Sunday, December 11, 2005

Random West Coast Thoughts

by SonDog

In San Francisco, the Giants' signing of free-agent Mark Sweeney (2 years, $1.8 million) generated a pretty good buzz, in part because it signaled the end of the J.T. Snow era at first base. Here's my question though: In an era when inconsistent middle relievers like Kyle Farnsworth, Bobby Howry and Scott Eyre are averaging over $4 million per season; how bad do you have to be to average less than $1 million a year? Sweeney is going to average $900k per season to be a backup at first base and the corner outfield positions. By no means should his signing have the words "significant" or "upgrade" attached to anything.

So, head case Ron Artest wants out of Indiana, huh? The Kings seem inclined to deal Peja Stojakovic, huh? OH, C'MON!!! This trade has made too much sense over the last three years for it not to happen. It's been talked about in the national sports pages as a possibility more than any other Kings trade in recent history. Rumors in the past were that Larry Bird was unwilling to part with Artest for Peja. And that was even AFTER Artest went Mortal Kombat-style on an innocent fan in Detroit. Now, with Artest asking to be traded, I'm betting that Kings GM Geoff Petrie is on the phone with Bird as I'm typing this. One thought though: How crazy do you think the team party in Vegas will be with Artest on the roster? I mean, seriously, do not take your loved ones anywhere near Sin City when that thing goes down. I can just see Artest leaping from the blackjack table to attack an innocent 7-year-old who accidentally kicked the back of his chair during a losing streak. The Maloof's may have to wheel that guy out of the Palms in a straight-jacket. I'm telling you, he is one scary dude.

This gives you a pretty good indication of how Ron Artest plays defense.

Were the season to end today, the 49ers would have the third pick in the April NFL draft, which is two picks too low for the draft rights to a guy who I'm told is the reincarnation of Gayle Sayers. The New Year's Eve game against Houston (1-11) could very well determine who gets the number 1 pick, unless the Jets and Packers keep deciding to channel the Arizona Cardinals of the 1990s each week. My question for this crap-fest is: Will the NFL have security advisors on hand to make sure each team doesn't intentionally blow it? Can't you see Dom Capers on the sideline calling for nothing but running plays on third and long? David Carr dropping back to pass and looking off his receivers so he can intentionally throw to the Niners' defensive backs? And if you're Alex Smith, and you know you're surrounded by a bunch of guys who would struggle to make a CFL roster, wouldn't you "accidentally" fumble about 32 snaps and just chalk it up to not having Jeremy Newberry under center? I lay awake at night thinking about this stuff.

Remember hockey? That funny Canadian sport played on ice? Apparently, the San Jose Sharks robbed the Boston Bruins of Joe Thornton a couple of weeks ago, and now the team is on fire. I read a little capsule about this in the USA Today over the weekend, so I just wanted to remind people that they are indeed still playing this sport. And, there are still teams in cities like Nashville, Atlanta and Columbus. And, the defending Stanley Cup champions are the Tampa Bay Lightning. It all makes perfect sense.

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