Monday, July 25, 2016

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Push" by Matchbox 20


My favorite Matchbox 20 song is actually Unwell, but it didn't come out until 2003, and that's just not old enough.  Push is a close second, off of their 1996 album Yourself or Someone Like You.

I have nothing even the slightest bit interesting to say about Matchbox 20, other than I enjoyed some of their music.  I mean really, nothing--they have maybe the most boring Wikipedia page I've ever seen for a rock band.




Sunday, July 24, 2016

12 years ago today: The brawl that changed MLB history


Saturday, July 24, 2004:

A night earlier, Curt Schilling blew a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning at Fenway and the Red Sox fell 9.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East.

Boston trailed New York 3-0 in the third inning when Jason Varitek decided enough was enough:



In the fourth the Sox pulled ahead 4-3, but the Yanks put up six runs in the sixth to take a 9-4 lead.  Boston immediately cut it to 9-8 in the bottom half of the inning, then a two-run shot by Bill Mueller in the ninth off Mariano Rivera gave the Sox an 11-10 walk-off win:



Three months later, the Red Sox were World Series champions for the first time in 86 years.  If Boston hadn't won that game, I'm guessing the greatest sports story of my lifetime (read that, I promise it's worth it) would never have happened.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Thoughts on the Gerald Green signing, plus latest Celtics depth chart and roster breakdown

Green at the 2007 dunk contest.

Things have changed since I posted a potential Celtics depth chart two days ago (refer to that if anything here seems unclear, I didn't want to repeat myself): The C's brought back old friend Gerald Green, re-signed restricted free agent Tyler Zeller and inked second-round pick Demetrius Jackson to a guaranteed contract (Ben Bentil will also get a partially guaranteed deal).

Starters
PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jae Crowder
PF: Amir Johnson
C: Al Horford

2nd String
PG: Terry Rozier
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jonas Jerebo
C: Kelly Olynyk

Spots 11-13
Gerald Green
Tyler Zeller
Jordan Mickey

Competing for 14 & 15
RJ Hunter
James Young
Demetrius Jackson
Ben Bentil
Abdel Nader (no contract yet)
John Holland (non-guaranteed deal leftover from last year)

Overseas
Guerschon Yabusele
Ante Zizic

Now that Green and Zeller are on board, there is a very good chance that either RJ Hunter or James Young won't make the team (and John Holland reportedly still could, but that would be a shocking development).  With 16.5 contracts (Bentil being the .5) and only 15 available roster spots, my guess is there's a trade of some sort on the horizon.

A few thoughts on Green:
- I can't believe he's still only 30 years old
- He's a solid, but not great, three-point shooter (36 percent from deep for his career)
- My initial reaction to the signing is that it's unnecessary; he'll likely take minutes from Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier, which could slow the growth of all three
- On the other hand, if Brown isn't ready for prime time yet it's good to have another small forward and proven scorer on the roster behind Crowder
- Even though it's minor, the move suggests Boston is doing everything it can to win now, as apposed to developing guys for down the road
- It reminds me of the Evan Turner signing two years ago (which I didn't like at the time), and that worked out spledidly


Friday, July 22, 2016

Blog No. 2000

The first-ever post on LucidSportsFan.com (actually LucidSportsFan.blogspot.com at the time) went live on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.  The site has come a long way since the beginning.  Earlier this year I noticed I was approaching 2000 blog entries, so I made a mental note to celebrate post No. 2000--but then I forgot.

This is actually No. 2012, but I'm going with the fireworks anyway.

When I first started writing I often published multiple posts per day, and by my calculations this is my 1,970th consecutive day of blogging.  Maybe I should've saved the 2000 hullabaloo for a month from now?  Or I could just do it again, I like seeing more than fireworks show each summer anyways...


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Celtics roster update and potential 2016-17 depth chart

Starters

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jae Crowder
PF: Amir Johnson
C: Al Horford


2nd String

PG: Terry Rozier
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jonas Jerebo
C: Kelly Olynyk


End of Bench

Jordan Mickey
RJ Hunter
James Young


Those 13 players all have guaranteed contracts for next year (once Brown officially signs).


Unsigned 2nd-Round Picks

Demetrius Jackson
Ben Bentil
Abdel Nader


Overseas: Ante Zizic, Guerschon Yabusele

Restricted Free Agent: Tyler Zeller


Notes

- All of this may change considering Danny Ainge keeps saying he's not done making moves (which is why none of the new draft choices have been signed yet--to keep open roster flexibility).
- I wouldn't be surprised to see Olynyk start instead of Johnson.
- The three second-round picks will eventually be signed and spend the majority of the year in the D-League, with occasional call-ups to Boston depending on injuries and roster openings.
- First-round picks Zizic (Croatia) and Yabusele (China) will play abroad next season and likely join the Celtics in 2017.
- Zeller may end up staying on his qualifying offer for one year at $3.7 million.  If he does, he'll grab the 13th active roster spot and push one of the "End of Bench" guys (my guess would be Young) into the inactive/D-League zone with the second-rounders.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Why do banks have thermometers?

I just devoted roughly five minutes of internet research to this subject and didn't find anything even remotely close to an explanation, so clearly the answer to my question isn't obvious.  What is the connection between banks and large digital clocks/thermometers?  Who started the trend?  For what reason?  Why did it catch on?

I'm guessing it has to do with banks as a source of information, but that's only a half-baked theory and I know I'm missing something.

Also, why did it take me 30-odd years to first wonder about this?



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I just read a great take on Deflategate I'd never heard before (shocking, at this point)


The following quote is from an unbiased NBC Sports writer named Joe Posnanski in a piece entitled TOM BRADY IS INNOCENT: Unequivocally, unambiguously, thoroughly and 100-percent innocent.

I underlined the portion of it that's the great point I hadn't heard before:

"Look, the NFL charged him with breaking a rule NO ONE cared about. The NFL cared so little about air pressure in football that they let teams bring their own footballs, which were barely checked. My guess is if Brady wanted the PSI level of football lowered, he simply could have petitioned the NFL and they would have just lowered it — they just wanted to make footballs comfortable for quarterbacks to throw. 
Then, there is no proof at all that Brady ever wanted footballs deflated BELOW the league minimum. We know only that he liked footballs AT the minimum (especially because, as we know, football naturally deflate in cold weather). Even the famed “Deflator” suggested his job was to make sure footballs were not OVERINFLATED."

Posnanksi is dead on with this.  It was a rule the league paid no attention to that guys broke all the time.  If anybody thought it actually mattered, Brady or another QB probably would've gotten the NFL to change it.  And, just because Brady prefers his footballs on the low side in terms of air pressure does not mean he wanted them below the limit--regardless of whether they actually were or not.

I'd like to see someone ask Roger Goodell point-blank "Do you honestly believe Tom Brady should be suspended 25 percent of a season for that?"  Imagine if Adam Silver suspended LeBron James 20 games, roughly the NBA equivalent, for an equipment violation?  (For the record, LeBron wasn't even fined when he ripped his jersey apart during a nationally televised game.)

Also, one thing that hasn't been widely discussed is that Goodell has the option to simply back down.  He's not obligated to uphold the original and absurdly over-the-top penalty decided upon just because the courts ruled it's within his rights to.


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