Tagged with "Chicago"
Crosspost: Sunday Musings #106
Category: User Showcase
Tags: WNBA NBA ChicagoSky NewYorkLiberty MLB NFL BostonRedSox HighSchoolSports Surfing WomensCollegeBasketball

While laughing at this radio song about traveling to Cape Cod during the summer...(Believe me, if you live in Massachusetts you will totally understand this song.)

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Boston Red Sox - As I type this a bit in advance and schedule it for posting, I'm watching Jake Peavy make his first start for the Red Sox. The trade was rumored for days before it finally happened. And while I think he will make a good contribution to the team, especially in light of the continued frailties of Clay Buchholz, I have to wonder why everyone in the media seemed to be losing their minds over the trade as if the Red Sox had just gotten Roger Clemens in his prime.

While Peavy won the Cy Young in 2007, he hasn't really been the same pitcher since. He had injuries and ineffectiveness. Again, I think he's going to be a serviceable member of the rotation but I just don't get acting like he's the second coming or something.

And late last week I learned something that I didn't know about Peavy. I was reading the Red Sox Notebook article in the Boston Herald and it had a story about how Peavy is legally blind!

Yes, the Red Sox traded for the one pitcher in the majors least likely to argue balls and strikes with the umpire. Can you imagine that conversation?

Peavy: "What? How could you call that a ball? Did you not see where it was located?"

Ump: "Did you?"

Apparently Peavy has 20/300 vision and is not a candidate for laser surgery. With glasses/lenses, he can improve to 20/40 vision.

See what you learn when you read the daily beat coverage of the team?

And of course, what does Peavy do in his first start for the Red Sox last night? How about 7 innings with with 4 hits, 2 walks, 7 K's and 2 earned runs. Not bad, not bad at all.

Marlins - The lost season of the Florida Marlins got a bit worse last week when rookie hitting coach Tino Martinez resigned his position after complaints of verbal and, in at least one case, physical abuse (really more of a grab than FULL ON abuse) of a player.

Apparently he had offered to resign earlier, but idiot owner Jeffrey Loria wanted him to stay on. But when the story became public, Martinez resigned.

My question is the player that was grabbed, why did he not knock Martinez on his ass? Martinez is going to be the poster child for NOT hiring people as coaches that haven't had any previous experience.

You can read the story here: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/tino-martinez-resigns-marlins-hitting-202750669--mlb.html

Yankees - Reports are circulating that the long in coming suspension for Alex Rodriguez is going to be for at least 214 games. That would cover the rest of this season as well as the entire 2014 season. And of course, Rodriguez is taking the news as you would expect from someone who lacks any sense of reality. He's promising to fight to the end while apparently also trying to negotiate a contract settlement with the Yankees ahead of the looming suspension. The Yankees have reportedly declined that offer.

And Major League Baseball is not in the mood to do any negotiations with poor deprived abused and maligned Alex either after he made comments about MLB and the Yankees "conspiring" to keep him off the field.

As if he had nothing to do with his current predicament.

It's time for everyone to acknowledge Rodriguez as what he is. No, not a former superstar, or a drug cheat. Between his actions on the field and his lack of ability to accept responsibility for his own actions, everyone should see and refer to him as what he truly is...a scumbag loser.

BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

The Eagles will have yet another transfer finally hitting the court for them this fall. After sitting out a year after arriving from Depaul, 6-2 forward Karima Gabriel is now eligible. You can check out an interview with her here: http://www.bceagles.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/073113aab.html

BOSTON CELTICS

Just a quick note that the Celtics have released Shavlik Randolph. If they'd kept him on the roster they would've had a 1.1 million dollar contract guarantee, and they didn't want to be tied into that with this team coming up next season.

WNBA

Chicago Sky - With the loss of Carolyn Swords for the season with a knee injury, I have to admit my fandom for the Sky has gone down a tiny bit. She was the reason I was following the team. But last night they did improve to 13-5 with their 85-78 win over the Mystics. Sylvia Fowles led the team with 32 points (season high) and 15 rebounds.

Unfortunately for the Sky, the good times didn't keep on coming last night when they lost to the Fever 79-58 and fell to 13-6. Courtney Vandersloot (11) and Fowles (10) were the only players to hit double figures for the Sky, who are still without Elena Delle Donne due to her concussion.

New York Liberty - The Liberty started off the week with a nice win over the Mystics, 88-78. Kara Braxton was the leading scorer for the team with 22 points and 8 boards. Cappie Pondexter added 19 points and 9 assists. Plenette Pierson had 16 points and 7 boards and Kelsey Bone finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Katie Smith played 30:11 in the game and had 3 points. The team improved to 8-11 with the victory.

But as has been the case with the Liberty all season, they couldn't keep the momentum continuing. They lost Saturday night to the Connecticut Sun (one of the few teams in the league with a worse record than the Liberty). New York had a one point lead at halftime but fell apart in the second half and lost 88-66. There record is now 8-12.

Braxton had another big night with 18 points while Pierson and Pondexter scored 17 points apiece. Bone had a team high 9 rebounds. While she played more than 29 minutes in the game, Katie Smith (pictured below) didn't score.

 

Oh, and there was a nice write up about Smith in this week's New York Post. You can check out that article here: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/liberty/liberty_smith_has_career_packed_DGNsaxB39rXyNmhlDS7H4H

OLYMPICS

I hope that you are ready for a little bit of anger now.

Despite the notion that countries are supposed to conform to that mythical "Olympic Ideal" during the time they are hosting the Olympics, it seems Russia didn't get the message. After passing a hugely restrictive anti-gay law, the Russian president announced that they will indeed enforce that law during the Olympics. The law prohibits "spreading propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors, and even proposing penalties for those who express these views online or in the news media. Gay pride rallies also are banned.

According to the articles I read online, despite assurances to the contrary by the International Olympic Committee, the Russians could arrest gay or lesbian athletes for simply kissing each other and being seen by a child!

And I really don't believe any assurances coming from a country whose president is only a high body count away from being a new version of Josef Stalin. They can't keep the Russian Mafia under control, have a problem with rebels in the mountains overlooking where the Olympics will be held but let's worry if two people of the same gender want to give each other a kiss.

I really am beginning to just despise most of the world. I would think murderous thugs and rebel forces bent on overthrowing the government would be more of a priority these days but no, gay people are still seen as more of a destructive force.

I can't be the only one left in the world who judges people by their actions and not what sexual genitalia they prefer to play with, right? I mean seriously, when I despise someone, it's because THEY are an asshole (like, say the president of Russia?) not because they might happen to prefer screwing one.

And all this is coming from a president who lets pictures of himself be taken as if he's the poster child for a homoerotic tourist guide to Russia?

Here's one article about the story: http://news.yahoo.com/russia-enforce-anti-gay-law-during-olympics-114212670.html

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Football - If you have read my postings for any length of time, you likely know of my disdain for all things religious. And if you needed further proof of why I think religion in sports is a corrupting force more powerful than the entire nuclear arsenal, look no further than the story of Scott Phillips: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/alabama-state-champion-coach-ad-fired-being-member-102348634.html

Did you read it? Can you believe it? The guy, who was a successful football coach that got his school to playoffs for the first time in years and coached the boys basketball team to the school's first state title in any sport and then was asked to be and hired as the school's AD, was fired because he didn't attend the "right" church.

It wasn't like he attended services at the Church of Satan or something, he simply attended a different church than the one that the school supported. And while there was no contractual requirement to do so, the school expected him to force his family to attend the church as well.

The more I hear about these so called good moral upstanding church based schools and such, the more I realize they are cornering the market on being the most intolerant SOBs out there.

The guy should sue to get his job back seeing how he truly did nothing wrong.

Basketball - The girls high school summer league has playoffs starting this Monday night (August 5th). The ORR team has a game at 8:30pm that night. My player on that team is Jillian and she sent me a message via Facebook to let me know the time. I'll be going to that game.

Meanwhile, I learned that the Wareham team will only have 6 players for the playoffs as the rest of the girls on the team don't take it seriously enough and haven't shown up when they were supposed to be there. Now they aren't being allowed to take part in the playoffs.

Of course it is hard to take things seriously when their "coach" (really just a former player who is free) hardly ever shows up for games. I know the two games I saw for Wareham, she wasn't at one game and strolled in late for the other one. And there are no practices either.

It's a joke and the actual coaches should be embarrassed to see their players putting in such little effort. It's also why they should get a REAL coach to run the team during the summer. And no, I'm not suggesting me, I'm retired. But the ex-coach in me is just flat out embarrassed to see such a laissez-faire attitude towards the summer league. If you aren't going to put forth the effort, why bother having a team.

NFL

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony was last night and that means Bill Parcells is now officially a Hall of Famer. There's been a number of articles written about The Big Tuna this week and I've read a lot of them. I'm a fan of Parcells so I was pretty happy to watch his speech:

There was a pretty good interview with Parcells by Peter King on SI.com: http://mmqb.si.com/2013/08/02/bill-parcells-hall-of-fame/

The Cleveland Browns were part of a feel good story last night. You can check out that story here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20130803/browns-camp-cancer-survivor-touchdown.ap/

SURFING

During my usual surfing around the Net this past week, I came across this article on surfing itself. Not the Net surfing, but the big board on the water kind of surfing. And while I love to see the photos of surfing, I'm not one for dreaming about catching a big wave myself.

But this story about the trash filled spot in Indonesia was just disgusting to me. You can check out the article and more photos here: http://www.grindtv.com/action-sports/surf/post/surfing-paradise-has-a-serious-trash-problem/

But here's the photo that struck me the most:

MISCELLANEOUS

TV - As I prepare for the season finales of The Killing and Fallen Skies tonight, the biggest type of TV news for me was two commercials.

The first is the promo for the Discovery Channel's Shark Week. It was simply hilarious.

The other ad is actually for a website. It is a real ad as near as I can determine. It should probably be considered NSFW for most people. It is both uproariously funny and jaw dropping at the same time. I'll let you judge for yourself because there are just no words to describe the video that really do it justice.

Books - This week was a good week for me in BookLand. I finished reading three books and bought two more.

The first of the finished books was Daniel Silva's The English Girl.  Despite me seeing the alleged shock twist towards the end of the story coming a mile away, it was another great read in the Gabriel Allon series. The second book was the "Richard Castle" thriller Storm Front. This book is one of those tie ins to the TV series Castle, but it was actually quite a good read. The third book was the Janet Evanovich / Lee Goldberg humorous adventure caper The Heist. It's the first in a new series teaming a female FBI agent with a charming con man. I liked the book, though I think Evanovich series featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is better.

    

The two books I picked up were the 2nd and 3rd entries in the Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box. I had tried out the first book, Open Season, after reading an interview with the author and loved it. So now I've picked up both Savage Run and Winterkill. I'm looking forward to reading those and getting more into the adventures of Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett.

 

OTHER WRITING

I write for Pop-topia.com and while I didn't write the following articles, I thought they were interesting enough to share with anyone who enjoys food articles.

Eating in Detroit: http://www.pop-topia.com/food-tour-weekend-in-detroit/

Alternative Oreos: http://www.pop-topia.com/oreo-madness-do-non-traditional-oreo-offerings-make-the-grade/

Monday Moaning 7-22-13
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Golf Soccer Baseball Chicago Cubs Mike Pouncey Douchebags Nate Silver Dead Ghosts ESPN Pearl Jam Ernie Banks Politics

      Now that's how a Cubs fan should say happy Monday!

Yes, once you get past all that ass, you can see she's rocking a Cubs jersey...So why am I starting this week talking Cubs? I'm not...Just look at that ass! There was some excitement at Wrigley Field this past weekend...Pearl Jam played the old ballpark...A few friends of mine went...It would have been cool to be there, especially when Mr. Cub Ernie Banks walked out onstage!

If you were there and are a baseball fan, let alone a Cubs fan, that had to be pretty damn sweet...Hearing Ernie say lets play two was great....Sadly, it's rare that playing two happens these days....I often wish I could have lived to see so many of baseball's greats...I think of Baseball in the 40's-50's-60's, I'll even give ya the 70's, and in my head, that's really Baseball...That's what it's all about...Then I read THIS_POST from our guy Radatz....He nailed it...It wasn't just Baseball that was Special, the character of our country was special...

I wrote THIS Wednesday, and I think it shows my frustration with where our country seems to be, especially from a media standpoint...Don't get me started on our government, that hasn't done any governing for couple years now, because all those DC dolts do is yell and whine at each other and say no to whatever the other guy says....There have been a couple movies about our Nation's Capitol/power structure being attacked, which lead to multiple news stories, and blogs about "What's our fascination with blowing up DC?"

Do you really need to ask that question? People are sick of the knob gobblers screwing things up, and screwing us over...The best we've got in reality is elections, which more and more people feel are rigged...Plus the two years of media covering the election shit, which mean politicians aren't doing their jobs, because they are busy campaigning...So we turn to fantasy...Movies, where that whole damn corrupt town get torched...Not hard to figure out....

Speaking of politics, douchebags, shitty media, and sports....Did you see ESPN signed Nate Silver...Silver, a statistician, who was the top guy at Baseball Prospectus, before starting his Five Thirty Eight column at the New York Times, predicting election bullshit...By the way, he of every election result nation wide 2012, he only got 1 wrong...ESPN plans to make him their Uber-stat man, and he'll do election shit for ABC...He will also be a major contributor to Keith Olbermann's new ESPN talk show that will launch in late August....

Ahhh, another reason not to watch the so-called World Wide Leader!

-Okay, random sports shit that you never thought I would cover...The U.S. beat El Salvador 2-1 in Soccer...Now you know and I know, that I don't give a shit about Soccer...I didn't even know this game was happening...But when I saw the score on my phone, I smiled...The U.S. beat El Salvador in Soccer....My old Fish House friends know why this makes me smile! Our old boss was a Soccer nut from El Salavador, who loved to talk shit...Eat it Chalupa!

-Phil Mickelson won the British Open...I don't care about golf, but when they play the British Open I watch here and there, just because the courses and weather can be so tough...Sunday morning I only watched a bit before I had to start getting on with my day, so I missed what happened...Again, just heard about it via my iphone while Molly and I were kicking it at the park....

-Dolphins Center Mike Pouncey says he won't apologize for pictures he and his brother took with some douchebag, wearing "Free Hernandez" hats in support of their former teammate, Aaron Hernandez...

Okay, anyone who takes a picture with that douche should apologize...As for the hats...They're stupid...But if they want to support their boy, that's up to them...Dude plays for the Dolphins...It's not the first or last time he's gonna be on the losing side!

That's all I have for now...

Oh, except this week's musical selection...I found these guys last week...They're from Canada...Vancouver I believe...They're called Dead Ghosts...Their style...Old school, 60's Surf rock...It's like listening to a flashback...

 

Have a week!

The Beeze.

Monday Moaning 7-1-13
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NHL CNN Race Blow Jobs The Beeze George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin Media News Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks New Jersey Devils

In case you missed it Saturday, there is one topic, and one topic only, above all other topics, that has to be discussed....Must read NOW ...

I told ya...Serious stuff people...Serious stuff going on in our country that has to be addressed! Unlike what CNN is showing us...Yes, CNN has dug their heels all in with the George Zimmerman trial...Normal Friday night CNN programming got bumped so they could give another 3 more hours of talking about this trial...Hey, there is serious news happening daily in this country and in this world...And I'm not even talking about the asshole in Virginia anymore....(You better have clicked that link above!) It's sad because not only are they constantly harping on this trial, that just started, but they are also giving off the vibe that they are trying to single handedly start a race war....

Race over and over again keeps coming up when this trial is talked about...And pretty much every time a black person is attacked or killed by some one who isn't black...Yet, when a black person attacks or kills a person who isn't black, race is not brought up...Why the double standard...What there aren't black people who are racist, who target white people or Asian people....Oh yes there are...The media is just afraid to talk about it...It happened at The Wisconsin State Fair a couple years ago, that a group of teenage blacks targeted and attacked whites...But the media danced around it...

Is it uncomfortable in here yet? Sorry, but it needs to be said...The news media needs to report the news...The facts, as they really are, and not be afraid to tell the truth...But not every crime is racially motivated, and that shouldn't be the first thing we jump to when a crime happens...But dopes like CNN always seem to go there...I wrote THIS early last week...If you read it you can see I had a few problems with it, and racial tension popped up right or wrong...Do I think that animal did what he did because he was black and the woman was white...NO...he did it because he's a piece of shit...

So let me break down this whole Zimmerman case for ya, so you can avoid CNN for the next few months....Dude was following the Trayvon Martin, even though the police told him to pull back, they were on the way...But he wanted to be a hard ass....Martin realized was following him...Most likely, he said something...They exchanged words and then blows...Martin had him down and was beating his ass...Zimmerman was pissing himself, realizing he wasn't as hard as he thought, and that he had a gun, and shot Martin, thinking he was dead if he didn't...I don't know why it's so hard for people to figure out...

If I was in Martin's shoes, and noticed this douche following me, I may not have acting the same...When I was his age, I would have started to run, and ducked around a corner...If dude would have kept coming, then I probably would have jumped him...If I was Zimmerman, well you wouldn't see me doing what he did...I do my neighborhood watch from my front porch, and I don't have the time to waste, trolling around looking for the assholes...But If I found myself getting a beating, and I had a gun on me, yeah, I'd use it....Not everything is about race...Zimmerman may have said racist shit, doesn't mean he's looking to kill every black kid he sees...

Fuck! Sorry if this all got heavy and uncomfortable...But the fucking news media makes me want to puke in the soup!

Okay...Sports...The NHL Draft was Sunday....Ummm, yeah, I don't really follow the prospects intensely, so I got nothing...Plus I didn't watch...I took the kids to see Monsters University...It was good...Kids like it...Had some good laughs for the parents...There were a couple good previews too that got big laughs from Mrs. Beeze...Yeah, some times it's like having 4 kids!

Back to the NHL...There were a bunch of trades on draft day...I'm really not willing to run them all down for ya...But Chicago, you just won the Stanley Cup, and your team just traded away a couple of guys who played a role in that...Many teams are trying to unload some contracts because of the salary cap for this coming year...And the Coyotes, who no one knows if they will be playing in Phoenix this coming year (I'm rooting for Seattle), and have no owner, some how signed goalie Mike Smith to a six year, $34 million deal...WTF!

The Boston Bruins look like they will be losing some familiar faces too...Nathan Horton will explore free-agency, and the team will let Andrew Ference walk...They have plenty of youth and depth on the blue line, so losing Ference won't hurt...GM Peter Chiarelli also admitted to losing to offers for Tyler Seguin....But after not moving the 21 year old winger, Chiarelli made it clear that Seguin needs to grow up, saying "He's got to commit his mind and focus on the one task at hand." Telling the Boston Globe, "He's got to become more of a professional."

Alright, kid...The boss just listened to offers, and then called you out...Better spend less time in the bars and all that Beantown snatch, and more time working on your game!

The Devils used the 208 pick on goalie, Anthony Brodeur...Yep, son of Martin Brodeur...But the kid won't see the NHL for awhile considering Dad is still there, and that the Devils just traded the #9 pick to Vancouver for 27 year old goalie Cory Schnieder...Schneider has been talked about in many trade rumors over the last couple years...Honestly, I think Vancouver always wanted to keep him and trade overrated, and overpaid Roberto Luongo, but no one wants that contract and that guy!

Okay...That's enough...If you really care about all the hockey moves, you already know where to go...Last week, all my games got washed out, and I'm expecting the same this week, as the forecast is calling for more fucking rain...So far we've had one game and a bunch of rain outs...Thursday we should have played but the rec was too lazy to fix up the fields...The team we were suppose to play and us got together for a scrimmage...So at least all the kids got some work in...Been frustrating so far....Mother Nature needs to stop being such a twat and show youth baseball some love!

In closing...Wrapping this all up...Save the Blow Job! (and anal) ...Fuck CNN...Not every crime is racially motivated...And we should be able to discuss shit without everyone being afraid race...The NHL Salary cap has teams scrambling to make cap room...And Mother Nature needs to stop fucking with baseball season!

Have a week...

The Beeze.

HAL B.’s FANTASTIC FRIDAY SPORTS SPECTACULAR
Category: FEATURED
Tags: football NFL Aaron Hernandez New England Patriots baseball basketball hockey chicago blackhawks cleveland browns mark sanchez mike lombardi

Happy final Friday in June!  Summer is here in New England and hockey and basketball have finally finished their seasons.  Baseball is in full swing, and in the NFL, there is no such thing as an offseason anymore.  The grass courts of Wimbledon are being trod to dust under the sneakers of the world’s greatest players.  

 

 

OK, time to get to the sports on the last day of school for the Bent children (June 28th is very late indeed!) . It is also the day after the lovely Mrs. B started her first class (summer course) at Nursing School which is great news for me personally as I get to cross off “knocking boots with a college girl” from my mid-life crisis checklist.

 

WHAT THE PUCK?:

I was hoping to write on Thursday about a thrilling game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night in Chicago, but the Boston Bruins dropped the ball (puck) late in the third period, allowing two goal in 17 seconds with under 2:00 minutes to play. I hate hearing that the Bruins “choked” or “blew it” against Chicago. To do so is such a disservice to an amazingly talented Blackhawks team.  

 

 

To be fair, I did not see much of the Blackhawks until the Western Conference Finals where they dismantled the defending champion Los Angeles Kings. This Chicago team has a strong defense, a very good goaltender, and amazing speed, versatility, and playmaking from their forwards.  They seemed a bit run-down in games one and two, but still gutted-out a split with the Bruins.

 

In game three, the Bruins dominated an out-of-sorts Chicago squad after their coach, Joel Quenneville, got over-creative and with Marian Hossa out, shuffled his lines until ALL of the players were uncomfortable and underperformed.  At this point, Boston fans were plotting out the Duck Boat path for the championship parade. Of course, once Quenneville got the lines in order for game four, the Blackhawks were clicking on all cylinders and just would not be denied.

 

One of the negatives of the Boston sports market is that the media/fanbase seems to point fingers and look for home team deficiencies rather than acknowledge that, just maybe, the other teams are good and played well.  So much anger was directed out that the Bruins “blew it”, that “they choked”, that “they shoulda won.”  Gentle Readers, the Boston Bruins--even having hung on in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals--would have been annihilated on the road in Game Seven. This Blackhawks team was too talented, too driven, too motivated, and was not going to be denied.

 

Sure, there is always a chance the puck bounces your way, but the Blackhawks were the better team, and the better team won.  There is no shame in that, no reason to point fingers, no need to disparage the Bruins. They put up a hell of a fight and I’m proud that the local team went out and put forth such an inspired effort (Patrice Bergeron: broken ribs, punctured lung, torn cartilage?  Wow. Just WOW!) and got to that point.

 

* * *

 

BIG ROUND BALLS:

The NBA news cycle was driven by seemingly two stories: LeBron James & Doc Rivers.

1. LeBron James is an amazing player. In no way should there be meaningful comparisons to Michael Jordan until there is some historical perspective, but considering it is 2013 and snap-judgements rule (yes, I am as guilty as the next person if not more so) there has to be a debate so Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith earn their exorbitant salaries.  I am finally old enough (I’ll be 40 next year) to apply the “back in my day” arguments, so in this case it is hard to argue Michael Jordan. He beat Magic Johnson, he beat Larry Bird, he beat Isiah Thomas, he beat Karl Malone and John Stockton, he beat Hakeem Olajuwon, he beat EVERYONE.

Sorry to say, LeBron, but you beat NOBODY until you teamed up with the best players in the league instead of challenging them and beating them.  How easy would Michael Jordan have had it to hold out and force the Bulls to trade him to the PrimeTime Lakers or Big Three Celtics teams of the 1980s.  Of course he would have won more rings with Magic, Kareem and Worthy or Larry, McHale and Parish, that’s a no-brainer.  Unlike LeBron James in Cleveland, Jordan stuck it out in Chicago and lifted his teammates to victory, rather than let his superstar teammates support him as is the case in Miami.  

That, more than anything, separates the two most amazing NBA players of my lifetime (and yes, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are right there as well).

 

2. I have no anger towards Doc Rivers. I think he is an excellent coach who has one world championship and nearly two in his time in Boston.  If he wants to capitalize on his earning power and status as one of the best head coaches in the game (San Antonio has the BEST, hands-down...game six not playing Tim Duncan at the end of the game notwithstanding) then more power to him. In the NBA, it does not take long to go from coach of the year to unemployed, as Rivers learned during his tenure in Orlando.

Rebuilding in Boston is not going to help him improve his standing--it will only detract from his skills as a leader of a good team who maximizes talent and game plans well.  His window of opportunity is small and he has to act now if he wants another chance in the near future to win. The Los Angeles Clippers may or may not be the best option for Rivers, but if the team is able to resign point guard Chris Paul and trade for center Dwight Howard, he will certainly have the talent around him to compete for an NBA Championship.

Doc will be missed in Boston, but he was within his rights to look for greener pastures, and bravo to Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge for making the move work for Doc and get something for Rivers.

 

* * *

 

FAST BALLS:

A Rose By Any Other Name:

One great note out of the Aaron Hernandez saga is that for me, personally, it is in practically in my backyard. The Bristol County D.A.’s office is heading up the investigation, arrest, and prosecution and their offices are in my city of residence.  My two children were in a tennis clinic last year that is put on each summer for free by the Bristol County D.A.’s office.

 

Who is the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office for the Community Affairs Division Neighborhood Liaison who registered them and chased down loose tennis balls?  Why, none other than former Boston Red Sox 1994 draft pick Brian Rose.  Red Sox fans will remember him as the local (Dartmouth, MA) product who looked like a future star after winning 17 games in AAA in 1997.  Instead, he was a washout in Boston and got dumped to Colorado for Mike Lansing and Rolando Arrojo.  So when I see the Bristol County D.A. staff in the footage of Aaron Hernandez’s house, the assistant D.A. and D.A. in court, it still somehow brings up thoughts of the all encompassing Boston Red Sox.

 

*

 

A-Rod & the Cash:

As a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, dishing compliments to anyone New York Yankees related is often done through gritted teeth.  Many a dentist trip was required by listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver marvel at Derek Jeter’s ability to go from 1st base to 3rd base on a single (Seriously? Any player under the Prince Fielder/David Ortiz body type does that on a regular basis. There is no need to make up stupid reasons to complement a player.), or have them laud accolades on Scott Brosius, Tino Martinez, Jim Leyritz like they were Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, and Babe Ruth.  However, one New York Yankee I have an inordinate amount of respect and admiration for is the person most responsible for their success: General Manager Brian Cashman.

Cashman was back in the news this week, bashing injured steroids abuser and ultimate fraud superstar third baseman Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez for taking to social media platform Twitter to tweet his status as able to play in rehab games, contradicting a statement made by Cashman the day before.  Rather than hide behind the marketing department, Cashman made his feelings about the matter clear by telling ESPN New York:
"You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, [we will]," Cashman told ESPN New York. "Alex should just shut the f--- up. That's it. I'm going to call Alex now."

Bravo, Mr. Cashman.  A-Rod has been over-coddled and it is obvious that the Yankees have had enough of his bologna. Since the Yankees are stuck with him (where are all those Yankees fans who blasted us Red Sox fans when the Sox “lost out” on A-Rod? Hello? Anyone there? Is this microphone on? Yankees fans? Hello?), A-Rod needs to realize he needs to put his ego aside and play ball with the Yankees as no one else in MLB wants anything to do with him. Heck, the Yankees want nothing to do with him, but have no choice but to deal with him. However, any dealings with him are on the Yankees terms, and A-Rod needs to realize that and get in line with the team’s wishes ASAP.

 

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Domonic is Hitting like a Demon:

One player who has been under the radar all season is Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown.  Perhaps it has to do with the Phillies flying under the radar as their veteran stars age and the team tumbles down the standings, or maybe it is that Brown is not a big self-promoter and focuses on improving himself and keeping his job.

Brown has long been discussed as a top prospect in Philadelphia and the Phillies have resisted all overtures for the slugging young outfielder. What’s amazing is that he is leading the league in home runs after three years of fits and mis-starts where he never seemed to get any consistent playing time over the past three seasons.  How bad was he jerked around by the Phillies? They played decrepit and putrid corpse of Raul Ibanez and the horrific-even-in-his-prime Juan Pierre ahead of him the past few years. Why? Well, maybe the manager is an idiot.

Seriously, Brown did not do much in his limited opportunities.  The history of major league baseball is littered with players who were “can’t miss prospects” who never made it the show, or fell flat on his face when given multiple opportunities.  There is even a term for the player who destroys AAA pitching and fails in the major leagues, a 4-A (Quad-A) or AAAA hitter. Even this season, Brown had a lousy first month of the season but stuck because the Phillies had no one else to take his at-bats.

One final point with Brown is that he is overcoming a broken hamate bone in his wrist from spring training 2011.  This is a serious injury for a hitter and although it usually heals in a few months, the loss of power can take over a year to return.  Brown, with both the injury and the frustrating loss of power, is finally at the point where he feels he is the same hitter he was prior to the injury, and the results show in the box score. Whatever the reason, its great to see the turnaround by a young (25 years old) left-handed power hitter.

 

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NFL NOTES:

 

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish:
Some quick points about former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez:

As I stated before he was arrested, if he murdered Odin Lloyd, life in prison is not enough, but will have to be because this is Massachusetts.

As I also stated before he was arrested, if he covered up information, destroyed evidence, or hindered the police investigation in any way he should get the punishment commensurate to the conviction with no special athlete/celebrity exceptions made.

Based on the evidence presented in the bail hearing and naming of charges, Hernandez has to be one of the stupidest, most arrogant individuals on the face of the planet to commit such a heinous crime and believe he was not going to be caught. Forensic evidence, video surveillance, rebuilding/retrieving information from physically damaged equipment is so prevalent, that thinking he could not be caught is inconceivable to me.

The two worst things about this:

1. He has a young daughter who has this idiot’s stigma attached to her for life;

2. There is a man, Odin Lloyd, who was murdered.

At this point, I feel as if Hernandez is just another former player. As a fan of the New England Patriots, I applaud the team for releasing him and dealing with the salary cap situation rather than suspending him. It is a sign of organizational integrity. Hernandez has likely spent his his last days on this planet as a free man, based upon the news about the evidence.

The Patriots--already transitioning their offense following years of stagnant game plans built around 5-yard slant patterns--now have the entire training camp to further rework the offense without the Hernandez distraction hanging over the team.  It was a smart move, and more importantly, it was the right move for the team and entire organization.

 

Browns No Longer Blue?:

It sounds ludicrous to those of us in of the Northeast corner of the country, but there is football news taking place outside of North Attleborough, MA that does not involve New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and the homicide of semi-pro player Odin Lloyd. I know I need a break from the non-stop coverage and some REAL NFL news:

 

The Cleveland Browns appear to be on the right track with General Manager Mike Lombardi in charge of the front office. Cleveland, going back to their expansion days with Butch Davis have lacked strong, experienced leadership in the front office. Browns CEO Joe Banner made what I consider to be the best move available by hiring Lombardi away from the NFL’s cable television station and website to take over the seemingly eternally struggling franchise.

 

Lombardi made an immediate impact in the draft, not reaching for a quarterback, but instead wisely staying put to draft impact OLB Barkevious Mingo, an impact pass rusher much like when former Patriots coach/executive Bill Parcells grabbed Willie McGinest to build his eventual Super Bowl defense around. The team was patient in the draft--not reaching for need--and then trading later round picks for future draft picks and moving up a round. If this sounds like the New England Patriots, remember Lombardi cut his teeth on Bill Belichick’s staff with the original Cleveland Browns franchise.

 

Another under the radar move was the draft day trade for Miami’s Davone Bess.  Bess is a quarterback’s best friend as a slot receiver with good quickness (though not high-end speed) and soft hands. Hmmm, an underappreciated Dolphins slot receiver obtained for a draft pick?  Sounds like another Belichickian move with hints of the 2007 trade for Wes Welker. This gives the Browns two quality, young outside receivers in Josh Gordon and Greg Little, with a veteran slot receiver.  If free agent acquisition David Nelson--formerly of the Buffalo Bills--is healthy, the Browns have a solid group of wide receivers.

 

The Browns now have made strides on offense under Lombardi at wide receiver, have second year back Trent Richardson looking to build off his rookie season and back-ups Montario Hardesty and Brandon Jackson,, and an offensive line built around all-world left tackle, Joe Thomas, who is probably the best player in the NFL that most fans wouldn’t know.  

 

Adding Mingo to the defense on one side to rush the quarterback can only help the unit, and former Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger who was added in free agency should give the Browns a solid quarterback hunting crew, but the best pick-up could be defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Brought in by new coach Rob “Chud” Chudzinski, Horton is bringing the 3-4 base defense to Cleveland and a mind-set of attacking the offense and dictating the game, rather than reacting to the offense. That mindset was evident by the other big free agent signing, defensive tackle Desmond Bryant, who--his world’s worst mug-shot notwithstanding--was a judicious signing for below market value. Add in the return of young potential stars nose tackle Phil Taylor and cornerback Joe Haden, and the defense could be a pleasant surprise in 2013.

 

The big question in Cleveland is the quarterback position, as last year’s front office drafted quarterback Brandon Weeden in the first round in a move roundly criticized on the NFL Network by none other than current Browns General Manager Mike Lombardi. While not drafting a quarterback this year, the Browns did trade back-up quarterback Colt McCoy away.  Weeden’s biggest problem was that he was a 28 year old rookie, so there is no time to wait for him to grown into the role.  

 

With Pat Shurmur’s west coast offense out the window and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner running the offense (just a side note: Norv is a terrible head coach, but a fantastic offensive coordinator--some coaches are not meant to Captain the ship, but can be the best First Mate in the fleet, and that is Turner) there has to be nowhere to go but up.  Nothing-but-a-backup free agent signee Jason Campbell was signed, but the interesting pick-up was former New England Patriots clipboard holder Brian Hoyer. Lombardi once said on NFL Network that the Browns should have traded for Hoyer and put him in ahead of prior starter Colt McCoy.

 

With extra picks in 2014, the Browns could be planning to grab their quarterback from next year’s draft, and even if they do, either Weeden, Campbell or Hoyer could potentially surprise and bump Cleveland up into the Wild Card mix. With an improving defense, a strong running game, and two dynamic young wide receivers, a game manager at quarterback who protects the ball could be all Cleveland needs right now. Either way, after 11 wins over the past two years, this year’s squad looks ready to aim quite a bit higher in 2013.

 

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ButtFumble and Fumbling His Butt

No week is complete without a New York Jets player or coach causing some kind of news.  This week embattled Quarterback Mark “Dirty” Sanchez went out of his way to make sure that the pressure of competing for his job this summer was not going to let him down.  Oh no, instead video footage emerged at TerezOwens.com with the Sanchise getting down and dirty with his butt-naked and dancing with the ladies at a house party.  

Nice to see the Jets offensive leader is taking advantage of the offseason to work being offensive, since there is no offense between the harsh-marks except offending the sensibilities of fans of proper execution of plays and scoring touchdowns.

 

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OK, that’s all I have for today.  Thanks as always for reading! Have a superb summer weekend (unless you are in the southern hemisphere and are in the dead of winter, in which case you’re probably cursing me and flipping the bird to the computer screen).

Q-o-t-D 6/22/13 Tags: NHL Stanley Cup Finals Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks

 

So the series is tied at 2 games each...Both teams have lost on home ice...Which team do you think is going to take the Cup?

 

 

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