Saturday, April 28, 2012

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "The Locomotion" by The Lipsticks

There's been several reincarnations of this song, dating back to the original in 1962.  I guess the one I am actually talking about here is Kylie Minogue's version from 1988.  But the first time I heard The Locomotion was when Vanessa Huxtable and her friends sang it, and that is how I will always remember it.  Here's the homemade "music video" they bring home from the mall one day.  But it gets even better when they work on their act a bit and decide to show it off to Cliff and Claire:

Friday, April 27, 2012

How did my Celtics predictions do?

Before the season started I wrote that Boston would finish with a record of 37-29.  I missed by two games, as they went 39-27.  I could blame the Heat and Bucks for tanking the final games even worse than the Celtics did; but instead I'm going to attribute those two extra wins to the Avery Bradley effect.  As recently as mid February he was just a guy on the end of the bench.  Now I'm convinced he'll be an All-Star sometime in the next few years.

On March 1st Boston was 17-17, tied for the 8th seed in the East, and facing a brutal schedule the rest of the way.  I still thought they were more likely to win the division than miss the playoffs.  One thing that did really surprise me about the Celtics this year though was their success on the second night of back to back games.  I thought that would be a major issue for an aging team in a condensed season, but it turned out to have little to no effect; Boston went 12-9 in those situations, including 8-0 at home.

Paul Pierce finished the regular season with 22,591 career points scored, 33 more than Tim Duncan's 22,558.  What does this mean?  The Celtics enter the playoffs with 3 of the all time top 25 scorers in NBA history, and 3 of the top 5 active leading scorers in the league (maybe they should bring Shaq back too?).

And in case you weren't following me on twitter late Thursday night, here's some unusual stats from the meaningless victory over Milwaukee in the season finale:

- Boston scored only 27 points in the second half, and still won by 13.  When was the last time that happened in a NBA game?

- Rondo was the only active player on the Celtics who didn't score, yet he still had 15 assists; the most assists without a point in an NBA game in over 25 years.

- Paul Pierce played the fewest minutes (7) of anyone in a Boston uniform, but he still managed to finish the game as the team's second leading scorer (12).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Is this as funny as I think it is?

A friend of mine posted this as her facebook status a little while back, and I've been saving it for a rainy day.  I think it's hysterical.  But which is better, the reason for why she got a new phone, or her friend's attempt to stay on her contact list?

And I guess I have to mention the Bruins today.  Oh well.  While it's disappointing, I can't say I'm surprised.  The hockey playoffs are so incredibly random.  We had our run last year.  


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Miami should feel a little embarrassed today

Last night's 78-66 Junior Varsity victory by the Celtics over the Heat was one of the most brutal games I've ever been too, but it produced some interesting stats.  The fact that Sasha Pavlovic was the leading scorer with 16 points is pretty telling in itself.  Boston trailed 11-0 before making their first basket of the game with 5:45 to go in the first quarter.  At the half Miami led 34-28.  Mid way through the 3rd the Heat extended their lead to 46-36.  And that was when it began to get ugly for Miami.  By the end of the quarter the C's had tied the game at 50.

To start the 4th, Doc Rivers emptied his bench (literally) and ran out a lineup of Marquis Daniels, the two Purdue rookies JaJuan and E'twaun, newcomer Sean Williams, and Sasha.  Then he took off his tie, called it a night, and walked out of the building.  Ok, I'm exaggerating, but he might as well have, because he never made a substitution or called a timeout the rest of the way.

Meanwhile Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was still trying to win the game.  He played 8 guys in the quarter, including regular starting point guard Mario Chalmers, sometime starting center Joel Anthony, and normal rotation guys Mike Miller, Norris Cole, and James Jones.  He called a timeout to try to stop a Celtics run.  He subbed in offense for defense with his three point shooters.  But it kept getting worse for Miami, and over a 17 minute span Boston went on a 42-14 run to build a 78-60 lead with 60 seconds to go.

The Celtics scored just 28 in the first half, but also 28 in the fourth quarter using only the last 5 guys on the end of the bench.  Miami's scoring breakdown by quarter: 17-17-16-16.

And finally, Boston beat the Heat all three times they played this month.  NOBODY saw that coming.  


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My unpopular opinion on Daniel Bard

Leave him in the starting rotation.  Yup, that's what I think.  Here's the case for why he shouldn't be moved back to the bullpen:

Yeah, the Red Sox relievers have an MLB worst 8.06 combined ERA.  But Boston's starters also have the second worst ERA in baseball at 5.81, so at the moment it's kind of lose lose either way.  But we're only 15 games in, and 12 of those 15 games have been against the top four scoring offenses in the league (Texas, New York, Toronto, and Tampa in that order).  The pitching numbers will improve.

Here are five of the best relievers in baseball so far:
Matt Belisle, Colorado - 6.2 IP, 0.15 WHIP, 0.00 ERA
Ryan Cook, Oakland - 7.1 IP, 0.68 WHIP, 0.00 ERA
Duane Below, Detroit - 10 IP, 0.70 WHIP, 0.00 ERA
Luis Perez, Toronto - 11.1 IP, 0.71 WHIP, 0.00 ERA
Henry Rodriguez, Wash - 7.1 IP, 0.95 WHIP, 0.00 ERA

If you've even heard of all those guys before, I am impressed.  Not only is it way too early in the season to know who's good and who's not, I also believe that most relief pitchers are a dime a dozen.  Any random reliever is just as likely to have a solid year as the next guy.  Alfredo Aceves is the perfect example, he came out of nowhere last season.  The best pitchers become starters because they throw more innings; it's fairly simple.  Occasionally they turn into closers.  Regular bullpen guys are what's left over.  This is why I didn't like the Mark Melancon for Jed Lowrie/Kyle Weiland trade to begin with, it seemed to me that Weiland could easily have been as good in relief as Melancon, and then Lowrie would still be here.

But the main reason to keep Bard in the rotation is because he and the Red Sox spent most of the off season and all of spring training working on converting him into a starter.  He's only made two starts, and he was very good in the last one.  Give it some more time.  Let's see what he can do.  It seems stupid to me to scrap the plan and make major changes less than 10% of the way into the season.  About three weeks after the NBA started I wrote a piece on why it would be dumb to break up the Cetlics so early in the year.  At the time they were 5-8, and appeared washed up.  Look what happened.  Quick panicked overreactions are rarely the wise move.


Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm a fan of the redhead girl from the "I would run to you" Nike commercial song

The one minute version of this commercial is all over my television lately, and since the song has been beaten into my brain, I tried to figure out what it's a cover of.  My research brought surprising results: It's not a cover.  It's an original song written specifically for this ad, and the actors are actually singing.  I am impressed.  Here's the full version:

The other reason I'm writing this is because twice in the last few weeks I have been asked to name a celebrity that I liked/had a crush on.  I couldn't come up with anything even close to a current answer (I think I may have mentioned Winnie Cooper).  So my new response is going to be "the running redhead from the Nike commercial."  I guess she's not quite a celebrity yet, but she does have an IMDB page.  Her name is Stephanie Lynn, and it seems as though she's also a little bit of a crunchy Vermont hippie girl musician.  Here's her website.  She a perfect candidate to play out by the airport on the Vineyard sometime this summer (my sources tell me it's no longer Nectar's).

Also, from what we've learned about both of the characters in that 2:30 long video, based on personality, clothing, running ability, looks, etc; she's clearly too good for him, right?   Leave a comment somewhere and let me know what you think.

As I'm proofreading this I'm realizing that in many ways it's oddly similar to both what I wrote yesterday, and the day before.  Oh well.  Back to sports tomorrow.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Some thoughts on animal crackers

The other day I was in CVS, and I saw these sitting on the shelf:

I hadn't seen them in years, and there was only one box there, so naturally I bought it.  When I was a little kid and used to ride around in the seat built into the grocery cart while my parents shopped, sometimes they would give me one of these to keep me quiet.  They were pretty much my favorite food in the world I think.  But as time went by I guess I forgot about them, and this other kind of animal crackers became much more prominent:

So the question is, which is better?  The Barnum ones look like this out of the box:

They are softer, thinner, less crunchy, much more detailed in terms of artwork, kind of like graham crackers, and a little sweeter maybe?  I can't decide which ones I like more.  I think I have to go with Barnum's for nostalgic reasons, but it's close; very close.  Vote in the poll on the right and tell me which one you think is the superior animal cracker.

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