In the modern day NFL, where big name players are routinely let go due to salary cap concerns, it's great to see this story. Richard Seymour, arguably the best defensive player in the league, has signed a new contract that should make him a New England Patriot for the rest of his career. Since the Patriots made Seymour their first round pick in 2001, he has done nothing but solidify the New England defense into one of the stingiest in the league and helped them win 3 Super Bowls. Now he is being rewarded with a new deal that will pay him an average of $9 million until 2009, with $24 million guaranteed. The deal may seem a bit extravagant for a team that likes to pay for the future rather than the past, but Seymour is in the prime of his career, and should be able to stay at an All-Pro level through the remainder of his contract. So now that the Pats have both Brady and Seymour locked up longterm, Pats fans can expect the front office to continue sliding pieces in around those two in order to keep the team at the top of the league for years to come. Brady and Seymour are equally important to their respective sides of the ball, and now they have both been rewarded with contracts worthy of the loads they carry. Another great signing by the brilliant front office in Foxborough. Hopefully they can keep this momentum going through the draft and bring in some more players that fit into their championship mold.
Let's say a fifth starter gets traded in spring training. Or how about a closer comes to a new city and the fans get their first taste of his entrance music. Not really news right? Well you're obviously not from Boston or New York. Not only are these stories news, they dominate the sports media and have tremendous staying power. The first story is slightly dated, (but like I just said these stories have staying power) but it was the trade Boston made with the Cincinnati Reds. The trade was Wily Mo Pena, a 24 year old slugger, for Bronson Arroyo, a 29 year old versatile right hander. To clarify, a 4th outfielder with more career K's than hits was traded for a 5th starter with a career ERA of almost 5.00. So, two guys, who their own teams didn't care for too much were swapped. And what happens? The local media and fans make it sound like Jesus was traded for Moses in the deal of the century. Then in the Big Apple, and what I like to refer to as "Metalligate". Everyone knows that Yankee closer Mariano Rivera has been coming into games to the Metallica classic "Enter Sandman" for basically his entire career. Now, new Met Closer Billy Wagner has taken to entering to the same song. Wagner claims the song has some tie to a local Philadelphia wrestler, and that he had no intention of stepping on Mo's toes. Now most normal people would say that it's just a song. And I'm sure there are tons of hitters that have come to the plate to the same song, whether they are an All-Star or a rookie. But the reason that both of these stories are the least bit relevant, is because of how huge baseball is in Boston and New York. Even when there is no news, the fans and media will make some out of nothin'. And that's why the baseball season is important in these parts. Not only does it signal the start of Spring, it signals the start of the greatest season of all, hunting season. The Guns belong to the fans, the Globe, the Herald, the Times and the Post. I recommend all the players grab some camouflage and play at their own risk.
Red Sox Update
Last Week: 3-3
Standings: 1st place by 1.5 games
Hitter of the Week
David Ortiz leads the Sox with a .311 BA, 4 HR, 7 runs, 9 RBI and a 1.070 OPS
Pitcher of the Week
Pitcher of the Week
Together Schilling, Beckett and Papelbon are 6-0 with 6 saves to go along with 34 K 9 BB and a combined 1.26 ERA.
Diamonds Are Forever
*Manny being crappy? Through the first week, Ramirez is batting at .214 with no homers or doubles, only 3 RBI and 15 Ks. Manny started off slow last year too, and while I have faith he can turn things around, fact is he only managed to bring his average up to .292 last year, the lowest he has ever hit in a full season during his 13 year career. Could Manny be getting old, or maybe his work ethic isn't as solid as those behind the scenes lead you to believe. Manny should turn it around, but it's quite possible his days of hitting .300+ are over. I'll check back with this story later on in the season, and hopefully Manny can prove me wrong.
*It feels good to be right now and again, and even though they haven't won anything yet, you have to appreciate the fast start the Mets are off too. Behind the best pitching in the majors, and great power from bats like Delgado, Wright and Beltran, the Mets look poised to make a serious run at the Braves and the NL pennant this year. I don't expect them to keep this pace by any means, but hey, you telling me this doesn't look like a World series caliber team? Fuh-get-about-it.
*What's in the water in the AL Central? Whether it's the Tiger's Chris Shelton and his MLB leading 8 homers, Travis Hafner right behind him with 7 dingers or the Twins reeling off 5 in a row to open their season at home. Well, whatever is in the water, it hasn't phased the defending champs, who after a slow start are back atop the divison at 7-5.
*After a week where I led every day, Frosco's team went absolutely nutty yesterday to salvage him a tie. I mean I was ready to spank 'Sco back to the stoneage until his team decided to kick it into another gear. At first I was disappointed, because nobody likes to tie, but this morning when I saw the standings it made me feel a lot better. First place baby! And there's no lookin' back...
Week 2 Final Score: 9-9-4
Record: 22-14-8 1st place by 1/2 game
Week 3 vs The Ooo Ooo's (18-21-5)
*You may be wondering why I don't have any sort of NBA or NHL playoff preview posted this week. Well, if you actually were wondering that, then you don't know me nearly as well as you think you do. While I follow both the NBA and the NHL, neither of them interest me enough to spend my time writing about them. I will no doubt do a preview of the conference finals in the respective sports, but that's about as far as that goes. However, for the record, I would like to point out that I predicted from the get-go that Larry Brown would fail miserably in New York. And even he has surpassed my wildest expectations. Brown is a hack that's always been more interested in doing things his way, rather than doing whatever it takes to win. Well they aren't buying into his philosophy in NY, and with the disaster that is Isiah Thomas in the front office, it's only a matter of time before the whole thing explodes and they are both out on the street.