Solid sports Halloween as well, Week 8 of the NFL with the Patriots vs. Randy Moss, Brett Favre, AP, and the Minnesota Vikings. Also Game 4 of the World Series from Texas where the Giants are up 2-1 over the Rangers.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
- Can you imagine if you had put your mortgage payment on the over for runs scored? You almost had to think it might happen given all the hype on this pitching matchup. And let's face it, none of the "marquee" pitching matchups have really lived up to the hype. Cliff Lee dominated David Price both times; Halladay and Lincecum both seemed mortal at times in their two tilts; Sabathia never got a chance to face off against Lee, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway. The best pitchers duel of the postseason came in Game 1 of the NLDS between Lincecum and Lowe, one that did not come with all the festive pre-game hype as the others, and Lowe didn't even make it out of the 6th.
- Speaking of Lee, the Giants better win this Series as quickly as possible. No one does that to Cliff Lee and lives to tell about it. You can bet your ass he's coming back two more times in this Series. And he will bring the Giants back to Earth.
- Speaking of Lincecum, I've never seen someone let the moment get too big for him like he did on Wednesday night. Runners on 1st and 3rd in the top of the 1st, pitching at home with an entire city behind you, and he fields a slow roller back to him and has the runner dead between 3rd and home. With Uribe calling for the ball, Lincecum froze like a deer in headlights. Renteria came running over to back up the play, which is standard practice, and Lincecum must have thought he was the trailing runner because he ran the guy back to 3rd as if he could tag them both and get an out. Unfortunately Renteria plays for his team. Get your mind right, dude.
- Staying on Lincecum, the guy had a pretty pedestrian outing. Didn't make it out of the 6th inning, gave up 4 runs and looked shaky all night. Yet when Bochy pulled him and went to the bullpen, the Giants fans gave him a standing ovation. Really? That's that not even a quality start. My buddy Kevin made a great point when I texted this to him: "If that's Boston, New York or Philadelphia, he gets booed."
I don't care if he left with a lead; the only reason they were winning is because the Giants hitters got lucky against Lee. If that's vintage Lee out there, that game was over in the first inning. Lincecum was lucky his team even had a chance to win with that poor outing. This just goes to show how uneducated and desperate this city is for a championship. They'll cheer for moral victories. Champions don't do that.
- Vladimir Guerrero still has a freakin rocket for an arm. Some of the throws he made from the outfield were downright scary. The guy has a rocket launcher. Too bad he's trying to field the ball with a wooden paddle. Some of those errors were egregious. No wonder he got benched in Game 2 via David Murphy - yes, the player the Red Sox packaged in that Eric Gagne deal. Worked out alright for Murph, didn't it?
- Joe Buck makes me ill. Watch his HBO show "Joe Buck Live", that was canceled quickly, by the way, and you'll realize why I hate this man. He might the most arrogant, pompous asshole in broadcasting. What bothers me the most is when they "welcome you into the booth" and he's lounging back in his chair with his arms on the arm rest and his hands up by his face. It just oozes arrogance. Then while McCarver is talking he'll periodically looked at the camera and crack this half hearted smile as if he's trying to engage viewers. Wait till your partner is done talking. It's awkward when you do that.
- McCarver made the most asinine comment in the top of the 9th. The Rangers are obviously getting smoked but they scored a run to pull within 6 or 7. Guys in the dugout were up high fiving and greeting the runner that had just scored. McCarver chimes in with how he doesn't understand why the Rangers would be doing that. The Sac Fly got the run in, sure, but they now have two outs and are still trailing by an assload of runs. Well what are they supposed to do, Tim? Ignore the friggin guy? It's important for them to keep morale up because they need to find some sort silver lining that can carry them into Game 2. I thought this was the dumbest thing for him to weigh in on. Talk about something else.
- My roommates and I played a couple hours of Big Buck Hunter on the Wii after the game. At one point I thought it must be midnight. Instead, it was 9:15pm. That's the luxury of living on the West Coast. After a primetime game you can actually do other things instead of watching the game in bed and wondering if you'll be able to stay awake until the end. And for the record, Big Buck Hunter might be the best game ever. I am the new hunter hero.
- Matt Cain is an ugly dude.
- What was up with the pre-game introductions for the Rangers? I had to sit there and listen to them tell us what their nicknames were (don't care), who their favorite players were growing up (still don't care), and what Benjie Molina's favorite foods are (kind of interested). Although I did enjoy when it got to CJ Wilson and he hit us with, "CJ Wilson...Pitcher................"
He just left FOX hanging. Well done.
- When Ian Kinsler is healthy he's the second best second baseman in the game. Cano is untouchable, but Kinsler is definitely better than Pedroia (again, when healthy). The guy can hit for average, more power, and can run up a shitstorm. That ball he hit off the top of the wall was crushed. It's amazing it could actually carom off of that backwards. I guess that was an ominous sign for the Rangers last night. Almost telling them no matter what you do, you will NOT score tonight.
- CJ Wilson is solid, but I'm fully convinced he asked his way out of that game last night. Try and look at it from his perspective. You're carrying a shutout into the 7th inning against a team that hit the crap out of one of the best post season pitchers of all time the night before. You just spiked a 3-2 curveball and now have a base runner on first. It's a 1-0 game. If I complain about a little irritation on my finger and sell it as a blister, I can get taken out and leave it in the hands of the bullpen. Even if that run scores and we lose the game, I can still sit there and talk about how I pitched into the 7th, only gave up 2 runs and my offense choked. If we win, I'll be heralded as a stud keeping my team in it and giving us a chance while the offense scraped and clawed its way back into the game. His first World Series start, this was a win/win move for him. He was afraid of what was about to happen to him, so he let Darren Oliver take the bullet for him. Poor guy had to warm up on the mound in front of 40,000 people, all watching you and pressuring you to hurry the f up and get loose already. Far different from tossing a few balls in the bullpen at your leisure while no one notices you're even up. That sucks.
- I mentioned earlier how Lincecum let Game 1 get the best of him. Well Derek Holland let life get the best of him last night. I'm not sure we will ever see someone let the moment get too big for him like Holland did last night. This had Rick Ankiel written all over it. Holland might want to grab a bat and start taking some swings. And find a shrink. That was incredible. For 11 pitches he couldn't throw a strike, nor even come close. Then he finally dots the zone, and comes back with a belt high 3-1 fastball. Huff easily could have hit that ball out, but instead he takes it and the umpire gives one of the biggest squeeze jobs ever. FOX showed a replay with the strike zone up and it was actually a strike. As an umpire, a) how do you miss that? b) how do you not, as a human being, give Holland anything remotely close, especially a pitch like that? I'll be shocked if he pitches again in this series.
- The Rangers bullpen is terrible. Joe Buck referred to them as "talented, but young" last night. That's a nice way of saying the bullpen sucks and is melting in front of our eyes under the spotlight.
- Who looks more miserable through the first two games: Nolan Ryan or Jon Daniels? Push.
- Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are a combined 2 for 17 in the World Series. Something tells me they're about to bust out in a big way.
- During Game 6 of the NLCS, Jonathan Sanchez, the Giants' Game 3 starter, hit Chase Utley with a pitch. Utley tossed the ball back at Sanchez and words were exchanged before the benches cleared. No one except Utley knows if his toss back to Sanchez was malicious or not, but nonetheless it was a classic case of a veteran employing the ultimate gamesmanship on a hot-headed postseason novice. Regardless, Sanchez lost his shit and had an epic meltdown.
A word to the wise for Sanchez: Take a look at some of the guys in the Rangers lineup. They're down 2-0 and most likely pretty angry. If you hit them and/or cop an attitude like you did to the Phillies you will die on the field in front of a national audience. Just think about that.
- Giants fans gave Cain a standing ovation when he got pulled in the 8th last night. I guess if you give everyone a standing ovation, you're bound to get one right from time to time. Well done.
- Javier Lopez is filthy. I always thought so when he was with the Red Sox. Guy throws 87 from the ground across the zone. Seems almost impossible for a left handed hitter to handle. He's been huge for this bullpen and could definitely be an Achilles heel for the Rangers late in ball games, especially if Hamilton is coming up in a big spot.
- My buddy Mike was here in SF for Games 1 and 2 for his company gathering footage. He posted a status update on Facebook last night that the fans were in the streets celebrating like they just won the World Series, and reminding them it's a Best-of-7 series. He couldn't be more right. I go back to the fans giving Lincecum a standing ovation after a half-ass outing. They're clueless, uneducated and uber excited. No wonder every article I've read is about how fans have been tortured and crushed time and time again. It's because they lose perspective so easily and get ahead of themselves way too easily. The Rangers are a great offense returning home for 3 games in a hitters ballpark. And they have Cliff Lee. This series could easily come back here with the Rangers leading 3-2 and only a win away from winning the Series. And let's not forget, the Giants were 8 outs away from a title in Game 6, 2002. It's never over until you've actually won a fourth game. Relax. You could easily lose this series.
I'll be back with more thoughts after Game 3 tomorrow night. Go Rangers.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Rich Reviews is back with a special Halloween Edition. I recently saw the direct-to-DVD film Trick ‘r Treat. It stars Dylan Baker (Dr. Connors in the Spidermans) and Anna Paquin (True Blood and X-Men). First, a little back story. The movie was made back in 2007 and scheduled for a Halloween release. However, Saw IV was opening the same time, from a different production company and they feared getting smoked at the Box Office.
The idea then became to move it to an October 2008 release, but that also didn’t happen. Much of the production team on Trick ‘r Treat, including producer Bryan Singer, who directed Superman Returns worked on the Man of Steel sequel, which was a failure. This may have been another reason that Warner Bros. decided to avoid a wide release, or a theatrical release all together.
So you may have been as surprised as me to see previews on TV for Trick ‘r Treat this month and have the commercial end with “Now Available on DVD.” I had never heard of it, it had a couple major movie stars, and they seem to release a lot of horror movie junk, so what was the deal? I did 2 minutes of research and that’s what I found.
As for the film itself, Baker plays a single dad who is a high school principal and a… serial killer. Paquin plays a college student virgin, there’s some kids who play a horrible prank, a young couple, a weird old man who lives alone (Brian Cox), and this little creep kid/man that seems to be everywhere (pictured above). Instead of focusing on just 1 story they bounce around to about 5 and try to have them overlap when they can with characters from other stories in the background here and there.
There are some good ideas within the stories, but for the most part it just doesn’t work. I was confused at parts, and it seemed to either over explain certain things or completely under explain them.
Best part? The run time, only 82 minutes. That’s like a long episode of The Wire, expect no where near as good. There were some really good death scenes… and I’m still talking about The Wire.
Trick ‘r Treat did bring some uniqueness which is very rare for horror, and since it was less than an hour and a half, I’m not pissed off that I sat through it. Ultimately they did make the right decision by not putting it in theatres. It’s not worth that, probably not worth renting (can you still rent movies?), I did Netflix it, but you might not want to take up the top spot in the queue with it. If it comes on TV next Halloween and you have nothing to do, I mean nothing, there’s no MLB playoffs, NFL, college football, NBA opening week, etc., then feel free to give it a watch and let me know what you think.
In the end Trick ‘r Treat was a lot more Trick than Treat.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Eastern Conference Finish:
1. Miami Heat
2. Orlando Magic
3. Boston Celtics
4. Chicago Bulls
5. Atlanta Hawks
6. Milwaukee Bucks
7. Charlotte Bobcats
8. Indiana Pacers
Heat over Celtics
Western Conference Finish:
1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Utah Jazz
4. Dallas Mavericks
5. Portland Trail Blazers
6. San Antonio Spurs
7. Houston Rockets
8. Los Angeles Clippers
Thunder over Lakers
Finals: Thunder over Heat
MVP: Kevin Durant, Thunder
6th Man: Jason Terry, Mavericks
D-Player: Dwight Howard, Magic
Most Improved: Jrue Holiday, 76ers
Rookie: Blake Griffin, Clippers
All-Rookie 1st Team:
Blake Griffin, Clippers
John Wall, Wizards
DeMarcus Cousins, Kings
Landry Fields, Knicks
Jordan Crawford, Hawks
All-Rookie 2nd Team:
Evan Turner, 76ers
Wes Johnson, T-Wolves
Derrick Caracter, Lakers
Xavier Henry, Grizzlies
Greg Monroe, Pistons
All-NBA 1st Team:
Kobe Bryant, Lakers
Deron Williams, Jazz
Kevin Durant, Thunder
LeBron James, Heat
Dwight Howard, Magic
All-NBA 2nd Team:
Rajon Rondo, Celtics
Dwyane Wade, Heat
Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
Paul Pierce, Celtics
Pau Gasol, Lakers
All-NBA 3rd Team:
Derrick Rose, Bulls
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets
Tim Duncan, Spurs
Al Jefferson, Jazz
Enjoy what should be a great NBA season.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
13. Psycho (1960)
12. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
10. Candyman (1992)
9. Scream (1996)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
When the Celtics finished 50-32 and in 4th place in the Eastern Conference last year, no one thought they would be just minutes away from winning their 2nd championship in 3 years. They’re too old. They won’t be able to compete with LeBron’s Cavs, Dwight’s Magic, or certainly
Depth. This team, since 2007-2008 has always had the best or second best starting lineup in the NBA. Rondo-Ray-Pierce-KG-Perk have never lost a playoff series when starting together, as Doc likes to point out. But they’re second unit has never been confused with the league’s best bench mob.
Sure they have gotten great contributions from the likes of James Posey, P.J. Brown, Glen Davis, Eddie House, Rasheed Wallace, and Nate Robinson since the Big 3 has been here, but consistent great play from the subs has been elusive.
The loss of Kendrick Perkins for perhaps half the season, was an obvious concern for this team. How would they fill the void? Danny Ainge and the front office not only made sure they replaced Perk, but also the retiring Rasheed Wallace, making the decision to bring in extra pieces and not merely wait for Perk to return from knee surgery and rehab.
In addition to the now Big 4 of Rondo-Ray-Pierce-KG, the C’s have added Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal, and 2008 2nd round pick, Turkish center Semih Erden to grab rebounds, bang bodies, and do the ugly stuff.
The team re-signed Glen Davis, Nate Robinson, and Marques Daniels, brought back Delonte West, brought in Von Wafer and drafted Avery Bradley and Luke Harongody. It was a busy off season for the Celtics, not one where they were just happy to win the East and play the Lakers close.
Obviously just having depth is not enough to win an NBA title. The C’s still have their star-power as well. Paul Pierce, and maybe I am a little biased here, is a Top 10 player in the league. Ray Allen is a Top 5 shooter, and Kevin Garnett can still anchor a defense and score on the majority of bigs in the league.
As for Rajon Rondo? After getting cut from the World Championship team… I mean leaving because of a sick relative… he is out to prove a point. He has always played well against the biggest name PGs in the league, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, etc., but now you have to add all the players who won Gold instead of him, Russell Westbrook, Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, and most notably Bulls PG Derrick Rose.
I expect a monster season from Rondo to go along with more of the same from the rest of the starting lineup and a much improved bench, which of course should allow KG to not have to play crazy minutes in the regular season.
The Celtics also do not possess any major weaknesses that other clubs, specifically the Heat, Magic, Thunder, and Lakers can exploit. Rebounding was an issue last season, (25th in rebounding differential), but the additions they have made should help solve that problem.
The C’s have the depth, star-power, and experience to win the NBA title this season. They also know, despite whatever there contracts say, this might be the last chance.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The Pats have moved on from the 2nd best WR in the history of football. Randy Moss is in the final year of his 3yr/$27 million deal, and the trade between New England and Minnesota is all but complete. The Patriots will receive a 3rd round pick in 2011.
Welker, Tate, Edelman, Hernandez, Gronkowski, Slater combined: 22
This is similar, but different, to when the Red Sox dealt Manny Ramirez. Sure the locker room might be better (I'm not convinced Moss was a huge disruption), but your on-field talent is comically weaken.
I had the Pats winning the AFC East with Moss. Now? They will be lucky to win the Wild Card. The defense sucks and the offense is now barely above average.
Celtics and Bruins coming right up!