Saturday, April 30, 2005
BOSTON—Gary Sheffield, right fielder for the New York Yankees, was praised by major league baseball for restraining himself against the crazed brute who lightly grazed his cap in a game against the Red Sox last week. Sheffield was chasing a ball into the corner of Fenway Park when the dangerous psychopath made a negligible amount of contact with him. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.
“I was just going for the ball and all of a sudden I felt this slight, extremely faint contact with the bill of my cap,” said a visibly shaken Sheffield after the game. “Everything happened so fast, I was actually in fear for my life. Luckily I’m a reasonable man and I kept my composure. Aren't I awesome? I deserve a lot of credit.” Police may also bring charges against the fan in an attempt to dissuade any other would be cap-grazers from terrorizing players.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Umpires rarely call this, but they should. Of course, I'll connect this to the Red Sox. Opponents always do nothing to avoid Tim Wakefield's slow knuckleballs. It's a cheap way to get on base and umpires allow it too much.
Curiously, if Pedro had the next start, the same players who made no effort to avoid Wakefield's pitch would get hit in the back with a fastball.
Excerpt with picture above:
"When you are a 7-foot center with a big contract there is no need to do anything. If a little punk is coming down the lane, let him go, as you may catch something off him if there is contact. As illustrated in the picture, do not put your hands up, keep them low so the opponent can score."
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Hot Stove, Giants get another bad contract
"...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..."
Here's what I just found on ESPN.com
Hamstring to sideline Benitez four months
“...When I saw Kiper give his scathing review of our draft on ‘SportsCenter’ on Monday night, my mind was made up right then and there,” said Kraft. “I didn’t even need to think about it. I called Bill and Scott and scheduled a meeting for first thing Tuesday morning. I think they knew what was coming.”
Both Belichick and Pioli said Kraft didn’t let them try to explain their side of the story at the Tuesday meeting, and instead just fired them the moment they walked into his office. But both felt his reasons were ultimately sound.
“I was watching the same ‘SportsCenter’ broadcast and when I saw Kiper give his opinion on our draft, I knew my job could be in trouble,” said Belichick. “I pulled my wife aside and told her what had happened and what Mel had said. Not a minute later, I got the call from Bob about meeting.”
Pioli, too, says he was not surprised by Kraft’s decision.
“For years we’ve been walking the tightrope with Mel Kiper, Jr,” said Pioli. “Lots of Bs, but never a C-grade. Until now, unfortunately. And like everyone in the NFL, Bob Kraft highly values Mel Kiper, Jr.’s opinion – and why wouldn’t he? Sure, people might crack on Kiper about his hair or how he predicted Andre Ware and Tony Mandarich would be Hall of Famers, but don’t forget that he also famously predicted Trent Dilfer would be a better pro than Trev Alberts. And think how great Trent Dilfer has become. Kiper is an unparalleled visionary and no one – not even me and Bill Belichick – can hope to measure up to him. If he says you screwed up your draft, well – you screwed up your draft.”
Left without a coach and general manager with the regular season just more than four months away, Kraft said he will first consult Kiper about a successor.
“I’d love to hire him as general manager, but I don’t think I could afford him, plus I figure there’s some NFL rule prohibiting one team from having sole access to his genius. It would provide an unfair advantage,” said Kraft...
Lou's trying to make his team be a bunch of tough guys and the telling sign is when the players on that team are saying "this is why we lose 100 games a year because this idiot makes us do stuff like this." They (Rays' players) said that on the field.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
If Rivers were coaching the 1980 Lakers would he have allowed Magic to play more than ten minutes a game? Would he have played Cassell and Horry in the Rocket's first championship?
Monday, April 25, 2005
- Minnesota should have taken Mike Williams. He will be a star. I also don't blame Detroit for taking Williams despite already having good receivers. As Bill Belichick said on the radio today, no coach worries about having too much talent at a position.
- Good draft for Cleveland getting Edwards and Frye.
- Good draft for Miami getting Brown and Crowder.
- Good draft for Cincinnati getting those Georgia defenders.
- It's exciting to get an incredible athlete who's changing positions, but I don't think it's a good idea to spend a first rounder on Matt Jones.
- Nor would I spend a second round pick on a kicker.
- Is Doug Jolley really worth a first rounder? Will he be better than Heath Miller?
- You know my opinion about Jason Cambell; here's another QB I like: Carolina's Stefan LeFors. I have no idea how good of a player he is, but he grew up in a house with deaf parents, grandparents, and a deaf brother.
- Matt White wins the Heisman and doesn't get drafted. Matt Cassel sits on the bench for his entire USC career and gets drafted by the Super Bowl Champs. Go figure.
- Maurice Clarett's should be the happiest guy in the draft.. I could be a successful running back for Denver.
You also have an overrated grumpy, sour, poor-loser, jealous manager Lou Pinella having his players throw at his opponents' heads because if you can't beat them, fight with them.
MLB should just end it now, and let Tampa's five good players play for other teams.
It's a really long read, but it perfectly explains why I hate Duke basketball. Here's the outline with some highlights
I. The Duke Perona ...[Scott] Williams suffered the worst imaginable tragedy when he lost both his parents in a murder-suicide shooting. Several of the good-natured, creative Dukies responded at the next Duke-UNC game with clever shouts of “Orphan, Orphan!” as Williams was introduced...
III. Media Bias ...Duke, in a home game against Georgia Tech, runs its lead to 44 points with under a minute to play, due largely to three point shooting that continued long after the game had passed the point of gratuitous humiliation. Finally, as the clock went under thirty seconds, Duke graciously holds the ball for its final possession in lieu of a final field goal attempt. Mike Patrick, in his annoyingly dogmatic tone of voice, shouts, “Doesn’t that just show what a classy guy Mike Krzyzewski is? He doesn’t want to embarrass anybody.”...
IV. Bias of Game Officials ...During the mid-1980’s, an ACC coach anonymously explained Duke’s defensive philosophy as follows: all five defensive players foul all five opposing offensive players at the same time, leaving officials too confused and stunned to respond...
A. The Duke Flop ...Year after year, legendary athletes, from Jordan to Bias to Duncan to Carter, are unfairly handicapped by the spectrum of inferior Duke players jumping into their paths and flopping backwards, even if contact is avoided. Indeed, it is not unusual for slow-motion replays to show Duke defenders beginning their staged falls, before, occasionally in the total absence of, actual contact. Much to the chagrin of flop-leader Shane Battier, it was because of this infuriating nonsense that the NBA actually amended its rules to prohibit offensive fouls from being called as the result of charges within five feet of the basket...
B. Bastardizing Effects of Pro-Duke officiating ...How many of the all time Duke basketball greats promptly proceeded to fizzle at the next level where game rules are actually enforced in an unbiased manner and where defenders must actually defend their opponents? Mark Alarie, Johnny Dawkins, David Henderson, Billy King, Robert Brickey, Phil Henderson,
Kevin Strickland, Danny Ferry, Alaa Abdelnaby, Brian Davis, Antonio Lang, Cherokee Parks, William Avery, Shane Battier, Dahntay Jones, Chris Carawell, Mike Dunleavy – the list is seemingly endless. Past Duke rosters read like a “Who’s Who?” of professional basketball jokes, most of whom are quickly shipped out to European leagues because of their inability to make it in the NBA...
V. The Fans ...The Duke fan honestly believes that Mike Krzyzewski is handsome and marvels at his ability to coach ACC basketball for a quarter of a century without sprouting a single grey hair...
VI. The Players ...He [Dahntay Jones] regularly resorts to dangerous, flagrant fouls, the majority of which are somehow never called. You may, for example, recall Dahntay himself striking Raymond Felton with a vicious elbow to the face during Felton’s freshman year. No foul was called, (but the referees did order Felton out of the game until his bleeding was stopped.) This “accidental” contact, incidentally, occurred almost a year after Jones broke the jaw of Wake Forest forward Justin Gray....
VII. The Place is Phony ...Additional efforts were taken to cause the twentieth century buildings to appear much older than they are, our guide explained. For example, acid was placed on the stairs in order to cause them to have a time worn appearance...
VIII. Obstinate Refusal to Accept/Act Upon Constructive Criticism ...Last but far from least, we loathe Duke University because its arrogance prohibits it from recognizing and correcting its most serious deficiencies. What other explanation can there be for the fact that Duke has still, without a doubt, the absolute, number one, undisputed, UGLIEST cheerleaders in the ACC?
Friday, April 22, 2005
- The Pats did a good job with this year's draft.
- I don't know what the Jets were thinking with their pick.
- Jason Campbell should have been taken higher.
- The officiating in the Pacers Celtics series has been terrible.
- The Mavericks will win the NBA Championship
Thank you Bryan for your extensive draft preview. I forwarded it to Bill Belichick.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
- [LeBron] James will be a playoff star, but not with any of his current teammates. (First Round loss in the playoffs, GM and coach will be fired
- NEW YORK KNICKS - This roster just doesn’t make sense. Does Isiah listen to Sports Radio, hear a crazy trade idea, and say to himself, “why not?” If he doesn’t, he might want to give that a shot because this team looks like a mess. (No playoffs)
- WASHINGTON WIZARDS - Antawn Jamison could have a breakout year. He and Gilbert Arenas could be a good enough tandem to lead them to the playoffs. (Playoffs, did I really write that?)
I do need to give Kris some credit for predicting success for the Suns (I had them barely missing the playoffs). But since Kris's ego doesn't need too much massaging, I'll mix his Suns prediction with his interesting Milwaukee prediction:
In the East you don't know about the Milwaukee Bucks. Don't worry about their lack of talent, they will have something brewing come next spring. At this time I'm not at liberty to tell you the big secret, sorry. In the West, the Phoenix Suns are in for sure. Coach Mike D'Antoni is the master of the European game and despite the fact they don't have a real center, their fast break team style is going to be very hard to stop. Besides, they have the coolest mascot in sports, the Gorilla.
San Francisco49’ers: Aaron Rodgers, QB, California MiamiDolphins: Ronnie Brown, RB, Auburn ClevelandBrowns: Alex Smith, QB, Utah Bears: Mike Williams, WR, USC Chicago Tampa BayBuccaneers: Cadillac Williams, RB, Auburn TennesseeTitans: Antrel Rolle, CB, Miami MinnesotaVikings, from Oakland: Braylon Edwards, WR, Michigan ArizonaCardinals: Pac-Man Jones, CB, West Virginia WashingtonRedskins: Carlos Rogers, CB, Auburn DetroitLions: Shawn Merriman, DE, Maryland DallasCowboys: , Demarcus Ware, DE Troy St. San DiegoChargers, from New YorkGiants: Troy Williamson, WR, South Carolina Texans: Thomas Davis, S, Georgia Houston CarolinaPanthers: Derrick Johnson, OLB, Texas Chiefs: Justin Miller, CB, Clemson Kansas City New OrleansSaints: Kevin Burnett, OLB, Tennessee CincinnatiBengals: Travis Johnson, DT, Florida State MinnesotaVikings: Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin St LouisRams: Alex Barron, OT, Florida State DallasCowboys, from : Marcus Spears, DE, LSU Buffalo JacksonvilleJaguars: David Pollack, DE, Georgia BaltimoreRavens: Mark Clayton, WR, Oklahoma Seahwaks: Darryl Blackstock, OLB, Virginia Seattle Green BayPackers: Marlin Jackson, CB, Michigan WashingtonRedskins from Denver: Jason Campbell, QB, Auburn Jets: Heath Miller, TE, Virginia New York Falcons: Shaun Cody, DT, USC Atlanta San DiegoChargers: Dan Cody, DE-OLB, Oklahoma IndianapolisColts: Antajj Hawthorne, DT, Wisconsin PittsburgSteelers: Matt Jones, WR, Arkansas PhiladelphiaEagles: Cedric Benson, RB, Texas
- New England Patriots: Channing Crowder, ILB, Florida
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Top Five Defensive Tackles
1.) Travis Johnson, FSU: This is a guy over 300 pounds that still runs the forty under 5.0. Very athletic for his size. We are talking about somebody who can help in a one gap defense.
2.) Shaun Cody, USC: I want to say he played end at USC, because he is a very good pass rusher, so I imagine he can play either position. Nevertheless he has a good first step off the ball and was very productive last season.
3.) Anttaj Hawthorne: There was a reason that
4.) Mike Patterson, USC: Undersized but this motor doesn’t stop. Fast and very quick. Able to be a big disruption in the backfield
5.) Luis Castillo, Northwestern: Still developing, which can be dangerous because any team can take his developing skill and coach to the NFL. Quick, and always working.
Top Five Teams in Need of the Defensive Tackles
1.) Broncos: I’m not sure if they are going to be playing the 3-4 or the 4-3, but either way, they need some interior quality.
2.) Browns: They are going to be switching to the 3-4, so a tough big nose tackle will be a big need. If
3.) Bengals: They need a playmaker at this position. After they add that to their line, you are talking about a team that would be going into camp with a pretty decent defensive line.
4.) Giants: They do not have much quality here, and plenty of people that have been nothing more than journeymen.
5.) Falcons: They are not getting Ed Jasper back, so they are going to need to address the fact that they need depth.
Who else needs defensive tackles: Cardinals, Bills, Panthers, Lions, Colts, Saints, and the Jets.
Top Five Defensive Ends
1.) Shawn Merriman,
2.) Marcus Spears, LSU: Good against the run, good rusher. Plays downhill. Versatile player who has scored some defensive td’s. He is rated as a real character guy, which is what the NFL loves.
3.) David Pollack,
4.) Erasmus James,
5.) Demarcus Ware,
Top Five Teams in Need of Ends
1.) Cowboys: Lost Marcellus Wiley, which might be a good thing because he wasn’t as good as he was getting paid.
2.) Lions: James Hall is good, but they need somebody who can play opposite of him.
3.) Chargers: This team will be more dangerous than last year if they can add somebody who can get to the quarterback every down.
4.) Rams: They lost professional scumbag Leonard Little, so they will need to get to get somebody on that end. Also need to finally replace Grant Wistrom
5.) Jaguars: Reggie Heyword is a start, but they are going to need somebody on the other side of the ball.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Forward (and team Captain): Vince Carter. Bill Simmons has written about this a lot recently. Carter's play has been amazing recently, and he was barely showing up for Toronto.
Forward: Tracy McGrady. He didn't tank it as much as Carter did, but he also didn't do much for a terrible Orlando team last year. He even admitted to not trying for the Magic in an SI article.
Center: Alonzo Mourning. This is a stretch because he isn't doing much, but at least he's playing now and showing some good effort. He was missing in action at the beginning of the year.
Guard: Baron Davis. He milked an injury in Charlotte until he was traded to Golden State. Now he looks like the great player he was earlier in his career.
Guard: Stevie Francis. I'm not sure about this one because I haven't seen him play much, but he is averaging about five more points a game compared to last year.
Before Patsy2k gets too upset, I am kidding. Robinson still however sounds like one of those parents trying to get more recognition for their children's mini-successes.
Top Five Inside Linebackers
1.) Channing Crowder,
2.) Barrett Ruud,
4.) Kirk Morrison,
5.) Lance Mitchell,
Top Five Outside Linebackers
1.) Derrick Johnson,
2.) Kevin Burnett,
3.) Darryl Blackstock,
4.) Ernest Shazor,
5.) Rian Wallace,
Top Five teams that need help Inside
1.) Patriots: I worry about putting them number one, especially with Patriotsy2k around, but does anybody know what Bruschi's situation is? If he can't come back you have Ted Johnson who is pretty old.
2.) Raiders: They lost Napoleon Harris in the Moss deal
3.) Seahawks: They could not upgrade last year, but could benefit from doing it this year
4.) Steelers: Lost Kendrell Bell, so they could use some depth
5.) Colts: Rob Morris was lost to free agency, but was never really that good to begin with
Top Five teams that need help outside
1.) Saints: They need an upgrade at this position
2.) Seahawks: Anthony Simmons released, and what is Chad Brown's health?
3.) Raiders: They are going to run a 3-4, but do not have the pass rusher that would be needed in the scheme
4.) Panthers: They don't really have a great starter at this position, and they got beat on short passes last year, gonna need somebody that can take the running back out of the backfield.
5.) Dolphins: Junior Seau is not getting any younger
Other teams in need of some linebacker help: Eagles, Falcons, Browns, Bears, Redskins
Top Five Safeties
1.) Thomas Davis,
3.) Josh Bullocks,
4.) Oshiomogho Atogwe, Stanford: Excellent tackler, and very physical. Has a tone of experience, if I'm not mistaken, he's been a starter for three years. Can play either safety position.
5.) Gerald Sensabaugh,
Teams in Need of a Safety
1.) Panthers: Never replaced Deon Grant last year, and they really do not have the greatest depth at this position
2.) Packers: They were forced to cut Sharper, who was their defensive MVP and a team leader. A must to have position for them.
3.) Cowboys: They are going to need someone to play along with Roy Williams. Need for a free safety.
4.) Bengals: Another team that could benefit from some added depth
5.) Texans: Strong Safety is really only one position that they have not addressed at all in the defense. I wont say they are one safety away from a winning season, but close
Other teams that could use some help: Broncos, Vikings, Saints, Raiders, and Bucs
Top Five Cornerbacks
1.) Antrel Rolle,
2.) Pac-Man Jones,
3.) Carlos Rogers,
4.) Justin Miller, Clemson: A lot of experience, and another playmaker. Like Jones, he can be very dangerous in the return game.
Teams in need of Corners
1.) Cardinals: Another team that can use a lot of things. Like I said before, most teams are in need of this
2.) Colts: Horrible, horrible, horrible. They need someone to stop the bleeding. Peyton can put up 50, but so can the other team going deep with their group already
3.) Jaguars: One youngster that is not that bad, but they could use some depth and someone who had some experience back there
4.) Chiefs: If they had an offseason priority, it was this. Yet, they have not addressed this.
5.) Steelers: Right now they are at quantity over quality in the youngsters they have back there
6.) Titans: Lost both Rolle and Dyson in their secondary, really gonna need some help
7.) Redskins: No more Smoot, and Springs can't do it all
Monday, April 18, 2005
In the fourth quarter, Alonzo Mourning had the nerve to fouled Anthony Johnson, so he threw a punch at Mourning. Lucky for Johnson, his punching aim is as good as his shooting aim so he missed.
Then, Udonis Haslem had the nerve to box out Jermaine O'Neal, so O'Neal decides to grab Haslem's head and throw him to the ground.
Notice how often NBA fights usually involve the Pacers. That's not an accident when you have people like Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O'Neal, and Dale Davis getting in their cheap shots whenever possible and being ready to fight at moment's notice.
I haven't complained about anything lately, so here's something. I'm tired of announcers going on and on about how no player takes more of a beating than Allen Iverson.
You know why he does? He initiates it. He throws his body at defenders and is rarely called for an offensive foul because of his size. What he does obvious works because he gets plenty of points and plenty of free throws. Getting beat up is the price he pays for this successful strategy. Sure, he should be praised for not being afraid of taking the ball to the basket, but let's not give him a Medal of Honor for it.
By the way, here's a link to an article from The Brushback: Sudanese Refugees Amazed At How Much Allen Iverson Has Been Through
I was going through my stuff on the offensive line, and I feel like I am going to be cheating all of you. I'm really not that good at saying who is exceptional and who is not. I love offensive line players, and I think you can't get enough of them, but its tough for a novice to evaluate them. I'm the type of person who thinks that left tackle is the second most important position on the field. I'd rather just rate them, and then look at the teams in depth who need some work
1.) Alex Barron,
2.) Jammal Brown,
4.) Adam Terry,
5.) Chris Colmer,
1.) David Bass,
2.) Elton Brown,
3.) Marcus Johnson, Ole Miss
4.) Evan Mathis,
1.) Chris Spencer, Ole Miss
2.) Ben Wilkerson, LSU
3.) Jason Brown,
4.) Scott Mruczkowski,
5.) Richie Incognito,
Teams in Need
Rams: Losing Kyle Turley hurts them
Jets: Lost Karem McKenzie during the offseason
Dolphins: Is there anything this team doesn't need?
Other teams they might want to add some depth
Every team in the NFL, I mean everyone. Who can't use some extra offensive line help?
Here's what King said:
Next I watched Campbell. My first question was: Where's this guy been hiding? The simple answer: Behind Brown and a very big Cadillac. Campbell is 6-4 3/4 and 230 pounds. His pass-drop is quick and textbook perfect. He sets up well in the pocket, bouncing athletically until he finds his receivers. He never flinches against a pass rush, moving deftly this way or that to avoid traffic. He throws on the run better than Rodgers or Campbell. On one throw against Kentucky last fall, he rolled out from his 46 to his right, then flicked a sideline throw 19 yards downfield for an in-stride completion. That's the kind of throw he'll be asked to make 100 times a year in the NFL.
I had to look up Campbell's numbers, because I'd been so focused on the two big names that I hadn't focused on the lesser-lights at quarterback. He was 31-8 as an Auburn starter. He shattered the school's completion percentage by three points, completing 64.6 percent of his throws. Why was he not considered a peer of the two top prospects?
I heard two things when I asked around on Friday. One: he scored a very pedestrian 14 on his Wonderlic test last year, then got it up to 28 this year. Teams are suspicious that he studied for his Wonderlic and the 14 is closer to what his true score is. Two: If he was so good, why didn't the Auburn offensive staff design the games around him instead of the great backs?
My rejoinders: In the case of the Wonderlic, wouldn't you want your quarterback to work to get better where he's deficient? I would. And look how the kid adjusted to four different offensive coordinators in his Auburn career. He obviously was able to digest a lot of X's and O's pretty well. In regard to play-calling, let's remember two things: First, SEC coaches voted Campbell the 2004 offensive player of the year. And he averaged 21 pass attempts a game. This isn't Bob Griese with Kiick, Csonka and Morris, folks. This is a guy who controlled a high-octane offense and was the ringleader.
1.) Mike Williams, USC: He is 6’4’’ and very strong. This guy can maybe out muscle your great cornerbacks in the NFL. Put up HUGE numbers in his short time at USC. He was always looked at in the red zone, and that is where he made his money. I know some might look away and say he’s been off a year, but he has been off a year able to work on the things that were missing from his game before.
2.) Braylon Edwards.
5.) Roddy White, UAB: Excellent speed, and very physical. The only downside to him is that he was really only a deep threat. He is going to need to know how to run routes in the NFL.
Teams in Need
1.) Bears: My Bears have needed a good wide receiver for years, Rex really needs the help. The pick I want is Ronnie Brown, but it looks like they won’t get him, so I guess I’ll settle for Mike Williams. Getting Mushin Muhammad in the off-season helps, but what will also help is a veteran like Muhammad tutoring a young rookie.
2.) Vikings: They got rid of the cancer in Moss, now it is time for some healing. Culpepper will need a speedy deep threat he can throw to. Burleson and Robinson are veterans that can help whomever they bring in.
3.) Ravens: They got Derrick Mason, but who else can Boller throw too? They still need to get some work done here.
4.) Giants: Eli is going to need some deep threats. They got Plaxico, but like
5.) Buccaneers: The other Mark Clayton was a huge success for them, but they aren’t going to take another with the spot they have.
Other teams who could benefit:
Top Five Tight Ends
1.) Heath Miller, Virginia
2.) Alex Smith, Stanford
3.) Joel Dreessen,
4.) Kevin Everett,
5.) Garrett Cross,
I’m going to choose not to write too much about the tight ends. It seems that this position is getting a lot more important with they way the league is going, but I still can not find much to say about these guys. Miller is in the top of this class, but he is not Jeremy Shockey or Kellen Winslow. I ask this question though…is