Tag:Matt Abedi's Sporting Universe
Posted on: June 30, 2008 1:03 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2008 1:17 pm

Alpha Blog: Do you pay Gilbert Arenas the money?

Is Gilbert Arenas a $100 million-dollar man?

That's what the Wizards will decide and for all we know, may have already decided.

(Arenas left for China this morning on a promotional tour for his shoe company. Word has it,he won't be negotiating during the trip, or rather, word has it that Arenas is such an oddball he may sign a one-year deal with the Clippers during that time.)

The issues is there are two sides to this coin, courtesy of the Washington Post's Ivan Carter. Gilbert sported more street clothes than jerseys last year.

He has this quote from an anonymous Eastern Conference executive:

"Why would you max him out?" the executive said. "I think one of the biggest reasons you see teams go to the second round of the playoffs, then fall out of the playoffs, is because they max out players that are not max players. The reason you see some teams sustain themselves, at least in the conference finals or the Finals mix, is because they've maxed out the right players. I can't max him out. I don't want to be one of those teams that's one and out, two and out."

Then there's this quote, from a Western Conference executive:

"I'm not saying you give Gilbert Arenas max money just to do it, but I do look at it this way: If there is a team that he's a max-type player for, it's the Wizards, as long as he comes back from the knee problems," said the executive, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. "He's one of those rare guys in this league who can score the basketball, he hits game-winning shots and he can put butts in the seats. What's the value in that? Another key is going to be how his contract impacts that franchise going forward. Will they still be able to sign Jamison? And, will they be able to make the moves going forward they need to make if they want to make that next step? It's an interesting situation."

Then there's this quote from Buzz Bissinger:

"I hate Gilbert Arenas. I think he represents everything that's wrong with blogs and the NBA because he's snarky, malicious, mean spirited and vaguely filled with invectives–in particular when it comes to the comments."

Thanks, Buzz.

Two solid points, Buzz aside, I'd reckon.

I say you do it. because making the big splash is always fun. And because it's easier to find the right role layers to play with superstars than it is to find the right superstars to play with role players. The reason this team hasn't advanced in the playoffs isn't because of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler or Antwan Jamison. It's because they have charismatic, yet horrible role players who blind perception.

Get them a Leon Powe or Carl Landry instead of an Andray Blatche and that's probably a three-win differential just off grit, rebounding and hustle. Get them a true backup point guard, not an Antonio Daniels and the team's offense probably works a bit smoother in key situations. The Wizards have a nice car with their Big Three powered engine, they just haven't configured it the right way.

Plus, keeping Arenas means the Phone Booth now has two of the most charismatic and talented players in sports playing almost everday of the fall/winter season. That's worth $250 million between two owners, right?

Ice Road Truckers 

Didn't get to watch it last night, but I have it DVRd and will have my take tomorrow

Box office recap 

Who the hell saw Wanted pulling in $50-plus million? A rated-R action flick getting that sort of haul? I grossly underestimated the power of Common. Took in WALL-E last night and it doesn't even pretend to be a kid's movie, which is the nicest thing you can say about a kid's movie, in my opinion.

Once again, the final tallies:

1 WALL·E (2008) $62.5M $62.5M

2 Wanted (2008) $51.1M $51.1M

3 Get Smart (2008) $20M $77.3M

On to the best blogs ... around 

If you like report cards and if you like baseball, Matt Abedi's Sporting Universe has just the blog for you.

Jaromir Jagr is contemplating joining the Continental Hockey League in Russia. Just Another Sports Blog got a hold of the story, and doesn't like the words coming out of Jagr's mouth.

How are the frosh and sophs from 2005 doing in the NBA right now? I enjoyed this tidbit on Martell Webster, courtesy of Spin Out!:

"Will take a rebound if someone carefully faces up to him and places the ball in both his hands with both of their hands."

Dan, Harry and Bull continue their quest to win What's On My Mind's Best Shows in TV History (comedy bracket).

Klick of the Day 

See ya next year at Wimbledon Bethanie Mattek, but don't ever stop pleasing the employees (from last year).

Posted on: June 25, 2008 10:59 am
Edited on: June 25, 2008 12:29 pm

Alpha Blog: Wimbledon to pigeons: Poop elsewhere

Pooping, dive-bombing pigeons have finally met their match in England.

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club has hired sharpshooters to take out the birds before the winged rats disembark their droppings on tables Wimbledon fans are prone to dine at.

The tournament does have two hawks employed to scare away pigeons, which, apparently were swooping down on Center Court and distracting players.

But the hawks failed to keep the pigeons away from where fish, chips and strawberries are sold, which of course, will happen when you hire chickenhawks instead of hawks.

The Sharpton-esque animal rights group, PETA, has sent a letter outlying the “apparently illegal action” to Wimbledon.

“Since the use of marksmen to kill pigeons appears to have been carried out as a first, rather than a last resort, and not out of a concern for public health, but rather because the animals were deemed inconvenient by players, you appear to be in clear violation of the law,” PETA vice-president Bruce Friedrich said.

By law, Friedrich means the Animal Welfare Act. The act, according to the AP, says a property owner can only use lethal control as a last resort if it can demonstrate, in a court of law, which non-lethal methods had been used and only if the target species presents a demonstrable risk to public health and safety.

Lesson to note: If you don't ask Brenda Fricker to leave, you can't start shooting pigeons.

This just in from Friedrich via email to the Korner:

"We confirmed with a Wimbledon spokesperson that they will not be killing any more pigeons. She also assured us that they 'use a humane method normally' (of course, this grants that killing the animals is inhumane). She says that they had the fellow with the hawk down there this morning and that they will contact us when the tournament is over in order to figure out the best way to work on pigeon control at the Club in the future."

Controversy, to borrow a term from the Roland Garros crowd, is fin.

On to the best blogs ... around   

Who is Brian Runge? The ump who "instigated an event that led to both Jerry Manuel and Carlos Beltrain getting ejected," and somebody who should have a two-week unpaid vacation, Coming Outta Left Field...says

Justin Duchscherer, AL All-Star starter? Before you think Matt Abedi's Sporting Universe is on crazy pills, read the blog.

The mock drafts are out, and The Downunder View has a few, uh, views. Robin Lopez to the Clippers? Danilo Gillinari to the Raptors? Russell Westbrook to the Knicks?

Travis Hafner's shoulder is a mess. I White; You Read explains why parting ways with the Indians' designated hitter still tugs at his fantasy heart strings.

Klick of the Day  

A Tiger Woods' apple core is for sale. For sale for $36,000. 

Posted on: April 25, 2008 11:45 am
Edited on: April 25, 2008 4:28 pm

Alpha Blog: Ben, 'Lost's' space traveler

After its month-and-change long hiatus, Lost came back with a vengeance Thursday night. Let's discuss.

We start with the game of Risk, the game of world domination -- and Hugo's accurate, yet ironic statement that Australia (hey, that's where this all began!) is the key to the whole game. A game in which, as Ben reminds us over and over, "the rules have now changed."

And from that moment we see Hugo, Sawyer and Locke playing that oh-so-fun game, we're taken on a wild, globe-trotting ride inside the game of Lost. We see the bloodshed, the grief, the alcoholism and manipulation that results in the battle between Others ruler Ben and drunky British tycoon Chaz Widmore. Like Steven Seagal, Ben is out for justice.

We learn that Ben is a Jumper, a Quantum Leaper, a Stargater. Somebody, who through his mysterious closet portal, can get places -- and times -- very quickly.

We first see Ben in Tunisia, puking, hurting and sporting a Dharma winter coat. He's been to Tunisia before, which begs the question -- how long has he been time traveling? And what sort of reputation does he exactly have at that hotel? And where did he just come from, what with that heavy coat? Siberia possibly? Where Risk playing Sawyer and Locke are rolling the die on in the opening sequence?

He eventually makes his way to future, Oceanic-6 Sayid, who's in Tikrit, Iraq mourning the loss of his wife, Naomi. We see the genesis of how these two dark characters join -- the loss of women can be such a bonding force.

We also see Ben in London, paying a visit to Widmore. The two engage in a pleasant debate over who really killed Ben's daughter and the merits of whose Island it really is.

We also learn that Iraq is really "nice this time of the year." Classic deadpan Ben humor.

OK, so we're still not sure what to make of 2005 Ben. He's clearly on an out-for-justice mission to avenge his adopted daughter's death and screw Widmore to high hell. We learn he can jump around the world, has never really been out of control of any situation on the Island (how 'bout that piano-seat shotgun?) and that there's some sort of game being played with the Island the focal point.

As for on-island developments: Ben's daughter is dead, Jack has appendicitis, Claire can really take a RPG blast well, the freighter is not a rescue ship, Farrady is a liar, an alleged dead doctor floats to shore and most interesting -- Ben controls the black smoke.

I'm open to any ideas about this phenomenon. It seems like a sort of Raiders of the Lost Ark meets The Abyss mercenary-killing creature -- but it apparently doesn't kill merc leader Keamy. 

An impressive amount of stuff for one episode, titled The Shape of Things to Come.

But I'm a bit saddened to learn about this time-traveling angle. I dig the concept as much as the next TV nerd, but, depending on how they logic this one out, it seems like some serious suspension of disbelief will be required going forward. As is the case with any time-traveling experiment.

Your thoughts on the episode? What does Ben really mean with "you changes the rules of the game,"  is the Island some sort of time traveling Hartsfield-ian hub, and what about that washed up corpse?

Dan Haren is good, but did the D-Backs pay too much?On to the best blogs ... around!  

Sick of hearing about how "lucky" the Orioles are? Collected and Conveyed. begs you to watch some of the team's wins and marvel in how well they're actually playing. (BTW, we have a surprising amount of Orioles-related blogs. I'm impressed)

What's 513 mean to you? Well here's what it means to GoPack's Yak: Jim Thome has now passed Ernie Banke and Eddie Matthews on the all-time home run list. Impressive? You bet, considering the recent rash of PE sluggers.

If you still think the A's were fleeced in the Danny Haren trade, Matt Abedi's Sporting Universe asks you to think a bit differently. My question: Why would anybody ever trade with Billy Beane? Hell, if I'm a GM I'd start trade talks just to see who he likes in my system, then I'd get those guys up the bigs ASAP.

Octopi and Red Wings games go together like lamb and tunafish, which is why In the Crease is just a bit peeved at the treatment of Al Sobotka, the Joe Louis Arena building manger.

Klick of the Day      

If you want every reference, name, historical import in last night's Lost broken down, read Doc Jensen's recap of the episode. (EW.com)

Posted on: February 12, 2008 5:47 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2008 6:15 pm

Blog Day Afternoon: He'll pump you up

Uno looks to be No. 1. Chelsea's being "pimped." But first, Verne Troyer's 15 minutes of fame just expired.

I lift weights, and I am weights!Introducing Aditya "Romeo" Dev, the world's smallest bodybuilder. Standing 2-9, Romeo weighs 20 pounds, but can lift 3.3-pound weights over his head. That's nearly 16.5 percent of his body weight. If you weigh 205 pounds, you'd have to lift 34 pounds over your head to match that. OK, so that's not the best way to talk this guy up. The best way is to simply check out his photos.

He's blonde. He has a mustache. He wears shorts with animals see-sawing and he dances. What more do you want?

Maybe some Jazzy B. That's Romeo's dream, to perform with Punjabi pop star Jazzy B. According to his website, Jazzy B "packs an enormous tidal wave of a punch ... and is one of the most prominent stars of Punjabi music in the 21st century." I can see why being the likely strongest dwarf in the world wouldn't be enough.

So long Mini-me, it's the real Lil Romeo's time.

Scarlett Johansson before the work?"Pimping," but not the Clinton you think

 Apparently Jack Donaghy doesn't like when General Electric employees use the word "pimp." MSNBC host David Shuster asked two guests recently, "Doesn't it seem as if Chelsea [Clinton] is sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"

This led to a firestorm response from the Clinton camp (do they know any other type of response?) about associating their daughter with the word "pimp." Well, despite pimp's mainstream success of late (Pimp My Ride, Big Pimpin', Katt Williams' schtick), it's apparently still a no-no word. Why? Slate.com's Jesse Sheidlower explains the origins of the word.

Oh, completely relevant and mildly tasteless ... is Chelsea sort of becoming a poor, poor, poor man's Scarlett Johansson?

Personally, I like Captain better...

Scout.com released its' best names list of the class of 2008. Top honors go to a Florida Atlantic defensive tackle who guys by the name of Yourhighness Morgan.

Don't call me Snoopy!Sit, Ubu, sit ... then destroy

And congrats to Uno, our beagle who made it through the hounds group at the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show and will now look to bring home the breeds' first-ever Best In Show collar.

What do you have to say about that, Buck Laughlin?

"Excuse me if this off the subject a little bit, but just take a guess at how much I can bench press. Come on, what do you think? Take a guess. 315 pounds, at the top of my game, maxing out at 500! "

Thanks, I guess.

On to the best ... blogs around!

If you're not buying what John Rocker, steroids outer, is selling, then BigPapiandManny's 3-4 Punch has something you may agree with: John Rocker, SHUT THE HELL UP!

Wait, we have more Rocker ..

Do you like competitive biking? If so, there's a race called The Tour of California and Who cares about these sports? gives the 411 (so 2003, I know) on all the teams competing.

***Watch out Scott Miller, Matt Abedi's Sporting Universe has a solid NL West preview worth reading.***

Fresh off the Patriots' perfect regular season, the Memphis Tigers are looking like they may move into Perfectville. Mind of The Big B wonders about that neighborhood.

Texas has already defeated three top six schools. Parrish: The Thoughts says Memphis should be scared, very scared come selection Sunday.

Josh Harding gets A Top Quark. Nik Backstrom gets Up Quarks. Refs get Bottom Quarks. And if you have any idea what I'm talking about or want to, read Mouthing Off From the Catbird Seat. It's better than playing dead.

***indicates the chef's blog du jour

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com