Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Worst Trades Of All Time

   Our economy is centered around screwing people. I don't mean the fun kind of screwing- although that figures in mightily. I'm talking about simple capitalism.

   Burger King has meat, bread, cheese, grills, condiments and packaging material. They have people to make burgers for you. They handle pretty much everything. If you deal in the volume BK does, it ends up costing them about 20 cents per burger (that might be wrong...I made it up....blogging rules).

   You have 30 minutes to get and eat lunch. This isn't enough time to get down to Argentina, kill a bull, prepare and cook it, eat it, and get back to work on time. So you go to BK and get a Big Mac, or whatever other filth they are pushing at the time. You pay two dollars for a twenty cent burger. That's how Burger King makes money.

   Sure, you just got robbed...but the alternative costs you a lot of time and effort. So, you are actually happy to do it...assuming you like Big Macs.

   Basically, it works out for both of you. They're willing to do, and you're willing to pay. That is how our economy works. It's the free exchange system...and even if you don't like the burger, you're only out a couple of bucks.

   American sports works on more of a barter system. I have a young third baseman with a lot of potential. Texas has a veteran relief pitcher with an expiring contract. We each have what the other team needs, and we each covet what the other team has. So, some calls are made, some red tape is unspooled, and I send Jeff Bagwell to Texas for Larry Anderson.

   Those of you who follow baseball know how that one worked out. We essentially bought a 356098879485 dollar Whopper. It happens to the best and worst of us.

   Here's a few trades I can come up with. In each case, someone ended up looking mightyyyyy bad. Jobs were lost, dynasties crumbled, stars were born, and fan bases were alienated.

- Babe Ruth for $100,000 and the rights to a play called No No Nanette.

- Don Ford for Cleveland's #1, which became James Worthy.

- Shaquille O'Neal for Brian Grant, Lamar Odom and Carom Butler.

- Charlie Scott for the Lakers #1 pick, which became Larry Bird.

- Joe Barry Carroll and Ricky Brown for Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.

- Moses Malone for Caldwell Jones.

- Herschel Walker for Minnesota's 1987(?)draft.

- Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant

- They don't really count as robbery, but Danny Ainge managed to trade 2 players who still somehow continue playing for the Celtics.

- Sammy Sosa for George Bell

- Bronson Arroyo's hair......ooops, thought it said "worst braid"

- Tebucky Jones for Corey Dillon, once the dust settled.

- Pete Harnisch, Steve Finley, and one Curt Schilling to Houston for Glen Davis

- Tractor Traylor for Dirk Nowitzki

- Grant Hill for Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins

- Eric Lindros to Philadelphia for Peter Forsberg, Mike Ricci, Chris Simon, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Ron Hextall, $15 million, and two first round draft picks. NHL fans call this the Hockey Herschel.

- Vancouver trades Cam Neely and a draft pick that would go onto be Glen Wesley to Boston for Barry Peterson.

- Patrick Roy and Keane for Thibault, Rucinsky, and Koval

- Glen Rice for Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell

- Charles Barkley for Andrew Lang, Tim Perry and Jeff Hornacek (who they traded a year later for Jeff Malone, who soon retired).

- Brad Daugherty for Roy Hinson

- Mitch Richmond for Billy Owens

- Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins, Brandon Armstrong to the Nets for the rights to Eddie Griffin.

- Jermaine O'neal and Joe Kleine to the Pacers for Dale Davis

- Ozzie Newsome for Mike Phipps

- Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio (I got them scrawny legs, but I move just like Lou Brock)

- Raphael Palmeiro AND Jamie Moyer to the Rangers for Mitch Williams

- Hack Wilson for Burleigh Grimes (this forum was long overdue for some good Hack Wilson talk)

- Rip Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse

- Dominique Wilkins for 22 games of Danny Manning

- Christy Mathewson for Amos Rusie

- Keith Hernandez to the Mets for pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey (No play for Mr. Grey)

- Delino Deshields for Pedro Martinez

- Ron Harper for Danny Ferry

- Wilt Chamberlain to Philadelphia 76ers for Connie Dierking, Paul Nuemann, Lee Shaffer and cash

- Wilt Chamberlain to L.A. for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark, and Darrall Imhoff

-  Mark McGwire to Cardinals for pitchers T.J. Mathews, Eric Ludwick and Blake Stein

- John Smoltz to Braves for Doyle Alexander

- Jay Buhner to Seattle for Ken Phelps....Costanza's dad is still pissed over that one.

- Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb

- David Cone to Yankees for pitchers Marty Janzsen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon

- The pick that became Magic Johnson for Gail Goodrich........LA capitalized on the then-current NBA trend of trying to get a lot of white guys, essentially getting Magic and Worthy for Goodrich and Ford. 

- David Justice to Yankees for Ricky Ledee

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Jackie interviews Stacey


(from Jackie's journal)


First: The rules- because every has got to have them, you know. Leave me a comment saying 'Interview me.' The first five to leave a comment requesting to be participants will be interviewed. I will respond by asking you five questions. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions and a link to my site. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed,you will ask them five questions. ( Ask your own, or copy someone elses.)


Here we go:

1) What have you learned through having an online journal?        

 - I was on the Welcome screen, and I didn't even know it.  

- You can order fried catfish at Italian places in Houston.  

- Policemen will let you off on Disorderly Conduct charges if the local baseball team is long as you're in suburbia. In the city, they shoot women for it like Gaza Strip protesters.  

- If you ever sit courtside at an NBA game as a fight starts in the crowd....don't try to take refuge on that nice empty court. You might get tooled on.  

- Excessive marinade is required to "properly" cook a steak on a Foreman Grill.  

- People in Georgia don't know what a "frappe" is.  

- I have absolutely no idea what grits are, and every person in Virginia I asked told me they grow on trees.  

- Prettier women than I have forgiven their husband's infidelity/possible rape when given a 7 carat diamond.  

- You can buy, transport and distribute a pound of rice to tsunami victims for a dollar a pound.  

- It is quite possible to knock down a city with a radio frquency device known as a "Tesla weapon."  

- When driving in Texas, 3 successive right hand turns equal a left hand turn.  

- Left alone for 36 hours, a married man will eat off of a frisbee before running the dishwasher.  

- Men love sports. They also love female sportwriters. I've had several proposals, both marriage and indecent, There exists a large poplulation of people on AOL who will ask for sex after two lines: "hello" and "I like your journal." I'm not really that good-looking, either.  

- There is no Major League Soccer team called the "Cleveland Steamers."  

- I have never- ever- had a positive response when I tell people I'm from France. At best, I get sexual innuendo.  

- According to a guy from Alabama (who admittedly had never skated), blacks will never dominate professional hockey due to their genetically weak ankles.  

- Lion tastes like liver.  

- They have radios in NASCARs, but they don't listen to music when they drive. No one smokes when they drive, now....but many used to.  

- If you see a dog or a horse go to the bathroom before a race, bet on it to win the race. I would imagine that this would also apply to sprinters, although they rarely soil the infield.  

- Low riders have small steering wheels, so the driver can drive with handcuffs on.  

- If you're pregnant and speak in heavily accented French-English, Texans think you're Mexican- even if you're as pale as an ice rink.  

- If you grow up to become a teacher, don't include it in your AOL profile. I get the "Wanna Make A Chalk Angel?" question ten times on a slow night.    


2) What is one thing that no one knows about you?       In 1986, I answered an ad in Sports Illustrated For Kids that requested subjects for medical testing. After several heavies visited my parents to secure temporary custody, I was taken to a research facility in Duxbury, Massachusetts.

      Once there, I was fed nothing but shark meat and deer blood. I had several computer chips implanted into my neck, spine, and frontal lobes. While undergoing sleep deprivation, exposure to cold, mock assassinations of family members, and Rodney King-style group beatings, I was subjected to re-education that I have no memory of.

   Eventually (I lost track of the light/dark cycle around day 17), I was released back to my parents, with a Girl Scout Merit Badge and an unexplainable yet irresistibly deap-seated conviction that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il must be removed from power- by force, if necessary. I also seem to be inexplicably familiar with certain features of Korean geography, and am remarkably proficient with an impressive variety of weaponry.        


3) Everyone says they will never forget their first love.. Who was yours, and what do you remember most about it?

      Some kid named Todd Whatshisname.        


4) If you could switch places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?     

   The East Indies nation of Brunei is ruled by a Sultan. When oil was discovered on his lands, his family instantly became one of the wealthiest on the planet. Sort of an Asiatic Beverly Hillbillies.

    The current Sultan is known for giving a $300,000 tip to a hotel desk clerk who found him a pumice stone. This same Sultan is also the one who maintains a harem, paying the girls (one a former Miss America, who claimed to have suffered brutal one year slutship) in the millions of dollars.

    Money is good, but Power makes the money spend happier. I've considered fighting my way to the top of the harem before killing the Sultan, leaving me as the sole heir. Failing that, I'd settle for a one day switch.      


5) Whatis the one lie you have told, and wish you hadn't?    

  To this day, my husband thinks I have a sister "Shannon" in Frederick, Maryland. She doesn't exist. It is a running joke my sisters and I play on our spouses, and it gets us one extra sister call a week before they start saying, "Her again?"     

   My only regret there is that I've been outdone. Not only has kid sister Shea used this story on her boyfriends, she has even used different friends of hers to play the role of Shannon when some logistical ju-jitsu was required to cut a weak date short.        

The first 5 people who leave a comment here saying "Interview Me" will get an email from me. I will offer 5 questionstoyou. Answer them, and leave links to the source (Jackie)- as well as your offer to interview your own readership.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Nor'easter Ramblings

   Click on the image to zoom in Click on the image to zoom in Click on the image to zoom in Click on the image to zoom in Click on the image to zoom in Click on the image to zoom in Pan East

Coming soon- a series of really important announcements (no, I'm not pregnant again).

   Until then....more sports talk.

   We take things seriously here at High Above Courtside. Sure, we missed 2 Sundays in a row. It happens. So, to make it up for you, we're starting early. Besides, we have all sorts of juicy sports stuff happening this week.

- Round 2 of the NBA playoffs are just about all set. Boston and Indiana have a game 7 to play, and the Bulls/Wiz are awaiting Game 6. No huge shockers thus far, but let's see how things worked out:

-  Phoenix treated Memphis like the bear treats the rabbit, as they say in Maine. Which is not well. 4-0, and the Grizz were falling to pieces afterwards. Need I remind you that this ends all chances for a Griz-Wiz final.

   Bonzi Wells was the less famous person asked not to bother showing up anymore. C'est si Bon never had a series of ugly scenes with the Tzar, and they simply told him to get to steppin'. When your team falls apart like the Grizzlies did, getting sent home before a playoff game doesn't even get you a sound byte on the news.

   Especially with White Chocolate around. The less dangerous Jason Williams had some kind of beef with a local reporter, but he took it to that next level. Beyond refusing this scribe his own interview, JW proceeded to steal the reporter's pen. Concerned that the reporter might try to work from memory, JW then shouted him out of an interview with another player- at one point, using the term, "Homeboy"...which may or may not be a racial slur when used in white/white confrontations.

   The Griz are a true piece of work. They have Pau ("That's right, no `L' there, ma'am.") Gasol, Shane Battier, and Stromile Swift- who is so injury-prone, his fellow Grizzlies run back nd check on him if the team bus hits a really large bump. I'm not making that up, either.

   Phoenix did the obligatory stomping of the 8th seed, and we'll look into their future soon enough.

- Sacramento abdicated to Seattle, 4-1. This was the inevitable end result for the Kings, who dealt away longtime mainstay Chris Webber last February. They still have a good squad, and the team has all next year to forge a new identity around Bad Brad, Peja, and the Bib.

   The Webber trade isn't a Shaq trade, where the old team fell into the Lottery while thenew team won the Conference. Philly and Sac City both went out 4-1. Call it a draw.

   I've said it before, and I'll say it again....the Kings seem so Northern California with Webby gone. As Reggie Theus once said, "Sacramento is not California." As Sacramento residents say, "Enjoy that 9 month winter, Massachusetts!"

- San Antonio did in the Nuggets, 4-1. Denver won the Worst Draw award, getting the battle tested Spurs as their round one appetizer. I expected a tougher series, but sometimes the issue settles itself differently than I forsee. Prognostication is difficult- Nostradamus was wrong 70% of the time, and he's the franchise player.

   Denver got Carmello Fever last summer. They gave up a few picks to get Kenyon Martin, who didn't take it to that 20-10 level they need from him. He was overmatched against Duncan, but the trade was still a solid one. Denver has young, prime talent, and George Karl still has about 14 months before all the players tune him out....or 14 minutes, if he wears the throwback over the turtleneck again.

   We'll get to the Spurs later. You may have noticed a pattern here. Round two previews may be in the Sunday Sports.

- Dallas and Houston are having a Texas war that would have been a really sweet football game back in the Earl Campbell era. They are 3-3, and game 4 is TTTC (too tough to call). I favor Houston, but I had a nice time there, and I'm biased.

- We already mentioned the Philly curb-stomping at the hands (feet?) of Detroit. AI was too much for them in one game, but the rest were simply too much D for the Answer.

   Again and again....just when Philly thought they had the Answer, Detroit changed the Question.

   Chris Webber should move into Iverson's basement, and play pickup ball with him all summer. These two need to develop some Chemistry, and I don't mean using AI's buddy's Meth lab. If Webber and Iverson can combine their talents effectively, they have young talent around them that can begin to win seriously. They'll be paying enough for that team next year, and the potential is there to easily win the Atlantic.

   With a resurgent Boston and two teams that made moves that took them into the playoffs in what ended up being some tight races, the Atlantic should be a hotly contested title next year. Remember...Lebron hasn't made the dance yet. Someone will have to cede a spot, soon.

- New Jersey played their hearts out just making the playoffs. Vince Carter simply put the team on his back in April, but he couldn't get them past Shaq Daddy and Dwayde.

   Vince managed to become a good guy this season. He was an absolute dog earlier, and his reputation rivaled that of Gary Bettman in some parts of Canada.

   All that changed when he went to New Jersey, which would upset most people who didn't formerly hail from Canada. He gained a lot from playing with Jason Kidd, who threw him passes that Skip To My Lou could only wish he knew.He had a long talk with his wife, Ersatzia, and she helped get his head on straight.

   Funny how a wife and Kidd straighten out even the most foundering career. VC, Kidd and Jefferson should be fun to watch for 82 games next year. They look to have an interesting summer coming up, as well. They need big men like WNBA players do.

- I don't want to jinx Boston, so I won't make any commentary on the 3-3 series thatgoes back to the Gaaahden (let the record show that I neverstopped calling it that...and my accent doesn't really do the dropped "r" thing well).

- What a treat the good people of Chicago and DC are getting. Starved for all these years, they not only get back in the playoffs, they get what looks like a great series. Chicago surged ahead 2-0, but the Zards came back 3 times dope....including a treeeeemendous game winner but Gilbert "They're all my" Arenas.

   I always had a soft spot for DC. While they were from a time before I developed any sophistication towards the game, I do have dim memories of Ruland and Mahorn.

   Those two- who both would have been adored had they played in Boston- were brutes, and they wouldjust smash people inside. The Celtics were no less physical, and you can guess how it turned out. For fans of Johnny Most, every Ruland game was a big fat line of cocaine. Objective journalists aren't supposed to use terms like "scum" and "yellow (this was pre-Ming) bastard," but Johnny was on a whole other tip.

   If you've ever heard the surge of excitement in his voice during the "Havlicek stole the ball" game....imagine that same rise in energy used in anger, and applied after, oh, thirty thousand Marlboros and twenty long years of talking non-stop for 48 minutes in a row. Ruland and Mahorn- twin sons of different mothers as far as Most was concerned- and Washington in general used to simply set that man off.

   Occasionally, the Celtics and the Bullets stopped fighting to play a little basketball, but the series could have been a dictionary entry for what we used to call Eastern Conference basketball. Every game was Crack Baby Ugly, and I grew to learn that you didn't get out of the Eastern Conference without the ability to kick some ass when needed.

   That's why you have to like the Washington/Chicago series. Two young teams having a seven game war develops that kind of rivalry, and both teams are full of kids (at least the one that kept their high school lottery pick). Any ugliness here just may be revisited again and again in Playoffs future, to the delight of those who remember the Past.

-  Detroit and Miami, who look to be the Conference Finals in whatever round they meet, both get a cozy rest while their second round opponents slug it out in 7 game wars. That's why the regular season counts, kids.


In other news:

I caught a little of Darlington's NASCAR race. I didn't see who won, but I did learn a few facts.

- The race is held under the lights because they didn't want to run it on a Sunday.

- Back when it was the Rebel Classic or something, the winner used to have a man in full confederate regalia jump up on the hood for a victory lap....which, unfortunately, didn't end up charging an infatry regiment sitting on Little Round Top. The blacks in attendance loved it, I'm told.


  It's never funny when a promising young athlete like Kellen Winslow II is involved in a motorcycle accident....unless your sources have provided you with a videotape of the KWII contract negotiations.

Of course I have the link. Send thekids to bed before you fire this fatty up, though.......those Poston Brothers can curse like a sergeant:

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Sports TV

   LOL....watching former NBA announcer Pat O'Brien on the Dr. Phil Special. The reporter's barnstorming life was too much for the POB, who fell into a haze of booze and cocaine. Pat managed to drink himself off Access Hollywood, which must be hard to do.

   The Peruvian Infantry Battalion stationed in Pat's schnout requires a lot of funding since he got out of rehab, so we get to see Pat squirm in the chair and confess all the details. It started back in the Jordan era. and it got worse as Pat went to the red carpet.

   Dr. Phil plays back slurred, obscene phone calls he had made to his secretary, who was running a tape recorder. As amazing as a drunken Irishman might seem to you, Dr. Phil has it all figured out for Padriac O'Brien III. Pat's been off the Montana Family Baby Powder for a week, so he's ready to go back and host The Insiders.

   It sure must have been fun for the girls in the office when Pat O'Brien and Marv Albert were running amok, doing piles of cocaine and biting their secretaries. I wonder if Marv ever popped into Pat's hotel room while they were both blacking out, doffed the toupee, and gave him a little bite on the booty.

   Other than that, TV tonight is watching Kevin Hill score 'dem white women while leaving his baby with the gay nanny (manny?), and American Idol. The other AI is sort of a competition... in that somebody wins, and few of us can go out there and bust a convincing series of song in front of a 1982 Laker Girl, somebody who I think is Al Roker, and an Englishman who looks like he can't wait for the commercial break so he can get over to the Access Hollywood set and light the stem a few times.

   Still, AI sort of skirts that is-it-a-sport line that gymnastics and golf work on. Is it a sport? Sure, she's just dancing out there at the Ice Capades, but she can skate better than an NHL franchise player. Is the balance required to stay on a surfboard more important/impressive/athletic than the hand-eye coordination needed to bust Emmit Smith through the 86 Bears on my Madden 2005

   Personally, I think all the Idol singers blow like Kenny G, and the last time I saw Kevin Hill, he broke up a wedding by going, "Yo Baby" and flexing. So, I'll leave the Idol-sport debate tothose more inclined to actually watch.

Monday, May 2, 2005

Natick Representnnn'


   As far as New England legends go, the qualifications can be met by only a few. Paul Bunyan, MLK, John Adams, Bill Russell, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bobby Orr, Larry, Yaz, Lizzie Borden, the Minutemen, Aerosmith, Frederick Douglass, Cheers, Captain Ahab, Thoreau, Red, Malcolm X, Paul Revere, the Pilgrims,, Bunker Hill's defenders, Whitey Bulger, Detective Spens(c?)er for hire, Rocky Marciano, the Salem Witches, Van Morrison, Killer Kowalksi, and Dead Ted with the Cryogenically Preserved Head all trod ground here....and the B List isn't much worse, with a pile of ex-Presidents, HOFers, Ally McBeal, Samuel Adams, and innumerable historic figures.

   Several times a year, we stop everything and have national holidays for some of the more illustrious New England residents. The whole Pilgrim/Thanksgiving thing is from Plymouth County (chief guest Massasoit had a residence in Monponsett, and probably went to Plymouth from here). MLK was a BU grad. The big name on that 4th of July document that Nicholas Cage stole was a Chowderhead named John Hancock- if you examine the Declaration, the cowardly Thomas Jefferson actually signed it, "Hugh G. Rection"

   But I digress. The point that I'm pounding into your skulls is that true New England Legends hang out in a pretty exclusive club.

   A guy who can definitely walk past security into that club is Doug Flutie. He of the Heisman trophy, the Miami Hail Mary, the twenty year career, the Flutie Flakes. Doug is a Natick kid, and he was the Toast of Both Coasts before he was out of college.

   Standing maybe 5'9", Flutie was this scrambling fool that could think on the fly better than anyone I have seen in any profession, Mr. Brady included. A natural underdog, he appealed to the fans- most of whom are more Flutie-sized when compared to the 300 pounders chasing him.

   I was way too young when he was doing his thing here to even try a technical analysis of his style at BC. He always seemed to be running in a panic, but he'd get out of it most of the time. College ball of any kind in Boston has never been a Nebraska-style scene where the coach can run for governor,but the Eagles were the talk of the town when Doug was at the helm.

   I like Flutie signing with the Patriots for several reasons, not all of which are based in logic:  

- Even if Belichick is just signing him so he can retire in his hometown, it is a class move not expected from the man who cut loyal soldier Troy Brown.

- Short (yuk yuk) risk. He's the #3 QB. Several people have to be injured before we see him starting a game...unless Belly protects Brady and whips out the Skin Flutie for the regular season finale in Foxboro.

- Few backup QBs short of Joe Montana can provide the sounding board Flutie can during sideline Brady huddles. He's seen it all, and he was world famous when Brady was still fouling the Pampers.

- He'd be a good knuckleball to throw at a tough D in a blowout loss. He'd also be a threat on PAT/FG attempts, as a holder. Even as he nears 50, only that Ron Mexico kid can rival his on-field creativity.

- He's what the Italians call una scossa nelle natiche, "a kick in the ass," to the splendidly-monikered Rohan Davey The #2 QB- who played so well at Barcelona or wherever that NFL Europe could probably sue him for child support, as he had his way with just about everybody Over There- came into camp last year and impressed no one. Now, he'll have to practice so well that- if Brady gets hurt- Belichick wants to put him in despite of the publicclamor for the local hero.

- Should the Pats re-sign Ty Law, Flutie's CFL experience will come in handy when smuggling drugs across the Canadian border.

- He was throwing against New England blizzards when Matt Hasslebach(?) was throwing up Gerbers.

- We need 3 QBs, and unless USC was playing the wrong QB last year, Flutie is the best we have for the #3....and quite possibly the #2.

- If there's a strike, Flutie will already know all the plays when he crosses the picket line.

- The two greatest QBs in Massachusetts history will confer on the sidelines a lot.

- Adam V has someone on the team old enough to be impressed that he brought down Herschel Walker solo on a kickoff return.

- The Patriots only have three QB jerseys, and one of them was shrunk by an incompetent laundress.

- We could have signed Bledsoe. Poor Dallas- they could have spent $500 and just put a statue back there with no lessening of team QB mobility.

- The most famous athlete from Duxbury is former NBA benchwarmer Bill Curley. #2 is crack-smoking former Bruin Kevin Stephens, who used to rent my sister's beach house. #3 may very well be me, unless Juliana Hatfield plays a sport I'm unaware of. Unless you count Wampanoag warriors, Monponsett has no famous athletes.

- Flutie has a rock band, which lost a battle of the bands to The Losers- former BU grad Howard Stern's band, which featured a farter. I forget the details, but Flutie's band did a passable "Mustang Sally."

- Some of you may know that I'm not a long, tall Stacey. I look as silly in the average crowd as Flutie does in huddles. While Doug is a lot taller than 5'1", he still strikes a chord in me.