Thursday, April 28, 2005

Save Our Trees- Recycle Red Sox Books!

OK let me get this straight- the Sox winning a World Series is cause for every member of the entire team to write a book?! Sure, David Wells wrote a book...that was awful too! Now, I have always been against the principles from the novel Fahrenheit 451, but book burning sounds pretty good right now. For Red Sox fans, the aforementioned novel is indeed a real book which you have never heard of because you are too busy reading a book by...Johnny Damon?! What a waste of good toilet paper!

Next in line for wasting trees is a book by Curt Schilling. Be sure to check out the ESPN article which gently shreds, obliterates, tears apart, and utterly destroys the book. To quote the article- "This soon-to-be best seller proves one thing – the only thing Curt Schilling doesn't know is when to shut up." BRILLIANT!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Big Night in Bronx for A-Rod is Initiation into Pinstripes

On Tuesday night, Yankee fans everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief and warmly embraced Alex Rodriguez. This sudden love came on the heels of one of the greatest offensive performances in Yankees history. A-Rod's struggles at the plate with runners in scoring position abruptly ended with his 3 home runs (all 400+ ft) and 10 RBI. He essentially hit for an "RBI cycle," knocking a run in with a single up the middle, and belting a 2-run, a 3-run, and a grand slam homer. Entering the game hitting .280, the 4-for-5 outburst raised his average to .310 and gave him 7 homers and a league-leading 25 RBI on the season. Although A-Rod hit .286 with 36 HR, 106 RBI, & 28 SB last year, it was considered an inconsistent and underachieving season for the player many consider to be the best in baseball. On Tuesday, he finally lived up to the hype, as Yankee fans gave him a standing ovation after his final at-bat, a lineout to centerfield in the 8th. Needless to say, A-Rod appears to have earned his pinstripes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Underrated Impact Players- NBA West

Houston Rockets: C Dikembe Mutombo could easily be the underrated hero on this squad, but when G Bobby Sura is healthy he has provided energy, efficient scoring, and underrated point-guard play as a natural 2-man. He averaged 10 pts, 5.5 rebounds, & 5.2 assists per contest this season, and ever since adding him to the team late last year, it's no secret that Houston is a much better team with him in the starting lineup than not (their 0-4 record this year when he sits out or does not start is a short glimpse of just that).
Dallas Mavericks: So he had a sub-par regular season (9.2 pts, 8.5 boards), but C Erick Dampier is the best defender on the Mavs, and we all know how much D is played in Big D. Dallas needs him rather than Dirk Nowitzki to guard big guys like Tim Duncan, Yao Ming, and Amare Stoudamire. Anything he contributes on offense is a plus but definitely not needed.
Denver Nuggets: If Denver has any hopes of advancing, C Marcus Camby will need to play like he did in their Game 1 win against San Antonio (Camby had 12 pts, 12 boards, & 4 blocks, and played more minutes- 40- than any other Nugget). Why Camby? Although Kenyon Martin is a great defender, the All-Star big guys in the West can shoot over or around K-Mart, and Camby excels at weak-side defense, soaring in with his Stretch-Armstrong wingspan to block shots and rebound.
San Antonio Spurs: Tony Park, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili will be consistent contributors on both ends, and Bruce Bowen will have his man under wraps, so the real X-factor for the Spurs is C Nazr Mohammed. He had a monster effort in Game 1, going for 15 & 15 with 4 nine (NINE!) of his boards were on the offensive end.
Sacramento Kings: Although he's not underrated, C Brad Miller is coming off of a long-term injury. Playing only 8 minutes in the Kings' Game 1 loss to Seattle, if he can return to form in a short amount of time, Sacramento is suddenly a serious contender as the 6th seed. Miller's 15.6 points and 9.3 rebounds combined with Peja, Cuttino Mobley, and Mike Bibby makes for a potent foursome.
Seattle Sonics: Their role players, people like Reggie Evans, Luke Ridnour, and Antonio Daniels are vital, it's true. But to take out shooters like Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis and put in as comparable of a stroke that you can get at this level in F Vladimir Radmanovic (39% from the arc) is something most other teams dont have. One of the two Sonics can stay fresh during games because Radmanovic can come in, knock down a few threes, grab a few boards, and give way to the starter one again. The other players are important too, but because Seattle lives and dies with Lewis and Allen, Radmanovic is the underrated guy who will make a noticeable impact.
Memphis Grizzlies: More people need to praise G Mike Miller. This guy is absolutely unconscious from downtown. Some people know this, but he still doesn't get all the credit he deserves. I can't understate the importance of a great shooter roaming the perimeter and the impact that has on the play of a team's big guys (in this case, Pau Gasol). Miller shot 43% from threes this year, and hit 5 of 7 in Game 1 against Phoenix. Look for him to continue is hot hand and be the one guy (if any) who can hit a shot to upset the Suns.
Phoenix Suns: The Suns thrive off their high-flying offense, propelled by the starters. Their bench is mediocre, so I had to pick somebody known but very underrated. Even though he is an All-Star, F Shawn Marion does it all for Phoenix and gets little credit because of Steve Nash, Amare Stoudamire, and the shooting of Quentin Richardson. Marion, a 6-7 small forward, was moved into the power forward. He never complained and actually had his most successful season yet- 19.4 pts, 11.3 boards (again I'll say it- 6-7 small forward). Marion is the least-hyped lately and deserves to regain more credit, because it is certainly due.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Underrated Impact Players- NBA East

How often have we seen it? Steve Kerr hitting a clutch shot on a pass from MJ and Rex Chapman's fall-away, game-tying J from the corner from Jason Kidd in '97...or last year's memorable call: "Derek Fisher scores! at! the buzzer!" Unsung heroes and underrated players are an essential aspect of championship teams. Here is this year's Eastern Conference All-Unsung Team, sure to have a playoff impact:
New Jersey Nets: One analyst likens the Nets to 2 great players who wait around to play pickup with their teammates and, when they don't show, grab 3 other guys and still do OK. That being said, it was difficult to find an unsung hero, but I gave the nod to PG Travis Best, the seasoned playoff vet who can provide speed and scoring off the bench and give J-Kidd the short break NJ can afford if they hope to succeed.
Miami Heat: G Damon Jones (30 pts, 7-9 from deep in Game 1 against NJ) must absolutely love Miami. As an outside shooter, what could be better than playing with the most dominate big guy in Shaq and a remarkable drive-and-kick-or-finish slasher like Dwyane Wade? Undrafted out of college, Jones has found a home, ranking among the league leaders in 3PTM this year, connecting at a 43% rate.
Boston Celtics: C Raef LaFrentz is a big guy capable of stretching D's and opening the paint for guys like Paul Pierce, Ricky Davis, Antoine Walker, and Gary Payton. Going for 21 in the C's win over the Pacers in Game 1 of their series, including 5-5 from 3's, Raef's scoring and shot-blocking are essential to this team.
Indiana Pacers: F Dale Davis, a late-season pickup, causes some matchup problems with his strength against teams that play small like Boston and takes some (keyword: some) pressure off Jermaine O'Neal in the post. Like his name suggest, Double D is a great defender who is a big rebounder and, at very least, 5 fouls against a guy like Shaq.
Philadelphia 76ers: AI provides the scoring & distributing and AI2 (rookie Andre Iguodala) provides stellar D, so if F Kyle Korver is shooting lights out from the arc as he is capable of doing, Philly has all the essentials of a successful backcourt. Plus it turns an effective defensive strategy of collapsing on Iverson's drives into a 41% gamble if Korver is left open from downtown.
Detroit Pistons: Everyone knows their starters are a cohesive unit on D, able to make scoring spurts from time to time. So who is the sleeper on this team? Yep, you guessed it- Darko Milicic! Nah, just kidding...the only way he's a sleeper is during his 48-min nap on the bench each game. The real unsung hero is F Antonio McDyess, who provides much-needed scoring from 15 feet in, as well as another big body against the big West teams.
Washington Wizards: I'm going with- Lord help me- F/C Kwame Brown. If this former #1 pick is ever going to find a successful role in the NBA, perhaps it's as a spark off the bench. Going for 13 pts, 9 boards in Game 1 vs. Chicago, the Wiz need Kwame to continue to contribute solid....adequate...ANY numbers. PLEASE! You're a number 1 pick!!
Chicago Bulls: Why Ben Gordon still doesn't start is beyond me- perhaps chemistry, giving the bench a scoring threat, or his early-game inconsistency- but starting G Chris Duhon gives the Bulls an underrated player who can do lots of everything. A natural PG starting at the 2, he had 7 pts, 6 assists, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals in a Game 1 win for the Baby Bulls who, thanks to Duhon and others, are finally growing up.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

How to Win an Extra-Inning Game

After watching his team score 2 in the top of the 9th against the D'Rays, Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona sent out lefty reliever Alan Embree to face righthanded Eduardo Perez, who promptly hit the game-winning HR. A (typical) disgruntled Red Sox fan expressed his (typical) frustration, believing closer Keith Foulke should have gotten the call. I'm here to tell him and you- he's wrong. Why? Your team has just tied it up and is now playing for the win on the road, which would mean holding your opponent and going into extras. If you put your closer in immediately and the game goes deep into extras, you are in the same exact situation- you need a guy like Embree to hold the opponent scoreless to win it. I would expect a manager to play matchups (which Francona was attempting), using relievers in spots against certain hitters until you get a lead or absolutely need to put the closer in. Keep in mind that on the road, you want your closer in later in order to lock down the W, but at home, if they touch up your closer, you can still come back and tie it up or win it in the bottom of the inning. And don't give me the argument about "stepping it up" in baseball. Sure, you hit more defensively, attempt to move the runners over to eek out a run...but the more you think, the more you physically press at the plate or on the mound, the more you swing through pitches or miss your catcher's target. In football or basketball, you can push your body to the limit, but in baseball, it's all about strategy and playing steady, heady ball. To win an extra-inning game (on the road), you play the matchups of righty and lefty batters vs pitchers, and you don't put your closer in the game until you get the lead and need an automatic shutout inning. What's the point of putting him in, only to continue into extra-innings and have a middle reliever give up the game-winner?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Struggling Powerhouses in MLB

According to Sports Illustrated's Power Rankings (April 20), 6 of the 8 playoff teams in 2004 are ranked 7th or lower in the league. The only positive improvement has been the Dodgers, who are 1st in the rankings, whereas last year they were eliminated in the first round. Even the Cardinals, the 2nd-place team for '04, moved down to 3 (still entirely respectable). The defending champs (the *sigh* Red Sox...) are 7th and the Twins, 8th. From there, it's a plummet straight down to the Astros (13), Angels (16), Braves (17), & Yankees (21). The biggest surprises in the standings so far? Baltimore & Toronto are 4th and 5th, respectively, ahead of both Boston and New York...and the Washington Nationals are 9th at 9-7 overall (these were the Expos last year people...the MONTREAL EXPOS). Interesting to note is that the NL East-leading Nats are tied with the Marlins, while the Braves, Phillies, and Mets are all 1 game back at 8-8 each. Should be a crazy year for baseball...then again, what else do you expect after the Red Sox win it all? A cataclysmic tsunami?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Rookie Battle Comes Down to a Pair of Huskies

From Josh Smith's dunks to Ben Gordon's late-game heroics, rookies have had some pretty impressive showings this season in the NBA. Here's my countdown of the top 5 diaper-dandies-
5. Andre Iguodala, G/F- Philly: Not a bad season for the #9 pick (8.9 pts, 5.7 rebs, 2.9 dimes), and he edges Atlanta's Josh Smith for the fifth spot. Both can throw down with the best of 'em, but Andre starts for a playoff team and has caused elite players like Kobe Bryant to comment on his lock-down D.
4. Josh Childress, G/F- Atlanta: Averaging 10.0, 5.9, & 1.9 per game as the #6 overall pick in the draft, Childress really came on strong down the stretch as a consistent source of scoring and rebounding.
3. Dwight Howard, F/C- Orlando: A double-double (11.8 pts, 10.1 rebs) as a ROOKIE? Are you kidding me? Unfortunately for Howard, another rookie surpassed even this stat, and still another fueled a surprising team into the playoffs.
2. Ben Gordon, G- Chicago: The Baby Bulls are a bonafide NCAA All-America squad (sort of), and Gordon has been their brightest star, averaging 15.1 pts, 2.6 boards, 2.0 assists for the #4-seed Bulls...not to mention he absolutely went crazy every fourth quarter, notching a few game-winners along the way.
1. Rookie of the Year- Emeka Okafor, F/C- Charlotte: Although nearly impossible to out-do Howard and Gordon, Okafor did just that. As the only consistent threat on the Bobcats, defenses focused on him every game, yet he averaged 15.1, 10.9, & 1.7 blocks per contest.

Monday, April 18, 2005


As Cleveland scuffles and slides down to the 9th spot in the East and out of the playoffs, it will become the first team in over three decades to miss the postseason after being 10 games over .500 through the 50-game mark in the season. Unless some serious help is brought in, why would LeBron consider staying in Cleveland? Nike has a contract stipulation with LeBron, giving him millions more to play for a big market team (namely, NY and LA). The Cavs, barring any major free-agent signings THIS offseason, would potentially lose James (who enters the final year of his contract in '05-'06). Enter NY...a team not afraid of taking on a bloated salary with some room to make a sign-and-trade deal. Most think the Knicks couldn't pull of a trade, but those people aren't desperate NY fans struggling to keep their remotes in one piece and TV screen un-cracked. Without further ado, I give you my proposed trade:
CLEVELAND GETS: SF Tim Thomas- The best thing that happened to NY down the stretch is that Thomas finally started playing to his potential that teams have drooled over for years, averaging 18.7 ppg from the end of Feb to the end of March, before playing injured and missing a couple games in April.
PF Malik Rose- One of the best leaders and hardest workers in the game, Rose would provide solid minutes and leadership for young'ns Drew Gooden and Anderson Varejao.
SG Jamal Crawford- Lots of upside after this season- scored a ton at first (about 18 a game), then upped his assists and defense. A better fit than Ira Newble at the 2 for Cleveland.
NEW YORK GETS: G/F LeBron James- Rather than lose him to free agency and get nothing, Cleveland opts to bring in some core guys.
PF Robert Traylor- With Rose and Thomas, along with Gooden, the forward slots are all taken. That, and Traylor doesn't do much but sap money from the team...a problem NY would gladly accept.
PG Eric Snow- When new coach Brendan Malone started him, it looked like a good move. Well, we all know where Cleveland sits in the standings now (hmm, maybe ex-coach Paul Silas was onto something when he constantly put Snow in the doghouse). With both sides unhappy, the Cavs will be pleased to move Snow.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Let's Go....Mets?

I'm basically opening myself up to get bashed by all comers here- even Yankees and Red Sox fans will unite to hate on this post. I need to say it though- the NY Mets are the most appealing franchise in NY to me, right now. First of all, don't even get me started on the Knicks (when was the last time you saw them make headlines). Second, I love the Yankees, I love their roster, I love the Stadium and all its fans...but there's just something missing. Then it hit me- the Yanks don't have that blend of lovable home-grown talent and a few bright stars any longer. Bringing back Tino, Mike Stanton, and Joe Girardi only made me realize that I miss the days when the Yanks had fan favorites who weren't future Hall of Famers. Sure, compare lineups and anybody would take the '05 squad, but they're becoming harder to love purely and simply. Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Bernie- these are the names that really make me swell up with Yankee pride. A-Rod, Sheff, Giambi- I LOVE them, but there's something...missing. The Mets have that blend right now. With young fan-faves such as David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Eric Valent teamed with older, lovable veterans Piazza and Pedro, these Mets have a refreshing sense about them (helped, of course, by going 6-0 after an 0-5 start!). Throw in Carlos Beltran, a young, charismatic centerfielder with Playstation stats, and the Mets are creating a team to be loved. I say, bring Alfonso Soriano back to the Yanks, re-sign Andy Pettitte, and give us Yankees to love for 6-yr, $24 million stretches instead of 2-yr, $20 million marquee names. I'm not the first to think it, just the first to admit it.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Continued Responses

Well...I've been caught. I'm glad I at least have a careful reader. "Tom Foolery" pointed out that I said golf IS a sport under my "Sport/Not Sport- Poker" article. And, due to much discussion over the past week, I changed that belief to post recently against golf as a sport. A mistake, I'll admit it, but one that came after being better educated on what a sport is. No, TF, I didn't craft my definition of sports to exclude golf and NASCAR purposely (by the way TF, you haven't given YOUR idea of what a sport is). And as to why I called cycling and cross-country running sports, but rowing and swimming NOT has nothing to do with land vs. water racing. I ran cross-country in high school, and I had friends on the swim team. Both are ridiculously challenging for the mind and body, beyond any doubt. BUT...cross-country involves a team running together, all in the same race, with much more "defensive strategy" than you'd think at first (for example- the last 2 runners out of the 7 in a race cannot score, so their job is to attempt to displace the scorers for other teams...lots more team strategy for movement and hindering the other team than a casual sports fan would recognize at first). Cycling, too, involves teams (you just see Lance winning, for the others are there to cut the wind for him and displace other cyclists). These questions are great...keep them coming. And as for you, TF, thanks for keeping this blog tidy and correct. That being said, for your future opinions- bring it!

In Response to a Comment About Golf Being a Sport or Not

You called for it, you got it- in my own words- A sport is an activity which is physically demanding (aka muscularly straining) and which requires skill, with a set of rules in which teams or individuals compete in order to further their own cause (to win) and hinder that of their opponents. My point is, you don't have defense or one ounce of athletic activity in golf. You are right-- running is NOT central to a sport, so if golf required another muscle strain I would consent, but it does not. Don't tell me walking and swinging a club are physically demanding. "Straight up running" as you put it, my enraged commentator, is NOT a sport, you are right (no competition, no defense, no winner/loser)-- but it's not more "recreational" than golf (I'm assuming you meant leisurely or for pure enjoyment in saying that). Golf, hammer-throw, swimming, tennis, rowing, NASCAR...these are not sports. Now before you get mad- are they necessarily easy? NO. Do they require skill and/or physical exertion? Of course. But they don't meet all the criteria for being a sport. People tend to get angry when their activity is not considered a sport, but it's no debasement, it's just classification. Basketball, football, baseball, cross-country running, cycling, soccer, lacrosse...these are sports. Each has tactical ways to win, and prevent your opponent from doing so by directly influencing their performances (again, DEFENSE), and each requires a combination of skills and physical demand. So there you have it, anonymous dissenter of my golf opinion. You go on the offensive like that, I'll be more than happy to go on the defensive (it's not a sport...but I still win).

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sport/Not Sport- Golf

Sure, they follow the PGA Tour on Sporstcenter, but they also included a squirrel water skiing behind a miniature, remote-controlled boat in their Top 10. So is golf a sport? Robin Williams sums up golf's "athletic" activity perfectly- "Whack the ball, get in the cart...whack the ball, get in the cart."

Don't give me the normal objections-
"It takes immense skill and lots of practice!" Yeah? So does chess.
"It requires mental and physical concentration and control!" Ever play Twister?
"Tiger Woods is a great athlete!" And John Daly, at 5-11 & 230lbs, took one too many trips to Candyland.
"It's a sport because you need to make better decisions than your opponents." Try Monopoly.
"But...but golf's hard! So hard that we need mulligans and gimmes!" Sorry!
"OK, maybe golf ISN'T a sport?" BINGO!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

i am totally speechless about the level of awesomeness of this article

ESPN- 86 reasons to hate the red sox (the ESPN journalist admits he is not a Yanks fan, and even has Yankee-hating comments-- even though I love the Yanks, that gives me more respect for him; he knows just how important hating the Sox is, and just how annoying the team and their fans are. He's not a rival Yankees fan & proves the Sox are very hate-worthy MAJOR props for this article. WOW.) Among my favorites:
3. Johnny Damon's hair.
4. Johnny Damon.
8. Cowboy Up. (Ed. note: many men in a locker room should NOT have this as their saying)
17. Suddenly forgiving Bill Buckner, as if you haven't loathed every fiber of his soul for the past 18 years.
28. The documentaries.
29. The HBO specials.
30. The ESPN specials. OK, we get the picture: Red Sox fans, prior to last season, had suffered immense, gut-wrenching, knee-buckling pain.
40. Bronson Arroyo's cornrows.
43. "Fever Pitch".
72. The whining.
73. The self-loathing.
74. The degree of whining and self-loathing.
82. The strange infatuation with former reliever Rich "El Guapo" Garces.
85. Did I mention "Fever Pitch"?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sport/Not Sport- Poker

Even though my grandfather recalls playing with his childhood friends, poker (especially Texas Hold 'em) is absolutely huge right now. All over ESPN with shows like TILT and the World Series of Poker, this is definitely the biggest fad for sports fans (I'll admit, I'm a fan as well). So is it a sport or not? Personally, I hate arguing whether games like golf, ballroom dancing (which is, Lord help us, an Olympic event), cross-country running, or BMXing are sports or not. This is a no-brainer however- poker can't possibly be a sport.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Most VALUABLE Player. That means the player which propels his team to win, and, without that player, they lose. Do pro sports always follow this idea? A-Rod on the Rangers, anyone? With this in mind, the NBA MVP comes down to 6 candidates that are vital to their teams:
6) Allen Iverson- With his Playstation-like scoring (30.5 ppg) and surprising assist average (7.8), he is the only- I repeat, only (C-Webb)- reason the Sixers are 2 games over .500 and 2 games back of a playoff spot.
5) Dirk Nowitzki- I love Dirk and his J, and the numbers jump at you (26.3 & 9.9), but the Mavs would still be close to a playoff spot if he had an off year.
4) Dwyane Wade- In games without Shaq through April 10, Wade's stats were stellar (37 mpg, 50% FG, 7.5 apg, 2.25 spg, 25.6 ppg) and he managed to maintain the Heat's record, going 4-4.
3) LeBron James- This is a case of needing more help around him, pure and simple. Take him off the team and they're cellar-dwellers...but they're recent slide proves they stink with him still playing. Bottom line- if they had stayed at 5th or 6th in the East, I give James the hardware.
2) Shaquille O'Neal- Yes, that's right. He's not my MVP. Why? See #1. Shaq is a dominate force to be sure, and 23.0 pts, 10.6 boards, & 2.4 blocks sparkles...for any other player. This is Shaq's second-lowest scoring year, and he is setting career-lows in rebounding and free-throw percentage (46.4). Still, Shaq is my pick almost any other season.
1) Steve Nash- Those who play basketball know, it's much harder to win with a team full of scorers out to get theirs (see Phoenix Suns) than with a team that has one or 2 defined scorers and several role players who know it (see Miami Heat). Yes, a Mike Bibby, J-Kidd, or Stepho--OK let's go with Andre Miller, could have done spectacular things with the Suns' roster...but the point is, those guys are not on the Suns. Nash is. And he's been brilliant (16.0 ppg, 11.4 apg). This is for the team Sports Illustrated projected somewhere in the 9th-to-11th range in the West, after they went 29-53 last year and finished 6th in their division. Currently, the Suns boast the highest-scoring team in the league, led by their Canadian PG, and are the best team in the NBA. So why not give Nash the award, eh?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Johnson's Bad Start= Good Signs for the Yanks

Randy Johnson struggled all afternoon, going 6 innings, allowing 8 hits, 5 runs (1 unearned), walking 1 and fanning 4. The list of positive signs for NY is a long one, however:
--NY pulled out a come-from-behind win as their ace struggled
--Randy Johnson went 16-14 with a 2.60 ERA last year, receiving next to no run-support. The Yanks gave him 8 today...with that much cushion, he's going to be impossible to beat.
--4 guys NY needs to get going showed signs: Jason Giambi homered, his first since Sept. 21, 2004... Mo Rivera finally shut the door after blowing 2 saves this season...A-Rod, batting a paltry .176, had 3 hits and 1 RBI...and Bernie Williams had his first hit of the year in 13 ABs.
--and oh yeah, the Sox seven

Friday, April 08, 2005

Follow-up: Grant Hill

Talk about a string of bad luck. This season appears to be over for Grant Hill, who (yet again) has suffered leg or foot injuries. This time around it's a "stress reaction" in his left shin which can lead to a stress fracture. The Orlando Sentinel has reported he is likely done for the remainder of the season, and is waiting on the results of a CT scan from Duke University Medical Center on Friday. It is really a shame to see a quality guy and a great athlete have his career completely ruined by a string of freak-injuries (think Ken Griffey, Jr.). Hill averaged 19.7 pts, 4.8 boards, and 3.3 dimes per game this year.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Fantasy Baseball- Pitching Sleepers

In deep fantasy leagues, good players in the free agent pool are taken faster than free steroids by Jose Canseco. Here are 3 guys I'm looking to pick up in my league to hopefully nab a sleeper and bolster my rotation:

Runelvys Hernandez- RHP- KC: After a couple years on and off the DL, he is finally healthy and ready to live up to his status as fantasy sleeper. In his first start of the year-7.0 IP, 5 H, ER, 3 BB, 3 K.

Noah Lowry- LHP- SF: In 14 starts last season, Lowry went 6-0, with a 3.82 ERA.

Carlos Silva- RHP- MIN: Although opponents hit .310 against him last year (his first year as a full-time starter), he ate up some innings (203.0), won 14 games, and managed a 4.21 ERA. Loaded with potential and pitching behind Cy Young winner Johan Santana, look for him to have a solid year. His first start of '05- 7.0 IP, 9 H, ER, 0 BB.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Godzilla for MVP

Amid the hype of the loaded NY Yankees' lineup, the most underrated of players over the past couple years has been Hideki Matsui. No longer. Peter Gammons of ESPN and several talk-show radio hosts on WFAN 660 AM- a major NY sports radio network- have picked Matsui as their AL MVP candidate. Between his first season in 2003 and second season last year, he improved in TEN offensive categories, including HR, RBI, BA, and SLG %. He started this year off with a bang too, going 3-5 on opening night with a HR and 3 RBI. He also robbed Red Sox 1B Kevin Millar of a 2-run homer in the 2nd, helping Boston extend their Major League-worst streak of 5-straight Opening Day losses. Go Godzilla.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

First MLB Player Suspended for Steroids

Devil Rays' CF Alex Sanchez tested positive for steroids and was suspended for 10 days. Yanno, I always thought his 4 career homers were a bit inflated for this guy. It was obvious something was suspicious, and I'm glad that the MLB cracked down on this guy. MLB can finally put an asterisk on all the offensive records this guy is sure to shatter, and we can all get back to watching normally-sized craniums hit normal HR totals, like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. We can also thank the man we'd all trust to uphold our own reputations- Jose Canseco- for bringing us his open and honest accounts, all for the low-low price of $15.57. Isn't it nice to find a guy who we can completely trust and who isn't just out for money? Don't you love seeing the real hard-core steroid abusers caught and harshly punished?

I mean, I know I like seeing all that happen. Just let me know when it does.

Final Four Report- My Predictions

My (belated) predictions are narrowed to the Championship game now- The perimeter guys for both teams (notable Rashad McCants and Raymond Felton for UNC & Dee Brown, Luther Head, and Deron Williams for Illinois) are all talented enough to score and involve their teammates and essentially cancel each other out. The difference in this game is that Sean May bullies through James Augustine and Jack Ingram, and Roger Powell is unable to take advantage of the equally-as-versatile Jawad Williams. With a better big guy and a deeper bench, UNC proves to be the nation's best team, 82-76.