Tuesday, January 10, 2006
(This is one damn clever photo I put up here, but only if you know who it is. However, I'm digressing and I haven't even started yet. This will probably give you a clue as to what sort of reading enjoyment you're in for today.)
Good a title as any, since probably more than half of you won't be interested in what I'm putting out here today. Oh, well. I have to get this stuff out of my system every so often or else the good stuff will be overwhelmed by it, and then you get nothing.
What's that you say? There is no good stuff? How cruel! Just for that, you're going to have to listen to me talk about Libertarians tomorrow. In the meantime...
I know that some of you aren't especially thrilled when I write about sports. Well, if you're one of those people, then this just isn't your day. This is going to be all about sports. I'm going to do a bit of venting and a bit of prognosticating. However, if you don't give a rat's ass, you could go here and probably agree with it. I'll see you tomorrow, I hope, pretty please with sugar on top.
First, let us consider the Red Sox. Have they lost their collective mind? J.T. Snow? J.T. Frickin' Snow? Do these people realize that they have Kevin Youkilis on the roster? What has Youkilis done to piss these people off?
Listen up, Red Sox: Kevin Youkilis is your first baseman. Every time he manages to get off the bench and into the line-up, he produces. He has a great eye and is a fine on-base percentage guy. He has a fair amount of power. He isn't a gold-glover, but he doesn't have hands of steel, either. So, why in the hell are you signing J.T. Snow for $2,000,000?
I would have said that Youkilis is your third baseman, but you already made the deal for Lowell, and another deal for Marte, so I figured you had some sense left and had him pegged for 1B. You're certainly not going to use him at DH. So, are you going to let him waste away in Pawtucket or on the bench, for another frickin' year? Not smart.
Speaking of not smart, let's consider the Celtics.
I still think this is a team that will do great things in a year or two, but this opinion of mine is contingent upon their gaining experience and building chemistry with each other. They also have to know what their roles are. However, the way Doc Rivers is playing these guys, this is not going to happen, IMHO.
Rivers hasn't had a set starting line-up for three straight games all year. Pierce and Davis are constants, and so is Delonte West, for the most part. However, Blount, Perkins, LaFrentz and Jefferson have rotated in and out of the starting five with what seems like little rhyme or reason. Perkins might play 30 minutes one night, while the next he sits for all but 2 minutes. Jefferson is the current starter of choice, and I agree with that choice, but will he continue in this role? Who knows? Rivers may have some idea what he's doing, but I sure as hell can't figure it out.
If you're going to acquire chemistry, you have to have the same guys playing with one another for extended stretches of time. You can't keep mixing it up willy-nilly hoping to stumble upon some magic formula. It isn't going to happen playing Tony Allen 28 minutes one night and Marcus Banks 28 minutes the next and then neither of them for more than 5 minutes the night after. Choose your five starters, Doc, and let them play. Mix in your three or four best off the bench, as your first five need a breather or encounter foul trouble. Use the other guys in emergencies and garbage time. That's how you build chemistry and define roles.
I'll say one thing in Doc's defense. None of these guys have any quit in them and that has to be partially the coach's doing. However, this team should be playing at least .500 ball. They've had a good handful of games they should have won and haven't. Is it just totally lack of execution, lack of experience, or is it bad coaching?
I think this team will make the playoffs this year, and I sure hope they do because they need that sort of experience. Will they advance beyond the first round? Probably not, but they'll make it worth watching.
One more thing about the Celts: I'm scared that Danny Ainge is going to do something out of panic. Please don't, Danny. Leave this team alone to jell for a year. If they need a different coach to accomplish this, OK, but please don't screw with the team itself. Please do NOT trade Pierce or Davis for draft choices. Please do what you're doing now, which is sitting back and watching their progress. Give it this year and the start of next, please. You've got something good here, but it needs time to develop. You've done a good job of getting the pieces. Don't throw any away now.
Finally, let's talk about a really smart team. Let's talk about the Patriots.
Well, I'm not really going to talk about them too much. I just have to sit back and admire them. Every time somebody writes them off, they step it up and deliver. It should be a fun game against Denver. I expect them to win. The last time in Denver, when they lost, they were not the team they are now. Denver ran off 4 or 5 looooong gainers, which I don't expect to happen this Saturday. We'll see. I'll say 23 - 20, Pats, and then on to Indy for a trial by fire.
See you tomorrow, with 100% sports-free (but Libertarian-filled) content!