Saturday Morning Coffee

  • As a baseball traditionalist (I'm still raging against the designated hitter which went into effect in the American League before I was born) I am hardly jumping for joy over the wild card adding another team, but I do like the idea of the play-in game.  A one game playoff in baseball is hard to beat for drama (and TV ratings!).  As Jayson Stark at ESPN said, "It's March Madness with bats and balls". 
    • Personally, I would have two leagues, no divisions, and have the two teams with the most wins in each league play in the World Series like they did from 1903 to 1968 (but I am not so naive to know that it will NEVER EVER EVER happen and accept it).  It's great news for the 2012 Red Sox because Tampa Bay and New York are both looking like 90+ win teams again this year.  
  • New Orleans Saints coaches placing bounties on opposing players?  It is just like "Spygate"--everyone did it, but when one team gets caught publicly, everyone is aghast, just SHOCKED and DISMAYED that this behavior is going on.  Like in Casablanca, Major Renault says "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! " and then his winnings are handed to him.  
    • This is as shocking to me as baseball players taking steroids in the 90s.  Yawn.  Give me more mock drafts and free agency rumors, please. 
  • It was nice to see the Celtics beating on the dregs of the NBA, if only to know that this team is .500/barely playoff team and not a hopeless cause destined for a high draft pick in the lottery....wait, this sucks. I've changed my mind. Trade everyone, Danny.  This team is going to get swept out of the playoffs in the first round by Miami or Chicago. Blow it up, get some young players in here and rebuild ASAP.
    • Of course, it's easy to look a the Celtics game last night against the Nets and think "If they click like this, they could put a scare in some teams in the playoffs".  Of course, a 20-10 game from KG and Paul Pierce 10 of 14 from the field are aberrations, not a normal night anymore.  
  • Everton versus QPR this afternoon on Fox Soccer at 5pm. Have to go on "electronic lockdown" so I catch the match semi-live (aka, I don't know what the final score was). The Toffees have moved from relegation fodder and possibly costing David Moyes his job in the first months of the season up to 10th place and only 6 points behind Liverpool (because what really could be more important than beating 'pool?).  The Toffees have more talent than Sunderland and Norwich City and should pass them soon.  Tuesday, 3/13 is the Merseyside versus Liverpool: The Blue wave is peaking in time for the Derby.  Crank up your favorite Beatles tunes and give John Henry, NESN, and his Liverpool boys the working man's salute!
    • Truthfully, there is concern with the Toffees having lost two key cogs recently with Landon Donovan heading back to the states and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov back to Russia.  Losing play-makers always hurts, and QPR should be a good chance to get the offense back in rhythm.  
  • Really liking the trades made by the Bruins at the deadline.  Kept the key prospects like Tuuka Rask and Dougie Hamilton; gave up nothing on the active roster; and some plugs in the line-up for some injured pieces in Boston until the playoffs (and hopefully full health).
    • Brian Rolston can take the empty void left by Mark Recchi's retirement as the veteran forward.  This team is still remarkably young and having a veteran on the bench and in the locker room always helps out for the final stretch and in the playoffs. Recchi was invaluable the last two years, and even if Rolston doesn't have much for the ice, he should be a lift in the clubhouse.
    • Mike Mottau and Greg Zanon are steady, stay-at-home, gritty defensemen.  In the Claude Julian system, the team can never get enough of these guys.  The Bruins need to win close games in the playoffs.  These guys can help.