Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Former Timberwolves player, has died at age 25. His car collided with a frieght train, killing him instantly.
I always liked Eddie, and was sad when we waved him. His 7 of 15 from three point range against philly still ranks as one of the best performances I have ever watched.
Troubled by alcohol and drugs throughout his short career, Eddie seemed to have found a peace and a home with the Timberwolves in 04. Inconsistancy and injugy kept him from being resigned, and he ended up leaving the NBA during the 06-07 season.
He was a former seventh overall pick, a tenacious shot blocker, and one of the better undersized rebounders in the league.
He will be missed.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
CASTAWAY CLUB TRIATHLON
I knew it was going to be a bad day, but I did not know how bad until I got to the lake.
Early in the day, the wind was coming in, bringing all the cold air August has in it. The temperature at race time was 55 degrees. Yeah. The lake had rollers on it, from the up to 20 miles per hour winds. We were in the fourth wave, so we had about 10 minutes to wait from the time the forst swimmers got in the water. In that time, the rollers went to white caps.
To add to that, I thought this race would be shorter than the last. I was told it would only be a 600m swim, not the 800m of last event. It was 800m. The bike was the same distance, as was the run. So, basically, it was like running the Paul Bunyan all over again, only in the rain and wind. (it started raining while I was biking)
Ben, another triathlete from Bemidji, was targeting a time of 1:08. Right before the swim, he said we could go ahead and add 10 minutes to our target times. He was pretty close, he ended up at 1:19:17.
If I added ten minutes to my target, I would have been over the time in the Bemidji tri. I was not willing to do that. I NEEDED to do better.
On the swim, I was just trying to to drown. I am not a good enough swimmer to fight whitecaps, so I did not try. I ended up going almost two minutes slower. I really thought that was it, and I would just suck the rest of the race.
But I remembered why I can to tri-I am a pretty good biker. Even with 20mph winds, I thought I could do some damage on the bike. My time at the Paul Bunyan was 37:58. For the same distance (just over 11 miles) on this race, with quite a few more hills, I put in 35:13. That balanced my porr swim, and got me right back on track.
I had discussed earlier that the run was not hard, but the first half mile killed me last time. I was hardly moving at a fast walkers pace, even though my legs were moving fast. The problem was I was not striding, and I was just letting my legs fall, hard. This time I focues on striding out, right from the gate. It worked. Old time: a horrid 27:43. New time, a 7:39 mile, 22:56. The last mile was just over 7 minutes on my watch.
My total time last time was 1:27:53. This time I put in 1:24:23! 3:30 faster, in much worse conditions, on a much harder, hillier course. I can only wonder what my time would have been on a calm day. Everyone else would have done better, too, but honsetly I am competing against my self for now.
Still, I am happy with 3 and a half minutes. I put a lot more into this one, and it showed. If I can get some calm water for the next one, I imagine my swim time will reflect that, as well.
I am thinking about trying one more this summer, but it will depend on how I feel mid-week. For now, this has been a good first season, and I look forward to an off-season of swim training (with a coach) and improving that run time (the goal is 21 flat, with a 33 bike).
Now here are some pictures:
Friday, August 17, 2007
Castaway Club Triathlon
Tomorrow at 8 am I will run my second triathlon.
There will be 133 racers in my event.
My last race time was 1:27:53. (47th)
I am predicting 1:18:30 for this one.
That would give me (last year) 31st of 96.
I am shooting for 1:16:30.
That would give me (last year) 27th of 96.
The forecast calls for storms.
That is all the dry data I can give you. Hopefully, within the next couple days, I will be updating this with my actual results, and some pictures.
Wish me luck.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
BIG SPORTS POST
I know that means most of you will just skip this, but hey, try to read through it, and get some valuable water-cooler chatter (do people actually talk around water coolers anymore? Do they even CALL them water coolers anymore?)
PART I: AN OPEN LETTER TO RORY SABBATINI
As legal council for every single athlete who does something stupid (and as such deserves mention on this blog) I have to advise you to cease and desist all comments concerning Tiger Woods. It is never a sound idea to call him out in the media, and by saying he was "As beatable as he has ever been" and "I like the new Tiger" you just lit a fire you will not be able to put out for a very, very long time.
Please use the Stephen Ames
debacle as proof of what such stupid, off-the-cuff comments can do to the number one golfer in the world. And please, do a little research before flying off again.
Maybe you could reference his three tour wins this year, matching your career total. Or his 8 of 12 top ten finishes. Or his World number one ranking, to go with his PGA leading earnings.
Or, you could just look back at the final day the two of you put in today at the Bridgestone Invitational.
You could watch how you started the day 4 under; one shot ahead of Tiger, and in the final pairing with him. You could watch as the rain, and your poor play, washed you all the way down to even par, and seemed to strengthen Tiger to the only under-par score of the tourney (an impressive 8 under).
You could see how he kept his composure throughout the day, making every singe putt under 8 feet, and storming through a very tough course while you imploded, eventually lashing out at a fan who asked you "Hey Rory, still think Tiger is beatable?"
But whatever you choose to do, please, for all of us, do it in silence. If ever anyone wants to have a chance to beat Tiger, and prove you right, they will have to have your cooperation in this matter. Your silence, your lack of soundbites, could easily contribute to someone else finally getting the big payday. We understand how hard that is for you, a self proclaimed "say it like it is guy". WE understand how hard it is to live in his shadow. Trust us, we understand. But talking, it turns out, is not your strong suit.
Neither, it seems, is playing golf.
PART II: THE KG POST
I have been putting this one off for awhile, trying to decide what I really thought of the trade. Here is the raw data:
Boston got Kevin Garnett
2 first round draft picks
That makes this the biggest trade for a single player (7 players) in the history of the NBA. And Kevin Garnett, I guarantee, is worth it.
The Celtics now have three superstar starters in KG, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. They also have, in those three players, three very versatile, easily coached, true ballers. Some might say they have little else on the team, and I agree. But...
SO THE HELL WHAT? Those three players are good enough to get you to the Eastern Finals. Seriously. Anyone who writes anything else is just a hater, or does not understand the game of basketball. I am not talking about ANY three superstars, which, it could be argued, would lead to bad chemistry. I am talking about THE most unselfish Forward to ever play the game, and a star who took a back seat to Antoine Walker.
But that's just talk. Let's look back to the raw data. Last year, as a team, Boston took almost 79 shot attempts a game. Paul Pierce took 18 of those. That leaves 60 shots for the rest of the team (a team which was not very good). KG, while playing for the Wolves last year, took 17. Ray Allen, also on a bad team, took 21. That means that the three of them, while trying to carry bad teams, took a combined 56 shots. That is 70% of the shot total for the Celtics last year. If Allen and KG both go back down to their career averages (likely, as they will not have to take every shot to win a game), that total is 50, or 63% of the shots available.
The Celtics scored 96 points per game last year. Assuming THAT stays the same, these guys will be responsible for 77% of the points (74 ppg). I think we can assume someones numbers are going to drop off (Pierce, probably), so that number is more like 70%. That means they are taking 63% of the shots and contributing 70% of the point totals. I don't know what's wrong with that, do you?
Fuzzy math aside, these three all contribute in different ways, and they all share well. Allen is a spot up shooter, KG is a mid range to back-to-basket player, and rebound shooter, and Pierce is a slasher/driver. The Spurs seem to do well enough with the same combo. And the truth is, most teams employ a similar mix. The difference is most teams do not have this level of talent at all three spots.
This will only be good for Boston, as each player will have the benefit of single coverage at times, and each player will singlehandedly win games for the team.
Now, the hard part is being a Timberwolves fan.
See, we lost a great player. The thing is, we never built around him, and we were always handcuffed by his salary. This move solves the salary problem for years to come.
And that might be my worry. We got back an OK player in Jefferson. I am not yet sold on Green, as a think he needs to develop an all-around game, and not just fly to the hoop all the time. He could also use some defense. Telfair and Gomes were throw-ins. One of them will be cut before the season begins. Ratliff will actually give us a few quality bench minutes, and at the end of the season we can take his 14 million off the books.
On paper, that looks like an OK. If Jefferson becomes what NBA scouts say he can become, we get another 20-10 guy back for KG. WE have the potential to sing a good mid level guy, and with two high draft picks we should get at least one serviceable player.
Add that to our core group of youngsters, and the future is supposed to look bright. Only, we have to make sure we keep this future. We will have about 20 million to resign Jefferson and Green, who are both in the last year of deals and looking to cash in, and then we will have to resign all of the rookie contracts from two years ago. Then, we will have to find a player good enough to fill in our weakness, and willing to play in Minnesota (a problem we had when KG was still here, and a bigger problem now that he is gone).
If all those things fall into place, we still have to hope McCants can develop and stay healthy, Foye can become a true point guard, We get value for Jaric and Hassell (who will most likely be shipped), Brewer becomes a better scorer than Hassell, and our rookie coach can actually coach.
And we have to have all that happen while playing in the ultra competitive Western Conference.
Meanwhile, we have to find SOMEONE to root for, so the fans will stick around, and the team won't get shipped to the coast.
Still think we bartered a good, fair trade?