I Never Get Tired of Being Wrong.

Bron Poses with his Teammates.

Bron Poses with his Teammates.

In the last couple of months I’ve made a number of predictions that haven’t come to fruition, but perhaps the biggest misstep of my young blogging career was touting Cleveland as a finals participant before the Magic/Celtics series was even over.  I didn’t get to see game six on Saturday night, but the score has to tell most of the story.  The Magic handled Cleveland like no other team could this season, and won the series easily.  A match-up that I envisioned as a Cleveland sweep nearly turned into the opposite.  The series was never about LeBron’s gaudy stats.  It became clear early that the Cavs didn’t have the defensive answers, or enough of a supporting cast. 

I was a little disappointed to hear LeBron didn’t talk to the press after the game.  Not a very regal move by LeBron, and no matter how upset he is with the loss he needs to answer some questions.  LeBron did speak today, saying he’s happy in Cleveland and that he thought the team made strides this season.  Certainly they had a tremendous regular season, but in the playoffs they got exposed as a team built for December and not May.  The first time the team faced adversity they cowered into LeBron’s shadow, and spouted false bravado. 

We’ve been discussing LeBron a lot lately, and whether he was doing all that he could in the series.  I don’t think LeBron could have done much more, and the blame for the series has to fall elsewhere.  When I look at Cleveland without my Bron Bron blinders on it looks like a team that just isn’t good enough more than a team that underachieved against the Magic.  Cleveland has one more year to get it right with LeBron.  They can offer him a contract extension this summer, but I would be shocked if LeBron didn’t test the market, and ultimately end up elsewhere. 

As far as Kobe vs. LeBron Skip to my Lou…I won’t be watching.  I’ll be looking at scores from afar, hoping that the Lakers somehow find a way to lose.  Perhaps the Magic have four more games left in them.  Four more good games, they’ll definitely play four more, probably six tops.  Looking forward to Shaq’s freestyle rap repsonse to a Lakers/Kobe title.

Red Wings are the Anti-Cavs.

Never knew why Cameron wore a Red Wings Jersey in Chicago.

Cameron rocked the Wings Jersey in Hostile Territory.

I watched some of the hockey game tonight, and it must be damn nice to be a Red Wings fan.  A remarkable team, that’s battling injury, and yet has completely handled Pittsburgh in the first two games.  Pittsburgh had their opportunities tonight, but playing Detroit has to be one of the most disheartening endeavors of all of sport.  And Chris Osgood has to be one of the most underrated players in the game.  A lot of the credit has been given to the team over the years in Detroit, but tonight Osgood flat outplayed Fluery, and that was a big part of the outcome.  Penguins heading home desperate and frustrated.

(Another conclusion drawn from watching Game Two:  The Flyers have a lot of work to do if they want a title.) 

Other Random Sports News:

–Raffy Nadal lost in the French Open.  This is major news in the tennis world, meaning it hardly causes a blip elsewhere on the radar.  Nadal had been all but unbeatable on clay, though he did lose a tune-up to Roger Federer before the French.  The stars seem to be aligning for Federer to finally make a successful run at this title.  It’s an event that has eluded him to this point, and a win allows him to complete the career Grand Slam. 

–The Phillies swept through the Nationals.  Even Jamie Moyer piled on the miserable Nats with a decent outing Sunday afternoon.  The series went pretty much how I expected it would, except that Brad Lidge didn’t blow a save.  Lidge is experiencing his best success of the season recently, but if we’re getting excited about a few saves against a team that is already 20+ games under .500 maybe the expectations have officially been lowered.  Also of note this weekend was Ryan Howard’s towering, massive grand slam into the 3rd deck in right field.  I knew it was a historic shot when I received about 4 txts messages in 45 seconds asking if I’d seen the home run.  For reference I usually get about four texts a day.  Thanks to everyone who kept me in the loop while I was away.

Strangest. Menu. Ever.

Ladies Love Pickle Breath.

Ladies Love Pickle Breath.

Saturday night was the big birthday celebration for JCK.  It will go down as a great party, and without a doubt the trendiest night of my life.  We started with dinner and cocktails at The Beehive before moving on to Alibi Lounge at the Liberty Hotel.  Even though I strongly believe in the concept of lounging, I’m not a frequent visitor to this type of establishment.  I mean, I got my hand stamped.  It was pretty exciting. 

So the picture above is the back of the champagne menu.  They were scattered around the couches where we were sitting (I resisted the urge to snag a bottle of Perrier Jouet for a half a dime-ski).  Again, I don’t usually attend places like this so maybe pickles and chocolate chip cookies are standard fare, but in the moment I was baffled by the items and inspired to take the photo.  I did not see anyone partaking in the pickle, and an attempt to order the half-pound cookie was unsuccessful.  There was a lot of discussion about cookie density, and exactly how big an 8 oz. cookie is.  My favorite guess, “That’d be the size of a pizza.”  I’m still not sure what it would look like, but I’m thinking it’d be huge…and at 3 American probably the best deal on the menu. 

The night ended with a cautionary tale.  Do not give me your car keys.  I was holding the key to Aaron’s rental car, and sometime between the Beehive and this morning the key ceased to be in my pocket.  Best guess is that it is touring Boston in the back of a cab, so if anyone out there comes across the key for a Toyota Prius you can return it to the lovely people at Hertz. 

Overall it was a great night, it was great to see some people I hadn’t caught up with in a while, and Aaron got a new rental car.  Only in America do you get a happy ending like that.

Weird Eve.

The Two Amigos

Speedy Gonzalez and Cinderella

Official 3 Putt Territory Happy Birthday to JCK and the distinguished JWK.  Two fine men both born on May 29th.  I wish I could explain the picture above, but I can’t, and that would take away all the fun of speculation.  Pretty low key birthday gathering in preparation for the big night tomorrow.  Chef Novey composed a brilliant piece of meat, and a fine array of salads. The gourmet cupcakes for dessert were a delight.  The cupcake is coming back.  They’re not just for He-Man themed third grade birthday parties anymore. 

Following up on two Philadelphia sports topics from the week.  First, Brett Myers is having hip surgery, which puts the rest of his season in doubt.  Myers may not be able to throw off a mound for three months.  This is the first real test of the Ruben Amaro GM era.  We’ll see how he responds to this desperate need for starting pitching.  JA Happ looks like he might be in the rotation for good after another decent start tonight, but there are still one or two holes.  It’s important that the Phillies make the right move, and not a rushed, desperate one.  Already the names Peavy and Oswalt have been thrown out, but I’d consider them a long shot at best.   I’m not sure the Phillies have the prospects to pull a top-line starter in a trade.

The Sixers have reportedly hired Eddie Jordan to be their next coach.  This is one of those situations where the Sixers interviewed everyone, and then hired the guy everyone expected in the first place.   All I know about Jordan is that he’s done a decent job in the past with marginal teams.  The Sixers certainly have a marginal team.  Jordan could be a great coach, but it will all come down to the players.  I remember the story of a Baltimore Orioles pitching coach who got fired several years back.  His quote after leaving, “You can train a donkey to run in the Preakness, but that  doesn’t mean it’s going to win.”  And, there it is.

Have we Seen the Last of Brett?

Hip Problems.  Bad Hip Problems.

Hip Problems. Bad Hip Problems.

Brett Myers is seeking a second opinion on his injured hip.  That’s what you do when the first opinion is not good news.  Myers says he will attempt to pitch through his injury, but all signs are pointing towards surgery and a lost season for the Phillies number two starter.  The loss of Myers would send an already shoddy Phillies rotation into a free fall, and seriously hinder their chances as repeating as division champs. 

General Manager Ruben Amaro has said that Chan Ho Park will stay in the bullpen, which means Myers will be likely replaced if need be by Drew Carpenter, Kyle Kendrick,  Carlos Carrasco or Antonio Bastardo.  All four pitchers are currently in the rotation for AAA Lehigh Valley.  Bastardo has enjoyed the most success this year, mostly in Reading, and Kendrick has the most major league experience.  Not sure who would have the inside track if Myers is shelved for the year, but I feel like the Phillies would take the safe play, and at least start with Kendrick.

Without Myers a lot of pressure will fall on Joe Blanton to bring some consistency to his starts.  I don’t think Blanton is a front end of the rotation pitcher, so he’s going to have bad outings, but I’m sure he and the Phillies feel otherwise.  

Just another reason this injury is bad timing:  Myers is in the last year of his contract.  Busted hips don’t play well on the free agent market.

Game Five Live

 

Official Dog Of 3-Putt Territory

Official Dog Of 3-Putt Territory

 

 

What’s up everyone.  Im coming live from Milton, MA with Three Putt Territory correspondent JCK.  We’re going to live blog game 5…starting in the 2nd quarter. 

9:12 pm–JCK during a smirnoff ice commercial, “Remember when we were in that mix?”  Oh, yes…I remember.

9:14 pm–JCK on Stan Van Gundy “Look at this Porn Mustache F***”

9:15 pm–Daisy the bulldog is coming live as well…crazy LeBron esque althleticism out of this bulldog.

9:17pm–JCK..”Didn’t Rashard Lewis rape a girl in a hotel?”  Uhhh…not too sure about that one.  Clarification:  Maybe that was Kobe Bryant.

9:17 pm–By the way…here comes Orlando.  35-21 Cavs

9:20 pm–Waiting for blog correspondent Aaron to show…just saw a preview for the Will Farrell Danny McBride Movie…Kenny Powers.

9:23 pm–Howard garbage flail and one…he has no offensive moves.  Listening to Reggie Miller is so painful.  He just said LeBron has to be in attack mode…um what?

9:25 pm–Gortat looks like a steroid riddled version of Jon Barry.    Magic within 10.  Come on Cleveland.  WTF?

9:27pm–LeBron walks…no call.  JCK…”thats the Ewing rule”

9:29 pm–What’s his nuts Lee is wearing the Rip Hamilton mask.  Can we toughen these guys up a little?  It’s basketball.

9:32 pm–We’ve just decided.  Next timeout is Hendricks and Tonic Time.  Magic within 8.

9:35 pm–Delonte West.  St. Joe’s what what.  Big Five.  Cleveland back up 11.  Daisy the bulldog just tried to airmail onto my lap.  Verdict:  Fail.

9:37pm–Ron Jeremy just got T’d up.  What a hot mess.  This guy should coach in a honey mustard stained sweatsuit.

9:40pm–Discussions on LeBron stealing the chalk clap from KG.  I feel like KG invented it.

9:41 pm–Whats up with all the Dos Equis commericials?  I mean, no one actually drinks this beer right?  It’s like the beer you lied about drinking during that trip to Mexico when you were 17.

9:43 pm–Hendrick’s and Tonic’s people…Cleveland hanging in there, holding 12.  

9:44pm–Whats up with the Muppets style Nike Commericals?  Awful.  

9:45 pm–Blog correspondent Aaron has arrived.  For the first time ever he’s heavier than JCK…and he just came back from the kitchen without a drink.  Foul.

9:47pm–Big “Z” just had a Tom Chambers type 1986 dunking explosion.  BANG.  Spike that.

9:49 pm–Reggie Miller…”Szerbiak can’t guard Turkoglou”  Uh, Reggie…Szerbiak can’t guard anyone.  

9:50 pm–JCK’s prediction for BK’s golf score on Saturday…112.

9:52 pm–Rashard Lewis makes it rain from “3” right before the half…Orlando within 1 at halftime.  JCK says, “Ballgame Orlando”

9:57 pm–We’re going to watch a Californicaton episode during halftime.

10:04 pm–I’m getting some Flomax.  Just to see what’s up.

10:08 pm– JCK predicts 16-0 and a Super Bowl for the Pats.  Cancel the season.

10:14 pm–and Orlando leads…by 4.

10:15 pm–Bud Light Lime…taking the worst part of a Corona and bringing it to american light beer.

10:19 pm–Cleveland is not guarding anybody.  Orlando by 8.  This looks a lot like goodnight gracie.  

10:20 pm–Turkoglou is everywhere.  Blog bulldog Daisy has been banished to the kitchen due to aggressiveness.

10:27 pm–Cleveland quasi back in control up 70-67.  Trying to upload a pic of blog bulldog Daisy..success.

10:31 pm–I’m starting to remember why I don’t watch complete NBA games.  This is going to be crazy boring until the last 5 mins.  

10:33 pm–Varejao is a waste of space.  Duke Blue Devil esque flail.  Shane Battier would have blown the whistle.

10:36 pm–Catching a few minutes of Jim Jefferies on HBO per recco…pretty funny cat.  

10:43 pm–Boobie Miles hits a three.  Cleveland playing like an underdog.  Szerbiak bricks a three…great contribution Wally.  Orlando leads going into 4th.

10:44 pm–JCK takes piss break number a billion.  

1045 pm –gross goes to get beverage

10:46pm –gross returns with BL…long weekend.  Put the gin to rest for now.

10:50 pm–Daniel Gibson hits another 3…Cleveland by 4.  LeBreezy almost makes an “and one” over his head.  Oh LeBron, Just stop it…Cleveland by 6 as Dwight Howard sits with 4 fouls.

10:53 pm–Howard is back in, hits another garbage turnaround.    Pietrus hits a 3, and its 86-85 Cleveland.  This is the least exciting close game I’ve ever seen.  

10:55 pm– JCK “LeBron travels.  I hate LeBron”

10:58 pm–Blog Bulldog Daisy has been upgraded from fiesty to “just plain naughty”  Cleveland by 2.  89-87.  LeBreezy has 25-10-12.  Good Gracious.  The rest of this team does stink.

11:00 pm–We have an assistant coach Ewing sighting.  Verdict:  Sweating.  

11:01 pm– Aaron…”Speaking of Trannies…”  Nervous.  

11:03 pm–LeBron looks like he’s going to take this over.  JCK complaining that Bron walks every possession and gets all the calls.

11:08 pm–Wondering how Mike Brown got his job.   I mean, just cause we’re curious.

11:10 pm–Huge tubby mass of humanity sitting behind Van Gundy wearing a LeBron All-Star jersey.  Get him some celery and maybe a diet Fresca.

11:113 pm–Varajao missed a dunk.  Breezy lay-up and one.  Howard fouls out.  Trouble for Orlando.   

11:14 pm–Random athlete sightings….Roethisberger, A-Rod, and Mo Rivera.  G-List stiffs.  

11:17 pm–Bron bangs in another 3…call the ball on this game.  We’re going back to Orlando.  Oh my budget…Brady Quinn is there.  Where is his sister?  Oh, she’s probably doing something weird with AJ Hawk.

11:19 pn–Cleveland by 11.  One Minute Left.  Live Blogging…Over.

Cubs Call up Bill Brasky.

Jake Fox goes about 6' 8", 320.

Jake Fox goes about 6' 8", 320.

I made a suggestion to a David Ortiz fantasy owner yesterday:  Give Jake Fox a try.  Given that Ortiz has produced as many home runs as Chan Ho Park this season, it probably wasn’t too hard  of a decision.  Fox was 1 for 1 with a 2B and an RBI in his debut, and his new fantasy owner drew an immediate comparison to Bill Brasky.  Fox was having one of the most remarkable seasons in recent minor league history.  Through 40 games he was hitting .423 with 17 homers and 50 RBIs.  If those numbers don’t get you a promotion, what will?

The Phillies lost Wedneday night, losing the series to the Marlins.  Disappointing performace by the offense, which as everyone knows must carry this team to whatever heights it will achieve.  The Phillies are off today before starting a weekend series at home against the Nationals.  It seems like the Phils have played the Nats a lot this year already, and they come in at a perfect time.  Dominant on the road, the Phillies have been terrible at home.  It’s not a pattern of a winning team.  Hopefully the Nats will continue to lay down, but I’d expect a couple slugfests, a possible nail biter, and a Brad Lidge blown save. 

On my way later on today to spend the weekend celebrating the birthday of blog correspondant, JCK.  We’re hoping to get a decent bit of weather to squeeze in some golf, and with BK in attendace we’ll get a close look at that golf swing, and move along with the BK vs. Ian Baker-Finch analysis.  Baker-Finch tees off at 9:02 local time, I’ll set the over/under at 75.5.  BK’s over/under for Saturday will be set at 104.5.   Also this weekend, Weird is (-240) against Not Weird.