Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Of all the teams, he had to go to the Colts. Indy signed away one of the biggest heroes in Boston sports history today. They needed a kicker and they got one of the best ever. This is just another player the Patriots have lost this year. Others such as Willie McGinist, and David Givens have left the team. There is some serious work to be done down in Foxborough to fill these holes for the 2006 season.

Having Vinatieri was like starting every game with a 3-0 lead. He is the clutchest player in any sport that I have ever seen. When you called on him to be the hero, he would do it, even on the bigger stages.

Adam was getting older. Last season, he had some troubles with his back and his range was down. The Patriots took a lot of punts when maybe 2 seasons ago they would have attempted field goals. His kickoffs also weren't going as far as in the past, but that is a small part of the game.

The Patriots depended on Vinatieri more than any other team depended on their kicker. We play such a close game and depend on getting small edges that amount to victories. Vinatieri was one of those edges. The Pats will get a decent kicker to replace Vinatieri, but I don't think there is a kicker out there to match Vinatieri's ability to perform under pressure. The Patriots will have to adjust for that.


Japan won the first ever World Baseball Classic. Did you know that? Now for some reason, the next WBC will be in 3 years in 2009. Perhaps for the next one, they'll learn a few things:

1. Don't schedule games during the NCAA tournament. Even the NIT knows that.

2. Try not to have it during Spring Training. It isn't really the best players in the world when they're kept to pitch counts and are swinging like it is Spring Training.

3. Maybe have more international umpiring crews.

4. Don't just arbitrarily select 16 countries, make them qualify in some way.

5. It is boring to have teams in the same group in the 1st round play in the next round. We never got to see the US play Cuba or the Dominican play Japan.

6. Don't put the games on ESPN Deportes and don't give the NIT more priority on regular ESPN.

It will be back in 2009, they're sticking to March, and it will probably still be in North America.

It will be interesting to see how participants in the WBC start off the season. Will they be warmer and fresher having played in serious games, or will they be colder having had limited playing time, or will they be worn out? Time will tell.

To Mr. Steinbrenner, though. One MLB player was hurt, more than 150 were not.