Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sports Roundup!

Well I haven't written in a while. Mainly cause I had absolutley nothing to say about the World Series at all. I wanted the Phillies to win because I do like them and have be following them since the early 90's, and of course they did which was good. Tampa played like shit, and frankly proved that they didn't belong there. Regardless it's the offseason now, and thus starts one of my favorite parts of the year as a whole.

The Sox don't need much as a team this offseason, mainly just catching. I'm not opposed to seeing Varitek back in a somewhat reduced roll for 1-2 years, and having the Sox trade for one of Texas's young catchers, but Boras is kidding himself if he's using Posada's deal last offseason as a "bench mark" for Varitek. I wouldn't mind seeing a signing or Texeiria and the trading of Lowell to make room for him, but really that's just a luxery and this point. Regardless though, free agency starts on the 14th, it should be exciting.

I still have no idea who will be the AL MVP. Call me a homer but my vote is Dustin Pedroia. Carlos Quinten would have won it hands down had he not injured himself in August and been out for the remainder of the year, and I frankly don't see how Justin Morneau is even in consideration for it. He wasn't spectacular in September, the Twins missed the playoffs (barely), and frankly isn't even the best player on his team (Joe Mauer says hello). That isn't an MVP candidate to me. Regardless it'll be interesting to see who the writer's actually pick.

Enough baseball though, and onto basketball and hockey. The Bruins have exceeded all expectations I had of them thus far, and are playing like a solid team that would have a reasonable shot at the Stanley Cup if the playoffs started today. They are tied for first place in the Northeast Division, and frankly have looked unbeatable recently. Phil Kessel is showing everybody why he was once considered a number one draft pick, and rookie Blake Wheeler already has more goals through 14 games than I think most people thought he'd have all season (6). The real story about this team however, is Tim Thomas. Every year people question his ability, and every year he proves them wrong. He's not even on the all-star game ballot this year, yet he's clearly a top 5 goaltender in the league right now. How he was left off in favor of people like Kari Lehtonen is beyond me. The best part about this team is that they have a solid group of young core guys as well that will only continue to improve.

The Celtics have picked up right where they left off last season. A dismal showing against Indiana aside they have looked dominant. They absolutely embarassed Detroit tonight, scoring 30 points in the second quarter while holding Detroit to a pathetic 10 points...with 4 reserves in the game. It almost feels like they are just toying with the rest of the league. They won a close game against the Rockets, that really shouldn't have been as close if not for 2 awful calls against the Celts from a flopping Tracy McGrady at the end of the 4th quarter. All in all, the Celtics should be back in the finals again this year, and unless LA grows some balls and magically develops a post game, and learns to defend Garnett, the Celtics should take it again.

Finally lets talk about the Patriots shall we. I have no idea where to start when talking about this team. It seems every year they get injured, but this year obviously is much much different. Tom Brady played half of a quarter of football in 2008, and all of New England's fears materialzed when he was injured and lost for the season. Matt Cassel stepped in and frankly looked pretty out of place for the first few games. Now here we are in week 10 of the season, and the Patriots are 6-3, in a tie for first place with Brett Farve, I mean the Jets, and frankly it seems like half their roster is injured. Laurence Maroney is done for the year with a shoulder injury, Sammy Morris and Jordan LaMont have been MIA for a few weeks with various injuries, which leaves the teams running duties to Kevin Faulk and undrafted rookie BenJarvus Green-Ellis. On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots have been decimated with injuries (it really feels like we say that every year). Rodney Harrison is out for the year again with a knee injury that'll probbaly end his career. Ellis Hobbs has been playing hurt, and Adalius Thomas is out for the year now with a broken forearm. Yet the Patriots are 6-3 (and really would be 7-2 if Jabar Gaffney catches that pass last week and David Thomas doesn't make a boneheaded penalty).

Matt Cassel is a completely different player than he was even 3 weeks ago. Wes Welker has been unstoppable, and Randy Moss hasn't quit on the team yet like many thought he would after Brady was injured, and has been getting more involved in the offense, thanks to Cassel's maturation. More on that thought here. A nicely written article on ESPN today about Cassel.

The Patriots conceivably could be 10-3 at this time in a month with a stranglehold on the AFC East, we'll see how the loss of Thomas impacts the Patriots against the Jets next week, but I really do expect them to win.

If the Patriots make the playoffs, and win a playoff game with Matt Cassel as their quarterback, this will be Bill Belichick's greatest season of coaching hands down. I really wouldn't take this team lightly come playoff time. They all have something to prove from last years historical Superbowl loss, and from all the doubters this year. Right now do I think they'll win? No. But I wouldn't be shocked either.

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