Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Sports Talk

After running errands all morning, it's time to unload some sports thoughts I've been carrying around lately...

Considering this is the last year of his current contract, I'm hoping Josh Beckett steps up again and pitches like the ace he was in 2007. Too often the last two seasons, Beckett has not pitched to his talent and during the second half of last season, was surpassed by Jon Lester as the ace of the staff. He was still a good pitcher, just not a #1 starter. Beckett is well respected by the pitching staff for the way he prepares and is considered the leader of the staff.

I can't quite put my finger on whether the Celtics are treating the regular season as a tune up for the playoffs or if they really are an inconsistent team. The talent is certainly there and they do have players coming back from injuries. However, their inability to hold a lead has been a problem since the turn of the new year.

The NFL Scouting Combine is this weekend. I've been thinking about the Patriots and what they need. First order of business is a pass rusher. I'd also like to see them look into an interior offensive lineman, a tight end, and a feature running back. While the wide receiver position may look weak, they can always acquire one via a trade or through free agency.

Despite the way last season ended, Jonathan Papelbon is still an elite closer. He did get a little fastball happy last year and I'm hoping he spends spring training refining his splitter, so he can keep hitters off balance better this season.

The inconsistency with the way the Red Sox treat their aging former star players is puzzling. They can't wait to ship classy 3B Mike Lowell out of town and were willing to eat $9 million of his salary in a trade with the Texas Rangers that fell through. However, they seem content with Jason Varitek at backup catcher making $3 million when he was the worst player in the major leagues the 2nd half of last season. I can't understand why they wouldn't opt to give Dusty Brown the opportunity to be the backup catcher. The Red Sox defense at the catching position is below average. Brown brings excellent defensive skills and a strong arm to the table, and he couldn't possibly hit worse than Varitek did the second half of last season. While Mike Lowell doesn't have much range in the field anymore and might possibly be the slowest baserunner in the game, he can still flat out hit.

Kendrick Perkins has to be one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He's developed into a quality center who can score around the basket and is a tremendous defensive player. Perkins works hard and knows his role. He is one of those "Glue Guys" that good teams find indispensable.

The Red Sox are very excited about their young prospects P Casey Kelly and SS Jose Iglesias. They look good so far, but let's not start the plans for induction into Cooperstown, yet. Let's see how they perform at AA and AAA. Last year, the hot prospect the Red Sox were crowing about in spring training was 1B Lars Anderson, and by all accounts, he had a dreadful season at AA Portland. Take it easy and let the kids develop on their own timetable.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Celtics acquire Nate Robinson

The Celtics just traded Eddie House and the little used J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker for Nate Robinson. This is a good deal for the Celtics. Despite House's 3 point shooting skill, he's had an off year, he can't handle the ball, and his defense is a weakness.

House was a good soldier for the Celts over the past 2.5 years and was a key contributor to their championship in 2008. Giddens, despite being a first round pick in the 2008 draft, never saw much action.

Robinson will bring improved defense, better ball handling, and some scoring touch. It will be interesting to see the contributions he makes.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February Hits

The month of January flew by! I can't believe how quickly a winter month just passed. I'm not complaining, though. Here are some things on my mind...

I know what's wrong with the Boston Celtics. They lack the toughness coming off the bench that would help fill the void of a healthy Kevin Garnett. Specifically, I'm talking about my man, Leon Powe. Leon is tough, a good defender, takes offensive fouls, rebounds and can run and finish on the fast break. GM Danny Ainge underestimated the contributions of players like James Posey and Leon Powe.

At what point will President Barack Obama and the Democrats realize that people are scared of their spending initiatives? We have a $1.6 trillion budget deficit and the national debt is up over $12.4 trillion. They've lost all credibility after their stimulus plan, which was nothing more than a handout to key constituencies, didn't stimulate anything. Unless there's some new GOP scandal, I predict the GOP will take over both the House AND Senate in November 2010.

It really is THAT bad for Democrats across the nation. Obama has lost the moderates and independents. And I thought only MA Democrats like Governor Deval Patrick were that tone deaf and arrogant.

Toyota is having problems with gas pedals and has stopped sales of several models due to a massive recall. I'm not surprised. I never got the hype about Toyota quality and reliability. I've had two Toyotas and they were terrible. They were two of the worst cars I've owned. I doubt I will ever buy another.

My new "go to" TV station is National Geographic. There's almost always something good on there in prime time.