Thursday, February 28, 2008

Assorted Sports Stuff

So it's been almost a month. Sorry about that. Let's see, what should I talk about?

- I'm very glad Cardinals' management didn't go along with LaRussa's interest in Barry Bonds. Yeah, when he would actually be able to play, he'd be a great bat to have in that lineup, but he's probably going to send Chris Duncan to the bench, unless you're willing to roll with Bonds/Ankiel/Duncan from left to right, and I'm not. I'm not sure Willie Mays could cover enough ground to compensate for Lil' Dunc and Barry Lamar Bonds, let alone Ricki-Tiki-Tavi (it's a nickname I'm experimenting with for Ankiel. I might try and explain why I think it works in a future post).

- Besides, the Cardinals already seem to be a joke with other teams' the fans, given TLR's connections with several accused (and some busted) performance enhancer users, I'd rather not make the jokes that easy.

- Plus, I'm not sure I want to have to root for Barry Bonds.

- Spiezio's been released by the team in the wake of the warrant on him. Given I have a friend who might be addicted to booze, smokes, and weed, I probably shouldn't be surprised that it sounds like Speezer relapsed after his rehab stint last summer. My friend has said he's quitting each of his vices at some point or the other, but after a few months, he starts up again. I don't know whether it's a matter of will, or what (though I don't like calling alcoholism a disease, it sounds like a way to abdicate responsibility for your actions) but it doesn't seem to be something that's easily shaken, if it ever is.

- I wonder if Roger Clemens wishes he'd just come clean from the start? That assumes that he was in fact lying, which I suppose may be a false supposition. As my friend Ken pointed out (about a unrelated situation, but it applies) how do you prove a negative? Clemens can't prove that he never took any HGH or steroids in the past, only that he isn't taking them now (if he takes a test a passes, and you believe he isn't using masking agents at the time), so I guess he's kind of screwed. I've got no love for Clemens, but I do feel bad for Ken, who is a big Clemens fan, and has not been very happy the last few months as a result. At least his favorite, Jeter, is still unscathed.

- Early returns suggest the Suns might have screwed the pooch by trading for Shaq. Their defense is still pretty weak, and he's not helping their offense much yet either. I guess things might get better as he works himself into shape, but I'm not sure it'll be enough to make a difference.

- I would like to say that I really enjoy that Pat Riley is coaching a horrible Miami Heat team. I don't like Riles - I've got my reasons - so the fact he's leading the worst team in the league brings me joy. Mostly I just want to watch him move back into the front office, and then the new coach brings the team within a hair of the NBA Finals, just to see if Riley would have the chutzpah to try and push another coach out of the way and piggyback his way to another ring.

- Ryan Dempster said the Cubs will win the World Series this year. Sure, why not? I think the Arizona Cardinals can make the playoffs every season, it's not any less farfetched. I imagine the Cubs have to be the favorite to win the NL Central this year (a great honor that is, too), and once you're in the postseason, who knows what can happen?

- I think my dislike/envy of the Patriots is fairly well-known, but I am really tired of these Spygate stories, and I sincerely wish the Rams would quit making noises about how they might have been robbed. Please. You lost because Belichek dared Martz to try the truly unconventional and run the ball a lot with Marshall Faulk, and Martz chose to continue passing when the Pats were dropping everybody back into coverage.

I believe that's all I have for now. I've got that Ankiel nickname post to work on, and maybe a Cardinal Spring Training post, so we'll see how soon I can post those. Too bad we're still two months from the NBA playoffs, that usually provides some material.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Super Bowl Prediction

I don't know who's gonna win. New England is the better team, but on any given day who knows what will happen? Plaxico called his shot (Giants 21-17), which would normally make me think he had doomed the Giants by being openly confident (because confidence is god, but athletes are supposed to pretend to be humble to placate us fans). However, Tom Brady actually responded with his joking 'We're only going to score 17? Is Plax going to play defense?' comment, which makes me wonder if the Pats are feeling a little too sure of themselves.

OK, it doesn't actually make me wonder that, I just really don't want the Patriots to go 19-0, and I'm grasping for any straw I can find. So let's discuss a few things. No, I don't think Brady's ankle will make a difference.Brady's about as mobile as Marino was, so I doubt it'll make much difference, unless the Giants' pass rush can separate the ankle from the rest of his leg. Yeah, the Pats can probably rattle Eli, so maybe the Giants use a lot of Ahmad Bradshaw to take advantage of New England's aging linebackers.

I toyed with the idea of picking New England, in the hopes that my Arizona Cardinals karma could somehow jinx the Pats. But, I remembered that didn't work when I picked the Spurs to beat the Suns last spring (hoping Phoenix' more appealing style of play would triumph), so what the hell. Both teams have had to wait two weeks, I figure that'll throw off the offenses more than the defenses, and since the Pats are more high-octane, it'll be more detrimental to them, whereas the Giants seem to muddle through and score points somehow. New York 24, New England 23.