Thursday, July 31, 2008

Best Trade Deadline Ever

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Thank you Major League Baseball, for coming together and producing the best trade deadline since 2004. This one featured some huge names swapping teams: Ken Griffey Jr., Ivan Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Manny Ramirez.

There were a few different forces at work this July. The past few trade deadlines have been pretty uneventful, probably because there are so many more contenders now than there were back in the day. But this year, in spite of the fact that there are more contenders than ever, teams have gotten a bit creative. When the Tigers and Yankees swapped Pudge Rodriguez for Kyle Farnsworth yesterday, we saw two contenders in the same league hook up to help each other out.

Of course, the most interesting piece of drama today centered around Manny Ramirez. It's still a little bit surreal that he's officially a Dodger. A week ago, I still thought this trade deadline would blow over, the Red Sox would say how much they need Manny's bat and he'd say how happy he is to be in Boston. But this year, the Manny vs. Sox management rhetoric escalated to a much higher level than it ever has in the past. Clearly, the Red Sox felt that this year was different than the past skirmishes. No one can possibly claim that sending Manny to the Dodgers makes the Red Sox better. Jason Bay will perform in return, but they're still going to pay Manny's contract, not to mention the fact that they gave up two young major leaguers on top.

In my humble opinion, I would think that the Red Sox and Manny Ramirez could get along for two more months, long enough to make another playoff run and then part ways amicably at the end of the year. They have, after all, made it work for seven years. But after reading Peter Gammons' take on the situation, (and he is at heart a diehard Sox fan) maybe this really was a move the Sox had to make.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

MLB Stretch Run: The NL

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Those of you who have read my American League breakdown, are probably thinking - why move on to the National League when the latest Yankees-Pirates trade has rendered your A.L. material outdated? All I have to say about the Yankees acquiring Nady and Marte is that it reeks of everything I hated about baseball in the late nineties. Right now, most other GMs are saying they would have given the Pirates a similar package for one of those players, let alone both. It seemed like this was the story around every single trade deadline of the Yankees' dynasty. They would acquire the top notch player for a prospect who never turned into anything. I fully expect they'll acquire Jarrod Washburn from the Mariners for nothing other than taking over his contract . . . and these are the exact pieces they'll need to sneak into the playoffs for the fourteenth season in a row, ugh.

But, we will forget about that for now, and focus on the N.L. We'll start in the West, the easiest division, since the wild card will definitely not come from there. None of the N.L. divisions are that easy, since every division will feature a race that comes down to the wire. It's hard to remember that just last year, the West featured four teams with a winning record, and three headed to the playoffs (granted, for the Padres this was only a one game playoff). Out of pure stubbornness, I'm sticking to my preseason choice for the Colorado Rockies to win this division. None of these teams will run away from the pack, although Arizona is guaranteed to hang around because of their pitching, the Dodgers have had a few too many injuries and under performing free agents to best the others. The Rockies, however, have the return of Troy Tulowitzki, and the memory of their improbably playoff push from last year. So who knows? None of these teams are going to dominate outside the division, so it's going to come down to who beats each other, and the Rockies just took two of three from the Dodgers.

Let's move to the Central, the best division the National League has to offer. I have a feeling, come October, the big story will be what a difference CC Sabathia has made. Not only has he made a huge difference on the Brewers, but his trade started a rash of national league contenders trading for american league starters. The Cubs made the rash decision to add Harden, and the Phillies went out and got Blanton. I think both the Cubs and Brewers are heading to the playoffs, in which order I don't know, and I expect to see them meet in the NLCS. The Cardinals have out performed expectations for far too long. I, like the rest of the baseball world, expect this team to fade.

The National League East is probably the toughed decision to cap right now. The Mets are playing incredibly right now, but I hate to see them succeed this season - we'll have to hear about how canning Willie Randolph was a brilliant move by the front office. I still think the Phillies can come out of this division. They're lineup is amazing, and they've got a great bullpen. Yeah, they're starters suck, but you can win a World Series on timely hitting and great bullpen work, (cf. Anaheim Angels 2002). It worries me that they've lost the last two head-to-head series against New York, but we'll see what happens in the final 5 games between them. As for Florida - I have no idea. This team is never on national television, and I'm in an A.L. market so it's hard to say what they've got going there. I do know that they've got the best player in the league in Hanley Ramirez, but I have no idea what to expect from this team moving forward.

So there you have it, except that I just read that the Dodgers have acquired 3B Casey Blake, so this blog is already outdated before I even post it . . . great.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The European Trend Continues

posted by MoneyMouth

Only two weeks after we found out that Brandon Jennings would be pursuing a European basketball contract in lieu of spending a year in the NCAA, now Josh Childress has decided he will do something similar. Childress, a four year veteran, has decided to sign a three-year, $20 million contract with the Greek Olympiakos instead of accepting a five-year deal worth around $33 million from the Atlanta Hawks. Childress can also opt out of his contract after each season, giving him the ability to play the US market like chess game.

This move comes as a shock to both the Atlanta Hawks and the entire NBA since no player of Childress' caliber has ever chosen European basketball over the NBA. Childress' contract is also the richest contrast in European basketball history, and since the European League does not have a salary cap, we could be seeing more players to follow in the near future, if not this year. If Childress can make $20 million over three years and also have the benefit of leaving whenever he wants, imagine what a superstar who feels he is being underpaid could make.

Both Childress and Jennings pose some interesting problems for the NBA's future. If the NBA doesn't figure this out within the next 5 years, European basketball could have a legitimate chance of overtaking the NBA in talent and superiority. Yes, a lot would have to happen between now and then, but if the European League can continue to draw players out of the NBA and the NCAA with big contracts and plenty of fanfare, I don't see why any high school star or underpaid professional would do otherwise?

But then again, I'm all about the money.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sports Story of the Day

posted by BiCoastal Bias

In case you haven't seen it, check out the WNBA brawl that happened last night, instigated by Parker and Pierce. It is by far the sports story of the day. In the original broadcast, I heard the broadcaster saying "There is no place for this in the league."

WRONG! At this point, any publicity is good publicity for the WNBA. Keep it up, ladies.

MLB Stretch Run: W2W4

posted by BiCoastal Bias

August is only a week away, and most MLB teams have reached the 100 game mark. It is time for the BiCoastal Bias to fill you Frappers in on what to watch for down the stretch.

We'll start in the American League, where, in contrast to last year, we might have some playoff spots up for grabs coming down to the final week of the season. The thing that strikes me about the AL is that 9 out of 14 teams have winning records, with 2 more within 3 games of that mark. If teams continue these winning ways, we can't expect any of the division winners to run away with the pennant (with the exception of the Angels, who already have, it appears).

It looks like six teams have a very honest chance at the three remaining playoffs spots: Tampa Bay, Boston, New York, Chicago, Minnesota, and Detroit. While some of you may argue against Detroit, I think Minnesota is the weakest team of the group. While I don't expect them to fade, they are 7 and 14 against the East, and they have four more series against that division. They have to improve against that mark to stay in the hunt. Likewise, I expect the Yankees to stay in the hunt, though I don't like their chances of making it. They are getting great starts from Mussina, Pettite, and Joba Chamberlain; but the team has some obvious holes, and I don't think the addition of Richie Sexson is going to make a big difference.

With that said, the Red Sox and the White Sox are just about everyone's favorites to win the East and the Central. If someone else is going to push them out, they're going to have to put a beating on these two teams, which brings me to the two "wild cards" of the group in the truest sense of the word: the Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers. The Rays have put themselves among the elite already, but no one knows how they'll respond to a stretch run that actually matters. Most signs are good: this team is very feisty, and they have a great manager. My guess is that they can put it together to get into the playoffs, but they've got to win a few more games on the road where they've been terrible. As for Detroit, this team is third in the league in runs scored, but most would agree they've been under performing. It's not hard to imagine Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera catching fire and hitting this team to victory night in and night out. It doesn't hurt that they have six more series against Cleveland and Kansas City. Now if they could only find a way to ship Edgar Renteria back to the NL since it's clear this guy can't hit American League pitching . . .

My prediction: The Red Sox take the East, the White Sox take the Central, and the Rays wrap up the Wild Card.

Stay tuned for an NL break down soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Michelle Wie Still Can't Cut It

posted by MoneyMouth

Michelle Wie is getting desperate again and has announced that she will tee up at next week's PGA Tour event, the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open. This will mark her 8th time playing on the PGA Tour, and **PREDICTION** will mark her eighth time she has missed the cut on the PGA Tour. I know, not a very bold prediction, but it's my job to tell the truth.

It was just around 2 years ago that I was criticizing her for trying to compete with the men when she couldn't even compete with the women on the LPGA. I still hold those sentiments for the very same reasons that she has yet to win an LPGA event and therefore doesn't deserve to set foot on the men's tour. While she was "close" last week when she was a shot off the lead going into the final round, she was disqualified when they found out that she had forgotten to sign her scorecard after Friday's second round.

Time is running out for Wie. Because of her performance in this year's LPGA Tour, she is about $80,000 short of securing a card for the 2009 Tour, which will probably require a top-three finish in her final tournament. Otherwise, it's back to playing in qualifying stages in hopes of doing it that way. While Wie had signaled that she would not play in the qualifying rounds because they would conflict with school, her dad seems to be the realist here saying, "What other options do we have?"

Answer: Give it up.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Semi-Pro: A Movie Review

posted by BiCoastal Bias

I finally watched the movie Semi-Pro today. Being an avid fan of Will Ferrell, I had every intention of seeing this movie in theaters; the problem was, I couldn't find anyone to go with me. I was actually considering doing the unthinkable, going to a mid-week matinee by myself while the rest of you slouches are at work, until I read this Bill Simmons column. The moral of the story: you should ignore any of Bill Simmons' non-sports opinions, which accounts for about 75% of his columns.

This movie was hilarious, and I'd like to highlight a few moments for you. I'm not going to worry about spoiling anything for the following reasons: (a) this movie came out months ago so if you wanted to see it you should have seen it already, and (b) it's a Will Ferrell movie, a funny guy walking around in tight shorts, you know what you're going to get without me saying anything.

For the most part, the film follows the framework of the classic sports comedies that have preceded it, namely, Major League. (Yes, I'm admitting this movie isn't groundbreaking original work, big surprise.) But there are a couple original twists that make Semi-Pro worth watching.

First, there's the veteran-smart character who is on the brink of being washed up and is primarily interested in reviving a failed relationship from his past: Semi-Pro has Woody Harrelson, while Major League has the catcher Jake Taylor chasing Rene Russo's character. The difference between the two is that while Rene Russo has a new fiancee who is the complete opposite of Jake Taylor and looks down his nose at him, Woody's love interest has a white trash boyfriend who's favorite player is none other than Woody Harrelson. This makes for an incredibly awkward final kiss scene in which all three parties are happy in the end. Seriously, Ferrell and company can make me laugh while feeling strange about the fact that I'm laughing, it's an incredible talent.

The final game, however, is a stroke of genius . . . no, wait, that's being a bit over the top - it was a very clever way to end the movie. The Flint Michigan Tropics are playing the final season game for fourth place, with nothing else on the line. They are down at halftime, and Ferrell's character has just awoken from being unconscious. While out cold, he saw his dead mother (played by Patti LaBelle, more genius), and she taught him a brand new basketball move that will help them win the game: it's called the alley-oop. It appears that this move is indefensible, as the Tropics rip off about twenty in a row, as the announcers try to describe this brand new way of putting the ball in the basket. Picture Jake Taylor in Major League inventing the hit and run right in the middle of the last regular season game, or if Rudy had been the first to execute the fake punt. It's clever AND funny, what a rare combination.

With two seconds left and the Tropics down by two, the opponent finally finds a way of defending the alley-oop, but Ferrell gets fouled. This is the first (and only) free throw attempt in the entire film. After bragging about what a good free throw shooter he is, Ferrell lines up, and shoots granny style. Amazing.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Meaningless All-Star Game

posted by MoneyMouth

When the All-Star Game headed into the twelfth inning last night, you could see the anxiety building around Bud Selig like an unwanted storm cloud over Iowa. With only two more pitchers left in the AL bullpen (Scott Kazmir having just thrown 100+ pitches on Sunday being one of the two) and the NL bullpen running just as low (which was short Tim Lincecum since he came down with the flu that day), it looked like we were about to have a 2002-tie all over again, or even worse, a forfeit. I think that Selig is waking up this morning saying, "Thank goodness that wasn't the case."

Let's be honest, for those of us who stayed up to watch Justin Morneau slide past Brian McCann off a Michael Young sacrifice fly in the 15th inning last night almost watched the last out of the last MLB All-Star Game all together. Had Corey Hart's throw been a split-second faster and McCann made that tag, Scott Kazmir would have had to return to the mound with the little bit he had left in the tank. That is, if they would have let him return to the mound. In which case the AL All-Stars would have had to put J.D. Drew out there to pitch, or the AL would have to forfeit since these games "count" nowadays and a game that "counts" really can't end in a tie, especially with the World Series home field advantage on the line. Either way, the game would be called a joke and Selig would once again come under fire for something that is beyond his control.

It's times like these that we need to speak a little truth into Major League Baseball and call the All-Star Game exactly what it is: meaningless. Yes, I know home field advantage is given to the winning league, but that doesn't somehow give this game meaning. It only makes it "count." In fact, by Major League Baseball trying to pump "meaning" into an exhibition game, they simply created a confusing contradiction which leaves no one really knowing what to think about the All-Star Game in the first place. This is why Jonathan Papelbon argued that he deserved the 9th inning save situation before the game on Monday, and then flip-flopped his opinion saying that because of the context of the game being at Yankee Stadium that Mariano Rivera should get the ball instead (and BiCoastal refused either option). This is also why there is a rule in place that allows you to re-enter a catcher back into the game even after he has been removed, which no matter how hard I try I have yet to accomplish in a regular season game on MVP Baseball. And this is why no starting pitcher wants to pitch, although they ultimately will while their manager tells the All-Star manager that his pitcher can pitch a max of 1 to 2 innings (Cook being the exception in last night's game, pitching three, but his coach was also the NL manager). Oh, and let's not forget my favorite debate of the last few years which is whether or not teams like the Orioles, Mariners, and the Nationals deserve to send a player in the first place.

I have to admit, this doesn't really sound like a real game let alone one that has meaning. This sounds like an All-Star Game that has ways of making sure players play, but in reality is only setup to avoid embarrassing ties. Unfortunately, and we might see this one day, it may allow for an embarrassing forfeit. Soon, we'll be hearing about All-Star Reserve teams that are to be used in case the game reaches a maximum amount of innings, or new rule exceptions that allow any player re-enter the game just to make sure players like Dan Uggla aren't left out there while they put on the worst fielding display in All-Star Game history (3 errors last night to add to 3 strikeouts). Can you imagine a dugout with 50 players and a bullpen filled with 24 pitchers, just in case things get out of hand? I'm sure Terry Francona would have appreciated one last night.

Look, let's bring back the All-Star Game of old, the one that didn't "count" but ironically was much more meaningful than the current parody. I'm talking about a game for the fans to see their hometown heroes play alongside some of the league's future hall-of-famers and brightest young stars. That is what the All-Star Game is supposed to be. Please, Bud, rescue it from this ridiculous state we have put it in; give the All-Star Game back to the fans. Give the All-Star Game meaning again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

East Coast Bias rears its head

posted by BiCoastal Bias

What would the All Star game be without a little east coast bias? Apparently there's been a debate about who should close the game for the American League, Papelbon or Rivera. Uh... there's this dude in Anaheim who is on pace to break the single season saves record, don't you think he would be the likely candidate to receive the honor? As the BiCoastal Bias, it's my job to point out these little things.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Home Run Derby Curse: The Truth

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Here's a breaking news story that you won't hear anywhere other than the Frappe: There IS a curse on the home run derby champion. You wouldn't know it from reading any column by any ESPN writer (like this one, or this one, and this one). It seems to me that ESPN is defending this tradition a bit too adamantly, it's as if they had something invested in this annual event . . . oh wait, they do.

One of the writer's mentioned above even admits that all of the statistics do point to a slight drop off for all derby participants, but then goes on to try to explain all of these statistics away. Okay, so maybe curse isn't the right word, but it seems clear that certain players have a rough recovery following the derby. Everyone already knows about Bobby Abreu's slump after winning it in 2005. While Vlad Guerrero had a fine season overall last year, he didn't hit a single homer in the month of July following his derby victory. Similarly, in 2003, Garret Anderson came into the derby with 22 HRs, won the derby, and only hit 7 more on the rest of the season.

So get off A-Rod's back; if the man thinks the derby hurts his swing, then it probably does. He's not the first player to say this. As an Angels fan, I was thrilled when Vlad won it last year, and I'm just as thrilled that he chose to sit out of it this year.

It appears the curse on Josh Hamilton started early, when he could only muster 3 homers in the final round after setting a record with 28 in the first. It's too bad, because as we heard countless times during tonight's broadcast, "He has such a great story." As for tonight's winner, Justin Morneau, we'll have to wait and see which camp he falls in. He didn't appear to over exert himself as much as most contestants do.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Take Out Gretchen Wilson

posted by MoneyMouth

Espn had a fairly interesting contest running for the 100 year anniversary for "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in which they had a battle of the bands competition to see who could produce the best version. The three finalists were Ozomatli, the Punch Brothers, and Gretchen Wilson (you can see their videos here).

I have to say that it is rather unfortunate that the three finalists who were chosen had to be so unique and thus alienating an entire group of music fans with their chosen styles (even though this is the only way this competition could have been done). Ozomalti essentially cornered the Southern California/Latino market with their version, but their Dodger gear and their "Root for the DODGERS" probably turned off the other half of the state (i.e. Giants fans), not to mention the rest of the country. The Punch Brothers gave the most unique and interesting version of the song, and probably should have won, but somehow I can't imagine their version being replayed in a fireworks saturated All-Star Game. Which leaves Gretchen Wilson, who easily had the most generic and uninteresting performance of all. She played up her country music loving audience and as a result, she essentially wrote herself a ticket to the top. As any elected president will tell you, the southern strategy is the best strategy, and I wouldn't be surprised to find out the Karl Rove is currently receiving a royalty check for her victory.

So as you take the time to check out the All-Star festivities this weekend, just be prepared to listen to Gretchen Wilson sing her country "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" along with all the hoopla that ESPN can afford to promote it. As for me, I'll be muting my television to listen to my favorite version of the song performed by Coach Ditka. Enjoy:

Mike Ditka sings 7th inn. stretch at Wrigley

Friday, July 11, 2008

You Named Your Team What?

posted by MoneyMouth

As I was rolling down the sports headlines this morning, I came across this one on Yahoo! News. While a manager being suspended over a tirade is mildly interesting, especially when it comes to minor league ball, I mostly clicked through to see who the hell would name their minor league team the "Wingnuts." The answer to that query is Wichita, Kansas.

So what's the deal, Wichita? Was "Nuts and Bolts" already taken by Omaha? Had somebody already laid claim to "Teabags" or "Wedding Tackle?"

For some more interesting team names, check this list out. My favorite is the Rhode Island School of Design "Nads."


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

NBA Loophole

posted by MoneyMouth

After this year's NBA draft, it has become rather obvious that the NBA's new age requirement has resulted in a lot of college freshmen declaring for the draft instead of a bunch of high school seniors declaring for the draft. The NBA draft rule put into place two years ago requires for all new players to be out of high school for at least one year and be 19 years old before being eligible for the draft. And while this may appear to be an improvement on the surface (I mean, at least these kids are getting a year of college to grow up a little), it really has done nothing to improve these players' situations and the real beneficiaries appear to be the athletic programs and their bottom lines.

That is, until Brandon Jennings realized there was another way. The class of 2008's top rated point guard is reportedly going to take his baller, shot-caller skills to Europe to play for a year before entering in the 2009 NBA draft. Jennings, who had originally signed to play for Arizona next year, will now be able to get paid and pursue sneaker deals while the rest of 2008 graduates will probably be stuck "attending" classes.

While there is no word on who Jennings might end up signing with and it is far too early to evaluate if this is a good move or not, I have to suspect that we will be seeing a number of other highly rated high school graduates making the similar move to European basketball in the future, if not this year. It only makes since for these guys who are virtual locks for NBA ball and want to get in the money right away. And for all you naysayers who think this is a back step in these players' education, just pretend it's a study abroad program and we'll call it a day.

Yankee Stadium

posted by BiCoastal Bias

I got a chance to take in a game at Yankee Stadium last night, watching Andy Pettite blank the best team in baseball (the Rays) 5 to 0. I was thrilled as I had been worried I wouldn't get a chance to see the historic stadium before they tore it down in the off season.

As I got off the subway in the Bronx, I found myself surrounded by Yankee paraphernalia. I had worn nondescript clothing, and I found myself feeling like Keno when he infiltrated the Foot Clan's headquarters. Keep in mind, I currently reside in Massachusetts, where there is actually a law against Yankee fans traveling in groups larger than two, so I was taken aback by this blatant display of wickedness.

My ticket was a gift, and I found myself sitting in the rich seats behind home plate. I have to admit, even though I have no love for the pinstripes, I got a little awestruck as Jeter and A-Rod warmed up their arms in front of me while the jumbotron gave a tribute to Mickey Mantle. Unfortunately, even though we were an hour early to the game, they had already closed off the line to Monument Park. A word to the wise, if you want to see the plaques, get there really early. Here's another little tidbit I didn't know about until last night - every time Jeter comes to bat, the recorded voice of the Yankees old announcer Bob Sheppard is used to introduce him.

The problem with these seats is that there are waitresses to serve you in your seat. I can't tell you how many pitches I missed because this woman was trying to figure out if someone in front of me wanted a fruit salad or a Caesar salad. I couldn't help but think that they would never put up with this in Fenway, but how do I know since I've never sat in their rich seats before?

As for the game, Kazmir of the Rays started out looking unhittable, striking out 5 of the first 6 batters, but then immediately got roughed up for two runs by the bottom of the line up. That was all Pettite needed, as he appeared to cruise through the entire game.

As for you Yankee fans out there, I don't know how you live with yourselves. Halfway through the game, my entire section was splattered by ketchup packet(s) from above. I had half a mind to complain, hoping that the fallout would be ketchup being outlawed from the park. You animals deserve to eat your hot dogs dry.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Facing Death, Man Becomes Chiefs Fan

posted by MoneyMouth

If you went through a near death experience, would you change your team allegiance as a result?

Ken Hunter, a former Chargers fan is now rooting for the Chiefs from here on out thanks to the heroic efforts of Chiefs tight end, Tony Gonzalez. Last Thursday night in Huntington Beach, California, Hunter began to choke on a piece of steak when Gonzalez stepped in to perform the Heimlich. Gonzalez was able to dislodge the meat and Hunter was saved.

My only question is in a life-saving situation like this, when is the right time to ask for some free tickets?

Story Source

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Spaniards Are Coming

posted by MoneyMouth

It doesn't take a keen eye to recognize the fact that the Spanish are on a role right now when it comes to international sports. It was just over a week ago that the Spaniards were celebrating a One-Nil victory over Germany in the Euro 2008 Finals, led by the young Fernando Torres and incredible goal keeping skills of Iker Casillas. I can only guess that Spain was on cloud 9 as they hoisted the cup for the first time and ended a 44 year long drought in international play.

But now they can celebrate another impressive victory by another Spaniard: Rafeal Nadal. The 22 yeard old Spanish native beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon yesterday in what many tennis fans are calling the most incredible match they have ever seen. And this comes just a month after Nadal beat Federer at the French Open for the title in dominating fashion.

And just when you though it couldn't get any better for the Spaniards, Alejandro Valverde of Spain has been an early leader in the Tour de France, although Romain Feillu of France has taken over the lead today after stage 3.

With all this domination, I have to wonder how the Spaniards will show in the upcoming Olympics. Could we see a shifting of power when it comes to the international sporting community? Well, probably not, but it's fun to think about.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

L.A. Story Day 3

posted by IntrinsicBent

The Los Angeles Clippers of Los Angeles are providing this summer's drama that is television worthy. For Fox anyway.

Wilkommen Herr Kaman! Wir haben schnitzel und hasenpfeffer.

Chris Kaman better bone up on his German in case he hears that.

If you haven't heard, L.A. Clippers Center Chris Kaman took and passed the test for German citizenship. Now he plans to play for Germany in the upcoming Olympic competition.

I've had a number of discussions on this today already and it seems this is one of those topics that clearly delineates the schools. The Old School vs. New School.

It really goes deeper than that. Younger people seem to have no reaction to it. Older people may reach out and grab you in anger.

As always, let Uncle Intrinsic break it down for you. The real separation falls to whether you lived during the Cold War or not. Coldies (people that grew up during the period) are more apt to see this as unpatriotic (better dead than red), than warmies (post cold war) that grew up during the one world era.

What will the Clippers do tomorrow to entertain us?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Rays Are Simply Amazing

posted by IntrinsicBent

Every season before this one, you could say Tampa Bay Devil Rays (the devil wasn't dropped until this season), and follow it with a laugh and no one would think anything about it.

So far this season, that simply won't work.
As of this writing, the Rays have the best record in all of Major League Baseball. And guess what? They have the lowest payroll in the league as well.

Their payroll is a paltry $21.8 million. The next closest team has a payroll that is more than double that amount.

You couldn't tell the Rays are tearing it up based on their attendance. It flat out stinks. C'mon Tampa Bay fans, represent.

Just Like That......The Clippers' Brand Is Again In Peril

posted by IntrinsicBent

It's a perfect tale for Tinsel Town: Team steals player to gain legitimacy. Victimized team then tries to counter steal thieving team's all star.

No problem that the Clippers' Elton Brand received a job offer from the Golden State Warriors today, right? I mean, just yesterday the Clips ripped the Warriors' best player out from under them in Baron Davis. Surely Brand would like to stay put now that he has a supporting cast around him that could take him to the promise land, right?

There's just one not-so-small matter. Brand would have to forego $20 million. It's easy for average joe sports fans like you and me to say Brand should go for the ring. If a competing company offered to 22% more to work for them, would you do it? If you were making $70 an hour and they offered you $90 would you think, "I am really looking forward to helping the company hit their goal of the highest revenues ever?"

I didn't think so. I have to say, I never saw this coming. I thought maybe they would focus on Wizards free agent Gilbert Arenas. I guess the Warriors love them some Monta Ellis, who runs point for them now.

You gotta love another Los Angeles based NBA summer drama.

Guess Who May Want To Un-Retire

posted by IntrinsicBent

Shall we play a game?

See if you can fill in the blanks: NFL Quarterback ______ ______ is considering coming out of retirement.

You could be Gilligan stranded on a deserted isle and know the answer.

Various sources have claimed that Brett Favre has the "itch" to play again. That would be the quickest case of retirement rash since Michael Jordan was jerking us around.

Favre is denying it, which usually lends credence to it, doesn't it? The twist here is that allegedly his family is encouraging him to get back in action.

I can relate. My family's the same way if I take vacations that go on too long.

If Favre decides to come back, it will be interesting to see if the Packers welcome back, or if he takes his goods to another franchise.

What's The Price Of Seattle's Resolve? $75 Million

posted by IntrinsicBent

Ever since Oklahoma City got a taste of having an NBA franchise play in their city from 2005-2007, they have been jonesing for more like a crack addict.

You might recall that after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans that OKC became the temporary home of the Hornets. The City's residents accepted and supported the team like Mike Brady opening his arms to Marsha, Jan, and Cindy. It was seamless, and extraordinary. It shocked the NBA, and seemed difficult for all included when the time came to set the team free to return to the Big Easy.

What in the world would OKC do with all that newfound pride and professional sports cred?

Enter oil maverick Clay Bennett onto the scene. He couldn't have seemed more John Wayne-like if he would have hopped off a horse and chain smoked unfiltered cigarettes.

He and his group Professional Basketball Club LLC purchased the Seattle Supersonics from Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz in 2006 for $350 million. Speculation began immediately that despite what he said, that Bennett wanted to move the team to OKC.

This theory gained momentum when Bennett began leveraging relocation of the team if the a new arena wasn't built replacing the dinosaur KeyArena facility.

Just prior to a ruling by by a judge on the matter, Bennett spoke a few words in Seattle's native language: $75 million.

The team name and colors will not be making the trip with the team. The City of Seattle is still holding on to the hope that they can attract a team by ressurecting KeyArena with the initial $30 million payment.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Report: Clippers Add Royalty And Legitimacy To Lineup

posted by IntrinsicBent is reporting that Baron Davis is returning to his homeland where he played his high school and college basketball.

Davis shocked the Golden State Warrior management yesterday when he opted out of his contract there. Today, he reportedly signed a 5 year $65 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.

With the return of a healthy Elton Brand (PF), and a Chris Kaman (C) that found his game again last season, this instantly puts the Clippers franchise in the western conference discussion.

Last week the Clippers used the 7th pick in the draft to add the Big 10's Freshman of the year when they selected 6'4" 215 pound shooting guard Eric Gordon out of Indiana University.

In a similar story, Baron Davis has the 2nd best sports beard behind Kimbo Slice.