These guys would be saddened to see the semester end, so let’s talk sports instead of studying.
Since the end of the semester is upon us I’ve decided to give a little Major Four round-up.
We’ll start with Major League Baseball (non-Mitchell report style):
Japanese import Kosuke Fukudome has signed with the Cubs for four years. This is a solid move for Chicago, as they needed a left-handed bat with on-base skills and got their man. The team still needs a whole lot more to be a real contender, but since they play in the worst division in baseball they’ll compete for a play-off spot next season.
Aaron Roward signed with the Giants. This is a boneheaded deal for the Giants. They are a team that is far, far away from contending, and is in need of young players and draft picks, not draft-pick costing, on-the-decline, overpaid, overrated players. It’s too bad because Rowand is a decent player and has always played hard, so it’s a shame we must now look at him as a problem for his new team rather than an asset.
Miguel Tejada has been traded to Houston for a grab bag of mediocre prospects. Tejada is still a good player and especially for the National League. He should be moved over to 3B as soon as possible, since his defense is now far from a strength, but he gives the Astros an immediate help offensively. Unfortunately, the Astros aren’t truly helping themselves toward the ultimate goal: winning a World Series. This move only further stripped their already bereft farm system of any depth, although the guys heading to Baltimore are hardly top-notch. Tejada is a player a true contender would be willing to take on, with the millions left on his deal–not a team like the ‘Stros, which should be giving rebuilding serious consideration.
We might see Jason Bay finally traded this off-season. Not sure if Pirates fans will be happy with what they get in return.
Cliff Floyd is set to join the Rays. Nice move for the Rays–they get millions from revenue sharing every year so why not bring in a veteran or two from time to time to fill out the roster, keep guys in the minors who belong there, and provide their youngsters with a role model?
The Twins just signed Adam Everett. Nice move for some depth at SS.
Mark Prior was non-tendered by the Cubs. Que lastima. The guy could have been a great one, here’s hoping someone takes a flyer on him and gives him a chance to regain some of his old form. Tampa Bay or Kansas City might be nice spots for him, or perhaps one of the dregs of the NL.
David Eckstein signed with the Blue Jays for one year and $4.5 million. Seems like quite a stretch for the Jays, the guy ought to be a utility player if on a roster at all, and that money could be spent better elsewhere. Additionally, they already have John McDonald at SS, and he’s better than Eckstein.
Check out this link about Dontrelle Willis’s man crush on Rasheed Wallace (courtesy of one Joshua “Jangle” Thurston).
Now onto the NBA:
Check out this rookie stuff ESPN.com’s got going on. If you’ll notice, Glen “Big Baby” Davis is leading all rookies in PER. By a hefty margin. If you click on the Big Baby link you’ll get to see quite possibly the greatest profile picture ever taken (pointed out by the keen-eyed Tanner Almond).
Last night Davis stepped in for injured Kendrick Perkins in the Celtics’ starting line-up and performed fantastically. This should come as no surprise–he’s a perfect fit for Boston with his rebounding and general inclination to stay down low. Given how well Big Baby has performed in limited minutes so far, this injury to Perk, assuming very optimistically it’s minor and won’t hinder him come play-off time, could end up being a god-send for the team by forcing Doc Rivers to lengthen his bench.
Lastly, what the Spurs are doing minus Tim Duncan is amazing. They’re the best team in the NBA without a doubt. That doesn’t mean they’ll beat the Celtics in the Finals though.
Now for football:
The Patriots realistically could go 19-0 now. We’ve reached the threshold where it’s gone well beyond plausible and entered the realm of somewhat likely. Could the Dolhpins bookend the season by going an historic 0-16?
I’m convinced Dallas should win the NFC and are hands down the best team in their conference. They’ve just got so many weapons. Even though T.O. is flat out a jerk it doesn’t mean he’s anything less than a dominant football player and Tony Romo has really shined this season. Somewhere Drew Bledsoe is bitterly working on his Tom Brady and Romo voodoo dolls.
Don’t sleep on Indy. No team, not even the Pats, are going to easily run over them, they’re a fantastic team with great character. Bill Polian is annoying, however. Check out his radio show.
Now to finish up with the NHL:
For those of you who hate Boston and therefore love the Bruins, I have some bad news for you. Check out the current NHL standings.
Notice the Bruins have the 3rd best record in the entire league? How you like that? Also, that’s without Patrice Bergeron and with some serious goaltending injuries.
Alex Auld has looked good so far and seems to me to be the ideal back-up to Tim Thomas for the rest of the season since Manny Fernandez is likely out till next year. Tuukka Rask isn’t really ready yet, but he’s not a bad option either. If the Bruins get their penalty kill issues straightened out and Bergeron and Thomas come back healthy in the not-too-distant future, we may be looking at a top 6 seed and a potential run in the play-offs.
Side-note: Milan Lucic is only 19 years old. Some have made comparisons to Cam Neely (which is absurd), but hey, if they’re saying that at such a young age there’s reason to believe he could be a solid power forward in the near future.
After getting to witness the instant offense that is Ilya Kovalchuk last night against the Bruins, I think we may see a 60-goal season this year.
The Flyers just gave Mike Richards a twelve year contract. Let me give you a second to allow that to sink in.
I’m not disputing that he’s a good young player or that signing him long term is a good idea. But, twelve years? There is no way they couldn’t have signed him to a shorter deal, so this one’s on the Flyers. It’s not like Richards’ agent could possibly have walked in and asked for a twelve year extension.
The Islanders went ahead and signed goalie Rick DiPietro to an even crazier deal last year. He got FIFTEEN years. For a league that just instituted a salary cap a couple years ago, it seems the Flyers and Islanders are moving a little too quickly throwing around some of the longest contracts in professional sports history. Were it me, I might follow the lessons learned in the past (i.e. Alexei Yashin and his ten year deal worth $87.5 million) and stick to shorter deals, but oh well, good for the players I suppose.