Monday, September 21, 2009

Russell Roubin: Hater at Large (No Pun Intended. He Lost Weight.)

Can a Knicks/Suns/Mets fan really say anything to me? Yes the White Sox beat the Astros in the 2005 World Series and who cares exactly, right? A wise man named Ari Gold on Entourage once said "There are no asteriks in this life, only scoreboards!" Meaning the Rockets 2 championships of the 1990's aren't taken for granted just because Michael Jordan wasn't around. They still have two banners! Now the Suns...

They love to blame the Spurs for everything bad that's ever happened to them. I've heard it all before. The Amare & Boris suspensions when they jumped off the bench in the 2007 Western Conference Semifinals after Robert Horry launched Steve Nash into the scorer's table. Yeah yeah, they would've won the championship if not for that. Well...they didn't. Who won it that year in fact? The Spurs did. In the most boring NBA Finals ever. Yes Lebron you were there.

Don't forget about the 1993 Suns either. They had the best record in the NBA and were arguably better than any D'an-phony led Suns squad of the new millenium. But they fell to...the Bulls in the finals. Tough luck.

How do I know about these feelings? How do I know all this is true about Phoenix? I used to be a Suns fan myself! I used to blame everything on the Spurs and nothing on the Suns defense, or lack thereof rather. But I realized I needed to focus on the Bulls and just in time too: Every Suns fan should have been absolutely embarrassed when the Arizona Cardinals made the super bowl before any of the 21st century Suns teams made the finals. Ultimate kick in the chest, huh? So the Suns are still sporting a cool zero championships. Ouch.
The Knicks? Sigh. Well...

The bright side: Two championships!

Down side: Way back in the early 1970's.

Bright side: They play in New York...

Down side: Absolutely everything else about them.

Stephon Marbury. Isaiah Thomas. Nate Robinson. Latrell Spreewell. And that's just this decade! Back in the 90's, well...all I have to show is this; my favorite dunk of all time.

The Knicks have to be the stupidest organization in the Atlantic division even though the Nets are giving them some competition...so are the Raptors. This is actually a pretty dumb division. Anyway, they plan for Lebron even though it might not even happen. I remember the Suns were expecting Kobe to come to Phoenix via free agency earlier this decade. That didn't happen...obviously. If the Knicks were anywhere near smart, they would BUILD ON WHAT THEY HAVE. David Lee, Wilson Chandler; these are good pieces! Keep em. But instead they wanna give David Lee a one-year contract and I gurantee you he will not be back next year. Sorry Knicks fans.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Brandon “Mungo” Sanders is a Hater

It’s hard to go through High school with your favorite sports teams never winning anything. The called third strike in ’06 and the two collapses were the closes the Mets have been to being a world champion. The Jets haven’t won since the Joe Namath days. The Knicks are… The Suns can’t seem to pass the Spurs. And it’s a good thing nobody cares about hockey so the Rangers get a break. Ok yeah, my teams have sucked it up for a while but what gives Brandon the right to make fun of my teams?

Let’s start with a sport I know best, Baseball. It’s a good thing Brandon became a White Sox’s fan. Becoming a Cubs fan has been a bad investment for the past 100 years, but with the exception of 2005, so have the White Sox. Yes they did have an unbelievable run winning 99 games under second year manager Ozzie Guillen and Pitcher Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez became a magician in game 3 vs. the Red Sox. Then the World Series came and they beat the Houston Astros. But did they really win it? The answer is (hypothetically) no. A man who wasn’t even in the World Series beat the Astros, Albert Pujols. Game 5 of the NLCS that year might have changed then Astros closer Brad Lidge forever. He came into the 9th inning with a 4-2 lead and took the Cardinals to there last strike until he completely collapsed. First it was a two strike, two out base hit by David Eckstein. Jim Edmonds then walked and it left Albert Pujols to deliver the heart melting Three Run homerun (it hit the Roof of Minute Maid Park) that gave the Cards the win. The Astros did win the pennant the next game, but their All-Star closer could not return to form. In game two, the Astros were supposed to win that game. They brought in Lidge who gave up the walk-off home run to Scott Podsednik. SCOTT PODSEDNIK!!! Guess how many homeruns this guy had during the 2005 season? 0. Then in game 4, they bring Lidge back in to keep a 0-0 tie, but gives up the game winning hit that gave the White Sox their first world championship in 87 years. Brad Lidge was the losing pitching twice during the 2005 World Series, lost his closer role with the Astros two years later and was traded to the Phillies. The White Sox since then has been to the playoffs once, losing to the Rays in the 2008 ALDS. To recap, in 90 years, they won 1 World Series.

I saved the best for last, Brandon’s favorite team the Chicago Bulls. Now, this team does have a lot of it’s up’s and down’s. They did make the playoffs and had the best record for an expansion team in NBA history. They did win 6 rings when MJ lead the show. Now the down’s:
They did not pull the trigger on a trade that would have brought 11 time NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant.
They did sign Ben Wallace to a 4 year, $60 million contract that forced the trade of Tyson Chandler.
They did say Heads, missing the coin toss that would have landed Magic Johnson.
But what really bugs me about the Bulls fan is that they are convinced that they are great, but was it only because of Michael Jordan?

Jordan was drafted in the 1984 draft. It took 6 years, but the Bulls did win 3 championships from 1990-1993. Then MJ made a move that still confuses me too this day. He announced his retirement from basketball to presume a baseball career. It’s only last one year, but during the season of 1994-1995, the Bulls won no championship (thanks to the NEW YORK KNICKS!!!) After MJ failed at baseball, he came back to basketball and won 3 more championships from 1996-1998.

So… The Bulls didn’t win a championship before MJ came. They haven’t won one since. In fact, they have done some really bad trades (and non-trades) that were made to make a winning franchise. They traded star Elton Brand for the draft rights of Tyson Chandler and drafted Eddy Curry. Eddy Curry now is fighting to get play time for the Knicks and Tyson Chandler was traded when they acquired Ben Wallace. The before mentioned Kobe Bryant trade never happened. And after a season when rookie sensation Derrick Rose led the Bulls to the playoffs, they lose main swingman Ben Gordon to the Detroit Pistons. It seems to me that this franchise will always try to find the next MJ, but with poor management, it seems like they won’t be close to returning to the glory days anytime soon.

So there it is. Brandon, if you are reading this, put down the haterade and realize that my teams are not the only ones that goes through the dark days.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vintage Pedro

What a season’s it has been. Not to long ago we were an elite team in the NL. Not to long ago we were a base hit from the World Serise. We are now 63-81, 20 GB in the NL East and trying to crawl (can’t afford crutches) to the finish.

But there are times that even in this losing season you just can’t even imagine. Yes the Bruntlett triple play hurt, but I think this is much worst. It’s Pedro Martinez shutting us out for 8 innings. It’s Philadelphia saying “Let’s Go Pedro”. It’s Pedro Martinez being 5-0, matching his win total from last year in 13 less starts. And it’s also how we didn’t even give him a look when he was trying to resign with somebody.

Instead we went with Oliver Perez (3-4, 6.82 ERA, 14 Starts, 3 Years 36 Mil) and Tim Redding (2-6, 5.52, spent time in the bullpen). To Redding’s credit he has pitched well recently but there seemed to be no effort when the season mattered.

Who knows if he would have been pitching like this for a who season. Most likely not. Just the fact we didn’t want to look at him because it seemed we thought he was washed up. He took a 1 Million, 1 Year contract to pitch half a season with the Phillies. Money was no problem. But last night, Pedro proved to us that he is not washed up.

I’m happy for Pedro. He gave us all his heart day everyday on the 4 seasons he spent with us. When he was hurt he tried hard to get back into shape to pitch when he could. We gave him the respect he deserved. If this was a pennant raise, I don’t know how much I would have liked last night. But since it wasn’t, last night was like when Pedro pitched at Shea: Magical.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Will the Pistons Bounce Back From an Atrocious 2008-09 season?

My answer is absolutely not.

The Pistons had loads of cap space to use for marquee free agents to get their strong, defensive identity back. Sign-and-trade with Jazz for Boozer perhaps? They did have a cool $21 million to blow and they used it on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva instead.

That's how they get their defensive identity back? By signing two offensive talents without a trace of defensive prowess in their veins? Way to go, Joe Dumars.

Ben Gordon is getting paid $55 million over five years to be an undersized shooting guard who does not handle the ball well or play a lick of defense. Isn't General Motors located in Detroit? And they're spending $55 million on Ben Gordon? What recession!?

Not to mention the Pistons still have Rip Hamilton so BG is still off the bench which is absurd considering the money he's getting.

Sorry, I just really hate Ben Gordon.

The Pistons invested in Rodney Stuckey as the future of their franchise when they traded away Chauncey Billups to Denver. Stuckey was considered their point guard for years to come. But there's one thing wrong with that. Rodney Stuckey is not a point guard. Watch the kid play! He does not make plays for other people and it's going to be apparent this upcoming season.

This is not a bash on the guy's talent. Stuckey can ball without question but the pistons won't get anywhere without a natural point guard who can make plays for his teammates.

Joe Dumars was great GM at the beginning of this decade but since the Iverson trade and Curry hiring, this team is bound to self-destruct. They have no true center, no true point guard, an unknown coach, and a city that is the center of the world's econmic meltdown.

Sounds like a recipe for disaster, no?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Going Under the Radar

So now that the Lakers have inked Lamar Odom for a couple more years, that means two things to me personally.

Numero uno: Lamar Odom is NOT on the Heat. I believe that Dwayne Wade will leave the Heat next season since the Heat will not be contenders (Get real, that's a three team conference). But had Odom signed, someone Wade considers family, it would have been more likely for him to stay next season. Do you think he would convince Odom to come to Miami just so he, himself, can leave a season later? Absolutely not. He probably would've signed a two-year extension so they can live out the Odom-Wade project. Which wouldn't have worked anyway. I'm not a hater, just a realist.

Number two: I have my pick for 2009-2010 champions and Aviv will certainly like it. Now that Odom resigned with LA, they appear to be on a completely different level and it upsets me. Sure, the Lakers were good last season. But let's put that season into perspective.

They murdered the Jazz. Okay, fair enough.

They went 7 games with the McGrady-less, Yao-less Rockets including several blowouts. Really?

Then they played Denver and won in 6. Several of those games, aside from the Game 6, could've gone either way pretty much.

Then they beat Orlando in the Finals? Yippee.

They replaced a youthful premier three point gunner/premier defensive specialist in Trevor Ariza with a troublemaking, skill-declining, and certainly deranged lunatic in Ron Artest. Win? Hell no.

So who do I choose to win the 2010 NBA Title?

The San Antonio Spurs.

They have perhaps the best eight-man rotation in the NBA with Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson, Duncan, Mcdyess, Hill, Mason, and Blair. Really? All they did was turn Udoka into RJ and transfrom Oberto into ring-hungry Antonio McNice. Then Pittsburgh beast Dejuan Bliar just dropped into their laps? How is this fair!? They have a hall of fame coach still in Gregg Poppovich and perhaps the best power forward of all time in Timothy Theodore Duncan. All they need is their health!

What else happened?

The Nuggets, who were amazing last season, replaced Dahntay Jones with Arron Afflalo. Downgrade? Not really. But cheap, yes. And I like Afflalo! He acknowledged me and Lucas at the 2007 draft with a head nod after he showed up in the middle of the first round. So much love Arron.

So before you write off the Lakers as the best team in the league blah blah blah just look around the league for a second. I didn't even mention the Cavs, Celts, and Magic. Maybe this will be good for those teams. Lakers will crack under pressure. I gurantee it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My 2009 All-Stars: AL

Starters:

Catcher: J. Mauer, MIN (.389, 15 HR, 47 RBI) It’s scary how well he hit. And too be a catcher batting close to .400 is unheard of, until now…

First Base: J. Morneau, MIN (.313, 21 HR, 69 RBI) Has been one of the AL’s best constant hitters over the past few year and this year is no different.

Second Base: A. Hill, TOR (.298, 20 HR, 59 RBI) When did Aaron Hill decide to start hitting? One of the biggest surprises to 2009.

Third Base: M. Young, TEX (.314, 10 HR, 34 RBI) Has made the transition to third base well. Leads all AL third baseman’s with his .314 AVG.

Shortstop: J. Bartlett, TB (.354, 8 HR, 38 RBI) Every team that makes the World Series needs a player like Jason Bartlett. His solid glove and professional hitting gives him the starting nod.

Outfield:

Ichiro Suzuki, SEA (.356, 6 HR, 22 RBI) 9 seasons = Gold Gloves, MVP, Rookie of the Year, becoming the single season hits leaders and his 9th all star game.

C. Crawford, TB (.313, 8 HR, 38 RBI) Every time he runs it becomes an event. Lucky for us he runs a lot (44 SB’s).

T. Hunter, LAA (.305, 17 HR, 65 RBI) Very tough pick, but Torii has played his best season since signing that big contract with the Angels.

Pitcher: R. Halladay, TOR (10-3, 2.85 ERA, 106 SO) Hopefully his still in the AL by the all-star game but this former Cy Young award winner has proved he is one of the best pitchers in Baseball.

Reserves:

Pitchers:
D. Aardsma, SEA (2-3, 2.11 ERA, 17 SV)
J. Beckett, BOS (10-3, 3.62 ERA, 103 SO)
M. Buehrle, CWS (9-2, 3.14 ERA, 65 SO)
A. Burnett, NYY (8-4, 3.77 ERA, 101 SO)
Z. Greinke, KC (10-5, 2.12 ERA, 129 SO)
F. Hernandez, SEA (8-3, 2.62 ERA, 114 SO)
E. Jackson, DET (6-4, 2.59 ERA, 93 SO)
J. Nathan, MIN (1-1, 1.35 ERA, 22 SV)
J. Papelbon, BOS (1-1, 1.89 ERA, 22 SV)
M. Rivera, NYY (1-2, 2.43 ERA, 23 SV)
J. Verlander, DET (9-4, 3.59 ERA, 141 SO)
J. Weaver, LAA (9-3, 3.15 ERA, 95 SO)

Bench:
V. Martinez – C, CLE (.298, 14 HR, 58 RBI)
R. Branyan – 1B, SEA (.287, 21 HR, 46 RBI)
M. Teixeira – 1B, NYY (.281, 21 HR, 63 RBI)
A. Kennedy – 2B, OAK (.294, 6 HR, 29 RBI)
C. Figgins – 3B, LAA (.310, 1 HR, 27 RBI)
D. Jeter – SS, NYY (.314, 10 HR, 36 RBI)
J. Bay – OF, BOS (.263, 20 HR, 71 RBI)
J. Dye – OF, CWS (.300, 20 HR, 54 RBI)
J. Ellsbury – OF, BOS (.303, 5 HR, 28 RBI)
A. Jones – OF, BAL (.308, 12 HR, 47 RBI)

NOTE:
Each AL team has atleast 1 representative on the All-Star Team
All-Star Rosters are 33 players, 9 Starters
Players on the DL where not considered

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My 2009 All-Stars: NL

Every year in baseball they announce the All-Star Roster, and it seems every year someone has something to say about it. This year, it’s my turn. So step aside Peter Gammons and Buster Olney, as here are my 2009 All-Star Picks.

Starters:

Catcher: B. McCann, ATL (.306, 8 HR, 35 RBI) Maybe the next Mike Piazza, McCann is the center of a Braves lineup.

First Base: A. Pujols, STL (.336, 31 HR, 82 RBI) Do I really need to explain myself on this one?

Second Base: F. Sanchez, PIT (.316, 6 HR, 33 RBI) This was a tricky position but Sanchez is the only bright spot in a terrible Pirates lineup.

Third Base: D. Wright, NYM (.322, 5 HR, 42 RBI) The weight of the entire Mets lineup rest on his shoulders and he keeps hitting. The power numbers are down but leads NL third baseman’s with 20 SB and led in AVG for a while.

Shortstop: H. Ramirez, FLA (.346, 14 HR, 60 RBI) Not much this Marlins star cannot do. True 5 tool player.

Outfield:
R. Braun, MIL (.322, 16 HR, 58 RBI) Braun powered the Brewers into the NL wild card last year and his is keeping them on top the NL central.

M. Kemp, LAD (.307, 10 HR, 45 RBI) This guy is batting last for the Dodgers but is a big part to their success. 19 SB and a great glove in makes him my sleeper pick for the starters.

A. Dunn, WAS (.262, 22 HR, 59 RBI) Completely lost in Washington, Dunn keeps on blasting them over the walls at Nationals Park.

Pitcher: T. Lincecum, SF (9-2, 2.23 ERA, 141 SO) Last year’s NL Cy Young winner and if he keeps it up will win his second.

Reserves:

Pitchers:
H. Bell, SD (3-1, 1.49 ERA, 23 SV)
C. Billingsley, LAD (9-4, 3.14 ERA, 115 SO)
J. Broxton, LAD (6-0, 2.72 ERA, 20 SV)
M. Cain, SF (10-2, 2.42 ERA, 93 SO)
F. Cordero, CIN (1-2, 1.75 ERA, 21 SV)
R. Franklin, STL (2-0, 0.83 ERA, 20 SV)
Y. Gallardo, MIL (8-6, 2.95 ERA, 120 SO)
D. Haren, ARI (8-5, 2.16 ERA, 119 SO)
T. Hoffman, MIL (1-1, 1.93 ERA, 18 SV)
J. Johnson, FLA (7-2, 2.82 ERA, 102 SO)
J. Marquis, COL (11-5, 3.61 ERA, 54 SO)
F. Rodriguez, NYM (2-2, 1.59 ERA, 21 SV)
J. Santana, NYM (9-7, 3.29 ERA, 107 SO)
H. Street, COL (2-1, 2.65 ERA, 21 SV)

Bench:
Y. Molina – C, STL (.286, 5 HR, 27 RBI)
P. Fielder – 1B, MIL (.310, 22 HR, 76 RBI)
R. Howard – 1B, PHI (.252, 21 HR, 62 RBI)
D. Lee – 1B, CHC (.284, 16 HR, 53 RBI)
C. Utley – 2B, PHI (.310, 19 HR, 60 RBI)
M. Tejada – SS, HOU (.329, 7 HR, 45 RBI)
P. Sandoval – 3B, SF (.328, 14 HR, 48 RBI)
R. Zimmerman – 3B, WAS (.294, 14 HR, 50 RBI)
B. Hawpe – OF, COL (.327, 13 HR, 57 RBI)
J. Upton – OF, ARI (.296, 15 HR, 48 RBI)

NOTE:
Each NL team has atleast 1 representative on the All-Star Team
All-Star Rosters are 33 players, 9 Starters
Players on the DL where not considered