You Know Your Fan Base Sucks When…

May 31, 2010

You sell tickets to a perfect game after it happens.  That is exactly what the Florida Marlins plan on doing Tuesday. Starting that day, you will be able to buy tickets online or in person to Roy Halladay’s perfect game thrown against the Marlins from Saturday where he also struck out eleven.  The Marlins actually had a paid attendance of roughly 25,000 fans which is pretty awesome for them.  However, paid attendance numbers are always inflated.  But, if you’re interested in purchasing a piece of history that you did not actually see in person, the Marlins are selling.

Speaking of the Marlins, they pulled off a rather large comeback against the Milwaukee Brewers today.  Down 4-0 in the top of the 6th with the bases juiced and only one out, the Marlins got a double play to end the inning.  They then put up 7 in the bottom of the sixth and ended up winning the game 13-5.  Chris Narveson, the Brewers starter had struck out 8 through 5 innings, giving up only 2 hits.  He then gave up 5 runs without being able to make it out of the sixth taking the loss.  The Marlins were led by a 4 RBI, 2 hit performance from Cody Ross.  So in one day, the Marlins embarrassed themselves and the Brewers.

Marlins selling Halladay tickets at ‘face’ [ESPN.com]

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Will the Summer of 2010 Be More KnicksFail?

May 31, 2010

When Donnie Walsh took over the front office of the New York Knicks, we immediately knew that he was building (or really, tearing down) the roster to have plenty of cap room for the 2010 free agent class.  The class includes LeBron, but also Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, Amar’e Stoudemire, and maybe even Dirk Nowitzki.  The Knicks can add two max contracts, but in doing so have depleted the team of young talent and have no chance of really adding any.  They have no first round pick this year, the next, or two years after that. So, will clearing the roster for this summer ultimately be worth it?

First if LeBron cares about winning at all, he is not coming to New York (at least as a Knickerbocker.)  The Cavaliers have not done a very good job of putting talent around LeBron, but its much better than what he’ll have in New York.  Quite frankly, the same goes for Dwayne Wade.  The only way either one of these guys ends up in New York is if they choose to go together.  The likelihood of this? Pretty damn unlikely. So cross those two off the list.

Now, Chris Bosh is a really nice player and I do think the Knicks have a chance to sign him.  However, is he a franchise player on a championship team? I have my doubts.  For one, Bosh is not much of a defender.  He is, however, a scoring and rebounding machine and would obviously be a great addition for the Knicks.  If Bosh is signed by the Knicks, obviously there would be no need for Amar’e Stoudemire so let’s cross him off the list as well.  This means, that the next best choice for a max contract is Joe Johnson.  Joe Johnson, to me, is in the same class as Bosh. Very good player, but not the guy I want to build my team around if I plan on winning titles. So at this point we’ve established the Knicks best realistic duo this summer as Bosh and Johnson.

So, if you are a GM is having a duo of Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson surrounded by nobodies (the Knicks will have to renounce their rights to David Lee to make this possible) a good idea?  I would argue it is not.  Bosh, Johnson, and some nobodies would be a playoff team no doubt.  They’d be somebody you would probably rather not face in the playoffs, but they are not a title contender.  The Knicks potentially could have kept their 1st round picks in three of the next four drafts, kept their 1st round pick from 2009 Jordan Hill, and maybe have had a enough potential to realistically signed LeBron or Wade.  There is no guarantee that would occur or work out better, but at this point  I’m convinced the potential of a true franchise player plus the picks to fill out that roster would be better than a Bosh/Johnson combination with little chance of filling out the roster of role players.  Ultimately, it looks like New York isn’t going to be a contender anytime soon.  That said, there should at least be a reason to watch them starting next season which should be a welcome sight for Knicks fans.


Dario Franchitti Wins the Indy 500

May 30, 2010

So, I’m not a huge IndyCar fan. I love racing, so I watch it and my interest in it ebbs and flows.  However, I do absolutely make a point of watching the Indy 500 and I’m pumped for next week’s race at Texas.  For me, today’s race just.. kind of happened.

Dario Franchitti was dominant from the get go, leading 155 of the race’s 200 laps.  It was exciting as can be though watching Tony Kanaan work his way through the field. Kanaan started the race dead last in 33rd.  With just a handful of laps to go he was in second and sneaking up on Franchitti.  Unfortunately, he had to pit for fuel and finished 11th.  Kanaan’s pit stop essentially ended all drama for the finish.

Franchitti had a 3 second lead over Dan Wheldon going into the final lap.  Unless Franchitti ran out of gas, he was going to win the race.  However, a nasty wreck involving Mike Conway (who, thankfully, should be okay) brought out a caution.  Franchitti and Wheldon both made it around to the finish line to end up 1st and 2nd.  Alex Lloyd finished third, although Marco Andretti appeared to be third when the caution came out so that part of the finishing order may change.

This is Franchitti’s second Indy 500 win in four years.  The last time he won with Andretti-Green and would go on to defeat Scott Dixon for the IRL title (in an epic finish at Chicago.)  He then left to drive in NASCAR with Chip Ganassi.  There is no chance of Franchitti leaving open wheel racing again after this year, but his title chances certainly improved after his win today.

Congrats to Dario Franchitti on his second Indy 500 win.


Lakers-Celtics Quick Preview

May 30, 2010

After last night’s Lakers’s win we now know the NBA Finals matchup.  It will be the NBA classic Lakers – Celtics matchup.  These are the two most successful teams not only in the NBA, but two of the most successful franchises in all sports.  The two met up in 2008, although the Lakers did not have Andrew Bynum then (may as well now have him now either though) or Ron Artest.  So, what are some things to look for?

  • Paul Pierce and Kobe will not play as well as they did in their Conference Finals. At this point, Vince Carter couldn’t defend the bodies in my dad’s funeral home. He’s awful. Pierce abused him, and when Pierce is able to penetrate and hit his outside shots the whole Boston offense clicks.  Rondo has the most ability to destroy a defense, but the Boston offense is at its best when Pierce is at his best.  Now Pierce will be defended by Artest and it will be up to the Boston offense to find ways to play as well as they did in the Orlando series with Pierce not playing at that same elite level.  Kobe on the other hand just cannot match that same performance he put up against the Suns.  It was ridiculous.  That and the Celtics play great team defense, even if it is partly due to the fact that they hack and give forearm shivers down the court every time.
  • Rajon Rondo will abuse Derek Fisher. Fish played surprisingly well against the Suns.  Part of that is because the Suns need to help off Kobe and part of it is because Steve Nash is an atrocious defender (which is why Rondo is the best PG in the league.)  Fish is way too old to defend the disgustingly quick Rondo.  From time to time, Kobe will probably have to defend Rondo just to keep him from getting into too much of a rhythm.  On the bright side for Lakers fans, the Lakers have been getting abused by the best point guards in the league all playoffs and still survived.
  • Ron Artest will be huge. Many in 2008 blamed the Lakers lack of toughness for their defeat.  That was partly true, but the real problem was Trevor Ariza’s injury.  Because he was hurt, Lamar Odom was stuck defending Paul Pierce. This. Was. A. Disaster. Pierce went off for six games and the Celtics offense was unstoppable. Ariza is gone now, but Artest has taken his place.  Artest will do a much better job against Pierce than Odom did which will help limit the Celtics offense.  On top of that, Odom will be able to match up with Kevin Garnett which is much easier for Odom than having to defend Pierce.  It will also be really fun to see those two battle for rebounds.

Ultimately, its going to be a very fun series.  Both teams took their play to a new level when the playoffs began.  If either team can find an even higher level to play at, they’ll take the series.  I doubt either team has that though.  Ultimately, I think the Lakers reverse 2008 and win in six very tough games.


Boston Moves On To The Next One

May 29, 2010

We now know one of the teams that will play in the NBA Finals.  The Boston Celtics finished off the Orlando Magic 96-84 to win the series 4 games to 2.  They now will await the winner of the Lakers – Suns Western Conference Finals.

This was never really a game as the Celtics had a 13 point half time lead.  Ray Allen then started the second half with two 3 pointers to extend the lead to 19 and essentially burying any chances the Magic may have had to extend their season.  Nate Robinson provided a surprising boost with 13 points off the bench when Rajon Rondo was hurt after a nasty fall.  Paul Pierce though lead the Celtics attack with 31 points and 13 rebounds.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Celtics game without one of their players showing just how mentally unstable this team is. Always the classy one, Kevin Garnett attempted to punch Dwight Howard’s arm. Why you ask? Because Dwight Howard played defense.  It didn’t win his team the series, but Dwight Howard was in the Celtics player’s heads and it hurt Boston.  Despite this, Boston was just that much better than Orlando and it didn’t matter.  Also fortunate for the Celtics is that their next opponent is soft and won’t dare give their bull#*$% back to them like Dwight Howard did.

So, congrats Boston fans. Celebrate (responsibly) your series win and Finals appearance. Heck, you guys might even be the favorites.


Quick Thoughts 5/28

May 28, 2010

Because I have thoughts, but not deep enough ones to write a blog about:

  • It makes me laugh a little bit every time Celtics fans complain about Dwight Howard being dirty. He’s just doing the same stuff the guys in green are doing.
  • Its also a little bit funny to me how nobody cares about Favre-watch this time around. We all know he’s coming back.
  • Are the NHL playoffs still going on?
  • Thankfully, I am completely free on Sunday.  Its the best day of the year for a racing fan.  Indy 500 to start off, then the Coca Cola 600 to finish off your day.
  • Queensbridge
  • Somehow, crazy Ron Artest has stayed off the basketball court all year. This impresses and scares me. Just don’t go crazy now, Ron Ron.
  • The Celtics have to win tonight.  You don’t want to go back to Orlando with a crowd that is in an absolute frenzy. But…
  • How awesome would it be for two Boston teams to blow 3-0 series leads in one year?  Could this be the karmic payback for the early 2000’s?

76ers May Blow Chance At A Franchise Player

May 28, 2010

There seems to be a growing belief that the 76ers are going to pass on Evan Turner with the number two pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.  Let me be the first to call them stupid.  Evan Turner is a franchise changing basketball player and when you have the ability to draft one of those kinds of guys, you never ever pass it up.

As a Wisconsin Badger fan I got to see quite a bit of Turner.  He reminded me of another guy who I got to see play a lot of college basketball, Dwayne Wade.  Both had the uncanny ability to always know when to take over a game and when to involve teammates.  As Kobe Bryant and LeBron have proven, knowing when to take over and when to allow teammates pull their weight is not always easy.  Turner has that down.

Most impressive about Turner is his wide range of abilities.  This past year he average 20 point, 6 assists, and 9 rebounds a game. Last year, he put up 17 point, 4 assists, and 7 boards a game.  Pretty remarkable stuff for a guy who is 6’7″.  He has the ability to grab a rebound and start his own fastbreak, or just bring up the ball and run the offense.  His versatility allows him to almost always have a matchup advantage.

On top of that, he also has pretty decent range.  He shot 36% from three this year, but shot an even better 44% from there last year.  Overall, he shot an amazing 51% on the year.  He’s also a good defender and quick enough to stay with speedy point guards.  That, combined with his long arms makes him a valuable contributor on the defensive end of the court as well.

Ultimately, I will not be surprised at all if Turner is the best player from this draft.  John Wall is a freak, but there is a decent chance he ends up being one of those awkward combo guards.  While those players are good, they don’t win titles.  Evan Turner will win a title in his career because he’s a franchise changing player. If the 76ers are dumb enough to actually let him pass, the New Jersey Nets will have hit the jackpot.