Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Time to Make the Donuts Links

I work right next to a Dunkin Donuts. Well, not right next to one, because my office is on the top floor, but connected to my building is a Dunkin Donuts — though you have to go outside to get there.

I see this Dunkin Donuts every day. I go in there quite often, usually for coffee and sometimes for a breakfast sandwich or bagel. Bu I rarely ever go in there and, you know, buy a donut. Which is crazy. Who doesn't love donuts? No one, that's who. So finally, today, I put my foot down and said, "Hey, asshole, get some freakin donuts today." And I did. And they were delicious. I think I'd make a good cop.

Links …

-The Phils lost yet again last night, but Juan Castro and Chase Utley sure did turn one hell of a double play, via meech.

The Phils have now lost three in a row with last night's 6-2 loss, and sit a half game behind — GASP! — the New York Mets. No cause for concern just yet, as this is a 162-game season and the Phils have the most talent in the division, however, this pitching is scary. Sure, things will settle down in the rotation once J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton return and they ship Kyle Kendrick off to Japan for real this time, but the bullpen looks shaky (I'm looking at you, Danys Baez), Cole still isn't right and Jamie Moyer is nearly 50 years old. I think the Phils may have to make more pitching moves this year than they have the past couple of seasons. Not bigger ones, mind you, because I don't see them getting a Cliff Lee or anything like that, but more moves along the lines of adding guys like Scott Eyre for that pen. And Pedro. I fully expect this team to sign Pedro after the all-star break. Should be interesting. As for the Mets, enjoy it while it lasts. You'll be back at the bottom in no time.

-Huge, huge, huge blow for the Flyers — Ian Laperriere is likely done for the season.

Word from the Flyers is Laperriere has a brain contusion and mild concussion. With the team already losing Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne, this may be just too much to overcome. In fact, I'm going to have to agree with Matt P. and say Laperriere's loss is an even bigger one than Carter's or Gagne's. That may sound strange, especially given Carter was this team's leading goal-scorer and both he and Gagne are top-line forwards who play both ways, in all situations. But as Matt points out, Ian is vital on the penalty kill, and he and Blair Betts have been by far the best penalty killing duo I've seen all season, for any team. Their play, both even strength and especially on the PK, was as big a reason as any that the Flyers beat the Devils.

No matter if they face the Caps or Bruins next round, the chances for victory just got that much slimmer. The Flyers are down a full line's worth of players, and more importantly for a team that takes a lot of penalties, down three of their penalty killers. No one expected much from this team in the playoffs, but after all that has transpired around them, with the Flyers themselves looking really good, the hopes were steadily beginning to climb. This brings us all back down a peg. They'll need Brian Boucher to continue playing out of his mind to even begin to think they can overcome these losses. Hopefully he will. Another tough break. Wish Ian the best, and man, you can't not respect that guy. What a warrior. He will be missed more than anyone could have possibly imagined back in September.

-Arizona is racist.

-HoopsHype: Also racist:

- 30 draft choices.

- 26 black draft choices.

- 4 white draft choices.

- Of the four white draft choices, we already know the Motiejunas and Bargnani comparison. The others?

- Cole Aldrich is compared with Joel Przybilla, who happens to be white.

- Gordon Hayward is compared with Mike Miller, who also happens to be white.

- Luke Babbitt is compared with Adam Morrison, who not only happens to be white, but also happens to be a legendary draft bust. Seriously, why would you compare him to Adam Morrison? Is there no other white guy? Why not suggest that the team should just pass on their pick, Vikings-style?

- Of the 26 black draft choices, all of their comparators happened to be black with the exception of one: Greg Monroe is compared with Brad Miller. Miller, you officially have street credibility.

Smooth, HoopsHype. Smooth.

-Proof that Shaquille O'Neal was skinny and unstoppable once upon a time.

-And Jeff Ireland is beyond an asshole.

-I saw this on Saturday as I was watching the draft:

Unfortunately, I didn't hear what he said to Jaws that required the broadcasted apology, but I found it hilarious. Hilarious for a couple of reasons: One, Matt Millen is so retarded that he can't even speak without screwing things up; and two, why the hell would they talk to Matt Millen about the NFL draft and draft picks? He is, quite possibly (definitely), the worst general manager and drafter in the history of the NFL. Maybe in the history of sports. His opinions hold absolutely no credibility. None whatsoever. You might as well just have an ape there throwing feces on everyone. You'd get the same value out of that.

I will say this though: Matt Millen is a very articulate and very cool guy. I met him at Penn State. Being an alum, he came back to school and spoke to a bunch of journalism students, myself included, and never dodged a single question or sugar-coated an answer — and this was at the time he and the Lions were catching heat for hiring Steve Mariucci without going through the proper Rooney rule process. Great guy who was a great football player: All-American at Penn State, multiple-time Super Bowl winning linebacker in the NFL with San Francisco and Oakland. And he was even a really good announcer before he became the worst GM of all time. But he was an awful GM and awful talent evaluator. He should be nowhere near the NFL draft.

I don't have a problem with him calling games. He knows how to analyze the game and knows what's going on. He just can't evaluate talent. I watched him, after the apology, call the Penn State Blue-White game with Kirk Herbstreit during the afternoon. He did a fine job. But please, no draft.

On a side note, the Penn State quarterbacks looked like shit in a scrimmage with no blitzes. Not good. And Joe Pa is still the man. He dropped a couple of great nuggets when he was in the booth during the second quarter. One of them was, in reference to Bobby Bowden's forced resignation, Joe said, "I told Bobby, you gotta stay one more year. Bobby said, 'Joe, we got these trustees.' I used to go out and do fundraising for the school and board members, and I always used tell them: I want your money but I don't want your two cents." Classic. He also discussed the scheduling against Alabama, talking about how it was supposed to be earlier, but Bama's AD called Joe and asked if they could push it back because Alabama wasn't so good at the time. Joe said, "Had I known they were going to be this good, National Champions, I would have to told him to go find another sucker!" Even at 83 years old, the guy still has it. And he was ripping on Millen mercilessly. It was great. I hope Joe Paterno lives forever.

-Ziller's take on the rumored return of Larry Brown to the Sixers:

Brown is a defensive mastermind. His Bobcats finished first in defensive efficiency this season. Every team Brown has taken over since the late 1990s -- with the exception of the Knicks -- has improved on defense in his first season. The Bobcats were among the league's worst defenses under Sam Vincent in 2007-08, but improved to No. 7 in Brown's first season despite personnel changes which were limited to a Boris Diaw and Raja Bell-for-Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley swap. The Bobcats picked up two top-notch defenders (Tyson Chandler and Stephen Jackson) on the way to the league's top defense this season.

In Brown's first stint with Philadelphia, the 76ers were in the top five in defense in every season but his first. Brown has always been known as a meddling coach, one who pushes for personnel moves behind the scenes. It tends to work for him -- he knows what type of players he needs to run his system. (Passionate defenders, wings who'd rather drive than shoot and smart point guards who don't make careless mistakes.) The Bobcats were full of Larry Brown players, with Jackson, Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton sticking out.

But the 76ers have the make-up for success under Brown, too. Andre Iguodala is among the league's best perimeter defenders -- strong, agile, athletic. Samuel Dalembert is a consistently great defensive rebounder, and a serious shotblocker. Thaddeus Young has all the tools, and Jrue Holiday, the 19-year-old point guard, has a great head for the game. Marreese Speights will not among Brown's favorites, in all likelihood, and one could see a despairing Elton Brand and Brown coming to loggerheads over minutes and role. But the core of the team is, or should be, Iguodala, Young and Holiday. (I can't decide whether Brown would love Lou Williams -- the coach adores Mike Bibby and Chauncey Billups -- or would fine him for every three-pointer attempted.)

I'd be completely fine with this. I loved Larry Brown when he was here, and his Sixers teams were by far the most exciting of my lifetime. And shit, if the only way to get him is to make him GM too, I'm down. Ed Stefanski has been a disaster. Though Brown shipping off young players and acquiring veterans on a whim does scare me. But sure as shit beats the current status quo.

-Read the playoff talking points. It's Shoals at his best.

-Jorge Posada is a giant bowl of asshole — I've never in my life seen a catcher complain to umpires more in my life than Jorge did when he was batting last year in the World Series — but this interview with him discussing the pitchers he's "caught" over the years is pretty damn interesting. I put caught in quotes because Jorge is one of the single worst defensive catchers ever. What Phillies (or Yankees) fan could ever forget his "passed balls" game against the Phillies?

-Hi, remember him? Jameer Nelson would like to reintroduce himself.


-Wysh has Mike Richards sixth on his Conn Smythe watch, which is a little funny to me. Richards certainly played great in the first round against Jersey, everything you expect of him, but if you watched that series closely, you know Claude Giroux was the best skater and Brian Boucher the most valuable guy. Richards wouldn't even be the most valuable guy on the Flyers thus far, let alone the playoffs, at least in my opinion. Though, like I said, he has played great. The Flyers are going to need him to continue that for sure.

-A very fair and accurate analysis of Andre Iguodala's season. The guy is a good basketball player. Though I will point out, he's criticized for his leadership, ego, shot selection, contract, body language, wardrobe, rejecting the nickname "Iggy," free throws and not being a superstar for good reason. But he is a really good player that probably gets a bad rap because of his contract. I know I'm guilty of it. But that's what comes with the territory when you get superstar bucks.

-Jeff Ireland's other questions:

“If you were born white, which race would be most prejudiced against?”

Hilarious list.

-Michael Strahan is helping Jon Runyan raise money for his congressional campaign.

Something seems terribly wrong about this.

-Great T-shirt:

-John Wall:

-Lots of big hits videos from Orson, including the time Reggie Brown almost died:

-Irchiro pitching back in 1996 and throwing 90 (also, a Hideki Matsui sighting):

No links necessary: Daryll Clark signed with the Redskins, Chester product Tyreke Evans will rightfully be named Rookie of the Year, and as everyone in the world knows, Ryan Howard got paid.

BallHype: hype it up!

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