Pats Chatter Heats Up, Sox Season Sinking Fast, Fantasy Football Fun Part Deux

First, great news on the slot receiver front.  It sounds as though “The Man They Call Welker” could be ready to go not only for training camp but also for game one against the Pink n’ Orange Kitties.  This is probably the best story coming out of the NFL this offseason, particularly when you consider its competition includes the serial rapist in Pittsburgh, Chris Henry’s failed “Teen Wolf” roof ride attempt, and JaMarcus “The Robo-Trip” Russell getting busted with the purple stuff (would’ve been okay if it had been Sunny D).  One thing I do not want to see is Wes involved in any way, shape or form during game 16 against the Texans the preseason slate.

Tom Brady needs an extension, Tom Brady deserves to get paid handsomely via said extension, and Mr. Kraft is going to take care of our boy.  And by the way, Brady shows up for camp with the rookies instead of acting like a holding-out, spoiled little bitch.  Take notes, Logan Mankins.

Continuing with Foxboro fodder, two more picks got inked yesterday (Gronkowski and Cunningham) leaving only Brandon Spikes and Devin McCourty unsigned from this year’s draft stock.  Indications are that the quicksand-like progression of other first round picks’ negotiations is the main factor holding up McCourty’s signing, while Spikes’ agent is “hopeful” his deal will soon be done.  The sooner these kids get to camp with the Hoodie, the better.

As they sit five games out of the AL wild card playoff spot, it should be noted that a ton of games remain for the Sox to right what appears to be a swiftly-sinking ship.  Yes, Beckett and Buchholz have returned to solidify the starting rotation.  And it appears that Victor will be activated for tonight’s tilt with the Mighty Ducks.  Heck, even Jacoby is participating in rehab games.  But the issue for this team at the moment can be summed up by a quick glance at this picture:

Just sit here and think about how much you suck.

The bridge to Bard and Papelbon is broken, washed out by a bad back, poor mechanics and/or the league catching on to his stuff.  Whatever the reason or excuse, Okajima is a shell of the guy who used to reliably get the lead to the big guns, and his own silence on the matter is perhaps more damning than the lousy performances themselves.  (Oh, and as an extra special treat, the Angels will fire newly-acquired Dan Haren across the bow at the Sox for tonight’s series opener.  Ouch.)

Okay, fantasy freeloaders.  Time for Mr. H’s Round Two selections.  Refer back to Round One if you need a refresher on who’s off the board; God knows it was a while ago…

Round Two

11. Randy Moss:  The Man from Rand is in a contract year, his QB is another year removed from knee surgery, and oh yeah, he’s still fucking nasty.  Tied for the league-lead in TD catches with 13 last season; I’m putting him down for 16+ this year.

12. Drew Brees: Hard to believe I’d put any skin-slinger above this guy, but as I said in the previous column, A-Rodge’s rushing stats are the difference.  Best deep ball in the league could easily make a fool of me, to the tune of 4500 yards and (maybe) 40 TDs.

13. Rashard Mendenhall: I hate the Steelers, but the kid is talented, the offense is solid with Roethlisberger and they love to pound the rock.  And by that I mean rape girls.

14. Reggie Wayne: All he does is catch what Peyton tosses his way.  1200 yards and 10 scores last season with Dallas Clark putting up career numbers himself; I think he improves slightly in both categories this year.

15. Calvin Johnson: It’s show-and-prove time for Megatron, and by that I mean he needs to show-and-prove that he can put up numbers worthy of the most bad-ass nickname in professional sports.  I think he’ll do just that, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300 yards and 12 scores, and I’d consider him over Mendenhall AND Wayne if Stafford looks good in camp.

16. Roddy White: The WR run continues as White solidifies himself as an elite receiver.  Matt Ryan can get him the rock, and he’s already got three straight seasons with at least 80 grabs and 1100 yards.

17. Peyton Manning: Yeah, I know, what about Tom Terrific?  Fear not, he’s coming up soon.  But in the second round I have to give Frankenstein’s monster the nod.  He’s a machine who proved he could do it statistically without Marvin Harrison.  Book him for 4000 yards, 30 TDs, and zero interest from females.

18. Ryan Grant: Maybe the most under-appreciated back in the fantasy spectrum, probably because of all the attention Rodgers, Jennings, Driver and Co. receive.  He was good for 1250 yards and 11 scores (with only one fumble lost) last season; only knock is his lack of receiving numbers due to the plethora of Packer options.

19. Tom Brady: I strongly believe that Brady now has the most talented receiving corps in the league, particularly with the positive reports regarding Welker’s health.  Moss, Wes, and Holt are only the beginning as the Pats can also roll out youngsters Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman, and the spanking-new TE duo/Cranston law firm of Gronkowski and Hernandez.  Don’t forget about Crump Juice, either.  I can’t wait to watch him run somebody over.

20. Cedric Benson: Yuck, yuck, yuck.  I hate writing this guy in, because if there’s one thing I can’t fucking stand, it’s somebody I should draft in a certain position even though I’m positive he’s going to commit a felony/eat his way out of the league/remember he’s a pussy.  That said, the dude put up digits last year, and I really like their offense if they land T.O.  Hold your nose and pick him.

Round Two is in the books.  Hopefully I’ll have an expedited Round Three for you folks (fucks?) in the next day or three.

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His Airness Punks LBJ, Sox Fading Fast, Fantasy Football Preview Part 1

This time, He has Cleveland's back

This may seem sacrilegious coming from a Celtics fan, but Michael Jordan was, is, and always will be the shit.  He’s the greatest player to ever don a basketball uniform, the fiercest competitor, the most clutch “human being” in existence, etc. etc. etc.  So when Mike comes out and kind of, um, shits on LeBron for his move to Miami, I take notice.  So, evidently, has ESPN.  Normally in situations involving a former player throwing his two cents in regarding the actions of a current player I almost always side with the active player, mainly because I think it’s easy and even cowardly to spit opinions out when you don’t have to face the guy you’re punking on the field of play.  But as I indicated before, Jordan is God.  I feel blessed to have had the pleasure and honor of watching His entire professional career play out, from Chicago to Washington.  He’s the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen, a player who altered the way the game of basketball is played today, a player upon whom each and every active player should bestow some small measure of thanks for influencing their own styles of play.  LeBron, Kobe, none of you are or can be on MJ’s level.  And just think…He left the game for two years during the peak of His career.  Kobe should be chasing eight rings, along with donkey-assed caucasian concierges.

Lawrence of Gay-rabia

It was an inauspicious start to the post-break slate for the Sox this past weekend as the hometown boys dropped three of four to a Ranger club I’m actually starting to respect a little.  The loss yesterday moved Boston to 3-7 over their last ten games, a disturbing trend they need to reverse quickly, and dates with Oakland and Seattle this week would seem to be a solid elixir for what ails them.  Of course, this could also be a potent shot in the arm for a struggling and bruised pitching staff.  We’ll see if the Dice Man can get them started off on the right foot tonight against Ben “Dude, Where’s My Elbow?” Sheets.

Fantasy football lovers, rejoice.  Your mentor, your idol, your oracle has arrived.  That’s right, folks, it’s time to kick-start the old draft machine and get into some predictions.  Now, the league I run is a PPR* league in which quarterbacks actually end up being of the greatest value (I’ll post a link to my league once we’ve drafted so you can see what I mean and tell me how nasty my squad is), so for general viewership purposes all of my predictions and advice will be based upon Yahoo’s standard scoring settings in a ten-team league.  Without further ado, let’s start this bitch up with my first rounders…

*If you don’t know what “PPR” means, you probably should be skipping over this section

Mr. H’s Top Ten Picks (Barring Injury or Legal Issues)

1. Adrian Peterson:  Brett will be back, the offense will be great again, and I still don’t think we’ve seen his best season yet.

2. Ray Rice:  You might not see the yardage totals of a year ago, but his TD output could easily double with Boldin stretching the field.

3. Maurice Jones-Drew:  Steady, solid, and as sure a thing to be a TD machine as there is in the league.  Plus, the Kitties don’t have anyone else.

4. Chris Johnson:  Don’t expect last year’s numbers from the quickest back in the league, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to stink.  Keep in mind that uber-blocking TE Crumpler resides in New England now.

5. Frank Gore:  His offensive line got a shot of anabolics, Vernon Davis is an absolute beast, and SF might be the surprise NFC team of this season.  If they can get out in front on some teams, Gore might be a top-three value.

6. Andre Johnson:  Bang-bang Johnson is money in the bank and the best receiver in the league, hands down, now that Kurt Warner left Fitzy to die at the hands of Leinart.  Schaub can get him the rock anywhere, and often.

7. Steven Jackson:  As with MJD, he’s all they’ve got.  The Predator is a yardage stud who might score only a handful of times; I’d flip him and Johnson in a PPR league.

8. Aaron Rodgers:  Shocker special?  Not really, just look at what the kid did last year with a terrible offensive line.  His rushing stats set him apart from Brees, no offense to the reigning champs.

9. DeAngelo Williams:  Yeah, I know Jonathan Stewart will poach his touches and scores, but Carolina is once again going to run the ball into the ground.  There’s plenty to go around, and Williams is the more talented back.

10. Michael Turner:  Perhaps too good a bargain here, but the Burner needs to return to his form of two seasons ago to reclaim me as a believer.  Last year’s effort was putrid (though not as bad as Matt Forte’s…yuck).

That’s my top ten for now, though it’s always subject to change.  More fantasy fun next post.  Until then, draft well, and for God’s sake have a bye week strategy–you’re either throwing a week or spreading them out.

Random Bits

Let’s make this quick, I have a football draft starting in ten minutes…

Nasty Nate re-signed with the C’s, Bowden has joined the Sox bullpen for the Oakland series, and some dude that plays football for Pitt went Charles Barkley on somebody…in an art gallery.

There's nothing minimalistic about Sir Charles' gayness in this doozy

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George-In-The-Box, C’s Hire Frank, Pats Rookies and More

I swear, I had a plan.  I was going to do this long, painfully drawn-out interview with Satan covering Steinbrenner’s arrival to Hell.  I was going to call it “The Incision” and pretend his autopsy was broadcast live on ESPN with Jim Gray lurking in the background.  It probably wouldn’t have been very funny to anybody except me, so I’m just going to go ahead and let the Iron Sheik handle my business for me…

I’m still trying to figure out what “King of the Crumb” means, Mr. Sheik.  Personally, I’d have forked over fifty or sixty bucks to watch George arm-wrestle the Sheik.  R.I.P., you lumpy bastard.  The hatred just won’t be the same without you.  And by the way, I’d have charities out the ass too if I had that much money.  Everybody knows you can write that shit off come tax day.

In “Holy Crap, That Makes My Dick Soft” news, the C’s hired Lawrence “Buttermilk” Frank (he of New Jersey Nets fame) to be an assistant under Doc.  Little known fact about Frank:  He spent several seasons as the team manager under Bobby Knight at Indiana.  Love the hire, hate the stature.  Guy looks like an extra from that Sean Connery midget movie.  Also, we really needed another ginger in Beantown?

The Pats are going to have more than one impact rookie this season.  Which begs the question…who you got??

Myself, I think Zoltan Mesko has a chance to make the Pro Bowl this season.  I’m basing this upon absolutely nothing except A) his Hungarian name and B) his role in “Big”.  What’s that, you say?  The machine in “Big” was actually called “Zoltar Speaks”??  I guess there ARE bigger dorks than fantasy sports nuts…

At last check tonight, the Sox were down 7-2 to the Rangers.  I’m guessing that means Wake’s knuck was dancing like that vapid bitch from “John and Kate Plus 8 Future Sweatshop Employees”.  This team needs Josh Beckett back in the worst way.  And V-Mart, and Jacoby, and Pedroia and…

"Pssssst...how much do you hate Mommy?"

There’s no truth to the rumor that a certain recently-deceased former owner of the New York Yankees is currently crammed in a well, keeping the Gulf Oil Spill at bay.  But great job, British Petroleum!  To quote Winston Wolf, “Let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks quite yet, gentlemen”…

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Sox Save Face, Lose Hammy (And Beltre) With Win

The Dice Man spun six solid frames on Sunday afternoon and Young McDonald smacked a two-run shot off Jesse Litsch in the sixth to carry the Sox past Toronto, 3-2.  David Ortiz chipped in with his eighteenth of the year, a solo shot immediately following McDonald’s bomb that provided the difference and salvaged the final game of a three-game set with the Jays.  The Sox hit the break 5 back of the Skankees and, more realistically, 3 back of the Wild Card-leading Rays.  Not great, but not terrible considering the mountain of injuries to everyday players and starting pitchers alike.

Speaking of injuries, Beltre left today’s tilt with a tweaked hammy.  He sounds optimistic here, but wouldn’t we all prefer to see him rest on Tuesday?  The Ogre of Ouch has already made an attempt on him and Youk this past week; naturally, I’m convinced Papi is out for the year following his participation in the Derby.

On the comeback trail at McCoy, Josh Beckett (Who? Yeah, I know, I had to Wikipedia him too) threw 68 pitches over four innings today and looked better than good according to this article.  What I like most about the performance is the mention of his fastball, something that was giving Beckett fits earlier this season.  One would assume that a lively fastball is indicative of a strong and healthy back.  If the Sox are to make a run over the second half they need him and the other starters to be outstanding, as offense has not been the problem to this point.  I’m looking at you, John Lackey.

It sounds as though Tony “Fuck ‘Em Up” Allen could be heading for greener pastures, and by that I mean that Memphis is willing to throw him more cash and years than the Celtics.  If he leaves, I for one will bear him no ill will.  Talk about a guy making the most of a limited skill set; there has been nothing more entertaining than watching the ball go to him on the break since ’04.  I’ve won money betting which body part Tony will dribble the ball off of and how many feet he’ll be off on a 20-foot jumper.  Athletically, he’s never been quite the same since his freak accident.  Go get paid, Tony.

Random Bits

Spain won the World Cup today, beating the “Don’t Call Me Holland” Netherlands and ending several thousand years of Spanish soccer frustration.  This still doesn’t make up for the Spanish-American War (Bill McKinley tried to warn you not to fuck with us) and the tournament as a whole was a card-flashing, vuvuzela’d joke.  A modest proposal to increase U.S. soccer interest:  Make the goal two feet higher.  We love scoring, and we pride ourselves on being a nation of jumpers.

What do a walrus, Tupperware and British Petroleum all have in common??

Love that “Despicable Me”, which I plan on seeing on Tuesday, beat out “Vamp Fag Fest 3” over the weekend.  And do we have to refer to it as “the Twilight SAGA”?  Isn’t that lending this dismal series a little more credit than it deserves?  And can something be a saga when the only people who give a shit about it are emo tweens with no taste in films?  Five years ago, all you had to do to make it in show biz was be gay.  Now all you have to do is be gay, and a vampire.  It’s ridiculous.

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How LeBron Broke the News to Mom (An Official Telephone Transcript)

7 a.m. EST, Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Ring ring, ring ring, ring…

MaBron: Hello?  LeBron?  I told you, it’s too damn early to be callin’ me.  What happened?  Whatsamatter?

LeBron:  Mom…I think I’ve made a decision.  I think I know where I want to play next season.

(muffled squeaking noises in background)

MaBron (out of breath):  Play…play what baby?

LeBron:  C’mon Ma, wake up.  Play ball.  I’ve been agonizationizing over this here dilemmanundrum, and I think I finally know…

MaBron:  Ohhh shit…ohhhh shit…know what LeBron?  Get to the point, I need to….ohhh shit…I need to…

LeBron:  Ma?  Are you okay?  You sound like you’re in pain or havin’ some sorta epileptoseizureniptionfit!

MaBron (muffled):  Aaaahhhh yeah, that’s that shit right there, right there, GET TO THE DAMN POINT SON!  WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU CALLIN’ ME THIS DAMN EARLY???

LeBron (confused):  Well, like I’m was sayin’, I’ve been deliberatatin’ on this here situmatation, and I think I know where…

MaBron (shrieking):  OOOHHHHH GODDAMN, YOU PORT WINE STAIN, VENEREAL DISEASE-HAVIN’, REVERSE MIKHAIL GORBACHEV MOTHAFUCKA!!! TAKE IT OUT MY ASS!!!  TAKE THAT SHIT OUT MY ASS!!!  UUUNNNNGGGHHHH!!!

(barely audible popping noise, followed by several awkward moments of panting and moaning from MaBron)

LeBron:  Ma?

MaBron:  Wha…what do you want, LeBron?

LeBron:  I’m moving to Miami.

*click*

Okay, so maybe this isn't an official transcript. Suspend your disbelief.

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Down Goes Youk, NBA Free Agency & More

The whole “Let’s vote Youkilis into the All-Star Game” thing is a nice sentiment, but at the rate Sox regulars are dropping over the last month, I’d just as soon see our boys sit this one out.   The latest casualty?  Only our best all-around player, who got hurt tonight in the top of the fourth shoving dirt around with his foot.  Really Youk?  Looks like I won’t be getting my wish (thanks, Kerry) and then some.  If I’m Ortiz or Beltre, I’m hiding under my bed every chance I get until this plague of injuries blows over.  For those keeping score, here’s an updated look at the projected starting lineup for tomorrow night…

Well, about the only thing I’ve gotten right thus far in terms of my free agency predictions is Paul Pierce returning to Beantown (count it).  Dirk stayed in Dallas, Amare bit on the Apple, Joe Johnson somehow coaxed a max contract out of the Hawks, and the Magic landed Chris Duhon.  Wait, one of these doesn’t belong.  LeBron, Bosh, Wade, Boozer, Ray Allen, and David Lee all remain without homes as of this posting.  Here’s to hoping the C’s can convince Ray to stay and maybe, just maybe, make a savvy move for a big man (Shaq, Brendan Haywood, etc.).  And by savvy move I don’t mean signing this guy.

Michael Lombardi of NFL Network says Wes Welker is likely to be cleared for team workouts at some point during training camp, a statement which should surprise nobody based upon Welker’s unexpected appearance on the practice field several weeks ago.  Additionally on the Patriot front, Jeff Howe of NESN.com has decided to stake his claim as this week’s Captain Obvious (nice headline bro), and Yertle the Turtle has stuck his neck out just long enough to label the Pats as, once again, the team to beat in the AFC East.  Oh yeah, and there was some ridiculous rumor floating around that the Pats were trying to move Mankins to Washington, Washington would send Pork Pie Haynesworth to Oakland and the Raiders would (stupidly) hand Nhamdi Asomugha to the Pats.  Although…it does involve the Crypt Keeper doing something incredibly dumb, so I suppose it’s as likely to happen as anything else.

Random Bits

The next logical step

JaMarcus Russell got arrested after a two-month probe into his predilection for codeine cough syrup.  Good to see that police departments everywhere have plenty of time on their hands to rid the streets of the scourge that is the ‘Tussin.

Tiger Woods apparently got pissed off that reporters still have the nerve to ask him about that little domestic disturbance a while back.  To which I respond with this:  If you’re Tiger, wouldn’t you rather be answering questions such as “How the hell do you cheat on THIS?” over questions like “Why the fuck do you suck so much now that you got rid of your swing coach, freak-boy?”

This just in over the wire:  LeBron will announce his decision to retire from the game of basketball to pursue a minor league baseball career on Thursday.  Personally I can’t wait; this NBA free agency bonanza needs a swift kick in the rear, and the Sox could use James at this point.  Stay tuned, folks…

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Independence

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