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Friday, June 13, 2008

Papelbon: Red Sox Seek Revenge On Rays


Just as the dust was settling and the coast was clear, Jonathan Papelbon opened his mouth and set the field ablaze once again regarding the Rays / Red Sox dirty feud.
-"In my opinion, it's a bunch of bull what they did... All I got to say is what comes around goes around, man. Payback's a b****, I'll tell you what."

During the June 4th game between these two clubs, Red Sox center-fielder Coco Crisp complained about Rays' shortstop Jason Bartlett blocking second base during a steal which led to Crisp later deliberately taking out Rays' second-basemen Akinori Iwamura's legs. This tiny revenge led to a scuffle of words between Crisp and Rays' manager Joe Maddon as Crisp entered the dugout.

The following day, Jason Shields threw a revenge pitch directly at Coco Crisps waist (note: Not Head or anywhere near his upper part of his body). Coco then, to the apparent surprise of the Red Sox dugout, charged the mound, successfully dodged a right punch by Shields and got mauled by Jonny Gomes, Dioner Navarro, Akinori Iwamura and BJ Upton and the rest of the Rays.

As for the aftermath comments made by these two teams go, it seems that the two clubs are coming at this in totally different ways. Red Sox are seeking revenge while the Rays have kept quiet.
-After the game, Coco Crisp told reporters that, "they [The Rays] acted like little girls..." and went on and on.
-Days later, Rays' Manager Joe Maddon came out and said he defends what his team did and is actually proud of the way they handled the situation. He was happy that his team defended his pitcher and was able to take control of the situation.
-Wednesday, June 18th, Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon sings to Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight about the Red Sox seeking revenge.

It might be easier for a pitcher to come out and say stuff like that since they aren't stepping into the batter's box and facing 90+mph fastballs that could be aimed at their head. Maybe he is just drawing this whole feud out for the sake of pumping his team up, knowing that last time the Sox came to Tampa Bay they were swept. Who knows?

All I know is that I have cleared my schedule for the June 30th-July 2nd Red Sox vs. Rays series in Tampa Bay. Revenge is supposedly sought, I cannot miss that, and neither should you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dontrelle Willis Demoted to Class A Ball

Dontrelle Willis (0-1) had the highest ERA for starting pitchers in the Majors* with a cool 10.32 ... until today. Today, Willis was demoted to Class A baseball in Lakeland, Florida for no specific time frame.

After signing a 3 year, 29$ Million deal in Detroit, Willis has walked 21 batters in 11 1/3 innings. His last outing however, was his by far his worst. Willis allowed 8 runs, 5 walks, 3 hits in 1 1/3 innings of work.

Last year the trade between the Marlins and Tigers recieved heavy criticism on both ends, good and bad. The Marlins were once again criticized for letting young talent go after having some success, letting go Cabrera and Willis; while the Tigers were criticized for putting too much faith in these young guys and risking a little too much.

Since the trade Cabrera has moved to first base with the Tigers' handful of troubles, including Jeremy Bonderman's placement on the DL.

"Our objective is to get Dontrelle back to being Dontrelle," Tigers president, CEO and general manager Dave Dombrowski said in an interview with ESPN (from

*-among starting pitchers with at least 4 starts.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Chicago Bulls Get the First Pick of the 2008 NBA Draft

Predicted to be the #9 pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls jumped during the lottery to the top spot.

The Chicago Bulls, who had a 1.7% chance of getting that top spot, pushed the Miami Heat (who had a 25% chance) to the second spot and T-Wolves to number 3.

The 2008 NBA Draft will be like last year's draft where there are two prizes rather than just one. Last year we had Greg Oden out of Ohio State and Kevin Durant from Texas; this year we have Derrick Rose from Memphis and Michael Beasley from Kansas State.

2007 was not necessarily a down year for historic Chicago Bulls, but more of a rebuilding year as they picked up emotional Joakim Noah and made a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline.

The 2008 NBA Draft Order (Predicted spot):
1: Chicago Bulls (9)
2: Miami Heat (1)
3: Minnesota Timberwolves (3)
4: Seattle Supersonics (2)
5: Memphis Grizzlies (4)
6: New York Knicks (5)
7: Los Angeles Clippers (6)
8: Milwaukee Bucks (7)
9: Charlotte Bobcats (8)
10: New Jersey Nets (10)
11: Indiana Pacers (11)
12: Sacramento Kings (12)
13: Portland Trailblazers (13)
14: Golden State Warriors (14)
15: Phoenix Suns (N/A)

-On a personal note, my roomate, who is from Chicago and goes to Florida State hopes that this scenario happens:

"With the first pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls choose to release Joakim Noah. The Miami Heat are now on the clock..."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

FSU All-American To Meet With Rays After Unbelievable Showing

On Monday May 12, The Florida State Seminoles showed off one of the most, if not the most, dominant, versatile college baseball players in the nation.

Mike Martin, long-time manager of the Seminoles, played star catcher Buster Posey in all nine positions on Monday against Savannah State in a 10-0 victory to close out the sweep. Not only did Posey play all the positions, he dominated all of them.

He started out the game at his normal position, catcher, moved to first base in the second, second base in the third, shortstop in the fourth, third base in the fifth, left field and center field in the sixth, and closed the game pitching and playing right field in the seventh.

It doesn't stop there, Posey hit a grand-slam during the game and struck out his both batters he faced in the game! 

"To see Buster play all nine positions tells you what kind of talent the guy has," Martin stated after the game, "At no time was I ever worried about a ball being hit to him. Buster looked very comfortable everywhere he was, so that just goes to show you."

Posey currently leads the ACC in home runs (16), RBI's (66), and batting average (.469) and is expected to be a very high pick in the June Amateur Draft. Posey is set to meet with the Rays, who own the first overall pick, later this week.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Are The Rays For Real Yet?

As the season keeps rolling along, the Tampa Bay Rays keep breaking personal records in this "break-out" season... but is it safe to say that they are for real? By getting rid of the "Devil" within their name, did they actually get rid of the Demon within their play?

Being in the AL East is no picnic to begin with as the team with the second lowest payroll (the Rays) competes with teams that are not afraid to spend some money. But, after an exciting sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Rays are looking strong, young, relatively healthy, and holding their spot in 2nd place in the division.

Fast, strong, and young, the Rays are leading the league in stolen bases, 6th in Runs scored and Home Runs; but the stats don't stop there as the pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays is 5th in ERA, 4th in opponent batting average with James Shields leading the team with a 3.14 ERA, and leading the league in complete game shutouts with 2, early in the season.

Are the Rays good enough to act tough throughout the 162 game season? Only 36 games in, the Rays are 5 games above .500 which is the franchise record, and on the verge of winning their 10th straight home game tonight against the Yankees, which would be another franchise record. Who knows how long the Rays will hold their second place in the AL East, but this year breaks yet another franchise record for the Rays being 2nd place this late into the season.

Carl Crawford, who leads the league in runs scored (30) and fourth in stolen bases (12), told reporters after the 8-5 victory over the Angels which completed the 3-game sweep, "We feel like we're going to win every game right now... we know that's not possible, but we have the confidence to feel that way."

Confidence is key for the Rays as their rookie third basemen, Evan Longoria, keeps his rookie-of-the-year bid in sight. Longoria's walk off 2 run homerun against the Angels on Friday helped James Shields get his second complete game shutout (a 1-hitter to boot).

Heading into a 4-game series against the Yankees, a team that the Rays have never had too much success against, might just be the answer of how well the Rays can hold up against the AL East at the moment. However, The Rays' ace Scott Kazmir is coming off the DL and scheduled to play the fourth game against the Yankees which brightens the outlook of the series for the team in the sunshine state; but BJ Upton is still day-to-day (but we all know he won't want to sit against the Yanks).

Are the Rays actually the force they portray to be? Lots of questions fill the air around young teams that are doing better than predicted, and good teams that are doing poorly; but which teams are just pulling our chains early in this 2008 baseball season?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Star Florida State Athlete Arrested

Florida State University is no stranger to the law. Early Tuesday morning, 21 year old Preston Parker was arrested in South Florida on charges of carrying a concealed .45-caliber handgun and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.

Preston Parker last year led the Seminoles in all purpose yards with 1,513 and 62 receptions. In one of the issues of the FSView (The Florida State 
University newspaper), a whole three page spread was dedicated to Parker, giving him the title of Mr. Versatile for his ability to play virtually any position on the offensive side of the ball with ease.

Last year's MVP of Florida State is awaiting an announcement from FSU officials. This is the first major discipline problem at FSU since the arrival of new athletic director Randy Spetman.

With FSU already on self-probation from last year's late Online Cheating scandal that placed over 30 players on the sideline of the bowl game, FSU will have a lot on their plate and a lot of questions to answer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Gators Biggest Fumble...The BCS Trophy

Urban Meyer might have to reiterate the importance of not dropping the ball again. This fumble is going to cost the University of Florida a little more than $4,000.

On Friday the 2006 BCS Championship Trophy (The one with the Waterford crystal ball on top) was nudged of the table in the temporary coach's offices.

The main question should be:
Why is the trophy on a table? Shouldn't it be in a glass case or something that signifies importance?

Fortunately for The Gators, they planned to purchase a second trophy in Glendale, Arizona and will have it soon.

Friday, March 28, 2008

An Emotional Return and Torturous Chase

It was an unbelievably emotional day for the Denver Nuggets and their fan-base around the world. During the Nuggets' 118-105 much needed victory over the slipping, Nowitzki-less Mavericks, Nene made his return to the court.

Nene had been out since January 11th with a malignant form of Testicular Cancer. Fortunately for the big Brazilian, the doctors found the cancerous tumor in its early stages and were able to remove it with little chance of the cancer returning and a 100% recovery. It has been just over a month since Nene underwent chemotherapy.

Nene is officially a cancer survivor.

It was a memorable moment for everyone as Nene ripped off his warmups with 77 seconds to go in the game and went in for the rest of the game. Coach George Karl teared up, and as Nene was replacing Kenyon Martin, the stadium erupted in a standing ovation and Martin gave him the world's biggest bear hug.

"He's a teammate, and he's somebody we care about and we want around, but life is so much bigger than basketball," Allen Iverson said. "When it happened to him, it put it more in perspective for me that it's not just about this game, it's about life. It was a good feeling and I was happy to be part of it."

Hopefully this is a start of great things to come for the Nuggets as they work for that final playoff spot in the West (Where the Nuggets would be a 4 or 5 seed easily in the East). The Nuggets are closing in on that preseason goal of 50 wins as they won their last 3. But, unfortunately, if the Golden State Warriors keep winning, the Nuggets have only a chance at becoming the team with the best record ever to not make the playoffs.

The Nuggets and Warriors meet in a HUGE regular season game Saturday night in Denver. Only 1/2 a game separates the Warriors' 8th place that guarantees them the last playoff spot and the Nuggets. If tonight is any indication or preview of what is to expect Saturday, then we will see a strong Denver team that came off an impressive win over Jason Kidd and the Mavs against a Golden State team who had first half trouble against the Portland Trailblazers. 

Who knows if the highly productive offense of the Nuggets is going to be enough for the Beard and the rest of the Warriors.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A.I. Always Welcome In Philly

 It has been over 15 months since the Answer, Allen Iverson, was sent from Philadelphia to Denver; but tonight, AI and the Nuggets returned to Philadelphia to play the 76ers, bringing AI back to Philadelphia for the first time since the trade.

AI spent over 10 seasons with Philly, taking them to an NBA Finals and winning an MVP. He turned a once prestigious organization back into one when they were in a time of suffering. The 76ers were a laughing stock when they drafted AI out of Georgetown with the first pick of the 1996 NBA Draft.

During the introductions, AI was greeted in Philadelphia with a standing ovation and a huge uproar of an applause. Nothing could have been better for a man that has done so much for an organization both on the court and off. This future hall-of-famer is one of the most easily recognizable people of the NBA, noted for his natural appearance and his laid-back, "gangster" attitude. He is always known for his "Practice?!??!" speech and his "ghetto-swag," but he truly is a great NBA basketball player and personality.

Unfortunately for AI and the Nuggets, they left Philadelphia tonight with a loss, certainly not helping their chase for the playoffs. Even though the Nuggets have won 7 more games than the 76ers, the Nuggets would not make the playoffs while the East-lying 76ers would be a 6 seed if the season ended tomorrow.


Friday, February 29, 2008

Sam Cassell Finally Released...Now Where To?

Sam Cassell, point guard for the LA Clippers who are in last place in their respective division, was finally released Thursday after requesting to have his contract bought out. This Florida State Alumni just had his jersey retired in Tallahassee and now wants to move back east.

Will he hop on the train to join his ex-Timberwolve Kevin Garnett in Boston? Or will another potential playoff team pick him up? Cassell must pass midnight Friday's waiver period, after that he can join whatever team will pick him up. This 38 year old injury-prone point guard needs to go to a team that needs help now obviously. If he does in fact move to Boston he will find out he has to play under Rajon Rondo and Eddie House. Do the Celtics really need Cassell?

If the Denver Nuggets are hoping for anything better they are dreaming. The Nuggets are half a game out of the playoffs under the Rockets and in need of something even though Karl and AI think the team is just fine. The Nuggets have had some incredible signs recently to tell them they need to pick up Cassell.
-First off, one of the teams that is jeopardizing their playoff picture is the Houston Rockets. Now that they took a huge blow with the injury to Yao Ming the Nuggets have an opening to secure that last playoff spot in the highly competitive West.
-Secondly, right before the trade deadline the Nuggets beat the Celtics and somehow believed that they are fine the way they are...the same way they were last year when they lost in the first round...and the year before. They then shut down all trade talk and didn't pick up a much needed PG, or Ron Artest, or Zach Randolph. As a result, the Nuggets lose their next three games, two of which were to the Bulls...and the Bucks.
-Thirdly, now, Cassell is dropped and teamless. A PG who needs to help out now. Chucky Atkins is hurt, Anthony Carter and Taurean Green aren't prize pieces, pick up Cassell!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Montana Tech Keeps Sampson's Name

The school that gave Kelvin Sampson his first job as a head coach has no plans in changing its court name that honors him.

Sampson recently was suspended from the University of Indiana and accepted a $750,000 buyout of his contract following a mess of recruiting scandals.

As for Montana Tech, who he coached from 1981-1985, still supports him and honors him as a great man and great coach. Sampson shaped the poor team into a winning team in just one season and now the Orediggers are a winning program. Sampson coached M.Tech with the salary of $1,100 a year and later donated $50,000 to renovate the school's physical education building.

To commemorate Sampson, Montana Tech placed his signature on the basketball court. "We're not a big school, but we're extremely loyal, and we're not going to get caught up in that whole game," McClafferty, athletic director of Montana Tech stated. "Our court will stay Kelvin Sampson Court. We still love the guy, and if he wants to come back and coach here, we'd sure take him."

It makes me happy to see this school stay loyal and handle this situation with class. Knowing that this man made their program into what it is today, Montana Tech won't turn their back on him and erase him from their history.

The Orediggers aren't doing so well this year however, they are 1-9 in Frontier Conference play, and 5-19 overall. (Mr. Sampson? Are you listening?)

Go Orediggers!

Friday, February 15, 2008

All-Star Trade Deadline!

Oh man... You have to love the weeks before the All-Star Break in the NBA. The blogs, airwaves, and sports channels are filled to the rim with trade talk, rumors and unhappy players! Now-a-days, the All-Star break isn't recognized as much for the spectacles as it is the sign of the trade deadline finally among us. Whether teams build up trade talk and finally decide against it, teams rushing into a trade, or teams finally building the guts to pull the trigger, the trade deadline/All-Star Break is the best time of the season.

Like I stated in my last article, the 2007-2008 NBA Season is the season of great changes. From the Boston Celtics getting ridiculous, to the Lakers getting one of the most one-sided deals in a while in Pau Gasol, and finally to the Marion/Shaq trade, this season is only going to get better.

I just don't want the trade deadline to come!

These past few days have been quite fun for a fan of the NBA and not particularly a fan of the Dallas Mavericks and the New Jersey Nets. Jason Kidd was supposedly packing his bags for his move to Dallas, when one of the extra bodies of the trade pulled out the rare "No-Trade Clause" of his contract. Devean George, the guy who after stops the huge trade between the East and the West shoots 0-11 from the field, is crazy! George might have his reasons for staying in Dallas, whether it be the playing time or the money, but sometimes you just have to know your role and follow. (Devean George does have some championship rings, don't get me wrong, but c'mon..)

But, I couldn't help but overhear while watching the Nuggets/Warriors last week that George Karl and my Denver Nuggets are hoping to get Ron Artest from the Sacremento Kings. The only thing stopping this trade is the Kings interest in the young and promising Linus Kleiza. The Nuggets don't need another small forward or shooting guard unless Allen Iverson is going to be the permanent point guard. Artest's defense would be a nice perk to the Nuggets sluggish perimeter defense, however.

As a fan of the Baby-Blue Nuggets, I hope this deal goes down in flames. What Denver needs to find is a point guard who can actually bring some game or a power forward who is not always hurt (nothing intended against Nene, my prayers are with him).

The Nuggets have a group of guys who are expendable. Look at J.R. Smith, Nene, Kenyon Martin! I don't know if Karl and the guys in Denver heard about someone from LA looking for a trade by the name of Sam Cassell. Cassell would be a great addition to the Nuggets and give them some help , even though his age is a little damper on the trade. Denver needs to take a stand and say simply "NO" to whoever even shows interest in Najera or Kleiza. These guys are too good of role players to give up.

It would be a great day in Denver if a strong point guard joined forces with the Nuggets and the health issues were resolved with the big men.

I can only hope that the Nuggets figure out something to keep up with the continuous growth of the Western Conference. I just hope they realize that if they give up Nene or K-Mart and get Artest or a point guard that they are getting smaller while the West is getting bigger and plan accordingly to compete with them.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Suns Get Some Heat?

The Suns and the Heat have come to an agreement in a trade that sends Shaq to Phoenix in return for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. Did the Suns just get some wasted Heat, or are they just getting hotter?

This major trade that sent Shaq back to the west and the unhappy Marion and young Banks to the Heat came just days after the New Jersey Nets' point guard Jason Kidd requested a trade and weeks after Rashard Lewis shipped to Orlando and Kevin Garnett/Ray Allen to Boston. This 2007-2008 Season has already been dubbed "The Move-While-You-Still-Can Year."

One can only imagine what Steve Kerr and the Phoenix Suns were thinking when they accepted the trade to grab the dominant center of the past decade with bad knees and give away automatic the automatic double-double machine. Everyone can see right when they see this how it is a bad move for the Suns and a good move for the Heat, but there are some high pros that can shine over those cons.

1: Can Shaq provide a counter to Duncan and the Spurs in the playoffs?
   -Steve Kerr could have been thinking future. With the Spurs as the main competition, the Suns needed to change something and attack them from a different angle. The Suns could go big on the court and have Amare Stoudamire and Shaquille O'Neal on the court to prevent Duncan from just shutting down the Suns' inside game.

2: Could Shaq bring his rings...I mean... experience?
3: Did the Suns get rid of unhappy mojo?
   -Shawn Marion wasn't the happiest of campers in Phoenix. At the beginning of the season with Kobe trades were the talk-of-the-town, Marion also was requesting a trade, blaming his unhappiness in Phoenix. Is the credit not being spread around down in Arizona?

What we don't know is how Shaq will immediately fit in with the Suns' fast-break, run-and-gun offense. Only time will tell how everything works out, and how long Shaq's knees will be able to play.

--On the other side of the nation, the Heat made an amazing trade. They need to start rebuilding and freeing up cap-room. Getting rid of O'Neal freed up some space to start shopping for some great Free Agents at the end of the 2008 season, which is going to be a great season for those teams that are shopping (ie. Baron Davis, Chris Webber, Monta Ellis, Allen Iverson, Jermaine O'Neal, Elton Brand, Corey Maggette, Gilbert Arenas)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Florida State's Losses Continue

Xavier Lee, Florida State's backup quarterback, was asked to move to tight end for the 2008 season after a rocky career at FSU. Xavier's answer was simple, "No." He chose to file for the 2008 NFL draft along with star linebacker Geno Hayes and big defensive lineman Letroy Guion.

Xavier Lee had only started 6 games in his three seasons at Florida State including his first game off the bench in the 07-08 season against Alabama in which FSU won. After being benched after a mistake-filled loss against rival Miami, Xavier Lee never saw the field again. Lee was suspended for two games within the season for academic reasons, and then again for the bowl game and the first few games of the 08 season for a online-class cheating scandal with 30 more FSU athletes.

Geno Hayes, like Lee, had been suspended for two weeks for a nightclub mishap, and Guion was one of the three dozen players to be suspended for the scandal. These penalties will have no effect after signing for the draft.

Florida State, losing players left and right, continues to lose people to the draft and the ongoing cheating scandal. Over a dozen players will miss the start of the 08 season. But, on a bright note, in the Music City Bowl against Kentucky, Florida State showed some growth and maturity through the loss of over 35 athletes and brings yet another shimmering glimpse of hope to the FSU campus and fanbase.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Well, Who Saw it Coming?


First let me link you to an article I wrote on YardBarker a few weeks ago... /32262 ...I guess we didn't take my advice and root hard enough against Ohio State to prevent them from making it to the BCS Title Game, and we had to suffer through another excuse for a football game. Could these past few National Title Games be any worse? I would hate to be a Ohio State fan right now.
-Yes, this is coming from a Florida State Seminole fan.

Now that the BCS National Title "Game" is over with we can all break down the game into the nitty-gritty whys and why-nots for both LSU and Ohio State! But, I wish the world were run without the mandatory politically correct, non-biased analysis that is shown on TV everywhere.

The answer is simple: Ohio State is stuck in the past, has no speed to match up with the better teams, and no style and grace. Yeah, Chris Wells who ran over LSU a bunch of times shed some light on how pathetic OSU was against a far better team. I mean, OSU runs a good old-school football game, but when they play anyone in the top 20 (which they haven't beat all year, which makes them the only school ever to make it to the National Title game having not beat a top 20 team all season) they have trouble competing with the speed and finesse the opponent brings to the table. Les Miles and LSU have speed, guts, and trickery. Even though LSU didn't utilize their two-quarterback scheme, it was still there enough to scare OSU. Florida's new-age offense did it last year.

Michigan has the right idea. Bring in Rich Rodriguez who will get the right recruits to bring the big blue into the 2000's.

But, I just hope, next time we catch the problem early and hopefully we can stop it early enough...that means ALL OF YOU COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANS!

But, in all, Congratulations to Louisiana State University for their National Title Game...thanks should go to all the top teams throughout the season for losing at some point to let LSU compose themselves again and march into the Title Game.