Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Weekend

Three big stories this weekend. Let's hit on all of them quickly.

1) The Patriots Draft

I am no Mel Kiper Jr. I'm not even Todd McShay. Keeping that in mind I am not even going to try analyze the Pats draft. A few weeks ago I said that I'd love to see them use their seven picks on five defensive players, a QB, and a tight end to give competition to the Anti-Coates, Ben Watson (I'm going to push that nickname until it sticks). Seeing as the Pats drafted six defensive players and a QB consider me a happy camper. From my completely uninformed opinion I see the Patriots draft as a rousing success.

After saying all of that, I will say that other than Matt Ryan, the only other top player in the draft which I had consistent exposure to was Jerod Mayo. My wife is a Tennessee alum, a football season ticket holder with her father, and a rabid fan along with him as well. Honestly, I have probably seen 80% of Tennessee's games over the past few years so amazingly I actually do know a thing or two about Jerod Mayo as opposed to a guy like Vernon Ghoulston who I had never heard of until I started perusing people's thoughts on who the Pats might take. So what is my take on Mayo?

Let's just say that if he does not become more or less an instant fan favorite, record 120+ tackles next year, and make some highlight reel hits then I will be absolutely shocked. Mayo played in the SEC and in the past year you could easily say that he was probably the most bad-assed guy on the field in every game he played. Seeing as the SEC is the most competitive football conference and churns out pro players like nobody's business, I'd say this is kind of a big deal. He was just one of "those guys" that you always anticipated making a big play at some point or another during the game and if mayhem was abound then the chances of him being in the middle of it were quite good.

On Friday, when it started leaking that the Pats were targeting Mayo, I began to get excited, and when they took him at 10 on Saturday I was thrilled. Don't trust me on a lot of things, but trust me on the fact that Jerod Mayo will 100% make a positive impact for the Patriots next year.

As for the rest of their picks. Well, I have no idea. I have not heard of a single other one of them.

2) The Celtics

If the Celtics were going to lose a game in the Atlanta series, wasn't it going to be the first game in Atlanta on a Saturday night? Of course it was! Combining that with Josh Smith playing out of his mind, Mike Bibby temporarily waking up from the dead, and the Celtics displaying some absolutely hideous shot selection in the third quarter lead by Ray Allen and Sam Cassell the Celtics really didn't have a chance. The one positive I will take away from the game however was Kevin Garnett finally deciding to play on the blocks. Even though they lost the game, if KG finally realized that he can dominate a game offensively from the blocks if sets his mind to it and consistently does that more often over the course of the playoffs then we can call this game a huge moral W.

My prediction for the rest of the series is that the C's win on Monday, the Hawks take the next game, and then the Celtics win in six at home. The reason I'm saying six and not five here is because Josh Smith is such a freak of an athlete that he himself with a little help from Al Horford can probably bring them another victory ine one of the next two games if the Atlanta fans bring the intensity. Hence the reason now for C's in six.

The Red Sox

So the Sox got swept by the Rays and are in the midst of a five game losing streak. Not good. No need to freak out though. Let's look at the bright side.

Clay Bucholz, fresh off my proclamation that he would be a great number two starter by July or so went out on Saturday and threw 8 innings, gave up 2 runs, 3 hits, struckout 9, and walked 2. He was also one bad pitch from those 2 runs being 0. Yes he lost the game, but there is plenty of good to take away from that. The Rays are a good hitting team too.

And then Beckett, whom I also praised the other day justified my kind words by pitching 7 innings on Sunday giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and striking out 13 to only 1 walk. Pretty good line. Again, they hung the loss on him but if the Sox can consistently get good to great pitching from Bucholz and Beckett then they should be in good shape moving forward.

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