Monday, November 30, 2009

Around the Association


Sources reported that the Sixers and Allen Iverson met for two hours on Monday. I’m still not sure what took two hours. Iverson is looking for a starting job and the Sixers are looking for anything to spark life into their 5 and 12 team. This is a no-brainer. Allow Iverson to come back and end his career where it all began and sell a couple more jerseys while their at it.


The New Jersey Nets are staring history straight in the face. Their historic march to the worst team in the NBA is well on the way. Their first real test is Wednesday against the formidable Dallas Mavericks. This will be the first test of their ineptitude. A loss Wednesday would clinch the worst start in history at 0-18. After that, all that remains is eight. That is how many wins they must finish with to clinch the worst overall season, surpassing the 9-73, 1972-73 76ers. Their magic number is 57.


Rumor has it that GM Kiki Vandeweghe will take over the head coaching job for the New Jersey Nets. Del Harris will be a coach alongside Vandeweghe who has limited bench experience. This begs the question, why not just have Del Harris as the head coach. It makes it a lot easier to fire the head coach when he is not also the general manager. The Nets should take this lesson from the Knicks during the less than desirable Isaiah Thomas era.

Wallace Fined

While it is not news when Rasheed Wallace gets a tech, it may be news when I out and out agree with him. Wallace received a fine for his “verbal abuse” of referees after the Toronto game on Friday night. His frustration with flopping and ticky-tack fouls happens to also be the annoyance of all that watch NBA games. The NBA needs to allow for a tad more emotion than is allowed. You have grown men playing a physical sport. Things are meant to get heated. That’s when the sport is at its best. Officials are too quick with the whistles. Sadly, I don’t see a revolution starting with a Rasheed Wallace sound bite.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hot Stove

Sammy Sosa’s most surprising secret may not be his alleged steroid use but the fact that he is actually a white man. That and the fact that the McCourts were not the happiest couple in the world, well nothing surprises me anymore. Here are some updates from the little birdie we call the hot stove.

Red Sox

It looks as though the Sox will keep Victor Martinez, lending the question of what to do about Jason Varitek. If he does return they may want to use the DH for his spot. Varitek hit .209 last year. This is well within the range of any Red Sox pitcher to hit.

Milton Bradley

While the money owed to him was supposed to be a hurdle, is reporting that Milton Bradley trade talks are heating up. Milton Bradley would go to the Blue Jays. The Mets would get Lyle Overbay. And the Cubs would get Luis Castillo. If this goes through it would be an even trade across the board. The Mets would get a first baseman if the decomposing Carlos Delgado does not return. The Blue Jays would get a solid outfielder that may or may not implode their team. And the Cubs would get far away from Milton Bradley.

No Replay

Baseball general managers failed to vote on expanding the use of instant replay. I for one am thrilled for the news. I may be in the minority here but instant replay in baseball needs to be slowly brought in. Granted the games pace would be perfect for side bars on the correct call but the culture of baseball would falter. Ghost tags on a double play, fooling the ump on a close play, even a great pickoff move that may be slightly illegal are all plays that teams and players count on. If these and other examples would disappear the game and players would suffer for it.

Around the Association

Iverson is acting up, the Clippers and Knicks are horrible, and Stephen Jackson is pouting. Things are pretty normal in the NBA this week.


One thing we can count on this season is that pundits, commentators, announcers, and Craig Sager will all hit us over the head with the fact that the 2010 class of free agents is the greatest class of all freaking time. One free agent in particular will be under a microscope. LeBron James will be dissected for any hints of his intentions to flee Cleveland.

This past weekend, King James claimed that he will choose his next team based on their chance of winning. I would think this would preclude the Knicks from the discussion but you never know. Sure they will have the cap space for a generous offer but there are no guarantees that any supporting cast would like to join LeBron in one of the two worst teams in the NBA.


This brings me to the end all be all of horrible franchises. The Clippers started off the season with evidence that god does not like them. This came in the form of injury to their latest first round pick Blake Griffin. Things looked promising when they were able to cap off three consecutive wins. That all came to a halt on Monday night when they were pummeled, at home, to the Hornets, by 28 points. On paper the Clippers look like a seven or eight seed. But it’s hard to win when you are pre-ordained to be miserable by a higher power.

Stephen Jackson

In his latest effort to get traded, Stephen Jackson’s agent Mark Stevens made public attacks on Warriors head coach Don Nelson and questioned his trustworthiness. It seems that Jackson has had about enough of the Warriors and really wants to leave. He probably could have helped himself out by not signing a three year $28 million contract. If things have gone south, the best way to get what you want is not to scream and shout like…wait, no that is precisely how you get what you want in the NBA. Look for Jackson to be traded shortly.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yankees Win...Again

The Yankees win again. That is a lot like a fat kid eating a pastrami sandwich in front of a homeless shelter. While the rest of us have to abide by the “wait till next year” chant, New York faithful are busy thinking of a better, more improved lineup next year. The lump in my throat is the knowledge that John Lackey is available this winter and we could very well see a stronger Yankee team with more than three starters in the playoffs. This is a thought that will keep me up at nights.

The Phillies are fine. There is no need to jump ship yet. They still have the second best lineup in baseball and will concentrate on their bullpen and pitching staff this off-season. Hell, if they just took Brad Lidge outback that would net them five extra wins next season easy.

While I am sad that the baseball season is no more, I am stoked to give out some very prestigious awards:

The Scott Brosius Award for Least Likely MVP – Hideki Matsui

If you would have told me that Matsui would win the World Series MVP a week ago I would have called you a liar. They just don’t give those out to designated hitters. Well except for 2004 when Manny Ramirez won it. He is essentially a DH that walks around left field for nine innings.

World Series Foot-in-the-mouth Award – Cole Hamels

Mental note: Never insinuate that you may be quitting if you live or work in, at, on, or around the city of Philadelphia. It may be the City of brotherly love but they will kill you in your sleep if they think you’re not trying.

That’s the last time we will see him in a meaningful game Award – Pedro Martinez

While he made the Yankees his daddy, he now has to ask his mommy if he can pitch next season.

Done celebrating because I will be a Blue Jay next year Award – Johnny Damon

Look for the Yanks to upgrade over the whithered outfielder. He has a very slim chance of coming back to New York, unless of course the Yankees are just giving money away. Oh, WAIT.

What a difference a year makes Award– Cole Hamels and Alex Rodriguez

Last fall Cole Hamels was described as Sandy Koufax, wrapped in Bob Gibson, enveloped with bacon, and stuffed in a Christmas stocking. Now he just leaves hanging curveballs to anyone who asks for them. Rodriguez on the other hand, has renewed his career. He is no longer a choke artist, steroid taking, money grubber. Well at least not in New York. The rest of America still needs more convincing.

Through 5

There you have it. Cliff Lee is the dominant ace the Phillies wanted and needed. In the end, though, it won’t be enough. Philadelphia has proven that they can score with the best of them. They just have trouble stopping the Yankee assault. This point was driven home last night.

As soon as Cliff Lee relinquishes the ball to another arm all assuredness goes out the window. The Phillies may have won game 5. Yet all they did was stay the execution. To win it all they have to face both Andy Pettitte and C.C. Sabathia. Both are seasoned big game hurlers. Philadelphia has a glaring problem from the mound.

The Phils send up Pedro Martinez in game 6. Unfortunately, they need him to pitch all 9 if they have a chance to force game 7. Yankee hitters proved they can get to the bullpen in a hurry. If they do play Thursday, they send up Cole Hamels, a player that indicated recently that he just wanted the series to be over. Receiving flack from teammates and the city of Philadelphia, Hamels has recently backtracked on those comments. In the end however, you need a fearless pitcher to command a game 7. The Yankees will have that in tonnage in Sabathia. The Phillies will be hoping Hamels can keep the score down enough for Cliff Lee to close out the game. That is no strategy for success.