Wednesday, July 11, 2007


There are so many articles and posts in the works, but there are even more random thoughts on the brain that I want some feedback from. Us sportswriters think that we know everything about the business, however, we could learn something through real dialogue with players and fans. After all, we're still fans and wannabe players, right?
  • For those who still think that Steve Francis is a bum, is washed up, has lost it... you might be fooling yourselves. Now that his contract has been bought out by Portland, he can join any team as a free agent. With the LA Clippers and the Houston Rockets taking a look at Francis, it's proof that he is still valuable in the NBA as a viable scoring option. He is different from other combo guards in the fact that he plays better along with width of the court than the length. Combo guards such as Baron Davis, Stephon Marbury and Allen Iverson are dangerous when attacking the lane (while they can play the halfcourt set) where Francis is more effective against the baseline. It also helps when he plays off of a strong post presense. Eddy Curry emerged as that presense for the Knicks last season, but is still learning how to handle double and triple teams. The chance to play with the veteran Elton Brand or reunite with Yao Ming will keep him on the floor and hopefully, he won't dribble as erratically as he did with New York. Francis may not light up the scoreboard for 27 a night - especially if he joins Tracy McGrady - but he can still play the game. He may have walked out as the biggest winner of the draft day trade between the Knicks and Blazers: New York gains a PF that limits double teams in the post by opponents; Portland gains a youthful forward who, when confident in himself, can play off of Brandon Roy quite well and Francis can join teams that need a ballhandler.

  • The fact that Edgar Renteria (Atlanta says "thanks again, Boston"), Hanley Ramirez (Florida also says "thanks again, Boston") and Jimmy Rollins were not voted or selected as All-Stars speaks to the deepest starting position in baseball: shortstops in National League. Jose Reyes and J.J. Hardy earned theirs without a doubt, but when you look at these five names, you have to be amazed of how each have kept their teams afloat in what will be an extremely tight playoff race in the summer months. Reyes could still be the MVP that many expected if the Mets can consistently feed off of his speed on the bases. Rollins and Hardy have the power within the positon, so during the middle innings, they need runners in front of them to push those RBI totals and break a few ties. Ramirez isn't the best defensive SS, but he's an offensive stud without the glitz of being in a 'major' market. Renteria has been the most consistent Brave all season and - dare I say - is the second best pure hitting shortstop in the game next to Derek Jeter.

  • David Beckham will suit up for the Los Angeles Galaxy this Friday and there will be wall-to-wall coverage of his first game in Major League Soccer. His signing and impending arrival have been lambasted from coast to coast by sports media heads who are too infatuated with the major sports to think that people here in the States actually like soccer. They may not be numerous compared to baseball or football fans here in the US, but other than running, soccer is the largest participant sport going. It may be the soccer mom revolution gone mad, but having one of the sport's more recognizable figures can draw some attention to the league and give many of these kids a taste of the Euro flair. He's not Jordan to us, but Peyton Manning isn't exactly Ronaldinho outside of this country, no matter how much that's desired. And for those who moan and groan about 1-0 scores, remember that our football and baseball aren't excatly packed full of non-stop action at every turn. Beckham still proved to be a solid player for Real Madrid this past spring and if anything, his style of play is more like a distributing point guard with an ability to find the net rather than your scoring machine who has yet to trust his teammates. He should be a tremendous help to new teammate Landon Donovan, the supposed American star of the game that struggled in last year's World Cup. If interested, watch. If it's just not your cup of tea, try to not whine about it.

  • Hockey fan or not, the New York Rangers ain't messin' around, are they? For non-fans, just think of what the New England Patriots did this offseason before trading for Randy Moss. Signing top centers from two rivals, resigning a veteran whose name is synonymous with playoffs and retaining a coveted young goalie makes for an interesting season to come.

  • If Oakland's offense was halfway decent, this week's signing of Donovan Darius would be a truly noteworthy deal. Another move of note in sports comes from the Charlotte Bobcats. Gerald Wallace and Jason Richardson are showing that the franchise is going to emerge from the womb and maybe do some crawling. They might be a highlight machine this coming season, but the Bobcats will have an insanely prolific scoring combo in the East (with apoligies to Boston, Washington and New York). Keeping Wallace and adding J-Rich also means that owner Bob Johnson can't field a college all-star team to draw seats and win games. They have improved in each season and have a pretty good nucleus top work with: Emeka Okafor and Raymond Felton. Playoffs may not be likely, but they will definitely give teams problems until they get there in a couple of seasons. Just remember, the Dallas Mavericks were a couple of highlights a week before they became the Mavs. Now, if we can only talk about the team name...

  • Finally, as someone who owes a debt to internet radio in starting a career in this business, I'd like to ask everyone to check out Save Net Radio. The music industry makes the NCAA look clean and organized. Because of the industry's so-called business model allows payola for playing the same three songs in rotation, they fact that there is variety seems to threaten them. It makes about as much sense as yelling fire in a school buidling... I was five, okay?!?! And at the time, I was just reaching out for attention.

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