Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jags & Jets [Breaking News]

Via the National Football Post, Jeff Jagodzinski has interviewed with the Jets. (Thanks Google Reader!)

[Update: 7:58] Newsday is saying the same thing, but ESPN has yet to latch on. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

[Update: 8:13] WBZTV in Boston has the BC side of the story, but nothing new. DiFilippo is waiting to hear from Jagodzinski on whether or not the meeting occurred.

[Update: 8:41] Hey, look everyone, it's the Boston Herald! Welcome to the party.

[Update: 10:35] And finally, ESPN.

I'm done with this post.

Fair And Balanced

There has been a lot of Boston-centric content on the site today, and I just wanted to level it out a bit.

Yup. That's better.

The Greatest Sports List Ever

List of things that are relevant in the sports world...
1) Yankees/NY Giants
2) 'Cuse Basketball
3) NBA 2k9 (XBox 360)
...
...
15,387,623) NY Liberty
...
22,341,587) Rest of the WNBA
...
...
89,357,689) San Antonio Spurs (They are boring as fuck to watch)
...
100,000,000) Driving golf balls into traffic
...
...
...
458,954,484) Dallas Cowboys
458,954,485) Boston Bruins
458,954,486) St. Pius X 25yr old+ Basketball Tuesday and Thursday nights
458,954,487) Curves Monday Night Palates Class (I like fat women, what do you want from me?)
458,954,488) Red Sox
458,954,489) BC (BC is gay)

Heist of the Century

With the Indians signing of Carl "American Idle" Pavano, Cash has effectively indirectly traded Pavano (valueless) for Sabathia (most valued free agent arm) without giving up any top prospects. Mark Shapiro got suckered. Job well done! Show me any GM who can beat that...

The Curse of the Great Giambino?

In (hopefully) the last event ever at old Yankee Stadium, the Pinstripes formally introduced Mark Teixiera. Formalizing this historic offseason in the closing of unquestionably a supernatural building, I feel is going to ensure at least 10 years of something. Pretty much all signs are pointing to a Yankees Resurrection - guided by C.C., A.J., and Tesh - filling in the major gaps that have plagued the Yanks the past few years.

However, I can't help but feel the exact opposite. It was announced that Tesh will be wearing the great number 25, donned by the golden banana hammock himself, Jason Giambi. I don't care how serviceable he was when he got up to the plate - this Generation Y bash brother was such a drag on the Bronx. I can't help but let out a sigh of relief with such a haunted decision. Cash's greatest move of the offseason would be getting on the horn and pleading with Donnie Baseball for permission to un-retire his #23, which Tesh has worn with the Rangers, Braves and Angels. I can't wait to go home and pour myself a brew to toast 10 more years of Red Sox prominence.

Celtics Want To Get In The Truck?

As Brendan noted this morning, some sources are indicating that Stephon Marbury might be joining the Celtics once the Knicks finally end their messy divorce. I am sure my reaction is similar to almost everyone else; what the fuck are the Celtics thinking?

Granted, he is probably still a pretty good player (who really knows though, since he hasn't donned an NBA jersey almost a year) and will probably play for the league minimum (since he will probably still be collecting close to the league maximum from the Knicks). But do the Celtics really want a guy who has never won a playoff series, forced his way out of almost every city he has played in and hated almost every coach he has ever had? As much as I hate it, the Celtics seem to have a pretty good thing going and I do not see any positive out of bringing in a guy like Stephon Marbury, especially when he will only be getting 15 minutes a game.

That being said, if he brings down a Boston team, I am all for it!

BC Is Gay

As you may know, I fucking hate Boston College with a passion. I have hated them long before Joe even thought about joining the inner circle of fagdom that is the BC student body.

It all started about 16 years ago when I was 8 and my father decided to get the family season tickets to Syracuse Football. We held on to these tickets for about 8 years, until my father decided to stop getting them the season after McNabb graduated (what a fucking brilliant move that was). The point is that since I was a young lad I have watched Cuse v. BC, both in Cuse and Boston and have a built in hatred for BC. This hatred dates back to before I even started hating the Red Sox.

In 2004, BC (along with a few others the year before) decided to leave the Big East to go to the ACC. What a fucking terrible move this was on their part. Granted Big East football isn't that good right now, but 3 of our 4 best football programs went to the ACC and look at what they are doing: Shitting the bed left and right (see: The U).

At this point I would like to un-misremember BC's last Big East football game in 2004. They were a power house in the Big East that year and all they had to do was beat lowly little Syracuse University at home to win the Big East and go on to a BCS game. In true Boston fashion, they came in and got fucking worked by Cuse the entire game and lost 43-17 and the Big East ended in a 4 way tie. So instead of going to a BCS Game, BC had the privilege of going to the Continental Tire Bowl.

Now, in my opinion the ACC was the best conference in basketball before this move, but the times they are a changing. The ACC is still pretty good, but in no way compares to the Big East. Yes I know there are 16 teams, BUT 9 OF THEM ARE IN THE TOP 25!!!

I have some more points but I am sick of thinking about this fucking awful city, fan base, and student body. And you know what, fuck their academic departments too. I am sure they have wonderful, highly ranked programs, but who really gives a fuck.

Also, as I write, Cuse is ranked #9 in NCAAM.

Boston Being Boston

My whole childhood was spent expecting Boston sports to bring occasional highs in wake of inevitable woes. For the most part, every season of every sport seemed to bring around another solid team, caged in ultimate mediocrity - but always generating a few teases each year that we just may make it. The Sox of the late nineties, the Pats in '96, the perennial 3rd seeded 'Toine and Pierce led C's, and the Boston College days of Glenn Foley and Scoonie Penn are just a few examples that come to mind. But then something changed. Drew Bledsoe got hurt, the Yankees choked, we traded the farm for KG, and, well, I guess BC has stayed true to the mold.

Now don't get me wrong, I have loved the complete dominance that has swept New England. But unfortunately, I've become a lazy fan. I now expect that we'll win every game, and every title - and frankly, the world of sport just isn't as interesting when you are Goliath. I'm a David guy - I cheer for the guy who isn't supposed to win. I pull for Bryce Drew, race with Toad in Mario Kart, and cheered for anyone who entered the squared circle against Earthquake. Thus, recently, the world just hasn't been right for me - being on the other side.

Alas, this past weekend, gives me hope that the tides are beginning to change. After pulling off one of the greatest win streaks in NBA history, the Celts have dropped 4 of their last 6, and are looking to sign New York defect Stephon Marbury?!?! The Red Sox are having a sober off season, missing out on the Teixiera sweepstakes, thanks to an artful Yankee acquisition. The Pats missed the playoffs, and then franchised Cassell, committing $29 million to two players at the same position! Now I shouldn't jump to conclusions about what Danny, Theo, and Billy are thinking since they've made all the right moves recently, but each of these moves has caused me to raise an eyebrow or two.

Of course, though, we had our highlight on Sunday. The Tyrese Rice led Eagles upset the UNC Tarheels - expected to contend for the title of greatest college hoops team of all time. But BC, never the bearer of dominance, now looks to be firing Jags as Joe reported below.

Ahhh... now I'm starting to feel right again.

Baseball's Real Anti-Christ Dies

Carl Pohlad, billionaire, cheapskate and worst owner in the MLB died yesterday. According to 2008 rankings by Forbes.com, Pohlad’s net worth of $3.6 billion was 102nd in the nation. Still, his teams often had some of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig called Pohlad “a true leader in our sport for the past 25 years.”
“Since the day Carl Pohlad entered Major League Baseball, he made significant contributions to our game,” Selig said. “His devotion to the Minnesota Twins, the Twin Cities and Major League Baseball was remarkable. In my long career, I have never met a more loyal and caring human being.
Gotta love Selig's crap.

Significant contributions to baseball? Name one.

Loyal? Twins fans hated him.

Caring? Put your money where your mouth is.

“I live and die by every pitch,” Pohlad once told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I want so badly for them to win. ... If it isn’t competitive and you don’t have a team with character, it won’t be any fun.”

Pohlad had volunteered his team as a contraction candidate in return for a $150 million buyout from his fellow owners.

The Twins got the go-ahead from the state in 2006 for a $522 million stadium paid for mostly by a county sales tax. Pohlad's contribution was about $130 million.

Instead of putting revenue sharing money back into the organization, Pohlad pocketed it.

Twins fans should be rejoicing right now. There can be no worse owner than Pohlad.

Everybody loves to criticize the Steinbrenner family for their spending. But as Jay has previously stated, they put a quality product on the field for they fans, are not afraid to spend the extra few bucks and spends THEIR money, not the public's, on their ball team.

Contrary to what everybody says, this is a great day for baseball.

Cashman Crossing T's, Dotting I's

Benjamin Disraeli once said, "It is easier to be critical than right." Ironically, when ripping on Peter Abraham's pinch hitter, I was also doing it in the "easiest, laziest" way possible. In light of this, here are a few points I'd like to make in favor of moves Cashman has made this offseason.

Lost in the juxtaposition of Yankees' splashy free agent acquisitions and the general timidity with which GM's around the league have approached this offseason, has been Brian Cashman's attention to detail. Sure, Cashman has financial resources that other GM's do not, but he's also paying attention to the little things just as much as an executive of a small or mid-market team would.

Remember this move? The Yankees sold the rights to Darrell Rasner to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League for $1M. Aside from that cool million, the Yankees are off the hook for Rasner's salary (maybe another $500K?). The move also works out nicely for Rasner, who also has a chance to make up to three times what his salary would have been if he stayed in the MLB and will have a chance to pitch against weaker hitters than in the AL East. I think Cashman realized that it would be better for both parties to ship Rasner to the Pacific Rim, and saved a million and a half bones in the process. At a time when the Red Sox broke some unwritten rules and signed Junichi Tazawa, Cashman has maintained a more amicable relationship with Japan.

In trading for Nick Swisher, Cash picked up an underrated guy coming off of a terrible season for marginal bench guy Wilson Betemit, and B-level minor league prospects Jeff Marquez and Johnny Nunez. A corollary to this, I believe, is that proclaiming Swisher as their starting first baseman, quieted the "Teixeira To Yanks!" rumors enough for them to swoop in at the last minute, under nearly every one's radar.

Cashman also declined to offer arbitration to Andy Pettitte, Bobby Abreu and Pudge Rodriguez before it was apparent just how far teams would cut back spending this year. If they had offered arbitration to any of those players, they all almost certainly would have accepted, leaving the Yanks with too many catchers or outfielders or Andy Pettitte for over $16M. A less conscientious GM might not have gauged the market correctly, leaving the Yanks with untrade-ably expensive spare parts.

When Cashman signed his 3 year $6M extension at the end of September and went on the New York talk radio circuit, he had an edge in his voice. It seemed like he was out to correct the public perception that because of the massive payroll, anyone could GM the Yanks.

I think he's the perfect, and possibly the only guy for the job. Cashman is entrenched in the organization (an employee since he was 19) and has shown the ability to manage the sometimes unwieldy undercurrents of the front office. Do you think a new GM could have understood the complicated dynamics existing between Hal, Hank, an aging George and Randy Levine (more on him soon) quickly enough to get as much accomplished as they have this offseason? I would tend to think not.