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Friday, May 25, 2007

You Want The Truth? You Can't Handle The Truth!

Say It Ainge So...
Well NBA Draft Lottery, thanks for nothin'! The Celtics went in with a 20% chance to land the top pick, and delusions of Greg Oden dancing in their head. They left, with a swift kick in the junk, an embarrassed GM, and the rights to draft either a 7 foot Asian swing man, or a bunch of other suspect college bums. Of course, Ainge tried the "we are disappointed, but this is a deep draft" card, but absolutely nobody is buying it. The C's got the shaft worse than the fresh fish in Attica, and now they are left to wonder, what the hell do we do now?

As I said before the lottery, the only bullet that GM Danny Ainge has left in his water pistol of a gun, is Paul Pierce. Ainge's youth movement would have been sped up with the addition of either Kevin Durant or ideally, Greg Oden, but now that it's apparent that ain't happenin', it's time to trade the present, and make an honest attempt at building for the future. And when it comes to trading, Pierce is the only viable trade chip you have anyway. You don't want to deal Jefferson, who's finally come into his own, and there's nobody else that other teams might covet. I keep hearing the name Gerald Green come up in trade discussions, but I got news for ya. Sixteen teams passed on drafting Green, and he hasn't done anything since to make them rethink their decision. So if you think he's a hot commodity simply because he's raw and young, then your just going to have to think again. Even the #5 pick as a trading chip doesn't work. There are good players to be had at 5, but this draft is all about being in the top 2. In essence, there's two "franchise" guys in Durant and Oden, and everyone else.

But I ask the question. Is it a bad thing that Pierce is our only tradeable player? Not in my eyes. Granted, I think the guy is a marquee player in this league, but I have to say again, he doesn't jive with the rebuilding effort Ainge has put in place. Either we take this opportunity as a franchise to totally commit to a rebuilding plan (again), or we just accept the fact that the team, as currently constructed, will do no better than perhaps another Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2-3 years from now. That doesn't cut it. The goal here, is to win titles. And if that is indeed what Danny Ainge is trying to do, then he has no choice but to trade The Truth, and start over. That's right....again.

Ah, fuck it. Just fire Ainge and Rivers. That's all I really want anyway. Bastards. That way we can tank one more year, and land OJ Mayo in the 2008 draft. Matter of fact. I hope we draft Mayo, and then he stabs Ainge with a rusty shiv, and has one of his homies blast Doc with some sort of sawed off shottie. That's talent, that's justice, and that's what it's gonna take for me to be a Celts fan again.....that and resigning Kevin Pittsnoggle. But you can't win 'em all I guess....right Danny?
Red Sox Update
Overall: 31-15, 1st in AL East by 9 1/2 games
Status: Neither team swept, Torre didn't get canned, and Schill didn't drill A-Rod for cheap shotting Dustin "Doug Flutie" Pedroia. All in all, pretty much a wash if you ask me. Did we learn anything from this series? Sure...the Yanks aren't "dead", and the Sox aren't invincible. I give the Yankees credit for winning a series they should have won, and if they can continue to hit like they did against the Sox, then the outlook could be much rosier than anticipated. It will still come down to pitching, but scoring 17 runs every 3 games isn't exactly going to hurt their cause. I never counted the Yanks out, so don't consider this me "counting them back in", but they did show life. The true test comes June 1st-3rd when the Bombers travel to Fenway, with the Rocket, Roger Clemens, in tow. Realistic or not, that's the series that everyone is going to base their season long outlook on. If Roger is good, and the Yanks get 2 wins or more, it's suddenly a race again. But should the opposite happen, and the Yanks lose 2 or more, then the New York papers will begin writing their obituaries on the '07 season. They may say that we here in Mass jump the gun on declaring our teams "dead" or "champions", but I guarantee that will be the reaction in the Big Apple. Right or wrong, I really could care less. I just love that these two teams seem to face each other every 10 days. And speakin' of the Yanks...

Diamonds Are Forever*Everybody freeze!....Nobody move! No, I'm not trying to reenact a scene from Half Baked, I'm just imagining what Carl Pavano said to the Yanks before his latest trip to the DL, this time for more than a season. MY only advice to Carl, is next time, if he's going to rob somebody, just stick to using a gun and a mask. That way, they can't identify you, and you won't have to continuously break your body parts in order to collect your loot. Guess I can't really argue with his methods though. For making just 19 starts in his Yankee career, Pavano will haul in a cool $40 mil. I could break down how much that is per inning, pitch or strike, but why even bother. It's an ass load of money, plain and simple. I'm not sure if this latest injury secures Pavano as the worst free agent signing in history (see: Chan Ho Park, Darren Dreifort, Mo Vaughn), but it definitely puts him in the running. Never fear though. With Pavano projected to be up and running about 12-15 months from now, expect another team desperate for pitching to give him another contract that he surely won't live up to. What a country. $40 mil for sitting on your ass, dating hot actresses and pitching once every month or so. I knew I missed my calling!

*I knew Tampa Bay rookie out fielder Elijah Dukes had somethin' special about him. I just didn't know that his "special" skills included threatening to kill his estranged wife and her two kids. I also didn't know he was such a technology buff, as he proved by sending her a photo of the gun he allegedly was going to shoot her with. Like she really needed that. What, he was trying to prove that he actually had a gun? Right, because people can't find pictures of guns online. If you really want to impress her, next time make a video with your phone of you shooting a dummy with her face pasted on it. Then, at the end of the video, make sure and say "that was me shooting you and killing you, you filthy whore". If she doesn't get the picture, then I'm afraid that marriage just isn't meant to work.

*And as long as we're talking about ugly baseball news, why not continue to kick dirt on the good name of recently deceased Cardinal reliever, Josh Hancock. This time though, instead of reporters digging into the former players tragic death, it's his father. Earlier this week, Dean Hancock announced his intent to sue Mike Shannon's Restaurant, for serving his son too many drinks, and Eddie's towing, whose tow truck was the vehicle that struck Hancock's, leading to his death. Not to mention, he's trying to sue the driver who's car was stalled, creating the need for the tow truck in the first place. Now, I understand suing the bar, but the rest of this shit is just totally unnecessary. As irresponsible as it is, any drunk driving accident is truly a tragedy. That being said, simply suing everyone involved is totally not the way to go about things. If I got drunk and drove into a telephone pole, should my family then sue the phone company? Of course not. Hancock's father just needs to move on. I know that may sound a bit harsh, but the longer he drags this thing out, the worse he's going to look and the more he is going to damage the memory of his dead son. This should be more about preventing drunk driving, or mourning the loss of a friend/son, than it should be about suing people. The money isn't going to bring your son back, Mr. Hancock, and all these frivelous lawsuits are going to do, is make the whole situation that much worse.

News and Notes*I've never been a huge fan of Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg in the morning on ESPN radio and ESPN2 TV, but they've always been worth watching at that time in the morning, seeing as there is basically nothing else on worth watching. That is, until now. Those of you that watch, have noticed that the show has recently upgraded from a simple radio station, to a full fledged TV set. Also, due to the fact that Mike and Mike do Arena football commentary, the show is often broadcast from remote locations such as bars or hotels. Well, it seems like all the changes have gone straight to Greenberg's head. Dude shows up every day looking more and more metrosexual, yet acting more and more macho. Listen here, Peenberg, you're a loser. I'm not just saying that because you're a journalist that wishes he were an athlete (because hey, what's wrong with that?). I'm saying it because you have the air about you lately that you're too cool for school, and you are sooooo not. You're jokes are beat, the music you play is beat, the way you talk down to everyone is beat, and your clothes look like you get styling tips from a 10th grader circa 1996. I understand you want to try and be a rebel when it comes to the ESPN dress code, but a necklace? And get a new hair style. It looks like an angry monkey hurls the gel at him from across the room, and he tries to catch it with his head. For crying out loud. Are you a grown man, or just a freaking metro loser? Can the attitude, and just talk sports. The show was a lot better when it was all about the sports, not all about the show. Let Golic talk, get to some news worthy topics, and stop trying to make a bit out of every topic that scrolls across the news reel on any given day. I understand the line between sports and entertainment is constantly blurred, just don't go out of your way to help erase the line by making the show more about how small and metro you are, and less about the actual sports news you're supposed to be discussing.
*Bengal head coach Marvin Lewis is right. It's not that his players act like total asses in public, causing them to get arrested. It's the fact that the police in the area purposely profile the Cincy players. Lewis said that, "most people don't get pulled over for failing to signal for a right turn", and that incidents like that were evidence that his players were being singled out. Sure Marv. I'm sure it has nothing to do with your boys being boozed 3 times higher than the legal limit (Chris Henry), and choosing to piss on the side of the road. Of course, immediately after making these comments, Lewis retracted them, but it's too little too late if you ask me. You can't just go throwing around the word "profiling" when it comes to black men driving cars, and expect people to instantly forget it. I do, however, have a tip for the Bengal coach, if he does indeed want his players to stop getting pulled over. Stop drafting thugs, stop drafting dudes from West Virginia, and stop making it mandatory that your team wear their jerseys when they go out to "get crunk" or "get their goose on". Maybe that way, it will be tougher for the cops to spot them. It's the jerseys that are giving them away! Not only do they have the players names on the back, but the jerseys are too expensive for any hick in the Cincy metro area to afford. If Chris Henry were strictly rockin' his over sized white T, then maybe this wouldn't be an issue at all!

*Seeing as I forgot to mention thus earlier in the week, I'll hit it now. Most of you have probably already heard, but the Patriots earlier this week resigned veteran linebacker, Junior Seau, for another season. Junior may be 38, and headed into his 18th season, but the guy can still play. He averaged almost 7 tackles a game in the 11 he played with New England last year, and at the very least provides depth to an already strong line backing corps. If there's one thing we've all learned over the years as NFL fans, it's you can never be too deep, especially on defense.

*Right along those lines, the Pats also decided to retain injury prone defensive back Randall Gay for this season. Gay was on the Pats last Super Bowl winning team, and should help provide depth to a position, defensive back, that is probably the biggest question mark entering the season. With Harrison aging, Samuel still unsigned, and rookie Brandon Merriweather new to the system, the Pats seem to need all the help they can get. Besides, his last name is GAY! And isn't that really what this is all about? Now I'm just holding out hope that Gay can stay healthy long enough for the Pats to have both he and WR Decody Fagg on their roster next year. Imagine those two matching up against each other in practice. Then all we would need was a QB named Tony Homo, and we'd be all set. Homo drops back, avoids the penetration from Gay....and finds a wide open Fagg who takes it in.....the ASS! Ha!
*Finally, we have Keyshawn Johnson. It was about a month ago that we last saw Key, telling former USC wide out, Dwayne Jarrett, that he couldn't wait to start work with him as a new Carolina Panther teammate. How quickly things change. Not only is Keyshawn no longer a Panther (they cut his ass a week after the draft), but he's no longer in the league! Johnson announced earlier this week that he would retire, and begin working as a football analyst for who else, but ESPN. Much like Marshall Faulk before him, Johnson started working for ESPN while he was still a player, more or less paving the way for a career after football. Good move if you ask me. I mean I don't really care for Keyshawn as an analyst, but you can't play forever, so why not change gears in your career while you're still relevant to the sports world? I just hope they don't decide to team him up with Michael Irvin. The last thing ESPN needs is someone egging him on, and don't we all know it. Seeing as his career is over however, it's time to ask the question. Is Keyshawn Hall of Fame worthy? Simply put, N to the O! After being selected #1 in the '96 draft, Key managed only one 100 catch season in his career ('01), only one double digit touchdown season in his career (10 TDs in '98), and only broke 1,000 yards receiving 4 times in his 11 seasons. He was one of the better possesion receivers in the league over the last decade, and maybe being #1 overall set the standards too high, but I just don't see him getting in the Hall. He will be remembered as an entertaining reciever, whose battles with Bill Parcells and Jon Gurden always kept us on our toes. And as a player who's talent was always overshadowed by his mouth. Maybe if he had stopped telling us how great he was for a few minutes, then his numbers actually would be Hall worthy. Oh well, maybe in the next life. For now, just give him the damn mic!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I Won the Lottery, But Will the Celts?

It's All Oden?
Well, tonight is the night that all Celtic fans (and me) have been waiting for since the C's tanked the '06-'07 season. That's correct, tonight, at 8:30 Eastern time, Celtic nation will anxiously wait and pray that Greg Oden's balls end up squarely in Danny Ainge's salivating mouth. OK, so maybe that's me taking a little bit of perverted poetic license, but you get the drift. Having been unable to put up more losses than the Memphis Grizz, the Celts were only able to secure themselves the 2nd best chance at landing the first pick, at 19.9%, but that hasn't stopped everyone and their brother from all but conceding that the C's will end up with a top 2 selection. Excuse me? Am I the only one that remembers the 1997 draft? How quickly we forget. The Celts had the best chance at the #1 pick, with two lottery selections, and instead ended up with picks #3 and #6. I liked my odds a lot better back then, and we still didn't sniff the top pick! And we all know what happened from there. Tim Duncan became a Spur and won 3 rings and Rick Pitino got run out of town. Which leads me to this...

As often as GM's struggle over roster moves and salary cap issues, it's days like the draft lottery that make and break them, and they know it. A perfect example in today's NBA is Spurs head coach, Greg Popovich. A lot of people don't remember, but in the 1997 draft, Pops was the Spurs GM, not their head coach. Well, when he realized that he just had a dynasty fall into his lap, he quickly hit the sidelines, and is now often mentioned as one of the best coaches in the NBA. You think that's not weighing heavily on the minds of Daniel Ainge and Glen "The Dentist" Rivers? You bet your ass it is. Right or not, if the balls don't bounce the right way for those two, it's lights out for them in the Bean. Sure, it's not directly their fault that we didn't end up with Oden.....oh wait, yes it is! When your team blows, and you set and coached that team, then it should be your fate to be at the mercy of plastic ball. So do they deserved to be blamed for not getting a top 2 pick? No. But they need to be blamed for putting the team in such a vicarious position!

Nice, I got all my Danny and Doc bashing out in one nice paragraph. Onto a few other lottery notes. A lot has been said about Boston possibly trading their pick, should they land at #2. I gotta say that would be the dumbest move ever and here's why. I understand that Kevin Durant, the consensus #2 player in the draft, plays the same position as Paul Pierce. And I understand that Durant could yield a player like Kevin Garnett in a possible trade. But how on earth do you explain the logic behind that trade to your fans? Garnett is a nice player, but he's 31, and he's played 38 minutes per game for the last 12 years. That's not to say he's a bum, it's just to say that he is what he is, an aging star. Now, I get that it makes you more competitive right away, but that doesn't jive with me either. Everyone around here wants to talk about how, "the window of winning with Paul Pierce is about to close, so we need players in here that contribute right now!", and I just don't buy it. Anyone that thinks this team is ever going to even come close to winning a title with Pierce in the next 3 years is kidding themselves. Ainge and friends have fully committed to the youth movement, almost by default (see "numerous busted trades"), and they should just keep going with it. If they add Durant at #2, moving forward they would have a core of Durant, Jefferson, Rondo, Gerald, West, Gomes and Perkins. And you know they'd blow for one more year, so when Pierce finally moves on after next year, they'll be left with some cap room, and another high end lottery pick. If you ask me that's the way to go. Might as well try and use what you got, instead of trying to trade it away.

But that's all the back up plan kids. Get ready for the #1 pick, and get ready for the return of Robert Parrish! Let's only hope that this "Chief" is down for the ganja half as much as the old "Chief". May he lead the C's back to the promise land, and may he give a whole new meaning to the term "Celtic Green". Pass...that...shit!

Red Sox Update
Overall: 30-14
Status: Are the Sox sputtering? Haha, whoa. Thought I jumped off the bridge there for a second didn't ya? I don't know, I guess I'm just not used to the Sox going 4-3 in a 7 game stretch this year. And I'd say that's a pretty damn good thing to be pissed about. I mean if the Sox went 4-3 over every 7 game stretch this season, they'd win 93 games, and this is being considered a bad stretch of games! It's still all good in the Nation though. You honestly can't expect to pad your AL East lead every single night. Some positive signs of late though are the play of Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell. Through the first game of this current Yankee series, Youk is hitting .342 with 6 dingers and 23 RBI, while Lowell is at .325, 8 homers and 35 runs batted in. Not bad for a guy that many in this town thought of as strictly an On Base Percentage guy, and another that was considered a big salary throw in for the Josh Beckett deal. People wanna know how this team is scoring runs without any production for Manny Ramirez and David Jonathan Nancy Drew? There's your answer. As long as they don't have to "carry" the offense, their healthy contributions are going to be what puts this team over the top offensively. As for the rest of this Yankee series. I'm not conceding by any means, but if you look at the pitching match ups this week, and the fact that it's in the Bronx, then the Yanks should have no trouble taking 2 outta 3. Anything more than that is a victory for the Sox, and could be reason enough for the Boss to give Joe Torre his walking papers. Can you say Donnie Baseball? I know a lot of Yankee fans can. But it's still early, right New York?

Diamonds Are Forever
*Hey there Jason Giambi! Looks like those "little" comments you made to USA Today aren't going away so easily are they? Good news for Giambi though. is that while his credibility may be circling the drain, it doesn't seem to be hurting his trade value. Reports out of LA that the Angels are interested in the embattled slugger, come days after the rumor that the Yanks are again trying to void his contract, and that he could be in for a sit down with Bud "Am I really this ugly" Selig. That's the problem with this sport. I'm not against giving guys second chances, but this is just a little out there for me. The guy just came out and publicly admitted to cheating, and you want him on your team? It's one thing for the Yanks, they're kinda stuck with him. But even they are trying to get rid of his shriveled ass! Shame on you Los Angeles Angelinos of the Territory formerly known as Mexico. I know you want a big bat in your lineup, but I wish you would instead go for one that has big balls to go with it. Giambi is just a moron, who forgot that he had yet to publicly admit to using roids, and may have successfully taken the first step into ensuring that he is promptly black balled from the game. Don't save him from his own stupidity Anaheim, it's time we made these guys step up and become accountable. That's not to say the owners and teams don't need to step up too, like Giambi suggested, but he's the one who actually cheated, so he should be dealt with accordingly. Send the message that cheating is beat, or eventually the fans will see right through your tainted act, and start running from the ballpark just as quickly as they flocked in the late 90's. Man up baseball! Do it for me, do it for the kids!

News and Notes
*You know, I really love the NFL, but constantly having to stand up for the behavior of their players is getting to be a little ridiculous. I don't want to in one breath say how much I love the game, and in the next bash the guys that play it, but if they can't stop making more appearances on cops than "that guy with no shirt", then I'm going to have no choice but to continue and rip them publicly. Here's what I'm talking about:

- While attempting to slug a guy earlier this week, Jets return man Justin Miller missed his intended target, and instead smacked his wife right in the face. I don't really know what to say, other than that bitch shudda known better! Kidding. Good excuse though. At least he didn't say he was tryin' to "make it rain" and he smacked his wife in the head with a 10K brick of 5's. What was the wife doin' in the middle of this skirmish anyway. And who takes a swing that would even have a remote chance of hitting your wife? Damn son. The last thing you want is a woman with a welt on her dome. You wanna be know as the dude married to the Whitney Houston look a like or what?

-It's one thing for Mikey Vick to be president of the RHDL (Really Hungry Dog's League), but it's totally another for Clinton Portis to say this in support of Vick: "It's his house, and they are his dogs". Good call Clinton. Hey you hear that Justin Miller? Just say, it was your wife, and it was your house. You should be straight.

-The Bengals (who else) waived 2006 draft selection AJ Nicholson seeing as he was involved with several run ins with the law during his brief tenure with the team, and was currently on trial for domestic abuse. Well, the second part is no longer true, thanks to a bizarre set of events you usually only see in sketchy episodes of Law and Order. The victim, Nicholson's girl friend of course, originally testified that AJ struck her. Well, wouldn't you know it. Come time to testify, and she done up and changed her mind! AJ didn't hit her you see, she hit herself! Her story now is that she hit herself in the face while trying to wrestle her cell phone away from the former Florida St. linebacker. Ohhhhh, you hit yourself? Well that settles that then now doesn't it? Thank you cell phones, for replacing "Oh, I fell down" as the new excuse maker for battered women all across this great country of ours. Verizon: "Call that bitch...Hit that bitch!"

-Of course, all those boys look like amateurs compared to the Bengals Chris Henry. Henry hasn't even had time to appeal the 8 game suspension that Roger Goodell laid on his ass a few weeks back, and it already looks like he could be done for another 8. According to sources, Henry failed a court mandated drug test, and could very well be heading to prison in some back asswards hick county in some state where I'm sure inbreeding is rampant. Of course, his agent says he didn't fail the drug test, but who's believing that guy? You were expecting him perhaps to say, "Hell yea he failed that shit, I was smokin' "Game" blunts with his ass for like 6 hours the other day!" Nah. That would sure be refreshing, but I just don't see it happening. I do know this though. Jail time or not, failed drug test or not, he better get the snack platter ready. Get out the Cheetos, purple drink and Slim Jims, cuz the Commish is coming back over, and his bringing his paddle with him. Come and getcha whoopin'!

*I know funny, and the Floyd Landis trial is exactly that. It started off as a trial meant to clear Landis' name and restore his Tour de France title, and it's turned into a he-said she-said battle worthy of a middle school cafeteria. In case you missed it, Landis' agent called former Tour winner Greg LeMonde pretending to be LeMonde's uncle, and said the two should meet up after the trial and rekindle the molestation that had taken place between the two decades earlier. LeMonde had apparently revealed this info to Landis when the two were having a heart to heart months before. Landis was like "how do you know how I feel" and LeMonde hit him with the "well I was molested by my uncle" story. So, in order to keep LeMonde on Floyd's side in the trial, Landis' agent decided it would be a good idea to spook him. Only problem, the agent did it from his own cell phone. The number was quickly traced, using the technological giant known as "redial", and the dude was nailed. LeMonde came forward with the info in court, Landis promptly fired his agent, and now the guy is in rehab. Dude doesn't need rehab, he just needs a lesson in Mafia 101. Use a pay phone next time you goon! I like where your head was at with that uncle touching deal, you just went about it the wrong way! Hahaha man oh man. Of course I don't really like his tactics, but how funny is that shit? I mean hell, this is cycling! Just because Greg LeMonde's perved out uncle can't keep it in his pants, doesn't mean you didn't use Roids, Floyd-O. And just because your agent is now in some sort of looney bin, doesn't mean you didn't know exactly what he was doing when he called LeMonde. Your shit is tainted, son, and that's just the way it's always going to be. So, why don't you go back to your barn, with your Amish family, and leave the cycling up to the real men. You know, all those skinny Euro's in the unitards. I'd call them pussies, but with those unitards, there's little doubt that some of those guys are really packin' heat. Although, on closer inspection, it could very well be a can of Sierra Mist Free they have tucked up under there. So not delicious at all.

*Before it's too late, I want to take a few seconds to brag about how on point my pre-season NBA picks have turned out to be this season. After all, what good are pre-season predictions if you can't point out how right you were in the rare instance that they actually come to fruition? Before the season started, I picked the San Antonio Spurs over the Cleveland Cavs in 6 games in the NBA Finals. Sure we are only in the Conference Finals, but not bad for a guy who never watches NBA games huh? I don't care if LeBron and friends blew likely their only shot at a road win against Detroit last night, I still think I made some pretty good freaking educated guesses! Then again, I suppose I said at the time this wasn't based on any skill, so I guess I can't brag about it. See, now I'm arguing with myself over whether it's right or wrong to give myself props for something that hasn't even happened yet. Time to move on...

*I don't know what's worse for the NHL. The fact that they never make one of the top 5 stories in a given week here in my column, or that overtime of a game 6 Eastern Conference Finals game was bumped on national TV in favor of, (drum roll please!), Preakness warm ups! Baaaaahahaha. It wasn't even the race either, it was the horses walking around and getting saddled! Hahahaha hockey, you miserable Euortrash whores of the sporting world! NBC just took a giant horse dump all over your sport, and you just have to sit there and smell it. See you next time Stanley Cup Playoffs, when you're being bumped out of game 7 of the Finals in order to bring the people the Region Finals of the National Jump Roping Championships. What a truly pathetic league, doing an awful injustice to a truly entertaining sport.

*And you know I was pumped that NBC switched over early to their Preakness coverage. A) Because I didn't even know there was a hockey game on and naturally B) Because I had placed a few wagers on the race itself. After going 0-for the Derby, I was convinced that while wagering was fun and not very costly, Frosco and I were never going to see dollar one from this Triple Crown venture. We don't know dick about horse racing, and face it, if you're trying to win a lot of money while betting only a little, the odds just flat out aren't in your favor. Well, my friends. I was proven wrong, and the odds have been beaten! (most likely only temporarily) With our combined $4 Trifecta wager on (4) Curlin, (8) Street Sense and (7) Hard Spun, Frosco and I netted ourselves a cool $100 to split. We are now officially up $52 combined over the first two legs of the Crown, and are poised to make really big things happen in the Belmont. Naturally, we were a little disappointed with our small payout for such a large feat (the Derby trifecta paid $440 for each $2 bet), but seeing as the field was less than half that of the Derby, and the same horses finished in the top 3, I'll take it. What's really remarkable about the whole thing, is that of the 9 total best we placed (6 bets in one #1 Trifecta Box), only one of them had Curlin finishing first, the rest had Street Sense or Hard Spun. So that was pretty amazing in itself. Now comes the tough decision. Do we let our $52 ride on the Belmont by making larger bets (we have bet a combined $24 on each race thus far), or do we play it safe and continue our smallish bets? I think you know the answer to that, but after I confer with the Sco man, I'll give you the official word. And oh yea. The race was ill, there may be some sort of great horse rivalry growing....blah, blah, blah. It's all about the loots!

Fantasy Update
Last Week: WIN, 16-6-2 vs Small Nuts Big Head
Overall: 2nd place, 17.5 games back

*I win by 10, and I still lose 2.5 games in the standings. I guess that's bound to happen when the guy in first goes like 37-3 in a two week period. Oh well, at least I get to face him myself this week, straighten his ass out a little. Slightly ironic, but it seems the two of us are in a Yankee-Red Sox series of our own here, with me playing the role of the Yankees. If he can blow me out, it's going to make it tough for anyone to catch his ass. But just like in the real life series, it's too early to write anyone off. Besides, I don't want to be the Yankees! Get me in first then I can be the Sox. His dumb ass can be the Yankees! It's little trophy time!

*And I have no idea with this is, but seeing as I found it in my search for pictures this week, I just had to throw it in. My best guess, is it's some sort of ESPN Baseball Tonight meets The Village People. Jayson Stark (cowboy) and Karl Ravech (military) look eerily like those could be real pictures, while Joe Morgan still looks like a rampant white man hater, just with a leather jacket on. Enjoy.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Dice?...Check!...Meth?...Check!...Roids?...Check!

Red Sox Update
Overall: 28-12
Status: All is well in my Red Sox world. The Red dudes are cruisin' atop the AL East, and my arch nemesis, David Jonathan Drew, is suckin' harder than degenerate Vegas meth freak on a penny slot machine. You won't hear me, like you will most "hardcore Sox fans", bitchin' about the Pedroia vs Cora situation, Beckett's "avulsion" or beside myself trying to find a replacement for #5 starter, Julian Tavarez. Instead, I choose to revel in the fact that my home town team is in first place by 9 and a half games, fresh off a doubleheader sweep of the defending league champs, in which their Asian Sensation tossed his first complete game. And best of all, they're killing the Yankees. Mwwwuaahahahaha. The only bad part is, with nothing to bitch about, I have to face the harsh realization that interleague play is upon. Can't we get rid of this already? It was a a quirky way to get fans back into the game after the strike in '94, but the game is fine now, and the novelty has run it's course. Let's be done with

Diamonds Are Forever *Someone needs to tell Jason Giambi that he never actually admitted publicly to using steroids. Giambi came out this week and said that Major League Baseball should apologize for what steroids have done to the game, and that he too was sorry for using steroids. Whoa, what?! I mean, we all "knew" that Giambi used steroids, but unless I am mistaken, and I know I'm not, this is the first time he has ever admitted to it outside of a courtroom setting. Remeber his apology before? It was like, "what the hell are you apologizing for?!" But hey, I give him credit, it worked. People got off his back, and despite the fact that he got "sick" and shriveled up like a Golden Girl in a hot tub, he still won Comeback Player of the Year! So why did he speak up now? Did he just slip up? Not likely. What's more likely is, even though he never came out and said he used roids, he's probably heard that he has so frequently that Jason himself believes it's common knowledge that he was on the juice. And, well...he's right. But what is the league going to do about it? George Mitchell and his gang of bounty hunters have been scrappin' around for dirt for over a year now, and they got shit, and now Giambi drops this bomb? Shouldn't they now just go after him? The problem this whole time with Bonds, Sheffield and Giambi, is that their "admission" of using steroids was always part of leaked grand jury testimony so it couldn't be used against them. Well, now that Giambi has came forth and said it himself, can't they easily take him out? It certainly seems like they could, and I fully expect them too. I'm not too sure what Jason had in mind when he opened his mouth in this instance, but I'll be damned if it doesn't become a major distraction and a major inconvenience for both Giambi and the Yanks.

*About two weeks ago, thanks to FOX's mic on Julio Lugo, I realized for the first time that not only does Ichiro Suzuki speak English, but he speaks it better than most people I know! In case you missed that encounter, it went somethin' like this. The two teams were changing sides, Ichiro started talking to Lugo, and when he realized Lugo was packin' a recording device, gave a quick laugh and ran away like Carmelo after a quick right hook. So imagine my shock, when not only was Ichiro talking to the media, but spewing his thoughts on everything from his game, to steroids in baseball. On the latter, Ichiro said he didn't think it was cheating, because there was no rule against it, and that taking roids didn't make a player any better. Whatever. But it was his next statement that really grabbed my attention. Ichiro said, that when he turns 40, he would like to stop playing the field, and become a knuckle ball pitcher. Not only that, but scouts that follow the team say that Ichiro has thrown 95+ off of a mound in practice. Jesus Heroin Christ. Is this Ichiro Suzuki or Roy Hobbs in the Natural? I know the guy has a cannon strapped to his tiny little Asian fram, but hittin' the gun at 95? Damn son. Why don't the Mariners just toss this guy out there now? Do they have better guys they are hiding? Because if not, he may be the one of the best starters they got! Hey, I remember a certain Pittsburgh Pirates AAA first basemen that turned the knuckle ball into a nice fall back plan in his career. Of course that man was Tim Wakefield, and he didn't exactly have the offensive prowess of Ichiro. The switch doesn't work for everyone though. After a nice MLB career with Atlanta, 2nd baseman Mark Lemke was never able to make it past AA as a knuckler. It's a slippery slope Ichiro, but I think if anyone can pull it off, it's you....and maybe Brian Daubach.

*Uh oh, looks like Bonds is pissed. No, not Barry Bonds, that would make too much sense. This time, it's Bobby Bonds Jr. that has beef, and it's with none other than Hammerin' Hank Aaron. Little Bobby is upset over the fact that Hank keeps saying how he won't be present when Barry breaks his all time home run record. And you know what Bobby Jr.? You're going to have to keep on being bitter, because Hank's not backing down on this one. There may be plenty of sheep out there in the Bigs when it comes to steroids, but the Hammer isn't one of them. He worked hard to break, and set, that record, so let's not be shocked he's not tripping over himself to hand it over. Least of all to a guy that's got more chemicals in him than there was in Bob Marley's dreds. Sorry Bobby, but your brother cheated. He cheated the game, he cheated the fans, and now he's cheating Aaron. Just be lucky Hank isn't a vengeful guy, because if he were, you'd have just given him grounds to hunt you down and smack your arrogant ass. Keep your mouth shut until your ready to rat out your brother for your 6 figure book deal and 15 minutes of fame.

*Minor league baseball is all about the whacky promotions. Hell, I should know. I worked for the Syracuse Sky Chiefs and personally witnessed the following: "free ticket if you bring your dog", "bring a potted, plant get in for free" and the ever popular, "costume night". So, in an age where everyone is trying to "out-weird" everyone else, I feel it's right to give props where props are due for a truly original idea. The Portland Beavers, a triple A Padres affiliate, are having "Bob L. Head" night. The contest states that any man with the given name "Bob L. Head" can submit an essay explaining why they are the best. The winner, of course, gets their own bobblehead, fashioned in their likeness and the finalists get a trip to Portland to attend the contest finale. The finalists names are Robert Leroy Head, from Iowa, Bob Louis Head from California and Bob Lee Head of Illinois. Bob Louis Head already has a slogan going for his campaign saying "No matter what the score, I am always a Head". Clever Bob. I guess that's the humor you can expect from a guy who you know grew up telling people "my name is the same spelled backwards!". Good contest though, and that's really all that matters here. And besides, everyone loves a nice Beaver don't they?

News and Notes
*It was touch and go there for a while, but it seems Brett Favre has come down off of his Vicodin binge and decided to report to Green Bay Packers minicamp after all. After telling the team he couldn't attend because he had to "help prepare for his daughters graduation party", Favre realized he might have his priorities out of whack, and decided to pay the Pack a visit at their practice facility. So, it's all good now, right? WRONG. Not only has Favre already sent the message to the rest of his teammates that he doesn't have faith in them, but I think he's thinking about retiring now more than ever. It might sound like a suspect prediction at this point, but hear me out. After all the trials and tribulations Favre has put the Pack through, a retirement that seems to come out of left field after all this time is what makes the most sense. Combine the fact that he's pissed the team didn't improve in the off season, with the recent event in which he initially deemed his time with his family more important than his time with his team. Trust me. Over the next few weeks, this guy is gonna have a serious change of heart. He's got his Super Bowl, he's got his 3 MVP's, and it's time for him to hang 'em up. It's only appropriate too, that the man who has served as the face of this franchise for the past 15 years, be the one that send it into a tailspin with his untimely and inconsiderate departure. Mark my words!

*I love how ESPN.com teased their power rankings with a subtitle that read "Have Peyton and the Colts held off Tedy Brushi and the Pats?". Ummm, how about no? I know you're trying to get people to read the rankings, but even insinuating that the Pats aren't Super Bowl favorites at this point is absurd. They were a minute from the Super Bowl, and they added the two best players in the off season crop in Randy Moss and Adalius Thomas. Not to mention other quality additions like Donte Stallworth, Wes Welker, Kelly Washington, Tory James and draft pick Brandon Merriweather. The Pats are stacked, and everyone knows it. I know the point of the subtitle was to get attention, and I supposed that I'm doing you justice by commenting about it, but let me tell you this. I didn't read the freaking thing, and I guarantee they have the Patriots at #1 and the Colts at #2. Go ahead and prove me wrong, fact is I know I'm right. So, nice try ESPN, just make sure next time you try and get cute, you chose a team like the Eagles or Jets to do it with.

*It's Preakness time kids. And just because I went 0-for the Derby, doesn't mean for a second that I'm not throwin' some cake down on the second leg of the Triple Crown. The field has been cut from 20 to 9, meaning it's going to be tough to come up with exotic combinations. And Street Sense is such a large opening favorite at 7 to 5, that it's going to be tough making any money at all. That being said, it's totally not gonna stop me from trying to defy the odds. There are only 3 horses in the field at 20 to 1 or greater, and out of them I really only like Mint Slewlep at 30 10 1 to make any noise. Again, my logic in horse racing is based on a combination of "good name" and "good price", so don't try to read too much into any of this. Coming off strong Derby performances, much like Street Sense, are Hard Spun (5 to 2), Circular Quay (8 to 1) and Curlin (7 to 2), so make sure you sprinkle those fellas in among your exactas, trifectas and superfectas. The other new horses in the field are Xchanger (30 to 1), King of the Roxy (12 to 1) Flying First Class (20 to 1) and CP West (20 to 1). There's something about Xchanger that's making me think, but other than that I can't say I'm too impressed with the new comers. In the end though, just make sure you ride Street Sense heavy in this, if for any reason because of the length of the race. Street Sense charged late and was still pushing at the end of the Derby, so there's no reason to believe he should be any weaker in a race that's a full 1/16th of a mile shorter? Maybe it's because in my lifetime there have been so many horses that have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, but I really have trouble picking against any Derby horse in the Preakness. So Street Sense is the pick for the win, the rest is up to you. One bad omen for Street Sense, this weekend is the one year anniversary of when the last Derby champ took the big leap from the winner's circle, to the glue factory. Barbar-Oh damn that horse is dead!

*If you live in the southeastern Mass / Rhode Island area, then you feel my pain on this next one. Al Cerrone, local big wig car salessman, has a new line of commercials with none other than Chevy's NASCAR superstar, Jeff Gordon. Now, I understand that Gordon is a big name in NASCAR, but if you watch the ad, he makes himself look like a complete donkey. With all the efforts that the left turn association has put forward to increase their popularity in the NorthEast, putting Jeff Gordon in ads where he says "R-OUT 1 in South Attleboro", probably wasn't one of their sharpest moves. It's pronounced "root" up here, you inbred, feathered hair mule. Then he proceeds to challenge Cerrone to a race to the dealership. Hysterical fellas. You really got me thinkin' that the two of you are gonna start tradin' paint on Route 1 in front of Mo Vaughn's new car wash. Listen Jeff. Stay off my TV and get out of my state. The only time I want to see you again, is if you have some front row tickets to offer me at say Wrigley Stadium, Fenway Field, or The YankeeDome.

*Finally, I have a sad note. A "Now You Know" favorite seems to have fallen on some hard times. No, I'm not talking about the celebriskank that's going to prison. I'm actually talking about a guy who at one time falsely alleged that he too made a movie with that human semen collector. That man's name, is Tom Sizemore. And sadly, he was arrested 9 days ago after police found two bags of meth, and 3 meth pipes in his '04 Mustang. Police showed up when Sizemore's boy, actor Jason Salcido, challenged a hotel employee to a fight. Shockingly, they found meth on that guy as well. Who'd have thunk it? So, it looks like it's back to jail for Sizemore, and while it's probably better for his health, it's really not helping my has been celeb-reality addiction. I mean we're two years removed from Bonaduce shootin' roids and probably will have to wait two years for the ground breaking Tanya Harding Show currently titled "From the Ice to the Pipe". Why do I have a funny feeling that Dog the Bounty Hunter will be a big fan of this show? Weird. I'm gonna miss you though, Tom, and good luck in the slammer. Watch out for your corn hole buddy, and steer clear of using your anal suitcase to store your cold medicine/lighter fluid cocktail surprise. Catch you on the flip side, just hope you'll be ready for season number two.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cheap Shot Rob and the Comeback Kids


Red Sox Update
Overall: 26-11
Status: Well, either people want to focus on the 6 run 9th inning comeback, or they want to talk about the "ripped skin" on Josh Beckett's finger. Lucky for you, I got takes on both topics. First, the comeback. All I really got on that is it's great the Sox didn't give up, and it's even greater that the Orioles choked that one away like Mama Cass on a delicious ham sandwich. If you're waiting for me to laud the comeback, it's just not gonna happen. In a long season, you win some games, you lose some games, and you have some games gift wrapped for ya. This one was totally the latter. First, Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo yanked starter Jamie Guthrie way too early. Guthrie cruised through the first 8 innings in less than 90 pitches, and hadn't given up a run. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize you should have left the guy in. Perlozzo said after the game he was thinking of taking him out even earlier, as if that somehow justifies it, but it was flat out a bad move. So, with Guthrie out. the Oriole pen proceeded to through a few walks around, and end the game with a nice error to cap their amazing come-from-ahead effort. Well done Baltimore, thanks for the win, thanks for the karma, and have fun on your summer long adventure into the depths of the AL East. Make sure to toss us a postcard every once in a while and let us know how it is down there. That brings me to Beckett. I don't care if the Sox are calling it an "avulsion" and not a "blister". It's a freaking blister. We heard all off season before Beckett arrived last year that his blister issues could potentially turn into a long term issue, but I'm not hearing it. You wanna know why his hand got cut up? Look no further than the 18th green, my friends. That's right, it was none other than Josh Beckett hitting the links before his last start, with who else but Okajima, Wakefield and Dice K. Anyone that's been golfing can tell you that if your grip has any sort of abnormality to it, your bound to get a blister now and then. Maybe it's just me being optimistic, but I think this time it was Beckett's stupidity, and not his genetics that caused this particular "avulsion". They plan on holding him out a maximum of one start, so we'll see. Should this turn into an extended DL trip, I may be singing a different tune, but for now I'll just let a nice FOOOORRRRRRRRRRREEE rip, and move on with my life. NEXT!

Diamonds Are Forever
*Well, the Roger Clemens watch has officially begun. Seeing as the Rocket jumped the gun and signed with the Yanks before any fervor could really grow, don't think the media is going to miss a single chance to track his climb from the celebrity gold circuit, back to Yankee Stadium. That's right kiddos. Turn on your local sports station and you're sure to hear how Roger is set to make his debut later this week in Single A ball. Hahaha oh man. When the Yankees suck their fans really start to reach don't they? Call me up when the guy is actually on the mound in a meaningful game, then I'll actually care. I'm not interested in how Roger does against guys that remember him as a Toronto Blue Jay, I wanna see what his old ass actually has when he's facing a tough American League lineup in the middle of a pennant chase. Screw the media circus, and screw the Yankees!

*Paging Todd MacFarlane. Paging Todd MacFarlane. Why am I calling out the comic book pioneer and Spawn creator? Simple, it's because there's an historic baseball to be bought at auction, that's why. Even better, this ball doesn't even exist yet! That's right, Sports Auctions, a Dallas auction house, has already made a standing offer of $1 million to anyone that delivers Barry Bonds 756th home run ball to them. Nice offer guys, but do you seriously think anyone is going to bring you that thing? You tell them you want to buy it for a mil, only to sell it, and you think they're just gonna fork it over? Give the fans some credit here. I understand that selling the ball immediately would free the owner of any grief from the media, but that's not gonna deter anyone from wanting to hold on to it, or just sell it themselves. The auction house could argue they are taking a risk buying the ball for $1 mil, but if they really want me to believe this ball is going to sell for less than that, then they're gonna need to give me two full doses of whatever they give Keith Richards before every Stones concert. Namely lots of H, booze, Marbs and some sort of Red Bull, Pop Rocks and Andrenaline concoction to chase the coke mixed in with the ashes of all my dead relatives. Whoever gets that ball is milking it for all it's worth, and you gotta believe that. Hell, I bet their are guys mapping out those games in order to have a best shot at catchin' the damn thing. So thanks sketchy Texas auction house, but no thanks at the same time. You're not trickin' me out of my millions, not to mention my 15 minutes of fame.

*Coming to a DVD player near you, it's Ken Griffey Jr. in "Get Off My Jock". That's right, this new smash hit has all you'd want in a movie about a fat booze hound, a past his prime legend and of course, his underwear. After being heckled at a game recently, Ken Griffey Jr. told the fan that he "couldn't carry my jock". Pretty standard smack. But then Griffey actually came out and gave the fan one of his used jock straps. Mmmmmmmm, smells like victory. Congrats to you Junior Griff. I'm guessing Griffey read my piece on Vernon Wells last week, and decided to turn the tables on the fans too. Now it's time to go to the next level, predict what will be the next step if you will. If Vernon Wells wrote a fan a message on a ball, and Griff brought out his jock, what's next? I have an idea. Maybe D-Backs outfielder Eric Byrnes can tell the fans to suck his unit, and then next inning walk out with Randy Johnson, stark naked holding nothing but a lollipop. Bet that would shut 'em up. Or at the very least cause them to go blind and begin vomiting like Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

News and Notes
*One minute he's chasing Vicodin with Gatorade, the next he's going back on his word. Apparently, Brett Favre took so many pills, that he can't even get all 5 of his brain cells to agree on what he said. One second, he's saying how pissed he was that the Packer's didn't land Randy Moss, that the Packers could have added him for less than what New England did and how he wants out of Green Bay. The next second, he's saying how he's fine with the way things are in the Cheese State, and he doesn't want to be traded. Right, Brett, whatever you say. Face it, your career is over, and even with Randy Moss, the Packers would have been little more than a team "in the hunt" for a playoff spot. Just shut up and retire already. Your team is beat and you throw more picks than Joe Perry at the end of an Aerosmith show. Go home to Alabama, or Louisiana, or whatever ass backwards hick state your from, and let the true playas handle what goes down in the NFL. Besides, if you don't leave soon, Aaron Rodgers is going to forget why he's there, and wander over to Wisconsin's world famous Testicle Festival. Yup, it was this weekend, and they ate lots and lots of fried animal balls. Apparently, they taste just like meatballs, but to quote Samuel L. in Pulp Fiction "Shit could taste like pumpkin pie, but I'll never know because I never eat the shit." Well put Sammy, but look out for those snakes nigga!

*There are some things that you learn right away in the media business. One example, is that when a colleague tells you something off the air, unless they say otherwise, it was usually said in confidence and isn't meant to be repeated over the airways. Well, apparently someone didn't get that memo to Fox Sports Radio's Chris Landry. After having a convo with former Falcon and current analyst, Ray Buchanan, Landry went on air and proceeded to tell listeners that Ray knew that Mike Vick was having dog fights at his Virginia home. Not only did he know, but Vick was funding the whole operation, and when approached by neighbors at the home, he basically told them to grab Ron Mexico's sex organ and suck. Of course, immediately after the broadcast, Ray came out and said that the information wasn't true, and he never said anything of the kind to Landry. Right. Listen Ray, we all know you said it, but we also know that you probably didn't expect Landry to repeat it. In an industry full of weasels that would rather build their career than any sort of personal relationship, you always have to watch what you say, and who you say it to. Lesson learned Ray. And as for Vick funding the dog fights? Duhhhhh. Call the guy dumb all you want, but anyone letting a cousin use their million dollar home sure as hell knows what's goin' down there, especially if it's rampant dog fighting. Am I really supposed to believe that Vick walked in one day and said "Holy shit! Why the hell are there 50 dogs on my property biting each other and looking hungrier than than a gaggle of Somalians at the local Ponderosa?" Of course he didn't. Mike's down with the dog on dog violence. You know it, I know it, and thanks to Chris Landry's big mouth, now the entire world knows it. Hey Mike, line one is for you, it's Roger Goodell. Just a tip. He's not gonna buy the "oh, we were running a retirement home for dog's that used to be in fights" line, so start thinkin' of somethin' a lot more clever.

*Should you go for the win, or go for the cash? That's the argument everyone is making after Sean O'Hair had a Van de Veldian meltdown this weekend at the Player's Championship, turning a likely first place finish into sole possession of 11th. In case you missed it, O'Hair had second place nailed down until he decided to go for broke (we call it going "Tin Cup") on the famous island green at 17, and hit it in the water......twice! I give the guy credit. He didn't want the pay day, he didn't want the exemptions that come with a finish like that, he wanted the freaking win! So what if it cost him hundreds of thousands (let's call it $500,000 difference from 11th to 2nd). The guy now has experience that few others on the tour have. He was in a pressure spot, and he let it get away from him. No harm there. Next time he's in a situation like that, maybe he'll back away maybe he won't but at least he has a firm grasp on what the consequences of his actions were. In today's sports, where it all seems to be about the money, it's real refreshing to see a guy that's all about winning. Sure the money is great, but they are all out there to win, and no matter how much money you make, you'd much rather have the trophies to back up than being forced to say to people "well I had a shot to win, but I decided to play for the paycheck instead". He's not Greg Norman and he's not Jean Van de Velde. Norman played far too conservative, and Van de Velde far too aggressive with a big lead. O'Hair did what he had to do to win, and he choked. Big deal. I just like that he had the guts to go for the glory, rather than laying back and waiting for that Phat loser to blow it. Good looks by you Captain Bucky O'Hair, and I hope that this experience will one day give you the confidence to seize the moment and finally get that big tour win you've been looking to add to your resume.

*Finally, I'll end with the NBA. The ending of the Suns/Spurs game on Monday night leads to two interesting thoughts. Should Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw be suspended for leaving the bench after Robert Horry hip checked little Stevie Nash? And are the Spurs actually a dirty team? First things first. Yes, both Stoudemire and Diaw should be suspended for the next playoff game. I understand they didn't really get into it with anyone, and that it was initiated 100% by Horry, but leaving the bench is leaving the bench. In the past, commissioner David Stern has always stuck by the rule book, and in this instance it's a no brainer. Amare Stoudemire can say all he wants that he was already on his way to the scorer's table to check in, but that's not fooling anyone. And I could really care less if a cheap shot by Big Shot Rob will ironically cause the two Phoenix stars to miss a crucial game 5, because those guys simply have to know better. If a player can get under your skin that easily, then maybe you flat out don't belong in professional sports to begin with. That being said, are the Spurs a dirty team? Horry's shot was definitely dirty, and we all know the reputation Bruce Bowen is known for, but is that enough? Personally, I don't think so. They don't get more than their fair share of technical and flagrant fouls, and you hardly ever see Spur players involved in fights or brawls. Listen, if Bruce Bowen is so dirty, then why isn't he ever ejected or T'd up? Being in a guys shorts for an entire game is not a violation. Sure, it sounds perverted, but it's not against the rules. Guys get frustrated with Bowen because he D's them up, plain and simple. If the Suns wanna call him dirty, I'm sure he doesn't mind, after all he's just doing his job. This is playoff basketball, and if the Suns want to cry and bitch every time one of their boys takes a hard shot, then maybe they just don't belong. I think it points more to the fact that this is why the Suns can't win. It's not their up and down style that is preventing them for going to the next level, it's their puss'n'boots attitude. If you can't handle the heat (ironic for a team called the Suns), then stay the hell out of the kitchen. And good luck having any shot the rest of the way if you do lose Amare and Boris. Now there's something worth crying over.

Fantasy Update
Last Week: LOSS, 10-12-2 vs Backside Hitters
Overall: 3th place, 15 games back

*It's one thing to lose a close matchup against a solid team. But it is totally not cool that the first place team won this week by a score of 19-1-4. Bea-freaking-utiful. How the hell am I supposed to compete with that?! And I'd say this is what you get for having so many inactive teams in your league, but the kid that lost was actually trying! What a tool. Oh well, it's onto next week. Just don't for a second think that this minor setback has somehow affected my boys. The drive for the tiny trophy is still in full force baby! Eyes on the mother fuckin' prize!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Guess Who's Back?

The Empire Strikes Back!
Excuse me if I don't sound surprised that Roger Clemens announced that he's coming back with the Yankees this season. After all, they are the Yankees and he is Roger Clemens. It is the ultimate match made in heaven. He loves money, and they love spending it. I believe that was made painstakingly clear when the deal was announced to be $4.5 mil a month for the rest of the season (basically they pay the last 4 months of a 1 year/$28 mil contract). Now, with the Rocket back in the picture, how does it change the power structure of the AL East, the American League, or the Majors in general? Here's a look at some important questions moving forward, and of course the answers that only I know. See, you're so lucky you have access to my brilliance.

Q) Why did Roger decide to come back when he did?

A) Gee, that's a tough one, but since I asked it I guess I have to answer it. MONEY. Don't kid yourself if you have any thoughts otherwise. The Astro's were offering $22 mil, the Red Sox $18 mil, and the Yankees $25.5 mil. Hell, to prove even further it was money, Roger didn't even want to take the $25.5 mil! According to reports, Yankee GM Brian Cashman (his name just keeps getting more and more ironic) made an offer to the Hendricks Brothers, Rocket's agents, for a pro-rated deal of $25.5 million. Now, despite having no real leverage with any other team, Randy Hendricks decided to instead ask for $28 mil, where in return, Roger would start getting ready on May 5th, as opposed to two weeks from now. So, why did Roger come back so early? I believe a certain $2.5 million extra dollars had something to do with it. Roger might want to say he's doing it for Steinbrenner, or for Yankee fans, or whatever, but I don't buy it. He couldn't have pleased all those people for $2.5 mil less? I know it's a business, and you have to strike while the iron is hot, just don't try to justify asking for more loot with some other reason. You wanted more money, they gave it to you, and if you win the Series, well that'll be pretty sweet too.

Q) Does adding Roger Clemens immediately make the Yankees a prohibitive favorite?

A) Long answer YES with an "if", short answer NO, with a "but". What do I mean by that? Well, allow me to summarize. YES: Roger will add much needed depth to the starting pitching, and IF the Yanks can keep from going to their bullpen too often, they will be a much better team, and a prohibitive favorite. NO: Of course Roger makes the Yankees a better team, BUT their bullpen is still about as stable as John Daly's hands on day 4 of rehab. Are the Yankees a better team? Duhhhhhhhhhhh, of course they are. But does just adding Clemens immediately make them the favorite to win this thing? Not in my book. And we all know how ill my book is.

Q) Was there ever a chance Roger was going to pitch for the Red Sox in 2007?

A) I gotta say the chances of this one were slim and none...and of course slim just left town. I'm not buying into the fact that Roger still has anger towards the Sox for the way he was treated when he left, because that was a different management group. However, seeing as I don't think this is the last year for Roger, despite turning 45 this season, I wouldn't rule out Roger coming full circle next season and returning to Boston, if he does indeed capture the World Series with New York this year. That's the stipulation. If the Yanks win it all, Roger may yet return to the Fens, but if he doesn't, expect him to hang it up and enter the Hall of Fame as a New York Yankee.
Q) How far will the Yankees go this season?

A) Even if Clemens is the answer at the top of the rotation, the Yankees are still far from where both the fans and the front office wish they were. You have to expect they will make some deals before the deadline to bring in some bull pen help, but if they can't solve that problem, then they could miss the playoffs completely. I know their offense is dank, but there are only so many games you can win 9-7 and 11-9. Simply put, you can't ask your offense to win every game. Then there are injuries. Yankee fans think they've had it bad early this season, but can they actually expect things to get better with a rotation that features 45, 35 and 38 year old guys at the top of it? I know Mussina has already spent time on the DL, and Clemens should be well rested after hitting the buffet and golf circuit all winter, but old guys get hurt, that's just the name of the game. The Yanks are still a force, I just don't see them finishing any better than the Wild Card this season. It has nothing to do with them being 6 back in early May, it's just the future doesn't look nearly as rosie as many would now have you believe. That being said, I picked the Yanks to finish 3rd in the AL East this season, and seeing as they are pretty much in 3rd right now, I'm sticking with my guns. They'll score a lot, they'll cheer a lot for Roger, but unless they can find a bucket of water to throw on that inferno of a bull pen, it's going to be a long summer, and even longer winter in the Bronx.

Q) How many games will Roger win?

A) First off, this isn't the National League. I know Roger was successful last season with Houston, but let's translate those numbers to the American league. Last year, Clemens went 7-6 with a 2.30 ERA in 19 starts for the Astros. Those numbers were against a National League that, as a whole, batted .275 and slugged .446. In contrast, American League hitters hit .260 last season, and slugged at .409. Hmmmm, so maybe those numbers don't support my argument. Eh, screw it. Everyone knows the American League is where all the primo hitters are at, it just so happens that's where most of the primo pitching is too, hence the discrepancy. One main similarity however, is the bull pen of the Yanks as compared to the 'Stros pen of a year ago. He might pitch well enough to win say 75% of his 20 or so starts this year, but you have to think the pen will blow a few since he will only be going 6-7 innings per start. Here's my prediction. In 2007, with the New York Yankees, Roger Clemens will go 9-4 with a 3.31 ERA. Not too shabby for an old dude, but by no means a Messiah.

Q) Does Roger have bigger thighs than Rosie O'Donnell?

A) Yes, yes he does. And perhaps even a bigger ego.

So, there you have it. Roger Clemens is officially back in the battle to save Middle Earth / the Galaxy / the New York Yankees. It's not certain whether the move will spell success, but what is certain, is the move is sure to take some of the lighter fluid from the Yankee pen, and deposit it where it should be, in the greatest rivalry in all of sports.

Red Sox Update

Overall: 20-10

Status: Maybe I don't know nearly as much about the Hispanic culture as I once thought. See, used to be, that no matter what nationality you were, it was considered sketchy as hell to stroke another man's head while embracing him in a hug. On the plus side, you know the Sox are runnin' good when this is the top piece of news in the Nation. On second thought, combine this footage with Don Orsillo's uncontrollable laughter (a classic staple of any NESN game this season thanks to the Rem Dawg), and I think this clip would make the front page if the Sox were 10 games back and Pedro, Schill and Millahhhh were in pin stripes.


Diamonds Are Forever

*As if it weren't enough that the Rocket was landing in the Bronx, the way the Yankees presented Roger to the masses was more a Broadway show than it was baseball game. I mean, I understand the pageantry of the whole thing, and I can even see how having Roger appear and speak from the owners box was meant to lift spirits, but there was one aspect of the entire thing that has me flummoxed. Yankee radio broadcaster, and Newton, MA native, Suzyn Waldman, went absolutely ape-shit when she saw Clemens speaking at the game. Seriously. I can understand being happy and excited over his arrival, but her reaction was redic. I happened to catch clips of the broadcast, and at first I thought I was hearing a recording of Kirsty Ally getting a hot colonic with a Super Soaker. Waldman was so beside herself, that at one point, the only audible sounds coming from her mic were a combination of giggles, panting and possibly some sort of mock orgasm (although it is radio, and you never know where her partner John Sterling's hands were at the time). Now, the last thing I want to do is take a run at someone who survived breast cancer, but even that doesn't hold you from my wrath if you switched allegiance from the Sox to the Yanks. "I climbed on the bandwagon, and I'm not leaving anytime soon." Geesh. I know they sign your paychecks, but come on now. Besides, whether you're a fan or not, you're supposed to have some sort of journalistic integrity aren't you? I never thought I'd say this, but I miss Charlie Steiner in the booth for Yankee games! At least he wasn't shuddering and screaming every time Roger was in his BOX! Ha!

*I gotta give it to my man Vernon Wells of the Toronto Blue Jays. Before you wonder why he's my man, it's because he's ill, and he was the man for my fantasy team last season. What he did this week, however, makes all of that look about as important as which color jumpsuit Paris Hilton is going to wear in prison. During a weekend series with the Rangers, Wells was constantly heckled by fans in the center field bleachers. The fans were telling Wells, that when the Twins were in town, Torii Hunter came and gave them a few balls every inning and that Vernon should do the same. So, after innings of this, not only did Wells bring a ball, but he brought an autographed one at that. Best part is, here's how he signed it.

I hope this will shut you up. Now, let me know what gas station you work at so I can come yell at you while you work. Your favorite center fielder, Vernon Wells

Classic. I'm not sure how he fit all that on a ball exactly, but you gotta love both his sportsmanship, and his sense of humor.

News and Notes
*Ohhhhh, now I remember why boxing is about as popular in the US as free thought is in China. I know I said I was going to watch the Mayweather/De La Hoya fight this weekend, but when it came down to it, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It wasn't the $55 pay-per-view that deterred me though, it was simply lack of motivation. Everything I had read, told me the fight was going to be actionless and without a knock out, and all those people were 100% right. Yesterday, I watched a tape of the fight, and felt as if someone owed me $55. What the hell was that? Oscar De La Hoya thought he won? Floyd Mayweather slap and movin' like Carmelo Anthony? One judge actually scoring the fight for Oscar? What the hell? No big hits, no devastating combos and only a slight judging conspiracy? You call that a boxing match? Jesus. Wake me up when two guys that actually weigh more than I do decide to slug it out for a meaningful title belt, then maybe I'll be interested again. It's too bad too, because this fight really had the chance to revitalize boxing. Instead, all it did was deprive a few kids of meals this week thanks to their degenerate father's, and solidify the common opinion that boxing is as dead as the 4 brain cells left in Riddick Bowe's peanut sized brain. Riddick who? Exactly. Good bye boxing. Make sure to give my regards to cricket and soccer, because the only place people might want to still watch you is across the pond. What a freaking disappointment.

*Seeing as we are reflecting on recent sporting events that haven't been popular since the 50's, I'll take a run at breaking down this weekend's Kentucky Derby. Now, there's an event I can get behind. All horse racing asks of me, is 3 days a year in which I have to watch one race. Even better, their races have the best betting structure! Sure, I may not have won a single dime this year, but where else can you bet a total of $24 and realistically think you have a shot at winning $15 K? Coming down the home stretch, I could even feel the $105 in my pocket from the exacta bet Frosco and I made! Damn you Hard Spun! In all seriousness though, how great is the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown? This year's champ, of course, was Street Sense, who after making the first turn in 19th out of 20, stormed all the way back to take the crown. It's an exciting race to watch, it's fun to bet on and it's pretty tough for it to disappoint. Now, it's onto the Preakness, which is great in itself. Every year, you're guaranteed to have a horse that still has a shot at the Triple Crown, and you're usually faced with a different crew of contenders than in the Derby. My only wish, is that 25 to 1 Derby longshot Dominican is still in the field. You owe me one Dominican! You owe me one! Make sure to check back here before the Preakness so I can give you all the bets that you should totally steer clear of.
Fantasy Update
Last Week: WON, 15-6-3 vs Nappy Headed Hoes!
Overall: 3rd place, 5 games back

*Each week it becomes more and more evident that there are more tards in this league than at your standard Life Goes On autograph signing. However, I have taken it upon myself to provide motivation in the face of idiocy. NO, it's not money, and NO, it's not pride. I am desperately going to try for a top 3 finish in this league for one reason and one reason only....So I can have a tiny little trophy in the display case in my Yahoo! Fantasy Sports profile. The sad truth is, that since starting my profile in 2004, I have only one first place finish (my first baseball league), and one 3rd place finish (the whackest fantasy football league ever that changed scoring 3 weeks into it). It's truly pathetic. And, if I'm going to keep doing these things, I might as well win, right? It's one thing when you lose to a league of guys trying to beat you. But, when your competition is a bunch of FRAUDS that haven't given the league much of a second though, then it will be quite loser of me if I don't at least crack the top 3. Give me a tiny little trophy, or give me death!