Spare Neurons - September 21, 2012

by Hal Bent,

Here is where you find the random thoughts, caffeine-fueled rants, "smacking the dashboard and screaming at radio hosts" diatribes, and bizarre observations that pop into my head and, while interesting, need an outlet: 

Darko Milicic in Boston.  How great is that?  The Celtics lured the former #2 overall pick away from Real Madrid (basketball squad, not footy) and now have another back-up big man in the fold joining Chris Wilcox and Jason Collins.   Darko is basically cheap depth and fun to think of as being drafted ahead of Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony. 

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The more I see Daniel Bard blow a game, the madder I get thinking of how the Red Sox "Team" (Cherington? Lucchino? Valentine?) thought switching their best reliever to a starter and managed to destroy six years of turning a lost pitcher to an all-star back into a head case.  The team had Bard's head in the right place, a comfort level where he was the stopper, not pitching the ninth inning with a three run lead and the bottom of the order coming up for a cheap save, but rather coming in the late innings with runners on base and pitching out of a jam against the middle of the line-up.

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Caught the Everton versus Newcastle tilt from Monday on the DVR. What a frustrating match.  Two off-sides against the Toffees wipe goals off the boards (one legitimate, one a terrible call) and a goal by Anichibe not allowed despite it clearly crossing the goal line on a header.  After the injury to Jelavic, the first Newcastle goal by Ba was a case of American Timmy Howard being out of position and then falling on his rear end. He made up for it by making two huge saves later on.  The match looked over when Anichebe got one back in the 87th minute for the good guys in Blue.   However, not a minute later Ba netted an equalizer by catching the defense napping and scraping a bouncing ball past Howard.  A win would have snuck Everton into the top three in the Premiership standings, instead the tie keeps them at 7th.   

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I swear off doing something like this every month at confessional while at church (OK, I don't go to confessional), but again I sin by attacking the Hollywood Sports Guy (fka Boston Sports Guy fka Sports Guy at ESPN/Grantland/Bill Simmons the Godfather of all Sports Blogging), as I was a huge fan (in his pre-ESPN days and when he occasionally writes something these days) and acknowledge that this blog would not exist without him and his trail-blazing ways.  That said, I finally was forced to send him a comment/email this past day. Reading last week's mailbag:

RE: Q: In honor of Mike Trout's night against Tigers I would like to propose the following: If a player hits a home run and steals a home run in the same game, that should be called a "Mike Trout." I would really appreciate your help in popularizing this.— Colin, Wegener, Whittier, CASG: So if you're scoring at home, we now have to keep track of "Roethlisbergers" and "Trouts." 
MY RESPONSE TO HIM: It's been called a "Fred Lynn" my entire life. You shame the entire city of by letting this go without correcting the poor, ignorant Cali sports fan not familiar with why Mike Trout is referred to as "Fred Lynn 2.0" in these parts.

For an alleged Boston Red Sox fan from the 70s and 80s, this is inexcusable.  I have once again expunged from my memory any thought of Simmons as "Boston" anything.

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