LONGSHOTS: Sanchez and Ellsbury linked by local hysteria
By Dave Long firstname.lastname@example.org
Time to empty out the thoughts collecting in my cluttered mind.
Since I’m more biased than the fair and balanced network when it comes to college football, my number-one team in the land is Chip Kelly’s Oregon, I can’t remember if it’s Ducks or Beavers — but I’ll get an e-mail from brother Keith Kelly straightening me out on that.
Wonder what Labor Commish George Copadis and the world’s biggest living Cowboys fan thinks of the ’boys’ 0-2 start. I think they’re the Notre Dame of the NFL, vastly overrated each summer based on their well-known past.
Still think Mark Sanchez is the worst quarterback in the history of the universe?
And you do know the same hysteria that fueled the region’s leap to that conclusion about Sanchez after his bad opener vs. the Ravens is behind the he’s-too-soft, dump-Jacoby Ellsbury chatter? If he gets dumped after the lost year it will be Theo’s latest major mistake. And those mistakes are piling up. Five years for 12-11, 4.63 John Lackey, five AFTER this year for Josh (5-5, 5.71) Beckett, Mike Cameron to center and Ellsbury to left for run prevention and allowing Victor Martinez to get to free agency when they should have got him signed in the spring.
A couple more: since Theo let him walk for nothing, Carlos Pena’s 143 home runs for the Rays is the most in the American League. And did you know that Adam LaRoche — who was dumped for Casey Kochman after spending a week at Fenway last summer — had 93 RBI on Monday morning while the much lusted-over Adrian Gonzalez had 97?
But stop the presses — with 64 and 15 games left as I write this J. D. Drew looks like he’s going to break his streak of three straight 67-RBI seasons. Not bad for $15 million a year.
And speaking of dumping Ellsbury, here’s the update on the proposed Johann Santana for him and Jon Lester deal that so many insisted had to be made because you ALWAYS go with the tested veteran. The just-turned-27 Ellsbury averaged 146 games, 96 runs, 60 stolen bases and hit .290 his two previous years while the 26-year-old Lester was 49-22 with a 3.12 ERA in 620 innings since the proposed trade. Santana, who’ll be 32 years old in spring training, was 40-25 with a 2.89 ERA in 590 NL innings. And Lester is trending up with 18 wins and a chance to get 20 while Santana has done 16 to 13 to 11 as he was paid $20 million while Ellsbury and Lester went for a combined $5.2 million. Still think you always go for the veteran?
Haven’t heard what the biggest Hawaii 5-0 fan in the universe, WGIR morning guy Charlie Sherman, thinks of the series remake that debuts this week. For me it’s a theft of a name, because there is no way they can reproduce the righteous indignation Steve McGarrett conveyed to the bad guys in the original.
Does the Blue Jays’ 29-year-old slugger Jose Bautista get the Joe Hardy or Brady Anderson Award for coming out of nowhere to hit 49 homers and 114 as of Monday when his career best prior to 2010 are 16 and 64?
Hypocrite of the year (at least) award goes to Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl, who once correctly ratted out Illinois assistant Jimmy Collins for recruiting violations with an illegally taped phone call and then last week got caught in a major recruiting rule-breaking scandal himself. The local connection on Pearl? As a D-II head coach his Southern Indiana knocked then NHC out of the 1995 NCAA playoffs in the semi-finals in Springfield, Mass.
I’m betting on a terrible “this really is it” kind of a year from Brett Favre.
Does it count as a slump if it happens over two seasons? Here’s the per-game averaged numbers for Tom Brady as the Pats have lost three of their last 4 games: 61.1% completions, 211 yards, seven TD passes, 6 interceptions and 2 lost fumbles.
Given the Patriots’ needs for an edge pass rusher and to replace the aging linebacker corps, does it bother you to know that the NFL sack leader after two weeks is 2009 rookie of the year Clay Matthews with six, who the Packers took with the 26th pick in ’09 after the Pats traded down from 23 on draft day?
ESPN is running a contest to pick the best starting line-up for your favorite NBA team. While it’s tricky for the Celtics (I’ve got Russell, KG over McHale, Bird over Havlicek barely, Cousy and Paul Pierce), it’s even tougher for the Lakers. Who do you take at center — Wilt, Shaq, Kareem or George Mikan, who won five titles and was voted the greatest player of the 20th century’s first 50 years? And then who’s the odd man out between Magic, Jerry West and Kobe? I go Shaq and while I’d rather vote Sarah Palin for president than do this, based on the five titles I’ve got Kobe over the logo, who was known as Mr. Clutch.
If they did it in football, who would the Colts take at QB, Peyton Manning or Johnny Unitas? Not as tough a call in the Manning family itself, where Eli comes in third to Peyton at number one followed by papa Archie.
And speaking of takeoffs on ’60s music ... to the reader who sent me the unsigned postcard starting out “Dear Numb Nut” after I said Spencer David’s three-goal day may lead to a renaming of the Derryfield soccer team as the “Spencer David Group”: I’ll say it slow so you can keep up. I know it was the Spencer Davis Group back in the day. It was what you call a plaaaaay on woooooords. Usually when I get nasty ones like that it’s in crayon. As for the lack of civility — sticks and stoooones….
And even though I cringed at NBC’s overdoing it during the Manning Bowl on Sunday, Nashua’s and Bishop Guertin’s own Mike Lupica was right when he said on ESPN that brothers playing at that level against each other is pretty amazing.
And by the way — I guarantee Sarah P gets the GOP nomination for Prez in 2012. Like her or not, she’s got “it” that makes her a magnet for attention and for folks on the right she’s got a Reaganesque likability. You can’t teach or manufacture either of those. Book it, Danno — she’s getting it.
Dave Long can be reached at email@example.com. He hosts Saturday Morning Sports with Dave Long 11 a.m. to noon Saturdays on WGAM – The Game 1250-AM in Manchester and 900-AM in Nashua.