Tagged with "NEWS"
Sports Friday with Hal: Marching out of March
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes

Happy Friday!


Big football news in New England today as the Patriots freed up a chunk of salary cap money and ended another round of contentious negotiations with defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.  All the bad-mouthing and locker cleaning out turned out to be all posturing by Wilfork. He had no leverage and with Green Bay defensive tackle B.J. Raji getting shafted in free agency, his agent knew his only hope was to try to rile up the fan base to get public support to get his way.  


The team ends up reducing his cap number like they wanted, protect themselves if he bounces back by extending him, and then they can unload him easily if he washes out and cannot come back from injury.  The deal ends up working out just like it would have had it been done before free agency. There was little market for a 32 year-old defensive tackle who missed almost an entire season due to an Achilles injury. If his agent wants to babble that he had “other offers” to save face, so be it. The real deal is he to rework his contract to have any hope of earning what he wanted and saving face in public.


* * *


Despite fighting it, I ended up spending Thursday night watching college basketball between flipping to watch the Boston Bruins defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 in a Stanley Cup Finals rematch.  Chicago is still one of the best teams in the NHL...just so much speed on offense.  Boston got a great game out of goalie Tuukka Rask and was able to play with a lead.  Their young defensemen may not have the experience teams want in the playoffs, but their speed and athleticism was evident tonight and a great sign for the upcoming playoffs for Boston.


Oh yeah, NCAA March Madness basketball. Wisconsin in a yawner, but the Dayton-Stanford game was fantastic. It is simply addictive rooting for the underdogs. I do not have a “favorite” as I attended a Division III college.  Was loving seeing San Diego State in the Sweet Sixteen as well and an exciting team to root for against Arizona. Hoping I stay awake for the second half!


* * *


* Hated to see free agent defensive end Shaun Phillips sign with Tennessee...he would have been a great fit in New England. The Patriots need a defensive end as both Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones played over 1,000 snaps each last season and were visibly worn down at the end of the season. A veteran free agent and early round draft pick seems like the right move.


* There was a horrible nine-alarm fire in the Back Bay of Boston Wednesday that saw two Boston firefighters lose their life in the line of duty. I heard Tom Brady on the radio talking about it as he was just a few building down from the brownstone on fire. It was weird to see on the news as it was around the corner from where I worked for almost a decade.  Of course, that is also around the corner from the Boston Marathon finish line where the terrorist attack took place last April.


I was impressed by Brady on the radio expressing his condolences for the families of the firefighters and talking about the first responders as the true heroes.  It is on one hand an easy public relations call, but so many athletes and celebrities continually put their foot in their mouth.


He sounded (and looked in the pictures that came out) seriously concerned about his neighbors. It should not be news when an athlete actually does the right thing and says the right thing. But I guess that is kind of a state of the world in 2014. But kudos for Brady for at least saying the right thing.


* Speaking of quarterbacks, reports out of Philadelphia indicate former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will likely sign with the Eagles. I saw Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (formerly of the Boston Herald) tweeted it as did Jason La Canfora of CBS. Of course, Philadelphia backup quarterback Michael Vick signed with the Jets last week. Both teams got rid of an overpriced veteran who had no role on the team to come back to. Is that a win-win or a lose-lose?


* The Miami Dolphins got a great bargain in free agency grabbing Denver’s Knowshon Moreno. A 1,000 yard rusher for $3 million for one year is a heck of a deal.  Bad news for Maurice Jones-Drew, Chris Johnson, and LeGarrette Blount.  NFL teams are just not going to spend for a running back not named Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, or Adrian Peterson anymore.


Denver is going with second-year back Montee Ball who they drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft last year. Even the running backs already signed got low money as neither Donald Brown or Toby Gerhart broke the bank in free agency. Ben Tate got some money from Cleveland, but nothing excessive. Also, Darren McFadden took a huge paycut to stay in Oakland.


Too many teams are passing teams these days and the ability to plug in young running backs gets easier and easier as more running backs come from pro-style offenses and run out of pistol and spread formations in college.


* Baltimore running back Ray Rice was indicted today for his assault on his fiancee last month in Atlantic City.  Another off-field violence issue by a former athlete barely raises an eyebrow these days. Is that an indictment on society or sports? Or both? Allegedly police have surveillance video of Rice knocking her out. If that is the case, he could be in a world of trouble. Nothing pisses me off like professional athletes (heck any guy) hitting a woman. No place for that BS, Ray Rice!


* The Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. passed away week. Wilson worked hard to compete in a small market and keep his team in Buffalo, NY.  The move to branch out to Toronto and tap that market was a wise move, but questions remain if the team will stays or moves in the next few years. Personally, I hate the idea of the NFL losing an original AFL franchise and such a storied franchise. Smaller markets like Buffalo and Green Bay give the league character it desperately needs.


OK, that’s all for today!  Thanks as always for stopping by. (And a belated Happy Birthday to Sully!)


Sports Friday with Hal: St. Paddy Signed by Oakland
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes

Happy Friday, Gabbers!  Been knee-deep in NFL football free agency through ESPN, NFL Network, Twitter, Facebook, sports talk radio, etc all week since free agency kicked off and it is simply exhausting.  Crazy rumors, failed physicals, releases, contract re-workings, fake Twitter signings, agents using “NFL Insiders” to drive up client values, visits, and more all in the first few days. It’s exhausting.


Of course, there is NBA basketball (the Celtics keep losing, Rajon Rondo seems to be trying to finagle a trade, and ping-pong balls keep piling up), NCAA tourneys (too many teams to follow them all but the March Madness is nearing invasion time), NHL hockey (The Bruins finally woke up and are challenging Pittsburgh), and Spring Training MLB baseball (Xander Bogaerts watch is in full effect in Boston).


Still, in New England the news is all about the New England Patriots making a splash in free agency and signing all-world cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis now is playing for the coach he referred to as “a jerk” not too long ago. That should make for some fun in the locker room. That said, what a coup for the Patriots.  This is the type of signing that seemingly NEVER happens with the Patriots...its the trade for the “value” player coming off a down season, not the best player at his position at a premium price. Did losing the AFC Championship Game two years in a row wake up the Patriots front office? Stay tuned.


The NFL free agency was all about the cornerbacks as ridiculous money was thrown around. And the offensive linemen cashed in early in free agency as well.  It was the running backs and wide receivers who have been slow to come off the board. Like the NFL draft, the teams are prioritizing the trenches on both sides of the ball and pass coverage players. Like the shortage of running backs, quarterbacks, and wide receivers coming off the board early, the league is leaning that way with free agency as well.


Speaking or Revis and cornerbacks, what was with cornerback Alterraun Verner. With all the mad money tossed around, he signed with Tampa Bay for $14 million guaranteed and only 4 years for $25.5 million.  For the second best cornerback who is both young and without a lot of miles on his legs to take such a weak contract. The Bucs also loaded up with tackle Anthony Collins, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, defensive end Michael Johnson, tight end Brandon Myers, and quarterback Josh McCown. New coach Lovie Smith is certainly getting every player he asks for in free agency.


The Philadelphia Eagles made the best trade, as they snagged running back Darren Sproles from the New Orleans Saints. What a fit for Chip Kelly’s offense! The Eagles got him for nothing...well, technically a fifth round draft pick. Not even their draft pick. The draft pick they got from New England for the useless defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga. Now that is some shrewd maneuvering by the Eagles.


The Denver Broncos have bounced back from their Super Bowl loss with a binge of epic proportions in free agency. Ex-Cowboy DE Demarcus Ware, ex-Patriot CB Aqib Talib, and ex-Brown S TJ Ward all joined Denver on day one. However, they did lose WR Eric Decker (an underrated loss) and G Zane Beadles (another underrated loss).


Speaking of binging, this weekend is St. Patrick’s Day weekend, which in the Boston area translates as: “All College students in Boston drink more than usual”. Actually, it is a big holiday for me.  Despite marrying a fine lass whose last name was O’Shaughnnessey, my Scottish/Polish heritage did not have many Irish holidays being celebrated. Fortunately, my best friend since kindergarten is a fine Irish lad (Irish both sides as he proudly proclaims) so since high school I have been fortunate to celebrate the holiday with their family.


The St. Patricks Day holiday to me is the signal of spring, as baseball nears opening day and the weather finally turns from this horrendous winter to spring and all its trappings. Spring training is such a great time with so many teams optimistic about the coming season. From Arizona and Florida come so many reports of twisted ankles, elbow soreness, and--of course--the dreaded “best shape of his life” reports.


The great stories of spring are rolling in and one of my favorite is that reports and whispers are that shortstop Stephen Drew is indicating to teammates that he regrets turning down a $14 million qualifying offer from the Red Sox this off-season. Which makes sense since no one has made the type of offer his agent, Scott Boras, seemed to anticipate.


OK, on that happy note, I’m done for the week. Thanks as always for stopping by and have a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

Sports Friday with Hal: Around the NFL
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes

Happy Friday! It is March and the freeze of February is finally over. NFL free agency is just around the corner and teams are preparing to make their major moves to improve before the draft. Let’s make a quick run through the NFL and get ready fro free agency and the draft:


In Minnesota, the Vikings are trying to determine if they make an offer to keep Matt Cassel after he got out of his contract to get to free agency. With Christian Ponder still eating up space on the roster, the Vikings have a tough choice whether to dare going into another season without a quarterback who actually gives the team a chance to win. Picking eighth in the draft, Minnesota could take a quarterback, but they may be gun shy after the Ponder debacle. They basically had no wins with quarterbacks not named Cassel last year, so they may be forced to overpay for the former New England backup, especially with the Houston Texans indicating interest.


Cleveland is in a similar situation as former first round draft pick Brandon Weeden stinking out the joint, the Browns have the tough choice regarding grabbing a quarterback or praying that a former New England backup can do the job. Former Patriot Brian Hoyer led the Browns to two wins in 2013 before being lost for the year due to a knee injury. Of course, that was 50% of their wins, so that is kind of impressive.


The Jacksonville Jaguars are picking third in the draft this season and look ready to finally move past the horrible Chad Henne/Blaine Gabbert duo that has grossly underperformed the past two seasons.  One name not heard about much is Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. It seems improbable the Sanchize is back in New York next year, but will there be a market for him when the Jets inevitably part ways with him?


Moving past the quarterbacks, the New Orleans Saints are rumored to be shopping some veterans on offense. Running back Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas and wide receiver Lance Moore are reportedly available for teams in trades.  The Saints are trying to free up about $9 million in cap space without just releasing their playmakers. The Saints need to get younger and more athletic on both sides of the ball in a hurry to not be left in the dust by Carolina, San Francisco, and Seattle.


The Saints of course need to pay tight end Jimmy Graham who is likely off the market with their offer sheet. To get Graham, a team has to give New Orleans two first round draft picks. Of course, most likely to happen is that a team will let New Orleans know they are interested and work out a trade. Would the Saints be willing to listen? For sure, this team is rebuilding on the fly and Graham is basically a large wide receiver (no blocking ability at all).


The Buffalo Bills did not tag safety Jairus Byrd who is going to be one of the big money signings in free agency. Whether it is in Buffalo remains to be seen.


Atlanta signed former Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora last year thinking he was the final piece in the puzzle to move on to the Super Bowl. Whoops. At 32, he is no spring chicken, but Atlanta is in a tough spot. Are they a bounce-back team? Are they rebuilding? Either way, over $3 million in cap space for a player who should be a third down pass rusher at this stage is steep. According to reports he is being asked to take a significant pay cut. Will he? That’s the question. If not, there is another pass rusher on the market.


Denver released greybeard cornerback Champ Bailey and freed up $10 million dollars. Champ may be full of self confidence and think he is worth all that money at 36 after an injury filled season. Bailey had a Lisfranc sprain that slowed him most of the season and is looking at a low, one year salary to prove himself still capable. Not the market he is looking for in free agency. Of course, Denver now becomes the favorite in the Darrelle Revis sweepstakes to make one last push for the Super Bowl next season.


Good news for New England as their center Ryan Wendell is a free agent. The Colts surprisingly cut their starting center Samson Satele. At 29, Satele is an unrestricted free agent and the Patriots can move on from their weak link in the middle of the offensive line.


One replacement for cornerback is off the market for New England if they cannot re-sign cornerback Aqib Talib. The Miami Dolphins signed cornerback Brent Grimes to a four year $32 million contract with half the money guaranteed. Grimes came to Miami on a one year prove it deal and proved it as he was a top ten cornerback last year bouncing back from missing the 2012 season.


Speaking of the Dolphins, they need a huge upgrade on the offensive line. The Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito mess leaves a bad offensive line even weaker. They need both tackle positions filled and at least one guard and some depth. Young quarterback Ryan Tannehill has looked impressive, but if he has no running game or time to throw, the Dolphins will never get over the hump to the playoffs.


Took a look at the running backs in free agency.  No superstars, but a lot of solid backs. Donald Brown of the Colts and Ben Tate of the Texans are looking to be a top back and paid as such, as is the resurgent LeGarrette Blount who resurrected his career in New England.  Add in the always injured Darren McFadden of the Raiders, Green Bay’s James Starks, Jacksonville back Maurice Jones-Drew, the Broncos Knowshon Moreno, former Steeler Rashard Mendenhall, the Giants’ Andre Brown, the Vikings Toby Gerhart, and former Jaguar and Raider Rashad Jennings.  One of these backs could be a breakout star, or two of them, or all of them...heck, maybe none of them. The depth will keep the prices down, which is good for teams trying to keep their backs or fall in love with another back.  There is a reason they are available...but there are some good backs who can contribute to a team in 2014 on the market.


One back who may end up on the market is Ravens back Ray Rice. Last seen dragging his unconscious fiancee out of an elevator in Atlantic City, it may be difficult for the Ravens to keep him on the team. Whether the team eventually releases him depends on what plays out in the courts. Most likely, he will pay his way out of trouble and the Ravens have to weigh if they are going let public opinion sway their decision.


Finally, following the surprise release of linebacker D’Qwell Jackson last week, he ended up with an $11 million guarantee from Indianapolis on a four year $22 million contract.  Jackson was good, but not great in Cleveland and again the Colts seem to be overpaying for scraps from Cleveland. Last year they inexplicably traded a first round pick for running back Trent Richardson who was a huge disappointment. At least Jackson only costs the Colts money and cap space.  

Sports Friday with Hal: The NFL has no off-season
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Football Free agency draft news notes

Happy Friday, all!  Amazingly, it is just a pinch over five months until the 2014 NFL season kicks-off at the preseason Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH on August 3rd. Just over a week until the NFL teams are able to negotiate with other team’s free agents prior to the signing period starting on March 11th. The NFL Draft is pushed back to May this year, but even that is only nine weeks away.


With the news of an increase in the salary cap to close to $132 million there will be a number of teams with more space to overpay free agents. This is interesting because of the last collective bargaining agreement between the players and league followed an uncapped year and immediately the league had a number of stagnant cap seasons that seemed to belie the league’s success.  Finally, this year the cap finally rose as many expected it would three years ago.


The NFLPA is already readying for the next labor war as former Carolina Panthers defensive end Sean Gilbert is out and campaigning to run against NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith.  Gilbert has been making the rounds and planning to get out of the current CBA.  The election is next year, but the ten year deal is suddenly in jeopardy with another work stoppage in 2015 if Gilbert is elected.


Free agents are starting to ink deals now as left tackle Jordan Gross unexpectedly retired. Gross was an All-Pro and Pro Bowl multiple times in Carolina.  This is a huge hole for a team that was close to contending in 2013.


Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski was in the news after saying on a radio show that he did not think prospect quarterback Johnny Manziel is not a good  prospect. Jaworski is one of the best quarterback analysts (in my opinion at least--I NEVER miss him on NFL Matchup during the season) on the air and knows his passers. I do not see the controversy...I feel the same way as I watched him this season at Texas A&M and was not impressed. He was a great college quarterback...just like Tim Tebow.


The Philadelphia Eagles set the wide receiver market with a five year $25 million for wide receiver Riley Cooper.  At the same time they are trying to decide to re-sign wide receiver Jeremy Maclin whose knee injury opened up the position for Cooper to step up.  Hard to predict that Cooper would cash in after having nearly been booted off the team for his training camp racial slur scandal.


The Eagles also locked up their left tackle Jason Peters and extended center Jason Kelce.  For Kelce, a sixth round draft pick, the six year $37 million contract is the payoff for a lot of hard work to work his way from being a fringe roster player to an elite interior offensive lineman.


The New Orleans Saints look to be on the verge of franchise tagging tight end Jimmy Graham. The two sides are far apart on a deal and New Orleans would be insane to let him on the open market.  What is interesting will be where he is tendered as a franchise player. The difference is a couple million dollars so it will be interesting to see how that plays out this summer.


The Cleveland Browns released long-time linebacker D’Qwell Jackson after just two seasons into his signing a big money extension. Jackson excels in pass coverage at linebacker so he should have quite a market in free agency. Of course, there was a reason he was released by a four-win team (he has been terrible against the run the past two seasons and adds little to the pass rush) and if someone overpays they will likely be in the same boat as Cleveland in a year or two.


Of course, the NFL off-season is always full of controversy.  Arizona almost lost the Super Bowl next year due to their discriminatory anti-gay bill. The NFL showed their muscle in the political arena by putting pressure on the state government. The NFL (and particularly the Arizona Cardinals) pushed hard to strike down Bill 1026 in order to keep the Super Bowl. Remember, the NFL stopped Arizona from having a Super Bowl due to their not recognizing Martin Luther King Jr Day in the past.


Other bad news for the NFL came with former NFL player and NFL Network analyst Darren Sharper stands accused of drugging and raping several women. The news now is that he is suspected of raping seven women. He was arrested initially in Los Angeles and now has an arrest warrant in New Orleans. He is under investigation in Florida, Arizona, and Las Vegas as well.


For Sharper it is his job gone and now potentially his freedom.  If he is guilty then it is a tragic waste of a life. I do not understand or want to know what is going on in his head, but if he is responsible for this he is a sad, sick individual.


Speaking of wasted lives: former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was back in the news. A fight in jail--allegedly attacking an inmate who was in handcuffs--and he ended up in isolation for 30 days. Another odd twist in this ongoing saga for the former NFL player.


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.

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