Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Week 6 Picks: Larry Can You Smear Me?...

If there's one thing I've learned in my 28+ years on this planet, it's this.  That actions DO NOT, under any circumstances, speak louder than words.  Today's case in point being the aggressive smear campaign that's accompanying the Red Sox unraveling about as fittingly as a glass of milk would accompany a plate full of delicious cookies.  Or, to speak in the parlance of our times, how a nice 6 pack of Lone Star beer would accompany a bucket full of fried chicken...

But all trans fats aside, it's really disgusting what's going on right now up on Yawkee Way.  I mean, it's bad enough that the Red Sox embarrassed themselves on the field, now the entire organization is doing i on the front pages, too.  Back stabbing, finger pointing, and the leaks.  Dear God, the leaks!  How else do you think a scathing piece, like the one Bob Hohler wrote for the Boston Globe this week, gets written?  IT's all about people covering their ass, and making sure that it's made clear that they weren't the one that was causing all the problems.  Apparently these rats aren't of the belief that essentially firing the head coach and the GM has already sent that message loud and clear...

That's the problem.  People are more concerned with placing and assessing blame than they are for owning up to what the problems actually are.  In this case, it seems the problems run all the way to the front office, which is probably why the front office is doing it's best to make sure the exact opposite opinion is being spread to the masses.  Namely team President & CEO, Larry Lucchino, whose longstanding and well deserved reputation for using the media to his advantage, have placed him at center stage.  Essentially, he's the "Sammy the Bull", or "Henry Hill", of this shit.  Except instead of squealing to the FEDs to avoid prosecution, he's squealing to the press, in order to avoid any persecution...

It's just embarrassing, is what it is.  Accusing the fiercely loyal manager of being distracted due to marital troubles and alleged pain killer abuse, floating stories about beer and fried chicken in the clubhouse?  It's the behavior of a front office that knows that ultimately, they're the ones who should be shouldering a good portion of the blame.  It's just apparent that they want none of that, and have instead opted for a straight up smear campaign.  That's why I'm worried going forward.  It's obvious that Lucchino would rather have this organization set up as a puppet regime, with Ben Cherington already installed as the latest puppet, and it's also pretty clear that owner, John Henry, is content with him doing exactly that.  And why not?  They've made a ton of money doing things that way over the last 10 years, and in the end, that's what this business is all about...

Cherington, Hoyer and Lucchino with some of the most awkward smiles I've ever seen...
I'll even go as far as to say that I think upper management was actually happy that an opportunity arose that allowed Theo Epstein to realistically leave the team.  Why?  Not due to lack of success or differences of opinion, but because he'd become too big to give orders too.  They want a guy that's new to the job, and in their eyes, much more receptive to their ideas.  Ya know, a lot like Theo was when he first came in.  Now I know Ben Cherington has been in the organization since '98, so you could argue he has experience, but as the only member of Theo's staff that's never really been sought out by other clubs (Byrnes, Hoyer), he certainly seems to fit the bill as someone who should be easily nudged in one direction or another, depending on ownership's whims...

I know it's business, but there are right ways to doing things, and there are wrong ways.  Ripping everyone on their way out the door?  Not the right way to do things.  IT makes the accuser look petty and weak, and when the accuser is management, it gives the impression that the organization is very unstable.  That's my worry here.  Not the fried chicken, not Tito's alleged road hoes (although I'm not giving Tito or the players a pass).  The fact that management feels so vulnerable in this situation, and apparently lacks so much confidence in their decisions, that they need to make it appear that it was everyone, except for themselves, who were the reason why the season, and at least temporarily the organization, came crumbling down the way it did...

Nothing a few duck boat rides won't cure...
You know the phrase, "you don't wanna see how the sausage is made"?  Well, we just took a look at the process.  And while the sales staff and the workers may not have been doing their best to sell the sausage, the fact that we now know that ownership was is the back filling those intestines with shit, is what's really making this whole thing that much harder to stomach.  We know it's a messy process, the hiring and firing of people and the running of a major sports franchise, but when the mess is created deliberately?  Well that's something that tends to turn people off.  Myself included...

They have had a good run, though.  Talking about Henry, Lucchino & Tom Werner, and this behavior is really nothing new.  It's never unfolded in such a disastrous fashion, but it's not like we haven't seen this behavior out of them before.  So by that logic, as much as I don't approve of their tactics, there's no reason to believe they can't again get things headed in the right direction.  I mean, aren't they kind of right back where they started when they took over?  Team in turmoil with some good pieces and a new GM?  Sure, some of those pieces might have forced their way out of town with their actions (Beckett, Lackey, Lester?), and the turmoil might be greater than it's ever been, but it's not like they're in completely unfamiliar waters.  Question is, is can they win the PR battle fast enough as to where fans will again be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt?  If they can do that, all will be forgotten.  Because I've not only learned in my 28+ years that actions don't speak louder than words, but I've also learned that winning cures all ills.  And if they can get this team winning again, and close the door up to the butcher shop, then all should be right again in Red Sox Nation.  It won't erase history, but it will turn this embarrassing moment in time into just another colorful part of the team's storied history...

That's if they can win this PR battle.  Which is a battle that's just begun, and one where they now find themselves already losing in the court of public opinion.  Yep, it should be one Hell of an off season.  Keep the Bruins off the front pages, at least...

Now, take a look at how I make my sausage.  Wait, that didn't come out right.  OK, whatever.  Here are this week's picks.  Sure to make more than enough money to buy all the sausage you need...or to use to have the image of Larry Lucchino making shit sausage removed from your brain.  Either way.  How you spend it is up to you...

Week 6 Picks
These 3 have been the key. Will they all play this week against the Cowboys?
New England Patriots (-7) vs Dallas Cowboys

There's some worry out of New England because Green-Ellis and Wilfork haven't been full participants in practice this week, but I don't see their absence making in difference in the outcome of this game.  Straight up OR against the spread.  Sure, Dallas has the athletes to give the Patriots trouble on both sides of the ball, but they've yet to prove they know how to effectively and consistently use that advantage to translate into wins.  Having come off their bye should help, and the fact that they've yet to lose a game by more than 4 points all year shouldn't be ignored, but the Pats are tough to beat at home, and should be able to fend off a team that continually proves it's unable to win any big games...

Buffalo Bills (+3.5) @ New York Giants + OVER 50

The Giants are bipolar, so it stands to reason that after last week's meltdown, they'll come out blazin'.  Still, I'm taking my chances with the Bills.  Even though their last road performance (loss 23-20 @ CIN) was less than impressive.  They're defense has a penchant for making big plays (see: vs NE), and Eli Manning and the Giants offense has a penchant for untimely turnovers (see: vs SEA).  Oh and when a defense scores, that team wins like 85% of the time.  So yeah, I'll take my chances with the Bills, in a game much like the one we saw Seattle steal from the Giants in week 5...

Are there any more Harbaughs out there? Cuz DAMN thos boys can coach 'em up...
Detroit Lions (-4.5) vs San Francisco 49ers

You're always supposed to pick against teams that are favored coming off of Monday Night.  You're also supposed to always pick against teams that are playing at 1 o'clock, and traveling from West to East.  Seeing as I can't very well do both of those in this match up, I'll take my chances with the red hot Lions and their dominating defensive front.  Even though they Niners might have the best offensive line you've never heard of...

Philadelphia Eagles (-1) @ Washington Redskins

Much like the MNF and West to East logic, it's always good practice to pick a team that you think is desperate for a win.  That's where the Eagles are, right now.  And as much as I'd love to pick Rexy the Sexy profit again, I just get the feeling this is that game for the Eagles.  Either Vick doesn't let them lose, or he dies tryin'.  In either case, it should give Philly fans a good idea of what they can expect from the rest of their season...

Green Bay Packers (-15) vs St. Louis Rams

Another good piece of betting logic is to always bet on the best team in the league, until they show you that you should be doing otherwise.  Packers are 3-1-1 against the spread this year, and that's a trend I don't see changing with a visit from the sputtering Rams...

Carolina Panthers (+4) @ Atlanta Falcons + OVER 51

He may be my fantasy football nemesis this week, but I can't deny that I'm a fan of Cam.  And while the Falcons may be tough customers at home, I think this is finally the week where his able to but his stamp on his first big win.  Oh, and I have to take the OVER to attempt to jinx BOTH Cam, and the Falcons I traded this week as part of the revamping of my team.  So yeah, either I'll be right, and probably lose, or be wrong and probably look like a genius.  Funny how that works, but I'll take it...

Chicago Bears (-3) vs Minnesota Vikings

I always pick against Donovan McNabb, so this should be nothing new.  And per usual, I'm hoping he gets sacked to the point where he starts to puke.  Judging by this photo, and the reports that Julius Peppers should be healthy enough to play, I'm liking my chances...

Here's a look at the rest of the picks.  Games that, the more I look at them, the more I'm thinking they should have been part of my Top Picks.  Oh well, that's why I just evenly weight everything, now.  Makes it a lot easier for me to look smart...

Pittsburgh Steelers (-12) vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Baltimore Ravens (-7.5) vs Houston Texans

New Orleans Saints (-4.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers + UNDER 49.5

Indianapolis Colts (+7) @ Cincinnati Bengals

Oakland Raiders (-6.5) vs Cleveland Browns + UNDER 44.5

Monday Night
Should be snack time for the J-E-T-S...
New York Jets (-7) vs Miami Dolphins

Just like with the Eagles, this is a gut check game for the 2-3 Jets.  And, just like with the Eagles, I expect them to play this one like their season is on the line...which it kind of is.  Miami, on the other hand, has nothing to play for, and in New York's homecoming after a month on the road, should serve as the perfect snack for Rex and the boys as they try to right the ship...

Last Week: 11-4-1

Overall: 57-36-3 (.610)

LSU continues to deliver, and so do their scantily clad fans.  Why Nick Saban left, I will never know.  Oh wait, it was probably a combination of ego and money.  But no matter.  Help boost your ego and your bank account by taking a glimpse at these week's picks.  After all, I'm the Nick Saban of this shit...

...and no, that doesn't mean I suck when it comes to the NFL...

NCAA Top 25 Picks
(1) LSU (-16) @ Tennessee

(2) Alabama (-25.5) @ Mississippi

(6) Oklahoma St. (-7.5) @ (22) Texas

(7) Stanford (-21) @ Washington St.

(8) Clemson (-7.5) @ Maryland

(18) Arizona St. (+15) @ (9) Oregon

(23) Michigan St. (-2) vs (11) Michigan

(12) Georgia Tech (-7.5) @ Virginia

Mississippi St. (+3) vs (15) South Carolina

(16) Illinois (-4) vs Ohio St.

(17) Kansas St. (+3) @ Texas Tech

Wake Forest (+7) vs (19) Virginia Tech

(20) Baylor (+9.5) @ (21) Texas A&M

(24) Auburn (+2) vs Florida

Last Week: 9-3-0

Overall: 39-19-1 (.669)

That's it for me, friends.  Good luck to you all, have a great weekend, and I'll catch you on the flipman...

Teddy Williams...



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