Monday, November 05, 2012

BC Hockey Slips Past UMass 3-2

UMass always gives BC trouble. Even though the Eagles are the #1 team in the country, the defending NCAA Champs, and have won 25 of their last 26 games. But UMass can skate. And that negates BC's most crucial advantage: their speed.

Last night BC needed a pair of 3rd period goals for a 3-2 comeback win. On October 19th they fell behind 3-0 to UMass, then scored 4 times in the 3rd, eventually winning 5-4 in OT. BC have won 4 straight against UMass, all by 1 goal margins. Before that, they lost 2 in a row to the Minutemen.

The Minutemen are just a few pieces short of solving the BC puzzle. They don't finish scoring chances as well as BC. And BC's goaltending stymies most of UMass's best scoring chances. Last night BC goalie Parker Milner stopped 29 of 31 UMass shots. UMass went ahead early in the 3rd period, but BC goals from Michael Matheson and Patrick Brown tied, then won the game for the Eagles.

Boston College are champions because they win tough, close games like this one. They get good goaltending and clutch offense when it's needed most.

Johnny Gaudreau had an assist on the Matheson goal, his 9th point of the season in 7 games. The sophomore, whose NHL rights belong to Calgary, has lit up Hockey East this fall.

Bill Arnold scored BC's first goal of the game, his third of the season, and his fifth Power Play point.

The #1 Eagles host the #8 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame on Friday night, then play at #12 Boston University on Sunday.

Photo Credit:
Rich Gagnon

Rhode Island Suing Curt Schilling... HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Rhode Island's Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is suing Curt Schilling. The accusation is that Curt Schilling, along with former head of the EDC Keith Stokes (yes, the agency is suing its former head), knowingly concealed the fact that Schilling's video game company (38 Studios) would run out of money in 2012.

This is simply delightful. Curt Schilling can't get away from his transgressions.

If the EDC can prove that Schilling knew the company was running out of money (Schilling's intense lobbying for new investors, and the fact that the company ran out of money seem to support such a theory), and hid that information from the state, then he could be in lots of trouble. And he'd be on the hook for lots of money.

Schilling claims the lawsuit is politically motivated. No shit, Schilling! That's what happens when businesses get money from the Government. You can't involve politicians without things getting political. And actual Conservatives know that. That's why we don't like Governments and Corporations getting into bed together. Taxpayer money is used to help someone make a profit, and the company can't do business without political restrictions and conditions. It's not an ideal situation.

Schilling isn't a true Conservative, though. He just liked spouting the rhetoric, and feeling morally superior to others. Well, his morals are dubious at best. I think he's greedy, selfish, ego-maniacal, and unwilling to take any moral responsibility for this company's failure. He forgot his alleged Conservative principles when it became convenient and potentially profitable for him. And now that the state that helped his stupid company is out $100 million, all he can do is play the role of a misunderstood victim. Rhode Island is the victim (perhaps of their own stupidity for investing in a video game company), not Mr. Schilling. But Curt won't take moral responsibility for this.

Maybe the courts can make him take financial responsibility.

I only wish he'd have to pay back the $100 million to each Rhode Islander personally. That's $95.15 owed to each citizen of the Ocean State, along with an apology.

Winter Classic Cancelled

The NHL continues to slowly kill itself. They've cancelled the biggest single TV event on the NHL calendar. The Winter Classic was one of the things that helped the NHL rebound from the previous Lockout, and now it's been cancelled by a League determined to destroy itself and the game.

Over 100,000 were going to attend the 2013 Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, filling Michigan's Big House with rabid hockey fans supporting the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. Two Original 6 teams, two of the most storied franchises in the sport. The game was to be in a state and nearby city that have remained loyal to the game for decades.

And now they've been screwed because the NHL wants to keep teams in Florida and Arizona. And because owners of teams like the Maple Leafs don't want to share revenue with those teams.

The 2013 Winter Classic would have been part of a larger revitalization of Detroit sports that's been happening for several years now. The Detroit Tigers are very good, the Lions are no longer the joke they once were. The NHL could have been a part of that. Opportunity lost.

Furthermore, Michigan is a hockey hotbed. And not just the Red Wings. There's an AHL team in Michigan, an ECHL team, 7 Division-I college teams (that's about 1/8 of the country's total), even a pair of junior teams in the Ontario Hockey League. It's a state that loves hockey, and hockey has screwed them. Some of those teams would have played at Comerica Park in Detroit. This Winter Classic would have involved two venues, two outdoor rinks, a bevy of games, a multitude of events, and an entire state's attention. Opportunity lost.

It's just sad. This lockout is killing the game, not just the League. People and places once interested in the game are finding other things to do and to watch.

Michigan will likely "be awarded" the 2014 Winter Classic, but do you think they'll be as excited, as enthused about it? Why would they be? Why should they be?

Imagine if this had happened to Boston, and how we'd treat the next year's Classic.

And what if you're a city and considering hosting a Winter Classic the year an NHL CBA expires. What city would want to sign that deal? Winter Classic 2014: Grand Forks, North Dakota.

I'm tired of the NHL, and I hope this Lockout either destroys the League or brings about dramatic, sweeping changes. Jeremy Jacobs needs to be visited by three ghosts Ebeneezer Scrooge style, Gary Bettman needs a lobotomy, and hockey needs to be banned in Florida and Arizona, thus forcing the collapse of failing NHL franchises.

Red Sox Pay Big Bucks to Keep Big Papi

The Red Sox and David Ortiz agreed to a 2 year deal worth $26 million. With incentives, it could be worth $30 million.

Did the Red Sox have to pay so much? What is David Ortiz's actual value? He turns 37 in a few weeks, he missed over 70 games last year, he can't play the field, can't be signed by an NL team. Was he going to get that much on the open market?

There were rumors that the Texas Rangers had interest, and that would make sense. I just don't like assigning $26 million to a player who could very likely only play 200 games these next 2 seasons. Perhaps even fewer than that.

It's not a gross overpayment. However, I am extremely paranoid about the Red Sox possibly signing someone for PR reasons more than on-field reasons.

Think about it. "Sources" leaked to the media that the team and Ortiz were close to a deal. The fans then voiced their opinions and the general attitude was that they wanted Ortiz back. Hours later, the Sox sign Ortiz. Leak, then fan reaction, then personnel decision.

These events might not have caused each other. But this is the Red Sox, and they have cash to spend. Theo Epstein's "Monster" did the same thing a few years ago: spend because they could, not because they should.

People seem happy, though. Red Sox mouthpiece Peter Abraham was especially optimistic. My favorite argument in support of Ortiz is this:

"Ortiz also adds an intangible element that the Red Sox valued. He is a clubhouse leader, active in the community, and brings consistency to what has been a team in chaos for a year."

Do you really want to be called a leader of one of the most dysfunctional and despicable clubhouses in modern sports history? Isn't that like being CEO of Enron or Captain of the Titanic? Is that something to be praised?

Jen Slothawer from wrote an even more absurd piece praising Ortiz:

"On Friday, the Red Sox weren't re-signing a designated hitter, a 36-year-old slugger or a cleanup man. They were taking care of the heart of their franchise -- the one player who links past success to future hope, who carried the team through its worst season in recent memory, and whose leadership and spirit are far beyond anything this team could hope to buy with its millions in new spending money."

Ortiz is not a leader. We learned that fact in 2011 as he kept his distance from the turmoil and worried about his hits being scored as errors. I really don't know what to say about Ortiz's "spirit" and "consistency" but those things didn't seem to affect the Sox in September of 2011 or all of 2012. These are not assets worth millions of dollars. They're childish concepts bandied about by sportswriters who can't use logic to justify their support of a personnel decision, and therefore resort to sentimentalism.

Both Abraham and Slowather point out that the Sox have money to spend. But as Ian Malcolm argues in Jurassic Park, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

In plain, factual, adult terms: the Sox spent $26 million on a 37 year old DH who can't play defense and missed almost half the 2011 season with an injury that took forever to heal. If this wasn't someone Red Sox fans knew and already loved, they'd be pissed and perplexed. But it's Big Papi, so smiles all around.

And Ortiz is smiling too. He finally got that respect he's so vocally yearned for. Unfortunately, he plays his best when he feels disrespected.