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With Billy Gillispie Out… Big Blue Nation Wonders “Who’s Next?”

Posted by Condo on March 28, 2009

Billy Gillespie is gone, what next?

After two turbulent seasons, Billy Gillispie is gone from the Big Blue Nation. What's next for the 'Cats?

By now (unless you are living under a rock) you’ve heard the news that Billy Gillispie was fired as the head coach at the University of Kentucky yesterday afternoon.

Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said that it really had little to do with wins and losses (although Kentucky did tie for the second most losses this season in school history) and had more to do with the fact that he was not the ‘ambassador to the university that they would like the head coach at the University of Kentucky to be.’

Having said that, Kentucky is now in the market for a new head coach and as a member of “The Nasty Boys” that has been absent for more than a year at this point… I figured this was as good of a time as any to bring myself back to the blogging world with a Top 5 list of candidates that I think the “Big Blue Nation” should consider.

One other thing I’d like to add before jumping into my list is that regardless of who Kentucky hires as their next basketball coach.. so long as Patrick Patterson & Jodie Meeks come back next season and the new coach can keep Daniel Orton committed to Kentucky, they “should” be at least a Sweet 16 team in my opinion next year if not better.

Having said that, lets be honest here, I don’t think  Billy Donovan nor John Calipari, or even Tom Izzo, are going leaving their posts to come to Kentucky, so they will not be on my Top 5 list.  But let’s start with number one on my list…

1.   Jay Wright (Villanova Head Coach, Bucknell ’83)

Most people don’t believe he would leave Villanova for Kentucky after many believe he privately rebuffed UK two seasons ago, but now may be as good of a time as ever for him to leave.  He’s on the verge of a Final 4 at Villanova this season and is still relatively young in the coaching ranks (48 years old this year).  But he’s probably going to lose a lot of his core to this seasons’ team (Scottie Reynolds, Dante Cunningham) and if he is not going to leave for an NBA job, UK is about as close to NBA type pressure as it will get.

Wright’s been to 4 Sweet 16’s in the last 5 seasons at Nova and has recruited to Philadelphia awfully well, which many UK fans want to hear.  He is also probably one of the most personable coaches in America and is very charasmatic, which I believe Kentucky needs more than anything with their next hire.

The only thing tying him to Nova’ right now is the fact that he was an assistant there under Villanova great Rollie Massimino, but the opportunity to leave the rugged Big East for the SEC may be another thing that lures him in.

All and all, I think Wright would be a fantastic hire for the Cats.  But if he turns them down, lets move on to #2 on my list…

2. Rick Barnes (Texas Head Coach, Lenoir-Ryhne ’77)

Another name that most don’t believe would leave his place at Texas for UK after he was also believed to have privately rebuffed UK, but obviously the situations are a bit different now.  Barnes was coming off of a second round NCAA loss to USC and had a strong core in place at the time to make a Final 4 (not including Kevin Durant).  The next year with D.J. Augustin the Horns’ made the Elite 8 before bowing out to Memphis and this season lost in Round 2 to Duke.

Again, like Wright, he’s likely going to lose some key players to graduation or the NBA in Damian James, AJ Abrams, and company and if he’s going to leave, now is as good a time as any from that standpoint.  Again, like Wright, he has a wonderful personality and would be a great ‘ambassador’ that Barnhart says he is looking for, so I’m sure he will get another call.

The sticking point with Barnes is that his teams tend to lack the ‘killer instinct’ for one thing and I personally don’t believe his recruiting has been as strong lately as it has been in the past.  A second thing that stands out is that he’s been around the block a bit having been at George Mason, Providence, and Clemson before settling at Texas in 1998.  So he may see Texas the place he plans to spend the rest of his career.  So we will move on to #3 on the list…

3. Thad Matta (Ohio State Head Coach, Butler ’90)

From Hoopeston, IL, this man has basketball in his blood and is very young at age 41.  He’s a relentless recruiter as evident by the talent he’s been bringing into Ohio State over the past few seasons with Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Evan Turner, and others.  And he’s also seems to be a pretty likeable and personable guy who would represent the university well.

He’s shown that he has been known to be a bit of a ‘job jumper’ as his first job was at his alma-mater, Butler, where he spent only 1 season before moving on to Xavier for 3 seasons, and then to Ohio State for where he has been the past 5 seasons.

One thing that worries me with Matta is whether he is a great coach and great recruiter?  Or is he just a great recruiter and an ‘ok’ coach?  I tend to lean towards the second answer myself, but his last 2 seasons he has had very young teams in Columbus, so maybe it’s just the growing pains of starting freshmen & sophomores.

Either way, given the talent that UK ‘should’ be able to get on a yearly basis if he were to be coach, he would be a good fit.  The question is does he want to leave a place where football is king for a place where basketball rules the landscape?  On to #4 on the list…

4. Mike Anderson (Missouri Head Coach, Tulsa ’82)

Anderson is a bit of a wild card name getting toseed around thanks to the run he is experiencing with Mizzou in his third season on the job.  The team is on to the Elite 8 and will face UConn in a chance to take Mizzou to their first Final 4.  A lot of UK fans will remember Mike from his time at UAB where he took down #1 overall seed Kentucky in the second round of the NCAAs in 2004.

Anderson was a long time assistant to Nolan Richardson at Arkansas and I believe would love to get back to the SEC if he could seeing as how he grew up in SEC Country (Birmingham, AL).  His style of play is very similar to Pitino ball with what many has dubbed “Controlled Chaos” where they press for 40 minutes and try to lure you into a track meet.

The question with Anderson is really a matter of if he can recruit well enough for UK?  At Missouri and UAB, he’s never landed any ‘major’ recruits and he reminds me an awful lot of Tubby Smith.  I’m not so sure Barnhart is going to want to hire a guy similar to that which many people wanted out when he left for Minnesota.

This leads me to #5 on my list and the man I ultimately believe will end up with the job…

5. Travis Ford (Oklahoma Sate Head Coach, Kentucky ’94)

He’s young (39), he’s entergetic, he understands Kentucky basketball probably better than anyone else Kentucky is looking at for the job seeing as how he played under Pitino in the early 90s, and this is his dream job.  I am not so sure that any of the above names on my list can say that Kentucky is truly their ‘dream job’.  I believe Travis can say that.

He brings a style of play that is very similar to Pitino’s and would be welcomed by the UK fan base, not to mention that he is very charismatic and would certainly represent the university well.

The downside is that he doesn’t have much NCAA Tournament experience as he’s only been to the tournament twice (once with Eastern Kentucky, and then again this season with Oklahoma State), and he’s certainly not Kentucky’s #1 choice.

Then again, when UK hired Pitino after the whole ordeal with Eddie Sutton, I don’t think he was the #1 choice either, so maybe this would work.

Regardless of the fact that he’s not been a head coach at a major program but for just one season at Oklahoma State, he did a helluva job with the situation he was put in and almost led them to the Sweet 16 without a real legitimate post player.

I believe that if he was offered this job, he would jump at the opporunity without hesitation.

Other Names Who Missed The Cut But You May Hear About:

Sean Miller (Xavier)
Bruce Pearl (Tennessee)
Bob Knight (Ex-Texas Tech & Indiana Coach)
Avery Johnson (Ex-Dallas Mavericks Coach)

Please keep in mind that this is just my personal opinion of who I feel UK should take a look at and in no way do I have any inside sources that are telling me these are the guys who will be looked at.

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions you have in regards to the list, or heck, send us your own list.  Would love to hear others thoughts on the situation at hand for the Wildcats.

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Basketball | 4 Comments »

2008 NBA Draft… Derrick Rose Or Michael Beasley?

Posted by Condo on June 24, 2008

The on-going debate for the Chicago Bulls, the team holding the #1 pick in Thursday’s 2008 NBA Draft is, “Do we take Derrick Rose or do we take Michael Beasley?”

Multiple sources — from what I have read — have said that while the Bulls state they are still “deciding” on who to take, they believe Derrick Rose will be the #1 pick in the draft. After this, apparently the Miami Heat, who hold the #2 pick in the draft, are attempting to trade out of the pick (thus assuming Rose is not on the board) with either Seattle or Memphis.

According to various articles and sources I have found on the internet, Seattle is proposing a swap of their #4 pick plus power forward Chris Wilcox for power forward Mark Blount and the #2 pick. The reason for this deal being intriguing to Miami would be the fact that Blount still has 2 years and 16 million dollars on his contract whereas Wilcox is, what they call in the NBA, an ‘expiring contract’. Simply meaning, his contract runs out after this year is up.

Another rumor involves the Memphis Grizzlies offering point guard Kyle Lowery, shooting guard Mike Miller and their #5 pick for the #2 pick. Miami, however, wants Memphis to sweeten the deal by having Memphis give up last year’s top pick, point guard Mike Conley, instead of Lowery while the Heat would then add in shooting guard Daequan Cook.

Either way, it appears that the Heat have zero interest in Michael Beasley on their team. My question is: WHY???

Beasley is, in fact, the same kid who took a Kansas State team who really wasn’t very good, put them on his back, and led them to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament, which is no worse than what Kevin Durant did at Texas last year with DJ Augustin, among others, on his team.

Beasley is the same kid who averaged over 26 points a game, led the Nation in rebounding with over 12 per game, was Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Big 12 Player of the Year, a concensus First Team All-American, and probably would’ve been the National Player of the Year if people were not in love with Tyler Hansbrough. If you compare Beasley’s stats to that of last year’s freshman phenom, Kevin Durant, they are actually better.

So someone explain to me why Beasley is most likely going to be passed over by the Bulls for Derrick Rose and why the Heat are trying to trade the pick away?!? Don’t get me wrong, Derrick Rose is a fantastic point guard, but he is not on the same talent level of Michael Beasley. Rose can’t score the way Beasley can, he can’t play in the post, command double teams, rebound, and well, you get the idea.

And please don’t give me the “oh, well Rose has no character issues and Beasley does.” Sure, Beasley seemed to have character issues in high school that probably came from moving from school to school and having a lack of maturity. But, Amare Stoudemire did the same thing, moving from school to school and while he wasn’t a #1 pick because of it, based on his production, you think teams in that draft would LOVE to have a do-over? I think so. Not to mention, you saw zero issues from Beasley of ‘immaturity’ in college, and from what I can tell, all 19-20 year old kids like to have fun and joke around, so it is not just limited to Beasley.

Simply put, while Derrick Rose is a very good player, I just don’t understand why there is even a comparision between he and Michael Beasley. Especially with the Bulls need for an offensive presence in the post. But apparently, actually having ‘fun’ is going to hurt Mr. Beasley in the end if the Bulls do indeed draft Rose.

For Bulls fans sake, if they do infact draft Derrick Rose, they better hope this ‘Mike’ doesn’t turn out to be like the last ‘Mike’ we saw in Chicago, or the team will never live it down.

Link: ESPN.com

Posted in NCAA Basketball | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Who Will Go #1 In The NFL Draft?

Posted by Condo on February 25, 2008

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With the number one overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select…

Glenn Dorsey

New Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano runs a 3-4 defense — thanks to the tutelage of Bill Parcells — and although I’m sure Glenn Dorsey would be effective in a 3-4 system, he’s not really the type of player who is a typical ‘nose tackle’ in a 3-4 system. Dorsey is also not a real great fit in either DE spot in the 3-4 defense, as well. Due to this, Dorsey most likely will not be Miami’s top choice.

Chris Long

Chris Long would be a great fit as he played in the 3-4 system at the University of Virginia under Al Groh — another coach who learned under Parcells — and was extremely effective as a DE and NT in that system. Long is the player that makes the most sense for the Dolphins at this point given the holes they have on defense.

Matt Ryan

They could go the obvious route of QB and take Matt Ryan with the #1 overall selection which I know they are rumored to be discussing. The issue I have with Ryan at #1 is that they passed over Brady Quinn last year in the First Round because they seemed to be ‘so sure’ of John Beck from Brigham Young University, whom they took in the Second Round.

Condo’s Take

Granted, Parcells and Sparano were not around when these decisions were made thus Beck may not be a player they particularly care for and therefore end up drafting Ryan. But I personally believe it would make more sense for them to draft a player that I think you can be sure will be of immediate help to you in Long, based on the system you are going to run, and give Beck a chance.

I would do this over taking Matt Ryan #1 overall and completely scrapping what you have at QB, especially when the QB you have in Beck is only in his second season.

The other route I could see the Dolphins going is trading the pick in an attempt to accumulate more picks since they have several holes they need to address. The question being would they get enough value out of trading the #1 pick, and my personal opinion is no.

Condo’s #1 Draft Pick

Chris Long – DE – The University of Virginia

Posted in NFL | Tagged: | Comments Off on Who Will Go #1 In The NFL Draft?

Johan Santana Traded To The Mets

Posted by Condo on January 29, 2008

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In case you have not visted ESPN.com in the last little bit… pending a physical and a contract extension for Santana, the Mets are the winner’s of the Johan Santana sweepstakes. The package includes Mets prospects Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey. The top prospect of this group is Carlos Gomez, who is a CF that fills a void the Twins have after losing Torri Hunter to Free Agency with the Angels. There will be a 48-72 hour contract extension window for the Mets to work something out with Santana and his agent.

Personally, if this gets done, the Mets will have gotten a steal in my opinion as really none of the prospects the Twins receive are ‘can’t miss’ prospects. I believe the Twins were best suited hanging on to Santana and making a run at the division with a 1-2 punch of Santana & a healthy Liriano leading the way. I understand why the Twins made this move, I just don’t personally agree with it. What do you think? Leave your comments below and tell us what you think of this trade.

Posted in MLB | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Condo’s Power 16

Posted by Condo on January 29, 2008

I’ve been away for a while after being lost in “Historic Gallagher-Iba Arena” looking for the Sutton’s secret stash of booze. After being unsuccessful in my adventure, I came back to realize that we are midway into conference play in college basketball and felt that a “Power 16” list was in order. The idea is to list the Top 16 teams in the land based on performances to this point in the season. I will try to update this list weekly until Selection Sunday, at which point I will then list my Final 4 picks and ‘sleepers’ for those of you who may need help filling out your brackets.

But, without further ado, here is “Condo’s Power 16”

1. Memphis (19-0)
Last Week:
Won @ Tulsa 56-41 (1/23), Won vs Gonzaga 81-73 (1/26)
This Week: @ Houston (1/30), vs UTEP (2/2)
You could make a case for Kansas in the #1 spot as well, but I have to commend Coach Calipari for his scheduling of the non-conference this season. Knowing that the selection committee would need to see some tough games on the schedule considering the C-USA is anything BUT strong, he went out and put Arizona, USC, Gonzaga, UConn on the non-conference schedule and so far it has paid dividends. Hopefully this will help lead Memphis to a #1 seed this season and it has put Memphis in the #1 spot in my power 16 for the mean time.

2. Kansas (20-0)
Last Week:
Won vs Iowa State 83-59 (1/23), Won vs Nebraska 84-49 (1/26)
This Week: @ Kansas State (1/30), @ Colorado (2/2)
As I previously said, you could make a case for Kansas at #1, especially the way the team is destroying their opponents. Coach Self has this team on a “National Title or bust” campaign it seems after last season and they are responding. Big game Wednesday vs freshman phenom Michael Beasley and the K-State Wildcats.

3. Duke (17-1)
Last Week:
Won @ Virginia Tech 81-64 (1/24)
This Week: Won @ Maryland 93-84 (1/27), vs NC State (1/31), vs Miami (FL) (2/2)
Duke is only one crazy night at the MSG (Thanks Isaiah) from being unbeaten, falling at the hands of ‘pre-injury’ Pittsburgh in OT. This team lacks an inside presence and has to rely on slashing and shooting to win, but so far, they’ve been up to the task. Leading the ACC at any point in a season is always tough, and Duke looks to stay atop until a big match-up vs UNC in Chapel Hill on Feb. 6.

4. North Carolina (19-1)
Last Week:
Won @ Miami (FL) 98-82 (1/23)
This Week: vs Boston College (1/31)
North Carolina got back to their old-selves by putting up 98 at Miami last Wednesday. The Heels look like the college version of the Phoenix Suns with their run-and-gun style. That may be fun to watch, but it can also get you in trouble if shots don’t fall and your defense is lacking (see Maryland). They may be the most talented team in the country, though.

5. UCLA (18-2)
Last Week:
Won @ Oregon 80-75 (1/24), Won @ Oregon State 85-62 (1/26)
This Week: vs Arizona State (1/31), vs Arizona (2/2)
Kevin Love and the Bruins are another team that have had a couple of close calls this season that they came up on the wrong end of. But this is a very talented team that is the class of the Pac-10 it appears and should keep playing that way. Freshman Forward/Center Kevin Love has been the star of the team, but point guard Darren Collison is the engine that really makes this UCLA team go.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in NCAA Basketball | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Who Wants To Win The Heisman?

Posted by Condo on November 7, 2007

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This year’s Heisman Trophy race is more like a game of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” with nobody stepping up to the plate to win the $1,000,000 prize.  There have been many contestants who as soon as they get out in the spotlight as the favorite, fall out of the race. (See: Andre Woodson of Kentucky, Darren McFadden of Arkansas, and Matt Ryan of Boston College)

The Heisman Trophy is an award that has become an award that goes to the best player on the best team rather than the best player in college football.  Typically, there is one or two players who tend to seperate themselves from the pack and their respective team is almost always unbeaten and at the top of the polls.  Last year it was Troy Smith, the year prior it was Vince Young and Reggie Bush, and before that Matt Leinart. 

However, the way this season has played out with the polls being turned upside down and no clear cut top player on a clear cut top team, it’s made the race one of the most debated in recent memory.  Guys like Dennis Dixon at Oregon and Matt Ryan at Boston College who were not even consideration for the Heisman when the season started have been at the top of the list in recent weeks with Dixon having the upperhand at this point because his team didn’t lose last week.

Could this be the first season that the Heisman may go to the best overall player instead of the best player on the best team (in the polls that is)?  If I had to make the call on the top 5 players on my Heisman ballot, it would like this:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA Football | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

2007 World Series Breakdown

Posted by Condo on October 23, 2007

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Well, after Boston completed yet another comeback in the ALCS, we finally have our World Series match-up between two teams that couldn’t have been any further away from each other before the season started. I remember back at the beginning of 2007 when current Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton was pondering waiving his no trade clause to be traded to the team he will now be facing tomorrow in Game 1 of the World Series.

If anyone predicted that it would be Boston and Colorado fighting for the world title before the season started, then by God, you must either not know anything about baseball, or you’re from the Denver area.

Let’s breakdown some key factors in this series:

Pitching Staff:
The Boston Red Sox have two of the best big game post season pitchers in recent memory with Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett. They also have one of the best closers in the game in Jonathan Papelbon whereas the Rockies have… well, they don’t have any names they come close to the level of what Boston has, but they’ve been exceptional this post season. I think Boston has the edge in the rotation but outside of “Paps” the Red Sox bullpen to me does not seem as solid all the way around as the Rockies pen, at least in this post season.
Overall Edge though goes the Red Sox

Hitting:
The Boston lineup features big time sluggers such as Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz coupled with other capable bats like Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedoria, and Kevin Youkilis. The Rockies lineup has only one big time slugger that people have heard of in the name of Matt Holliday, but the rest of the lineup is good too and features players such as Todd Helton, Garrett Atkins, and Brad Hawpe.
I think that in when the games are at Fenway, Boston has a serious edge because of the DH, but when it moves to Coors Field, the edge swings to the Rockies because of Boston having to take out either Youkilis or Ortiz.
So I believe the overall edge is a push

Defense and Execution:
I believe the defensive edge goes to the Red Sox with a gold glover in Mike Lowell over at the hot corner and solid defense everywhere else throughout the field. Execution I believe is a push, seeing as how the Red Sox are not asked to execute many bunts, sacrifices etc.. throughout the season being in the American League as the Rockies are asked to do in the National League.
Overall Edge again goes to the Red Sox.

Manager:
Terry Francona and the Bo Sox hold the edge yet again because he’s been here before. I’m sure nobody has forgotten what he did in 2004 leading the Red Sox to the first world series in 86 years and the fact he has experience as a former manager in the National League with the Philadelphia Phillies. Clint Hurdle is a relative unknown outside of the baseball guru’s and although he is the main candidate to win manager of the year, he is not on the same level as Francona, at least experience wise in these pressure situations.
Overall Edge again goes the Red Sox.

So what does all this mean you ask? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Everything to this point has shown that Colorado has no business being in this World Series in the first place and what they are doing here nobody seems to know or care. I think this is just like the 2003 Florida Marlins team that has ZERO clue what is going on and they are just playing the game the way it was meant to be played, hard and fun! Do I think the Rockies will keep this crazy win streak up? No, most likely not, but I do believe that in the end, the Rockies will be flying up a World Series banner at the beginning of next season.

Condo’s Prediction: Rockies in 5 closing it out in Coors Field.
World Series MVP: Troy Tulowitzki — Colorado Rockies SS

Posted in MLB | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Mike Gundy: The Kind Of Coach I Would Want To Play For

Posted by Condo on September 24, 2007

By now, many of you sports fans have either seen, or heard about this ‘tirade’ that Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy went on. The author of the article he is referring to, Jenni Carlson, is a sports columnist for The Oklahoman newspaper based out of Oklahoma City. In her article, here, she tells a story of how former starting quarterback Bobby Reid lost his starting role. A lot of this article appears to be attacks at Reid’s character and attitude rather than at his performance on the field.

A player on the Oklahoma State football team’s mother brought this article to Gundy’s attention right before he was to go to the press conference after the team’s 49-45 victory over Texas Tech. And rather than talk about the game, Gundy was infuriated, as you can tell in the press conference, and went off about the article and stood up for his former quarterback who had done absolutely nothing wrong.

All I can say to this press conference tirade is THANK YOU MIKE GUNDY! You ABSOLUTELY did the right thing by calling out this reporter for this piece of junk writing that she put out there. After their shootout win against Texas Tech, it does suck for the players that this is all the media is covering and not the great game they had just finished playing. But I’d like to see a former athlete, whether it was in Pee Wee up to the pros, who wouldn’t want a coach like this to be their coach. Any coach who sticks up for his players like this when they are being kicked around is the kind of coach that I certainly would want to play for. Even if he may not be the best X’s and O’s coach, Gundy just earned A GREAT DEAL OF RESPECT all around the nation from fans, players, and coaches alike. And I for one would like to say…

THANK YOU MIKE GUNDY!

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Patriots, Belichick Penalty Harsh Enough?

Posted by Condo on September 14, 2007

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By now, you’ve already heard the news about the New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick having someone on the sidelines using a video camera this past Sunday versus the Jets to steal their signals from the sidelines.  And the punishment from Roger Goddell is in: $500,000 fine for Head Coach Bill Belichick (the NFL max. for a fine), a $250,000 fine for the New England Patriots, and the loss of a 1st round pick if the Pats make the playoffs or a 2nd and 3rd rd. pick lost if they don’t make the playoffs.

Now the question at hand is this, ‘Was this fine harsh enough?’  And my personal belief is, no, it was not.  The loss of money hurts, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t hurt the Patriots at all when it comes to this season and previous seasons (if the spying was being done in the past which rumor is it was) and doesn’t really affect the overall team as a whole here.  The loss of a 1st round draft pick if they make the playoffs, which obvious consenus is they will, hurts as well for following seasons, but if they finish with a league’s best record and a Super Bowl victory that they are expecting in New England, losing the 32nd pick in next year’s draft isn’t really a ‘big’ loss considering they own the rights to San Francisco’s 1st round pick which will be better than their own next season anyways.

Let’s face it, it was a heavy penalty, but it does not ‘hurt’ the Pats the way it should for basically cheating to gain an advantage to win football games.  Look, if a player gets a 4 game suspension for using a banned substance because he is trying to ‘gain an advantage’  shouldn’t a coach get the same suspension if he is caught doing something that is considered ‘cheating’? 

Belichick should’ve been suspended without pay for 4 games rather than getting a $500,000 fine.  This way, not only does he lose money, but he loses the ability to coach the team in practices and in games, and in effect, it could quite possibly have an effect on the Patriots for this season which is what needs to be done.  The other penalties do nothing for what he was caught doing this season.  And don’t really even hurt the team for ensuing seasons.

If the commissioner didn’t want to do that, then he should’ve just forced the Patriots to forefit the game versus the Jets and be 0-1 instead of 1-0.   He needs to send a message to everyone in the league that cheating will not be tolerated.  And while this penalty will cause teams to shy away from even considering doing what Belchick and his staff has done, it also shows that if you have a deep enough pocketbook and enough quality draft picks for the upcoming draft, you can maybe get away with it, too.

 

Posted in NFL | Tagged: | 14 Comments »

Condo’s Super Bowl Predicitions After Week 1

Posted by Condo on September 11, 2007

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Usually, when you look up NFL Playoff and Super Bowl predictions, it’s before the season actually starts. But I figured, “hey, why not wait ’til Week 1 so I can at least get a little bit better glimpse of a teams’ offense and defense for an entire game, rather than one quarter like you see in preseason.”

So, without further ado, here are my predictions for the NFL Division Winners, Playoffs and the Super Bowl:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in NFL | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Weeknight College Football, Good For The Sport?

Posted by Condo on September 6, 2007

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As I sit here this evening typing this article, I am flipping between a couple of college football games between Louisville/Middle Tennessee State and Cincinnati/Oregon State. And then, of course, I’m watching the NFL opener between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints.

Most people think that football is meant for the weekend. Saturday is college football day, and Sunday is pro football day. Thanks to the power of television networks, however, you can catch a football game almost any night. If you are a football junkie like myself, especially college football, this is a great thing. However, some people seem to think it ruins the whole ‘mystique’ of football.

Personally, I think they are crazy because, before a few years ago, you could have never seen a team like Louisville, Cincinnati, or Oregon State on TV. And thanks to television, it’s not only allowing football junkies like myself a chance to see these teams in action, but recruits that those schools are targeting as well. It brings the programs national exposure and helps bring more “parity” to college football.

Think about it, thanks to television during the weeknights late in the season, recruits are getting a chance to see D-1AA teams (Football Championship Series) in the playoffs. This is helping those schools possibly get recruits who are of D-1A (Football Bowl Series) caliber but are more interested in playing for championships instead of being pasted by the USC’s and Florida’s of the world year in and year out. And thanks to this, it’s giving these schools enough overall talent to compete with the big boys. See: Appalachian State/Michigan this past Saturday.

Look at schools like Louisville, West Viriginia, and Cincinnati, for example. A few years ago, they were only on TV if they were getting ready to be pasted by Miami (FL) or Virginia Tech, for example. Now, they are on almost every Thursday night and recruits are getting better looks at these schools and because of this, these schools are getting more talented players.

The Big East went from being left for dead as a conference to now having four legitimate Heisman Contenders, two of which are on the same team.

The atmosphere on a Thursday night may not be nearly the same as it is on a Saturday afternoon. You miss some of the tailgating, the mingling among fans while drinking countless beers and yelling obscenities at the other team’s fans.

That obviously isn’t going to happen as much on a Wednesday or Thursday night, but I tell you what, if it means bringing this much parity and this much more excitement into college football, then I say bring on more weeknight games. 

If this past Saturday was any indication of where college football is heading, I am DEFINITELY ON BOARD.

Discuss this post and others in the “Sports Bar!” 

Link: “T.N.B. Sports Bar

Posted in NCAA Football, NFL | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

KG Trade Rumors Finally Over, Garnett now a Celtic

Posted by Condo on July 31, 2007

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After weeks and months of speculation on where the 6’11” All-Star forward would end up, ESPN is reporting that Kevin Garnett is now a member of the Boston Celtics.  In an unprecedented 7 for 1 trade (when you include the draft picks as players), the Celtics gave up forward Al Jefferson, forward Ryan Gomes, guard Gerald Green, guard Sebastian Telfair, center Theo Ratliff, two first-round draft picks, and cash considerations to get their man in Kevin Garnett.

This gives Boston 3 all-stars in Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, and puts the Celtics in ‘win now’ mode that can only be attempted (with success) in the Eastern Conference.

Although the Wolves gave up their prized player in Garnet, they did acquire quite a bit for him and should be pleased with the deal in an effort to help them get better in the future.  The Wolves got Al Jefferson, is a 22 year old up and coming star who plays the same position that Garnett played (power forward), they acquire an expiring contract in Theo Ratliff, 3 young players in Gomes, Green and Telfair who are 24, 21, and 22 years old respectively.  PLUS the Wolves get two first-round draft picks and cash in the deal as well.

The fact is, the Wolves had no choice but to trade Garnett after shopping him feverishly around the time of the draft, and had a deal in place with Boston earlier, before Garnett basically said he had no interest in playing in Boston.  That of course was before the Celtics went out and acquired Ray Allen from Seattle and KG realized that with Allen, Pierce, and himself,  the trio could legitimately make a run at winning the Eastern Conference even if the rest of their supporting cast was 9  people that they brought in from the Dunkin Donuts next to the arena.

Overall, I think both teams did what they felt they had to do, Ainge and the Celtics went out and acquired Garnett to take advantage of a shot to win an Eastern Conference title right now, and the McHale and the Wolves took advantage of the fact that the Celtics wanted Garnett and would basically give up the whole team to get him.

Short term, I think Boston gets the better of this trade, but in 3 to 5 years, this could be looked at as the trade that made the Timberwolves organization a strong organization for many years to come.

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MLB Trade Deadline Rumors

Posted by Condo on July 30, 2007

Well, it’s that time of year.  Tomorrow will be the final day that teams can make trades without having to pass players through waivers first.  It sounds as though it will be an uneventful day as far as ‘star players’ are concerned.  But let’s break down some of the trades that are either close to being finished pending physicals or already been completed.

First, for the Reds fans out there:

Reds Trade Starting pitcher Kyle Loshe to the Phillies for 23-year-old lefty starter Matt Maloney.
On the surface, it seems as though the Reds didn’t receive much, but seeing as how Loshe was going to be a free agent after the year was up and his agent is Scott Boras, the Reds probably weren’t going to retain him anyways.  If Maloney has any promise what so ever, this isn’t a bad deal for the Reds.

Next, another small deal, this one for the Mets:

Mets receive 2nd baseman Luis Castillo from the Twins for Minor League catcher Drew Butera and Minor League outfielder Dustin Martin to Minnesota.
Luis Castillo is a good pickup for the Mets considering Jose Valentin went down with an injury yet again.  Castillo can provide a stolen base threat and decent contact bat at the back of their lineup and they didn’t give up highly touted prospects to get him, I’d say this one is definitely in favor or New York.

And of course, pending physicals, the blockbuster deal of the deadline:

Braves receive 1st baseman Mark Teixeira and left handed middle reliever Ron Mahay from the Rangers for Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, infield prospect Elvis Andrus, and two minor league pitching prospects who have yet to be named.
This of course is the big one, this gives Atlanta the middle of the order bat to fill a position they’ve been looking to fill for a while.  The key is whether the Braves can keep Teixeira in Atlanta for a while.  If they can, I think this is a good deal for the Braves.  If not, Texas gets one helluva a deal considering Andrus & Salty are Atlanta’s top 2 prospects.

Hold tight, and see what happens throughout the rest of the deadline, as rumors are circulating about many players including former World Series MVP Jermaine Dye, Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, Eric Gagne, as well as a slew of others.  Who knows who your favorite team’s roster will look like after July 31!

Posted in Cincinnati Reds, MLB | Tagged: | Comments Off on MLB Trade Deadline Rumors

Wake Forest Basketball Coach Skip Prosser Dead at 56

Posted by Condo on July 26, 2007

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As being reported on ESPN.com, multiple sources have said Skip Prosser was pronounced dead at about 2:30 this afternoon. He was 56 years old.

Prosser had left Orlando, where the AAU national tournament is being held, this morning at 6 a.m. to return to Wake Forest for a basketball camp. While jogging, Prosser collapsed according to the Winston-Salem Journal and was taken to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.

Some may remember Prosser from his days as a coach at Xavier University where he was head coach for 7 seasons putting Xavier basketball on the map. Others may remember him more recently for his work at Wake Forest, where he had spent the past 6 seasons coaching great players such as Chris Paul and leading the Deacons to multiple NCAA tournament births including a #2 seed in the 2005 NCAA Tournament.

Prosser is survived by his wife Nancy, and two sons: Scott and Mark, who are both in their 20s.

Condolences go out to the Prosser family, as well as the Wake Forest basketball family.

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‘The Nasty Boys’ College Football Preseason Top 25

Posted by Condo on July 20, 2007

With college football season just around the corner and many different publications putting out their own preseason rankings, I thought it was time for ‘The Nasty Boys’ to put out their own preseason Top 25 rankings along with the teams I think will be heading to New Orleans in January to play for the national championship. So, without further adu, I bring you ‘The Nasty Boys’ Preseason Top 25!

1. USC Trojans (Last Season: 11-2. AP Poll Finish: 4)
The Trojans return 10 starters on defense and 15 overall including quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate John David Booty. This team will have some tough road games at Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Cal, but don’t be surprised if they manage to run the table with the ungodly amount of talent they have.
Toughest Game: @ California (Nov. 10)
Upset Alert: @ Arizona State (Nov. 22)

2. LSU Tigers (Last Season: 11-2. AP Poll Finish: 3)
Even though the Tigers lost #1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell, does anyone remember QB Matt Flynn, Offensive MVP of the 2006 Peach Bowl? If you don’t, you soon will. The Tigers have a daunting schedule as always in the SEC, but at least they get the ‘big SEC games’ on home turf.
Toughest Game: Florida (Oct. 6)
Upset Alert: @ Kentucky (Oct. 13)

3. West Virginia Moutaineers (Last Season: 11-2. AP Poll Finish: 10)
The best dual threat QB in the nation, in Pat White, along with one of the best running backs in the nation, in Steve Slaton, give WVU the best rushing attack in the country. As long as the defense can be decent, this offense should have no problems scoring points.
Toughest Game: Louisville (Nov. 8)
Upset Alert: @ Cincinnati (Nov. 17)

4. Michigan Wolverines (Last Season: 11-2. AP Poll Finish: 8)
Returning one of the best senior quarterback/running back combo’s in Chad Henne and Mike Hart. Losing Lamar Woodley, Alan Branch, Prescott Burgess, David Harris, and Leon Hall will most certainly hurt the defense, but returning virtually the entire offense should provide enough pick-me-up for Michigan to have a strong season.
Toughest Game: Ohio State (Nov. 17)
Upset Alert: @ Illinois (Oct. 20)

5. Florida Gators (Last Season: 13-1. AP Poll Finish: 1)
If Tim Tebow can throw half as good as he can run with the football, Florida can possibly repeat as national champs. You know Urban Meyer is going have plenty of trick plays up his sleeve not to mention plenty of team speed. The schedule as always is daunting but if they can win @ LSU (Oct. 6) the rest of their tough games are at home and they could make a run.
Toughest Game: @ LSU (Oct. 6)
Upset Alert: @ South Carolina (Nov. 10)

6. Oklahoma Sooners (Last Season: 11-3. AP Poll Finish: 11)
The Sooners may have just recently been hit with violations, but that doesn’t stop them from making another annual run towards a national title. There is a question of who will take over at QB, but hey, they stuck a former wide-out there last year and won 11 games, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Allen Patrick gets to show he can carry the rock as well as Adrian Peterson for a full season.
Toughest Game: Texas (Oct. 6, in Dallas TX)
Upset Alert: Oklahoma State (Oct. 27)

7. Wisconsin Badgers (Last Season: 12-1. AP Poll Finish: 7)
Wisconsin had a surprisingly nice season under first year coach Bret Bilema winning 12 games, the most in school history. This season, the Badgers won’t be taken so lightly, and will have to face a much more difficult schedule without their heart and soul, QB John Stocco, who meant more to Wisconsin than people realize. Fortunately, whoever the new QB is, they will have the luxury of turning around and handing the ball to P.J. Hill.
Toughest Game: Michigan (Nov. 10)
Upset Alert: Indiana (Oct. 27)

8. Texas Longhorns (Last Season: 10-3. AP Poll Finish: 13)
Texas brings back a loaded offense, that includes sophomore QB Colt McCoy. The defense was not very strong last season, and the departure of defensive coordinator Gene Chizik to Iowa State will certainly hurt, but like WVU, if the defense plays just solid, the offense can carry them in many games.
Toughest Game: Oklahoma (Oct. 6, Dallas TX)
Upset Alert: @ Iowa State (Oct. 13)

9. Louisville Cardinals (Last Season: 12-1. AP Poll Finish: 6)
Louisville may have lost Bobby Petrino, but replacement Steve Kragthorpe is a more personable version of Petrino and brings in an offense just as dynamic as Petrino’s. Heisman Trophy candidate Brian Brohm leads these Cards on the charge along with receivers Harry Douglas and Mario Urrutia. The defense lost a lot, but this offense is capable of possibly carrying the Cardinals to a Big East Title and National Title shot.
Toughest Game: @ West Virginia (Nov. 8)
Upset Alert: @ NC State (Sept. 29)

10. Virginia Tech Hokies (Last Season: 10-3. AP Poll Finish: 19)
Bringing back 16 starters from a 10-3 team is usually nice, especially when it’s 8 on each side of the ball and you have Frank Beamer as your head coach. The tragedies at VA Tech this past April will cause these players to play with heavy hearts, and it starts tough traveling to LSU on September 8th. VA Tech may not win that game, but if they do, look out, this team could run the table and end up making a run for the national title.
Toughest Game: @ LSU (Sept. 8)
Upset Alert: @ Georgia Tech (Nov. 1)

(The rest of the field after the jump.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: | 15 Comments »

Buehrle Trade Rumors Over; Signs 4 Year Extension With Chi Sox

Posted by Condo on July 8, 2007

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All those trade rumors regarding Mark Buehrle can finally be put to rest. While watching the MLB Futures game on ESPN2, they interviewed Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams. Williams said during his interview that the White Sox left-handed starter had verbally agreed to a four year extension with the club worth $56 million. ESPN.com is reporting that Buehrle has a no-trade provision in the first season and if he is traded during a window in the 2nd or 3rd season, a fifth-year to the contract is added at $15 million.

The extension comes one day after Buehrle’s 8 inning, 6 hit, shutout performance against division rival Minnesota. This in my opinion is a complete rip-off for the White Sox, it’s obvious that Buehrle REALLY wanted to stay with the White Sox. Seeing as how he would have been a free agent at end of this season and could’ve garnered a considerable amount more than what he receives in this contract extension, the White Sox get the hometown discount. Buehrle for his career is 103-70, with a 3.77 ERA. And not only do the White Sox get a great pitcher, but they get a great guy who really has loyalty towards the team who drafted him in the 38th round in 1998.

In other baseball related news relevant to some of our writers and readers here at ‘The Nasty Boys,’ Homer Bailey was optioned to AAA Louisville today so that ‘he could stay on a consistent pitching schedule’ according to General Manager Wayne Krivisky.  This comes one day after a solid outing of 1 earned run and 2 hits in 5 innings pitched.  Krivisky referred to Bailey’s spot in the roster as ‘wasted’ since he wouldn’t be pitching again in another 9 days if he stayed up due to the All-Star game this Tuesday.  Krivsky also said the length of Bailey’s stay with Louisville was yet to be determined. Unless another Red is placed on the disabled list, Bailey must stay with Louisville for at least 10 days.  Should be interesting to see how this all pans out as Reds fans are growing impatient despite a recent sweep of the Diamondbacks and 6 of 9 wins on the latest home stand heading into the break.  Stay tuned for further developments on the enigma that is, ‘The Deads’.

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Latest KG Trade Rumors

Posted by Condo on June 26, 2007

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ESPN.com is now reporting that talks of a 4-way trade that would have sent Kevin Garnett to the Lakers have fallen apart, but a new proposal has popped up. The new proposal is a three team trade between the Celtics, Timberwolves, and Suns.

The trade would look like this: Phoenix gets Kevin Garnett, Boston gets Shawn Marion, Minnesota gets the #5 pick in the draft and ‘players from Boston’.

I am assuming the players that Boston included would be the same players that Chad Ford mentions in an earlier article involving the 4-way trade with the Lakers. Those players would be Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, and Sebastian Telfair. Now whether or not Boston will part with all three of them remains to be seen, but that’s the latest rumor floating around and it appears to make sense for all parties involved.  The sticking point on this trade will be if Boston can get Marion to sign to an extension, as he’s eligible to opt out of his contract after next season and had said last week he did not want to play in Boston or Minnesota.

Garnett and Nash have become good buddies over the years from playing with each other in All-Star games and over the summer, and those two paired with Amare Stoudamire, Leandro Barbosa, and the rest of that Suns cast, could spell torture for everyone else in the Western Conference.

I think if Phoenix can pull off this trade without giving Stoudamire and other pieces, it’s a fantastic trade for them as they were already going to be moving Marion anyways.  For Boston, they get the impact player to put alongside Paul Pierce that they’ve been looking for and could now make a push for the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference.  As for Minnesota, they pick up the #5 pick, to go along with pick #7, an expiring contract in Theo Ratliff and two young players in Gerald Green and Sebastian Telfair who could maybe help out and fit in with the young nucleus Minnesota is starting to put together.   This all but guarantees no playoffs in 2007-2008 and another lottery pick, but it also ensures them cap relief to make a push for a big name free agent in the 2008 class such as Gilbert Arenas for example.

If this deal goes through, I am sure Kobe will throw another tantrum about having another chance to acquire a star player to help the team out and Laker management not following through.  And then he’ll AGAIN ask for a trade and be at the spotlight of trade talk, just as he wants.

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Lakers Reportedly In Trade Talks Involving Kevin Garnett

Posted by Condo on June 26, 2007

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As I am sure most everyone has read on ESPN.com by now there has been reported trade talks amongst the Lakers, T’Wolves, and Pacers regarding a trade involving Kevin Garnett leaving Minnesota for L.A. There is mention of a fourth team being involved in the deal as well and that team appears to be the Boston Celtics.

The trade would work something like this:
The Lakers would get Garnett from Minnesota, the Pacers would get Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum from the Lakers, the Celtics would get Jermaine O’Neal from the Pacers, and the Wolves would get Al Jefferson and the #5 pick in this year’s NBA Draft from the Celtics.

This seems like it would be a good deal for everyone, except the Boston Celtics, who were exploring a trade involving trading the #5 pick, Jefferson, and others that don’t even need to be mentioned for Garnett, until Garnett said he did not want to play for Boston and would opt out of his contract next season if traded there. This of course caused Boston to back down from their offer.

ESPN Insider Chad Ford is reporting now that the Celtics, rather than sending the #5 pick and Jefferson to the Wolves, would send the #5 pick, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, and Gerald Green to the Wolves instead. At first glance, you would think the Wolves are getting the very short end of the deal by giving up Garnett and getting really only the #5 pick to show for it. But if they can convince L.A. that the only way KG is going to leave is if they also send them their 1st round pick at #19, that could be a great deal considering it would give them 3 first round picks in a deep draft; not to mention ridding themselves of Garnett’s contract and Theo’s expiring contract at the end of this upcoming season, giving them room to pursue a big name free agent in next year’s free agency. Even if they can’t get the Lakers #19 pick, it’s still not as bad of a deal as one may seem.

In the same article on ESPN’s TrueHoop, they mention that the Suns, who don’t pick until #24, are reportedly working out top lottery pick talents Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, and Jeff Green today. If this is the case, their agents must feel that Phoenix is really going to move up in the draft. Draft Express is reporting that by bringing in Noah, Brewer, and Green would be a sure-fire sign that Phoenix is going to be trading for the #5 or #7 pick, which Boston and Minnesota have respectively. If that’s the case, it looks like the Suns have chosen Amare Stoudamire over Shawn Marion as their egos began clashing this season and one of them was going to have to go at some point.

My guess is that if the first deal involving Garnett is true, then Marion’s heading to Minnesota in a separate deal on draft day for the #7 pick. It makes even more sense for Minnesota to trade Garnett for the #5 pick and hold their ground to make L.A. give up the #19 pick as well.

But the biggest part of all of this… will trading for ‘The Big Ticket’ be enough to keep Kobe from still wanting out of L.A? Stay tuned…

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 37 Comments »

The NBA Conspiracy Theory

Posted by Condo on June 13, 2007

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These 2007 NBA Playoffs have been filled with many ‘unique’ twists and turns. First, there was the complete collapse by the Dallas Mavericks. The NBA’s best team in the regular season with 67 wins, falling in the first round to Golden State who had to win on the final day of the regular season just to get to 2 games over .500 and receive the #8 seed in the NBA playoffs. That marked only the 2nd time in the history of the NBA that a #1 seed had lost to a #8 seed, the first being in 1994 when the 63 win Seattle SuperSonics lost to the #8 seed Denver Nuggets in 5 games of a 5 game series.

Next, there was the defending champion Miami Heat, who not only lost in the first round of the playoffs, but were swept by the #5 seed Chicago Bulls in 4 games. Miami became the first defending champion in NBA history to be swept in the first round the following season.

Then there was LeBron James. After hearing all the criticism in the first two games of the Eastern Confrence Finals about how he needed to “step up his game” and lead his team if they wanted to beat the Pistons, he brought it. Especially in his historic Game 5 in Detroit where he scored the team’s final 25 points, and 29 of the final 30, to lead the Cavs to victory in Game 5, eventually closing the Pistons out in 6 games to lead the Cavaliers to their first ever NBA Finals.

And finally, there were the San Antonio Spurs. This leads into the NBA conspiracy theory in which I believe that the NBA is doing everything in their power to ensure that the San Antonio Spurs win the NBA championship. Ever since this incident (shown below), San Antonio has gotten every single break that they could possibly receive in these NBA playoffs.

That incident you see is Joey Crawford ejecting Tim Duncan from a late season game versus the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks eventually won the game and it killed San Antonio’s shot at stealing the #2 seed away from Phoenix and gaining homecourt advantage in the first 2 rounds of the playoffs. After the incident, Crawford was suspended from his duties as referee for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs, and may never return as an NBA referee. As for the Spurs, it’s my belief that David Stern and the NBA has decided since they felt the Spurs were “wronged” by the NBA and they are trying to make it “right” by doing everything possible to give them the NBA title.

Point number one. Game 1, Western Conference Semifinals in Phoenix. With the Suns down by a few points late in the game, Steve Nash and Tony Parker collide into each other giving Nash a bloody nose. Nash of course, by NBA rules, was not allowed to re-enter the game until the bleeding had stopped and had no blood on him. Somehow, miraculously the Suns medical staff was “unable” to stop the bleeding, keeping Nash from coming back into the game until it was too late, and the Spurs were able to steal game one in San Antonio. Maybe it’s me, but you’d think the medical staff would be able to stop the bleeding on a bloody nose a lot easier than they were able to that day for Nash. This might be a stretch, but somehow, I think the Stern wanted to make sure Nash couldn’t be in the game and the Spurs could win Game 1.

Point number two. Game 4, Western Conference Semifinals in San Antonio. Late in the 4th quarter with the game already in hand for Phoenix, Nash caught an inbounds pass and started pushing up the floor to run the clock and avoid being fouled. “Cheap Shot” Robert Horry body checked Nash into the scorers table and then flailed his arm at Raja Bell. During that time, Suns players Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw went running over towards Nash and the “altercation.”  NBA rules, of course, state that if a player leaves the bench during an altercation, they are suspended for one game. It is however, a judgement call made by the commissioner’s office, and given the situation, they could have chosen to do the right thing and not suspend Stoudemire or Diaw.  But of course, they decided to suspend both for one game and only suspended Horry for 2 games.

This basically was the NBA’s way of saying, cheapshots are OK. The other thing I find ironic, is earlier in that game, there was an incident where Francisco Elson of the Spurs, after a dunk, came down on a Suns player and the Suns player appeared to be trying to start something with Elson. When that happened, Duncan got off the bench and stepped onto the floor, and Bowen, knowing the rule, got up and grabbed Duncan and brought him back to the bench. So if the commissioner was trying to stick to ‘the letter of the law’ he would have suspended Duncan and Bowen as well. Instead, they ruled that it was not an altercation therefore neither one did anything wrong. Give me a break, that’s just the conspiracy theory at its most obvious point. This of course led to the Suns losing Game 5 and eventually the series to the Spurs in 6 games.

And now point three. In these NBA Finals, LeBron has not gotten foul calls, which is typical of how the entire playoffs have been for him, but it has not kept him from attacking the hoop and doing his thing in the other three playoff series. But in these first three games versus the Spurs, LeBron has been EXTREMELY passive and not trying to go the hoop at all. Is it possible that David Stern let LeBron know that his time is not now and that the Spurs have to win this title, and promised him more titles in the future? I know that it’s a stretch, but I believe it’s a foregone conclusion that the Cavs will be back to the finals again with LeBron and I can’t remember a superstar of LeBron’s level taking so many awful shots and not attacking the hoop with the same abandon he had done in the rest of the playoffs along with his passive play. He doesn’t seem to have the same drive and desire in these NBA Finals that he had in the Eastern Conference Finals and sure, you could attribute it to lack of Finals experience or fatigue, but you didn’t see D-Wade display this type passiveness in his first NBA Finals, or Michael Jordan before him, and it just makes me wonder if David Stern doesn’t have something to do with it.

Let’s face it, the Spurs have gotten quite a few bounces in their favor, not to mention getting a majority of the calls on flops, no calls, travels, etcetera.  Manu ‘Flop’obili has been in rare form with the flopping in these playoffs looking like a World Cup soccer star, Tony Parker is taking 5 steps to the hoop on nearly every drive to the basket and not getting called for travelling, and Duncan has gotten away with his share of fouls and gotten his share of calls on the offensive end as well.

Some people say it’s just a fortunate occurance of events for the Spurs, but I believe it’s a David Stern NBA conspiracy theory. Just as I believe last years NBA Finals were a conspiracy as well with all of the foul calls that Wade got in the final 4 games of the series. Keep this up NBA and you will start drawing ratings of 0.1 for your NBA Finals games. Hope you are happy Mr. Stern.

Posted in General Sports | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

Asante ‘Unhappy’ with Pats; Won’t Play Until Week 10

Posted by Condo on June 5, 2007

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New England Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel says he doesn’t plan on showing up to mandatory minicamp Tuesday, or training camp this summer, or the first 10 games of the regular season according to ESPN.com. Samuel, who the Patriots ‘franchised’ this off-season is disgruntled with the Patriots organization.

Samuel told the Boston Globe that he is unhappy with the way contract talks have gone with the team and was quoted as saying “I’m not coming to camp. I’m not showing up til the 10th week. I feel unappreciated. The way they’re treating me is just wrong.”

I guess it is wrong to be franchise tagged which means you will receive at minimum the average of the top five salaries at the your position as of April 16, or 120 percent of your previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. In this case, Asante would take what the average of the top 5 cornerbacks which is $7.79 million for one season’s worth of football.

Asante has yet to sign the contract that he was tendered when the Patriots franchised him so he’s technically not under contract and therefore cannot be fined for missing minicamp. If Samuel shows up for week 10, he can receive a pro-rated portion of that $7.79 million contract, however if he sits out the entire season, he gets nothing AND the Patriots can be eligible to tag him again 2008.

Samuel is looking for a rich contract after a breakout 2006 season, in which he picked off 10 passes, recorded 65 tackles, and became an NFL elite cornerback. Not only that, but he also returned 3 INTs for touchdowns in the playoffs this season and at 26 years old, he is still young. He’s probably looking for a contract much like Nate Clements received which was an 8 year, $80 million deal with $22 million in guaranteed money which made him the highest paid defender in the NFL.

All I have to say is… THIS IS RIDICULOUS! A guy gets tendered a 1-year deal, for $7.79 million, which is not exactly ‘chump change’ and he is complaining about it? While I understand him trying to make as much money as he can, and wanting to make sure he gets ‘guaranteed’ money in signing bonuses in case of injury, it is still utterly ridiculous. The chances of injury are not very high, and if he is managing his money right, he should be set for life after making a paycheck that large for one season.

SUCK IT UP, play this season under the franchise tag, and guess what THEY CAN’T FRANCHISE YOU AGAIN! Which means you will only be 27 years old and will still be able to command a VERY RICH contract on the open market next season. Plus, who knows, maybe the Patriots will be able to afford to keep you next season if you still want to play there. YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO PLAY FOR ONE OF THE GREATEST TEAMS ON PAPER IN THE HISTORY OF THE NFL AND WIN ANOTHER SUPER BOWL WHILE MAKING ALMOST $8 MILLION, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT IN LIFE!?!

And pro athletes wonder why people in society hate them so much sometimes, shut up Asante and just play football!

 

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Reds Finally Hit ‘Homer’; Cincinnati To Call Bailey Up From AAA

Posted by Condo on June 5, 2007

Highly touted prospect pitcher Homer Bailey will be called up by the Reds on Friday and start for Cincinnati versus the Cleveland Indians at Great American Ballpark. Bailey will need to be added to the 40-man roster and a roster move will have to be made and someone will have to be put on waivers to clear room on the 40-man for Bailey. My assumption is that someone like Brian Shackleford or Marcus McBeth will be waived to make room for Homer. I know some people are calling for Stanton’s head, but at this point they need him in the pen’ as a lefty until Bill Bray is ready to return.

Homer was 6-1 with a 2.31 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 10 starts with AAA Louisville this season. Many fans including myself are excited to see Homer FINALLY come up to the bigs and look forward to what he will bring to the table for the Reds ‘horrific’ pitching staff.

And for the fans that think they are rushing him up… honestly, could he REALLY do any worse than what the Reds pitching staff has already accomplished??? At least Homer gives the fans a reason to come to the park now. Although I do question bringing him up to make his major league debut against the Indians, who are one of the best hitting teams in the Majors, I think Homer will be fine.

Posted in Cincinnati Reds, MLB | Tagged: | Comments Off on Reds Finally Hit ‘Homer’; Cincinnati To Call Bailey Up From AAA

Donovan Having Second Thoughts; Hopes to Return to Florida

Posted by Condo on June 3, 2007

Andy Katz of ESPN.com is reporting that Orlando Magic head coach Billy Donovan has reportedly had second thoughts about the job, and has talked to Orlando Magic brass about getting out of his contract and heading back to Florida. Billy had signed a 5 year $27.5 million contract on Thursday to become the Orlando Magic’s new head coach.

He has let the Magic know that he has second thoughts about the job and it is now on Orlando management to decide whether or not to let him go since he is technically under contract with them.

I don’t know if Andy Katz is just reporting this to make Kentucky fans mad, (see article “Andy Katz hates Kentucky” by “The Nasty Boys'” Editor Matt) or if this is really serious but this is crazy if you ask me. He has a chance to make over $5 million a season to coach a team only 2 hours from his home in Gainesville and it’s a playoff team made up of young talent. YOU CANNOT ASK FOR A BETTER SITUATION TO WALK INTO!

If the Magic decide to let him out of his contract and he goes back to Florida, he will NEVER get another chance to coach in the NBA again. And I can also imagine there being A LOT of pissed off UK fans. More on this story as it develops.

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Why LeBron Is Not The Next MJ

Posted by Condo on May 22, 2007

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Anyone who watched the game between Detroit and Cleveland last night realized two things. Number one, that “Leastern” Conference basketball is absolutely dreadful to watch. And number two, LeBron James yet again passed up a chance to take the game tying/winning shot by driving to the lane and kicking it out to Donyell Marshall, who missed a chance at a game winning 3 point shot and took away Cleveland’s shot at stealing Game 1 in Detroit.

This is obviously not the first time that LeBron has decided to “pass out” to an open teammate with the game on the line. There have been numerous other times where he has passed the ball out to someone like Damon Jones, Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall, and hell, even Eric Snow, who is the worst jump shooter of all time for a guard! After seeing this, yet again, and hearing some arguing lately about the comparisons that LeBron is not as good as MJ, I’ve come to the conclusion, LeBron is NOT MJ.

Here’s the deal, I love LeBron, I am not knocking him as a player in any way, shape, or form, but in order to be the next MJ, you have to be willing in crunch time to say: “alright I want the ball in my hands no matter the situation and I want to score the bucket.” LeBron is too unselfish and lacks the “killer instinct” to want to do that on a consistent basis. I believe LeBron compares more to someone like Magic Johnson than Michael Jordan and let me explain some reasons why:

Number one, both Magic and LeBron are bigger guys with LeBron standing 6’8 and Magic standing at around 6’9 and both played more of the “point forward” position which is basically a small forward handling the point guard duties. Number two, both had/have the floor vision and the knack for making passes that most point guards don’t even see to make. Three, neither of them have the “all-around” games to win a title alone without another big time play maker. Magic never won an NBA title without Kareem and obviously LeBron has no titles to this point in his career. You could make the argument that LeBron has nobody and Michael had Scottie before he started to win titles, which is true. LeBron has no real big time player and you really need that “supporting player” to win titles, but Scottie was nothing in his career without Michael and I honestly feel that Larry Hughes is NEAR the same level as Scottie was in Chicago.

Also, Michael won the Defensive player of the year award in 1988 and was a 9-time first team All-NBA defender. LeBron has yet to show that defensive prowess and Magic was never anything special on the defensive end either. Start adding all of this stuff up, and you can start to see where LeBron is much more comparable to Magic than he is to Michael.

Really the two key differences that LeBron and Michael have are this: LeBron is unselfish and lacks a killer instinct. Michael was born with the killer instinct and was selfish. Not too selfish to where he didn’t make his teammates better, but selfish in that he ALWAYS was looking for his shot and LeBron does not always do that.

I hope that LeBron gets a little bit better supporting cast and wins a title in his time with Cleveland. He has done many great things for the franchise and the city in his four seasons there. He’s only 22 years old and ultimately will be a matter of time before he wins a title. He’s too good of a player to not win one. But just remember, don’t compare him to MJ, because MJ he is not and MJ he will never be.

But, there’s nothing wrong at all with being the next Magic Johnson.

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Amare, Diaw Suspended; Suns Likely Doomed

Posted by Condo on May 15, 2007

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The NBA has just announced that both Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw will both be suspended for Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals versus the San Antonio Spurs.  The suspension was handed down for leaving the bench during an altercation late in the 4th quarter when Robert Horry hipchecked Steve Nash into the scorer’s table. Robert Horry was suspended for two games for his actions in the altercation.

This leaves the Suns without their leading scorer in the series versus the Spurs and without a valuable 6th man in Boris Diaw. However, the Spurs losing “Big Shot Bob” for 2 games is not NEARLY as big of an issue.

The Suns are at home in game 5 and if anyone can help pickup his team and lead them to a victory without their leading scorer, it’s Steve Nash, but I just don’t see it happening. For all the talk about Joey Crawford screwing Tim Duncan late in the regular season, it seems as though the NBA is trying to “make up” for it all they can in this series.

San Antonio’s Bruce Bowen has twice been involved in two seperate situations in which a lot of players and/or teams would have been penalized much worse than he was, but I guess the NBA doesn’t want to “upset” Tim Duncan or the Spurs team.

I understand the NBA rule where if a player leaves the bench when an altercation breaks out that they are to be suspended one game. But it’s quite ironic that there wasn’t a Spurs player who didn’t “leave the bench” when this melee took place.

All and all I’m afraid Phoenix was screwed by David Stern and the NBA and if Phoenix doesn’t win this series, it’s going to be one ugly Conference finals, and NBA finals, that nobody is going to watch. Way to endorse the NBA Mr. Stern, NICELY DONE!

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Why Dallas Can’t Reach The Promised Land

Posted by Condo on April 30, 2007

For those of you who stayed up late last night, you saw Golden State and Baron Davis take down the defending Western Conference champions yet again by a score of 103-99 to give the Warriors a 3-1 lead in the series. Baron Davis led the Warrior charge with 33 points, including a half court 3 pointer as time expired to end the first half. The Mavs are now one game from being only the 3rd #1 seed to be eliminated by a #8 seed since the NBA went to the 16 team format in 1984. They are also on the brink of joining last season’s NBA champions the Miami Heat on the outside looking in, as the Heat were swept yesterday by the Chicago Bulls. Also if the Mavs lose this series, it will be the first time that both Finals contestants from the previous season were eliminated in the first round of the following year’s playoffs.

Now, the REAL reason why Dallas will not get to the promised land of a championship, EVEN IF they somehow comeback from a 3-1 deficit in this series versus Golden State: Dallas has NO LEADERS. Don’t get wrong, I love Dirk and think he should be the MVP this season for his work throughout the regular season, but he is NOT a leader. This team has not had a leader who will step up and calm the team down in situations like they are in right now since Steve Nash.

If you ever watch Dallas, in any game with serious pressure, they crack. Last night was a perfect example. Late in the game with the lead, Golden State started to make a run, and Dallas began to panic, turned the ball over and threw up some UGLY shots, hence the 1-for-11 from the field as Golden State went on their run to overtake the lead from the Mavs. Game #3 of the NBA Finals last season is another prime example. Yet another game during the regular season in which I remember watching Dallas crack under pressure was a road game in Denver. Basically, any time the going gets tough, Dallas seems to run scared with their tail between their legs.

Dirk is a great player and I want to see him win an NBA title as much as anyone, but he is not a true leader and until Cuban finds a leader who is a calming influence in that lineup like Nash was in the “Nellie-Ball” era, Dallas will not reach the promised land.

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