Dreams Blog

February 24, 2012

I Have A Question

Exactly what is a tid (as in tid bit)?  It wasn’t on Google as tid- only tidbit.

Conspiracy People Are Active Again

The last time these people were really active was in 1985 when the NY Knicks “won” the first NBA lottery and were able to choose Pat Ewing. Now they are bloviating about “Lin-gate.”

Jeremy Lin was not thought to be that good by anyone except a guy who lives in the Arizona dessert and was struck by lightning four times. The conspiracy people are saying that NBA Commissioner David Stern knew the Knicks HAD to be relevant for the good of the league, ergo- Lin comes to NY.

The rest of the story is quickly becoming history.

Should I just award the league title to the Knicks? I wouldn’t go that far just yet.   

Acorns From The Oakman

Mike Mazzeao (ESPN.com) wrote about Charles Oakley’s reaction to Jeremy Lin: “Oakley called Lin and center Tyson Chandler the MVPs of the team, and he hopes that Stoudemire plays against at the level he played last season, when he captivated the Garden much the way Lin has.                                                                 Oakley praised Lin’s leadership capabilities and added, “It’s not about where he went to school, it’s about what’s inside his heart, and he’s shown that.                                                                        At the beginning of the season, Oakley said he thought the Knicks could finish as a No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Barring a run of epic proportion, that’s likely not going to happen. Oakley praised Lin’s leadership capabilities and added, “It’s not about where he went to school, it’s about what’s inside his heart, and he’s shown that.”                                                                           

Still, Oakley said, if the Knicks continue to play like they have been, “They will be the scary team in the playoffs to play this year.”                                                                                                   A Closer?

Mike  Bianci (Orlando Sentinel) wrote about Dwight Howard’s desire to be the late  game closer for the NBA Miami Heat. “It’s admirable that Dwight wants to be the Magic’s late-game closer, but doesn’t he realize he already is? Bill Russell, with his relatively modest 15.1 career scoring average, didn’t have to score points to be the closer. He closed games with defense, rebounding, desire and leadership. Big men don’t need to close games on the offensive end; they just need to dominate them everywhere else.”             

King David’s Door

Bruce Jenkins talked about NBA Commissioner David Stern, “It’s certainly not the intention of this column to pound on David Stern to the point of tedium. It’s just that the NBA commissioner keeps providing reasons why he should be shown the door. When a reporter asked Stern on Tuesday if Lin could be included, his response was, ‘No.’

It seemed the league wanted to stash Lin into one of those farcical All-Star events, like the Shooting Stars competition, whatever that is. He’d just be a novelty, in other words. You could almost hear someone in the league office say, ‘What are we going to do with the little Asian guy?’ Putting him into an actual game – a game in which he absolutely belongs – never occurred to Stern. But here we got some insight into the man’s essence, and how it gets more exposed by the week: He turned down the idea. He had to be talked into it.

“That was really stupid,” said Charles Barkley, who joined Shaquille O’Neal in picking the teams on TNT. “I was gonna kill the commissioner if he didn’t let that kid in the game. They must have heard I was gonna blast him.” (Barkley was hardly alone in the national media outrage.)

The Story Spinning Is Getting Me Dizzy

ESPN.com reported, “The Yankees will receive $13 million to $15 million in salary relief when the A.J. Burnett trade to the Pirates is finally completed, according to two baseball officials with knowledge of the talks. This means the Bucs will pay anywhere from 39 to 45 percent of the remainder of Burnett’s $33 million contract.”

Why didn’t the Yankees press release just say that the Yankees were adding $18-20million to the deal with the Pirates? I guess it was because they wanted MLB Commissioner “Uncle Bud” Selig  to approve the transaction.                                                         

Spring Training Storyline

Jim Caple offered this possibility: “As part of the team’s new austerity measures, the Mets players and coaches have been told to hitchhike to spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Said owner Fred Wilpon: “They’ll still get here earlier than Rickey Henderson ever did.”

Posada Vs. Ibanez

The Yankees signed Raul Ibanez to a one year incentive laden deal to be their left-hand hitting DH to replace Jorge Posada in the lineup. Let’s look at how they compare:

Posada- 40yrs old, 24hrs/yr, .848/career OPS

Ibanez-  40yrs old, 22hrs/yr, .813/career OPS

 Ibanez will play against righties, but will sit a lot against lefties because Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, among others, will take half-days as DH.

Time to Bear down                                                                                    Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) told us about “A cemetery in Elmwood, Ala., is offering burial plots near that of Crimson Tide coach Bear Bryant for $2,200 a pop.                                                  Just be sure to ask for The Bear’s Coffin-Corner Special.”

A French Movement

Greg Cote (Miami Herald) passed along this thought, “French cyclist Robert Marchand biked 15 miles at age 100, then had to undergo a doping test to validate his age-group record. He tested positive for Metamucil.”                                                               More from Greg about the Dolphins, “New Dolphins coach Joe Philbin completing his 21-member coaching staff: ‘Miami is the only team with an assistant coach in charge of counting other assistant coaches.’”

Headlines

Dwight Perry sent along, “At SportsPickle.com: “Report: Lakers sign Gilbert Arenas at gunpoint.”

Cost Of A Gallon Of Gasoline

The nightly news broadcasts have been screaming about the cost of a gallon of gas facing big increases. The gas pumps are reading in the upper $3/range as of February 19th.

Wholesale oil prices haven’t increased that much (less than 1% in the last 5 years). So it seems that “big oil” just wants bigger profits than they have banked already. 

 

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Dreams Blog

February 17, 2012

Wilpon’s Dilema

Noreen Harrington was an executive with a hedge fund, Sterling Stamos,  started by the owners of the NY Mets. She resigned after 20-years in protest of the Wilpons placing money with a Bernie Madoff feeder fund.

She felt that there was something wrong with the Madoff profit claims.

Harrington testified that Stan Katz, Wilpon’s  brother-in-law, became very angry with Harrington’s allegations of illegalities.

Uh-oh- was that the sound of a smoking-gun being cocked or was it a checkbook being tossed on the ground? 

Truck Day

Dan Shaughnessy (Boston Globe) forwarded a picture of the Boston Red Sox equipment truck pulling away from Fenway Park on February 10th and heading to Ft. Myers, FL. This was a way of teasing me about his heading away from the cold and the snow to the warmth and sunshine of spring training’s six weeks.

The NY Daily News showed a pix of the Yankees’ semi also heading south.

I wonder if they’ll be forming a convoy  to be “South Bound And Down.” 

As usual, the Mets truck left after everybody else and was a lot smaller. It was smaller because I don’t think there were any bats in the truck since they don’t hit very much anyway.

Oxymoronic

We’re seeing the start of an interesting situation. The Yankees want to rid themselves of AJ Burnette’s pitching mediocrity as well as the $33million balance of his contract. They had been in contact with the Angels about trading for Bobby Abreu (who had a $9miilion balance on his deal) but the Angels were on Burnette’s no trade list so- no deal.

The Pirates still want Burnette but are unwilling, so far, to give up a young arm with promise. GEE, what a surprise. 

Top TV Markets

The Super Bowl Neilson ratings showed an interesting geographic breakdown.

The list was topped by Boston. At least they came in first in one area. Philadelphia was second and Norfolk was third due to a huge military presence. New York was 18th, probably because so many potential watchers were together with other watchers. 

Maz Note

Tony Massarotti (Boston Globe)  said about Coach Bill: “Belichick is one of the truly great coaches, to be sure. But, he has never, ever been a model of sportsmanship.”

Peyton And The Colts

The doctors have given Peyton Manning permission to resume his football career by saying that “His neck issues have put him at no greater risk of injury (they never said that it couldn’t happen).”

My feeling is that the Colts re-signing to a contract for a lot less money but filled with reachable financial incentives. This development could provide a QB draftee with a good transition and ample instruction time given by Manning.

I’m not so sure, at this point, that the Colts are going to choose Andrew Luck with the first pick in this year’s draft.    

Changes To The NBA’s Game

Pro-basketball has evolved a lot these past years everywhere except with scoring. Art Garfandis (ESPN.com) thought so and suggested 4and5 point perimeters. Being vertically challenged, I naturally thought this was a good idea.

Why it might even bring back the good guard play of Cousey and McGuire.

Lin’s Free Agency

Regarding the decision of the Knicks’ front office to sign Jeremy Lin as a free agent, you can say that even a broken clock is right twice-a-day.  

Huckleberry

Floyd  Mayweather must have just started training for his May 5th bout  with Miguel Coto just after Valentine’s Day because he began his usual pre-fight noise.

His aim is to get people talking about the fight in order to sell tickets or PPV subscriptions, but this time he took a shot at, NY Knick, Jeremy Lin’s recent hot streak by saying, “Black players do what he does and don’t get the praise.” That’s just dumb.

It’s like the guy who was expecting a war to break out and wanted to make a lot of money by cornering the market on septic tanks.

Crowd Noise

ESPN.com took delight in pointing out that “Artemis Arthur Garfamudis originally studied typing at the Miss DuPrix School of Business on Route 22 in North Plainfield, N.J.’ Art had this suggestion for the PGA, “Why is that athletes in other sports have to put up with noise and abuse but golfers get to work in a vacuum? Not only do golfers get to hit a stationary ball, they get to do it in library conditions. It’s time for golf to man up and let the spectators cut loose. I’d take more interest in the sport if a drunken fat guy was pouring invective into Tiger Woods’ ear while he tries to sink a 30-foot putt, wouldn’t you? (I’d really take interest in it if that drunken fat guy were me)”

Fine Print                                                                                                

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) sent us this thoughts dealing with the NFL disciplinary system and long lasting crowns: “The NFL fined Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora $20,000 for being AWOL from Super Bowl media day, less than two weeks after Patriots safety Patrick Chung was docked $7,500 for unnecessary roughness.                                                                                          So what’s it say when you get fined more for a miss than you do for a hit?”

“Queen Elizabeth has been on the British throne for 60 years and counting, now” said Dwight.                                                                                    And you thought that guy hogging the bathroom at your Super Bowl party was bad.”                                                                 

Self-Written

From Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) comes this post, “From the Sometimes These Items Just Write Themselves File we heard that Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno got pulled over and arrested for DUI while driving a Bentley convertible bearing vanity license plates reading . . . SAUCED.”  .

JOKE OF THE WEEK                                                         Patrick Dorsey (ESPN.com) forwarded this twitter from DeJuan Blair (forward-San Antonio Spurs), “Galileo: Great mind. Einstein: Genius mind. Newton: Extraordinary mind. Bill Gates: Brilliant mind. Me: Never mind. Hahahahaha!!”

Ostler Was Puzzled

Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wondered, “I wonder if sports photographers ever go to psychologists to improve their focus.”

Dog Show

Norman Chad gave us this fact about an entry in the Westminster Kennel Club’s show, “The Australian Terrier chases his tail counterclockwise.”

 

 

 

 

dreams blog

February 10, 2012

General Comments

Here are a couple of thoughts from the Sports Curmudgeon that were made before the Super Bowl:                                               “The people who show up at “Media Day” for the Super Bowl must spend several weeks trying to come up with the dumbest questions possible just so they – – as the askers – – can get a measure of reflected fame from the player to whom they put the question. Otherwise, why would anyone think it worth asking Vince Wilfork what he likes to grill? Take a look at the man; what is it that might be cooked on a grill that he would not like? Filet of wombat?                                                                                                                           “By the way, there are only two QBs who have won the Super Bowl twice who are not in the Hall of Fame. One is Ben Roethlisberger; he is still playing and so is not eligible. However, the other two-time winner not in the Hall is Jim Plunkett. If Bob Greise, Bart Starr and Roger Staubach are in, why is Plunkett not in?”

My SB Thoughts

I think that Coach Bill calls certain plays to break an opponents will to win when they succeed For example- allowing Bradshaw to score so the Pats would have more time to march down the field for a score and a win (how’d that work out?). He also saw NY win a game with a called play end-zone pass resembling a hail-Mary. He seemed to think, “Oh yeah? We can do that and do it in a big stage.”

I thought that NBC’s TV cameras did well by showing Coughlin’s rage when the zebras missed an interference call. They also caught Ballard collapsing on the sideline testing his injured knee.

If Brady is such a super-star, how come he’s never led his team down the field for a TD in one of these big games.

Dan Shaughnessy (Boston Globe) wrote this, “Madonna’s halftime show was all smoke and mirrors, but effective; a perfect metaphor for the Patriots’ first half. What are the most disappointing losses in New England sports history? Where do we put Sunday night’s disaster at Lucas Oil (Can Boyd) Stadium? Is it the worst loss ever, the worst loss in Patriots history, or just a crushing night that won’t hurt so much after we let a few weeks pass?  A team that overachieved is suddenly under the gun.The Patriots have the longest championship drought among the four New England sports franchises. But it is folly to suggest this is the worst loss ever. It’s not as bad as the Buckner Game, not as bad as the Dent Game, and certainly not as bad as Super Bowl XLII.”                                                      

Billy Crystal said that Ahmad Bradshaw’s score was, “The first tushdown I had ever seen.”

Doritos won my prize for best commercial with the sling-shot and the dog bribing his master.

Death Of The Interview

Tim Keown (ESPN.com) looked at one aspect of the immediate, all-access, all the time world of social networking and how it impacts the sports reporting world. It tries to get athletes to say something- anything and it is devoid of texture and perspective. These reports further separate the athletes from the people who watch games and read newspapers. They aim to please the watchers of screen bottom scrawls. The reports also seem to take unsubstantiated stands where a player who says something positive about a teammate might see that he issued an uncomplimentary statement about another player.

In today’s 140 character twitter news release, we could never have appreciated the description of Notre Dame’s four horsemen.,

No Clue

Do the Knicks have any idea of what they are doing? Do they have a plan at all?

These questions wouldn’t arise if Donnie Walsh were still running the team.

No Point

When the “Klucks” lost to the Bulls earlier in February their need for an experienced point guard was pretty evident. Chicago scored 44pts. along with 13 assists (all from Rose) while NY’s second unit was outscored 25-6. Tony Douglas shot 2-7 and had 3 turnovers; Shumpert was OK scoring 10 with 8 assists but turned it over 4 times.                                                                                         What did D’Antoni think? “We’ve got to do a better job of getting the ball down and not turning it over.” Gee, do you think? I guess the Chauncey Billups amnesty cut isn’t working out. We’re still waiting for Baron Davis to pull som irons out of the fire.                     Exactly why is D’Antoni coaching NY and Thibodeau coaching in Chicago? Why, NY had first choice of course.

Ring Tone

Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) wrote that, “Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks are sporting gaudy new NBA championship rings worth a reported $50,000 each.                                      Or roughly what the average WNBA player gets paid.”

A Savior

Do you remember that news story where a female deer crashed through the window of a goodwill store?

R.J. Currie (SportsDeke.com) said, “She may have been looking to save a buck.”

A Kodak Moment

After Kodak declared bankruptcy I remembered the story about the sports photog who was saddled with a tight deadline. He stopped at the photo that was notoriously slow completing their work to see how his work was doing. When he found out it was going to be late he sang, “Someday my prints will come.”

Happy Birthday

Greg Drinnin (Kamloops Daily News) passed along this note: “Some recent birthday wishes from Steve Rushin of SI.com: ‘Happy 110th birthday to Frank Zamboni, who left us in 1988 but still resurfaces periodically.’”                                                         UGH!

It sounds like a fingernail being scratched across a blackboard every time  I hear someone say, on TV: “It was a really fun(?) thing to do.”                                                                              Important Headline

Another Dwight Perry find, “Headline in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, on New Zealand sheepshearers pushing to make it an Olympic sport: “Baa, humbug!”

Sheep Shearing                                                                                     Greg Drinnin (Kamloops Daily News) sent us this item With the news that some New Zealanders are pushing for sheep-shearing to be named an Olympic sport, Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post notes: “Actually, sheep-shearing seems a natural for the Olympics. Crooked members of the IOC have been pulling the wool over people’s eyes for years.”

 

 

 

Dreams Blog

February 6, 2012

Luck Is The Residue Of Design The Super Bowl, won by the NY Giants 21-17 over the NE Patriots, was a game that lived up to its publicity 100%. The pre-game hype included predictions by a lot of experts who said each side would win. The Pats won the toss and, as usual, deferred so they would get the ball at the start of the second half. It seemed that the Pats were a lot tighter than the Giants and they showed it by making several uncharacteristic mistakes. I said that the game might be decided by who controlled the ball last.With 3 ½ minutes left and the Pats ahead 17-15, Eli led the “G-Men” , who were left with one time-out and the two-minute warning remaining in their tool bag, from their own 12 to an unopposed TD (the Giants didn’t convert the two-point attempt). This, to me, was the biggest mistake. NE stood aside and allowed Bradshaw to score so they would have ample time to score themselves (Belichick was mistaken about the NY defensive resolve).
This defeat was a lot worse than the one NE had 4 years ago, because it’s a spirit breaker. Gene Collier wrote in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Brady, for all his surgical precision, did not complete a pass longer than 21 yards and many of his completions didn’t travel more than 30 feet. Wes Welker turned a little flip into a 19-yard gain. Twenty-five of Brady’s 27 completions measured no more than that.”

Dreams Blog

February 3, 2012

Preferred Positions
150 of 153 NFL-MVPs and 71 of the 76 Heisman Trophies went to QBs and RBs. The Vikings’ Alan Page was the last lineman to win the MVP in 1971. Leon Hart, from Notre Dame, was the last lineman to be awarded the Heisman in 1949.
Even though 90% of the action in a football game takes place away from the ball, the eyes of most watchers are glued to the glory boys and not on line play or coverages, Greg Easterbrock (ESPN.com) told us.
This might be a case of strength envy.
Raider Truisms
Santa and his helper, the world’s tallest elf- Mikey, asked if I could write more Raider info than I had been writing.
Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle) wrote that the Raiders are the dumbest team in football. He said: “The Raiders were penalized for delay of game on a fake field-goal attempt that went for a (disallowed) touchdown.
Tight end Kevin Boss false-started on the first play of a Raiders drive. Twice the Raiders were flagged for two infractions on one play. On a punt return, they had an illegal block and 12 men on the field.
Stat Of The Week
Greg Easterbrock passed this along in his weekly TMQ (Tues. Morning QB) column: “The Ryan brothers’ teams (the Cowboys and Jets) are 0-8 this season versus the Eagles, Giants, and Patriots.”
Replacement
I’d like to see the Giants replace, Defensive Coordinator, Perry Fewell with Steve Spagnuolo even though the Giants D did well against Dallas. I don’t think it was anything Fewell did but more a players’ thing.
Boston-NY Rivalry Kindling
Dan Shaughnessy (Boston Globe) witnessed the rebirth of the Knicks and didn’t like it. “It looks like the Jets are out of the way, but brace yourself for some weeks, maybe months, of chest-thumping from your obnoxious friends from New York. Make way for the Big Apple Frauds. The Knicks think they are finally better than the Celtics.
In a Holiday Festival that was everything David Stern could have wanted to cure post-lockout stress disorder, the “all-new,’’ muscle-flexing Knicks squeaked out a 106-104 victory against the Paul Pierce-less Celtics yesterday at Madison Square Garden.
Playing in front of Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, and a raft of B-list celebs (Matthew Modine, anyone?), the Knicks blew a 17-point first-half lead at home, and needed every ounce of luck and strength
A-Rod’s Knee
The MLB-MD’s seem to be having a negative reaction to A-Rod’s treatment. As near as I understand it, they’re saying, “I don’t know anything about it, but you’re wrong.”
Still, how different is this treatment from the same things being done in the States?
Is the German MD putting a little something extra in the mix the way Victor Conte did?
If a treatment is too good to be true, it probably is. The chances might be just as good as getting the six winning numbers in next week’s lotto drawing.
Different Knicks
The Knicks started the shortened season by scoring 106 pts. In beating- YES, BEATING THE CELTICS. Then they went out west and put in 78 in a loss to the Warriors, with David Lee, and 82 in a loss to the Lakers.
I don’t know who they are, yet, but until I do I’m thinking we’ll see 20-25 wins.
The worst things that you can say about a NY Pro team, like the Knicks, are that they’re uninteresting and irrelevant. One answer might be to replace GM Glen Grunfeld with Chris Mullin, if Walsh says no, and make sure he doesn’t have anyone looking over his shoulder. Tyson Chandler WAS brought in to clog the paint, intimidate the opposition with shot blocking, play defense, but not be a scoring leader.
I find it hard to believe that an experienced basketball mind would have made some of the recent Knicks’ moves. Stoudemire and Anthony are GUARANTEED $169million over the next four years. So, D’Antoni will probably go before them.
They Said It
Len Berman (ThatsSports.com) on threatened protests in Montreal because Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth doesn’t speak French: “Nobody knew what Casey Stengel was saying, either, and nobody picketed Yankee Stadium.”
Greg Drinnen (Kamloops Daily News) passed along this headline from SportsPickle.com: “SportsPickle.com: $55 million federal investigation successfully forces Barry Bonds to watch TV at home for 30 daysto beat the Celtics, who were playing without their best player.
What He Learned In 2011
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) sent along these thoughts: “Football players don’t fumble anymore. They “put the ball on the ground.” August’s East Coast earthquake wasn’t San Andreas’ fault. (OOOF) A semi-retired Marty Schottenheimer is a better coach than some of the guys on the sidelines Sunday afternoon. The only thing worse than the Red Sox falling apart in September is every other problem in the world. As an NFL rookie, Cam Newton is nearly as good as he said he was and a lot better than most people thought. It’s never been easier for an NFL quarterback to complete a pass. The backroom dealings associated with college conference realignments would make Tony Soprano blush.”
The Year That Wasn’t
Jim Caple (ESPN.com) looked back at some occurrences that might have happened (NOT): “March 27: Kentucky’s John Calipari completes one of the most amazing coaching turnarounds in history when he reaches the Final Four just years after what the official NCAA record books shows as winless seasons at UMass and Memphis.
April 8: Following another positive test for PEDs, Manny Ramirez receives a 100-game suspension but he doesn’t notice.
June 19:In the most extraordinary golfing performance since Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters, 21-year-old Rory McIlroy rallies from his crushing collapse at Augusta in April by piling up an eight-stroke lead and shooting an historic 16-under-par at the U.S. Open. He finishes second, however, to Kim Jong-il, who shoots 52-under with 31 holes-in-one.” Impress Your Friends Trivia
This came from Scott Ostler (SF Chronicle): “ The last NFL player to play without a helmet? Dick Plasman, Chicago Bears end, Dec. 21, 1941. He caught two passes for 48 yards that day against the Giants. Plasman then went into the service, and helmets became mandatory in 1943.”

Come back on Monday. I’ll post my impression of the Super Bowl.