Monday, October 31, 2005

Theo Epstein quits

The Godfather predicted this. I thought he was wrong because the Sox would be too P.R. conscious to let him go, and Theo's professional pride would make him stay to watch his farm system develop. I was wrong, the Godfather was right, pigs fly.

Ironically, it was the Red Sox obsession with public relations that made Theo leave. Team president Larry Lucchino had been taking heat for Theo not being signed and for his reputation as being the bad boss. So yesterday, Dan Shaughnessy who is known to be close to upper management, wrote an article that didn't seem so bad, but it did defend Lucchino and it revealed some insider information.

Supposedly this article convinced Theo he didn't want to stay. He had already seen his bosses leak stories about Manny, Pedro, and Nomar, and he didn't want to be a part of this nonsense anymore.

It's a shame it didn't work out, but Theo's a smart guy so he'll be fine, Lucchino's smart so he'll be fine, and the Red Sox are rich so they'll be fine.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Guess the Athlete!

NBA Preview, Part 1

The Finals (or who will the Spurs beat?)
The Spurs are the same team as last year's team, but deeper with Van Exel, Finley, and the continued development of their foreign players. They're winning it all unless Duncan gets hurt.

The Spurs will be beat either the Heat, Pacers or Pistons. Here's a look at each of them.

Heat: Wade and Shaq could probably get them to the finals alone, but there are issues. 1) Shaq's not getting younger and the Pistons contain him pretty well. 2) When you have superstars you're supposed to surround them with strong role players, so they get Walker, Williams, and Payton? On a good night Walker will come up with offensive rebounds and nice passes. Unfortunately those good nights are surrounded by nights of ill advised threes and sulking when he doesn't get the ball enough. Williams can be erratic and Payton should have retired three years ago. Did I mention none of these guys play defense?

It will take an MVP performance out of Shaq or Wade to get this team into the finals.

Pistons: When Larry Brown left the Pacers, the Pacers got better. When he left the Sixers, the Sixers got worse. The talented Pistons have strong veterans and promising youth, which is similar to what the Pacers had when Bird took over. The veterans will want to prove that Brown got too much credit for their success, and they'll have a strong season.

Pacers: Sports Illustrated put Ron Artest with Larry Bird on the cover. I didn't know how to react. Artest will have a great season, and maybe Jonathan Bender, Sarunas Jasikevicius, or Danny Granger will come up big to replace Reggie "the flop" Miller. This team of thugs and cry babies will continue to annoy me as they keep winning

So the Heat have the two best players, the Pistons have the best starting five, and the Pacers have the best depth. I'll go with the team with best two players. The Heat will lose to the Spurs in the finals.

NBA Preview, Part 2

They won't make the finals, but they'll provide some entertainment

If you're not a fan of the Spurs, Pacers, Pistons, or Heat don't worry about buying playoff tickets in June. At least there will be some interesting things to look for.
  • The Cavs and Suns are my darkhorses. LeBron will be in the finals some day -- with a few breaks and improvement of his surrounding cast, this could be the year. Probably not though. A healthy Stoudemire makes the Suns contender, but I don't see him being healthy this year.
  • The Celtics will be irrelevant again this year. More important than their win loss record will be the development of Jefferson, Perkins, West, Reed, Green, and Greene. This year we'll find out if the Celtics can build around these players or if they'll have to blow it up again.
  • The Nets will be good as long as Vince Carter decides to keep trying, but one of their important players will get injured.
  • Wouldn't mind building my team around Hinrich, Deng, and Gordon.
  • Andre Iguodala is a future All Star and defensive player of the year, but not as long as he's playing next to Iverson.
  • Every player on the Knicks is a question mark. Larry Brown wins wherever he goes, but then there's Isiah. I'm not sure which comparison to make: 1) if you mix gold(Brown) with crap(Isiah), it's still a valuable combination, or 2) if you mix chocolate (Brown) with crap (Isiah), it still tastes like crap.
  • Shareef Abdul-Rahim who never made the playoffs joins the Kings who always make the playoffs. If the Kings don't make the playoffs this year, let's put him on the Spurs and see what happens.
  • Last year the Jazz got a lot of talk because of the addition of Boozer and the development of Kirilenko, then Kirilenko got hurt and they fell apart. Well, Kirilenko's back and Deron Williams will win rookie of the year.
  • It's year two of Kobe proving he's Michael Jordan. Phil Jackson will make them better than last year and I like the signings of Kwame Brown and Aaron McKie. But Kobe, you're no Michael Jordan.
  • Rashad McCants put up some good preseason numbers, but he sounds like a guy who wants to take advantage of that Lake Minnetonka night life.
  • What's an NBA post by me without a Paul Pierce trade rumor? Last year I predicted Paul Pierce would be traded and it didn't happen. Now he's being the happy camper and team leader. I'm guessing he'll be a Clipper by the end of the season.

I forgot my own anniversary!

October 28th was my one year anniversary! I guess it's fitting that on my anniversary I took a shot at A-Rod in my answer to Guess the Athlete! Not so fitting was my Bertuzzi post (I think that was my 3rd NHL post in site history).

Thanks to everyone who visits. Thanks to Kris from Key West and e-mailer Mal who were there at the start. Thanks to Godfather, Patriotsy2k, and Bryan for all their posts and for calling me unintelligent.

To all those who don't post -- your silence just confirms that I'm correct about everything in the world of sports.

Now I just need to figure out how to get paid for this. According to this guy,

my site is worth $1,129.08

So where's my money?!?!

The danger of archives...

It's easy for sports columnists to be negative about the home team. The odds are that the home team won't win the championship, so when they eventually do lose, the writers can gloat, "see I told you so." There's one problem with this type of writing though -- the home team sometimes wins. Poor Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune decided to publish some of his negativity throughout the past year.

Some highlights:
  • Nov 17 (What Smart fans) want to know is how the Sox plan to win a World Series. Answer: They won't, as long as Reinsdorf and his people own the team. Please sell it.
  • Dec 14 Oh, this makes loads of sense, building a slap-and-tickle team to play 81 games in the most power-friendly ballpark in the majors..... Ken Williams is trading mashers for midgets....Amazingly enough, a team that hit a major-league-best 242 homers in 2004 has lost four prime power hitters, including Jose Valentin. And the only attempt to fill the void was Williams' cheapskate signing of injury-hobbled Jermaine Dye, who will make $4 million next year ($10 million less than Ordonez made last season) and is a career .208 hitter with two out and runners in scoring position.....Don't be fooled by (Scott) Podsednik's 2003 National League Rookie of the Year award or his 70 stolen bases last year. This is a leadoff hitter who has trouble leading off, hitting only .244 last season with a lame .313 on-base percentage....When Juan Uribe is a team's third-best hitter, you again start hoping that Reinsdorf sells the franchise while wondering if the general manager has lost his lid.... As long as Jose Contreras is your No. 3 starter and Jon Garland is your No. 4, the Sox can't play OzzieBall...
  • Dec 19 If the Sox had given (former Cub Matt) Clement an extra $5 million and (pitcher Omar) Vizquel an extra year and $3 million, they would have a quality No. 3 starter behind Freddy Garcia and Mark Buehrle and a fielding wizard to anchor the infield.
  • April 7 (The Sox are) Winning Lucky. Groovy as Sox life seems right now, let me assure you that this is no formula for a division title. ...(Jerry Reinsdorf ) and (Ken) Williams have concocted this "new way" of baseball that actually is a euphemism for payroll-crunching.
  • June 7 I can safely say the Sox won't win a World Series as long as (Jerry Reinsdorf) owns them.
  • June 14 Will (Ken) Williams recognize his Joe Crede problem and pursue Shea Hillenbrand?
  • Aug 20 Barring an unforeseen deal by general manager Ken Williams, who is too protective of team chemistry and not focused enough on reality,
  • Sept. 1 The defense has been woeful. The lineup has too many automatic outs. The Sox aren't playing well at home. Who is Geoff Blum, anyway?
  • Sept. 18 A recipe for October success, this is not. The next 14 days and nights will be hell for the Sox, their fans and a city sick of applying the Heimlich maneuver. Watch at your own risk.

Saturday snow

Considering what the rest of the country is dealing with weather-wise, I'm not complaining. Unfortunately, it's much warmer today, so we won't be seeing any Bruschi snow dances. I can't wait to hear the New England crowd after Bruschi's first big play -- how about returning an interception for a touchdown?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Bertuzzi back in Denver

Answer to Guess the Athlete!

listerplus is right again. It's Mike Lamb of the Yankees before they dumped him for A-Rod.

Mike Lamb's 2005 post season statistics: 8 hits, 3 homeruns, 4 runs batted in
2005 salary: $1,300,000

A-Rod's 2005 post season statistics: 2 hits, 0 homeruns, o runs batted in
2005 salary: $25,705,118

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Congrats to all White Sox fans (if there are any)

The American League has won the last eight World Series games. You have to go back to the hapless Yankees to see the last time the American League lost to the National League in post season play.

I'm not sure I would call it American League dominance; it's more of a case of American League teams getting amazingly hot at the right times. Last year it was the Red Sox lineup; this year it was the White Sox pitching.

And enough about Ozzie Guillen. He gave his team confidence, but the players won the series. There's Jermaine Dye, who has had a promising career derailed by injuries, coming up with clutch hit after clutch hit. There's Scott Podsednik doing his Ozzie Smith impersonation hitting unexpected post season homeruns. There's Juan Uribe making two great defensive plays in the bottom of the ninth inning of the deciding game.

Derek Jeter's a hero for unnecessarily diving into the stands after catching a foul ball in the regular season. What does that make Uribe for charging into the stands (on the road) for a better catch in the World Series?

Lastly, any team could have had Jose Contreras, El Duque, or Bobby Jenks last March for little more than a player to be named later. Credit goes to these players for unexpectedly coming up big and to GM Kenny Williams for bringing in the right players to win a World Series.

Now if only the White Sox had fans. I guess all of those Bulls fans who jumped on Michael Jordan's bandwagon finally have a new bandwagon to jump on to.

One year ago...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Down 0-3...
No team has ever overcome a 3-0 World Series deficit, and only one major league team has done it in any round of the postseason - the Boston Red Sox in last year's AL championship series against the New York Yankees.
Just how dead are the Astros? As everybody knows, a year ago the Red Sox became the first team in major-league history to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games.
Yahoo! Sports
No team has ever overcome a 3-0 World Series deficit, and only one major league team has done it in any round of the postseason -- Boston in last year's AL championship series against the New York Yankees.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Michael Vick isn't a good quarterback

That's what I think every time I see Vick play. Last night he completed less than 50% of his passes, threw no touchdowns, and tossed up three interceptions. He is an amazing runner and his team wins.

However, is an amazing runner what a team should look for in a quarterback? Great scramblers have come and gone, but only the ones who know how to throw to an open receiver and run an offense are any good. Until Vick can learn to do these things, he's a glorified running back.

So how have the Falcons been successful without a quality quarterback? They have a good running back, a good offensive line, a good defense, and the NFC has been weak As the NFC improves, Vick will be exposed more and more.

Some Vick defenders claim he doesn't have any good receivers. Quarterbacks have a lot to do with the success of receiver. Bledsoe defenders said the same thing about the Patriots' receiving corp before Brady came along. Vick has All-Pro caliber players at running back and tight end. He also has a good offensive line and some serviceable receivers. A good quarterback completes more than 50% of his passes with this team.

Finally, to pile on Vick a little bit more there's some character issues too. This summer he whined about all of his critics (despite some of the best press I've ever seen for a player who has never won anything). Then there was the way he was posing and flexing as he was introduced last night. You don't see Brady, Favre, Manning, Roethlisberger and other quarterbacks doing this type of nonsense. Seeing that display makes me wonder about Vick's focus.

Then there was the advice Michael Vick gave during an interview on Monday Night Football: "When you're dating two women, have two cell phones." Good advice, but I'm not sure we should be hearing it from the supposed face of a franchise and league.

Last year's 'slap story' was better

We all got a good laugh last year when A-Rod slapped the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove. This slapping story isn't so funny; it's pathetic. A White Sox fan was giving Craig Biggio's wife a tough time, and he slapped her. Ozzie Guillen and Craig Biggio are saying all the right things:
"I feel like it's our fault, and I talked to (Biggio) about it, and he knows we're sorry," Guillen said. "He knows it was something we couldn't control. It wasn't like a fight. (The fan) hit the lady and left."

"I'm not going to sit here and hold all the Chicago fans accountable for this for one guy who was acting like an idiot," Craig Biggio said...

"It's just unfortunate," Biggio said. "One guy just thought he was being funny and decided to slap my wife upside the head. I guess his misfortune was, you know, you don't do that to a Jersey girl. She chased him down and caught him. We are just going to leave it at that -- nice and simple. It's over with."

Monday, October 24, 2005

Guess the Athlete!

No east coast bias here

Chicago and Houston are playing some good baseball. I'm tired of people saying the White Sox success is due to "small ball." It's not. Paul Konerko hitting a grand slam and an incredibly hot pitching staff has nothing to do with small ball.

We were in bar watching game one, so the Godfather and I didn't know why Clemens left early. The Godfather said that maybe he had a blister. That hurt. But don't despair Houston fans, last year the Red Sox lost the first two games on the road against the Yankees and their star pitcher looked to be out for the season. Everything worked out fine

Thoughts from an NFL bye week

If the Patriots can take a week off, I can take a weekend off. Didn't watch much football this weekend, but here's some thoughts anyway:
  • ESPN's going on and on about touchdown celebrations. Who cares? I liked the cart wheel and the chain saw celebrations. Don't get the waiter thing.
  • When Bledsoe was traded to the Bills, some in the Boston media were claiming the Pats made a mistake. As if New Englanders needed more proof that Belichick was right, Bledsoe throws an absolutely terrible interception.
  • So what the Cowboys do? Cut the kicker -- the same kicker who won an overtime game with a 48-yard-field goal a few weeks ago.
  • The Saints got screwed by the refs again.
  • Eli Manning's looking like a legitimate QB who performs well in the clutch. Peyton has to put up with being outdone by Brady in the playoffs. How will life be for Peyton, if Eli becomes a good playoff performer and wins a Super Bowl?
  • Mike Williams had 95 yards receiving. I told you the Lions made a good choice.
  • So should the Texans give up on Carr and take Leinart?
  • Eagles win with special teams. All these AFC losses is good news for the Pats.
  • Now the NFL is a copy cat league, so if the Vikings go on a winning streak after beating the powerhouse Packers, does that mean other teams will have some sex cruises.
  • Which fantasy owners picked Mark Brunell and Santana Moss at the beginning of the season?
  • If Duane Starks were a team, he'd be the 49ers.
  • Steve McNair hurt, Pope Catholic.
  • A team of blind midgets will beat the San Antonio Spurs in basketball before Patriotsy2k drinks a yard faster than the Godfather.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Still a hero

Because of Larry Bird, a criminal will stay in prison for an additional three years:
OKLAHOMA CITY - A man got a prison term longer than prosecutors and defense attorneys had agreed to — all because of Celtics great Larry Bird

The lawyers reached a plea agreement Tuesday for a 30-year term for a man accused of shooting with an intent to kill and robbery. But Eric James Torpy wanted his prison term to match Bird's jersey number 33.

"He said if he was going to go down, he was going to go down in Larry Bird's jersey," Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott said Wednesday. "We accommodated his request and he was just as happy as he could be.

"I've never seen anything like this in 26 years in the courthouse. But, I know the DA is happy about it."

Let's see Magic do that! Jokes I've already heard include, "Bet he wishes he was a Robert Parrish fan," and, "Too bad he's not a Wayne Gretzky fan."

Answer to Guess the Athlete

listerplus got it right. It's Hall of Famer Nellie Fox, who batted .306 for the last Chicago team to play in the World Series, the 1959 White Sox.

Some bad apples?

Interesting Michael Felger article about the toughness and character of some Patriots. Thanks to a yet to be named future contributor for the link. Some excerpts:

Tyrone Poole's unit is reeling, and his teammates in the secondary are under fire. The defense is desperate for leaders and playmakers, and Poole has had to watch it all from the sidelines, recovering from one injury after another.
Yesterday, the veteran cornerback's latest setback was on full display, as he limped through the locker room on crutches sporting a small, hard cast on his right ankle, which he sprained in the season opener against Oakland.
Naturally, you'd figure Poole to be upset. Naturally, you'd assume his frustration level to be at an all-time high.
But you'd be wrong.
``Football is not my life,'' said Poole from his locker. ``It's not frustrating at all.''
That, of course, is the problem.
Consider the juxtaposition between Poole and Tedy Bruschi, whose frustration at being on the sidelines after suffering a stroke was so great that he couldn't even wait eight months before attempting a comeback.
Consider the juxtaposition between Poole and Rodney Harrison, who has three torn ligaments in his left knee yet walked through the locker room yesterday without crutches and without so much as a wince. He actually looked better than Poole...

Struggling inside linebacker Monty Beisel has pointed fingers at the secondary. Cornerback Duane Starks has admitted he can't play press coverage, a startling admission given how much Bill Belichick values physical play. Fellow corner Asante Samuel believes no one fears the Pats anymore...

I thought the NFL was competent

Because of Hurricane Wilma, the Dolphins are playing tonight. On television, there's no baseball, no NFL games, and no good college games, but there is some preseason NBA! How could they not televise this game?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tim Duncan speaks

"I think it's a load of crap," Duncan said. "I understand what they're trying to do with the hats and do-rags and jerseys and stuff. That's fine. But I don't understand why they would take it to this level. I think it's basically retarded..."

Maybe he shouldn't speak

Rock n' Rollioles

Get it? Leo Mazzone rocks a lot and he just joined the Orioles pitching staff? My goal in life is to write those creative headlines at I still can't get over their brilliant word play with Cadillac Williams.

Anyway, has an assistant coach changing teams ever been as significant as Mazzone's switch in any sport. I've read this could end the Braves' string of division titles, bring good pitching free agents to Baltimore, and improve the entire Oriole staff.

Bobby Cox is a great manager no matter what happens for the rest of his career, but it will be interesting to see how he does without Mazzone.

A comprehensive preview of the World Series

I couldn't even type that title with a straight face. Here's my thoughts on some interesting matchups for the series.

Starting pitching: The Astros have the big names who have lived up to the hype. The White Sox starters just came off four straight complete games, so I guess you could say they're hot. Even

Relief pitching: Do the White Sox have a bullpen? They were great in the regular season and against the Red Sox, but will having so much time off affect them? Lidge is a top closer, but the White Sox are stronger with middle relief. Edge: White Sox

Managers: I don't know. For the league championship series, most would say the Cardinals and the Angels had the managing advantage. What did that win them? Even

Lineup: Neither team has a hitter who batted over .300 this season. The White Sox hit more homeruns so I'll give the edge to them. Advantage: White Sox

Former Red Sox players: Astros: Adam Everett, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens. White Sox: Carl Everett, Dustin Hermanson. Advantage: Astros

Stadiums: Unfortunately, the White Sox built their stadium right before Camden Yards taught baseball that it's good to have nice stadiums. The Astros play in a glorified miniature golf course. Advantage: White Sox

Interesting former players: White Sox: Ron Kittle, Astros: J.R. Richards. Advantage: Astros

Former Hall of Famers: Two former White Sox are in the exclusive Guess the Athlete! Club. Advantage: White Sox

Corruption: Enron ruined California's economy and the retirement fund of its worker. Mayor Daley rigged the election to give the United States President John F. Kennedy. Advantage: White Sox

Roles in movies: Eight Men Out starring the 1919 White Sox is about a black mark in baseball. Bad News Bears 2 with some Astros chanting, "Let them play," was an inspiration to the country. Advantage: Astros

Television Shows: Chicago had Perfect Strangers and Houston has ???? Advantage: Don't be ridiculous, Balki Bartokomous

Final Verdict: White Sox in 6 because the American League is better than the National League

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Houston vs. Chicago!

Couple more baseball thoughts

  • Add David Eckstein to the list of players who let pitches hit them so they can get on base. If this were the regular season, Clemens might have "persuaded" Eckstein not to this against his team.
  • Joe Girardi's the new manager of the Marlins. Just what Florida needs, another Yankee fan.
  • Thankfully, Leo Mazzone won't be joining the Yankees.
  • All those Red Sox fans who complained about Dale Svuem should be happy that he left for Milwaukee. Has Boston ever had a third base coach that Red Sox fans actually liked?
  • Cito Gasten's won two World Series. Why hasn't another team given him a chance to manage again?
  • For those of you still upset about Gammons becoming an "ESPN Insider" (bastards), go to and check out Ken Rosenthal. He has a lot of "insider" type stuff, and he writes often. The following few thoughts are based on this Rosenthal article.
  • The Red Sox are looking to trade Matt Clement. I'm sure their phones won't stop ringing for a fifth starter who always falls apart after the All Star break. And he makes about $10 million a year! Should the Sox get Oswalt for him or should they get Pujols for him?
  • Adam Dunn is available. I'd love to see him in a Red Sox uniform batting behind Ortiz and Manny.

I pity the dress code

The new NBA dress code forbidding exposed chains will certainly prevent Mr. T from joining the league.

It makes sense that the NBA wants its players to look professional, even if there are more important issue for them to concentrate on.

Believe it or not, I'm actually going to agree with an Indiana Pacer on the issue. Here's what Stephen Jackson said:

"I think it's a racist statement because a lot of the guys who are wearing chains are my age and are black," said Jackson, 27. "I wore all my jewelry today to let it be known that I'm upset with it.

"I'll wear a suit every day. I think we do need to look more professional because it is a business. A lot of guys have gotten sloppy with the way they dress. But it's one thing to [enforce a] dress code and it's another thing if you're attacking cultures, and that's what I think they're doing."

"Racist" is a bit of a loaded word, and I wouldn't say it's a blatant case of racism. It is interesting that the jewelry rule only affects black players (and maybe some old Italians). I also think players can look professional while showing off some of their jewelry. The league should tweak that part of the rule.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Coming soon...

My NBA preview! I just need to buy myself a suit so I don't violate the league's dress code.

Some football...

  • I'm excited about the return of Bruschi and trust some of the best doctors on Earth who approve his return. Then again, a few radio hosts and talk show callers are saying it's a terrible thing for Bruschi to do, and they know much more than a bunch of doctors,
  • The return of Bruschi, Gay, Poole, and Seymour should improve the Pats defense. It better.
  • Kevin Mawae's out for the season. Hopefully it was because someone cheap shot him in practice.
  • I need to go back to remote control school. I was watching that boring Colts game instead of an exciting baseball playoff game.
  • Whose idea was it to mike Peyton Manning last night? Am I the only one who thought he sounded annoying as he pleaded with the refs and "motivated" his teammates?

Some baseball...

  • Poo holes!!! What a majestic homer at just the right time.
  • Don't forget the good jobs the guys before Pujols did getting on base. Eckstein and some other guy I forgot.
  • I still don't think the Cards can get past both Oswalt and Clemens.
  • The Yanks got permission to interview Leo Mazzone. Why would the Braves let them do this? Not good news.
  • It's good to see the White Sox bullpen are getting a well-deserved rest.
  • A year ago today I was in standing room at Fenway chanting, "Who's your dealer," at Gary Sheffield.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

That was easy

The White Sox are in the World Series, and there wasn't much to it. They got that present from the umps in game 2, but the story of the series was their starting pitcihng -- 4 complete games! I'm sure there are plenty of teams that didn't even have 4 complete games all season.

So the White Sox with a very well rested bullpen will probably face the Astros.

A little baseball

During some commercial breaks and instant replay challenges I watched some of the Astros, Cardinals game. Here's what I saw:
  • Tony LaRussa screaming at an ump making more physical contact with the umpire than what David Wells did to get himself a five game suspension.
  • Jim Edmonds getting thrown out of the game after a terrible strike three call.
  • Keep up the good work umps!
  • Larry Walker making an incredible base running play in the ninth. Basically, he snuck to third base after his teammate was thrown out at the plate. Walker keeps proving that you can be a good baserunner without being fast.
  • That play was followed by a brilliant 4-6-3 doubleplay pulled off by the Astros to end of the game.
  • Maybe saw ten minutes of the game and saw some good fielding, good baserunning, umpires stealing the show, and a guy running up that stupid hill in centerfield to make a catch.

NFL thoughts

  • Cut Duane Starks. Leave him in Colorado so he can join his Dumb and Dumber buddies in Vail. If I'm an offensive coordinator against the Pats, I would just tell the QB to throw to Starks.
  • Monty Beisel can miss the plane ride home too. I thought middle linebackers were supposed to make tackles.
  • Should I bother complaining about the Patriots' injuries? I'll just make a list of players who didn't play: Light, Brown, Dillon, Faulk, Seymour, Bruschi, Harrison, Poole, and probably some more.
  • Add Brady to the above list if he keeps getting hit like he has been over the last two games.
  • It's amazing Patrick Pass and Tom Brady almost lead the Pats to a comeback, and we can only imagine what would happen if Givens and Branch caught the balls they dropped.
  • The Vikings got blown out this weekend, just like last weekend when many of their players got blown...blown away by how friendly their female guests were on their boat trip.
  • New York is known for over rating their athletes, but amazingly New York's two star running backs get little publicity. Curtis Martin quietly does the job, and Tiki Barber is the Giants' all-time leading rusher. Maybe Coughlin forgot about that when he replaced Barber with a rookie at the goal line, who of course fumbled.
  • Yesterday I did a poor job with the remote navigating between the endings of the USC and Michigan games. Today, I made a good recovery with the two 1 PM overtime games, celebrating Jacksonville's interception return and quickly switching to the Cowboys' 45 yard winning kick.
  • Don't know what happened to me with the Atlanta game though. I saw Atlanta miss a field goal, assumed the game was going to overtime, watched the Pats' kickoff, switched back to the Falcons, saw the Falcons hit a winning kick, and later saw Jim Haslett whining. Either the refs made a bad call or they decided to play overtime in New York.
  • Just like the Pats' struggling defense shows how valuable Harrison is, the Steeler's pathetic offensive display shows how valuable Roethlisberger is.
  • Some Denver players were celebrating a little too much in the first half. I guess you have to get your celebrating in while you can when you know your team won't make it past the first round of the playoffs.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Good & lucky

USC just beat Notre Dame in maybe the best college game I've seen. Some thoughts:
  • When the teams hit the field, Weis slowly walked in after his players like a mafia boss, a fat mafia boss. Then Pete Carroll came running out like he was jogging on the beach, occasionally pointing to some cute coeds. My point? Don't have one, they're both great college coaches.
  • During the entire game, I'm thinking Reggie Bush clinched the Heisman. Then Matt Leinart audibles on 4th and long and throws a perfect pass to get his team into field goal position. The he wins the game with his quarterback sneak.
  • Leinart easily could have been the goat though if he didn't fumble the ball out of bounds. The fumble stopped the clock. I'm sure Jake Plummer's made the same mistake, but I also believe Drew Bledsoe did too while being coached by Pete Carroll.
  • It looks like the refs got it right at the end of the game. It was pretty suspicious to see the clock ticking to zero as the ref was clearly signaling for the clock to stop. The clock keeper is probably some Notre Dame senior wearing a Tim Brown jersey.
  • The screens, the quarterback sneaks in spread formations, passes when you're expecting runs, runs when you're expecting passes, Weis's enormous gut -- Patriot fans must appreciate seeing the JV Pats on Saturdays.
  • Pete Carroll with some trickery! Faking that his team would spike the ball, then calling the sneak. I don't think he fooled Notre Dame, but that was a gutsy call. If Leinart doesn't get in, Pete Carroll's second guessed forever.
  • Pete Carroll's been great for fans of college football and it looks like Charlie Weis will make the game even better. Can't wait to see these teams play again.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Answer to Guess the Athlete!

Patriotsy2k was right, it's rookie pitcher Ervin Santana who came up big against the Yankees. Patriotsy2k finally got one right! Maybe this means the White Sox will also end their long posteason drought.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Maybe next year

I was robbed again. Supposedly British playwright Harold Pinter is a better writer than I am. At least that's what the Swedish Academy thought because they gave Pinter the Nobel Prize for literature. The Academy must have missed my literary piece on Joe Torre picking his nose. Wonder what this Pinter guy wrote about the Vikings sex cruise.

Even more baseball bashing

The ALCS was scheduled at the exact same time as the NLCS. Idiot! The Angels played three games, in three days, in three different time zones. Why bother giving them a day off? Also the Cardinals and Astros had at least two days off before Game 1. A five-year-old could have tweaked the schedule to give the Angels a day off and not have the games on at the same time.

Would any other sport be stupid enough to schedule two of their semifinal games at the exact same time? There's so many new players that baseball needs to promote in these series. That's not going to happen with one of the games on FX.

More baseball bashing

A day later, that terrible call is even more embarrassing to baseball. First there was the arrogant umpire press conference, where of course they claimed they didn't do anything wrong. It was interesting, that the homeplate umpire during the press conference never said he was positive that the ball was not caught.

You would think an umpire would only rule it a dropped ball if he was positive the ball was actually dropped. From what I've seen, here's my guess of the thoughts of the umpires during the infamous play.

Homeplate umpire: "Strike three! Time for my between innings Whiskey shot! Wait, why's that guy running? Maybe the catcher dropped it? I guess that might have happened, I'll give it to him. He would never try to deceive me."

The other umpires when Mike Scioscia appealed to them after a long argument: "No way in hell I'm overturning that call! We don't get paid overtime if this thing goes into extra innings. Besides, we're in Chicago; they had a riot over disco once -- I'm not taking any chances. Now where did I leave my crack pipe?"

The exclusive 10,000 yard club

Corey Dillon surpassed 10,000 career rushing yards, and it really wasn't a big deal in the media. I didn't think twice about it until today when Tom Curran of the Providence Journal said on the radio that more people belong to the 3000 hit club than the 10,000 yard club.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fire all the umps

How many times will major league baseball allow umpires to screw up before they do something about this problem?

The Angels got royally screwed by the homeplate umpire. I think I just saw the worst umpiring in the history of baseball.

Romantic Lake Minnetonka

They may be a disappointing football team, but the Viking sure know how to party. Some highlights from the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Minnesota Vikings players are being investigated in connection with a lake cruise that turned into a wild sex party last week on Lake Minnetonka. The party became so out of control that crew members on the two yachts were offered money for sex and feared for their safety, law enforcement authorities and an attorney for the cruise company said Tuesday....

...Almost immediately after boarding, crew members noticed partially disrobed women walking around, he said. One employee opened a galley and three nude women popped out, he said.Then the crew -- about five people on each boat -- saw women giving lap dances for money....

...Naked woman walked around without hesitation. They performed oral sex in the open, he said. Sex toys were strewn about, he said....

..."They [the captains] had to step around people who were having sex on the floor," he said. "They were thinking it couldn't be safe out in the middle of the lake. It was a petrifying scene."

And all I did last weekend was read a book -- it was a pretty exciting book though.

Coach K to head US Olympic team

Report: Coach K to lead USA Basketball

I love my country, but I can only go so far. Let's go Lithuana!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

One headline doesn't seem too bad until you read the next...

October 2, 2004: Stoudemire signs five-year, $73 million contract extension

About one week later...

October 11, 2004:
Stoudemire undergoes microfracture surgery, out for four months

From "The Swamp"

There's good Yankee, Red Sox talk at the discussion board at Along with a very interesting A-Rod picture on page 84, there was this piece of information:

"A-Rod's 4-32 (.125) since Game 3 of last year's ALCS, 0-7 with runners in scoring position. The dude has to define choke in baseball now."

You knew I'd be doing this...

Helps to post late in the day

I was planning to write about how unfair it was that the Angels had to play a game in New York, fly to California, play a game and celebrate, fly to Chicago, and play another game against a very well rested team. Three games and traveling all over the country in three days seems to be too much to ask, but the Angels are winning in the fourth.

What makes the schedule stranger is the Astros and the Cardinals aren't playing tonight despite both teams not playing yesterday.

Probably a dumb question

Would Mike Piazza work out at first base for the Red Sox? I love the idea of him batting behind Ortiz and Manny, he has to be better than Kevin Millar, and having three catchers would add flexibility to the bench.

I know the Mets tried Piazza, but I don't remember why the experiment stopped. If he was a disaster, forget that I wrote this.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

NFL Thoughts

  • The Patriots have major problems on defense. Their secondary doesn't make big plays and Chad Brown and Monty Biesel have been invisible. It's even worse when you think about how Tedy Bruschi was involved in almost every play last year. It's one thing to have LT run all over you, but giving up big runs to TJ Duckett is inexcusable.
  • Good thing they have Brady and Branch. Too bad you can't win Super Bowls with just offense.
  • The Daniel Graham touchdown pass was my favorite play of the year. I'd like to see him play like this every game.
  • Drew Bledsoe looked sharp throwing to Terry Glenn. Where's Shawn Jefferson and Vincent Brisby?
  • Cleveland wins again. Romeo's a good guy to root for.
  • Packers 52, Saints 3. No, I'm not talking about my exploits in Tecmo Super Bowl again.
  • Keyshawn screaming at Bledsoe on the sideline. I guess he's jealous of T.O. getting all of the negative attention.
  • Testaverde with the win!
  • Vick may run better, but Schaub looks to be the more efficient QB. He doesn't have an STD either.
  • Whenever I see an Army commercial I wonder if that's the best way to spend my tax dollars.
  • 2010 Super Bowl will be in Miami. Party at Patsy2k's place in Boca as we watch the Pats go after their 7th consecutive Super Bowl win.
  • The Ravens came close to breaking some record for committing penalties. Who would have guessed that a team with so many problems with the law would struggle to follow rules?
  • Looking forward to seeing the Steelers' run defense against Ladainian Tomlinson.

Baseball with no mention of the Red Sox, promise

As I'm typing, the Braves and Astros are in the 16th inning. There's been two grand slams, a game tying homer in the ninth, a one out bases loaded squander, Roger Clemens pinch hitting and laying down a successfull sacrafice bunt, and Clemens pitching in relief for the first time since 1984 (21 years between relief appearances must be a record).

It's a shame that most people are watching the NFL right now... We're heading into the 17th inning... A double by Brian Jordan, who may have been able to help the Falcons secondary today - he'd have to be better than Rossum)... My dislike of Clemens is well documented, but even I have to admit that what he'sdoing now is impressive...The Braves bring in Devine, who was pitching in college this spring... Into the 18th... IT'S OVER! HOME RUN BY CHRIS BURKE!

Sick of Red Sox talk yet?

Some links from the Sunday Boston Globe:
  • Francona suffered through physical problems, Renteria did have injury problems (lower back and groin), and Foulke refused the Red Sox request for him to have knee surgery in April.
  • A much better analysis than I did of the Red Sox offseason plans.
  • It's not a 100% bet that Theo Epstein will be back; Manny might not be traded; Damon, Graffanino, and Mueller probably won't be back; they may go after Aubrey Huff and try to trade Foulke (but it will be tough with his contract); parking will be free for the Devil Rays; and one last interesting tidbit:
Pedro Martinez made a show on the last weekend of the regular season to thank the Mets beat writers, handing out business cards that read, ''Pedro Martinez, Pitcher," with his cellphone number. Call only if it's an emergency, he said. What constitutes an emergency, he was asked. ''Call me when we get Manny," was the reply.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Now what?

Some advice and questions about the Red Sox offseason

Losing him would devastate the Sox lineup. They need his incredible production, and do you think Ortiz be as good as he is without Manny batting behind him?
What about the rotation?
Schilling, Wells, Wakefield, Arroyo, and Clement are all signed for next year, and Jonathan Papelbon is expected to make the rotation. I'm also assuming they'll try to sign a top of the rotation starter, so who leaves the rotation? I'd like to see Clement gone, but he has a big contract and he's a serviceable fifth starter. There's rumors that Wells might retire. Or the Sox might be able to get a lot if they trade Arroyo.
How do you fix the bullpen?
The Sox are expecting their prospects Delcarmen and Hansen to help out, and they better try to sign a bunch of pitchers. One possibility -- put Arroyo in the bullpen. He was the most consistent starter for the Sox this year, but he'll never be a top of the rotation guy. Arroyo never has arm problems and he could be a tremendous asset to a bullpen.
What do you do with free agents Johnny Damon, Bill Mueller, Mike Timlin and Kevin Millar?
I'll start with the easy one. When Kevin Millar leaves the clubhouse, change the locks. For Damon and Mueller, it's much trickier. I'd keep both of them if their contracts are reasonable. Mueller played great defense and has a consistent bat; it be a shame if they'd lose him. Damon has good range but no arm, and he really helps the lineup. The problem is the Yankees need a center fielder and the free agent market doesn't have many big names. Damon may be too expensive. I'd re-sign Timlin as long as they're not expecting him to close.
How much will the prospects contribute?
Whether or not Mueller comes back depends a lot on what the Sox think of Kevin Youkillis. I'm not sure they think he's a future starter; Francona seemed reluctant to play him all season. Justin Pedroia supposed to be good, but Graffanino's probably still better. Brandon Moss and David Murphy might join the team if Manny and Damon are gone. Jon Lester and Anibal Sanchez may make a few starts. The biggest question is when will Hanley Ramirez be ready? Haven't heard as much talk about a Sox prospect since Garciaparra. The problem is that Renteria is playing shortstop for three more years for the Sox.
Keith Foulke?
Will he pitch like he did in 2004 or do the Sox need to find a closer?
Any potential free agents that could help next year?
Billy Wagner or Paul Konerko would be nice. Would Garciaparra like to play first for the Sox next year?

What went wrong?

The Sox season is over so it's time to start pointing fingers:
  • Injuries. The Sox two most important pitchers were pretty much ineffective and hurt all year. When Schilling and Foulke are good and healthy they help the entire pitching staff. Along with the wins, Schilling saves the bullpen and takes the pressure off the other starters. With a steady Foulke in the ninth, the other relievers are put into roles that they can handle. Find a World Series Champion who won without their two best pitchers. I'm not including Wade Miller and Matt Mantei's injuries -- they were gambles who the Sox knew would probably get hurt. It's like dating a porn star and being surprised that she cheated on you. The Sox knew what they were getting into.
  • Bullpen. Foulke screwed it up, but there's plenty of blame to spread. Pretty sad that the only reliable reliever was Timlin who was overrated this year. A good reliever does not allow inherited runners score like Timlin did.
  • Theo Epstein. I'm putting him here because I just wrote about the bullpen. Looking at the White Sox and Angels play, I keep asking myself, why couldn't the Sox find relievers like these guys. I'm not blaming Theo for not making any moves at the trade deadline -- I'm glad he held on to his prospects because there really wasn't much out there. Then there's the starting rotation. Theo bashers keep saying how much Pedro and Lowe would have helped. I'm not buying it. Pedro was helped by the NL lineups and I still don't think he was worth that big contract. Lowe didn't do anything special this year. The problem for Theo was the timing of losing two starters -- it was a bad time to look for starters. What could Theo have done to get something better than Wells and Clement? Other than trading for Hudson or Mulder, there weren't many good pitchers out there.
  • Hitting. This sounds stupid considering that the Red Sox had the best hitting lineup in baseball, but the hitters were to blame for September's struggles and the playoffs. I should have put Damon in the injury section. He was the spark plug of the lineup and when injuries finally caught up to him, it affected the whole lineup. The basic problem was the Red Sox became solely dependent on Manny and Ortiz. Varitek was great early in the season, but he faded dramatically which happens to catchers. The source of the problem is first base and right field.
  • The Yankees. Cashman struck gold with Small and Chacon and Giambi's steroids finally kicked in. Because the Yankees had an amazing September, the Red Sox couldn't coast into the post season. If the Yankees were out of the division race, Schilling would have started game 1 and Clement might not have even pitched. Also Francona would have been able to give needed rest to players like Varitek and Damon.
Let's start blaming some players.
  • Millar. Terrible (but thank you for getting that walk against Rivera in Game 4)
  • Trot Nixon. He's been a disappointment
  • Renteria. His hitting was average until you look at how much money he makes, and his defense was pathetic. Theo should have signed Eckstein to keep the shortstop seat worm for Hanley Ramirez
  • Bellhorn. At least he played good defense, but his season long slump was painful to watch.
  • Jay Payton. The Sox needed a good 4th outfielder with the inevitable injury to Trot Nixon. Payton complained his way out of Boston right before he would have had a lot of playing time. The Gabe Kapler injury made Payton's departure even more painful.
  • The Godfather. His hiatus from the board coincided with the Yankees improvement. Coincidence?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Quick baseball thought answer

Answer to Guess the Athlete

John E. was right, it is Jake Plummer. With that mustache he was sporting I wasn't sure if I should use that picture for Guess the Athlete or if I should have started a new game called, "Athlete or Porn Star?"

Some culture

At the end of the baseball season, Red Sox radio announcer Joe Costiglione reads the beginning of "The Green Fields of the Mind," by A. Bartlett Giamatti. I liked hearing it when Grady Little choked against the Yankees, I liked hearing it after the Sox finally won the World Series, and I liked it hearing it today.

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.

Better team won

At least they won it all last year. The White Sox were clearly better than the Red Sox. They hit better, pitched better, fielded better, and ran the bases better. Did I mention the White Sox have a competent bullpen?

So give credit to Konerko, Contreras, El Duque, Iguchi, and Jenks and start rooting for the Angels. Coming soon, I'll analyze what went wrong for Boston this season and what's to come in the future.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Now starting for the Jets...

Very quick baseball thoughts

Red Sox lost -- no comment; Yankees winning -- no comment; Jake Peavy hurt himself celebrating -- should have something clever to say but I don't.

Interesting trivia I heard on ESPN radio: Andy Pettitte faced Tim Hudson when the Yankees played against the A's in the playoffs. Today they faced each other as an Astro and Brave. It was the third time that two pitchers faced each other in the playoffs with two different sets of teams. It first happened a long time ago with pitchers I never heard of. The other time involved two great pitchers of the eighties. Who were they?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

From the archives

Here's something I wrote on May 6th:

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?

Now I'm hoping the Sox can come up with just 2 quality starters.

Really quick NFL thoughts

I was pretty disgusted watching the Patriots game, so I didn't watch much of any games after or watch many highlights. You can do that when you don't have a fantasy team. The only way I could write a lot about football is if I wrote about the Tecmo Super Bowl Championship I just won with the Broncos (Bobby Humphrey came up big and I believe the computer version of Mike Tice took over as coach of the 49ers -- just one pass to Jerry Rice who was in Excellent condition). Back to reality:
  • I'm already sick of those "clever" Cadillac Williams headlines. ESPN wrote: On blocks? Bucs might hold back Cadillac in practice Get it! He's on blocks like a Cadillac would be on blocks if it didn't run. Run like a car or run like running back! It's like wordsmith heaven!
  • Josh McCown had a great game against the 49ers defense. Imagine what Manning will do next week against them!
  • Why do teams run reverses towards Willie McGinest? He's always ready for them. The time he contained one last weekend is memorable because it was the only good defensive play by the Pats the entire day.
  • Some more NFL players got busted with drug problems. How is it that only baseball is taking heat for this problem?
  • Newsflash: Ladainian Tomlinson is absolutely incredible. I don't remember seeing a back do the things he does. He's the Roger Federer of running backs.
  • I think I should stop now.

First the bad news...

The White Sox beat the Red Sox 14-2. First the bad news:
  • Matt Clement
  • The Red Sox lineup is too dependent on Manny and Ortiz.
  • Matt Clement
  • Bronson Arroyo pitched during garbage time. Why? If the Sox accomplish anything in the playoffs, Arroyo will need to pitch a lot. Francona wasted him today.
  • Matt Clement
  • The strike zone. I love how home plate umpires get creative with the strike zone. With all those low strikes called, maybe he thought it was kickball game.
  • Matt Clement.
Before I get to the good news, the White Sox deserve some compliments:
  • They played with a lot of confidence and hustle
  • So this is what a team with a good bullpen looks like? Interesting, watching the AL East, I didn't know good bullpens existed.
  • Jose Contreras is a wonderful story. Escapes Cuba to join the Yankees where he would have been a disappointment if he didn't win 20 games. He was a disappointment and pitched terribly. So he escapes New York, and pitches a great game against the Red Sox, a team that he has struggled against in the past. Good for Contreras.
Okay, now I need to find some good news.
  • Mike Piazza is outstanding as an announcer. Too bad he can't play defense (That was just a joke. Really).
  • If the Red Sox hadn't won last year I'd have been miserable, but throughout the loss the announcers kept reminding everyone that the Sox are capable of coming back because they did it last year. Not only does this bring back memories of last year for Sox fans, it must drive Yankee fans crazy to hear this over and over. I'm really hoping for a team to go up 2-0(preferably not the White Sox) or 3-0 next round just so Yankee fans can be reminded of their collapse.
  • They can't take 2004 away from us!

Monday, October 03, 2005


Ozzie Guillen flashes the choking sign to the Indians mascot during a pitching change. Ozzie's right; the Indian's choked, but what other manager would be crazy enough to do what Ozzie did?

Dios Mio!

So the NFL wants to promote its game in Mexico, which makes sense. It's impressive that over 100,000 fans showed up, but is it really a good idea to have the Cardinals and 49ers represent your sport?

Boo hoo

The Yankees are upset at the Rangers because Buck Showalter pulled his best hitters out of the lineup yesterday in the third inning. If the Rangers had won the game, the Yankees may have had home field advantage against the Angels.

Here's what Mr. Sportsmanship had to say:
"I just think there's a code of honor when so much is on the line," Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said. "You hope people do the right thing, but you can't control what people do. It is what it is."
And always the voice of reason:
"It's surprising," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "If his team was in the playoffs, I could understand it a little bit more. It's just surprising he pulled them so soon."

Guess the Athlete!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Not even waiting for the game to end

At halftime, Bryant Gumbell said that the Patriots aren't being affected by their injuries. He wasn't hired for his brains. You think Ted Johnson or Tedy Bruschi may have helped the run defense? Maybe Rodney Harrison could have helped with the run defense and cover Gates?

The heroes of this game is the Chargers' offensive line. Drew Brees hasn't even been close to being touched. Not to take anything away from Brees, but pretty much any average NFL quarterback can look great when there's never a defender within five yards of him.

Enough with the champagne

The Champagne industry loves Major League Baseball. There's a champagne celebration for the following:
6 division winners (do the Padres really deserve champagne?),
2 wildcard winners (if the Sox and Indians lose, a Sox celebration would look very awkward)
4 1st round division series winners
2 League Championship series winners
1 World Series winner.

That's 15 celebrations with a lot of champagne wasted. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe all other sports only celebrate when they make it to the finals and then when they win the finals.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Ortiz and Brady

Boston sports fans are now watching two MVP caliber players who seem to play their best in the clutch. I'm trying to think of another time a city has had players similar to Tom Brady and David Ortiz performing so well in two different sports.

In 1967, Boston had Yaz, Bill Russell, and a young Bobby Orr. Post something if you can think of other combinations.

Answer to Guess the Athlete

The anonymous poster was correct. It's Brooks Bollinger, the Jets' starting quarterback this weekend. If he wins on Sunday, he's the next Tom Brady; if he loses, Jet fans will be begging for Testaverde.