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Archive for November, 2007

Williams-Amherst… Serious Football, C’s Win

Posted by Brad on November 10, 2007

ESPN’s College Gameday is going to be in Willamstown, MA tomorrow morning. And I KNOW most of you are saying “who the heck plays there?” (c’mon admit it). And without looking at the title of this post, you’d probably have no idea at all. Well you have a 50-50 chance with the title (unless you are a serious idiot)… any thoughts? Well, it is Williams College, and they are going up against Amherst College tomorrow in one of the better college football rivalries. No, that is not a misprint.

Okay, so maybe you need a little background information. Both of these schools are Division Three (yes, that is the lowest college division) with total enrollment between the two of them around 3,200.   Yes, you read that correctly.  The enrollment at BC alone is 9,081 (for undergrads.)  The capacity of Weston stadium?  A solid 10,000 (I’m impressed)  But, of course, this is not the point, the point IS the football (oh, and why the HECK ESPN is there).

This marks the 122nd meeting between these two teams, the longest in Division III football and one of the longest overall.  Known as the “biggest little game in America” this is the biggest day of the year for Williams/Amherst fans.  Not only this, but also for the seniors.  This is always the last regular season game of the year for both of the teams, and this year is extra special as both teams records aren’t so great (Williams- 5-2, Amherst- 4-3), so this will likely be the last game of the seniors careers, even as D-1 isn’t even thinking championship ’till January.

And of course, there is “The Walk”.  Following a homecoming victory, Williams will march up Spring Street in full uniform to St. Pierre’s Barber Shop, where the team celebrates (and maybe shaves a head).  Of all of the traditions out there, this has to be one of my personal favorites.  It’s one of the longest running ones out there, and I love it!

So why is ESPN there?  I dunno, but I think it is great, as it is the first time in their history they have visited a D-3 team.  Hopefully, America will realize that this IS a very good rivalry, and deserves to be noticed.  Why?  Because this is some seriously good football.  Even in years in which one team is clearly better, this is always a close game.

Oh, and the Celtics won tonight against Atlanta, 106-83.  GPA had 27, 23 and 14 points, respectively.  Eddie House chipped in 19 points off the bench to go along with five assists.  So far, he has been our best bench scorer, which is a BIG surprise.  Al Horford and Joe Johnson both chipped in 16 and Marvin Williams had 14 for the Hawks.  The Celtics next game will be tomorrow at 7:30 against the Nets.

The Nets should be a fairly easy win for us tomorrow, despite the fact they have a good team.  Don’t bother unless you are bored.

Talk at ‘ya later.

Posted in Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I’m a Lazy Bum, Life is Now Boring, C’s Win Big, B’s Lose in OT

Posted by Brad on November 8, 2007

Okay, I am the laziest bum around.  Seriously, I haven’t posted since last Wednseday (or was it the Wednesday before…?) when I posted the Sox Season Report Card (check it out: plug, plug).  But, please forgive if you have just been dying for a new post from me (okay, I know I’m just kidding myself).  So anyway, a lot has happened since then, the Pats actually almost lost a game (but, that couldn’t happen, as they won), BC DID lose (so much for “Matty Heisman”)  and the C’s started their season (uhhhhh, unbelievably).  So, yeah, I’m lazy.  Live with it.

Now on to the life stinks part.  The Sox are over.  This means there aren’t games every day, and so I am bored between Celtics and Bruins games (and, of course, the Pats on Sunday).  *Sighs*.  I’m sure you are all aware of this feeling, whether you are from Boston, New York (I hate you), LA (you too), or Montreal (can’t forget the B’s).  But, I guess we are kind of spoiled during the summer and I can pass the time with homework (heaven help me).

Anyway, this tough for me to blog because I base most of my content on reviews of games and bad jokes.  Now, I actually have to fill space like the (insert expletive here) I am writing right now, and you are reading (don’t worry, I’ll bring you some sports opinions).  This could be a long winter for me to blog.  Of course, I don’t exactly make a living off this thing so… who really cares?

Okay, now that I am done filling space up with words, lets get to the actual sports (GASP).  The Celtics completely and utterly destroyed the Denver Nuggets last night in front of a packed Garden, 119-93.  GPA (no, not Grade Point Average, what I have heard Mike Gorman refer to Garnett, Pierce and Allen as) had 23, 26 and 22 points, respectively.  Garnett had thirteen rebounds and seven assists (more than Rajon Rondo, who chipped in 14 points).  Denver got 22 points from Allen Iverson, 17 from Marcus Camby (and 8 rebounds), only 11 from Carmelo Anthony and 12 from Kenyon Martin.

This pushed the Celtics to 3-0, their first start with three straight wins since 1999.  They have looked really good so far, although I do sense on weakness (coming in a few).  But, they beat one of the teams who are supposed to contend in the Western Conference.  I am very reassured by this dominating victory.

But, there is always a problem with the C’s, and it is the bench this year.  Despite the fact James Posey was injured during the game (getting MRI, back spasms), the bench combined for only 27 points.  The bench needs to get a solid number of points a night.  Although GPA proved they CAN do it on their own, they sure won’t every single night.  MAybe when Scot Pollard comes back, he’ll chip in, but, we just don’t know.  I’d like to see the bench do a little more.  Of course, Eddie House did chip in eleven and three assists.

Overall, though, they played a great game and the big thing was their impressive defense.  If they can keep THAT up, they are surely going to be VERY, VERY dominant this season.

As for the Bruins, they lost in overtime up in Buffalo last night, 2-1.  Marc Savard was the lone goal scorer for the Bruins, while Ales Kotalik scored and Clarke McArthur got the game-winner.  Tim Thomas was good in net, making 27 saves, but just was NOT good enough.  It’s a shame they are dropping off so fast, as they got off to a great start.  They are 7-5-2 right now, good for seventh in the East.  We’ll see if they can get it together.  Three stars: McArthur, Gaustad, Ryan Miller.

And, they play the dreaded Canadiens tonight, and are losing by a score of 2-1 in the Garden (whaddya know).  There is a minute left.  The Bruins got their goal from Marco Sturm and the Habs got theirs from Alexi Kovalev and Tomas Plekanec.  Tim Thomas has 29 saves in counting, and Carey Price has thirty.  More on this game tomorrow.

Talk at ‘ya later.

Posted in Bruins, Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Red Sox 2007 Season Report Card

Posted by Brad on November 1, 2007

All right!  It is finally time for the long-awaited 2007 Red Sox season report card.  This is where you get to yell at me the most, where I give the starter for most of the year at each position a grade, and you’ll disagree (it’s inevitable).  I’m going to count the playoffs a little more so than the regular season.  I know its been a while since I last posted, so I might be off my game a little…  Here Goes…

First Base- Kevin Youkilis

Yooooooooooouuuuuuk!  Kevin Youkilis had a really solid season, batting .288 in the regular season and .388 in the postseason, to lead the team.  He played really good defense, with only four errors all year, including the postseason.  In the playoffs, he led this team, especially in the last three games of the ALCS.  Without this guy, we may not have won the World Series.  Although he had a few tough streches, he was consistently one of the better hitters on the team all year. 

The thing that really boosted his grade was his postseason performance, though.  Along with his .388 batting average, he hit four homeruns with ten RBIs (without even playing the last two games).  In my opinion, he should have started at first base in the last two games of the Series.  Grade: A-

Second Base- Dustin Pedroia

This rookie (the clear-cut rookie of the year) definitely got off to a rough start back in May.  And, I wil admit that I was one of the people calling for Alex Cora to be at second.  But, this guy clearly proved me wrong.  He ended up having one of the better seasons on the team, batting .283 in the postseason and a stellar .317 in the regular season.  Really, the only thing that takes away from him is his speed.  For a second baseman, he is slow (his legs are pumping, but he ain’t goin’ nowhere).  It would be nice if he had more speed.

But, he led us to victory, leading off in the last few days of the ALCS against the Indians.  This guy and Youk were integral oarts to our comeback in the ALCS.  He made six errors, which isn’t great, but not horrible, either.  There are a couple things he can improve on in the offseason (speed and fielding), but speed will help his fielding.  He was great in the postseason, though, so….  Grade: B+ (could be A-, but…)

Third Base- Mike Lowell

This guy was clearly the most consistent player on the team the entire season.  He consistently hit the ball hard, even at 33 years old.  He hit .324 with 21 homers and 120 RBI, to lead the team.  He also came up big in the postseason, batting .353 with two homers and 15 RBI.  The only weak spot was his 17 errors, including the postseason.  Although this is understandable considering he is at third, it is a little less than one-fifth the teams total errors, which is concerning (the only guy with more?  Guess who… Julio Lugo).

Despite this, though, he was the World Series MVP and the clear regular season MVP of this ball club.  This is the guy we really need to re-sign to a one or two year deal.  Although he commited all those errors… Grade: A

Shortstop- Julio Lugo

Sighs, why oh why did we sign this guy.  He was clearly the weak spot on the ball club from the beginning of the year all the way through to the postseason.  He couldn’t hit (although he had his moments), he couldn’t field (he led the team in errors) and, the worst part?  We’re stuck with him for a few more years.  After hitting .237 in the regular season, he went on to hit an okay .271 in the postseason.  Also, he led the team in errors with a horrendous 19 errors.  Yes, 19 errors (that’s 23% of the teams total of 81 for you math impaired).  What more do I have to say?

Here is what else I have to say, although he led the team in steals, and did have some big hits in the postseason, the negatives FAR outweigh the positives.  Sorry to do this, Julio, but…  Grade: D-   

Left Field- Manny Ramirez

Manny was, as usual, the best postseason player on the team.  He may go down as the greatest postseason player in the history of baseball.  In the regular season, he batted .296 with only twenty homers and 88 RBI.  Although his regular season numbers were a bit low, he came up big in the postseason, batting .348 in the playoffs with four home runs and sixteen RBI, to lead the team in the playoffs.  Basically, this guy is the greates postseason player in the history of the Sox.  He actually had eight outfield assists, to lead the team in the regular season which boosts his grade.

But, his slow performance in the regular season brings his grade down a bit.  Although Dustin Pedroia got a B+ while playing better in the regular season, he didn’t play at the level of Manny in the postseason, so he is slightly lower…  Grade: A-

Center Field- Coco Crisp

Although the center fielder in the World Series was Jacoby Ellsbury, this guy was the starter for the majority of the year.  This was unfortunate.  He did not play at the high level we expected when we got him from the Indians.  He batted only .268 in the regular season (coming from a guy who was supposed to be a leadoff hitter).  In the playoffs, he hit a disgraceful .182.  But, the thing that makes thios guy a tough choice is his fielding.  He performed at a Gold Glove level in center and made some huge plays (including that last out in the playoffs).

I’m having a hard time choosing a grade for Coco, as he played a perfect center field throughout the year.  But, he was even worse in the regular season than the postseason.  This is tough, but… Grade: D+

Right Field- J.D. Drew

*Sighs*  Why did J.D. have to perform so well in the postseason?  If he had stayed like he did in the regular season, he would be failing.  Unfortunately, he hit well in the postseason, including the BIG grand slam.  In the regular season, he was batting .270, which actually isn’t half bad.  In the postseason, he was batting an awesome .314 with 11 RBI and that Grand Slam.  He did make six errors, though, which isn’t great from a right fielder, as it is the outfield.  He was one of the integral parts of the postseason roster, though, which makes this tough.

But, this is the toughest choice fore me to make so far.  But, he just didn’t perform most of the season.  I’m honestly not one hundred percent sure what to choose for this grade, but, I have to choose… Grade: C

Catcher- Jason Varitek+

Oh goodness.  What an odd year for the captain of the champions.  He very quietly had a mediocre campaign for the Sox.  He batted only .255 in the regular season with only 68 RBI.  And, he hit only .269 with 10 RBI in the postseason as the captain.  As usual, though, he was a solid backstop.  But, he is on the decline as a player, and it showed in him this year.  I really wish he could have had a better year, because he is a likeable guy that you don’t want to give a bad mark to.

He had a mediocre season at best for the Sox, and I just can’t give him that great of a grade.  After a raise for leadership… Grade: C+

Designated Hitter- David Ortiz

BIG PAPI!  Although he had a rough year powe-wise, he was injured for most of it, and still played through the injury, which is a plus.  He batted .332 with 117 RBI and 35 homers in the regular season.  In the playoffs, he came up big, batting .370 with three homers. Since he is a DH, he didn’t field, but looked okay in the World Series over at first base.  He is going to have a lower score, though, because of his slow start to the year.

He had a tough, injury-plagued power year by his standards, and did nothing near the beginning of the year.  So…  Grade: B+

Pitching

Overall, the pitchers pitched quite well this year.  Josh Beckett was unbelievable, Curt Schilling was okay, Dice-K had a tough regular season, Tim Wakefield was good by his standards.  Jonathan Papelbon was his usual awesome self, and Hideki Okajima was a very pleasant surprise.  Some of the weak spots?  Well, Eric GAGne was horrible, Brendan Donnely wasn’t grwat while healthy and Julian Tavarez did have a high ERA.  For the most part, though, the pitching staff was quite good.

Basically, the mistake of Eric GAGne was a big one, and brings the score down considerably.  Overall, though, this team had a great rotation and a solid bullpen, overall, though… Grade: B+

Overall Grade

No, this isn’t and average grade, it is looking at the season as a whole, and any time you win the series, it’s gotta be… Grade: A+

And there you go, the 2007 Red Sox report card!  Now, the seaon is officially over!  It’s time to get pumped about the Pats, Eagles, C’s and B’s (well, somewhat at least)!  It’s been a great season, and lets hope these other teams can get it done!

Talk at ‘ya later.

Posted in Clay Buchholz, Curt Schilling, Daisuke Matsuzaka, David Oriz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett, Kevin Youkilis, Manny Ramirez, Red Sox, Tim Wakefield | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »