It’s Always Best To Let A Sleeping Giant Lie

Was it a case of you never wake a sleeping giant, or you never give your opponent bulletin board material? Whatever the lesson, the Pittsburgh Steelers got a crash course in it. Making said ‘guarantee’ made as much sense as kicking to Devin Hester.

If there is a next time, maybe the Steeler D should consider staying within fifteen yards of Randy Moss at all times. I had the volume down when Moss scampered sixty yards for his second touch of the day. I thought as I watched the play: Can’t be Randy Moss THAT wide open.

I’m sure the rest of the NFL is thanking the Steelers. The Pats’ almost looked complacent for the last couple of weeks…maybe even ripe for the picking. Now it’s as if their camera lens is extended to optimal focus.

Before moving away from the Pats/Steelers – does anyone else find that Mike Tomlin vaguely resembles those G.I. Joe dolls of the 70’s? Every time I see him, I wanna look for the pull chain to hear him talk.

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While on the NFL and look-alikes – it seems as if Hermey and Rudolph’s journey to the North Pole will stop in Cleveland this weekend. Wonder if they’ll have Yukon Cornelius with them. Actually ESPN analyst, John Clayton, is threatening to stop by the Bills/ Browns game this weekend. As heard on the Schopp and the Bulldog show (WGR 550-Buffalo) Saturday, Clayton called next week’s matchup of Lake Erie neighbors as the game of the weekend. Who’d a thought in September that a week 15 game in Cleveland would have playoff implications for the Bills and Browns.
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The Giants continue to snatch victory from the jaws of mediocrity. Only the G-Men could stop the Eagles on fourth and sixth with less than 2:00 remaining, and then give Philly the chance to kick the game-tying field goal. After Antonio Pierce climbed on Jason Avant’s back to knock away the fourth down pass, I walked away from the game. Figured nothing short of Pisarcik fumbling the hand-off could keep the Giants from winning. No, Pisarcik wasn’t there, but his spirit must have been. The Giants needed a friendly upright to win the game. The Giants leading the NFC wild-card race makes me wonder if this is league parity at its best, or if the league is a parody of competition at its best.

Caught the tail end of a sound byte yesterday with a defensive player from Baltimore – all I heard was this guy blaming the league for the Ravens’ current struggles. Interviewer asked what’s the difference between last year when Baltimore went 13 and 3 and this year? Raven player responded: “that’s what the league wants. If you have a good year, they stack your schedule.” Hmmmmm….call me crazy, but the Pats have played a few top teams. As have the Cowpokes. Maybe the Ravens just aren’t capable of being successful playing the top teams. And if you guys were that good, maybe you could keep Joseph Addai from running all over you. If I didn’t know any better, I’d a thought it was May, and I was watching the running of the bulls.

Actually, what is wrong with the Bulls? The Chicago Bulls that is. Can they straighten this out or are drastic changes coming?
Does anyone foresee the Celtic bubble bursting?

Do the Minnesota Twins know something we don’t? Both the Yanks and Sox came a courtin’ with prospects-a-plenty. And the Twins spurned their advances. Can the Twins compete in the AL Central with Santana and Francisco Liriano?

Thanks to all who accessed the ‘vote for me’ button. Casey appreciates it. Please keep the votes coming.

27 Responses to "It’s Always Best To Let A Sleeping Giant Lie"

  1. The Thrilla In Manilla   December 10, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    Yo

    The thrilla is back, just took a short break, crazy time of year

    Hermy Wants to be a dentist looks just like Jon Clayton, and the coolest Character in Rudolph the red nose reindeer.

    Bulletin board material in my mind is over rated, you prepare youself to win every game, and do your best to do so. However guaranteeing victory is a different story, that is just stupid.

    The twins can win with a healthy Liriano and Santana, they are not the Marlins they will not just unload their team every three years. The try to win with a “budget”

    Can I still vote on the games for the Championship I don’t really follow College football enough to vote for the top 16.

    Tim Redding should know on tuesday if he is a free agent or if Washington will pursue him. My personal feeling is that he will have a great 5 more years, wherever he pitches.

    Webster Yankee news Joe Mcintyre is on the Wallace watch list for the best player in College Baseball

    The Thrilla loves the Chinchillas They need to do more shows.

    I’LL BE BACK

    Gino Help me out with those boys Brother

    The Thrilla is out

    Casey we should have a discussion about what to get wives for X Mas and what not to get, every year I seem to strike out

    PEACE OUT GIRL SCOUT

  2. ccww   December 10, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Thrilla,

    You can still enter the Clipboard National Chan’ship fray. YOu might want to start your research here: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/rankingsindex

    For those interested in the Wallace Watch: http://www.ekusports.com/articles/artfiles/82357_2007_Wallace_Watch__11-20-06.pdf

    Brother – I am the LAST person to ask about buying the wife a christmas gift.

    We will check out a chinchillas show some time.

    Casey

  3. Aaron Smith   December 11, 2007 at 9:36 am

    I think Jerome Bettis said it best.. Bulletin board material doesn’t pump you up on Sunday or game day. It pumps you up on Tuesday when you are studying tape. It pumps you up on Wednesday when you are practicing. Thursday, Friday and Saturday…. You focus and you work harder because of that extra incentive.

    That being said.. The Pats since 2001 like to play with that chip on their shoulder. They use being slighted and being the underdog to their benefit.. Even the whole spygate incident. Once people questioned the
    “validity” of their Super Bowls, they used it a rallying cry for this entire season.

    Anthony Smith will learn… or he may have to find a new job. The only problem I have is after the game his comeback was, “well if I had been qouted correctly this never would have happened..” Are you kidding me? Step up, be a man and admit when you screwed up. I am sure his teammates will take carry of it in practice..

    But I think the Pats are back on course now.. Lookout Jets!!

  4. Aaron Smith   December 11, 2007 at 11:14 am

    I am not a Baltimore Ravens fan, not even in the slightiest. That being said, I am disppointed in the way the Ravens players have acted the last couple of weeks.

    First it was the Pats game and they accused the NFL of wanting the Pats to win.. Hey Ravens you could have won that game, if you blocked somebody and picked up a first down in the 4th quarter. Especially late.. For as much Willis MacGhee manhandled the Pats in the first 3 quarters, he can step up in the 4th and will his team a first down,. That is the “greatest RBs n the league do. ”

    Now this week the Ravens blame their blowout against the Colts on the NFL schedulers.. What is next? The doctors secretly hurt Steve McNair and prevented him from playing… C’mon give me a break.

  5. Aaron Smith   December 11, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Mike Tomlin also looks like Omar Epps from House.

  6. Chas   December 11, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    I’m not so certain the Yanks and Sox came a ‘courtin with prospects-a-plenty for Johan Santana. I don’t think it’s outrageous for them to expect that they should be able to get two blue chip prospects in return for the best pitcher in baseball. Let’s face it, it wasn’t Dontrelle Willis who got the Marlins Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin. It was Miguel Cabrera. Why shouldn’t the Twins expect to be able to do better than that for Santana?

    That said, let’s look at what they were offered. Jon Lester is obviously beyond prospect status, and he’s already proven himself a little so far, so we’ll say he qualifies. Coco Crisp is no better than an above average player for his position (very good defensively, below average offensively), so his only value was being a capable replacement to fill an obvious hole. Masterson and Lowrie are second-tier prospects. Why shouldn’t they demand either Ellsbury or Buchholz, in addition to Lester?

    Phil Hughes is obviously a blue chip. Melky Cabrera has the potential to better than Crisp, but not by much. The fact that he comes cheaply would certainly be a plus. I don’t know who the third guy was, but from what I’ve heard it wasn’t much. So, is asking for Hughes and Kennedy too much? Hardly.

    I think they were just disappointed that they didn’t successfully pit the Yankees and the Red Sox against each other. Neither seemed desperate, or even determined, to get Santana. They’ll definitely revisit these discussions in January or February, and if they don’t get a better offer, they’ll probably pull the trigger on something similar to what was already offered. But, the odds have to be considered pretty good that one of the two teams (more likely the Yankees) will up the offer just enough to make them happy they waited.

  7. Aaron Smith   December 11, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    Chas,

    The interesting part to that is Hank Steinbrenner.. He seems determined to play a very public game of poker with the Twins and the Red Sox. He has now declared Hughes, Kennedy, Chamberlain, Cabrera and Cano to be untouchable. Does that mean that he won’t trade any of them? I don’t know, but like I said he seems to trying to put a poker face on what the Yankees want to do. He went out an even declared that Yankee’s prospect were far surperior to the Red Sox prospects.. Is that true? Maybe in the long run, but right now, Red Sox prospects have a headstart in contributing with the parent team and contribute they have.

    In past years where the Yankees went after players such as Jose Contreras, Carl Pavano and Johnny Damon partly because they were good free agents, but also because the Sox expressed an interest in them. There were rumors that the Sox really weren’t interested in Jose Contreras – that they just leaked their interest to get the Yankees to bite.

    There has been the thought by signing players, you get their production on your team, but you also keep them away from your rival. You can possibly add A-Rod to that mixture. In most of the cases, if not all of them, the Red Sox ended up better off by not getting them.

    In this case, I think both teams may have been in there to drive up the ante for the other team. Right now, the Red Sox farm system is far more stocked than the Yankees and it was obvious that the Red Sox young players played a huge part in the 2nd half run into the playoffs and then to a World Series championship.

    I agree with you.. The offers are fairly low when you compare them to the Cabrera/Willis trade. But at the same time, both of those players I believe are locked up in contracts. Santana is due for HUGE payday, have already turned down a pretty big contract from the Twins. That alone limits the number of teams, unless teams are willing to trade blue chip prospects for a one year rental. I think the prospect of a looming contract and the limited number of teams financially capable of paying him – reduce the value of the offer the Twins can get. The Marlins didn’t have to trade Cabrera & Willis – the Twins in all likelihood need to trade Santana..

    It will be interesting if the Angels and Dodgers get involved. If they do, you may see the Red Sox and Yankee offers go up.. If they don’t get involved, the Twins will be selling 50 cents on the dollar. I think the Red Sox deal will probably win over.. They need to get back young starting pitching since they traded Matt Garza.. I think you are undervaluing Masterson. The reports I have read is that he is ready to crack to Red Sox rotation – only there are 6 guys already there. I agree with your assessment on Lowrie. But in the end 2 pitchers, a CF and a 2nd baseman will probably get the deal done…. If no one else gets involved.

  8. Chas   December 11, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Good point about the market for Santana being narrower than that for Cabrera and Willis, Aaron…except that said market didn’t include the Yankees and Red Sox. Since the number of teams were fewer, but still included baseball’s two fat cats, the Twins only hope was to create a battle between them. When this didn’t happen, they figured they’d be better off waiting it out. I don’t think they’re crazy for doing so…that’s all I’m trying to say.

    Also, by saying the Yankees would be more likely to up the ante a little, I was speaking only to their greater need and historical willingness to overspend. Hank Steinbrenner is the wild card in all of this, especially since he has no track record to speak of. I wasn’t trying to compare the offers, and I may have underrated Masterson a bit, but let’s just say he’s not on the level of Ian Kennedy right now. I think a deal involving Hughes and Kennedy gets the job done, unless the Red Sox are willing to part with Ellsbury and Lester.

    And this exactly how the Twins wish the Yankees and Red Sox would be thinking right now…each tweaking the deal slightly to edge out the other. But,that’s not happening right now, which is not to say it will stay that way. This will get interesting again, I’m sure.

  9. ccww   December 11, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    Chas & Aaron – wow an impressive flurry of action. YOu guys have become sparring partners.

    My ‘prospects-a-plenty’ comment was in the context of what the Twins could get for Santana one year from now: a draft pick because he is a restricted free agent. Maybe I am underestimating how quickly a deal could get done.

    I am fine with these deals as far as the Sox go until Ellsbury enters the equation. Then I am not so sure Santana is worth it. I know, I know how can I say some punk can add up to a lefty who’s gonna win 15-20/ year for the next several years? It’s just that that punk is going hit .300, steal 60/year and take two bases on a sac fly at least twice a year.

    One thing for sure – if Lowrie goes, he will win ROY a la Hanley Ramirez style.

    Aaron – yeah Omar looks like Tomlin and vice versa. It’s just the hair that does it for me when comparing to GI Joe of the 70’s. The kind of do that can deflect small flying objects and double as a brillo pad when the frying pan needs a good scouring.

    Casey

  10. Muels   December 11, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Casey- I am with you on the Saux interest in Santana. Do they want him? Duhhh, yeah! But are they willing to trade Tenderloin for tenderloin? First you offer a sirloin and a couple of burgers, if no picnic breaks out then you offer some t-bones with the fixins’. If Jacoby isn’t quite the tenderloin that Santana is, then he is at least a NY Strip Steak, and I’m not ready to trade that much grade a beef (boy am I getting hungry) just yet…

    The Celtics have made the NBA enjoyable again- they play as a team because the Man (KG) DEMANDS it! I am just dredding the eventual injury to one of the studs which could take some air out of our balloon- but until then it is nice to be back into the NBA…

    I think that the Jets will actually keep this week’s matchup with the Pats relativly close- if the Jets have any respect for their coach they will bust a nut for him this week…

    Muels

  11. ccww   December 11, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Muels,

    How thick is the cut of that steak?

    Casey

  12. ccww   December 11, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    and what are we thinkin’ ’bout for the fixins?

  13. Chas   December 11, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    I don’t necessarily think Aaron and I have been duking it out here. If were arguing over anything, it’s semantics. I think we both agree that the offers for Santana are not overwhelming, but also that the Twins are probably, at some point, going to have to accept that the market is the market, and adjust their expectations accordingly.

    I do wonder, though, if people aren’t over-evaluating Jacoby Ellsbury. Just curious…do you guys think he’s going to be as good as Grady Sizemore? Let’s not forget how hot and bothered everyone in Beantown was when Coco Crisp arrived. I seem to recall a lot of people saying he was going to be better than Johnny Damon.

    Obviously, I feel more confident that Ellsbury is a “can’t miss” than Crisp, but this raises another question…are we overdoing it with how much we covet these as yet unproven prospects? Johan Santana is a known commodity, and that commodity is as valuable as any in the game.

    The flip side of this is, would you simply rather see your team win with what they’ve developed from within? I can see both Red Sox and Yankees fans feeling this way right now.

    From a Red Sox perspective, the team has won 2 of the last 4 World Series, making them inarguably the team of the 00’s so far. Would it be more satisfying, going forward, to watch the rise of Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, Buchholz, and maybe some of the lesser prospects?

    Or, from a Yankees perspective, when was the last time they could say they were building a rotation around three 21-22 year olds as good as Chamberlain, Hughes and Kennedy? Add Cano and Cabrera to that mix as well.

    Keeping in mind, though, that it’s a greater risk to stick it out with these guys than it is to use a couple of them to acquire the guy that you’re just hoping that Buchholz or Chamberlain will be.

    Just throwing this out there…

  14. SeanMC   December 11, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    I’m leaning towards wanting a Santana trade if the deal doesn’t involve Lester or Buchholz. I love Ellsbury the player, but Ellsbury the person just hired Scott Boras and charged kids $125 to autograph a bat…..as long as they brought their own bat.

    Beckett, Santana, Schilling, Dice-K, Lester, Wakefield, Buchholtz….that may be good enough to start Buchholz in AAA, keep his innings down, then bring him up (moving Wakefield to the pen) down the stretch. And 2 decent insurance guys in case of injury…….it’s an embarrassment of riches…

    -Sean
    http://bostonsportsrants.blogspot.com/

  15. ccww   December 11, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    Chas-

    It’s all good. I was definitely implying a positive connotation when using ‘sparring’: two guys bringing out the good in each other. Great stuff on the Clipboard.

    You are painfully on the mark with the ‘develop from within’ assertion. After decades complaining about the evil empire and their frivolous spending for the purpose of publicity stunts, I would like to see the Sox stick it to ’em with a great farm system. Suffice to say if this was ’03 and Santana was on the block, I would want the Sox to snag him and take a run at the Series.

    Sean –

    I winced when I heard that Ellsbury signed with Boras the Spider. After reading what you wrote about the autographs, I want to hurl. Sounds like the young pup needs a lesson from Varitek – the guy who sat on his lawn and signed for halloween treats. Keep talking – you might convince me of the need for this trade.

    Casey

  16. Reynell   December 12, 2007 at 8:49 am

    I’m with Chas on the whole Santana trade. You have a left-handed pitcher on a predmoninatly right-handed staff (who’s only 28). Won’t that be beneficial with the short right field fences in Fenway and the Bronx? Not to mention his proven success against a division rival – The Yanks. Ellsbury hasn’t proved anything over a 162 game stretch. He won’t be a Sizemore. Sizemore was a man among boys in AA as a teenager and for his short stint in AAA as a 20 year old. Crisp will play hard and make plays in the field, but he will struggle at the plate. But that would be okay with a staff ERA they would have with Santana. I understand the love for Ellsbury after the 2007 postseason, but what wins baseball games down the stretch? Both are valuable in their own right – absolutely – but Santana brings a loaded baked potato.

  17. Aaron Smith   December 12, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Chas,

    Completely agree with you in the sense that you have an opportunity to trade for a young, proven left hander, who might be one of the best lefties this side of Sandy Koufax. I am certainly up for the Sox acquiring Santana.. In fact a rotation of Beckett, Santana, Schilling , Dice -K and Wakefield would be instantly one of the best rotations ever – on paper.. It also has visions of multiple world series rings dancing in my head.

    As for Ellsbury.. I think a lot of us have bought into the hype. People within the Red Sox organization and Boston media have been talking about this kid for a couple of years now. Yeah I was watching when he scored from second on a wild pitch. I also saw pitchers start to change their approach with him and his batting average started to drop. The Red Sox were reluctant to bring him before the season started. They wanted him to work on his power, but injuries/slumps set in and he was brought up.

    So I agree in that we really don’t know what we will get with Ellsbury. We have gotten a small taste of the whole cake or strip steak.. whatever.. Is it going to be as good for the next 10 years/162 games a year.

    My other thinking.. You can find a CF.. Hell, there was 6 or 7 of them on the free agent market. And we already have a pretty good one in Coco Crisp. Pitchers raved about how much ground he covered and how many hits/runs he took away. Sometimes a good defense is just as good as a good offense. But as I was saying… you can find another CF, but when are going to find another dominant LF starting pitcher???

    I wouldn’t give up Bucholz, but if it means giving up Lester and Ellsbury – I think you do it..

  18. Chas   December 12, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Since we’ve beaten this subject to desk, I’ll ask a question…what’s the inside joke on Tim Redding? I’m not sure if he’s had 5 great games in his career, let alone 5 great years.

    If he’s somebody’s brother or something, I apologize. Obviously, I’d give up my first born to be a below average major league pitcher.

  19. ccww   December 12, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Tim Redding is a local boy. The Thrilla was his catcher on a very good Monroe Community College team. Gotta give the local boys some love when we get a chance.

    Casey

  20. Chas   December 12, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    So, if this is a Rochester-centric blog, how come there’s such a bias towards the Red Sox. I guess you’re kind of in no man’s land, over 300 miles from New York and 400 from Boston. You’re actually closer to Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Toronto than either of those…a virtual melting pot of potential fans.

  21. ccww   December 12, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Not to mention the Orioles were our parent club for four decades, and now we have the Twins.

    That is what makes ol’ Rochester such a unique spot.

    I did a mapquest to compare the mileage from the abode to the Bronx and to Fenway. You would be surprised there is not a significant difference. I can get to either locations in about 6 hours.

    Aaron lived in Beantown for near a decade. Of course the good uncle that I am I just had to visit as much as possible.

    Casey

  22. Aaron   December 12, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Chas,

    I just moved back from Beantown in October.. As a result, I am a Boston sports fan…. except for the Bruins – they don’t count.

    It is great being back home, but I miss WEEI….

  23. Z Dubbs   December 13, 2007 at 2:08 am

    The Baby Bulls have got to be this season’s biggest disappointments. Skiles seems tired and ineffective in getting his team motivated. Big Ben seems to be on his way downhill along w/ Shaq. Hinrich has disappeared, going along with his performance in the playoffs last year. The team just seems to be going through the motions as if they don’t care.

    Only thing that doesn’t have me pulling my hair out, and wishing Paxson would call MJ up for perhaps another comeback is their recent history of slow starts. This team is driving me, and the all Bulls fans, nuts.

  24. Reynell   December 13, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Chas – I am a Cleveland fan, which explains my utter disdain for Red Sox nation after this year’s playoffs (see second comment from this blog). http://ccww.wordpress.com/2007/10/29/lessons-learned-from-the-07-mlb-post-season/#comments
    My dad took me to Cleveland games since I was 12 at old Municipal Stadium on the Erie because it was only 4 hours from Rochester, compared to 6 1/2 to NYC including city traffic. Been going ever since. Oh yeah – and we personally have too much integrity on this side of the state to cheer for a grandiose businessman who would rather buy championships than earn one.

  25. Chas   December 13, 2007 at 8:53 am

    I used to live in Syracuse, but all I remember are the Bills fans. To me, Cleveland and Pittsburgh seem more like Rochester people’s kind of towns. I’m intrigued by the AAA team angle. There’s this 79-year old lady who I used to work with who was a St. Louis Cardinals fan for years because Rochester was their farm team back in the day. I also have a friend who grew up in Syracuse who’s a Blue Jays fan because of the Chiefs. Poor guy…an American rooting for a Canadian baseball team. 😉

  26. Snydez   December 13, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    I went to Cleveland this past summer to see a Yanks-Indians game. We stopped at Jacobs field after our trip to Cedar Point and Michigan. All I can say is “WOW!!!!”. The scoreboard is huge!. But it is a beautiful stadium. Plus we had really good seats.

    http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/668/1000343vr9.jpg That is a picture of the field from our seats. We were on like the 5 th level I think.

  27. Chas   December 14, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    By the way, Aaron, why on earth would you move back to upstate New York from Boston? What are you starting up a vineyard or something? 😉

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