Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wednesday 08/01 A.M. Qui
KG, Johan, MLB Trades, NFL Camping, More!

August used to be the dog days of the sports year. (Now, we can't even throw around the phrase "dog days" anymore. Thank you, Mr. Vick.)

Now, between NFL camping (and accompanying fantasy-league ramp-up mania) and CFB two-a-days and MLB fantasy-league pennant races, August has arguably turned into a power month of the sports year. Just thought I'd point that out, given that it's August 1. Let's get going.

NBA: KG to Celtics, Cont'd. Forgive me if I'm not ready to hand Boston the East title just yet. The C's need to overcome: Injury risk, inexperienced PG play and zero depth beyond the "Big Three." Even if you think the East is weak, all the Celtics have done is get into the conversation of "Who is LEAST weak?"

In effect, "playing to win now" means "playing to win the East title," not "playing to win the NBA title." I suppose that beats the Lottery (and having a team seemingly going nowhere), but let's still keep it in perspective. It's a long way from "East contender" to "NBA contender."

If nothing else, it makes the Celtics relevant again. Too bad the only people crowing about needing the Celtics to be relevant again are the team's fans. It is a manifestation of that unique brand of delusional Boston triumphalism to think that the Celtics being good is somehow a prerequisite for the NBA to be compelling.

UPDATE: Here's today's Must-Read: Henry Abbott at TrueHoop put together a cavalcade of alternative opinions about the future of the NBA East. (I'm included... read through them all, but look for a familiar name halfway down.) Really really smart people and a ton of variety of opinion.

UPDATE: Billups has a fairly must-read post over at Free Darko, with 10 reasons why this deal rules. And he may have even pierced my cynicism.

Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett will wear No. 5. And I predict that it will be the best-selling NBA jersey of the year. Who would have guessed that with the ludicrous volume of jersey numbers the Celtics have retired that a single-digit number would still be available? (I guess Gerald Green wore No. 5 a year ago, so I should have known it was available.)

Johan Santana is leaving the Twins: That is not an unreasonable interpretation of some of the things MLB's best pitcher had to say about his team after their trade dud-line:

"I'm not surprised. That's exactly how they are. That's why we're never going to go beyond where we've gone."

"It's not just about hope. In a realistic world, you have to really make it happen and go for it."

"You always talk about future, future. ... But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won't be part of it."

"Why waste time when you're talking about something that's always going to be like that? It's never going to be beyond this point. It doesn't make any sense for me to be here, you know?"

MLB Trade Deadline: The Red Sox get Eric Gagne, effectively turning the Red Sox starting rotation into 6-inning pitchers, max. Because then they turn it over to the 7-8-9 bullpen troika, which is Boston's REAL "Big Three." Forget those guys playing hoops.

The Braves made another move, this time to get extra bullpen help, grabbing Octavio Dotel from the Royals. Dotel has the ability to close, but will likely be a set-up guy for Atlanta.

MLB Milestones: "Glavine 300" on hold as Mets bullpen blows his shot. "A-Rod 500" and "Bonds 755" also didn't happen. (How do you know A-Rod is in a slump? If you hear the Yankees hit 8 home runs in one game and A-Rod can't claim one of them.)

NFL: Daunte Culpepper signs with the Raiders. If he's healthy, who needs a rookie QB taken No. 1 overall and apparently with an over-inflated sense of value? (Speaking of which, has Brady Quinn signed yet? No? What a d-b-a-g.)

Vick Watch: It's not that Rawlings cut its endorsement ties with Michael Vick. It's wondering what the heck took them so long?

College Football Media Daze: Big Ten. Commish/TV impresario Jim Delany clarified that the Big Ten isn't going to add a 12th team imminently. (As for whether the league should add a 12th team or controversial championship game, here's my small suggestion: Start by moving the Michigan-Ohio State game to December 2, the date that all the other conferences have their championship games.)

Freddy Adu Watch: Will finally play in Europe after inking a deal to play with Portugal's Benfica. I guess that kind of makes him like David Beckham doing a reverse-commute. Adu has kind of fallen off the sports radar recently, but I still find him fascinating. He remains America's top home-grown hope for international soccer success.

Tour de France: This shouldn't surprise you, but someone says they have proof that champ Contador is linked to doping. How do you say "Same old, same old" in French?

Murdoch buys Wall Street Journal: My only hope is that he lets my immensely talented WSJ friends Jason Fry, Carl Bialik and Sam Walker continue to produce sensational work. (Oh, and if I reprise my role as the WSJ Online's NCAA Tournament analyst next spring, I'd accept a pay bump upward.)

FTC vs. MLB? Here's an interesting one: You know that famous "blah blah blah without written consent of Major League Baseball blah blah blah" that each sports league announces during any/all games? Google, Microsoft and others think it's unnecessarily hard to understand, intimidating those of us who would like to use the content legally from doing so. Here's the story, via (And a hearty h/t to

If you live in NYC: Varsity Letters Reading Series TONIGHT! An amazing lineup: Sally Jenkins, Joe Posnanski and Seth Mnookin makes his return. It all starts at 8 at Happy Ending (302 Broome) on the Lower East Side. And, as always, it's FREE. Here's a link to more info.

-- D.S.


pete said...

Dan, your assertion that only Celtics fans are crowing that the team needs to be relevant again is totally off base. Almost no one could discuss the trade yesterday (Colin Cowherd, and Stephen A. Smith being two) without mentioning that the trade is good for the NBA, and that not having marketable teams in the northeast (Philly, NY, and Boston) was bad for the NBA and this trade fixes that. Even Mike and Mike were saying this morning that the Celtics haven't been great in 20 years and this was returning to the norm. Not sure how many Celtics fans have a public voice to give you the impression that they're the only ones "crowing" that they need to be relevant again (other than Simmons). What sources are you using for that statement?

BLT said...

Anyone know why Garnett chose to wear #5. I haven't read enough to hear a reason.

Also MLB STUD: Jesse Leitch - SP - Toronto. 6 2/3, 0R, 2K. Against a team he was a bat boy for only 5 years ago.

Luke Bell said...

Just a note that 3 of the top 5 draft picks haven't signed yet. I am no Brady Quinn supporter, but calling him out each and every day with little to no mention of the other unsigned picks is unnecessary. At least stop with the name calling. We get it, you don't like Notre Dame or Brady Quinn.

Geoff said...

The Celtics have to actually be good again for them to be relevant. This trade doesn't guarantee them anything other than having a few good players, a horrible coach and no depth. Let them get off to a hot start and beat some good teams, then we'll see. If they are 10-25 35 games into the season they aren't going to be marketable regardless of who is wearing the jersey.

Matt T said...

Rawlings actually said something along the lines of "We understand that Vick has not been convicted, but we not longer want him representing our company" (heard it on the radio this morning)

They probably took their time, so they could come up with that statement.

Unknown said...


I'm no Brady Quinn hater or anything, but I would say that the top 5 picks not being signed is because their agents are trying to get them "top 5 money". This is the same reason that Brady Quinn isn't signed. The only problem is that Brady Quinn trying to get "top 5 money" is crazy because he was drafted at #22.

Gary said...

BLT, you asked why Garnett chose to wear #5. I don't know for sure why 5 specifically, but as you probably know, there aren't many numbers available for Celtics players. If you go here, you can see the (long) list of retired numbers

If I was KG I would have picked #7 instead of #5, but there aren't too many to choose from anyway.

eileen said...

Dan, I don't think Celtics' fans are as bad as you make us out to be. (yes, Red Sox fans can be annoying, but it's not our fault that ESPN shoves our team down the entire natio's throat.) I don't think the Celtics need to be good in order for the league to be compelling- I had a lot of fun following the West teams last season. However, this is a city with a rich tradition in basketball, and fans have a right to be excited about the acquitisition of a top player after ten years of medicrity (or worse). I don't care how "revelant" the Celtics are, I'm just happy about the fact that I'll get to watch a competitive Celtics team next season.

The move is a win-win for the NBA, in that it will make more a marketable northeast team (like Pete said), and the fact that KG is a talented and popular player, and people will be tuning in to see how he does on a new team.

ndyanksfan05 said...

He is trying to make it so hhis contract is strutured so that he has the potential in five years to make franchise money - the first two or three years of the deal are set (and are not really asking for top 5 money). There are a lot of people unsigned and the fact that dan is singling out one player out of spite makes dan a d-b-a-g (which by the way is a pretty gay way of writing d-bag. why not just do your stupid little d.b.a.g. or what ever the hell you do to try and be original)

Luke Bell said...

Dwyane Bowe. Jon Beason. These are two guys drafted in the 1st round after Brady Quinn who are still unsigned. I don't care why they aren't signed--in reality, they ALL want more money. The fact remains that only Brady Quinn is ever mentioned, and even worse, he is a "douchebag" because of it.

Big D said...

I think the point being made about Quinn is this - people usually expect the guys at the top of the draft to have an overinflated sense of self-worth, therefore there's usually not a big shock when a #1 or #2 pick holds out for a couple million more in guaranteed money.

The shock comes when a player (who is undoubtedly a top-10 talent) gets drafted #22 and has the brass balls to basically say that it's not his fault that teams passed on him; he still should be paid like a top-10 guy.

In this case, JaMarcus Russell holding out is not all that surprising (especially considering it's the Raiders - who would voluntarily sign a contract there?). The surprise is that Quinn just doesn't understand that he's going to be paid based on where he was taken, not where he thinks he should have been taken. If that were the case, every draft pick would have to be paid #1 money.

jhawkjjm said...

There's other's outside the top 10 not signed. I'll ask the same question I did earlier, is it the player or the agent who is driving this? The agent wants the largest contract he can get because he gets a percentage and knows that if he can get a big contract now, he'll be able to increase the size of the contracts in the future. Also don't forget the QB premium (right or wrong).

I'll give you a reason why the Celtics being relevant is important to the NBA, Boston is a top 10 market. The more they can get the Celtics on TV, the more $$$

J Fitty said...

le même vieux, même vieux

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Murdoch will ruin the Journal like he ruined the NY Post. The guy is a giant ass-hat.

Anonymous said...

Garnett can't wear #21 since that number is already retired.

The Mark Show said...

I love when Dan talks about the Boston fans' arrogance and whatnot. This from a d-bag bandwagon Florida fan who pimps the team whenever possible and abandoned his alma matter except when convenient.

As for the Celtics, I haven't read anything "handing" them the conference title, only that they are in position to be one of the top 3 or 4 teams and have a legitimate shot to make the finals.

KG taking #7 would have been interesting because that's the number Jefferson wore.

Unknown said...

Yay, Fox-style "jpurnalism" coming to the WSJ! Nice to see the ass-kissing start already, Dan. Bend over.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Anyone listen to the Mikes this morning. The odd of the Celtics winning the East went from 75:1 to 4:1 after the Garnett trade and their odds of winning the NBA title went from 100:1 to 7:1.

Pete said...

I think there are some ways to make the argument that Brady Quinn has legitimate reasons to hold out.

1. JaMarcus Russell, the #1 QB taken in the draft, hasn't signed yet, and therefore the sliding scale for quarterbacks hasn't been established for this year's class. Brady is the #2 QB drafted.

2. Even though taken #22, the Cleveland Browns, by trading next year's first round pick, essentially stated that Quinn is worth a first round pick, arguably two.

3. Anybody who thinks Quinn won't be the leader of the Browns within 2-3 years (hell, maybe just 1) is most likely delusional. As such, he needs to make sure that even if he's making #22 money to start, he ends up getting paid like an NFL starting quarterback/franchise player in the future.

4. Charlie Frye and the Other Guy are hardly impressive, and it's a big point of leverage for Quinn.

I don't think Brady Quinn is demanding the highest salary ever issued for anybody, but I think he does have some reasons to lay valid claim to holding out for a fair deal.

Unknown said...


It was actually eastern champs went from 75:1 to 7:2 and nba champs from 100:1 to 5:1

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

thanks guy I knew I had the new odds wrong but just had to put it out there

Big D said...


Went online two days ago when the KG rumors started to try and get $$ on the C's to take the East... tried dropping $100 on them @ 75:1, but by the time the bet went through, the site had pulled the line. Missed it by about 5 minutes.

That's gonna hurt in June '08.

Also, if anybody's interested... KG Thoughts

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

That sucks D. It seems that a lot of people would have put money on them winning the East at 75:1 then the NBA Finals.

danwise1856 said...

Once again, Dan shows his lack of research. It is actually no surprise since we know he does not like Quinn and never says anything about the Browns.

Part of the problem with Quinn is that the Browns front office stated on draft day that they tried to get him at 12 and thought he was a top 5 pick.

This is leverage that Quinn and his agent Condon are most likely using. As a Browns fan, let Quinn hold out another week or so. He is not going to start anyway and HE CANT GET HURT if he is not playing.

All in all this is good for the Browns and despite what Dan says

Big D said...

Wonder if that FTC article will get me off the hook for the Copyright Infringement notice that YouTube lobbied against me...

Big D said...

By the way - Happy 1-year blogging anniversary to you Dan...

CMFost said...

D a little early the first post was 8-31-2006

Jingoist said...

That sound you hear is the Red Sox and Yankees licking their chops (and their saliva hitting the floor in bucketfuls) as they dream of the day Johan becomes a free agent.

Unknown said...


I will be willing to bet that Johan doesn't go free agent. He will be signed to a gigantic extension. Something like 7/150. Who will sign him to this extension really just depends on where the Twins trade him this offseason or at next years trade deadline.

It's obvious that he won't stay in Minny so the Twins will want to get a bunch of stuff for him before he goes free agent so they will trade him.

What they can get for him, I don't know. But it will be a ton. I'll go with at least a middle of the lineup power hitter, an everyday starter, an ace pitching prospect, and either a 4 star position player prospect or two mid level prospects.

Whatever team trades for Santana is going to want to sign the extension as part of the trade. No one will get him as a rental because he costs to much in the trade to rent and the Twins could get more from a team that knows they get to keep him long term.

If this doesn't go down like I just said, somebody is really dumb. The Twins' GM, Johan, Johan's agent, the big market teams, I don't know who. But someone would have to be really dub for it not to play out like that.

Kurt said...

Big D,
Copyright infringement notice got lobbied against you? Try, someone complained you were using video you didn't have permission to use and YouTube deleted the video and sent you the standard notice they send everyone who uploads copyrighted material. No big deal.

Big D said...

@ kurt

Same difference. The video got pulled down the day before MLB started their promotion to let fans make videos of great MLB moments...

Big D said...

@ cmfost:

Yup, you're right. As usual, I'm a jackass.

For some reason, I thought it was the MLB trading deadline last season. Maybe I was thinking of the waiver deadline.

Eric said...

A-Rod being A-Rod. Pressure's on for something meaningful and he's choking, yet again. What is he now, 0-17 and going. Best player ever... when nothing's on the line.

marcomarco said...

Shanny, you've been infected by your mailing address. Why don't you just come out and admit your NY affinity?

"delusional Boston triumphalism"

Take your thesaurus out of your piehole, you assclown.

chitown italian said...

Let Quinn work at McDonald's flipping burgers for a year.

That is what the Bears should have done with Curtis Penis out of Penn State a few years back (Yes, I am still bitter!!!)!

ndyanksfan05 said...

eric = ignorant standard a-rod hater...god forbid the MVP of the league has an 0-17 slide (with a bunch of walks)...obviously you know absolutely nothing about baseball.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Once again - review the facts not just the fact that Quinn hasn't signed.

Quinn's just trying to get the back-end of his contract up so if he becomes a franchise QB in 4-5 years he is in the money

He isn't holding out for first pick money

While the media would love to have you believe that he's being a jerk, the fact is the browns wont give him a 4-year deal. The money has already been agreed upon. This is on the browns.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

nd fan why should Quinn care if the backend is loaded? If he performs like people expect him to then he can sign he his fat contract after 3 years.

Andy said...

All right, this is getting pretty damn frustrating to me. Dan, quit referring to the Michigan-OSU game as the Big Ten Championship game. Last year it was. But guess what?? Wisconsin's got a damn good team this year. Penn State's gonna be pretty good. Iowa will surprise a lot of people.

In the past 10 years, Penn State, Iowa, Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern, and Wisconsin have all won outright or shares of Big Ten titles.

Were Mich and OSU the best last year? Yes. Are they the best this year? Maybe but probably not. It's not every year that they are the best. Start giving the whole conference some credit because 6 of the other 9 schools have at least shared a conference title in the last 10 years. That's pretty balanced if you ask me.

Ftrain said...

Eric is not an ignorant A-Rod hater. He just has a low tolerence for athletes that perform below their talent in pressure situations. Though i disagree on the fact getting 500 HRs is a pressure situation. It's not like he's never going to hit a HR ever again.

apoch said...

Dan, Dan, Dan..

That Tour comment isn't informed. The dude claiming that Contador is tied to Operation Puerto is known for outrageous, unsubstantiated claims. He made the same kind of comments about Ulrich and the courts forbid him from making any more because he has no proof.

UCI and the Spanish Authorities involved in Operation Puerto cleared Contador. Until that gets reversed, it is pretty safe to ignore any of those attempted smears on his character.

danwise1856 said...


While I agree that the OSU-Michigan game is not for the Championship, what he should state is that the OSU-Mich game generally determines the outcome of who does win the Big 10, whether it be one of those two teams, Penn State, Wisc. etc.

2006 - OSU Wins and win the Big Ten title outright

2005 - OSU beats Michigan to claim a share of the title with Penn State. If OSU lost it would have been PSU's outright

2004 - OSU beat Michigan. The loss allowed Mich to claim a share of the Bit 10 title with Iowa. A win and it would have been theirs outright

2003 - Michigan beats OSU for the outright title. An OSU win would have claimed it for them outright

2002 - OSU beats Mich to claim a share of the title with Iowa. A Mich win and Iowa wins the title outright

2001 - OSU beats Mich to deny Mich a share of the Big Ten title with Illinois

2000 - Mich beats OSU to allow a split title with Purdue and Northwestern. An OSU win and Mich does not claim a share of the title

1999 - The game has no impact on the title as Wisconsin won it outright regardless of the outcome.

1998 - OSU beats Michigan to allow for a three way tie for the Big 10 title with OSU, UM and Wisconsin. If UM wins, they win the Big 10 outright

1997 - UM beats OSU to win the Big Ten title outright. A win by OSU would have caused a split title between the two teams

1996 - UM beats OSU to cause a split title between OSU and Northwestern. A win by OSU would have had them win the title outright

As you can see, in 10 of the last 11 years, the result of the OSU - UM game has directly played a role into whoever wins the Big Ten title. Only twice in that same stretch did neither OSU or UM claim at least a share of the Big Ten title. In the last 20 years, only 5 times has the Big Ten champion not included either OSU or UM

It is not the defacto Championship but this is the game year and year out that determines who wins the title.

Unknown said...

@ andy

Couldn't have said it better myself (wait, told Dan that same thing a couple days ago)

I think he says stupid stuff like that just get a rise out of us.

It's no different than if he said "Make the Texas/Oklahoma game the Big 12 championship game, or the USC/Oregon game the Pac 10 championship game, or for that matter the Duke/Kentucky basketball game the national championship game. If the media says it's the "big game" then it must be.

Hell, let's let the Yankees/Red Sox play the World Series and everyone else can just play for scraps.

Oh, how about NFL? The Colts/Patriots game seems about right...let's mark that down as the Super Bowl and ignore everything else.

Anonymous said...

The Sporting News just came out with its list of the best sports cities. This year Detroit came out on top.

The list can be found here:


Luke Bell said...

The OSU-UM game has a say in the conference title every year because it is the last conference game they each play. I don't want to hear about how if UM wins, they split the title or anything like that. If they play that as the first conference game, you could say the same thing about whatever other game they play at the end of the year. All the conference games have a say in who wins the title. I mean, if any other team beats UM or OSU, the game changes. It only "decides" the conference title if they are both undefeated going into it.

danwise1856 said...


But it is because it is the last conference game that it matter most because you have more riding on the game. No more waiting for another team to lose or making sure you win next week.

There is that saying that it is better to lose early then lose late. Going into the last weekend of the Big Ten season, whomever is going to be crowned the champion will be as a result of that game every year. Not PSU vs MSU or Wisconsin vs Iowa, it is OSU vs Mich

Camp Tiger Claw said...

Delusional Boston triumphalism

It's actually thought of around the country by people with perspective and people that actually have (ahem, ahem) an idea of the history of franchises that extends beyond the past 10 years. Keep spreading the rote Boston hate just like every other hack.

From Gilbert Arenas's blog today:

This is good for the franchise in Boston. You wanted them to get the No.1 or No.2 pick to get some young talent in there, but the trades they made to get Allen and Garnett brings them back to the old days when it was the Lakers and Boston. It’s good for the franchise and good for the league that Boston is going to be one of the key teams again in the Eastern Conference.

CMFost said...

NDYANK - If the Yankees do not make the playoffs, AROD will not be the MVP, it will be Ordonez.

Luke Bell said...

All I am saying is that you have "the most riding" on it because they already have every other game. If UM loses twice in the conference before they get to OSU, then the game means squat. It would mean the same if they played halfway through the season. You still have to win the other conference games.

Leggs said...

Is this the same Johan Santana of the 1-4 career post-season record and the post-season ERA that's a run higher than his career ERA (since he's became a starter)complaining about not going anywhere? Seems like if he showed up when it mattered the Twins could have made a WS appearance.

Unknown said...

@ Luke

Do the exact same analysis of the last game USC plays in conference each year. Then do it with Florida...and so on.

No one is saying the UM/OSU game isn't a MAJOR game in the Big Ten. In nearly every season, at least one of those two is at or near enough the top to make it a relevant game. However, calling it the Big Ten Championship game completely cheapens the two B10 championships Iowa has won during that same 10 year span, or the championships of the other 5 teams during that span.

Also, the fact they play the last week of the B10 season almost guarantees it's relevance. Play that game in week 6, then look at the records for each of those seasons. How relevant does that game become during those years? It's the last game of the conference season, between to perennial national powerhouses. It's no different, though, than the Florida/Florida St game, or the USC/Notre Dame game, or the Texas/Oklahoma game. I'll bet that in just as many of the past 10 seasons, those games had the same level of implications on a championship as the Mich/OSU game did.

The Mark Show said...

HA-ha, who wants to bet that Dan will have re-evaluated his stance on the Celtics relevance being good for the league now that his man-crush has said the same? He couldn't possibly go against Arenas could he??

Luke Bell said...

I agree with you Ben. It is still a relevant game just because of the two teams. I am saying it would still be relevant if they played at mid-season. It is NOT the defacto Big 10 title game (I am a Badger alum--trust me, I don't want to cheapen those titles). It just looks more important because it is the last game of the year, and they are usually in contention. UM losing to OSU won't cost them the Big 10 title any more than it would if they lose to any other team, unless they both have the same record.

ndyanksfan05 said...

maybe - if he hits 50-60 HR and drives in 150 he'll probably still get it.

The point was that when people go into a 0-17 slump mid season while your team is scorin over 200 runs in the month it isn't because he is choking...that statement is idiotic

Bikes in Trees said...

As a Notre Dame alumni from Minnesota currently living in New York City, there really isn't a lot of love coming from Dan and this blog, is there? Santana, KG, A-Rod, Quinn...