Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Back in Action!

Been a whiles since I last posted... I would use the holidays or work as my excuse but its two weeks into the new year and I haven’t had any real work in months so those aren’t gonna fly. Guess I will just blame my absence on a lack of motivation (I am a complete slacker after all…) and nothing that really inspired me to write a post. Anywho, I am back now and will try to do this on a more regular basis. In the meantime, a lot has happened in the world of sports since I last posted so I suppose it is about time I caught up...


NHL –
Not planning on saying much here as I plan on having a couple posts dedicated to them in the coming week. Just need to say that the last second equalizer for St Louis in yesterday’s matinee was unequivocally a high-stick and I am utterly baffled as to how the replay officials missed that and thus failed to overturn the goal. That said, the loss cannot be blamed on the officiating since there is no way the Blues should have been able to get that shot off or even still be in the game that late. Such is life…

I love Carey Price’s dedication to his team... he sits out important regular season games due to an injury but of course manages to come back to play in a meaningless exhibition for his own greater glory. That is the definition of a selfish player... going after personal honors instead of being more concerned about team goals and honors. Teams rarely go far in the playoffs when their goalie is more concerned about looking out for himself at the expense of the team. No way would Thomas, a true team player, act in such a way…


MLB –
After all the experts predicted he would sign with the Red Sox, Mark Teixeira signed an 8 year, $180M deal with New York last month meaning the Yankees now have spent $424M this season on three players (20 years total). This also means that the Yankees have the four of the six highest paid players in baseball for 2009 (Santana #3, Cabrera #5) totaling $92M, or more money than the payroll for 16 other TEAMS! It also means the Yankees have the highest paid player at 6 of 8 possible positions (Cano is second for 2b, Damon is eighth for OF). Now I realize that my Red Sox have benefited from the lack of a salary cap in MLB but this is just getting ridiculous. Quite simply, when one team is given such a dramatic competitive advantage over the rest of the field, something needs to be done about it…

Now one could argue that this is all sour grapes from a Red Sox fan… after all, according to the experts Boston was a near lock to sign Teixeira so his ‘defection’ to the Yankees stings more. However, as a Red Sox fan, I am thrilled they didn’t give into Boras’s demands for $20M+ per season and I love the $244M spent on an ever-expanding blimp and a pitcher who lives on the DL. In all seriousness, Burnett has not been able to stay healthy for his entire career so what chance is there he will be able to do so after getting the big payday? Can anyone say Pavano 2.0? As for Sabathia, the man easily weighs 350lbs already… what is going to happen in three or four years when he is pushing four bills? He may work out in the short-term but no way does he pull a Dave Wells and pitch well as an old fattie. I see the two contracts being wasted money by 2011, if not sooner…

That said, I would wager a considerable amount of money on the Yankees not winning the 2009 World Series. Hell, I honestly doubt they will even make the playoffs… there is more to baseball than buying the best possible team. After all, if it were all about money how would the Phillies ($98M, #13) have won the title over the Rays ($44M, #29!) while the Yankees ($209M, #1), Tigers ($139M, #2) and Mets ($138M, #3) all failed to even qualify for the playoffs?

As for the Red Sox, they have been taking the low-risk, high-reward approach by signing veteran pitchers (Smoltz, Penny, Saito) while also locking up their young talent long-term (Pedroia, Youkilis). At this point, the only concerns heading into 2009 is filling the void at catcher (preferably with someone NOT named Varitek) and the healthy return of Lowell and Ortiz from off-season surgery. For all the Yankee signings, I still think Boston has the advantage (in terms of both depth and talent) in the rotation, bullpen (major advantage) and defense. It is far too early to be making predictions but it is safe to say I am confident of yet another competitive Red Sox campaign in 2009…

NFL –
The Patriots became the second team in NFL history to reach 11 wins yet fail to qualify for the playoffs. Many fans are calling for a change to the NFL’s playoff formats since ‘lesser’ teams (8-8 Chargers, 9-7 Cardinals, 9-6-1 Eagles, 10-6 Vikings) made it to the playoffs ahead of New England. My view is that no change is needed and the Patriots’ not making the playoffs is their own fault since they could have (and should have) won the second Jets game and the Colts game. They can only blame themselves for not stopping the Jets on 3rd and 15 in OT or for the stupid drive-killing penalty to David Thomas against the Colts.

Though the Patriots did fail to make the playoffs, their season still has to be considered an unmitigated success. After all, how many franchises could lose the reigning MVP in the opening minutes of the season, hand over the reigns to an absolutely unproven quarterback and still finish 11-5? Their success is especially impressive when you consider the number of veteran starters lost to injury (Harrison, Thomas, Bruschi, Warren, Green, Maroney, Neal). During the year, the Patriots had undrafted rookies starting at LB and RB (Guyton, Green-Ellis) and two retirees signed off the street starting the final four games at LB (Colvin, Seau). The bright spot in all this is the progression of our recent top draft picks… Brandon Meriwether validated his ’07 first round selection while Jerod Mayo was an absolute revelation at linebacker and will (hopefully) be a cornerstone of the defense for years to come.

As for the playoffs, I am still having a hard time believing that the Cardinals made it past the Panthers and Eagles to make it into the Super Bowl. Can this really be the same team that the Patriots limited to 186 yards (78 of which came on one meaningless TD) in destroying them 47-7? I would love to see the Cardinals stun the world by beating the heavily favored Steelers if only to say that the Patriots absolutely dominated the reigning champs (and yet didn’t make the playoffs). The fact that I despise the Steelers probably has something to do with my rooting for the Cardinals too…

Oh, one last thing… Peyton Manning won his third NFL MVP. Of course, this honor came along with his routine first-round exit from the playoffs. That runs his record up to 7-8 in the postseason with SIX first-game departures (3 WC round, 3 divisional round)… and that is even crediting him with the 4 wins of their championship run where he was carried by the defense and ground attack (3 TDs, 7 INTs in 4 games). Makes me wonder… would he rather have his 3 MVPs, 7-8 playoff record and 1 ring or Brady’s 1 MVP, 14-3 playoff record and 3 rings? I certainly know who I would take…

2 comments:

Rian Murray said...

Welcome back. It's been awhile. A few thoughts on your few thoughts:

It was a high stick.

The Yankees will again have no team chemistry and implode from the inside out. Too many ego's.

What's more of improbable: the fact that Kurt Warner is again in the Super Bowl or that he has not yet divorced that awful looking wife of his for one of those smoking hot Cardinals Cheerleaders?

The Bastard said...

Glad you agree. There were even a decent number of Blues fans on ESPN (yes, Blues fans actually exist) agreeing that it was no goal.

Exactly... its been their story for nearly the past decade.

Well he is the uber-religious guy so don't expect him to ditch the woman, even if she is ugly as sin!