Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sorry ESPN, but This is Not a Coors Lite Six Pack of Thoughts...Just a Regular Six Pack of Thoughts

OK, I took Tuesday off from the blogging world but I'm back today with a few thoughts...

1) You may have missed some good news for the Celtics last night. What happened? Cleveland lost to Indiana when Lebron fouled Danny Granger with .01 second left on an alley-oop play in a one point game. Granger knocked down the free throws giving Indiana the upset win. Why is this important? Well it's going to be a dog fight until the end for the top seed in the East and with that loss, Cleveland is now even in the loss column with the C's at 11. In the Celtics favor is that they have played 3 more games than Cleveland pacing them slightly ahead of the Cavs. Regardless of anything that happens now though it seems to be an all but certainty that home court in the East will really get decided on the third to last game of the season when the Celtics travel to Cleveland. With that game looming so large potentially it really is important for them to win as many games as possible in these next two months leading up to that April 12th showdown.

2) The Celtics losses to the Lakers and Spurs on Thursday and Sunday were each incredibly frustrating. Each probably could have been wins. If KG does not foul out on Thursday and if his jumper does not rim out on Sunday (the one that preceded Roger Mason's game swinging 3) then both games are Ws. So it goes though with close games. As Pricing Boy pointed out, the C's were gassed on Sunday as the Spurs had not played since the following Tuesday and in that Tuesday game Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker all sat out to rest. Therefore their starters were coming off almost a weeks worth of rest while the C's were at the tail end of a three game in four nights. While frustrating, neither game discourages me because one play, bounce, or call going the Celtics way instead of their opponents and they win both. Still, it's always tough to stomach two last minute losses to elite teams at home.

3) So I guess Brett Favre retired now for the 15th time. Who gives an F really? Please just go away. I do think however the up-tick to this whole thing now is that he is probably 100% done. Unless the Vikings or Bears or somebody else make a move for him. And then it will be on again. Ugh. Please don't let that happen.

4) Like Pricing Boy, I too am quite pumped for Spring Training to start. Still, my fears for the team remain the same as I think they are a hitter short. Adding one more hitter would turn the team I think into a close clone of the 2005, World Series winning Chicago White Sox. I loved how that team was built as they were reliant on no real superstars in their lineup or on the mound but instead put a bunch of really good players out there on a day to day basis and could beat you with any of them. That team featured 7 guys with 15+ home runs (Paul Konerko was the high man with 40) and 4 pitchers with 14+ wins and ERAs in the 3s. How about that for balance? Isn't that kind of the road this Sox team is heading down? I really think so and I am happy with that. Now, let's just get that extra bat.

5) I have to say, the best site of all the Sox who reported early for Spring Training is Josh Beckett actually looking in shape. No need to rehash the gut photo from last year but let's just say that the combination of Josh Beckett being in shape + wanting to prove that last year was a fluke + playing for a contract extension (Sox have a no-brainer option year for next year to pickup and then he is a free agent) should hopefully equal around 20 wins, an ERA in the low 3s, 200+ strikeouts, and 220 innings pitched. I'll take that because even if the offense lags some if Beckett can bounceback to 2007 form and Lester can build off of or even match last year's output then the Sox will be really, really tough to beat and have probably the best 1-2 punch in baseball at the top of their rotation.

6) You may have seen that Mel Kiper Jr. went on record as saying that Matt Cassell was a better and safer bet than the two top of the draft QBs this year, Mathew Stafford and Mark Sanchez. This seems inconsequential, but in reality people put way too much stock in what Mel Kiper Jr. says and this probably increases the value of Matt Cassell in a trade. Remember that a lot of yahoos last year were pining for the Pats to TRADE UP to draft Vernon Ghoulston instead of staying in place to take Jerod Mayo. The only reason for that was because Ghoulston was a Mike Mamula like combine special and got the Mel Kiper Jr. Hype Machine behind him. Obviously the Pats are smarter than that and clearly made the right decision. I'm just saying, don't spend too much time listening to pre-draft hype because often times it's way off base. Luckily people put a ton of stock in it though and this year it could help out the Pats immensely.

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