Saturday, December 14, 2013

Rajon Rondo is practicing (hopefully won't pull a Derrick Rose) -- bad news for Jordan Crawford's All-Star campaign

Rondo was back on the court Saturday participating in practice fully for the time since tearing his ACL in February.  From this point he should return to game action within a month.  In a similar situation last spring Rose was medically cleared to play for the Bulls, but decided against it until the beginning of this season.

However, if we don't see Rondo take the floor again soon, it may not be his decision.  At 11-14 the Celtics are in first place in a terrible Atlantic Division.  But they're also just a few games away from having one of the five worst records in the NBA, which would likely mean a top player in the 2014 draft.  If Danny Ainge starts making trades to build for the future (and in turn make the team worse right now), the club could "encourage" Rondo to sit out a while longer.

Last week I posted a blog on Celtics Life emploring fans to vote for Jordan Crawford for the All-Star game.  I also wrote an article for Yahoo Sports making the case for Crawford, who statistically has been the second best point guard in the East so far.  But if Rondo does return soon, Crawford's All-Star long shot will all but disappear.  At this point Crawford is also a probable trade candidate, and if so Ainge would want to move him before Rondo takes his job away and lowers his value.  Another Yahoo article I wrote suggested Boston deal Crawford to Miami, and today the New York Daily News printed this:
"A few GMs have identified Boston’s Jordan Crawford as a player the Heat will go after in the coming days/weeks."

As of now no GMs have contacted me for further trade advice.

Friday, December 13, 2013

What if bars put every drink in the same glass?

Anyone who's ever worked in the service industry (or really any job for that matter) has had that moment when they think "if I owned this place here's what would be different..."

Well, for me, one of the things I'd like to see is a high end bar/restaurant that puts every single drink in the same glass.  It'd make life way easier for the staff, and save the establishment a lot of money as well.  I've had this idea for many many years, dating back to when I first came to the conclusion that martini glasses are about the stupidest thing ever.  They serve no function, are annoying to hold, and pretty much constantly spill all over the place.  So without further ado, here's the glass I've decided is best suited for everything a bar might serve:

In doing this research I've just discovered the official name for a glass of this type is a double old fashioned.  This particular one holds 13.25 oz of liquid, so you can pour a 12 oz draft beer (or bottle) in it no problem.  Standard mixed drinks would fit perfectly as well.  There's also a thick heavy base similar to rocks glasses for people who like to drink straight booze.  And it's vaguely the same shape as a martini glass, but it's design will make it much less likely to spill (also because a martini would only fill it up to about the LucidSportsFan line).  Similarly a glass of wine would pour to that same line as well.  But best of all, these glasses could be stacked one on top of the other to save space.

As far as I know this is the third blog I've written with which I used a picture of bar glass, here are the first two:
Snifters 101
"Can I get $7 of Patron?" 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Old MLB pitchers: Retired or Not?

In case you don't watch 6 hours of ESPN's (yes, plural - original, 2, news, etc.) a day and haven't been paying any attention to offseason baseball stories this past week, here's a brief recap of what's happened with some aging pitchers, along the lines of the "dead or alive" celebrities game:

ESPN should have had a special episode of "Baseball Tonight"
 with Mark Mulder reporting on Mark Mulder's comeback
Roy Halladay, 36, Retired - After going 4-5 with a 6.82 ERA for the Phillies last season, the two-time Cy Young Award winner has decided to hang 'em up.

Bartolo Colon, 40, Not retired - Colon's miraculous (and by miraculous I mean steroid aided) late-career renaissance continues, as he just signed a two-year deal with the Mets for $20 million.  Colon was basically washed up back in 2008 with Boston.

Mark Mulder, 36, No longer retired - Mulder quit baseball in 2009 after multiple arm surgeries, and has been working as a Baseball Tonight analyst since 2011.  Apparently he's figured out a new pitching delivery that makes him feel young again, and he's hoping to return to the big leagues in 2014.

Mark Prior, 33, Finally officially retired - It's crazy to think Prior is still just 33 years old.  The former Chicago Cubs fireballer hasn't pitched in the majors in over seven years, and will finish his career with a 42-29 record in just 106 total starts.  He had one spectacular season (2003) in which he went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 211.1 innings, but could never get his shoulder back to form after reconstructive surgery in 2006.  Prior had a cup of coffee with the Red Sox organization in 2012, and re-injured his shoulder attempting to pitch for Cincinnati's triple-A team last April.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Patriots have AFC East's best record for 13th straight season

At 10-3, New England can now finish no worse than 10-6.  The second place Dolphins (currently 7-6) can't do any better than 10-6.  Even though the Pats haven't officially cliched anything yet, they're still guaranteed to finish with the most wins in the division; for the thirteenth year in a row.

I alluded to this while discussing the Patriots NFL best win percentage since 2001 (when Tom Brady first took over as quarterback) last month, and now it's official.  They've won 10 (and about to be 11) AFC East titles during that span, but in the other two seasons they still tied for the top record in the division.  In 2002, the year following their first Super Bowl victory, there was a three-way logjam for first at 9-7 with the Dolphins and Jets (who were officially champions), and New England missed the playoffs on tie-breakers.  During the Brady-less Matt Cassel season of 2008 the Pats again lost out on tie-breakers (this time to Miami), and became the first 11-5 team to ever miss the postseason.

According to the club's official twitter account, they're also the only NFL franchise to post a winning record every year since the turn of the century:

Here's last year's version of this piece: The Patriots greatness that nobody is talking about

...and the 2011 edition as well: The NFL is full of parity year to year. Except for here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Celtics vs Nets: Not your average game between 10-12 and 6-14 teams

Two rather shocking things that I can't imagine even the most die-hard of Celtics fans could ever have imagined:

1. That Jordan Crawford would win Eastern Conference Player of the Week.  The Celtics were the only team in the East to go undefeated last week (3-0), and Crawford (who averaged 23.3 points, 6.7 assists, and 3 rebounds per game) was deemed the conference's best player.  That is insane.

2. The first reunion between Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett and the Celtics would occur with Boston in first place, and the Nets trailing them by 3 games in the standings.

For tank fans, at this point it's looking like the only way that can happen is if Danny Ainge starts trading guys away.  Here's an idea I wrote about for Yahoo Sports that would send Jordan Crawford to the Heat (the pro-Celtics commenters think I'm an idiot for proposing this, which is interesting to me because I'm fairly certain Boston would be much more likely to make the trade than Miami).

And for more on tonight's matchup (including a prediction and whether or not Pierce might make a miraculous return to action with a broken hand) check out my Celtics vs Nets preview for CLNS Radio.

Also, if you happen to read Polish (or have google translate, which is funny to read), take a look at this brief interview I did on the Celtics for a blog in Poland.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Why the Patriots can still win the Super Bowl without Rob Gronkowski

First I'd like to share a few tweets I sent out during the Patriots crazy 27-26 win over Cleveland yesterday:

Stephen Gostkowski celebrates his successful onside kick
Before New England's miracle comeback win I was still planning on writing a post with this same title.  I realize I'm being redundant and making the same two points week after week, but they're still true:

1.  The last three Super Bowl winners have been anything but favorites heading into the playoffs.  In fact, the 2012 Ravens (10-6), 2011 Giants (9-7), and 2010 Packers (10-6) were all Wild Card teams.  The Pats will be in the post-season this year, and their chances aren't going to be any worse than any of those teams' were.

2.  Three weeks ago the Patriots lost a game in part because what looked liked an obvious pass interference penalty wasn't called.  Yesterday they won largely due to the fact that a very questionable PI flag was thrown.  That is what the NFL has turned into.  As I've said previously, I'm becoming more and more convinced that all close games are decided simple by what penalties the refs feel like calling that day.  Come playoff time this could either go New England's way or not, but it's out of their control.

However, the fact that they did come from behind again and win yesterday adds to my case.  There's something about this 2013 Pats team that can't be defined.  It's the reason they pulled out that game vs New Orleans, almost did in Carolina, and have somehow recovered from double digit deficits in each of the last three weeks.  It's an energy/karma/mojo/luck that pretty much all title winning teams have, and in this case its very reminiscent of the first championship squad of the Belichik/Brady era in 2001.  Whatever that thing is exactly, this club's got it; even without Rob Gronkowski.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

(Patriots inspired) Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Livin' On A Prayer" by Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi's 1986 anthem is frequently played down at Gillette Stadium, and today's game certainly qualified as "Livin' On A Prayer" for New England after escaping with a win despite falling behind by 12 points with two and a half minutes to go.  A great deal of Pats fans would also say that might describe the Pats Super Bowl chances after Rob Gronkowski's injury (I disagree however, more on that Monday).

I realize I'm kind of mailing this one in, and it's definitely not my best work.  But I was due for an AOSOTW today, and I've got some good Patriots and Celtics (win by 41 in New York?  Seriously??) stuff coming up.

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