Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Midweek Rant

I work at a large department store, as a janitor. Yesterday (October 13th), I walked out from the back (where the housekeeping “office” is located) and noticed people were already putting Christmas decorations up in the store – lights, wreaths, red and green wallpaper. It was a truly sickening sight. I’ve worked here for a little over a year (meaning I dealt with this shit last year too). However, as bad as it is that they have the decorations up, some Christmas merchandise already for sale on the floor (as well as a shit load of fake trees out back), the worst part has yet to come – the music. Starting in about two weeks, all I will hear when I get to work is Christmas music; from the end of October until December 24th (amazingly they close on Christmas).

Last year, I heard the mixing in of Christmas songs at the end of October, and at first it wasn’t bad, considering the shitty music I’m forced to listen to on a regular basis. The X-Mas music began playing more and more often, until it was all that was playing. For two months it’s all I heard at work (along with the usual annoying customers and children). By Thanksgiving, I was already sick of Christmas and the season. I used to love Christmas, it was a great time to see family, eat food and exchange gifts. Now, I dread the time of year because before Halloween the Christmas “spirit” is getting shoved down my throat. Fuck you for ruining Christmas, you fucks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Paul Pierce

First and foremost, HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAUL PIERCE!!! You are the man. I've grown up in New England my whole life and the only regional time I support is The Boston Celtics, and since Pierce got drafted by the Celtics he has been my favorite player in the league. I really hate basketball and for anyone out there who hates basketball as well or Pierce, check out this video right here,

Anyone who cant respect this man for his journey, both physical and emotional, is not human. This man has done whatever he can to be considered one of the true Celtic greats. And after Banner 17, he got his own. I stayed up and watched the whole series against the Lakers. He shut down "THE RAPE ARTIST" Kobe, and got Finals MVP for his efforts, Watching videos of that series never get old. The Celtics rule, and the Lakers can go molest little girls for all I care. One of my favorite moments of Paul Pierce is right here (check out how visibly tired Pierce is at the end. He is spent, that's the effort that makes him a true CELTIC),

Lastly read the following article from SI to gain some respect for this man. Paul Pierce is one of my favorite athletes if not human beings for the work he does. I cried a bunch when I read the article, it's that touching. Once again, Happy Birthday Truth. Bring Banner 18 this June, I cant wait.

SI Article:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Don't Blame the Closer

Yesterday was not a good day for Boston fans. New England blew a ten point lead to Denver and Jonathan Papelbon, shockingly, blew a lead in a playoff game (at least the Celtics won their preseason game). Prior to yesterday, Paps had not allowed a run in twenty seven postseason innings. To all those Red Sox fans who want him traded (and presumably Bard installed as the new closer), shut up. Sure, Paps struggled early in the season, but in the second half of the year, he had numbers more in line with his career averages (5.83 K/BB and .897 WHIP). There is also the fact that Bard isn’t ready to close and he might not have the mental makeup to do it. Trading Papelbon would weaken the strong point of this team (bullpen) and probably wouldn’t add enough to jolt the lineup.

The real problem with this team is the lineup. It should be better next year, with a full season of Victor Martinez at catcher (picking up his option is a no brainer). Bay is a free agent and an option is held on Alex Gonzalez. Other than that, the starters are under contract. So what can be done to make the lineup more productive? Here is my plan to improve the lineup (as well as the defense).

I would pick up the option on Gonzalez and platoon him with Lowrie at shortstop. Offer Bay (and Wagner) arbitration and let them walk. Take the four picks and re-tool the farm system. If Tampa Bay declines their option on Carl Crawford, make a run for him to play LF. If that fails (or TB picks up the option), go after Chone Figgins to play left. Either one of them would be a great improvement in defense over Bay (especially away from Boston), and they would add another element of speed (along with Ellsbury) in the lineup. Yes, it takes some power away, but I have an idea for that as well. It is very possible that either Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez could be available via trade this winter (no facts to back that up, just rumors that have been reported). Lars Anderson/Michael Bowden/Ryan Kalish/Stolmy Pimental could be a good base offer, maybe subbing in Daniel Bard for one of them (most likely Bowden); I would hate to see Casey Kelly get moved, but if it brought Gonzalez back, I’d do it. It would look like this would cripple the farm system; however, with Bay and Wagner leaving the Red Sox should be able to acquire two first round picks (maybe a second rounder at worst) and two sandwich picks to replenish the farm. This would leave a lineup of 1. Ellsbury 2. Crawford/Figgins 3. Martinez 4. Gonzalez/Fielder 5.Youkilis 6. Pedroia 7. Ortiz 8. Drew 9. Gonzalez/Lowrie.

The rotation looks set, as long as Dicek can come back healthy next year. Maybe take a one year flier (I know it didn’t work this year, but it never hurts) on a guy like Erik Bedard or Rich Harden to add some depth. That would leave a rotation of Beckett/Lester/Dicek/Buchholz/Wakefield and one of the recovering starters. With the bullpen, I’d like to see Saito stick around (pick up his option too). This would leave Paps, Saito, Okajima, Delcarmen, Ramirez and possibly Bard as the main men. The only thing needed would be another lefty, maybe Ron Mahay (external option) or Hunter Jones (internal option).

The team, constructed this way, would be able to attack pitchers a variety of ways – speed, power and ability to wear them out. The pitching staff would be just as good (maybe better if more progression is made by Buchholz, and Wakefield is able to comeback) as this season, especially if Papelbon is still closing games.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Another Favre Story. Great.

You may have heard(or may not have, though I don't know how that could have happened) that Brett Favre is the starting quarterback for the Vikings. Over the past three years, stories about Favre have been beaten more than Rihanna. Thursday was no different -- my favorite Maine Campus author penned an article about Favre.

I’m 22 years old. I’m a fifth-year senior in college

I am divorced. And I live in van down by the river!

I’ve been watching Brett Favre and marveling about the things he does on a football field that continues to this day.

Throwing the most interceptions of all time?

As I referenced in last week’s column, the typical drop-back, pocket passer is gradually becoming less relevant due to the speed of defenses these days.

It's still as false as it was last week. Of the five best QBs in the NFL (in no order - Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Phillip Rivers), only Roethlisberger could be considered mobile. Also consider the wave of young QBs (Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez). They are pocket passers.

However, the most impressive guys at that position have still been able to rely on their arm strength and knowledge of defenses to have success

Is there a good QB in the NFL that doesn't have knowledge of the opposing defense?

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are not typically recognized for their ability to escape the pass-rush

But drop back passers are becoming irrelevant! Brady and Manning should be looking over their shoulders.

They seem to always know who’s going to be open and where the ball should go depending on coverage.

Good quarterbacks can read defenses. They spend all week practicing and watching film of opposing teams.

After three years of his inability to retire, Favre has found himself playing for the Minnesota Vikings.

It's not an inability to retire. He hates going to training camp, an activity everyone in the league has to do.

After the 2006 season, Favre retired,

Actually, he didn't retire then; he was only thinking about it.

He played one season with the Jets and made them a playoff contender until their last regular season game

Where he threw the season away, divided the locker room and got the coach fired. While the Jets former starting quarterback won the division with the Dolphins. And if I recall correctly, they needed about fifteen things to go their way to even make the playoffs in the last game (after blowing a two or three game division lead).

The Jets had already picked USC quarterback Mark Sanchez in the draft, so he signed with the Packers NFC North rival, Vikings

After he begged the Jets to release him and then spending two months flying between Mississippi and Minnesota before claiming he wouldn't sign. He then signed two weeks later.

Most people would be playing golf and drinking Coronas on South Beach. But Favre is different

When all is done, he wants to farm

But his performance against his former employer has made me realize something:

I bet it's going to be something groundbreaking.

Love of the game is more powerful than any other variable

Really? So if I love the game enough, I could go play pro baseball (despite my inability to hit when I played in Little League)?

After all, football is still a game

A game that requires you to be in top physical condition (unless you're JaMarcus Russell) and have a pain tolerance large enough to take hits from 300 pound linemen.

Favre looks like a 13-year old girl at a Backstreet Boys concert when he steps on the gridiron.


Somebody give this man a backstage pass.

He could probably get them to play a private concert (he has plenty of money) and, you know, if they were still a band (and didn't suck)

Friday, October 2, 2009

College Quarterbacks Love Tim Tebow

Last Spring, while reading the Maine Campus, I read an article about how Tim Duncan was overrated. After that, I read most of the articles that this guy wrote, most of them being just as bad as the last. Since Twister and I opened up this blog, I figured it would be a good place for me to let my feelings out about how much his articles suck, and do it in a style of one of my favorite blogs. This week's topic -- Tim Tebow

The first two paragraphs contain nothing new, basically saying that Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow could win the Heisman again and the draft status of the first two.

After Bradford would come McCoy, again early in the first round because of his athleticism and efficiency. But most analysts could not come to an agreement on where Tim Tebow would be drafted.

I think most of them agreed Tebow wouldn’t be picked in the first round.

Their justification is that Tebow is a thick, physical player who likes to run over linebackers and doesn’t always rely on his pinpoint accuracy to be successful. In the NFL, passing windows get smaller and a quarterback is required to fit the pigskin into areas with a much lesser margin for error.

That isn’t a justification; it’s a fact.

This column is dedicated to NFL draft-analysts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. If any NFL general managers are reading this column (which is as good a chance as Orlando Pace beating Usain Bolt in the 100-meter dash), you could learn a few things too.

Apparently you know more than the people who get paid to study and build the future of their teams from the draft. I know where I’m going for my mock draft next April. Orlando Pace? Really? He hasn’t been good/healthy for five years. You couldn’t have picked a good LT to use for the metaphor?

Tim Tebow is an NFL quarterback.

Actually, he is currently a college quarterback, but since you say it, it must be true

He plays in the most competitive conference in college football and has had consistent success since his first day in Gainesville

His first year in Gainesville, he backed up Chris Leak.

He has won two national championships in three years there

Chris Leak was the starting quarterback for the first one.

If their reasoning is that he plays in a spread offense, something that is as uncommon in the NFL as a Ryan Leaf touchdown pass,

Or as uncommon as a Mike Brusko touchdown pass. The last spread QB drafted in the first round (also coached by Urban Meyer) – Alex Smith.

The standard drop-back passer is gradually fading out

Out of the last ten Superbowl winners, there is only one I would consider a mobile QB (Roethlisberger) and he isn’t exactly fleet of foot.

The wildcat has become more prevalent at the highest level and its effectiveness can’t be debated.

Except that it hasn’t been as effective this year.

After all, what do you look for in a quarterback?

Strong arm, good accuracy, ability to read a defense, understand the playbook.

If your answer isn’t a guy who wins games, I wouldn’t want to play for you either.

Jack Cosgrove, you’re on notice.