Saturday, June 30, 2007

National League All-Star Predictions

Like most bloggers I'm going to give you my predictions on who will be starting the summer classic. We'll start with the National league first (because it's better and I said so) and my AL predictions will come later in the week.

TSF's Pick: Russel Martin - LAD
Nobody else really stands out in this lackluster field and I agree with Complete Sports. I too think that Martin will soon become a staple behind the plate in the summer classic.

1st Base
TSF's Pick: Prince Fielder - MIL
I'm afraid that even if I wasn't a devout Brewer's fan I would still be saying Fielder don't call me a homer. But if you do I probably won't resent it. Pujols is heating up which makes this a little closer than it would have been if I had blogged this earlier but the pick is still Fielder. Also worth noting that I'm going to purchase his All-Star jersey when it becomes available later this summer.

2nd Base
TSF's Pick: Chase Utley - PHI
Too many other teams are using a platoon at 2B or are trying to upgrade. Utley plays everday and does it quite well. He stands out to me and gets the nod in rather unanimous fashion.

3rd Base
TSF's Pick: Miguel Cabrera - FLA
This should be a lot easier of a pick than it will be made out to be. Because of the stupid fan vote David Wright could be made the pick but Cabrera plays good defense and has been the best offensive 3rd basemen in the NL. He plays on a small-market team and might get overlooked but not on my watch. Cabrera's the pick but don't be surprised if Wright wins the fan vote.

Short Stop
TSF's Pick: Jose Reyes - NYM
This proves that I'm not a total homer. I'm tempted to pick JJ Hardy not just because of my fan affiliation but because of his outstanding HR and RBI totals but Reyes hits for a better AVG and you can't really argue with his 38 SB's. He'll probably win the fan vote anyways so he's a safe bet. Plus, who else would you want to lead-off for the NL?

OF Picks
TSF's Pick: Matt Holliday - COL
If there were any doubters I hope they were watching what he did to the Yankees last week. He is going to be a special player and he deserves this spot. PS- he is almost solely responsible for my fantasy team not being in last place.

TSF's Pick: Barry Bonds - SF
God I hate to do this but I think Bonds deserves this one. He will probably break the record this year and it is probably his last year in SF (maybe his last year in baseball!) so I think he deserves this one. I blogged on Bonds earlier in the season as being an all-star and possible NL MVP candidate and I'll stand by myself. Plus it's not like MLB's (along with the fans) have never started a hometown hero before!

TSF's Pick: Aaron Rowand
I'm taking Rowand here just because he can play CF and he is a solid choice. Don't get me wrong he is deserving but the pick I'd really like to make is Ken Griffey Jr. He has monentarily rejuvinated his career at the age of 38. The Reds need a choice and Griffey is definitely it he just isnt' the fielder he was 10 years ago and I don't think he Bonds or Holliday really could play CF. So Rowand is the pick I guess.

Starting Pitcher
TSF's Pick: Jake Peavy - SD
He is dominant and has been probably the best overall starter in baseball.

Agree? Disagree? Thoughts? I wanna hear 'em.

Friday, June 29, 2007

My NBA Draft Winners and Losers

Portland Trailblazers
So obviously they are huge winners in getting Oden but they really took it a step further. I absolutely love the deal they swung with the Knicks sending Zack Randolph out East for Steve Francis (once dubbed "Franchise") and Channing Frye. Francis will start at PG while Frye adds depth to the front court. Even though Randolph is a great player he was going to get logjammed with Aldridge and Oden so that was a great move. Portland's starting 5 will be young and tremendous next year and for years to come. This is what I'm looking at for their starting 5: Francis, Roy, Aldridge, Oden, and maybe Frye or Jack. Plus they'll have great youth on the bench with (like I said either Frye or Jack) plus Rudy Fernandez (like him), Taurian Green, and McRoberts. Basically I want to know if it is too late to be a Trailblazers fan?

Seattle Super Sonics
Once again they would be winners for the sole fact of just getting Durant. However, they got much much more. How they were able to ditch an aging and overpaid star in Ray Allen for Jeff Green, Wally Szerbiak, and Delante West is news to me. Durant and Green will be a great 1-2 punch and I think both will be stars. They've got a young, developing duo in Robert Swift and Chris Wilcox in the paint. Hopefully Green and Durant can get out in front and help Luke Ridnour push the tempo. Now that is an exciting team! There's going to be a lot of young and exciting things happening in the Pacific Northwest over the next 5 years as far as the NBA is concerned.

Minnesota Twolves
I think Brewer will wind up being the bets of the Florida bunch. I really wanted the Bucks to get him. He's going to be good. Now they need to figure out what they're going to do with KG... but for now they're winners.

Atlanta Hawks
Obviously it's tough to be a loser when you have the 3rd and 11th picks. I wasn't real high on the Hawks' picks but I thought they came out winners. Horford is a great player and would be a great pick for anyone at 3. The problem is that due to recent picks (Sheldon Williams and Josh Smith) the Hawks have a bit of a logjam. I also think Acie Law is a solid player, but won’t produce the same in the NBA as he did in college. If I’m the Hawks, I would have drafted Mike Conley Jr. at 3 -because they really need a solid PG-and Julian Wright at 11. Then I would play uptempo, like the Suns, and try to win the weak East by playing faster than everyone else.

Boston Celtics
Where to start... You are losers for losing so much last season. You are losers for not getting the first pick in the draft. For some reason you threw away the 5th pick in Jeff Green (a player who I think will be a star) and some fairly decent spare parts away for an aging and overpaid Ray Allen. You need to be building for the future. While Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are an above average duo they are not the long-term answer. Good luck making the playoffs next year. Terrible draft.

Milwaukee Bucks
I'm ranking my Bucks as losers because I am a pessimist. I wanted the Bucks to address young talent at the 1 and the 3....instead they went with a 7footer. Yi might end up being great who knows? But, I didn't want them to take him. It's high risk and high reward. Now I find myself wondering what they're going to do. Yi's representatives are saying that he won't play in Milwaukee and will try to force a trade. The Bucks know it's an uphill battle, but felt he was the best talent left on the board and say they want to keep him. If they can find a way to keep him around and if he starts then they probably have Bogut, Villanueva, and Yi all in their starting 5. They'd certainly be tall I guess!

Philadelphia 76ers
Their draft sucked. Thaddeus Young is a ways from being NBA ready. The kid from Finland looked terrible and the announcers were even saying that he'll probably continue to play overseas for a while. Basically all they got was Josh Smith and even though he's 7'0 I'm not sold on him at all.

Chicago Bulls
Their draft wasn't bad. I'm about 50/50 on it. I think they are draft day losers for one reason and one reason only: They took Joakim Noah with their 1st pick. I never once thought that he was top10 pick material. He brings energy (screams like a retard) and knows how to win but I dont' really think he's that good and the Bulls need low post scoring. - Noah is not that.

Questions, comments and criticisms are welcome. Add a winner or a loser of your own.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Revised 2007 NBA Mock Draft

Here's my revised 2007 NBA Mock Draft. After the draft deadline and workouts, I have some changes from my last Mock Draft.

1. Portland Trail Blazers- Greg Oden, Ohio St.
Please Portland, take Oden. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a player with this caliber. Big men like this are hard to come by these days and believe me, he won't disappoint. It would be smart to take him over Kevin Durant.

2. Seattle Sonics- Kevin Durant, Texas
I bet the Sonics were jumping out of their pants when they heard they had the 2nd pick. Rashard Lewis will not be around anymore and Durant will be able to take his place immediately. He is a franchise type player and once he puts on some mass, he'll be an all star.

3. Atlanta Hawks- Al Horford, Florida
I am giving in. I decided to move up Horford a few spots. The Hawks will not waste another pick in drafting another versatile forward that they're loaded with already. The Hawks have many options here... they could use a PG in Mike Conley Jr. but I don't believe they will go that way with this high of a pick. Horford has been very impressive during the draft workouts and the Hawks need a post presence now.

4. Memphis Grizzlies- Yi Jianlian, China
The Grizz need another post presence to compliment Pau Gasol. Yi can play all over the floor as well. He can take you inside or step out and hit a 20' foot jumper. He has great ball handling skills and is very light on his feet for a 7' footer. Here's an older post I did on him in case you want to know more about him: So, just who is Yi Jianlian?

5. Boston Celtics- Corey Brewer, Florida
Boston is still a pretty young team. They need another defender and scorer and Brewer brings that to the table. Brewer showed his last 2 years of college ball that he is a force on both ends of the court and Danny Ainge will not look past that. But don't be surprised if the Celtics trade this pick either.

6. Milwaukee Bucks- Brandan Wright, UNC
After weighing in at a slim 200 pounds, teams are wondering how long it will take for Wright's body to catch up to his amazing talent. A lot may argue that the Bucks will pick a big man but they still have Andrew Bogut and Charlie Villaneuva; and at the SF position they have oldies in Charlie Bell and Ruben Patterson. Wright would fit in well for Milwaukee.

7. Minnesota T'Wolves- Mike Conley Jr., Ohio St.
The Wolves have desperately needed a PG over the years and now is their chance to get a great one. Conley is what you like to see in a PG... he thinks pass first, sees the court so well, and can get to basket whenever he needs too. Him and Garnett (if he isn't traded) could make a great tandem.

8. Charlotte Bobcats- Jeff Green, Georgetown
Green falls down a few notches after moving up Horford. Green is a type of player that can contribute right away. He has the skills and attributes of an NBA player and I feel he is ready. Gerald Wallace is set for free agency and Green will be able to fill in for him.

9. Chicago Bulls- Joakim Noah, Florida
The Bulls haven't been satisfied with Ben Wallace, and P.J. Brown will be retiring soon. This is a great opportunity for them to get a big man that will take them to the next level, and help out the great young talent they already have in Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, and Tyrus Thomas.

10. Sacramento Kings- Julian Wright, Kansas
The Kings are in a rebuilding mode and could use Wright's athletic talent and potential. He is very unselfish which will make Mike Bibby and Ron Artest happy (if they both stay). Wright has a lot of strengths and will bring a lot to this organization.

11. Atlanta Hawks- Acie Law, Texas A&M
This is where I think the Hawks need to address their PG problems. I think the Hawks will make a long hard decision between Law and Javaris Crittenton (Complete Sports thinks it will be Crittenton). Both great overall PG's, but Law's experience playing 4 years at College Station and his leadership will be the main reasons the Hawks will take him.

12. Philadelphia 76ers- Al Thornton, FSU
This is where the Sixers will take the best available. Thornton could benefit a lot from playing behind a player like Andre Igoudala and his one on one skills are what the Sixers want in a forward.

13. New Orleans Hornets- Nick Young, USC
The Hornets could use a SG/SF and Young would probably be the best available at those positions. Young would be a great scorer to have off the bench. His athletic ability is tough to pass up on as well.

14. Los Angeles Clippers- Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech
The Clippers need a point guard badly. Sam Cassell is a year away from retirement and you can't rely on the health of Shaun Livingston. Crittenton has tons of talent and he is your typical NBA prototype PG.

15. Detroit Pistons- Spencer Hawes, Washington
The Pistons will need another big man sooner or later. So now is a great time to get a great talent in Spencer Hawes. I think Hawes could contribute right away. His passing ability and smart play fit in greatly in Detroit.

Monday, June 25, 2007

US Soccer team wins Gold Cup, what's next?

Landon Donovan scored his 34th career goal, tying Eric Wynalda atop the career list, and Benny Feilhaber connected with an impressive kick to rally the United States to a 2-1 victory over Mexico on Sunday in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the championship of North/Central America and the Caribbean.

It's the first time in 53 meetings dating to 1934 that the Americans fell behind Mexico, then came back to win.

The victory extended the Americans' dominance over their border rival to the south and gave the United States a berth in the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa, a big date to prepare for the 2010 World Cup. The United States is 9-2-1 against Mexico since 2000, including 8-0-1 on U.S. soil.

This CONCACAF win is huge for the US team, but what's next for them? Now they will be heading to the COPA America Soccer Tournament which is the South American Championships. They are a guest for the tournament, and will be playing with some unknowns. While Argentina and just about every other team are bringing their top dogs, the US is sending 16 players who've made 10 or fewer appearances for the national team. Three have never even gotten in a game.

So is the future now? Why go if you're just going to get trampled? Plus, the US never really has success far from home. The Americans are going to be playing into one hostile environment after another. They'll be booed wherever they go, and the number of taunts will increase every time they touch the ball.

From my perspective, the future really is now. After the horrible showing in last summers World Cup, I think this is a good idea to get these young players some key international playing minutes and experience. The future really needs to be addressed with US soccer, because it's dying fast and while the competition around the world is getting tougher and more fierce, and when it comes to international competition, the U.S. is looking more and more impotent.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

What We've Been Up To: McQuade Softball Tournament Weekend

So we admit that the writing on The Sports Flow may have been a little dry over the weekend but it's not because we are just laying around and watching TV. We've (along with fellow bloggers twins15 and Petey) been busy with the 2007 McQuade Softball Tournament - along with 415+ other teams as well.

If you click the link above and check out some of the statistics and info I think you might be surprised/impressed. A lot of people don't know this but the USA's largest slowpitch softball tourney is held in Bismarck, ND....which is pretty sweet. So we've been having a good time and unfortunately ran into a few good teams Saturday and are now out of the tournament but are already looking forward to next year.

I have a few ideas for posts so don't worry, we just need to get back into the swing of things next week and if you have any standout ideas for articles we'd love to hear them. But for now just check out the blogroll until later tonight.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Giant Issues

Today we're going to talk some MLB. My San Francisco Giants keep proving they're one of the worst teams in the Majors.

Last nights game vs. the Yankees definitely proved that as well. They continue to struggle at the plate. They just can't put up any runs and when they do, they can't ever hold a lead. I think it's time to make some changes in this organization. In my eyes, everything is revolving around Barry Bonds, especially the HR chase. Which needs to stop.

This team is getting older by the second I mean you have Ray Durham, Omar Vizquel, Mark Sweeney, Bonds, and Dave Roberts who are all 35 and older. It's time to get some young talent in there. The Giants could be utilizing Fred Lewis or some other young guy who could catch fly balls in LF that Barry misses by 5 feet. Bonds is flat out embarrassing in LF and it's time for them to start bringing in some young talent. Maybe they should consider moving him to 1B or not playing him at all.

As for pitching, I think they brought up Tim Lincecum a year early. He started off the year well, but now he is struggling and is continuing to get shelled. He would have been better off pitching in AA or AAA this season instead of getting throttled in the Majors.

Back to Bonds, this needs to be his last year with the Giants. They cannot continue to waste their money on him. It is a must for them to bring in some young talent for the future this off season or maybe even later in the year.

Red Sox continue to dominate
Just wanted to talk a little bit about Boston. On paper, no one can beat these guys; not Detroit, not Cleveland, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, nor the New York Mets. They just continue to impress. Their bullpen is phenomenal, the starting rotation is awesome (especially Matsuzaka), and the whole lineup is producing as well. I really think no one will stop them come the end of the regular season. As of right now, they're my pick to be in the World Series.

Any other thoughts on the Red Sox or Giants?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Buy or Sell: Recruiting Kids Not Even in High School Yet.

This buy or sell is relatively simple. Is recruiting a kid who is an eighth grader OK? I'm going to tell you what I think and then you tell me what you think. I'm going to examine it from both angles. Buy or we go.

For the second straight year, USC basketball coach Tim Floyd has received a verbal commitment from an eighth-grader. Ryan Boatwright, a speedy 5-foot-10, 145-pound rising freshman point guard from Illinois who has yet to make a decision on where he's headed for high school, accepted Floyd's scholarship offer while at USC's camp this past weekend. Last year it was 14-year-old Dwayne Polee Jr., a 6-foot-6 forward who had yet to play his first high school game at Westchester High (Calif.).

Ok, so I don't have any idea what kind of game this kid has at age 14 but I know it's better than mine and we'll leave it at that. Regardless of how talented a kid like that is is 14 just too young? For starters this kid doesn't even know where he's going to high school. I mean isn't that a little ridiculous? Maybe there should be some kind of a rule set in place to ensure that a kid is at least in High School before he is being recruited to play in college. I mean really, at 14 this kid doesn't know a thing about college or what he really wants. I know I didn't even really think much about that kind of stuff when I was in 8th grade. Of course he is going to accept an offer verbally! He is a young and impressionable kid who knows no different. A scholarship offer from a top school before he even sets foot in a high school hallway puts an enormous amount of pressure on a kid both on the court and off of it.

While it might be a lot of pressure on the kid I am going to take a more liberal stance on the issue. I'm buying it. It is ridiculous that a scholarship offer has been made and accepted by another 14 yr old, however I think this is what the recruiting world is going to come to. Tim Floyd is just ahead of the curve here.

Getting a kid to commit that young is a little bit genius too. While it seems crazy think about this. The press release is made and so now everybody knows that this kid is going to USC and only 14 yada yada yada. So this obviously catches the eye of a lot of players that might be anywhere from 14-18 and could help sway them towards USC. Also if this kid is good enough to be entertaining offers from USC at age 14 he must be on a pretty good AAU team of some sort and will probably go to a basketball powerhouse of a high school. Now, his teammates know he's going. He talks to them and encourages them to come and pretty soon you have a bunch of top talent and blue-chip prospects with about 3 or 4 years of HS left all dying to go to USC.

It also provides a bit of job security for Tim Floyd; which is why it is so genius. Let's say he struggles in '08 or '09. Having top-flight (or believed to be so) recruits coming in in 2 or 3 years provides tremendous job security for Floyd. They aren't going to fire him for fear of losing his band of stand out HS Sophs or whatever they would be at the time.

To even be entertaining the idea of kids who are in Jr. High verbally committing to play ball somewhere and accepting scholarships is pretty ridiculous. But like I said, I think that is what college recruiting is going to eventually come to and while Floyd may look silly or foolish now I think that this recruiting tactic can really only help him in the long run.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Canada Fishing Trip Recap

So I was gone for almost a week last week fishing in Canada (which I'm sure most of you regular readers already know). Just to prove that I was really gone and not being lazy and that someone was catching some big fish I want to give a short tribute to my Grandpa for last week.

The fish on the left is a muskie weighing a little under 40 lbs. and the muskie on the right weighed in the mid 30s and just a bit less than the first one. Both of these fish were caught on the same day, in the same general bay, same lure, with the 8-lb test monofilament, in the same hour. Whether you are an occasional fisherman or an avid one hopefully you can appreciate this. People fish months, seasons, years, and maybe lifetimes to net a fish like that and you boated 2 in the same hour. I just wanted to say congratulations and I can't think of anybody else in the world who deserves it more.

My World in Sports: Go Get Your Bulls Jersey

The Kobe Video
I'm sure you've all heard about this video by now. I can't find on on the Internet otherwise I'd have it up on here but I've heard alot about it and Stefan found a sports talk show that features the audio. The video hasn't been released yet but click here to hear the audio. - You can fast forward through some of the banter to get to it- Kobe is pretty explicit in trashing teammate Andrew Bynum. Also he grabs quite a few headlines in saying "Go out and buy you Bulls jerseys". This is pretty interesting obviously there is just no way anymore that Kobe Returns to the Lakers. By now all his teammates hate him (most probably did before anyways). Kobe's no trade clause basically gives him complete and total power. Obviously getting Kobe would be absolutely huge for the Bulls. Honestly is there anyway that LA could possibly win on a trade like that? Bulls maybe they could get Butler, Wallace and Deng with a draftpick or some combination of that for Kobe. That would be some good talent to build on but its no Kobe. Believe me LA will miss Bryant's star power both on the court and off the court with ticket sales, jersey sales, etc. I'm excited to see how it plays out but I'm calling it now: Kobe wont play another game in a Lakers uniform.

Pac Man is Retarded
If this is really true Pac Man Jones is completely and utterly retarded. Just the fact that he is being looked into for something like this is pathetic. If he was really sorry and understood how stupid his actions were then you would think he would do a little better job to keep his name away from words like shooting and stripclub. Looks like he really meant it when he said he'd take his boys over ball anyday. If anything becomes of this it will be interesting to see what Goodell has to do or say about it.

O's Want Girardi but Does Girardi Want the O's?
I'm a little curious/excited to see what becomes of this. The O's are not terrible. They're bad now but they have good starting pitching and when you have that you have the basis for a turnaround. However, if I was Girardi I don't think I would take the job. Even if you can turn things around extremely well you have 2 baseball giants with $200 Mil payrolls sitting above you in the standings. If I was Girardi I would hold tight and wait to see what other jobs become available. I see him as a better fit and wanting to manage more for the Yankees, White Sox, and Cubs. However, we'll just have to see waht happens with Torre and Guillen and if Lou comes back for next season. The Yankees job would be better for obvious reasons (he played there and it's the Yankees) and he lives in Chitown so either of those jobs would seem ideal. Like I said, if I was Girardi I wouldn't take the job. He just doesn't seem like the right fit. As for the O's if they miss on Girardi the rest of their optins look kind of bleak.
Go Anteaters
Man am I rooting for UC Irvine hard. With a name like the anteaters it's hard not to. They've avoided elimination in extra innings two days in a row now. The Anteaters play their 3rd straight elimination game against the well-rested Oregon St. Beavers on Wed. night. I don't know enough to make a good prediction so I won't. All I'll do is tune in for the game and root for UC Irvine to keep on winning.

Prince Fielder Update
I try not to obsess over him too much on the blog but it gets hard for me. I just wanted everybody to know that he is now leading the all-star voting and his statline is as follows:
.291 AVG, 26 HR, 59 RBI, 50 R, .377 OBP, and .646 SLG

Allow me to interpred... Prince is sexy. Prince is all that is man. Prince is way better than Cecil's gambling ass. When proclaiming to a friend that Prince was all that is man he (a Twins fan mind you) replied: "No. Prince is above man. Prince is XYYY." I like that and couldn't agree more. The Brewers better make the playoffs just so that they can gross enough revenue to pay off Prince when his contract expires.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

2007-2008 College Basketball Pre-Season Rankings

Now that we know who's in and who's out of the NBA Draft, here's an early pre-season College Hoops Top 10 poll for the 2007-2008 season.

1. UNC Tar Heels- The top team for next season definitely has to be the Tar Heels. Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, and Wayne Ellington all return. They have everybody returning but Reyshawn Terry and Brandan Wright. Wright will be missed greatly but they still have a lot of fire power. Look for UNC to be in the Final Four and possibly that national championship game.

2. Memphis Tigers- The 2007-2008 squad will return 5 of their top 6, plus the additions of recruits Derrick Rose and Jeff Robinson will help a lot. Especially the addition of Rose, he should be able to come in right away and help fill in for the lone loss in Jeremy Hunt. After back to back Elite 8 finishes the past two seasons, Memphis finally has what it takes to get over the hump and into the Final Four. They were the lone team that wasn't affected by the draft deadline date.

3. Kansas Jayhawks- The Jayhawks also have a great number of players returning and will be the top team in the Big 12. With the return of Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, freshmen sensation Darrell Arthur, Sherron Collins, Russell Robinson, Sasha Kaun, and Darnell Jackson, KU will barely miss a beat. The decision for Rush to stay is a huge sign of relief for KU and he will benefit from it a lot, unlike his brothers. KU also brings in quality recruit Cole Aldrich to help fill the loss of Julian Wright.

4. Georgetown Hoyas- Roy Hibbert is one of the "Big Two" to return. Jeff Green decided to stay in the draft at the last minute. If Green stays Georgetown is no doubt the top team. The Hoyas will return everyone excluding Green from a team that lost out in the Final Four. Those key returnees are Hibbert, Jon Wallace, DaJuan Summers, Jessie Sapp, Patrick Ewing Jr. and Vernon Macklin. Oh and how about a 5-star stud in Austin Freeman to add to the list.

5. UCLA Bruins- The Bruins will look to make another run at a Final Four berth with nearly everyone back. Their top scorer Aaron Afflalo jumped into the draft and will be missed dearly. But the Bruins return a solid nucleus with Josh Shipp, Darren Collison, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Lorenzo Mata, Michael Roll, and Alfred Aboya. UCLA lacked a premier post presence this past season, but the addition of 2007 recruit Kevin Love will help and should get immediate playing time. Look for the Bruins to be one of the top teams in the country again.

6. Louisville Cardinals- L'Ville returns 7 of their top 8 and should be one of the premier teams in the Big East. Terrence Williams, Edgar Sosa, David Padgett, Juan Palacios, and Derrick Caracter all return and should be one of the best starting five's in the land. Look for Rick Pitino's Cards to make a great run next season.

7. Washington St. Cougars- The Cougars return everyone but Ivory Clark and should benefit with all the experience returning. Last season was no fluke and the Cougars will show just that by competing for a Pac 10 title and possibly an Elite 8 or even a Final Four berth.

8. Tennessee Volunteers- Remember how the Vols nearly stunned the Buckeyes in the Big Dance? Well the Vols return everyone, including Chris Lofton. Because of Lofton's decision, Tennessee is my early favorite to win the SEC.

9. Indiana Hoosiers- IU should be the early favorite to win the Big Ten. D.J. White is back and should be better than ever. Armon Bassett, AJ Ratliff, Lance Stemler, and Mike White all return as well; you can also add Eric Gordon (inset) to that list, one of the top recruits in the country and he won't disappoint. Not to shabby for Kelvin Sampson's second year.

10. USC Trojans- The Pac-10 will be very tough again next season, which is why I have USC as low as 10 here. Also, the loss of Nick Young and Gabe Pruitt doesn't help either. But Taj Gibson is returning and I heard new signee OJ Mayo is pretty good.

Other teams to keep an eye on:
Marquette, Georgia Tech, Michigan St., Kansas St., Ohio St., Oregon, Gonzaga, Arizona, and Pittsburgh.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Take Your Pick: Who Can a Fan Like Me Start to Root For?

So, Barry Bonds hit his 748th career homer putting him 7 shy of Hank Aaron for what is probably the most heralded record in all of sports. I hate Barry Bonds and if you are a repeat reader you probably know that already. Anyways, I am starting to come to the realization that this is probably going to happen and instead of killing myself when it does I decided that I need a guy to root for. I need to find the next player who is going to beat Barry's steroid-injected ass (pun intended) in the HR standings. So take your pick and help me figure out who is the going to be the best guy to take the record away from Barry.

Personally Arod is my guy. You have Arod at 492 having hit his 27th HR of the season tonight against the Mets. Arod currently ranks 24th all-time but in my opinion probably has the best foreseeable chance to surpass Bonds of all current players. He is 32 years-old right now and if you disregard this year's 27 HRs he needs 8 seasons with a rough average of 36 dingers a season. Now I think it will take him even less than that because he is obviously going to hi more than 36 this year. So, really at the most I think he would have to play until he was 40. If he can stay healthy and stay with the Yanks so he can DH as he gets older I think he can do it.

This is so sick and perverted but I'm going to have to start cheering for a Yankee...Arod no less. I've always thought of him as a bit of a sell-out (think of him going to Texas completely for the $$) and is now noticed as a cheating bastard. However, I think he's my guy. Now, I'm not by any means going to go get myself an Arod jersey. I'm just rooting for him to bring Major League Baseball -along with myself- out of a state of misery as fast as he can.

My second choice is Albert Pujols. He's only got 266 right now but is only 27. If he can continue to hit his average of 42 HRs a year he could be at 770 when he is 39. So he's got a good shot, but I'm still taking Arod over him. Some goes for him. If he can get away from the Cardinals and onto a team where he can do some DHing down the road that will increase his chances as well.

Active players ranked above Arod in HRs are Sammy Sosa, Frank Thomas, and Ken Griffey Jr. In my opinion both are just way too old to be considered a serious threat to surpass Bonds someday. No way for those 3.

Also, guys who I think can be overlooked include , Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Gary Sheffield, and Chipper Jones. Manny is ranked 25th with 480 but is 3 years older than A-Rod so he's not my he doesn't even care. Basically the lowdown on everybody else is that I think they are just too old. They are high on the list but there's just no way they can play long enough with their production to be seriously considered.

If I wouldn't take Arod or Pujols I would rather take my chance with a young kid like Prince Fielder or Miguel Cabrera. They are so young though that it is just a real risky pick. There are too many intangibles to consider to try and accurately project if and when they could be in position to pass Bonds.

My Picks
1. Arod
2. Pujols
3. Someone young like Prince Fielder or Miguel Cabrera

Agree with my Picks? Who is your pick to surpass Bonds on the all-time HR list (however many that may end up being)?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Buy or Sell: The US Open at Oakmont C.C. Being Too Tough?

So only 5 of the top 10 players can make the cut. Does that mean that the course is too tough? No and guess what? I'm selling Oakmont CC being too hard. I am really sick of hearing players, caddies, and analysts complain and rant about how Oakmont was made too difficult. I had to hear about it the whole way home from Canada on the radio and I'm ready to sound off.

I don't know about you buy if I have to watch golf I would rather see scores hovering around E and up than to see the leaderboard headlined with -20's. I think it is more fun to watch golf like this and I like to see which players can adapt and plan out shots. I like to see they best players in the world play the best and toughest courses in the world.

Quit your complaining. Everybody is playing the same course so if you aren't making the cut and some less popular, international player is then you have no one to blame but yourself and maybe your caddy. Let me watch the pairing of Angel Cabrera and Bubba Watson if those are the two guys who are making the right adjustments and playing the course the best. I'm sorry that you are upset that you aren't birdieing every hole and that it is a struggle to shoot below par. In my opinion though, that is the way it is supposed to be. Just because your name might be Justin Leonard, Sergio Garcia, or Phil Mickelson that doesn't make you a shoe-in when the cut comes around. It is a tournament and everyone is playing the same course and your play (not your ranking or name) determine how well you do.

I think all the players who are griping and complaining need to shut up. You are a professional golfer and this is a major tournament on the Professional Golfing Tour. Shouldn't the course be as hard as possible? The best of the best competing in a top-tier tourney makes only the best and toughest venue seem reasonable...not?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Can you say Dynasty?

The San Antonio Spurs are your 2007 NBA champions. After sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in 4 games, many have disputed that this is yet the best of all the other Spurs championship teams.

This definitely is one of the greatest organizations, not just in the NBA, but all of professional sports. They have an amazing front office, one of the best head coaches in the NBA, along with P.J. Carlesimo as your assistant coach for crying out loud, and one of the best players of all time in Tim Duncan. That's 4 championships in the last 9 years. Pretty impressive!

With their fourth championship since 1999 - and third in five years - the Spurs joined the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls as the only teams in NBA history to win four titles.

While I say the Spurs are a dynasty, "The Neutral Site" has a different point of view: San Antonio Spurs - Not a Dynasty

Now to talk about the series, Tim Duncan took the Finals MVP on the first three championship teams, but this year it was Tony Parker; which I definitely agree with. Parker does everything and anything to win. He'll find the open guy, hustle after loose balls, play tough defense, and can hit the shot whenever he needs to. When the Spurs needed a basket in the finals (and the rest of the playoffs) he found a way to get to the hoop or knock down a key outside shot. His Finals MVP award was well deserved. After game 2, I was thinking Tony Parker deserved to be the MVP when they end up winning the series.

As for next year, even as the oldest team in the league, the Spurs should be the favorite again for next year. Everybodys back and hopefully they can pick up some kind of young kid to help fill in as these guys get older; because pretty soon Horry and Finley won't be able to play anymore and they will need to bring in some young talent.

Switching gears, I would have loved to see LeBron James win a title. But it just happened to be they were playing my Spurs. LeBron James will definitely win a title (probably even multiple) in his tenure. The Cavs are one or two good players away from winning a title. They are a fairly young team and could win a ring down the road if LeBron is there to stay for awhile.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

ESPN's Loss,'s Gain

Former baseball player and ESPN Baseball Analyst Harold Reynolds was hired Tuesday by, becoming the sites newest analyst.

Starting at next month's All-Star game in San Francisco, Reynolds will provide regular commentary on Soon after, Reynolds will appear five days per week at 1 p.m. CT. He will address hot topics in the game with his insider analysis, bring in news makers through his extensive contacts and interact with users through e-mails, instant messages, chats and a forthcoming MLBlog.

Well, in my opinion (and plenty of others), this is huge for This is the next big step as tries to get bigger and better with its baseball analysis, commentary, and exposure.

Reynolds is (in my perspective) the best baseball analyst to walk the earth till this day. I love his in-depth analysis. He tells it like it is and definitely knows what he is talking about. We have a lot of sports networks out there who have some analysts that are just a joke and never know what the hell they're saying (Cough... *ESPN*, there are a few exceptions though).

Baseball Tonight has gone to waste and just simply sucks since H.R. was fired. I used to watch that show as much as possible when he worked for ESPN. I just simply love his analysis.

I just wanted to say, good for They will indeed get more exposure now with the new hire and now I will be getting my baseball analysis from there as well, even more than ESPN. As for ESPN, well let's just say you blew it once again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Road to History

Barry Bonds hit his 747th homer and moved within eight of Hank Aaron's career record with a two-run shot during the Giants' 4-3 win over Toronto on Monday night, only the second home run since May 8 for the slugger and his first this month.

Bonds had not hit a HR in 77 AB's since hitting No. 746 back on May 27 vs. the Rockies. In Bonds' previous 36 games from April 29 to June 10, he hit only four homers after hitting 10 by May 5.

On a side note, New York Daily News Sportswriter wrote a column on Throwing Back Barry's ball? Encouraging for whoever catches HR ball No. 756 should throw the ball back in protest.

We all know Barry will not hit No. 756 away from San Francisco. Bochy will sit and limit his AB's until they play at home. Plus, 9 of his current 13 HR's have all come at AT&T Ballpark.

Follow the Road to 755 & 756 right here at The Sports Flow

The Sports Flow will be trying very hard to live-blog HR's 755 and 756. We will keep you updated with Bonds' HR chase and count as the season progresses.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Gone Fishin' Links

I will be fishing in Canada this week. We are leaving in about 5 hours and I will be back on Saturday afternoon. Thus, I need to go to bed to ensure that I get at least a little sleep and Ming will be handling the posting from Monday-Friday. I'll be back with a post Saturday night and will do my best to try and find a computer while I am up there.

So, I'm tired and not quite done packing yet so here is what everybody else who isn't as lazy as I am is writing:

A Personal Take on This Season's AL All-Stars Thus Far - [Complete Sports]
For Those Who Think Spelling Bees Are Sport - [Insomniac's Lounge]
Please Sit Larry Hughes (I Agree!) - [Just Call Me Juice]
5,084 - [Pacifist Viking]
Some Raptor Report Cards (Well, I am going to Canada!) - [Raptors Talk]
The Geeks Are Taking Over - [Seal Clubbers]
Now There's Compelling Television! - [Signal to Noise]
I Love the MLB Survivor Challenge - [Sports Show On Mute]
The NBA or Reality TV? - [Sports Talk Daily]
Cleveland is Taking a Swift Kick to the Nuts - [Stupid Sideline Reporters]
The Skinny on Kevin Durant - [The Extrapolater]
The Post Mortem (Always a Good Read) - [The Hater Nation]
Linebackers for the 2008 NFL Draft - [The NFL Draft Site]
This is Appropriate Right Now - [College Baseball Blog]

There you have it, enjoy that from me and Ming will take good care of you until Saturday when I can make my valiant return to you readers.

That was a pretty decent fish from our trip last year. I'm hoping for big things this week....wish me luck.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Rocket Adds a Boost, but not Enough to Take the Yanks to the Moon (Playoffs)

Roger Clemens made his long awaited debut tonight and picked up the win against the Pirates 9-3. He gave up 3R, 3ER, 2 BB, and had 7K's in 6 innings. Congratulations Yankees fans but I have news for you: IT'S GOING TO TAKE A LOT MORE THAN ROGER CLEMENS FOR YOU GUYS TO CATCH THE RED SOX. I'm glad that you're excited and everything but let's not get ahead of ourselves. He just beat the Pirates.

If anybody (Yankees' fans especially) think that a 40+ yr. old legend who is starting to show his age can come in, throw 6 maybe 7 innings every 5th day and help you make up your 10 game deficit you are terribly mistaken. Yes, he is an all-time great and I have great respect for him, but he's not "The Rocket" he used to be and the Yankees have far more problems than even the old Rocket could have fixed.

For obvious starters your pitching sucks. Rocket can start every game. Hell, he may not be able to start every 5th game! Also, you don't really have a 1st baseman right now. Your OF is getting a little old with Matsui and Abreu. Abreau is nothing special defensively by any means and could probably be the DH and let Melky Cabrera play in the field. Anyways, Matsui and Abreu are getting old -not Rocket old...but old- and neither of them are having stellar years by any means. You (Yanks) should be embarassed about wasting Arod's historic month of April.

The Yankees are old, have no pitching, problems at 1B, problems off the field (Giambi) and are worse than the Red Sox. Rocket helps but he's not the answer and in my mind there is no way that the Yanks can catch the Red Sox. Maybe if they make a few moves they'll be able to make a run for the wild card later. However, I'm going to go ahead and call it. In my opinion THE YANKEES ARE DEAD.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Buy or Sell: Fans Only Really Care About Their Favorite Teams

So as I'm driving home from our first victory in softball tonight I'm doing some inner-contemplation as to why TV ratings are becoming quite the craze and why they seems to keep on pointing down, down, seems like all the talk. With "Build a Better Burger" from the Food Network beating out the NHL Finals in ratings (807,000 to 769,000) you know there is a potential problem. One might explain such an atrocity in such a way as: "Oh well, It's just the NHL. America doesn't like the NHL and that's why that happened." But with game 1 of the NBA Finals hitting the lowest ratings of a game 1 ever I think something may really be up.

I think America may be heading in the direction of a more concentrated view of the sports included. I'll admit, I didn't watch a single game of the NHL Finals and I didn't watch much of game 1 of the NBA Finals either. I think there is some legitimacy in saying that if it isn't your favorite team or something really entertaining with a lights-out lovable superstar (think back to MJ, Bird, Magic, maybe even Sir Charles) then people can just catch the highlights (mostly a dunk-o-rama) later.

Is it because the game has deteriorated that much in our minds? I watched a lot more NBA games back in the day (basically the 90s). Teams like the Jazz back then with Stockton and Malone got great all-around ratings. Now, the only people watching the Jazz vs. Spurs Western Conference finals were Spurs fans, Jazz fans, and hardcore Bball fans. Maybe the game hasn't really deteriorated that much...I mean Game 1 featured Tim Duncan one of the greatest players ever -in my opinion the greatest 4 ever - and King James who could be MJ's predecessor and is in my opinion the most physically gifted player in the NBA and maybe in the History of the NBA. Could it be that Americans just have a lot more to watch now?It will be really interesting to see because the last episode of The Sopranos will be aired during Game 2. I don't watch the Sopranos but I can guess that that isn't going to help the NBA at all.

Now, in saying all of this it is important to remember that the best way to look at this stuff is in their championship games. In doing so I find it very obvious that the only sport able to avoid this whole mess is the NFL. The Superbowl is so f-ing huge to everyone whether your team is in it or really doesn't matter. College Basketball also does pretty well but that's just because nearly every human being has at least 1-25 brackets filled out for it.

I can personally vouch for this as I watch MNF all the time even if the Packers aren't playing. I will tune into the second game on FOX even if the Packers played the early one. Plus tons tune in weekly for not only MNF, but Sunday night and sometimes Thursday night. By the time the end of summer rolls around some preseason NFL games could probably rival ratings of the NHL Finals and the NBA Finals (at least thus far).

I'm not totally sure why it has happened to me and most of America, but I'm Buying fans only really caring about their favorite teams. Personal experience and statistics lead me to believe this is true. I would love to continue to elaborate more on this but I am thoroughly exhausted and would like to put a little more thought into things...I will get back at you.

Are you buying or selling and why? What is the NFL doing to draw in viewers and fans to their championship game? How can the NHL and NBA get back to where they once were (and MLB too for that matter)?

Friday, June 8, 2007

My World In Sports: Calling You Out

Thoughts and opinions on sports which are currently headlining my brain:

Taking a Shot at Complete Sports
OK, keeping in mind that TSF has a quite personal relationship with twins15 or Complete Sports I would like to call him out. Sure we play on the same softball team, have the same Alma mater, will attend the same University, and are both generally good guys....but I'm callin' him out. Earlier in the week he predicted that the Flubs would finish atop the NL Central, meaning atop the Milwaukee Brewers. Bold indeed but let's make him put his money where his mouth is. I would like to meet with you Jon and discuss a friendly wager on the matter. I'm callin' you and your Scrubs out!

NBA Finals Game 1
The Spurs are probably the greatest defensive professional basketball team of my era. Also, make no 2 is everything. If the Cavs lose game two I give them a 0% chance at winning the series. However, if they can manage to pull one off then we definitely have ourselves a series. Also, today I heard a startling statistic in regards to the Spurs. I believe it said that in the last 10 years the Spurs have won games at about a 70% rate: best in ALL OF SPORTS. Damn you Ming....Game 2: Tune in and root for the savior of the NBA Playoffs to take down the Spurs and their big 3 (pictured right).

MLB Draft
I missed most of it at work but did quite a bit of reading. I think the D-Rays taking hard-throwing left-hander David Price of Vanderbilt wasn't a shocker to anybody. However the rest of the draft was pretty unpredictable. I was especially shocked with the Brewers picking Matt LaPorta (1B/OF) - FL. He's a power hitting 1B who .402 in 2007 with 20 home runs and 52 RBIs. So, you obviously can't refute this kids talent but why did they take him while there were still a lot of really good pitching prospects out there. It doesn't make any sense to me. The only thing I can think of is: (1)they were drafting for the best available overall talent, (2)they are afraid of losing Prince when his contract is up, (3)they think they can convert him to full-time OF, or (4)they want to trade him for some immediate help. He's a monster but why pick him here? Beats me..what do you think?

Vick is Screwed
This thing just gets uglier and uglier each day. The Feds are now getting involved so I guess that means that they mean business. I never really liked Vick in the first place (think 2nd round playoff game at Lambeau) but I really hope he goes down for this and I think he is screwed. Whether this goes all the way through and he goes to court and whatnot whatever he still had left of his image is completely gone. I predict that in the next 3-4 weeks you can expect Nike to speak out on and probably drop Vick as a sponsor. He's already lost a few minor sponsors and I don't think that this is a PR hit that NIKE is willing to take. I wouldn't be....who wants to buy dog-killer shoes? Also Roger Goodell is a hardass so I think Vick will end up with some kind of suspension regardless of what happens to this

Who I Would Want to Be: Tom Brady
Very attractive girlfriend (Gisele Bundchen), baby on the way (with ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan) and a gem in WR Randy Moss. I think that they will get along well because Moss is ready to realize that he is getting old and needs to win a Superbowl. I predict Moss will have the 2nd best season of his career next year.

Who I would Not Want to Be: Dante Culpepper
He apparently has lost all common sense because he is asking to be cut lose by the Dolphins when in reality he's lucky to be on an NFL roster! Who the hell do you think is gunna pick you up!? Maybe if Vick goes down for his dogfighting business sooner than later he could get some PT down in ATL or I can see him maybe in JAX or BAL. My advice would be: be glad you have a jersey on a NFL team and that you atleast have 1 knee.

What do you think about what I think and is there anything that you would have liked me to talk about? Please share....

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Thoughts on Billy Donovan and Write On Sports

First I would like to start off with that I am now writing for Write On Sports along with TSF. My first article is up and you can locate it here: Memphis resurgence?.

Now to my thoughts on Billy Donovan. This deal was very interesting, personally, I think he had to stay in the state of Florida or at least go to New York, where he's from and get the Knick job. He had to stay in Florida, so it would be the Miami Heat or Orlando Magic job or else he stays at Florida.

I can see why he went there in the first place, the Magic are a young team, not to mention star Dwight Howard, along with plenty of cap room. I definitely could have seen him one day leading the Magic to an NBA Championship.

When Donovan went back to a Florida press-conference I think that's what did it for him, he realized he can't believe why he is leaving. I am sure he thought to himself "how can I leave all of this behind". And that gave him second thoughts.

Donovan is a great coach and now that he will be back at Florida, I see him winning a couple of more championships within the next, let's say 10 years. Give him another one or two more years to rebuild and reload and watch out, the Gators will be back for more.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

NBA Finals Predictions

Are the Cavs ready for their biggest test yet?

Well it's NBA Finals time and this year we have the San Antonio Spurs vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers. We all know who the favorite is here but no one can leave out King James and Co.

Individually, the Spurs have a huge advantage. The only place where the Cavs have an advantage is with Lebron at SF and a slight advantage at center with Zyndrunas Illgauskas over Fabricio Oberto. But Tim Duncan makes it up at PF. Other than that, the Spurs have a huge advantage at the other three positions.
It will be tough for the Spurs to stop Lebron; it will be interesting to see how Bruce Bowen will play on Lebron. I think this is a very intriguing match up. But it doesn't matter who is guarding him, he's still going to put the points up and dominate you all over the floor.

Also, the Cavs have no one to stop Duncan. This series will be similar to the Spurs-Jazz series in the Western Conference Finals. Duncan absolutely dominated and no one will be able to stop him inside. Lebron single handily got the Cavs into the Finals, but the Spurs are just too much for the inexperienced Cavs. One of the best professional sports organizations will add yet another championship to it's resume when it is all said and done.

The Pick:
Spurs in 5

Monday, June 4, 2007

Some Summer Links and Videos

I'm leaving tomorrow after work to go up to UND to register for next year so I won't be back to post until Wed. night. Until then Stefan will be holding down the fort with posts on Mon. and Tue. Until then I will attempt to hold you over. I couldn't really decide if I wanted to post links or videos so with gas still over $3.00 I thought it best to make it a hybrid.

NBA Finals Predictions - [Complete Sports]
The Closest Thing Baseball has to Bobby Knight - [Diamond Hoggers]
Trying to Put LeBron's Game 5 Into Some Type of Context - [Point 23]
Some NBA Legacy Watching - [Pacifist Viking]
Re-Doing the Top 5 Picks in the 2003 NBA Draft - [A Price Above Bip Roberts]
I Love The Weak Ender - [The Hater Nation]
Playing the Percentages - [Seal Clubbers]
Gary Sheffield's Got a Theory - [Signal To Noise]
The 5th Pick - [One More Dying Quail]
Just All-Around Solid Reading - [Wasting Company Time]
Get Your Joe Paterno Chopper - [WBRS Sports Blog]

This is Priceless - I Love the Grenade Throw
You know he's been planning something like this for years because you just can't improvise something as beautiful as the Army crawl and grenade toss.

I Can't Believe I Missed Most of This Game
WOW....enjoy these highlights

Johnnie Morton Getting His Ass Kicked
Probably should have tried to play in the league a few more years instead of wasting his time for this.

I Kind of Want to Meet This Kid
I absolutely love the Dirk-a-licious bit. I always laugh when he says "Apples red delicious" and I'm not really sure why. Also the jabs he takes at Kobe are pretty good.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

If You Wanna Win Put Boobie In

So after my dislike for the NBA cost me to miss the regulation of Game 5 I could not risk a repeat. So, after work I headed over to a buddies house and tuned in for Game 6 in it's entirety, just hoping that LeBron could show even a sliver of the passion that he displayed in Game 5.

Although LeBron did not turn in a historically epic performance he played a good well-balanced game (20 pts. 14 reb. 8 asst. 2 stl 2 blk) and unflappable rookie Daniel "Boobie" Gibson was electric scoring 31 pts and 19 of those in the fourth quarter. I was rooting for Cleveland all along (I predicted Cavs in 7 but I'll take 6) and I couldn't be happier for the Cavs and the city of Cleveland. As the Cavs pack up their bags and head south for San Antonio they carry the whole city on their backs.

As the Finals begin Mr. Daniel Gibson will be trying to prove me wrong. My knack on the Cavs is that I've viewed it as the "LeBron Show". I've said throughout the playoffs that I thought the Cavs were 1 or maybe 2 players away from being a championship team. If Mr. Daniel Gibson can keep this up he can definitely prove me wrong.

I was so impressed with his play I think he may be able to solve a majority of the Cavs problems. If I were in charge I would start him over Hughes for sure. Now, I don't know if this kid has been great all year or if this was maybe a fluke because I don't really watch the NBA at all. I only watch sparingly in the playoffs. However, this kid looked amazing and I love his game. I think he's for real and that the Cavs should go ahead and trade Hughes in the offseason and try to get some worth for him because this kid deserves to start and I think he'll be a star. He'll be that counterpunch that LeBron needs. He'll be the Robin to LeBron's Batman. They seem to have good chemistry together. It's wierd because to me LeBron seems so much older than him when really he's only a year older. You see him hugging and talking to Gibson like a mentor does. That's probably a good thing if you're a Cavs fan, and if you're Daniel Gibson King James ain't a bad mentor.

I'll be rooting for Cleveland all the way in the Finals due to the fact that I hate the Spurs and I'm sick of them winning. I know it's going to be tough and I predict that the Spurs will indeed be crowned champs. I predict that Spurs win it in 6, however I'll be rooting for the Cavs wholeheartedly. And I honestly feel like with Hughes injured and being such a dud in the playoffs Cleveland should try and ride this and start Boobie. I feel like he gives them the best chance to win. However, all this might not matter if the Cavs don't figure out what they're going to do with Tim Duncan. I'm sure they'll try to double team him somehow, probably with Ilauskas and Gooden or something.

Some other things other than Gibson's shining performance and LeBrons solid game that really stuck out to me were:

-I don't like that patch of hair on the back of Drew Gooden's head at all. C'mon you're a Jayhawk!
-Tayshawn Prince is ice cold. The kid can't finish at all right now.
-Varejao for the Cavs might have big hair and be kind of slow but I like his game. He's a great hustler and plays really hard I think
-Sasha Pavlovic needs to tone it down a bit when he gets the ball and avoid lowering his shoulder and treating himself like a human batteringram everytime he touches the ball.
-The Cavs are probably a better team than people give them credit for -me included- due to the "LeBron Show" mindset.
-How absolutely disgusting could Texas have been if they had players staying all 4 years!? (Think Durant, Aldridge, Gibson, etc.)

Finals start Thursday night....Go Cavs! What stuck out to you about game 6? What are you predictions for this year's Finals and do you agree with me in that Gibson should start to give the Cavs the best shot at winning? And what is the Cavs' best bet to stop Tim Duncan?

Friday, June 1, 2007

TSF Interview with Jamestown Sun Sportswriter Kalen Ost

Well, here is The Sports Flow's first real (yes real) sports related interview, with Jamestown Sun Sportswriter Kalen Ost. Mr. Ost also has a blog of his own, which can found here: Ost's Posts.

Q1. How did you get into the career of sports journalism? Can you gradually describe the steps you took to become a full-time sportswriter at the Jamestown Sun.

Well, me getting into sports started when I was in college at Dickinson State working for their student newspaper. I conned my way into getting to ride on the band/fan bus down to the NAIA national basketball tournament and got full press credentials. We got our own media room with free food and a court side seat with up-to-the-minute stats on a computer. I was fairly impressed.

Unfortunately getting into sports wasn’t really an option at that point in Dickinson. Brian Alexander and Pete Alpern were locked into that department and so I took a job in the newsroom. But again I was able to work on the powers that be to allow me to travel to random sporting events that BA and PA couldn’t get to and basically got to learn from two very very solid workers of the craft.

The sports job opened in Jamestown when Mike Weber moved to the Bismarck Tribune and I jumped at the chance.

Q2. Can you give me a quick rundown of the average day in the life of the sports writer Kalen Ost?

Depending on if I’m going outside the office to cover something I’ll usually use the time from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to do random things like try and find some recent articles about the teams I’d be covering, or a roster or something, online from home.

I’m usually in the Sun office by 3 p.m. and I get started typing up anything that came in over the night/morning, be it a sports brief, local agate, bowling results, a random track meet, whatever. Depending on the day this can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to an hour.

If I’m not covering an event, I’m likely laying out pages, which I usually start doing after I get back from supper at about 6:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. We do three pages of sports at the Sun – one person does a front and a third page (for jumps and the agate) and another usually does the second page which tends to be our Class B roundups, national roundups and if we can’t get something on the front. Our deadlines aren’t too terribly early, but it is one of those things where it seems like we are always adding things to the pages after we proof them which is usually around 10 p.m. or so. Well…right now anyway. In the winter, I’m usually still working on Class B basketball roundups at 10 p.m.

If I had to guess I’m usually done and heading home by midnight. Some nights a little later, others a little earlier. In the end it all averages out to probably midnight. Get home, chase my cats around for a little bit, crawl into bed and maybe watch some TV and am usually asleep before 1 a.m.

Q3. Unlike most people, watching and covering sports is your job. Do you ever have to remind yourself that you get paid to cover what the majority of people consider to be entertainment?

Generally no. Sporting events are serious stuff, a lot of people care about what goes on and if you treat it with anything less than what it deserves, you’ll just produce crap for copy. Writing a story can either be really easy or really hard and generally the difference is how much you know about what is going on. That isn’t to say that you have to be an expert in the sport.

Take soccer for instance. I don’t get soccer. I suppose I don’t mind watching it live, but it isn’t like I would be there if it wasn’t for work. So with that said, it probably should be fairly hard for me to put anything together on it. But once you get a feel for the team(s) you are covering, it all just falls into place. Did the team have trouble scoring – why or why not? Did the goalie give up any goals? How does this game affect the standings? If I didn’t take it seriously when I was there, someone else probably would, and they would probably have my job. And then I would be poorer than I am now.

Q4. What local sports do you cover and which do you enjoy the most and why?

My official title is Class B reporter. But I suppose my unofficial title is that of a floater. I just kind of move from area to area (be it Class B, Jamestown College, Jamestown High School) and help out where I’m needed and do whatever. I prefer it to just having one thing I cover every day – keeps it fresh, keeps me on my toes.

Tough to say what I enjoy the most, really. If I had to narrow down a sport, it would either be baseball or football. Baseball, to me anyway, is fairly easy to write because everything is set out in front of you in a very concrete way and if you have some stats, you are good to go.

Football has a few more moving parts on the field, and I have a tendency to get overwhelmed by what I could write about. But once I decide on something I generally like writing about it.

Q5. Can you describe the typical routine that a sports journalist performs when covering an event? How does a journalist decide what plays take precedent over others? There are turning points in games that are obvious to the average fan, but how does a journalist dig deep within games to find material that isn't as obvious?

Honestly, it depends on how good you are and your familiarity with the team you are covering. Take a couple of years ago when PBK played May-Port in the opening round of the state B basketball tournament. The game was decided by eight points or so, as MPCG went on to win. PBK led most of the first half and basically only was outplayed for about 4 minutes to start the third quarter. But within that, there was a sequence in which the Patriots’ point guard had an assist, a steal, and a key offensive rebound which swung momentum to MPCG for just a few moments and PBK wasn’t ever quite able to recover. PBK wasn’t used to playing from behind, they went undefeated through the regular season and played more wide-open, and while they did pretty well with controlled, methodical possessions early in the game, that one short stretch proved to be their undoing for the whole game.

If I hadn’t watched PBK for something like 10 games that season I probably wouldn’t have felt comfortable enough with their team to make that assessment, and if I hadn’t been talking to the Herald writer, Greg DeVillers, who had watched MPCG a couple of times I probably wouldn’t have been comfortable to make the assessment of MCPG’s style. But, if you feel like what you are saying is a credible statement, and you feel like you know what you are talking about, I don’t know…it just sort of works.

Q6. Would you ever consider taking a job at another newspaper? If so, is there a place that you would specifically prefer?

I’d probably consider working at another paper, but it has to be a right-time, right-place kind of thing. My wife and I are kind of settled into J-town right now and it would take a pretty fantastic offer to dynamite me out of there. In a vacuum, if I could just go anywhere and cover anything, I’d probably try and settle in with either a small-market pro team or a middle-tier Division I college team. Someplace where you are going to see some pretty good athletes and teams but you aren’t going to have to put up with drama and what-not on a day-to-day basis.

Q7. So you are a Milwaukee Brewers fan… Why do you think your Brewers have been in such a funk lately and what do you think they need to do to get things going again?

I think probably the first thing they need to do is to start playing some teams from the NL Central again. In all seriousness, I think the pitching staff is stable as long as Sheets is healthy so basically the problems lie in the offense.

Specifically with certain players. Weeks and his .250 average just isn’t going to get it done out of the leadoff spot. JJ is solid. Prince is solid. The Jenks/Mench platoon is bang for the buck. Bill Hall has half the home runs he had at this point in the season last year. The platoon of Counsell and Graffanino, whoever dreamed up that big-bopping-duo should probably be fired.

But I really disagree with bringing up Ryan Braun and batting him in the 3-hole from day 1 as a replacement. They should have put him in the No. 7 hole for a little bit and just let him soak in the difference between AAA and MLB pitching.

Personally, I think that is too much pressure for a rookie. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d rather play a guy in a position that fits his abilities instead of demanding his abilities fit the position he’s playing. I think rookies should get a little bit of the white-glove treatment initially before you bring the hammer down on them.

If the offense could produce a run or two more a game, the starting rotation takes care of the first 2/3 of the game and then you go to the shutdown stuff of Matty Wise, Turnbow and Cordero and basically that turns into a 95-win season.

I would like to thank Mr. Ost for his time, he's always busy especially with all the state high school tournaments going on lately.