Monday’s 7 Casual Contemplations

Steve nash

It’s Monday and the past weekend has filled me with some contemplations of a casual nature. I know it’s been a while but I want to start your work week off right. Without further ado, let’s get to this week’s 7 somewhat thought out points from the week that was.

Hangover Cure anyone?

For those of you who don’t believe in the Super Bowl hangover, you might want to rethink that. The New York Giants are a prime example of a team that is clearly hung over. When it comes to the Giants, it is pretty much expected that when their backs are up against the wall, the switch will suddenly turn on. They have done it so much that we assumed another typical clutch performance would come from the Giants against the reeling Ravens yesterday.

The Giants decided not to follow the script.

Instead, they gave a hapless performance and the New York Giants looked like dwarves against a Baltimore Ravens team that has been brutal on both sides of the ball in recent weeks. For a game that they almost had to have, the lack of motivation and intensity shouldn’t be all that surprising. That’s what a hangover will do to a team.

New York is still not out of the playoffs but they might as well be because this hangover thing isn’t going away anytime soon. A big performance in week 17 can’t change that.

No Doubt

The Seattle Seahawks sent a message that was louder than the fans at Century Link Field on Sunday. They are for real and are not going anywhere. Crushing Arizona and Buffalo was one thing but smoking a San Francisco team fresh off its very own statement win against New England is quite another. Along with Jim Harbaugh and Greg Schiano, Pete Carroll is squashing the notion that college coaches can’t make the transition to the NFL.

This obviously isn’t news to anyone that the Seahawks are a real threat out of the NFC. Nevertheless, the evolution of their team throughout the season has been incredibly impressive. Marshawn Lynch no longer has to carry this football team as Russell Wilson has gone from game manager to game changer in the span of less than a season. The Seahawks may lack the game breaker on the outside but that defence combined with an ever maturing offence is scary for anyone that may have to face the Seahawks in January.

If Qwest Field was still the name of the Seahawks home field, I would probably have made some lame pun about them being on a quest for a Super Bowl…but I won’t do that.

Quarterback Controversy?

Speaking of game changers, Colin Kaepernick hasn’t lost that part of his game. It is an aspect that Alex Smith will never add to his repertoire. Smith was ever so close to leading the 49ers to a the championship game last year but it’s still game changers that win Super Bowls.

Just don’t tell Trent Dilfer.

Jim Harbaugh is going with Colin Kaepernick and rightly so. The 49ers had already reached the point of no return before this week’s debacle in Seattle. Kaepernick is the starter for the foreseeable future and his performance in Seattle sure as hell didn’t change that. There is no quarterback controversy no matter what the media says, so don’t go on increasing ESPN’s page views to express your opinion on the issue. It’s a non-issue, deal with it.

Kid Canada

Following Steve Nash’s heroic return to the lineup on Saturday, the Knicks-Lakers game on the 25th is now as marquee as a matchup gets. However, the result on Christmas day still won’t be a true indicator of how realistic the Lakers championship aspirations are.

As bad as the Lakers have been, it doesn’t mean a thing without Steve Nash in the lineup and now they’re going to need a lot more time to figure it out with Nash. Their defence is still going to be a big problem as we saw in their comeback win against the Warriors but offensively the Lakers will resemble something much closer to a well-oiled machine with Nash back running the point.

Their showdown with the Knicks tomorrow is no doubt intriguing but another destruction at the hands of New York’s superior team should not be too concerning for Los Angeles.

M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!

Turn out the lights because the party is over.

Peyton Manning is the National Football League’s most valuable player and comeback player of the year. While Manning shredded the Cleveland Browns, Adrian Peterson was busy mustering out 86 very hard fought yards against the Houston Texans and Tom Brady was struggling his way through the Jaguars vaunted defense.

Peyton Manning was already the odds on favourite heading into week 16 and his performance sealed the deal.

It should be noted that as amazing as all-day Adrian Peterson has been this year, he was not the reason the Minnesota Vikings got off to their hot start in September. Remember when we thought Christian Ponder might actually be good?

The MVP has to go to Peyton Manning and Week 17 won’t change anything.

Shame Bowl

Jacksonville will be fighting the Kansas City Chiefs for the coveted 1st overall pick in April’s draft in week 17. While both teams could use a franchise quarterback, this year’s class might not be as enticing as the 2012 class that included Andrew Luck and RGIII.

Matt Barkley’s stock has fallen substantially and Geno Smith would be a stretch to take at number 1. Unfortunately for these two teams, RGIII’s and Andrew Luck’s aren’t a part of every single draft class and they’re just going to have to make do with the less than stellar quarterback class of 2013.

All hail Brady Quinn…I guess.

5 Consecutive Baby!

Canada’s team, the Toronto Raptors, are heading into the Christmas Break with a 5 game winning streak after starting the season 5-19.

I smell a championship. Book it.

You can follow me on Twitter @paintstheblack and subscribe to Painting the Black to get the latest posts.

Monday’s Seven Casual Contemplations

I know I have missed the last 3 weeks but considering that It is my goal to start your work week off right with random thoughts, ideas, rants and ramblings from the week that was in the world of sports, I felt I should get back on the horse. Unfortunately for those of us not still in elementary or high school, it’s Monday so let’s get to the contemplations. Exclusive to Painting the Black, here are your Monday Morning Casual Contemplations…

Help Me Become Canada’s Next Sportscaster!

Reminder or in case you did not know: I was selected as a top 24 finalist for theScore’s (a TV sports station in Canada) Gillette Drafted competition, which is the search for Canada’s next great sportscaster and I need your help. That’s right, your help.

Voting has become an integral part of the process and I need as much support as I can possibly get. Shameless self promotion is key and what I ask of my blog readers is to go to my voting page http://www.drafted.ca/finalists/chris-ross/ and vote every day. Tell your friends, family, coworkers, strangers, pets and just about anything that could possibly work a computer to vote as well.

Thank you for all your support in advance. It is unbelievable to know that I have the backing of so many people in the hope of achieving my dream job.

Jeremy Lin a Rocket?

Isn’t this Lin-teresting. Jeremy Lin might actually be going to Houston. That’s quite a shocker.

The contract is ridiculous but I think the Knicks will never hear the end of it if Jeremy Lin turns out to be a quality point guard in the NBA. Raymond Felton thrived in Mike D’Antoni’s offense without Carmelo Anthony. He has struggled ever since getting traded from the Knicks and who knows how he will perform in a brand new offense. Jason Kidd is 39.

You add in the business side of this equation and it seems like an odd decision (Stephen A. Smith would disagree) on the Knicks part to let Linsanity go in favour of Raymond Felton. Lin’s contract, while ridiculous, still offers immense upside. They struck oil in a Beverley Hillbillies manner with Jeremy Lin. However, would undoubtedly be problematic for them to bring back Lin now after the comments from ‘Melo and J.R. Smith. Even so, you would have thought they would have liked to see where Lin could take them because a Raymond Felton/J-Kidd combo isn’t taking them anywhere.

I for one am hoping they end up regretting it one day. I mean, come on, all Lin does is…Lin, am I right?

Beer Me

I will assume that you saw this video over the weekend of Steve Nash being handed a beer by a group of rather ecstatic fans while on the highway. No biggie, right. Of course, Steve Nash was smart enough to take a video of it and post it on twitter.

And this is why the world loves Steve Nash. He’s on that same kind of stardom level as Derek Jeter in the sense that he can do no wrong and I’m not just saying that because I happen to be Canadian. Nash has that star quality and likeability that enables him not only to be dearly loved by fans but also to get a pass on most anything he does that isn’t very role model-ish (i.e. cheating on his wife).

I see nothing wrong with him getting a pass on those types of things. He’s a character that everyone can like and you can never have enough of those. I mean, how many athletes would allow fans to deliver a beer from car-to-car on the highway?

Steve Nash would.

Olympics and Basketball

Blake Griffin went down with a torn meniscus in his left knee. Apparently, that means Mark Cuban was right. Owners don’t like their prized assets risking their futures for free. Playing simply for pride and being patriotic doesn’t fly with them. They want to restrict the Olympics to players who are 23 years and younger.

What else do they want to do? Put a leash around their player’s necks and tie them to a tree for the entire off-season?

If they’re not playing in the Olympics, they’re probably playing ball somewhere else (see: Kevin Durant at Rucker Park). Obviously, the intensity can’t match the level that they go through preparing for and playing in the Olympics, but they’ll be playing some form of basketball nonetheless. Injury is a risk anytime physically activity occurs.

The owners concerns are valid but they can’t stop player from doing everything athletically related in the off-season. Players are going to work out. They’re going to play. Kyrie Irving broke his hand at the Cavaliers summer-league practice facility over the weekend after he slapped a padded wall in frustration.

I guess I don’t like the idea of taking away these players ability to represent their country. Olympic gold is a big deal to these guys and I’m not just talking about the Americans.

I can’t imagine there’s a much better feeling than having an entire nation root for you. Doesn’t seem right to take that opportunity away from them.

Feel For Ya

Ever since I read “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton, I can’t help but feel sorry for the fringe MLB pitcher.

Mop-up situations are often reserved for pitchers that are too good for the minors but not good enough to be used in any sort of high leverage situation in the majors. It takes the most die-hard fan to care for the mop-up situation.

However, Jim Bouton’s book made me realize how much each and every outing matters for a MLB pitcher struggling to earn his keeps in the Bigs. 2 runs allowed in a 14-3 game may not concern 99% of the viewers but to that one pitcher who allowed the 2 runs, it could be the difference between grinding out a 5 hour bus ride to Tacoma or flying on a chartered jet to New York City.

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Chavez had one of those make or break outings on Saturday. He had been struggling lately and came into the ball game with an 11-4 lead. He left the game with the score 11-8. His line: 0.0 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 4 earned runs. His face had devastation written all over it.

I really do feel for the guy. What can you do though? Like so many others who get a cup of coffee in the Majors, Chavez was sent back to the minors. It’s the unfortunate reality of professional sports. Not everyone can have a happy ending.

Oh yeah, if you’re a sports fan and you haven’t read “Ball Four,” you better get on it. An absolute must read.

Easy Breesy

So Drew Brees got a lot of money. Don’t really know how the whole logistics of how his $40 million first year pay-day affects the Saints’ salary cap but I hear it’s not nearly as brutal as it sounds. An average of $20 million a year isn’t so bad either and it looks as though the two sides finally met somewhere in the middle in agreeing to this contract.

I still do have trouble comprehending why Drew Brees wouldn’t want to take a little less money for the greater good of his team but, hey, it’s easier to say that when I’m the person sitting in front of my laptop screen typing for free. So, who am I judge?

Of course, I will continue to judge anyways.

Oh Tiger, My Tiger

He missed the cut at the Greenbrier Classic a couple of weekends ago but he’s still got to be the favourite going into the British Open. His game is on the up and he is playing more and more like the best golfer in the world is supposed to.

A fair bet won’t be Tiger or the field at least until he wins another major. However, I like Eldrick’s chances this coming week at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.

Monday’s Seven Casual Contemplations

It is my goal to start your work week off right with random thoughts, ideas, rants and ramblings from the week that was in the world of sports. Sadly, it’s already Monday so let’s get at it. Exclusive to Painting the Black, here are your Monday Morning Casual Contemplations…

Help me Win Gillette Drafted!

Reminder or in case you did not know: I was selected as a top 24 finalist for theScore’s (a TV sports station in Canada) Gillette Drafted competition, which is the search for Canada’s next great sportscaster. This is the 4th season so they have changed the whole format around.

Voting has become an integral part of the process and I need as much support as I can possibly get. Shameless self promotion is key and what I ask of my blog readers is to go to my page http://www.drafted.ca/finalists/chris-ross/ and vote every day. Tell your friends, family, coworkers, strangers, pets and just about anything that could possibly work a computer to vote as well.

A couple of weekends ago I attended the top 24 bootcamp in Toronto. This is the main part of their selection process to cut the 24 down to the 6. The 6 will be announced in the middle of August. Not all, but some of the videos from that weekend are already up. If you want to check my videos out click on the link here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5BA86A30B00A3F32&feature=plcp

Thank you for all your support in advance. It is unbelievable to know that I have the backing of so many people in the hope of achieving my dream job.

Joel Peralta

I read something pretty crazy the other day from Tom Verducci. He wrote in this article that a veteran MLB coach said 80% of pitchers use pine tar or a similar substance to get a better grip on the baseball.

I now understand Joe Maddon’s frustration behind Davey Johnson’s choice to call Peralta out for cheating.

However, what I cannot wrap my head around is why Major League Baseball allows this cheating to occur. Clearly, it is common knowledge inside MLB circles that an incredibly significant number of pitchers are using a substance to give them an advantage against hitters. Like steroids, this is cheating. The effect of using the substance may not have the same drastic effect as steroids but the principle behind the usage is no different.

Lack of hitting since the steroid era has been a major issue in baseball yet Bud Selig and company seem content with giving pitchers every advantage possible. The pine tar apparently “provides just the right tackiness to spin breaking balls.” Major League Baseball could help themselves out by getting the cheating out of the game. It’s really not all that difficult.

Mind-freaking-boggling.

Don’t Stay in School Kids

Jared Sullinger is the reason why you don’t stay in school. Well, that’s if you are a guaranteed top 5 pick.

Sullinger was a guaranteed top 5 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft after his freshman season at Ohio State last year. Different story this year as Sullinger has been sliding more than Bernie Brewer. He is now in serious danger of falling outside the lottery following major questions regarding the health of his back. Sullinger’s stock had already been falling but this essentially sealed his fate outside the top 14.

I feel sorry for guys like Sullinger. By choosing to stay in school and, as a result, exposing his flaws, Jared Sullinger has cost himself about $2 million bucks a year on his rookie contract. The way I see it, as long as you’re guaranteed to be a high draft pick, the benefits of staying in college an extra season are far outweighed by the risks. It is not often the case that high profile players who decide to stay in college 1 extra year fall drastically like Sullinger has, but the risk of that happening should be enough to scare a guy straight into leaving school. Perry Jones III is suffering a similar fate to Sullinger.

Unfortunately for those young men, this could have been avoided with an earlier exit from college.

Retired Professional Athletes Being Bozo’s of the Week

Curt Schilling is tapped out financially. He invested $50 million into his video game company that has gone under. He is broke. He said that all the money he made playing professional baseball is gone. From someone who has not ever had his hands on $50 million, it baffles me that a person could blow through that kind of dough in a few short years. Schilling’s last MLB contract was in 2008. That is only 4 years ago.

I’m guessing his ego probably got the best of him, being unable to understand the phrase “quit while you’re ahead.” Just sad really that even a smart man like Curt Schilling could blow every last penny of his massive savings that quickly.

FIFA/UEFA Exhibiting Human Nature

Instant replay. Get it.

The Oscar worthy diving in soccer already gets my blood boiling enough. It’s unbelievable that I am sitting here in 2012 writing that soccer has to implement some goal-line replay technology.

There is no logical reason behind the refusal to utilize instant replay technology.

On the other hand, the rejection of change is hardly anything new to human society. The head honchos of FIFA and UEFA fear change like the majority of humans do. Their choice is irrational but this isn’t the first time in the history of mankind that people have refused change despite all common sense pointing to the absurdity of their negative response to something different.

I’m sure Galileo could tell you about human nature and its fear of change.

Wimbledon

I’m thinking that for this year’s Wimbledon I should just wait and watch the instead of investing any amount of time into the 2 weeks leading up to the finals. As fun as tennis is with the awesomeness up at the top, it definitely takes away from the earlier rounds of the tournament.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have won the last 9 majors. Is there any reason to believe these two guys won’t be meeting in the finals?

Wimbledon is a fantastic tournament. Classic. But I might just see you all in a couple of weeks for this year’s 3rd installment of a Nadal-Djokovic championship final.

Hart of a Champion

England may have lost in the quarter-finals to Italy but I found a new favourite player from my fellow commonwealth country. England goalkeeper Joe Hart won me over yesterday with his attitude and personality throughout what had to be one of the biggest matches of his life. Through pressure moments he smiled, seemingly enjoying the moment rather than agonizing over it. That expression could come across as uncaring but to me it shows a fantastic personality.

Someone that simply loves the game and, even in the quarter-finals of the Euro championship, is enjoying it the way it is meant to be enjoyed.

Monday’s Seven Casual Contemplations

Evidently, because you are reading this now, you were able to survive last week without Monday’s 7 Casual Contemplations to start your work week off with a bang. I’m not sure how you got through the week without it but good on you. No need to fret though as your work week will be started off right this Monday. Exclusive to Painting the Black, here are your Monday Morning Casual Contemplations…

Help me Win Gillette Drafted!

Reminder or in case you did not know: I was selected as a top 24 finalist for theScore’s (a TV sports station in Canada) Gillette Drafted competition, which is the search for Canada’s next great sportscaster. This is the 4th season so they have changed the whole format around.

Voting has become an integral part of the process and I need as much support as I can possibly get. Shameless self promotion is key and what I ask of my blog readers is to go to my page http://www.drafted.ca/finalists/chris-ross/ and vote every day. Tell your friends, family, coworkers, strangers, pets and just about anything that could possibly work a computer to vote as well.

A couple of weekends ago I attended the top 24 bootcamp in Toronto. This is the main part of their selection process to cut the 24 down to the 6. The 6 will be announced in the middle of August. Not all, but some of the videos from that weekend are already up. If you want to check my videos out click on the link here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5BA86A30B00A3F32&feature=plcp

Thank you for all your support in advance. It is unbelievable to know that I have the backing of so many people in the hope of achieving my dream job.

Big 3’s

Big 3’s aren’t so uncommon in the NBA anymore. The Celtics started it and a number of teams have followed suit. Obviously, no big 3 has been more scrutinized than the Miami Heat trio. The group in Miami is undoubtedly the most talented but it isn’t the most effective.

I think it’s clear that the Oklahoma City Thunder big 3 is superior in almost every way to what the Heat possess. The Thunder trifecta is a much more balanced group. The balance has allowed them to thrive even at such a young age. While the Heat feature 2 ball dominating wing players, the Thunder only have 1. Sure, Westbrook has the ball in his hands a lot but that is his job. He is a point guard. He averaged just 5.5 assists per game this past season but people tend to forget that in the previous two seasons he averaged over 8 assists per game.

The Thunder do lack a big man in their big 3 but each player has a more defined role. No one is redundant. Harden plays the other wing position with Durant but his style of play is far different. Wade and Lebron’s skill sets overlap each other. They are only able to make up for it because they are incredibly talented individuals.

Similar to the Celtics, the Thunder have 3 players, each with their own unique role on the floor. The Heat struggle offensively because of the lack of definition in their roles. What the Thunder lack in pure overall talent and, of course, a big man, they compensate with a very good mix of complementary skill sets.

In a certain sense, the Thunder big 3 is much better than the Heat’s.

1 Day Contracts

LaDanian Tomlinson signed a 1 day contract with San Diego so that he could retire as a Charger. Gawd, is this even news anymore?

These 1 day contracts are so dumb. They carry absolutely no meaning. I can’t wrap my head around this notion of needing to retire with the team you spent the bulk of your career with. Tomlinson had 2 years with the New York Jets to finish his career. Big deal.

The sentimentality behind this 1 day contract is useless. Does Tomlinson really have to retire as a Charger to be remembered as a lifelong Charger?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

Hold Outs

Hold outs really bother me. I hate them. The professional athletes who hold out generally make much more than the average athletes yet they want more and more. Nevertheless, I have exceptions to my hatred of the holdout.

NFL running backs have it tough. Their shelf life is shorter than a fresh loaf of bread. That’s why teams should be taking care of their star running backs. Guys like Maurice Jones Drew and, especially Matt Forte who have come on the cheap, deserve to be rewarded. I understand the diminishing value of running backs in the game of football but top flight running backs do so much for their respective organizations. Jones-Drew and Forte are both 26. Cut them a cheque for heaven sakes.

Matt Forte doesn’t have the luxury of playing until he is 35 or 40 like Drew Brees. Forte will be lucky if he gets past 30. Forte earned $600,000 in 2011 and the Bears are fine with putting the franchise tag on their offensive star. Hold out as long as you want big boy. I don’t have a problem with it.

Maurice Jones-Drew made up 47.7% of his team’s offence last season but is also having to force the Jaguars hand by holding out. I don’t blame him.

There are very few elite running backs left in the NFL and they should be compensated fairly by their organizations. They take a massive pounding and aren’t going to be around much longer. Suck it up and fork over a few extra bucks to these work horses. They have earned it.

Umpires

I’m pretty sure it’s becoming a weekly thing for me to be complaining about some sort of refereeing. In my defence, they’re always doing something wrong. How can I not complain?

I guess here is my referee/umpire complaint of the week then: I can’t stand when home plate umpires call guys for being unable to check their swing. There are often times when guys are walking the line between checking their swing and going too far. It’s close and hard to tell. However, many home plate umpires believe that they have the right to make the difficult call. It isn’t even obvious for a base umpire but the home plate umpire will feel he has a good enough view to ring a guy up.

Seriously, is it that difficult for them to point down to the base ump for a better angle? Why do they insist on making the close call when it can be tough to decipher even on a slow motion replay?

Umpires, a special breed indeed.

US Open

Webb Simpson won the US Open with a final score of +1. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love it. In fact, I love everything about how difficult the US Open was for players this year.

None of this 18 under par stuff we see in the Frys.com Open and what not. This is golf at its finest. It’s not supposed to be an easy game. As sadistic as it may sound, I find a lot of joy in seeing players struggle to make pars. I mean, it should be hard for players to immortalize themselves in major championship history.

Webb Simpson had a spectacular day when most faltered. He clutched up on the 18th hole with an extraordinary up and down from just off the green. He is worthy of the title ‘US Open Champion.’ I don’t want majors to be so easy that any Joe Schmoe can shoot a good score.

The 2012 US Open is why I love major championship golf.

Group of Death

I’m not a huge soccer fan. Is that the reason I don’t think the Netherlands exit from the group stage wasn’t embarrassing?

They should have been able to take a game from Denmark but upsets happen. It’s soccer. It’s sports. It’s 3 games, that’s it. Sometimes you don’t perform. That is hardly a disgrace by any means though.

One of Germany, Portugal and Holland had to be eliminated. The Netherlands were this year’s victim of the group of death. A shame but not a disaster from where I stand.

Monday’s Seven Casual Contemplations

It is my goal to start your work week off right with random thoughts, ideas, rants and ramblings from the week that was in the world of sports. Exclusive to Painting the Black, here are your Monday Morning Casual Contemplations…

MLB Draft

If I were Bud Selig, I’d be jealous of the way the NFL is able to create an event so big outside of their season. Can you say cha-ching?

The MLB amateur draft is tonight and Major League Baseball is trying to make their draft more relevant. They are televising the draft these days, they cut 10 rounds out of the draft this year and are now flying the top prospects in to be present live for the draft.

The MLB draft will never be relevant though. Not like it is with the NFL and NBA. Unless you’re a diehard baseball fan, it’s very difficult to get on board with the MLB draft. The problem is that players drafted in the MLB draft don’t have an immediate impact on the team they’re drafted to. The appeal of the NFL and NBA drafts is that teams are drafting players that are expected to make a significant impact on their team in the following season.

Baseball doesn’t have that luxury. Even super phenom Bryce Harper had to spend time in the minors. The MLB draft is trying to gain steam but when fans aren’t getting immediate gratification from these prospects, it’s hard to receive major interest from the masses.

Moreover, MLB prospects aren’t well known to the fans prior to being drafted. There is no national stage on the same level as NCAA Basketball and Football. Fans know very little about baseball prospects other than what they hear from scouts, writers and bloggers. The MLB draft is so much less impersonal.

It’s a good attempt from Major League Baseball but, in the end, they are limited with what they can do with the amateur draft.

Perry Jones III

Some team is going to be getting some very good value out of Perry Jones III come NBA draft day. His stock fell majorly this year but he has that high ceiling that makes him so enticing. If he falls out of the top 10, which seems very likely at this point, one franchise will receive that high reward everyone looks for in prospects without the high risk of a top 5 lottery choice.
If I’m a GM with a teen lottery pick, Perry Jones is at the top of my list.

Moneyball

I still haven’t watched Moneyball. I’m sure it’s a good movie but I couldn’t get behind the concept that the movie attempts to project. The Athletics haven’t been relevant since their big 3 pitchers, Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito, split up. Moneyball no doubt revolutionized how people analyzed the game of baseball but the idea behind Moneyball being the biggest reason for the success of the Oakland Athletics is nonsense.

How’s Moneyball working today Billy Beane?

The Athletics are 23-30, already out of the playoff race yet again. Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes are solid in the middle of their order but other than that the Athletics lineup is abysmal. Heck, they had to resort to picking up Brandon Inge who OPS’d .548 in 269 at bats for the Tigers last season. Yikes.

The notion of a small market team with financial restraints being able to compete with the big boys of the Major Leagues makes for a fantastic story. Since the departure of the big 3 though, Billy Beane has shaped exactly what we would expect from a small market franchise with severe monetary restrictions.

Crazy Talk

Remember at the NBA trade deadline when there were Rajon Rondo trade rumours? Man, how crazy does that sound now?

Rajon Rondo is not only one of the best point guards in the league but he is also putting himself in the category of one of the best players in the NBA. He’s carrying the Celtics on that back of his. I didn’t know little guys like Rondo could take on that kind of load. It’s insane that it was legitimate debate 3 months ago if the Celtics should be building around Rajon Rondo for the future. Imagine the Celtics without Rondo.

Can’t do it? That’s what I thought

This is the Celtics last hurrah with this group and the future could not be more uncertain. One thing is for sure though, Rajon Rondo will be running the point for the C’s.

Lou and Potato Chips

Oh look, the whiny Vancouver Canucks fan wants Roberto Luongo out of town. How typical.

The questions surrounding what the Canucks could get in return for Luongo are endless. I, on the other hand, believe them to be unnecessary. Roberto Luongo is still a good goaltender in the NHL but I would be willing to give him up for a bag of potato chips. I might have to insist on Sour Cream and Onion.

Seriously though, I feel the return that Mike Gillis gets on a trade involving Luongo isn’t important. Considering all that has happened surrounding Luongo from the time when he lost his starting job to Cory Schneider, the most vital thing is to make sure Bobby Lou is not wearing a Canucks uniform come opening day. Luongo’s cap hit of $5.3 million is not horrible in itself at this point in time, but with 10 years left on his contract and Cory Schneider waiting in the wings it deserves the horrible status.

To get anything for Roberto Luongo at this point, similarly to the Toronto Raptors flipping Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa a couple of seasons ago, would be a win in my mind for Vancouver. To be asking a lot in return for a goalie with all the baggage and questions that surround Luongo is being a bit greedy. The Toronto Blue Jays were aided greatly by the Angels when they were able to pass Vernon Wells onto Los Angeles in exchange for virtually nothing.

It’s not what the Vancouver Canucks get in return for Roberto Luongo. It’s that they just get rid of him.

Bizarro Scorekeeper

Baseball scorekeepers are supposed to help their home team. That isn’t the case for the Toronto Blue Jays. Throughout the season the team has been robbed, and by all people, their hometown scorekeeper. Saturday there were 3 more instances of anti-homerism. Kyle Drabek, David Cooper and Edwin Encarnacion were the victims.

It’s incomprehensible to me. You wonder why the team doesn’t do something about this. Talk to the scorekeeper, fire the scorekeeper, anything. Baseball is a quirky game and one of those quirks is that the home team players get the benefit of the doubt on any close call. The Toronto Blue Jays scorekeeper clearly doesn’t get that.

Get in the Hole!

Golf fans, I’m sick of every time a player hits his shot, a large group of you yell get in the hole. It happens too often now-a-days. Par 3’s, par 4’s, chips from the fringe, and big putts. It has become like the NBA ‘M-V-P’ chants where any Joe Blow coming to free throw line, who is having an exceptional game, can be the Most Valuable Player (see Reggie Evans. Although, I do love Reggie).

It’s not going to stop anytime soon but if fans could conserve their ‘get in the hole’s’ for more appropriate and selective times that would be much appreciated.

Bonus (Shameless?) Contemplation!

I was thinking that you might want to check me out on twitter and then give me a follow @paintstheblack if you like what you’re seeing. Maybe before you do that, don’t leave the website and subscribe to the blog either through the email subscription in the right hand corner or with the RSS feed so you can have immediate access to the latest articles on Painting the Black. Sweet, I know.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,080 other followers

%d bloggers like this: