Some People's Kids: June 2008

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.