LONGSHOTS: I donít want to tell you I told you so, but I told you so.
By†Dave Long firstname.lastname@example.org
Hereís an assortment of random thoughts that have been piling up as the summer has moved along.
I donít know about you, but Iím to the point where I almost feel sorry for Tiger Woods. The guy finished 39 shots BEHIND the record he set on the same course 10 years ago at the Bridgestone Classic over the weekend. Itís like the gods have gotten together and said weíre going to teach this guy a lesson in humility. I mean Ebenezer Scrooge didnít even get it this bad in A Christmas Carol.
If Chris Bosh is so good, why did Toronto get to the playoffs just one time in his seven seasons north of the border?
After the way AD Mike Garrett mucked things up at USC with the Reggie Bush Heisman take back, the OJ Mayo debacle and the hiring/firing of the vastly overrated Tim (pink) Floyd to coach the hoop team, heís lucky they didnít take back HIS Heisman Trophy when they fired him.
Anyone out there who did think it when Theo signed him for big bucks still think John Lackey is a true number-one starter? Do I hear a number 2? Number 3? A number four? Hereís what I said about him in November ...
... Low costs for Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury helped him (Theo) get John Lackey this week and that could lead to Clay Buchholz being the one to go for Adrian Gonzalez. Of course, Iíd rather trade Lackey and keep Buchholz ó who will be better than the newcomer by 2011. But thatís a story for another day that I just wanted to get on the record.
While I was on the right track for 2011, unless he hits a big bump Iím going to miss on Buchholz ó I had him at 14-9 with a ERA of 4.02 in 2010. So itís a little like what people used to tell Rodney Dangerfield when he went to them for directions ó ďyouíre WAY off!Ē And if you donít know who Rodney is, catch Caddyshack next time itís on TV or on-demand. Itís got all his good ones ó or check todayís glossary, where I list three.
I also said in that column .... ďAnd, as you probably know I think he (Theo) relies too much on the stat geek numbers, which has led to failure or vastly overpaying for free agents, as he did with Lackey and perhaps why Mike Cameron is the now the left fielder instead of Jason Bay.... Of course, in hitting .247 with just six homers and 47 runs batted in and now on the DL with a concussion, Bay hasnít exactly made Mets fans forget Cleon Jones either.
But having said that, am I the only who thinks itís ironic that the reason Theo didnít sign Bay is he insisted on a non-guaranteed injury protected fourth year and the guy he got to replace him ó Cameron ó already has lost nearly an entire year to injury? Wouldnít that have made Theo already even in the lost year department?
I say Josh Beckett spitting the bit against the Yankees on Sunday was the worst loss of the year because they really needed him to be an ace in that one.
Not that thatís anything new when he pitches against the Yanks. Hereís the astonishing stat of the week, if not the decade. In 375 at-bats against Beckett with the Red Sox, New York is hitting .282. And no, thatís not a misprint. They are 148 for 375 and this year theyíre 33 for 58. Thatís a .363 clip ó which I know seems impossible. And for good measure going from 2010, when itís 11.17, down, his ERA each year as a Red Sox vs. NY after that is 5.34, 3.25, 4.39 and 9.46. Thatís 6.26 overall! So if the Yankees are Pedroís Daddy, what are they to Beckett? Zeus? But even with those unbelievable numbers, even more amazing is heís still won nine times against them and lost only seven times ó begging the question, who the heck is pitching for the Yanks?
Think Lance Armstrong feels the PED noose tightening around his neck? Hereís a tip: donít try the Marion Jones-like indignant the-best-defense-is-a-good-offense approach. Thatís just ahead of 15 yearsí worth of Pete Rose ďI didnít do itĒ denials on the list of ones that are really hard to come clean from ó if you actually did do it.
You may recall I was one of the few not in love with last summerís signing of Rasheed Wallace ó which many thought was a no-brainer. So for what itís worth, I love bringing Shaq to Boston.
But I wonít say itís without risk, as it could be like when a kaput Artis Gilmore got here in 1988. But Iím betting itís more like when injury-plagued Bill Walton made a Joe Hardy-like pact with the Devil to have one last glorious, injury-free year in Boston in 1986. Hereís why. First: the Big Fella still commanded double teams from teams in the playoffs last year and they badly need a low post scorer. Second: on a per-minute basis he would have still been their best rebounder last year. Third: at 38, injury potential and attitude are the big question marks, but since heís making short money if he doesnít work out they can send him away when Perk comes back.
Oh ó hereís a fourth. Danny gets an A for maneuvering in tight spaces this summer and not just for what he got on the court. Because if Shaq does work out to where he and Perk can be the two-headed monster at center, it makes Jermaine OíNeal expendable at the trade deadline, and when you combine his contract with the expiring contract of Rasheed and maybe Nate Robinson, Danny will have around $15 million to throw into any deal to bring in another big-time player in the way the Lakers were able to fit Pao Gasol under their cap. Heís never had that since KG and Ray arrived.
It will move up to an A+ if he can get Delonte West to take the vets minimum to come back. Though since his mom is single Iím not sure how Ray Allen would feel about that. But with West on board the bench would be vastly superior to the last two years.
Not that I ever wanted to see him go, but remember if Tom Brady walks over his contract ó I was the guy saying in 2009 they should explore a Herschel Walker-like offer you canít refuse to accelerate the rebuilding of the defense thatís under way now.
At the moment Iíve got the Pats going 9-7.
Just so you donít think Iím trying to tell you Iím infallible ó I missed on Curtis Grandersonís impact with the Yanks, and on Jeremy Hermida and I had Tiger in the Masters ó which was again like Rodney looking for directions.
Dave Long can be reached at email@example.com. He hosts Dave Long and Company from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday on WGAM – The Game, 1250-AM Manchester, 900-AM Nashua.