Thursday, May 31, 2007

Anyone want to go to the game tonight?

Hey I have an idea lets call the afternoon off and all head up to 'roit and cheer our asses off for the Cavs tonight at the Palace, there's still tickets available on Ticketmaster!!!!

Sounds like a good idea doesn't it?

To bad we are not allowed to buy tickets to the game because we don't live in Michigan. I've never heard of this before but I really haven't gone to that many games out of state. For tickets to tonight's game they have this policy:

"Additional Information: The Palace is located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Sales to this event will be restricted to residents of Michigan. Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside Michigan will be canceled without notice and refunds given."

I guess the Pistons don't want to lose their home court advantage to people from Ohio. I'm sure they don't have this for the Cleveland games, I could be wrong. I've been to many Browns games where it feels like your sitting in Pittsburgh watching the game. In a free county one would think you can go to any game you want, as long as you have a ticket no matter where you live.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Some random game 4 thoughts...

Some are my own, and some are liberally borrowed...errr...stolen.

Gibson was the sh*t, driving to the hoop and making things happen. Now, I know that's not as easy when you're triple teamed constantly, but a certain 240-lb power forward should keep that in mind, particularly in "meaningless" mid-season games versus Charlotte. That alley-oop to Lebron--not too bad either.

Varajao leads the league in flops, I mean charges drawn, and by a huge margin. There have been a lot of articles decrying the constant flop--Bill Simmons suggests it has something to do with soccer fans from Europe and South America coming into the NBA. Is getting in the way of someone driving really good basketball? If that happened on Tuesday nights I would have to pull an AJ Peer-zin-ski on someone.

How great was the push away of Rip by Lebron on the trash-talking before his free throw attempt? thinks the same thing.

Windhorst says there's some dissension in the ranks in the Motor City? Really? Why would that be?

Finally, just found this fine blog by a freelance basketball writer. Hadn't seen it before. "20 Second Timeout".

And did anyone time Kelly Shoppach on his 360 yard dash around the bases after his huge homerun over the Monster tonight? Munch suggested 20K+ at the Q and 40K+ at the Jake this Saturday to watch Detroit get stomped 500 yards away from each other, plus 20K+ more downtown drinking themselves silly watching the games. I will put the over under on fans at the Indians game Saturday at 18K...sorry, first place or not, I'm not watching the Cavs at a tv in Jacobs Field's concourse. The Batter's Eye Bar? Maybe.

Jersey to the Face

Can you imagine how sweaty that thing must be? I would RAGE!

Does anybody want to get together and watch the premier of Tyler Perry's House of Payne on June 6th? It looks hilarious. They have this big guy who dresses like an old lady and says "very funny".

Boobie Prize

Two off-seasons ago the Cavaliers offered a grossly inflated contract, both in years and dollar amount, to Larry Hughes. One can argue that they didn’t have a choice. The team had big money to spend and free agents Ray Allen and Michael Redd had already snubbed the Cavs to stay with their respective teams. The Cavs needed to make a splash with LeBron’s walk year fast approaching and the team’s fanbase already wringing their hands in speculative anguish over the King possibly leaving for a bigger market.

Hughes was signed by Danny Ferry as a lockdown defender with some scoring punch...even though Hughes was a career 41% shooter from the field upon inking the Cavs generous offer. With treacherous rat Carlos Boozer !!Stabbing a Blind Man in the Back!! and escaping to Mormon country, Hughes was tabbed by SVAC management as the Robin to LeBron’s Batman—a solid (if not spectacular) veteran who could vault the team to the next level.

The Cavs are at the next level, but Hughes hasn’t been the one to help them get there. He’s shown flashes of good play, but those flashes have been as brief and soundless as summer lightening. It’s true that Hughes is currently playing out of position, and I do admire his effort to start Game 4 against the Pistons on a bum foot, but unfortunately Hughes’s career-long penchant for fragility (one healthy season in nine years) and mediocre outside shooting (30-some percent in the 2007 playoffs) have come to fruition.

This sad circumstance would usually cause Cleveland fans to nod knowingly and blame the sports gods for smiting us once again. Not so fast, Potsie. As of this writing, the Cavaliers have tied the Eastern Conference Finals at two apiece and have the momentum going into Game 5. A large part of this surprising development can be attributed to the babyfaced (heh) second-round pick from Texas who for the last two games has put on the Robin spandex to become LeBron’s high-energy new sidekick--Daniel “Boobie” Gibson.

Gibson was brought in as the point guard of the future. But this guy’s a pure scorer who over the last couple of games has given the Cavs a burst of aggressive energy. Gibson had shown some shooting touch this year, but for whatever reason, his game has picked up several dimensions against Roit.

The rookie doesn’t just hang around the 3-point line. He’s sunk a few midrange jumpers (always a sketchy proposition for the Cavs) including a sweet turnaround J from above the free-throw line. Gibson seems fearless too, despite the enormous stage of the ECF...Tuesday he drove to the hoop against far bigger players. It gave me great joy to see him go right at Rasheed and draw a foul. Gibson’s hitting his free throws, too. When was the last time any Cav went 12 for 12 from the stripe? What about defense? Gibson’s availed himself quite nicely...another surprise. Sunday night he harassed the hell out of Billups and came up with a couple of big stops. Plus he drew a huge charging foul against Billups in Tuesday’s game.

Of course, you probably can’t count on Gibson to average 21 points for the rest of this series. The Cavs will need somebody, be it Z, Gooden, or Hughes to get hot in order to put the Pistons down. Just the same, Gibson and LeBron have obvious chemistry on the court. Maybe Boobie can truly be the Pippen to LeBron’s Jordan; the Batman to his Robin; the Jannetty to his Michaels.

Hard Working Town Hard Working Team... OHHH CAVS

The Cavaliers can win this series. We are as good as Detroit, there's no doubt in my mind. My only concern (which I said right after the game)is that Game 1 may have cost us the series. That game was so obtainable. Game 2 was also, but the referees virtually made it impossible to steal.

We could easily be looking at a 3-1 series lead, or dare I say 4-0 sweep. . I know I know... if my grandmother had balls she'd be my grandfather.

We really need to figure out that 3rd quarter issue. But I'm beginning to wonder if it actually isn't turning out to our advantage when the 4th quarter rolls around and we're fresher than the older Pistons.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Has anyone watched Larry Hughes?

The national media seems to think the Cavaliers chances are slim, now that the inevitable Hughes injury bug has it. Chris Broussard here gives the Cavs a chance only if he plays, the official ESPN article here says "the better alternative" would be with Hughes, and TrueHoop says similar.

I mean sure, his defense is sometimes okay. But offensively he just never shows anything. And nobody can deny that Boobie is holding his own. Is it just because Larry has the same body as Tashaun Prince (thank God, not the same face, however)?

Well, we'll see.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Thoughts before game 4...well, 24 hours before...

I missed my flight home and have to wait 90 minutes, so I might as well take some time to give my thoughts on Sunday's game from beautiful O'Hare airport. I did just buy a Chicago dog which comes with onions, mustard, jalapeƱos, some relish stuff that looks like it's in relish jello, and a big pickle. (Hold the tomatoes please). Anyway it was $3.29 and just as good as a ballpark Kosher dog, so I don't regret the purchase.

As I sit here digesting before I really really need to use an airport bathroom...

-Just saw that Larry Hughes is doubtful for game 4. Is there any Cavs fan that is thinking, "Just another stroke of bad luck for Cleveland sports!" I would think the Gibson and Snow combo can hold their own. Boobie is looking nice out there. Although Larry was looking good in the first part of Sunday's game.

-I watched the game at a Chicago bar that is a big Ohio State bar. (This is after a bar I went to very late on Friday night had all the bartenders wearing maize and blue shirts that advertised "The Big House in Chicago" on them--I didn't see it until I ordered my beer so I had to stay.) Anyway the OSU bar had a number of SVAC fans there, and was absolutely packed. We stood the whole time and the bar area I was in was playing loud music the whole time. Still enjoyed it. Three guys right near me were rooting for the Pistons and at least one was slightly annoyed with me at one point (probably after the 'Sheed facial that Lebron delivered.) Found out after the game that he bet the game, he's not a 'stons fan.

-Great game although that flurry of threes from Detroit made me a little nervous. I was having trouble figuring out why the game was so close at the half but Lebron's two huge shots in the fourth were beautiful. And the dunk over Rasheed was just incredible.

-Varajao is starting to annoy me a little bit with his theatrics but I love his game. Plus when Rasheed finally pulls a Kermit Washington on him that will kind of tilt the series a little bit, huh?

-The Washington Post writes a great story you should read about Caron Butler. We have some June birthdays coming up--what's Selby's address again?

-I like to think there's about a 92% chance the Cavs are going to win Tuesday. So why not a repeat of last year's game 5? And then this year maybe hold serve in Game 6. If Lebron can maybe get to the gym a little early and look like he gives a crap the entire game, there's no reason Detroit should win another game until November.

-Brian Windhorst writes that Varajao is a desired object in the gay community. Really? Also a little bit about Lebron's "moodiness":

I have written here before that sometimes when you talk to LeBron before games that you can tell he's charged, it happened a handful of times this season. The best I can remember was before the game in L.A. when he killed the Lakers. I have also written and told many people when they ask me about what LeBron is truly like that he can be moody. In Game 3, he was in the mood to kick tail. It was the mood Michael Jordan permanently existed in.
- There's actually a mini-controversy (very very mini) on whether Lebron tried to hit some women with the ball...check out the link for the youtube video.

-Finally, YaySports! had a great little aside: Boy, that homecourt advantage would look good right now, huh? Perhaps a little more effort in those Knicks, Celtics, and Bobcats games next season?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Oh where to begin

You will see no wrestling analogies this time. No industry terms. No Hulk Hogan metaphors. I'm not messin' around. Last night was disgusting in so many different ways, I don't even know where to begin.

There was the fact that the Cavaliers ONCE AGAIN blew a lead at halftime, coming out in the 3rd quarter complacent as if this was the Bobcats in mid December... oh wait we lost to the Bobcats.There's also the fact that Larry Hughes can't hit a 5 foot jumper... ever heard of using the glass Larry? Question for Coach Brown... why the fuck was Hughes in there at the end. You pulled him in favor of Gibson and Jones who both responded with good performances, earlier in the game. See Coach Brown... when it's the last play of the game, that means you don't need defensive guys in there... SO WHY NOT PUT IN GUYS WHO CAN FUCKING SCORE AND HIT SHOTS and a rebounder (Varajou)?

Then there's the fact that the referees blew beyond absolute belief, especially in the 4th quarter.

I'm not going to blame the game on the refs, sort of, but I also HATE.... and I mean HATE... the idea that referees don't cost you the game. OF COURSE THEY CAN! It's not the reason we lost, but it didn't help.

I see things like this ....
Yes we were up by 12 at half. But the Pistons are a good team and the NBA is a game of runs. The fact that a team (especially the home team) is going to make a run is as much a lock as the sun rising. The point is we still had a very good chance of winning the game and the referees did everything in their power to not allow that to happen. And I'm not talking Cleveland conspiracy or anything... I'm just talking about a horribly refereed game. If we expect the players to play well, then we should expect the refs to ref well.

I've heard the argument that the no-calls have been consistent for both games, yada, yada, yada... but I'm not complaining about consistency... there is a difference between being consistent and downright lopsided.

1. I could be wrong, but I don't understand the travel call on Sasha. Are you not allowed to jump and pass the ball before you come down? Granted the pass was weak, because it started out as a shot, but so what? Seriously, are you not allowed to do that?Did I miss Sasha landing before he passed? Help me out.

2. I know Andy flops, but Sheed's lanky-ass arm was fully extended and above his shoulder RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE FUCKING REFEREE.

3. LeBron got hacked, clawed, scratched, mugged, and raped by Rip Hamilton.

I'm almost more mad about the two previous calls (or non call) than the LeBron one... that was just the tip of the iceberg for me.... the one that sent me over the edge.

The Cavs are frustrating as hell. The refs pissed me off more than Bottlegate. And then it starts raining at 4:00 on Friday. FUUUUUUCKKKKKK!

We're lucky Lebron even played last night

According to Brian Windhorst Lebron got a post game flagrant foul for game 1, and should have been tossed in the 3 quarter. Luckily after the game everyone was talking about the pass and not about the elbow he hit Webber with.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More Lost - and Loving It

Forget all this talk about The Sopranos. So Tony keeps beating people up, having sex with women way too hot for him, killing his relatives blah, blah, blah...

Let's talk about the best, most creative show on TV... Lost. What a frikin' finale last night.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't seen the episode yet do not scroll down!

Last night's episode was borderline ingenious... setting us up for the past three years by structuring the show around flashbacks and current events on the island and then last night pulling the rug out from under us with a flashFORWARD... but doing so in a way that we all thought it was just another flashback...UNBELIEVABLE!

What balls to show us, basically, the outcome of the show three years before it ends. Now it's no longer IF they get off the island, but how. And like a moth to a flame, George The Animal Steele to a turnbuckle, I've been reeled even even more than before... hook, line, sinker.

I mean just imagine it... it's like watching Wrestlemania after not seeing RAW for a whole year, and then going back through the DVR to see how all the angles led up to this great culmination... the swerves, the schmozes, the double-switches, the bad ass faces... just kidding.

Seriously though... that show is incredible. Even seemingly insignificant things turn out to be important in the overall scheme of things.

The show doesn't come back until after Jan. 1 next year I've heard. It's going to be a LONG 6 months.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thoughts heading into Game 2

The other night, we all heard what was posted here, about a Pistons fan you could hear on the tv broadcast. When Chris Webber took a jump shot, the fan yelled "Don't Shoot!". I made a comment how I sounded exactly the same when Larry Hughes gets the ball.

Froms pointed out that Chauncey Billups looks like Cecil Turtle (yes, that's his name.)

YaySports! points out the least to everyone but Mike Brown and a "certain number 23", to paraphrase an old buddy.

Post him up. Post him up. PLEASE.

And we’re not talking about the thing where he posts up wide on the wing, then big-pivots around so he’s…back at the 3-point line again.

Put him down on the deep freaking block and get it into him, then surround him with a cutting AV and your shooters - Gibson, Jones, and/or maybe the occasional Marshall.

We just can’t understand how this doesn’t get run constantly, although part of this is on LBJ, as well. He’s gotta GO as soon as he gets that thing - no more standing around for 3-4 seconds, allowing the defense to adjust. Why do the Lasers that kind of favor?

We’ve all seen him barrel through 3 and even 4 bodies once he’s rolling, and Webber, et al aren’t quick enough to get into a charge situation. Just GO to the hole. You’re unstoppable, but not if you sit there and stare at the basket before trying to get to it.

I read this somewhere on line in response to Bill Simmons and all the Celtics fans' heartbreak at the NBA lottery: Poor Boston fans. Now go back and cheer for the best team in baseball and watch Tom Brady throw touchdowns to Randy Moss. (Actually I will quite enjoy that myself).

King Kaufman says that Lebron pulled a Nowitzki on Monday night. I don't know about that. Although anyone who says it was one on three for the layup (looking at you, Lebron), must not have noticed that he was past Prince, Rasheed was late, and Rip was heading out toward the left three point line, not toward the lane. That being said, Rasheed had like 19 blocks already, and Prince can touch the ground while standing straight up, so it wasn't a gimme. And if he had shot it and gotten blocked, the same writers would be saying he forced it.

I'm not a big fan of Lebron's post game "We're OK with this loss tonight" comments. I'd rather hear "This sucks, we need to figure out how to give them a great big shit burger to eat in game 2." Mike from GodHatesClevelandSports says:

...when Michael Jordan takes The Shot it is capitalized, and when Donyell Marshall takes the shot it is not.
Just remember, LeBron James driving the lane, drawing the attention of the entire defense like he's a magnet and the opponents are made of metal, then dishing to the corner for a game-winning three-ball try is an established part of the Cavs' repertoire. James connected with Damon Jones on such a play to beat the Toronto Raptors by a point last March, just a few days after matching up with Flip Murray on almost the exact same play in a win over the Chicago Bulls. Then there was Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs last year, when Larry Hughes found Damon Jones alone in the corner for a 23-footer to decide the series in the Cavs favor by a point.

All three treys came on the road with less than five seconds to go. So don't pretend LeBron's pass to Donyell Marshall was a surprise. It's part of a pattern.

Of course, so is not winning a championship since 1964.
Who knows. Let's go Cavs. It's going to be very interesting to see how they come out Thursday night. Coincidentally, the first day after May sweeps is over. The NBA didn't want to compete against American Idol on Wednesday. Post Script: The midget white kid didn't win.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Spin on Spider-Man 3

I saw Spider-Man 3 over the weekend and I've gotta say... it was average. Entertaining because it was Spider-Man, but pretty boring actually and surprisingly not much action. With each installment (1, 2 & 3), I feel the storyline and dialogue has become increasingly corny, culminating in an extreme cheezeball script for #3. As a matter of fact, watching #1 & 2 nowadays, I don't feel either has aged well.

Regarding the 3rd addition (The Battle Within)...
Venom and Sandman were VERY cool, but unlike many people, I'm not absorbed by cool visual things and super special effects. I like them, I appreciate them, but they don't save the movie for me. (See Independence Day for a perfect example). Now by no means was this as bad as Independence Day, but it was disappointing, even with scenes of Cleveland (and a sign Cathy and I worked on while at Kapp & Associates) in the background. (Look for the City Club as Spidey swings over and down Euclid Ave.)

At one point, I had to pee really bad right smack dab in the middle of the movie. I don't think I've gone to the bathroom since I was 10 years old in a movie. I don't like to miss anything, let alone a movie like Spider-Man. It could've been the 4 glasses of water I had at dinner, but instead of holding it to the point of pain (which I did for some stupid reason during Gangs of NY, one the worst movies I've seen in recent years) I left to explore the bathrooms of Macedonia Commons Theater. The main point is that when I got back, it was the same scene as when I left... a "heartfelt" exchange between Peter and MJ.

Maybe superhero movies shouldn't try to explore too much in depth, the complexities of relationships, but I give them credit for trying. Much like second guessing LeBron's decision to pass up a layup attempt for a Donyell Marshall 3 from the corner, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. If the movie is only about action and effects, then it's a shallow movie. Maybe they needed an advisor like when Lucas finally hired Speilberg for Star Wars 3. Someone to come in and edit the script, take out the overindulgence of corny cliches, and balance between action and meaningful dialogue.

All this being said, when Spider-Man 4 comes out, I know I'll be jacked to see it. And hopefully more than this guy...


Brady Quinn impersonating the Village People at his sister's wedding...

Unauthorized photos!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tony, Tony, Tony

I was basically turned completely around and inside out during that scene on the Sopranos tonight. I will not sleep for weeks I fear.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I Love Donyell!

First of all... every Cleveland fan should be thanking me for calling out Donyell. He obviously read my blog and came out on a mission.

Secondly... that Yahoo article or whatever you call it was idiotic. "Retarded Chameleons"... oh the hilarity.

Granted Lebron was a little slow out of the gate this year, but after the all-star break he was back. So to say he was indifferent since November is just another example of how people don't even know what they're writing about.

Pucky... yes Damon Jones fouled Kidd once (it was more of a Lou Thesz Press than a Rock Bottom) but I doubt that was the strategy in putting him in the game. I doubt Damon Jones was the assigned thug of the night.

That being said, he did make very sound passes and good decisions and played decent defense. Most importantly, he kept the Nets honest (which I don't understand considering he hasn't taken a shot in two months). Damon Jones deserves some playing time.

I was screaming for Mike Brown's job during that Nets run because of how pathetic our offense is without Lebron. How about calling time out and setting up an easy look for either Z or Gooden... something high percentage since your main offensive weapon is out. That's what good coaches do.

I got so loud, the wife told me to leave (the kid was trying to go to sleep). I countered with "The kid can sleep anytime! This is a disaster!". Not really, I just tried to scream more under my breathe.

Anyway, last night wore me out physically, emotionally, and mentally. It was like an epic Hulk Hogan wrestling match ... Hogan comes out like gang busters.... the heel counters and has Hogan on the ropes.... Hogan Hulks up, waves the "no" finger, and delivers the big boot/legdrop combo...match over... Hogan wins! And I'm spent.

Every... and I mean EVERY... NBA analyst (there are you happy Pucky) I heard on ESPN and Mike & Mike, said after Game 5 that the Nets were going to win or they wouldn't be surprised if the Nets win... you can go shove it up your asses.

Cavs-Jazz Finals? If it happens we should make Boozer's stay in Cleveland a living hell.

Props to Austin Carr and his "Jesus!" call when the Nets cut it to 1.

Put up or shut up...

Well I think every Cavs fan knows....that they have no idea how the Cavs are going to play in the ECF. But Vox was dead wrong, SVAC came up huge and now they can all rest this weekend. Monday night might set a tone for the series.

How the Cavs pushed it inside, and set the tone in the first and fourth quarters, was huge.

Check out the shot chart on See the difference between the third quarter and the other quarters...many more midrange jumpers in or around the top of the key. Pushing it inside, only shooting baseline jumpers--Drew's staples-- or threes, seemed to be the key in the game. STOP SHOOTING 20 FOOT JUMPERS ON THE LEFT WING! Especially you Larry.

Yay!Sports compares SVAC to a certain disabled animal:

Watch what happens if they play like they’ve been playing - they will get ROLLED.

THAT SAID, maybe they’ll continue to inexplicably play to the level of their competition, whether that be up or down. We really have no idea if they’re as good as the Spurs or as bad as the Knicks - they just play the same as whoever they’re playing against. They’re like Retarded Chameleons…
Donyell shoves it right in From's face. And it looks like he did have a few good games this year. None better than last night however.

I think if Mikki Moore was here, I would fight him. I also think that none of 'Sheed's antics are going to fly with Sacha or Andy this series. Both of them are redasses, likes-to-fight-guys. Although Andy is also likes-to-turn-it-over guy too--but I still like him!

I almost fell off my bar stool when I saw #19 out there last night. Then when I saw him Rock Bottom JKidd, I realized the strategy.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Donyell Marshall

For my friend who argued last night, and I quote, "Donyell Marshall had a good year. " Then also said I complain too much about the Cavs, (sorry, I had no right to be pissed) and in the same sentence said I never think they commit a foul (even though I only disagreed with two calls: Sasha's "flagrant" and a charge late in the game).Yeah, I was pissed last night. I'm a passionate sports fan. Anyway, here's Donyell's stats for the year. (If you base it on his assist to turnover ratio then I guess he had an awesome year.) Seriously, were you thinking of last year, which wasn't that good either?

Oh wait, in December he had a 29 pt. game against the Bucks. Oh and a 15 and 19 pt. game. Great year.

Donyell Marshall 2006-07 season stats:

MPG: 16.8
FG%: .424
3P%: .351
FT%: .663
Off Reb: 1.1
Def Reb: 2.9
Tot Reb: 4.0
APG: 0.6
SPG: 0.5
BPG: 0.5
TO: 0.8
A/TO: 0.7
PF: 130
PPG: 7.0

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What if

What if the Cavaliers make it to the NBA Finals and staring back at them is not the San Antonio Spurs or Phoenix Suns, but instead Carlos Boozer and the Utah Jazz. In the words of the great JR... "OH MY GAWD!"

I wouldn't be able to take a loss to Boozer and the Jazz in the finals. It might be the end of me. I guess I should worry about getting there first, but just a thought.

LeBron and the Cavs better take notice of what happened to Amare Stoudemire and not get suckered into a bench clearing incident tonight. I could see Mikki Moore and the Nets pulling something like that.

I need a win tonight fellas... I can't sit and wait for game 6 and possibly game 7.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"I'm going to (blank) you up..."

So that's why Sacha got T'd up...

--After Moore's forearm to Sasha's gut, LeBron didn't skip a beat in squaring up with Moore. Perhaps it was because it wasn't against a fellow star, but that was the first time I can remember James getting right up in another guy's face like that. He was so engaged with Moore that when Sasha got up and came over, Moore didn't even look at him. Sasha had to go around his back to get in his ear. Although when he said "I'm going to (blank) you up," he got a tech. LeBron gets cracked, from here especially, when it appears he's too passive. Not in this case and there's no denying how strongly his teammates responded.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Just win another home game...

Tonight was one of those nights where I fidgeted for 2 hours on the couch, squirming at every play. Another one of those games where you can say, "The Cavs didn't play that well, but they won again." Good point by Reggie near the end about Lebron possibly making his earlier free throws to put the game away. "yeah, but if Vince had made his, this game could be tied."

And it was a sense of calm seeing Eric Snow on the floor. The little things he did today, disrupting the drives (especially the three dozen or so VC drives where he was forced to throw up a circus shot, hoping for a foul), tipping balls, grabbing hot dogs. It was nice to see. Now the Cavs just need the crowd (and Sacha) to bring it big time on Wednesday. And it's off to Motown.

The TNT games in HD are in really good 5.1 surround sound, the crowd and ambient noises are really mixed well with the back speakers...until now, the San Antonio-Phoenix game, I think some jackass with a Mexican bean rattle or something is sitting right next to the crowd microphone, it's extremely annoying. So much so that I might have to mute the game, Marv Albert or not.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Lebron got hosed

As Brian Windhorst points out in his excellent blog today...Lebron got hosed.

...This was dispatched to me on April 14 by the NBA office as part of my All-NBA team vote:

"You have been chosen by the National Basketball Association to serve on a committee to vote for the All-NBA Team for the 2006-07 season. Please vote for the player at the position that he plays regularly. You can vote for five players on each of the three All-NBA teams. No ties may be awarded."...

...There were 129 ballots out there, therefore there must be 129 first-team votes for center. However, if you combine Amare Stoudemire (36), Yao Ming (38), Dwight Howard (1), Shaquille O'Neal (3, one of them mine), and Marcus Camby (2) you come up with 80 votes. Where are the other 49 votes? I'll tell you, in Tim Duncan's totals. And perhaps a few in Dirk Nowitzki. Which is why, in a nutshell, LeBron James was left off the first team...

...OK, well Stoudemire got 36 first-place votes and, says the release, 494 overall points. This is mathematically impossible. See, 36 first-place votes X 5 points each = 180 points. Then let's just assume Stoudemire was second on every other ballot (which is impossible, but anyway) so say he's got 93 second-place votes. That's 93 second-place votes X 3 points each = 279. Add up the points: 180 + 279 = 459. 459 is the max he can have. The 494 points reported, though, is exactly the same as LeBron's total. Which seems a bit odd/fishy. But Stoudemire doesn't have to out vote LeBron for the team, just the other centers....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Selby Article from The New York Times

April 16, 2007, 4:03 am
Bill Selby, Meet Marco Scutaro
By Tyler Kepner

Tags: Mariano Rivera, Yankees

Five years ago in Cleveland, my colleague Jack Curry was covering for me at Jacobs Field when Bill Selby smashed a walk-off grand slam to beat Mariano Rivera. It was shocking to hear about, and ever since, if a light-hitting bench player comes up with the game on the line against Rivera, someone in the press box usually shouts Selby’s name.

Marco Scutaro (No. 19) leaped home after his walk-off homer gave the Oakland A’s a 9th-inning victory over the Yankees. (John G. Mabanglo/European Pressphoto Agency)No one has ever replicated Selby’s blast. Sure, Bill Mueller and Vernon Wells have beat Rivera with walk-off homers, but a true Selby shot takes a special kind of player. Marco Scutaro, it’s pretty clear, is that kind of player.
Consider this: before his game-ending, three-run, foul-pole homer to beat the Yankees 5-4 today, Scutaro was 1 for 20 this season, an .050 average. Dating back to the ALCS against Detroit, Scutaro was 2 for 35.
But he’s a folk hero around here, and his homer off Rivera was his ninth walk-off hit in four seasons with the A’s. Not bad for a guy whom Bobby Valentine didn’t even recognize when he was first called up to the Mets. Scutaro joined the Mets in 2002 in Cincinnati. He reported to the team hotel, saw Valentine in the lobby restaurant and extended his hand. Valentine thought he was an autograph seeker. Turned out he was his new infielder.
Today, he’s a hero. And it’s one of those very rare days when a closer bound for Cooperstown is a goat.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Buster Olney thinks the Indians should win their protest...

From ESPN Insider...

UPDATE: MLB Denied the Indians' request.

Protest should go Indians' way

History suggests that the Indians probably won't win their protest of Saturday's game, Jeff Zrebiec writes. The best-case scenario for the Indians would be if Major League Baseball ordered that the game be replayed from the moment that the umpires made their mistake, says Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro. Most protests have no reasonable chance for success, but if common sense prevails, the Indians will win this protest, because the precedent established by the umpires on Saturday would create such a dangerous gray area for how similar situations would be handled in the future. To review: The Orioles had runners at first and third and one out in the second inning. After Grady Sizemore made a diving catch of Ramon Hernandez's line drive, Nick Markakis tagged up and raced home. At the same time, Miguel Tejada was far off first base, and Sizemore threw to first and Tejada was doubled off -- but after Markakis crossed home plate. Markakis' run should have counted. But home-plate umpire Marvin Hudson waved off the run. And the Orioles said nothing, at that time, as the Indians noted in their letter of protest.

Two innings later, Baltimore bench coach Tom Trebelhorn walked out on the field to talk to Ed Montague about the decision -- and in the sixth inning, the umpires ordered that a run be added to the Orioles' score.

Now, if you believe in fallacy of the predetermined outcome, then this run wouldn't have made a difference. The Orioles wound up winning, 7-4, and not by one run. But baseball games are like road maps, each turn leading to the next. Anybody who has watched baseball knows that managers and players will make their decisions according to the game situation, and the score always frames the game situation. Spoke with a number of folks in Major League Baseball on Sunday, and none of them could remember an instance in which umpires retroactively gave a run to a team, the way the umpires did for the Orioles. So if Major League Baseball rejects the Cleveland protest and retroactive decisions become acceptable practice, what happens in the future?

Let's say that down the road the Orioles are playing the Angels, and Vladimir Guerrero pulls a ball down the left-field line, right near the foul pole -- and Montague, the umpire, rules it a foul ball. And then two innings later, Montague realizes that the ugly mark on the foul pole actually is due to Guerrero's line drive. Maybe he sees a replay while stopping by the men's room between innings. If his bottom line is only getting the call right, could he then, at that point, correct a mistake and give Guerrero a three-run homer? According to the precedent established on Saturday, it would seem he absolutely could do that.

What if an umpire inadvertently awards a walk to open an inning, on a 2-2 pitch, nobody says anything, and the team at bat goes on to score four runs -- and then the other umps realize, later, that the hitter shouldn't have been award first base. Can they go back and change the play?

And here's another horrifying thought: What if the exact same play that happened in Cleveland occurred next year, in a game that was ultimately decided by one run. Imagine if Montague realized his mistake during extra innings, or after the game was over? Should Montague then go back and add a run to the score, and make it a tie game? And if you were the team that lost by one run, wouldn't you absolutely expect to have your run added, since retroactive run-scoring would theoretically be the umpiring standard?

There are a billion scenarios like this, and probably a billion more that we haven't imagined, all created by the precedent of retroactive run scoring. To let this happen would open up a Pandora's box.

The Powers That Be may well decide to turn down the protest based on the three-run differential, but think about the precedent that would set. In all future protests, would the first consideration be the final score -- or the correct administration of the game's rules?