Author Archive

Tick, Tock, Tick, Clock

Posted by    |    July 31st, 2012 at 2:22 pm

So there’s this guy in (one of) my fantasy baseball league(s) who has the minor league depth and firepower to get pretty much any major league talent he seeks, and still have the league’s best farm system (by far) while his major league ball club improves immensely, and loses nothing from the pro squad except maybe a Pedro Strop to clear a roster spot.

So far this season, he has turned Orioles’ elite shortstop prospect, Manny Machado, and lower tier farm hands into Troy Tulowitzki, all while maintaining Jurickson Profar. He acquired Zack Greinke for a package headlined with Nationals’ blue chip third base prospect, Anthony Rendon, but not to worry, an even better 3B prospect, Nick Castellanos of the Detroit Tigers, remains untouchable and rostered.

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Cliff Lee; Proof a Deal Needs to be Made

Posted by    |    July 25th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

If the Texas Rangers front office was hanging on to any belief that this team doesn’t need to trade for a pitcher, it’s all long gone now with the recent news about Colby Lewis. Lewis, the team’s third different opening day starter in as many years (after 4 straight Kevin Milwood’s; yeah, I don’t remember either) aggravated a forearm injury in his first start returning from the DL because of the same problem. Lewis will not make his next scheduled start, or any after because he will miss the remainder of the season, forcing Rangers GM Jon Daniels into a hand that he likely was dealing with anyway. But now the leverage of the sturdy, reliable, veteran presence and efforts of Lewis are lost and what was already a need at starting pitcher is now an absolutely vital need.

Two years ago, the Rangers were new to being contenders and the first-time jitters of being buyers instead of sellers almost cost the organization dearly. The Rangers made several moves at the trading deadline during that 2010 postseason run, when the Texas franchise experienced its first playoff series win and also an American League pennant that had eluded the team in its first 48 years of existence. But all this did not happen because of acquisitions such as Jeff Francoeur, Jorge Cantu, Christian Guzman, or even cyclist Bengie Molina.

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Orange Juice and Mayonnaise

Posted by    |    July 20th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

The long awaited free agency summer of 2012 started with a bang. But not the traditional bang, more like a shot straight to the junk. But as Kelly Clarkson told me on Saturday Night Live, ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,’ the swings and misses from the Dallas Mavericks on Deron Williams, Jason Terry and Jason Kidd did not kill the team or the front office in charge of its very contstruction. (Fans and EVERYONE at ESPN 103.3 FM Radio are another story)

The fallout from the unfortunate events in week one of this year’s free agency was quite dramatic locally. The Monday’s after Cowboys games are referred to as “Overreaction Mondays,” when Tony Romo is either finally turning a corner or being threatened by call-in listeners.

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On The Runway…Out Of Town

Posted by    |    July 9th, 2012 at 11:28 am

For the last eight seasons, Jason Eugene Terry has called Dallas home and the Mavericks his team. For the last eight seasons #31 jerseys have filled the local setting and the sound of a plane taking off – or a jet – became as iconic of a noise in the city of Dallas as, well, Dallas.

Over a dozen headbands and wristbands fill my desk drawer, all game worn and none ever, ever washed or even rinsed with the smallest amount of soap or water, despite my mother’s best efforts.

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2012 NBA Finals Preview

Posted by    |    June 12th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Dear Inside The NBA, I Miss You.

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I promise I won’t start things off with a weather joke. Promise. See my fingers. They are not crossed.

The forecast for tonight’s NBA Finals Game One shows sunny skies, no wind, and scattering storms. (1) Temperatures will surely be running high in this season series finale.  (2) Perhaps members of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Seattle Storm, Carolina Hurricanes and heck, even the Colorado Avalanche will make surprise cameos sometime this Finals. (3)

Now that the short-existing trust between you and I has been shattered, time to get somewhat serious.

The 2012 NBA Finals begin tonight on ABC, featuring the Oklahoma City Thunder out of the Western Conference for the first time since the team relocated from Seattle to OKC like nine minutes ago and the Miami Heat out of the Eastern Conference for the second consecutive season.

The incredible LeBron James saved the Heat’s season with a legendary 45 point 15 rebound performance, featuring 30 first half points that saw James hit tough shot after tough s­hot. Like tonight’s (and the series’) broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy says, “It’s a make or miss league,” and in Game 6 the league’s Most Valuable Player was certainly making as the Heat blew out the Celtics in Boston, re-capturing home court advantage for his “Heatles” and forcing a Game 7. The Celtics showed the elderly style of play that they too often displayed during the season and could only keep up with Miami for so long, eventually losing the game and the series to the Heat.

So here they are, back again. The super duo of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade fell just short of a title to MY Dallas Mavericks a season ago. An amazing season for a first-year group – well, for any other first year group. James and Wade were supposed to win title after title and without any time gone by. They were on the doorstep of the ultimate goal until dat dude Dirk said Nicht in meinem Haus.

Obvious factors haven’t helped the Heat, and particularly LeBron’s defense along the way. “The Decision,” the big introduction production extravaganza, the Heat Index on www.ESPN.com , and leaving poor Antawn Jamison back in Cleveland with waaaaaaaaaay too many white guys.

On the other end, the “OKC” “OKC” “OKC” “OKC” “OKC” Thunder had a wild, historic ride to the NBA Finals, their first trip since changing their identity from the Seattle Sonics to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008 (and the franchise’s first trip since 1996).

The incomparable Kevin Durant and the energetic, temperamental, (loud, annoying) and surprisingly not good but great Russell Westbrook anchor the most talented and poised young team that the NBA has seen in a long time. The emerging – or “serging” presence of Congo-Spanish hybrid Serge Ibaka is developing into one of the game’s best bigs, knocking down 18-footers and blocking just about everything around the basket the not goaltending way that Javale McGee has unfortunately perfected. Sixth man James Harden has had arguably the biggest impact relating to his role on any team this postseason, making amazing and clutch shots at the end of games. Kendrick Perkins is a solid core at the center position and along with rarely used backup center Nazr Mohammed and mid-season acquisition Derek Fisher, who was traded by the Lakers to Houston and then granted a release so he could choose where he wanted to play (familiar?) are the only Thunder players with Finals experience, while the Heat roster is littered with veterans who have appeared in an NBA Finals, certainly aided by last year’s appearance.

For that reason and many previously mentioned, like the drama surrounding the Heat’s big 3 of Wade-Bosh-James, the young silky coaching methods of Erik Spoelstra and his Sith Lord Master Pat Riley showing no interest in returning to coach but sitting within fire-breathing distance of the 41-year old former video intern Head Coach.

But mostly because LeBron James (and Chris Bosh) perfectly and absolutely fairly manipulated the NBA’s free agent market and gave up millions and millions and (30) millions of dollars to join forces with their best buddy Dwayne Wade in Miami to form a “Super Team,” a trend that General Manager Sam Presti has organically put together in OKC and (insert inept Knicks executive here) is trying to build in New York.

For the very reason that OKC built from the ground up and Miami “bought” there star-studded core, as well as this being the first time the still very, very young core of the Thunder has advanced to the Finals and it being the second rodeo for the Miami Heat in as many years, some-most-no…all the pressure is on the Miami Heat this NBA Finals, with the OKC Thunder essentially playing with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

A little note before I bless you with my sure-to-go-wrong prediction. If you know me you know I’m a Texas Longhorns and Kevin Durant fan. I don’t mind the UCLA Bruins at all and I actually love their colors and via fantasy basketball have developed a borderline-creepy appreciation for Kevin Love, but Russell Westbrook absolutely drives me bonkers. His lack of control over his mind, body, actions, clothing selection, and his constant bickering at officials and taking about 15 too many shots each game early in the shot clock when you have the NBA’s back-to-back-to-back scoring  leader at your side – way too many things about the Thunder’s very talented but very obnoxious young point guard drive me nuts. I respect his game, though, no doubt about that. I also respect James Harden’s passion and talents, but his celebrations and flopping combined with Westbrook’s non-stop complaining added with Kendrick Perkin’s reckless shoving, trash talking, elbow after elbow followed by hands up and “That wasn’t me,” and “talk about that!” is too much.

Saving this note for last, I like LeBron James. I do. I have absolutely no problem with him. ESPN wanted “The Decision,” Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert gave him sidekicks in the form of Mo Williams and Larry Hughes (Larry Hughes!) in his seven Cleveland years, plus his allowing of his son’s draft lottery wardrobe screams arrogance that would even bother a professional athlete.

Let the Temperature Bowl begin!

Heat 4, Thunder 3

MVP: LeBron James who finishes the series with 4 triple doubles. (Games 1, 3, 5, 7)

 

oh and by the way…for another week or two…

…still champs