Another day, another dollar here at the d-bag mailbag. We’ve hit the dog days of summer and we continue to crank out the swill. We can’t be stopped -- no matter how much you’d like us to be. We’re like a fungus. Or a mold. Or that thing on Bradford’s face. We just keep coming at you.
Nothing too vicious or obscene this week. I promise that won’t happen again…
Danny did a great job getting KG and Ray but we will see if he can measure up to BB when he replaces the big three as their contracts expire over the next couple of years. Brady crying and stamping his feet after losing Deion forced BB to alter his defense-first philosophy and get Moss and Welker. He let the defense get old to make his diva happy and paid the price. Let’s see Danny or Theo add coaching to their duties and see how they stand up.
A: You’re right, of course. To truly be thought of in Belichick’s league, Danny has to do it more than once. And remember, my ratings were purely related to the draft and talent evaluation. If you include the whole package -- coaching, scouting, cap management -- Belichick is the clear winner.
I would have to agree with your ranking of Ainge ahead of the other three. Really, his only misstep the last two years was Mikki Moore (how can a guy be in the NBA for 10 years and still have the arms of a 14-year-old adolescent?) and if Leon Powe stayed healthy, the Moore acquisition might have meant that they acquired a critical towel waver rather than a guy who would get pushed out for rebounds in the WNBA.
Your argument for Belichick over Theo is stronger if you look at the revolving door at short and the J.D. Drew infatuation. I don't think there was a line to acquire either player, and no one really came out to drive up the price even though the organization's infatuation with both players was well established. I think the hole at short is more critical than the holes at cornerback and perhaps easier to remedy than the cornerback situation. Trades at least happen in baseball.
I think hockey is the hardest sport to build a winner, and the jury still has to be out on Chiarelli. The two good moves he's made have been signing Julian and Chara (take away his reach and he is an average defender with a good slap shot. He was t he second best defensemen on his team early in the season before Ference got hurt). I'm still waiting for his best trade (Boyes for Wideman -- yes he moves the puck, but too often in critical times it's to the other team in his own zone) and maybe that will come with Kessel, Savard or Sturm, but I am not hopeful. Trades for salary cap relief tend to garner multiple marginal players or prospects instead of useful players. I think once the trade(s) are completed we'll hear the ``we acquired depth’’ line more than the ``this makes our team better right now’’ line.
Thanks for the article,
A: I don’t agree with your assessment that the Sox hole at short is “more critical” than the Pats’ holes at corner. The Sox won a championship with a hole at short (Julio Lugo was the starter in 2007). The Pats haven’t won a title with their holes in the secondary.
I imagine with the army of defensive backs the Pats now have in their possession they’ll be playing a lot of nickel and dime packages designed to make up for their deficiencies at linebacker. They can try to sell it anyway they want -- Pierre Woods and Gary Guyton are not playmakers and will never be household names. I was bummed to see that Tyrone McKenzie went down for the season. I know that Belichick was super impressed with him.
I can’t wait for Football season! The overly extended baseball soap opera of a season drives me crazy. This statement will get me beheaded in these parts, but I don’t like the Sox or baseball. And unlike the masses of lemmings, I am unafraid to admit it! 1. Football 2. Hockey. 3. Basketball 4. Golf, soccer, baseball, fishing, hunting, water polo.
A: Yes, sub defenses have never been more important. And, yes, they make linebackers less important. They also make nose tackles less important, which may help explain why Vince Wilfork isn’t getting the money he was expecting from the Pats.
My rankings: 1. Baseball. 2. Football. 3. Hockey. 4. Soccer (not MLS, of course). 5. Water Polo. 6. Basketball.
Defense doesn’t win you championships. You say it all the time. It’s an offensive league.
George E. Cain
A: So you think the best offenses are the Super Bowl favorites this year, George? That would be New Orleans and Denver (ranked 1-2 in the league last year). Good luck with that.
Look -- offense doesn’t win you championships. And defense doesn’t win you championships. Balance and depth win you championships. If you have a great offense, you at least need a representative defense. It doesn’t have to be dominant, just good enough. You can’t win with a sucky defense. Period. I HAVE seen teams win with sucky offenses (Baltimore, Tampa Bay), but those are the aberrations. Most champions are great on one side and merely good on the other. If the Patriots defense can graduate from sucky to good in 2009, we’re in business.
When was the rule put in for not videotaping on the sidelines? To this day I can't find it. I'd love to stick it to a few guys on other boards who, to this day, say it's the only reason the Pats won the three SB's and Brady would only be an average QB. HA!
This is all I've got: Page 105 of the 2007 NFL Game Operations Manual states, ``No video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches' booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game...All video shooting locations must be enclosed on all sides with a roof overhead.’’
It doesn't appear that the rule existed prior to 2007. At least no one on this entire planet has been able to dig up a previous version. Before that, it was just a memo distributed to every team in 2006. I'm not sure how anyone can pretend that it negates titles in 2001, 2003 and 2004 if it didn't exist as a rule before 2007 and a memo before 2006.
A: Been a while since we’ve gone Spygate. Here’s the best I can do for an answer:
Specific wording of a rule that said teams can not tape opponents’ signals did not exist. It was said in so many words in the league’s game operation manual, which is a subset of rules the league uses to legislate the use of technology and other practices not in the rule book. The Pats took advantage of that “so many words” grey area. Belichick has said he misinterpreted the rules. Wrong. He saw loopholes in them and took advantage. As this story from the New York Times in May of 2008 shows, the Pats over the years have drawn more complaints from opponents for stretching the rules than any other team. And the game operations manual has been altered to address their methods more than it has for any other team. Read the Times story. It’s instructive. Technically, you may have a case on your message boards. But my advice is to let it go.
For one, it makes me cringe to hear anyone refer to Michael Jackson as MJ. It sullies the moniker MJ.
But you need to admit one thing: You still do find his music (and maybe his dancing, if you see it on TV) entertaining. You said as much on the air: you would start grooving to a song, and then recall how horrifying he became. And whatever he did with those kids, in general, Michael Jackson was horrifying. Remember when he held his own baby out over the edge of a balcony, several stories up? But the point: You grooved first. You couldn't help it. It's the equivalent, in a way, of seeing an attractive female, admiring her and starting to fantasize a bit, before remembering that you're married and you shouldn't indulge the thought, so you shake yourself out of it and move on. The guilt and responsibility mechanisms do their work, but you were still turned on first. Jackson's music moves people. I can groove to it a little bit (he was never my favorite), even though I think of him, too, as a predatory monster.
So you can't entirely say that you detest his music (I forget your exact words, but you expressed pretty extreme distaste this week)....because you still like it, before the other instincts kick in.
A: I don’t entirely detest his music. As you said, I just can’t listen to it for more than a minute before I think about the fact he was a threat to children. Child molestation (alleged) sort of ruins it for me. The fact that it doesn’t ruin it for more people is appalling.
Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 9:30 p.m.
Big fan. I'm trying to help you before your 10pm Comcast show. I just watched the 6:30 show on demand during the Red Sox rain delay. I ain't no JD Drew guy, but Drew is sitting tonight because of the day game on Wednesday and that’s typically how Tito operates, especially with a lefty throwing. Tito loves to get his bench in when it is a night games followed by a day game. Plus, Thursday is an off day. Plus, Baltimore pitching sucks. Hope this helps.
A: Got it, Bob. I understand why Tito would sit him down. What I don’t get is why Drew would accept it. Scratch that. I get it -- totally. Drew isn’t a great competitor. And that was just another situation where it showed itself. Drew almost hits for the cycle the night before. He was swinging the bat great and the Sox had been struggling to score runs of late. But, hey, a lefty was on the schedule (Rich Hill, who Drew had never faced) and J.D. can’t be asked to play a day game following a night game. That’s not included in the $14 million package. Don’t you think most players of his caliber would insist on being in the lineup when they’re hitting well? I know guys like Youkilis, Pedroia and Lowell would demand it. Not our guy, though.
If I hear one more media jock sniffer like Tim Kurkjian or Peter Gammons make an uninformed comment like ``hey, these guys were great before they used steroids,’’ or ``steroids don't help you hit a baseball,’’ I'm going to vomit on my mouse pad. Tell the latter of the two to Andruw Jones. Steroids improve every facet of ones athletic existence, from foot speed, to stabilizing muscles in your legs for better balance and coordination, to drastically improved hand speed. Simpletons like Gammons equate anabolic steroid use to bulging hulks like Arnold or Hollywood Hogan. They also assume that it simply turns warning track power guys to upper deck guys. That may be so, but it also takes a guy who could merely foul off a great fastball to someone who can let it get in on them a little further and then pounce on it like a cobra to a clarinet playing Hindu, driving the ball over the black in centerfield. Case in point, I truly believe that Alex Rodriguez has been a PED user since he played high school ball and subsequently entered the league at 18. There's a reason no one had ever put up the kind of numbers he had when he was in Seattle….because it was humanly impossible up until the creation of, and availability of, sophisticated steroids. Now that Arod is undoubtedly under the watchful eye of investigators, he's prudently abandoned any and all of his PEDs. He's currently walking around as a .210 hitter. It must be that pesky hip though.
On a more local note, Tanguay is a Lupica wanabe -- he even went so far as to adopt the dopey glasses look. Also, I want you to count the number of times Dickerson tries to hammer home his hollow points by filling the void in his arguments with the rhetorical phrase ``but guess what?’’ I would abruptly interrupt his sentence with ``you're an idiot, that's what!’’
Felger, you are the best around, nothings gonna keep you down.
A: Steroids help you in EVERYTHING in the short term. I know people who’ve taken them, and they say they help you feel better morning to night. You see better. You’re more alert. You can train like a demon. You recover from aches and pains much faster. I don’t care what the sport is -- horseback riding, ballroom dancing, checkers -- steroids help you. Anyone who says otherwise is just a suck up.
What’s up with Danny Ainge airing his public displeasure with Rajon Rondo? Aren’t these things supposed to be handled in-house (see Jimy Williams).
Can you imagine Bill Belichick saying that Laurence Maroney needs to grow up, that he was fined for being late to practice or that he’s not as good as everyone thinks he is?
How about Theo Epstein saying that Jacoby Ellsbury needs to grow up, that he was fined for being late to practice or that he’s not as good as everyone thinks he is?
It seems like a very un-Boston GM-like thing to do to throw a young star under the bus publicly. What do you think Ainge was trying to accomplish? Love the mailbag and the baseball show.
A: This is a question for The Big Show. How can they so routinely praise Belichick for his approach and then not criticize Ainge for doing the exact opposite? Doesn’t seem consistent. Then again, football is a hell of a lot different than the NBA.
Anyway, I’m not sure what Ainge was “trying to accomplish.” Dennis and Callahan got him on a good day with some direct questions. I just think the Celtics aren’t in love with Rondo. If they were, Ainge never would have said those things publicly. I think it all goes back to Rondo’s contract demands, but that’s not the whole story. If Pierce or Garnett were negotiating a new contract Danny would never do that to them. There are just things about Rondo the person (stuck up, stubborn) and Rondo the player (inconsistent, a poor shooter) that the team feels it could live without if the right deal came along.
Do you know that when you type in ``Michael Felger’’ on Google, the first term that comes up is ``Michael Felger divorce?’’ Of course, it's followed by ``Michael Felger wife’’ and ```Michael Felger loves pit bulls’’ (I made that last one up).
A: The first thing that comes up when I Google myself is a picture of Larry Fitzgerald’s ass. I guess it all depends on the day.
And yes, I was married once before the Wood. My ex filed for divorce on the grounds of douchebaggery.
In keeping with Rob's lame ass theme -- the 5 Most Tarnished Legacies Ever:
1. Pete Rose -- A switch hitting all star at 5 different positions that will never make the Hall of Fame. Carbo hit the three-run home run to tie in '75, rounded third, flexed at Pete and said ``Don't you wish you were as strong as me?'' To which Pete replied, ``This is the greatest game ever, I live for this s**t.'' The guy was everything you ever wanted in a player on the field. Off the field it's hard to believe that Ronnie Borges used the term duplicitous pond scum on Bill Belicheck, when Rose fits that description better than anyone I have ever seen. Never killed anyone, never raped anyone, never tortured dogs, but is simply a dishonest unlikable scumbag who looks like Frankie Coffeecakes.
2. Mike Tyson -- When not contemplating eating your children was one of the most dominant fighters ever. He beat opponents before they got in the ring through fear and intimidation. Unfortunately he did the same thing to friends, co-workers, wives, mistresses and cell mates. It's why Ali is lighting the Olympic torch while Will Smith is getting Oscar nods for playing him, and Tyson is playing himself in ``The Hangover'' to fend off bankruptcy. Jamie Foxx once described Tyson as a pit bull without a leash, which makes me wonder why PETA hasn't stepped in by now to stop us from discriminating against him.
3. Michael Jackson -- Young girls used to faint when they got near him. Unfortunately, the same thing happened to Jackson near young boys. Though never proven to be a pedophile, he was the only babysitter you could hire that ended up paying you $20 million an hour. Couple that with the fact that this guy never had a cosmetic surgery or a marriage that looked natural and you have one of the most confusing legacies of all time. There was a time before he was Pfizer's biggest fan when this guy could have recorded and album of Monica Seles grunts and Ric Flair Whoooooos! and gone platinum.
4. OJ Simpson -- He was once an affable, Hall of Fame running back who was hugely commercially viable. Though found responsible in civil court, he got a pass from the only court that could physically imprison him. What does this meatball do? Write a book entitled ``If I did it,'' and then commit armed robbery and kidnapping. Sorry Nordberg, I thought you understood. You were on lifetime probation in the court of public opinion. You should have taken a page out of Ray Lewis' diary. It's why Ray never wrote a book entitled ``If I did stab someone and then coerce and bribe witnesses to recant their statements."
5. Mike Vick -- Made the mistake of crossing the meat is murder brigade. I'll say it again: There are really people who think this guy should have done more time than Mike Tyson who RAPED a woman. I am not saying he belongs on this list, but it’s clear that they aren't stopping until dogs are using him as a chew toy. The PETA crowd has plenty of time to file petitions and organize protests to keep him from working. After all, the average wait time is about four hours in the emergency room for another little kid to get 65 stitches after an attack from an innocent pit bull.
A: You put Mike Tyson ahead of Michael Jackson and O.J.? I disagree, strongly. You act like Tyson had a sterling reputation prior to his rape conviction. I think everyone felt it was just a matter of time with him.
What's up, man? Been listening to WEEI for a long time. All I can say is that I think it's must-listen to radio when you fill in for Bush and Cheney, I mean Dennis and Callahan.
One question I have always been asking is, why you don’t have a full-time gig over there? I think it’s a travesty you aren’t on Monday-Friday during the week. Either way bro, keep doing it like you do! It's nice to hear an honest voice over there who isn't a homer. Felger for Full Time at WEEI!
A: A travesty indeed, Matt. You’d be surprised at how many people feel exactly as you do. I’ll introduce you to the other two if you like.
Man, I have to say I'm extremely sick of hearing and seeing you. Go take a vacation or something please. You try much too hard to prove that you are objective. You have less credibility than the people who you call homers. I miss Dickerson.
A: What was that word? You hear it, too, Bradford? It’s spelled V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N.
As for you last point, Barry, I think we’d all agree. You just can’t go too long without a little Dickerson.
Felger You DB!
Normally, finding out that Mike Lowell's hip could make a guest appearance on the Golden Girls would be the weeks biggest news. Not the case this week, Mikey. The past seven days have been like an episode of the Twilight Zone if it was written by Mel Brooks. Total Insanity and dare I say....The Best Week Ever!
First, you have Michael Jackson moon-walking into the afterlife. You don't need to be Johnny Most to figure out the guy was probably a diddler. And I'm sorry, but it does effect the enjoyment of his music. Just listen to the hook on Billie Jean. ``Billie Jean is not my lover. She's just a girl who claims that I am the one, but the kid is not my son.'' Forget paternity issues with Jacko. All his kids look like they were adopted from ABBA. You just pray Billie Jean's kid escaped Neverland before he was able to ID the King of Pop's plumbing in a line up.
And can we please stop trying to figure out what Jackson was trying to do with all the plastic surgery? Did he not want to be black? Did he not want to look like his dad? Was it because of the skin condition? Maybe he wanted to look like the White Spy from Mad Magazine. Who the hell knows?!? The guy was freaking' crazy! I just want everyone to shut up about it until the funeral, because that is going to be one of the biggest freak shows of all time. Think the Ayatollah's funeral meets American Idol auditions. This will be the Super Bowl of crazy people and 100% appointment viewing.
Then you had the US choke away a two-goal lead against Brazil in the Confederations Cup. All the US has to do is defend for a half and it will have its biggest win ever. And if there is a sport where a semi-competent team can strangle the life out of a game by falling back into a defensive shell and run out the clock, it's soccer. Then Brazil nets three second half goals, (it should have been four) and US soccer gets donkey punched back into obscurity. You could have put A-Rod, Dwight Howard and Scott Norwood on that team and they wouldn't have collapsed as completely. Most people could just change the channel and pretend it never happened. Not me. I had a house full of Brazilians looking for stuff to set on fire, while my (Brazilian) wife was teaching my one-year old how to flip over his Fisher Price car. And I heard that caller try and tell you and Holley that the Miracle on Ice was bigger because the Russians had to sneak back into the country. If the US had won that game, the sons of Pele wouldn't have had a country to sneak back into, because Brazil would have absolutely imploded. The Jesus statue in Rio would have come to life and rampaged like Godzilla. I know, Felger. I have been there and seen them lose their minds for less.
And the madness continued on Comcast Sportsnet New England. Gresh apparently decided the money he was saving getting his hair cut at Tupperware parties wasn't worth it and shows up on Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight looking like he survived a hair product explosion at Supercuts. Andy, pal, John Goodman used less hair gel in Raising Arizona. Stick with the Prince Valiant meets Dorothy Hamill look, somehow it worked for you.
What clearly wasn't working was the cell connection between Brian Burke and Peter Chiarelli as the B's and Leafs paid homage to Mike Tice during the NHL draft. Seriously, all this story needed was a fast forward video montage with the Benny Hill theme music. Look, I am a B's fan and I like Chiarelli, but I'll be damned if I wouldn't have laughed my ass off if the B's and the Leafs went up to make a pick at the same time and when the smoke cleared, the B's were left standing at the podium with a blank stare holding nothing but their Sher-Woods.
And Last week the Celtics spent the days leading up to the draft shopping Rondo to everyone this side of Olympiakos. Why? Because we're told he's hard-headed, tough to coach and might cost more dough than he's really worth. Now we hear rumors that they are going to add Rasheed Wallace in free agency, who is... .hard headed, tough to coach and will cost more dough than he's really worth. So in addition to the newly difficult Rondo and previously volatile Stephon Marbury we're adding Wallace? What is this Boys town? Tanguay, Dickerson and the rest of the Green Teamers are going to have to stuff my face into a Tony Montana sized pile of green yayo for me to buy into this one. We already tried the soft power forward who doesn't play D and hoists three's experiment. It was called Rodney Rogers. And Rodney wasn't the surly, technical factory that Wallace is. But Holley thinks that if we treat 'Sheed like a petulant Labradoodle he'll come around. I'm sorry, but you shouldn't need the Dog Whisperer and a bag of Snausages to jar a multi million dollar athlete out of indifference.
And to top off the insanity you end up at the Whiney's presenting an award wearing a Larry Fitzgerald Jersey. Was that more or less uncomfortable than the Mac Bledsoe interview?
A: Nothing like a chronic 890 reference to cap off another brilliant e-mail.
On Tuesday’s show, Holley asked you, ``when you're down on a guy....'' and paused before asking if they can ever escape your doghouse. Freudian slip or honest pause?
A: That’s the spirit, Craig.
I love the Saturday Baseball Show, but I am more intrigued by the potential of a Comcast/WEEI Football Show in the
fall. Is this something that is the works?
If so, who would be your co-hosts and when would it begin? This won't succeed without you -- so make it happen.
A: I vote for Jake Scott and, of course, Mike in Attleboro.
Felger can be seen on "Sports Sunday" on Comcast Sportsnet, Sunday nights at 10 p.m. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.