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Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Hockey

So yesterday was the 2007 NHL Draft. Most of you probably knew nothing about it, partly because it was shown on the Versus channel, mostly because no one cares about the Hockey anymore.

The main story from the draft was that it was the first ever time Americans went 1-2, Patrick Kane to the Blackhawks and James vanRiemsdyk to the Flyers. Like you, i have never heard of either of these people.

Going third in the draft was a 17-year old kid by the name of Kyle Turris to our own Phoenix Coyotes. Again, like you, i had never heard of this kid. But, unlike you, i took some time and did some research on the kid. That way, if for some reason you decide to care about the Hockey again, you will at least be edumacated.

Turris, born August 14th, 1989, hails from New Westminster, British Columbia. (That's in Canada). At 6'0'' and 170lbs, he has played the last two years for the Burnaby Express, an amateur hockey league in Canada. His rookie year he helped them to the Championship, tallying 46 points in 32 games. He also helped Canada West to the title in the inaugural World Junior A Challenge. As a Sophomore back in league play, he tallied 121 points in 53 games, a fantastic 2.28 points a game. This led to him being named the Canadian Junior A Player of The Year.

(As a side note, if you understood next to nothing of the previous paragraph, rest assured you are probably not alone...)

Considered the top Center in the draft, Turris was speculated by many to be a possible top pick, but teams had been backing off of him lately because he has committed to play the Hockey at the U. of Wisconsin. The Coyotes, however, had Turris number 1 on their board all along, even sparking a rumor they had traded with the Blackhawks for the #1 pick shortly before the draft. In the end, their man fell fell to them anyway. One curious fact about Turris was that he is the only right-hander taken in the top five picks.

And that, folks, is about all i can tell you about the Coyote's new draft pick. All told, i think that's more information than just about all of you will ever need. And so ends posts about the Hockey for, in all likelihood, a long time. Sorry, it's just not that interesting...

-Thanks to ESPN, NHL.com, and Wikipedia.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Degree of Difficulty

I'm watching the Dbacks game, as i do most evenings (except for last night when they were off), and can't help but wonder if they are deliberately trying to make things hard on themselves. They went down 7-1 AGAIN. It's the fourth time this season, and second THIS WEEK. Somehow, we have come back three times, and won twice. Tonight is not looking so good right now.

Hey Dbacks, a little advice: It behoves you not to go down by 6 runs in the first few innings of the game. You know, if you like winning and all...

More on Trades

The trade rumors/hopes just keep rolling in! From all over the internet, here's some of the better ones i've heard so far:

1) Via TrueHoop: Three way trade between MN, LA, and PHX
MN gets: Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton, Kwame Brown, Marcus Banks, and the ATL pick next year.
LA gets: James Jones, Shawn Marion, and Marko Jaric.
PHX gets: KG, and Vlad Radmanovic.

I am ok with this trade. The Suns still get KG, don't give up too much, and also get a shooter in Vlad Rad.

2) Via myself, at ESPN's Trade Machine: Three team trade between MN, BOS, and PHX
MN gets: Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Marcus Banks, and Wally Szczerbiak.
BOS gets: Shawn Marion and James Jones.
PHX gets: KG.

I like this trade as well, though it would take convincing Marion to go to Boston, which i don't think will happen.

3) Also via myself at ESPN's Trade Machine:
MN gets: Marion and Banks, The rights to ATL's pick next year, and one of our first rounders this year.
PHX gets: KG

I still think this is the way to go...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

On Kobe...

The other hot rumor of the Suns? Kobe. The Suns are on his short-list of teams he wouldn't mind being traded to. Apparently, even though the Lakers have been one of the Suns top three rivals the last few years, culminating in last year's playoff series with the Raja take down of Kobe, he still wouldn't mind coming here.

My opinion you ask? HELL NO. You're kidding me right? I understand Kobe wanting to come here, what with the solid team foundation, and none-sucking supporting cast. But the Suns would be insane to offer the Lakers, umm, ANYTHING for Kobe. Let's see, one of the game's most selfish players (Kobe), playing with one of the game's most unselfish players (Nash), and most unselfish teams (the Suns). Yeah, that would work well.

As emphatic as i was that the Suns should trade for KG, i am even more emphatic that the Suns should NOT trade for Kobe.

Not that i think they will. Between Robert Sarver (owner) and the new GM Steve Kerr (Who i will miss in the broadcast booth, even with his Spurs bias), i think the Suns are in good hands. Now let's see how the draft plays out next week...

Ahh, The Hockey...

Really, does anyone care about Hockey anymore? I used to watch almost every game of the playoffs in college. Now? Not so much. I think i saw about ten minutes of one playoff game this year. Pathetic...

As for the Coyotes... About all i can say is that i went to more Coyotes games (2) than Cardinals games (1) this season. And i had 4th row tickets to another game, though i was out of town and they went unused.

Here's what i do know about them: They had their worst record since moving to Phoenix. They haven't had a winning season since '01-'02. They haven't been to the playoffs since that same year. They, like hockey in general this year, were largely irrelevant to the populace of Phoenix...

So, in the spirit of pretty much not caring about 'hockey', i'll tell you my favorite story of the year that can loosely be related to it.

My brother and i somehow stumbled into free tickets to the Budweiser Suite at Jobing.com Arena (Jesus, will somebody PLEASE stop selling stadium naming rights to crap companies that no one has heard of or care about...). Anyway, as you can imagine, we had free Budweiser all night long. Somehow, the game got tied in the last minute of regulation, and as such, everyone in our suite got fresh beers before they cut us off. Then, 38 seconds into overtime, the Coyotes scored the game-winner (One of their few victories...).

Now, with an entire suite of people with freshly topped off beers, we all hung around while the stadium emptied out. After the scrubs in the regular seats left, they brought out some goals, and let some kids on the ice for some spirited games of broom ball. Now because there was a bunch of us left, and because we had been drinking for free all night, we did what came naturally: We heckled them unmercifully. I distinctly remember shouts of 'Hey goalie, you suck!' to a poor 10-year old.

Ahh, the Hockey...

Dbacks Off Day

So how 'bout them Dbacks? A young team, one that was supposed to take a year or two (or three) to develop and learn to play together. A young team that some people thought would struggle a bit this year, though very quietly was some pundits dark horse pick in the preseason.

They seem to be doing alright for themselves. 11 games over .500, tied for the division lead. The young guys playing well. Really well. In fact, they're playing better than some of our so-called 'veterans'. Examples: Carlos Quentin, .214 BA. Stephen Drew, .237 BA. I realize both of these guys came up just last year, but jesus. They should both be in the .260 range at LEAST. And Quentin... if it wasn't for his 2-hit, 1 Home Run, 3-RBI performance the other night he might be below the Mendoza Line (.200), and thus in the Minors. As it is, he better hope that night launches his season, cause if he keeps playing like he has been he's on the verge of being sent down.

Hey Carlos: You don't have to hit a home run every time you come to the plate. Base hits are good too. I'm just saying...

KG to the Suns?

So the hot rumor about Kevin Garnett to the Suns? Here's my take: DO IT. DO IT NOW.

The Suns would be crazy not to deal anyone and anything except Amare', Nash, and Barbosa to the T-Wolves. Here's my offer to them: Marion, The rights to the Atlanta pick next year (should be high), and whoever else they want between Diaw, Thomas, James Jones, etc. And i think we should throw in Banks, as he is obviously not in the Sun's plans and he had his best year in Minnesota. Again, the Suns would be CRAZY not to make this trade.

Seriously, think about it. Throw Nash, Amare', KG, and two kids from a local high school team out there and they'd have to be the Championship favorites right? Nash, Amare', KG, Bell, and Barbosa. Maybe add a shooter through free agency, i.e. Mike Miller, Kyle Korver, etc. Screw the Luxury Tax. A Championship would more than pay that off.

KG could be the key to this team. He defends Tim Duncan arguably better than anyone in the league, which was our Achilles Heel this, and the last few, years. Problem solved. The Lakers are a mess (Does anyone really think they will trade Kobe or get anyone decent in Free Agency this year? They're going nowhere, but that's another post altogether...). Golden State was one year and done. Denver? Can't compete. Dallas? How are they going to defend Amare' and KG? The Spurs would be the only team in our way, and i think we could take them down with KG.

So, Suns: Do it. Do it NOW. And enjoy the run to the 2008 Championship.

Ineptitude at it's finest...

Former Cardinals Safety Robert Griffith: "That's what happened when I signed my deal in '05," Griffith says. "The Fed Ex cost $14.11 or something, and when I got my check, they'd deducted it -- the check was for like $499,985.89, or whatever. That's how they do s--- in Arizona. That's how they run their business!" (via cnnsi.com)

If this story is actually true, and i have no reason to believe it's not... Well, it sure explains a lot about the Cardinals and their owners, the Bidwell's. And we wonder why we're the laughing stock of the NFL...

PS- A check for 500k? That's more than i've made in my entire life! In one check! I'm in the wrong profession...