College Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network

Celtics-Lakers plots and subplots

02.05.09 at 1:34 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Post By Drew “Great” Scott, a WEEI.com intern

As I started thinking about the Celtics going for their 13th consecutive win tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers at the TD Banknorth Garden, somehow my mind shifted to commercials. Is any commercial really more nauseating than the newest Guitar Hero commercial that features Kobe Bryant? Could they have amassed a more obnoxious group of individuals to dance around a living room in Risky Business-influenced attire?

Once Mr. March (a.k.a. Alex Rodriguez) slides onto the screen holding down the lead guitar spot, you know you are in for a heck of a show. He is then joined on the drums by a man whose only claim to fame these days is the video game that shares his name, Tony Hawk. The third member of the band has certainly enjoyed some unwanted publicity recently, the 14-time gold medalist and one-time pot smoker, Michael Phelps.

Then who walks out on to the screen as the lead singer of this outfit? None other than Kobe Bryant himself. I’€™m sure that Kobe refused to do the commercial unless he was the front man of the group.  Because after all, no matter what team or band Kobe is a member of, it is always the Kobe Bryant show.

Kobe could probably take some advice from Kevin Garnett, first on how to put the team first and, more importantly, on how to make decent commercials. K.G.’€™s ‘€œBrotherhood’€ ad for Adidas still gives me chills every time I watch it.

In the advertisement, Garnett talks about how Boston is a brotherhood. If that is the case, it is pretty clear that Los Angeles is a monarchy with Kobe as king. Yet even in the category of royalty, it would appear that The Big Ticket can eat Kobe for lunch, as evidenced by the Celtic’s recent quest for the Holy G! (Disclaimer: Obviously, this undermines the theory of Garnett’s selective approach to commercials…but no matter.)

Now that we have established that at least in the battle of TV spots, Kevin Garnett reigns supreme, here is some suggested reading before the game tonight:

Here is a good ole’€™ fashion game preview.

Paul Flannery wrote about the lessons learned from the last meeting between the Celtics and Lakers on Christmas Day.

Jeff Goodman let us know that the Lakers are not yet the better team.

Steve Buckley informs us that Larry Bird and Magic Johnson still care about the rivalry.

Lenny Megliola hopes that the game tonight will be a preview for the NBA Finals.

And Mark Heisler from the LA Times doesn’€™t like the Lakers’€™ chances without Bynum.

Read More: Boston Celtics, kevin garnett, kobe bryant,

Terry Glenn busted

02.05.09 at 11:36 am ET
By   |   Comments

Well, here’s the first entry in the “Least Surprising Story of the Year” ‘€” ex-Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn has been arrested for public intoxication and possession of marijuana. According to this report, Glenn was arrested at a hotel recently in Irving, Texas while apparently walking around the hallways naked. It’s the third arrest for Glenn, who was busted for public intoxication in 2005 and assaulting the mother of his son in 2001. He remains a free agent.

Morning links

02.05.09 at 11:28 am ET
By   |   Comments

So people love to talk about how all the Patriots are jerks, right? I don’t think Bill Belichick has ever deliberately ruined the blood-sugar monitor of a diabetic. (Nice going, Peyton. Jerk.) Then, there’s our favorite for creepiest story of the week ‘€” hypnotizing high school athletes. Kansas high school basketball coach Clint Kinnamon hypnotized his team to try and increase their focus. Love the quote from the superintendent: “At the high school level, it’s not appropriate.” He then went on to say, “Hey … wait a minute. Where are my pants? Coach Kinnamon? What have you done with my pants?” And finally, Nielsen announced today that Super Bowl XLIII is officially the most-watched Super Bowl ever.

Torre wonders if Clemens bat-throwing incident was linked to roids

02.04.09 at 8:20 pm ET
By   |   Comments

In an interview with WFAN this afternoon, ex-Yankees manager Joe Torre speculated that Roger Clemens’ bat-throwing incident with Mike Piazza could have been a result of roid rage. “I didn’t necessarily tie the two together,” Torre said. “But in retrospect with everything that’s going on, it could very well have been.” (The full interview can be heard here.) Look, we’re not gonna do our own speculating, but we think this might also have had something to do with it. (In fairness to the Rocket, that’s the sort of thing that would put anyoone in a bad mood ‘€” you never want to see the words “liniment” and “testicles” in the same sentence. Yeesh.)

Lombardi: Cassel top free agent QB

02.04.09 at 7:57 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Mike Lombardi ‘€” a guy who has forgotten more about football than most people will ever know ‘€” is weighing in on Matt Cassel’s future again at the always informative National Football Post. Lombardi, who once worked for Bill Belichick, says that Cassel will be the No. 1 free agent quarterback available, an even better deal than Kurt Warner, Kerry Collins and Byron Leftwich. He adds that Cassel is worth two high draft picks, and can “restore the credibility of a franchise.”

Grrrr! Trevor Ariza MAD!

02.04.09 at 2:55 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Trevor isn’t the toughest name in the world ‘€” when it comes to tough guys, our favorite names are Tony or Rocco. So you can understand why it’s hard to take the comments of the Lakers Trevor Ariza seriously when he says he hates everything about the Celtics. Sure, he says he hates them, but it didn’t stop him from getting a Kevin McHale autograph the last time the Lakers faced Minnesota.

No Manny For New York: ‘I’ve got no glue,’ says Cashman

02.04.09 at 9:54 am ET
By   |   Comments

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, at a charity event yesterday to promote awareness about prostate cancer, stated definitively that his team would not get involved in the Manny Ramirez sweepstakes. No news flash there–suggestions that Ramirez might land in the Bronx have seldom been heard since New York dropped $180 million on the eight-year deal to secure the services of Mark Teixeira.

But what was particularly noteworthy was the reason underlying Cashman’s declaration of keeping the Bronx a Manny-Free Zone:

“I’ve got no glue,” he told the crowd, as reported by mlb.com.

“When you look at our payroll,” Cashman added in remarks posted by the New York Times, “we’re tapped.”

So the Yankees won’t be dropping $20 million or so to sign Manny Ramirez. But what do such comments imply for 2009, beyond Ramirez?

Obviously, the current Yankees’ blueprint could change as the season evolves. The club could free several million dollars by trading from an outfield surplus (Xavier Nady, Nick Swisher, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Melky Cabrera). Or the Steinbrenner family might decide that there are a few more million dollars sitting in a concession stand in the New Yankee Stadium.

But if the Yankees are indeed at their payroll threshold, then it will be interesting to see what the team is able to do if/when the inevitable injuries creep up. Can the Yankees be players in the mid-summer trade market? Too early to tell, but worth monitoring.

Read More: brian cashman, Manny Ramirez, Yankees,

‘If I had $17 million, I’d be Bud’

02.03.09 at 5:06 pm ET
By   |   Comments

From WEEI.com intern Drew “Great” Scott:

The Associated Press followed up on a story today that was originally reported by the SportsBuiness Journal. Bud Selig‘€™s base bay for last season was $17.47 million.  He also received $461,540 in contributions to employee benefits plans, and $422,590 in expense accounts and other allowances.

Based on those numbers and according to Census.gov, Bud Selig’€™s expense account and other allowances ($422,590) is a little less than ten times the 2004 median household income in the United States ($44,334).

Mr. Selig is also still convinced that baseball is the most popular sport in America. Now I love MLB, but I’€™m not sure if the Commissioner actually watched the Super Bowl on Sunday…but if not, he may have been the only one.

While we’re on the subject, why don’€™t we play a little game called: What else could I get for around $17 million? How about some of these unbelievable baseball themed treasures:

1.7 Million posters of Selig’€™s beloved Miller Park

3.4 million signed 8×10 Bud Selig photos

4.86 million copies of “How To Be Like Jackie Robinson,” a book by Pat Williams with a foreward by Selig

17 million baseballs from the 2002 All Star Game that Mr. Selig ended in a tie

One can only wonder how newsworthy it would be if the Commissioner’s salary were paid in his signed photographs.

Read More: bud selig, MLB,

Are you in a bromance?

02.03.09 at 1:52 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Let’s cut to the immediate definition of “bromance” for those readers that are not familiar with this term as defined by the Urban Dictionary.  [Side Note: The Urban Dictionary is a very entertaining read, but does have some adult language]. Glad we are all on the same page now so that we can relate to Felger & Dino’s Bromance segment on today’s Dennis & Callahan Show, which had stemmed from this Barstool post.

It is always amazing how topics like this simply light up the phone banks. I still haven’t decided if all of these Felgerisms are pure premeditated acts of genius or if he simply stumbles on these topics to incite listener interaction.  I wonder what his wife thinks? Pete Gustin, creator of all Pete’s Bits, sure doesn’t mind as he continuously gets lay-up soundbites from Felger. One thing I do know, is that Felgie can get the fellowship of the miserable riled up like no one else on the station.

Back on topic – Bromances. So what were some of the ones identified by Dino & Felger:

Seth & Evan from Superbad

Nomar & Lou Merloni

Steve DeOssie & Fred Smerlas

Tom Werner & John Henry

– Michael Holley & Michael Smith

Lance Armstrong & Matthew McConaughey

Here are a couple more Bromances of my own to add to the list:

Maverick & Goose from Top Gun

Mario & Luigi from Mario Brothers Video Game

Batman & Robin

Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson

Brad Pitt and George Clooney

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

Feel free to add to the list of bromances by leaving a comment on this blog post!!

Read More: Bromance, Dennis & Callahan, Michael Felger,

Bud Selig’s salary

02.02.09 at 3:56 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Clearly, a new economic era has arrived in Major League Baseball–at least for its players and most owners. Jason Varitek’s pay cut has been well documented in these parts. Pat Burrell, coming off a year when he was a middle-of-the-order presence for a World Series winner, struggled to find a two-year, $16 million deal. Pitchers with All-Star resumes, such as Ben Sheets, are still looking for work, wondering why they can’t get a multi-year offer when, just a few years ago, folks like Adam Eaton and Vicente Padilla could land three-year deals for $8-10 million or more.

Aside from a handful of guys – most notably, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe – it’s been a terrible time to be a free agent. No doubt, there are plenty of players who wish they had accepted those arbitration offers back in December, or who now wonder why they didn’t more aggressively explore discussions of an extension just a year ago.

But what of Major League Baseball’s Commissioner? What about the man who has overseen explosive financial growth in an industry that, like most sectors of American life, is almost certain to endure serious financial decline?

According to Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal, Selig made $18.35 million in the fiscal year that ended on October 31, 2007 – just after the Red Sox won the World Series. He was believed to be due for a pay increase last season, and had the good sense (luck?) to sign a three-year contract extension in early 2008 that will offer further pay increases through 2012.

Given that Selig has been the head man for MLB during a period of massive revenue increases, it is understandable that the owners would reward him. However, it would have been fascinating to see what might have happened had the owners not re-signed Selig until this offseason. Would he, like Burrell and Varitek, have faced a reduced salary, based on the notion espoused by owners and front offices that the game is about to take a revenue hit? In the likely case that owners would not have taken such a stance with their commissioner, it would have been interesting to hear what players and agents would have uttered at a time when those who make their livings on the field are now subject to pay cuts.