Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bruins: Finally Big Bad Boston Bruins

The Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup when they didn't bother to show up in game six at TD Garden; goalie, Ruberto Luongo's, inconsistent play was a key reason the Canucks lost the series.Meanwhile, the speedy Canucks seem to ware down as the series progressed; also the toll from injuries - especially to Vancouver defense men-  paralyzed their ability to stave off Boston's puck possession game. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Will Dwight Howard Follow Shaq Out of Town?

The year was 1996 and Shaq had to weigh an offer to stay in Orlando, or move to the glamorus Hollywood Hills. We know the ending to that story: in the prime of his career, Shaq turned down a boatload of Amway money for the Los Angeles Lakers. Now years later, all the Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkuglos may not be able to put Dwight Howard back together again in a Magic uniform. Howard will be in the same free agent class as savy, Chris Paul, or possibly Carmelo Anthony; therefore don't be surprise if they act like a cartel in seeking the higest bidder. Despite what you may think, Lebron James and Chris Bosch set a dangerous new precedent when they collaborated with D.Wade to join Miami Heat. For James, money wasn't the object; like most athletes nowadays, he commands far more in endorsements than salary. hence an organization like Nike can influence where he goes; as far as the shoe maker is concern, "JUST Do IT" means just win titles baby. So go figure; if Melo lands in the Big Apple and Paul follows him there, Howard could be the missing piece in a mega superstar advertising market like basketball starved New York. Magic general manager, Otis Smith, is to be commended for trying everything within reason to convince Howard to stay; but Arenas looks past his prime, Turgolu can't play defense, and Howard is more exposed since backup Martin Gortat was traded away. It will take General Patton's army to stop the Heat from winning the East or a team consisting of Melo, Paul, or well you add in the next name.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Would Madden Have rested Joe Dimaggio?

Tell me: would Rays manager, Joe Madden, have sat down the great Joe DiMaggio during his 56 game hitting streak? Would he have done it to get Gabe Kapler into the line up? These questions come to mind while watching the Rays...particularly when several of their stars are replaced by lesser know players. Let's take slugger, Matt Joyce, whose electrifying bat is one reason the Rays are challenging the Yankees; yet after sparking the team with three impressive home runs plus nine RBI, Joyce was on the bench  Sunday. That's like telling Mickey Mantle after a home run, "Okay pal take a seat; let's see what Gabe Kapler can do;" duh?
What makes this even more compelling, Joyce is a Tampa native; for a team complaining about attendance, how much sense does that make? Call me stupid, but these hot young players get on a roll while Rays fans expect to see them starting only to be disappointed in the end. I mean let's face it who is paying tickets to see Gabe Kapler...a 240 hitter. If the Rays want to increase their fan base, the organization cannot allow Madden to continue tinkering with the roster; furthermore, it's beginning to appear Tampa Bay is winning despite their obstinate manager. For example after trying two consecutive bunts, shortstop, Jason Bartlett, was down in the count 0-2. Bartlett looked for the sign, but he was startled to see the bunt was still on. Following the next pitch, Bartlett struck out trying to sacrifice ;  the Rays, meanwhile, lost an excellent opportunity to blow the game open. This is vintage Joe Maddon always trying to out smart the other guy...even to his own detriment. If this talented team fails to make the playoffs - or the post season opportunity is short lived - the Rays should bench their coach, permanently.
RecoveryRecoveryClash of the Titans [Blu-ray]Clash of the Titans [Blu-ray]The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's NestThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hey SEC and ACC Conferences, Look Out!

Look for the University of Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and yes, Texas AM to announce Tuesday they are joining the Pac 10 conference. Don't believe those rampant rumors about Texas AM joining the Southeastern Conference. Everyone in College Station realizes where Texas goes, AM must follow: Why? Do the math: when the Longhorns come to town they bring about $106 million dollars to the local economy. I don't think, on the other hand, very many Aggie fans are going to spend that kinda cache on a beat down ala  Alabama 56, Texas AM 0. You could probably say the same thing when Florida, LSU, and Georgia also visit. The Aggies can't be blamed  for wanting to move out of arch rival Texas' shadow by entertaining offers from the SEC. In the long run, however, money talks especially when it flows like rich Texas crude. Another reason AM comes on board is they know the Kansas Jay Hawks would love to take their place alongside their old Big 12 buddies. The SEC, meanwhile, should be looking over their shoulders. Don't think Florida athletic director, Jeremy Foley, for example, isn't saying, "Boy it sure would be nice to get away from  Alabama; and Alabama is wondering what it would be like not facing LSU; while LSU is saying the same thing about Georgia. In this scenario, a  move to ACC would please any of those schools. A likely state of affairs, therefore, could potentially include Florida and Tennessee moving to the ACC, or Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee moving northeast to reap the benefits of all the lucrative television households of the Atlantic Coast. In this situation, the football rich SEC might be its own worst enemy with teams seeking realignment in much the same way the Rays would love to ditch the moneyed Yankees; the Rays, in fact, will tell you, "We will go anywhere, anywhere! just get us away from these guys."

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's NestThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Happy Mothers Day, but?

Tomorrow, major league baseball will celebrate Mothers Day in traditional fashion by having players use pink bats, gloves, as well as pink sweat bands. The real purpose behind this colorful display is breast cancer awareness. By all means, I would like the Susan G. Komen foundation to find a cure; yet the troubling fact is cancer research is fueled by donations and the lions share is gobbled up by breast cancer. This is happening despite the fact prostate cancer kills more men than breast cancer kills women. More importantly, lung cancer kills more women and men than any other form of  cancer. Yet, lung, colorectal, as well as bronchus cancer are greatly underfunded. Conversely, I'm  aware of  the sexual symbolism society attaches to breast, but for every dollar Americans give to breast cancer, they should make an equal pledge to the fight in general against cancer. This is the only way scientist can wage an equitable war against this ravaging disease. With so many love ones dying from all forms of cancer, it just seems disingenuous for professional sports leagues to only focus awareness on breast cancer.

Like General Sherman, the Orlando Magic are torching everything in sight as they march towards an inevitable showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers; unlike the Cavs, however, the Magic have only faced token opposition from the Charlotte Hornets and the Atlanta Hawks. Both those teams were disorganized posers who let the Magic shoot them into oblivion. As for Cleveland, Shaq looks more like a jester in a clown suit than the agile unstoppable big man dominating the NBA for two decades. With an inevitable  showdown between these two looming  on the horizon my money is on Lebron.

In hockey, its good to see the Montreal Canadians advancing in the Stanley Cup playoffs: those uniforms are the best in sports especially the fashionable red sweater with the blue pants. The Habs march will probably end against the talented Penguins but it's great to see this classy organization back where it belongs fighting for the  Stanley Cup.

Look for my new book, "Call Waiting," this Fall.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Texas and Texas AM Joining the Southeastern Conference

The super conferences in the BCS are preparing to make a major land grab. Just as the Big 10 announces plans to absorb Syracuse, Pitt, also Rutgers, the Southeastern conference is not sitting still. While the Big 10 hankers after the Atlantic seaboard schools for it's lucrative television market, the Southeastern conference would respond by adding Texas also Texas AM. The Pac 10, meanwhile, will also expand perhaps taking Brigham Young, Colorado, along with the Air Force Academy; but Texas and AM have to be very careful. Their prestigious academic ratings could be hurt by joining the laissez faire Southeastern conference: In Bubba land, scholarly pursuits are a distinct second to winning football games: to quote South Carolina's, Steve Spurrier, "If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying." Of course, Auburn, Vanderbilt, and Florida have outstanding academic reputations, the other universities, however, are considered nothing more than football factories. Imagine a Nobel prize winner singing, "Rocky Top," Tennessee's obnoxious fight song. Syracuse basketball coach, Jim Boheim, nevertheless, is already lamenting the possibility New York recruits will be unwilling to play in gyms like Iowa or Ohio State. Which ever way this all plays out, football is the engine driving these defections. So much money can be earned by belonging to a 16 member BCS conference - all the others sports basketball included - will have to take a back seat to football.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Who Dat Gonna Beat them Saints?

Handicapping Super Bowl XLIV is extremely difficult especially when you consider the early favorite, the Indianapolis Colts. Under general manager, Bill Polian, Indy resembles the Oakland Raiders: a team drafting well enough during the 70's to be competitive, yet hardly a dynasty like their predecessor, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Raiders would fill the vacuum whenever the Steelers were too injured to truthfully compete. So far unlike the New England Patriots, the Colts do not appear to be a dominant team; but here they are poised to take advantage of the absence of the early season favorites Pittsburgh, New England, and San Diego. It's the way Indy arrived, however, which makes this contest a toss up. Consider the Colts path to the Super Bowl. They vanquished the Ravens who arguably had one of the worst offenses in the league. The Jets, meanwhile, with their anemic scoring touch were never really capable of challenging the quick, yet vulnerable Colt defense. Quarterback, Payton Manning, though, cut through the impregnable New York defense like butter. A coach on the field, Manning gives the Colts their best chance at winning; and when he's hot, Manning can single handily put a game out of reach; but unlike Baltimore and New York, the Saints are a proficient offensive team although they struggled showing it against the Minnesota Vikings. All things considered,I expect Saints running back, Reggie Bush, to have a monster game possibly resulting in MVP consideration. Bush gives New Orleans a significant advantage on special teams; moreover, it's doubtful the Colts porous defense will be able to match up with Bush coming out of the backfield. Despite the offensive prowess of both these clubs, this game may well be decided by special teams. Its very difficult, nevertheless, to bet against Manning especially if the Saints decide to blitz. Perhaps more than anyone in history, Manning disrupts pressure by throwing to his lighting quick receivers flooding vacant terrain; stilll if the Saints offense eats up a lot of clock, Manning may not have enough processions to outscore New Orleans. The huge throng supporting the Saints could also pay huge dividends for a team making its first Super Bowl appearance. Personally, I think the New Orleans Saints have the better offense which should produce an upset.

New Orleans-28 Indianapolis-24