Jobu’s back with his Monday shots. Don’t worry, they’re as tasty as last week’s!
This week, the shots are back in their regular Monday time slot. I know I’d much rather drink on a Monday, and I’m sure you would too. Anywho this week we cover some basketball, a little baseball and some football too, when we take on the final winners of the CP3 sweepstakes, the end of an era in Red Sox Nation (I hate that term), the end of God’s reign over the NFL, the sentencing of a steroids cheat and a habitual line-stepper from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Drink up!
Los Angeles Ends Up With Cp3… Sort of
After all the hullabaloo about the Chris Paul fiasco last week (we covered it here), the superstar point guard finally landed in Los Angeles. Did the league finally allow the Lakers to deal for CP3? Nope! The twenty-six year old North Carolina native (along with a couple of 2nd round picks) was traded to the “rival” Los Angeles Clippers. In return the Hornets got C Chris Kaman, F Al-Farouq Aminu, SG extraordinaire Eric Gordon and a first round pick in 2012 (originally from the Timberwolves). In the end, this will probably be a good trade for both teams. The Clippers now have CP3 to form “lob city” with DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, and the Hornets get a dynamic scorer in Gordon, a big body in Aminu, and a Center who could easily put up abut 15 and 10 if he can stay healthy. Is this trade as good as the one that would have brought them Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic? I’m inclined to say no, but it’s not too far away, and they don’t have to take on all those big contracts that the Lakers deal would have brought over. Overall, good deal for Paul, good deal for the Clippers and even a good deal for the league. Now the rich won’t get richer until Paul hits free agency in 2012 (good job David Stern, you’ve done it!)
Jason Varitek… It’s Over, Rock.
Last week, the Boston Red Sox made a seemingly insignificant player acquisition when they picked up catcher Kelly Shoppach (one year, $1.5MM contract) to be their backup behind the dish. While the move might not seem like a game changer, it might be for one man. The move gives the Red Sox two catchers (Saltalamacchia being the other), which probably spells the end of Jason Varitek’s time with the team. The Red Sox have seemingly been trying to get rid of “Tek” for a couple of years. They signed him on December 10th last year, after they basically learned that the Yankees would be beating them out for the services of Russell Martin. I don’t want to get too in depth with this issue, because of a post I have planned for later this week, but this is a big “changing of the guard” for the Red Sox. After absolutely stealing him from the Mariners at the 1997 trade deadline (The Sox gave the M’s reliever Heathcliff Slocum for then minor leaguers Varitek and Derek Lowe), Tek became one of the most popular Red Sox in recent memory, and one of their best catchers ever. His skills on the field and his leadership in the clubhouse made him an easy choice for the captaincy, which he was given in 2005 (just the third Sox captain since 1923). If this truly is the end of the Varitek era, he will be missed. Despite being a hated Red Sox, I respected the way he played the game and kept his mouth shut in the media, and I’ll miss rooting against him this summer.
And on the 7th Week, the Lord Rested
I don’t know about all of you guys, but I actually found myself rooting for Tim Tebow when the Broncos took on the Patriots yesterday afternoon. I couldn’t help myself. First of all, I hate Tom Brady and the Patriots. If a sick little boy in the hospital told Tom Brady the only way he would survive his illness was for the Patriots to win a Super Bowl, I’d still root heavily against them. I was delighted when Tim Tebow ran for a touchdown on the game’s first drive, and again when the Broncos scored again the next time they had the ball. Eventually, the Patriots proved to be a little too much for the Broncos defense. Tebow helped the offense put up 23 points, which is more than they’d scored in four out of the six wins that made up their now exterminated six game winning streak. The difference was that Denver D hadn’t faced Tom Brady yet. So Tim Tebow finally lost, but this doesn’t mean we should forget everything he did the last six weeks. He showed he could make passes in the first quarter and not just the fourth, and I wish him well against the Bills on Christmas Eve.
Barry Bonds Sent Home… For Thirty Days?
If you’re like me, you hate things that linger. It has literally been years since Barry Bonds lied to a grand jury about his usage of performance enhancing drugs. Last week, he was finally sentenced. Many people have expressed outrage at the sentencing. They view it as little more than a slap on the wrists. You know what? They’re right. You know what else? Who gives a shit? At the end of the day, Bonds was given two years probation, thirty days of house arrest, 250 hours of community service and a $4,000 fine. This sentence is right in line with previous sentences given by Judge Susan Illston in similar cases. No one should be annoyed or upset that this is Bonds’ penance. It’s what he deserved for providing evasive testimony to a federal grand jury, which was the crime he was convicted of. He wasn’t convicted on the several counts or purgery he was facing, and should not be punished as if he had been. At the end of the day, Bonds’ legacy is tarnished beyond repair. He will probably never make it to the Hall of Fame despite being the all-time home run leader in major league baseball. Everywhere he goes, people will point and say “that’s the guy that cheated and lied about it to a grand jury!” He’ll never be invited to anything related to the sport he gave his life to (even though he cheated). So much of his personal faults have been made public that he may never even have another friend as long as he lives. Let him pay his money, serve his probation and ride off into irrelevance once and for all.
James Harrison… Take It Easy, Buddy
James Harrison did not play Sunday night against the San Francisco 49ers. The appeal of his one game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet launching style hit last week against Browns QB Colt McCoy, who made headlines himself when it was found that he was allowed to keep playing despite suffering a concussion on the hit, was denied. Naturally, Harrison feels like the league is out to get him and overly sensitive about any hit he makes on any player, simply because he’s been fined for similar play in the past. He thinks he is being unfairly persecuted by league officials and by the Commissioner himself. Boo hoo, James. Anyone who saw the hit against McCoy, as well as pretty much every hit Harrison has ever put on anyone, can tell you that he’s an overly aggressive brute who probably enjoys knocking people out. I have no problem with that attitude. If I were an NFL coach, I would love to have a guy with Harrison’s passion on my team. The problem is that, as you mature and grow as a player, you’re supposed to learn to harness that energy and passion and play the game right so that you don’t end up getting yourself suspended. Getting suspended only serves to hurt the team you play for, and Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin needs to start doing something about Harrison’s rough play, or the league will continue to suspend him. Harrison might be right about being targetted by league officials. He definitely has a bullseye on his back, but it’s only because he keeps hitting people illegally with his helmet! They’re right to focus on him, and they’re right to try to stop him. If he keeps doing it, they’re right to suspend him too! At some point, maybe a three or four game ban may be in order. Everyone likes passionate play, but he’s going to end up really hurting someone, or even himself, with one of these stupid hits. Settle down, James!
Paul image courtesy of: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Varitek image courtesy of: AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Tebow image courtesy of: http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net
Bonds image courtesy of: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Harrison image courtesy of: http://www.minearekool.com/
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