Thursday, June 29, 2006

More Draft Stuff

Bill Simmons Draft Diary is up (and guess what? it's better than mine).

Terry Pluto likes the picks.

LeBron and Shannon Brown are best friends

Chad Forde likes what the Cavs did:

Round 1: Shannon Brown, SG, Michigan State (No. 25 overall)

Round 2: Daniel Gibson, PG, Texas (No. 42) Ejike Ugboaja, F, Nigeria (No. 55)

Analysis: When you pick late in the first round, you're usually looking for someone who has a chance to be a rotation player.
When you pick in the second, you're looking for someone with a pulse. I think the Cavs exceeded expectations with both picks.
Brown is going to be a dynamite player, a real steal at No. 26. He has the strength and athleticism of a lottery pick. He's a little undersized, but I think he'll be a great spark plug for the Cavs.
I also like the Gibson pick in Round 2. As a point guard, Gibson is a so-so prospect. But as a scoring two, he could be a Ben Gordon-type player.

Grade: A

Marty Burns thinks the Cavs did well too. He's also saying Brown could be insurance in case Flip Murray leaves (you think?).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

NBA Draft and Tribe Live Blogging

Alright, this is my first ever live blog. I know that its the NBA Draft and Bill Simmons does this every year. I don't want to make it too much like Simmons, so I'll be flipping back and forth with the Indians game.

7:15 - Just got home, turn on ESPN... Rachel Nichols. Lord how I hate her. Now they're talking about the Telfair trade. Man how I wish the Cavs got him; ya I know he doesn't have a jumper, but I could imagine him throwing alley oops to LeBron for the next 12 years. Only the 7 pick, Dickau and LaFrenz for Telfair and Ratliff.

7:30 - David Stern calls Madison Square Garden the home of the Knicks, Liberty and the WNBA All Star Game. Awesome. He also calls the crowd rowdy. I agree. I can't wait til the Bulls pick and the Knick fans go nuts.

7:35 - The Raptors take Andrea Bargnani. What does it say that in 2003 the Raptors got Chris Bosh at 4 and this year take Bargnani first. This is gonna be a long night. The Raptors got a pretty nice front line with Bosh, Bargnani and Villanueva.

7:40 - ESPN shows the details of the Chicago-New York trades; at this point Dan Patrick is just egging the Knick fans on.

7:41 - TRADE!!!!! And what a deal it is. The Bulls are swapping picks with the Blazers (2 and 4) while also recieving Viktor Khryapa and cash (I think) in the deal. The Bulls are drafting LaMarcus Aldridge for the Blazers, while Portlan will select Tyrus Thomas.

7:47 - With all this Brian Colangalo "Phoenix East" let it be known that the Raptors point guard is free agent Mike James.

7:48 - Adam Morrison to the Bobcats. I like the pick, I think he'll work really well for Charlotte. I'm not sure how much 'star power' Morrison has. Greg Anthony is talking about how the Bobcats need to sell tickets. Really, Adam Morrison?

7:51 - "He listens to Metallica when he works out. Metallica is coming to Chi-Town!" Huh? Stu Scott? Morrison was drafted by Charlotte.

7:53 - David Stern: "The Portland Trailblazers select Tyrus Thomas from LSU..."
My Brother: "with three kids"

7:55 - ESPN's Draft crew starts ripping on the Blazers moves. Sure they probably could've just taken Aldridge at 4, but its not like they gave up that much.

7:58 - The Hawks drafted Sheldon Williams. Booooring. Columbus's drive time radio guy called this guy "the next Carlos Boozer" Meh, I guess. Though he also said if the Cavs drafted Dee Brown it'd be the second worse pick in Cavs history with Danny Ferry being the worst. I believe he forgot Trajdon Langdon and Lasanga Diop. Also, Ferry wasn't even drafted by the Cavs. He was drafted by the Clippers, held out, played in Europe for a year and THEN was traded to the Cavs for an allegedly drugged up Ron Harper and 75 draft picks. Sheesh.

8:03 - My brother went out for a quick grocery run, TIVO is on pause.

8:15 - Recapping: Wolves select Brandon Roy. I think Roy could be a good pro, this is one of the safer picks in the draft. Celtics, picking for Portland, take Randy Foye. So Portland traded Telfair to pick up Randy Foye. Um... okay. More guards please.

8:20 - TRADE!!!! Memphis trades Shane Battier to Houston for the number 8 pick, which turns out to be Rudy Gay. Patrick starts making the Villanueva-Gay comparisons, I don't agree, some people think Gay is good but isn't a go-to-guy. Villanueva looked like an asshole who didn't give a shit about anything. Sure, both have questions about effort, but Gay's is more about dominance, Villanueva was more about everything. Why would Houston give up having Rudy Gay as a third option? Houston has an old roster the way it is, they could've brought in Gay and not giving him any pressure to perform right away with McGrady and Yao. I don't get it. Battier is okay, but come on, straight up for Rudy Gay.

8:28 - The Warrios selected Patrick O'Bryant a 7 footer from Bradley. Thats too bad, I was hoping Golden State could take another small forward. Dan Patrick just announced a big trade and immediently went to commerical. Thanks.

8:36 - Thunderstorm in Hudson. Meaning my TV is out, thanks Direct TV. I've been refreshing for some time now and the only trade rumor I'm seeing is Chad Forde's latest KG rumor he pulled out of his ass.

8:40 - The sky is orange, I'm gonna try to take a few pictures.

8:57 - Either ESPN or screwed up my web browser. So I lost a few posts in there. Also, my TV is about to get back to normal, here's what we've missed:
10th - Sonics drafted Mouhamed Saer Sene, is this the guy they were calling the next Mutumbo? He's from Senegal, like Lasagna.
11th - Magic draft JJ Redick. I like the pick for Orlando, give Howard a 3 point threat to go with his low post game and Nelson's pg skills. 11 was about right for Redick to go.
12th - NOOCH selects Hilton Armstrong from UConn. That makes 19 UConn players drafted in the first 12 picks.
13th - Philly takes Thabo Sefolosha a dude from Switzerland. What the hell? The Swiss?
14th - Utah takes Ronnie Brewer from Arkansas.
15th - NOOCH picks Cedric Simmons from NC State. I know Kenny Roda was a big fan of his.

9:06- Still no word on that trade that Dan Patrick mentioned. Also, ESPN's NBA page is now missing Chad Forde's little KG trade box. Not saying anything is up, I'm just saying...

9:09 - While fast forwarding through my recording (paused due to the rain) I found that Portland has traded the rights to Randy Foye to the TWolves for Brandon Roy. Foye. Roy. Confused yet?

9:11 - With their second pick in the draft, number 16, the Chicago Bulls take Rodney Carney from Memphis. TRADE!!! (I fastforwarded past the announcement. Chicago is trading Carney to Philly for Thabo Sefolosha. Patrick mentioned that Carney got his scholarship to Memphis when Qyntl Woods decided to go pro. Good choice by Woods.

9:16 - Stern is just now announcing the Chicago-Portland deal. Not even David Stern can keep up with this. I barely can keep up and I got Tivo (albiet I'm catching up) and the internet. The Pacers took Shawne Williams from Memphis. I believe this is a new spelling of Shawne for me. I haven't seen that 'e' at the end. I think Chone is my favorite though. Chone. Awesome.

9:20 - Washington takes Oleksiy Pecherov. He's from the Ukraine and Patrick makes another World Cup reference. I don't know how many that is thus far, but I'm sick of it. Washington's first ever foreign pick in the first round. "Not a project, but needs a lot of seasoning.... Polish is still needed... he may stay overseas for another year" Thats good. At least he's not a project.

9:26 - 18 picks. Still haven't had a PG drafted, thats good for the Cavs, right? Right? My Super Ex-Girlfriend wow. That looks good. But there was a Air Supply song in the commerical, well done.

9:31 - Quincy Douby from Rutgers. I don't know much about him, but he's 6-3, so does that make him the first PG taken? It seems to be he's more of a combo guard.

9:33 - ESPN is just torturing Knicks fans now. They have a graphic of Isiah's time as GM and it reads like this:
30 months
25 players traded away
5 head coaches
85-133 (39.o win pct.)
and Patrick keeps going about how they are still paying players who are no longer with the team and all this shit. I love it.

9:35 - the pick.... a trade?! Come on Stern, is this a new one? It's the Philly-Chicago deal. I think he just wanted to make the Knicks fans wait more. Renaldo Balkman? Who? He's a 6'6'' forward from South Carolina. On ESPN's draft sheet under "Must Improve" they have "Offensive Skills". Sounds like a good pick. David Stern informed us that Renaldo is not here tonight, Dan Patrick quickly added, "that's probably a good thing". The fans are no pleased. Heh.

9:39 - The Suns are on the clock and Marcus Williams is still on the board. They don't really need a guard. Its the 21st pick, the Cavs are only a few picks away, if they could grab Marcus Williams....

9:40 - TRADE!!! Kinda? The Celtics are offering to pay the Suns to take Brian Grant off their hands for the 21st pick. So the Suns get cap relief and the Celtics looks to take Rajon Rondo. Patrick says he counts as the first PG taken in the draft.

9:44 - New Jersey is up at 22 and they take Marcus Williams. Dammit. I was hopin he'd fall to 25. Damn, I wish Ferry could've made a move up. "The best passer in the draft" Dammit!

9:48 - flip over to the Indians game, top of the 7th, 2 outs, Cleveland down 3-1. They're goin for the sweep, if they swept the Cardinals... I don't even know at this point. Is the NL that bad? The Tribe has played like shit, I though the Cardinals were supposed to contend for the NL Pennant. There's a giant meeting on the mound, the trainer, La Russa, the infield "looks like a cramp in the arm". Rick Manning is on it. Chris Carpenter is the pitcher by the way. It's rough when the pitching doesn't suck that the Indians only get 1 run. Nice guys, but when the pitching blows you decide to lose 12-8. Ugh.

9:50 - New Jersey had back to back picks at 22 and 23 and they took two UConn guys. Josh Boone was selected at 23. Doesn't have a lot of size, but he should help New Jersey's awesome front line.

9:54 - The Grizzlies select Kyle Lowry from Nova. Blah blah blah the Cavs are up next.

10:00 - Patrick just said that "Portland has been involved in a couple blockbusters" really, blockbuster? Right.

10:02 - The pick: Shannon Brown from Michigan State. Yes! Good pick. A scorer and can play a little point too. Anthony thinks he can start! Start? Over Snow? I guess.

10:04 - ESPN goes straight to the Lakers. Thanks guys. Good analysis. Jim Gray is in LA. I hate that douchebag. Does anyone like Jim Gray? Does Jim Gray like Jim Gray? More Cavs please.

10:07 -Good bye Flip Murray!

10:09 - Lakers take Jordan Farmar. I think he looks like my old high school buddy Chip Hemphill. Also, kinda looks like a hobbit. So he's hobbit Chip. Anthony thinks he can start for them, I guess he's never seen Smush Parker play. Bilas says Famar is okay, but is no Marcus Williams, I think he's just trying to piss off teams who passed on Williams, mostly the Celtics, Pacers and Knicks.

10:11 - Belliard slaps a double to right field, moves Sizemore to 3rd. A base hit here ties it. Peralta is up, lets hope he gets a single for the Tribes sake and for my fantasy team, The Sosa Palmiero All-Stars.

10:13 - Peralta strikes out. Damn. Pitching change. *Pause*

10:15 - TRADE!!!! Another Portland trade. What the hell is goin on here. How can Portland make like 10 trades in one night and still manage to have Darius Miles on their team? I don't get it. This trade is with the Suns (who've made 2 moves tonight as well); the Blazers get the 27th pick, which is Sergio Rodriguez and the Suns recieve cash. Nice. So the Suns make two moves and manage to get no players. Um? Alright.

10:18 - Behold the power of Tivo! I can fast forward through Jim Gray interviewing Mitch Kupchak. Dallas takes Maurice Ager from Michigan State. I like the pick, Dallas adds the leading scorer from the Big Ten. Wouldn't you want to pick up guys like Ager and Famar instead of the risks? I'll throw Shannon Brown in there, everyone on ESPN's crew think these 3 are going to succeed in the NBA. Sure, no one is saying they'll be All-Stars, but all these guys look like their going to play big minutes on playoff teams. Will Patrick O'Bryant get big minutes on the Warriors? Who knows. *PAUSE*

10:24 - Back to baseball. Victor Martinez is up, who is also a member of the Sosa Palmiero All-Stars. This is pretty much the game right here, if Victor or Broussard (or Hafner) get these guys home, we got a ball game. If the heart of the order falls through? Game over. Lets watch.

10:26 - 0-2 count. Victor got it back to 2-2 and got a swinging bunt. The ball takes a crazy hop and everyone is safe! One run in, guys at first and third with 1 out. The DP is still in play, but so is the sac fly. Pitching change... La Russa is bringin in Izzy. *PAUSE*

10:30 - The Knicks are up again, oh goody. "Balkman is good, Isiah's a bum". Heh. The Knicks take Marty Collins. Spike Lee just looks bored. Bilas: well, it's not a bad pick. I think that's the best news Knicks fans have heard all night. "It's not a bad pick." Portland has got back to back picks coming up, Jesus, how many picks do they have tonight? Wait, I have the internet, I'll brb.

10:37 - Izzy walks Hafner. Todd Hollandsworth promptly flies out... wait... David Eckstein hustles and hustles and drops the ball, everyone is safe, tie game!! Aaron Boone comes in and gets a sac fly, Tribe up 4-3. *PHONE CALL*

10:55 - *Phone call over* So Portland got LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Sergio Rodriguez, Joel Freeland (with the 30th and final first round pick). 4 picks in the first round and the first pick in the second. 5 Rookies for Portland. That is awesome. I just hope Darius Miles and Zack Randolph take them under their respective wings. (They took James White with the first pick in the second round.)

11:00 - Tivo has just fucked me over. Two program started started recording at 11. Dammit, I lost all my saved time on the draft and Indians games. Oh well. FYI, Al Gore is on the Daily Show tonight, just a little fyi. The Cavs are on the clock at 42.

11:05 - I dislike ESPN's draft tracker.

11:06 - I really have no clue who they would want here, I wouldn't mind getting Jerry Mcnamara in the 2nd round, but I dunno if 42 is too high or not. Also, Tribe is going to the bottom of the nineth with the lead, I bet Wickman lets at least one guy on, though no one scores. I'm calling a punch out with a man on third to end it.

11:07 - Daniel Gibson, PG from Texas. Really? I thought he was a guy they were lookin at for the 25th pick. Chad Forde said the Cavs were looking at him at 25. Nice.

11:16 - Not nice, Wickman blew the save. Game over.

11:45 - Ejike Ugboaja? I can't find any info on this guy, anyone? Here's what Chade Forde has got:
"Ugboaja is a raw big man from Nigeria who is a long way away. But he has athleticism and size." He doesn't even have a height, just weight, 225.

12:00 - It's been about 5 hours of good times. The by all acounts (me and Chad Forde) it looks like the Cavs had a good draft. By those same accounts it looks like the Knicks didn't. There were roughly 92 trades made tonight, with more than half involving the Trailblazers. The Indians came back from behind late, and gave it away later- nice boys, thats a new way to lose one. And the Cavs drafted a player so obscure ESPN doesn't even have a height listed for him. Awesome.

Hope you all enjoyed my first live blog. I can't wait to see how people grade the Cavs draft tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Over the past few weeks I haven't posted as regularly as I would've liked for a number of reasons.

A) end of the Cavs season
B) laziness
C) a crazy hectic schedule (back and forth from Columbus to Hudson, a weekend a Bonnaroo and lots of visitors)
D) shitty Tribe season
E) intense studying for the GRE (kinda)
F) laziness

anyways, hopefully I'll be back to regular, daily updates and such

News and Notes:

I haven't comented on the NBA draft because A) I have no clue who any team will draft, let alone the Cavs at 25 and B) I'm pretty sure no one does either. I've heard rumors that the Cavs may go after Reddick (what?!) and all sorts of trades. Who knows. What I do know is that I plan on venturing into live blogging for the first time tomorrow evening. That's right, I'm going to live blog the NBA draft. I'm excited.

Speaking of venturing, I just picked up the Venture Bros. DVD and let me tell you: this show is amazing. It's a take off of the old Hanna Barbara cartoons (most notably Johnny Quest) with elements of comics, sci fi novels, Flash Gordon, James Bond and a whole lot more- and it's hilarious. I highly recommend the DVD. Season 2 just started on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim (if you missed the season opener, it's playing at 12:30 on June 30th). Venture Bros. is brilliantly written and, unlike most Adult Swim shows, beautifully drawn. I can't suggest this enough.

Finally, I recommend checking out the new albums by Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen, Surprise and We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions respectively. I won't go too deep into the reviews (I mean, do I really have to expound on Simon and Springsteen?) but Simon's lyics can seem trite a times, but the whole album has a really nice sound. The songs are really good and I liked Brian Eno's production more than I thought I would.

I caught Springsteen on Conan last Friday and I was blown away. I was captivated by the band Bruce had constructed and I just sat and watched them perform with a big stupid grin on my face. I can't say enough about the Conan performances, Bring 'Em Home was subtly powerful while Pay Me My Money Down just looks like a blast. I'm seriously, I would give my left arm to play in a group like that, just for a day, I mean, damn, that looks fun.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Random Tribe Thoughts

Roger Brown has a list of guys who the Indians say might be on the block if the season doesn't rebound soon (he also basically calls the team a bunch of assholes later on in the column, thanks Roger).

Now, putting aside Brown's ability to make shit up, this is kinda interesting.

I had always thought about Boone and Belliard as the most likely to be traded, but Wickman could/should net the Tribe a decent amount of talent. Eduardo Perez has been playing well all year, and I hadn't even thought about the Tribe dumping him, but it makes sense.

Brown goes on to add that the Indians aren't looking to move Paul Byrd. Brown doesn't say why Byrd wouldn't be on the block (again, this is Roger Brown, who knows if this is true) but I'm not sure he's right when he says Bryd could net more than any of the other veterans.

I'm not ready to give up on the season yet, though I think they need another shakeup besides losing Jason Johnson. I'm not sure if firing Wedge is the answer, but I wouldn't be totally opposed to it.

There are a few things I'd like to address: The cheap Dolans and the Brandon Phillips trade.

Dolans: Yes, they are cheap. And yes if Shapiro could've spent more money on the bullpen (Howry anyone? Rhodes?) then maybe the Tribe wouldn't be in the mess they are in now. But since the talk of Wedge's job has been coming up, I've heard another new wrinkle to the "Dolan cheap" talk: The Tribe's inability to get Jim Leyland. What the hell? Jim Leyland? I know he's got the Tigers playing out of their mind this year, but come on, no Tribe fan really thought bringing in a retread manager was really going to do a whole lot, right? Some how we've gotten to the point that the Dolans are so cheap that they wouldn't sign Jim Leyland. Never mind that Eric Wedge did well last year and was in no way on the hot seat. Or that Jim Leyland signing with Detroit was looked at another lame move by the Tigers. Sure he may have lit a fire under some of their asses, but come on, this guy has a sub-500 overall record. It's not like people were beating down his door.

The Tribe's problems are mostly their bullpen and bad luck (aka when the team hits, they don't pitch and when the team pitches well, they don't hit. They are never on the same page). Could the Tribe have spent more money on the pen? Yes. But all this bitching about trading Coco and Phillips bugs the shit out of me. Marte is hitting his ass off in AAA Buffalo and looks like the real deal. Jason Michaels (Coco's replacement) isn't exactly a problem they need to address.

As for this Phillips nonsense... The PD had a nice story on the trade and how Cinci's execs are saying how they didn't know something everyone else didn't, they just thought he needed a change of scenery. Look, he didn't play his first 10 days there. Did anyone really think that Brandon Phillips was the answer here in Cleveland? Sure it would've been nice to give him one last look, but he didn't show signs that he could be doing this everyday. I firmly believe that if we would've kept Phillips he'd A) be on our bench cause both Ronnie and Peralta aren't hurt and B) he wouldn't be hitting that well (be it for lack of playing time or other factors).

Plain and simple, he needed to get out of here. Would it have been nice for the Tribe to get something more for him? Sure. But come on, it's not like this guy was a can't miss prospect anymore. He missed. And then had work issues.

Can we lay off this Phillips and Jim Leyland talk please? These were our seasons saviors? Really?


this sure sounds like a guy who can't wait to get the hell out of here

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Video Evidence

In my previous post, I mentioned a couple fouls that went Miami's (and more specifically Dwyane Wade's) way.

While this doesn't show any of Mourning's calls, this does have the video of a lot of Wade's phantom fouls.

Notso Random Game 6 Thoughts

I want to start off with this:

I am a Cavs fan, I am a fan of neither the Heat nor the Mavs.

I picked Dallas to win this series (and even thought they could sweep it after Game 2).

I did not see Game 5. At all.

Miami won Game 6 on their own.

Dallas played poorly in Game 6.

I ended up rooting for Dallas in this series (more on this later).

The NBA did not rig this game or series (and while I'm not saying they did, I can understand how someone may think so).


Now, that being said there were a few calls (and non calls) that stood out to me. Now, I may sound like a bitter Dallas fan, and maybe for this series I was. But here are some of the bullshit calls I believe I saw:

Wade's first free throws of the game. These came off a jumpshot late in the first quarter. Dallas played off and Wade slipped when he landed and fell. And though no one was near him (or touched him) he got to the line.

Later on (I believe still the first quarter) Wade drove right into Devin Harris. Hubie Brown even said that Harris has a legitimate gripe here. Wade drove into him and elbowed him in the face.

In the second (again, I think) Wade drove and Marquies Daniels played off of him and let him shoot. Brown said it was a ticky-tack call, but I didn't see anything.

Alonzo Mourning goal tended a shot by Dampier in the third quarter. It wasn't even close.

In the third Josh Howard drove the ball and got bumped pretty damn hard (no call, but not too bad) and Mourning blocked the shot. The ball bounced off Howard and then Wade and proceeded to go out of bounds. Somehow it was Miami ball. There could've been a foul call on the shot (a lot of contact), and I'm not saying there should've been, I just know there would've been if it was Wade driving and Diop blocking.

Daniels got a break away dunk and Mourning smacked him on the head, no call. Smacked him on the head.

There was a loose ball foul called on Daniels off a rebound (I think, it might have been Howard) and Wade just jumped up and flailed his arms. Daniels wasn't close to pushing him. My TIVO replay looked clean, but ABC didn't show a replay at all.

At the end of the third quarter, Shaq missed a free throw and Mourning got a loose ball foul. By all replays it looked like he fouled Dirk. But Eric Dampier somehow shot the free throws. He missed one.

Late in the fourth, Gary Payton travelled at the three point line. Moved his pivot foot by taking a step with it. No call (Antoine Walker ended up missing a 3) but Dallas messed up their next possesion. This wasn't even close.

After a Miami miss in the fourth, Terry was wacked bringing the ball up. He eventually lost it and James Posey got it but double dribbled (I couldn't really see the double-dribble, I assume this was a make up call).

Mourning seemed to be holding Dirk all game long. Dirk took a lot of contact around the hoop all game as well.

Late in the fourth Dwayne Wade drove on the sideline and shoved his first/fore arm into Dirk. Foul on Dirk. What?! Bullshit.


Maybe I since I was rooting for Dallas, I saw some of these differently, but I don't really think so. Wade shot 21 free throws for the game, Dallas shot 23. This is after a game that Dallas and Wade each shot 25.

And the reason I was rooting for Dallas? ABC and ESPN. Back in the day when Jordan played I hated him. Why? Because whenever the Cavs would beat the Bulls, the story wasn't how good Mark Price and the Cavs were, it was still about Jordan. It was never "Cavs win" it was "Bulls lose".

ABC pulls the same crap happens every year too. It used to be the Lakers, this time it was the Heat. They seem to focus on one team over another. And I usually end up rooting for the other team just because of it. I'm sorry, I just do.

Tonight we had 2 or 3 'inside the huddle' mics, and they were all Miami, I watched all of the game and I don't remember any mic'd Dallas timeouts. Today on ESPN we had a "Is Wade Michael Jordan?" segment, just a tad early on that one guys (so is all the LeBron shit too). We had a Shaq and Superman commerical. At half time we had a segment on Pat Riley's motivational skills.

So I was a bit sick of Miami.


Now, did Dallas deserve to win this game? No. Late in the second half when Dallas had a 10 point lead and the Heat went on a 7-0 and eventually took the lead. How did that run start?

Dallas called a timeout with 2:45 left and while they were running their SET PLAY OFF A TIMEOUT Eric Dampier got a 3 second violation. Dumb ass.

Dallas shot too many threes.

Josh Howard played like shit on offense, often times forcing his shots.

I didn't count how many times Dallas brought the ball down and put up a jumpshot without making one pass. Awful, run the offense.

Dirk took something like 4 shots in the fourth quarter. Unacceptable. Was it all his fault? No, he made some good passes out of double teams and Miami played him well. But come on, a Dick and Dampier pick and roll (where Dampier lost a pass that hit him right in the hands)? Come on.

Speaking of the Dirk-Dampier play, why was Erica even out there in the first place? Why not have your best 5 offensive weapons out there?

Dallas gave up two huge offensive rebounds late in the game. One went to Wade (he got fouled and made the free throws) and one went to Haslem (he made the put back). Inexcusable. Both guys came from outside the key untouched. Awful.

Why didn't Dirk get that last shot? Sure it was a free for all at the end, but come on. If you're down three and your 7-foot unblockable German franchise player isn't taking the game-tying, when will he? I know Terry got a good look and was clutch all series, but you think Jordan is letting Pippen shoot that one?


Other random thoughts:

Dear ABC, I hate the skycam more than I hate anything else in the world. Stop it. Please.

I'm just happy Jason Kapono won a ring.

I already hated it when Wilbon would bring out that "Wade won a playoff series before LeBron bullshit" and I'm already mad about future "Wade won a championship before LeBron" arguments.

(For the record, here's my rebuttal: Wade had Lamar Odom and Caron Butler for his first season, much better than Ricky Davis and Darius Miles, they made the playoffs with a sub-.500 record and beat a crappy Hornet team. For the longer playoff runs, he had Shaq and now Alonzo Mourning, Antoine Walker, Gary Payton and Jason Williams. That's one, maybe two Hall of Fame centers (though both are aging), a former All-Star 20 point scorer, a Hall of Fame point guard coming off the bench at the end of his career and a starting point guard who A) is pass first and B) can shoot 3s. Oh yea, and he has a Hall of Fame coach. Compare that roster to LeBron's and it's no contest. The Cavs start Eric Snow (who can't shoot) and bring Damon Jones off the bench (who can't do anything but shoot). Right, Wade would be doing just as well in Cleveland.

Speaking of LeBron vs Wade stuff... Everyone talks about LeBron leaving Cleveland, but I never hear anyone talk about Wade leaving Miami. Why should he re-sign there? Mourning will retire soon (if not in a week), same with Gary Payton. How much more does Shaq have? A year? Two years? He was barely effective this series, how will he be in a year? How about Riley? He's pretty old himself and has already retired once. How much more does he got? So Wade will re-sign because of Jason Williams, James Posey and Antoine Walker? Awesome. And they aren't exactly that young either.

I've said this about Kobe and I'll say the same thing about Wade: They are not Michael Jordan. Sure they've won championships before Jordan. But come on. They both had Shaq. Let's say when Jordan came into the league he had Moses Malone. How would that have worked out? You think he still would've struggled against Detroit and Boston? Please.

I bet ABC and ESPN breathed a sigh of relief when Terry missed that final shot. They would've had to run some "Wade choked" stories the next few days (because make no mistake, Wade choked on those two and Dallas shouldn't of even had a chance). They just spent the last couple days comparing Wade to Jordan; if his misses would've cost Miami that game (or even the series), it would've been all for naught.


Finally, it was a good playoffs for the NBA. They got a ton of exciting series, they got a new start win a championship, they got Riley, Shaq, GP and Zo a championship and they got fine Mark Cuban a ton of money. Good 5 month playoff run for them.

I know some people will call bullshit on these last few games. And they are kind of right. I didn't see any of game 5 but I heard there were a few phantom calls and Stackhouse was suspended. The Stackhouse suspension I disagree with (he fouled Shaq hard to make him shoot free throws in a playoff game. Miami was also showboating a tiny bit by giving Shaq a monster dunk there. Stack made the right play.) Even if you think it was a hard foul, how can you suspend him for that. How can Reggie Evans grab Chris Kamans nuts and get fined but Stackhouse gets suspended for a hard foul?

But I'm not saying that the NBA rigged the series or that they wanted Miami to win (though they've might've wanted the latter). Dallas didn't play welll enough to win this game tonight. Plain and simple. I didn't see game 5 at all, so I can't coment on that, but Dallas had their shot tonight and blew it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Sorry for the lack of updates the past few days, I've been busy getting ready for this.

We're leaving tonight, so don't expect any postings during the weekend (it pains me to miss NBA Finals games), but there will be a weekend/band review afterwards, so look forward to that.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Roger Brown

Want another reason to dislike the dude?

He thinks Joe Morgan is the best analyst in baseball:

Joe Morgan of ESPN easily is baseball's best game analyst, and here's just the latest evidence why. When New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez was charged with an undeserved error during a recent game against Boston - and by the Yankees' official scorekeeper, no less - an annoyed Morgan raged that no other big-league third baseman would have received a similar call. And Morgan declared Rodriguez made a mistake years ago by joining New York - a city that's never truly embraced him or his play. Now, that's solid, tough and candid analysis. Morgan also handled Sunday night's Indians-White Sox national telecast. (Fittingly, the Indians visit New York for a series beginning Tuesday.)

Personally, I hate Joe Morgan. It seems to me he always finds a way to bring the discussion back to his playing days. Like really, Joe, you played at one point? For the Reds? Ya don't say. Also, he gives us little gems of wisdom like this: "the second baseman's job is to cover second base" (this came from the Tribe's recent appearence on Sunday Night Baseball- not last nights, the Angels game). Best analyst my ass.

For more Joe Morgan hating turn your browser over here: Fire Joe Morgan.

Game 2 Thoughts

Dallas looks pretty good. I think they can sweep this thing.

5 shots for Shaq? After spending two days talking about how Shaq needs more than 11 shots, they get him less than half that? What the hell?

Late 90's "stars" playing are well. Both Stackhouse and Walker were looked as leaders or stars of the NBA in the late 90's early 00's, and both were kind of underwhelming. Walker was Employee Number 8 and Stackhouse was one of the many Jr. Jordan's, as well as Allen Iverson's first of many failed sidekicks. But now they are both contributing on teams in the finals as role players. Kinda intersting.

Having Stack off the bench is sweet. Stackhouse has kinda fit into his role as instant offense off the bench (and what a weapon that is). I mean, Dallas can basically bring an All-NBA scorer off their bench. Pretty damn nice. I've said it before, but Dallas just looks too deep and too quick for the Heat. Reportedly he'd rather be starting, but props to him for not making a big deal out of it (though, winning does cure everything).

Antoine Walker may be the most frustrating player to watch in the NBA. The Heat made a nice little run at the end with Walker on the court. And guess what, he wasn't shooting threes. He posted up (a little) but he took the ball inside. Wow, what a concept. When Walker parks his big ass in the lane he is hugely effective. He has the size to muscle to the hoop, but also has the quickness to get around guys. He also has great vision and skills. Which is why it is maddening when he sits outside the three point line and jacks 'em up all night. We can all see how talented he is, he just doesn't maximize his skills.

Like I said, Dallas is just too deep. They can send 3 7 footers at Shaq and any number of guys at Wade. Miami has shot poorly at the line, so Dallas doesn't have to worry about foul troubles. Devin Harris played great ball denial defense on Wade tonight. Harris is so quick that he can actually stick with Wade on the perimeter.

5 shots!?!?! Sorry, I'm still not over this. What in the name of Bimbo Coles is going on? I didn't think Shaq was this done. But damn.

Former Cavaliers! There was a Derek Anderson siting! Sure it was just on an ABC promo, but still. I don't think he's played yet. Neither has Jason Kapono and I haven't seen much of Michael Doleac. How the hell is Diop the most productive one out of this group.

They Won?

God damn, even when the Tribe wins you're left feeling sick to your stomach. Six in the 9th? Come on fellas.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Congrats to Graduates

Gilmore, Spiker, Chad and some Troy Smith character.

Swerbs Blurbs

I've just been hired? recruited? bribed? to write for the Cleveland sports fan website Swerbs Blurbs. They are a great one stop shop for Cleveland sports, I'm excited about this. For my virgin post they are fearturing my column/post on Z being traded.

Roger Brown Agrees with Me


Once you get past the opening paragraphs ripping on Peralta (a second year player!? lay off!) Brown discusses reasons why the Cavs won't trade Z:

Should it really surprise anyone that Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry is strongly denying talk that center Zydrunas Ilgauskas is trade bait? Or that Ferry keeps insisting Z remains among the NBA's best centers? Look, overall, we applaud Ferry's work as a rookie GM last season: His February trade for Flip Murray, for example, was among the NBA's best moves, period. But when it comes to Ilgauskas, a longtime pal and former teammate, Ferry clearly has a stubborn blind spot - whether it's giving Ilgauskas too much money and too many years in an outrageous free-agent deal last summer to defending Z's sluggish play during the recent playoffs. That blind spot won't go away anytime soon.

Z staying, part 2:

Here's another reason the Cavs won't be getting rid of Ilgauskas for a while: It's becoming quite obvious Martynas Andriuskevicius, the much-hyped center prospect acquired last year, is nowhere close to being a credible NBA big man (much less a realistic second option to Z). Andriuskevicius played in the NBA's developmental league last year, and didn't wow too many folks.

Look, I've made this point before, if you trade Z (which I'm not totally opposed to) you need to have another option in the post. The Cavs don't. Plus, Z is above average. Sure he's slow and not as physical as some would like; but come on, he doesn't suck. So yeah, Brown agrees with me, saying he doubts the Cavs will trade Z. But when he says it, he rips on 2 Cavalier players and their GM.

(also, Marty was 'much-hyped'? Really? I thought the Cavs were happy getting a decent project in the second round, not exactly 'hyped'. Darko was 'much-hyped'. LeBron was 'much-hyped', Martynas Andriuskevicius was not 'much-hyped')

Well done Roger.

Sports Stuff

Hey, is Dallas in this series? After watching a lot of Sports Center and NBA Nation? Fast Break? I dunno what ESPN's basketball show is called, it was all Heat, all the time.

Now, I didn't watch yesterday, ESPN could've been all Dallas yesterday for all I know (though I doubt it). And true, Miami lost, so they need to make adjustments, so that'll get some stories/air play.

But if I'm Miami, I'd be a bit worried.

They started off as hot as they possibly could. They shot 70%(!) in the first period. 70!! That is absurd. 70%! 70%!!!!!

Antoine Walker had the game of his dreams. Shot 9 threes, had 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Shaq got only 11 shots. Miami needs to get the ball to him more, but he did shoot 9 free throws (making one(!)), meaning Dallas fouled him 5 times, so lets say closer to 16 shots (which still isn't good).

Wade is sick. I'm sick of this shit, can Wade make it though a whole season please? I'm just sick of excuses at this point. I know you can't really blame Wade for this, but still, last year he got hurt vs the Pistons and now he's taking medication for the dreaded flu-like symptoms.

Dirk had a bad game. Dirk shot 4-14, at home, and Dallas still won pretty convincingly. And I know that Jason Terry played out of his mind, but still, all season Miami has had trouble stopping scoring guards, what makes anyone think they'll stop Terry now? Anyways, I doubt Dirk will have back to back poor shooting games.

Miami had a good shot. 70% from the field the first quarter, Antoine Walker not sucking and Dirk shooting poorly and they lost by 10. If they were going to steal a game, that was it. I'm not saying they can't do it tomorrow, I just don't know if they can.

Dallas is deep. Really deep. Really, really deep. Jerry Stackhouse would be starting for almost any team in this league; he once averaged 29 in a season. He's coming off Dallas's bench. Same with Dampier (while not as good) would still start for most teams in this league.

Dallas looks damn good. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself here. But I have this feeling that Dallas could sweep this series. I also have this feeling if Miami wins this, there will be a giant sigh of relief and there will be a mass retirement ceremony in South Beach. I just think that the Heat are holding on here; that Dallas is just the better team. I dunno, I could be wrong (and I have been before) but Miami looks tired out there.


Some baseball thoughts.

God damn Indians! They had a shot to take 2 from Chicago and get back into this division race. But no. They should've won the series vs LAAAAAA and Oakland. But instead they lost it. They need to start winning some of these games.

The bullpen sucks. Most Indians fans will blame Wickman for this loss, and maybe they're right. But Wickman has been great all year; this was his first blown save and it just came at a bad time (not that there's a good time). And while Wickman gave away the game in extra innings, the pen gave up the lead late in the game for second day in a row.

Victor looks to be coming around. A run scoring single? Yes. Two home runs? Thank you very much (my fantasy team thanks you as well).

How long does Wedge have? Not that this is all his fault, but its looking more and more like Wedge may not finish the year here. Should Mark Shapiro have given the bullpen more help? Yes. But something is going to give here pretty soon.

The Diamondback are saying to won't pay the rest of Grimsley's salary. I'm pretty sure this isn't legal. As far as I know Grimsley hasn't failed any drug tests or broken any of baseballs rules. He's broken the law and he's made some bad PR, but I'm pretty sure they still have to pay the dude.

About My Music Reviews

If you've noticed, I seem to review CDs that A) I really like or B) are really important to me. Trust me, there are CDs out there that I didn't care for. I can think of two off the top of my head:

Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah


Panic! at the Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out.

The way I write my reviews (song by song recaps), it takes awhile and I have to listen to these songs a lot. Which is fine when I like the CDs. But if I don't care for 'em... not as fun. The CD's above are both from bands that are pretty well hyped. I didn't care for 'em. Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah just seemed boring to me, while A Fever You Can't Sweat Out really seemed over produced and too 'electronic' and 'protools'. Just too over produced for me.

So if it seems like I only review CD's I really like... well... you are correct sir.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soliders

I like the White Stripes a lot, not as much as some people out there, but I do own most of their CDs. I enjoy how Jack White (who is the main performer of the group, seriously Meg is the Ringo of the White Stripes) can jump around musically; from a hard rock blast to a bluegrass jamboree over the course of an album; just remarkable.

Brenden Benson is also pretty good. I'm not as familiar with him as I am the White Stripes, but I do like Alternative to Love, his third disc. He is more of a power pop guy, 60's and 70's AM sunny pop. (I use the term pop music here as sunny, happy, fun music. Not Backstreet Boys, Lindsey Lohan pop.)

Why am I mentioning Benson and White? They are the two lead singers of the Raconteurs. Benson and White have known each other for years, both having grown up in the Detroit music scene. The band started when Benson had music for the song that eventually became "Steady as She Goes" and asked White to help write the lyrics. After a few sessions with Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler (the rhythm section from the Greenhornes, who also played with White on Lorreta Lynn's latest) (I'm not really familiar with the Greenhorns, but I am in the process of checking them out) the Raconteurs were born. They cut an album whenever the four of them could get in the same city and the result was Broken Boy Soliders.

The Racontuers - Broken Boy Soliders.

The opening track is the aforementioned "Steady as She Goes". This song just plain rocks; this is their first single and is (right now anyways) is their big hit. If you listen to one song out of this review (hopefully you'll listen to the whole album) let it be "Steady as She Goes". I love the guitar riff and the bassline reminds me a lot of Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him" (which isn't a bad thing).

The second track, "Hands", is the most "White Stripe-ish" song on the album. It is a straight up rocker, pretty good, but nothing special.

I really like the third track, "Broken Boy Soliders" which is the title track. I really enjoy the beginning, I believe it's a mandolin that is playing and I just love the lick it blasts right through (though it could be a guitar). The song has some nice grooves and White voice is perfect for the song. Sometimes it can be difficult to decifer which singer is doing the singing, White or Benson (not here though), either way, it is good. This is one of my favorite tracks on the CD.

Track four is "Intimate Secretary" and starts off with almost a middle eastern type drone. But the song breaks though the drone with some fun lyrics and a fuzzy organ sound. Fun lyric sample: "I got a rabbit, it likes to hop/I got a girl, and she likes to shop/The other foot looks like it won't drop/I had an uncle but he got shot" - does it makes sense? Not really, but it is fun. Plus the whole time White is running up and down the key board. Fun stuff. I recomend.

This is followed "Together", which sounds more like a Benson ballad. I really enjoy the chorus on this one; there is some nice call and response with Benson and White. Actually, scratch that, I really enjoy the whole track. The lyrics are nice here too: "You want everything to be just like/The stories that you read, but never write/You gotta learn to live, and live and learn/You gotta learn to give and wait your turn/Or get burned". Come on, tell me that isn't sweet.

"Level" follows "Together" and starts off with a kinda weird and 'outer spacey' sound. But the chugging guitars come, rockin hard. I like this track, the guitar solo is pretty badass. Is itthe highlight of the CD? No. But it is a pretty decent song at worst.

The next track, "Store Bought Bones" is also a bit "White Stripe-ish". It is heavier than most of the track on the album, the organ is really prevelent here, which is pretty sweet. The chorus is cool, with most of the band singing/shouting. The guitar solos here are awesome as well. A good song.

My favorite track is next, "Yellow Sun". I played this song for my friend Danielle, before she knew anything abou the band and she said "Yellow Sun":"'sounds like a mix of the Beatles and the White Stripes". It is an accoustic ballad type, but with some really sunny organ playing. Just a fun song overall, this is one of the gems on the album.

"Call it a Day" is next; it's another slow song, not as soft as "Yellow Sun" but I could've imagined this ending the album. Not that I'm complaining, I enjoy the closer as well. "Call it a Day" has some great harmonies in the background. This is a song I could see people holding lighters to in concert.

The actual closer is "Blue Veins". It starts off with some backward guitar parts, very Revolver Beatles style. I believe (I could be wrong) that this is the only song with actual piano on it (as opposed to organ). "Blue Veins" sounds like something you'd hear on Dark Side of the Moon. Just the way it's structured and how the it sound sonically. Despite what I said about "Call it a Day", I can totally see why they would close the album with "Blue Veins". What a song....

10 tracks thats it. Only 10, about a half hour of music. Again, I've stated before that I enjoy long albums, and 10 track and 30 minutes is pretty short. But, again, after Babyshambles rambling debut, I'd prefer a concise 10 track CD to a sloppy 16 track one. Who knows how long this 21st century super group will last, but this 10 track album is a delight.

Track Highlights: "Steady as She Goes", "Broken Boy Soliders", "Intimate Secretary", "Together", "Call it a Day" and "Blue Veins".

Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

The Arctic Monkeys are one of the more hyped British bands of recent memory. Their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, was the fastest selling debut album ever in the UK. I had read a lot of reviews saying how good these guys are (and mostly just talking about how hyped and big they are in Britain), and after seeing them on SNL I decided check them out.

I am glad I did.

After listening to (and being a little disapointed by) Babyshambles Down in Albion, hearing the Arctic Monkeys was a revalation. I wanted more Libertine-type music, and while Babyshambles was okay in their own right, they weren't as upbeat and 'rockin' as I was looking for. The Arctic Monkeys were.

Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.

The album opens with "The View from the Afternoon". This is a great opener, it rocks, it gets your attention and it kicks ass. The guitar parts are particularly fun; angular parts that remind me a lot of Franz Ferdinand, except not as "club-like".

The second track, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" just plain rocks. This song has been all over the radio and it their "big hit" at the moment. The guitars chug along, then speed up and the song just rolls on the from their. It is 3 minutes of fury; some nice little call and response parts, a nice baseline and sweet drumming.

"Fake Tales Of San Francisco" follows up "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor." It immediately slows down a bit. More determined and forceful; it knows where its going. As the song grows, the music gets heavier and louder; layers are added and added until they get to one of my favorite parts of the whole album: the entire band singing together. It just rocks.

Track four is "Dancing Shoes" is a rolicking song as well (I'm not gonna lie, I like almost all of the songs on the album). "Dancing Shoes" jumps from slow(ish) and soft(ish) to loud and rocking really quickly with the help of pounding guitars. The next song, "You Probably Couldn't See The Lights But You Were Looking Straight At Me" brings back more of the angular guitars. A lot of the band is singing on this one, which is barely over 2 minutes. There is some stop time (where the music stops and either a singer or a single instrument is playing by them/itself). This effect works really well.

"Still Take You Home" starts off hard and heavy, and then gets into a nice groove. The guitar solo is pretty sweet on this one, and the band has some fun nonsensical lyrics (which I always love). (I believe I'm using nonsensical right, words like "la di di da" and stuff, but forgive me if I'm not). Anyways, this song is one of my favs.

The next track, "Riot Van" is more of a ballad. It's a slow little song about underage drinking with some of my favorite lyrics on the entire album: "have you been drinking son/you don't look old enough to me/I'm sorry officer, is there a certain age you're supposed to be?/cause nobody told me". "Riot Van" is a great change of pace song for the album and a good song in its own right.

"Red Light Indicates The Doors Are Secure" seems like a filler song to me. Not bad or boring exactly, but not really something that sticks out to me. Maybe other might like it more, it just seems average to me, though it fits with the entire albums 'mood' if you will.

Track nine, "Mardy Bum" is one of my favorites (I seem to keep saying that don't I?) on the album. The guitar part is catchy as hell. It is a little lighter than some of the other album cuts. If you can listen to this track and your toe doesn't start to tap, or you head to bob, you have no soul. There, I've said it. No soul. Think about that.

The next track rocks pretty hard; lots of distortion, lots of guitars. It's called "Perhaps Vampires is a Bit Strong, But..." which plays on the songs lyrics, the chorus goes "all you people are vampires/all your stories are stale/and though you pretend to stand by us/I know you're certain we'll fail" I may be crazy, but this song may deal with all the hype that the band got before it's debut. But what do I know. The outro is pretty badass, I must say.

"When the Sun Goes Down" is about some street scum, with a small nod to the Police's "Roxanne" thrown in for good fun. I like this song a lot; it is a little like two songs combined; the beginning is filled with nice little guitar strumming (which returns later) and then the song takes on some kickass riffs. Again, if this song doesn't get your toes a'tappin then I hate you. The chorus rocks as well; this is one of the albums highlights.

"From The Ritz To The Rubble" follows "When the Sun Goes Down" (which ended softly) with a fast, almost speaking singing. There is some sparse guitar going which leads into some rough, chugging, distorted guitar driven chorus. Again, this song rocks, but if I was pressed, I'd say this was more of a 'filler' song. But it is still really good. I just wouldn't call it a "highlight" exactly. But it isn't bad by any means. Also, this has some of that nonsensical (I'm still pretty sure I'm using this wrong) words at the end. Fun stuff.

Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not ends with "A Certain Romance," which is one of the songs they played on SNL, and one of my personal favorites. The song beings with a sweet drum lick, followed by a sweet guitar riff. Then it falls into a really nice, almost soft high guitar lick, which leads into the main part of the song. Once you get there, there is a real fun bass line. I'm telling ya, I love this song. The lyrics here are definitely my favorite on the album and some of my favorites anywhere (a sample: "and over there there's broken bones/there's only music so that there's new ring tones/and it don't take no Sherlock Holmes/to see it's a little different around here") . This is definitely one of their best songs.

The one thing that kinda bugs me about the album is it's length: at 41 minutes it is kinda short. But after having 16 tracks of Babyshambles, a nice concise album is pretty nice. I really did leave with wanting more, which is good, I guess. At times they remind me a lot of the Libertines, but they aren't a rip off or knock off, they're their own band. And quite a good one at that.

Track Highlights: (I hate being that guy who, when asked for what songs are good, says "all of 'em." All the tracks on this CD are pretty damn good, but if I have to whittle down to some highlights...) "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor", "A Certain Romance", "Riot Van", "Mardy Bum", "When the Sun Goes Down" and "Perhaps Vampires is a Bit Strong But..."

Random Thoughts Music Review Extravaganza!

I haven't done any album reviews for awhile (or movie reviews for that matter) and I think it is high time I write a few.

I want to start off by saying this: Sometimes I feel when I talk about music I am stating the obvious (I recomend Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd- duh). That everyone knows about this band or that album and me writing a review about it is just over kill.

But then I'll mention a band and a friend of mine has no idea who I am talking about, which makes me want to write more. My classic example is the band Dispatch. A couple summers ago, a friend and I took a road trip to Boston for Dispatch's last concert ever, The Last Dispatch. When I would ask people if they were going, or wanted to go with us (or when I'd be telling them about my weekend), I would ask them if they knew of Dispatch. People had one of two responses: 1) No, what kind of music do they play? or 2) Of course I know who Dispatch is, asshole. So either they had no idea what I was talking about or they were disgusted that I even asked.

So what I'm saying is this: either you will be already familiar with these bands or you never had heard of them.


As I've stated in this space before, I love the Libertines. They are one of my favorite bands; I love both of their albums and I own a bunch of their EPs and singles. They broke up in 2004, basically after Pete Doherty lost control of his life due to drugs.

The first band to come of the Libertines rubble was Babyshambles. This was Doherty's band and the album was called Down In Albion.

Babyshambles - Down In Albion

I was really excited for Down in Albion, it was the first recording by a Libertine after their break up and I wanted to see how coherent Doherty sounded. Doherty was in the news constantly for his relationship with model Kate Moss and their respective drug problems.

Unfortunatly, DiA sounds just like you would expect: sloppy. Are there highlights? Of course, but you have to sit through a bunch of gunk to get to them.

The first two tracks in particular are pretty good. The opening track, "La belle et la bete" is pretty nice. It is a kind of rambling, sparse song, though it is catchy. Kate Moss makes an appearence on the chorus. She doesn't sing well, but it kinda goes with the songs style (I like it).

The next track, "Fuck Forever," is the bands first single. It isn't a bad song per se, but isn't isn't that great in my opinion. It is filled with some catchy hooks (the opening is particularly catchy). This is also one of the more fully formed songs on the CD. The third track, "A’rebours", is okay, nothing special. "The 32nd of December" starts off really sunny, with a real nice organ riff. This may be my favorite song on the entire CD. The lryics (and even some of the style) reminds me of the Kinks.

After the first four songs, we get a more sloppy sound. "Pipedown" sounds like Doherty (and the back up singers) are just mumbling lines, mostly incoherently. Doherty nicks some old nursery rhymes for some of the lyrics on "Sticks and Stones" (which takes a while to start up). "Sticks and Stones" does have a little ska-lite feeling to it, which is kind of nice, but nothing really special.

"Killamangiro" is okay. It is more upbeat than most of the album, but still not as good as it could be. It is definitely one of the better tracks on the CD. The guitar part in particular is pretty sweet. Doherty's incoherent moaning works better here (it actually follows the song a bit). The next track, "8 Dead Boys", is another sloppy effort; again, not awful, but not what you know it could be. "In Love with a Feeling" again, is pretty sloppy. The playing, the singing- everything. It is kind of frustrating.

One of the more confusing tracks is "Pentonville." This song is a rap/rasta dance hall style performance. It isn't Doherty rapping, it's some dude he met while in jail. Again, not awful, but it doesn't exactly fit with the rest of the album; in fact it sticks out like a sore thumb.

"What Katy did Next" is a play on the Libertines "What Katie Did" (from their self-titled second album). It is mostly forgettable. As is the next track, "Albion" (though once it finally starts, the song kinda remind me of OAR's "Dakota"). To be fair "Albion" is a nice little laid back accoustic track, but after 11 tracks of laid back rock, you're not really down for another slow track. But that's just me.

The rest of the album is mostly forgettable. "Back from the Dead" isn't really that good, "What did I Dream" starts off well, but just kind of repeats itself. "Up the Morning" is the highlight of the last quarter of the album. Sure, it is sloppy as hell (I usually enjoy the little studio sounds/chatter but this album is full of so much of it that it gets kinda old). "Up the Morning" builds slowly, but the chorus is pretty damn good; a nice little singalong. The final song, "Merry go Round", isn't that great.

Usually, I like long CDs; the more songs the better. But Down in Albion rambles on a bit long. 16 tracks is a bit much, especially considering that a lot of the songs sound similar (in key and tempo) and sound half-finished. Individually, a lot of tracks could be pretty good, but taken as a whole album, you wish Doherty could've whittled the tracklist down to 12 or so songs and really work those to all they are worth. It isn't a bad album. But it isn't that great either.

Track Highlights: "La belle et la bete", "Fuck Forever", "The 32nd of December", "Killamangiro" and "Up the Morning" (and hell, check out "Albion" as well).

Friday, June 09, 2006

Z Trades

Don't count on it says Danny Ferry.

I'm not really surprised at this. If the Cavs do trade Z, they're not going to get much in return, especially not a center who, at his worst (the playoffs) scores 10 points a game. Remember, people are loving Drew Gooden for averaging 10 ppg, Z did this on his worst series (Detroit).

Now, that being said, how should the Cavs attack their offensive problem. Scouts everywhere have said that they misuse Z. Part of the problem is NBA teams don't really know how to use post up/back to the basket.

Now hear me out. Last night Shaq only got 11 shots. 11! What the hell is that? He started off the game nicely; had his baseline jump hook working. You know he could take Diop or Dampier. Yet Miami didn't get him the ball nearly enough.

Same thing happens in Houston. Ever watch a Rockets game? There are large chunks of time where Yao doesn't even touch the ball, let alone shoot it. Maybe guys don't know how to throw an entry pass (thus thinking the passing lane isn't there). I don't know, but I do know that the Cavs are guilty of ignoring their center as well.

I'm not saying Z is as good as Yao or Shaq, but he's better than Diop or Dampier. Or any number of other centers in this league. Sure he has his faults, but the Cavs don't utilize his abilities (much the same way they turned the slasher-scorer Larry Hughes into a jump shooter).

This goes back to the Cavs woeful offense. Brown admitted last year preseason that he didn't focus on offense at all. All defense. You can't really blame the guy can you? I mean seriously, the Cavs defense was awful the past few years (and didn't really gel until the playoffs this year). The Cavs needed to work on defense more than offense. I'm okay with that. But now they need to work on offense. It doesn't look like the Cavs will be hiring that offensive assistant we've all been dreaming about, but all is not lost.

The only guy the Cavs have that is really bad on offense is Eric Snow. They have 3 guys who are big time NBA scorers and one guy (Gooden, assuming he returns) who can A) hit an open jump shot and B) get some garbage points; they should be able to score points. If Brown can figure out that an offense that uses LeBron, Hughes and Z to the best of their abilities, the Cavs should be in pretty good shape.

The problem is this: are the Cavs a running team? If so, Z won't be too much help (though to be fair, name me a good 'running' center). How about a half court offense? Snow won't do much there and neither will Hughes if he's used like he was last year.

I think the Cavs go one more year with Z in the middle. They'll let Brown design an offense that can use his three scorers and see what happens. If not, look for some trades NEXT offseason. (Of course, if a trade involving Z occurs, I wouldn't exactly be shocked).

Thursday, June 08, 2006

This whole HGH thing

Is anyone really shocked by this? Hey, the supplement that Baseball doesn't test for is being abused? No way?! I don't believe it! Human beings cheat and cut corners to get ahead? Especially when millions are dollars are at stake? Huh?!?

That being said, for all this bullshit talk that "Grimsley ratted out his boys" is dumber than hell. FEDERAL AGENTS! This isn't him talking to reporters or to his buddies. This was about jail time. Are you kidding me? Of course you make a deal. Again, Federal Agents.

Also, this may not bode well for Albert Pujols. And if you are suprised by his name being brought up, I have some baseballs to sell you.

NBA Finals!

After 35 months of playoffs, the Finals are here! I've watchd the NBA playoffs and finals religiously since I was young, this year shall be no different.

I have a few thoughts (and my pick)

I like both teams. Both teams are easily likable. Old Shaq is fun. Wade is good and knows his role (defer to Shaq in all things). You have a couple ring chasers on Miami as well in GP and Mourning (you could even include Walker in there as well). Plus you have Pat Riley trying to win his first post-Laker title (almost 20 years post-Lakers). In Dallas you have the lovable, huggable Avery Johnson as coach, with the hatable, lovable Mark Cuban as owner. Plus they have Leslie Neilson as an assistant coach. Dallas also has guys who play their guts out (like Griffin and Howard) and they got a superstar in his prime with Dirk. Terry and Stackhouse are playing big minutes on a title team (in lesser roles) after being the number 1 guys on other, shittier teams.

You have two unguardable guys. No one can A) prepare for or B) guard Shaq. He cannot be stopped. Dirk is a matchup problem for every team he plays. Use a quick guy like Posey and watch Dirk post him up. Use a big guy like Haslem and watch Dirk take him off the dribble. Oh yea, he is deadly from 3 point range too. Good luck with all that.

Diop? What the hell? How the hell is Lasagna Diop starting on a Finals team? What the hell happened. To be fair (kinda), his time in Cleveland was basically his college years. 4 years, didn't do much, learned a lot. He still has no post moves. At all. But he could always block shots, and that is all that Dallas has him doing.

Shaq- How good? How long? How long will O'neal last in this series. Will have a 40 point game? A 20 rebound game? Could he go for 40-20? I doubt it. I do think people are writing him off a bit too much. He does have to work pretty hard to get his points, Dallas has some young big guys to throw at him (not really make a dent, but just to make him work hard(er)) and the Mavs are the team that started Hacka-Shaq. I think Shaq will do well all series, but I don't think it will be enough. (In his finals preview, Simmons talks about the ways that Shaq and Miami are reff'd could make a big difference. I agree)

I'm rooting for Dallas. I think. Sometimes I don't know who I'm rooting for until I watch a game. Lets say the Superbowl. I should've been rooting for Pitt. My conference, some of my friends are Steeler fans. Rothlisakdfjadjkkuberger is from Ohio. He went to my brothers school. But that game comes on, and suddenly I'm a Seahawk fan. So I like Dallas, but I also enjoy Miami. Now if ABC starts loving one team more than the other, I'll choose sides easily (whoever ABC doesn't cover). This is the main reason why I never liked Jordan. NBC only talked about him and the Bulls. When they lost, it was "Bulls lost!" not "Cavs won!" So right now I like Dallas, but that could change if we see too many Mark Cuban stories.

Dallas in 6. I think the Mavs win this series. I just don't see Miami stopping all of the Mavs scoring options. Miami couldn't stop a shooting guard all year (LeBron and Vince KILLED the Heat all season). Dallas is throwing Terry, Stackhouse, Dirk and Howard at them. Good luck with all that. Dallas is just too deep, too young (re: athletic) and Dirk is too good.

That being said, if Miami wins, I won't be too pissed. I'm kinda like the Cavalier at YAY! Sports this way (only opposite). Some more Shaq fun, some more Pat Riley fun and Jason Kapono: NBA Champion. It's better than another Detroit, LA or SA title.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Lot's o' stuff

I recieve Terry Pluto's online newsletter, and this week it has some interting items on the Cavs and Indians.

First of all, he talks about fans wanting the Cavs to do some trading.

First, everyone wants to trade Z. As Pluto says, trading Z wouldn't be a problem; trading Z for any kind of value would be. A lot of Cavs fans (and Roger Brown) just want Z gone. Like somehow losing Z is addition by subtraction. This is retarded, Pluto mentions this as well. Z isn't perfect, but he can score some points. The Cavs offense sucks as it is, at least Z can put the ball in the hoops every once in awhile. Does that mean that the Cavs shouldn't trade him? No, but they can't just dump him, they need to get some value for him.

Pluto also points out that the Cavs won't get Drew Gooden walk away without any kind of compensation. Some people think Gooden is due a huge contract this offseason, and if he signs a huge deal somewhere else, the Cavs will let him go. But if he signs some kind of normal contract, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Cavs will re-sign him. They could still trade him of course, even a sign and trade; just don't expect the Cavs to A) sign Gooden to a huge deal or B) let him walk out of here with nothing in return.

Pluto also talks about the Indians and how they are not good. He talks about moving Grady Sizemore down from the leadoff spot to the third hole. Grady has the 2nd most extra-base hits on the team (after Hafner). He hits for too much power to be leadoff. He thinks the Tribe should move Michaels up, move Blake to the 2 hole, put Grady in 3 and keep Pronk at 4.

I like that idea.

Pluto also would like to see Sowers and Guthrie up here ASAP. I am all about this, I mean, they can't be worse can they? I mean, is that possible? Lets at least give the kids a shot.

And finally, Roger Brown thinks the Cavs aren't as good as the Wizards. That is all.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rescue Me

For those who care, there is a 10 minute short on the Rescue Me site, take a look, it's pretty funny.

Also, you can see a little clip from tomorrows show.

Should the Cavs go after Andre Miller?

Terry Pluto thinks so.

This is fine be me; Miller can be a borderline all-star and he shares the ball really well. He can score in the post and get to the rim, but his jumper isn't the greatest. I'm not sure if he would be the long term answer at point, but a Eric Snow and Drew Gooden for Miller trade wouldn't be awful.