Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Syracuse Plays Great, Gets Blown Out

Well, Fuck!!!

Syracuse put up a gutty, inspiring showing against Georgetown Wednesday night (sarcasm for those who didn't see it.) Maybe its that I just ran out of children's Tylenol but I am really fucking pissed about that game. Here is how I saw it (in list form!!):

1. It takes Boeheim a fucking lustrum to realize that 2-3 zone doesn't work against teams that can shoot the 3.

2. FUCKING FREE THROW SHOOTING. They shot 43.5%, brought down by Rick Jackson who was 1-8...ONE FOR FUCKING EIGHT!

3. Andy (Leo) Routins banged up the same knee that he tore his ACL in last year. The announcers said he would be ok, but if he is done for the season (Oh God please no) disregard everything I said here. That would eliminate the vast majority of 'Cuse's 3pt game and they would be done.

4a. "WE-ARE! GEORGE-TOWN!" Let me say that is a very creative chant you all have there. That is truly the chant of a student body that knows how to get the most for their money.

4b. Can Georgetown's shitty band play "We Fly High" by Jim Jones a few more times? THAT SONG IS OVER TWO YEARS OLD YOU FUCKS! You should be playing whatever piece of shit song Akon put out last week.

We got Notre Dame on Saturday at 12PM, so get your shit together.

Jerry Reese Does Not Fear Wounded Ducks

On the heels of a very poor performance in the playoffs against the Eagles, the Daily News says that the Giants are close to signing Eli Manning to an massive extension:

Based on interviews with several agents and personnel people, Eli Manning appears to be in line for a seven or eight-year contract worth $110-$120M with $40M in guarantees. That would make the 28-year-old the eighth quarterback to top the $100M barrier, and would put him near the top with Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb (12 years, $115M), Cincinnati's Carson Palmer (nine years, $118.75M), and former Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick (10 years, $130M).
Brett Favre (10/$100M) and Big Ben (8/$102M) have inked deals at that level, while big brother Peyton signed a 7 year deal worth $98M in 2004, keeping him just on the outside that barrier, and Tom Brady took a sweetheart deal to stay with New England for six and $60M.

Still, that upper tier of the $100M QB Club looks a whole lot more like the group of MLB pitchers who have eclipsed that barrier than you'd like it to. Palmer and Vick especially have not lived up to their contracts, while McNabb has probably played to his $9.6M AAV overall, but has not won a Super Bowl and has had some terrible lows in Philly. Simarly, Mike Hampton, Kevin Brown, and Barry Zito all woefully under preformed their deals. This is excluding Johan Santana who is off to a good start, but still has six years left, and of course Sabathia has yet to earn a dollar of his mega deal.

Not everyone is a fan of Eli's. Before the Super Bowl victory last year, there was certainly a disproportionate amount of hatred, blame and venom spewed in his direction. If Asante Samuel came up with that near-interception on the final drive of the Super Bowl, that might still be the case. But because of David Tyree and the defensive line, people like Max Kellerman exault his clutchiferousness, and heap him with inordinate praise.

His current deal expires next year and I can understand the reasons the Giants have for locking him up. But what other team is willing to make a play for Manning in that financial stratosphere? There are plenty of teams with a need at QB (Lions, Vikings, 49ers, Bears, Bucs, Chiefs, Sehawks, and possibly the Jets and Rams), but what are they going to pay for him? No free agent QB has ever got $100M from a new team.

Since Eli is experienced in the Giants' system and has established himself in New York, maybe he is worth that much to the organization. He's shown steady improvement over his five years in the Meadowlands, with both increasing completion percentages and QB Ratings. Last year's playoff run was one of the most inspiring storylines I've watched unfold in my years as a sports fan. This year, he had 21 TDs to only 10 picks.

But you only really have to pay him more than he is worth to other teams. Right?

It's just an oddly timed decision. Maybe the organization wants to show some solidarity towards the face of the franchise in the aftermath of a tough loss. Is Eli really going to hold out or walk away from the Giants though? He has shown he was capable of exacting some pretty strong leverage with his demand to be traded from the Chargers when he was drafted. I guess he has a pretty damn good agent...

On Second Thought...

As you may know, Jodie Meeks had one hell of a performance last night. In an effort to give this achievement some historical perspective, I did a little digging through NCAA records, which in turn has forced me to write a little something on Pete Maravich.

Pistol Pete was a little before my (and most of yours) time, but holy shit what this guy did on the collegiate level is fucking amazing. Here are some Pistol Pete fun facts and NCAA records for you.

Points averaged:
1968: 43.8 ppg
1969: 44.2ppg
1970: 44.5ppg

Holds the NCAA record for scoring more than 50 points (28 times)

Scored a career-high 69 points vs. Alabama (Feb. 7, 1970); 66 vs. Tulane (Feb. 10, 1969); 64 vs. Kentucky (Feb. 21, 1970); 61 vs. Vanderbilt (Dec. 11, 1969)

Pistol Pete set 11 NCAA and 34 Southeastern Conference records, as well the LSU records for points scored, scoring average, field goals attempted and made, free throws attempted and made, and assists.

Maravich made an average of 13 shots a game from what is now the three-point line; if the three-point line had existed when he played, he would have averaged 57 points a game.
Fack Youk called Pistol Pete's representatives to get a reaction to Meeks performance, but those calls were not immediately returned. However, we think his statement would go something like this:


Andy Pettitte: The Yankees' Slippers

I have the perfect pair of slippers. They are the kind of invaluable possession that you can replace with an identical item, but it wouldn’t be the same. I found them online four years ago when I was in college for $50, and it may have been one of the best apparel related purchases I have ever made. They slide on my feet so perfectly that I sometimes forget I have them on. When I’m wearing them, I can quiet the impossibly creaky floors of my apartment like a Amazonian tribesman hunting in a leafy forest. If only I had temporarily lost them at some point, they would be the perfect metaphor for what Andy Pettitte is to the Yankees.

If the Yankees are lucky, they could probably approximate Pettitte’s production by trading for Jarrod Washburn or cobbling together Phil Hughes, Alfredo Aceves, Ian Kennedy, recent addition Jason Johnson and Phil Coke. But it just wouldn't be the same. The lefty has endeared himself to the Yankees fan base to a near-Jeterian level, and was obviously a cornerstone of the late 90's dynasty. I remember seeing him pitch for the Albany-Colonie Yankees when I was 10 years old. He's seems like a humble, family guy and is almost Brett Favrerous in his interviews and press conferences.

Like Jeter, his timing was impeccable. He made his debut in Don Mattingly's final year in the Bronx. He threw 8 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 5 of the 1996 World Series. He's also been remarkably consistent, making 30 or more starts in 10 out of his 11 seasons in the Bronx and amassing 192 regular season wins for the Yankees behind only Whitey Ford and Red Ruffing. [Ed. note: I'd use better stats here, but I think an intangible (fan love), is best summed up by an arbitrary and incomplete stat (wins). See: Rivera, Mariano (saves)]

Despite his poor second half last year, the "two" times he admittedly used HGH or his hiatus in Houston, fans (like me) still love Pettitte to a fault. He wears #46, which was my favorite number before he ever put on the pinstripes. I don't want to see this guy go.

But the stalemate between him and the Yankees is giving me second thoughts. This situation reminds me of the stand-off between the cable providers and the NFL Network which is still keeping NFL-N out of a whole lot of homes who would like to have it. You know one or both of these sides is being irrationally difficult, and regardless of whose fault it is, the fans are getting screwed.

If you don't mind, I'd like to play arbitrator/Judge Judy real quick...

Mr. Cashman, et. al: This is not where you want to pinch pennies. We've been over this. Pettitte will almost certainly provide stability to the rotation and figures to throw 190-210 innings to the tune of a league average ERA. Why would you want to pass on this? In terms of fit with the team and flexibility via length of contract, there isn't a better pitcher on the market (or in the system). I know $10M is a lot of money. It's roughly 36,986 times greater than my net worth ($273.43), but you can probably see why he might take issue with his team committing $243.5M to the rotation this offseason and then quibbling over a couple of million bones with a guy who they drafted 17 years ago, right?

Mr. Pettitte: Dude, it's nothing personal. I know the three guys who weren't affected by the shitty economy this offseason were signed by the Yankees, but take a moment and survey the free agent landscape. Pat Burrell just took a 50% pay cut. Quality guys like Adam Dunn, Manny and Bobby Abreu are sitting out there unsigned and if they want to play next season, are going to have to take some pretty significant hits as well. But you want to make more than Derek Lowe is going to next year after he had a 3.24 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP last year as opposed a 4.54 and 1.41. You've publicly stated that you want to take the mound at The New Stadium and don't want to pitch anywhere else. If you go somewhere else, your Yankee Legacy (TM) is going to be forever tarnished.

Verdict: Give him $12M and let this discussion end. How a team and a player can be $6M apart is beyond me. This isn't probably going entirely one way ($10M) or another ($16M), and I think the Yankees position makes about $1M more sense. Come on Cash... step right in.