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Friday, February 23, 2007

MASS Exodus as Schill and Dill Say Goodbye

Don't Count Your Schillings...
This just in. Curt Schilling has informed the media that he will be a free agent at the end of this upcoming season. This announcement comes right on the heels of Schill saying how he wanted the Sox to extend his contract for one more year at his current $13 mil/per price tag before Spring training started. Well, the Sox decided not to just yet, and now Curt is saying they blew their chance. Now, that's not to say they are shut out of the Schilling sweepstakes when the season is over, but I'm willing to bet if they want him then it's going to cost them more than $13 mil. Personally, I have to side with Theo and crew on this decision. Fact of the matter is, Schilling is old, and he's coming off the worst two year stretch of his prestigious career in which he's gone 23-15 with an ERA in the 4.50 range. Awful? Not by any stretch. But is that worthy of committing another years worth of cash too? Nah. Especially seeing as though the Sox have been busy the past few years stockpiling young arms like Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lester and Papelbon. Of course you'd love to have a veteran horse in your rotation to eat innings, but at what price? And by price, I don't mean the money, I mean the injuries and the inconsistency. As much as we are all thankful for the World Series title that Curt helped bring to Boston, and as much as we love the legend of the bloody sock, it's the good organizations (cough*Patriots*couch) that know when to cut bait and run when it comes to aging stars. And while Theo and friends have made some mistakes in the past, I think they are at least initially making the right call on this one. But you never know, especially with a guy that negotiates his own contracts, and especially when it's Schill. For all we know, he's just hamming it up as usual for the media. Besides, the last thing we want is to extend his deal for another year or two, only to have him leave to dedicate his time for his run for the Republican nomination in 2012.

News and Notes
*I'm sure you've heard by now, but in case you haven't, Tom Brady knocked up his now ex fem slice Bridget Moynahan. Since I didn't get to it earlier in the week, and I figured you were all dying to here my take on it, I'll give you a little bit right now. While I don't see anything morally wrong with having a kid out of wedlock (as long as the child has two capable and involved parents), I do think that this situation will at the very leas take some of the glow off of the NFL's golden boy. Whether you chose to believe it or not, there are fans out there that will hold this against Tom Terrific. Some who viewed him as a perfect role model, will now group him in as just another NFL playboy. I look at it this way. Did he want this to happen this way? Probably not. I mean hell, the last thing you need when you're dating a smokin' hot super model is for your ex to tell you she's pregnant, but what can you do? Fact is, in today's world, things like this are more common than we like to think, and sometimes those normalcy's creep over into sports, and eventually effect even the most admired super stars. It doesn't effect the way I view Tom, and while I can see how it might effect the way others view him, everyone should just remember this. Athlete's may be role models simply by being athletes, but it's the job of the parents out there to tell their kids why they should admire a certain athlete. Read Charles Barkley's lips people. "Athletes are not role models!". God, you know I'm getting pathic when I try to get laughs out of Charles Barkley's lips two weeks in a row.

*Speaking of good role models. We're all familiar with the phrase "the only sure things in life are death and taxes". Well I propose changing that saying to "the only sure things in life are death, taxes, Joan Rivers and University of West Virginia or Cincinnati Bengal players getting arrested". And no, Chris Henry, having gone to to WVU and played for Cincy and getting arrested multiple times doesn't somehow make you the man. Who I'm talking about in this case is none other than former WVU star and current Tennessee Titan Adam "Pacman" Jones. Let's recap shall we? Pacman went up on stage at a Las Vegas strip club during NBA All-Star weekend and began showering more than 40 strippers with about $81,ooo in cash. Then, when the "working girls" wouldn't give him his cash back, he allegedly grabbed one by the hair and slammed her head to the stage. Then, after being confronted by a bouncer, Pacman smacked the guy with a champagne bottle and then bit him in the leg! Finally, shots rang out in the club, leaving 3 men injured, one critically to the point where he may never walk again. Of course, Pacman's agent says that his client had nothing to do with the skirmish, but something tells me that may be slightly inaccurate. I mean, aren't we talking about the same Adam Jones who has been questioned by the cops 7 or 8 times since being drafted in 2005? To his credit, Pacman is allegedly saying that he brought the money at the request of the club promoter as part of a stunt where he was told to "make it rain". I guess that's a term for showering amateur hookers with hundred dollar bills. So, with good reason, after it "rained" Pacman just wanted his loots back. Yea, I'm sure that's what happened Adam. You and you're boys were just chillin' and all of a sudden shots rang out right? Uh huh. And Britney Spears shaved her head to avoid chronic lice. I'm, sure this story is just gettin' revved up, and I look forward to seeing how it unfolds.

*Move over sliced bread, we have a new winner. It's called "letting dudes with deadly and contagious blood diseases compete in competitions that are designed to draw blood and maim". And the man responsible for such an event actually going down? Well it's none other than Rocky V co-star and former top heavy weight contender Tommy "Gun" Morrison. After being barred from professional fighting in 1993 after a positive test for HIV, Morrison promptly dropped off the boxing map, as he should have. Now, Morrison is saying that the test was a false positive (despite him telling ESPN in 1996 that he indeed was HIV positive), and that he was basically black balled from the sport. Now, I don't claim to be any sort of medical expert, but if someone told me I was HIV positive and I was pretty sure I wasn't, I think I would go to great lengths to prove it. Then, when it was determined it was a false positive test, I would scream from every media outlet that I was hosed and robbed of my career. And let me tell ya, it wouldn't take me 13 years to make all that happen. All I'm sayin' is, whoever let this guy into the ring this time better have made damn sure he isn't carryin' the HIV. Cuz if he is, oh boy. Imagine the shit storm if he spread the virus through fighting? Move over herpes spreading wrestler, there's a new don of the disease in the ring now! Ay Yo Tommy! Lemme get that needle!

*Now I know we've had enough of the Duke lacrosse rape scandal, or whatever it's even become these days, but I have one final bone to pick before I let it rest. ESPN has recently begun promoting their coverage of the upcoming college lacrosse season by touting that they'll have coverage of national powers like the Duke Blue Devils. Granted, they Dukies have been very successful in recent years, but you really think bragging about having them on your airways is the smartest move right now? Is ESPN so greedy and heartless that they are trying to gain ratings over an alleged rape? You would have to think so. I mean, why wouldn't they instead promote Virginia, Johns Hopkins and Syracuse, three teams that have won a combined 17 division 1 lacrosse titles since 1988? Oh no, instead it's "check out the team with the dudes that raped a stripper, next on ESPN!" Really pathetic if you ask me. Good thing nobody is going to be watching anyway. I can say that since I was at Syracuse when they won two of those titles and never attended a single game! Boo ya!

*If Patriots' fans were pissed with 2nd round pick Chad Jackson because he under achieved in his rookie season, lord knows they aren't going to be happy with this next piece of news. According to the team, Jackson tore his ACL during the AFC Championship game against the Colts. Now, because it's the Pats, and because the news is breaking, we have very few details about the injury. But, if history is any indicator, this type of injury usually takes 8-10 months to completely heal. Translation: Don't expect to see Jackson on the field in '07-'08 either. Whether that's good or bad I've yet to decide, but it's certainly looking like a wasted draft pick at the very least.

*On one more Pats note, it's just breaking now, but it seems that Corey Dillon is going to announce his retirement this week. If it is actually true, I'll comment on it further later. For now, all I got is this. I don't think Dillon is headed to the Hall of Fame, despite his 11,241 rushing yards (14th all time) and 82 rushing TDs (16th all time). At this point, I'm more concerned about the gaping hole this leaves at RB for my boys. Yea, I love Maroney as much if not more than the next guy, but in today's NFL you really need two stud backs. Then again, the Boston Herald is also reporting that Dillon simply wants his release from the Pats to play for another team, not to retire. So stay tuned for more on this one.

*And finally, it's a sad day in Celtic Nation, and for once the sorrow wasn't caused by yet another loss. Instead, Boston fans and NBA fans around the country are mourning the death of former point guard Dennis Johnson at the age of 52 after he collapsed while coaching a Celtic D-League practice in Texas. DJ, as he was often called, spent 7 of his 14 seasons in the league with the Celts, including NBA title teams in '84 and '86 for Boston and the '79 Seattle Sonics (he was the MVP of those finals). Larry Bird called DJ, "the best I ever played with", and the man was probably involved in one of the most memorable plays in the NBA history in the Eastern Finals against the Pistons. I know I joke a lot about how much I hate the Celtics, but I do want to extend my appreciation for DJ. It's always sad when a great sports figure passes away, and even more so when when they are taken at such a young age.


Anyone that really knows me knows this. While I often come off as though I know everything, I actually respect the opinions of others that I feel deserve it (yea I understand I just through a massive loophole in there) and I crave information from those who themselves have done great research to form these opinions. That being said, I have a major issue with ESPN.com's Bracketology expert, Mr. Joe Lunardi (that's him grinnin' like an idiot). Now, I'm not sure if Lunardi is exactly predicting the field of 64, or assembling who he thinks should be in the field, but either way, I have now become fairly convinced that Lunardi himself is on some sort of peyote binge. If it were up to me, I'd barely have Vanderbilt and Stanford making the tournament, yet he has them comfortably in as #5 seeds. 5 seed?! Seriously? I mean I know I hate on the Pac 10 more than most, but tell me what Stanford's done to deserve such high praise? Is it their 9-5 conference record or their 17-8 overall mark? It's certainly not their big wins. I know they beat UCLA and Washington St., but they've also lost to Wash St., and I can bet they lose to UCLA when they meet again in Westwood. Other than that, all they got is a few scrappy wins over Oregon (fading fast), Washington (never lived up to hype), they got nothin'! I'm sorry, but losses against Santa Clara, Gonzaga and Cal don't exactly inspire me to name you one of the top 20 teams in the nation. As for Vandy, talk about classic over reaction to a big win. Before beating the Gators, Vandy's biggest win to date was @ Kentucky. I know they have some impressive in conference wins against Bama and Tennessee, but those are more than balanced out by losses at home to Furman, and road losses @ Wake Forest, Georgia, Auburn and most recently @ Mississippi St. I think it's time for these so called experts to stop looking at computer numbers, and actually start watching some games. Speaking of game, I've got it in droves gangsta, so take a look...


College Hoops Top 10
1. Kansas (24-4) 1
2. Florida (24-3) 2
3. North Carolina (24-4) 3
4. Wisconsin (26-3) 4
5. Ohio St. (25-3) 5
6. Georgetown (21-5) 6
7. UCLA (24-3) 8
8. Memphis (24-3) 7
9. Nevada (25-2) 9
10. Southern Illinois (24-5) 10

just missed: Texas A&M, Pittsburgh, Texas
dropped: none

Check out Lunardi's Bracketology here http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/bracketology and as always, feel free to compare me to the FRAUD polls http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/rankingsindex

Big Games This Week
2/24
Syracuse @ Providence - You know, in the age of teams making runs in conference tournaments, it's way too cliche to call a game like this a "must win", but this one's about as close to that as it gets. Cuse is in dire need of a win due to their lacking RPI and strength of schedule numbers, while PC just could use wins period. Eh, who am I kidding. While probably only one of these teams will make the NCAA field of 64, neither is capable of doing any real damage. I'm pretty much only including this game because I will be there with Mikey P. Look for us on TV, we'll be the ones in the completely black Dunkin' Donuts center wearing ORANGE. Just pray that if I shoot my mouth off, then Syracuse actually wins. If not, it could be a dicey walk back to the car.

Pittsburgh @ Georgetown - I'm a firm believer that not only is Georgetown the best team in the Big East, but one of the best in the nation. Prove me wrong Pittsburgh. Prove me wrong!

Marquette @ Notre Dame - At this point it looks like both of these squads are sure fire tourney teams, but how good is either one? I was high on Marquette for most of the year, but recent struggles (losing 3 of last 4 including by 18 @ G'town and @ Depaul) have me rethinking the Golden Eagles chances. As for the Irish, they're way too inconsistent. One night they win @ Syracuse by 12, the next they're losing @ South Florida or @ Depaul. I know they beat both of those teams when they visited South Bend, but last time I checked they don't play any NCAA games there. At least not ones that Notre Dame will be a part of.

Brigham Young @ San Diego St. - Don't come crying to me after the NCAA tournament field is announced asking about BYU and SDSU. Instead, watch this game and figure these teams out for yourself! Despite the fact the conference gets no love, not even really from me, the Mountain West is poised to send 4 teams dancing (Air Force, BYU, SDSU and UNLV). The SDSU Aztecs are not a lock by any means yet, but a win over conference leader BYU certainly would help. And as far as the makeup of this team, it seems almost perfect for March. They have experience in seniors Brandon Heath (19.1 pts / 3.9 reb / 3.6 asst) and Mohamed Abukar (15.3 pts / 5.8 reb) as well as youth in underclassmen Lorrenzo Wade, Jerome Habel and Richie Williams (combine 29.4 pts / 15.6 reb / 7.8 asst). A balanced team that comes out of nowhere? Sounds like a Cinderella candidate to me.

Clemson @ Boston College - Dear BC fans, I told you so, I told you so, I told you so. I give the Eagles props for staying strong after losing Shaun Williams earlier in the year, but like I said, they were only atop the ACC because they hadn't played any decent teams in conference! 3 straight losses later, and it's possible they might even miss the Big Dance. Winnable games at home against Clemson and @ Georgia Tech still to come. But I said winnable, not guaranteed wins.

Indiana @ Michigan St. - This is how the dominoes fall. Now that Michigan St. has secured a bid with their win over Wisconsin, they themselves become a "marquee win" if beaten, especially at home. And fewer teams need a big win to secure their spot more than the Indiana Hoosiers. According to "expert" Joe Lunardi, the Hoosiers (at 18-8, 8-5 in conference) still need some help to consider themselves a lock for the dance. I see it this way. They are third in the Big 10, have beaten Michigan St. already and Wisconsin, and both their RPI and strength of schedule are in the top 40 in the nation. Does that sound like a team that really needs help down the stretch to make the dance? I didn't think so.

2/25
Wisconsin @ Ohio St. - Game of the week by far and away. Also, and intriguing match up between player of the year candidates Wisconsin F Alando Tucker and Ohio St. C Greg Oden. Sure, we might all know that Texas F Kevin Durant is gonna win that sucker, but shhhh don't tell those guys.

Kentucky @ Vanderbilt <-----FRAUDS

North Carolina @ Maryland - Wait. Two ACC teams on National TV? You've got to be shitting me! Watch Maryland get trounced it you want to. The Terps are another perfect example of a big name team taking perfectly good tourney bids away from deserving Mid Major squads.

2/26
Georgetown @ Syracuse - Orange really need a big win to put on the ole tourney resume. This is their last shot at doing so before the Big East tourney in the Big Apple, and seeing as Gerry McNamara is probably busy delivering mail or MySpacing in Scranton, PA, I'd feel a lot better if they grabbed this one before they head NYC.

2/27
West Virginia @ Pittsburgh - The "I Sleep With My Cousin" Classic. First 1,500 in the door get a tin of Skoal and a banjo. (insert Beverly Hillbilly's song here)

Brigham Young @ Air Force - Second game in a big week for BYU. And if they win this one, they can not only stamp their ticket for March, but they can help sew up the Mountain West regular season title. Ew, I can't believe I just said nice things about a team with an Ainge on it. (Danny's son, Austin averages 7 points 3 boards and 4 assists in about 25 minutes a game)

Florida @ Tennessee - Florida rebounded nicely from their loss to Vanderbilt with a nice win against South Carolina, and should continue their winning ways against the Vols. Tennessee on the other hand is another in the latest of teams that really needs a win to impress the tournament committee. Who better to beat than the defending National champs? I'd watch this one just to see Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl sweat through three undershirts and a bright orange blazer. That guy makes Jenna Jameson look hygienic.

Kansas St. @ Oklahoma St. - I can't tell what that sound is. It's either Tim Hardaway's public image, or the Oklahoma St. Cowboys plummet ting back to earth. Since their thrilling OT win against the Texas Longhorns on 1/16, OK St. is a meager 3-5 and are fresh off a 20 point loss to Texas A&M. Seems like a few days ago that they were a top 10 team and a main reason why the Big XII was the best conference in the country. Now they aren't even a lock for the tournament. So, one more time. They were 15-3, and they might miss the tourney? No wonder former coach Eddie Sutton was poundin' booze faster than John Daly at a frat party.

2/28
Texas A&M @ Texas - Acie Law IV (17.1 pts / 45% 3-pt / 5.4 asst) of Texas A&M vs Kevin Durant of Texas (24.4 pts / 11.4 reb / 1.7 blk). While Durant seems to have National player of the year honors all locked up, it's more than possible that Law IV could still be considered front runner for Big XII player of the year. Seems dumb I know, but these awards are funny like that (a lot like baseball where a lesser player on a better team sometimes gets the nod). However, with the emergence of Texas quickly replacing the demise of Oklahoma St., the top of the Big XII is looking stronger than the top of any other power conference.

Maryland @ Duke - See: UNC @ Maryland

3/1
Virginia Tech @ Virginia - I'm telling ya, there aren't two good teams in a major conference that there's been less buzz about than these two. Fact is, these two in state rivals sit tied for 2nd in the ACC behind the Tar Heels, yet neither is considered a tourney "lock". Again, I honestly don't know where these experts are looking. Va Tech swept the season series with UNC and beat the Dukies @ Cameron. and Virginia has been one of the best teams in the nation since starting conference play. Not to mention their dynamic back court of J.R Reynolds and Sean Singletary average a combine 36.6 pts, 8.5 reb and 8.6 asst each night out. Guards win in March, and that's as good a pair as any you'll find.

UCLA @ Washington St. - Just to prove that I'm not a total West Coast hater, I want to go on record as having said that both these teams are not only legit, but have a good shot at doing some damage come tournament time. Unlike those other FRAUDS from the WHACK 10.


And since I've been having a good time unleashing these pop culture videos on all you folks, here's another. I'll take 3 large helpings of whatever Anna Nicole was on in this video. Not too soon to be cracking jokes about her is it? Eh, sue me. (note: please don't sue me) And I've also added a nice video of recently crazed out Brit Brit on the prowl with her latest weapon of choice....an umbrella! Mary Poppins look the hell out!

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