Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday 06/30 A.M. (Very) Quickie:
Bonds 750, NBA Draft Hangover, "Huffing," More

Bonds: 750. With six HR to go to break Aaron's record, it is SO on. Will he break it this week? Unlikely, but you know it'll happen this month, instantly making it THE sports story of an otherwise particularly slow July. Nothing else is going on. Expect overkill.

The question now is whether it will happen before or after the All-Star Break. If Bonds still needs a handful of HR by the All-Star Game, it will be all anyone will want to talk about at the ASG. And how can MLB *NOT* include Bonds in the game?

NBA Draft Hangover: Jason Kent from the terrific FanIQ emailed me with a question yesterday that I found to be one of the most fascinating subplots of the first 24 hours after the NBA Draft:

How do Bulls fans who spent the last 1-2 years with an opinion of Joakim Noah ranging from mild annoyance to full-blown enmity do a 180 and suddenly root for him because he's suddenly "theirs?"

Here's what I replied to him:

A few thoughts:

(1) When Noah was a freshman, not playing at all and mostly sulking, I disliked him entirely.

(2) At the start of his sophomore year (two seasons ago), I sat in MSG with my wife watching the Gators foreshadow their title by beating Wake and Syracuse. I couldn't stand Noah. My wife said he's going to be a star. Shows what I know.

(3) By the 2006 NCAA Tournament, I had come to appreciate his energy and selflessness, his team orientation. He's obnoxious, yes, but his life is an error of enthusiasm, which is entirely forgivable.

(4) End of 2006 Tournament: I believe.

(5) 2007 season and tournament: I find him a little too over-the-top (a game-killing technical waiting to happen), but he always rode the fine line. He maintained that team-first orientation and, despite (a) more scrutiny and loathing than any other player this year and (b) a decreased role within the team as his teammates got a lot better, he was a star on a double-title team.

Here's the upshot: When he's theirs, you hate him. When he's yours, you love him. I'm thoroughly enjoying watching Bulls fans who previously hated him beyond belief rationalizing how to like him.

And people call ME a Bandwagon Gator fan!!!

Here's Jason's blog post about it.

24 hours after the Draft, a few course corrections from my knee-jerk reactions to how the draft unfolded:

  • As a Wizards fan, I feel a lot better about Nick Young (mainly because I heard from so many people assuring me he was a great addition).
  • Danny Ainge is still a moron and the Celtics are still destined for continued mediocrity. (And I'm still not sold on Michael Jordan's trade for Jason Richardson, even/especially if he re-signs Gerald Wallace.)
  • After all that pre-draft build-up, Greg Oden to the Blazers feels like the most obvious and natural fit in the world.
  • I don't think Isiah is done yet, which is fun for the rest of us.
  • I think Kevin Garnett ends up in... Oakland, playing for the Warriors.

NFL folds NFL Europe: Was it a worthy experiment or a Commissioner's indulgence? Predictable answer: A little of both.

I think the league finally understands its place in Europe, following the sold-out-in-an-hour Wembley Stadium experiment – a handful of games in Europe every season.

Actually, the NFL's plan to have each team play one regular-season game per season internationally is the best globalization strategy the league could probably deploy.

MLB Stud: Aubrey Huff, who hit for the cycle in an O's win (and reminded me of the multiple seasons in a row when I was fooled into drafting Huff on my fantasy team, only to be disappointed).

MLB Stud Rookie: Ben Francisco of the Indians. Walk-off debut!

MLB Move: Milton Bradley to the Padres.

Marketing Watch: Greg Oden will wear No. 52. I'm not sure it will sell well (even in Portland) because fans can't relate to post players like they can to guards and swingmen. My prediction for the most popular rookie jersey: Whatever Kevin Durant is wearing for Seattle.

-- D.S.


hskr dave said...

You are a bandwagon Gator Fan. They were Bulls fans before Noah, altho possibly only because of Jordan. Now they have to decide if they want to be Noah bandwagon fans.

marcomarco said...

Schilling To Start LiveBlogging From Mound


pv845 said...

I say again, Noah is a tool that Chicago will come to loathe. No person outside of the Danwagon likes him and thinks this is a smart move by the Bulls.

Stud: ROYALS: win 4 straight! Hey, I take anything at this point.

Precourt said...

I'm a Bulls Fan that went to school at UF and couldn't stand Noah 3 years ago. I couldn't stand him 2 years ago. I couldn't stand him 1 year ago.

Joke Noah, as I have came to call him, is a tool. I am desperately hopinge for a trade of any kind that doesn't include Kobe.

The sad reality of sports is we don't get to choose who our team chooses. Nobody may like him now, but if we win a championship with Carrot Top's brother no one will care.

Hopefully they can trade him away and none of us will have to worry about this.

Not A Gunslinger said...


You are developing a bad habit of hearing that a player had a notable accomplishment and automatically assuming his team won without even checking the score of the game. You're becoming a SportsCenter only fan.

k said...

Uh, you don't think Oden's jersey will sell well? Now, granted this is small sample size, but yesterday I was at the rally downtown in Portland to welcome him, they had Oden's Blazer jersey for sale at $45 and I definitely saw more than a few guys buying it before the rally started. And more than a few after, as well. People were stoked. He's a charming, funny guy and he makes people like him. Portland is not the town where Durant's jersey will sell better.

Chaddogg said...

Noah is going to be great in Chicago. But Dan, you missed the obvious comparison on the "enmity-to-adoration" scale - Dennis Rodman. I HATED the Worm when he was with Detroit. But once he brought his technicolored hair to Chicago? He was OUR guy.

MLB Stud: Entire Cubs bullpen. Gave up 5 hits and no runs in 6 innings of work. The HUGE untold story of the Cubs' win. Also mad props to Aramis Ramirez (walk off 2-run HR) and Mike Fontenot (another 2-5 day, keeping him at .408 right now).

Tim Susman said...

Hey Dan, missed commenting on the actual draft post, but I have to ask: with two Gators in the fold, are you going to be joining me in rooting for the T-Wolves now? :)

Also, it's not "NFL Europe" (as I'd also thought...

Travis said...

Sorry Dan, but yout underestimating the buying power of Chinese-Americans and Chinese in general.

Unknown said...

I wish it had been an Orioles win but the O's lost last night Dan. Huff's great night was for naught.

Anonymous said...

im wondering still what the big deal about a cycle is, a guy who hits 2 dbs and 2 homers had a far better game but cycles get teh attention.

Glove32 said...

I wonder what Buck William has to say now the Oden has his #52.

The O's lost the game Huff hit for the cycle when Howie Kendrick hit a 2run hr to win the game for the Halos
How many times will we see three walk off HR's on the same day? Cleveland, Houston and Chicago Cubs
Stud Chone Figgins 51 hits so far in June

Travis said...

The Red Sox have called up Jacoby Ellsbury and he will start in CF tonite.

Lou Pickney said...

Billy Donovan told me in confidence that Joakim Noah's new hairstyle and bow-tie look will win him over in Chi-town.

If Noah is willing to go to war with the Stephen A. Smith sock puppet, then everyone from Carlos Boozer to Rasheed Wallace had best beware.

frank said...

after witnessing the 180 that yankees fan did when they got a-rod, i don't think it'll be that hard for bulls fans to do the same for noah.

Ryne Nelson said...

As one of the Chicagoans who fits the Noah fanship-bit, I completely LOVE this post. I think the fact that he's not going to be in the spotlight - more of a role player - is comforting. I'm sure he can channel his viciously insane energy into Chi's system.

Sloan said...

hey dan - you said that huff hit the cycle in the o's win. the angels won. get your facts straight.

Nelvis said...

The thing about the Richardson-Wright trade I haven't heard anyone talk about is one of the closest people to Jordan is Roy Williams. Am I the only one that finds it odd Jordan didn't keep a UNC player that was coached by Roy?

As for the Boston trade, what was the problem with that trade? They didn't give up any of their big chips (Rondo, Green, Jefferson or Theo's contract) and get another all star to add with Pierce. If they stay healthy why cant they make a run in the east where a team like Cleveland can get to finals.

Eric Chase said...

Nelvis - because unless Perkins becomes some kind of presence inside, that team is still too perimeter oriented. Allen is 10x better than Antoine Walker was with the C's, but he will essentially be playing the same role as Walker did...shoot 3's and not play D

TJ said...

The best analogy I can think of for coming around on Noah is Spurrier. When he's not coaching your team, he's an asshole. When he's coaching your team, he's your asshole.

Chewy said...

Wow...way to go out on a limp on the prediction for the Durant jersey...I should go get my MBA from Harvard, and maybe I can come to the same conclusion.