Bill Belichick likes the kids. That’s what we’re being told, anyway.
For the first time in years, the Patriots have a young group of linebackers for whom Belichick has hope. It’s presumably one the reasons why the position was something less than a priority at the draft and why Mike Vrabel is currently in Kansas City. I don’t think it’s why Jason Taylor remains in limbo (more on that in a bit), but it apparently has a lot to do with why the Pats have not overextended themselves for a big name (at least not yet).
For a coach who has relied on older players at that position so consistently over the years, the current approach is certainly a departure. Has Belichick had a change of heart when it comes to the age of his linebackers? Has he come to the conclusion that the position simply needs to be younger than it's been? Or has he finally just found the right group of young players?
I know you’ve been conditioned to believe that just because Belichick thinks someone can play, that automatically means the guy can play. But as we’ve mentioned here many times, Belichick may be one of the best personnel men in the league, but he’s not perfect. He believed in the inside linebacker tandem of Monty Beisel and Chad Brown in 2005. He believed in his receiving corps in 2006. He believed in his secondary in 2008. All turned out to be miscalculations.
So now he believes in his current mix at linebacker and, especially, he sees something in the youngsters. Is his faith well-founded? We'll find out.
You can certainly see where he’s coming from with Jerod Mayo. The 2008 Defensive Rookie of the Year is a stud and a cornerstone. That’s a no-brainer.
As for the rest, we've just seen glimpses. We're more or less going to have to take Belichick's word for it on those guys.
Gary Guyton, for one, came to the Pats in rookie free agency last spring after going undrafted in April. He made the roster out of camp and turned out to be one of the bigger surprises on the team. Using his prodigious speed in sub packages (he was the fastest linebacker to run at the 2008 Indy combine, which made his undrafted status a head-scratcher), Guyton proved to be a good cover man and nickel linebacker. His work was so steady that he found himself in the starting lineup for two games in December in place of an injured Tedy Bruschi.
That’s where Guyton’s progression stopped, however, as his aggressiveness got the better of him and he started to overrun some plays. After peaking with a seven-tackle performance against Pittsburgh Nov. 30, Guyton had just four tackles combined over the final four games, including none in the last two. Hello, rookie wall.
Is Guyton (6-foot-3, 242 pounds) stout enough to play the run? Does he have the pass rush moves to get to the quarterback? Does he have the all-around game to start, or is he just a sub guy? It will be interesting to see what Belichick has in store for him this year. If Guyton turns into a major factor for this defense, it will be a coup for Belichick and his staff.
Shawn Crable, meanwhile, came into the league with a much higher profile than Guyton, recording 28.5 tackles for a loss as a senior at Michigan before being taken by the Pats in the third round. He lived up to that billing in August with a productive preseason, recording 14 tackles, a sack, three hits on the quarterback, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble and an interception. But a shin injury knocked him out for the year and we never got to see if that preseason flash would translate to the regular season.
Crable, at 6-foot-5, 245-pounds, certainly has the height to play on the outside of Belichick's 3-4. But, again, can he play the run? Can he cover in the passing game? Or is he just going to rush the passer on third down? Remember, Vrabel did it all, albeit with diminished effectiveness last year.
Vince Redd is another undrafted guy who stuck around last year and wound up playing a role. He didn’t make the club out of camp but was able to claw his way onto the roster in November and play well on special teams the rest of the way. He’s thought to be in the mix this year, too.
Someone who won’t be in the mix is rookie third-round pick Tyrone McKenzie, who reportedly tore his ACL at rookie camp last weekend. Scratch him from your list in 2009. Maybe he'll be the Shawn Crable of 2010.
If the season started today, Pierre Woods would likely start at Vrabel's old spot. Either that, or the returning Tully Banta-Cain would get the nod. Both are underwhelming, and we've got to hope they are just the bridge options in case the younger guys need more time.
Bottom line: I think we'd all accept the fact that the Pats jettisoned Vrabel and ignored the outside linebacker position at the draft because they had hot young prospects (like Guyton or Crable) waiting in the wings who they felt had to play. That would make sense. But blowing out Vrabel so Tully Banta-Cain could start? Barf.
Of course, future Hall-of-Famer Taylor would be a much better bridge, and I think he's still in the picture. I get the sense that the delay in signing him is at least in part due to his unwillingness to participate in an offseason conditioning program. I had heard over a month ago that Belichick was fine with Taylor skipping the Pats' workouts. But if that was going to happen, Belichick preferred that Taylor sign after the spring program ended. That way, Taylor technically wouldn't be skipping anything. It would be a non-story. That was the talk, anyway. Take it for what it's worth.
One more quick Patriots note before we hear from you.
Fred Taylor is already hurt. SHOCKER!
On to the emails and the carnage from Wednesday night in Carolina.
Subj: What the hell are the B's doing?
I can't believe how bad they played the last two games. I'm disgusted, hurt and, most importantly, irate! The B's were in survival mode the last 10 minutes of the third period on Wednesday, and no B's fan could feel confident about overtime. The Canes have one freaking line that can score! What's up with the constant pressure? I like the fact that Claude rolls four lines, but in overtime I would rather not see the fourth line. Go with your best players, please!
What's up with Kessel? He gets a bump on his elbow and he goes JOE BLEEPING THORNTON on us? Is he capable of playing through a little pain? And what was Montador doing on that attempted clear on the penalty kill? He looked like a five-year-old trying to tee up on a moving golf ball. Next time, Steve, place the puck on a platter for Staal so it's a little easier for him.
One of the B's best attributes was moving the puck from their own end, through the neutral zone and into the offensive end, right? Did they forget how to move the puck? Are they playing with broken sticks? How many turnovers in their own zone were there the last two games? Chara/Wideman have been brutal. Chara's minutes are actually down from the regular season. What's his deal? That attempted clear in overtime was pathetic. Zero effort in trying to get the puck out of the zone. Those two are playing out of character. They need to get it together.
Lastly, what's up with Thomas? I love this guy. I love his intensity. That being said, he has been good/okay. Not great or special. Ward was bad in Game 1, but since has been special. The second goal, granted it was a 3-on-2, has to be stopped every time!!! Samsonov, of all people, shoots it right at Thomas and it gets through his right arm? That is not championship goaltending. Thomas has to be better, plain and simple.
The Canes were the sixth seed for a reason. They added one piece, Eric Cole, and now they are world beaters? New Jersey was not playing well at the end of the season, and Carolina needed two miracle goals to win that series! There is no freaking way the B's should lose this series.
A: I think we all needed to get that off our chests, so thank you, Pete.
I thought the Hurricanes were the better team by a wide margin on Wednesday. The Bruins were lucky to even make it to overtime, never mind have a chance to win the thing with a couple doorstep chances early in the extra session. The shot advantage (41-23, Carolina) told only part of the story. You're right: the pressure from Carolina seemed constant, and the Canes exposed a Bruins defensive corps that is short on skilled puck-movers. It turned into a turnover-fest. This looks like it could be a problem for the B's throughout the rest of the playoffs, however long that ends up being.
And I'm with you on the fourth line. I don't like the frequency with which Julien uses it late in games. If you want to go with four lines in the first two periods, no problem. But keep the crash line on the bench in the big moments. As we all saw, fourth-liners Shawn Thornton and Stephane Yelle were on the ice with PJ Axelsson when Carolina scored the overtime game-winner. Ugh.
And you ask what's up with Kessel? He's overrated, that's what. Soft with the puck, soft without it. Only seems to have one move -- a charge down the right wing followed by a drag and curl at the top of the circle at the feet of the defenseman. Sometimes the shot gets off. Mostly, it doesn't. That giveaway in the neutral zone in Carolina was a killer. As I've said many times, I would have traded him at the deadline for Chris Pronger in a heartbeat. I'd still like to see the B's explore trade options for him again this offseason. He'll bring a good return. But that's a story for another day. For now, we'll have to see if he has what it takes to dig deep in a playoff series. Maybe Claude should bench him again.
Steve Montador blows. The injury to Ference hurts; he would have been on the ice in that situation.
Finally, I don't think these two defeats have been about Thomas. It's been about a lot more than that. But the fact remains that Cam Ward is a lot better. He's steadier, quieter, usually in better position. It's a huge concern. So is the following.....
Another lazy Chara pass ended the game!
A: Bob emailed me previously expressing his concerns about Chara, most of which I dismissed. I'm not saying that Chara is a special talent, but I think he can control games in his own end and provide good offense at the other end, whether that's with his great slap shot or his sneaky-good hands down low. I think he's the Bruins' most valuable guy and a worthy Norris candidate.
Which is why the manner in which he's been exposed the last two games has me checking my confidence in the Bruins at the door. Chara was a minus-3 in Game 2 and made the key giveaway in overtime in Game 3 that put the B's behind in this series. He's never been a puck-moving guy, so I don't blame him for not being able to lead the rush. But he can't just be giving the puck away. And with every passing moment it seems that Eric Staal is finding himself with more room to skate and more plays to make. That's Chara' s guy. After not registering a point in the first five games against the B's this season (including Game 1), Staal now has two goals and an assist in the last two contests. It's no fluke. The Hurricanes are getting to the B's most important player.
Look, the B's came out with a renewed effort in Game 3 and were supposedly displaying their 'A' game -- and still they got smoked up and down the ice. Chara has looked shaky. Thomas isn't the best goalie on the ice. If those things aren't cause for concern, I don't know what is.
The B’s will be fine. Chara plays against the best players the other teams have to offer every night, and we can count his bad games on one hand. The guy is a beast and will be fine. The Bs will win this series. It just won’t be a cake walk. It’s a sad day when a miserable bastard like me becomes the voice of reason. I was more pissed about Jacobs giving me a beer that was 2 oz. smaller than I have been getting all season but still charging the same price. Come in off the Tobin.
A: Wait a minute. Are you implying that Jacobs is nickel-and-diming fans at the concession stands? Holy crap. I think you're onto something. Has anyone ever mentioned this before?
As for your ability to count the bad Chara games, it's time to start using your other hand.
Subj: Toughness in the NBA? Did you say toughness?
So you wrote last week about all the "toughness" on display in the Celtics-Bulls series and you completely ignore Rajon Rondo and his embarrassing theatrics?
ONE: There is no toughness in basketball. When the best player in the world checks for blood more often than Kobe Bryant's chambermaids, the sport is eliminated from the "toughness" discussion.
TWO: Instead of just landing on his feet after taking a simple lay up, Rajon Rondo consistently chooses to flail around like a fish. As a result, he 1) rolled over his own leg in the playoffs, and 2) had his ankle landed on by Dwight Howard during the season. So twice this year he was so preoccupied with acting hurt that he caused himself to be legitimately injured. I realize that the NBA loves its Drama Department and the locals still think Paul Pierce pulled a Lazerus when he climbed out of that wheelchair, but forget about "Most Improved Player." If Rondo dives on any more wood he's going to win "Best New Starlet" at the AVN Awards.
A: Mark is one of the great, old-school emailers of all time. A former Chronic at 890. Welcome to the bag, Mark. You also know how I feel about Rondo and his act. I certainly didn’t include him in my small (deservedly so) list of tough guys in that Celts-Bulls series (Powe and Ben Gordon). I’ve actually spent a good deal of time killing Rondo, who my good friend Gerry Callahan lovingly calls a "drama queen." It's gotten so bad that Rondo's teammates barely come over to help him up any more. They’re even sick of his act.
But he's only been the second-most annoying Celtic in these playoffs. Garnett has been far worse. KG sitting on the Celts bench so he can cheer his teammates and offer support/coaching/motivation to the young guys is one thing. That's what he's supposed to do. But I didn't realize that having an official taunter was so important to playoff success. The faces. The threats. The hand gestures. The crotch-grabs. How childish.
I can see why the Bulls grew to hate him. Here you have Gordon taking the needle so he can play, putting his future health at risk in order to help the team, while Garnett sits on the bench nursing his knee, grabbing his crotch and running his mouth. And people wonder why fans around the country don't like the Celtics.
We realize you are not a New Englander and you are always trying to find chinks in the armor, but did you see what we saw regarding the recent Celtics/Bulls games?
Rajon Rondo was abused big time by the Bulls, including being pulled and thrown to the floor several times. His "flagrant fouls" have been nothing next to the physical abuse he has taken by gorillas like Miller and Noah. Watch the replays. That "idiot white guy" (name escapes me) (ed: Kirk Hinrich) tried to get Rondo into a fight, and I'm sure out of the game in Game 7. I was hoping Perkins or another big guy would nail this troublemaker. Nothing was said about that.
You constantly mention how everyone hates Boston sports teams. Why, because they’ve won and are good? Too damn bad. Every area of the country roots for their own. Why shouldn’t New Englanders? Kevin Garnett doesn’t do anything more than any other athlete rooting for his team does. He is probably seething that he can't play, so he displays his excitement on the bench. Are you sure you are working in the right area with your constant criticism and looking for something that isn’t there? We don’t have to be objective. We are the fans rooting for our team and don’t think any of the Boston teams are any more arrogant than any other team in the nation. Any jobs available in Green Bay?
50 year Boston fan
A: You said it perfectly, Sal. You "don't have to be objective." And you're not. God bless. Go nuts. A lot of fans feel the same way. I just don't get why you would care to join a conversation at the adults table. I say this respectfully, Sal: Wouldn't the fan forums on the web be a better place for you? Or the Real Postgame Show? Stick with guys like Jim Rice and Tommy Heinsohn. They'll never make you angry. If you don't want to hear different opinions or people questioning your team, there are plenty of places for you in this town.
I am under the assumption that most rookies have not already agreed to contracts with the teams that drafted them. If this is true, what happens with rookies such as Tyrone McKenzie who suffer serious season ending injuries in rookie mini-camp? Do the later-round players agree to contracts before attending mini-camp? I know most first-rounders do not sign within a week or two of being drafted. If he is not under contract, what will happen with him? Will the Patriots still offer him a contract with guaranteed money in it? Or will he get a lesser contract?
A: An agent I spoke to on Wednesday said there are no set rules on this. However, the agent said most rookies negotiate an injury-protection clause with teams before they participate in any camps. These clauses are usually short and simple, and in many cases teams give out the same injury-protection deal to every player. Some are just good-faith agreements. The agent I spoke to said he once had a draft pick on the Pats who had an injury clause that stipulated that if he got hurt in an offseason camp, he would be paid a signing bonus and salary based on the average of the four players drafted ahead of him and the four players drafted behind him. It turns out the player got hurt at rookie camp, and the Pats ended up paying him the money in the injury clause. Not sure if the Pats still give out the same kinds of deals. The Pats can also just go ahead and sign the player to the same kind of multi-year deal they would have if he were 100 percent healthy, and if my memory serves, they’ve done this in the past with some of their lower-round picks as well. Bottom line, it’s almost a certainty that McKenzie has some form of protection.
I suspect that one of Bill Belichick's offseason to-do tasks is to figure out, as best as he can, the "Wildcat" formation. Do you really believe that Miami will continue to run that effectively next season (after adding WV's Pat White)? Or is this a formation that will be figured out sometime soon?
I know that there has been success with it, but it just seems like a joke that the Wildcat is considered a formidable NFL formation (especially under BILL PARCELLS). I believe Belichick will help expose it this year, and send it back to the NCAA where it belongs. What do you think?
A: I think the formation ran its course last year, and by the time the Pats played the Dolphins for the second time down in Miami they already had it "figured out." You mention Parcells. It's instructive to note that the Wildcat was not part of any master plan or long thought-out strategy. It was born in early September as the 0-2 Dolphins were flying back to Florida after a blowout loss in Arizona. Parcells told his coaching staff to take some chances, throw stuff against the wall. The season was going to be a tough one, so might as well. Parcells had no designs of being a playoff team or delusions of grandeur with the Wildcat, he was just telling his staff to think outside the box with nothing to lose. That week, the Dolphins blew the lid off the Patriots thanks to the gimmick and it worked reasonably well throughout the course of the season. But not so much by the end of it. Regardless of who the Dolphins drafted, I can't fathom the Wildcat is going to be a cornerstone strategy for them.
Four interceptions (on the year), two tackles a game and getting torched in the playoffs. Do you think Philly got their money's worth last year? BB built the Super Bowls on middle-class talent. You can't pay huge money to everybody whose contract comes up. Asante cannot be mentioned in the same breath as Ty Law.
A: I’ll have this argument with you every week if you like, Pugs. As many of you know, my endurance for such things is prodigious.
Do I think Philadelphia got its money’s worth? You mean the team that went to the NFC Championship game thanks in part to Samuel’s interception return for a touchdown in the wild card game and his interception return to the 1-yard line in the divisional round? Yes. I think they got their money’s worth. Let me ask you something, Pugs. The Pats gave up the second-most touchdown passes in the league. They were the second-worst red-zone defense in the league. They were 26th on third downs. Do you think Ellis Hobbs and Deltha O’Neal were worth the money? If those guys are middle class, then I’d hate to see what the bums on the Pats look like.
While I do agree that Ben Watson has never realized his potential and never has really taken advantage of his outstanding physical gifts, I think it helps to take a look at the second round the year he was drafted (2004) to see just who the Pats could have taken before you assess just how bad the pick actually was. Ben Watson was taken with the last pick of the first round, after that:
Karlos Dansby, Chris Snee, Igor Olshansky, Junior Siavii, Teddy Lehman, Ricardo Colclough, Daryl Smith, Ben Troupe, Tatum Bell, Travis LaBoy, Julius Jones, Bob Sanders, Jake Grove, Justin Smiley, Tank Johnson, Dontarrious Thomas, Keiwan Ratliff, Devery Henderson, Dwan Edwards, Jacob Rogers, Michael Boulware, Darius Watts, Greg Jones, Madieu Williams, Antwan Odom, Shawntae Spence, Sean Jones, Courtney Watson, Kris Wilson, Keary Colbert, Marquise Hill.
That’s the entire second round. Give me Chris Snee and Bob Sanders, other than that it is all crap. The only other guys you could make an argument for would be Dansby, Boulware, and maybe Henderson -- and I'd be willing to bet that the people in Arizona, Seattle, and New Orleans talk about those guys the same way we talk about Watson. Lots of talent; never panned out.
Put in that context, the pick isn’t as bad as it appears.
A: It’s an excellent point, Steve. I would just add a few more players to your above list, guys like Olshansky and Williams (the safety Cincinnati picked with the second-rounder they got in the Corey Dillon trade). That makes it seven who would have provided more than Watson. I’m sure there are more if we worked harder.
But you know what? I don’t think Watson was a bust of a pick. I’ve never said that. I’ve just said he can’t catch. I’ve probably said the Pats could have done better. I’ve certainly expressed frustration over the resources they pour into that position. But I’ve never said Watson is a disaster. He’s made a bunch of plays in his time here. He contributed to a perfect regular season. Actually, I think the Pats have busted only once in the first round, and it wasn’t with Watson. It was with Laurence Maroney in 2006 – and there’s still time to turn that around.
Can we safely assume that with the acquisition of Alex Smith from Tampa we have come to the end of the Ben "Hands of Stone" Watson era? I know nothing about Smith, but he and Baker have to be an upgrade on a stiff like Watson. Does BB keep Thomas as the third tight end and release Watson or dump him for a fifth-rounder? Belichick seems to like to collect lousy draft choices.
When are these teams going to learn that combine warriors like Watson can't play? Nobody ever heard of Watson until he won the annual Mike Mamula award. Every year there is a workout warrior who suckers a team into picking him too high. In 2004 the Pats bit and drafted Watson in the first round – way too high. Hey BB, watch the tape. It doesn't lie. All those passes that bounced off his hands in college will bounce off his hands in the pros!
As for BW, all you need to know about him is that he will be remembered for one play -- and it came on defense! He does look great in the team picture though, and I'm sure he rates high on the great ass scale for you.
A: I’ve never really noticed his tuchus. Maybe if he used it to his advantage like Fitzgerald, I would have. Anyway, "he seems to like to collect lousy draft choices?" Wow. Good line. I hope that 50-year fan in Connecticut didn’t read that.
Subj: A letter to Julio Lugo
I have moved on from you. You are simply not a major-league shortstop. A 19-year-old shortstop playing for the Dominican Little League team turns both of those double plays. You let your entire team down. You betray them all the time by giving outs to the other team.
It's not your fault, and I don't hold you to blame. The Boston Red Sox did something I have not seen them do with any other player acquisition in the Theo Epstein era. They remembered you being a constant thorn in the side of the Sox and failed to look at your entire track record, which was otherwise mediocre. You have not been inconsistent. In fact you have been incredibly consistent. Our expectations were simply unjustifiably high.
You hit over .278 once in your career. You hit more than 12 home runs once in your career. Had an OBP over .350 once in your career. NEVER had a full season with less than 17 errors. In fact, at shortstop, over your career you average one error every six games. That means if you played an entire season at short you'd project to be a 25-error-a-year-guy. Instead of getting to know the real you, I was expecting you to be something you have never been.
In 2007, you hit .237 with 8 HR, a .294 OBP and 19 errors. I thought you were terrible. I booed you. I didn't support you. I didn't know that was the best Julio you could be. I know better now. You don't hit for average, you don't hit for power, you are not a good fielder, you do not have a good arm. You do have speed, but frankly, it’s tough to steal bases from the dugout. You are a one-tool player who can't utilize the one tool you have. On closer analysis you would seem to be the ideal pinch runner, but I checked with the union and that job doesn't pay $9 million a year.
It is now time for life post-Julio. I want you to know it wasn't you, it was me. I don't need to trade you for something valuable or play you into being worth some minute portion of your contract. You don't owe me anything as a Boston fan. Don't embarrass yourself further by bouncing a check you were never in a position to cover. I accept that I made a mistake. The Sox will have to take the financial hit. You are not the solution at shortstop. You never were.
A: I’m going to forward this to him, Jake. And then run.
The look and feel of this (WEEI) website has come a long way in a short time, but I'm beginning to question if Bradford has a man-crush on John Dennis. Everywhere I look I see this guy.
Let's see, we have the goofy picture of Gerry pulling Meter's tie with Dino's finger to his head (hilarious), Dino and Jim Rice telling me I need Lasik surgery (helpful), a John Dennis talking pop-up (informative), an apparently hungover Dino with a halo over this head (creepy), and my personal favorite -- the awkward, photo-shopped picture with John's arm resting on Gerry's shoulder (uncomfortable). Do you guys have "pictures per chin" clauses in your contracts?
The only thing worse might be the super-imposed hand they gave Holley in his picture with my man Dale (best host on WEEI). It looks like the Carl Weathers' wooden hand from Happy Gilmore.
Your picture isn't that bad after all.
The Ant Man
A: Frankly, as long as Bradford’s mangina has a presence on the site, Dino and myself are all set. Everything else is a distant second.
This is the year, brother. The Bruins got the early-round sweep that is so valuable to a long playoff run. We draw the overachieving No. 6 seed (coming off a seven-gamer) in the second round. We watch with pleasure as the Caps and Pens -- the only teams in the East that can play with us -- tear each other apart in what could be a seven-game slugfest. The pieces are falling into place. This is going to be a fun ride.
Any chance that Saturday show can turn into Hockey Talk for the next few weeks?
A: Let me check with Buck and McAdam. They call all the shots on that show.
Felger You DB!
You're now the Harbinger of Doom? So were you the one that set the seat prices at the new Yankee Stadium? The Yankees really were spot-on estimating public demand there. I see a shot of those premium seats on TV and I bet the seats at an IMAX screening on genital warts draws a bigger crowd.
You know Mikey, I am a lifelong fan of the hometown teams, but there have been times that I genuinely disliked having certain players on my team for reasons other than poor performance. The one that still sticks out is Ugueth Urbina. And this was before he decided to cut labor costs at his home with a Machete. After seeing him close out a game looking like Leslie Nelson impersonating Enrico Polazzo, I was done. He looked moronic and was a complete embarrassment.
Now, if you are a Yankee fan (one that didn't just crawl out of the primordial ooze of the Hudson), could you honestly root for Joba Chamberlain? I mean, aside from him playing baseball well, how the hell could you like anything about him? He wears his hat like a geriatric rapper. His antics on the mound make a Mike Foligno goal look sedate. Off the field he's clearly a felon in training. He throws at/drills guys and then does a worse job feigning innocence than O.J. Simpson.
But you know, maybe Joba throwing at people's heads isn't his fault. I'd probably throw at peoples’ heads too if my mom had a face like an old catchers mitt. Good Lord is she horrendous. That's a mess that’s usually reserved for a plunger. And call the casting agent now, because when she makes bail, she has the part of Mama Fratelli locked up for the Goonies sequel.
Study up for your Selena Roberts interview Dr. Doom!
PS -- B's lose in OT. You ARE the Harbinger of Doom. Get your metrosexual scythe off my damn hockey team!
A: Where else do you get Mike Foligno, Enrico Polazzo and Mama Fratelli in the same place? Only here, boys and girls. Mike in Attleboro once again rocking the d-bag mailbag. Oh, Mike, I’ve seen just about every IMAX movie to come out the past 10 years – but I missed that one.
As for the Roberts book, I’m not sure I’m going to read it now. The early reports had her exposing Rodriquez’ issues with sexual orientation, which piqued my interest (for obvious reasons). But that stuff apparently isn’t in the book. So now I’m left with 300 pages detailing how A-Rod is an A-hole on steroids. I already knew that.
Finally, you're going to blame me for that freaking hockey team? Seems to me they were doing a pretty job of sucking the last 35 years without my help.
Subj: Personal question
Actual quotes from your readers last week:
"So-called experts like Peter King (nice call there, fat boy) and Mr. never-has-a-bad-hair-day Mel Kiper (get a real job, Mel)."
"I’m glad the Pats are so loaded they can waste a second-rounder on a big stiff who can’t even speak English."
"And, no, Shawn Springs (older than Christ) and Leigh Bodden (a Lions reject) don't inspire confidence."
"They needed Bruschi, Rodney and Vrabel all to go to the glue farm."
As an aside, I expect that "the statue formerly called Bruschi" will one day have a statue outside Gillette because the ownership respects the contributions of these guys more than these so-called fans, but here’s my question: How do you ever manage not to take the rudeness, stupidity and arrogance of your readers home with you?
A: It’s tough, but I manage to do it, Dan. It’s a simple formula. Keep it positive. Always support the home team. Don’t throw bombs. Don’t overreact. Don’t anger fans. Those are my mottos.
How am I doing so far?
The "Baseball Show" with Felger, Lou Merloni, Sean McAdam and Steve Buckley airs Saturdays at 9 a.m. on Comcast Sportsnet, with a simulcast on WEEI. "Sports Sunday," with Felger, airs this Sunday following the Celtics postgame on Comcast Sportsnet. You can reach Felger at firstname.lastname@example.org.