Wednesday, May 31, 2006

He's back



On the same day I learn that there's a new Garfield movie, I learn that Roger Clemens has re-signed with the Astros. Unlike Garfield's return, the return of Clemens to the Astros is a smart one.

If Clemens won a World Series playing for the Red Sox, it would be a special moment. If he won with the Yankees, he would surely enjoy winning again with teammates and a manager who he loved playing with. However, with those temptations comes way too much risk.

With or without Clemens, it will be very difficult for the Sox or Yanks to win the World Series. However, with Clemens, fans would expect their teams to win the Series, so when they don't win Clemens would be the one taking the blame. Even if Clemens lost a playoff game 2-1, Yankee fans and Boston fans would blame him and complain about the money the team wasted on him. The other problem Clemens would face in the American League is the better lineups. Clemens wouldn't be putting up an ERA below 3.00 in the American League.

So Clemens gets his money, a chance to play with his son, and he gets to stay at home without the pressure of New York or Boston. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Clever headline

Disgrace To Commentary Calls Ricky Williams “Disgrace To The Game”


Go to The Mighty MJD to read about Theisman complaining about Ricky Willliams. Argonaut on Argonaut crime is such a tragic thing to see.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Watch out for South Beach



Two Wizards and one Steeler arrested this weekend. I have a feeling that Patriotsy2k and Coy may have been involved.

Another great series?

Patriotsy2k has done a nice job describing the excitement in the Western NBA playoffs. The only one's not enjoying the Suns, Mavs series are Clippers and Spurs fans (and possibly Jeff Van Gundy who throws up at the sight of a fast break).

But what about the Heat, Pistons series? I watched last night's game and I'm still trying to figure out if it's an enjoyable series.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of last night's game:

The Good
  • An active Shaq. He was moving without the ball, hustling to get into good rebounding position, and aggressively going after alley-oops. It was nice to see this version of Shaw rather than the lazy, just-try-to-plow-over-the-defender, Shaq we've seen this season.
  • Dwyane Wade. In a series with Shaq and the two time defending Eastern Champs, it's Wade who steals the show.
  • The good Antoine Walker showed up. Grabbing big rebounds, leading fast breaks, making nice passes, and aggressively going to the basket. This is the Walker I've always wanted to see.
  • Tayshaun Prince. He had a terrible game, but I always enjoys watching his diverse game and hustle.
  • Cool Chauncey Billups. Doesn't matter if he's driving to the basket, shooting a three, or an important free throw -- he makes the play look easy.
The Bad
  • Rip Hamilton. I know he's talented and he's the Pistons' best scorer, but he's terrible for the game. There's the Reggie Milleresque flops, the constant grabbing and clutching, and his whining to refs is matched by few.
  • Rasheed Wallace to name one. Should we blame his poor play on just his ankle? Wallace has shown more talent than most big men since he was playing at UNC. Now he just seems to be a waste of talent.
  • Pat Riley on the sideline. Where's Stan the Man Van Gundy?
  • Gary Payton and Alonzo Mourning. Just retire already.
  • The Miami fans. Pathetic. At one point the crowd was silent so someone started a "Let's Go Heat" chant. Sounds pretty normal. Oh wait, did I mention it was the P.A. guy who started the chant?
The Ugly
  • Shaq and Ben Wallace shooting free throws. Both coaches are intentionally fouling these guys in the fourth quarter. It may be a smart strategy, but it's pure torture for viewers. There's already about 50 stops in action in the fourth quarter with commercials and timeouts. Now we get to see more stops in action so we can see Ben Wallace hit less than 25% of his free throws.

Barry hits 715

Byung-Hyun Kim gave it up and not one Red Sox fan is surprised.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Did someone step on a duck?



The Edmonton Oilers beat the Mighty Ducks to go on to the Stanley Cup Finals. That's all I got.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A little trivia

What do Scott Cooper, Phil Plantier, Kevin Morton, and David Owen have in common?




Answer:

"Who are four people who have never been in my kitchen."

Actually Cliff, the Astros asked for each of the players in return for Larry Andersen, and the Red Sox GM Lou Gorman rejected them each time. Lou finally did say yes to the Astros when they settled for Jeff Bagwell. Rob Neyer explains in this painful reminder.

Answer to Guess the Athlete!


It's Brother Derek, participant in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. I first thought of posting Barbaro or Bernardini, but I thought that would be too easy and I liked the picture of Brother Derek that I found.

I'll give half credit to Anonymous for his Ann Coulter guess. The Godfather gets half credit for guessing the horse's backside was Barry Bonds. I also would have given credit to anyone who guessed Shannon Sharpe.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What if?

Barry Bonds decided to never use "flax seed oil."

Before Bonds turned into the Incredible Hulk, he was arguably the best player in baseball. Without enhancements Bonds would not have the power numbers (over 500 HR instead of over 700), but he would still have that great OBP. Steroids, I mean alleged steroids, didn't help Bonds create his incredible plate discipline. I still love watching him calmly work a pitcher waiting for that perfect pitch.

Another thing to factor in is the quick recovery time that steroids allow. Many players go through slumps and start to struggle just because they become worn down as the season goes on. Would that have happened to Bonds? On the flip side, a clean living Bonds may not have had the severe injuries he's been fighting through over the last two years.

Overall, Bonds without steroids would have been considered one of the game's greatest players, and he and baseball would not have had to suffer through this embarrassment. And his head would be smaller.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's all his fault



The pitching staff gives up 9 runs, and A-Rod gets criticized for hitting a homerun.

I'm happy to share any criticisms of A-Rod, and I've done plenty on my own. However, I am now here to say that the Yankee press and fans have gotten carried away. He does have a history of coming up short in "clutch" situations, especially against the Red Sox. But would the Yankees be in so many "clutch" situations if A-Rod were not on the team?

The Yankees have had many shortcomings over the last three seasons -- a pitching staff that always breaks down, weak spots in the lineup at second base and centerfield, mysterious steroid related illnesses/injuries, and terrible fielding led by Mr. Captain Intangibles Derek Jeter. Without A-Rod's MVP numbers over the last few years, the Yankees aren't even in the playoffs.

Back to Jeter -- what will it take for Yankee fans to criticize him? According to all statistical evidence he is a poor fielding shortstop because of his limited range. So when the Yankees get A-Rod, a gold glove shortstop, Jeter, the inferior fielder, keeps his position. Wouldn't Captain Intangible sacrifice some pride for the good of his team?

Hopefully, Yankee fans will continue to be all over A-Rod, and hopefully A-Rod will struggle to deal with the pressure eventually causing him to be traded away from the Yankees. And if that does happen, the Yankees will not be able to replace his value to their team.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Game 7 did not fail!



In my original article, posted two days ago, I stated that I could not wait for this series finale. And not surprisingly, this game 7 contest was an overtime thriller that had NBA fans on the edge of their seats.
Give credit to Dallas, who fought off the multi-talented, world champion San Antonio Spurs. Even when down three in the last thirty seconds, the Mavericks found a way to tie the game with their superstar, Dirk Nowitzki. Tim Duncan's 41 points were not enough for the Spurs, as he looked tired in the overtime segment and might have been worn down from this tough series. Yes, he did have three days rest between games 6 and 7, yet he was constantly facing double-teams from Dallas's swarming defense.
I am going to declare the Dallas Mavericks the new champion of the NBA. Even after surviving this classic series, they will still have enough to defeat the Phoenix Suns, and then the Detroit Pistons. You have got to love the way this team plays, and their ability to come back with their clutch shooting. Maybe we can all find it in our hearts to like Mark Cuban, also.
It was a pure pleasure to follow this series, and I hope someday I will get to see another one like this in the NBA.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Guess the Athlete!

Some baseball

Saturday, May 20, 2006

One of the best NBA series ever





This past season in the NBA, I took more interest in "Happy Days" and "Perfect Strangers" reruns. Then the playoffs came, and since they are usually entertaining, I decided to follow the different series. I used to cherish this time of the year - because of the NBA playoffs - yet this year I went into it without much thought.
The 1st round had a couple of memorable series. Suns-Lakers and Cavs-Wizards were very good. Yet this round has been unbelievable, with 3 of the series now going to a 7th Game. People will eventually forget the Pistons-Cavs series, as Detroit will win and the Cavs will be remembered as annoying pests that wouldn't go away. The Suns and Clippers have battled and fought their way towards the Western Conference Championship, yet neither team will win the NBA Title. Still a great series, nonetheless.
This leaves the Spurs-Mavericks clash. I have been following the NBA playoffs since the early 80's, and I can think of two series that have been more entertaining and competitive than this. The '87 Celtics-Pistons Eastern Finals, and the epic '94 Knicks-Bulls 2nd round series.
This years series has two teams loaded with talent that play until the final horn. Every game - except for the 2nd - has been close and been decided on the last shot. The two teams primary superstars - Duncan and Nowitzki - are likable players that have been born outside the US. You have a player in Michael Finley, who is quietly giving his former team (the Mavericks) a major headache. And then there are games 3 and 4, both in Dallas. Game 3 had one of the most peculiar endings I have ever seen, with Mashburn's free throw attempts. Then in game 4 everyone saw a classic overtime game, with Nowitzki being aided by Jason Terry and Jerry Stackhouse to hold off Tim Duncan's sidekicks of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
Of course, everything I have mentioned compares nothing to the actual games. If you have missed this series, then I recommend you go to NBA.com, and then watch Game 7. I cannot wait until Monday night to see the climactic series finale, which will probably be another fast-paced battle that most people have been enthralled with.
If anyone reading this can mention a better series in the history of the NBA, please feel free to. I welcome the opportunity to further defend this series as one of the all-time greats.

Answer to Guess the Athlete!

It's Jimmy Smith, who recently retired after having an impressive career with the Jaguars. He never seemed to make the headlines, but as fantasy owners know, he was a very productive player.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What if?

The real sports world hasn't been inspiring me to write much, so now I'll try to write about changing the past. Here's my first "What if?" installment:

What if the Patriots matched the Jets' offer for Curtis Martin?

With a running game, Pete Carroll's offense becomes more successful and Drew Bledsoe becomes a better quarterback. Meanwhile, without Martin, Parcells and all of is assistants who later became head coaches are a little less successful.

Ultimately though, the Jets' coaching staff would still be superior to the Patriots. The Patriots would have more short term success and maybe even have a trip to the Super Bowl. Therefore Pete Carroll would have lasted longer with the Patriots and Bill Belichick possibly ends up coaching the Jets.

Belichick leads the Jets to multiple Super Bowls because even with Curtis Martin, Bledsoe can't get past Belichick's defense. Meanwhile, Tom Brady gets drafted by another team with a coach too short sighted to give him a chance. He ends up in the CFL with an inferior girlfriend.

Thank you Bobby Grier for not matching the contract offer.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

More Flutie

Boston.com did a much better job doing a photo history of Doug Flutie. They were actually able to find a picture of him playing in a Bear's uniform and they have this mullet gem:



Go here to read some pretty nice speeches by Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Doug Flutie. Some classy words by everyone. In fact it was a pretty big lovefest considering that Flutie was a backup for Belichick and Kraft for just one year.

Finally, there's a bit of a debate on whether Flutie is a Hall of Famer. He put up incredible numbers in Canada and won several times, but he didn't play much in the NFL (although he was always successful whenever given a chance).

Fixed games

Whenever someone suggests that a game is fixed, they're accused of being naive and a conspiracy nut. There's no way a professional league could have fixed games! Well, how will these doubters explain this?

Former general manager of Italy's top soccer team questioned in scandal

Excerpt:
Prosecutors contend that Moggi -- nicknamed "Lucky Luciano" -- created a system that decided which referees should officiate Juventus games, which players should be selected for the national team and even which players should be disciplined during games.
I know, it's just soccer, but I hear soccer's kinda big in Europe. So we know games have been fixed in Europe. We also know that professional athletes, NHL players most recently, have been caught dealing with gamblers. And I'm just mentioning the people who got caught.

So is it really naive to suggest that some American games have been fixed? Does Lucky Luciano know Dick Bavetta?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mother's Day from Willis McGahee

Thanks to Deadspin for linking this interesting interview with Willis McGahee. Some highlights:

Q: So far, what's the most difficult thing about fatherhood?

A: Nothing right now. Not for me. Just dealing with the mother. That's the difficult part. After that, everything is cool.

Q: What's more troublesome, an ex-wife or a baby momma?


A: A baby momma.


Q: Why?


A: Because they feel like they should be a part of your life for 18 years. An ex-wife, you can get away from her. A baby momma, you can't get away from her until the child is 18 or older. They're going to constantly ask you for money. They just want to nag you for no reason, just because they can. (Willis has never been married.)

Q: Did you meet both of these women here in Miami?

A: (Laughs) Yeah.

Q: Is that why you say you need to get out of Miami?

A: I need to get out of Miami.
Later in the interview, we learn he partied with Venus Williams, Slim Thug, and Jamie Foxx. Foxx sang on Kayne West's Gold Digger which included the lyrics:
I know somebody payin child support for one of his kids
His baby momma's car and crib is bigger than his
You will see him on TV Any Given Sunday
Win the Superbowl and drive off in a Hyundai
Coincidence? If you aint no punk holla We Want 'Prenup' WE WANT 'prenup'!, Yeaah

9.76



American Justin Gatlin broke the 100 meter record, running it 9.76 seconds. I can't even get out of bed in less than 10 seconds.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Today's challenge

Who can name the most Royals?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

From the comment section

Patrioty2k got Guess the Athlete! correct which is news in itself. Listerplus added some information that's worth posting again:
Here's some useless Franco trivia: The man entered the 2006 season with 3,921 base hits in all his stops in professional baseball.

The rundown:

618 hits in the minors as a Phillie farmhand.

2,521 hits in the majors with the Phils, Indians, Rangers, White Sox, Brewers and Braves.

316 hits in the Mexican League with the Mexico City Tigres(138 with a .423 batting average in 1999 and 178 with a .437 mark in 2001).

286 hits in Japan with the Chiba Lotte Orions (145 in 1995 and 141 in 1998).

156 with Samsung of the Korean League in 2000.

16 in six Division Series appearances with the Indians and Braves, six more in the 2001 NL Chamopionship Series and two more in his All-Star Game appearances.

Will he get to 4,000 before the season is over as a Met?
The Godfather also added that the Mets have Franco for another year and that he wants to play until he's 50.

I may as well add a tidbit too: In 1982 Franco was teammates with Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton and Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt. Now he's teammates with future Hall of Fame pitchers Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine and potentially future Hall of Fame third baseman David Wright.

One more step: Franco was also teammates with Pete Rose who's rookie season was 1963. 22-year-old David Wright may play to 2026. That's a range of 63 years. Forget Kevin Bacon, let's play 6 Degrees of Julio Franco.

Monday, May 08, 2006

More from Philly


Trash talkin' mother

During the Suns series when Kobe Bryant was doing his cool guy act, he told the press that maybe Raja Bell didn't get hugged enough as a child. After the Lakers were eliminated, Kobe happened to see Raja's mother:

Bell’s mother, however, did have a parting gift for the Lakers’ superstar, as he passed by the Suns’ family room after his team was eliminated from the 2006 NBA Playoffs with a 31-point loss.

“Need a hug, Kobe?”

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Guess the Athlete!

Kobe Jordan



So much for comparing the 2006 Lakers to the 1989 Bulls. I know of Michael Jordan, I have seen Michael Jordan play, and Kobe Bryant you are no Michael Jordan.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

You can always count on Philly fans



Philly fans gave Barry Bonds a tough time. Excerpts:
...With Bonds in left field, fans in the bleachers behind him chanted "Just retire" and "Just inject me." A long banner in left field read: "Ruth did it on hot dogs and beer." Many carried signs that had simple asterisks on them.

One guy wore a fat suit that was supposed to represent Bonds with the Giants, while his skinny friend was the pre-pumped Bonds with the Pirates...

...An obese man wearing a sleeveless cut-off T-shirt yelled: "Barry, your head is shrinking."

How much has he made?

How much as Vin Baker made in salary for his entire career?

Answer to Guess the Athlete!

Newcomer, Robin Goodfellows, answered correctly.

It's Jeremy Bloom, two-time Olympian skier and recent draft pick of the Eagles. A few years ago the NCAA ended his college career because he wanted to make some money from skiing his career.

Monday, May 01, 2006