Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tommy Can You Hear Me?

With all due respect to the Who, Tommy Hanson is the most important Tommy right now.

Dating back to his 2nd start this year(career) against Baltimore, Tommy has now is in a streak of 21 scoreless innings.

His ERA is down to 2.48 AND he is not really throwing great yet.

See the stats below of his young career so far:

First few outings were not against the cream of the crop, Milwaukee is a good team but Baltimore and then Cincinnati are relatively easier starts...then the Yankees and then the Sox today.

I have predicted this kid would be next year's Cy Young winner in the NL, nothing he is doing yet would make me want to change my prediction.

His walks are high and should improve at he gains experience.

He is the bright spot in an otherwise dismal showing so far by the Braves.

On July 17th, the Braves will retire Greg Maddux's number in a big ceremony. It is too far away to be accurate but I hope Tommy Hanson pitches that night. Their styles are very different, Hanson can throw the heat, but it would also do him some good to take in the appreciation for a future Hall of Famer that never was confused for a hard thrower.

I am already looking forward to next Saturday when Hanson and the Braves go to Washington.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Role Models

Should superstars, whether in sports or any walk of life, be role models?

One of the blogs I check periodically is called Dugout Central, it is a collection point of writings by many people about baseball. One .recent post this week by a writer named Teddy Mitrosilis caught my attention. He writes about Manny Ramirez's "rehab" in Albuquerque and wonders outloud whether Manny coulda/shoulda done things differently. He speculates how great an opportunity it would have been for Manny to either connect with fans by signing autographs etc. as well as connecting with the minor league players and giving them insight into what it takes to make the jump to the majors and allow them to get a glimpse of what they are trying to elevate to. Here is a quote from Teddy's post:

He should have played his four innings, and then hung out with the other minor leaguers for the last five. He should have spent those five innings talking with the hitters, giving them two hours of total access to ask any question a kid would want to ask about hitting to one of the greatest hitters to ever play the game.

He should have spent the other five innings coaching. He should have paid attention to the other minor leaguers’ at-bats, and then talked to them about pitch sequence and approach when they came back in the dug out.

He should have had steaks and beers delivered to the clubhouse after the game – on his dime – and sat around with the rest of the guys telling them what life is like in the big leagues.

For all of Ramirez’s faults, he has a reputation of being a tireless worker. He should have sat around with the boys, enjoying a rib eye, explaining to them exactly what it takes to not only get to the big leagues, but also stick there.

He should have talked to them about all the fun you have in The Show, but also the professionalism and dedication it takes to taking care of your body and being ready to perform.

You don’t think those minor league players would have been hanging on every story and every line? That would have been like Bring Your Dad To School Day in the second grade. Those words would have actually made a difference.

You could argue that Manny should have gotten to the ballpark early, and stayed late to sign autographs for all of the fans that want them. That would have been a nice gesture, but I’m not going to say that he has to do that. Hey, if he wants to say thanks to the people who pay his salary and support him, that’s up to him.

But it’s not up to him to give his time to his current teammates. He owes that to them. He’s walking into their yard, taking the at-bats and outfield reps from a young kid who could use them to develop and chase a dream, all while he is suspended for testing positive.

What is the responsibility of the superstar?

I don't believe there is a responsibility to be a role model...but I do believe it would be great for everybody if more superstars took it upon themselves to do more with their status.

I am not talking about giving money, so many athletes, actors, musicians etc all give tons of money to great charities and causes. I'm talking about role models.

Again -not required but in the quote above, how great for those minor leaguers would it have been if Manny did any of those things while in Albuquerque?

Yesterday pop icon Michael Jackson passed away. While he obviously had nothing to do with sports, his passing raises the same type of questions. When MJ was at the top of the world, mid to late 80's, he made life changing choices that will be questioned forever. His influence, across traditional racial lines, was immense. Unfortunately, in my opinion, he started getting "weird" on the world and lost the opportunity to be a role model that could have affected many many people.

Celebrity brings riches and popularity by default. How any person handles that tranformation is anybody's guess. More and more, today's youth need role models out of the celebrity pages doing more of the right things.

I have heard the argument that the role model should be the parents. I agree as the primary role models. Parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, teachers all should be present and role models to some degree. Unfortunately, as a father of 5, I am not Superman, Derek Jeter, Brad Pitt, Lebron James or Barack Obama. Role models come from fiction, and from real life, they should make a person dream, dream to be better or great at something.

My role models growing up were sports related, Fred Lynn and Larry Bird. Lynn to me was the young, talented athlete that enjoyed what he did. I wanted to make diving catches like Lynn in centerfield and hit so effortlessly like he did. Larry Bird was the superstar that continued to work harder than everybody else to improve when he was already at the top of his profession. These two shaped my teenage years and likely added some values to who I was becoming. The didn't get busted doing something stupid, they didn't (publicly)get in trouble. I never met them or had any real interaction with them but it didn't matter, they were role models to me.

It is increasingly hard to find public figures that you would want your kids to have as role models, that is why I posted today.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Smoltzie time

After waiting a little over a year to get back out there, John Smoltz will take the mound tonight against the Nationals. The odd part about that statement is what was unsaid. He will be pitching for the Boston RedSox and making his first career appearance without the familiar tomahawk on his chest. He will have different players fielding behind him, different catcher to throw to, AND different expectations.

"I know I'm going to be judged really fast by a lot of people," he said. "First impressions are always nice, but they're not the lasting impression."

Many will claim he should have retired if he gives up a few runs or gets chased early. Some will cry that he is ruining his legacy.

The RedSox, and Smoltz himself, have said over and over that the goal is to push forward and have Smoltz available and healthy come September and hopefully October.

The dream is for Beckett, Lester and Smoltz to anchor the postseason rotation (no offense to DiceK, Wakefield, and Brad Penny). The Sox would have the best postseason staff (on paper) this side of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz 10-15 years ago.

Getting to the postseason and having some success along the way is their collective goal.

I think regardless of tonight's outcome in Washington, Smoltz will have outings where he gives up more than anybody wants him to but he also will have outings where he amazes people. Take a look at this excerpt from :baseball reference

I've highlighted where I want to make some points:

Grey - time as the closer, not for today's discussion
Blue - extremely consistent ERA, granted against NL and pitchers batting
Orange - Incredible WHIP by today's standards, very consistent
Green - Great strikeouts per 9 and walks per 9 stats
Yellow - only times when his ERA was above 4.00

Smoltz isn't a pitcher that was on the way out when he got hurt last year. He was a pitcher, converted back to a starter, that was still dominating and putting in 30+ starts over the last 3 years prior to the injury.

His stats in those three years are very nice, 44-24 record, about a 3.20 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP, his strikeouts per 9 innings actually went up all three years and was abnormally high last year before the injury.

What fans in Boston don't know about John Smoltz (yet) is the fire he has burning. Sounds like a cliche but it really is different for him than others. He is an extremely intelligent pitcher that absolutely gets pissed off when he performs poorly. I can't imagine him ever shrugging off a bad outing.

If his body lets him, he could easily be the most important piece to the RedSox championship drive this year.

In case you missed the last statement I said Smoltz could be more important than David Ortiz's bat, than Josh Becketts golden arm, than Ellsbury's wheels. How deep would you like to have your rotation when you hit the postseason? How deep will the teams you face be?

Smoltz could be the best 3rd starter in the major leagues in about a month. If you judge him based on tonight, be prepared to change your judgement later on.

I think he does ok tonight, 5+ innings, couple of runs given up, gives the Sox a chance to win.

Does Vegas have odds on Smoltz getting a postseason start this year?
I would bet on it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Sometimes other interests other than sports connect with sports to form a union of sorts. Announcements came out that Fenway Park will be hosting Paul McCartney for two nights, Aug 5 and Aug 6.

Obviously I am a huge Beatles fan and hence a McCartney fan. I have seen Sir Paul 4 times in concert beginning in 1990. Seeing him in the shrine that is Fenway would/could be heaven. In case you can't figure it out I am vacillating over whether to fly up for one of the shows. Might be a once in the lifetime kind of opportunity.

One reason not to go to Boston to see him in Fenway is that McCartney also announced today that he will be playing in Piedmont Park in Atlanta (home for me) Aug 18th. Pre-sale opportunities are still going on for both Boston and Atlanta...what to do...

Hanson, Chamberlain, Buchholz

There are 3 teams in MLB that I follow closely. The RedSox, Braves and Yankees.

The Sox because I grew up in the burbs of Boston, the Braves because I have lived in Atlanta since 1990, the Yankees just to keep tabs on the rivals.

All three teams have exceptional starting pitching prospects currently.

For the Sox, Clay Buchholz:

Buchholz threw a no-hitter in 2007 as a rookie. Last year was a disaster, 2-9 record with a 6.75 ERA. He went into the offseason with work to do to regain confidence and find his approach again. He was lights out in spring training but ran into a wall of starters ahead of him. In AAA Pawtucket (Redsox) he is 5-1 1.94 so far this year and has been quoted as getting impatient in his quest to make it back to Boston. The added time in the minors has not been a bad thing for Buchholz as there will be some doubters when he does make it back to the majors. He needs to continue to improve and be absolutely ready when his chance comes up.

His chance may come up sooner than later. The big unknown for the Sox is what will John Smoltz bring to the mound tomorrow (6/25) against the Nationals in his first start in over a year. With DiceK going on the DL, Buchholz is one injury away from getting called up. If Smoltz doesn't continue to be healthy or anything pops up on the other starters Buchy is next in line.

I would expect him to be called up before too long, it is too much to ask that the rotation stay intact for the season.

For the Yankees, Joba Chamberlain:

Joba remains a mystery to me. The hype is huge, he is huge (not CC huge though). Chamberlain remains on a innings/pitch count to protect against further shoulder injuries. In 2008 he was 4-3 2.60 in mostly relief (setup). 12 of his 42 appearances were starts. In 2009 he began and remains as a starter and is 3-2 with a 3.89 ERA. Some would say that is what they would hope for as he progresses. I wonder whether the innings/pitch counts coupled with his increase in walks this year are keeping him from performing better. He has 37 walks through 69 innings pitched this year, last year he ended with 39 walks through 100 IP. Chamberlain at some point will need to be given the ball like they have done with Sabathia. It won't be this year but he needs to become the type of pitcher that pitches into the 8th inning with the dominating stuff he has it is getting underutilized as he pitches 5 or 6 innings now. The upside is huge for Chamberlain, whether he builds the stamina and control to allow him to get there remains to be seen. The last thing on Chamberlain I want to comment on is his maturity. He goes over the top when he gets a strikeout, often yelling/screaming and pumping fists. The Yankee fans will point to Jonathon Paplebon of the RedSox and say "same thing". I get that, don't like it for Paplebon either but there is a difference when a closer in the 9th does it, and does it against a rival or in a tight spot vs. a starter doing it in the 4th inning. Maturity may be the key for Chamberlain both in his control and pitch count as well as overall poise on the mound.

For the Braves, Tommy Hanson:

Last night Tommy Hanson pitched his 4th game in the majors, he shut the Yankees out through 5+ innings and got his 3rd win against no losses. He hasn't pitched well yet but has wiggled out of jams he has put himself into. His walks are way up compared to his minor league stats and he hasn't found a rythym yet in the majors. Watch out when he does. Like Chamberlain, he can throw 100 mph and has nasty breaking stuff too. While Hanson is in Atlanta to stay (no reason to move him back down to AAA) he will be monitored over the season most likely on success and confidence. He seems very poised for a 22 yr old. He is pegged as the anchor of the Braves staff for years to come. Chipper Jones was quoted on the radio yesterday as being amazed that Hanson is so poised and doing well without yet pitching the way he is capable of pitching. Quite high praise from a hall of fame hitter.

With each of the three teams I follow closely having a stud young pitcher it will be exciting to follow their careers. While the Sox and Yankees will get more attention because they share a division, I hope the Braves can again soon be contenders to give Tommy Hanson the spotlight I think he will deserve.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Celtics vs. Lakers

The Lakers organization won their 15th NBA title last week. Congratulations to them. 15 titles out of 63 years (24%) is outstanding.

Today I would like to offer up some fun facts about the Lakers and the Celtics.

Lakers - 15 titles 24%
Celtics - 17 titles 27%
all other teams - 31 titles 49%

Comparing their titles:
- 9 of the Celtics came against the Lakers
- 2 of the Lakers came against the Celtics

- the Celtics' oppositions in the finals for the 17 titles had 38 Hall of Fame players (each year for same player counts additively, for pending or active players, assumed Dwight Howard, Kobe, Jason Kidd, Allen Iverson and Reggie Miller make the HOF)
- the Lakers' oppositions in the finals for the 15 titles had 29 Hall of Fame players

- the most HOF players the Celtics faced in a single Championship year was 4, twice it happened:
1957 against St.Louis (Cliff Hagen, Slater Martin, Ed Macauley, and Bob Pettit)
1984 against the Lakers (Kareem, Magic, Worthy and McAdoo)

- the most HOF players the Lakers faced in a single Championship year was 6:
1972 against the Knicks (Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Dave Debusschere, Earl Monroe, Jerry Lucas)

- in 3 of the Celtics' 17 titles, the opponents had 1 or no HOF players on the team:
2008 - Kobe
1986 - Olajuwan
1976 none (Pat Riley played on Suns, in HOF for coaching)

- in 8 of the 15 Lakers' titles, the opponents had 1 or no HOF players on the team:
2009 - Dwight Howard (assumed)
2002 - Jason Kidd (assumed)
2001 - Allen Iverson (assumed)
2000 - Reggie Miller (assumed)
1982 - Dr. J
1980 - Dr. J
1954 - Dolph Schayes
1949 - none

- overall Celtics regular season record in 63 years, 2922 wins and 1999 losses .594 winning percentage
- overall Lakers regular season record in 61 years, 2970 wins and 1841 losses .617 winning percentage

Hall of Fame comparisons:

- The Celtics have had 23 current HOF players play for them
- The Lakers have had 15 current HOF players play for them

- The Celtics 23 HOF players played 169 seasons for the Celtics
- The Lakers 15 HOF players played 124 seasons for the Lakers

- The Celtics had at least one HOF player on their roster from the 1950-51 season through 1994-95 season

- The Lakers had at least one HOF player on their roster from the 1948-49 season through 1995-96 season

Current or pending HOF's :

-Celtics - Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen
-Lakers - Kobe, Shaq, Karl Malone, Gary Payton

Head to Head:
- have played each other 270 times, Celtics have won 151, Lakers 119.

Greatest Player Ever in my opinion:

- Celtics: I would say Larry Bird (many would say Russell, I get that, greatest winner)

- Lakers : I would say Kareem (totally underappreciated IMO relative to what he was/did)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Greatest HR hitters of all time

With the recent "revelations" that Sammy Sosa used steroids, along with the Arod admission, Bonds, Giambi, Palmero, and countless unnamed (for now) top historical players I found my thoughts going to how good were the "older" generation players.

Aaron, Mays, Mantle, Williams, Ruth, Gehrig, Frank Robinson and others that sit atop the all time HR list accomplished truly amazing feats.

Currently there are 25 players in the history of the game to amass more than 500 HR in their career. Five (5) or 20% of that short list have direct implications back to PED (Bonds, Arod, Palmeiro, Ramirez, Sosa). Two others on the list are or have been suspected (McGwire, Sheffield), if ever proven to have used PEDs that would be 7 out of 25 or 28% of the greatest homerun hitters cheated.

As I look at the remaining names on the list, you get goosebumps thinking about these historic players:

Aaron, Ruth, Mays, Griffey, F. Robinson, Killebrew, Reggie, Thome, Schmidt, Mantle, Foxx, McCovey, F.Thomas, T.Williams, Banks, Mathews, Ott, and E.Murray.

Ted Williams stands out to me, because I hail from Boston originally as well as because he lost close to 5 seasons of his prime to military service.

I took a minute to estimate some production numbers for him had he not gone to serve his country and lost that time:

The pink highlighted cells represent what I estimated. (averaged the four years prior to get 1943-1945, averaged 1951 and 1954 to get 1952 and 1953)

The yellow highlighted cells are partial years I subtracted (and replaced with full pink years)

The green highlighted cells are his actual career totals.

The blue highlighted cells would be my estimate of his career totals without missing the time.

While I project Williams would have been close to or around the #3 all-time spot (when you remove the cheaters) and with similar HR numbers to Willie Mays it is the likelyhood that his average would have stayed around his career .344 mark that coupled with the HR production, and the almost a walk a game, amazes me. Ruth is the only other top HR hitter to compare to when looking at average as well.

Mays and Aaron didn't lose any significant time during their careers for any reason.

As I further get into the numbers, it is a real shame Griffey had so many injuries in his early 30's, he would have been a challenger (assumed clean) to Aaron's HR mark.

Will we see any more of the top All-Time HR leaders get asterisks placed next to their names/numbers in the near future? I honestly hope so, it will make it easier to understand who to embrace as heroes and who not to...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

RedSox - musical chairs time

In modern baseball there haven't been too many instances of teams having too much quality pitching. None that I can come up with anyway. The current RedSox have such a problem. Thursday, John Smoltz will come off the DL. Here is the list of available major league quality starters they have:

Josh Beckett
Jon Lester
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Brad Penny
Tim Wakefield
John Smoltz
Clay Buchholz

7 fits into 5 spots how?

Great problem to have, everybody is talking about it, offering up their opinions.

I have read/heard :

a) Trade Penny while his stock is high, he has pitched better each time out
b) Demote DiceK to AAA or the DL
c) Demote DiceK to the bullpen
d) Demote Wakefield to the bullpen
e) go with a 6 man rotation for a while

None of these scenarios allow for Buchholz to come back up to the majors, he is tearing through AAA and already has a no hitter in MLB on his resume from 2007. He also has expressed some frustration in interviews lately with the path currently blocked to the majors.

Tony Massarotti, of the Boston Globe, wrote about this problem yesterday

He lays out the options, talks about the pro's and cons of each. Nice article, better yet were some of the responses in the comments section from readers. Someone named "chops" wrote:

How about a different approach altogether: make Matsuzaka and Smoltz "co-starters". Or to phrase the idea better, give Smoltz the role of "finisher" for Matsuzaka. Dice-K hasn't been getting past the 5th inning. Smoltz is 42 and coming off shoulder surgery: neither one is going to be throwing a lot of complete games. The argument against sending Smoltz to the bullpen is that he'd lack the every-five-games routine of a starter and the slow prep toward each start. But as Matsuzaka's "finisher", he could have that routine. Every five days he'd prepare, knowing he'd be brought in sometime during the game - the 2nd inning would be a good time in most Dice-K starts this year, but the 5th or 6th is what the Sox would hope for.

So Dice-K starts the game. He nibbles and throws 95 pitches through 4 innings, and Tito lifts him before the heart of the opponent's order gets their third look at him. Then Smoltz comes on and throws his 70 or 80 pitches and finishes the game or hands it over to the true bullpen in the 8th or 9th.

Now the bullpen won't be heavily taxed every five games to clean up Dice-K's mess, and both pitchers will be kept active, healthy, and fresh in case an injury occurs somewhere in the rotation, at which point the Sox can go back to a conventional rotation... or call up Clay Buchholz.

I like this idea, for the short term anyway. If DiceK continues to perform subpar, then let Smoltz take the hill for first pitch and make a decision on DiceK (minors/DL) later. This option buys you some time at least.

All this drama will unfold and take shape this week and into next week. A week from Saturday? RedSox are in Atlanta to play the Braves...this blogger has tickets and is hoping to see Smoltz take the hill against the ol' Braves and seek revenge on behalf of Tom Glavine as well as how Smoltzie was treated as well last off season.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Some people have addictive personalities. Some don't.

I fall closer to the "do" side of the equation.

Take the "Streak for the Cash" on

Never tried it? You should. You find yourself rooting for sports you didn't know existed or have no earthly knowledge of any participants or the rules.

What is it? It is a gimmick, a good one, created by espn to get you to visit their site multiple times a day...ok, so I visit it 10-20 times a day anyway, might as well give it a try.

Basic principle is that you have to make picks and try to get a streak of correct picks in a row going. ESPN puts up the choices, most are straight up "who will win the game/match" type picks. Some get more involved, something like, "Will Dwight Howard have more points and rebounds tonight than Kobe will score points".

There is no obligation to make picks at any time, you can go at your own pace.

The current iteration of the streak rules are this:


The top seven (7) entrants ("Qualifiers") who reach the highest streaks between 4/1/09 - 12/6/09 (the "Qualifying Period") will be flown out to Bristol to participate in a "pick-off"

So far, the top 4 streaks are 24 and three at 22. Two of the three at 22 are still active meaning they haven't made an incorrect pick yet and can still increase their streak. To put it in perspective, my top streak EVER (been doing this since late last year) was a streak of 10. After reaching about 5, the sweaty palms started up and hives broke out (slight exaggeration)...

Six times I've made it to three in a row, only the once (10) did I get further.

I am probably a little too impatient and make bad picks too easily (ya think?).

I'm currently at zero with a pending pick waiting for the outcome of the Brewers and Indians, which is sitting at 14-12 in the 8th...if I can get this streak started, there is a sweet cricket match (they are matches, right?) at noon tomorrow with India and South Africa.

The site tells me that 81.6% of the streakers that have picked this particular cricket match have picked India to win. My own intel supports that theory. Just have to wait for prior picks to be completed before you can make the next pick.

If I can get a streak going, there is a pick that looks like a layup tomorrow night:

Anybody else play? Anybody need a wing man for Vegas?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Re-entry into the blogging world

Ever have fun doing something, then stop all of a sudden, then forget that you had fun in the first place?

It has been almost a year since I last posted here, some of the pictures I previously used have been deleted and forgotten.

Much has happened in the world of sports since July 15, 2008.


The Tampa Bay Rays made a historic (for them) run on the baseball world and made it to the Series, passing both the Yankees and RedSox on the way. The Rays were a feel good story all the way, with plenty of innocent youth performing the improbable feats to take them further than they ever had been before. When the emerged on the big stage, the World Series, the Phillies reminded them of the dues they needed to pay on the way to capturing a title. In 2008, the Phillies landed their first World Series title since the Tug McGraw, Steve Carlton, and Mike Schmidt Phillies of 1980. The Phils only lost 3 games throughout their 2008 run at the title, one in each round of the playoffs. The World Series MVP, usually reserved for the best hitter during the series, was Cole Hamels. The Phillies two best hitters, Ryan Howard (.286) and Chase Utely (.167) left the voters no choice. Hamels was a nice 1-0 2.77 in 13 IP but that shouldn't have brought home the hardware.

2009 in Baseball is underway, we have seen in no particular order:

- Mannywood put on hold for 50 games

- offseason signings by the Yankees that sent shockwaves throughout baseball (or at least to John Henry's twitter account)

- emergence of Raul Ibanez as a serious power hitter, currently with ML leading 22 HR (evidently clean as a whistle too)

- Chance of Tom Glavine becoming an embraced member of the Braves organization for the next 20 years get flushed down the drain

- The debut of top Braves prospect (see Glavine above) Tommy Hanson. Watch this kid, barring injuries he could be very special

- renewal of the RedSox Yankee rivalry, kind of... currently at 8-0 in favor of the Sox, all the close games have gone the RedSox way, which never happened this regularly in the past. Texiera sideshow and banter should be interesting for next 8 years or so.

- Dodgers continue to win despite loss of Manny. Should be interesting how the chemistry works itself out when he returns.

- Struggles of David Ortiz, current leader in sincere curtain calls for players hitting .220 or less.


The Pittsburgh Steelers added on to their franchise legacy winning another Super Bowl. The path to the big game was made a little easier by the season ending injury to Tom Brady in week 1 back in September. Big surprises during the 2008 season were the Arizona Cardinals, making their first appearance in the Super Bowl. The Cardinals played the Steelers close and kept it very interesting (rare) throughout the game. Almost as surprising was how the Eagles dumped the defending champs, the Giants, out of the playoffs.

Other news during the year, in no significant order:

- Brett Favre, keep waiting for him to take his circus show to Tampa Bay. Would fit in well down there (Ringling Bros. home is there, sorry, couldn't pass it up). Good luck Minnesota.

- Michael Vick is a little closer to coming back to the NFL, who will want him? I heard something this morning that could put St. Louis in the front of that discussion.


Well, the NBA finals finished up last night...yawn...all the talk of Phil Jackson as the greatest coach ever now has the numbers behind it...Kobe as the greatest ever player now has more numbers behind it...Outside of LA what will this NBA season be remembered for? I'm not sure. There were some stories, nothing major though --> in no particular order:

- Chicago emerges as a young team that is getting closer. Rose will continue to get better and become a force to reckon with

- KG goes down, so do Celts chances of repeating. Just too many minutes for Pierce and Allen and too much inconsistent play. Big Baby and Rondo show possible future of the team though.

- Orlando makes it through to the finals without Nelson. The stars aligned for the Magic this season. Best they really could have asked for. They aren't a team, yet, that should be expected to contend for a title yearly. Add another piece or two and they could be really dangerous. Dwight Howard gets an offensive game? Watch out.

- Shaq, Duncan, KG, Iverson, Norwitzki : are we seeing a changing of the guard?

- Next year could be very interesting with all the non-moves that will be made as teams make final plans to get into the Lebron sweepstakes for the summer of 2010.


- The Pens knocked of powerhouse Detroit the other night. Congratulations. Too bad for Marion Hossa (not really). I guess you can't blame him for ditching a team to try to win a title, just seems he has been doing that for a few years now, seems to be destined as one of the best players not to ever win a championship.

- Hockey is making a small comeback but needs to land a deal back on ESPN or something like it to get more broad appeal again.

- I really enjoyed the Bruins revival, the style of play was great (hitting/checking/skills) and they have a bunch of good young players to build around for years to come. Not so true here in Atlanta...

I hope to post a couple times per week as stories break or news happens that interest me. Feel free to add comments as we go.