Friday, October 31, 2008

Keep It Real: Banner 17 Unveiled

I would like to first take a moment to recognize NBA Finals MVP, Paul Pierce. The Celtic captain is heading into his eleventh season in Boston, and what an eleven years it has been. From the stabbing in a Boston nightclub back in 2000 to his amazing run in the 02' Eastern Conference playoffs, to of course, the raising of Banner 17 on October 28Th, it's been a long, hard fought road for Pierce. Your girlfriend may have a crush on Ray Allen (true story), the media may be obsessed with the intensity of Kevin Garnett, but for my generation of Celtics fans, fans who caught the tail end of Larry's career, Paul Pierce is our Legend. I'll never forget my high school friends and I, just a year into college, traveling to the Fleet Center to witness every moment of playoff basketball in 2002. We were there to witness the greatest fourth quarter comeback in playoff history, all the way from a 74-53 deficit to defeat the New Jersey Nets and take a 2-1 series lead. Pierce dropped 19 points of his 28 that night in the fourth quarter, outscoring the entire Nets team who managed only 16 points. It was at that moment that I realized what Paul Pierce was. A Celtic. A model of consistency Pierce has been, in ten full seasons he has missed more than ten games only twice. Before the '07-'08 season, Pierce hadn't averaged fewer than 21 points a game since his second season in the league. The tenth overall pick in the 1998 draft has become part of Boston lore, he joins names like Williams, Russell, Bird, Ortiz, Bourque, Orr, and Yaz, joining a list like that would bring tears to any ones eyes. It came as no surprise to me on Tuesday night, when we all saw Pierce more emotional than ever. The Truth is Paul's number will hang in those same rafters next to that Banner 17 , because like he said "In this city, you don't raise banners for anything less than a title." In twenty years when Pierce has long been retired, I'll be able to look up into the rafters and recount the year 2008, and number 34. That is why he is The Truth, and has always KEPT IT REAL! (except for the time he got carted off in a wheelchair only to return minutes later and lead the Celtics to a victory)

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HEY WORLD! Guess what?!?!? The Philadelphia Phillies are the 2008 World Series Champions. You know what else?!?!?! No one outside of the Keystone State gives a damn. Now look, I'm a baseball junkie, I watched every inning of the World Series, but the rest of America? They could care less. Primarily because the most memorable thing about this World Series, was the weather report. However, I could remind you of the Josh Beckett like performance of Cole Hamels, the 3 homers and 6 rbi's in games 3 & 4 from Ryan Howard, or how about the dominance of closer Brad Lidge, but then again you've already made it clear you don't care. Even having the worst to first story of the Tampa Bay Rays couldn't get you excited, much less involved. You Kept It Real, what can I say? Hmmmmm wait, I've got it!

3 Ways To Fix The World Series:

1. Cut 10 to 15 games from the regular season or 3 weeks. Look, in the past week were approaching the midpoint of the NFL season, Heisman Trophy candidates are appearing, and the NBA has already tipped off, but we still don't know who the World Series Champs are. I can't find one person who will object to seeing a 140 games as oppose to the 162 that currently define the 4 playoff teams in each league. From pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in late February to the final out of the World Series which is due to take place in November next season, the baseball season will span some 10 months of the year, pregnancy ends sooner than that. End this thing sooner, attempt to keep SOME interest of fans.

2. Yankees v. Red Sox While the entire national audience is subjected to several weekend Sox/Yanks match ups, they are missing out on the other 28 teams who play the game 6 days a week over the entire summer. Then, when the postseason comes around we are expected to get jacked up for teams like the Rockies, Rays, Brewers, and Diamondbacks. Look were in an age where we can watch every NFL game on every single Sunday, but baseball is played everyday, you've gotta force us to watch those games we don't, PUT THEM ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. When the postseason comes around, we'll know about players like Cole Hamels and Matt Holliday. I'm not objecting to a little Rays v. Rockies inter league action? Anybody?

3. For Christ sake already; Give the Cubs a ring. I mean what other ways can the Baseball Gods punish the Chicago Cubs and their loyal fans? First, you made them witness not 1 but 2 World Championships to their long suffering co-loser Red Sox. Then you made it personal, by slapping a ring on their cross-town rival White Sox. After that, the Cubs had one of Major League Baseballs best regular season records from wire to wire and you just got ugly, knocked them out in the NLDS and gave the tortured Philly fans theirs. I think you've made them suffer enough, so I can ask you, for God's sake and for the sake of World Series ratings, put the Cubbies in the Series and see what happens.

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(This is all contingent on injuries, ten game losing streaks, and of course the rest of the season)

Indianapolis Colts: The stories you hear are true, the Titans are as strong as advertised and Peyton Manning isn't Peyton Manning. The Colts squeaked out wins against Minnesota and Houston but remain 1-2 at home. They are currently sitting four games back of AFC South rival Tennessee and for all intensive purposes, are done.

Cleveland Browns: They've been done since game 1, so don't look for any miracle late season runs. Derek Anderson has looked pretty average and Brady Quinn still sits on the bench. Thanks Romeo Crennel, for bringing the Browns back to earth after last season.

San Diego: I don't know when you'll admit it, this team will make the playoffs somehow and you'll be drinking their cool aid. THEY JUST AREN'T AS GOOD WITHOUT MERRIMAN. Luckily for them, they play in the AFC West, which will most likely result in a 9-8 team winning a playoff spot.

As for the NFC

The Rams who started off 0-4 could have been playing for a division lead had they pulled out a third straight upset against New England last week. So as for whose dead in the water? The Lions who are perrenial losers and the 49ers who have already switched head coaches mid-season are out. Everyone else? All aboard. KEEP IT REAL!

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I'm looking at the Boston Red Sox after two championship trophies yet I'm getting nervous. With all the talk surrounding free agent Mark Teixeira and the possible trade of ace Jake Peavy, for a team that came within outs of reaching the Fall Classic, yet again, I'm curious if that similiar Yankeeism could be entering their minds. I'm okay with uncertainty of Mike Lowell and David Ortiz, that is until they lose 3 of 4 to the Rays to open 2009. KEEP IT REAL!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Yeaaaaa Boy: K.I.R.F.

"Check-It . . .YEAAAAA BOY; It's Friday on LynchyRightNow.Com and you know what that means. TIME TO KEEP IT REAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL"

Thanks Flav. Even former Public Enemy and VH1 reality show star, Flavor Flav wants in on the action, thanks again for the intro Flav. Like the man says, Time To Keep It Real.

Leading off . . "Big Game" James Shields. I've watched 9,000,013 hours of baseball this postseason, and that's including the entire game 5 of the ALCS, and I'm left with just one question: Which game was it that James Shields earned the nickname "Big Game"? Now before 2008, James Shields and the Tampa Bay Rays never won much more than a scratch ticket, and even that is debatable. During the regular season, the Tampa Bay righthander was 6 games over .500 with an earned run average of 3.56, good for 25th among major league starters. In his three postseason starts prior to Thursdays game 2 of the World Series, Shields was a mediocre 1-2 including not 1 but TWO losses to the Boston Red Sox in the LCS. Granted, his performance last night was very good, it's ONE game, and he was being referred to as "Big Game" long before that. Pitchers like Curt Schilling (3 World Series & 1 MVP), Josh Beckett (2 World Series & 1 MVP), and Mariano Rivera (4 World Series & 1 MVP) are all guys who have earned the right to be called "Big Game", not James Shields. So for now, I'm calling for a moratorium on the nickname until he does it in more than one game and in more than one season. KEEP IT REAL!

Chargers vs. Saints, IN LONDON. I get it, you want to expand the game globally. I understand the money move involved here, developing a fanbase in Europe specifically in England brings in major television dollars. However, as Roger Goodell says "maybe we'd go so far as to have a franchise here someday", really?!?! I'll tell you right now, that would be one game on my teams schedule I'd circle, as a game I WOULDN'T want my team participating in. Like NHL franchises in the southern United States, NBA franchises in Oklahoma City, and MLB teams in the state of Florida, an NFL team in Europe is a little too much for me. For starters, they refer to our game "Football" as errrrrr, no idea. They've used the name or some form of it, "Futbol", for what we call soccer. In the U.S. when fans go overboard in the stands, it's story #1 on ESPN that night. In Europe, fans throw Molotov cocktails on the field. Lastly, the one time I spent any significant time in Europe, ten days, it took me literally a week and a half to get straightened out after the cross Atlantic flight. I'd rather not spend my off week turning my watches back to the right time, sleeping till noon, and eating dinner at 11:00 PM! Hey ROG, can the Euro-games! Keep It Real!

So your former high school All-American (2000), Darius Miles. You were selected 3rd overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000, the Clippers for a high school kid? Maybe not the best opportunity in the world, still an opportunity not many people get. After being bounced around from Los Angeles, to Cleveland, and then to Portland, where you were released after losing significant time due to a knee injury. Finally, you get a great shot: To play for a contending team looking to repeat, the Boston Celtics. You've just collected some 28 million dollars from Portland and are looking to come back from injury and make an impact on a very good franchise. But wait, you fail a drug test and will be forced to sit down for the first 10 games of the 2008 season, no matter what team you play on. One would think that a guy, coming off potentially career threatening knee surgery, would put down the weed and pick up the basketball, one would think. Not Darius, oh no, its rumored that this is his fourth violation of the NBA's substance abuse policy. Absurd, this is clearly not the first time that we've seen a situation like this in professional sports, and as many times as it happens, I still don't understand it. As a professional athlete you could retire at age 35 and have enough money saved that you never have to work again, EVER. Your free to buy all the marijuana you want after the age of 35, you could get high every single day and no one would care. So I ask, WHY DON'T YOU JUST WAIT TILL YOUR CAREER IS OVER?!?!?!? Celtics GM, Danny Ainge, can continue to say the suspension had nothing to do with Miles being cut by the Celtics this week, but I'm not buying it. Your defending champs with a full roster and a looking to lose one player, can you really justify not cutting the guy who is getting high and won't play for the first ten games of the season? Would pro-athletes put down the blunts, at least till you retire. As for Miles, at least he has his illustrious motion picture career to work on now, according to, Miles has played himself in like six movies, six more movies than I ever would have thought he'd be in.

Sidenote: Steeler wide receiver, Santonio Holmes, was arrested this week in possession of three blunts. Smooth move, did I mention he's in season?

I may not be picking games this week; due to time constraints, but I'm going to give you one. In Matt Ryan's return to his home state of Pennsylvania, the Atlanta Falcons rout the Philadelphia Eagles. Ryan got his first road win at Lambeau Field, so anyone who thinks he can't win away from Hotlanta, step off. Now, the entire NFL took notice when Ryan signed a record breaking rookie contract, nearly $38 million guaranteed, and I hope they are all taking notice to his 4-2 record as a starter including wins against Chicago and Green Bay. To myself, and Boston College fans alike, we saw this in his senior campaign in 2007, and as for Arthur Blank, the contract he gave Ryan doesn't seem as crazy as you thought. Now the rookie quarterback isn't doing this on his own. In large part, he should thank the newest Falcon, running back Michael Turner, who is off to an amazing Atlanta debut, 597 rushing yards in six games, good for third amongst the NFL. Hats off to rookie NFL head coach, Mike Smith, who has not only limited the load Ryan would have to shoulder in his first season, but done it to perfection. He doesn't make Ryan throw 40 times a game in order to win, given that Ryan only averages 26 attempts per start. However, when the game was on the line against Chicago, it was Ryan who found an open Michael Jenkins for a 26 yard completion setting up a game winning Jason Elam field goal. When credit is due, you need to give it. KEEP IT REAL!

Were headed into week 8 of the NFL season, and ask yourself, who is winning the Super Bowl? The Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers, and Minnesota Vikings have been all together disappointing. The New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Indianapolis Colts have caught the injury bug in a bad way. The Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, and Arizona Cardinals are all division leaders who have at times looked like bottom feeders. The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants, who lock up this week, aren't exactly, lighting the world on fire. The Steelers escaped with an early season win against the Ravens, that for all accounts, should have been a loss. The New York Giants struggled mightily against the now 0-7, Cincinnati Bengals, and got whipped by the Cleveland Browns. They have most deceiving win loss record among NFL heavyweights, (5-1), with wins against Zorn & the Skins in their first game, the Linehan Rams, Bengals, a 1-5 Seahawk team, and the 49ers, who just fired their head coach. Still think they are top dogs? Should we talk up the undefeated Titans? A more than physical defense, but like the Giants, they've beaten up on NFL dogs. Are you ready to talk Buffalo football yet? Wins against Seattle, Oakland, St. Louis, and the Chargers after flying across country don't exactly do it for me. So again, it's week 8 in the NFL, we have no idea who is going to the Super Bowl, and in a word it can be described as, Chaos.

Keep It Real folks. . . That's Friday, October, 24th.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Ten

The first BCS College Football poll of 2008 is out, and as always, there is room for interpretation. I'll attempt, to give you my version of the BCS (strictly Top 10) after each week from here on out. First, some things you won't find:

Teams from the ACC
Hawaii, Boise State, or TCU
Anything regarding Charlie Weiss or Notre Dame


10. Texas Tech Love the Red Raiders, but they are who they are. The only legit team they beat was Nebraska. That win at home against Nebraska was entirely unimpressive, and it took them an overtime to do it. Their next four games are against FOUR ranked teams, Kansas (23), Texas (1), Oklahoma State (6), and Oklahoma (4). They'll lose at least two of their next four, maybe more. The Big 12 has become a buzz saw.

9. Ohio State I guess. The Buckeyes laid it to Michigan State in Lansing. Done and Done. 45-7. I hate the fact that they use the system to their advantage; but I can't blame them. The Buckeyes host a monster game with national title implications this week against Penn State. If Ohio State wins, they win the Big 10 and kill any shot of a Big 10 team reaching the BCS title game.

8. Georgia Pre-season hype, narrowly escaping Spurrier in South Carolina, and getting taking out to the woodshed by Alabama. Win at Baton Rouge next week, knock off Florida in the first week of November, and you've got a shot. If Georgia wants to get back into my graces, SHOW ME SOMETHING! Ten point wins against Tennessee and an over rated Vanderbilt don't do much for me.

7. Florida If not for a blocked PAT, this team is in the Top 5. A loss to Mississippi in late September won't keep them down for long; A win in between the hedges at Georgia on November 1st puts them closer to the Top 5. A big win, 51-21 to conference rival LSU, allowing 10 or fewer points in 4 other wins puts the Gators in a comfortable spot heading into November.

6. Southern California I refuse to let the Trojans back into the Top 5 until either Penn State, Alabama, Texas or Oklahoma State lose at least 1 game. It's principal. The Trojans play no ranked teams for here on out. The PAC-10 has no other ranked teams besides USC. In my mind, if USC beats every team 70-0, they still lost to Oregon State, the same Oregon State that got throttled by third ranked Penn State. As always, they'll be in the Rose Bowl.

5. Oklahoma Sure, you could put them ahead of Oklahoma State but I'm not going to. They have a loss, it's just that simple. However, things are looking up for the Sooners. After their momentum stopping loss against Texas, they returned the favor to 16th ranked and conference foe, Kansas. They are the only blemish on the 7-1 Texas Christian Horned Frogs record, a 35-10 smack down in late September. Again, if Oklahoma State, Alabama, and Penn State fall, the Sooners could rise.

4. Oklahoma State They play in a power football conference, The Big 12. Three teams in that conference, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech have yet to lose a game. Oklahoma has only lost once, to Texas. The Cowboys upset Missouri when they were ranked as high as #3, blew the doors of PAC-10 Washington State, and with an upset of #1 Texas this week, they could be looking at a BCS #1 ranking. Until they lose, they remain in the top 5.

3. Alabama From day 1, I disrespected the University of Georgia, it wasn't a shock to me that Alabama beat them. Their other big win? At Clemson, yes, the same firing their head coach because they've started out 3-4 Clemson. Sorry Bama, I'm only doing as Nick Saban asks of me, not putting the Tide as high as they probably should be. Word to the wise; THEIR RUNNING THE TABLE IN THE SEC.

2. Penn State Their 8-0 headed to Columbus this weekend. They have let up no more than 24 points in any game, scored over 40 points in 6 of their 8 wins. More impressive than that, in two road wins at Wisconsin and at Purdue, the Nittany Lions allowed a touchdown or less, IN THE ENTIRE GAME. By November 1st they will have the Big 10 Conference wrapped up, with no Conference Championship game, their ticket to the National Championship will be punched on Saturday.

1. Texas They are college footballs best team in college footballs best conference. Being 1 of 4 teams ranked inside the top 10, the Longhorns have the runaway Heisman Trophy winner under center and before their shootout at the Cotton Bowl, the Longhorns hadn't allowed a team to score more than 14 points on their vaunted defense. 45 points against previously top ranked Oklahoma, 56 points against previously eleventh ranked Missouri, I fear for what they have in store for Oklahoma State and Texas Tech in the coming weeks. Barring a huge upset, punch the ticket, this team is tops.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Unexpected Series

The Rays are in the World Series. An entire team with a smaller payroll than the left side of the Yankee infield (Jeter & A-Rod) will represent the American League in the 2008 World Series. A franchise that once played an occasional home game at Disney's Wild World of Sports, in order to attract fans, is hosting games 1 & 2 from St. Petersburgh, Florida. Cow bells, fraudulent fans, and a team with more promising talent than the cast of Stand By Me, will play in the World Series. How else can I put it? The Tampa Bay Rays are in the FREAKING' World Series.

Nearly two weeks ago, every baseball mind in America, was picking Sox v. Dodgers in the Series'. A Series with all the drama in the world. Manny's return to Boston, Torre to face the team that destroyed his dynasty, the script couldn't have been better. Then, Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies, and of course Matt Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays, decided to edit that script. Their re-write? Worst to first vs. a city searching for a championship team, their first since 1983.

Philadelphia v. Tampa Bay, and were off.

What does Philly need to do to win the World Series? For starters, say a prayer. The Phillies have alot going against them in this World Series:

1. By the time the World Series kicks off, the Phillies will have had seven full days off. The 2007 National League Champs, the Colorado Rockies, had a record 8 days off before Game 1 of the World Series, they got swept by the Red Sox. The 2006 Detroit Tigers had 6 days off before their Game 1, then were promptly dismissed by the Cardinals in 5 games. If anyone is upset with the Red Sox dramatics, pushing the ALCS to a seventh game; it's Philadelphia.

2. The Rays are THE story of 2008. The worst record in the majors in 2007, years of 100-loss seasons, a franchise destined for door mat status. Then, they pretty much take the American League East from wire-to-wire. Drop the Chicago White Sox in 4 games of the ALDS, and beat the Boston Red Sox in a Game 7, a game the Red Sox have become accustomed to dominating. After years of drafting the countries elite talent, in 2008 the Rays finally put it together. As the Cardinals were welcomed to the Red Sox coming out party in 2004, is it possible that the Phillies are a mere invite to the 08' Fall Classic?

3. I don't know of another example where the road team benefits, but when Tampa Bay arrives in Philadelphia for games 3,4, and 5, they may be the first. The Rays have just set an LCS record with 15 home runs. Led by young stars Evan Longoria (6 postseason homers) and B.J. Upton (7 postseason homers) the Rays would be entering a ball park, Citizens Bank Park in Philly, that has seen more homers fly out than any park this side of Coors Field. Not a good sign for the Phillies, who have yet to see their slugger, Ryan Howard (48 homers in the regular season) go yard in the postseason.

Now it isn't all bad for the Phillies, they do have some things looking up for them. Like the fact that pitcher, Cole Hamels, has been nothing short of stifling in the postseason. The Phillie southpaw is 3-0 in October play with an era under 1.25. He's struck out 22 batters in as many innings pitched. The key for Hamels, he's allowed only 6 walks in those three starts, keep Rays off base, keep the game in hand. Phillies closer, Brad Lidge, has converted every single save opportunity in the regular season, and the postseason. In seven and a third innings pitched this postseason, he's struck out ten batters and allowed just one earned run. Over the regular season, opposing 2,3,and 4 hitters have hit just .175 against Lidge, that would be Tampa's Upton, Pena, and Longoria. Lastly, Lidge isn't the only Phillie who shuts the door on opposing lineups. Reliever, Ryan Madson, has been dominating in the postseason. Madson has gone nine innings allowing just one run in the playoffs. He's struck out six batters and walked only one in his relief of Phillies starters. More importantly, he's become that ever important bridge to the closer. If you can pencil in Hamels for seven innings, have a lock down guy for the eigth, and bring in a dominate closer, it makes the game real simple.

How do the Rays complete their miracle run? Lock all these young kids up for the next six years and see what happens. Oh, in regards to 2008?

1. Don't lose serve at home. In game 1 your going to see probably the best starter you've seen this postseason, Cole Hamels. He can get in a groove quickly and it's difficult for teams to knock him out of that groove. Jump on Hamels early and quiet the Phillies. If the Phillies are putting him down for three starts and hopefully at least two wins, knock him out early and take control of the series. My point? MAKE BRETT MYERS BEAT YOU IN GAME 2. Between Shields, Garza, and Kazmir, the Rays will put a starter on the mound that can go toe to toe with any starter the National League has to offer, more importantly, any starter the Phillies have to offer.

2. Your closer is rookie, David Price, at least for 2008. Let's be real for a second, not just anyone can come out and slam the door on the Boston Red Sox, in a game seven, WITH BASES LOADED. The kid can pitch and pitch hard, he's got unexplored Major League talent and is a force to be reckoned with. Price is your closer, not Dan Wheeler, J.P. Howell, Chad Bradford, or Grant Balfour. Prices' VERY young major league career has looked promising (14 innings, 12 k's) and the person who knows most about this is manager Joe Maddon. Again, you don't put this rook in that spot last night without knowing he can do it. David Price, welcome to the big leagues, and the World Series.

3. If you get the opportunity to end this thing, END IT. The only time the Boston Red Sox got to your starters and chased them early, was Kazmir in Game 2. Luckily, their starter looked just as soft in that game. If you get Hamels or Myers on the ropes, put them away. If you get up 3-1 in a series, win game 5. If your pitcher is putting the ball in Ryan Howards wheel house, give him the hook. Howard, much like David Ortiz, can only strike out so much before you leave one for him, and he leaves the yard one you!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Keep It REAL Friday

I had B.J. Upton rip my heart out as he laced a first inning, two-run homer off of Daisuke. Over the next six innings I watched Rays take a commanding 7-0 lead, including a two-run double off of lights out closer, Jonathan Papelbon. In my mind, this wasn't 2004 and the Red Sox were being left for dead. I guess part of the pre-2004 Red Sox history still looms in back of my head. Then, well, you know what happened. Thoughts of Bill Mueller's season changing homer into the bullpen, Dave Roberts diving into second base, Johnny Damon lifting a clinching grand slam over the short fence in the Bronx, came rushing back into my head, just as David Ortiz reminded us all why they call him Big Papi, by launching a 3-run homer right into the stands and bringing the Sox within 3 runs. Let's be honest, after the Red Sox ninth inning rally to win Game 5, I feel no more comfort during an elimination game than i did before that game, but the possibility is there. For this franchise, in the past five seasons, the possibility, is all they need. KEEP IT REAL Tampa; you should avoid waking sleeping giants.

While were talking baseball, how about those Phillies? Hey Manny, that's just Cole Hamels being Cole Hamels baby!!!!! In his two LCS starts, the Phillies southpaw allowed just three earned runs over fourteen innings pitched. Yes, Ramirez might have a World Series MVP Trophy, but at this time of the year, I'd rather have the kid whose allowed just three runs in three post season starts. Need anymore validation that pitching wins championships? Hats off to the Phils, they worked the Dodgers in the NLCS. As for the Baseball Gods, no way were they letting Manny in The Classic not even with Joe Torre in his corner.

Quicknote: With Phillies skipper, Charlie Manuel, having to deal with his mothers passing in this postseason, all the more fitting that he'll get to manage in the World Series.

Funny isn't it? How the 08'-09' NHL season has already started and well, no one cares. I'll give this region of the country (New England) a pass. The Celtics are beginning defense of their 17th Championship winning season, the Red Sox were still competing for their third championship since 2004, and for Pats fans, their sadly still holding out hope. But the rest of the country? NO EXCUSES. Wait, actually you've got plenty of them. I like the NHL, in March, April, and May. I don't know enough about professional hockey to tell you exactly why, why it is that playoff hockey is so much different than the regular season. I can however tell you some things:

1. For the city of Detroit, the Red Wings are all they've got.
2. Sidney Crosby v. Alexander Ovechkin is the new age Gretzky-Lemieux
3. The Blackhawks started 4-1, and canned their head coach

Anything sound interesting? See you in March. KEEP IT REAL!

Nike does commercials right. Their latest of Charger RB, Ladainian Tomlinson and Steeler DB, Troy Polamalu growing through the years then coming together in the NFL is awesome. Thanks YouTube.

Anyone else hear that Cowboy quarterback, Tony Romo, recently received a phone call from fellow quarterback, Brett Favre? What do you know? Now it is rumored that Romo is willing to play, actually he WANTS to play with his broken finger. I think its great that Romo is motivated to play after he gets a call from Favre, the quarterback he most resembles, but it pisses me off that that's what it takes. Look, with the talent surrounding the Dallas Cowboys, anything short of a Super Bowl would be a let down. They've got top tier players catching the ball, rushing the ball, and throwing the ball, you should be able to beat teams, and beat them handily. KEEP IT REAL COWBOYS! Time to man up and string some wins together, a victory against the defending champs on November 2nd would go a long way to making a statement.

This is something that has bothering me for a little bit. MMA; otherwise known as Mixed Martial Arts. I don't care if the sport is "the newest thing" it's in a word. LAME. Now the new guy that everybody loves, street fighting legend, Kimbo Slice, right? What is a street fighting legend? I've never seen a street fright on my street, maybe that is because I live in the suburbs, and because it's ridiculous. In twenty years, no one is going to remember the "Kimbo Slice fight", because no one cares. I'd rather watch 82 games of hockey before I watched consecutive MMA fights. Why can't boxing make a comeback? Somebody help me with this, because if one more moment of Sportscenter is filled with this MMA crap, I'm going to be sick. A real sport, say football, suspends guys for helmet to helmet hits, because they realize that it isn't safe, someone will get seriously hurt, and they are being proactive. In MMA, someone is going to get kicked in the temple and be dead; going to show those highlights on Sportscenter? Luckily, they don't have youth MMA, and the children in this country can still play teeball and hoops, you know sports that normal people get jacked up for. KEEP IT REAL!

Saturday Night; 8:00 PM Virginia Tech @ Chestnut Hill. GO EAGLES!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Week 7: Pick 'Em

It has been a somber week for everyone here at LynchyRightNow.Com, our beloved Cowboys have had more drama than an episode of General Hospital, and my passion, the Boston Red Sox, are down with an eight count. Despite all that, we move toward week seven in the NFL, full steam ahead (maybe half steam) to the picks:

Dallas -7 @ St. Louis No doubt, I can't ignore them this week. The Rams may have snuck up on Washington, but not this week. One could argue that a Cowboys loss this week, would be the apocalypse, I might be that "one." At 4-2 the Cowboys have upcoming games against the Rams, Bucs, and Giants. Consider this a must win. Brad Johnson shakes off the rust against the leagues 22nd ranked pass defense. Barber rushes for 160. COWBOYS -7

Minnesota +3 @ Chicago In '07, Vikings RB, Adrian Peterson, ran for 302 yards on 40 attempts against the Chicago Bears. In '08, those same Bears are the 5th ranked defense against the rush, allowing just 74.3 yards a game. After an embarrassing loss at the hands of rookie Falcon quarterback, Matt Ryan, in week 6, the Bears look to rebound. A Bears win coupled with a Packers loss puts them atop the NFC Norris Division. Bears win, but not by enough to cover. VIKINGS +3

Pittsburgh -9.5 @ Cincinnati Have you seen what the Steelers (4-1)upcoming schedule looks like? After the Bengals this week, Giants, Redskins, Colts, and San Diego. In a word, OUCH! 0-6 and Marvin Lewis is STILL the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. Yea, this world is fair. Since their week 1 thrashing of the Texans, Pittsburgh has won 3 games by an average of 4 points. Things will get better for the Steelers this week. Having Ryan Fitzpatrick under center helps the Bengals efforts to remain winless. STEELERS -9.5

Seattle +10.5 @ Tampa Bay I can't figure out Tampa Bay for the life of me. 30 points against Green Bay, 27 points against Carolina, yet only 13 against Denver, who has given up 26 points per game. The Seahawks, at 1-4, give up 30 points a game, nearly 40 in two road games this season. My cash will not be involved in this type of game. Then again, I do have a couple gambling rules, and one of them is: If Charlie Frye is quarterbacking any team, bet against him. BUCCANEERS -10.5

Cleveland +7 @ Washington Thank you Cleveland. The Browns huge win on Monday Night against the Giants may have kept quarterback, Derek Anderson and head coach, Romeo Crennel employed . . .FOR NOW. If Braylon Edwards decides to show up for a second straight week, the Browns have a shot. If he goes back to averaging 24 yards per as he was the first four games, the Browns have NO SHOT. However, Cleveland's 25th ranked rush defense will have problems with the leagues leading rusher, Clinton Portis. REDSKINS -7

Denver +3 @ New England (Monday Night) The Broncos allow 137 yards on the ground per game, 256 through the air, and have the 30th ranked defense in the league. Fortunately for Broncos, they have the 4th ranked offense in the NFL averaging 400 yards of offense per game. A Brady-less offense in New England has scored more than 20 points in only 1 of their first 5 games and given up more than 20 in 3 games. Denver makes the Patriots situation a whole lot worse. BRONCOS +3

After watching Texas QB, Colt McCoy, beat the previously top ranked Sooners and watching LSU get destroyed in 'The Swamp' I'm off college football. See you next week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Talking Off The Ledge; Or Trying

My readers have been writing in, looking for ways to cope with what has transpired in the 2008 ALCS. The Rays are looking more and more like eventual World Series Champs. The once potent lineup of the defending champs, the Boston Red Sox, is looking VERY, VERY, average. Were through the Red Sox playoff rotation, and only one starter, Daisuke Matsuzaka, has gone more than 6 innings. Josh Beckett, the once playoff ace, looked bad. Jon Lester, had that one off game we didn't want to see happen. As for Tim Wakefield, that was Wake, being Wake. With the Rays up 3-1, and on the cusp of the World Series, I'm answering all questions:

Forget the Rays, HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS?!?!?!
Joe, Worcester, MA

Sure, have your fun now. Two defensive backs, Roy Williams and Terrance Newman, are out with injuries, and one defensive back, Adam Jones, has been suspended by the league for at least four games. After being embarrassed by Arizona Cardinals, Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald, what else is in store for this secondary? Their punter, Mat McBriar (yes, it has one T), broke his foot in 1,000 places while getting a punt blocked on Sunday, he's out for the season. Pro Bowl quarterback, Tony Romo, is out until at least their Redskins rematch in 4 weeks. Immobile quaterback, Brad Johnson, will take over under center, a week after Romo was knocked down 100 times. To add insult to injury, bright light rookie, Felix Jones, will be out 3-4 weeks with a partially torn hamstring. At this rate, the next thing your going to tell me is they've traded and signed another malcontent "get me the damn ball" receiver. Excuse me while I open this bottle of Jamesons.

Do you think David Ortiz misses his friend Manny?
Rachel, Los Angeles, California

Reason 1: Why women analyzing sports is rarely a good thing.

What has happened to Ortiz at the plate? ZERO hits before game 4 in the seventh inning?
Steve, Boston, MA

It's clear that his wrist injury from earlier in the season has affected his timing at the plate. The Sox and Ortiz opted to sit him down, rather than having season ending wrist surgery, back in June. The question you have to ask yourself is, will Ortiz be ready by next Spring? How long of a recovery are we looking at, and once Ortiz is back in the lineup, how long before we start seeing the old David Ortiz? With the untimely departure of Ramirez and Ortiz unable to produce, the Red Sox lineup finally has some holes. I don't see how the Red Sox recover from a 3-1 deficit with the current state of David Ortiz' lumber.

Josh Beckett has no health issues, just like O.J. was not guilty!
Mike, New Hampshire

I sense sarcasm. Josh Beckett is a man avoiding Tommy John surgery like the plague. He's got no giddy-up on his fastball, has experienced numbness in his fingertips, and now is suffering from an oblique injury. Couple of thoughts on this one. The Red Sox are just as concerned, they place Beckett against Kazmir in game 2, a pitcher who the Red Sox have owned recently. They are sticking with him longer in games, trying to prove to him that he doesn't have it. They may have stayed with Beckett too long in Game 2, but no one likes a Monday morning quarterback. Beckett would be out an entire season if he went through Tommy John, but at this point, he should seriously consider it.

Rays 3B. Evan Longoria or Mets 3B, David Wright?
Sean, Queens, New York

Longoria, no doubt about it. Apparently the Rays know what they are doing. On April 18, before the eventual Rookie of the Year came into his own, the Rays locked him up for the next 6 years at just $17.5 million dollars. A contract which doesn't make Longoria a million dollar player until 2011. After tattooing the ball for 5 home runs in the ALCS, it's official Longoria is filthy. Not only that, but the guy is doing this on the biggest stage of his career. No disrespect to David Wright, but this is more about what Longoria can do, than what David Wright has done. In his rookie year, Longoria smashed 27 home runs and drove in 85 runners. The 23-year old, former Cape Cod Leaguer, and California native has a bright career ahead of him, and as for his days in Tampa, he's locked up.

Sure Ortiz isn't hitting the ball, but how much of the offense struggling can you attest to the injury of Mike Lowell?
Austin, Pensacola, FL

Much more than has been stated. Lowell is a flat out gamer, especially at Fenway Park in the postseason. The 2007 World Series MVP gutted it out as long as he could but as hips go, Lowell's was shot. Now with Lowell out, it isn't the defense that struggles, we know how good Kevin Youkilis is, it's the offense that has something missing. For a pitcher to face, Lowell, Bay, and Drew at 100% health, sure makes for a monster 5, 6, and 7 batters. Even with a struggling Ellsbury at the top and Ortiz in the middle, Pedroia and Youkilis can carry that portion of the lineup. The truth is, you lose something with Kotsay batting. With Varitek and any combination of Alex Cora or Jed Lowrie, the power really drops off after you face whoever is batting 6th. Remember, Lowell is the first older veteran non-pitcher we saw the Sox commit large money to. Before you talk Mark Texiera, the Red Sox knew before they re-signed Lowell that Texiera was becoming a free agent, and they were okay with that.

You tore down Manny for weeks, shouldn't you at least recognize that the Sox would be greatly helped by his bat right now?
Scott, Anaheim, California

Of course I recognized that, so did the Red Sox, so did Manny Ramirez and so did Scott Boras. That is why he no longer wears a Red Sox jersey. Had Manny kept quiet and played like an adult, the Sox would have been virtually forced to pick up his 2009 club option. That's why they didn't make a decision on him in March and wanted to wait. What would they get out of pitchers Buchholtz and Lester? If your staff is that dominate, maybe Manny's bat becomes expendable. If Ortiz' injury will affect the team in the postseason and 2009, Manny's option becomes all that more important. You think Manny and uber-agent Scott Boras, didn't see Ortiz get injured and become increasingly concerned that Epstein and Henry would pick up his option, thus delaying yet his final pay day? Of course they did. Yea I would love his bat this post season, and lets get it straight, I love Jason Bay, but he doesn't bring what Ramirez brought STRICTLY AT THE PLATE. Im getting bothered, no more Manny questions.

The fat lady isn't singing yet, BUT SHE'S HUMMING BABY!!!!!
Dicky V, St. Petersburg, FL

Oh, there is the only true Tampa fan I know. She may be humming but let me throw a little curve ball at you. Of the last 15 teams to be down 3-1 heading into game 5, only 4 have came back and won the series. THREE OF THOSE TEAMS ARE THE BOSTON RED SOX.

You picked the Dodgers to beat the Phils, the Sox to beat the Rays, right? So when neither of them get to the series, who will you be rooting for?
Jon, Philadelphia, PA

IN THE EVENT THAT WE DO SEE PHILLY v. TAMPA. I don't root for franchises from the City of Philadelphia, it's principal. Then again, the Tampa fans are completely fair weather and being a proud member of fandom, Philly does deserve to be rewarded for their loyalty. However, I want Mr. Magoo (Joe Maddon) to win a World Series. The guy has become one of the games top managers, in just a couple years with the Rays. He's done what Sweet Lou couldn't do in Tampa, win. A World Series championship is only further validation that he has joined the majors elite group of managers, names like Francona, Torre, Cox, and Scosia. And of course, I do like to punish the National League as often as possible.

What is in the stands at Fenway? THOSE AREN'T RED SOX FANS RIGHT?
Bill, Boston, MA

It puzzles me a bit; then again this is the first time in history we've been able to cheer for a baseball franchise that raises real banners. Sure, there is a ton of fans out there who are only on the wagon, that's what happens when you W-I-N. The fans that are on the wagon are usually the fans who can actually afford playoff tickets, they only stand up when there are two outs and two strikes, and a homer on to the turnpike shuts them up for 5 innings. Listen, it hasn't changed much, they are like Super Bowl fans with a bias. I wouldn't want my fans waving white towels like they do in Philly (last time I checked, waving a white flag = not a good thing) , clapping thunder sticks like they do in Anaheim, or wearing Manny hair like they do in Chavez Ravine. Give Sox fans something to cheer about, and they'll be hooked. You really thought Sully and Murph would be able to afford screaming obscenities at Carl Crawford while sucking down some Budweiser's at a playoff game?

Give me some faith, tell me Daisuke will be able to get the Red Sox back to Tampa?
Terry, Boston, MA

I have faith, not blind faith.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Keep It Real Friday

A Keep It Real for the record.

I'm not a wolf in sheep's clothing. I liked the Manny Ramirez I witnessed for seven seasons, I cheered for him relentlessly. However, that was Manny then, what you are seeing in Los Angeles, is Manny now. Two different people entirely. What you see in L.A. after they unlock the vault for him in 2009, will be more of what you saw in Boston for the previous seven seasons. I'm putting that to rest, I just needed the e-mailers to understand. Your correct in saying, "you didn't say that about him when he was wearing a B on his cap." I didn't, not because he played for my beloved Red Sox, but because I figured Ramirez was just being himself, not this scheming, backhanded, puppet of Scott Boras that he's become. Sound good? KEEP IT REAL!

I've got to take Pacman to task; If he played on any other team, I wouldn't think twice about it. I get it, you like to have a few drinks and let your hair down, we all do once in a while. But there is a difference between "we all" and YOU. We all aren't within a shoe string away from losing our career before the age of 30, we all haven't been involved in a strip club shooting or two, and we all aren't lucky enough to be given a second chance. It may just be a fight between your bodyguard and you after one too many drinks; but if this happens in your apartment or house and no one is around, your safe, your career is intact, and you are out of the headlines. After weeks and months of living a safer lifestyle, smarter lifestyle, and less expensive lifestyle, you could see Pac just wanting a night out on the town, right? WRONG! You had your nights out, and they almost cost you your entire life! Not only is it irresponsible, look at what happened to Jaguars guard, Richard Collier? That could be you Pac! Whatever Commissioner Goodell wants to do with Pac at this point, I'm on board. It'll hurt an already damaged Cowboys secondary, but I can't argue for a man who has been given this TYPE of chance. No way, No how.

Elgin Baylor is out as VP of basketball operations with the Los Angeles Clippers and has been hired to run the Oakland Raiders. Small joke, but seriously I've visited this topic before, for every 3 to 4 great front office guys that used to be players, there is 20-50 of them that are TERRIBLE in their post playing career. Theo Epstein never hit .320 in the majors and he's won two World Series trophies as a general manager. Since the start of the 2002 season, the Los Angeles Clippers are 88 games under .500, and have had just one winning season ('05, 47-35) My question is . . WHAT THE HELL TOOK SO LONG? This team has been NBA bottom feeders for years and years . . AND YEARS. Can you really blame Elton for bailing to Philly? (back to the point though; the Clips just drafted Eric Gordon, brought on Baron Davis, traded for Marcus Camby, I actually like this team in 2009) Keep It Real; ex-players running your organization = BAD IDEA.

LCS Preview: (The KEEP IT REAL Version; with edge)

National League; Phillies v. Dodgers This is Philadelphia, their fans have been tortured for years. The city has lost in the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup Finals, and of course NBA Finals. Wait, don't forget those John Kruk led Phils that lost the World Series in the early 90's. What would make you think they are going to break through this year? Especially when Dodgers manager, Joe Torre, has the baseball God's on his side to spite Hank Steinbrenner. Manny at Citizens Bank Park? Forgettaboutit. I like the Dodgers starters, Lowe & Billingsley more than I like Hamels and Myers. Were headed toward a World Series in Chavez Ravine, congrats Frank McCourt.

American League; Red Sox v. Rays Do I do it? Do I pick the Rays to dethrone the vaunted Boston Red Sox? They'll be no doubt if the Rays beat the Red Sox in the ALCS, to beat the best, you've got to go through the best. Yes, it is true that Ortiz, Beckett, and Drew have health problems. Their two World Series MVP's aren't in the lineup, Ramirez in L.A. and Lowell on the IR. However, Dustin Pedroia has hit .296 against Rays pitching, Drew .324, and lead off man Jacoby Ellsbury .292. Rays game one starter, James Shields, has an ERA approaching 5.90 against Boston (four starts). Sox hitters have hit .400 against Matt Garza in two starts. Ace Scott Kazmir, has allowed 18 earned runs in four starts, 14 walks, and 6 home runs. Can' do it. Sox in seven . . KEEP IT REAL!.

Oklahoma v. Texas . . .Florida v. LSU . . .Penn State v. Wisconsin. You can't get much better than this right? Another reason why football on Saturdays is more exciting than anything in life. Rawkus crowds, America's favorite game, and of course, national title implications all over the country!!! Keep it Real! Life doesn't get much better than rivalry games in Baton Rouge on a Saturday night.

Week 6; Pick 'Em

Baltimore +4 @ Indy The Colts really aren't that good. Texans quarterback, Sage Rosenfels had the worst quarter of his professional career, fumbling twice in the final seven minutes which resulted in Colts touchdowns. The Colts then improved to 2-2. Baltimore is coming off tough losses at Pittsburgh and at home against Tennessee, two games they very easily could have won. Baltimore +4

Pats +5.5 @ San Diego Sure their defense has struggled against Miami and San Francisco, but the Patriots are 3-1. San Diego has to start stringing some wins together if they plan on winning the AFC West. However, I told you in week 2 what happens when you give the Patriots points. Patriots 19, Jets 10. New England +5.5

Jacksonville +3.5 @ Denver Denvers defense is terrible, and now their quarterback is saying, and I quote "I do have a stronger arm than John Elway." Sure, he does have a stronger arm than Elway, whose 48 years old and hasn't played professionally in 10 years. Jacksonville is too injured and shouldn't have lost to an equally injured Pittsburgh team. Denver -3.5

Miami +3 @ Houston NFL teams don't come off tough losses and win, especially to teams who are starting to believe in themselves. As stated before, Sage Rosenfels better play all four quarters against Miami, who looks to win their third straight game. Shockingly Miami will improve to 3-2. Miami +3

Chicago -2.5 @ Atlanta Love the Falcons playing in Atlanta. Don't love those same Falcons against rawkus defenses. Tampa = Loss, Carolina = Loss, Chicago . . .we'll see. Coming off Matt Ryan's first road win at Lambeau Field, he'll struggle against this fast and healthy defense. Chicago -2.5

New York Giants -8 @ Cleveland (Monday) God, who made the Giants schedule this year, Archie Manning? Their record is deceiving, given that they haven't played a legit playoff contender yet (Washington in Week 1, isn't Washington today) Giants roll up Cleveland, especially when BACK UP quarterback, Brady Quinn is off introducing republican presidential candidate, John McCain, at rallies in the State of Ohio. UGH! Giants -8.8


Penn State -6 @ Wisconsin The Nittany Lions are as good as advertised. I also believe they will run the table, beat Ohio State, and look to shake up the National Title picture. Penn State -6

LSU +6 @ The Swamp Les Miles is an animal. This team is due for a huge win and to burst toward a number 1 slot. Tebow's Heisman candidacy just got a whole lot more dicey. LSU +6

Texas +6 v. Oklahoma @ Cotton Bowl. The entire country is picking the Sooners in this game. Normally, I'd attempt to go against the grain in this one, but there is a reason they are all picking Oklahoma. Sam Bradford is attempting to make a run at the Heisman, and Oklahoma will have THEIR statement game on Saturday. Sooners -6

ALL LOCKS! Good Luck!

Monday, October 6, 2008


I wouldn't want Manny Ramirez batting 4th for the Red Sox, and no number of home runs will change my mind. Sure, you could call it "cutting off my nose, to spite my face" but after watching an injured Mike Lowell gut out 9+ innings of baseball in the October air, I could care less about Ramirez. In the words of Michael Corleone, "he's WICKED dead to me now."

What got me to this point? (this could be rather lengthy)

1. When you sign a contract that makes you one of the top (3) highest paid players in the game, you honor it. This is major league baseball folks, contracts are guaranteed. Not injury, loss of ability, or lack of available, undetectable steroids can change that. In the winter of 2000, after much speculation, Ramirez and then agent, Jeff Moorad, inked a potentially 10-year agreement worth close to $200 million dollars. The catch was that the final two years of Manny's contract, that was valued at an estimated $40 million, would only be honored on a year-to-year basis, at the Red Sox decision. Simply put, were giving you $160 million now and in year 9, as well as 10, we'll give you $20 million each season, but it's our decision, not yours. This was good for Moorad & Ramirez in 2000, but come March of 2008, with new agent Scott Boras in his back pocket along with $160 Million, Manny became uneasy with the current situation. If Manny has a bad season and the Sox don't pick up that option, he won't sniff $20 million a year. If Manny has a career year his value goes up, the Sox could then continue doing business and pay him for one year. The kicker is, Boras doesn't get a penny on Manny's current deal, he wasn't involved in that. However, if Manny enters the free agent pool, Boras gets his cut of Manny's last big deal. Picking up what I'm putting down? From the moment the Red Sox decided they wouldn't make their decision in April, but wait till they had to, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THE SIGNED CONTRACT STATED, Manny began acting up. Much like when you tell your child, no dessert, till you eat your dinner.

2. If the first reason doesn't seem well calculated enough for you, it gets worse. For the first time, in a long time, Manny began talking to reporters. Not just talking, but in my mind, attempting to get them on his side, sway public opinion through the media and put pressure on the front office of the Boston Red Sox. NEWSFLASH: This isn't a front office swayed much by public opinion. They refused to give 5 years to an aging and declining Pedro Martinez, on the heels of a World Series. Epstein and the front office acted similarly with the expiring contract of fan favorite, Johnny Damon. So Manny, nice effort. That isn't all that Manny did. Shoving Kevin Youkilis in the dugout in an attempt to disrupt the clubhouse. Acting out against Red Sox employee, traveling secretary Jack McCormick, and of course refusing to enter games because of phantom injuries. Not to return to a previous analogy, but I used to kick and scream when I didn't get what I wanted. Some would say that these things worked, considering where Manny resides now, but even your mom had to cave in when you were misbehaving in public.

3. With 37,000 fans cheering for you, how do you repay them? Let's get this out of the way real fast, if your that fan who scoffs at pro athletes for making the money they make, there is a simple solution. STOP WATCHING THEM! If you don't pay for cable to see them play 100+ games a season, and you don't spend $200 bucks (on the cheap end) to visit your teams stadium, guess what? THEY DON'T GET PAID. With that said, fans of the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, and Mets pay alot to see their sports icons play, and for men who get to play a game for a living, WE EXPECT YOU TO PLAY and PLAY HARD. For the most part, pro athletes bust their tail to win, they sweat, they cry, and their rewarded. In Manny's case, he doesn't care that you show up to watch him play, he's their to cash a check. Anyone who thinks different, remember it was Ramirez who jogged down to first after he grounded to the shortstop. IN THE MIDST OF A F'N NO-HIT BID BY A RIVAL PITCHER! How do you do that? How in front of 37,000 fans who are trying to get away from their REAL JOBS by paying you to do YOURS and YOU DON'T CARE!?!?!?! Have the words privileged, respect, and adoration ever entered your mind?!?!? I'm sure they haven't, I'm sure you could care less as well.

4. I may not like Alex Rodriguez' personalty, but I admire his effort. I never thought I'd say that I disliked a player more than A-Rod, but after watching Manny in the spring of 2008, I'm saying it. You know as Red Sox fans we are a little hypocritical, turn the back the clock to that infamous ball slapping incident, if that was a Red Sox doing that, we'd say, nice effort. Has any other player, on any other team, ever embarrassed the Red Sox more than their own MANNY RAMIREZ? He slides over to L.A., sets up shop next to Joe Torre, and all of a sudden the baseball world outside of New England forgets what he did? The guy decided he no longer wanted to play in Boston and QUIT. He faked injuries, would Alex Rodriguez ever fake an injury? A-Rod opted out to get more money, but he didn't get himself traded to get it. The only time he ever failed in the batters box was because he tried to hard, MANNY WATCHED THREE PITCHES GO BY IN A PINCH HIT AT BAT AGAINST A DIVISION RIVAL BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WANT TO PLAY. I don't like A-Rod much either, but ask yourself this, would A-Rod ever ask for a day off?

5. How do I cheer for Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis, and Jon Lester, THEN turn around and cheer for Manny Ramirez? Guys who play injured, without controversy, and never complain. I mean Kevin Youkilis is drastically underpaid. Third string catcher, David Ross, FROM THE MINORS NONE THE LESS, makes exactly $475,000 less than a potential MVP in Youkilis. Is Youk attempting to force a trade? NO. Mike Lowell has been playing with half a hip for the past two months, AT THIRD BASE, and not until the team forced him to sit down, did he sit down willingly! Ramirez experiences a stomach ache, head ache, or tooth ache, and it's three days off while his mates take on the Yankees. And Jon Lester? Well let's just say for this year, a year which he emerged as one of the games most dominant left handed pitchers, he banked only $425,000. NINETEEN AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS LESS THAN MANNY RAMIREZ. Did you hear a peep from any of them? Did Lowell tell his manager, listen I'm taking today off and if you put me in, I'll stand like a statue at home plate. Did Kevin Youkilis attempt to convince the media that he was being underpaid and under appreciated by the Sox front office? The answers are No, they would never, because their mature adults who realize how lucky they are to be playing a game, and every day they get to play that game is an amazing thing.

You know his play and attitude in L.A., only emphasizes the point. Maybe Boras engineered the whole thing, but at the end of the day, you know, as a 36-year old adult, your actions speak louder than anything. He might lead this Dodger team to a World Series, he might actually be named MVP, but how can you cheer for this guy? In 53 games for the Dodgers, Ramirez hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI's, but that is nothing shocking to Red Sox fans. What's shocking is the hustle from first to home on a single over the first baseman's head, what's shocking is the lack of respect for the fans who adored you, what's shocking is that at the end of your time in Boston, I'm actually saying, I'm quite UNIMPRESSED.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Keep It Real; Week 5 Pick 'Em

Sound Off: Now you've made me angry Ohco Cinco. I won't touch how ludicrous it is to imply that, if the Bengals were "causing trouble like they used to", they might be good again. That type of comment speaks for itself. Here is what I'm holding issue on; This is exactly why the Bengals are 0-4. This team has been over hyped by everyone, including myself, for each of the past three years. From top to bottom, they are being run by bad ownership and bad coaching. Chad Johnson isn't Randy Moss, he isn't Terrell Owens, and he isn't Reggie Wayne. He's a big mouth wideout who is only as good as the guy throwing him the ball, fortunately for him that guy is Carson Palmer. He's going to kiss the star in the middle of the field, when he scores against the Cowboys on Sunday? While I wouldn't mind seeing a George Teague like hit being placed on Ocho-Cinco, I hope the Cowboys don't give that brainless, half wit the time of day. Chad, are we supposed to take you seriously? Didn't you say you'd go and play arena football if the Bengals didn't trade you? Well, guess what? They didn't trade you, you tucked your tail in, and came back to the only team that could stand you. I still can't help but remind him that his new last name, Ocho-Cinco, is actually just 8-5, not his actual number, 85. I'd rip him for another four paragraphs but I'm not wasting my time with the second best receiver on the Bengals, the first is T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Really? Come on Cubbies fan, you aren't that shocked are you? No Bartman this time, the Chicago Cubs are headed out to Chavez Ravine on the brink of elimination, down 2-0 to the Dodgers. Did you really believe THIS was the year? The same year we saw the legendary Boston Celtics raise 'Banner 17', the year we forgot about Mark Spitz and welcomed a global icon named Phelps, the year the Tampa Bay Rays dropped the Devil and won the American League East in historic fashion, did you really believe all that would happen AND the Chicago Cubs fans would finally be rewarded for their loyalty? Call it shocking, call it an upset, but I'll call it what it is; 2 home losses to a better team. Strong starting pitching from Derek Lowe and Chad Billingsley, couple of homers from Ramirez, and one timely grand slam from James Loney. The difference between a Lou Piniella managed club and a Joe Torre managed club? A relaxed team in L.A. and a team playing not to lose in Chicago. I really attempt not to smile when I see Cubs fans' go home upset but as the saying goes "In life, only (3) things are definite; Death, Taxes, and the Chicago Cubs choking." So I may have added the last, but it fits.

I can't ignore the saga that is the Oakland Raiders and owner, Al Davis. I won't wax poetic about Davis. Unfortunately, I don't feel like Al has anyone around him who is strong enough to tell him to step down. The interview that sparked this conversation was in a word; pathetic. Could you see an owner like Bob Kraft, Jerry Jones, or Daniel Snyder doing this? In Dallas, Jones has been grooming son, Stephen, who is the current COO and Executive Vice President of the Cowboys, as the eventual successor. Bob Krafts' son, Jonathan is heavily involved in the day to day of the New England Patriots, Patriot Place, and oh yea, MLS franchise, the New England Revolution. Yet in Oakland, who has Al Davis groomed? Davis is 79 years old now and has clearly lost his touch. He's largely responsible for Super Bowl winning coaches Mike Shanahan and more recently, Jon Gruden, exiting Oakland to win titles in other cities. He's now hired and fired one of the NFL's youngest coaches ever, Lane Kiffin, in one of the more bizarre moments since O.J. driving in a white bronco. The overhead projector, the Dr. Huckstable sweater, and of course the Raider windbreaker, it's all out of touch and a it too crazy for me. Coal mining, Dick Cheney's hunting partner, and dish washer, all jobs I'd rather work than be the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. It's time Al hangs it up, or at least turns off the camera on himself. Keep it Real, I don't need to see the crypt keeper any longer.

I hate the Anaheim Angels; Sure that sounds a bit strong but their ballpark is Epcot Center (ballpark style), their fans wave thunder sticks, clappers, and rally monkeys, and to put it simply, their just not my thing. They won't beat the Red Sox or the Rays, and I would appreciate if Bud put a mandate on the thunder sticks, WERE OUTDOORS, whatever happened to putting your hands together and clapping? It seems to me that the Cubs and Wrigley are on their way out, I don't want to watch October "Dome" baseball in Tampa, and this "Mickey Mouse" ballpark has worn on me, what's left? The Fens!!!! Keep it Real!

Pick 'Em

Indy -3 @ Houston Indy has had two weeks to prepare and get healthy for Houston. The Texans have appeared to be going backward in their development, with the exception of rookie Steve Slaton, they've looked below average. Indy -3

Titans -3 @ Ravens The Ravens lost a close game on the road in Pittsburgh last week. Rookie QB, Joe Flacco, has looked good enough and of course their defense has looked fast and hard hitting. Only second to . . The Titans. Haynesworth is running things up front, I'm going with the Titans and rookie RB, Chris Johnson. Titans -3

Washington +6 @ Philly Sure you can get up to play the Cowboys on the road, but can you do it in back-2-back weeks? Westbrooks' health looks uncertain, for the Eagles it will take more than field goals to beat Washington. Skins +6

New England -3 @ San Francisco Hello!?!? They lost to the wishbone offense that the players hadn't seen since college! They are still the New England Patriots and the 49ers are still the 49ers! Pats -247

Tampa +3 @ Denver If this game were in Tampa, I'd be all over it, if gambling was my thing of course. Denver plays well at home and even better after a loss. If this offense is for real, Tampa is the perfect pop quiz. Denver -3

Minnesota +3 @ New Orleans Minnesota done yet? If the Detroit Tigers hadn't gone belly up, as predicated, the Vikes being bad would have been my best prediction of 2008. 'Nawlins at home, nuff said. Saints -3