Kevin Garnett to Boston after all?

July 30, 2007

KG

So Kevin Garnett could be coming to Boston after all?

ESPN is reporting that talks between Minnesota and the Celtics resumed Sunday, with former teammates and close friends Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge intent on making it work.

And it has to. Minnesota has been trying to unload Garnett for almost 12 months and need to make something happen. The Celtics aren’t much better after the Ray Allen deal and still possess plenty of trading assets.

But why the renewed talks now, after last month’s all-but-done deal was squashed by KG’s reluctance to come to Beantown?

A few reasons:

1). Boston doesn’t suck as much. I’m a little skeptical of the Ray Allen deal, but still, it gives the Celts a second bona fide All-Star and someone who can stretch the perimeter for slashers like Pierce and Rondo. Having two All-Star veterans makes the Celtics much more appealing.

2) Where else is Garnett going to go? The Kobe-KG talks have silenced since the first week the possibility was reported. Golden State seems to be out of the running after the Warriors dealt their main bargaining chip, Jason Richardson, to Charlotte in a draft day deal for Brandan Wright. Phoenix, ESPN is reporting, is unwilling to part with Amare Stoudamire (who would have to be part of the deal – the T-Wolves aren’t considering a Shawn Marion package) and might have trouble making a deal work financially.

3) Maybe Garnett talked to Lebron James.
KG: Listen Bron, how would I like it in the East?
King James: You’ll love it. Every team is whack. You can win right away.
KG: Yea, true. I guess Pierce and Allen is a little better than Gibson and Hughes.
KJ: Umm…yea. Hello.

After Bron-Bron one-man-showed it to the NBA Finals with a group of misfits and gimmicks (see my Lebron playoff post in the archives), it’s apparent that the Eastern Conference is as ripe for the taking as ever. No doubt Garnett noticed this. A trio of Garnett, Pierce and Allen is obviously outstanding and would no doubt contend in the Western conference, never mind the diluted East.

The only drawback it seems, is that Gerald Green would now have to be included in the deal as a replacement for the No. 5 pick that was part of the previous package. Pretty steep considering Al Jefferson is a given in the deal. Ditto Theo Ratliff. Sebastian Telfair would probably round out the offering, with the possibility of a few throw-in players from each side to even out the money (Troy Hudson to Boston, maybe) and probably a future draft pick or two to Minny.

Now — not considering any future picks — if you put the deals for Allen and KG together into one super-mega-trade, it looks like this:

Boston gives:
Al Jefferson
Gerald Green
Sebastian Telfair
Theo Ratliff
Wally Szczerbiak
Delonte West
Jeff Green (No. 5 pick in 2007)

Boston gets:
Ray Allen
Kevin Garnett
Glen “Big Baby” Davis (2007 second-rounder)

Talk about an overhaul. I’m not a Danny Ainge fan. I admit he’s drafted fairly well, but his trades have been mostly disastrous and his penchant for acquiring un-athletic, white players (Raef, Wally, Scales and Dan Dickau) always leaves the team with one or two stiffs clogging the roster.

That said, if he pulls this off, he will have finally done what he came here to do in 2003 – field a legitimate title contender. He may have changed his course of direction half a dozen times, but at least he’s always worked with what he’s had.

When the Celts were sitting atop the division two years ago and threatening in a crappy East, he went out and got Antoine Walker and re-acquired Gary Payton, abandoning the youth movement. When the team was saddled with veteran bums and lacking the cap space to improve via free agency, he fielded a roster of 20-somethings that took their lumps, tanked for a chance at Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, and along the way, showcased the young talent.

When the Celtics didn’t get the pick, Ainge again scrapped the youth movement, this time opting to wheel-and-deal from his stockpile of youngsters and draft picks.

It may have taken five years, but if this deal come to fruition, Ainge’s tenure, however flip-floppy and short-sided it might have been at times, might be considered a success.

And that’s something no one could have predicted.

Advertisements

South Park, MySpace Creeps and other parting shots heading into the weekend

July 26, 2007

South Park

I can’t believe I used to not like South Park. I can’t believe I actually argued Family Guy was better. And this was just a year ago. What was I thinking?

I guess I just saw some of the early seasons (seasons 1 and 2 actually aren’t that good) and must have only seen bad episodes from the later ones. What probably happened, is that I saw a bunch of the gross poop, puke, weird ones that I don’t really like anyway.

But still, I’m almost embarrassed I defended Family Guy. South Park is infinitely better. It’s wittier, funnier, more clever and absolutely makes fun of everything. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are legit geniuses. The stuff they come up with…incredible.

They use to perfection: satire, lampooning, parody and shock-value (yea I took a comedy class freshman year). Their message is never real, but always one of humor – they make fun of every side of an issue you can think of, making sure no one gets left out. And when they get too preachy, or when they think they do, they make fun of themselves.

My roommates and I DVR’d all episodes this year, so I’ve almost seen every episode now, although new ones crop up in My Recordings every now and then.

Seriously, you have to trust me on this. If you’re shaking your head saying “no way, that show is whack,” you really need to give it a shot. I’m telling you, no show keeps up with pop culture and current events like this one. And no show makes fun of them in a way that’s always pretty much exactly how you want it.

God bless Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny for making my year way funnier.

Read an article that said MySpace identified 29,000 sex offenders with profiles on its site. Haha, WHAT??? Yea, that site is safe. Wall post away, kids!

A very underrated thing we do as humans is heal. Cut myself the other day and was thinking about it. You lose skin, your body takes care of it. Lil scab, shed the dead skin, grow some new skin and, bingo, you’re all good. So ill that we have that rejuvenation power. Good looks, God.

“So easy a caveman could do it” is taking over rap lyrics. That line is in so many songs now. It was clever the first 1 or 2 times I heard it. Now I’m over it.

Wow the drawstring in gym shorts is annoying. You kidding me? Why’s this thing designed to fall out? Anyone wanna explain that? I know you’re with me, you hate that moment when you look down and notice one string is way longer than the other and the other has slipped through the hole. You might even feel around a little bit thinking you can fix it. No way pal. You need a Mom for that. They’re nice at it.

Actually, girls in general are pretty good at it. I don’t know one guy who can do it. Except Matty D says his dad can. Don’t know if I believe him though.

Was watching TV the other day with my boy Trey and that Pepsi Max commercial came on with all the people yawning in it. It legit made Trey yawn, I loved it. So I hit rewind and watched it again more closely to see if it would do it to me. Didn’t work, but I could kinda feel my mouth moving a little. Don’t know if me being conscience of what I was trying to do affected it or not. Anyone yawn to this commercial?

Couple last sidenotes in what might be my last post until Monday:

This is a huge weekend for concerts. You got the Police at Fenway, 311 at Tweeter, Country Fest and Rage Against the Machine w/ Wu-Tang. So redic for music lovers.

Gotta mention sports once. How bout this: The Red Sox and Indians’ exchange of 1-0 victories on consecutive nights was the first time two AL teams did that since 1975. Doesn’t that seem pretty absurd?

By the way, don’t you dare pitch to ANY Yankee. It’s probably going to end up an RBI double or something.


Bruschi Alive and Well

July 24, 2007

Tedy Bruschi is alive. It was all just a rumor.

I finally got the confirmation I needed. NBC sports reporter Tom Curran posted this a few hours ago. Boston.com even made sure to post a story with the headline “Seymour on PUP; Bruschi arrives” on the front page of it’s sports section. Apparently, and this is according to Curran, it all started at FOX, where an anonymous email came in claiming Bruschi had died of a heart attack or something similar this morning.

A reporter called other reporters (not the Patriots!) who called others who called others, etc etc….until it got so out of hand that seemingly half of New England was wondering if Bruschi was alive.

It’s like the game telephone, someone said something to someone and it escaleted. By the end of the Sox game Tuesday, I was getting IMs and phone calls from people wondering the same thing: Was New England’s stroke-recovered linebacker OK? I heard a lot of different stories — Bruschi had a heart attack, he had another stroke, he had a heart attack but was OK. It was ridiculous.

Then, when word started to surface he was alive and well, I felt disgusted that someone would start a rumor like that. But apparently that wasn’t the case either. Just a careless miscommunication that grew grander as each person put his or her own spin on it (unintentional or not). But still, who the hell sent that email? We don’t know exactly what it said. Did they blatanty say they knew Bruschi died, did they inquire on an already running rumor, or did they get an offhand remark from a confused doctor?

But, the bottom line is he’s fine. So screw the other stuff for now.

Go #54.


Tedy Bruschi Alive?

July 24, 2007

So apparently Tedy Bruschi is alive? And he didn’t even have a heart attack? Thank God if that’s true.

I heard that from a friend of a friend of a friend who knows someone close to the Bruschi family I guess. So make of that what you will, but I believe it. I’ve forced myself to.

{Note: stumbled upon this link after I posted this. Just a blog, but it says he’s OK.}

What the hell is going on here? I heard from a few people online Bruschi suffered a heart attack playing golf today, sort of a heard from a friend who knows someone who’s friends with someone who works at a hospital type of deal. I didn’t think much of it after searching franticly on all the airwaves (TV news, ESPN, WEEI, boston.com, google, etc.) and finding nothing, but then when my Dad (a bartender who’s prone to seeing different people all day) called and told me he heard Bruschi died today at 2 p.m., I couldn’t believe it.

It hasn’t been in the news or anything, so hopefully — coupled with the new information I heard — that means none of this is true.

And if that’s the case, then this is one despicable rumor. I hope no one would actually do that to someone’s family, friends and fanbase.

Comment if you hear anything.


Tim Donaghy: Evidence and clips against the former NBA ref

July 24, 2007

      Timmy 

A couple notes on the Tim Donaghy scandal. Donaghy, as you probably know,  is the NBA ref accused by the FBI of shaving points in NBA games in order to allay his financial troubles.

Donaghy, whose reasons for debt remain unclear, but are assumed to be gambling related, reportedly took orders from bookies with ties to the mob who threatened to kill him if he didn’t cooperate.  

Donaghy has worked in the league for awhile now and he’s probably done a lot of things wrong that we’ll soon find out about. But his biggest disservice, at least to the fans, has to be his part in the horrifically officiated third game of the Spurs-Suns series in Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs.  

 

Donaghy worked the game, a 108-101 San Antonio win that reeked of Spurs’ favoritism, with Greg Willard and Eddie F. Rush, the whole crew even chastised the next day by supposed NBA aficionado and respected ESPN columnist Bill Simmons.

 

Now the YouTube clips from that night have started to surface, with no doubt more on the way. The first morsels of evidence we have are two clips depicting two separate bogus calls taped off the Spanish broadcast of the game.

 

Watch the footage and you’ll see both calls were made by — tada! — Tim Donaghy!

 

Here’s the first. A foul on Amare Stoudemire contesting a Tim Duncan shot. On the replay, Amare appears to get all ball, not bumping Duncan until after the shot is blocked. Watch as Suns coach Mike D’Antoni argues with Donaghy on the sideline. What the hell do you think is being said here???? “Sorry coach, but I got San Antonio tonight.”

 

In the second clip — again in Spanish for some reason, but who cares — Duncan returns the favor to Amare, fouling the Suns big man on his way up for a dunk. Only this time the call isn’t made. The referee closest to the play: Tim F’n Donaghy.

 

The Spurs of course march right back down the court and get to the line on a weak Raja Bell foul on Manu Ginobili. Again, Donaghy gets into it with D’Antoni, the beef probably pertaining more to the non-call on Duncan than the foul given to Bell.

 

The third clip is a little longer and, thankfully, the English version of the broadcast. It shows the call getting the most ink these days: the verrry late shooting foul awarded to Ginobili. Simmons alludes to this clip in his ESPN piece ripping the NBA, although he doesn’t post the link for some reason (makes you wonder if that was an order from higher up), noting that you can actually hear the announcers openly question the absurdity of the call.

 

The last link I accidentally discovered when doing a Google Image search on Donaghy. It’s a website for Dr. Siepser’ Laser EyeCare, an eyesight correctional business based in Philadelphia, containing satisfied testimonies from Siepser’s laser surgery patients. Guess who one of them is?? Located second from the bottom. That’s right, NBA referee Tim Donaghy. Proud recipient of new vision and satisfied customer of Siepser. You’d think a referee would need good eyes, right? Too bad Siepser doesn’t specialize in conscience-corrective surgery.

 

(Note: The webmasters for this site removed Donaghy’s testimony. Other people must have stumbled upon it while surfing the web for info on Donaghy like I did. I almost feel bad for them. You would have thought he was a great person to have on there. Anyway, his quote was unreal. It read something like he was very pleased with the surgery, had to be because of the importance of vision in his profession, blah blah blah. Very ironic. Sorry if you didn’t get to see it.

 

If you Google Image his name, the link to his picture on the site still comes up, though. It’s Donaghy sitting in some sort of office. A little bit bigger than a jail cell, I think.)


I bet you hated Dustin Pedroia

July 23, 2007

Dusty

Admit it. You hated Dustin Pedroia, didn’t you? From his dismal cameo in the bigs toward the tail end of last season and up to the beginning of May when he was hitting below .200, you couldn’t stand the guy.           

You wanted Alex Cora. You begged Terry Francona to make the switch at second base. “He plays good defense, plus this guy can actually hit,” you thought. You didn’t get what the Sox and General Manager Theo Epstein saw in him, did you? Admit it. 

I will. I thought this guy was a joke for awhile. I kept reading all the stories on how he hit his entire life, whether it was at Arizona State or down in Pawtucket. I kept hearing: “this guy hit above .300 at every level. He’ll be fine.” Then I’d come across a sample of a scouting report and it never would really identify a particular skill. 

He doesn’t have much power. He’s not fast. He plays above-average, but not spectacular defense. He’s not known for a super eye like Kevin Youkilis. But, from what scouts said, he just got the job done. 

Well, he didn’t get the job done first 2 ½ months in The Show. Now? He may be the best at it. For all the talk of the importance of Youkilis, Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and Hideki Okajima, Pedroia may be the one who has been the most valuable thus far in 2007. Since going on a tear in the second week or so of May, Pedroia has delivered no matter where he’s hit. He’s been a steady No. 2 hitter. He’s brought balance at the bottom of the lineup. He’s even hit leadoff in a pinch. 

He’s hitting .320 with an on-base percentage a shade under .400 (.397). But he’s done much more than that. He’s brought a certain energy, or spark, or something to a team of veterans making a whole lot more than him (league minimum $380,000). 

Take a July 16 game against the Royals for instance. The Sox had lost 5-of-7 games and desperately needed a win and confidence boost with the Yanks surging. Pedroia provided that boost. The diminutive second baseman – he’s smaller than me at 5’9” 180 – led off the fourth inning with a home run into the Monster Seats, staking the Sox to a 1-0 lead and sparking a two-homer inning when Manny put one on the other side of Monster two batters later. 

In the very next frame, the top of the fifth, Pedroia did some work with the leather. Sox starter Kason Gabbard loaded the bases with two outs. Up to this point Gabbard had pitched a gem. But with the Sox clinging to a slim 2-0 lead, one mistake could change the entire ballgame. A single would tie it up, anything more would give away the lead – not to mention the ramifications it would bring on a minor league starter who’s pitching in a raucous Fenway atmosphere with his job on the line. 

Kansas City shortstop Tony Pena Jr. hit a chopper back to the mound, the ball bouncing over Gabbard’s glove and into No Man’s Land in the area behind the pitcher and in front of the central infielders. A surefire infield hit and perhaps the beginning of a rally. Only Pedroia charged the ball and somehow got the ball over to first before Pena. Out. Inning over. 

“The play with the bases loaded, that’s a game-changing play,” Francona told The Boston Globe after that game. “Because that looks like it’s got base hit written all over it, so they’re still hitting with a run scored.” 

And on that day, you might have thought to yourself: “Gee, maybe I was wrong about this guy. Maybe he’s more valuable than I realized.” 

You thought, “Maybe I prefer him over Robinson Cano or Placido Polanco.” 

Then you might have gone and wrote about it.  


Sox Fans: Don’t Worry About Yankees

July 19, 2007

Yanks 

(Nick’s Note: The Following entry was written entirely by Wolfie. I may post something on it in a few days as well. Enjoy the post. As usual, feel free to comment.)

I can’t listen to WEEI right now. Everyone needs to take a deep breath. The nation is acting like they just got indicted for dogfighting.

I’m not sweating New York one bit. It’s all in your head. They owned us for decades and we are programmed to expect the worst. This isn’t your daddy’s Red Sox though. This team is built to win.

Baseball is cyclical. Over the long run the better talent will prevail. As for the short run? Well even the KC Royals can beat you in Fenway. Look, the Sox are 2nd in the AL in team ERA and first in runs allowed (377). This team can pitch. MDC, Okie, JP? Opposing teams don’t want to see that in the 7th, 8th, and 9th. The Sox don’t slug the ball? Despite Drew hitting an empty .260, The Red Sox have the third highest OPS in all of baseball (.800). Those runners are not going to keep getting stranded forever. The Red Sox are actually underperforming their way to the 2nd best record in baseball. It will even out. Flip a coin 100 times if you don’t believe me.

Things are not always as they seem. It feels like Coco and Drew have been terrible, but it’s actually that they got off to a bad start. Since June 1, Coco has hit .315 with an .843 OPS while Drew has hit .306 with a .895 OPS. They both are headed in the right direction.

Same thing with Ramirez, who’s posted a .950 OPS after April. The home runs haven’t been there for Ortiz, but you need to realize he has 32 doubles and has a sneaky 1.001 OPS, or the same exact OPS he had in 2005. He hasn’t been as magic, but Ortiz is still hitting significantly better than anyone on NY’s roster outside of Rodriguez.

New York has an atrocious pen leading up to Mo. The Murderer’s Row lineup sports Posada as its 2nd best hitter this season. How’s Damon doing? How about Rob Abreu? Giambi still putting them in the upper deck? Cano hitting .342 again yet? New York needs Clemens to live through the season and Hughes to come up and be spectacular if they plan on being relevant.

It’s down to 7 games. Bottom line: it’s not easy to gain 7 games on a team that is better than you, remember that. Good luck NY.