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Friday, April 27, 2007

Is It Me, Or Is There a Draft In Here?

Hey! There's a Thorne In My Sock!
It certainly doesn't take much for Sox fans to get riled up, so needless to say they haven't been too pumped with this latest controversy. In case you missed it, Oriole's TV announcer, Gary Thorne, related a story during the game on Wednesday in which Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli told him the "secret" behind Schilling's bloody sock. The sock of course, was made famous in the 2004 playoffs when Schill took the mound hours after surgery in which sutures were put on his ankle tendon. He then went on to bleed through the sock, and that image is forever linked with the Sox breakthrough '04 World Series title, and their record comeback against the Yanks in the ALCS.

Well, as Thorne told it on TV, Mirabelli told him that it wasn't blood on the sock at all, but it was actually red paint, put there for affect. And Thorne didn't back off. When asked off air by Boston Globe columnist Gordon Edes about the comment, Thorne repeated the sttory verbatim. He then went on air again, and even suggested that people ask Mirabelli himself. Well Gar, too bad for you, everyone took you up on that one. And when asked about the comments, Dougie simply blasted Thorne, calling his statement "a fucking lie". Schill even went as far as to say to fellow reporters, "you got some ugly people in your business". Now, since the story went all hay wire, Thorne has come out and said there was simply a miscommunication between he and the Belli. When talking briefly while Doug was in San Diego, Thorne asked him "How 'bout the bloody sock?", to which Doug replied "yea, we got a lot of publicity out of that".

Now, I love Gary Thorne. No, not in some Tranny Arquette type of way, but as a guy trying to make it in the business I've always really admired him. He's good at what he does, and he's always been considered a respected member of the media community. That being said, if what he now says is true, he really blew it on this one. First, you shouldn't ever tell stories when all you got is some one liner from a few years ago. And second, you certainly shouldn't tell any story that is going to in any way call into question the Sox 2004 World Series. I mean come on now Gary. That's like telling a four year old Santa Claus doesn't exist. Or more related to sports, it's like telling someone the Babe didn't really call his shot. Are you right? Yea, maybe. But if you're gonna tell people those things, proof or no proof, you're gonna take a lot of shit. And deservedly so. Myths, legends or whatever you wanna call them. They're there for a reason, and it's not so much that they happened, but what they meant, that really matters here. So leave the bloody sock alone Gary, especially if you ever plan on workin' a game in the Bean again without a bodyguard, a can of mase and an H2 modified to look like the Pope Mobile. Thorne really put his foot in his mouth on this one, and while it shouldn't really damage his career, it can at least serve as a good message to everyone out there. A) Don't tell a story when you don't know all the facts, especially when people's reputations are on the line. And B) Don't fuck with the Sox and our World Series rings, or we'll beat your ass wicked bad dude.....like with pipes 'n shit kid...

Now, all that being said, I can't get away from this topic without saying this one thing. I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF SCHILLING DID PAINT HIS SOCK RED. Let's be clear here. I don't think he did, but I'm just saying it wouldn't shock me in the least. I mean hell, this is the guy they nicknamed "Red Light" because of the way he basically chases TV cameras around. We all know he loves the publicity. He thrives on it. What other MLBer that you know of has been on Celebrity Poker Showdown and Extreme Makeover? Or how about one that posts his own blog nearly every day, or calls in regularly to local sports radio even when he's not a scheduled guest? He's at campaign rallies, he's pluggin' his ALS charity and, his wife's runnin' the marathon. Face it, the guy lives for this shit. So would I put it past him? Hell, no. I think in a best case scenario for Schill, he would be the role model for every child in America. And what better way to solidify that, than by creating a truly heroic image like pitching through a bloody ankle, beating the Yanks and killing the curse? God, he loves all that shit man, and you know he wouldn't have it any other way! That's Schill man, and you either love him or hate him for it. As for me, I'm still leaning towards it being real blood on the sock. I do have to hand it to Schill though, calling out all the media types that questioned his injury like Dan "Man Perm" Shaunessy, Gay Mariotti and Woody Paige. Curt challenged any of them to put up $1 mil against his $1 mil for his ALS charity, and have a DNA test done on the sock. Good for you Curt, stick it to the man! He knows those pussies don't have the balls, or the loot to take him up on it, and he's just throwing it right back in their snooty little faces. I say someone should step up and match it anyway, if not for vindication, just for the money the charity would receive. Everyone likes free money right? But like I said, it doesn't matter what it was, it only matters what it is. And what it is, is a great memory, of the best year for the Red Sox of my lifetime, and a World Series run that no one will soon forget. Done and Done.

Red Sox Update

Overall: 14-7
Status: It was nice to take two quickies from the O's after droppin' the games in Toronto, but that's just more of the norm for Sox fans. Check the Sox record over the last tow years against both teams: Sox v O's (22-3), Sox v Jays (14-24). Eh, oh well, we've got bigger fish to fry right now anyway. And what better way to ride into the weekend tilt in the Bronx than an 8th inning, game winning grand slam by Whiffie Mo Pena. The Sox have been hard pressed to find much offense at all from the center field position this year, but as long as someone other than Manny, Papi or Drew isn't getting the big hit, you have to consider it an added bonus. The slam also had an added bonus, moving starter Josh Beckett to 5-0, and keeping the Sox a full 3 games ahead of the rest of the AL East. The Yankees, however, couldn't have limped into this weekend's series any worse than they did. Not only are the Bombers currently riding a 6 game losing streak, but they're fresh off watching their golden boy, Phil Hughes, get rocked in his MLB debut. After strugglin in the minors to open the season, the Yanks went to Hughes to save their God awful rotation, but he did little to help, going just 4 1/3 innings, giving up 7 hits and 4 runs. Now, while the Sox won't have the Big 3 of Dice, Schill and Beckett going again in this series, you still have to like the Sox chances fro ma strictly pitching stand point. It may only be Dice, Wake, and Nacho Libre (Tavarez) this time around, but compared to Pettitte, Karstens and a gimpy Wang, it's not nearly as lopsided as you may think. Besides. I think we all know who has the advantage in the bull pen at this point of the season, and with those starters runnin' it out there, you can bet we'll see a good deal from those fellas. That being said, it's throat crushin' time, a time where the Sox really need to rub some serious salt in the Yankees wounds. If Boston can somehow gank 2 out of 3 in the Bronx, then not only will the Sox be 16-8, but the Yanks will be sitting a cool 6.5 games back in the East. I know, I know, it's only April. But so what? Does that mean I want the Sox to lose? Of course it doesn't. If you really want to know my true desire, it's that the Sox push the Yanks so far into the basement, that even Roger Clemens won't consider coming to help the Bombers. That'd be freakin' sweet! The only thing better than watching to Sox win, is watching the Yankees lose. And when you can kill those two birds with one stone, it's better than a hot bowl of meth on a cool summer evening. Mmmmm. Meth and baseball, the real American Dream.

News and Notes

*I know I've been saying for weeks now that I wasn't going to break down the NFL draft, but it's a little too juicy for me to stay away from completely. So, here it is. I couldn't bring myself to break down the entire first round, but what I have provided, is my top 10 along with the Patriots 24th and 28th picks. Keep in mind, these are the picks as I see them unfolding, not the picks I would make. So don't "mock" me. Ha! Checks it out...

1. Oakland Raiders - QB JaMarcus Russell, LSU
*What can I say. Raiders owner Al Davis loves guys that are big, strong and fast. Russell has the big arm, and experience running a pro style system with LSU, and of playing in the uber competitive SEC. That being said, he's still pretty raw. To be honest, something about this guy says Aaron Brooks or Akili Smith rather than Donovan McNabb or Vince Young. Maybe it's because he reminds me so much of former LSU and New England Patriot, Rohan Davey. Let's hope he's better than Davey, for Oakland's sake, but I feel he has bust written all over him. But, after Saturday, that's officially Oakland's problem, so let's move on.

2. Detroit Lions - DE Gaines Adams, Clemson
*When we look back on this draft, we won't remember that the Lions took Adams, we'll just remember that they passed on WR Calvin Johnson. After picking receivers Roy Williams, Charles Rogers and Mike Williams high in previous drafts, Matt Millen won't have the stones to take another wideout. Too bad for him, Johnson is the best one he's had the chance to draft, and he could very well be what finally leads to Millen's demise. Adams is a good talent, but the Lions never get anything right, so let's not peg them to start doing it now...

3. Cleveland Browns - WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech
*The Browns are basically the only team I haven't seen taking Johnson in a mock draft, so that tells me he'll end up there for sure. Sure, the Browns have more pressing needs, but teaming Johnson up with Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow will at least promise that whoever is leading this offense will have plenty of weapons. Their O-line is weak, and Lord knows Romeo Crennel would love another versatile defender, but I have to believe the Browns know a guy like Johnson just doesn't show up every year, and snag him with this pick.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DT Amobi Okoye, Louisville
*OK, so now Jon Gruden is pissed. He really wanted Calvin Johnson to fall in his lap, and now he wants to trade out of this pick. Well, sucks for you Chucky, this is my mock draft, and I say you have to pick. So, with the best overall player off the board, Tampa decides to make a splash by making the first truly surprising pick of the draft, plucking the 19 year old with the 4th selection. I personally think Okoye won't really blossom until he's ready to bolt his rookie deal at age 23, but I still think the Bucs snag him to solidify a slightly aging defense. It's tough to learn to play inside at the next level, but a lot of GMs say Okoye is a special talent, and you know Gruden's gotta be lovin' that. It probably doesn't hurt that he admitted to smokin' buds in college either. They've had success with bud smokin' D-lineman in the past haven't they? Let's make it two some. Two hits and pass right? OK, that was a reach...

5. Arizona Cardinals - OT Joe Thomas, Wisconsin
*Biggest no brainer so far if you ask me. We all know how great the Cardinal offense is with Fitzgerald, Bolidn and Edgerrin James, but nailing down a tackle to protect Matt Leinhart for the next decade is key. Thomas might be missing the draft due to a fishing trip (no joke), but that shouldn't have the Cards questioning his dedication. The kid is a monster and by far the best lineman in the class. They'll be able to find quality pieces for their defense deeper in the draft, but they won't find another guy like Thomas, so they'll snag him. That being said, with Adrian Peterson and Brady Quinn still on the board, expect the Cards to look and shop this pick in order to move down, still get Thomas, and add another pick to their draft day arsenal.

6. Washington Redskins - S LaRon Landry, LSU
*It's the Daniel Snyder, and it's the Redskins. The way Snyder drafts and goes about free agency is all about getting big names, not necessarily players his team needs (Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders). So, following that trend, look for the Skins to take Landry here, despite already having Sean Taylor, basically the same type of player. They both love to hit big, and they both love to chase the ball all over the field. They don't need him, but they won't be able to resist. They won't be any better, but Landry and Taylor should make for an entertaining tandem for years to come.
7. Minnesota Vikings - QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
*If Quinn doesn't fall, then Viking brass will continue singing the "we love Tavaris Jackson" tune. If he does fall, they will be thanking their lucky stars. Quinn is a Midwest kid, a smart player with pro offense experience at ND, and he fills a big need for the Vikes. Done and done. I'm not sold on Quinn as a superstar QB, but if they can surround him with the right parts, he can make them look good down the road. I like Adrian Peterson a lot more at this spot, but seeing as they just shelled out big money to Chester Taylor, I can't really see them justifying taking another back so early in the draft.

8. Atlanta Falcons - OT Levi Brown, Penn St.
*The number one priority for new head coach Bobby Petrino and the Falcons should be protecting Mikey Vick. Just because he doesn't feed his dogs (read down further!), doesn't mean he doesn't need protection, right? A lot of people will say it's pointless wasting a pick on an O-lineman when Vick's just gonna leave the pocket anyway, but I disagree. The more time you give the guy, the better he should become. And if Petrino intends to keep him in the pocket more, better protection is a must. They'd love a D-end here to compliment John Abraham and replace Patrick Kerney, but Brown gives you the best value at this draft position, and sends a positive message to Vick and the offense.

9. Miami Dolphins - TE Greg Olsen, Miami (FL) "The U"
*Another pick that seems silly now, but it's just a stab I'm taking. New head coach Kam Cameron is going to want to run the system he ran in San Diego, and to do that he's going to need a dynamic tight end. It might be a little high for Olsen, but he's a great playmaker that can easily follow in footsteps of recent "U" tight ends Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow and Bubba Franks. I won't be shocked it Miami decides to go defense or O-line here, but weird shit happens in the draft. So just chalk this one up on the "weird shit" list.

10. Houston Texans - RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma
*While it's not going to totally redeem the Houston brass for passing on Reggie Bush last year, it sure as hell is a start. Pundits will say, they got a back just as good, and a franchise defensive end in Mario Williams. Well, to quote Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction, "Let's not start suckin' each other's dicks quite yet gentleman". If Peterson does fall, it's a great scenario for the Texans, but that's probably a pretty big "if". He's by far the best back in the draft, and though he's had some health concerns, they seem more freakish than they do likely to affect his ability to become a reliable, 1,000 yard+ back, year after year.

Now, for the Patriots picks. For these, just assume I did picks 11-23 in my head. AKA: I'm not just choosing players that weren't in my top 10.

24th pick - S Michael Griffin, Texas
*The most glaring need for the Pats coming into this draft has to be their secondary, and Griffin is the best guy on the board. He's fast, a big hitter and has plenty of big time experience playing for a National Championship squad in '06. He's not exactly a corner/safety like the Pats would ideally prefer, but he can serve as a great compliment and eventual replacement to aging hit-man, Rodney Harrison.

28th pick - OT Joe Staley, Central Michigan
*Do I think the Pats need help on the offensive line? Nah, not really. But I do expect the Pats to make a pick that doesn't address an area that everyone is viewing as a "need". Therefore, I look for them to take the best offensive lineman here, and that's Staley. Matt Light is getting on in years, and while Ryan O'Callahan was solid last year, you might want to protect a certain QB with a batter than "solid" offensive line. I'd love to see them go secondary again with this pick, or even linebacker, but it wouldn't be a Patriots draft without a few head scratchers. Man, it's a good thing they're always right, or they'd have some splainin' to doooo!

So there ya go, I just couldn't resist. Make sure to tune in to 99.7 FM or 790 AM on Saturday at around 11 when the draft starts. I'll be workin' be ass off at The Score Draft Party at Twin River, so make sure to check it out. If you don't, I'll find out, hunt you down, and beat you to death with a rusty TV antenna.
*So, as I eluded to before, apparently Mike Vick has fallen victim to the disease sweeping the sports world. No, not herpes (thank you, Ron Mexico), it's the inability to feed your dog. Allegedly, police found 26 dogs, either injured or starving, at a house owned by Vick and currently inhabited by his relative, Davon Boddie. In what was originally a drug investigation, police not only found the dogs, but what appeared to be items used for dog fighting. Now, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the occasional dog fight, after all who doesn't? But at least feed 'em man. How the hell are they supposed to put up a good fight if they're all scraggly? Don't worry, I understand the logic of having them hungry before they fight, but a good fight is full of passion and anger, not desperation. I wanna see these dogs biting each other to death out of pride, dammit! Just kidding (wait, am I?). The real issue here is Mike Vick making yet another poor decision, and another pro athlete failing to feed his dogs. Eh, actually neither one of those actually surprises me, so I guess the story here was just I wanted to talk about dog fighting. Bum Fights anyone?

*The NCAA came down hard this week on coaches, barring them from sending text messages to recruits. Freaking hysterical. No, it's not the ruling that makes me laugh, it's me picturing old farts like Bobby Knight, Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno actually trying to text. You know how those old fogies are always trying to "get with the lingo" and all. Here's what I mean. This is what I can only imagine a text between Bobby Knight and a star recruit might go:

Knight: gr8 game 2nite, ttyl
Recruit: thanx coach
Knight: np, cant w8 2 choke U + towel snap ur junk, biznatch

Baaaaaaaaaahahahaha

*Former Boston College big man, Shaun Williams, has hired an agent and will declare for the NBA draft. You may remember Williams from such suspensions as the one where he was kicked off the team on January 17th after allegedly failing a drug test. Many NBA execs still think Williams could be a first round pick because of his length and ability to change a game on defense, but I'm not so sure. Hye, I loved Williams at BC too, always sendin' the weak sauce into the 4th row, but these days character issues are more center stage than ever. Add to that, he's been out of the game for months now, and even when he was on point, he was rather suspect offensively. The only reason I even bring this up, is because I know a lot of people in this area really like the kid, and still would love to see him play at the next level. Well, there it is. I mentioned it, and now I'm movin' on...

*All I have to say, is read this freaking press release:

During my 23 years with The Times' sports department, I have held a wide variety of roles and titles. Tennis writer. Angels beat reporter. Olympics writer. Essayist. Sports media critic. NFL columnist. Recent keeper of the Morning Briefing flame. Today I leave for a few weeks' vacation, and when I return, I will come back in yet another incarnation. As Christine. I am a transsexual sportswriter. It has taken more than 40 years, a million tears and hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy for me to work up the courage to type those words. I realize many readers and colleagues and friends will be shocked to read them.

That's right kids. LA Times sportswriter Mike Penner has decided to have tranny surgery and become, Chrsitine Daniels. I guess you lose the last name when you lose the junk. Personally, this kind of thing freaks me the fuck out, but that's just because I don't understand it I guess. Oh wait, nope. This is sketch as all hell, and I wish the Times, and "it", left me and the rest of the world out of this. Do whatever you want, she-dude, just next time keep it to yourself. And by "it", I mean your intentions, not your, well....oh man just forget it. But I gotta ask. Do you keep the junk in a jar near your bed or what? Maybe on an island in the kitchen? Last thing I wanna hear is that this guy tossed his rod and reel in the trash. In other news, the wories at The View are over. Rumor says they found a replacement for Rosie already, it's just the new chick is on vacation for a few weeks. Weird.

*And as long as we're talking about socially awkward white dudes, I have to show you this. This, my friends, is what happens when the producer doesn't tell you that you're on air, you have a senile partner and you grew up wearing sweater vests to the beach. Take it away Ian Eagle! And don't be stingy with the Manoshevitz!

*Dear Google,

I got this picture when I searched for "Gary Thorne" in Google Images. Thank you very much for making me laugh, but you may want to take a quick look at your database.

Always Pimpin,
Rooch

P.S - right before the photo, Bush told the baby he had to go to Iraq


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