Some People's Kids: 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Yeah! Wait... What? No!

As you all know by now there is both good and bad news in the land of snow and mediocre sports teams. The good news is that Randy Wittman is out of a job. The bad news is that Kevin McHale is now the leader of this ragged band of malcontents. The good news is McHale is no longer the G.M. or "V.P. of basketball operations" or whatever title they used for the job of the dude in charge of throwing the franchise's future down the drain. The bad news is the trapezoid of idiocy is still intact and in charge of makeing all of the wrong descisions off the court while McHale handles the on-court part.

I think Sam Mitchell or Eddie Jordan would have made for better coaches and an actuall GM would have been nice. I don't know why McHale gets the Isaiah Thomas treatment. Worse yet we didn't even get the satisfaction of public ultimatum like James Dolan gave Thomas. Glen taylor might actually think this is a good idea and not just a way to justify something that the rest of the world thought was already justifiable. McHale should have been out the door with Whittman.

So far McHale has twice replaced a coach with a worse one. For all of our sake I hope he goes 3 for 3 in that particular category. These players need to go 0-62 the rest of the season if they want the ineptitude of this team to end. Al Jefferson needs to study tape of KG's career, but he needs to focus on the stuff that happened off the court and realize the reason(s) why a player so great could only get past the first round once in Minnesota. Losing tonight was a start, Al, but you and your boys have a long way to go if you want to win in the future.

My dream is that Glen Taylor rip out the entire front office (sans secretaries, ect.) and start from scratch. If he wants he can keep Fred Hoiberg as Assistant GM, but only as long as he gets a real GM to come and work for him. We need someone who has a coach in mind (someone who can invent a system in which the players we have play to and beyond their full potential) won't deal with mediocre players under the table, won't constantly draft a better player and imediatly trade them away and someone who actually has a plan for the future that doesn't include sweater shopping and fishing at the top of the list.

Randy Wittman and his career .326 win percentage (which got worse every year he coached) is gone and Kevin McHale has (presumably) lost his decision making power, so the team is moving in the right direction. If they want to get me to think about buying an actual ticket to one of these games they need go all the way and blow up the front office and start from scratch. If they take that last sentance literally I will buy a ticket.

I may write again. I may not. Just couldn't fully wrap my head around this conundrum and needed to put it down somewhere.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It Was a Nice Ride While It Lasted

Rumors of the Patriots demise weren't greatly exaggerated. Or so it seems to this guy anyways. I know that people shouldn't take too much out of one week in the long NFL season. This is not just one week. This will be the entire season.

Some thought that this juggernaut would just run on unleaded rather than the premium it did under Mr. Jissele. People thought Matt Cassel would be able to handle the reigns because he had been the backup for 3 years and, by god, he better have the offense pretty well down pat. Those people failed to see that there was an outstanding, young, hungry Miami Dolphin team coming to town to take down the Belicheck's. Nothing says "on the cusp of greatness" like 0-2 this year fresh off a 1-15 season a year ago. Okay, that "young, outstanding, and hungry" part was a gross exaggeration. The Dolphins are a brutally bad football team, but you could never tell it from the lambasting that they gave the Patriots this past Sunday, making it look easy in a 38-13 road domination. What? How did that happen? Even bad/mediocre teams drill the Dolphins from week to week. Hell, perennial doormat Arizona over matched them just last week, cruising to a 31-7 victory. The Patriots will kill the Miami Dolphins and won't even break a sweat doing it. They hadn't lost a regular season game since 2006, against the Dolphins.(total coincidence) And NOBODY wins in Foxboro!

These things didn't mean shit this weekend and the Patriots were officially exposed. Exposed as old, slow, and unable to adjust. They were even out-coached, which seems like blasphemy to people who have seen "Hey, who's the Dirtball in the Sweatshirt?" coach before. Now, I know that these players haven't seen the option since college, but almost everyone should have seen that form of offense by now. The Dolphins did this throughout the game, and the Patriots simply failed to adjust whatsoever at any point in the game, getting embarrassed in the process. You just let a guy score 5 touchdowns on you, mostly lining up at Quarterback where he proceeded to throw a touchdown pass left handed. You just got pummeled by a team who's best player is playing with a freshly reconstructed knee and you got flat outsmarted by one of the Soprano's, errr.. Sparano's. That ship sunk the minute Tom Brady crumbled to the ground in agony. This collection of extremely aging veterans needed to do it this year, if not last year. Now I know that any team with a healthy Tom Brady is a contender but no longer with they be the class of the NFL like we have come to know the Patriots as. Mark my words, until they get younger, we have seen the end of a dynasty. No more straight Class, homey

So, who will take they reigns from the Patriots. It could just be America's Team. Dallas is scary good. This week, the Cowboys toyed with the Green Bay Packers en route to starting 3-0 on the young season. I say "toyed" because Terrell Owens had a whopping 17 yards receiving and their second best receiver, Patrick Crayton was shut out completely and they still found a way to win by 11 points in Lambeau. Something called Miles Austin picked up the slack by hauling in 2 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.

In the past, many people have had their issues with how the owner of the Cowboys, Jerry Jones, runs his teams, engaging in almost everything and being a constant presence on the sidelines, but you have to take your hate off to the man. He has assembled an amazing squad. If you look up and down the roster, the 'Boys have possible all-pros at every position, both offensively and defensively. Everybody knows about Me-O, Romo, Witten, and Roy Williams, but what people might not realize is just how incredibly well Dallas has drafted over the past 4-5 years. Its staggering. Getting Demarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, and Marion Barber in the same year in 2005. Getting Felix Jones and, who some say was the best DB in the draft this past year, Michael Jenkins from South Florida. They are just stock piling players at every position. Its not only been via the draft either, as Free Agency has played a great role in the revival of this team. Even though they drafted Michael Jenkins, they still felt the need to go out and get strip club aficionado, Pacman Jones to shore up an already strong secondary consisting of Anthony Henry and Terrance Newman. The rich get richer, I guess. This is an embarrassment of riches. Its a shame that none of this talent means squat until they get to the playoffs and actually win a game. They could go 16-0 and people would still not care if they get knocked out early like they have done every playoffs since 1996.

I think this is the year. They are just too good and I can only see them getting better when the newcomers get more accustomed to the system. I'm officially on the bandwagon, as I'm always a sucker for great offenses.

Speaking of great offenses... Anyone not notice the transformation that Denver has made this year? They have seemingly come out of nowhere to become one of the 1 or 2 most explosive offenses in the NFL this year. It's that offense thats has them at 3-0 so far this season, albeit with the help of a painstakingly bad gaff by Ed Holculi in the San Diego game. They have all the right pieces in place, excluding only maybe a stud running back. But when you have that great of a passing game, you can run the ball just from the respect they other team has to afford to the aerial attack. They have averaged the most points in the entire league through 3 games and although they are probably near the bottom in points allowed, they do just enough to scrape by for the win.

This is just another glaring example of how the NFL draft is so flawed and basically a crap shoot. Jay Cutler is quickly becoming the best quarterback from the 2006 draft class which included much more highly touted Vince Young and Matt Leinart. How the Vikings didn't trade up with St. Louis (with Scott Linehan!) to get this guy which would have filled to most glaring need on the ball club, I will never know. Instead they, like the 31 other teams, watched as Denver made the trade to get Cutler and proceeded to rebuild an entire offense in just the first three picks of the 2006 Draft. After Cutler, the Broncos next two picks that year were their current tight end Tony Scheffler and a guy who has become probably the second best receiver in the league, Brandon Marshall... in the 4th Round. (Talk about good drafts!) While the unpredictability of the NFL draft can drive fans crazy, it also gives us examples of what one good, calculated draft can do for a franchise. And while Denver won't do much in the playoffs(and they WILL get there) because of their awful defense, the early returns are....Impressive. Hats off to the Orange Crush.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember This Guy?

Anybody? Anybody?

Anybody remember this Vince Young? The confident, if not sometimes cocky, Vince Young? The Vince Young who won a national championship with his whole team(shit, the entire state of Texas) on his back? The Vince Young who almost singlehandedly beat probably one of the two or three best teams ever in college football for the 2006 National Championship?

Okay, I'll stop. You probably get the point by now.

It seems like that Vince Young has gone missing(bad pun). Literally, actually. A shell of his former self, Young took a turn for the worst this past week. In the midst of yet another sub-par performance in his team's first regular season game of the 2008 season, Young was hit viscously at the knees. He lay, grimacing in pain with what would be known later as a sprained MCL. Knowing from experience, not a fun injury to deal with. Young will be out the next 2-4 weeks to recover, which is disheartening, because as bad as Vince has been, the Titans now have to rely of Kerry Collins for a month. This wouldn't be such a bad thing, but you have to realize that Kerry Collins does not have the luxury of playing the Vikings every week of the season. What we didnt know at the time, and since has surfaced, is that before getting injured on that play, Young almost refused to go into the game after being booed by the home fans after another ill-advised interception. What? This guy is gonna pull a Scottie "No Tippin" Pippen on us? This is same guy who was one of the most competitive college players I have ever seen. How quickly things can change. I didn't see this one coming.

This story still keeps gaining momentum it seems, because in the past few days, another juicy morsel has been reported. It appears people became worried for Vince's safety the other night after he apparently had a meeting with a team appointed psychologist. After the talk, Young got into his Mercedes and sped off and was gone for a couple hours. Now, this doesn't seem that weird to most people. Hell, I agree that sometimes you just need to get the fuck out of dodge to clear your head. His family, however, seemed overly concerned and called the police, who in turn put out an APB for Young. When he was finally reached, he claimed to just be kickin it at a buddy's house, eating some chicken wings. This whole thing just reeks of some one who is just not into it, with the "It" in question being playing football in the NFL.

Earlier this year, Young said in an interview that he had contemplated retirement after this season, causing alot of red flags to raise. When a rich, young man who is the starting quarterback for an NFL franchise and a legend in College Football history talks about retiring after only two seasons in the league, it doesn't all add up. What is not to like about this career? I can see not liking the fame or the pressure. That's about it though. You make a shit ton(yes, I said shit ton) of money playing football, and while your performance is nit-picked by just about everyone, when it breaks down to it, no ones life is really affected if you dont perform up to par. It's not THAT hard of a job, comparatively speaking. But something else could be going on here. Something more scary then just not wanting to play football in the NFL. There could be some major depression starting to rear it's ugly head here, and that is something that everyone is hoping is not the case. As a fan, who is starting to get concerned for this guy, I hope it was just a big misunderstanding.

From the football standpoint, if this situation doesn't get resolved, Young could go down in history as being one of the worst draft picks in history. So far in his NFL career, he hasn't proven enough to completely disagree with that. He can hardly throw. He makes bad decisions. And so far, his amazing athletic ability has yet to overcome those two big disadvantages for a quarterback. And you say that the Vikings have had some bad drafts? Have they ever drafted a player with all the "tools" you could want, who turns out not to be very good at playing football?... Wait, Troy Williamson. Bad example. Okay, have they ever drafted someone who didn't come close to living up to his "potential"? Wait.. Derek Alexander. Damn, strike two. Alright, well... have they ever drafted anyone who turned out to be missing a few light bulbs upstairs?? Ha!... oh wait, Demitrius Underwood. I give up.

I miss that Vince Young from the Rose Bowl. I miss tuning in every week to see what spectacular thing he will do next. I miss seeing that will to win so strong it's appealing even watching it on TV. I hope we get to see that Vince sometime soon. Playing football. Where he belongs.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Neubie's First Half Nuggets

As the second half is set to begin tonight, there are some interesting storylines to keep an eye on in the upcoming months leading up to the playoffs. Some have been beat to death already: The Tampa Bay Devil Rays coming out party and their pursuit of their first playoff spot in franchise history, Josh Hamilton becoming the player that everyone thought he could be,(Only a few years later than expected) and the Cubs having the best shot to finally win the World Series and end the stupidity that is the Curse of the Billy Goat. Along with the storylines for the second half, there were somethings that happened in the first half that I feel need elaboration. With all the things that you hear about on ESPN, things that don't involve the Yankees, Red Sox, or Brett Farve usually get little or no air time. But there are some more than intriguing things that have flown under the radar. Here are a just a few:

The Best Trade of the Last Ten Years...
In the off-season, the Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers agreed to swap a raw, super talented kid pitcher for another super talented outfielder with a more than checkered past. Not many people made anything out of it at the time, but looking back, it may have been one of the best trades in recent memory; one that worked out amazingly for both teams. I'm talking about the Edison Volquez for Josh Hamilton swap. When I first saw this trade, I kind of shook my head. I decided that the Rangers have officially given up on having an semblance of a functioning starting rotation. They always field one of the best offenses in the game, and they are very exciting to watch because they score a ton of runs, but they never have to pitching to come close to contending. Having the story of Josh Hamilton beaten into me over the past All-Star weekend, I have kind of soured on the whole thing. Nonetheless the story is amazing. What this guy has done is awe-striking. Have only had a handful of at-bats, ever, in a minor league uniform and to be doing these kinds of things in the pros. For once, the scouts who touted him saying that he would be one of the best in the game someday, based on the skills of a high school kid, weren't wrong. In half a season, Hamilton is leading the league in RBI with 95 and is on pace for over 170 for the year. The show that he put on at the Home Run Derby was something that even brought me to my feet sitting at home in front of the TV. I can't imagine what the fans inside Yankee Stadium felt like. As for that raw, young talented pitcher that was sent the way of the Reds? He has only been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the first half of this year. Compiling a 12-3 record with a sub 2.50 era. In his first 13 starts, he hadn't given up more than 2 earned runs. So for he has been an aberration. A pitcher that does well in Cincinnati's Great American BallPark, the very definition of a hitter's park. It's not supposed to happen. He is making that possible.

Trades aren't supposed to work this well for both teams. I know, thats the premise of a trade, for it to work amazingly for both teams, but they rarely do. Usually one team gets a proven commodity and the other gets some random prospects that no one has ever heard of that you wont see in the big leagues for the next three years. This is the epitome of a fantastic trade and other teams should take note. This will be interesting to see if both these players can keep up their torrid starts. These are two of the brightest young stars in the game today and I'm personally rooting for both of them to keep amazing us as they have thus far.

Speaking of bright young stars. Tim Lincecum certainly doesn't look like a baseball player. He looks more like the guy you goofed around with in band practice during high school. I can imagine there is plenty of band members that stand 5 foot 11 and weigh 170 pounds. But I can venture to guess there aren't many who throw 99 miles an hour and have a breaking ball that buckles knees. Not many people are like Tim Lincecum. He may be one of a kind, actually. Little guys like this aren't supposed to do the things that he does. He's a truly scientific marvel. Sports Illustrated recently published an article on Lincecum breaking down and explaining the reasons why he could do such things with such a diminutive figure. They explained that it's his windup and his delivery that generates all his power. They described it as his body generating such energy and torque that, basically, his arm just comes along for the ride. This greatly reduces his propensity to injury and will, in turn, make sure we see this Marvel for years to come. The article kept making comparisons between Lincecum and Mark Prior, the oft-injured former future star of the Chicago Cubs, now with the San Diego Padres. Mark Prior was the picture-esqe prospect. Big, strong, strapping young lad with an arsenal of pitches. The Twins were even thinking the same thing when they were deciding between whether to select Prior and Joe Mauer with the 1st pick in the 2001 Amateur Draft. Maybe the Twins saw something that the rest of us did not. The article pointed out that there was obvious mechanical flaws with Priors delivery that everyone seemed to ignore, as they were clearly blinded by his somewhat more obvious frame and stature.

The ultimate quandary.. How does the 5 foot nothing outlast and outshine a 6'5" ideal pitching prospect? Another amazing storyline, although most have never heard of this flamethrower. That might be because of the fact that he plays for one of the worst teams in baseball, the San Fransisco Giants. But anyone who bothers to look at his stats so far this season won't be able to look past him anymore. So far he has an 11-2 record, a 2.57 Earned Run Average, and 135 strikeouts in a 127 innings. Thats 11-2 on one of the two or three worst teams in Major League Baseball! Impressive. Even more impressive than his stats is actually watching him pitch. It's something that I suggest everyone see for themselves. I can tell you, you won't be disappointed.

Lastly, something closer to home.

The Twins are surprising a lot of people with the way they have been playing so far this season. What I hope people aren't forgetting about is that we have a not-so-secret weapon waiting in Triple-A. Fransisco Liriano is officially back. After undergoing Tommy John Surgery over a year and a half ago, people were wondering is what they saw in 2006 was a thing of the past. That the glimpse of greatness and dominance was just a flash of light that faded away. From the sounds of things, that isn't how its going to go. From multiple reports I've come across, Liriano is back to form, maybe even more so then before. One report had him hitting 99 Mph on the radar gun, higher than I ever remember him throwing before. This can only be music to Twins' fans ears. Another problem that he had when he came back from his surgery was his command. That apparently is no more, either. Over his last 21 innings, he has only walked 3 batters, while striking out 24, and over the entire minor league season, spanning 16 starts, he has walked only 28 batters in 97 innings. Fransisco is back to his old self and one can't help but smile at that. In 2006, baseball fans saw greatness and if you are a fan of baseball whatsoever, you have to be rooting for this young man to succeed. The question now is when will we see him in a Twins uniform? The Twins current staff has been pitching very well over the past couple months, with the exception being Livan Hernandez. There doesn't seem to be a spot for Liriano in the current rotation and from what I've read, the Twins seem content with leaving Livan in there, despite his 5+ ERA and leading the league in hits allowed. Apparently there have also been talks about moving him to the bullpen as a late reliever/set up man for Joe Nathan. I couldn't care less how you get him up here, but get him up here. At first I would recommend putting him in the bullpen to get him re-accustomed to major league hitters. If he still has the talent I like to think he does, he will find his way into the rotation sooner than later. He's young and there's no rush. I want to see this kid dominate like we know he can, and if that means waiting a while before throwing him to the wolves, I'm all for it.

Over the past year, I have seen my love for baseball return. These young stars are part of the reason why. With all the steriod talk clouding over the game in recent years, the future still looks brighter than ever. How can that be? These are the reasons why. This is why I still tune in, night after night to seemingly meaningless games in the heart of July. To see things that amaze me. That is why I will keep tuning in.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fuck You NBA and Possibly Fox Sports Net Too

Today during one of the first 28 Home runs that Josh Hamilton hit I realized that tonight was the Wolves first summer league game. Then Bez informed me that I could watch the game for free on as IT WOULD NOT BE BROADCAST IN THE TWIN CITIES.

After signing up for the service and telling them the truth about who I am and where I'm from I was informed that:

This live webcast is not available in your area. Please check your local tv listings for broadcast info on this game.
Uhh, Fuck you NBA. Who in their right minds wants to watch a shittier version of the wolves except for maybe me and 3 other dudes? And who told you that this game was being broadcast somewhere where it was definitely not. All I want to do is take a look at what Kevin Love can do against bad compatition and get a feel for who our next back-up PG is going to be. (I'm afraid Bassy is so gonzo that even Hunter S. Thompson can't understand)

What can I watch instead of my beloved and shitty Wolves? O.J. fucking Mayo and the Memphis Grizzlies play the Fake Lakers. Thats some shitty shit, man. Did you plan this? Are you mocking me assholes? Whats the deal with letting me watch the player I wanted play for the wrong team but not the right team with the wrong player?
I hate everyone responsible for what occured tonight. I even tried to pretend I was from Idaho even though I knew it was a feutal attempt to see my team.

P.S. Kevin Love had 16 pts and 11 rebounds last time I looked which doesn't mean shit.

P.P.S. Amazingly Justin Morneau won the home run derby by some loophole in the rules where the man with the best proformance doesn't always get to win. Congratulations of the money and the car if you got one, but we both know Hamilton got robbed. He put on a crazy show that put my jaw on the floor for what felt like a good half hour.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Retirement is probably a good thing, Brett

If Brett Favre does come out of retirement he's only going to make it one game. The Vikings were supposed to open the season and watch Favre's jersey retired at half time. If old man river does decide to play this season the Vikings will be on hand to see the man's final retirement.

I can see it now. Just before halftime the Packers have the ball a good 60 yards from their endzone and a tie game. In the Packers huddle Farve tells Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and whoever else they throw on the field to go long. In the Vikings huddle Jared Allen tells Ray Edwards that he'll meet him at the quarterback. The addition of Madieu Williams and the maturation Cedric Griffin and Marcus McCauley leave no cracks in the secondary for Favre to laser a pass through. As is his habit Brett holds onto the ball for too long looking to make something special out of nothing. Allen and Edwards crash into Favre simultaneously. There is a *SNAP* and a fumble. The fumble is taken the 40 or so yards down the field by Kevin Williams for a touchdown. The snap is the end of the hall of famer's career.

We spend the next week listening to ESPN debate whether or not Favre ever should have come back even though they've spent all of today applauding him for his decision.

If Brett can't make a decision about retirement the Vikings will make it for him. We need Tarvaris Jackson to be the best quarterback in the NFC Central and if it has to be by default this season we'll take it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Could This Deal Have Been Done With Foye?

I think this latest draft day trade marks the end of my tenure as Wolves fan #3267. I sick of McHale fucking with my world. I'm sick of Taylor just sitting there and allowing his team to be run by a buffoon. I'm sick of Hoiberg's heard condition keeping him from ever pulling a Shawn Chacon. If I ever see McFail on the streets he's getting a face-punch. We were promised Mayo.

Look, this trade did some good in getting us a decent swing man in Mike Miller and trading away two bad contracts and a bench player in return for one bad contract and a back-up center. My problem is that O.J. Mayo is going to be a star in this league and Kevin Love will be nothing more than a solid player and McHale love slave. The Wolves trading Mayo away cements his greatness in the league. Ray Allen, Brandon Roy and now O.J. Mayo. What gets me is that Memphis is just as notorious as the Wolves for making horrible decisions. Did we even attempt to offer Randy Foye instead of Mayo? Telfair-Mayo-Miller-Love-Jefferson would have been beautiful. Then you've got a bench consisting of McCants, Gomes and Corey Brewer plus whatever is left after all is said and done.

We could have convinced the Griz that Foye was just as exceptional a player as Mayo is and known that this team would be fielding 2 potential all-stars instead of just Jefferson. This team as it is now is just going to put up 35-40 wins and leave us with the tenth pick for the rest of our lives. We had the 3rd pick in a 3 star draft and messed it up. Give me Mayo and another year of futility, another high lottery pick and a set foundation. Love-Jefferson is not a foundation.

Randy Foye is not a point, was a bad trade and this team refuses to admit it. The trade probably would have been good for Foye, too. He could have started over and relinquished that combo that everyone attaches to him. Telfair would have blossomed as a point with Mayo as his back court counterpart. McCants might not have been so agitated by his being the 6th man if there was less confusion at his position. Love and Jefferson are going to play the same position- 4 and a half. On offense Love and Jefferson will be good together with love's passing and range and Jefferson posting up but defense is another situation. Mayo would have been the defense and a few years down the road may have taken it upon himself to enforce the defensive philosophy on his teammate. Now we have a team with no real point since they'll stick with Foye through thick and thin and no true center... we've just got 2-4 covered really well.

They will flounder, just not well enough for us to ever put ourselves in the position where we can draft a potential superstar that high in the draft. Keeping Mayo might have broken the cycle of everything. I would have been the first time since 1995 that we made the right decision on draft night and kept it. That might have in turn tempted fate to allow us to move up in a draft for once. I needed Mayo more than I needed to rid this team of 'toine and Jaric.

Fuck McHale and his love for Love. A trade like this could have been made in the next month using something other than Mayo as prime piece of real estate and returned the exact same type and quality of players. Foye has trade value. Mayo has the ability to become a superstar. What we got in return is not what we needed.
I am now a Blazer's fan. They are THE FUTURE and they do it right.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Check that; he's still an Idiot

Two league sources told that the Wolves have reached an agreement in principle with the Memphis Grizzlies that will send the draft rights to Mayo, Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker and Greg Buckner to the Grizzlies in return for the draft rights to Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins.

We did unload some huge shitty contracts but, if Mayo turns out too be good this will be the worst thing ever.

I feel like I want to throw up. From all acounts the draft party down at the Target center was great, and they were all talking up Mayo, the fans were loving it. Then Kevin goes and does this shit.

All I can say is Ray Allen, and Brandon Roy.

I don't know what else to say.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I think we may not have messed that up

Pic created by undrcrwn for Adidas and found here

The Wolves successfully did not draft Brook Lopez or Kevin Love tonight. We took O.J. Mayo with the 3rd draft pick, Center Nikola Pekovic out of Mentenegro with the 1st pick of the second round and Point Guard Mario Chalmers a few picks later. This Pekovic dude is supposed to be really good. Top 10 good if not for his having signed a huge contact over in Europe. He'll be over there for a minimum of 3 years and We'll have to prove that our team is playoff caliber to lure him away from another contract over there. (The euro is killing the dollar in the market and makes it hard for the NBA's rookie scale to work while buying out a contract) If worse comes to worse his contract may be worth something to another player and it doesn't count against our cap.

Sounds like Chalmers is going to Miami for some more second round picks and cash. I don't get the Chalmers thing... I would have liked to grab DeAndre Jordan. Jordan could have turned out to be another Gerald Green, but he was worth a flier with the 34th pick or whatever it was. I've got to think that Mayo's selection signifies the end of the McCants era in Minnesota.

Stuff and Things.. Butt Mostly, Stuff.

Someone out there is a genius! This just proves that you don't need to come up with a new form of rocket science to make it rich. I was watching TV the only day when a commercial came on that I took as a Mad TV skit. This couldn't be a real product, could it? Then I did some in-depth (not really) research on the topic and found out that yes! it indeed was an actual product that you could purchase. Its called Anti- Monkey Butt Powder. For those who are not familiar with the Monkey Butt, it is referred to as to red, chapped rear end resulting from being seated and sweaty for far too long. It can also be used in reference to the phenomenon of going to the bathroom too many times with less than high quality toilet paper.(Ouch) An obvious relative of SWASS, Monkey Butt has affected too many people for far, far too long. There is an end in sight for sufferers of Monkey Butt. While I'm pretty sure its just glorified Gold-Bond or other talcum powder, its still a glorious marketing idea. And whoever came up with the slogan has my respect for the willingness to put such a sexual explicit undertone on the front of a product. It sounds like something Creepy-D Skeet might be interested in.
If anyone is interested, you can purchase it here.

Moving along.
With all the draft talk on this blog centering around the hometown team, I would like to take a minute to focus on the happenings outside of the Twin Cities. It was announced last night that the Pacers and Raptors had
come to terms on a deal that would send Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal to the Raptors for TJ Ford, RASHO, and the 17th overall selection in tonight's NBA Draft. I had heard about this trade rumor for a couple days now, but I was really hoping that Toronto wouldn't give in. From the sounds of things, there is alot of interest in TJ in numerous trades. It's apparent to everyone too that he needs to go in one form or another. Ford was lost his starting spot and 2+ months of playing time to a flagrant foul by Atlanta Hawks Forward Al Horford last year. Little known Jose Calderon took his spot and never looked back. When Ford was eligible to come back, he was open with his frustration of riding the bench. Some deals had him going to Phoenix in a deal involving Boris Diaw, while others had him going to Portland for some players and a pick. It seems, however that the Raptors have decided to take in the oft-injured Jermaine O'Neal and his contract, which stands at 2 years, and 44 Million dollars left. While TJ had to go, this was not the player to get back in return. If he is healthy, O' Neal is one of the better power forwards in the NBA, but the thing is he can NEVER stay healthy. Over the past four seasons, he has missed 122 games, or over 30 per season. So, you are telling me you are going to pay this clown 22 Million dollars to play, on average 51 games per year over the next two. Indiana is probably thrilled at this thievery. Sure, after those two years, that money will come off the books and they will have plenty of money to spend on other free agents or to re-sign stud Chris Bosh, but to me thats too much risk to take on. I have listened to some experts say that they love this trade for Toronto, but only if he can stay healthy. I can agree with them on those terms, but to that, I say "good luck." I have to see it before I can believe that one.

Of the teams in this draft, Miami, along with the Wolves, have drawn the most intrigue about what to do with their picks. Miami is a team, that with one or two players, can jump back into the top of the Eastern Conference picture again. At last check, they still have Dwayne Wade and Shawn Marion on the roster. Couple that with a young superstar at the top of this draft, and things are looking pretty good again in Miami. Many people have speculated that the Heat are decided between Mayo and Beasley with a lean towards Mayo. This would be music to my ears if Beasley falls to the Wolves at #3. While my stance on Mayo has softened considerably since an earlier post when I realized the thing that we needed the most on this squad was some star power, I would much rather have Beasley because he fills an immediate need, which is also a plus. I think its going to be a very active draft all around the league. It should be fun to watch.

A couple baseball topics before I go.

How's the saying go? "There's one in every family." Well, it appears there is one in every league now too. Shawn Chacon, journeyman pitcher, formerly of the Houston Astros was suspended indefinitely yesterday. Chacon has spent years with the Rockies, Yankees, Pirates, and now the Astros. He was suspended after doing his best Latrell Sprewell impression and choking the shit out of his general manager. As much as all of us has wanted to beat up our boss at one point in time, most of us refrain from doing so to save our lively hood and our dignity. Then there is people like Chacon, angry after being demoted to the bullpen, who decide to take matters into their own hands, literally. If you feel the absolute need to choke someone out, find the equipment manager, the ball boy or that guy who shoots the shirts into the stands, don't do it to the guy who makes decisions on whether players stay or go. This is a ticket straight out of the major leagues. Chacon, who was a decent 4th or 5th starter, is now widely considered to be done in the major leagues for good, something that relieves general managers all over the US. Every once and a while, these stories pop up in the news, whether its Latrell or Bobby Knight choking one of his players. It makes me laugh every time because these people don't realize they are committing career suicide. They will always carry that stigma around with them for as long as the play or coach. Thats, if, they ever play or coach again.

Has anyone noticed the Twins are on an 8 game winning streak? Its gone fairly unnoticed as far as I can tell. True, it was against the likes of Washington, Arizona, and San Diego. And sure, it was interleague play, where the Twins always work their National League opponents. And sure, like I told someone the other day, any team can go on a 7-8 game winning streak throughout the season. I mean, hell, the Kansas City Royals are 10-1 in their last 11 games after all. I don't expect this from this Twins team, though, which makes me even more intrigued than I already am. I think this squad has played alot better then people expected them to through this point in the season. They have some rough stretches, characteristic of a young ball club, but if they can keep this up, they might be contending for the division by the end of the season. In a stretch of 5 games this past week, the Twins faced, and beat, 4 pitchers in 5 games that had won one or multiple Cy Young Awards. It doesnt matter what teams you are playing when those are the odds against you. The main reason for their success, I think has been their starting pitching, which has compiled a 7-0 record and a 1.90 Era over the last 8 games. Some of their call ups have even done well. Alexi Casilla has seemed to figure it out, and Brian Busher is hitting .390 at last check.
I think July will say alot about this team. They have series against Texas, the Yankees, the Red Sox, The White Sox, the Indians and 2 series' against the Tigers. This should give us a good idea of where we should expect this team to finish come September.

And for our newest viewer... Hook 'Em Horns!

What Would the IMU Do?

So I'm getting pretty stoked about this draft tonight and I'm been talking to Bez while he slacks off at work. He asked me where I thought everyone would go because I was telling him I though Chad Ford's latest Mock Draft was pretty shitty. It started because of a handful of players being in what I thought was the completely wrong place in the first round, but also because He has the Wolves taking two international players and keeping them over seas in the second round. I've already stated that I think the Wolves should move up, which I'll talk about at the bottom of this, but should they keep those picks what good is it to keep players away from this team when backing up our Power Forward turned Center are Micheal Doleac and Chris Richards who is shorter than Jefferson. Our Power Forwards are all too small as well. Gomes and Smith are 6-7 and Madsen is not only nothing more than a glorified cheerleader, but also a 6-9 player who tends to mop up in the 5 spot more than the 4.

Anyways... Here's how I see the Top Ten going down.

1. Chicago takes Derrick Rose. Easy.
2. Beasley goes here. If Miami doesn't take him they trade the pick to either Seattle or Memphis. From Seattle they get Chris Wilcox and the 4. From Memphis They get Mike Miller and the 5. I'm sure there would be other current NBA players involved in this trade for money purposes, but I'm not going to bother figuring that sort of stuff out.
3. The Wolves take Ovinton J'Anthony Mayo. Please take him. Please take him. Please take him. God strike McHale down before 6 PM. ( you don't have to kill him, just incapacitate him during our picks)
4. Jerryd Bayless goes here either to the Heat or to Seattle.
5.The Grizzlies take Kevin Love or The Heat take Russell Westbrook.
6. I think the Knicks take Westbrook or D.J. Augustine Lets face it... the Knicks could use everything and Ford has them leaning towards Danillo Gallinari. I think they want Westbrook to fix that Starbury problem. I'm not sold on teams digging that European Point-Forward bullshit after they all seemingly flop unless they are named Dirk (who just chokes in the clutch)
7.I think the Clips take D.J Augustine. If he is not available they pick Eric Gordon.
8. The Bucks take Joe Alexander. This seems pretty set in stone.
9. The Bobcats will take Kevin Love if he isn't selected at 3 (no please) or 5. If he is gone they take Brook Lopez so that they can move Emeka Okefor to Power Forward.
10. The Nets take Danillo Gallinari at 10.

I think Ford has Bayless way too low, Lopez and Galinary too high, and Augustine and Westbrook slightly lower than they should be. This is a Guard's top 10 and a Center's mid section.

Now. About that trade I want the Wolves to make to jump into the middle of the first round. It looks like The Warriors at 14 are our best hopes if we try to package this years two second rounders and/or Antoine Walker. The Warriors have Andris Biedrins and Monta Elis as restricted free agents and could use Walker's salary off the books to help sign one or both along with not having guaranteed contracts for second rounders. The Sixers are in the same boat as the Warriors at 16 as they have Andre Iguodalla as a restricted free agent this season. If the combination involves the first rounder we got from Boston there are more options... probably the The Wizards who need to figure out a way to get Gilbert Arenas and Antwan Jamison back on their team. My guess is they'll only get Gilbert back.

I'd rather not bother giving up a first rounder and ending up lower with the Wiz, but it may end up happening and that Celtics pick won't be too many spots above the one Miami gave us any way. I want to figure out a way to get rid of Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric, Rashad McCants and Craig Smith are on my chopping block. Bassy and Gomes are very reluctantly there as well. There are worse players that are obvious choices to go, but I don't think they'd be wanted unless contracts don't match up. If you want to know who I'd like us to pick up for a big man its either Kosta Koufus or DeAndre Jordan leaning towards Koufus.

UPDATE: It looks like the Sonics and Clippers will swap the 4 and 7 picks if Mayo is off the table by then. Sounds like the Clippers wanted Eric Gordon even more than I thought they did(I'll go ahaed and take half a point when this thing goes through). I still think Seattle will be looking for a PG.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What to do with the 3rd pick as the draft approaches

When we first found out that the Wolves were drafting 3rd I said that we should select Brook Lopez. I said this because a big man is our biggest need. The problem is that almost everything is our biggest need. At this point there are 4 players I'd keep on this team Al Jefferson, Randy Foye, Sebastian Telfair and Ryan Gomes. Lots of Wolves fans will argue that only the first two names on that list should stay and will most likely call me crazy for including Bassy. Gomes is a better version of Craig Smith... both are undersized 4's, but Gomes does everything at a better clip and would make a very solid bench player if this team ever manages to field a playoff caliber starting five. I think Bassy will prove himself to be an important part of this team if they choose to resign him. He could very well be our starting point guard because I don't see Foye as the floor general.

Foye is a huge question mark. He is the reason why I've decided that the Wolves should draft O.J. Mayo. Everyone agrees that O.J. Mayo has superstar potential, Lopez' name has never been associated with the word superstar. In fact, Lopez scored last in two drills during the pre-draft workout that included 80 players.I know I compared Mayo to J.R. Rider a little over a month ago, but things have changed. The Wolves have enough ties to Mayo (Hoiberg 's college coach was Tim Flloyd) to get a real idea about the type of character he has. This kid had been touted as one of the next Jordans. His coverage in high school and even earlier is on par with Kobe and LeBron and he still managed to be a team player and someone who elevated his teammates game during his year in college.

The argument can be made that he did his own recruiting and told Flloyd that he would be playing for the Trojans, but if you know that you'll be in the NBA soon enough its a smart move to position yourself in a highly visible place and automatically be able to sign endorsement deals. A smart move made by a smart kid. His 29 on the A.C.T.s put him in the 95th percentile of all test takers. People will talk about the sports agent controversy, I know I did at first, but even if he knew what was going on, and he seems to have done a fair job of distancing himself from that situation, college players deserve more than they are given. I know that a free education is a big deal, but they rake in so much money for those universities and the actual cost for the university to cover one room, three meals and a couple chairs in a couple of classrooms per day per athlete is very minimal.

The Reason I was asking Bez about what he thought about Rashad McCant's trade value is that useing some combination of McCants or Craig Smith and out 2 second round draft picks I'm thinking we could find ourself somewhere between 14 and 20 in the first round. Somebody would be willing to do that right? Big men Projected to go around that area include. Brook's brother Robin (the defensive twin), Alex Ajinca, Kostas Koufos, DeAndre Jordan, Anthony Randolph, Roy Hibbert and Rider's Jason Thompson. Kostas Koufos would be my reason to move up in the draft and Randolph isn't a bad second option, although it would mean keeping Al Jefferson at the 5 spot.

What I'm saying is that taking a flier on a potential superstar sounds better to me than getting 10, 10 and 2 blocks from what will only become a mediocre center when we could very easily get that same type of production from a big man by packaging a few things a little later. If the Cav's had the 3rd selection and the best available player was a small forward they might want to move back. If the Lakers had the 3rd pick and the best available player was a shooting guard they might want to move back. That shooting guard position on the Wolves will be inhabited by Marco Jaric, Rashad McCants and sometimes Randy Foye... we can afford to pick up Mayo and see if he turns into something special.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pre-Draft Link Drop

With the Draft coming on Thursday I thought I would pass on some reading material draft related. I also have some things that are completely unrelated to the draft. I don't know where that first image came from but I would like to go there. Hold on.

Couple days ago, Benny asked me what I thought of Rashad McCants' trade value. I don't know but Rashad thinks he should be playing more.

This past year after working extremely hard to recover from microfracture surgury, I found myself coming of the bench being the sixth man and the second leading scorer. The only bad part about it was that I could have been twice as productive with more minutes. I would have been able to meet my individual goals, we could have won more games, and I'd be on my way to being a respected player in the NBA.
Jon Marthaler from over at TNABACG disagrees with the kid. He had this over at twolvesblog.

A few weeks ago I was in a mock-draft over in the Swamp, here's the results if you're interested:

1. Chicago - Michael Beasley, PF, Kansas State
2. Miami - Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis
3. Minnesota -Brook Lopez, C, Stanford
4. Seattle - Darrell Arthur, PF, Kansas
5. Memphis - Kevin Love, PF, UCLA
6. New York - Jerryd Bayless, PG, Arizona
7. L.A. Clippers - O.J. Mayo, SG, USC
8. Milwaukee - Eric Gordon, SG, Indiana
9. Charlotte - DeAndre Jordan, C, Texas A&M
10. New Jersey - Danilo Gallinardi, SF, Italy
11. Indiana - Russell Westbrook, PG, UCLA
12. Sacramento - DJ Augustine, PG, Texas
13. Portland - Joe Alexander, SF, West Virginia
14. Golden State - Anthony Randolph, PF, LSU
15. Phoenix (from ATL) - Brandon Rush, SG/SF, Kansas
16. Philadelphia - Donte' Greene, SF, Syracuse
17. Toronto - Nicholas Batum, F, France
18. Washington - Marreese Speights, PF/C, Florida
19. Cleveland - J. J. Hickson, PF, NC State
20. Denver -Mario Chalmers, PG, Kansas
21. New Jersey (from DAL) - JaVale McGee, C, Nevada
22. Orlando - Kosta Koufos, C, Ohio State
23. Utah - Roy Hibbert, C, Georgetown
24. Seattle (from PHX) - Chase Budinger, SF, Arizona
25. Houston -Robin Lopez, C, Sanford
26. San Antonio – Alexis Ajinca, C, France
27. New Orleans - Chris Douglas-Roberts, SG, Memphis
28. Memphis (from LAL) – Bill Walker, SF, Kansas State
29. Detroit – Jason Thompson, PF, Rider

This was started about 3 weeks ago so somethings have changed, people have fallen, some have risen. I selected Brook Lopez, but if I were to do it over again I would probably do if differently. Before I state who I would take I will give you a paragraph neubie wrote a bit back:

As for OJ Mayo, I don't think I've wanted a soon to be professional athlete fail more than I do this guy. Since I first heard the story of him walking into USC coach Tim Floyd's office and recruiting himself to the school, I have wished for his demise. It only got worse on hearing about and seeing the tape of him throwing an alley-oop to himself towards the end of a 40 point State Championship Game blowout and then getting ejected from his final game for chucking the ball into the stands. This might even be tolerable, if not excusable, but then he walked around the court, hands held high, basking in the cascading cheers of the crowd like some Roman Gladiator just having defeated a wildebeest. Only this is a high school kid, and it just proves what kind of cocky, attention hogging idiot this guy really is. The sad thing is, he has sick basketball talent and that will land him in a high spot in the upcoming NBA draft and probably some endorsement deals with Sunny D and Hellman's.

With that taken care of, I would like to say I had similar feelings about Mayo at first too. I felt pretty similar when all this came out even. But as of right now I hope that we can select OJ Mayo at the 3rd pick.

The Big Lead has been previewing each team prior to the draft for the last few weeks. Today they had the Wolves. TBL thinks we should take Lopez. I disagree.
Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo Mayo. Hew, got that out of the system.

Speaking of TBL if you're missing the feud going on over there, I suggest you check it out. The following is a cronological series of links of this (in Barriero's words) Kerfuffle.




Some guy ripping the shit out of Will Leitch.

I'm sure there is more out there but this is the way I read it. It's a long read, but if you're familiar with any of TBL's work or Deadspin, it's very interesting.

You have to love Jerry Zgoda's headline over at the startrib.
McHale not sure of Wolves' draft strategy
This could either be a future piece or a historic piece. It's just really funny hard to tell just from the headline.

Well I may write something up tomorrow after the EuroCup game. If not after the draft it will happen for sure. By the way whatever happened to that Bracey kid?

Monday, June 23, 2008

R.I.P. George Carlin

Friday, June 20, 2008

So Into the Wild

I found this on Hockey Wilderness last night and thought I'd pass it along what with the draft tonight and the lack of other sports news right now. I'm not so sure how I feel about this, I loved Into The Wild and can see where this satire is coming from but it just off in the hockey department.
Apparently they decided to mispronounce Gaborik's name on purpose but there aren't enough people who know the correct pronunciation for that to be funny... I think they f'ed up after the film was already cut. I also don't know why the dude would be going to Ontario to win a contest with Minnesota's franchise player.

I also despise the Minnesotan accent... yes, Minnesotans have an accent but its never that pronounced unless you've spent your whole life in the sticks.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen on Letterman

Here is a far less crazy version of KG after winning his first championship.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"This one's for 'sota"

Those were among the first audible words out of Kevin Garnett's mouth when Michelle Tafoya attempted to interview him after he won his first championship. Things like that are why I love KG so much... he knows it's not the fan's fault that the GM of the Timberwolves is Kevin McHale. He knew that he needed to win a championship and that just wouldn't happen here, but he never forgot us and we never forgot him. I know its only been a year and it would be hard to forget any athlete that quickly, but I mean that as of August 1st, 2007 the state of Minnesota probably had more Boston Celtic fans than it had Minnesota Timberwolves fans.

I wish that things had gone differently and he could be celebrating that championship with a Wolves jersey on, but they didn't. Congratulations Mr. Garnett, you've made us all proud.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Just because.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Milton Bradley... Still Bl@%pin' Crazy!

Oh, Milton..

Texas Rangers Outfielder/Journeyman Milton Bradley is having by far his best season as a pro. It comes as no surprise that that season is happening in Arlington, where the Rangers routinely field a fantastic offense. Coming into today, he leads the American League in Batting Average at .333, while also leading it in On Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage. He is killing the ball. I probably shouldn't say "killing" too loud around Milton, though, because it appears he may have been trying to do that Kansas City TV broadcast announcer Ryan Lefebvre last night during an 11-5 Rangers win in Kansas City. Lefebvre, a former Twins and Gophers broadcaster, is a regular guest on the PA and Dubay Show on KFAN AM 1130, to talk baseball. Here is the story:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Milton Bradley stormed out of the Texas Rangers clubhouse after an 11-5 victory Wednesday night over Kansas City and bounded up four flights of stairs looking for Royals television announcer Ryan Lefebvre.

Bradley, who was the designated hitter, heard what he considered derogative remarks made by Lefebvre on a TV in the Rangers clubhouse.

General manager Jon Daniels and manager Ron Washington were close behind and intercepted Bradley before he reached Lefebvre.

Bradley never reached Lefebvre, although he was within about 20 feet of him in the TV booth before being led back down to the clubhouse.

Upon returning to the clubhouse, Bradley screamed at teammates and broke down in tears.

"I'm tired of people bringing me down," Bradley said. "It wears on you. I love you guys, all you guys. I'm strong, but I'm not that strong. All I want to do is play baseball and make a better life for my kid than I had."

Several of Bradley's teammates consoled him after he calmed down.

Lefebvre, who is the son of former major league manager Jim Lefebvre, said he met with Daniels and Washington about his on-the-air comments, but did not talk to Bradley. Lefebvre said the comments were intended to praise Josh Hamilton, who missed nearly four years of professional baseball with cocaine and alcohol additions, rather than tear down Bradley.

"It was a conversation about how Josh Hamilton has turned his life around and has been accountable for his mistakes," Lefebvre told The Associated Press. "Right now, it seems like the baseball world and fans are rooting for him. ... It doesn't seem like Milton Bradley has done the same thing in his life."

The oft-injured Bradley has a history of losing his temper.

No shit?! To say that Milton has character issues would be like saying Darryl Strawberry liked to occasionally do cocaine. Or saying that Charles Barkley occasionally gambles. Or like saying that Shawn Kemp occasionally has unprotected sex.

One has to wonder what's going on inside Milton's mind. He is so incredibly talented on the field when he can control it and stay healthy. But that has always been a problem. With his baseball ability alone, he would be a perennial all star for years, if he could only settle down. He's an implosion waiting to happen. Milton just needs to work on getting out of Milton's way, and maybe some of those things that can happen, actually will.

On that note, I have to go. I have to lock my door and hide in the corner with a 9 Iron. Just in case Milton happens to see this, I wanna be prepared.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Refs are who we thought they were

This is a response to Neubiedamus' post earlier.

Neubie, I have to do this. I agree with somethings you wrote, the Celtics are great passers, a great defensive team, they play with their metaphorical hearts (which are also huge I hear), etc. But there are a few things that kill me about game two.

You say that the team who are the aggressor will shoot more free throws, which is completely true. My problem with game two is that the Lakers were unable to be aggressive. After taking a 15-8 lead in the 1st quarter the game was over. It seemed as if they were getting every little touch called on them.

I could fact check this but I'm lazy, but yesterday I read a fact that was something like this. Game 2 was the largest discrepancy in foul shouts attempted in either the playoffs or the finals. The guy had check back into the 50's, so I don't know how far he got but it was the biggest, i'm guessing it was the Finals he was checking. Fuck, Leon Powe shot 13 free throws. The Lakers shot 10. +28 free throws for the Celtics is just a sick joke.

As you can tell, I was fairly disgusted with this game and then it got worse when I read an article today. The subject was a letter filed in court by Tim Donaghy. I will leave you with a little taste. It's eerie with what happened Sunday.

In one of several allegations of corrupt refereeing, Donaghy said he learned in May 2002 that two referees known as "company men" were working a best-of-7 series in which "Team 5" was leading 3-2. In the sixth game, he alleged the referees purposely ignored personal fouls and called "made-up fouls on Team 5 in order to give additional free-throw opportunities for Team 6."

"Team 6" won the game and came back to win the series, the letter said.

The letter also alleged manipulation during a 2005 playoff series.

"Team 3 lost the first two games in the series and Team 3's owner complained to NBA officials," the letter said. "Team 3's owner alleged that referees were letting a Team 4 player get away with illegal screens. NBA Executive Y told Referee Supervisor Z that the referees for that game were to enforce the screening rules strictly against that Team 4 player. ... The referees followed the league's instructions and Team 3 came back from behind to win the series. The NBA benefited from this because it prolonged the series, resulting in more tickets sold and more televised games."

Now, these are just allegations, but it's fucking scary if any of it is true. After the Donaghy allegations broke last year weren't we promised more "transparency" in the NBA, I don't see anything different, do you?

Game 3 just started and Kobe is on the line for the 2nd straight trip down the floor, and have taken more ft in 4 min then in all of game 2, sweet. He's going back to the line. So much for home court advantage, I'm going to dub it home team assistance from now on.

Donaghy claims NBA pushed refs to fix playoff series, let stars slide

The Celtics Are Who We Thought They Were

The NBA finals are two games in and so far its been as one sided as it can get. Put aside the 4th quarter comeback in Game 2, because that game was a complete blowout until then. If anything, that comeback was good for the Celtics, a strong reminder that they can't get complacent when the get a lead against this Lakers team. Tonight Game 3 shifts to Los Angeles where the Lakers will no doubt play better than they did in Boston, because in my mind, they can't play a whole lot worse. The Lakers will win one, maybe two at home and the Celtics will finish this series off in 5 or 6 games. I've had the pleasure of watching the first two games in entirety and I have taken a couple things from doing so.

When the season started, everyone picked the Celtics to win the title after they got Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen via trade. During the regular season, the Celtics did nothing but enforce people's thinking, with the Celts compiling a 66-16 regular season record. They had the biggest one year turnaround in NBA history. And everyone was drooling over this team.

Then the NBA playoffs began. The Celtics first match-up seemed harmless enough, the Atlanta Hawks. Harmless enough to look past that is. The Celtics played brilliantly at home, and brutally bad on the road. The Hawks brought the Celtics to the brink, to which Boston responded with a 34 point blowout in Game 7. This is when everybody started to question the Celtics. Were they tough enough? Was this the team that we thought they were? Was this team built for the playoffs, or just a fantastic regular season? After 3 losses...

Second round brought more of the same. Three great games at home. Three horrible games on the road. And the doubts grew louder. For me, the only game that got me worried was Game 6 in Cleveland in which the Celts only scored 69 points and failed to score more than 20 points in any quarter. Despite Boston coming back in Game 7 for the series win behind Paul Pierce's 41 point masterful performance. But by then, most people outside of Boston were off the bandwagon. Most analysts I heard predicted the Pistons would beat the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. I think this doubt may have crept into the Celtics mind and instead created a new motivation; to prove people wrong. The KG's showed marked improvement and even won two road games along the way in advancing to the NBA Finals for the 1st time since 1987. But still, people weren't drinking the kool-aid.

This time, they may have had good reasoning, the Celtics opponent, the Los Angeles Lakers had breezed through the Western Conference playoffs, including a 4-1 whoopin' of the usually formidable San Antonio Spurs. They had the newly named MVP of the league in Kobe Bryant. All but about two people I saw picked the Lakers to win, some in 5 games, some in 6 games. Were these people watching the same team I was watching all year long?? The best defensive team in the league. The team with the best FG% against defense. The team with 3 future hall of famers. The team with the best home record in the NBA. The team with the best road record in the NBA. The team that had beat the Lakers twice during the regular season, albeit without Pau Gasol. I guess they weren't. The first two games in Boston were defined by brutal bad defense by the Lakers and brutally good defense by the Celtics. Boston held the best player in the NBA, Kobe Bryant, to around 40 % shooting, after limiting him to 33% shooting during the regular season. Pau Gasol has been greatly outplayed by Kevin Garnett. Gasol looks as soft as freshly baked bread. Lamar Odom, having his best overall season of his career, looks completely lost. Boston has out-hustled, out-rebounded, and out-worked this Lakers squad. After the last game, the Zen-Master, Phil Jackson, complained that Leon Powe, a little used reserve who went off in Game 2 for 21 points, went to the free throw line more than his entire team did. There's a simple reason. The more aggressive team ALWAYS gets the calls. Its that way in every form of basketball at every level. Anyone who watches this series can see that, so far, his team is settling for jump shots and getting beat to every loose ball.

Things may change a great deal tonight in Game 3 in Los Angeles. I will not be surprised if the Lakers win this game. The crowd will be going crazy and its enough to help them win one. But they just can't win this series after the performance they showed in the first two games of the series. They wont be able to beat the Celtics 4 out of 5, of which two of those games are in Boston. I'm not just saying this because as many know, we have a rooting interest in seeing Kev win his first title. And I'm not saying this because the Lakers are a bad team, because they aren't by any stretch of the imagination. The Lakers are probably the best passing team that I have seen in the NBA since I have been old enough to understand these kinds of things. But you can't get past a team that, right now, refuses to lose. You can't get past Paul Pierce's will to win. And you can't get past KG's heart. All that, plus a 2-0 lead, adds up to a parade down the middle of downtown Boston in about a week and a half.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Twins have a decision to make...

... And I think it's a pretty easy one. Right now the Twins have 13 pitchers on their 25 man roster. They'll also be starting their inter-league play in one week meaning there will be a lot more substitutions in the games and an absolute need for another bench player..

We've already run into trouble with the bench. in the final game against Baltimore Kevin Slowey had to pinch run for Mike Redmond so that Gardenhire's bench was intact for the final inning. Mauer had to come in as catcher for Redmond and because of that we lost our DH. Had Alexi Casilla not ended the game with a strike out Jessie Crain would have gotten an at-bat. The reason they have 13 pitchers right now is because Brandon Bass, Boof Bonser and Juan Rincon will have to pass through waivers if they're sent to Rochester.

Its obvious that Rincon should be the odd man out in this situation. For one thing he has absolutely no B's in his name... a necessity for long relief, which BB squared is capable of doing. The other reason is that Rincon hasn't been the same since he stopped hittin' the juice. Chalk Rincon's career up to the steroid era, maybe try to trade him for a couple of nice bats and move on.

Rincon was one of the best set up men in baseball. His ERA was 2.63 in 2004 and 2.46 in 2005. In May of 2005 he was suspended for steroids and his ERA began to creep up. 2006 wasn't horrible- his ERA was 2.91 but last year it skyrocketed to 5.13 and this year its hovering close to that. He gave up a home run against the Sox tonight and has been no help to his team... one hold in 26 innings just doesn't cut it.

I'm not entirely clear on the waiver process, but I believe that Rincon's veteran status will make it a bit more difficult to send him down and may force the Twins to pay the difference between the contract he signed with the Twins for 2.47 million and the contract that his new team would offer him but we've just got to eat it and move on. Rincon and Jesse Crain are the weakest pitchers in the bullpen according to Aaron Gleeman's adjusted WPA but Crain has a much better ERA and doesn't have that black mark on his record.

It's time to bring in a bat.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Fallen Coach, An Amazing Triumph...

In sports, there are stories that emerge from the doldrums of everyday box scores and headlines that capture our attention, make us feel good, and even make us tear up. Some of the best incorporate a mix of sports coupled with everyday life. Some tell tales of defeat or triumph. Some of motivation or heartache. Some of love or belief in something greater than yourself. But the best stories combine all of these. These stories come along every once and a while. Most get lost in the constant barrage of negative stories plastered all over the daily news. But not all.

I was watching Sportscenter two days ago (there's a shocker) and I came across the story of the Summerville Varsity Basketball team in Charleston, South Carolina. Now, usually when ESPN shows these kind of stories, it means that its a really slow sports day and they have to fill the show with something. I, personally, think they should give more air time to things like this, because the people who put them together do a magnificent job. For a good ten minutes, I sat in silence, captivated by this tale. I can only remember thinking, "I hope they show this again and again so that more people get to see this." This was ESPN's best story since the autistic basketball player/manager, Jason McElwain who came off the bench, for the first time, to reign down 6 threes in 2 minutes on Senior Night. If you didn't get a chance to see it the other night here it is: ESPN story.

The story details the life of Summerville assistant coach name Louis Mulkey. As a coach for the basketball and football teams for many years, Mulkey was able to see most of the kids grow up in front of his eyes. The children turned young men had grown to love the Coach. When Mulkey wasn't changing lives on the field or the court, he was saving them off of it as a firefighter for the city of Charleston. One day he was called to a blazing fire. The fire got out of control, or a flashover according to firefighters, and Mulkey was trapped inside. When a flashover occurs, you generally have 2 seconds to get out. Mulkey needed more. His last words were words that still echo in the minds of the people who knew him best. "Car 1!.. Tell my wife... I Love you." That was it. He was gone, leaving behind a wife of only 1 year and 1 day, fellow firefighters, and a group of young student athletes that he helped mold into young men. After an incredibly tough summer, marked by alot of mending of hearts, it was time for basketball season once again. The amazing thing about the human spirit is that when things are at their hardest and in times of tragedy, we become stronger than ever and come together to help each other. This team was no different. A coach's promise from the time they were 8th graders rang loud and clear in their heads... "By the time you are seniors, I promise, you will win the state championship!"

Bonded by that common goal they had the school's best season in years, amassing a 23-5 record. In the sectional semifinals, after the Summerville Green Wave had blown a big lead early, and had fallen behind late, it seemed like their goal would not be realized. This is the point where they would ask their old coach for advice on how to handle this adversity. But instead of Mulkey, the crowd was there to provide the boost. Seemingly if on cue, the crowd started in with ruckus chants of "Lou-IS Mul-Key!, Lou-IS Mul-Key!" From there on out, there was no stopping this team. They stormed back and won going away. It was on to State. After making it through the state tournament, they found themselves in the State Final, something their coach had prophetically predicted years ago.

This is where the story really gets good. The Class AAAA State Championship was against Spartenburg. For most of the game, Summerville was in the proverbial meat grinder, trading baskets in a game that seemed destined to go down to the buzzer. The Green wave had fought their way to the lead late in the game and had a chance with 1.7 seconds left to ice the 2 point lead with a 1-1 opportunity at the free throw line. The first free throw was missed, however, but no one was really that concerned, as Spartenburg had to get the length of the court in 1.7 seconds. A small guard for Spartenburg got the rebound, took one dribble, and heaved the ball from the opposite free throw line. As he took the shot, the loud buzzer sounded in the background. The shot rattled around the rim and dropped. Wow. Summerville had lost. An amazing ending by all accounts, it left many on the Green Wave standing speechless, mouths agape and tears streaming down their eyes, realizing that all their hard work towards the ultimate goal had still come up short. I can imagine thoughts ran through their minds about letting their fallen coach down by not reaching their collective dreams.
From one moment of defeat and despair, the referees created a different moment. As the head referee, moved his arms back and forth in front of him, signaling that the basket had come after the buzzer and was being waved off, the mood turned from tragedy to triumph and jubilation. In reviewing the tape, there was no real way to tell if the shot was actually after the buzzer or before, but that didn't matter. The team was Summerville had come full circle and overcome a great ordeal to become champions. It was clear to everyone who witnessed the miracle, that Coach Mulkey was in the gym that day, watching over his team.

This may have sounded like a some cheesy Disney movie story, but this isn't a movie, its real life. This story proves how one person can mean so much to so many. It also proves that a coach can make such a profound difference in the players that he coaches.. Coaches are not unlike teachers in that sense. Molding young minds not with a major in Sociology or Chemistry, but maybe with a major in Life with a minor in Athletics.

I really hope that everyone enjoys this as much as I have.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Beckham 70 Yard Goal - LA Galaxy Vs. Kansas City Wizards -HQ

He's good at stuff.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Vikings now convinced that Erasmus James sucks too

The Vikings waived Erasmus James today. This makes myself and about 5 million others very happy. I didn't want Brian Robison and Ray Edwards losing playing time because James was once a first round pick and the team thought he'd be fully recovered one day. Maybe he can con Mike Tice into clearing a spot on the Jags roster for him right next to our OTHER first round draft pick from 2005.

Lets review... the pro-bowlers we could have selected instead of Williamson are Shawne Merriman, Jammal Brown or Demarcus Ware. We also could have selected Mark Clayton or Reggie Brown if you want to stick with Wide Receivers. The pro-bowlers we could have selected instead of James are Logan Mankins, Lofa Tatupu, Justin Miller, Frank Gore, Marrion Barber the III (home town!), Trent Cole (DE!) or Derrick Anderson. I also would have much rather had Justin Tuck, who will shortly become a pro-bowler as my Defensive End.

I understand that hindsight is 20/20 but this just helps underline the previous administration's ineptitude. Head over to the Daily Norseman to look at the list of all the Vikings drafted in 2005 and their lack lack of starting jobs. Having Cole/Tuck and Clayton/Brown instead of Erasmus James and Troy Williamson would have been way better. At least the new administration has given us hope for this and future vikings draft classes after only two drafts.