Seattle in The NHL


Seattle looks to be the next entrant in the NHL. As much they have announced a short list of 13 potential names from the squad. However, this is pending the NHL grants them a franchise.

The names include both a mix of local and historical with a couple zany ones thrown in.
Cougars, Eagles. Sea Lions, Whales, Seals are the run of the mill offerings that aren’t great ideas.

Emeralds, Evergreens, Firebirds and Totems are the second tier of quality names higher than the first set.

Sockeyes, Rainiers, Renegades and Krakens are the final and best tier.



Though I must admit my favorite is the novelty Krakens. The one fan named jersey included in the article looks really cool. One could only imagine what they could do with a professional logo designer.

Though if the local flare is what you look for take the Rainer’s name, or even emeralds.
For now, though it’s just fun speculation until the team formally gets announced.





2018 NFL Conference Champ Pics


Wow what a weekend. With two of the divisional round games going down to the wire and featuring quite the comeback and  another come back fall short,it was definitely  an exciting weekend for the NFL.

Unfortunately, both of these  happenings led me to taking losses in my picks for the week.  Finishing once again 2-2 for the week, making me 4-4 in the playoffs.

Here are my picks for the team that will match up in the Super Bowl.

Vikings @ Eagles

Jaguars @ Patriots

Yep, being boring and going with the two one seeds.

Pittsburgh Pirates Trades Cole/McCutchen


After not doing too much, so far in the off-season, the Pittsburgh Pirates have made two deals in the past couple of days. These are headline level deals.

The first involves Gerrit Cole, heading to Houston for four players.

The first player and you could say headliner of this deal is Colin Moran. Moran plays both third and first base, but is looked to be inserted in the former. He ranks as the fourth best prospect in the Pirates system at the moment. He split this season at triple a and the majors. During his 11 games in the majors he hit .364 with a homer and three rbi. Moran was also named a midseason triple a all-star after hitting .308 with 18 home runs this season.


Moran should get the nod to start at third base, especially with the uncertainty of Jung Ho Kang. Granted he is unproven, but looks to have a strong upside as a former first round pick.


Two arms came to the Pirates in Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz.


Musgrove is a potential starter for the Buccos. In the major leagues he sports an 11-12 record and 4.52 era and was used primarily in the bullpen. However, he is another first round pick and a former top 100 prospect.


He won’t replace Cole, at least not this year, but could be a future arm to watch.


Feliz is a bullpen arm with numbers that don’t look good. He has a 5.13 era for 98 games in the majors. Yet he strikes out a lot of hitters. Feliz punched out 70 in 48 innings this year and 95 in 65 innings in 2016. The Pirates like him as a potential late-inning arm.

I could see this kid being a potential steal, maybe the next setup man, or closer for the Pirates. I like the upside if he can turn it around. His fast ball averaged 96 mph, so he could be a power arm for the Bucs in the future.


The final piece in the trade is outfielder Jason Martin. Martin becomes the Pirates 18th ranked prospect. He saw time at advanced a and double a last season, where he hit .278 with 18 home runs and stole 16 bases.

This is a good additional piece to the trade. He has some upside, but if it doesn’t pan out he wasn’t the center piece of it anyway.


Now Houston gets the Pirates number one starter in Cole. Cole is a good pitcher and at time dominant. He just isn’t an ace. This Season he went 12-12 with a 4.26 era. Cole allowed a career-high 31 home runs in 2017.

However, he was 59-42 with a 3.50 era while making 127 starts in five seasons in Pittsburgh. Houston gets an established veteran starter at the cost of a few talented, yet unproven youngsters.

This is a good deal for both teams at least on paper and should be interesting to watch.


Andrew McCutchen was the second big name sent packing as he was traded to San Francisco. The package the Giants are sending includes bonus money, outfield prospect Bryan Reynolds and pitcher Kyle Crick.


Reynolds was the Giants number four prospect at the time of the deal. He played at three levels of a ball this year with a .312 with 16 homers and 43 rbi stat line. He plays a bit of every outfield position. He also participated in the futures game this year.

I think this is a decent pick up. He is still a couple years away, but should make for an interesting prospect to watch.


Crick is another pitcher that saw time at triple a and in the majors this season. He was used in the bullpen where he put up a 2.76 era prior to his promotion. In the majors he had a 3.06 era with 28 strikeouts in 32 and one-third innings.

He is a former top prospect, but sits as number 16 in the current rankings. He could be another quality arm ready sooner rather than later for Pittsburgh.


McCutchen departs after hitting .279 with 28 homers and 11 steels last season. He was an anchor in the Pirates lineup and an MVP contender. He was the face of the franchise and a big part in getting the Pirates back to the playoffs.

He will be missed. However, I think if you want to respect McCutchen you let him play where he is wanted. He just isn’t at the level he once was and his fan support seemed to dwindle. This move lets him play for a contending team and Pittsburgh gets a couple players for the future.
Disappointing move yes, needed a second yes.
Overall, I think the moves look ok on paper and give me hope for the future, they just have to pan out.

Thank you, Cole, and McCutchen though for some great memories and good luck with your new teams.







Los Vegas Aces


Move over Vegas Golden Knights, you are no longer the only professional sports team in sin city.

The WNBA is adding the Los Vegas Aces for the 2018 season. This is the relocation of the San Antonio Stars.


I really like this move. Vegas is a big sports town without the teams to match. This gives them a second sports team in a professional league, before the Oakland Raiders come to town. Gives sports fans another option other than hockey ,or minor league baseball.


Basketball does have a good shot of success in Vegas. The NBA hosts the summer league there, the Reno Big Horns of the G League set up shop not far away.


This summers Big3 summer league hosted the championships there.


Plus, the Mountain West Conference hosts their tournament for basketball at the Thomas and Mack Center, home to UNLV hoops.


It also puts the Aces out of the shadow of the Spurs. With the Stars struggling and the Spurs almost always in the playoffs, it could be easy to see where the Stars could be ignored.

Vegas doesn’t have pro basketball so there’s only one ticket in town for that.


The name is pretty solid. It goes well with the gambling nature of Vegas. However, what a boring logo. I do like the red, silver and black color scheme and it does look like the logo has a metallic look to it which is cool. Yet, its mostly a bunch of triangles. Boring and not something I want to wear on a t-shirt.


They could have done a better job of playing with the cities gambling theme in the logo, but it wasn’t done.

Though buzz for this team is high. They have a new coach in Bill Laimbeer. They also hold the number one pick in the WNBA draft.


This is the second year in a row for them to draft in the number one slot, with which the then Stars selected Kelsey Plum.


Wishing the Aces best of luck this season. This is a great move and I hope it works well for future expansion in the WNBA.







2018 NFL Wild Card Picks


NFL 2018 playoff picks. Wild Card round.

Each week of the season Hammer Down gave their predictions for the winner of each NFL game. We did rather well finishing 162-89 despite a 7-9 showing during the last week of the season.

Now we move on to the playoffs and the final 12 teams, all with one goal in mind, a Super Bowl win.

First up is the Wildcard weekend. I’ll take my picks for the winners below.


Titans @ Chiefs


Falcons @ Rams


Bills @ Jaguars


Panthers @ Saints







2018 Plans


2017 wraps up another calendar year and another year at Hammer Down Sports.


So I figured why not take a look at what was accomplished during 2017 and look forward to 2018.


Hammer Down could have been dead in early 2017. After a  couple  months of limbo and an unsuccessful campaign to recruit more writers to stay on I had to make a choice. I picked keeping the blog running solo.


Yet, I felt that was a positive motivator. I would have to keep up with the blog if I wanted it to go anywhere. I was ultimately in charge of the success and failure of the project. It connected me on a deeper level with a project I had grown to love over the course of the year when it was started.


I would also say with the change in leadership came a change in style. I felt it was a bit more regimented and stricter in the adherence to AP style and a more academic style of writing before. Now I still try to stick with that same style to keep in practice,but have lightened it up a little with posts like top tens and the football picks.



Which I feel is better for the blog. It adds more to the variety of topics and post styles. It improves my versatility as a writer showing depth to do both the long and the short topics. It makes things more fun. Sports are fun so why shouldn’t writing about them be fun.


I think the number of posts made was an impressive number for 2017. We had multiple months of 20 plus posts and most months had at least ten. I hope to keep up a similar level of posting in 2018 with 20 plus posts being my goal for all months.

Traffic to the site was decent during the year. We had some good months as far as viewer numbers were concerned.  Yet at times I felt I could do a better job of advertising the site. Our social media numbers haven’t been great and I would like to change that in the new year.

The sites Facebook and twitter are here if you would want to check them out. Follows on WordPress are also much appreciated.


Typically I share updates from the site on the social medias, so if your looking for the latest from Hammer Down check them out. Though I plan on mixing some stuff up with the operations of them to make things so its worth following both accounts. Stay tuned to see what the are.

2018 looks to be a strong upswing for the blog and I hope you stay tuned to read some great content.


Most importantly Thank You. Thank you to all the fans, readers and supporters of this blog. Without your support the blog doesn’t run. I wish you the best in 2018 and again appreciate any support of the site in 2018.