2012 NHL Lockout Update: Mediation Might Not Work

ImageThe Bad News: At first, the NHL and NHLPA agreeing to bring in federal mediators to help negotiate the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement, actually sounded like good news. Then the two sides met up for the first time in over a week this Wednesday, and after two days of lengthy discussion, (with federal mediators mind you) they still couldn’t come to terms on anything.

Here’s a friendly reminder of what’s on the table during these seemingly fruitless meetings: elimination of salary arbitration, free agency rule changes, limits to player contract terms, and of course shared revenue.

The Worse News:  As if it isn’t bad enough to see federal mediation failing to help, more cancellations have been made. All games through December 14th have been axed. This includes the NHL All-Star weekend festivities, which have also been wiped out.

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Salvage This Season: Boston Bruins fans and hockey fans alike can only hope that mediation brings an end to this lockout and allows a long awaited season to finally begin. Mediation has helped other sports end lockouts before, so there’s a chance this could work. However, the two sides ultimately still have to come to agreeable terms in order for anything to be salvaged. Hopefully they can cut a deal soon.

The players want to be back out on the ice playing, the owners want to be in their cozy executive chairs making profits, and the fans just want to see some hard-nosed, in your face hockey. Can’t we all just get along???

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Did the Spurs do something wrong?

Possible sanctions loom against the San Antonio Spurs. Head Coach Greg Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Danny Green back to Texas to rest for their game against the Grizzlies, rather than play them in a national televised game against the Miami Heat. Commissioner David Stern apologized to fans and said that sanctions will be forthcoming.

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Lebron didn’t seem too upset about them not playing, as the Heat only won 105-100 on a last minute 3-pointer by Ray Allen.  I can understand why Pop would do this, as his team played 4 games in 5 nights, and they are an older team, much like the Celtics. It’s just weird to think about the fact that the Grizzlies are scaring the Spurs more than the Heat. But they are playing unbelievable basketball over in Memphis.

What do you think?

Rondo Throws Down

At first glance, Rondo’s scuffle with Kris Humphies ends up looking pretty bad for the Celts, who will very likely have to play a few games without their star point guard. On the other hand, at least the team showed some fight. I was at the game last night and that was the loudest I’ve heard the garden in a long time. Granted no one likes Kris Humprhies and he could be one of the most awkward basketball players of all time, I’m alright with Rondo’s move here. It sucks losing him, but I can only look at the bright side of this and hope that when Rondo does return, it will spark some life into the seemingly stagnant, 8-7 Celtics.

Throwback Thursday: Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Champs

ImageTo start this Throwback Thursday off right we must first go back a bit before the 2004 World Series, and relive “The Comeback” that was the 2004 ALCS.

The Boston Red Sox finished the 2004 season in second place in the American League East Division behind the New York Yankees to earn a wild card birth. The season was riddled with uncertainty as injuries plagued the roster, young gun general manager at the time Theo Epstein made bold trades at the deadline (shipping Nomar Garciaparra away for Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz, later trading a minor leaguer for Dave Roberts) and they had a terrible mid-season slump falling more than eight games back of the Yanks at one point.

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However, despite things looking dreary, the 2004 Boston Red Sox turned things around just in time to make the post-season as they won 22 of their last 25 games. Cabrera, Roberts and Mientkiewicz all played crucial roles in the Red Sox clubhouse during that stretch, and would continue to contribute in the postseason as well.

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After sweeping the then Anaheim Angels in the ALDS the Sox looked poised to finally overthrow the “Evil Empire” as they entered the ALCS against their arch nemesis. As you might remember the series didn’t exactly start the way we had hoped. Boston fell into a 3-0 hole the size of the Grand Canyon and it looked like there was no way out.

But just when the Fenway Faithful thought all hope was lost…something miraculous happened. The Boston Red Sox came to life and roared back into the series. Over the next four games minds were blown, sports writers and analysts were baffled, history was being written right before our very eyes, but no one could even begin to believe it.

Game 4 had the Sox season all but over. Going into the bottom of the 9th Boston trailed 4-3 and The Bronx Bombers had star closer Mariano Rivera on the mound. After Rivera walked Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts came in to pinch run and made the steal that would start the improbable comeback. Roberts would score on a Bill Mueller single to tie the game, and an extra innings two-run blast by David “Big Papi” Ortiz would clinch the first of four victories for the Sox.

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Game 5 was long and grueling, and was again capped off by Papi as he hit an extra innings RBI to score Johnny Damon. Game 6 had Curt Schilling and “The Bloody Sock”, in which Schilling put on an a brilliant pitching performance to capture another victory. Finally, Game 7 featured a grand salami from Johnny Damon which helped seal the crazy comeback, as the Sox won 10-3 and propelled themselves to their first World Series appearance since 1986.

To illustrate just how improbable this comeback was, it should be noted that only four teams in the history of sports with a seven game playoff series (MLB,NBA,NHL) have came back down 3 games in a championship series to win (the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL, the 1975 New York Islanders NHL, the 2004 Boston Red Sox MLB, and 2010 Boston Bruins NHL, No NBA team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit).

After doing the unthinkable against the New York Yankees the Red Sox didn’t spend anytime relishing in defeating (and embarrassing) their rivals, but instead continued the calamity and swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series.

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I’ll never forget the final out made by then closer Keith Foulke. With two away and the Sox up 3-0 on the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, you could certainly cut the tension with a butcher knife. We all remember where we were in that moment. The batter was Edgar Rentaria, who coincidentally donned the number 3 on his uniform, the very same number worn by Babe Ruth. Foulke got Rentaria to ground right back to the mound and the rest is history. Foulke flipped it over to Doug Mientkiewicz and those famous words, uttered by esteemed announcer Joe Buck, rang out on household televisions and sports bars across the country “Red Sox Fans have longed to hear it; The Boston Red Sox are World Champions”.

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This wasn’t just an 86-year-old curse being broken, this wasn’t just our first World Series title since 1918, this was so much more. This was what generation after generation of Red Sox fans had spent their whole lives waiting for, this was bigger than baseball, this was the one night that washed away decades of pain and suffering, that overshadowed all the spring training whispers of “this could be the year”. There was no catch, no hold up, no disappointment, only joy, celebration, and triumph.

The 2004 Boston Red Sox were unlike anything the sporting world had ever seen. They wrote their way into the history books one game at a time, in the cold nights of October, winning baseballs fall classic and the hearts of millions.

What was your favorite 2004 ALCS/World Series moment? Leave a comment below.

C’s Recap

It wasn’t the best night in Boston last night. The Celtics lost against the Nets by 12, but it should have been a lot more. They outplayed us the entire game and we did not deserve the W. We came out flat. The one spark in the game cost us our best player. Rajon Rondo was ejected along with Humphries and Wallace after he made Humphries look like a little boy after he knocked down KG…

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HOF Ballot 2013

Starting today, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will begin voting for MLB Hall of Famers which will be announced in early January. However, it is projected to be the most controversial ballot since Pete Rose was ruled ineligible for betting. The reason is simple: Steroids…. Continue reading

Praising the Wrong Person

After Peyton Manning beat the Chiefs 17-9 on Sunday, their two biggest stars (both on my awful fantasy team) Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe remained star-struck.  Jamaal Charles sat outside and waited for Manning to leave the locker room and asked for an autograph for his mom, while Dwayne Bowe posed for a picture with Manning.  Bowe said, “It’s Peyton Manning, who wouldn’t want a picture with him?”

Bowe is playing in most likely his final season as a Chief, as he is under the Franchise Tag and has demanded trades all season. He even admitted that he would love to catch a ball or two from the future Hall of Famer. A few former Chiefs are pretty upset, and I’m sure there will be more.

What do you think? Is this as bad as it seems?

Issues with Fireman Ed’s Departure

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard the big news out of New York…Fireman Ed has stepped down. The stereotype of an arrogant New York fan, who celebrates rooting for the most embarrassing franchise in the NFL, has had enough, writing a formal resignation letter to the public.

I’ve got two issues with this letter. First and most clearly – the statement of his regarding “the greatest chant in all of sports”. Alright. A humorous statement to say the very least. I think he has that mistaken with the most ridiculed chant in all of sports. I don’t even remember the last time Jets fan were cheering anything but “Put Tebow in!” Actually, J – E – T – S, Suck! Suck! Suck! is arguably more popular than both.

Second, it’s clear that this has been one of the most controversial times for the Jets, but they’ve had worse seasons. Fireman Ed, or I guess just Ed now, is putting the blame on his own constituents, claiming he has had enough of the ridicule regarding the Sanchez vs. Tebow debate. My issue lies in the fact that you know he’ll be back. Enough with the dramatic exit. Maybe not this year, but hypothetically speaking, if the Jets win the first two games next season, Rex will claim they are going to win the Superbowl and Ed will be once again known as Fireman Ed. Can’t take the heat when things get tough but one sign of a decent season and Ed will be back. Cowardly if you ask me. His team needs him now more than ever and he’s bailing on them. I mean I love what happened Thanksgiving night, don’t get me wrong. But at least give us some sort of competition. I’m ashamed for you Ed. SuperFat would stick with the Pats through thick and thin. Step your shit up.