Let's start with a segment on Joba's move to the rotation, brought to you by Pemican Beef Jerky, Foxwoods Resort and Casino, and Red Man Smokeless Tobacco.
Game Misconduct: All right! We're back with another edition and it feels good! Joba's first start didn't last last as the team continues to monitor his pitch count. I tired to watch some of the game but it wasn't all that exciting so I gave up. Hearing and briefly reading about the start, it's been met with mixed results, and Johnny Damon is not happy about it saying that the Yankees bullpen was a strength with Farnsy in the 7th, Joba in the 8th, and Mo in the 9th. That's all well and good but when you're already losing before heading into the 7th, having those 3 really doesn't make a difference. What do you do to rectify the situation? I would leave Joba in as the set-up man and give Farnsy more innings, but thats's just so I could see him do this.
Net Crasher: Why does it have to be Farnsy or Joba? I don’t get it! Listen, in a perfect world you want your best pitchers to neutralize as many batters as possible. (That’s why I don’t really understand not putting Joba in the rotation at the beginning of the year.) Joba proved himself as an effective starter in the minors, and he even pitched well in spring training. He should have started the year as the #3 or #4 starter and if things got rocky then you slide him into the bullpen. That’s what the Yankees did with Mariano, and I think that turned out just fine. As for his replacement, Farnsy has shown he can be a lights out pitcher this year (more so than in years past) but still is way to inconsistent for the set-up roll. I think the Yanks should, first of all, try Ross Ohlendorf there. They keep using him in long relief, which is not his specialty. With a little more development of his fastball, Edwar Rameriez could also be a worthy choice. Farnsy may wind up getting it by default, but I still think he should have to win the job from Ohlendorf and Rameriez.
GM: Moving on to our NHL Wrapup, the Detroit Red Wings won their fourth Stanley Cup in 11 years in six games. I predicted it would be a close series going the full 7, with
NC: You had to go there, Missy. You had to go pick on my Islanders. Well first of all, Messier was overrated, Leech was a tool, Beukeboom had a hilarious last name, and…hmmm…anything else? Oh yea, DiPietro will soon pass Richter as greatest American-born goalie. Alright, with that irrational, “fish sticks” rant outta the way…let’s actually make some good points about hockey. Games 1 and 2 were just scary. I was ready for Wings in 4 after the ridiculous performances of the Red Wings defensemen and Chris Osgood. One thing I saw from the Penguins is that they have a lot of fight in them for a young team. Their play in games 3 on showed a level of maturity you would not expect from a team of their experience. I agree with Misconduct that the Pens were simply outmatched. Both teams prided themselves in being deep (Adam Hall of the Pens did well centering their 4th line) but the Red Wings had more skill in their depth. Throughout the playoffs, their second defense pair of Kronwall and Stuart had +16 and +15 ratings respectively, and Kronwall had an absurd 15 assists! Similarly, forwards like Jiri Hudler (13 pts) and Mikael Samuelson (14 pts) were able to find the net. It will be interesting to see if both teams will be able to retain enough talent to make it back the final next year.
GM: Certainly a sign of good things to come. My big question is well these teams stay together. The Pens will see
NC: Yeah, we will see.
GM: Oh, we will.
NC: Ok…I guess there is only one thing left to do… see!
GM: This year's Conn Smythe winner was Henrik Zetterberg sponsored by Ikea and their delicious Swedish meatballs, let's call him Zed. This really could have gone to a number of Red Wings players because they are such a complete team. This would have been icing on an extremely sweet cake for Chris Osgood who was the back-up to Dominik Hasek until mid-way through the first round. Pavel Datsyuk was sublime, Tomas Holmstrom has a gigantic hockey butt, and Nik Lidstrom is Nik Lidstrom. One of the greatest defenseman of all time, Lidstrom became the first European to lead his team to the Stanley Cup. At this point, we're so used to Nik being the perfect defenseman that giving him hardware just doesn't do him justice.
NC: You know, GM, I am starting to think you have a little bit of a man crush on Mr. Lindstrom. We just got a letter from him asking for you to stop sending him naked pictures. But yea, Lindstrom is pretty damn good. Almost Dennis Potvin good (yea, just one more plug for my Isles!) The entire Red Wings blue line probably would have been worthy recipients, as Lindstrom was not along in strong defense play. Especially in the Finals, when Rafalaski and Kronwall were finding the net (albeit in Kronwall’s case it was the wrong net). With an honorable mention to Osgood (who played behind the aforementioned Wings defense), I think Zed is the obvious choice. He led the playoffs in points, goals, and plus/minus. He also effectively neutralized Sidney Crosby, as Babcock starting matching his first line with the Pens first line. (Which seems brilliant but then you realize Zed and Datysuk are both Selke Finalists).
GM: Finally, Tiger Woods had a few choice words for the NHL Playoffs saying, "I don't really care. Let's talk about the Dodgers," the California native said. "I don't think anybody really watches hockey anymore." There are a few things I'd like to say about this. First, Tiger is the world's most popular golfer and one of the most recognizeable athletes on the planet, for him to say something like this means it's not all sunshine and roses for Gary Bettman & Co. Sure the owners are making money and TV ratings are going up, but the NHL is still a long ways away from the other top sports in America. Secondly, for a man who keeps his character so well in check this is completely out of character for Mr. Woods. I'm not surprised he doesn't follow hockey, but to say something like that, I'm sure his publicist and image coordinator or whatever assistant he has will steer him clear of any hockey related events or topics of discussion. With every hockey player hitting the links over the summer he better watch his back or else Mike Milbury is going to beat him with his golf spikes.
NC: Milbury is damn serious too. He is quoted as saying, “"Keep your yap shut, Tiger, or I'll send a couple of wingers down there - [Pens forward] Gary Roberts - to tidy you up a little bit, meat head." Now, I know Milbury doesn’t know much about hockey, and I guess he thinks he is coaching the Pens, but I would take that seriously or as Misconduct said, he is going to get a soft-spike to the face. I guess Tiger was trying to sound clever, funny, candid...I don’t really know, but that definitely has to hurt the league. Especially in the midst of one of the highest rated series of the last ten years. Hockey still has a long way to go and comments like this should show the commissioner’s office that there is no time for complacency in expanding the league’s viewership. The NHL has gotta get back on ESPN and fast. It was absurd that games 1 and 2 were on Versus.
Well Misconduct left town for the weekend…something about him third-wheeling Lindstrom’s day with the