Monday, July 9, 2007

Marc Stein Must Have Free Time

Marc Stein, the normally talented sports writer, delivered a giant turd of an article this week. Possibly because there really isn't much to cover in the NBA, but I would have appreciated if he spared us from this road apple (horse turd to the lay person). He recently wrote an article on Greg Oden's troubles in the summer league. If you follow, you know that Oden has put up less than stellar numbers, with an impressive amount of fouls (19 so far). Keep in mind folks, he is 19 years old and 2 games into his professional career. A majority of the article discusses Oden's lackluster numbers and his trouble facing Diop the most recent game. Where I don't follow is when Stein starts questioning Oden's motor. Uhhh Marc? You do know this is the 2nd week into the summer league.
"Yet if there's a real worry about Oden, two games into his new life, it's what would be described -- in scouting parlance -- as his "motor" lagging well behind that impressive, beyond-his-years physique. One example: He has yet to show sufficient quickness and/or hunger to be a factor on the offensive boards."
Would you be going crazy playing against a majority of guys that are headed for the D League? If this was the 5th week of the season and Oden was slacking we have ourselves a different story. Was it really newsworthy to report the guy isn't hungry enough in his second summer league game? Not to mention, he just became a millionaire who can't do a single thing in Vegas. Does that sound like fun to you? For most of us, that's like winning a free day at the Bunny Ranch and waking up as a woman. Not that I'd ever complain about being a millionaire but can you think of a worse place to be when you're beyond loaded?

This time last year, were we getting pumped reading articles that James Singleton was averaging 13.2 boards per game (which turned into 2 a game at the NBA level)? How about Singleton's 2.6 blocks per game last summer (which turned into .3 a game at the NBA level)? Of course, when Lebron had a bad summer game it was just a bad game, not the uneasiness of a few bad Greg Oden games. Maybe we can actually judge Oden when he plays his first meaningful game which would be, I don't know maybe...a Team USA game with and against real players?

And not to get off on a tangent, but really guys we can end the "motor" discussion. Can we stop using that term mostly as a positive to describe big guys with no skill (Joakim Noah)? At least in this instance motor is used to describe Oden who has other talents. I'd assume you've seen the ESPN highlights where they'll talk about Noah and say things like "this guy has heart" and flash Motor across the screen, or "this guy has what it takes to make it at the pro level" and again use the word motor in wingdings to confuse you. I don't care how much heart a guy has if he is going to get eaten alive on the court. It brings me no comfort watching my team get drilled but thinking, hey at least he gave it his all! So for now, can we PLEASE lay off the term motor to describe someone?

I wouldn't worry too much about Oden, I'm sure he'll come around sometime near...the season beginning. Of course everyone besides Portland can hope he goes all out and ends up ripping a tendon as he does sprints down the floor. We can at least be thankful that Stein didn't follow other writers and immediately praise Durant.

For more on this article go to

Update...Williams Shows Brain Cells

In an update to a previous story, White Sox fans can rest easy. GM Ken Williams pulled what could be one of the easier deals in the last 3 years and signed Mark Buehrle to a 4 year $56 million contract Sunday morning. There are also "sufficient trade protectors" in the deal which is probably the 5th year locked in option.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Kenny Williams Enters Pissing Contest

I'm not exactly sure what Kenny Williams from the Chicago White Sox is trying to do. The off and on talks between the Sox and Mark Buehrle appear to be off for good. Apparently, the Sox offered Buehrle a four year deal in the range of $56 million. Buehrle countered with the same numbers but a full no-trade clause. The Sox shot that down and Buehrle came back suggesting that a 5th year for $17 million would kick in if he was traded. The Sox again shot down Buehrle's option. Now pretty much every other team would probably have jumped on the 28 year old Buehrle for those numbers, even with his request for a no-trade clause. Looking around the league there are plenty of horrible pitchers making more than that, as well as pitchers similar to Buehrle making more. At what point is a no-trade clause that big of a deal for a GM? If Buehrle hits rock bottom and is worthless, no one is taking a pitcher for $14 million a year. If Buehrle continues strong and remains a bargain for $14 million, you're not going to want to get rid of him. I'm not sure if Carl Pavano had a no-trade clause in his contract, but if he did, do you think Brian Cashman was sitting there saying "man I wish we didn't have that no-trade clause, people are knocking the door down to get a piece of him." On the reverse side of that, what GM says "man we're out of it this year but we have this strong pitcher signed for another two years at a quality value...let me see if I can sell him off."

The only way this no trade clause becomes a factor is if Chicago's out of it 4 years from now, and they are looking to wheel off Buehrle. Are you really going to worry about 6 months of a season and the little in return you'll get for a rental? Not to mention, there will probably be a team willing to pay that 5th year if they need Buehrle bad enough the year prior. Williams will probably trade off Buehrle now, Buehrle will probably get more money for his services in free agency (along with a no-trade clause), and continue to be a solid pitcher. Meanwhile, Williams will probably get a few decent to sub-par prospects that may not even be around in a few years and Chicago will lose a key piece of their pitching. Nothing like telling your fans you're ready to lose.
To read more of Williams to stupidity go here

Tom Hicks the Retard?

Rangers owner Tom Hicks may have officially lost his mind. There are now reports circulating that Hicks is considering offering Alex Rodriguez a 10 year deal if he opts out of his current contract with the Yankees. Now this wouldn't be a bad move if A-Rod had no intention of opting out of his current contract. It's often forgotten that Texas is still on the hook for a huge portion of that original contract. But I don't think anyone thinks A-Rod keeps his current contract, making it pointless for Hicks to spread rumors. If he is saying he wants to sign A-Rod, there are solid chances he actually means it. Of course signing A-Rod in Texas makes all the sense in the world. He clearly pushes small market teams (and apparently large market teams) into mediocrity, if not failure, with his bloated contract. The only thing the Rangers could possibly get out of a deal like this is the hope that A-Rod breaks Barry Bonds' homerun record and they can parlay marketing off of that. Texas certainly can't think that this second mistake would lead to more wins.

For more of this insane story visit
Yankees Notebook

Friday, July 6, 2007

Give Me What That Guy Had

Neifi Perez was suspended today for 25 games by Major League Baseball, for violating the leagues policy on amphetamines. League policy states that a first time offender under go rehabilitation. Suspension starts at a second offense. Man did his play really show it too. Was he on estrogen? During his pill induced 2007 season he has hit .172 with 1 homerun. Looks like it's working for Neifi. I don't know about you, but I now question the guy's entire career. Did he hit .267 during his career by himself or did the pills do that too? What about all of the 64 homeruns he has hit in 11 years? Let this be a message to you kids...when you take amphetamines you play baseball like absolute dog shit.

For more on this story visit

Loyalty in Sports???

This one goes out to the fans, and specially the writers, that follow the Orlando Magic. Recently, the Magic fans have found their panties bunched because of the departure of Grant Hill. I was lucky enough to stumble across Mike Bianchi’s opinion in the Orlando Sentinel.
"I thought Grant Hill was different. I thought he would do the classy thing. The noble thing. The right thing. Silly me. Somehow, I thought Grant was above being a mercenary. I thought he would make the difficult and decent choice, not the easy selfish one."
The fans of Orlando feel that Hill owes them something. WHAT does Hill owe Orlando or the Magic? Everyone likes to say that the Magic stuck by Hill during his worst times.
“After the Magic stuck by him for all these years, didn't you think he'd at least stick by them for one more season? The Magic paid him $93 million for seven years of misery and medical maladies and never once publicly complained.”
Um guys? Maybe that’s because Orlando was contractually bound to pay him. It’s highly unlikely that Orlando would have held on to the injury plagued Hill had they been able to dump his contract entirely. Was Hill supposed to give back some of his salary since he couldn't play? Would YOU do that? I also would like to know what the Magic could complain about. It’s not like Hill was riding his motorcycle or wrestling professionally. He had legitimate injuries which involved staph infections and fracturing of ankles to name a few.

But let’s just assume Hill did stay. Is he the missing piece to the NBA Championship puzzle the Magic are trying to put together? It’s disgustingly sad if the people of Orlando think that a 34, coming up on 35 year old player is their missing piece. I can buy the argument if Hill was bolting at the age of 26, but come on guys. The guy just wants a chance to win something before he leaves. He passed up contracts in the five to six million dollar range to play for a winning team. In no way am I saying Hill wasn't one of the worst free agent signings in the history of the NBA. I am saying he doesn't owe Orlando anything but a thank you. Besides, Orlando should fell lucky that they didn’t have to deal with the headaches of a Ron Artest or Zach Randolph for those 7 years.

For more of this humor check out the article
On his way out of town, Hill takes last bastion of loyalty

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Carifornia or Bust

For the 1,000th time, Yi Jianlian’s agents have repeated that they are seeking a trade for the unhappy player from China. Apparently, the agents themselves feel it’s necessary to find a trade for the Bucks (who have stated 1,000 times they want nothing to do with a trade).
"His representatives and I won't sit here and do nothing just because he was picked by Milwaukee," Zhao was quoted as saying.”
Actually Zhao, you shouldn’t sit there and do nothing…maybe you could work on a contract? It’s unknown whether this is just a hard stance attempt to get equal value for Yi, or whether Milwaukee really won’t trade him. Either way, Yi really needs to stop the crying. The insane bitching about Milwaukee only having 1,200 Asian residents is really getting old. I’m not exactly sure what the problem is. Does he not want to say Mirawkee Bucks in interviews? Does the guy plan on having 1,201 friends? Is he worried that the 2 billion people from China (who will certainly vote twice per day like they do for Matsui or Ming) won’t be enough to vote him into the All-Star Game? I wish Zhao and the gang the best of luck convincing the Bucks that they should trade Yi to one of the five cities with a Chinatown. Hey who knows, maybe Orlando would be a nice fit (they do have Disney Rand). And yes, I do date an Asian so I can make these jokes.

For More Read
Chinese media quotes Yi Jianlian agent saying teams being contacted about possible trade