November 18, 2010
I still don’t know what to do with the Heat. On one hand, I have significant animosity left over from the Knicks-Heat rivalry of the late 1990s, I hate the local indifference towards such a fascinating team, and I do think LeBron James was kind of a jerk to lay waste to Cleveland so publicly and heartlessly. Plus, that video is horrible.
On the other hand, I am tired of all the stupid things we are saying about the Heat. I hate that Bill Simmons wrote a column on October 29th that basically declares that this Heat experiment is doomed – based on what he saw in one live game three games into the season. I hate that he desperately looks for ways to take shots at LeBron and the Heat whenever he can. I hate that we’ve decided that Chris Bosh is a soft, no-good bum who is just tagging along for the ride, instead of an excellent player in his own right. I hate that Dwyane Wade, James, and Bosh decided to test the pre-eminent dogmas in professional athletics – the ideas that championships are what count, and that teamwork goes farther than selfishness – only to find that the rules suddenly changed on them. Apparently, working together to win as many championships as possible is no longer good enough. Now superstars have to do it on their own or else it is not legitimate. Apparently.
But most of all, I hate that there is so much reactionary stupidity surrounding the Heat that I feel compelled to defend them.
October 11, 2010
AJ Burnett will be getting the start in Game 4 of the ALCS.
You heard the man.
July 7, 2010
You can probably guess which guy I am. Also, there is some salty language in this clip (a handful of f-bombs). I try not to post anything with profanity, but this is too good and pretty harmless.
May 10, 2010
In last night’s Yankees-Red Sox game, Joe Morgan said that the reason Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew has emerged from his slump is because he is taking fewer pitches, being more aggressive, and swinging earlier in the count. I had a sneaking suspicion Morgan was totally making this up – mostly because he had just seen Drew rip an early-count single into center field off A.J. Burnett. Actually, Morgan’s “thinking” reminded me a lot of the 2:00-2:20 clip in this montage:
“Do you really love the lamp, or are you just saying it because you saw it?” But I digress.
Anyway, I looked it up. From April 4th-April 28th, Drew’s OPS was below .600. He saw an average of 18.1 pitches per game during that span. Since April 30th, his OPS has steadily risen from .695 to .834. He saw an average of 18.4 pitches per game as he emerged from his slump.
In conclusion, Joe Morgan is making things up. Again.
April 26, 2010
Shaquille O’Neal was a somewhat polarizing figure back in late 1990s and early 2000s. At this point in his career, Shaq’s body had completed its transformation from compact to bulky, his playing style from explosive to brute force. This development created two distinct camps with two distinct opinions on Shaq’s game. One group thought that Shaq wasn’t much of a basketball player in the truest sense of the term, attributing his dominance to physical clout rather than practiced skill. The other thought that Shaq was, in fact, a gifted passer and ball-handler, but his size and strength was his most obvious advantage, an inherent characteristic that is no different from Allen Iverson’s blazing speed or Shawn Kemp’s leaping ability. Seeing the current version of Shaq, it’s hard to imagine that such a schism existed, but I distinctly remembering defending him from the former group’s criticisms throughout high school.
Deadspin somehow got their hands on some footage of a teenage Shaq, and I think it serves as a vivid reminder of how skilled he really and truly was. Sure, the sample size is small. Much of the footage consists of garbled interviews with figures from Shaq’s high school career. But watch the 0:20-0:26 portion, or 0:47-0:55, and tell me that Shaq was nothing but a big lug with no dexterity, pace, or technique. Years of slow decay and painful concession to time have clouded it, but in his prime, Shaq was a force of nature, a revolutionary player, and a frighteningly skilled athlete. I just hope we remember him as such.
April 12, 2010
A friend sent me this priceless video of Yankee reliever Chan Ho Park’s comments on his recent illness. It’s safe for work, but a little off-color, so use your own judgment. Do watch it at some point though, because his brutal honesty followed by mock incredulity makes this the greatest post-game Q&A I’ve ever seen.