Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Mike Martz is still coaching?

Butch Davis resigned from the Browns. Since I only care about the Pats. My only thought is I hope his quitting doesn't motivate the Browns for this week's game.

Ty Willingham's getting fired from Notre Dame. This would be news if anyone still cared about Notre Dame.

Hot Stove, Giants get another bad contract

It's always interesting to see middle market teams decide to spend money, and then spend it unwisely. This year's example is the Giants. First, they sign over-the-hill Omar Vizquel to a three year deal. Now, they sign Armando Benitez to a three year contract worth $21 million. Sure, he was great last year when he was pitching for a contract. Before, however, he was terrible in the playoffs for the Orioles and the Mets, and he had subpar seasons the two years he pitched before last year's contract season. Now the Giants say they're after 39-year-old Steve Finley. They'll probably give him three years too, and they'll still have no one in the lineup to protect Bonds.

Guest Author Bryan on the BCS Mess

I'm not sure enough could be said of the mounting problems the NCAA will face because of the Bowl Championship Series. Well, actually enough has been said, and I'll just take this opportunity to offer one more. This year, above any should be a realization for Miles Brand and the rest of the brass at the NCAA to openly explore what options there is in creating a playoff system to end the season, and finally give us an undisputed college football champion. I would not hold my breath if I were you.

That's right, please do not hold your breath, and actually do not waste your breath talking about the subject in bars or at your workplace. If the NCAA had already found a way to create a playoff system in which they would make the same amount of money that they do with the BCS, we would see USC playing Auburn in the championship game. That will not happen, unless of course Oklahoma loses to professional dirt bag Gary Barnett.

College football, like all sports, is run exclusively by corporate sponsorship. Tostitos, Fed-Ex, Nokia, SBC, are just some of the names affixed to the bowl games you will be enjoying during the holidays. According to the Football Bowl Association, this year $187 million will be paid out to all schools participating in bowl games this year. That much money can really buy a lot of sculptures to decorate the quads of all of these schools, and maybe, I don't know, buy a computer or two. In the end though, we will have three major schools: USC, Oklahoma, and Auburn, who will contend that they should be in the championship game, and we will have one of those schools bitching about why they should have been in there.

The BCS is inherently wrong, but it is the only thing we got. Sure, we could leave it up to the polls but then we go back to the split champions like we did in 1997 with Michigan and Nebraska. What it does show is that with computers doing a third of the picking, we are doomed to failure. Somewhere, Stanley Kubric is smiling.

The idea of a playoff might not be as viable as one might thing though. I do not wish to beat the horse and talk about how the money aspect of it will ensure we will not see it soon. But even with taking that out of the equation, we will still see a BCS type system plague us forever. Any playoff system will surely have eight, twelve, or maybe up to sixteen teams, but with two different polls that sometimes are quite different how is it that we would decide what teams qualify? After that, you have the major conferences who will vie for their conference champion to be automatically in the playoff. Sure, that puts a smile on the face of Boston College fans, but I got news for ya' the Big East ain't what it used to be.

Actually, the anti-climatic ending that the BCS provides us is really the best option. Ratings are up, and corporate sponsors are licking their lips at trying to get their name upon anything that is played on New Year's Day. I am not worried though, we will have at least two undefeated teams at the end of the year, Beano Cook will be a celebrity again, and we'll do this all again next August.

Monday, November 29, 2004

They just keep winning! Posted by Hello

This Week's Guess the Athlete

Answer comes on Friday Posted by Hello

NFL Thoughts

  • Bengals 58, Browns 48. Every offseason, the NFL makes new rules that helps the offense. Guess this is what they want.
  • I was all set to write about how Jerry Porter doesn't look so great now that he doesn't play with Rice and Brown when they had some talent and reputation left. Then he gets three touchdowns. This is why I wait until Monday to write my thoughts.
  • Why are people always surprised when snow games are high scoring? Snow favors offense. Pass rushers have no footing, and it's tougher for defensive backs to keep their footing because they don't know where they're going.
  • Mike Shannahan, it's snowing and freezing. Wear a hat genius.
  • Time to reassess Champ Bailey. I'd be a good cornerback playing against the NFC East. He doesn't look so good in the AFC.
  • Bills 38 Seahawks 9. Did I mention how much better the AFC is compared to the NFC?
  • During halftime, Shannon Sharpe taunts Boomer Esiason about his prediction that Dillon would be the difference for the Pats. Sharpe was so proud of his former team. Dillon then goes on to win the game for the Pats, running for 123 yards and taking half the fourth quarter off.
  • Shannon Sharpe wasn't the best tight end ever either; tight ends block.
  • I think CBS broke the record for least amount of penalties shown in replays during the Pats Ravens game.
  • Maybe they didn't show replays because the game was officiated so poorly.
  • Ray Lewis, he was good once, right? The box score says he had 12 tackles. The person in charge of the box score is either a liar or Lewis jumped on top of a lot of piles.
  • Bruschi's Better.
  • Ed Reed celebrates after making a simple tackle with his team down 21 points. Yep, he went to Miami.
  • The Dolphins are 2-2 against NFC teams. Put them in the NFC, they'd be in the playoffs. They'd probably beat the Eagles too.
  • Did you know this will be Favre's 200th consecutive start? (I wish I knew how to type with sarcasm.)

Sunday, November 28, 2004

"Over 20,000 people start at Africa's largest ever road race, the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa November 28, 2004." (REUTERS/Radu Sigheti)

Ironically, an American runner won the race. Posted by Hello

Attempting to write about NCAA Football

  • There's a chance that 6-5 Syracuse could play in a BCS Bowl.
  • Yesterday was BC's last chance to play in a BCS bowl game. For some reason, I think Clemson and Florida State will be tougher opponents than UCONN and Rutgers.
  • One last thing about BC, I guess if they went to a BCS game, the school would have made about $14 million. Now that they're going to a meaningless bowl, they'll lose money. Either way, the players are paid the same.
  • Here's the thinking behind Nebraska hiring failed NFL Coach Bill Callahan: "It worked for USC when they hired NFL reject Pete Carroll."
  • Does this mean that Dave Wannstadt has a chance of being Florida's next head coach?
  • Remember when the Florida schools actually played exciting football? I miss the days of Ward and Dunn, a Hurricane team better than the Dolphins, and Spurrier Ball.
  • Spurrier might be hated, but at least his college teams played exciting football. Hopefully that will happen in South Carolina. The joke connecting Spurrier's personality with South Carolina's mascot was funny the first time I heard it. Now that I've heard it a million times, it's not so funny.
  • The USC Trojans are the only college team I'd make an effort to watch
  • Hopefully by now you can see why I need someone else to write about college football.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Happy One Month Anniversary!

10/27/04 Posted by Hello

Heat need to trade for Gugliotta, sign Keefe

Last night when I saw Shaq and Laettner playing for the Heat, I thought of the 1992 Draft. Eight of the top ten players picked have played for the Heat:
  1. Shaq 2004-
  2. Mourning 1995-2002
  3. Laetnner 2004-
  4. Jim Jackson 2001/02
  5. Laphonso Ellis 2001-2003
  6. Tom Gugliotta (hopefully, in the future)
  7. Walt Williams 1995/96 (28 games)
  8. Todd Day 1997/98 (5 games)
  9. Clarence Weatherspoon 1998-2000
  10. Adam Keefe (He's available!)
In addition to the above eight, six others drafted that day played for the Heat. Harold Minor(the Heat's #12 pick with the unfortunate nickname, "Baby Jordan") , Don Maclean (19th pick, played in eight games for the Heat), PJ Brown (29th pick, instigated several fights for the Heat between 1996 and 2000), Matt Geiger (42nd pick, Heat player from 1992 to 1995, part of the Mourning trade), Pedrag Danilovic (43rd pick, averaged over 10 points per game between 1995 and 1997 for the Heat, I don't remember him though), and finally Matt Fish (the 50th player taken in 1992 played one minute for the Heat in the 1996/97 season: had no points, no assists, no rebounds, and had one turnover. Retire his number!)

Back to the top ten. I'm sure the Heat can convince the Celtics to trade them Googs. As for Keefe, I did some research; the last team he played for was the Adecco Estudiantes of the Euroleague. Unfortunately, this year he was replaced by Andrae Patterson. So, I guess he's available.


Lebron James: "I'm not going to force no shots ever, even if my teammates want me to take the last shot," said James. "If the ball's in my hands at the end I can make a play. And I don't even have to shoot to make a play. I showed that tonight."

Paul Pierce: "I'm going to take responsibility for this game," said Pierce. "I made bad plays down the stretch. I turned the ball over two times and forced a shot when I should have found somebody and we wound up losing the game. I thought I found some open guys there in the fourth. Then, when shots didn't go down I started taking it upon myself. I'm just caught in a fine line between the two.

"My thing is I don't really get down about it. This is my seventh year and I've had more ups than downs. This is one of those games where I feel like I let the team down, but hey, there's been other times I let the team down. There's going to be more times I lift us up. My role on this team is to be aggressive. I'm a scorer. That's what I do best."

Friday, November 26, 2004

Mickelson shoots a 59 in Hawaii

I once shot a 59....on a pitch and putt course....well, actually the front nine of a pitch and putt course. Posted by Hello

Connecting nothing to do with sports with sports

"Mother" deemed the most beautiful word in English.

The ESPN Sunday Night Football crew voted for "Favre."

Blame Clinton

Brian wrote this about the recent sports world controversies:

Can you imagine if the fight,the MNF opening,and the wardrobe malfunction happened when Clinton was President? Imagine what Sleazebaugh, Hannity, Michael Weiner-Savage,and Fox would have done. Blame Clinton, of course! They would be crying rivers and blaming him.

Interestingly, the two sports radio personalities in Boston making the biggest deal out of Artest and the MNF opening also happen to be ultra-conservatives.

More Artest!!

I thought I was done with this topic, but ESPN's Skip Bayless wrote an outstanding article, "Sports' darkest day? No way." Read the whole article, but he writes that one reason this brawl is such a big story is the video was so good. Recent baseball fights in the stands were more violent but the video wasn't as clear. He also writes about how Artest being involved makes the story bigger.

I admit to being guilty of that. I don't like Artest as a player, so as soon as he did something wrong I was ready to pounce.

One last thing about the brawl (I hope): I'm tired of hearing commentators saying this brawl is an indictment of society as a whole, or pundits claiming that this brawl shows how our society is troubled. These people are so off-base. They're ignoring that brawls or riots like this have happened before. This was a case of some players making bad decisions, some fans acting like jerks, some mob mentality, bad security, and that's it.

After hearing all of this commentary about how our society is doomed, I watched Monday Night Football. The players on the Chiefs and Pats were extremely well behaved. I didn't even see any of the usual taunting. Also, the loud, enthusiastic KC fans caused no problems. All they did was cheer like fans are supposed to do. I guess this game show how our society is a utopian paradise.

Thanksgiving Football

  • New NFL rule proposal: if a team loses by more than 30 points, they lose the right to host a Thanksgiving game for the next ten years
  • Cowboy fans booed when Testaverde entered the game. Were they booing Testaverde or were they booing the coaching of the great Parcells?
  • I'm not sure if I've seen an offensive as bad as Chicago's.
  • Many Boston sports "experts" criticized the Pats for taking Seymour instead of David Terrell.
  • Not sure if I should blame a late night, the Turkey, or the game, but I slept through most of the Chicago game.
  • A great New England Thanksgiving tradition is the morning high school games among rival schools. A nice reunion where recent high school graduates compete to see who can be the drunkest. In my hometown, the drunkest gets the honor of holding an umbrella. I'd love to have video of the umbrella winner later in the day going home to mom's for Thanksgiving dinner.

Hubie Brown Retires

Not the most photogenic guy, but a very good coach. Hopefully young NBA coaches took notes when they watched the Grizzlies play unselfish, uptempo basketball. Posted by Hello

Answer to guess the Athlete

Antonio Gates

Possibly the best tight end in football. Played no college football, but had an outstanding college basketball career.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving, some site news

Food and Football! What a great day. With the Bears playing the Cowboys, I'll even have time to get away from the TV and spend time with family. Here's two quick holiday thoughts:
  • Every columnist, media person, and webpage that does a "Turkeys of the Year" feature is lame.
  • People who call Thanksgiving, "Turkey Day," should be shot.
As for news, there's a chance this site will have some new contributors soon. I don't know if many of you heard the story about a drunken meeting between the Sox and Yankees owners where they agreed to trade Ted Williams for Joe DiMaggio. The next morning, the sobered up owners thought better of it. Anyway, there's potential of that happening with the new writers and me.

Also, I welcome everyone to contribute to this site. You can register with Blogger (which is free) and respond to posts, or you can e-mail me(bartcopsportseast@yahoo.com) your own articles, which I'll then post. I'll post just about anything because much like a wife of a Yankee fan, my standards are low.

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

This album's amazing. Let's see if I can relate this to sports. U2's 2002 Super Bowl Halftime Show was the best sporting/musical event ever. U2's football based video, "Stuck in the Moment..." was their worst video ever. If you want to buy this online, support Bartcop.com by using his link to Amazon. Posted by Hello


I'm tired. Also I'm tired of hearing the analysis that the Pats have all this success without stars. Madden said it last night between chugs. They don't have media appointed stars, self promoters, and their stats aren't always great because the spread the ball around on offense and rotate a lot of players on defense. Talentwise, though, they are stars. Here's a list of stars (about top 5 talent) on the Pats.
  • Current Stars: Brady, Dillon, Branch, Seymour, Bruschi, Law, Harrison, Vinatieri
  • Former Stars who still come up with big plays: Brown, Ted Johnson, McGinest, Colvin, Phifer
  • Potential Stars: Givens, Graham, Ben Watson, Warren, Wilfork, Eugene Wilson, Colvin (if he fully recovers from injury)
Other thoughts:
  • On the last play, the Chiefs' receivers quit before Green got sacked.
  • Gonzalez whines like a Colt receiver. You shouldn't get the interference call when you initiate the contact 99% of the time.
  • Potential problems for the Pats is their kickoff coverage.
  • Are there any free agent cornerbacks available? Otis Smith? Jimmy Hitchcock? Chris Canty? Ronnie Lippett?
  • Hopefully the national media will recognize how good Deion Branch is. It's amazing the Pats offense did okay without him since week 2.
  • Interesting tidbit from Madden: at practice, he claims that Belichick treats every player like a starter. This could explain why backups do pretty good filling in for injured players.
  • I like hearing sounds on the field, but I didn't like hearing Samuels screaming in agony after reinjuring his shoulder (I think)
  • 2005 Patriots' draft preview: they take a few cornerbacks.

Monday, November 22, 2004

This Week's Guess the Athlete Posted by Hello

NFL Thoughts

  • Am I the only one who enjoys seeing Jeremy Shockey drop passes?
  • When I used to play video games, if I ended up on my own one yard line I'’d be excited because of the chance of having a 99 yard play. I get the same feeling when Michael Vick'’s on his one.
  • I also used to keep passing and run the hurry up despite a big lead just to pad my stats. Just like Peyton Manning.
  • I didn'’t yell at the refs after every incomplete pass though.
  • Peyton'’s commercials are annoying too.
  • I’'d love to see Vick against Belichick’'s defense
  • Nothing'’s better than seeing a player you hate go to a team you hate and then seeing that team have a terrible season. Thank you, Warren Sapp.
  • Bledsoe'’s Bills destroyed the Rams. More evidence that the AFC is clearly superior to the NFC.
  • My one o’'clock choices: Ravens vs. Cowboys or Jets vs. Browns. I watched Elf.
  • CBS did a piece on the large of amount of injuries this season. It was pretty interesting commentary. So was last year’s. And the year before that too.
  • It'’s fun hearing all the excuses the media makes for Bill Parcells. Why can’t they just say that this year’s Cowboys are a poorly coached team?
  • Next week: Dolphins (1-9) vs. 49ers (1-9)!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

What Kobe's about to say: "I got our team's best player traded, so if you don't stop passing to Odom, you'll be next."

What Atkins is thinking: "Oh no! It looks Kobe's wife hasn't forgiven him yet." Posted by Hello

You didn't call that when I coached the Knicks! Posted by Hello

NBA Thoughts

I'm taking a break from the Detroit brawl with some early season observations:
  • Memo to ESPN, ABC, and TNT: forget about Iverson, McGrady, Kobe, and Yao. Show more LeBron and Wade.
  • I wouldn't mind seeing the Jazz once in a while. The only thing I know about Kirilenko is he puts up good fantasy stats. Also Boozer averaging over 20 points a game and he's double digits in rebounds.
  • Speaking of double digit rebounders, 18-year-old Dwight Howard is averaging 11.4 a game.
  • In Boston, people are getting excited about rookie Al Jefferson. He still looks lost on the court a lot, but he's a quick jumper and has good hands (probably 2 of the most important skills for a big man).
  • The Celtics run and pass well for three quarters. Then in the fourth, they stand around as Paul Pierce tries to take on four defenders. The legend of Jim O'Brien's offense lives on.
  • I wonder if O'Brien actually coaches offense. Watch the 76ers and you'll know what I mean.
  • One reason Grant Hill's early success is so enjoyable is how he excels in all aspects of the game. He may not put up as many points as players like Kobe and Iverson, but he puts them to shame in other aspects of the game like rebounding and passing.
  • Dumb quote of the day goes to Lakers owner Jerry Buss on why he traded Shaq: "I keep looking at Chicago. They haven't won a game, they haven't come close to the playoffs for seven years. Quite honestly, that was because they didn't make any trades while they had an opportunity. They let their team get older and decayed. I just don't want to do that."
So what's he suggesting? That the Bulls trade away Jordan or Pippen before they won a championship in 97 or 98? I can't think of an example of an NBA team helping itself by trading away a star before he "gets old." In my NBA preview, I criticized Jerry Krause for making the same sort of statement about the Celtics. In both cases, they're ignoring the bad moves and unfortunate events that occurred after the retirements of Bird, McHale, Jordan etc.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Some more thoughts about the fight

  • Whenever I'm at a game and I see one of several cops, I think to myself, "Man he's lucky, he's getting paid to be here." I also know they're there in case something happens. Something happened last night and I didn't see any cops. Maybe they were interrogating the donut vendors.
  • I heard Jermaine O'Neil was punching fans too. There goes his MVP chances.
  • I'm already tired of hearing about Pacers "defending" themselves. When someone throws something at you, don't defend yourself by going ten rows into a crowd, punching the first person you know you can beat up.
  • I'm not defending beer throwers. For one, it's a waste of beer. Anyway, I think it was a pretty natural reaction to seeing athletes aggressively punch other fans.
  • I remember Iverson going to jail for about a year for being involved in a high school brawl. Don't remember many details though.
  • About Artest deserving to be punched: This was a thought I first developed while watching Rodman. There are never any significant consequences to Rodman's and Artest's actions. In hockey, if you do too many cheap shots, an enforcer will beat you up. Even in baseball, some pitchers will throw at batters who get out of line. There is NONE of this in the NBA.
  • Artest didn't feel it was necessary to defend himself when Wallace attacked him. I guess it's much easier to defend yourself when the attacker is five foot seven.
  • So much for the Artest/Peja trade. Most teams won't want Artest. I see him on the Knicks by next year at the latest.
  • How does the NBA punish the Piston for what happened? A good fine will work. Maybe force Detroit to donate all their revenue from this game to some anti-violence charity. A more drastic idea would be to cancel the next Pacers/Pistons game, giving both teams a forfeited loss. It's drastic, but it would make other NBA teams work harder to improve stadium security and prevent their players from jumping into the stands.
  • Some links: Detroit's perspective: "And a lot of it was inexcusable. But none of it would have happened if Artest had done what athletes are trained to do forever: Ignore the fans."
  • Indiana's perspective: Warning: Bob Kravitz wrote the article. He's the Michael Jordan of journalism (Jordan playing baseball, that is). He writes, "What Artest did next, going into the stands to confront the fan, was human nature. Who wouldn't do precisely the same thing?" Answer: ME

Friday, November 19, 2004

Pacers Pistons Brawl

  • Ron Artest deserves to be punched. Several times. He's a cheap shot artist and an instigator. Wallace didn't react like he did because of that one play. Artest has been doing this since he entered the league and Wallace finally exploded. Reminds me of when Parrish finally punched Lambier.
  • The Piston fans are idiots.
  • Stephen Jackson should be kicked out of the league.
  • ESPN airhead, John Saunders, tried to recall other fan/player fights, and he mentioned Red Sox fans going into the Yankee bullpen. Never happened. Yankee reliever, Nelson, attacked a grounds crew person who was supposed to be in the bullpen. Go back to announcing hockey Saunders.
  • Why are they still serving beer that late in the game? MLB and the NFL don't sell beer that late in the game.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Answer to this week's Guess the Athlete: women's tennis player, Amelie Mauresmo. Anyone guess Fabio? Posted by Hello

The Pedro Decision

Brian e-mailed me asking me how serious Pedro is about going to the Yanks and if it's worth it for the Red Sox to commit $25 million to him.

Pedro? my gut's telling me he's just using the Yankees and he doesn't want to sign with them. Yank fans won't like Pedro unless he throws a couple perfect games for them and throws at the heads of every single Red Sox batter. His teammates might not like him, and the Yankee clubhouse will seem overly strict to him compared to the Sox clubhouse. Pedro's a smart person and understands all of this.

All of this points to Pedro not going to NY except for one big thing: MONEY. The Yankees are offering more years and a higher salary. This could mean about $15 million more than he could make with another team. Yes, Pedro has all the money he needs, but I think even Bill Gates would have a tough time saying no to an extra $15 million.

Worth $25 Million for Sox? I'm struggling with this one, and I think the Sox are too. Pedro has a great history with the Sox and is still a top pitcher despite his limitations (6 inning pitcher and struggles against the Yanks). Plus, he's likely to have a serious injury pretty soon. (Go to Bartcop MD to learn about his torn labrum).

There are rumors that Francona and some in management are hoping he doesn't comeback for the above reasons, and some are tired with how he acts in the clubhouse. There might be some truth in this, but the Sox gave him a pretty good offer. I guess I like the idea of Pedro signing for 2 years, but not more. There's some sentimental feelings behind my choice, but he is still a good pitcher. Then again, I also like the potential of what the Red Sox could do with $25 million if they don't sign Pedro.

I would have been better off answering Brian's question by just typing, "I don't know."

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Maybe my last soccer related post Posted by Hello

Pedro has lunch with Steinbrenner

How much would you pay to have seen this lunch date on television? Forget Mark Cuban; a reality show starring Steinbrenner would be wonderful. Here's my thoughts on this lunch:
  • Pedro's using George to get more money from Sox
  • George is doing this to make the Sox spend more money
  • The Sox won't up their offer, and this could insult Pedro, thus making him leave
  • This would bother me a million times more if the Sox did not win the Series this year
  • If Pedro leaves Boston, he's better off in the NL (see my Clemens post)
  • The Red Sox won the World Series!

MVP Vlad Guerrero

This one's easier than my previous post. He earned it. You could also argue that Ortiz, Manny, and Sheffield deserved it too.

MVP Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds wins another MVP, so that means it's time for all the sanctimonious sports writers to get in another uproar about Bonds and steroids. Okay, Bonds is a jerk and there's a 99% chance he's used steroids. Nonetheless, the outrage shouldn't be just about Bonds and steroids.

Call me a cynic, but I think the majority of major leaguers have used steroids. Bonds gets the criticism because he's the world's best hitter and he's a jerk. Steroids have helped Bonds's statistics. The problem is steroids have helped almost every hitter's statistics. It's no coincidence that when steroid testing became more stringent, power numbers went down. If and when Barry Bonds irrefutable gets caught, it will be a scandal. I just think it's strange that there will be outrage about him doing something that countless other players are doing.

Will Barry Bonds's statistical records be tainted? Yes, but connecting eras of baseball by comparing statistics is problematic to begin with. For many, statistics give baseball a historical backbone that other sports do not have. I guess comparing Babe Ruth's stats with Bonds's is fun, but we can't make many judgments from doing this. Here's some of the things statistical comparisons don't account for: steroids, ballpark sizes, different types of baseballs, nightgames, different travel arrangement, computerized and video scouting, relief pitching, Negro League, Hispanic influence, expansion, etc.

Anyway, back to Bonds. Denounce him if you wish. Just make sure you buy plenty of tar and feathers because he's not the only one cheating.

Trade Ideas?

I'm thinking about posting some trade ideas. GM's need some good advice. To start off I'll keep it simple and repeat a rumor that's been going on all summer:

Indiana trades Ron Artest to Sacramento for Pedrag Stojakovic.

Pacers lose the headache of having Artest and gain a good player to play the inside out game with O'Neil. Sacramento needs a drastic change to have a chance against the main challengers. Artest with his toughness and defense might be worth the risk. Plus, for NBA fans it would be great to see more Artest Kobe matchups.

If you have any trade ideas, send them to bartcopsportseast@yahoo.com. Unlike real GM's, I'll read your e-mails.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Monday Night Football First Half Thoughts

  • The McNabb scramble play was Flutiesque (hey it's the 20th anniversery of his big throw against Miami.
  • Terrell's Owen's dancing doesn't bother me. How he treats his teammates does.
  • Was that really a Parcell-coached team? Maybe we overestimated Parcells greatness and underestimated how important his past assistants and front office people were.
  • As good as Philly looked, they're nothing special if you put them in the AFC
  • The sideline reporter girl (forgot her name) was praising Owens and said that he's a player you need to account for every single play. Big Deal. When you play against a balanced team (i.e. Steelers, Pats), you need to account for every player on every single play.
  • <>

Monday, November 15, 2004

Please stop boxing, Evander!!! Posted by Hello


Promoter, fighter guilty of conspiring to fix fights, Holyfield should retire, Antartica is cold.

Giants sign Vizquel to a 3 Year Contract. Dumb.

Over $12 million and 3 years to a 37-year-old? Next offseason, the Giants will be trying to get rid of this contract. He's a great fielder, but the Giants need hitting so teams don't get away with walking Bonds.

Clemens Wins Cy Young, thanks to NL Hitting

Roger Clemens deserved the Cy Young Award this year. He also provided more proof to the world that it's much easier to pitch in the National League. With the Yankees, his ERA was over a point higher, and many of his wins came from good run support. With the pitcher hitting and so many teams playing "National League Baseball," there's so many easy outs. Still not convinced? Remember the Cardinals had a "good" pitching staff before they faced the Sox.

If I'm a free agent, I'm signing with a National League team.

(Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis) Posted by Hello

NFL Thoughts

  • I don't know who started the fight, but the Joey Porter/William Green fight is typical of Bill Cowher's Steelers. His teams are always obnoxious and become unfocused when things don't go their way.
  • Why is Suzy Kolber on the sideline for ESPN games? She never provides info about injuries nor about what coaches and players are saying on the sidelines. She apparently researches before games and adds some information to telecasts, but she could be doing the same thing from Joe Namath's house.
  • I despise ESPN's NFL coverage (more on that later)
  • I love reading the NY Papers after the Jets and Giants lose badly.
  • Drew Bledsoe seems to be a good person. That's about all he has going for him.
  • It was nice to see Drew throw it to Troy Brown. Maybe the Bills' future opponents should sign Ben Coates and Shawn Jefferson to play corner against Drew.
  • The only thing Troy Brown did after his interception was smile like a little kid on a playground. No taunting, no dancing, no posing. You can tell he simply loves playing football.
  • Okay, I admit it. I worship Troy Brown. He makes the Pats as a special teamer, he was a successful slot receiver, he's possibly the biggest reason the Pats make it to the 2002 Super Bowl, he has great seasons as a number one receiver, and now with some injury problems, he does whatever Belichick asks him to do.
  • Lovie Smith looks like a good coach (I was thinking the same thing about Marvin Lewis a year ago)
  • I don't know if this Gibbs guy can make it in DC
  • Hopefully ABC will get the cameras off Parcell a few times tonight, so we can see some plays.

This Week's Guess the Athlete

Answer comes on Friday Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 13, 2004

"Don't you know who I am? You can't make a call against Kobe Bryant."  Posted by Hello

Sometimes you get the star treatment, sometimes you don't

This was going to be part of my ref bashing post, but this inconsistency deserved its own post. In every sport, the superstar gets the benefit of a close call, but the NBA has gotten carried away. For example, when Jordan missed a shot and there was a defender somewhat near him, it was a foul.

The NBA star treatment is problematic for so many reasons; the biggest reason being that it's just not fair. For now, I just want to mention how it relates to inconsistency and how it affects the behavior of NBA stars. When a ref forgets the star treatment and doesn't give the star the call, the star makes a fool of himself, hence making him and the NBA look bad.

Then there's this problem: what do refs do when there's a play involving two opposing stars? Answer: way, way too much whining. The classic example of this was the 2001 Eastern Finals with Iverson going against Vince Carter. This was three years ago, yet I still remember being annoyed by Carter's and Iverson's constant complaining. It seemed that every play was drive to the basket and look to the ref.

I think that's enough complaining for the day.

Ref Bashing

About a week ago, my homework assignment for everyone was to see how often players look to the refs whenever a contested shot is missed. If you did your homework, you know the answer is way too much. If you didn't do your homework, you need to stay in for recess and watch Shaq shoot free throws.

In a game this week, Paul Pierce took three and a half steps and jumped before passing. The ref called traveling and Pierce was shocked as he stared down the ref. We could say that Pierce was working the ref, or we could say that this is a classic example of a player whining, "Don't you know who I am, you can't call that on me." I say the main reason Pierce reacted like he did is that he has taken three or more steps plenty of times before, and it usually wasn't called traveling.

It's easy to blame players for acting like whiners, but we should spend more time concentrating on what's causing this behavior. Every time a player looks at the ref after a call or a no-call, we should remember that this player got the call to go his way before. Simply stated, this behavior is caused by the inconsistency of NBA refs.

  • sometimes you can take three steps, sometimes you can't
  • sometimes you can change your pivot foot, sometimes you can't
  • sometimes you can hand check, sometimes you can't
  • sometimes you can make contact on the follow through, sometimes you can't

I could go on and on. Yes, the NBA is a difficult game to officiate and there is some subjectivity involved, but the level of inconsistency in today's NBA is ridiculous. If a classroom has twenty students misbehaving, it's the teacher's fault. If we can hold teachers to this standard, why can't we do the same for NBA refs.

Atlanta Brave Talk

I don't know why I'm bothering with the Braves since they have about ten real fans. Figuring that they live in Georgia, I would say two of the ten know how to read. Anyway, here's three interesting items from Jason Stark's recent article, each followed by my comments.
  • How eager are the Yankees to trade Kevin Brown? An official of one club reports he was speaking with a Yankees executive about Brown. And when he speculated about a team he thought could be interested, the Yankees exec replied: "Tell them to call us -- collect."
Stark went on to say that Brown, who has a no-trade clause, might only be willing to go to the Braves and the Yankees would end up paying most of the contract. So the Braves might get a starter basically for free? Sounds like a good deal to me, even if Brown turns out to be a fifth starter. Knowing Atlanta, he'd end up having a surprisingly good season.

  • Clubs that have spoken with the Braves say they're trying to move Andruw Jones to create desperately needed payroll wiggle room. And Jones has three years, and $39 million left on the six-year, $75 million contract he signed before the 2002 season. But all you need to know about how much the Braves have soured on Jones is that he batted .526 in the playoffs -- and still hit in the No. 7 hole until his team was one loss away from elimination.
If I'm another team, I'd jump on that in a second. Jones is a classic example of someone who needs a change of scenery, and he might be the best fielding center fielder I've ever seen.
  • One guy the Braves tell teams they're not moving is John Smoltz -- yet. But Smoltz is now a year away from free agency and is just about adamant about heading back into the rotation after this season. So if this is the year the Braves don't contend, Smoltz will be No. 1 on the Rumor Central charts come July.
I can't wait to see how Smoltz pitches as a starter. I immediately think of Derek Lowe because he followed the starter, reliever, starter pattern. He was successful, and Lowe doesn't even compare to Smoltz.

Is Scott Boras Satan?

People are making an uproar about agent, Scott Boras, suggesting that Carlos Beltran should get a ten year deal worth $200 million, and, on a relatively smaller scale, Varitek getting five years at about $50 million with a no-trade clause.

This is what Boras is supposed to do; make a crazy demand and negotiate from there. Also, why not make the demands when there might be a sucker (i.e. Tom Hicks) who agrees to one of these proposals?

NBA Rookies

I hope Doc Rivers was exaggerating, but in a Providence Journal article(registration required), this is what he said about the next Moses Malone, rookie Al Jefferson:

"When you say pick-and-roll and he looks at you because he doesn't know what roll is, then you worry that he can play in an NBA game."

Maybe I should be more sympathetic towards NBA coaches.

Marino Rips Dolphins

Nothing outrageous, but Marino made some critical comments about the Dolphins. The article brought back good memories of Marino screaming at his blockers and receivers after every incomplete pass. He was great player, but the way he treated his teammates on the field sometimes hurt the team.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Actually, this is the real answer to Guess the Athlete. Ricky Davis, who's off to a good start for the Celtics. Posted by Hello

Answer to Guess the Athlete Posted by Hello

Goodfellas/BC Basketball

I was planning to post much more today on my day off from work, but I ended up spending 4 hours with the Goodfellas DVD. In the commentary with Henry Hill, he talks a lot about his and Jimmy's connection with the BC point shaving scandal of the early 80's. I guess Henry was pretty much the ringleader, but Jimmy got 7 years for his small involvement because of Hill's testimony. This was all new to me.

Gammons is the Man

I really felt bad about my critical post regarding Gammons, so hopefully complimenting him will rid me of my guilt. Today's article was outstanding. I love hot stove baseball, and Gammons delivers a boat load of info and rumors. Plus this little story's priceless:

...Carl [Pavano] and his agent Scott Shapiro golfed in Florida on Monday with Heathcliff Slocumb -- the man traded for Varitek and Lowe -- and transplanted New Englanders were coming up to Slocumb, hugging and thanking him for being traded for the two postseason heroes. Incidentally, Slocumb is now a very successful real estate developer in the Orlando area.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Tired Ron Artest. Wow

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest said Wednesday that he asked coach Rick Carlisle for time off because of a busy schedule that included promoting a soon-to-be released rap album, which led to his two-game benching....

Few days late, Secret Prize to Whoever Predicts my Next NHL Post

Hockey Hall of Fame inductees, from left, Larry Murphy, Paul Coffey and Ray Bourque show off their rings after being presented with them in a ceremony in Toronto on Monday Nov. 8, 2004. (AP Photo/Frank Gunn)

(Looks like Larry Murphy grew an extra arm. This could explain his successful career.)
Posted by Hello

Nets 64 Blazers 60, when's the 2nd half?

Mourning leads Nets in contest of futility

Poor Ernest is busy managing the A's, general managaging the Yankees, and running the Cowboy's defense. Posted by Hello

Wannstedt an Excellent Assistant?

In Kris in Key West's (lucky bastard) response to my post about Wannstedt, he wrote:

"...He is a perfect example of someone who is an excellent assistant coach but not someone who should be in charge."

I agree that there are many examples of good assistants/ bad head coaches (In New England, Rod Rust and Pete Carroll come to mind). However was Wannstedt a good assistant. He was in charge of Jimmy Johnson's Cowboy Defenses which were wonderful, but were they successful because of him or was it the incredible talent? Here it comes again, let's make a movie called Ernest is the Defensive Coordinator of the Cowboys, and it's still a great defense. By the way, that movie would be a sequel to the sophomoric, Barry Switzer Coaches the Cowboys.

To be fair, Wannstedt has only been an assistant for five years, so he could turn out to be good as a coordinator away from Jimmy Johnson's shadow, or he could be like Norv Turner.

By the way, I was surprised that Wannstedt was an assistant for so few years. That he quickly got a head coaching job with Chicago must have driven some experienced successful coordinators crazy.

Another example why Martz is a Loser

Here's something he said in his Monday press conference (about half way down the article):

For starters, Martz wasn’t as impressed with Brown’s play at defensive back as everyone else was. When asked why he didn’t try to exploit that potential mismatch, he said it was impossible because Brown violated the rules.

"We were able to get a guy or two open occasionally. Troy, for all his credit as a (defensive back), it doesn’t take much to play defensive back when all you ever do is grab a hold of guys," Martz said. "We've got (pictures of Rams receiver Shaun McDonald) running across the field with (Brown) in his hip pocket. For the first seven yards, he’s got a hold of (McDonald's) jersey. I wouldn’t get too excited about him as DB."

Booo Hoo, everything's the ref's fault. Leave complaining about refs to bloggers like me.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

BartCopSports Exclusive!

After resigning, Dave Wannstedt handed in his offensive playbook. I managed to get a complete copy of it, and here it is! Posted by Hello

NFL TV Contract -- Bad News

New NFL TV Contract
The owners are making billions of dollars, but the news isn't good for all fans. This is from the article I linked:

"The deals give the NFL the option to move seven late-season games from Sunday to Monday night to feature more attractive matchups, according to an official within the league who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity."

Not good. I like the best games being on Sundays for several reasons.
  • Because I work, I usually can't stay up to see the 2nd half of Monday Night's Game.
  • CBS and Fox do a far superior job covering games. It's time for John Madden to retire, and Al Michaels simply annoys me (maybe I'll expand on that later).
  • By the end of November the quality of play during day games is much better than night games in northern cities. When it's 20 degrees cooler, players usually don't play as well
Let's not weaken the NFL, just to improve Monday Night Football.

Also from the article:

"The NFL also can develop late-season prime-time satellite or cable packages of eight games, which would be televised on Thursdays and Saturdays. Or the league could take those eight games and show them regionally in prime-time telecasts on Sundays and Mondays."

Bad, bad, bad news. Television executives and people running the NFL and NCAA repeat after me: High School Football on FRIDAYS, College Football on SATURDAYS, NFL on SUNDAYS, High School Football on FRIDAYS, College Football on SATURDAYS, NFL on SUNDAYS, High School Football on FRIDAYS, .... (keep going till you get it right)

Homework Assignment

Next time you watch an NBA game, pay attention to how often a player who after missing a contested shot looks at a ref.

Extra credit for anyone crazy enough to take data on this.

Best Team in the History of Football: 2004 Steelers

Before you get too excited Steeler fans, remember last year at this time Chief fans and Viking fans felt the same way you feel right now.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Raise your hand if you forced your team to trade its best player away because you wanted the ball more. Posted by Hello

Poor Chad Posted by Hello

Guess the Athlete!

Answer comes on Friday Posted by Hello

Quick NFL Thoughts

  • Philly has 4th and 12 and McNabb fakes a handoff before throwing. I'm sure the Steelers fell for that fake.
  • There should be a law enforcing networks to show instant replays of all significant penalties. Example: Bills make a big play, but they're called for a personal foul. There's plenty of time for a replay as the Bills let the quarter run out. Maybe, they'll show it after commercials. Nope, we see a montage of "wind footage," to the music, "Against the Wind." Clever. The Bills lost 15 yards on that play; I'd like to know why.
  • Troy Brown looked pretty good at nickel back.
  • Brown on defense, Vrabel making an impressive touchdown pass, Vinatieri throwing for a touchdown. I Love the Pats.
  • Martz does the hurry up with 11 minutes to go. Then when it's first and goal from the three with about 3 minutes left, the Rams huddle up and even let the play clock go down to one second before calling time out.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Gammons Annoying (Even more Yankee Stuff)

First, Peter Gammons is a big reason why I love baseball, BUT (as he always says on ESPN) he has a habit of putting little tidbits in his articles that need more explanation. This was buried in his last ESPN.com article:

"the Yanks' front office was furious during their playoff series at the complaints filed by Boston with the Commissioner's Office for things like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez getting radar readings from the stands"

This is why I love and hate Gammons. It's interesting information, but what does it mean? The Yankees front office is always furious; was it actually a legitimate complaint this time? Did Boston have the right to complain about Jeter and Rodriguez? Were they doing something they weren't supposed to do? He also writes "things like;" what were the other things that the Red Sox were complaining about?

Please tell me more, Mr. Gammons.

More Yankees!

I got an e-mail regarding chants for the Yankees from Brian:

"How about an overrated chant at Derek Jeter. I saw his catch on against Boston in July,and he didn't have to go into the stands. He risked injuring himself for nothing. He's way overrated."

I completely agree. More difficult catches are made almost daily -- Pokey Reese actually made a better catch in the same game. Anyway, after I read this I was trying to find information about Cashman for my previous post, and I ended up at www.nyyfans.com. Forget the Onion and SportsPickle.com, this is the first place I'll go for a good laugh. NYYFans.com Staff Writer, James Norberto wrote this about Jeter in his report card for the 2004 Yanks:

"Horrendous April and May, but picked it up so much after The Catch (Move over, Dwight Clark)"

If you don't believe me, here's the link: The Most Amazing Play in the History of Man

Is Cashman Any Good?

Everyone in the media seems to be on Cashman's side. When things go well, good for Cashman; when things go poorly, it's Streinbrenner's fault. I'm all for blaming the world's problem on Georgie Steinbrenner, but I think Cashman's "brilliance" needs to be reexamined.

The Yankee dynasty, which is hopefully crumbling, was built before Cashman arrived in 1998. The core of the Yankees was built through their farm system, (Pettitte, Posada, Jeter, Williams) international scouting (Rivera and Mendoza[don't laugh, he was good]) and trades (O'Neil, Brosius, Tino Martinez and even Jeff Nelson[again don't laugh, he was good until recently. Now all he can do is beat up innocent grounds crew members]). Added to this core were important free agents such as David Wells, David Cone, and Mike Stanton. All of this was before Cashman.

Now the Yankees have a few players left from that core and a bunch of free agents. Their farm system has yielded nothing and their trades have added little.

I don't give Cashman much credit for signing big name free agents such as Sheffield or Mussina. Getting these types of free agents is more about money and the reputation of your team. Cashman wouldn't have been able to sign these free agents if he was in charge of the Royals. I guess you can praise Cashman for finding Irabu and Soriano, but, again, money plays a big part of the Yankees successes in international scouting.

Remove the players that arrived before Cashman and the big name free agents the Yankees would have signed with any GM (Another movie idea: Ernest GM's the Yankees), and what has Cashman accomplished? More importantly, what hasn't he accomplished? It amazes me that he did not trade for a lefty bullpen specialist (note to Felix Heredia fans, I said "good" lefty). He also did not improve his bench. Think of what a good pinch hitter, such as Jim Leyritz, could have done in the Sox series.

Speaking of the Red Sox, let's make a comparison. I don't give Epstein too much credit for Foulke and Schilling (although, he did a good job recruiting), but he did do a good job getting a lefty reliever and getting bench players. He also, did something Cashman doesn't do: sign a free agent who then exceeds expectations. Bill Mueller, Kevin Millar, Mark Bellhorn, Bronson Arroyo, and David Ortiz to name a few. By the way, Ortiz was a player Steinbrenner wanted, but Cashman rejected.

Then again everything's Steinbrenner's fault.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Republican's Photo op; but interesting

The Reverse Curve sign has long hung from the Longfellow Bridge above Storrow Drive, and for years it was painted over to read ''Reverse the Curse.'' On Oct. 28, Governor Romney, wearing a Red Sox jacket, helped take it down, as traffic backed up. (Globe Staff Photo / Michele McDonald)
Here's a story criticizing Governor Romney (R. carpetbagger) for taking part in this event:

Curse sign comes down . . . and traffic backs up

Posted by Hello