Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Hot but unknown:
Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox and the San Diego Padres
-Nobody really gave any of these teams a chance to be serious playoff teams in Spring Training (well Mo had the Padres winning out West, I only had them as a Wild Card and Hart was still trying to figure out how use the blender) but guess what 50 odd games in they're at the top of of their divisions. Will their pitching keep it up? The Orioles closer didn't give up a run in the month of May. Too bad nobody knows his name or I'd vote for him for the all-star squad. The White Sox are playing NL style ball. San Diego is cheating. Thats right, they poison the opposing teams, every night. I would never want to be associated with Orioles or Chisox bandwagons (I'm fairly indifferent about the Padres) but hey they might do it....
Walking Wounded (i.e. the Preseason Favorites)
Boston Red Sox, The Angels of multiple cities and The Yankees.
-The Preseason AL Favorites mainly came from these 3 teams. They've had track records, post-season experience and most importantly Country Size budgets. They've each had their slumps, their injuries and in the case of Boston apparently Kevin Millar's batting arm atrophied in the off-season. While the Angels are in first place they don't seem to conjure the spector of a deep playoff run. Boston has struggled as of late to score. The Yanks have been a tear in May but can they keep the pace up? This is still the same team that bottomed out in April (we think at least..Steinbrenner may have turned his Yank squad into radioactive supermen while we weren't watching).
League of their own
Saint Louis Cardinals
In the struggling NL the Cards are the only team to really show that they are a constistent playoff team. Despite injuries , they keep winning. Sure it helps that they play is baseball's worst division but hey got to every advantage. Cards are going to need a little bullpen help and an extra outfielder that isn't over the age of 39 but thats what the trading deadline is for.
Minnesota, LA Dodgers, Arizona, Florida, Atlanta, Toledo Mudhens, and the Tokyo Bombers all have shots but apparently my fever is kicking into high gear so I'm signing off. Damn you Norman Chad!
Sunday, May 29, 2005
In the pre-game chat before tonight's Red Sox-Yankees game, Morgan and Jon Miller discussed David Wells, who's starting tonight's game and who's had a pretty terrible season thus far (2-4, 6.81 ERA, 1.51 WHIP). Morgan noted that tonight's effort could be "a turning point for his season, a turning point for his career."
Ok, Joe, I'll give you the "season" comment. Boston needs Wells to turn things around for the last four months, and needless to say, how he pitches against the team's biggest rival could have massive and long-term repercussions for the rest of the year. If he does well tonight, perhaps that will provide some spark for the Boomer to return to form; if not, he may find himself buried too far in the hole.
But "a turning point for his career"? David Wells is 42 years old! He came up in 1987, finished third in the Cy Young Award voting in 1998 and 2000, pitched a perfect game in 1998, has won 214 games and three World Series, and will perhaps tonight record his 2000th career strikeout. So, Joe, if he pitches well tonight, what can we expect from the rest of his career? Maybe he'll turn things around and get another 100 wins? Perhaps another two or three rings? A chance at six more no-nos, to tie Nolan Ryan? The sky's the limit for the Boomer - if only he pitches well tonight!
Joe Morgan, quit running your blabber mouth, and just SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE!
Friday, May 27, 2005
I am both a sports business graduate student and a former Republican which makes me pretty qualified to post today on the subject of President Bush trying to influence New York's vote on the West Side Sports & Convention Center (aka Jets Stadium).
President Bush is dispatching his minions, namely White House Chief-of-Staff Andrew Card, to influence NY Assemblyman Sheldon Silver to vote in favor of unfreezing funds for Jets Stadium. Bush wants the stadium built in order to secure New York's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games and in order to show off the new skyline in downtown Manhattan where the World Trade Center once stood.
What Bush doesn't care about is the horribly faulty structure of the financing for the Jets Stadium project. He doesn't care that approving the stadium today, under the current terms, will cost New Yorkers millions upon millions of dollars. He doesn't care because we're a blue state and because he and his party have no shot in hell of ever winning it in a presidential election. Hell, they'll probably be losing their GOP governor in the fall too.
New York needs a moat to keep the GOP rifraff out of here. As a former Republican who is totally disillusioned with his party, I say get the hell out of here Andy Card. Go back to Washington and do some real work. We don't need the goddamn stadium today. There'll be other Olympics. Unless the GOP is willing to finance the stadium or restructure the deal in a more sensible way, there is no reason for you to be in this city where you're not welcome.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
1) Steve Nash actually had an MVP –performance. I still can’t believe the 3-pointer he hit to get Phoenix into OT in Game 6 against Dallas. He was running at full speed and just stopped in an instant and launched a quick 3. Nash showed that if he wants to he can take over. Granted, his team is at its best when he scores 20 points and has 15 assists. (He had that 48-point game with only 5 assists and they lost by 10). The problem against the Spurs is that he has to play defense. Tony Parker is capable of just abusing Steve Nash, and that’s what it will take for the Spurs to win. So far, focusing on everyone but Nash has worked as the Spurs have a 2-game lead, though it’s mainly due to their offense being incredible during the 4th quarter of each game.
2) Dwayne Wade single-handedly was carrying his team w/o Shaq. Was is the key, since now he’s up against a team that actually plays defense (sorry – the Nets & the Wizards aren’t known for their defensive prowess). Between Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups, I’m guessing the Pistons will have enough guards to throw at Wade. Or, they could just let Wade go nuts and try to guard the rest of the team. Shaq is really not 100%, he only grabbed 5 rebounds in the first game.
3) Don’t leave Brent Barry open. In Game 1 of the Spurs-Suns, Barry hardly played and still scored 21 points. There was 1 stretch when he made 3 straight 3s to put the game out of reach. It was strange how they kept leaving him open. In Game 2 he didn’t play that much, but Robert Horry came off the bench to knock down 3 triples. Robert Horry! He doesn’t age, he just keeps resurfacing on championship-caliber teams (Rockets-Lakers-Spurs).
4) Leave Glenn Robinson open. A lot of teams pick up aging veteran 3-point shooters just to be the last guy off the bench. It must be for leadership reasons, because “Big Dog” really doesn’t play that much. Other veteran shooters who have gotten championship rings without really playing: Steve Smith, on San Antonio ; Mitch Richmond on the Lakers ; (I’m leaving Ron Harper and Steve Kerr off this list. They actually made major contributions in their quests for championships. )
5) Pistons-Spurs is the Finals everyone wants to see. No offense to Shaq, but I just don’t think he’s healthy. Spurs-Heat would be interesting, just to see how far Wade could go. Nonetheless, the Pistons just have so much depth and it would be fun to see them matchup with the Spurs. It would be the 2 deepest teams in the league.
6) As if we already didn't know this, sports announcers are idiots. Carlos Arroyo entered game 1, and the announcers kept saying, "how can you let a backup point guard enter a close game like this? Billups must be tired." These idiots haven't done any research and didn't even realize that Arroyo was a starting point guard on the Utah Jazz just a few months ago, and if it wasn't for his "attitude problems", he still would be the starting point guard on Utah. Needless to say, Arroyo got 7 assists in just 10 minutes. I'd say that's pretty good.
Yesterday's NBA Draft Lottery results should put to rest the belief that David Stern manipulates the proceedings for the league's benefit. With Milwaukee holding the #1 pick, there is no imaginable benefit to the NBA. If the NBA had its way, there wouldn't even be a team in Milwaukee.
While I agree that the circumstantial evidence may point to the contrary (Knicks in '85, Magic in '92 & '93, Wizards in '01), there is no reason to believe that Stern would manipulate the lottery only part of the time. If Stern were so interested in "placing" the high-profile #1 draft pick in select cities, he'd do so every year. So, hopefully this ends the conspiracy theory floating out there. If it doesn't, all I can say is that I'd like an explanation for why the Knicks haven't had the #1 pick since 1985. Wouldn't the league love to have its marquee city front and center every year? I know I'd love it if that were the case...
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
But this year, as the French Open gets underway, I've decided to actively root against #1 seed Lindsey Davenport.
She's too ugly to win.
Monday, May 23, 2005
"Maybe the Yankees learned a lesson by trading Javier Vazquez, who is now throwing harder than Randy Johnson and pitching brilliantly since his first start of the season. Brad Halsey is also consistently sitting at 90 and pitching very well."
Let's deconstruct, shall we? Is Peter Gammons suggesting that the Yankees erred by trading Vazquez for the best lefty pitcher since Sandy Koufax? Is he suggesting that the Yanks would be better off with a guy who had a 2nd half ERA of 6.92 and who clearly wasn't able to get American League hitters out with any regularity? Should I mention to Peter that Vazquez, the Yankee-Hater media darling of 2005, was so lousy in Pinstripes last year that he didn't even merit a post-season start in either of the 2 series the Yanks played in and was the biggest reason why the Yanks couldn't keep Game 7 close in the ALCS (duck, Javy, it's Johnny Damon!).
Gammons has again proven that he has no ability in the profession he has chosen. He's a weather vane, going with the wind. If Javy Vazquez should have a bad spell, I wonder if he'll revisit his revisitations and proclaim the deal as an indication of why the D-backs are going in circles.
Peter Gammons, you're a moron. Why don't you just move back to Boston where no one else can hear you?
Sunday, May 22, 2005
By the 1990s equaling the scoring output of the previous decade would be the equivalent of Mauritania getting a man on the Moon, it just wasn't happening. Even the lowly Cavs had multiple players (including Larry "The Last of High Socks" Nance) that could hit the legendary mid range jump shot. The 1990s players couldn't find a mind range jump shot if they had a road map and a flashlight. This year's playoff, out West, there has been a rebirth of scoring. The recent Mavs - Suns matchup was a case in point of high scoring, passing and international style defense (read strong language was the only thing used). Hopefully that trend will continue. I am hopeful because today in the NBA the most valuable position belongs to the point guard. Even the mighty Spurs or Heat will only go as far as Tony Parker and Dwayne Wade respectively takes them. As more teams realize the importance of this position perhaps there is hope for the NBA after all.
This week's rising team: San Diego Padres - The MLC predicted playoff, while starting off slow, is red hot and hopefully will not let down San Diego or me.
This week's falling team: Houston. Stick a fork in this team. Begin the rebuilding. Or we can always sell Texas for beer money.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Thursday, May 19, 2005
I can't believe the United States government is taking an active interest in the steroids issue. I also can't believe that they're proposing to make a federal law overseeing steroids enforcement in all professional sports leagues in the US. Beyond that, I really can't believe why a first-time offender should get a two-year ban from their sport and a repeat offender should get a lifetime ban. How on earth does this make sense? I don't care what Olympics losers do. The Olympics are a big joke anyway since we all know that these athletes dope up.
Who said that American pro sports should follow international amateur doping standards? How is it even the federal government's business? It is up to each sport to regulate its own affairs and to keep its house in good order. If it does not, the fan and corporate backlash will take care of the matter. There is no reason for the government to waste time or money on something that is simply not important enough to the operation of the country.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
So the question of the day is: Do you believe that Barry's really and this badly hurt?
This is probably not the year for Damien to enjoy a long ride in the postseason though. Now that the Spurs are up 3-2 in the series, I hope this ends speculation of Seattle beating San Antonio. The fact that Seattle already won 2 games is pretty impressive, and they are a fun team to watch. Ultimately, they need Rashard Lewis healthy to even have a chance. I was actually pretty impressed with the bruisers they had to go up against Duncan – Fortson, Jerome James, and Nick Collison of Kansas. None of them are expected to do anything except rebound and play defense, which works fine when you have 3-4 shooters on the floor at all times.
On a lighter note, Charles Barkley was adamantly enraged at halftime about the fact that Manu Ginobili was starting, because “you can just use him off the bench and get a spark, since Manu gets tired if he plays the whole game.” Needless to say, the Spurs were able to take care of business mainly because Manu played like a man possessed while starting and playing 36 minutes. 19 points in the first half, 20 in the second half.
Coach Barkley should go back to doing what he does best – providing funny quotes.
Since Barkley didn’t say anything noteworthy last night, I decided to look up some Charles Barkley quotes – using the power of the internet. Here’s a couple I found to be very entertaining:
1) “My family got all over me because they said Bush is only for the rich people. Then I reminded them, 'Hey, I'm rich'. “
2) “Kids are great. That's one of the best things about our business, all the kids you get to meet. It's a shame they have to grow up to be regular people and come to the games and call you names.”
Barkley is a great entertainer simply because he has no filter. The problem with most people is that they try to be polite, and politically correct. Barkley is fun to watch simply because he will speak his mind no matter what, for better or for worse. Maybe he finally has become a role model – to free speech advocates across the country!
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
And you wonder why he's no longer managing...Bobby, shut your piehole!
Monday, May 16, 2005
"Philadelphia: ...It wasn't Larry Bowa's fault, so it can't be Charlie Manuel's fault either. And, thus, the only man left holding the evidence if this season doesn't turn around for the Phils is GM Eddie Wade; hence the Brian Cashman whispers have already started. This team has a $95 million payroll. Its farm system is so bad that as of Thursday their minor-league teams were a combined 48 games under .500..."
Yikes. Phillies fans better get used to the cellar for their team. If they fire Wade and replace him with Cashman, that minor league system isn't getting any better anytime soon. I don't think there's any evidence out there that Cashman can manage a minor league system or evaluate talent in general. Worse yet, if a major media market, a rabid fanbase and a brand-new ballpark can't generate enough revenue for the Phillies to get into the $100M+ payroll neighborhood, I don't see how Cashman's going to be the man to fix the problems that currently plague The Illadelph.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
If my readers haven't picked yet I don't have a particular affinity for the national media. I don't think the those covering politics do a good job and frankly those that cover sports over at Britol U (better known as ESPN) don't do things better. This is not to say I dislike beatwriters and local columnist. I don't think that the talking heads that appear on ESPN are complete idiots or assholes or both (well somtimes see above picture) but they're afflicted by what I call Chris Mathews syndrome. They're like autistic monkeys in the sense that they can only 1) cover one topic at a time and 2) the coverage is superficial because its done so in an incrediably lazy manner. How much prep you think Steven A. Smith needs to scream obscenities or bash something that he doesn't understand (which apparently is anything more complex than saying "I'm Steven A. Smith")?
At Bristol U they have two baseball topics: The Red Sox and the Yankees. This year in a downsizing move aimed at increasing profitability, they've only covered the Yankess. There's the perpetual coverage of the Yankees slump, Giambi's wiffs, Steinbrenner's dinner menu, the latest Yankees winning streak, and I think I heard Mike Lupica would start doing weekly updates on A-Rod's eye color.
Nonetheless here's a few stories that are not centered on the Yanks...
1) Clint Barnes, SS Colorado Rockies...Currently batting .386. His swing is as smooth as Natalie Portman's ass (and yes I can say ass on this blog). The one bright spot in the otherwise abysmal (I believe they term that "rebuilding" these days).
2) Billy Beane - Genius No More? Waaay back in March I said Oakland would end up in 4rth Place (go ahead check...I dare you). Guess what right now, theyre in 4rth (well tied but lets not get tied up in semantics) and have lost 7 in a row. The hitting is awful. The pitching is so-so. They don't even have decent hot dogs in the stadium. Yep the bottom has fallen out of Oakland. Mark my words Los Athletics will be in last place at the end of the season.
3) The ChiSox- Still hate them and they should rightfully be ignored as to avoid encouraging them .
4) Milwaukee - The BrewCrew have been in rebuilding mode since in 1862 when their best players got drafted and sent over to defeat New York in the draft riots. Today, however, behind decent starting pitching headlined by Ben Sheets, outstanding bullpen led by Derrick Turnbrow (no really) and young hitting led by Presidential hopeful John McCain. This year they have a good shot at being 2nd in the Central when the dust settles.
5) I would mention something about the NBA but frankly despite some drama and generally superstar play (see true MVP Dwayne Wade at work) it just doesn't have any appeal. Ah well.
Friday, May 13, 2005
This is another way of calling Stanford Jake a big pantywaist.
NHL: The worst trade in this sport is a tough call, especially since I hate hockey and know very little about it. I'd have to say the Flyers-Nordiques/Avs trade involving Eric Lindros is right up there. Lindros insisted that he wouldn't sign in Quebec for the money being offered, forced a trade to Philly where the Flyers got his draft rights in exchange for what became the core of the Avs' Stanley Cup teams of 1996 and 2001. The Flyers got a petulant bitch who could never stay on the ice when it mattered most and never caught a whiff of glory with Lindros on the team.
NFL: The NFL doesn't do much trading so this one really stands out. The Vikings traded 6 players and 12 draft picks to Dallas for Herschel Walker. Yes, that's right, 18 players for 1. The Cowboys got at least 2 Hall of Famers out of those draft picks (Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson) and the Vikings cut Herschel 2 years later. As the Guinness guys say, "BRILLIANT!"
MLB: Since the MLB has so many trades each year, it's hard to pick just one. Certainly, the Pink Sox trading that Babe guy to the Yanks has to be on the short list. In fact, that's my vote, since it changed the course of baseball and American history for 86 years, only to be unraveled by Bloody Gamebreak's vote (Kevin Brown).
NBA: I feel very strongly about this one. The worst trade in NBA history is actually a 2-parter. Part 1 is the Knicks trading Patrick Ewing to the Sonics in a 3-way trade and getting Glen Rice. Ewing had 1 year/$16M left on his deal and the incoming Rice had just signed a 4 year/$48M contract. The Knicks added to that nonsensical mistake by then doing Part 2 the following year -- trading Rice for Shandon Anderson and Howard Eisley, each of whom had outrageous contracts. In the span of 18 months, the Knicks parlayed $16M of expiring contract into $75M of long-term obligation. The Knicks are in the shithouse today thanks to that brilliant strategy by Scott Layden, the former GM.
NBA Honorable Mention: In 1993, that fat, bloated dipshit Don Nelson traded the draft rights to Anfernee Hardaway and 3 first round picks ('96, '98, '00) to the Orlando Magic for Chris Webber. Within 1 season, that fat, bloated dipshit traded Webber away to the Washington Bullets/Wizards for Tom Gugliotta. If you're going to trade a #1 overall draft pick and 3 future 1st rounders after 1 season and all you get back is Googs, man, you should never work in this league again. It should be noted that the Golden State Warriors have not made the playoffs since that trade. Again, how is that fat, bloated dipshit still working in the NBA?
Thursday, May 12, 2005
It's a little early in the morning for me to be particularly brilliant, but here's my stab at it:
NBA: Penny Hardaway to Phoenix. This narrowly beats out Grant Hill to Orlando, if only because we saw hints of a Hill resurgence this season. Penny was so critically important to the Magic's meteoric rise in the mid-90s; his move to the desert was so hyped - and then THUD! Today, we remember Li'l Penny better than we do his real-life, larger counterpart.
MLB: I'm going to go with a more obscure one - Jeffrey Hammonds to the Brewers in 2001. Perhaps the quintessential bad signing by a low-market team without margin for error. After Hammonds hit .335 with 20 homers and 106 rbi in only 454 at-bats in 2000, Milwaukee rewarded him with a three-year, $21.75 million deal - hardly chump change for a team that was just moving into its new ballpark and had not yet found the extra cash lying around to spend as freely as some of its rivals. What someone failed to tell the Brewers' brass is that Hammonds collected those stats while playing in Colorado. Sure enough, he only mustered a .247 average in 2001 in only 174 ABs, and .257 in 448 ABs in 2002. He never hit more than 9 homers in Milwaukee before being cut early in the 2003 campaign. A complete waste of money and energy for a team that could afford to waste neither.
NFL: I'm coming up with blanks. Any suggestions?
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Check out the link if you want.
The first thing I thought of was the “Piss-Man” on the short-lived Playmaker series on ESPN. A RB on that show (who also has long hair and likes marijuana and other drugs, just like Onterrio), beat the system by using clean piss. The “Piss-Man” is this guy who literally watches you as you piss to make sure the sample comes from your body. Of course, the “Piss-Man” doesn’t know that you injected yourself with clean piss, or in Onterrio’s case, injected yourself with clean, powdered piss.
This story creates a lot of questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them:
1) Why was Smith carrying around this apparatus in April?
The article says that since he’s a repeat offender, Smith is tested “up to 10 times a month for the next 2 years.”
2) Why would you ever take it to the airport with you?
My only thinking is, Smith was personally delivering this apparatus to make some extra money. If I’m in the business of selling clean piss, I would want a celebrity to endorse my product, and Onterrio Smith would be a great, affordable choice. Smith claims it was for “his cousin.” By cousin, he definitely means customers.
3) Why did he have a bottle of pills labeled “cleansing formula?”
The only possible reason is that he also had pills that were labeled, “Illegal NFL Steroids.”
4) Why don’t baseball players ever get caught like this?
First, baseball just started it’s testing system. Give it time. Second, the reason baseball players don’t get caught with dried piss, is that they can hide it inside their baseball bats, which get shipped by the team for each road trip.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
ESPN.com: Page 2 : Cancun is full of good cheer
And my response to him was that this should surprise no one...
It's been that way for years. It goes back to 2002 when Giambi got here. He hasn't been the player he was in Oakland, even with those back-to-back 41 homer seasons in '02 and '03. He's the single-biggest reason why we're not a championship team anymore. Even without the benefit of hindsight, Giambi's arrival beckoned a fundamental change in how the Yankees approached at-bats and how they approached the game. Giambi is nothing short of the worst free agent acquisition in baseball history, given the money he's being paid and the dearth of production the Yanks have received from him (not even factoring in the 'roids fiasco and all the games he's missed). I have hated him from Day 1 and I honestly wish he'd just go away already. He's like the stench of death in that locker room.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Three Nights in August
this of course is a nice antithesis to the previously discussed:
(the link is an interesting series of discussions between Rob Neyer and James Surowiecki about Moneyball and Billy Beane) Nonetheless I figure with the summer upcoming everyone could use a little bit more reading material and what better way to announce cool sports books than via blogging...
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Friday, May 06, 2005
Who said this? None other than the sports world's most notorious bigot, John Rocker.
Do I need to explain why this quote is so asinine? John Rocker, you should have shut your piehole six years ago!
This week, Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins signed on to fight Jermain Taylor on July 16th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. For those of you that don't know (and I assume that's most of you), we may be witnessing the end of an era here. Hopkins may retire after this fight with a 47-2-1 record and an unheard-of 21 successful title defenses. That's just plain amazing! Hopkins hasn't always received the press and was never as glamorous as Sugar Shane Moseley, Felix Trinidad or Oscar De La Hoya but he's the best fighter on the planet and has been for quite some time. For those of you in the NY area, I'll be ordering this fight on PPV because a Hopkins fight is always fun to watch. He's not afraid to mix it up and he loves kicking ass. This should be a great one.
Have a good weekend.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
1) Young, immature player quits on team during playoffs. Sure he could've played but he had a tummy ache. So the coach sent him to home to sit in his room think about what he had done.
Answer: Khame Brown
Kwame is the archtype of why high schoolers shouldn't be drafted directly into the NBA. The hype/potential never matched reality. Bad attitude, not enough guidance/teaching and maybe not as good as advertised. Kwame and most of that class of high schoolers (see Desagna Diop) are why high schoolers playing everyday in the NBA is bad for the league and bad for the kids. Maybe if they had a little college tutoring they would have longer and more productive careers and we wouldn't have to watch their painful growth.
2) Baseball dynasty falling flat on its face. Multiple hall of famers rendered as mere mortal. New Yorkers up in arms threatening to destroy frankstein monster.
Answer: You could actually pick either this year or 1965. 1965 the Yankee dynasty free fell out of playoff contention. Then a number of the superstars seemed to fall apart all at once leaving New Yorkers to focus on defeating the Frankstein Monster that was ransacking Midtown (later the monster was rehabbed, took on the name Peter Boyle, and starred in his autobiography Young Frankstein.
Today Yankees fans don't have that kind of distraction. Also in many cases its more than just a few aging superstars but crappy personnel decisions. Wright over Lieber? Signing "Flash" Gordon? Usually in the MLB when a team goes into a tailspin it can sell its veteran talent and get younger. Who are the Yanks going to sell their talent to and who would take it? Nope Georgie boy is going to have eat the Giambi contracts of the world and either push that ridiculous budget even higher or wait awhile for re-tooling.
3) Cleveland sports player injured. Hopes destroyed for any sembalance of winning.
Answer. If you had answered any year between 1970 and today you would be correct.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
2005 NHL Playoff Preview
United States Conference
Under the new rules, there are 2 conferences – US & Canadian. The winners play to decide who gets the Stanley Cup. Everyone plays each other during the season, it’s just that 4 out of 6 Canadian teams make the playoffs – and 1 of them is always in the finals. This way, the ratings play off the heated US-Canadian rivalry.
1 – Tampa Bay vs. 8- NY Rangers – Miraculously, the Rangers high-priced team of Jagr, Holik, and Goalie Mike Dunham actually make the playoffs. Unfortunately, they run into the tiny scoring dynamo of Martin St. Louis, as well as Lecavalier, and Redhawk alumnus Dan Boyle.
Pick: Tampa in 4
4- New Jersey vs. 5- Philadelphia –
These 2 bitter rivals square off once again. NJ still has Niedermeyer & Brodeur, Philly uses Tony Amonte, Jeremy Roenick, and a cast of goons. Unfortunately, after the strike was resolved, 5-game suspensions become automatic for fighting, and the Flyers end up having to use 8 minor leaguers in the crucial game 7 due to everyone else being suspended.
Pick: New Jersey in 7
2-Detroit vs. 7-St. Louis -
Everyone is wondering how the Red Wings will do without Steve Yzerman, who retires after the strike, as well as Chris Chelios. Goalie Curtis Joseph still comes back to redeem himself from 2004’s playoff collapse. Luckily, they draw the St. Louis Blues, who use a different goalie every year in their quest to lose in the 1st round each year. This year, the Blues use Patrick Lalime to their disadvantage, as they blow a 3-1 lead and lose in 7 games.
Pick: Detroit in 7
3- Colorado vs. 6 –Dallas -
Everyone is back for the Avs – Forsberg, Sakic, Kariya, Selanne (Patrick Roy retired before last season). Dallas still brings Mike Modano and Pierre Turgeon back for one last ride. It sure is a short ride though.
Pick: Colorado in 5
Tampa over New Jesey – Khabibulin taunts Brodeur into fighting, knowing that without Brodeur, the Devils are doomed.
Colorado over Detroit– Bitter rivals square off. Unfortunately, Curtis Joseph gets banished from the city of Detroit after his bad play.
2- Toronto – vs. 3 – Montreal –
All the fans in Canada go crazy as the Leafs finally battle the Canadiens in the playoffs. Looting breaks out after just the first victory by Toronto. Toronto’s roster is focused on the stars of EA Sports NHL ’94 – as they have Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan, Mogilny, Brian Leetch, Joe Nieuwendyk, and Ed Belfour. Montreal counters with a younger team led by the invincible Koivu and Goalie Jose Theodore. After an exciting series, it all comes down to game 7, where the Maple Leafs happen to have saved up enough speed bursts to take down the Canadiens.
Pick: Toronto in 7
1- Ottawa vs. 4- Calgary–Calgary has 2004 stars Jarome Iginla and goalie Martin Kirprusoff. Hasek is on the Ottawa Senators, and only plays 41 games during the year, just the home games, and ends up going 40-1 in those games. The Ottawa Senators are the highest scoring team in the league, and they don’t even need Hasek on the road in this series.
Pick: Ottawa in 6
Tampa over Colorado – Colorado goalie Aebischer just can’t come up with enough saves. Colorado then immediately trades half of its team to start over after Sakic & Forsberg retire.
Ottawa over Toronto - After Toronto loses, they declare that if your goalie isn’t Canadian, you can’t be in the Candian Conference starting next season.
NHL Finals – Ottawa over Tampa
Unfortunately, there are no Leafs or Canadiens, or major US markets involved. Nonetheless, the ratings are double what they were in 2004 due to the exciting new camera angles and the promotions that allow fans who watch hockey to win free kegs of beer. The ratings are also very high due to the exciting Canada vs. US format.
In the end, Hasek wins another championship with the Ottawa Senators, and promptly declares his 4th retirement from the NHL.
* * *
As Rocker left the field, Dave Macken of Atlantic City, a Surf fan sitting near the visitors dugout, yelled, "It's a long way from Atlanta." Rocker replied, "I'm still a millionaire" and followed with profanity, Macken told The Press of Atlantic City. Macken said the two then exchanged profanities. Rocker recalled the exchange differently. "Call me what you want, but don't start cussing at me like that," he was quoted as telling the paper. "That's just wrong."
* * *
I don't know, maybe it's just me but I find this really amusing. Rocker says "call me what you wan't but don't start cussing at me..." Uh, John, the fan called you what he wanted to call you by cussing at you.
"FI-URE TORRE" (clap-clap-clap-clap-clap)
"FI-URE CASHMAN" (clap-clap-clap-clap-clap)
It's so time to get rid of these guys.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Winslow is another example of an NFL player who behaves like a jerk 24/7. He is a Grade A arrogant scumbag that flaunts and taunts and showboats but hasn't attained the level of success in real life that he has in his own fantasy land taking place in that barren space between his ears. I hope Romeo takes Winslow's contract and runs it through the paper shredder.
PS -- I'm also pretty pleased that Kerry Wood is down for the count again. I'm still scratching my head as to why the Cubs let Matt Clement walk when they probably should've known that Wood and Prior are pretty fragile fellows and that the likelihood of both being healthy enough for 35 starts was a pretty remote one. It seems to me that Clement's $25M contract with Boston would've been a good insurance policy to pay for the Cubs.
PPS -- Mikey/Hart, no hard feelings that I'm ripping on your clubs today. It's nothing personal, I can assure you. I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today and I'm in the mood to shred pro athletes this morning.
Monday, May 02, 2005
|May 1 winning pct.; teams, made playoffs, pct.||Teams heading into Sunday|
|Over .700; 13, 10, 77%||White Sox|
|.600-.700; 46, 24, 52%||Cardinals, Orioles, Twins, Marlins, Dodgers|
|.550-.599; 39, 16, 41%||Braves, D-Backs|
|.500-.549; 42, 11, 26%||Angels, Red Sox, Nationals, Cubs, A's, Giants, Mariners, Blue Jays, Tigers|
|.450-.499; 36, 8, 22%||Rangers, Padres, Mets|
|.400-.44; 36, 2, 6%||Yankees, Phillies, Reds, Astros, Brewers|
|Under .400; 54, 1, 2%||Indians, Devil Rays, Pirates, Rockies, Royals|
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Now that my rant is out of the way May Day is also an occasion to look back at some predictions:
1) Wrong - Baltimore in First Place in the AL East by 4 games. Yeah I don't feel really bad about this one cause nobody (let me repeat that NOBODY) predicted that Baltimore would be in first place this century. When did Brian Roberts get this good? You think Oakland and self proclaimed ubergenius Billy Beane wonders if he should've let Tejada go while keeping Chavez? I have no idea if they could've kept Tejada but right now he is the best Shortstop in the game and right now he's my MVP
2) Right - NL West would be interesting. I know this isn't much of a prediction but frankly the NL West is usually boring and occasionally annoying (see previous posts on the public relations darling that is Barry Bonds). However this year LA is winning after predictions that its GM had run it into the ground. Arizona was given up for dead (raise your hand if you predicted Brandon Lyons leading the league in saves. your a liar Hart). San Fran is treading water waiting for the return of Bonds. Could be a wonderful race come September
3) Right - The Cubbies would have bullpen problems. Not rocket science here but sometimes a single does the job. The Cubs bullpen was bad last year. They did nothing to get it better in the offseason. The only thing Latroy Hawkins can close is a door, and frankly right now that is up for debate. I expect the Cubs to try and buy some bullpen but it might be too little too late.
4) Wrong - I expected several NFL GMs to have Drew Rosenhaus killed or at least beaten up. This, as far as I know, has not happened yet. Rosenhaus is the agent behind a number of NFL players holding out in hopes of a better contract (i.e. TO, Santana Moss, Ruben Droughns, Sean Taylor, etc) Now football will always have these type problems since contracts are not guarenteed. However wouldn't it be nice if Drew used his super skills for a noble cause like people who work for Wallmart rather than a prima donna like TO (a man who cried that his contract only gave him millions of dollars . what else does he want? a few goats?)
5) Up for Grabs - My original prediction of Spurs v. Heat way back in umm November. Could still happen. Assuming Ron Artest and/or Monthra does not destroy one of those teams. Stay tuned.