Straight Rings Homie
OK, it's official. The New England Patriots own the NFL draft. That's right. They may have been renting the rights to it before, but after this weekend, it can officially be renamed "The Weekend the Patriots Spank The Rest of the League Like a $6 Pacific Rim Hooker". For starters, the Pats took Miami safety, Brendan Merriweather with their first round pick, the 24th overall. People have questioned Merriweather's character, and with good reason. After all, the last most of us saw of him, he was busy stompin' out Florida International players like his feet were on fire (check the video, you can't miss him). Add to that, if you wanna believe what you hear, he's had scrapes with the law that include a gun charge. Well, that's just flat out untrue. Somebody shot at Merriweather and his boy, so he whipped out his registered firearm and got off a few rounds. It might not show the best moral judgement, but it wasn't illegal. And who are we to judge anyway? It was just a few months ago that Brendan had to attend his teammates funeral after he was shot in the head. They don't live where we live, so we can't hold them to the same standards. Fact is, he didn't break the law. Sure he stomped out some peeps, but if the Pats think he'll fit in, then I'll take their word for it. From what I can tell, he's a talented guy, he can play all the positions in the secondary and he can flat out hit. Maybe not quite Rodney Jr., but a little mentoring from one of the best safeties around can't exactly hurt.
So, now the Pats were facing their 2nd first round pick, the 28th pick overall. This is where the dominoes start to fall. Instead of picking, the Pats dealt the pick to San Fransisco for the 9ers first round pick in 2008 and a 4th round pick in this years draft. What the Pats did next, could very well change the face of the franchise forever. Knowing the Raiders were eager to deal him, the Pats sent the 4th round pick they had just acquired from the 49ers (110th overall), to the Oakland Raiders for "Straight Cash" himself, wide receiver, Randy Moss.
That's right. A guy who probably would have made most fans short list of "players that you could never imagine being Patriots" (Pacman, Peyton, TO), is now the latest addition in an off season that's been full of them. But wait one second, you didn't think this move was going to go unnoticed by the media now did you? Of course not. Immediately after the announcement, everyone and their brother wanted to say how the Pats were changing direction. How character doesn't mean shit to them anymore. That they're just tired of losing in the playoffs and will do anything to get another ring. WRONG. Sure, Moss may have been a malcontent in other places he played, and maybe he's known for taking plays off here and there, but we have the one thing that solves all that. Winning. When the Vikings were rolling did you ever hear Moss complain? I sure didn't. It was when his teams blew that he started acting up. So he smokes a little reefer, and he likes to challenge meter maids to fights, so what? I heard his press conference after the trade went down, and he not only sounds happy to be a Patriot, but he sounds straight up star struck. The fact that he redid his deal (he will only make $3 mil this season and not a penny before the first game) to come here, tells me that he's not so much ready to change, but he's ready to win. He realizes his antics won't fly here, and that doesn't matter to him. Like he himself said, it's not the number of catches or touchdowns he gets that matters to him, it's the success of his team. And I for one believe him. This isn't TO we're talkin' about here. Moss may have some past discretions, but he's never been on the record as a guy that's selfish. He just wants to win! So not only will his attitude be accepted in this veteran locker room, but it will flat out thrive.
And I don't want to hear how he's "lost it" either. He sucked in Oakland because he just didn't care, and who can blame him? I understand that people don't like the fact that we're rewarding a guy for basically "playing his way out of town", but it is what it is. I don't expect Moss to revert totally back to the days in Minny where he averaged like 1,300 yards and 15 TDs a season. But I expect him to be a lot closer to that than the 750 yards and 5 TDs he averaged his two years in Oakland. With the way this offense spreads the ball around, he'll probably fall somewhere in between, but it will be his ability to make big plays, draw double teams, and stretch the field that will make him such a dangerous weapon.
So, just when the team didn't look like it could get any better (hell, I already had them pegged at 19-0), the Pats went out and made possible the best risk-reward trade in NFL history. If Moss pans out, the Pats look to be virtually unstoppable next season. And if he doesn't, well then I guess we'll have to make due with Wes Welker, Kelly Washington, Donte Stallworth, Ben Watson and friends now won't we? Either way, looks like a win/win to this guy, and if you see any differently, you might want to put down the bong, and step away from the lines on the mirror. Straight Rings Homie!
Other Draft Winners and Losers
*Before the Moss deal, the talk of the draft was the dramatic slide of Brady Quinn. Once projected as a top 10 pick, Quinn had to be removed from the green room due to embarrassment (a la Aaron Rodgers in '05) and slipped all the way to #22, a difference of somewhere around $17 million in guarantees. I wasn't surprised at all that Quinn fell so far, I was just a little surprised at a few of the teams that passed on him, but I'll get to that later. Fact is, I think by trading back into the first round to draft Quinn, the Browns were able to have one of the better drafts. It's not that I'm really high on Brady Quinn, but while I thought he was a total reach in the top 10, he looks like a good deal at #22. A lot of people will say that the Browns gave up too much (first rounder in '08, and Cleveland might still suck so that could be a high pick), but I say they got the guy they wanted and they got him a franchise left tackle in Joe Thomas. Besides, unless they manage to really blow and end up in the top 3 or so next season, their won't be any QB worth drafting not named Brian Brohm. All in all, the Browns got the guys they wanted and Quinn ended up on his hometown team. Now all he has to do, is make everyone realize they made the right decision by taking him, or GM Phil Savage and coach Romeo Crennel will be looking for new jobs by about week 6 or so. But no pressure.
*God, where do I start with the Miami Dolphins. Not only did they crush all their fans hopes and dreams by not selecting Quinn at #9, but they flat out pissed their fans off by holding pat at #9 and taking Ted Gimp Jr.. Ginn, who injured his foot during a celebratory jig during his team's National Title loss, won't be ready until during training camp, and he currently has a boot on his foot to help with his lis franc injury. Word on the street is that nobody wanted to trade with Miami at #9, so they were forced to reach for Ginn, or they would have lost him completely. Well, I respect the fact that they got the guy they wanted, I just don't respect how they went about doing it. If the Cleveland Browns could trade back into the first round, then why couldn't the Dolphins? They could have landed Brady Quinn with the ninth pick (or anyone else for that matter), and then taken Ginn later in the first round where he undoubtedly would have been available. Instead, they opted for the injured Ginn in the first round, and chose BYU John Beck in the 2nd round as a possible QB of the future. One problem with Beck, is he's 26 years old! (Mormon mission in Portugal from '00-'02) Talk about a tough sell to the fans. "Um, we just selected a dude with a busted foot, and a 26 year old Mormon who most people had rated as the 4th best QB in the draft. Goooooo Phins!" Glad I'm not a Miami fan. Now, I don't want to be on the record as saying Ted Ginn Jr. is going to suck or anything, I just think at this point it was a totally risky pick. Somethin' tells me that when Kam Cameron is fired in a few years, he'll look back on this draft as the beginning of the end.
*I told you before the draft that the Washington Redskins were going to draft LSU safety LaRon Landry, and it was basically the only pick in my top 10 that I got right. That being said, I'll repeat exactly what I said in my mock draft...they made yet another mistake. Landry is a special player, but he's exactly the same as current 'Skin safety Sean Taylor. And the more I watched film on Landry, I realized he's more of a "hitter" than he is a "tackler". You know what that means....you got it...more losses for the Redskins, and more reckless spending by owner Daniel Snyder. You want to honestly tell me that head coach Joe Gibbs wanted another safety? That's the 3rd DB Washington has taken in the past 3 first rounds (Carlos Rogers from Auburn), yet they still don't have nearly enough offensive weapons to help young QB Jason Campbell. This is why the Redskins never meet expectations, and why Daniel Snyder is rapidly becoming known as a guy that's more concerned with promoting his team and less concerned with winning. Well, Danny Boy. I don't know if anyone told you this. But the easiest way to promote your team, is to win the freaking Super Bowl!
*The AFC has been king recently, winning 5 of the last 6 Super Bowls. So, if the Patriots have been king's of the AFC this off season, then the San Fransisco 49ers have been the the prince of the NFC. After an impressive season last year, the Niners decided to make the big moves this off season and hopefully guarantee success in future years. They started by acquiring top free agent corner, Nate Clements, and they continued their rebuilding on draft day. With their first pick, they took the best LB in the draft, in Ole Miss product, Patrick Willis. This kid can flat out do everything you want your middle linebacker to do, and should fill nicely the void left last season by Julian Peterson. Next, they traded up in the first round with the Patriots, and selected tackle, Joe Staley from Central Michigan. Staley was widely regarded as the 2nd best tackle in the draft behind Joe Thomas, and will serve as protection to both young QB Alex Smith and RB Frank Gore for many years to come. In addition, the Niners made a move that would have been top news if not for the Moss deal when they too swapped a 4th round pick for a wide out in Seattle's Darrell Jackson. Jackson is coming off a season where he hauled in 63 passes for 956 yards and 10 scores. I know that doesn't solve all of their problems on offense, but adding Jackson at least gives Smith a prototype #2 receiver to compliment TE Vernon Davis and WR Arnaz Battle. I'm not saying San Fran is a stones throw away from their glory days quite yet, but these moves appear to have sped up the rebuilding process. And besides, you really like any of the teams in the NFC West that much better? The Niners went 7-9 last year, and division winner Seattle went 9-7. So while I don't think San Fran is quite ready for a ring, I don't think it's unreasonable to believe they just improved their team by 2 games in the standings. That being said, I hope they tank it up hardcore since the Pats have their first round pick next season.
Red Sox Update
Overall: 16-8, 1st place AL East by 4 games
Status: Woo hoo! Let's here it for the team with the best record in April! OK, so it's not a huge deal. But it totally doesn't suck, that's for sure. I'm just really excited about how well Hideki Okajima has started off his major league career. I know I touched on it before, but this guy has just been lights out ever since his first pitch was knocked into the fountains in KC. That's still the only run he's allowed this season over 12 2/3 innings, to go along with 17 strike outs vs only 3 walks. Freakin' stellar. I mean I knew this town was going to go nuts over an Asian this season, I just kinda figured it would be Dice-K. Didn't you? Got the A's at home this week, and a makeup with the Mariners, before the Sox head off to Minnesota and Toronto for a 7 game roadie. Good teams for sure, but let's see how well they do facing the top end of the rotation. And just a reminder to the team. Just because we're all swept up in this Randy Moss trade, doesn't mean you have any room for error. One bad loss and we'll be all over you like, well, like Randy Moss to a sweet, sweet Cognac Dutch.
Diamonds Are Forever
*Heads are starting to roll in the Big Apple. The Yanks are tankin', the Boss is silent and the pitching is more flammable than the "particulate" in Mike Vick's water bottle. You know what that means, right? That means someone has to get fired. The popular opinion right now is it's head coach Joe Torre, but I offer up GM Brian Cashman. Say all you want that Torre misuses his bullpen, the fact is if he had decent starting pitching it wouldn't even be an issue! And I know that Steinbrenner issued a statement saying everyone was safe, but he also prefaced that with saying that the ownership and the fans expect the team to right the ship sooner rather than later. That still says to me, that someone is about to get fired! Don't get it twisted here, I wouldn't be opposed to Torre getting axed, I just think Cashman is much more to blame. Torre's had a great run in New York and in no way deserves to be fired, but since when was that a pre-req to getting axed? I just think he doesn't have the leaders in the clubhouse that he used to, and he flat out doesn't have the talent that he used to. All I know, is that if they stay in the basement for more than a full 2 weeks, someone will get axed. Money in the bank, shorty what's ya drank!
*When I heard that Cardinals reliever Josh Hancock was killed in a car accident this weekend all I could think of was, 'the Cardinals? Again!?'. First Daryl Kile dies the night before a game from an aneurysm, then legendary announcer Jack Buck passes away, and now this? And just like with Kyle, when Joe Girardi had to come out and make the tearful announcement, their game against the Cubs was cancelled. What are the odds of that? Both with Kyle and Hancock, it was a night before a Cubs game. I'm not tryin' to play the "Cursed Cubs" card here, or make light of the situation, it's just eerie isn't it? Geez. But in all seriousness, it's always tough to lose a teammate, and as a fan, it's always tough to lose a player on your team in a tragic accident. And in Hancock's situation, it's even worse, seeing as he didn't have any family in the area, and his team basically was his family. It's never good when a team suffers a loss like this, but all Cardinal fans can hope for, is that this somehow galvanizes their team, and that they can somehow gain strength from the loss of a member of their baseball family. By all accounts, Hancock was a solid guy, and a great member of the Cardinal franchise, and he will be missed.
*The unassisted triple play is a rare feat, and it's pretty cool. But, much like the cycle, it's totally overrated. Granted, the UTP isn't easy, but it's usually more a convergence of circumstances than a great play. I'm only bringing this up because of the one turned by the Rockies Troy Tulowitzki this weekend. The ball was hist right at him, and with the runners already in motion, all he had to do was tag 2nd, and wait for the runner from first to basically run into him. Props to him for pulling it off, but moreso for forcing people to reference former Phillies two bagger, Mickey Morandini, one of the last men to pull the trick. Not only did he have a cool name, but he was the goofiest lookin' bastard ever, and his unassisted trip included tagging out Barry Bonds! Talk about having cache. How about Troy Tulowitzki calls me back when he's had a run in with a rusty hedge trimmer, then maybe I'll be more interested in his triple play.
News and Notes
*Now I'm no NBA expert, but what I do know is the Dallas Mavericks look pretty fucked. After having one of thes best regular seasons in NBA history, and talking all year long how they were playing for the Finals, and not for 70+ wins, they are on the verge of being bounced in the first round by the Golden State Warriors. To make matters worse, the coach that's about to bounce their asses, is none other than former Maverick coach (and drafter of Dirk), Don Nelson. I know the Warriors went 3-0 against the Mavs in the regular season, but that still doesn't excuse this performance. And what's with alleged MVP Dirk Novitzki doing? Before game four he told reporters that if they didn't win this one, they were basically screwed. What the hell? Talk about instilling confidence in your team. I mean it's bad enough you're in danger of becoming the first #1 seed in the best of 7 format to fall in the first round, but now your pretty much giving up? What kind of weak sauce is that? First it was the Mavs changing their starting lineup in game 1 to match up with the smaller Warriors, and now this? No wonder they're about to waste such a great regular season. Maybe it's because Don Nelson taught Avery Johnson everything he knows, I don't know, but this is just pathetic. That little general better get his team fired up to win these next three though, or it's going to be a long summer of answering questions for Dirk, Cuban, and the rest of these underachievers. I do, however, want to give some props to Baron Davis. I don't know if he just needed a fire lit under him or what, but he has been playing out of his tree in this series. Maybe it's the playoff beard, I don't know, but that's one area where you can't fault Dallas. Hell, if Davis played this well during the season, the Warriors wouldn't have needed to sneak into the playoffs as an 8th seed to begin with.
Last Week: WIN, 16-6-2 vs Baby-Punting MVP
Overall: 3rd place, 7.5 games back
*The kid didn't respond to my trade offer, so I smacked his team in the mouth. It certainly doesn't hurt that I have the best bullpen in the league featuring Jenks, Papelbon and 10 save man Fransisco Cordero in Milwaukee. Life is good right now. I'm still waitin' on Johnny Damon (.229 1 HR 8 RBI) and Andruw Jones (.250 4 HR 16 RBI) to come around, but as long as Aaron Rowand (.371 5 HR 12 RBI), Adrian Gonzalez (.308 7 HR 25 RBI) and (gulp) Edgar Renteria (.340 4 HR 17 RBI) keep strokin' it, I should be just fine. At least for now. I even managed to solve my problem at catcher by snaggin' the Cubs Michael Barrett off the wavier wire. So far, all he's done, is hit a bunch of dingers. Waaay better than Jason Kendall, who's last dinger came during the Clinton administration. I've got a toaster oven with more power than that guy, and it doesn't even have a freaking cord!
*Just a little slice of entertainment news for ya, because I know you crave it like that 8 am can of Colt. I'm not sure if you all caught this, but this past week, Richard Gere has come under fire for kissing a prominent Indian (dot not feather) actress in public. May seem tame to us, but fact of the matter is, that shit just doesn't fly over there. OK, so be it. They are entitled to make their citizens act how they want I suppose. But if they want to send the message that Bollywood (India's Hollywood....clever, I know) doesn't advocate that type of behavior, then this next move just boggles my mind. I just heard a story that none other than Mike Tyson is planning a trip to India to star in a promotional video for the film, "Fool-n-Final". The film, a comedy centered on a bunch of criminals, has a boxer in it, and the producers thought having Tyson in the promo would help...well promote the video. It's rumored too that Tyson has demanded an entire hotel floor to himself during his time there, and that no media be allowed on the set or in his hotel for the duration of his stay. Good move by Mike with the no media clause, but what the hell is India thinking?! Just to recap. Kissing in public, bad. Rape, drugs, face tats and ear biting, good. Talk about mixed messages. Next you're gonna tell me that even though they reguard cows as sacred in India, their opening a chain of BBQ joints called "Grubbin' With Gandhi". Only in India, crazy nuke lovin' bastards.
*Finally, I have a slight bone to pick with all of you out there that think you're so clever in trying to mock Don Imus. It seems that whether it's in naming your fantasy team, or just coming up with clever one liners, everyone wants to somehow use the term "Nappy Headed Hoes". There's just one problem with that. A "HOE", is a gardening tool, you morons. A "HO", is a term, short for "whore" to degregate women. I know, if you look up "Hoe" in the Urban Dictionary online, it will give you definitions for "Ho", but that doesn't mean shit. Dictionary.com, provides 10 separate definitions for the word "hoe", and none of them even bare mention to a woman, a prostitute or a hooker of any kind. Hell, in a second look, the Urban Dictionary itself even has the same definitions for the word "Ho" as it does for "Hoe"! So there! They are simply homophones. No, those aren't gay guys that stand next to your phone and in a fairy like voice say "ring, ring" when the phone rings. They are words that are pronounced the same, yet have different meanings. For example; they're, their, there or meet, meat. See, and you thought I just knew sports. Chew on that grammar lesson bitches, cuz there's plenty more where that came from. Especially for all you bitches and shovels out there.