With Training Camp less then a month away Vince Wilfork is going into his final season of his six year rookie contract where he averaged $1.5 M a year. Since being the 21st overall pick in the 2004 Draft he has been a two time pro bowler, and established himself as one of the best nose tackles in the NFL, a position that is hard to come by. Other top nose tackles are getting their pay day so it makes sense that Vince wants his too. Kris Jenkins signed a 5 year 30 M dollar contract with the Jets, Tommie Harris, who is not a NT but a great DT just signed a contract for a average of 8 million a year, and Albert Haynesworth signed a contract worth $13 M a year. With that being said, here are some reasons why it is important the Patriots sign Wilfork sooner rather then later.
Archive for June, 2009
Boston Red Sox: A couple notable things of…well… note this week from the Red Sox.
1. I don’t know what kind of eye drops Big Papi got but whatever they are, whether they just be medicated eye drops or secret Dominican juice eyedrops (just kidding) they certainly are doing SOMETHING. Just look at the splits. In the months of April and May, he was hitting a WHOPPING .186 with a .289 OBP, and a .572 OPS not to mention the grand total of 1 HR. Now? In the past month, Papi has hit .313 with a .397 and a 1.069 OPS and 7 HRs. Something is up here.
A couple of things to keep in mind here. One, if you watch Ortiz, he still looks lost at times. I agree wholeheartedly with the Bill Simmons theory that Ortiz is older then he claims to be. He has having trouble catching up to fastballs that he would absolutley smoke in the past. I think the key to the Ortiz reassurgence may actually be the eyedrops. Look at the jump in OBP in the past month compared to the first two months. Either pitchers are pitching around him, which would be dumb considering Papi’s struggles, or he’s seeing the ball better which isn’t a far-fetched option. The Red Sox don’t need 2006 David Ortiz, they just need late 2003/late 2004 Ortiz and they will be all set.
2. Pitching highs and lows have also been a theme for the month of June. I thought, besides the first inning of the game, John Smoltz looked good. The guy hasn’t pitched in a major league game in almost a year so I think what we got the other day was pretty good. Also, Beckett and Lester in the past month have started to look like their old selves. They’re blowing batters away and are clearly the aces of this staff. Wakefield has also turned in another of those “Wait, he has ten wins? I thought he was done” kind of seasons, which is probably a result of consistency both in the amount of runs he gives up a game and consistency for the offense. Finally, Brad Penny hasn’t looked bad, in fact, he’s been mostly unlucky in the past month, he’s 1-2. but he’s had two no decisions including a game where he was absolutely dealing against the Yankees and he hasn’t given up more then three runs since June 5 where he gave up 5 runs to a powerful Texas offense. He’s definitely getting better as the season goes along.
The problems lie in Dice-K and what do we do with Clay Buchholz. Dice-K is afraid to throw a strike, which has always been his issue but now we combine that with the fact that he is clearly fatigued from pitching for Team Japan in the WBC. I honestly don’t know what he can do to fix it. I would give him a month off. Let him rest until August and then see what happens. If he’s still awful, shut him down for the rest of the year. Buchholz is interesting. I’m still not convinced he’s major league ready. Don’t get me wrong, I would love for him to prove me wrong, but he’s reminding of Phil Hughes another of these “AAAA” pitchers. They blow away the competition in AAA, but something is missing from his major league stuff. Basically I don’t want to rush the kid right now. We have a good five man rotation (Beckett, Lester, Wakefield, Smoltz, Penny) and a bullpen that most nights shortens the game significantly. We are fine right now.
In fact, Buchholz is a great trade piece. His value will never be higher then it is right now. If the Sox need to go out and get another bat, which I think would be highly beneficial, Buchholz could be a key piece of any of those trades.
Celtics: For a draft in which you don’t pick until number 58, I think the Celtics probably got a steal with Lester Hudson.
I don’t care that this guy played against sub-par competition, this guy is a point freak. The guy had a Quadruple Double this year. A QUADRUPLE DOUBLE! Plus the situation in Boston is perfect for him to learn how to play against NBA talent. He is going to be challenged every day in practice and I see him becoming a good role player next year, a guy Doc Rivers can just point to and say “Lester, we need some points” and Lester will get some points.
The other thing that happened this week was the Rajon Rondo trade rumors which I already talked about earlier before the draft. To reiterate, if the Celtics trade Rajon Rondo, my second favorite Celtic and the bridge between the old guard and the new guard, and Ray Allen, I would take up drinking and cry myself to sleep at night.
Bruins: I will admit, my biggest issue with the NHL draft is that I don’t follow hockey prospects nearly enough. So for me, the big Bruins news is to congratulate Tim Thomas on winning the Vezina, Zedeno Chara winning the Norris, and Claude Julien winning the Adams trophy.
Anyone want to tell me about the Bruins draft pick? Is he any good? I really would like to know.
Patriots: Nothing of interest to report.
Until Next Time
If I have to turn on “Comcast Sports Tonight” and listen to them talk about any rumored deal involving Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo my head might explode. I want to know if something is going to happen or if it’s all a bunch of bullshit.
Basically, the two rumored deals are the following. Either:
1. The Celtics send Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo (Two expiring contracts) for some combination of Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash (Also expiring contracts)
2. The Celtics send Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo to Memphis for some combination of players that also includes the number 2 overall pick.
There is also a much less rumored third deal which is:
3. The Celtics send Kendrick Perkins to Memphis for basically the number 2 overall pick straight up.
I’m praying to the sports gods that none of these trades are true. To start with the first one:
- Currently, Rajon Rondo is a better a PG then Steve Nash and, arguably, a top 5 PG in the NBA (IMO: Chris Paul, Derron Williams, Chauncey Billups, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose). What this is saying is that to win NOW, something the Celtics need to do, it makes sense that Rondo gives you a better opportunity then Steve Nash.
- A salary dump doesn’t make sense here. All players involved are free agents next summer. Wouldn’t it make sense to let the contracts expire with the team already as it is? With the excess salary, you can sign a suitable 2 guard replacement for Allen (assuming the Celtics don’t bring him back) and resign Rondo (who might also take a discount, you never know) and have your PG, and hopefully super-star of the future.
-Where would Amare play? I understand he’s a tremendous talent but I don’t see where he would fit. KG plays the 4, Amare’s too small and not tough enough to play center and he’s too slow to play the three. With Amare, it looks the Celtics Starting lineup is Nash, Pierce (who is probably too slow at this point to play the 2), Amare, Garnett, and Perkins. I don’t see how that’s better then this year’s starting 5 until the KG injury.
-Amare is a poor defender.
-Why mess with a team that was a couple of non-injuries away from playing in another championship? Teams like Cleveland need to make moves, not the Bostons and Orlandos. Those two need to resign key pieces (Powe, Hedo) and get bench help to get over the hump, not team altering moves. The trade seems like a panic move to me.
The second trade makes even less sense to me:
- Draft Picks are not a sure thing. Basically, you’re trading Allen and Rondo for some players and the right to Ricky Rubio. I THINK Rondo gives you a better chance to win right now. Don’t get me wrong, I think Rubio will be a fantastic player down the road. He’s similar to Rondo, maybe a little slower, and has a better shot as a rookie (although Rondo is much better now) but he’s not a 4th year Rajon Rondo…yet.
Finally the third one is the worse onw of all:
- Similar to the last one but now it’s Perk for the rights to Hasheem Thabeet. No, no, and no. IMO one of the most overrated players in this draft for one of the biggest and best defensive centers in the league. If you don’t believe me, whose going to defend Dwight Howard in the (likely) event of a re-match? Not Thabeet and not KG when he has to roam to defend Rashard Lewis and certainly not Glen Davis. Just, don’t let this deal see the light of day.
All these potential trades just seem like trades the Celtics would make because they can, not because they should. The Celtics are fine. They just need to come back healthy next season and hungry again. Paul Pierce already is, just read his latest tweet on Twitter
@paulpierce34 “Lakers vs orlando. Looked like a german sherperd vs a poodle that’s ok the rotwieler celtics will b back in 2o10″
What do I say? It’s not too early to pre-order the duck boats for mid June next year. I might do it now.
Until Next Time