Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wednesday 06/06 A.M. Quickie:
Hot Bloggers, Trent, Billy, Stan, LeBron, More

First things first: Hot Blogger Bracket revealed! The amazing women over at Ladies... have done the "Selection Show" for their "Hot Blogger Bracket" and I have pulled a No. 1 seed, in the Mid-Atlantic Conference. It's a very tough field, to say the least. Vote!

More on the Hot Blogger Bracket at the end of this post. Meanwhile, all the big drama of the day appears to be out of Florida...

Down in Miami, it looks like they're going to get their QB: The deal with the Chiefs for Trent Green is on, as expected for months. Green gives the Dolphins clarity at the position that Daunte Culpepper was supposed to own. Now, it looks like Culpepper will be out. (Where will he end up: Falcons? Patriots? Look for teams that want a fragile ex-All Pro who won't like being a backup.) Cleo Lemon will remain Miami's tantalizing "backup with promise as QB of the future."

(As for the Chiefs, does this signal the beginning of the Brodie Croyle Era?)

In Orlando, pity the Magic: They make the splashiest coaching hire of the year, then the coach wants to back out. They target a replacement, and not only is he part of the uninspiring NBA Coaches Recycling Program, but it may cost them even more than his salary.

All signs point to the Magic hiring Stan Van Gundy. The only problem? He's under contract as a consultant to the Heat, and for hiring away the guy Pat Riley so unceremoniously fired two seasons ago, Riley apparently wants compensation from Orlando.

Billy Donovan jerking them around on one end. Pat Riley jerking them around on the other. Geez: The Magic can't catch a break in this, can they?

In Gainesville, is the Billy Donovan Saga nearly over? I think this break-up happens today, finally. The final detail? The agreement that Billy won't work in the NBA for at least five years (the term of his Magic deal).

It was a totally reasonable request, and I'm not sure why he didn't agree to it immediately and get back to the business of being Florida's coach.

If he's committed to the Gators, why would he care about some embargo on his NBA coaching career? This whole mess was supposed to affirm his fealty to Florida and college hoops, right? (Right?!?!)

(Related: Billy D is in NYC tomorrow night for a banquet. Dan from ArmchairGM will be there. Want to suggest a question for him to ask Billy? Use this link.)

NBA Finals: Charlie Pierce swoops in at Slate with a piece comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan. (And if you're wondering whether he digs into the Darfur thing, he does.)

But I presume Pierce's column was filed too late to weigh in on the complex "Birth vs. Playing Time" debate, which is happening over at Varsity Dad (with an assist from Free Darko).

Meanwhile, David Aldridge goes the other way: He argues that LeBron ain't MJ and these Cavs DEFINITELY ain't the Bulls. I sort of think Aldridge is having an argument with no one: I don't hear anyone comparing these Cavs to those Bulls title teams.

I do hear people comparing LeBron to Jordan, but not for playing style or even getting to the Finals, but for his role as the league's No. 1 most marketable star. By that metric, the comparison is apt.

UPDATE: Newest LeBron TV ad released on YouTube. See it here. (h/t: Fanhouse, with the first link to it!)

MLB Stud: Randy Johnson. His 8 Ks puts him ahead of Roger Clemens into second place on the all-time strikeout list. The back-and-forth between the two 40-something Hall of Famers could be one of the most entertaining competitions of the season.

MLB Future Stud: Looks like Reds phenom Homer Bailey will get his first MLB start on Friday night.

MLB Future Future Stud: With Vandy's MLB-ready starting pitcher David Price sizing up as the top overall pick of the 2007 MLB Draft (tomorrow – on TV!) by the Devil Rays, the question is: Can you acquire him now for my fantasy roster? I think he'll be pitching at the MLB level soon. (If you're in a keeper league, when does he get eligible for pickup?)

MiLB: After the "raging manager" idiocy, it's nice to find some genuine minor-league quirkiness. The Red Sox Class A Lowell Spinners bought the first base from the infamous A-Rod "slap" during the 2004 ALCS. They just went to a memorabilia merchant and got it. And now it's a nice little attraction at their field.

(How to use it? Personally, I'd debut it by letting fans compete to see who can do the funniest recreation of the "slap" incident, putting all the videos on YouTube for the world to vote on.)

More minor league baseball genius: The Long Beach Armada of the indie Golden Baseball League officially changed its name to... (deep breath):

Long Beach Armada of Los Angeles of California of the United States of North America Including Barrow, Alaska.

Yes, that's the team's official name. (The abbreviation? LBALACUSNAIBA) It's the longest team name in the world. The cost of upgrading the letterhead alone should create a financial hit. On the team's Web site, I don't see a redesigned logo incorporating the new name. Look, guys: I'm all for innovative marketing, but if you're going all-in, go all-freaking-in.

NFL/Vick Watch: Clinton Portis reiterates that his pro-Vick comments were bone-headed. Can we all just give the guy a break now and continue to focus our mockery on Vick himself?

NFL Concussions: Even if Troy Aikman has had migraine headaches since childhood, his insistence that they had nothing to do with his many concussions suffered in the NFL undercuts the effort to make this a bigger issue. I don't know why he would go public with his denials.

NFL "Get-Tough" Policy: Watch for a harsh penalty against Odell Thurman of the, yes, Bengals. He was accused of assault over the weekend. He's already served a suspension for the first four games of the '06 season.

NBA Draft: I really really REALLY wish people would stop wondering why college big men can't do as many bench-press reps at 185 pounds as the small guys. It's basic physics: The big men have further to push. Combine that with a teen age and the immature weight-training regimen of most college programs and you get Kevin Durant's zero reps.

(Related: Please keep in mind that Monta Ellis, coming out of high school, was rated the least athletic player in his draft class. Now look at him. Things change, friends: Both with age and NBA experience.)

I will say this: When you get the case of a long player who puts up a lot of 185 reps, THAT is worth noting. Long (6-foot-7), lanky (185 lbs) Corey Brewer put up 11 reps at 185, and he's a rail. Wow. (I was surprised that Corey was "only" 6-7, with "only" a 6-8 wingspan. How is he so freakishly good on defense?)

Here's DraftExpress.com's very helpful measurements database. (Just toying around with it, I noticed that Mike Conley was only 5-11, but with a 40-inch vertical, second-best in the draft class. Oh, and Josh McRoberts has the second-highest body-fat, making him a top prospect to be the next Hot Plate Williams.)

TV Ratings: Even as ratings slip for the major sports, the Red Sox-Yankees game on Sunday night set a new record for the most-watched Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN.

Olympics Logo Mayhem: You all saw the London 2012 logo yesterday. We all agree: It sucks. I think they'll end up changing it, which would be an Olympic-sized embarrassment for London. But it's just that bad.

Belmont: I'm backing the lone filly in the bunch, Rags to Riches. (I'm doin' it for the laiiii-dieeees!)

Fandom: Readers of this blog know all about the intrinsic relationship I created between my wife and my rooting interest. Jon Pyle from Pyle of List has his own story to tell about the intersection of marriage and fandom.

Extreme Sports: Just in time for the premiere of "John From Cincinnati" next week (from the #$@#$-ing creator of "Deadwood"), which is going to put surfing on the pop-culture radar, be sure to check out the Ultimate Surfing Encyclopedia, if that's your thing.

Varsity Letters Reading Series: Tonight! If you're in NYC, I highly recommend you go. Cheer Rick Reilly. Or jeer him, if that's your thing. It's at 8 p.m. at Happy Ending (Broome/Forsythe). And it's FREE. There's an amazing dumpling house around the corner, too.

Speaking of food, this will apply to maybe a few of you, if any, but one of the great pizza places in NYC was closed down for health-code violations. Well, many of them. But the pizza was insanely good. DiFara's will be missed. If you never went, you missed out.

-- D.S.

MORE ON THE HOT BLOGGER BRACKET:

This Hot Blogger Bracket concept is genius, and it's going to dominate the sports blogosphere. It's awesomeness cannot be overstated (and I'd say that no matter where I was seeded).

So here's the challenge: Vote. (Yes, for me! Shamelessness is the new hotness. That's my campaign slogan, apparently. Sure, I feel nominally bad about asking -- read: pandering -- for your vote, but it would be hilarious to go far in this tournament.) Here's the link to vote for my region. My matchup is right at the top, for your convenience.

Let me be clear: Enjoy this for the superficial fun that it is. It in no way implies anything about your own sexuality to vote for (mostly male) hot bloggers. (All together now, because it must be said: Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Here are the links for the other regions: the NL West region, the Campbell Conference region and the AFC North region. (Here's a main page for all the regions.) I'll come out with my picks later today or tomorrow. This is going to be hilariously fun.

(Update: Some contenders are already campaigning... and going negative, no less. It's in my region, no less, with 16-seed Extrapolator firing a shot at 7-seed Monday Morning Punder of Kissing Suzy Kolber. Yeah, there are 22 names in each region. It's THAT epic.)

56 comments:

Mikepcfl said...

Let me get this out of the way...

MLB Dud: O's bullpen blows 3rd straight late inning lead.

Also, I had an entire bar laughing last night when I passed the Olympic Logo/Lisa Simpson similiarity. Thanks again whoever came up with that.

Mark said...

Culpepper to the Patriots? What the hell are you talking about?

Lola Sports Talk said...

everyone is letting Durant off too easy for his goose egg on the bench press. He's no the only player in the draft with a wingspan of over 7 feet. look at noah, or wingate, they all put up double digits, i'm not saying durant should be putting up double digits but theres no way he should be putting up zero, im sure its just a case of them working out and Durant not putting in time in the weightroom.

Matt T said...

Culpepper to the Falcons would be hi-larious.

CycleDan said...

On BBC this morning, one Brit called the Olympic symbol insulting and rubbish. Seems we are not the only ones. How does the creator of the logo recover after creating the most reviled corporate symbol ever.

While the Red Sox Yankees game set a positive record, how about hockey? The last NHL Stanley cup playoff game had the lowest rating for NBC in prime time - EVER. That is not for sports, that is for ANY show from what they reported on the radio. I actually watched part of the game. It was an exciting game in the sport's championship series and it still did that bad. That doesn't bode well for hockey.

chipp said...

mikepcfl:
I wasn't sure why you've been "Dudding" the O's bullpen all season until the last couple of nights. As an M's fan, I appreciate your sacrifice. :)

Geoff said...

Hockey never does good in ratings. I don't know why the low ratings are even news. Hockey fans will watch hockey, people who don't like hockey won't. Just so happens a lot of casual sports fans don't watch hockey. The league won't fold because of it or anything.

Dan Mega said...

MLB dud- Mark Buerhle, 6th game in a row that he can't get his 100th win. To his credit, a few of those games he had no hitting to back him up. The Yankees got to him yesterday.

Blog Stud- Dan Shanoff?

After I saw the Durant news yesterday I was curious to see how many times I could do 185. I did it 13. I haven't hit that mark since I was 18, sheesh. I'm 26 now.

Todd said...

We can let Portis' comment go, but agreeing that the statement was boneheaded doesn't reduce the likelihood that he (and many others) are also involved in dog fighting.

Brian in Oxford said...

Is Rick Reilly bringing Rebecca Romijn and a case of Miller Lite? yum yum yum....(not!)

I hope ESPN doesn't use these ratings to give us MORE Sox-Yanks and LESS hockey.

thistlewarrior said...

WCWS: Arizona evened the series w/a 1-0 10 inning win. Taryne Mowatt pitched the entire game w/a nasty blister on the index finger on her pitching hand. Her sweet change-up was ultimately the difference, Tenn. batters struggled w/it all night. The final game tonight should be interesting.

Odell Thurman: No charges have been filed and a pre-warrant
hearing is scheduled for Fri. It is just as likely that
absolutely nothing will come of this. (At least that is what
I'm hoping. Damn it sucks to be a Bengals fan!)

kway34 said...

Odell Thruman served a suspension for the entire '06 season, not just the first 4 games. The new alligations are sure to help his reinstatement case though. [/sarcasm]

kway34 said...

Also, after reading the Jon Pyle about the connection he gets with his wife through USC football, let me emphasize the most important line of that article relative to this blog:

It’s a reminder that we both love the same team, that we have something in common that has connected us since before the start of our relationship.

Todd said...

MLB Studs, Duds, and Tampa Bay Duds (they deserve their own section) from yesterday:

Studs:
1. C.C. Sabathia - W, 9.0IP, 0ER, 5H, 8Ks
2. Rick Vanden Hurk - W, 6.0IP, 0ER, H, 2BB, 4Ks
3. Kelvim Escobar - W, 9.0IP, 1ER, 3H, 3BB, 4Ks
4. Adam Lind - 3-4, HR, 2B, 5RBI
5. Buddy Carlyle - W, 7.0IP, ER, H, 3BB, 5Ks

Duds:
1. Nate Robertson - 0IP, 6ER, 4H, 2BB
2. Roy Halladay - 3.1IP, 7ER, 12H, BB, 2HR
3. Andruw Jones - 0-8, K
4. Jamie Walker/Danys Baez - L, BS, 4ER, 3H, 2BB
5. Coco Crisp/Kevin Youkilis/Mike Lowell/David Ortiz - Combined to hit into 5 double plays

Tampa Bay Duds: 9th inning:
Chad Orvella: 0.0IP - 3ER, 2H, BB
Shawn Camp: 0.1IP - 2ER, H, BB
Casey Fossum: 0.0IP - ER, H
Tim Corcoran: 0.0IP - 3BB

Total line: L, 0.1IP 6ER, 4H, 5BB

That's worthy of it's own dud category. It's even worse than the Orioles bullpen.

verbal97 said...

honorary stud: ARod 3-5, HR, 3RBI.

The Yankees go up against a couple of their rejects, Vasquez and Contreras.


That TB line is interesting, but to make it even more impressively crappy you could say that it combined for an ERA of 162.00

Mikepcfl said...

Chipp thanks for giving me some perspective. The O's bullpen is a dud to me, but to every other team they are studs for handing over victories.

Also, I know Bill Simmons gets mixed reviews on here. His article yesterday applies to instant history, so it might be appropriate to link on the danwagon blog!

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/070605&sportCat=nba

Sheldiz said...

ack. the m-effing orioles. killing me.

jhawkjjm said...

Take it from someone who watched in amazement as Durant lit up Kansas not once but twice... who the hell cares if he can't bench press 185. Since when does someone in the NBA need to bench press something? As a GM the only thing I would worry about is if there's an injury there somewhere that caused him to not lift it.

The idea that a set of numbers means more than watching the kid actually play is retarded. Same goes with the NFL combine. To not select someone because they ran a 4.5 40 rather than a 4.4 40 is retarded.

DMtShooter said...

Sure, Shanoff. Don't even mention the 22 seed that's going against you. Use your ESPN connections and big traffic to rack up the votes. See if I care. I'll just... go and post on my own blog, then. That'll show you!

(Quickly consulting the Alan Keyes playbook...)

pv845 said...

Baseball stud: Jose Dela Rosa: allowed five hits and one run over 7 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking two.

Hey when you lose 10 out of 12, take anything you can get.

Todd said...

Yeah the Durant thing is such a non-story, it's a joke. I'm sure that teams below the #2 spot are just trying to hype it up (a la Vince Young's wunderlic) in a pathetic effort to try and get him to slip.

Seems like a pretty awful day all around for the AL East (minus the Yankees). The Red Sox offense was absolutely pathetic last night, and they literally would've been better off not swinging bats at all for the first few innings. When the starting pitcher walks 6, throws more balls than strikes, and you can't score a run because you ground into 4 DPs and line out into another, you pretty much suck that day.

CycleDan said...

Thanks for the link to the Simmons article. I used to read him very reguarly and it has probably been a good few months since I decided to read him. Good article.

Certainly in football we keep thinking that a team from 20 or 30 years agoe would have no chance against a team from today. We can compare size of O-linemen, 40 yd dash times and so on. Maybe that is true in basketball as well. However I know quite a few basketball fans who were already convinced the USA had won the Olympic gold medal before play had even started. Today's players can jump higher, bench more weight and do reverse slams better than players 20 years ago. I don't think they are better shooters or passers though.

I don't think baseball teams are that much better than teams 20-30 year ago. African Americans simply don't play baseball very much anymore. That has reduced the domestic talent pool. Of course the influx of Latin American and Asian players has brought in more talent to offset that. In some ways, the World Series is truly the "World" Series now.

However, I somewhat disagree with Simmons. There are those athletes from the past who diminish as our memories fade, and there are those who are inflated due to legendary status. Nobody sees the film of Jim Brown rushing up the middle for no gain. I have never seen anything other than his highlight film where he was amazing. Is Jim Brown the greatest RB of all time? I don't know, I have never seen him play.

verbal97 said...

@cycledan

great point in your last paragraph. If you haven't seen someone play, other than their highlights, can you really make an honest assessment?

verbal97 said...

Re: Migraines.

Migraines have a genetic component and I believe that Aikmen's sister is also a sufferer which would back up his claim that his concussions don't have anything to do with his migraines. Anyway, can't we get Merrill Hoge or Eric Lindros to weigh in?

Jen said...

pv845~ I was at the game and De La Rosa did pitch a great game. It wasn't like the Indians were lighting it up out there. DeJesus had a great face-planting catch too. (I have to give him some props since he's my cousin's friend)
I had to keep reminding myself that I was at a great game (freezing my arse off), watching C.C. pitch a CG shut-out, but it could have had a LITTLE more offense!

Mikepcfl said...

It's so hard to find a balance between honoring the athletes of today vs yesterday. Cycledan and Verbal make some great points. How can you really make a judgement when the stats are from a different era and the highlights cant show the entire career? Now I know why we have various halls of fame! Maybe you just have to be an 80 year old geezer who can say they saw the stars of yesterday when they played? Or we can just jump on the danwagon and say that who ever won last night is the greatest ever!

Holly said...

Thanks for the love, Dan, and for being wildly enthusiastic about this since the beginning. Team Shanoff!

CMFost said...

Honorary Stud - Lenny DiNardo - Yes he walked 6 guys but he did hold the Red Sox Scoreless while he was in the game

Todd said...

Jason Schmidt or Chris Young are way more deserving of stud status then DiNardo.

DiNardo did very well in that he kept the ball on the ground, but struck out none, walked six, and of his 89 pitches, only 43 were strikes. I'm sorry, but I don't care about the final result, no one who throws less than 50% of his pitches for strikes should ever be a stud.

pv845 said...

I understand that very few people in the sports from yesteryear would compete on the same level if they played today, but other things than size have changed as well.
Look at basketball. Lebron's 48 was impressive in any era, but the game of basketball today is nothing like it was in the 80s. First, Lebron might be playing PF or C because he is freakin huge inside. Second, player like Lebron and Tony Parker would not be scoring like they are. Can you imagine Charles Oakley coming across the lane and smasking one of those two.
Baseball is a lot more about the long ball and power everything. Someone did an article on the disappearing triple and it spoke a lot about the changes to baseball.
Every sport has changes, but at the rate of change in them, it is going to be increasingly harder to compare and have the comparisons be accurate.

J said...

'Jericho' fans assail CBS with 25 tons of peanuts

Fans trumpeting the cause of CBS' canceled drama "Jericho" have caught the network's ear.

CBS, deluged with calls, messages and shipments of nuts signifying viewer displeasure, is reconsidering its decision, a source close to the production said Tuesday.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly. A decision on whether to bring the show back, probably for a midseason run, is imminent, the source said.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kway34 said...

Obviously the game changes which makes it difficult to compare athletes from different eras, but when you get down to pure athletic ability the top athletes from any era have to be about equal to the top athletes of another. Training methods change, rules change in somce cases (baseball) the size of the playing area changes all of which affects numbers and records, but from pure ability and natural talent they're all on the same field.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Honorary Stud to the men and women of the Allied Forces who took part in one of the most important dates in world history.

Mikepcfl said...

Amen to that Vince. Nice comment

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Jay Bilas doing what Dan refuses to do. Call out Billy Donovan

Geoff said...

If Dan calls him out are we going to have to pay monthly to read it in the DanWagon Insider?

Big D said...

"...a fragile ex-All Pro who won't like being a backup."

That should be engraved on Drew Bledsoe's Hall of Fame plaque.

kway34 said...

Honorary Stud to the men and women of the Allied Forces who took part in one of the most important dates in world history.

Amen.

Joey said...

I was at the Indians-Royals game last night as well. I had a great view of Dejesus's catch right in right centerfield. Both pitchers were just cruising along all game with De La Rosa's only mistake being the solo shot by Gutierrez. I love watching C.C. pitch, I feel like they have a great chance to win everytime. He was dominant.

Jen said...

Joey~ I was so glad to hear that C.C. was pitching for the game I was going to. If it was Sowers or Lee, I would have made other plans. haha

stooncer said...

Does Brewer's wingspan make him a freak on defense? Absolutely not. Let's not forget the fundamentals. The point of good basketball defense is to move your feet and get in front of the opposing player. It also helps to have quick hands.

Just having long arms is only going to get you wistled for handchecks and an occasional blocked shot.

Durant putting up a zero is about as meaningful VY's Wonderlick score.

Jen said...

brian~ did you flip Boone the finger again...he homered again today!

GuyInTheCorner said...

Speaking as one of the 12 remaining die-hard NBA fans left on Earth...

I can tell you that Durant not being able to bench press 185 is a way bigger deal than most people think. An NBA season is about 3 times as long as a college season. The players are also MUCH stronger.

If you are underestimating the difference in the beating a player takes you are missing a huge factor.

How is he going to play against LeBron, Kobe, T-Mac, or even guys like Agent Zero? Can they post him up on every play?

The bottom line is that he could hit the gym hard and put on the muscle though. However the downside to that plan is that it is obvious and he easily could have done it before. This might mean he's lazy. But he could have just been really busy or something...

marcomarco said...

Can someone "loan" an insider name/pwd on a "temporary" basis?

I hate espn sometimes.

chipp said...

Guy:
I concur. It took Jordan a couple of years of bulking up before he was able to play physically with people.

Brian in Oxford said...

I saw the homer, but didn't realize it was Boone until after he hit it....decided against a finger this time. (Try explaining THAT to folks in the office passing by.)

R. Crowe said...

Have the NBA Finals finished yet? What? They haven't even started? Talk about losing your sport's momentum...

JmanTU said...

Isn't John Beck the QB of the future in Miami, I think they spent a 2nd round pick on him...Clem Lemon!!! C'mon Dan! I think your number 1 seed is messing up your comments...

MC Welk said...

Next Hot Plate Williams? Glen Davis. No contest.

mills said...

vote for dan because he's the best

Dan The Man said...

Dan is not getting my vote, his blog is laaaaaaaaame

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

The next "Hot Plate" Williams is going to be one of Dan's boys, Al Horford. At least that is what I hope and then we can read how Dan defends his decision to "bulk up"

Big D said...

As if it wasn't already over... killer slapshot at 17:00 in the third for a 6-2 lead.

Congrats to the Ducks. Do I hear a "Mighty Ducks 4: All Grown Up?"

Boy I hope not...

roger goodell's taint said...

You spelled MMP's name wrong: it's Monday Morning PunTer, brah.

bird said...

A day late, but thanks to Kway34 for giving a well-deserved salute to the D-Day veterans. We are losing more them every day, and I feel very lucky to have my dad (a very proud D-Day vet) here to remind us how much we owe to those folks!