Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Blogging 101 – most bloggers who have 50 readers or less (a very generous number for us because on our busiest days we are around 30-50 unique views) write purely for themselves (therapy) and a few other die hard friends (in this case other writers I already talk sports with - group therapy). I’m fine with that – this will help me center my chi. Unless of course more of you jerks post all over my facebook page about how my teams suck and yours rule. I will find, and kill you. This is therapy for me, not anger management. (Just kidding! Bring it! But not like this guy did his last fight, I mean really bring it!)
Okay, enough prequel. Dammit the NY teams completely shit the bed! As you all know, basketball is not my forte. I watched the Knicks 8 times this year (including all 4 playoff games, not in entirety). This is 8 more times than the last 5 years combined, and probably the last 10 as well. It is time to relax for Knicks fans for a change. The only thing they’ll miss from that blockbuster trade to get Melo are the draft picks. You now have 2 superstar players to put pieces around. If CP3 REALLY signs after next season, they will be a true big 3. Aside: I hate that – “big 3.” You know, in basketball we have had a big 3, a new big 3, a fab 4, the twin towers, etc… you know what they called Jordan’s bulls? Kobe’s Lakers? Nothing I can think of... except the word DYNASTY has bounced around a lot. Sorry, I digress. The front office needs to insert a few people to the team are not on the current team at all. You know the kind who have actual talent and poise (minus a select VERY few who can stay). Bottom line – the road looks better ahead. The Knicks have screwed the pooch before though, just ask the garden faithful if they like this guy anymore. So don’t completely relax, just relax a bit.
DISCLAIMER: (This next section may get long winded as this was my favorite team in awhile this year and I am sad to see them go – skip it and just look for a clue if you’re playing “this guy.” You’ve been warned if you hate hockey talk.)
I have read every NY Rangers article under the sun since their game 5 bounce a day before the Knicks’ exit. Some are way too negative, some are way too positive. I am going to tell it how it is in my eyes. Our coach John Tortorella was just reportedly given a 3 year extension. I really like this front office move. Torts is able to extract all of the talent from these kids that is possible. This is HIS team. He shows patience with them, and seems to put them in a position to succeed, only to demand perfection and settle for a hard work ethic. He knows what he is working with – in fact at the exit interviews, he simply said the words at one point: “We need more talent.” However, this is not to say the team didn’t earn all 44 of their regular season wins. Arguably, they “should have won” at least 1 other game against the Caps as well (and gotten me to game 6 at MSG!). I’m not all for “we beat ourselves” as much as I am for “we let them beat us,” but the series is over, and Ovechkin is still a piece of Russian trash - like this guy (character name is fine in the movie). This team of line 2 to line 4 forwards (with the exception of 1 and maybe 1/2) and a group of good and young defensive defenseman with a WORLD of potential in front of them, achieved more than what a lot of people pegged them for. If Gabby can right himself for next season, and everyone else progresses naturally and can stay major injury free for next season, we are looking at a 2-3 round dive into these same playoffs. There is speculation they will be (and perhaps should be) in the Brad Richards bidding war. Torts coached him to a cup with Tampa, and will want him to anchor the Gabby line at center (since no one else at center can do it). Richards can be a playmaker and put the puck in the net – he would be a great first line guy to pair with Gaborik and someone like Dubi or Callahan (if you want to break them up as a solid second line). This changes the team instantly. However, the team must also bring back Cally & Dubi, presumably on raises (be about 5-6 mil of the 16 mil total cap space), A.A. would be smart to resign as well, and guys like Boyle, Sauer and Fedotenko are FA as well. What will be interesting is who stays and goes next season. A team in surplus of middle of the pack players will ditch some of them. I'm sure someone won't be here that we all will miss (Gilroy? Christensen? Boyle?). And don’t forget Boogy’s contract that was on the IR the entire season (seemingly) after getting rocked in the head a few times in a fight. Need to clear way for that waste of money don’t we? Especially if we want to go after Richards for real. This guy should be crucified for that contract as well as many others. Long story a bit shorter: this season, while disappointing we couldn’t play upset to a true contender like I had hoped, the Rangers ended up pretty much where I expected them. Check here (http://sterlingshakers.blogspot.com/2010/09/breaking-ice.html) if you don’t believe me. Just read the last paragraph of that post. It was my first ever SS post, and it is proving that I am more of a prophet than a blogger. I am awesome and will not grant you any wishes unless you play the "this guy" game. Oh, for the record, I am very happy with the season as a whole for the NYR, and think they can honestly only better themselves from here. Watching these kids progress in their careers has been a treat and I really just hope it amounts to something in the future soon.
A short conclusion to this whole mess: Garden faithful alike, both on ice and the hard wood, have the future to look forward to for each team. Will we ever see 1994 again? I’m not sure, but in the near future, we have plenty to be hopeful for. Heck, maybe they’ll say 1994 was a joke compared to 201*. When it all boils down to it, at least we’re not this guy or his team’s fans. We’d have a lot more to bitch about.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
The Red Sox are awful. Not even the people who predicted they won’t win the AL East (who are rarer than perfect March Madness brackets it seems) could predict they’d start this bad. Is it really early? Yes. Does this pose a long term problem for the club? Not entirely at all. If we need to revisit this topic again in June, they have problems then. Personally, I’m also shocked at how the “AL’s Best Rotation” (as dubbed by others) is shitting the bed, and Carl Crawford hasn’t done anything noteworthy. The talent will come around if it is really there, and there is no denying that it is. Boston is probably screaming for another series against the Yankees ASAP (it always brings out the best in them). Hey Sox fans, at least this guy isn’t your manager anymore.
The Rays are (by their record) slightly less awful. I would actually take, with good odds for you, pretty much any wager you want to make that the Red Sox finish with a better record than at least the Rays. That isn't what I am here to talk about. Manny Ramirez is the most famous quitter since this guy. I could have went so many ways (there were great baseball pics of him)– but the 45 NBA jersey was like “Really man?” Anyways, let’s not pretend Manny was at his prime like the first retirement of "that guy", or like Barry Sanders in 1999 (in case you're confused as to who "that guy" is - if so please play in traffic). He had a great second half 2 or 3 years ago with LA, but that was the last anyone saw of Manny's awesome bat. The fact is that if his 50 game suspension a few years back didn’t do it, this definitely put him on a lot of people’s S-lists for the history books. And with no explanation other than “I don’t wanna be suspended, or prove them wrong (cause I can't), so I quit.” Tell me you believe Manny just wasn’t in it for the money and personal gain any more and I have a bridge for sale.
The NY Rangers (it will be brief) are down 0-1 in their series against #1 ranked Washington. Ovechkin (read as: fuckfacedouchebag) and his mates outmatched the Rangers last night but still only won by an OT goal. I love the way this Rangers team plays defense, (think kamikaze style at the puck), and if Hank can be that solid in net, we have a great chance still to play upset to Washington. We just need to wake up the sticks and put some pucks in the net. Perhaps we can talk this guy into getting us his secret recipe to wake up his bats to use on the sticks. (character name please, not his real name).
Lastly, my Yankees are doing better than I pegged them to out of the gate. AJ is 3-0 through 2 and ½ really shaky outings – but we’ll take it. Our bullpen only completely imploded once (twice perhaps - your call) so far so I’m happy about that. I will not make many specific comments to avoid going on too too long, but I am happy and extremely excited for their pen all season. I hoped Russell Martin would contribute to the offense and he has so far. Tex, Posada, and Jeter are all seemingly without a hit again for their last 200 at bats (if you listen to the media - but they're struggling a bit at the dish). The pen with Logan being useless right now and Feliciano out for a bit longer has still held up okay - but we'll be better against lefties with everyone back in form and health. They've STILL managed to win games despite the individual struggles. The team is producing as a team. When things come around and really click, you have to love the way the team will look. I’m out, like this guy. (both names please)
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
That's Waveland there in the right picture - a lot wider than you think it would be. Just over my head there, you can locate some bleachers on the building.
From the other picture, you can see how close I was to the field. In the empty seat right next to my head in the front row, an old lady was sitting keeping score when the game started. She is apparently a regular, and she kept the crowd entertained throughout.
But where was the heckling? I mean, we are RIGHT there. You could spit on the players if you needed to. I heard NOTHING. Now true, it was the Pirates, not the Cards, but c'mon! Don't these fans want to win? Don't they know that your duty, as a fan, is to heckle the other team? To get inside their players' heads? To make them lose concentration?
I spent the majority of the game talking with my fellow game goers about this and that. Honestly, heckling the Pirates is like shooting fish in a barrel. I refrained from anything, as I figured maybe heckling was against the law or something. Then, the bottom of the 8th began, and the Pirates brought in a pitcher named "Meek." I just could not pass this up. Meek? Are you kidding? For a PITCHER? These screams for heckling. It's a heckler's dream come true!
What does Meek do? He walks the first guy he faces. "Hey Meek, don't be AFRAID to throw strikes!" "You look kind of SCARED out there, MEEK!" Two batters into this performance, I realize Meek has no chance. No one warming up yet. This is going to be too fun. Then Overbay at first makes an error, and I am really getting on Meek. "You think anyone wants to catch a ball for you, Meek?" After an out is finally recorded: "Hey Meek, maybe you WILL inherit the earth after all!"
Now Meek's got first and second for Soriano. "Don't throw him a fastball, Meek! He lives for first pitch fastballs! Better throw him that curveball!" Meek throws a curveball. Soriano swings and misses. "Come right back with that, Meek!" Soriano takes this time. Meek shows some balls and throws a fastball. Blows it by him. Throws another fastball, Soriano is late. "Well, Meek, he was late on your fastball. Usually means you throw him another until he proves he can get around on you. But this is Soriano. What do you do?!" No bull shit, Meek steps off the rubber. I am in a frenzy. Meek is mine! Next pitch is some kind of slow bull shit I don;t know what and Soriano clobbers into right. Goodbye, Meek. Welcome Resop. Resop?!?!? That's Poser spelled backwards! The Pirates - the gift that keeps on giving. Byt the time I am doen with the Pirates, they have gone from a 3-0 lead to a 5-3 deficit. The Cubs should hire me.