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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

2007 NBA Mock Draft

2007 NBA Mock Draft
I know what your thinkin', and you're totally just in thinking so. Why on earth would I, one of the world's most prominent and effective NBA bashers, lead off my column with the NBA Draft? Well, quite frankly, I like drafts. Even better, I love college hoops, and now that the draft has reverted to being mostly college kids again, I think I have a better handle on which players will fill needs for certain teams. That being said, I laid out this year's lottery, and not factoring in trades, I made the picks for each team, one to fourteen. So check out my draft, and keep in mind while you're reading, that these are the picks that make and break a franchise for years to come. You draft Joe Forte and Ron Mercer, and you get decades of losing, you draft Tim Duncan....and well....you get my point. Read On!

1. Portland Trailblazers - C Greg Oden, Ohio St.
*Durant may actually be more "talented", but I'm still pretty sure that Greg Oden is a lot "taller". He's the franchise big man that leaves GM's drooling, and even though Portland drafted a center last year (LeMarcus Aldridge), they can't possibly pass on Oden here. Need I remind you that these are the same Blazers that passed on Michael Jordan to draft big man Sam Bowie? Taking the big man shouldn't be a mistake here, even though Oden may already look ready to slap on some white shoes, white pants, and begin collecting retirement checks.

2. Seattle Sonics (they aren't "Super" anymore) - F Kevin Durant, Texas
*When the best scorer in the draft falls to you at #2, you can't really complain. Durant has all the game you could possibly want in a 19 year old rookie, and judging by his frame, he's only going to get bigger and better. Seattle is much more in need of a big man like Oden than Portland is, but they'll be more than happy than have Durant serve as their franchise building block for the next 5-10 years.

3. Atlanta Hawks - F Al Horford, Florida
*I'm actually of the opinion that last year's pick, Shelden Williams, isn't a bust and will mature into a solid player. That being said, I still think Horford is the pick here. It's obvious that part of Atlanta's plan is to stockpile young talent, and this would be a nice step in that direction. Not to mention he's a great player, with probably the best low post scoring ability in the draft. He's not really a fit in Atlanta, but with Mike Conley Jr. looking like a slight reach here, it's the best play.

4. Memphis Grizzlies - F Corey Brewer, Florida
*During last year's mock draft, I said that while they weren't in the top few picks, Brandon Roy and Randy Foye would have the most impact in the '06-'07 season. Foye was OK in Minnesota and Roy was Rookie of the Year in Portland. Well, if it means anything, I get the same feeling about Corey Brewer in this year's draft. He's got the skill, he's got the length, and he's got the caginess to make things happen for him. Like his teammate Horford before him, he may not totally fit a need in Memphis, but it's too tough to pass on him.

5. Boston Celtics - G Mike Conley Jr., Ohio St.
*Plain and simple. I haven't heard any buzz at all about the Celts drafting Conley, and that's why I'm making him the pick. Out of left field, a trade will come involving Delonte West or Rajon Rondo as secondary pieces, and it will create a spot for the "point guard of the future". It will be fun to watch Danny dodge all his doubters on this one, but if a trade can be moved to add a veteran role player, and room made for him in the guard rotation, then I'd really like the pick. Conley is a dynamic player, very much in the Tony Parker mold. And while he's never played on a team without Greg Oden in his entire life, what he did at OSU while Oden was hurt was enough to show he's got the skills to make it in the league as a big time point. (any selection of a large Asian, gap toothed Gator, or Austin Ainge, will result in hysterical commentary by me....so stay tuned)

6. Milwaukee Bucks - F Al Thornton, Florida St.
*Ask anyone who watched Florida St. last season, and they'll tell you their best player wasn't Al Thornton, but Tim Pickett. Too bad for Pickett he's shaped like Khalid El Amin, and old enough to be Greg Oden's oldest son. God news for Thornton, is that much like teammate Anthony Johnson last year, he's managed to catapult his draft stock through great workouts. At 6'7" and about 240 pounds, Thornton is an athletic freak, who has the ability to get to the rim and finish, as well as the post moves out to 10-12 feet. The Bucks could really use a nice guard to throw into their rotation, but unless they can trade out of this spot, I don't see them passing on Thornton. He'll be a good compliment to Andrew Bogut (remember him?) for years to come.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves
(they haven't cut the "timber"...yet) - F Jeff Green, Georgetown
*Jeff Green is just a notch below the "Corey Brewer/Brandon Roy/Randy Foye" category. He's got the all around game to play in the pros, and most importantly, he can defend. The intriguing question with Green, is how his offensive game can develop outside of Georgetown's Princeton style offense. In the NBA, he'll be asked to do much more offensively, and it's yet to be proven whether or not he can really handle the scoring load in key situations. I happen to feel he'll adapt nicely, and there's nothing Minnesota could use more right now than solid complimentary players, with or without KG.

8. Charlotte Bobcats - F Yi Jianlian, China
*What is there to say. He's 19 years old, he's got all the raw skills and he's 7 feet tall. The only difference between Yi, Darko Milicic, Fredric Weis and Nikoloz Tskitishvilli, is that he's Asian. But as in any draft, the unknown and the promising upside can be very intriguing. I'm guessing that the "flavor of the month" mentality will ware off by draft day though, and Yi will slip. Not many teams are going to want to wait for this guy, but with their young core in need of a veteran more than another rookie, Charlotte is a good place to land. He'll be able to fly under the radar for a bit, and could eventually turn into a real tandem at forward with Emeka Okafor. Funny note here. Rumors persist that the Chinese government might pull Yi from the draft if he's not chosen by a city with a decent Chinese population. There was even the story that he refused to work out for the Bucks at #6. What, not enough rice in Wisconsin for ya? Dude, I've seen your frame, and some bloody cow chunks and mountains of corn and cheese could do you good. And in Charlotte you could beef up on pulled pork, fried chicken and well...fried anything I reckon! Get some meat on them Communist bones! It would be a shame if China pulled this power move, but they have like 2 billion peeps, so there's not much (nukes) we can do about it (nukes).

9. Chicago Bulls - F Brendan Wright, North Carolina*A lot of people see the Bulls taking Washington big man, Spencer Hawes, with this pick, but I think Wright is a better alternative. He's a more athletic alternative, and will fit nicely right away in a rotation with Ben Wallace and their top pick last year, Tyrus Thomas. Eventually, the Bulls would like to see Wright mature into their center of the future, and he'll be able to step in and provide valuable minutes right away on a playoff team.

10. Sacramento Kings - F Joakim Noah, Florida
*Might look a little low for Noah, but there's plenty of people out there that have him going even lower. Not much lower, mind you, but you better believe his draft stock has taken a huge hit over the past year. With another year to examine his game, scouts are left wondering what exactly it is he does well. One thing he has shown, is a great motor on both the offensive and defensive ends, when he's properly motivated. The Kings will take the gamble that they can inspire Noah to rock it up and down the court on night to night basis, and I'm guessing they'll lose. Still, it's not a terrible pick at #10, and if he does bulk up, and find some offensive game outside of 5 feet, then he could be a two way monster in the mold of a Marcus Camby. (<----V unlikely)

11. Atlanta Hawks - G Rodney Stuckey, Eastern Washington
*They passed on Conley at #3, so they fill the need for a point at #11 with Stuckey. Most people haven't seen much of Stuckey, but the kid is a baller. He's another big guard, in the Jason Kidd/Deron Williams mold, but withe the floor vision and finishing skills more like Chris Paul. I'm not saying he'll be as good as those players, but he does have the skill set as his stats last year as a sophomore (24.6 ppg 4.7 rpg, 5.5 apg) clearly showed. Question is with the guys from the smaller schools, is have they gone up against top notch competition? Well, look no further than all the noise the mid majors make these days in the NCAA tourney for your answer. He's big game tough and tested, and should make for a quality guard with explosive ability in spurts.

12. Philadelphia 76ers - C Spencer Hawes, Washington
*Hawes is a big 7 footer with soft hands, and good rebounding ability, much in the mold of UNC's Tyler Hansbrough. Think of him like a more offensive minded version of Brad Miller, without the great passing ability. He's a legit big man, which is exactly what Philly needs, and if he's still on the board here, I don't see how they can possibly pass. They could gamble on a big guard like Rice's Morris Almond or Georgia Tech's Javaris Crittendon, but cementing a big man in the middle for the next few years will probably prove just too good a prospect to pass up.

13. NO/OK Hornets - G Nick Young, USC
*At 6'6" and 200 pounds, Young is the perfect slashing compliment to the feisty Chris Paul. Young burst onto the scene in PAC 10 play and the Trojans 2nd round upset of Kevin Durant and Texas. Seeing as he didn't want to he shadowed by incoming phenom, OJ Mayo, he opted for the NBA a year early, and may have hurt his stock. Either way, he's a great pick here at 13 based on his ability to score and defend alone. He's a tough minded player, with the physical tools to get up and down in an NBA offense. The Hornets would love a big man at this spot, but after Hawes the crop gets kinda thin, and there isn't anyone really worth gambling on.

14. Los Angeles Clippers - G Javaris Crittendon, Georgia Tech
*With the future health of Shaun Livingston still very much up in the air, Crittendon is an intriguing pick to fill the void. He only spent one year at Tech, to mixed reviews, but he's a big guard at 6'5" that can run the floor and distribute the rock. They'd prefer Conley or Stuckey in this spot, but with my predicted run on young point guards, they won't be around to be had.

There you have it! If these teams chose to listen to me, then they'll be much better served to say the least. Oh, and should I correctly nail the lottery selections in the '07 draft, fresh off the heels of my NBA Finals pre-season prediction coming to fruition, then you best believe I will be crowning myself the ALL KNOWING, ALL HATING, KING OF NBA PREDICTIONS. Believe it!

Red Sox Update

Overall: 48-27, 1st in AL East by 10 games
Status: If you look closely in the distance, you can see them. And if you turn off the TV and the radio, tell everyone around you to shut up, and go stand in the middle of the woods, you might be able to hear them. "Them", in this case, are all those yahoos that were so vocal last summer AGAINST the Josh Beckett/Mike Lowell for Anibal Sanchez/Hanley Ramirez trade. Well how you likin' it now, you chumps? Beckett has been downright filthy this year, improving his record to 11-1 this weekend with an 8 inning, 8 strikeout performance against the San Diego Padres and their ace, Jake Peavy. Thats been his M.O. this year too (and for those too afraid to ever ask, MO stands for modus operandi, latin for "mode of operation". ex. that's his M.O. = "that's what he always does" or "that's how he gets down"....don't you feel smarter now?). Every time the Sox have asked Beckett to take the hill, he's gone out and dominated, lowering his ERA from last year by almost 2 full runs (5.01 to 3.07) and dramatically cutting down on the number of dingers he's allowing to leave the yard (last year 36 homers allowed in 33 starts / this year 5 homers allowed in 14 starts). Anyone that has been watching knows that the difference has been the effectiveness of his curveball, and combining that with his devastating heater, has boosted the young ace from "developing" to full blown Cy Young candidate. Add in Lowell, who was supposedly a salary throw in and is batting .289 with 32 homers and 132 RBI since joining the Sox, and there's no way you can even argue that the Marlins got even close to a fair trade. People were doing back flips and having kittens last year when Sanchez threw that no-hitter, and Ramirez was well on his way to NL Rookie of the Year honors, but now that Sanchez is on the DL in (AAA), and the Sox are 10 games up in the East, people could seem to care less about Hanley. Sure, he still serves as a testament to Theo Epstein's poor judge of talent at shortstop (or any position players for that matter), but I think at this point, everyone is more than willing to trade an All-Star SS for a top of the rotation, Cy Young winner who can solidify your rotation for the next 5-7 years. Hey, I just like to give props where props are due, that way I can rip Theo and his crew for the horrible moves they make, guilt free! (PS - JD Drew sucks)


*And you thought that Bronson Arroyo was going to be the only Red Sox player with an album? Wrong my friends. Coming to a store near you, courtesy of TOSHIBA entertainment, it's "Music From the Mound" with Boston's very own, Daisuke Matsuzaka. Unfortunately, Dice K doesn't sing on the album, as it is only a completion of his favorite Japanese and English songs, but there is one original tune on the disc. The title is called "Giroballs", and the song is said to feature former Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, J. Geils harmonica player Magic Dick (bet he has no trouble with the ladies), and of course a special cameo by NESN's very own, Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo. I haven't heard any of the album, and I don't really plan on listening to any of the songs beside Giroballs, but I would be interested to see which songs the Sox Asian import seems to find inspirational. If anything else, you have to hand it to his marketing people. Products like this one may look really dumb when you find them in a yard sale 20 years later next to a bunch of old silverware, but the guy is one of the most popular athletes in the world, so I say, take advantage. Besides, from what I've learned from movies and TV, Japanese people love crazy shit like this. Well, that....and they apparently have an unhealthy addiction to Japanimation, Dance Dance Revolution, hookers with blonde wigs on, and anything that has to do with 1970's and 1980's America. Rock on Dice K! Rock on!


Diamonds Are Forever
*Baseball lost one of it's true all-time great characters this week, when former big league closer, Rod Beck, passed away at the age of 38. Forget that the guy hadn't been in the league since an '03 comeback with the Padres, or the fact that he was only a 3 time All-Star, this guy was one of the game's greats. His Fumanchu mustache was the shit, he looked like your average beer-leaguer, and he was always more about playing the game, than being above it in anyway. It was the fact that he lived in an RV, in the parking lot of the minor league stadium in Iowa where he was playing, and shot the shit with fans after the game while killing brews and burnin' butts. The guy was pitching well past his prime, purely because he knew how to pitch. Well after he had lost all his velocity on the heater, and all the bite on the ill 6 to 12 curve, he was still getting guys out on pure guile. That's because he knew the game. When people would say he was "letting guys hit it" by tossing his 75 mph junk up there, he would respond by saying he was "making them hit it", exactly where he wanted it go to. Pitching beyond just strikeouts, what a concept. He may have had issues after leaving baseball (two trips to rehab), and I'm sure some ugly rumors or reports will surface regaurding his death, but none of that should even begin to detract from the overall impact this guy had one the game. He was a great guy, a great friend, a great teammate, flat out the shit and he will be sorely missed. R.I.P Rod Beck (1968-2007)

*Hey there Yankees! What's the deal? I thought you guys were all "back in the race" (at 8 back they were saying this, mind you), what the hell happened? No sooner were Bomber fans lining up to take crack at all the pompous members of Red Sox Nation, than the Yanks promptly went 1-6 on their west coast swing, and dropped a cool 11 games back, and into 3rd place in the AL East. What's even worse (or in my case funny), is that through all these ups and downs, the Yanks issues have swung from pitching to hitting and back to pictching and then again to hitting. Right now, it's the offense. In their nine game winning streak, they raked to the tune of 7.8 runs per game, while in their recent 1-5 stretch, they've managed only 3.2 runs per game. If you can't hit, I don't care how many Roger Clemens you got, it just ain't gonna work. Oh and about Clemens, Yankee fans. Stop trying to convince the rest of the world that when he comes in to pitch in relief, that it's somehow beneficial to your team. He's only available because he only went 4 innings his last start, not because he's some super human! Get yer ass in gear here, New York, I want a pennant race, not a pennant cakewalk!

*The White Sox are imploding at an historic rate. And, while I usually couldn't care less (remember "could care less" is wrong, so stop saying it) about such things as an American League Central team eating itself up like ravenous cancer, it turns out I may be able to benefit from the situation after all. Word out of Chicago, is that GM Kenny Williams is fed up with his squad, and just two years removed from a World Series title he's ready to deal off some of his high older, higher salaried players. This may help me, and the Red Sox, because one of the prime candidates to be dealt is left handed hurler, Mark Buehrle, who's contract is up at the end of the year. Many here, in Red Sox Nation, only want Buehrle if his contract can be extended before a deal is done, but I'm just the opposite. While I'm not in favor of giving up our top tier prospects for Buehrle (4-4 3.39 ERA), I wouldn't mind parting with a few decent minor leaguers just to have him for the rest of '07. With Schilling on the shelf for a bit, and 40 years old to boot, Buehrle would serve as great insurance to a staff that's already tops in the AL, and provide an almost unbeatable playoff rotation of Beckett, Schilling, Matsuzaka and Buehrle. That would be devastating, and provided the offense doesn't go into hibernation and Paps and crew continue thei success, it would all but guarantee at least a chance to play for the title in Octoboer. MY one fear with Buerhle, is if he's extended, purely due to the strain that's already been put on his 28 year old arm. Since coming up with the White Sox in 2000, Buehrle has 6 seasons of 200+ innings pitched, and is on pace for another 200+ this year. Some say that's a track record of consistency, and while that's true, I see it more as a sign that he may be ready to begin breaking down. If they want to tack 2 years onto his deal I wouldn't have much issue, but Markie had been asking for 4+ years in negotiations with Chicago, so there's little reason to think he'd settle on half that length. Especially when you know's he'll get 5+ years and close to Barry Zito money on the open market. Oh well, this one might just be getting started, so stay tuned. Juicy, juicy summer baseball trade rumors....gotta love it!


News and Notes
*Of course you know the saying "well, ya learn somethin' new everyday", right? Well, thanks to a recent news flash about the financial situation of track star, and alleged roid freak, Marion Jones, I've managed to double the average man's capability, and learn two things, in one day. First off, I learned that despite my lack of a college degree, my own apartment, my own paid off car, or even a solid stock portfolio, have more money in the bank than former gold medalist and world class sprinter, Marion Jones. That's right, despite her run for about a decade as the premier woman's sprinter ( record 5 medals in '00 games), Jones is claiming in bankruptcy court, that she has a mere 2 G's to her name, and needs assistance in paying off her many creditors. The bank has already foreclosed on her Chapel Hill home (right down the block from the other MJ), and Jones was forced to sell the house she had bought for her mother, in order to pay some of her bills. Dear Lord! It was just a few years ago, that Jones was the pimp of the track circuit, winning medals, setting records, and pocketing sick endorsement dollars. How the hell does she blow cakes like that? Jones herself, says she doesn't know how she raped her cash stash, and that she is just going to try and gather up and rebuild. Rebuild what, exactly? You're too old to run, and you're too ugly to do ads based on you being hot. And you don't know how you lost your cash? How about the fact you've spent more days in court, defending youself against BALCO prosecutors, because you have been repeatedtly accused by those close to you (trainer, husband, ex-husband) of shooting roids! I'm no law expert here, but I was under the impression that this whole "court" thing, wasn't cheap! Maybe it's me, but it never appeared to me that Johnnie Cochrane was makin' "just enough to get by" in those silk suits and Bentley convertibles. Maybe, Marion, if you hadn't gotten mixed up with the BALCO Roid Factory, you wouldn't be ordering Matthew Lesko's scam book as we speak to save your financially crippled ass. I hate to seem like I am reveling in someone elses financial agony, but when a celebrity manages to blow so much cash in such a short period of time, I can't help but at least be in some sort of comical awe. Damn Marion. Just make sure next time you have millions of dollars, you keep some of it in the bank, instead of filling your swimming pool with it and inviting over all your childhood friends from the ghetto for "a swim". And for those of you paying attention enough to realize I said I learned "two" new things, but only told you one, good for you. It not only shows that you're intelligent, it shows you have the passion and desire for true sports knowlegde that you are willing to follow me to the ends of the earth for the truth! Yea, something like that. Well, wait no longer. The second thing I learned today, from Marion Jones, was that just because you do steroids, doesn't mean you're going to be rich. Oh wait, I learned that in high school....and I already know about 15 people that prove that point to me perfectly. OK, so I only learned one thing....but I managed to remember something else that I had apparently forgotten....so joke's still on you!

*It seems that Chauncey Billups is looking to get paid, as hes opted out of the final year of his contract with the Detroit Pistons. All I got for ya here is, why can't the Celtics get players like this!?! I'll admit I wasn't a fan of drafting Billups as a soph out of Colorado at #3 (thank Ricky Pitino for that one), but I also wasn't a fan of running his crooked haired ass out of town just 51 games into his Celtic tenure. Oh well. You can never say what would have happened if he had stayed, it's just a shame to see how good he did become. I mean he's no Waltaahhhh McCahhhhhty, but rumor is he can run a little bit at the point. And wouldn't you know it, the Celts are in dire need of a veteran PG. What a world.

*On that note, the latest news on the Celtics trade front, has them involved in a deal with Kevin Garnett after all. This deal doesn't send KG to the C's (a destination you still shouldn't rule out for him), but to the Lakers, in a 4 way deal involving the Wolves, Celtics, Lakers, and Pacers. The key principles involved would be KG to the Lakers, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum to Indiana, Al Jefferson and the #5 pick to Minnesota, and Jermaine O'Neal to the Celtics. Boooooo to this deal! I don't want Jermaine O'Neal, dammit! And I certainly don't want the CElts to help facilitate a deal in which they get probably the third best deal. Not to mention, they would help in forming another Western Conference power in Los Angeles, and would be inviting a 20 year old 7 footer to join their conference with Bynum in Indiana. Oh well, the grosser the deal, the more likely it is that the Mormon pulls the trigger. Can you say, Raef LaFrentz and Jiri Welsh? (OK maybe you can't say those names...so what I meant was "Can you say, Danny Ainge sucks giant baboon testicles covered in elephant dung and fire ants?...hope that helped clarify what I meant)


*So much for Tank Johnson's "from Suge Knight to Rueben Studdard" campaign. The oft troubled Bears defensive tackle, who was already suspended for the season's first 8 games after serving jail time for gun chrages, ran afoul with the law again, and has officially been cut loose. After being pulled over in the early hours in Arizona this week, Johnson was charged with speeding and "suspicion of impairment". Bears GM Jerry Angelo took about 5 seconds after hearing the news to waive his ass, and even came out and said the team was "upset and embarassed" and that through his actions Johson had "comprosmised the credibility of our organization". You're damn straight, Jerry, and good for you. The guys talent doesn't even come close to out weighing the liability he is to your business. The fewer guys on your team that you're in constant fear that they're gonna end up in the pokey, the better. You know this isn't the last we've heard from Tank, though. He's too talented to stay away, especially at just 25 years old. I don't care how power crazy Sherrif Goodell has become, some team will take a flier on Johnson once he gets his life in order. Now, it's on him to make that happen. Sell the guns, ditch the booze and narcotics, and get your large anus in gear. You have a few years to capitalize on your talent and make millions of dollars, and if you don't change your lifestyle with the quickness, you'll be left to a career as a professional bodyguard, mixed marshal arts reject, or being a stunt double in the movie incarnation of MTV's Rob & Big.

*You tell me what's weirder here. 1) The fact that Kenny "Me first" Anderson is now a coach in the CBA or 2) the team that he coaches is called the Atlanta Crunk? I'm all for capitalizing on local culture, in this case the popularity of the Atlanta hip hop scene, but this is just sketchy. What's next? Michael Jordan coaching the Las Vegas Gamblers, or how about Magic Johnson coaching the SoCal MILF Hunters? What a shady, shady league. And you know some white dude was the one that said "how about we call the team the Crunk, or some other lyric from a popular artist like 50 cents or Timberland?" Leave the rappin' to the rappers, fellas, and when in doubt, just name the team the Wildcats or Tigers. Seems to work for everyone else.

Fantasy Update

Last Week: LOST 9-12-3 vs Dice K 4 Cy Young #1
Overall: 3rd place, 35 games back (143-123-22, .535)

*I'm still amazed that my team isn't getting clobbered on a regular basis, so I'm just giving up trying to figure it out. I mean my team hit .249, only managed 2 dingers all week and slugged a puny .325. Better yet, my pitching staff was more like a bunch of SUNOCO attendants, managing a 5.00 ERA, and walking 19 over just 45 inning (3+ walks per 9 innings). Stiil, despite my team's own inability to get out of their own way, I barely lost this week. And while my grip on 3rd has become ever so tenuous at just half a game, I still feel very confident that my boys game turn it around, and get me that tiny virtual trophy I so crave. (for those still not in the know, it's a tiny trophy they put in your Yahoo! profile if you finish in the top 3 in your league. Also, that little man that often appears at the end of blog, is also on the page where the tiny trophies are displayed. Feel free to refer to him as Mini Rooch, Minister Ram Jam, Elvis "Tiny Trophy" DiMarco or Straight Pimps McGee.)

Friday, June 22, 2007

You Can't Handle The Truth!?

BEANTOWN'S BIG TICKET?
Every Boston sports fan with a pulse has been on red alert since hearing the news that the C's might be working a deal to bring Kevin Garnett to the Hub to team up with Paul Pierce. I know Garnett is saying he doesn't want to go to Boston, and has basically squashed the deal already, but Danny Ainge and captain Paul Pierce really need to convince this guy to change his mind, and come to the Bean. How amazing would that be? The Truth, and the Big Ticket, would be on the same squad, surrounded by some decent role players, in a conference that is still ripe for the taking. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is the ideal situation for the Celtics to be in, but I do think it's a move that will symbolize Danny Ainge actually putting his long term strategy into motion. All along, Ainge has said he wants to stockpile young talent, keep some of it, and deal some of it away for veteran role players. Well, he's whiffed on a bunch of his picks, and even the good ones are still a year or two away from coming of age, so he's decided to cash in his biggest chip right now, and try to capitalize on the final years of Paul Pierce's career. Those chips in this case are Al Jefferson, and the #5 overall pick in next week's draft. There's more to the proposed deal, but that's the meat of it.

It totally works for the T-Wolves, who can get younger in a hurry and begin life post-Garnett with a talented big man and some room to add pieces around him. GM Kevin McHale might not want to look like he's doing any favors for his former team, but fuck it, that's just public perception. Just because he played for the Celts, played with Danny Ainge, and would probably love nothing more than to be a part of pulling the once proud franchise out of the doldrums, doesn't mean he's screwing over the Wolves. Wait a minute....Besides, Forbes Magazine said he was the best GM in sports, so you gotta trust him, right?......Right?

More importantly, the deal can totally work for the Celtics, if the players left behind are able to support Garnett and Pierce. They still have point guard issues, and with the health of Tony Allen in question, they still don't have anyone even close to being a lockdown defender. Those are weaknesses, but they are weaknesses that can probably be overcame, until of course the Eastern Conference and possibly NBA Finals. It's all about adding the glue guys. You know, the Bruce Bowens', the Robert Horrys', the Steve Kerrs' of the world. Danny and Glen Rivers MD will have the star power, they'll just need to find the right complimentary parts. They'll have about 2-3 years to get those pieces in place, or we'll all be sitting here having this same discussion in another 8 years, when at this rate, Brian Scalabrine will be the GM, and Mahmoud Abdul Rauf will be the head coach. And oh what a beautiful time that will be.

With any big deal like this, however, there are inherent expectations. If this trade goes through, and the Green fail to secure at least a #5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs next year, heads will be rolling down Boylston Street faster than a greased up Kenyan on a rainy Patriots Day. With great power, comes great responsibility...or so says some insect wannabe in a red unitard, right?. Get it done, Danny, and keep the moves comin'. It gives the team a fighting chance to be an immediate Eastern Conference contender, and keeps them there for the next 3-4 years. Pull the trigger you impotent Mormon. The "future" was 3 years ago, it's time to make shit happen, and the faster the better. (disclaimer: I'm almost 100% positive that if the Celtics do land Kevin Garnett, that either he or Pierce will go down in the first few weeks with a season ending injury....sorry)

*And who knows. Maybe KG doesn't want to play with Pierce after he saw how shabbily #34 treated Mini Me during a recent encounter in Beverly Hills. Check it out, and make sure you hang around for the best moment at the end, involving a Mexican line cook that loves famous midgets! (courtesy of tmz.com) http://www.tmz.com/2007/06/21/verne-burned-dont-call-me-mini-me/

Red Sox Update
Overall:
46-25, 1st place in AL East by 10.5 games
Status: Again. Just because David Jonathan Drew hits a homerun, does not mean that I am a complete imbecile. Now, if you already think I'm one, that's one thing. But to hinge my credibility on each one of his at bats is not only laughable, it's beginning to become flat out enjoyable. Why? Well sure he hit that dinger to lead the romp against the Braves, but then within 30 minutes, he's been removed from the game for "precautionary" measures. Isn't that game right there Drew in a nutshell? Flashes of brilliance, brought back down to earth by durability and consistency issues. I've been enjoying watching him waffle so much, I've even come up with a new nickname for him, FRAUDZILLA. I'm not sure why it works, exactly, but you know it does, so don't even question it. As for some guys that actually contribute to this team's success, Coke Ho Crisp has been absolutely on fire at the plate (12/23 3 HR 5 RBI last week), and has continued to consistently deliver big defensive plays as well. The grabs where he seems to cover a half a mile in 2 seconds, and ends up parallel to the earth, are almost becoming routine, and more than make up for his lackluster arm. A lot of people had already written Crisp off, and were sternly fixed on minor leaguer Jacoby Ellsbury (.279, 0 HR, 13 2B, 19 SB in (AAA) Pawtucket) as the center fielder of the future, but maybe now that he's finally healthy, and in a less pressure spot in the lineup, CoCo can finally begin to thrive. I'm not saying he's where he needs to be, yet, but you have to admit it appears as though he may be turning the corner. So Crisp is hitting, Manny's hitting, Ortiz is hitting, and fine, even Drewchbag is hitting a little bit. Looks good. I don't care if Schilling's arm falls off (although I surely hope he recovers fully from whatever is wrong with him during his stint on the 15 day DL), with an offense like this clicking on most of it's cylinders, you could throw me on the mound and prolly walk away a winner. Hey, I used to be an ill pitcher, just ask me. Sidearm bitches!

*Oh and Yankee fans, I'm still listening if you want to tell me about how Roger Clemens is "rounding into form". 4 1/3 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs, 6 K's against....the Rockies. Hey, I think he'll get better too, but I don't wanna hear how this was what we would have expected. But Rocket aside, the offense could use a kick in the ane as well. Five runs in a 3 game set at Coors Field? I don't care who's on the bump when your only getting 1.6 runs per game. Truly pathetic. Make it a race already, you insolent bastards!

Diamonds Are Forever
*Joe Girardi is a smart guy. I told you earlier in the week that the Orioles were a mess, and good ole Joe must have been reading. They made it known that he was their number one candidate, they brought him in, and he simply said thanks but no thanks. Rough. Now, on top of sucking, your fans know for a fact that a dude would rather work as a broadcaster than try to coach that pathetic excuse of a baseball team. What a disaster. Anyone else just counting the days until the O's hire Dusty Baker? You just know it's gonna be a bad hire, so why not just go all the way, right? Thank you Baltimore, for at least making your managerial implosion exciting enough to temporarily distract us from the Double (AA) product you're putting on the field.

*Everyone and their brother has told me that I am naive and downright ignorant to think that Jason Giambi is gonna spill the beans to Senator George Mitchell and his steroids investigation committee. Well, hello? I believe it's called me going out on a limb, and perhaps a little of me predicting events I'd like to be played out in a future movie. Possibly starring Mike Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, Donnie Brasco) as Giambi, or maybe even George Burns' corpse, reeking of cigars and hooker sweat, as a young Bud Selig? I just wanna see some fireworks here people! Where's you're passion for media shit storms, anyway? Bring it all on I say. Name names, dammit! Squeal like the freaking rat you are! Then we'll see who's naive and ignorant then, won't we? (note: I'd bet against everything I just said right there actually happening...that is, if I were a betting man)

*I never thought I'd ever say this about an oil tycoon Republican from Texas, but Rangers owner Tom Hicks is flat out the man (evident by his huffin' down that hot dog with a vengeance). When asked about what he thought his biggest mistake as team owner was, Hicks decided to blast ex slugger Juan Gonzalez with this shot: "Juan Gonzalez, for $24 million, after he came off steroids probably...we just gave that money away". Wow, what's not to love there? If I'm not mistaken, he's basically saying he wished Gonzo stayed on the needle isn't he? I mean, you have to think, knowing what we know now, that Hicks and the Rangers were very aware before they signed Gonzalez whether or not he was pokin' needles into his ass didn't they? I guarantee Hicks would have much rather Juan Gone stayed on the roids, and hit more than 32 home runs for that $24 millstein. However, Tommy Boy, until you have some actual evidence, it's prolly best you just keep to yourself. Remember, Jason Giambi thinks you too, as an owner, should apologize, so don't go pointing fingers. You knew what you were getting in Gonzalez, you gambled, and you lost. Don't be bitter. Just go drill up some more oil, and continue to blow your billions son sports teams, houses, vacations to Myanmar and possibly swimming in a vault filled with coins (or more realistically bills), a la Scrooge McDuck. (And don't even get me started on why Donald Duck has no pants, yet he wears a towel when he's getting out of the shower. Some mysteries are better left unsolved.)

*Ironically, another alleged ex-roider, and current Texas Ranger, Sammy Sosa, hit his 600th career homerun this week. Hell, Sosa even managed to do it against the Chicago Cubs, the team with which he swatted 545 of his career 600 dingers, and had left with harsh words and burned bridges. The one time golden boy of the MLB post-strike renaissance, who shriveled up like a prune both on the field and in front of Congress, returned to take center stage, and try to recapture at least a little bit of the magic he once brought to the game. Problem is, Sammy, we're not as dumb as you think we are. We haven't forgotten that when asked about steroids you "no habla Ingles", and how you cowardly backed down when challenged by SI's Rick Reilly to take a piss test on the spot. A lot like Bonds, we have no proof, we just have our eyes. Oh wait, and a corked bat. So you can even play the "well, he cheated before" card if you want. So in light of this milestone, there are sure to be the usual questions. Like, is Sosa worthy of the Hall of Fame? And if so, will he get in his first time on the ballot? Well, you know I have the answer. Plain and simple, based on statistics, Sosa should get in on the first ballot, but he won't. If Big Mac didn't, then neither will Sosa. You can decide for yourself if it's a case of guilt by association or not, but that's just the way it is. These baseball writers are weird like that. They talk about how selective the selection committee is, but they are always voting guys in who were on the ballot for several years. Well, were they Hall of Famers or not? How does a guy become more or less worthy in a time period where he isn't even playing? Mind boggling. So, based on past voting trends, Sosa will more than likely have to wait until his second year of eligibility to get in. Voters will view his exclusion the first time as sending some kind of "message", but that's just those pencil pushers trying to puff their chests out. Fact is, he's going in eventually, like it or not. His numbers are too damn good (only player with 3 60 homer seasons), and there's no physical evidence that he cheated (our eyes aren't proof enough I guess). If MLB wanted to keep roiders that no habla ingles out of the Hall, they would have dealt with the rampant steroid problem in their sport about a decade ago. For now, just eat the humble pie, accept the guy as a Hall of Famer, and just never forget how he was able to achieve such numbers. He'll serve as a reminder to a tainted age, a time where Barroid the Great ruled the throne and Bud Selig served to his every need.

News and Notes
*Problem: A husky, chain smoking, former caddy just won the most prestigious title your sport has to offer. Solution: Immediately begin steroids testing! You have to think that was at least part of the thought process of tour commish, Tim Finchem, who in the past had resisted attempts to install a drug policy on the worlds largest golf tour. Personally, I was surprised to find out there was no drug testing already in place, and laud the implementation of such a policy. I understand that most golfers idea of a workout is pounding Michelob's after a long day of riding in cart, but with Tiger setting the bar athletically, the shape of the average golfer is bound to continue to morph. Last thing we need, is a father genetically enhancing his young kid (Michelle Wie), turning him into a dude (Michelle Wie), and attempting to take the ladies tour by storm with the Ivan Drago of the Red Tees (Michelle Wie). Way to nip steroids in the bud, PGA Tour. Now all you have to work on is incorporating half naked cheerleaders, loud arena style music, and get a few more of your players on the police blotter (I know Daly, you're doin' your part), and maybe people will start watching on days when Elderick Woods isn't romping to yet another title, or Phat Mickelboobs isn't choking away those same titles. PGA Tour: No Roids? No Problem!

*For the record, "news" would be if Pacman Jones was spotted handing out grilled cheese's to crackheads at the local shelter, not when he allegedly bites a bouncer at a strip club in the ankle and then proceeds to smack a stripper in the face a few times. When it happens all the time, it ceases to be relevant. Adam Jones is obviously addicted to strippers, guns, and staying up until 5 in the izzim, after he told Commissioner Goodell that he was imposing a midnight curfew on himself. He's a real smart guy. And I expect nothing more, than for him to continue doing real smart things, and to continue seeing really positive results. I hope for your sake, you finished your degree in NASCAR with a minor in Moonshining, while at West Virginia, cuz Lord knows you're gonna have to start mixin' batches of meth for a living after you come out of prison, and are no longer able to play. Watch yer corn hole buddy...

*I heard a rumor the Boston Bruins hired a new coach. If anyone can either confirm or deny that the Bruins still play, and have possibly hired a new coach, then I'd love to hear about it. And by "love to hear about it", I obviously mean, if you bring up hockey in my presence, be prepared to have all of your moral and/or social values attacked. And I'm a verbal assault artist, so make sure and chose your words wisely. All I know is the last time I checked, the coach looked like Hitler's bastard son, and the team was losing 4-0 late in the third to cast of Lord of the Rings on ice. Frodo makes a glove save and a beauty!...A glove save!....and a beauty!


*How funny is it, that I successfully predicted the NBA Finals matchup, and it's winner, but didn't even think to brag about it my next post after the Finals ended. I rarely miss opportunities like that, and can only attribute the mistake to the fact that the Finals were about as entertaining as the blooper reel from "Yo Momma: Salt Lake City". Still, I am the man, and I have nobody to thank but myself. So props to me, and until one of you start making your predictions known in writing, I'm still the king, and you are all still the jesters and serfs that serve me my goblets full of delicious ale, and a meaty bone the size of a small motorcycle. Make it snappy! And don't be stingy with the wenches either!

*We can all take one giant sigh of relief....Takeru Kobayashi is officially in this years Nathan's hot dog eating contest on the 4th of July in Coney Island, New York. Kobayashi, the former world record holder, had been MIA since the breaking of his record by American, Joey Chestnut, coincided with the death of his mother. The ex champ has come out of hiding, though, and made it very clear that he means business when it comes to regaining his title. Takeru bested his own world record last year at the Nathan's event with 53.75 , but Chestnut recently smashed it, eating 59 hot dogs in 12 minutes at a qualifier in Las Vegas. If Kobayshi is in top form come the 4th, this could be a showdown of epic proportions. It's like the Ali-Frazier, Magic-Bird, or perhaps Agassi-Chang of it's time. And of course, it's the rapid intake of the world's most delicious hot dogs. Do it for America Chestnut! If we're gonna be the fattest country in the world, we might as well show it off!

*Last thing for the week. I try whenever I can, to supply you gangstas with a quality video to help get you through the benality that is your life. So this week, I'm gonna stick with my theme of Will Ferrell SNL skits that make me urinate myself. Crank it up, fuckers!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Duck Gets Knocked Up!

SMOKED BY AN ANGEL
I love me some Tiger Woods, there's no doubt about that. But seeing as Tiger didn't win the US Open this weekend in Shittsburgh, there isn't a guy I would have rather seen walk away with the trophy than Argentina's very own, Angel Cabrera. I mean what's not to love about this dude? His nickname is "the Duck", he smokes more butts than DeNiro in Casino, and he worked his way from local country club caddy to US Open champion with no coach, no trainer....basically no freaking help at all! Matter of fact, Cabrera said that while the other guys on tour have head doctors and swing doctors to help them with their game, he's got good 'ole nicotine to calm him down or to set him straight. That a boy! And while Cabrera might not be a household name to fans in the US, or even a regular contender in major tournaments, it's not a total shock that he came away with the title due to his competitive nature. When the course is as difficult as Oakmont was, it almost takes the advantage away from the top players. Think about it. The top guys in the world got that way by shaping their game around mastering the courses on the PGA Tour schedule, and every year, the US Open is unlike any course the players see. So when they say Open, they ain't kidding. So, since it was there for the taking, why not the aggressive Argentinian? While players like Woods and Furyk were aiming at the center of greens, Cabrera was shooting for the flag sticks. Sure, it cost him a few bogeys on his way in, but it was also the strategy that gave him two rounds under par this week, when nobody else had more than one (and the entire tourney had 8 total rounds shot under par).

That's also why I don't think it's fair to say Tiger choked the Open title away. All the way through his final round, Tiger had to think that most of the inexperienced and flat out not as skilled players would come back to the pack. Especially Cabrera, who was taking so many chances. Then, all of a sudden, Woods finds himself one shot down, with three holes to play, and no real chances left to take. Once he failed to get up and down from the bunker on 17 for a lead tying birdie, you knew he'd blown his only chance. His putter never got hot, and it cost him. So no, he didn't choke in that final round, he just didn't have command of his entire game, and it cost him his 13th major title. I laugh at the guys that say Tiger has lost his edge because of his consecutive 2nd place finishes in majors, because they're just trying to stir up some bull shit. He's still the mack daddy pimp of the PGA, and he will be until he decides to retire, with the record for career majors well in hand.

This isn't about Tiger though, for once, it's about Cabrera. He's the new "Everyman" in golf, at least for a few months, so let's enjoy him. In a day and age where everyone is so serious in the game, it's great to see such a jolly man take home the crown. Now all we need is for John Daly to stop harassing/trying to stab his wife, and maybe we can get these two in some sort of buffet/golf/cig smokin' triathlon. Can you say Pay-Per-Puff? Lord knows I can!
Red Sox Update
Overall: 44-25, 1st place in AL East by 8 games
Status: Who would have thought the new found JD Drew bandwagon would have had a shorter shelf life than OK Soda? Kidding, kidding. Even though I could lay into Drew for continuing to struggle, he is batting .292 this month (although only .269 since that 7 RBI game on June 8th). Nah, these days my beef is with head coach Tito Francona, for moving Drew to #1 in the batting order! I know that the offense has been scuffling of late, but how is putting Drew in the one hole the answer? I'll admit, the offense does need to pick it up (3.6 runs per game in last 13 games), but that's mostly because guys like Drew and Lugo are clogging it up. So, while moving Lugo to 9th was a help, he was replaced with Drew, which is like replacing Curly with Shepp. I understand that everyone is still convinced that Drew is gonna start to hit, and how he's always been an On Base Percentage machine, but if he's not actually doing any of these things it's just a good "idea" and not a good "decision". I can't say I have a great solution to the Sox lead off problems, I just know that it would have prolly been better left alone than tinkered with in this fashion. If the boys in the middle can start to crank out the runs, none of this is gonna matter anyway, and with Manny really startin' to swing a hot bat, I think a lot of these issues will just work themselves out. Winnin' and scorin' runs tends to take care of stupid shit like an idiot leadoff man.

*And no, I'm not even gonna start with how Curt thinks he sucks now. Just because he had his first outing without a strikeout since 1993, and got knocked around a little by the Bravos, doesn't mean the world is coming to an end. If you want access to the drama queen's brain, feel free to check it out @ http://www.38pitches.com/

Diamonds Are Forever
*Dare I say it, but it looks like George Mitchell and Major League Baseball may be close to getting somewhere with their steroid investigation. The word on the street, is that Jason Giambi has gone Henry Hill/Sammy the Bull, and has "worked a deal out" to cooperate with the Mitchell investigation. I'm tellin' ya, this guy is about to sing like the roided out canary that he is. His comments to the media earlier this year about how everyone needed to apologize for steroids, was just the first chink in his armor. This shit is eating at him. Unlike Barroid, his integrity and his conscience might have actually gotten to him and he wants to come clean? We'll have to wait and see what he says, but this could turn out to be some real shit. All it's gonna take is one RAT to sink this roid inflated ship, and it looks to me like MLB has found their martyr. And yes, he has tribal tats around his rapidly shrinking biceps.

*Baltimore Orioles. Ten years, 5 head coaches. Hmmmm. I'm gonna go ahead and say it's not the coaches. Message to Peter Angelos: Please sell the team, so the Oriole's can be decent competition in the AL East again. Let whoever comes in trade Miguel Tejada, and try to rebuild that once proud franchise, or just get the hell out of the baseball business. You can only blame so many other people, before realizing you're the problem, my man. Hey there Mark Cuban! Screw the Cubs and buy the Orioles! They actually have a nice ball park that's not full of boozed out retards (although Camden Yards is mostly full of Sox fans, oh well).

*Props to Derrek Lee and Chris Young for brawlin' on Saturday afternoon. I'm not really condoning brawling in baseball, or for throwing at guys for that matter, it's just I was so pleased to see baseball players actually throwing punches! After Young tagged Lee with a 2-strike heater, the two had words, which quickly led to a thrown punch by each. Sure, neither connected, but what a sight it was! Lee at 6'6", and Young at 6'10" standing toe to toe and trying to trade blows. Woo! Really gets the blood flowing, doesn't it? My only question is, what the hell were the umpires doing? Don't they know the Cubs love to scrap, or that when two guys that size walk towards each other yelling it usually doesn't end in a game of paddy cake? I'm glad they didn't interfere, but still, shouldn't they be watching the field, rather than chatting it up with the catcher? And at the risk of biting the hand that feeds me, what's up with this sketchy video? Is it me, or does this A)look like it was recorded off of a small Tokyo boy's TV or B)the game was somehow played in 1955, recorded by Marty McFly, and brought back to the future? It's too close a call for me, you be the judge....




News and Notes
*The flat out fact of the matter is, some people have vices, addictions, and habits that they just can't break. For me or you, it could be food, a beverage, or gambling that's got us hooked. But when it comes to Adam "Pac Man" Jones, he can't seem to stop going to strip clubs till 4 AM, making it rain on the stage, and having someone in his entourage empty a few clips or paralyze a security guard or two. Yep, it happened again. Fresh off his suspension by NFL Sheriff Roger Goodell, and Jones' own pledge to clean up his life, "PacYourBags, Man" and his peeps were again involved in another strip bar shootout. Evidence says Pac Man wasn't at the scene at the time of the shooting, this time, but that he was at the club into the mornings wee hours, and he was with the thugs that ended up shooting someones car up. Story goes, P-Money's boys asked a chick "how much for a lap dance", only she wasn't a stripper. I'm sure you can imagine what happened after that, as I know we've all seen Cheaters, Jerry Springer and Cops, so I'll spare the rest. But come on Pac Man! Can't you just pay the strippers to come to your crib? I mean what's your obsession with going to flesh factories with your liquored up, gun totin' homies? Do you just not want to play in the NFL anymore? If you need nonstop sex shows, use the Internet man! Why the hell you think Al Gore created that thing anyway? I understand you have a lot working against you (named after a yellow ball, went to West Virginia, addicted to making it rain), but your talented man, and as fans we want to see your ass on the field! So stay home bro. Mix in a few nights at the movies, or a few dinners with the fam, and stay out of the nudie bars! I figure, if Hugh Heffner can serve his sex addiction without ending up at the police station with his cheeks spread on a weekly basis, then so can you, P-Man. Last thing we want is for you to end up on a leash, with Roger Goodell walkin' your ass to and from the can.

*Hey make room Billy Donovan and Brett Favre, because apparently Kobe Bryant is aching to be a member of your "Flip Flopping Frauds Club". You know, the guys that like to ask for trades, or sign contracts, and then...ooops!...they change their mind! Yeah, apparently none of them were there in grades K-12 and beyond when you were taught every day that the only thing you have is your word, and that when you sign a freaking contract or ask for a freaking trade via various media outlets, you need to stick to it! I don't want to hear about how it's a bargaining ploy either. If you want to make a decision that's going to affect the rest of your life, you should sit down and really, really think it through before opening your big yap. Don't just blurt shit out, and then go back on it, because that makes you a FRAUD. And nobody likes a FRAUD my friends. Matter of fact, the only thing I hate more than a FRAUD, is one that is flip flopping so much, that he's taking up precious headline and column space! So let mew contribute no more, and let these tools keep their thoughts to themselves, and wait for their agents and managers to edit them before they come spewing across the front pages. Stay, go, I don't care.....just do it quietly before I vomit.

Fantasy Update
Last Week: WON, 13-8-3 vs I'm Better Than You
Overall: 3rd place, 32 games back (134-111-19)

*Well, I won another week I should have totally lost, so now I'm just confused and/or weirded out. My team still can't seem to pitch worth a damn, and every time I look up it seems one of my stud outfielders just went 0-for with 3 K's. Guess I shouldn't mess with a good thing? Hmmm, I just don't like the looks of this.

*Stop feeling bad for Tiger Woods for not winning the US Open, because he had a baby! And in honor the the next/first Michelle Wie, (her name is Sam Woods), here's a video treat. It's a deleted scene from the new comedy, Knocked Up and while I haven't seen it, I can only imagine how funny it is if this is what they're leavin' out. Mouth full of Ledger?! Enjoy...


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Journey and Onion Rings?!?

Joke's On Us, America
All I wanted out of the series finale of the Sopranos was an ending. Any ending would have done. Tony in prison, Tony dead, AJ shoots Tony, Tony in witness protection, that half dead Russian finally emerging from the woods and killing Paulie and Tony, Chris coming back from the dead to bang Meadow....OK maybe some of those don't work, but at least they were freaking endings! Instead, show creator David mother bleepin' Chase decides it would be artsy and clever to leave us all with a cliffhanger. An ending that left more people asking if something was wrong with their cable box than the time they turned on their TV and realized Wilmer Valderama was hosting some sort of trash talking smack down. No, I don't want to tell Yo Momma jokes for "straight cash monies", and I don't want to see the show end with no real resolution! Sure, Phil Leotardo's dome got crushed, and some peeps puked, but where was the big bang to pull it altogether? I thought it was coming when AJ was burning in his car, but no dice. Then maybe when Paulie was actin' all shady I thought he was gonna narc them all out, but again no luck. All the shady dudes in the diner at the end? Nothing! Fuck you David Chase. You're so damn lucky the first three seasons of your show were so dank, because basically the last half a decade has sucked some major ass. I see the novelty in ending the series as he did, but it just doesn't fly in my world. I know in real life shit doesn't always come together in the end in a nice little package, but I don't want real life! It's TV man! Gimmie the shootouts, gimmie the double crosses, and for crying out loud, give me some freaking answers! Thanks for nothin' Sopranos. You may have accomplished your goal of having everyone talking the next day, but you failed in actually delivering a truly entertaining ending to what many people consider one of the best series in television history. Of course, I still think Breaking Bonaduce is the gold standard for TV greatness, but I think that might just be me...

Red Sox Update
Overall: 41-21, 1st in AL East by 9.5 games
Status: I'm beginning to sense that all of my criticism and full blown hatred for David Jonathan Drew, has basically made all of my friends rabid Drew supporters. Perhaps it's because I always am spouting how right I am, so they want to shoot me down, but if that's the case I'll just chalk all that up to jealousy. After all, if I weren't me, I know I'd be jealous of my vast array of facts, puns, one-liners, and all around pimpness. But I'm lucky enough, that I am me! Who'd have thunk it? And as the all-knowing, all encompassing brain that is yours truly, all I have to say to all you Drewchbag's out there is this. Suck it! My stance all along has been this. Ideally, I would love for the Sox to thrive, and for Drew to suck. And for a good 55+ games there, everything was just fine. However, I've always maintained, that if the Sox need Drew to deliver in order to win, then I'll be right up front rooting for him to do so. I mean shit, I want the Sox to win more than I want Drew to struggle and ultimately fail. I just think the guy's a prick, I think we overpaid for him, and I think he's a weak minded under achiever that has no chance in hell of making it in this market. Getting 7 RBI's in one game (in a park where he had a career .486 average goin' into the series by the way) and going 8 for 17 in his last 4 games are both good signs that he's coming out of his slump, but by no means is he even close to justifying what he's being paid, or even living up to what he's done in the past. I know the players don't really control how much they make, which is why I'm just as unhappy with Theo Epstein as I am with Drew. It's bringing in guys like Drew has been what's kept this team spinning it's wheels since it's World Series in 2004. It was Theo that pulled the trigger on some great deals to bring us that title, but since, his eye for free agent talent apparently has a scratched cornea. But that's a whole other column all together. The idea here is I don't wanna hear about Drew until he's hitting .280, with 15 dingers, and 55 RBI. Then maybe I'll start to reconsider if he was a good pickup or not. I still won't like the money grubbin' under achiever, but maybe I can learn to respect his game, and appreciate what he's brought to the Sox. Haaaahahaha. Yea right. Even had myself goin' there for a minute. If Drew can pull that shit off, I'm not sure what I'll do. I am however, open to suggestions. Who's got the balls to propose a bet, huh?

Diamonds Are Forever
*I had the good pleasure of producing Roger Clemens' first game in 2007 for 99.7 and 790 The Score on Saturday. And while the Rocket was hurling his 6 innings and 108 pitches against the Pirates, I had the more distinguished pleasure of listening to Yankee broadcaster John Sterling repeat the phrase "Clemens, Pettitte, Wang, Mussina. There aren't going to be any staffs better than that." Geez, jump the gun much? I guess I should have expected that reaction from a guy whose partner, Suzyn Waldman, had feminine joy juice running down the sides of her hosiery when she saw Clemens announce his return at Yankee stadium. I'm not trying to downplay the Rocket's return, but let's take this start for what it was, and try to take from it what we will be seeing from Rog for the rest of the season. First, the positives. Roger was able to throw 108 pitches, which was more than anticipated, and he was able to strike out 7 batters. In addition, from the highlights I've seen, his splitter, the best pitch in his arsenal, seemed to be diving down in the zone and fooling batters just as it has since the mid 80's. All good signs. Now, the not so good news. While giving up 3 runs in 6 innings (4.50 ERA) isn't bad for a first start, giving up 3 runs to the team with the lowest on base percentage in all of baseball (.312) isn't exactly encouraging. Neither is giving up the lead the that same squad, let alone in your home ball park. So to recap. Clemens returned to his home park, against arguably the worst offensive team in baseball, and on 6 days rest, to throw a "pretty good" outing. I'm not saying he's gonna fall flat on his face or anything, I'm just waiting to see more. He basically came back into the perfect situation, and I want to see how this 44 year old reacts after 4 days rest, against good clubs, and on the road. Then maybe I'll start talking about how the Yankees now have a rotation worthy of competing with the Red Sox. Until then, suck on it John Sterling....or at least tell Suzyn Waldman to suck on it for you! I hear she inhales so much meat, they call her the Kobayashi of the locker room, so I like your chances John!


*Reason #4,985 why Ichiro Suzuki is the man. Check this quote out...

"To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to. If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying."

While I can think of safer ways to keep myself from saying something like that, you gotta admire his spirit! I personally would have rather him say it about Philadelphia, but I guess you can't win 'em all.

News and Notes
*I know the Belmont was this weekend (mainly because I lost all my Preakness winnings betting on it!), but the real horse race was naturally between some random horse, and Bengal wide receiver, Chad Johnson. Ocho Cinco is the man, and while maybe he didn't need such a large head start, you gotta love how afterward he was all pumped to take on all sorts of other challenges. This guy is one a of a kind, and in an age where there's so much negative press about athletes, it's great to see a guy that can laugh at himself. What a true entertainer! Matter of fact, I'm inspired by Chad, and I've decided to race a horse myself. No head start for me, though. My race is straight up. I have to run the 100 yard dash faster than Barbaro.....can be squeezed out of the glue tube he's in. Ouch? I got loots on me!




*There was a little matter that came up last week that I wanted to address, but didn't have the time. So, rather than letting you guys off the hook, I've decided to revisit the topic. Besides, I think you'll enjoy it. So, last week it was brought to my attention that a picture was posted on the front page of a Texas newspaper that displayed, by accident of course, Daniel Gibson's cock. Take a look for yourself... (Gibson is #1, and his alleged wang is hangin' out of the right leg of his shorts)

Hope you had a good laugh at that one, because now it's time for me to spoil your fun. As much as I'd like to tell you that we've found the long lost bastard child of Tommy Lee and (insert black female celebrity), it's just not the truth. First off, notice how Gibson is wearing spandex under his game shorts? Well, unless there's a huge hole in those suckers (which if that was his cock I think it might be able to poke through), I don't think it would be too easy for his cock to make it that far out there. The shadows in the picture certainly make it look like Gibson has a 3 foot flaccid man stick, but common sense (spandex) and logic (hugest cock ever!) tell us that it probably just isn't true. Oh, and since the Cavs are busy having their own "meat" handed to them by the Spurs in the NBA Finals, you can consider what I just wrote, my NBA Finals update for this week. Hey there third leg rumors!

*I guess you have to go through all the motions when it comes to the NBA Draft, but watching Joakim Noah speak to reporters after working out for the Celtics just made me laugh. I understand that Ainge and friends need to have all the potential lottery picks in for workouts to cover their asses, but if the C's are actually considering picking Noah with the 5th selection in the draft, then I'll be forced to laugh, then vomit, then continue laughing, then eventually cry....tears of joy of course. Not only does Noah suck, but he's possibly the ugliest bastard not currently riding on a small bus while wearing a helmet. I mean far be it for me to make fun of someone for the way they look, but I just can't stand this guy, so I feel the need to take cheap shots whenever possible. His hair looks like a bad perm, his lips are oddly large, and the gap in his teeth is so large, I'm pretty sure I just saw Al Cowlings slowly drive through them in a white Bronco, followed by several police cruisers. And yea I could mention that the Celts also brought in other top level stars to workout, but that's not nearly as funny, and it doesn't help support my claim that the C's are gonna draft Noah, now does it! I like to make a habit of only using facts that help my argument. That way, I'm always right, but I can also always say "oh but that's not what I said". What a country.

*On a much more positive note, the US Open is this weekend at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. Actually, it should be a more positive note, but thanks to the United States Golf Association, it might look more like your local Muni Open and less like the best golfer's in the world doin' their thang. That's because, every year, the USGA makes sure the rough is longer, the fairways smaller and the greens faster at the US Open than they have been at any course or any tournament in the history of the world. Matter of fact, after practice rounds early in the week, many players are predicting that the winning score could be as high as (+10). Brutal. Now, this wouldn't be the first time that the players have said stuff like that and then the winning score was (-2), but it seems like this is only an issue when it comes to the US Open. Many people think it's actually the goal of the USGA to embarrass players when it comes to the Open, rather than challenge them, and I tend to agree. It's one thing to make "par" a high score, and it's totally another to eliminate birdies and eagles from rounds altogether. One of the ironic things is, that when the Open was last held at Oakmont in 1994, Ernie Els won it in a playoff after finishing 4 rounds at (-1) 279. Sounds challenging enough to me doesn't it? Oh well, hopefully it will still be entertaining, birdie-golf, rather than boring grind it out golf, but one never knows with these things. As usual, my pick is T. Woods. I don't care he missed the cut at the '06 Open (won by Jeff Ogilvy), he's out for blood this time, and there's no denying him!



*And speaking of golf, blood, and entertaining, there's John Daly. Daly showed up at Oakmont this week with scratches on his face, that he claims came from when his wife attacked him. His wife, on the other hand, claims Daly came at her with a knife, and then scratched his face in order to make it look as if he attacked her. WOW. All I go for ya there, is it looks like these two deserve each other, doesn't it? Good luck JD. And we wonder why this guy is always hittin' the sauce like he's tryin' to drown his stomach. Damn.

Fantasy Update
Last Week: WON, 13-11-0 vs chisoxfan4life
Overall: 3rd place, 33.5 games back (121-103-16)

*It may have only been ten days since we've discussed the status of my fantasy squad "Coke Ho Crisp" (formerly known as J.D. Drewchbag), but my team has gone through some major changes in that short time. When it comes to building a baseball team, I find it's always a good strategy to model your team after guys with proven track records of success. So while I admire many general managers in the game today, I've chosen to use the Billy Beane method this year in hopes of attaining that small virtual trophy that I so deeply covet. In the book chronicling the Oakland A's GM, Moneyball, Beane said that when it came to building and evaluating your team, it was best to divide your season into thirds. First third you use as a time to evaluate what you have. Second third you go out and get what you think you need. And in the final third, you play the hand you got, and hope for the best. Well, the first third of my season is over, and I have thrown myself into the trading game with full force to address my team's needs. Through the trading market, and the free agent market, I hoped to bolster my team's power numbers, while at the same time adding speed, batting average, and a top of the rotation pitcher with good strikeout numbers. I feel good about the moves I've made so far, but I'll let you be the judge. Here are the boys I've shipped out, the boys I've shipped in, and the few precious pieces I was able to salvage from the crap shoot that is, the waiver wire. Take a look...

Trades
Out
1B Derek Lee (.332, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 33 runs)
OF Aaron Rowand (.325, 8 HR, 30 RBI, 41 runs)

SP Mark Buehrle (3-3, 3.69 ERA, 52 K's)
RP Bobby Jenks (2-2, 2.59 ERA, 17 saves, 23 K's)
RP Francisco Cordero (0-1, 2.05 ERA, 22 saves, 37 K's)

In
OF Manny Ramirez (.291, 8 HR, 33 RBI)
OF Carlos Beltran (.284, 9 HR, 36 RBI, 9 SB)
OF Juan Pierre (.271, 13 RBI, 34 runs, 19 SB)

SP John Lackey (9-4, 2.60 ERA, 67 K's)
RP Jason Isringhausen (3-0, 1.80 ERA, 14 saves)

*Felt I had to totally revamp my outfield, and I think I did a pretty good job. Added stolen base threats in Beltran and Pierre, and added three guys that have a history of flat out hitting. They may all seem a little on the down side right now, but I don't think predicting that these guys will rebound into their All-Star form is all that big of a jump. With Lackey, I add a top of the line starter to go opposite Doc Halladay, and a pretty big strikeout guy. While I wait for Dontrelle Willis and Jeff Suppan to get into groves, I still have Tom Gorzellany, Oliver Perez and Boof Bonser filling in nicely. I did have to part with two of my stud relievers, but my hope is that I let Cordero go while he was at his peak, and that Isringhausen will be solid enough to keep me from having to deal for another closer. Slight risk, but relievers really only win you one category a week, so it's a risk totally worth taking.

Waiver Wire
C Mike Napoli (.266, 7 HR, 24 RBI)
3B/OF Casey Blake (.276, 9 HR, 32 RBI)
2B Kaz Matsui (.321, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 11 SB)

*All three of these guys have been on fire since I've picked them up, and in the case of Blake and Napoli, they have helped fill major voids on my squad. I know you were all really concerned about my lack of production at third base and catcher, so I just wanted to fill you in, so you can finally get a good night's rest again.

*And if you actually cared enough to read through all the goings on in my fantasy baseball trade-a-palooza, then I feel you should be rewarded. Reap the benefits of your hard work, and don't let me hear you saying I never do anything for you! If I do hear that, I'm flat out gonna cut you....go ahead, try me. Enjoy!