seven TDs on 87 carries.
His breakaway speed, and the fact that Oregon will be in the running for the national title, make James a serious Heisman contender.
Mark Ingram (Alabama)
Despite missing the Crimson Tide's first two games following minor knee surgery, Ingram hit the ground running in Alabama's win over Duke. He ran 40 yards on his first carry and never looked back.
Ingram had a solid freshman season in 2008. He ran for more than 700 yards and piled up 12 touchdowns. However, few saw him as a Heisman favorite last fall. After running for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns on 271 carries, Ingram became one of the few sophomore winners in Heisman history.
Alabama is in position to capture back-to-back crowns. In 'Bama's 62-13 win over Duke, Ingram ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. And despite his knee surgery, he appears a step faster this season. In his second game, Ingram ran for 157 yards and two more scores as Alabama rallied past Arkansas.
Last week, in a 31-6 bashing of Florida, Ingram only had 47 yards on 12 carries, but he did score twice. For the season, Ingram has 355 yards and six touchdowns on 45 carries.
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