Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kobe in Green?

Well, it seems as if Kobe Bryant wants to be traded, as he told a reporter yesterday. Could this be the Celtics chance to bring in a franchise player that they sorely need to compliment Paul Pierce? He is still young, and he can put up 50 points on any given night, as well as put people in the seats at the New Garden (or the Old Fleet Center, whatever it is now.) And he would command a price. Therefore:

Is Kobe Bryant worth the Celtics top pick this year, and say, a conditional 1st round pick next year? This probably translates to 2 potentially good players for a great player in Kobe. Contrary to my past post where I was against trading the pick , I say go for it, Green. Pull the trigger, Danny.

How about some NBA chatter and feedback from ya'll.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sox Magic Number is 102

In case anyone was wondering, the Sox magic number is now 102. That puts them on track to clinch by late August. Go ahead and throw 1978 out but it ain't happening this year.

By the way, is it me or will it be a little anticlimactic if the Yankees are officially out of it by the time that Roger joins the team next week?

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

And with the 5th pick...a winner

Well, its too bad that the Celtics didnt get the opportunity to choose one of the top two guys in this years draft. Danny Ainge, while falling victim to another bad break and a somewhat flawed drafting system, didnt help the situation by whining about it to reporters- we saw that nationally- as if his was the only team to miss out on Oden or Durant. He looked and sounded like such a weenie, with all due respect to the fine work he did as a player for the Green. I did read some of his quotes afterwards, and he did try to put a positive spin on things, but you could see and tell that he was absolutely crushed.

Unnecessarily.

Ya'll should be glad that you guys got the #5 pick, because historically, that pick turns out to be pretty darn good.
Lets look at some number 5 picks from the last 23 years, since 1984:

At the top of the list stand Sir Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen, both Hall of Famers.

Next up we have Mitch Richmond, Duane Wade, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Vince Carter, all of them bonafide stars w/ a few potential H.O.Fers

Then there’s Juwaan Howard, Jason Richardson, Mike Miller, and Steve Smith, all solid players in their own right.

The drop-off starts here with a smattering of Tony Batties, Kendall Gills, Kenny 'Sky' Walkers, and on down.

That’s 11 quality players out of 23 years- nearly a 50% success rate; a chance to get a goodie of your choice, not the choice of a ping-pong ball. So as long as ya’ll dont pick a project player, or a skinny, Euro, eighteen-year old that no one has ever heard about, or trade a decent pick before a chance at development, or trade the pick for a #9 and a #16, or trade 'the Truth' Paul Pierce for 3 lesser players, the Celts are in a good position to improve their team significantly, especially in the East. All these other up and coming teams did it, so can the Celts. Another bright spot is that both Oden and Durant will be playing in the West, so the Celts wont have to play against them very often, except hopefully in a 7-game series a few years down the road.
So while the #5 pick wont sell as many season tickets as Oden and Durant would have at first, a proper pick will insure, at the least, some better basketball to come from the Celts in the near future, and hopefully improve their image as a quality franchise once again, both locally and nationally. Go Green.


p.s.- I know that this is borderline old news, but I just had to throw some hoops onto the blog. And I so wanted the Celts to get Durant.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Idol Thoughts

Schilling is at best a # 3 or 4 starter for the rest of this season unless the velocity on his fastball increases.

I'm not sure whether I should be proud or ashamed of the fact that I picked Jordan Sparks to win it all two months ago

It looked to me, Jerry & Don last night that Lugo and ARod were jawing over his elbow to Pedroia when ARod was on 2nd base last night...I see Beckett plunking him next weekend

Anyone catch the crowd shot of Terry Hatcher on Idol last night? She looks like a surgery gone bad on Nip/Tuck...I thought it was Michael Jackson for a second

While good arguments can be made for either Brady or Manning as the best NFL QB there has never been a doubt that Manning is superior when it comes to fantasy football but I have a feeling this year Brady shoots to the top and will probably go very early in a lot of drafts

Boston is really having a bad week...The Sox lose 2 of 3 to the Yanks, The Celtics fall all the way to 5th in the draft and finally last night our own Joe Perry was on stage performing with Sanjaya. How low can you go Joe?

Nice of ESPN to show Roger going against the Sea Dogs last night, he definitely didn't look ready for prime time

Carrie Underwood in Playboy would set sales records

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

Are the Yankees Tiger Woods?

And the Red Sox Phil Mickelson?

How come there aren't more national articles about how the Red Sox are kicking ass and taking names in the AL East? Doesn't the team with the best record in MLB deserve some national attention?

A quick scan of ESPN.com and SI.com MLB front pages shows a link to one article about the Sox-Braves series and a multitude of articles about the Yankees' turmoil.

This led me to wonder if the Yankees are the MLB equivalient of Tiger Woods. When Woods is +2 on a Friday in any big tournament and Golfer X (call him Sean O'Hair if you want to) is -4, the headline is never Golfer X leads the Blankety-Blank Classic, it's always, Tiger Woods is 6 Strokes off the Lead. Now we all know that Tiger can and has made extraordinary comebacks over the weekend in a given tournament, but until it's Sunday and he's clearly out of it, they won't stop showing him.

So, here we are. The Red Sox have the best record in baseball and there are articles about Joe Torre, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, and a highlight clip of Derek Jeter, but only one article about the Red Sox in both of the major sports sites.

I guess we'll have to wait for the Sunday of the MLB season (August/September) to get any real attention.

If that's the case, in the end, I guess I don't really mind that much. I'd rather be Phil Mickelson wrapping up The Players on Sunday and taking home the trophy…

…and maybe Sunday will come early this year with another series victory in the Bronx.

Cheers,
-JS

Friday, May 18, 2007

2004 Redux

Any members of Patriot/Sox Nation remember 2004? Yes, that's the year we pulled off the bifecta winning our second Superbowl and our first World Series in 86 years. That was something else. Could this be the year that we repeat that feat?

Yes, it's only May and so my prediction is premature to say the least but I can't help feeling really good about both our local sports teams. According to ESPN, the Patriots and Red Sox are number 1 in their respective power ranking polls. Injuries could certainly change things in a hurry but that's the case for any team, right?

What is somewhat astounding to me is that right now the Sox have a 9 1/2 game lead on the Yankees. As the A's, Twins and other MLB teams have proven in recent years, no lead is ever safe in baseball but there is evidence to show that the Yanks have a tough road ahead. If the Sox go a mere 62-60 down the stretch (just a game over .500), they will win 90 games. The Yanks on the other hand would need to go 72-51 down the stretch to reach that same milestone. Not impossible mind you, but still a challenge given their starting pitching.

At the end of the day, the games still need to be played. Playoffs need to be won and rosters need to stay healthy. You gotta love our chances though. And with any luck, we may even end up with a franchise player in the NBA draft. If that happens, might we be looking at a trifecta in 2009?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Letter to Ricky Marley (err... Williams)

Dear Ricky,

How are you doing? It's been a while since we've spoken, but I heard through the grapevine that you've had another tussle with the Commissioner. How does that happen?

You were so close to making a triumphant return to the NFL and now it looks like you're headed back to the CFL or maybe for a stint in Europe (gasp!).

Did someone sneak you a *brownie* or was it second hand smoke? Please tell me it wasn't by your own free will?

What's this going to cost you? A couple of million? How much pot would that buy you after you retire?

Have you thought about Dolphin fans? They must be crushed by this news. Hopefully, we'll have a post or two from them here.

Please take a minute to repond here... We'd love to hear what's really going on.

Best - Jim

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Incredible Shrinking Globe

Junior Gong leaves his fortified compound in Johnsvegas every morning and before he hops on the train grabs a copy of the Boston Globe for his morning commute to South Station. This costs him $0.75 and most days it isn't worth the money. He isn't sure the exact date that the Globe morphed into The Lowell Sun but sure enough their sports section today is no better than the local Lowell rag he read as a lad every evening.

The Sunday sports section used to be close to an hour's read in their heyday but now is finished within 15 to 20 minutes tops. During the week you can get through it during a 5 minute shit. Half the time the weekday editions contains as many AP articles as those by Globe columnists. Their so-called Big 4 are simply atrocious and all are well past their prime. Here is my quick rundown of their team:
  • Shaughnessy-The only thing consistent about him is that he mails it in on a regular basis. I will actually be very surprised if we don't get an October preview of Detroit vs. Boston in the ALCS this week with the Tigers in town. Detroit has George Romney...we have Mitt. They have Kid Rock, we have Aerosmith. Comerica Tower and the Handcock Tower. Break out the template Dan.
  • Ryan-The last interesting thing he had to say was that Joumana Kidd should be slapped. Boorish BC columns and pining away for the 80's NBA to return is no way to ride into the sunset. His bloated ego leads him to believe that his piss is really champagne.
  • MacMullan-Great reading for an insomniac but hasn't produced a memorable article in the last several years
  • Borges-Continues the fine tradition of plagiarism at the Globe picking up the torch from Mike Barnicle, Patricia Smith and Jeff Jacoby. He has had a major hard on for Belichick every since Bledsoe went down which makes his football articles mostly unbearable.

One of the most amazing things about these 4 is that print isn't even their worst medium. Ever catch any of them on TV?

I do enjoy McCabe on golf, Reiss on football and Blaudschun on horses & the NCAA but none of these talented folks get enough print in my opinion. Until the Globe puts out to pasture the aforementioned dinosaurs Junior Gong will continue to feel cheated most days when he drops down his $0.75.

Shame on me

I admit it, I threw in the towel yesterday in the 8th inning. I stopped watching the game just a bit too early. Just like most of the others that I have talked to. Ugh.

Thoughts that went through my head at the time:
  • 7-1 is still a great record for Beckett, he was bound to lose at some point; and I'll take this loss over one from the Yankees or any meaningful game. And we can't take any risks with those blisters...
  • If it was 5-3 I'd have time to watch the end of this game
  • Manny is hurt, what the eff? Strike out Mo Pena, no thanks .. BTW, when is the last time that he has hit a meaningful homer/extra base hit any way? And we need one.
  • There's probably going to be some cape traffic that I can beat if I leave now (I wasn't home, and needed to drive from the south shore into Boston); and I really would like to go for a run before the sun goes down
  • Who is Jeremy Guthrie? Because I have never heard of him and he is lights out right against the best (and hottest) line up in baseball. Let him have his one day to out pitch someone like Beckett. Fine.
  • That really pissed me off when Ortiz grounded into that double play (in the 6th I believe?) - they just don't have it together today

I was wrong. I, like many others let myself down by giving up yesterday. Perhaps I should go to red sox nation confession. I was bitter, and I walked away on my boys. I have to thank that Baltimore defense for their gifts though, much love to them and their mothers on this special day. They must be proud.

There's something special here though. Good teams don't come back when they are down 5 runs with 1 out in the 9th. This team is certainly not a good team. They are special. Would love to fast forward to October... when we are still up 8 games.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Strange Daze

Is it me or does it seem like this is too easy? The Sox take two out of three from Minnesota in the Metrodome, and three from the Jays where the home team forgot to show up. Unless Beckett suddenly pulls a Matt Clement on us, we'll take the rubber game of the series against the O's today.

To date, the starting pitching has been outstanding. Amazingly, the bullpen has been even better (2.20 ERA if you throw out Davern Hansack's garbage time against the Jays). The bats have started to heat up to the tune of 42 runs in the last five games. Oh yeah, the Sox are actually stealing bases, bunting and manufacturing runs too. Who are these guys?

What scares me is our lack of injuries when the teams around us are falling apart at the seams. The numerous woes in the Bronx have been well-documented in this blog. The Jays and O's must have been jealous and decided to follow the Yanks lead losing key components like BJ Ryan (Jays) and half the starting rotation (O's). Based on Doc Halladay's last two starts, he'll be on the DL soon.

As much as I love our early season success, I'm starting to get a little nervous. We've seen this pattern before where a team goes out and blows away the field early. The knights of the keyboard talk about how the team is going to run away with it. Next thing you know, the team is struggling down the stretch and either limps into the playoffs or misses the playoffs because they catch the losing bug when the games count.

The Sox, at least on paper, seem to be different. We know that the the starting rotation is a proven commodity. None of us are surprised that Beckett, Dice-K, Schilling and Wake are all off to good starts. We also expected the line up to produce and at least pieces of the bullpen to hold down the fort once Papelbon was re-elected to close. What we didn't expect is to be this healthy (was I the only one that thought JD Drew might already be on the 60 day DL?)

So maybe we will be more like the 1998 Yanks who won 114 games and went on to win the World Series. That team averaged 19 wins a month and maintained momentum all year long. Let's hope we're not the 2001 Mariners who won 116 but then lost in the second round to the Yanks.

Looking forward to today's game and Beckett being the first 8 game winner in MLB. Until then...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Rooster Ramblings

-- Seeing as the Red Sox have always been a major backer of the Jimmy Fund, I've got a fundraising idea sure to be a hit with the fans. The Sox brass donates a $1000 each time Curt Schilling issues a "no comment." The Rooster, for one, would be glad to donate to that cause.

-- If David Ortiz isn't convinced that Barry Bonds took steroids, who are the baseball reporters to argue? In the land of the talking heads and knights of the keyboards, there's an eery silence surrounding the physical validity of a certain soon-to-be 45-year-old who's returning and throwing in the 90s. I guess we're to assume these gifts are natural, fellas? The journalist silence on this is reminiscent of the lack of digging that occurred when Bonds broke the McGwire's single-season record. (Oh, and in related news, George Mitchell just ordered a steak at Abe & Louie's.)

-- Because he has been the era's most dominant closer (and player perhaps), the tendency is to assume that Mariano Rivera will, of course, bounce back from his early season troubles. But there are some troubling signs for the Yankees. Namely, when you faced Rivera in his prime -- well, even just last year -- and you went down two strikes early in the count, you knew what was coming: the high fastball. And was it the most unhittable pitch in the game. This year? Not so much. Adrian Beltre and Marco Scutaro (Marco Scutaro!) have already beaten Rivera in the ninth with home runs off the high heat and our own Jason Varitek repeatedly fought off the two-strike high heat in the Bronx (as big an indictment of the pitch as you'll find). It says here that the Yankees' fortunes the rest of the way will be tied more closely to Rivera finding that pitch than they will to Roger Clemens giving them five innings every fifth day.

-- Tom Caron is to NESN what Ernie Johnson, Jr. is to TNT.

-- Yeah, Year One was frightening, but how's Year Two of the Hanley Ramirez trade treating you? Beckett's 7-0 and Mike Lowell is on pace for a career year (making his feared $9MM salary a bargain). Meanwhile, Anibel Sanchez was just sent back to AAA by the Marlins. Props to you, Theo. (Now about that Arroyo deal ....)

-- This just in: Floyd Mayweather likes money.

-- There's a rumor floating around the NBA that if the Suns flame out against the Spurs, they are going to make a run at the No. 2 pick and Kevin Durant, sacrificing their first round pick (which could be as high as No. 5) and any player outside of Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. This, of course, could raise some interesting possibilities for the C's. Would you sacrifice Durant and a player (Gomes?) for the No. 5 pick and, say, Shawn Marion? I would. The scary part of this, however, is that the decision rests with Danny Ainge. While Danny has drafted well, he consistently has been fleeced in trades. This draft -- and subsequent off-season of moves -- is culmination of three years of playing the young'ns and building their value. Make the wrong moves now, and it will be devastating for the franchise. The lottery is May 22.

-- It's great to see old friend Christopher Trotman Nixon go 8-for-10 in back-to-back games against Orioles. Not so nice: seeing that SS Alex Gonzalez has 7 dingers for the Reds. I'm not so sure we will see a better defensive shortstop suit up for the Sox in our lifetimes.

-- Finally some sad news to report: I went to get me some ribs before a Sox game last week and discovered dust gathering on the tables and chairs at the Linwood Grille. Yup, the barbecue has been shut down for good. Apparently, it is going to re-open as an "American grille" at some point. Like we need more of those ... Bastards.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Money it's a gas...Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash

Money get back
I'm all right Jack keep your hands off my stack.
Money it's a hit
Don't give me that do goody good bullshit
I'm in the hi-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet
Today's announcement that Roger Clemens is coming out of retirement (the 4th time for those that are counting) and joining the New York Yankees came as no surprise to this observer. In fact I predicted as much in my earlier blog about Mo Rivera and his struggles. At almost every step of his career Roger has always been about the money and the Yankees were always going to be the highest bidder. I'm just thankful this happened as quick as it did so we wouldn't have to read crap article after crap article about this being such a tough decision for Roger and how torn he is over 3 teams. Roger is all about the money and if you can kiss his ass while handing over a king's ransom than all the better. Kudos the Yankee's organization for doing a great job on both counts.

This is a solid move for New York but one that they absolutely had to make given the state of their pitching. While it makes the Yankees better I remain quite happy he didn't come back to Boston. It would kill me to have to root for a Sox starting rotation that included two guys that make me cringe almost every time they address the media. Roger is a complete phony and despite his better living through chemistry I have doubts on just how effective he is going to be in the American League at age 45.
I prefer my lasting memories of Roger in a Red Sox uniform to be:
  • Asking out of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series (go ask McNamara about this one)
  • Wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shoe laces and eye paint before purposely getting himself tossed out of the final game of Oakland's sweep of Boston in 1990
  • Being fat and out of shape his final four years here where he compiled a 40-39 record and cavorted around town with someone definitely not named Debbie

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Rooster Ramblings

Let me get right to it ...

-- Big ups to the Sox brass for the annual new wrinkles to Fenway and their orchestrated tributes to the past. But who knew that this year’s loudest nod to the past would be to ... Schaeffer Stadium? I’m talking about the new Conigliaro’s Corner seats at Fenway. Um, steel benches surrounded by chain link fence and tacked on top of the right field skyboxes? I can’t confirm this, but rumor has it that Rod Rust is escorting people to their seats up there. And, as if the skyboxes themselves weren’t cold enough on April/early May nights ... by the seventh inning of Thursday’s game versus Seattle, those poor bastards atop the new seats looked like the plane crash survivors from the movie “Alive,” huddling together to protect from the wind. If that game went extra innings, there was definitely going to be bonfires lit and limbs barbecued up there.

-- If Dustin Pedroia wants to get a hit in his next at-bat, he should start his swing right ... about ... NOW! There’s only one pertinent Pedroia question left: before sending him back to Triple A, is management trying to merely strip him of his confidence or are they trying to crush his soul, too.

-- Reason No. 7607 to decline that invite to sit in the Green Room on draft day: just seconds after being selected 20 spots lower than you expected, a giggly Deion Sanders asks you on live TV how it feels to lose out on so many millions of dollars. Ouch ... Btw, the lasting memory of the Emasculated Brady Quinn era may be him sheepishly mouthing the words “Wow” to his girlfriend when Ginn’s name got called rather than his. With each successive pick, his girlfriend looked like she was morphing into a pissed-off Kelly Preston from “Jerry Maguire.” Brady, you PROMISED me you’d be a top five pick -- you LOSER! Homeboy better be careful or before long she’s going to be sending shots of herself in a bikini to Rich Eisen.

-- And another thing about the draft coverage – Hey, Suzy Kolber. I wannna kiiisssssss youuuu. In a perfect world, we'd get a drunk Joe Namath evaluating each draft pick. Now THAT would required viewing.

-- I've listened to more than a few people say that they are digging the NBA playoffs this year. Maybe the Golden State upset had a lot to do with that. Still, when I'm flipping channels and I see Barkley and the halftime show, I'm stopping and watching him for the halftime duration. The game action itself? As Borat would say,"Nawwwwwwwwwwt."

-- Finally, the Rooster comes to you today with a plea: it’s time we Boston sports fans band together and demand term limits be placed on sports writers and broadcasters in this town. The idea is simple. If you get a job as a writer at the Globe or a broadcaster at WBZ, you get four years in the dream job and you’re audi – no exceptions. New blood gets cycled in, and the old jaded blood can do as many guest spots on different shows as he or she wants. I mean, for a town that boasts of its educated population, how are we stuck year-after-year with the likes of Bob Lobel, who on his best day can only boast of being lucid? Then there’s his stooge sidekick Steve Burton and his comical habit of finishing his thoughts by looking straight into the camera, earnestly tilting his head and pursing his lips as if he’s just delivered some pearl of wisdom on Tom Brady being a “gamer.” (Note to Steve: the phrase “Really?”is NOT an acceptable follow-up question in an interview.) The Globe? Well, do I even need to waste my energy on them? The answer, friends: term limits! In fact, why not have open campaigns for national writers we’d like to have here to cover our teams? I’m ready to start The Committee to Elect TJ Simers. Who’s with me?

-- I lied. One last thing, a riddle: What makes a Rooster smile? A: A 10-game lead over the Yankees at the All-Star break.

The Josh Hancock Legacy

I don't even know where to start with this whole Josh Hancock situation, so I guess a stream of consciousness will have to do...

When the news first came out, I was a bit surprised everyone (the entire league) was jumping on the "Josh Hancock is a hero that was taken from us too soon" bandwagon. I had a conversation with Aaron right after the initial news came out, commenting on how it seemed premature. Let's see... he was 29, single, in his hometown on a Saturday night (after 12:15am) and driving on a highway when he slammed into the back end of a tow truck with its emergency lights on... it sounded a bit like alcohol might have been involved.

The only tragedy here is the poor decisions he made that night:
1. Drinking too much (twice the legal limit in Missouri)
2. Refusing a cab ride from the restaurant manager.
3. Talking on the phone while driving too fast.
4. Not wearing a seatbelt (although experts say this wouldn't have saved his life in this case).

The irony is that his team (St Louis Cardinals) is owned by the Busch family, who made their fortune brewing beer, which might just have been at the center of this "tragedy." They're now planning to ban beer in the St Louis clubhouse after games... what's next, banning brats for the Brewers?

I'll echo what St Louis Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklaszf wrote this morning... "If you want to honor Josh Hancock, remember how he died and call a taxi for yourself, or for someone next to you."

spacerYour thoughts?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Boston Sucks Chant?

Apparently it actually happened:
Boston Sucks Chant Heard in Bronx

Wow. That's awesome. See my post on 4/25 if you're wondering why I think this is cool.

Did anyone else here this?

Cheers,
-JS