Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday 05/18 A.M. Quickie:
Suns, Pistons, Preakness, Clemens, More

D'oh! Interleague! How could I neglect to mention it below?! Perhaps because some of the novelty has worn off... and I live in the home of the Subway Series, for god's sake...

The best news for those rooting for the Suns? Phoenix's players aren't whining about the circumstances they are in heading into Game 6. I like that focus: They'll rally around their returning players and an us-against-the-world mentality on the road, and force a Game 7.

Pistons KO Bulls: No matter who wins the Cavs-Nets series, the Pistons have to be the favorite to advance to the NBA Finals.

It's the fifth year in a row that Detroit has reached the East finals, which strikes me as resembling some sort of conference dynasty, not that we keep track of things like that. (Although we certainly pay homage to division-title streaks, like the Braves up until last year.)

As for the Bulls, this can be chalked up to a "growth" experience for a young team. They'll be an even better contender in '08. (One suggestion: Lose the Skiles-style grind philosophy and adopt a little more Nellie-style free-flow.)

Jason Giambi says baseball – owners, players, everyone – should have apologized to fans years ago for the sport's PED problem.

That strikes me as slightly disingenuous from a guy who would never have admitted to cheating if it wasn't forced out of him.

I'm all for 'fessing up and taking responsibility, but any apology would ring hollow if it wasn't coupled with decisive and effective action.

MLB's problem is that PED cheating has been so widespread for so long -- so pervasive – that I'm not quite sure when that apology would have been appropriate... or the depth to which that apology should go.

I'm curious whether Giambi's new teammate thinks he (or baseball) owes anyone an apology. Speaking of which...

MLB Stud: Kyle Farnsworth. The Yankees reliever called out the Roger Clemens "Family Plan" clause in Rocket's contract.

MLB Dud: Josh Beckett. As foreshadowed yesterday, the Red Sox' 7-0 ace was sent to the DL with "Beckettypical" finger problems.

(But the Red Sox get a "stud," too, for sweeping the Tigers in a double-header. Still: How will the absence of Beckett affect the best team in the AL, and does it foreshadow larger problems down the road?)

Hank Aaron wants to attract more black kids to play baseball. Great idea, but I'm waiting for the compelling plan as to HOW.

Preakness: Is it too morbid that when I think of the Preakness, I think of Barbaro's injury last year – and not Street Sense's potential? (My "Anyone But Street Sense" pick: Hard Spun. And if I was picking by "Best Name": Mint Slewlep, followed by Flying First Class.

Floyd Landis Scandal: So Greg LeMond was going to testify against Landis, and apparently the Landis camp was going to use the little-known history of LeMond's sexual abuse as a child to try to intimidate him from talking. As if this story couldn't go further down the rabbit hole.

NCAA LAX quarters: Delaware vs. UMBC ensures that at least one non-traditional party-crasher will make the Final Four. (That said, the regional dominance continues.)

Have a great weekend everyone. I should have typical "Very" Quickie posts on both mornings.

-- D.S.


CMFost said...

Studs -
D. Young

Duds -
Yankees Offense

Darklawdog said...

This Landis scandal is absolutely hilarious. It almost makes me want to care about bicycling. Then again, I doubt there is anything that could make me care one iota about bicycling.

This has nothing to do with the post but as a Cincy Reds fan, I wonder if they will lose 100 games this year.

Geoff said...

Why would the Bulls go to a Nellie-ball system? For your entertainment? Shouldn't they be more concerned about using a style that actually is conducive to winning a championship? I don't recall too many championship chucker teams.

Kurt said...

Dan I'm suprised you forgot this:

"Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan, who led the Gators to back-to-back national championships this past season and then turned down a lucrative offer to become Kentucky's coach, is close to signing a seven-year contract extension with the Gators that will pay him an average of more than $3.5 million per season, sources close to the situation said Thursday."

Matt T said...

Farnsworth is the man. Today's Dugout is great.

Looking forward to the Boston/Atlanta series this weekend. Smoltz v. Matsuzaka tomorrow afternoon.

CMFost said...

Matt - Don't get to excited. based on the weather forecast here in Boston we will be lucky to get the Sunday game in, Tonight will almost definetly be a no go.

Unknown said...

NHL dud: Dominik Hasek.
NHL stud: Ric Jackman.
Game 4 was the opposite of game 1, where Anaheim dominated but Detroit stole it. Series tied at 2-2.

Matt T said...

That sucks. Well tonight, not as much, a rookie pitcher against Boston's line up, wouldn't be pretty.

How does it work if there is a rain out? Its gotta be really hard to reschedule interleague games

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Completely way off topic (then again...when aren't I?)...but did you all see that this Sunday is the 400th episode of the Simpsons? The deserves a stud! Although some might say it also deserves a dud b/c it should have ended years ago. What other shows have gone that long? I don't think any have even come close! SNL does not count.

Sheldiz said...

When i think of Preakness... i don't remember much.

I've managed to go four times and never, to my knowledge, seen a race.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Nevermind! I just read USA Today.

"The Simpsons, followed closely by Law & Order, trails only Gunsmoke (633), Lassie (588), The Adventures ofOzzie & Harriet (435) and Bonanza (430), says Ron Simon, curator at The Museum of Television & Radio."

CMFost said...

for those who miss the daily quickie cartoon

click here

Unknown said...

Is it bad that I think LeMond is totally full of shit? He's been anti-Lance since Armstrong passed him as "the" American cyclist and at Landis' trial he shows up just to testify to say, "i don't know if he was dirty, i just told him to come clean" and "they threatened me". Gimme a break.

As big as Clemens is (all natural, of course), Farnsworth could body slam can say what he wants (not like the Yankees can afford to cut pitchers either)

Bulls don't need a new philosophy, just experience. They showed they can roll over the they need to learn how not to get rolled.

When I think of the Preakness...I don't think of Barbaro. Sorry, I guess I'm emotionally unattached. I do think of Hard Spun, Curlin, Street Sense on my betting card.

CMFost said...

Matt - Not sure how they would work the schedule. I think for tonight based on the weathe forecast it would probably be rescheduled as a Double header on Sunday. As for if Saturday game get rained out also they would probably just have to find a day that both teams have off to play it on.

CMFost said...

here is a question why is the WWL hammering on the Farnsworth statement and completly ignoring the Giambi Statement?

Unknown said...

Anyone else notice Vince Carter's shaved head looks like a butt?

Mega said...

Jermaine Dye

Juan Uribe yesterday: 4k's, 1 error

Brian in Oxford said...

If Braves Field were still around in Boston, then they coulda made up a rainout by playing 2 games in one day in the 2 stadiums.

Matt said...

Stud- Fausto Carmona complete game 4 hit shutout of twins and going 2-0 this year against AL Cy Young perennial winner.
Vmart and Garko going back to back against said Santana for the 2-0 win and the sweep of the twinkies

Duds- the rest of the indians against santana

ToddTheJackass said...

Yesterday's MLB Studs and Duds:

1. Fausto Carmona
2. Delmon Young
3. Oswalt/Lincecum
4. Hideki Okajima
5. Tim Byrdak

1. Ryan Dempster/Scott Eyre
2. Jarrod Washburn
3. Hideki Matsui
4. Juan Uribe
5. Kameron Loe

Honorary Stud: Kyle Farnsworth (history says don't fuck with this guy)

Honorary Dud: The Pot, the Kettle, and Jason Giambi

CMFost said...

Todd - how can you not give Eric Hinske a stud rating. Not only did he make a game saving catch(top play on sportscenter), he also hit the game winning home run in the night game at Fenway?

Unknown said...

Hinske's catch was sick last night and deserves the stud nomination before you factor in the homerun and the fact he scored the run to tie the game at 2. Farnsworth has already started with the Clemens thing. Means you know other guys are thinking it, and it had some of the Astros players pissed off too.

I love how the argument is that Clemens is a good clubhouse guy and will mentor the younger pitchers. Don't you have to be there for that to happen?

Ben K. said...

MLB Stud: Kyle Farnsworth. The Yankees reliever called out the Roger Clemens "Family Plan" clause in Rocket's contract.

It's not a clause in Clemens' contract. It's a handshake agreement between Clemens and the Yankees. And all reports indicate that Clemens won't be using (or abusing) this privilege as much as he did on the Astros. Farnsworth is just an idiot who didn't do any research to back up his claims.

Darklawdog said...

I understand that Clemens arrangement breeds contempt among other players.

I sure as hell know that if I could come into work once every 5 or 6 days and still make the same amount of money I would do it and I wouldn't care what others thought.

Matt T said...

Best Summary of the Farnsworth/Clemens story:

ndyanksfan05 said...

this clemens family thing is so was an unsolicited clause in his contract that the astros gave him on their own accord. Why would he travel MORE to go back to Houston between worst I see him taking a couple days off IF he is in texas or possibly skipping a short road trip to go rehad at the yankees facility. This is going to be a no story and was not a 'deal-breaker' in terms of him coming to NY.

ToddTheJackass said...

@cmfost, Hinske did go 1-6 on the day, and misplayed a ball earlier in the 2nd game, so that's why he was absent on my list. Obviously the home run and faceplant catch were awesome though. (Also, I went to the first game, but had I been to the 2nd game, I'm sure I'd feel different). So Hinske is a stud, just not top 5 IMO.

ndyanksfan05 said...

and Farnsworths comments to me were more 'teams need to stick together' than 'clemens is a dick for possibly skipping out on road trips (even though he wont be doing that apparently)

Sheldiz said...

ps: GO Retreivers!!! :)

Redman said...

Couldn't disagree more about the "anyone but Street Sense" mentality. I do think it is commonplace for most sports fans to root for the underdog (or in the case of horse racing, anyone but the favorite).

However, in horse racing, that really only applies to the Kentucky Derby. Once the Kentucky Derby winner moves to the Preakness, I think it's safe to say that you are actually in the minority if your root against the Ky Derby winner, no matter if he is favored in the Preakness or not.

Why? Because it has nothing to do with who is the favorite and who is the underdog. Once you get to the Preakness, it's all about the possibility of the Triple Crown.

I would say the mass majority is rooting for the Ky Derby winner (Preakness favorite or not) to win the Preakness, which would result in the Belmont actually being relevant because you know no non-horse racing enthusiast gives a crap about the Belmont unless there's a horse vying for the Triple Crown. We haven't seen a Triple Crown winner in almost 30 years (though we've been fortunate to have an unusually occurence of contenders the last seven years or so).

So, yes, the Ky Derby is all about rooting for the underdog, but once you move onto the Preakness, it's all about rooting for the Ky Derby winner so we can have a chance to see a rare and amazing feat at the Belmont. Screw the underdog.

ToddTheJackass said...

@NDYanks, not sure I'd say it wasn't a dealbreaker. There were a lot of reports that last year he didn't sign with the Yankees specifically because they wouldn't offer him that clause. So I'm not sure that it wasn't a dealbreaker for Clemens this year. I will agree though that I think he'll use it less with the Yankees than he did with the Astros.

I'm sure some level of Farnsworth being pissed is also just the way he's treated (not being on Torre's circle of trust if you will).

Still, the immediate thing I thought of when the Yankees signed Farnsworth was, oh crap, if the Red Sox get in any more brawls with the Yankees someone's getting owned.

CMFost said...

sheildz please explain comment??

Sheldiz said...

thats the UMBC Retrievers, specifically.

not retrievers in general.

CJ said...

You're going waaaaay out on a limb with that Hard Spun pick ;-)

However, anyone who takes a look at the fractions will see that the longer race will actually favor Street Sense even more. It's clear Hard Spun is comfortable getting out in front early, but when the stretch rolls around, Street Sense will be passing again.

In fact, I'd say the horse that could upset Street Sense at the Belmont might actually be Imawildandcrazy guy. I wonder how the Derby would have finished had he not gotten off to a :26.03 start!

Mikepcfl said...

Sheldiz, that has to be the first UMBC reference ever in a national sports blog. I at least knew who you meant!

ToddTheJackass said...

This is a great quote from the Boston Globe in regards to Hinske:

Hinske, playing because Drew's back was still sore after he ran into the bullpen wall Tuesday night, was asked which meant more, the home run or the catch. To a familiar question, he gave a fresh answer.

"Probably the home run," he said, "because it didn't hurt.

Sheldiz said...

mike -- i gotta represent for my psuedo-alma mater (grad school). plus, i'm a legacy.

if chess were a sport, UMBC would be all over the press. :)

Melbye said...

Ok, I have refrained from giving them the Dud label all year, but now I just have to.

The Minnesota Twins are seriously the second biggest disappointment to this point in the American League, save the Yankees.

Johan throws a gem yesterday and the good ol Harry Doyle comes to mind, "Four hits, that's all we got, four goddamn hits?"

Terry Ryan, I plead with you, fix this mess and get us some right handed power and another starter...or two.

That's my rant and now I'm done. Thanks!

ToddTheJackass said...

Will, the good news for the Twins is that they don't have to look far for starting pitching help, Garza and Kevin Slowey (I'm not a Perkins believer) are both very good pitchers who should get the call very soon. They won't have a Liriano-esque impact (who could?), but they're both very solid pitchers who should help.

As for scoring runs, they're really hurting without Mauer, and Cuddyer really just played out of his mind last year. I still think the Twins and Red Sox should make a deal over Wily Mo Pena.

ToddTheJackass said...

Eesh... slow comment day. Anyway, they have All-Star ballots available at stadiums now, and the toughest decision has to be NL SS, right?

I mean there are at least 4 stud candidates in Reyes, Hardy, Hanley, and Rollins. I think it's between Reyes and Hardy, but what do you guys think?

Jen said...

Todd~ I voted for Omar Vizquel, so I'm no help ;)

Natsfan74 said...

It's funny how over the past 15 years or so, SS has become the hardest position to pick the all-star.

This year, it's the NL with Reyes, Hardy, et al.

A few years ago, it was the AL, with Jeter, ARod, and Tejada

The NL had its days, with Ozzie Smith, Barry Larkin, etc.

SS is the new 1B of hard to pick all-stars..... But I think it should be Reyes. Hardy is great. But Reyes seems to be the complete package. But if that is the hardest decision to make, what is the lamest (NL 2B maybe?)

ToddTheJackass said...

NL Catcher is pretty weak (McCann?). Chase Utley's solid enough to carry NL 2B. Kelly Johnson had a hell of a stretch their too.

I think though we're really going to be entering into the Golden Age of 3B though, with A-Rod, Miggy Cabrera, David Wright, Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Zimmerman, not to mention the up and comers like Brandon Wood, Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun, Andy Marte, etc. Could be a really incredible time for 3B if some of those guys pan out.

NA said...

My thoughts on the Preakness:

My biggest concern is the weather. It looks like it's supposed to rain all day tomorrow.

It's hard to see any of the top horses losing here. But the one horse I kind of like (as long as he stays above 10:1) is Circular Quay. He's had some bad luck in recent races (bumped by the Bruce Bowen of horses, Great Hunter in his last race, and before that he had to avoid a jockey on the ground). But I had him in the top 3.

I'm not sure how to distinguish the big 3 in the race. I chickened out for the most part and Just went with Street Sense and boxing Quay, Curlin, Roxy, and Hard Spun behind it.

Also, a few bucks on Quay to win outright at anything higher then 10:1

But I think the most value in the race is Quay. Roxy's interesting, but he's never won anything longer than 7 furlongs, and got caught at 1 1/8 by Tiago.

Unknown said...

Are any of the horses in the Preakness mudders. Were their mother's mudders? If a mudder's mother was a mudder, would they win? (Tip of the hat to Seinfeld.)

Unknown said...

Landis fiasco:

As a big cycling fan, this whole soap opera disgusts me. I have been following the Tour of Italy quite closely. The Landis doping trial - not so much.

Cycling used to be much like football and baseball. We all knew they doped but they all doped equally so people just pretended it didn't exist. Then some team was caught so they increased doping controls. Guess what? They caught more so they increased doping controls and increased penalties. So all the top names were being implicated and it is destroying the fan base for the sport. Everyone loses. They were trying to save the sport and instead are killing it.

Imagine if after winning the Superbowl, Manning's Testosterone to epitestosterone ratio was too high and now the Colts had to forfeit the Superbowl. Now we all know Urlacher is doping as well but he wasn't tested after the game because he was on the losing team. That is pretty much the equivalent except that you would have to add Manning being suspended for the next two years from playing football.

That is why we here in America are smarter. We know sports is business and we don't want to kill the golden goose. If Barry Bonds wasn't so blatantly doping and about to break Aaron's record, it would be less of an issue.

Sheldiz said...

speaking of interleague play...

i think the O's play the Nats this weekend, right? should be a couple of real barn burners.....

Natsfan74 said...

I'm looking forward to the Nats-O's series this week-end. It will set a record for the most people in a single facility who all hate Peter Angelos. At least, until we re-do this series at OPCY in a few weeks...

Great blog post on "capitol punishment" making fun of Baltimore, which makes it even more fun...

Sheldiz said...

natsfan, i'm sure i'll regret this.... but can you post the link?

Sheldiz said...

nevermind, i found it.

chitown italian said...

I just want to say thanks to Ryan Dumpster for the 135.00 ERA yesterday. Nice way to hold on to the four run lead their chief.

I must be a masochist because no one in their right mind would be a friggin Cubs fan.

That is all, have good mosh pitting.

Natsfan74 said...

I still don't know how to post links directly, but for those who are less resourceful than sheldiz, there's a great Nationals blog at

Brian in Oxford said...

Jeff Van Gundy....out.

But seriously, are they thinking Rick Adelman?

RexyBack said...

I'm really tired of the Yankees/Mets already

Really really tired

Kevin Hayward said...

Not sure I'd call Farnsworth a stud. He's right on the money, but his outspokenness just might get him traded.

The heroin sheik said...

I went to two of the three D-rays games at WWOS and I had a great time. Yes it is nice to play indoors during the middle of summer but it was cool being outside on the grass. The rays played great ball and are really exciting. I can't wait to see Sundays game at the trop against the marlins. I've been saying it for a while but if they could solidify their pitching they could make a run for the wild card since we can score a ton of runs. This is my last home game for a while. I move in two weeks and it is going to be tough saying goodbye to an old friend, the thunderdome. By the time I rewturn to florida I fear there will be a new stadium or the rays have moved. The best thing that franchise could do would be to play 20 games in orlando, 20 games maybe a bit further south like in sarasota or vero beach and then play 40 games at the trop. That would really boost their fanbase I think but I doubt it could ever work.