Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Maiden Voyage

Ok, so here it goes.

The first blog entry is going to be interesting. First of all, amazingly, I have only got onto this phase now. I guess I'm always a little late to the party.

Anyway, first, the Patriots. Amazingly tough loss on Sunday night against the Colts. I love how everyone here like Peyton Manning. Absolutely amazing. And people like him because he's got great numbers and he's from Tennessee (something bizarre about cheering for former SEC alums). Let me make one thing clear, I hate Peyton Manning so much it's ridiculous. Everyone from New England hates Peyton Manning. Not saying I don't respect him, he's definitely got talent, but there will never be any point in time where I will be rooting for the Colts. Never. Anyway, back to the game. It was very unfortunate to see the Pats not utilize their running game like they should have. The Colts, going into the game, had one of the worst run defenses in the entire league, and Bill kept sending Tom out to pass. Unfortunately, two horrible throws and two tipped balls later, and you have 4 INT's and a loss. Another note, the Pats did end up with 143 yards rushing, but you have to believe it should have been more, with Maroney getting only 63 yards as the leading rusher. Dillon ran for 2 TD's, but had a costly fumble in the first half deep in Pats territory that ended up going for a touchdown. The secondary was clearly not on their A-game, giving up over 300 yards to Manning and letting Harrison and Wayne run wild all night. Manning is good, but he can't be this good, can he? Well, the Pats get the Jets at home next week, and if they aren't around 13-14 point favorites, then it's the lock of the week. But let's talk about happier things...

Wait, South Carolina football doesn't make me happy at all right now, but nevertheless, I feel I have to get this out there. This team is the official duplicate of Red Sox baseball minus the 2004 postseason. Seemingly, they are in basically every game that they play against high-ranked teams, and yet, cannot find a way to pull it out. Simply amazing. What I'm hoping is that this program gets turned around in the next few years, or else, South Carolina maybe will be in a black hole that they can never claw their way out of. Next game is at Gainesville against the Gators in the Swamp. Honestly, I have zero confidence in this game. I was actually going to attend the game, but other things in my life now are a little more valuable than watching South Carolina football...anyway the game's on freggin' TV so who cares right? Don't get me wrong, it would have been nice to check out UF's campus, but there's plenty of time for me to do that.

As always, it is never too early to talk Red Sox baseball. Oh we're four months from spring training, but the Hot Stove is always burning for the beloved Sox. In a season that had so much promise and then got reduced to absolute rubble, the time has come for changes. Here's one that should not happen however: Manny Ramirez. Really, who's going to take him. Sure he wants to be traded. He's been wanting to get traded since 2001. Yet every year, he is the staple at the clean-up spot and is one of the most consistent hitters in baseball history. There's no way you will get even value on a sure-HOF'er, so why trade him, money? Trust me, the Sox have plenty of it. Also, they will be looking to create cap room with the departures of Trot Nixon, Mark Loretta, Keith Foulke, and possibly the trading of Mike Lowell. There's about 30 million dollars. Also, with the young arms in the bullpen, you're looking at about another three years with these guys making almost minimum salary. Here should be the gameplan for the Sox. First, re-sign Alex Gonzalez. A sure-handed fielder does not come along too often. Plus, if you're looking for shortstops with "pop," who else is there who has that? Julio Lugo? Do you really want to pay a guy like Lugo $8-9 million a year. He's just completely over-priced in my opinion. Second, trade Mike Lowell for anything you can get. Oh, he's an outstanding fielder with occasional pop, but for $9 million, the Sox should sever ties with him immediately. Third, as a precautionary measure, do not trade any of the young prospects. And if you're a Red Sox fan, you know exactly who I'm talking about because you've heard the same names for the last three years. Again, they should not part with any of them. Quality arms like Lester, Delcarmen, and Hansen at salaries of less than 500K are nowhere to be found. Also, quality fielders like Pedroia and Ellsbury will be in the majors either this year or next year, and with the changing landscape of the Coco Crisp scenario, it would be good for the Sox to have a back-up option like Ellsbury for their future. Fourth, there is a pretty good supply of bullpen help that is available, and, oddly enough, this is exactly what the Sox need. Check out these names: Danys Baez, Justin Speier, Eddie Guardado, Joe Borowski, J.C. Romero, and Brian Meadows. The Sox need a closer desperately now that Pap is going to the starting rotation. Personally, I would like to see Borowski or Baez, even though Baez is coming off a tough season. There have also been rumors about a possible Brad Lidge trade. Although he has also has his share of bad outings last season, I believe that a change would do him good. Whether that should be a move to Boston remains to be seen. Finally, sure up the outfield situation. Should Wily Mo get the starting job? Eh...not so sure about that anymore. Interesting options are Aaron Rowand, Jose Guillen, and Carlos Lee. Guillen would probably be the more ideal fit, being a natural right fielder. Keep an eye on that situation as it continued throughout the winter. Alright, enough Red Sox ramblings, but one final note...

The boys of winter are not looking so hot right now. The Celts are off to an 0-2 start and the Bruins are last in the Northeast at 4-6-2. Now the Celtics, I can understand that. You have a team with a superstar in Pierce and a nice compliment in Szcerbiak, but there's no way you can tell me this team should win even 40 games. It's a team of the future, with a bunch of young guys who could develop into something great. I especially see this in Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Rajon Rondo, and Al Jefferson. If the Telfair deal pans out, and the young guys come along quicker than expected, the Celts may have an outside chance at grabbing the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. Now the Bruins are a completely different story. While I understand the Bruins "attempted" to make amends for last year by signing Chara and Savard and also drafting Kessel 3rd overall (by the way, the kid's an outstanding winger coming out of Minnesota, and he's only 19), but there is no way you can say that these moves would make up for selling off guys like Thornton (reigning league MVP...but I'm guessin' ya probably knew that one) and Samsonov, both of whom led their respective teams to the Western Conference Finals. I'm aware Bergeron may be one of the best young centers in the game, but the guy, for right now, really should be commanding a second line for now.

So that's it for now, I know, that was incredibly long and painfully dragged out, but you have to understand, Boston sports is my life, and I like having this forum to kind of just throw out what I'm thinking at the time. In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing more thoughts on not only Boston and USC sports, but I'll also be devulging into other interesting sports topics. So until then, have a good day. Peace.


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