Don't look now, but I think Pablo Sandoval just hit another home run. The Stack is here on this Thursday in awe of what the Giants did last night as well as a Thursday night fooball preview. So let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, October 25:
Giants cruise by Tigers thanks to Sandoval's three homeruns
Maybe the few extra days of rest really did matter. The Detroit Tigers looked a little rusty and the San Francisco Giants were ready to play. Led by Pablo Sandoval, the Giants beat the Tigers 8-3 in the first game of the World Series and now hold a 1-0 lead. You can look to Giants pitcher Barry Zito's sharpness and command throughout the game. You can also point to Justin Verlander's struggles and say he was a big story in the game. But without doubt, the biggest story of the game was the Giant Panda, Sandoval, and his three homeruns. Sandoval got the party started right away in the first inning for the Giants, staking Zito to a 1-0 lead. He later belted a two-run homerun in the third inning and just for good measure, added one in the fifth inning as well. It was a magnificent and stunning performance. In the World Series, baseball's biggest stage, to hit three homeruns in one game is truly amazing and something we've rarely ever seen. In fact, only three players aside from Sandoval have ever accomplished the feat of hitting three homeruns in one World Series game. Albert Pujols, Mr. October himself Reggie Jackson and some guy named Babe Ruth. Isn't there a candy bar named after him? That's pretty good company Sandoval is a part of.
The Tigers may be in real trouble. The Giants are continuing to roll from their comeback series win over the St. Louis Cardinals. And with how bad Verlander looked in game one, this series may be over sooner than most think. Don't want to be a prisoner of the moment and put more stock into the game than there should be, but considering who was on the mound and how much rest the Tigers had, I think it's safe to wonder if the Giants will just blow through this series and make quick work of the Tigers. Game two is tonight at 8:00 PM ET on FOX.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings 8:20 PM ET NFL Network
Week 8 is upon and the surprising Vikings are sitting at 5-2. They welcome in a Bucs squad that put up some big numbers against the Saints, but still lost. The Vikings should be licking their chops getting set to go against this defense. Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin should each have big games. This is a chance for a "get-well game" shall we say for Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, who threw for just 58 more yards than I did last Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. But the Vikings should be a little worried about the Bucs. They're better than their 2-4 record shows. Josh Freeman played really well last week and they like to run the ball with rookie Doug Martin and LaGarrette Blunt. Plus, with everyone saying how bad their defense is, that can only serve as extra motivation. But due to the short week and having to fly the distance that they had to, it's going to be difficult for the Bucs in front of what should be a festive and large crowd at the Metrodome. Plus, the Vikings remember what happened last year when the Bucs came back to beat them in the same building, a signature of what the Vikings would endure the rest of the year.
Prediction: Vikings 27 Bucs 20
NHL lockout continues, Islanders heading to Brooklyn
The squabble between the NHL and the NHLPA is ongoing with neither side even finding common ground on when to meet. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is saying that there is little chance of an 82-game schedule this year after the NHLPA rejected the NHL's offer last week. Not trying to take sides here, but the offer was a pretty good one from the NHL. 50-50 split on all NHL revenue with the players' share likely to grow if the NHL continues to see increased revenue. Not sure why the NHLPA can't put together a more decent proposal that the NHL would at least think about. That's what you get when you hire Donald Fehr as your leader. Now NHL fans, businesses and the like are suffering as the fight between billionaires and millionaires ensues. Both sides certainly won't get a lot of sympathy from many people. Fans just want hockey back. It's time to get a deal done, not that one will.
There was some signficant news though from the NHL yesterday. The New York Islanders will be moving to Brooklyn in 2015. They will play at the Barclays Center, home to the NBA's New Jersey Nets. This is a fantastic move by the Islanders. The Nassau Coliseum is a dump, considered by many the worst NHL arena in the sport. Attendance has been down considerably in recent years though that may have more to do with the team's recent run at success. They've failed miserably. This will help build the fan base though and playing in a newly built arena can only help and benefit this team. Good move by the Islanders. Good move by Brooklyn. Good move by the NHL. Now onto fixing the lockout...
Big college football games lined up this weekend
The college football schedule is chalk full of intriguing games this weekend. There are four matchups between ranked teams. The most captivating one, at least in my eyes, is #5 Notre Dame @ #8 Oklahoma 8:00 PM ET ABC. The Soonder have really turned their season around since their loss at home to Kansas State. They appear more focused and the offense is really sharp and putting up a lot of points. Notre Dame has a good defense, but they've struggled at times this year yet have found ways to win. This will be another example of the Fighting Irish gutting one out, but in the end, I think Oklahoma will do enough right to win the game. I am pulling for Notre Dame though.
The great American cocktail party is at it once again in Jacksonville Saturday as the #2 Florida Gators square off with the #10 Georgia Bulldogs at 2:30 PM ET on CBS. Florida pounded South Carolina last week, perhaps vindicating their number two ranking in the BCS just a little bit more. But they still have to prove themselves a little more. Georgia needs to win this game if they want any shot at the SEC East title. They lost to South Carolina whom Florida beat. In kind of a round robin style, this game is of more importance to Georgia I feel than Florida. I'm going to go out on a limb and take Georgia to win, though I pick them with no certainty at all.
#14 Texas Tech faces off with #3 Kansas State at 3:30 PM ET on FOX. Collin Klein will continue to play in his Heisman Trophy form and lead the Wildcats to a win in this one over a surprising Tech squad that will play Kansas State tough.
And finally, is this the week that number one goes down? Will Alabama lose? They host #11 Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have a good team, but they are not match for Alabama. This would be quite the upset if Mississippi State can pull this one off. I don't see that happening. Alabama wins.
Coming up Friday: Week 8 NFL picks plus recap of TNF