Postgame Spread
You guys hangin' out? I'll hang out.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Postdraft Spread    

The Celtics basically did exactly what I wanted them not to do.  They traded their pick for Sebastian Telfair before the draft, and gave up on the slider.  The deal itself ended up being a lot better, as they dumped Dan Dickau and Raef LaFrentz on Portland, and picked up Theo Ratliff and his surgical entourage, which is fine by me despite the injury problems.  I have reservations about Telfair, but Danny Ainge has yet to be flat-out wrong about young talent.  So I trust DA.

I like the Rajon Rondo pickup.  I'm not a huge fan of his, but they risked nothing and got the first point guard on the board.  Still, with the Telfair pickup, the pick smells like a "well if you think Bassy can't shoot, wait'll you see this guy!"  Considering that #2 on his list of responsibilities will be knocking down jumpers off of The Truth's penetration kick-outs, I'm frightened.  If I were Doc Rivers (but smarter) I'd tell Bassy and Rajon that they are not allowed to take a shit on team property without hitting three 3's in a row.  Doesn't matter when.  If they have to interrupt halftime to do it, and take threes over the dance team's heads, then so be it... otherwise, they can hold it in.


I know the Telfair deal isn't a disaster (again, I trust DA) but I really gotta wonder why Ainge would watch Delonte and Orien Greene struggle with the point position due to their lack of experience, say all offseason long that it was time to address the point position, and then hand the reins to... two guys younger than both West and Greene.  Doesn't make sense to me; it only looks like it makes sense because the new guys are "true" points.  Which is fine, but it only addresses half the question... they need a true point guard who is capable of running the offense without fucking everything up.  You think that describes Telfair?  I don't.  Maybe in a few years, but not now.

And that leads into my true gripe... in order to not answer their needs, the Celtics lost out on Brandon Roy.  The best player possible slipped to them, and the Celts gave up the pick.  FUCK.  I know he went #6, but if the Celts had kept the pick, there's no way Kevin McHale would have passed up on Randy Foye at #6, because the trade wouldn't have been there for him.  Then the Celtics would have had Roy, the most polished player in the draft.  It's driving me nuts right now that my #2 draft nightmare scenario (#1 was Ty Thomas slipping to us, drafting for someone else) actually happened.

I mean, we've established pretty firmly that Sebastian Telfair isn't a special player.  He's closer to Felipe Lopez than Chris Paul.  Brandon Roy, meanwhile, has what it takes to be special.  Hell, so does Randy Foye.  So could someone please remind me why the C's don't need a sharp-shooting 2-guard who plays D and has leadership skills?  Are they all set with guys who can defend their position?  Do they have so many leaders on the team that they don't need another one?  I think not.

Sure, the point guard position, no true points, offense stagnates, no consistency, blah blah blah.  Delonte isn't the answer.  I know that.  But neither is Telfair!  You think he's the answer to our ills?  No way.  I'd have preferred a West/Roy backcourt to Telfair/West.  Besides, Telfair is still a project.  He may not be ready to do what we need him to do.  And to make matters worse, he's now in the hands of Doc Rivers.  Think about that.  Telfair could end up ruined for life.  Did DA not consider this?!?  Doc could undermine this whole goddamn enterprise just by being his stupid self and making Orien Greene the starting point ahead of Telfair, West and Rondo... just to make some dumb-ass, ignorant point.  GODDAMMIT!!!!!!!  (Oh, and thanks to Ratliff and Telfair's arrival, and the selection of Rondo, Doc Rivers now has three more rotation decisions to make.  Hooray!  When's training camp???  I want to know how long I have to live before I blow my brains out.  At least I'm not a Knicks fan.)

But I'm not really that upset, just confused.  I'd rather not have to rely on my Belichickian trust in Ainge to keep myself from blowing a gasket.  It doesn't affect my optimism for 2006-07, nor for DA's ability to sign up Pierce for an extension, but they still did fine.  The Celtics are better now than they were yesterday, so I'm happy.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mock Mock Mock    

The suspense is killing me.  I have no idea what the Celtics are gonna do tonight.  I can see all kinds of opportunities to draft better than their pick suggests... but whether that translates into an improved team, I don't know.  Unless we end up with a Brandon Roy (somehow) or a Randy Foye or Shelden Williams (i.e. a college "veteran") I can't see much difference being made without a trade.

Danny Ainge has plenty of trade options.  There are rumors of a Sebastian Telfair trade, but I would only do that if we know that the consensus top five (Bargnani, Roy, Morrison, Thomas, Aldridge) will be gone.  There are rumors of trading down to Chicago in exchange for Chris Duhon and the #16.  There are even rumors about AI coming to Boston.  All of these (except Telfair; more below) will net a better player for 2006-07 than the #7 pick will.

Still, I hope they hold off on any trade until they're on the board.  If a slider's still there (Roy, Ty Thomas, Bargnani) it might be silly to give up that guy for a band-aid point guard.  Not that they should definitely keep the pick, even if someone slides; I'm just saying the move can be either smart or stupid based solely on who's available.  that in a draft this wacky, the prudent move is to follow Ricky Roma's advice... "don't ever open your mouth, until you know what the shot is.  You fucking child."  In other words, don't do shit until you know where you stand.

Personally, if they're gonna make a trade, I'd just assume pull the trigger on Duhon.  He's a vet now, and a seasoned player in general.  Duhon can run the point and shoot outside, which gives him an edge over both Telfair and incumbent point guard Delonte West, who can only do one of those two crucial tasks.  (Huh?  Defend the position?  What???)  His ceiling is lower than both West's and Telfair's, but we need reliability at the position right now.  So I see Duhon as the primary option.

The AI trade is a disaster in waiting.  I love AI, but I love him a lot as someone else's problem, not mine.

I particularly dislike the Telfair idea.  Intriguing, but a bad, bad, bad idea.  What role does Telfair fill that Delonte West doesn't?  Ideally you want a reliable veteran guy as the counterpoint to the youngster... you let the veteran run things until the kid proves he can play.  But if both your points are projects, that doesn't work.  Telfair can't be used as insurance against Delonte failing... what if Telfair sucks too?  Then you've got nothing.  Furthermore, they have to compete with each other for attention and opportunities.  Again, that does nothing for us.  That's why the Telfair trade does absolutely nothing for the Celtics as a whole.

Anyway, here's what I see:

TOR: Bargnani
CHI: Thomas
CHA: Morrison
POR: Aldridge
ATL: Shelden Williams
MIN: Brandon Roy
HOU: Randy Foye

Friday, June 23, 2006

Liriano to Clemens:    

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Ozzie Guillen got hisself into some hot water by calling Jay Mariotti a "fag."

He then, unwisely as this author would argue, defended hisself thusly:
"Guillen also told Couch that he has gay friends, attends WNBA games, went to a Madonna concert and plans to go to the Gay Games in Chicago."

What would Brodie Bruce Do?

He'd call Ozzie a closet case self loather, and Mariotti a cocknocking date rapist waste of space, which is exactly what he is.

Monday, June 19, 2006

God U Suck Weekend    

There are so many candidates from the last couple days.  Where do I even start?

1) Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie.  It's one thing for two of golf's biggest chokers to bogey out... but did you guys have to hit the tent too?!?  Greg Norman's rolling in his grave.  At least Lefty called himself an idiot.  That's a start.
2) Josh Howard.  Come on, fella.
3) The entire Carolina Hurricanes roster.  0 shots in the first period of a game in which you can WIN THE GODDAMN STANLEY CUP?!???!?  Listen, you don't have to score.  Edmonton played their asses off.  But take a shot for Christ's sake!  To paraphrase Bryan Trottier, you're the fuckin' BEST, guys.  Now go lay down on the ice like a broad!  (By the way, that's pretty much the greatest hockey video ever.)
4) The Yankee bullpen.  Wow.  Just... wow.  And as they showed yesterday, they can blow games without even entering the game.  Yeah, that's a playoff team.  Just wait until Octavio Dotel is healthy!  That'll right the ship.
5) Rudy Seanez.  See what happens when you say something nice about the guy?  F him.
6) The last place Atlanta Braves.  C'mon guys, if you don't start winning soon you're gonna drive Bobby Cox to beat his wife again.
7) The equally-bad Atlanta Hawks.  Rumor has it that they've promised Shelden "Low-Rise" Williams he won't make it past #5.  Is this the top-six break I've been hoping for?  Let's just say that if they were trying to screw up and not take one of the top five players... they even screwed that up.

In lighter news, this weekend's God U Don't Suck award is split between two American heroes:

1) Ukrainian center, second-round NBA draft prospect, and potentially the ballsiest smart-ass in NBA history... Kyrylo Fesenko (via TrueHoop)
2) Entourage star Jeremy Piven (via Chas Budnick)

This was one of those deals where you read about Fesenko, and you think "that's really funny; nobody's gonna beat that today."  Then you read about Piven, and you realize that the glass comedy ceiling has been reduced to shards.  What a fabulous, fabulous man.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I Did It! I Put Riske's Name In A Pun-Free Headline!    

David Riske just got traded for a lefty reliever, Javier Lopez. My original mission was to speak my concerns on the trade without making a pun (so far, so good) but this post has expanded into a deeper inquisition into the bullpen dynamic. While I'm sure Coltrane's meditation on his relationship with God, A Love Supreme, is more spiritually meaningful than bullpen talk, I've drawn a comparison nonetheless. Enjoy.


I'm scratching my head a little about Riske being shown the door so soon, but it's probably more like he was the only guy left with trade value (read: he hasn't pitched enough to prove himself). And even though the trade may not be even in terms of talent, or bullpen innings, the trade does help the bullpen configuration, in that they seem to have a situational lefty, and one fewer guy fighting for those 6th/7th inning appearances. The best thing you can do for a reliever is giving him a defined role, so this is a step towards clearing things up beyond Jon Papelbon, Keith Foulke and Mike Timlin.

Furthermore, it looks like Theo Epstein is ready to hand the reins over to kids. If Theo didn't have faith in Manny Delcarmen, Jermaine Van Buren and Craig Hansen, he wouldn't leave Julian Tavarez and Rudy Seanez out there without a game plan. Perhaps knowing that we have no option but to go young will give Tito the message that it's time to abandon the old until they prove they can pull their weight.


So, what should the pen look like now? Most of the things that could go wrong with this bullpen (old setup guys sucking, Foulke not being healthy, Hansen/Delcarmen not being ready) did go wrong. Based on what we've seen so far from the "depth" guys (JVB's not ready, Manny Delcarmen is, Craig Hansen's begging for a job) here's how my bullpen would look:

CL: Paps
SU: Timmah
SU: Keith Foulke (DL)
LH: Javier Lopez
RP: Rudy Seanez
RP: Manny Delcarmen
RP: Craig Hansen (AAA)

I like the seven-man pen right now, given that a shorter positional bench means a) Tito has fewer stiffs to put into the game for no reason, b) no righty platoon partner for Trot Nixon, and c) J.T. Snow's boot-to-ass departure upon Wily Mo Pena's return. All of that is OK with me.

I think we're fine with Timlin/Foulke on 8th-inning duty. Foulke has been pitching hurt, for which I am grateful, so I don't see his recent struggles as an indication that he cannot do the job. Poor bastard put a fork in his own back for our sins. I just hope his tendinitis actually goes away... tendinitis tends to not go away, at least not without cortisone. I don't want Foulkie to do that to himself too; he's done enough already. Timlin is a non-issue... the guy's incredible.

Notably absent, even from a seven-man pen, is The Shitty Fruitbat, Julian Tavarez. I'm a fan of giving relievers a few months to get into shape (see Seanez' recent performance) but this guy sucks. He's been on and off, and hasn't really pitched that badly of late by numbers, but he just isn't capable of doing the job being asked of him. His "experience" in tight games consists of exploring new ways to make a lead disappear. He hasn't given us any reason to think the whole "gutless choke-artist" thing won't come back to haunt us later in the year (see Tuesday night's grand slam). We should just eat his contract now, but not as a DFA... we need to trade him to the NL for absolutely nothing, and pay his salary to go there. We're paying him anyway, so we might as well keep him from going to New York.

The trio of Seanez/Delcarmen/Hansen for the 6th and 7th innings will be quite sufficient. Seanez' recent revival (took him long enough!) gives us hope that he will be useful. But if any of those three gets hot they are fully capable of 8th inning duties if need be. That's crucial, because we cannot expect a sub-2.00 ERA from the 40-year old Timmahhhhhhh for an entire season... he'll need to be spelled. The one downside is that the kids get fewer innings. But, in theory, they'll be getting major-league tutelage from Al "Hire Me Once, Shame On Me, Hire Me Twice..." Nipper while they ride the pine.


Ahhhh, but extra time with Nip might not be such a great idea. Let's take a look at the work ol' Nip has done for the Sox this season:

* Curt Schilling is himself again. Not Cy-caliber, but exactly what you'd expect from a 39-yo ace with planet-sized testicles
* Mike Timlin, too, is his usual dominant self
* Jonathan Papelbon has the ROY locked up, and actually may be worthy of Cy Young consideration if this crap continues

* Josh Beckett's ERA is above 5.00, and he's given up as many homers in two months as he did all of last season
* Matt Clement has had two good starts out of, like, ten, and has now dropped into "Hey I Was Actually Injured!" mode
* Tim Wakefield has struggled more than usual, even with Dougie "Goin' Deep Tonight" Mirabelli behind the plate
* David Wells' pitching was as awful as his stomach is fat
* Wells' replacements (DiNardo, Pauley, Lester) have all been just as bad, if not worse. (No mercy for the kids! Booooo.)
* Everyone else in the 'pen has been 90% atrocious and 10% passable.

If this is yeoman's work in the hip-replacing absence of Dave Wallace, then Nip's the shittiest yeoman in the history of Western civilization. Each pitcher on that second list is pitching significantly worse than he was in 2005, while Nip's list of "accomplishments" consists of not screwing up three of his best pitchers. Meanwhile, his highest-profile project (Beckett) is the most screwed-up of all of them. Nice work.

Nip's performance reminds of the Chris Rock joke about people who brag about stuff they're supposed to do. How someone will proclaim, "well, I take care of my kids," like it's some big achievement. And Rock yells, "you're SUPPOSED to take care of your kids, ya dumb mothafuckah!!!!!" Well, Nip is the guy who takes care of his kids. It just makes you wonder what, precisely, in the hell Nip is doing. Not that you can fire a guy after two months, but it's clear to me that the guy's not effective.


Nothing's changed since last October: the kids will dictate whether this pitching staff survives. But what's different is that it doesn't seem like as much of a stretch. Papelbon. Hansen. Delcarmen. Jon Lester. They're all here. Even David Pauley threw his hat in the ring. Lenny DiNardo could get his act together after a few months in Pawtucket. Who knows. But there's good reason for optimism.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

There's Juice In The Kitchen, That's For Sure    

In theory, only one news story could possibly trump J.J. Redick's pre-draft DUI arrest.  Only one piece of news could have made the arrest of basketball's most "clean-cut" player seem insignificant.  Well, that news actually happened.  Reader, behold...

J.J. Redick pees on girls.

Wow, wow, mf-ing WOW.  Rumor my ass!  It's true!!!  It has to be true.  Sure, this is piling on when the guy's down, and the two items are totally unrelated, but this golden shower business elevates the DUI story from a mere Reggie Love-level fiasco into one of the greatest weeks in the history of Maryland basketball.  If their forum's site hasn't crashed over the last couple days, their hosting company should get a raise.  Seriously, wouldn't Terps fans prefer a J.J. Redick golden shower scandal to another meaningless Final Four berth?  I know I would, though I'm not really a Terp fan.  More of a sympathizer.

Still, I would've given damn near anything for this to have happened a year ago, just to see what Maryland fans would do upon Redick's piss-soaked return to College Park.  The over/under on bags of urine thrown from the student section would've been at least fifty.  The Vegas odds on the game being suspended (due to excessive bag-throwing and pee on the court) would have to start out at like 7:5.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Everybody must get stached    

Game on tonight, Glavine pitching for the Mets at Philadelphia.
I'll be in section 405, upper deck behind home plate, for those watching at home.
Look for the guy with a Hop Devil in each hand and a big fake Fasano on my upper lip.

Who wants a moustache ride?!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?    

Behold the World Cup 2006 logo.

Behold Springy.

Homer: 1, Germany: nil.

Time to get Stached    

That's right. Seats are still available aboard the Sal Fasano bandwagon, but they're filling up fast.

Act now before it's too late. Here's all the reasoning you'll ever need.
I defy anyone to not love this guy.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Everybody's got something to hide...    

... except for Jeff and his monkey.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Bad Idea GMs    

Memo to Angelos- this is the worst idea EVER.
If I were an O's fan, and Angelos did this to me, I would instantly declare a lifelong hatred on him (as if I wouldn't have already), and either:
1) Renounce the O's, and go to Nats games.
2) Continue to go to O's games, so I could throw batteries at Mr. Maier. All while wearing a Tony Tarasco jersey. Wait a sec- this is a good promotional idea. Tarasco retro jerseys would sell like hotcakes, especially on "bean Maier and win a hot dog" nights.

Gotta Go To Work, Work All Night...    

Here's a summary of last night's Tigers-Yanks donnybrook, courtesy of a special guest blogger. Take it away, little fella...

Phase 1: Collect Underpants.

Phase 2: ???

Phase 3: Profit!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ain't Got No Man-Crush On This Team, Believe Me    

Not that it matters, but I thought I should at least ring in with some Bruins talk.  Why wouldn't I want to discuss the most pathetic franchise in Boston, and arguably in the entire NHL?

They hired a new patsy fall guy whipping boy general manager recently, Peter Chiarelli.  Harvard Law grad, not much of a player.  He was their second third twelfth last choice.  They were turned down by one of their top choices, Ray Shero, in favor of the same job with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  This is the same Pittsburgh franchise that is a constant threat to leave town, declare bankruptcy, or just up and fold.  Yes, that job is more attractive than the Bruins' GM job, and rightly so.  I'd rather lead a team into folding than lick Jeremy Jacobs' and Harry Sinden's boots for a few years.  It's not like there's a possible bright side.  Those morons are just going to do to Chiarelli what they did to O'Connell... make him execute one of Sinden's trademark talent-for-profits trades, then fire him and pin the trade on him once he's gone.  (Any longtime Bruins fan can recognize Harry's stench on the Thornton "deal."  Regardless of what Harry says, that trade was an executive order.)  Once again, an opportunity to do things right, instead of in spite, passes them by.  Nice job, guys.  Way to get the message.

Like every Bruins rant, this one ends with the observation that the Bruins will never win with Jeremy Jacobs as owner.  But this time I will use the magic of allegory to make my point.

Jeremy Jacobs is a cigarette smoker, and the Bruins are his lungs.  Jacobs smokes because he enjoys it, because he likes the secret-brotherhood-type benefits that come with being a smoker, and because he can.  For the first 10-20 years or so, he considers the health arguments against smoking to be irrelevant... he observes no negative side effects, thus reinforcing that voice in his head telling him that these things aren't that bad for him.  Given that the social profits are so compelling, he keeps smoking.

Eventually, the other shoe drops.  He starts hacking up black crud (1996).  He gets his first tumor (2000).  Recently he's been in the hospital recovering from a near-fatal case of pneumonia (2005-06).  The signals, which had been there the whole time, don't become real until he has inflicted serious physical damage upon himself.  But anyone who has watched smokers slowly kill themselves before knows it's not that easy.  So there's Jeremy Jacobs, recovering from pneumonia in the intensive care ward, sticking his face out the crack of his window so he can sneak a cigarette.  Sure, he'll occasionally tell you how he knows it's bad for him, and he knows he has to quit, but it's all lip service.  Deep down inside, he still has no idea what the big deal is.

You wonder what has to happen before this fucking stupid person realizes what he's doing.

In the hours before a pivotal Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals, between two franchises that went from train wreck to Cup semifinalist since last season, it's important to celebrate what happens when a team is sincere about change.  So hats off to the Hurricanes and the Sabres.  Two real teams, with real players and real plans.