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The big news of the day comes from major league baseball. The poor got poorer yesterday as the Atlanta Braves placed both their ace pitcher Tim Hudson and their best hitter Chipper Jones on the DL with Hudson being out for the season with ligament damage in his throwing elbow.

What a year for the depleted Braves who have been without John Smoltz, Peter Moylan, Rafael Soriano, Mike Gonzales, Mike Hampton and now Jones and Hudson.

That’s a lot of talent on the shelf and this makes the Braves now definite sellers at the trade deadline.

With that being said, yesterday, I promised you guys a look at my opinion of the buyers and sellers at the deadline. Today, I will give you my sellers beginning in the National League:

NL East Sellers:

Atlanta Braves – With the Hudson injury, the Braves are done. They ideally would like to part ways with Mark Teixiera, but they may not be able to find a suitor and may have to eat the final two months of his deal.

Players most likely to be dealt:
Mark Kotsay
Will Ohman

Washington Nationals
– The Nats have been done since May and will be looking to get prospects.

Players most likely to be dealt:
Austin Kearns
Odalis Perez
Luis Ayala

NL Central Sellers:

Cincinnati Reds – The Reds have a chance to be very active, having what everyone wants: powerful corner outfielders.

Players most likely to be dealt:
Adam Dunn
David Weathers
Bronson Arroyo

Houston Astros – The Stros were buyers in getting Randy Wolf, although I have no clue why. But if the right deal comes forth, I expect the Stros to sell for youth.

Players most likely to be dealt:
Mark Loretta
David Newhan
Darin Erstad

Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates already sold Xavier Nady to the Yankees, but they have more pieces that will be attractive to teams before the deadline.

Players most likely to be dealt:
Jason Bay
Jack Wilson
Zach Duke

NL West:
San Francisco Giants – The Giants are a train wreck looking for pieces to build around Tim Lincecum

Players most likely to be dealt:

Brian Wilson
Dave Roberts
Rich Aurilia

San Diego Padres – The Pads are going nowhere fast and can help themselves at the deadline.

Players most likely to be dealt:

Greg Maddux

Scott Hairston

Heath Bell

I’ll give you the AL tomorrow.

I will begin a new feature called the SEC Puzzle today in which I will predict each SEC team’s entire schedule one game at a time.

Today, let’s tackle the opening game predictions.

Week One Game of the Week:

Alabama 17
Clemson 33

This game will have all of the Week One luster as both teams may be in the preseason Top 25. But I see Clemson as having too much for the Tide and walking away with a comfortable win.

Week One Upset of the Week:

Tennessee 28

Tennessee has two huge disadvantages going into this one. The first is the travel hangover. The second is with a new regime at UCLA, the Vols have nothing concrete to prepare for. Those two factors make this one an upset in my eyes.
Week One Blowout of the Week:

Georgia 48
Georgia Southern 0

A top three team vs. a cupcake = a rout. Expect Georgia’s backups early in the second half.
The Rest:
LSU 44
Appalachian State 17

Florida 56
Hawaii 10

Kentucky 27
Louisville 37

South Carolina 31
NC State 13

Vanderbilt 13
Miami (OH) 23

Arkansas 38
Western Illinois 6

Auburn 44
UL-Monroe 10
Ole Miss 21
Memphis 16

Mississippi State 34
La Tech 14

I’ll give you all Week Two tomorrow.

We are down to the Final Four in our countdown of the best of the best in the MMA world.

Today’s fighter needs no introduction, so let’s hop right into it.

No. 4 best pound-for-pound Mixed Martial Artist: Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira

The current UF C heavyweight champion comes into our list at number four after a successful career in PRIDE and a two-fight winning streak in UFC, including a submission win against Tim Sylvia to win the heavyweight title.

Nogueira is next scheduled to coach in an upcoming season of the Ultimate Fighter before taking on Frank Mir.

The one hurdle Nogueira is yet to clear? Fedor Emelianenko, who has a 2-0-1 record against Nogueira.

Top three time tomorrow.


Gymnast Hamm not going to Beijing
– Sad news and a big hurt for the USA Olympic team as Hamm is the best the USA’s got. Hopefully the others can pick up the slack.

Payton frustrated with DT Ellis’ holdout
– What team owns the highest drafted unsigned player? You guessed it: the Saints. Let’s hope this doesn’t impede Ellis’ progress, because he is much needed. Message to Mr. Benson: Open your wallets for once in your life and pay the man.

Diamondbacks close to acquiring Teixiera – Just a rumor for now, but if so, a huge get for the D-Backs who already have one of the best 1-2 punches at the top of their rotation for playoff time.


YouTube Video of the Day:

New fans will be singing this song elsewhere if the rumors are indeed true.


That’s all for me today. Have a good Tuesday.

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July 2008