I really don’t understand the Bucks. They traded away Richard Jefferson, so they have a lack of scoring to make up. They drafted a point guard, so they have some depth there. So what did they do? Offered a contract to their free agent point guard and not the solid scoring threat. Ramon Sessions will likely be back with the team, but Charlie Villanueva has been cut loose. Very bizarre. I was certain that it was going to go the other way. It looks like things could end up very well for Villanueva – he looks like he will take he mid-level exception in Cleveland.
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Here we at the end of month three of the 2009 Major League Baseball season with about 75 games played and 87 to go. There’s been some movement, drift and milestones In the American League as the West is in flux, the Central is looking a tad odd and the East looks like it can change at any moment. Let’s take a quick look at each division.
It was a game full of drama for the Yankees yesterday against the Mets. First, Chien-Ming Wang got the start, and he wasn’t a disaster. He allowed two runs in just over five innings. That’s not great, but it’s a heck of a lot better than he has been in a long while. Could this be a sign of progress? Later in the game, Mariano Rivera made news not once, but twice. First, he got the first RBI of his entire career when he was walked with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth. It was also his first career walk, and only his third career at-bat. One RBI every three at-bats – that’s an impressive rate. Finally, Rivera’s 18th save of the season was the 500th of his career. Only Trevor Hoffman had previously reached that milestone, so this makes him officially what he already was – the undisputed king of the American League closers.
The NBA Draft is now a few days in the past, so we have had a chance to let things percolate in our minds for a few days. Here are ten thoughts I’ve had about the events at this point:
1. Ricky Rubio is a jackass. I am so incredibly tired of 18 year old guys who think they rule the world. Rubio has never been to Minneapolis, so how does he know that he doesn’t want to play there. Idiot. I hope he festers in Spain forever. What a terrible way for a young guy to set a tone. The saddest thing is that in the end he’ll get exactly what he wants.
Super filly Rachel Alexandra returns to action today for the first time since her impressive win in the Preakness. She’ll return at Belmont, the track she avoided by skipping the Belmont Stakes earlier this month. Though she has never won on the track, and her jockey Calvin Borel is both inexperienced and unsuccessful on the surface, she finds herself in a very good spot to win. She’s back against the fillies in the Mother Goose Stakes, a race run at a mile and an eighth that has attracted just four challengers for the big filly. Though it’s a small field, and Rachel Alexandra is the clear and deserving favorite, it’s still an interesting group that has gathered to face her. Here’s a look:
It’s all drafts all the time right now. Just one day after Blake Griffin was made the number one overall pick in the NBA the NHL is set to stage their draft. It’s a two day affair – the stuff everyone cares about on Friday night, and the rest on Saturday. If you haven’t been following things as they have developed, here’s a look at the top five players in the draft:
I want to look at tonight’s NBA Draft a bit, but first a couple of quick stories to touch on:
- I love the Shaq trade for Cleveland. He’s obviously not the man he was, but he’ll fit well with LeBron, they gave nothing of significance up for him, and they aren’t tied to him long term. The guy knows how to win, and he’s hard to contend with inside. I could see him liking the idea of going out on top, and this is as good a spot as any outside of the Lakers or the Spurs (two places he really isn’t going) to do so.
- I was very interested to see Lleyton Hewitt pull a big upset of the number five seed off today, and look pretty darned good doing it. He’s in a soft draw, and could easily get to the quarterfinals. He’s traditionally been good at Wimbledon, and he has rediscovered some lost form recently. He’s not going to win it, but I see him winning a few more games.
The Bucks didn’t stop their wheeling and dealing, and they made a move I am a big fan of. They sent Fabricio Oberto and his serviceable contract to Detroit for Amir Johnson. The Pistons had no room for Johnson, but he’s a player I really like. When he did find a few minutes to play he made the most of them. He’s a good shot blocker and surprisingly good at stealing the ball, and he can score and rebound as well. He’ll take some of the pressure off of CharlieVillanueva, and he gives the Bucks some flexibility if they can’t or don’t want to afford Villanueva next year. This move makes the Jefferson deal look even better in my eyes than it did yesterday.
I find something poetic about trades that help both teams get better – even if I don’t really care about either team involved. that’s definitely the case in the NBA today. The Spurs found a way to get much more competitive next year, and the Bucks sacrificed some scoring now for some real payroll flexibility next year, and they added some real veteran presence in the meantime. If you missed the deal, the Spurs picked up Richard Jefferson, and in exchange they gave up Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto.
James Blake lost at Wimbledon already. I won’t spend anymore time dwelling on the pathetic state of American men’s tennis – you know the drill. Roger Federer won, too, and he made it look easy. I was a little bit concerned at the start because he looked a bit lethargic for the first few points, but then I realized that it was his first grass match of the year and I was less concerned. By the middle of the first set his legs were back under him and he looked very good. He rolled to an easy win, and gave us no reason to doubt his ability to win it all.