In the innaugural year of Keep It Real Friday, we've had some fun. With the final FRIDAY of the year upon us, I'm about to do the same:
Lets get after it:
Well, that was worth the hype. The first matchup of the '08-'09 season between the Lakers & Celtics was exactly what we wanted. An exciting fourth quarter that lead to the Lakers snapping the Celtics 19 game winning streak en route to a 9 point victory on their home court. Pau Gasol scored 7 points in the final minutes of the game to push the Lakers past the C's and improve to 24-5.
Barring Lebron and the Cavaliers taking out the Celtics at some point during the postseason, the two teams you watched yesterday, will meet again in June for the championship. If anyone tries to throw San Antonio, Orlando, or New Orleans at you, tell them to watch yesterday evenings Celts/Lakers game, and shut the hell up. Between Pau, Kobe, and Phil Jackson, no one out west is stopping L.A., you can put in the books, I guarantee it. The Lakers have a very deep bench and you'd be stumped trying to think of a team that can give their second squad a run. The Celtics dominate teams to the tune of 19-1 in their last 20 games. Between the emergence of Rajon Rondo as an elite guard and the mid-season acquisition the Celtics have yet to make, (as they did last season by adding veteran big man, P.J. Brown) the Celtics are on a collision course with the Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference crown. The Celtics v. Lakers matchups are the best the NBA has to offer. They feature one of the games most intense players of all-time in Kevin Garnett. They feature the only player to remotely live up to the hype of "next Jordan" status, Bean Bryant. Great coaching, great home court advantage for both squads, great team defense, and great theater. I want to see Celts v. Lakers for another title, and so do you! Keep It Real!
After the Irish defeated Hawai'i at Aloha Stadium, snapping Notre Dame's streak of 9 straight bowl game losses, embattled head coach Charlie Weis had this to say, "I'm very happy for Notre Dame. This was a great step forward for us." Really?!?!? I mean c'mon Charlie, your really excited about hoisting the Sheraton Hotels Hawai'i Bowl Trophy? If this is a great step forward for the Irish then having to play on Christmas Eve in a completely unimportant bowl game, against a 7-5 team who finished FOURTH PLACE in the WAC, is about nineteen steps backward. May I remind you that when finding out Notre Dame was invited to Hawai'i, nearly every national sports show thought it was a joke to begin with. For starters, Hawai'i recruits kids off the beaches of Honolulu, Notre Dame is recruiting farm boys from Indiana who were born in three-point stances. Your really going to celebrate the 4-touchdown victory over these guys? The Warriors of Hawai'i didn't get over the .500 mark until November 8th, they were 1-3 against ranked teams, and their only quality win was against a Fresno team that finished 7-5, yet this is a "great" step for the Irish? Charlie, here is a suggestion, and a good one I might add, earn your way into a Fiesta or Sugar Bowl, drop a top program like Oklahoma or Georgia, then address "taking great steps." Keep It Real!
Yankee fan need to get a grip on reality. You spent $423 million dollars on three free-agents, they may have been the best available of 2008, but that isn't saying much. I can't get over the absurdity of throwing that kind of money around when the economy as a whole is doing as bad as it is. To make it worse, your in the midst of asking the City of New York to take on another $100 million dollars for your stadium, all the while jacking up their ticket prices. Forget the sensible thing when it comes to Yankee baseball, that has gone right out the window. Your new ace, C.C. Sabathia, was terrible in the 2007 postseason, and this is the guy your going to throw out in a game 7? He pitched about 1,000 extra innings for the Brewers to get them into the playoffs, take it from a guy who has seen some postseason like performances from Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling, and Pedro Martinez, they aren't the same the next year. All that aside, the guy never wanted to play in New York, on the East Coast, or in the American League. He pratically begged the Dodgers to throw him a bone so he could at least "look" like he took the best offer. Let me get this point across right away, pitching in the National League Central and American League Central for your entire career is nothing like pitching in the American League East, N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Three of the top 15 teams in homers hit last season, were from the American League East. The reigning American League MVP, Dustin Pedroia, resides in the American League East, David Ortiz resides in the American League East, Evan Longoria, the reigning rookie of the year resides in the American League East, and you can't even get anything past the Orioles who while they finished last were 12th in the majors in hits, 13th in homers,and 11th in batting average. It's no wonder C.C. did everything he could to stay away from the A.L. East, that is until the Yankees gave him four truck loads of cash. Next, I'm doing this one briefly. No one was offering A.J. Burnett $80 million plus over five years, N-O O-N-E. Newsflash, the guy can't stay healthy and at best he's a second tier starter making ace like cash. You mean to tell me that no one finds this a little more absurd than giving C.C. $160 million? When A.J. Burnett is the second best starter available, it's time you bring the checkbook back a little. Finally, while Teixeira is a young slugger who demands plate respect, but he isn't Manny Ramirez, nor will he ever develop into that type of hitter. A career .290 hitter who averages 33 homers a year is now getting paid upwards of $20 million a year. When Ramirez and A-Rod got handed their monster deal, each of them had multiple 40+ home run seasons and were consistently hitting over .300. Teixeira has hit close to .300 but has only gone over 40 homers once, and that was in Texas, where EVERYBODY hits homers. More importantly, haven't the Yankees learned anything from being stuck under Jason Giambi? If nothing, they should know that a zillion homers doesn't win you championships, good, young, healthy arms and a strong bullpen do. Keep It Real Yankee fans, $423 million just ain't what it used to be.
Have A Safe & Happy New Year!! We'll be Keeping It Real every Friday in 2009!! Thanks for reading.