Sunday, November 30, 2008

Checking In On It All

In case we get some new readers from our new found semi/marginal/a little bit more existent fame I figured I would chime in and give my thoughts on where I stand in relation to a few of the topics that seem to matter to folks right now. If you've read me before then consider this remedial. If not, here is where I'm at:

The Celtics
If there is one thing that can undo this team this year it is their free throw shooting. Other than Ray Allen, is there anybody on the team that you absolutely trust with your life to make a free throw late in a game? Sure Paul Pierce comes up with 12-13 free throw nights from time to time but it seems like he'll pull a 7-13 almost as often. Plus he just looks so damn awkward shooting them. As for KG, I won't get into that one. Long story short, the Celtics survived last year by not getting to the line frequently and when they got there, inconsistently converting and I don't know if they can do that a second year in a row.

If there is anything holding them back it is that. If that does not stop them, I am really not sure what will. Except for maybe Lebron James.

The Red Sox

1) Pass on AJ Burnett. If I could be told that he would log 200 innings a year for the duration of his contract then sign me up. Unfortunately, Burnett has only hit the 200 IP mark three times in his career. Two of those times being contract years. Color me skeptical.

Let me add one caveat to the above.

If for some reason Burnett would take a short year, high money contract then I'd say sign me up. Three years and $45M I'd be cool with for him. Anything more than I think you have to say no. Let's not call that analysis though because I am sure most everybody feels that way. It's almost a perfect world situation.

2) Tek. Ugh. If he comes back then I hope he only gets about 250-300 ABs next year and it is on a one year contract. If he does not come back, then yes it is sad to see a "face of the franchise" guy go but such is life. My gut is that he signs next year with a second division NL club with a lot of young pitching talent. If you think I am talking about the Reds then you are correct. What kind of cash do they offer him? I say he gets two years and $25M from them.

3) Seeing as I was the only one under-impressed with Mark Teixera during the ALDS I am completely torn on this. Yes, I understand that he is a prime of his career, switch-hitting, slick fielding first baseman with power and plate discipline. Seemingly the ideal Red Sox player. At the same time, I see a guy who hit .467 in the ALDS but did not record a hit to drive in a run. Not only that, he did not tally an extra base hit either. Yes, he always felt due, but whatever. He never collected. If I'm staring down another eight year commitment to a player which I think is what it will probably take to get Teixera than I'd rather not go after a guy who I have a sneaking suspicion will surpass A-Rod as the master of the three run homer to run a 6-4 lead into a 9-4 one or an 8-1 deficit into an 8-4 deficit. But that's just me.

The Patriots.

Ugh. I spent the past two weeks talking about how they would run the table. Now that aint happening. Now, do you know what the Patriots are? They are a team that has left chance after chance to go to the next level on the table. I don't care whether that is Jabar Gaffney dropping a TD pass against Indy, the Ben Watson fumble and the botched 3rd and 15 against the Jets, or Randy Moss' two disastrous drops in the first half against the Steelers. The fact of the matter is the Patriots have screwed up numerous chances this year to tick up a level and at some point you have to realize that it just is not happening for them this year. And that's the frustrating thing I guess. With just slightly better execution on a handful of plays this season then they are probably fighting for a bye. Instead, they are now staring at a serious uphill climb to get the 6 seed.

But isn't that how the previous two years went too? If Troy Brown can just turn up field a yard further or the defense summons 2003 and gets a clutch stop against Indy then they are Super Bowl bound in 2006 and if Richard Seymour wraps up Eli Manning last year then they are Super Bowl champs and 19-0. Instead both games and seasons end in supreme disappointment. When the Patriots were winning Super Bowls it was because they always seemed to execute every play they needed to to win. Now, it is the exact opposite. They seem to put themselves in position to win but then breakdown on minute execution. Who gets the blame for that? I'm not sure and I don't want to point fingers. What I will say is that you can't help but gain even more respect from those teams of old that NEVER beat themselves. Not beating themselves used to be a Patriots hallmark and now it seems to be the exact opposite. Whenever they lose now there seems to always be a few plays that stand out clearly where you can say, "that was stupid they did it to themselves". And that's why the Super Bowls have stopped coming. I really believed this year could be different but again, more of the same.

OK, that's enough for a Sunday night. I think I've covered all my bases. If you are new around these parts, WELCOME!!
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What Happened Today?

The game is over, and with it the road to the playoffs just got a lot tougher. Neil thought the Pats were going to run the table, clearly he must have meant the kids table. So what are the problems? Where are the areas that need correcting. While one could argue that EVERYTHING needs correcting after today, there are a few areas that are of major concern;

-The Secondary
Ellis Hobbs is a marginal number two at best. He has flashes of brilliance on one play and then fucks up two plays later. Usually its not just a missed assignment either. Think about that kid that was in your high school gym class. You know, the gym hero. One of the best athletes in the school. The one who would always attempt to intercept the ball, or take the three pointer. You know, that asshole. Ellis Hobbs does the same shit that kid did, except in the NFL.

After Hobbs, there is no one back there. Someone thought that O'neil was better that Fernando Bryant, but I don't see it. He is almost always a step behind his man, and still, this late in the season looks lost out there at times. I would say he has less than a 15% chance of being on the team next year.

Then there are the safeties...When I watch Brandon Meriweather play I get angry. He gives everyone a cushion and does not look like a first round pick. Put him in Tandem with James Sanders, and you are talking about a quarterbacks wet dream. We need help.

Brady, Thomas, Harrison, Wheatley, oh my!

-Defensive playcalling
We have been lost since Romeo took off for Cleveland. I had hoped that Dom Capers would have injected some aggression into the plays but thus far I have not seen it. Rootbeer & Bacon would like to formally announce that they completely support the rumors of Romeo coming home to New England when he gets canned in a few months. Lets be honest, we are now formally starting that rumor. We love you Romeo, come home.

-Right Side of the O-Line
Oh God. The coaching staff love Stephen Neal. I have heard all about his footwork and his understanding of leverage thanks to being a college wrestler. But I put all of that up there with the shit we hear about Jason Varitek having all of these intangibles with the pitching staff. By that I mean its just shit people spew out when they want to sound like they are waaaay into Boston sports. The bottom line is Tek is old and its time to go, and Neal cannot stay healthy and seems to get beat a lot. As far as Nick Kaczur goes, well I liked him better when he was on drugs.

-Catching the ball
I had thought that it was a given that WR's could catch balls that hit them in the hands...I guess I had been misinformed.

There is a lot more, but thats enough for now. But I just want to comment on all the crap floating around about trading Brady and signing Cassell. There is only one way to handle this nonsense. If you hear anyone entertaining the idea what I want you to do is not respond. Then must drop to one knee, and punch that person in the cock as hard as you can. If every R&B reader punches two people in the cock, we can have this stupid shit put to bed before Christmas. We can only do it if we work together people. R&B will offer further incentive. If anyone can provide visual documentation that they have punched someone in the cock, we will post the picture and name of your cockpunch victim on the website, and send you one (1) Rootbeer & Bacon Sticker.

I'm all out

-Ben Read more!

Live From Florida

So I am in Florida right now, actually to be more precise I am at Disney World on my honeymoon with my wife Sherri typing this on my Iphone while we ride back to our hotel on a bus. The reason I am writing from this bizarre location is I just realized while talking with a fellow Boston fan that I am emotionally detached from this Patriots season. We all know when it happened, less than a quarter into our season when Tom Brady disappeared down the stairs at the Razor. I was in Bens living room willing him to come back but it wasn't going to happen. I have fooled myself since then, watching all the games, following the team on but in my mind the season was over the Jets were better than we thought they were, the defense suddenly looked as old as they were and Randy moss didn't look like he care anymore. It took until November 30 tv though for me to come to terms with it, and I had to be 2000 miles away. I don't care. I will still watch but I will not care nearly as much. I can't it hurts to much. Plus there is way to much other stuff going on the Celtics are on a role, the Bruins don't suck like normal, the hot stove is heating up, and Obama is starting to get his cabinet together. Let me know when number 12 laces them up again and I will give my heart to the Patriots, until then I am just another passive observer. Read more!

The Recognition We So Richly Deserve

We at Rootbeer & Bacon have always known that if you are looking for the truth about the Boston sports scene, there is no better place to go than to well...Rootbeer & Bacon. Today, Boston Globe magazine agreed. We have been named one of the 64 best local websites in Boston!

They put it this way:

If you want a view straight from the couch, the bloggers at serve up a mix of frustration, humor, and Monday-morning quarterbacking that fans can relate to.

Check out the article here:

We will be anxiously awaiting congratulatory comments.

-The R&B crew
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Checking in on the Pats Playoff Situation

Right now it is very simple. If the NFL season ended today, the Patriots still would not make the playoffs. But there are still five games remaining for them. Of those five games, three are on the road to below .500 teams (Seattle, Oakland, and Buffalo) and the other two are at home against Pittsburgh and Arizona. I already went over my thoughts on those two home games in my last post so I'll spare you a drawn out explanation and give you the gist of why I think both games are very winnable despite those two teams being the best remaining teams on the Patriots schedule: the Patriots own the Steelers and the Cardinals are a warm weather team travelling east to play in late December. 'Nuff said and yes I still strongly believe that a table running is forthcoming.

Now here is the tricky part. Assuming they run the table, they will get in. Unless of course both Baltimore and Indy pull that off too. Of those two, I think Indy has a great chance to do this and Baltimore not so much. Baltimore has two remaining road games. One at Cincy which they should win and one at Dallas which I think they will lose. Their home slate is tough too with Washington and Pittsburgh coming the first two weeks of December and then they close the season against Jacksonville. Granted Jacksonville will probably be mailing it in at that point but regardless, the Ravens have three of five games against tough, above .500 teams. In eye-balling that group of games I'd guess a 3-2 mark there losing at home to Pittsburgh and on the road to Dallas. That would leave the Ravens at 10-6. Good enough most years to get into the playoffs but probably not this year.

And then there are the Colts. Like the Patriots, I think the Colts are going to run the table. Why? Well first off, in case you had not noticed they are rounding into vintage form. And second, they only play one remaining above .500 team for the rest of the year, and that team is the Titans. Assuming the Titans will have home field locked up by then, there is a decent chance they will be resting a good chunk of their starters. Maybe not though, judging by how that burned a few teams last year in the playoffs. Starters or not though, Indy has them at home and I think they win that game regardless.

As for the rest of the Colts schedule, they also have Cincy and Detroit at home and trips to Cleveland and Jacksonville. Mark those home games in the win column now and do the same for the game at Cleveland this weekend. Sure they could lose to Jacksonville on the road, but I doubt it the way those two teams are going. For right now, pencil in Indy to finish at 12-4.

Now let's bring this back to the Patriots shall we.

If we are going to pencil in Baltimore at 10-6 and Indy at 12-4, then the Patriots need to finish at least 11-5 because right now Baltimore holds the tie-break against the Pats due to conference record. That could change between now and the end of the season, but let's not complicate things. We will just say that if the Patriots want to make the playoffs they really cannot finish worse than 11-5.

Because we are optimists here, we will say that the Patriots run the table and finish 12-4. Where will that leave them? Amazingly to me, it will leave them in one of two places. Either as the second seed with a bye in the first round or a sixth seed and playing a divisional playoff game at the Meadowlands against the Jets. Crazy isn't it?

So how does that work?

If they are to finish 12-4 and get the bye, they will need to play two games better than the Jets over the last five games and take the division. At that point, even if they were tied with Pittsburgh at 12-4 they would get the higher seeding on account of a head-to-head win.

And what two teams could knock off the Jets in the final five weeks?

That is where it gets tough. I think Denver has a good shot of that this weekend to be honest. Why? Because I think it will be a shootout and you never know when Brett Favre will absolutely kill a team in a game like that. After Denver, I really am not sure where the second loss would come from. If I had to venture a guess I'd say it would be at home against Miami in the last week of the season because I don't see them losing at home to the Bills and I don't see them losing in either San Francisco or Seattle. So as you can see, the bye scenario is a bit far-fetched but certainly not impossible.

And that leaves us with the Patriots most likely scenario; finishing at 12-4 or maybe 11-5 and owning the 6th seed in the playoffs. Crazy to think that a team with 11 or 12 wins would wind up only as the sixth seed, but considering that Indy has the 5th seed locked up barring a monumental Tennessee collapse that would rival the state university's football program then it is the only place other than 2 that the Patriots can inhabit. Sure we are treating hypotheticals as fact right now but that is the only way you can actually figure this stuff out.

Therefore, as we stand today, if I had to predict how the AFC playoff picture will look at the end of the season, it would be like this:

1 (bye) Titans 13-3
2 (bye) Steelers 12-4
3 Jets 12-4
4 Broncos 9-7
5 Colts 12-4
6 Patriots 12-4

Looking at that, what are my thoughts? Simple. If the Pats could have just beaten the Jets on that Thursday night game by getting a stop on 3rd and 15 they would have been in position to beat Pittsburgh this weekend and have the two seed be theirs to lose. Now, realistically they are looking at the sixth seed and a potential path to the Super Bowl through New York, Tennessee, and Indy or Pittsburgh. Of course it's doable, the Steelers proved it in 2006 and the Giants did in 2008 but it sure won't be easy. Despite all of that, the fact remains that Tom Brady played half a quarter this year and we can still have big thoughts. That's pretty good.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

The Pats Moving Forward - I Like the Team

First the crazy thing.

I think the Patriots can win the Super Bowl this year with Matt Cassell. No joke. I truly believe that.

And now the frustrating thing.

Right now, the way things are looking the Patriots season will more than likely come down to the defense absolutely needing to make a stop late in the fourth quarter and I have absolutely no faith in them to do that. It has happened the last two seasons and the chances for a third go-round are quite strong.

With that being, the way that Jerod Mayo has been playing and the subtle emergence of Pierre Woods, the linebacking core as constituted today could be far better in a few weeks. Jerod Mayo I do not think I can rationally talk about. Not to compare him to Ray Lewis circa early 2000s because that would be unfair but do you remember how when you used to see the Ravens on MNF his name would seem to come up on every single play. Isn't that exactly where Mayo is now? I mean the guy had twenty freakin' tackles in the Jets game. He is an absolute animal and from what I've read he is clearly a favorite already of both the coaches and his teammates. When was the last time the Patriots had a rookie make such an immediate and glowing impact? I'd have to say it was back in 2001 with Richard Seymour right?

Speaking of 2001, the indisputable turning point game of that season was the loss at home to the Rams. Not because the loss dropped the Patriots to 5-5 and then saw them run the table from there on out, but because it showed everybody that that team was in fact really good. Up until that point it was tough to tell how for real the Patriots were that season, but making the Rams work - and I mean work - for their victory in that game showed the league that the team was legit. At the time, the Rams were 7-1 heading into the game, the indisputable "class of the NFL", and let's not forget the whole "greatest show on turf" thing either. Simply put, the Rams were supposed to destroy the Patriots in that game and bring them back down to earth. Instead they eeked out a 24-17 victory and that victory very well may not have happened if not for an Antowain Smith fumble inside the Rams 5 late in the first half. Blah, blah, blah, the loss was a loss but the league was put on notice that the Pats were not just some over-achieving .500 team, they were going to have to be reckoned with down the stretch.

So what does this have to do with last week? Well, for one nobody has been under-estimating the Patriots this year. At times they have been over-estimated, but nobody has slept on them to date. However, the big, million dollar question around the team since Brady went down has been the quarterback. And right now I think it is safe to say that he is not and will not be the problem. A couple of weeks ago I said that people would complain about Matt Cassell all the way to the AFC Championship Game. Well, I don't feel that anymore because people have come around on the guy but I still believe that the Pats will find themselves in that game and a rematch with the Giants in the Super Bowl - with the tables completely turned (Pats as big underdogs) - is not out of the question.

And now it is my duty to play the whole "if the Playoffs started today the Pats would be on the outside looking in" card. True. But they don't start today. And while the Pats may have just two home games left compared to four on the road, they luckily have their two toughest games at home when the Steelers come to town next week and the Cardinals enter the second to last week of the season. The Steelers game I am most interested in because that is a game where Cassell could shine. Sure the Patriots have owned the Steelers of late (congrats Pittsburgh, you stopped our 23 game winning streak back in 2004, we beat you later that year on the road in the AFC Championship Game, sorry we win there) but this year's Steelers team features a more ferocious than usual defense that sacks quarterbacks at will and can thwart any running attack. Enter Matt Cassell who has become Mr. Scramble the past couple of weeks. With Cassell's mobility in the pocket he should be able to avoid a few sacks and make some plays out of nothing, especially if he can give Randy Moss some time to wear down whomever is covering him in the secondary. I see that as a 24-21 game or something like that with the Pats emerging and the postgame chatter focusing on how the Pats are once again in the discussion of "teams to beat in the AFC".

Their other home game, against Arizona in late December seems to be a perfect storm for a New England victory. Not only are the Cardinals dealing with the vaunted west coast team playing a 1 PM game on the east coast curse, they are also dealing with the warm weather team going up north to play an outdoor game in December curse. While there is a strong shot that this game gets moved to either 4 PM or 8 PM, negating the 1 PM curse, I say that gets cancelled out when you figure how much colder it will be playing that game later in the day. Of course the Cardinals can win that game because they have the best receiving corps in the league and the Patriots secondary is suspect at best. But I don't think they will. I think the Patriots take that game by a count of something like 31-17.

The roadies are not as easy. Their toughest game comes this weekend at Miami and then after that they need to travel to Oakland and Seattle for consecutive games and then up to Buffalo the last week of the season. Lucky for the Pats, the Raiders are in mail it in mode, the Seahawks are ravaged by injuries, and the Bills should be in mail it in mode by the time their game comes around. The Patriots should be favored in all four of these games and they should win them all.

Running the table to get to 12-4 doesn't seem that preposterous anymore now does it.

Even more amazing is that they could even sneak into a two seed and get a bye. It will be tough, but consider this:

The Steelers currently sit atop the AFC North at 8-3. If the Pats are to run the table and the Steelers go 4-1 down the stretch with the loss coming in NE, the Patriots will hold the tie-breaker against them and therefore get the two seed. This also assumes that the Patriots edge out the Jets for the division, which is possibly the more daunting task. After this weekend when they play the Titans, the Jets have a slew of winnable games coming up including two against NFC West teams. Their toughest divisional game remaining is at home against the Dolphins and their toughest non-division game is also home against the Broncos. Trying to make up two games against the Jets, with that remaining schedule for them could be tough, but at the same time it is of course possible.

And all of that brings me back to my very first point which is that this Patriots team really does have a chance to play deep into the postseason. What determines how far they go though will once again be the defense. I think the offense is and will be fine moving forward and I think a big part of that is Matt Cassell and his mobility and steady improvement. Don't forget that in 2001 - and 2002 for that matter - Brady really couldn't throw the deep ball either. It's an acquired skill and a lack of it can be made up in other areas. It just stinks when you can't do that well and Randy Moss is your best receiver.

But I digress because the point of this is to be positive and put out there my very strong belief in this Pats team. Now, before signing off I do want to leave you with one point which has nothing to do with anything really but is interesting nonetheless.

Starting in 2005, the Patriots have been forced to play with three different permutations at the QB/WR spot. Unfortunately, each time the end result has been eerily similar regardless of what kind of talent was on that side of the ball.

2006: Stud QB coupled with shit wide receivers and the end result was the team losing in the AFC Championship Game because their defense couldn't hold an 18 point halftime lead.

2007: Stud QB coupled with stud receivers and the end result was the team losing in the Super Bowl because the defense could not stop Eli Manning with 2 minutes and change left.

2008: Career backup QB with stud receivers and the end result is TBD, but something tells me it will sound a lot like the above two if last week's Jets game was any indication of things to come.

I guess if we really wanted to get crazy, next year the Patriots could bring back Reche Caldwell and Doug Gabriel to give the old career backup QB/shit WR combo a try. Me, I'd rather not see what that looks like. That Jabar Gaffney TD drop in Indy was enough of a reminder for me about what shit receivers can do to you.

OK, that's it finally. But let me just go on record as saying that the Patriots this year will make it AT LEAST as far as the AFC Championship Game.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

While Watchin the Pats Game....

OK, I'll admit it. I just logged on to blog about my longstanding hatred towards Ben Watson. Has anybody had more key drops or fumbles over the past few years? Of course, upon my login Watson caught a TD pass to bring the Pats into the game, but still. Are we supposed to pretend like that early unforced fumble never happened? Sheesh.

Some other thoughts...

1) I'm pretty sure that the Jets would be doing roughly as well this year with either Chad Pennington or Kellen Clemens at the helm. Brett Favre gets props because he is Brett Favre, but what has he done that makes you call him a difference maker to date?

2) Remember Dave Meggett? With the success of guys like Darren Sproles, Leon Washington, and even Reggie Bush, wouldn't Meggett be the perfect guy for these times? It seems like this is the era of the undersized third down back.

3) I don't want to jinx it because I'm blogging while watching, but the Patriots tackling tonight has been better than it has been all year.

4) Jerod Mayo, thank you for making me look smart on national television. I think I was the first person on the Jerod Mayo will win the 2008 Defensive Rookie of the Year bandwagon.

5) Give Cassell his props. His scrambling is an absolute attribute to the team and something they have never had. On the flip side, he missed Randy Moss twice in the first half on what could have been a couple of touchdowns.
*And now he just over-threw Randy Moss in the third quarter for a walk-in touchdown. F. That could end up costing them the game. It's like the exact opposite of what happened with Gaffney in Indy.

6) I am going to the Skins-Cowboys Sunday Night game this week. Let me just tell you that that rivalry is bigger here today than Sox-Yanks is currently in Boston. Admittedly, the Sox-Yanks rivalry has cooled recently on account of the proliferation and commercialization of it - meaning that there are way too many bandwagon fans on the Boston side to keep the legitimate passion where it once was - but the Skins and Cowboys is the truth.

When the Skins upset the Cowboys in Dallas earlier this year, nearly the entire city draped themselves in Redskins jerseys that Monday. Except for the Dallas fans of course. And let me tell you, there are a ton of Dallas fans around here.

I don't want to get too racial or political here but if you've never lived in DC for a prolonged period you would not know how many Cowboys fans there are here. All of them local. So how does race play into this? Again, I don't want to get long-winded but imagine if for some reason all of the Irish in Boston liked the Red Sox and all of the Italians liked the Yankees. Things may get a bit more heated than usual right?

I'll leave it at that.

7) My boy Nick Swisher has wound up in New York and the Yankees gave up next to nothing for him. Typical deal for them circa 1999. Mark my words that Swisher will hit 35 homers, drive in 100 and score 100.

8) Ticky-tack freakin' holding penalty on Vrabel. Did the Jets just turn into the Colts or something? I thought they were the only team in the NFL that could get cheap-ass penalties like that called in their favor.

9) How awesome would it be if Paul Pierce were able to get himself an MVP trophy this year. There is still a LONG way to go but the guy's gotta have a pretty darn good puncher's chance.

10) Another frustrating as S-H-I-T loss for the Patriots. That GD phantom call on Vrabel. I didn't think I would get this pissed about the Patriots this year. Obviously I was wrong.

11) So the above was all written during regulation. C*ck-F**king-sucker. The Patriots have now lost two of their last three and should have won both of their losses. Very frustrating. Granted I think we all knew the game was over once Brandon Merriweather and Jerod Mayo decided to leave that Jets TE wide open on the 3rd and 15 play in OT. Ugh. Just like after the Colts loss. Ugh. Words really can't describe how annoyed and angry I am right now.
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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Five Things On My Mind

I haven't posted since after the Pats game last Sunday night. A lot has happened since then. No, I won't talk about the election but I will tell you some things that are on my mind.

1) The fact that the Celtics are a shaky at best free throw shooting team will be a big deal. Other than Ray Allen, who on that team do you trust to hit two of two from the line on a consistent basis?

2) On the plus side, Rajon Rondo seems destined to average about twelve points, eight assists, five boards, and two steals a game this year while keeping his turnovers to a minimum. Let's just say that if you are getting an all encompassing stat line like that from your third year point guard than you should feel pretty damn good about your team.

3) The Red Sox need to get a bat this offseason. Maybe even two. There is a reason for hyping the crap out of the Michael Bowden's of the world and that is to turn guys like him into proven major league talent. The only person outside of baseball whose opinion I would trust on Michael Bowden would be Pricing Boy's. If he thinks he is the complete real deal then I will defer to him. ESPN's Keith Law is skeptical though and he knows his stuff when it comes to minor league talent. Remember how enamored the Yankees were with Ian Kennedy last year? Exactly, let's not let Michael Bowden's potential get in the way of making a deal that could drastically upgrade the team.

4) Speaking of offseason moves for the Sox, count me in as somebody who would love to see Nick Swisher in a Sox uniform. The White Sox want to move Swisher for a speedy outfielder who plays good defense. Sound like Coco Crisp maybe?

Look, I know that Swisher hit .219 last year and is a career .244 hitter. I get that. But dig deeper. In 2006 his OPS+ was 125 and in 2007 it was 127. While a marked drop to 92 in 2008 would be a big red flag for a lot of players, Swisher will be 28 for the entire 2009 season so conceivably he is in his prime. Furthermore, as one of the stars of Moneyball, having him and Youk on the same team would be the exact circumstances which would push Joe Morgan over the edge in regards to his abject hatred of the Red Sox. In fact, if Swisher came on board I would not be surprised at all if by May Joe Morgan got picked up for mailing anonymous anthrax letters to the Sox offices. Isn't that consolation enough?

On a serious note though, take a look at this blurb from Rob Neyer's blog on Wednesday, 11/5 and tell me if this doesn't do some convincing.

...apparently Nick Swisher is available, too. Well, I said teams would be lining up around the block for a shot at Vazquez, and I suspect the same might be true with Swisher. If you look at Swisher's .219 batting average this year, you'd think he had a lousy season. You'd be right. But even more, it was an unlucky season. Swisher's walk percentage, his strikeout percentage, his line-drive percentage … they were all right in line with his career norms. So what happened? He just hit too many atom (as in, "at 'em") balls. Sometimes this happens, though usually not to Swisher's extreme degree. Just watch. Next year, if he's healthy, he'll hit .250 and score 100 runs.

5) Something tells me that people are going to pissing and moaning about the Patriots and how much they suck all the way to the AFC Championship Game.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More News from St. Regis

Did you know that the St. Regis is not only home the GM meetings but also hosted the 400k retreat held by AIG AFTER they got bailed out by the national government. Just thought you would want to know anyway, here is what I have read.

- It would appear that the Angels have put Texiera and Sabathia at the top of there wish list ahead of Krod. This seems to be pretty smart, Krod is wicked over rated, just becuase he broke the saves record it does not mean he is the best closer in baseball. I would give that honor to either Joe Nathan or Papelbon. Texiera is a good fit for them and he hit like crazy after being traded from Atlanta. I don't care who signs Sabathia as long as it is not the Red Sox he seems destiend for a breakdown at some point.

- The Yankees are looking hard at Orlando Hudson, who they might move to Center Field. The should let him stay at 2b and get rid of Cano he is never going to work out the way they thought he would.

Thats all for now. Read more!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Welcome to the St. Regis

Some notes from the GM meetings, as a service to all of our readers I have read all I can find on this topic and I have combined it all here for you with my very own special brand of commentary.

- Jake Peavy does not want to come to the Red Sox: Who cares? do we need an over priced pitcher? No, we have three very good starting pitchers, and Tim Wakefield right now. If we have to get another pitcher we can sign someone without giving up prospects, and trust me when I say that the Padres askign price is high.

- Derek Lowe's name seems to be everywhere. The Mets, Yankees, Cardinals, Tigers and Cubs are all said to be possibilities. As long as he does not end up here.

- Jason Varitek to the Dodgers. This one seems crazy, they have a catcher his name is Russell Martin and last time I checked he is really good, I can't imagine Tek volunteering to be a backup like that.

Thats all the stuff I really care about for now I will keep monitoring and let you all know.
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ugh. How About That Pats Game?

What a frustrating Pats loss right? Please explain to me why they should not have won that game? The guy who will get crushed and I say rightfully so for a lot of the blame will be David Thomas thanks to that stupid penalty, but let's not forget Jabar Gaffney either. I don't know if Reche Caldwell poured chicken blood on him before the game or what, but that drop was just a bit on the huge side.

And I can't let Belichek off the hook either seeing as he flushed two timeouts down the toilet in the second half. The first was on the vain attempt to gain five yards via a "too many men on the field" penalty and the second came on account of his, "on second thought, maybe we should just take the three" decision. Those were a couple of uncharacteristically sloppy moves on his part.

Oh, and what about going for two after that touchdown in the second half. I hate needlessly going for two. You realize that if he just took the points there, and then Indy just takes the points on their second touchdown it's a 14-13 game. Follow that up with the matched field goals and Indy is leading 17-16. See where I'm going? In a 17-16 game, a field goal of course puts you ahead. Conversely, because he gambled and went for two - and Indy in turn followed suit but converted - the spread was three instead of one and you can only play for a tie then with the field goal. I really can't put into words how much needlessly going for two aggravates me.

On the plus side, it looks like the offense is finally finding an identity. Sure, Indy's D is pretty bad, but whatever. They were moving the ball at will for the most part and Cassell I can genuinely say played pretty well. Or more accurately, Cassell did every single thing asked of him and did not make any mistakes. Of course they lost the game, but the play from the QB position continues to improve and that is a big plus as we stand now in November.

I said on Friday and I still maintain that the Pats may actually need to be reckoned with down the road. They won't do it hanging 40 spots or even putting up 30, but I can't help but think that the team was a dropped pass and a couple of mental errors away from winning a huge road game. Yes, they lost and that is the bottom line, but color me encouraged for the team's prospects heading into the second half of the season. I think 11-5 takes the AFC East and I think that is well within the realm of possibilities.

And now I sign off for the night hoping that the Celtics can figure out a way to make their free throws. The Spurs have proven you can without being a good free throw shooting club. I'd just prefer to not have to put myself through that stress. That weakness is like a bad bullpen in baseball; it will always nail you at the worst of times and can make a lot of games much closer than they deserve to be.

And now I really sign off. The over/under on the number of times I check to monitor GM Meetings gossip has officially been set at 87. Take the over. Read more!