Saturday, April 28, 2007

Lightning Round!

Some notes on sports while I watch Brady Quinn drop down the draft board

I apologize for not writing in about a week. I spent the week mourning the end of the Lightning’s season. In the end they just ran out of gas. I think the turning point of the series happened in overtime of game 4 – Martin Brodeur stopped Vincent Lecavalier at point blank range – from then on Brodeur was his old self and the Lightning were done.

- I don’t see Dan Boyle resigning with the Bolts. He had a breakout season and will be a hot commodity in the off season. It’s a shame that the Dan Boyle Era looks to be coming to an end.

- Aki-knock(ed) to the DL…. Arrghhh… Akinori Iwamura goes on the DL with an oblique strain. It’s a tough break for the Rays as they lose one of the igniters in their offense. It looks like he may be gone for 4-6 weeks.

- The Rays leap frog the Yankees in the standings. It’s only April, but it’s still sweet. Is the end near for Manager Joe Torre? Haven’t we heard this story before, as recently as last year? After the series with the Red Sox ends this weekend the Yankees play their next 13 games against the Rangers (9-13) and the Mariners (9-9). Against those two clubs they could get hot very fast and start climbing back up the standings.

- In the Yankees / red Sox game Kei Igawa just came into the game to pitch – wearing sunglasses. I think Joe Buck may run down on the field and rip them off his head. Of course Igawa induces a double play from David Ortiz.

- I like the Bucs drafting Gaines Adams. Their style of defense is predicated on putting pressure on the quarterback. That is something that has been missing since the Super Bowl season.

- I still think Jon Gruden is gone after this season.

- Finally Brady Quinn to the Browns at the 22nd pick. I like the move by the Browns. They pick up Joe Thomas and Quinn in the same day. The jury is still out on Quinn, but maybe this is just what he needs – some players (or “golden boys” as Keyshawn just called him) need a chip on their shoulder to play at an elite level. Who knows?

- Speaking of Golden Boys – next Saturday Oscar de la Hoya versus Floyd Mayweather. The Golden Boy vs. Pretty Boy. I like this fight. Big Mike is saying Mayweather wins in the first or second round. I disagree. I think it goes much deeper.

For the first time in a long time there is a fight where there is a clearly defined good guy (de la Hoya) and a bad guy (Mayweather). They don’t like each other. Mayweather called de la Hoya a “fake-ass fighter” Oscar's response was to call him "a brat". They are both warriors in the ring. De la Hoya is coming to the end of his boxing career and wants to go out with one more shining moment. Mayweather needs to win to satisfy his ego and solidify his spot as one of his generations great pound for pound fighters. It would also be nice to see him go through a fight without breaking a hand.

In the end I think the Pretty Boy beats the Golden Boy in 10. If that happens do we see a rematch?

- Curt Schilling. Sigh. It looks like even when he’s in the right he comes off as a jerk. In response to Gary Thorne’s comments earlier in the week about the bloody sock and it’s validity Schilling fired off a blog post (all can read it at in which he ripped Thorne and the rest of the media that “hacked and spewed their way into a day or two of stories that had zero basis in truth”

Thorne later admitted that he misunderstood what he heard from his source (Doug Mirabelli) and as far as I know hasn’t ever been involved in this type of situation before. He is a good announcer (as long as he isn’t calling Detroit Red Wing games) and has earned a lot of respect through his career.

Schilling could have stayed above it all and not used it as a forum to trash the media, but that just isn’t his style. There are times when it’s better to keep your mouth shut and walk with your head held high. However, Schilling can’t let anything go by without commenting on it. He has as they say – Rabbit Ears.

It might just cost him later in his career. While it’s hard to say he’s not going to get in the hall of fame (he should end up his career with 250 wins and 3500 strikeouts) his reputation is going to continue to suffer. When his time comes there will be writers arguing that he doesn’t belong in the hall.

- Interesting stat so far this year. Which Ray pitcher is currently tied for 3rd in the majors in strikeouts? If you said Scott Kazmir you would be wrong (he’s 15th). The answer is right-hander James (Don’t Call me JAMIE!) Shields. With 37 strikeouts he is tied with local boxer, err, Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels for 3rd in the league. Shields had a strong spring training and is carrying that over to the start of the season. That bodes well for the Rays.

That’s it. Back to cleaning the sweet bachelor pad.

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