Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday 03/22 A.M. Quickie:
Sweet 16 Preview and Predictions

Just to clarify, Gisele Bundschen is not having Tom Brady's baby, as previously reported/speculated. Presumably, now he can concentrate on his one bastard baby. And WE can concentrate on the return to the Tournament tonight...

"Sweet 16 – Day 1" Edition:

(4) Southern Illinois vs. (1) Kansas.
Not to be too me-first, but this is the game that will make or break my pool status. Everyone basically has the same Final Four teams, and Kansas is a very popular pick. I have the Salukis beating KU. Had. Had the Salukis beating KU. When I filled out my bracket 10 days ago.

After watching Kansas play twice, I am less confident. (SIU – "So. Ill." in Quickie terms – also has a key player injured.) Kansas is playing better than any team in the field right now. Their ability to change directions from defense to offense is staggering. Their players are so damn athletic. Julian Wright was on my first-team All-Tournament First Weekend. (And Wright might just be the most intriguing player in the NBA Draft. Hell, you pretty much know what you're getting with Durant. What the hell do you get with the unique package that is Wright?)

And so I'm worried about my bracket. Very worried. If SIU wins, I am going to make some noise. If SIU loses, my chances are seriously damaged. I'd like to think that SIU presents a challenge defensively that Kansas hasn't seen this season. That after two virtual blowouts, a close game might cause the Jayhawks to seize up a little bit down the stretch. I'm not confident.

My bracket says: Southern Illinois
My gut says: Eh...Kansas.
(That's not supposed to be a hedge. I'm beholden to my bracket. So. Ill. is the pick.)

(3) Texas A&M vs. (2) Memphis.
There's a reason I picked 1-seed Memphis to lose in the first round of last year's tournament: I think they are so overrated, I can't even describe it. I dislike the coach. I dislike the players. I dislike the program. Who in their right mind thinks that this team can win the region, let alone a national title? All I know is that Texas A&M remains the anti-Memphis: Popular pick, even "trendy." They seem to be pretty clutch. Coach Billy Gillespie seems like a likeable, quirky guy. And who DOESN'T love Acie Law? Finally, the biggest point: Home-court advantage. How much will it help Texas A&M to be playing in San Antonio? Huge, I'm betting.

My bracket says: Texas A&M
My gut says: Texas A&M

(3) Pittsburgh vs. (2) UCLA.
Well, the best storyline of the night is that former Pitt coach Ben Howland has to play against his old team, his old players and his old protege. If any team knows how to play against a Howland-coached team, it's a Howland-coached team. That makes this the opposite of whatever a traditional "contrast in styles" game is.

My bracket says: UCLA
My gut says: UCLA

(5) Tennessee vs. (1) Ohio State.
Given (a) the trouble that Xavier caused the Buckeyes, (b) the Vols' "small-ball" style of play and (c) the way Tennessee negated Florida's size when they thumped the Gators a few weeks ago, I think that Tennessee could very well beat Ohio State.

At the very least, I think their style of play will force Thad Matta to play Greg Oden many fewer minutes than he would normally want to.

(Of course, given how much better Ohio State played AFTER Oden fouled out against Xavier, they might be better off if he DOESN'T play that much. That's a funny thing to say about the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, isn't it?)

My bracket says: Ohio State.
My gut says: Tennessee.
(Again, that's not a hedge. I'm behind my bracket. Ohio State is the pick. I'm just saying that I think the Vols give them a hell of a game.)

So that's the topic on the table: Who do you see advancing tonight and why?

College Hoops Coaching Carousel: New Mexico is getting Iowa's Steve Alford and the Hawkeyes are going to let him go. OK, so who wants to be Iowa's next head coach? That's a pretty good gig, perfect for a coach from, say, the Missouri Valley Conference. Maybe Winthrop's Greg Marshall?

CBB Hilarity: This Ron Guenther story is pretty funny: The Illinois AD made the mistake of demonstrably and publicly yelling at his coach from the stands. You know what? It makes me like him more.

I appreciate that you want a minimum of decorum from your school's AD, but I love the fact that he cares enough to let his emotions take over during a game -- just like a fan. The school said he won't be punished.

Do you know "NOTY?" While I was talking up "Enlightened Bracketologist" yesterday, I should have used that as a segue to point you to the excellent blog Name of the Year. Only one week left to get your 2007 ballot/bracket voted on and sent it. (I used to pick Page 2's NCAA Tournament All-Name Teams, so this site is close to my heart.)

NIT: Clemson and Air Force round out that other men's Final Four. When I was on the AFA bandwagon back in November and December, I *knew* I should have been saying, "They're a Final Four darkhorse – an NIT Final Four darkhorse!"

NFL: Falcons trade QB Matt Schaub to Texans. (But they won't admit it yet.) Longtime Quickie readers know that I've been touting Schaub as the best backup QB in the NFL (and a better fit for the Falcons' West Coast offense than Mike Vick... not a better QB than Vick necessarily, but better in the offense that Mora chose to run). Now he'll get his chance as a starter in Houston.

More NFL: The new discipline policy could go into effect as early as next week. Even more than PED-testing, I think this will have a profound effect on the game – if the league exercises it. But what happens when so many players get in trouble it guts the game?

In a related note, apparently Levi Jones tossed Joey Porter around like a rag-doll when they went at it. OT vs. LB? I'd say that makes sense.

More NFL: Big Ben rips ex-coach Ken Whisenhunt, who had criticized Ben as rushing back last season. Ben disagreed, noting that he disagreed with Whisenhunt a lot. Whoops.

MLB: Tony LaRussa arrested for DUI. Chalk it up to a defending champ's curse. Perhaps "Three Nights in August" is more appropriately summed up as a future stay in the drunk tank.

More: Yankees say they won't offer A-Rod a contract extension. I think it's yet another signal that he takes the option to leave the team after the season.

Matsuzaka Watch: 5.2 solid IP, his best spring outing yet. Am I still going to pick him for AL Cy Young? The MLB Season Preview post is coming soon...

Extra Innings Update: Cable operators made their pitch, but MLB didn't swing – the net result is that you still can't buy Extra Innings on your cable system.

NBA: Did Celtics coach Doc Rivers throw the game versus the Bobcats? He can protest he didn't, but he left the second-string in while Boston blew an 18-point lead and lost the game – but helped their Lottery chances. I would respect him more if he said he DID throw the game. I'll bet Boston fans would, too. It's very hard not to look at that result skeptically and at least label it a "virtually thrown game."

Finals preview? Mavs beat Cavs. I love how some people tabbed this as a potential Finals match-up. The Mavs would sweep. The Cavs are not ready.

The Southeast race is kind of interesting. The Wizards hold a slim lead over the Heat after an Arenas buzzer-beater took Washington over Seattle. Meanwhile, the Heat won their 10th in 11 games. ("They're better WITHOUT Wade!" Ha ha: Not quite, but their Wade-less success is interesting, isn't it?)

Chris Bosh vs. Dwight Howard: Without Bargnani (appendectomy) as a sidekick, Bosh was dominant (34 points, 16 rebounds) and outplayed Howard (17/12) in a Raptors win. Between Bosh, Howard and Amare, is Bosh the best young big man in the game?

More NBA: The reason I believe Kobe Bryant that he wasn't doing some side-recruiting for Nike of Kevin Durant is because it's so obvious that Durant will be a Jordan Brand player.

Speaking of Durant, he became the first freshman to ever win the Player of the Year award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (which should lead you to wonder what the NABC was smoking when they opted not to select Carmelo Anthony as POY when he was a freshman).

LPGA to ban, test for steroids: What, you didn't think that PEDs were as rampant among the ladies as they are in the guys' sports?

-- D.S.


Sheldiz said...

well, back in the country and dead last in all of my tournament pools.

i did manage to catch one game while i was in the UK, which was GW's stunning 35 point loss. yawn.

anyhoo.... go salukis!! :)

Patriots64 said...

La Russa arrested for DUI today

Matt T said...

Its about time the Falcons traded Schaub.

I don't think they are done dealing either, they now have the 8th pick and an extra 2nd rounder, I think they try to move up to get Calvin Johnson.

Any ways, DJ Shockley will be an adequate back up, he's not the runner Vick is, but he's a much better passer (not saying much there)

jhawkjjm said...

The picks: KU, UCLA, Tenn, A&M.

Who doesn't love Acie Law? KU fans as he hit the game winning 3 in the Fieldhouse to beat KU.

Carmelo shouldn't have won player of the year. There's no comparison between Durant and Carmelo. Carmelo had a much better supporting cast and they had plenty of opportunities to lose in the tourney. They were down 20 to Okie St in Boston before Okie St collapsed. And they don't win the national title if KU shoots better than 35% from the free throw line. It was winning the title that really created the Carmelo "legend".

Unknown said...

Great. Now the Schaub mystique will fade and he'll bomb in Houston.

I think if Tennessee hadn' tplayed OSU before, they'd have a better chance. But that experience, plus the X game last week, Ohio State should be more than ready for small ball (besides, they can play small ball too) have a nagging feeling in the back of my brain that they'll win today.

If the NCAA tourny is all that matters, then Alford is making a move up. I bet he can keep New Mexico in the 23-26 win range or at least at the top of the standings. That wasn't going to happen at Iowa.

Danielle said...

I have great faith in the Buckeyes today. I think that last game was a wake-up call. They were playing sloppy and lazy and that will not happen tonight. (Dear God I hope I'm right.)

Big D said...

5.2 scoreless innings for Dice-K?

So... the run that the Pirates scored in the 1st doesn't count? Oh, right. It was the Pirates...

Big D said...

Also, on his weekly radio interview this morning, Doc Rivers more or less said that he was trying to prove a point to the bench players. That if they're always going to complain about getting playing time, they'd better perform when they're on the court.

His best line of the interview? (paraphrasing) "It's something I've often thought about doing, with other teams, but we've always had something get in the way, like a playoff run, or something..."

Good thing there's no pesky chance to make the playoffs for this year's Celtics.

CMFost said...

Dan do you check box scores, Matasuzaka gave up a run in the first inning.

Unknown said...

Dan - how can you possible write for DAYS about how Ohio State is better w/o Greg Oden because they played Xavier better when he fouled out and then in the SAME post tell me that the Heat are not better without Dwayne Wade even though they're playing better right now than at any other point during the season?

Do I think the Heat are better w/o Wade? No

But I also don't think Ohio State is better without Oden.

I mean if playing well and winning is your gauge (as it seems to be with Oden) how do you justify saying the Heat aren't better w/o Wade?

Brian in Oxford said...

I was wondering how the Celtics blew that.

Hey, with LaRussa on suspicion of DWI, what could Scott Rolen be thinking? :)

God help Vick if the Texans succeed with Schaub. Oh wait, there'll allllways be excuses for Vick.

Air Force prevented Clemson from going Syracuse-DePaul-West Virginia as their path to the NIT title. When have we ever seen that many games against the same conference in a row?

verbal97 said...

To expand on thirdstringjd's comments:

Is it really surprising that a lower seeded team that gave up a big lead going into overtime got outplayed in overtime? How many times does this happen per year. Small, spunky school gets a big lead over a high seed powerhouse, give it up in the dying minutes and completely flop in OT.

Also, if you're not going to say the Heat are better without Wade over a stretch of games in a few weeks, then how the hell can you say that Ohio St. is better without Oden when judging over a stretch of 5 minutes?!?!?!

CMFost said...

Dan, Doc Rivers probably would of put Paul Pierce back into the game except for the fact he got injured during it.

Trey (formerly TF) said...


Why would I need to get the MLB Extra Inning package when I will be getting every Devil Rays game on TV when I move back to Florida next month?

Just Kidding...

Joe (Dayton)

Big Blog of Basketball Lists said...

Air Force prevented Clemson from going Syracuse-DePaul-West Virginia as their path to the NIT title. When have we ever seen that many games against the same conference in a row?

How soon we forget. The 2005 bracket, UNC won the "Big-10 title" beating Wisconsin in the Elite 8, Michigan State in the Final 4 and Illinois in the title game.

jhawkjjm said...

Syracuse won the Big Xii Championship on the way to the National title. 4 of their 6 wins were over Big XII teams: Okie St, Missouri, Texas, Kansas.

(This is going from memory, so it could be wrong)

jhawkjjm said...

It was Oklahoma not Missouri.

Brian in Oxford said...

Wow, good examples I never thought of.

Maybe the ACC or Big 10 should have asked to rescind the when-you-can-play-conferencemates rule so that they could guarantee themselves more spots in the later rounds.

They did change that rule, no? I know it used to be not until the elite 8....then they were talking about changing or eliminating it since the big east could possibly send 9 teams and force it out of feasibility.

Monkey Boy said...

As an Iowa Alum, I just want everyone to know how happy Iowa Nation is that Steve Alford is leaving. I spent 3 hours on the phone last night with friends and family rejoicing.

When Alford came to Iowa he was a golden boy. Everyone expected consistent trips to the NCAA with a couple big runs. Ferentz who arrived at the same time was looked down upon, everyone thought we should have worked harder to get Bobby Stoops.

8 years later, the roles are reversed and we are happy to see Steve head out of town.

TJ said...

I was just on Spring Break, so LaRussa blowing a .093 sounds to me like he was being downright responsible. The falling asleep with the car in drive though... not so much.

ToddTheJackass said...

How exactly can you fall asleep when your car is in drive? Yikes...

Interesting non-Matsuzaka news for the Red Sox: JD Drew is hitting over .450 in ST, and Varitek is hitting .080. Now I know not to make too much of Spring #s, but I found those two both noteworthy for their respective reasons.

Andy said...

My picks for today: So Ill, UCLA, A&M, and Ohio St. I picked Ohio State, but I wouldn't cry if they lost because I don't have them in the Final Four and it would increase my chances.

This La Russa thing just makes me hate the Cards even more. I'm a Cubs fan so that's easy, but I've never really thought La Russa was that good of a manager. Personally, I'd say he's average at best. Dave Duncan is the real genius on the bench in St. Louis.

Alford's leaving Iowa?? Good riddance. The guy was terrible. We Hawkeye fans never liked him. One thing though: Why would he take the New Mexico job when last year he was offered Missouri? Missouri's a much better program than New Mexico.

I really don't think Schaub will do that well. Everyone keeps talking him up but his stats are not that good. They are OK, but just OK. I honestly think he'll do just as badly as Carr. The real problem in Houston is the O-Line.

chipp said...

Nice reporting, Dan! You mention Arenas for last night's game winner, but no mention what-so-ever of his failure to hit 50 on Portland the night before (4-16, 0-7 [3 pt], 19 pts) not even coming close on the game-tying shot. So much for his revenge on McMillan.

Natsfan74 said...

I think Bruce Pearl's said it best when he said he wishes now he hadn't played Ohio State earlier in the season as his defense won't "surprise them" any more. OSU started their current winning streak that game. Also - that game was Oden's best performance of the year, with 24 points and 5 blocks. So I look for him to dominate tonight as well. Or at least, I hope so. Others, I have Kansas over SIU, Memphis will win (I had Louisville winning here), and Pitt pulls it out tonight.

Schaub will play well for the Texans, but it would be tough for any QB to excel there. I think Atlanta will try to move up again and make a play for Calvin Johnson. Unlike Houston, they will pull out the stops to pick up their hometown hero.

I know the GM who did the drafting in Houston is gone now, but don't their recent moves make them look even stupider for last year's draft? I actually understand wanting Mario Williams, knowing they would match up with Peyton Manning and Norm Chow (and VY) for 1/4 of their schedule makes you want to solidify your defense as fast as possible. But they passed on Young (and Leinhart and Cutler) because Carr was their future. Now, Carr is gone, and so is VY. Boy, aren't they feeling sheepish.

While spring numbers are largely irrelevent, I like to look at the trends and see who looks ready to start the season. I am glad I have JD Drew on my fantasy team (even though it was a horrible pick at the time and probably 2 rounds too early).

chipp said...

Schaub has a lower completion % (52.2) than Vick (53.8) with a worse TD:INT (1:1 vs 1.37:1). Carr has 60.0 and 0.91:1. Schaub will probably still be the back-up until the HOU O-Line finally gets Carr injured.

chipp said...

Is there a website to check all the NFL Free Agent moves? Carr is already out of HOU?!?!

Josh said...

As a Pitt fan, I'm stunned to see how many people here are picking us. I like our chances because I'm a blind optimist, but we've gotta play really, really well to pull it off tonight.

ToddTheJackass said...

The Texans sure would've given up an awful lot then to just get a backup QB.

But as much as I'm a believer in stats, I'm not sure you can properly evaluate Schaub based on his limited sample size. Not saying he will exceed his current stats, but just that it's tough to fully evaluate him based on the fact that he really doesn't have that many throws under his belt yet.

But I agree with Andy and others who have said that this was a mistake for the Texans, since their weakness is clearly in the O-Line (or their offensive scheming which has allowed Carr to get mauled).

Getting a good RB too would help keep the heat off of the QB too.

TJ said...

Who do you see advancing tonight and why?

(1) SIU over KU

(2) Because I have SIU in my final four, and with Texas (my national runner up) already out and Ohio State facing a dangerous Tennessee team tonite, I'm in danger of losing 3 of my final four teams. Which in a year when everyone seems to still have all four left, would be embarrassing. I honestly don't know if SIU can get past Kansas, but if they do, I guarantee they will beat the UCLA-Pitt winner.

Andy said...

Todd, they have made a small improvement on the RB situation. They signed Ahman Green, and while he certainly isn;t what he used to be, he is much better than Ron Dayne or Wali Lundy.

I am also skeptic sometimes about stats. Schaub could very well turn in to a very good QB, his stats don't suggest that right now.

But they really need to start upgrading that O-Line. It is far and wide the worst in the league. Arizona isn't even close to them and that's saying something. They won't go anywhere without an upgrade at OL.

ToddTheJackass said...

That's right, I had forgotten about Ahman Green... but then again, an injury prone, past his prime RB with that offensive line? Good luck...

Schaub apparently inked a 6 year, $48 million deal. I realize not too much is probably guaranteed, but still, wow.

I hope for their sake, Mario Williams is a perennial pro-bowler.

Calvealier said...

The Heat are winning that division. Washington will not win any more games on that road trip.

My Toronto bias says that Bosh is the best of those 3 at this point. Howard has the most potential based on his size, but for the current moment, i would take Bosh (and can't imagine how good he would be with Steve Nash).

Brian in Oxford said...

plus, Bosh rhymes with Josh :)

Unknown said...

In case noboby has said this yet (I just heard and haven't caught up in the comments)...


6 years 48 million dollars

He's very good, but...

Mills said...

andy and morrow.

nice to see some hawkeye love here on a national board. go hawks.

andy -- i think you asked me yesterday where i heard about alford. jon miller was reporting it on kxno in des moines and somebody sent me an email about it.

oasiserfede said...

If A-Rod opts out, he will be considered the biggest fake in ANY sport of all time. Ahead of all the BALCO-guys. The man is obsessed with his legacy and will never risk that. He stays....

Patriots64 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patriots64 said...

Schaub is not coming in as a backup!!

"Once the Texans locate a buyer for Carr -- and Houston isn't inclined to make the price tag too unpalatable for any team eager to acquire him -- they can move forward. And so can Carr, who can only benefit from a change of scenery. And, hopefully, wherever he lands, from a better offensive line than the one he played behind the last painful five years. Afterall, this used Carr has a lot of dents. "

Natsfan74 said...

Schaub's regular season numbers are a bit pedestrian, but he's only started 2 games. In the past couple years, he has put up some great numbers in the pre-season (I know, I know), but that shows the potential is there.

Plus, his college coach (Al Groh) is a former NFL head coach who strongly recommended him to Kubiak. Schaub has all of the tools to be successful, and now he has the opportunity.

But the Texans just gave $48M to a career back-up? Add that to the Cowboys $7M/ season contract for a back-up offensive lineman, and you have $97M tied up on guys with less than 10 starts combined in their careers in one state. NY and California can't top that with 3 teams.....

Unknown said...

The rumor is that the reason Steve Alford left Iowa was that they weren't a basketball school

Apparently, Alford was being somewhat neglected not because his lack of success, but because the football program is more important to the AD and the school.

Andy said...

Football is more important than basketball at 95% of the schools in this country. So if Alford is looking for a school with a bigger basketball program, it'll be difficult to find. There are many schools that you may think have bigger basketball than football, but really all you need to correct that is to have the football team have about 3 years of success. It'll change then.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

I have been reading the rumors that Atlanta may package a deal to get Calvin Johnson and I was thinking what is going through Calvin Johnson's head. Here he is the "can't miss prospect in the last 10 years" and he could be going to a team with one of the most erratic QBs in the league.

Vick is exciting to watch but the guy is not a good passer and I am getting tired of hearing all of the excuses that his supporters offer for him. It has been 6 years now and I have not seen any improvement unless he is leading the Briscoe High Hawks to victory.

jhawkjjm said...


How much of that Saluki's over KU pick is that it would mean an easier final four game for Florida? My bracket is already busted with Texas out, so I find myself cheering for the easiest road for KU to win it all. Anyone else do that?

Patriots64 said...

All time Red Sox team.


Unknown said...


Duke sucks.

ToddTheJackass said...

That all-time Red Sox team has no credibility for not having Smoky Joe Wood in its starting rotation. Dude could bring it back in 1912.

ToddTheJackass said...

Wow, with McCryBaby gone, is it possible Duke could be even worse next year? Or am I forgetting that they probably have eight new White McDonald's All Americans coming in to replace him?

What a dumbass, his draft stock cannot be good right now as this draft is stacked, and he did not have a great year.

Unknown said...


Papelbon will close for the Red Sox this season according to ESPN's Erin Andrews.

Maybe they'll get the Rocket now...

Still, Shill-Beckett-Dice-Wakefield-Lester is not to shabby.

verbal97 said...

Shill-Beckett-Dice-Wakefield-Lester is not too fearful!

bbom said...

I just read that Schaub has been introduced as the new starting QB in Houston and they are working on trading Carr ASAP. His numbers haven't been great, but I would like for the Vikings to trade a low draft pick for him. Behind a good o-line, I think he will be good. Also, we wouldn't have to waste a first round pick on the bust that will be Quinn.

Not sure if it will happen though. On a local radio show Childress said he wasn't too impressed with Carr's release and mechanics. Well, hope he knows more about offense than me, but looking at last year, he doesn't know much.

Paul L Carter said...

Dan said:

Just to clarify, Gisele Bundschen is not having Tom Brady's baby, as previously reported/speculated. Presumably, now he can concentrate on his one bastard baby. And WE can concentrate on the return to the Tournament tonight...

And WE are free from the ridiculous speculation that Brady is The New Shawn Kemp. ;-)

Beetle said...

I think it is time to move big Al Jefferson into the conversation of best young big men.
Averaging 20.5 and 11.5 with a .584 FG % so far in March.
Still not convinced? Check out some of his moves in this clip. There are a couple of moves displayed here that Bosh, Howard, and Amare cannot match.

ToddTheJackass said...

Where can I read more about Paps being named closer? Are we sure it's not just a rumor? He was supposed to go 4 innings today, wasn't he?

Unknown said...


I heard it from Dan Patrick who heard it from Erin Andrews who heard it from The Sox.

I'm assumimng ESPN will put it on the site soon.

And Duke only has 3 all americans.

needless to say that 2 of them are white

Unknown said...


Brian in Oxford said...

or just watch the game on espn (or and hear them discussing it throughout the game.

Anonymous said...

i got kansas ( just too athletic but I think it will be closer than expected.)
tennesee (same reasons as shanoff, which makes me want to pick osu)
ucla (just a better team)
an/m (memphis will fight the law, the law will win.)

jhawkjjm said...

Sorry for the newbie question but this is the first year I've done a baseball fantasy league (I stick mostly with football). Also, I know that his breaks every rule of talking about fantasy teams, but would Papelbon closing be good or bad if you've drafted him?

As a Sox fan I'm not sure too be happy or sad about this. Hansen was drafted out of college to be a closer and Papelbon a starter. I know Hansen's been shaky, but is it worth risking a repeat of last years shoulder woes? I'm not so sure.

ToddTheJackass said...

Let's just say if you own Papelbon right now in Fantasy, you should be ecstatic!!! As a starter in a 12-team league, he probably goes around round 10. As a closer he probably goes somewhere around rounds 5-6.

Basically if you own him now you go from having a solid #2-#3 fantasy starter with upside to a possible elite closer.

I have a draft tonight, so I'll be curious to see where he gets drafted.

Patriots64 said...

WWL front page.

Because of Papelbon's shoulder issues, there will be restrictions on how he is used: He won't throw when he is tired and he won't appear in more than three games in a row, Andrews reports.

The news comes after manager Terry Francona announced that Timlin, who has been bothered by a strained oblique, will start the season on the DL.

ToddTheJackass said...

Wow about Papelbon...

I still am waiting for the presser, but wow. It does make our rotation a little less formidable, but makes our bullpen one hell of a lot stronger, even if Papelbon can't recreate last year's amazing results.

I just hope that it's not putting undo risk upon his shoulder.

Actually, until we know whether or not this move is temporary (until Timlin gets healthy) or for the year, I guess it doesn't make any sense concluding one way or another. Plus, I definitely don't think that if he is the closer this year that it means he won't go into the rotation next year.

I can't assume Lester starts the year off in the majors. Snyder or Tavarez has to be the leading candidate for the #5 spot, right?

While I have to admit it'll be exciting seeing Paps closing out games, I do wonder if this really is in the best interests of the team long term.

Andy said...

Yeha, I just heard Patrick say that Papelbon has been named the closer. ESPN also has a link on their headlines stating that. No "official" statement though from the BoSox yet.

CMFost said...

Curt Schilling on his blog is confirming that Papelbon will be the teams closer.

CMFost said...

Todd - Snyder or Tavarez will be the #5 starter for about the 1st month of the season until Lester is ready. Once Lester is ready he will be the #5 starter.

Andy said...

Breaking News:
Tubby Smith is leaving Kentucky to take over the head coaching job and Minnesota. He will be paid $1.8 Million according to Andy Katz at ESPN.

Wow. Did NOT see that coming. Shocking to me.

CMFost said...

Wow, Why would you leave Kentucky?? for Minnesota no less.

CMFost said... now has a story on the red sox closing situation.

here it is

Andy said...

My guess is the pressure was too much. Kentucky has so much tradition of winning, and the fact that he won a NC in his first year put the pressure so high that he just didn't want to deal with it. Plus, this is a new challenge for him.

Brian in Oxford said...

Tubby would be leaving to take some pressure off himself, is what I'd guess.

I sorta think he looks like a black Richard Nixon.

Billy Donovan? How about trying to get Pitino back? This has intrigue.

jhawkjjm said...

You leave Kentucky before they boosters gather up the money and get you fired. At Minnesota there's not nearly as much pressure. Getting them to the tournament will make Gopher fans happy. At Kentucky you need to be in the final four every year. Smart, very smart move by Tubby.

ToddTheJackass said...


There's always the possibility of Clemens too... or that Timlin returns and Paps goes back into the rotation.

I do hope though that Lester will be healthy enough to make a good contribution to the team this year.

verbal97 said...

It's looking more and more that Clemens is going to be in Houston.

~via Jayson Stark

Unknown said...

Tubby was told to fire his staff or be fired.

He chose to leave.

ToddTheJackass said...

I agree that Clemens will probably stick in Houston, but just was adding that he's still a possibility, even if it's only a 10% shot at best.

Ian Browne, the Sox writer for, seemed to suggest that Tavarez will get the #5 spot now. Something to watch I guess, as I'm not sure I'd pick him over Snyder... we'll see.

Kurt said...

"Not to be too me-first, but this is the game that will make or break my pool status." - D.S.

You me first?! No wayyy. You only say the words "I", "Me", "My" about 50 times per post. No word of Tubby Smith going to Minnesota or Papelbon back as Red Sox closer? I thought blogs were supposed to break the news before ESPN.