Delonte West Pulls a Desperado in Maryland

September 30, 2009
If only Delonte has spent his weekend driving the ball to the hoop, instead of his motorcycle, he might be in camp right now.

If only Delonte has spent his weekend driving the ball to the hoop, instead of his motorcycle, he might be in camp right now.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Delonte West was arrested over the weekend for illegal possession of firearms, after being pulled over for a traffic violation while driving his motorcycle.  Apparently, police officers found it odd that someone other than Antonio Banderas would be riding a motorcycle with a guitar case strapped to his back, so they searched the case.  Inside, they found two loaded handguns and a loaded shotgun.

There’s no telling why West had the weapons or where he was headed.  He should have been on his way to Cleveland for the start of training camp on Monday.  But his journey seems to have taken a detour, only nobody knows where.  Despite his arrest, West was supposed to report to training camp three days ago.  He has yet to arrive, marking three unexcused absenses for the six-year vet.

Even more concerning than his affinity for Robert Rodriguez films is that he has a long history of battling depression and mood disorders.  He missed 10 days of training camp last year while he battled depression.  This brings to question, how does someone with such a documented mental illness obtain weapons?  Scary thought.  More concerning to basketball fans (or at least to LeBron James fans) is what this means for the team?  He is their starting shooting guard, which might be the tongue-in-cheek understatement of the year, and an important part of the supporting cast around King James.  The team is among preseason Championship favorites and it will be interesting to see how they respond to the latest West mishap.

Perhaps the sight of Enrique Iglesias toting a guitar case filled with gun in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" inspired Delonte West this weekend.  After all, Enrique told him "I can be your hero baby."

Perhaps the sight of Enrique Iglesias toting a guitar case filled with guns in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" inspired Delonte West this weekend. After all, Enrique told him "I can be your hero baby."

As a Celtics fan, I’ve watched West quite a bit throughout his career.  He was a good player while on the team, not a superstar but rather underrated still.  When we traded him, I didn’t lose sleep over it, but I continued to follow the St. Joe’s product’s career.  I never thought he’d amount to much because he’s undersized and doesn’t excel at anything.  But he’s a good defender, a decent shooter, and he’s versatile, making him a perfect role player for a contending team.  It’s sad to see that he apparently is still battling the demons in his head.

Was it the long socks?  The curly orange hair?  His height?

Was it the long socks? The curly orange hair? His height?

Ideally, I always saw him ending up with the Celtics.  Not as a player.  Not as a coach.  But as the replacement for our lost mascot, Lucky.  I know, I know, he’s not Irish.  But for some reason, Delonte always reminded me of Lucky, the Celtic’s leprechaun.  The resemblence is there.  Maybe it’s because both wore tall socks.  Perhaps it’s because they were always the smallest men on the court.  Or maybe it’s because of that little orange ‘fro that Delonte rocked from time to time.   All I’m saying is picture Delonte West rocking that outfit.  It fits right?

Either way, West isn’t in camp, rides 3-wheeled motorcycles, and carries his firearms in a guitar case.  This can’t be the way the Cleveland Cavs drew up their preseason schedule, right?

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MLB Awards, Day 2: The John Rocker Closer Distinction

September 30, 2009
I wanted to name this the Kenny Powers award, but instead I named it after the real deal.

I wanted to name this the Kenny Powers award, but instead I named it after the real deal.

A good closer is hard to find.  You look at the teams that have already clinched, and a big factor in their success is having a guy in the pen that can shut the door (with the exception of the Phightin’ Phils, who may have finally found their man).  We take a timeout here, to honor those great doorclosers with the Blue Duck’s award for best closer.  We give it in the honor of one of baseball’s greatest players and humanitarians, Mr. John Rocker.

And the winners are:

NL
Boomer
Ryan Franklin (P) StL

If it looks like that now, imagine it when he stops shaving for the playoffs

If it looks like that now, imagine it when he stops shaving for the playoffs

ERA below two? Check.  Among the league leaders in saves? Check.  Pitching for a playoff team?  Check.  Ryan Franklin fits the bill, albeit in a league of less than flattering options.  He doesn’t strike out many batters, his walk totals are average, and he’s blown a few saves.  But look at the National League this year and even with all the negative things pointed out about Franklin, he’s still the best.  Now it’s overstating it a bit to say he’s been only okay, because he’s been very good.

Franklin is closing games for Tony La Russa, someone whose trust isn’t easy to gain.  Ryan doesn’t allow many hits and has only 13 runs on the season.  That’s pretty amazing considering his peripheral stats (k’s, walks) are average.  The bottom line?  He gets the job done for a team with World Series potential.  Congrats.

Carebear
Trevor Hoffman

I know we did Comeback Player of the Year yesterday, but this guy is really the epitome of returning to old form.  But, the beauty of Hoffman is that he has evolved as a pitcher.  The once prototypical closer has become a crafty changeup machine, but got the job done maybe as effectively as ever this year.

Hoffman carried with him the lowest WHIP in the major leagues at 0.88.  Hoffman blew only 3 saves in 39 chances, and finished the year with an ERA of 1.76.  Not bad for a 41-year old.  The Brew Crew struggled mightily in ’09, but Hoffman did not contribute to their plight.  It would have been nice to see what he could have pulled off with a playoff contender this season, though.  Hells Bells.

AL

Biggest honor of my long career. Mos reaction when we told him of the award.

"Biggest honor of my long career." Mo's reaction when we told him of the award.

Boomer
Mariano Rivera
(P) NYY

Another classic year by Mo.  He’s been the only constant in a Yankees bullpen that was battered by injury all year.  He’s got 44 saves, two off the league lead.  His stats aren’t neccessarily mind-blowing; among closers he’s not near the lead in strikeouts, nor does he pitch multiple innings, but he doesn’t need to.  With his devastating cutter breaking the bats of lefties and causing righties to pop-up, he’s efficient.  Considering he doesn’t walk batters (almost literally, he’s got about half as many walks as any other AL pitcher with 30+ saves).

He’s closing games for the best team in baseball and he’s getting it done the same way he does every season.  The qualities you look for in a closer are consistency and reliability.  Rivera’s got ’em, as he doesn’t have many heart attack innings (see Papelbon, Jonathon), doesn’t have total clunkers (Fuentes, Brian), and gets the job done in the ninth.

Carebear
Joe Nathan

Joey’s been getting it done for a long time now.  It seems like he is one of the few closers in baseball whose job has never been in question.  Minnesota has made this interesting and during their comeback stretch, Nathan has been solid.  In the last 2 months, Nathan has 16 saves with only two blown.

He has blown 5 on the season, a bit steep, but his numbers are great.  With a WHIP of 0.95, Nathan does not allow baserunners, avoids big innings, and strikes out more than a man an inning.  Best closer in the AL? no, but Boomer chose Mo.  Joe Nathan is as good as any non-Mo closer in the league.

Kenny lost out to Rivera in a close decision.

Kenny lost out to Rivera in a close decision.

Tomorrow is day 3 of the baseball award extravaganza.  Our Cy Young Award goes out.  No Name for that one yet.  Send us any suggestions?  Gaylord Perry, Orel Hershiser, and Doc Gooden are in the running.  Tune in tomorrow.

Yesterday we announced the Comeback Player of the Year Award winners here https://blueducksports.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/blue-duck-mlb-awards-day-one-comeback-player/


Blue Duck Sports – Week 4 NFL Betting Guide

September 30, 2009

Last week wasn’t the greatest, but continues to be profitable as my “locks” made a come back.

Looking for a strong showing this week, and there appear to be a lot of “solid” bets to make.  Tread carefully of course because you are useless to me if you can’t afford internet service anymore and your PC gets repo’d.  Play it safe and play all of my picks…it’s been working so far.

Have you heard?  Brett Favre has still got it I swear!

Have you heard? Brett Favre has still got it I swear!

Last week: 9-7  Locks: 2-0        Season: 29-19   Season Locks: 3-2

Raiders vs Texans Over 42

The Texans have the ability to put points on the board.  Admittedly, the Raiders defense is under rated but I see Schaub and company putting up 30 on the Raiders.  Jamarcus Russell should be able to hand the ball off enough to his talented backfield to cover the rest of the over.

Patriots -1.5 vs Ravens

Tough game to pick.  Ravens defense is not as good as it has been, but all eyes will continue to be on Brady to see if he can get it back together for a solid game.  The Patriots defense has been a bright spot and should give the offense time to get going.  This will be a statement game for the Patriots, against a team many are already proclaiming to be the best in the NFL.

Giants -9 vs Chiefs

Giants will control the game and the clock and rattle Cassel whenever they please.  Large spread but look for the Giants D to continue their dominant streak.

Buccaneers +7 vs Redskins

Both teams are absolutely terrible, and the Redskins should come out fired up after being embarrassed by the Lions last week.  If the Bucs can keep it close in the first half, they could very well win this game outright.

Bengals -5.5 vs Browns

The Browns are my vote for worst team in the league.  Not only do they lack talent, but they hate their coach.  Absolute disaster.  The Bengals have been a pleasant surprise and should roll here.

Jets vs Saints OVER 45

Tough game to pick with the line so I’ll take the over.  It’s a big over to hit, but I’m still not sold on the Jets defense.  Drew Brees should be able to find time and put together a good game.  On the other side of the field Mark Sanchez has shown a lot of poise and should also be able to keep his team in the game.

Bills -2 vs Dolphins

While the Dolphins were never really about who played quarterback, and relied heavily on the run game and gimmick plays (wildcat).  The loss of Pennington will hurt a bit.  He was a very efficient quarterback and didn’t make costly mistakes.  Not sure if Henne can provide the same.  I just hope this game isn’t on TV.

Rams +9.5 vs 49ers

49ers will be without Frank Gore, it won’t slow them down all that much, but look for the Rams to control the game on the ground and keep this one close.

Cowboys -3 vs Broncos

The Broncos are over rated.  Don’t get me wrong with this, but the Cowboys DO play in a tough division.  They still have the offense to put up big points even with a backfield that is in pain.  They should be able to handle this one.

Chargers +6.5 vs Steelers

The Steelers are reeling, and may not be as good as we thought they were.  The Chargers defense continues to be suspect, but their offense is able to score from anywhere on the field, while the Steelers are not.  If the Steelers cannot get a running game together the Chargers will be able to keep this close.

Packers +3.5 vs Vikings

Everyone will be watching this game.  Brett Favre vs his old team.  Favre now playing for their bitter division Rivals.  The Vikings are good, and the Packers haven’t shown too much, but Aaron Rodgers should be able to carry his team to victory here.
Really, I just like the whole emotional factor that Green Bay should be running on.  I love that stuff.

Lock of the week:

How can I not love this guy??

How can I not love this guy??

Lions vs Bears OVER 39

Everyone knows I hate Jay Cutler, but he may become a fixture in my lock section. Neither teams defense is very good, and both offenses are developing.  Look for both teams to put up 40+ combined.

Titans -3 vs Jaguars

Both teams are very good rushing teams, but I’ll give the edge to the Titans in the passing game and on defense, enough so that they should cover the 3 points.