Monday, May 30, 2005

Never Move

I still don't have web access at the new Bartcop Sports Headquarters, so I'm posting this from a remote secret location. Along with not having the internet, I haven't had television, so don't expect any great insights in this weekends' games. For the next week, my postings will continue to be sporadic. Hopefully by next weekend I'll be posting in full force. Here's some thoughts for you to ponder through the week as you anticipate my next post.
  • It's one thing for Dwyane Wade to destroy the Wizzards defense, but for him to put up 40 and then 36 against a very good Detroit defense is remarkable.
  • Shaq said, "This is the best team I've been on my whole career." At first, I thought this was just Shaq exaggerating or insulting Kobe, but looking at Shaq's past Lakers teams and how good Wade is, he might be right.
  • Another Shaq quote that needs no additional comments: "I'm just getting better and better. It is just like a bunch of worker bees protecting the king bee. I'm not a queen bee. I'm a king bee. Once I get it back going, it's going to be fun."
  • It's good to see that no matter how hot the Yankees get throughout the year, they can't avoid the fact that their pitching does not matchup well with the Red Sox lineup.
  • So AC Milan was up 3-0 at halftime and went on to lose to Liverpool. Should we call them the AC Milan Yankees?
  • Speaking of soccer, Kris from Key West without a computer for a long time? Should we even guess why? My guess is he signed a contract with the Mongolian Professional Soccer League.
  • Godfather dreams of running 5 miles and Patriotsy2k dreams of marrying Eva Longoria. Advantage Patriotsy2k.
  • If the Colts used U-Haul instead of Mayflower for their move to Indianapolis, they'd still be playing in Baltimore.
  • A Memorial Day Weekend fact: 90% of automobiles pulling boats are driven by shirtless guys with goatees and shades.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Bad News/Good News

Bartcop Sports World Headquarters is moving.

First the bad news: I'll have very limited access to the web, so don't expect too many post for the time being.

Now the good news: The new Bartcop Sports Complex will be within close proximity to several drinking establishments. So expect more incoherent, misinformed, argumentative posts with plenty of spelling errors in the future.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Soccer Question

On May 10th, Kris from Key West asked me for my prediction regarding the Liverpool versus AC Milan matchup. Since then, ESPN has been marketing this game endlessly. It seems that this game is getting more publicity than the World Cup. The marketing has worked; I am interested in this game, but I want to know why it's such a big deal. Was there a game like this last year and I missed it, or is this one just a real special one? I've also been looking for excuses to post funny soccer pictures, and, yes, I do have more. Posted by Hello

Monday, May 23, 2005

Conference Finals

After Game 1 of each series, here's some thoughts.

First, the Spurs and the Suns. I see the Spurs winning this because no one can guard Duncan, and Nash can't guard Parker. Plus they have Ginobli who's turning into a star and the perfect role players. The Suns will win a few, however, IF: the Suns triple team Duncan and Barry and the other three point shooters go in a shooting drought, or the Suns hit an incredibly high percentage of threes.

No matter what happens, this series will be incredible basketball, and will just remind me how bad the Celtics are.

Now, the Heat and the Pistons. Didn't watch Game One, but I can tell you that Jack Bauer is the man! I think Shaq has broken the record for longest time injured with a bruise. Anyway, I'm interested in this matchup because the Heat have the two best players: Wade and Shaq, but the Pistons have more overall talent and seem to be the better team. I'm still trying to figure out if I like this Pistons team. More on this later. Maybe. I guess I'll predict the Pistons win in 6.

Jim O'Brien fired

This is what I wrote right before the season started in my NBA preview:

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS - I’ve seen plenty of Jim O’Brien, but I’m still not sure how I rate him as a coach. Positives: players love him and play hard for him, his teams play defense, and his grouchy regular guy press conferences will play well with Sixer fans. Negatives: Developed the worst offensive system in the history of basketball and although his defense causes turnover and bad shots, it leaves his team vulnerable to offensive rebounds. (Playoffs)

On ESPN, Stephen A. Smith ripped apart O'Brien, saying how the players absolutely hated him. This seems strange since it seemed that Celtics did like playing for him, but I think I underestimated how much the players hated Pitino before O'Brien. It didn't matter what flaws O'Brien had, he wasn't Pitino and that was good enough for the Celtics.

Whether or not O'Brien is a jerk, he deserved to be fired because he's a poor coach. His defensive schemes don't work against good teams, and he doesn't coach offense.

Finally, look at the track record of how players under O'Brien developed. Banks and Perkins played like rookies this season because O'Brien ignored them last season. Then there's the two most prominent O'Brien players: Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce. Coming out of college these guys were incredibly talented and had well rounded games. Now they're one-dimensional babies who don't make their teammates better. Pitino and O'Brien had something to do with this development.

Sure, I'm bitter about the Celtics, especially seeing how much better the Suns, Spurs, Heat, and Pistons are. Anyway, my point is O'Brien deserved to be fired.

Guess the Athlete!

Answer on Friday Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Lawsuit Time

People who have never lived in Boston might want to ignore this. Sportscaster Bob Lobel is a legend in Boston. He's been doing sports forever and he's very popular in Boston. Part of the appeal of him is he appears drunk all the time. His face is always bright red, he always has a smile on his face like he urinated in your coffee, and he's funny during his telecasts, especially when the local team loses.

Now, Bob Lobel is suing the creator of this comic strip. I like Lobel, but I hope he loses the suit. "Get Fuzzy" can be a very good comic strip, although it's no Family Circus.Posted by Hello

Good news for Patriotsy2k

Troy Brown's staying with the Pats.

Brady has a lot of receivers to throw to: Deion Branch, David Givens, David Terrell, Tim Dwight, Bethel Johnson, and Troy Brown

A note to guest writers

Lately, when I've cut and pasted your e-mails to post, the font and size gets completely screwed up. I think the problem happens when I run spell check (yes, I do have spell check, and it does make it more embarassing when I find out I made spelling mistakes).

Anyway, I'm not going to run spell check on your sumbitted articles, and hopefully this will solve the problem.

MLB Pennant Races

Written by the Godfather

AL East

The Orioles are one of the bigger surprises in baseball. I think eventually their starting pitching will fade and they will fall into a 3rd place finish.

The Red Sox are also a great surprise. Although their record is not surprising, they have had major starting pitching injuries, Manny isn’t hitting like he is expected, Millar has 2 HR’s, Renteria has been a disappointment thus far and Keith Foulke is struggling. Yet they are only 2 games out of 1st and only a half game out of the wild card.

Two weeks ago, the Yankees were a major disappointment, but now they are beating up on weaker opponents and their starting pitching has actually been impressive.

By year’s end, I think the Red Sox will finally topple the Yanks for the division. The Yanks biggest battle with the Sox may be against the White Sox for the wild card.

AL Central

The White Sox have been the best team in baseball all year. Their pitching has been outstanding. I expect El Duque to slow down as he did last year and I expect the Twins to eventually take over 1st place.

I love this Minnesota team. I think they have enough parts in place to challenge for the World Series title. When I looked at the Twins in the beginning of the year, I saw a name that could make a huge difference. Joe Mays won 21 games a few years back and has since battled injuries. He pitched a great game his last time out and his success may bring the Twins to the top. Also, the Twins have the best bullpen in baseball, in my opinion.

AL West

Seattle over spent, Oakland traded the wrong people and let too many stars get away. Texas has Chan Ho Park. This leaves the Angels. However, if Guerrero hurt his should badly last night, this could hurt their chances and allow Texas to compete.

NL East

Most competitive division in baseball. I think the Braves will finally falter this year. Their starting pitching is facing injuries right now and Kolb has not pitched well. The Marlins starting pitching is amazing. If they are hot at the end of the season, they may win it all again. I also expect Mike Lowell to start to heat up soon. The Nationals have been a pleasant surprise and it looks like they will hover around .500 all year. The Mets will be dependent on the injury prone Martinez. In the end, Piazza’a defense behind the plate will lose them 5 or 6 games this year and in a close division like the NL East, that makes a huge difference.

NL Central

This division appears to be over already. The Cards will again run away with this division. Eckstein appears to be the best bargain in the offseason SS merry go round. The Brewers have been a big surprise and the Cubs and Astros rank up there as the biggest disappointments.

NL West

This could turn into a great pennant race at the end of the year. The Padres are playing up to expectations and the DBacks have played great thus far. Looks like some of the former Yankee pitchers actually can pitch. These two teams have the potential to go down to the last weekend for the division. I am not counting the Dodgers out, but they have to play more consistently to stay in the race.

Suns good, Walton bad

Last night was probably the best game I've seen this year. I haven't seen much of the Suns, so I was pretty impressed considering that Joe Johnson didn't even play. What else is there to say about Nash? The only rain on Nash's parade could be the fact he did all this against Dallas's defense. San Antonio will do a better job defending the pick and roll. Also, I forgot how good Shawn Marion was.

I can't be completely positive. I'm convinced Bill Walton is trying to sound stupid. He's been to one too many Grateful Dead concerts. However, I should give Mike Tirico and "Snapper" Jones credit. When Walton does say something stupid, the other two guys will usually joke about what he said or just start laughing. We should put these two with Billy Packer or Tim McCarver.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Answer to Guess the Athlete

Korean Table Tennis Player, Oh Sang Eun

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Good Riddance, Indiana

I was going to blast Reggie Miller in this post, but it was his last game so I won't say much about him. I admired his clutch shooting, but I couldn't stand the rest of his game.

Now do we finally get to stop hearing about Jermaine O'Neal's hurt shoulder? The same shoulder he always led with when driving into his defender.

Steroid Publicity Tour

This whole thing reminds me of the, "War on Drugs." A bunch of politicians grandstanding, making tougher and tougher laws, and letting the world know that they're against drugs. The result of all this: a bunch of Americans are addicted to drugs and no progress is made in actually treating the drug problem.

I'm getting too political, but this is related to the steroid hearings. Right now Bud Selig and congress are patting each other on their backs because they're pushing for tougher and tougher rules. I think as it stands now, if an athlete gets caught with steroids in his system, he needs to spend 20 years in jail watching WNBA games.

I'm pretty sure this hasn't been acknowledged by a politician: there are steroids out there that are undetectable. The ones that get caught are the ones that can't afford the undetectable steroids, or they just don't know better.

Athletes will keep using steroids, and politicians will keep pontificating about this "issue." It's a good thing this country is in such good shape that Congress can just concentrate on sports.

Couldn't resist this Brushback article: MLS Commissioner invited to steroid hearings out of politeness

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bunt on David Wells

I found this on The Sports Frog discussion board. A poster named, ojo writes:

Lead off the game with a bunt. he'll tweak pull twinge something in that girthbomb frame of his and he'll be chowin' krispy kremes within 20 minutes. the man cannot field a bunt, particularly in the first inning or so since he's not effectively stretched/loose.

2003 july vs the red sox. wells fields a leadoff bunt by damon, and is subsequently knocked out of the game because of an enflamed vagina.

2003 WS. juan pierre leads off the game with a bunt, and wells again cannot finish the first inning due to back stiffness from attempting to field the bunt.

2005, today may 18.....mark kotsay leads off the a's bottom half of the first with??? you guessed it, a bunt to second. there are no bunts to second, just bunts that got by the pitcher.

wells goes on to give up 7 runs and fails to record 5 outs.


i do believe so.

bunt on the fat man!

I hope Joe Torre doesn't read this. Then again, he's the same guy who refused to bunt on Schilling with his messed up foot last year.

Pedro Injury Update!

He's getting cortisone shots, but not in his shoulder...yet. To honor all those old ladies, Pedro has a bad hip.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Guess the Athlete!

Answer on Friday Posted by Hello

Why the Cubs' pitchers have so many arm troubles

Carlos Zambrano's hurt because he has, "tennis elbow."

Someone's gotta tell the Cubs' pitchers to stop playing tennis. Tennis is for athletes, not pitchers.

In awe of Dwayne Wade

I haven't written anything lately because I'm speechless after Wade's third quarter performance. I love everything about his game, but I especially like how he scores without throwing up a lot of threes. It reminds me of Jordan in his prime when most of his points came from drives and midrange jumpers.

Some other things about Wade. Other than Shaq, his supporting cast is not that good. His assist numbers would be much higher if someone besides streak shooting Damon Jones could hit a shot.

Wade is making the Kobe/Shaq story more interesting. Kobe couldn't deal with the fact that Shaq was the big shot of the Lakers. Unlike Kobe, Wade has been deferential to Shaq since day one, but guess who's taking over the Heat even if he doesn't want to? Over the next two season the Heat will become Wade's team. It will be similar to how the Lakers slowly turned from Kareem's team to Magic's team.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

World Baseball Classic

I'm really excited about this. If soccer and hockey can have World Cups, why not baseball? I love the idea of Ichiro and Matsui playing with other Japanese players against Americans, I want to see if any team can beat the Dominican Republic, and I want to see how good the Cubans are.

There are some concerns, specifically injuries. This is from USA Today:

Picture this: Randy Johnson starts for the USA, injures his left arm and is finished for the season. That is the type of risk this tournament provides.

I'm liking the idea of this tournament even more!

Rick Carlisle sounding defensive

This is from ESPN's Michael Smith, a good NFL writer, not a good NBA Writer.

As he said "fight through," Carlisle slammed his right hand on the podium for emphasis. "You must be steadfast in your abstention from falsehood," Carlisle continued. "That's a simple way of saying don't kid yourself. The truth is the truth. We're holding on for dear life, really, all this season, and we have to hear about how the officials blew the game. C'mon! Seriously. I disagree. I think it's ridiculous. Not with the way both teams played."

This sounds like a coach who's tired of hearing people complain about officials favorable treatment towards Indiana. The truth hurts.

Meanwhile, Michael Smith demonstrates what's wrong with the NBA and the people who cover it with this:

Did Brown honestly expect the officials to hit Miller with a charge in the final seconds of what could be one of his last games? I like Hunter a lot, but let's keep it real -- we're talking about Lindsey Hunter. Reggie Miller. Lindsey Hunter.

Silly me, I thought we were talking about two NBA players who play by the same rules.

The Shaq/Nash MVP Debate

I've heard people saying that race might have been a factor for Nash winning the MVP over Shaq. I'm sure a part of Nash's popularity comes from his race, but there were other stronger factors that allowed Nash to win over Shaq. For one, Nash had a career year; Shaq's season was far below average compared to his other seasons. Two, writers and fans are thrilled to see Nash's and the Suns style of play, and that surely got him some votes.

The strange thing about this debate is one could argue that neither player is the MVP of their teams. Nash is surrounded by talent, but look at what Amare Stoudemire's been doing in the playoffs. Last night he had 37 points and 14 rebounds. It's his third straight game with over thirty points. Meanwhile, Miami's rolling along, and Shaq's barely playing. How can a team be undefeated in the playoffs when the league's second place MVP is playing hurt and ineffectively? Dwyane Wade. All he's doing is putting up playoff statistics in assists, points, and rebounds that only Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson have achieved before.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Bitter Boston Fans

The Godfather wants to know why Boston fans turn against athletes when they leave town.

What I notice a lot in Boston is that people want to see players fail once they leave. Clemens I can understand the way he left and Pedro is another good example. One player who I think Sox fans should want to see succeed is Lowe. But the one player I do not understand is Nomar. He was traded away. He was probably the biggest fan favorite at one time in Boston. Now most people want to see him fail.

Here's the two big things I look at when an athlete leaves town:
1. Did he improve a little too much after leaving, meaning that maybe he wasn't giving his best effort while in Boston? (Roger Clemens)
2. Was he a jerk, baby, or spoiled brat when he left? (Pedro Martinez)

The Nomar situation is an interesting case. He was everything a fan could ask for, but then injuries and a contract squabble came along. Also, he never was cordial with the Boston media, and that can haunt an athlete. So his last season was a bad one on and off the field, and after he leaves the Sox win the series.

My first thought is I'm not so sure Boston fans want to see him fail. I believe there's sometimes a difference between what we hear from sports radio hosts and callers and what the rest of Boston fans think.

For example, when Wade Boggs left Boston to the Yankees, he was villain number one on sports radio. I then went to his first game as a Yankee at Fenway, and there were boos when he was first announced. The boos were then overwhelmed by a long standing ovation as he went on to have four hits.

Nomar is not being treated well by Boston sports radio, but I think Nomar would get a Wade Boggs reaction if he played at Fenway for another team.

Answer to Guess the Athlete

Wade Boggs. Not just a Hall of Famer, but also a client. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Way to go Roger

It's amazing what Clemens is doing at his age, and it's a shame (for him, not me) that he's getting no run support. People have claimed that Roger's struggles with the Sox in his last few years was due to a bad bullpen and poor run support. I was actually looking at Tony Pena's stats, and Clemens' stats jumped out at me.

1993: 11-14, 4.46 ERA
1994: 9-7, 2.85 ERA
1995: 10-5, 4.18 ERA
1996: 10-13, 3.63 ERA

1997 with Blue Jays: 21-7, 2.05 ERA (And people wonder why Sox fans don't like him)

Dan Duquette's gotten too much criticism for "letting" Clemens go.

Tony Pena Resigns

The poor guy was managing a team with no talent. Based on his successful seasons earlier with the Royals and his catching career, Pena should get another job. He was never a good hitter, but I remember how good he was working a pitching staff.

The best memories I have of Tony Pena, however, is how he would fall down after swinging so hard at a pitch.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Guess the Athlete!

Submitted by Patriotsy2k Posted by Hello

Brian Cashman better be careful. Posted by Hello

What will the Pacers be allowed to do?

Before you criticize me for just blaming the refs, see my post below.

  • When Jermaine O'Neal gets fouled, will he be allowed to confront the other player without getting a technical? (O'Neal stopped doing this later in the Celtics series because he probably noticed the Celtics getting technicals for doing this)
  • Will the Pacers' point guards be allowed knee, straight arm, elbow, and throw their shoulders into any defender who dares to cover them tightly?
  • Will Dale Davis be allowed to continue with his cheap shots under the basket?
  • Will they be allowed to grab, hold, and shove Rip Hamilton if he moves without the ball?
  • Will they be allowed to push the body of a low post shooter? (This is a common defensive maneuver and the refs called it a lot for established low post players like O'Neal, Duncan, etc. Walker and Jefferson never got this call in the series.)
  • Will they be allowed to slap people without a whistle as they reach for the ball?
  • Will the Pistons need to flop every time to get a whistle?

Not sure where to begin

The Celtics were completely outplayed. The officiating was still terrible, but the way the Celtics played last night, they would have lost with an officiating crew of Tommy Heinsohn, Red Auerbach, and me.

My initial thought is I want Pierce, Walker, and Payton gone. Payton's easy to explain -- he's too old to play defense. When Anthony Johnson can burn by you, it's time to hang the sneakers up.

Pierce and Walker are talented players. They're just not as talented as they think they are. In big games, actually at the end of all games, they take on a Kobe Bryant mentality. They think they're going to take their teams on their shoulders because they're the best players on the court. For them, doing this means slowing the pace down, refusing to pass and forcing shots. I don't want players on the Celtics who play like this.

I know people would argue that teams shouldn't get rid of their best players. I say it is time to get rid of your best players when one is outplayed by Stephen Jackson and the other is out hustled by Jeff Foster.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Who knows if this is true

I saw this on the BostonSportsMedia Message Board. Maybe not the most reliable source, but it's too good not to post:

After ARod's error, the camera was close up on him and he CLEARLY said in Jeter's direction..."Hey, @!&% you man...goddamnit"

I rewound it about 10 times. It was hilarious --PortlandSoxFan

Why I don't get paid for this

I tried to watch the Bulls/Wizards game. I made it to halftime, decided to rest my eyes, next thing I know it's midnight. Blame it on the ESPN halftime show...or the Vodka.

  • I was hoping to see why Ben Gordon won the 6th Man Award. He shot 0-1 and had 5 turnovers. Maybe I'll see why next year.
  • Very impressed with Kirk Hinrich. Since his Kansas days, I loved how he rushes the ball up and he has a beautiful shot.
  • I was wondering what ever happened to Adrian Griffin. He's a bad athlete who can't shoot, but he always ends up doing good things on the court.
  • Larry Hughes's two consecutive steals was an impressive display of defense. He came out of school too early and always ended up in bad situations. Now he's playing like an All Star.
  • The Antawn Jamison trade is why I picked the Wizards for the playoffs at the beginining of the season.
  • Is there a bigger dropoff in halftime shows when you go from TNT to ESPN. I've actually tuned in to TNT just to watch Barkley and his halftime show, and when the game came back on I'd change the channel.
  • Some expert analysis from ESPN's halftime show from either Tim Legler or Greg Anthony: "I think Indiana will win because of home court advantage." (a prediction regarding Game 7 in Boston).

Chad Brown a Patriot

This signing reminds me of something many draft "experts" seem to ignore. Every mock draft concentrates heavily on teams' needs, but smart teams draft more for the best player available rather than for just what they need. There are other ways to fill needs, and how a team does with major and minor free agent signings can be just as important as the draft.

This is why I'm not being tough on Detroit for taking Mike Williams. They believe they're getting a special player, so it's worth the pick. There's other ways to fill their more pressing needs besides the draft.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Is this about Smarty Jones or Kris from Key West?

A Year Later, Smarty Jones is Living Large, by Jim Litke


...spends his days lounging, lunching and - how to put this delicately? - loving.

Morning, afternoon and night.

``He's taken to his new career with gusto,'' said Dan Rosenberg, president of Three Chimneys Farm.

...Up to three times a day during thoroughbred mating season, from mid-February through July (88 times so far; 111 by the end), a mare is ushered into a breeding shed to the south of Smarty's stall to be - as they say in the industry - covered.

His stud fee is $100,000 per live foal, not bad for a horse who retired with $7.6 million in earnings, the third-best total ever. That's why mares have dropped by from as far away as Germany and Japan. Each session in the shed - actually another handsome barn, complete with pine paneling, thickly padded walls and shredded-tire floors - is videotaped to guarantee paternity. If there was a bathrobe hanging from a hook, the place would look like Hugh Hefner did the decorating...

Bonehead Paul Pierce

Pierce admitted he was a bonehead for doing what he did and I agree. Tinsley did a good job acting, but a ref will always give a technical foul in those situations.

After reading and hearing some commentary, here's some of my thoughts:
  • Bob Ryan thought that Pierce getting thrown out and ripping his jersey off was the most selfish act in Celtics' history. Bob Ryan tends to get carried away.
  • Pierce should have had enough self control not to react to the foul, but not enough is being said about why he was frustrated. The officiating was terrible and Pierce was getting beat up throughout the game. Mainstream media love to ignore poor officiating, but they're not telling the whole story when they do ignore it.
  • Pierce's first technical was maybe the worse call of the year.
  • Pierce did look foolish walking off the court waving his shirt, but it could have been worse. He could have pulled an Antoine Walker and chase a ref. He could have gave the crowd the finger, spit at the crowd, or swear at the crowd. All of these things have been done before and at least Pierce did not stoop to that level.

Answer to Guess the Athlete

Ashot Danielyan of Armenia.

I guess next week's challenge should be a little easier.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

NBA's a joke

In the second half and overtime, the Celtics took five free throws. Four of those shots came after intentional fouls.

6 Man Rotation?

Earlier, I said it would be good to put Bronson Arroyo in the bullpen, but I can't see how he could be taken out of the rotation with the way he's been pitching. Who knows when Schilling, Miller, or Wells will come back, and these things usually work themselves out with either slumps or injuries.

But IF everyone becomes healthy, would it screw up a staff too much if you had a six man rotation?

A Bartcopsports Classic

This is something I wrote in November. I find it pretty relevant since people are talking about why the Yankees are struggling.

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.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sports Blog Rule #1

You should watch sports and read about sports so you have something to write about.

I haven't been doing much of either lately, and that's why I haven't posted much. I should be gloating about the misery of Yankee fans, but it's not that fun when the Red Sox are being so inconsistent.

On another note, Pokey Reese might go on the 60 day disable list, which is a shame. He never figured out how to hit and he always gets hurt, but he's the best fielder I've seen play for the Red Sox (at both second and short).

That's all I got. Sorry.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

This has to be the picture of the year. The expressions of all four guys are priceless.  Posted by Hello

Brian Robert's Eyes

An interesting article about performance enhancing contact lens. Posted by Hello

The stars of the playoffs: refs

  • In Houston you have Van Gundy getting fined $100,000 for criticizing the refs. He's still in shock over not getting the Knick treatment by refs.
  • Avery Johnson's been fined for criticizing refs.
  • Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge keep complaining about how refs fall for all of Reggie Miller's tricks.
  • Antonio Davis of the Bulls thinks the refs are out to get him and his team.

The NBA wouldn't be having all these problems with their refs were actually consistent.

Jason Williams - Pen Stealer

I'm actually siding with Williams on this story. Columnist Geoff Calkins wrote:

"How do you feel on this Sunday, as the Grizzlies are poised to be swept from the playoffs for the second straight year? Are you glum? Angry? Depressed? Frustrated? Jason Williams is none of those things.

'I'm happy,' he told a CA reporter at practice Saturday. 'I go home and see my kids and my wife and I'm OK. All this (bleep) is secondary to me.'

I have a strong suspicion that the reporter did not ask Calkins' questions before Williams gave that quote. When Williams said this, his team was down three games to nothing (only the Red Sox could come back from a deficit like that), and I'm guessing he was trying to put things in perspective. NBA players have terrible reputations for being bad family men, and players are usually praised when they say that what really matters is that they have their wife and kids.

I also think it's funny that Williams kept stealing pens.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Guess the Athlete

Answer on Friday. Posted by Hello

Strange place for a nap. Posted by Hello

Finally, it's May!

We don't have to hear every baseball discussion being ended with the cliche, "It's April."

Playoff Notes

The Bruins once again accomplished nothing in the NHL playoffs; now let's look at the NBA.
  • I've been somewhat critical of Iverson's style of play lately, but his game three performance was amazing. I can't get over how much quicker he is compared to everyone else. He has also played a very smart game.
  • I can't remember a rookie playing better defense than Andre Iguodala.
  • Don't want to get into a greatest player ever argument, but Shaq's been taken out of games late in the fourth because his backup plays better defense and shoots better free throws. Don't think the same happened with Russell, Kareem, Magic, Bird, or Jordan.
  • The Celtics and Paul Pierce are driving me crazy. After game three, I wanted to give up on them and get rid of Pierce. Then last night they had the performance I was waiting for. Pierce did all the little things and scored thirty without all the dumb isolation stuff.
  • Why do players and coaches think that because it's the playoffs they need to slow the offense down? Magic's Lakers never slowed things down and it worked for them.
  • It's the playoffs. Enough about attention-whore, Phil Jackson.
  • Phoenix and Miami are each up 3-0. Has a professional team ever choked that big of a playoff lead?

My 2nd Boxing Post

John Ruiz claims to be retiring, and he's not happy. I don't care about boxing or Ruiz -- what I've heard is he's a boring fighter but a quiet nice guy. This article just shows how much of a joke boxing is.

...Less than an hour after he lost to James Toney, by a wide margin, a fight that appeared arguably closer, the two-time World Boxing Association heavyweight champion announced he was finished with a sport he has grown to hate. "I always treated everybody with respect, but they didn't treat me the same way," Ruiz said in his locker room at Madison Square Garden as he announced he was retiring from boxing at the age of 33. "It hurts me to walk away like this. I grew up in boxing. It's sad for me to put it this way, but boxing was the sport I loved.

"Now it's the sport I hate."

The final straw for Ruiz was not the lopsided decision awarded to Toney last night. The last straw came several hours earlier, when he was approached by an inspector from the New York State Athletic Commission who ordered him to shave the beard he has worn through most of his professional career.

Stunned, Ruiz began to protest and his volatile manager, Norman Stone, leaped to his defense and a shouting match ensued. Stone pointed out Ruiz had worn the same beard in the same building with the same officials having jurisdiction six months ago and no one said a word about it.

What had changed?

"It dawned on me they were going to do everything they could to get me out of the sport tonight," Ruiz said. "I knew right then this was the night they were going to take it away from me.

"I think they decided a long time ago they didn't want me in the sport. They never wanted me to beat [Evander] Holyfield. They never thought I'd beat Holyfield. They never thought I'd beat [Hasim] Rahman or [Andrew] Golota or those other guys.

"I did all I could to lift up the sport of boxing. I extended my hand to everybody. I didn't say anything bad about anybody and all they did was say bad about me. I'm a nice guy. They want [expletives] up there. Now they got one. I'm finished. I've been fed up with what goes on in boxing for a while."