Josh Beckett is to this little kid as the Beatles were to early 1960s teenage girls.
Josh Beckett is to this little kid as the Beatles were to early 1960s teenage girls.
Earlier this morning the tireless Adam Schefter broke the news that the Patriots had acquired disgruntled defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth from the Washington Redskins in exchange for a 5th round pick. The news quickly spread and everyone seemed to have an opinion on the deal, here are some of the highlights:
My take: it's a standard Patriots low risk/high reward move. Most of Haynesworth's ludicrous contract has already been paid to him. New England is on the hook for 5.6 million dollars this year for him and that's it. If he is the Albert Haynesworth of the greatest football .gif in history he will promptly be cut, benched or traded to the Vikings for a 3rd round pick. If he reverts back into the Tennessee Haynesworth the Patriots have the biggest, baddest defensive front in football with Haynesworth and all-universe nose tackle Vince Wilfork. Couple that with last year's defensive stand out Devin McCourty and the return of Leigh Bodden in the Patriots secondary and all of a sudden New England has 4 good to elite defenders.
The Patriots have worked magic with two big name malcontents in the past (Corey Dillon and Randy Moss) after acquiring them for cents on the dollar. The precedent for Haynesworth to succeed in New England is in place, ultimately (and perhaps frighteningly to Pats' fans) it's going to be up to him.
The NFL lockout is over as of this afternoon – According to reports The NFL will open its doors officially Wednesday. More details can be found on NFL Guru Adam Schefter’s Twitter feed such as:
-Teams can sign their free agents this afternoon. Teams can begin talking to Unrestricted Free Agents this afternoon. Teams can sign Unrestricted Free Agents tomorrow at noon.
-Ten teams would report this Wednesday, 10 more report Thursday and Friday and the Jets and Texans are reporting on Sunday. New league year would start Aug. 2 at 4 pm.
Of course it wouldn’t officially be an NFL offseason without everyone’s favorite cell phone photographer.
Brett Favre rumors are back – Two members of Philadelphia’s local media (Sportscaster Howard Eskin and Philadelphia Inquirer report Jeff McLane) both ran with a story that the Eagles may possibly, kinda, sorta be interested in Brett Favre as a backup. Eagles QB Michael Vick promptly tweeted and deleted: "I would be honored to have Brett Favre as a backup. That will be amazing Learning how to toy with defenses the way he did his whole career." Thankfully this won’t happen mainly because Favre has an ego way too large to sit on the bench anywhere…how can he look like a kid out there if he’s just holding a clipboard?
Jay Cutler quit on Kristin Cavallari – No word on if Caleb Hanie will step in and meet her at the Altar.
Sean O’Hair won the Canadian Open – O’Hair beat Kris Blanks in the 1st hole of a playoff in Vancouver for his first PGA Tour win this season. Thankfully because there was no Canadian opponent in the playoff there were no riot make outs this time around.
Red Sox Surging, Mariners Crumbling – Seattle extended its franchise long losing streak after getting swept out of Fenway Park this weekend. Their loss yesterday also featured Tim Wakefield’s 2,000th strike out which puts him along side Roger Clemens as the only two Red Sox pitchers with 2000 K’s or more in a Boston uniform. Overall the Red Sox have won 17 of their last 20 games and lead the AL in Runs, Batting Average, On Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage.
Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick entered Baseball’s Hall of Fame – And in an extremely weird coincidence John Hirshbeck (aka the guy Robby Alomar spit on that one time) was drilled with a foul ball. Thankfully he was alright.
Captain America: The First Avenger won the Box Office – Good for Captain America.
Amy Winehouse Died…and Russell Brand wrote a pretty awesome tribute to her. RIP.
If you have every played Tiger Woods’ wildly successful EA Sports game you know that after a rough couple holes in match play you always have the luxury of restarting from the first tee. Say you find yourself 3 back after 4 holes vs. one of the Tiger Legends like Seve Ballesteros a simple Pause -> Quit -> Are you sure you want to quit? -> Yes and it’s like those first holes never happened. Since a bizarre driveway crash after Thanksgiving 18 months ago it seems as though real life Tiger Woods has been looking for a reset button as well. In just over a year and a half Tiger has lost his wife, several sponsors and the adulation of many fans that started following golf because of him in the first place. He has also replaced his swing coach and most recently coldly fired Steve Williams, his caddy of twelve years who was holding his bag for 72 PGA Tour wins and an astonishing 13 Major Championships. For many this most recent news is further proof that Tiger is a heartless golf robot who only cares about winning but isn’t that why we loved him so much to begin with?
Shortly after Tiger Woods’ life exploded I wrote that while his actions were despicable he is also one of the many targets of the non-stop new cycle. Each major story that comes along is dissected from thousands of people all with a public forum to speak thanks to the internet. Tiger’s modern day contemporary in terms of winning is Michael Jordan, a man who transcended basketball with a win at all costs, I dare you to bet against me attitude. Also (if you believe the stories you read) one of the biggest pr*cks the world of modern professional sports has ever known. Only with Michael his d*ckish behavior is lionized in retrospect. We now hear from former teammates and coaches about how Michael would start practice fights if things weren’t breaking his way but somehow this only builds his legend. “Michael Jordan wanted to win so badly he was willing to punch his own teammates in the face? AWESOME!” Let’s put MJ in today’s modern media and say the following situation plays out. The Bulls have a closed practice so beat writers and reporters have to wait for access after practice, strangely neither Michael nor Teammate X are present after practice for the media session. An ambitious young reporter is wondering why and catches wind of a practice fight where the world’s greatest basketball player has punched another teammate in the face. This reporter sends out a tweet with the story, it’s immediately retweeted by Ric Bucher, Adrian Wojnarowksi and Marc Stein. Suddenly tornado horns are sounding at ESPN's campus that MJ punched his own teammate. The next morning Skip Bayless’ head explodes on First Take and a horrified Scoop Jackson is covered in brain matter. This is the media world in which we live, everything is consumed and opined upon without stopping to think what any of it actually may mean.
We propped Tiger Woods up on Golf’s Mt. Rushmore for his achievements on the course. Never in his career was he the warm and fuzzy golfer Rick Reilly wishes he would be. He’s not there to sign autographs and take pictures with his millions of fans; he is there to win. He is not there to rub shoulders with Golf Channel reporters and schmooze corporate partners; he is there to win. He is not there to make best friends with his competitors; he is there to destroy them. All of this was fine with us until his Escalade hit the fire hydrant and his life unraveled in an exceptionally public way. Getting a glimpse behind the very private curtain Tiger hid behind has changed him forever, suddenly him not signing autographs was just further proof we was an adulterous jerk. His refusal to talk to the press about anything in regards to the scandal meant he still wasn’t sorry and he thought normal rules didn’t apply to him. Pulling out of a tournament after a +6 on the front 9 made him a sore loser not a guy with a sore achilles. We did a great job of keeping Tiger Woods the man and Tiger Woods the golfer mutually exclusive before 2009. The only glimpse of true emotion we ever saw from Tiger was him crying in Steve Williams’ arms after his first major championship since his Dad had passed away.
The scandal humanized the Golf robot sent to destroy all comers, now we know something about Tiger and that has changed everything. When he was winning major championships what separated him from everyone else was his steely resolve and mental toughness. We never knew what he was thinking but assumed it was nothing but the ball going into the hole. Now we see him and think about the escalade, the women and his bizarre “press conference” in which he just read for 10 minutes without really saying anything. Before it was just golf, golf and more golf. So when the news broke that Steve Williams had been kicked to the curb it had to be psychoanalyzed by everyone. Was this another step towards his slow unraveling as a golfer? Is he looking to change everything about his past and the people involved with it? Was he pissed Stevie was on Adam Scott’s bag at the British?
Is it too crazy to think that a guy who has had 4 operations on the same knee and who’s golf swing could be described as violent may be looking to reinvent his game? That seems to be one key element many have glossed over since Wednesday. Tiger hasn’t won a major since the surreal one legged US Open Playoff vs. Rocco Mediate. He hasn’t won period since the 2009 BMW Invitational and he’s looked terrible (by his standards) for stretches since he came back. Tiger set out with a vision of 18+ majors, the goal has always been to pass Jack Nicklaus and be crowned the greatest of all time. He’s 4 away from tying him but Father Time has landed his first couple of haymakers on Tiger. Woods turns 36 in December and golf history tells us that most Major winning comes before that. Nicklaus won his final four majors after he turned 36, Tiger will have to pass that number to achieve his goal. If Woods is going to get there he is going to have to take a different road than the one that got him his first 14. He can no longer rely on his ability to overpower his opponents with his ferocious swing and precision short game nor can he expect the field to buckle because the leaderboard has the name “Woods” at the top. The PGA field is younger and deeper than perhaps ever which means stiffer competition will stand in his way as he's trying to catch Jack.
It’s a different world personally and professionally for Tiger Woods. It’s hard to think of any athlete that has had an 18 month stretch in his career like Tiger just went through. All of it was self-imposed but if he’s going to turn it around that will be on his own too. Firing Steve Williams was another step in what Tiger hopes will make him a championship golfer again. Maybe he has finally made it through the reset menu in his professional career and finds himself on the first tee of the next phase. The key thing to remember is everything he’s done in regards to his professional life is to help him to get back to winning. So don’t cry for Stevie Williams and the millions of dollars he made carrying Tiger’s bag, realize the reason this looks cold blooded is because it is and that why we all loved Tiger to begin with.
When actual players are locked out marketing Larry is always a wise choice.
Last season I tried to keep other transplanted Red Sox fans up to speed on when Boston would be on National Television. Once Pedroia and Youk went down and the the rest of the team fought towards an 89 win finish it became less important to tune in each and every night as the season wore on. However this year (and probably for the rest of the Adrian Gonzalez era) the Red Sox are appointment television. Since we all were just spoiled with the Extra Innings Preview these last 6 nights now is as good of time as ever to jump back in and let my fellow Red Sox fans outside of Boston know when they will be on. The networks included on the count will be the MLB Network, TBS, ESPN (and all sister stations) and Fox*.
I will update this religiously as all the major networks tend to flex games week to week so feel free to add this to your bookmarks and check back daily/weekly.
Most Recent Update was on August 4
Here are the remaining National TV Games Scheduled for the Month of August:
Thursday, August 4: vs. Indians (7:10 PM MLB Network)
Friday, August 5: vs. Yankees (7:10 PM MLB Network)
Saturday, August 6: vs. Yankees (4:10 PM Fox)
Sunday, August 7: vs. Yankees (8:05 PM ESPN)
Monday, August 8: at Twins (7:10 PM ESPN)
*Note: Fox games may be pre-empted by whatever game is in your market, however if your cable package has Fox Sports En Espanol, you get the main game on that feed
The Carmelo Anthony Saga should be resolved by Thursday, here is what you need to know moving into this week.
#1. Carmelo Anthony will not sign an extension with anyone except the Knicks, meaning that they are the only realistic destination for him.
#2. The Nets smartly leaked an insane offer on Friday to drive up a price.
#3. Carmelo has no intention on signing an extension with the Nets or ANYONE ELSE BUT THE KNICKS.
#4. Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan started a bidding war with himself after the Nets' offer leaked that would essentially gut the Knicks roster.
#5. Dolan is seeking advice from former Knicks GM Isiah Thomas which is like Lindsay Lohan consulting Charlie Sheen for advice on sobriety.
#6. 'Melo would be a moron to not sign an extension because he has "Bird Rights" in play which gives him the opportunity to sign for more money than he would make on the open market.
#7. The trade deadline is Thursday and Denver is in a position where they know they need to get something for him because he is as good as gone in 3 more months.
#8. The Knicks GM Donnie Walsh would have been happy to wait it out until Denver accepted a smaller offer at the deadline knowing Anthony would nix any other deal, then Dolan ruined everything.
#9. The reason 'Melo wants to be in New York is supposedly because his wife LaLa Vasquez (former MTV VeeJay) wants to be a star, meaning that 'Melo should be on the first ballot into the Doug Christie Whipped Hall of Fame.
#10. I don't like the term "Melodrama" either, but hey...it's effective.
If Anthony says yes, the Nets will get Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Sheldon Williams, Melvin Ely and Renaldo Balkman from the Nuggets. In turn, the Nets will send Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy, Ben Uzoh and four first-round picks to Denver.
Above is Vince Carter putting on the show of shows in 2000 for All Star Weekend. Yes, this is the highlight of Vince Carter's career but damn it was awesome. Enjoy All Star weekend and I'll see you on Monday.
Some of the lowlights:
Cabrera reportedly said he was "going to f*ckin kill" a police officer who made contact with him.
The Tigers All Star was drinking straight from a bottle of scotch.
Here's the full story with the mugshot.
Dan Lebatard adds this on Twitter after this morning's events:
"Re Cabrera DUI drinking straight from scotch bottle: at 20, he showed up at ESPN the mag photo shoot so drunk he frightened everybody"
Obviously the Tigers first move this spring should be getting their Superstar some help.