Monthly Archives: June 2008

Steve Lyons, Again?

Steve Lyons was just on the Score’s Drive This and he may’ve stepped in another pile of shit. While discussing the social habits of his former teammate Ozzie Guillen, Lyons began telling a story about how he and Guillen fleeced a couple of Texans when they were teammates in Chicago. After seeing some big Texans tossing past a bar’s Speed Gun, Lyons approached them and claimed to be able to find a patron who could top their speed. He chose Ozzie Guillen. Being that, this is not a word-for-word transcript of Lyon’s tale, “He looked like he should be in the back washing dishes”, the Texans happily agreed. Ozzie threw 10 Miles faster and Lyons collected $100.

Considering Lyons’ past, today’s storytelling could cause a shitstorm without context. While delivering the dishwashing line, it was clear Lyons was not referring to Guillen’s nationality but his physical stature, being that the Ozzie of old’s stature screamed dishwasher, not professional ballplayer. I didn’t even notice the potential insensitivity of the line until it was pointed out by my buddy. Who knows.

UPDATE: Transcript from the Score Website

Richard Garner: A character for sure…

Steve Lyons: The craziest thing that we ever did was we were in a bar in Texas one time and there were these big cowboys that came in with their little girlfriends and they had one of those speed pitch machines in this bar, ya know, throw it as hard as you can. And I meandered over there while the big guys were throwing the ball and I said, you know what, I bet I could pick out any kid in this bar and they could throw the ball harder than any of you guys are. They said, “Ya, go ahead”. I said, I’ll take that little scrawny kid over there that looks like he should be washing dishes in the back…and it was Ozzie. And he came over and flipped the ball like he was turning a double play and he threw it 10 miles faster than any of those guys could. And I bet them a hundred bucks and walked away with their money.

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Filed under Baseball, Major League Baseball, Ozzie Guillen, Steve Lyons, The Score

Mad Cappin’: Northeast Style

The big winners of 07’s Free Agency. So excited they actually began to look alike. To a horrifying degree.

Being that the NHL’s Free Agent Signing Period begins in three days (On Canada Day!!! How demeaning!!), I figured I’d use my limited knowledge to analyze the NHL’s Northeast Divisions’ cap situation*. It’ll be similar to a TSN special, but with a heightened self-awareness of inferiority.

Boston Bruins

Current Number of Dudes Under Contract for the 08-09 Season: 19

Current Cap Number: $46 Million

Most Expensive Dudes: Zdeno Chara @ 7.5 million, Mark Savard @ 5 million, Patrice Bergeron @ 4.75 million, Manny Fernandez @ 4.33 million, Glen Murray @ 4.15 million

Dudes’ Take of Current Cap Figure: 55.9%

Will Savard and Hossa be recreating the magic of 05 in Boston? It’s almost certainly possible.

Wild speculation has the Bruins buying out Murray and signing Marian Hossa, a move that would reunite the old Atlanta teammates (Marc Savard had a career year in 05-06) in a more conducive environment. If Hossa could help Savard get 97 points in Atlanta, I’d say 150 isn’t out of the question in Boston. Also, when the hell did this Manny Fernandez signing occur? Don’t they have like 4 competent goaltenders within the Boston organization (Toikkenen, Auld, Thomas, Rask)? Fuck buying Murray out, get rid of that Fernandez clown and promote Tuuka Rask. Leafs’ fans haven’t suffered enough.

Buffalo Sabres

Current number of Dudes under contract for the 08-09 season: 16

Current Cap Number: 39 million

Most expensive dudes: Thomas Vanek (wow Kevin Lowe’s wheelings and dealings are simultaneously alienating fans in two cities) @ 7.14 million (for the next 5 years too. Wow), Derek Roy @ 4 million, Jochan Hecht @ 3.525 million, Jaroslav Spacek @ 3.33 million, Maxim Afinogenev @ 3.33 million

Dudes’ Take: 54.7%

Who is this wonderfully coiffed young man? While it’s Thomas “7.14 million” Vanek, or the Christopher Columbus of Restricted Free Agency. Enjoy the next five years, Sabres’ fans!!

That Vanek deal is looking awful. He’s one of the Top 10 highest paid in the Eastern Conference and he racked up 64 points last year. In a full 82 game season. Plus he has a child out of wedlock!!! All this money has and gone to his head!!! Take him Edmonton!!! But seriously, was keeping him the right move? Too early to tell, but in Buffalo, Kevin Lowe voodoo dolls must be at a premium. Also, will Campbell return to Buffalo? They got some room to make something happen, but it may come down to him or Maxim, whose contract ends after this season. Personally, I’d go with BC. Highly compensated Europeans haven’t worked out too well in Buffalo (I’m using Vanek as precedent. It’s not too early too tell. He’s a colossal bust)

Montreal Canadiens

Current number of Dudes under contract for the 08-09 season: 17

Current Cap Number: 41 million

Most expensive dudes: Andrei Markov @ 5.75 million, Roman Hamrlik @ 5.5 million?, Alex Tanguay @ 5.25 million, Saku Koivu @ 4.75 million, Alexei Kovalev @ 4.5 million

Dudes’ Take: 62.8%

Will Scandinavia follow their victory of 08 with a similar result in 09? Haps’ fans keep your fingers crossed, since it may be the last chance for Scandinavian success in Montreal.

It’s got to be pretty sweet to have your highest paid players either be mediocre or above the age of 33. Nice long-term strategy, Mr. Gainey cuz your fucked after this year. The Canadiens only have 5 players signed beyond this season and they will have to deal with the Free Agenting of Higgins, Komisarek, Kovalev, Tanguay, Koivu, and Ryder after this season. Whose without a chair? Could Canadian teams’ supposed purging of their European captains spread to Quebec? Will Kovalev make the decision easier and retire to a life of exorbitant luxury in the Russian Superleague? Will there be any dough left for Price in the summer of 10? They better make things happen this year because the future of their team in its current form is non-existent.

Ottawa Senators

Current number of dudes under contract for the 08-09 season: 14

Current Cap Number: 40 million

Most Expensive Dudes: Dany Heatley @ 7.5 million, Jason Spezza @ 7 million, Daniel Alfredsson @ 4.4 million, Mike Fisher @ 4.2 million, Martin Gerber @ 3.7 million

Dudes’ Take: 67%

Would Alfy be willing to accept fewer dollars to stay with his boys?

I really love the long term deals of Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley. They will look better the more time passes too. That being said, they have a number of questions confronthing them both this summer and next. Concerning this season, what defenceman will they choose to retain: Mezjaros or Redden? For next summer, they must decide whether or not Gerber is the goalie of the future or look elsewhere for help. And more importantly, they will have to decide whether or not to resign Alfredsson. His current contract is a fucking steal but I doubt he’d be willing to resign for anything less than 6 million/year, which is completely fair considering his career production. This is potentially crazy shit; all 4 of the European Captains within Canada could be on the way out in the next two years. Sundin and Naslund could both be gone this summer and Alfy and Koivu are Free Agents next summer for teams that are either financially committed to younger talent (Ottawa) or more likely to resign younger talent (Montreal with Higgins, Ryder, and Komisarek). This is all very ironic considering European leadership has peaked within the NHL with Nicklas Lidstrom’s captaining of the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings. Though predicting the success of one team based upon the nationality of another’s captain is questionable, Detroit’s victory would allow teams to squash any uncertainties surrounding their captain’s ability to lead by pointing to the success of Lidstrom. Considering this new get out of jail free card with the increasingly xenophobic Canadian media, the timing of these player’s potential exits is very odd. Or it could be a coincidence. We’ll have to wait and see. Anyways, it’ll be interesting to see where these great players end up in the next couple years.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Current number of dudes under contract for the 08-09 season: 18

Current Cap Number: 40 million

Most Expensive Dudes: Bryan McCabe @ 5.75 million, Pavel Kubina @ 5 million, Tomas Kaberle @ 4.25 million, Jason Blake @ 4 million, Vesa Toskala @ 4 million

Dudes’ Take: 57.5%

Jason Blake: Not the worst contract on the Leafs, but certainly in the Top 3. The Leafs take pride in that skill, dominating the Northeast leaderboard with 3 of the worst 4 contracts in the division. It’s difficult to place, however, considering the parallel shittiness of McCabe and Vanek.

And finally onto the team most likely to be analyzed, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their most highly compensated players are pretty comical considering that 4 of the top 5 payed are defensive players. Funny. Besides that, puzzling is the only way I can describe the contract of Jason Blake, or the the man most likely to be around in 2011-2012 (based solely on his contract. Only guy signed that long) Tucker is living the high life right now; guy could be living pretty doing shit for five years on the 1 mill/year the Leafs are paying him. Is the 2nd worst buyout in the Eastern Conference, behind the enviable situation of Mr. Alexei Yashin. Anyways, the big question revolves around Sundin’s future in Toronto. Is he coming back or not? I think he should go. Coming back would diminish his legacy. Leaving now would sollidify his position as a victim of the incompetency of JFJ and the rest of the idiotic Leafs’ management. Go to a contender, win a cup, and be celebrated like Kevin Garnett.

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Filed under Boston Bruins, Brian Campbell, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, Marc Savard, Marian Hossa, Mats Sundin, Montreal Canadiens, NHL, Ottawa Senators, Saku Koivu, Thomas Vanek, Toronto Maple Leafs

I Hate the Roc Boys

The story of the CDR experience: So Close

Wow. What a couple days. First the JOdeal and now this. After hopelessly abandoning the 17 due to the supposed futility of landing Rush or CDR, the lengthy Junior from Memphis nearly falls to us at 41only to be robbed at 40 by the villainous rebuilders, the New Jersey Nets. Shit, that would have been delicious. I can’t wait till Bosh’s personality lands us LeBron in the summer of 10, you fucking marsh dwellers.

While nearly pulling the screen from my laptop in anticipation of CDR’s Raptoring, I couldn’t help spewing trade scenarios in order to ensure his arrival. Though my original offer of Joey Graham and the 41 was rejected by 10 seconds of rational thought, Ibegan to construe more realistic deals. Would Jamario be enough to land CDR? Would that be a worthy swap? I think so.

After watching Rajon Rondo in the NBA Finals, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities to the Eclipse. At times, they’re both defensive game-changers who can swing momentum with a steal or a riveting drive to the cup. But the majority of the time, they’re offensive liabilities who allow their mark to roam the post and harass their All-World teammates.

Unlike Appolo 33, CDR would’ve kept em honest and I was desperately calling out for some BC intervention. But no dice. CDR’s career will soon be stagnant under the indifferent tutelage of rent-a-player Vince Carter (seriously, two years you piece of shit. Two years and you’re done) and we’re still stuck with the worst starting 3 in the Association. Damn. At least we got the Australian guy whose weaknesses include, according to the fantastic Draft Express, being “relatively unknown”. Exciting.

Side: My willingness to part with the Moon is partially unfair. I just really wanted some CDR.  

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Filed under Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jamario Moon, NBA Draft, New Jersey Nets, Toronto Raptors, Vince Carter

The Ambiguously Diverse Duo

Air Canada Centre, the year 2008.

Chris: JO, welcome to the TO, boy!!! Psyched to have you with us man. Big things this year, big things!! 

Jermaine: Ahh (runs hand through third hairstyle of day), certainly cBO. Me, yous, Jose, AP, Kapones*…I’m looking forward to it.

Chris: Ye, ye, not having Teej around’ll be tough (plays with 2nd hairstyle of afternoon), but you’re sure a welcome return. So what you wanna do on the court? What kind of things should we let you handle come October?

Jermaine: Well, cBO, I’ve always thought of myself as a defensive man first. Put me in the post and I’ll wreak havoc on opposing penetrators. Believe it.

Chris: Oh, for sure!! For sure, JO. I like to work the opposition too, my man. Nothing like swatting, is what I’ve always said. Yeah. Yeah I’ve said that.

Jermaine: Alrite cBO. Together we’ll be averaging 2 a piece. On the offensive end, I like keeping my man on his toes by establishing my mid-range J. Nothing like shocking the opposition with the big man jumper. Devestating.

(BC looks up from conference call with tailor. Injects tie knot. Continues editing FireSamMitchell) 

Chris: Ya JO. Thats what I’m talking bout man. I love working the mid-ranger. In fact, the mid-range is all I’ve got, my man. Give me an opening though, watch out!! I’ll be getting mad free throws!! Well, at least two. KNOW WHAT I MEAN!!

Jermaine: I got ya cBO, i got ya. I love getting the attempts too, man. Love it. So, cBO, what hand you shooting?

Chris: OHHHH, you know I’m shooting with the left hand, JO!!! Left handers a special breed!!

Jermaine: A special breed cBO!!

Chris: Ya, thats what I’ve always said. Ya, I’ve said that.

Jermaine: (Suspicous agreement) Ya, me too.

Chris: Ya. So JO, I noticed you’re working the cBO into the vernacular, how bout the JO7.

Jermaine: No.

Chris: Oh, ok. No JO7, thats cool man. What about the ON7?

Jermaine: No.

Chris: Seventh Son?

Jermaine: No.

Chris: Bashing Rap?

Jermaine: No.

Chris: Violent Dinosaur?

Jermaine: Enough, cBO, enough. You’re cBO, I’m JO. That’s how we do in the TO. Working for BC with some AP, we be OK. Sam Mitchell.

Chris: Alrite man, alrite. So what you doing your first nite in the dot?

Jermaine: Well, I’m thinking bout finishing Khaled Hosseini’s latest.

Chris: (Shocked discomfort) What?

Jermaine: You know, the Kite Runner guy? There was a movie (smug aura of rebellion)

Chris: (Mixture of awe and excitement. Not once in his NBA career has CB4 fallen victim to intellectual condescension) Ya, I know who Khaled Hosseini is man. The Kite Runner changed my life. It’s beautiful depiction of Afghani life helped alleviate the fabricated stereotypes created by 9/11. His portrayal of the lifelong guilt created by childhood events humanized the Afghan people and created a unbending bond between me and the inhabitants of that haunted land.

Jermaine: (Uncanny identification of inner-self in another) Yes.

Chris: Yes

Jose: (Stumbles in locker room, donned in black. Pulls two Gatorades from belt holster) Hey guy. Have gatorade.

Jermaine and Chris: (Thirsty from personally unparalleled level of bonding, welcome Gatorades without deviating from each other’s identical eyes. Their mutual favorite Fruit Punch Gatorade cleanses the goosebumps from their throats)

Jose: (Attempts to hide lower lip) You guy see Jarbo?

Jermaine and Chris, Chris and Jermaine: No

Jose: (With head down, leaves locker room, but not before delivering Gatorade to all)

Voiceover: As one questionable male relationship ends in the city of Toronto, another takes it place. When a man as stylish as BC runs your team, there will never be a shortage. Go Raps.

 *AND PRIMOZ!!!!

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Filed under Bryan Colangelo, Chris Bosh, Jermaine O'Neal, NBA, Toronto Raptors

Soft Yanks

Looking at the recently revealed USA Dream Team V or whatever the shit it is now, it appears to be pretty soft round the post. Why did the “mecca” of basketball minds choose to carry 3 point guards, 3 shooting guards, and 3 small forwards yet only 3 PF/C types? Seems like an odd choice, especially the inclusion of Jason Kidd. That guys is balls. Couldn’t ya toss Amare a invite? I mean Jason Kidd? What is he even good at these days? I guess Dwight Howard alone could win the gold.

On a completely hypothetical and selfish note, I’m hoping CB4 uses his time in Beijing to develop some tight relations with the Class of ‘010. The Raps are gonna have 23 Mill to spend in two years. Yessss BC. 

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Filed under Basketball, Chris Bosh, Jason Kidd, USA Basketball

JO to TO? Please BC

The Key to the Treasure Chest of ‘010

Too many acronyms? Who cares, the Raps may soon have the best frontcourt in the Eastern Conference. According to the Indianapolis Star (via the Arsenalist), Jermaine O’Neal could become a member of the Toronto Raptors. And we’d get rid of TJ Ford? Outtttttstanding.

The Star is reporting that a TJ-Rasho-17 package could net the Raps the veteran lefty. Though I am a little tentative to include the 17, if the Pacers demand it, BC should pull the trigger. JO is a defensive force who could instantly improve one of the Raptors’ key weaknesses. Throw in the rebounding help, the guys averaged 8.8 or more 6 of the past 7 seasons*, and this deal is money for the Raps. Although Rasho is an effective, intelligent baller, his exit, like TJ’s, was inevitable considering the attractive combo of his play and expiring contract. Speaking of expiring contracts…

Unlike the many pundits who feel JO’s exorbitant contract is a negative, to me, it’s the most enticing aspect of the deal. I’m shocked more teams aren’t chasing JO. Why? Primarily because JO’s deal ends in 2010, or the year of the greatest free agent class of all time. Here’s the mind-boggling list of 010′ FAs (lifted from Stop Mike Lupica):

Joe Johnson
Ray Allen
Ben Wallace
LeBron James (player option, likely)
Dirk Nowitzki (player option, unlikely)
Josh Howard (player option, likely)
Marcus Camby
Rip Hamilton
Stephen Jackson
Tracy McGrady
Shaquille O’Neal
Dwyane Wade (player option for 10/11, unlikely)
Michael Redd (player option for 10/11, likely)
Tyson Chandler (player option for 10/11 – 50/50)
Eddy Curry (player option for 10/11 – 50/50)
Amare Stoudemire (player option for 10/11, unlikely)
Brad Miller
Manu Ginobili
Chris Bosh (player option for 10/11, unlikely)
How disgusting is that?

Basically, this deal is an experiment that cannot fail. For the next two years, rolling the dice with an injury-plagued JO is much more appealing than extending Teej’s pouting. Best-case scenario, the two lefties dominate the post, allowing countless doublers to be burnt off wide-open threes from AP, Kapones, and Calderon. Worst-case scenario, and it’s pretty bad, JO goes down to injuries and we’re stuck with regular Humph time.  Whatever, the possible reward is worth the risk.

Making the worst-case scenario much more manageable is what would follow. After 2 years, if JO falters, which I admit seems pretty likely, there’ll always be the light at the end of the tunnel that is Manu. Or Rip. Or Lebron. Or Melo. Or D-Wade. Or Redd. Or Captain Jack. Or Dirk. Or Josh Howard.

Honestly, this contract, considering the timing and value of the deal, is the most valuable expiring contract in the Association. Having JO in 2010 guarantees a premier player that summer. Plus, if the Raps’ realize the premier FAs of ‘010 won’t sign with Toronto, they could move JO to a team with a hardon for one of those dudes. What could we get for that contract? Think of the possibilities. If my scenario plays out, as I hope and pray it does, then TJ-Rasho-17 now could, and this is an enormous could, turn into LeBron later. Insane hypothetical, I know, but still within the realm of possibility.  A possibility that makes the 17 an afterthought. Make it happen BC.

*Some nice cherry-pickin’

 

 

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Filed under Chris Bosh, Indiana Pacers, Jermaine O'Neal, Lebron James, Manu Ginobili, NBA, TJ Ford, Toronto Raptors, Uncategorized

A Stoppage Scandal in the UFC? Nahhh…

Only two weeks after the MMA elitists reigned down allegations of match-fixing upon EliteXC, the UFC ironically appears to be in the midst of a controversy themselves. Last nite, during the Ultimate Fighter Final between Amir Sadollah and CB Dalloway, some premature stoppage was definitely in play. After idiotically taking Amir to the ground, which he vowed not to do in the pre-fight interview piece, CB was semi-caught in an armbar. Though it didn’t appear fully in place, CB tapped Amir’s leg just ONCE, forcing experienced ref Herb Dean to call the fight.

While I agree with Dean’s stoppage, mostly because CB is a rabid douchebag, I doubt everyone will share my sentiment. Usually taps aren’t as deliberate and calm as the one CB layed on Amir’s leg. They usually show some urgency, which was absent from CB’s action.

On the other hand, if CB wasn’t tapping, which his shocked mangled face* appeared to believe immediately after the stoppage, then what the fuck was he thinking? Wasn’t there precedent for armbar stoppage via Amir? Weren’t you caught in a submission? The single hand tap, whatever your intentions for it, may not have been the best course of action at that particular time. I mean were you hoping Amir would let up on the armbar, allowing you to pummel him with your upper lip?

There can be arguments made from each side, but how ironic is it that a controversial stoppage came just 3 weeks after the purists denounced the EliteXC as rigged trash. Could there be reason for CB’s contrived defeat? I can think of one.

RIDICULOUS CONSPIRACY ALERT: During the final episode of TUF: Rampage v. Forest, Jesse Taylor was given the boot for being a belligerent asshole. Though his removal from the UFC was certainly justified, vandalizing limos and harassing women ain’t cool, the lack of punishment for CB was questionable. I mean he was with JT the whole time, as the lobby videotape showed** and he admitted in his blog, and you’re going to tell me he wasn’t provoking JT? I mean this guy went to ASU. He’s not Tim Credeur. He’s a fucking frat boy asshole. How could Dana not punish him as well? Didn’t that Lobster clown get the boot for REFFING a house brawl? How is this any different?  

I guess the punishment came in the form of a questionable stoppage given to a personable, humble fighter who would be a much better face to brand UFC with. I mean CBs’ is kind of weird looking.

*Was not damaged during the fight

**It’s hard to miss the stiff upper lip and 10 inch forehead of Mr. Dollaway

 

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Filed under Amir Sadollah, CB Dollaway, Dana White, EliteXC, MMA, UFC