While we are stewing in the hot and muggy beginning of July across America, the NBA Fireworks are starting off our patriot week early with free agent discussions behind closed doors. The dog days are here, and the starting place for those dog days is Boston.
17 seconds, a ball buster deal, and 1st degree murder declared all in one week... I would say it is time for a Boston Makeover. With the Celtics getting rid of their major pieces to the Big 3 with KG, Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers all scrambling out of Boston, the load on Rajon Rondo is only asking for a sub 20 win season. This Celtics team is asking for an implosion and unfortunately, their fragile superstar in Rajon Rondo has to carry the team as if he were the Big O (Oscar Robertson). I think the Celtics could be back to playoff form in the next couple seasons with supposedly a good couple drafts and free agent periods in front of us, but for now, they look like the same team (swapping Pierce for Rondo) prior to the Big 3 forming. You have to feel awful for guys like Bill Simmons who on draft night saw their entire franchise decide to give and reload for the "future." Either they will turn into a team of hope in the next three years, or they will go into a spiral similar to what they saw a good 20 years prior to 2008. Let's face it Boston, the last 6 years was a dream for the Celtics, and the nightmare is coming back. But, I can promise you, it won't be as nightmarish as what happened on Monday this week.
The worst 17 seconds in Boston sports since the Buckner boot. No debate. The Stanley Cup Trophy was ready for a Game 7 with about a minute to go in the Garden and the next thing you knew, they were shinning it with 58 seconds to go. The Blackhawks were the best team all season and had the best streak in NHL History to start off the shortened season. They also were the most classy team saying they really complimented the Bruins on their season and understanding all the harm their city has faced in the past couple months. A true sign of sportsmanship at the highest form of competition in all of sports with that form of gratuity by Chicago. The hurt still doesn't feel better knowing that Game 7 was in your hands and you let it slip so fast.
Aaron Hernandez since last Sunday has seen his entire life flash before his eyes. The guilt, the stupidity, the sadness, the loss. His life is now grounded to the solitude of a cell where he can now think about his daughter's monumental steps in life, his family distancing themselves from him, and everything he knew before his cell disappear forever and ever. And the kicker, nobody would want it any different for him.
1st Degree Murder.
When you see those three words, it should feel like a shudder. A cold wind. A brush against your soul. It is how it sounds, death to the nth degree. Manslaughter at it's highest form. A cold... blooded... drubbing. This man's life is done and nobody is feeling sorry for him, and nobody ever should or ever will. A sad, disgusting waste of talent sitting in a cell, just like 90% of the human beings rotting their souls in such a bottomless pit of despair. Good bye Aaron Hernandez. Sad to know you have to wake up to the same wall tiling for the rest of your life.
Let's get to some cool news before the heat wave (cha-ching!). Wimbledon saw it's money making opportunity run down the drain with Federer, Shirapova, and Nadal all bounced in the early portions in the Super Bowl of Tennis. Yay, another opportunity for Tennis to flourish bounced down the drain as no names destroy the faces of the sport. I guess the only thing to look forward to now is to see if Serena can break her sister's record of the most match wins in a row. She'll do it, then the tennis world will again become silent in the public eye because let's be honest, most of us would rather be outside getting our burn on while women are grunting like rhinos on a tennis court. I'm just being honest, but I do respect the heck out of Wimbledon and knowing how intense those matches are and how important this tennis major is, you won't hear anything else from me.
Brian Shaw was hired on as the Denver Nuggets head coach. Yay! Another former player jumping to the coaching ranks except this time he did his time unlike Jason Kidd. I hope he becomes successful and has a great couple years before entering the coaching carousel with the likes of Vinny Del Negro who actually can coach. Oh my bad (it's gotta be the heat), I'll stop talking about guys who actually have proven to get the Job done.
The University of Oregon. If you don't want to be in the heat, get out of the damn kitchen. I've been waiting a while to lay a good reason into why the NCAA has some serious issues and why all (and I mean ALL) their decisions are based around money. What the Oregon has done with their recruiting scandal is 10 times worse than what Ohio State went through the past couple of years all because they sold their jerseys for tattoos. Reggie Bush and the entire USC program got bowl bans and history erased for improper benefits to certain players. Oregon. They get a slap in the wrist with loosing 3 scholarships per year, and gave Chip Kelly the boot by not allowing him to coach in college, even though he's in the NFL, for 18 months. So you are telling me you don't get a bowl ban if you have over 80 different jersey selections, Nike is in your backyard, and you have recruiting violations? Wait... Let's hold the phone for a second. What Oregon just got hit with was NOTHING. Kids are still going to come to Oregon because they can compete and because they have the coolest jerseys in all of America.
Let me tell some of you who don't know much about Eugene if you've never been there. Going south on I-5 and driving towards that mucky campus, it smells like a dog died, fish were spilled along the side of road, and while you're driving moss looks it is growing on your windshield. It's a disgusting road to campus, and going inside any of the campus living areas or other academic buildings, you would think that it was a sink hole just off of I-5. Here's the best part, when you have been inside their campus academic building's and housing areas, then you look at their track.. their football field.. their new basketball arena.. it alllllll hits you like a brick wall. This is a scheme. They are making so much money off of these sports that if it weren't for their programs, nothing would ever get done to rebuild the school. The money in college sports is overtaking the moral credibility of the foundation sports was founded upon and this "sanction" proves that the Oregon or any other programs that don't hold the same standard as schools like USC or Ohio state when it comes to their athletic departments, immunity is basically given to those programs because if they were given the similar sanctions as USC and Ohio State, they would crumble. Your program Oregon is a bleeping joke. You cheat, you lie, and you piss off a lot of people because you are nothing special with a bunch of highlighter marker on your BS Nike spouting sanction free alternative jerseys that you deem as cool because it blinds half your crowd when the sun shines at the perfect angle. The NCAA felt sorry for you because you panzied out of your, what should have been, crippling sanctions that should have sent you back 3 years and kept your competitive advantage away from the rest of the PAC-12 North. The reason you didn't get slaughtered is because your program is a joke and nobody takes you seriously because 80% of Americans don't know where you are located on the map. Your sanctions are pathetic and your actions over the last 5 years by cheating your way to Rose Bowls and other big BCS Bowl games is nothing but the same drive to Eugene going south on I-5; smelling like a dog died.
The NBA Draft was also another crap shoot. I think this draft won't get enough credit down the road with how many of these guys have a legitimate shot to becoming really solid role players and filling huge voids on teams benches years down the road. This draft will not be a superstar defining draft, but I see a ton of really good team basketball players. If there is anything the NBA needs, it's a ton more of team basketball instead of this garbage "come see this player dominate" crap.
Back to baseball quickly, it's the halfway point and it's fitting it's the halfway point in 2013 as well. Where did half of this year go huh? Anyways let's get to this. The AL has it really tight at the top. Boston going into July has 50 wins (the most in the AL) with the Orioles 3 games back in the East. The Central has a fight with the Indians and Tigers at the top, and the West has the Athletics and Rangers fighting as well. With the AL fighting for spots at the mid-way point, the NL is looking like it's starting to shape out a little. The Pirates have the most wins in baseball with 51 and leading the Central by 2 games. The Diamondbacks are up by 2 over the Rockies in the West, and the Braves are riding solo in the East. Right before I get out of here let's show some love for Max Scherzer for being the first player since Roger Clemens in 1986 to start 12-0 in the regular season. Also the greatest switch hitter in Major League Baseball history had his number retired not even a year after his retirement. Chipper Jones is the greatest switch hitter ever, period, and whatever Atlanta wants to do with him, they most certainly can. I'll see you all next week and here were my players I voted for in the MLB All Star Game! Remember to vote before Midnight on July 4th! Enjoy and stay safe in the heat and on the 4th of July!
Here's who I voted for and who needs to be an MLB All-Star!
C - J. Mauer (MIN)/Y. Molina (STL)
1B - C. Davis (BAL)/ P. Goldschmidt (ARI)
2B - R. Cano (NYY)/ M. Carpenter (STL)
3B - M. Cabrera (DET)/ D. Wright (NYM)
SS - J. Hardy (BAL)/ J. Segura (MIL)
OF - M. Trout (LAA)/ C. Gonzalez (COL)
OF - A. Jones (BAL)/ J. Bruce (CIN)
OF - N. Cruz (TEX)/ D. Brown (PHI)
DH - D. Ortiz (BOS)