Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: Post July 4th edition

I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July.  I personally got the ole grill fired up and tried to fight through the heat to utilize it.  Standing around hot coals in mid 90s heat, even without humidity, is not exactly the most comfortable of scenarios.  The beer was very cold, and the burgers still ended up mighty tasty, so it worked out all right in the end.

Today in the bag I'm going to touch on labor issues, set up conclusion of the first half for both the Sox and Rox, and briefly mention the final vote.

Click below for the bag...

Lockouts galore -  Much like sausages and laws, no one really wants to think about what goes on behind the scenes to get their favorite teams onto the playing field.  The ugly side of sports is that it is indeed a business, and, as if there was any doubt, this summer has painfully driven that point home.  I don't buy that these actions will ever truly alienate fans, as essentially we need this shit, but it does piss me off to no end that they always wait till the end of a CBA to really address inherent problems.

Both the NFL and the NBA currently find themselves in the midst of painful labor lockouts.  The NFL work stoppage has been going on for more than 100 days at this point as it slogs through the federal court system and tries the countries collective patience.  The NBA has rather recently jumped onto the lockout bandwagon, as commissioner David Stern rather gleefully locked the players out seemingly seconds after the final pick of this years NBA draft.

The NBA lockout I can almost guarantee will end in a protracted work stoppage. The owners are claiming a ridiculous 22 of 30 teams lost money last season, to the tune of over $300 million, which is more than enough impetus to halt play until the league is reworked in favor of ownership.  (I don't mean to come out and say that they're lying, but it's pretty easy to cook the books in order to inflame the numbers.)  Barring the players caving early, I fully expect chunks of the 2011-12 NBA season to end up lost to this mess.  The funny thing is, I don't necessarily blame the NBA for wanting to fix their business model.  The off-season routinely brings massive guaranteed contracts to extremely average talent.  Any system that nets Rashard Lewis $110 million over 6 years needs fixing.

With the NFL I've always had the sense that they're just posturing with no real intention of impacting the coming season.  There's just too much money on the table for me to buy the fact that the regular season is in any real jeopardy.  More to the point, the owners need the full slate of preseason games to maximize profitability in 2011.  As the calendar has flipped closer to the mid-July cutoff for a full pre and regular season to be playable the two sides have continually found ways to meet outside of court.  There's momentum towards a deal at this point, and I fully expect for there to be a resolution in the next 7-10 days.   Expect a full season, including the stupid, yet profit-yielding, full preseason schedule, to play this fall. 

The end of the first half - The biggest thing I took away from the Sox/Rox series last week is that they were two teams of comparable talent headed in opposite directions. 

My Sox are seemingly headed in the right direction, and are at least no longer in their continuous drunken stupor.  They are still incapable of scoring a runner from 3rd when they need to, but somehow are finding a way to win enough ball games to crawl back to .500.  Despite the prospect of a first half ending sweep at the hands of the Twins being on tap for this weekend, I'm reasonably confident that my boys can fein respectability for at least one more month before collapsing all together in late August.  The collective incompetence of the Indians and Tigers should keep the Sox in it for a while, at least.  Considering the fact that I was comparing this club to an incapacitating disease not two months ago, this is an improvement.
Oh, so this is what winning feels like.  From: the trib
The Rox, unfortunately, are decidedly headed the other direction.  With the season ending injury to pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, a stupid head-long dash into a wall sidelining CarGo, and the minor injury to Tulo, all 3 of the Rox high-profile contracts from this past offseason have found their way into the injury list this week.  That combined with a dreadful 2 months of play makes me want to just scrap the season entirely, and begin playing for next year. 
The Rox seem cursed at this point; injuries to Tulo, Cargo, and DLR certainly aren't helping.  From: the Post
Barring a shocking turnabout in play, this Rockies team is headed nowhere quickly, and tweak moves like bringing the aging Mark Ellis in won't help.  The biggest problem has, once again, been the pitching (the Rox are 3rd from bottom in the NL), and the front office may need to spend yet again to shore it up.  Or get back to the black magic that had Ubaldo pitching so well early-on last season...

Paulie and Todd in the All-Star Final Vote - Coincidentally, despite team-wide struggles in the first half, both of my favorite baseball teams have their respective first basemen in this year's All-Star final vote.  Considering that Tulo could end up missing the game because of the injury he suffered last night in Atlanta, it may behoove Rockies Nation to get-to-clicking in order to avoid a Rock-less All-Star Game.  Meanwhile, my fellow Sox fans and I have been busy in voting for our beloved Captain Paulie, as he currently leads the AL race.  Both guys are plenty deserving, both for their current season performance, and for what they've meant to their teams over the past decade-plus.
With your help both Captain Paulie and Toddy Franchise can head to Arizona.
I would still appreciate it if all of you Rockies fans, while rushing to vote for Todd, happened to vote for Paul as well.  I will of course reciprocate and send a bunch of votes towards the embodiment of the Rockies franchise.

Happy Monday!


JT said...

So that walkoff balk didn't get your hopes up?

I kinda hope the NBA loses a season, if for no other reason than to make Lebron James lose a year of his career.

RumblinBuff said...

Usually a walkoff balk is kind of obvious, but I had to watch the video 8 times last night before I realized it was the twitch/lean before he removed his foot that did him in. Not for nothing, but it took that and a miracle Adam Dunn homerun to beat the Royals... at home... with Buehrle pitching. We're doomed.

Wouldn't some version of Edwin Jackson for a Rockies hitter make sense? Can Seth Smith play 3rd at all?

JT said...

Smith has been one of our best hitters this year. And with Tulo and Cargo out, I'm not certain we can afford to lose him.

~Tuba John