Wednesday, February 28, 2007
There's a lot of stuff out there that I don't feel like attacking full throttle but rather just some quick notes.
~Cedric Maxwell telling the lone female ref in the NBA to go back to the kitchen and make some bacon and eggs. Quite classic, would love to find the audio.
~Barry's increase in size is quite humorous. From size 42 to a size 52 jersey; from size 10 1/2 to size 13 cleats; and from a size 7 1/8 to size 7 1/4 cap, even though he had taken to shaving his head. From 1 1/2 circumference testicles to 1/2. Ok made that last one up. But come on a 2 1/2 increase in shoe size in your mid 30s, I had no idea HGH was that friggin powerful. I don't particularly find this as news worthy though, we all know he took steroids and HGH, these are just interesting tidbits to clarify what they can do.
~Steelers trainer dropping 150K on HGH at a pharmacy in Florida. For his older patients. How laughable is that? I have no idea how expensive HGH is but I'd imagine 150K gets you a decent supply. And what would old people need HGH for? It's going to be very interesting where this leads. I don't think much will come out of this though. I don't he leaks who on the Steelers he was getting HGH for, he probably will just get fired from his job, stay quiet and thats it. It would be fantastic if some players were identified but I highly doubt it.
~Apparently a bottle of HGH costs like $100, so thats 1500 bottles of HGH, for old patients, so laughable. When people lie can't they atleast come up with something a little bit more credible? Perhaps he just thought it was the same B12 medicine that Palmeiro took.
~Shaun Livingston tore up his knee big time. Dislocated and all three ligaments. Disgusting. But one has to wonder whether his knee would have blown out if he had any muscle or fat on his body and didn't look like a 6 foot 9 male version of Nicole Richie.
~Pat Summit is an absolutely horrible singer. But the Vols responded and knocked off the Gators who have dropped 3 in a row and look like they don't care at these games. Anyway Peyton was in the crowd with his butt buddy Brandon Stokley.
~Perhaps I jumped on Michigan and Tommy Amaker a bit too early after they've knocked off Michigan St. and Indiana in recent weeks. The Wolverines need either a huge win over the Buckeyes this weekend, or two wins in the Big 10 tourny to get in. I think that should do it, which means they'll choke.
~I'm searching for Petway's Alley Oop dunk against Michigan St. last night, the pass was thrown from well before midcourt. Pretty sick / dumb.
~Hockey seems to have a sweet trading deadline unlike the lame Basketball one, as people I've heard of got traded. Too bad it's not on TV anymore.
~I am annoyed that the Rockets played without Yao and T-Mac on monday night and allowed the Celtics to beat them at home. That helps no one. Also, where / when is the Paul Pierce mystery injury going to come.
~The Red Sox and Yankees Spring training stories are already played out. I don't care about Manny, there's no story there. And why on NYC radio's are we still talking about Bernie. It's done, he's not gonna be on the roster. Why a 2 week injury to Abreu has anything to do with this is beyond me.
~I used to find Spring Training useless and never watched, now I use it for fantasy baseball and prospecting young sleeper picks.
~I dump on Lebron and he scores 35, but he still shot 57% from the stripe.
~Pacman Jones is a scumbag. This is known, and doesn't need to be elaborated.
~Calvin Johnson is a beast, also known.
~I have no friggin idea who the Jets are going to draft.
~Joe DiMaggio had an older brother named Vince who played in the National League for 10 years for 5 teams and made 2 all star games. Just learned this today, kind of piss poor on my part.
~Thankfully February ends today and March Madness and the conference tournies are right around the corner.
Just happened to stumble across this article this morning while perusing SI.com. Apparently all who attended the yearly Sports Illustrated Swimsuit party were exposed to Hepatitis A because low and behold an employee / food handler of the Wolfgang Puck Catering company was diagnosed with the fun viral infection which just happens to be transmitted through methods such as contaminated food. Yummy. All who attended the party were informed that if they ate any raw food, which most likely there was plenty of, that they should get checked out.
"Health officials and event hosts were also contacting attendees of three smaller events between Feb. 14 and 20 that were within the 14-day window during which immune globulin can be administered to prevent illness." SI.com
Lucky for them, that's today, hope you're not busy Mrs. Swimsuit models. Delicious Sushi.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
As Spring training is now here why not reflect on one of the most interesting moments in Spring Training History. Sure the explosion of feathers looks cool, but in the slow motion shot check out how far the bird flys after getting hit and its body bouncing on the ground.
I'm a bit late on this but earlier this month two of my least favorite things in the world, the Red Sox and NASCAR have teamed up. John Henry and the Fenway Sports Group dropped $50 million to become a 50 percent owner in the Roush Racing team, now the Roush Fenway Racing team. [Vommitting] I'm not quite sure how this partnership vastly benefits either side, as New England is not exactly the prime market for NASCAR, although New Hampshire is developing. And the truth is I don't think there is much cross benefit between the two organizations, maybe a few risidual extra fans for both organizations, but it is simply an effort by Henry and the Fenway Group to expand their possible revenue sources so they can shell out more dough on Japanese Pitching acquisitions.
Much like ESPN force feeding NASCAR down our throats the past few weeks due to their new contract Red Sox fans can expect somewhat the same.
"So you'll see highlights on the Jumbotron here at Fenway, you'll see it on NESN, we'll certainly highlight our affiliation with Roush Fenway, but I don't think Nextel Cup cars will be traveling around the warning track here at Fenway Park for a game. " Mike Dee president of Fenway Sports Group and COO of the Red Sox
Anyway if there's ever a gigantic Red Sox car in NASCAR I hope it ends up getting a few flat tires or perhaps flipped upside down.
Full Interview with Mike Dee
Monday, February 26, 2007
Not Sure if the NFL would be too pleased with that celebration, especially if Pacman was the one who scored the touchdown.
Randomly stumbled across this from September of last year. The dude is 6 foot 7 and he has the bicycle kick in his repertoire, pretty impressive.
I bet taking a full throttle kick from a soccer fullback to the chin would hurt like hell. I wonder if his head is still ringing pretty hard right now.
This is getting some pub throughout the media but not enough, Lebron is having a significantly worse season statistically. The Cavs currently have the third best record in the East, not that big of an accomplishment, but Lebron's backwards movement this year has to concern the Cleveland public atleast mildly. In all previous seasons Lebron for the most part improved from year to year, and one easily could have predicted a 33 points per game output from Lebron this season, but that has not happened.
~Lebron's Free Throw % has gone down in each of his 4 NBA seasons from 75.4 to 75.0 to 73.8 to 67.8.
~Lebron's sophomore campaign, 04-05 had universally better per game averages. 27.2 to 26.5 points. 2.2 to 1.6 steals per. 35.1 to 32.7 3pt %. 7.2 to 5.7 assists per. 7.4 to 6.8 boards.
~Lebron's 05-06 had significantly better stats as well. 31.4 to 27.2 points per. 48 to 47.2 FG %. 6.6 to 5.7 assists. 3 less shots per game. 1.4 less free throws per game.
~Playing almost 2 less minutes per game than both of the previous 2 seasons.
~For Fantasy Players out there Lebron's Yahoo Rank has diminished each of the past three seasons. 04-05 2, 05-06 4, 06-07 25.
Why the Change
From looking at all the numbers, the shots taken the free throws taken as well as the mild decrease in turnovers it becomes apparent that either Lebron does not have the ball as much throughout the course of the game or is not as aggressive this season. Perhaps, he got burnt out in the playoff run last year and is taking Shaq's method of playing the season, aka not caring much until the postseason.
The free throw percentage would concern me the most, how could the best player in the NBA with all of his skills be a 67% free throw shooter? It's not as if he's Shaq or similar big guy who needs no touch to be a successful basketball player, Lebron takes a lot of jumpers. Lebron is currently 6th in the NBA in FTA attempts per game but is the only one in the top ten who shoots at a clip below 76%, and the only one in the top 10 who shoots below 80% is Chris Bosh. Each of these players takes full advantage of their trips, but not Lebron. Out of the top 50 players in Free Throws attempted per game only 5 players have a worse percentage, Dwight Howard, Eddy Curry, Tim Duncan, Gerald Wallace and Desmond Mason. 3 of those guys are big guys and the other 2 do not have close to the talent as Lebron. 67.8% is completely unacceptable.
I'm not saying that Lebron James isn't a great player, he is, just with this downturn in production the gap between him and his draft peers Carmelo, Bosh and Wade has been shrunk. Well and then there's Darko...
Friday, February 23, 2007
Looked up Youtube cause I may go to a Comedy Act tonight to see this guy, anway this one was pretty funny.
"After failing two field-sobriety tests, Rhodes told Hafez he had consumed two or three alcoholic drinks. While sitting in the police car's front seat, Rhodes urinated on himself, the report said. Later, Rhodes' blood-alcohol level tested at 0.09, just over the 0.08 level at which an Indiana driver is considered drunk." IndyStar
So within a month he goes from Superbowl champ to pissing himself in a police car after getting busted. 0.09 might be too much liquor for your brain to function everything you need while driving but you certainly should be able to keep urine in your body. If I was the Colts I think I would let him explore free agency this off season. Solid work Dominic.
Every spring you go outside and the birds are chirping and the flowers are blooming and then come winter everything is dead and starts back up again come the spring. Manny Ramirez is one of those birds. The stories stop in the winter when he's away from the game and then they start up again come spring training. Is it really a story if it happens every single season? Is it very surprising that Manny wants to show up late for camp? He's done it before he will do it again, and it has never been a big deal with regards to his production. He goes out he clubs his 35 home gets 135 rbis and then it starts up again the next spring.
Throughout the year we're guaranteed to hear Manny Ramirez trade talks about 3-4 times none of which ever have any validity and for good reason. Manny Ramirez may be a little headache if you let him be. But its happenned so often that the Red Sox organization should be able to ignore it and just let it slide. He puts up the numbers, without him your lineup isn't very good. His impact is far greater than his numbers, without Manny's protection, David Ortiz is a much less effective hitter. JD Drew doesn't strike the fear in any manager.
The stupid part is because of Manny's odd tendencies, and being just plain weird truthfully, people label him as lazy, when in fact Manny works as hard as anybody on his craft, hitting.
So please next spring when a Manny trade rumor pops up or he wants to show up to camp late so he can go to some all you can eat buffet, don't act surprised and don't say this is the last straw. He's going to be in Boston til the end of his contract. Why? Because he's the best right handed hitter in his generation.
In a very dull day of sports the world of hockey shines through with a nice 12 man brawl. My favorite part is the malicious smile on the Ottawa goalies face that just screams, "Dude I'm going to beat the piss out of you right now, I've been waiting my whole pro career for a fight, your done." Than he's taking punches in the face and smiling the whole time.
Ray Emery is officially the coolest player in the NHL.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
So the only blockbuster move of this entire trade deadline was former Indiana Star Alan Henderson getting traded for a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos? Well that's friggin lame. All that talk about Jason Kidd, Pau Gasol, Vincanity, all the speculation and this is what we get. It's not really surprising but it is kind of annoying how they spin all this nonsense to create stories which really don't exist. All hype no action.
Oh and for the record Alan Henderson was traded from the 76ers to the Jazz and the two flip flopped 2nd round draft picks. So one could easily argue that a bag of Cool Ranch Dorito's is more valuable.
It's a seven minute clip but the only relevent sports part is from about 1:45 to 3:00. If I had software / knew how to edit the video I would, but I don't. Anyway I'm a fan of Gabrielle Union, perhaps she could be the mascot for Union College in order to spread diversity. She could do the people of Schenectady proud.
Watch out for the Claymates Kidd they're after you. They will hunt you down in Miami, Paris and especially San Francisco.
Think Tim Hardaway hates the Claymates? I'd wager yes.
Lots of Youtube today, hopefully someone gets traded so I have something to talk. about.
Typically come March I jump on a bandwagon, mostly cause Michigan sucks every year and I like to root for a team. Well this year I think it's gonna be the Hokies and this video certainly doesn't hurt.
Enough with the PC bullshit already, why is everyone in this world so friggin sensitive. Sure Redskins might be a little rough but the nicknames or Illini, or Seminoles or Chiefs what the hell is wrong with any of those names or characatures. Is there really any negative connotation now with these names? How many people walk around see a Native American and think to themselves damn there's a Redskin or a Redman? The word Yankee had a negative connotation for much of the country during the Civil War, should they be renamed.
And as for characatures and mascots, aren't all mascots a little ridiculous looking? Have you seen the USC Trojan, or the Minnesota Vikings mascot? Both don't where one of those giant Barney costumes but both look absolutely ridiculous. So should people of Modern Day Turkey or Modern Day Nordic region dial up the NCAA and NFL and file complaints? Should men in Massachusetts with premature ejaculation problems protest the nickname Minutemen because it hurts their feelings? Don't you think that this kid that gets to play Chief Illinewek is of Native American descent himself and gets to benefit from this position with a free ride to school, whats wrong with that?
If we're going to be PC why don't we represent all cultures in mascot names. I mean have you ever seen a black mascot, or an asian mascot. Nope they're all white. Woah I don't know if I should accept this. I think we need to diversify our mascots.
Or we should just shut up, accept the friggin traditions and not bitch and moan about something that makes no difference at all.
Wow that kid needs a diet, but he does have the fat jiggle down.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
So I didn't touch on this earlier in the week but perhaps you heard about it earlier, two players on Liverpool, Craig Bellamy and John Arne Riise got into a little scuffle after a night of vigorous karaoke. The two were arguing over a karaoke competition and the obviously short fused Bellamy took a golf club to Riise's legs. Quite humorous if you ask me. He did get fined 155,000, hopefully he won that amount in his karaoke competition.
Well anyway Liverpool headed to FC Barcelona today to face the defending European Champions, aka the best club team in the world for the uninformed, in their Champions League draw. And what did the two of them do? Well Bellamy scored the equalizing goal in the first half to make the score 1-1. And then in the 74th minute Bellamy assisted Riise to put The Reds in the lead for good.
And there's a lesson for you folks if you want to gain extraordinary performance from individuals in your organization here's a plan of action.
1. Short Fused Employees
3. Karaoke Competition
4. More Booze
5. Golf Club
Then next week your Org will be better than ever.
Apparently you're supposed to wait for the other team to get set up and there's a big hissy fit going on in France (good) that Man U. cheated their way to a win. The France weenies wanted to walk off the field afterword, ha. Personally I think it looked like perfect strategy. And it obviously worked, they won 1-0. Good for them, down with France.
Laila Ali, Clyde Drexler, Apolo Ono, Vincent Pastore and Steve Sanders. What do they have in common? Well but of course they will all appear on the next season of Dancing with the Stars.
Breakin it Down
Big Pussy / Vincent Pastore - For some reason I'm under the assumption that a vastly overweight Italian Man who played a gangster on the Soprano's will be unable to triumph in a ballroom dance competetion. Can I put money down in Vegas that he's the first eliminated? What would those odds be?
Laila Ali - She punches women in the face for a living, chances she's eloquant on her feet or in a dress?
Clyde the Glide - The guy is huge. Where are they going to find a women who will be appropriately sized for a 6 foot 7 inch man.
Steve Sanders / Ian Ziering - Steve had no moves on 90210, and how is he still a celebrity didn't this show end about 10 years ago and stop running in syndication early in this decade. I say he gets bounced early.
Apolo Ono - He's got to be the winner of this group, small compact quick. Has worn tight tights his whole life. Perhaps he plays the role of the woman in most dances.
Heather Mills - Last but certainly not least is Heather Mills, Paul McCartney's ex wife. She has an artificial leg, and she's going to be an expert dancer. It's almost to cruel to comment, but a pegleg come on.
The rest of the competetion consists of Actor and former country star Billy Ray Cyrus, former 'N Sync member Joey Fatone, Miss USA 2004 Shandi Finnessey, former Entertainment Tonight host Leeza Gibbons and model Paulina Porizkova. I wouldn't doubt it if the athletes were bumped off way before the finals this season.
Jason Kidd to the Lakers: This move makes perfect sense for the Lakers however they for some reason are unwilling to let Bynum go and to me if the Nets do not get Bynum then there is no purpose in making this trade. They would quickly sink their franchise, and receive nothing for it. That makes no sense. I understand that the Lakers don't want to give up a 2nd year player out of high school who has played very well this season, but just come out and admit you have no intention of beating the Mavericks or Suns, because getting Kidd gives you that chance. Expectation: Kidd remains
Vince Carter to the Clippers: Trading Vince Carter makes sense for the Nets, he can opt out of his contract at the end of the season and most likely will. So unless you can gain assurance that he will be back for the next two seasons than get what you can for him. Which most likely won't be much as I'm sure any other suitor wants some assurances he will be around the next two seasons as well. Apparently the Nets denied a Carter for Maggette and Mobley deal and are searching for Shaun Livingston, which I don't think they have a hope or prayer of getting. Expectation: Carter remains
Gasol to the Bulls: The Grizzlies are looking for 2 players from Deng, Hinrich, Nocioni, Gordon in return, not going to happen. The Bulls should have made the KG deal in years past, but giving up 2 of those guys for Gasol doesn't really make too much sense given Gasol is not a #1 player on a championship team, and not necessarily a go to clutch scorer. Expectation: Gasol stays
Bibby to the Cavs: Heard a rumor last night that the Cavs, T-Wolves and Kings were talking three way deal where the Cavs ended up with Bibby. Bibby makes a bunch of sense for the Cavs, can shoot, can handle, can hit big shots. The Kings aren't going to make the playoffs and should reshuffle their roster, and Kevin McHale is an idiot and thus a perfect third buffer. I think it makes sense but something will make it not work. Expectation: Bibby stays
Brevin Knight to the Cavs: When Bibby doesn't work out the Cavs will scramble and settle for Brevin Knight, which will do little to improve their roster. Expectation: Happens and is insignificant.
Overall: Nothing big is going to happen, it's all smoke and mirrors, some mid-tier to low-tier guys will get moved but we've already seen the AI trade this year, and you can't expect another high profile player to get dealt.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Unless you like the PussyCat dolls, you're going to want this on mute. All in all a relatively unimpressive uninventive showing. The most unique was Howard, but not that difficult. Personally I liked Nate's dunks the best, but he once again took about 40 tries to get the last 360 dunk and thus lost for good reason. Tyrus Thomas dunk over Ben Gordon was pretty sweet as well. The end result of Gerald Green winning was pretty predictable.
36 vs. 26
5'9 vs. 5'11
127? vs. 127
Brown vs. Blond
67 vs. 14
Yes vs. No
Irish vs. Brazilian
10 million vs. 150 million
Hmm, I wonder why the move... Not like Gisele has the advantage in almost every single category or anything.
Imagine if Tom Brady actually broke up with Moynahan immediately following her telling him she was pregnant. Then went out found one of the hottest/richest women on the planet, 10 years her junior and paraded all over America with her. Is that not the cruelest thing you could possibly do to a woman. If true, would he not go down as a hero for all scumbag men out there? Even if you were to find it despicable one would have to admire the extent he went to in order for an upgrade. There may be women who you could argue you find more attractive than Bundchen, certainly an arduous task, but the chick is worth about $150 million on top of that. Can't say that about many other women in the world.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Yesterday was a sad day as it marked the passing of true genious. Without his services and his innovation Americans would be lost in the land of Direct TV and Digital Cable. We would be less informed of the worlds events, less entertained, less glued to the TV and perhaps not as culturally overweight.
Robert Adler the inventor of the Television Remote flicked to his final channel at the age of 93. Tonight as I change from Prison Break to How I Met Your Mother during commercial breaks it will all be in thanks to Mr. Adler. So here's to you Robert, may you go down in the history books as a brilliant engineer, an innovator, and mostly, a true american.
"I don't usually let women interview me unless they fornicate with me first"
They hold the biggest race of the season, the most prestigious race, the "Superbowl" of racing, to open the season. And it has no major effect on who wins the seasons championship. Well that makes friggin sense. Why not open the season with Wimbledon or the Master's and then not count the results on the season ending money list / rankings. Perhaps because it is moronic. Throw out the fact that NASCAR is only good for the massive wrecks, which can be easily viewed fully on a highlight show, NASCAR's season is set up miserably.
So after yesterday its pretty much either congrats you won the biggest race of the year, now the rest are insignificant. Or you just wrecked in the biggest race of the year, you're a loser, have fun for the rest of the stupid races this season.
~PTI getting bounced for NASCAR now is extremely annoying. PTI = ESPN's best show. NASCAR = Mind Numbingly Boring. By simple deduction of logic PTI should never be pulled for anything, especially driving in circle news. Why did ESPN have to go out and taint themselves by picking up something that isn't a sport? Now it's only natural that they attempt to pound NASCAR into our brains. Everything on ESPN or ABC is of course given more coverage than an event of similar note on a different network. Pain.
~Think that guy is up for a flaming JD shot?
After all these years of perfect humanly existance, despite the massive amount of hope he would get runover by a bus, Tom Brady has finally had a little slip up. Mr. Brady forgot to do the ole wrapping job and has left his mark on his ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan, she's three months pregnant. They broke up in Decemeber so a little bit less than three months ago, how ironic would it be if it had been their last time together.
Poor Tommy, he had moved on to one of the hottest girls on the planet and was the envy of all men around the world. He was even in an imaginitive battle between Jeter and Timberlake to see who could pull the finest piece of tail, Timberlake is dominating, and now the moral dilemna. Does he pull a Matt Leinart and seemingly not mention it at all in the media, nor care at all. Or does he run back to his former love to comfort her during her pregnancy and to become the Dreamboat daddy. One way or another finally a twist in the road for America's QB.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Let's first look at three prior Japanese endeavors from a range of spectrums. Hideo Nomo was good for a while, Kaz Ishii was moderately succesful for a awhile and Hideki Irabu pretty much sucked.
Nomo's First Full Season: 13-6, 2.54 era, 236 Ks, 1.056 WHIP, Rookie of the Year
Ishii's First Full Season: 14-10, 4.27 era, 143 Ks, 1.578 WHIP
Irabu's First Full Season: 13-9, 4.06 era, 173 IP, 126 Ks, 1.26 WHIP
Noticeably all three pitchers had moderate to great success in their first season in the bigs. And arguably they had their best seasons their opening campaign. So why is this? Well these pitchers came over to America in their prime, and ready to pitch in the big leagues. In addition their first season in the bigs they had the advantage over hitters that had never seen them before and had no idea what their tendencies were. Once hitters were able to get a read on each pitcher, and once they grew out of their decline all three had measurably less success.
So what does Matsuzaka have in common with these three pitchers. Well first is the age. Nomo pitched his first season at 26, both Irabu and Ishii made their starts at 28. Matsuzaka will pitch this season at age 26. He is in his prime, just like the others. Additionally he has the same advantages of the prior three in regards to hitters not establishing his tendencies. Perhaps its less important in modern baseball's video watching ability, but it is still much different facing the pitcher than watching film.
So where does Matsuzaka fit in this spectrum? He would certainly project out better than Ishii and Irabu given his hype and past success in both the World Baseball Classic and the Bronze Medal in the 2004 Olympic mirror Nomo. Here's a difference between the two, Matsuzaka jumps into a more pressure packed situation in a better league but concurrently on a better team. Thus a 2.54 ERA would seem like a very large stretch however only 13 wins seem like a little underestimate. Therefore my predictions are:
Matsuzaka's First Full Season: 16-8, 3.43 era, 198 IP, 173 Ks, 1.18 WHIP
So if those are his numbers where does that land him. Basically a low end #1 starter to a high end #2 starter depending on your team. Similar numbers to a John Lackey, CC Sabathia, Mike Mussina. But not one of the Roy Oswalt, Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladays of the world. And thus draft him accordingly, don't over estimate what he is going to do and expect those Oswalt like numbers, if someone else wants to let them. And when it gets to the time of the draft where Sabathia and Lackey start to come off the board and you want to take a bigger Risk/Reward guy than snatch up Matsuzaka. But be forewarned neither you nor I have any real idea what he's going to be this season.
MVP: Steve Nash, it's really not much of a question. The Suns are terrific with him and lose to teams like the Sonics and Blazers without him. Anyone who mentions the fact that he is surrounded by incredible physical talents completely forgets that the team had the same tools when Marbury was there and they sucked, and when he doesn't play they suck. He makes that team special. 3-Peat.
Best Team: Mavericks, they play defense they play offense, they're healthy and I still stand comfortably behind my championship prediction. Dallas over Detroit.
Best Trade: C-Webb, sure the guy can't move. Neither lateral or vertically, and sure I'm incredibly biased, he's been my favorite player since the fab five days, but he's been terrific for the Pistons. Remember when Peja tore it up in Sacramento and everyone thought he was terrific, and than Divac and Webber left and he no longer got open shots and you realized he wasn't that good. Well, Rip Hamilton is a good player, but he's much better with a big man that can distribute him the ball. And Webber is still great at that. Webber makes them ligitimate title contenders.
Best Rookie: Brandon Roy, by default. No one is really sticking out.
Most Improved: Deron Williams, the Jazz are pretty friggin good this year and Deron Williams is a huge reason for their success and he got absolutely screwed out of the All Star game, especially after 4 Western Conference players pulled out. Something Shawn Kemp never did.
2nd Half Predictions
Most Likely to Suffer an "Injury": Paul Pierce / Pau Gasol, come on you know one of those guys is going to have another "stress" fracture.
Pickin Up Steam: Miami Heat, Shaq is back Wade is on fire, Riley is coming back, expect them to move themselves into a comfortable spot for their playoff run.
Ready for a Collapse: New Jersey Nets, too many injuries not enough height or inside presence and the teams in front of them are flat out better. Don't be surprised if the Nets miss the playoffs.
Ike Stays: I'd put money on Thomas not getting fired, he's equaled their win total from last season, he will probably just miss the playoffs this season, but he will show the "improvement" that Dolan asked for.
Keith Foulke has decided to retire after feeling pain in his throwing elbow at the start of spring training. Foulke had an up and down 10 year career but he should forever go down in Red Sox lore as one of the biggest heroes in ending the Sox World Series drought. During the one postseason where Mariano was mortal Foulke slid in and took his place. Foulke threw 14 innings in 2004 and gave up one lone run in the World Series. Against the Yankees Foulke threw 6 innings in 5 games and didn't give up a single run. He was unhittable.
Perhaps his Red Sox career was brief, perhaps a three year career in Boston marred with injuries the final two seemingly is undeserved of honor. But for that one October Foulke was the best pitcher on the planet, the backbone of that Curse Killing Roster, and personally I think he deserves a day in Fenway to be honored for his accomplishments that one October.
Now lets all look forward to the Joel Piniero, Red Sox Closer, era.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Bernie Williams Debacle
Brian Cashman messed this one up. Bernie hit .281 last season with decent power numbers and is a historic Yankee and instead of honoring him with the final spot of the roster he signed Dougie Minkowitz. Now Bernie is either going to be relegated to play for some scrub team or retire, all in all not a very quality deal for #51. I'm annoyed by it, mostly because Andy Philips and Minkowitz are terrible hitters, but once the season starts it will fly right over my head.
Give Mo the Money
If Mariano Rivera says he wants money, then give him the friggin money. Tell him 3 years 15 per then you can fade off into the sunset. Prior to the season would be the smart idea, but for some reason the Yanks don't do contract extensions prior to the season. How about an exception for the most important player on your roster for the past 10 years? I don't think that would have that major of an effect on future situations where players have extensions. In the long run I see the Yanks giving Rivera whatever he wants, but why wait?
For the most part people will chime in this morning grilling Tim Hardaway on being homopohobic or mention the fact that he has the right to say whatever he wants. And if he wants to tell the world that he hates gay people so be it. And while I believe both of those points of view its not that that pisses me off. If Tim Hardaway hates gay people so be it, let him expose himself as a fool, and as for free speach sure he can say whatever he wants. But its the half-hearted apology that ticks me off.
"Yes, I regret it. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said I hate gay people, or anything like that. That was my mistake."
Now a days it seems like every day you get a stupid comment from some athlete around the world and then the next day after a few pokes from his PR guy he comes out and says that he's sorry and that he really didn't mean it. Bullshit. Tim Hardaway you don't like gay people, you said it, you elaborated on it, you showed yourself as a Bigot now leave it. All your saying here is that you shouldn't have said it cause now people are up your ass, and that was a mistake you made. Nothing said here implies you are not 100% homophobic. Why should anyone right in mind accept your apology as anything more than you try to cover up your beliefs and sweep your misguided comments under the rug.
Just look at any press conference with a controversial comment nowadays and the next day your sure to get a meaningless rebuttal. Tyrus Thomas saying that the Dunk Contest is an honor, or LaDainian saying he was out of line saying that the Pats are scumbags because of Belichik, the list goes on and on and they are all meaningless. From now on I am going to make it a habit of drilling any half hearted apology because listening to you PR person and reading a statement they tell your to say should never get you off the hook for whatever hurtful or stupid comment you make.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
So I'm driving into work and my cars making a nice little squeeky noise. Then about a mile and a half away from my office poof on comes the break light and the battery light and off goes the power steering. Ouch, so I get off the next exit and take the backroads to my office. Bare in mind in Connecticut yesterday we had a pure ice storm and no one showed up to the office, about 10% at best. So I begin my self diagnosis of what the problem would be, aka I google up all the symptoms. I come to the conclusion that my Serpentine Belt is done.
So I call Triple A and tell them I need my car towed from Danbury to the local shop I typically bring my car to in Ansonia. After some fun talk with the AAA lady she infroms me that the roads are too "icy" in Danbury, and that they are focused on accidents. So basically she told me to f* off, and she told me places in Danbury I could bring my car. Ok fine, not the best option but I'll do it.
So I drop off my car at the shop give them my diagnosis and then head back to work. Eventually he calls me up says that it is in fact the Serpentine belt and he says something else also needs to replaced, and that Isuzu said that this causes the Serpentine belt to shred all the time and that it's going to cost around 370. I begrudgingly say ok, not knowing how much shit costs or what the second part he mentioned was.
A few hours later I get a buzz back and he says that in fact that other part didn't need to be replaced and that the charge is 295 and that I can pick it up whenever. Now it's starting to get in my head, a piece of miserable rubber is going to cost me $300 friggin dollars, 300 are you kidding me. Now I'm on a mission to see how badly I got screwed over.
I joined about 5 different auto mechanic forums and asked the question of how much a typical serpentine belt costs. Then I call my usual shop and they tell me the typical price is 90 dollars. 90 friggin dollars. Oh I am boiling, if you're an automechanic or work for AAA stay away from me. Far away.
Dan Hawkins is definately a nutjob. He's into all that Zen nonsense and enjoys living in Montana and Colorado. Well now that he's losing, 2-10 with the Buffs last year, he enjoys jumping off the deep end. Well he received an anonymous letter from a parent coplaining about the fact that he has reduced the weeks off from finals to summer workouts from 3 weeks to 2 weeks. And ya he went off. Here's the Clip.
"Go Play Intramurals Brother"
Courtesy Of CGB
The ACC expanded their conference by adding Miami, Virgina Tech and BC with the sole purpose of improving the conferences football, aka cash cow. What they didn't expect was for BC and VaTech to immerge as front runners in their Men's Basketball league and for VaTech to go out and sweep their matchups with UNC.
I will give and take some credit to myself right now. At the beginning of the season when I laid out my predictions I picked VaTech as my sleeper team. But that was to make the tourny and I said they would get knocked off in round 1. In all actuality the Hokies have a shot to win the ACC and advance deep into the NCAA tourny. I don't think they're a potential champion, but would you be absolutely stunned if a team that managed to win in Cameron Indoor and the Dean Dome in the same season somehow made it to the Final 4. Regardless of the fact they used to be basement dwellers in the Big East and have yet to make the tourny as members in the ACC, this team has done what so little teams in the past have done.
Who knows what they will do over the course of the next few weeks, win the ACC or not, advance to the 2nd weekend of the tourny or not, this Tech team has taken tremendous strides in establishing a program. And with the coaching ability of Seth Greenberg, should win the AP coach of the year, the Hokies could in fact be here to stay. And at that point the Head Honcho of the ACC should be given all the credit in the world for both making his football conference relevant, and at the sametime improving the hoop.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Perhaps I'm an optimist, perhaps I'm avoiding the truth, perhaps I'm an idiot but I feel there is a legitimate chance with a few tweaks on the roster, front office, coaching some luck and intelligence down the stretch run of the season the Celtics could easily win the Atlantic Division next year and contend for the Eastern Conference Title.
Step 1: Keep Ainge and Doc for the Remainder of the Season
There is absolutely no reason to fire a coach or a GM during the middle of a season where you have no chance of going anywhere. Why create additional controversy on top of the current record setting losing streak?
Step 2: Keep On Losing
And who better than Doc Rivers to continue the most important portion of this process. The Celtics need to lose, they need to have the greatest opportunity to win the lottery possible. Winning only hurts this. There will be a huge difference between the impact you will be getting at pick 2 and pick 3. Surpass the Grizzlies in record and there it is less ping pong balls. Keep losing, be the frontrunner.
2a: Get Pierce out of the lineup again. I don't think people fully understand just how good Pierce is and has been the past few seasons. There was a portion of his career where Pierce became the most selfish ballplayer in the NBA and completely an anti teammate, now he is simply a great player. With Pierce the Celtics are good enough to win at minimum 40% of their games, thats not good for their ping pong balls. Any "injury" to Pierce after the all-star break will be deserved of a season shutdown / vacation.
2b: Make sure Szczerbiak does not play with Pierce. Szczerbiak is not a great player by a longshot, but he is a tremendous complementary player. Him in the lineup with Pierce means more wins. Without Pierce he doesn't effect the Celtics win total much.
Step 3. Fire Doc and Ainge at Seasons Conclusion
Both have been terrible. Doc is the worst coach in the NBA down the stretch of games, and Ainge has proven nothing during his tenure at GM. The Celtics are a historic franchise, in a great city, its an attractive job for any GM or coach. And will especially be attractive when...
Step 4. Win the Lottery (1, or 2)
Receive the first or second pick in the NBA draft. The biggest step in the rebuilding process is to win the lottery. Whether that mean the 1st pick or 2nd pick is irrelevent. Either Oden or Durant significantly improves a franchise and come draft time it will be argues to no end which will be better. Both will be great, its going to be a futile argument. The real story will be how lame it will be having the 3rd pick in the draft. However, the branches change a little bit with regards to who they draft as different retooling would need to take place after the selection depending on which is selected.
Step 5-Oden Retool the Roster
If they land Oden in the draft than they will be completely set in the front court with Oden at C and Big Al running the PF position. This combination would be fantastic for years to come. They would dominate the boards down low and could easily develop into a McHale, Parish like combo. With Pierce at the 3 and Szczerbiak at the 2 the only thing you are lacking is a point guard. Package Green and Perkins and a contract for a PG, one who isn't completely deficiant at shooting (Rondo & Telfair). Trading for a PG along the lines of Andre Miller's talents immediately with that starting line up makes them the best team in the Atlantic division.
Step 5-Durant Retool Roster
Durant is incredibly talented but will require more retooling on the Celtics roster to make it great. With Durant, Szczerbiak, Pierce and Green you have 34players that are wing types and that doesn't work. Durant most certainly renders Green an excess talent one that holds free market value. In this case he most certainly should be shipped for a point guard, but in this case he should be packaged with West or Rondo for a point guard as Perkins would be needed for rebounding. For 07-08 it may be slightly more difficult for the Celtics to win with Durant than Oden but it is still better than a 50/50 option.
Things Not to Do
Trade for Pau
If this ever happened in February, Danny should be shot, not fired, shot. This would give the Celtics a chance to win a bunch of games down the stretch, of course still falling short of the playoffs, but almost killing their chances at 1 or 2.
He was the best player on the court while Pierce was out. He's only 22 and he's averaging a double double. He's got soft hands in the post and could in the forseeable future turn into an 18-11 type power forward. Why would you give this up with more youth for Pau Gausol or an overrated "star".
Trade Period before the Deadline
There is no need to improve the team, and really no player on the roster who would be useful to a contending franchise. Hold the fort, and began your praying to the ping pong balls.
Keep Doc and Danny Ainge in 07-08
As stated previously they stink, they have stunk all along, and they will continue to stink. With the #1 pick in the draft, the Celtics become a prime coaching/GM spot. Go out and get the best available, don't keep your lame ducks. For all his tormenting, a case could be made that Isiah Thomas has done a better job with the Knicks than the Ainge Doc combo.
1) Why the delay in the fire why now? There have been reports that the relationship between Marty and GM AJ Smith was dysfunctional for almost the whole season, so what the hell happened between the Pats loss and today that magnified this?
2) One of the rumored reasons is that Marty was allowing his position coaches go around the league and interview for O and D Coordinator positions, and it was within his right to deny them such opportunity. Was this really that big of a reason? Doesn't it seem like a dick move for a coach to deny his employers opportunity for advancement? AJ when dialed up by Wade Philips for this position coaches, when with the no soup for you reply.
3) Anyway that this firing came out of spite? Had Schottenheimer been fired weeks ago, while there were positions on the market, i.e. Miami, he almost would have certainly been hired. He does win wherever he goes. Anyway AJ decided he really wanted to screw him over for a year?
4) In the process it seems like the organization screwed themselves over, if this firing had been done immediately there could have been a seemless transition to Cam Cameron or Wade Philips. Did they know that neither Wade or Cam would have been an appropriate hire? They did in fact both get head coaching jobs so I'm not particularly seeing how they could have come to that conclusion, but who knows.
5) Speaking of Cam and Wade, do you think they are currently regretting the fact they took other jobs around the league? I would think Cam would be more disappointed as the Cowboys have a good chance of contending in the NFC, a weaker conference, while the Dolphins have major quarterback issues.
6) Where do they go now? With all the hirings come and gone who will they be able to interview? A big time assistant, a retread, a high profile college coach?
7) Chances Bill Cowher thinks about interviewing for this job? I know he wants to take off a year, but is there a better job in the NFL right now? Sunny San Diego, tons of talent. Seems like the perfect job to me. How much would the Chargers have to give up in compensation if he did agree to the position.
8) USC attack? Do the Chargers go out and interview both Pete Carroll
and Steve Sarkisian? And will either be intreagued to take the job? This certainly is a more intriguing job opportunity for Carroll than the Dolphins, but he did just garner the 3 best players in the country in his recruiting class, and USC is practically the perfect job for his skill set and character.
9) Odds Mike Singletary becomes the token Rooney Rule interview, 2:1?
10) How much does this decrease the Chargers chances of winning the Championship next year? While some may point to the fact that Marty never wins a postseason game, he typically gets there. Will this team with a complete new staff from top to bottom will they be anywhere near as good as the 14-2 team they were last season? They still have the talent, but will the system fit. How much does their Vegas Odds go down this week?
Monday, February 12, 2007
Kristin (Kris) Benson, wife I mean husband of Anna Benson is done for the year with a torn rotator cuff. This could have come from said "offseason" throwing regimate or perhaps it came fending off all of the pimps attempting to employ his tramp of a wife.
Have you ever met a guy named Kristin before? Is it pronounced like Christian or like the gals name Kristen? How long did it take him as a kid to assume the nickname Kris, weeks, days or minutes of ridicule? And does having a feminine name as a guy makes you more of an injury risk. I mean he has needed Tommy John and now a torn rotator cuff? Drew, kind of an ambiguous name, had a torn rotator cuff and labrum last season and dislocated his elbow during the pro bowl. Coincidence or the fault of their parents? Hmm...
Now it looks as if the Orioles might have to look into the services of Steve "The Trashbag" Trachsel. Or bring up some pitcher who isn't ready to compete in the AL east. It really doesn't seem fare for the O's who consistently have pitching problems to lose a guy before he even threw a single pitch in Spring Training, but as a merciless Yankee fan... Well atleast they can take solice in the fact that they really had no chance of being better than the Sox, Yanks or Jays anyway.
My money is on Green in the Dunk contest, what about yours?
Now that's funny stuff.
Dennis Rodman is still alive and he wants in to the Hall of Fame and I personally think he should be enshrined. As a man sure you could bring up a vast amount of oddities and in most cases I don't think you would want him representing whatever business you are a part of but the fact remains he was a hell of a basketball player.
Statistics wise there's only one thing that anyone can knock Rodman about and that was his poor scoring, and to that I have a few comments. A) He played with prolific scorers at every stop from Detroit with Ike and Dumars to San Antonio with the Admiral and the Bulls with Pippen and MJ, he didn't have to score and of course you would rather have those other guys shooting the ball, why hold it against Rodman. B) Scoring is such an overvalued statistic in the NBA, some players are there to put the ball in the hoop others are there to stop people from putting the ball in the hoop. Rodman was obviously the latter, and won the defensive player of the year twice.
Here are some facts of why he should be in the Hall.
~Led NBA in Rebounds per Game from 1992-1998, thats 7 consecutive seasons
~Led NBA in FG% one season
~1st Team All NBA Defense 7 Seasons
~1995 he missed 33 games yet still finished 10th in total rebounds
If you changed those statistics to scoring or assists would there be any doubt that player makes the Hall? If a player led the league in Assists 7 consecutive seasons and had 5 championships? He was far and away the best rebounder of the generation and arguably the best defender. He should get in, and don't tell me David Stern hasn't always dreamed of an NBA player accepting his Hall of Fame Entry in a wedding dress.
You know what I'm talking about, well perhaps you don't but some of you do. That one random weekend when you're watching ESPN and the bottom line comes on and you see that the leader of the current PGA Golf tournament is sitting at +25 and you're thinking to yourself damn I could shit a +25. Then you tell your buddy who's smarter than you, someone like me, and he tells you that they're using some bogus point system called the Stableford system. Basically to sum it up it's some drunk guys scoring system which gives 5 points to eagles 2 points to a birdie and negative points to bogeys and such. Now you know what I'm talking about, still no, well don't worry about. This weekend The International the only PGA tournament that uses this system got canned due to lack of sponsorship. Any wonder why they couldn't get sponsorship? Random guess why a golf tourny in this day in age can't get quality sponsors? How about the fact that Tiger Woods does not play in the tourny, probably because of the lame scoring or he might want to do something to his wife and/or her twin sister, and thus fans don't give two shits about it. Without Tiger Woods golf really is almost nothing to pop culture, its quite amazing how much of an effect he has had and continues to have on the tour.
R.I.P. Stableford Scoring System, 2/8/07
The Stableford lived a brief tragic and futile life and was unable to appeal to the common man or their triumphant leader.
Well I had a wonderful weekend and got a nice nice little cherry on top last night when oh joy oh joy another Duke loss. Make that 4 in a row and then hopefully when the ole rankings come out we'll be absent Duke in the rankings. The longest losing streak in 11 years, since the years after the exodus of Grant Hill, this is glorious. 4 of their next 6 are on the road so lets keep this losing brigade going Coach K.
Ya so I have no real analysis on this topic, just expressing joy.
Friday, February 09, 2007
So this last flare up in Italy was a bit rough, especially since someone died, but this one was more light hearted and involves a Brazilian getting drilled in the head.
Hey sure it's early to start thinking about fantasy baseball, but february is a terrible month for sports and the Rotisserie Baseball League I am in is pimp. Anyway the way it works is we have 2 players for each infield position and 5 outfielders, and from the previous season you get to protect 5 players. My problem, I have more than 5 guys who are worthy to keep. Note that there is no limitation on how long I can keep players, so you have to balance the issue of winning this year without sacrificing a player who could be elite in the future.
Gary Sheffield, OF, DET - One of my keepers last year, basically kicked me in the nuts with the injuries. He could put up huge numbers this season, he's always been good with a chip on his shoulder, but he's old provides no real benefit past this season or next, he killed me last season, aka Im bitter, and he's more of an injury risk than anyone else on this list due to his age.
Felipe Lopez, SS/2B, WAS - Another one of my keepers last season, power numbers severely dropped last year but steals increased drastically and with him playing 2B this season, the flexibility of being able to move him between SS/2B is a very appealing attribute.
Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI - Stole him at the midway point last year in a trade for Jose Lopez. Rollins is ranked pretty high in every ranking system and plays a premium position at SS. He also provides steals which are tough to come by, I just really get the feeling that his going to slump this season. And that unlike every other year where he stinks in the first half and is terrific in the second, that he will have that second half swoon. Perhaps I will be right, perhaps I will be wrong.
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, WAS - This would be a tough leave off, Zimmerman shows such potential to be an absolute stud down the road and he showed last season to be incredibly clutch. The issue with Zimmerman is his team sucks and he hits in a terrible ballpark. In addition I have Andy Laroche in my minor league stack, a stud prospect, and keeping Zimmerman and Aramis would render him useless.
Brian McCann, C, ATL - He batted .333 and had 24 homers as a catcher in his full first season. You don't get those kind of numbers from a catcher ever, and in a league where you are forced to start two catchers that makes it that much more valuable.
Paul Konerko, 1B, CHW - Konerko will hit about .300, with 35+ homers and 100+ rbis, book it. Plus, he's only 30 despite my initial assumption. Only negative is at 1B does he put up numbers that drastically eclipse a 1B I could draft in a later round?
Robinson Cano, 2B, NYY - Cano missed a decent sized portion of the season last year, yet almost won the batting title almost had 80 rbis and hit 15 homers, all at 2B. The only 2B better than Cano is Utley, and he's young and in a pimp lineup. If I don't keep Cano he's the #1 pick in the draft. Now if only I could convince Torre to bat him 2nd.
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, CHC - Aramis hit 38 homeruns and had 119 rbis at 3B for a team that stunk last year with no protection in the lineup. This season he heas Derrick Lee and Soriano in the lineup, upgrade perhaps, or will he pull an Adrian Beltre now that he has inked a massive contract.
Lance Berkman, 1B/OF, HOU - Lance Berkman is the only person on this list who I have not remotely contemplated dumping. His numbers are ludicrous, he should have been the MVP last year, and the 1B/OF flexibility is much more useful than most people realize.
Plan of Attack
The order I have listed there is currently the order I have my players ranked in, meaning I'm leaning towards the bottom 5 but am up for suggestions. Over the course of the next month I will be attempting to make some kind of package trade for draft round upgrades and/or a better keeper, most likely fruitlessly attempting, but attempting nonetheless. Suggestions por favor?
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Not sure I would have picked LBJ at #1 as I thought both VC dunks and the 2nd Kobe dunk against the Celtics were more impressive, but still a solid show.
Why the Eurotrash Uniform look though? The white box with the names below the jersey, disgusting. But you have to give them credit for hitting two incredible shots.
So who enjoyed the fact that Duke collapsed in the second half after having a 10 point lead, I did, I did.
Ideal Turn of Events for Remainder of the Season
1. Duke loses a few more games in a row and falls out of the top 25 for the first time in a long time. As much as Connecticut falling out of the top 25 gave me joy, the collapse of Duke out of the top 25 would be reason for celebration and perhaps a few pints.
2. If said few more losses in a row comes than the lose the remainder of the games and not make the tournament run will be on. This will be almost impossible, considering they have quality wins over G-Town, Gonzaga, Airforce and Clemson and most likely only need 20 wins to get in the tourny, but a collapse from 18-3 and ranked 10th to falling out of the tourny would be epic. Worthy of a Millenium Party, and possible flight to Chapel Hill.
3. If neither of the two above happen, which would not be surprising, then simply Duke being bounced out of the 1st weekend of the tourny would be enjoyable enough. And this is distinctly possible mostly because Duke, flat out, just isn't that good this year. 5-5 in conference, 3 of those home losses, is not good.
Let's revel in the fact that Duke has lost three in a row for the first time in a long time. The fact that they're losing to the FSU's, VaTech's and UVA's of the world, and that they aren't any good. They have no go to go, and no dominant NBA talent. Thank You Basketball Gods.
Funny thing is I'm sitting across from a Duke alum right now, and will be for the remainder of the day. Ha.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
After another disappointing loss last night I believe its got to be coming to the end of the line for Tommy Amaker, head coach of Michigan. The Wolverines inability to win games against quality opponents and their perennial collapse in Big 10 conference play over the course of his 6 year tenure are enough proof that he just isn't cutting it.
The biggest issue with the Wolverines under Amaker has been their miserable play in conference. Amaker during his 6 year tenure has only a single season where he lead the Wolverines to above .500 in conference play. Which was negligible because this was the season the Wolverines were on probation, banned from postseason play. The 10-6 was also less impressive given their out of conference record was 7-7.
Hey the NIT is a nice tournament, helps young teams improve going into the next season and could be a real momentum builder heading into the next season. And with the Wolverines success at the NIT, two Finals appearances plus one championship, one could easily build up hope for the following season. Instead he followed up the 2004 title with a 13-8 season and is following up their finals appearance last year with nada.
Amaker's problems could easily be traced to the recruiting levels where he on several occasions has had McDonald's American's bail on the program after verbal commitments. An Example of this is Al Horford from Florida, who is from Michigan and is currently project as a top 10 draft pick (He made the right choice). This contributes to the fact that the Wolverines have been lacking impact NBA talent during his tenure, without such talent it becomes very difficult to beat upper echelon squads which the Maize & Blue fail to do every year. When you look at the success he had at Seton Hall in recruiting, Andre Barrett, Eddie Griffin, etc. its easy to come to the conclusion that he did better work with his previous employers.
I know why I'm a fan of Michigan, the Fab Five, some of these kids in the past had to be fans of Michigan for the same reason, yet the recruiting classes were never elite.
His replacement at Seton Hall was canned this offseason. Perhaps it was harsh to fire him but run a comparison between Orr and Amaker since their hires in 2001 and Orr had more success. 2 NCAA Tournament Bids including 1 upset win over Arizona and one NIT bid in comparison to 0 NCAA bids and 2 NIT bids. If Orr was unceremoniously dumped after a tournament appearance why not Amaker after 6 years without one?
It's Time for a Change
I like Amaker, he seems like a nice guy, he assembled one of my favorite teams of all time (Seton Hall team with Barrett and Griffin as freshman, his final year at the Hall), and I think he will do well in the future. But after 6 years at Michigan, which has the potential to be an elite Big 10 school, without a single NCAA Tournament bid its time for a change of scenery for both himself and the University.
So I'm listening to Mike and Mike in the morning on my way into work and the mention the fact that the Celtics have lost 15 in a row and that it is to their benefit to lose as many games as possible down the stretch to increase their odds of landing either Durant or Oden, very true. Then Greeny went off and said this is a disgrace and that the NBA should reward teams for winning and not losing and thus he would implement a rule that would give the best team that missed the playoffs the #1 pick. Personally I think this would quite possibly the dumbest rule change in sports history. Heres why...
Shifting the Benefits of Losing
Contemplate this for a second, would you as a fan or GM of the Minnesota Timberwolves, currently 8th in the West, would you rather make the playoffs and get crushed by the Mavericks in the first round or would you rather tank a few games at the end of the season to match up Kevin Garnett with the superstar he's always needed, Durant or Oden. All your plan does is change who contemplates the benifits of losing and tanking games at the end of the season. And it ends up making the achievement of one of the final playoff spots more of a negative for the future of a franchise than a positive.
Punishing a Team For Injuries
Also, you make the assumption with your rule that teams are tanking games down the stretch. The Celtics were in first place in the Atlantic the week before Pierce was injured, the loss of the loan superstar of a team, as well as the second best player for much of the time (Wally World) is going to result in many losses. And you want to punish a team for its inability to win without their best two players on the court. Just in case you haven't noticed the Heat stink this season without Wade and Shaq on the floor and their the defending champion.
Basement Stays the Basement
Granted teams like the Clippers and Hawks never seem to improve regardless of their draft positioning, but by granting the mediocre teams the upper echelion of the drafts in the long run what you are doing is burying franchises. No team can compete in the NBA without a bonafide superstar by punishing the worst team in the NBA with the 14th pick you are almost guaranteeing that team never lands a superstar. Look at the last few #1 picks and where their teams are, Magic, Rockets, Raptors, Cavs all in the playoffs. Think they would be there without Howard, Yao, or Lebron. Ya I don't think so.
I'm sure there are more negative points I could come up with, but I think those three overwhelming point to the fact that Greenberg is a moron and this rule would be a miserable idea for the NBA.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The always fun lookback at how terrible the preseason predictions were.
5 for 8 on Divisional Champs (Colts, Chargers, Pats, Seahawks, Bears)
7 for 12 on Playoff Teams (Divisional Champs + Giants & Cowboys)
Misfires - Bucs, Panthers, Bungals, Steelers, Dolphins
Had the Colts Pats in the AFC Championship game, whiffed on that. Seahawks Bucs, not a solid NFC prediction, but hey did you know Chris Simms was going to lose his spleen?
MVP: Tom Brady, Didn't know they were going to dump Branch and leave Brady with no one to throw to, and yeah who had LT scoring more points than whole teams.
Offensive Player of the Year: Carson Palmer, he had a good year but not Brees or LT worthy.
Defensive Player of the Year: Troy Polamalu, missed a couple of games and the Steelers were in the tank early on.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: DeAngelo Williams, got hurt and didn't get enough touches.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: DeMeco Ryans, Ding Ding Ding we got a winner 1 out of award pick is a hell of a percentage.
NFL Comeback Player of the Year: Daunte Culpepper, follow that one up with the whiff's of all whiffs. Hey I wasn't the only one.
Kicker of the Year: Shayne Graham, ya I made that one up, Graham didn't help his case by shanking the final field goal of the season that would have put the Bengals in the playoffs.
Games off the Record
Here's how far off I was on the prediction for each teams record, as you can see I was close on most of the teams but had trainwrecks with the Bucs, Dolphins, Eagles and Ravens.
On the Money
Dallas (9-7), St. Louis (8-8)
1 Game off
Houston (5-11), Detroit (4-12), Atlanta (8-8), Denver (8-8), Arizona (6-10), Minnesota (5-11), Jacksonville (9-7), Kansas City (8-8), Indianapolis (11-5)
2 Games off
Washington (7-9), N.Y. Giants (10-6), San Diego (12-4), Green Bay (6-10), Chicago (11-5), Buffalo (5-11), Cincinnati (10-6), Pittsburgh (10-6), New England (14-2)
3 Games off
Cleveland (7-9), San Francisco (4-12), Seattle (12-4), Oakland (5-11), Tennessee (5-11), Carolina (11-5)
4 Games off
New Orleans (6-10), N.Y. Jets (6-10)
Miami (13-3) 7 Games
Philadelphia (4-12) 8 Games
Baltimore (5-11) 8 Games
Tampa Bay (12-4) 8 Games
I don't know if I could possibly enjoy a basketball shot more than watching JJ Redick airball a wide open layup. That was glorious. Thanks for the memory JJ.
Little Miss Girl Next door had a bad day yesterday, see she's Canadian which means unlike people from South of the Border Hockey is important to her, and thus after she broke off her engagement with Timberlake's friend (That Goes Around Comes Around Song is about her) she started dating bad boy hockey player Sean Avery, voted dirtiest player in the NHL in an ESPN survey of NHL players.* Well Cuthbert has season tickets to the Kings to watch her bad ass boyfriend, but yesterday Mr. Avery was sent packing across the country to play for the Rangers. So all in all I think NYC wins out here in this deal, they get a psycho hockey player named the dirtiest in the entire league and they should get a hot young actress in the stands for many of their games.
*Man that was a run on sentence and a half.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Wow You Guys Suck: Sex Cannon, Ya so much for making a Sex Cannon MVP t-shirt, maybe LVP, you pretty much sucked. You struggled holding onto snaps, you threw way too many deep balls and you threw the biggest dagger with the pick to the house. Sorry Sex Cannon but you deserved all the criticism prior to the game, and I'm sure you'll enjoy the offseason when it continues. Runner Up: Sexy Rexy ya he really deserves to garner all the suck attention.
Cough Cough Cough: Bears Defense, The overrated Bears defense did nothing to make me think elsewise. They only good thing they did was stiffen in the red zone, but for the most part they gave up way too much yardage and they were lucky to only allow the Colts 29 points. Runner Up: The seemingly nonstop fumble brigade in the first half.
This Scarecrow Needs a Brain: Chris Harris, Nice job jumping the first route for the INT, then you jump an in route by Dallas Clark and let Reggie Wayne float uncovered for one of the easiest touchdown catches of all time, not very bright Chris. Runner Up: Ron Turner maybe the Sex Cannon should have thrown a few short passes.
The Shocker: Turnover Slopfest 1st Quarter, How many times have you seen a game that twice has back to back turnovers. I don't ever remember seeing that. At one point in time I go I wonder who the MVP is going to be, and he goes whoever holds onto the ball, as he finishes saying this Cedric Benson fumbles. Runner Up: Cedric Benson's final stats 2 carries -1 yards 1 fumble lost.
The Pimp: Bob Sanders, deserves a raise, sure he didn't make a ton of tackles but he's directly responsible for two turnovers and they were a big reason for the Colts success.Runner Up: Peyton Manning dumped off every pass to someone short and made only one mistake which wasn't big considering it was 3rd down and long.
JAKKED Up: Cedric Benson, on both of his carries. He got nailed by Bob Sanders forcing a fumble and he got that wonderful helmet to helmet hit on his other carry which snapped his neck into a different zip code.
Superbowl Extra Quick Notes
~Prince wasn't as bad as I thought he was going to be, don't really get why he played Foo Fighters songs, but I guess it's because its better than his songs.
~Commercials were for the most part lame. I threw Rock was the best one.
~2.5 million dollars is way to much money to spend when you end up with a lame commercial.
~So who saw flashbacks of OSU getting crunched after the opening kickoff to the house, I did, I did.
~First quarter = cool, rest of the game not so much.
~I wonder how many DUI's got handed out last night, I saw 7 cop cars on my drive home from my buddies house, a 15 minute drive at the most.
~I am still full from yesterday, but dropped a pint of blood at the red cross this morning so it balances out.
~I want a nap.
Friday, February 02, 2007
Ya I have none, and frankly have never been a fan of the UConn Huskies, actually more on the anti-Husky train (Think Calhoun is a scumbag). But I think this is flying under the radar around the nation and perhaps speaks volumes of the level of mystique of the Husky program, no one seems to notice just how bad they are this season. Have you seen anything on Sportscenter about how the Huskies are losing to the likes of Depaul and Providence and are currently riding a 5 game losing streak? Nobody made a big stink of the fact the Huskies fell out of the top 25 for the first time practically in this millenium. Think the news would have been different if it were a UCLA, UNC or Duke type? Or am I overblowing this.
The Huskies 13-8 record is the biggest farce of it all, try to find a quality win in their schedule, I dare you. Basically they've beaten every other college in Connecticut and New England and have been dominated by good schools. They played two out of conference games of relevence LSU and Indiana, lost both. In conference? They are 2-6 with wins only over South Florida and St. John's. Right now the Huskies are positioned on the outside looking in at not the NCAA Tournament but the Big East Tournament. Did you ever see that coming? A UConn team that's not even in the top 12 of the conference?
I guess that's what happens when you can't keep any of your great players for the full 4 years and then have a mass exodus after a season where you should have won the National Title. Perhaps I'm being harsh, but UConn should be at a standard where they can have down years, but not to the point where they are arguably the worst team in the conference.
It's the Superbowl if you're a male alive in America you know them and they are overly played out.
1) Two African American Coaches
2) Can Peyton Manning win the Big Game?
3) Dungy and Lovie's friendship.
4) Bears Underdogs
5) Tank Johnson
So instead of of giving my opinion of those over analyzed topics I'll throw out a few random storylines I have yet to here much about.
1) Why the F* is Prince doing the Half Time Show? He hasn't come out with a popular song in over a decade, does he even tour anymore? Is he going to play songs like Purple Rain and Little Red Corvette? Is this going to be the worst half time show of all time? Can't they just let Michael Jackson sing Heal the World again?
2) Eli Manning, I personally want to see Eli jumping up and down like a puppy dog in whatever sky box he will be watching Peyton and his family.
3) Odds Ditka picks the Bears to win the Superbowl on Sunday Countdown, 99%?
4) Game just seems anticlimactic. Atleast to me, after watching the Pats Colts game it just has a 2003 Marlins Yankees World Series feeling to me, like the Big Game already happened why are there more.
5) Federline's commercial is actually funny.
Keys to the Game
1. Run Run Run - The Bears need 150+ yards everyone knows this, but Ron Dayne ran for over 100 yards against the Colts so if he can do it the Bears can rush for 150. Personally I don't believe the Colts defense is good with Bob Sanders, just think they played 2 bad offenses, and they gave up 34 points to the Pats, they didnt play well.
2. Hester - The Bears absolutely need a big play from Devin Hester to spark the offense which means its incredibly important for Vinatieri and the punter Hunter Smith to directionally kick the ball away from him.
3. Front 4 Pressure - The Bears need to get a rush from their front 4 in order to avoid the need to blitz Manning and to keep him from getting into the rythym he had against the Pats. This is where the loss of Tommie Harris is huge as he is a great pass rusher for a 350 pound man.
4. Block and Wear Down Freeney - Run at him, beat him up all game and hopefully he will slow down by the end of the game because if he's going full speed all game long and we've seen how well Grossman is of holding onto the ball after a hit, I'd expect the Colts to pick up a big turnover.
5. Manning Choke Job - I doubt Manning will choke, but hell he played like shit the first two games and gave up a pick to the house in the last game, he's really only played one great half this whole playoffs perhaps that was his quota.
Position Vs. Position
Quarterback: Manning vs. Grossman - Hmm tough one but I think I'll lean towards Manning. Ad: Colts
Running Backs: Addai & Rhodes vs. Jones & Benson - I like the Bears here, I think the combo of Jones and Benson are more dynamic and effective than Addai and Rhodes. Addai and Rhodes succeed because the defense is keying on Manning, the Bears running backs succeed even though the defense keys on them. Ad: Bears
Tight End: Clark vs. Clark - Advantage D Clark, ha, lame unfunny joke. Anyway Dallas is more of a dynamic threat than Desmond and therefore... Ad: Colts
Wideouts: Wayne and Harrison vs. Muhammad and Berrian - Berrian and Muhsin are very good but Wayne and Harrison are an all time great combo. Ad: Colts
Defense - The Bears defense is overrated, the Colts playoff defense is overhyped. The Bears do have a good defense, I won't say the same about the Colts. Ad: Bears
Special Teams - Gould has been deadon and blasts kickoffs so I might even give the kicking advantage to the Bears, but Hester is the best kick returner in the NFL so the debate of which kicker you'd rather have is moot. Ad: Bears
Coaches: Dungy vs. Smith - They are the same person. Ad: Push
I was leaning towards a blowout for a long time thinking that the Colts would just tear through the Bears defense and this game would be over before the 4th quarter started. Then I started to think of this like the National Title Games where the team that isn't getting the hype seemingly always wins the game, ala Florida this year. And that the Bears would force a big turnover or two and pound the ball down the Colts throats to take it. But in the end I realized that I want the Bears to win, and that every team I've wanted to win has gone out and gotten beaten down. Thus...
Colts 31 - Bears 27