Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I Won the Lottery, But Will the Celts?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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