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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Well Allow Me To Retort...


Well, well, well. It's not often that I immediately piggyback posts like this, but then again, it's not often that a sure fire Hall of Famer pouts his way out of town either. So at the risk of making everything else I wrote this week virtually irrelevant, I give you the breakdown of the Manny Ramirez trade, in all it's sketchy glory...


First and foremost (and I know this will make a lot of you feel good inside), I was dead wrong about Manny's future in Boston. And just when I was enjoying my high about being so on the money about Teixeira too. Damn! Part of me said he was gonna stay through this year and next simply because I had always been wrong about him before, but to be completely honest, I was totally shocked when the news came down at 4 yesterday afternoon that he had been dealt. But before I get down to who won, who lost, and why this thing went down, here's the brass tacks of the deal that saw Boston's greatest right handed slugger pack up his act and head to the West Coast...

Boston Gets
OF Jason Bay

29 years old (turns 30 on September 20)

2008 stats: .282 / 22 HR / 64 RBI / 23 2B / 7 SB

Career stats (6 seasons): .281 / 140 HR / 454 RBI / 152 2B / 50 SB

-Bay has done well for himself in a weak Pirate lineup, and should be better protected in Boston. On the flip side of that coin, he was also facing National League pitching, so you're probably better off expecting more or less the production that he's put up while in Pittsburgh. Defensively he should be OK. One plus for Jason is his affordability, as he only makes $7.5 million next year, but he too is a Scott Boras client, which should make him difficult to resign at the end of '09...


Pittsburgh Gets
From Boston
RHP Craig Hansen

24 years old

2008 stats: 1-3 / 2 SV / 30.2 IP / 5.58 ERA

OF Brandon Moss

24 years old

2008 stats: .295 / 2 HR / 11 RBI / 5 2B / 34 games

-These two youngsters are more or less still an enigma to anyone, but should be given a chance to prove themselves in the 'Burgh. A lot of people project Moss as a solid OF in the David Murphy (who went to Texas in the Gagne deal), while Hansen still has the fiery fastball to go along with suspect control. If there's a pitching coach out there that can harness his talent, he could turn out to be the real steal in this deal...

From Los Angeles
3B Andy LaRoche

24 years old

2008 stats: .203 / 2 HR / 11 RBI / 1 2B / 27 games

RHP Bryan Morris

21 years old

Minor Leaguer with an above average fastball and a good curveball. Projected as at best a #3 MLB starter.

-I'd be lying if I said I knew jack about either one of these guys, but prospects are prospects. A team like Pittsburgh can use all the low budget help they can get, and in this deal they got it in spades. You know the saying, throw shit to a wall and hope some of it sticks? Not my favorite strategy, but at this point I think it's a good way to go for a small market, rebuilding job...

Dodgers Get
OF Manny Ramirez

36 years old

2008 stats: .299 / 20 HR / 68 RBI / 22 2B

Career stats: .312 / 510 HR / 1672 RBI / 493 2B

Dodgers also get the $7 million to pay Manny for this season, and the 2 first round picks that will be given to them when they offer Manny arbitration at the end of the season and he declines.

-The Dodgers get the bat they desperately needed, and better yet, they don't need to pay him a dime. Manny's a sure fire Hall of Famer, and while he can be tough to deal with at times, he should be a great addition to that clubhouse as they push for the NL West and beyond...


Soooooo I think it's safe to say I underestimated how badly Theo and the Trio wanted to get rid of Manny, huh? I mean, they basically gave this guy away, didn't they? No knock intended against Jason Bay, who's a fine player in his own rite, but adding Hansen, Moss and paying the rest of Manny's '08 salary? WOW. The more I think about it, the more I have to assume that the front office felt Manny was holding the entire team hostage. They had to think he was gonna be pulling himself in and out of the lineup, faking injuries, and causing clubhouse dissension, or else a trade this lopsided would have never taken place. That's right. in this man's opinion, the Red Team were the clear losers in this deal. Pittsburgh got better by adding prospects. The Dodgers got better by adding a big time bat. But Boston basically downgraded themselves in left field. AND they had to give up 2 dudes and $7 mil to do so. I haven't seen a move wreak of so much desperation since flopped her gut around at the '07 VMA's. Was this all an act by Manny and Boras to allow him to cash in with one final long term deal? Wouldn't put it past either one of them. But what concerns me is if that is indeed the case, the message and precedent that this sets within the Red Sox organization. And don't give me that "he wasn't a team player so I'm glad to see him go crap" either. This is a business, and in my eyes, the Sox just became a victim of letting their personal feelings get involved. They held the power with the team option, and they just let it go. That's bad business, plain and simple. Now hey, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he's sooo disruptive in the clubhouse that the team will be better off, but I'm just having a tough time believing that any squad is better off without his bat in the lineup. What I don't have a problem believing, is that the future of Theo Epstein could be directly tied to this deal. And Lord knows if Bay tanks it up, he's gonna be hearing it from the Nation. At the very least it's going to be very interesting from here on out, it just remains to be seen whether it will be "freak show" interesting, or "Dark Knight" interesting. Cross your finger for the ladder my friends. Or God help us all...

...and just so it's not all for nought, here's that crazy subway broad again, for your viewing and listening pleasure...


That's really it for this week. But again feel free to go back and check out how wrong I was about Manny, and many other hilarious one liners that I took the time to craft. Sure it was easy for me to do, but trust me, you'll be better off for having read it...

Manny Ramirez OR President Charley?

Greetings boys and girls. I've returned from my trip to the 5 Boroughs, and I've come back with a few pieces of key information. First and foremost, I was glad to hear that the tentacles of Rooch Nation are spreading far and wide, and my lethal verbiage is finishing a close second only to foldable slices as an NYC favorite. Secondly, and just as pertinent, is that with the MLB trade deadline virtually here, Manny being Manny, and all the Brett Favre talk heating up, the rest of the summer in the Big Apple is sure to be hotter than the DVD's on Canal St. Lucky for my city friends, my all encompassing style won't leave any stone unturned, or any pun left unused. Read on pimps, read on...


Red Sox Update
Overall:
61-48, 3 games back in AL East

-The first order of business, whether in Red Sox Nation or not, is the 3 ring circus that is one, Manny Ramirez. Seems like only yesterday, but it was almost 3 years ago that I sat here and said goodbye to Manny and his offensive prowess. Well, a few placements on irrevocable waivers, a botched deal for A-Rod, and a near deal for Aubrey Huff later, and ManRam is still wreaking havoc in the Bean. Whether it's on the field, in the clubhouse, or while attempting to sell a grill on eBay, Manny's been just as productive as he's been controversial during his time in the Bay State. So it only stands to reason, that as his monstrous contract draws to an end, and seemingly all his leverage is lost, that the immature and selfish Ramirez has reared it's ugly head. He made it abundantly clear this weekend that he's had enough of the Sox front office, and that they've had enough of him. So it stands to reason that if he can't be traded by the deadline (virtually impossible to get fair value in return....but we've been over that before), that there's no way Theo and friends pick up his $20 million option at the end of the year, right? Well, at the risk of being contrarian simply to be unique, I have to go ahead and say that any scenario in which Manny isn't in Boston next year seems highly unlikely. Even though he's getting older, and his production has slightly declined, I don't see any way Boston can attempt to replace him without taking a significant step back. I concede that simply picking up his option will only make '09 similar to '08 in terms of his disruptions, but I also think that his antics are more just fodder for the media than they are a disruption in the clubhouse. I know he says he's unhappy, and that he's willing to be sent to Iraq or traded for Favre, but we've heard all this before too. MY feeling is, like any kids tantrum, this too will pass. As long as the guy rakes, he's welcome on my team and he'll be welcome on the Sox. Now all we have to do, is survive the next few hours before the trading deadline, and hopefully things will get back to normal. Well, at least as normal as things ever were to begin with...


-As for the 4-6 stretch the squad is on, and the way they were just anally violated by the Angels? Well that's a whole other can of worms my friends, and I'll worry about that next week. That is, if it doesn't just work itself out between now and then. Which I'm sure it won't...


Diamonds...She'll Pretty Much Have To
-The Yankees pulled of a pretty good looking trade this week when they acquired left handed reliever Damaso Marte and right handed slugger Xavier Nady, but I hardly think it was as big a deal as most. Nady is a solid bat, that the Yankees didn't necessarily need. And while Marte is a great addition to the bullpen, I hardly think he's going to be the difference between the Yankees winning the World Series, and them missing the playoffs altogether. In my eyes, this is just another move by Steinbrenner and Cashman in which they decided to sacrifice their young prospects for a few vets that could bring them to the promise land. Simply put, this Yankee team is going to do now what it was going to do before this trade went down...



...and about that Farnsworth for Pudge trade? I understand the Yanks need catching help with Posada having had surgery yesterday, but is this really the cost they were willing to pay? Their bull pen has been the backbone of the team these past few months, with Farnsie one of the main contributors. Granted Pudge is Pudge, and he can throw out runners for ya, but the de-roided slugger is hardly the upgrade over Jose Molina that he once was. I mean I understand the move from an injury protection stand point, but that's about it. To me it looks like New York wanted to make a splash and bring in a big name, so that's what they did...


-And oh yea. Remember how I said the Angels might become unbeatable if and when they landed Atlanta 1B Mark Teixeira? Well they got him. And that should officially make the World Series theirs to lose. They have the starting pitching, they have the bull pen, and now they have the power bat they sorely needed to compliment Vlad, Garret Anderson and Torrii Hunter. The only way they don't at least make it to the doorstep of the World Series will be due to a major injury, another major earthquake, or if by chance Los Angeles becomes a city state of Mexico between now and then, and the entire team becomes stricken with Montezuma's revenge. Yeah, nothing like vicious, anus scorching diarrhea to derail a pennant race...


News and Notes
-So ESPN searched far and wide to determine which US city would claim the moniker of "Titletown". The result? No, not Boston, which has captured 3 Super Bowls, 2 World Series, 1 NBA Title, and a few notable NCAA titles in the past decade. Not New York or LA, which have long reigned supreme as the countries sports capitals. Not Detroit. Not Chicago. Not even Gainsville. Nope, they had "SportsNation" vote for what seems like years, and the answer they came up with? Valdosta, Georgia. Well, that was worth it, wasn't it? I mean I understand the whole concept was super-gay to begin with, but I didn't think the ballot box was gonna be stuffed like a junior prom election. I hope ESPN gets the message, and stops doin' this dumb, infotainment shit. But all it really means, is they're gonna send Mike Greenberg down to Valdosta, and have him tell the world which backwoods hut in Valdosta makes the best home made hair gel and full body wax. Get off my TV!!!...


-Disgraced former NBA ref and degenerate gambler, Tim Donaghy was given a 15 month sentence this week for his role in an NBA betting scandal. For many, it signals the end of the NBA's gambling issues. For me, some of the things I learned throughout this incident tell me the league is far from clean, and will have to deal with this shit again in the not too distant future. Think about this. If the gambler that Donaghy was tipping off said he won on 37 of the 47 games he was told to bet on, then how hard could it possibly be to fix these things? And if that's the case, what does that tell you about the so called "importance" of coaching, scouting, and conditioning programs? One little punk can make a few calls and alter the outcome of the game? Something still doesn't sound right in all of this, which makes me think theirs no way it's over...


-Brett Favre is still a tool, but he has now officially applied for reinstatement from the NFL. All that means is you can now start the countdown. Not til when he takes the field, and not til when he's traded. I'm talking about the countdown to when he decides that he doesn't wanna play anymore, and actually decides to hang 'em up for good. I mean, that's gotta be what's comin' next, right?...



-And in a related story, two University of Virginia football players were arrested this weekend when they were caught stealing beer from a cooler at a well known Charlottesville gay bar. Having been mistakenly led into a gay bar by a friend myself this weekend, I guess I can kind of see where these guys are comin' from. Granted the bar I was in for all of 5 minutes (we did go back just to make sure) didn't have a cooler to steal beers from, but based on the reaction most of us had while inside, I'd say that would have been the least offensive criminal act we were prepared to commit had we been there any longer. And yes, it is true that they were tracked down by a pink Vespa ridden by officer Lance Bass as he wailed "woooo! wooooooo! pull ova!...hey...woooo! woooo! come onnnn pull OH-VA! honey!"

...on second thought. After looking at the pics, I think these guys weren't so much stealing, as they just forgot to pay. They got their beers, but upon realizing they didn't have cups, proceeded to the bathroom to get the good head they were looking for...


-And not to be outdone, the Cavaliers Western neighbors in Morgantown are also in the news this week. Heisman contending QB, Pat White, called the school's baseball coach a racist, while another one of his teammates currently sits in a Morgantown jail cell on some sort of shady murder charge. Come on. Whatever happened to burnin' coaches and swillin' moonshine fellas?...

Patriots Update
Well Foxboro is buzzing as camp is now in full swing. The "Humble Pie" t-shirts are in full force, and the "we're focused on this year" lines can already be heard raining down at every press conference. Here again are a few thoughts on what's been going on in Foxboro as the NFL season inches ever closer...



-The Patriots picked up former Oakland and Jet running back, LaMont Jordan, this weekend in an effort to bolster what already seems to be a more than adequate backfield. While I can't argue with adding depth just for the sake of depth, I must admit I'm very interested to see how much, if at all, Jordan will play during the '08 campaign. He's just as good a receiver as he is a runner, but with Maroney, Morris and Faulk already accounting for most the RB touches, it's tough to imagine exactly when he's going to play. Then again, injuries happen, which is why this seems to be just another in a long line of shrewd moves by the Patriots personnel department. I knew there was a reason I trusted this team...

Jordan's career #'s: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/J/JordLa00.htm



-My moles @ Gillette tell me that the most impressive rookie in camp so far has been the new #22 in the defensive backfield, rookie Terrence Wheatley. Not only has he been a quick study and quick on his feet, but apparently has been excelling at Belichick's new edict of pushing WR's out of bounds. Hey, the league created the new "push out" rule, so leave it to the Hoodie to expose it more than Janet Jackson's nipple. Now we just have to wait for Colts GM Bill Polian to complain, and everything will have come full circle...




-Oh and as if you need any more reasons to watch the Pats this year, I give you 18 year old New England cheerleader, Becca Lewis, in all her barely-legal glory. Sure I hijacked this shit from deadspin.com, but they jacked it from some other dude, so it's all good. Now the only question is, how long until she's named as the latest reason that Manny Ramirez's marriage has gone in the shitter. Hey, I figure that guy gets blamed for everything else, so why the Hell not? But again, I knew there was a reason I trusted this team. Ay carumba!...

(you can find the rest of her pics @ bustedcoverage.com if you're interested)

-Finally, I have to thank my main mens Rob and Seante for passin' this little piece of viral video on to me while I was hangin' in the city. Make sure you have the volume pumped up, and your eyes ready to read some hilarious captions. Enjoy, and I'll catch you next week...



SALAD!...I'm out...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Girls of Summer...

What it is, comrades? I know we're still in the deep depths of the sports years "dead zone", but you know I gots a few tid bits for you to chomp on while we await the big time action. NFL training camps are firing up, and the MLB trade deadline is approaching, but to be honest, all I got on my mind is girls, girls, girls! Some are bitches, some are tards, and some are naked. Just like in real life! It's unfortaunte that they usually can't be the latter without the accompanyment of the two former, but I digress. Fact is, there's broads all up in this piece, and I hope you enjoy...

Before we get to the chicks, though, we have to hit up the holiest of holies...the Boston Red Sox...


The post All-Star hangover is in full effect, folks. After grabbing 5 of 6 to close out the "nominal" first half, and having both the pitching and hitting step up big, the Sox have come crashing back to earth on their trip to the West Coast. Sure they may have salvaged the trip a bit with a sweep of the lowly Mariners,


Red Sox Update
Overall: 60-43, 2nd place by 1/2 game in AL East


-Now I'm not trying to turn into a hater, here, but facts is facts. While the Nation continues to stroke it's hard-on for Jacoby Ellsbury, he continues to be a major clog at the top of what has otherwise been a very efficient offense. I know he's fast, I know he can field, and I know the chicks dig him, but the numbers simply don't lie. For the last month, the guy is hitting .223, and has only managed 1 stolen base and 8 runs. YES, only 1 steal in the last month. I don't care if you and you're boys remember a game last week when he nabbed two bags. It didn't happen. Point is, if Jacoby can come around, then you should see the runs start pouring in on a more regular basis. Hell, the dude hitting behind him is only hittin' about .450 in that same time span. Imagine the freakin' RBI's he would have!...




-Soooo Manny flopped around like a fish in an attempt to field a ball this weekend. He turned a single into a triple, and did it all from flat on his back with a smile on his face. Classic. It's almost as if he's being someone, who in turn is just being themselves. Hmmm. Either way. I think going 7 for his last 14 is a good way to get people to look the other way on that one. Besides, they probably have a new JD Drew t-shirt they need to buyin' right about now...


-What strikes me as the "real" Manny story of late, is the way Dennis Eckersly attacked him on Friday night during NESN's pregame show. Eck, who is technically an employee of the Boston Red Sox, went on the record saying he essentially doesn't like Manny, and that all of ManRam's gum-bumpin' about his contract is just ludicrous. Hmmm. A day after principle owner John Henry comes out and refutes Manny's claims of distrust of the front office, and a boisterous team employee rips him? This is just a typical if you ask me. Bashing the guy before he possibly leaves town, so the fans feel better about his departure. Got Nomar anyone?...

...and yea, a Seattle cop gave Manny a ticket for jay walking. Rumor is, though, that the feet weren't Manny's, and actually belonged to Ty Law's cousin...


-Directly related to the Sox recent struggles was the excellent play of the Anaheim Angels. While the Red Guys continue to tank it up on the road, The Los Mexicanos de Beisbol are tearin' it up. Their 31 road wins are 4 better than any other AL squad, while the Sox 31 road losses are only bested by the 44-56 Cleveland Indians. So you do the math. The Sox are the best home team, and the Angels are the top dogs on the road. Yeah, I'd say it's gonna be entertaining when the Halos cruise through Beantown next week. Sure I'm pumped for this weekend's Yanks series, but as far as the real big picture goes, the ultimate measuring stick might be when Mike Scoscia and friends come to town...


Diamonds...She'll Pretty Much Have To
-Gee, Suze. Tell us how you really feel? My inside sources tell me that during the Yankee game this Saturday, radio color-gal Suzyn Waldman was the victim of a hot mic, and apparently an even hotter tongue. In summary. Her mic was on, and she didn't know it. And after A-Rod stranded 2 runners with an inning ending pop out, was heard to use the words "guy", "200 million", "fucking" and "hit"in rather rapid succession. Hmmmm, I wonder to what she could have been referring? And before you ask me where the audio is, I don't have it....and neither does anyone else. Not everyone listening to the Yankee boradcast would have necessarily heard it, making the audio scarce, combined with the fact that CBS radio has probably long since made it into virtual garbage. Just trust me. There's one bitter female braodcaster behind that hot Yankee mic, who's still apparently miffed that a certain All-Star 3rd baseman didn't "pay his dues" when arriving in the clubhouse, if you know what I mean...


...and P.S. Love to say I told you so, so I will. The Yanks are only 3.5 games back in the East, and have arguably the nastiest bull pen around right now. The key now is making sure they add another starter, or hoping and praying that Ponson and Rasner can hold down the back end of that rotation for the rest of the summer. Neither is a slam dunk, but as usual, those of you that counted them out were more premature than a George Bush victory declaration...


-Oh and back to the Angels for a minute. They'll be the ones to land Braves slugging 1B Mark Teixiera before the trading deadline. He's a "rental" that will be up for free agency at seasons end, so the Angels can simply send Atlanta a few minor league pitchers and their own 1B, Casey Kotchman, to make it work. Another bat for the Angels will mean a whole lot of headaches for the rest of the American League, and could very well make them the team to beat from here on out...


News and Notes
-Well I guess he didn't choke away the British Open title, but Greg Norman certainly didn't do his legacy any favors now did he? Fresh off his 3rd round performance that left him with a 2 shot lead, the Shark gave an interview in which he said he still didn't expect to win the next day, and apparently knew exactly what he was talking about. Props for being right, I guess. But if you're that guy, in that situation, and you say you don't expect to win, isn't that just admitting defeat? Admitting that you're probably the greatest choker in the history of Major Championship golf? You don't like your chances? You had a two shot lead, dude! I don't care if you're 53 or 103. You were ahead after the first 3 rounds, weren't ya? Man, oh man, what a said state of affairs. I'm happy he was able to sneak into the spotlight for a weekend, because he was one of the games great players. But I think his attitude and his performance just reminded me that there was a reason I'd always remembered him as softy that would rather spend his money, then go out there and stake his claim...


...but good looks by Paddy Harrington for finishing strong and grabbing his 2nd consecutive Open title. He's no Tiger, but he pulled through, and that definitely deserves some props...


-And yeah. Michelle Wie was 3 shots off the lead in a recent LPGA event...when she was promptly DQ'd for forgetting to sign her scorecard. Ohhhhh, now I get it. She hasn't been losing on tour because she's not any good. She's been losing because she's a tard! It explains so much! From stepping in other player's lies, bailing out of tournaments after horrendous scores, dating one of the Lopez twins (probably the "uglier" one), to this latest gaffe, this potential wunderkind has become just the latest in the line of young guns who fizzle out. Doesn't mean she'll never amount to anything, it just means you might have a tougher time than you thought if you're trying to get her autograph...


-Some other nuggets this week have the C's holding on to Ed House and Tony Allen, Freddy Adu opting to play pro soccer in France, and President Bush giving a rousing sendoff to our Olympic athletes. I care equally about each of those stories, which is to say I don't care at all. Make of that what you will...


-And rounding out this edition of the crazy girls of Rooch Nation, here are a few other things I learned about the fairer sex this week...

1) Apparently Danica Patrick isn't the only chick driving Indy Cars. And from the looks of it, she just found out too, and isn't too happy...



I'm no mediator, but I'm guessin' that foreign broad had her right blinker on for a few laps, and that brought out the meaner side of America's little boxcar sweetheart. That other, meaner, side has a name by the way. And it's "Dat Ni**a Patrick". You best get to steppin'...


2) It's also good to learn that Anna Kournikova isn't the only tennis pro to make more money taking off her clothes than taking out her opponents...

That's American Ashley Harkleroad. Proud owner of ZERO WTA wins, and now undoubtedly a new legion of horny fans. Hey, at least it wasn't one of the Williams brothers, right?...


3) And was there really a WNBA brawl on Tuesday night? Dear God. What's next? Alley oops and fans in the seats? Here's the live video...



One of them is allegedly Lisa Leslie, but it's tough to tell without the jersey #...



4) And seeing as you were patient enough to wait through the Barbaro V Eight Belles video, and you're no doubt disappointed I didn't have any nude pics of Harkleroad, here's you're reward. It's Meghan Hauserman from "There's a Shot of My Love on Your Thong w/ Bret Michaels", and the new VH1 "smash" hit, "I Love Money". Hey, she might be a dumb pseudo-celeb-whore, but she's naked and on your computer. Two things I know most of you are huge fans of...


...here are the rest of her pics, if you just can't get enough...Does this shit just wreak of a Tennessee back alley strip club, or is it me? Look out for that puddle of Skoal, you money grubbing Paris Hilton wannabe...

http://www.dailyniner.com/meganhauserman1.shtml

http://www.dailyniner.com/meganhauserman2.shtml


Patriots Update
Let's give a hardy "welcome back" to the Patriots Update. Training camp gets crackin' this week, and while the team may be locked, loaded and ready to contend, there are still some battles worth watching in camp, and a few positional questions that still need to be answered...


-The first concern will be the ability of the new look New England secondary. With Asante Samuel playin' for big loots in PA, and Randall Gay doin' whatever it is he does for the Saints, Pioli and Belichick opted to fill the void with the usual mix of rookies and veterans. Draft picks Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite are expected to play, and with the maturation of Brendan Merriweather and the addition Tank Williams, should make for an interesting battle fro playing time throughout camp...


-With Donte Stallworth in Cleveland, another player to keep an eye on is 3rd year WR Chad Jackson. Yeah, 3rd year. He's started 1 game, only played in 13 total, and has 13 catches and 3 TDs. I'm not saying the guy needs to be the 2nd coming of Randy Moss, but for a guy they traded up to get in the 2nd round, he'll need to start producing in '08 before he's officially labeled Belichick and Pioli's biggest draft bust. Word out of mini camp is that he's been a lot better so far, but it's gonna take some big plays on the field before the fan base begins to forgive and forget...


-Another interesting "infusion" process if you will, will be the one going on with the line backing corps. 1st rounder Jerod Mayo is expected to contribute inside, and along with veteran Victor Hobson, should ideally hold down the fort well enough to let Adalius Thomas have at it on the outside. The Pats plan to put more pressure on getting to the QB in '08, and it seems that this would be the ideal way to utilize a guy in Thomas that they paid big money to do exactly that...


-I'm also rather intrigued to see how Belichick and friends decide to utilize, if at all, 7th round do-it-all man, Matt Slater. He's part DB, part WR and an all around Special Teams stud. He's got all the tools that made you good on the playground, and I just have a gut feelin' they'll find him a role that will make him a local favorite. Think Troy Brown on steroids...if he even makes the team...


...On the plus side, I'm not too worried about the O-Line suffering from injurywoes this year. Not with Dr. Kaczur hot on the scene...


Well, that's all folks. I'd really love to stay and chat it up some more, but it's time for your man to bounce out to NYC. It's gonna be a Cuse reunion of epic proportions as we welcome my mainsest mens and them, C. Mor, to the Big Apple. Hopefully a good time will be had by all, and I'm sure I'll have some great stories to tell upon my return. Until then, keep you eyes to the sky, and keep shooting for the stars!! OR Just keep on boozin'...it's all the same to me...

1

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Big H Takes Big Apple By Storm...

Welcome, boys and girls, to the Josh Hamilton bandwagon. Whether you call him "Big H", "The Natural", "White Horse Surprise", or simply refer to him by his given Christian name, the fact is you're now a fan. Hope it makes you happy, cuz now I'm scared the new found popularity is gonna take my once hidden gem, and turn him into the second coming of Lenny Bias...



2008 All Star Game
-As my main man, Big H, rocketed bomb after bomb into the crisp, Bronx summer night, two distinct thoughts crept into my head...

1) As awesome as it is watching this kid launch Ruthian bombs deep into the stands, there's no way he can keep this pace up through all 3 rounds. We've seen this act before (McGwire @ Fenway....yea, McGwire. Remember him?), and it just takes too much out of a guy for even the freakiest slugger to keep that pace up. 13 homers in a row?! Mighty impressive, but a mighty hard act to maintain at the same time. This year's derby will always be remembered as Hamilton's official coming out party. My next point, is whether or not that's really the best thing for him...

2) This kid needs to be the "Next Big Thing" about as badly as Lindsay Lohan needs a handful of Xanax and a bottle of Kettle One. I mean, I hope as much as the next guy that Hamilton's battle with heroin can inspire others to get clean, but I've seen enough Behind the Music's and Intervention episodes to know that his new found fame could lead to a major league relapse. I'm not hoping for it, obviously (OK maybe not so obvious), but I just can't help but think it's gonna take some sort of superhuman willpower for him to hold all his demons at bay while dealing with his new found fame. And hey, I hate to focus on this dark side of the guy's life, or even the dark side of life in general, but I couldn't help thinking it as I was watching him hit, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least a wee bit serious about my concerns...

It's a great moment in All Star and baseball history....for now...



-And just allow to to clarify something that apparently most of America missed during the derby Finals. With 1 out left, a pitch came into Hamilton that caused him to take it, and comment to his 71 year old pitcher. The all knowing Joe Morgan stated as fact that Hamilton was telling the gas chuckin' geezer to "take something off" his pitches. I could have sworn he was simply telling the elderly gentleman to switch to the Century 21 "gold" ball, but with the peeps I was watching it with siding with Morgan, I simply chalked it up to a simple mistake or misunderstanding on my part and went back to watching. Ahhhhh, but then I remembered. When it comes to baseball, Joe Morgan is about as astute as he is racially unbiased, while I tend to serve as the ever absorbent nerdy sponge that I am, with a memory like a rusty bear trap. I might forget somethin' now and then, but it's gonna be a bloody struggle for that memory to escape my brain, I'll tell you what. Point is, upon further review, I was right (shock), and Morgan, as usual, was dead wrong. Just a little piece of advice. When you see that little, black Muppet open his mouth, leave the room, change the channel, or cover your ears. If you're really inspired, feel free to fly to whatever park he's at and cut out his tongue. But that would be going above and beyond, and would at the very least earn you a nice shiny medal....and 15 to life...I know, not an easy choice to make...


-As for the actual game itself, it may have been one of the most sneakily entertaining things I've seen in quite some time. Granted, I spent most of the game with my back to the TV playing poker, but the clutch pitching and fielding that went down in the last 6 innings, impressed in a way that differs from the usual homer fest that All Star games tend to be. Scoreless through 4? Guys like Aaron Cook getting the NL out of multiple bases loaded jams in extra innings? Multiple close plays at home plate? And Hell, an extra inning All Star game that didn't end in a freaking tie!?! Nice! Sure I would have loved to see the two teams trade big flies as much as the next guy, but watching some of baseball's other tools on full display wasn't such a bad thing either...


Red Sox Update

Overall: 57-40, 1st in AL east by 1/2 game (actually trail Rays by 1 in the loss column)

-What's not to love? The Rays are sliding. The Yanks are stagnant. Papi's on his way back. And Lugo is on the DL for the next 4-6 weeks! Hell, even JD Drew...(throat clear)...All Star game MVP JD Drew, is still doin' work! Can't say I approve, but I figure a nice 15 day stint on the DL in the second half will get him back in my good graces. Now I could waste my time here giving you some sort of second half preview, and notes on shit to look for, but I feel it's easier for me to just sum it up. I still got the Sox winning the series, and I still have the Yankees making a push to challenge them in the East. How it all unfolds? Well that's the fun part...


News and Notes
-Now I know I said I was through with Brett Favre, but seeing as he refuses to stay off the front page, I have no choice but to crucify his ass yet again. So let's see. Now, after spilling his guts to Greta Van Susteren (say her name with a lisp, it's great) about how the Pack forced him to retire, were "untruthful" to him and have broken the bond of trust with the QB, he's come out and said he has no imminent plans to file for reinstatement. Quick logic tells you, that the $15,000 a day fine he'd have to pay for being reinstated but not at camp, is the only reason he's not filing right now. And that tells you that if he does want to come back, then it's certainly not going to be in Green Bay. Listen. You know and I know that if Favre just showed up, the starting job would be his before week 1. He's still better than Aaron Rodgers, and despite the front office's attempts to "move on", the best thing for the Green Bay Packers in 2008, is for them to have Brett Favre running the show. I figure if we all know this, then Brett must know it too. Simply put, it means it's all about his bruised ego. He feels he was slighted by GM Ted Thompson, and he wants the whole world to know it. He wants everyone to know that he, the great Brett Favre, isn't being given a second chance...err, 4th or 5th chance, by the big, bad, mean 'ole GM. Brett and his agent have made it clear that they think the onus is now on the Packers. I say just the opposite. Open your eyes, man, and show up to camp. You'll call their bluff, get your starting job back, and begin yet another 16 game swan song that will only end with more questions than ever and bout your future. In failing that, allow me to echo my thoughts of last week. Get off my TV, you glory-hogging, pill poppin' ass clown, or I might just have to start attacking your character...


-What Roger Clemens and Tim Donaghy lack in integrity, their respective accusers more than make up for with their superb sense of timing. In the week long sports lull that is the All Star break, both the NBA, and former Met bat-boy turned roid dealer Kirk Radomski have stepped forward with new "evidence" to further shovel dirt on the names of their sports particular black sheep. Radomski has apparently come forward with receipts of HGH shipments to the Rocket's launching pad, while the NBA's investigation has uncovered a high number of phone calls to another ref, which they believe to be directly related to his fixing of games. You think Radomski really just found these receipts under his TV as he claims? Or that the NBA's investigators just happened to stumble upon these phone records in the last few days? Well if you do think the timing of these stories is a coincidence, they I got some Enron stock I'd love to unload on you, you poor, poor bastard. The days leading up to, and following the MLB All Star game are the least active sports days of the year. Seeing who decides to take advantage of these days to get their agenda out there, will lead you right to the worst scum on the face of the earth...


-You win, and people poach your talent. It's as old a tradition as US tricking it's citizens to support bogus "wars", and now the Celtics have gotten a taste of it first hand. James Posey signed a 4 year, $25 million deal with the New Orleans Hornets, instantly making them better, and leaving the Celts with a hole in their bench the size of the Larry O'Brein Trophy. OH, and you know how a lot of times people say "well he was worth more to us than he is to you?" Not in this case. He was a glue piece for the Celts, and do the same for a talented New Orleans team that seems to be at the brink of achievement. And no, new acquisition, Patrick O'Bryant, isn't the guy to take over that role, as the link below would suggest. Draft picks Bill Walker and JR Giddens aren't that guy either, and with no legit free agents left on the market, it really makes me wonder where Danny boy is planning to go to fill out his roster. Not in a "doubting" sort of way, I'm just curious to see what move he makes next to ensure this team has a legit shot to repeat...

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/o/obryapa01.html


-And hey. Remember when I said Syracuse's, Donte Green was gonna be one of the best players in the '08 draft and would go down as a steal when all was said and done? Well I know it's only Summer League ball, but when he dropped 40 beans in his rookie debut, I bet he made a few GMs at least give a second thought to passing on him. Oh, and did I mention that Derrick Rose had an MRI this week that showed he has tendinitis in his right knee? Yeah, I had a feeling at the time I had the players in that draft nailed, and let's just say I'm likin' what I see in the very early returns...


-And with defending champ Paddy Harrington ailing, and T-Money Woods on the shelf with his knee rehab, John Daly has stepped up to save this week's British Open. JD is now involved in a very public, he-said he-said battle with world renowned swing coach, Butch Harmon, over an incident in March that saw a hammered Daly play half a round with Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Jon Gruden as his caddy. Harmon quit on the spot as Daly's coach, and the war of words has been on ever since. The latest development has Daly saying that Harmon's accusations screwed his life up for a "little bit", with Harmon responding by telling fans and readers to "consider the source". What? So Johnny had a few pops...and yea maybe he did have Gruden finish the round as his caddie...but...OK fine. But is this really necessary, Butch? Sending a volatile alcoholic on tilt in a country where they slam pints with breakfast. I mean, at least it gives us something to watch for in the British Open...at least til Friday's over and JD heads back to his "flat" to sleep one off and tie another one on. Then it'll just be Sergio and the Phat man battling for a Tiger-less title. And I think I speak for us all when I say I'd rather be naked and knee deep in diseased goat feces than watching any of that mess. Pfffff. British Open. Bunch of Euro trash...


And hey, it could be worse. No seriously. At least JD isn't hitting people with a car that has his picture on it, and then trying to tell the cops it wasn't him! Yeah, I'm atalking about you, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson! God Bless TMZ (picture), and God Bless the UFC. The only sport in the world that can make John Daly look like the President of Mensa...

Well that's it for me this week, kiddos. We're only a week away from Pats training camp, and although I'll be spending next weekend in NYC, you'll be sure to hear from me before I depart.
Until then. Keep the junk out your veins, and keep makin' it rain...
Catchy line or no?...
Whatevs...Peace in the Middle, I'm out like Flynt...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hookers 'N Blow, Man...Hookers 'N Blow

Greetings, pimp cocktails. I may be a day late, but rest assured I'm far from a dollar short with this week's pot-shots and spot on analysis. We got some pre All Star break trades to take a look at, a few big moves in the NBA free agent market, rampant back-woods drug use, and of course, all things having to do with eating hot dogs, and how shameless hookers can help your team win a World Series Title. Read on, homies...Read on...


Naturally, I'll start with the surging Sox. A week ago, heads were ready to roll in the Bean, but for all the wrong reasons. Now that the boys are headed back towards the top of the AL East, pink hats and real fans alike have slightly raised their palms above the every ready panic button, but should they feel safe? Not if a few of these trends are a sign of things to come over the long grind that is summer time in the MLB...


Red Sox Update


Overall: 55-39, 2nd in AL East by 1.5 games

-Everyone has been eager of late to point to Jason Varitek and Julio Lugo as the cause of te Sox recent offensive decline, but I have a few others that might actually be the cause of some of latest struggles. Observe...

*Manny Ramirez, while hot lately, has just 2 home runs since June 10th. He's the straw that stirs the drink in the Boston lineup, and if he's not on his game, you start to ask too much from the supporting cast...

*Jacboy Ellsbury, who can do no wrong in PHN (Pink Hat Nation), has a stellar on base percentage of .271 since the start of June. Yeah, that was sarcasm...

I know Lugo sucks, and while many of us criticized the move at the time, it's now just become too much of a salary issue to do anything about. We're stuck with him until we can Renteria his ass, and that's about as likely to happen at this year's trading deadline as it is that Kobe actually tells us how Shaq's asshole tastes. In either instance, I wouldn't recommend holding your breath...

-Now what's funny is all this talk about the Sox possibly bringing in Barry Bonds to replace David Ortiz for the rest of the season. I'm already on the record as saying I would denounce my fan-ship, which I will, but rather than fear the worst, I'm looking at this with a bit of strategic intrigue. Call me optimistic or a flat out conspiracy theorist, but I think Theo and the boys may have floated the rumor out there themselves just to take some heat off the actual team on the field. Sounds crazy, but the rumor did directly preceed the Sox 3 game sweep of the Twins that's now found them only 1.5 games back of the suddenly slumping Rays...


Diamonds...She'll Pretty Much Have To
-So far, the big splash before the MLB trading deadline was the deal that sent CC Sabathia from Cleveland to Milwaukee for highly touted AA slugger, Matt LaPorta (LaPorta, by the way, was drafted by the Sox just a few years agao, but chose to attend the University of Florida instead). Now, color me a tard if you must, but I just don't get this deal, from either side really. Breakdown...

*Cleveland sucks this year, that I get. But do the Indians look like a team that's going to continue to be awful in the near future? They've been ravaged by injuries to Fausto Carmona and Victor Martinez, while at the same time suffering through what appears to be a big time off year from powerful lefty, Travis Hafner. Long story short, even while CC's in the midst of a bad year, and is due a big payday when the season ends, this team is way too young and talented to decide and "rebuild" even before the All Star break. Should they happen to re-sign CC when free agency hits they'll look like geniuses, but that would look awfully shady and seems just as unlikely...

*As for Milwaukee, this one's easy. You're not gonna win shit this year, and you have as good a shot at re-signing the hefty lefty as airport customs officials have of discovering the 6 key's of smack Serena Williams is smuggling in her hind quarters...

Oh and just a note: I said before the year began that the Brew Crew would make a big move to help them contend, so I got that goin' for me...which is nice...

-A deal that might be just as risky, but makes more sense to me, is the Chicago Cubs deal for the A's Rich Harden. Harden's injury history (4 major DL stints in the last 4 years) makes David Jonathan Drew look like Lou freaking Gherig, and the Cubs didn't need to give up nearly as much as the Brew Crew in return. And yeah, as much as it pains me to say, the Cubs actually do have a legit shot at winning...



-Candice Houlihan is a hooker and a Red Sox fan. More importantly, she makes no bones (pun intended, as usual) about either one. In a recent chat with various media outlets, Houlihan admitted/gushed about how she and A's-Rod had quite the rompous time in 2004 during the epic ALCS collapse. She admitted to feeling bad afterwards, seeing as Alex had a wife 'n all, but also added that if what she did helped the Sox win the World Series, then it was all worth it. Way to look at the big picture, Candy. Just too bad for your soon to be drug addicted kids that you hadn't looked at the same big picture about 5-10 years ago. Ya know, before you started selling your body for loots and/or gift certificates to Lechmere and Caldor...

-And while the term "pink hat" has come into vogue up here in the New England area, I've coined a phrase to help personify those same fans that may happen to route for a certain team in pin stripes. "Staches"...as in moustache. That's right, those same Yankee fans that claim to hold themselves to such a high baseball standard have now become victim of the very bandwagon mentality they've always claimed to resist. With admitted liar and cheater, Jason Giambi, having a great year and making a push for the All Star team, 25,000 Yankee fans showed up in the Bronx on Wednesday to receive, and proudly wear, their free Jason Giambi like moustache. Now, let's forget how hanus the thing looks on the dude (paging, to catch a Predator), and instead focus on how embarrassing those so-called "righteous" fans are making themselves look. I know they've never made any bones about buying the best team money can buy, but this is just too much. I mean the guy's on record for making the worst apology of all time, he sports the worst lip apparel in the history of the world, and yet you fools come out in droves to support him? Just embarassing man. And if George Steinbrenner were actually dead like many of us have mock-wished for decades, he'd be spinning in what no doubt would be a coffin line with money, and covered in pin stripes...and his ghost would be spanking Hank's ass, and enjoying it way too much...


News and Notes
-Mark this date down, because it's not often that Sports Illustrated and I agree on anything. But with their latest issue calling the Federer/Nadal Wimbledon final the best tennis match ever, I might have to rethink my staunch opposition to almost everything SI. But for real, that was not only the best tennis match I've ever seen (and yes, I've seen a shatload), but it is definitely one of the top 20 sporting events I've ever witnessed in my life, TV or LIVE. These two titans of tennis matched wits and skill for 5 grueling sets, outdoing each other time and again with dazzling shotmaking, and clutch point after clutch point. Rafa had Roger on the ropes, not once, not twice, but 3 times, and the 5 time Wimbledon champ kept on coming. The most impressive of these comebacks came in the 4th set tiebreak. In a quest to reach 7 points first, Rafa held a 5-2 lead, with two serves to help close out the title. What happened next brought back memories of Sampras and Aggasi, but delivered oh so much more. "The Fed" fought back, taking the next 3 points, and eventually the set, while trading baseline blast for baseline blast with the lefty from the Spanish island of Mallorca. In the end, Nadal reigned supreme, and even though I had been rooting for Roger, I couldn't help but stand up and applause. Sure it looked weird, because I was alone in my house and half naked, but such drama and such entertainment shouldn't go unappreciated. Truth is, while I thought all this time that I had been watching the greatest tennis player of all time in the prime of his career, this Wimbledon proved we all may have had the wrong guy in the rivalry pegged as the best to ever pick up a raquet. The drama was great, the atmosphere surreal, and the outcome everything anyone could have asked for. Well done, gents, well done...

-So Brett Favre sent a text to Packer GM Ted Thompson letting him know he wanted to talk. Oh wait, I did this last week. Get out of my life, Favre! Suck down a couple Xany's with a bottle of washer fluid and be done with it already...that reminds me, I need washer fluid...and Xany's for that matter...

-Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley did battle this week during the NBA Summer League's opening night, and round one went to Bease Nuts. And seeing as he's the far superior player, I'd imagine the next 100 or so rounds are gonna go his way too. Hey, I'm just sayin'. I'll be right (again), and you'll on be back on Deez nuts soon enough...

-41-year old Dara Torres qualified for the US Olympic swim team this week, and was immediately put on the spot by ESPN.com's SportsNation. A mere hours after the Olympian clinched a spot on her 5th US Olypmic team, this question was posed to the many perusing the World Wide Leaders website. "Does Torres making the Olympics at 41 make you suspicious she's been using steroids?" The vote at the time was 71-29 saying they didn't think she was a user, but what does that even mean?!? Unlike notable rodiers like Bonds or Giambi, who can seriously say they know a single thing about this old broad in a bathing suit well enough to make a snap character judegment? Hell, we don't even really know Giambi and Bonds that well, but at least we have a little info and past history on which to make a decision! Shame on you, ESPN. Just because you have space to fill on your multitude of media outlets, doesn't mean you should just accusing everyone who succeeds of roiding up! Besides, you figure with the Tour de Lanceless goin' on right now, they'd have plenty of C level athletes to finger as cheaters and drug users, wouldn't you?...



-Jacksonville Jaguar Matt Jones was arrested this week when Arkansas po-nines caught the former Razorback player cutting up a white substance that Matty later confirmed as cocaine. You may remember Matt as the white QB that scouts thought had the skill set of a black WR, but he'll now just be remembered as the guy that never panned out, and decided to do a bunch of back-woods blow instead. See, you learn somethin' new everyday. I thought losers in Arkansas only did meth and drank moonshine....and then they're supposed to beat up their wives, not sit in a car in the wee hours choppin' up drugs with a credit card. That's for city kids, Matt...



-And just to make it 3 straight drug stories (3's are good, or so I've been told), I give you former Florida Gator PG, Teddy Dupay. You may remember him from the National runner up team of 2000, but I prefer to call him the ex backup to the one and only Jason "White Chocolate" Williams. Sure he might not be the Jason Williams that murdered his butler or crashed his motorcycle, but apparently he's quite the role model both on and off the court. Dupay, who was booted from the Gators in '02 after allegedly asking another student to take betting action for him, now finds himself facing kidnapping, assault and rape charges due to a recent scuffle with his one time girlfriend. Ahhh, Teddy. Just one of the good 'ole boys...and yes, that is still one of my favorite commercials of all time, despite the fact I know it was filmed mostly in the cesspool known as West Virginia...

(and yes, I was channeling TRoy McClure when I wrote those last 2 little diddies. You may remember him from Man vs Nature: The Road to Victory! or maybe even McBain IV: Fatal Disharge...oddly enough that was the same title that was going to be used for the )

-Joey Chestnut did America proud last weekend in a match up with Takeru Kobayashi that did it's best to match the hype of the Federer/Nadal Wimbeldon Final. Winning in a 5 dog eat off after a tie in regulation, the World's #1 gurgitator did just enough to best the former hot dog king, and send his ass back to his nuke riddled home. A little harsh, perhaps, but I'm basically insulted by how little those guys respect the deliciousness of the heavenly Nathan's hot dog. It's like this. The Jews have pigs, the Hindu's have cows and I have Nathan's hot dogs. Sure it might be the exact opposite principle seeing as I love to eat them, but I think it really speaks to the high regard in which I hold the totally tubular summertime treat. Either way, that shit sure was fun to watch, and I can't wait for the highly anticipated round III next year, when Chestnut will have to result to shoving those bad boys up his nose in order to break his own record. Again, I know it's insulting to the dog, but the crater in his colon will serve as sweet, succulent justice...

-Oh, and if you plan on seeing Will Smith's Hancock any time in the near future, allow me to save you the loots. The action gets a B-, the acting gets a B-, and the M. Night Sha-na-na-esque twist at the end gets a big, fat F. I'd be well within my rites to ruin it for you, but seeing as I'm such a nice guy, I'll just let you waste the money and realize what I've known for quite some time. When it comes to movies, I'm always right, and the rest of you just take a little longer to come around. Hence that movie being #1 in the World right now...



...on a positive note, I can't wait to see Gary Busey's latest, Hellboy II...looks like a winner!

Well that's it for me this week, friends. Hope you have a great weekend, and to get it kicked off, here's a song by a gay guy... http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=35436912

Enjoy

Thursday, July 03, 2008

How Bout Dem Rays?


Greetings friends, and I salute you. I know you all got hot dogs, beaches, and ice cold brews on the mind right about now, but the weekend's not quite here. And before you go runnin' off to celebrate how the US kicked England's ass and got the F out of dodge, spend some time with your man reliving the goings on in the last week in the world of sports...


One thing I really find beneficial about only posting once a week, is the distance and perspective I gain by being able to mull events over in my mind. That's where I find myself with the NBA Draft. Sure it might already seem like the thing took place months ago, but the reality is it hasn't even been a week, and I still haven't had a chance to comment on it. It may not have been packed with intrigue like the draft's of years past, but there was still plenty of story lines to follow and plenty of picks and trades to ponder and question. Let's start with the Celts, shall we?

We're a year removed from the Danny Ainge draft day magic that brought KG, Ray Allen, and banner 17 to Boston, and a lot of fans were interested to see what move the Mormon would make next. Many were looking to see which youngsters would be donning the green and white in '08'09, while I was waiting to see which tactic Danny would take in trying to keep this now championship team at the top of the mountain...


Celtics 2008 Draft




JR Giddens, F New Mexico St. - 6'5" 208 lbs 23 years old - 16.3 ppg 8.8 rpg 3.1 apg in '07-'08


-This is what we call taking a flyer on a guy. Nobody doubts this kid's talent, it's the question of whether or not he can keep it together long enough to make his game work at the pro level. The Jayhawks gave him the boot a few years ago, calling him a malcontent. And we all know by now about his run in with a knife at some night club a few years back. He's versatile on offense and can defend, a combination Danny and Doc love, but this has to be viewed as more of a project than an actual addition to this year's main rotation...


Bill Walker, F Kansas St. - 6'6" 235 lbs 20 years old - 16.1 ppg 6.1 rpg in '07-'08

-For Walker, I could basically write, see: Giddens and it would be a rather accurate assessment. Maybe he doesn't have the possible head issues that Giddens does, but he's another incredible athlete with more questions about him than anything else. I know it's only going to cost him 2-4 weeks, but the knee surgery he had this week (his 2nd such surgery in 2 years) isn't exactly instilling confidence. Giddens and Walker look good on paper, but as Kenny Mayne reminds us....games aren't played on paper, they're played inside television sets. And I don't see Bill Walker doing much in a TV near you any time soon...

Semih Erden: C 7'1" 240 lbs. 21 years old, Turkey

-Color me shocked if this guy ever makes it to this country, let alone put on a Boston Celtics jersey. I like the risk/reward aspect of a raw, unpolished 7 footer this late in the draft, but seeing as the other 2 picks were also big in the risk/reward area, wouldn't have minded a tough nosed college vet either. Still probably not a guy that won't make the team, but maybe someone that could compete in camp and maybe gain you some trade value should he actually latch on. Besides, can you even imagine you ugly this dude must be?...


What picking 3 guys based solely on potential tells me about Ainge and the C's off seasons plans, is that they are definitely going with experience. Instead of opting to go young in backing up Rondo and Ray, they're seemingly going to fill those positions with various veterans from the free agency pool. Remember, Posey, Cassell, PJ and Tony Allen are all out there right now, and with no rookies pegged to fill those rolls on the team, Danny's gonna have to go out on the market and bring home the goods...

And in the beginning stages of free agency I must say I like where his heads' at. First, the rumor surfaces that Corey Maggette is willing to come to Boston and play for their full mid-level veteran exception (contract term = you can add a dude even though you don't really have the loots to do it on paper). Corey has acknowledged that he'd love to come and play off the bench for a chance to get a ring, and thus has put all the pressure square on the shoulders of James Posey. Granted the Celts won't be the only option for Maggette (Spurs also have their full exception to offer), but the fact that a guy like that is even in the mix should tell Posey he might not be as irreplaceable as he may have thought going into this. Whether it's a bluff on Ainge's part or not doesn't really matter. It's just a shrewd move and I like it...


Then there's the Bird Man, Chris Anderson. The Globe's Chris Spears (AKA the Big Black of Beantown Basketball) reported that Doc and the gang had the former Hornet-turned drugie-turned ESPN.com rags to riches to rags to riches story-turned Hornet in for a workout this week, with the hopes of adding him to their roster. You may remember the tatted up, high flyer as the guy who had to overcome his smack addiction and his poor white trash upbringing to make it back to the league, but the C's see him as a valuable defensive asset to a team that's losing virtually all it's veteran roll players. He seems to have his life under control these days, which is good, so I don't see why he wouldn't be a great fit in the forward rotation...if there weren't already 4 guys fighting for all those minutes...Oh, well...Throw shit at a wall and hope some of it sticks, right? I'm chill with that strategy...

But back to the draft for a minute. As with any draft, there were some big winners, and of course some big time losers. And I wouldn't be doing my job, if I didn't point them out. So peep it...

Some Winners
Portland Trailbalzers


-For starters, they nabbed Jerryd Bayless, my #1 player, with the 11 pick. When they traded Brandon Rush and Jarret Jack to Indiana for Bayless and workhorse Ike Diogu, they officially put the rest of the league on notice that they're putting together one Hell of a young/ talented core of players. Add Bayless to a stable that includes Brandon Roy, LeMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden, and you can't help but think this Portland team is only a year or two from being serious contenders for the Western Crown...

Miami Heat

-Simply put, they didn't pass on Beaseley, and they didn't make some bunk trade. This team still has major issues, but adding Beasley along with 2nd round steal Mario Chalmers are definitely steps in the right direction. If D-Wade can't "recapture the magic" as they say, this may all be part of a much bigger rebuilding project anyway, in which case I like the picks even more...

New Jersey Nets

-On name value alone, the Nets made out like bandits this year. Their cap clearing jettison of Richard Jefferson to create the Jay-ZYi dynasty might of been a little shady, but if they get LeBron in a few years then it may all make a lot more sense. They'll have a core waiting for him that includes the good Lopez (Brook), Chris Douglas Roberts, Cal's Ryan Anderson, and a returning team with Marcus Williams, Sean Williams, Devin Harris and Yi Jianlian. Whether they can make any of that work is a different house of cards all together, but I say it's not a bad basket in which to place one's eggs. Basically, they've now got tons of potential. Where that may take them is any one's guess...

Some Losers
Danilo Gallinari


-Great, now we're never gonna know if this kid is any good! He'll be smothered by the NY media, never allowed to grow and develop, and be out of the Big Apple faster than you can say Randy Johnson. Ciao, my large, talented friend...

Sacramento Kings

-Patrick Ewing Jr. in the second round?! Jason Thompson in the lottery??!?! i know the Maloof's like to gamble and everything, but these picks look more apt to crap out than John Daly playing the $5 K slots. One guy wasn't even a top 5 player on his own team, and the other was like the tallest guy in his whole conference by a good 5-7 inches. Prediction: Neither of these guys make me eat my words, and Thompson will flame out of the league soon after his rookie deal expires. At the VERY best, Thompson still ends up selling sporting goods by 2011, and Ewing turns into the poorest man's version of James Posey. Sucks for SacTown that C-Webb, Vlade, Bibby and Peja couldn't cash one in, cuz now it's looking like it's gonna be a while...


Cleveland Cavaliers

-Mission: Find a secondary scorer to help take the pressure of LeBron. JJ Hickson is 19, and more in the mold of a low post bruiser/slasher than a running mate for King James. Maybe it's the Cuse in me, but if you're gonna take a risk on a young guy, why not grab Donte Green when he's basically fallen in your lap? He's got the potential to be a fantastic Robin to LBJ's Batman IF the Cavs can actually manage to keep him from bolting for the Big Apple. And if he does bolt, wouldn't Green be the only guy left in the draft at this point that you might actually be able to build a team around? I know it's a reach, but in the mid 20's of the draft, on a team like this, I a reach like that would have been well worth the risk...

Darrell Arthur

-Last guy left in the green room = tard central. Nice suit man, but if you're bro is asleep before they call your name, then you automatically get put on this list. After 3 dudes pass you as they walk out of the audience and up onto the stage, you have to start thinkin' about a legit medical excuse to get your ass out of there...

As much fun as all that was, it's near crisis mode for many as the Sox have dropped their last five. Fresh off a 3 game sweep at the hands of the first place Rays, many questions have arisen. One, in particular, started as a whisper, yet has now become as loud as the sound they have to pump in the Trop to make the place seem full...

Red Sox Update
Overall: 50-37, 2nd place by 3.5 games

-"Are the Rays for real, or what?" Well, my friends, there's two ways to answer that rather intriguing inquiry. Long answer Yes with and "if". Short answer No with a "but"...

YES the Rays do have what it takes to contend IF they dedicate themselves to putting the final pieces of this puzzle together before the trade deadline. They have a shattersons load of young talent, but eventually you have to think this group is gonna hit some sort of wall. If there aren't enough experienced guys to help hold down the fort, hitting that wall could just be enough to allow the Sox and Yanks to pass them coming down the stretch...

NO! The are the Rays, and they suck. They've always sucked, and even thought they look better now, they have such a history of sucking that they'll undoubtedly blow it faster than Hulk Hogan looking at baby pictures of his daughter in the tub. BUT, it's good to see it's given ESPN a reason to use Dick Vitale outside of college hoops. Is it me, or has Sportscenter made the most seamless transition from news to infotainment in the history of television? Even Dateline's "To Trick a Pederass on the Intraweb" thinks you've sacrificed your morality for ratings...

BUT this Tampa team is legit. Their starting pitching with Kazmir and Shields is more than legit, and with Longoria and Upton at the helm, their offense is has become a living, breathing version of the team you tried to draft in the latest version of MVP baseball. I still think they're a tad young to grind this thing out, but should they add the right veteran pieces (say Brian Fuentes in the bull pen), it could make for a very long, back and forth summer. If forced to answer, I would have to say I don't think they'll be there in the end, but it won't be due to lack of talent. Hey, at the very least, it's nice to have a different team in the mix for once, right?...


-And of course all of Red Sox Nation is abuzz over Manny Ramirez latest outburst. Listen people, it's like this. Did Manny push 64 year old traveling secretary Jack McCormick? It certainly appears that way. Should he get a pass because he's Manny? Of course not. And should he be punished and dealt with in a way that gives the public some closure? NO! He's one of very few people that can do what he does in the entire world, and will thus be treated differently than the rest of us. Is it fair? No, but what the Hell is? I've always said, the key to dealing with guys like Manny is to trick them into thinking they don't have a lot of power when in reality they hold virtually all the cards. And in this instance, I think dealing with the incident in house, and trying to slide it under the rug is as much a favor to the Sox, so they won't have to deal with a disgruntled slugger. They know how Manny would react, and they figure that no matter how it may look, this is the best for all involved. Works for me. Again is it right? Probably not. But it's what's best for the team. And as long as this old dude isn't trying to press charges, then I'd have to consider it a dead issue. Besides, people are gonna forget about all this now that the team is struggling and they trail the Rays in the standings. Just as if they wouldn't have cared in the first place had Manny been ripping the cover off the ball rather than being mired in his current slump. Yeah, fans are funny like that. Winning really fucks with their memories...

Still need help getting it off your mind? Jason Varitek's batting average in June went from .294 to .216....and the bull pen ERA over that same time span (minus Papelbon), is a shade under 6.00...Oh, and did I mention Dice K can't make it out of the 5th without walking 5 guys and tossing 100 pitches?...Yeah, I thought that might help...

-Losing 3 of 4, and scoring only 7 runs while doing it? Yeah, I'd say that would get Hank Steinbrenner's attention. Much like with the Sox, the Yanks will start to hit sooner rather than later, and again all the focus will be on their lack of pitching. If this helps distract them for now, that's chill, but just like Boston, this team is too talented to not be scoring more runs on a regular basis. I doubt Hank telling them to "step up" will be the reason why they start scoring more runs, but I doubt that will stop him from taking credit for the 18 runs they scored on the eve of his comments...

-Got Moneyball? Apparently not anymore in Oakland. The A's and GM Billy Beane gave some 14 year old Dominican kid $4.25 mil this week, officially making him the oldest teenager in the 3rd world this side of Elian Gonzalez and possibly Danny Almote. Although actually I think the former is a Communist, which would make him poor as dirt. And the latter is actually living in America and married to some old white broad, so I guess he's out too. Whatever, this kid is rich as shit, and while I bet he never makes it to the Bigs, his village will be thankful for the 200 buildings that money just bought them. That's a whole lot of clay and brick money baby!...


-Oh and Barry Bonds home run ball #756 is now officially sitting in Cooperstown, complete with Mark Echo's dye cut asterisk right between the seams. Take that, establishment!..


News and Notes
-I have to believe this video clip speaks for itself...

...and you just kinda have to figure that the strippers wearing their confederate flag bikini's, holding buckets of fried chicken and those XXX jugs of moonshine, somehow didn't make it into the shot. We love ya JD, just don't go dyin' on us...at least not til January '10...hey so sue me, I'm in a death pool. There's always loots to be made, pimps!...


-I gotta give the Bruins props for making a run at Marian Hossa, the league's #1 free agent. Naturally he wanted no party of the Bean, and they settled on some dude Montreal shat out, but you have to at least give them an A for effort. An F for picking such a shitty team to own, for the way they run their arena and their lack of anything resembling a commitment to winning. But an A for effort. Hey, at least they realized it's gonna take money and stars to compete for exposure and make a run at a title. Right? Oh and a B+ for hiring Cam Neely to help steer the ship. He's a chill guy...just don't kick his dog...

-Dear Willie Andrews. Sorry Nick Kazcur dimed you out to the Federalis after you allegedly smacked your wife and slanged some buds. Have fun smoking copious amounts of tree, while at the same time wondering why you will never again be playing copious amounts of NFL football. (Just a hint: putting down the peanut butter and the semi-automatic might be a good start)


-Now either I've greatly overestimated the popularity of Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN, or I've greatly underestimated the popularity of Wimbledon. Early round Wimbledon play gets air play over ESPN Radio's #1 show? A show that was so big that it needed to be on TV too, and tennis knocks it off the air? Sketch! That's gotta be a big Penus Williams kick right to Greenberg's miniature metro man purse, doesn't it? Oh how the mighty gay have fallen...


-And in the shocker of the year, rumors in Green Bay have Brett Favre possibly returning to QB the Packers in the '08 season. So allow me. Apparently some addictions can't be tamed by shooting blue jean commercials and swillin' cans of Colt 45, huh? Hate to say I told you so. On the plus side, at least Frank Caliendo can insert the Favre/Madden bit back into his act, meaning we might all be spared from his DVR commercials. Or is that part of his show? Oh, his show tanked and was cancelled? Talk about two shocking stories in one single day...

Well that's it for me this week kids, as I'm off to celebrate Independence. I'll be keeping my tabs on Joey Chestnut as he tries to defend his Nathan's Hot Dog title, but most of all, I'll just be maxin and relaxin. The Sox and Yanks are doin' their thing, summer is in full swing, and it's poised to be a nice and long holiday weekend. Hope yours is as good as mine, and if I see you out there, make sure you have cold beers. We're gonna need 'em...

Three cheers for Independence, baby...and I'm out...